Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 09/18/2005 - 09/24/2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

More than 100,000 people

posted by on September 24 at 5:16 PM

That’s the figure the nightly news is reporting for the march here in D.C., which means the protest organizers hit their goal. And the Washington Post says 150,000 to 200,000, which means they more than hit their goal.

Meanwhile, the networks and the cable news shows seem to be essentially ignoring the march and focusing on Hurricane Rita. We’ll see what the major papers do tomorrow. This was a huge march, and Rita was not as huge a hurricane as expected. It would seem a mistake, then, to ignore 150,000 people marching on the nation’s capitol — not to mention the people marching in Seattle and elsewhere around the world — especially when the marches concern a war that is the major news story of the last three years.

Buck Fush

posted by on September 24 at 3:34 PM

The calm after the storm.

So, the Seattle march has officially ended. (And by officially, I mean I overheard the die-hard, “Buck Fush” stickered couple next to me sigh, “So, ready to go?”) Westlake Center has returned to, well, Westlake Center—home to fat bottomed shoppers. I have to say that on the whole I’m impressed. Westlake Center was packed. I’d guess 3,000 people. We’ll see what the cops say tomorrow.

The Veterans of Peace closed the event, emphasizing the need for young people interested in joining the service to get objective information as to what they are getting themselves into before enlisting.

Linda Averill, Socialist city council primary candidate, was spotted thanking Seattleites “for the 12,000 votes.”

Full Force

posted by on September 24 at 3:26 PM


In the middle of the fray.

Just when I, the lowly news intern, thought I was alone, I realized I was in the eye of the storm. The marchers, 3,000? have returned from the federal building, and they are here in full force chanting and waving pompoms, fists, and peace signs. A “Cindy Serves the Prince of Peace” sign just went by in the hands of a middle-aged woman, along with a “Bring Our Troops Home” banner.

There are drums, there is a giant white dove puppet made from a sheet and most of all there are excited, friendly people sending an unabashed message against the war in Iraq. The first bullhorn has been spotted in the hands of a makeshift drill-squad performing an anti-war cheer.

So far, the only opposition to the protest was demonstrated by two blonde-haired, big bottomed shoppers who shouted, “GO BUSH!” a few times as they passed by me. I was about to retaliate when a man on a bicycle did the job.

Empty Square, Busy Streets

posted by on September 24 at 2:44 PM

Westlake Center is now essentially empty. Just a minute ago the square was crowded and now a small band stands alone on the stage. The march has begun. The crowd, spanning 4-6 blocks, are on their way to the Federal Building. As a testament to the silence an elderly woman holds a white 3x5 index card with “No War” written in ballpoint pen.

The Rants (and the Rents) Against the War

posted by on September 24 at 2:24 PM

Above the bicycle cops a stilt-walker creates a quiet display.

No bullhorns, but we’ve got her.

While Eli surveys the protest in the heart of our nation’s capital, I (the lowly Stranger news intern) am surveying a little piece of the day’s action here at Westlake Center. So far, our own peace demonstration appears to be defying the typical Seattle protest stereotype. Instead of the familiar melee of gas masks, angsty rebels, and teens in black spandex with unwashed hair selling bongs and anarchy patches, today about 3,000 protestors have shown up including respectable grown ups (boasting a bouquet of signage from “Impeach Bush” posters made in bulk to homemade banners exclaiming “OUT, OUT, NOW!”); small children (with tiny homemade anti-war vests); and a great turnout of the rarely sighted family unit.

Caskets on Parade

posted by on September 24 at 2:00 PM

As I wrote that last post, a parade of “caskets” draped in American flags was passing by. In the past, these types of casket demonstrations have had one casket for each American soldier killed in Iraq.

There are close to 2,000 American soldiers now dead from the Iraq war. I’ve been sitting at this window for about 20 minutes, and the caskets are still passing by outside.


posted by on September 24 at 1:55 PM

Ok, this march is huge. I just disappeared into a Starbucks for an hour to write that last post, and to eat something, and when I reemerged I expected to tag on to the tail end of the march, or to walk the empty march route back to the Washington Memorial. Instead, I found myself still in a sea of people stretching ahead and behind me as far as I could see. The march has now been going on for four hours, and I keep falling further and further back in it as I duck out for various reasons, and there’s still no end.

I’m no expert in crowd estimations, but if there’s not more than 100,000 people here I would be very surprised. I’d actually guess 200,000 or more.

All that was needed was 100,000 people coming out today in order to create a bigger anti-war protest than any held here since the Iraq war began, and perhaps bigger than any in D.C. in a long time. If they’ve hit that number, that’s one more step toward this being viewed as a major turning point.

(Also difficult to count: The number of Starbuckses along the march route, which makes it quite easy for me to march and slog, march and slog, march and slog…)

This is What the Protest Movement Looks Like

posted by on September 24 at 12:28 PM

I had planted myself at what I was told would be the head of the D.C. march, only to find that the march had many heads, or at least many people with many ideas about where the head of the march should be. And of course, each one of these people seemed to have a bullhorn.

Cindy Sheehan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al were supposed to lead off the march, followed by the Gold Star Families for Peace, including Lynn Bradach. But because some of the marchers had other ideas, this is what the protest movement looked like at around 12:30 today: Native Americans against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other such groups marching off in one direction, while the military families, Al Sharpton, and others prepared to march in a different direction.

At one point I saw Jesse Jackson and Cindy Sheehan bust through a line of police horses and into a police car, so that they could be whisked up ahead of the anarchists and Palestinian nationalists and anti-IMF protesters who had taken the lead. They never did make it to the actual front, but Jesse and Cindy did manage to charge in and create a nice moment for the press gathered in front of the White House. Around them, a strange scene unfolded, often seeming more like the WTO protests than an anti-war march.

I waited at the White House for Lynn and the Gold Star moms to pass. By then they were stuck in the middle of the march, outflanked by the anarchists, outmaneuvered by Jesse and Cindy, but still full of rage. They finally arrived, stopped in front of the White House, held up pictures of their dead sons, and chanted: “Not one more.”

Candle Wax and Nice Weather

posted by on September 24 at 6:36 AM

Hello from D.C. I am sitting at the epicenter of latte liberal organizing, a Starbucks at the corner of 14th and G Street. The view from here allows me to report with certainty: “Vermont Says No To The War.”

Last night I went to a vigil at the new Camp Casey, set up just across the street from the Washington Monument. The original Camp Casey, close followers of the news will recall, was set up outside president Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, this summer by Cindy Sheehan, who ignited the movement of anti-war military families now heading up today’s march on the capitol.

I saw Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, last night before the vigil. She was wearing a rainbow tie-died shirt and jean shorts, and is much taller in person than she appears on television. She is also much stronger than she appears—workman legs, toned arms, firm jaw. She was being swarmed by people who wanted her picture, or her autograph, and left the camp quickly, perhaps a victim of her new celebrity.

The vigil drew several hundred people and smelled of candle wax and the melting plastic cups that shielded the candle-flames. It also smelled of carnations and roses, which the people at the vigil delivered, in a short procession across the mall, to the Vietnam Memorial. Joan Baez appeared just before the procession began (and just after “Taps” was played by a giant anti-war Marine who would not give his name to the crowd). Baez sang “Amazing Grace,” and then at the Vietnam Memorial she kneeled, pressed her palm and forehead against the wall of names, and perhaps cried. I couldn’t tell for sure. There was a lot of crying, and if the sobs I heard weren’t from Baez, then they were from the giant Marine or the aging Veterans Against the War or the Gold Star moms.

This morning the Metro was filled with people carrying protest signs, and now the city feels as if it is filling up with them too. The weather is perfect for marching—light cloud cover, light breeze, no blazing sun (yet). How big will it be? We’ll know shortly. I am off to meet up with Lynn Bradach, the Gold Star mom from Protland who I recently profiled in The Stranger, and I’ll return to a wireless connection when possible.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Re: I love you, city

posted by on September 23 at 4:57 PM

a friend of a friend climbed the volcano fountain, stood at the top, and punched the air like a champion…

My overriding thought while wandering around the water feature yesterday, was if it’s legit to splash in it. One of the papers ran a photo today of a girl wading in the ankle-deep pool studded with rocks. Your friend of a friend climbed the damn fountain. I really wanted to wade across the last, calmest reflecting pool.

I’m glad to see others are acting on their impulses (I made do with dipping my hand in the water). But does anyone know if you can jump into the pool and not risk getting a ticket? That park’s crawling with bike and foot patrol officers, trying to keep the crackheads and street drunks out, so it seems only a matter of time before they start busting waders and fountain climbers—if those are in fact illegal acts.

I love you, city

posted by on September 23 at 4:26 PM

I just want to echo Amy’s enthusiasm for Cal Anderson Park — it’s incredible. It’s so weird and beautiful. It’s restored my faith in the city. The fences have been down for three days now, and I’ve spent good time each day there — working, mostly, but also just feeling generally glad to be alive. Last night, after the bars closed, a friend of a friend climbed the volcano fountain, stood at the top, and punched the air like a champion, even as his shoes and pants filled with water. A guy sitting outside his building across the street applauded.

Bring Them Home Now

posted by on September 23 at 4:03 PM

Suggested rally slogans for tomorrow’s march:

Optimism is Not a Strategy
Fight Hurricanes, Not Heathens
Bring Them Home Now
End the War in Iraq

My advice? Keep it simple kids. Seattle’s march is being billed with LA and San Francisco, as the big ones outside of D.C. Let’s stay on message, and drive the point home.

Wait: Not Kaput Yet

posted by on September 23 at 3:55 PM

So, the SMP Board just voted to put a proposal for a shorter route on the November ballot. Ballard’s out. The 10.6 mile route would be from the maintenance base at Dravus in Interbay through downtown to Alaska Junction in West Seattle. If the ballot measure is rejected, the SMP will be dissolved. SMP Legal Director Ross MacFarlane, ballot papers in hand, rushed by Erica C. Barnett at 3:15 to make the 4:30 King County elections deadline.

The ballot measure also would require that any financing for an extension be approved by the city council.

Also of note from today’s dramatic SMP board meeting: Board member Steve Williamson—in attendance over speaker phone—called on Board Chair Kristina Hill to resign. Hill said she was “hurt” that Williamson made such a recommendation publicly. She did not resign.

actually funny pet humor

posted by on September 23 at 3:15 PM

Dog owners: read this, from the animal issue of Vice. I haven’t laughed so hard in hours.

“You’re An Asshole”

posted by on September 23 at 12:34 PM

Hello from New York. Spotted this music video linked on Americablog, and thought everyone should see it.

At first it reminded me of “Idiot Son of an Asshole,” a song that entertained us during the 2004 campaign, but it’s actually much more somber—it almost made me cry as I sat in my hotel room waiting to do the Michael Medved show.

Our country is fucked.

Dispatches from Washington

posted by on September 23 at 12:32 PM

Today’s Washington Post reports that anti-war demonstrators there plan to have a tightly focused message in tomorrow’s march:

In recent weeks, Bill Dobbs, media coordinator for United for Peace and Justice, has sometimes cut off speakers at news conferences when they began a passionate discussion of how war is connected to global and local oppression.

Spreading out his long arms, he speaks the message he wants everyone to repeat: “End the war in Iraq. Bring them home now.”

“That is the really important message at the moment,” he said. “To turn out the maximum number of people, we need the simplest and clearest message.”

Don’t forget to send us your “simple and clear” message ideas. We’ll post the best ones here by the end of the day. Hopefully Seattle’s march organizers will take note.


posted by on September 23 at 12:13 PM

Just got word from City Hall: The council voted 9-0 to cancel the monorail’s transit way agreement with the city. That means the Green Line is kaput.

R.I.P. Monorail?

posted by on September 23 at 10:50 AM

Just got word that there a six city council votes (a majority) lined up behind Richard McIVer’s resolution to yank the monorail’s transit way agreement. That would effectively shut down the project without another public vote. Erica C. Barnett just jetted down to City Hall to get the full story.

The End Causes Trouble

posted by on September 23 at 10:43 AM

Our local alt rock commercial station, The End sent out a press release this morning claiming that their leak of the new Strokes single, “Juicebox” has pushed the release of the NY band’s latest CD to an earlier date. According to the station, the new Strokes record was supposed to come out early next year but due to the single’s placement on the End’s People’s Choice Countdown (and regular rotation) the band’s label, RCA, is “considering an earlier release date.” DJ Harms said in a statement, “We are not going to let the internet beat us as people’s first source for new music. If there is an unreleased song or record out there, we are going to find it, and we are going to play it.”

Rock ‘n’ roll DJs

posted by on September 23 at 10:36 AM

Yesterday someone in the music forums was asking about good rock DJs around town. They were missing ye olde days of Pho Bang and looking for a good mix of punk, new wave, etc. I mentioned that Thursday nights at the War Room are sometimes good bets—and I have to mention it again here. Last night I unfortunately missed Infomatik’s set, but did catch a random SoCal pop punk band called Plastic Letters who were pretty fun. Between bands Mamma Casserole and Aykut from Razrez spun exactly the kind of music the forum poster was looking for. It all makes for the kind of Thursday that makes you wish everyone had Fridays off.

So, Enough About Me, What Do You Think About Me?

posted by on September 23 at 9:58 AM

In this morning’s PI, columnist Joel Connelly compliments the Stranger’s election endorsements, calling them “sharp and well-reasoned.” Thanks, Joel. I was pretty proud of this year’s Stranger picks.

However, Connelly goes on to trash me for being “me-centric.” He’s got a point. I’ve definitely been going a little first-person crazy lately, veering off into Philip Dawdy territory.

However, there is someone in town who writes about me more than I do. Joel Connelly!!!

It’s flattering, but it’s getting a little creepy, Joel. Most recently, I think, you criticized a blog post I did about the 34th District Democrats candidate forum.

Although, one time you compared me to Matt Dillon. That made my week. I forwarded that story to my mom and to every girl that I ever dated. I even sent it to Jill Shanholtz, this one girl from my high school that I wanted to date, but I didn’t because Jill liked my best friend Lee even though Lee was gay and I wasn’t.

Continue reading "So, Enough About Me, What Do You Think About Me?" »

handheld joy

posted by on September 23 at 9:37 AM

I’ve finally found my new Tetris: Lumines for the PSP is a Japanese puzzle game with gorgeous graphics and an awesome soundtrack. It’s spectacular and engrossing and it feels like it makes your brain grow a bit. I considered calling in sick today to play. Brad, do you have it yet?

Pre-Hurricane Hell

posted by on September 23 at 9:30 AM

You know what’s a million times worse than being an elderly nursing home resident shoved onto a bus with your oxygen tank so you can flee an impending hurricane?

Being an elderly nursing home resident shoved onto a bus to flee an impending hurricane when your oxygen tank explodes, accelerating a fire that kills you and 23 other nursing home evacuees.

This nightmare scenario occurred this morning outside Dallas, on in a chartered bus filled with elderly Hurricane Rita evacuees (many of whom used supplementary oxygen) who’d left a suburban Houston nursing home for facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Thursday.

Authorities told the Associated Press that the bus apparently caught fire due to a mechanical problem, after which the oxygen tanks started exploding.

Horrible full story here.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Canada Is Not All That

posted by on September 22 at 5:18 PM

“The Surrey school district [in Vancouver BC] has cancelled a high school production of a play designed to teach tolerance toward homosexuals.

Monday Night Madness with Mae West

posted by on September 22 at 3:49 PM

I learned about this event too late to hype it in Stranger Suggests, but if you’re a fan of wonderfully horrible movies, it’s not to be missed: Sextette, the 1978 musical-comedy fiasco starring an elderly (and face-lifted to freakishness) Mae West, screening this Monday, September 26 at Re-bar, as part of their “Movies of Mass Destruction” series.

Even reading down the film’s cast list is an acid trip: Along with Ms. West (whose unfortunate visage is a rubbery case study in how far the art of plastic surgery has progressed), Sextette features Dom DeLuise, Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton, Alice Cooper, Rona Barrett, Keith Moon, and Regis Philbin. The whole thing is mind-bogglingly awful—a duet of “Love Will Keep Us Together” sung by Mae West and Timothy Dalton is an enduring low-light—but it’s exactly the type of crappy movie that needs to watched with both a crowd and a lot of booze, which makes Monday’s screening at Re-bar a dream come true. Doors at 8:30, movie at 9:30, admittance is FREE, and the evening’s hosted by Ms. Sylvia O’Stayformore.

The Exploitation of Katrina

posted by on September 22 at 3:44 PM

A NY book publicist named Kelly sent me this review pitch:

Hello Charles, In light of our government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, questions have recently been raised regarding our country’s safety and the government’s ability to handle another terrorist attack. As Ken Sewell discusses in RED STAR ROGUE: The Untold Story of a Soviet Submarine’s Nuclear Strike Attempt on the U.S. — now #25 on the New York Times bestseller list, few Americans know that in 1968 Pearl Harbor was nearly attacked by terrorist forces using nuclear weapons. With the United States in such a weakened state, what could this possibility mean for us today? What would happen if terrorists attempted to strike again?

That’s one mean marketing machine.

More Nickels Contradictions

posted by on September 22 at 3:24 PM

Now that Nickels has joined the anti-monorail crowd he’s stumbling into the same anti-logic loop that has long defined the rhetoric of the obstructionists.

At his Friday press conference, when he denounced the monorail, he said: “Cost cuts have significantly compromised the system. It’s no longer the Green Line promised to voters.”

However, today, Nickels trashed the SMP board for refusing to propose a shorter line. He said: ” I wanted the Seattle Monorail Project to face up to the fundamental problem that has plagued the agency for more than two years. There is simply not enough money to build the [Green Line.]”

So, let me get this straight: Voters should be pissed because the SMP scaled back the project to cut costs, but voters should also be pissed because the board refuses to scale back the project to cut costs. ???

Nickels sounds exactly like a typical naysayer hack (or more accurately, like longtime anti-monorail mouthpiece Henry Aronson), issuing “Damned if they do, damned if they Don’t” Catch-22 statements that are nothing more than contradictory excuses to kill the project.

On the Ground in D.C.

posted by on September 22 at 3:11 PM

News from my buddy Shawna, who became a Seattle-to-D.C. transplant a year ago:

That “money for the poor not the war” slogan is plastered ALL OVER D.C. Very unfortunate.

This is the first protest since I’ve been here, though, that it is actually large enough for people to shed that “I’m too cool to protest” feeling, at least among the folks I hang out with. I went to a show last night, just a regular ol rawk show with people of all ages and backgrounds, and EVERYONE was talking about it positively. It gets ya all fired up, ya know?

Something Happening There?

posted by on September 22 at 3:00 PM

The Washington Post has a great piece today on the mood in the nation’s capitol on the eve of Saturday’s big anti-war march. It’s a piece shot through with the question of the moment in D.C.: Is something happening here?

Vietnam? The unquiet ghost, the untamed analogy, is loose in the air. There’s that old nervy feeling that Something Is Happening. Here. Now. But you could be mistaken…

Critics cannot easily dismiss this incarnation of antiwar enthusiasm as a fringe passion of anarchists, communists and freaks (though an author still tried to make that case last month at a Heritage Foundation forum). Recent polls say a majority of Americans — as many as 59 percent — think the war in Iraq is a “mistake” and the troops should be brought home. (Brought home when? That’s another question.)

The news is almost too much to handle. Demonstrators walk around saying, We are the majority, trying it on like unfamiliar clothes.

It has been half a lifetime since the peaceniks felt so … mainstream. The last time a majority became disenchanted with a conflict as shots were still being fired — including the Gulf War, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan — was August 1968, when Gallup first detected that most Americans considered the Vietnam War a “mistake.”

D.C. vs. Seattle

posted by on September 22 at 1:46 PM

Meanwhile, the March in Seattle is on the verge of catching a serious case of muddled message. From Seattle’s Socialists:

This Saturday, across the country, tens of thousands will march against the war. “Money for the poor, not for war!” will ring out as an indictment of the Bush administration’s callous disdain for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and for the U.S. and Iraqi people loosing their lives to capitalist plunder.

While the sentiment is true, the slogan “Money for the poor, not for war,” is awful, watered down, boring, and takes too much explaining to be effective in a march. (It’s almost as bad as this classic: “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? NOW!”)

Did organizers in Seattle fail to find our own Gold Star family, to lead the march with a smarter rallying cry? The least they can do is rip off the Gold Star brigade’s brilliant slogans, like this one: How Many More Soldiers Have to Die?

There’s still time before the rally. Let’s help them out. Send your best rallying cries to us, and we’ll post the best ones here by the end of the day tomorrow, allowing the Socialists enough time to scribble them on their placards.

A backflip dismount

posted by on September 22 at 1:25 PM

Attention: Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park has shed its fences, and is open for business.

Conveniently, it is located across the street from the Stranger’s offices (it’s one of our perks, along with free pens).

I just strolled through. My favorite things include a seat built into the water feature’s downhill stream, where you can sit and dangle your feet in the cool water; the low walls at each corner, evoking the edges of the park’s prior incarnation as a reservoir; the swingset, where I just witnessed a grown man swing so high, he was able to execute a backflip dismount.

It Is Your Duty As A Human To Watch This

posted by on September 22 at 1:07 PM

Just as Amy J. redirected folks to the amazing Phil Donahue/Bill O’Reilly showdown video mentioned in Eli’s expansive “March on Washington” slog post, I must require everyone who hasn’t already to watch the stunning anti-war TV ad linked by Eli in the same post.

See it here.

May God have nercy on Dubya’s soul. Or not.

Re: The March on Washington

posted by on September 22 at 1:06 PM

For an extremely satisfying collision of these two positions, watch this tense debate between Phil Donahue and Bill O’Reilly, in which Donahue more than holds his ground as O’Reilly tries to blast him with recycled Bush administration talking points.

Seriously, that video is required watching. (It’ll make you want to start the Donahue in ‘08 campaign.)

The March on Washington

posted by on September 22 at 1:00 PM

Behind all the noisy hurricane coverage, there’s a good bit of attention beginning to focus on the big anti-war march that’s set to descend on Washington, D.C. this weekend. Cindy Sheehan will be among the speakers, and to draw attention to the march the group Gold Star Families for Peace is running this devastating ad on CNN and Fox News. It shows a parade of other mothers of dead soldiers, including Lynn Bradach, who I profiled in last week’s Stranger, all making direct appeals to president Bush:

Melanie House of Simi Valley, California: Mr. President, I lost my husband, and now I’m asking you, How many more soldiers have to die for your mistake?

Elaine Johnson of Cope, South Carolina: You lied to us. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11…

Bradach, of Portland, Oregon: Mr. President, we all love our country, we all love our troops…

House: But don’t sacrifice the lives of our loved ones for your mistake.

With tens of thousands of people expected at the march, Bush today unveiled a new rhetorical gambit, saying that withdrawing from Iraq now would allow terrorists ”to claim an historic victory over the United States.” Message: If we withdraw, we lose, therefore the Gold Star moms are defeatists who want America to get beaten by terrorists.

For an extremely satisfying collision of these two positions, watch this tense debate between Phil Donahue and Bill O’Reilly, in which Donahue more than holds his ground as O’Reilly tries to blast him with recycled Bush administration talking points.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup Poll out this week finds that 66 percent of Americans support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

Whether all of this will add up to a pivotal point in the anti-war movement on Saturday is hard to tell. But with Bill O’Reilly unable to effectively defend the Iraq war anymore, and a majority of Americans now calling for withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and Bush reduced to calling grieving mothers defeatists, there’s an opening for a defining moment.

For information on the companion protest that will happen here in Seattle this Saturday, click here.

Brown Bunny

posted by on September 22 at 12:56 PM

I recently rented The Brown Bunny, the art house flick by reviled/revered troublemaker Vincent Gallo (the movie is finally out on DVD). My verdict: I love it. Sure it’s completely pretentious and focuses on the nearly cross-eyed director (his enormous cock gets plenty of screen time too). But the story, which pulls heavily from the cult classic Two Lane Blacktop, is bittersweet and beautifully filmed. It’s the story of one man’s solitary road trip and the missed connections he makes and breaks along the way. Plus how can you give up a chance to see the demure ChloĂ« Sevigny on screen?

Re: Flying Sucks

posted by on September 22 at 11:59 AM

The emergency landing of JetBlue 262 was the best damn reality television I’ve ever seen. From the moment the back tires touched down, to the time the plane finally rolled to a stop—and especially while the front tires were melting away in flames—it was unclear if the front landing gear was going to hold, or snap off and send the nose of the plane skidding down the runway (possibly sparking a terrible fire). But the gear held, and no one was hurt. Amazing.

Check out the video.

Flying Sucks

posted by on September 22 at 11:41 AM

This is why I almost never fly.

Buy My New Book… pretty please?

posted by on September 22 at 9:25 AM

My new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family, is being released today. It’s in bookstores now, as they say.

I’m too modest to praise my own work… but here’s the starred review from Publisher’s Weekly:

The author of the internationally syndicated column “Savage Love” brings much-needed humor, and a reality check, to the bitter gay-marriage debate with this polemical memoir. As Savage (Skipping Towards Gomorrah) and his boyfriend, Terry, neared their 10th anniversary, Savage’s mother put on the pressure for them to get married. But, Savage notes, there were several other points to consider before deciding to tie the knot: among them, the fact that marriage doesn’t provide legal protection in Washington State; Terry prefers tattoos as a sign of commitment; and their six-year-old son declared that only men and women can get married. Furthermore, Savage himself worried that the relationship would be jinxed by anything more permanent than a big anniversary bash, though the one they plan quickly assumes the proportions and price of a wedding reception. While documenting the couple’s wobble toward a decision, Savage skewers ideologues, both pro— and anti—gay marriage, with his radical pragmatism. Disproving Tolstoy’s dictum that “happy families are all alike,” he takes a sharp-eyed, compassionate look at matrimony as it is actually practiced by friends, his raucously affectionate family and even medieval Christians. When he explains to his son what marriage is really about, you want to stand up and cheer, and the surprise ending is both hilarious and a tear-jerker. As funny as David Sedaris’s essay collections, but bawdier and more thought-provoking, this timely book shows that being pro-family doesn’t have to mean being anti-gay.

Hey, that anniversary party was expensive. You can help me pay off the debt by buying my book. Thanks!

Day Seven…

posted by on September 22 at 9:21 AM

It’s Day Seven of my money’s captivity in Greg Nickels’ campaign coffers.

If you’re just tuning in, back in May I wrote Greg Nickels a $300 check, my support for the mayor largely based on his support for the monorail. Last Friday Nickels “withdrew” his support for the monorail, and I subsequently withdrew my support for Greg. When the mayor took the city’s Transit Way Agreement back from the SMP, I told the mayor I wanted my money back.

Well, it’s been seven days, and no check. One of the mayor’s guys told a Stranger reporter not to ask Greg about my demand; apparently it’s a sore subject. He also told the Stranger staffer that my check was in the mail. Well, now it’s going to get even more complicated. I’m off on a book tour, and that check is going to have to find its way to me before this crisis ends.

Where’s my money, Greg? I’m headed to New York City, where I’ll be staying at the Bryant Park Hotel. Can you have it sent there? I’d like to do some shopping.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Final Primary Election Results

posted by on September 21 at 5:29 PM

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, here are the final results in the Seattle races. The top two vote-getters in each race advance to the general election:

* MAYOR: Al Runte has 21.68% of the vote, while Nickels has 55.56%

* CITY COUNCIL POS 2: Richard Conlin has 48.82%, while Paige Miller has 36.26%

* CITY COUNCIL POS 4: Jan Drago has 41.99%, while Casey Corr has 24.66%

* CITY COUNCIL POS 8: Richard McIver has 37.70%, Dwight Pelz has 32.95%, and Robert Rosencrantz has 29.06%

Shocker! President (allegedly) drinks booze!

posted by on September 21 at 4:58 PM

I haven’t seen an actual hard copy at the supermarket checkout, but the online edition of The National Enquirer has an item up today claiming that President Bush is back on the sauce.

Shocker! Model (allegedly) does cocaine!

posted by on September 21 at 3:22 PM

CNN reports that supermodel Kate Moss is being investigated for alleged coke use. What’ll they discover next? That musicians are also using drugs? Like, say, Moss’ boyfriend Pete Doherty? Although it does sound like some of the big fashion houses are dropping Moss over the scandal. I guess having a smack addict boyfriend (especially when you’re raising a kid) ain’t so glamorous after all.

arty web intern needed

posted by on September 21 at 2:41 PM

The Stranger Art Department is looking for a new intern to help us maintain this snazzy new website we’ve created. Duties include modifying images and ads created for the paper to fit the specifications of our site, and other odd jobs as needed. Interest in photography a plus! Must be free to work Wednesdays for a minimum of three months. If interested, contact Kelly at

A Closer Look at the Numbers

posted by on September 21 at 2:40 PM

Someone just sent in this link —challenging the Seattle Weekly’s conventional wisdom election night coverage.


posted by on September 21 at 2:37 PM

While I was sitting in a cafe watching naked homeless dudes contemplate their defecation options, and sort through Savage Love mail about porn, premature ejaculation, BDSM, watersports, crossdressing, and what a woman should say to a male partner who fails to clean little bits of shit off the dildo he wants her to put in his ass (“buh-bye”), Rita grew to a Category 5 Hurricane.

A quick thought about Bush: If the federal response is slow (seems likely, since the same dopes—save Brownie—are still in charge), he’s toast. But if the federal response is quick and Rita slams into a mostly white area like, say, Houston, Texas, he’s still toast.

Bush in deep shit

posted by on September 21 at 2:24 PM


“Police in Germany are hunting pranksters who have been sticking miniature flag portraits of US President George W. Bush into piles of dog poo in public parks. Josef Oettl, parks administrator for Bayreuth, said: ‘This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2,000 to 3,000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time.’

The series of incidents was originally thought to be some sort of protest against the US-led invasion ofIraq. And then when it continued it was thought to be a protest against President George W. Bush’s
campaign for re-election. But it is still going on and the police say they are completely baffled as to who is to blame.

Continue reading "Bush in deep shit" »

Re: Linda Averill’s Impressive Showing

posted by on September 21 at 2:24 PM

P.s. To the 14 percent of you who voted for Angel Bolanos: What were you thinking?

Obviously, those voters support “Development at Rhodes Crossing that is truly mixed use, not just a ‘big box’ shopping center with apartment complexes across the street,” and oppose “Throwing away taxpayer funds to the Chargers and other wealthy corporations at the expense of public safety and public and human services.”

Live! Nude! Slogging!

posted by on September 21 at 2:17 PM

I’m live-slogging from the Online Coffee Company at First and Seneca. There’s a naked guy across the street from the cafe, where I am—right now! live!—working on next week’s Savage Love. Naked man is naked from the waist up, and he’s having a hard time holding up his pants, which are extremely baggy. I’m seeing a lot of full-on ass, and—oh, my God!—he’s squating over the curb and it looks like he’s about to take a dump on First Avenue! Right there in front of Knoll! I want to look away but… I can’t.

No, wait. He’s apparently thought better of it. He’s pulling up his pants, he’s starting to do a little dance around a trashcan.

Now he’s pulling on a shirt. Now he’s walking down the street pushing a shopping cart full of boxes. It’s sad, really, and I feel guilty muscling in on OFFENDING PASSAGE DELETED’s beat here. It’s too bad I don’t have a camera phone with me, because there’s some good photos I could be taking right now.

Linda Averill’s Impressive Showing

posted by on September 21 at 2:16 PM

Well, Stranger-endorsed-Freedom-Socialist Linda Averill didn’t make it through the primary. But her 18 percent showing was more than respectable. Congrats Linda! You raised legitimate issues and you raised them well. We hope to see you in the next municipal cycle.

And show up as a Democrat next time. I mean, come on: Jimmy Carter was enough to drive you from the Democratic Party (because he reinstated draft registration), and Pol Pot, Mao, Castro et el. aren’t enough to drive you away from the Socialist/Marxist left? Jimmy Carter? (And isn’t a draft more equitable than the de facto racist, classist draft we’ve got in place right now?)

P.s. To the 14 percent of you who voted for Angel Bolanos: What were you thinking?

Enough Nirvana already

posted by on September 21 at 2:05 PM

So Pitchfork spread the news today that there’s yet another Nirvana comp in the works. I may be in the minority here, but is that really necessary? That last box set kinda sucked. And living in a city where we have “Nightly Nirvana” up the ass, the last thing I’m going to be excited about is another comp—pulled, according to Pitchfork, from the last comp, With the Lights Out. Enough, enough, enough. I like my Nirvana and all but it’s like re-gifting the same leftovers we already have in our collection a couple times over.

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel With A Machine Gun

posted by on September 21 at 12:49 PM

My prediction re: the Weekly’s analysis of the election was, almost word for word, the Weekly’s analysis of the election.

From last night, at 10:35 pm:

Here’s my prediction for the Weekly’s post-election analysis tomorrow:
“The city council elections were a referendum on the monorail: Two monorail board incumbents floundered in second place behind anti-monorail opponents. Richard Conlin did better than expected because he made the monorail his main campaign issue. Jan Drago did more poorly than expected because she supported the monorail. And Richard McIver and Dwight Pelz, who both opposed the monorail, split the anti-monorail vote and did - um, better than expected.”

From the Weekly’s election story, titled “A Monorail Undercurrent.”

Seattle voters turned against the proposed monorail on primary election night, Tuesday, Sept. 20. The beneficiaries were Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin, a leading monorail skeptic, and a couple of political unknowns, Beth Goldberg and Jim Nobles, who were among those challenging incumbent members of the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority board. …
Former journalist and mayoral aide Casey Corr did not have nearly as much luck with his anti-monorail message against Seattle City Council president Jan Drago. … Nielsen [a political analyst] says Drago has done a good job of positioning herself as the true Democrat in the race…
Corr is, of course, a Democrat as well, but he will have to find a way to turn the race into a referendum on the unpopular monorail if he is going to succeed in liberal Seattle. The incumbent who fared the poorest in the primary was the council’s lone African American, Richard McIver, who managed a first-place finish in his race with only 37 percent of the vote….
Pelz and McIver do not differ much on issues—both are light-rail boosters, monorail skeptics, and fans of urban density.

For my take on why they’re wrong, read below.

Continue reading "Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel With A Machine Gun" »

Casey Corr: Yes or No on South Lake Union Trolley?

posted by on September 21 at 12:40 PM

Voters don’t want a city council that rubber stamps the mayor’s agenda. That’s why the mayor’s boy, Casey Corr—a former mayoral staffer whose city council campaign is being micromanaged by current mayoral staffers—scrounged for one aspect of the mayor’s South Lake Union Trolley plan to criticize. It’s Casey’s effort to distance himself—as a council candidate—from the mayor. Casey says he doesn’t like that some funding for the trolley will sap some funding for new Metro bus hours. (It’s a fair criticism, and in fact, one I agree with. I wrote a column about it in June.)

However, that’s only one aspect of the mayor’s trolley plan. The question for Casey Corr is: What’s his position overall on the South Lake Union Trolley? Does he disagree with the mayor’s larger funding plan for it? Does he disagree with the mayor’s contention that the trolley is a necessary part of the city’s transportation infrastructure? Or does he think, as some critics do, that Nickels is just catering to Paul Allen?

Even more important, what does Corr think about Nickels’s plan for South Lake Union in general? If Corr maintains that the trolley is stealing bus hours from the rest of the city, will he take the next step and say that by prioritizing South Lake Union, the mayor is siphoning off neighborhood money from the rest of the city? Casey needs to clarify his position on the trolley and on South Lake Union.

So, a Yes or No question for Casey Corr: On balance, does he support the mayor’s South Lake Union Trolley plan? Corr has been squeamish about answering Yes or No questions, but I think this one’s pretty simple. For example, here’s my answer. No, I don’t support the mayor’s South Lake Union trolley plan.

Unfortunately, being familiar with Corr’s evasive political style, I already know what he’s going to say. He will answer by questioning his opponent Jan Drago’s ability to challenge the mayor. He’ll say that she has a record of rubber stamping the mayor’s agenda. For starters, that’s not an answer to the question. More important, it’s not true. As the longtime budget chair, Drago has been in the trenches battling against the mayor’s budgets, and organizing the council to reinstate important social service funding year after year. (Including half-a-million $$$ in 2002 for food banks.) The budget is the nuts and bolts work of the city, and on that score, Drago has a record of being in the mayor’s face.

And while Drago does support the trolley plan, she hasn’t been evasive about that. Casey seems to want it both ways. Let’s see if Corr can succinctly say Yes or No on the South Lake Union trolley.

Can He Borrow Martha Stewart’s Low-Jack?

posted by on September 21 at 11:59 AM

According to the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist “sold all his stock in his family’s hospital corporation about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and the price fell nearly 15 percent.”

Not only can the good doctor read into the mind of a brain dead woman, but he can also predict when stocks will take a tumble? Obviously this man is some sort of soothsayer—unless, of course, something fishy is going on.

But it can’t be that…can it?

Seattle’s Smaller Weekly Watch

posted by on September 21 at 11:16 AM

For the week of September 22-29, 2005:

The Stranger: 136 pages.

Seattle Weekly: 96 pages.

“Juice or Deuce?”

posted by on September 21 at 10:59 AM

Mike Nipper saw me walking to the bathroom and asked, “Juice or deuce, which one you makin’?”

I laughed until I juiced.

Gang Bang for Katrina?

posted by on September 21 at 10:27 AM

Oh dear…here’s an ad forwarded to me by my fella Jake, who found it on a gay message board in Manhattan. Warning: It’s graphic, and a bit icky, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Plus, I can’t help thinking how much better off New Orleans might be if the government’s rescue and relief efforts had been as meticulously organized as this gang-bang fundraiser…Enjoy!

Continue reading "Gang Bang for Katrina?" »

Day Six of the “Where’s My Money, Greg?” Crisis

posted by on September 21 at 10:10 AM

I asked Greg Nickels to return my $300 campaign contribution—a contribution I made based on Greg’s support for the monorail—SIX DAYS AGO. Where’s my money, Greg? Your staffers told my staffers that the check is in the mail. I’m supposed to believe that old line? You might as well tell me you’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn you want to sell me, or some beach front property in Mississippi, or that you’re a progressive mayor committed to solving our transportation problems by giving Seattle residents real alternatives to driving. So once again I ask…

Where’s my money, Greg?

2 a.m. — Still Drunk

posted by on September 21 at 2:00 AM


Josh Feit: Gin gimlet
Erica C. Barnett: Vodka martini, extra olives
Dan Savage: Makers and water, on the rocks
Party Crasher: Passed out
Eli Sanders: Makers on the rocks
India Bodien: Designated Driver

12:15 a.m. — Meanwhile, Lawrence Molloy got Slaughtered

posted by on September 21 at 12:15 AM

Like, you know, a ram.

12:12 a.m. — Are We Still Here?

posted by on September 21 at 12:12 AM

Yes. And the morning’s first batch of results are in! Here are the highlights in the city of Seattle races:

* Al Runte now has 21.87% of the vote while Nickels has 56.00%

* Richard Conlin (50.01%) is still beating Paige Miller (35.74%)

* Jan Drago (42.25%) is still stomping on Casey Corr (24.60%)

* Richard McIver (37.69%) now leads Dwight Pelz (33.02%), with Robert Rosencrantz coming in last with (29.12%).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

11:45 p.m. — Why No Monorail Parties?

posted by on September 20 at 11:45 PM

Wondering Why There Weren’t Any Monorail Parties?

It’s because monorail board incumbents Cindi Laws and Cleve Stockmeyer were at what one monorail supporter at Jan Drago’s party called “the monorail board meeting from hell.” (Monorail opponent Henry Aronson, at Richard McIver’s party, had a different take: He described the meeting as “great.”) The board, under pressure to come up with a measure for the November ballot to circumvent the up-or-down monorail referendum on the monorail Mayor Nickels proposed last week, reportedly bickered and threw out tons of random ideas but ultimately failed to come up with a solution. The board had better get its act together fast: They’re supposed to come up with a proposal by tomorrow.

11:37 p.m. — OK, One Last Batch of Numbers

posted by on September 20 at 11:37 PM

The night’s last batch of results are in. We said earlier that we weren’t staying up for them, but we did. Here are the highlights in the city of Seattle races:

* Al Runte now has 21.92% of the vote while Nickels has 55.95%

* Richard Conlin (49.90%) is still beating Paige Miller (35.81%)

* Jan Drago (42.27%) is still stomping on Casey Corr (24.64%)

* Richard McIver (37.61%) now leads Dwight Pelz (33.03%), with Robert Rosencrantz coming in last with (29.19%).

11:32 p.m. — Viva Dwight Pelz!

posted by on September 20 at 11:32 PM

Erica C. Barnett says:

At 8:15, with the first results showing Robert Rosencrantz defeating Dwight Pelz, I predicted Pelz would pull ahead and move on to the general election. However, my SECB comrade back at the Stranger office wrote, “we here at the office can read the results, and at the moment, Pelz is in last place.” I win.

11:31 p.m. — And the Drunks Say…

posted by on September 20 at 11:31 PM

More analysis from the drunky-drunks at the Mirabeau room:

Newell Says your Sims thing is bullshit too….he got 70% of the DEMOCRAT vote, not a huge victory for an incumbent in his own party…

10:55 p.m. — Our Man on the Monorail Board

posted by on September 20 at 10:55 PM

Here’s a photo of Peter Sherwin from earlier tonight, boasting that the write-ins for the Monorail Board Position 8 race were probably all him, based on our recommendation that people choose him over the actual candidates.


(As of 10:47, there were 1,030 write-ins for Position 8 — the Goldberg/Laws/Lippman race. The other monorail board race counted just 218 write-ins. Go John A. Sherwin!)

10:50 p.m. — Smiles for Sims

posted by on September 20 at 10:50 PM

In a race we haven’t been reporting on, King County Executive Ron Sims took 70% tonight — looks like a third term for the smiling incumbent.


10:47 p.m. — Down the Ballot…

posted by on September 20 at 10:47 PM

Erica C. Barnett parses the Monorail Board results this way:

The Seattle Monorail Project Board, should it continue to exist, will probably have at least one new member in January — monorail opponent Beth Goldberg, who’s currently polling at 47 percent. (Loose-cannon incumbent Cindi Laws lost the race when she made anti-Semitic comments to a King County Labor Council endorsement panel a month ago.) The other monorail board incumbent, Cleve Stockmeyer, was running well behind anti-monorail challenger Jim Nobles (who had 40.5 percent) with 34.5 percent; but that number was somewhat deceptive, because Stockmeyer’s other primary foe, Dick Falkenbury, ate up some of the pro-monorail vote. Come November, Falkenbury’s votes will likely go to Stockmeyer.

10:45 p.m. — Overheard at Doc Maynard’s

posted by on September 20 at 10:45 PM

Bouncer: Who’s the incumbent?
Party Crasher: It’s McIver.
Bouncer: MacGyver?
Tipsy bystander: No, not MacGyver — not the guy who could make a bomb out of an alarm clock and some aspirin.
Bouncer: Hell, I’d vote for him over any of these clowns.

10:35 p.m. — A Prediction

posted by on September 20 at 10:35 PM

Erica C. Barnett says:

Here’s my prediction for the Weekly’s post-election analysis tomorrow:

Continue reading "10:35 p.m. — A Prediction" »

10:30 p.m. — Live From the Mirabeau Room Primary Party

posted by on September 20 at 10:30 PM

David Meinert reports:

We’re at least still awake, not like the Rosencrantz party. Hopefully Pelz is coming by to teach us how to drink.

10:16 p.m. — Meanwhile, Pelz’s Computer Says…

posted by on September 20 at 10:16 PM

He’s squeaking into second place. But Pelz and his campaign manager, Nigel Herbig, wanted to celebrate behind protective glass before they clued in the rowdy crowd at Doc Maynard’s.


10:15 p.m. — And the Computer Says…

posted by on September 20 at 10:15 PM

Amy Jenniges watched as the Rosencrantz people obsessively checked this computer for the 10 p.m. results, and then winced as she watched them find out that Rosencrantz had fallen to third place, not good enough to get through the primary. “Oh man, I’m getting killed,” Rosencrantz said when he saw the numbers — and then after talking to his political consultant on the phone, quickly added a positive gloss, saying there are still votes to count.


10:08 p.m. — Last Batch of Numbers (For Us)

posted by on September 20 at 10:08 PM

The third batch of results are in (and this is the last batch that we’ll report tonight, because of our looming deadline). Here are the highlights in the city of Seattle races:

* Al Runte now has 22.07% of the vote while Nickels has 55.66%

* Richard Conlin (48.36%) is still beating Paige Miller (36.62%)

* Jan Drago (42.87%) is still stomping on Casey Corr (24.42%)

* Richard McIver (37.41%) is now handily beating Robert Rosencrantz (29.93%), and in a big reversal of fortune, Rosencrantz is now LOSING to Dwight Pelz (32.50%)

10:00 p.m. — Past the Rosencrantz Crew’s Bedtime

posted by on September 20 at 10:00 PM

Amy Jenniges reports that Robert Rosencratnz’s party at the Miller Community Center is starting to clear out — mostly because it’s past everyone’s bedtime.

With Rosencrantz virtually tied with Pelz, the phrase of the moment there is, “It’s getting tight.” But with no alcohol in sight (Rosencrantz doesn’t drink), it’s hard to loosen up. Question of the moment: Will they all be wishing they had a drink after the next round of numbers comes out?


9:52 PM—Greg’s Numbers

posted by on September 20 at 9:52 PM

Greg’s numbers suck too—and where’s my money, Greg?—especially considering that his opponents aren’t qualified to tumble out of a clown car, much less run the city. Greg is essentially running unopposed, and he hasn’t broken 55%. Greg oughta be racking up numbers in the high sixties or low seventies. Clearly the neighborhoods are angrier at Greg than he or we thought—and angrier, in my opinion, than they have a right to be. Monorail supporters like me are angry too, which is why my vote today went to Christal Wood. Now I wish I had voted for Al Runte, who, if the numbers keep breaking his way (he’s racked up 22%!), will be facing a wounded Greg “Gridlock” Nickels in November.

9:44 p.m. — Heart Attack Egg Rolls

posted by on September 20 at 9:44 PM

Party Crasher has made his way to the Nickels bash at Ocean City in the International District, where he braved egg rolls sure to give him a coronary and found a subdued crowd scratching their heads at Al Runte’s strong showing.

Party Crasher, ever willing to stir shit up, asked a Nickels aide where Dan Savage’s $300 donation was. (Savage demanded it be returned after Nickels pulled the plug on the monorail this week.) The Nickels aide told him it was in the mail, and then begged: “Will you please not ask the mayor that question now.”

9:43 PM—Bad Numbers

posted by on September 20 at 9:43 PM

The numbers aren’t good for the incumbent city council members. Drago, Conlin, and McIver are leading, but they’re all under 50%—way under, in Richard McIver’s case.

I’m sure the challengers are already saying this to the TV reporters, but when you total up the votes against Drago, Conlin, and McIver, you’re looking at 57% against Drago, 55% against Conlin, and a staggering 63% against McIver. These are huge numbers—in Seattle, where we elect our city council at large, not by districts, name recognition is everything. So incumbents usually sail to comfortable victories. They still might—well, Drago and Conlin might; McIver might not make it to the general election. But all three are going to be running scared.

9:30 p.m. — Pelz’s Forecast Hazy

posted by on September 20 at 9:30 PM


Erica C. Barnett maintains that the next drop of numbers is going to bring Pelz into second place in his race, and so does Pelz, but we here at the office can read the results, and at the moment, Pelz is in last place.

Pelz’s advice to the crowd at his party: “If you’re here to stay, try to drink yourself into oblivion.”

9:26 p.m. — The Second Round of Results

posted by on September 20 at 9:26 PM

The second batch of results are in. Here are the highlights in the city of Seattle races:

* Al Runte now has 22.40% of the vote (again, I say: ?!?!) while Nickels has 54.65

* Richard Conlin (44.94%) is still beating Paige Miller (38.31%)

* Jan Drago (42.96%) is still stomping on Casey Corr (24.77%)

* Richard McIver (36.80%) is still edging past Robert Rosencrantz (31.77%) who is now TIED with Dwight Pelz (31.35%)

9:00 p.m. — Notes from the Socialist Hoedown

posted by on September 20 at 9:00 PM

India Bodien drew the short straw and ended up down in Rainier Valley at the New Freeway Hall, where Socialist city council candidate Linda Averill is entertaining her supporters with a banjo player, an Indian buffet, Champagne, and, standing nearby, a somber man in a shirt reading: “Be silent, consume, and die.”

8:50 p.m. — Remembrances of Curses Past

posted by on September 20 at 8:50 PM

Josh Feit reports that earlier tonight, at Jan Drago’s party, he ran into Patrick Kylen, a member of the team that hopes to build the monorail.

Josh: I’m heading over to Casey Corr’s soon…
Kylen: Tell him *#&% you for me.
Josh: Why?
Kylen: His monorail position is bullshit. (And apparently Corr hasn’t returned a $300 donation that Kylen has demanded to have back.)

8:45 p.m. — No Food in Dullsville

posted by on September 20 at 8:45 PM

Amy Jenniges saw only one measly plate of food at Corr’s party. Here it is:


8:40 p.m. — ”Dullsville”

posted by on September 20 at 8:40 PM

Amy Jenniges reports from Casey Corr’s party at T.S. McHugh’s that there are 21 beers on tap and a whole bunch of teenagers in the crowd. “Dullsville,” she says. Dan Savage, however, says: “Sounds like my kind of party!”

Meanwhile, an image we never thought we’d see. Casey Corr and Josh Feit, making nice:


8:30 p.m. — Four People in a Fluorescent-lit Room

posted by on September 20 at 8:30 PM

Party Crasher made the mistake of beginning his night at the Municipal League bash, where the “bouncer” at the door told him, “The party was here, but now it’s gone.”

However, there was not much evidence that a party was ever there to begin with. Four people were standing in a fluorescent-lit room, and one of them, a chirpy intern, was shaking a vase in which a quarter could be heard rattling around. “We made $1.25 this year,” she announced. Then, after digging through the broken pretzels and empty Heineken bottles on the table, she found a penny, and raised the grand total to $1.26.

Word in the room was that the Municipal Leaguers tried to watch the first results on TV, but couldn’t get their TV to warm up in time.

8:20 p.m. — Exit Jean Godden

posted by on September 20 at 8:20 PM


Not long after this camera-phone picture was taken, Councilwoman Jean Godden (right) was seen heading straight from Council President Jan Drago’s “victory” party to the “victory” party of Drago’s opponent, Casey Corr. “I endorsed them both because they’re very good people,” Godden said.

8:15 p.m. — The First Results

posted by on September 20 at 8:15 PM

The first results are in. Here are the highlights in the city of Seattle races:

* Al “Breathing Down Nickels’ Neck” Runte has 22.5% of the vote?!? (Nickels has 54.37%)

* Richard Conlin (43.57%) is beating Paige Miller (39.06%)

* Jan Drago (43.25%) is stomping on Casey Corr (25.39%)

* Richard McIver (36.49%) is edging past Robert Rosencrantz (32.83%) who is edging past Dwight Pelz (30.62%)

8:05 p.m. — Play Along With Us

posted by on September 20 at 8:05 PM

Here is the site you’ll want to bookmark and obsessively check, just like us!

The King County election results page… is right here.

7:55 p.m. — Drunk Already

posted by on September 20 at 7:55 PM


Here we see the Stranger Election Control Board, at Two Bells Tavern in Belltown, beginning primary night the only way they know how.

Josh Feit: Merlot
Erica C. Barnett: Chardonnay
Party Crasher: Guinness
Amy Jenniges: Chardonnay
India Bodien: Designated Driver

TONIGHT! Live-Slogging the Primary

posted by on September 20 at 7:30 PM

The latest returns, the worst of the finger-food, the best-dressed candidates, the drunken kisses in the hallways… We’re going to slog it all, bringing you primary night in Seattle through the gimlet-eyed views of the Stranger Election Control Board.

Continue reading "TONIGHT! Live-Slogging the Primary" »

Primary Night Parties

posted by on September 20 at 6:44 PM

If you want to watch the election results tonight, but you’re freaked out by all the professional political types, check out the groovy setup at the Mirabeau Room in Queen Anne (529 Queen Anne Ave N).

They’re setting up two big TVs, and there will be a laptop for real-time results. There’ll also be lots to drink, and mostly normal people who are into local politics, but not tooooo into local politics.

For the rest of you weirdoes, political junkies, classical music, march of the wooden soldiers, all you protest kids: We’ll see you at the candidate parties. The Stranger Election Control Board is starting out at the Two Bells Tavern at Fourth Avenue and Bell Street.

Party addresses listed in link:

Continue reading "Primary Night Parties" »

Meet the New Bossa Nova…

posted by on September 20 at 4:59 PM

Nouvelle Vague apply a suave bossa-nova sheen to several new-wave and punk chestnuts on their self-titled debut album (they also play tonight at Chop Suey, if you’re in the Seattle area).

It’s a pleasant shocker to hear these Frenchmen (and various chanteuses) tease out the sentimental ache and alluring melodies buried beneath these songs’ spiky exteriors. Particularly incongruous yet charming are Nouvelle Vague’s renditions of the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” and Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk to Fuck.” Aging poonks and their younger acolytes may scream “blasphemy,” but, hey, these artists gave permission to have their songs reinterpreted. Ultimately, Nouvelle Vague shed interesting new light on tunes that have grown overly familiar over the last quarter century (especially Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). I, for one, “Just Can’t Get Enough.”

Averill: Stacking Up the Endorsements

posted by on September 20 at 4:47 PM seconded our Linda Averill endorsement today. (And he doesn’t seem to like Corr much either.) Here’s what he had to say:

City Council, Position 4: Linda Averill

Fuck The Stranger! I mean really… fuck them! I was so absolutely sure that I would be the only person to the right of Trotsky’s ghost endorsing Linda Averill… and then those cirrhotic fuckers at The Stranger steal my thunder. Well fuck them.

Why Averill? Well mostly I just wanted to piss off my righty trolls by endorsing the only Freedom Socialist Party candidate on the ballot. And… well… The Stranger actually makes some good points in her defense. (But fuck them anyway.) But if you really can’t bring yourself to vote for Averill, I’d just like to remind you that Casey Corr was once an editorial writer for the Times. Need I say more?

It’s Day Five of “Where’s My Money, Greg?” Crisis

posted by on September 20 at 3:24 PM

It’s day five of captivity for the $300 I gave Greg Nickels. I’ve asked for the money back because it was obtained under false pretenses. I donated it to Greg’s re-election campaign because he supported the monorail project.

C’mon, Greg. When your boy Casey Corr morphed overnight into an anti-monorail hack, Natasha Jones, spokesperson for the Seattle Monorail Project, demanded that Corr return the $100 she had contributed to his campaign. Corr returned the money immediately.

I would like to think that the Nickels campaign is as efficient and ethical as the Corr campaign—or at least has a similar capacity for shame. It’s basically the same staff at both campaigns, so what’s taking so long?

Volunteer Park Gets Some Creepy Competition

posted by on September 20 at 2:51 PM

For years—decades, maybe centuries—Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park has been the perceived epicenter of furtive man-on-man action in the Pacific Northwest.

But according to a KING 5 news report, Volunteer Park’s title may soon be swiped by Redmond’s Marymoor Park, where authorities are cracking down on the growing number of men reported to be soliciting sex on the park grounds.

Full story—complete with creepy allegations of adult men offering to buy sexual favors from 15-year-old boys in the men’s room—here.

OMG, It’s the OED

posted by on September 20 at 2:12 PM

So I don’t know when it happened, but according to this post on Seattlest, Seattle Public Library cardholders now have access to the Oxford English Dictionary. (The post is actually about eBooks, but whatever.) The OED! I’ll tell you how excited this makes me: I put the link on my bookmarks bar instead of the menu. And now you can too.

Preemptive Non-verbal Strike

posted by on September 20 at 2:03 PM

Emblazoned on the T-shirt of a young woman walking in Capitol Hill today:


John A. Sherwin

posted by on September 20 at 1:13 PM

I just took a call from a perplexed voter, who wanted to follow our advice to write in Peter Sherwin for the monorail board. But our cheat sheet lists “John A. Sherwin.”

Here’s the deal: For a write-in to be counted, you have to fill in the person’s name, as it’s officially listed on their own voter registration. (We learned that back when we encouraged folks to write in Nick Licata—er, Nicholas J. Licata—for mayor.)

We called Peter, made him dig out his registration card (while refusing to tell him why), and asked him what his official name is. It’s John A. Sherwin.

The idea of zombie is a good vehicle for social commentary

posted by on September 20 at 12:52 PM

This just in: Seattle Zombie Walk 2005. It’s possibly the weirdest event ever.

Halloween is coming…and I’m looking for creative people who want to stagger, lope, and crawl in Seattle Zombie Walk 2005. This entails amassing a horde of people, dressed as zombies, to walk the streets of Seattle.


Because it’s darn creepy, and I think the idea of zombie is a good vehicle for social commentary. I was inspired by the movie “Shawn of the Dead” and think it is hilarious to slowly become aware of neighbors as Zombies.

Continue reading "The idea of zombie is a good vehicle for social commentary" »

Whatcha Doing Tonight?

posted by on September 20 at 12:44 PM

After you vote, that is?

If you’re looking for hot election-night party action (and who isn’t, really?), you can find all the juicy details below.

Not all parties are listed here; we’ll update the list as we get new information.

Continue reading "Whatcha Doing Tonight?" »

The Invention of Ecocide

posted by on September 20 at 11:09 AM

If there’s one thing that might make me better than most people it’s the simple fact that I consistently read the best (and hardest) books in the world. The present great book that I’m reading—and one which has the distinction of curing me of a Hegel Fever that lasted six hot months—is by French sociologist (an unfair designation, but necessary for this brief entry) Bruno Latour and has the startling title We Have Never Been Modern. Written in 1991, and translated into English by Catherine Porter in 1993, the book attempts to do several things, one of which is to establish a kind of anthropology of Western culture (I will not go into this). The book scintillates with ideas, and while reading one of its formative chapters (“1989: The Year of Miracles”) very early this morning, I came across a passage that spoke directly to our post-Katrina age. Prophetic Latour argues that after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the imagined triumph of capitalism was “short-lived” for this reason:

“In Paris, London and Amsterdam, this same glorious year 1989 witness[ed] the first conferences on the global state of the planet: for some observers [the conferences] symboliz[ed] the end of capitalism and its vain hopes of unlimited conquest and total dominion over nature. By seeking to reorient man’s exploitation of man toward an exploitation of nature by man, capitalism magnified both beyond measure. The repressed returns, and with a vengeance: the multitudes that were supposed to be saved from death fall back into poverty by the hundred millions; nature, over which we were supposed to gain absolute mastery, dominates us in an equally global fashion, and threatens us all. It is a strange dialectic that turns slave into man’s owner and master, and that suddenly informs us that we have invented ecocides as well as large-scale famine.”

Yes, Hegel returns with a bang at the end of this passage, but what is important (and concerns us) is the word “ecocides,” which is precisely what Bush can be accused of committing in New Orleans. Humanity’s next big step is to make a criminal law against this 21st century form of mass murder.

Vital Art

posted by on September 20 at 10:12 AM

Several galleries around town (including Western Bridge) recently received this letter from Vital Five’s Greg Lundgren. Read it and laugh.

Molly Ivins Tells It

posted by on September 20 at 10:01 AM

Molly Ivins, one of the best political columnists around, writes about how Bush’s cronies are benefiting in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and how they are still trying to stick it to the little guy. Here is an excerpt, the whole article is below:

Many a time in the past six years I have bit my tongue so I wouldn’t annoy people with the always obnoxious observation, “I told you so.” But, dammit it all to hell, I did tell you, and I’ve been telling you since 1994, and I am so sick of this man and everything he represents — all the sleazy, smug, self-righteous graft and corruption and “Christian” moralizing and cynicism and tax cuts for all his smug, rich buddies.

Continue reading "Molly Ivins Tells It" »

Primary Election Today

posted by on September 20 at 9:35 AM

I voted, did you? Get on it!

MIA on I-912: Dino Rossi

posted by on September 20 at 6:00 AM

While I’ve been demanding to know why Gov. Christine Gregoire won’t come out strong—or even come out specifically, or at all!—against I-912, David Goldstein over at is asking a similar question about Dino Rossi. Here’s one of Goldstein’s recent Rossi rants:

“Where’s Rossi?” Day 6 by Goldy, 09/19/2005, 9:58 AM I keep searching for clues as to “Where’s Rossi?” on Initiative 912… but according to Andrew Garber in this morning’s Seattle Times, Dino is clueless:

The campaign, in its polling, found that former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi could have a significant impact on how people vote if he endorsed or opposed I-912. Rossi said recently he has no position.

No position? Gimme a break. This is a guy who wants to be governor, and he has no position on an initiative that will determine the ability of the state to start addressing its massive transportation infrastructure needs? He has no position on a transportation package that passed both houses of the Legislature with a bipartisan majority, and which is strongly backed by his longtime patrons in the business community? He has no position on an initiative that has been sold by its backers as revenge for Rossi’s loss at the polls and in the courts?

Actually, what he told Garber was that he was not going to take a position, not that he didn’t actually have one, and I really have trouble believing that my friends in the MSM will let Rossi get away with this prevarication. I-912 rode Rossi’s election contest trial onto the ballot, and if he wants to be taken seriously in WA politics, he has an obligation to take a public stance, one way or the other.

In a companion piece, Ralph Thomas raises the ominous question of “Who’ll be to blame if viaduct, 520 bridge collapse?”

Politicians, clerics and ethicists agree we have a moral obligation to fix infrastructure such as highways and levees that we know pose a risk to the public.

But where does that obligation lie?

Well, if I-912 passes due to Rossi’s silence, and the resulting delays result in a catastrophic collapse, I know one person I’m going blame: Dino Rossi.

It’s definitely worth going to Goldstein’s site to follow his Rossi watch from Day 1.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I don’t stink

posted by on September 19 at 10:14 PM

I just spent the evening gossiping with a friend over cosmos and another chi-chi drink that tastes like an alcoholic Sunny-D, in the newly remodeled Lower Level at CHAC.

The space—complete with a vegetarian tapas menu—is sponsored, I believe, by Art Patch. So it’s entirely smoke free.

While I don’t have anything against those who smoke, it’s nice to not stink. My clothes aren’t in need of fumigation.

It’s wonderful.

Further Proof of Greg Nickels’ Head-Up-His-Assism

posted by on September 19 at 2:34 PM

Less than 24 hours after geologists led Washington State legislators through the various reasons why the Pacific Northwest is “unprepared for a major disaster, and how we’ve financially gutted out the very departments that could help us out” (as KING 5 reports), Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels rolled himself onto CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, where he answered Blitzer’s primary query—”Are you ready for floods, earthquakes, or another 9/11?”—thusly:

NICKELS: “Wolf, yes we are.”

This is getting spooky. You can read the original, mayor-contradicting KING 5 report here.


posted by on September 19 at 12:50 PM

From’s War Room:

“The Hurrieder President Bush Goes, the Behinder He Gets,” SurveyUSA reports after reviewing the results of three days’ worth of polling that followed Bush’s speech. SurveyUSA says the number of Americans who approve of the way Bush is responding to Katrina has shrunk since his speech: Forty-two percent approved before and 40 percent approve now. The disapproval numbers have moved up more sharply: Fifty-two percent disapproved of Bush’s handling of the hurricane before the speech, while 56 percent disapprove now.

Ignore Today’s Stranger Suggest

posted by on September 19 at 12:42 PM

In the print version of the paper we suggest attending an event at the Triple Door tonight. The Director’s Label Series preview screening is long over and no one should attempt to go to it. Thankyouverymuch.

Didn’t the Stranger Call for a Monorail Revote Too?

posted by on September 19 at 12:36 PM

When the unacceptable $11 billion monorail finance plan came to light, The Stranger called for a revote. So, why are we so upset with Nickels? Isn’t he just calling for a revote too?

Well, we called for a revote on the finance plan. Nickels has basically put I-83 back on the ballot, calling for a revote on the monorail itself. We don’t support that, and do not support calling for a revote as the mayor has framed it: Denouncing the actual scope of the plan (this from a guy who recently supported scrapping the planned light rail station at First Hill) and announcing that the City has withdrawn its support. That’s like taking the wheels off a car and then asking someone if they want to buy it.

Rather, we support, as we wrote on June 30, a revote asking for a new finance plan to support elevated rapid transit.

Nickels has taken a political bet, siding with I-83, anti-monorail crowd. We’ll see how that goes for him and Tim Ceis and Ron Sims and Martin Selig.

Anti-Tax Crusaders to Seattle: Drop Dead

posted by on September 19 at 10:30 AM

The Seattle Times this morning has a very good article asking, in the wake of Katrina: Who’ll be to blame if the viaduct and the 520 bridge collapse? Just like the New Orleans levees, the viaduct and the 520 bridge are huge safety hazards likely to collapse during a natural disaster. But, for lack of money they haven’t been fixed. Instead, they’re just getting more deadly. The Seattle Times says:

Politicians, clerics and ethicists agree we have a moral obligation to fix infrastructure such as highways and levees that we know pose a risk to the public.

Who disagrees with this? The people who are backing I-912, the anti-gas-tax initiative. The money to fix the viaduct and the 520 bridge is coming, unless I-912 passes. Then the gas tax will be gone, and so will the money to fix these huge safety hazards.

How is a bad idea like I-912 being marketed as a good idea? With the same appeal to knee-jerk tax resentment, and anti-big-government sentiment, that Republicans at the national level use to win elections (and then, once in power, to gut public safety programs like, say, FEMA). So who will be to blame when the viaduct and the 520 bridge collapse? The anti-tax demagogues and the dopes who, against their own best interests (not to mention their moral obligations), follow them.


Who will also be to blame? Politicians who, out of fear of alienating the state’s large anti-tax constituency, are now failing to frame the upcoming vote on I-912 as a vote to essentially defund Seattle’s levees. Katrina provides a huge opportunity to re-frame the debate on I-912, but, channeling my colleague Josh Feit here, politicians like Gov. Christine Gregoire aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity. In the Seattle Times article, under the ironic sub-header “Urging action,” Gregoire says:

“There’s no question in my mind — you’re either going to fix it or somebody’s going to die.”

But she doesn’t make the link to I-912. She doesn’t say: If you vote for the gas tax repeal, you’re voting to let people driving on the viaduct die in the next earthquake. If Gregoire really wants to urge people toward action, she should urge them to vote against I-912. Again, channeling Josh Feit: Why won’t she?

Casey Corr Contradictions

posted by on September 19 at 10:25 AM

After city council candidate Casey Corr realized he had an image problem—the mayor’s office is running his campaign and people think he’ll be a rubber stamp for Nickels—Corr came up with a Nickels policy to criticize. Corr claims he doesn’t like Nickels’s South Lake Union Trolley Plan. That’s funny: Here’s Corr talking about the South Lake Union Trolley on a May 7, 2004 King 5 report titled “South Lake Union: Building Seattle’s urban model.”

Because congestion in the area is unlikely to disappear, the goal is to build a community where a car is less of a necessity.

“Our goal is to make transit very attractive,” said Casey Corr of Mayor Greg Nickel’s office. “With Monorail and light rail coming, which will both serve Westlake Center, the streetcar will go south to Westlake so we’ll have a transit hub.”

Corr pointed out that a streetcar can be built within two years. The first phase of the streetcar would connect Westlake Center with the South Lake Union neighborhood. Eventually it could reach the University of Washington.

“The waterfront park is profoundly important - with a streetcar you can be shopping at Nordstrom and sailing on Lake Union in 15 minutes,” said Corr.

Where’s my check, Greg?

posted by on September 19 at 9:56 AM

Gee, it’s Monday already and I don’t have my money back from Greg “Gridlock” Nickels. (I asked for my $300 campaign contribution back on Friday afternoon when Greg moved to kill the monorail.)

If the SMP is expected to come up with a multi-billion dollar finance plan in four weeks, surely the Nickels campaign can manage to cut a $300 check in four days.

So where’s my check, Greg?


posted by on September 19 at 9:50 AM

By saying he’s pulling or canceling the monorail transit way agreement, Mayor Nickels’s monorail advisory ballot asks the same question that voters took up last year w/ I-83—should the city refuse to grant the monorail city right of way? The voters trashed that question last year with 63.5% saying build the monorail.

Now, given the bad news about the finance plan, Nickels (cynically, I think) is rolling the dice that siding with the anti-monorail crowd is politically smart. He may be in for a surprise. Here’s an e-mail that came in from longtime Seattle activist Curt Firestone that frames this November pretty accurately:

Not everyone agrees with having a monorail constructed from Ballard to West Seattle. But, we all know that the voters approved the idea of a monorail on four different occasions.

Now the mayor wants you to vote on it once again. This is a lame answer to a financing crisis. Instead, if he was sincere about ending grid-lock, he would be helping to resolve the crisis.  What could he do? Here are just a few thoughts:

1. Direct as much City money to the monorail project as the city is directing to the light rail project. This is at least $50 million.

2. Fund a monorail instead of a South Lake Union street car. Monorail moves Seattle’s commuters and residents. The street car will move downtown workers to restaurants for lunch. 

3. Cancel the requirement that the monorail must pay $ 1 million a year to run its rail though the Seattle Center.

4. Forgive all city sales taxes during construction.

I fear that our mayor may want to be remembered as Mayor Gridlock. What a shame when he could have given real leadership to our mass transit problems. 


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Gone Fishing

posted by on September 18 at 12:58 PM

This PI report , which concerns a retired Tacoma police officer (Copland, 64) who shot dead his fishing partner last week, points out that “Copland once saved the life of a shooting victim by plugging the wound in the victim’s chest with a cigarette pack.” For this achievement, he “received the department’s lifesaving award.” Two things: one, here we finally have incontestable proof that cigarettes aren’t always bad to human health; two, will the Tacoma’s police department demand he return the “lifesaving award,” seeing that Copland is back to zero (one life added; one life subtracted)?

The Uncertian Future of Communism

posted by on September 18 at 12:02 PM

Every so often i receive a piece of junk mail that is actually worth something. Such is the case with this piece of junk that slipped into my account yesterday and was written by a man/woman named Kitanin Stafano ( : “Most likely communism can’t be established. But impotency can be treated! Go on, give it a try. You’ll sure enjoy it! Cialis Softtabs:
Discreet, unmarked packaging.”

Utterly brilliant.