The riots in London seem finally to have subsided, but strange things are afoot stateside this week, so much so that we’re starting to wonder if Mercury, which went retrograde Aug. 3, is currently doing to the entire planet what it once did so publicly to Jeremy Piven. (Also, when does the statute of limitations on that joke run out?)
It all started last weekend, even before the city was deluged with cloudbursts of biblical proportions, when Texas governor Rick Perry threw his 10-gallon hat into the G.O.P. ring just as votes were being counted in the Iowa Straw Poll—an event that sounds like it involves blue ribbons for accurate jelly bean counting but that is actually a significant temperature-taking exercise for 2012 Republican voters. On Saturday night, the poll handed a slim but decisive victory to Michelle Bachmann, the woman Tina Brown recently dubbed “The Queen of Rage” on the cover of Newsweek (alongside a wide-eyed photo that would give Steve Buscemi nightmares), and on Sunday, milquetoasty Minnesota governor and “Obamneycare” coiner Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race. Meanwhile, everyone pretty much ignored Ron Paul.
In other public slights, Steve Jobs earned an enemy in Marty Markowitz when the ailing tech mogul failed to respond to the borough president’s whimsical iPad video pleading for an Apple store in Brooklyn. Mr. Markowitz announced that Mr. Jobs and his company won’t “reach the big-time” until they land in the city’s most Safran-Foer-rich district, but seeing as Apple survived last week’s stock market free-fall with barely a dent, we think Marty needs to fuggedaboudit (at this point he’d have better luck buying a black market baby, and even then there’s no guarantee they’d get a spot at the new Grace Church high school). George Soros is being sued by his ex-girlfriend Adriana Ferreyr after reportedly making her eat dinner at the kids’ table. And Arianna Huffington may finally be hitting a paywall after solicitations for free HuffPo graphic design submissions from readers prompted widespread outrage.
More evidence of universal chaos: Lady Gaga will design the seasonal window displays at Barneys (flank steak will make a perfect coat for Santa!), someone paid $70,000 for a tour of Facebook’s headquarters—an honor we suspect any U.P.S. delivery man bearing Mark Zuckerberg’s new Adidas sandals from Zappos gets for free—and a “flash mob” looted a Maryland 7-11 without even throwing in any hastily conceived choreography for good measure. In addition, New Yorkers despondent over the crashing economy flocked to city landmarks to take their own lives (two suicide attempts—one at Rockefeller Center and one on a Statue of Liberty-bound ferry—were, happily, thwarted by first responders), an unidentified body was discovered floating in Niagara Falls, and on Thursday in Tulsa, Okla., a man climbed a 300-foot tower and, while showing no signs of jumping, he has refused to come down for five days (he did, however, order a cappuccino).
With all signs pointing to an astrological system gone horribly awry, maybe it’s a good thing that New York police spent last weekend practicing riot drills on Randall’s Island. Like the state lotto constantly reminds us, hey—you never know.