Afroman is relevant again, just in time for his visit to Prince George
Plus asbestos pipes and a moose emoji
I am unfortunately ill which means I tapped out on watching council last night. I caught the first part, where they award longtime, now-retired city councillor Murry Krause the Freedom of the City for his decades of public service (well deserved, he is the longest-serving councillor in city history and accomplished a lot) — and then an excrutciatingly long debate over whether to set an agenda out for attempting to meet with other levels of government or if it would be better sent to a certain committee or idk one thing this council seems to need to work out is how not to get bogged down in details but yeah I gave up. We’ll all have to read the newspaper reports when they come out and I’ll certainly link to them here. Instead, let’s turn our attention to a one-hit wonder from 2001.
Because he got high
I’m not sure it was possible to be alive in 2001 and not be familiar with the hit “Because I Got High.” It was number one in multiple countries, but also I was in high school at the time and got frequent airplay on our local radio stations, as well as MuchMusic, which was in its dying days, and widely shared on Limewire which was a thing us old folks used to download music before iTunes and Spotify were invented.
I haven’t given “Because I Got High” or its creator, Afroman, much thought in the intervening two decades, so I was surprised to see an ad for him coming to perform in Prince George (on the night of 4:19, which will lead into 4:20, what a coup for the venue):
Having random formerly charting artists perform at random venues is one of the charms of living in a mid-sized city, and Afroman playing Ignite strikes me as similar to a few years ago as when Darude somehow showed up at one of the downtown clubs (here’s a video post from him proving it happened) or Akon for some reason playing the Civic Centre in 2015. What’s more unusual is having those artists suddenly become relevant again right before they come to town.
But that’s happened to Afroman (legal name Joseph E. Foreman), who is making international headlines because he is getting sued by Ohio police officers after they raided his home and found nothing:
In August 2022, the complaint said, the officers raided Mr. Foreman’s residence in Winchester, Ohio, acting on a search warrant. It cited kidnapping and drug trafficking as reasons for the search, Anna Castellini, Mr. Foreman’s lawyer, said in an email statement on Friday.
Mr. Foreman, 48, who is best known for the 2000 song “Because I Got High,” was not home during the raid, but a security camera system and his wife, using her camera phone, recorded the “faces and bodies” of the officers while they were on the property, the lawsuit said.
The rapper used the footage in music videos, in promotional material for his tours and on merchandise, the lawsuit said, including shirts imprinted with the faces of some of the officers. In an Instagram post, the filing said, he wore one such shirt and thanked one of the officers for helping him get 5.4 million views on TikTok.
In the complaint, the officers objected to Mr. Foreman’s use of their images for “commercial purposes, to promote his ‘Afroman’ brand,” claiming that he was using the images to sell products and promote his tours.
The filing said that the rapper’s actions had caused them to suffer “humiliation, ridicule, mental distress, embarrassment and loss of reputation,” and listed several counts of unauthorized use of their personas and invasion of privacy. The officers are seeking damages, including money from the profits that he made from using their images, and a court injunction to remove the material, it said.
All of this has helped shoot up Afroman’s profile in both mainstream media and online where he is racking up huge YouTube and TikTok numbers. It really has nothing to do with Prince George but, hey, he’ll be here and I imagine this will come up.
Apparently we have a lot of asbestos cement pipes
CTV’s investigative W5 team, lead by producer Eric Szeto, looks into the issue of asbestos cement pipes:
It was to my surprise when I learned that these pipes, installed decades ago and all nearing end-of-life, were still not only in use but were also delivering tap water to Canadians. And as these pipes deteriorate and fail — they leach asbestos into the water.
Health Canada maintains there is no consistent evidence drinking or ingesting asbestos is harmful so there is currently no maximum limit that can be in Canadian water.
And with no maximum limit, the agency said, there was no need for testing. That’s likely why very few communities in Canada currently test for asbestos in water.
Julian Branch, a former journalist who is now an activist, has been trying to alert all levels of government about this problem for years, and says there’s a "complete and utter lack of political accountability."
The Regina resident doesn’t understand why there isn’t wide-spread testing and more urgency on the issue.
"Until asbestos is regulated in Canadian water, Canadians should be very concerned about their drinking water," Branch said. "But it’s up to the politicians today to find a solution. We can't just keep pretending it's not there. We have to find a solution to this before it's too late."
And with this investigation they published a table of the cities with the most of these pipes. Guess who’s number two?
Something to bear in mind when you hear about the need to replace city infrastructure.
Here’s their full investigation:
Finally, a moose emoji:
A moose, a goose and a black bird that coule almost be passed off as a crow. Good set for northern B.C.
Speaking of cops and drugs, Prince George RCMP seized 1,400 grams of fentanyl along with other substances.
The former chair of the Prince George school board has questions for the current board about wtf is going on and encourages the public to “hold them accountable”.
Political columnist Rob Shaw has a profile of John Rustad’s run for leadership of the B.C. Conservatives: “I am proudly pro-freedom and pro-trucker,” says the MLA who won’t commit to climate-change being human-caused.
A group of UNBC students is planning to hold a protest against the centralized homeless camp idea. Here’s a thoughtful letter from a Millar Addition resident about it.
Prince George Search and Rescue helped out an injured backcountry skier over the weekend.
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