Hello, Trash Pandas, and happy President's Day! One might think that President's Day is kind of a trash holiday, so in fitting with this column, I've done a little research about it for you (skip this part if you don't care about history): President's Day is officially called Washington's Birthday, in honor of George Washington, who was the first president of the United States. (History buff over here!) The father of our country (a.k.a. Daddy USA) died in 1800 and for many years there were casual parties around his birthday (February 22nd) until 1879, when President Rutherford B. Hayes made that specific date a federal holiday. And THEN in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday holiday act which moved all 2nd-tier (i.e. non-gift) holidays to Mondays so Americans could have consistent 3-day weekends, so we could spend more money on shopping and trips. President Nixon signed that one into law, and he doesn't have the best legacy, so... credit where credit is due. Anyway, once Washington's birthday wasn't on his actual birthday, people in Illinois were all "oh of course this holiday is also for President Lincoln whose birthday was also in February!" and nobody felt like taking that away from them, and then people in Virginia were like "oh and ALSO Thomas Jefferson" whose birthday is in April, and although they shouldn't have let that slide, by then they'd already lost the thread, and it's been known as President's Day ever since.
Long story short, welcome to the Trash Report! I'm Elinor Jones, and the rest of this column will be extra bad because I've spent most of the time I've set aside for writing it to instead read about President's Day, which I'm sure we can all agree was: the right choice.
Identified Flying Objects
Last week President Biden gave a public chat about all the stuff the military has been shooting out of the sky lately. He said "we don't know exactly what the three objects were, but nothing right now suggests they were related to China's spy balloon program or that they were surveillance vehicles from any other country." Meanwhile, all the millennials who insisted on getting a pet owl during the height of Harry Potter mania are crossing their fingers that one of those objects that's been taken down is their own problematic bird, thus freeing them of any perceived allegiance to anti-trans author J.K. Rowling. (They'll still have to pull their hoodie sleeves down to hide the tiny wand tattoos on their wrists, obviously.)
In other national news, people who took part in the January 6 insurrection are still making their way through the court system. The latest to have their moment in the spotlight is Garrett Miller. This absolute shining genius star of a guy:
DOJ says the fact that Garrett Miller was wearing an "I was there" Jan. 6 t-shirt when the FBI came knocking on inauguration day shows he was "proud of his conduct." pic.twitter.com/IEsIDUe8Lc— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) February 16, 2023
While I don't commit crimes, if I did, I definitely wouldn't wear a shirt admitting to said crime!
TMZ reported that "several Glendale PD cars" recently surrounded the home of singer Billie Eilish after somebody prank-called a wellness check on her. I don't know what "several" is, but I can't imagine any universe in which multiple officers would be needed to respond to something like this? If Eilish were actually having a mental health or some other sort of crisis, how is the presence of multiple police officers going to help? I kinda feel like LA cops must just cruise around ignoring crimes so they can be available to show up when a celebrity's name comes through the radio. Like, "some lady's car got dinged, can any officer respond?" and it's crickets, then "the lady is Kate Bosworth" and then they'd all be like wee-ooo, weee-oooo, getting their selfie faces on.
Here in Oregon, at least one Portland lawmaker is suggesting changing eligibility requirements so that all police officers have at least two years of higher education. Some argue that doing so will make it even harder to fill vacancies, which really is not a very compelling argument! According to the Oregonian, "reform advocates say that continuing education past high school can equip officers with critical life skills that could improve their interactions with the public." Totally! Also, the woman who does my hair was trained for multiple years before getting her license, and she couldn't kill me if she reached for the straightening wand but accidentally grabbed the hair dryer.
Teen Brain? Who, Me? Aw.
NPR just put out a super enlightening and thought-provoking article about how social media affects teens' brains. The piece pointed out things like how "excessive social media use in teens often manifests some of the same symptoms of more traditional addictions, in part because teen brains just don't have the kind of self-control toolbox that adults do" and "'psychological science demonstrates that exposure to this online content is associated with lower self-image and distorted boy perceptions among young people." The whole piece is shocking to read as an elder millennial, not because of how grotesque the social media pressures are on the psyche of our future leaders, but because I related so much to all of it that my primary takeaway was to pat myself on the back and be like, "omg I am basically still a teenager lol." I'm literally 40.
Miles Teller? Are you trying to say the word odometer?— Rick Paulas (@realrickpaulas) February 13, 2023
When Celebrities Aren't Trash
The family of Bruce Willis just put out a statement about the actor's ongoing health problems and that he has a kind of dementia, and I'm really bummed because he's a guy I would happily watch surf a crashing plane through America's crumbling infrastructure well into his golden years!
My parents took me to see the original Die Hard in the movie theater when I was 6 years old which 1) imprinted Bruce Willis onto me strongly, and 2) made me the way that I am (kinda messed up). My thoughts are with the Willis/Moore family and all the others who see good people leave us too early when all the jerks seem to live forever.
Wow, what? Dark! Anyway guys, I'm gonna go do something else now. I hope you enjoy telling all of your friends the truth about President's Day because I give you my Joneser Guarantee (not a real thing) that it will win you many friends and admirers.