Friday note: Sisyphus edition

The end of 2023 was, it turns out, pretty eventful for the world, and in a much smaller way for this newsletter. Things started in earnest with the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel of Oct. 7, and Israel’s ensuing war of revenge against the people of Gaza. I tried to speak out against it. A new wave of fearmongering about immigrants kicked into gear, and Donald Trump, facing deepening legal troubles, threatened to ratchet up the authoritarianism in a potential second term. I tried to raise alarm bells about both. All the while I was working on a long-simmering article on Substack’s Nazi problem that would end up coming out in late November, going extremely viral in December; and turning into a headache of its own for several people including, again, the writer of this newsletter.

Now it’s January of a new year—a big year, a leap year, a presidential year—and it feels like every single one of those situations has only gotten worse. The killing in Gaza hasn’t only not stopped, it’s now spreading into a regional war that appears to be in the midst of an uncontrolled escalatory spiral, with U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Iranian allies in Yemen and Iran itself now engaging in direct airstrikes against allegedly Israel-allied targets in Iraq. We appear to indeed be on an unstoppable collision course with a presidential rematch in November—the first since 1956’s Eisenhower vs. Stephenson part deux, except this time between two even older warmongering geriatrics trying to settle the question of “how much coup is too much coup for Americans.”

Me? I’m burned out. The difficulty and effort required in switching platforms haven't been helpful. Nor has it helped that Substack’s resident shithead crew, angry about something or other—loss of subscribers, jealousy of what

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