Headlines as hot as a Miami conga! Because that’s basically how hot as it is outside, but like, in a bad way. This week, Laura and Chris give you the scoop on the Neptune Festival parade, changes coming to the Third District, geese blocking the HRBT, Donald Trump trumping himself, and of course, the Swiftybeat!
Every summer for the past thousand years, wicked spirits in ill-fitting swimsuits have appeared at the Oceanfront to scream chilling things from hotel balconies (“I LOVE VIRGINIA BEACH, BABY!”), take sardonic photos of themselves flipping off the “No Cussing” signs, and ensure it remains physically impossible to turn onto Atlantic Avenue without incurring 11 charges of vehicular manslaughter.
But on the last Friday of each September, the townspeople of Virginia Beach reclaim their village with the Neptune Festival, a ritual ceremony to cleanse the Oceanfront and ward off the last lingering traces of summer tourism ghouls. Costumed in various colored dress shorts, residents gather for scandsculpting, concerts and art shows, and recite demon-banishing incantations such as, “Finally starting to feel like fall!” or “No, traffic was great—really thinned out since August,” or “Know why couldn’t you get a blowjob in Pennsylvania this summer? ’Cause all them cocksuckers were down here.” (That last one got me banned from a cocktail party once, but it definitely works.)
The most important event of the Neptune Festival is the parade, where the townspeople conduct a full-scale march down the center of the street to confirm there are no lingering souls in any of the crosswalks. For six years, the Boneshakers Social Club (above) have ridden their motorcycles in the parade, helping to exorcise the Oceanfront with the sound of sweet… motorcycle-y sounds, I guess. But earlier this month, the Boneshakers received some disturbing news from festival organizers: because of concerns about noise from their bikes, the Boneshakers were no longer invited to participate.
This caused quite a stir, and very much surprised the Boneshakers Social Club, who had apparently never received a complaint about noise until the ban (though in fairness, I guess I wouldn’t be eager to voice a complaint to a group called “Boneshakers”—if they were “Muffinmakers” or “GilmoreGirlsAppreciators,” maybe).
Good news, though: according to Boneshakers’ Facebook page, the club reached an agreement with festival organizers and will be riding this year. This is awesome because not only are the Boneshakers integral to the thousand-year battle of good and evil we wage every autumn equinox, they are hella cool!
The Pilot’s editorial board weighs in on the proposed special session of the General Assembly called by Governor McAuliffe for August, arguing that it makes more sense to decide the future of Virginia’s Third Congressional District during the normal legislative session in January. State Republicans are balking at McAuliffe’s plan, saying that a November session would be better, in the event the U.S. Supreme Court steps in to overturn a lower Federal court order to redraw the district.
The whole thing centers on the gerrymandering of the Third, which created a majority African-American district and a safe Democratic seat for longtime-incumbent Bobby Scott. Redrawing the lines of this district is likely to add more Democratic voters to the safely-Republican districts that surround it, making them more competitive. Redistricting is the single most political activity that lawmakers engage in, so it’s not surprising that both Republicans and Democrats are eager to draw the lines at a time that is most convenient to their interests. By calling the session in August, McAuliffe wants to make sure the redistricting will be an issue in the November election, while Republicans would prefer to push it after the election so that it won’t be. The Pilot’s suggestion, that it be done during the regular business of the January session, is a good one—but it’s not really the public’s interest that the involved parties here are looking after.
The other morning two geese got halfway through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel before westbound traffic had to be stopped to clear the hazard, making it the furthest distance any non-locals have ever traveled through the tunnel before causing a backup.
Real estate tycoon/host of So You Think You Can Be President? Donald Trump is picking fights with everyone these days. First he said that Rick Perry should be subject to an IQ test before he participates in the GOP debates, and now he’s said that John McCain isn’t a war hero because he was captured (and subsequently tortured and held as a POW by the North Vietnamese for five years). This article nicely lines up what the two men were up to during the period of 1968-1973. Trump was basically that guy from a John Hughes movie that everyone but Molly Ringwald realizes is no good, and you really don’t want her to go to prom with him, but she totally does and is only saved from his rape-y grasp at the last minute by some combination of John Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Michael J. Fox (crossover guest cameo). And McCain was basically John Rambo from First Blood Part II. To their credit, many of the GOP’s 1,500 Presidential candidates quickly condemned Trump’s remarks, but his poll numbers continue to trend upwards.
What are we to make of this? Is there really a large-and-growing part of the GOP that actually embraces Trump’s incoherent-nativist-hypercapitalist-rant platform? Well, probably not. We’ve seen this tape before, back in 2011 when Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain were legitimate contenders. And in some ways, it’s actually probably good for the GOP’s chances in the general election—candidates like Trump help fire up the base before they inevitably settle for the establishment candidate. But they also rely on ignoring certain truths that harm the party’s credibility in the long term.
Oh, and also? Trump just gave out Senator Lindsey Graham’s cell number on live TV.
“Catfishing” is the act of constructing a fake online identity in order to manipulate someone. Catfishers’ motivations vary: some are out for money; others, revenge. Some act out of intense, crippling loneliness.
But for a dangerous few, the motive is murky (“Murky as the waters of the Loch Ness!” your grandfather used to say, “which gets its tea-like coloring as the result of high peat concentrations in the surrounding soil!” he would add, very ominously), and the catfishers are actually catfish, and you read the headline so you get where this is going.
Steve Feltham—the man who “gave up his girlfriend, house and job” in 1991 to start looking for the Loch Ness Monster—is pretty confident that Nessie isn’t a prehistoric leftover, but a Wels catfish, which can grow to be 13 ft. The catfish were introduced to the lake by Victorians, who forgot to mention them to anyone when the world started losing its collective shit over purported Nessie sightings around the 1930s—just around the time the catfish would have been fully grown’n’sexy.
Now that that’s solved, can someone help solve the mystery of why Busch Gardens’ Loch Ness Monster no longer features a painted monster inside the cave? That used to be a thing, right? Am I making this up? Please someone confirm this.
An anonymous manager at a McDonald’s in the UK confirmed via Reddit AMA that the fast food restaurant does in fact have a secret menu. It’s basically just what they already have, all mashed together. There are a couple useful tidbits in there, like, did you know you can ask for Big Mac Secret Sauce on the side (which means you can finally stop bringing your own Thousand Island dressing with you to McDonald’s)? But mostly it’s just frankenfood, like the “Land, Air, and Sea Burger,” which combines a burger patty, a fried chicken patty, and a fish patty into one big pile of yellow/brown material. To me, this begs some questions: First, could you not just order those things separately and combine them yourself? Are you afraid of seeming like a glutton? Because really, asked and answered, you know? And secondly, are we to assume that the “Air” portion of this sandwich is the chicken patty? Even though chickens do not fly? So, you probably shouldn’t eat any of this stuff, but then again, if I have to tell you not to eat something called a “McGangBang,” nothing else I say to you is going to matter either.
Summer Music Battlefight: THE 80s
As usual, here’s my pitch to come out to the Naro for the ongoing “New Non Fiction Film” series. This week’s film is Our Man in Tehran, a documentary focusing on Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, who heroically sheltered six American diplomats during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The story was made famous by the Academy Award-winning film Argo. Following the film, Ray McGovern, a retired CIA analyst and current peace activist, writer, and educator, will lead the discussion. With the Iran nuclear deal in the headlines, this should be a great chance to look back on how we got where we are.
And finally, on the Swiftybeat, Laura says,
And finally on the Swiftybeat, Tay Tay is launching a clothing line! But because God is finally getting around to punishing America for our many sins, the line is only available in China.
Rome is burning.
Long ago, a prophesy foretold of two great ones who would alter the course of history with their unmatched witticisms about the world around them. But until they arrive, Chris O’ Brien and Laura Watkins are filling in. Sharing a love of tacos, cats, justice, as well as an overarching ambition to perform history’s greatest karaoke duet of “Lightning Crashes,” and last but not least, a common ancestor in Charlemagne, Chris and Laura excel at beer drinking, trivia, and giving the Price side-eye to the patriarchy. They’re also pretty sure they were orphaned Russian siblings in another life, but that’s a story for another time.