Halloween in Pittsburgh


Fig. 1. Halloween decorations at a house on Macassar Drive, Baldwin Borough, Pennsylvania. Photograph by author, October 19, 2021.

Something that annoyed me in California was the haste with which Christmas decorations appeared, sometimes even before Halloween—no, San Anselmo, I haven’t forgotten the year you did that. They don’t do any such thing here around Pittsburgh. Instead, sometimes even before the Fall equinox, Halloween decorations appear. While many of the decorations look like they might have been bought in massive purchases at a pop-up Halloween store, some, like in figure 1, are a little more original.

In general, the displays are often massive, covering entire lawns and front porches. It’s really rather rare to see only a single jack o’lantern; indeed, the closest to that I’ve seen this year was four jack o’lanterns.


Netflix

This story first caught my eye as a sort of crisis management situation which, for public relations people, is about how they handle a situation where the people they’re representing have fucked up and fucked up badly. The standard advice is candor: Their client fucked up. Say so. The client needs to be making it right and the public relations job becomes to tell the story of how they’re making it right.

But Netflix, with its policy of radical transparency, has managed to plow new ground, showing itself to be not so radically transparent, not so good at listening, and not so good at making it right. Employees are seriously upset; some are going out on strike. So now this is not only about public relations, a field peripheral to my studies as a communication student (undergraduate and Master’s), but also about labor relations.[5]

Conservatives would deride the whole dust-up as about “wokeness.” And indeed, to the end of offering something for everybody, regardless of political, religious, or social views, Netflix transgressed a progressive sensibility as Dave Chappelle let loose with homophobic and transphobic ‘jokes.’[6]

I rarely watch Netflix, certainly don’t subscribe to it, and generally have little interest in it, but the way that Netflix extricates itself from this controversy may tell us something about how corporations will handle these issues going forward. So I’m watching.

Matthew Belloni, “Netflix Has Reached a P.R. Inflection Point,” Puck News, October 18, 2021, https://puck.news/netflix-has-reached-a-p-r-inflection-point/

Joe Flint, “Netflix Co-CEO Says He ‘Screwed Up’ When Defending Dave Chappelle Special,” Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-co-ceo-says-he-screwed-up-when-defending-dave-chappelle-special-11634696007

Sarah Todd, “The Chappelle controversy is a test of what kind of workplace Netflix wants to be,” Quartz, October 19, 2021, https://qz.com/work/2075306/dave-chappelles-the-closer-is-testing-netflixs-values/

Christi Carras, “Chappelle critics and supporters square off at Netflix as employees walk out,” Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-10-20/netflix-employee-walkout-dave-chappelle-special


Euthanasia

There is a new blog post entitled, “Christ suffered, so should you.”

Daily Chatter, “The World Today,” October 20, 2021, https://www.dailychatter.com/2021/10/20/life-and-death/


Havana Syndrome

Julia Ioffe, “A Cold War Saga in Biden’s Washington,” Puck News, October 20, 2021, https://puck.news/havana-syndrome-in-bidens-washington/


Constitutional Oligarchy

You knew Silicon Valley oligarchs were sufficiently arrogant as to believe they could fix U.S. politics, right? Well, here it is.[7]

Theodore Schleiffer, “The $100 Million Plan to Completely Fix Washington,” Puck News, October 20, 2021, https://puck.news/silicon-valleys-100-million-plan-to-completely-fix-washington/


Pandemic

(Inter)national

Those who initially received the Pfizer vaccine remain ineligible for a booster unless they are old enough, have underlying health conditions, or face workplace exposure.[8]

Linda Geddes, “Without Covid-19 jab, ‘reinfection may occur every 16 months,’” Guardian, October 19, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/19/without-covid-19-jab-reinfection-may-occur-every-16-months-say-scientists

Peter Loftus and Felicia Schwartz, “Moderna and J&J Covid-19 Boosters, Mixing and Matching Authorized by the FDA,” Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-authorizes-covid-19-vaccine-boosters-from-moderna-j-j-11634763535


Twitter


Well, fuck. To be honest, I was having trouble telling if @DPRK_News was a parody account. This is not how I wanted to find out.


  1. [5]Matthew Belloni, “Netflix Has Reached a P.R. Inflection Point,” Puck News, October 18, 2021, https://puck.news/netflix-has-reached-a-p-r-inflection-point/; Christi Carras, “Chappelle critics and supporters square off at Netflix as employees walk out,” Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-10-20/netflix-employee-walkout-dave-chappelle-special; Joe Flint, “Netflix Co-CEO Says He ‘Screwed Up’ When Defending Dave Chappelle Special,” Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-co-ceo-says-he-screwed-up-when-defending-dave-chappelle-special-11634696007; Sarah Todd, “The Chappelle controversy is a test of what kind of workplace Netflix wants to be,” Quartz, October 19, 2021, https://qz.com/work/2075306/dave-chappelles-the-closer-is-testing-netflixs-values/
  2. [6]Matthew Belloni, “Netflix Has Reached a P.R. Inflection Point,” Puck News, October 18, 2021, https://puck.news/netflix-has-reached-a-p-r-inflection-point/; Christi Carras, “Chappelle critics and supporters square off at Netflix as employees walk out,” Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-10-20/netflix-employee-walkout-dave-chappelle-special; Joe Flint, “Netflix Co-CEO Says He ‘Screwed Up’ When Defending Dave Chappelle Special,” Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-co-ceo-says-he-screwed-up-when-defending-dave-chappelle-special-11634696007; Sarah Todd, “The Chappelle controversy is a test of what kind of workplace Netflix wants to be,” Quartz, October 19, 2021, https://qz.com/work/2075306/dave-chappelles-the-closer-is-testing-netflixs-values/
  3. [7]Theodore Schleiffer, “The $100 Million Plan to Completely Fix Washington,” Puck News, October 20, 2021, https://puck.news/silicon-valleys-100-million-plan-to-completely-fix-washington/
  4. [8]Peter Loftus and Felicia Schwartz, “Moderna and J&J Covid-19 Boosters, Mixing and Matching Authorized by the FDA,” Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-authorizes-covid-19-vaccine-boosters-from-moderna-j-j-11634763535

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