1. THE FUTURE IS DARK AND STORMY.* Increasingly lousy weather is one of the most easily observable and predictable effects of climate change. Oceans heat up, moisture increases, storms a-brew. Even Toronto Hydro had this one figured out. A 2012 study predicted increased incidence of storms, ice storms, rain storms, dark skies, massive charges of electricity leaping between the earth and heavens, that kind of thing. So Torontonians should buckle down, because power interruptions, fallen trees and ice coating everything like a crystal skin are here to stay.
2. RACIST BABE. Remember the early ’90s, when folk music got a jolt of energy from musicians like Ani DiFranco? I first saw her over 20 years ago playing “Both Hands” at one of the workshop stages at the Winnipeg Festival. She blew everyone else off the stage (with the possible exception of Greg Brown, who’d keep his cool in a tornado). Anyway! DiFranco has re-entered the zeitgeist, because she’s holding a retreat for fans at… a plantation. You know, one of those grand old Southern mansions where black people were reduced to the status of cattle (even though Nottoway Plantation would prefer not to tackle that topic). The backlash has been swift but ongoing, with former fans castigating DiFranco and one of the featured musicians respectfully backing out of the retreat. But if you like DiFranco and don’t care about racist things, buy a ticket, because “there’s room in the circle for everyone.” That is, everyone who a) isn’t bothered by the gaudy status symbols of slavery and b) has anywhere from $1100 to $4000 to plunk down on a mind-expanding good time.
UPDATE: Ani DiFranco has cancelled the event. She also released a long, thoughtful, considerate, self-justifying statement on Facebook in which she neglected to actually say that she was sorry.
3. THE DREADED D’S. Phil Robertson, the douchetastic dickhead of Duck Dynasty, has been reinstated on his show. He’s the biggest draw on A&E’s biggest show, so if you were looking for further proof that life is a popularity contest and popular people can say any old thing they like, knock yourself out. Son Alan Robertson says that “[w}e will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty.” Because nothing represents faith like standing around in front a couple of cameras while producers shout lines at you. Oh, and shooting ducks. Oh, and being bigots.
4. IT IS NOW THE LAW that all headlines about Russia must contain the phrase “as the Olympics near.” Because that’s clearly the most important thing in a story about a train station bombing that killed at least 16 people.
5. THE SHOCKING TRUE HISTORY OF “THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.” Have you ever wondered about the implicit status marker of Santa’s pipe? Are you curious about the sociocultural matrix in which one of our founding Christmas stories was embedded? More importantly, do you have nothing going on tonight? Because this is a long one.
*Dark & Stormy:
1 can Barritt’s Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer
1 oz (or more) Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (151 overproof, no less)
Combine. Add ice. Garnish with the will to destroy your brain.