MONDAY, AUGUST 11
There are weeks that start off terribly, and this is one of those terrible weeks—but. On the upside? The Kardashians have threatened to stop filming their life-ruining reality show. (So there's that?) More on this potentially celebratory news later, but first: the terrible. On Saturday, 18-year-old Michael Brown was walking down the street in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri when he encountered local police. Accounts vary, but according to witnesses, a cop tried to put him in the car, Brown turned and ran with his hands in the air, and an officer shot the unarmed teenager. The city of Ferguson erupted in immediate fury over the senseless death of a black teenager who was described as a good friend, and excited to start college. Police initially refused to release details of who had shot Brown—let alone arrest or charge the officer—and the resultant protests led to violence, which led to looting, burning of businesses, and a police helicopter being fired upon. Demonstrators in front of the police station were met with a line of cops and a K-9 unit driving the protesters back. The violence continued into the week, with St. Louis County riot teams lobbing tear gas grenades and shooting rubber bullets into the crowds, while arresting at least two journalists trying to report from the scene (as well as gassing an Al Jazeera news truck). When asked to defend their actions, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said, "We've done everything we can to demonstrate a remarkable amount of restraint." It took days for Ferguson police to release the name of the officer who shot Brown, while simultaneously accusing the teenager of stealing cigars from a nearby convenience store prior to his death—though apparently the cop knew nothing about the alleged robbery when he shot Brown. Ferguson has a population of 21,000 people, 67 percent of whom are African American. 94 percent of the police force are white.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12
And the hits just keep on coming. Last night comedian/actor Robin Williams committed suicide; he was 63 years old. According to his publicist, Williams was struggling with depression and had entered a 12-step program for drug abuse. While terribly sad, it's a good time to remember Williams' staggering body of work, including the '70s sitcom Mork & Mindy and such memorable films as Popeye, The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire (let's skip over Patch Adams, shall we?), and his Oscar-winning role in Good Will Hunting. In 2006, Williams spoke to ABC News' Diane Sawyer about his continuing battle with addiction and depression. "It's not caused by anything, it's just there," he said. "It lays in wait for the time when you think, 'It's fine now, I'm OK.' Then, the next thing you know, it's not OK. Then you realize, 'Where am I? I didn't realize I was in Cleveland.'"
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13
Phew. That was rough. But remember: the tragedies and grief of this world are nothing compared to the suffering of the Kardashians. Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney (KKK) are currently refusing to film the 10th season (!!) of their inexorable reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians—unless the thief who's been robbing them is caught! According to TMZ, the gals have been burglarized three times recently: $4,000 was stolen from Kourtney's pad in the Hamptons, $50,000 from her Calabasas home, and $250,000 in jewelry was nabbed from Khloe's mansion. All three robberies appear to be inside jobs—which means the thief could be someone on the Keeping Up production team... hence KKK's refusal to film a single frame of their show until the villain is caught. (Note to thief: For the love of all that's holy, DON'T... GET... CAUGHT.)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14
Speaking of people not going to jail, shirtless musical jackass Justin Bieber has, incredibly, once again avoided a prison cell! A Miami-Dade county judge agreed not to sentence Bieber for drag racing in his canary yellow Lamborghini and dropping F-bombs on the arresting police officers, in exchange for the following plea deal: Justin must attend 12 hours of anger management classes, take an online DUI course, and cut a $50,000 check to a charity offering support to victims of human trafficking. Unfortunately, the judge neglected to impose the punishment that would've hurt Biebs the most—12 months of keeping his goddamned shirt on.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
Let's get a couple of quick laughs in before this week somehow becomes even more horrible, dears: This weekend, Christina Aguilera and her fiancé Matt Rutler announced the name of their new baby girl, and it's (drum roll, please)... Summer Rain Rutler! Perfect. It's comforting to know that even as the world goes topsy-turvy, celebrities will always find a way to name their children the absolute stupidest name ever. "Welcome to the club, Summer Rain," said Jay-Z and Beyoncé's daughter Blue Ivy, Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple, Jason Lee's son Pilot Inspektor, Gwen Stefani's daughter Zuma Nesta Rock, Nicholas Cage's son Kal-El, and Ashlee Simpson's son Bronx Mowgli. All then sadly shook their heads at Summer Rain as Penn Jillette's daughter, Moxie Crimefighter, reached out to gently place her hand on Summer Rain's tiny, innocent shoulder. "Prepare yourself," Moxie Crimefighter said. "Prepare yourself for a life of pain."
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
As tensions continue to roil in Ferguson, more horrific details are starting to trickle out regarding the shooting of Michael Brown. (And yep—it's looking more and more like murdering unarmed black men is becoming a tradition as American as the Fourth of July, apple pie, and school shootings.) First, police finally released the name of the officer who shot Brown (though they still refuse to detain or charge him): He's 28-year-old Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who, according to the Washington Post, doesn't live in Ferguson, but instead "lives miles away in a house with a swimming pool in the suburb of Crestwood." Wilson is currently being held in an undisclosed location—presumably far away from the town he was obligated to protect. (Let's just hope he still has access to a swimming pool.) Meanwhile, a preliminary autopsy was conducted on Brown, in which the examiner found that Brown—who, again, was unarmed—was shot, at long range, "at least six times, including twice in the head," according to the New York Times. (After the shooting, Brown's body remained on the street, uncovered, for hours.) AS PROTESTS CONTINUED IN FERGUSON... The local police—like too many American police forces—have military surplus and the oh-so-successful wars on drugs and terror to thank for their military-grade weaponry, body armor, and tactical vehicles. Unfortunately, they apparently lack the intelligence to know how to use these things, or even to ask if they should. More crowds were tear-gassed, protests were forcibly halted, Molotov cocktails and flash-bang grenades were thrown, a no-fly zone was put into place, a curfew was enacted, and all hell broke loose. Protesters held up their hands—and signs that read "DON'T SHOOT."
SUNDAY, AUGUST 17
In an "unprecedented" action, a delegation from human rights watchdog group Amnesty International has been sent to Ferguson—the first time such a delegation has ever been deployed in the United States. So that should give you some indication of how horrific things are. "Law enforcement, from the FBI to state and local police, are obligated to respect and uphold the human rights of our communities," said Amnesty International USA's executive director, Steven W. Hawkins. "The U.S. cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most." Meanwhile, the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law all criticized Governor Jay Nixon's ill-advised curfew. Naturally, that didn't stop the clueless governor from going even further—by declaring a State of Emergency and calling in the National Guard. What possibly could go wrong?