Welcome back to the Trash Report! I am mother Trash Panda, Elinor Jones, coming to you live from this metaphorical dumpster we know literally as "the news." Wow, what a week! I've got a lot to say. If you're reading this at work, don't forget to occasionally wiggle your mouse so your little icon appears active. (I'd love for you to quit your job, but I don't want you to get fired.)

Now, onto the trash!

Democracy with This Fuckin' Guy

The criminal trial of former President Donald Trump got going last week in New York City with jury selection. Mere feet from where he sat on a shabby government chair where countless criminals had previously sat and probably farted, the prospective jurors were grilled on whether they could be impartial in this case, and as he silently watched, they got to say what they thought of him. There are no cameras allowed in the courtroom and it's a damn shame, because it must have ruled SO much. The trial is a humiliating obligation for a horrible person who deserves it, and what's extra funny about it is that since Trump has to be at court, he can't be traveling the country campaigning. He can only campaign after court in New York, where he's wildly unpopular, and only in the evenings, after having spent the day listening to New Yorkers tell him they hate him.

Pop Music Updates

You know I'm going to talk about Taylor Swift and her new album, The Tortured Poets Department. So it was a surprise double album, which delighted many. But not me! I don't have time for 31 songs! I'm still working on complete absorption of Cowboy Carter! I have a job and a family, for Christ's sake. With all that content, all I know so far is that "FLORIDA!!!!" is a certified banger, but the rest is kind of blurring together. Don't come at me for that, Swifties, y'all know it's true. And how absolutely deranged is it that Swift's fandom is so fierce that magazines running negative reviews of the new album have to withhold the critic's name due to a fear of death threats. Perhaps some people should revisit the 2019 Taylor Swift single "You Need to Calm Down" and take a look in the mirror because... Jesus Christ. Chill. Or take several seats, as she would say.

A few months ago we all went briefly mad for Usher following his complete and utter annihilation (in the best way) at the Super Bowl halftime show. Then we got distracted by the next thing and moved on with our lives. Usher would not accept falling off the radar! But instead of pouring his heart into far too many new songs, he's back in the conversation by wearing a very stupid hat. Click through; you won't be sorry. Gotta hand it to him—putting on a dumb hat is a way easier move. I mean, I know next to nothing about Pharrell but I still think about his stupid hat all the time.

Pop Culture Update

Actor Josh Hartnett is making a comeback by starring in the newest M. Night Shyamalan movie, and at least one blog has tried to call it a Hartnettaissance. Love the idea, but I don't think the portmanteau works here like it did for Mathew McConaughey's McConaussaince. For one, Hartnett doesn't flow as nicely. For two, there are other words! This career revitalization shall henceforth be known as the ReJoshenation

Wow, happy 30th birthday to Pulp Fiction! Anyone approximately my age or older knows that this movie coming out the same year as Forrest Gump, and that if you were in middle school in the mid-90s, there were kids who liked Forrest Gump, and kids who liked Pulp Fiction (ignoring the fact, of course, that both were highly inappropriate for tweens; the '90s were a different time.) I was a Forrest Gump kid who was slowly coming to the realization that the Pulp Fiction kids were cooler and I needed to consider a rebrand. Eventually I backed away from both films as I worked desperately on gaining an edge. 

Because I have zero edge, I back away from those options completely and refocused my personality on playing Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis and watching Speed on VHS. So imagine my delight when I read that Keanu Reeves is joining the Sonic cinematic universe as the voice of Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3! If you'd told me when I was 12 that this is the direction that the culture was heading, I probably would have exploded harder than a city bus crashing into a cargo plane at LAX.

Speaking of important movies: the stars of Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge got married last week! The Halloweentown film series has never been my favorite, but I admit that I'll like it a lot more now that I know that the stars were getting horny behind the scenes. I cannot imagine a less sexual film set, so kudos to them! 

Local Trash

A group of parents is suing the Portland Association of Teacher's and Oregon Education Association for $100 million for the month-long teacher's strike. Um, strikes are supposed to be disruptive? That's the whole point! It's a last resort when other stuff doesn't work. The lawsuit also wants to invalidate the contract that the teachers eventually won, saying that it was only entered into "under duress." No shit, that's how bargaining works! Rights are fought for, not granted. Some people clearly need to read a book about the history of the labor movement, or at the very least, watch Newsies.

The Willamette Week is following our trend of re-embracing Portland, and they put out a guide to old Portland. In the intro they say this includes calling hazelnuts "filberts." And I got all snooty on Instagram about it, like "these IDIOTS are WRONG!" because I am from here and I've always called them hazelnuts. Then my own mother was like "wtf is wrong with you," because SHE calls them filberts! Regional nut nomenclature skips a generation, I guess? Or maybe I spent some formative years around a hazelnut crowd, and it stuck, like when somebody studied abroad in England and then calls apartments "flats" for the rest of their life. Now I'm saddled with knowing that calling them filberts would be cooler, but it's too late in my life to try to correct this part of my vocabulary, so I guess it's no more of that particular legume for me, unless I am referring to a beaver at the Oregon Zoo:

That's all I can say about any of these things for now, my friends. I hope you have fantastic weeks and that somebody you like tells you you're cute. Cuz if they don't, I will.