Russia has reached negative levels of self-awareness. https://t.co/qFvSnsHN7Y
— Slava Malamud ???? (@SlavaMalamud) May 1, 2022
A raging crowd, their high-voltage idol, then disaster. Revelers describe the moments when Travis Scott's Astroworld festival turned into a deadly wave of humanity. https://t.co/FyiurEehh5 pic.twitter.com/44RSOK6WJz
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 12, 2021
There’s always a point, in hindsight, where a tragedy seems both predictable and preventable. Fifty thousand mostly under-30 participants, at a poorly structured general-admission venue, after almost two years of social isolation, with a headliner notorious for calling his fans ‘ragers’ and encouraging them to rush the stage… well, if it had only turned out to be a coronavirus superspreader event…
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) November 12, 2021
… Keeping people in enormous venues safe is a combination of designing a space’s pedestrian flow and monitoring the crowd’s dynamics — priorities that may have been pushed aside in Astroworld’s planning. The biggest issue is keeping the crowd divided into sections and ensuring that each section allows enough space for people to stay on their feet, says Keith Still, a crowd-science expert who consults with organizers on large events. Still spent ten years working with the Saudi government to prevent fatalities during what might be the largest gathering on earth, the hajj, when 2 million pilgrims make their way to several sites across Mecca and Mina… Although the predictable paths of an annual pilgrimage seem somewhat easier to plan for than a raucous concert, the principles are similar, says Still, particularly when you are able to analyze the history of the performer and the venue: “You still need to match the design to an understanding of the size of the crowd and to accommodate demand, which inadvertently creates pressure points.”
That might require a deeper examination of the changing tastes of festival attendees. Music festivals have long marketed themselves as counterculture utopias, except now the allure comes not from TV coverage or documentaries but the images generated by the crowd itself, says Gina Arnold, a professor at the University of San Francisco and author of Half a Million Strong: Crowds and Power From Woodstock to Coachella. “Young people are still thinking of attending festivals as important,” she says. “Now, however, what they care about is not so much the music but showing that they were there.” Some experts have blamed the Astroworld tragedy on the yearning to return to public life after a year of pandemic lockdowns; the urge to get up close and get it all uploaded to TikTok. But festivals have always attracted a very particular crowd, says Arnold, as they’re generally attended by people who have already accepted a certain level of risk. “These are 50,000 people who are risk-takers,” she says. “You wouldn’t buy a ticket, especially during a pandemic, if you weren’t okay with risk.” To Astroworld’s attendees, Arnold says, the potential for chaos, behavior that Scott had encouraged in previous shows, is actually extremely good marketing. But the balance between spectacle and safety is also making festivals more precarious to produce, says Arnold…
There is currently a large crowd of what appears to be QAnon believers at the AT&T Discovery Plaza in downtown Dallas. A popular QAnon theory recently is that JFK Jr. of the Kennedy family will be making a big announcement at Dealey Plaza by the grassy knoll sometime tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/8L0Lw09wH7
— steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) November 2, 2021
There’s a good chunk of our fellow Americans who just can’t cope with
This is shaping up to be amazing, they're honestly gathering to watch the prophecy be fulfilled just like the Millerites or the Dami Mission believers.https://t.co/fmB5IkwQxg
— Feminist Proper Gander (@dappergander) November 2, 2021
12 minutes until the big reveal pic.twitter.com/poTaNBS5gp
— steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) November 2, 2021
It's now past 12:29. At 12:29, the crowd recited the Pledge if Allegiance. No JFK Jr. yet. pic.twitter.com/CskJ5oAxNE
— steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) November 2, 2021
QAnon people in Dallas who have been waiting all morning for JFK Jr. to make his miraculous appearance are calling local reporters “Fake News.” pic.twitter.com/mjRZAUbblU
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) November 2, 2021
i would have a hearty chuckle if these people weren’t a legitimate threat to the overall well-being of the nation. https://t.co/lYiLvIpunx
— World Famous Art Thief (@CalmSporting) November 2, 2021
JFK Jr. and the other dead celebrities failed to show in Dallas. But the QAnon crew has moved on, and now believes they'll make an appearance at the Dallas Rolling Stones concert tonight. "Rolling Stones? Rolling away the stone!" says one.
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 2, 2021
The JFK Jr. Q rally is over. Resurrection delayed due to rain.
I've followed this for years, and it's jarring how pathetic this was. These people want all the dead celebrities from their childhoods back, so they pretended to see them in real life today. It's childlike coping.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 2, 2021
Around 4,600 distraught subscribers to QAnon influencer Negative48's Telegram channel are currently discussing why JFK Jr didn't show up in Dallas.
"I'm sad for everybody. We now look like a bunch of liars. but let's keep the faith," says one, as another leads a gorup prayer. pic.twitter.com/8ZjbxaF8sq
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) November 2, 2021
If JFK came back from the dead and appointed Trump president, that would…not actually have any legal force. https://t.co/ogYlYiURHq
— Jeff Fecke (@jkfecke) November 1, 2021
Why Democrats may defy history and win the 2022 midterms https://t.co/MyF1f9tVwO
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) June 6, 2021
… This week’s special election in New Mexico’s 1st congressional district is part of a larger trend that shows us that if President Joe Biden remains as popular as he is now, Democrats have a fighting chance to maintain House control…
Democrats seem to be doing 2 points to 5 points better than you’d expect in a neutral political environment, depending on whether you look at all special elections involving at least one Democrat and Republican or those taking place with only one Democrat and one Republican.
This 2 to 5 point Democratic advantage matches pretty much what we saw in the national congressional generic ballot. It is also pretty much identical to the results we witnessed in last year’s election. Biden won by 4.5 points nationally, and Democrats were victorious in the national House vote by about 3 points.
The common thread through these special elections is that Biden is popular. His approval rating has been north of 50% throughout his entire presidency. When we limit ourselves to only polling that asked voters (i.e. not all adults), Biden’s approval rating is still above 50%.
Presidential approval ratings aren’t all that matter during midterm elections — but they do matter…
So, of course, our ‘progressive’ social-media betters decide this is the time to start wailing that the smudge on the horizon is absolutely an iceberg, and all we can do is give up and resign ourselves to electoral death. Gosh, is it silly season already?
Well done pic.twitter.com/myXczpkNmt
— Bruce Anderson (@bruceanderson) May 22, 2021
Capitalism finds a way. pic.twitter.com/4DQuYN9CuY
— Alec Stapp (@AlecStapp) May 30, 2021
Per the Washington Post:
This spring, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an executive order forbidding businesses from making their patrons prove that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. He also signed into law a bill to give the ban more teeth, threatening violators with fines in the thousands of dollars.
One Florida concert promoter thinks he has a workaround: offer $18 tickets to anyone who is vaccinated and charge $999.99 for everyone else.
“I’m not denying entry to anyone,” said Paul Williams. “I’m just offering a discount.”…
Williams said he figured his tactics were safe — the executive order carries limited penalties, and the new law does not go into effect until shortly after his small punk rock event planned for June 26 in St. Petersburg. But he said he was unprepared for the vitriol that followed: The anti-vaccination Facebook messages, the sudden spam calls, the misspelled email that warned the band their next show could be their “last” and said: “You’re fans are going to kill you.”…
The backlash around a modest event for a couple hundred people underscores the deep divisions over what the United States’ return to normal should look like amid lingering resistance to vaccination. As the rate of shots slow, public health officials have warned that the country may not reach the oft-repeated goal of “herd immunity” against a virus that has killed nearly 600,000 people in the United States and slowed the economy. But some states including Florida have sought to limit businesses’ ability to check vaccinations after a year of coronavirus restrictions becoming politicized…
Miguel Chen, the bassist for Teenage Bottlerocket, said in an interview that his group was eager to get back out after canceling international tour plans during the pandemic — a devastating time for many in the music scene. Chen said the band’s most recent show was in March 2020….
“When we first heard it, we thought it was a joke,” Chen said. But band members had gotten their shots as soon as possible, he said, eager to protect their families and resume playing. They agreed that if Williams thought this was “the best way to safely throw a party in his town, then we back him and we support it,” Chen recalled.
Hailing from Texas — another Republican-led state where covid-19 restrictions have drawn pushback — Chen said he’s familiar with the divisions over vaccination and wants to respect people’s views.
But “I never in my life thought I’d be in a place where I’m getting threatened for trying to play music and spread joy,” he said…
Like, what are the chances DeSantis or any of his butthurt cohort would attend a ‘small punk rock event’, even if the promoters were paying *them*?
crypto: scratch-off lotto tickets but as currency https://t.co/brQJl6c1ho
— kilgore trout, junky horse (@KT_So_It_Goes) May 19, 2021
… Which I can regard as an early-morning soft target, because I Do Not Understand Finance, and also the only acquaintances I suspect might have any coin in this game are, to be honest, would-be sharpies who mostly get shorn…
The value of more than 7,000 crypto tokens tracked by CoinGecko sinks more than $600 billion in the past week to $1.9 trillion https://t.co/rNrZqXtZVe
— Bloomberg (@business) May 19, 2021
Some U.S. border patrol agents are so frustrated with Biden’s border policies that they are considering early retirement, while other disgruntled agents are buying unofficial coins that say “U.S. Welcome Patrol.” W/ @kristinacooke and @micarosenberg:https://t.co/CkG0m0cqJc
— Ted Hesson (@tedhesson) May 14, 2021
Maybe it’s just me, but having the most authoritarian-crazed, anti-migrant individuals remove themselves from the Border Patrol sounds like a *good* thing?
… Interviews with a dozen current and former agents highlight growing dissatisfaction among some rank and file members of the agency over Biden’s swift reversal of some of former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies. Since Biden took office, border apprehensions have risen sharply.
Some of that frustration is coalescing into opposition to Biden’s pick to lead the border patrol’s parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The nominee is Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, who still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The discontent was partly reflected in an unusual memo from the acting Border Patrol chief last month, who objected to a new directive to stop using the term ‘alien’ when referring to migrants, saying it would hurt agents’ morale.
The interviews provide an anecdotal snapshot of the mood within border patrol and, as such, do not represent the views of all agents. One agent who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity said “there are always going to be changes” between presidential administrations and that agents are “used to it.”
But any internal strife could complicate plans Magnus may have to implement and reshape border and asylum policy. Criticism from even a small number of agents could also bolster Republican efforts to use concerns over illegal immigration to rally supporters ahead of the 2022 congressional elections…