There are a lot of contenders, but Lake of the Ozarks might be the worst place in America right now

We’ve recently entered a new, dark phase of the pandemic that, while perhaps unavoidable given the state of everything, is no less infuriating and upsetting. There are safe, effective, and free vaccines providing immense protection against the virus and they are available to virtually everyone—but good luck selling that to the large portion of Americans whose views have been warped beyond repair by years of Fox News propaganda, weaponized misinformation, hollow culture wars, social media bubbles, and that guy.

A lot of locales highlighted over the past year-and-a-half (mostly by Andrew Callaghan) could conceivably take the crown for “Most Godforsaken Place in the U.S.,” but a new frontrunner is clear after today’s report from Politico. To reference a beloved SNL character in an attempt to mitigate our encroaching depression: This place has it all—mask-shaming beach bums, MAGA hats, AC/DC cover bands, a bar called Shorty Pants, thorough-while-still-somehow-kind-of-offensive journalists.

Welcome to Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, a region currently inundated by literally thousands of unmasked, unvaccinated summer vacationers who—like so many in this tired nation—long ago conflated “universal contrarianism” with “patriotic American independence.” Truly, it sounds like a real hell on Earth.

“Depending on your politics, the scene at Backwater Jack’s is either a symbol of reckless abandon or unapologetic living in the face of a pandemic,” Politico describes of one particular beachfront bar in Osage Beach (“symbol of reckless abandon”…the answer here is “symbol reckless abandon”).

Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

-H. L. Mencken

On a related note:


Sen. Kelly Introduces Legislation To Prop Up Failing News Outlets

Last week, Senator Mark Kelly introduced legislation designed to keep failing news outlets alive. Kelly’s Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021, would essentially subsidize local news organizations through a series of tax credits.

The tax credits would be available to newspapers, digital publications, television stations and radio stations.

Kelly claimed in a press release that “local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations are pillars” of Arizona communities, “bringing Arizonans trusted local news, information about community events and the latest on public health updates in their area.”

Contrary to his claims, the public has turned away from legacy media outlets due in part to the lack of trust the public has in them. That lack of trust could be exacerbated by the fact that through the proposed taxing scheme, government would be funding the very industry that is supposed to be policing it.

His wife was shot in the head; what’s his excuse?

And in other worse news, the herpes of millennial journalism is having another flare-up: