As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolDavid Reaves Ousted from Ducks
A man who performs some sort of important but incomprehensible to non-football fan duties for the University of Oregon Ducks had a bad weekend. First he was arrested in Eugene for driving under the influence, and then on Sunday the university issued a statement that they were canning him. I mean, damn.

He looks incredibly pissed off in his mugshot, with an expression I can only describe as 22% “I’m gonna kill ya” and 78% “I really screwed the pooch this time.” It’s actually really depressing, but I’m certainly not going to justify the crime just because his whole world just got flushed down the toilet.

No word as to what intoxicant he was imbibing, but I doubt he was high on life.

Marijuana Taxes on the Decline
Peaking at $7.8 million back in October, taxes collected from Oregon marijuana sales have declined 28% since then, with only $5.6 million coming in for December. While there’s no talk about the obvious bubble that comes with new businesses (I can still feel the headache from the asinine dance music Dutch Bros played all day at their 9th Street opening), pot retailers have been pointing the finger at a constricted supply chain. Citing unknowns regarding permitting, pesticides, and more, they say that plenty of customers are still lining up for the munchie-inducing goodness.

Don’t freak out, though: 2016 blew away the $45 million tax influx, settling down around a cool $60 million. All I know is that there are more people legally enjoying movies like Suburban Commando and Mac & Me than ever before.

Post-Inaugural Solidarity; Oregon Marches
Well, it happened. Like a pachinko game with balls made of solid feces, Donald John Trump has fallen down the board, bouncing off of every brass pin in his way, and has landed right in office. Obviously distressed about the whole shebang, I’ve voiced my concerns—and here are just a few of the responses I’ve either gotten directly, or have overheard being given to others:

“What has he done to make you think he’s a racist?”

“Well, you know, you just have to get used to the fact that other people have opinions, too.”

“All these protesters, they’re costing the taxpayers money.”

“People need to just calm down.”

You should know, these are not coming from Trump supporters—and we’ve all heard this particular brand of rhetoric. The desire to explain away or suppress a conflict you don’t understand is natural, and I’m not here to complain about this group, or point out my belief that our educational system’s near-total disregard of critical thinking studies is largely responsible for producing a citizenry that doesn’t understand what it means to be a citizen.

What I am here to discuss is that while I spent the first couple of post-inauguration days drowning in these sorts of statements, the world’s response has reminded me that we’re not all crazy, we’re not all stupid (not completely, anyway), we’re not all xenophobes, and we’re sure as hell not alone. Sure, I’m willing to bet that many protesters are dickheads, or have terrible taste in music… but, priorities.

And sure, it sounds clichéd (and is), but with hundreds of thousands flocking to DC or marching in other American cities, as well as cities all over the world… I’m okay with the cliché. I need that cliché to fuel the ignition of my own patriotism for a country that, despite its glaring failures, is at least supposed to be about lifting up all Americans. All. And that’s what many don’t seem to understand—a Trump administration, and these anti-science, anti-choice, “alternative fact” lunatics that have hijacked the Republican Party, are representative of more than economic, foreign, and political policy. These people are attempting to use positions of power to rewrite our national culture in a way that is purely exclusionary, and designed to abuse fellow citizens in order to justify an ideology whose sole practical function is to perpetuate itself on ignorance and apathy. I’m going to have to go with a big ol’ no thanks on that one, butt-holes.

So, to all of your pomp and puppetry, I say kiss our a*s, Mr. President. And you can start with the hundreds who walked out of OSU in protest the other day, as well as the thousands of participants in the women’s marches that occupied the Portland streets (or perhaps the estimated 175,000 in Seattle). Better ask Ben Carson to pick you up some lip balm on his way out with your dry cleaning.

By Johnny Beaver