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Marcela’s Weekly Digest: 18th October 2022

This week we saw the existence of a company that helps landlords charge you the most for rents, the Alabama prison strike, people protesting outside the home of a contractor helping the City of Atlanta destroy a forest, and the discontinuation of a cholera vaccine. 

Hi, I’m Marcela: I’m a comedian, I live Brooklyn, and I really like to tell people how to feel about the news. After wowing zoomers all over on TikTok by giving them news with a sense of humour and anarchy, I decided to start a weekly Sunday newsletter to share my feelings about more news. 

My weekly newsletter has evolved into this beautiful Tuesday weekly news column for shado which also covers international news. I hope the newsletter keeps you informed and makes you laugh a little. We live in hell and I believe humour helps keep this place a little bit cooler.

This week, I share my feelings on the existence of a company that helps landlords charge you the most for rents, the Alabama prison strike, people protesting outside the home of a contractor helping the City of Atlanta destroy a forest, and the discontinuation of a cholera vaccine. 

Onto the news…

News that made me realise I want to see athletes hold hands instead of compete

There’s a company out there called RealPage and RealPage’s goal is to help landlords increase revenue by gathering “competitive” rent data from other rental properties so landlords can set the highest rent the market can bear. 

If you thought Mark Zuckerberg was the only person capable of harvesting the power of algorithms for pure evil, you’d be wrong. 

RealPage’s algorithms have been so “successful” at increasing rents that last year real estate executives celebrated a 14% increase in rent at the RealPage’s conference. Yes there is a conference where rich people get together and celebrate ruining our lives. In fact there are countless conferences where rich people celebrate ruining our lives.

Here, in the place called the United States of America, the most famous conference for rich people to celebrate ruining our lives is the congressional session. It’s when members of congress come together in their cutest outfits, pretend they are solving our problems instead of making them worse, then get wine drunk at 4pm. The wine drunk part is not shown on C-SPAN.

RealPage should be illegal even by capitalism’s standards. I know capitalism doesn’t seem like it has any standards, but one thing that it claims to be good at is “competition” – which I find very unappealing, because why would you compete if you can just take a nap instead. 

Capitalism claims that through competitive markets, consumers win, but RealPage letting landlords share the price of rent with each other in order to increase rent sounds like open collusion to me. 

It’s the equivalent of Olympic sprinters holding hands so they can cross the line at the same time. I think it would be very cute. Everyone would win and go home happy.

I’m sure capitalists would not find sprinters winning together cute though because capitalists don’t want us to work together; they want to be the only ones to work together. 

Capitalists know if we worked together like they do, we would be more powerful than they are and get rid of rent forever. That’s why sprinters holding hands are very cute and landlords holding hands are not cute at all. 

News that gave me my favourite cop joke

Last Friday, over 100 people stood outside the Alabama State Capitol to protest the existence of the place called Alabama. Okay, they weren’t technically protesting the existence of Alabama – they were showing solidarity with striking incarcerated people. 

But to me this is the same thing as protesting the existence of the state of Alabama because Alabama’s existence is dependent on it being a carceral state. Just like my existence is dependent on me taking an afternoon nap. I don’t have to do it but I really wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t.

Incarcerating people is a huge part of Alabama’s personality as Alabama has the highest incarceration rate in the United States of America. Alabama’s motto should be being the best at the worst things. However, where does one find time to come up with a new motto when one is trying to clinch the prize of being the worst place to live in the evil empire. 

Alabama’s obsession with being the worst state in the United States however has led Alabama to treat its prisoners poorly, which has led to a prison strike. 

Since 26 September a majority of prisoners in Alabama have been on strike decrying inhumane treatment. According to Unicorn Riot, prisoners have also “demanded the repeal of the Habitual Felony Offender Act (HFOA)” which calls for people to be imprisoned for life if they’ve committed at least three felonies. 

George Bush, the rest of the living US presidents, and the corpses of the dead ones are not in an Alabama prison for being habitual war criminals. This law is obviously classist and racist as one would expect from Alabama and the United States of America. 

Despite retaliation from Alabama’s Department of Corrections (ADOC), which has included starving prisoners and being placed in solitary confinement, prisoners have declared they will continue to strike. 

Of course the ADOC is retaliating. If your job is to be awful to people, you generally view it as an inconvenience if they ask you to be nice to them. Just ask your neighbourhood bully – every neighbourhood has multiple bullies, they are called cops. I’ll never get tired of making this joke no matter how much people don’t laugh.

News that made me tell you the plot of Bring It On

Last Saturday in New York City a group of comrades gathered outside the home of Rami Boundouki, the Vice President of Alta Vista, a company helping the City of Atlanta deforest the Weelaunee Forest to build a cop training facility. 

The City of Atlanta is clearly taking tips from Sauron, the villain in the Lords of the Rings series. If you haven’t watched the movie, Sauron cuts down trees to build his evil empire.

Maybe I have this all wrong and it’s the other way around. Maybe it’s more like the villains in the Lord of the Rings and every other book have in fact been inspired by the United States of America. That’s why what every villain in every movie does sounds exactly like something the United States of America’s government would do.

The US government would definitely lead its white cheerleading squad to multiple state championships by stealing the choreography of a predominantly Black cheerleading squad across town, then act like the victim when everyone finds out they are thieves. 

This is the plot of Bring It On where the people portrayed as heroes are actually the villains. White TikTokers who steal dances from Black TikTokers definitely watched Bring It On and learned the wrong lesson.

Nonetheless, I digress. The comrades yelling outside Rami’s house showed me the importance of booing the rich. I’ve talked about booing cops as well as politicians and I can’t believe I’ve never talked about booing rich people. In capitalism rich people do bad things to get money and they are rewarded for it so they keep doing bad things to get more money

Of course cutting down a forest to build a playground for the cops and a sound facility for Hollywood is objectively bad. However, if people are rewarding you for doing it, and you don’t care about anything other than money, why would you not do it? 

Think about it. If someone gave you a joint every time you skipped work and took a nap, you would never go to work because you love naps and joints. 

Not going to work is a good thing, but destroying the planet is not. Humans respond to incentives and it’s time we start training rich people to not want to be rich anymore. So get together with your friends, find a rich person, and boo them.

News that made me tell you White Claw doesn’t save lives

One of the manufacturers of the cholera vaccine has decided that it doesn’t need to make vaccines anymore because it has better things to do than prevent thousands of deaths. 

Imagine having life saving powers and just deciding you are not going to use them. Which is something that superheroes in movies do, so I should have expected that. If superheroes wanted to save lives, they would destroy capitalism instead of riding around on spiderwebs with their girlfriends. I know you are just a teenager Peter, but how about some class consciousness. 

Now before I go on yelling through text about the lack of humanity it takes to know you can prevent death and just not do it, may I ask why there are only two companies manufacturing the vaccine of a very dangerous disease? Like seriously, why? 

There are over 150 brands of hard seltzer and you are telling me you can’t get more companies to make a cholera vaccine. White Claw doesn’t save lives. But you know who drinks White Claws and you know who gets cholera and I doubt that Venn diagram overlaps much if at all. 

The simple answer to why only two companies are producing an important vaccine is colonialism and racism. 

As long as the people who drink White Claws are not the same people who get cholera there will only be one company producing a vaccine. Which is why we should turn the grapefruit White Claw into a cholera vaccine. That’s a lot harder than getting rid of capitalism so maybe we should just get rid of capitalism and turn all the White Claw factories into cholera vaccination factories.

News that made me sing R-E-S-P-E-C-T

This week on TikTok I talked about why the FBI was tracking Aretha Franklin for 40 years.  

@feelthenewswithmarcela Read Assata’s autobiography and As Black as Resistance and subscribe to the newsletter #blackpeople #arethafranklin #news #fbi #leftist ♬ original sound – Feel the News

That’s it for the news, see ya next week, 

Marcela 

What can you do?

  • If you want to do something to help stop the destruction of the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta, please read this.
  • I read this cool zine about how ending rape culture requires ending the carceral state. You should read it too.
  • Learn how napping can be a revolutionary activity from the Nap Ministry.  
  • Read last week’s news HERE
  • If you enjoy my writing and you’d like to support my labour and help me make Feel the News into a late night show, please become a paying Feel the News subscriber
Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii

 

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