Discover more from The Crunchwrap by Adam Chandler
What Should We Do on January 6? Log Off
+ Last casseroles and fake advice letters
Welcome back to The Crunchwrap!
According to Strava, the third Thursday of January is the point when most people have abandoned their new year’s resolutions. So I hope you enjoy this newsletter and the two more I’m gonna send before I disappear again.
The piece grew out of a recent poll, which found that 1 in 3 Americans(!) believe that violent action against the government is justifiable. Another way to look at that: In the 1990s, 90 percent of Americans said taking violent action against the government is never justifiable; as of the last month, that figure is down to 62 percent.
In some ways, January 6th is the culmination of what happens when social media platforms that profit off conspiracy, misinformation, and polarization win out over the complexity of life in the physical world. From the piece:
Last year’s attack on the Capitol showed just how thoroughly the Internet’s ugliness has transformed us. Though initially dismissed as fringe militia members, unwashed loners and basement dwellers, the cast of characters that tried to subvert the certification of President Biden’s electoral win included teachers, public officials, religious leaders, members of law enforcement and the military, CEOs, and small business owners. Even if the scene on Jan. 6 had the visuals of a low-rent “Les Misérables,” the composition of the crowd had undeniable elements of Mayberry. And that alone speaks to the depth of the problems fueled by digital bubbles, misinformation and online anger.
Of course, there are endless/countless reasons beyond the internet and our self-reinforcing online silos for why we got here. But lurches toward the extreme is something that digital life encourages, even if you’re not an insurrectionist.
The poll’s methodology offers a good insight here:
Of the 1,101 interviews for the poll, the vast majority of them (999) were self-administered over the Internet, leading observers to suggest that the anti-government sentiments expressed were influenced by respondents being “more willing to voice socially undesirable opinions in self-administered surveys,” instead of when asked directly by an interviewer.
I have more thoughts about how to fix this that won’t fit in an opinion piece, but for now and for tomorrow specifically, I think the best thing for everyone to do is the log off, step away from the ugliness, and seek out IRL encounters wherever possible.
I’m eternally fond of this couple’s TikTok where an American woman constantly does things to drive her Italian partner crazy. I couldn’t figure out how to embed it from TikTok, so here’s a classic of the genre via YouTube:
Snack of the Week: Chile Relleno Casserole
So there’s no way to elegantly transition here BUT…Caroline Hatchett had a really nice story in The Washington Post last month about the rising mention of casseroles in obituaries over the past several months. Here’s the opener:
With her Department 56 Christmas village and mistletoe doilies in place, Lynda Finch spent last Christmas Eve cooking a smorgasbord for her family to graze on the next day. That night, with green bean salad, mashed potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, bacon-wrapped hors d’oeuvres and chile relleno casserole prepped and tucked into the refrigerator, Finch went to bed and died in her sleep at age 73.
I was moved by how Finch’s family saw her Christmas spread as a final act of love and ate all that she prepared as a tribute to her. The Post also published Finch’s casserole recipe, which calls for poblano peppers, ground beef, cumin, eggs, cheese, onions, and a lot of cheese. In other words, how could it possibly be bad?
Well, I made it twice in two weeks and loved it.
I would love to hear what you’re making this week, ESPECIALLY if you’re in a cold weather climate. If it’s 65 where you are and you’re eating 99-cent avocados in the sun, I hope you unsubscribe.
P.S.: While I’m focusing all these clicks on The Washington Post this week, they currently have a deal where you can send a gift subscription to someone (and probaaaably yourself?) for $9.99 for the entire year. That’s a pretty great deal.
Like the casserole-making sap I am, I read it on my iPad and think their app is actually one of the best out there.
Nu, what else?
Another oldie-but-goodie: Bennett Madison wrote increasingly insane, fake letters to Slate’s advice columnist and managed to get some of them published. Hilarity ensues.
Olivia Nuzzi’s report on Dr. Oz’s campaign for the PA Senate, which starts with a phone call where Oz and his wife forget to hang up on Nuzzi, is an instant classic.
That’s it for this Crunchwrap! Thank you so much reading and I’ll see you in 2023.
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I broiled fresh poblanos (see the recipe notes) because I couldn’t find canned ones, which I’m blaming on the supply chain despite not really knowing if that’s true or not. As a culinary exercise, this was kind of fun, but after the third pepper, the fun wears off.