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Archives for 08/14/2005 - 08/20/2005

Saturday, August 20, 2005

John Roberts Vs. Michael Jackson

posted by on August 20 at 11:28 AM

Today the Washington Post breaks the bizarre story of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’s longstanding anti-Michael Jacksonism.

The source for the story is a small handful of memos written during 1984, when Roberts was working as a Reagan White House lawyer. According to the Post, Roberts argued against giving a presidential award to Jackson for his efforts against drunk driving, with Roberts particularly objecting to the description of Jackson as an “outstanding example” for American youth. Wrote Roberts in an April ‘84 memo:

If one wants the youth of America and the world sashaying around in garish sequined costumes, hair dripping with pomade, body shot full of female hormones to prevent voice change, mono-gloved, well, then, I suppose ‘Michael,’ as he is affectionately known in the trade, is in fact a good example.

Eep. Lucky for Roberts he’s got the evidence of his pro-bono work battling Colorado’s anti-gay initiative to help deflect the forthcoming charges of homophobia, or at least sissyphobia. ( Michael Jackson, as everyone knows, is straightjust ask Brooke Shields.) But Roberts gets back on track at the memo’s end:

Quite apart from the problem of appearing to endorse Jackson’s androgynous life style, a Presidential award would be perceived as a shallow effort by the President to share in the constant publicity surrounding Jackson… . The whole episode would, in my view, be demeaning to the President.

Fighting to keep the Reagans away from celebrities? Obviously Roberts doesn’t flinch from impossible battles. Full story here.

Friday, August 19, 2005

New Club Night Alert

posted by on August 19 at 4:12 PM

Cut and pasted from an email by Suntzu Sound DJ J-Justice:

International Airport
Friday August 19
Doors 9:30 Cover $5 / ladies free before 11pm, free issues of XLR8R magazine while supplies last
LO-FI Performance Gallery

hosted by Michito
Main Room SunTzu Sound (broken beat/deep house/future soul) / Garret (funky/dubby/tribal)

Lounge Joe Mojo (bossa/soul jazz)/

Come check out our boy Michi’s new night. It’s heading into its 3rd week and has been crackin’! We’re headlining the main room and will be dropping BOTH tracks from our upcoming 12” due out in October. Be sure to get there early to hear JoeMojo drop some deep bossa/jazz vibes in the lounge.

review of Policy Beat

posted by on August 19 at 2:42 PM

Charles, Google is happy to translate it for you:

Continue reading "review of Policy Beat" »

The Rehab Exodus

posted by on August 19 at 2:24 PM

First Eminem, now Courtney (again): After her overdose last month at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Courtney Love has been ordered to check herself into an in-patient substance abuse facility, for violating her probation by testing positive for drugs.

Heartbreaking details from Reuters:

Love broke down in quiet sobs as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rand Rubin warned that he was prepared to send her to jail because he felt she needed “to hit rock bottom” before she was ready to overcome her drug addiction. “I’m convinced that you need either a long-term (treatment) program or a long-term stay in the county jail,” Rubin said.

Rehab may hurt, but it’s a million times better than jail, where I imagine Courtney could easily regress into a shiv-wielding prison bitch (she’s a survivor, after all.) Either way, my main concern remains with young Frances Bean, who will undoubtedly rebel against her mother by becoming a young Republican with a vast collection of Amy Grant CDs.

Best of luck to both Ms. Love and Mr. Mathers.

Someone buy this man a drink

posted by on August 19 at 1:15 PM

The theater department received a letter today from a production group in Shoreline that has been working on a show called Conclave. The show was set to run weekends from August 19 to December 17. The letter says, in full:

Dear Editor,

Conclave is cancelled. No one came to the preview, and no one wants to buy a ticket for any upcoming show. Hell, we couldn’t even give tickets away. Please remove any mention of it in your arts calendar. And we’ll try to do the same from our memories.

Most sincerely,

Dave Whitley

The Best Review of Police Beat

posted by on August 19 at 1:03 PM

Until I learn how to read this language, which will probably never happen, I shall regard this as the best review of my movie.

Einen etwas strukturierteren und sarkastischen Blick auf “die Fremden” wirft das Spielfilmdebüt des US-Regisseurs Robinson Devor. “Police Beat”, so der Titel des Films, ist ein Polizeifilm der etwas anderen Sorte: Der republikanische und muslimische US-Einwanderer Z (Pape S. Niany), der als Streifenpolizist mit dem Fahrrad auf Verbrecherjagd ist, vereint gleich so viele Widersprüche in sich, dass der Film und seine Figuren eigentlich nur als Parabel verstanden werden knnen. Und parabelhaft erzählt “Police Beat” auch seine Geschichte, in der Z Verkehrssünder und Kleinkriminelle abstraft - mit dem steten Blick auf die Verfassung und die Freiheit, dabei auf sozialer Ebene abarbeitet, was er im Privaten erlebt. Die von Devor als authentisch behaupteten Kriminalfälle, die Z verfolgt, und das überzeichnete aber darin ironisch-ehrliche Bild der derzeitigen Einwanderersituation in den USA offenbaren eine Gesellschaftsstruktur, die heterogener und widersprüchlicher kaum sein knnte.

It’s the Jews! It’s the Jews!

posted by on August 19 at 12:59 PM

Today’s revelation in the PI about Cindi Laws making repeated anti-Jewish comments during her meeting with the King County Labor Council is ugly stuff. She basically implied that there was a Jewish conspiracy to kill the monorail. Here’s an interesting side note: Laws tries to justify her weird comments by saying former monorail executive director Joel Horn (Horn is Jewish) had joked about being one of the only Jews in town who supported the monorail. This adds an ironic twist to the story. Here’s why: I’ve actually always sensed a level of anti-Semitism in the anti-monorail crowd’s attacks on Horn. Last year’s recall commercials featuring Joel as a shadowy charlatan were one public manifestation of the strange distaste for Horn.

One of the weirdest e-mails I’ve ever gotten at the Stranger came from a prominent anti-monorail campaigner who accused Joel and me of being “snobby East Coasters” who were in cahoots to trick innocent Seattleites. The e-mail actually accused Joel and I (inaccurately) of knowing each other “back east” and having some “secret connection.” (It’s the East Coast Jewish cabal!) Man, this town is weird: The Jews killed the monorail and the Jews also tried to trick Seattle into building the monorail.

Monorail Catch-22

posted by on August 19 at 11:59 AM

I loved Danny Westneat’s pro-mass transit column today. But one thing bugged me. While praising Chicago for being sensible enough to strip down their transit stations, prioritizing utility over show, Westneat uses the monorail as Seattle’s ill-advised counter example:

[In Chicago] they’re utilitarian. Some stations are just wooden steps to a roofless deck. There’s no high-speed elevators to glass plazas 10 stories up, as planned by the monorail.

Blaming the monorail for being too fancy? Shit, Danny. The critics were trashing the monorail for being too stripped down. Remember all the complaints about unenclosed stations. Oy vey. The Monorail just can’t win.

Anticipating Danger Doom

posted by on August 19 at 11:09 AM

I’ve just completed my first listen of it, but Danger Doom’s The Mouse & the Mask is sounding like the best hiphop album of 2005, living up to the unrealistic expectations such a collab between two underground phenoms inspires. Danger Mouse unveils track after track of odd, funky ingenuity (seamlessly meshing old school and next level) and MF Doom reasserts his status as the funniest, cleverest MC flecking mics with saliva today. The album drops Oct. 11 on Epitaph, the filthy rich punk label. That’s so damned twisted…

Lost Himself

posted by on August 19 at 9:16 AM

Two days after canceling his European tour due to exhaustion, Eminem has checked himself into a Michigan rehab facility, where according to the official Interscope press release, “he is being treated for dependency on sleep medication.”

Sad for Europe, but good for Eminem, whose career trajectory could’ve made anyone’s brain break. Here’s hoping this early intervention prevents him from carrying his Elvis Presley-of-hiphop schtick to its natural end (as a 300-lb corpse on a toilet.)

One HUMP! Ticket

posted by on August 19 at 8:15 AM

All four screenings for HUMP! may be sold out, but thanks to a bit of personal confusion that is too embarrassing to recount, I now have a HUMP! ticket that I can’t use.

Obviously a ticket to see amateur porn should not go to waste, so….

If you want to buy my ticket, be the first to email me at:

Ready? Go!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

When the world makes you crazy

posted by on August 18 at 6:24 PM

It’s so good to know that Sweden is sending Dungen our way. The flutes and flowing pop of paradise descends on us October 4 at Neumo’s.

A Leonard Cohen Purgatory

posted by on August 18 at 5:00 PM

The use of recognizable songs in movies is a double-edged sword, capable of either greatly adding to a scene, or just annoying the living hell out of the pop-weary audience. On the one hand, you’ve got Jesse’s Girl in Boogie Nights, on the other, that accursed “Are You Ready For This” song that plays over every single live-action Disney trailer. Why do I bring this up? Of the last 10 films I’ve seen, an incredible four have used Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. (The most recent offender, which shall remain nameless until released next month, also imaginatively uses Clapton’s Cocaine … over a scene of someone using cocaine. I mean, Jesus.) Yes, it’s a great song, and Buckley has a voice like an angelic Ghost Rider, but good god, enuff z’nuff. Somebody needs to send Hollywood a copy of K-Tel’s Freedom Rock, stat.

Stroke of Luck

posted by on August 18 at 4:13 PM

George W. Bush finally catches a break. No doubt George’s buddy Pat Robertson, the Christian wacko who asked God to “create” some vacancies on the Supreme Court (which usually involves a dead or dying Justice), was praying for something like this to happen.

Scooping the New York Times

posted by on August 18 at 3:48 PM

Well, sort of.

Over the weekend, the New York Times did this story about trends in the shapes and fonts of new books (basically, books aren’t friendly as they could be to old, blind readers). This is just what Paul Constant was getting at in last week’s book section.

Rapper Kanye West Denounces Homophobia

posted by on August 18 at 1:27 PM

I’m not a big fan of Kanye West’s music, but his recent public denouncement of the rampant homophobia in hiphop is utterly refreshing. Yo, check it.

“Pioneer Square-based”?

posted by on August 18 at 1:18 PM

In his (metaphorically tortured) story about the “snippy, spastic … war” between the Weekly and the Stranger, the P-I’s Mike Lewis describes the Weekly as a “Pioneer Square-based paper.”


According to their corporate web site, Seattle Weekly “sets the agenda in one of America’s most alternative cities.”

Yep. Any time I need to know when Jim Hightower’s Rolling Thunder tour is coming to town, or when the “Palestinian anti-apartheid” folk festival is going down on Phinney Ridge, I know I can count on the Weekly.

Put on your reading glasses, Mike Lewis

posted by on August 18 at 12:26 PM

Seattle Weekly hasn’t published a smart essay in years. We publish them all the time. We published one by Jonathan Raban two weeks ago.

My Mistress can kick your Mistress’s ass

posted by on August 18 at 12:08 PM

I’ve been biting my tongue about this… but since we seem to be obsessed with the Weekly’s cheesy adult site, could we point our flashlights at the amateurish ads in their fetish gallery for a second? Our Doms are hotter.

Also, Mr. Lewis, though it’s a cute and threadbare stereotype, I don’t think anyone at The Stranger actually has a pierced eyebrow. From here I see a fair number of eyeglasses and no facial piercings.

Seattle’s Best Blog

posted by on August 18 at 12:00 PM

The mysterious Port of Seattle (which relies on an annual $60 million tax levy, while other major West-coast ports manage to operate at a profit w/out public subsidies) has avoided public scrutiny for years. That all changes with Seattle’s best local blog. Three cheers for dissident Port Commissioner (and blogger) Alec Fisken who’s recent posts like “Port for Sale?” are shining a harsh spotlight on his complacent colleagues.

Weekly Tits vs. Stranger Porn

posted by on August 18 at 11:47 AM

Mike Lewis is all over the big “Stranger blocked from Weekly’s website” story today. Terry Coe at the Weekly is sticking to his story: The Stranger was spamming our classified advertisers! Revealingly, Coe let slip just how many classified advertisers Seattle Weekly currently has: “Several, at least four.”

One other note about this scintillating scandal: Some readers took me to task for making fun of the Weekly’s porn site.

Isn’t the Stranger pro-porn? Don’t we love tits? Aren’t we hosting an amateur porn contest this weekend? Don’t we also run a similar dirty, dirty, dirty website?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

We’re not making fun of the Weekly for slapping tits up on a website, but for being such hypocrites about it. We admit that is our site; the Weekly, as Sandeep Kaushik wrote in the story I linked to yesterday, attempted to hide their association with their ta-ta-heavy knock-off of The Weekly is squeamish about sexthey’re conflicted about their escort ads, say, in a way that the tit fans at The Stranger are not.

That’s why it was fun to link to all the Southern California rack those old hippies at Seattle Weekly slapped up their website.

Now back to our regularly programmed blogging…

Fine and Dandy

posted by on August 18 at 10:37 AM

As mixed as my feelings are about the Dandy Warhols (especially after seeing the Dig! documentary) sometimes they do write a really great, uplifting, celebrate-everything pop song. “Smoke It,” off their upcoming Sept. release Odditoruium or the Warlords of Mars is one such song, and you can either watch the video (that involves a whole lotta dogs) or listen to them on KEXP at 1pm today, where they’ll most likely play it live. They’ll also be at the War Room tonight for a listening party (which means no live set) for the upcoming album.


posted by on August 18 at 9:58 AM

Last night, corner of Denny and Broadway, this exchange went down:

50ish white woman in horn-rimmed glasses, probably just off a plane that departed from South Dakota or Nebraska, leans out of her cab and asks, “Are we in Capitol Hill?”

Taken aback, I pause and then say, “Yes.”

50ish white woman: “Cool. I like it!”

Re: Hot New Performance Art Duo

posted by on August 18 at 9:57 AM

Some vital feedback from intern Nick:

“Oh, an horrific thought passed through me just now. The way the Slog post is worded, I’m imagining a set of conjoined twins who literally have A babyface. That is, conjoined at the head and sharing a baby face. In any case, they most certainly can’t be Genius Organization because, for all his intelligent design, those two are the worst goddamn organizing God has ever done.”

Hot New Performance Art Duo

posted by on August 18 at 9:38 AM

I just got word of a pair of hot new street performers, via a long, detailed voicemail that’s pretty impressive as well:

“Yes, I’d like to leave a Hot Tip. There’s two girlsthey’re probably about 40, they’re twins, they’re overweight, they have a baby face, and they smell of urine. The two sisters talk at the same time always, they never talk individually, and they’re known to take advantage of men. Like I said, they have a baby face. Yesterday they were at Starbucks on Broadway, and one sat across from me and proceeded to scratch her vagina through her skirt quite vigorously. When she was done, she leaned over for about 20 minutes checking the spot on her skirt. So keep an eye out for them, they’re very, very dirty, and very, very obnoxious.”

Obviously, The Baby-Faced Twins should be placed in the running a 2005 Genius Award. But should they win for Theater or Organization?

Tonight’s the night

posted by on August 18 at 8:30 AM

Tons of good stuff happening around town tonight…and a lot of it between those precious hours of 6 and 9 some call happy hour….Friends Forever perform in the parking lot of Electric Heavyland (252 NE 45th St) at 6pm. Found Magazine hits Seattle for their release party for Dirty Found at Re-Bar tonight at 8pm, and author/rock writer Chuck Klosterman reads at University Bookstore at 7:30pm. And all that’s not even mentioning the live music later on tonight…and the DJ set from Jeppe of Denmark’s Junior Senior at the War Room.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Re: Field Trip

posted by on August 17 at 5:07 PM

Mr. Mudede, mass public transit will do a great deal more for the multi-racial working class than the South China Restaurant ever did.
Interestingly enough, Sound Transit board member Dwight Pelz (who is standing with Erica and me in that picture) mentioned the South China Restaurant during our tour today. Quote: “I think Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos was against light rail in the South End because Sound Transit was going to take out this bad Chinese restaurant that used to be here.”

Re: Field Trip

posted by on August 17 at 3:59 PM

That picture of Josh and Erica at the construction site made me sad. They are standing exactly where a bar used to exist in the South China Restaurant. I loved that bar and its melancholy mood. Here is something I wrote about it a few years ago:

We usually visited the bar in South China Restaurant on Friday nights, at the end of a long week. Our exhaustion was matched by the exhaustion of the bar’s décor and patrons. Nothing new or fresh exists in this place; the furniture is dead, the jukebox plays soul music from an era that had long ended before we were born, and the patrons are well into the concluding half of their life spans. To pass these wasting hours, they play darts, pull tabs, remember old friends who are either serving time or eternity. Because the bar is located on Beacon Hill, it attracts a variety of races. Black Americans, Asians, East Africans, White Americans often sit in mixed groups rather than segregated pockets. The racial harmony in the bar has less to do with progressive thinking than pure exhaustion. These working-class men and women are just too tired to hate each other. All the energy they have left is reserved for drinking, which is the thing you can finally do in this bar at the end of a long day, long week, long life.

Field Trip

posted by on August 17 at 3:41 PM

Josh and I spent the morning touring the future site of Sound Transit’s Beacon Hill light rail station, where we walked around a giant hole in the ground, learned a bunch of stuff about Seattle’s soils, and looked at something called a “boring machine,” which Sound Transit will use to dig its mile-long tunnel 150 feet under Beacon Hill.

Oh, and we wore some funny clothes.


posted by on August 17 at 3:26 PM

It started innocently. A friendly little prank, one publisher razzing another. Call it horseplay. Grabass. Dinking around. Call it a newspaper war.

Or call it: “The publisher of the Stranger needs more to do.”

But first, and for the record: The Stranger was not spamming Seattle Weekly classified advertisers. Either of them. If you can find someone who has ever taken out an ad in the Seattle Weekly classifieds, let us know. We’d be happy to forward that person some of the spam we receive every day. Our penises are big enough, our sperm count is high enough, and our mortgages are low enough.

So what the heck is the Weekly upset about? After getting Erin’s email, I marched into the offices of Tim Keck, publisher of The Stranger, and demanded some answers. Here’s what he had to say for himself:

Continue reading "FULL DISCLOSURE" »

Smoke Gets In Our Eyes

posted by on August 17 at 3:14 PM

In this week’s paper, Dominic Holden encourages both stoners and non-stoners to check out Hempfest. Unfortunately, we forgot to add a vital bit of info. As a reader informs us:

Well, gosh and golly, isn’t that cute? Dominic Holden and his pot smoking buddies are having a party this weekend! What’s that? It’s not just for pot smokers? Concerned citizens are invited too? Cool! Sign me up!

Oh, except y’all were too stoned to post little details like where and when this “extravaganza” is being held.

Good luck with the relevancy thing,

Joe Rodgers

For the record, Hempfest is this weekend, August 20-21 at Myrtle Edwards Park, Pier 70, from 10 am to 8 pm. It’s free.


posted by on August 17 at 2:18 PM

This morning we were wondering why no one at The Stranger could access the Weekly’s main website . Why would they do this to us? What had we ever done to them?

A Stranger reader sent this short note to the Weekly…

Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:24 PM

To: sw web

Subject: Why no access for The Stranger?

A little bizarre folks? No? Another reason I won’t be reading your paper.

…and soon thereafter got this response:

Continue reading "MYSTERY SOLVED?" »

Dept. of Stupid Errors

posted by on August 17 at 2:02 PM

In my review of the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin coming out today, I write that the film’s director, Judd Apatow, also directed Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. That ain’t right. Adam McKay was the real director of Anchorman, Apatow was its producer. I regret my stupid, stupid error.

re: blackout

posted by on August 17 at 12:18 PM

It’s true—I thought Dan was shitting us but our tech guy confirms that they’ve blocked us. Weird. I didn’t realize the Weekly had a website.

What’s Fresh?

posted by on August 17 at 12:13 PM

Well, at least can still take our laptops into the bathroom when we need to rub one out.

Stranger staffers may be blocked from accessing Seattle Weekly’s website, but we can thank the Goddess that we still have access to Seattle Weekly’s porn site. So what if we can’t find out what’s fresh at the Market while we’re at work? At least we can still check out some freshly shaved beaver while we’re at work. Thanks, Seattle Weekly!

Seattle Weekly Blackout

posted by on August 17 at 11:42 AM

Like all informed citizens, we keep track of goings-on in Seattle and the wider world by making frequent visits to Seattle Weekly’s website. Where else can we find out if bread is still rising or if Philip Dawdy is still [OFFENDING PASSAGE DELETED]? The Weekly’s positions on the issues of the dayfrom the Nordstrom Parking Garage to the War in Indo-China to exactly how much money their corporate masters have poured into the Republican Party this weekare far too unpredictable to guess at. One really must make frequent visits to their infrequently updated website to learn where their crackerjack team of writers will come down on any given issue.

Unfortunately, we can no longer visit their website. The powers that be at Seattle Weekly have seen fit to block every Stranger computer from visiting their website. This is not a joke. I repeat: No one at The Stranger can visit the Weekly online.

Let that sink in: When someone at The Stranger attempts to access the Seattle Weekly via the Information Superhighway, our progress is impeded by a cruel road closure. No detour, no roadside assistance, no OnStar. We are shit out of Mossback.

Damn you, Seattle Weekly!

Two more HUMP! screenings added…

posted by on August 17 at 11:24 AM

Tickets for the first two screenings of HUMP!, The Stranger’s first annual amateur porn contest, sold out in two days. So we’ve added two more screenings on Saturday. Tickets for the 12:30 PM AND 3 PM shows are $15 - and cheap at that price! - and go on sale tomorrow at noon at Ticketwindow locations or their website.

Screw the Ring at Seattle Opera - HUMP is the hottest ticket in town!

Sagan vs. God

posted by on August 17 at 10:53 AM

Christopher et al.: There’s one thing that combats preachy believers better than satire: science. When Skeptical Inquirer arrives every eight weeks, I feel less alone. Many of the articles are online; I recommend this this essay by Pascal Boyer on how religion is the “sleep of reason,” why it’s a natural human trait, and whether we can ever reason it away.

Re: Who Needs Intestines Hanging On A Doorknob?

posted by on August 17 at 10:51 AM

Being someone who plays video games regularly, I’ve seen heads explode, piles of gory bodies, and other troubling sights, but I’ve never seen intestines hanging on doorknobs.

Bush Attacks Runner

posted by on August 17 at 10:27 AM

I was running along 13th Ave E near Denny this morning and had entered one of those spacey mind states one often gets while running, especially before 8 am. Anyway, my oxygen-rich reverie was rudely disrupted when a low-hanging branch from an overgrown bush snagged my neck, impeded my motion, and drew blood. I offer this tale as a warning to those who walk or run on the east side of 13th between Denny and John: There dwells a malicious plant that cares not for your well-being.

Gregoire: A Failure to Communicate

posted by on August 17 at 9:54 AM

In last week’s CounterIntel column, I criticized Gov. Gregoire for failing to come out against I-912. Gregoire’s Communications Director, Kerry Coughlin, e-mailed to say I had it all wrong. You be the judge. Here’s our e-mail exchange:

Continue reading "Gregoire: A Failure to Communicate" »

New Shepard Fairey Magazine

posted by on August 17 at 8:19 AM

Shepard Fairey, he of the Obey art campaign (whose art also decorates the walls of the War Room), has started a new magazine called Swindle. From what I hear, it’s a beautiful publication when you see it on the stands as well.

Who Needs Intestines Hanging On A Doorknob?

posted by on August 17 at 8:09 AM

Tired of the same old shoot-‘em-up, mow-‘em-down, rape-‘em-to-death video games?

ABC News reports on the forthcoming wave of Jesus-friendly games, brainstormed during a recent conference of the Christian Game Developers Foundation.

“I think the majority of gamers out there just want to play a great game,” said the group’s leader Ralph Bagley. “They don’t really necessarily need intestines hanging on a doorknob.”

Among the non-intestinal offerings cited by ABC: The Bible Game, in which players race across the Red Sea to fight Goliath with a slingshot, and Catechumen, in which players use swords to convert Roman soldiers to Christianity to cries of “Hallelujah!”

Relatively harmless stuff, but if Christian game makers really want to compete in the marketplace, they’re gonna have to amp the action quick. How about “Clinic Kaboom,” where gamers blow up as many Planned Parenthoods as they can?

Full story here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gravity is a secular lie

posted by on August 16 at 4:30 PM

In the last few days two people from my past have gotten in touch with me to ask me if I’m ready to invite Jesus into my heart. Maybe that’s why I think this is so damn funny.

Everyone knows that the actual Discovery Institute — vaunted by popes, quoted in the New York Times — is located in Seattle of all places, right? Praise Jesus!

book sales trump terror

posted by on August 16 at 3:44 PM

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library will sell used books and CDs at Freeway Park at lunchtime this Friday and next. (11 am-2 pm Aug 19 and 26, near the waterfall at Sixth and Seneca.) Everything will cost $1. This is a much better use for the park than the usual camping, drinking, murder, etc.

word of the day

posted by on August 16 at 3:36 PM

epistolary e·pis·to·lar·y (ĭ-pĭs’tə-lĕr’ē): adj.
Being in the form of a letter: epistolary exchanges.
Carried on by or composed of letters: an epistolary friendship.

Shiny medal to anyone who can find it in Thursday’s Stranger.

DeLaurenti on “the Ring”

posted by on August 16 at 3:21 PM

Classical/avant columnist Chris DeLaurenti just emailed me that he’s going “a bit batty” with musings on Wagner’s opera “the Ring.” He wrote a long essay about the performance that those interested can access here.

Lost Highway

posted by on August 16 at 2:59 PM

When I came across this passage earlier today, I was amazed. It is from Mutations, a collection of essays and studies conducted by the architect Rem Koolhaas and his students at Harvard. The passage is near the end of the chapter on Lagos, Nigeria’s sprawling capital, and explains why gangs (area boys) sabotage parts of the city’s extensive expressway system.

“Groups normally neglected by road traffic sometimes take advantage of the detour. Area boys, for example, purposefully destroy road surfaces to redrirect road traffic into ‘ambush areas’ or under-patronized commercial districts. In 1996, the 600 km Onitsha/Owerri road East of Lagos ‘caved in on several spots, making motorists detour in selected places, driving through farmlands and remote villages, crisscrossing abandoned terrain to reconnect to the highway. Many lives were lost in the process, vehicles endangered and many lost their way in far flung communities. Drivers drifted across the landscape like in the olden days.’”

All I can say is WOW!

Madonna’s Broken Birthday

posted by on August 16 at 12:29 PM

It’s true: Madonna has broken her collar bone.

As her publicist today told the Associated Press, the big M was celebrating her 47th birthday with a ride on an unfamiliar horse and “had an accident,” resulting in three cracked ribs, the aforementioned broken collarbone, and a broken hand.

These injuries are certain to throw a most fascinating wrench in both Madonna’s workaholism and yoga-rich Kabbalaholismbut the main question remains: Will her recovery make her fat?

I’ll leave updates on that angle to Adrian Ryan.

In the meantime, in lieu of any actual footage of Madonna’s equine tumble, please enjoy this video of the most heartbreaking and hilarious fall in history.

Love as Laughter Accident

posted by on August 16 at 12:15 PM

Fans of the band will be saddened to know that bass player Brandon Angle was in a car accident in Honduras recently and sustained unknown back injuries (it sounds like he’s still in Honduras). You can contribute to a fund for Brandon and his girlfriend Aimee here.

Also a reminder that MusiCares is a great organization helping injured musicians/musicians in need defray the cost of medical expenses.

Minus the Bear

posted by on August 16 at 11:59 AM

Minus the Bear’s new record, Menos El Oso, will be out August 23rd. To mark the occasion, the band has made a new website and posted the new video for the album’s first single, “The Game Needed Me.” All the MtB goodness can be found at And do check out the video, it’s pretty stunning.

The Article We’ve All Been Waiting For

posted by on August 16 at 9:51 AM

Hey, make copies of this great article and drop it off at 1402 3rd Ave Ste 400 / Seattle, WA 98101-2109. That’s the address for the Discovery Institute, headquarters of the “Intelligent Designers.”

Idle Hands

posted by on August 16 at 9:33 AM

People have too much free time, I think. Check out what someone did at 25th Ave NE & NE Blakeley Way:


Yep. It’s a GhostVacuum, at the former site of a GhostCycle. The underlying sitewww.ghostvacuum.orgdoesn’t appear to exist, though.

(photo courtesy our tipster, Dan Catchpole.)

Miami Vice

posted by on August 16 at 9:13 AM

It’s been over a month since I got my copy of the Miami Vice season 1 DVD, but I finally made my way through the last side of the third DVD last weekend. I have to say I still find the show as thrilling as I did watching it every Friday night as a grade schooler back in the day. Of course there’s a lot of cheese in that spread too, but it was one of the first shows to really be influenced by the impact of MTV, shooting long montages without dialog, where music is the primary expression of feeling. And then there are the cameos by a young Bruce Willis and Glenn Frey. And Don Johnson’s machismo (back when he had the looks to back it up). Worth checking out if you were ever a fan of the show, or of the glossy yacht lifestyle of the “Columbian drug cartels.” The upcoming movie version is never gonna live up to the original show.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Duran Duran Durandy

posted by on August 15 at 4:32 PM

Every so often I’ll get a new email from a guy named Durandy (formerly known as “Andrew”) professing his ongoing love for ’80s glossy pop stars Duran Duran. For those who pledge loyal groupie-dom to John, Simon, Andy, Roger, and Nick, I say check out this shit. And you call yourself a Duran Duran fan. (It’s a work in progress, though, as you’ll see).

Stewardess? Could I have another blanket?

posted by on August 15 at 3:51 PM

Another thing for me to worry about when I get on an airplane:freezing solid.

According to the folks picking dead bodies up off that hillside in Greece, the passengers on the Boeing 737 that went down yesterday didn’t die when the plane crashed. They appear to have frozen to deathfrozen solidwhile the plane was still a mile up, flying on auto-pilot, for more than an hour.

Oh, well. I guess it beats being burned to death before the crash, like the passengers on this flight.


posted by on August 15 at 1:04 PM

Both screenings of HUMP!, the Stranger’s first annual amatuer porn contest, ARE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT! All 250 tickets, which went on sale on Friday, were gone by Sunday night. We’re now trying to pull together two additional screenings. If we can get Northwest Film Forum to okay it, we’ll have 250 more tickets to sell. Clearly we need to do this at a bigger venue next year! The response and the demand have both been overwhelming!

The Neumo’s Quick Weight-Loss Program

posted by on August 15 at 12:34 PM

Need to lose a quick 5-7 pounds? Attend a summer show that’s likely to be packed at Neumo’s, the Capitol Hill music club located at Pike and 10th streets. Ensuring that its customers would experience maximum discomfort last night (more whimper for your buck!), Neumo’s also didn’t allow re-entry into its confines. However, with the venue slated for renovations this month, the sauna effect may be eradicated. All good things must come to an end, sadly.

We Started a Trend…

posted by on August 15 at 12:15 PM

… in Addis Ababa. OK, maybe Fortune (an Ethiopian business weekly) wasn’t directly inspired by our 100 Favorite Restrooms showcase, but they are reviewing toilets in area restaurants. I’m just saying.

Hometown Heroes

posted by on August 15 at 11:17 AM

Our very own Schoolyard Heroes are’s “Band of the Day.” Check out to see a big picture of them on the frontpage as well as a link to a short article.

Go Schoolyard Heroes, go!

Only one week and a day left…

posted by on August 15 at 11:15 AM

…until the Stranger’s next live band laser fantasy experience at the Seattle Laser Theater. As I mentioned before, we’re hosting Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear for a night of spaced out ear- and eye-bending fun. It all goes down Tues Aug 23 at the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome (located in that crazy Clash of the Titans part of the Seattle Center). Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm, and it’s 21+ because we’ve got a good little beer garden going this time. And it’s only $8 for entry. Our last show with Jennifer Gentle got pretty packed, so it’s advised to get advance tickets here.

On a related note, the Grizzly guys sent me the rough of their forthcoming re-mixes disc and it’s a pretty eclectic smattering of awesome audio collage artists—from Soft Pink Truth to Dntel to Efterklang and others.

Gina Ochsner in The New Yorker

posted by on August 15 at 11:14 AM

The first time Gina Ochsner was in The New Yorker, months ago, I wrote a column about it. (She’s great, no one’s heard of her, she lives in rural Oregon somewhere, and she got into The New Yorker by just sending stuff in unsolicited, without an agent, the old-fashioned way. That story was republished in a collection that came out a couple months ago, which I also wrote about.)

Anyway now, today, she’s got another story in the magazine.

Night Sex

posted by on August 15 at 11:13 AM

Late last night I was awoken by the loud sex sounds of a woman. I didn’t hear her partner. I walked to my living room and looked out the window. All of the rooms in the surrounding buildings were dark; the city seemed asleep except for the heavy breathing and excitement that rose from a place very (indeed, deliciously) near my apartment. The proximity and clarity of the moaning enabled me to picture the unseen women: I imagined her to be Mexican (there must be a difference between Mexican moaning and American moaning), with long legs, and black curly hair. She was bouncing on her silent partner. At last she came and became as calm as the sea. I returned to sleep and had a dream that looked much like this 19th century Japanese drawing, Dream of The Fisherman’s Wife, which I recently found on our music intern’s blog. Dream_of_the_fishermans_wife_hokusai.jpg

I think it is one of the most erotic images ever conceived.

“Democracy Subverting Douche Bag”

posted by on August 15 at 9:47 AM

The Brooklyn band Kids Against Combs wanted to name their new album Sean Hannity (631) 673-8003, which was actually Fox News Republican hack Sean Hannity’s home phone number. Mr. Hannity, it seems, was not amused (especially since the band intended on listing the blowhard’s home address in the liner notes as well), and threatened a lawsuit. The new title of the record:The Album Formerly Known As Sean Hannity’s Phone Number … Currently Sean Hannity Is a Democracy Subverting Douche Bag. Hannity’s digits are now unlisted.

The Boston Phoenix has the full story.

Hell on Earth

posted by on August 15 at 9:26 AM

Check out this story in today’s NYT by Rick Lyman. It’s all about those Brooks-a-riffic “exurbs” we heard so much about after the last electionthat mysterious land of big-box American stores, big-box American homes, big-box American cars, and the resulting big-box American butts. These places are far from city centers and first-generation ring suburbs, and they couldn’t exist without the car or the miserable eight-lane-plus roads that get the folks who choose to live in these soulless shitholes to their jobswhich are usually in city centers and those first-generation ring suburbs.

“In one sense, these exurbs are just suburbs that take a longer time to drive to,” said John Husing, a political and economic consultant in California. “With these, white flight has nothing to do with it. It’s all housing prices. The makeup of these communities is a reflection of who’s migrating, and that’s people who have enough money to be middle class.”

While it’s nice to know that the exurbs aren’t about white flight, all I could think about was the coming oil crunch. Exurbaniteswhatever their colorare yowling today about $3 a gallon gas. I wonder how they’re going to feel about $10 or $15 dollar a gallon gas in five, ten or twenty years. Unless we find an alternate energy source, these exurbs are going to be the ghost towns by the end of the century. I hope I live long enough to see itwhich I may not. Today on my bike ride to work, I was almost run over by some dumb asshole in an SUV. She was drinking coffee and talking on her cell phone, which didn’t leave a hand free for her turn signal.

Positive Vibrations continued

posted by on August 15 at 9:01 AM

Amy J., I was listening to, and enjoying, the Positive Vibrations show on KEXP, just like I do every Saturday morning, while I thought about what you said. I can’t agree with your call to take the show out of that time slot. There is no better way to start a Saturday than listening to the music of Jamaica.

Sean Reid’s “Astronaut Vs. Caveman”

posted by on August 15 at 8:54 AM

As I mentioned in his obit in Last Days, Sean Reid claimed top honors in this year’s 28 Seconds, The Stranger’s Second Annual SIFF Short Film Contest.

Sean’s award-winning film Astronaut Vs. Caveman is so stupidly glorious (gloriously stupid?) it almost seems ill-suited for a posthumous screening…but the time has come to show it.


I am not a whiner, either

posted by on August 15 at 5:46 AM

But here on the East Coast it is too hot for people to do anything but get angry, and so muggy you can see the air. I feel like I’m in equatorial Africa. Every night, like clockwork, the clouds gather and there is a massive thunder and lightning storm. And then in the morning the sky is clear and the cement begins to bake again. Last night, over Philadelphia, the clockwork storm was apocalyptic. Water dripped in through the ceiling of my cousin’s apartment. The street outside turned into a river. There were booms and cracks and sizzles. The sky was like a strobe light. And shortly after midnight, a man wearing nothing but shorts ran madly past the window. He was very wet.

I am not a whiner

posted by on August 15 at 1:34 AM

However, according to the internet, it’s 85 degrees and sunny in Seattle, while here in Maui, according to my own (admittedly lying) eyes, it’s goddamn pouring rain. I’m just saying. Aloha!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Re: Broken Flowers

posted by on August 14 at 7:32 PM

I agree with Jennifer and Brad. You wonder how Bill Murray’s character ever had the charm to woo so many women back in the day. There’s something seriously awry with a character when he/she has less vocal expression than I do. Ultimately, despite some amusing scenes involving embarrassment and discomfort with Murray’s exes, Jarmusch just doesn’t make us care enough about this faded Don Juan to warrant the time investment.

Broken Flowers

posted by on August 14 at 6:26 PM

Having just seen the latest Jim Jarmusch movie, Broken Flowers, I have to agree with Brad that the movie is painfully slow and pointless. While there are a couple good one-liners (both visually and in the dialog) the movie goes nowhere, much like most of Coffee and Cigarettes. The worst thing, though, is that Bill Murray has been stuck in repeat with his last couple film roles as the stoic depressive who says little but allows those sad eyes to say it all…and the problem is we’ve heard it all before from him. Murray’s such a great actor that a little more character variety would be a very good thing.

Mr. Nickels’s Neighborhoods (Continued)

posted by on August 14 at 12:06 PM

Guess I’m not the only one who’s been noticing that Nickels flopped in the district endorsements last week.

More Fuel For Santorum’s Fire

posted by on August 14 at 9:04 AM

He’s already blamed Boston’s Catholic sex-abuse scandal on that city’s famous liberalism. God only knows what Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum will make of this