The Big Mad: Cold Comfort, a Seal of Improval and Missouri Shows Off its Manhood

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Clay County Rep. Doug Richey, left: the very picture of manliness. - TIM BOMMEL/MISSOURI HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS
  • Clay County Rep. Doug Richey, left: the very picture of manliness.

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

Winter Surprise: Every year, it gets really cold here. It happens with such regularity that we have given it a name: winter. It’s pretty hard for humans to live outside in the winter. People freeze to death. All this is well established, and yet, it seems to surprise city officials every year. We wrote before Christmas about the lack of shelter beds, even as the city sits on millions and millions of American Rescue Plan dollars to deal with such problems. Last week, St. Louis Public Radio picked up the issue and reported the lack of shelter beds, even as the city sits on millions and millions of American Rescue Plan dollars. We’re told negotiations for a safe haven are in the works, and thankfully, City of Hope St. Louis was able to partner with the city to open 65 overflow beds at Asbury United Methodist Church and the Cherokee rec center. But why does this have to be such a haphazard scramble each year? Maybe St. Louis can spare a dollar from those millions and buy a calendar?

Save the Seal: For one sweet moment, everything was beautiful. Some two years into this waking nightmare we now call “life,” a Twitter user who goes by the handle @SethOvKnives brought to the attention of the entire internet the graphic design monstrosity that St. Francois County has been using as its official seal for the last few years, an Ariel font-riddled pile of clip art so laughably bad that, for a brief second, we were all united in joy and ridicule. But, as the great poet Robert Frost once opined, nothing gold can stay. Within a week, the chastened county officials decided they’d had enough of the pile-on, with Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher, the mastermind behind the seal, announcing that a redesign contest will be organized in the coming weeks. To this we say: Why? Why must we destroy a work that has brought happiness to so many? Why can’t we have one good (and by good we mean bad, so very bad) thing? It is so rare to find the kind of unity that godawful mess of a design brought forth – can’t we just keep it? Sure, maybe it’s tiresome to have the entirety of the internet mercilessly making fun of you, but as we all know, an artist must sacrifice for their work – and you, Commissioner Gallaher, are an artist. It’s time to start acting like one. Defend your art. Save the seal. We need this, man, we really do.

Report This: Good news, St. Louis! The honorable Republicans state senators of Missouri have heard of our struggles, and they’re here to help us like a hole in the head. Their assistance arrived in a December 31 report issued by the Interim Committee on Greater St. Louis Regional Emerging Issues, which details various meetings between the board members and various elected leaders around St. Louis. That local input, however, was dutifully ignored in the report’s conclusion, which blithely accuses St. Louis' leaders of doing nothing about crime because (checks notes) "ideological, political, and cultural diversity” are getting in the way. Ah, yes, cultural diversity, the thing that’s keeping crime victims too scared to come forward and racist cops too racist to testify in cases. Granted, the report never precisely defines what it means by “diversity,” as in its contention that “the intense diversity” between the city and county “prevents basic levels of cooperation” in stopping crime. Is it a dog whistle or just laziness? The committee just didn't care, and instead went with a strategy of negging St. Louis with the lightest possible burns. Oh no, you don't say, is St. Louis “only a regional leader from its own viewpoint,” and lacks “political will?” Oh, have mercy! You wound us! No wonder the Democratic committee members refused to sign the report. They know bullshit when they see it — and we can smell it from St. Louis.

Man Up: Whereas, Clay County Rep. Doug Richey’s 2021 House Resolution encouraging the young men of Missouri to engage in some stupid shit called the "Missouri Manhood challenge" got stuck in committee and amounted to nothing; and whereas, Republicans seem to be really pathologically obsessed with the masculine qualities of manly men lately; and whereas, a real manly man never, ever quits: Now therefore be it resolved that Richey has introduced the exact same dumb meaningless resolution again this year. Like, exactly the same. If we didn’t know any better we might think all of this state’s problems were solved long ago, what with the way these lawmakers spend their time. Hey Richey, why don’t you man up and do some actual work for a change?
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