Happy Monday, Trash Pandas! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. (Did you know I usually write this column on Fridays to be published on Mondays so when I write things like "happy Monday" in a way I'm kind of predicting the future? Trippy!) Welcome to The Trash Report. I'm Elinor Jones, and there's a cat on my lap, which makes me my most powerful. Time to dig through the trash!

Manic Monarchy

I'd like to start this week by focusing our eyes across the pond to our ex-stepdad, The United Kingdom. It's actually a few stories, and they're about (surprise!) racism. Some of the racism went down at a Buckingham Palace reception hosted by Camilla where a guest, Ngozi Fulani, was repeatedly asked by Lady Susan Hussey, who served as the lady-in-waiting for the late Queen Elizabeth II, where in Africa she was from (Fulani is from London) and also she touched her hair. Hussey had been a member of the palace staff for six decades, so one wonders how many other racist things she did and said before touching the wrong woman's hair? Hussey has since resigned. Interestingly, she is also the godmother of Prince William, 1) who put out a statement denouncing racist behavior, and 2) whose own brother and sister-in-law have distanced themselves from allegations of racism. Anyway, isn't that interesting??

Speaking of Prince William, Prince William and Princess Catherine are currently visiting the US for the first time in many years, so let's bring our focus back to here. Bill and Cathy's stop in Boston is to award the Earthshot Prize, which is something they made up to give to people who are doing good things for the planet. Bill also penned a piece for the Huffington Post where he describes himself as a "stubborn optimist," and quotes President John F. Kennedy a bunch, which to me feels very like, WOW. You come here and quote our presidents at us? That's like an American diplomat showing up in England and trying to relate to people using only Beatles quotes. Like, just say what you want to say. We speak the same language.

And speaking of colonialism, the visit to Boston has also included a stroll to observe riding sea levels with Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, who I hadn't heard of before, but serves as Boston's Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space and seems like a total rock star. Reverend White-Hammond made time on the day of the Royals' arrival to make a speech which encouraged her city to "consider the legacy of colonialism and racism." And then the next day was presumably all, "Hi Colonialism! Hi Racism! Wanna see your legacy?" and then pointed at a collapsed sea wall. I hope they had a fun visit!

Non-King Joe Biden

Democratically-elected Temporary King of America Joe Biden hosted France's President Emmanuel Macron at the first official State visit of Biden's administration. The thing that stuck out most to me in the coverage of this event wasn't the historic first State visit after years of not hosting them due to a raging pandemic, or the hypocrisy of hosting a hyper-elite function celebrating American excellence while at the same time forcing a weak contract on the railroad workers that serve as a crucial part of our American economy, but rather: don't Jill Biden and Brigitte Macron kinda look like they're related? 

I keep looking at pictures of them together at the events and imagining they're like, "OMG are we sisters?" and some sort of elaborate Parent Trap situation unfolds. But probably they're too old to have any living parents, so like, maybe it turns out they both have pieces of a family heirloom that they have to solve riddles to put back together, and then they find out that like, America has actually been a part of France this entire time, and (surprise!) now we have universal healthcare. AND better trains. 

Cruisin' for a Bruisin'... But Worse

The cruise ship industry suffered a massive blow during the COVID-19 pandemic for basically serving as disease-spreading floating mega-hotels with buffets. Now that the pandemic is—well, not over, but let's pretend it is—people are back on the water! And is it so nice to be back? Well, not for the 62-year-old woman who died when a giant rogue wave smashed into the ship she was traveling on near Argentina. Four other guests were injured and a bunch of windows were blown out, and I know that the likelihood of getting and dying from COVID on a cruise are much higher, but nobody is afraid of that anymore and getting splashed by a big wave is much scarier. So let that be a story we use to try to convince our boomer parents to please for the love of god stop going on cruises

Another story that could do the trick is this one of a 28-year-old man who fell off a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico around Thanksgiving who survived 20 hours at sea by gnawing on a piece of bamboo until he was able to wave down a passing ship to get rescued. Obvious question: Was he drunk? His response: He'd had "some drinks," but doesn't remember how many. Not remembering how many drinks one has consumed is alcoholic-speak for "too many drinks to count." I'm glad he's safe and I hope that, if any of our boomer parents must go on a cruise, maybe put on a life-vest and some sort of tracking device before entering the drinking contest.

In Local News

As reported by Abe Asher, Merritt Paulson has announced that he intends to sell the Portland Thorns following extensive controversy and allegations that he helped to cover up abuse in the women's soccer league. While some fans are happy that the team can start fresh, others find it a little suspect that he's selling the Thorns, but not the Timbers when he's gotten his stink on both teams. But the Timbers Army is nothing if not (charmingly!) obnoxious, so we'll see how long he can withstand the pressure to walk away completely. Rumor has it that Paulson will be asking upwards of $60 million for the team, which is only slightly more than this unfinished West Linn mega-mansion with sandy beach access and a temperature controlled car museum/wine cellar. So, ask the cool millionaires and billionaires in your life: Would you rather own some dumb property that could comfortably host a dozen of your closest friends, or buy a sports franchise with rights to use a stadium that could seat 25,000 of your closest friends? (I'm not rich and only have, like, four friends, so I cannot participate in this thought exercise.) 

Speaking of thought exercises, look at the picture on the Paulson article and then the photo for Clickhole's "Worst Person You Know," and tell me it's not the same person????

And in local news about ME, I've found a new lifestyle icon and will be implementing these changes in my daily schedule: 

Good luck out there!