Lighter Late Night Open Thread: I Think I’ve Figured Out Why Cole’s Too Busy to Post

He’s trying to get Lily and Steve to be more brand-friendly dammit!!!

Bianca Bosker, in the Atlantic, on “Instamom: The enviable, highly profitable life of Amber Fillerup Clark, perfect mother and social-media influencer”:

One morning in early November, Amber Fillerup Clark sat at her dining-room table, which serves as her desk most days, peering at her laptop. She had professional photo-editing software open, and was using it to tweak pictures that her husband, David Clark, had snapped of their toddlers dressed up as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The children had rotated through several costumes before Halloween—11-month-old Rosie wore a lamb outfit; 2-year-old Atticus dressed as a dragon; the whole family donned matching superhero getups—and Clark had photographed each one for Barefoot Blonde, Fillerup Clark’s blog about motherhood and fashion. As we talked, she adjusted the colors in the pictures, giving them the warm pastel hues characteristic of wedding portraits. She assured me that she stops short of Photoshopping appearances, then reconsidered: “Sometimes I’ll whiten teeth.”

Fillerup Clark has shared enough holidays and milestones that she and her husband can predict what types of images will charm her followers. “Before we post a picture, we can usually tell how good the engagement will be based off the content,” Clark said.

“If it has the whole family in a pretty place, traveling, that’s going to do the best,” Fillerup Clark said. On another occasion she’d told me, “We always have to think of our life as ‘Where can you take the prettiest pictures?’ ”

Not so long ago, Fillerup Clark was a broke student in Provo, Utah. Today, at age 26, she is the equivalent of internet royalty: a “relatable influencer,” someone whom hundreds of thousands of women trust as a friend and whom companies pay handsomely to name-drop their products. Stepping for the first time into her living room in Manhattan, I found it intimately familiar, thanks to the up-close-and-personal Instagram photos, YouTube vlogs, Snapchat videos, and blog posts Fillerup Clark shares with her 1.3 million Instagram followers, 227,000 YouTube fans, and 250,000 monthly blog readers. I knew from the redecoration “reveal” she’d posted a few months back that the velvet side chair had been provided by West Elm, and I recognized the tangle of curls on a shelf as clip-in hair extensions from Barefoot Blonde Hair, Fillerup Clark’s own line of products, which sold out within 72 hours of its debut in October. I could even name the stuffed dog on the couch: That was Chauncey, it belonged to Atticus, and it had been named after the family’s real golden retriever…

Fillerup Clark’s portrait of domestic bliss has earned her a top spot among the second generation of so-called mommy bloggers. She joins a clique of stylish women, among them Naomi Davis of Love Taza and Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies, who have acquired loyal followings (and incomes rumored to be in the seven figures) by showing themselves excelling as ordinary wives and mothers. If the feats these blogs capture are familiar—dressing well, attending to children—this is a key part of the appeal; the women epitomize a new breed of celebrity, as public fascination expands beyond the rich and famous to the well-off and above-average. “We’re seeing people following almost idealized versions of themselves,” said Rob Fishman, a co-founder of Niche, an ad network for online influencers that is now owned by Twitter. “It’s this attainable perfection.”…

Fillerup Clark says she juggles about five photo shoots a week, not including impromptu picture-taking when the family happens to be doing something photogenic. It was the Clarks’ second visit to Central Park that day; the earlier trip, which they’d deemed a casual family outing, not an official shoot, had generated content for an Instagram photo, a Snapchat video, and a blog post…

Yeah, eminently mockable, but it is hard work, in its own way; there’s a feminist treatise to be written about the perennial niche in “conservative” media for women willing to work hard at being traditionalists. (For a far more toxic example, Phyllis Schafly made a rich career out of explaining for money that real women should stay home with their children, while leaving her own six kids in the care of housekeepers and her husband.)

Via Get Off My Internets, which has successfully monetized (although I’m sure not at the seven-digit-figure level) the second-level mocking of monetizing one’s private life online.



And Now a Word From Steve!

We can’t prove it’s Steve, but we also can’t prove it’s not Steve…



We’re Too Big To Cry…And This Is Just Funny Enough To Make Us Laugh

Have I got an international laughing stock for you:

 

 

h/t my on-the-Zeitgeist son.

There really is nothing funny about what’s happening now, though the shoots of resistance are encouraging as we look towards the hope of spring.  But I give our Dutch friends credit.  The above made me laugh out loud.

Open thread.



Its Funny Because it Could Actually Be True

The Duffel Blog, a site the provides satirical takes on the US military, has posted a life could imitate satirical art post entitled: “Troops Sour on Mattis Nomination After He Releases 6,000-Book Reading List“.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A large number of active-duty troops once enthusiastic about the choice of James Mattis for Defense Secretary have since soured on the pick after the retired general released a 6000-book reading list he plans to implement for the entire DoD after he is confirmed, Duffel Blog has learned.

Referred to by some as the “Warrior Monk,” the 66-year-old sent his reading list to the military’s entire email distribution list over the weekend. Most service members who received the 200-page email reported they were still in the process of reading it well into Monday morning.

Almost every senior commander issues a reading list. Its sort of become the in thing to do and Foreign Policy writer Tom Ricks (full disclosure: I know Tom and have written guest posts for him) collects and publishes them or links to them at his Best Defense blog. Gen. Mattis’s preferred nickname, or, at least, the one he doesn’t seem to dislike  – he does not like being referred to as Mad Dog – is The Warrior Monk. The sobriquet is derived from a couple of the realities of Gen. Mattis’s life and career. The first is he is considered by many to be an outstanding warfighter. The second, that like many military senior leaders, he aspired to become what the Army refers to as a Soldier-Scholar. This means that as a Soldier’s career progresses they try to move beyond just being warfighters, increase the breadth and scope of their understanding of operational and then strategic matters through both Professional Military Education and civilian higher education, and become thoughtful, reflective, and (hopefully) strategic thinkers. The third basis for the nickname is because Gen. Mattis, unlike most career US military personnel, is not married. As in never married, hence the other root cause for the Monk.

The Duffel Blog also did a good job accurately capturing just how a lot of personnel would respond to receiving such a reading list – long or short:

Marines, however, were only assigned four coloring books.

“Four? Good Lord, that’s unfair,” said Lance Cpl. Anderson Malcolm, a Marine infantryman who proudly displays his “good enough degree” on his barracks room wall.

A number of troops expressed reservations about the nomination of Mattis to the Pentagon’s highest post after they read the email. While some expected a reading list of some sort, most did not realize just how many books they would be required to get through.

“How are we going to go out and kill the enemy if we have to sit around reading all this shit?” asked Sgt. James Fritter, an Army squad leader.

Its funny, because it could be true!!!!

PS: Last week the Duffel Blog lampooned the US Army’s insistence on having personnel forward deployed on its bases wear reflective safety belts at night (so they don’t get run over when going for chow in the dark, no I am not making this part up, yes I did have to follow this as a member of my BCT’s special staff in Iraq in 2008, and yes, I still have the thing – mine’s the orange one). They did this by picking on a former student of mine, who is the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman and colonel in the US Air Force. John was an excellent student, is a sharp strategic thinker, and an excellent public affairs officer. And the satire is funny, because it could be true!



Some Light Humor for the Mid-Afternoon








OK. I Laughed

The Reddit MeIRL crowd produces some of my son’s favorite internet snark — and provides a bridge between 16 y.o. consummate savvy and [mumble mumble mumble] technological cluelessness.

Here’s what he shared with me today:

snek

May your day be one in which all your sneks are garters.

(And no, not that way. This is a family blog.)

Open. The Thread. It Is.








Too Late Now Open Thread: GOP Attempts to Flee Its Hand-Built Monster’s Embrace

You just keep telling yourself that, Sen. Cassidy — it’s not the message, it’s the messenger! If only Deadbeat Donald could be a little more… restrained about your party’s appeal to all the worst elements of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny in American politics…

But Cassidy’s from Louisiana, he needs emergency reconstruction funds for his state right now, not when Mitch McConnell gets tired of stonewalling in hopes that Hillary (or better yet, Donald) will be struck by lightning before November. “Principles” are all very well when your gang of Freedom Caucus Liberty Patriots are riding high, but when the guy at the top of the ticket looks to be bent on self-immolation…

For the special delectation of Balloon Juice readers: The NYTimes reports that “Tensions Deepen Between Donald Trump and R.N.C.”:

The Republican National Committee had high hopes that Donald J. Trump would deliver a compassionate and measured speech about immigration on Wednesday, and prepared to lavish praise on the candidate on the party’s Twitter account.

So when Mr. Trump instead offered a fiery denunciation of migrant criminals and suggested deporting Hillary Clinton, Reince Priebus, the party chairman, signaled that aides should scrap the plan, and the committee made no statement at all.

The evening tore a painful new wound in Mr. Trump’s relationship with the Republican National Committee, imperiling his most important remaining political alliance.

Mr. Priebus and his organization have been steadfastly supportive of Mr. Trump, defending him in public and spending millions of dollars to aid him. But the collaboration between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Mr. Priebus’s committee has grown strained over the last month, according to six senior Republicans with detailed knowledge of both groups, some of whom asked to speak anonymously for fear of exacerbating tensions….

Ya think? [surreptitious sounds of blame being shifted; reporters pretend not to recognize figures behind the curtain]

There is no prospect of a full public breach between the Trump campaign and the R.N.C. because both sides rely on a joint fund-raising arrangement crucial to their election efforts.

But tensions have grown to such a point that they threaten to diminish the party’s ability to work smoothly with Mr. Trump during the most critical post-Labor Day phase of the race, when the committee traditionally helps supervise an extensive voter turnout effort.

Mr. Trump, who has struggled to raise money, is dependent on his party’s national committee to perform many of the basic functions of a presidential campaign. Should the partnership continue to deteriorate, it could hinder Mr. Trump’s bid for a late comeback in the race…

Read more