Obama’s Good Taste Not Withstanding…
By Ygal Kaufman

When the Ukrainian people recently rose up and ran the corrupt president Viktor Yanukovych out of his residence, they were reportedly floored by the opulence they beheld: 350 acres, a petting zoo, a massive Jay Leno-esque garage full of valuable collectible cars, a f*&%ing hovercraft… basically P-Diddy’s man cave. The average salary in the country is roughly $500 a month, so obviously the shock they felt at that amount of riches was profound.

We recently had something similar to the revelation that they’re feeling in the so-called Borscht Spring; the Huffington Post reports that President Obama recently tried to get his hands on episodes of True Detective and Game of Thrones that have not aired yet.

He tried to get the popular shows on DVD from an HBO executive at a state dinner for France (I mean, why wouldn’t he do that there?) for his long President’s Day weekend vacation. The Post report went on to obnoxiously commend his good taste in shows.

Isn’t he hip? I mean, he likes Breaking Bad. Four more years!

In the United States we can’t identify with the type of wealth shock that the Ukrainians are currently experiencing. No amount of wealth shocks us.

What we can identify with is “early access” shock: when someone gets episodes of your favorite shows before they air. That we cannot abide. We know the press gets episodes of shows for review purposes (Ahem… HBO? Get at your boy…).

But regular citizens do not get their hands on these episodes; they’re even rare among the ones that are downloaded illegally by the millions every day.

We are a society of equals who get our TV episodes at the same time, no matter if we stream them on the Internet, steal them, or actually pay for the channels and watch them when they air.

Then we all talk about those shows the next day at work, and I’ll be damned if Sasha and Malia are going to find out who the killer on True Detective is before me. Which is to say nothing of the danger this represents to the fragile water cooler industry…

Economic recovery indeed, Mr. Obama.

Valet Required, in Corvallis?
by Patrick Fancher

parkingCFValentine’s Day 2014 (a Friday night this year): My wife and I had a 5:15 p.m. reservation at an upscale surf ‘n turf restaurant downtown and we got there with 15 minutes to spare. That’s usually more than enough time to find a nearby parking space and walk a couple of blocks to the destination. We might end up five minutes late; no big deal. I scoffed at using a valet service, because there’s usually free parking available on the street after 5 p.m.

Wrong night to be a cheapskate.

We slowly drove up 2nd Street, looking everywhere: side streets, parallel spots. Nothing. After 10 minutes of scouting, I took the first available space, right in front of the Beanery.

After a rainy, multi-block hike we arrived at Aqua drenched and 10 minutes late, much to the dismay of the hostess. The meal and the rest of the evening, albeit expensive, were flawless.

Corvallis isn’t a huge metropolis, I get that. But beyond all the smaller lots downtown, why don’t we have at least one major parking complex? Corvallisites are quick to complain about parking issues on and around Oregon State campus, but they should take a long look at downtown to see a more glaring parking failure.