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Archives for 10/09/2005 - 10/15/2005

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Still Going Strong

posted by on October 15 at 11:02 PM

This is the final post of the evening…Helio Sequence has taken the stage and is wowing a crowd of increasingly drunken and encouragingly happy Seattlites. The three flights of stairs that make up the main hall of SAM are slick with dropped drinks and partygoers are now leaning on the camels with abandon.


Though the halls are alive with very smart people, finding a bona-fide Genius was problematic. We finally tracked down Ben Beres, one of the visual arts winners, who informed us that the $5,000 cash prize was going toward building a hotel-room photo installation at the Basel Art Fair in Miami. Also, the formidable triad are going to live in a museum in Salt Lake City for three months, relying only on the kindness of Mormons. Good luck, boys.
Film winner Michael Seiwerath has an itemized list of to-buy items: new glasses, a trip to the dentist for the first time in six years, a vacation—and he hopes to construct some sort of work of art of an indeterminate nature. He also intends on paying some debts: On discovering that he was made a Genius, Seiwerath took some friends out for drinks and spent $200 dollars, requiring him to get an advance on his paycheck. Good luck to you, sir.
If you’re reading this as it comes, there’s still time to get to SAM: There’s plenty more delicious beer to be had, more music to be danced to, and some Geniuses are still staggering about. Best hurry, though, because some of them are probably going to be smarting in the morning.


The General Public Has Arrived, and They Are Weird.

posted by on October 15 at 10:00 PM

Voyager One are playing to a crowd of hundreds, and people are strolling in off the street to see what all the fuss is about.


The unheralded genius of the evening is this partygoers’ hairdresser.


The smokers’ tent…enjoy it while it lasts.


This is Transit Man. His power is, um. He takes public transit. Really. He’s not specifically pro-monorail, but he’s very, very pro-public transit.


Here’s John Sutton, with Jennifer Zwick, who’s sporting one of the ubiquitous “My name is ______________ and I want to fuck John Sutton” nametags popping up everywhere. Makes a great conversation-starter!


Genius curator Eric Fredericksen



Awards Have Been Given! Awards Have Been Given!

posted by on October 15 at 9:05 PM

Of course, the recipients of the Genius awards—proudly identified as “the largest direct-to-artist grants in Washington State” by Stranger Editor-in-Chief Dan Savage—were announced in Thursday’s Stranger, but the actual giving-out of the prizes, in a short-and-sweet ceremony, manage to be enthusiastic and unstuffy, and are an event in their own right.
Highlights of the evening include Literature Genius Rebecca Brown implying that her $5,000 grant would be instrumental in taking a trip to Barcelona with her lover, Arts Editor Christopher Frizzelle honoring the Visual Art winners’ trio of Sutton/Beres/Culler for their attempts to bring art to such far-off and uncultured places as Bellevue and Des Moines, and representatives from the Frye Art Museum taking some true pride in the last stellar year that brought them to the Awards tonight.


Rachel Kessler and Michael Seiwerath




Women of the Frye

Greetings and Full Disclosure Dept.

posted by on October 15 at 7:08 PM

Party Crasher has arrived and is live-slogging the Third Annual Genius Awards, taking place even as you read this in the main hall of the Seattle Art Museum. For the record, Party Crasher is a Stranger employee, the Genius Awards are sponsored by the Stranger, and this record is appearing on The Strangers’ very own Slog. Party Crasher would like to pre-dedicate the inevitable Pulitzer to his mother.
The lines for the free alcohol are beginning to stretch. This classy couple is dreaming of a tequila and soda (for him) and a “delicious” Fat Tire (for the lady).

As Party Crasher was taking the photo for this couple (divine in their raccoon and “raccoonette” coats, a SAM employee approached and snapped, “Could they please not touch the camel?” Done and done.

We think the DJ’s name is Eddie. Anyway, he’s great.

On My Side

posted by on October 15 at 5:33 PM

A winner of The Stranger’s Genius Award and talented writer, Matt Briggs, sides with me on the matter of Arthur Miller. He writes:

You are right. I have always felt this way regarding his plays even in high school where they were presented as high art. I have never understood the earnest love felt for this man’s plays because his writing is so ham handed. He congratulates his audience on seeing the “subtext” because the text is the subtext. Look a picture of a duck. What is this a picture of? A duck? Correct. He presents his work as if reality was a solid, clearly defined object with nothing in front of it and nothing behind it. In his allegories he defines the signified declaring 1=1 and there is no magic in that. And we are supposed to thank this man for the clarity rather than the poverty of his imagination.

I could not have said it better.

Tonight: Party Crasher Slogs Live from the Genius Party

posted by on October 15 at 4:55 PM

Check back between 7:30 and 10 p.m. tonight for live coverage of the Genius Awards Party at SAM, delivered to you via Slog by our intrepid Party Crasher.

No Pigeon Races For Poland

posted by on October 15 at 3:25 PM

In response to the confirmation of the bird flu’s European arrival, Poland’s government “banned the sale of live birds at open-air markets and ordered farmers to keep poultry in closed quarters beginning Monday. It also banned pigeon races.”

Nickels Chickens Out Again

posted by on October 15 at 1:50 PM

Last Monday, Team Nickels turned down our request to interview with the Stranger editorial board. They didn’t like our coverage (too “unfair” and “mean,” they told us), & so they didn’t believe they had a shot at getting our endorsement. We were disappointed, and told them, “Whatever, good luck.”

24 hours later they said they had reconsidered, and they begged us to let them come in. Sloppy! But nonetheless, we wanted to sit down with Nickels and his opponent Al Runte, and so, we said yeah, let’s make this happen.

Now, thanks to some more sloppy maneuvering from Team Nickels, the interview isn’t going to happen after all.

Here’s the deal: On Wednesday, after it was all agreed that the mayor should come in, we worked with Team Nickels to schedule a time when both Nickels and his opponent Al Runte could come in. We offered them several times. But the only time Team Nickels would agree to didn’t work for Runte. So we decided it wasn’t worth it.

It’s pretty disappointing. We had wanted to see Nickels square off with Runte. Is Nickels scared to sit down with Runte in front of the Stranger ed board?

We also wanted to ask Nickels what the whole “We’re not coming in, please let us come in” thing was about. The “Please let us come in” pitch came after Team Nickels reassessed our coverage and realized they actually had a shot at our endorsement: We’re not keen on Runte and despite some specific disagreements with Nickels (monorail, developer giveaways, south lake union, strip clubs), we’re basically Nickels fans. So, WTF Team Nickels?, does access to the mayor depend on positive coverage?

Our endorsements come out this Wednesday.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Re: On Stranger Hate

posted by on October 14 at 3:59 PM

Thanks for the explanation, which proves there is a basis for your hatred of Arthur Miller.

However, beyond the explanation of your passionate, highly particular viewpoint exists the selection of you, the torchbearer for this passionate, highly particular viewpoint, to review a local production of Miller’s work—a selection that, in its perversity, in quintessentially Stranger

Re: On Stranger Hate

posted by on October 14 at 3:24 PM

Dave, it is my opinion (a strong opinion—as Nabokov once put it) that Arthur Miller is, like James Albee, a terribly weak artist. I was even nice enough in my short review of the recent production of The Crucible to point out that the performances were, for the most part, not bad. What was wrong, what was rotten, was the original content, which was made by an artist whose writing is so bad just hearing it makes my soul cringe and crinkle like tin foil. I judge Miller on no other ground than that of an artist, and as far as i can see (and I can see pretty far), nothing his long life created is deserving of anything but severe criticism. (Indeed, if I was the headmaster of a tough private school, Miller would be the sort of school boy I’d enjoy caning—six of the best for that dumb play, young man.) I’m not hating; I’m telling it like it is.

Cry Wolf

posted by on October 14 at 2:53 PM

This is a few days old, but if you missed Keith Olbermann’s breakdown of the Bush administration’s use of “terror threats” to divert attention away from its own fuck-ups, it’s well worth the read.

On Stranger Hate

posted by on October 14 at 2:51 PM

Regarding The Stranger and hate—I think Christopher gets to the core of it: By no means do we “hate everything,” but we’re willing to criticize anything, and have no problem actively hating things other papers sugarcoat or ignore. As Christopher points out, scorn is more memorable than praise, and by simply displaying our willingness to “hate” anything, we cultivate a perception that we “hate everything” simply by comparison.

But underlying all this is The Stranger’s occasional willingness to hate things for ridiculous reasons—i.e. Charles’s pronouncement that “All Arthur Miller plays are bad” at the top of his recent review of The Crucible. Ridiculous biases have a long and glorious history at The Stranger, but add plenty of weight to arguments that we “hate everything.” (If people don’t understand the basis of our infrequent hatred, they’re likely to brace for the worst and expect to be hated, thus continuing the perception of The Stranger hating everything…)

But as has been made clear, The Stranger loves a gazillion more things than it hates, and it’s nice to have a reader be the one to point this out, thus setting this “Anatomy of Stranger Hatred” Slog thread in motion…


posted by on October 14 at 1:53 PM

This is a good question — why do we keep saying we’re haters when in fact we love stuff right and left, in every issue? The truth is, we’re not haters, we’re just willing to be haters when hating is in order, more willing than any of the other publications in town. (This is because we are advocates of the reader, not advocates of the artists and politicians we write about.) And a negative write-up of something or someone hits a lot harder than a positive write-up, and leaves a lasting impression. The impression it leaves should be equal to the impression a positive write-up leaves, but it’s not. Thus, our reputation.

What I was trying to say in the Genius Awards intro (and probably failed) is that this is the one issue we focus ALL of our attention on what we like — no reservations, no qualifications, no conditions. Which is (for some writers more than others) pretty rare for us.

Immunity for Sidewalk Smokers?

posted by on October 14 at 12:08 PM

The Seattle P-I has a big article today on Initiative 901, the proposed statewide smoking ban, which has been causing the Stranger Election Control Board much anguish as we try to decide whether to endorse the ban or not. (See next week’s issue for our decision.)

Our big concern about I-901 has nothing to do with second-hand smoke — we’re all pretty much against that, and who isn’t these days? Our concern has to do with the fine print in the initiative, which makes it illegal to smoke outisde, as well as inside, public establishments such as bars, restaurants, and clubs.

As the P-I puts it:

The measure also would ban smoking within 25 feet of any doors, windows or vents of public establishments… I-901 backers acknowledge that restrictions would require flexibility to enforce; there are blocks in Belltown, Capitol Hill and Queen Anne where it’s hard to find any piece of sidewalk 25 feet from a doorway.

The Stranger Election Control Board is also worried that the 25-foot rule would give police a tempting weapon to use in targeting “problem” clubs. Don’t like a club or its patrons? Start making life difficult for them by scrupulously enforcing the 25-foot rule.

And contrary to what I-901’s backers tried to tell us during their endorsement interview last week, the P-I says that the police are the ones responsible for writing the $100 tickets that will be earned by sidewalk smokers who violate the 25-foot rule. The health department is only responsible for enforcing the proposed law inside of businesses.

So while this may be heartening to some on our board…

“We’re not going to get into our public health cars with chalk and tape measures and go to every bar and town,” said Roger Valdez, manager of the Tobacco Prevention Program for Public Health — Seattle & King County. “We don’t have the resources or desire.”

…it doesn’t remove our concern about the police having a new weapon with which to target “problem” clubs and bars. Will they be out there with their chalk and tape measures? Unless a similar public promise from the Seattle Police Department is on its way, our board can only base its decision on what it thinks is the likely answer to that question.

Re: Coheed & Cambria/Blood Bros. “I, Anonymous” Bonanza

posted by on October 14 at 11:46 AM

It’s always amazing to me that people bitch about movement at a show. God forbid someone should want to dance, move around, do something besides stand stock-still, arms folded while watching a band. That said, there are plenty of assholes out there who will ignore a packed house and elbow their way into pissing off everyone around them, but I’m all for dancing at a show—especially if it’s for such a dynamic, high energy act as the Blood Brothers—and keeping your head on straight about not ramming into/hurting people around you.

Coheed & Cambria/Blood Bros. “I, Anonymous” Bonanza

posted by on October 14 at 11:45 AM

So the night before that naked jogger spiced up the Against Me! show, a fair amount of antisocial crap went down at Wednesday’s Coheed & Cambria/Blood Brothers show at the Showbox, which, to judge from the recent batch of I, Anonymii, was packed with idiots, douche bags, and ugly drunk fat bitches

Save a Prayer for Durandy (Again)

posted by on October 14 at 10:32 AM

For those who thought local Duran Duran superfan Durandy sounded slightly excited about his favorite band in our recent profile, you don’t know the half of it. I get sweet, excited emails from our local Wild Boy a couple times a week, sometimes about the big stuff (Nick Rhodes loving the Durandy profile) and sometimes about the tougher road to spreading the double-D gospel. The following is a email I got from Durandy today about an appearance on local radio station The End (let’s home next time Durandy emerges victorious):

On the heels of the fantastic Stranger interview, yesterday was my second interaction with 107.7 The End. After a glorious spotlight phone interview on the 12th, the station wanted me to come into the studio to be a contender in a running competition they have on their ‘Morning Alternative’ program. I had to come up with what I felt was the ‘best song ever by any artist’. My pick would be pitted up against the current champion title-holder’s selection, and the listeners would choose the winner. Well, I realize I don’t have the element of mystery on my side… psychic powers are not required to determine which artist I would draw my choice from. However… Duran’s repertoire teems with potential candidates— that was the first obstacle.

Continue reading "Save a Prayer for Durandy (Again)" »

Against Me! Rocks, Naked Man Walks

posted by on October 14 at 9:59 AM

Speaking of things beloved by Stranger writers, the following report arrived this morning in my Last Days email, courtesy of Hot Tipper RJ, who writes:

I’d like to report an event that occured on the evening of Thursday October 13 at approximately 11.20pm. Just after the early-ending Against Me! show at Neumos, my pal Luke and I were hanging with some lovely tiny lesbian aquaintances of ours at the Wild Rose when we spotted something curious: A naked man, wearing shoes and one of those trendy army-type ball caps, running eastbound on Pike Street. We soon realized the man and his shining white ass were evading a female SPD officer. The man veered left down 11th and ran out of sight. On his tail was not one, not two, but ten cop cars driving every which way looking for the nude jogging phenom. Luke and I joined in the pursuit. After passing what seemed like a million pedestrian police officers, we spotted a mass of squad cars surrounding the man, now in cuffs, behind the KFC on Capitol Hill. There were K-9 units with barking dogs, police walking the apprehended man in his birthday suit and the bittersweet smell of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I remain curious about what this man was up to…If he was just streaking, why would his arrest necessitate so many policemen and women? P.S. The Against Me! show ended early due to the lead singer complaining of a possible broken rib…However, what time we did have with them rocked.

Thank you, RJ, for the prompt reporting of your amazing eyewitness encounter. If anyone has any knowledge, or even entertaining guesses, about the motives of the man or the status of the rock star’s rib, please post them in Slog Forum.

Haters? Us?

posted by on October 14 at 8:52 AM

I just got this note from a friend:

Why do you guys keep saying, in relation to the Genius Awards , that the Stranger never likes anything, that this is the one time per year that you allow yourselves to be positive, etc? (Maybe it’s not “you guys”; maybe it’s only Christopher Frizzelle.) I don’t get it [and] it’s far from true. Most every single week, I read some enthusiastic review or blurb in the Stranger that makes me go out and watch, listen to, or buy something. Yeah, you don’t like everything, but you don’t dislike everything either.

She’s referring to this line from Christopher Frizzelle’s intro to the Genius Award package in this week’s paper:

The Stranger has a nearly nonexistent relationship with unabashed praise. Until three years ago, that is, when it dawned on us to pause the hating, pool our resources, and heap some love—and money, and cake—on the visual artists, theater artists, writers, filmmakers, and organizations that startle and excite us and make Seattle interesting.

My friend is 100% correct—we don’t hate everything. In fact, we go out of our way to heap praise up on the performers, artists, films, bands, restaurants, and even politicians every week. I looked at one randomly chosen issue of the Stranger—May 12-18, 2005—and found so many examples of enthusiastic praise that I had to stop looking or I would never get this post up. Go here, here, here, here, and here. Praise for artists, books, bands, Cubans—even praise for Greg Nickels. Hell, Frizzelle himself showed some love in the May 12 issue.

So why do blithely state that we’re haters and that we have to set aside one issue a year to heap love on a city that, in actual fact, we heap love on every week? When we print things or make statements that are untrue or innacurate, our readers jump down our throats, send angry letters, demand corrections, etc. So why would so few of our readers argue with “The Stranger has a nearly nonexistent relationship with unabashed…” when that statement is revealed to be a lie by every issue of the paper?

I’ll share my theories when my plane lands. But in the meantime…


Thursday, October 13, 2005


posted by on October 13 at 8:09 PM

guess I shouldn’t celebrate anybody’s death, much less a lifelong activist…but as a lifelong rap fan I can’t really muster any love for “Dr.” C. Delores Tucker. ‘Pac said it best(when he, you know, destroyed her sex life):

Delores Tucker, youse a motherfucker/ Instead of tryin to help a nigga you destroy a brother.”

Walking to Greenwood

posted by on October 13 at 4:52 PM

Yesterday I had the day off and I walked to Greenwood. From Capitol Hill. It took me two and a half hours. I saw a lot of pumpkins on porches. I saw children playing in leaves. I saw a brand new house that had caught fire and had bubbly black skin and a long burned-out scar running just under the roof, exposing the structure’s bones, also bubbly black. There was sun and there wasn’t sun. It rained. There were more hills than I was expecting, especially going from Roosevelt, down over the freeway, and up to Greenwood. Hills that are small when you’re in a car but are mountains when you’re on foot and it’s raining.

Then I spent some time at 826 Seattle, right near the intersection of 85th and Greenwood, which opened its doors yesterday. Only a couple kids showed up (it’s a writing center for humans ages 8-18, and they have afterschool drop-in hours) but, again, it just opened. High school kids, take note: It’s a fun place to be, it’s free, there are tons of talented writers and teachers to hang out with, do homework with, etc. And they’re going to start having free workshops soon, on creative writing, writing about music, college-entrance essay writing, etc. I wish to God I had a place like 826 Seattle to go to when I was a teenager. (And if you walk there from Capitol Hill, they don’t mind if you lay on the ground for a while and let your feet recover, twitching and tingling.)

And I had lunch at Gordito’s, my favorite. I love Greenwood.

Columbia City Update!

posted by on October 13 at 4:05 PM

From our news intern, Sarah D. Fischer, following up on her Columbia City wi-fi story—the city-sponsored network ain’t workin’—which hit yesterday afternoon (the Seattle Times picked it up today):

It looks like the city is turning up the heat to get the wi-fi working in Columbia City: Our coverage, along with the (secondary?!) coverage in The Seattle Times, has seemingly prompted the city to provide more remedy solutions to the business district and noticeably step up their work force just today. Three cheers for journalism!

Meanwhile In Mayberry

posted by on October 13 at 2:48 PM

The strippers and strip-club owners are going to fight fucking back—this is terrific news. The city’s blue-nosed, clenched-butt strip-club regulations aren’t popular with Seattle’s live-and-let-strip voters. We may not be able to save the monorail at the ballot box but, hey, maybe we can save lap dances.

Re: Worried?

posted by on October 13 at 2:40 PM

Dan, I’m worried that once you sample Cleveland’s multitudinous delights, you’ll never want to return to Seattle. But while you’re there, do try to squeeze in a visit to the Rock & Roll Museum and Hall of Fame. And don’t forget to inhale deeply when you approach Lake Erie. Take it from this ex-Cleveland resident: You won’t regret it.

The Dusty Zone

posted by on October 13 at 2:14 PM

The writing in this science article about “massive stars…[that] were born less than a light-year away from the Milky Way’s central black hole” is conditioned not by facts but the purest poetry imaginable.

Jim West: It’s All About The Queer…

posted by on October 13 at 2:11 PM

Jim West, Spokane’s gay-sex-having, gay-rights-opposing mayor, is most likely going to be recalled on December 6. In the meantime, all of Spokane wants to know what’s on West’s work computer.

Spokane Mayor Jim West’s city-owned computer contains 1,800 files — at least half of them photos — that he doesn’t want the public to see, according to court papers filed Friday.

The files apparently include photos of young men the mayor met on gay Web sites using his city-owned computer, according to documents produced by City Hall. His files of “personal social contacts” also apparently include message exchanges with young men.

“From what I’ve been told by a city attorney, the mayor’s computer contains pornographic pictures…” said [Spokane] City Councilwoman Cherie Rodgers.

West isn’t the first public employee in Washington state to get in trouble for storing porn on his work computer. Like almost everyone who works in the private sector, I can’t help but dwell on the contents of my computer every time some poor public servant gets busted for storing a few dirty pics on his work computer. I mean, I don’t have anywhere near 1800, but I do have a few, er, dozen—maybe a few dozen dozen—but doesn’t everybody?

This aspect of the Spokane-mayor-smokes-pole scandal almost makes me feel sorry for West—almost. But even though I don’t feel sorry for the dumb asshole, I will, in solidarity, and in the interest of full disclosure, and to demonstrate how silly this porn-on-work-computer hysteria is, share one of the porn files I have on my computer. A friend sent it to me, and while this picture doesn’t exactly make me horny, I can’t bring myself to delete it. So it’s been sitting on my desktop for, like, months and months now, and if I’m ever elected to public office I fully intend to keep it on my desktop at work.

Okay, don’t click on this link if you work for the city.

Gee. I don’t know why I can’t throw it away. Maybe it’s all about the beer?


posted by on October 13 at 1:56 PM

I’ve arrived safely in Cleveland—I know everyone in Seattle was worried.

While I was in the air… it was learned that Cheney opposed Harriet, Bush was revealed to have rehearsed for a “live” Q&A session with some soldiers/props (no questions about missing armor), Sullivan’s brilliant piece on the end of gay culture hit, the SMP went kosher, and Bush fell to 2% support among African-Americans. Now all we need are a few indictments…

Re: Black People

posted by on October 13 at 1:44 PM

1) I love the title of this SLOG post.

2) Charles, a 2% approval rating does seem dismal. I don’t know how that will translate in an election. But in 2000, black voters went 90% for Gore/ 8% for Bush/1% for Nader. And black voters ages 18-29, as well as black voters ages 30-44 went 91% for Gore.

In 2004, Bush picked up a little ground, getting 11% of the black voter instead of 8%. And among black voters ages 18-29, it was a slight drop off from Gore, w/ young black voters going 86% for Kerry instead of the 91% for Gore.

But let’s hear it for black women voters, who appear to be our only hope. Outside of the category “black democrats”—which, no surprise, went 97% for Gore in 2000 and 96% for Kerry in 2004—black women voters went 94% for Gore in 2000 and stayed at 90% for Kerry in 2004.

The New New Monorail Plan

posted by on October 13 at 1:38 PM

On Monday, the Seattle Monorail Project will announce details of its latest plan to pay for the shortened (10.6-mile) monorail line from Interbay (where?) to West Seattle, on the ballot in November. (The SMP board meeting was originally scheduled for tonight, at the end of Yom Kippur, but was pushed back after the Anti-Defamation League, which managed to overlook numerous other local meetings during the holiday, protested.)

The SMP estimates the shortened line will cost $1.7 billion to build, and between $3.9 billion and $6 billion to finance, over 32-39 years. The ranges reflect disagreement over just how much the monorail’s tax base (the total value of cars in Seattle) will grow over the next few decades; the SMP says the value of cars in the city will grow by 6.1 percent every year; the city (and Sound Transit, which does similar estimates) says that’s way too high, and that five percent is more realistic.

All the estimates will be meaningless, of course, if the monorail loses in November, which at least one poll indicates it will. And even if it wins, the SMP will have to reopen negotiations with monorail bidder Cascadia Monorail Company, which has the legal right to walk away from talks on December 15 if the two sides haven’t agreed to a contract.

Hunting Camel Toads

posted by on October 13 at 11:52 AM


The New Era of Gay

posted by on October 13 at 11:19 AM

In line with Eli’s post about Andrew Sullivan’s great “End of Gay Culture” essay, I’ve recently seen impressive evidence of the big gay cultural sea change.

First is the October 10 issue of Time magazine, whose cover story profiles one of the most fascinating new characters on the contemporary gay terrain: the gay teenager. I grew up in Texas in the ’70s and ’80s, and when I went to high school, there simply weren’t such things as “gay teens,” certainly not in the plural. In my school, there was ONE gay guy and ONE gay girl, unlucky kids who couldn’t hide who they were as well as the rest of us, and who served as veritable pinatas for the fear and loathing of the whole school. But now, gay kids don’t have to choose between public derision or social camouflage, but can just come out, and live to tell the tale. It’s a wonderful development, one that I’ve been wondering about for years—will the classic drunken, sob-soaked collegiate coming-out event be lost to history?—and seeing the phenomenon gel well enough to warrant a Time cover story was enthralling, as is the story itself, which covers a lot of rich, messy territory regarding the kids, their mentors and enemies, and What It All Means.

The second bit of evidence is far fluffier—a Bravo television special called “Great Things About Being Queer!, an hour-long countdown/celebration of all things gay (showtunes, Cher) that was mildly delightful in that glossy cable way, and will remain a staple of right-wing anti-gay panic propaganda for years to come. (“Cable television wants to recruit your children into homosexuality!”) (Plus, among the gay and gay-friendly talking heads on the program is Seattle’s own Lauren Weedman, who made me shoot tea out my nose by revealing her favorite diva to be Matt Lauer. “I love him, girlfriend!” purrs Weedman in a perfect approximation of black queeniness—surreal, hilarious, and perfectly fitting.)

Black People

posted by on October 13 at 11:04 AM

Enough about dead squirrels, how about living black folks. According to this report, only 2 percent of blacks approve of George Bush. 2 percent! Dang! How low can you go?

On Dead Squirrels

posted by on October 13 at 10:50 AM

I wrote this several years ago:

There is nothing more unsettling than a dead squirrel. When we see a dead opossum we yawn (the damn things move so slow, it’s a wonder they are not extinct), but when we see a dead squirrel we are spooked, because no other city creature has the squirrel’s agility. They can leap from branch to branch without hesitation, and race up tree trunks with the same speed and ease that powerful mammals race down sharp slopes. Squirrels mock gravity, whose force seems to have no influence on their daily gymnastics through gardens and parks. This is why a dead squirrel, a squirrel that is not leaping, climbing, scurrying, defying the laws of gravity, is unnatural, a freak of nature. Indeed, a lifeless squirrel has about it the aspect of an omen.

Death Street

posted by on October 13 at 10:28 AM

While walking down Yesler this morning I came across yet another dead animal in the same stretch of street (between 14th and 15th). This time the victim was a black cat. Last week it was a fuzzy squirrel; a few weeks before that, it was a black cat and a fuzzy squirrel (almost side by side). I can no longer accept these deaths as accidental or natural; something related to humans (crack, poison, traps) is killing the creatures on the south side of the street, which is dense with homes, trees, and bushes. The cause of the deaths could also be supernatural, or the consequence of some rustic ritual that has survived urbanization. The heart of darkness is now in the heart of the city.

The End of Gay Culture

posted by on October 13 at 10:01 AM

Andrew Sullivan announces today that gay culture has ended.

And on Yom Kippur no less!

Seriously, this is an important piece. It’s a crystallization of ideas that have been rumbling around in the gay intellectual zeitgeist for a while now — ideas that also keep cropping up, in different ways, every time I talk to my gay friends these days. It’s a piece about the inexorable changes in gay life brought about by increasing rights and acceptance, and how they’ve now created a confusing, but exciting, intermingling of gay generations.

Ok, now I’m off to walk to Yom Kippur services at a temple on Capitol Hill — a big, establishment temple that looked at the gay marriage case now pending before our state Supreme Court and decided to sign on to a crowded amicus brief filed by religious organizations in support of gay marriage. On my way to this religious service, where no one will care that I’m gay, I’ll pass the anachronism that is Thumpers, an old-school gay bar where everyone cares that you’re gay, though few people in my gay generation care about the bar itself anymore.

Boring Book Tour Detail

posted by on October 13 at 9:24 AM

Well, I’m back on the road. Or in the air, actually. No, wait. I’m on the ground.

Had a six AM flight to Cleveland via Denver. Flight left Seattle late, ran to get to my connecting flight to Cleveland, just made the plane. Then the pilot announced that they had to change one of the tires, so we were going to have to sit there on the plane for an hour and… watch Bewitched.

I’ve seen Bewitched—the silent, airline version, with Will Farrell and Nicole Kidman—about eight times in the last month. I couldn’t take it, so I asked the steward if I could get off the plane. Sure, he said. So I’m off the plane, and most of the rest of the passangers came with me. I inspired an insurection. (sp?)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


posted by on October 12 at 10:08 PM

This just in from the 34th District Dems endorsement meeting:

Mayor Nickels showed up to speak against the ballot initiative to build the monorail.

and then…

The 34th District Democrats voted to build the monorail.

Re: More Monorail Meshugaas

posted by on October 12 at 5:03 PM

The regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Robert S. Jacobs, wrote a letter criticizing the Seattle Monorail Project - recently under fire for anti-Semitic statements made by one of its board members, Cindi Laws - for holding a board meeting during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. “The fact is, public bodies such as the SMP Board should be aware of and avoid scheduling meetings on any religion’s major religious holidays. … You just don’t do it,” Jacobs wrote. Fair point: It’s not like the monorail would hold a meeting at 5:30 on Christmas day. However: I hope the ADL sent similar letters to the many other public agencies that are holding public meetings during the holiday, including Sound Transit (two meetings during the holiday) and the Seattle City Council (three meetings during the holiday.)

Creepy Reading

posted by on October 12 at 4:47 PM

Harriet’s letters to George, George’s letters to Harriet—they’re up on


posted by on October 12 at 4:44 PM

I recently returned from a family visit to the metro Detroit area and am chastened to note that the roads were chockablock with SUVs and trucks of various enormous dimensions. They seemed to outnumber economy cars 3 to 1. Gas prices may be at all-time highs, but the Motor City’s steadfast motorists will not be deterred from driving their behemoths, though there are signs the love affair is waning. I felt as if I were witnessing the penultimate, gluttonous splurge before the imminent oil crisis. These people were hell-bent on going out with an ozone-depleting bang, damn it, so move your puny Honda Civic out of the way, traitor.

re: Sexy Vikings

posted by on October 12 at 2:50 PM

As I’m clueless about football, I initially read Dave’s entry with real Vikings (well, people dressed as Vikings) in mind. It’s much funnier that way.

Seattle’s Smaller Weekly Watch

posted by on October 12 at 2:46 PM

For the week of October 13-19, 2005:

The Stranger: 132 pages.
Seattle Weekly: 104 pages.

Christmas in October?

posted by on October 12 at 2:33 PM

That’s what they’re calling it over at Americablog. Is the shit actually going to hit the fan? We can only hope.

Lunatic Fringe Starting to Snap

posted by on October 12 at 1:31 PM

This email from People For the American Way just arrived in my inbox:

On today’s “700 Club” broadcast, the Rev. Pat Robertson responded to criticism from the Right regarding the Miers nomination and also offered a stern warning to those conservative senators who might be thinking of voting against her. Rev. Robertson suggested that people should look at who is supporting Miers before they doubt her conservative credentials. He named James Dobson, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Jay Sekulow of the Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice, and himself as proof of support for Miers’ nomination from the Right. Robertson concluded by noting: “These so-called movement conservatives don’t have much of a following, the ones that I’m aware of. And you just marvel, these are the senators, some of them who voted to confirm the general counsel of the ACLU to the Supreme Court, and she was voted in almost unanimously. And you say, `now they’re going to turn against a Christian who is a conservative picked by a conservative President and they’re going to vote against her for confirmation.’ Not on your sweet life, if they want to stay in office.”

Pleasure Cruise Aborted—for Violent Sexiness

posted by on October 12 at 12:54 PM

On the heels of Seattle’s abruptly aborted “I Sunk Your Battleship!” Booze Cruise—where the vomitous actions of one drunky lass caused the whole ship to be docked hours early—comes another abruptly aborted pleasure cruise. This one set sail on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka, and held not a boatload of alterna-partiers but a whole bunch of Minnesota Vikings, who apparently frightened the cruise staff into returning to port after only 45 minutes with their violent horniness.

For the full story on the Vikings’ alleged “Cooz Cruise,” go here.

For those wondering if the Lake Minnetonka mentioned above is the same Lake Minnetonka used by Prince to flummox Appolonia in Purple Rain: Yes, it is.

Team Nickels to Stranger: “Whoops, Our Bad.”

posted by on October 12 at 12:15 PM

On Monday, Team Nickels turned down the Stranger’s request for an endorsement interview with the mayor because they felt we’d been “mean” and “unfair.” Yesterday, the Nickels campaign changed its mind, and agreed to come in and meet with the Stranger editorial board.

A Broader Conspiracy

posted by on October 12 at 11:50 AM

Today the Wall Street Journal joins the (presumably informed) speculators who have been saying that the CIA leak investigation seems to have broadened into a conspiracy investigation — with top administration officials the likely targets.

Mr. Fitzgerald’s pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent’s name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy.

Days until Fitzgerald’s grand jury expires: 16.

Gore: No Plans to Run Again

posted by on October 12 at 11:09 AM

So Al’s out. He says he has no “intention” of ever running for president again, but that could change. But you gotta love the new, angry, truth-telling, far-from-Donna-Brazille Al, the Gore that speaks his friggin’ mind. After giving a speech in Stockholm, Gore pointed out the ways in which the United States would be a different country if he had been elected in 2000:

“We would not have invaded a country that didn’t attack us,” he said, referring to Iraq. “We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families. We would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media. We would not be routinely torturing people,” Gore said.

The whole AP story is here.

A GOP spokesperson quoted in the story calls Gore’s comments “fictitious rants that border on dangerous.” Gore’s dangerous? Well then why doesn’t W declare Gore an enemy combatant and pack him off to Gitmo?

Bird Flu: Don’t Believe the Hype?

posted by on October 12 at 10:51 AM

Is bird flu this fall’s Y2K? That’s basically what Marc Siegel wrote on Slate in mid-September…

Yet the science behind all the worry is questionable. It rests on the unproven claim that the avian flu will develop exactly like the strain that caused the flu pandemic of 1918. A March 2004 article in Science showed that the 1918 flu—which infected close to a billion people and killed 50 million or more—made the jump from birds to humans through a slight change in the structure of its hemagglutinins, the molecules by which the virus attaches itself to body cells….

The current bird flu, however, has a different molecular structure than the 1918 bug. And though it has infected millions of birds, there is no direct evidence that it is about to mutate into a form that would transmit from human to human. In isolated cases, food handlers in Asia have gotten sick, but that doesn’t mean that a wildly lethal mutation is about to occur….

Even if the worst-case scenario does occur and the virus mutates, there is no current indication that it will spread the way the Spanish flu did in 1918. That disease incubated in the World War I trenches before it spread across the world, infecting soldiers who were exhausted, packed together in trenches, and lacked access to hygiene. These conditions were an essential breeding ground for the virus. Today, there is no way a huge number of people would be packed together in WWI-like conditions….

Surviving the Bird Flu

posted by on October 12 at 10:36 AM

Everywhere it is just doom, doom, doom. At last, here is an encouraging story of a man who survived the flu that is on the verge of dramatically reducing the human population. Two important things we can learn from this survivor: one, do not eat “‘tiet canh’, which is made with chopped congealed raw duck blood,” and, two, when you are sick recall what happens to those who doze in Nightmare On Elm Street—meaning, do what ever you can to stay awake.

We Are The Robots

posted by on October 12 at 10:15 AM

For some months now, I have been considering ending my outrageous ignorance of automobiles and finally learning how to drive. But it looks like the future has arrived just in time, and cars will soon be able to do for themselves what I’m unable to do to them.

Corporations Fight, Consumers Lose

posted by on October 12 at 9:39 AM

The new issue of Rolling Stone (the one with, yawn, a cover of Paul McCartney—this after last issues’ Rolling Stones blow job) has a good story on releases by certain major labels being incompatible with an iPod and restrictive about the number of copies users can burn. The issue between Sony’s BMG and EMI Music labels and Apple is over Apple “refusing to license its own FairPlay copy-protection, the only system compatible with an iPod,” according to RS. Luckily the mag also reports that Sony BMG will email instructions about how to crack the protection codes upon request.

Aravosis on Closet Heterosexuals

posted by on October 12 at 9:38 AM

John Aravosis has a terrific piece up at Radar’s website about all the men and women in Bush’s orbit who seem mysteriously devoid of sexuality. Condi Rice, Ken Mehlman, David Dreier, and…

[Harriet] Miers, 61, has never been married, has no kids, doesn’t appear to have any serious love interests, and has a special place in her heart for softball. Does that make her a lesbian? Of course not. But is it kosher to pose the question or just to report on the fact that others are asking it? According the mainstream media, no….

The fact is that if Miers is a lesbian and that became known, it would absolutely kill her appointment. The religious right wouldn’t allow it. Miers’s sexual orientation, like her opinion on abortion, matters most to the people she’s trying to win over and whose views she claims to support.

It would be the height of hypocrisy for a conservative to embrace her party’s most extreme views while simultaneously embracing a member of the same sex. The GOP rank and file takes its values seriously. Just imagine the outrage were Rush Limbaugh revealed to be a drug addict, William Bennett a compulsive gambler, Gary Bauer a philanderer, Strom Thurmond the father of a illegitimate black child, or George Bush a coke fiend. They’d never work in this town again.

To read the whole piece, click here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Molly Silver talks separation of church and state with KIRO’s Mike Webb

posted by on October 11 at 9:26 PM

Molly Silver is rocking the airwaves right now—she’s a guest on Mike Webb’s KIRO 710 talk show.

Webb asked her how she wrote her Lake Washington High School opinion piece—the one that her advisor cut from the school paper last June—about Antioch church. While the school has claimed Silver cribbed from other papers, Silver says it was an opinion piece based on an article in the New York Times, and she cited every reference to that article. As Silver smartly pointed out to Webb, what she did was strikingly similar to what he was doing at the moment—basing a show off of another publication’s work, a totally legit practice.

(Webb, for his part, was completely stunned as to why the school would cut a piece on a church meeting in the school’s gym and attracting national attention: “It just seems so logical to me that you would include that in your school paper,” Webb says.)

Silver also had a chance to refute the school’s line that they offered her a chance to meet with Antioch’s Ken Hutcherson (seeing as how the principal has a direct line to the guy, as he attends the church). Silver says the principal or advisor didn’t make her any such offer, and she even called Lake Washington School District spokesperson Kathryn Reith last week—Reith’s the one who told me that’s what the school did—to set her straight. “I would have loved that. I would have been so grateful to have the opportunity to talk to him, but I was not offered that opportunity,” Silver says.

I can’t wait to see Molly Silver’s byline in a great paper someday.

Continue reading "Molly Silver talks separation of church and state with KIRO's Mike Webb" »

LWHS Alum Molly Silver on KIRO Radio Tonight

posted by on October 11 at 4:59 PM

My high school journalism hero, Molly Silver, will be on Mike Webb’s KIRO 710 radio show tonight at 9. Tune in!

Fried Duck

posted by on October 11 at 3:51 PM

From comes news of a new Ipsos Public Affairs poll which asked 1,001 American adults “If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him.”

The result: 50% agreed, 44% disagreed, and 6% said they didn’t know/refused to answer.

More Monorail Meshugaas

posted by on October 11 at 3:05 PM

Subject: Scheduling the 10/13 SMP Board Meeting on Yom Kippur, the holiest of the Jewish Holidays

Members of the Monorail Board:

I learned this morning that you have moved the SMP Board meeting, originally scheduled for this evening, to the evening of October 13. I just got off the phone explaining to Natasha Jones that October 13 this year is the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and a day of fasting. Jewish holidays generally end a specified time after sundown. In this case, Yom Kippur officially ends at 7:11 PM, but is followed by a break fast, a traditional meal where family and friends come together to end this solemn holiday. Effectively, the holiday does not end until late in the evening.

All this is quibbling, however. The fact is, public bodies such as the SMP Board should be aware of and avoid scheduling meetings on any religion’s major religious holidays. Given the Jewish community’s sensitivity to statements made earlier this year about the Jewish community and the monorail, a politically savvy public body would be particularly concerned that it not schedule such an important meeting on a major Jewish religious holiday. It just looks bad.

Even if a holiday ends soon after sundown (as is true of Rosh Hashanah and Passover), a public meeting should not be scheduled for that night. That would be the same as scheduling a meeting for 7 PM on Christmas because, for most Christians, Christmas dinner is already over. It shows a cultural insensitivity that a public body should not exhibit.

You just don’t do it.

Natasha has told me that she will be checking with the board members and will let me know in a few hours the new date and time for the meeting. I look forward to being able to tell those who are now calling me that this issue is resolved.

Thank you,

Rob Jacobs

Robert S. Jacobs
Regional Director
Pacific Northwest Region
Anti-Defamation League
600 Stewart Street, Suite 720
Seattle, WA 98101


posted by on October 11 at 3:04 PM

Courtesy of Sploid comes today’s best headline:

“Cheney’s $241K in Halliburton options worth $8 million now. That’s an impressive 3,281% gain. Who says the White House is “losing” in Iraq?”

I Heart Georgetown

posted by on October 11 at 2:50 PM

If you haven’t been to Georgetown lately, you should grab a date and zip down there. Eyeball spook-surrealist art this month at Christoff Gallery (also hosts stand-up and movie nights, 6004 12th Ave S) and try the super tasty sandwiches at Smarty Pants (food until midnight, 6017 Airport Way S). Smarty Pants also serves a mean Frito pie: homemade chili (meat or veggie) capped with cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños and served atop a heap of Fritos. Jules Maes Saloon (vintage pinball! 5919 Airport Way S), the 9 Lb. Hammer (6009 Airport Way S), and Stellar Pizza (5919 Airport Way S) are all jumping on the weekends and friendly midweek. For daylight hours, this walking tour looks neat. The neighborhood even has its own brewery. Go!

Trouble for Lewis Libby

posted by on October 11 at 2:34 PM

Murray Waas, who has been a one-man Woodward and Bernstein in his reporting on the CIA leak investigation, has yet another scoop today:

In two appearances before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative’s name, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, did not disclose a crucial conversation that he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of his sworn testimony.

The new revelations regarding Libby come as Fitzgerald has indicated that he is wrapping up his investigation and making final decisions as to whether criminal charges will be brought in the case.

Libby also did not disclose the June 23 conversation when he was twice interviewed by FBI agents working on the Plame leak investigation, the sources said…

Meanwhile, in recent days Fitzgerald has also expressed significant interest in whether Libby may have sought to discourage Miller-either directly or indirectly through her attorney-from testifying before the grand jury, or cooperating in other ways with the criminal probe, according to attorneys familiar with Miller’s discussions with prosecutors.

Translation: If Waas is right, the Vice President’s chief of staff is in danger of being indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice—at the very least.

U2, Wonkette?

posted by on October 11 at 2:26 PM

Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad. Wonkette fell for it too.

Bono Busts Santorum

posted by on October 11 at 12:41 PM

Joe Trippi busts Santorum: Bono is NOT doing a fundraiser for Rick Santorum, as Santorum’s side claimed. From Joe Trippi’s blog:

I have learned, it is a private luxary box at the arena and not an exclusive concert in the entire Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. Sen. Santorum … you may want to wipe those eggs off of your face.

So it looks like Santorum’s people bought some tickets to a U2 concert to sell as to campaign supporters as a fund-raiser, and then claimed Bono and U2 were doing the concert as a fund-raiser. You can read the band’s statement here. I apologize to Bono for being so gullible.

And I Thought I Was Obsessed, Part 2

posted by on October 11 at 11:20 AM

Yesterday I posted a link that took Slog readers deep into the world of obsessive online speculation about the current direction of the CIA leak investigation. The investigation seems set to wrap up by Oct. 28, but because special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been keeping his cards annoyingly close to his vest for almost two years now, and because some people just can’t wait to find out whether the Bush gang will really be in deep trouble over this, there is now a cottage industry in blogged theories about the state of the case — and the state of Fitzgerald’s theory of the case.

Part of what’s driving this cottage industry is the sense, outlined by Arianna Huffington yesterday, that the mainstream media isn’t doing a good job of putting the pieces together — particularly the New York Times, which she suggests has been withholding information about the case in order to protect Judith Miller (and The Times’ reputation).

Yes, some intrepid reporters in the mainstream media are providing key reporting and analysis — Mike Isikoff at Newsweek, Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher, Murray Waas at The National Journal and The American Prospect, and Anna Schneider-Mayerson, Tom Scocca and Gabriel Sherman at the New York Observer are all doing great work. But if you’re not reading emptywheel at The Next Hurrah, Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake, Tom Maguire, TalkLeft, Jay Rosen, Mickey Kaus, Larry Johnson, and, dare I say it, the Huffington Post, you’re not really getting the full story.

For links to work by all of those names Arianna just dropped, click here.

And for today’s Slog-recommended link into the impressively obsessive world of CIA leak investigation theorizing, check out this post by Mark Kleiman, who creates a sort of unifying theory regarding Judith Miller’s newly-discovered notes. Those notes, you may recall from yesterday’s link, relate to a newly-discovered meeting that Miller had with top Cheney aide Scooter Libby — and something about those notes has led to a second meeting, today, between Miller and Fitzgerald.

Next Live Eye Episode

posted by on October 11 at 11:05 AM

My favorite local music culture video mag, Live Eye TV airs its next episode tomorrow, Wed Oct 12, at 7 pm on SCAN 77/29. Expect footage from past shows by Gris Gris and Mono as well as music videos by Chad Vangaalen and the claymation comedy of Turk and Jim. If you don’t have cable (and I’m among that category), you can still check out past interviews, local/national band videos, and generally keep up on the Live Eye roster by hitting up their web site as well.


posted by on October 11 at 11:03 AM

So, like, who’re you voting for in, er, 2008?

Ordinarily I find speculation about whom to support in a presidential election that’s still three years away deeply annoying. It’s like walking past a store that put up its Christmas decorations in September—it’s high-pressure, it’s premature. You’re being pushed to make an early purchase. “There’s plenty of time,” you want to scream at the shop windows, “why are you asking me to think about this now?”

Same goes for speculation about potential presidential nominees three years before an election—ordinarily. But this is no ordinary time. It seems almost unbelievable when you say it out loud or see it in print, but here it is: Geroge W. Bush is going to be president for three more years and three more months. Holy shit. That idjit is going to be president until January 20, 2009! Bearing that in mind, speculation about who’s going to run on the Dem ticket in 2008 isn’t premature at all. It is, in point of fact, the only way we can keep a grip on our sanity as we endure three more years and three more months of the Bush kakistocracy. It reminds us that one day this will end, one day that man won’t be president. And while loudly fantasizing about whom to replace Bush with in November 2008 may not hurry the end of the Bush administration, it may hurry Bush into lame-duck status, reducing his ability to advance his sinister agenda.

Ahem. So, let’s speculate…

According to USA Today, Gore is thinking about jumping in.

Gore friends see his recent political and business moves as proof he’s preparing to run. Allies say that in speeches, Gore has found his voice to address domestic and world issues. And in raising money for his Current TV network, which targets the critical youth market, Big Al has built an issue base and donor network that’s competitive with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ‘s.

I’m a romantic, so backing Gore appeals to me. It’s hard to imagine the existential hell in which Gore has existed since Bush stole the election, and consequently I feel almost obligated to support him. This was his, it was stolen from him, and we can make it right. Beyond the cosmic justice of a Gore presidency, there’s this to consider: Clinton/Gore came in and cleaned up the fiscal mess created by Reagan/Bush and Bush/Quayle. Who better to clean up the fiscal, social, and political messes made by Bush/Cheney than Gore/Obama? But is this a choice we want to make for squishy, romantic reasons? Shouldn’t we use our heads, not our hearts?

We used our heads last time—remember? We wound up backing Kerry because he was a vet, so electable, not like that Howard Dean maniac. Well, that was a mistake. For the record: I’m feeling no obligation to support John Kerry this time out—and, yes, he’s thinking about running. I agree with every word of this post at DailyKos about Kerry. The man had his shot and he used it to blow both his feet off. When the Swift Boat liars came after him, Kerry demonstrated to the voters that he couldn’t defend himself, much less the country. Fuck Kerry.

There are others, of course. Hillary, Wesley Clark, Russ Feingold… who you for?

Bono and Santorum? WTF?!?

posted by on October 11 at 9:56 AM

Bono is apparently hosting a fundraiser—U2 is performing at one—for Sen. Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum.

The thousand-dollar-a-seat concert has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington and will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum’s re-election, reports NewsMax’s James Hirsen… So what does the Irish rocker have in common with the conservative senator? As in the case of Santorum, Bono’s religious convictions inform his activities.

Besides his infamous homophobia, Santorum is also an opponent of international family planning programs that discuss birth control, and, like the not-so-good Catholic boy he is, Santorum opposes programs that recommend or distrubute condoms—even if they’re used to prevent HIV transmission in say, third-world women, sex-workers, child prostitutes. That Bono would climb into bed—unprotected, no doubt—with a man like Santorum makes me wonder about Bono’s sanity. Surely Bono sees the connection between disease, unplanned pregnancies, sex work and poverty, his main cause? Surely Bono is aware that people like Santorum hurt his cause?

Regardless of what “informs his activities,” Bono, Santorum is your enemy, not your ally.

Seattle Times Credits Stranger Blog

posted by on October 11 at 9:41 AM

Hey, our stuff about SouthWest Airlines lobbyist Tim Hatley got cited and picked up by the Seattle Times this morning. So, people are actually reading this thing. Cool.

The Etiquette of Anti-Pot Ads

posted by on October 11 at 9:40 AM

This weekend I caught a pair of television commercials designed by the government to warn citizens away from marijuana.

In one, a sweet-looking elderly woman sits alone at a cozy, food-laden table set for two. She waits in silence, fidgeting occasionally, for nearly 20 seconds before a voiceover announces, “Just tell your grandma you blew off dinner because you were stoned.”

In the other, a sweet-looking little girl stands alone in a carnival parkway, holding balloons. She waits in silence, strangers milling around her, for the requisite 20 seconds before the voiceover: “Just tell your parents you forgot your sister because you were stoned.”

For the record, I am firmly against blowing off dates with grandma AND deserting minor siblings in the presence of carnies. However, neither of those crimes are reliant on marijuana. In fact, some would say “dinner with grandma” and “going to the fair with little sister” are two endeavors that would benefit greatly from a nice puff o’ the green beforehand.

The isue isn’t pot, it’s punctuality, and basic human responsibility and non-flakiness. If you’re one of those for whom pot equals brain eradication, please don’t smoke it. But if you’re one of the lucky many for whom pot imparts existential relief and relaxation, by all means, keep smoking—just make sure you show up to grandma’s on time, and don’t forget your fucking sister!

Greg Bok Bok Bok Bok Bok Bok Nickels

posted by on October 11 at 9:15 AM

So, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell the public that Mayor Greg Nickels is scared to come in to the Stranger for an endorsement interview. He came in last August for our primary endorsement interview, but we’ve been a little tough on Greg lately for pulling the plug on the monorail, and now he’s scared to come in and defend his position.

Hey, Greg, if we promise not to ask any tough, I mean “unfair” or “mean spirited” questions, will you come in then. Bok. Bok.

Hey, Greg, if we promise to stop picking on your boy Casey Corr, will you come in then? Ha! Just kidding. Bok.Bok.Bok. Bok. Bok. Bok.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Too Mean, Greg?

posted by on October 10 at 5:33 PM

C’mon, Greg. You’re supposed to be one hard-assed, tough-minded, big-city pol—doesn’t a little rough handling come with that territory? And how do you big city mayors with thick skins and ambitious agendas—the kind of mayor you might be when you grow up—deal with yapping, pesty media types like us? By treating us like we don’t matter. By coming in and sitting down for an interview and laughing off our attacks, dismissing our arguments, and predicting that our swipes at Casey Corr are helping, not hurting, your candidate.

A big city mayor does not send in one of his staffers to mewl at us about being “too mean,” who then goes on to inform us that the mayor’s sulking right now and can’t come out to play. WTF, Greg? You were supposed to be a brawler not a bawler.

Too Mean

posted by on October 10 at 4:21 PM

I thought I’d pile onto my “too mean to Nickels” colleagues today, with a great anecdote from a West Seattle neighbor who’s fed up with the mayor.

At this very moment, Seattle’s Ethics and Elections board is determining whether Nickels broke the ethics code by sending out an eight-page mailer earlier this year, trumpeting his accomplishments. West Seattle Neighbor spoke to Nickels’ staff not long after she received that mailer—she thought it was suspect, not to mention a waste of money. While she hasn’t been called to testify as to her conversations with Nickels’ staffers, she did make a point of letting the ethics folks know what transpired:

I wanted to let you know that I did leave a message for [Director of Ethics and Elections] Wayne Barnett, letting him know about the telephone exchange I had with the assistant in Greg Nickels office who informed me that the piece in question was actually produced by “Neighbors for Nickels.”

Marco Lowe called later to correct and insist that the piece was not a campaign piece, that it was produced by city staff as a means of “being accountable” to city residents. But he was not then accountable enough to call back with the cost of the piece, as he said he would, even though I left him a message a week later to remind him!

Oh, and I should mention that West Seattle Neighbor’s frustration with Nickels is a big part of the reason she’s moving to Renton. “I still draw in my breath every time I think about the fact that I will no longer have a “Seattle” address, but I sure do like Renton’s mayor better!!”

More on Mayor Nickels Chickening Out of Stranger Interview

posted by on October 10 at 4:10 PM

Oh, Team Nickels also objected to an article that ran in this week’s Stranger about Ballard’s 36th District Democrats. As we reported, the 36th endorsed Nickels’s opponent, Al Runte. Team Nickels told us that wasn’t newsworthy, and accused us of going out of our way to write about it.

I told them that we’ve always considered the district endorsement process to be newsworthy, and in fact, I pointed out an article we published about the 36th District endorsements in the 2001 mayoral race when the 36th endorsed Nickels. Team Nickels liked that article.

Crack Nuts

posted by on October 10 at 3:35 PM

Heather Hansen sent this article to my sister, and my sister sent to me, and I’m slogging it because I’ve actually seen these types of squirrels in my hood.

By VIRGINIA WHEELER SQUIRRELS are getting hooked on crack cocaine - hidden by addicts in gardens.

They are digging up the stashes and eating the mega-addictive drug, which comes in small chunks.

Several have been spotted behaving bizarrely in Brixton, South London, since a police blitz against pushers and users.

One resident said: “My neighbour said dealers had used my garden to hide crack.

“Just an hour earlier I’d seen a squirrel digging in the flower-beds.
“It was ill-looking and its eyes looked bloodshot, but it kept on desperately digging. It seems a strange thing to say, but it seemed to know what it was looking for.”

Other residents have seen squirrels become unusually aggressive.

The RSPCA said: “These animals are big foragers. They are attracted by smell and will dig up what they fancy.

“If a squirrel did open a bag of crack and start consuming it there is no doubt it would die pretty quickly.”

Crack squirrels are a recognised problem in America. They are common in parks used by addicts in New York and Washington DC.

They have been known to attack park visitors in their search for a fix.

Daddy stands up for Casey Corr

posted by on October 10 at 3:25 PM

Mayor Nickels’s campaign manager, Viet Shelton, stopped by the Stranger today to pick up a Stranger T-shirt and to tell me that Mayor Nickels has decided not to interview with the Stranger editorial board because our recent coverage has been “unfair” and “too mean spirited.”

Specifically, Shelton cited our coverage of the Mayor’s Boy, city council candidate Casey Corr.

I guess what we said is true: If you want to rattle Team Nickels, challenge their boy Corr.

Happiness from a fruit stand

posted by on October 10 at 11:30 AM

Yesterday’s Capitol Hill Farmers’ Market yielded something new and wonderful from a Port Townsend farm: grape-sized mini kiwis. The kiwi berries (AKA wee-ki, fuzzless kiwi, Yang-tao, hardy kiwi) grow on climbing vines and are sweeter and juicier than standard kiwis—imagine strawberry-flavored grapes. (They’re on my desk if you want to try one.)

Ron Sims Curses at Dave Irons & Guilt Trips the Stranger

posted by on October 10 at 11:30 AM

We had incumbent K.C. Exec Ron Sims and his two opponents—Republican Council Member David Irons and Green challenger Gentry Lange—in for our editorial board endorsement interviews last week. It was a heated interview, with Irons repeatedly sniping at Sims. Sims was uncharacteristically rattled by Irons’s barrage and even called Irons’s characterization of the elections office audit “bullshit.”

However, the most strained moment came when we questioned Sims about SouthWest airlines lobbyist Tim Hatley. In addition to being a SW lobbyist, Hatley is on Sims’s kitchen cabinet and Hatley’s wife is Sims’s campaign manager. (Sims, obviously, is currently taking up a controversial plan to relocate SW to Boeing Field.)

I asked: “How can the public think you’re doing objective due dilligence on this when a key member in your campaign organization is a lobbyist for SW?” Sims avoided the question and baited us with a dose of liberal white guilt. “The last Sims that was bought in this country was my great grand father. I don’t care who the lobbyist is,” he boomed.

We, white liberals that we are, were cowed for a few minutes, moving on to talk about the critical areas ordinance. But then, unsatisfied with Sims’s answer, we came back and asked him again about Tim Hatley. Savage repeated the question, saying, “It’s a legitimate question, and it has nothing to do with your great grand father.” Sims said he appreciated that, adding that SW came to the County about Boeing Field long before they hired Hatley.

So, SW made its proposal to Sims—and then hired Sims’s political advisor to lobby? That’s even grosser, Ron.

Top That Gargamel!

posted by on October 10 at 9:53 AM

Crooks & Liars offers a link to the new UNICEF ad campaign currently sending the people of Belgium into a tizzy. In the ad, the Smurfs—those beloved blue freaks who all share one woman—are firebombed by attacking war planes.

The craziest part: Peyo, owner of the Smurfs, evidently gave the ad their blessing.

And I Thought I Was Obsessed

posted by on October 10 at 9:37 AM

I’ve been following the twists and turns of the CIA leak investigation for months, at times with a degree of attention that I’ve worried might be bordering on unhealthy. But this site reminds me that there is a world of people out there, mostly bloggers, who are certifiably obsessed, and to a degree that I cannot even pretend to be.

(P.S. See, especially, this — if you have an hour or so to kill.)

(P.P.S. Where are we now? you might ask. This week Rove is expected to testify before the grand jury for a fourth time, and Judith Miller, who has recently discovered a mysterious set of notes relating to the investigation, will also return to speak with the special prosecutor for a second time. Other key players are also expected to make repeat appearances this week, as the grand jury hurtles toward its Oct. 28 deadline.)

Jacko Goes Public, Falls Down

posted by on October 10 at 9:26 AM

A brand new week, a brand new Michael Jackson sighting, this one courtesy of the Associated Press, which reports that Jacko was being escorted through a throng of fans in London when he lost his footing and fell to the ground.

Falling is always funny, and further hilarity is provided by what drew Jacko out in London public in the first place: the musical stage adaptation of Billy Elliot, the NAMBLA-riffic film following an adolescent boy’s dreams of ballet stardom.

Like a spindly moth to a smooth, hairless flame…

Sunday, October 9, 2005

38 and Life

posted by on October 9 at 6:51 PM

So there I was, in NYC, at the most absurd gala fund-raising dinner I’ve ever attended (which, for me, is saying something). I saw Debbie Harry (!), Geoffrey Wright, and some other famous people milling about the ballroom, but nothing, NOTHING, could have prepared me for the announcement that came over the PA as we prepared to dig in to the smoked salmon salad:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand and remain standing for the singing of the National Anthem by our very special guest, MISTER SEBASTIAN BACH!”

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