Hello everyone, and welcome to another Trash Report, with me, Elinor Jones, the queen raccoon of garbage mountain. This column goes live at 10 am, which I know will feel like 11 am today, and you will be angry that I'm late when in fact you should be mad at the old-timey farmers who put us in the whole clock-change mess in the first place. We all wanted The Price is Right to have started an hour ago. Life's not fair. But we're in it together, and I brought treats; the treats are my cute observations about global events. Let's go!
Biden My Time
Tomorrow is the first Tuesday of November, which means we are within one year of next year's presidential election. Trust me, I'm barfing in my mouth about it, too. Polls don't matter yet—they won't until about three weeks before the election—but they're out there, and things aren't looking great right now for ol' Uncle President Joe Biden. Israel's pummeling of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas' October 7th attack has killed thousands of people so far and shows no signs of slowing down. Many world leaders are calling for a ceasefire (or "humanitarian pause," which is the same thing), but not the U.S. of A! I mean, what would be the point of having given Israel's military billions of dollars if we're not gonna be cool with them using those weapons to bomb children in hospitals and refugee camps?
And yet, in 52 short weeks that will certainly feel very long, we will rally around Biden in order to prevent another Donald Trump presidency. And we will pinch our noses and do it. But it fucking sucks! It's like being offered a barf sandwich or a turd sandwich. Like, you know you've got to go with the barf sandwich, because it is technically closer to being food, even though both options are terrible, and we know that some people in other countries get normal food.
Bankman? More Like Jailman
Crypto bro Sam Bankman-Fried was just found guilty of fraud and money laundering. I hope this is a lesson to every other guy who thinks that oxygen is well used explaining what the block chain is. Also, have we talked about his name as a finance villain? Bankman-Fried? Awfully on the nose, don't you think? Did J.K. Rowling come up with that shit? Buddy never had a chance in front of the jury. Anyway, his sentence could be over 100 years in jail, which according to Bankman-Fried, could be valued as high as 32 billion years in jail.
Speaking of billions of years: scientists believe that an ancient planet called Theia crashed into Earth during its formation and it broke off a chunk that became our moon, and also that bits of Theia remain trapped within the Earth's core as "alien blobs." This means that if we are ever so lucky as to be blessed with a sequel to the 2003 blockbuster The Core, we've got a whole new problem for Hillary Swank to science her way out of.
Celebrity Couple Congrats
Channing Tatum and Zoe Kravitz appear to have recently become engaged and I hope they are very happy! But does anyone else think that they are poorly matched, visually? He's so buff, and she is so petite! It's like when I tried to make my brother's Hulk Hogan figurine go on a date with my Skipper doll. The crossover doesn't work. But wouldn't it be interesting if they have a baby, with him being so large and her being so small? The combination of such outliers would create a completely average baby. We'll keep an eye on this!
In other Hollywood news, NPR reported on how more streaming shows are showing more nudity than ever. As a steady streamer, may I just say: hell yeah. If we are going to live through this period of cynicism and cultural decline, the very least we can get out of it is more dongs on screen!
The SAG-AFTRA strike is still going strong, and we're learning who the hardcore picketers are vs. the A-listers who show up once for a photo op and then bail. Kerry Washington, who could effortlessly glide through life on her beauty alone, and we'd all thank her for it, seems to be committed to taking action in person. Click through right here and observe that she's even dressed in sneakers and sweatpants, like a regular! That said, shame on Kerry Washington for looking so gorgeous in sweatpants. Don't raise the bar on the rest of us sloppy dirtbags.
Elsewhere in the labor movement, the United Auto Workers Union just won a great contract after their own strike, and it's expected to ripple throughout the car manufacturing industry. A victory for one is a victory for all, and non-unionized car company are following suit and increasing their own workers' wages. UAW President Shawn Fain announced that he has even been in touch with workers at Tesla. It's funny, Twitter-ruiner Elon Musk is so detestable in so many spheres that I sometimes forget he also makes tacky exploding cars, and it's great that a story about worker wins could also tie in him getting his nuts stomped on. Musk had gotten in trouble for threatening his workers on Twitter to keep them from organizing, and part of his strategy was—yes, this is true—promising them frozen yogurt and a company roller coaster!? What the hell kind of incentives are these? Is Tesla's workforce a bunch of teenagers on summer break? How is this supposed to work?
Local Solidarity Forever
The Portland Public Schools teacher strike is entering its second week. I'm hoping they come to a deal quickly, because teachers deserve fair wages and safe working conditions. Also, because I am a PPS parent and working from home while my kid stares at an iPad these past few days are giving me Spring 2020 vibes and it's been really hard. Schools and teachers are such a vital part of this community and I'm levitating with rage that it's even come to this. I have a hard time with state leaders saying there's no money for education when this very same state is returning 5.61 BILLION DOLLARS in unspent tax revenue through a kicker on our 2023 returns. Like, can't they just move this money from one account to another? How is this happening?**
Not to brag about being a finance wiz—I'm not going to start calling myself Elinor Von Cashy-Cook or anything—but when I spend less than I've budgeted on groceries* some months, I don't take the leftover money and fire it from a cannon into the sea; I spend it on other things I need, like manicures and bouquets of fresh flowers, or in this analogy, teacher wages. "There is simply no money," says a shrugging Tina Kotek as she sets hundred dollar bills on fire and tosses them into a burning trash barrel that our houseless neighbors people are using to warm their hands.
*This thing about having money left over from groceries some month is an exaggeration to prove a point about budgeting. I never underspend on groceries. I have a child to feed and every cereal costs $40 now.
**I asked this very question in my Instagram stories hoping for some insight as to why, but I didn't get any explanations in response, probably because people only follow me there for glimpses of my one-eyed pug Dolly Walnuts or to watch me descend into madness while debating whether or not I should cut my bangs again. Spoiler: I did, and they look great. I feel normal again, like when Julia Roberts made her hair red again for My Best Friend's Wedding.
One last funny thing, going back to Trump again: Eldest daughter Ivanka Trump has been called upon to testify in the New York fraud trial against her awful father, and Ivanka tried to claim that she could not attend because it's too disruptive to travel during the school week and it would create an undue hardship. "Bitch thinks that's too disruptive?" ask Portland Public School parents from underneath a pile of laundry and half-eaten snacks and untouched educational worksheets we printed out during that brief moment when we thought we'd be using this time to teach our own children. I mean, midweek travel? Could you imagine? Sounds so nice!
Well, that's all we have for today, my beloved trash pandas. I hope you know that everybody around you is lucky to share a timeline with such a compassionate and good-looking person as you. See you back here same time next week, okay?