Reminder that failure is an option

I stumbled on Closed for Storm in Amazon Prime (it is wedged into a corner of the app behind “Black voices” and “Hispanic & Latino voices” (no “Latinx voices” category?)). It covers Jazzland, which opened in 2000 and was converted into Six Flags New Orleans in 2003. Katrina hit in 2005.

I recommend this for anyone considering a business investment. It is a great reminder that failure is always an option.

Separately, it is unclear why the park couldn’t be reopened. The metro area population was about 1.34 million in 2000 and today is 1.27 million. Americans love theme parks. Why do they generate infinite money in Orlando, but are risky elsewhere?

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The Science in the movie Don’t Look Up

Don’t Look Up is a cautionary tale of what could happen if Trump-supporters were a majority in the U.S. It is an update, to some extent of the 2006 film Idiocracy, whose underlying message is that Nobel-winning transistor developer William Shockley was correct, i.e., that America’s destiny is a nation of low-skill people because means-tested welfare programs enable higher fertility for no-income and low-income Americans compared to middle-income Americans (Idiocracy did not cover low-skill immigration, but presumably it can be viewed as an argument against it). Fertility versus household income:

Don’t Look Up doesn’t address how Americans became stupid enough to vote for a Trump-like president, but reminds us of the terrible costs of denying Science (capitalized like “God”) and not trusting Scientists. The entire movie is a not-very-subtle mocking of the Trumpkins for their stupidity in not believing “the Science”.

Here’s a sample tweet from the writer/director, whose brief Twitter profile includes the phrase “Climate Emergency is NOW“.

Related Facebook posts from my friends who vote for Democrats:

  • It’s the most useful movie, because now you can explain how tech works, and journalism and politics, etc.
  • The movie is sexy and true. Yes, we had everything, and we blew it — in the movie and in real life. It’s a critique of our response to climate change, and Covid, and even has a dig at Trump (the president’s chief of staff played by Jonah Hill is her son)
  • … it’s [arguably] both the greatest and the most important movie ever made.

If this were a Michael Bay movie, it would make sense to ignore anything incompatible with Physics 101 under the rubric of “artistic license”. But Don’t Look Up is a political statement, not a work of art, and it is specifically about what could happen if don’t deport and/or suppress those who refuse to follow the science.

The Science delivered by this climate change expert-turned-screenwriter starts with a female-identifying astronomer finding a new comet from the Oort cloud. The movie is somewhat, um, retrograde in that she does not explicitly identify as “of color” or 2SLGBTQQIA+. She reports her observation to a male-identifying astronomy professor, played by climate change activist Leo DeCaprio. Within a day, he has calculated that the comet will strike the Earth in 6 months. The rest of the movie explores what would happen if the morons who deny the settled climate change models (and/or assume that some improved tech for dealing with climate change will be developed within the next 100 years, e.g., a solar-powered carbon vacuum) were also to deny orbital mechanics.

How does this compare to lowercase pre-2019 “science”? A 2014 article from the European Space Agency:

In movies about the impending end of the world due to a comet impact, one thing is certain: Detecting the comet and computing its orbit are dead easy. … Computer programs are started, and people frantically hack away at keyboards. In no time at all, they will have identified the fuzzy blob as a comet that is hurtling in from the frozen recesses of space. What’s more, in no time at all, they will have determined the comet’s trajectory and they can categorically state that it will hit Earth. A few more frantic calculations and they also know the date and time of impact – Quick, call Bruce Willis!

In actual fact, one single picture of a comet is just that: a single picture of a comet. … From one picture, you can’t tell where it’s heading; you don’t know how close it will get to the Sun, nor if or when a close encounter with any other planet is due. To find out these things, you need more observations – many more of images that were taken at different dates, ideally spanning a long time frame. … So you have to make an educated guess at the parameters that describe the comet’s trajectory, also known – unsurprisingly – as its ‘orbital parameters’. This initial guess (as even the mathematicians rather candidly refer to it) in all likelihood will be quite far off.

This procedure is known as ‘orbit determination’. It is very time-consuming and involves a lot of complicated and repetitive mathematical calculations, which is why nowadays we let a computer handle most of it. The entire process is known as ‘parametric optimisation’ and each step is referred to as an ‘iteration’. As the optimisation process goes on and many iterations have been performed, you will see that for the epochs at which the images were taken, the computed locations, based on the current estimate of the orbital parameters, will move quite close to what you can see in the actual images.

The article includes a chart showing that it took 450 days to determine the orbit for a 2013 comet:

Regarding the above chart:

In the diagram above, it took almost 200 days to find out that comet Siding Spring would not hit Mars. At that time, the uncertainty in the predicted encounter distance still ran into hundreds of thousands of kilometres. Though the most probable encounter distance was established fairly early, the uncertainty was still significant after more than a year of observation. It took 44 days of observation to achieve even a semblance of an orbit determination – one that was still all over the place, with a predicted mean Mars distance at flyby 900,000 km, with a high guess of 3.6 million!

It took seven years of additional observations to identify an object found with one of the world’s best telescopes as a (huge) comet (National Geographic).

One open question: even if you had the required 500 days of observations to make a reasonably accurate calculation of a comet’s orbit, could you ever know with certainty, six months in advance, that the comet would actually hit the Earth rather than whip around it? (See “Chaos and stability of the solar system” for example and, for laypeople, “Our Solar System’s Planetary Orbits Are Ultimately Chaotic, Says French Astronomer” (Forbes)) Paging Dr. Goldbum!

(I emailed a friend who has spent a few decades working with orbital mechanics. To the European Space Agency’s “take it slow” point of view, he added the following:

One problem is that comets, unlike asteroids, have significant non-gravitational forces acting on them: They outgas directionally, producing random small thrusts. Thus their orbits are not as precisely determinable as planets or even asteroids.


Another aspect of Science presented by the Trump-hating writer/director is that people sitting on Earth are able to figure out that the rock part of the comet is packed with $trillions in valuable minerals. They do this with a “spectrometer“, but that instrument would work only on the tail of a comet, not on the rocky core. Although Science could predict that Peru, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Slovakia would escape COVID-19 deaths due to mask orders and lockdowns and Science plainly has no difficulty predicting Earth’s temperature 100 years from now, I am not aware of Science being able to determine, via remote sensing, the composition of a rock in space. NASA has (easily-found-with-Google) some concepts for doing this, but they involve physical contact with the comet or other space rock. There is no instrument that you can set up in your house to determine the composition of a rock in the neighbor’s yard, right? Why would you imagine that you can set up an instrument in the Atacama Desert and determine the composition of a rock in space?

[Update: see comments for a potential correction to the above from an astronomer.]

In other words, the screenwriter who purports to educate Americans on how stupid Republicans are was apparently unable to use Google to find these written-for-laypeople articles on orbital mechanics and comets. Nor was he/she/ze/they able to read a NASA org chart. All of the scientists at NASA work at the “Kennedy Space Center” (not at Goddard or JPL). They refer to each other as “Dr. X” and “Dr. Y” rather than by first name or first and last names.

One of the elite accusations about the Trumpkins is that only the elites understand that we share our beautiful planet with a veritable rainbow of other nations (though don’t wave that rainbow flag anywhere that it might interfere with elite profits!). Yet the movie makes sense only if we accept that the U.S. is the only country that can act to deflect an incoming comet. If Americans did not exist, the remaining 96 percent of the world’s population would take no action in response to scientifically proven impending species-ending doom. The people who invented rockets and who recently landed a robot on Mars wouldn’t do anything. The people who kicked off the Space Race and who currently operate their own satellite navigation system wouldn’t do anything. The Europeans wouldn’t dispatch any Ariane rockets (this last one is more believable since the EU seems to be 100% occupied with coronapanic!).

(Pravda reports that Russia actually has been working on asteroid deflection since at least 2009. China is a comparative newcomer to this specific area (LiveScience 2021). The Europeans have been working in this area since at least 2005 (ScienceDaily).)

Although the movie cannot be recommended as a tutorial on #Science, it does have some fun parts. Ariana Grande appears (and sings) in the role of pop singer whose romantic life is more interesting to a stupefied and stupid population than an impending extinction event. One of the greatest characters, played by English actor Mark Rylance, is kind of a cross between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. The unwashed Science-deniers are also fun, e.g., with a range of beliefs from “the comet doesn’t exist” to “the orbital mechanics calculations handed down by Science are wrong.” They gather in huge rallies in support of their Trump-style president. Some of the comedy is provided by the screenwriter trying to figure out how non-elite Americans speak. For example, he/she/ze/they has a young skateboarder say, “Dr. Mindy, Can I be vulnerable in your car?” (Our apartment in Jupiter, Florida is right near a skateboard park and “vulnerable” is not one of the words we hear from the denizens.)

Don’t Look Up is definitely worth watching if you’re already a Netflix subscriber, mostly to see just how wrong someone can get all of the science while making a movie about the dangers of letting people who don’t understand and respect science vote.


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Should supermarkets have live music?

On a recent trip to Naples, Florida, we discovered that the Seed to Table supermarket (across the main road from our Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel; we explained to the kids that this was a double lie because the rooms are not suites and the hotel is not in town) has live music in the evenings. Example:

The first two years of 14 days to flatten the curve have been terrible for musicians, with venues closed by order of Covidcrats, people with money fleeing urban areas, events canceled, etc.

What if other supermarkets adopted the Seed to Table idea, though? Except for the extremely COVID-concerned, people are still going to supermarkets. It is easier to do in Florida because the ceilings are usually so high (the music at Seed to Table happens about 30′ above the main floor), but why not a guitarist in the produce section to encourage people to linger and thereby maximize public health with increased vegetable sales? If I can take over as public health dictator, I will mandate an opera singer performing Wagner in the chips section to discourage sales of Cheetos and Ruffles (also ration coupons for chips and anything including sugar, of course, since obesity is contagious and is an intolerable health risk in the age of COVID).

Readers: dumb idea as usual?

Separately, Seed to Table made the news back in February 2021, e.g., with “Florida grocery store bucks mask mandate; owner says Covid death toll is ‘hogwash'” (NBC):

A video that was taken at a South Florida grocery store shows nearly every customer and employee without a mask.

The footage was filmed this week at Oakes Farms Seed to Table Market in Naples, about 42 miles south of Fort Myers. In it, not a mask is in sight and social distancing is not being followed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly stated that masks and social distancing can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Note that Florida state law eventually came around to the owner’s point of view, i.e., that local officials cannot order masks (see “Florida governor signs law preempting local COVID edicts” (AP, May 3, 2021)).

What does the market look like inside? (produce from local farms in abundance; good restaurants, coffee, and an ice cream parlor; wine shop; not the place to go for cleaning supplies and the other non-food stuff that supermarkets carry)

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Art Basel Miami 2021

As we remember the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, we can look at a recent attack on our shores by the Omicron variant of COVID, arriving inside the bodies of rich art world people from around the globe. Of course, I’m talking about Art Basel Miami, previously covered here in

My journey began at an Art Basel Week party in a Miami Beach house. The host is a refugee from the disorder and filth of San Francisco (wife insisted on a move due to worthy locals shooting up heroin in the driveway of the $10 million house). By the time the party was in full swing, the street looked like the aftermath of flash mobs robbing Ferrari and Mercedes dealers. The dessert table and dock (yacht on order, but delayed due to “supply chain” issues at Volvo for the engines):

I migrated from the party to the vaccine papers check tent, as previously discussed, and then entered the convention center:

In 2018, sponsor UBS was celebrating women. Not this year, however. It is unclear if this is because the term “women” is undefined in our 2SLGBTQQIA+ world, if the “imbalance” that needed rectifying in 2018 was fully addressed, or what. From 2018:

Monica Bonvicini gets my vote for maximum prescience with this 2019 work, titled “Hy$teria” (13′ wide):

John Giorno (1936-2019) should get some credit for this letter from CO2-emitting humans to our beloved Mother Earth (“You Got to Burn to Shine”; also a good tutorial on black-body radiation?):

Speaking of artwork by deceased artists selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars… The gallery owner calls the artist and says “I’ve got some good news and bad news.” Artist: “What’s the good news?” Gallerist: “A collector just came in and bought all of your paintings at list price.” Artist: “That’s fantastic. What could possibly be bad then?” Gallerist: “The collector is your oncologist.

Christine Wang can’t get credit for prescience, but this 60×60″ 2021 painting would be nice to hang right next to an original Hunter Biden.

Fair to say that this artist has never been to Walmart?

If you’re looking for something that you could replicate via a trip to Walmart, this pegboard piece by Theaster Gates seems like a good candidate:

Do you have $220,000 to spend on a pony? (there are almost no price tags, of course, but I was crass enough to ask)

Note that the guy doesn’t have a lot of hair, but if you average with his female companion, there is enough to go around. In Miami, it is not a good assumption to read this scene as a father-daughter excursion. (forgive the assumed gender IDs, which I adopted for brevity)

Torbjørn Rødland shows that Norwegians might be good at pumping oil and buying Teslas, but they are not competent at interior painting (55×40″):

Here is a can’t-lose investment, consistent with established Wall Street wisdom, “they’re not making any more USB sticks”:

The value-added tax on this one is going to be staggering (cost: some wires and hatchets):

Some local color:

Some folks who refuse to #FollowScience:

(Note the Pomeranian whose only visual hint of qualifying as a service dog is the green hair dye.)

Also perhaps suitable to hang next to your Hunter Biden collection, a work by the late Tina Girouard captioned “1992 Immigration Migration 1492”:

Generally the show is geared toward folks who have blank walls that are at least 15′ in width and 12′ in height and/or a lot of empty floor space. Here are some photos showing the scale:

If you missed your chance to buy a 1954 Rothko, come down with your checkbook:

Or just make something kind of like it (Idris Khan, 2020, 100 inches high, no doubt made with far higher quality paint that won’t fade! Apologies for perspective distortion):

My best 2021 dress-to-match picture:

One of the only works with a price tag, a 2007 work by El Anatsui (though actually created by “dozens of assistants”) at $1.65 million:

Camera notes: These are a mixture of iPhone 13 Pro Max and Canon R5 with 50/1.8 STM lens. The iPhone did a much better job with white balance than the Canon.

Worth a special trip to Miami? Not unless you’re connected enough to the art world to get invited to one networking event after another and can expect to know at least 25 percent of the people who are there. Worth fighting through traffic and $65 for a ticket if you’re already in Miami? I think so!

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Parking at Art Basel: the high school across the street (also some masketology)

If you’re going to Art Basel (today and tomorrow are the last two public days; the elites went on Tuesday and Wednesday), the pro move is to park at Miami Beach Senior High School, where the PTA opens the vast parking lot as soon as school closes (3:15 pm is the end of classes). Navigate to 2231 Prairie Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 and hand over $20, which will fund PCs, printers, and other classroom items. Ferraris, C8 Corvettes, and Lamborghinis are assigned to an “exotic area” in the grass where nobody can hit them with a door. (I wonder if Miami Beach during Art Basel has the world’s highest ratio of maximum theoretical car speed to actual car speed?)

The event closes at 7 pm and three hours is enough to see most of what you’d want to see. Reserve for dinner at Bella Cuba afterwards so that you skip most of the post-event traffic.

Remember that you need to show vaccine papers before the Art Basel folks will give you a “COVID-19 Certificate Checked” wristband. The good news for the unvaccinated is that you show a picture of your CDC card on your phone and therefore the name on the certificate is too small to be matched to your photo ID (not that there is any serious attempt to do so).

Here’s the vaccine papers check tent:

And the precious result:

(Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler if the U.S. adopted Philip’s RFID chip-in-the-neck idea?)

A couple of hours earlier, a mid-career artist at a party said, “You’re not going to get a grant unless your work is about BLM or LGBTQ.” If she is right, here’s an artist on track for a grant:

Masks are required inside and, since it is Florida and people can’t be expected to carry masks, they’re handed out by official Mask Karens. Not everyone can be reached by #Science, however…

Here’s one of the official Mask Karens demonstrating proper under-nose mask position:

Given the international crowd and the near-certainty of being exposed to the Omicron variant (state-sponsored media reassures us by quoting an innumerate 79-year-old who reminds us not to panic), did a lot of folks choose to use a fresh N95 respirator combined with hand-washing, hand-sanitizing, and never touching the mask? No. Cloth masks, which have been proven useless in a randomized controlled trial, were by far the most popular choice. These had been pulled from purses and pockets and therefore were pre-soaked with whatever bacteria and viruses can thrive on a moist face rag. A lady walking in front of me did not notice that she’d dropped her cloth mask on the sidewalk while getting something else from her purse. I picked it up (by the loops) and handed it to her, confident that the sidewalk germs will eventually be on her lips in addition to Omicron.

The people who are there to transact business (I didn’t hear of anything for sale at less than $220,000) were generally unmasked. In other words, those most likely to have come off multi-hour flights from plague centers were the least likely to be masked. Example:

Overall, I would say that the COVID-related aspects of the affair were handled exactly as well as you’d expect in a country that has to import all of its LCD and OLED displays and most of its integrated circuits (“chips”) from more detail-oriented nations. When it comes to COVID-19 vigilance, Yoda reminds us “There is No Try” (title of the 2020 work below by Tom Sachs):

Do. Or do not. But also, it is okay to do sometimes and sort of. And make sure to vaccinate The Child (Grogu, not to be confused with MIT’s Grogo).

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Harvard Art Museums shows us the alternate universe of non-profits

Here’s a request for money from the Harvard Art Museums, recently received in the mail:

They lead with the fact that they were closed for 1.5 years. Surrounded by fully open (“essential” according to the governor) marijuana and liquor stores, adults meeting in restaurant-bars after Tinder matches, etc., the Harvard Art Museums decided that they would all sit at home and they want potential donors to know that. If we assume that the primary mission of an art museum is to have people come in and look at art, the non-profit did nothing to further their primary mission during this 1.5-year period, despite the fact that they were ordered closed by the governor for only about 3 months of the 18-month closure that they proudly highlight.

(Even now, they won’t be executing all that aggressively on their primary mission; visitors have to make online reservations before showing up, a significant discouragement to those strolling around (fully masked, of course!) Harvard Square.)

Readers: Does this seem like a good illustration of the alternate universe inhabited by non-profit organizations? A for-profit enterprise wouldn’t expect to win points with customers by highlighting more than a year of voluntary closure, would it?

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Art Institute of Chicago reenacts Glengarry Glen Ross

“Art Institute of Chicago Ends a Docent Program, and Sets Off a Backlash” (NYT):

Museum officials decided that one area in need of an overhaul was its 60-year-old program of volunteer educators, known as docents, who greet school groups and lead tours.

So last month the board overseeing the program sent a letter to the museum’s 82 active docents — most of whom were white older women — informing the volunteers that their program was being ended. The letter said that the museum would phase in a new model relying on paid educators and volunteers “in a way that allows community members of all income levels to participate, responds to issues of class and income equity, and does not require financial flexibility to participate.”

The new plan calls for hiring paid educators — Ms. Stein invited the volunteers to apply for those positions — and then developing a new program over the next few years. In 2023, she wrote, “unpaid volunteer educators will be reintroduced via a redesigned model” that includes updated protocols for “recruitment, application, training, and assessment.” She offered the departing docents museum memberships.

A number of museums have been trying to address how to get more people of color into the hiring pipeline, in part by removing financial barriers. Organizations like the Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement encourage nonprofit and government organizations “to engage volunteers who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the communities they serve.” And there have been widespread calls for salary reforms, since systems that rely on unpaid volunteers and interns tend to favor those who can afford to work for little to nothing.

And a 2020 article in Slate headlined “Museums Have a Docent Problem” described what it called “the struggle to train a mostly white, unpaid tour guide corps to talk about race.”

(i.e., Karen is fired)

It might sound bizarre for an institutional that is constantly asking for donations to fire a huge volunteer staff, thus giving the appearance of having money to burn. On the other hand, David Mamet is from Chicago, so it makes sense that a Chicago institution would re-enact the famous Alec Baldwin scene from Glengarry Glen Ross in which the real estate salesmen are required to reapply for their jobs. “Put. That. Coffee. Down. Coffee’s for closers. … The good news is you’re fired. The bad news is all of you have just one week to regain your jobs. … First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.” (If the parallels are not obvious, see highlighted sections above where docents can re-apply and also where museum memberships (“steak knives”) are offered.)

Here’s the clip, in case you’re wondering about how to resolve any HR issues within our own enterprise …

Remember: “A loser is a loser.”

(I wrote the above post just before Alec Baldwin shot and killed Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust.)

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Movie review: Outbreak

I don’t know how I missed Outbreak during the first 18 months of 14 days to flatten the curve, but the 1995 movie is fun to watch to see what they got right.

The virus in the movie is Ebola, essentially, and it kills previously healthy people of all ages (not at a median age of 82, as COVID-19 kills in Maskachusetts).

The film anticipates my idea of protection camps for the unvaccinated and then asks the reasonable question “Wouldn’t it make sense to kill everyone in the protection camp in order to prevent the virus from spreading?” (How are we going to deal with the unvaccinated, whom we currently blame for all of our woes?)

The remedy for the virus anticipates Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s decision to go big on antibody treatment. It’s a movie, so of course the brilliant Army physician (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is able to develop the treatment and manufacture thousands of doses within hours.

If you love helicopters (and who doesn’t?), you’ll appreciate their central role towards the end of the movie, though you might be doubtful that a guy with 60 hours of training can fly as well as Cuba Gooding Jr. does.

What the film gets completely wrong is the level of resistance to expect from the American people. When the government locks people down they don’t go meekly back to their houses, but have to be forced at gunpoint by an Army battalion. The small-town Californians don’t welcome having their First Amendment rights terminated, but instead insist on what they claim are their rights.

Good News: the movie stars a Biden-supporting actor (for a change!); Bad News: “All the women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct” (Business Insider, 2017).

Readers: What did you think of Outbreak and what are the differences and similarities between the movie and the U.S. response to SARS-CoV-2?


  • Contagion (I saw it, but don’t remember it that well)
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Who watched the Dave Chappelle special on Netflix?

I didn’t know who Dave Chappelle was, but the protests against his latest show made me curious. See “Netflix Loses Its Glow as Critics Target Chappelle Special” (NYT), for example:

Internally, the tech company that revolutionized Hollywood is now in an uproar as employees challenge the executives responsible for its success and accuse the streaming service of facilitating the spread of hate speech and perhaps inciting violence. At the center of the unrest is “The Closer,” the much-anticipated special from the Emmy-winning comedian Dave Chappelle, which debuted on Oct. 5 and was the fourth-most-watched program on Netflix in the United States on Thursday. In the show, Mr. Chappelle comments mockingly on transgender people and aligns himself with the author J.K. Rowling as “Team TERF,” an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, a term used for a group of people who argue that a transgender woman’s biological sex determines her gender and can’t be changed.

Complaints like the above made me violate my rule of watching only content targeted at 6-year-olds.

I’m not sure that Chappelle is specifically anti-2SLGBTQQIA+. Much of what he said seemed to fall under the general category of mocking white people who don the victim mantle and demand favorable treatment, e.g., being hired for a job. Chappelle doesn’t say whether or not he believes that Americans should be sorted by victimhood, e.g., in university admissions and hiring, but if Americans are going to be sorted by victimhood he doesn’t think that a white woman is more entitled than a Black man nor that a white person who spends his/her/zir/their evenings having 2SLGBTQQIA+ sex is entitled to special treatment when applying for jobs during the daylight hours.

I wonder if part of the reason that white saviors are upset by this show is that Chappelle explicitly pushes back on the value of white saviors. He quotes a Black woman writer friend who, asked whether she was going to knit a pink pussyhat and join the Women’s March of 2017, responded “I hope those white bitches get teargassed.”

Trigger warning: He uses the N-word a lot.

Loosely related… “This Is What Will Make Sex Work in New York Safer” (NYT, 10/17):

When I took my first client as a sex worker in the 1980s, I had no other choice. It was right after the fall of the dictatorship in Argentina. As a young trans woman, I found that sex work was the only way for me to survive, but I faced constant harassment and violence, especially from la policía. So, I left my home to come to the United States, thinking things would be different.

But when I got here, I had no more luck. On top of being trans, now I also struggled with being undocumented and learning English. Once again, I turned to sex work to stay afloat.

Chappelle might point out that an article like this, on the victimhood of a white 2SLGBTQQIA+ migrant sex worker, takes up space and attention that, if one were going to dwell on victimhood, would properly belong to Black Americans. But he wouldn’t say it that way. He would instead mock the interest that white say-gooding Americans have in this kind of story.

Readers: Did you see this show? What did you think of Mr. Chappelle?

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Non-profit logic: higher prices make the museum more accessible

From the Boston Museum of Fine Arts:

(“We’re raising our membership prices on July 1 so we can continue to make art accessible for all.”)

So a middle-class family that wants to visit the museum regularly and not pay $50 per visit (two adults) will find art more accessible when annual membership is more expensive!

Separately, if you ever need someone to run an Ebola clinic, the MFA should be the first recruiting stop. We visited on February 19, 2021 and they’d set up a quarantine tent outside the front door. About six people were employed to check the handful of visitors to make sure that they had reservations, that they answered a bunch of COVID-19 symptom questions, that their temperature was checked, and that they donned orange wristbands to show that the screening process had been accomplished and they couldn’t somehow slip into the building without first going through the quarantine tent.

Once inside, the vast spaces had a post-apocalyptic empty feeling.

The white say-gooders who run the museum delegated curatorial responsibility to high school students (of color?):

An allegory of #Science crushing coronavirus via masks and shutdown:

And let’s not forget that closing the drinking fountains will keep us all safe:

If you’re not too dehydrated from the closed drinking fountains to need to use the restroom, the good news is that the Women’s room is for those who “self-identify” as “Women”:

A thoughtful technocrat determined a COVID-safe capacity for each gallery in which masked (a bandana was fine as PPE) visitors might congregate:

Directional stickers on the floor would, if followed, prevent people from passing each other while moving from room to room.

During a post-museum lunch stop, we were reminded that the same government that uses #Science to protect us all from COVID-19 will also buy us an unlimited supply of opioids as a means of treating our opioid addiction:

Although we’re members and returning to the museum would be free, we haven’t gone back. The constant COVID-19 messaging, the emptiness, and the screening procedures more elaborate than what local hospitals use for visitors made it an overly clinical experience.


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