Week in Review

by by David Adler, Mimi Dwyer & Erica Schwiegershausen

illustration by by Becca Levinson

4/20 Update

Detroit is a decrepit city—its former industry in dark shambles, its slums rife with poverty. But don’t worry! Gubernatorial candidate Geoffrey Fieger has the solution: legalize marijuana and prostitution and thus create “the new Amsterdam.” Like fairy dust, all it would take is a sprinkle of Euro-style “coffee shops” and a few streets where sad women can dance slowly in cages and Detroit would be back on its feet. Such revisions would “make Detroit a fun city,” Fieger asserted. “They would flock here.” Of course, who “they” were was left entirely unclear. Perhaps “they” are thousands of venture capitalists seeking a weed-and-prostitute friendly environment to house the new decade’s Silicon Valley. Or, perhaps, it’s the same “they” who flock to the old Amsterdam: 18-year-old stoners dropping daddy’s money for a Eurotrip looking to get so baked, bro. When asked how these policy changes would help education and unemployment, feathered-haired Fieger retorted, “Detroit couldn’t get much worse.” Though this statement is outright false (see: Detroit with more drugs and more prostitutes), Fieger’s claim is merely an outgrowth of a larger movement toward marijuana legality that is growing by the day.
In a recent poll conducted by Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who support the legalization of marijuana has grown from 16 to 45 in the past twenty years; those against it shrunk from 81 percent to only 50. Meanwhile, Canadian judge Donald Taliano swiftly struck down many parts of Canadian law against marijuana this week, giving the government 90 days to either appeal the ruling or reform its strict laws regarding marijuana. At the end of this 90-day period, growing, possessing, and smoking pot will become legal (100 points for Canada).
With such fervor sweeping through the hemisphere, it’s hard to label Fieger an outlier. Our twenty-first century manifest destiny is unfolding—let’s just hope Detroit à la Amsterdam doesn’t lie at its end. –DA

Lady Liberty Forever Commemorates Sin City Knockoff

The Las Vegas hotel and casino New York-New York received a literal stamp of approval from the US Postal Service this week: apparently, the recently issued Statue of Liberty Forever stamp is based on a photograph of the casino’s 14-year-old replica. That’s right: what you may have assumed was a headshot of the reputable statue in New York Harbor that has ushered in huddled masses for the past 125 years actually depicts a half-size imitation that welcomes drunken gamblers to a Gotham-themed Disneyland.

The blunder was brought to attention last week when Linn’s Stamp News, the leading publication for American philately, pointed out what in hindsight seem like some fairly obvious tip-offs. Apparently the hair on the two statues is different, the replica’s eyes are much more sharply defined, and the fake crown has dark areas instead of windows. Others point out that the faux figure has a wider nose, more distinct eyelids, and a furrowed brow, as well a curious rectangular patch located on the center spike of its half-size crown.

The USPS remains largely unperturbed by the revelation and has stated that it doesn’t plan to pull the stamp out of circulation. Perhaps with good reason. After all, as Gordon Absher, spokesman for MGM Resorts International, pointed out: “Everyone thought the post office was just honoring one great American institution, when in reality they were honoring two—the Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas.”

Roy Bettes, manager of community relations for the Postal Service in Washington, said that although the post office had no idea that the photograph was not of the original (apparently the Postal Service used stock photography and neglected to read the caption), “there are no errors on the stamp, so we’re not recalling them.” Jay Bigalke, associate editor of Linn’s, told NPR’s Robert Siegel that this incident will go down in history as one of the biggest philatelic blunders of all time. “This is right up there with the Grand Canyon mistake that they made…where they accidently printed a caption underneath the Grand Canyon photograph that said ‘Grand Canyon, Colorado,’” Bigalke said. –ES

Viva Geriatric Revolución 

This Tuesday, Cuban government officials strapped the wheels onto their respirators and swept the dust off their state-subsidized walkers for the first convention of the Cuban Communist Party Congress in fourteen years. The geriatric members of Congress met at the demand of president Raul “Sunshine” Castro, 79, and his brother Fidel “Not Dead” Castro, 84, intent on appointing a “new generation” of Cuban leadership to helm the crumbling state. While numerous commentators have speculated that the Cuban government will complete its slow opening to capitalist investment after the Castro brothers join that big revolution in the sky, Fidel insisted that the new leadership will “defend, preserve and continue perfecting socialism, and never permit the return of capitalism” in Cuba. He proceeded to announce his resignation from the second-in-command position in the cabinet.

Castro named José Ramón Machado, 80, as the new head of the Communist Party, and Ramiro Valdés, 79, as his lieutenant, citing a dearth of competent younger leadership in the government. (Kids these days just don’t sport a .12-gauge and ammo overalls with the same swagger they used to.) The two new appointees fought alongside Castro in the original revolution. They are also members of the hardworking witch coven successfully working to keep members of the regime alive forever. Indy staff members can’t wait ‘til their first wrinkle—we hear that is the first step to spearheading a successful revolution these days, and to fucking like Che. –MD