Your Weekend Reader for Aug. 28-29

by | Aug 28, 2021 | Arts and Entertainment, Journalism, Miscellaneous | 0 comments

It’s the last weekend of August. Where HAS this summer gone? Oh, that’s right — delta came and snatched il away.

The emergence of the delta variant of the coronavirus has put a big damper on this summer. But maybe it has given us a little more time this weekend to read — so here’s an overstuffed edition of Your Weekend Reader.

Speaking of the coronavirus, here’s a New York Times story from this week about how Oregon resumed its strict mask mandates — and why maybe that decision came too late.

The latest mask mandates have prompted a new round of political posturing from some of Oregon’s so-called “constitutional sheriffs” — that is, sheriffs who buy into the false belief that their powers to protect people’s constitutional and “God-given” rights supersede local and federal authority. Hillary Borrud from The Oregonian/OregonLive has the story, and she tracked down an expert who’s researched the constitutional sheriff movement (it’s particularly prevalent in southwest Oregon and northern California) and offered this priceless quote: “Constitutional sheriffs misunderstand the constitution.” Since no state official has asked sheriffs to enforce the mask mandates (enforcement duties fall to the Oregon Health Authority), this all is sort of a moot point, although it allows these sheriffs to grandstand for their constituents.

Speaking of grandstanding for the constituents: Fox News host Tucker Carlson took a potshot Wednesday night at Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s bisexual status. Since Brown has been married to a man, Doug Little, for 23 years, Carlson was wondering, I guess, how Brown qualified as bisexual. Brown worked to clear up Carlson’s confusion in a tweet. The Oregonian/OregonLive has the story.

High Country News has a couple of worthwhile reads in its new edition. If you’re wanting to get caught up on the continuing developments in the drought-stricken Klamath Basin, here’s a rundown. And, if you have a sense that fire season in the West is getting longer, a new study says, well, you’re exactly right. (This story about the study originally appeared in The Guardian and was reprinted by High Country News.)

On another topic entirely, here’s a Times story about why that baby pictured on the cover of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” is now suing, some 30 years later, over the photograph. It’s a more serious read than you might expect. Speaking of music, the Times’ Ben Sisario has a nice appraisal of Charlie Watts, the longtime Rolling Stones drummer (and, it turns out, jazz aficionado), who died Tuesday at age 80.

Good grief! At least the hummingbird feeder outside my window has been busy this week. So I was intrigued by this story from The Atlantic’s Katherine J. Wu, which outlines a clever way female hummingbirds have developed to fool their harassers, which often turn out to be, of course, male hummingbirds.

Finally today, a couple of plugs. The Majestic Readers’ Theatre Company is staging a performance this weekend of Jon Robin Baitz’s family drama “Other Desert Cities.” Here’s my preview story about the show, which went through an interesting journey.

And if you’re feeling blue over delta and the mask mandates, you might need a “Soul Vaccination,” courtesy of Tower of Power. I’ve compiled that and nine other songs into a “Summer of COVID Redux” playlist. It’s true that I’ve taken all the songs completely out of their original context — well, who can say for sure with Steely Dan’s “Do It Again?” — but the playlist still might give you a smile. And feel free to nominate your own songs for the playlist.

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