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Archives for 09/04/2005 - 09/10/2005

Friday, September 9, 2005

Brown’s Not Out

posted by on September 9 at 5:41 PM

“Brownie” is still the head of FEMA, the Washington Post reports. He was recalled from New Orleans so that he could head up the Bush administration’s preparations for the NEXT disaster.

Whether Brown is planning to manage the next disaster or simply planning the next disasteri.e. planning to create it, or make it much, much worse, as was the case with New Orleansthe Washington Post doesn’t say. Regardless, I can feel a Medal of Freedom moment coming on.

Re: Helping the Camus Estate, One Week at a Time

posted by on September 9 at 4:27 PM

Between our rag and the Cure’s “Killing an Arab,” Camus’ novel probably has gotten some good free advertising.

However, it must be acknowledged that the naming of The Stranger had nothing to with Camus, and everything to do with Billy Joel.

Northwest Hotties

posted by on September 9 at 4:24 PM

Although I’m sure it’s nothing compared to, say, “grunge” being featured in NME, it is a little crazy to see a big spread on “cool Northwest indie rockers” in the debut issue of Nylon Guys, the pop culture mag’s new male offshoot. Although they’ve barely played a handful of shows, members of Bats of Belfry, Band of Horses, and Moon Rats are artfully displayed alongside photos of the Vells, Spencer Moody, and Sam Jayne—who technically is a New Yorker now. Lovely photos of some handsome men (and one lady)…in a magazine that claims it’s “not for girls.”

Helping the Camus Estate, One Week at a Time

posted by on September 9 at 4:07 PM

I wonder if The Stranger has actually increased awareness of Camus’s novel. I woulnd’t be surprised if this were the case, at least in Seattle.

Re: Googlefight

posted by on September 9 at 4:03 PM

Seattle + Stranger still beats “Seattle Weekly,” fyi. Not as triumphantly, but we still win, even without Camus.

In the forums, Josh (not Feit) has a few other fair-fight suggestions.

Re: Googlefight

posted by on September 9 at 3:55 PM

I agree with Dan about the Stranger v. Weekly Googlefight: Camus may be significantly swaying victory in our favor.

But that doesn’t mean Googlefight is without charm or purpose.

For instance, I finally got answers to some eternal questions, including:

Beatles vs. Stones (Stones rightfully win by a hair!)

Coke vs. Pepsi (Coke is triumphant!)


God vs. Allah (God kicks Allah’s ass like there’s no tomorrow.)

Screw New Orleans?

posted by on September 9 at 3:40 PM

If you didn’t catch this terrific piece on Slate earlier in the week, here’s the link. You should read it. Jack Shafer, always thrilling, makes the case against rebuilding New Orleans. Shafer has, as he predicted in the piece, most likely been buried under hate mail since the piece ran, but he crafts an awfully persuasive argument.

re: Not Quite the Beating…

posted by on September 9 at 3:33 PM

And it would be better if it measured queries rather than results.

Not Quite the Beating…

posted by on September 9 at 3:16 PM

The Stranger vs. Weekly Googlefight may not be quite the beating it appears to be. We seem to come out on top, but how many of “our” hits are actually Camus’ “The Stranger,” I wonder? Half? More?

funny knickknack

posted by on September 9 at 2:58 PM

Googlefight: Stranger vs. Weekly, courtesy of my darling husband. Brilliant.

It all began innocently enough…

posted by on September 9 at 1:05 PM

An organizer with Lambda Legal asked me if the Stranger wanted to pitch in with the “day of the decision” party @ Volunteer Park to celebrate the (expected) state Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. I passed that request along to Dan (I’ve got no power around here).

Now, we obviously love the gays, and we love a party. But Dan immediately, and loudly, declined, because there’s a glaring problem with this Volunteer Park celebration: Location, location, location:

The celebration should be in a civic space, not the gay ghetto.

In other words, let’s celebrate at the county building, where licenses are issued, and where this state Supreme Court case literally began, when Ron Sims escorted couples into the marriage licensing office (only to turn down their requests for applications). The county building is the most logical and meaningful gathering place, just as the downtown Federal Courthouse was the best place to gather in impromptu celebration of the Lawrence v. Texas U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Volunteer Park, as Dan points out, is mainly symbolic of Seattle’s gay ghetto. It’s in the middle of Capitol Hill, it’s known for hook-ups in the bushes, and it’s the annual (at least until next year) end point of the debaucherous gay pride parade.

I pointed this out to Sarah, at Lambda Legal. She replied:

Continue reading "It all began innocently enough..." »

Someone Get this Man a Map

posted by on September 9 at 1:02 PM

Every two years around this time, campaign mailers start showing up in voters’ mailboxes. Renters like me tend to get left out of the loop, because we move around and mailing lists get updated only every few years. So far this year, I’ve received exactly one campaign mailer - from King County Council member Larry Gossett, who’s running for reelection on the newly redistricted county council. Unfortunately, I don’t live in Larry Gossett’s district - my neighborhood is represented by Larry Phillips, whose district stretches from Greenlake to Boeing Field. I shudder to think how much money Larry Gossett has wasted on glossy campaign flyers for people who aren’t even in his district.

Re: A Party… In the Park?

posted by on September 9 at 11:39 AM

This decision, if it goes our way, is about full civic equality for Washington state’s gay and lesbian citizens, and the celebration should take place in a shared civic space, not in a park in the gay neighborhood where gay men have sex in bushes.

Dan, the marriages have to be consummated somewhere.

A Party… In the Park?

posted by on September 9 at 11:38 AM

So Lambda Legal, the Northwest Women’s Law Center, and the ACLU are planning a celebration when the Washington State Supreme Court releases its decision on gay marriage. Planning a celebration when we don’t know if the decision is going to be pro-gay marriage seems a bit jinxy, but it’s best to be prepared.

They’d like the Stranger to be a part of the celebration somehow, just as we were part of the push to get gay marriage on the Supreme Court’s plate. But we’re going to give the planned party a pass, I think, based on its location: Volunteer Park.

This is one gay party that should be downtownat the County Building or our new City Hall. This decision, if it goes our way, is about full civic equality for Washington state’s gay and lesbian citizens, and the celebration should take place in a shared civic space, not in a park in the gay neighborhood where gay men have sex in bushes. Even if people can’t get their marriage licenses immediately after the decision is handed down, the celebration should be in a civic space, not the gay ghetto.

I think Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and the Northwest Women’s Law Center should call Ron Sims and Greg Nickels. Sims stood in the door to welcome the couples who were suing him into the county building, remember? Nickels issued executive orders forcing city agencies to recognize legal gay marriages performed in other states. Surely there’s a reception room in the huge County Building, or one in the new City Hall, that would be more appropriate to the occasion than Volunteer Park. Sims and Nickels, who have both been excellent on the gay marriage issue, should be the hosts and guests of honor at the party celebrating the decision. They should throw open the doors again and invite the city’s gay and lesbian community to come down to these civic spaces, spaces our tax dollars helped construct, and celebrate our civic equality. This isn’t a “gay ghetto” moment, it’s a mainstreaming moment, and the event being planned to mark it should reflect that.

And what if it rains, for crying out loud? And, from a strategic POV, it’s easier to fill a room, even a large one, than it would be to fill the park. If TV cameras come, the park, even with a couple of hundred people in it, will look empty. What will that communicate? That gays and lesbians don’t really care about marriage rights. The same number of people packed into a reception room at City Hall, will look like a joyful mob, not a half-assed clump.

And, again, what if it rains?

I think The Stranger should do something when the decision comes down, but we shouldn’t attach ourselves to something stupid, or to an event that fundamentally misunderstands the symbolism and importance of the day. Let’s host a party the night before the first gay marriages are - knock wood - performed. We can make it a benefit for the organization that gets the celebration right.

More Questions for the Candidates

posted by on September 9 at 11:25 AM

People in the audience at our Candidate Debate Wednesday night turned in a bunch of questions for the candidates. We couldn’t get to all of them. Hell, the candidates were bickering so much, we couldn’t even get to most of our own questions.

We’ve forwarded all the audience questions to the candidates, and we’ve asked them to e-mail responses back. We’ll post their responses.

Here are your questions:

Continue reading "More Questions for the Candidates" »

Brown Gets the Boot

posted by on September 9 at 11:20 AM

Breaking news on ABC:

Embattled FEMA Director Michael Brown was officially removed from hurricane relief duties. Sources tell ABC News that Brown will be out at FEMA soon.

Immediate follow-up report posted on the beloved-by-Drudge here.

Top 10 Censored Stories

posted by on September 9 at 11:13 AM

Every year, Project Censored, a media watchdog group based at California’s Sonoma State University, scours the media looking for news that never really made the news. They publish their results in a book, this year titled Censored 2006.

Here’s the list:

Continue reading "Top 10 Censored Stories" »

Show ‘em Your Boobs

posted by on September 9 at 10:32 AM

…and help raise money for hurricane relief. For $5, donors get access to the gallery of mardi-gras style flash photos, beads and all.

Roq la Rue Moves

posted by on September 9 at 10:12 AM

One of my favorite local galleries, Roq la Rue, is moving next month…luckily they’re only moving next door, to a space that’s three times as big. According to owner Kirsten Anserson, “In addition to monthly shows we’ll have lots more art and prints- as well as a small bookshop with only the coolest art and pop culture books. We’ll be open in the new space Oct 14th in time for our annual Halloween art show!” Tonight, check out a surreal art show by DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh. The opening is from 6-10pm.

Death Cab for Cutie Hurricane Katrina Benefit

posted by on September 9 at 9:55 AM

At 10 am this morning, tickets for the Death Cab for Cutie/Harvey Danger show on Wednesday Sept 21 at the Showbox go on sale via TicketsWest. The show was announced earlier this week, and all proceeds of the $30 ticket charge will go directly to benefit Hurricane Katrina reflief efforts. It’s a 21+ event. It will undoubtedly sell out, so act fast.

Weekly Paper vs. Weekly Paper

posted by on September 9 at 9:42 AM

Think the Stranger is rude, mean, and just plain heavy handed when it comes to bashing the Weekly?

It could be much worse. Check out this piece in the SF Weekly by New Times Media executive editor Michael Lacey, attacking the SF Guardian publisher Bruce Brugmann, who recently published a piece about a potential merger that would affect the SF Weekly (not to mention the Seattle Weekly…).

It is no secret in our industry, or anywhere in the greater Bay Area, that Brugmann is bull-goose loony. Consequently, sane people desert any room that Brugmann is sucking the oxygen out of. Why engage a homeless paranoid in conversation about the contents of his shopping cart?

See, we would never say something so mean about Weekly editor Knute Berger.

Vera’s New Executive Director!

posted by on September 9 at 9:39 AM

This just in from the Vera Project:

“The Vera Project is thrilled to announce our new Executive Director - Shannon Roach. Shannon comes to the Vera Project with years of experience working in the youth/music field in the Seattle area. Most recently, she has been the Program Coordinator of the Old Fire House in Redmond, the longest running all-ages venue in the Pacific Northwest.

In March, Vera’s founding Executive Director James Keblas resigned when he was appointed to be the Director of the Seattle Film and Music Office. Kate Becker, founding Artistic Director of the Vera Project, has been the Interim Director for the past six months. Co-founder Shannon Stewart is Vera’s Program Director. The Vera Project is very excited to have Shannon Roach on board as our new Executive Director. Shannon’s first day will be September 19, 2005.”

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Seattle’s Smaller Weekly Watch

posted by on September 8 at 5:22 PM

For the week of September 8-14, 2005.

The Stranger: 112 pages.

Seattle Weekly: 96 pages.

Zadie Smith shortlisted for the Booker Prize

posted by on September 8 at 5:00 PM

Zadie Smith’s new novel On Beauty has been shortlisted for England’s biggest prize. I’ve read the book. It’s awesome. So we’re producing an event around it. Mark your calendar: The Stranger is presenting an event with Zadie Smith on Friday, October 7 at Neumo’s. It will be a reading, there will be music involved, and there will be another special guest from out of town. Also, magically, it will be free.

Check the paper in coming weeks for more details.

Endorsement Issues

posted by on September 8 at 4:20 PM

The Seattle Weekly endorsed Prof. Al Runte for mayor. They reason that, even though Runte isn’t up on the issues, it’s a protest vote against Nickels.

But if the Weekly is serious about protesting the mayor, why did they endorse Casey Corr? Corr’s entire campaign is being run by Nickels’s staff, including Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis and Nickels’s primo fund raiser Colby Underwood. Corr also openly boasts about how he helped shape the Nickels agenda, including Nickels’s South Lake Union biotech development strategy and Nickels’s development-driven downtown heights and density plans. The Weekly has loudly editorialized against both of these Nickels policies.

When Corr realized he had a Nickels problem, he made some perfunctory noise against a small piece of the South Lake Union trolley plannot against the South Lake Union trolley idea, but against one aspect of the funding plan that would steal bus hours from Metro to support the trolley. (As the mayor’s boy, Corr’s objection isn’t politically risky or brave, though, because the council already passed the trolley plan. So, Corr will never actually have to vote against the mayor on it.)

Oh, and while the Weekly uses Corr’s “anti-trolley position” as a justification for endorsing him, guess who else they endorsed. Richard Conlin. Guess who pushed the trolley plan through council? Richard Conlin.

In addition to all these sloppy contradictions with the Weekly’s endorsements, there’s no way Prof. Al Runte (who’s woefully uninformed on the issues) is going to beat Nickels. So, rather than recommending a real and effective anti-Nickels vote (shooting down Nickels’s proxy candidate, Casey Corr), they recommend a meaningless vote for a political non-entity.

After interviewing Runte a couple of weeks ago, I was so unimpressed that I filed this post about him. Oh, and the same day the Weekly’s endorsement hit, The Seattle Times published this bit of news about the Prof.

Al Runte, 58, a former UW history professor, has had a long-running battle with the university since he was denied tenure in 1985, effectively ending his teaching career.

Runte sued the UW twice, claiming he’d been treated unfairly, but both lawsuits were dismissed.

Jon Stewart on Katrina

posted by on September 8 at 2:09 PM

One of these days I need to buy a television, if only for Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Here are some choice snippets from recent segments about Katrina and its aftermath.

Streb lit me on fire!

posted by on September 8 at 1:59 PM

There was one show that about blew my mind at Bumbershoot this year (besides the incident wherein I had to evade security and then sneak back in… don’t ask):

Streb from Brooklyn’s Wild Blue Yonder. It’s dance, I guess, but more like ultra-athletic, death-defying, breath-taking, acrobatic physics experiments… bordering on magical. See them if you ever have the chance.

Whiner Alert! I’d have had more to write about if (a) my press pass would’ve assured me entry into something/anything and (b) if press would have been allowed to rub elbows with the performers in the VIP lounge like we were last year. One Reel, are you listening?

The Great City Council Debate

posted by on September 8 at 12:21 PM

More highlights from last night’s city council candidates’ forum:

• Of all ten city council candidates competing in the primary, only two - socialist Linda Averill (running against Jan Drago) and libertarian-leaning landlord Robert Rosencrantz (running against Richard McIver) opposed the mayor’s punitive proposed strip-club regulations, which would ban lap dances and require bright lighting in the city’s remaining strip clubs -all four of them.

• Port Commissioner Paige Miller, whose plan to save the waterfront streetcar was rejected after further study revealed it would cost millions of dollars more than the mayor’s, offered a convoluted explanation for why she continues to take credit for saving the trolley. “I came up with a plan,” she said. Not an affordable plan, not a viable plan, not the plan that will ultimately be adopted, but a plan nonetheless. That counts for something, right?…

Continue reading "The Great City Council Debate" »

The Best Daytime Radio

posted by on September 8 at 11:53 AM

In searching out excellent “office hours” radio, I keep returning to KUSF, A San Francisco community radio station that broadcasts online. Their taste in music is both eclectic and impeccable. In the past week I’ve heard Woody Guthrie, the Flying Luttenbachers, weird tribal techno, Meat Beat Manifesto, the Dead Kennedys, Bauhaus, some Melvins-esque act called the Barbarians (or something), Kinski and out there metal, punk, garage, and pop. It’s like throwing the best indie record store in a blender and coming out splattered with a bunch of new cool shit. I highly recommend hitting their site and streaming a whole new world of great music.

Girls Can’t Be Movie Critics

posted by on September 8 at 11:45 AM

I’m shocked (shocked!) that this Toronto Star article exists. The headline: Geeks Are the Best Movie Critics. It starts off peppy, a film festival fluff piece with an aren’t-we-all-dorks-and-isn’t-it-cute angle. But then writer Geoff Pevere gets a little carried away with his dopey logic: “Personally, I think women make better celebrity interviewers than they do movie critics.” He’s serious. Listen to this biological determinism, which is so comically oblivious it could’ve been a parody by a women’s studies prof: “a woman […] would have a difficult time imagining two cans containing a faded 35mm print of Red River as more important than the human life biology gave her the potential to bring into the world.” (You’ll be happy to learn that Pevere makes an exception for Pauline Kael, but apparently she’s the exception that proves the rule, or something—her legions of cut-rate imitators were “nearly all men.”) Anyway, the piece is good for a laugh or a tear or, you know, whatever expression of emotion your hormones are dictating today.

“Go Fuck Yourself, Mr. Cheney”

posted by on September 8 at 11:26 AM

That was the shouted greeting Dick Cheney received after he landed this morning in Gulfport, Mississippi and the harsh welcome was carried live on cable. Video here.

Thank God For Snarky Pleasures

posted by on September 8 at 11:17 AM

Specifically, Radar, the pop/politics/scandal/style magazine that originally launched back in 2003, went away for a while, then relaunched this summer.

I love the new Radar for the same reasons I loved the old Radar: It’s like E! with a PhD. No matter how fluffy the subject matter, Radar strives to go deep, or at least faux-deep. This angle is especially valuable in our blog era, where basic pop-culture news is offered up on a minute-by-minute basis, and where Radar’s ambitious, well-researched pieces achieve a relative weightiness that’s unique.

Then there’s the mag’s elegant snark, captured best in the newest issue by Kim Masters’ cover story on celebrities and Scientology.

Continue reading "Thank God For Snarky Pleasures" »

More on Last Night’s Debate

posted by on September 8 at 11:11 AM

There’s a pretty extensive post over at MetroBlogging Seattle about our debate last night. They live blogged it. (You have to scroll down just a little bit when you get to the web site.) Mainly, I agree with the blogger’s assessment that Linda Averill (that’s right, Socialist Linda Averill) was the hands down winner last night.

I’ve Been Wanting to Post About this for a while, but…

posted by on September 8 at 10:46 AM

I’ve been too slammed with the city council races, and it just didn’t seem appropriate given the tenor of the SLOG lately thanks to all the Hurricane Katrina/George Bush incompetence news. But I have to report on the best new pizza place in town! It’s called Zagi’s Pizza Ristorante, and it’s located at 2408 NW 80th Street in Crown Hill. My best friend Tom took me there for my birthday last week, and as alwayswhenever we go to check out a new pizza placewe ordered a plain large cheese. At Zaggi’s they call it “The Classic.” I’m not much of a food writer so here’s what I can tell you: spicy sauce, gigantic. Yum.

Oh, but a food writer, Stranger food writer Bethany Jean Clement, did have this to say back when the place opened last spring.

Make merry with Mudede

posted by on September 8 at 10:46 AM

After work today we’re celebrating the launch of ARCADE mag’s September issue, which Charles Mudede guest-edited and devoted to the grand train stations of P-town, Sea-town, and VBC. Slide over to Winston Wachter Fine Art (203 Dexter Ave N at John St) between 5:30 and 7:30 pm for free booze and grooves; Charles will spin Detroit techno and something Specs One composed custom for the event.

Help for Pleasure Club

posted by on September 8 at 10:22 AM


James Hall, former lead singer of Pleasure Club, got out of his hometown of New Orleans with his wife and his son, a grocery bag of belongings, and two guitars. They’ve lost everything else.  James is up here in Seattle to play a show at Chop Suey on Thurs Sept 8TH. Details for the show can be found at here. The show had been scheduled prior to the hurricane hitting, and James is incredibly grateful to have his family safe and to be able to keep making music. Due to his present circumstances, the show will now be directly benefiting James and his family, so it would be great to get a huge crowd of people out in support.

Along with James Hall, the line-up for the show will be Robert Roth, Pat Macdonald and Gruesome Galore.

Continue reading "Help for Pleasure Club" »

Re: Will the Media Stand For This?

posted by on September 8 at 10:16 AM

The key line in the article posted by Dan, “The Bush administration is tossing the media out of New Orleans,” is this:

The move by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [to ban the media from taking “pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath”] is in line with the Bush administration’s ban on images of flag-draped U.S. military coffins returning from the Iraq war….

Even Bush can recognize his own dead souls. If these deaths were not his, if they were nature’s deaths, or a terrorist’s deaths, then he would not try to hide them. But the fact is remarkably clear: the person who owns the bodies flying back from Iraq also owns the bodies floating in the flooded streets of New Orleans.

New Little Pop Culture Magazine

posted by on September 8 at 10:12 AM

I’ve yet to see a copy of m+f magazine (which stands for “music + fashion”) but looking at their website, it seems to aim for the same sort of stuff as Tablet. They’re not based in Seattle (seems to be part of some national publisher) but they’re having a local launch party Fri Sept 9 at the Rendezvous with live music, DJs, and no smoking (the event is sponsored by Art Patch). Thanks to Chris Olson for the info.

Last Night’s City Council Candidate Debate

posted by on September 8 at 9:09 AM

We had our city council candidate debate last night. There were close to 200 people there (!!), so there was no way we could get to all the audience questions and comments. (We had the audience write down questions and comments and pass them in during the debate.) We managed to squeeze in a bunch of them between our own questions, like this great suggestion from one audience member: “All Candidates: 4-foot rule between you and Paul Allen.” We’ll type up the 30 or so that we didn’t get toand post them here on the SLOG as soon as we can.

Go to the SLOG Forum and check out what people are saying. It looks like the debate is spilling over to this morning.

Here’s the first post that went up on the SLOG Forum last night right after the debate:

Continue reading "Last Night's City Council Candidate Debate" »

The Latest Monorail News

posted by on September 8 at 8:55 AM

So, Kevin Phelpsthe former Sound Transit board finance chair who helped turn that agency’s finances aroundannounced his preliminary findings on the monorail finances yesterday. (Phelps was hired by SMP to help save the beleaguered project.) The dailies have the story today. (Basically, Phelps says the monorail can bring its overall finance plan down to $7 billion instead of the infamous $11 billion and pay it off in 39 years instead of the dreaded 50.)

Phelps’s plan is basically a response to Mayor Nickels’s demand that the SMP come up with a new plan (a tax increase or a shorter line) by Sept. 15 to take to the voters. The SMP doesn’t want to go back to the voters, and so Phelps is doing a bit of a dance with Nickelscoming back with numbers that conceivably say the monorail could move ahead along the guidelines of the 2002 vote. What’s kinda funny about this scenarioPhelps dancing for Nickelsis that Phelps actually replaced Nickels as finance chair on Sound Transit’s board after Nickels oversite proved disastrous with a $1.1 billion cost overrun. And now, you’ve got Phelps having to take direction from Nickels. It’s a cruel world.

Bon Voyage, Cheney!

posted by on September 8 at 8:05 AM

Thanks to all the people who contributed a bucket-full of entries to our Slog contest honoring Dick Cheney’s disaster tour. The VP begins his tour today, and as promised, your top ten entries:

Sending Dick Cheney to soothe the hurt of New Orleans is like….

10) …just plain wrong.

9) …sending Sherman to rebuild Atlanta.

8) …sending Tom Cruise to pick up your prescription meds at the pharmacy.

7) …hiring Michael Jackson to perform at your five-year-old boy’s birthday party.

6) …inviting Kanye West to be the keynote speaker at a GOP fundraiser.

5) …letting the guy who knocked your teeth out sell you dentures.

4) …having Godzilla over for sushi.

3) …sending in armed troops to encourage a free-thinking democracy.

2) …going to the Wildrose for a blowjob.

1) …putting a former horse judge in charge of FEMA.

The winning entry was sent in by Cindy Massey of Murphysboro, IL, who was one of many far-flung Slog readers to send in ideas. Thanks to all participants, near and far, and good luck, Mr. Vice President.

Email Schwartzenegger

posted by on September 8 at 8:01 AM

Gov. Schwartzenegger said yesterday that he’ll veto California’s marriage equality bill, which passed the state’s legislature on Tuesday.

That doesn’t jive with what his press secretary said:

The governor “believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship.”

Email Schwarzenegger and tell him vetoing the bill is discrimination.

(On the official email-the-governer form, check “supporting” and pick “gender neutral marriage” from the drop down menu.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Tonight!: The Stranger’s Great City Council Debate

posted by on September 7 at 10:49 PM

Attention fans of democracy and Robert’s Rules of Order: Tonight at the Broadway Performance Hall, join your hosts Dan Savage, Josh Feit, and Erica C. Barnett for The Stranger’s Great City Council Debate.

Gracing the stage will be every single City Council candidate, challenger and incumbent, each of whom will face a grueling gauntlet of Q&A on the primary season’s hot topics, from transportation and density issues to strip laws and the smoking ban. Find out why Richard Conlin has always hated the monorail and Jan Drago has always loved dog runs. Learn which candidates’ voter’s guide claims are true and which aren’t. Discover which contenders come best equipped to stand up to the mayor. See Richard McIver, live, in person!

Truly, it will be a civics-issue smackdown of unprecedented proportions. The show commences tonight at 6:30 pm at the Broadway Performance Hall (1625 Broadway). Admission is free. See you there.

P.S. If you require confirmation from an outside source, here’s the Seattle Times blurb on the debate:

A bong and a stripper were two of the surprises Seattle City Council candidates encountered at an election debate sponsored by The Stranger in 2003. The alternative weekly newspaper presents another “Great City Council Debate” on Wednesday at Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway. The event is free and starts at 6:30 p.m.

Gotta Laugh to Keep from Cryin’

posted by on September 7 at 4:01 PM

The Onion is on fire this week. Check out some of the best damned Hurricane Katrina coverage here.

American Genius

posted by on September 7 at 3:25 PM

The hurricane has rejuvenated what can only be described as American Genius. Read the quote below and be re-amazed by America the beautiful:

A more visceral indictment [of FEMA] came from closer to the calamity. Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish near New Orleans, said the bureaucracy “has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area.”

“Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot,” he told CBS. “Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don’t give me the same idiot.”

The Other Needy

posted by on September 7 at 2:47 PM

With major disasters like the hurricane pulling people together to help the needy, it’s a reminder how often people forget (ignore, etc) the poor in their own backyard (who can be just as deserving of shelter, compassion, funds). In the spirit of helping shed light on local events centered on helping our own down-and-out, here’s a way to help people in our own city:

22-year-old benefit for Pike Market Medical Clinic comes of age

Two decades of food lovers have made a difference for low-income downtown residents and seniors. Each year, about 500 supporters of the Pike Market Medical Clinic donate their taste buds and their goodwill to a cause that satisfies both the stomach and the soul. 

22nd Annual Feast at the Market. This is a progressive dinner through the Market: Each person receives a book of tickets, one ticket for each of the participating restaurants. Diners travel from restaurant to restaurant at their own pace, sampling Seattle’s finest foods throughout this prix-fixe Feast. Favorite former Feast finds have included tuna sashimi salad with green onion pancake, and white truffle risotto with vine-ripened roma tomatoes and fresh basil served with grilled tiger prawns.  New this year, Feasters vote for Best Feast Dish & Best Hospitality.

Continue reading "The Other Needy" »

They’re Getting Good

posted by on September 7 at 12:55 PM

The entries for my Dick Cheney disaster tour contest are getting good. Here’s one just in from Murphysboro, IL:

Sending Dick Cheney to soothe the hurt of New Orleans is like putting a former horse judge in charge of FEMA.

Remember, the contest rules are simple:

Complete this sentence: “Sending Dick Cheney to soothe the hurt of New Orleans is like….” Then email your entries to and I’ll post the top ten tomorrow as Cheney arrives in the region.

Will the Media Stand For This?

posted by on September 7 at 12:12 PM

The Bush administration is tossing the media out of New Orleans - banning photos of the dead, closing the borders of the city to TV trucks and news reporters. This is outrageous. Will CNN sue? Will the NYT sue? Will someone challenge this appalling assault on the First Amendment?

Bush doesn’t like the photos or news stories coming out of New Orleans, so he’s going to prevent the news media from doing their job. We got a taste last week of what it looks like when the MSM gets off its knees and stops felating the Bush administration. Will they drop back to their knees now? Or will they send reporters in by boat and by backroads to get the story regardless? Will they take the lying, corrupt, incompetent Bush administration to court?

Don’t just kneel there, MSM, DO SOMETHING.

Re: The Language of the Poor

posted by on September 7 at 11:53 AM

The mendacious mind of Bush said: “They’re not refugees, they’re Americans.”
The true heart of Bush said: “They’re not refugees, they’re [African] Americans.”

Re: In Defense of Katrina Coverage

posted by on September 7 at 11:13 AM

You’re right Dave. Oprah’s show was incredible. And Oprah’s “from the Astrodome” coverage was vastly better than Couric’s, because it was far less predatory. Oprah never zoomed in and panned across the crowd from high aboveeither she narrated from the concourse, or took the camera down to the field to interview people face to face.

There’s a part two today, focused on Mississippi. (Which I will not watch while trying to eat dinner. Doing that last night was a huge mistakethe doctor on the show kept finding bodies on the street, lifting their shrouds, and declaring what an awful tragedy it was that they’d been lying on the street so long, their insides were liquifying and oozing out.)

Sending Dick Cheney is Like…

posted by on September 7 at 11:10 AM

Kerri Harrop, woman about town and superstar Slog reader, has just entered my contest honoring Dick Cheney’s upcoming trip to New Orleans. You can too!

The contest rules are simple:

Complete this sentence: “Sending Dick Cheney to soothe the hurt of New Orleans is like….” Then email your entries to and I’ll post them tomorrow as Cheney arrives in the region.

Kerri Harrop says:

Sending Dick Cheney to soothe the hurt of New Orleans is like going to the Wildrose for a blowjob.

In Defense of Katrina Coverage

posted by on September 7 at 10:45 AM

Katie Couric stalking strandees as the Astrodome is one thing, but yesterday’s Oprah was something else. Shot over Saturday-Monday in New Orleans, the show collected a slew of stunning moments, starting with the chief of New Orleans’ largely homeless police force breaking down in sobs while confessing to Winfrey that kids and, yes, babies had been raped in the would-be succor of the Superdome.

At the Dome itself, Oprah was met by military guardsmen under orders to keep her out. Tour guide Mayor Ray Nagin explained that Winfrey really didn’t want to see what was inside. Oprah insisted: “I want to go in, I’m a strong woman,” but still, no dice. Eventually it got ugly, with Winfrey calling bullshit on the whole scene: “Tens of thousands of Americans lived inside there for five days, and now you won’t let one person see what it was like?” After requiring Winfrey to release the city of any and all liability, Mayor Nagin escorted her in.

The shocker wasn’t what Oprah saw inside, but what you couldn’t see: The place was pitch-black. I guess I could’ve imagined this would be the case: The city lost all power, and domes don’t have windows. But realizing that all the savagery we’ve heard aboutthe rapes, shootings, rotting corpses, accumulation of human wasteall took place over four days of complete darkness…it’s so much more horrifying than I imagined.

There were plenty more horrors captured on the show, mostly from the makeshift medical operations on highway underpasses and in the Louis Armstrong International Airport, where patients too far gone for treatment were simply placed in the morgue to “die in peace.” But the darkness of the Superdome, and what was allowed to happen there, is what’ll give me nightmares.

Thanks to Oprah for an amazing, damning show, of which even the smarmiest, star-fucking-est moments were illuminating. Case in point: Matthew fucking McConaughey managed to get to the dead and dying with a camera crew before U.S. aid workers could?

Tense Moment on KUOW This Morning

posted by on September 7 at 10:40 AM

There was a hilarious moment on KUOW this morning. The host, Marcie Sillman, was doing a typically cloying KUOW show about “Your Memories of the First Day of School”asking listeners to call in with memories of autumn leaves and new teachers and scary bus rides. Well, after about three calls of exactly that, she stumbled into a call from a white woman who remembered her first day of third grade when her school in Maryland had just been desegregated. You could feel Marcieand every uptight, P.C. cell in her bodytighten, as the woman proceededbreezily and unselfconsciously to tell a story (“and then there were all these black children in the school”) about getting ambushed in the bathroom by three black girls and getting punched in the nose. “I just stood there and cried and and the girls just laughed and laughed at me. And that was my first day at school.”

Marcie squirmed as the story came with no sweet tale of reconciliation. “I never made friends with her,” the woman said, and then explained that her parents were raised as racistsand told her that you just have to hide your racism.

Sillman stumbled out of the call saying all your first day of school memories don’t have to be tied to complex social issues and people could just call in with stuff like: “maybe you just remember what your new sweater was like…”

Big Money and Benefits

posted by on September 7 at 10:32 AM

Good news from some Seattle groups already bringing in big money for various hurricane relief charities: Bumbershoot raised over $30,000. Photographer Charles Peterson raised over $17,000 in 72 hours by selling a limited edition of his Nirvana prints. And new shows keep getting announced. Jazz fans check this one from Seattle School: Jazz Benefit for New Orleans Hurricane Victims on Tuesday, September 13th at the Zig Zag Café from 8 11pm. There will be live jazz from the Brian Kent Trio starting at 8:30, and I’m asking people to come in their New Orleans best attire. There may be other musical guests as well. I’m still looking around. I’m asking for a suggested donation to the Red Cross at the door of $10, but also encouraging gifts of more if people can afford it. The Red Cross will send charitable receipts for any check donation (not cash unfortunately).

John Richards for Mayor

posted by on September 7 at 10:29 AM

This just in, from a disgruntled West Seattle neighbor who’s had one too many frustrating experiences dealing with city bureaucracy:

Dear Friends,

Given the pathetic options that we have available to us for mayor of the City of Seattle, I am nominating John Richards (John in the Morning on KEXP 90.3) as a write-in candidate for the position of Mayor of Seattle in the September 20th primary. For those of you who are not familiar with John Richards, please trust me on this- or you can check him out at the KEXP website . He’s sort of like a Jon Stewart of the music world. If you are not familiar with Jon Stewart, well, again, please trust me on this. If you do know John Richards, I hope you agree that it would be fun to have John as a candidate for a bit. If so, please join me in trying to get at least 2000 votes for John Richards on September 20th. I realize some of you can’t vote for City of Seattle positions, but if you can please pass the word to any friends or family that live in Seattle, that would be great.



Todd Barry: King of Meta-Comedy

posted by on September 7 at 10:18 AM

One of the highlights of this year’s Bumbershoot was Todd Barry, whom I saw perform on Monday. Barry is a master of meta-comedy.

Continue reading "Todd Barry: King of Meta-Comedy" »

Jacko To The Rescue!

posted by on September 7 at 10:13 AM

Don’t hold your breath for that Michael Jackson-penned NOLA benefit single, David. The last time Jacko wrote a ditty for disaster relief - the 9/11 response “What More Can I Give?” - it took two years to be commercially released, despite the participation of Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and *N Sync.

Enough Already

posted by on September 7 at 8:52 AM

I’m starting to get angry at all of the Katrina news coverage live from the Astrodome, temporary home for thousands of New Orleans residents. These people have been through enoughdoes Katie Couric need to zoom in and pan her camera over the crowd every 10 minutes? Sure, there’s little privacy on the Astrodome floor, but do we need to further exploit these people by broadcasting scenes of a person sleeping, putting on a sweatshirt, feeding their baby, or chatting with someone on the next cot?

(And, does Harry Connick Jr. need to subject everyone to a mini concert? Take it outside, Harry, where those who want to listen can come join you. Don’t force the whole crowd to listen to your crooning…)


posted by on September 7 at 8:44 AM

What will Schwartzenegger do?

Because both chambers of the California legislature voted to give same-sex couples the right to marry.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The measure, which passed with no votes to spare, marks the first time that a legislative body in the United States has approved a bill that legalizes gay marriage. Schwarzenegger has not taken an official position on the legislation but has hinted that he would veto it.

Disaster Relief or Comic Relief?

posted by on September 7 at 8:00 AM

The White House is dispatching the prince of gloom, Dick Cheney, to New Orleans on Thursday to help soothe the region’s hurt. (Insert punch-line here.)

This morning Maureen Dowd is first up to bat in the Cheney trip punch-line contest, with this preemptive swipe:

Later this week (no point rushing things) W. is dispatching Dick Cheney to the rancid lake that was a romantic city. The vice president has at long last lumbered back from a Wyoming vacation, and, reportedly, from shopping for a $2.9 million waterfront estate in St. Michael’s, a retreat in the Chesapeake Bay where Rummy has a weekend home, where “Wedding Crashers” was filmed and where rich lobbyists hunt.

Maybe Mr. Cheney is going down to New Orleans to hunt looters. Or to make sure that Halliburton’s lucrative contract to rebuild the city is watertight. Or maybe, since former Senator John Breaux of Louisiana described the shattered parish as “Baghdad under water,” the vice president plans to take his pal Ahmad Chalabi along for a consultation on destroying minority rights.

But why let Dowd and the surely salivating late night comics have all the fun with Cheney’s trip? This is a set-up so ripe for fun-making, even a Slog reader could do it. So…

A Slog contest:

Complete this sentence: “Sending Dick Cheney to soothe the hurt of New Orleans is like…”

Send entries to, and I’ll post the top ten on Thursday in honor of Cheney’s arrival in the Big Easy. And my fellow Slog posters, feel free to use your competitive advantage to post your entries early.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Hard Rock for Hurricane Victims

posted by on September 6 at 6:49 PM

Yet another rock show this week, with money going to the Red Cross: Sunday, Sept. 11 the Showbox and KISW host Queensryche, Point One, Post Stardom Depression. The show includes autographed sports and rock memorabilia, up for sale with the proceeds also going to the charity.

The Language of the Poor

posted by on September 6 at 6:43 PM

Is Bush the only one left unable to speak of hurricane victims in a way that acknowledges class disparity? Today he spoke of the newly homeless in New Orleans by saying they’re “not refugees, they’re Americans.” And what, exactly, does that mean? That they’re all on level ground as residents of one country? What is the economic level of that country in Bush’s mind, compared to the economic level of a “refugee”?

The Buck Stops With Bush

posted by on September 6 at 5:13 PM

From today’s White House press briefing:

Q I just want to follow up on David’s questions on accountability. First, just to get you on the record, where does the buck stop in this administration?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President.

Q All right. So he will be held accountable as the head of the government for the federal response that he’s already acknowledged was inadequate and unacceptable?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President’s most important responsibility is the safety and security of the American people. He talks about that often. That is his most important responsibility. Again, there’s going to be plenty of time to look at the facts and determine what went wrong and what went right and how the coordination was between the state and federal and local authorities. Right now we’ve got to continue doing everything we can in support of the ongoing operational activities on the ground in the region to help people.

Editor & Publisher has the full transcript.

posted by on September 6 at 4:02 PM

“Sorry, Mr. President. Fuck You.”


posted by on September 6 at 3:52 PM

Even my hard heart (and it is a hard heart indeed) was touched by this shameless human interest story. Read it and melt in the bright light of humanity.

The ConWorks press release

posted by on September 6 at 3:21 PM

It’s long. So if you want to see it, click on the line right below this that says, “Continue reading ‘The ConWorks press release’” and the whole thing will appear.

Continue reading "The ConWorks press release" »

Unsaved Friends

posted by on September 6 at 3:09 PM

Yikes: The right-wing, crazy Christian group American Family Association ran a creepy campaign last week “to place the TRUTH FOR YOUTH BIBLE into the hands of our teenagers who will distribute them to lost students in our public schools.” (Campaign mottos: “Preventing Truth Decay,” and “Help Take Back America’s Public Schools”)

Bible-thumping kidsor their parentscould call a toll-free number to request a free bible. The special biblesthe New Testament, plus “powerful full color comics that are packed with ‘absolute truths’ regarding issues young people are faced with, such as: Evolution, Sexual Purity, Homosexuality, Abortion, Pornography, Drugs, Drunkenness, Peer Pressure, School Violence and Secular Rock Music“were available “to all teenagers who commit to give the Bibles to their unsaved friends in school.”

According to the folks running this campaignscheduled for last week (sorry kids!)they’d already distributed 900,000 bibles as of August 29. If Truth for Youth’s flash-heavy website is to be believed, those bibles will prevent kids from shooting up their schools, snorting coke, contracting AIDs, aborting their fetuses, and getting wasted on prom night. We’ll see about that.

ConWorks has a new director

posted by on September 6 at 2:51 PM

And his name is Corey Pearlstein.

The press release is three pages long and will be posted here as soon as possible, but some highlights: Pearlstein’s background is in theater (he has worked with “Tony-nominated actors”) and he “has demonstrated a strong balance of artistic and administrative know-how and he’s an ideal artistic director for ConWorks as the organization grows from its youth into its adolescence,” according to ConWorks’s board president Robb Krieg.

Krieg is from the corporate world, not the art world, in case that quote sounds completely bizarre to you (“artistic…know-how”?). His board ousted ConWorks founder and executive director Matthew Richter last February (even though no one on the board had any experience running an arts organization), promised they had a plan (even though they told curators and artists in residence at ConWorks that they had no plan), ignored pleas from the art community to explain their actions (the ConWorks board does not have a good reputation on the competence front), and, for the last seven months, basically did nothing.

New Music Fundraisers for the Week

posted by on September 6 at 2:43 PM

People in Seattle are quick to act on helping throw benefit shows. Case in point, Ms. Kerri Harrop emailed around the following list of what music-related charitable events would love your hard-earned cash (for hurricane relief) this week:

Our friends at Neumo’s will be celebrating the opening of the newly remodeled back bar this evening with a benefit for the Humane Society.  Good Samaritan Edward Bender will be playing records and representatives from the Humane Society and ASPCA will be on hand to accept donations and let you know what you can do to help the countless stranded animals affected by the hurricane.  Sales of High Life will also be donated to the cause.

The bad boys and girls at the Viceroy will also be raising money tonight at Low Life, the craziest Tuesday night in town.  This special edition will feature Crunk Life from 9-11pm and DJs Fourcolorzack and N8 will be spinning all the Dirty South cuts.  The Viceory will raise its price of High Life bottles to $2 this evening to maximize donation potential; all sales will benefit the Red Cross.


Continue reading "New Music Fundraisers for the Week" »

I heart Honeycrisp.

posted by on September 6 at 1:46 PM

The Honeycrisp apple is back!

I’ve been waiting all summer for the return of the deliciously crispy, oh-so-juicy, HUGE Honeycrisp apple, and QFC has a shitload of ‘em.

If you’ve forgotten the wonder of the Honeycrisp, revisit Sean Nelson’s apple interview here.

Man, I’m stoked.

Gilligan is dead

posted by on September 6 at 12:52 PM

There’s a statement on his official website. It was cancer-related. He was 70.

Jacko To The Rescue!

posted by on September 6 at 12:32 PM

Sequestered sex-charge acquitee Michael Jackson has announced he will record a new single to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. According to Reuters, the song will be titled “From the Bottom of My Heart” and will be released on a label owned by the crown prince of Bahrain, where Jacko has been lurking since his miraculous courtroom triumph.

If Jackson’s previous benefit single “We Are The World” is any indication, the new benefit single will totally suck and raise a shitload of money. But I’m only counting on the first part.

Watch out for thorns

posted by on September 6 at 11:30 AM

Ugh. It looks like the bizarre concept of World Naked Bike Day has spread (thanks, or not, to Seattle’s “Body Freedom Collective”). September 10 is, apparently, World Naked Gardening Day.

People around the world are encouraged to tend their portion of the world’s garden clothed as nature intended on Saturday, September 10, 2005. World Naked Gardening Day is a nonthreatening way to nudge people into experiencing firsthand the innocent pleasure of being naked in nature.

Gardeningunderstood in the broadest senseis something that just about everyone likes to do from time to time, and just about everyone daydreams about doing so nude. World Naked Gardening Day will help people become more comfortable with their bodies while it reminds them of their relation to the earth. And it’ll be fun!

I can’t even garden sans gloves, let alone pants.

Soundtracks for disaster

posted by on September 6 at 11:26 AM

I heartily endorse both Sean and Eli’s soundtrack choices for the ongoing tragedy in New Orleans (though I prefer the 1973 version of “City of New Orleans” by underrated country singer Sammi Smith). I’ve been spending much of my time listening to Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol’ Box of New Orleans, a 4-CD musical survey of the city that is brilliant in almost every regard (save for the inexplicable omission of the Dixie Cups). Its 85-track program features cuts by Louis Armstrong, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Irma Thomas, contemporary acts like Galactic, and many, many more. If you don’t already own a copy, now is a grand time to buy one, because through the end of 2005, the profits from all sales made via the Shout! Factory web site will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Dina Martina in NYC!

posted by on September 6 at 11:02 AM

Along with Circus Contraption, there’s another beloved Seattle act making waves in NYC: Miss Dina Martina.

Following a sold-out summer run in Provincetown, Dina made a surprise appearance last Saturday at NYC’s Wigstock festival, where she stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Kate Pierson of the B-52s, and dazzled a crowd of 15,000 with “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” (A friend of a friend was in the audience, and reported having a near-religious experience.)

Next up is a one-night-only showcase at New York club the Cutting Room on Friday, Sept. 16, leading to a return engagement at the space later this year.

Congrats to Dina and Circus Contraption and the lucky, lucky residents of NYC.

New Alex Chilton News

posted by on September 6 at 10:41 AM

From (thanks to Michelle Auer for the link):

Memphian Alex Chilton, 54, the famed rock singer and guitarist who lives in New Orleans is alive and well.

Ron Easley, a friend and fellow musician who has recorded a number of albums with him, said Chilton called early Monday morning from a hotel in a city Easley would not name. He said Chilton was evacuated by helicopter from his home Sunday and later flown out of the area.

Chilton, who hadn’t been heard from since shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck, told Easley he stayed in his home the entire time and water had gotten up to his porch. Chilton said he had food and water but was most concerned during the week about roving gangs.

Circus Contraption in NYC

posted by on September 6 at 10:19 AM

This weekend, local vaudeville artists (and good friends of mine) Circus Contraption opened a four-week run at Theater for the New City in NYC. They sold out Saturday night and are getting great press. Go, clowns, go!

Re: Raw Power

posted by on September 6 at 10:12 AM

Jennifer’s review below is pretty right on. The Stooges rocked harder than many bands half their age and performed most of the songs people wanted to hear, though I wish they’d done “Shake Appeal” and “We Will Fall.”

I relished seeing Security have a massive heart attack as Iggy invited the crowd to come onstage. “Sometimes you need to bridge these formalities,” he explained with perfect understatement after the band finished “No Fun” and Security scrambled to clear the stage of “Seattle dancers.”

You also gotta give it up to a 58-year-old dude who can still inspire young women to shout, “Whip out your cock!

We’re Saved!

posted by on September 6 at 9:41 AM

The headline on the Drudge Report this morning:

“Bush Will Lead Investigation Into What Went Wrong”

Mr. President, I suggest that you begin your investigation in Florida in November of 2000.

Pain, Progess

posted by on September 6 at 9:22 AM

I read or heard somewhere that in the Deep South there is a drive-in funeral home called “Moan & Go On.” This particular business offers the survivors of the dead the convenience of paying their last respects without leaving their cars. The cover of today’s PI offers these words to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina: “Pain, Progress,” which is, forgive me for putting it so bluntly, the white way of saying “Moan & Go On.”

Fine Dining

posted by on September 6 at 9:21 AM

I posted something in the forums over the weekend looking for a romantic restaurant in Seattle..and while I got some interesting responses (thanks for the McDonald’s tip) the best advice I got came offline, from a friend who recommended Cafe Juanita. It’s a bit of a haul to get the place, as it’s located in Kirkland (our waiter said the chef, Holly Smith, will hopefully open a restaurant in Seattle next) the food, the service, and the atmosphere all made the drive worth the time. The dimly lit, cozy, wooden-walled dining area overlooks a wooded, private garden on one side and the open kitchen on the other, so you have a view of both the greenery outside and the chefs inside.

Continue reading "Fine Dining" »

Raw Power

posted by on September 6 at 8:44 AM

For the final show on the last night of Bumbershoot Monday, Mudhoney slammed out their classics and threw in what sounded to be a couple new, great songs (they’ll have a new record out on Sup Pop) some time soon. Wry frontman Mark Arm informed they crowd that “The only reason we’re playing here is because we offered to give blow jobs if they let us open for the Stooges. One Reel is a big organization…and a lot of it is male. And our jaws are tired.” Following Mudhoney, The Stooges took the stage in top form. Iggy Pop whipped around the stage like he was a good 40 years younger than his age. Shirtless and sporting tight jeans and silky, long blonde hair, he looked like he’d just walked in off the Venice Boardwalk. He spent most of the show bounding and bouncing around the stageonce even flying out into the crowd for part of a song. Although they skipped “Search and Destroy,” the Stooges also played plenty of hits, and about a third of the way through Iggy stopped the show to invite the crowd onto the stage, refusing to play until the security guards allowed about 100 thrilled kids (who he referred to as the “Seattle dancers”) to pogo around him. He then went into “No Fun” surrounded by this throng, while he stayed seated at the edge of the stage. Now while seeing a show at the outdoor arena—where the sound is never loud enough to truly match the vigor of the music and it’s difficult sharing this favorite band with a huge sea of people—sucks, for this show it was worth it. The Stoogeswith Mike Watt on bassreally nailed it last night.

If anyone else has Stooges/general Bumbershoot reviews, feel free to post some here.

The State As Art

posted by on September 6 at 4:58 AM

I have just read the most amazing thing. In regards to the state, early 19th century German idealist philosopher Schelling criticized Fichte, another German idealist of that age, for seeing the state simply as a means of protecting the rights of the individual. For Schelling, “the state ought to appear as a work of art,” and philosophers like Fichte must not ignore “all positive arrangements for the energy, the rhythmic movements and beauty of public life.” Absolutely wonderful! These words, which were translated from German, have forever changed my life.

Monday, September 5, 2005

“They’re Tryin’ to Wash Us Away”

posted by on September 5 at 2:31 PM

The song I can’t stop going back to is Randy Newman’s Stephen Foster-esque “Louisiana, 1927,” from his Good Old Boys record. It’s amazing to thiink that the dirt poor south he describes in the song, and all over the record, was once a white man’s south (hence the word “cracker”), and to see how Bush’s contemptible, contemptuous photo-op leadership is presaged by Calvin Coolidge’s appearance in the third verse. Lyrics below.

Continue reading ""They're Tryin' to Wash Us Away"" »

City of New Orleans

posted by on September 5 at 2:30 PM

I’m sure I’m not the only one who downloaded the song “City of New Orleans” this weekend, but for those who may still do so, I recommend the Arlo Guthrie version, with its spare backing and pure emotion, over Willie Nelson’s more glitzy rendition.

My dad used to play this song when I was a kid. I loved it then because I loved trains, and this is a song about a train, the City of New Orleans, making a run from Illinois to Louisiana. Later I realized it is also a song about the end of an American institution, the railroad. In a tone that is at once bitter and plaintive, the black locomotive calls out: “Good morning America, how are you? Don’t you know me, I’m your native son?”

The train calls this out as it passes “freight yards full of old black men and the graveyards of the rusted automobiles,” and listening to it now, one can’t help but hear the tone as being pitifully similar to the tone of the pleas for help that came from New Orleans over the last week. It is the song of the proud but forgotten.

Liquor is Quicker

posted by on September 5 at 12:52 PM

Yesterday marked the first day of Sunday liquor sales in Washington state, and the end of a pre-Prohibition “blue law” that banned all liquor sales on the Sabbath, when upstanding citizens were supposed to be in church. Three dozen stores, including three in Seattle, opened their doors yesterday across the state. Sunday sales, which are now legal in 33 states, are expected to generate more than $7 million in tax revenues over the next two years.

Re: The Urgent Necessity of Comedy

posted by on September 5 at 12:39 PM

With sympathy to Dave Segal, who slogged about being shut out of every comedy event he tried to attend at Bumbershoot, I must report that I managed to catch some great, angst-dispelling comedy this weekend.

First came Lauren Weedman’s solo show Wreckage, which I caught at Bumbershoot on Saturday. The show’s subject matter could hardly be darkerin college, Weedman told a little white lie about being raped that soon took over her lifebut the show itself, thanks to Weedman’s self-excoriating wit and dazzling mimicry skills, is a rich, itchy triumph.

Then came last night’s Bumbershoot after-party at the Mirabeau Room, where a handful of local and national comedians took to the stage for nouveau spins on stand-up. Best in show: the widely adored Eugene Mirman, who I’d never encountered before and who charmed me silly; the Edinburgh-conquering Reggie Watts Tangent (it’s not everyone who can spin yuks from a sweet-natured tale of stalking a woman to death); and up-n-coming local Fahim Anwar, a baby-faced 21-year-old of Afghan descent who’ll be a featured performer in this week’s premiere installment of Unhinged, the weekly showcase devoted to alterna-comedy starting this Wednesday and continuing every Wednesday after at the Mirabeau Room. (Check it outit’s about time this town got a punk comedy night to call its own, and props to Dave Meinert for making it happen.)

Who’ll get fired?

posted by on September 5 at 12:22 PM

Who’ll get fired for Katrina? No one.

Bush won’t fire the head of FEMA, that useless, lying assholethe man who couldn’t run a horseshow!or the head of Homeland Security, or anyone else. If no one has been fired for the mess in Iraq, no one is going to get fired for letting all those poor blacks drown, starve, and die of dehydration in New Orleans.

And here’s the reason why Bush can’t fire anyone: The charge against the Bush administration’s response to the disaster in New Orleans is incompetence. But asking Bush to fire people for incompetence is like asking the Queen of England to do away with hereditary titlesit puts the monarch in an awkward position, you know?

The Urgent Necessity of Comedy

posted by on September 5 at 12:19 PM

I don’t know if it’s always this way at Bumbershoot (didn’t seem so last year anyway), but this time I’ve been shut out of every comedy show I’ve tried to catch. Crowds are overflowing the Charlotte Martin Theatre this year. In light of recent events, laughter seemingly is more necessary than ever. Natural disaster + incompetent government + mismanaged illegal war = comedic boom times.

Re: If Bush Nominates Thomas as Chief Justice Does He Defuse His Kanye Problem?

posted by on September 5 at 8:11 AM

I hope Bush’s nomination of a very white Roberts for chief justice, coupled with the images of mass black suffering in New Orleans, will wake up that sole (and soulless) negro on the Supreme Court. (Thomas does not deserve to be called an African American, he is a negro in the truest old-world sense of that word.)

Africans On Africa America

posted by on September 5 at 7:46 AM

The best line in this report is by a Tanzanian civil servant, who favorably likens the federal government’s slow response to the disaster in New Orleans to an “an elephant [trying to do] gymnastics.” Another Tanzanian in the report says, “What I see on TV, people carrying their most important belongings and fleeing, it’s the same as anywhere in Africa.” I think the situation in New Orleans will create the first real link between Africans and Africans Americans. Finally, Africans can see the African in African Americans, see them as the same, as black people, and not as a whole different and super-rich race—Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, P-Diddy, and other celebrities who fill the pages of Ebony.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

The Inevitable Asshole

posted by on September 4 at 4:56 PM

Regarding the unprecedented American horror unfolding in New Orleans: Someone genius has posted the inevitable “those lazy coons brought it on themselves” argument in the I, Anonymous forum.

I can’t reply within the forum itselfno one can; the I Anon forum is strictly hit-and-runso I’ll do it here.

Dear idiotic asshole: Those stranded did not have means to flee, and the government failed to provide any kind of mass transit to aid their escape. As for self-motivated salvation and Tsunami comparisons: In Thailand, you dumbfuck, the water clobbered the land then went away, while in New Orleans, thanks to its tragedy-taunting below-sea-level basin, the water came and stayed, trapping those that remained and hindering the majority of escape/rescue operations. If you think living in a below-sea-level basin is reason enough to deserve horrific trauma and death, consider your own residence in a region centuries overdue for a history-altering earthquake.

In the meantime, you should stop restricting your racism to dubious conspiracy theories inspired by national tragedies. It’s clearly who you arewear your white hood with pride, brother.

“Meet the Press” Video

posted by on September 4 at 4:13 PM

Here’s video of the amazing Meet the Press segment Eli slogged about. It is tremendously upsetting, but watch it.

Trickle Down Economics

posted by on September 4 at 3:56 PM

It’s impossible not to see the events of the last week as an indictment of Bush’s $3.9 trillion tax cut program for the rich. (Be sure to read down to the part labeled “Distribution of Tax-Cut Benefits.” )

No wonder the Bush administration had to slash funding for the New Orleans levees for the first time in 37 years. They had their trickle down economics to attend to.

And trickle down it did. In buckets.

Quotes of the Day

posted by on September 4 at 2:00 PM

Almost a week after Hurricane Katrina, these are the quotes that seem likely to define the day: A Louisiana senator, furious about the Bush administration’s attempt to shift blame for its failed response onto local officials, threatens to punch Bush. And a local official tells an utterly heartbreaking story about the death of a woman in a flooded nursing home — a woman who happens to be the mother of a lead emergency management official in New Orleans.

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a Democrat, said today that she was so angry about federal failures and second-guessing that if she heard any more criticism of local efforts, even from the president, she might “punch” him…

“If one person criticizes them or says one more thing - including the president of the United States - he will hear from me,” she said on the ABC program “This Week.” “One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally.”

She also referred angrily to comments Mr. Bush had made Friday at the New Orleans airport about the fun he had had there in his younger days.

“Our infrastructure is devastated, lives have been shattered,” Ms. Landrieu said during a helicopter tour of the area with an ABC interviewer. “Would the president please stop taking photo-ops?”

The government message has found itself struggling for time on the airwaves against angry criticisms like Ms. Landrieu’s, and anguished cries for help, like that of Mr. Broussard [president of a local Louisiana parish], the local official who broke down sobbing on NBC.

“The guy who runs this building I’m in, emergency management, he’s responsible for everything,” Mr. Broussard said. “His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, ‘Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you. Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday.’ And she drowned Friday night.

“Nobody’s coming to get us,” he said through his tears. “Nobody’s coming to get us.”

Crooks and Liars has the video.

Zimbabwe on Film

posted by on September 4 at 4:36 AM

The situation in Zimbabwe just keeps getting worse.