RANDO Edition

As 2017 limped to a close, Boulder Weekly writer Josh Schlossberg sat down with psychotherapist Jenna Noah for a wide-ranging conversation about sex and sexuality in a post-#MeToo world. Noah believes sexual activity and preferences haven’t necessarily changed; we’re just more aware of bad actors. Unlike some folks (looking at you, Matt Damon), Noah doesn’t think the cultural revolution is creating an unwarranted hyperfocus on abusers and harassers, but correcting behavior that has long gone ignored and accepted.

For men and women struggling to express interest, Noah suggests simply asking the object of their desire point-blank. She acknowledged the gray area between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, saying, “A lot of these dynamics are so situational, they’re so nuanced, and then they get tricky. And then there are these huge egregious areas where it’s happening—how did this person get away with this for so long? How did no one speak up about it?” Sometimes the answers aren’t easy. But we have to keep asking.

No, that isn’t some weird mashup of Snakes on a Plane, Zero Dark Thirty and 30 Days of Night (though you know you’d shame-watch Venomous Vampires on Planes). On Dec. 17, Atlanta’s airport went dark, as in lost all electrical power, for EIGHT HOURS. For one of the world’s busiest airports, this was very, very bad.

According to Creative Loafing Atlanta, Delta Airlines cancelled 300 flights, later reporting it cost the airline between $25 and $50 million; passengers were stuck on planes on the tarmac for hours; and toilets and water fountains ceased functioning, at which point personnel started handing out bottled water, which is great, but some smells are visible to the naked eye. It was so bad, that “even Chick-fil-A came out of its typical Sunday slumber to help feed some hungry travelers.” An electrical fire in an underground tunnel that took out the main and backup power systems reportedly caused the outage. Sure makes you appreciate the paradise that is Jacksonville International Airport.

Just when you thought that all the cities in Texas, except Austin, of course, were well to the right of the burgs of Northeast Florida, Fort Worth went and banned smoking and e-cigs in bars. Even the ones that don’t serve food! A Fort Worth Weekly editorial by bartender/writer Steve Steward gleefully reports that the ordinance was updated on Dec. 12 to prohibit smoking and vaping within even 20 feet of these establishments. Steward did concede that making peeps march 20 feet from the door to puff seems rather excessive. (Especially considering that half the staff spends a solid portion of their shifts right outside the back door, chiefing on a wide variety of smokables.)

Steward went on to note that tobacco smokers are a dying breed whose numbers have rapidly dwindled in the last few decades and made some other salient points about smokers, particularly that smoking “is undeniably self-interested” in that it affects the health of those around you, whether they like it or not, which is kind of a dick move. Still, we’re having a hard time imagining Pete’s Bar without its traditional thick cloud of smog.

In news that we somehow missed during the 2017 dumpster fire, the government admitted that one of its secret programs may have discovered extraterrestrial life. This is not a drill. In December, The New York Times reported that, at the urging of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (where else?), from 2007 to 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense funded the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The former director of the program, military intelligence officer Luis Elizondo, resigned in October, upon which he began to air his complaints about “excessive secrecy and international opposition” about their discoveries of “a lot” of evidence of extraterrestrial life. So. That happened.

In addition to noting some intriguing theories, such as there being an underwater extraterrestrial base off the coast of Maine, the Portland Phoenix wondered whether it was “all nonsense,” if the government is hiding evidence of aliens, or just covering up its own wasteful spending by teasing us with information, such as the famed 2004 footage the Pentagon released of mysterious glowing, floating orbs, filmed by a fighter jet in an undisclosed location, which the pilot called “a whole fleet.” Now who wants to spend Independence Day as far from civilization as possible?