Hello, and happy new week to all of you gorgeous Trash Pandas! It's your girl, Elinor Jones, and you're reading THE TRASH REPORT. I hope that you, like me, drank too much yesterday but didn't wear enough sunscreen and are hungover and a little sunburned today. If you're gonna Monday, at least do it with physical evidence of a nice weekend, am I right? Hey, do you all think it would work to do like a Weekend at Bernie's-type setup for someone who isn't dead, but just super lazy and tired? Just like, tie some ropes to my elbows and make me look alive? Please. Hoist me by my elbows; I want to lay down, but can't.

But first: GOSSIP.

YOU LIE! Redux

The first US Congressperson with an EGOT George Santos was arrested last week on charges of being a big fucking liar and thief. (Wait, is that EGOT thing true??) Santos pled not guilty to those charges while simultaneously having a lawyer plead guilty to other theft charges on his behalf in Brazil. Presumably the defense strategy they're putting together is something like "why would I ever steal in America when I busy stealing stuff in Brazil, hmmmmmm?"

I'll give Santos one thing, and that is he was in good-ass company:

Stars: They're Just Like Us! Cranky About Work.

The Writers Guild of America's strike is grinding on, halting the production of many of our beloved television shows, which is really going to bite us in the ass around wintertime, when we deeply need content. Hopefully things wrap up soon enough for us to not have to spend the darkest months talking to our families or (god forbid) reading! Also, of course, so writers can have the fair contracts they deserve. A nice thing about the strike (aside from justice) is learning which celebrities will cross a picket line. Blossom's Mayim Bialik gets props for declining to host Jeopardy because of the strike, whereas Ken Jennings gets the opposite of props for agreeing to host in her place. I'll take Scabs of Contemporary Culture for $1000, Alex. 

And this isn't exactly related to the writer's strike, but it is about a show that is written beautifully: Anyone else notice this sconce on Succession and spend the entire Tom and Shiv fight wondering if it's a pooping butt or a flaccid dong? It's not just writers who make television compelling! Solidarity with set dressers, too!

In other television-jobs-sound-hard-and-stressful news, Rolling Stone just released a story about a toxic workplace environment at the Kelly Clarkson Show. Heartbroken, I read the article, and was relieved to see the following: "Kelly has no clue how unhappy her staff is." And "she isn't aware of how bad things are for lower-level staffers." And several more clarifications that the toxicity is not Clarkson's fault, nor is she aware. The reporter was clearly working through the same fear of another fallen idol and seemingly took pains to underscore that the drama comes from a dream-crushing producer, not Kelly, who is an angel. I'd like to think that Clarkson will fire the producer, and then all of the staffers will go out to a bar and party together, and their drunken rendition of "Since You've Been Gone" will blow the fuckin' lid off the joint. It will be electric. That song was written for this moment. For a moment like this, if you will.

News Made Me Smart; Now Dumb

I am of a specific micro-generation that got most of their news during their most formative years from Kurt Loder on MTV News, which is shuttering operations, and has got me all nostalgic. I have a crystal-clear memory of the Friday afternoon that Loder announced that Kurt Cobain killed himself. There was a dance that night; the cool kids were crying. I also remember MTV News covering the election of Oregon's own Ron Wyden, which was important for being the first major candidate elected by mail-in voting. I sat starstruck on my bedroom floor, like "MTV HAS HEARD OF OREGON?!" I can't be too mad that an institution of my youth will be no longer when I haven't watched or seen it in years, but I'll pour one out. There was nothing like turning on the TV in the days when MTV actually played videos in hopes of catching "Buddy Holly" or "Waterfalls," and then accidentally learning about the world.

Now my brain has melted to the point of only caring about news involving viral animals—the latest of which being a fat turtle who was papped chillin' very Chicago-ly on some rusty chains in the river:

The photographer of said fat turtle named it Chonkosaurus, and this is where I come in: What is even the point of being from a land known for its casserole-style pizza when your first instinct when naming a corpulent creature isn't DEEP DISH? Look at this fucker and tell me Deep Dish is not the perfect name. What a waste! This feel-good story has made me feel bad! Human interest? More like human suffering!

In Local News

Our own Abe Asher put out this report of a Portland Public School bus driver encouraging children to sing religious songs on the school bus. The bus driver probably had no idea that one of the children's parents had co-founded a nonprofit called Rational Atheists United, and now that parent is making noise about it. Lol, whoops! But how sucky must that be for those kids? Children don't deserve being sung at by some middle-aged dork on their way to school, unless it is my child being forced to listen to me sing Kelly Clarkson, which is just good parenting. (Callback.)

Wowie, can you believe 1,000 words have passed and we're still together? Thank you for lending me your feelings. You can have them back now, only slightly worse for the wear. Have a great week, and I will see you very soon!