Bug-eyed and Shameless is a newsletter that asks: Where are we, and how did we get here?
I am your newsletter captain: Justin Ling. I’m a Montreal-based freelance journalist, podcast host, book-writer, and all-around good-time Charlie.
From the start of my career, I’ve been covering abuses of the state: Mass surveillance, police misconduct, mass incarceration. In recent years, however, I’ve been focusing on how the glue that holds our collective reality together has become unstuck. QAnon runs in the halls of power, anti-vaccine convoys occupy major capitals, Moscow says jump and our compatriots at home ask “как высоко?”
Once (or more!) a week, Bug-eyed and Shameless will pop into your inbox with a single, exclusive, dispatch that helps us understand our new weird world. There will also be a helpful guide to all the writing I’ve been doing elsewhere, and a curation of good reading from others.
Conspiracy theories, misinformation, and information warfare: From Washington to Moscow, Ottawa, Brussels, and a bunch of places inbetween. All for one low, low price.
Understanding why people become deranged in our society — and how powerful people can weaponize untruths — can tell us an awful lot about what’s actually wrong, and might even help us fix it.
Who are you, again?
I hosted The Flamethrowers: The story of how right-wing radio radicalized America; and The Village, a podcast about police consistently fail the Queer community. I’m working on an upcoming book about the scourge of riot policing. I write frequently for Foreign Policy, WIRED, The Guardian, and a host of other publications. I also toot. There’s more info about me on my website.
So why should I subscribe to this, then?
You’ll get some exclusive content, for one — interesting stuff you won’t find elsewhere. It will also be the easiest way to keep up-to-date on all manner of interesting content about politics, the zeitgeist, misinformation, disinformation, extremism, and the internet’s terrifying influence on our society. It might even be funny.
The more paying subscribers that come aboard, there may even be additional projects in the future.
Also, it’s a great way to give money directly to a journalist.
What’s with all the cool graphics?
All my header images are generated by Midjourney, an algorithmically-generated art bot. Yes, I have conflicting feelings about using AI to do art, but this newsletter would never have the capacity to hire an artist to do art for each post. For more on using systems to do art, I recommend reading this great piece by Charlie Warzel.
Will there be spelling and grammar misteaks?