Though the sun didn't always cooperate and the weather was kind of gross when it did (see below), another Artscape has come and gone, bringing together thousands of Baltimoreans to enjoy art, games, food, drinks, music, and much more. Credit to BOPA for picking two great headliners in Sheila E. and Gogol Bordello—by all accounts both really got the crowd moving, which can't be said about every band from years past—and for the addition of the dance stage that was a huge hit. Other highlights included Graham Coreil-Allen's witty and surreal Dancing Forest near Penn Station and as always, Open Space's Artist-Run Art Fair. Heat be damned, Baltimore's residents got a great free party that was richly deserved.
⬇︎ Baltimore Police
Two days before two of the detectives on the department's once-vaunted Gun Trace Task Force pleaded guilty in federal court to robbing drug dealers' cash, cheating on overtime, and generally behaving exactly as the department's worst critics believe is SOP, the public defender released bodycam video showing an officer pretending to find drugs he'd just placed in a soup can on a trash-strewn lot. Of course, Commissioner Kevin Davis explained to the press that the video does not indicate a flat-out planting of evidence, and the officer who did it is suspended, and the other two who stood by and laughed are on duty, but with no contact with the public. But so what? How can anyone ever believe the good cops when the dumb-ass crooked cops keep incriminating themselves—or laughing about it?
In a rather bonkers—even by Trump standards—interview with the New York Times, the president attacked his own Department of Justice, and somehow managed to take a potshot against Baltimore. Recounting an exchange with Jeff Sessions after the A.G. decided to recuse himself from the Russia inquiry, Trump learned that Sessions' deputy, former Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, would be overseeing the investigation. His reaction when he heard Rosenstein is "from" Baltimore: "There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any." For starters, Rosenstein lives in Bethesda. The well-to-do D.C. suburb is roughly 40 miles from the city and it's an entirely different world. And being from Baltimore apparently disqualifies someone from working at the current White House? Not that anyone from here would want any part of that shit show.
Fuck Elon Musk. Fuck his "Hyperloop" train, a cross between vaporware, subsidy mongering, and C.H.U.D., the likes of which techbros jack-off to when they're not getting direct transfusions of virgin blood. And fuck the dipshit local politicians who jump on his imaginary spacetrain like hoboes on an open boxcar too. Musk epitomizes the horrors of the tech age, when idiot savants remake the planet in their own stunted image: he muses in public about needing a girlfriend, asking "how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours?"; and he berates an employee who missed some bullshit corporate event so he could be with his wife, who was giving birth to their first child. Oh, and Musk famously wants to colonize Mars. You first, motherfucker.
⬇︎ The Weather
It has been a fucking scorcher out there every day for what feels like weeks now—but maybe that's the way the heat kinda stretches everything out and slows it all down like a big vat of taffy... like, really hot, sticky, sweaty taffy…sticky like how your thigh sticks to a bus seat…do you know what we mean? Every year it seems as though the absolute hottest weekend in Baltimore coincides with Artscape, and though that's not exactly accurate, weather reports last weekend did warn that with temps in the 90s and a higher heat index, people were at risk for dehydration and hyperthermia. Might be this way for a while, so if you see people out there, give them a water bottle or a Gatorade or a peach, something.