Ai Weiwei, farm subsidies and a healthy man crush.

Hot doggie - dang glad to reflect upon the fortuitous timing of my recent Eastern Standard swing. In contrast, Seattle's facing full on June-uary as of now. Whatever the upcoming forecast, I feel the need to sweat out a few stories so I might re-hydrate and move on.
  •  The Chinese government just cannot stop messing with Ai Weiwei. I still haven't seen the documentary about his struggles that has been making the art-house rounds ("Never Sorry"). His story unfolds in totally depressing ways almost daily. The tax evasion case the government is using to flummox and shut him down artistically keeps moving forward. I mention this as a not so friendly reminder of how artists of all stripes in China are struggling to freely express themselves. Total drag.
  • In other news that far too few people notice, the Senate just passed the Farm Bill's mandated renewal to the tune of $1-Trillion-with-a-T over the next decade. To start digging into what's there is to borrow the shovel from Hercules and step onto the threshold of the Augean Stables. Everyone gloms questionable junk onto this sort of omnibus bill (Harry Reid had to massively compromise the amendments down to just 73). I imagine that even the wonkiest beltway tools glaze over when this debate gets ranging everywhere from sugar beet subsidies to aid to Pakistan and all sorts of questionable places in between. This collective absurdity now heads to the House for them to do their business all over. Believe it or not, I find plenty in all the Farm Bill stimulating. Some people get their kicks from 50 Shades of Grey and the sequels. Are my kinks any dirtier? Don't answer that.
  • I can't believe I'm saying the following without electrodes being threateningly attached to some unmentionable part of my body. Here goes...congrats to the Miami Heat for winning the NBA Championship. If they'd faced any team other than the one stolen from Seattle, I'd be on the other side of that victory parade. But until my secret man-crush Chris Hansen (no, not the creepy "To Catch a Predator" host, I'm talking about the previously anonymous hedge-fund brainiac) gets Seattle's elected curmudgeons to sign off on a dual-use stadium for our dreamed of new NBA and NHL franchises (stolen from cities to be named later...apologies in advance, America), the only team I consistently cheer for is the one playing against Clay Bennett's OKC Thunder. Way to go, Heat-meisters. Now knock it off.
With that said, let the summer begin. Keep cool out there, Campers.