DNA Lounge: Wherein the "Save Our Stages Act" gets some traction

Rolling Stone says:

The "Save Our Stages" act would ensure that relief funds only go to small, independent venue operators, promoters and talent reps. The grant amounts would be the lesser of either 45% of a business' operation costs from 2019 or $12 million. Those that receive grants would be able to use the money to cover costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pay for rent, utilities, mortgages, personal protective equipment, maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, and expenses that would allow venues to meet local and federal social distancing guidelines. [...]

In a statement, the National Independent Venue Association hailed the "Save Our Stages" act. "While existing government assistance programs have helped other industries, they weren't tailored to meet the needs of small businesses like ours that have zero revenue, enormous overhead and no visibility into when we can fully re-open," said Adam Hartke, the co-chair of the organization's advocacy committee. "The Save Our Stages Act will provide the assistance we need to get through the shutdown until we can reopen safely and once again become the economic generators for our communities that we've always been."

That sounds pretty good. Let's hope this goes through, and it doesn't end up getting gamed like the Payroll Protection Program was, where a fund intended for small businesses got gobbled up by national and multinational chains instead.

There's only one way for there to still be a bar and nightclub industry once the pandemic is over, and that's press pause on the whole industry until it's safe for us to re-open. But it's not "pressing pause" if we have no income but still have expenses.

The Kleptocracy keeps trying and failing to figure out how to reopen businesses that can't be open during a plague. The only way to end this is to pay those businesses, and everyone else, to not work until the plague is over. There is no other solution.

Just think: if nine out of ten people had worn masks in April, we might be on our way out of this by now, instead of sinking deeper and deeper in.

[In the meantime, please enjoy our webcasts: coming up tonight we've got Star Crash with exclusive live performances; tomorrow we have Turbo Drive DJs live from our main stage; and next Wednesday, Apothecary Raree, featuring live burlesque and performances from Above DNA!

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Tired of being a bird?

Pablo Rochat:

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Puzzle Folders


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Performative Authoritarianism

Although the administration's behavior makes no sense as law enforcement, it makes perfect sense as a new kind of campaign tactic.

Welcome to the world of performative authoritarianism, a form of politics that reached new heights of sophistication in Russia over the past decade and has now arrived in the United States. Unlike 20th-century authoritarianism, this 21st-century, postmodern influence campaign does not require the creation of a total police state. Nor does it require complete control of information, or mass arrests. It can be carried out, instead, with a few media outlets and a few carefully targeted arrests. [...]

But even if the courts eventually force the troops in jungle camouflage off the streets, the president who sent them there -- and who is now threatening to send similar troops to other cities -- might not care. That's because the purpose of these troops is not to bring peace to Portland. The purpose is to transmit a message. Americans should find this tactic familiar, because we've seen it before. When the Trump administration cruelly separated children from their families at the southern border, that was, among other things, a performance designed to show the public just how much the president dislikes immigrants from Mexico and Honduras. The attack on demonstrators in Portland is like that: a performance designed to show just how much Trump dislikes "liberal" Americans, "urban" Americans, "Democrat" Americans. To put it differently (and to echo my colleague Adam Serwer): The chaos in Portland is not an accident. The chaos is the point.

The chaos is also a tactic, and now it will be put to use. Now that it has been deliberately escalated, the violence will provide pictures, footage, video clips, and other material for Trump's media supporters, and eventually for his campaign advertisements. On Fox News, Sean Hannity has already denounced Portland as a "war zone." Tucker Carlson has spoken of protesters as "mobs" who keep liberal Democrats in power. The next stage will implicate Joe Biden in this same story: The president's aides have told journalists that Biden, if he wins, will "allow left-wing fascists to destroy America." Protesters, mobs, chaos, fascists, the left, the "Dems", Biden -- they're all one narrative. The Trump administration will show people pictures of its uniformed troops pushing back against them, restoring order with a strong hand. And it will use the kind of language that appeals to that part of the population that prizes safety over all else.

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