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Archives for 01/01/2006 - 01/07/2006

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Republican Sen. Finkbeiner to Support Washington Gay Rights Bill

posted by on January 7 at 6:30 PM

According to Horsesass and Progressive Majority, state senator Bill Finkbeiner (R-Redmond) recently told a group of his constituents that this year he will be voting for House Bill 1515, the gay civil rights bill that has been shot down in the Washington State legislature for 30 years running.

If true, this is huge news for gay rights in Washington. The bill — which would specifically prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in housing, employment, and financial transactions — lost in the state senate last year by just one vote. If Finkbeiner is finally changing back to his original position on gay rights (the one he held back when he was a Democrat), then it’s almost certain that the gay civil rights bill will pass this year.

Maybe this news has something to do with Finkbeiner’s new challenger for the November elections. Or maybe it has more to do with Finkbeiner no longer being the Senate minority leader, and therefore no longer being required to stand as an exemplar of the Republican party’s anti-gay politics. But whatever the reason, this news is going to make a lot of gay rights activists in this state very happy. (If true.)

Bloggers Advise Democrats

posted by on January 7 at 4:35 PM

Yesterday afternoon, the Friday afternoon before the 2006 legislative session was set to begin (it starts on Monday), a gang of Democratic bloggers, including blogging BMOC David Goldstein of HorsesAss, held a symposium in Olympia to school Democrats about the local lefty blogosphere and how to use it.

The conference—organized by 18-year-old blogger Andrew Villeneuve, chair of his own grassroots project, the Northwest Progressive Institute, and Lynn Allen from Evergreen Politics blog —was held in a hearing room in the Capitol building and drew about 30 folks.

Two Democratic Reps —Zach Hudgins from the 11th (South Seattle, Burien, SeaTac, Renton) and Deb Wallace from the 17th (Vancouver) showed up—as did Gov. Gregoire’s new communications director, Holly Armstrong. Also on hand: lots of staffers for Democratic legislators. Mostly, though, the room was packed with bloggers.

It was a pretty self-congratulatory session, with, for example, Goldstein explaining how his “David Irons Hits His Mom” story provided a devestating left hook to the suddenly surging Irons. (Our own SLOG got props from Washblog’s Ray Minchew, who credited us for the Lori Sotelo voter challenge story.)

Basically, though, the bloggers’ advice to the Democratic Party was simple: Leak your stories to the bloggers first. The partisan bloggers will run with your speaking points, create a buzz, and force the media to pick up on it.

Ironically, I thought the best advice of the day concerned a comparatively archaic technology: Radio. Michael Hood, whose blog,Blatherwatch, monitors the right-wing talk radio shows, advised Democratic politicians to go on right-wing radio every chance they get. Democrats, Hood explained, make the mistake of blowing off right-wing radio because they think either, they won’t get a fair shake or that the audience won’t be receptive to their message. Hood said that while the callers will be hostile, the hosts are courteous, and there are tons of independent voters tuning in. The producers put the combative callers on the air because it makes for better radio, but ultimately, it’s another chance to get your message out. When Ds make the mistake of not going on, Hood said, the Dems just look like sissies. And bottom line: The Democratic POV just gets bashed. Hood’s advice: Get on and bash back.

The Final Tally

posted by on January 7 at 3:53 PM

Yikes. By the time Friday’s 5:00 deadline for applications to fill the city council seat formerly held by Jim Compton rolled around, 99 council hopefuls had put their names in the running, most of them almost literally at the last minute. The final batch of names includes dozens of political unknowns; several candidates - among them mayoral staffer Timothy Durkan, former council member Sue Donaldson, and two-time council candidate Robert Rosencrantz - who had long been rumored to be running; and a handful of new names that council members called “strong contenders,” among them Sally Clark, Stella Chao and Russ Brubaker. Council members will decide Monday on a strategy for selecting the top dozen or so candidates, and have until January 26 to choose Compton’s successor.

A full list of all the contenders is below the jump.

Continue reading "The Final Tally" »

DeLay Out

posted by on January 7 at 10:34 AM


Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay decided Saturday to give up his post as House majority leader, clearing the way for new leadership elections among Republicans eager to shed the taint of scandal, two officials said.

These officials said DeLay, R-Texas, was preparing a letter informing fellow House Republicans of his decision. These officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt the formal announcement.

Beyond Comprehension

posted by on January 7 at 12:09 AM

If a life-threatening stroke is god’s punishment to Ariel Sharon for splitting up Israel, it’s hard to imagine what the fuck the rest of us did to deserve this… (click image for video)

Friday, January 6, 2006

This is No Game

posted by on January 6 at 10:37 PM

It’s as real as a beggar squatting by the side of the road, begging, and then you realize, Uh-oh, he’s not begging..

Fighting Dems

posted by on January 6 at 10:19 PM

Hey, Josh: Kos has written a lot about Iraq vets running for Congress—and all the Iraq vets running seem to be Dems. In fact, Kos’ regular posts about this subject are called “Fighting Dems.” Read all about ‘em here. It would be swell if we could find a local fighting Dem to run against Reichert. I’ll write the first check.

Iraq Vet to Challenge Reichert in the 8th

posted by on January 6 at 10:16 PM

Well, not yet. But I think it’s a great idea. Ever since Paul Hackett almost took out a Republican in Ohio’s heavily-Republican 2nd District, the DCCC has been spooging over the idea of Iraq Vets as candidates. An Iraq Vet candidate in the 8th District (the East Side) would likely get a lot of national DCCC money to take out Reichert.

So, here’s the deal. Back in June 2004, I did a column on an Iraq vet that I met while reporting on a Kerry meetup in a basement conference room at a Doubletree hotel in Bellevue. This Dem Iraq vet took the floor and captivated the room.

His name was Chris Kashfia. He was charismatic, well-spoken, macho, handsome, and 27-years-old. (Old enough to be a member of Congress.)

Chris Kashfia, if you are out there, or if anyone out there reading the SLOG knows how to find Chris Kashfia, tell him he should run against Reichert.

All the Pros

posted by on January 6 at 5:27 PM

Here’s a couple from my list…I’m for MySpace where for every three shitty bands there’s one that blows my mind. I’m for art galleries like No Space hosting under the radar shows and club nights. I’m for the new club night at Vito’s on Sundays, even though I’ve never been (it just sounds like good people throwing a night in a good space). All in all I’m for music fans throwing shows and club nights in spaces that rarely get used for such endeavors. I’m also for a bottle of wine (or two) and a romantic dinner at Matt’s in the Market. I’m for a sloppy punk show at the Fun House…and I’m for the music industry vet I know who sent me an email saying he’d kicked a nasty coke habit nine months ago and has been clean and sober ever since.


posted by on January 6 at 5:22 PM

Watch Brad Pitt get kidnapped here.

What I’m For

posted by on January 6 at 5:16 PM

I’m for the triumphant return of Neko Case, whose forthcoming release of Fox Confessor Brings the Flood will leave more people swooning in the aisles than her topless appearance at the Grand `Ole Opry. It also features the brilliant casting of our own Rachel Flotard as a back-up vocalist, a role she will purportedly assume when Case hits the road this spring. For those of you who can’t wait to hear this PJ Harvey-channeling-Patsy Cline masterpiece, mark your calendars for March 7th, when Anti Records will release Fox.

Oh, and for the record, I’m actually the sole Stranger writer who is for smoking in some bars (unless, ahem, Bethany and Brad are wisely keeping mum). Go ahead and ban it in the music venues, but not in those lovely blue collar dives (where people go to die anyway). Sorry Dan—please don’t fire me.

What I’m For…

posted by on January 6 at 5:12 PM

I am with Annie in believing that the law doesn’t apply to me while I’m biking. I don’t stop at stoplights if I can avoid it, I ride on the sidewalk when it suits me, and I don’t care if it gives bikers a bad name.

I am, in the end, in favor of people like Max Hardcore and Mike Hunt, even though I don’t want to be.

I am, like Annie and Dan, in favor of straight guys getting fucked in the ass by their girlfriends, as long as they wouldn’t really rather have someone like me providing that service, in which case I am more in favor of that.

I am for Cyndi Lauper, I don’t care what you say.

I am for driving around with only one working headlight for a year.

I am for carbs.

And I am for ditching the so-called “two-day waiting period,” even when everyone advises you to play it cool and not call him again so quickly.

I’m Pro-That

posted by on January 6 at 5:11 PM

First, let me explain that I am possibly the squarest individual in the office.

But I am PRO dogs in bars. And cats in hallways, especially the fluffy Mr. Dogg who haunts the hallways of my apartment during the rain, defying the proscription recently written into our lease.

I’m PRO eating food off the ground. And not washing one’s hands.

I am also PRO riding bicycles on the sidewalk, especially when one’s rear red light has been stolen and one must ride in the dark.

I’m PRO bad television featuring hot gay sex, especially the otherwise reprehensible American version of Queer As Folk.

I am PRO performance art.

I am PRO strip clubs.

I am also pro straight girls penetrating straight male butts, but only in moderation, and I’m glad my boyfriend never reads this SLOG.

I am definitely PRO massive quantities of white cheddar popcorn, high-fat ice cream, stinky cheese, milk chocolate, and olives.

I am pro radiators, which is radical in this age of dry, gross electric heat.

The Week’s End

posted by on January 6 at 5:06 PM

At this very moment, I’m listening to a song that has amazed my imagination since it was released in 1985 (and has been the subject of several nightmares), Grace Jones’ “Slave To The Rhythm.” Two points to make: one, those who want to locate the roots of my Hegelisms will find them in that song, in Grace Jones’ voice and words. Two, “Slave To The Rhythm” is the perfect song to end the working week.

Slave To The Rhythm

Work all day, as men who know,
Wheels must turn to keep, to keep the flow,

Build on up, don’t break the chain,
Sparks will fly, when the whistle blows,

Never stop the action,
Keep it up, keep it up,

Work to the rhythm,
Live to the rhythm,
Love to the rhythm,
Slave to the rhythm,
Axe to wood, in ancient time,
Man machine, power line,
Fires burn, heart beats strong,
Sing out loud, the chain gang song,

Never stop the action,
Keep it up, keep it up,
Breath to the rhythm,
Dance to the rhythm,
Work to the rhythm,
Live to the rhythm,
Love to the rhythm,
Slave to the rhythm.

Don’t cry, it’s only the rhythm.

What I’m For…

posted by on January 6 at 4:30 PM


What I’m For…

posted by on January 6 at 4:24 PM

Besides the aforementioned pot smoking/strippers/getting shit-face drunk trifecta (I don’t have a strong opinion on straight women fucking straight men in their straight butts—other than I ain’t eager to partake in it myself), I’m for local sports viewing (which many here on staff would call a transgressive act), video game playing (ditto), and the criminally underrated oeuvre of Rowdy Herrington.

I’m also pro safe kinks (even if I don’t understand them), the legalization of all drugs, and, if it’s regulated (as in Nevada), the legalization of prostitution. In fact, I’m for Seattle having its own Red Light District, which I’ve written about in the past—though I’m not holding my breath for it to happen.

What I’m For…

posted by on January 6 at 4:20 PM

Regarding Savage’s call for pro-transgression Slog posts, here’s mine.

Recently I was enjoying a beer and slice at one of my favorite local pizzerias Piecora’s when I realized I was in the hands of my new favorite waiter.

Cut from the same cloth of Cafe Septieme’s great, long-lost Stephanie, my Piecora’s waiter was another one of wonderful food-service workers who seemingly couldn’t care less if you lived or died—no niceties, no smiles, no chit-chat, just prompt, rigorously accomplished service.

This bad-ass vibe is amplified by my Piecora’s dream-waiter’s appearance. With his biker’s gut, overgrown goatee, and long, scraggly ponytail, he looks like he regularly eats babies—which only makes his brusque-but-careful service more impressive.

Props to nicety-flouting food workers who get the motherfucking job done.

However, this post shouldn’t be taken as a slam against retail or service workers who aren’t mute and hostile. Case in point: The quietly delightful Far West cabbie who drove me to work today and who—at my urging—chatted me up about the amazing Bhangra-flavored hiphop he was playing. (By Surinder Shinda, if you’re curious…)

What Are We For?

posted by on January 6 at 4:18 PM

My Fellow Sloggers:

So we’re against smoking in bars, we’re against dogs in bars, we’re against people riding their bikes on sidewalks, we’re against snowmobiling, we’re against public grooming—bitch, bitch, bitch. What transgressive acts are we for, people?

I’m for strippers and straight women fucking straight men in their straight butts and smoking pot and getting shit-faced drunk and jaywalking and stealing stuff that no one really wants (see next week’s cover) and eating way too many cookies in a single sitting and porn playing in gay bars and threeways and, well, a lot of fucked up stuff.

There’s something about this medium that lends itself to griping. This annoys me, that annoys me, look at those asshats over there. Let’s not succumb entirely to the curmudgeonly impulse. Let’s not give people the impression—the false impression—that we’re a bunch of rule-obeying, puckerbutt killjoys. Let’s take a moment to praise rule breakers who break bullshit rules.

Like, say, those straight female buttfuckers out there.

“On a busy weekend we sell anywhere from three to ten harnesses/dildo combonitions to straight couples,” said Ingrid Eyen, Sex Educator at Babeland, when I called to ask how many straight couples come in to the store to buy buttfucking gear. “I think it’s fantastic and we encourage them to go forth and explore with abandon.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Honest to Christ, Letterman Rules!

posted by on January 6 at 3:06 PM

I didn’t see this exchange between David Letterman and Bill O’Reilly a couple of nights back, and I know O’Reilly is already basically a joke, but it’s pretty great nonetheless to watch Letterman—who, in his little way, has been the only politically neutral TV figure to consistently call bullshit on the current president—hand O’Reilly his own entire demagogueriffic ass.

It’s also gratifying that video blogs like Hammer of Truth exist for those of us too dumb or lazy to figure out a Tivo.

Hooray for Gratification!

A Pryor Love

posted by on January 6 at 3:03 PM

Somebody seems to think Seattle can support a new comedy club. Hence The Comedy Shop, which opens tomorrow, January 7, with a live comedy tribute to Richard Pryor. Shows begin at 8 and 10, tickets are $12 advance, $15 day of show, purchasable at 1-800-838-3006 or the theater (4916 Rainier Ave S).

It seems a little inauspicious to kick off a new venue with a tribute to a spectacularly suicidal and recently deceased comic. Anyway: good luck!

As long as we’re reminiscing about yesteryear’s news, you may want to read A Pryor Love, the New Yorker profile from 1999 concerning Lily Tomlin, cocaine, and the brilliance and tragedy of its eponymous subject. (It’s long, so go ahead and print it out on your boss’s tab.)


posted by on January 6 at 2:43 PM

The subject line of this post is meant to replicate the mythic clanging noise that punctuates each and every scene on each and every strain of Law & Order, from Law & Order: Original Recipe (forever the best, thanks to S. Epatha and Jerry Orbach, RIP) to Law & Order: Erotic Asphyxiation Unit, starring Jayne Mansfield’s daughter and Christopher Meloni, who famously displays his actual butthole in season three of HBO’s homoerotic prison series Oz.

But today I’m concerned with my least favorite flavor of L&O: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, an okay show rendered unwatchable by the horrifically mannered acting of Vincent D’Onofrio, who should be ashamed of what he’s done.

However, this week’s Criminal Intent might be the rare episode worth watching, thanks to the “special guest appearance” by Elizabeth Berkeley. According to, Ms. Berkeley (who once starred in a movie I worship) plays a mysterious woman accused of blackmailing men with phony paternity suits—and I can’t wait to see it. Rumor has it that Berkeley’s spent her post-Showgirls years learning to do everything she so clearly couldn’t in that film, and she gave a perfectly lovely performance in 2002’s Roger Dodger. But how will she fare with L&O’s merciless dialogue-in-closeup? We shall see…

Law & Order: Elizabeth Berkeley Edition airs this Sunday at 9pm, on NBC.

Re: In Time, My Brother, In Time

posted by on January 6 at 2:32 PM

Charles, you have made my day with the big tree you chose for this essay.

Even though you have the location of the tree slightly wrong, and even though the photo crops out much of the tree itself (its magnificent trunk, its soft crown), I recognized it instantly. I grew up in a house next door to this tree, and spent a lot of child hours staring at it from my bedroom window.

If you’re going to be an awkward kid staring out your bedroom window at a tree, you couldn’t ask for a better one.


On a cheerier note

posted by on January 6 at 2:28 PM

Partycrasher and friends might take comfort in this.

Having never been a smoker, I’ve wondered if the addiction/hobby could be eradicated completely, or if there will always remain a group of people who would rather die than give it up. If being a non-smoker was a simple as getting vaccinated, would smokers trade their sticks for needles?

Smokers, please help me understand your world.

Bike Etiquette

posted by on January 6 at 2:10 PM

I have been clipped twice in the past week while walking around town by people riding their bicycles on sidewalks. That’s bullshit. I’m an avid bike rider; the only way I navigate this city is by bike or foot. When I ride, I always ride in the street. I can understand the need for cyclists to ride on sidewalks, especially in the rain (there is no way I’d commute in traffic in a downpour as I see a few brave souls doing), and so I don’t have a problem sharing the sidewalks.

However, the vast majority of people who ride on them don’t alert pedestrians of their presence before they pass. It doesn’t take much. All you have to say is “On your left!” or “Coming up behind you!”.

Where I grew up in Idaho, there were two types of cyclists: Those who had jersey tan lines and legs smoother than mine, and those who were pedaling off DUIs. And even the latter had the courtesy to make their presence known. It’s all I’m asking for.

Even a bell would even do the trick. Anything.

The first time I was struck this week, I had stepped to the left of the sidewalk to pass a woman and her dog, and was clipped by a young man on a bike. The rider didn’t hit me hard enough to slow down his momentum, and yelled back at me, “You think you own the sidewalk…”

To which I absurdly screamed, “Jay Leno!” because it was the first awful thing that popped to mind, and I don’t react well to stress.

It happened again last night as I was headed home from a bar. A chick on a bike nearly took me out on Broadway, and she wrecked herself (her head was cushioned by dreadlocks rather than a helmet). This time I was able to speak with relative composure, mostly because I’d been stewing about the first incident all week.

“You should really say something when you’re passing people, just to let them know you’re coming up behind them,” I said sweetly.

“Huh. Thanks,” responded the uncommunicative hippie. She then rode off and managed to pass two rather startled couples, again, without saying a thing. Perhaps if I had beaten my message out on a pair of bongos in Morse code, it would have sunk in.

Now, has anyone else experienced this, or do I just have hippies gunning for me?

And You Thought Seattle Critics Were Assholes…

posted by on January 6 at 12:57 PM

Yao Wenyuan, the last living member of the infamous Gang of Four, died today, possibly of diabetes, but nobody’s sure. The GOF (just a pen stroke away from the GOP) launched and directed the Cultural Revolution, the national pasttime of beating, killing, and harrassing anyone who wanted to talk about botany, sex, classical music, or anything that wasn’t in the dreary Little Red Book.

Yao was a literary and drama critic and kicked off the famine, bloodshed, and terror of the Cultural Revolution with a vitriolic theater review, calling the play a “reactionary poisonous weed.” Look for that phrase in next week’s theater section!

In Time, My Brother, In Time

posted by on January 6 at 12:25 PM

Xala is the Wolof word for a form of impotence caused by a magic spell. I suffered a something like Xala last year because of a certain pretty filmmaker/artist who cast a spell on everyone at Sundance. I will not get into the nature of this spell. But I will point the readers of this blog to the present issue of the leading American film journal, Film Comment, whose editor, Gavin Smith, picked Police Beat to be in his top 10 films of 2005. That pretty lady who stole my thunder failed to make any of the critical lists in the preeminent journal of American film criticism. I will not bring this up again, Annie. Time was on my side.

Those who are interested in reading my series of short essays on the big trees of Seattle can go here.

Smokin’ ‘Em While I Got ‘Em

posted by on January 6 at 11:58 AM

My name is Paul Constant, and I write the Party Crasher column for The Stranger. Also, I’ve smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for the past twelve years. But that’s going to change this weekend.

Paul Constant

On Sunday, January 8th, I will begin to quit smoking, and I will be Slogging the entire process. Every obsessive thought, mental breakdown, and disgusting bodily secretion will be recorded daily, for the education and edification of our readers. In addition, I hope to quit smoking while simultaneously losing the ten or fifteen pounds of holiday weight that I have gained this year. I also hope to gain the powers of flight, super-hearing, and the ability to breathe underwater like Aquaman.
My method for achieving smobriety is Bupropion (byoo-PROE-pee-on), commonly known as Wellbutrin or Zyban, an anti-depressant that has shown considerable success in smoking cessation studies. It also has side effects as varied and unpleasant as insomnia, strange body odor, the development of body hair in weird new places, painful erections, and the disturbingly vague “unusual ejaculations.” So check back in on Sunday, when I begin to document the amazing, undignified journey to the mental landscape where people don’t have to pay six dollars a day in order to not feel cranky. And if none of this interests you and you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this post, here, for your trouble, is a photo of (allegedly) Paris Hilton scratching at a particularly difficult crotch-itch. Thank you for your time.

Props to ‘Prada’

posted by on January 6 at 11:15 AM

Over the holidays I actually managed to find time to finish a couple good books. Still Live With June is a quick read by Darren Greer about a gay fiction writer who mines stories from the lives of “losers” at the Salvation Army treatment center where he works for ideas. It’s nothing earth shaking but is a fun study of writing about the process of writing without getting pretentious about the subject—I’m so tired of authors who make you hyper aware that they’re writing a novel; just give me the story already and skip the intellectual masturbation. I really flew through The Devil Wears Prada, though, a “fictionalized account” of working at Vogue, which here is thinly disguised as Runway magazine. Author Lauren Weisberger writes about slaving as an assistant to a crazy bitch editor at the world’s most prominent fashion magazine. This is a world where designers send clothing worth the down payment on a new home to Runway’s queen bee for free; where getting the wrong latte or eating lunch at your desk can get you fired. Weisberger stirred up a lot of shit when the book first came out, as it became clear very quickly that she was describing Vogue’s Anna Wintour—who the author worked for as an assistant before writing this book. I’m sure tongues will wag all over again when Prada becomes a movie (check out this Radar item about Wintour attempting to control participation in the movie). Having worked at glossy pop culture magazines nowhere near the prestige of Runway/Vogue but with every bit of the insane prima donna boss running things, I loved Weisberger’s depictions of getting lured into a world spiked with superficial rewards that simultaneously saps your soul at an alarming rate. If you love Vogue, the high stakes fashion/print world, or just reading a really juicy, gossipy novel, grab a copy of Prada for yourself.

The 25’ Rule in Non-Effect

posted by on January 6 at 11:08 AM

Last night on Pine St. in Capitol Hill, about 15-20 smokers were puffing outside of Man Ray, Bus Stop, and Cha Cha. None was observing the 25’ rule. Then a police car rolled up and parked by Man Ray… and nothing happened. No order to observe the law was barked, nor was a measuring tape brandished. Unheard, also, were complaints from non-smokers about this situation. The non-drama of it all was remarkable.


posted by on January 6 at 10:55 AM

Bush is very confident about the economy in 2006. What a relief. I will sleep mo’ better. As we say in Shona: “Pamberi ne Republican Party, Pamberi na Comrade Bush” (Shone is Zimbabwe’s main language, and Pamberi means forward).

Big Brother Bush

posted by on January 6 at 10:42 AM

I wanted to bring your attention to this article in this week’s paper…great writing by Nicholas Wind about Bush’s spy tactics and the New York Times coming in late in reporting the facts. Writing this sharp, acerbic, and thought provoking is hard to find.

Last Day to Apply

posted by on January 6 at 10:38 AM

Today is the last day to apply for the city council seat left vacant by Jim Compton.

Dan? Erica? Nipper? Kelly O.? Come on. Time’s running out. Provide letter and resume to Jan Drago (Attention Position No. 9), Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. PO Box 34025 Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Salary is $97K.

Application Details.

Dump a Smoker?

posted by on January 6 at 10:27 AM

This just arrived in my Savage Love mail…

My girlfriend of three years is a smoker and I am not.  In the beginning of our relationship her smoking did not bother me.  I come from a family of smokers and even I used to smoke years ago. 

But now her smoking is a huge turn-off. I’ve also started a new job where I work with cancer patients and I see the deadly effects of smoking everyday.  I’ve tried everything under the sun to get her to stop, all to no avail.  She says she’ll try, but never makes much of an effort.  I don’t like to kiss or be near her when she smokes.  It ruined our sex life because she comes to bed smelling like cigarettes.  Everything she does revolves around cigarettes and I hate it!  I would like her to stop for the sake of our relationship, but even more I want her to stop to save her life.  If she doesn’t stop I want to move out.  I’ll sacrifice the relationship before I succumb to cancer from second-hand smoke.
Is it fair to give her an ultimatum or do I have to continue to lie in the bed I’ve made? 

Non-Smoking Section

Regular readers of the SLOG will no doubt be able to predict what I would advise NSS to do. But what do you people think?

Lou Rawls…

posted by on January 6 at 10:11 AM

…has died of cancer. Which is especially sad when you look at this website.

“When The President Does It, That Means That It Is Not Illegal”

posted by on January 6 at 10:08 AM

Check out this tough new web video from the Democratic Party, in which the Dems savage Bush on domestic spying.

Flash 8 version here, and WindowsMedia version here.

Bird Flu

posted by on January 6 at 9:16 AM

For those of you who missed it yesterday, NPR’s All Things Considered projects what an avian flu pandemic would look like in King County.


It’s Happening…

posted by on January 6 at 9:08 AM

Remeber a few years ago when “convergence” was the big prediction in media circles? Well… Yesterday The Washington Post got a radio station, and today Google announces a move into video (while Yahoo extends its video reach).

And now I’m going to listen to my morning NPR podcast. Which all reminds me of this.

That Sucking Sound

posted by on January 6 at 7:02 AM

Welcome to the world, baby boy! First we’re going to cut the tip of your penis off, then this old guy here is going to suck the blood out of the wound, and there’s a smallish chance you might wind up with herpes—maybe even brain damage. Mozel tov!

Thursday, January 5, 2006

The Return of Ong Ong

posted by on January 5 at 4:50 PM

In a related note to an earlier post about the January 7 show at Gallery 1412, this event also marks the release party of Seattle zine Ong Ong.

Ong Ong #2 (Winter) has four layer-stenciled covers, and includes a compilation CD from Seattle experimental-electronic label Dragon’s Eye Recordings, stories about Iceland, Ariel Pink, graffiti, a traveling vegan chef, and lots of art. The publication sells for $5 and can be purchased at this show as well as at Sonic Boom Records, Confounded Books, Electric Heavyland, Left Bank Books, and Elliott Bay Book Co.

Right Show, Wrong Date

posted by on January 5 at 4:00 PM

The Greg Davis/SĂ©bastien Roux/Bird Show gig that I preview in this week’s Data Breaker is happening at Gallery 1412 Saturday January 7, not January 6, as I printed. I regret the error.

Just Plain Fun?

posted by on January 5 at 3:05 PM

The Seattle Times, which just finished running a very good series on the effects of global warming in the arctic region, today offers this cheery endorsement of snowmobiling in “pristine” Chelan County: It’s “Just Plain Fun.”


Hmmm. Just plain fun? Really?

Most snowmobiles are powered by two-stroke engines which dump 25-30 percent of their fuel unburned out the tailpipe. The air pollution from these dirty machines is so bad that Yellowstone Park Rangers now wear respirators to protect themselves. The piercing noise of snowmobiles can often be heard throughout our parks; studies show that these machines can be heard 90 percent of the time in Yellowstone. And snowmobiles harass and threaten wildlife. Even when restricted to approved and maintained trails, snowmobiles can push bison, wolves, elk, and moose, even the bald eagle, out of their preferred habitats.

Perhaps some of the above information should be mentioned in The Times’ “If You Go” box? As in, “If you go snowmobiling in Chelan County, be sure to enjoy dumping 25-30 percent of your fuel unburned out of your tailpipe, and make sure you notice how that piercing noise harasses wildlife!

Just in Time for MLK Day…

posted by on January 5 at 2:50 PM

We have this lovely schematic of the Great Racial Chain of Being:


This makes me wonder if the anti-evolutionists are crypto-racists. After all, they’re the ones spreading that ridiculous we-came-from-monkeys misconception of natural selection… and perhaps playing off honky fears of miscegenation and racial contamination.

Regardless, I seriously doubt the footage is any more “outrageous” than the ad.

Hey Deputy Mayor Gridlock: Fawk You!

posted by on January 5 at 2:05 PM

Last fall, in column after column, I kept filing the same sentence, slapping Mayor Gridlock Nickels for giving the monorail just 4 weeks to fix its finance plan (which was facing a 40 percent shortfall), while Nickels himself was trying to sell a pie-in-the-sky Viaduct “plan” that looked to be about 92 percent over budget—without any timeline for a solution.

I summed up Nickels’s hypocrisy in an article last November:

Even more infuriating, Nickels’s chief complaint about the monorail’s turnaround plan was that the agency only had $1 billion to spend (according to Nickels), but was coming in with a $1.4 billion construction plan—$400,000,000 or 40 percent, over budget, by the mayor’s calculations. But Mayor Gridlock only has $2.4 billion to spend on the viaduct tunnel, and his plan is coming in at $4.6 billion —$2.2 billion or 92 percent over budget! (Can Nickels promise that any bonds the public sells to finance his highway plan won’t have a payback schedule longer than 30 years, another demand he made of the monorail agency?) Hey, Greg, how about we give you four weeks to come up with that plan!?

So it is that I’m psyched to see the Seattle Times today, beating the same drum.

And I love the response they got from Dep. Mayor Tim Ceis: “Give us three to four months.”

Three to four months? God, I wish (former Acting Monorail Executive Director) John Haley—the loud guy from Boston—was still in town. He’d have two words for Ceis: “Fawk You.”

On a related note: In my column today, in which I predict a number of things that are going to flameout in 2006, I cited “the idea that the viaduct tunnel option will only cost $4.5 billion.” Mark my words on that.

Promising Oscar News

posted by on January 5 at 2:05 PM

Heroic lefty funnyman Jon Stewart has been announced as the host of this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Here’s hoping the March 5 ceremony will be full-blown culture riot, with Stewart dissing the government from the stage and Academy voters hucking the majority of the gold at the gayest Hollywood film of all time.

Speaking of Brokeback Mountain: I finally saw it, totally loved it, but didn’t tear up until the final credits, over which Willie Nelson sang one of my all-time favorite Bob Dylan songs, “He Was A Friend of Mine,” which turned me into a puddle.

And while I somewhat agree with the Stranger forum writer who took exception to the wispy guitar interludes of the soundtrack—it’s true, these piddling acoustic texture-washes turned the guys’ summer of hard work and isolation into a bucolic romantic wonderland—there are two reasons I don’t agree.

First, the pair’s summer of hard work and isolation was a bucolic romantic wonderland, one that haunted each of the men for the rest of their lives. And while it may have been a richer artistic choice to show the guys’ love flourish against a harsh natural background unsoftened by soundtrack elements, there have been a million and one richly artistic movies made about gay lives, but exactly zero mainstream, crowd-pleasing films that present same-sex love as romantically ravishing as other-sex love, with all the lingering mist and overdone underscoring that entails, until now.

Hurrah, now throw some Oscars at Heath Ledger, Ang Lee, Michelle Williams, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, and whoever the hell the cinematographer is. (But mostly Heath Ledger, who’s fucking amazing. Sorry, Philip Seymour Hoffman, you must remain a bridesmaid for another year…)

Presidential Intrigue

posted by on January 5 at 12:50 PM

City Council members have been on recess for two weeks, but the council’s two presidential contenders - Richard Conlin and Jean Godden - have been on the job, fearing, perhaps, the kind of fiasco that loosened Conlin’s lock on the position while he was on vacation in December. (Conlin, who had secured a 5-4 council majority for his presidential bid, left town just before Jim Compton - one of Conlin’s five votes - resigned, throwing the council into a 4-4 deadlock, where it remains today.)

Council business, scheduled to re-start in earnest next week, has been put more or less on hold while council members try to figure out what to do. The latest rumor is that Conlin has offered Godden the chairmanship of the coveted transportation committee (which Conlin heads) in exchange for the presidency. But that option would more or less screw Jan Drago, a Godden supporter (and the current council chair), who had hoped to chair transportation herself. (Under council custom, Conlin is expected to resign as transportation chair because he’s served four years in the position.)

On Tuesday, Drago said she “doubt[ed] that [Godden] would do that.” Assuming Drago’s right, another possible scenario is that Godden’s responsibilities as energy committee chair might be expanded, giving the rookie council member more authority over areas outside City Light, such as the city’s IT department.

In a completely different (and I think less likely) scenario, Conlin might agree to give up the presidency in exchange for a higher-profile committee like finance, which is in charge of the city’s budget. (The current budget chair, Richard McIver, supports Godden.)

All this intrigue is sort of comical when you consider what the job of council president really entails: making committee assignments every couple of years, controlling the flow of legislation into committees, and serving as the ceremonial and symbolic head of the council. Ironically, the council president traditionally controls the council’s lowest-profile committee (currently, Government Relations), giving the president less real power than he or she would have chairing a more influential committee like budget or transportation.

Santorum Continues to Spread

posted by on January 5 at 12:45 PM

From this week’s Economist:

The fall of Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania’s junior senator, is even more eagerly anticipated by the American left. Mr Santorum is one of America’s most articulate opponents of all things permissive. His six children are home-schooled; he opposes stem-cell research; he feels that sodomy should be outlawed; he favours national service. James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, an evangelical group, praises his “integrity, vision and unwavering commitment to the principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded”. Meanwhile, gay activists use his name to denote something indescribable in a family newspaper.

Who could those gay activists be? Why, they’re me! But the word isn’t being used by activists alone. The word was mainstreamed long, long ago.

An alert Stranger and Economist reader named Patrick brought this to my attention. Thanks, Patrick!

Outside Agitators

posted by on January 5 at 12:05 PM

This may come as a surprise, but I respect Knute Berger. He has a voice, and when he gets on a jag, like his anti-density stuff last year, people read him. Most important, his jags can compel debate. Erica C. Barnett and I, for example, felt compelled to take him on last spring in an essay we titled Moss Backwards after he’d written a series of anti-density columns. I usually don’t agree with the guy, and I think the Weekly is a sad, disengaged paper that needs an overhaul to get back into the news biz, but Berger himself seems to float above the Weekly’s shortcomings, a step removed from the fiasco/identity crisis over there. In short, he seems focused while his paper flounders.

I don’t know him personally. I’ve met him maybe once. We’ve talked on the phone once or twice. But he’s got a better vibe than his colleagues, who seem like insecure basket cases.

So, I was let down to see Knute (“Mossback”) go over the top and kind of parody (?) himself this week.
He wrote:

“Mossback doesn’t like the ways things are going. Too much growth, too much change, too many outsiders trying to grow palm trees—or skyscrapers—in our backyards. I think the only way to turn this thing around is to adopt measures that will turn newcomers off, yet reinforce local values.”

Given how paranoid, weird, sad (delicate) Knute sounds, I’m reluctant to even poke at him. But I’ve got to know: Who are these so-called outsiders?

The pro-skyscraper density crew is Team Nickels. They’re hardly outsiders. They are full-fledged Seattleites: Nickels, Ceis, Lowe, Bichsel, McComber, and last term, Corr. The monorail crowd? Nope. Weeks, Falkenbury, Sherwin, Cogswell. All longtime locals. The downtown developers? Alhadeff. Smith. Goodman. Klise. Local. Local. Local. Indeed, the engine for change seems to be homegrown.

I don’t know what outsiders Berger is talking about. Does he?

Heck, even Berger’s vaunted neighborhood movement is for change. As Erica and I wrote when we challenged Knute in our aforementioned Moss Backwards essay:

Fortunately, Berger is right on another point: The old anti-growth, anti-mass transit neighborhood movement is dying. But that doesn’t mean neighborhood voices are dying. It’s just that the new neighborhood voices aren’t saying what Berger wants to hear. Recently, Roosevelt residents provided crucial support for Sound Transit’s proposal to run light rail through the heart of their neighborhood, rather than along its periphery-guaranteeing dense redevelopment in a mostly single-family area. And Central Area and Beacon Hill residents support the Southeast Seattle Action Agenda, a neighborhood plan that calls for more density in their single-family zones.

So, who are the Outsiders? Village Voice Media? New Times? Mossback, maybe?

Bearded Lady Espresso Bandit

posted by on January 5 at 11:52 AM

This New York Times article about robberies at Washington State espresso stands is hilarious:

The police said the bearded person was actually a woman, Lindsey Nicole Pruitt, 22, of Enid, Okla., who was arrested while wearing a glued-on goatee and who had a fake gun, described as a realistic replica of a Beretta 9 millimeter, stuffed in her waistband. Ms. Pruitt was charged with robbery in connection with a holdup at the Java the Hut in Pacific, Wash., the police said, and was being held on $70,000 bail in neighboring Pierce County.

Ah, Enid, OK. Ah, glued-on goatees. Bank robbers are never this goofy.

Armchair Quarterback

posted by on January 5 at 11:27 AM

Congratulations to Shaun Alexander for being the first Seahawk ever named league MVP.

Also: I normally despise anything from Texas, but the Longhorns’ win last night over USC was one for the ages, despite the miserable officiating. Vince Young is from another world.

Slap, Meet Wrist

posted by on January 5 at 11:14 AM

Maybe there’s something to the right’s whole “activist judges” shrieking after all?

There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a man who raped a little girl many,many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven.

The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation.

Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a littler girl countless times starting when she was seven.

But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works.

“The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul,” said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom. Most of the on-lookers were related to a young girl who was repeatedly raped by Mark Hulett who was in court to be sentenced.

The sex abuse started when the girl was seven and ended when she was ten. Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of eight to twenty years in prison, in part, as punishment.

Full story can be found here.

Re: This Just In

posted by on January 5 at 10:59 AM

Regarding Pat Robertson’s characterization of Ariel Sharon’s life-imperling stroke as punishment by God for dividing Israel: What a piece of shit Pat Robertson is.

Robertson’s statements crediting God for felling Sharon stink all the more in light of Roberton’s silence following last week’s deadly blazes in Texas and Oklahoma. When anything bad happens to land occupied by good faithful Christians, Robertson somehow manages to keep his yap shut, tacitly laying the blame at the Birkenstock-clad feet of that pagan bitch Mother Nature. But whenever the shit comes down on one of his perceived enemies, it’s the miraculous hand of God.

What a fucker. I can’t wait till he’s dead, and neither can God.

This Just In!

posted by on January 5 at 10:54 AM

Pat Robertson remains a tool.

(Via Talking Points Memo.)

Regrets ‘06

posted by on January 5 at 10:45 AM

Neil Simon: Born July 4, 1927 in the Bronx. Still alive.
Eugene O’Neill: Born October 16, 1888 in New York City. Totally dead.

In the print edition of this invented interview with David Esbjornson, I confused the two. I wrote that the Rep scuttled a Eugene O’Neill premiere for an overproduced Noel Coward play.

Of course, the Rep couldn’t have produced a new O’Neill play (or it would be front-page news) because Eugene O’Neill has been dead for fifty goddamn years.

Neil, O’Neill. O’Neill, Neil. I regret my imbecility.

Radio Futures

posted by on January 5 at 10:45 AM

All you radio heads who weighed in on the John Richards salary debate might want to check out this really interesting story by Chris Parker in the current issue of The Stranger. It’s about the future of radio.

Also, the back and forth over John Richards’s income continues… here.

Who You Calling A Bitch?

posted by on January 5 at 10:33 AM

Speaking of female rappers.


posted by on January 5 at 10:32 AM

A high-profile homophobe was arrested for—can you guess?

An executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention was arrested on a lewdness charge for propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said. Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church, was booked into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night on a misdemeanor charge of offering to engage in an act of lewdness, police Capt. Jeffrey Becker said. Latham was released on $500 bail Wednesday afternoon…. When he left jail, he said: “I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police.”

…The arrest took place in the parking lot of the Habana Inn, which is in an area where the public has complained about male prostitutes flagging down cars, Becker said. The plainclothes officers was investigating these complaints.

The lewdness charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

He has also spoken out against same-sex marriage and in support of a Southern Baptist Convention directive urging its 42,000 churches to befriend gays and lesbians and try to convince them that they can become heterosexual “if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their ‘sinful, destructive lifestyle.”’

What a coincidence: I was doing a little pastoring myself last night.

(Confidential to *: Yes, darling, this story already appeared on Americablog, but I got the link from my pal Rex Wockner in my mailbox this AM.)

No Love For Us

posted by on January 5 at 10:20 AM

Bush not only squandered political capital at home, he also squandered love capital abroad. The situation is getting ugly.

A Day Late: The P-I’s Slop-Ed Pages

posted by on January 5 at 9:52 AM

Am I the only one who no longer gives a shit about the survival of the P-I? Pulling this blog post together I noticed that the website is defunct. (I didn’t open the P-I until last night when I read a copy at Fuel while my kid ate a cookie. So I apologize for the untimely nature of this post.)

Goo-goo types and news junkies scream and yell about wanting Seattle to remain a two-newspaper town. The Seattle Times has been trying to pull out of its Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for years (a story that the Stranger broke). If the Seattle Times does kill the JOA, Hearst, which owns the P-I, will most likely close the paper. Keeping the P-I in business would mean getting its own printing presses, business staff, circulation department, etc.—basically all the P-I is today is an editorial department. The Seattle Times handles every other aspect of putting out both papers.

Anyhoo, two newspaper towns—TNTs?—I’m all for ‘em. I always read both dailies when I go home to Chicago—the Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune—and enjoy them in large part for their pronounced differences. (The Trib is a conservative paper that takes itself way too seriously; the Sun-Times is a tabloid that’s crowded with terrifically opinionated columnists.) But I find it hard to get worked up about the prospect of the P-I shutting down—except, of course, for the number of writers who would lose their jobs; and I would miss reading Susan Paynter (who likes the Stranger) and Joel Connelly (who hates the Stranger). Even so, odds are good both would wind up at the Seattle Times.

But Seattle’s two daily papers are too similar, despite the half-hearted, inexplicably timid efforts of the P-I’s editors to shake things up, for me to lose sleep over one going out of business.

But as I read the paper last night I was reminded of the other reason why I won’t be too sorry to see the P-I go: its op-ed pages. There were five op-ed columns in the paper: Helen Thomas (syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.); Bob Herbert (syndicated columnist based in New York City); Rich Lowry (syndicated columnist and D.C.-based editor of the National Review); Marianne Means (syndicated columnist based in D.C.); and the only op-ed writer in the paper yesterday who wasn’t writing from the East Coast—Larry David, star of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. David lives in Los Angeles.

Not only are four of the five based on the East Coast, but three of the five columns published in the P-I’s op-ed pages yesterday were already days old. Larry David’s column was originally published in last Sunday’s New York Times; Herbert’s column was originally published in Monday’s New York Times; Thomas’s column appeared in many papers on Tuesday. Perhaps the P-I’s slogan should be, “It’s in the P-I… days after it was in the New York Times.”

There are tons of writers in Seattle with tons to say about national and local politics. The P-I should tap some, and not just barf up whatever King Features Syndicate sends ‘em. (Lowry, Thomas, and Means are all distributed by King Features.) And while it might have made sense a decade ago to reprint prominent columnists from the NYT, today people who don’t already subscribe to the NYT read it online. Do we need to read days-old Dowd, Krugman, and Brooks in the P-I? (Yes, the NYT hides their op-ed columnists behind a firewall, but their columns are easy to find online regardless. And the firewall won’t last.) Some locals you might consider: bloggers Stefan Sharkansky, David Goldstein, Dan Gonsiorowski, and Gomezticator (you can find him in our forums). Stranger writers sometimes do a little freelance work: Charles Mudede, Eli Sanders, Erica C. Barnett. Want something safe? Geov Parrish is “consistently progressive.” And I hear Casey Corr is looking for work.

So I tell you what, P-I: I’ll get more upset about the prospect of losing you if you stop filling your op-ed pages—the most important real estate in any newspaper, at least as far as us news junkies are concerned—with leftovers. No more slop-ed pages. Some syndicated stuff is fine—I am, after all, a syndicated columnist myself—but swear to me that you will never again fill an entire day’s op-ed pages exclusively with syndicated material. With a minimum of effort you can find a half-dozen or more interesting local writers with a column or two in ‘em each week.

P.S. Yes, Virginia, you will have to pay local writers to write for your op-ed pages. When I write an op-ed for the New York Times, I get a check in the mail the next week. Once when I wrote an op-ed for the P-I or the Seattle Times—don’t remember which—I asked about payment and was told that it was an “honor” to write for their op-ed pages. No doubt it is—it’s a bigger honor, though, to write for the NYT op-ed pages, and they pay. If you’re not going to pay writers to write, your local op-eds are going to consist of self-serving, staff-generated garbage signed by local pols. (Op-ed columns written for Ron Sims by Sandeep Kaushik, former Stranger staffer, are excluded from that characterization, of course.)


posted by on January 5 at 9:09 AM

I must say it. I can not hide the pleasure I feel. Police Beat the movie was selected by Amy Taubin as one of the top ten films of 2005 in Art Forum magazine. (She called it a “character study and a cityscape movie.”) Because of the high value I place on the publication and the critic, the 2-year personal investment that went into the fucking project has totally paid off. Not only that, the list included Wong Kar Wai and Claire Denis, the two living directors I most admire. Now Annie, guess who is missing from all of Art Forum’s lists? I want my thunder back!

(Two quick notes: One, this week’s Police Beat column can only be found online; two, the director of the Police Beat movie, Devor, penned an excellent review of the new photograph show at COCA. One other thing, if you want read about my new film project, it’s described at length in this month’s issue of Cinemascope, which is available at all major magazine stores. Lastly for real, do the right thing and go on the art walk tonight.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Ghost Sighting

posted by on January 4 at 6:05 PM

My heart dropped tonight when I walked past what used to be Black Chandelier on East Pike Street. The quirky clothes, charming accessories, and sweet shop girls have vanished. All that remains in the dark storefront are partially dismantled pop-arty display racks and one lonely, armless office chair.

Shallow Pool

posted by on January 4 at 5:38 PM

Only 21 people have applied to fill the council seat being vacated by Jim Compton—less than a quarter of the 100-plus folks who applied for the position now held by Richard McIver. The deadline is Friday; if you’re interested, job details are here.

Intimidated by the thought of taking on a stellar list of candidates? You can’t be much less prepared than Orin O’Neill, whose stated objective for applying for the council is to “make a career transition from corporate MIS to web development and/or editorial content creation/editing” and whose accomplishments include writing “descriptive paragraphs for nearly all the cars and trucks featured” on Microsoft’s car web site; or than Douglas Mays, whose resume lists his elementary schools and whose qualifications include the fact that he was a “multi year state champion in soccer.”

Then, of course, there’s failed mayoral candidate Al Runte, who says his “commitment to Seattle’s future is unqualified” and again (if not for the first time) quotes Theodore Roosevelt. “While it is true that I did not gain a majority vote in my first attempt at elective public office,” Runte writes in his application letter,

I see clearly now what Theodore Roosevelt meant. “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

One reason so few people have applied is that the position lasts slightly less than a year; and just nine months after taking the job in late January, the new council member will have to run for reelection in November 2006. Then he or she will have to run again in 2007, when Compton’s term would have been up. Facing the choice between seeking appointment to a short-term position, and running a full-fledged campaign against a short-tenured, weak incumbent in November, some of the would-be contenders have almost certainly opted to wait.

Re: Wonkette’s Sex Change

posted by on January 4 at 4:05 PM

Awesome! I’d gotten an eensty bit tired of Wonkette, though I loved her blog for a long while. But I got obsessed with Underneath Their Robes during the John Roberts nomination hearings. David Lat is hilarious.

Lindsay Lohan Admits To Puking

posted by on January 4 at 4:04 PM

It’s official: In the forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair, celebrity teen Lindsay Lohan admits she dabbled in drugs and spent last year battling bulimia.

From the AP report about the Vanity Fair article:

Lohan says that before hosting NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Tina Fey and “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels sat her down.

“They said, `You need to take care of yourself. We care about you too much, and we’ve seen too many people do this, and you’re talented,’ and I just started bawling,” Lohan says. “I knew I had a problem and I couldn’t admit it.”

“I saw that `SNL’ after I did it,” she adds. “My arms were disgusting. I had no arms.”

It’s true: Her arms were disgusting. Good luck, Lindsay! Have a milkshake!

Today in Corruption

posted by on January 4 at 4:03 PM

Speculation about the Fitzgerald investigation is quiet for the moment, but the Congressional corruption investigation is at a sexy, sexy tipping point. Which makes it seem like a good time for me to set aside Today in Speculation for a new occasional Slog series… Today in Corruption:


* Jack Abramoff, looking less like a mobster and more like a yuppie, was in Florida today pleading guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Yesterday, it was “guilty” to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials in Washington, D.C.

Why is the Republican lobbyist’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors such a big fucking deal? The Note puts it thusly:

So just how many members of Congress may be implicated by Jack Abramoff’s decision to provide information to investigators?

Wall Street Journal: “…could implicate 60 lawmakers”
New York Times: “a dozen lawmakers”
Washington Post: “…about half a dozen House and Senate members”
USA Today: “…at least 12 lawmakers”
New York Post: “… as many as 20 Congress members and staffers”

With Congressional elections just 11 months away, that’s very bad news for Republicans. It seems likely there will be a parade of conservative lawmakers going down or cutting deals with prosecutors, one after another, over the next few months—which will give more and more traction to the Democrats’ charge that Republicans have created a “Culture of Corruption” in D.C., and need to be booted out in the November elections.

This is too heavy a news day for Today in Corruption to do much more than refer you to The Note, which has already collected all of today’s juiciest news stories here. But stay tuned, we’ll be doing some noting of our own on this subject in the future.

More on FSU.

posted by on January 4 at 3:33 PM

In this week’s paper (which is hitting the streets today), we ran an updated version of last week’s web story titled “Shit’s Fucked Up,” which was about the controversial local organization called FSU and the all-ages hardcore music scene (it can still be found here).

One reaction a lot of people had to the story, was that FSU’s side of the story wasn’t represented. But, as I stated in the article, a number of FSU members were contacted and they all declined to comment. That was the case for the updated version as well. But yesterday a member of FSU (who asked to remain anonymous, but is not from Seattle) did decide to answer a few of my questions regarding the group. Unfortunately I didn’t get the response until after press time. He did, though, give me permission to post his e-mail on our website, which you can read below unedited and in its entirety.

I’ll link the updated story tomorrow, when it’s posted with the rest of the new issue.

Continue reading "More on FSU." »

Jesus Christ: Man or Myth?

posted by on January 4 at 3:28 PM

An Italian court is being asked to decide whether Jesus ever really existed or if the Roman Catholic Church has been lying all these years. The plantiff, Luigi Cascioli, wrote The Fable of Christ, which the publisher describes as “a dossier containing the necessary arguments for a penal law suit against the catholic church with its ministers as representatives—a serious collection of juridical proof which show that the figure of Jesus is no other than the manipulation and falsification of documents…. If spreading the existence of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Joseph and the Apostles has been permitted by law up to now because it was considered a comfort for irrational human beings who need illusions to lighten their burdens, like trusting in magic or in horoscopes, this will no longer be possible because soon, very soon, it will be considered a crime according to articles 661 and 494 of the Italian criminal code.”
Read CNN’s version of the story.

I Knew It Was Too Good to be True

posted by on January 4 at 3:25 PM

I knew it. God f-ing damn it!!!!

Every time I get excited about the possibility of peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, I always stop and warn myself: “Josh, it just aint gonna happen.” From the famous Clinton handshake on, no matter how good it looks for a second, it always comes crashing down.

This time, because Sharon was such an unlikely peace maker, I actually thought his third way Kadema party was crazy enough, in a Gorbachev/F.W. de Klerk kind of split from history way, that it was maybe going to happen this time.

Nope. The Middle East just comes up too often on Satan’s I-Pod. Sharon suffered a massive stroke today.

Punched at the Nutcracker

posted by on January 4 at 3:11 PM

Even without choreography by Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker experienced its share of violent drama.

Case in point: This eyewitness report from Hot Tipper Kelley, who tells of an audience brawl that disrupted the final night of the 2005 run.

I took my roommate to see the Nutcracker this past Wednesday, December 28. We were seated, the lights went down, the orchestra started playing, and the curtain had yet to go up when we all of sudden there is this huge commotion ten rows down. At first I thought it was a robbery attempt, but apparently a very inebriated man sitting in the $90.00 seats with his family took upon himself to punch another man a row or two ahead of him. In the process, the Drunk Man knocked over an elderly lady causing a near medical emergency. One of the ushers ran over to the scene and while trying to remove Mr. Drunk Man was slapped in the face. The drunk guy took off running and was tackled by the ushers and held until they could handcuff him and escort him out to the waiting Seattle Police Department.

Obviously the ballet is no place for pussies…

Smokers: Carry Ashtrays?

posted by on January 4 at 3:02 PM

The Mayor of a city in Spain is upset about the fallout from their smoking ban

The smoking ban, which took effect on New Year’s Day, has forced city sanitation crews to clean up scores of cigarette butts outside office buildings, city officials said Wednesday. Saragossa’s mayor, Juan Alberto Bellock, himself a former smoker, asked city residents in a statement to leave their offices “with an ashtray or some utensil which they can use to put the remains of their cigarettes.” …Spaniards, the heaviest smokers in Europe apart from the Greeks, are no longer able to light up in a wide range of public spaces, including food shops, many bars and restaurants and all workplaces.

No Divorce at Neumo’s.

posted by on January 4 at 2:52 PM

So, it turns out that the Divorce isn’t on the bill for the Neumo’s show on the 5th, like it says in this week’s paper. Bummer. But all hope isn’t lost, the band will be playing at the Crocodile on the 7th with White Gold and Stabmasterarson!

Southern Hospitality

posted by on January 4 at 1:31 PM

On New Year’s day my friend Glenn, who is from Louisiana, cooked my house a “traditional Southern New Year’s dinner.” Everything we ate had some sort of symbolism—the field peas were for luck in the coming year, the greens for wealth, the sweet potatoes symbolized the sweetness of life. Then there was the chitlins. They were to remind Southern blacks about the years of slavery and poverty they came from. They made my house smell like boiling dog food.

“Chitlins” is Southern colloquial slang for “Chitterlings” (i.e.: pig intestine). Apparently, when prepared fresh, one takes them out to the yard and sticks a garden hose in one end to flush out the piggy waste. Some people complain if you rinse them too well, as they end up lacking “flavor.”

I will never eat chitlins again. They were horrible. I took one bite and had to force myself to keep chewing. It reeked of rot and decay. I tried to chew without breathing through my nose so I wouldn’t taste it. When I did gasp for air it tasted and smelled like I hadn’t flossed my teeth in years and suddenly opened up a rancid stash of bacteria. It was like eating a mummy.

Help the Homeless: Buy Them Booze

posted by on January 4 at 12:54 PM

A study published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that giving homeless adults plenty of booze to drink improved their behavior

Seventeen homeless adults, all with long and chronic histories of alcohol abuse, were allowed up to 15 glasses of wine or sherry a day — a glass an hour from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. — in the Ottawa-based program, which started in 2002 and is continuing.

After an average of 16 months, the number of times participants got in trouble with the law had fallen 51 percent from the three years before they joined the program, and hospital emergency room visits were down 36 percent.

The Stranger was, as we sometimes are, ahead of the curve on this one. In 2002 Charles Mudede made this modest proposal:

Most of the problems associated with pubic intoxication (public vomiting, urination, and other disturbances) are caused by off-premises consumption, or public drinking. If there were more opportunities for homeless people to drink in private, most of these unpleasant activities would be significantly reduced. The solution? Open bars in the homeless shelters—preferably in the basements of these shelters—which would keep drinkers, and the effects of their drinking, out of public sight. True, there would still be people begging, but the deleterious effects of drinking would be moved indoors. The shelter bar would sell cheap but potent forms of alcohol, and not in mugs or cups or cans, but in big plastic buckets that require considerable effort to carry from the bar to the table. (The tables should be made of thick wood like the tables in the Comet Tavern.) The reason for buckets is they would foster communal drinking and communal bonds.

The only thing Charles got wrong was not proposing that the booze be given away for free, as was the case in Ottawa. We shouldn’t just open bars in homeless shelters, but open open bars.

Wonkette’s Sex Change

posted by on January 4 at 12:43 PM

Wonkette is getting out of the blogging biz—but her blog lives on.

Come (Again) As You Are

posted by on January 4 at 12:35 PM

Because you can never get enough of Nirvana, a new documentary is in the works, with filming already underway in Kurt Cobain’s Aberdeen, Washington hometown. NME reports that the film will be narrated by Cobain himself. Huh?

“The film is based on a series of interviews that [Come As You Are author] Michael Azerrad conducted with Kurt while researching the book. There are more than 25 hours of these audio interviews in all, none of which have been heard before by anyone,” director AJ Schnack told NME.COM.

“I worked with Michael to cull an approximately 95-minute audio track from these interviews. While I’m not sure that ‘narrated’ is exactly the right word, you will be listening in on conversations between Kurt and Michael, with Kurt telling his life story for that book. There are no additional interviews with other figures from Kurt’s life, just Kurt speaking, with an occasional question or comment from Michael.”

The other members of Nirvana are not involved with the currently untitled film, which is set to be screened at various film festivals next autumn.

Schnack added: “It pretty much covers his whole life leading-up to the interviews with the emphasis being more on him and his general take on things rather than on general band developments. We’re not using any archival footage at all. The music will focus on bands that influenced Kurt during the various stages of his life. It’s unclear what part, if any, Nirvana music may play in the finished film.”

The Blue Foreign Legion

posted by on January 4 at 12:32 PM

Sick of your workaday life? Tired of begging the wife for sex and dreaming up new ways to knock off your boss? Ever pine for an excuse to wear more makeup than Tammy Faye Bakker? Today’s your big chance to audition for the world’s last true meritocracy: the Blue Man Group!

Head down to the Moore Theatre (1932 Second Ave) sometime between now and five for the BMG Seattle open casting call. A couple of helpful times culled from the BMG audition faq:

“Blue Man Group is not a union signatory.”

“We also pay close attention to the individual’s personality—to look at potential ‘fit’ within the various show communities.”

“All necessary equipment will be provided at the audition site. We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing, arrive on time, and be prepared to try something different.”

And be prepared to vanish and meet others who have fled behind the veil of silence and blue paint. Rumor has it that Tupac, bin Laden, and Andy Kaufman have all joined the Blue Foreign Legion.

Re: Bars Are Not Dog Parks

posted by on January 4 at 11:47 AM

For the record, I don’t have a dog, but I love them enough that I enjoy bumping into a friendly one wherever it may be.

However, Josh will find lots of support in the I, Anonymous forum, where a debate over dogs is raging. (Most contentious question: Are short-skirted women “asking” for a dog nose in the crotch?)

Prime examples here, here, and here.


posted by on January 4 at 11:22 AM

There are only five states with less than 10% minority population:

Maine 3.9%
Vermont 4.0%
West Virginia 5.6%
New Hampshire 5.7%
Iowa 8.3%

Given that conventional wisdom says the more diverse you are the more liberal you are, it’s interesting to note that 3 of the 5 Whitey states are Blue states: Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Meanwhile, the two Red states, Iowa and W. Virginia, are on the higher end of minority population for these five states.

A smart friend of mine from NYC forwarded me this analysis: “Perhaps white people turn red-statish if they feel threatened by a poor minority - Mexicans in Texas and Arizona, African-Americans in Mississippi, Alabama, etc., Native Americans in SD, Montana, ND, etc.”

simply terrifying

posted by on January 4 at 10:51 AM

The Guardian Unlimited reports that Pat Robertson and the Christian right are negotiating with the Israeli government to build a Biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee (where Jesus walked on water and then fed a few people some fish).

Just to refresh your memories: Pat Robertson is the man who called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and threatened Dover, PA with the wrath of God after Intelligent Design sympathizers were voted off the school board last November.

Now this man wants to build a theme park—a place ideally designed for Fun with Children. Not only does the phrase `bible theme park’ sound about as enjoyable as `friendly fire’, but:

A major part of the shore of the Sea of Galilee was Syrian until it was conquered by Israel in 1967. Syria and Israel are still officially in a state of war and Syria insists the return of the Golan Heights and the Galilee shore is a prerequisite for peace.

Who the fuck would want to traipse through a war zone to attend a theme park designed by Pat Robertson and friends?

I bet the man throws the worst house parties ever.

If that isn’t alarming enough:

Fundamentalist Christians believe that in order for Jesus to return, two preconditions are Jewish control of the land of Israel and the conversion of the Jews to Christianity.

Jews, what are you thinking?! How could this possibly end well?

Bars are Not Dog Parks

posted by on January 4 at 10:51 AM

Two out of the last three bars I’ve gone to—The Canterbury and the Cha-Cha—have allowed pet dogs in. This looks like a violation of King County Code Chapter 8.40.190, Seattle Municipal Code 10.10.536, and King County Board of Health Code 6.501.115.

When I go out to a bar, I want to relax. Dogs make me anxious. When I hear the constant jingling of your dog’s collar right behind me, I’m stuck waiting for the dog to scamper over and sniff around my food and table—which, in fact, your dog did (twice) last night when I was there trying to chill out after work and read a book at the Canterbury on Capitol Hill.

Your table thinks your dog is cute. So does the waitress. So, I become the bad guy when I have to “rudely” tell you that “I’m not cool, with your dog coming over to my table.” I told you that, yet your dog raced over, collar jangling, the second some food arrived at my table. (Thus, my anxiety about it wasn’t misplaced.)

I don’t think your dog is cute. And even if some people do think your dog is cute, I don’t care. It’s not allowed in bars and restaurants.

This isn’t a question of who can and cannot control their dogs—or keeping your dog on a leash. No dogs are allowed in, unless it is a guide dog accompanying a blind person.

If you’re not blind, and you want to go out to a bar or restaurant, you have to leave your dog at home—or with a friend. If you can’t find someone to watch your dog, then you can’t go out to a bar or restaurant.

That Ain’t Right

posted by on January 4 at 10:39 AM

We’ve all fantasized about it, but have any of us ever actually done it?

Every Child Needs A Mother…

posted by on January 4 at 10:31 AM

Two kids died of starvation, dehydration and neglect in November—but, hey, at least they had a mother, one who was found “surrounded by 307 beer cans” in her Kent apartment with her two dead children.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, police discover that two kids—aged 5 and 9—lucky enough to have a mother and a father were left at home alone with nothing but cereal to eat while their heterosexual parents gambled in Las Vegas.

The West’s Baby Shortage

posted by on January 4 at 10:17 AM

According to an essay in the New Criterion (I believe you need to be a subscriber to access the link, but it’s run in other publications, too; try Googling It’s the Demography, Stupid), the West is suffering birth dearth. Many Western nations are not averaging 2.1 children per family, which is the number needed to replace aging populations. Meanwhile, Allah-worshippers are breeding like proverbial rabbits. This scenario, writes Mark Steyn, will by mid-century likely threaten democracy, freedom, capitalism, Christianity, and other blessed byproducts of Western Civilization.

The piece is a classic bit of conservative hand-wringing about the Feared Other, with obligatory digs at multiculturalism, abortion, homosexuality, feminism, and tolerance in general. Steyn may have valid reasons for fretting about the burgeoning Islamic populace, but his argument smacks of the same alarmist propaganda that marked the McCarthyist Red Scare. Nevertheless, I am feeling slightly guilty for not carrying my reproductive weight.

Out of Town Action, Part II

posted by on January 4 at 9:54 AM

This article provides yet another reason why Portland is currently better than Seattle. It’s the sandwiches. Well, actually the article goes on about “local” food and blah blah, but the reason I covet the New Seasons chain is their fresh, delicious sandwiches, with their multitude of toppings, and the fact that you don’t have to beg for avocados, and wide array of condiments… I hate QFC sandwiches. And Madison Market needs to get with the sandwiches-to-order program.

Also: Amy Kate, please note that here is an example of a grocery store that lists those Seafood Watch guidelines.

Re: Conspiracy Against Smart Female Rappers?

posted by on January 4 at 9:35 AM

I dunno if I’d say that rap is a male art form- cuz i don’t think of art forms as having genitals or anything- but i’d say the measure of bellicosity and boastfulness that has been the norm since jump has definitely been more in the male -oriented, feel me?
Female MC’s are a tough sell either to the public or the dinosaurs at the labels. It used to be more accepted to be a bad-ass chick on the mic, now not even that can really fly. Since Lil’ Kim and Foxy popped up, there’s sadly little mainstream paper for non-slut femcees. Really, it’s not a conspiracy against female rappers, it’s the same conspiracy against smart females period thats always at play.
That said, my favorites:
Heather B(possibly my favorite), Roxanne Shante, Lyte, Mia X, Sista Soulja, Rah Digga, Jean Grae at her most vicious, Marvaless, Bahamadia, Yo-Yo…

Oh, and let’s not forget about Eve. She’s been pretty goddamn successful, and is nice with hers. I fear, though, that Gwen Stefani may have really deaded her cred forevermore.


posted by on January 4 at 8:20 AM

I must make this confession, and I think it will clear much of the confusion concerning my writing and ideas: Jazz and culture critic Stanley Crouch is my hero and inspiration. There. I have said it. Have a good morning.

Religion: The Enemy of Love

posted by on January 4 at 7:57 AM

Jesus Christ. As if fundamentalist Christians and radical Muslims weren’t enough to worry about, now we have to worry about “radical Hindus” too. Police officers and “radical Hindus” in India are cracking down on men and women who—gasp!—sit together on benches in public parks.

Someone explain to me again how religion improves a society and a culture?

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Re: It’s On

posted by on January 3 at 6:02 PM

Erica’s post reminds me of this line from Al Runte’s famous Rock Salt concession speech. Listen, as the disgruntled professor explains why he decided to launch his (failed) campaign to be mayor of Seattle:

As Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, throw your hat in the ring.’ “

It’s On

posted by on January 3 at 6:01 PM

Al Runte officially declared for the soon-to-be-vacant City Council seat today.

His qualifications? Um, none. But at least he’s more popular than Casey Corr.

(A full list of those who’ve applied for the position is below the jump.)

Continue reading "It's On" »

My Namesake

posted by on January 3 at 5:28 PM


Daniel Tiger, not Fred Rogers.

Re: Conspiracy Against Smart Female Rappers?

posted by on January 3 at 5:06 PM

There is nothing I hate more than a sexy, spoken-word sounding rapper. Sex is for singers. Spoken-word is for the gutters. The best hiphop is hardcore hiphop; to be real, you have to sound like a black man who means business, which is exactly why the top female rappers in the 30-year history of hiphop, Heather B and Queen Latifah, are essentially butch lesbians. (Indeed, in the movie Set it Off, Queen Latifah convincingly plays a butch lesbian—the feminization of Queen Latifah after her Black Reign album [1993] ultimately cost hiphop one of its most important voices—“who you calling a bitch?”). The sole exception to this rule is, of course, Roxanne Shante, who didn’t sound sexy like the horrible Roxanne Roxanne, her rival from UTFO, but like a tough boy whose voice is cracking.

Sexual Harassment

posted by on January 3 at 4:59 PM

What is it? How can you combat it? Learn more here.

I Beg to Differ

posted by on January 3 at 4:59 PM

The question is: How did I get that e-mail from Steve Leahy to Bill Virgin?
Well, Leahy was courteous enough to cc me on it—because he mentions me.

He wrote: “So, between you and Joel [Connelly] who want to carp about the lack of leadership in the region, and Josh Feit at The Stranger who thinks we run this place, you can see my dilemma.”

To which I say: Don’t flatter yourself, dude. Virgin’s right. You guys are pretty unimpressive.

Hell, as dead set against the monorail as you all were, we almost got it past you until the clowns running it fucked it up.

Conspiracy Against Smart Female Rappers?

posted by on January 3 at 4:36 PM

“Poon Tang Clan” by Ursula Rucker (on her excellent third album, Ma’at Mama, due January 31 on !K7 Records) is sure to stir up controversy in the hiphop underground. A renowned spoken-word poet/MC, Rucker busts the balls of female-objectifying sexists on this witty riposte set to a stark, ominous funk foundation of just drums, cymbals, and stylus-on-vinyl crackle.

Besides possessing the sexiest, sweetest pipes in hiphop, Rucker wields a biting, articulate vocab. I keep waiting for her to blow up, but maybe the mainstream isn’t ready for an intelligent female rapper with liberal viewpoints. Who’s replicated Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill’s commercial success in the last decade or so? Are there, as I suspect, nefarious forces only allowing women who act like XX-chromosomed thugs and sexbots to get widespread media exposure? Or is there really a dearth of witty women mic-wielders? Or am I just overlooking some talented distaff wordsmiths? Mizell? Schmader? Anybody?

Talking Like the Utne Reader

posted by on January 3 at 4:36 PM

PI business columnist Bill Virgin slaps the Seattle “Establishment” today for failing to make stuff happen. Basically, he accuses the Establishment of not acting like the Establishment. It’s a nice column.

His prime example? Transportation. Specifically, he dings them (and Mayor Nickels) for failing the monorail. Even though Virgin is coming from a different POV then I would on the monorail, he ultimately nails exactly what was so maddening to me about Mayor Gridlock’s monorail flip-flop last Fall—in a way that I couldn’t seem to articulate when it was all going down.

Virgin points out the the Establishment had the power to do something. He also points out Nickels’s hypocrisy on the monorail, by showing that Nickels’s final monorail animosity was/is inconsistent with his support for other financially unstable projects.

Here’s Virgin’s hit on Nickels:

The most vivid illustration of The Establishment’s malaise can be found, not surprisingly, in transportation and transit.

For all its dreamy-eyed origins, the Seattle monorail idea had considerable merit; had The Establishment taken an early interest, it could have helped build a workable financial and engineering plan. Conversely, had The Establishment made a decision from the start to quash the monorail, it might have saved everyone considerable time and expense. Instead The Establishment exhibited little public interest or involvement, until Amateur Hour collapsed under the weight of its severe miscalculations.

So where are the new members of The Establishment going to come from?

They could come from government, although that currently seems unlikely. Supporters of Greg Nickels like to depict the Seattle mayor as bringing a Chicago-style “city that works” sensibility to town. Yet Nickels made a definitive call on the monorail only once it was obvious and expedient to do so. Nickels also has shown plenty of appetite for public boondoggles (the South Lake Union streetcar, the tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, also known as Big Dig West) that Seattle would seem to be overloaded with already, what with the light-rail mess.

Meanwhile, Steve Leahy, president and CEO of Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce, fired off a pretty defensive e-mail to Virgin, basically saying that Chambers don’t have the kind of power they used to.

He writes:

Believe me, I wish there were a czar for every important issue that seems stuck in the mud. My list would resemble yours: one for transportation; one for homelessness; one for quality K-12 education——geez, it’s so self-evident you wonder why we haven’t done that before now! [But]The “establishment” that supposedly led Seattle in the 1950’s won’t work in a decentralized region of 3.3 million people in four counties. Which is exactly why tools like Leadership Conferences, Study Missions to other regions in the US and abroad, and Prosperity Partnership economic strategies are valuable devices in bringing people committed to our region’s future together to help sharpen their wits and align their focus and energy behind the “critical few” priorities that will actually make a difference.

What a town: Columnists berating the Establishment for not acting like the Establishment, and the Establishment talking like the Utne Reader.

If Only

posted by on January 3 at 4:31 PM

My parents failed me! This is the Charles I should be named after:


Re: Caution: A Gay Bomb Has Been Lit on the Slog

posted by on January 3 at 4:28 PM

…and BOOM!

Speaking of Superman…

posted by on January 3 at 4:27 PM

Rumor has it that the new Superman—Brandon Routh—is, er, gifted in the Superjunk department. Brit tab The Sun reported a few weeks back that the studio is asking for some digital post-production work to minimize Brandon’s Superbasket. Read all about it Defamer.


Hey, is it just me or did the costume designer choose colors that evoke Seattle and the Northwest—you know, colors that are easy on the eyes and don’t overwhelm Brandon’s massive Aussie cock?

Caution: A Gay Bomb Has Been Lit on the Slog

posted by on January 3 at 4:26 PM

In ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two… one…

Why I’m called Daniel

posted by on January 3 at 4:18 PM

For what it’s worth, I was named after this dude…

Daniel in the Lion's Den (Rubens).jpg

…and as he appears to be a worry-wort and crosses his legs like a fag, it was a pretty good call on my parents’ part.

Eminem Shoves A Gerbil In His Ass

posted by on January 3 at 4:04 PM

Among the holiday gift bait foisted on shoppers this season was Curtain Call, the allegedly career-closing “greatest hits” collection by Eminem.

Among the “new song!” bait included on Curtain Call is “Fack,” a song that’s earned tons of scorn in the blogosphere, most notably on Pitchfork’s list of the 15 Worst Releases of 2005.

I love Eminem, take him seriously, respect his art, etc etc etc. But “Fack” sucks shit, taking Em’s ever-increasing taste for lame poo-poo/pee-pee goofiness to a most idiotic dead-end.

However, even the worst Eminem song involves something worth writing about, and in the case of “Fack,” it’s the gerbil Em repeatedly raps about shoving through a tube into his anus:

Now see that gerbil/ Grab that tube/ Shove it up my butt/ Let that little rascal nibble on my asshole/ Oh yeah right there, right there/ Uhhh I’m cumming/ Oh yeah/ Fack I just came again/ Ok pull it out now/ Oh fuck yeah/ Wait he’s not out/ He’s still crawling around up there/ Oh fack I think it’s stuck/ Oh but it feels so fucking good

With Eminem having already done his part to normalize brutal wife-murder and forced intergenerational incest, it’s nice that he didn’t shy away from one of the last frontiers of sexual shock. And to deliver the final word on his bogus status as a role model, he ends the track with this do-as-I-say refrain for America’s youth:

Shove a gerbil in your ass through a tube/ Shove a gerbil in your ass through a tube/ Shove a gerbil in your ass through a tube

RIP, Eminem. You avoided sucking for a long, long time…

Why I’m Called Christopher

posted by on January 3 at 4:02 PM

For what it’s worth Mudede, he’s whom I’m named after.

superman_Christopher Reeve.JPG

I don’t even like cookies.

posted by on January 3 at 3:40 PM

So, incase you’re wondering… I, Megan Seling, have been defeated. While I knew my goal was quite ambitious, I honestly thought I could make all 106 kinds of cookies in Martha Stewart’s Holiday Cookies magazine in 55 days. Truth be told, though, I only made it to #86.


But, for the record, I am still going to make all the cookies. I just didn’t get it done by New Year’s like I had hoped. When will I finish? I dunno. Hopefully very soon because I never want to cream together butter and sugar again for as long as I live. I feel like such a failure…

You Can’t Call Me a Fag Until Your Voice Breaks

posted by on January 3 at 3:31 PM

The current media darling of Major League Gaming (yes, a professional video game league exists) is 7-year-old prodigy “Lil Poison,” who just took second in Halo 2 at a tournament in Chicago.

This is troubling, and not just because of how irresponsible it is to let a 7-year-old play Halo 2. As anyone who has spent time on XBox Live can attest, getting called “fag” by twits with balls that have only recently dropped is par for the course. Now we’ll have to hear it from toddlers as well?

Blondes Have More Fun

posted by on January 3 at 3:21 PM

Kelly Foxton is CLEARLY a few dots short on her dice, but who doesn’t love a squirrel in a dress?
Check out the 2006 Calendars for sale.

Seattle: Internationally Acclaimed. But Not in a Good Way

posted by on January 3 at 3:12 PM

We’re on the list of the 16 public squares most dramatically in need of improvement.

Occidental Square is #3 on the list. At fault? Our “reluctance to embrace [our] ethnic diversity.”

That’s true.

Thanks to Eric Fredericksen for the tip on Seattle’s latest embarrassment.

For the Intern Charles Petersen

posted by on January 3 at 3:06 PM

Charles, this is why I’m called Charles:

Charles Wesley, cofounder of the Methodist church and the composer of 6000 hymns, my favorite of which is “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending” (“Lo! he comes with clouds descending, once for favored sinners slain/thousand, thousand saints attending swell/the triumph of his train/
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!/God appears on earth to reign”).

Now, Charles Petersen, why are you called Charles?

Rolled Over

posted by on January 3 at 2:58 PM

From ironic, post-punk hipster passtime to co-opted television spectacle in record time…

A Challenger for Finkbeiner (and he’s pro-gay-rights)

posted by on January 3 at 2:35 PM

A few weeks ago The Seattle Times ran an interesting story about Bill Finkbeiner, the moderate Republican state senator from the eastside who has been blamed for the one-vote defeat of the gay civil rights bill last year.

People get particularly incensed about Finkbeiner because he voted against the bill, ensuring its death for nearly the 30th year in a row, even though back when he was a Democrat, he twice voted for the bill. That strikes many as unprincipled flip-flopping — and unnecessary, given that Finkbeiner’s moderate district encompasses Redmond and Kirkland, is overwhelming pro-choice, and therefore is unlikely to boot him out of office for extending basic protections to homosexuals.

Gay rights groups vowed they would hold Finkbeiner responsible if the bill—which would specifically prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in housing, employment, and financial transactions—failed to pass last year. Well, it failed to pass. And now, just a week before the new legislative session is set to open in Olympia, an eastside Democrat named Eric Oemig has announced he will challenge Finkbeiner in the upcoming November elections, and plans to hammer Finkbeiner for his flip-flopping on gay rights. A press release Oemig sent out today reads:

After 14 years, Finkbeiner still won’t say how he will vote on civil rights bill 1515 if it comes up again this year. Previously, he has voted both for and against the bill.

“Let me be clear,” said Oemig, “I will be happy to cast the deciding vote to ban this discrimination.”

Whether the 38-year-old former Microsoft software engineer has any chance against Finkbeiner remains to be seen. But Oemig’s announcement keeps the pressure on Finkbeiner to flip his position yet again and support the gay civil rights bill this session (as he has suggested he may do).

Did gay rights activists put Oemig up to this? No, he says. But he’d be happy to take their money to support his campaign.

“I Generally Don’t Bounce”

posted by on January 3 at 2:23 PM

In his earlier post about the world of crime and bad manners that exists in front of the Central District bar Deano’s, Tom Francis directs readers to the neighborhood association’s public message board, featuring dozens of reports of wrongdoing witnessed in the area.

Pinnacle of fascination: The following report posted by someone who may have been mugged, or may have just had his debut epileptic seizure. Either way, poor guy…

Friday September 16th, 1800 Block E. 19th: Probable Assault

On Friday night, at 10:30 or so, as I took my dog out for his walk, out our garage door as usual, I was apparently assaulted. I remember everything perfectly up until just closing the door in the alley behind the lofts behind me, and the next thing I remember was waking up face down in the alley, feet away from the door, with a bad case of road rash on the right side of my face, and a sore left shoulder. I was confused and disoriented, so did my best to gather my dog, and get back in to clean up.

Short story is that I have a hairline fracture on my left clavicle, and a pretty messed up right side of my face (road rash, black eye swollen shut.) But I didn’t see anyone and have no memory of it per se. The doctors examining me said yes, it could have been an assault (fortunately I do not carry my wallet at night). But they feel it could equally have been any number of things like a first time epileptic event, I could have tripped over my dogline, I could have had an alcohol-induced blackout (despite only having two beers that day, last one at 7pm.) Thus, I’m hesitant to file a report, but I will write this up so the folks in my condo building know. The non-assault explanations bear consideration, certainly, but I can’t understand how a faint, blackout or whatever could result in a fracture on one side of my body, while landing on the other (I generally don’t bounce.).

Hold the Presses…

posted by on January 3 at 1:42 PM

Seattle Weekly just launched a new web site, featuring finicky drop-down tabs, “stylish” fonts that were “invented at Microsoft,” and “colors that evoke Seattle and the Northwest” (because nothing says “Seattle” like maroon and periwinkle.)

Content-wise, the site’s new web-only features include a list of stories that got the most online hits in 2005 (bad news for Geov Parrish: Not one of the self-proclaimed “only consistently progressive local” columnist’s stories made the cut); searchable calendar listings that, as of this afternoon, didn’t work, and a list of local blogs that ranges from the well-known (Seattlest, Sound Politics, Horse’s Ass), to the rightfully obscure (Gluten-Free Girl, an “account of living with celiac disease”; Microsoft Watch, which offers “really inside baseball about technical developments.”)

Mysteriously overrepresented on the Weekly’s list of links: the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (four of the P-I’s seven blogs get plugs); big business (six of ten “biz/tech” blogs are about Microsoft, two are about Boeing and the ninth is—surprise—about Starbucks). Mysteriously underrepresented: Local politics (not one Seattle-focused political blog makes the list, although a blog about “local politics of the Eastside suburbs” does) and the Stranger’s own Slog, which, shockingly, merits nary a mention.

What will the Weekly’s impending takeover by the New Times media chain mean for its redesigned web site? Hard to say, but a look at some of the chain’s other clonish web sites could offer the Weekly’s online readers a glimpse of the future.

The Best Opening Line

posted by on January 3 at 1:24 PM

After hours of deep thought, I have decided that the best opening line in all of hiphop is that which opens Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power”: “NINETEEN! EIGHTY! NINE!”

In my unpublished work of pop theory, Twilight of the Good Times (2002), this is what I wrote about the remarkable year of 1989.

Crepuscular 80s

The 80s were the end of a world. Its hours and days detailed the sunset of the 20th century, which opened in 1917. The 19th century, which ran from 1789 (the French Revolution) and closed with the end of the First World War and the birth of the Soviet Union, was the platform from which the dreams and nightmares of 20th century were launched. These dreams and nightmares, rocketed by the militarized and mobilized super powers, each imagining itself to be “the legitimate heir” of the 19th century, came to end in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall—an event that was accompanied by other great events of that astonishing year: after 27 years of imprisonment, the releasing of Nelson Mandela; the first bursts of the Japanese bubble; the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan; the Tiananmen Square massacre; the assassination of King Tubby in Kingston, Jamaica; and much, much more.

Continue reading "The Best Opening Line" »

Have a shitty New Year’s?

posted by on January 3 at 12:33 PM

Well, at least you didn’t get shot in the face. Obie Trice- real name, no gimmicks- caught one in what is apparently a case of Motown-style road rage. Moby, however, has not been counted out as a suspect. Oh, and before y’all start in with the usual bullshit reserved for Rappers That Been Shot (now hiring!), some of you might be pleased to know that the O is OK.

Louis Comfort Tiffany

posted by on January 3 at 12:28 PM

The SAM exhibit is absolutely worth a visit. It’s not just lamps. Tiffany was a master glass craftsman, but also a painter, jewelry maker, and interior decorator. His work, inspired by nature, geometry, and arts of the Near and Far East, is breathtaking. Take the audio tour and spend an hour thoroughly charmed.

The museum is open until 9 pm tonight and until midnight tomorrow (the “Last Bash” starts at 5 pm, see details). It’s your last chance to visit SAM downtown until it reopens in its new space in 2007.

Wine Stalking the Famous Feminist

posted by on January 3 at 12:24 PM

I’m not a Joel Stein fan. I am not crazy about Maureen Dowd. But this feud tickles me; it’s greater than the sum of its participants.

Out of Town Action

posted by on January 3 at 11:53 AM

I just got the Olympia Film Society calendar, and it’s the usual run of second-run, vaguely low-profile stuff (plus a week of Rent, bizarrely) that played Seattle ages ago. But there was one surprise. OFS is getting Duma, the pet cheetah movie that made Manohla Dargis’s top ten list, which hasn’t yet played Seattle, and certainly won’t by the time it opens in Olympia on January 21. Might be worth a trip.

Definitely worth a trip: the Hesse Collection on view at Portland Art Museum. It’s two floors packed with anything and everything—from commissioned tapestries to 2nd century B.C. Isis pendants, Faberge eggs to a stunning Hans Holbein Madonna & child, rifles emblazoned with anti-Papist propaganda to a pair of 18th century swivel chairs—belonging to Germany’s artistocratic Hesse family. I went with my parents, who enjoyed themselves, and my grandfather, who had never been to an art museum before. He pronounced it “interesting but tiring.” Indeed. The Hesse Collection will be in Portland through March 19, and then it’s going straight back to Germany. Meanwhile, SAM has lamps. Through tomorrow, and then they’re shutting down for the year.

We Hardly Knew Ye

posted by on January 3 at 11:34 AM

The Sonics have shitcanned head coach Bob Weiss. The official announcement can be found after the jump.

Continue reading "We Hardly Knew Ye" »

Deano’s roasted

posted by on January 3 at 11:18 AM

“Drug dealing, prostitution, murders. Besides that, there are no problems.” That’s Andrew Taylor’s assessment of Deano’s Cafe, on the 2100 block of Madison. (Indeed, there was a murder as recently as last April.) As chair of the Miller Park Neighborhood Association, Taylor is leading a pack of residents who hope to convince the Washington State Liquor Control Board against renewing Deano’s liquor license.

The neighborhood association’s website keeps a public safety board, where Deano’s is an all-too-popular topic. Here is a sample:

I have HAD IT with the one-legged, crack smoking homeless guy that hangs about down here. He’s filthy and obviously totally brain damaged and smokes crack in front of God and Country with no fear and I’ve HAD IT. My generally sympathetic and liberal patience with these poor, lost, addicted souls is exhausted when it comes to this scumbag.

Another neighbor guarantees that by merely driving past Deano’s back lot you will be waved down by someone who will offer drugs and/or sex. I personally tested this claim, and I can report that even at the un-bewitching hour of 11 a.m., I had a hooker chasing after my car.

The city attorney’s office has collected input from neighborhood sources about the bar’s impact. In the letter he submitted, Taylor describes being propositioned on the sidewalk by prostitutes and drug dealers. He concludes: “We, as neighbors, cannot prove that the bar is the source of all the problems, but it is abundantly clear that Deano’s Bar serves as a focus for all that is ill and dangerous in our area.”

Hillbilly Heroin

posted by on January 3 at 11:11 AM

So I’ve contracted a fierce case of this Martian Death Flu that’s been going around — phlegm, migraine-level headache, Vic Tayback vocal stylings, etc — and nothing seems to be putting a dent in it. (Nyquil actually seems to make the sumbitch stronger and more virile, much like pollution and Hedora the Smog Monster.) Last night, in desperation, I reached for my dusty, unopened bottle of Oxycontin, prescribed for a previous back injury but gone unused due to worries about a possible interaction with something I was taking at the time. No fool I, I decided to take half of the recommended dose.

7 hours later, I’m finally able to somewhat move again, and my pupils continue to exist only on a purely theoretical level. My question is this: How in the hell do teenage abusers (to say nothing of Big Daddy Rush Limbaugh, allegedly) of this stuff function on a daily basis? I mean, Jesus, in my current state, even the general concept of algebra seems like some crazy, Lovecraftian moonman language.

re: Unsolved Mysteries

posted by on January 3 at 11:10 AM

Adrian responds:

my. how dreadfully tiresome. thank you ever-so for your comments on my somewhat funny column; if you actually read it with any frequency whatsover (or, er, even twice maybe), you clearly understand that not only am i gay, but desperately, cataclysmically gay. you’d also understand that i possess as little problem with the word fag as i do kike and/or nigger, and have used all of them at my discretion, often, in both their delightful noun and adjective forms. which you’d also know. if you ever read it more than enough to bitch to the editors. you might do well to remember the words of confucious: “it is as great a sin to take offense as it is to give it.” huzzah.

adrian ryan

p.s.—fat chick, fat chick. jew.

Unsolved Mysteries

posted by on January 3 at 9:54 AM

A Stranger reader wants to know…

Adrian Ryan writes a somewhat funny column for your paper.  However, in the latest issue she refers to Elton John’s partner as a “creepy-looking fag.” My question is: Is Adrian Ryan gay?  If not, what gives him the right to use the word “fag” in this manner? I look forward to reading about “creepy looking niggers” and “creepy looking kikes” in your future publications.

Is Adrian Ryan gay? Does anyone know? Let’s get our best reporter on this and dig up an answer for this somewhat clueless reader.

Happy New Year

posted by on January 3 at 7:10 AM

Republican sleazeball Jack Abramoff agrees to a plea deal.

Abramoff will also agree to cooperate in any ongoing federal investigations in Washington, said his Miami attorney Neal Sonnett. Prosecutors there are investigating several members of Congress who allegedly received favors from Abramoff or his clients.

It’s a story that fills Dem hearts with glee and Republican trousers with crap. It’s also a good way to begin 2006—a very good omen.

John Kerry: Reporting for Duty in 2008?

posted by on January 3 at 6:52 AM

I gave two grand to John Kerry in 2004—the max personal donation in a presidential race. I wanted Bush out and I dug deep, gave until it hurt, put my money where my big mouth was, etc. In return for my money I got was one lousy meal in a hotel ballroom, a terrible presidential candidate, and my name on every Dem’s mailing list. Today the AP reports that Kerry “never stopped running” for President, and that his “campaign Web site boasts of an online army of 3 million supporters.”

I haven’t looked around Kerry’s website, but I suspect that my two grand also bought me the honor of being counted among his three million supporters.

Well, I ain’t.

You had your chance, John, and you blew it. You were less capable of articulating your ideas than George W. Bush, a man who can barely speak English. And when the Swift Boat veterans went after your military service, you didn’t dignify their attack with a response. What you communicated to the country was this: Here’s a man who won’t defend himself, how can you trust him to defend you? It cost you the election—and perhaps rightly so.

Fuck off, John. In 2008 only Dems who can fight back and fight furiously are going to be taken seriously.


posted by on January 3 at 1:18 AM

I read this Wall Street Journal article on hymen repair surgery several weeks ago, but I can’t get it out of my mind. It keeps hitting me with aftershocks of unpleasantness. I think about hymens while doing the dishes, and worse, I force my friends to talk about them an awful lot. Revirgination is a supposedly hot new fad among American women, and according to one reinvented 40-year-old virgin:

“It’s the ultimate gift for the man who has everything.”

Vomit. Rinse. Repeat.

I wouldn’t wish a second virginity on any man I’ve had sex wtih. Conversely, I cannot understand how any man could say, or even think, “I would love you more if I could make you bleed during sex.”

And I would love it (or at least be amused) if you would cum in your pants like when you were 14, and then cry on my chest a bit. So is this the new face of Romance?

Not that the women interviewed in this article sound coerced into having their hymens patched back together. It is, after all, the “ultimate gift” for the man who has everything. Shudder.

You know what I buy men who have everything? Wool socks. No one can ever have too many pairs of motherfucking wool socks.

And then there’s the whore-before-marriage angle. Silly girl, you had sex and you’re not married? Well then, you’d better stitch your flesh back together before your hungry, wanton vagina disgraces everyone you know.

“Losing your virginity is like losing a member of your family,” said Ms. Esmeralda Vanegas, owner of a New York spa that performs hymenoplasty. “We can make it seem like nothing ever happened.”

I’m sorry, but losing your virginity should never be as traumatic as losing a member of your family. And if for some freakish reason it is that traumatic, why would you pay to have it happen twice?

Monday, January 2, 2006

Bisexual Barbie

posted by on January 2 at 7:04 PM

Via Americablog: The Concerned Women for America accuse Barbie of promoting bisexuality—that’s about as unrealistic as the body image feminists complain about Barbie promoting.

Size Matters

posted by on January 2 at 1:17 AM

This should be good news: Washington state added 400,000 people between July ‘00 and July ‘05. We’ve hit 6.3 million (making us the 14th most populous state), and we’re expected to hit 6.8 million by 2010.

This means Washington (King County) might get an additional seat in Congress when they reapportion the seats after the 2010 census. (Right now, each seat in Congress represents about 630,000 people.)

The article doesn’t say where the growth is concentrated, but I’m guessing King County is the hub.

It sure would be nice if we had some speedy elevated mass transit to go along with all the people.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Many Happy Returns

posted by on January 1 at 2:08 PM

Because I didn’t get to kiss you at midnight. But I wanted to.

Also: I saw a pair of baby shoes for sale in Japan three years ago and I’m still kicking myself for not buying them. They were perfectly white and tiny and each had two velcro straps with colorful bubble letters that spelled FUCK OFF. They would be the perfect accompaniment.

And in case you forgot: Putin is still a dick.