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Archives for 01/22/2006 - 01/28/2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006

WA Dems & GOP Select New State Party Chairs

posted by on January 28 at 6:56 PM

The Democrats elected former left-wing King County Council Member Dwight Pelz as new state chair this afternoon. Pelz, a loud brawler, replaces outgoing chair Paul Berendt.

The Republicans, replacing their outgoing chair (and quipster) Chris Vance, elected attorney and party activist Diane Tebelius. Tebelius ran against Dave Reichert in the Republican primary in 2004. Her latest claim to fame: Losing the Rossi trial and defending her party’s recent controversial voter challenges in King County.

Immediately upon being selected (Pelz beat rival Laura Ruderman 95-70), Pelz showcased his knack for sound biting.

Asked about Tebelius, no wimp herself (Tebelius is a former federal prosecutor and she raised nearly a half a million dollars in her R primary loss to Reichert), Pelz said: “She’s smart, and she’s tough. But she’s got a tough product to sell.” He went on to bash President Bush’s record of misleading the public about Iraq, the Republicans’ “Culture of Corruption,” and the Republicans’ history of bilking the working classes.

Berendt leaves Pelz with the best situation for Dems of any West coast state: The Democrats control both houses in the Olympia, the Governor’s mansion, and both U.S. Senate seats.

My Smobriety: Odds and Ends and Illness

posted by on January 28 at 5:15 PM

It’s been about three weeks now, and I haven’t really wanted a cigarette at any point in the process. I did have a dream, about three days ago, that I was smoking, and my immediate response was panic: “Oh, fuck, now I’m gonna have to quit again.” Also, just last night, I developed the worst cold I’ve had in years. I’ve heard from most nonsmokers that a flu or flulike cold is usually nature’s reward for quitting smoking, and I think that this is, in fact, said reward (thanks, God.) It’s definitely the first sore throat that I’ve had since I started smoking, twelve years ago. I’m sure there’s a weird scientific explanation for that, but I can’t find it on Google.
But blogging is one of those things that one can do when ill, and there are two things I’ve been meaning to post:
Three days ago, the Goddamned Useless Seattle Times chimed in on the non-smoking bandwagon. Turns out a G.U.S.T. staffer has created a web page where you can climb the Space Needle using all the cigarettes you haven’t smoked. Which is one of the most Goddamned Useless things I’ve ever seen. Is anybody in Seattle as obsessed with the Space Needle in the way that Puff-Piece Journalists desperate for any kind of local color are obsessed with the Space Needle? Why would anyone want to climb the Space Needle with all the cigarettes they haven’t smoked? Do journalists who are having colonoscopies in South Dakota keep track of their enemas by comparing the output by volume with Mount Rushmore?
And, secondly,this potential law in California declaring that secondhand smoke is an air pollutant is a major sign. A major sign of exactly what remains to be seen, but it certainly does mean that today, I can imagine a United States where smoking is illegal, whereas yesterday, I couldn’t. I’m against making cigarettes illegal—I was against the smoking ban, even though I voted for it because it would make my smobriety a little easier, and yes, any smokers reading this can hate me for it—but, frankly, if one state were to declare them a toxic substance, we’re not that far off from a total ban, are we?

The NPR First Word of the Day

posted by on January 28 at 9:59 AM

I enjoy listening to NPR as much as the next liberal, but no matter when I turn it on, I always encounter a depressing, horrific story right off the bat. It usually goes something like this:

“In (foreign country) yesterday, (large quantity) of people died when a (natural disaster or terrorist attack) occured just outside of (major city)…”

I know that NPR broadcasts stuff that isn’t all bad news, but I never seem to tune in at those times. So with that in mind, I will begin keeping track of the first word I hear (with the exception of articles and conjunctions) on NPR when I tune in daily.

Today’s first word: “killings

The After Party

posted by on January 28 at 5:28 AM

About 300 people jammed into the gilt & chandeliered foyer of the Paramount Theater on Pine Street at 6pm on Friday after work to celebrate the passage of the gay civil rights bill.

After a series of speakers—including Equal Right’s Washington Executive Director Fran Dunaway and Lifelong AIDS Alliance executive director Tina Podlodowski—Rep. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill, U. District) took the stage. The crowd had already been amped and bouyant—high fiving and hugging and cheering—but when Murray took the podium the house went to 11. Murray drew weighty and sustained applause as the day’s hero. (It was his bill, 2661, which passed the state Senate earlier in the day, 25-23, outlawing discrimination in housing, employment, and insurance, based on sexual orientation. Read Eli Sander’s live Slog coverage of the vote here.

After Murray finally quieted the crowd, his speech was interrupted twice—once when the crowd spontaneously started chanting his name, and then again when, after Murray thanked the room full of activists, someone yelled out, “No, thank YOU!” …which led to more sustained cheers.

Murray paraphrased Gandhi, saying, “First they ignored us. Then they laughed at us. Then they fought us. And… we won.” However, knowing that a backlash could be brewing, he ended his statement saying: “And if they threaten to use the ballot box to take away our rights, we will continue to fight…..We will never give up.”

In addition to the beaming Seattle politicians on the scene (Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis; King County Council Member Dow Constantine; City Council Members Tom Rasmussen, Jan Drago, Richard Conlin, and brand-new lesbian Council Member Sally Clark who, kismet had it, was appointed earlier in the day) the room was loaded with gay activists of all stripes—from trannies to suits—who have organized and agitated on this issue for years—29 years.

For example, I talked to one guy in the crowd, a gray bearded guy in a dark blue oxford named Roger Winters. Winters, who currently works at King County in the clerk’s office, brought a copy of his typed, 10-page testimony from 1977 when he testified in Olympia in support of the original gay rights bill. My favorite passages from his 29-year-old testimony (he proudly handed me a copy) were the passages where he addressed “Objections to the Bill”

He wrote at the time:

A)”The Bill would condone immorality”: You can’t legislate morality…Inasmuch as private sexual conduct between consenting persons of legal age is not now against Washington state law, allowing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation to continue would be tantamount to placing in the hands of any citizen the right to punish those whose private choices do not correspond to his or her own. Such discrimination has no regard for due process of law, evidence, fact, or the rights of the individual… B) “The Bill would allow practices against the bible”: The First Amendment prohibition against the State’s establishing any religion forbids the State from acting merely because the Bible says so. Those who believe that their religion prohibits homosexuality are free to refrain from such acts as a matter of individual conscience and freedom of religion, but they are not free to impose their religious doctrines upon the rest of their fellow citizens…”

Thank You Roger Winters, 1977.

Two other things that blew me away at the Paramount tonight:

1) The row of five old ladies—dressed in fuzzy old-lady red, white, and pink sweaters—who were up in the balcony gazing down on the victory speeches, blowing their noses and wiping their eyes with Kleenex as former City Council Member, Podlodowski, gave the keynote speech. Podlodowski walked the crowd through the history of the struggle for the gay civil rights bill—including a slide show tribute to Cal Anderson, the state legislature’s first out gay lawmaker—first as a house rep from 1987 thru 1994 and then as a state senator until his death from AIDS in 1995. Anderson adamantly pushed the gay rights bill during his tenure.

2) When the spotlight fell on Eric Ishino, Anderson’s former partner. The room exploded into heartfelt cheers—a sort of jubilant sĂ©ance for a missing hero. I asked Ishino what Anderson might have said today, had he taken the stage at the Paramount. Ishino, who works for the city, said that after thanking everyone for their commitment to the bill, Anderson would have said: “We can’t let our guard down…we have to fight to protect what we’ve won.” I then asked Ishino what he would have said to Anderson tonight. He was bashful. A giant smile bloomed on his face, and he just looked up at the gilt ceiling.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Naked in Aggregate

posted by on January 27 at 6:21 PM

Artist Jason Salavon is doing strange things.

Take this, for example—every Playboy centerfold from 1960 to 1999, grouped by decade and digitally averaged into one composite photo for each decade.


We can clearly see that the models have become whiter, blonder, and skinnier. And the background has blued. Click through for closer views of each image.

And then there’s Flayed Figure, Male, a self-portrait best described by the artist:

The entire surface area of the artist’s body is printed to scale in this photograph. It consists of over 13,000 half-inch squares of skin and hair rearranged vertically by luminosity from dark to light. The resulting self-portrait is reconfigured so as to reveal the most intimate physical detail while obliterating individual identity.

The result looks like this:


But you have to see the detail to get the full effect.

There are more, like the 76 Blowjobs, or The Grand Unification Theory (one frame per second from Star Wars, arranged by luminosity).

It’s Vera’s Birthday all weekend long!

posted by on January 27 at 6:15 PM

Celebrate FIVE YEARS of Vera tonight with:

Zine Station where you can paste, tape, collage, or type memories from the past 5 years at Vera. All things created and dropped off will be made into a Anniversary Zine to be distributed in February.

5 Cakes! One for each year. Vietnamese tofu sandwiches and crème puffs will be available for consumption. Eat up!!

Justin Shear and James Nixon have slaved over a retrospective slideshow of the last 5 years. Slides of volunteers, members, bands and staff from the early years until very recently! Don’t miss it, James has mixed live cuts from groups that have performed at Vera. Oooohhh fancy.

The rumors are confirmed. Super Secret Special Guest is…?
Here are a couple clues:
They played one of their first shows at Local 46.
They’re all over the radio and local newspapers.
They love vampires.
Not to mention DJ Mac busting some dance music and possible dance moves!

A silkscreen station set up so everyone can screen “Celebrating 5 Years” onto any article of clothing you bring. Possibly a Vera shirt that could use a little spunk or just maybe that umbrella you‚ve been meaning to decorate. Or purchase a limited edition 5 year anniversary t-shirt with a redesigned old school Vera logo!

It all starts at 7 pm (you have just under and hour to get there!) at the Fourth Ave space. And it’s FREE!

And tomorrow night, the Showbox hosts a sold-out show with the Blood Brothers, Minus the Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, and Crystal Skulls. Yay!

Happy birthday, Vera!!

Outta here

posted by on January 27 at 5:33 PM

A fond farewell to The Stranger and Seattle…it’s been a great 4 years and I’ll miss it here dearly. I’m off to SF come Monday (sniff). xo Jennifer


posted by on January 27 at 5:32 PM

It’s true. Grandaddy broke up.

Ari, from Music for America, passed along the news…

Grandaddy Call It Quits.

Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me

posted by on January 27 at 5:03 PM

Musty bones are creaking this way: Sisters of Mercy are coming to the Premier on March 25. Tickets go on sale tomorrow through TicketsWest. I’m sorry I don’t have a recording of Mudede’s hilarious, affectionate rendition of “This Corrosion” to share with you.


posted by on January 27 at 4:35 PM

From The The Carpetbagger Report:

In the 2004 presidential race, John Kerry offered a very clear approach as to how the United States should deal with Iran: have the international community offer Iran nuclear fuel to be used in a peaceful nuclear energy program. As Kerry put it at the time, “We should call their bluff and organize a group of states that will offer the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can’t divert it to build a weapon.”

Nonsense, said the Bush gang, which argued such an approach would effectively be “appeasement.” Condi Rice dismissed Kerry’s approach, telling Fox News, “This regime has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not quote-unquote ‘engaged.’” Frank Gaffney Jr., a former Pentagon official and Bush ally, knocked Kerry’s plan in an op-ed entitled, “Kerry’s Nuclear Nonsense.” Gaffney boasted, “Mr. Bush understands the folly of going that route.” National Review ran an item calling Kerry’s proposal “ignorant” and “dangerously wrong.

Even in an election year our Dear Leader Bush wouldn’t play politics over something as important as diplomacy with a country ruled by radical Islamists. Surely he wouldn’t do something as petty, misguided, and quite possibly dangerous just to make his opponent look weak. No, not our man Dubya!

Oh wait…

President Bush’s endorsement of a plan to end the nuclear standoff with Iran by giving the Islamic republic nuclear fuel for civilian use under close monitoring has left some of his supporters baffled.

One cause for the chagrin is that the proposal, which is backed by Russia, essentially adopts a strategy advocated by Mr. Bush’s Democratic opponent in the 2004 election, Senator Kerry of Massachusetts.

I have made it clear that I believe that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear power program under these conditions: that the material used to power the plant would be manufactured in Russia, delivered under IAEA inspectors to Iran to be used in that plant, the waste of which will be picked up by the Russians and returned to Russia,” Mr. Bush said at a news conference yesterday. “I think that is a good plan. The Russians came up with the idea and I support it,” he added.

What an eeediot.

Bag of Crabs

posted by on January 27 at 4:11 PM

I ran across this delicious looking bag of crabs—dried, spiced crabs—at Shoreline Community College today, where I gave a speech about gay marriage and made a woman cry by using the word “fuck.” I bought the bag of crabs because I felt compelled to share my discovery with Slog readers:


I particularly love the crab-eating slogans—”Let’s Party” and “Party Time”—that are written on the bag. But I wonder what the Japanese characters say?

‘Specially for the abstractionists out there

posted by on January 27 at 2:43 PM

This week I caught an early glimpse of the Denzil Hurley painting show opening at Francine Seders on Sunday (the reception is 2-4 pm), and it’s a gathering of sophisticated oils on canvas that are quietly obsessed with the lost action of their own making. Hurley, a UW professor, repeatedly paints in layers, then sands down the paint, producing fields of inflected color that contain mysterious marks. Some of the marks appear to emerge from behind the fields of color, while others lay on top. The field keeps shifting, and so does the desire to look at the marks versus the field. It’s hard to take these in all at once, to reconcile the attraction of the details with the rhythm of the overall picture. I didn’t have enough time with them to decide whether the activity they generate overcomes the dry, methodical approach, but go and see for yourself.

FYI, this is Hurley’s first showing at the veteran gallery (which represents several abstractionists, including Lauri Chambers and Michael Dailey), and it’s titled Variant/Glyphic/Negation/Redact.


Your New City Council Member, For Real

posted by on January 27 at 2:33 PM

Defying expectations (and, in several cases, council members’ own predictions) that the city council would choose a woman of color to replace Jim Compton, the council went with former Tina Podlodowski aide and current Lifelong AIDS Alliance community resources director Sally Clark, one of six finalists for the position.

Council members said they were swayed by Clark’s impressive performance at her interview, and by the unequivocally positive reviews she received from colleagues and former employers. Several also said they were impressed by the “mature, responsible” way Clark responded to news that the five minority candidates for the position (all of them, in other words, but her) had banded together in an informal social group they called the “sisterhood”. Clark told the Times: “I think it’s great and I would love to have dinner with them. But I feel I’ve amassed my own support group and I’ve been busy enough doing my due diligence and studying issues.”

Clark received the largest number of points in the initial round of voting, and was one of four finalists to receive nominations. (Venus Velazquez and Ven Knox didn’t make the cut). The council deadlocked 4-4 on Sharon Maeda and Stella Chao, and finally voted 6-2 for Clark,, with David Della and Richard McIver voting no. Then, as a gesture of confidence, they took another vote to make it unanimous.

After the vote, council president Nick Licata said Clark was the only finalist who didn’t “raise red flags” with at least one council member. “Every other candidate had a myriad of concerns, most of them really minor,” Licata said. Jan Drago said that when she checked Clark’s references, “it was just astonishing - all of her former bosses were just profusely positive.”

Council members and staff seemed surprised but mostly pleased at the council’s choice. (Because it wasn’t a straight up-or-down vote, a straightforward count of council members’ top choices wouldn’t necessarily indicate who would get the position.) Drago said she had expected the job to go to Dolores Sibonga, who served on the council throughout the ’80s. Meanwhile, a bleary-eyed Tom Rasmussen, who had been up all night at the One-Night Count of the homeless, said he “never would have predicted it. Never, never, never.”

Clark is the first out lesbian member of the council since Podlodowski, who served on the council from 1996 to 1999. And she is the first young woman on the council since Judy Nicastro and Heidi Wills, who both lost their seats in 2003.

Even as council members were absorbing the news about Clark, the gay-rights bill passed in Olympia, prompting Drago to yell to Podlodowski, to whom she was talking on her cell phone, “Oh my God! What a day!” The council will swear in Clark on February 6.

Seductive and Irritating

posted by on January 27 at 2:15 PM

Last night, seated in the far back of an assembly at Winston Wächter Fine Art, I considered the relationship between artists Susan Dory and Brian Murphy. My wine-soaked conclusion: none. Brian works in watercolor and paper, Susan in acrylic and canvas. Brian’s subject is figurative, Susan’s is abstract. Brian’s is intimate, revealing, uncomfortable, and challenging. Susan’s is, on all counts, the opposite.

Brian described his work as the product of being drawn to subjects both “seductive and irritating.” I thought that pretty accurately described the event. Although he was graceful and sensitive to all the questions, he didn’t seem comfortable in the spotlight, and mentioned that the reason he’s a visual artist is so that he doesn’t have to talk.

I selfishly wished the focus were on him, and we could hear his thoughts on body image, on the celebration of the uncomfortable, on the quiet but confrontational nature of his work. Instead I was bored senseless by the back & forth, the dense verbosity, the circuitous art-speak.

On my way out (mid-lecture) I intentionally caught Brian’s eye, and gave him my best, most meaningful look of conspiratorial support. I tried to make my eyes say “I suspect you’re just as miserable as I am, and you would also leave if you could.”

Hope For Canada

posted by on January 27 at 1:41 PM

From the Vancouver Sun:

Canadians are far too “liberal and hedonistic” to change their politics overnight despite their election of Stephen Harper’s Tory government, says a far-right-wing American commentator.
Paul Weyrich examines the result of Monday’s election in an essay posted to the website of the Free Congress Foundation, the Washinton-based think tank that he heads.
“The people of Canada have become so liberal and hedonistic that the public ethic in the country immediately could not reversed,” Weyrich writes.
But shift is possible.
“It will take time. But with leadership it well may be possible to change the public ethic.”

Slogging Towards a Gay Civil Rights Bill

posted by on January 27 at 1:35 PM

Today, the Washington State Senate seems likely to pass a law that was first introduced in 1977, the year I was born. Commonly known as “the gay civil rights bill,” it would actually protect more than just gay people: It would prohibit discrimination against heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered people in housing, employment, and financial transactions.

How would it do this? By expanding the list of protected classes in this state. Right now discrimination is prohibited against people based on race, religion, age, gender, or physical disability. This bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list.

Watch with me here, as the senate debates, then votes on, and then likely passes a bill that has led to so much acrimony for nearly 30 years. Debate has just started, with this reminder to the large crowd that has gathered: “No reponses or outbursts will be allowed in response to any action taking place in the senate.”

Ah, but they can’t keep a blogger quiet! Keep checking back, I’ll be posting outbursts throughout the day’s debate.


Something we’ll be hearing a lot about today is what the people of the great State of Washington think about this bill. A conservative senator just got done telling the chamber that 60 percent of Washingtonians oppose this bill. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the group Equal Rights Washington, the opposite is true: 60 percent of Washingtonians support the bill, and most voters believe it is already illegal in this state to discriminate against people based on their sexual identity.


For a man who just told the senate that he has a lesbian daughter, Senator Bob Oke (R-Port Orchard) doesn’t seem to know much about homosexuality. He kept referring to it as “the homosexually lifestyle.” And then he told the senate how, as a religious man, he won’t allow his daughter and her partner in his home. No mystery how he’ll be voting. Sen. Oke’s great fear, he said, is that tomorrow’s headlines will read: “Senate approves homosexually lifestyle.” I doubt the good senator from Port Orchard will be a happy man tomorrow, but I don’t think he has to worry about that particular headline.


His voice thick with emotion, Sen. Bill Finkbeiner (R-Redmond) just made it all but certain the bill will pass. He will likely be the only Republican to break ranks and vote with Democrats in support of the bill. And in explaining to his Republican colleagues why he is choosing to do so, he demolished the conservative argument against the proposed legislation.

He began by going through the list of concerns Republicans usually raise about the bill: That it will hurt small businesses (No, Finkbeiner pointed out, the bill exempts businesses with fewer than eight employees); that it will take away the rights of religious organizations (No, Finkbeiner pointed out, religious organizations are exempted from the proposed law); that it will lead to gay marriage (No, Finkbeiner pointed out, it has nothing to do with gay marriage).

Therefore, Finkbeiner said, “What the debate is about is not what’s in the bill. What the debate is about is what we’ve heard today: Whether or not it’s ok to be gay or homsexual in this state. And whether or not it’s ok to discriminate against someone because of that…

“An earlier speaker said: Would you choose this lifestyle for your children? Parents don’t choose this, you don’t choose who you love. The heart chooses who you love. I don’t believe it would be right for us to say it is acceptable to discriminate against people because of who their heart chooses to love. I cannot stand with that argument.

“I hope that after the passage of this bill that we’ll see that the world continues to turn. But for some people who struggle with this issue, and who struggle with the messages they’re being sent, it will be a better day.”


Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-Bellevue) ticked off a list of the 16 states that already have laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, including: New York, California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nevada. “People have said this bill will tear our state apart,” Weinstein said. “It hasn’t torn any of these states apart.” Good point.

And then Weinstein made another interesting point: “Those who vote against this bill now will be judged very harshly by future generations.”

Sen. Alex Deccio (R-Yakima) immediately rose to object, saying Weinstein had unfairly maligned people who will be voting against the bill, in violation of senate rules.

“Senator,” Weinstein responded, rhetorically outmaneuvering Deccio, “I was merely saying that I think future generations will look quite kindly on the people who voted for this bill.”


If you’re watching live, and have grown tired of the speechifying, there’s an excellent article in today’s Seattle Times that you should check out. It’s by Lornet Turnbull, who I think is one of the best “straight media” reporters in this state on gay rights issues. Today Turnbull explores what’s happened in municipalities in this state that already outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation—an exploration that seems sensible, given the doomsday scenarios that conservatives are painting for this state if the bill passes. Conservatives say that courts are going to be flooded with flimsy lawsuits as a result of the new law, but Turnbull finds that discrimination lawsuits based on sexual orientation are few and far between in places, such as Seattle and Tacoma, that already outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. She also finds that such lawsuits are extremely difficult to win anyway. One more conservative talking point demolished.

11:36 — VOTING NOW

The senate is doing a roll call vote right now on the bill. Last thing I heard: “Senator Finkbeiner? Aye.”


And the chamber erupts in applause.


Having finally overcome the years-long Republican blockade in the senate, this bill is going to become law. But it has one more hurdle before it fully clears the legislature and can land on Gov. Christine Gregoire’s desk: It has to go back to the house, where legislators need to reapprove the bill because of some language changes that were made in the senate version. There’s no doubt the house will approve the senate’s version of the bill, and quickly. I’ll let you know as soon as it happens.


As I noted at the start, this bill was first introduced in 1977, the year I was born. Beginning in 1987 it was championed for eight straight years by the late Sen. Cal Anderson, the state’s first openly gay legislator. (There’s a beautiful park just across the street from The Stranger’s offices on Capitol Hill that is named for Anderson, and during the debate today one senator asked to cast a vote in his honor.) After Anderson died of AIDS in 1995, Rep. Ed Murray (D-Seattle), who happened to have been appointed to the house of representatives that same year, immediately became the bill’s new champion. Murray, who is openly gay, has since introduced the bill 11 times over his legislative career, and is the state legislator most closely associated with this bill, and with gay rights in general.

Anticipating passage by the senate today, I asked Murray last night how it would feel to see the bill finally become law.

“Tomorrow, I’ll be able to say, ‘Promises kept, mission accomplished,’” Murray told me. “And not just to Cal, but to a lot of people I’ve known, who worked on it and went on to other things in their lives. And to a lot of people who are dead…

“When it passes, no matter what happens, there is no turning back. There is no taking away from this moment. A group of elected legislators, many of whom it’s a tough road for, did the courageous thing and legislated that discrimination against gays and lesbians and transgendered people is wrong. And nothing will take away from that, no matter what they try.”


In advance of the final house vote on the bill.


Applause, longer and louder than in the senate. And a reminder, from Ed Murray, that in some ways, the legislators in Olympia are behind much of the rest of the state in coming to realize the importance of this issue.

“I want to thank you for recognizing that for some gay and lesbian people, discrimination is a reality,” he told the chamber, just before the vote. “Within the lifetime of everyone in this room, it was for all gay and lesbian people.”

He continued: “You have proved that democracy works… For some of us, and I think for the whole state, it’s a new dawn.”


From Equal Rights Washington, a list of celebrations being held around the state tonight in honor of the bill’s passage:

Bellingham: 5 PM at Taco Lobo, 117 W Magnolia Street

Kitsap County: 6:30 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bremerton

Olympia: 5 PM at Plenty’s Restaurant, Downtown Olympia

Seattle: 6 PM at Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine Street

Spokane: 6 PM at Rainbow Regional Community Center, 508 West 2nd Avenue

Tacoma: 5:30 PM at Tempest, 913 MLK

Tri-Cities: 6 PM at Center for Positive Living, 210 East 3rd Avenue, Kennewick

Wenatchee: 7:30 PM Saturday at Cellar Cafe (SHINE Event), 246 N Mission Street

Yakima: 6 PM at Rainbow Cathedral MCC, 225 North 2nd; 7 PM at First Street Conference Center, 223 North 1st Street


The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce “hails” Washington’s legislators, and notes:

48% of the nation’s population will now be protected by sexual orientation non- discrimination laws

Over at Americablog, John Aravosis, who last year orchestrated the backlash against Microsoft’s decision not to support the bill, writes:

Amazing. This is truly amazing, and decades in coming. You’ll recall this was the bill that got killed last year after Microsoft pulled its support. Well, this year Microsoft didn’t just support the bill, but the local Republican rep from Redmond (Microsoft’s home) changed his vote from a no to a yes, and the bill passed 25-23 in the state Senate today.

This is really great news. And kudos to all those in Washington state who have fought for so long - decades, really - to get this passed. And thanks to Microsoft and all the other companies who publicly supported the legislation as good for business and good for America.

There’s hope yet for our country.


Lars Erickson, a spokesman for Gov. Christine Gregoire, said she plans to sign the bill into law on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

“She’s very excited about it, and very happy that she’s going to have the opportunity to sign the bill next week,” he said.

I asked what Gregoire thinks about the Tim Eyman initiative that could potentially moot the new law, and Erickson replied:

“She’s fought for these measures, and she will fight against any measure to repeal this great victory.”

Smokin’ Locals

posted by on January 27 at 11:49 AM

Final call for Seattle’s Sexiest: Send your local lust objects to us now (attach a photo and tell us where we can find him or her):
Today’s moment of yum courtesy of last year’s Sexiest Waitress, Roxy. (Let’s see if she generates as much drool as Mike did yesterday…)

Boyzie Cekwana

posted by on January 27 at 11:42 AM

I got a chance to interview Mr. Cekwana, the renowned South African dancer/choreographer who will perform at On the Boards next weekend. We discussed “Africanness” in art, dance audiences, and Tom Hanks movies:

“I saw a film long ago—Lost in Seattle, no? No, Sleepless in Seattle. Yes, I enjoyed the film very much so I looked it up on the map to know where Seattle is. And when I saw my tour map and saw we were going to Seattle, I was quite excited: At last! Really, really excited.”

You can read more here.

Last Days Spillover Spectacular

posted by on January 27 at 11:38 AM

Greetings! Welcome to this week’s Last Days Spillover Spectacular, wherein all those news items that didn’t make the cut for the print edition of Last Days get a cyber-airing here on the Slog.

As readers of the paper are aware, this week’s column is devoted entirely to Eric Cozens, AKA the man who bought the right to make himself the subject of this week’s column in the 2005 Strangercrombie Holday Gift Auction. Thus I was granted a week’s reprieve from news of weird science and terrifying threats.

But there remains a surplus to share, starting with this eyewitness sighting reported by Hot Tipper Maria, who was driving her son to kindergarten last Thursday morning when, at a Lake City Way stoplight, she witnessed a wondrous collision of multi-taskmastering and medical necessity:

“To my right, I noticed an agitated driver on a cell phone, also waiting for her light to change. Suddenly the door of her dark green Jeep Cherokee flew open, and she vomited, copiously and violently, several times onto the pavement. Her green light arrived and she quickly resumed driving and talking on her phone, swerving past us uphill on 115th.”

Considering the time of day, Last Days initially suspects morning sickness. But considering the woman’s matter-of-fact method of ralphing—not even hanging up her phone!—it’s possible today’s compunction-free puker is a can-do business woman hanging tough through the ravages of chemotherapy. Either way, it’s a sight Hot Tipper Maria won’t soon forget. “My son, secure in his booster seat, was disappointed that he missed seeing the technicolor yawn and hopes he will get to see someone puke publicly soon,” writes Maria. “With all of this Seahawks crap, he will probably get his wish.”

Speaking of people getting their wishes, the aforementioned purchaser of this week’s Last Days, Mr. Eric Cozens, was nice enough to answer a small handful of questions I threw at him, only to have the Q&A segment miss the cut for the final column. But here they are for you now:

What song will play at your funeral?
“‘My Way,’ by Sinatra.”
What’s your astrological sign? Does this question attract or repel you?
“Scorpio. I’ll leave it at that.”
What’s worse—bad art or child abuse?
“Bad art goes away with time, child abuse is repeated over and over.” [Columnist’s note: This is a most impressive answer.]

Speaking of child abuse: I’m sure there was plenty of it this week, but thanks to Eric Cozens, I didn’t have to read about any of it. In lieu of Last Days’ signature spin on tales of diabolical child abuse, please enjoy this. Performed by some very young Olsen twins, it could very well be the Last Days theme song. (Most perversely, listening to this song actually makes me want to start abusing children—two in particular…)

See you next week.

Counting the Homeless

posted by on January 27 at 11:05 AM

The Seattle King County Coalition for the Homeless (SKCCH) did their annual count last night, with 550 volunteers fanning out across the county to tally the number of people sleeping on the streets.
They found 1946 people—a drop from last year’s 2200. However, last year’s count was done in October—before 200 winter emergency beds were open. Those beds were being used last night. So, SKCCH estimate that the number of homeless people hasn’t changed much since last year.

They also noted a trend that began last year—an uptick in the number of homeless in Ballard.

Another note from last night: A decrease in the numbers in Beacon Hill’s “Jungle”—the forest land homeless turf adjacent to I-5.

Re: It’s Sally Clark

posted by on January 27 at 10:38 AM

Hurrah! Sally Clark has been distinguishing herself as a multi-pupose good egg since I first set foot in this musty burg. (July 10, 1991, to be exact.)

With the selection of Clark and the due-by-noon anti-gay discrimination decision, will January 27 go down in history as gay Seattlites very own Juneteenth? Stay tuned…

It’s Sally Clark

posted by on January 27 at 10:37 AM

The council just voted to make former Tina Podlodowski aide, and currrent Lifelong AIDS Alliance staffer Sally Clark, your new city council member. Defying expectations that the council would choose a women of color, Clark was the only white women among the six finalists (who were all women.) Clark is a minority, though. She’s gay.

On the first pass, David Della and Richard McIver, voted against Clark. However, on a second vote, it was unanimous.

Erica will have more details in a moment.

Little Hits: Best MP3 Blog EVER

posted by on January 27 at 9:56 AM

Because I’m always late to every party, I’m not going to shrink from slogging about an amazing MP3 Blog that has been captivating me for an embarrassing number of hours lately—even though I’m sure you’ve all known about it for like a hundred years:

Little Hits is the brainchild of Jon Harrison, a man with three adorable kitties, a massive record collection, and an astonishing generosity of spirit. Harrison posts a different Little Hit almost every day, and unlike many a fellow MP3 blogger, leaves them up for a long time. The archive goes back just over a year, and rewards as much attention as you’re willing to pay it. Granted, these songs aren’t going to be to everyone’s taste—Little Hits are a multi-genre subset that contains college rock of the ’80s, ’60s psych-garage pop nuggets, early-to-mid-’90s indie tweeness, Aussie/Kiwi arcana, the odd goth-lite drone, dreamy jangle from any era, and really anything else that is (a) great, and (b) able to fit on one side of a seven-inch single. But for certain people (take me, for example), it will be like discovering the last undiscovered second-hand store, only to find a near-limitless supply of records you’ve never heard but always loved.

In the recent past, I have enjoyed (and downloaded in many cases, i confess) previously unfamiliar music by artists I already knew, like The Turtles, Kirsty MacColl, Chris Knox, Small Factory, The 6ths, Monochrome Set, and The Softies, and been introduced to amazing sounds from bands I’d never even heard of, like Monkey Swallows the Universe, Pet Politics, Larch, The Nelsons (no relation, though i wouldn’t be surprised, frankly), The Orlons, Northern Picture Library, Miller, and literally dozens more. Best of all, each entry is accompanied by quality artwork scans, and concise, clever, informative text about the artists—most of whom are long gone—and often, the circumstances that brought Harrison to the record. Like most collectors, Harrison has a very specific story for every song he loves. Unlike many, however, his stories are a pleasure. And on days with no entries, there’s often something worth reading. Little Hits is an archivists’ archive, dedicated to one of the great near-lost disposable artifacts of the second half of the 20th century, the vinyl single. Over and above the sheer volume of cool music, there is the relief that comes with finding someone taking such care to keep the dream alive.

MP3 blogs are a mixed bag, not only for the music and comment they offer, but for the motivation of their authors/curators/shepherds. The same can be said of anything available on the web. In the best circumstances, they feel like the ultimate extension of being a fan/evangelist: This is the music I love, and I want you to hear it. It’s like a great radio show that you can move around in, a moveable feast of mix tape ingredients. Above all, the best MP3 blogs are generous, utilitarian, and self-perpetuating. They represent progress. Go find some before the RIAA finds a way to make them illegal. (NW writer/international playboy Mike McGonigal has a great one, which I credit/blame for the blog k-hole I’ve been in lately.)

I know there’s a lot of passionate discourse about free music on the internet, but I really can’t imagine a good argument against a project like Little Hits, at least not one that isn’t completely quashed by the following statement from Harrison, posted right at the top:

“Little Hits does not intend to deprive artists and labels of revenue; it is instead hoped that the music presented on this site will contribute to interest that will eventually lead to legitimate re-issue of the works of the artists represented, or wider recognition of already available releases. If you have legal rights to any of the songs presented here, and wish to have them removed, I will attempt to dazzle you with the speed and abject humility of my compliance.”

I don’t know Jon Harrison, but he is my brother.

Also, I am Slogging from France, which I think is a first. Burn on Jacques Chirac!

Mexican hunting maps?

posted by on January 27 at 9:53 AM

A plan to hand out 70,000 maps showing highways, rescue beacons and water tanks to Mexicans jumping the border has been suspended. Instead, the maps are only being posted on web sites.
The National Human Rights Commission (a Mexican government-funded agency), put the map distribution on hold after heavy criticism from the US (although the Mexican government is denying a correlation)—although Humane Borders is still posting them.

Miguel Angel Paredes, the spokesman for the federal Human Rights Commission, said the plan would be “rethought” because human rights officials in border states expressed concern that the maps would show anti-immigrant groups — like the Minutemen civilian patrols — where entrants were likely to gather. “This would be practically like telling the Minutemen where the migrants are going to be,” Paredes said. “We are going to rethink this, so that we wouldn’t almost be handing them over to groups that attack migrants.”

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps denies that it attacks the Mexicans whom they stalk like prey in the desert, but c’mon: A voluntary militia of white nationalists + infrared goggles = Mexican hunting parties.

A Note from the News Editor

posted by on January 27 at 9:48 AM

Thanks for the dispatch from City Hall, Erica.
And while Erica will be bringing us live hits from downtown, Eli Sanders will be updating us from Olympia, where the Senate is set to take up the gay civil rights bill.

Big news day.

Me, I’ll be sitting at my desk, um, delegating!

Have We Run Out of Seahawks Human Interest Stories Already?

posted by on January 27 at 9:42 AM

Most of the front page of the Seattle Times today—above the fold, with a huge photo—is given over to a story about a 16 year-old male ballet dancer who has an important audition on the Sunday of the Superbowl. He’s a Seahawks fan, you see, like so many other 16 year-old boy ballet dancers, and his dance belt is in a bunch about this.

Craig Hall has trained most of his life for this moment — a chance to earn a spot in the School of American Ballet’s summer course. For the 16-year-old who started dancing at 5, it would be a giant step toward his goal of joining the New York City Ballet.

His audition, however, is at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 5 — the same time his beloved Seattle Seahawks will be playing in Super Bowl XL. He has waited a long time for that moment, too.

“It’s awful,” said Hall, of Woodinville.

With a charming innocence, Hall asked his instructor at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School whether he thought it would be OK to write a letter asking if the time for the audition could be moved.

I was a 16 year-old boy ballet dance once—really—and I don’t recall any of my, er, peers being the least bit interested in the Chicago Bears. Or all that charmingly innocent either. Clearly times, and boy ballet dancers, have changed.

Your New City Council Member

posted by on January 27 at 9:00 AM

If all goes as planned, the city council will choose a new colleague to fill council position #9 this morning at 9:30 am. The voting system chosen by new council president Nick Licata is similar to proportional representation. Council members will each get three weighted votes, and each council member will be required to make three choices. Each council member’s first choice will get three points, or votes; second choice will get two; and third choice will get three. Then all the votes will be tallied and the voting will go into a second round. Of the six finalists, my money is on Sharon Maeda or Venus Velazquez; proportional systems, however, tend to benefit second-tier candidates, which could hand the council position to compromise candidate Stella Chao.

More details after the vote.

New Life to an Old Club

posted by on January 27 at 8:34 AM

The old Patti Summers space has seen a lot over its years—a birthday party for Jackie Hell, a venue for Seattle bands like the Blank Its to play, a watering hole for strays wandering around Pike Place Market. But on Valentine’s Day, the space will reemerge as the Can Can, opening its doors for the first time since the remodel (with a grand opening set for March 11) and from what it sounds like, still offering live music.

All Aboard!

posted by on January 27 at 8:12 AM

Sunday is Chinese New Year - time to bid fond farewell to the Year of the Cock and usher in Year of the Dog. China really knows how to party, and, more importantly, how to plan ahead:

Alongside food and fire crackers, Chinese are adding a new item to their lunar New Year shopping: Adult diapers. Sales have soared ahead of the holiday as travelers prepare for long trips home aboard trains so crowded that even the toilets are jammed with people, newspapers said Tuesday.

The Chinese are crapping their pants in the name of fun. That level of commitment is why they will destroy us. But life’s not all cocks and diaper trains! Things are looking good in Year of the Dog:
So what can we expect from the upcoming year? The Dog is an ethical and idealistic sign, and the year that bears its name will also bring increased social awareness and interest in society’s less powerful members. Any tendencies to take, take, take will be replaced by a widespread sentiment of generosity and selflessness. In general, we will all be imbued with the Dog’s keen sense of right and wrong.

Gung-Hay-Fat-Choy and stuff!

Has Target Reversed Itself?

posted by on January 27 at 8:09 AM

A few months back Target was allowing its pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception if it was against their religious beliefs—and Target claimed, outrageously, the they were acting in accordance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which, according to Target, gave all of their employees the right to discriminate based on their religious beliefs. It was a new and novel—and completely bullshit—interpretation of the Civil Rights Act.

Well, a reader just sent this story in:

Target pharmacist fired for refusing ‘morning-after’ prescription

ST. LOUIS — A suburban St. Louis pharmacist filed a federal complaint after being fired from a Target store for refusing to dispense the so-called “morning-after” birth control pill.

Heather Williams had worked at a Target store in St. Charles, Mo., for five years before being fired last month. Her attorney says that until recently, the company accommodated her objection to dispensing the morning-after pill. Her complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Calls to Minneapolis-based Target were not returned.

Several states are wrestling with the issue of pharmacists who refuse to dispense emergency contraception pills for moral and religious reasons.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Slogdance 20 — Who Needs Sleep?

posted by on January 26 at 11:21 PM

The question is a good one, and I must admit that I’m quite tired as I write this. But there’s much to do in the daytime hours, and I’m only hurting myself by cutting short my sleep, right? According to Haskel Wexler’s new doc Who Needs Sleep?, I might be wrong in that assumption. The movie is about reforms that several people are trying to make in the film industry, the only industry in the civilized world fighting for a 14 hour workday. You see, when people are “forced” (really, they would be fired if they left early) to work 14- to 18- to 22-hour days, for days on end, they become subject to fatigue, which often hits on the sometimes deadly drive home. The movie is quite good in its intentions, and even touching at times, but it gets a little redundant and would benefit from examinations of other sleep-depriving industries like doctors and nurses.

I missed the other sleep-themed movies. One was Alan Berliner’s Wide Awake, and the other was Michel Gondry’s follow-up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep. I heard great things about the former, and mixed-to-very good things about the latter. I look forward to catching up to those soon. After I get some rest.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance

Slogdance 19 — Battle in Heaven

posted by on January 26 at 11:09 PM

The Mexican film Battle in Heaven gained notoriety when it premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival because it opens and closes with a man getting a blow job. And this is not your typical movie or porn star type, but a pudgy middle aged man. There are also a couple of sex scenes in the movie, too—in one he has loving sex with his overweight wife, and in the other he has sex with the pretty prostitute who is the daughter of the rich family he works for (they don’t know about her side-job).

From Carlos Reygadas, director of the acclaimed 2002 film JapĂłn, this is another cinematic feat. The filmmaking is fantastic, patiently leading you through the story instead of telegraphing every move. With sweeping long takes and gorgeous composition, Raygadas is a director to be reckoned with. The plot might be a little thin, but who cares when you’re in the hands of a director you grow to trust?

Look for this one at the next SIFF.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance

Slogdance 18 — We Go Way Back

posted by on January 26 at 10:59 PM

The other Seattle feature playing in Park City, this one over at the Slamdance Film Festival, is Lynn Shelton’s completely charming We Go Way Back. I love the central character in the film (and by film I mean shot on 35mm and projected on 35mm), who is not the type of female protagonist normally seen in the movies. She is Kate, a 23-year-old theater actress trying to find herself by saying “yes” to everybody, whether it’s to do extra work for free or to have sex. Or rather, she goes along when she doesn’t say “no.”

As the need for her to come to terms with her floating life becomes more and more apparent, she eventually meets her 13-year-old self. It’s a turn of events that should clarify everything, but as a viewer I became more confused. Thematically I understood the whole journey to the simpler ideas of the organic farm and meeting the simpler and younger version of herself, but I couldn’t understand why that inspired zombie-like behavior. But I was snapped out of that by the gorgeous closing credits, and I left realizing whatever minor flaws I thought I saw in the film, I liked it quite a bit at its core. And I wish them best of luck on the festival circuit.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Slamdance

Slogdance 17 — Iraq in Fragments

posted by on January 26 at 10:44 PM

Let’s face it, I went to see Iraq in Fragments because I knew it was a “Seattle film.” The filmmaker, James Longley grew up on one of the islands up north, I think, and I know that he did all of his post-production in Seattle. The subject, however, is about as far from Seattle as you can get.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to see a movie about Iraq, and maybe that’s why the movie blindsided me. The best thing about seeing it at Sundance was that I finally had an answer for people who asked, “What can you recommend? What have you liked?” The reason I think the movie is so good is that it somehow manages to capture elements of life as it is lived in Iraq. Actually, in talking to Longley, I discovered he managed that by spending over two years in Iraq in making this movie. The time investment shows, in that he was around these people long enough that they started to ignore the camera and hold the same conversations that they would be having had the cameras not been around at all. Divided into three segments, I particularly liked the first segment, which reminded me of an Iraqi The 400 Blows.

Those who don’t want to wait forever for this movie to come to Seattle are in luck, as it will be the Opening Night film for the Arab Film Festival, coming to the Cinerama starting March 31. This one is highly recommended.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance

I’m Not a Flip-Flopper, I’m a Member of Congress

posted by on January 26 at 6:44 PM

Steven Colbert’s interview with New Jersey Representative Bill Pascrell is a work of idiotic genius. Mais oui!

(click image for video, or download here)

It’s amazing how unprepared these morons are for being interviewed by Colbert. Do they just go on any TV show that asks? No research? Don’t they have interns?

Whatever the reason, here’s hoping they don’t wise up anytime soon.

Best Idea of the Day

posted by on January 26 at 5:19 PM

From the Vines’ publicist at Capitol Records:

This is followed by a blank e-mail message. It’s a PR trend—blatant honesty—that I hope catches on.

Define Bed

posted by on January 26 at 5:17 PM

Seattle King County Coalition for the Homeless (SKCCH), a coalition of homeless service providers, will be out on the streets tonight doing their annual count to get a sense of the region’s homeless population. (Last year’s one-night count found about 2,200 people on the streets, in addition to the 4,600 in shelters or transitional housing.)

The count comes at a time when the mayor’s new budget cuts more than $200,000 from emergency shelter bed services like the Downtown Emergency Services Center and St. Martin’s. That’s a loss of between 50-150 beds. Additionally, SHARE/WHEEL (an emergency bed provider that is no longer participating in city services because it doesn’t agree with the city’s federally-mandated homeless computer tracking program) accounts for about 300 emergency beds lost.

Despite the cuts (and the losses), Nickels has pledged that there will be no net loss of shelter beds this year. In a January 5 letter to Nickels, the SKCCH asked Nickels to explain how he planned to live up to the pledge.

Without explaining what services will be funded, Nickels responded in a letter this week saying he’s added $350,000 to the budget to ensure that no beds will be lost.

It isn’t clear, however, if the SKCCH and Nickels are working from the same definition of “shelter bed.” The SKCCH is including emergency beds in its equation. However, as the city begins to enact the 10-year plan to end homelessness, Nickels’s bed count may not include the same number of emergency beds that exist today. Beds that aren’t part of programs that are primarily about moving people out of shelters into stable housing may get short shrift. This could, in fact, result in a net loss in the number of emergency beds that exist.

Hello Bastards! (Lifetime fans know what’s up.)

posted by on January 26 at 4:56 PM

This weekend I’m going down to San Francisco to catch the last Lifetime reunion show on the West Coast so I can see one of my favorite bands before they officially reunite, write new material, and suck. I’m so excited, I almost pee my pants just thinking about it.

Anyways, while I’m completely stoked to finally see Lifetime live, I’m also excited to visit one of my favorite cities. And since most of my friends are driving home after the show, and I chose to fly and miss fewer days of work (aren’t I so responsible?), that leaves me with a whole day to myself. Have any good ideas of what I could do? And of course I’m going to Amoeba. Duh. It has to be cheap (so no touristy bullshit), and it has to be fun. I have a short attention span.

Bark, Bite, Slobber, Slobber

posted by on January 26 at 3:51 PM

I’ve been avoiding reading Josh Feit’s diatribe on ill-behaved dogs (a topic selected and sponsored by a Strangercrombie auction winner) because I am a big fan of dogs and also a big fan of Josh—I didn’t look forward to arguing with him over the merits of canines as pets or, worse, deciding that he’s just a joyless prick.
Well, I just finished the piece and I have to say that I agree with most of his sentiments and all of his logic. Many dogs annoy the hell out of me: those unleashed, tough-looking mutts that charge me and my dog while we’re walking around the hill, the dogs who shit in the middle of the sidewalk and the owners who leave it there, the out-of-control dogs who greet me by licking, licking, licking my hands and shoes and anything else they can reach…. Of course these bad behaviors are primarily faults of the humans behind the dogs—a well-trained dog is usually a well-behaved dog, and training classes should be a mandatory part of dog ownership. (I’d like mandatory classes for new parents, too.)

Anyway, dog owners, read Josh’s article. If you recognize yourself and your pet in there, do everyone a favor and enroll yourselves in a basic manners class. Grisha at Ahimsa in Ballard runs excellent positive-training programs.

Go Fug Yourself

posted by on January 26 at 3:27 PM

Daily Kos briefly highlighted the blog Go Fug Yourself as a favorite today, and I want to second that.

It’s very funny.

And it beats my beloved Daily Fix for trashy celebrity reporting, and it has pictures, so you can stare and chuckle at unflattering images of your favorite gutter stars (Britany Spears! the Simpson Sisters! Courtney Love! Mischa Barton!) until your eyeballs bleed.

O’Reilly vs You

posted by on January 26 at 1:52 PM

Bill O’Reilly—#10 on the most loathsome list—is having a little contest.

Originally called “The Great Factor Debate”, it has apparently been rebrandedBloviate with Bill.” Catchy, no?

Six “lucky” viewers will get the chance to debate Bill on the air about a topic of their choosing. Be forewarned however—this is no cakewalk. As O’Reilly himself explains and illustrates, he is one hell of a debater and you stand no chance against his awesome powers. And it’s not just Bill who thinks so—just ask “Reputation Management Expert” Mike Paul! But mostly it’s Bill.

Watch as Bill demonstrates the following über-debating skills:
• Talking louder than your opponent
• Reminding your opponent that nobody cares what they say
• Cutting off your opponent’s microphone

Thanks for the lesson, Bill!


(click image for video, or click here)

I Heart Valentine’s Day!

posted by on January 26 at 1:46 PM

I know, it’s totally geeky, but I love and always have loved Valentine’s Day. I like the color red. I like the color pink. I like candy. It’s a great day! Anyways. This year I’m including a mix CD with all my valentines (I know, I know… shut up). Every song has to have the word “cupid” and/or “valentine.” (Stop laughing and/or rolling your eyes at me.)

Here’s what I have so far:

Oukast - Happy Valentine’s Day
Otis Redding - Cupid (the best version of the infamous Sam Cooke song)
The Juliana Theory - This Valentine Ain’t No Saint
Extreme - Cupid’s Dead
Elvis Costello - My Funny Valentine
Connie Francis - Stupid Cupid
Squeeze - Is This Love?
Squeeze - Cupid’s Toy
The Get Up Kids - Valentine
ABC - Poison Arrow (fuck yes)
Gym Class Heroes - Cupid’s Chokehold
The Divorce - Call the Police
Billy Bragg - Valentine’s Day is Over
Tom Waits - Blue Valentines
Elton John - No Valentines
Tiger Army - Cupid’s Victim
New Kids on the Block - Valentine Girl
Fifteen - Sweet Valentine
Ryan Adams - Oh My Sweet Valentine
Smashing Pumpkins - Cupid de Locke
Elliott Smith - Cupid’s Trick
My Bloody Valentine - Cupid Come
The Replacements - Valentine

Am I missing anything? Anything GOOD, I mean? Not all these songs are good, but there’s some really shitty stuff out there… like a Good Charlotte song (which I left out on purpose). So speak up. I know there’s at least one other Valentine’s Day loving dork that can get behind me with this. Don’t be shy.

My Ambivalence Gives Way To Anger

posted by on January 26 at 1:30 PM

Goddamn that Superbowl!

Having a bad day?

posted by on January 26 at 1:12 PM

It could be worse.

Hot Hot Hot!

posted by on January 26 at 12:48 PM

Last chance to nominate the most sizzling sex-on-legs in this town—is it your dentist, your manicurist, or your kid’s nanny? Send a description of Mr. or Ms. Thang and clues to where we can find him or her, plus a photo if you can, to Seattle’s Sexiest will appear in the February 9 Stranger, along with thousands of your Valentine’s love notes (sumit one here if you haven’t).

Now, a moment of yum with last year’s Sexiest Thing at the Central Library, Mike Watt:


Because we are filthy, filthy whores …

posted by on January 26 at 12:39 PM

… there was no room in this week’s Strangercrombie edition of the paper for a bunch of columns, including In Art News. But there were two new videos at Western Bridge that I couldn’t get out of my head, so I wrote about them. If you give a shit what goes on in my head, check it out here.

The Times Flounders

posted by on January 26 at 12:35 PM

The lead editorial in today’s Seattle Times trashes the city council for narrowing its field of candidates for council position 9 to six minority women, charging that its choices “revealed a lack of vision and boldness.”

The Times has it exactly backward. All the council’s candidates are extremely well-qualified, with long histories of community involvement.

Nonetheless, the Times argues, the council should have rejected at least some of its female choices for a man with “credibility” and “gravitas” like conservative realtor Robert Rosencrantz or Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce president Darryl Smith, who fell out of favor because of the way he handled the siting of a Latino day-labor center in his neighborhood. (Contrast the Times’ depiction of Rosencrantz and Smith with their condescending description of finalist Venus Velazquez, who is “young, Latina, passionate.” Those Latinas! So fiery! So passionate!)

Both Smith and Rosencrantz have run for council unsuccessfully before - Smith once, Rosencrantz twice. Neither has ever made it past a primary. With so many qualified female candidates, it would be ridiculous for the council to appoint someone who has already been rejected by the voters simply to avoid the appearance of political correctness.

Do this thing

posted by on January 26 at 11:59 AM

There’s a talk tonight at Winston Wächter from 6 to 7:30, hosted by Henry curator Liz Brown with the artists Brian Murphy and Susan Dory. Dory makes elegant layered fields of smooth, elongated ovals of acrylic color on canvas stretched over panel, and I have no idea whether a talk with her will be interesting. But since Murphy makes art from his own body—he is the fat man in his pinkish, monumental, nude self-portraits in watercolor—I’m dying to hear how he talks about such personal work.


Speaking of Talkshow Smackdowns

posted by on January 26 at 11:03 AM

The anti-gay Rev. Ken Hutcherson will face off with gay State Rep. Ed Murray tonight on KCTS Connects. Topic: the gay civil rights bill.

While this smackdown won’t have quite the star power of the Oprah vs. James Frey match-up, it will share a common theme: assjackhammering.

Pimping For Our Comrades

posted by on January 26 at 10:48 AM

Yesterday David Schmader linked to a story on the website Sploid about a hideous little shit who allegedly beat his grandmother for beer money. After the post, we got a number of emails asking us just what in the hell Sploid is. For those too lazy to explore the site, here’s how they explain themselves:

SPLOID delivers the tabloid breaking news you crave: fresh disasters, strange crimes, political scandal, odd characters, bizarre phenomena, freakish animals, horrifying conspiracies, goofy do-gooders, police idiocy and all the government-gone-wild insanity you can handle.

It’s a very funny site that should be checked daily. (On a related note, it’s owned by Gawker Media, which is also responsible for Fleshbot, a site I know absolutely nothing about.)

Top Gun 2: Brokeback Squadron

posted by on January 26 at 10:38 AM

A hearty round of applause for the genius or genii responsible for this.

(And in case you missed it, here again is the eminently horrible Brokeback Mountain: The Dance Remix.)

Gay Civil Rights Bill: Passing on Friday?

posted by on January 26 at 10:19 AM

A note from Ed Murray:

Dear Friends: As of right now, we expect the Senate to vote on HB 2661 this Friday morning between 10:00 AM and noon. Should the Senate approve the bill, the House will need to vote once more to concur with the Senate’s version the bill; the House is prepared to do so immediately following Senate action.

The galleries of the Senate and House are open to the public and I would like to invite you to come down for what I hope will be a historic day. If you cannot join us in Olympia, you can watch the proceedings on TVW (either on cable TV or at

Following the House’s vote, we will be holding a legislative press conference with community leaders present. You are also invited to attend this event, as there will be room for the public to attend. The location will be finalized by Friday.

Also, a number of community groups are planning celebratory events all around the state for Friday evening. Stay tuned.

Ever Wondered How an Underwater House Gets Rid of Water?

posted by on January 26 at 10:10 AM

Me, too. In fact, I woke this morning with that question in my mind, a question I have never considered before, even fleetingly: If I had a house at the bottom of the ocean, how would I get rid of the gray water? Which led to the question: How do submarines do it?

Turns out, submarines - at least some submarines - have two kinds of heads: gravity flush heads (that drains into holding tanks (which also collect “discharge” from the galley sink, the scullery sink, the scuttlebutt or drinking fountain, the shower, et al) and expulsion flush heads that look like this and discharge directly into the sea.


With lots of levers, pedals, sea pressure gagues, and things like “flood, blow, and discharge lines.” First, flood the bowl with seawater from a “sea valve.” Then pour your, er, coffee into the bowl. Next, “flush” by emptying the bowl into an expulsion chamber that will eventually push your coffee into the sea. Push a “rocker valve” one way to admit “air from a low-pressure line into a small volume tank until a pressure of approximately 10 pounds above sea pressure is reached. When rocked in the opposite direction, the valve directs the volume of air into the expulsion chamber. A sea pressure gage, a volume tank pressure gage, and an instruction plate are conveniently located.”

And that, my friends, is how to shed water from a sealed, submarine edifice. It sounds dangerous. Maybe I’d prefer a tree house after all.

Oprah Reams Frey

posted by on January 26 at 10:08 AM

Oprah Winfrey skinned James Frey alive on her show today

“I really feel duped,” Winfrey told Frey on her television show. She said he had betrayed millions of viewers.

Winfrey began by apologizing to viewers for a telephone call she made to CNN’s “Larry King Live” show on January 11, while King was interviewing Frey about the controversy. In the call Winfrey said that even though the facts were being questioned, the book “still resonates with me” and called the controversy “much ado about nothing.”

“I regret that phone call,” she told her viewers on Thursday. “I made a mistake and I left the impression that the truth does not matter and I am deeply sorry about that. That is not what I believe.”

Jesus Christ, if Frey wasn’t really a crack addict before he wrote this book he’s going to be one after everyone gets through kicking the shit out of him. I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy.

UPDATE: Oh, the reaming is ever-so-much worse than the AP made it sound—and it wasn’t just Oprah doing the reaming. It was a freaking gangbang—Oprah, Frey’s publisher, Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, and more. Go read Gawker’s live-slogging of the assjackhammering Oprah treated Frey to this morning. Christ!

Hummus-y Coprolite and When Lava Goes on Dirt

posted by on January 26 at 9:54 AM

Today’s New York Times has a kind of obvious but wonderful article entitled “When Father Knows Less”. Basically, the writer’s kid asked the kind of questions kids ask, and his father carefully recorded them for three years—and, presumably, culled the boring (“Why is the sky blue?” types) from the hilarious (“What happens when lava goes on dirt?”). Then he got scientists and fire experts and so forth to answer them.

Other questions include:

-What was that movie about? (after watching the 1947 film noir Nightmare Alley)
[Peter Bogdanovich answers]
-Am I allergic to metal?
and, the best of the best,
-Is hummus like dinosaur poop?

Spam Poetry

posted by on January 26 at 9:54 AM

There’s all the obvious spam—enlarge your dick, make your sex life sizzle—and then there are the random bits of nonsensical poetry like the spam I got this morning:

Hi, jennifer.liquidated profession institution? quavered thrownback technician brokendown journals sentimental somewhere gods’ eat super robes hanged
twowheeler aiming unburdened arises concern cooks ghost guarantee good? childishness coupons loquacious seek done? incredible unheardof pensively hell spices governed pinched insulting arrogantly scorched stove
punishing betrayed departing belongs sweeps weighting cord insensible believer deficit
computer attract drifts welldressed beating bubbling eminent shrank index clasped
I get a lot of these style spams in my mail and I always wonder what purpose they serve. Is the “advertiser” sitting at a desk writing text so subversive only they can understand it? Why send me an email that advertises nothing and strings together words that make no sense? I don’t get it but I’m still intrigued by it.

Talking Football 102

posted by on January 26 at 9:45 AM

More insight and advice for sudden Seahawks fans from my brother Bill Savage, football fan and globe-trotting Schola Drinka.—Dan Savage

Speaking Football 102

When we think of places that just don’t care about the Seahawks, the editorial offices of The Stranger rank high: but I’m in a higher ranking, if not ranker, place, London, where the bookies at Ladbroke’s cover goddamn waterpolo, but not the Super Bowl. Bastards. The sports pages of the Guardian and the Independent are full of stuff about England’s coach leaving (richer than anyone this side of Paul Allen) after the upcoming Germany 2006 World Cup to take over Real Madrid. Me, I’m just jonesin’ for some AMERICAN football, and will be glad to be back in the States for the big game.

Speaking of which, some more nomenclature you’ll need to truly enjoy the rare experience of watching your own team in the Super Bowl. Fewer links since I’m paying by the pound for this computer, and the exchange rate has already left me feeling sorely used.

Football is a game of rules, and some are more obscure than others. The referees will make semaphore-like gestures, but just listen to the commentary or the moaning of real fans to get the gist. A cheat sheet, again in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary:

False start: premature ejaculation by the Offensive Line. Intended to avoid letting the OL fake defenders into a penalty for too soon, the net effect of false starts is to slow the game down and allow for more beer sales and tv commercials.

Offsides: premature ejaculation by the defensive line. Intended to save the life of pantywaist quarterbacks who might otherwise be smeared into bloody pulps by DEs unimpeded by blockers. Part of the gradual effeminization of the game, as owners want to protect their most expensive players from getting an owie. Past quarterbacks, their brains perhaps addled by too many hits, have asserted that today’s quarterbacks ought to play in skirts if they’re going to be so well-protected. Outraged be-kilted Scotsmen boycotted the NFL as a result, though no one noticed.

Holding: an utterly arbitrary call that can be made on any play. When made against your team (especially offensive holding which negates a touchdown or first down) prima facie evidence that the refs are in the bag. When made for your team (especially defensive holding/pass interference resulting in a gimme-touchdown), prima facie evidence of the sagaciousness and keen eyesight of the refs.

Unnecessary Roughness: the greatest penalty in all of football, since it reminds us, one and all, that football is a game with a certain amount of necessary roughness. Recent research on brains shows that people have mirror neurons, which silently mimic the actions humans observe, thus explaining the appeal of both pornography and musical theatre. This also explains football’s ability to simultanously drain men of their aggressive tendencies (vicariously getting it out of their system) and rev men up to incoherent rage (via mirror neurons firing).

Amazing New Product!

posted by on January 26 at 9:12 AM

I somehow wound up on some database as a “lifestyle columnist,” and consequently get a lot of crap in the mail—mostly press releases announcing new products that no one really needs. Sometimes, though, I get useful stuff like bottles of sake and cases—literally cases—of beer. (Session, a new beer that is being marketed to skateboarders and snowboarders and the people who play them in front of video games, was a big hit with my boyfriend—send more!)

Anyway, this morning I got a press release trumpeting a new product—something called the “Transtrap.” I immediately thought it was a product for transsexuals. Perhaps something that helps the male-to-female trannie strap down his dick, or a female-to-male strap on a dick.

The transtrap has nothing to do with trannies, as it turns out. Of all the useless new products foisted on our consumption-driven culture every year, the transtrap has to be the most useless one I’ve ever heard about. It’s a “personal transit strap for subways, trains, and buses.” You’re supposed to carry it with you on the subway, and if all of the hand-straps are already being gripped by other commuters, you whip your own personal transstrap—trans for transportation—out of your purse and, voila, you’re not standing there strapless. Order now!

The Transtrap’s marketing campaign is fear-based, of course. Even if there are straps available on your subway, train, or bus, you’re encouraged to your Transtrap it so you don’t have to touch straps that other people have touched and contaminated with God-alone-knows what.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Project Runway…

posted by on January 25 at 9:59 PM

…is ON!!!

“I can’t believe the bitch did this!”

50 Most Loathsome

posted by on January 25 at 6:16 PM

The Beast lays out the 50 Most Loathsome People in America for 2005. I can think of a few they left out, but they’ve probably never met my neighbor across the street or those jerk kids who work at Subway. The rest of them are spot-on.


#25. Paris Hilton

Charges: Won’t go away. A head so empty, the rails of coke that sustain her must dissipate in clouds around her ears; this residual high the only explanation anyone would come within five feet of her. Brainless, her spinal cord defies physics, like an Indian rope trick. Her Carl’s Jr. commercial, while an uninspired approximation of eroticism, was still hotter than her actual “sex” tape, in which she only made noise when she wasn’t screwing—that’s not hot. Squints inexplicably for photo ops, suggesting even minimal focus is beyond her. Her continued success as a celebrity famous for nothing, despite the eerie resemblance she bears to the inbred banjoist from Deliverance and a lack of talent so profound that others become duller as they approach her, indicates that something is fundamentally wrong with humanity.

Exhibit A: Somehow, everybody in America knew that this completely pointless person had lost her dog, and we are all diminished by the experience.

Sentence: Locked in a room with a high steel ceiling which lowers a centimeter per hour, until she either solves a Rubik’s cube or is crushed; whichever comes first.

Plus 49 others, all unquestionably loathsome.

Doc Watch ‘06

posted by on January 25 at 6:10 PM

So, as I stated in My Platform a couple weeks back, I believe documentaries can save the world. With this in mind I have decided to go on a doc-watching binge. Last Tuesday I went to On 15th Video and took advantage of their “Half-Price Tuesday” deal. Four non-new release DVDs cost a mere eight bucks plus change. (Yeah, I know, Netflix is only a dime a month and you never have to leave your house and blah, blah, blah. You don’t run into cute girls on Netflix, dude.) This week I picked up Cane Toads, Word Wars, Hell House, and Trekkies.

Of the bunch, Word Wars was easily the best. The filmmakers follow four word warriors on their way to the Scrabble campionship in San Diego. Now, I’ve played a few rounds of Scrabble in my day, but I had no idea the depth of strategy or obsession involved in this game. Generally, to excel in the world of professional Scrabble one must devote the majority of your day to playing the game and studying the dictionary, leaving little time for such trivialities as regular meals, developing social graces, and being employed. The scene where we see the towering piles of paper cluttering G.I. Joel’s apartment (the G.I. stands for “gastro-intestinal”) hit a little too close to home. A truly fascinating film.

Hell House is a compelling look at that Pentacostal church in Texas that puts on an annual haunted house of the horrors that afflict those not saved. Apparently if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are damned to a violent death involving AIDS, guns, drug-induced gang-rapes, or a perpetually bleeding womb. Oh, and you get to hear them speak in tongues.

Cane Toads is about a species of big, ugly toads that is taking over Australia. They were brought over from Hawaii in the early 20th century to eat the cane grubs that were decimating Australia’s sugar-cane crops. Due to an anomaly of nature, the toads did nothing to stop the ravenous cane grubs, but did succeed in reproducing like rabbits (another problem on that continent) and eating anything else that crosses their paths (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a giant toad choking down a live mouse). Oh, and they secrete a deadly neuro-toxin as well. Fun! Also, if they are facing you when you run them down in your car, they make a satisfying pop as the air trapped inside them blows their ass out.

Trekkies is a relatively light-weight examination of just how freaky obsessive Star Trek fans can be. A highlight is interview footage with that weird Trekkie lady, a Starfleet Commander no less, who served on the Whitewater jury (and who, I believe, may have inspired the character of deputy Trudy Wiegel, my one true love, on Reno 911). It’s also fun to try and notice how many bits of Star Wars ephemera slip into the mix.

I picked up four more docs last night and I’ll report back with my impressions.

As always, suggestions are encouraged.

Public Enemy Not #1 Anymore

posted by on January 25 at 5:52 PM

Not by a long shot, I’m sad to say. Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, my favorite hiphop group, Public Enemy, made some of the greatest albums of all time, regardless of genre. Their first four LPs are all essential components in any intelligent music fan’s collection. For lyrical sophistication and production innovations, they’re unbeatable.

However, Chuck D and Co. really should’ve called it quits in the ’90s. That way they could’ve avoided releasing legacy-tarnishing duds like the new Rebirth of a Nation (Guerrilla Funk). Joined by another great rapper gone weak in the vocabulary, Paris, PE lamely rehash old ideas that burned so much brighter when they were aired 15-20 years ago.

Right about now, Chuck D should go into politics; Flav should continue furthering his thespian aspirations; and everyone should buy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet posthaste, if you haven’t done so already.

Another term for “leaking”…

posted by on January 25 at 4:49 PM

… is “providing information.” To hear Joel Connelly rant, you’d think the Seattle City Council was the CIA. Staff members are supposed to provide information to reporters about what their council members are doing, Joel. It’s part of the job of serving the public.

Angry White Man

posted by on January 25 at 4:44 PM

Recent City Council hopeful Aaron Shuman - a white male who didn’t show up for the six-hour public-testimony-a-thon earlier this month - is contemplating a lawsuit against the city of Seattle for discriminating against non-minority, non-female council candidates in its process for choosing a successor to Jim Compton, who resigned in December. (At least four members have said publicly that the winning candidate would likely be a minority woman.) Right-wing blogger Stefan Sharkansky alluded to the news on Monday; this morning, Shuman e-mailed me to say that he was still seriously considering a suit against the council:

Basically, the crux of the matter is this:  Councilman Peter Steinbrueck said [in the Seattle Times], “It seems like the council is headed in the direction of [appointing] a woman of color. It seemed to be the momentum of this process, and I think it’s going to stick”.  Well, since he is one of the ones appointing the interim councilmember, he is stating that he has a racial and sexual preference.  That preference is counter to the spirit, if no the letter, of RCW 49.60.400: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

Two problems with Shuman’s argument: 1) The last time the council appointed a council member, in 1997, all the finalists were men, and all but Richard McIver and Bruce Bentley were white. (McIver eventually won the appointment.) At the time, the council consisted of seven women and two men, including John Manning, who resigned. So if the council had a legitimate interest then in promoting diversity in its ranks (by narrowing the list to an all-male field of finalists) why is that interest illegitimate when the group it benefits is minority women? And where were angry white men like Shuman in 1997, when they could just as legitimately have cried discrimination?

2) Shuman isn’t qualified to serve on the council anyway. His resume, which lists his most recent address as Kyrgyzstan (where he works as a contractor for the US Air Force), says he is “seeking a full-time position in voice or data network installation, operations, and maintenance.” In his brief letter of interest, Shuman laments that “the quiet, peaceful and firendly city I grew up in is not as it once was,” but does not claim to possess any qualifications for the position.

Even if Shuman’s lawsuit was ultimately unsuccessful, a temporary injunction could leave the council with just eight members — exactly the situation that has prevented them from moving forward with their business in the month since Compton left office.

Burqas—They’re Not Just for Muslims Anymore

posted by on January 25 at 3:40 PM

Via Sullivan: A Christian website is selling “wholesome” swimwear for women.

Tapas Virgins, Hit This.

posted by on January 25 at 3:05 PM

Nothing’s worse than killing a good booze-lube by eating too much food. Little plates = buzz maintenance. My Tapas Cherry was popped last night at Chez Gaudy, one of my favorite new Capitol Hill hideaways. If $7 bottles of wine aren’t a good enough incentive to get out on a Tuesday night, consider an endless parade of delicious hot and cold snacks to nibble while you’re getting sauced (vegetarian meatballs, ravioli with pesto). The mood is super cozy, warm, candle-lit. You can open your own bottles while waiters wander around with tempting miniatures. But make a reservation, cause shit gets bumpin’.

Guess what? You’re ugly.

posted by on January 25 at 2:52 PM

Some jaunty Scottish researchers got together to study the “beer goggles” phenomenon (seriously, guys? Nothing more important you could be working on?), and it turns out the things are totally real.

Male and female students were shown pictures of members of the opposite sex and asked to rate them on a scale of 1-7 (sounds cruel, we know). The more students drank, the higher they rated the photographs.

It sounds to me like drinking actually just promotes kindness.

God, yes

posted by on January 25 at 2:47 PM


I Heart Kitties

posted by on January 25 at 2:39 PM

Is this mental illness, or just not being a quitter?

Slogdance 16 - Overview so far

posted by on January 25 at 2:22 PM

There are a couple of things at this festival that are much better this year than last. The festival trailers, those short official films that play before every single movie, are a difficult item to produce because you are almost guaranteed to be sick of them by the end of the festival. This year Seattle’s own Digital Kitchen took an interesting track when they took the mythical story of Icarus flying too close to the sun, and broke it into several abstract pieces that combine cut-outs and animation. The story is appropriate, too, in the sense that every filmmaker is reaching for that golden ring but most of them will fall into bankruptcy or worse. Is that the message I was supposed to be getting from those spots?

The other thing that’s better is much more subtle. The blurbs in the official festival guide are better written than the ones in last year’s guide. They must have gotten a new editor or something. Last year, most of the film descriptions were chock full of adjectives and blurb filler (“an arresting first film” “engrossing” “a tremendous achievement” etc.), which actually pushed out descriptions of what the films were about. This year, you can tell what the films were about from the descriptions.

The downside is that it’s been hard to find a great film. The programming this year feels like it’s on Prozac. There’s nothing really terrible (it feels like I’m in the minority in hating Bobcat Goldthwait’s movie Stay), and there’s nothing really great either. That’s been the most frustrating thing about this trip.

I will write about one of my favorite films in a bit.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance
Park City, Utah

U.S. and Iran: Finally Agree on Something.

posted by on January 25 at 2:10 PM

Gays Bad.

Equal Opportunity Offender

posted by on January 25 at 2:04 PM

Yesterday, I sternly held Weyerhaeuser accountable for donations it made to The Speakers Roundtable, the GOP PAC that financed the recent sleazy and misleading sex offender attack ads on Democrats. (Weyerhaeuser gave $5,000 to the Republican committee back in June 2005.)

In going over the finance reports, however, I also found this donation to the GOP group: $2,500 in December ‘05 from SEIU, the super progressive labor union.

I called SEIU to ask what gives.
SEIU 775 spokesman Adam Glickman said his union works with both sides of the aisle. He also put the donation to the GOP PAC in perspective, noting that in the big 2004 election cycle, SEIU gave $92,000 to the Democratic Party and just $22,500 to the Republicans. Additionally, SEIU spent $800K on Gregoire TV ads in the 2004 campaign and another $450K for her recount effort.

Glickman wouldn’t comment, however, on the Speakers Roundtable sex offender ads, which SEIU money helped pay for.

Project Runway is on Tonight

posted by on January 25 at 2:04 PM

…who will be eliminated tonight?

My money is on the weepy fag with the shaved head whose name escapes me. Santino, of course, deserves to be kicked off, but they’ll keep him around for the drama—please note the credits at the end of each episode. The judges discuss their decision with the show’s producers before booting anyone off. No way will the show’s producers allow the judges to book this season’s Wendy Pepper. Santino stays—and Daniel V., of course, because that sexy motherfucker is going to win this thing.


“Grandson of the Year”

posted by on January 25 at 1:03 PM

Not only are the crimes alleged in this SPLOID! report horrifically fascinating, the style of reportage is a dazzling horror unto itself. Bravo!

But They’re Not Voting Today

posted by on January 25 at 12:30 PM

What you’ll see if you click on the link Josh just posted is debate in the state senate over the gay civl rights bill, and some proposed amendments. But you won’t see a vote. What’s going on today is what’s called a second reading.

Backers of the bill say the vote will likely take place on Friday.

The Senate is Debating the Gay Rights Bill

posted by on January 25 at 12:25 PM

Listen in: The Washington State Senate is currently debating the gay rights bill.

All Quiet on 11th Avenue

posted by on January 25 at 12:17 PM

The office is unusually still this morning, so I did what I always do when there’s nothing else pressing: I cleaned up a bit. Detritus unearthed: Mothy Worthen’s wonderfully titled biography of Charles Hill (The Man on Whom Nothing Was Lost), at least a half cup of Christmas-cookie crumbs, one fruit-cake-scented air-freshener, GWAR’s Live from Mt. Fugi CD and a hardcover Bizarro World wherein Wonder Woman, SuperGirl, and Catwoman learn a valuable lesson from a bellydancer (I’m keeping both of these), a third-full bottle of oblong pills unmarked besides the instruction “Take with milk or food,” and Jennifer Maerz’s almost-empty cubicle (sniff).

Give Me an N!

posted by on January 25 at 11:56 AM

In today’s Settle PI, Joel Connelly writes:

City Hall note

Effusing like a teenage cheerleader, The Stranger’s news editor Josh Feit wrote in a Monday blog that he was “thrilled” at Nick Licata’s election as Seattle City Council president.

He ought to be, since Licata is notorious for leaking news to the Capitol Hill newspaper. In fact, his office has been such a sieve that one staffer is informally known around the council chambers as “Lisa who Leaks.”

Joel, since you’re evidently an avid reader of the Stranger Slog, you—as a reporter—must be thrilled too. With the access The Stranger’s apparently gonna have now, you’ll really be able to keep informed about city hall politics.

Slogdance 15 - R.I.P. Chris Penn

posted by on January 25 at 11:31 AM

The streets of Sundance are abuzz with the revelation that Chris Penn was found dead in his house in California. Officially, there is no evidence as to the cause of death, outside of “no foul play.” Which leads to two completely unfounded guesses as to what happened: drugs or suicide.

The truly awkward timing of it is that he stars in the Sundance premiere The Darwin Awards, which is about people who die stupid deaths.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from the Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

Cover Seattle’s All-Ages Music Scene

posted by on January 25 at 11:26 AM

Fulfilling my public service announcement quota, I present this press release.

Seattle’s all-ages concert guide,, is looking for new writers and photographers! If you haven’t heard of us, we review shows, run a concert calendar covering the Vera, Firehouse, Paradox, and other local venues, hold interviews, manage a community forum, and now even review albums. Our aim is to draw attention to the large underage population and support all-ages shows and underage bands all over Seattle.

We’re looking especially for new writers as we start off our Album reviews, but also for consistent show-goers interested in reviewing the concerts they attend. In addition, we welcome new photographers interested in photographing concerts they attend.

Details and an application are available if you’re interested at:

Feel free to email with any questions.

The Best Intentions

posted by on January 25 at 11:06 AM

From the New York Times

DES MOINES, Jan. 18 - In the seven months since Iowa passed a law restricting the sale of cold medicines used to make methamphetamine, seizures of homemade methamphetamine laboratories have dropped to just 20 a month from 120. People once terrified about the neighbor’s house blowing up now walk up to the state’s drug policy director, Marvin Van Haaften, at his local Wal-Mart to thank him for making them safer.

But Mr. Van Haaften, like officials in other states with similar restrictions, is now worried about a new problem: the drop in home-cooked methamphetamine has been met by a new flood of crystal methamphetamine coming largely from Mexico.

Sometimes called ice, crystal methamphetamine is far purer, and therefore even more highly addictive, than powdered home-cooked methamphetamine, a change that health officials say has led to greater risk of overdose. And because crystal methamphetamine costs more, the police say thefts are increasing, as people who once cooked at home now have to buy it.

No free lunches when it comes to bat sex

posted by on January 25 at 10:56 AM

Here’s a fun AP story the Seattle PI ran today:

A research team led by Syracuse University biologist Scott Pitnick found that in bat species where the females are promiscuous, the males boasting the largest testicles also had the smallest brains. Conversely, where the females were faithful, the males had smaller testes and larger brains.

“Bats invest an enormous amount in testis, and the investment has to come from somewhere. There are no free lunches,” said David Hoskens [a biologist at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter in England and a leading authority on bats’ mating behavior.]

The study found that in more monogamous species, the average male brain size was about 2.6 percent of body weight, while in promiscuous species, the average size dipped to 1.9 percent.

Which begs the question: Are humans considered a monogamous species? And may I get brains with my testicles?

Sweet Child O’ Mine!

posted by on January 25 at 10:52 AM

Axl Rose has once again broken a silence. The quick rundown: yes, he’s still “working on a new record”; yes, a G’n’R reunion is still pretty unlikely; and yes, he still has those ugly-ass cornrows

Jacko in an Abaya

posted by on January 25 at 10:50 AM

As if the form-fitting lycra body suit he wore to a Bahranian water park wasn’t enough, now beleagured pop star/impending celebrity corpse Michael Jackson has been spotted trotting around Bahrain in a veil and robe traditionally donned by “conservative Bahraini women.”

Full story—with pics!—here.

Wanted Dead or Alive

posted by on January 25 at 10:49 AM

He’s a cowboy, on a steel horse he’ll ride. (Thanks to Nipper for that one).

Loveless Sex

posted by on January 25 at 10:44 AM

Headline of the day: “Pope Warns About Loveless Sex.”

Take it from the Catholic clergy—they know all about sex without love. They’ve also got that sex-without-consent stuff nailed too.

McGavick: A Tale of Two Cities

posted by on January 25 at 10:44 AM

On Saturday, Jan 21, former Safeco CEO Mike McGavick kicked off his campaign for U.S. Senate at Seattle Center. He told the crowd of hundreds that he would bring a voice of “civility” to the Senate.

Two days later, McGavick was in Eastern Washington kicking of his campaign at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane. Here’s what Mr. McGavick had to say about Seattle:

“You know over in Seattle where I’m from, and by the way I like to say I was born in Seattle when you weren’t embarrassed to say you were from Seattle.”

Just a little Seattle baiting in Eastern Washington from Mr. Civility.

Hey dude, next time you speak at Seattle Center, I hope you elaborate.

Right-Wing Sonics

posted by on January 25 at 10:43 AM

It seems the Sonics’ threats of moving to Bellevue are serious. Next season, they’re ditching KJR (950 AM) in favor of The Truth (770 AM), home to Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and other right-wing blowhards. How fitting.

One of the Greats

posted by on January 25 at 10:38 AM

Chris Penn has died.

One word: Footloose. RIP.

A Tax Break Earned

posted by on January 25 at 10:24 AM


Jan. 24, 2006 - It’s almost enough to make you laugh—bitterly, of course. Here was Ford Motor Co. announcing yesterday that it had cut 10,000 jobs last year and that it will cut up to 30,000 more. But shedding jobs at muscle-car acceleration rates didn’t stop Ford from pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars courtesy of the American Jobs Creation Act.

No, I’m not making this up. Right there, on page 2 of one of its news releases yesterday, Ford said that “repatriation of foreign earnings pursuant to the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 resulted in a permanent tax savings of about $250 million.”

Hello? How can you simultaneously cut jobs and benefit from the American Jobs Creation Act? Welcome to the wonderful world of Washington nomenclature.

Re: When Soup Is Racist

posted by on January 25 at 10:12 AM

I guess this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Soup Nazi.”

“You think you can get soup?! Please, you’re wasting everyone’s time.”

When Soup Is Racist

posted by on January 25 at 10:03 AM

That’s the question burning up synapses in France, after officials in Strasbourg banned a charity soup kitchen with far-right ties from distributing Jew-and-Muslim-baiting pork soup.

Given that neiher Jews nor Muslims partake of the swine on religious grounds, the free pork soup is being denounced as “deliberate discrimination” against down-on-their-luck Jews and Muslims—a view upheld by Strasbourg’s mayor: “Schemes with racial subtexts must be denounced,” said Mayor Fabienne Keller to the BBC. Full report here.

Speaking of Hutcherson…

posted by on January 25 at 10:03 AM

Has anyone ever seen him


and dub maestro Mad Professor


in the same room?

Die Letdown

posted by on January 25 at 10:02 AM

The second act of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus is an opulent party—there’s a swimming pool filled with champagne—thrown by a chronically bored, bizarre, and impossibly wealthy Russian (imagine a Viennese Michael Jackson).

During the party, a barker announces fictional and sometimes real-life dignitaries who smile and waltz in front of the presumably surprised and delighted audience. But Seattle has had a little trouble in the cameo star power department: Governor Gregoire was supposed to show up opening weekend but had to cancel, forfeiting her one chance to be popular at a party. Tonight, political cartoonist David Horsey will make his second appearance, alongside actor John Procaccino. (How hard is it to get a local actor to mug on stage?)

Who’s next in this sad parade of semi-celebrity? Rev. Hutcherson?

Enter the Dragon

posted by on January 25 at 9:09 AM

Zimbabwe is taking a hard look at the future:

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare) January 22, 2006 Godfrey Mutimba

University students around the country should brace themselves for the tongue-twisting and difficult to write Mandarin (Chinese language), as government wants to introduce it as part of its controversial “Look East” policy, The Standard has learnt.

Zimbabwe embarked on the widely derided “Look East” policy after falling out with its former European trading partners.

Speaking at an international conference of the transformation of Masvingo State University to Great Zimbabwe National University, Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Stan Mudenge, said the government intends to offer a curriculum that will see students from all universities in the country taking Chinese in a bid to promote tourism and trade between the two countries. Mudenge revealed that he had already held meetings aimed at making this a reality.

He said: “At a recent meeting I held in Paris with my counterpart the Chinese minister of education, we agreed to intensify our programmes in the field of education, cultural exchange programmes including language training. “The compelling need to bring our two peoples together could be strengthened by introducing studies e.g. teaching of Chinese as a foreign language as well as learning Chinese history. Our universities have an important role in this regard.” He ordered vice chancellors from various universities that attended the conference to make frantic efforts to introduce the subject before year-end.

The Whole World is Laughing

posted by on January 25 at 8:11 AM

Last year, at the height of his anti-gay celebrity, eastside Rev. Ken Hutcherson told the New York Times that his grand ambition was to become “the most feared man in America.”

Would he settle for the most laughed at man in America? Because that’s what he became yesterday, when he announced his revised plan to bend Microsoft to his anti-gay will.

The new plan (not to be confused with the old, non-existent boycott plan) is for Christian fundamentalists to all buy a few shares of Microsoft stock over the next few months and then sell those shares all at the same time, on May 1. Apparently, Hutcherson believes this will cause Microsoft’s stock price to tank, an idea that “one market expert laughed at,” according to the AP.

Over at Americblog, John Aravosis is also laughing at Hutcherson’s plan, describing the pastor as “not exactly a walking billboard for intelligent design.”

Here’s something else that’s funny: Microsoft is planning to launch a new system for placing ads with its search results in June, a move that will position the company to better compete against Google and seems highly likely to drive up Microsoft’s stock price. So, all those Hutcherson-following fundamentalists (if there are any) who rush out now and buy Microsoft, and then sell their shares on May 1, just before the stock is likely to jump — well, they may come to constitute one of the dumbest classes of investors in the marketplace.

But here’s what I think is the hands-down funniest part: The AP consulted a professor at the University of Washington about Hutcherson’s planned market manipulation, and the professor said it could be illegal.

How long do you think it will be before the first SEC compaint is filed? Tick, tick, tick….

Smobriety Cleanup News

posted by on January 25 at 1:48 AM

So, since I decided several days into my smoking cessation to go cold turkey, I wound up with a mostly-unused bottle of Wellbutrin. I thought about the many different ways I could dispose of the Happy Pills—I’m not a pill-taker, really, despite this one time I recreationally took a couple-three Percosets and had an hour-long orgasm, which actually left me feeling quite jealous of Sting for the first and only time in my life—but I opted to go for the upstandingly socially-responsible route of flushing the pills down my toilet. For some reason, though, they won’t go down. They’re still in there, slowly dissolving, after about eight flushes over the last twenty-four hours. And it just occured to me a minute ago that, right now, I have the happiest toilet in the Seattle metropolitan area. For some reason, this, in turn, makes me really happy. So, see? Antidepressants work, after all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Thanks, science!

posted by on January 24 at 11:25 PM

For those of you interested in snacks, snacking, snack innovations, talking about snacks, and/or sharing snacks with pals, I have something to tell you. My friend brought these crackers over to eat during Dr. Phil:

THIS IS A CRACKER THAT TASTES LIKE A PIZZA. Finally the food scientists have done something worthwhile.

And speaking of crackers (which I do as often as possible), I have to mention the weirdly icky new Triscuit slogan, “Triscuit fills you, but not with regret!” It just seems a little, you know, intimate.

Re: East Coast vs. West Coast

posted by on January 24 at 5:53 PM

Megan brought up “Lazy Sunday,” the SNL rap video parody that’s a big hit on the web. She doesn’t mention the most compelling thing about this video: Andy Samberg.


He’s, like, totally fucking hot—huge mouth, big teeth, shaggy hair, tall, skinny—he’s the best looking guy that has ever been on SNL.

East Coast vs. West Coast

posted by on January 24 at 5:39 PM

The pretty hilarious SNL skit, “Lazy Sunday” (i.e. “The Chronic(what)cles of Narnia”), has been all over the internet for weeks. Now, a couple not-so-famous dudes on the West Coast have posted a response to the spoof-rap called “Lazy Monday.” You can check it out here.

I dunno, A for effort, guys, but you really can’t beat the line “Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals CRAZY DELICIOUS.”

Call Weyerhaeuser

posted by on January 24 at 5:36 PM

The GOP Political Action Committee responsible for the recent $75,000 attack-ad mail piece that mimicks sex offender notices is called the Speakers Roundtable.

Weyerhaeuser gave $5,000 to the Speakers Roundtable last year.

The mailings, misleading at best, are classic scare politics, and unfairly imply that Democrats haven’t been hard on sex offenders.

The question is: Do local companies Wehyerhaeuser support this kind of mud slinging?

One way to find out: Ask them.

Call Weyerhaeuser at 253-924-2345

Another Bogus Memoirist Busted

posted by on January 24 at 4:59 PM

J.T. Leroy and James Frey both wrote pieces for The Stranger—does anyone know if this “Nasdijj” guy did too? Did we hit the lit hoax trifecta?

Traveling Books

posted by on January 24 at 4:45 PM

Does everybody already know about I was in the sleepy, conservative lumber town of Shelton Washington (Christmas Town, USA!) last month and found a copy of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City on a bus stop bench. I thought it was a small-town liberal’s attempt to “open some minds.” Too bad it was discovered by this big-city faggot! I am now catching up on my gay history. Check out the book exchange program, and release some of your own deviance into the world.

As Rev. Hutcherson Testifies Against the Gay Civil Rights Bill, the AP Revisits his Boycott Plan

posted by on January 24 at 4:45 PM

Well, my burning question has been answered: Rev. Hutcherson did show up in the state senate this afternoon to testify against the gay civil rights bill. Did he say anything new? Not really. Although he did close his remarks with a warning that if the legislature approves the bill this year, Washington’s new protections for gays and lesbians may soon be rendered moot by an initiative that’s already been filed by… wait for it… Tim Eyman.

“Maybe the best thing in the world is for this bill to pass,” Hutcherson said. “Because if it does pass… it’s going to come before the people.”

We’ll see. But more interesting than Rev. Hutcherson’s prophecy of a popular backlash against the bill is a new Associated Press report, which hit the wires just as Rev. Hutcherson was sitting down to testify.

Slog readers may recall all the time I spent last week looking into Rev. Hutcherson’s false prophecy of a nation-wide boycott against Microsoft and other companies that are supporting the gay civil rights bill. It was a prophecy he delivered via the Associated Press, which unfortunately took him seriously and sent news of the boycott out to millions of readers. Now that the boycott Rev. Hutcherson threatened via the AP has failed to materialize, the AP is revisiting the issue, and taking a more skeptical look at both the reverend, and his newly-revised boycott plan:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A pastor who had threatened a national boycott against Microsoft and other major companies for supporting a gay civil rights bill is now pushing for an unlikely protest, urging people to buy up the companies’ stock and then dump it to drive prices down.

Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, home to the software company’s headquarters, says he wants to use the stock market to make a political point. But one market expert laughed at the idea.

The chances of him being successful with that are slim to none, and slim just left town,” said Hans Olsen, chief investment officer at Bingham Legg Advisers.

Hutcherson told The Associated Press last week he was calling for a boycott of the companies, but said Tuesday that the stock-dumping plan, which calls on people to sell the companies’ shares on May 1, had been his strategy all along.

I have a story coming out in this week’s Stranger about what the boycott flap means for Rev. Hutcherson’s standing as a leader of the religious right. Here’s a link.


The civil rights bill passed out of its first senate committee, 7-3, and now moves toward a vote by the full senate.


posted by on January 24 at 4:42 PM

Seriously, sweatily fucked. This is what a realtor who works for a company called GITA did to my partner Patrick and I this weekend.

GITA stands for, and I’m not kidding, God Is The Answer.

Patrick and I have been looking for a house for about a month without any luck, slogging our way through swamp zones, dilapidation and painful ’70s remodels. It’s not that long to be looking, but meanwhile, we’re commuting from Tacoma, and we’re ready to move. And on Friday, lightning struck. I fell in love with this great little sorta-fixer in Madrona. (Patrick’s love was less sudden but it came along.) We saw it in the early afternoon, just after it went on the market, and that night, we went over to our realtor’s office to make an offer at full price. We couldn’t go higher than that, really, but we thought at least we had time on our side.

Our realtor, a fabulous individual who does not work for GITA and is in fact a heathen like us, began writing the offer. He was checking the listing to get some information when he noticed that the selling agent — from GITA — had changed her remarks since earlier that afternoon, which is against realty rules, I guess. She was saying now that she wouldn’t be accepting offers for another week, meaning that we’d probably lose our time advantage, and maybe end up being outbid. But we were determined to still try. So, we thought we would wait to make our offer until later in the week, when we would know more about the other possible offers — if there are pre-inspections, then we pretty much know for sure there will be multiple offers, and we might want to try to see whether we could scrape up some money or some courage and go a little higher. We really wanted this house.

Two days later, on Sunday, I noticed online that the house was already sold pending inspection. Our realtor called the GITA lady. She said sorry, she’d screwed up, but basically, she just decided to violate her own stipulation because she’d felt like it. She had no explanation. If we had kept going with that original offer on Friday night, we’d probably have the house by now. Jesus Freak Bitch!

Our only comfort is that this woman’s jackassed moves might earn her a fine from the listing service of $20,000 or some such. But that does not put the Triscuit cracker in my stomach.

Mr. and Mrs. Coldplay.

posted by on January 24 at 4:08 PM

This morning, Chad and Brian from the Showbox reportedly spotted Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin wandering around Pike Place Market. “We got a call alerting us that they were at the magazine stand (at the market), and we all ran,” says Chad. “That was totally retarded, but necessary.” Coldplay is in town to play a show at the KeyArena, and apparently the two were very nice and even offered them tickets to the show. Chad also says that Gwenyth looked very pretty and also very pregnant.

camping redefined?

posted by on January 24 at 3:54 PM

I was drooling over the travel section in the NYTimes, when I came across a blurb about “refined” camping with The Four Seasons (wha???).

Each of the 15 tents at the campsite is as luxurious as a five-star hotel room; each is 581 square feet and has a hand-hammered copper tub, high-speed Internet, twice-daily housekeeping and even a safe.

Okay, but are campers still forced to shit in a bucket? Important questions go unanswered!

Another popular “campsite” in Missoula (ironically named Tent City) features feather beds and a butler to do pesky camping chores for you like gathering firewood and interacting with your family.

Has anyone heard of this before? I yearn to know more!

For Those Following the Gay Civil Rights Bill…

posted by on January 24 at 3:41 PM

It’s getting its first hearing in the Senate right now. Watch it live here.

My burning question: Will Rev. Ken Hutcherson show up?

Council Committeezzzz

posted by on January 24 at 3:33 PM

I won’t bore everyone by giving a complete rundown of council committee assignments, which just came out this afternoon, except to say that Richard Conlin is head of the utilities committee, which everyone thought the new council member would get saddled with, and which has been retooled to encompass environment and emergency management. The still-TBA new council member will get the new neighborhoods and economic development committee. Meanwhile, the rest of the committees have been retooled in subtle and sometimes bizarre ways (parks, education, libraries and labor?) and the government affairs committee no longer exists.

OK. That’s all for today. I promise.

Stench Source Revealed

posted by on January 24 at 3:27 PM

“The unit that controls the odor of sewage at the Lake City regulator station failed, causing stinky air to seep through the city’s manholes and into the air.” The Seattle Times has the stinky story.

Figures, since today is supposedly the worst day of the year.

(Another Times story confirmed that men who wear fragrance usually wear way too much.)

re: The Stench

posted by on January 24 at 3:19 PM

I smelled it, too—first in my hallway, and immediately wondered if a neighbor had died and was rotting—then, stronger, on Pike Street. Results of a quickie Google investigation are on the way.

In Rare Non-City Council-Related News

posted by on January 24 at 3:16 PM

Tom Delay’s approval rating has plummeted; if the election were held today, according to a recent poll, DeLay would get just 22 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent, Nick Lampson, is polling at 30 percent.

A Reader Wants to Know…

posted by on January 24 at 3:12 PM

This just came in…

hey stranger, i’ve been checking all day on the slog to see if you’ll provide some explanation for the wretched stench that opressed the entire city this morning. did a sewage treatment plant erupt or something? what gives?

I hadn’t noticed the city smelling any worse this morning than it usually does. But did anyone else notice a stank this morning? Anyone got any thoughts?

In the Office

posted by on January 24 at 3:04 PM

Our arts interns are flirting (intellectually) outside my office. Could someone please give one of them something to mail or transcribe?

The Blue Seahawks

posted by on January 24 at 2:59 PM

The best thing about the Seahawk’s game was watching all of that red money being flushed into the system of a deep blue city. Finally liberals have a reason to support the building of bigger and better sports stadiums and sustaining expensive professional teams—it is the one thing the reds cant do and yet they need, are addicted to, the spectacle of pro-sports.

I Heart Christine Gregoire

posted by on January 24 at 2:14 PM

Yeah, big whoop, a Democrat likes Governor Christine Gregoire. I voted for her, and welcomed a recount investigator into my house to make sure I properly signed my absentee ballot.

But my general affection for Gregoire blossomed into particular love during a televised address Gregoire gave yesterday, commemorating the progress of Washington’s long-stagnant anti-discrimination bill, which would extend equal rights in employment and housing to the state’s gays and lesbians. Most impressive: Gregoire’s informed, level-headed explanation of the distinction between the anti-discrimination bill and the nebulous specter of “gay marriage.” The gist, presented in a gentle but firm manner: The anti-discrimination bill has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage.

Of course, bills such as our pending anti-discrimination legislation help plenty in confirming gay folks’ status as members of society deserving of equality, which is a crucial step in forwarding the cause of gay marriage. But I appreciate Governor Gregoire for picking her battles and cannily staying on point.

UPDATE: I removed improperly placed Rs from Gregoire’s name. Forgive me.

Vitamin D: Available for a Limited Time

posted by on January 24 at 2:06 PM

If you have the ability to get outside and soak up the odd bit of sunshine being offered at the moment, by all means, take it—it looks like it’s not going to last.

Sex Sells

posted by on January 24 at 1:53 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -, long coveted as potentially one of the most lucrative sites on the Web because of its catchy name, has been sold for about $12 million in cash and stock, a source familiar with the deal said on Monday.

A group of anonymous buyers, Boston-based Escom LLC, said in a statement it had acquired the Web address from Gary Kremen, chief executive of Grant Media LLC and the founder of Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. is seen as one of the most recognizable and therefore financially most promising Web domain names but does not currently have much content.

If only I’d purchased that domain instead of back in 1993.

The End of Radar

posted by on January 24 at 1:41 PM

I knew it was coming, but it still made me sad to read it.


Speaking of the sure-to-be-missed brilliance of Radar magazine, I heard a completely unsubstantiated rumor that the magazine’s financial failure was due in large part to the amazing article on Scientology the mag ran in its next-to-last issue. It’s no secret that Scientology is the most litigious religion in the history of the world, rumored to be able to set smaller organizations on the road to bankruptcy with just the threat of litigation. Still, Radar had plenty of financial trouble even before they decided to aggressively bust the Scientologists—which, it must be said, is a fate-taunting maneuver on par with wearing a SUGE KNIGHT SUCKED MY DICK T-shirt to the Source awards—and I wouldn’t put it past the Scientologists to have birthed this we-killed-Radar rumor themselves, preying on an already hobbled beast to send a message to everyone else: Don’t fuck with us.

I expect a threatening letter from the Scientologists regarding the Slog entry. I’ll keep you posted.

Still Undecided

posted by on January 24 at 12:42 PM

So Nick Licata, defying expectations, is council president. What remains unresolved is who will take charge of which council committee. Usually, the council president heads a low-profile committee like government affairs; but Licata says he wants to keep control of public safety, a high-profile assignment. Meanwhile, Drago wants to take over transportation (Richard Conlin’s old committee), leaving Conlin (who thought he had the presidency locked up last December) with nowhere to go but government affairs (Drago’s old committee) or utilities (Jim Compton’s), which no one wants. Will Conlin, who already lost the presidency, get doubly screwed? Licata says he and Conlin are “discussing various options,” but wouldn’t detail what those options might be.

Re: It’s the Apopcalypse, Starring the Kanye-Christ

posted by on January 24 at 12:35 PM

Best Muhammed Ali quote ever: “I’m so bad, I make medicine sick.”

Preparing for Impeachment

posted by on January 24 at 12:31 PM

A conservative magazine says Bush is getting ready for the worst. (Or, depending on your perspective, the best.)

It’s the Apopcalypse, Starring the Kanye-Christ

posted by on January 24 at 12:22 PM

Firstly, the WB and UPN are forming a merged network, “The CW”. Whether the new network can discover that appropriate mix of UPN’s African-American “sassiness” and the WB’s teen-demo “spunkiness” remains to be seen, but I do hope that they refer to themselves as The Spassky Network as often as possible.
Also, Kanye West now thinks he’s Jesus. (And he’s also, inside tomorrow’s issue of Rolling Stone, posing as Muhammed Ali, which, really, seems like the greater sacrilege.) Which leads me to wonder: are celebrity photographers really really charismatic, that they get these hot-topic celebrities to pose in controversial photo spreads just before they burn out? Or are celebrities just really, really stupid, suggesting these controversial photo shoots, not even considering the fact that, despite the momentary universal press coverage, people will get sick of them a lot sooner?

Stupor Bowl XL

posted by on January 24 at 12:04 PM

I have been quoted here as saying, “I can get behind a winner.” To clarify: There are many, many winners I cannot at all get behind, and even my propensity toward fair-weather sportsfanness is limited. I like spectator sports because and only because of my association of the spectating with snacks. I watched basketball with my dad for years, never registering a thing but deeply enjoying the popcorn; likewise, I read and ate peanuts at Mariners games. I missed Sunday’s game, but I saw the terrifyingly enthused Seagulls fans on the 11 o’clock local news. They were distorted and drunken (the latter I’m generally for, but I prefer it unaccompanied by the former). The newscaster said of the stadium, “This must be what ancient Rome was like” (hmmm). Paul Allen, now our philosopher king, said something along the lines of “The fans have been incredible. It’s such a moving experience… such warmth,” upon which the newscaster commented, “Have you ever heard such eloquence?” Jesus FUCKING Christ—not to mention now this man (who wants to go into space! Hello, people!) will literally (okay, only nearly literally) OWN this town (“Allentown”—barf) as every mouth-breathing sports fan (sorry, Brad) wants to hand him even more of whatever he likes on an even shinier silver platter.
One of the ‘Gulls, though, cutely said post-game, “WE’RE GOING BOWLING!”
Please pass the popcorn.

Northwest Film Forum’s New Program Director

posted by on January 24 at 11:40 AM

Adam Sekuler replaces outgoing program director Jaime Keeling. Here he is:


Adam Sekuler comes to us from Minnesota Film Arts in Minneanapolis, where he has been programming the non-fiction film series for a year or so. (Before that, he programmed for the University Film Society and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, which is administered through with MFA.) Currently on the schedule at his theater: Ganges River to Heaven, New York Doll, The Untold Story of Emmett Till, and The Goebbels Experiment. Minnesota Film Arts hasn’t been having a great time of it lately: They may be closing down their other theater, which programs narrative classics like Casablanca and Citizen Kane. The programmer of that space quit at the beginning of January. Good job getting out while the getting out is good, Mr. Sekuler!

But here’s the kicker. If Minnesota Film Arts sounds familiar, it’s because that’s where we shipped Northwest Film Forum cofounder (and former Stranger film editor) Jamie Hook, who was subsequently ousted from his MFA executive director perch after failing to apply for a crucial $50,000 grant. According to a hostile witness, board director Larry Lamb, “[Hook] missed numerous grant deadlines. His folly was on a grand scale.” So it appears that Hook’s presence led, in a roundabout way, to Sekuler’s exodus. Ironic, n’est-ce pas?

Representation Without Taxation

posted by on January 24 at 10:56 AM

The Washington Court of Appeals overruled the King County Superior yesterday. The Superior Court had wrongly held that “vicious” pets were considered guilty until proven innocent. The Court of Appeals correctly said the County has the burden of proof when claiming that a pet is “vicious” and demanding that it must be removed from the County

Despite my reputation as a dog hater, the ruling makes sense to me. Three Cheers to the Court of Appeals.

However, it’s this kind of language from the ruling that drives me crazy.

In recognizing “that the bond between pet and owner often runs deep and that many people consider pets part of the family,” the court held that, “an agency seeking to enforce a removal order must prove both the violation and the remedy it has imposed by a preponderance of the evidence.”

If dogs are “part of the family,” maybe dog owners should be paying extra taxes for the sidewalks and parks and … legal rights they enjoy.

Dog licenses cost $20 a year. That money helps pay for the City’s Seattle Animal Shelter, which provides a range of pet services. However, it does not help pay for things like dog parks (which cost about $88,000 a year), or dog clean up …200 pounds of poop a day at those parks…, or sidewalks, or to medical attention for dog bites. It also doesn’t come close to covering the $2 million budget of the Seattle Animal Shelter.

Moreover, the City reports that only about 30,000 (out of the 125,000) dog owners have licenses, ie, even bother to pay the $20.

You Heard it Here First

posted by on January 24 at 10:29 AM

I’ll admit, The Stranger isn’t exactly known for its penetrating analysis of business trends — and neither am I. But check this out: More than two weeks ago I said on the Slog that “convergence” was making a comeback, and cited recent moves by Google as proof.

And just two days ago The New York Times reported that “convergence is back,” cited recent moves by Google as proof, and even declared a “Convergence 2.0” to be in the offing.

I now take my virtual bow.

Speaking Football 101

posted by on January 24 at 10:21 AM

More advice for sudden Seahawks fans from my brother Bill Savage, English prof and football fanatic.—Dan Savage

A bandwagon-jumper’s guide to football nomenclature, in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. Part I.

Cheerleader: sideline reminder that not all men care to watch large hypermasculine men hit each other. Vital connection to traditional patriarchal heteronormative notions of feminine virtue and family values.

Offense: When a team has the ball.

Defense: When a team doesn’t have the ball. These are actually metaphysical concepts, as when a ball is turned over via fumble or interception, the teams instantly switch from offense to defense and vice versa, and the rules which apply to players’ conduct on each team also change. As when Republicans impeach a Democratic President, but then do not impeach a Republican President for far worse infractions, because the rules have changed.

Special Teams: Where the developmentally disabled play football.

Referee: Solon in stripes, adjudicator of game action—considered a wise and just applier of penalties to your opponent, blind and bought-off applier of penalties to your team. Also known as Zebras, for their equine qualities, as they tend to herd together and talk pointlessly without accomplishing anything, whenever under stress. See Democratic Congressional Caucus.

The Spread: not the sort my brother writes about. This is the calculation, by professional gamblers, of the two teams’ relative strength, expressed in points. The Steelers are currently favored by three and a half; that means if you bet on Pittsburgh to win, they have to win by four points or more (covering the spread). If you bet on Seattle to win and they lose by 3 or fewer, you win as the Seahawks have beat the spread. Anyone in Seattle betting on Pittsburgh due to the spread will go to Hell.

The Spot: Not the spot my brother writes about. It’s where the official places the ball at the end of play. If the spot favors your team, it’s good; if it favors your opponent, the ref is in the bag. See Referee.

The art of being Donald

posted by on January 24 at 9:48 AM

Reuters reports that yesterday Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against New York Times reporter Timothy O’Brien and Warner Books for allegedly falsely pegging Trump as a millionaire, instead of a billionaire, in his recent book TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.

“I believe it is important to expose irresponsible, malicious and false reporting,” Trump said in a statement.

And so he is suing O’Brien and Warner for defamatory statements, to the tune of Five Billion Dollars ($5,000,000,000).

After he is compensated for his inevitable court victory, Trump plans on buying the moon, and then chiseling his real net worth on its surface, along with this image (beware, image contains an artistic rendering of Donald Trump’s wang. Don’t view at work, if you value respectability). That’ll show those motherfuckers who’s rich.

Morning Snacking

posted by on January 24 at 9:32 AM

My guy is a coffee connoisseur and won’t go anywhere that doesn’t have excellent java. I, on the other hand, prioritize the availability of good morning noshes in my choice of place.

It has been a problem for us to find a place that pleases both of us, as many coffee houses have mediocre snacks—as was documented by Sara Dickerman here, here, and here.

I think these articles maligning bad pastries are starting to have a positive effect. I just returned from Caffe Vita, where the food choices used to be merely so-so, where I drank some delicious coffee and snacked on some very tasty banana bread. Cheers to that!

Slogdance 14 — small town gay bar

posted by on January 24 at 8:46 AM

Expectations are a funny thing. When I first read the synopsis for the documentary small town gay bar, it sounded more dangerous than any of the Iraq documentaries being made today. I mean, heading into the Deep South to associate yourself with gay culture seems like bringing a lamb to the slaughter. Word up.

The movie starts out similar to what I expected when the filmmakers move two blocks away from the gay bar Rumors to interview drunk rednecks outside a roadhouse. They say everything you’d expect, but it sets the stage for an interesting dichotomy. But then the movie moves inside the gay bars, into the safety of the southern gay communities, and fails to give a general context about what average people think of out homosexuals who gather and drink. Instead the villains of the piece become the homophobic preacher, the guy from the American Family Association, and the unseen threat and history of violence.

What we eventually learn is that the inside of gay bars are the same whether you’re in the city or in the country. The bulk of the movie is an optimistic call for tolerance and family and unity, and it should play well in gay and lesbian film festivals across the country.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance
Park City, Utah

Monday, January 23, 2006

Slogdance 13 - Who wants a snack?

posted by on January 23 at 10:24 PM

There’s almost a homemade quality to some of the hotel theaters that are housed in converted conference rooms with uncomfortable chairs. Same goes for the makeshift “Concession’s” counter.

Sundance theater.jpg

This one is for the proofreaders.

-Andy Spletzer reporting from the Sundance Film Festival

Oh, I just can’t help loving her

posted by on January 23 at 4:44 PM

A USC cheerleader cheers for the opposing team.


Nickels on Licata

posted by on January 23 at 4:36 PM

What a condescending statement from Nickels on Nick Licata.

The Team Nickels press release says:

“Congratulations to Councilmember Licata on his election as the new city council president,” Nickels said. “Nick and I have worked together for four years on many important issues, including public safety and civil rights. The people of Seattle will find in him a strong advocate of the arts and open space. I know that he will serve the city council well as president.”

Worked together? Mainly, Nickels has accused Licata of being “anti-jobs” for consistently truth-squading Nickels’s South Lake Union agenda.

Uh, “arts and open space” …sure.

But here’s hoping Licata challenges Nickels right off the bat on the fire levy funding fiasco. Licata should call on Nickels to rein in the project. It’s currently 40%, or $67million over-budget. And we all know how outraged Mayor Gridlock gets when things go over budget. Uggh, what a hypocrite the mayor is.

Licata voted the wrong way last week when the council approved the first bit of levy spending, but let’s hope, now that he’s a cocky council president, he’ll take it to Team Hypocrisy.

Faux-sama bin Laden

posted by on January 23 at 4:25 PM

Bush was in deep shit a couple of weeks ago… domestic spying… the war… and suddenly a new Osama tape surfaces… in which Osama threatens the USA with more attacks… and Osama recommends a book on the anti-war left’s reading list… and Osama uses language that sounds like Dem talking points… and yet White House doesn’t raise the terror alert level despite the new threat…

Could it be that it wasn’t really Osama on that tape? And does the White House know it wasn’t Osama?

It’s clear the White House was manipulating terror alert levels before the 2004 election. An Osama tape turning up right now is awfully convenient—just like all those terror alerts were in 2003 and 2004. Does the White House know the tape is fake and verified it anyway?

Hell, I wouldn’t put making a fake Osama tape past George W. Bush and his cronies

New Wonkette/Old Homophobia?

posted by on January 23 at 3:31 PM

The fierce flamers over at have diagnosed the man replacing Anna Marie Cox at Wonkette with an long-standing case of homophobia.

According to the New York Times, David B. Lat, AKA the new Wonkette, has a troubling anti-gay history at Harvard, where Lat repeatedly castigated his alma mater’s Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Association.

Full NYT story here. report here.

Still, how homophobic can someone as bitchy and campy as Lat be?

This question is mulled in the NYT piece by Elaine Golin, a lawyer and former colleague of Lat’s: “David was on this one side a hard-core Federalist Society type, who clerked for an extremely hard-right judge, and was way to the right of most of his associates. And he had this whole other side of flamboyant, theater-watching, Oscar-watching, shoe-loving, litigatrix. How do these two sides get reconciled?”

Who knows? Maybe Lat should ask former Spokane mayor Jim West….

Bush on Brokeback

posted by on January 23 at 3:26 PM

Guess what? Our president is an ass. Via Drudge:

President Bush has so far skipped BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN — the Hollywood hit about two homosexual cowboys. During a Q&A session at Kansas State University today, a student asked Bush: “I was just wanting to get your opinion on BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN if you’d seen it yet.”

The crowd laughed softly before the student said loudly: “You would love it! You should check it out.”

“I haven’t seen it,” Bush said flatly. “I’d be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven’t seen the movie,” he said to laughter. “I’ve heard about it.”

The president waited a second or two, then said, according to a transcript: “I hope you go—(laughter)—you know—(laughter) — I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm, is what I was about to say. I haven’t seen it. (Laughter, applause.)”

I didn’t expect the Bigot and Cheif to rush right out and see Brokeback—hell, I haven’t even seen it yet. What really struck me about this transcript was all the laughter. Whenever Bush speaks before one of those worshipful crowds his aides assemble for him—at taxpayer expense—Bush gets lots of laughs. Not the right kind of laughs—not the derisive laughter his idiotic ramblings deserve, but “You’re hilarious, Mr. President!” guffaws. God bless the kid who asked Bush if he was going to see the movie, but who the fuck are these people who laugh at every dumbass thing that falls out of Bush’s mouth? “I hope you go” gets a laugh? “You know” gets a laugh?

Oh, Dear Leader! You are SO funny!

Three more years, folks, three more fucking years.

Re: It’s Nick!

posted by on January 23 at 3:05 PM

I’m thrilled that Nick Licata is going to be council president. (I wish Amy Jenniges were still around for this. I can hear her now: “Yes!”.)

From repealing the TDO, to fighting Sidran’s impound ordinance, to working to keep city hall accessible, Licata has been the Stranger’s favorite council member since he was first elected in ‘97.

Certainly, we disagree with Licata on some specifics (his pseudo populist Viaduct jag and his knee-jerk impulse to side with reactionary utopianists on “neighborhood” issues are slightly annoying.) But our most substantive gripe has always been that he never seemed able to rustle up the votes to make good on his leftist agenda.

But, damn, Licata emerged today with the votes to become president. The fact that the votes represented a compromise, speak to Nick’s emerging role as a broker on the council. This bodes well for Licata.

It doesn’t, however, bode well for Team Nickels. Licata is one of the sharpest critics of Nickels’s go-go agenda.

In honor of Mr. Licata, here’s the endorsement we published when he ran for reelection in November (And check out the last graph, in particular):

City Council Position 6 Vote for Nick Licata

Okay. We swear we’re not just drunk dialing. The Stranger Election Control Board loves Nick Licata. A stalwart opponent of corporate giveaways (he’s currently lining up votes to oppose Team Nickels’s plans to subsidize the Sonics), Licata is Seattle’s iconoclastic lefty—the council’s most reliable go-to-guy for do-gooder activists, government accountability cranks, and the marginalized.

Case in point, Licata recently amended Team Nickels’s patronizing and sexist strip-club “four- foot” rule, scaling back Nickels’s attempt to force strippers into the court system rather than the more collaborative hearing-examiner process. (And after sneaking in that fix, Licata righteously rounded up three other protest votes and voted against Nickels’s nanny-state legislation as a whole. Ha!)

Speaking of challenging Nickels, Licata has often been the lone dissenting vote against the mayor’s big plans: No on Nickels’s useless vanity fix to Mercer, no on Nickels’s UW lease lid lift, no on Nickels’s unfunded viaduct tunnel plan (Hey, Greg, maybe we should give you a month to come up with a finance plan!), and—voting with lefty ally Peter Steinbrueck—no on authorizing $3.9 million in city money for Paul Allen’s streetcar.

Licata has been a determined critic of developer giveaways, taking up the fight (again with Steinbrueck) to amend Nickels’s plans in South Lake Union and downtown. And he’s currently pushing for expanded library hours in Nickels’s new budget, arguing that keeping the current Republican library hours (never fucking open) in place is a disservice to working-class people.

A longtime monorail advocate who argues that monorail technology is better suited to Seattle than Sound Transit’s light rail technology, Licata wants to keep monorail technology alive by getting Sound Transit to adopt the idea. He also says he will not let the monorail’s MVET be transferred to anything but mass transit projects.

Our one gripe with Nick is that as a veteran council member, with two terms under his belt, he still struggles to get the votes to bolster his crusades. For example, his amendment to require a citywide transportation-needs study before committing new bus hour money to South Lake Union went nowhere. And his idea for a city levy to fund both cops and social services disappeared.

The powers-that-be still view Licata as a threat. Team Vulcan tried, unsuccessfully, to field a candidate to challenge Licata. They failed because Licata’s most remarkable talent (thanks to his straight-shooting manner) is his ability to earn the respect of his adversaries. For example, the cop union endorsed Licata this year even though Licata—who chairs the council’s cop committee—is pledging to fight for stricter police-accountability rules like demanding unredacted complaint files.

The SECB has dreams of a Mayor Licata. At the very least, we’re hoping for a Council President Licata, who would shake up city hall’s second floor and pull the council in a more activist direction. Vote Licata!

Such Great Nerve

posted by on January 23 at 3:05 PM

Electro-pop sensations The Postal Service are accusing Apple Computers of plagiarism. According to Pitchfork, the duo discovered that the directors of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” video—Josh Melnick and Xander Charity—have made a commercial spot that parodies their original work, but they failed to contact the group about it, and PS members Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello aren’t amused. You can view the original and the ad version here and here.

No legal action has been taken yet, and with the “Such Great Heights” video topping iTunes download chart in the wake of the parody, maybe it’s best to let it go.

Have You Seen This Man?

posted by on January 23 at 3:00 PM


There’s a good chance you might have seen him if you live in Washington’s 16th, 17th, 26th, 28th, or 47th Legislative Districts, where a GOP-funded scare tactic is spreading false information just in time for the Republicans’ big election year push on the sex offender issue. The mailer reads, “This violent predator lives in your community,” but it has turned up in mailboxes near Walla Walla, Tacoma, Kelso, and Vancouver (WA). Which makes this supposed sex offender either a major Washington landowner with an extremely diverse portfolio, or a fiction. The bet of the bloggers who have been unraveling this story is on the latter.

“I’ve seen a lot of offensive things as a participant and observer of politics, but this is one of the most vile things I have ever seen,” writes a blogger in Vancouver, Washington.

Over at the conservative SoundPolitics, the person in the photo is alleged by Stefan Sharkansky to be a Level 3 sex offender from Pierce County. But rather than explain why the GOP is erroneously warning residents of far off Walla Walla County—to pick just one example—that this man lives among them, Sharkansky is taking a page from Karl Rove’s playbook and trying to paint the Democrats as unconcerned about things that scare Americans. In Washington State, it seems sex offenders are the new terrorists in terms of political utility. Sharkansky even outlines a loopy theory in which he sees Democrats as being soft on sex offenders (they’re not, by the way) because Democrats don’t want to upset their sex offender friends in the teacher’s union.

To which David Goldstein responds:

You know what Stefan… fuck you. If you actually believe that Dems would protect teachers unions over sexually abused children then you are just plain sick. And if you don’t believe it, then your are as dishonest and conscienceless as the GOP operatives who designed and executed this disgusting fear campaign.

Don’t expect this to be the last you hear about sex offenders before the elections in November…

Slogdance 12 — Why did I “Stay”?

posted by on January 23 at 2:43 PM

One of the movies I was most looking forward to was Bobcat “Bob” Goldthwait’s new movie Stay, from the director of my favorite clown movie, Shakes the Clown. Its premise is that sometimes it pays to NOT be completely honest with your significant other, especially when you have something in your past that is horrifically embarrassing. I didn’t expect it to be such a poorly written script full of stock characters and an unlikable, if cute, lead actress.

The movie looked like shit at the press screening, and not just because of the bad lighting within the film. Either the projector at the venue wasn’t calibrated properly, or the video master was off, but there was blotchy orange video noise in the highlights on people’s faces. That would have been forgivable if it wasn’t for the stock meth-smoking brother still living at home, the prudish mom who has a wild sexual history with famous rock stars of the ’50s, which she’s kept a secret from the straight shooting dad.

My biggest regret is not walking out of the movie early enough to catch the press screening of TV Junkie, which I read about in Matt Dentler’s Blog. For that I am still kicking myself.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance
Park City, Utah

By the way, if you want to know what the transgression that she’s embarrassed to tell her fiancĂ© is, follow this link.

Continue reading "Slogdance 12 — Why did I "Stay”?" »

It’s Nick!

posted by on January 23 at 2:37 PM

After weeks of intrigue and deadlock, the council was set today to elect a new president: Nick Licata.

Licata, a dark-horse candidate whom many initially laughed off as a presidential contender because he’s the most left-leaning member of the city council, became a frontrunner after council members deadlocked 4-4 between the original two contenders, Jean Godden and Richard Conlin, when Jim Compton resigned in December. Conlin and Godden both hung on until this morning, when Conlin announced he was withdrawing his name, opening up the field to Licata and Richard McIver, another “compromise” candidate who had the support of David Della and Godden.

The catch, of course, was that McIver didn’t really want the job. He likes his current position as head of the council’s budget committee, and offered to step up as president only if no other viable candidate volunteered. When it became clear Licata had the support of the majority of the council (including swing vote Jan Drago), McIver withdrew.

As a council staffer whispered to me a few minutes before the vote, “I laughed when you predicted it would be Nick,” back in December. Sometimes, the good guys win.

Slogdance 11 — The Seattle Party

posted by on January 23 at 2:14 PM

Every year for the past four years, Seattle has thrown a party in Park City to raise awareness of the city as a place for filmmaking. We’re not the only ones who do this, either. I popped into the San Francisco party for some drinks and to hear about what kind of initiatives they’re pushing. They’ve got this new thing called SF360, where they’re teaming up with indieWIRE to create daily reports on the San Francisco film scene. I also had some free wine and played this racing videogame (it wasn’t even the X-box 360!) before heading over to the Seattle Party.

Perhaps we should have called it the Sub Pop Party, with the musical acts Band of Horses, Fruit Bats and Iron & Wine featured at the party. For some reason the Master of Ceremonies was Kate Walsh from the “set in Seattle but filmed elsewhere” show “Grey’s Anatomy.” That was fairly ridiculous. The bands were good, but as a spoiled member of the press and regular Sundance hobo, I was disappointed at the lack of free drinks at this event.

Apparently, several Seattle venders are also hosting two VIP dinners, but I haven’t heard who was on the guest list for those. I do know that they’re being hosted by Seattle film promoter/publicist Warren Etheredge, who had nice things to say about the Park City emergency room after breaking (or spraining) his arm slipping on the ice walking from the shuttle to his condo.

-Andy Spletzer
reporting from Sundance
Park City, Utah

Let’s All Ogle Obama

posted by on January 23 at 1:48 PM

When your Seagull-induced elation and optimism for the future begins to wane, take a look at this man and find comfort in the fact that (as a soothsayin’ Obi-Wan once said) he is is our only hope.

Light of My Life, Fire of My Censorship

posted by on January 23 at 1:37 PM

OCALA, Fla. — A 50-year-old classic novel about forbidden love is shaking things up in Marion County.

The controversy centers on the book “Lolita” and whether it’s obscene under today’s standards, WESH 2 News reported.

“Lolita” is a famous novel full of pages and pages of sexually explicit material about pedophilia.

“I believe that you, at least hypothetically, could read this book and consider it obscene,” said Terry Blaes, of Dunnellon.

She challenged the Marion County Commission to determine whether they should pull “Lolita” from public library shelves, as they have the right to do so.

“I want you to think about the effect of literature on the people who read it, children and adults,” she said.

Moral scolds: Protecting America’s children—and adults!—from great literature.

Advice for New Seahawks Fans

posted by on January 23 at 1:10 PM

This post was written by my brother, Bill Savage, a football fan and a Chicago Bears season ticket holder. He has some advice for Seattle residents who don’t know what’s expected of them now that our pro-football team is headed to the Superbowl.—Dan Savage

OK, Seattle—take a deep breath. Hold it, hold it—now, exhale through the nose. Repeat as necessary. You all know this zen yoga shit.

Your Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, and word is that the whole town is losing its mind, even people who recently didn’t know the species of the local NFL fowl. I’d like to offer a few words of advice for how to enjoy the coming two weeks of media hype and giddy anticipation, how to act like you know what’s going on when discussing football, and then the actual game itself.

As for the game, rent a car, load it up with food and drink and drive all night, south through Mississippi (watch out for the cops in Yolabusha County, no mercy on the speeding tickets there, I can tell you) to New Orleans, where they know how to throw a party.

Wait, that was Super Bowl XX.

Sorry, flashing back a bit to when the Bears were in the game—Post Ecstatic Stress Disorder, the happy cousin of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . If the Seahawks win, you’ll all experience the symptoms of PEST, including inexplicable grinning and high-fiving total strangers.

But back to the present: in keeping with Seattle’s Never Won Much Luck, Seahawks fans get that once-in-every-20-years Super Bowl in a cold weather site. Instead of the Big Easy or Miami or even Los Angeles, you get Detroit—an urban wasteland which bears something of a resemblance to post-Katrina N’Awlins, without the sublime juxtapositions any natural disaster creates.

If you’re going to the game, the word on Detroit: I wouldn’t stay there. Stay in Windsor, on the Ontario side of the river, for better bars, legal gambling, and strip clubs that serve booze.

More on that later—back now to the media hype, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since since the last Super Bowl.

Journalists—local and national—will delve into every crevice of the town and the team looking for stories to fill endless pages of newsprint, since they now have 13 days to fill without the benefit of an actual game to write about. They’ll find every possible background story, every angle, every meaningless bit of nonsense. What are you to do when presented with this onslaught?

Read every word.

You must, it’s your civic duty—and trust me, you might not get the chance again for a while.

This daily ingestion of blather then enables the non-fan to join the conversation. You Stranger-reading hipster bandwagon-jumpers should abide by two rules:

1) Keep your mouth shut. If you don’t know what you’re talking about—see my brother’s liveslogging of the NFC championship game for a primo example—you don’t want anyone to know. When some knowledgeable fan says “Seattle beat Caroline while the Bears couldn’t because the Bears Tampa Bay-style Cover 2 scheme left a seam for Steve Smith”—just nod, since you wouldn’t know Cover 2 from Cover Girl. Football is a hypermasculine game, and strong and silent works just fine.

2) If you must speak, though, the best thing to do is just to agree and extend a bit. If you’re at the Comet and some crusty old-timer with an ancient, soiled Seahawks cap says “Shaun Alexander can’t win The Game for us, he’s too much of a finesse runner, can’t take a hit,” simply reply, “Finesse never wins in the running game.” This will allow Old Crusty to think you know a thing or two, buy you a Fat Tire, and continue the conversation with observations about Matt Hasselbeck’s passing options.

When in doubt, refer to rule 1.

More to come in the days ahead. Tomorrow: Speaking Football 101.

All Tomorrow’s Parties

posted by on January 23 at 12:36 PM

Last week I wrote in Live Wire that three Northwest acts (Mudhoney, Sleater-Kinney, and the Shins) have been picked to curate lineups at All Tomorrow’s Parties this year….I’d also printed some old info that Ween was one of the non-NW bands acting as curators….well I guess Ween’s out now and Dinosaur Jr have curated a lineup that includes Dead Meadow, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Lilys, and more. (Thanks to Daniel Garber for the heads up on that one).

For dicks

posted by on January 23 at 12:28 PM

This weekend, while taking a gander at some art around town, I came upon Miguel Edwards’ hot pink and purple, LED-powered, holograph-like photograph-paintings of female porn bodies posed suggestively in a smoky mist while wearing such accoutrements as angel wings and cowboy hats. (See below? I’m not making this up).

IMG_9072 copy.jpg

They’re on view in CoCA’s darkened project room, where evidently, you can feel free to masturbate at will.

Wedding Crashers—WTF?

posted by on January 23 at 12:08 PM

So after hearing forever that Wedding Crashers is such a funny fucking move, I finally rented it last night. There were maybe five funny moments in the movie—or I should say, the parts of the movie I could sit through—because the thing quickly disintegrated into a sappy, predictable, lame love story instead of the fucked up, bad boy comedy I kept hearing about. What gives with this movie? Is the standard for cinematic comedy so dumbed down that this piece of shit passes as hilarious? Granted, I love Bad Santa and Old School and 40 Year Old Virgin had a lot of funny moments, but why is there always some stupid lesson or love story that has to ruin things in the end? Mean comedy is pretty damn funny…

Wrath of God?

posted by on January 23 at 11:40 AM

Everyone loves what Rem Koolhaas did with Seattle’s downtown library, but everyone loves to hate on his Soho Prada store. Including a friend in New York who writes, with evident glee:

Rem Koolhaas’ landmark Prada store in SoHo was basically destroyed yesterday by smoke and water damage caused by a fire next door. Maybe Rem had an intern set the blaze to end criticism of the $40M store’s notoriously rapid deterioration.

And the bitchy architecture blog The Gutter piles on, relishing the image of those “Brazilian zebra wood floors soaking up the firefighters’ spume.”

Conlin Canned

posted by on January 23 at 11:35 AM

As president of the Seattle chapter of the Richard Conlin Haters Club, it is my solemn obligation to post this link to this December press release:


SEATTLE — Councilmember Richard Conlin, who chaired the Council’s Transportation Committee for the past four years, will lead the Seattle City Council as president for the two year term, 2006-2007…

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said President Richard Conlin, “to work with my colleagues to serve the people of Seattle. This is a seasoned and skilled Council. I am confident that we will continue to creatively and responsibly meet the challenges of Seattle’s future.”


My vote for council president, if I had one, would be for Nick Licata—even though he’s wrong, wrong, wrong about the Viaduct. Go Nick!

And the Council President Will Not Be…

posted by on January 23 at 10:11 AM

Richard Conlin, who just withdrew his name from the running for the council presidency.

At today’s 2:00 meeting, Peter Steinbrueck will move to nominate Nick Licata, who has the support of Steinbrueck, Tom Rasmussen, Conlin, and, of course, himself. He’ll need to win Jan Drago’s vote to break the protracted 4-4 deadlock that has held the council presidency in limbo ever since Jim Compton resigned in December. (The other new candidate, Richard McIver, has the support of David Della, Jean Godden, and himself).

And the Finalists For City Council Position #9 Are…

posted by on January 23 at 10:05 AM

Six women, five of them minorities:

Sharon Maeda (with seven of eight possible votes);
Stella Chao (with seven votes)
Sally Clark (with six votes)
Ven Knox (with five votes)
Venus Velasquez
Dolores Sibonga

The last two were chosen in a series of tiebreaking votes. In the final vote, Sibonga beat Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce president Darryl Smith five to three.

Masai Teeth

posted by on January 23 at 9:54 AM

I live for junk like this:


I recently found this website, and read through your article about health and diet, and was quite disappointed with some of your recommendations. I completely agree with your concerns for greasy fast foods causing health problems, but please don’t lump wonderful nutrient dense foods like eggs and red meat into this category. These foods have sustained traditional cultures for millennia. If you do your research on traditional African diets you will find that the healthiest and most long-lived people always had a source of animal or insect protein to provide the fat-soluble vitamins A and D. (Vitamin D deficiency in Blacks is rampant and widespread as you may or may not know). Specifically, there is a tribe in Africa, the Masai, which live on diet largely consisting of red meat and raw dairy. This tribe is known for its longevity and absence of the diseases of civilization as well as their beautiful straight teeth. I must add that there is a huge difference between the feed lot animals raised in confinement compared to those raised sustainably on green pasture in open air. The introduction of vegetable (industrial) oils, white flour and sugar, pasteurized milk, highly processed foods like soy, and food additives into our diets are largely responsible for the maladies you describe. My organization is a huge adovocate of Buying Local, and Buying Organic. You don’t necessarily have to eat meat to be healthy, but you need a source of the fat-soluble vitamins which are only found in animal fats. These fats allow use to stay healthy generation after generation. If you serious about our brothers and sisters health, I urge you to learn more about what I am talking about please refer to these resources below:

The Weston A. Price Foundation,

Newsworthy Birds

posted by on January 23 at 9:46 AM

Congratulations to the Seagulls, who won passage to Super Bowl XXXXXIV.5 yesterday at Qwest Field.

However the mighty ‘Gulls weren’t the only newsworthy birds of the weekend. On Sunday morning, I received this report from Hot Tipper Greg:

Leaving my apartment to run some Saturday afternoon errands, I noticed a couple of bicycle cops on the sidewalk. As I approached 12th, I saw a crowd of people gathered, all of them looking up at the sky. Then I saw what they were looking at: a white snowy owl perched atop a street light. I rode my bike back up to my apartment and got my camera, then returned to the corner, where I took a few pictures and stared at the owl for about twenty minutes with the rest of the mesmerized crowd. There were about twenty or thirty people there when I arrived; some people meandered off after watching for a little while; others called friends on their cell phones to describe what they were looking at; some people pulled over in their cars, curious to know what everyone was looking at, and the three bicycle cops sat across the street to take in the sight as well. Several crows tried to get the owl to fly away by dive bombing it, but the owl seemed indifferent to them and like it knew the crows were beneath it in both station and style. Three hours later, after I’d run my Saturday errands, the owl and small crowd were still gathered, though it was now perched on the peak of the building that houses the Artist Trust offices. Everyone seemed mesmerized and excited by the owl sighting. I took it as a good omen.

Not all of the weekend’s subsidiary bird sightings engendered such feel-goodism. On Saturday, my roommate went out to get the mail and came back with a big dead bird she found on the sidewalk in front of our place. At first she thought it was a Peregrin falcon, but when the summoned “raptor expert” arrived (referred by the Audobon Society), he confirmed the bird was a Cooper’s hawk. Either way, it was dead, of what looked like natural causes to the raptor expert, and even its corpse was kinda pretty.

Go Seagulls!

The slogan of Tacoma Screw …

posted by on January 23 at 9:27 AM

… as seen on a truck on my commute this morning.

“We service your business.”

False Prophecy

posted by on January 23 at 9:10 AM

Eastside Rev. Ken Hutcherson has announced he is launching a national boycott of several companies (including Microsoft, Boeing, Corbis, and RealNetworks) that support Washington’s gay civil rights bill. Sounds like big news, right? Well, last week, after the Associated Press took Rev. Hutcherson’s word for it and told its millions of readers that this boycott was coming, I started looking for evidence that this “national boycott” actually exists.

I found none. And my blog posts about my fruitless search have been collected into a story, here.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is starting to sound more skeptical about Rev. Hutcherson’s threats (and Goldy over at says it’s about time). On Saturday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted that the boycott it told readers was coming had not, in fact, arrived.

Hutcherson did not announce a boycott of Microsoft and other businesses that supported gay rights legislation. In a later interview with the Seattle P-I, he said he is planning a boycott but is not ready to reveal details.

“We’re going to make it rough (on Microsoft) by having these policies,” he said.

And The New York Times, also on Saturday, cast Rev. Hutcherson’s threat as merely a hypothetical:

This week, the Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of the evangelical Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Wash., raised the possibility of boycotts of companies like Microsoft, Nike and Boeing for their support of legislation in Washington State prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and insurance on the basis of sexual orientation.

Rev. Hutcherson still claims he has an unspecified plan, and the required clout, to “make it rough” on Microsoft and other companies that support gay civil rights. But so far it seems all he has is a lot of reporters’ phone numbers and a belief that bluster and exaggeration can substitute for actual clout. It’s a game that works only as long as the media is willing to help him maintain the illusion.

Slogdance 10 — Two music docs

posted by on January 23 at 8:12 AM

The best thing about Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man is that it incorporates about a half hour of interviews with the classic poet/singer-songwriter, maybe more, and spreads it throughout a tribute concert. He is hilarious and self-deprecating, and I wish people like Bono and the Edge saw that footage before they went off on their hero worship. The concert itself is a distraction from the core of the movie, Cohen’s life and words, though Rufus Wainwright does do a couple great covers of his work.

The other doc I saw was the Beastie Boys concert film Awesome: I Fucking Shot That!. Here’s the good news. The movie captures a show at the Madison Square Garden, and it’s a kick-ass show. The way they covered it was by giving 50 fans cheap video cameras to cover the show from the audience. Then director Nathanial Hornblower (aka Adam Yauch) mixed the movie like it was on Mixmaster Mike’s turntables, and the result is shakey and overwhelming on the big screen, but should play great as a DVD on your TV.

-Andy Spletzer slogging from Sundance in Park City, Utah

Slogdance 9 — Lucky Number Slevin

posted by on January 23 at 8:08 AM

Every year there’s this kind of all-star crime film that is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is. I’m thinking of films like the Ed Burns/Rachel Weitz starrer Confidence or even the William H. Macy/Maria Bello film The Cooler. These films do pick up their fans, particularly among college-aged viewers looking for twists for twists sake, but they are deeply flawed at their core.

Add to that list Lucky Number Slevin. Josh Hartnet stars as a guy mistaken for a guy who owes money to a bookie, who gets pulled into a crime war between mob boss Morgan Freeman and Jewish mob boss Sir Ben Kingsley that is being orchestrated famed international assassin Bruce Willis. Throw in Lucy Liu as a perky and annoying coroner, with witty banter replacing actual dialog, and you’ve got one flashy indie films that is empty at its core. Horrible. And with bad art design, too.

-Andy Spletzer slogging from Sundance in Park City, Utah

Slogdance 8 — Guatemalan Handshake

posted by on January 23 at 7:53 AM

First things first: Go Seahawks! Hard to believe, but I guess I have a couple weeks to get used to the Seahhawks in the Super Bowl. Damn. And I’m even optimistic about them winning it right now.

Anyway, back to the movies.

This Slamdance charmer looks like a throwback to the days before Sex, Lies and Videotape ushered in an era were feature films would become Hollywood calling cards. Guatemalan Handshake is a good-looking, semi-rural movie, shot on 35mm film, about a power surge in a nuclear power plant, a balding guy (Will Oldham) in a triangular electric car, the pregnant daughter of a demolition driver, a skate rink lothario who gets sick every time he drinks milkshakes, and an older lady looking for her dead dog, among other things.

I wasn’t sure if it all came together for me, but talking to director Todd Rohal over drinks last night, he assures me that it does (which was verified by a friend after the fact). Rohal compares the experience of some people with my reaction to letting your mind wander while reading a book, where you read the same page over and over again before the text sticks. It may be this year’s Primer, but without the scientists. In this case, I look forward to reading these passages again because, even without everything coming together in my mind, I enjoyed the ride.

-Andy Spletzer slogging from Sundance in Park City, Utah

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hello, Wagon, Can I Get On?

posted by on January 22 at 10:15 PM

Downtown is going nuts. I had dinner with friends at Le Pichet — except for a few old people, we had the place to ourselves — and the bartender kept bringing us slips of paper on which he’d written the score for us. The third time he came around, the note said: “Seattle vs. Pittsburgh, Superbowl XL.”

A young couple was leaving and just as they stepped outside the door the girl looked up into the sky and said, “I hope we lose the game” — she was one of those people — and I took the trouble to get up from my table, open the door, and lean out and say, “Actually, we just won, we’re going to the Super Bowl.” Then people starting punching their car horns and pretty much didn’t stop. A SPD car with its siren going rode past on First Avenue, breaking every couple seconds, clearly not pursuing anyone, just celebrating. A guy walked into the restaurant with his arms raised above his head. A hot, huge drunk guy walking up First Avenue said to us as we were leaving the restaurant, “Suuuuuuppperr Baaaaah-owwwwwl!.” Another came up to us and said, “Can you believe it?” and then pointed at his head and said, “Believe it!” The Sunday paper faced us from boxes on every block, with its cover story, written before the game, “Super Bowl dreaming in the City of Self-Doubt” by Stuart Eskenazi, who began with: “So here we sit, on the verge of something Super.” Outside Nordstrom, I let out a “Woo-hoo!” that was immediately echoed from several points distant. When I got to Rite Aid on Broadway, which I don’t like to go to because its employees are always surly, I confessed to the cashier that I was actually excited about Seattle going to the Super Bowl, that it made me happy that everyone was happy, that I wished we could invent more reasons for everyone in a city to be instantly, goofily happy, and she said she was happy about it too, and then she smiled, which was amazing, because historically this woman has had the personality of a garbage truck. And then I added something a friend had said (the estimable Bethany Jean Clement) earlier in the week: “I can get behind a winner.”

My Smobriety, Day Fourteen: How It Goes Down From Here

posted by on January 22 at 10:05 PM

The FinalSmobriety Charticle

Weight: 173 pounds

Pulse: 67 beats per minute

Risk of Smoking Resumption: Don’t be fucking stupid

Song Stuck In Head: “Another Day In Paradise,” Phil Collins

Symptoms: None to speak of

I’ve been a non-smoker for two weeks now. Today I met up with “Dick,” one of the pople who quit smoking with me (a.k.a. My Fellow Smobernaut,) and he’s off The Patch. There was some rough insomnia for a couple days, when he was kicking the nicotine, but that’s about it.
Last night I attended a party that was full of Smoky McSmokestacks, smoking indoors with impunity, packs of cigarettes on tables for the picking, and I didn’t feel tempted once. Perhaps at one point, I will have cravings—I’m going to be keeping up the Slogging for the remainder of the first month, just not every day—but perhaps the twelve years of smoking was enough for me. Maybe I was ready for it. Maybe this book did hypnotize me—it certainly made the process easier, one way or another, and I recommend it unabashedly.
Speaking of baseless smug self-satisfaction:, I don’t know how football is played, I didn’t watch a single moment of the pig-flesh tossery today, but I think that even if I was a big Seagulls fan, the Colin Farrell sex tape transcript (down a little bit on the page there) would still be my day’s main entertainment. We should all have our sex talk transcribed and reported to the masses, is what I’m saying. Boo to cow-sized men walloping each other, yay to Future Sonny-Crockett-Portrayers reaming the hell out of Playboy Bunnies and yammering like senile old coots while doing it!

Scanty Secretions?

posted by on January 22 at 9:28 PM

This morning I received an e-mail from one “Ferreira Dominic” in my Spam folder. I was about to delete it, when the title caught my eye:

Increase Cum Volume by 500%

Volume? That can’t be right. Tell me more, Ferreira Dominic! The message went on to offer the name of the product:


and these fascinating bullet points:

- Rock hard erections: Erections like steel
- Ejaculate like a porn star: Stronger ejaculation (watch where your aiming)
- Sweeter tasting sperm: Studies show it improves the flavor
- Up to 500% more volume: Cover her in it if you want

Wow, really? Erections of both rock and steel? Sperm flavorful and sweet like a Coke Slurpee? Studies? 500% MORE VOLUME? Sounds awful. Now, I’m no nationally renowned sex advice columnist, but is ejaculate volume an actual issue with anyone, anywhere? And is “watch where your[sic] aiming” a warning? As though your newly-powerful ejaculations might shatter a vase or give the cat a concussion? If you’re a young dude concerned about meager, yucky-tasting emissons - or a young lady interested in volunteering for the next round of SPUR-M taste tests - you can e-mail Ferreira Dominic at Remember, dreams do come true.

And on behalf of ladies everywhere (sorry gays - no SPUR-M for you, apparently), I did appreciate the bashful caveat, “Cover her in it…if you want.” No pressure. Thanks, SPUR-M!

Dept. of Being an Unbearable Straight Guy

posted by on January 22 at 7:37 PM

The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl! The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl! THE GODDAMN SEAHAWKS ARE IN THE GODDAMN SUPER BOWL!!!

To quote my father: “How the hell did THAT happen?”

All righty then.

posted by on January 22 at 7:09 PM

I was so enthralled by the victory of the Seahawks just now that I actually watched the post-game “coverage” on KOMO, which largely was entertaining because while the broadcaster talked about the police getting set up, the camera zoomed in on a woman who was so drunk (on First and Yesler) that she was lying in the entry to the crosswalk. (Actually, the camera also zoomed in on Merchants Cafe, which made me sad, since that’s the place where I first spent 4 1/2 hours interviewing August Wilson, and now he’s not around for all this.)

But the most entertaining moment of all was clearly the green giant commercial for Auburn Suzuki. Anybody? He had a German accent, for the love of god, which meant that he could not quite pronounce Suzuki.

Go Seagulls! Back For the Second Half!

posted by on January 22 at 5:28 PM

Okay, so I caught Christine Chen during the break, which reminded me of this. Ah, Christine!

A word about riots: real cities have them every once in a while. When the Bulls in Chicago were winning the championships left and riot, my home town had a riot once a year. If the ‘Gulls win tonight, Seattle may very well have a riot. If we do, can we please, please, please not be pussies about it? Arrest some folks, sure. But no soul-searching, okay? Seattle’s a big city and all big cities have riots now and then.

Okay, the game is back on…. ouch.

UPDATE: Ah, it’s kind of hard to write now. My kid has decided he doesn’t want to watch the game, he wants to wrestle.

Oh, touchdown! Good for us, bad for them. The crowd goes wild. And… we get the extra-credit kick-point thing. It’s 27-7 now. Apparently the bad luck—mentioned in my first post, below—that I bring to playoff games only kicks in if it’s a team I give a shit about. But… I’m presuming now, too, that the ‘Gulls are going to win this thing. When I turned on that doomed Cubs game three years ago, I watched beause it looked like they had it sewn up. Eighth inning, ahead by several runs, four outs from the World Series. “We’re safe now,” I thought, “safe enough for me to watch.” Then it call came apart. So… I’m just saying… things are looking good for our suddenly beloved ‘Gulls, but it could all come crashing down.

“I bet the Seagulls are going to make it to the Superbowl,” DJ just said. We shall see.

UPDATE II: What was that tweaking nipples dance about? Number 99 tackled somebody and then walked away tweaking his nipples. Odd.

Instant Message from a Seattle Native: “Holy fucking shit.” See? Now everyone is convinced the ‘Gulls are going to win. This means, of course, that they’re going to lose.

Oh, and to my brother Bill in Chicago: These guys beat the Bears? The Panthers? Really?

UPDATE III: A bad omen? My son’s one-eyed, deaf chocolate toy poodle just threw up. Then he left the living room—is the tension getting even to Seattle’s poodle community?

It’s fourth down for Seattle—I’m starting to get it. That’s bad, right? When it’s fourth down you have to bring in that kicker guy, if you’re close enough. Oh, time out. Time for some car commercials. Hey, Ford: maybe a little more on R&D and a little less on commercials? Wow… Zetia works in the digestive tract—their commercial just showed food bring turned into poop in the GI tract. “Ask your doctor if Zetia is right for you.” I think Zetia, from what I could gather, leaves the bad cholestoral in your digestive tract, instead of letting it be absorbed into the body. So… it’s just going to pass out of you, right? Like Olestra, that fake fat that gave people loose stools and butts that leaked santorum mixed with potato chip crums all the time? Sign me up for some of that.

Hey, the other guys have the ball again. Now one of our guys slammed into one of their guys and their guy dropped the ball. Okay, fourth down for them—and even I know they’re too far away for a field goal.

UPDATE IV: Miller Light. Coors. Budweiser. What, no commericals for Lillet, l’aperitif de Bordeaux? Am I the only man in America drinking a chilled glass of Lillet during the game?

The dog is licking the spot on the floor where he threw up—even though it was already cleaned up by the boyfriend. With 409. Dogs are icky.

UPDATE V: The game goes on and on. Wait! We caught another ball that was not intended for us to catch! This is a wonderful development! Go ‘Gulls!

UPDATE VI: I don’t understand the clock. Sometimes it’s ticking away when they’re just standing around, sometimes it’s not. When is the clock running and when isn’t it? 14, 13, 12… now we’re in the fourth quarter. My kid has lost interest in the game. He’s putting on his Heelies—shoes with wheels in the heels—and moving the carpets so he can scoot around the house. The dog is nowhere to be seen.

UPDATE VII: You know what it means if the Gulls win? The straight guys at work tomorrow are going to be unbearable—particularly the ones who were born and raised here. I never heard them mention the Gulls before last month, now they act like devoted, life-long fans. Frauds!

While you were watching the game…

NBC cancelled the West Wing

Passengers on the Queen Mary 2 are power-pissed about something

Oh, and he Israelis are preparing to bomb the shit out of Iran

UPDATE VIII: Gomez, a reader who knows something about this game, writes…

One thing about the Cubs collapse (which I did in fact see on TV as well): baseball is time insensitive. There is no clock: progression of the game is based on the occurence of outs. So all Florida had to do to win that game was get hit after hit after hit. There was no clock to run out on them.

Meanwhile, Carolina is down three touchdowns or so, only has 11 minutes left, and unlike in baseball, where you remain on offense until the other team puts you out, in football you have to kick the ball away after every score. So Carolina would either have to kick short onside kicks and hope they can get it back… twice, after scoring… twice, then score a third time. All in under 11 minutes.

In other words, the Seahawks have this in the bag unless angels come down from the heavens and take over the bodies of the Carolina Panthers.

Then we should all brace ourselves for a riot in Pioneer Square then, I guess. But no pussing out about it, Seattle.

UPDATE IX: Touchdown! Okay, so we’re going to win—despite my best efforst to jinx the game. Congrats, Seagulls. You can break our hearts in Detroit.

UPDATE X: Okay, gotta go have dinner—people coming over, people who don’t care about the Gulls. Over and—wait! Touchdown for the Panthers! The talking heads all but said the game was over—so did Gomez. Can a team score 20 points in five minutes? I dunno, I’ve never watched a football game before. But I was about to turn off the TV, and now I’m going to sit here and watch the rest of the game. Hell, I may throw up now.

Steve Largent, former Seagull, is on the field—he’s a bigot. Voted “yes” on banning adoptions by gays and lesbians while he was in the U.S. Congress. On behalf of my adopted son, I’d like to say fuck you, Steve.

UPDATE XI: Our dinner guests have arrived. They’re straight—and while they do care about the Gulls, they weren’t watching the game, so I got to break the news to them. It turns out that his father had season tickets for ever, and stopped buying them two years ago because they never won. Now his dad is feeling pretty bad…

Oh, insult to injury: We got the ball in a stumble or something. Less than two minutes left and there’s no way the Panthers can even score another face-saving, lose-by-less touchdown. They’re toast.

Wait: They don’t even play the last forty seconds of the game? They just stroll out there and hug?

UPDATE XII: A Slog reader says…

come out of the closet and admit that you’re a really bit of a football fan. the first step is revealing that you actually know the team’s name.

Not a football fan, but what the hell: Congrats, Seahawks.

Believe It Or Not: I’m Watching the ‘Gulls

posted by on January 22 at 3:59 PM

I’m watching the Seagulls game with my son. This is the straightest I’ve ever been.

I’m not good luck—I turned on the Cubs game when they almost went to the World Series a couple of years ago just in time to watch them fall apart. I hope my gaze doesn’t have the same effect on the Seattle’s suddenly beloved Seagulls.

If anything interesting happens, I’ll Slog about it. I suspect it’s going to be a while before I post anything again.

UPDATE: Something just happened—a catch or something. It appears that number 15 caught the ball near our scoring area—wait! Now it’s a touchdown for the Seagulls. Things are going well—but remember, I’m watching. And I’m bad, bad luck. Okay, now we’re going to I’m guessing either a beer or a car commercial…

UPDATE 2: Now the other team is—what is it called? Up? At bat? In possession of the ball? Ah, an interception! One of the ‘Gulls caught a ball that was not thrown to him! This is rude, yes? But the crowd is loving it. The other team is very, very sad.

UPDATE 3: Wait. My son tells me that the Seagulls now have ten points. How’d that happen? I know that our sudddenly beloved ‘Gulls can get six for a touchdown, and one for a field goal, and there’s some other thing you can do for three points. But when did they do it? I’m paying attention—or I thought I was. How’d that slip past me? I haven’t even had a drink yet—maybe I should go get one?

UPDATE 4: I can see the artistry and athleticism in, say, baseball or basketball. But this game just looks like two bunchs of fat guys slamming into each other—oh! These two guys just slammed into each other head first!

“Did one of them lose a tooth or something?” my son asks. “I saw something fly out of his mouth when they hit each other.”

Oh, more bad news for the other team—hey, I don’t even know the name of the other team. Let’s call ‘em the Gerbils. We grabbed another ball not intended for us. More rudeness, more sadness. We are “down inside the two… Seattle knocking on the door again.” And now another car commercial. Or, if you prefer, a classic George Carlin routine from 1975. He compares football to baseball. Baseball comes off sounding nicer.

UPDATE 5: I am hungry. But this game happens so fast—another touchdown for the Gulls!—that I can’t leave the couch to go get some chow. My boyfriend just brough me a drink, but he told me to fuck myself when I said “get me something to eat, bitch.” I’m drinking Lillet. It’s very nice on ice. We got that extra little point—now it’s 17 to nothing, and the Gerbils are very, very sad. But there’s still three more halfs to go and I’m watching, which is bad, bad luck.

OH! More bad luck! My son just said, “The Seagulls are definately going to make it to the Superbowl.” Presuming upon victory will anger God and the ‘Gulls will lose, I warn him. We must expect the worse.

I just got an email from a co-worker asking me if he can go to Miami and cover the Superbowl. But it’s in Detroit. What a dumb fag my co-worker is.

UPDATE VI: I’m switching to Roman numerals. A reader writes…

I assume football to be one of the least gay-friendly spectator sports. You can’t even admire nice bodies under those ugly uniforms and padding. At least you can spot a nice ass on baseball players.

There has been only one attractive football player ever: Jason Sehorn. He’s married to Angie Harmon, and I believe he’s a Republican. Which is too bad.

But, yeah, baseball players are generally better looking—and fewer are obese.

UPDATE VII: We have the ball again? I was too busy doing a Google image search on Jason Sehorn to pay attention to the game. It’s third down and twelve—don’t know what that means, but it’s not so good. Gull Number 8 looks like he might be cute. “A hole hurt Seattle and in the end it’s three and out.” What does that mean?

Oh, no! One of the Gerbils is running toward our special spot—oh, they’re called the Panthers. The Panther coach looks upset about their touchdown not really being a touchdown. “There is no foul on the play.” So they got a “59 yard punt return on the touchdown.” Or something. But now the Panthers are in the game. I blame my son: If he hadn’t said that thing about the ‘Gulls going to the Superbowl for sure, the other team wouldn’t have scored. Damn kid.

UPDATE VIII: We was robbed, apparently. The Panthers got the touchdown even though someone was actually doing something unbecoming of a footballer.

Look at this. Don’t those stars make it look like MLK is getting his head blown off? Weird.

More car commercials. “Dad, what’s a sticker price?” my son asks.

We have the ball. We are still winning. But I am still watching. A hole has been created on the inside, I hear. This is good. Oh, we got a penalty. Too bad.

UPDATE IX: We looking at a field goal attempt. Can we do this whenever we want? He kicks, he scores three points. It’s now 20 to 7. Good for us.

The TV talking head says: “The world is seeing how good and how dangerous the Seatle offense can be.” Particularly to their wives.

UPDATE X: Random thoughts…

The ‘Gulls coach looks like all of my uncles.

I hope they show that commercial where the woman says, “Nothing’s going to stop us now—not even frequent heartburn!” I love that commercial.

We have no snacks in the house—no chips, no salsa, no nothin’. No, wait. Found some pretzels. Whew.

“The tight end’s been busy in this first round.” He. He.

“What does that mean? ‘Third down and seven’?” asks the boyfriend. I have no idea, so I just shrug. DJ says, “I don’t think it’s good, dad, huh?”

Okay, we’re going for another field goal. Didn’t make it. Too bad, so sad.

UPDATE XI: The half is over. I’m going to go find some chips—even if I have to cross the street to find them. I’m not going to comment during the half-time show—I’ll leave that to Schmader. Oh, wait. This isn’t the Superbowl, there is no half-time show. Just a half-time “report.” Whoops. DJ was all excited about seeing the Rolling Stones. More later.

It’s Not All Heroin’s Fault

posted by on January 22 at 3:06 PM

As Slog readers as aware, Stranger editor Dan Savage has launched a one-man awareness-raising campaign about the horrors of heroin, as documented by before-and-after pictures of such famous heroin-wracked child stars as Leif Garrett and Brad Renfro.

I agree with Dan: Heroin is bad for former child stars and everyone else. But I’d like to point out that terrible things can happen to celebrity’s heads even without heroin. Look what happened to Melanie Griffith, before and after.

And don’t get me started on the heroin-free horrors that turned cute little Mickey Rooney into this

Speaking of Horrors Wrought By Brokeback Mountain

posted by on January 22 at 2:31 PM

Speaking of horrors wrought by Brokeback Mountain: Put on your suffering pants and click over to the wonderful “blog with homosexual tendencies” Towleroad, for Brokeback Mountain: The Dance Remix.

Now I must go bash myself.

(Hat tip and gushy love to Hot Tipper Jake.)

Slogdance 7 — Friends With Money

posted by on January 22 at 12:41 PM

Jennifer Aniston was in town, showing her brave face to support the opening night film, Friends With Money, directed by Sundance alum Nicole Holofcener. In it she plays a former private school teacher now working as a maid, who remains friends with three rich L.A. housewives (Frances McDormand, Catherine Keener, and Joan Cusack).

Holofcener takes the difficult task of trying to make us like these typically unlikable stock characters, and the performances by the ladies go a long way in helping us along that path. Ultimately, though, the characters are thin, the story goes nowhere, and the ending is a huge cheat. On the flipside, it’s interesting to see a movie where the message is that money does buy happiness.

-Andy Spletzer slogging from Sundance in Park City, Utah