What's in store for us? We're self-isolating and trying to figure it out. This week: atheism, bad handwriting, and Howl Parties.
Winter will make the protests strong. Seattle's long, warm, and dry summer days provide the perfect environment for the daily protests against police violence to flourish. That environment will change come October, but the city's willingness to meet the protesters' demands will not. Every Day Marchers and Every Night Direct Demonstrators who don't have homework or work-work will nevertheless continue to march through rain, light rain, aggressive drizzle, etc., and reclaim some sympathy from the community. Some may even get out of their homes and into the streets, if for no other reason than to communicate with actual human beings after a few weeks cooped up inside. I think this will hold so long as Joe Biden wins. If Biden loses—and here I'm borrowing an argument Mudede more or less made yesterday—many in Seattle will scapegoat the protesters, a crackdown will commence, and we'll start this process all over again next summer. —R.S.
Yesterday was day 55 of protests in Colorado
Rain or shine we don’t stop
Today, we take it to Aurora
We DEMAND retribution for the murder of Elijah McClain
All power to the people ✊
— dula lipa (@dulapalooza) July 25, 2020
This fall, Seattle finally embraces the umbrella. Do Seattleites use umbrellas? We know this debate. It happens every year. But this rainy season, the umbrella people will win out. First off, no one wants a wet mask. That's fucking gross. Second, we'll need to spend more time outdoors so we can visit each other without increasing the spread of COVID-19. While fancy rainwear is nice, an umbrella just makes sense. We may even see Seattleites accepting those ridiculous orange Amazon golf umbrellas. A giant umbrella never quite fit Seattle's small sidewalks pre-COVID. But now that we're trying to keep our distance, maybe what we really need are six-feet wide umbrellas. Social distancing umbrellas, if you will. —C.B.
Existentialism will be fashionable in America. A series of surveys conducted by Pew Research Center between 2018 and 2019 showed that "4% of American adults... are atheists." It was 2% in 2009. If we add the atheists with those who believe in something spiritual, then basically 9% of Americans are godless. Let's turn to France. In 2015, 29 percent of its population identified as atheists and 63% identified as "non-religious." This means France is nearly the exact opposite of the US. The number of its believers is 8%, whereas the number of non-believers in the US is 9%. But why this radical difference? Why do so many Americans insist on the existence of a god? France and the USA are advanced capitalist societies, and both have similar family sizes and political systems. But one nation is god-crazy and the other is not.
My guess is that France experienced, within its borders, two catastrophes in the 20th century (World War One and World War Two). These catastrophes depleted its store of believers and made existentialism fashionable. During the 20th century, the US had no major catastrophes within its borders. COVID-19 however is a catastrophe of the first order. It will claim 300,000 American lives by December. Who knows how many will die in this pandemic. As the corpses rise to the sky, the number of believers will begin to fall, as more and more Americans feel the emptiness, the meaninglessness, the indifference of the universe. —C.M.
Coronavirus will have a long-lasting impact on fashion. When the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine finally came to market in early 2021, just after the announcement that President Joe Biden would be stepping down to let Kamala Harris take over, we thought America was finally emerging from the long dark night of the soul. What fools we were! Little did we suspect that the hasty clinical trials and lack of FDA oversight would leave us unprepared for the vaccine’s unexpected side effect: Lycanthropy. With 30% of Americans now transforming into anthropomorphic were-creatures on the full moon, shredding their clothes as claws and tails ripping ecstatically through fabric once a month, we’re going to see a rise in were-inspired couture. Loincloths and ripped denim cut-offs will become a fact of life, along with shirtlessness and the now-ubiquitous sight of Converse sneakers with five massive claw-holes punctured through the front. Human poseurs will dress as though they too have known the exquisite agony of releasing their inner beast, and as monthly Howl Parties grow in popularity, so too will sewing circles for weres who need to retrofit their khakis with tail holes. —M.B.
UGG BOOTS ARE BACK, BABY. This summer saw the return of Uggs. You remember them, the ugly brown boots that hold up terribly in rain and snow but are decent house slippers. The conditions for the brand's return this summer were perfect: Uggs launched an aggressive marketing campaign pushing Uggs' colorful Pride "Fluff Yeah" Slides right as everyone was quarantining at home, wearing sweatpants, and yearning for cozywear. Now that the It Girls of Instagram have spent a summer sporting these neon slides, culture's next step will inevitably be clad in an oppressively beige Ugg boot come fall. I'm not making this up. Supermodel Joan Smalls was recently spotted wearing the classic Ugg mini boot. —C.B.
i’m ready for long hair, ugg boots, tracksuits & big coats 😍😩
— . (@larosebaby) August 22, 2020
Seattle will experience a profound creative brain drain. The pandemic has severely limited options for artists to make money off their craft. Zoom sets and shows don't have the same novel sheen as they used to. Nightclubs and music venues across the city are shut down indefinitely. Tattoo shops and galleries, while open, still pose some health risks. And rents? Still unaffordable. I predict that as the pandemic lifts (whenever that is), we'll discover that many artists used the pandemic as an opportunity to leave Seattle, either relocating back home or settling down somewhere that allows them to paint, write, sing, and do drag without going completely broke. And until Seattle takes rent affordability seriously, we'll all be worse off for it.—J.K.
R.I.P. good handwriting. The debate about whether kids should learn cursive (they shouldn't) is so 2010. This decade is proving that all things handwritten are relics of the past. Kids are going to have digital school. All their assignments will be typed, right? Are kindergartners supposed to trace their letters on paper and scan it to their teacher to correct? Nah. Get their stubby little fingers on a computer home row and get those puppies typing. We were already headed toward a paperless future. COVID-19 only sped that process up. You know the chicken scratch handwriting that all techies seem to have? That's the future we've created. Bad handwriting for all. —N.G.
I spent 14 years to improve my handwriting and now we're using keyboard 🤔.
— Zenkuuu (@ItsMeJoeloury) August 24, 2020
We're going Gimli. I’ve got two words for you idiots: Dwarven beards. That’s right, this fall when the weather gets cold and we still can’t go back to work, we’re going to see weird beardos embrace facial hair like never before. Conditions are going to be perfect for beard braiding—for one thing, as we’ve all discovered by now, it’s a lot easier to kick off dumb social constructs around hairlessness when you don’t have to see your coworkers in person; for another, we’re going to need more outdoor-time than ever, and beards will provide much-needed warmth. Not to mention, we’ve already done sourdough and learned to knit so we’re going to need a more long-term quarantine project. Expect to see fancifully-braided beards starting around Thanksgiving, with things only getting bushier from there. —M.B.
Everyone's gonna want a tricked-out home office in the fall. Have you tried getting an Ikea desk recently? It seems impossible, with desks on the Swedish company's website either out of stock or unavailable in-store. And going through a secondhand site—like OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist—is a crapshoot too. Within hours good ones are swooped up by those who have made it their life's mission to snag a compact yet well-made wooden desk. There's barely any time to seriously consider what the new piece of furniture will bring to the space. Although I wondered whether it was always this annoying to buy a simple, adult desk, the school year is just about to start. As the days get shorter, families and office workers are preparing for a turn inward—and therefore a need for a piece of furniture that can support rounds of Zoom calls, groggily sent early morning emails, and late-night homework sessions into the cold, foreseeable future. And thus, the perceived inexpensive desk shortage. But while we're here, does anyone have any good leads?—J.K.
People are getting ripped this winter. Public health officials keep saying we're carrying way too much virus into the fall, but we're carrying a lot of dumbbells, too. Seriously. Have you tried procuring any form of home exercise equipment recently? The sports stores run out of meaningfully heavyweights the day the new shipments arrive, according to a guy who works at the DICK'S sporting goods in Northgate. Amazon's disgusting, messy website offers a web of dubious products, and a lot of the good stuff is sold out for weeks. This dearth of equipment and the shocking number of my friends who took up running or walking long distances every day this summer leads me to believe that people plan to lift, stretch, and 30-minute-YouTube-cardio-workout their COVID-related doldrums. When the vaccine finally arrives, we'll all emerge from quarantine swol as hell. —R.S.
“When the dust settled, I had spent $450 on six weights,” said one dumbbell shopper.
Why dumbbells have become extremely popular and extremely hard to find during the pandemic: https://t.co/0SBs0YVAbO
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 24, 2020
Football is going to be germier than baseball. The MLB is not putting its players in a bubble like the NBA. It's been... troubling. Players are ignoring guidelines and 37 games have been postponed because of COVID-19 cases so far. And baseball is America's most socially distant sport! It's not going to get better. Football season will be a COVID-19 nightmare.
Similar to baseball, there will be no player bubble. The team sizes are bigger and it's a sport built around contact. I expect COVID-19 cases will run rampant through football teams. But the NFL won't cancel the season. There's too much money to lose. Plus, what would Donald Trump do with NFL diehards up in arms?
COVID-19 in the NFL feels inevitable. What happens then? The show will go on, players will get sick, games will get canceled, and straight men will suffer the most when their fantasy football lineups are consistently thrown out of whack. Maybe it will force them to find another hobby? I wish, but I doubt it.
Is this the secret? —N.G.