Texas salon owner Shelley Luther released from prison

Apparently the high crimes of haircutting and feeding one’s children will continue, undeterred, in the Lone Star State. 

Supreme Court Of Texas Orders Release Of Jailed Texas Stylist Shelly Luther

Here’s the problem: The national shutdown, implemented mostly at the state level, has prevented millions of Americans from earning a living (literally from feeding their children, in some cases.)

That might have gone uncontested had the shutdown been a short-term measure to “flatten the curve”—as it was originally sold. Continue reading “Texas salon owner Shelley Luther released from prison”

Axl Rose vs. Steve Mnuchin on Twitter

I haven’t given Guns N’Roses (GNR) much thought since like…1988. That was when the band had its heyday, more or less. 

In fact, I never really gave the group much thought at all.

GNR was/is kind of like a retread of the mid-1980s act Mötley Crüe—a schtick that was already stale by 1988. When I do think of Guns N’ Roses, I usually hear Axl Rose caterwauling the refrain from “Sweet Child of Mine” in my head.

Nineteen eighty-eight was a good year for me, in most respects; but that’s a flashback from ’88 that I can do without.

But Twitter is the magic medium that keeps all past-their-prime celebrities in the public consciousness. (How many people would recognize the name “Alyssa Milano” in 2020 if not for Twitter?)

It turns out that Axl Rose, the now 58-year-old lead singer of GNR, took a potshot at U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Twitter.

Because of course, no celebrity is ever going to go after a Democrat on social media. Being good little herd animals, celebrities only attack herd-approved targets, i.e., Republicans.

As is usually the case in these situations, Axl Rose’s tweet wasn’t very articulate. He basically just called Mnuchin a name–the sort of thing that would simply be ignored if it had come from anyone who wasn’t a celebrity: Continue reading “Axl Rose vs. Steve Mnuchin on Twitter”

The imperiled indie bookstore business model

From The New Republic, an article on the fall, sort-of-rise, and subsequent fall of the independent bookseller in America:

Is This the End of the Indie Bookstore?

Needless to say, independent bookstores have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and the government-mandated shutdown of the national economy. Few state bureaucrats have deemed bookstores as “essential”. Most have therefore been shut down for about two months at the time of this writing.

As the New Republic article explains, independent bookstores were battered by the rise of B&N and Borders superstores in the 1990s. This was before the rise of Amazon and ebooks..not to mention COVID-19.

After several decades of decline, indie bookstores bounced back somewhat between 2009 and 2019.

“They fostered a sense of community between business and consumer; their wares were curated specifically for their clientele; and they were places where people could physically convene. These were not just stores selling widgets, they were local hubs.”

So what do I think about the future of the independent bookstore? Continue reading “The imperiled indie bookstore business model”