The Big Mad: Shuttered Venues, Snow in Spring and the Greitens-Guilfoyle Hydra Monster

click to enlarge The worst is yet to come. - SCREENSHOT FROM THIS VIDEO
The worst is yet to come.

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:

See no evil: Missouri House Rep. Rick Roeber tried to get away, tendering his resignation days before the House Ethics Committee released its report on allegations that the legislator abused his young children more than two decades ago — and in response, Missouri’s GOP lawmakers did what they should have done seven months ago: They said, to paraphrase, “No,” and joined with House Democrats to vote 153-0 to reject Roeber’s resignation and his attempt to avoid a public reckoning with his past. On Monday, the House Ethics Committee released its report on Roeber, finding the testimony of his four children and former wife credible. The report detailed the many, many ways that previous attempts to stop reports of abuse were ignored. In one example, the report noted how in 2001 Missouri’s Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board affirmed the abuse claims disclosed by one of his children, placing Roeber on a registry — only to reverse that decision two years later when Roeber was seeking a position at a local church “that would involve work with children.” Only when Roeber attempted to run for a Missouri House seat in a district near Kansas City did the allegations resurface through his now-adult children, who described the abuse to the Kansas City Star in September. Yet, in the November election just one month later, voters ignored the evidence before their eyes and elected Roeber to represent them as a public official. The GOP stood by and let him run — but when he won, the Republicans finally got the message: They blocked Roeber from joining the party caucus and launched the ethics investigation that concluded this week. Now, the House is recommending Roeber be expelled from his position and has referred the case to the Jackson County prosecutor for potential criminal charges. It’s better late than never — but someone like Roeber should never have been there to begin with. For his victims, we can only hope for healing. For Missouri and its voters, we only feel shame.

Let the music play: The vaccine is here and the promise of a new world is on the way, but how much longer can our local venues be expected to hang on without heaps of assistance? We’re more than a year into this thing, but venues across the country are still shuttering each week. Many local venues applying for aid were left out in the cold when the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal crashed earlier this month, with the Sheldon Arts Foundation, the Pageant and the Muny all encountering problems when they tried to apply. As a country, we’ve already lost so much, and we’re on the verge of losing even more — can these fools who run the websites get them running properly already? Entire regional musical ecosystems are hanging by a thread here, people. Get it together.

The best is yet to come: Jesus Christ, this is going to be an even stupider campaign season than we thought. Eric Greitens (official title: disgraced ex-Governor Eric Greitens) announced on Monday he’d hired Kimberly Guilfoyle as the national campaign director for his Missouri campaign to replace U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. Guilfoyle is an ex-prosecutor, ex-half of a Democratic power couple with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (her ex-husband), ex-Fox News host and ex-fundraiser for ex-President Donald Trump’s failed campaign. If you tuned into the Republican National Convention to see how bad St. Louis’ Mark and Patricia McCloskey would embarrass us, you might feel a bit of gratitude to Guilfoyle for distracting everyone with the craziest shout-speech imaginable. Guilfoyle bellowing “The best is yet to come!” with arms outstretched as if calling down demons in a B-horror movie pretty much stole the show. But now that Greitens has hired Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend for his campaign we’re not only going to have to hear more shout-speeches, but we’ll have to watch every other Republican candidate try even harder to show they love Trump more than Greitens. Attorney General Eric Schmitt is going to have to get a freaking Trump tattoo on his face. It’s going to be so stupid. So loud, and so very, very stupid.

Snow?! Seriously? Snow? White cold bullshit falling from the sky in the middle of April? A high pollen count and I gotta wear a coat? What the hell is this shit, even? With COVID numbers falling and the world opening up in tandem with the bloom of spring, it really felt like we were turning a corner, but watching the flakes fall now just brings unpleasant flashbacks to the recent Winter of Our Discontent. No more fucking snow, please. Haven’t we suffered enough?
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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 @rftmusic.
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