Last night I went to Sh!tstorm at the Rendezvous. The place was packed and hot as hell. I left early after fanning myself like a Southern woman in church for nearly two hours. But the turn out is a good indication that this is sorely needed and I think with a bigger venue it will only grow more popular. It was billed as “a no-holds-barred discussion on the state of Seattle culture (such as it is). ” As incendiary as the press release and the bone of contention was”all arts organizations in Seattle must be allowed to die with dignity” the discussion that took place was actually really constructive. It definitely fulfilled its goal of being spirited and giving people a place where they could speak their minds. The Oath of No Attribution, which we all had to swear to at the beginning of the night, meant that nothing said there could be quoted with a name attached. Beforehand I thought it was an incredibly annoying contrivance, but once things got rolling I realized that several people who have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the Seattle arts scene in private actually spoke up last night. i think that was a direct result of the Oath. I was disappointed that many of the most bitter complainers who spoke to me last week didn’t show up and say their piece. But maybe bitterness is their true art form.