Enough With the Straws, OK?

Image Source/ZUMAPRESS

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What’s the deal, Kevin? One stupid Yeezy post in the morning and then a crappy astronomy picture for lunch? Are you feeling well?

As it happens, no, I’m not. This whole evil dex thing is turning into a real pain in the ass. Really, I ought to be fine by today, but instead I wrote one stupid Yeezy post and then…fell asleep. I woke up around lunchtime. What’s up with that? Probably nothing: just like last time, the effects of the chemo get steadily more pronounced every month, and that goes for the dex too. I’m in my 13th week of dex, which is nearly the entire length of my first round of chemo (16 weeks), so it’s not surprising that it’s now hitting harder than it did back in June. And there’s 16 more weeks to go! Exciting!

On the bright side, sleepiness is the only really serious side effect so far, and that’s pretty far from the biggest deal in the world. What’s more, my M-protein level almost set a new record low last week, and I expect to plummet past my all-time record of 0.30 this week. So at least this regimen is having a vigorous effect on the cancer.

But that’s not all. Is it just me, or has the news been unusually tedious lately? The Catholic Church is corrupt. Donald Trump is corrupt. Trump’s lawyers are idiots. We still haven’t won the war in Afghanistan. Etc etc. Meh.

What to do? For the moment, I’ll highlight a trivial story that will nonetheless probably piss off a whole bunch of you:

The California Senate on Monday approved legislation barring dine-in restaurants from offering plastic straws to customers unless they are requested….The measure exempts fast-food restaurants and other businesses.

“This bill is the last straw,” Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said. “This is a first step to the total banning of plastic straws. To me it almost looks silly. I think the negative consequences [of straws] are a bit overstated.”…But Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) said the proposal will help educate the public about the environmental hazard of plastics that are not biodegradable. “Let the consumer request it if they want it,” he said.

Here’s what’s going to piss you off: I agree with the Republicans about this. California is too full of performative legislation that’s designed to make some point or other but is almost certain to have no actual effect. I’d prefer that folks pick a career and stick to it. If you want to be a performer, go to Hollywood. If you want to be a politician, propose legislation that actually accomplishes something. How about a plastic packaging tax, similar to what France is doing? If that’s not enough, go bigger. But whatever you do, make it something that delivers real results, not just a pat-on-the-back for getting on board with the fad of the week.

FOR THE RECORD: In case you’re curious, I don’t care one way or the other about straws. I’m perfectly content to drink my sugary swill with or without straws, so this legislation has no personal effect on me at all.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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