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Summer Beach Reads

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It was a long weekend after a month’s worth of news happened on Monday and Tuesday. I went to the beach to look at some cool shells and eat seafood, but I shall return, barely refreshed to draw comics about whatever new horrors await us on the other side of the holiday weekend.

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D.I.Y. Halloween Costumes

(Title on a Spirit Halloween generic costume bag.)
D.I.Y. Halloween Costumes
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I’m firmly against topical Halloween costumes in real life, but it’s a decent premise for a cartoon where you don’t have to spend an entire evening stuck inside your one-note joke that only news nerds might get.

While the final panel is about Biden deciding to build more border walls, it applies to everywhere refugees are being denied their right to seek asylum. A wall refusing desperate people entry is the opposite side of one locking them into a miserable fate.

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Cruisey

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San Francisco let these things loose on the streets earlier this year. While there haven’t been any fatalities, many accidents have already happened. There’s no real point to driverless taxis except to avoid paying people to drive them, especially in cities that have priced the labor pool out to the exurban hinterlands.

As a pedestrian and cyclist, I never want to see one of these things attempt to navigate Boston streets. They’re more of a threat on the roads than this week’s college new arrivals are to the bridges over Storrow Drive.

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Box Office Bombs

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I still haven’t returned to going to the movies. Mostly due to never being a fan of crowded theaters even before COVID. But maybe if the numbers are low and the edibles are just right, I’ll get tickets to see Dune Part II.

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Masochist Airlines

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This week’s Southwest Airlines debacle made regular holiday air travel look pleasant.  COVID, flu, RSV (insert Gilligan’s Island theme song:) and the rest of the viruses we’re pretending don’t exist are causing people to be out sick from all sorts of essential jobs.

Southwest was apparently hit especially hard since they put all their post-shutdown profits towards stock buybacks instead of updating any of their infrastructure. Companies putting buybacks, dividends and executive payouts above improving anything else is what people mean by late-stage capitalism. Everything is getting worse, but LINE GO UP.

Way back in ancient times, I would fly Southwest from Baltimore to Providence often for just $69 (nice) and it would take about 1 and half hours, including what little pre-9/11 check-in hassle there was. Amtrak was over a hundred for 7+ hour trip. Trains haven’t improved, but airlines have pretty much sunk to or below their level.

I haven’t flown in a while. Hope I didn’t draw the seats looking too comfy.

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Your Affordable Housing Options

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The housing market is insane everywhere. We (as in my community and my family personally) need a lot more of the affordable options built in Boston, where Boomers are squatting on properties they snatched up in the ’80s and are fighting every new building proposal, despite being on a major transit corridor.

Fortunately Mayor Wu announced detailed plans for this, so we may be luckier than cities with mayors who will only spend more money on police.

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Newly Diagnosed Ailments

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Funding for COVID mitigation didn’t make it into the recently-passed spending bill. Pretty great timing, as we’re about to reach 1 million official COVID deaths in the United States, and the BA.2 omicron variant seems to be fueling another surge just as every level government is throwing mask-burning parties instead of making any preparations.

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