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Archives for 03/05/2006 - 03/11/2006

Saturday, March 11, 2006

…but Gay Marriage Will Lead to Polygamy. And your point is?

posted by on March 11 at 10:45 PM

Times Select prevents me from linking today’s long overdue pro-polygamy NYT op/ed. So, go get Saturday’s NYT (3/11) and read it.

I’ve always thought the polygamy argument against gay marriage (slippery slope etc…) was a red herring. Not because it’s an unfair analogy or a misleading premise (it’s a perfectly legit analogy given that gay activists are arguing for revamping marriage laws), but because I have the same reaction to legalizing marriage for gays as I do for polygamists. What’s the big deal? Legalize it. It’s kind of like arguing against giving women the vote because then women will want to enter the work force. (Horrors!)

Bottom line: Grown ups should be allowed to marry whoever (whomever?) they want.

I tried to make sure this issue came up at the Sims/Hutcherson debate. I think it did and Sims dismissed the question as being off-point. Wrong move. Sure, it fuels the fears of Hutcherson and people who support him. But really, the onus should be on Hutcherson to explain what’s wrong with polygamy. Is he for religious freedom or not? Doesn’t outlawing polygamy zap the rights of some Mormons? I thought Hutcherson’s whole thing was that the secular state shouldn’t be able to impinge upon people’s religious beliefs?

In today’s op/ed (“Who’s Afraid of Polygamy?) John Tierney writes, “If a few consenting adults still want to practice polygamy, there’s no reason to stop them. If the specter of legalized polygamy is the best argument against gay marriage, let the wedding bells ring.”

A Heartfelt Plea From A Reader

posted by on March 11 at 8:12 PM

Never underestimate the fury of an Erasure fan scorned. Here, in its entirety, is a testimony/call to action sent to The Stranger by a lady we’ll call Kimberly, because that’s her name.

I am writing about a issue that has caused myself and many others much heartache. Something must be done about scalpers. I tried to order Erasure tickets this morning and to my dismay they were sold out. I was so angry, so jealous of all the happy people in this city who were going to bask in Vince and Andy’s glory.

I decided to go to the next level. I looked on ebay, a disgusting thing to do. The cheapest tickets were $100.00. And, there were tons posted. Then I did a search and found that there are a number of “brokers” online to buy
from. Tickets start at $125.00. At this point I become furious. If there are only 700 tickets available, and I saw at least 100 postings before I gave in to my misery, what does that mean? Do we really have to pay three time the face value to see shows?

Your paper has pull in the community. Can something be done? Ask the Showbox to re-sell the tickets, a do-over if you will. Make people go to the box office to buy. I know I would, and so would anyone who truly wants to see the show. Get rid of the dirtbags. I know this will never happen, but, can we come up with a way to change this? For the future of music as we know it.

My heart is broken.

What think you, readers? Are such scenarios of “sold out” tickets becoming instant scalp product common? Are the official limits on ticket sales too easily foiled? On the Ticketmaster website, listings for upcoming shows by Fall Out Boy, Queen and Paul Rogers, and the Sasquatch Festival specify “8 Tickets per house hold strictly inforced” [sic]; for comedian Kate Clinton, the limit’s upped to 10 per household. But all limit specifications are followed by this polite warning:

Please adhere to published ticket limits. Persons who exceed the ticket limit may have any or all of their orders and tickets cancelled without notice by Ticketmaster in its discretion. This includes orders associated with the same name, email address, billing address, credit card number or other information.

As the kids say, “Discuss.”

Saturday Night’s (More Than) All Right

posted by on March 11 at 4:15 PM

Seattle-area fans of electronic music have a multitude of options Saturday night.
If you’re around a radio, check out Jerry Abstract, who’ll be commandeering the airwaves tonight from the C89.5 studio. Jerry says, “I will be dropping all Detroit and Detroit-inspired techno from 10pm-11pm. The perfect way to get Seattle started before heading out to Krakt for Kris Moon’s set!” Speaking of which, this week’s Data Breaker star wrecks shop at Re-bar around midnight. You want more? Chop Suey’s hosting a DJ set by xxxchange of Spank Rock; this will likely be the hipster clusterfuck of the night.

Finally, dip into Neumo’s for The Stranger’s Big Shot extravaganza. There won’t be much electronic music, but you can experience several of the city’s most promising rock bands and groove to DJ El Toro’s always-fascinating sets and MC Megan Seling’s charming stage presence.

Long-Distance Romance

posted by on March 11 at 1:49 PM

My personal computer is totally broken, digitally eviscerated, kaput. So I called the technical help line, listened to the automated questions, pushed the appropriate buttons, and was transferred to Sandeep.

O Sandeep!

“Hello, my name is Sandeep,” he said. “How can I help you?” We began with the usual chitchatóWhat’s the problem? A blue screen or a black screen? Could you repeat that?óand soon we were running a systemic diagnostic test. The screen flashed and scrolled and we shared an awkward silence.

“How long’s this going to take?” I asked.
“Maybe ten minutes,” Sandeep said.
“If you want to, you know, take a walk or get a sandwich or something, feel free,” I said. “I’ll be here.”
“Ha ha!” he laughed. “Yes, I can get you several Cokes.”

Several Cokes? How thoughtful! What a sweetheart! Our courtship had begun.

Continue reading "Long-Distance Romance" »

Friday, March 10, 2006

Wal*Mart is fighting hunger.

posted by on March 10 at 4:58 PM

107.7 the End’s mailing list just sent out this e-mail, informing me that the station has partnered up with Wal*Mart to fight hunger.


It’s so easy to turn our backs as we go about our busy lives.

We are asking you to not turn your backs on hungry children and families that could very well be your neighbors, and you just don’t know it.

This month you can contribute donations at Wal-Mart and they will match the first $5 million raised in our local stores and across the nation. Give a $1, Wal-Mart gives a $1, give $5, they give $5. The goal is to raise money for America’s Second Harvest, the Nation’s Food Bank. If ever there was a time to give back - we think this it is. Hunger affects so many, and hits much closer to home than most of us realize.

So remember, between now and March 26th, make a donation of any amount at your local Wal-Mart store. Even a small donation can make a big difference. Please join The End in creating a hunger-free America.

Thank you,
The End

For more information, check out:

Now, I’m not gonna get all crazy and anti-Wal*Mart (though it’s tempting), BUT, couldn’t they have skipped the (questionable) corporate involvement and worked with a local charity like
Northwest Harvest or Union Gospel Mission? They are a local station, after all, claiming to be dedicated to local music (although the payola claims that hit earlier this week will make things interesting…). I dunno. Maybe I should just be thankful they’re doing anything at all, and just shut up.


I Have No Words

posted by on March 10 at 4:16 PM


Ululate ‚Ȇ Vulva

posted by on March 10 at 3:21 PM

Our art director Corianton was sharing the Word of the Day: ululate (to howl, wail, or lament loudly). I hypothesized that it’s root word might be that little thing that hangs in the back of your throat. We couldn’t remember what the thing was called. Sars offered up “vulva” (it’s actually “uvula”) so Cori did a Google image search for “vulva”.

You’ve never seen a gay man leap away from his computer with such horror. His first words… “It looks like a weapon!”

March for Marriage Rights Tomorrow

posted by on March 10 at 3:04 PM

Still experiencing aftershocks of rage over the anti-gay marriage blowharding of Rev. Ken “Stop oppressing my bigotry!” Hutcherson?

Then head to Seattle Central Community College tomorrow at noon, for the Second Annual March & Rally for Marriage Equality, which will proceed from SCCC down to Westlake Plaza starting at 1pm.

Thanks to march sponsors Marriage Equality Now for the heads up. You can find full info on the rally and march here.

Marginal Way Skatepark Update

posted by on March 10 at 2:51 PM

Following the smashing, sold-out success of last week’s benefit at the Sunset, the crew behind the Marginal Way Skatepark has begun making real progress:


Thanks to Kwab at the Sunset for passing along the photo.

“Doctors are Handing Out these Drugs like Pez.”

posted by on March 10 at 2:29 PM

Perhaps even more frightening than the news that popular sleep aid Ambien apparently causes people to get out of bed, get in their cars, and urinate in the street, is this warning label on the latest sleep drug to be widely marketed in the US, Lunesta:

Lunesta should only be taken immediately before bedtime. Be sure you have at least eight hours to devote to sleep before becoming active. You should not engage in any activity after taking Lunesta that requires complete alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery. You should use extreme care when engaging in these activities the morning after taking Lunesta.

And, even more alarming:

Sleep medicines may cause a special type of memory loss or “amnesia.” When this occurs, a person may not remember what has happened for several hours after taking the medicine. This is usually not a problem since most people fall asleep after taking the medicine. Memory loss can be a problem, however, when sleep medicines are taken while traveling, such as during an airplane flight and the person wakes up before the effect of the medicine is gone. This has been called “traveler’s amnesia.”

Yikes. Valerian, anyone?

Another Installment of Overheard in Olympia

posted by on March 10 at 2:17 PM

Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman was hanging out with his colleague Ralph Thomas on the sidelines of the Senate chamber last Wednesday night (the closing night of the session, as legislators were shuttling back and forth between chambers and the dueling lobbyist-sponsored soirees in Democratic leader Sen. Lisa Brown’s office and the Republican caucus room)ówhen eastside Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-41) came upon the pair.

Postman, dressed in a new pinstripe suit that he reports he’s quite proud of, was wrapping up a chat with Sen. Darlene Fairley (D-32), when Weinstein, also dressed in pinstripes (he’s well-known in Olympia for his dapper outfits), approached.

According to Postman, the following conversation ensued:

Fairely (to Weinstein): Looks like his suit is as nice as yours.

Weinstein: I doubt it.

Postman: I wouldn’t be so sure.

Weinstein: I’m sure mine cost more.

Postman: I doubt it.

Weinstein: You’re nothing but a fucking peasant.

Postman: What?

Weinstein then sat down between Postman and Thomas. (Fairley had gone on her way at this point.)

Weinstein: I don’t even know who the fuck you are.

Postman: Well then why are you talking to me?

Weinstein: Are you Postman? I don’t give a fuck.

Postman: Well you should. I’m the political chief for the biggest paper in the state, and we’re right in your district.

Weinstein then lectured Postman about how newspapers get everything wrong, Postman says.

Weinstein tells me that the conversation started as a case of mistaken identity. He says he mistook Postman for a friend in the governor’s officeóScott Merrimanówho he typically jokes around with in this manner. He admits using the F word, but says, “I called him a peasant. I didn’t call him a fucking peasant.” He also says Postman has the chronology of the conversation wrong, maintaining that he (Weinstein) never talked to Fairley.

By way of further explanation, Weinstein says it was a party where people were joking around and drinking, but says he himself was not drinking.

After the incident, according to Weinstein, he talked to Katy Johansson (the Senate Dems’ Communications Director). Weinstein pointed to Postman and said: “Is that Postman? I think I really blew it with him.”

Weinstein called Postman today and apologized.

This Week on Slog

posted by on March 10 at 2:12 PM

Saturday, March 4

Josh Feit reported that the Sonics’ tax bill is dead and heard cautious cheering.

Sunday, March 5

On Oscar night Hannah Levin was alarmed by the sight of a frail Lauren Bacall and appreciated the surrealism of Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep’s podium performance. Christopher Frizzelle offered his thoughts on the awards, including that John Travolta’s hair transplant looked weird. And Larry Mizell went nuts at the sight of Three Mafia 6 winning their golden man.

Monday, March 6

David Schmader made his readers happy when he posted a conservative Christian author’s litany of everything that was wrong with the Academy Awards. Also, Tennesee is debating a ban on (“three-dimensional”) dildos, Texas already has a ban on dildos, artificial vaginas, and other “obscene devices,” and abortion is now illegal in South Dakota.

Tuesday, March 7

Dan Savage pasted up South Dakota’s new logo, Brad Steinbacher posted a list of which websites American troops in Iraq are allowed and not allowed to view, and Erica Barnett and several Slog readers picked on the mayor’s State of the City speech.

Wednesday, March 8

Josh Feit reported that Aaron Dixon, Green Party, is planning to run against Senator Maria Cantwell, sparking talk of how to elect a more progressive senator and whether voting Green is the same as voting for McGavick. Later, Bradley Steinbacher passed on some depressing poll results, and Eli countered with a ray of hope.

Also on Wednesday, Project Runway finally ended (though not without 17 more comments). And Hannah Levin sparked a debate over Sudden Printing’s anti-expletive poster-printing policy.

Thursday, March 9

Apparently some diehard Clay Aiken fans are complaining to the FTC because the singer might be gay despite the fact that his record company markets him as though he is straight as an arrow. Dave Schmader posted their grievance letter; some people think it’s a hoax.

Jen Graves brightened an otherwise short-on-art day with a neon statement by Kelly Mark (who’s showing currently at the Henry), and our readers dished some love in The Stranger’s forums.

Friday, March 10

Eli Sanders continued to collect opinions on his “Stop the Presses” article, which ran in Thursday’s paper (see also comments here and here).

Some people think the remains of Noah’s Ark have finally turned up.

Friday is still unfolding….

Virgins eligible for abortions

posted by on March 10 at 1:46 PM

Thank God South Dakota has come to its senses.

Speaking of Civic Discourse

posted by on March 10 at 12:36 PM

Where can bloggers, cranks, passionate newspaper readers, techies, politicos, journalists, and editors all get together and debate the future of the Seattle media scene?

Based on all the comments (here and here) that have attached to my two recent Slog posts on the future of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the answer is: on a blog.

Which, in a way, helps prove a point I was trying to make in the article that led to all this discussion: Online discourse is the future of civic discourse.

As I’ve learned, it’s also the future of uncivil discourse. There’s someone in the comments called “20 Questions” who posted a late-night analysis of my motivations in writing the P-I piece. The analysis would be very juicy if it were true. But here’s the only thing that “20 Questions” gets right: Yes, I did work at The Seattle Times a while back. I was a summer intern, and then something they called a three-year resident. There was a big newspaper strike while I was at the Times, and my residency didn’t end the way most people (including me) thought it would.

But the result presented in the commentó”nervous breakdown,” etc.óis way more exciting than the reality. The reality is that I started freelancing and working on some non-journalism projects, and I now work full time at The Stranger. So readers of the comments, let it be known: I’m not broke. I’m not desperate for a job. I’m over all the stuff with the Times, which was years ago. If unconscious resentment lingers, I’m not sure how that would affect my thoughts about the P-I. And anyway, these days I’m far more interested in how technology is going to impact the future of the media.

Below is an email from a loyal P-I reader who’s interested in the same subject, and who makes a point that I think will probably keep this discussion going:

You’ve hit upon exactly what I’ve told the folks at the P-I again and again…go straight to the web and lose the presses. Your workforce can do most of their jobs via the web and video conferencing, so lose the big-ass building and all the overhead that goes with it, too. They’d be leaner and meaner and still better than the Times.

The P-I is head and shoulders above the Times in so many areas (most of all, timeliness…I can read an article in the P-I sometimes THREE days before the Times stumbles across it) that I would love to become an online subscriber. I read them 6 days a week that way already, so no big deal there. Their website could be beefed up if they switched to full virtual mode, and it ain’t such a skimpy thing right now.

I’d be thrilled, and it would be so appropriate for the P-I to lead the way into the next wave of news”papering”.

Fuck The Academy

posted by on March 10 at 12:30 PM

That’s the sentiment shared by the hundreds of folks who pitched in to place this pro-Brokeback Mountain ad in Variety, following their beloved film’s loss of the Best Picture Oscar to the trite, Altman-lite Crash.

“According to industry watchers, no movie has generated this sort of fan response after a loss for Best Picture,” reads the press release from the Ultimate Brokeback Forum. “Fans are happy their support for Brokeback Mountain is becoming part of industry lore. They hope that others looking for a way to honor Brokeback Mountain as the Best Picture of 2005 will contribute to the campaign, so more ads can run to help raise awareness that the film garnered nearly every Best Picture award bestowed for 2005.”

(Insert “I wish I knew how to quit you” joke here.)

The Catholic Church Hates Gays…

posted by on March 10 at 12:09 PM

…more than it loves babies. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Boston Archdiocese’s Catholic Charities said Friday it would stop providing adoption services because of a state law allowing gays and lesbians to adopt…

The state’s four Catholic bishops said earlier this month that the law threatens the church’s religious freedom by forcing it to do something it considers immoral.

Here’s the really telling part: Catholic Charities 42-member board voted unanimously in December to consider gay households for adoptions. So it wasn’t lay Catholics who had a problem with gay couples adopting children, but the bishopsóall conservatives, all appointed by Rome, all out of touch.

And all hurting children.

When it comes to adoption, religious conservatives want us to believe that straight couples are clamoring to adopt children who are being adopted by gay couples. That’s a lieóthere are more children waiting to be adopted than there are couples (or singles) willing to adopt them. Often gay couples are willing to adopt children that straight couples are notóolder children, handicapped children, children with HIV, mixed-race children. So the choice isn’t between gay parents and straight parents, but between parents and no parents.

Or to put in terms the bishops can understand: if you don’t also allow gay couples to adopt children, you’re leaving a lot of kids in limbo.

And, finally, the ultimate irony: This is the Catholic Church in freaking Boston, epicenter of the sex-abuse scandal. The same bishops who refused to protect children from rampaging pedophile priests are now “protecting‚ÄĚ children from qualified, screened, and thoroughly vetted adoptive parents who happen to be gay.

Rock or Ark?

posted by on March 10 at 10:32 AM

From Live Science:

High on Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey, there is a baffling mountainside “anomaly,” a feature that one researcher claims may be something of biblical proportions.

Images taken by aircraft, intelligence-gathering satellites and commercial remote-sensing spacecraft are fueling an intensive study of the intriguing oddity. But whether the anomaly is some geological quirk of nature, playful shadows, a human-made structure of some sort, or simply nothing at allóthat remains to be seen.

Whatever it is, the anomaly of interest rests at 15,300 feet (4,663 meters) on the northwest corner of Mt. Ararat, and is nearly submerged in glacial ice. It would be easy to call it merely a strange rock formation.

But at least one man wonders if it could be the remains of Noah’s Arkóa vessel said to have been built to save people and selected animals from the Great Flood, the 40 days and 40 nights of deluge as detailed in the Book of Genesis.

Here’s what they’re talking about:


(Via The Huffington Post.)

Sex Advice From the Stars!

posted by on March 10 at 10:24 AM

Specifically, the stars of Project Runway, several of whom—including sweet-n-creepy Daniel Franco and fashion-math dork Diana Eng—offer their thoughts on love and sex to the good folks at

Best in show, as always: Season One’s Jay McCarroll, who has the most entertaining case of Tourette’s syndrome this side of Sarah Silverman.


(Hat tip, as they say, to Jake.)


posted by on March 10 at 2:42 AM

I’m at JFK airport right now, preparing to board a propeller plane that will take me to DC, and then another plane that will ship me home. I always seem to fly in the dead of night or in the dark early morning. This time, I’m thinking about Hannah Wilke, the feminist artist whose performances, sculptures, and photographs stood out at this year’s Armory Show (which opened in NY yesterday) like, well, a naked feminist at a contemporary art show. Where has feminism gone? I have to think about this since I got two hours of sleep last night because of the screaming, ill, 2-year-old daughter of a friend of mine (it’s her birthday today, and I raise a coffee cup to you, Sagey).

My old friend was our high-school valedictorian, and now she is a fairly miserable mother of 2 who wonders how her choices once felt so broad and now are so limited. She and her husband struggle financially, even though he is a Columbia professor (they have a lot of educational debt), and she asked me several times whether I thought she was the problem — whether she should adjust her standards for her life. So it was not without notice that I took in Hannah Wilke’s fantastic, and unusual, solo show at the Armory Show yesterday, a show where only a quarter of the artists included are women, and approximately none are doing overtly feminist work, except Wilke, who died 12 years ago. More to come in a column …

Thursday, March 9, 2006

A P-I Editor Responds

posted by on March 9 at 5:36 PM

Lots of very interesting comments have attached themselves to my post from earlier today about the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s future. They’re definitely worth a read. And below is an email I received from P-I assigning editor Scott Sunde, who’s given me permission to post his defense of the P-I on the Slog.

(For those just tuning in, this all relates to a piece I wrote for this week’s Stranger asking whether the death of the printed P-I would really be such a bad thing in the Internet age. You can read the piece here.)

And here’s Sunde’s email:

Man, am I glad that the price of The Stranger is the same as the cost of reading your opinions.

Who, my friend, would write about misconduct in the Sheriff’s Office? Who would have revealed domestic spying on local peace groups? Who would have told the world the real costs of the monorail? Who would have revealed that the water school kids drink is tained with heavy metals? Would we know about asbestos dangers? Warming of Lake Washington? Declining health of Puget Sound? The injustice of the Wenatchee convictions? Your logic — and it’s a leap to call it that — is that no one gets hurt if a news-gathering operation with substantial resources dies because other outlets are flourishing. One-man bloggers who are often substituting opinion for fact?

Narrowly focused publications such are yours that avoid myriad subjects — health care, Seattle schools and so on and so on? And here’s a thought, what about the people who don’t or rarely use computers? It’s okay, I guess, that they are not informed?

What are You Doing Tomorrow at 7?

posted by on March 9 at 5:20 PM

No plans tomorrow night? Join me, Seattle Times reporter Bob Young, and Historylink executive director Walt Crowley on basic cable’s answer to CNN (if CNN was watched exclusively by stoners and insomniacs), the Seattle Channel. We’ll be talking about the mayor’s state of the city speech, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and how things are going at the city council now that Comrade Nick Licata is in charge. The show is called “Seattle Inside/Out,” and it’s on Channel 21 at 7p.m.

This Could Change Your Life

posted by on March 9 at 5:17 PM

Anthony (our IT deity) told me that if you send a Google query from your cell phone, you’ll receive the results in a text message. Send a query to 46645 (“GOOGL,” a “US shortcode”) and Google will send the top result back. It seems useful for looking up word spellings and definitions, finding business addresses and driving directions, and acing pub quizzes.

More info here. Download a wallet-sized Google phone tip card here.

The Rich Get Richer

posted by on March 9 at 4:03 PM

Bill Gates is now worth $50 billion, up $3.5 billion from last year.

On a related note, I hate my stupid fucking life.

Hearts and butterflies

posted by on March 9 at 3:37 PM

Speaking of really great writers, Kurt Vonnegut recently attended his self-proclaimed last paid speaking gig at Ohio State. I’ve never envied Ohio anything, but I wish I’d been present to hear the imparted wisdom from the one of the word’s most imaginative living (kind of) writers.

I love Vonnegut. I read everything he’d written in such rapid succession during adolescence that it’s all blended together into one lumpy warm mass in my brain, like the soft spot on a banana. I even enjoyed his son Mark Vonnegut’s Eden Express detailing the drug-triggered schizophrenia he suffered for awhile before becoming a pediatrician. Mark’s memoir showed me that schizophrenics and children can probably grow to contribute something valuable to society (under heavily medicated circumstances).

My favorite Vonnegut quotes from his recent speech (via Rawstory):

“If you want really want to hurt your parents and don’t want to be gay, go into the arts.‚ÄĚ
Too true old man!
“I’m going to sue the cigarette companies because they haven’t killed me.‚ÄĚ


And then he sang Stardust Memory as the collective audience counted the pulse beats in his neck and made friendly wagers.

Sigh. I guess the main reason I like Vonnegut is that he reminds me of my grandfather, only slightly less dead.

Annoyed by Advanced Ticket Fees

posted by on March 9 at 3:17 PM

Howdy Stranger folks. I know ticket fees are kind of a tired issue, but I think with the popularity of “presale” tickets kind of shed some new light on the situation. Can you buy presale tickets at the boxoffice? I don’t think you can. The idea of presale tickets seemed great at first. Being in a fan club or reading a newsletter got you an inside way to buy your tickets before the “normal” fans. Now it just feels like a way for them to get some extra $$ out of me. If I can’t buy a presale ticket at a box office how do I avoid the fees? They have created a system where if you want a better chance at getting a ticket you are going to have to pay more. How is this helping out a die hard fan? It just feels like a very anti consumer tactic of the ticket industry. Below is an order today where almost a 1/3 of the whole price is fees! GRRRR!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs THEEND US $22.50 x 2
Facility Charge US $2.50 x 2
Convenience Charge US $8.55 x 2
Additional Taxes US $0.86
Delivery (Standard Mail) No Charge Order Processing Fee US $3.31
Additional Taxes US $0.86

Total Charges US $71.27



Sugar Daddy For Real

posted by on March 9 at 3:16 PM

Read this:

Property tycoon Donald Trump has sparked controversy after declaring he would date his sexy daughter Ivanka if they were not related. Trump insists he would be comfortable if the 24-year-old model decided to strip off for men’s magazine Playboy, because he would be the first to ogle her if he wasn’t her dad. He says, “If she posed, it would be fine. She does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if she wasn’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

And then look at this. Incest is a fire that only burns those who are stuck in the middle of the class spectrum. The very rich and the very poor have the freedom to touch and taste the flames of this unearthly desire.

I Did

posted by on March 9 at 3:08 PM

If you didn’t like the Kelly Mark show at the Henry, and therefore my loving review of it this week made you even more irritated, nauseous, or heartburned, then move to the next post.

If not, I have good news. I had to leave a few words out of the review that I wanted to mention because endlessly describing stuff that is funny is boring. But I can mention it here. Look on her comprehensive web site, and you will discover many things. There are cat music videos, in which Mark’s cat reclines listlessly between speakers blasting such songs as “Back in Black” and Tom Jones’s “It’s Not Unusual” (oh, what a song), but I’m finding a brand new piece especially delightful right now. It’s not at the Henry; I just saw it online. And here it is:


Readers’ Revenge

posted by on March 9 at 2:12 PM

For all the carping and growling and hate that people catapult at the Stranger, this is the most savage thing you could do to us.

To the Guy at Madison Market Who Just Rang Me Up…

posted by on March 9 at 1:48 PM

…you’re hilarious.

I was just at Madison Market buying some Scottish ale. “Having a good day? You must be,” the checker said. “Scottish ale!”

“I’m having a Belle & Sebastian party tonight.” (A little gathering I’m hosting for diehard fans only.) “Got to have Scottish beer.”

“You’re having a Belle & Sebastian party?” he said. “Is it alone?”


“Belle & Sebastian parties are usually alone,” he said.


Is Entercom practicing payola?

posted by on March 9 at 12:38 PM

According to New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, they are.

Hits Daily Double reported that Entercom is the first to get hit in the investigation of radio payola.

The lawsuit filed today in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleges that Entercom:

*Traded air time for gifts and other payments
*Traded air time for promotional items and personal trips
*Solicited and accepted payments from record labels for air time
*Instituted corporate programs, supported and directed by senior management, that sold air time to record labels in order to manipulate the music charts

The press release also cited an e-mail where an Entercom executive admitted to not wanting to work with indie promoters, since record companies are more generous.

“As of this date I choose not to work with an `indie.” My program director Dave Universal is vehemently opposed to working with an indie…..Dave generates $90,000+ in record company annually for WKSE. I receive a weekly update of adds and dollars from Dave ….Forcing Dave to work with an indie at this time is the wrong move.”


The 67-page document, which contains many of the e-mails, can be found at Spitzer’s website.

Locally speaking, Entercom owns seven Seattle radio stations, including KNDD 107.7 the End, KMTT 103.7 the Mountain, and KISW 99.9.

I have been going on-air at the End for a couple years now (mostly doing concert listings on the now-defunct Morning Alternative and most recently sitting in with harms on the Young and the Restless) so this sorta leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve e-mailed the End to see how they respond. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.

UPDATE: The End’s station manager, Phil Manning, is not allowed to comment on the lawsuit.

Maison Abu Ghraib?

posted by on March 9 at 12:24 PM

The US military has announced that Abu Ghraib, this war’s answer to the Hanoi Hilton, is slated to close in three months.

So what to do with the building? Do like the Brits and turn it into a romantic luxury hotel. If you catered to the bondage crowd, you wouldn’t even have to renovate…

The Hills Have Foxes

posted by on March 9 at 12:13 PM

So, for all you kids out there wondering what possible impact conservative Rupert Murdoch could have on punkrock-powered MySpace, I give you this press release:




LOS ANGELES, CA ¬†March 8, 2006 —- Beginning 12:01 am, tomorrow, Fox Searchlight Pictures will participate in an unprecedented promotion taking over all advertising on, for the new movie, THE HILLS HAVE EYES., the leading social networking and lifestyle portal, is the most widely viewed and highly regarded site of its kind boasting more than 23.1 billion page views and 35.5 million unique users in January alone.* The purchase allows the film unparalleled advertising exposure and helps connect site users to the remake of a horror classic.

Rupert Murdoch owns Fox and Rupert Murdoch owns MySpace and now Fox and MySpace are in bed together! Isn’t that nice?

The ads are really shaky and annoying, by the way.

Wear Dick’s Shoes

posted by on March 9 at 11:36 AM

This is what I’m doing when I should be wrapping up a music piece…

Try to shoot 10 quail without shooting any lawyers. You can even choose how many beers you had at lunch! If you succeed, you get to print out a certificate that proves you’re a better hunter than Mr. Vice President. (Thanks to Lauren for the link.)

No Sensing Rummy

posted by on March 9 at 11:32 AM

This was the answer that the Sectary of Defense (Donald H. Rumsfeld) offered a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee (Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va) when asked to “explain the U.S. military’s plan to respond in the event that Iraq’s sectarian violence grows into a full-fledged civil war”:

“The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur, to have the - from a security standpoint - have the Iraqi security forces deal with it, to the extent they are able to.”

Earlier this morning, just as the sun was rising and filling my window with the blue of dawn, I read this passage in Alfred Whitehead’s wonderful (or numinous) Process and Reality:

“This word ‘feeling’ is a mere technical term; but it has been chosen to suggest that functioning through which the concrescent actuality appropriates the datum so as to make it its own. A feeling appropriates elements of the universe, which themselves are other than the subject, and absorbs these elements into the real internal constitution of its subject by synthesizing them in the unity of an emotional pattern expressive of its own subjectivity. Feelings are ‘vectors’; for they feel what is there and transform it into what is here. We thus say that an actual occasion is a concrescence effected by a process of feelings.”

I completely get Whitehead’s meaning. As for Rummy, what the fuck is he on (about)?

New World, New Age

posted by on March 9 at 11:02 AM

J. Hoberman’s analysis of the New World phenomenonóthat is, people blowing their wads over how great the Malick movie isóis pretty funny, not least because we’ve had some of that on this very site. (See Grant Cogswell and, to a certain extent, Sean Nelson.)

The embarrassing part, besides the fact that Hoberman quotes local crank N.P. Thompson (Stranger employees, you’re gonna have to proxify that link, cause he’s banned us from his website), is the supposed reason why The New World is doing so well here in Seattle:

Still, the movie has performed most strongly in New York City, as well as the Bay Area and Pacific Northwestóthe market one distributor characterized as “New Age Country.”

New Age Country! Seattle movie-goers, are you going to take this kind of abuse? Good job getting the Ramtha-approved What the Bleep Do We Know out of our rabbit hole so quickly, by the way.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are Big Shots Too

posted by on March 9 at 10:34 AM

Aside from the potent local line-up that includes Big Shot nominees Speaker Speaker, Tennis Pro, Romance and the Emergency (my personal favorite), there are a zillion other reasons to hit this FREE show on Saturday at Neumo’s. For one, DJ El Toro (a.k.a. wise and witty Stranger Border Radio columnist Kurt B. Reighley) will be spinning between sets. A peek at his agenda, from the man himself:

“I’m still packing my crate for Saturday, but the kids can expect to hear new and/or unreleased material from Hot Chip, Spank Rock, Measles Mumps Rubella , Ursula 1000, Dangerous Muse, and cuts from Tiga’s brand new album, Sexor. I found a terrifying (in the best way) version of Arctic Monkeys’ “Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” as performed by UK chart moppets Sugababes, and I’ll probably drop something by Devo 2.0 just to give Megan an epileptic seizure. I’ve also got advance copies of the new Morrissey and Gomez albums, which I’ll probably dip into as people are filing in.‚ÄĚ

Secondly, the delicious surge of sunshine that is Visqueen (the only power-pop-rock band in the city that can unleash avalanches of optimistic power chords without giving me cavities) will be closing out the evening. Front woman Rachel Flotard is about to hit the road as Neko Case’s vocal foil on her solo tour, so this will be one of your last chances to catch them live for a while.

What’s more, smart people who show up early to pre-func in the Bad JuJu Lounge will get into Interscope’s listening party for the highly anticipated new record from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones. Get there by 7pm to hear the record, place a pre-order with the Easy Street kids, and get a free YYYs’ picture disc.

Achin’ for Clay

posted by on March 9 at 10:07 AM

As history buffs will recall, Clay Aiken was American Idol’s second-season runner-up, ultimately losing to the girthful Ruben Studdard but parlaying his AI fame into a fully functional career as a big-voiced, baby-faced, beloved-by-Christian-housewives crooner. (He even had a televised Christmas special.)

However, it didn’t take long for the whispers to start. Actually, they weren’t really whispers, as most people with eyes guessed that Clay Aiken was clearly a homosexual. But for Aiken’s diehard Red State fans, it was a different story: Clay was sensitive and gifted and devoted to both his mother and Jesus Christ, and anyone who would spread such nasty rumors about such a good and Godly man was obviously a spawn of Satan.

Then the alleged evidence began to pile up, from the testimony of gay prostitutes alleging encounters with Aiken to the ever-growing plethora of rumors and reports (The Amazing Race’s (openly gay) Reichen says a horny Clay is phone-stalking him! So-and-so cousin’s boyfriend’s ex-boyfriend totally fucked Clay while he was on tour! An ex-Army Ranger says he picked up Clay in an internet chat room, then had unprotected sex with him at a Comfort Inn.)

Such talk sent Aiken’s true-believer fans into a near-murderous tizzy, with enraged “Claymates” writing countless letters (and issuing numerous death threats) to those who would besmirch the name of their pure-as-snow Clay. It all seemed to be building to an unavoidable head: Would Clay continue to play the asexual choir boy for his fan base? If he didn’t, would his gay-hating fans turn against him? And how long would Claymates remain blind to their idol’s inherent fagginess?

Last week brought something of an answer to these questions, as a coalition of ex-Clay Aiken fans sent a letter of complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, charging Aiken’s record company with “collusion to misrepresent” Aiken as a clean-cut heterosexual. “This is tantamount to a manufacturer concealing information about a defective product,” reads the complaint.

Full, amazing letter after the jump. For now, can I interest you in a Clay Aiken MasterCard?

Continue reading "Achin' for Clay" »

The White House Didn’t Anticipate This Breach Either

posted by on March 9 at 9:59 AM

Stranger news writer Thomas Francis has a neat story in this week’s paper about a local up-and-coming businessman (the guy recently won an award from the Puget Sound Business Journal for his meteoric revenue spike).

Well, the national Republican party tried to court this guyóawarding him Washington Businessman of the Year and inviting him to the White House to meet Rove and Bush.

Read Tom’s story to find out what happened.

P.s. to the Washington State Democrats. You should contact this guy and give him an award of your own.

Further Thoughts On (the joy of) Fucking In The Streets

posted by on March 9 at 9:38 AM

I slogged Rod Bristol’s email because I wanted to give the guy a chance to respond. I tried to get his commentary before we went to press with last week’s column, but when I initially contacted him, he told me he didn’t have time to talk to me. I received his email the day after my column ran. Of course he can refuse to print whatever he wantsóno one is crying censorship here. Promoters (and consumers in general) who would rather not give their business to a vendor who harbors a blanket fear of expletives have a right to know about Sudden Printing’s policies. In this political climate, people should be able to exercise their opinions with their patronage. Those are facts, but personally, the refusal to print those posters irked me for reasons rooted in my admiration for the fearlessness of MC5. DJ Fucking in the Streets is a FUCKING poignant DJ name in 2006. Historical background can be seen here.

What if There Were a Funeral for the Seattle P-I and Nobody Came?

posted by on March 9 at 9:00 AM

My article in this week’s Stranger about the likely demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been linked on Romanesko’s media gossip site, and is already generating some email.

I thought I’d post a link to the story here, too, so that Slog commenters can add their two cents. In the piece, I report on recent rumors that an endgame is at hand in Seattle’s long-running newspaper war ó an endgame that won’t favor the struggling P-I.

People in this city love to fret about Seattle becoming a one-newspaper town, but here’s my central question:

If a failing newspaper like the P-I dies, and it dies in a city that experts agree can’t support two daily newspapers anyway, and it also happens to die at the precise moment when that city is experiencing a proliferation of new media, well, who cares?

Puppetry of the Accidental Martyr

posted by on March 9 at 8:18 AM

Last night I went to the first performance of the new Rachel Corrie play at ConWorks. It’s not that Rachel Corrie play, not the one that was recently cancelled in New York, causing all kinds of recriminations over alleged censorship. It’s a different Rachel Corrie play, a puppet play, put on by the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater.

I was sent to this performance not because I’m some connoiseur of puppetry, or theater, but because I have something of a history with Rachel Corrie representations. I wrote one of the first long pieces about her death in 2003, when The Stranger sent me to the Gaza Strip to find out more about how the former Evergreen College student had become an accidental martyr in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I didn’t expect a puppet troupe to be able to create a more vivid experience than the one I had reporting on Rachel’s death in Rafah, the tense, dirt-poor town along the border between Gaza and Egypt where Rachel died beneath an Israeli bulldozer. (And I know, it’s probably not fair to evaluate this kind of theater by asking whether it beats my own personal experience, but hey, I’m not not a theater critic, I’m just a guy who’s been to Rafah.) Anyway, I was surprised at how evocative some of the scenes were, particularly the depiction of giant (Israeli) feet treading in the first act upon the puppet Palestinians. The puppets’ heads and arms contort, Guernica style, in response to pressure from the feet. It all might sound pedantic, but it was affecting.

The problem was that this stomping motif was repeated, oh, five times straight, in five separate scenes. It risked coming across as heavy-handed (or heavy-footed) the first time it occured, and by the fifth time, it was becoming so tiresome I wanted tread my way out of ConWorks. But I didn’t. When was I going to get another chance to be trod upon by overwrought lefty theater?

Let’s not speak of the second act, or the between-act interludes, which were called “Dances Against the Federal Fear Implementation Program.”

But let’s do speak of the third act, during which a giant female puppet was assembled, disassembled, and reassembled, the way Rachel has been since her death by people like, oh, me. I liked that.

I am saying nothing about the narrative aspects of this performance, because no one should go for those aspects. They are predictable and poorly executed. One should go for the puppets, however. They are quite good. (And if one is going on Saturday, one might also go for the talk by Rachel’s parents, which sounds interesting.)

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Dear Sudden Printing: Let’s Do It In The Road!

posted by on March 8 at 5:54 PM

After I reported Sudden Printing’s refusal to print posters for Members Only last week, I received this email response from SP President Rod Bristol:

My position is as follows: We have been a quiet, polite, behind the scenes supporter of the Seattle music business for many years. We have printed literally thousands of posters for the Showbox, Chop Suey, Poster Giant, Poster Midget, Obese Productions, and several other independent producers and bands, including the one that my son plays in. We offer good prices, quick turnaround, free delivery and I extend credit terms past the point of good business sense at times. I have several stores and I am not in every store every day so I cannot say for sure that company policy is always followed, but the policy is to not print posters with inappropriate four letter words in the text. I apologize if we have printed such material in the past without my knowledge. However, it is my goal to not print such material. The graphic artists who create the posters we print do a terrific job and rarely resort to four letter words to communicate their message. The poster designs are edgy and creative and push the bar on how to capture a ‘look’ with a one color printing project. We enjoy doing them. Finally, I apologize for offending Ms. Finstad. I should have called personally instead of using email to communicate with her regarding her project and will do so in the future if such an issue happens again. Sincerely, Rod Bristol President Sudden Printing, Inc.

A few initial thoughts:

1) I wonder what band his son plays in and whether he agrees with his father’s policies. Rod Jr., if you’re out there, I’d love to hear from you.

2) Did he look at the poster design for more than 10 seconds? The only message that “DJ Fucking in the Streets” sends is that “DJ Fucking in the Streets” is spinning that night. Granted, it’s a provocative moniker, but it’s a DJ name, nonetheless—not an actual endorsement of public fornication.

3) Does he really think he’ll have to call Finstad in the future when she’s already said she’s taking her business elsewhere? Too little, too late, Mr. Bristol.

Grey Gardens!

posted by on March 8 at 5:42 PM

So the musical version of the Maysles Brothers doc Grey Gardens has finally opened in New York, and the reviews are coming in. Here’s Ben Brantley, who starts out his review with the most annoyingly gratuitous Oscar reference ever:

Resurrecting that strange socialite-in-limbo known as “Little” Edie Beale in “Grey Gardens,” the irritatingly mixed blessing of a musical that opened last night at Playwrights Horizons, Christine Ebersole easily matches the achievements of this year’s newly anointed Oscar winners Philip Seymour Hoffman (who played Truman Capote in “Capote”) and Reese Witherspoon (June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line”).

Like Mr. Hoffman and Ms. Witherspoon, Ms. Ebersole embodies a once living figure of, shall we say, distinctive style with a radiant conviction and finesse that turn surface mimicry into fine-grained portraiture

Anyway, he doesn’t like the play, but check out his reasons for dismissal: “Ms. Ebersole’s Edie, it must be noted, is a pearl of incalculable price in a show that is, at best, costume jewelry. Adapted by Doug Wright (book), Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics), “Grey Gardens” tilts perilously toward cheap celebrity camp.”

Cheap celebrity camp? Where? Sign me up! Who’s getting the rights in Seattle? Ian Bell, I think somebody’s caaalling yooouu!

The Legacy of Lori Sotelo

posted by on March 8 at 5:41 PM

Think back to last November’s elections and you’ll probably remember Lori Sotelo. She’s the Republican party leader who challenged the legitimacy of nearly 2,000 King County voters just before election day, sowing a great deal of confusion and leading to charges that Sotelo was trying to suppress the Democratic vote when it turned out that hundreds of her challenges were faulty.

Well, today, thanks in large part to the leadership of State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle), the legislature passed a bill to prevent any Sotelo-style shenanigans in the future. The bill, which Gov. Christine Gregoire’s is expected to sign into law soon, creates a 45-day challenge-free buffer zone before elections and requires people filing voter challenges in the future to do much more homework than Sotelo ever did.

More details in the jump, via a press release from the Senate Democratic Caucus…

Continue reading "The Legacy of Lori Sotelo" »

Light Slogging…

posted by on March 8 at 4:55 PM

I haven’t been Slogging much the last two daysóbut I’m not slacking.

Check out my new project:

Bad Transportation News, Part 2

posted by on March 8 at 4:43 PM

State Sen. Bill Finkbeiner’s proposal to link a planned Sound Transit ballot measure extending light rail and the roads-heavy Regional Transportation Investment District (if either failed, both would fail) is included in the regional-transportation compromise reached in the state legislature yesterday. The “common-ballot” measure, which also prohibits a Sound Transit-RTID vote in 2006, is Finkbeiner’s attempt to force roads proponents (who generally support RTID) to vote for light rail, and to force transit backers (who generally support Sound Transit) to vote for RTID. However, FutureWise director Aaron Ostrom says the whole issue may be irrelevant anyway, because Finkbeiner’s provision would sunset after December 1, 2007, and Ostrom doubts any major tax initiatives will go to the ballot in a low-turnout, off-year election.

Transit proponents have opposed RTID in the past because it couples RTID and Sound Transit, does not allow RTID to pay for transit operations except for “construction mitigation,” and, until yesterday, relied heavily on regressive sales tax. Environmental groups like FutureWise, the Transportation Choices Coalition, Washington Conservation Voters and the Washington Environmental Council now support it.

Bad Transportation News, Part 1

posted by on March 8 at 4:10 PM

A proposal in the state legislature that would allow the city council or voters to decide between two alternatives for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct is bad news for those, like the People’s Waterfront Coalition (currently getting good press in the Times), who want the city and state to at least study a third, no-highway alternative. (The viaduct will be shut down for at least four years during construction anyway: Proof, the PWC argues, that we can live without it permanently.)

Narrowing the choice to two alternativesóthe mayor’s $4 billion-plus Big Dig-style tunnel and a rebuilt, 50-percent-wider elevated viaductóeffectively eliminates the no-highway alternative from the debate.

A public vote on the viaduct is a bad idea anyway. The debate about how to replace the crumbling viaduct is complex, and misinformation about the alternatives is rampant. How many people know, for example, that the mayor’s “tunnel” would dump six lanes of elevated traffic straight into the north end of Pike Place Market, ruining one of Seattle’s most beloved landmarks? Or that a rebuilt viaduct would actually be 25 feet wider than the current structure, and include eight-foot-wide columns and taller guard rails, eliminating West Seattle commuters’ beloved views? Giving ill-informed voters the choice between two bad alternatives, and spending billions based on that choice, is lousy public policy.

Roe vs Wade… for men!

posted by on March 8 at 3:49 PM

The National Center for Men is filing a lawsuit tomorrow on behalf of a young man who doesn’t want to pay child support for his “ex-girlfriend’s daughter”. This article (via Raw Story) raises some interesting points about men’s reproductive rights.

As the men’s center sees it:

If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood.

But women’s rights are currently under fire. It’s kind of an inopportune time to be fighting for men’s rights.

“Roe says a woman can choose to have intimacy and still have control over subsequent consequences,” [said Mel Feit, director of The National Center for Men.] “No one has ever asked a federal court if that means men should have some similar say.”

“The problem is this is so politically incorrect,” Feit added. “The public is still dealing with the pre-Roe ethic when it comes to men, that if a man fathers a child, he should accept responsibility.”

Feit doesn’t advocate an unlimited fatherhood opt-out; he proposes a brief period in which a man, after learning of an unintended pregnancy, could decline parental responsibilities if the relationship was one in which neither partner had desired a child.

I fully support men having more control in the baby-making process (it’d be great if male birth control would hit mass markets), but it’s a little alarming that women’s choice is being constricted, while some men are fighting for the right to walk away.

KUOW Broadcasted Our Debate

posted by on March 8 at 3:10 PM

KUOW just aired the Stranger’s debate between Sims and Hutcherson.

A producer over there forwarded me a couple of the e-mails they got about it.

Subject: offensive broadcasting

I am currently listening to your offensive broadcast of the Sims vs. Hutcherson debate care of The Stranger. I am so totally offended that you would broadcast this trash. I am a proud gay man and I have been listening to Hutcherson lambasting gay people for I would estimate an hour now. What good do you think your station is doing by broadcasting this crap? All you are accomplishing is offending gay people, and worse empowering ignorant bigots who hate homosexuals. I am sure that there are many bigots today who are clapping their hands together that you aired this trash. I called your station¬†a little while ago¬†and the guy who answered said, “Well, we didn’t put this together; it is from The Stranger.” So essentially what he was saying is that your station has no responsibility for what is being said by Hutcherson since you didn’t put together this debate. Based upon this logic, if you come across a debate about lynching black men put together by the KKK, then you will gladly air it since you didn’t put the debate together. Oh wait, I forgot that homosexuals are the group that you care the least about offending, so I guess I will have to look forward to another offensive, ignorant, homophobic¬†idividual on your station again real soon. You all should be ashamed of yourselves for broadcasting this debate. Congratulations for setting back gay rights in Seattle by 25 years.
Chris Nielsen

Subject: This phony debate

First of all this can in no way be characterized as a debate. Rather it was simply a showcase for a small minded bigot and bully who refused to shut up and allow his opponent to speak. Shame on the feckless Robert Mak for the pathetic job he did in moderating this debacle.

Hutcherson is a hate-monger. Jesus Christ was a love-monger. The two cannot coincideóthey are simply diametrically opposing dogmas. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus condemn anyone. How someone like Hutcherson can describe himself as being aligned with Jesus Christ is quite beyond me. Hutcherson said Jesus Christ insisted one believe in Him in order to enter Heaven, but Hutcherson clearly does not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, as evidenced by his hate. The same hate Jesus demanded us to abandon.

Personally I have much respect and admiration for Ron Sims, but even he should have known better than to show up for battle with “Satan‚ÄĚ not having adequately prepared. He simply allowed himself to be shouted down by the buffoon, Hutcherson.

Finally I do not want to be remiss and ignore Dan Savage, who I understand had the brilliant idea of staging this joke in the first place. This is simply another in a very long line of his misguided endeavors, which are usually nothing more than outrageous attempts at self-promotion. While I am a strong proponent of free speech, I believe there are limits to everything, and giving legitimacy to a hate-monger by allowing him a public forum clearly crosses this line. To put it into perspective, would you even consider giving this privilege to the KKK? I think the answer would be a resounding, NO!


Mark R. Scott

Rocket Man

posted by on March 8 at 2:50 PM

Remember those plastic rockets that you filled with water, pumped up with air, and launched into the heavens?

Here is the human version.

(thanks Aubrey!)

Kwik Kwiz

posted by on March 8 at 2:36 PM

Who wrote: “Every single empire, in its official discourse, has said… that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort.”?

And: “There’s been so massive and calculatedly aggressive an attack on the contemporary societies of the Arab and Muslim for their backwardness, lack of democracy, and abrogation of women’s rights that we simply forget that such notions as modernity, enlightenment, and democracy are by no means simple and agreed-upon concepts that one either does or does not find, like Easter eggs in the living-room.”?

And, were he still alive, could say: “My daughter’s starring in the next show at the Seattle Rep!”?

That’s right! The late, great, On Orientalism-writin’ (and occasionally rock-tossin’) Edward Said!

His daughter Najla Said will star in 9 Parts of Desire (about the lives of Iraqi women) at the Seattle Rep, opening March 22.

Who Knew Steven Seagal Had an “Aura”?

posted by on March 8 at 2:32 PM

After yesterday’s run of gloom and doom, it’s nice to see that today’s slog is full of comic relief. Although…this announcement from the Tractor Tavern could be perceived as bad news, I suppose:

“You’ve heard the rumors, and I’m here to tell you they’re all true! That’s right, action movie star, musician, holy man, 7th-dan black belt in aikido, and creator of his own energy drink, Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt, STEVEN SEAGAL will be gracing us with his aura. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10am. Get yours early because this is THE event in Seattle you can not miss!”

Charming Cheetah

posted by on March 8 at 1:53 PM

I saw Duma last night at the Northwest Film Forum. I can highly recommend it to both adults and children. It is a movie set in South Africa about a boy who loves his cheetah, and it has lots of animals and excitement and cool African settings. The cast also includes one of my favorites, Campbell Scott. Duma plays through March 16. See the Film Forum site for more info.

P.S. If you like movies about people who love their cats please also see the fabulous Rubin & Ed with Crispin Glover and Dr. Johnny Fever.

Say It Aint So, Yanni.

posted by on March 8 at 1:12 PM

I say Yanni is lying through his teeth. What say you?

Acclaimed pianist Yanni is facing a domestic battery charge after he was arrested at his Florida home in the early hours of Friday. The star, whose full name is John Yanni Christopher, denies hurting his 33-year-old girlfriend Silvia Barthes during the dispute at his Manalapan house. Barthes, who is sporting a cut lip, told police officers the musician shook her, before throwing her on the bed and jumping on top of her. The 51-year-old has released a statement saying, “I want everyone to know that I am completely innocent of any allegations made with respect to the events at my home on the night of March 2. These allegations are cruel, false, without merit and baseless. At a more appropriate time and place, I hope and pray I will have an opportunity to address my fans and colleagues all over the world.”

John Yanni Christopher

Mercury Podcasts… Go

posted by on March 8 at 1:03 PM

The Portland MercuryThe Stranger’s bastard stepchild to the south—is proud to announce the arrival of Pod ‘n’ Vod: The Portland Mercury’s Podcast!

• The Riddle of the Day!
• Derivative videos of questionable legality!
• I, Anonymous, Celebrity Edition!
• Other Stuff!

Sweeping a nation near you, now.

Taking Luxury To A New Level

posted by on March 8 at 12:34 PM

A team of American-led divers in the South Pacific have discovered a lobster covered in fur.

If the Kiwi hirsuta isn’t to your taste, may I suggest the wolf eel?

Alaskans! Get Your Act Together

posted by on March 8 at 12:06 PM

I called Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens’s office this morning and asked: “Who’s the appropriate person in your office to direct a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to.”


“Who’s the appropriate person in your office to direct a Freedom of Information Act request to?”

“Well, what do you want to know?” (Witty receptionist.)

“I want to know who’s the appropriate person in your office to direct a Freedom of Information Act request to?”

“Well, um, I’ve never gotten one of those before.”


“The chief of staff, I guess.”

UPDATE! UPDATE! Hold Your fire. Burn on me. Unlike all federal agencies, Congress is Not Subject to the FOIA. I owe Stevens’s receptionist (and all Alaskans) an apology. I always thought all members of Congress were subject to the FOIA, just like our local electeds at city hall are subject local public disclosure request laws. I was wrong.

It kind of sucks that Congress isn’t subject to the FOIA. No?

Please God, Please…

posted by on March 8 at 11:37 AM

…let them be straight.

Authorities have arrested three college students in connection with a spate of fires that damaged or destroyed 10 Baptist churches in Alabama, investigators said on Wednesday.

Prosecutors identified the suspects as Ben Moseley and Russell Debusk, 19-year-old students at Birmingham-Southern College, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20, who transferred last year from Birmingham-Southern to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Not that you could blame gay people for burning down Baptist churches, what with all the gay-bashing that eminates from them. But it would be,er, kind of a bad day for the gay rights movement.

Re: Adam’s Rib

posted by on March 8 at 11:29 AM

Say what you will about America, Bradóbut this is the great nation that created the Mechanical Willie.

(Courtesy of Modern Mechanix.)

Speaking of Bellingham

posted by on March 8 at 11:29 AM

Bellingham’s beloved burrito joint and tequila bar, Casa Que Pasa, is defying the statewide smoking ban by allowing smoking in its back bar. The health department is badgering them but has yet to issue fines. WWU’s Western Front has the story.

If you ever find yourself in Bellingham with a hangover, head to Railroad Avenue and nurse yourself on the best potato burrito in the world.

Project Runway Finale Tonight!

posted by on March 8 at 11:27 AM

I’m guessing Santino is totally gonna take it… Ugh.

The Loneliness of an NPR Interviewee

posted by on March 8 at 11:21 AM

If you’re a big fan of Belle & Sebastian (I am), you might be interested in this long interview with Stuart Murdoch on NPR on Monday. Make no mistake, Terry Gross is a douchetardóshe asks the guy about 25 different times about chronic fatigue syndrome and almost no good questions about his musicóbut it’s worth listening to simply for the fact that it’s unusual. Murdoch famously doesn’t do interviews. He turned down The Stranger.

The band is touring America right now with The Life Pursuit, and the Seattle showóMarch 25 at the Paramountóis sold out, but NPR (I love you, NPR!) has a concert they just did in Washington, DC here. Here’s the set list:

Another Sunny Day
Women’s Realm
Sukie in the Graveyard
Electric Renaissance
The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner
To Be Myself Completely
The Blues Are Still Blue
Piazza, New York Catcher
Belle and Sebastian
Funny Little Frog
She’s Losing It
Your Cover’s Blown
Dog On Wheels
I’m A Cuckoo
The Wrong Girl
If You Find Yourself Caught in Love
Judy and the Dream of Horses
White Collar Boy
Me and the Major

Plus, at one point, Murdoch sings a couple bars of the Pet Shop Boys’s “It’s a Sin,” a capella.

[I should mention that “douchetard” is not my word; it’s Sean Nelson’s. You are brilliant, Sean Nelson.]

Chaos In The Streets!

posted by on March 8 at 11:15 AM

Yesterday, because I had never been, I took a daytrip up to Bellingham. It’s a nice enough little town, with burritos (at Casa Que Pasa) that are far better than anything Seattle has to offer. It seems as though the whole town is still shellshocked due to the fact that there are now shiny new parking meters on every single street that’s anywhere near downtown. But I also noticed that most of the parking meters with cars in front of them hadn’t been paid, and a litle investigative eavesdropping in a secondhand clothing store revealed why: apparently, according to local rumor, Bellingham’s sole meter maid is on extendend sick leave due to a bad case of bursitis. If you want to go to Bellingham and park with unpaid fucking abandon, this could be your last chance: it’s like Grand Theft Auto starring Dagwood Bumstead. Sometimes I miss living in places that aren’t cities.


posted by on March 8 at 10:41 AM

And vindictive, inept, and reckless too. That’s what some prominent conservatives were saying yesterday about Bush.

(Via HuffingtonPost.)

Adam’s Rib

posted by on March 8 at 10:22 AM

God bless America:

NEW YORK A Gallup report released today reveals that more than half of all Americans, rejecting evolution theory and scientific evidence, agree with the statement, “God created man exactly how Bible describes it.”

Another 31% says that man did evolve, but “God guided.” Only 12% back evolution and say “God had no part.”

Gallup summarized it this way: “Surveys repeatedly show that a substantial portion of Americans do not believe that the theory of evolution best explains where life came from.” They are “not so quick to agree with the preponderance of scientific evidence.”

If anyone needs me I’ll be across the street at the bar.

The Album of the Year…

posted by on March 8 at 9:47 AM

…in my humble opinion, is Skeleton by Danish quartet Figurines. I can’t explain how great this record is, nor my pride in it being released on local label The Control Group. They are sure to melt heads tomorrow night at the Crocodile.

Just When You Thought You Never Wanted To Hear Another Word About The Oscars…

posted by on March 8 at 9:41 AM

…here comes Truthdig’s fascinating Oscar-themed interview with worship-worthy know-it-all Gore Vidal.

Richest delights for fans of Vidal: Hearing the man continue his lifelong conflict with Truman Capote decades after Capote was laid to rest. Yeah, picking on dead people is unattractive (see Dr. Dre’s The Chronic), but at least Vidal does it with wit, insight, and authority.


(And if you’d rather hear Vidal hold forth on weightier topics than compulsively lying celebrities and movie awards, check out the freshly posted part two of the interview, where GV talks about “terrorism, war, and propoganda.”)

Be Careful What You Wish For: Well Known Green to Challenge Cantwell

posted by on March 8 at 7:06 AM

Last Friday, I did a Slog post titled: “She Voted Against It Before She Voted For It. And Vice Versa.” It was a post about Sen. Maria Cantwell’s vote to fillibuster the Patriot Act and her subsequent vote for the actóall in the context of her vote not to fillibuster Alito and her subsequent vote against him.

That post sparked a lengthy discussion about liberals’ frustrations with Cantwell (she also voted for the war and CAFTA). This gave way to a discussion about the Green party as an alteranative to the Democrats. And that gave way to a discussion about the folly or wisdom of running Greens against Democrats. One Green whose name came up during the heated discussion was Aaron Dixon.

Well: The discussion is no longer academic.

Today, the PI reports that Dixon, a respected activist in Seattle’s black community (and founder of Seattle’s Black Panther Party nearly 40 years ago), will declare his candidacy for Cantwell’s senate seat on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

More Cheery News

posted by on March 7 at 9:41 PM

I realize we’re already having a banner week for horrible news about reproductive rights and women’s health, but this report by Human Rights Watch has to be acknowledged, as unpleasant as it is.

DeLay Wins First Round

posted by on March 7 at 9:33 PM

Tom DeLay won his party’s nomination with 64% of the votes today. Sad, but not a huge surprise.

What I really want to point out, though, is the following quote, which perfectly illustrates what a fucking asshead this man is.

“I have always placed my faith in the voters, and today’s vote shows they have placed their full faith in me,” DeLay said in a statement. “Not only did they reject the politics of personal destruction, but they strongly rejected the candidates who used those Democrat tactics as their platform.”

And to the 10,005 people (with 14% percent reporting) in Texas who voted for this man, from the rest of us: Fuck you.

Straight Outta Chuck D’s Mouth?

posted by on March 7 at 5:59 PM

NPR ran an interesting two-part series on the long-term effects of N.W.A. on the reputation of Compton. I thoroughly enjoyed it, simply because any recognition (good or bad) of that group’s impact makes me smile. However, I was thrown by the interview with Eazy-E’s offspring, “Lil Eazy.” He’s preparing to release his own record, which he claims is “the street’s CNN.” He’s paraphrasing, but I believe that this characterization of the genre was first made by Public Enemy’s front man. Seems a tad disrespectful.

Detroit Techno 101

posted by on March 7 at 5:43 PM

Stylus online zine writer Todd Hutlock (an old colleague of mine at Alternative Press magazine) gives you the basics of Detroit techno here. After reading this, I realized we are overdue for a major revival/reassessment/reissue bonanza of this music, much of which remains long out of print or scattered on hard-to-find compilations. Sounds like a job for Soul Jazz, a British label that specializes in reissuing CDs that contextualize musical genres/movements, and does so in beautifully designed packaging.

Brokeback Marriages. No, really.

posted by on March 7 at 2:53 PM

The NYTimes has an article on gay men in straight marriages, or Brokeback Marriages.

I’m not sure how I’d feel if a man I married liked to have sex with men. Probably competitive. We’d either wind up divorced or with score cards.

Here’s a touching quote from a husband who struck a balance between having sex with men, and caring for his wife as cancer munched on her fallopian tubes pacman-style:

“I am totally committed on all levels to Paulette. I felt so intimate with her when I was caring for her during her cancer treatments ó to me, that’s a stronger expression of love than whether I’m having anonymous sex with a man.”

Sweet sentiment, but that’s not the speech any girl would want to hear on her golden anniversary. Cheers to you, Paulette.

Pornographic Inspiration

posted by on March 7 at 2:46 PM

In the world of Hollywood-inspired porn titles, Bareback Mountain is a no-brainer.

But how about some props for the truly inspired minds behind The DaVinci Load?

Reduced sentence for US rapist

posted by on March 7 at 2:07 PM

My vagina and I agree that this is bullshit.

No Commies, No Junkies, No Gays

posted by on March 7 at 1:50 PM

But everybody else can apply to be an aristocrat’s heir in Somerset, England. Sir Benjamin Slade, an aging, childless aristocrat, is searching for aspiring nobility in America. “Americans have more energy and a better work ethic,” he said. That, and British aristocrats, as everybody knows, are loony (some say it’s the inbreeding, some say it’s the luxuryóI say it’s the damp). When Sir Benjamin Slade took over the estate, his batty aunt was still there, confined to two rooms of the house:

“She lived on Mars bars and Milky Ways, he said. “She drank for Somerset. She had about 18 different driving offensesóhit and run, driving over a policeman’s foot. When she died, she left ¬£22.50, and she didn’t leave it to me.

The rest of the story, courtesy of the International Herald Tribune, is here.

Iran, North Korea, Myanmar… and South Dakota

posted by on March 7 at 12:59 PM

From ABC News:

WASHINGTON Mar 7, 2006 (AP)ó President Bush said Tuesday that democracies only reach their potential when women are allowed to fully participate in society, singling out Iran, North Korea and Myanmar as nations that are suppressing women’s basic rights.

“America will help women stand up for their freedom, no matter where they live,” Bush said at a White House celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.

Graffiti is the New Potholes

posted by on March 7 at 12:44 PM

Yesterday’s State of the City Speech by Mayor Greg Nickels was a lackluster, hackneyed reiteration of familiar promises and tired tenth-grade speechwriting clich√©s. Read my column tomorrow to find out more.

In the meantime, here are a few Al Runte-esque rhetorical misfires from the mayor’s speechwriting arsenal:

“We have weathered the storm of the last five years and are prepared to sail with the wind at our back toward a future full of hope and confident that we are headed in the right direction.”

Like the infinite diversity of life itself, the diversity of our home is the foundation of our strength.”

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a lot of graffiti around our city.”

We can glance over our shoulders at the heights we have scaled and proclaim we’ve reached the high point. Or we can keep our eyes focused on the road ahead, draw strength from all that has been accomplished in this city, and say now is the time to build an even stronger Seattle. That is the road I choose.”

Something for Everyone to Hate

posted by on March 7 at 12:24 PM

State Sen. Bill Finkbeiner (R-Woodinville) has proposed an amendment to this year’s Regional Transportation Investment District legislation that both road warriors and environmentalists regard as a poison pill. The amendment would make Sound Transit (i.e., light rail) and RTID (i.e., roads) codependent: If either failed, both would fail. “There are folks who are all for transit and against roads, and there are folks who are all for roads and against transit,” Finkbeiner explains, “and I just think it’s a poor way to operate to only do one or the other.” If Sound Transit and RTID aren’t linked together, Finkbeiner says, “the environmentalists are going to come out against RTID,” causing it to fail in Seattle. At the same time, Finkbeiner says, “a lot of people on the east side of [Lake Washington] wouldn’t support Sound Transit if it was free.

He’s right, of course: environmentalists like the Transportation Choices Coalition, Washington Conservation Voters, and FutureWise oppose RTID because it doesn’t fund transit operations, relies heavily on regressive sales tax, and forces Sound Transit onto the same ballot as RTID. They see RTID as an albatross that will drag Sound Transit down, sinking both proposals. Roads supporters like former state Sen.-turned-roads-lobbyist Jim Horn, meanwhile, view Sound Transit as a waste of money that could be better spent on roads, and see Sound Transit as an albatross that will drag RTID down… sinking both proposals.

Bonus Letter to the Editor

posted by on March 7 at 11:33 AM

We got a letter that we’re not going to print in the paper because we haven’t been able to confirm the identity of its author. Still, Charles wrote a smart little response, which should see the light of day:

EDITOR: Charles Mudede got his fundamental facts right [“The Animal in You,‚ÄĚ Feb 23], but in the body of his article he repeatedly got one fundamental fact wrong, when he referred over and over again to “horse fucking‚ÄĚ and “horse fuckers.‚ÄĚ My unfortunate late nonconformist buddy Ken did not fuck horses, at least as far as I know: The stallion he and his playmates called Big Dick fucked Ken, not the other way around. That said, I’d like to thank The Stranger for publishing that vivacious and educational article.
Name Withheld

CHARLES MUDEDE RESPONDS: Sir, I do not recognize the passive/active (or fucked/fucker) distinction for one reason: It is, at root, sexist. The passive/active binary constructs a meaning that makes it impossible for women to be fuckers. They can only be fucked. No matter what the position or arrangement is, for me fucking is just fucking.

Fair & Balanced

posted by on March 7 at 11:15 AM

Courtesy of Wonkette comes word on just what websites our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are allowed to visit:

Wonkette ó “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Forum/Bulletin Boards, Politics/Opinion.‚ÄĚ

Bill O’Reilly ( ó OK

Air America ( ó “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.‚ÄĚ

Rush Limbaugh ( ó OK

ABC News “The Note‚ÄĚ ó OK

Website of the Al Franken Show ( ó “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Internet Radio/TV, Politics/Opinion.‚ÄĚ

G. Gordon Liddy Show ( ó OK

Don & Mike Show ( ó “Forbidden, this page ( is categorized as: Profanity, Entertainment/Recreation/Hobbies.‚ÄĚ

The Coat Hanger State

posted by on March 7 at 10:50 AM



All Hail Katharine DeBrecht!

posted by on March 7 at 10:47 AM

In yesterday’s Oscar post, I excerpted a bit of an amazing press release I received concerning one Katharine DeBrecht, “an author of conservative children’s books and mother of three” who’s taken detailed objection to the parade of evil that passed for this year’s Oscar ceremony.

“The movies garnering the most Oscar nominations included films about feature [sic] sympathetic terrorists, gay cowboys, communist sympathizers, and transsexuals,” said DeBrecht via press release, finding proof of Hollywood’s moral disconnection from mainstream values in the fact that “none of the best picture nominees were even in the top 20 highest grossing movies of last year!”

As some of those replying to my aformentioned Slog post have pointed out, most of the “20 highest grossing movies of last year!” were hardly the godly fare DeBrecht pretends, including a Satanic paean to witchcraft (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, #2), an interspecies love story (King Kong, #5), a murderous marriage thriller (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, #10, starring a pair of actual adulterers), two comedic odes to boning (Wedding Crashers, #6, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, #19), and one family comedy suggesting butch homosexuals make good babysitters (The Pacifier, #17).

But as further investigation made clear, Katharine DeBrecht is not only a “conservative children’s book author” but a wonderfully hilarious wacko. Check out these delights I found buried in yesterday’s excerpted press release, consisting of DeBrecht’s issues with a variety of this year’s Oscar winners (sic throughout):

Best Picture: “Crash” (with about 180 obscenities and painting Americas as a bunch of biggots)
Director: Ang Lee, “Brokeback Mountain” (It’s ironic that he thanked China - who all those libs complain are taking American jobs)
Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, “The Constant Gardener.” (about bad big drug companies)
Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Capote.” (who portrays a flamboyant homosexual who exploits the murder of a family of four for his own self-absorbed gain (sound like Hollywood?)

And the hits keep coming….check out this official blurb on DeBrecht’s newest children’s book, “Help! Mom! Hollywood’s in My Hamper!”:

“Janie and Sam were happy just being kidsóthat is, until celebrities started popping out of their hamper to tell them how to behave and to sell them expensive clothes. With Hollywood and its friends in the liberal media declaring war on traditional values, what’s a concerned parent to do? It’s “Help! Mom!” to the rescue!”

The press release even comes with suggested interview questions for DeBrecht (who’s only doing television, thank you very much.) My faves:

*Some people refer to you as a modern Dr. Seuss. How does that make you feel?

*In your book, a character who looks a lot like Tom Cruise talks about a religion called ‘Toenailology.’ What’s that all about? And was he standing on a chair screaming?


*Last fall, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman attacked your book, former New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan called you a Maoist, and the Democratic Underground named you to their “Top 10 Conservative Idiots” list. Did all of these liberal attacks get to you, or in any way upset your family?

That’s enough for now. But clearly, Katherine DeBrecht is a genius.

Bar Mitzvah Suit

posted by on March 7 at 10:35 AM

Once again, without citing the Stranger, the Seattle Times goes with a story today that the Stranger broke. This time it’s a story that Stranger writer Megan Seling broke last December. She did a follow-up last week.

Here at the office I refer to the Seattle Times as a bar mitzvah suit paper. What I mean by that is: They pretend to be really matureólike a 13-year-old boy in a suitóbut really, they don’t understand the subtleties of being an adult. A perfect example is shit like this, where they act snooty (thinking that’s what a fancy paper would do), but really, they come across as immature for not being grown-up enough to cite our work.

This all became clear to me last year when we broke the Microsoft/Hutcherson story. When the NYT (an actual grown up paper) picked up that story and ran it on their front page, they graciously credited the Stranger.

It was funny: In that instance, when the Seattle Times started writing about Microsoft and Hutcherson, they were forced to follow the example of the NYT and so, had to cite us. It must have hurt.

Even funnier: it took one Seattle Times reporter and three Seattle Times news researchers to write up Megan’s story.

And if you think I’m being immature for getting exercised about all this, I’d suggest you listen to KOMO radio today at around 11:15. They just called me to ask what was up with the Seattle Times ripping us off. “You should be pissed,” KOMO producer Dave Carson said.

UPDATE: Megan Seling was on Dave Carson’s morning radio show updating KOMO’s listeners on the FSU story.

This Isn’t Important

posted by on March 7 at 10:28 AM

But it’s hilarious. Via Sullivan:

A live-action Simpsons

You Can Own Krist Novoselic’s Bass

posted by on March 7 at 10:07 AM

Nirvana bassist and good liberal activist Krist Novoselic has put up on eBay the instrument he used on Nirvana’s last tour. You have until March 9 to bid on it here.

Proceeds for the winning bid will go to Music For America, a non-profit organization with a substantial Seattle presence that focuses on voter-turnout programs for young people.

“I am committed to increasing participation in democracy,‚ÄĚ says Novoselic. “Music For America is an organization that gets people involved. I’m happy to contribute my Black Eagle Ibanez bass to such an effort.‚ÄĚ

Full press release after the jump.

Continue reading "You Can Own Krist Novoselic's Bass" »

Boobies Bounce!

posted by on March 7 at 10:06 AM

Hot tipper Jalene Durham announces that boobies bounce, and this proves it! Skip intro, enter your cup size into the Bounce-o-meter, and sit back!!!

How Many Democrats Does it Take to Create a Slogan?

posted by on March 7 at 10:03 AM

In the latest story about how Democrats are “struggling” to agree on an a message going into the mid-term elections, today’s Washington Post finds party leaders squabbling over the word “together.”

Even the party’s five-word 2006 motto has preoccupied congressional Democrats for months. “We had meetings where senators offered suggestions,” Reid said. “We had focus groups. We worked hard on that… . It’s a long, slow, arduous process.”

That slogan — “Together, America Can Do Better” — was revived from the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry. It was the last line of Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s response to President Bush’s State of the Union address, and Reid, Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have used it in speeches. But there is an effort afoot to drop the word “together.” It tests well in focus groups and audiences, Democratic sources said, but it makes the syntax incorrect.

First Octavia Butler, and now this…

posted by on March 7 at 9:41 AM

Malian guitar innovator Ali Farka Toure - who, of late, was enjoying wider mainstream acclaim via his collaborative recordings with Toumani Diabate - has died.

Monday, March 6, 2006

I’m Sitting in a Hotel Lobby…

posted by on March 6 at 9:29 PM

…in North Carolina, of all places, listening as a man picks up a woman. The lobby is entirely empty, save for the three of us. They’re sitting at the bar, which is closed. I’m sitting on the other side of the lobby, but I can hear everything they’re saying. They’re having one of those long, weird, touch-on-everything conversations that only strangers ever do. They’re talking. And talking. He’s much older, maybe 50, she looks 25. They just finished a long conversation about his hairóhe doesn’t have any, and he claims he isn’t bald. He just shaves his head because he likes the look.

He just said, “I have to tell you that I really, and honestly, think you’re wise beyond your years.” Then he asked her to speak her mindó”…tell me anything.”

Here’s a sample of the piss elegance that infuses this Italian-themed lobby…


Cherubs! Lots of them! Everywhere!

Now the man and the woman at the bar are talking about running.

Him: “I’ve run a 4:40 mile.”

Her: “Really? Get out!”

Him: “Yes, it’s true. That’s why I’m fat now.”

Huh? He goes on to explain that he was once such an accomplished runner that he was sure he would be able to get fit again quickly, so he let himself go for a few years. See how that works?

Now they’re talking about dogsóshe’s saying that she hates it when people let their dogs jump on them. He says she has to deal with thatóthat she has to get over that phobia. She would love his dog, even if his dog jumped on her. Indeed.

Him: “Tell you what, I won’t compare you with my ex-wife if you don’t compare me with your ex-boyfriend.”

Her: “Have you dated a lot since your divorce.”

Him: “No. I’m a good-looking guyó”

Her: (Laughs)

Him: “You’re not supposed to laugh. I don’t know how to say this. I’m kinda quiet. You may find that incongrous. And I can have sex all week, I can go out and drink, and do all sorts of crazy things. I’m not lonely, and I’m not looking for marriage. You want me to tell you the truth?”

Her: “Sure.”

Him: “I kind of have really high standards. I want to be with someone intelligent, athletic, competative. I want to get on the racketball courts and do left-handed racketball and have her give me shit about beating me.”

Her: “Makes sense.”

Him: “I did the rebound things. How do I say this nicely. I’m male, I don’t turn down sex. But I’m not a whore.”

Her: “Yeah.”

Him: “But I don’t have sex often.”

Her: “Yeah, yeah. Well. Some people don’t.”

Him: “But I’m not pathetic.”

Her: “No, no.”

Roq La Rue Redux

posted by on March 6 at 6:37 PM

The pop surrealism purveyors at Roq La Rue are opening a new gallery in May right next door to their Belltown location, devoted to “street/urban contemporary art.” The new space will be called BLVD Gallery.

Myspace and the Stranger

posted by on March 6 at 5:33 PM

There’s a rather heated debate on the forums about the Stranger’s policy of disallowing links to Myspace on the Stranger Bands Page (the future online home of the Musician’s Directory, out later this week). I’ve posted a response that will either a) make everyone see that, as Lita Ford once said, it ain’t no big thing, or b) will cause more people to pick up their flame-throwers. My guess is we’ll see both.

To The Secret Service

posted by on March 6 at 3:59 PM

To the Secret Service of America, I have absolutely nothing to do with what my daughter said this morning while eating breakfast. You might already know about this particular incident; you might already have paid my 4-year-old daughter’s preschool a visit this afternoon. All of that’s fine with me. I understand your concern. Even I was shocked to hear her say: “Daddy, I wish President Bush would just die.” I dropped my spoon. I have never said such things in front of her (or behind her). I read fairy tales to her. I teach the teachings of Our Lord (the architect of everything that is) to her. I’m an honest father to her. So please, Secret Service, do not put me on your surveillance list. Please leave my cell phone and e-mail alone. It’s just that kids sometimes say the darnedest things after a little sugar and cereal.

A picture of my sweet daughter in a Halloween costume that clearly shows her support for our troops.

Scathing Words and Shaman/S&M Chic

posted by on March 6 at 3:36 PM

Critical writing about local theater is always a hate magnet, but the mail response to last week’s feature story sparked an international email response, with people from Berlin to Jersey weighing in:

From Kerri Christie, a hotel manager in Tucson, Arizona: “So, finally a theatre project that has worked tirelessly for the last 7 years (though conceived by centuries) is getting some of the funding it so richly deserves, and you write a long, scathing article about how you didn’t like their show and so therefore it is not deserving of the funding it received? Are you working against the arts?? Is this your goal?‚ÄĚ

From somebody named 2madtruth: “You come off as a bigot and white supremacist, elitist… You should have put your article in last week’s edition because the cover picture looked like you on your knees assuming the positionódoing a lot of sucking up! Face it dudeóyou’re a punkówhat kind of art is that?‚ÄĚ

From a “rhymescape philosopher‚ÄĚ from New Jersey named QueenMamaSapien: “Kudos to you for successfully striking a balanceóI feel your tone is respectful and productively critical.‚ÄĚ

From Berlin: “Theater is like a good wineóit needs time to breathe! Give it the time and the money to breathe. Then the U.S. may grow a theater scene that is worth mentioning.‚ÄĚ

And, at the Guillermo G√≥mez-Pe√Īa show at ConWorks, a critic from another paper walked up and whispered, jokingly, “What the hell are you doing here? I thought you didn’t like political art.”

Of course, that isn’t true. I just don’t like bad political art that gets a pass from funders and critics just because its creators profess some good intention or officially sanctioned political platform. G√≥mez-Pe√Īa and his company La Pocha Nostra, in fact, are pretty exciting as political performance art goes. Mapa Corpa, the piece he and collaborator Violeta Luna performed involved a Muslim body-robe, dance with barbed wire, rifles, nudity, bullhorns, live acupuncture, and a general techno-shamanistic-Mexican-paramilitary-S&M aesthetic that looked like this, this, and this. It was clearly political, but it was also complicated, troubling, and visually rich. Like Goya. Or Ebola.

Comrade Larry

posted by on March 6 at 1:23 PM

Comrade Larry, our fine hiphop critic, made this important announcement a few hours ago:

“SUPPORT KEXP IF YOU LOVE LOCAL HIPHOP. Support 90.3 KEXP since they support NW hiphop! In the last year I’ve heard em spin: Blue Scholars. Boom Bap Project, Lightheaded Cancer Rising, Common Market, Macklemore, Abyssinan Creole, Sleep Grayskul, Framework, Lifesavas.

Hit up or call (206)903-KEXP if you wanna support one of the very few Seattle institutions that supports Seattle hiphop.

Re: Drop that Dildo!

posted by on March 6 at 12:44 PM

Lawmakers in Tennessee aren’t exactly blazing new ground in proposing a ban on dildos and other sex toys. Texas has a longstanding ban on “obscene devices,” including dildos, vibrators, and artificial vaginas, “designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs” - the exact language in the proposed Tennessee statute. (Owning more than six, meanwhile, implies an intent to “promote”óa Class A misdemeanor) The result, as I reported in the Austin Chronicle in 2000, has been a proliferation of “anatomically correct condom education models.” In other words, dildos may be illegal… but a dildo by any other name is educational.

Even Worse Than Crying About Litter…

posted by on March 6 at 12:22 PM

Found on Nerve’s Daily Scanner…

In an attempt to cash in on the multicultural appeal of Kung Fu Fighting, these guys made a song that is both offensive and hilarious. Enjoy.

What I Got Wrong

posted by on March 6 at 11:48 AM

So Andrew Sullivan, George Will, William F. Buckley, Francis Fukuyama, and other conservatives are now admitting they were wrong about the Iraq war. As a liberal supporter of the Iraq war (recovering), I can’t help but wonder what took them so long? I posted this on Friday, August 12, 2005, when I was guest blogging on Andrew Sullivan’s website:

GET OUT NOW: Okay, I have a half an hour until my stint here as guest-blogger ends and I turn back into pumpkin. I wish I had more time to flesh this out, but I have to leave for the airport in a half an hour so I’m just going to have to blast through this. Forgive the stream of consciousness, the misspellings, and the rambling nature of this post.

Look, I was for this thing. I went out on limb and backed it. I wanted it to succeed. I still do.

But it’s time to declare victory and get the fuck out. Thanks to the incompetence of this administration, we can no longer avoid the “Q‚ÄĚ word. It’s a quagmire. Period. Listening to Marketplace while I made dinner tonight, I learned that attacks on military convoys have gone upódoubled or tripled, I didn’t have a penóin the last 12 months. How’d that happen? How many billions spent and how many Americans and Iraqis dead and yet things just keep going from bad to worse.

It seems that the more corners we’re told we’ve turned, the more walls we run into. And it just keeps coming back to manpoweró”just enough troops to lose,‚ÄĚ as Andrew says. There were never enough troops on the ground, and since this President never met a fuck-up that he wouldn’t pin a Medal of Freedom on, the same fuck-ups who mismanaged this thing from the start are still grinning at us on TV.

Does anyone in the White House know what the fuck they’re doing? One day it’s the war on terror, the next day it’s got a new name, then it’s back to the war on terror. We’re going to set a date to start reducing troop levelsóno, wait, we’re not. Killing Saddam’s sons will change things for the better, no wait. Capturing Saddam will take the wind out of the sails of the insurgency. Now that everyone in Iraq has a purple finger, the insurgents are going to slink away. We clear a town of insurgents, but we don’t have the manpower to hold it, so we pull the troops out andósurpriseóthe insurgents take the town back. “Dead enders,‚ÄĚ “last throes,‚ÄĚ “losing stream.‚ÄĚ

On and on it goes, and the news doesn’t change, or get any better. If it needs a new name perhaps we should call it the Groundhog’s Day War. Does anyone believe that the Iraqi Constitutionócoming on Mondayóis going to change a damn thing?

George Bush is good at one thing and one thing only: winning elections and coasting along. Forget the maybe/maybe not criminal outing of a CIA agentóthe prosecution of this war is this administration’s signature crime. My friends who admonish me for not seeing this coming the run-up to the war are right, it pains me to admit. I have no longer have any faithónone whateveróin Bush, Rummy, Condi, Dick, or the rest of the jackasses running this show. And like all liberals who supported this thing, I’m angier about George Bush’s handling of this war than any liberal who opposed it. Liberal hawks wanted to win this more desperately than anyone else. But it’s time to bring down the curtainówhy? Not because war I hate Bush so much that I want to see my country lose this waróI love my countryóand not because I don’t care about the Iraqi people. I’m one of those liberals who backed the war for humanitarian reasons.

No, we should get out because, with the Bushies running the show for the next three years, we’re simply not going to win. It’s just go to drag on and on. This war, as I see it now, is either going to be nasty, brutal and short or nasty, brutal and long. I prefer nastry, brutal and short, if only because it will mean fewer Americans will die. And fewer Iraqis too, I suspect.

To paraphrase a war hero: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for an incompetent ?

Drop that Dildo!

posted by on March 6 at 11:38 AM

Lawmakers in Tennesee are pushing a ban on dildos. John Spragan writes in the Nashville Scene:

Senate Bill 3794 (House Bill 3798), legislation that would make it illegal to sell, advertise, publish or exhibit to another person “any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs….‚ÄĚ For that matter, if you offer to show someone your dildo collectionóor possess a vibrator with the intent to show it to someoneóyou’d be violating this proposed state law. And don’t even think about wholesaling those three-dimensional sex toys.

Perhaps conservatives in Tennesee figure that if you live in that state you’re pretty much screwed already, so what the hell do you need a 3-D dildo for?

For his part, Spragan wonders what the hell Tennesee needs a legislature for:

In other Monday developments, Tennesseans died from a lack of health care, remained poorly educated and were among the most obese state populations in the nation.

In other words, screwed but goodóno dildos required.

Re: Who’s Gonna Win

posted by on March 6 at 11:20 AM

Hey, I did all right with my Oscar guesses. True, everything I got right was obvious, and I missed the big’un (the New York Times guy called it, though). But whatever.

Best actor: CORRECT.

Best supporting actor: CORRECT.

Best actress: CORRECT.

Best supporting actress: WRONG. (I have no idea what I was thinking. Nobody saw Junebug.)

Art direction: WRONG.

Directing: CORRECT.

Documentary feature: WRONG. (I let myself get psyched out. It’s a Red America nodóavec delicious irony, because it’s Frenchóand it made big bucks.)

Doc short: WRONG.

Best picture: WRONG.

Adapted screenplay: CORRECT.

Original screenplay: WRONG.

Costume design (in Comments): CORRECT.

6/12= 50%. I predicted 40.

Oh, and confidential to Josh Feit: Actually, Brokeback Mountain lost for double-reverse backflip reasons: Nothing is so universal as Los Angeles.

What He Got Wrong

posted by on March 6 at 11:18 AM

Andrew Sullivan joins the parade of conservatives (William F. Buckley Jr., George F. Will, Francis Fukuyama, etc.) who are now admitting they were wrong about Iraq.

Sullivan’s first error:

To overestimate the competence of government.

Meaning: The competence of George W. Bush.

You Can’t Get an Abortion in South Dakota…

posted by on March 6 at 10:48 AM

…starting July 1. It’s official.

Oscar Upset

posted by on March 6 at 10:40 AM

For better or worse, I love the Oscars, and could spend the next six hours Slogging about last night’s affairs. But I’m on deadline for my goddamned column, so I must restrict my comments to these:

1. I do not like Crash (preachy, klutzy, Altman-lite hooey) but I understand why it won.

2. Yes, Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep were odd and delightful while bestowing an Honorary Oscar upon Robert Altman, and yes, Altman gave a wonderful speech. But all of the aforementioned delights were poisoned by the fact that the Academy was giving AN HONORARY OSCAR TO ROBERT FUCKING ALTMAN. In a world where both Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson have ACTUAL, project-specific Best Director Oscars, the notion of having to give Robert Altman an “honorary” Oscar makes me want to stab stab stab. (And when Martin Scorsese is eventually given HIS Honorary Oscar, I’m going to cry tears of blood.)

3. Putting all this Oscar drama in perspective is a terrifyingly hilarious press release I received this morning from a Conservative Christian author about last night’s parade of evil. Masochists may find it after the jump. (My fave bits: The repeated mistaken reference to lead actress Reese Witherspoon as a supporting actressóperhaps all women have supporting roles in the Christian Kingdom?óand the theory that Reese garnered the requisite votes for her Oscar win through strategic “Bush bashing.”) Enjoy!

Continue reading "Oscar Upset" »

Articles on Impeachment

posted by on March 6 at 10:07 AM

In what seems to be the first mainstream media article written about the grassroots drive to impeach President Bush, The Wall Street Journal today weighs in on the risks Democrats face in embracing the subject.

Only paid online subscribers can get the WSJ article, but ImpeachPAC has it here, along with this interesting WSJ graphic showing more popular support for Bush’s impeachment than there ever was for Clinton’s. (ImpeachPAC has a larger version of the graphic that’s more easily readable, here.)


Also noted by ImpeachPAC: The West Seattle faction of Seattle’s 34th District Democrats has agreed to a resolution calling for Bush’s impeachment, and will be presenting it to the full 34th Disctrict Caucus meeting in late April.


posted by on March 6 at 8:51 AM

This morning’s PI has an editorial about our Sims/Hutcherson debate. The editorial points out out the problem with Hutcherson’s sharia-like line of argument:

“Hutcherson’s mistake is to assume that religion is the only foundation of morality, for Sims or anyone else’s, let alone the law.”

It’s a good editorial, and, for kicks, it uses the phrase: “coveting thy neighbor’s ass.”

The thing I found frustrating about Hutcherson’s argument on Thursday nightóby the way, thanks for agreeing to debate, you guysówas his insistence that Evangelical Christians are “oppressed” by a secular state that passes gay rights legislation. Basically, his point is that a Christian landlord, for example, shouldn’t have to rent to people who offend his or her religious beliefs. (Oh, you delicate flower!)

Ken, you should think about the selfishness of that view: Who’s really being screwed in that situation? The Christian landlord or the gay tenant?

The U.S. is about balancing rights. In this instance you’ve got the right not to have your feelings hurt vs. the right to have housing. You’re a pretty selfish guy if you can’t see how that one should be decided.

What if KeyArena had decided not to rent out to you guys the other night because they were offended by you? (I bet your beliefs piss off a few members of the Storm.) Good thing it’s illegal to discriminate against Christians in this secular state of ours, eh? You also get to rent that public high school on Sundays. As you know, that offends a lot of people. But it’s a free country, right?

Sunday, March 5, 2006

DJ Paul Is A Dog…

posted by on March 5 at 10:38 PM

Yeeeahh! I just wanna send a congratu-fuckin-lations to Three 6 Mafia- who not only had 2005’s best song in “Stay Fly”, but tonight won a goddamn Oscar. Not bad for a druggy, thuggy Memphis rap crew with Satanic affectations. For a sec I thought it was just a promethazine-induced fantasy.

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Art Tortured at Ground Zero

posted by on March 5 at 10:04 PM

According to a story coming out in tomorrow’s NYT, the developer of the first building to go up at Ground Zero, an office tower that will open in May, wanted a glass artist to do a big, fancy sculpture in the lobby (Chihuly, anyone?).

Instead, the architect intervened on behalf of an artist he likes: 55-year-old artist Jenny Holzer, whose installations of scrolling bands of words are often culturally critical. But the developer didn’t want her using certain words — so he assigned his wife as her censor. The artist agreed to the conditions because of what she called the “gravity” of the location.

Interesting stuff. More here.

Some Thoughts on the Academy Awards

posted by on March 5 at 9:02 PM

[Some might think I’m unqualified to weigh in on the Academy Awards because I think almost every movie would be better if it were shorter, i.e., if there were less of it, but when I was 15 and obese and had divorcing parents and not a friend in the world and was living in a suburb of Los Angeles and my ambition was to write screenplays, I set my alarm for 5 in the morning just so that I could watch the live press conference announcing the nominees for the Academy Awardsóthat’s how much I cared.]

1) Everything is better with bacon. I went to a dinner party tonight and I brought kale with garlic and bacon. The dishes had to be related to a movie up for best picture, and the movie I got assigned was Munich, and my dish needed to be a vegetable side dish, and… well, think about it for a minute. A vat of cooked, flavorless carrots? (It’d be authentic!) But internet research reveals that kale — a hardy, bitter, delicious member of the cabbage family — has done quite well through the ages in Germany: there are delicious recipes from the northern German city of Bremen involving kale that date to the 16th century, and even though Munich is a southern city, one figures they are close enough, that the influence was most certainly felt. As far as bacon and Germany are concerned, the Federal Statistical Office keeps track of how many pigs there are in Germany. Try to guess. Just think of a number. You won’t guess high enough. Here, I’ll put the answer “after the jump” (click on “Continue reading ‘Some Thoughts on the Academy Awards’” at the bottom of this post to see the number of pigs there were in Germany as of May 2005). Anyway, kale with garlic and bacon is incredibly delicious and the recipe is here. (My tip: use peppered bacon.)

2) Bows on dresses look weird.

3) John Travolta’s hair transplant looks weird.

4) Meryl Streep is the best actress we have.

Continue reading "Some Thoughts on the Academy Awards" »

Brokeback Bummer

posted by on March 5 at 8:40 PM

I realize it’s not unprecedented for the Academy to split awards between two pictures for the Best Director and Best Picture categories, but FUCK. When Brokeback won Best Director, I thought it was locked up.

A Much Better Bout of Shaking Just Happened….

posted by on March 5 at 7:50 PM

…while Philip Seymour Hoffman was accepting Best Actor. Yeah, I would have enjoyed hearing what Joaquin Phoenix would have said and watching the frothy media aftermath to a Heath Ledger win, but Hoffman was sweetly humble and watching that envelope flutter in his hand after Hillary Swank (girl, eat a sandwich) gave him his statuette was lovely.

Honorable Intro

posted by on March 5 at 7:25 PM

O.K., this will probably drive Ms. Wagner bananas, but it must be said that the introduction that Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep just gave to honorary Oscar recipient Robert Altman (richly fucking deserved, despite Popeye) was the most natural, hilarious and smart intro I’ve ever seen on a mainstream awards show.

Lauren Bacall?

posted by on March 5 at 6:34 PM

I just walked in the door from a road trip to Montana (surreal slog report pending) and caught Lauren Bacall offering some sort of homage to film noir on the Academy Awards. I’m all for homages to film noir, but I found it terribly disturbing to see how frail and shaky she was. Yes, I know she’s old, but I was still alarmed. Does anyone know if there’s something specific ailing her other than the passage of time?