Enough With the Straws, OK?

Image Source/ZUMAPRESS

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What’s the deal, Kevin? One stupid Yeezy post in the morning and then a crappy astronomy picture for lunch? Are you feeling well?

As it happens, no, I’m not. This whole evil dex thing is turning into a real pain in the ass. Really, I ought to be fine by today, but instead I wrote one stupid Yeezy post and then…fell asleep. I woke up around lunchtime. What’s up with that? Probably nothing: just like last time, the effects of the chemo get steadily more pronounced every month, and that goes for the dex too. I’m in my 13th week of dex, which is nearly the entire length of my first round of chemo (16 weeks), so it’s not surprising that it’s now hitting harder than it did back in June. And there’s 16 more weeks to go! Exciting!

On the bright side, sleepiness is the only really serious side effect so far, and that’s pretty far from the biggest deal in the world. What’s more, my M-protein level almost set a new record low last week, and I expect to plummet past my all-time record of 0.30 this week. So at least this regimen is having a vigorous effect on the cancer.

But that’s not all. Is it just me, or has the news been unusually tedious lately? The Catholic Church is corrupt. Donald Trump is corrupt. Trump’s lawyers are idiots. We still haven’t won the war in Afghanistan. Etc etc. Meh.

What to do? For the moment, I’ll highlight a trivial story that will nonetheless probably piss off a whole bunch of you:

The California Senate on Monday approved legislation barring dine-in restaurants from offering plastic straws to customers unless they are requested….The measure exempts fast-food restaurants and other businesses.

“This bill is the last straw,” Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said. “This is a first step to the total banning of plastic straws. To me it almost looks silly. I think the negative consequences [of straws] are a bit overstated.”…But Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) said the proposal will help educate the public about the environmental hazard of plastics that are not biodegradable. “Let the consumer request it if they want it,” he said.

Here’s what’s going to piss you off: I agree with the Republicans about this. California is too full of performative legislation that’s designed to make some point or other but is almost certain to have no actual effect. I’d prefer that folks pick a career and stick to it. If you want to be a performer, go to Hollywood. If you want to be a politician, propose legislation that actually accomplishes something. How about a plastic packaging tax, similar to what France is doing? If that’s not enough, go bigger. But whatever you do, make it something that delivers real results, not just a pat-on-the-back for getting on board with the fad of the week.

FOR THE RECORD: In case you’re curious, I don’t care one way or the other about straws. I’m perfectly content to drink my sugary swill with or without straws, so this legislation has no personal effect on me at all.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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