There was a time when I looked back on these and thought I may have been too hard on our Mayor. Then, he dropped close to 2 million in "End of term thank you bonuses" to city employees (teachers not included). Every few months he finds a new way to leave us speechless with his disregard for what tax payers want and need. We've seen repeated cries from the administration of a cash strapped city and then *poof* money magically appears for something ridiculous. I've never lived in a Richmond that didn't have Mayor Jones at the helm, so I'm excited to see what these next years will bring.
These cartoons appeared in Style Weekly between 2013-2016
These lovely local shops carry Stains!
Odds are you're going to get something they don't like, so you might as well support local businesses and get them an RVA Coffee Stain print.
I tried to stay awake as I watched people in suits masterfully dance their fingers across giant touch screen TVs that showed maps of the US turning red. I reached the point where the thought of walking upstairs to bed was too much, so I stayed on the couch. I was awoken by my wife running down the stairs at 4:30am saying "Who won!? Who won!?". I stumbled for my phone and immediately went to Ned Oliver's Twitter feed to see the final RVA Mayor results. (force of habbit) "Not Richmond's race!", she yelled.
I reached for the remote.
That's when we saw the graphic announcing that Donald Trump is the President elect of the United States of American flash on the screen for the first time. Disbelief, numbness, fear all set it. How could this happen dominated our conversation for the next hours. Then the kids woke up. We smiled as we did our morning routine. That includes some singing and dancing around, breakfast and an in depth discussion about princesses. There was a stark contrast in how we were feeling and the youthful unawareness from our kids who are too young to understand what an election is. I could feel something I don't feel very often in the air. I could see it in my wife's eyes too. It wasn't just sadness, it was fear. Fear for the future of the country we live in and love.
I know we're supposed to "Say the right things", but right now, for me, this is the right thing to say.
Anger has won.
Division has won.
Hate has won.
Trump supporters "Fought The Political Machine", without realizing they are part of their own political machine. One based on lies. One based on fear. One based on shitty red hats made in China. We are left to only hope that he played on his supporters fears to get elected and won't act on his campaign promises.
Trump's favorite solution is to build walls, and he is going to unite us?
We live in a volatile world now led by a volatile man. He has our beautiful country, and after him, I'm not sure we'll be able to make it great again.
When Jon Baliles dropped out of the RVA Mayor race I felt lost with only a few days to go in the election. I swayed back and forth between Jack Berry and Levar Stoney almost daily, hourly, by the minute. i questioned Levar's reasons for running. I questioned Jack's history of championing shiny projects that were not in the best interest of Richmond citizens. I started to feel down that I was casting a vote to stop Morrissey instead of a vote for someone who would be best for Richmond. That all changed today when I met Levar Stoney.
Living in the 3rd district we've been a hot bed for RVA Mayor activity. I could talk about this election for days, so I was more than happy to keep canvassers hostage on my porch as I spewed different scenarios about how the districts could shake out. Today, after a talk with Stoney canvasser and passionate good guy Brill, he invited us to a near by house to talk with Dorothy McAuliffe, Levar and other other supporters.
I don't always accept invitations from strangers to houses I don't know, but he had a Levar Stoney sticker on, so what could go wrong?
There, we got to hear Levar talk to his team of canvassers and newbies like us.
I got to witness his passion and energy first hand. It was inspiring.
I got to have my doubts and questions answered honestly.
I got to find a Mayoral candidate that I'm excited to cast my vote for on Tuesday. Once Jon dropped out I wasn't sure I was going to be able to find that.
I respect Jack Berry. I went to his picnic this weekend to learn more about him and meet his supporters. The difference in vibe and tone in the two events was staggering. I left Stoney's event educated and excited. My mind was racing about how even more amazing our city could be if we harnessed 25% of his ideas and energy. I left Berry's event feeling like "Well, I guess I could vote for him. He might beat Joe."
One reason it took me so long to come around to Levar was that I always thought that he was seizing on a political opportunity to be Mayor of Richmond rather than inspired by a passion for the City of Richmond. I was wrong with that assumption. He got impatient watching the citizens of Richmond be patient - with things like basic city services, schools, etc. (abridged from his own words today). It's time for a leader who isn't going to give us more of the same.
He has the passion for Richmond.
He has the leadership skills to make our city government respected again.
He has my vote.
"OMG, there's a bug!!" You reach for the closest junk mail catalog or newspaper you can find. You tightly roll it into a domestic a nightstick raising it over your head and *SMACK!!!!!*, you end the bugs life. What happens to his little gross bug soul? Maybe it moves onto the next world, but MAYBE it stays here on earth roaming the counters of your house.
Bugs Don't Have A Soul
Well, a dog doesn't have a soul either and we say they all go to heaven. They even get to move onto the afterlife by trotting their filthy paws over a rainbow bridge. What bridge do bugs get to cross after we wack them with a shoe? Their little bug souls get to cross the mildewed soggy basement bridge to meet their maker.Also, I've met humans who don't have a soul, so I don't think it's a ghost prerequisite.
Ghosts Have Unfinished Business
Bugs have some unfinished business too. The cricket has some unfinished sitting in your basement and scaring the daylights out of you to do. The ant has some unfinished melted popsicle on the sidewalk to eat. This unfinished business seems meaningless, but to those bugs it's their world.
The Rate We Will Kill Bugs
It make sense that bugs would want to haunt us. We kill hundreds a year. Millions a year if you're the guy from the Orkin commercial. The rate of these bug murders alone is enough to make a case for bugs wanting to haunt us. Then you throw in the vile way we dispose of them, and I know they haunt us. Rolled up papers, shoes, paper towels, the toilet flush, the hand smack, sticky traps, and more, all demonstrate are level of disrespect to the bug's life.There is no honor in these disposals.
Ghost bugs are real and are probably roaming your house right now. Their little bug souls are waiting for closure to their murder. "Why'd they do it!", they'lll ask as they zig zag their gross ghost bug bodies across the floor. It's easy to want to play god when you have a rolled up newspaper in your hand, but just know there could be consequences, GHOST BUGS.