Hagan Blount

PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // July 19, 2019

Hagan Blount
PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // July 19, 2019

On Elizabeth Warren, Continuing to Persist

Thank you, Elizabeth Warren. Thanks for standing up to the revolving-door policies that have continued to dump money into the military-industrial complex. Thanks for calling BS on this career door-revolver that claims that they’ll do right by the American people and not all of their friends at Raytheon. The guy walked in asking straight-up for “an exception to an ethics obligation” in order to further enrich the company he previously worked for. And don’t think that Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics didn’t want their lobbyists in this position… the last guy up for the job was a Boeing exec. A non-military secretary of defense. SWAMP. DRAINED.

On Questioning Cats

The trailer for the big screen remake of Cats inspired a huge portion of the internet to promptly lose their minds this week. It’s pretty wild. We can’t get mad about Jennifer Hudson singing Memory as a Snapchat-filtered cat. While we have no way of tracking it, we do wonder if a YouTube video on record has ever generated so many question marks. What do you want to know in advance of December’s release? Will you see it?

On How Lavar Ball was Right

You need to understand that Lavar Ball is a positive force for the underprivileged and disenfranchised. Sure, you haven’t seen any news about him recently, his son in the NBA was just traded, his shady business partner stole a bunch of money from his shoe brand, and the shoe brand never really gained traction. None of this matters. What matters is that instead of giving Nike or Adidas or Reebok a ton of money, he wanted to help his sons own their brand. What matters is that he forced the NBA to pay the thousands of young black men who use their bodies to drive billions of dollars in ticket, merch, and ad sales. Lavar Ball is a social justice warrior, and we mean that to praise him. If you think he’s dumb, a boor, or a bad businessman and you decide not to watch this video, you’ve missed the point.

On Relocating the USDA

This is how an authoritarian government destroys oversight. First, the government makes it about people “unwilling” to work for an agency. The next step is not hiring people for the positions after you make “good faith efforts.” Do you think the reason why this administration has a record number of unfilled positions is because they’re inept? Sure, you might say the administration is completely inept, but if the goal is zero oversight, the easiest way to get it is by not staffing positions associated with oversight. No one is working these posts is because that’s the goal. “Smaller government is better government,” according to the right wing, and no one working at all is better than someone working to put reins on American businesses. Could we, as Californians, do with a few fewer restrictive and overreaching laws that are supposed to be the ones to save us all from harm? Absolutely. Do we still want to know we’re not going to get E. coli the next time we go to the supermarket? Also, absolutely.

On Byron Bay’s Surfer Mumfluencers

What initially looks like a long-winded celebration of tan, nude beach babies and blonde moms in wrinkly linen actually turned out to be an interesting commentary on the newish career track of influencer. Half of PlaceInvaders spent about a month in Byron many, many years ago, and while its beautiful beaches and hipsterish coffee shops were there then, this concept of a community populated with relatively new implants who have too many babies and “authentic” independent brands to promote isn’t familiar. If you are for some reason seeking a rabbithole to pop down for a peek at well-filtered, oversaturated photography of simple, perfect, easy lives, this article and its many links to Instagram profiles is for you. We’re glad to see the writer and some members of the “community” question how authentic it all really is, and what impact these brand-sponsored existences have on their followers.