S1: Join me in a round of applause
S2: for Nancy Reagan. Hi, I’m Rachel
S3: Hampton and I’m Madison Malone Kircher, you’re listening to I.S., why am I in
S2: case you missed it?
S3: Slate’s podcast about internet culture.
S2: Madison, I feel like we have to start with the most important business of the day, which is this tick tock that you found. But actually, I’m kind of offended you didn’t send me. You just tweeted it.
S3: Rachel. What’s that saying about, you know, fool me once. Fool me twice. How many TikToks have I sent you to absolutely radio silence?
S2: No comment.
S3: Mm hmm. That’s why I didn’t send it to you. I couldn’t take the emotional turmoil of wondering if you hated me or not.
S2: It is mildly hilarious that the easiest way to get a response on me to doing it rather than next to me directly. But because you found it, I feel as if you should describe it
S3: vaguely and without spoilers. This tick tock is like if you drew a van diagram of Rachel’s interests and my interests. This tick tock is the thing in the middle, and it is a a pair of cast members from what appears to be a like community, theater or high school production of the Sound of Music there in the Full-On, like little sailor tea with jam, jam and bread kind of outfits. So that’s your mental picture, and I think I’ll just let the tick tock take it from here.
S2: How old are you, Lisa? 16. How long have you been 16 in a while? It’s just perfect. And now we’re going to ruin it by explaining the joke to people who don’t get it.
S3: Liesl is 16, as in I am 16, going on, 17 innocent as a rose, etc.. And Rachel, I feel like the next part I have to give you.
S2: It’s all me. There is a iconic scene in Twilight where it’s the scene where basically Bella finally guesses that Edward is a vampire, and she asked him, How old are you? And he says, 17. And then she asks, How long have you been 17? And he says, a while. And so this ticktalk again perfect overlap of me and Madison’s interests.
S3: I’m broken, and so my brain immediately went to, Oh, how can I rewrite the entirety of the lyrics to 16 going on, 17 to be about Twilight? And I’ve decided the opening lines are something like your life. Little Girl is an empty page that men will want to bite on. Wow.
S2: The only time order you’ve made a pun a wordplay joke that I am fully endorsing because my mind went the opposite direction, which was How do I rewrite Twilight to make it about Nazis? Lethal, not massive Austrian refugees from World War Two Austrian refugees.
S3: Do you know in the film that they walk the wrong direction? Do they know? Yeah.
S2: Well, where would they have ended up in the movie?
S3: I like Nazi-Occupied somewhere.
S2: OK, I was like, I don’t understand European geography or any geography. We’re not here to talk about how much geography I do or do not understand. Instead, today we’re going to be talking to one of our absolute favorite people on the internet. Her name is Kate Lindsay. She’s the co-creator of the Embedded newsletter on Substack. And it is an incredible resource. That just goes into extreme detail on the kind of weird pockets of the internet. She’s here talking to us about some of her online habits, advice for how to try and live a healthier. Oh my my. With me and Madison both definitely need. Actually, I was going to say me, I’m not going to speak for you, Madison. Maybe you’re healthy.
S3: As anyone who has listened to this podcast for even, let’s say, six minutes. Well, now I certainly am not. But we’re not going to talk about that anymore because it’s embarrassing for me. Before we get to Kate, though, it is time to play our favorite game, the one that demonstrates precisely how broken our brains are. High-Speed downloads.
S2: You know them. You love them and they’re back after the break. We will have a wild story about Nancy Reagan’s horny past and a cat covered in butter.
S2: I have a special announcement for you today. Slate is having a holiday sale for a limited time. We’re offering our annual Slate Plus membership at $25 off for your first year. It’s a great deal. Think of it like this you pay about 10 or $15 per month for your music and streaming subscriptions with Slate Plus for less than $4 per month. You can get member exclusive episodes from shows like One Year, How to Amicus and Political Gap as you get no ads on any of our podcasts, including this one and unlimited reading on the slate site. And best of all, you’ll be supporting our show and Slate’s journalism. Sign up for Slate Plus at Slate.com. I see. Why am I a plus again? We’re giving you $25 off your first year as a member through Dec. 29. So sign up now at Slate.com Slash. I see why my plus? And we’re back with some high speed downloads.
S3: If you’re not familiar, high speed downloads is a game we play where Rachel and I have 60 seconds to recount a recent story or meme or event on the internet that swept across our feeds and do it as quickly as humanly possible. If you don’t like listening to people, talk really, really quickly. We recommend listening to this set up about 0.7 five speed point five X will sound drunk. That’s fun, too. Rachel, what do you got for us today?
S2: First in apology, I’m so sorry for what I’m about to do. Second, I’m talking about Nancy Reagan and her allegedly very, very raunchy past.
S3: Oh, so this is an apology and also a content warning. Yes. All right, Rachel, you ready your throat clear?
S2: Yes, it is. I’m not going to do that so many times because I feel like people don’t like that sound.
S3: I realize that setup was dirtier than I meant it to be. But oh well, you’ve got 60 seconds on the clock. Three two one
S2: go. OK. Back in November, Madonna uploaded a photo of her nipple and everybody was like, OK, cool. But then Instagram was like, no nipples. So the Madonna uploaded it. And then for some reason, New York Post decided to write up this entire saga as Doozy hates Madonna’s nipples, which I don’t even know where the fuck that came from. Also, somehow, but this one skims involved. Also, The View does a similar segment that’s like, Why do the hates Madonna’s nipples? I literally don’t understand what’s happening. But then for some reason, this turns into a thing where in what’s been Shapiro sister Abbi Shapiro decides to like do a fucking photo spread between comparing Madonna and Nancy Reagan being I would rather be Madonna, 64, or Nancy Reagan is 63 and classic living versus child living. But the key thing here is Madonna is not the only one living a trashy lifestyle. Fucking Nancy Reagan, apparently back in the day, was getting around town on the IMG lot. It was given a lot of fucking blowjobs. So one point. And secondly, she wrote a fucking letter to Ronald Reagan about how much she meant to Hot Dog. Hot dog means dick. I feel I must say that. And so it’s just like such a perfect symbolism of how fucking hypocritical conservativism is.
S3: Rachel, thank you so much for explaining that. Hot Dog means Dick, I never would’ve gotten there.
S2: I’m out of breath now. A familiar feeling for Nancy Reagan.
S3: All right. As enlightening as that oral history was, you do get one final thought.
S2: Honestly, I feel like I got it all. I don’t really have much else to say other than the fact that, like, it’s not, there’s no there’s nothing wrong with being good at blowjobs, in fact. Congrats. It’s just deeply hilarious that Nancy Reagan, who deeply I can’t help myself, that she, you know, was this emblem of conservativism and sex negativity. And she was out here, you know, being the goat, the original throat goat of the 40s and 50s and by goat, I mean, greatest of all time, not the animal.
S3: That was really quite a lot. Rachel.
S2: That’s what she said. All right, Madison, now that we’re all caught up with Nancy Reagan, what do you have for us?
S3: Well, Rachel, it involves office politics and somebody buttering a cat, OK?
S2: You have 60 seconds on the clock. Are you ready?
S3: I am. This one goes out to all the people in our mentions who asked for this. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.
S2: OK. Three two one.
S3: Go! First, need to understand the Am I the asshole subreddit? People post anecdotes about themselves in wild situations and ask the internet to adjudicate if they’re being an asshole. The stories always make their way over to Twitter in the form of screenshots where they get rejuvenated. They’re very clearly often fake. We do not care. Do you hear me? And I see? Why am I? We don’t care that any of the awesome stories are fake, because are you not entertained? This week’s 88 Jorts involves a person who works in an office with two cats, Jorts and Jean. The person will be called OP. So Jean is a smart tortoiseshell cat, and Jorts is an orange cat with a penchant for getting locked inside closets. That’s Jorts like jean shorts, which is a good name for a cat or even like pets. And that’s true. Jorts keeps closing the door where the cats get their food, so he and Jean get stuck in their Opie’s colleague, Pam. Not her real name is trying to teach Jorts not to do this, which he says is useless because Jean is smart, but Jorts is a dumb sweetie. She’s also trying to teach him to clean himself better. This will be important later, when the op told Pam jokingly, they couldn’t expect Jean’s tortoiseshell smarts from Jorts, the Orange Cat, and he installed a doorstop to fix the closet issue. Pam said he was perpetuating, quote unquote ethnic stereotypes. H.R. got involved and I obviously did not side with Pam. They also said Pam could no longer assign her co-workers tasks involving training, Jorts, OPI and a follow up post that he did apologize to Jorts because we all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity work. So Jorts is getting an upgrade on his bed. He’s also getting. Wow.
S2: I got to say the thing about, am I the asshole pose is like very long and there’s a lot of text. So considering the amount of text that this this thing included, you got what
S3: it takes so long just to say, am I the asshole?
S2: Oh, I just say Ida
S3: Kircher told me that before. Well, I didn’t make it to the butter.
S2: So, yeah, you promised me butter and I got no butter. So what’s going on with the butter?
S3: OK, so like I mentioned very rapidly, things are about to get better for Jorts around the workplace. Jorts is staff by photo is no longer going to be of a potato. Oh, Pam has said she will stop putting Jorts in unnecessary situations as learning opportunities. Most crucially, Pam has admitted to having buttered. Well, actually it was margarine. So she margarine Jorts is fur in an attempt to teach him grooming skills, which made Jean, who often helps clean Jorts. She looks Jorts. It made Jean shit her pants, and then she went to the vet capsule wear pants.
S2: Jeans like this should hurt her Jorts.
S3: Pam will no longer be applying butter alternative spreads to any of her colleagues. Case closed!
S2: I. Just there were so many twists and turns, and now there’s an alarmingly specific rule in this workplace that I can only imagine any new colleagues would be like, Why the fuck is there a rule about not applying margarine to our colleagues?
S3: Oh, wait, I forgot something. I’m going to cheat. I failed at this high speed download. I’m sorry, but everyone simply needs to know this. So this workplace apparently had five people who are unvaccinated and four of them chose to get vaccinated to protect the cats, which is, I think, the first useful thing a cat has ever done in history.
S2: OK. OK, I will not take your cat slander here, but I still have a lot of questions and I still feel like none of them are going to get answered.
S3: That’s correct because we are all out of time for downloads, and when we get back from taking a breather, we’ll be talking with Kate Lindsay, co-creator of Embedded, one of my favorite newsletters about the internet.
S2: We’ll be back with Kate after the break.
S3: All right, we are back with Kate Lindsay writer and co-founder of the newsletter, Embedded Kate. Talk to us a little bit about how Embedded came to you. Sprung from your brain, from a headache or something
S1: from a headache that was actually pretty apt. So basically my editor, Nick Kate Lindsay and I. The big thing was we had to like steer clear of covering like the really, really big creators. So we were like more medium to smaller size communities are actually like much more, much more engaged. They’re denser and they’re honestly more interesting. And I think it’s so much more interesting to see how regular people are doing new things. And so that’s kind of whenever I’m like trying to decide on a story I tried to see if it like comes back to that, like, is this someone who is a human using the internet in a new and interesting way? And we just like, go from there.
S3: You mentioned that Embedded focuses on niche topics that that was like a conscious decision you guys made. And I think that’s why I like it so much. And I think it’s also I often find myself opening it and going down. I’ll only admit that one. Please enjoy it. We are going to use you for a little bit of fan service right now because we recently got an email from an icy Why am I a guy named Katie Joe? Hey, Katie, Joe, this one’s for you whose email essentially boil down to monitory Oh, what the fuck. So sanitary is t h and e d e r y. If that sounds like a fake word, it’s because it is. And I was wondering if you could. Perhaps I know you covered this in a newsletter. Katie Jo, go read it. But briefly, could you explain Sanitari?
S1: Yes. So this is something that I stumbled upon on Tik Tok, where I was already late to the joke because basically the first video I saw was a girl or a woman trying on this dress. I think it was a free people dress, and the point is that the dress could be worn a bunch of different ways. But it meant that when it’s not on the dress looks like a pair of like shredded tights. And so it was like this woman trying it on, and then it was interrupted by a stitch of this creator named Rachel. I believe just staring at the screen where and then the sound that was playing was a song from the 2012 Lorax movie
S3: This dress girl. Think of this dress. Look at me in this dress.
S1: And it had tons of likes and all these comments that seem to understand what was happening. And I was like, What is this? And I went to go Look, and basically this creator’s entire account is stitching people who are wearing or showing something that could constitute a need. And the need is from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. And it is a product that is made out of the leaves of these types of trees. And the basically the point of the product is it can be anything. You can wear it as a hat, you can make it a hammock, you can wear it as a shirt like it turns into a bunch of different things. And so the only thing she does doesn’t even talk. She just interrupts a video of someone using what legally could be a few stares at the camera. Yeah, and it stares at the camera and the song plays. And it just, I think because it is so hard to explain. But like if you know, you know, it just gets funnier every single time, because for so many people like I’ve started to see now, I’m like, I’m like watching like someone try on something and I’m like, Oh, my God can be a funny video. And then out of nowhere, she just like, appears in his staring. And it’s just so funny that, like all the comments are like, why and how did I get on the side of Tik Tok? Like, like someone commented, like, why am I on the top? Why are you everywhere? Please, I have a family like it was like she just like interrupts. It’s just someone interrupting your what you think is and isn’t scrolling. But actually, you’re looking at what she calls an act of symmetry.
S2: It is always funny when something ends up on a side of the internet where you’re just like, Where did you come from? And I think that more than any other app, TikTok kind of does that because it’s just so hyper specific.
S1: I can describe the person TikTok like thinks I am like male. Some of the things that I like live in Brooklyn. It also thinks for sure thinks I’m a lesbian, but I think it’s because of my like, Kate safe space.
S3: As I mentioned
S1: it, I think because of my general, just any, any straight TikTok thing. I’m like, I’m not interested in that. It is like, Oh my god, sorry, my boyfriend is calling me, even though I told him, This is happening. Hold up, OK?
S3: Wow. He thinks the lady doth protest too much.
S1: I just realized what I was like, Oh, I’m so sorry, my boy was calling me, but he just totally to shut up, honestly.
S2: Perfect timing. Perfect timing. You sensed a change in the force. You saw Madison
S1: Ryan to become a lesbian, and he was playing because of TikTok. OK. For me, I yeah, it thinks I’m a lesbian. I’m like, Happy being in that community, even though, like, it’s not necessarily accurate, but
S2: OK, so we’ve got lesbian and Brooklyn
S1: lesbian Brooklyn. I’ll go.
S3: I’ll show myself out.
S1: I got I got a lot of animals like that’s like very cliche, but I’ll watch any video with the cat or a dog in it. My sister is because she gets like the most bizarre. Like some woman being like she, she sends them to people because they’re so crazy will be like, how I how you can like do natural immunity to COVID with like a yoni egg or something like the most bizarre stuff. And my sister will, like, send it to me and I will be like, I can see like, you know, the text and I’m like, I’m not clicking on that because I’m not doing to my for you page what it has done to yours.
S2: You. She’s so much self-control. I cannot resist opening anything.
S1: I literally she does this mostly on rails, to be honest. Just for me, the real and I’ve taught a toddler like every time she sends me one, I’m like, I’ve actually not watched a single one of these that you’ve sent me because I can see, just like you’ve gotten yourself shoehorned into some really bizarre side of this app that I want no part of.
S2: Mm hmm. Wow. Honestly, I’m what I’m getting from this interview that I should try to have as much self-control as you do.
S1: But then if you want to be in my safe space of Brooklyn lesbians on TikTok, I can’t speak for that community, but you’re certainly invited to sort of be over with me.
S2: Madison is like, We’re full,
S3: we’re full up. I’m sorry.
S1: Yeah, it’s like, Oh no, no, thank you.
S3: What is the one thing you would recommend for maintaining, in theory, a healthy relationship with the internet muting?
S1: This is, I don’t know why it took me this long. I think there was a part of me that was like, I need to like raw dog the internet or else I’m like, Oh my
S1: like, I need to take it as it is. I thought that, you know, in order to properly be a scholar of the internet and a person who is like an active member of society, that it would be somehow a cop out to do anything that messed with sort of the authentic flow of the internet I. You’re against, and I would be like think like literally being like the world’s ending, the world’s ending, the world ending as like in line to get a mocha. And so I muted like all covered words, I’m muted, like covered in all caps, covered like lowercase like. And then I muted like end of the world climate change. Does it like all this stuff? And I truly thought I would spend most of my time scrolling and be worried that I was missing something. And I promise I. I try to tell us and everyone now like you do not notice, and the effect it had on my overall mental health was like instant when I wasn’t just, you know, like if you I, you can just go read the news, like, just go read the news.
S2: That was actually my next question. Yeah, mine too. I unfortunately, even though I know better, do you get a lot of my news from Twitter? But so where do you get your news since you have taken most of the you filtered all of it out of your newsfeed,
S1: so I will just go. The New York Times, my home page, I will just go and I have a rule where I’m like, You can read it once because I would just get the big thing is I would just get into these spirals. There’s so much news and you actually don’t need as much as at least personally. I don’t need as much news as there is the potential to get served to me at any given moment. I just need to kind of know what’s happening and then move on.
S3: Your tip about muting? Very, very helpful. I’m curious if you have other internet life hacks you swear by.
S1: This is weirdly one I learned from reading that piece that Tavi Gevinson wrote for The Cut, where she was like, I don’t check Instagram first thing in the morning because she doesn’t want that to be her reality. Like, I’ll wake up and turn off my alarm, which is on my phone. But then I really I’m like, I need to do some type of meaningful action. That is a real life based before I open my phone. And so what I’ll do is if I can’t think of anything, I’ll just water every plan in my apartment just as like, yeah, just to get up and be like Earth Grass Lake. Even if this is like unload the dishwasher, the dishwasher brag, I was
S2: like, Wow, I’m in New York.
S1: It’s like, I’ll be like, Just do that. Like, just do something. So your day is rooted in like the tangible physical space around you and not what’s on my phone.
S2: That’s so smart. I’m just thinking of how many times I’ve woken up, rolled over, turned my alarm off and immediately check Slack and or Gmail. And now I’m thinking, maybe that’s not the best relationship to have to wait.
S3: You could get up and empty your dishwasher, Rachel. Oh, wait. Oh, you know what, Madison?
S2: My resolution is to never speak to you again. Fuck you.
S3: And just like that, Kate Lindsay completely derail the easy way. Yes. So since you can’t listen to us anymore, we’re good people. Find you on the internet Kate.
S1: So you can find me on Instagram posting very sparingly. Catherine Fiona and Catherine Fiona. You can also find me on Twitter, where I will only post stuff about work. And if you see me posting anything personally, you can scold me because that was something I decided like years ago. Then Embedded on. At least for now, it’s Tuesdays through Fridays, but who knows, maybe in a few months it’ll be different. That’s despite the kind of levity and spontaneity you can expect from the newsletter.
S2: Thank you so much for coming on. I’m so glad we could finally get you on the show.
S1: Thank you for having me.
S3: Once again, that was Kate Lindsay, the co-creator of Embedded, which is a newsletter you can find on Substack. Go subscribe. You won’t regret it. All right. That’s the show. We’ll be back in your feed on Wednesday, so please subscribe. It’s free. The best way to make sure you never miss an episode. Never miss a Tik Tok, never miss a newsletter recommendation. Never miss a blowjob. Fun. Also, leave us a rating and review and Apple Podcasts. Tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter. We’re at ICI. Why am I underscore Pod? You can DM us your questions. We will also accept notes about other famous conservatives who were running around town, just sucking dick. And of course, there’s always email. Those notes are fine there, too. I see. Why am I at Slate.com?
S2: I see why a mass produced by Daniel Schroeder as supervising producer Derek John, we are edited by force with men in L.A. Frank Amber Smith, the senior manager of podcast Audience Development, and Alicia Montgomery, is executive producer of Slate podcast See Online
S3: or on the MGM Lot.
S2: Three, two, one go. OK, so back in over, Madonna uploaded a photo where you could see your nipple chill. Totally normal thing, though, that Madonna does. I got it started. I don’t know why is it over? But we got to take that. Oh.