MONDAY, MAY 4 This week of diabolical taintings, criminally "cool" principals, and the return of America's best rock band kicked off in the pages of the New York Times, as today the Times' editorial board came out swinging in support of transgender rights. "A generation ago, transgender Americans were widely regarded as deviants, unfit for dignified workplaces, a disgrace for families," wrote the board in a full-page editorial. "Coming out meant going through life as a pariah." Noting the heartbreakingly high rates of homelessness, joblessness, and suicide among transgender people, even as network television earns blockbuster ratings with interviews of transgender celebrities, the Times declared: "Being transgender today remains unreasonably and unnecessarily hard. But it is far from hopeless... The tide is shifting, but far too slowly, while lives, careers, and dreams hang in the balance. This generation should be the one that stopped thinking that being transgender is something to fear or shun." To quote God, "Fuck yeah."
TUESDAY, MAY 5 In worse news, the week continued with an unfortunate story out of Virginia, where a former lab worker has pleaded guilty to smearing a coworker's computer mouse and desk chair with contaminated feces. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies the admitted feces-smearer as 31-year-old Andrea Edwards. "According to a criminal complaint, Edwards obtained a stool sample from a patient she had tested in the lab," reported the AP. "It had tested positive for a type of bacteria known to cause infection, diarrhea, stomach pain and death. The complaint says she took the sample from the lab to the office area and put it on the coworker's mouse and chair." Today, Edwards was given a two-year suspended sentence for her shitty crime, and will spend the next year on supervised probation.
•• Speaking of the inappropriate use of refuse, tomorrow in Maryland, 56-year-old Sarah P. Schrock will be arrested on suspicion of serving her family members milk laced with dead skin shavings from her feet. "Schrock was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary's County Detention Center, where she was charged with poisoning/contaminating of food, three counts of assault, and failure to comply with a peace order," reported Southern Maryland News Net. "The poisoning/contaminating of food charge is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in jail."
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6 In sexier news, the week continued in Palm Beach County, Florida, where this evening North Palm Beach Police were summoned to a parking lot by a call reporting "people in the backseat engaged in some sort of sexual activity or being attacked," as police told WFLA News. The beguiling call was the tip of the humans-are-weird iceberg: Upon arriving at the vehicle reported as a sex and/or attack site, a sergeant knocked on the door and was greeted by Krista Morton, the 45-year-old principal of nearby Mavericks High School, whose shirt was unbuttoned to expose her shoulders and part of her chest, and who was reportedly enveloped in the smell of fresh-burned marijuana. Also found in the vehicle: a bag of weed and rolling papers and an 18-year-old male. According to police, Morton initially tried to pass the 18-year-old off as a stranger she'd picked up on the street to help her quash her loneliness, but eventually the 18-year-old acknowledged that he was a senior at Mavericks High School and Morton was his principal. Both Morton and the student were arrested for marijuana possession.
THURSDAY, MAY 7 The week continued with some progress in the quest to sort out what the fuck's wrong with Baltimore, as new US attorney general Loretta E. Lynch announced the launch of a federal investigation of the Baltimore Police Department—specifically, whether the BPD has habitually engaged in excessive force.
•• Speaking of the Baltimore Police Department's alleged history of excessive force, tomorrow attorneys for the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will file a motion in Baltimore City District Court, seeking to get the case dismissed or at least to have
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby taken off the case. "The motion... says Mosby 'egregiously violated' the officers' rights to due process when she 'publicly and with inciting rhetoric' announced the case against the officers by reading every word of the charging documents," reported CNN. "The motion also says Mosby's statements to the young people of Baltimore revealed her political and personal motivation in the case and betrayed the US Constitution and ethical requirements of prosecutors. The motion calls for the case to be dismissed and, if not, for a special prosecutor to be appointed."
FRIDAY, MAY 8 In incalculably better news, tonight brought the second of three sold-out shows at Seattle's Showbox by Sleater-Kinney, the Portland-based punk group composed of vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker, guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein, and drummer/vocalist Janet Weiss, who have nonchalantly held the title of America's best rock band since at least 1997, when the ferocious Weiss replaced the band's perfectly fine previous drummers and Sleater-Kinney released their noisy joyride masterpiece Dig Me Out. Tonight at the Showbox, the reunited-after-a-10-year-hiatus band was joined by a fourth musician—Katie Harkin, who added an occasional guitar-based sound effect or keyboard line—and a packed house full of the happiest people on earth. Tearing through a set of de facto greatest hits drawn from all but one of the band's releases, Sleater-Kinney displayed again and again the singular intensity—three voices, two guitars, one drummer—that cemented their stature as this country's premier purveyors of the tangle of aggression, melody, and precision known as punk rock. Bonus: the stage set, starring a cloth backdrop cut with a hundred strategic slices, which just hung there until it was blasted with a fan and exploded into a hundred waving flags, not one the same as the next. Another bonus: a quote overheard by the Showbox employee checking bags at the door, who exclaimed, "There are more books at this show than any I've ever worked." Thank you, Sleater-Kinney.
SATURDAY, MAY 9 Speaking of praiseworthy doings in Seattle, today brought not one but two notable protests: the Black Lives Matter rally that saw dozens of protesters surrounding Safeco Field during tonight's Mariners game, and the Cannabis Freedom March that rallied in Volunteer Park in support of Initiative 648, which aims to protect existing medical marijuana rights in Washington State.
SUNDAY, MAY 10 This tumultuous week comes to an end with at least two causes for celebration: Mother's Day (yay moms and all maternal figures!) and Prince's Rally 4 Peace in Baltimore (yay Prince and all politically engaged artists!).
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