What's in store for us? Each week, we cleanse our pituitary glands, astral travel, then predict the future. This week, predictions on Georgia's Senate races, Biden's coronavirus response, and that stupid wall around the East Precinct.
Infrastructure Week will be real next year. Or at least that's what Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal told me in an interview last Friday. Earlier this year Democrats passed the $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act, which laid out their ideal dreamworld infrastructure scenario. The bill, which will likely get reheated for next session, included hundreds of billions for repairs to current infrastructure, $100 million investments in public transit and housing, and lots of incentives for electric vehicles. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hated it, so, unless Ossoff and Warnock win their Georgia Senate races this January, Senate Republicans will likely scrub all money for anything other than bridge and highway repairs. But at least we'll actually get some fuckin' road repairs! I hate hitting potholes while I listen to podcasts about our rapidly melting planet. R.S.
Watch last night's #WestSeattleBridge town hall to catch up on the latest as the city faces critical decision of whether to repair or replace. What's the status, what's been done, and what's next? https://t.co/YtdsxKJ241 @mayorjenny @seattledot
— Seattle Channel (@SeattleChannel) November 17, 2020
Georgia will save America by bringing the GOP's dominance of the Senate to an end. Why? Because I feel it in my bones. My cranium, my ribs, my ulna, my femur, my fibula—all and more say it must happen. It has to happen. C.M.
Seattle won't tear down that East Precinct wall until next spring. The cop fortress at the intersection at Pine & 12th Ave on Capitol Hill is sticking around. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) dropped everything this summer to bolt together concrete "eco-blocks" and erect a protest-proof outer wall for the Seattle Police Department (SPD) East Precinct. SDOT topped the concrete with a chainlink fence. The desperate defense wall is an eyesore that would be funnier if it wasn't such an inconvenience and a hazard. The wall juts out to make the right-hand turn from Pine onto 12th dangerously blind (SPD cars still whip around this corner), and the wall cuts off sidewalk and bike lane access. Each time I venture that way, I see people choosing to walk along the wall in the street instead of crossing to walk on the sidewalk.
Despite public urgings to tear down this fucking wall, I bet the cop wall won't come down until next spring. Nightly protests in the city haven't stopped, but protester numbers have dwindled since the summer. Once the Seattle City Council budget vote happens next week and the council fails to cut 50% of SPD's budget, I expect more protests to crop up again, and SPD will cling to its wall. Mayor Jenny Durkan won't make moves to remove it until next spring, right around when she'll announce whether she'll run for mayor again. N.G.
Today we sent a letter to @MayorJenny and @SeattleCouncil about the fortress built around the East Precinct over the summer. Text of the letter is in the following thread.
— Central Seattle Greenways (@CSGreenways) November 13, 2020
We’re getting really into Christmas this year. Early decorating is already happening in New York, Kentucky, and Massachusetts—at least according to local news stations looking for a quick story—and I predict it will keep happening. Americans never needed much of an excuse to change up the decor in their bland homes anyway, and staring at the same four walls for eight months is more than enough reason to spend double on Christmas decorations this year. Plus, the darkness falling at 4:00 p.m. in the PNW really hits different at home than it does at the office. Stringing up a bunch of warm Christmas lights and cutting stuffy indoor air with the fresh scent of spruce and pine will introduce some necessary light and levity to our dark and dull workhomes. R.S.
Republicans will finally defeat Christmas. It seemed like the battle that would never end, the War on Christmas, but it looks as though Republicans might finally have cast the killing blow that will end the holiday once and for all. By dismantling the Post Office, they’ll cause unimaginable chaos to the delivery of cards, newsletters, and gifts—and while Amazon’s army of underpaid car-sleeping couriers might fill in some of the gaps, good luck to anyone who wants their Xmas cheer to arrive on anything like a predictable schedule. Instead of packages, conservatives will opt for in-person superspreader gift exchanges, and combined with their insistence on celebrating Thanksgiving like nothing is wrong, hospitals will be overwhelmed by mid-December. What a very jolly season this is shaping up to be! M.B.
Biden will also fail at his coronavirus response. To be clear, Biden will do immeasurably better than Donald Trump, but Trump set the bar so low it's essentially in hell. Biden's coronavirus response will look angelic compared to Trump's. It will still fail because his administration will avoid doing what we ultimately need to do to get ourselves out of this: We need a nationwide four- to six-week-long severe shutdown, paired with significant financial benefits that would buoy every person and business impacted by mandated closures. Until we do that, which we won't do (and even if we did, Republicans wouldn't participate), our counties will do the hanky panky around coronavirus spikes until a vaccine miracle arrives. It's going to be a long 2021, too. C.B.
Biden's DOJ won't prosecute Trump. Trump's a crook, and his list of charges runs deep. While President-elect Joe Biden can prosecute the ever-living fuck out of Trump, he indicated he'll decline to do so. Biden does not want his presidency consumed with the former president's trials, opting to push an image of unity instead. Biden's decision not to hold Trump accountable for his presumed crimes will leave the voters who elected Biden to the White House left without any sense of justice. But, in a way, Biden letting a demonic rich white man like Trump live in peace (and campaign for Trump 2024) is the most American thing ever. J.K.
Prepare for a run on happy lamps. My apartment has terrible light on a summer day. With the darkest day of the year still a month away, it's dreary in here and I want to scream. Who thought north-facing windows were a good idea? For the first time since I moved to Seattle six years ago, I'm feeling some of that Seasonal Affective Disorder I've heard so much about. I need a happy lamp. You probably need a happy lamp. I'm going to buy one this week before the happy lamp hoarding starts. Some suggestions:
This one is The Best, according to sources like Wirecutter, but it's $115. What am I made of money? If I was made of money, I'd buy this $750 one. But I'm not and I can't rationalize spending over $50 for sun substitute (which we usually get for free!!) so here's this $29.99 lamp. This lil' lamp is somehow aesthetic and only $40 and I think I'm gonna buy it right now. I like that this one goes on your desk so you can pretend you're a photosynthesizing plant under a grow light. It's $62. N.G.
This second round of closures in Washington will be the one to kill the arts. While virtual tours, Zoom performances, drag queens on Instagram Live, social media galleries, private cinema rentals, theater-by-phone, artist mutual aid, and lots of interest kicked off the first round of shutdowns in March, this one feels much bleaker. Zoom fatigue, screen fatigue, financial fatigue, and the cold winter months' nihilism all characterize this closure cycle. The lack of enthusiasm for virtual participation—and no meaningful arts relief bill in sight—might mean many museums, theaters, galleries, mutual aid funds, and movie theaters will bottom out by this time next year. Buy your friends' art, donate to that arts space you like, and hunker the fuck down everyone. J.K.
I believe the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City can turn Utah blue by 2024. The new installment of the extremely binge-able Housewives franchise kicked off last week, and it's supreme trash TV. During the series premiere, a woman got botox in her armpits, a cast member revealed she was arranged-married, and there was much to do about whether or not a good glass of water would've prevented someone's aunt from getting her legs amputated. It was delicious, asinine shit. Many people will find the show to be surprisingly progressive for Salt Lake City, and I believe that the longer this sensation airs, the bluer and bluer these naughty (ex-)Mormons will push the Great Salt Lake region. These housewives could be the tipping point the state needs. I'm being hyperbolic, but look, anything's possible after Georgia. C.B.
Twitter’s new “Fleets” feature won’t last a month. Fleets are the new Quibi. Continuing their brilliant development strategy of rolling out features nobody asked for, Twitter has given us “Fleets,” which are basically Instagram Stories but for words. The feature is kinda broken today because so many people are trying it out, but once the initial curiosity wears off, nobody will be able to come up with a reason to use it. The point of the feature, Twitter says, is to “take the pressure off” with “fleeting” messages. But how??? Why??? It's not like Instagram Stories "take the pressure off," and TBH the only way to make Twitter relaxing would be if EVERY tweet vanished. Honestly I feel like the whole strategy would make more sense if applied to the original Fleets, which is to say, enemas—take the pressure off and enjoy some relief with a brisk purification of your digestive timeline. Take note, Twitter, that’s the kind of innovation I'd actually use. M.B.
Sarah Cooper will become a forgotten star of the late Trump period. This is bound to happen because her comedy show on Netflix, Everything's Fine, made it abundantly clear to all that the comic magic generated on the social media platform TikTok does not translate into TV magic. But this is not a one-way street. The TV comic magic of, say, a Trevor Noah does not translate into ripping TikTok humor. The mediums are made of very different cultural stuff. In short, Cooper's show is boring and also arrived a bit late. Trump is on his way out and he's taking all of the jokes with him. C.M.
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