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Archives for 11/06/2005 - 11/12/2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Harold Bloom As Always

posted by on November 12 at 6:17 PM

This is from a recent interview with the lovable literary critic Harold Bloom, whose war against pop culture and cultural studies is soon to enter its fourth decade:

IL: Your insistence on what you call higher culture makes many people mad, and when you talk about your dismay at the decline of the book as a cultural phenomenon, they say that never before in history have there been as many books and bookstores as now.

HB: I spend a good part of my life in bookstores — I give readings there when a new book of mine has come out, I go there to read or simply to browse. But the question is what do these immense mountains of books consist of? You know, child, my electronic mailbox overflowing with daily mesages from Potterites who still cannot forgive me for the article I published in Wall Street Journal more than a year ago, entitled “Can 35 Million Harry Potter Fans Be Wrong? — Yes!” These people claim that Harry Potter does great things for their children. I think they are deceiving themselves. I read the first book in the Potter series, the one that’s supposed to be the best. I was shocked. Every sentence there is a string of cliches, there are no characters — any one of them could be anyone else, they speak in each other’s voice, so one gets confused as to who is who.

IL: Yet the defenders of Harry Potter claim that these books get their children to read.

HB: But they don’t! Their eyes simply scan the page. Then they turn to the next page. Their minds are deadened by cliches. Nothing is required of them, absolutely nothing. Nothing happens to them. They are invited to avoid reality, to avoid the world and they are not invited to look inward, into themselves. But of course it is an exercise in futility to try to oppose Harry Potter.

The Death of Al-Qaeda’s Death Machine

posted by on November 12 at 4:46 PM

The Republican party is not the only organization losing ground, so is Al-Qaeda, which has come under heavy and mass Arab criticism for the recent bombings in Jordan. It seems that Arabs have had enough of Bin Laden’s death machine, in the way that Americans have had enough of Bush’s death machine.

Defanged Republicans

posted by on November 12 at 2:27 PM

As incredible as it may sound (and a sure sign of the times), on Thursday a vote on the budget was delayed in the House because several Republican representatives were worried about the proposed spending cuts in social and welfare programs like food stamps. This sudden concern for the poor has nothing to do with a change of heart; it’s all about the political climate.

SUPER VISION at On the Boards

posted by on November 12 at 10:19 AM

It’s pretty incredible. High digital technology completely takes over the stage and can be a little alienating at times, but it’s breathtakingly spectacular and adds to the show’s thesis: your data body is far more detailed and publicly available than you think. Click here to read my guest blog review (bleview?) on the On the Boards site.

Friday, November 11, 2005


posted by on November 11 at 4:43 PM

Every child needs a mother.

Artist Trust Shells Out

posted by on November 11 at 4:42 PM

Artist Trust bestowed its 2005 fellowships yesterday, and among other worthy recipients, a couple of Stranger Ones-to-Watch (and one Genius) received grants.

Congrats to Ann Pancake, Stacey Levine, and David Russo. I may be missing some, but check out the full list here.

Stranger Office Visited by Singing Polar Bear

posted by on November 11 at 4:20 PM

The announcement came over the Stranger office intercom, in the soothing screech of receptionist Mike Nipper:

“Attention! Anyone who wants to hear Vladimir the Polar Bear sing a song about the mayor, report to the conference room immediately!”

Who’s Vladimir the Polar Bear? Fuck if I know, but I was willing to find out—a sentiment shared by a good two dozen of my colleagues, who crowded into the conference room to stare at the giant polar bear holding an accordian sitting in the corner.

Before singing, Vladimir told the tale of how she came to be here today. After years of blending into human society via her full-body human suit, Vladimir decided she could hide her true self no more, threw away her human suit, and bought an accordian.

To hear Vladimir’s aforementioned song about the mayor, go here.

Acid Comments

posted by on November 11 at 4:05 PM

There’s an interesting converastion going on in the Stranger Forums about how hard it is to get your hands on LSD in Seattle these days. Some highlights…

So what happened to all the doses in Seattle? Back in the late mid to late 90’s when I was 16-18(wow so long ago) There was dose everywhere. I used to get this white blotter on this really thick rough paper that was just the best. Now I cant get anything. Its not that I fell outta the scene or anything I still have alot of friends that deal different substances. But no one can seem to find any doses. What the hell happened? Did all the old hippie chemists die? You cant just tell me that LSD is dead!!I wont believe it. Where did it go?? Is it that hard to cook??? Is meth such a big thing with teens and 20 somethings that they dont want it??? Someone help me!!!
I’ve been wondering the same thing. I heard of a major acid lab bust occurring a couple of years ago somewhere in the Great Plains, which severely reduced the supply nationwide. Possibly nobody’s picked up the slack. Maybe the demand waned (hard to believe, I know). While it may not give you LSD’s levitation, fungus abounds ‘round here.
Yeah but you have to be careful with the mushrooms…I’ve had more than a few friends tell me they “know what psychedelic mushrooms look like” only to get really sick after gobbling the wrong kind. Luckily none of them have eaten a fatal batch. Unless you really know what you’re doing there I always think it’s better to go with a, ahem, professional who does.
The LSD is gone and the war on psychedelics is winning. It is unbelievably difficult to make and to obtain the right substances to make it with (eating moldy rye won’t do it.) The makers of the LSD that you consumed are in jail - all of them pretty much. If you see acid today at all it is what is known as “analog acid” missing some of the essential components for the real deal high. You get a body high and if you are imaginative you might see things more colorfully than otherwise - not that I know from experience or anything. And it costs about $20. And I thought gas prices had gone up. Someday we will meet again old friend and that day will be glorious. Ahem, until then, fungi do, in fact, abound so dig in while you can.

Issaquah! Redux

posted by on November 11 at 3:48 PM

Something has roused Liveslogger from Liveslogger’s ‘tween-election state of hibernation. It has come to Liveslogger’s attention that Liveslogger’s aunt is pulling close to the incumbent in her race for a seat on Issaquah City Council. She is presently 30 votes behind, and every absentee ballot drop is narrowing the gap. Go McCarry!

I wanna be the most popular girl…

posted by on November 11 at 3:28 PM

Speaking of Landmark, this weekend’s midnight movie at the Egyptian is none other than the 1989 classic Teen Witch! It’s a cinematic marvel, starring Robyn Lively and Zelda Rubinstein, and features the hits “Top That,” (quite possibly the WORST—hilariously so—rap song in all history) and “I Wanna Be the Most Popular Girl.”

The story goes like this: When geeky Louise Miller discovers she’s a descendant of Salem witches, she uses her newly found powers to get back at the bitchy girls at her high school, win the heart of the hunky football star, torture her annoying little brother, and become the most popular girl in school. All while singing songs! It’s a far too overlooked ’80s classic, and you really shouldn’t miss a rare chance to see it in the theater.

Re: Bad News for Moviegoers

posted by on November 11 at 3:09 PM

Landmark Theatres has informed me that the new discount ticket package is as follows: For a 25-movie pass with some restrictions, you pay $156.25, which averages $6.25 per ticket. For a 25-movie pass with no restrictions, you pay $175, which averaged $7 per ticket. These are still hefty markdowns from the regular ticket price (high and rising all the time), but I have to agree. Planning 25 movies in advance takes some crazy dedication.

Making Friends and Influencing People

posted by on November 11 at 2:58 PM

To compliment the Wrath of God weather we’re having today, here’s a fun article from about your favorite Republican ex-presidential candidate and mine, Pat Robertson.

Apparently, Robertson has graduated from threatening individuals like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to entire cities of people.

Specifically, the citizens of Dover, PA for electing to replace pro-Intelligent Design (ID) school board members on Tuesday with more Intelligent Administration (IA).

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city… And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will [cough, Godwillfuckingsmiteyoubitches, cough], but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there,” he said.

Scooter: Best-Selling Author?

posted by on November 11 at 2:42 PM

Scooter Libby’s swashbuckling, bestiality-containing, orientalist novel is being reprinted, care of St. Martin’s Press. Thanks to guest-blogger Annie (not me) at Maud Newton for the link.

A Tragic Day

posted by on November 11 at 2:12 PM

Fox is cutting down Arrested Development’s season from 22 episodes to a measly 13. The end is near.

Buried treasure, indeed

posted by on November 11 at 2:00 PM

When it comes to our musical tastes, Maerz and I tend to either passionately agree (particularly on hard-edged bands like …Trail of Dead, the Hot Snakes or QOTSA) or respectfully-but-emphatically disagree (such as her appreciation for out there noise mongers like Wolf Eyes or Jennifer Gentle and my less-than-cool obsession with mainstream successes like Green Day and Garbage). Last night was a shining example of her and I being in perfect, blissful agreement. After months of her championing the Thin Lizzy-inspired spectacle that is Diamond Nights, I finally witnessed it for myself. I missed openers Vacation because I was at the High Dive being charmed by the early Van Halen-meets-Nirvana racket of England’s Thieves
but I made it over to the Croc in time to catch Diamond’s glorious hybrid of cavity-inducing hooks and merciless classic rock aggression. Why there were less than 100 people in attendance is a complete mystery to me—anyone in this town who still gets a thrill out of listening to “Jailbreak” or Bon Scott-era AC/DC should have been front and center.

Bush’s Speech

posted by on November 11 at 1:45 PM

President Bush gave a long speech today, in which he took on Democrats who have accused him of misleading the nation into war. Basically, he called Democratic critics of the war hypocrites, since many of them believed the same flawed intelligence about Iraq that he believed. Strategy: Spread the blame around. But as the president frequently reminds us, he is a “war leader.” Doesn’t he, then, have more responsibility than the average legislator for making sure the intelligence on which his war is based is correct? His long list of rationales for the Iraq war has now been reduced to: “Well, even some of my critics believed me when I was wrong.”

But that aside, there are a few parts of Bush’s speech that liberals will find agreeable:

Evil men obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience must be taken very seriously, and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply.

And this, provided one substitutes “religious right” for the phrases “new enemy” and “the terrorists”:

Our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth, they have endless ambitions of imperial domination, and they wish to make everyone powerless except themselves. Under their rule, they have banned books and desecrated historical monuments and brutalized women. They seek to end dissent in every form, to control every aspect of life, to rule the soul itself. While promising a future of justice and holiness, the terrorists are preparing a future of oppression and misery.

Sexy, Sexy Underbite

posted by on November 11 at 1:07 PM

So I’m reading this new joint biography TĂŞte-Ă -TĂŞte: Simon de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, by Hazel Rowley, and it is fantastic. Rowley has almost no interest in the famous couple’s famous oeuvres; instead, it’s a history of their sexual—and increasingly sexless—union. Like a tarted-up version of Beauvoir’s memoirs, Rowley’s book goes into all kinds of astonishing detail about their incredibly problematic open relationship, Sartre’s pathological disinterest in sex/obsession with seducing “drowning women,” their respective quasi-incestuous adoptions, the one time Nelson Algren couldn’t get it up, and on and on. There’s even a full-ventral-nudity photograph of Beauvoir, by Algren’s friend Art Shay. Of course, I’m upset that Rowley totally dumps on Beauvoir’s early novel She Came to Stay, which is one of my favorite books in the universe, but she’s also a meticulous researcher, and she skillfully juxtaposes Sartre and Beauvoir’s opposing accounts of various events. It’s a great read.

What with this and Joe Wright’s new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and her sexy, sexy underbite, I’m afraid I’m becoming obsessed with eroticized versions of fusty old classics. Maybe some virtuous good will come out of it all… like maybe renewed interest in a better translation of The Second Sex?

Amsterdam postcard, no. 4

posted by on November 11 at 1:06 PM

We are sitting around the fire on a housebarge nestled into the armpit of the River Ij (‘eye’) thanking the stars for the gas-tax repeal failing and the smoking ban passing (we’ve probably traded six months of our lives for all the smoke we’ve inhaled here). The internet has truly shrunk the globe.

It’s a little hard for Christopher and I to be away from the paper and really nice that we can wave at you all via the Slog.

They are Wolves

posted by on November 11 at 12:02 PM

I can barely tell one wolf-monikered band from the next these days (save for Wolf Eyes, because they’re just so fucking out there) but one new wolf band caught my attention for the sheer stupid humor of their name. How could you not love a band called AIDS Wolf? Ok, before you answer that, they exist on a similar brutal experimental edge as Wolf Eyes. New record out in January.


posted by on November 11 at 11:48 AM

If the death of the monorail hasn’t tortured you enough, please enjoy this gloating post from the I, Anonymous forum.


posted by on November 11 at 11:15 AM

One of my Slog informants has directed my attention to this testy exchange between Judith Miller and Renee Montagne on NPR this morning. It features one of my favorite stock argument phrases: “I am not going to argue with you, but…” (Said, of course, when one intends to do just that.)

Flamingo Flu

posted by on November 11 at 11:14 AM

This just in from the Wall Street Journal:

A Kuwaiti flamingo has been diagnosed with the H5N1 bird flu strain, marking not only the first appearance of the infamous flu in the Persian Gulf, but also the first known flamingo to have contracted the dreaded bug, which generally affects more common birds such as chickens and ducks. The unlucky flamingo joins a South American parrot that died under U.K. quarantine as the most colorful birds to have contracted the well-publicized disease. Persian Gulf poultry and humans still appear to be safe, officials said.

The time is ripe for an avian version of The Masque of Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. The hideous Red Death mows down the peasants of the bird world, but the flamingoes, peacocks, and other avian nobles lock themselves into an enormous gilded cage for a quarantined ball. Red Death, the vulture, sneaks into the party, killing the haughty elite. In the end, “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

Fade to black.

Campaign Costs

posted by on November 11 at 11:03 AM

Nick Licata, reelected to his third council term in a 77-23 landslide, spent $66,500 and won more votes than any other candidate for city office: 78,749, at last count (3:00 Thursday afternoon.) That means each vote cost Licata about 85 cents.

Greg Nickels, in contrast, won 64 percent against loopy ex-assistant professor Al Runte - 74,983 votes - and spent half a million dollars. That works out to $6.67 per vote - nearly eight times as much as Licata’s per-vote total.

Maybe if Gridlock Greg didn’t spend so much time alienating former supporters, he wouldn’t have to spend so much money wooing them back.

Depressing Clown Sighting

posted by on November 11 at 10:43 AM

This morning brought a most wonderful and heartbreaking Hot Tip to Last Days. Sent by talented Hot Tipper Janelle, the tip concerns her quietly horrifying run-in with legendary Seattle clown J.P. Patches.

Janelle’s story is long-ish and intricate, but very well wrought and totally worth reading. You may find it after the jump.

Continue reading "Depressing Clown Sighting" »

ROCKRGRL Conference

posted by on November 11 at 10:03 AM

I didn’t have space to put this in the paper, but for anyone attending the ROCKRGRL Music Conference, I’m speaking on a panel today at 4:30 pm called “Does Media Matter?” The short answer? Um, yes.

Bad News for Moviegoers

posted by on November 11 at 9:49 AM

I went to the movies last night (The Squid and the Whale, so fabulous!) and tried to buy my usual discount card (5 movies for $30) at the Varsity and was SHOT DOWN. Apparently they aren’t going to use them anymore. As a regular moviegoer, these discount cards have been my saving grace from rising ticket prices, and kept me going to Landmark theaters regularly. No more. They have abandoned me.

Amsterdam postcard, no. 3.5

posted by on November 11 at 9:29 AM

Riding biycles everywhere is practical here; the land is flat save a few arched bridges. It’s been hard to remember to pedal backward when I want to brake, but otherwise a piece of cake to navigate the traffic tangles on two wheels. Sometimes we ride doubles (one on the luggage rack) just to play at being Dutch.

We started as a group of seven friends, about four too many to slide through town without looking like American tourists. So we named our bike posse (the Horseless Riders) and we were seven black coats flying along the cobbled canal-side streets on black granny bikes. Christopher sings the Wu Tang or Eminem at the top of his lungs to propel us forward.

Now two have left—five of us (more managable/easier to please) are heading to dinner. Mussels in wine and garlic, frites with mayo, salad, oude jenever (aged Dutch gin)…

The street fashions here are exceedingly practical—scarves, sweaters, jeans, boots, ponytails. Wholesome chic.
Christopher and I are here: They’re playing hyperactive Latin American pop music and the espresso machine is whirring along to it.

No time to link that link—I am out of internet tokens!

This is all out of order and I can’t figure out how to cut and paste (nor spellcheck).

See you soon—Tot Ziens!

Amsterdam postcard, no. 3

posted by on November 11 at 9:27 AM

I’m in Amsterdam with seven Seattle friends, including The Stranger’s web editor Amy Kate Horn, and the only thing all of us can agree to listen to on the houseboat where we’re staying — a mixed CD made for the trip didn’t play in the player, the Fugees was shot down, Depeche Mode was untenable, I don’t have a stereo hook-up for my iPod — is that Nirvana great hits/”You Know You’re Right” CD, which someone brought. We’ve listened to it a couple times now. Like a Seattle roadshow.

Then, weirdly, late, late last night, I was walking down Roken toward Dam Square and I passed a neighborhood bar rocking out to a very familiar song. What do you know — a little ditty called “Lithium” by a little band called Nirvana. The chorus of which goes, in part:


The Dutch, to this day, like people around the world, LOVE this part of the song when it plays loudly in a crowded bar in the middle of the night. Out in the street, passing by, I was loving it too. And (embarrassingly) I was singing. I sang the lyric as, “I love you/I’m not coming back,” shouted it actually, and thought of Seattle.

I’m coming back. I swear.

Thin! thin! thin!

posted by on November 11 at 9:06 AM

According to the NYTimes, researchers at Stanford University claim to have found a hormone that “sharply reduces the desire to eat.”
The substance, obestatin (OHB-statin), is manufactured in the stomach and small intestine, and tells the brain to signal the body to “eat less.”

Mice who tested the hormone (with weight problems, assumedly) ate half their normal portions and lost weight after eight days.

UW obesity researcher Dr. David E. Cummings (who was not involved in the study) said, “The chances that this is going to hold up in humans are very high.”

`People dislike injections, so drug companies are more likely to try to develop a molecule that mimics obestatin but can be taken by mouth’, said Dr. Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University.

Such as a bacon-wrapped pellet, perhaps? What do the mice think?

Sadly, while these mice ate less, they didn’t shed as much weight as one would expect from mice on diet pills—which might intimate that their bodies lost muscle mass and not extra fat.

Still, scientists agreed that they looked great.

Also: According to Scientific American, French scientists might have pinpointed a receptor in taste buds that is responsible for sensing fat, which could be a vital first step in weight loss therapy. With a little help from technology, people could me munching on wood chips and nutrasweet packets, and be thin! thin! thin! in a matter of years.


What ever happened to good ol’ fashioned gastric bypass surgery?

Guest DJ Gris Gris

posted by on November 11 at 9:01 AM

For all you Gris Gris fans, the Bay Area psych band will be guest DJs on KUSF today from 3-4 pm. Tune in, turn on, drop out here.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Exclusion V. Existence

posted by on November 10 at 6:20 PM

What’s interesting to me about the French riots is that they strike a totally different note than other instances of Muslim dissent that have erupted in the 21st Century. In this instance, America isn’t the villain, but seems, in fact, to be the ideal. Earlier this week, the AP wrote:

Abdelkarim Carrasco, a leader of Spain’s estimated 1 million-member Muslim community, said the French experience poses a key test for Europe.

“Either Europe develops and supports the idea of a mixed culture, or Europe has no future,” he said. “Europe has to learn from what the United States has done. It is a country that has taken in people from all over the world.”

Indeed, the rioters aren’t burning American and Israeli flags and blaming all their problems on the West.

These protesters are angry about their exclusion from the 21st Century, rather than about the existence of the 21st Century.

33 Records

posted by on November 10 at 4:34 PM

I already wrote about it in this week’s Underage column, but I wanted to remind everyone that tonight is the opening for 33 Records by 33 Artists at the Vera Project Art Space from 7-9 pm. It’s free, and all pieces are for sale for $33 with proceeds going to the venue. A special piece by artist Chris Johanson will be auctioned off via silent auction for the duration of the show, which lasts through December 2nd. More info here.

re: Feeling No Pain

posted by on November 10 at 3:16 PM

I always wondered if the “Lena Beamish” in Miranda’s Binet-Simon Test was a reference to a girl named Lindsey Beamish who we both knew from Santa Cruz…sounds too close not to be. Lindsey also lives in LA now, and is part of the Janet Pants Dans Theeatre (who, rumor has it, are playing the War Room tonight with Anna Oxygen…but I can’t confirm that).

Re: Feeling No Pain

posted by on November 10 at 2:30 PM

I was thinking this whole painless children thing sounded familiar, and indeed, Painless Gabby is also in her own documentary, entitled A Life Without Pain. Weirdly, everybody’s favorite loopy goose (and Jennifer Maerz’s former roommate) Miranda July made an audio play inspired by a similar talk show about kids who feel no pain. It’s called “Lena Beamish,” and it’s on The Binet-Simon Test.

The Perfect Man

posted by on November 10 at 2:03 PM

BBC news has an interesting article about men and testosterone (two of my favorite subjects—right behind vaginas and pie).

A recent US questionnaire/saliva swab of 126 single men, married men, and fathers has shown that having kids significantly reduces the amount of testosterone in the male body.

Researchers at the Charles Drew University in LA refer to this as a process of “civilization” designed to keep men from either smashing babies’ skulls in anger or ‘going out for cigarettes’ (I’m paraphrasing).

The data cannot be denied. Ladies, if you want yourself a civilized man, find a married one with kids.

Feeling No Pain

posted by on November 10 at 12:34 PM

Earlier this week, a weird head cold required me to stay home for a couple days. Among the delights (besides psycho-dream-packed daytime sleep): The Oprah Winfrey Show, which on Tuesday was devoted to “Truly Amazing Kids,” including one little girl who blew my fucking mind—Gabby, the 5-year-old who feels no pain.

At first glance, an inability to feel pain might sound like a desirable condition, rescuing victims from hangovers and migraines, and suggesting a pain-free existence comparable to starting each morning with a handful of Vicodin.

But as Oprah made clear, Gabby’s life is no cakewalk. She must wear tight-fitting swim goggles whenever she’s awake (to keep her from accidentally gouging out her eyes—one of which is already gone, requiring Gabby’s mom to insert a glass eye into her daughter every morning). Gabby has also had her teeth removed, to keep her from chewing through her own lips and cheeks.

Of course, empathy queen Oprah was careful to make room for the feelings of Gabby’s older sister, whom Oprah asked about the difficulties of growing up alongside Gabby.

“It’s hard,” said the 10-year-old sister, “because Gabby can’t feel pain.”

For the full story on Gabby, click here. And count your goddamn blessings.

Something fishy…

posted by on November 10 at 12:31 PM

The International Herald Tribune reports that Myanmar has suddenly and mysteriously moved its capital to a remote mountain hideout:

“At precisely 6:37 a.m. on Sunday, according to one report - with a shout of ‘Let’s go!’ - a convoy of trucks began a huge, expensive and baffling transfer of the government of Myanmar from the capital, Yangon, to a secret mountain compound 320 kilometers to the north.”

The new capital has underground bunkers, military headquarters, meeting halls, and a golf course. How creepy would it be to live in a capital and watch the entire government apparatus roll out of town at 6 a.m. without a word of warning? Even creepier than this.


posted by on November 10 at 12:03 PM

Granted, some of my work appears on these websites, but I still think they are worth checking out for reasons that have nothing to do with me. This one,Doppleganger Magazine, is based in beautiful Vancouver BC and run by a bright young man named Aaron Peck. The other website is for a local architectural journal, ARCADE, and it presently offers a free download of a hypnotic hiphop beat called “VbStoPe” (Vancouver, Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, and Eugene) by the talented Specs One, who is performing tonight at Studio Seven at 6 pm with Dred I. So, there it is.

The Colonization of Great Britian

posted by on November 10 at 11:56 AM

Zimbabweans, who were colonized by Britain in the 19th century, are colonizing Britain in the present century.

The Latest Numbers, Part 2

posted by on November 10 at 11:19 AM

Seattle Citizens for Free Speech, the pro-strip club organazition, announced today that it has turned in more than 35,000 signatures in support of its referendum to overturn the draconian new strip-club regulations passed by the City Council in September - two and a half times the number of valid signatures required to get the measure on the ballot. The referendum will probably go on the ballot next September or November, unless the City Council decides to put up the $350,000 it would cost to hold a special election in February.

Fark—Who Goes There?

posted by on November 10 at 11:16 AM

This site is a reliable clearinghouse of news-of-the-weird scavenging for the terminally snarky. Think of it as Google News if it were taken over by the Vice editorial staff.

This Seat is Token

posted by on November 10 at 11:15 AM

I hopped on a #10 bus last night and noticed this official notice/sticker on a seat near the very front of the bus…


It reads: “Seat Dedication in Memory of Rosa Parks.” That’s nice, I thought.

Then I wondered if Metro had dedicated just one seat on one #10 bus to the Civil Rights Movement’s most beloved activist and icon, or if there’s a seat near the front of every bus dedicated to Rosa Parks. Hopefully there are seats dedicated to Rosa Parks on more buses than just the #10, a bus that goes up and down 15th and Pine Street, among the whitest parts of town.

And while I don’t have a problem with the dedication, or with honoring Rosa Parks. (I wish, though, that there was more awareness of her role as an activist.) But still something irked me. I found myself bothered by it, and it took me some time to put my finger on it: At the end of the day isn’t dedicating a bunch of bus seats to Rosa Parks just the kind of squishy, feel-good, costs-little, changes-nothing gesture that’s too easily made in a white, liberal and, consequently, patronizingly racist place like Seattle?

So we’ve got bus seats dedicated to Rosa Parks. That’s nice. But we’ve also got fewer African-Americans living in Seattle than ever, which D. Parvaz pointed out in the incredible, shrinking Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Tuesday:

…we’re failing to attract and retain our African American population. In Seattle, it dropped by 23 percent between 1990 and 2000. Things essentially held steady statewide: blacks made up 3 percent of the Washington’s population in 1990, and by 2000, that number was at 3.2 percent.

UPDATE: This just in from a reader…

Just an FYI, Dan—these are on all Metro buses throughout November. It was a resolution introduced at the County Council by Dwight Pelz just after Rosa Parks died. Dwight’s campaign manager may still be a little bitter and sad today, but could probably give you more info and maybe set up time with Dwight to talk about the valid points you make.

The Latest Numbers

posted by on November 10 at 11:12 AM

In the latest election results, the monorail’s loss had widened to a 65-to-35 percent margin, and Richard McIver was still defeating Dwight Pelz by nearly 6,000 votes, maintaining his healthy six-point lead with more than 90,000 Seattle votes counted. As monorail supporters licked their wounds and celebrated a tough uphill battle against opponents who outspent them five-to-one, the pro-monorail kids at 2045 Seattle were discussing what to do next. One possibility: Link up their newly mobilized grassroots network with the People’s Waterfront Coalition, a group of transportation activists who want to tear down the viaduct and replace it with a surface street, plus fixes to the downtown transportation network.

Want to be enraged?

posted by on November 10 at 10:43 AM

Or emboldened to volunteer at Planned Parenthood?

Then watch this week’s episode of Frontline: The Last Abortion Clinic.

Smart Voters

posted by on November 10 at 10:40 AM

On election night Dave Meinert—club owner, music promoter, indispensable political activist—praised Seattle voters for killing the monorail. “…the people,” Dave wrote, “think and are smart.” The monorail went down with 64.34 percent of the voters saying no to just 35.6 saying yes.

Such smart voters—oh, so smart. So very, very smart.

But these same smart voters approved the smoking ban, something Dave Meinert passionately opposed, by the exact same margin: 64.25 percent of voters in King County approved a ban on smoking inside (and outside) bars and clubs, with just 35.75 percent voting to continue with the carcinogenic status-quo.

So the voters are smart, in Dave’s estimation, when they vote his way. But those same voters get a little further down the ballot and their brains apparently shut down.

Tonight is Diamond Studded

posted by on November 10 at 10:25 AM

I’ve written before about what a great rock band Diamond Nights are on record. Live, they’re even better….what better night than tonight—the new Friday—to really kick out the rock? They’ll be headlining the Crocodile, playing with a band called Black Eyes and Neckties, who one friend described as sounding “exactly like the Murder City Devils.” Regardless, the more the merrier at this show…let the good times rock..and roll.

Seattle and Ohio: They Share a Sexual Hang Up, It Seems

posted by on November 10 at 9:54 AM

I just got this email from a Savage Love reader in Ohio…

A bill passed by the Ohio House of Representatives (House Bill 23 aka the “Community Defense Act”) is currently working its way through the Ohio State Senate. This bill would force adult businesses and bars with strip shows in Ohio to close at 11 PM and, when open, to keep their dancers at least six feet away from their customers at all times - among other things. The “Citizens for Community Values” saw to it that this Bill passed the Ohio House 90-5 last year. The CCV is led by President Phil Burress. Mr. Burress, 60, claims that for 25 years, his waking hours were dominated by the need to view pornography. It destroyed his ability to be a loving husband, cost him financially and kept him emotionally estranged from people who should have been close. He calls himself a porn addict. “It consumed my life. It was my hidden secret,” he says. The twice-divorced Cincinnati native claims that if not regulated, “sexually dysfunctional males and the sexually addicted will frequent these places.”

Mr. Burress met his third wife Vickie at an anti-pornography conference.  She says she understands pornography’s destructive power and why her husband must abstain from exposure to such materials. For that reason, she watches adult videos and reads adult magazines, then writes summaries for her husband so he can speak to groups, lobby legislators and persuade prosecutors. 

Watching adult videos, reading adult magazines… writing “summaries.” Nice work if you can get it, huh Vickie?

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

He’s Heading for Abe!

posted by on November 9 at 5:42 PM

God bless the Japanese.

Any culture that puts steak on the heads of its women and then unleashes a hungry lizard on them for televised sport has my undying respect and gratitude. Not because I think women should be made to wear steaks, mind you, but because I think they should be eaten by lizards.

steak head
(click image to see video, and be sure to stay tuned for the instant replays)

We’ve got The Apprentice and The Biggest Loser, they have Crazy Steak Head Lizard Kill Show. I ask you, who’s the real superpower?

Election Analysis

posted by on November 9 at 5:41 PM

Al Runte has 34,721 votes.

Casey Corr has 32,546 votes.

We’re Not Posting Much Today

posted by on November 9 at 5:02 PM

The Stranger’s edit staff isn’t posting much on SLOG today—we’re wrung out, still hurting from all that cake and booze and the monorail defeat. But the folks in Stranger Forums are posting tons of good stuff today.

Like this post about the monorail from the Politics Forum:

Ok Seattle. So, you’ve killed the monorail. Tens of thousands of people are continuing to pour into the city. Right now, the only choice is to crush all these people on the already full roads. There is NO room for new roadways, busways, or a drop of new pavement on our little isthmus. What’s your plan? What’s the bright idea?

Everyone keeps claiming this is some principled vote against a project out of control, not about petty greed and shortsightedness.

I say we KEEP collecting the MVET (which works out to about $1.50 a week for the median driver in Seattle. Cry me a river. The average driver wastes more than a $1.50 in gas per day waiting in traffic.) We should take the MVET and build some mass transit. Lightrail, “skytrains” ala-vancouver, anything but roadways, tunneled or otherwise.

Hell, a lightrail running down Sandpoint, 45th, Market to shilshole would be worthwhile.

What about a citywide system of streetcars? One running the length of madison, one the length of Yessler, one on 4th ave s connecting to southpark, one the length of 65th in the north, one running up 15th NE.

In typical Seattle fashion, facing a massive problem and presented with a viable if not perfect plan, we’ve chosen to do NOTHING. Welcome to LA. welcome to Houston, welcome to Detroit.

What is your bright idea?

And this post about the smoking ban from the Slog Forum…

I want to see you non-smokers prove pundits wrong, starting on the day the ban takes effect, by SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL DIVE BARS. You said they’d survive, right? Put your money where you mouth is, and show them they’ll be okay. C’mon: they have pool tables, darts, RELATIVELY CHEAP DRINKS, friendly bar staff, game machines and some have live music. It’ll be FUN. I don’t want to lose Al’s in Wallingford because of 901. For all the bluster over this issue, I’m totally cool with sharing a drink with fellow non-smokers in December and letting bygones be bygones over this debate.

And there’s this post from the I, Anonymous Forum…

item! republicans were soundly and i mean soundly defeated in two states to wit: virginia finally swings the right goddamn way.

item! all and i mean all of schwarzenegger’s anti-democrate, anti-labour union reforms were defeated by voters who finally woke up to find they’d hired backwards moronbeef to govern them.

item! the entire pennsylvania school board responsible for implementing the teaching of intelligent design beside darwinian evolution have been sacked. bloody rights.

item! tony blair’s draconian security measures proposed in response to the july bombings were defeated because the majority felt they severely compromised civil liberties. it’s being called the first serious blow to his leadership and i say hoorah and get the hardcore christian bush-licking twat the fuck out.

so, fellow humans, take heart. with this universal fuck you to bush, it would seem there are signs of intelligent life on the planet after all. it might even be support full blown civilization in time…

So there’s tons of great stuff to read on our website today. We’re just not, like, writing any of it.

It’s Official: Pride is Moving Downtown

posted by on November 9 at 2:15 PM

Guess they decided not to take my advice.

SEATTLE - The organizers of the Seattle Pride Festival have announced they will move this year’s event from its traditional Volunteer Park setting to the Seattle Center. Seattle Pride decided to move the event because of the amazing growth of the Festival, which is creating safety issues and adversely affecting the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Continue reading "It's Official: Pride is Moving Downtown" »

Today in Speculation

posted by on November 9 at 2:10 PM


* Severance is just another word for nothing left to lose…

* And Lewis Libby starts a legal defense fund (with a secret donor list, natch).


* Miller has officially departed.

Smoking ban!!

posted by on November 9 at 1:44 PM

Fuck yeah! I shall celebrate this smoking ban by playing much more pinball at Shorty’s and going out to see bands more often!

And some dumbasses actually thought this ban would close businesses. Fools!

DJ /rupture’s Guide to Selling Out

posted by on November 9 at 1:20 PM

After my post about the O.C., one reader sent me a good link to DJ /rupture’s 10-Step Guide to Selling Out. Rather than present knee-jerk points about indie cred vs making cash, /rupture smartly lays out the issues surrounding selling your song to endorse a product.

I Endorse Casey Corr…

posted by on November 9 at 1:10 PM

..for Deputy Mayor.

Hey, Greg, I know you’re going to be doing some staff reshuffling for your second term. And I hear Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis is headed to the private sector.

Sadly, Casey Corr didn’t get that council gig. So, I’ve got a great idea. Why not tap Casey for Tim Cies’s job? You guys obviously like Casey a lot: About half your staff contributed money to his campaign against Council President Jan Drago (including you). And your staff ran Corr’s outreach efforts.

So: Since you love Casey, (and since he loves everything you do), why not give the guy a job? Had he won against Jan, he would have been working for you on the council anyway.

I know sometimes you find ethics rules burdensome Greg, but it would be more appropriate to have someone who’s doing your bidding—actually on your payroll. So, I say, Casey Corr for Deputy Mayor. What do you think?

To OC or not to OC

posted by on November 9 at 12:45 PM

We ran piece about the O.C. television show’s impact on indie bands that came out last Thursday. Check out another version of the same story in the L.A. Times here.

Do Not Miss…

posted by on November 9 at 12:41 PM

Brendan Kiley’s most recent Theater News column, introducing the fascinating saga that unfolded after writer/performer agreed to publish a portion of her one-woman show Wreckage in the women’s magazine Glamour.

As Brendan’s column makes clear, the fallout was tremendous, and as I found with a wee bit o’ Googling, it’s ongoing. Here’s a treat from the IMDB message boards, linked beneath Weedman’s “Actor Profile”:


Sheesh. Read the column, and if you ever get the chance, see the show, for it is amazing.

French fascists and Ambrose Bierce

posted by on November 9 at 12:32 PM

French fascist Jean-Marie Le Pen is making political hay from the Paris riots. The National Front blowhard who squeezed into the second round of presidential elections in 2002—but lost to Chirac in a runoff—has declared his 2007 bid for the presidency. Touting a zero-immigration policy (an insane, unenforceable fantasy), Le Pen is declaring the French equivalent of: “See-I-told-you-them-darkies-ain’t-no-good.” I shudder to think of how many voters will believe him.

Mulling over this and the lesser sorrows of last night’s election, I am reminded of an entry in theDevil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce: “Politics (n.): A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”

And this, from his definition of a republic: “There are as many kinds of republics as there are graduations between the despotism whence they came and the anarchy whither they lead.”

And, for good measure, his definition of a reporter: “A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words.”

I love that cranky old bastard.

Light Slogging Today

posted by on November 9 at 12:01 PM

Sorry about the light Slogging today. Most of the edit staff was up all night covering the election, and things are pretty quiet in the office today.

Great Date Fodder

posted by on November 9 at 11:26 AM

Here is an interesting article posted by the New Yorker about Torture. The senate recently approved Sen. McCain’s proposal that “would require Americans holding prisoners abroad to follow the same standards of humane treatment required at home by the U.S. Constitution.”

This prompted Cheney and CIA director Porter Goss to meet with McCain, who is a former POW (and no stranger to torture) to chat about his proposal. They argue that the C.I.A. must have the “flexibility” to handle alleged terrorists in “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” ways.

.It’s quite seriously all they want for Christmas this year.

Fun fact: In August, 2002, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel sent a memo to the White House, which stated that a coercive technique was torture only when it induced pain equivalent to what a person experiencing death or organ failure might suffer.

Anything less than that and you’re probably just a Big Pussy.

Intelligent Voting

posted by on November 9 at 11:12 AM

From this piece in the New York Times:

All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.

Among the losing incumbents on the Dover, Pa., board were two members who testified in favor of the intelligent design policy at a recently concluded federal trial on the Dover policy: the chairwoman, Sheila Harkins, and Alan Bonsell.

The election results were a repudiation of the first school district in the nation to order the introduction of intelligent design in a science class curriculum. The policy was the subject of a trial in Federal District Court that ended last Friday. A verdict by Judge John E. Jones III is expected by early January.

New band alert: Silversun Pickups

posted by on November 9 at 10:29 AM

While our news team was hard at work covering the election beat last night, I was, um, well, at work checking out live music, and I stumbled into a great new band. After unfortunately arriving at the Crocodile late, booker Pete Greenberg told me to hurry into the show room to check out this “amazing band” on stage. Their name? Silversun Pickups. Their energy? High. The crowd? Completely smitten….and moving from an awestruck standstill to the slight pogoing indie kids get worked up into to show some affection in this town. The band truly were amazing….a little Earlimart, a little Pixies, a lot of intricate twists and turns in the melodies, angst meets elation meets a boy singer with a soft delivery who also knows how to scream. All this and the band has barely played Seattle before (although KEXP has given them some love)—but people seemed more into them than headliner Brendan Benson, who put on a decent show. But Silversun Pickups—man, keep an ear on these guys, the next time they come through I think there will be little breathing room in the house.

12:56 a.m. — Cake’s gone, Champagne’s gone, We’re gone

posted by on November 9 at 12:56 AM


A Note From Howard Dean

posted by on November 9 at 12:52 AM

“The resounding victories tonight by Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine have sent a powerful message that when Democrats stand up for what we believe in, we win. They showed that the values and priorities of the Democratic Party are the values and priorities of the American people.

“Jon Corzine and Tim Kaine were strong candidates who offered vision and leadership based on the shared values and priorities of the voters of New Jersey and Virginia. They worked hard to earn the trust and the votes of the people in their states by not taking a single vote or voter for granted.

“Also tonight, voters all across the country delivered a resounding message: Americans are tired of the politics of hate and divisiveness, and voted for strong Democratic candidates who offered true leadership for their states and communities. These candidates showed exactly what our party is going to do to stand up and win in 2006.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

11:35 pm — Issaquah!

posted by on November 8 at 11:35 PM

Liveslogger’s aunt, who lives in Issaquah, has apparently been defeated in her race for city council. Liveslogger regrets that she was not aware that her aunt was running for Issaquah city council, and she wishes a pox on her aunt’s triumphant opponent, the incumbent Bill Conley—whoever he is.

11:30 — The Best Fucking Thing Ever

posted by on November 8 at 11:30 PM

From the comfort of the Mirabeau Room, Party Crasher takes a slow sip of whiskey and wraps up a long night on the Party Bus:

Music for America is an organization dedicated to mobilizing 14-30 year olds, who will soon become the biggest voting bloc in the nation, through the music industry, using the same tactics that the right has used in mobilizing religious voters. Their Party Bus hit nine parties tonight, and consumed or stole more than 50 beers (not including Party Crasher’s nine beers and 1.5 lbs of finger-food). Toward the end of the night, one Party Bus rider, standing on the sidewalk, raised his arms above his head, and shouted: “Local Politics is the best fucking thing ever!” Then, he pointed at some passersby, and shouted, “Did you vote you pussies?”

King County Councilmember Dow Constantine, who got on the bus en route with a lovely female companion, said: “It was everything I hoped it would be.” And if what he hoped was to get drunk with a lot young, cute, politically minded girls, then Party Crasher can attest that he probably got what he was looking for.

Jim, the bus driver, smiling and shaking his head at all this, gave a thumbs up as he dropped everyone back off at the Mirabeau Room. “You guys are great, keep up the good work,” he said. Then he headed back to Renton, his bus littered with Kid Valley bags and stashed empty Corona bottles.

11:28 - Sexy, sexy school board

posted by on November 8 at 11:28 PM

All three of our school board picks are winning as the night winds down:

Mary Bass has a solid 53% to Jane Fellner’s 47%. Cheryl Chow’s pulling in a strong 56% to Linda Thompson-Black’s 44%. And Michael DeBell, running against the Astrid Adair Gielen, is kicking butt with 73%.

11:15 — “You Guys Keep Rockin”

posted by on November 8 at 11:15 PM

“We just went to the Drago Party at the Seattle Glassblowing Studio,” Party Crasher reports from the Party Bus. “It was the hippest and most party-like of all. Lots of faux mink coats and interesting hairstyles, several white people with dredlocks — what more do you need for a party?” As they were leaving Drago’s place, he says, a lot of Party Bus riders could be seen shoving Coronas into their pockets and carrying out double-fists of cake.

A white-bread guy in a suit saw them and shouted, “You guys keep on rockin!”

Then they went to the Casey Corr party at T.S. McHugh’s, which was “maudlin,” said Party Crasher. When Party Crasher announced he was from The Stranger, he was confronted by Corr’s brother, who demanded to know whether Party Crasher supports this paper’s stance on Corr. Ever the good guest, Party Crasher dodged, saying simply that he is a journalist whose main concern is reporting on the quality and timbre of parties. Still, he said, “The general mood after I identified myself was hateful and teeth-bared.”

Some of the Party Bus riders then asked to have their picture taken with Corr. His response: “I don’t think so.”

“So now, we are going into the Mirabeau, where we are wanted,” Party Crasher said.

11:10 pm — King County Results

posted by on November 8 at 11:10 PM

The latest from King County:


Nickels: 64 %
Runte: 35%


YES: 36 %
NO: 64 %

King County Exec:

Sims: 56 %
Irons: 40 %
Lange: 5 %

City Council:

Conlin: 60 %
Miller: 40 %

Drago: 62 %
Corr: 37 %

Licata: 76 %
Bascomb: 23 %

McIver: 53 %
Pelz: 47 %

11:05 - Cake is in the house.

posted by on November 8 at 11:05 PM

The Drago cake is here. Dan has calmed down. (And someone has popped a bottle of Champagne!)


11:05 pm — Runte’s HQ

posted by on November 8 at 11:05 PM

Brendan Kiley reports from Rock Salt:

Runte’s party and numbers seem stagnant, so I hopped across Westlake Ave to a house where hoodied youngsters and good old rock ‘n’ roll spilled out of the open door. I walked through the door into an empty vestibule, then hallway, then room, where a group of 30 (about the size of the Runte party) were grooving to an art punk trio from Sacramento called the Brilliant Red Lights. They were great! A young man next to me asked who I was and I said I was covering Al Runte’s campaign across the street for The Stranger. He smiled and nodded. I stayed for two songs of lovely, life-affirming music before slipping back to Runte’s lugubrious party, where new numbers had just come in—63.7 Nickels to 35.3 Runte.

Would-be mayor Runte began a speech. Some quotes: “We are the party of labor, of the environment, of civil rights. How we have let that slip away from us… Thank all of you who worked on this campaign, and all of you who turned out. This campaign has been so much fun. We started late, but next time—if there is a next time, and who knows—we may win this election. We will start earlier… If Mayor Nickels has won this election, he’s earned it—because we made him earn it… What made this country great is not coronations, but elections…. As Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, throw your hat in the ring.’ “

[Ed. note: Teddy Roosevelt never mixed metaphors like that. The actual quote: “My hat’s in the ring.”]

There was a standing ovation. Then Runte sat down. I sat next to him. He and someone in a three-piece suit whose name I didn’t catch discussed launching a Runte blog. “You’re a good writer,” Three-Piece Suit said. “And you’ve got things to say.”

11:00 — Final Statewide Results: Gas Tax Repeal Down, Audits and Smoking Ban Up

posted by on November 8 at 11:00 PM

State measures:

I-900, Performance Audits:
Passing 57% to 43%

I-901, Smoking Ban:
Passing 63% to 37%

I-912, Gas Tax Repeal:
Failing, 48% to 52%

10:50 — Meinert Getting Belligerent

posted by on November 8 at 10:50 PM

In response to our description, below, of the anti-monorail people being “all gray hair and smugness,” Meinert fired off this e-mail from the Mirabeau Room:

Listen you pro-monorail fucks, not all the anti-monorail folks are old white people. Some of us are just middle-aged (40ish?) white people. Who think lying about size and economics matters. Maybe you are all used to lying about both, but it obviously didn’t fly, so the people now voted against a bad plan with bad financing. Sometimes the people think and are smart. Even when the politicos lie to them. So there. Thanks god Seattle Center will stay the largest park in the inner city and not become a transportation corridor!

Thanks, Dave. We’ll have one of what you’re having…

UPDATE: Dan Savage here, Dave. Look, you anti-monorail bullshit artist, the “politicos” were never for the monorail. It was the people who backed it, the people who voted four times. Now the people have rejected it, and that’s that. But no transportation project could survive the attacks and double standards that the monorail project has had to deal with. So I wonder, Dave: The people you’re praising tonight for their smarts? Were they dumb the first four times they voted? The lies were from the anti-camp, Dave, not the pro, and the collective weight of lies eventually doomed the plan. You know, it’s easy to pick something apart, much harder to put something together. And here we are, no closer to rapid transit in this city, thanks to visionless, pro-sprawl, anti-urbanist, small-minded fuckwits like you. Cheers!

10:25 — Drinks on the House

posted by on November 8 at 10:25 PM

With Nick Licata grabbing 3 votes for every 1 vote that’s going to his opponent, Paul Bascomb, people at the Mirabeau Room are calling for drinks on the house. No word yet of whether the bartenders have complied, but Nick sure looks happy:


11:22 - From the Forums

posted by on November 8 at 10:22 PM

Yeah, especially that Joel Horn character. I don’t care if he resigned. I think the pro-monorail camp ought to throw him a party. And by ‘throw him a party’ I mean ‘sue him for overpaying himself and wasting city resources.’

Gomezticator, in the forums, responding to Dave Meinert’s “Maybe SMP was just plain stupid. How about that one? Run by incompetent nincompoops. Ever think of that?” rant.

10:20 pm — Results

posted by on November 8 at 10:20 PM


Nickels: 63%
Runte: 36%


YES: 35%
NO: 65%

City Council:

Conlin: 60%
Miller: 40%

Drago: 62%
Corr: 38%

McIver: 53%
Pelz: 47%

Licata: 76%
Bascomb: 24%

State measures:

I-900, Performance Audits:
Passing 57% to 43%

I-901, Smoking Ban:
Passing 63% to 37%

I-912, Gas Tax Repeal:
Failing, 48% to 52%

10:10 p.m. — “Al Runte Should Celebrate”

posted by on November 8 at 10:10 PM

“Al should celebrate,” writes Dave Meinert from the party at the Mirabeau Room. “And Nickels should be scared. At this party we have two council members who could have trounced Nickels. His stripper ban is so silly it makes me think he goes out of town for lap dances. People here are already planning on running Licata for mayor in ‘09. He’ll be married and even fiercer. Watch out you Sidranesque mayoral staff. The people ain’t going to stand for your white-bread doughboy bullshit when there is a real candidate to stand up to it.”


Don’t bottle up your feelings, Dave, it’s not healthy. Let it all out. Tell us how you really feel.

10:05 p.m. — Great Results

posted by on November 8 at 10:05 PM

Four drinks and many miles since he left the Mirabeau Room earlier tonight, Party Crasher has resurfaced at the Westin Hotel, from whence he reports:

“The anti-Monorail party is just what you would figure: All gray hair and smugness. The room is about the size of a studio apartment, which most of the partiers haven’t seen in years. Ron Sims’s room, meanwhile, is packed and ballroom-size, and Sims is smiling widely even though he’s only up by seven points against David Irons.

Party Bus riders have determined that the No on 912 party here has free drinks, and now they are drinking very liberally.

Just a minute ago at the No on 912 party, a middle aged woman was flipping through the channels, looking for more voting returns, when she accidentally flipped into a hardcore porn channel. Suddenly the screen showed a woman astride a man, her breasts bouncing. “Oh my,” the woman with the remote said, and continued flipping.

In response to which one of the Party Bus riders shouted: “No, no, no! I think those are great results. It looks like Ron Sims is winning.”

10 pm — Al Runte HQ

posted by on November 8 at 10:00 PM

Brendan reports from the Al Runte party, where there’s no internet access:

The campaign manager and I have been calling the results via cell phone. I was sitting at a table with Runte and called in the latest (36.75% Runte, 62.47% Nickels). Stony silence. “But that’s only 14 percent of the registered voters,” I added. Runte stood. “That’s great!” he shouted, waving his arms in the air. The high school Dem zealots enthusiastically hashed over school board results in the background. I drifted to another table and chatted with a lovely old woman who “had memory loss.” I gave her the results. We talked about our marital status—me single, her divorced—and her three daughters. She said she was supporting Runte because she met him at the Burgermaster in the University Village. “I go there every day. He does too.” She paused. “So what are the election results?” she asked. “And are you single?”

It’s very odd here.

10:00 p.m. — Mmmm… Cake

posted by on November 8 at 10:00 PM

Dan Savage just put in a call to Jan Drago at her party. He congratulated her on her victory, and praised her for stomping Casey Corr, AKA “The Mayor’s Boy.” But really he just wanted to ask about the cake.


Savage loves cake, and the sight of a great big cake made him hungry. And Savage needs a little sugar to cheer him up, what with the monorail going down. So he asked Jan if she could have some of the cake sent up to the Stranger HQ.

“Well, we want to cut it, but we were waiting for one more batch of numbers to come in,” Drago said. “But we’ll do that. We’ve got to figure out how to get it up to you guys.” Turning to her campaign manager, Drago said, “Erin, The Stranger wants some cake! We’ve got to figure out how to get it up to them!”

Savage broke in: “Jan, we’ll send someone down to pick it up. You don’t have to run it up here yourself.”

Amy Jenniges was duly dispatched to Drago’s party to pick up some cake.

UPDATE: At 10:15 PM, Erin Thurston, Drago’s campaign manager, called The Stranger’s office and asked if someone was coming to get the cake they set aside for The Stranger. Savage told her that Amy Jenniges was on her way, platter in hand. Check back here for more updates on the cake.

SECOND UPDATE: It’s 10:30 and Savage is losing it. “If that cake isn’t in this office in ten minutes,” he’s screaming, “we’re pulling our Drago endorsement!”

9:55 — Corr Still Optimistic

posted by on November 8 at 9:55 PM

Casey Corr may be down by 20 points in his race against Jan Drago, but he just told Amy Jenniges he’s still optimistic. However, Amy wonders if this spread and set of empty chairs is really the sign of an optimistic party:


Drago not only has 20 points on Corr but she also has cake at her party—plenty of yummy, yummy sheet cake.

9:50 — A Retort from the Mirabeau Room

posted by on November 8 at 9:50 PM

Dave Meinert writes from the Mirabeau Room, responding to Cindi Laws’s quote in the “More Monorail Wake” post:

Here at the Licata party. Most people here are pro-monorail, but Cindi Laws’s comment on the anti-monorail campaign’s “Rovian-Atwater-Rush Limbaugh tactics” is making people guffaw. First she had her Jewish conspiracy, now it’s the right-wing conspiracy. Maybe SMP was just plain stupid. How about that one. Run by incompetent nincompoops. Ever think of that?

9:45 pm — No on 912 Party

posted by on November 8 at 9:45 PM

Sarah Fischer reports from the No on 912 party. No on 912 spokesperson Andrew Villanueve says “The results are looking better than we’d ever hoped.” He explains that it’s neck and neck in swing counties like Clark; and the anti-tax measure isn’t passing by as big a margin as they’d feared in hostile counties. They don’t have the complete numbers, so they don’t want to call the race, but they’re optimistic.

Fischer says everyone is glued to the TV but people are enjoying themselves. It’s “much peppier” than the monorail party. Catering report: Starbucks coffee and your typical fruit and cheese platter.

UPDATE: 912 is currently going down: 50.7% no, 49.3% yes.

9:30 — Drago Looking Good

posted by on November 8 at 9:30 PM

Amy Jenniges reports that Jan Drago is thrilled with the second round of numbers, which put her up by 20 points over Casey Corr.

Earlier this week, her campaign manager asked whether she should get Casey’s phone number just in case Drago needed to call to congratulate him on election night. Drago replied: “No, it’s going to be the other way around.”

Then Amy asked: So, do you think he’s going to call?

“Hell, no,” Drago replied.


9:25 pm — 912 Currently Failing

posted by on November 8 at 9:25 PM

The 912 measure to rescind the gas tax funding crucial transportation and infrastructure projects around the state is currently failing by the slimmest of margins. The latest numbers, with some counties not reporting and some counties reporting partial results: Yes (rescind tax) 49.16%, No (retain tax) 50.84%.

One of the counties reporting only partial results is King, where the gas tax repeal is not expected to do well. So there’s hope.

9:23 p.m. — Speaking of Monorail Wake

posted by on November 8 at 9:23 PM

This is what the anti-Monorail party looked like:


9:20 — More Monorail Wake

posted by on November 8 at 9:20 PM

Erica C. Barnett was also at the Monorail party, where she ran into Cindi Laws, sitting at the Trattoria Mitchelli bar and wearing a jaunty pink suit. Asked how she felt, Laws said she felt “bitter.” She continued: “There’s a vast anti-monorail conspiracy at the state, county, and city levels to bring down this project with Rovian-Atwater-Rush Limbaugh tactics.” She sighed and said, “I’ve always been an idealist, an indomitable optimist… It will be hard to get that back.”

And that was before the first numbers came out, showing the monorail going down 67% to 33%. There was no reaction in the room when the numbers came, Barnett reports. Everyone had already assumed the monorail was dead.

9:15 — Monorail Wake

posted by on November 8 at 9:15 PM

Party Crasher just called in from the Monorail party, where he says the situation is “wrist-slittingly bad.” A lot of people preemptively wore black, he says, knowing that the tone would be funereal.

Then he went to the Conlin party, where he was greeted by “swanky” jazz music. (A. Birch Steen, also at the Conlin party, reported the jazz music as “excruciating.”) Red curtains line the walls at the Conlin party, and they’re serving roasted red peppers, Swedish meatballs, and offering a chocolate fondue fountain. (A. Birch Steen called the fountain “silly” and “smaller than the smallest one I just saw in Tahoe.”) The whole thing looked like a swinger’s party, Party Crasher said. (“Not like any swinger party I ever went to,” A. Birch Steen said, “but I haven’t been to one since the Rat Pack left Vegas for Palm Springs.”)

9:10 pm — Jan Drago HQ

posted by on November 8 at 9:10 PM

Amy Jenniges reports from the Seattle Glassblowing Studio. There’s a modest crowd, plenty of red wine, and a festive attitude. Drago is going between greeting people at the front door and scurrying into a back office to check the numbers.

There’s an untouched cake with Drago’s name on it:


Asked if she felt good about her current 60 percent figure, Drago leaned in and said, “Yes, that’s verrrry good.” Erin Thurston, Drago’s campaign manager, was watching for a second drop. She said they’re expecting the race to tighten up, but they think they’ve got it in the bag.

8:45 pm — Al Runte Party

posted by on November 8 at 8:45 PM

Place is Rock Salt on Westlake, a steak and seafood restaurant with a neon sign proclaiming “Seating Available.”

Brendan Kiley reports:

The Runte party is subdued but with a sense of quiet anticipation. Around thirty people, 10 of them enthusiastic high school Dems and the rest over 30. Catering report: There are meatballs, raw veggies, stuffed mushrooms. Runte was drinking a martini (sorry, we know you’d love one, but we got no photo.) The few other drinkers were having beer. None of the older folks seem to like Runte as much as they hate Nickels, but for one gray-bearded man, who keeps saying, “Al is one of my only friends.” Peter Steinbrueck stopped by: “Just making the rounds. Al is a good man, a principled man,” he continued. “A lot of people wish he’d gotten into the race earlier. I wish he’d gotten into it earlier.” I introduced myself to Al, saying I was from The Stranger, and was perhaps a persona non grata. “Not at all,” he laughed, and shook my hand. “As long as you spell my name right.” A few of the high school Dems cornered me: “What were you guys thinking when you endorsed Linda Averill? Why did you endorse the mayor? Can I tell you something? You don’t look like a Stranger writer.” I asked what a Stranger writer looked like, but we were interrupted by the gray-bearded man, who came to tell us that Al is one of his only friends.

8:40 — Dwight to Supporter: Fuck You

posted by on November 8 at 8:40 PM

Party Crasher just stopped at the Dwight Pelz party at Doc Maynard’s, where the chicken wings were still crispy and delicious. (“Because no one’s cried over them yet,” opined one Party Bus passenger.)

When the first results came in, Pelz made a speech, noting that the tally is currently 53 to 47 percent against him. But, he said, he is “still in the race.” Then he told the crowd there are “reasons to still feel good about this.” (But he left those reasons unspecified.)

Then Pelz started to thank his supporters, got a bit teary, and in general sounded as if he was making a concession speech. Someone from crowd shouted, “Do it again.”

Dwight shouted back: “Fuck you.”

8:35 — Savage Love @ Nickels’ Party

posted by on November 8 at 8:35 PM

Savage: I wish I could have voted for you
Nickels: So you still live on Vashon, then?
Savage: No, I live in the city now, and I voted for Runte.
Nickels: Well, you’re in the minority.
Savage: (Snaps the following picture of Nickels’ back as he turns away.)


8:30 p.m. — Sure, I’ll have another…

posted by on November 8 at 8:30 PM

Savage is now at the Nickels bash, and can’t take his eyes off the GIANT shrimp…


8:18 p.m. — Nickels Up, Monorail Down

posted by on November 8 at 8:18 PM


Nickels: 62 %
Runte: 37 %


YES: 33 %
NO: 67 %

8:17 pm — King County Reports

posted by on November 8 at 8:17 PM

The first batch of King County results are in. Conlin’s up over Paige Miller (60/40), Drago’s up over Casey Corr (60/40), Licata’s pounding Bascomb (75/25), and McIver is edging past Pelz (53/47).

8:15 — Smoke ‘em While You Still Can

posted by on November 8 at 8:15 PM

The first results are in on the Secretary of State’s web page, and the smoking ban is up by a huge margin, 63 percent to 37 percent. People at the I-901 party are crediting eastern Washington voters for the strong early lead, and are telling Savage this theory makes sense, since most of I-901’s bad press was in Western Washington.

8:10 pm — Update from Nickels HQ

posted by on November 8 at 8:10 PM

Amy Jenniges reports there’s an awful light jazz band playing — it’s like a desperate attempt to telegraph that Nickels supports the infamous “Seattle way.”

People are slowly filling in. But the Nickels folks seem mysteriously unconcerned with the results — the Ivar’s TV is mysteriously tuned to ESPN. How are they going to know when the first ballot drop happens?

8:08 p.m. — A Tense Wait for the Numbers

posted by on November 8 at 8:08 PM

At the I-901 party, Megan Sather checks the computer and sounds confident: “There’s tremendous public support, but I like to wait until every last vote is counted.”


8:05 pm — Live from Nickels HQ

posted by on November 8 at 8:05 PM

Josh Feit reports from the Nickels party at Ivar’s on the waterfront: Four young guys are setting up orange and blue streamers (Ed. note: these are Liveslogger’s alma mater colors.) A precocious West Seattle high school student named Travis Friedman, who was on the mayor’s youth council, tells Feit about the difference between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. He is wearing a stylish Art Deco tie and ends every response with an honorary “sir.”

When you walk in the front door, a sign on the door reads as follows:


Seems like a metaphor for Nickels’s recent anti-nightlife policies, Feit says, from expanding the JAT and strip-club regulations to forcing preemptive Community Good Neighbor Agreements on bars.

8:00 p.m. — Party Crasher on the Party Bus

posted by on November 8 at 8:00 PM

Party Crasher has just picked up the Party Bus in front of the Mirabeau Room in Lower Queen Anne, which oddly was the home tonight of both Nick Licata’s party and the Seattle Poetry Slam. Party Crasher is with two groups on the Greyhound-sized bus: Better Donkey and Music for America (which one of the Better Donkey people described as, “Kind of an incestuous group of political young people who like to drink”).

No one is getting motion sickness yet, but the evening is still young. The driver, Jim from Renton, says: “This looks like it’s going to be a fun night.” Party Crasher says: Pranks are being planned. Next stop: Dwight Pelz’s party, “before the party vibe dies.”

7:45 p.m. — Savage Lights Up a Conversation With the Anti-Smoking Folks

posted by on November 8 at 7:45 PM

At Kells, an Irish Pub in the market that went non-smoking way back when all of Ireland went non-smoking, Dan Savage cornered Nick Federici, director of governmental relations for the American Lung Association of Washington, and asked him if he would have left the the problematic 25-foot rule out of I-901 if he had the initiative to do all over again. (The 25-foot rule, close readers of The Stranger will remember, is the reason we didn’t endorse the initiative.) Federici replied: “Just because people don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.”

And Dave Delvallee, vice president of government relations of the American Cancer Society, said: “I think we would do it again, it’s good public health policy.”

That’s on the record. Off the record, Savage reports, a few people at the 901 party said they wished they’d left the problematic 25-foot rule out. But the true believers outnumbered the realists by 100 to 1.

Here’s Savage shaking hands with Federici, after he told him that despite The Stranger’s “no” endorsement, Savage himself voted for the smoking ban:


7:30 p.m. — Tipsy already…

posted by on November 8 at 7:30 PM

At the Alibi Room, where the Stranger Election Control Board began its evening…


TONIGHT — Live-Slogging the Election

posted by on November 8 at 7:15 PM

We’ve finally recovered from Primary Night, and just in time, since tonight the Stranger Election Control Board plans to clean itself up, don something approximating dress clothes, and dive back into the fancy world of political partying in honor of the General Election. We’ll bring you the latest news from the field as results come in, hearts are broken, careers are made, and about ten Stranger staffers get progressively drunker watching it all go down. (Oh, and we’ll bring our camera-phones again, so you can watch it all with us.)

Will former assistant professor Al Runte still be “breathing down the neck” of Mayor Greg Nickels when the night is over? Will anyone be able to stomach that visual if Casey Corr’s finger food turns out to be as bad as it was on Primary Night? Will there be a repeat of this love-in? Or this one? Will the headline on this post turn out to be oddly prescient? Will the heart-attack egg rolls make another appearance, and if so, will Party Crasher get sick on the Party Bus? Will Ron Sims still be smiling? Will Amy Jenniges find a party that tops also-ran Robert Rosencrantz’s wild, sexy bash? Will the monorail vote leave Erica C. Barnett, Dan Savage, and Josh Feit crying in their drinks?

Tune in starting at 7:30 p.m. for all the answers, delivered via the live-Slogging duo of Annie Wagner and Eli Sanders, who will be feigning an intense interest in city politics all evening. The first poll results come in at 8:15 p.m., the last at 11 p.m. Party on, citizens!

Re: Future Plans

posted by on November 8 at 5:54 PM

What about “immediate plans”? Can we still make those? How about short-term and/or long-term plans?

Sure, you can make them; just don’t call ‘em “future plans”—not around me, anyway.

When someone says they have plans, you do wonder if they’re talking about plans for lunch (immediate) or plans for world domination (future). Therefore, Mr. Segal, I don’t think “future plans” should be banned.

Dan, it is usually understood by the context whether the plans are immediate or long-term. Especially in print, “future plans” looks ugly. But I’m merely one word nerd whining into the void. Don’t mind me. I’ll be over on the fringes, fighting lost causes.

A Swede and New Jerseyite Walk Into a Club…

posted by on November 8 at 5:47 PM

The Baltic Room is the place to be tonight if you like challenging, danceable electronic music, as Sweden’s Andreas Tilliander and New Jersey’s Morgan Geist demonstrate what the 21st century sounds like. This show is co-sponsored by Red Bull Music Academy, more on which later.


posted by on November 8 at 5:16 PM

ZDNet has an interesting story about video games being used to help children with ADD. Using technology originally created by NASA, a company called CyberLearning Technologies has created a way to connect a child’s brain to their PlayStation 2. It’s some tricky shit:

BrainGames includes a helmet with three sensors, which can be easily attached to the head to measure brain waves. The data feeds a so-called smart box that hangs around the player’s neck and is hooked up to the PS2. The smart box is a modified game controller that collects a real-time signal from the brain, or a snapshot of brain activity every 30 seconds. The data is then processed with a program that affects the game.

One racing game, called “Burnout,” is modulated for speed. If the child is operating at peak performance and attention, the car will reach 100 mph. But if the child is tired or less attentive, the speed might fall to 70 mph, even when the game controls are pressed with the same exertion. The only way the child can get the car to go faster is to focus.

Having played “Burnout” on a number of occasions, usually on-line via XBox Live, the idea of an army of formerly Ritalin-addled kids running me off the road with their minds isn’t too exciting. Still, you have to give it up for innovation—even if that innovation leads to being called “fag” by pre-pubescent boys as they ram your car into oncoming traffic.

Re: Future Plans

posted by on November 8 at 5:01 PM

What about “immediate plans”? Can we still make those? How about short-term and/or long-term plans?

When someone says they have plans, you do wonder if they’re talking about plans for lunch (immediate) or plans for world domination (future). Therefore, Mr. Segal, I don’t think “future plans” should be banned.

Thank you.

amsterdam postcard, no. 2

posted by on November 8 at 4:03 PM

I’m in a narrow, several-stories-high coffeeshop not far from Dam Square and I’ve just eaten a hash bonbon. I’m starting to feel weird.

“Future Plans”

posted by on November 8 at 3:52 PM

Pitchfork today ran this headline: QOTSA’s Josh Homme Discusses Future Plans.

Can we please retire this construction? All plans are future plans. Newsflash: You can’t plan for the past. This is as bad as “free gift” in the realm of redundant phrases.


posted by on November 8 at 2:23 PM

This is pretty damn funny.

Re: Lame band slogans

posted by on November 8 at 2:00 PM

If you think that PR hype is lame, wait till you hear the music: It’s the weediest, ugliest new-wave/electro-pop pastiche I’ve ever heard. Totally indefensible. Can’t understand why the usually right-on Fat Possum threw one rotten penny toward Gil Mantera’s Party Dream.

Gil Mantera pt. 2

posted by on November 8 at 2:00 PM

Ok, so I had to hear what kind of band—Gil Mantera’s Party Dream—would list the slogan I posted previously…and it’s worse than I imagined. In fact, it’s one of the worst records I’ve heard in a while. I expected bare bones cock rock from that plug—instead what we have here are fey, derivative vocals over derivative ’80s synth pop. And by fey, I mean the wrists barely hang above heart level here. Sure some of the vocoder choruses can be kinda catchy at moments, but lines like Rain, rain go away, think about grey clouds another day/ I got plans to make everything all right/all right/tonight it’s got to be mine are worse than most eyeliner emo bands out there. This is the debut release on Audio Eagle, the label owned by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys? Ouch. His taste in other bands is as bad as the Black Keys. These songs make Jann Hammer sound like Nine Inch Nails.

Lame band slogans

posted by on November 8 at 1:44 PM

I know every PR writer is trying hard to get their band noticed, but do they really have to use lines like this one (for Gil Mantera’s Party Dream): “If you have a dick they’ll make you jealous and if you have a pussy they’ll fuck you”? Wow, that’s sure impressive.

I Heart Joaquin Phoenix

posted by on November 8 at 1:04 PM

As Salon’s The Fix gleefully reported today, Joaquin Pheonix is the hottest Freak of Nature in Hollywood.

“Do I have a large frog in my hair?” he asked a reporter on the red carpet last Friday at the LA premier of Walk the Line. “Something’s crawling out of my scalp.”
When someone shouted that he “looked great,” Phoenix said, “No, but I feel it. I’m not worried about the looks. I’m worried about the sensation of my brain being eaten … What did you ask me?”

Sigh. Some people should have microphones permanently stapled to their faces.

An Army of Dumb

posted by on November 8 at 12:39 PM

Americablog points to this story from the Baltimore Sun on how the Pentagon made its recruitment quota for the month of October. Choice quote:

To achieve last month’s recruiting targets, 12 percent of those accepted by the Army had the lowest acceptable results. They scored between 16 and 30 points out of a possible 99 on an aptitude test that quizzes potential soldiers on general science, mathematics and word knowledge.

Good thing fighting wars isn’t, you know, challenging or anything.

Three More Years! Three More Years!

posted by on November 8 at 12:32 PM

I’ve pointed this sad fact out on SLOG last week and today the New York Times makes the same point—and, no, I’m not saying the Times is lifting talking points from the likes of me. The New Yorker has decried this same sad fact, and everywhere I went on my book tour people brought it up.

George W. Bush has three more years—more than three, actually—left in office. From the editorial column in today’s NYT:

After President Bush’s disastrous visit to Latin America, it’s unnerving to realize that his presidency still has more than three years to run. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can’t afford an American government this bad for that long.

Okay, NYT, so the world can’t live afford an American government this bad for that long. Agreed. So what do you propose we do about it? Considering the lies, cronyism, incompetence, and man-made disasters that Bush has inflicted on this country and the world, and considering the groundwork Bush has laid for future disasters through his refusal to address global warming, shouldn’t an editorial pointing out the fact that the world can’t afford an American government this bad for that long end with something stronger than a call for Dick Cheney to kept “too busy attending funerals and acting as the chairman of studies” to do more harm? Isn’t the problem ultimately George W. Bush? And if we can’t afford three more years of lies, corruption, cronyism, and incompetence, shouldn’t your editorial end with a call for impeachment?

Pass the mic…from the CD to the big screen

posted by on November 8 at 11:48 AM

After watching the entertaining new rap biopic, 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’, I thought about how quickly mainstream rap stars are to capitalize on their stardom and spin their stories into multiple mediums. It’s a smart plan, as mainstream rap stardom doesn’t seem to get hurt by “selling underground cred” as much as rock culture—the more products a rapper hawks, the more ways kids buy into that fame. That said, I’m waiting for the first “young rock biopic” to come out—I wonder if we’ll get to a place where a band will offer their story for the screen barely a decade out from being able to legally drive. Imagine what could be offered for filmgoers—the Libertines stumble from top UK act to suffer under a heroin-addicted lead singer (taking the Universe’s Top Model down with him). Or Green Day taking the Gillman Street aesthetic to the people and using that momentum for the major labels and to attack George Bush. I’m not being entirely flip here…Get Rich (and 8 Mile, which I really loved) have gotten me thinking about the real differences in music, ones that compel a music celebrity to go for broke on the big screen. Of course, gun violence and emotional hardship are laid out much more bare in rap music than with most rock acts, turning movies into a more visual form of story telling for the former genre then what’s on disc. Still, an interesting topic to consider.

Phillips calls for Perjury Investigation

posted by on November 8 at 10:50 AM

This morning, as voters began heading to the polls, King County Councilman Larry Phillips formally requested that a perjury investigation be opened into the scores of false voter challenges issued by King County Republican Vice-Chair Lori D. Sotelo.

Read the letter from Phillips to King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng here.


posted by on November 8 at 10:49 AM

Today is the day, don’t forget to vote. The polls are open until 8:00 p.m.

Seattle Center Suicide: It’s True

posted by on November 8 at 10:49 AM

And here’s the Seattle Times report.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Arresting Developments

posted by on November 7 at 5:29 PM

Few TV programs show the consistent commitment to smart humor as Arrested Development. Themes of awkward adolescence, awkward 30-somethings, and awkward family relationships due to an imprisoned father (hiding in the family attic while his brother seduces his wife) are turned into sharp comic fodder on a regular basis. I just finished watching the last season on DVD and the new season starts up again tonight on Fox. The cast includes David Cross (as the closeted gay man), Jason Bateman (in a very Michael J. Fox on Family Ties mode) and Portia de Rossi as well as a crew of talented newcomers. Thank god TV isn’t always this funny—otherwise I’d be forever glued to my set.

Seattle Center Suicide?

posted by on November 7 at 5:09 PM

I just got this Hot Tip in my Last Days inbox:

Suicide occured at seattle center outside the center house. I don’t know much about it, but my family members were terrified and we still don’t know what’s going on. A New year celebration was occuring at the time. The guy slit his throat apparently and then ran through the center house while the officers try to capture him.

I did some Googling and local news searching and can find nothing about anyone committing suicide at Seattle Center this weekend….if anyone has any info, please share it in the Slog Forum.

Wouldn’t it be nice…

posted by on November 7 at 4:30 PM

…if Mike Love and Paul McCartney made a suicide pact? They mutually hold the title of “musicians I’ve disliked the longest.”

Love is now suing Brian Wilson over the release of Smile.

The end of the news as we know it, Part 2

posted by on November 7 at 4:22 PM

My post earlier today, which linked to this flash “history” of what’s going to happen to the media as we know it over the next decade or so, inspired a couple of avid Slog readers to send in their own links to proof of the end of the media as we know it.

One offered a link to today’s Seattle Times:

Circulation declines at both of Seattle’s daily newspapers accelerated in the past six months, with the Post-Intelligencer showing the sharper daily drop — down 9 percent during the six-month period ended Sept. 30, compared with the similar period a year ago.

The Seattle Times’ circulation for the period fell 7 percent and the papers’ combined Sunday circulation was down 5 percent.

And the other offered a link to this report on a recent blog conference in Manhattan, where the writer had an epiphany that led him to a prediction simlar to that found in the flash “history”.

(Thanks for writing, Slog fans. And first-time flash “history” watchers, you may need to refresh your browser to get it to start.)

Killer Blog

posted by on November 7 at 3:51 PM

James Keown, a radio talk-show host in Jefferson City, Missouri, was arrested today for allegedly murdering his wife. Authorities believe he spiked her Gatorade with anti-freeze.

Prosecutors said he slowly poisoned Julie Keown, 31, with ethylene glycol while the couple were living in Massachusetts in 2004… The couple moved to Waltham, Mass., from Missouri in 2004. In May of that year, Julie Keown, a registered nurse, began suffering from nausea, vomiting and dizziness and developed a rash on her leg. She slipped into a coma in September and died.

What does it say about talk-show hosts that one could do this to his wife? And what does it say about Gatorade that even a regular Gatorade drinker can’t tell when her Gatorade has been spiked with anti-freeze?

James Keown has a blog, and it’s still up. There are pictures of his co-workers, his current girlfriend (talk about dodging a bullet!), and her dog. But check out the comments section—it’s quickly filling up with messages from people who don’t approve of inflicting an agonizing and slow death on another human being. It’s pretty entertaining/distressing reading. More interesting than the comments from readers, though, are the banal posts that James put up on his blog shortly before his arrest. I found this post to be particularly poignant:

I have a confession to make. Today it was sunny and 74 degrees—and I skipped out of work during the middle of the day. There are not going to be many more days like this.

No there aren’t, James. Not for you.

UPDATE: James says, “Drink up!”


More than 140? … Part 2

posted by on November 7 at 3:34 PM

I just got off the phone with Susan Shery, chair of the King County Democrats, who says Democrats have been busy poring over that list of 1,945 voters who Republicans fingered as being illegally registered to P.O. boxes and storage units. And while the Republicans have so far admitted 140 errors on their list, Shery says Democrats have found hundreds more voters on the list who Republicans have erroneously challenged. In addition, Shery says, 535 people on the Republicans’ list are inactive voters — meaning they haven’t voted in the last four or so presidential elections, and thus aren’t very likely to be committing vote fraud in this off-year election.

If this is true — and it seems in line with what I’m hearing from Slog readers — then State Republican Chair Chris Vance’s claim of an only 10-percent error rate on the Republican list is way off.

My rough calculations put the Republicans’ error rate at closer to 20 percent, if the Democrats are right.

I asked Shery whether the Democrats are considering a lawsuit over all the erroneous challenges, which were made by Republican party official Lori Sotelo “under penalty of perjury.” The short answer is yes.

“We’ll be looking at that after the election,” Shery told me. “This is a warm-up for 2006. They’re going to do this everywhere, they’re bragging about it.”

Perverse Measure of Success, Part 2

posted by on November 7 at 3:32 PM

The AP reports that four soldiers died in a suicide bombing today south of Baghdad. The opening paragraph of the story, by the A.P. writer Robert H. Reid, pretty much captures the spirit of what has become, in my mind, The Groundhog’s Day War.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle at a checkpoint south of Baghdad and killed four American soldiers Monday, the military said. The U.S. command also announced five soldiers from an elite unit were charged with kicking and punching Iraqi detainees.

Suicide bombers and IEDs kill American soldiers; American soldiers brutalizing Iraqi detainees—same shit, same story, different day. But, hey, according to the latest Bush administration spin, there’s a bright side to the death of every U.S. soldier: It could have been worse. On Friday I caught U.S. general being interviewed on NPR. Just looking at the numbers of U.S. deaths presented a distorted picture, he said, because…

…the actual number of attacks has gone up, but the rate at which they’re inflicting casualties has not risen correspondingly.

More attacks, more IEDs, more deaths… but the death toll is not rising as fast as you might think, based on the rising number of attacks. So when you hear that four soldiers died, you should think, “Hey, we’re making progress! A year ago that bomb would probably have killed eight soldiers!”

I linked to the interview on Saturday because I thought it was so creepily Orwellian. But here it is again, in case you want to listen.

Want to spend tomorrow night in a hotel room with Jack Jolley?

posted by on November 7 at 3:13 PM

If my earlier list of election night parties wasn’t enough, here’s an even bigger list, including school board candidates, Port of Seattle candidates (including the aforementioned Jack Jolley, who’ll be in a room at the Westin), and even King County sheriff frontrunner, Sue Rahr.

And remember that Party Bus I mentioned? The organizers just bumped up to a bigger bus and there are 12 seats left, if you want to join in on the fun. You know you do!

Hey guys!

So tomorrow night, [Music for America] is teaming up with to bring you the ELECTION NIGHT CANDIDATE PARTY BUS! No joke. We are renting a bus, and we are going to use it to go to a bunch of fun political parties, where we can root for people we like. The Stranger’s Party Crasher will be coming with us to document the insanity. The bus will leave from the Mirabeau at 7:30 pm tomorrow, and get back there for Nick Licata’s party around 10:30. It’s going to be nuts.

I know you want to come! All you have to do is have $15 bucks to help us pay for the bus. Then, email me at or call me at (206)715-5483. There is exceedingly limited space available, so get on this shit fast!


Good Eatin’

posted by on November 7 at 2:38 PM

A friend recently recommended the fairly new restaurant Black Bottle, and after hitting the place last weekend, I’m passing along the recommendation here. The cozy Belltown space was packed on the Friday night we went, but the candle-lit tables feel oddly intimate. Despite how elegant the place looks, everything on the menu is only $8 and is served to be shared with friends. (The menu offers a mix of gourmet meat, seafood, and veggie plates). I recommend the mushrooms and the flat breads if you go, and the wines are equally affordable. The only downside, Black Bottle doesn’t take reservations and once the bar packs up there’s little room to stand around, but with this place a little patience offers a great reward.

More Help for Bicyclists

posted by on November 7 at 2:36 PM

This tidbit was in the Getting There column in the Seattle P-I today:

A new bicycle safety law is now in effect, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission points out. It’s now a traffic violation to pass another vehicle when bicyclists are approaching in the oncoming lane or on the shoulder. The law stems from a May 2004 crash near Walla Walla that killed a bicyclist. House Bill 1108 extended the legal zone of protection for bicyclists and pedestrians to highway shoulders and bicycle lanes. The law states that it is illegal to use the left-hand side of the road to pass when a bicyclist or pedestrian is within view and approaching from the opposite direction.

I find this weekly column oddly compelling, and always read it, even though I hate driving. It addresses all sorts of getting-around issues, however, including those related to bicycle, bus, and feet.

Is that a petition in your pocket?

posted by on November 7 at 2:06 PM

At 11:00 this morning, a group of strip-club representatives calling itself Seattle Citizens for Free Speech (for what form of expression, indeed, is more sacred than erotic dancing?) turned in 27,000 signatures to the city clerk (more than twice as many as required), guaranteeing that a referendum to repeal tough new strip-club regulations will go to a citywide vote, probably next fall.

The rules, passed in September, would ban lap dances, require bright lighting in strip clubs, and prohibit direct tipping, among other new restrictions. At a public hearing last summer, hundreds of strippers spoke at a hearing on the ordinance at city hall, arguing that the rules would put Seattle’s three existing strip clubs out of business and destroy dancers’ livelihoods. They had a point: After Bellevue passed similar regulations, its two strip clubs shut their doors.

Seattle Citizens for Free Speech plans to turn in another 5,000 to 7,000 signatures tomorrow, the deadline to hand over petitions to the city clerk. The last time citizens attempted to overturn a council ordinance by petition was in 1974; and the last time they were successful was in 1969, when voters rejected a $1-a-month tax to build a mass transit system in the city.

Election Night Parties!

posted by on November 7 at 12:50 PM

As reported last Friday—when Casey Corr naively refused to tell the Stranger where his election night party will be—we’re assembling a party-circuit guide. If you want to do shots at Nickels’ coronation, cry in your wine as the monorail goes down, or get in your last indoor cigarette before smoking is banned almost entirely, here’s where to go.

And whether you head out or stay in, tune into Slog for up-to-the minute news on who’s winning, who’s losing, and who’s drunk.

(The parties get going at 8 pm, right after the polls close)

Greg Nickels: Ivar’s Acres of Clams at Pier 54, 1001 Alaskan Way

Richard Conlin: Merchant’s CafĂ©, 109 Yesler Way

Paige Miller: 711 West Kinnear Place

Jan Drago: Seattle Glassblowers’ Studio, 2207 5th (between Bell and Blanchard)

Casey Corr: T.S. McHugh’s, 21 Mercer (near Queen Anne Ave N)

Nick Licata: Mirabeau Room, 529 Queen Anne Ave N

Paul Bascomb: Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave South

Dwight Pelz: Doc Maynard’s, 601 1st Avenue

Richard McIver: Four Seas Restaurant, 714 South King Street

Yes on Monorail: A.K.A. Transit Over Roads, 2045 Seattle, Cindi Laws and Cleve
Stockmeyer, Trattoria Mitchelli, 84 Yesler (at Western)

Other happenings Tuesday night include a Party Bus slated to make the rounds (with our Party Crasher on board!), ending the night at Mirabeau Room, where the city’s wonkiest citizens will no doubt have spent the entire night parsing election return data. And King County Democrats will be cutting a rug at the Westin all night.

More parties after the cut.

Continue reading "Election Night Parties!" »

Goodbye, Crazy Tom.

posted by on November 7 at 12:42 PM

Tom Cruise has fired his sister/publicist. For years Cruise had a sterling public image thanks to tightly controlled interviews from desperate/fawning media outlets. Tom’s sister took over in 2004, and she’s widely credited with encouraging Tom to be Tom—which didn’t turn out so well, as Tom quickly revealed himself to be a couch-jumping, crackpot-religion-pushing, young-actress-impregnating, beloved-morning-talk-show-host-accosting nutcase.

Variety has the story.

With Tom under new management, we most likely won’t be treated to any more Crazy Tom antic—which is too bad, really. It was thrilling watching one of the most successful, wealthiest actors in Hollywood destroy his career. We probably won’t hear anything off-message from Cruise until he divorces Katie Holmes after 9.5 years of marriage.

More than 140?

posted by on November 7 at 12:14 PM

For those just tuning in, a brief recap: Last week nearly 2,000 voters in King County received letters challenging their right to vote. Those letters were generated by the King County Republican Party, and were signed, “under penalty of perjury,” by an east-side woman named Lori Sotelo, who leads the Republcan’s “Voter Registration Integrity Project.”

Ms. Sotelo, it turned out, was wrong on at least 140 counts, which led to an embarrassing Friday for her and others in her party. The Republicans were going after voters who are registered to a storage unit or P.O. box — which is illegal — but they ended up challenging a significant number of voters whose registration addresses are obviously not storage units or P.O. boxes.

They’ve apologized for the 140 mistakes, and have withhdrawn those challenges. But might there be more mistakes on their long list of 1,945 voters whose registrations they challenged over the P.O. box issue?

This weekend I posted the long list, and asked people to email me if they had been wrongly challenged, but were not on the list of those getting an apology and a withdrawal of their challenge by the Republicans. I’ve now heard of a number of people who seem to have been wrongly challenged but are not on the list of 140. More on that later, but meanwhile…

Are the Republicans going through their longer list with a fine-toothed comb to make sure they didn’t issue more than 140 erroneous challenges? I just spoke to State Republican Party Chair Chris Vance, and the answer is no. “It’s the day before the election,” he said. “There’s nothing at this point we can do about it.”

However, he did seem open to the possibilty of withdrawing more challenges if we show there are more than 140 challenges that need to be withdrawn. So, again: Take a look at the list of 140. Then take a look at this list of 1,945. If you’re on the second, but not the first, and you think you’ve been challenged in error, email me.

Tragic DMBQ Accident

posted by on November 7 at 10:55 AM

It’s been reported on numerous music websites that Japanese noise/garage band DMBQ had a fatal accident over the weekend. The band was reportedly on I-95 near Delaware when their van rolled, killing drummer Mana “China” Nishiura (who also drums for Shonen Knife) and hospitalizing the rest of the band members and their manager, Michelle Cable from Panache Magazine/booking. Cable is said to have undergone surgery for a head injury and is recovering, as are most of the other DMBQ band members. If you have more information, please post it here. The Nov. 13th Sunset show that was supposed to feature DMBQ has been turned into a Seattle memorial for China.

I Hate the Monorail: The Media Made Me Do It

posted by on November 7 at 10:23 AM

Last Friday, the PI ran a story based on state treasurer’s Mike Murphy’s analysis (suspiciously released just a few days before the election) trashing the monorail.

Understandably, monorail supporters protested that Murphy was illegally using his public office to campaign against a ballot proposition. Murphy responded that publicizing his analysis was fair because he was answering a request from the media.

Isn’t that Karl Rove’s line?

However (read below), it turns out the request was actually made by anti-monorail campaigners.

Unfortunately, if the media did a request for Murphy’s analysis (even if it was originally done at the behest of the anti-monorail campaign), Murphy can still correctly claim that he’s simply honoring the media’s anti-monorail agenda innocent request.

Um….fair enough. But how about the article itself?

Seems like there were some problems. Check out this e-mail exchange between the agency and the PI after the article ran.

Continue reading "I Hate the Monorail: The Media Made Me Do It" »

Adoption Costs Big Money, Nicole

posted by on November 7 at 10:19 AM

Nicole Brodeur left an important detail out her column in Sunday’s Seattle Times.

Brodeur weighed in on the lesbian custody dispute that prompted a groundbreaking Washington State Supreme Court ruling last week. Two women had a child together with the help/spunk of a friend. Six years later, the women split, the bio-mom married the sperm donor, and then attempted to prevent the non-biological mother from seeing the child—a child she had helped raise since birth. (This seems to happen with alarming frequency—lesbians with kids split the the bio mom attempts to deny the non-bio mom her rights. These women should be slapped.) The State Supremes ruled that the non-bio parent is a legal parent, under the law. “Court Redefines Parenthood,” screamed the front-page Seattle Times headline. (As Amy Jenniges pointed out on Slog last week, the Seattle Times seemed to be intentionally employing the alarmist rhetoric of the religious right.)

After observing that heterosexuals are not exactly being in a good position to condemn gay parents—because some men are relieved to discover, live on the Maury or Montel, that DNA tests proved they’re not the father of some slag’s poor unfortunate child—Brodeur gently condemns the non-bio mom for not adopting the baby when she was born.

But, like Dorothy stuck in Oz, she apparently didn’t know she had the power to be where she wanted all along: adoption. Taking that step when the girl was first born, and before Carvin’s relationship with Britain ended, would have given Carvin parental rights without the state Supreme Court’s help—and without the cheers, hand-wringing and likelihood of an appeal that followed Thursday’s ruling…. Gay couples have known this for years.

Well, yes.

Most gay and lesbian couples with kids know that a second-parent adoption, as they’re called, grants a non-biological parent all the rights a bio-parent enjoys. Carvin would have had her parental rights protected if she had adopted her daughter when she was born. But Brodeur doesn’t mention that doing a second-parent adoption would have cost Carving shitload of money—anywhere from ten to thirty thousand dollars. A second-parent adoption is a long, expensive process, and so it’s not enough to simply shrug and say, “Gee, why didn’t she adopt?” It’s entirely possible that Carvin didn’t have the money—or, if they she did, it’s possible that she and her ex used the money they could have been spent on a second-parent adoption to buy a car or make a down-payment on a house. A second-parent adoption would probably have been cheaper than a lawsuit, true, but immediate needs—housing, food, clothes, shelter—tend to take precedence over outcomes—breakups, custody battles—that seem unlikely when a child is born.

Perhaps Carvin can be faulted for not doing a second-parent adoption—but the expense of a second-parent adoption has to be factored in. Leaving out that detail makes Carvin seem careless to folks who don’t know what a second-parent adoption costs and Brodeur seem glib to those who do.

The end of the news as we know it

posted by on November 7 at 9:00 AM

We have the sense that a lot of journalists in town read the Slog. With them in mind, here’s a flash “history” of what’s going to happen to the media as we know it over the next decade or so. Happy Monday!

(You may have to hit refresh to get the flash presentation going.)

Amsterdam postcard

posted by on November 7 at 6:06 AM

The dollar is horrible, the boat where I’m staying is gezellig, the thugish straight guys in straight bars are wearing purses (the new thing?), Rembrandt is still dead, swans abound, the sun is here and there, the nighttime tour of the zoo on Friday was mostly a bust (and entirely in Dutch), the gay bars are raunchier than Seattle but nothing like Berlin, the bike I’ve rented is a beauty, the bell works, the four men behind the counter here in the Mac store on Raadhuisstraat are the four most attractive young men currently living, and I have a copy of Franny and Zooey in my pocket and all afternoon. But I wanted to say hi.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Where’s Lori?

posted by on November 6 at 2:38 PM

Eli & I drove out (in the scary pouring rain) to Mercer Island yesterday afternoon to ring Lori Sotelo’s doorbell.

Taking the basic step that Sotelo failed to take when she, under an oath of perjury, officially challeneged 1800+ King County residents’ right to vote, we wanted to see if she actually lived at the address that she listed on her voter registration.

We also had a few questions for her: For example, what are the names of the volunteers and interns that she’s blaming for her “mistake” (i.e.,possibly committing perjury.) We’d like to ask these fall guys and gals, who are now taking the blame for the Republicans’ orchestrated strategy of voter intimidation, what they think about Sotelo and Chris Vance passing the buck.

What did we find at Sotelo’s so-called residence? Not Lori Sotelo. There was a bulky, dark-haired man climbing into a mini-SUV and driving off alone just as we pulled up. Unless Lori is a bulky dark-haired man, we’re just not convinced anyone named Lori lived there. No one answered the door.

Very very suspicious.

Audio Slog

posted by on November 6 at 9:26 AM

Earlier this year I wrote a long piece for The Stranger about a rather grisly gay-bashing. To read the piece click here, and for the follow-up stories click here and here.

It took me months to complete the whole project, and in the end I was left with hours of digital audio recordings of my interviews with the victim, Micah Painter, and other people involved in the case. This weekend I finally learned how to edit audio on my computer, which makes it easy to, for example, post a clip of Micah recounting the moments before he was stabbed by his attackers. To listen to an MP3 of this, click here.

I’m just learning how to use Audacity, so let me know if the levels are off, and sorry the clip is so short — I’ll try to figure out how to post longer MP3s on the Slog, and then perhaps we can listen to an audio version of Micah’s story over a few Slog installments.