She’s quiet now, but who knows…. InterNetwork Media/Getty
42 years ago today, Mount St. Helens blew her wad: It may not be the most significant birthday, but I find it important to commemorate the times when Mother Nature really flexes her muscles. (I’m also realizing I wrote about this in Slog PMs past). After lying low for over a century, the mountain exploded dramatically on this day at 8:32 am. The eruption killed 57 and spewed 3.2 billion tons of ash, which eventually reached nearly every corner the earth. Sloggers, if you were alive then, where were you when it happened? My fellow millennials and Zoomers, settle in for a history lesson:
Hats off to this Wisconsin king: Today Don Gorske celebrates 50 YEARS of eating a Big Mac every single day, a streak he started on May 17, 1972. In half a century, he’s missed eating the McDonald’s signature sandwich only eight times. “All through life here, a lot of people said, ‘You’ll be dead before you reach 50 years of eating Big Macs,'” Gorske told KCRG. “I guess I proved them wrong.” A bald eagle just got its wings, my friend. Or whatever.
It’s about to get real Biblical up in this bitch: Cases of monkeypox are popping up in the United Kingdom and other parts of southern Europe, reports NPR. Still, the caseload is pretty small—36 cases in three countries, as well as one case here in the United States—but apparently officials have “little clue where people caught the virus.” Monkeypox can be quite gruesome. The disease boasts a high fatality rate, and it produces fluid-filled blisters all over your body. As the COVID pandemic is still raging on, surely this isn’t the moment to bring in the dancing monkeys, as they say….
But back to COVID: Federal health officials say around one-third of Americans live in areas undergoing an intense spike in COVID cases. It’s so bad that they are advising people who live in those areas to slap on the ol’ mask in indoor public settings, reports the New York Times. Though the death rate is still low, the jump in hospitalizations is “substantial.” Not to mention, thousands are now suffering the effects of long COVID, as research indicates that the potential for reinfection is nowhere near close to zero. No one wants to keep wearing a mask, but it’s the literal least we can do.
Not cool for the summer: If you’re tryna stay out late (read: past 10 pm) at Golden Gardens and Alki Beach this summer, then you’re shit out of luck. The Seattle Police Department and Seattle Parks and Recreation are kicking people off both beaches starting at 9:30 pm to enforce their new 10 pm curfew, reports KING 5. The curfew is a “test” following shootings and “concerns of illegal activity” from last year. Seattle remains a town with terrible late-night culture.
You know I love an online vote: DJ Mag has opened the ballot boxes for its Best of North America Awards 2022, and Seattle’s own Kremwerk is nominated for the Best Small Club award. EEEEEE. If you think Kremwerk should win, then go ahead and make your way to the (virtual) voting booth.
And now: Some words from my colleague Will Casey on a recent, pro-cop op-ed published by the Seattle Times today. Will, take it away!
Some helpful context for the Times Op-Ed page’s latest piece of copaganda: Though you won’t find it mentioned anywhere in their call to waste more money on hiring bonuses for cops, one of the authors of the op-ed has gone a lot further than simply volunteering to influence the outcome of Seattle’s public safety conversation. Victoria Beach, identified by the Times only as “chair of the Seattle Police Department African American Community Advisory Council,” also served as a named officer for the PAC supporting then-candidate Ann Davison’s ultimately successful bid for City Attorney.
So why should anyone care? Is it a horrendous breach of journalistic ethics to fail to disclose an op-ed author’s past political involvement? Not really. But what does disturb me about the lack of transparency is the implication that these authors represent the consensus opinion of those “most impacted by violence.” Such a consensus doesn’t exist, but to the extent that anyone has tried polling survivors of violent crime, the data says they overwhelmingly prefer solutions that prioritize addressing the root causes of criminal behavior over policies focused on punishment. Adding more officers to the police department doesn’t serve to address those root causes, unless the cops are going to start doing casework to help place the people they’re arresting into supportive housing or behavioral health treatment. Disclosing Beach’s political involvement would have clued readers in to the possibility that this is a live debate and that there are likely people who disagree with the conclusion presented in the piece. But then again, why let little things like transparency and factual accuracy get in the way of a good #OneSeattle message, right?
Thank you, Will!
Maybe one day I will attend Cannes: But today is not that day. In any case, the famous film festival on the French Riviera is currently underway. But here’s a moment from a previous Cannes featuring the Crash cast and crew that reminded me why I’m so obsessed with this film. The journalist who thinks he’s being a feminist… Cronenberg’s fumbling… and then Spader stepping in with the most obvious answer while wearing sunglasses and smoking INSIDE! Chef’s kiss! A Palme d’Or to you, my good sir!
God, I’ll stop being such a nerd in just one second: But I’ve been trying to watch all of Agnès Varda’s short films—which are conveniently streaming on the Criterion Channel—and this Cannes news makes me think of her 1958 short Du côté de la côte. The commissioned short is vibrant and witty in Varda’s typical style, exploring the importance of tourism to the French Riviera while also cheekily taking the glitter and glamor of the region down a peg or two. I highly recommend if you feel like you’re missing out on some of the Cannes action, or if you simply want to a nice 30-minute escape…
Anyway, back to the newz: New York’s Division of Human Rights filed a complaint against Amazon, alleging that the company “discriminated against pregnant and disabled workers by denying reasonable accommodations and forcing them to take unpaid leave,” reports AP.
This spring wind caused tens of thousands around Puget Sound to lose power: According to Puget Sound Energy, 13, 849 customers were without power in areas like Greenwater, Pleasant Hill, Factoria, and Redmond, reports KIRO. In Seattle, at around 4 pm Seattle City Light reported that 6,399 didn’t have power, mostly south of the city. Adding to the mayhem: A huge-ass tree fell on Lake Washington Boulevard E, and another one went down on MLK Jr Way. Spring has sprung!
Massive downed tree is blocking Lake Washington Blvd E in Seattle! Road is closed.
This at E Foster Island Road.
The spring #wind is bringing branches and trees down all over the Puget Sound – about 14k PSE customers without power rn. #wawx #windstorm @KIRO7Seattle pic.twitter.com/uuxiyee59A
— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) May 18, 2022
Hopefully this will bring parents some relief: This afternoon, Biden invoked the Defense Production Act “to speed up production of infant formula,” reports AP. He also allowed flights to bring in baby formula from other countries. The act requires formula manufacturer suppliers to “fulfill orders from those companies before other customers” to stave off any production bottlenecks.
Aht aht aht, not so fast now: Elon Musk is trying to squirm his way out of his $44 billion deal with Twitter. He is attempting to claim a temporary hold on the merger until the company can prove that less than 5% of users are spam or bot accounts. But Twitter’s board smacked his hand, saying yesterday that they intend to “close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement.” No returns!
Will the True Crime Industrial Complex ever end?
For your listening pleasure: Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto’s “So Danco Samba.”