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A couple days ago, Washington state had it’s latest update from Governor Jay Inslee. It didn’t really tell us much we couldn’t already figure out; this is going to take time, we need to be responsible, and healthy, and use a data-based approach to the eventual re-opening of businesses and public spaces. We did learn that specific steps were being taken to allow some types of construction to resume, and a plan was being developed to allow the opening of some businesses. Not a ton of specifics. …


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As the COVID 19 crisis ramps up with deaths multiplying across state and nation boundaries, relief efforts are also ramping up. So far in the United States, the current administration has adopted a mix of classic bail out the corporations approaches and exact talking points from Democratic presidential contenders. While France and Italy have instituted both strict crackdowns and relief programs, the US’ messaging around both has been. . . let’s go with inconsistent.

In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan has ordered a temporary halt on evictions — both for small businesses and individuals. This is a solid move from a Mayor whose often been disappointing or absent. Putting a bunch of folks out on the street is not the way to stem a pandemic. The city has also announced various funds whereby businesses or individuals can apply for assistance; these funds have caps on them, they will inevitably run out. …


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I’ve always assumed that the people who lie professionally on television about politics and current events were in it for the money. I’ve also always assumed that lots of them knew better and kept doing it anyway. Given that, what Senator Richard Burr pulled with the stock market — encouraging people to risk fatal danger in order to make money — is remarkable only in its crystal clear cause, effect, and self-interest.

Here’s what happened: a couple weeks after Burr wrote an op-ed saying the coronavirus was no big deal, he told his rich buddies that shit was about to go down. …


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As we’ve previously discussed, here at How’s Your Morale we are fine with doing year/decade end wrap up stuff in January. There’s a few reasons for this; for one, the year or decade have actually ended. That’s the biggest one. People making their year end movie lists in mid December probably slept on Knives Out — or at least didn’t let it have staying power in their memory — and are suckers for it.

We may be many wonderful things, but we are not suckers.

Have you heard of this song “Old Town Road?” It’s a fun track! It’s catchy, but too short to get super annoying. Plus, it is accompanied by lots of fun trivia for music writers to include. Like did you know that Very Important Musician Trent Reznor From Nine Inch Nails got his first number one single by being sampled on this song? He did! I bet YOU thought that “Closer” had been a number one single. . . …


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As I type this, time is running out. All kinds of time are running out, as this day, by most metrics is already over half over. This day is the most important day of the year. It is your last chance to do not only the things you wanted to do in 2019, but ALL THE THINGS YOU WANTED TO DO IN THE ‘10s.

If there is a thing that you wanted to do between the years 2010 and 2019, you must do it now. If you do not do it now, you have failed. You are an inferior person who set unrealistic goals because you are unwilling to admit your own failings. …


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Earlier this week, DC DIY concern Priests announced a hiatus. Sometimes when a band does this it’s due to specific circumstances — someone is on tour with a side project, in rehab, had a kid. But the underlying assumption is that within two to five years, they’ll be back, just stop pestering them on socials about when they’ll tour your town.

Priests’ announcement is not like that. It reads like a band that knows they’re done. They’re saying “hiatus” because they want to leave the door open “in case they change their minds.” They don’t want to go out on a note of bad blood. …


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Anything could.We absolutely have no idea what is going to happen and we predict that anyone who says they know is completely full of it.

Granted, there are guesses that are more educated than others. There are people watching the proceedings with intimate knowledge of the law, and people with long memories of different political eras who are reading, reporting, and investigating the impeachment proceedings.

And none of them know what’s going to happen either.

I’m a bit surprised things have even gotten this far; for a long time I wasn’t sure if the House Democrats were going to try to thread a complicated needle of walk and chew gum at the same time. For a while it seemed like Nancy Pelosi and crew were going to hold off on any sort of action til after the 2020 election, which is no sure thing. …


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Over the weekend I went to see a couple movies. I don’t get out to see movies in theaters that often, so in addition to the films themselves (JoJo Rabbit and Parasite, respectively) being excellent and well worth the time and money, the experience itself was a treat. Last year I saw two films in the theater, this year I’m on track to hit about four, maybe five. Every time I go, I’m reminded that experience of just going to the movies is about more than the film you’re going to see. It’s about a holistic, shared experience.

Some parts of that holistic, shared experience are more powerful than others. Here is the definitive list of the individual components that make up the movie-going experience. . . besides the movie. …


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It was both cold and extremely bright, the way Northwest Autumns are as they slowly transition into full winter. I’d spent my morning puttering about my studio apartment and it was time to face the day. My twin neighborhoods of Pioneer Square and Chinatown/ID always have a jerk-you-awake quality to them, especially when stepped into after a morning of reading, breakfast preparation and Stereolab. But this day I noticed something else as well; were those . . . mountains?

Yes, they were. The Olympics. This is not something I’m used to walking outside to.

Every time I look at my phone, I’m reminded how much and how quickly this city is changing. My screen background picture is one I took mid last year; the sun was setting over one of the on-ramps to the viaduct. The sun reflected off the tops of cars and the brick buildings at the edge of Pioneer Square and the financial district. It was just a nice picture; it didn’t occur to me that soon enough it’d be one I couldn’t ever take again. …


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Last night, in shorts, a band T and graphicked trucker cap (the closest I have to a baseball hat) I went with two close friends to my first Mariner’s game in two years. Incidentally, also with those two friends. I don’t remember who won two years ago (I think it was us) but I sure as hell know who won last night. It was a gnarly, humiliating game. I famously don’t sports that much, but I could even tell how many of our defensive plays were pure groaners.

Nevertheless, I had a great time, and as someone who doesn’t get out to games often, I had a few takeaways. …

About

How’s Your Morale?

Graham Isaac and Peter Johnson

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