Squid's Ink

Squid’s Ink: Going dark

“Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.”
– Country Joe McDonald and the Fish

What with our ink and living below sea level, you’d think that we squid would be used to cold and darkness. We’re not.

It’s looking bleak out there, and we’re frustrated and having a hard time finding the laughs. This is going to be our last spurt for a while…

  • People in Miami still have doubts about climate change and sea level rise.
  • Folk in Florida and in South County, RI think that racism isn’t something that needs to be taught about in schools.
  • Our politicians say that they want to wean us off a fossil fuel economy, but then they cut gasoline taxes (which reduces funding for RIPTA) and allow oil companies to reap record profits.
  • Solar power is ever on the horizon, but PVD’s fire codes prohibit maximizing roof coverage. Plus RI Energy has a veto power on how much solar you can put on your house. (The grid is designed to make them money, not encourage a sustainable green economy.)
  • Even after a pandemic, chunks of this country disbelieve in the science of vaccines.
  • Other chunks think that in sports, trans-women should be considered equal competitors to biologically-born women.
  • Either of these chunks will likely quickly “cancel” us for broaching the subjects.
  • Black and White communities now “celebrate” Juneteenth, a holiday which has no relationship to the North, commemorating the trickery of Southern plantation owners.
  • Native American populations scratch their heads as White communities spout land acknowledgment statements at public meetings, and then move on to do nothing else.
  • Of course, PVD put forth a “reparations” bill that could benefit White people! It would be illegal and racist for the government to pass a bill that specifically benefited one race.
  • Billionaires love the division and dissension. Keep the proles arguing amongst themselves and reap the profits. Many of these ultra-wealthy tools own islands or bunkers and anticipate escaping sea level rise and civilization’s collapse.
  • Amazon will deliver shit you don’t need by the end of the day, and put your local shopkeeper out of work.
  • Amazon can get the post office to deliver on Sunday, yet the Post Office needs to charge us more and deliver our stuff more slowly.
  • Fire codes in RI are still insane from The Station Nightclub fire. Yes, you shouldn’t shoot fireworks off in a nightclub that’s padded with flammable soundproofing. No, it doesn’t mean that the papers on the walls of your kids’ school are a hazard.
  • Speaking of public schools, nobody is really in charge of PVD’s. It’s a game of hot potato that’s being bobbled around the Department of Education, which knows it’ll go back to the City in a few years, so no harm done – except to every single student in the system.
  • Oh, and school shootings happen so often that there’s a database to keep score.
  • But we can’t ban assault weapons nor can we talk about guns to children.
  • And of course we like Ukrainian snipers as long as they’re shooting those bad old Russians!
  • Meanwhile everybody pretends that it’s all about race, when it’s really about money. (Unless you’re a black man walking or driving and a cop’s lights flash behind you.) Poor healthcare and race correlate, but so does poor healthcare and money. Poor education and race correlate, but look at the dollars.
  • Regardless, the role of our government is to perpetuate property rights, so let’s put lipstick on a pig, and frosting on the shit pie.
  • Which is easier to swallow when you bike back from Trader Joe’s to a nice house with a low-interest mortgage in a neighborhood that wasn’t red-lined.
  • Our healthcare system is broken, doctors are exhausted, and nurses underpaid, but profits are up at Blue Cross, CVS and every drug and insurance company in the USA.
  • Elected officials still grin and smile and take pictures as they dig holes to build buildings for wealthy campaign contributors.
  • And pols continue to take bows for “bringing money” or “getting grants” or “finding funding” with taxpayer dollars.
  • Back to sea level rise. If you haven’t read “Rising” by Brown grad Elizabeth Rush, don’t. It’s terrifying. Never mind that downtown PVD, Wickford, Warren and Barrington will be underwater. Never mind that the new stuff they’re building in East Providence will also be submerged. All the wetlands will be dead. Fewer animal and plant species. Property values plummet (Oh no!). And there won’t be any food.

Still waiting for a laugh?

  • West Warwick might become beachfront…
  • On Feb 9, we clicked on the “Theater & Arts” button on The Providence Journal’s home page and found that there has been neither theater nor arts since December 22. Adrian Hall and Eugene Lee are shaking their heads in dismay.
  • Our iPhones and Androids and Fitbits are still made by slave labor in China, but we shot down their balloons!
  • Whether you call them homeless or unhoused, pols still don’t care because if you don’t have an address, you can’t vote.
  • Massachusetts cannabis dealers can advertise on RI billboards, but not our homegrown kind buds.
  • RIPTA is still run by and for people who drive cars.
  • And the state’s motto is still, “Hope.”

That’s it for now. We’re going on sabbatical… Call us when fishing season is over.

Note: This column is satire, not fact-based reporting. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Motif or other writers.