Laurels & lances: Movies, memes, stealing and stress
Laurel: To summer fun with serious bite. As part of its new summer programming, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art hosted its first Summer Saturday on June 22. The Greensburg museum’s parking lot turned into a drive-in — or sit-in — of sorts, for an outdoor viewing of “Jaws,” marking 44 years of scaring people out of the water.
Inside the museum, nautical-themed exhibits were on display, and guests could purchase lobster rolls and other fare from Café Marchand. Prior to the screening, the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s String Quartet entertained visitors. Admission was free, no sunscreen required. Practically a day at the beach.
Lance: To hatred dressed as humor. The since-fired Yokoso employee who shared a meme on Facebook of an oven with the caption “Jewish bunk beds for sale” claims he doesn’t read well and thought it was about Danish bunk beds. That falls flat, especially coming amid his statements about his life being ruined.
But let’s say it’s true. Maybe it was a mistake on his part. It wasn’t a mistake for whoever created the meme. The anti-Semitism is still out there, disguised as a joke and waiting for laughs that lessen the horror of millions of murders. That dehumanization is what makes a Tree of Life synagogue attack possible. It’s just not funny.
Laurel: To keeping an eye on things. A cutting-edge surveillance system at the Pittsburgh Mills mall complex should be helping police crack down on a spike in drug-related shoplifting.
Frazer police Chief Terry Kuhns says theft is up because of the opioid epidemic as people suffering from addiction steal to fund their drug cravings. Finding a way to address that doesn’t just help the businesses. It helps the local economy and by extension the community. And maybe more vigilance can lead to the addicted getting treatment. Good for everyone.
Lance: To unhealthy stress. Ask any doctor and they will tell you that stress isn’t good for the body. So why did health industry titans UPMC and Highmark play a months-long game of chicken with each other as their uneasy 2014 agreement wound down? Why make hearts race and blood pressure rise as people scramble to change insurance or switch doctors?
And while the situation has been resolved for the next 10 years with a new agreement, how many people made changes they didn’t want and can’t change until the next open enrollment period? It’s enough to make you sick.