1618 WEST SEAFOOD GRILL P. 6
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
January 13-19, 2021 YES! WEEKLY
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January 13-19, 2021
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JANUARY 13-19, 2021 VOLUME 17, NUMBER 2
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Armed with his “Make America Gay Again, Bitch!” battle cry, Queer rapper BRYCE QUARTZ is ready to shine with his latest release, “American Queer Vol. 3: Third Times a Charm,” dropping on March 1.
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The events of last year took almost everyone by surprise; however, one astrologer YES! Weekly had previously interviewed, wasn’t so shocked. So, to better prepare for the rest of the year, Essential Zodiac’s Cindi McNulty tells YES! Weekly WHAT IS TO COME IN 2021. (Note: YES! Weekly is aware that astrology cannot be presented as scientific fact, and we are not promoting it as such.) 5 In the days ahead, pundits and prosecutors will be consumed with assigning blame for the CAPITOL, and there will be plenty of it to go around. 6 Since opening in 2004, 1618 WEST SEAFOOD GRILLE has established itself as one of the Triad’s premier restaurants, helmed from the beginning by management-partner Nick Wilson and chef-partner George Neal. 7 Malcolm X. Muhammad Ali. Jim Brown. Sam Cooke. These are the iconic figures portrayed in ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, the screen version of executive producer Kemp Powers’s play, which he adapted himself.
On Thursday morning, Allison Baynes Key, owner of a Greensboro-based online thrift store, made a public post on her Facebook page. Key’s post included a smiling selfie of herself and a bearded white man standing in front of the CAPITOL BUILDING. In the background, the mob can be seen swarming up the steps, bearing TRUMP signs and banners. 13 As previously reported, GWYNNE FURCHES and Jessa Furches were involved in five crashes between 2015 and 2019. According to police reports, Jessa Furches was the driver in three of those five crashes; with Gwynne Furches as the driver in the other two. In at least four of those collisions, the other sister was in the car. 14 FCPARC is composed of Hate Out of Winston, Triad Abolition Project, WinstonSalem Democratic Socialists of America, Forsyth County Community Bail Fund, Drum Majors Alliance and NCSPAN that seeks to REALLOCATE FUNDING from the Winston-Salem Police Department’s $78 million budget.
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What’s to come in 2021? Local astrologer looks to the stars for answers
rom President Trump’s speech that led to Wednesday’s Capitol building takeover to wild rumors circulating about Jeffree Starr and Kanye West— in keeping with the consistency of 2020, 2021 has certainly gotten off to a chaotic start in the United States. The events of last year took almost Katie Murawski everyone by surprise; however, one astrologer YES! Weekly had Contributor previously interviewed, wasn’t so shocked. So, to better prepare for the rest of the year, Essential Zodiac’s Cindi McNulty tells YES! Weekly what is to come in 2021. (Note: YES! Weekly is aware that astrology cannot be presented as scientific fact, and we are not promoting it as such.) McNulty is an astrologer of 16 years whose sun sign is in Leo. In a phone interview on New Year’s Day, she said that the year 2020 was a “game-changer,” with the major planetary configuration being the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Dec. 21, 2020— however, there is nothing like that happening in 2021. “The way the stars are aligning, and the astrological signs that the planets are in, are not volatile energy— where the way they were configured in 2020, had more chaos, mayhem than we would have liked,” McNulty said. “If I have to summarize what 2021 is going to be, you have to take care of the here and now, but you also have to have an eye on the future.” She said the chaotic energy that 2020 wrought was a “necessary evil.” “Everything got broken apart, and now, everything needs to be put together and workable,” she said. “The things that individually, and as a society, that we kind of pushed to the side, fixed it with duct tape, and hoped for the best— that came right out into the sunshine in 2020. It had been building up— dangerous fringe groups, institutional racism, all of that— and we can’t hide from it anymore. While it was rough it was supposed to break it down, and then we build it back up and make it better, not the same.” McNulty described the astrological energy of 2021 as being in the fixed-air sign of Aquarius. “Aquarius is the water bearer (which confuses everyone because it is an air sign) and is ruled by Uranus, and that energy causes change,” she said. “Aquarius is also very interested in the humanitarian side of things; it is not a selfish energy; it is a very open, we-all-need-towork-together kind of energy. It is not quite the same as Libra energy, which is about balance. Aquarius doesn’t necessarily care about balance. This is a big shift because, for the last 200 years, everything has been in Earth signs.” McNulty said Earth signs (Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus) build-up structure and foundation— however, 2020 was the breaking point of those structures. YES! WEEKLY
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Astrologer Cindi McNulty “So, here comes Aquarius in Jupiter (our planet of abundance) and Saturn (our planet of limits), they are working in tandem,” she said. “Jupiter and Aquarius is really good energy for anyone who may be massage therapists, reiki masters, acupuncturists— because Aquarius thinks outside the box, they are very innovative.” McNulty said that Jupiter working in tandem with Saturn in Aquarius means Jupiter’s expansion energy will be formed and made workable by Saturn’s energy. “To give you some context, the last time Saturn and Jupiter were in Aquarius was back in 1405, which was the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance,” McNulty said. “The universe is on our side now, and it is giving us this energy to work with.” McNulty noted three important astrological events of 2021 that have the energy of starting a new age. “There are three squares between Saturn and Uranus, and to give you context here, the last time we had that kind of square was from 1999-2000— Y2K and the big dot com bubble, etc.— we won’t see this configuration again until 2043. What happens is, this square (Saturn
in Aquarius, Uranus in Taurus) is a dramatic change, and we have been gearing up for a very different way of living.” In other words, social distancing and consumer selfsufficiency aren’t going to end anytime soon; however, she said that Aquarius “is all about finding a better way of doing things.” “Everybody has been traumatized not only the last four years but last year. But now, we are going to get the energy that we need to help ourselves and put it all back together,” she said. “It will be a re-evaluation of how we communicate.” Each Mercury in retrogrades will last three weeks: the first on Jan. 30, the second on May 29, and the third on Sept. 26. “We need to evaluate where we are going with things, and if one part of your life is going well, don’t mess with that— maintain it, but look to another part of your life that isn’t working so well,” she said. “I am cautiously optimistic. As we move to 2022, I think we are all going to be feeling a lot better— mentally and physically— if we do the work, we will get the rewards.” Politically, McNulty said that President Trump has opened Pandora’s Box and “let out a whole bunch of craziness.” “Depending on which side of the political aisle you are, 2020 was a very stressful year. And if you are in a marginalized class of people, who he takes a disliking to, it’s been a miserable four years,” she added. “We are getting a new administration, who are intelligent adults, and they are going to put in place intelligent people in their cabinet, people who actually know the role they are going to need to play— it’s not going to be all of this cronyism.” Financially, McNulty said that Uranus is in Taurus, an Earth sign ruled by Venus, which is concerned with money. “I think this year people should be a bit cautious because Uranus can sometimes go off the rails,” she said. “Even with steady Taurus trying to hold on. I would talk to a financial advisor; maybe this year, make your portfolio less risky, have a few high-yields, but be a bit more cautious. The stock market always fluctuates when there is a new presidential administration anyway.” McNulty noted that in mid-December of this year, Venus would be in retrograde— so folks can expect some financial setbacks right before Christmas. “There might be upheaval at the end of the year, but not to the extent that we have been facing,” she said. She said cooperation is key because this needs to be the year a new foundation is set. “There has been so much division, and we are more divided now than ever,” she said. “We as a people are not going to be able to do this alone anymore; we can’t isolate. ! KATIE MURAWSKI is the former editor-in-chief of YES! Weekly. Her alter egos include The Grimberlyn Reaper, skater/public relations’ board chair for Greensboro Roller Derby, and Roy Fahrenheit, drag entertainer and self-proclaimed King of Glamp.
our years ago, Hillary Clinton made a statement that backfired on her. While enjoying a comfortable lead in the polls, she showed disdain for Jim Longworth Trump supporters by referring to them as “Deplorables.” Not Longworth surprisingly, that slur at Large served to motivate millions of folks to show up on Election Day and vote against her. At the time, many of us thought it was unfair for Hillary to stereotype all of Trump’s followers in that way. But that was then, and this is now. Following last week’s insurrection and assault on the nation’s Capitol, we must now conclude that Hillary had it right all along. The Trump followers who stormed, then vandalized the Capitol and caused the death of at least five people, are, at the very least, deplorable. More than that, they are murderers. They weren’t protesters, they were rioters. They weren’t activists, they were lawbreakers. They weren’t patriots, they were insurrectionists. And guess who made them that way? Guess who told them to march on the Capitol? Guess who told them that their country had been stolen from them and that they should help him overturn the election? None other than their hero, Donald J. Trump - leader of their cult. Like Pavlov, who made his animals adhere to his will by having them salivate over food, Trump controlled his deplorables by having them salivate over lies. The more lies he told them about a “stolen” election, the more his followers salivated. Every time he tweeted, they responded. If he said, “march and disrupt”, they obeyed. Then, after Joe Biden admonished the President to call off his dogs, Trump tweeted a message for them to stand down and go home, and they did. But in that tweet, Trump also wrote, “We love you. You’re very special.” This is the same man who praised the Charlottesville Nazis as “some very fine people.” In the days ahead, pundits and prosecutors will be consumed with assigning blame for the Capitol riot, and there will be plenty of it to go around. Trump is to blame for what happened last week because he is the one who fomented the insurrection. The deplorables are also to blame for blindly following their leader. WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
Others share the blame too like Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. Those two clowns kept Trump’s base fired up by continuing to lie about voter fraud, thus giving the mob reason to believe that they could help overturn the election by disrupting a joint session of Congress. Finally, EVERYONE who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 is partly to blame for what transpired last week. They knew of his boorish, erratic, and mean-spirited behavior from the get-go, but excused those dangerous qualities as harmless eccentricities. It shouldn’t have taken a violent siege to make them realize that they had backed an egocentric maniac. So what now? First thing’s first, the FBI should continue to identify as many of the Capitol trespassers as possible and have them arrested for committing a federal felony. These under-educated, white trash cowards deserve no mercy when caught, and they deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Next, we should punish the man who incited the insurrection. It is rumored that some White House officials are saying the President is insane and are considering removing him by activating the 25th Amendment. Long time Presidential adviser David Gergen suggests Congress should issue a formal censure of Trump. Others say Trump should be impeached so that if convicted, he would be disqualified from running for President again. But my favorite punishment comes from social media giants Twitter and Facebook, in which the latter blocked Trump’s account temporarily, and the former did so permanently. Other social media platforms are considering similar bans. That means going forward, the outgoing President will have no readily accessible platform for lying to and mobilizing his deplorables, and they, in turn, will have no one in the White House to fuel and encourage their Negrophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, Hispanophobia, xenophobia, and epistemophobia. January 20th can’t come soon enough. Postscript: Once calm was finally restored at the Capitol last Wednesday night, lawmakers worked into the next morning to officially count electoral college votes, and declare Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election. Trump then pledged to leave office peacefully, but still claimed that he won, and added that his was, “the greatest first term in Presidential history.” Deplorable. Simply deplorable. ! JIM LONGWORTH is the host of Triad Today, airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).
Who is to blame for the Capitol insurrection? BY HABIN HWANG When 18-year-old Deon Kay left his home in Congress Heights, D.C., on Sept. 2, 2020, he was a brother, an athlete, and an enthusiastic student— one who “was creating plans for his future.” Within hours, he was shot down by Southeast Washington police for brandishing a weapon inside a vehicle: a gesture believed to be a threat within 7 seconds of departing his car by Officer Alexander Alvarez, who then fired one fatal shot at the teen. The officers were not charged in the shooting. Their actions were defended by Police Chief Peter Newsham, who characterized the teen as an “adult-validated gang member” who posed a threat to Officer Alvarez, despite Kay’s attempts to discard his weapon in his last seconds of life. However, when a large group of angry right-wing extremists flooded the U. S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, overpowering Capitol police by wielding Molotov cocktails, firearms, or using various forms of physical abuse to assault officers, Capitol police were instructed by a lieutenant to not use deadly force, according to the Associated Press. Refusing to permit officers to draw weapons in fear of causing a stampede or shootout, police leadership watched in silence as hundreds of President Trump’s supporters entered the Capitol, not only putting officers stationed near the building at risk but the definition and value of U.S. democracy in peril as well. Within this insurrection, The Proud Boys, a far-right group currently in the process of being considered a terrorist group, were reported by the Associated Press to be entering the Capitol with unloaded high-powered magazine clips, openly threatening and displaying violence. According to Agent Ashan M. Benedict, Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), rioters were arrested and found to possess Molotov Cocktails, firearms and other “equipment,” including bear spray, chemical munitions, and bombs. However, to understand who is responsible for both the insurrection and lack of response to the Capitol’s violence, it is crucial to fully comprehend police brutality’s cultural roots in America. In a governmental system that normalizes the possession of firearms for civilians and law enforcement, it is not surprising that situations
arise where a LEO would feel the need to discharge their weapon in self-defense. However, last Thursday’s events further provided substantial statistical evidence that “self-defense” is a bogus argument allowing law enforcement leadership to protect officers who murder without probable cause. Here, officers had to put their unarmed selves in danger, to face angry, armed rioters in the Capitol building, while officers deployed at the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests last summer displayed excessive violence in the face of unarmed, nonviolent protesters who were tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets. It is easy to demonize individual officers for their wrongdoings, but it is time to address the larger culprit— the overwhelming culture of law enforcement viewing people of color as a threat, not only placing a target on African-Americans across the country but justifying the murder of Black men and women through a tainted argument of “self-defense,” yet bending laws and protocol to permit the safe arrest of armed white men and women. The question that arises is: why was this not the same response offered to peaceful protesters last year? Why was the only option, in the eyes of law enforcement, to arm local officers with full combat gear, body shields, tear gas, and rubber bullets to “mitigate” peaceful picketers chanting slogans of equality? Too many Black families have lost children, parents, and friends in the face of excessive displays of the police force, their tear stains washed away by thousands of statements in press conferences with law enforcement leadership, such as that of Police Chief Peter Newsham, that not only justify the actions of the officers who committed those actions but demonize their loved ones as “gang members” or “violent members of the community.” Though the leaders of the Black Lives Movement have frequently made past arguments on how police show excessive force in cases against African-Americans, it is further evident, in last week’s event and cases like Deon Kay’s, how the culture of police brutality is created, encouraged, and defended by law enforcement leaders who identify a peaceful protest as a threat, but command officers to stand down in a violent insurrection. ! HABIN HWANG is a 16-year-old Guilford County Schools Early College student at Guilford College. JANUARY 13-19, 2021
Chow down with John Batchelor at 1618 West Seafood Grille
BY JOHN BATCHELOR
ince opening in 2004, 1618 West Seafood Grille has established itself as one of the Triad’s premier restaurants, helmed from the beginning by management-partner Nick Wilson and chef-partner George Neal. The restaurant is open for dine-in by reservation only, and reservations are spaced sufficiently apart to promote safety. All personnel are masked, and other CDC guidelines are carefully followed. Takeout is especially secure. Payment is taken over the phone when you order, and a dedicated parking space near the door allows contactless pickup. [A personal note: for takeout here and all other restaurants, please make a special effort to tip generously these days.] Chef Neal’s cuisine is one of the few in our area that can be characterized as unique. He juxtaposes ingredients that are seldom presented together, so diners encounter contrasting taste experiences, as opposed to the more common blending of complementary flavors. Contrasting ingredients often demand different wines, and the list here is exceptionally well constructed to accommodate such requirements. Multiple by the glass selections can be ordered in three different sizes, so appropriate pairings can be ensured. And if I understand the new regulations correctly, you can include BTG wine or beer orders with takeout. Crispy Shrimp illustrate such multiplicity, showing at least three primary flavors in one starter. The shrimp bear a tempura texture, their light exterior giving way to simple, pure, natural shrimp flavor, gently enhanced with lime and ginger. (Pause a moment to reflect on how frequently shrimp dishes get all their flavor from their treatment, with little or no actual shrimp taste coming through.) A corn and chorizo sausage stuffed pepper flanks the shrimp, a sweet potato puree alongside. In Duck Confit Spring Rolls, the duck is appropriately fork-tender, exuding deep flavor, accented by cranberry gastrique. Goat cheese mousse is rich and mellow. Butternut squash, almond, and arugula salad complete the assembly. As you might expect from the restaurant’s name, most of the entrees are seafood-based. Seared Chilean Seabass receives a simple treatment, yielding a crusty exterior, enhanced with creamy queso. A crisp polenta cake resides alongYES! WEEKLY
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BURGER HALIBUT side, joined by red beans and coleslaw. A blue tortilla hosts a small portion of pulled pork barbecue. Halibut gets a riced potato crust, lending texture as well as flavor, sharpened with mustard demi glace and pepper relish. Mac ‘n Cheese is filled with smoked shrimp and bits of pancetta, rolled into a large collard leaf. This makes for somewhat awkward eating, but the flavors are really good. Cauliflower is treated with brown butter. Large Scallops are seared pleasantly brown, sprinkled with toasted almond slivers and arugula. Strips of pulled pork rest alongside, joined by sliced roasted beets and butternut squash, plus goat cheese mousse. (I was advised in my factcheck telephone interview that the pork has since been changed to duck confit.) Black and white sesame seeds form a crust for Tuna, clearly sushi grade, a balsamic glaze on the side, plus wasabi oilespecially good flavor matches. Sautéed cabbage extends the sesame theme with sesame oil. Wasabi mashed potatoes round things out. Meats and chicken are not neglected, of course. Beef Tenderloin reveals exceptional depth of beef flavor, topped with Béarnaise sauce. An earthy mushroom risotto sits alongside crunchy asparagus, wrapped in bacon. Three mushroom caps have been stuffed with crab meat, a Parmesan crisp sail rising from the center. Butternut squash relish lends vibrant color along with sharpened flavor.
The kitchen was out of Pork Tenderloin on my last visit, so I ordered a Burger instead. It turned out to be the most elaborate rendition I think I have ever encountered. The patty itself is thick, coarse-ground in house from ribeye, tenderloin, and tres major (similar to sirloin) and hand-packed. It is dressed with braised red cabbage, pumpkin chili, and pickled carrots, all hosted on a brioche bun. Instead of mayonnaise, the bun gets a swath of collard greens aioli. The elaborate assembly is surrounded by onion rings, treated with honey. Unconventional, definitely, but near masterpiece in impact. The restaurant closed for about a week around Christmas due to a positive COVID test by an employee prior to opening one night. They did not open that evening, and remained shut down until every employee had tested negative. That strikes me as the best way to handle a bad situation, and although I share in a lament for lost revenue, I applaud the decision. In the current situation, this can happen anywhere (and has happened elsewhere
during the same time period). Just reinforces the need for vigilant safety measures from both restaurant personnel as well as customers. Here’s hoping we can all stay safe and healthy and still continue to enjoy good food in or from good restaurants! Sign up on the restaurant website for news of discounts and other special events. ! JOHN BATCHELOR has been writing about eating and drinking since 1981. Over a thousand of his articles have been published. He is also author of two travel/cookbooks: Chefs of the Coast: Restaurants and Recipes from the North Carolina Coast, and Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or see his blog, johnbatchelordiningandtravel.blogspot.com.
1618 West Seafood Grille, located at 1618 W. Friendly Ave. in Greensboro, (336) 235-0898, 1618west.com | Hours: 5:30-9 p.m. Monday, 5:3010 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday Brunch | Appetizers: $14-$17, Salads: $7, Entrees: $17-$39, Desserts: $6-$9
A dynamic debate commences, One Night in Miami
alcolm X. Muhammad Ali. Jim Brown. Sam Cooke. These are the iconic figures portrayed in One Night in Miami, the screen version of execuMark Burger tive producer Kemp Powers’s play, which Contributor he adapted himself. Calling the shots is Oscar-winner Regina King, who in her feature debut as director displays as much talent behind the camera as she has in front of it. Each of the film’s principal characters was (and still is) a magnet for controversy, as reviled by some as revered by others – at a time and place in history not all that different from our own. The issues they debate and discuss are as timely now as they were 55 years ago. Indeed, that’s the whole point of One Night in Miami. It’s a reminder – albeit an unpretentious one – that we as a society haven’t come as far as we should or we’d like to think. Nevertheless, this is first and foremost a piece of entertainment, and what’s particularly effective is that its points are woven into the fabric of the narrative. They don’t dominate. They don’t overwhelm. They’re not preached. The story and the characters come first; their message follows, and in ingratiating, unforced fashion. One Night in Miami is undoubtedly a drama, but it’s got heart and also humor. It presents its larger-than-life protagonists in human terms, which makes it easier for an audience to identify with them. WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
The film mostly takes place on one evening in February 1964, following Cassius Clay’s triumph over Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of the world. It is at Miami’s Hampton House Motel that Malcolm has invited the newly-crowned champion, football star Brown, and singing sensation Cooke. They’re expecting a party, but that’s not quite what Malcolm has in mind. One Night in Miami isn’t so much historical speculation as historical fiction. What transpires on screen did not necessarily occur in real life, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility – if not probability – that it could have happened. Like many actors-turned-directors, King allows her cast plenty of room to maneuver, which lends cohesion and credibility to the characters’ on-screen relationship. There are no star turns here. This is a very comfortable and compelling ensemble, with each actor enjoying his turn in the spotlight. Muhammad Ali has always been a tough role to tackle, given Ali’s own personality, which was undeniably vivid, even unforgettable. Despite an Oscar nomination, Will Smith didn’t quite pull it off in Ali (2001). Nor, for that matter, did Ali himself in The Greatest, the 1977 bio-pic that couldn’t overcome an episodic, clichériddled script. But Eli Goree, having only to play the champ at one particular point in time, nicely conveys Clay’s youthful, brash energy and also his serious side, as in his conversion to Islam. As Sam Cooke, Leslie Odom Jr. brings impish humor and an inner fire that occasionally erupts – usually when taken to task by Malcolm. If Cooke seems the odd man out in this quartet, it’s because he wasn’t a particularly political performer,
and also because he was killed in December 1964, just as the Civil Rights movement was truly gaining momentum. Kingsley Ben-Adir, recently seen as Barack Obama in the Showtime miniseries The Comey Role, conveys the inner struggle between humility and pride that simmers within Malcolm in a thoughtful, pensive turn that ranks very favorably alongside Denzel Washington’s Oscarnominated performance in Malcolm X (1992). “The journey is different for each of us,” he tells Clay early on, likely unaware just how that sentiment will apply to him – and to each of them. Ben-Adir’s Malcolm is completely aware that he’s putting his life in jeopardy when he decides to break with Elijah Muhammad, and the safety of his family and his own mortality are foremost in his thoughts. (History would, unfortunately, bear him out.) Aldis Hodge doesn’t necessarily resemble Jim Brown, but the wary glint in his eye and the coiled temper are impossible to overlook. In a film filled
with good performances, Hodge’s may be the most persuasive, and in some ways his character is the most practical, even pragmatic. Everyone’s very good, but Hodge just a bit better. There’s good supporting work by Lance Reddick as Malcolm’s stalwart, stonefaced bodyguard Kareem X and Christian Magby as the more easy-going bodyguard Jamaal, whose gleeful enthusiasm when meeting his heroes Clay, Brown, and Cooke is both funny and touching. The film is not without its faults, particularly a wrap-up that feels slightly rushed, but One Night in Miami is a stylish, good-looking film with fine performances and something very relevant to say. It’s a worthy endeavor on a number of levels, not the least of which being the chance to “spend time” with some fascinating figures in American history whose legacies endure. ! See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.
RESERVE YOUR SCREENING NOW
JANUARY 13-19, 2021
[NEWS OF THE WEIRD] HOME OF YOUR DREAMS
The house for sale at 43 Courthouse Drive in Guildhall, Vermont, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an updated kitchen and seven jail cells, complete with barred windows, toilets and
cots. United Press International reported that the property, listed for $149,000, used to serve as the Essex County jail, with the jailer’s quarters attached to the back of the house. Out of use since 1969, the cells are now covered in dust and, according to the listing, just waiting for a creative buyer to “bring ... ideas on what this 28-foot-by-40-foot wing could be!”
NAMES IN THE NEWS
When the car Jethro Geneus, 30, of
Port St. Lucie, Florida, was riding in was pulled over by police in the early morning of Jan. 4, he told the officer the bags of brown and white substances found in his backpack were baking supplies — “sugar and a bag of cornstarch to bake a cake,” according to police. Geneus, who had an outstanding warrant, was taken into custody, WPEC reported, and the contents of both bags tested positive for molly or ecstasy. At the jail, Geneus dropped another bag of white powder, which tested positive for meth. He was charged with trafficking phenethylamines.
Caleb Burczyk, 29, of Williston, North Dakota, was arrested and charged with burglary and terrorizing on Dec. 26 for kicking in the front door of a former co-worker’s home after the man apparently failed to answer Burczyk’s Facebook friend requests, according to court documents. “Accept my friend request or I’m going to murder you,” read one message, according to the affidavit, and another message said Burczyk would “come at” Thomas if he didn’t accept. The Smoking Gun reported Burczyk pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for an April appearance in District Court.
Holly Venderley, 20, of Bloomington, Indiana, told park rangers that she knew Mount Rushmore National Memorial was closed, and she knew she wasn’t allowed to climb the South Dakota monument — which is why she did it at night. The Rapid City Journal reported that a ranger monitoring security cameras saw a flashlight’s beam moving along the slope of broken rocks just beneath George Washington on Jan. 3 and ran to the area, where he saw Venderley climbing to the base of Washington’s lapel, about 200 feet up. The ranger demanded she get down, which she did. Venderley was sober and cooperative, and the next day she was fined $1,250 after pleading guilty to climbing the monument in federal court.
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
Massachusetts already has an official fossil, reported NECN-TV, and now state Rep. Jack Lewis, of Framingham, is proposing the selection of a state dinosaur as well. “With so much uncertainty in our world today, can you think of a better way to help kids (and those young at heart) learn about the legislative process than (by) naming an official Massachusetts State Dinosaur?” he wrote on Twitter on Jan. 4. Lewis posted links to an online survey where citizens can choose the species
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they’d like to represent them and said it got 150 votes in the first two hours.
CREME DE LA WEIRD
Ending a dispute that began in 2014, Judge Luo Shengli of the Beijing Xicheng District People’s Court ruled in late December that a man identified only as Tian and his family must leave the hospital room they had been squatting in for six years. Tian had undergone a medical procedure at the hospital and spent a few days recovering there, accompanied by his family, but at discharge, Tian disputed the hospital’s bill and refused to leave, Oddity Central reported. Tian’s parents settled in with him, bringing pots and pans, groceries and other personal items from home. Over the years, the hospital took the family to court on multiple occasions and in 2019 even waived its fees in an effort to expel them, but the family countersued. In his ruling, the judge found the family was entitled to compensation of about $73,000, which they accepted, and they were taken home in a hospital ambulance.
Thomas Dodd, 30, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, England, got into his cups over the Christmas holiday and was watching Celine Dion concerts on YouTube when he had a brainstorm: He would pay the 89 pounds to officially change his name to Celine Dion. Dodd forgot all about it until the papers arrived in the mail on Dec. 30, Metro News reported. “I wish I knew what happened, but it was a hazy night,” Dodd/Dion said. He admits being concerned about the reaction he’ll get at work, and says his mother isn’t too pleased, but “if it gives people a laugh this year, then I don’t care. I think we could all do with a laugh after the year we’ve just had.”
Twitter users were quick to point out the irony after a picture was posted of an unidentified man arrested in Peshawar, Pakistan, on New Year’s Eve for wearing a mask during the pandemic. The man had been terrorizing people by riding through the city on his motorcycle while wearing a werewolf mask and roaring, The Independent reported. At least one commenter saw the silver lining: “People get scared of the dude and don’t come out on new year during COVID times, everyone stays safe. Isn’t this a good thing?” !
© 2021 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate. Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.
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Bryce Quartz Shines
rmed with his “Make America Gay Again, Bitch!” battle cry, Queer rapper Bryce Quartz is ready to shine with his latest release, “American Katei Cranford Queer Vol. 3: Third Times a Charm,” dropping on March 1. Contributor The final chapter in his “American Queer Trilogy,” a mixtape collection that plays like a compendium guide for coming into one’s queerness and artistry, “Third Times a Charm,” references Quartz’s three-fold experience of coming out. “It’s ultimately about feeling yourself,” Quartz said. Looking back, “‘Volume One’ is messy,” he explained, “it’s angry and sad, but it’s hopeful for the future. ‘Volume 2’ is like when you come out, and you can finally say what you want to say—and do what you wanna do. And ‘Volume 3’ is like that part of your adulthood where you start to figure out who you really are—start to
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love who you are—no matter what.” As expressed in the first two singles: “Game Over” and “Flex!,” “Volume 3” is Quartz, “finally finding myself, and doing what I do best,” he said. “It’s about being confident, standing up, having fun, and living in the moment.” Using music as both a journey and a mission, Quartz’s idea of living in the moment is woven into looking back along the way. “My whole idea around “Flex!” was me showing my haters how successful I am without them,” he said. “It’s kind of a diss at anyone who’s crossed me because I hope they see me now and get angry at themselves for not being my friend. Regardless, I’m gonna keep being me no matter what, and I’ll stay happy doing it, so this song is a testament to those who keep my name in their mouth out of jealousy or hatred.” Drawing inspiration from other rappers including: Rico Nasty, Cupcakke, TiaCorine, MF DOOM, and Mac Miller, Quartz also expressed artists like Frank Ocean, KAYTRANADA, Blood Orange, Rina Sawayama, Selena, and Keaton Dekker get him “through the hardest of times.” And it was those hard times that cemented his impetus to rap.
“Music definitely saved my life,” Quartz explained. “In late 2017, I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted—and was listening to BROCKHAMPTON in the middle of a breakdown, when I heard Kevin Abstract rap about being gay, and it just kind of clicked.” Afterward, Quartz started writing beats and experimenting with production. “It felt like I finally had a purpose,” he said, “it gave me a reason to wake up every day, and now it’s become so much more than me. I’m doing this for all the young Queer people who feel alone. I want to be living proof you can be gay and proud and a successful artist from Randleman.” Thus, the “American Queer” trilogy was born. “Writing about my family in my first mixtape, and writing about Trump and Liberty University in my second mixtape, was a huge way for me to overcome the trauma associated with those experiences,” he explained. “Writing it out, rapping it, and then releasing it was like therapy. I’ve been able to archive parts of my life I didn’t like and turn them into something I do—and now I never have to look back.” In the “F.U. (Falwell University)” single from “Volume Two,” Quartz flips the script on his former life as a Liberty University student. He returned to campus in 2019 to shoot the “F.U.” music video, including footage of him incinerating his student ID on Jerry Falwell Sr.’s eternal flame memorial—which resulted in a lifetime ban. “I had so much fun,” he said WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
of the shoot, “I even smoked cigarettes between takes on campus trying to test LUPD because they fine students like $500-1,000 if you get caught.” Quartz has a knack for using theatrics to turn anger on its head, often surprising even himself. “If you told me back then, I wouldn’t believe you,” he said of how impossible his current life would seem to his younger self. “I was recently featured in a Top 15 list from Bear World Magazine, next to Big Dipper, one of the first gay rappers I ever knew about,” he noted, “it’s surreal.” Looking back on the roads which led to a rap career, Quartz’s comments on his first release, in 2018, are humble: “I hate it, don’t listen to it,” he jested, drawing parallels between coming out to coming into one’s artistry. “‘Volume One: Reloaded’ is just a huge mess, but so was my childhood being stuck in the closet,” he said. “I had no idea what I was doing, I was self-taught everything, and all my equipment was bought from a tax refund.” The following year he put out “American Queer, Vol. 2: Baphomet’s Gift.” “I understood more about my direction,” Quartz explained, “I was heavily inspired by Rico Nasty and A$AP Ferg’s aggressive flows and angry voice projection.” As opposed to the personal nature of “Volume One,” Quartz used “Volume Two” as a platform and work of “modern Queercore.” “I wanted to show I’m here to make JANUARY 13-19, 2021
statements,” he said, “I switched directions and stopped rapping about family problems, to saying what we all want to say as gay people, but don’t.” Through this period, Quartz’s “Lil Cub” persona came to light. “When I rap in a cocky, aggressive way, that’s Lil Cub coming out,” Quartz explained, “I see him as a part of me artistically. But he’s so much different than the calmer or more reflective Bryce Quartz. Lil Cub just wants to talk shit, party, and have fun. That’s not always what I rap about.” Putting the cub on the shelf, Quartz considers “Volume Three,” his most rewarding effort to date. “I learned what works best for me and mastered it,” he said, noting heavy influences from early Jack Harlow, Jaden Smith, Lil Nas X, and Megan Thee Stallion. “Being proud of my work and having fun doing it is the best way to keep paving the way for others,” he explained of what he considers the boldness in his material. “My music isn’t all about me being Queer—it’s for anyone who appreciates hip-hop,” he said, “but being Queer is certainly a huge part of who I am, and that’s the focus of Volume Three.” From closeted reflections to bold proclamations, Quartz’s trilogy plays as his full circle foundation. “I feel like I’m finishing the puzzle to my beginnings as an artist,” he said, “from here, I have better direction and clarity. I’ve laid out the groundwork, and I’m ready for what the future holds.” And with that, Quartz holds good company. His latest single, “Flex!,” features Atlanta’s GodIsMikey and Norwegian rapper Big Daddy Karsten (whom Quartz considers a “rap dad.”) Kids of the Karate Dungeon will hear the familiar voice of Duke Stamina on an upcoming track. Canadian artist KeyAno mixed and mastered “Volume Three,” as well as the “You Vote, Brita Kay,” track on which Quartz appeared with KayKay Lavelle and RuPaul’s Drag Race contender, Brita Filter. “It’s actually one of my first clean songs,” Quartz said, adding it’s a clear message of “positivity, fun, and getting people out to vote!” Released as a voter-engagement single in October, the music video received more than 40,000 views in less than 24-hours. The track also features Quartz’s boyfriend, KayKay Lavelle. “She’s my beautiful bearded legend, and I’m blessed to have her in my life,” he said. “We’re a power couple in the Queer entertainment scene: he’s a bearded drag Queen professional on the rise to stardom, and I’m an openly gay musician that’s on the rise, too. I love what he does with his drag, and it’s part of the reason I love him.” YES! WEEKLY
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Part of that drag includes Lavelle’s work as an ambassador of the “Drag Out the Vote” initiative. It’s a topic also close to Quartz’s heart, and he’s proud to have registered folks to vote at every showcase hosted before the pandemic. During the election, the pair worked as poll-greeters for Brandon Gray. For Quartz, activism and art intertwine. “Organizing is a part of the end goal, too,” he said, referencing the honor of being on the board for High Point Pride. “I want to serve my LGBT+ community,” he said. “It’s what I love to do; I just want to see my people happy.” Concern for that community culminated in Quartz hosting a monthly performance showcase, currently paused by the pandemic. “It’s a safe space platform for Queer people to perform their original music in a supportive environment,” he explained. “I had begun expanding into Charlotte and Raleigh, and now, I’m just hoping the venues still stay open!” Though Quartz is in talks with Twist Lounge to resurrect the showcase once the pandemic subsides, he remains cautious. “I don’t feel comfortable encouraging crowds of people right now,” he said, emphasizing plans to hit the road once live shows return. “I REALLY want to go to different cities all across the US, and talk to venue-owners, as well as local Queer artists, and try to help start their own monthly Queer music showcase.” Regarding recording plans, “let’s just say that everything I’ve worked so hard on since late 2019 will start to be released,” he said. “I’ve got so many features, singles, and surprises planned! You never know what to expect next.” Fans can expect videos and a merchandise release to go along with “Volume Three,” along with an animated remix of “Game Over,” and collaborations involving big names he can’t yet mention. While closing out the trilogy opens new doors and a new chapter, Quartz isn’t in a rush to a full-length release. “I have some evolving to do as an artist that I hope to accomplish through singles and EPs,” he said. “I also have an entire album vaulted about my comingout story that shows a more reflective and serious side—you won’t see Lil Cub on that project!” In contrast, Lil Cub shines in Quartz’s party bumper, “American Queer, Vol. 3: Third Times a Charm,” out March 1, via streaming platforms. ! KATEI CRANFORD is a Triad music nerd who hosts “Katei’s Thursday Triad Report,” 5:30-7 p.m. on WUAG 103.1FM.
Greensboro business owner claims Capitol mob were Antifa On Thursday morning, Allison Baynes Key, owner of Happy Moms Consignment Sale, a Greensborobased online thrift store, made the following public post on her Facebook page: Please my friends, Ian McDowell Don’t let the media lie to you! We were there along with othContributor ers from our church, and the violence was coming from ANTIFA supporters dressed in MAGA clothing. (We have more videos). We peacefully assembled outside the capitol to voice our protest against this fraudulent election and pray for America! Keep the faith! Key’s post included a smiling selfie of herself and a bearded white man standing in front of the Capitol building. In the background, the mob can be seen swarming up the steps, bearing TRUMP signs and banners. On Thursday afternoon, this reporter sent Key a Facebook message asking her what videos or other evidence she had for this claim. She responded by stating she did not wish to be interviewed. By Friday morning, Key had removed her post, but not before screenshots of it
had been shared thousands of times on Facebook. Many of those sharing it, including several Black organizers and members of the Facebook group Greater Greensboro Politics, called for a boycott of Key’s virtual business. Others defended her post as free speech and said that she should not be boycotted for traveling to Washington to express support for President Trump, as there was no evidence of her having joined the mob storming the Capitol complex. Some of Key’s critics responded by arguing that Key not only photographed herself smiling while Trump supporters in the background swarmed the capitol steps, but that she accused the MAGA mob who forced their way into the building and fatally bludgeoned a police officer of being “Antifa,” but never posted the evidence she claimed to possess, nor even described having witnessed anything that caused her to make such a claim. Her Facebook post stated that she and her male companion “were there along with others from our church.” Her profile does not identify her as part of any local congregation, but a Greensboro church was among her “Likes.” This reporter called the church’s phone number and left a message describing Key’s post, asking if they had sent a group to DC on Wednesday and if they’d seen any evidence of “ANTIFA supporters dressed in MAGA clothing.”
Neither that phone call nor YES! Weekly’s messages to the Facebook pages of that church and its pastors were returned, but within an hour of those inquiries, the church’s Facebook page was removed. By Saturday, Key had removed any mention of her online business from her personal page. She also removed the church from her list of “Likes.” The baseless claim that the rioters who violently stormed the Capitol Building on Wednesday were disguised as “Antifa” has circulated widely on social media, in many cases by QAnon conspiracy-mongers such as attorney Lin Wood, who on Thursday was permanently banned from Twitter for claiming the Capitol siege was “staged” (prior to those claims, other conspiracy theories promoted by Wood have been retweeted by Clint Stonebraker, director and founder of The Insight Program, the subject of YES! Weekly’s Jan. 6 cover story The [Hate} Group). On Jan. 6, Wood tweeted that the man wearing buffalo horns and tattooed with Nazi symbols in the photos taken of the Capitol siege was “Antifa” and was “at the AZ BLM rally in June.” The man in that photo is Jake Angeli, whom the Arizona Republic recently described as “a long time QAnon supporter” and “a fixture at Arizona right-wing political rallies over the past year.” The uncropped version of the cropped photo shared by
Wood (and by various neo-Confederates and white supremacists in the PiedmontTriad) shows that Angeli was holding a QAnon sign as a counter-protester at the BLM rally. Another tweet by Wood claimed, “Indisputable photographic evidence that Antifa violently broke into Congress today to inflict harm & do damage.” Wood’s “evidence” was a photo of another bearded man taking part in the Capitol siege, which was posted side-by-side with a photo of a very similar-looking man from the website phillyantifa.org. But the photo on that site was alleged to be a neo-Nazi, not a “member of Antifa.” In reality, multiple people arrested during Wednesday’s attempted coup are known MAGA activists. One such is Jay Thaxton, a North Carolina Proud Boy, who was charged with breaking the DC curfew. Prior to the Capitol riot, Thomas May, whom this writer has observed multiple times brandishing a Confederate flag and hurling racial epithets at Black Lives Matter supporters in Graham (and who carried that flag at the Dec. 12 Proud Boys rally in DC), had his @TheRealThomasM1 Twitter account suspended after he posted about his plans to stomp “Antifa” members with steel-toed boots at the DC Trump rally and tagged Triad antiracist activists in those tweets. !
Gwynne Furches pleads guilty for DWI-related killing of Elijah Coppedge On Dec. 2, 2020, Gwynne MacDonald Furches, 24, of Greensboro, pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder in the May 30, 2019 death of Elijah Edward Coppedge,72, also of Greensboro. On that evening, Coppedge was struck and killed by a car driven by then-22-yearold Furches as Coppedge walked home beside East Gate City Boulevard. According to the incident report, Furches did not stop after hitting Coppedge but attempted to swerve back onto the roadway. Instead, she slid into a luminary pole and crashed through a wooden privacy fence at 14 Aggie Ct. Furches’s Second Degree Murder guilty plea resulted in her conviction and incarceration as a Class B Felon. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-17 states that “a person who commits Second Degree Murder shall be punished as a Class B2 felon” if the “malice necessary to prove second-degree murder is based on an inherently dangerous act or omission, done in such a reckless and wanton manner as to manifest a mind utterly without regard for WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM
human life and social duty.” In other words, while “malice” is necessary to demonstrate second-degree murder, the legal definition of that term does not require that the defendant intended to kill or injure others, but instead evidenced reckless disregard for human life. At Furches’s arraignment on June 3, 2019, Assistant District Attorney Leah Howell told Judge Becky Brown that Coppedge had been struck so hard “his bones were sticking out his knees.” Howell also stated that Gwynne Furches had been told “you’re going to kill someone if you keep doing this” after a Feb. 13, 2018, incident where Furches swerved off Southbound I-85 and into a tree. According to court records, Furches was driving while impaired in both the 2018 and 2019 incidents, including the one that killed Elijah Coppedge. At Furches’ arraignment, Howell described how Furches claimed to be unaware she’d hit the man whose body, unnoticed by the Aggie Court resident who called 911 and the first officers on the scene,
was discovered by the firefighters who arrived minutes later. Howell said that Gwynne Furches, who did not have a driver’s license, claimed to be her identical twin sister, Jessa Furches, as she had also done in the 2018 incident. On both occasions, Gwynne was driving a car registered to Jessa Furches. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety Offender Public Information website states that Furches’ conviction carries a minimum term of seven years and 10 months and a maximum term of 10 years and five months, and her projected release date from the North Carolina Correction Institution for Women as Nov. 12, 2029. As previously reported, Gwynne Furches and Jessa Furches were involved in five crashes between 2015 and 2019. According to police reports, Jessa Furches was the driver in three of those five crashes; with Gwynne Furches was the driver in the other two. In at least four of those collisions, the other sister was in the car. At Gwynne Furches’s arraignment, her
mother Jamie Furches told the judge that Gwynne has cystic fibrosis and diabetes, that she requires a feeding tube and 15 daily medications, and that, as of May 2019, she had been hospitalized four times that year. “But this isn’t just about Gwynne and our family,” said Jamie Furches, reading from a prepared statement. “I want the family of Mr. Coppedge to know that my heart and soul hurt so much for their loss, and I feel shame and embarrassment on behalf of Gwynne’s actions and the choices she made that night.” A homegoing ceremony was held for Elijah Edward Coppedge on June 10, 2019, at Love & Faith Christian Fellowship at 4344 Blackberry Rd. in Greensboro, following which he was interred in Lakeview Memorial Park at 3600 N. O’Henry Blvd. ! IAN MCDOWELL is the author of two published novels, numerous anthologized short stories, and a whole lot of nonfiction and journalism, some of which he’s proud of and none of which he’s ashamed of.
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‘FCPARC’ calls on city officials to reallocate police funds “What would have happened if those were Black people? I can safely tell you right now that we would all be dead,” said Hate Out of Winston’s Miranda Jones in Triad Abolition Project’s “The People’s Report” via Facebook Live on Jan. 10. Jones was speaking of an observed comparison of the overmiliKatie Murawski tarized presence of, and violence from police during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer to the Contributor sparse presence and intervention of police during the siege of the United States’ Capitol on Jan. 6. “I can also safely say none of those actions would have entered the consciousness of those engaged in work around liberation, freedom, and justice.” Jones asked viewers to watch the footage of Capitol Police officers appearing to open a barricade holding back a mob of Trump supporters, and “standby as these people stage a coup.” “We want you to think about this idea that law enforcement keeps us safe,” Jones said. Wake Forest University sociology professor and TAP organizer Dr. Brittany Battle said she was not surprised at all by what happened on Jan. 6. “This level of violence, this level of hatred is demonstrated on Black communities, Brown communities, on queer people daily from citizens and also from state actors, meaning the police and military,” she said. “To our white comrades, allies, etc., your outrage does not save the lives of Black people; your outrage comes after we are dead,” Jones added. “You should not stay mired in outrage because when you are responding, Breonna is dead, George is dead, [Miriam Carey] is dead.”
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Episode 3 of “The People’s Report” discussed the events of last Wednesday’s violent insurrection incited by President Trump— that has claimed the lives of five people, two of which were Capitol Police officers— while calling for white comrades to get involved with a network of progressive activist groups that have formed into the Forsyth County Police Accountability and Reallocation Coalition (FCPARC). FCPARC is composed of Hate Out of Winston, Triad Abolition Project, Winston-Salem Democratic Socialists of America, Forsyth County Community Bail Fund, Drum Majors Alliance, and NCSPAN that seeks to reallocate funding from the Winston-Salem Police Department’s $78 million budget. The coalition has made the following demands publicly to Mayor Pro-Tem D.D. Adams on Dec. 21, 2020, and now, to the City of Winston-Salem’s Public Safety Committee on Jan. 11: 1) Reallocate money from the WSPD budget to community services including SOAR, Youth Build, forgivable loans to Black businesses, public transportation, and increasing city minimum wage 2) Civilian Police Oversight Authority for WSPD and FCSO 3) End cash bail in Forsyth County 4) Demilitarize WSPD and FCSO 5) Create a mental health crisis invention mobile unit Funding from FCPARC’s reallocation proposal includes increasing the City’s minimum wage, making public transportation free, funding the Successful Outcomes After Release (SOAR) and Youth Build Programs; as well as funding and establishing a Mobile Mental Health Unit, Violence Interrupters Program, and forgiving loans to Black businesses. In their presentation to the City of Winston-Salem’s Public Safety Committee, FCPARC highlighted Community Review Boards’ alleged ineffectiveness due to police and politicians erecting “barriers to stop CRBs from carrying out meaningful oversight.” They posited that
for CRBs to be effective, they must have investigating powers (including subpoenaing powers), a broad scope of investigations, transparency, independence (from police), meaningful disciplinary actions, and a budget. Nia Sadler of FCPARC said since the WSPD Citizen Police Review Board is an advisory board to the Public Safety Committee as well as City Manager Lee Garrity, who ultimately makes the final decision after an appeal has been made to Chief Catrina Thompson’s decision, facts are presented, and testimony is collected and evaluated. FCPARC believes this process isn’t independent because of Garrity’s alleged close ties with the WSPD and the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office. FCPARC also proposed to create a mental health crisis intervention mobile unit because the coalition “wants to see a community-based public safety system to provide mental health first response for crises involving mental illness, homelessness, and addiction.” Sadler highlighted that in the U.S., severely mentally ill people generate 1 in 10 calls for police and occupy 1 in 5 of prison and jail beds. Sadler also noted that people with disabilities and mental health diagnoses are more likely to be victims of police’s use of excessive force and are more likely to be killed by police— more so if they are Black or Brown. FCPARC presented a program from the City of Eugene, Oregon, called Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Street (CAHOOTS) program. They hope to implement a similar program in the City of Arts and Innovation. CAHOOTS is a two-person team consisting of a medic and crisis worker responding to mental health crises, conflict resolution, welfare checks, suicide threats, substance abuse, etc., relying on trauma-informed de-escalation and harm reduction techniques. According to their research, CAHOOTS’ annual budget is around 2.1 million dollars, and roughly out of 24,000 calls last year, only 150 needed police backup. FCPARC also seeks an overall $2.5 million increase to the Department of Rehabilitation and Youth Services— with $1 million going to SOAR and $1.5 million in the Youth Build Program. “The Public Safety Committee has had no problem approving grants for the militarization of the WSPD, despite the fact that when these grants run out, the City will be on the hook for those expenditures,” said FCPARC’s Aly Jones during this presentation. “Programs like SOAR and Youth Build each serve less than 10% of eligible residents; we urge you to please stop approving grants that support non-Winston residents and invest in programs that provide productive activities for people at-risk for committing crime or being arrested, and that will contribute to the city’s economy by creating successfully employed taxpaying citizens— not police officers who go home to Kernersville, Clemmons or High Point.” FCPARC supporters are encouraged to sign a petition found at https://www.triadabolitionproject.org/fcparc. ! KATIE MURAWSKI is the former editor-in-chief of YES! Weekly. Her alter egos include The Grimberlyn Reaper, skater/public relations’ board chair for Greensboro Roller Derby, and Roy Fahrenheit, drag entertainer and self-proclaimed King of Glamp.
[THE ADVICE GODDESS] love • sex • dating • marriage • questions
MEET JOE SLACK
My boyfriend does everything halfway, save for playing video games and smoking weed. He does sloppy work at his job, just the minimum to get by, and is always late turning Amy Alkon things in. He’s gotten away with this so far, Advice maybe because he’s charismatic and fun. Goddess In our relationship, he’ll promise me one thing and do another, and he does sneakylazy things like using up my shampoo but leaving the empty bottle in the shower. He’s highly intelligent and could be so much better than this. Is there a way to get him to change? —Disappointed Girlfriend Sadly, few companies have the kind of position he’d be ideal for: Vice President of Watching Porn During Business Hours. Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that “action is character.” The way somebody repeatedly behaves reflects the sort of person they are: for example, highly trustworthy or “better lock up the silverware — including the stainless steel!” Psychologists boil down a person’s typical way of behaving — along with the recurring thoughts and feelings that drive it — as personality traits (for instance, extraversion). Personality traits have a hefty genetic component — maybe even 50 percent — and tend to be pretty consistent over time and in different situations. (A barfighter is a barfighter is a barfighter.) Like classic Jolly Ranchers, personality
traits come in five core “flavors,” which psychologists remember with the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (aka emotional stability). Each trait is actually a spectrum ranging from low to high (from very little of a trait to lots and lots of it). Ethically elastic, lazy sociopotato behavior like your boyfriend’s reflects low conscientiousness. A person high in conscientiousness is disciplined, dependable, and organized, with strong self-control, while someone low in conscientiousness is unreliable, undisciplined, and slothful, with poor impulse control and little concern for how their multislacking affects others. They can be wonderfully spontaneous and a lot of fun — that is, until they spontaneously pawn your dog to stake themselves into high-roller poker. Being conscientious is one of the most reliable predictors of success — in any job from CEO to dog groomer to Etsy birdhouse magnate. It’s natural to assume low conscientiousness is bad and high is good. But high conscientiousness has a number of downsides, such as buttcheekclenching inflexibility, crippling perfectionism, and being about as spur-of-themoment fun as a refrigerated corpse. Additionally, evolutionary anthropologist Daniel Nettle observes that the benefits of high conscientiousness are “exaggerated” in the “artificial ecologies” of modern workplaces. “Few of our ancestors survived and reproduced by being able to stay in the same place for eight hours a day, quietly getting on with a series of pre-planned or repetitive tasks” like entering sales data into spreadsheets. For an ancestral hunter-gatherer, life was “a
series of urgent improvisations” to manage surprising situations that constantly popped up. “It would really not be a good response, observing a passing herd of wildebeest, to say, ‘Actually Wednesday is my honey-gathering day.’” Interestingly, research by psychologist Joanna Moutafi and her colleagues finds a relationship between high intelligence and low conscientiousness, suggesting that being brainy allows for slackadaisical behavior. People who are very smart learn that they can goof off and do work at the last minute because they’ve got the mental juice to squeak by. Can a brainy slothlete like your boyfriend change? Maybe. But the chances of this happening simply because you ask are probably slim. Change is more likely to come through getting hit hard by some catastrophic loss, like getting canned or dumped or driving while sloshed and mowing down the neighbors. However, you could tell your boyfriend you think he’s awesome in many ways, but you see him doing things halfway, and it makes every area of his life so much less than it could be. Paint a picture of how great things could be if he just put in a bit
more effort. Assuming he doesn’t shut you down, suggest an experiment. For two weeks, he could pick a couple of things to do really well every day: one at home (maybe making the bed like they do at a nice hotel) and another at work. During the two weeks, pump him up when he follows through, and afterward, ask him how it made him feel: about himself, his job prospects, and making you feel loved. Going back to Fitzgerald’s “action is character,” if your boyfriend feels good enough to keep up and expand the changes, you might see that action also becomes character. We can choose who we are (probably more than most of us think) by repeatedly acting like the sort of person we want to be. Accordingly, some committed slackers do finally start climbing the corporate ladder; however, others prefer to keep napping underneath. (“My spirit animal is the sinkhole!”) ! GOT A PROBLEM? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@ aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com). Follow her on Twitter @amyalkon. Order her latest “science-help” book, Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence. ©2021 Amy Alkon. Distributed by Creators.Com.
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