The Big Mad: Anti-Vaxxers, Mystery Meat and a McCloskey Guns for a Senate Seat

I mean, it's not like he's not qualified to run. He does have a gun, after all. - THEO WELLING
I mean, it's not like he's not qualified to run. He does have a gun, after all.

Welcome back to the Big Mad, RFT’s weekly roundup of righteous rage! Because we know your time is short and your anger is white hot:

Anti-vax propaganda moves offline: As if it wasn’t already hard enough to keep dangerous online anti-vaccine propaganda away from the more, er, let’s say “influenceable” people in our society, now some asshole is just leaving it on our porches, too. As reported by KMOV, some folks living near the Grand Center area recently had a bag of (figurative) bullshit — or, as the recipient termed it, “Just a disappointing bag of conspiracy theories and misleading information, fearmongering to pass out to a bunch of people” — left right at their front door. Within a brown paper bag was a small package that included anti-vaccine propaganda, a DVD titled Vaccine Nation: Hidden Truth and, oddly, a guide to going vegan. It’s bad enough that we all have to hear misinformed, ignorant preaching from every moron at every angle online, but now we can’t even open our own front doors without someone forcing their stupid pseudoscience views on us. And it’s unfair to local vegans, too, who will get a bad reputation in Grand Center and beyond just because some tin foil hat crackpot sees danger everywhere and can’t keep it between themselves and their mental health provider. Get off my lawn.

Gunning for a seat: Mark McCloskey, having seen the abysmal state of modern American conservatism and national Republican politics up close and personal at the hellscape that was last year’s Republican National Convention, has evidently decided that he’s got just the self-obsessed pathology it takes to throw his AR-15 into the ring. As reported by Politico, McCloskey is eyeballing the Senate seat that will be left open when Sen. Roy Blunt retires in 2022, and though he says he has no particular timeline for making a decision about running, he says, "I can confirm that it’s a consideration, yes." This, naturally, sets us up for the wildest, most gun-filled campaign season imaginable, as McCloskey and disgraced former governor Eric Greitens compete in a campaign-spot arms-race to see who can blast their way into Missouri voters’ hearts (all while Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who has also announced he’s running, attempts to serve Xi Jinping with a restraining order on behalf of Missouri, probably). It’s gonna be stupid, it’s gonna be exhausting, and when the gunsmoke clears, sane Missourians are going to wonder just how the fuck Roy Blunt of all people suddenly looks like the adult in the room.

Unlocking the truth: Well, well, well. It turns out St. Louis’ jails might be pretty terrible after all. For years, city officials peddled the idea that the Workhouse was no longer the hell hole of old and the City Justice Center was an expertly run facility. All those detainees literally screaming out of the windows for relief? Attention-seekers who didn’t like being locked up. But on Saturday, Mayor Tishaura Jones, Congresswoman Cori Bush and a cadre of officials and activists toured the jails. And now the reviews are in. “Abhorrent would be an understatement,” says Jones. “Absolutely disgusting,” says Bush. The group inspected cells, took photos of mold and spoke with detainees, some of whom were maced during uprisings earlier this year and were still wearing the same clothes months later. Men in the jails described being served meat they couldn’t identify and waiting month after month for their cases to come up, because the average stay is nearly a year. The complaints have been consistent for years, and the indignant denials from city officials have gone on for just as long. Someone was lying, but it's not the ones eating mystery meat tonight.

Heart of the matter: In March, a Missouri dad appealed to the humanity of state representatives pushing anti-trans legislation. Brandon Boulware testified about the years he and his wife spent forcing their trans daughter to dress and act like a boy. “My child was miserable,” Boulware said. “I cannot overstate that. She was absolutely miserable, especially at school. ... I can honestly say this — I had a child who did not smile.” If you’re a human being who feels anything for the little human beings victimized by political battles they can’t control, you might have felt something listening to Boulware. But trans kids have become red meat for Republicans scrambling to scare and infuriate their base into loyalty. They rehearsed their trans attack with bathroom bills and now hope to ban kids from playing sports. And while they create make-believe nightmares of ruined athletics, they ignore the documented crisis of suicide by the kids they ostracize for political theater. Unsurprisingly, they ignored Boulware’s testimony about the “immediate” improvement in his daughter’s life when he finally accepted her. “As a parent, the one thing we cannot do, the one thing, is silence our child’s spirit.” Last week, a majority of House Republicans voted for the kind of anti-trans legislation Boulware spoke against. It turns out, appealing for the preservation of spirit has little effect on people who’ve sold their souls.
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About The Authors

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill is editor at large for the Riverfront Times and he demands to be taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. Follow him on Twitter at @editorfatlarge.
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