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Archives for 03/19/2006 - 03/25/2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tune in Sunday

posted by on March 25 at 10:14 PM

Check into Slog tomorrow. We’ll have a bunch of new information. Thanks to all the people who have trusted us enough to speak about what they know.

I haven’t heard a single negative thing about the people who live in that house on East Republican. Nor have I heard anything that suggests there was anything violent about the rave. On the contrary, everybody there was very peaceful, friendly. That was the vibe. And the people who live in the home were inviting practically everyone they encountered to the after-party. They did so because they are/were friendly. Period. They probably just didn’t expect one of their guests to turn into fucking Yosemite Sam.

It’s naive to say there wasn’t ecstasy at the rave. There was. But let’s hold off on blaming this on the drug or the rave culture. Everything so far points to this being a guy who was bound to snap at any moment.

Don’t Do It, Greg. Keep All-Ages Dances Legal.

posted by on March 25 at 10:00 PM

Once the editorials start piling up (“all-ages dances lead to shootings, outlaw all-ages dances!”), Mayor Nickels is going to seize the law-and-order moment and send an ordinance to council cracking down on teen dance culture.

Don’t take the bait, Greg. (And just to be clear: Electronica dances, like the one at CHAC on Friday night, were legal even before the TDO was repealed.)

But really, the fact is, if teen dances were prohibited, there’d be more opportunities for bad things to happen to teens, not fewer. There were nearly 300 kids at CHAC on Friday night. No fights. No trouble. If teens couldn’t go to a club like that, they’d go somewhere else (oh, like a small private house party). The CHAC event was being staffed by 19 security guards. That’s the kind of place parents should want their kids to be on a Friday night.

Without those kinds of events, we’d see more unregulated situations like the party at 21st and Republican.

Saturday morning’s tragedy at a private home just highlights the need for more (not less) public, and regulated events catering to teens—like the all-ages show at CHAC.

List of names…

posted by on March 25 at 6:31 PM

A post on gave a list of the names of the alledged victims:

Nameless *dude ith the long hair always at the spot* aka patches
Jeremy Chickenhed
and another 15 year old girl confirmed dead. im assuming its the girl that was with sushi


posted by on March 25 at 6:25 PM

In his account of Kerlikowske’s press conference, Tom reported:

The man returned in about 10 minutes. He spraypainted the word “NOW” on the sidewalk and steps of neighboring homes, before approaching the home where the party was taking place. He was carrying a pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun.

Creepy coincidence. Because on Deacon’s on-line journal, the one Megan just posted of an apparent victim, Deacon wrote:

I dont know how many parties i will be attending in the near future, but my guess is not that many. I could rant and air my complaints and critisisms of parties, but that is a whole separate and equally long post. In short, parties nowadays SUCK BALLZ, and I’d rather save my money, for more important things, like getting my own place. So….. basically
I feel like something needs to happen. NOW. something drastic.

More sad news…

posted by on March 25 at 6:07 PM

I was agonizing about this all day, but since my boss Dan Savage thinks it’s appropriate to post the Myspace pages of the alleged victims, here’s one more for a man named Deacon, who, according to friends posting on electronic music messageboards, is believed to be dead.

“He didn’t show a lot of emotion.”

posted by on March 25 at 5:37 PM

The man who shot and killed six young people at a party this morning in Capitol Hill, before killing himself, was in his late twenties and was only an acquaintance to the victims, according to Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, who briefed reporters at a Saturday afternoon press conference.

The Seattle Police Department is not releasing the name of the shooter, nor those of the victims. Kerlikowske confirmed that the people at the party had attended the all-ages “Better Off Undead” DJ dance night at the Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Avenue. In an unsettling bit of irony, the show was a zombie costume night featuring theater blood and ghoulish death costumes with girls dressed, for example, as “brides of death.” About 275 youngsters, mostly late teens, showed up. CHAC reports that there were 19 staff security on hand for the event—which went until 4am—and report that it was a mellow scene with lots of cuddling.

Based on police interviews with roughly 25 people who were at the party, the shooter had been invited to the house on East Republican, near 22nd. Kerlikowske said that partygoers used alcohol and marijuana but that it remained unclear whether those substances had any role in the crime.

The shooter was described as “quiet” and “humble” by partygoers interviewed by police. He left the party shortly before 7 a.m. and police say there was no evidence of an argument.

The man returned in about 10 minutes. He spraypainted the word “NOW” on the sidewalk and steps of neighboring homes, before approaching the home where the party was taking place. He was carrying a pistol-grip 12-gauge shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun.

People were standing on the home’s porch and the man fired at them, killing two. Those who were inside the home tried to close the door, but the shooter forced it open. He killed three people in the living room “execution-style,” according to Kerlikowske.

The shooter then went upstairs to look for other partygoers, some of whom were crawling out of windows. Two people locked themselves in the bathroom and the shooter fired a round through the door but did not hit them.

A police officer happened to be within a block of the home and when he arrived a victim ran toward his squad car. The officer told the victim to lie down and then the shooter came out of the home. The officer drew his gun and said “Drop your-” but before he could finish his sentence, the man shot himself.

“We have absolutely no idea what the motive was,” said Kerlikowske. “It’s not like there was a lot of conversation.”

The shooter fired “dozens” of rounds, according to Kerlikowske, and police found in the man’s truck an assault rifle with banana clips of ammunition.

“He didn’t show a lot of emotion,” said Kerlikowske. “There was no argument or fight that led to this.”

The victims range in age from early teens to early 20s. There are two more victims who remain at Harborview Medical Center. One has what a police spokeswoman described as “life-threatening injuries,” while the other is conscious and has been interviewed by police.

“Suck My Motherfucking Dick”

posted by on March 25 at 5:35 PM

A reader in the comments section put up this link to one of the victim’s Myspace page. There are expression of sorrow, and many touching messages for Sushi—but you have to read them while “Suck My Motherfucking Dick” blasts at you from your computer’s speakers.

I’m taking it as Sushi’s message to the shooter.

First-Hand Account of Shooting

posted by on March 25 at 5:00 PM

I found this message posted on a music forum, written by someone who was alledgedly at the party during the shootings, though I haven’t been able to confirm that. I blacked out the names, but left everything else as is. It’s pretty terrifying.

i was right here when it happened. it was the scariest hing ive ever experienced. ***** was there, my brother, his three friends, it was at an after party at tthis guys house, ***** and ***** and a couple other people. we all drank and played music and stuff, had a blast, then the party was calming down, some people were out on the front porch smoking, and i thought it was somebody banging really hard on the wall from out thtere over and over again, turned out o be gunshots, a guy opened the front dor to see why people were banging and a guy was laid up against the door with gunshot wounds all over his chest and stomach. he collapsed into the house and ttwo other people came in announced they were shot. then i heard more gunshots so i loked at my brother and said, “come on NOW!” and me him and **** and **** ran out he back dor as fast as we could and jumped a fence to the neighbors house. ***** was shot multiple times and maybe even killed, the police wouldnt release information on who was dead, shot, alive or anything. like 15 people, the only non wounded people, spend the entire day at he police station doing interviews and waiting and i guess this girl ***** was unaccounted for the whole time, not in the survivors section OR the wounded people. but i heard just in a conversatiotn the a police officer MIGHT have escorted her off the property. i dont know though because she should have been there with us. the guy though after shooting as many people as he could (he had a pistol and a shotgun) he shot himself through the head in the face with his shotgun. ive never seen someones insides exposed like that before, i was terrified, i thought for sure he and maybe even whoever might be accompanying him would bust up in the house right away and shoot up everyone, we just ran the other way as fast as we could. im SO glad to be alive and im also INFINITELY grateful that my brother or ***** or none of my brothers friends were hurt. i would have lost my mind if my brother got shot, or even any of his friends. ill work on getting the names of everyone else that was hurt or killed. i know that 7 were not killed, maybe 2 or 3, and then 3 or 4 seriously injured. anyways, i love you and i love life and i do know that this incident has ruined afterpartys for me forever, unless theyre at a venue with security searching people. seriously. well, i hope this brought you some comfort. i cant believe we were there, like 20 feet from a guy with a shotgun and a pistol just unloading on everyone. i shed tears on the ride home, out of appreciation to be alive and in memory of those who didnt make it. ok, ill talk to you in a minute probably. peace and love

The House

posted by on March 25 at 1:43 PM


Thomas is finding out more about the small blue rental house where the shooting occurred, and apparently it’s well known by neighbors as a party house frequented by the black eyeliner set.

“Parties go on there a lot,” said neighbor Charles Jackson. “But it’s been quiet recently. I usually see a bunch of unusual people going back and forth there.”

David Levin, 23, another neighbor, added: “Last night there were people coming and going all night. A mix of wanna-be gangsters, goth kids, and ravers.”

Levin echoed news reports that say the shooter was at the party earlier in the night, left, and then returned later with a number of weapons, including a shotgun.

The porch of the house reportedly boasts several beer kegs, as well as this creepy doll, captured by The Stranger’s Corianton Hale:


Zombie Rave?

posted by on March 25 at 1:23 PM

A Slog reader agrees with Dan that the Seattle Times probably has the location of the pre-shooting “Zombie Rave” wrong:

I read in the Seattle Times about the location of that Zombie party and thought, “Hmm, that’s funny.” Because when I was walking home past the CHAC last night around 1:45am there were tons of wierd, sketchy, dead-looking, gothy, candy-raver kids crowed in and around CHAC. I was genuinely taken aback because the kids were just completely bizarre — one of them, who looked like he was all of 16, asked me where the nearest “beer store” was. Other kids were sitting on the sidewalk all looking like the Crow on Esctacy decked out in black wings and Tim Burton tights, etc. So thanks for assuring me that what I saw corresponded to what I woke up to on the radio this morning…

This Slog reader also poses a question:

CHAC is an ART venue. Why were they even hosting this creepy, cracked-out raver event?

“I can’t think right now. I can’t feel my arms.”

posted by on March 25 at 1:00 PM

The police press conference has been moved up to 4:30. In the meantime, Thomas has talked to some people in the neighborhood who were awake during the shooting:

“I heard two gunshots,” said Charles Jackson, who lives at the corner of 21st and Republican. “Boom, boom. I put clothes on and ran outside. We saw some guy lying on the sidewalk. Then we saw one person run to the neighbors across the street. He’d been shot in his arm. He said, ‘Let me in I’ve been shot!’”

Jackson said the block was eerily silent as all of this was going on—very little screaming, only the sound of gunshots and the urgent pleas of people who had run out of the house party seeking safety.

Cesar Clemente, another resident of the neighborhood, also came outside at the sound of gunshots and saw people hiding behind bushes at the corner of 21st and Republican. He wanted to let them hide in his house, and told them: “Hurry up, come over here.”

One of the people, a young man in his early 20s, made it to Clemente’s house. This young man, according to Clemente, had been shot in the arm and in the side.

He told Clemente: “I can’t think right now. I can’t feel my arms.”

Another of the people hiding behind the bushes tried to make it to Clemente’s house, but collapsed before he got there. Clemente believes he died.

The Back of the Flyer

posted by on March 25 at 12:17 PM

Both sides of flyer are up at Here’s the back of the flyer, with more info:


The Flyer

posted by on March 25 at 12:07 PM

Here’s the flyer for the Better Off Undead party at CHAC last night:


This may be the end of… what is that? Cuddlegore?

Here’s the Party

posted by on March 25 at 12:02 PM

The Seattle Times is reporting that there was a Zombie Party at Studio Seven. They’re wrong—the party was at CHAC.

From Brown Paper Tickets

march 24th 2006 better off undead ~ funshine productions brings you a night of terror get ready to eat some brains!!!!

better off undead

zombie night ~
march 24th

Delta 9
little terror [pdx )  with mc shank[pdx )
element 666
adam sin
bobby Ritalin  with mcverbal

Come to our zombie/undead creature appreciation dance and rock out to the e.d.m sounds pounding till the break of dawn~ Hardcore, Trance, uk hard house, hard style, garage, and happy core will be playing all night for all you zombie heads to romp around to. It is 15.00 with an undead themed costume 20.00 with-out. zombie movies all night ~
for more info 206)309-8745 movie room hosted by webbwerx all your favorite slasher movies with a side of music runnin till 2 am!!
all ages if you are under 16 must be Accompanied by an adult (bring a sibling, mentor or a parent) Please leave your drugs, alcohol, and weapons at home. Please come in undead attire.

A Neighbor Talks to the Media

posted by on March 25 at 11:56 AM


Flowers and a Wait for a Press Conference

posted by on March 25 at 11:54 AM

The Stranger’s Thomas Francis is at the scene of the shooting, waiting for a police press conference that is set to happen soon. We’ll post again as soon as the press conference finishes.

There’s a lot of police tape around, Thomas says, as well as the beginnings of a makeshift memorial. It was started by Brigham Stevens, who lives a few blocks away. He heard about the shooting on the radio this morning and came by to offer sympathy for the victims by laying flowers at the crime scene, but the police tape kept him well away from the house. So Stevens picked the nearest spot that wasn’t taped off: A traffic circle at the intersection of 21st and Republican.

“It’s just unbelievable this could happen here,” Stevens said.

Famous Last Words?

posted by on March 25 at 11:40 AM

The shooting took place at a house party after last night’s Zombie Rave.

Found this on a blog:

Soo are you excited too be going to our first zombie rave.

yes we are gonna look hott. kinda dead but hott hahahah.


7 Dead in Shooting at Capitol Hill Party

posted by on March 25 at 10:10 AM

Apparently the shooting happened at 21st and Republican around 7 a.m. this morning. A man walked into a house party with a shotgun and killed at least six people, most of them reportedly in their teens or early 20s.

Then, a police officer who had heard the shots arrived at the house and confronted the man. As the officer ordered the man to drop the shotgun, the man turned it on himself, committing suicide.

Anyone know anything more about this? Anyone at this party last night? If so, please email

Sakuracon Kids

posted by on March 25 at 6:43 AM

If you aren’t already going to Sakuracon this weekend, I highly recommend a stroll through Freeway Park tonight or tomorrow (climb the stairs at Terry and Pike Street). The anime convention spills out into park behind the Convention Center, which happens to be awash in cherry blossoms right now… very youth-lovely, very Harajuku.

Friday, March 24, 2006


posted by on March 24 at 9:53 PM

For the majority of the ten years the band has been together, singer Stuart Murdoch lived in a church in Glasgow, where his large flat was rent-free in exchange for him keeping up with the place—”mostly cleaning, clean every morning and late at night, gardening, setting out tables and chairs and stages and platforms for the various organizations, like the Women’s Guild, and the bridge club, coffee mornings, lunch club, that sort of thing,” says Murdoch in this book. He no longer lives there, but he still sings in the choir, reads the Bible, and writes gospel songs about (what else?) God, notably “If You Find Yourself Caught in Love” on Dear Catastrophe Waitress, which is the only album to have a cover photo featuring all seven members of the band.

[This has been a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. And, truthfully, the person you can see best in the photo is not actually in the band. Anyway, they play the Paramount TOMORROW!]

My Honey

posted by on March 24 at 5:24 PM

After nine years of working the Pike/Pine corridor on Cap Hill, I felt like I was running out of lunch options. I’d eaten everything a million times and nothing sounded good. Then I remembered the good ol’ Honey Hole. I got the Dirt Burger (the best meatless patty sandwich ever) and a cup of the salmon chowder. I can still taste it and I’m in heaven. Other faves include the Waverider (turkey and pesto) and the Corleone (aka reuben). Plus they also serve alcohol.

Honey Hole, why did I ever forsake you…?

Here to Disrupt

posted by on March 24 at 2:56 PM

I wandered down to Westlake Center to check out the sound installation by Inphaseprod (aka Robb Kunz) funded by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and 4Culture. Kunz, a former member of the Infernal Noise Brigade, set up a circle of speakers that looked like this, playing field recordings from protests, festivals, and other noisy places where the INB has played.

Kunz built the speakers out of used car amps, 7-ply poplar boards, and found parts. Mostly, people glanced as they walked by, but this cop hung out for awhile, talking to Kunz, and asking about the INB, who are going to perform as part of the installation tomorrow and Sunday. Kunz said it would be a last hurrah for a pack of INB members who are quitting.

So is the Infernal Noise Brigade going to dissolve? Kunz shrugged under the weight of his blaring one-man noisebox:

sound aparatus.jpg

It ebbs and flows,” he said. “It ebbs and flows.”

This Week on Slog

posted by on March 24 at 2:45 PM

In the last seven days we posted 150 entries and received 1,425 comments. That’s an average of 21 posts per day and almost 10 comments per post. Smokin’!

Since it seems like our comments threads were on fire more so than ever this week, I’m going to look back at the hottest topics:

Saturday, March 18

Josh Feit gathered 19 comments on his post about a student walkout at Seattle Prep.

Kurt B. Reighley’s outrage at Poster Giant’s ballsy tear-down tactics gathered 24 comments.

And Dan Savage’s post about South Park’s creators standing up to Scientology garnered 17 comments.

Sunday, March 19

Eli Sanders’s item about Maria Cantwell and Barack Obama’s appearance at Garfield where they were ambushed by antiwar protesters attracted 13 comments.

Monday, March 20

The liveliest discussions on Monday were the Iraq War open thread and a conversation about downtown up-zoning.

Tuesday, March 21

The most popular thread (with 13 comments) was linked to Kurt B. Reighley’s announcement that Capitol Hill’s beloved Confounded Books is closing.

Wednesday, March 22

Dan Savage asked Slog readers to help name a new gay bar opening soon on East Pike Street near Broadway. The owners were deliberating between Pulse and Sugar, neither of which readers were thrilled about. After 80 or so comments, “Fagbar” came out ahead.

Erica C. Barnett’s post about Peter Steinbrueck’s proposed changes to the mayor’s downtown height and density increases attracted 38 comments.

And Dan posted an artist’s rendering of a condo project planned for Broadway and Mercer Street (the building he and Erica argued about on Tuesday) and gathered 27 more comments about smart development.

Thursday, March 23

Hannah Levin infected the Slogosphere with an absolutely compelling time-waster and reaped 73 comments as music lovers puzzled communally.

And Dan gathered 33 more remarks on naming the new Pike Street bar.

Today (Friday, March 24)

As of right now, a likeness of Britney Spears giving birth is neck and neck in the contest for most comments with Cienna Madrid’s response to Joel Connelly’s mention in today’s P-I of one of her anti-Cantwell posts from last week.

Kolbert on Global Warming

posted by on March 24 at 2:36 PM

Last night, in the packed basement auditorium of Town Hall, New Yorker writer and author Elizabeth Kolbert gave a lecture that was both informative and disappointing. Informative because it was full of facts and charts and words you’ve never heard before - like ratiospectrophotometer; disappointing because Kolbert, unlike in her much-heralded series on global warming in the New Yorker, “The Climate of Man”, seemed intent on bombarding the crowd with facts (including a lengthy history of climatology) without any narrative to link them together. I left convinced that global warming was both real and human-caused, but I already believed that going in—as did, I assume, the rest of the earth-tone-clad Seattle audience. What Kolbert didn’t tell me was what all her complex graphs and charts mean for actual people—or, more importantly, what I could do about what she described as “this inexorable process that we have set in motion.” Which is too bad, because her New Yorker series - all three parts of which can be found here, here and here - was great.

Al Gore Has a Point. Too Bad Greg Nickels Doesn’t Get It.

posted by on March 24 at 1:16 PM

“We need to change our habits,” former U.S. VP Al Gore said this morning at Seattle City Hall, hyping Mayor Greg Nickels’s Green Ribbon Commission recommendations—which aim to bring Seattle in line w/ Kyoto standards. (Nickels has gotten 212 other U.S. cities to sign onto his homegrown Kyoto pledge to meet the Kyoto mandate of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels—a treaty the Bush administration flipped off.)

“It is not necessary for us to take 3,000 pounds of metal with us everywhere we go,” Gore advised. Gore’s quip resonated with Nickels’s Green Ribbon Commission’s first recommendation: “Reduce Seattle’s Dependence on Cars.”

The elephant in the living room, however, was Team Nickels’s other big initiative, building a superhighway through downtown Seattle to accommodate 110,000 cars and trucks per day.

Indeed, when Team Nickels is confronted with the smart alternative to make simple traffic fixes to the downtown grid and replace the aging Viaduct with a regular boulevard—an option that would de-emphasize hauling 3,000 pounds of metal around with us everywhere we go—Nickels whines about the 110,000 vehicles that we need to accommodate everyday.

Instead of being an accommodationist to our bad habits, Nickels should follow Gore’s advice and push for urban planning options that don’t perpetuate downtown Seattle as a drive-through greenhouse gas factory.

Sarah Rudinoff: Genius Confirmed

posted by on March 24 at 1:05 PM


It’s no secret: We here at The Stranger, along with many other people, think local performer Sarah Rudinoff is a genius.

After seeing Rudinoff in last night’s opening of Wonderful Town—5th Avenue Theater’s Leonard Bernstein musical revival, of which Rudinoff is one of the leads and the indisputable star—I’m struck again by how fucking lucky we are to have her in our midst.

To those who suspect The Stranger of a pro-Rudinoff bias, so be it. But I watched with my own eyes last night as the entire audience of the 5th Avenue Theater fell deeply in love with her. I’m tempted to say that Wonderful Town gives Rudinoff her best showcase yet—a weird thing to say about a 60-year-old “madcap musical comedy” and an actor/writer with a well-documented soft spot for the punker aspects of performance art. Still, WT showed off sides of Rudinoff’s talent I hadn’t seen before, with Rudinoff giving a wonderfully intelligent and inventive performance in a thoroughly mainstream role.

Props as well to the other leads and the rest of the cast, who all helped make Wonderful Town way more fun that not. Yeah, the show’s fluffy by design, but there’s some grit to the story (Billie Wildrick’s charming Eileen spends the majority of Act 1 deflecting lighthearted rape attempts), and one of the show’s fluffiest scenes is also one of the best. (That gloriously stupid conga number—where Rudinoff is tossed about by marauding sailors—almost made me weep with glee.)

I’ll leave the rest of the critiquing to Christopher Frizzelle, who’ll be writing about the show in next week’s issue. For now, this fact: It’s not often you get to see live performances like the ones routinely given by Sarah Rudinoff, and you should catch ‘em while you can. (The 5th Ave has some good cheap side balcony seats.)

Speedy Global Warming

posted by on March 24 at 12:50 PM

The national press is abuzz over two recent articles on evidence of global warming in the journal Science. But despite beautiful pictures, like this one in the New York Times (cropped for your Slog-viewing pleasure), there are weird equivocations in the newspaper regurgitations.


The New York Times reports that the authors of the studies contend “the new findings made a strong case for the danger of failing to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in a greenhouselike effect.” But the he said/she said journalistic imperative also leads to the following:

Many experts on climate and the poles, citing evidence from past natural warm periods, agreed with the general notion that a world much warmer than today’s, regardless of the cause of warming, will have higher sea levels.

But significant disagreements remain over whether recent changes in sea level and ice conditions cited in the new studies could be attributed to rising concentrations of the greenhouse gases and temperatures linked by most experts to human activities.

Who are these “many experts” who disagree with the studies’ authors? Dear NYT, Take a clue from Elizabeth Kolbert and teach the facts, not the (fake) controversy.

Pick One…

posted by on March 24 at 12:28 PM

I’ve been to a few polyamorous weddings, but not to many polyamorous anniversary parties. William Saletan at Slate thinks he knows why.

Look up other articles on polygamy, even sympathetic ones, and you’ll see the pattern. A Columbia News Service report on last month’s national conference of polyamorists—people who love, but don’t necessarily marry, multiple partners—features Robyn Trask, the managing editor of a magazine called Loving More. The conference Web site says she “has been practicing polyamory for 16 years.” But according to the article, “When Trask confronted her husband about sneaking around with a long-distance girlfriend for three months, he denied it. … The couple is now separated and plans to divorce.” A Houston Press article on another couple describes how “John and Brianna opened up their relationship to another woman,” but “it ended badly, with the woman throwing dishes.” Now they’re in another threesome. “I do get jealous at times,” John tells the reporter. “But not to the point where I can’t flip it off.”

Good luck, John. I’m sure polyamorists are right that lots of people “find joy in having close relationships … with multiple partners.” The average guy would love to bang his neighbor’s wife. He just doesn’t want his wife banging his neighbor. Fidelity isn’t natural, but jealousy is. Hence the one-spouse rule. One isn’t the number of people you want to sleep with. It’s the number of people you want your spouse to sleep with.

I think Saletan gets it wrong—but, hey, I don’t want to be an ingrate or anything. The piece is a defense of gay marriage, an attempt to show that it’s unfair for social conservatives to lump gay marriage in with polygamy and condemn both. Gay marriage needs all the help it can get in this country, and we’re grateful, William, really.

But what Saletan gets wrong, though, is this: The problem with polygamy and/or polyamory isn’t that it allows a married man “to bang his neighbor’s wife,” but that one man plays husband to more than one wife—or one person plays spouse to more than one spouse. The poly guy is expected to treat both his partners, or all three of his partners, as somehow equal. While Saletan cites some examples of jealousy eating away at poly relationships, what really destroyed the relationships he mentions isn’t physical infidelity—it’s not the banging—but the emotional infidelity.

You can forsake all others emotionally and still bang someone else occasionally. Indeed, there’s an organized, heterosexual swinging movement in the United States dedicated to facilitating just that. Two people can commit to each other, put each other first emotionally and socially, and do all the above-and-beyond-banging stuff that spouses are expected to do for each other each other, and still sleep around a bit—indeed, that’s one of the things that social conservatives find so threatening about many gay male relationships. We seem to be capable of committing and also allowing for the occasional outside sexual contact without a lot of drama and divorce—and without a lot conventions in Vegas either. But what isn’t allowed—or sometimes is, but just doesn’t work over the long haul—is a relationship in which two, three, or more people are co-equal spouses.

The poly relationships that I’ve seen work are the ones where there are primary partners and secondary partners, but even that can be difficult to navigate.

Joel Connelly doesn’t think I’m funny :(

posted by on March 24 at 11:52 AM

But maybe he would if he grew a sense of humor.

In a PI article today titled “Cantwell’s vilification by left is bizarre”, devout SLOG fan Joel Connelly censures me for criticizing Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell here and here and here.

Courtesy of the PI:

The senator was pilloried again in a profane article on The Stranger’s blog for remarks after Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was nominated as interior secretary. Cantwell told a news-service reporter that Kempthorne “knows the Northwest.”

The blogger, who grew up in Idaho, has a real hate for Kempthorne; witness this line: “I bagged (Kempthorne’s) groceries once in the Boise Co-op when I was 16, and that night my parents told me they were getting divorced. Coincidence?”

[Confidential to Joel: It’s pretty weak that you lifted a joke from my original Kempthorne slog post to illustrate local Cantwell slandering. It wasn’t even a joke that “pilloried” Cantwell. How does that prove your point at all?
You could have at least referenced Kempthorne’s hideous enviro-record, which led to the subsequent concerns I had about Maria’s nonchalance about working with him. I cannot overlook your poor reporting any more than you can overlook my sense of humor, it appears.]

Elected officials are not above reproach, Joel, Honey. And I have not vilified Cantwell, in fact, on several occasions I have given her mad props for winning a swimsuit competition. Other than that, what I’ve done is bring attention her squirrelly acquiescence to work with an environmental villain.

Here’s an email I wrote morning after reading Joel’s article:

Time will tell how Cantwell handles working with Kempthorne. It’s not like I want her to punk out on the environment, but preserving it is obviously not Kempthorne’s main concern (given his record—which I’ve pointed out many times), and Cantwell’s eagerness, or even friendly acceptance of Kempthorne still makes me confused and wary. This is what I was trying to draw attention to, and it’s reason enough for enviro-lovers to demand that she explain herself. Can we get some clarity? Just exactly what issues does she think she can work well with him on?

Because I called Cantwell’s local offices, and they weren’t able to offer any clarification whatsoever. The most I got out of them was, “She likes that he’s from the Northwest, and she thinks he understands Northwest Issues.”

Vague and Dissatisfying. I was then told someone would get back to me in 4 weeks with more information.

Being from the Northwest doesn’t mean shit to me if you’re not going to work to preserve it, and I still have no clue what these “Northwest Issues” are that Cantwell and Kempthorne will work hand in hand to resolve.

Every environmentalist who is glancingly familiar with Kempthorne’s record is biting their fingers to the knuckle about this—except Cantwell. Why?

Kempthorne was one of the governors who sued to undo the Clinton Administration wild forest protection rules; he’s advocated weakening protection for wildlife, has been outspoken in his desire to strip protection from America’s grizzly bears — and is a strong advocate of drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

I am not casting Cantwell as a villain, but I do think she is casting herself as a fool. Someone is going to have to compromise in this imperfect union—either Cantwell or Kempthorne. And by not acknowledging Kempthorne’s hideous enviro-record, and instead expressing vague enthusiasm for working with him, I believe Cantwell has already shown a readiness to compromise herself.

Suck that, Joel.

Britney’s Sculptural Birth

posted by on March 24 at 11:04 AM

For all those who’ve been waiting for a sculptural depiction of Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug, the wait is over.


Created by Daniel Edwards and scheduled for display next month at Brooklyn’s Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery, Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston is being hyped as “the first Pro-Life monument to birth.”

In the words of the gallery: “Natural aspects of Spears’ pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, compliment a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean’s head…The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva’s pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear’s ears with `water-retentive’ hands.”

For full info on the exhibition, go here.

the dreamy, demonic Rhett Miller

posted by on March 24 at 10:37 AM

If you blew off last night’s stellar solo show by Rhett Miller at the Showbox, fie on you. Backed by his other ensemble, the Believers, the handsome Old 97’s front man turned in a sweat-drenched, high-kicking set of songs from his two solo albums - including the brand new The Believer - and 97’s tunes his “ornery” compadres in his primary group don’t like to play live (“Nineteen”). I’ve grumbled about the poppier direction the ’97s were headed in in the past, but now that Rhett has a full-time solo career, too, his diverse catalog makes more sense. Decide for yourself: He plays a free in-store at the Queen Anne Easy Street Records today at 6 PM. Then, at 8 PM, he’s at EMP, where he promised the crowd he’d be hosting a “devil-worshiping human sacrifice,” although it’s billed as an Oral History… to throw off the authorities, one assumes.

The Benefits of Climate Change

posted by on March 24 at 10:11 AM

A new talking point for pro-emissions politicians: Global warming solves mysteries!

We Are In Brazil

posted by on March 24 at 9:46 AM

Early last year, before the screening of the sci-fi film Brazil at the Science Fiction Museum, I gave a short talk that made two points: One, the film was suddenly relevant because of its theme (a state conducted war on terror); and two, for a better understanding of its inner workings, Brazil had to be examined in the light of the IRA’s bombing of Harrods (a department store in London) on Christmas day in 1983. In V for Vendetta, which is not a great film but certainly relevant, the theme of Brazil, which was released in 1985, is combined with the theme of 1984 (life in the kind of totalitarian state that Sandra Day O’Conner fears we are sliding into) to produce something that looks and feels like our post 9-11 world. V for Vendetta has many problems, particularly its concept of how a revolution works, which, as with all revolutions since the French one that broke open the world in which we still live, imagines a mass action against a repressive order as requiring the negation of the many, or the multitude (to use the language of Negri and Hardt), to form the one. Meaning, the revolution is only possible if the many surrender their differences and become a singular force. Granted, the unification of the many may ensure the overthrow of an oppressive order but, as modern history has shown us, shortly after a victory of this kind there is either, one, The Terror (read Phenomenology of Spirit for a fuller idea of this), or, two, The Betrayal (read The Wretched of the Earth for a fuller idea of this). Anyway, please go and see this action movie, V for Vendetta. It really deserves deeper consideration.

Welcome to Seattle VP Candidate Lloyd Bensten!

posted by on March 24 at 8:50 AM

Hyping his program to bring Seattle into compliance with the Kyoto Protocols, Mayor Nickels will be unveiling a “Green Ribbon” study today at City Hall with the help of former U.S. VP, Al Gore.

It’s pretty cool what Nickels is doing (although, a little annoying, given that the study says we need to reduce auto usage and, um, build rapid transit… thanks, Mayor Gridlock…or do you prefer Mayor downtown super freeway option).

But bitterness aside, Nickels’s national initiative is cool…and pretty Urban Archipelago of him too: Organizing U.S. cities (over 200 already) to lower their production of green house gasses to Kyoto levels. It’s a pointed F U to President Bush.

In the battle of local egos, I guess County Exec Ron Sims has taken it as a pointed F U as well. Yesterday, apparently feeling upstaged by Nickels, Sims announced his own (vague) plan to lower harmful emissions.

Additionally, as a follow-up to Nickels’s morning presentation with Gore today, Sims will be having a brown bag lunch presentation over at the County Court House this afternoon to roll out his own study, hosted by former VP candidate Lloyd Bentsen.

At least that’s what Nickels’s people tell me. Go get ‘em, Team Sims.


posted by on March 24 at 1:29 AM

Thursday afternoon I made a $250 contribution to Darcy Burner’s campaign to unseat first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th District. (You should too—click here to make a donation.) Thursday night I went to the New York Times website to take a look at Friday’s headlines, and saw this: Women Wage Key Campaigns for Democrats.

Democratic women are running major campaigns in nearly half of the two dozen most competitive House races where their party hopes to pick up enough Republican seats to regain control of the House. Democratic strategists are betting that the voters’ unrest and hunger for change—reflected consistently in public opinion polls—create the perfect conditions for their party’s female candidates this year.

I quickly scanned the story, looking for Darcy Burner’s name—but she’s not in there. There’s an illo of “Democratic Women to Watch,” and Burner’s not in there either.

Hm. This is an oversight on the part of the NYT, and not, I think, an indication that Burner doesn’t have a shot in Washington’s increasingly liberal, increasingly urban 8th District. Still, it would have been nice to see Burner’s name in the piece.

[I posted this Thursday night at 10, but I moved it to Friday AM so that it wouldn’t get lost.]

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Get Your Ass in Gear

posted by on March 23 at 6:02 PM

Tonight at the Baltic Room, Bootylib launches. It promises to be one of the more banging club nights in Seattle (I briefly mention it in this Data Breaker column). Check out the press release after the jump. See you there.

Continue reading "Get Your Ass in Gear" »


posted by on March 23 at 5:37 PM

The title song on The Boy with the Arab Strap has nothing to do with the sex toy; the song is inspired by a trip to London that Belle and Sebastian took with Scottish post-funk indie band Arab Strap. According to this book, Arab Strap singer Aidan Moffat was pissed to be immortalized as such—although, frankly, Moffat’s issue seems a bit odd. It’s a font issue. “Arab Strap was on the front of their album in bigger letters than Belle and Sebastian, and that isn’t fucking cricket. I’m sure they’d be pissed off if we called our next album ‘Belle and Sebastian’…” In an interview with, Moffat added: “There’s a limit to putting someone else’s name on an album. They’re taking something away from us.”

[This has been a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. As fate would have it, Arab Strap are also playing in Seattle this week. Isn’t life delicious?]

Detroit Electronic Music Festival

posted by on March 23 at 5:24 PM

It’s on, which is good news for fans of world-class electronic music. DEMF is one of the best music-fest deals in the world, but its six-year history has been riddled with financial and organizational debacles.

The Motor City’s never more inviting during this time of year (Memorial Day weekend) and DEMF’s good vibes can almost make you forget you’re in one of the most depressed (and depressing) cities in America. Thankfully, the esteemed Paxahau crew will be organizing the event, so expect many exciting bookings from the full electronic-music spectrum. Keep ‘em peeled here for updates as the date (May 27-29) creeps closer.

Leprechauns and Crackheads?

posted by on March 23 at 5:04 PM

I know this is a week late, but it still gives me giggles.

Snakes on a Plane Update

posted by on March 23 at 4:55 PM

Today’s news, courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter:

As film backstories go, this one is fairly serpentine. This month, New Line Cinema’s “Snakes on a Plane,” which wrapped principal photography in September in Vancouver, went back before the cameras for five days of additional shooting at the Lot in Los Angeles. In this case, it wasn’t the usual reshoot, hastily assembled to fix a nagging story problem. Instead, the studio decided to create new scenes that would take the movie from PG-13 into R-rated territory. The second round of filming also came about because of intense and growing fan interest in the movie, which was directed by David R. Ellis and is not scheduled to be released until Aug. 18.

The first part is good news. Snakes on a Plane needs to be rated R. Why? Because there’s motherfucking snakes on the goddamn plane, that’s why!

The second part of the article is troubling, however. August 18 is a long, long ways away—too long for me to keep my excitement up about a movie, even if that movie will surely be The. Movie. Of. The. Year. Thankfully, Jeffrey Wells from the site Hollywood Elsewhere reports:

My New Line source says “there’s a heavy debate about this going on right now. Some want to stay with August because that gives you a couple of weeks free and clear…the competition isn’t too bad then. But others want to go sooner, for obvious reasons.”

Wells also points to the glory that is this.


posted by on March 23 at 4:05 PM

Dear Christopher, Megan, and Charles:

In y’all’s honors, I did a quick news search for mayonnaise and crime and Belle and Sebastian and crime.

The first search yielded this: “Two women are at large in the Kenner, La., area after one slashed a Rally’s restaurant manager in February with a razor blade because her requested substitution (mayonnaise for tartar sauce on her fish sandwich) was not honored.”

The second, this, from “Cheap Belle And Sebastian Tickets… HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime!” This was one of the sites that was selling tickets to the Pillowman for seats that didn’t exist.


posted by on March 23 at 4:00 PM

Did you know you can make a cake with MAYONNAISE!? It’s true!

Here’s the recipe from

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Rich and moist, this old favorite can be slimmed down by using reduced calorie mayonnaise, although the final result won’t be quite as moist.

1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cocoa, firmly packed
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the cocoa, and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the mayonnaise and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and cocoa mixture, beating until incorporated.

With mixer at low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until batter is combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans, and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

I’m going to make one tonight. I’ll post photos for you tomorrow. I’ll also force my co-workers to eat it and post their reviews as well. You can’t make a cake with Belle and Sebastian.

Re: Go, Peter, Go!

posted by on March 23 at 3:45 PM

Two diametrically opposed, but equally intriguing, perspectives on Seattle’s downtown upzone can be found here and here.

Like Knitting, But…

posted by on March 23 at 3:43 PM

Bitchin’ cross-stitchin’!


posted by on March 23 at 3:33 PM

Last night after work Eli Sanders and I went to Madison Pub to play some video games (Monster Madness!), have a few beers, and check out the boys shooting pool. I was kicking Eli’s ass when he said, “Hey, that guy has an ITMFA T-shirt on!” I thought he was trying to distract me from the game—I was kicking his ass, you see—and refused to look up. “No, I’m totally serious,” Eli said.

And so I looked up.


Lewil read about ITMFA—which stands for “impeach the motherfucker already”—in Savage Love, and had a T-shirt made. I launched a website——a few weeks ago. The website is still, uh, under construction, but it’s coming along. I also got a simpler URL for it——this week. (A big thanks to the guy who registered that domain name after seeing ITMFA in the column and then gave it to me.)

I’ve ordered tasteful lapel pins and stark black buttons, both of which are in, and they’re going to go on sale next week. All profits will go to the ACLU. Check next week for ordering info.

When I was done kicking Eli’s ass, I bought Lewil and his friends a pitcher of beer, and I’ll do the same for anyone else I spot wearing ITMFA buttons, T-shirts, or lapel pins.

Hipsters of the World, I Direct Your Attention to IFOTD

posted by on March 23 at 3:30 PM

I didn’t see it, because it was buried in the comments field of Monday’s BASFOTD, but Ryan Chapman (his blog his here) is making good on his promise to post an Interpol Fact of the Day for every one of my Belle and Sebastian Facts of the Day—although, to keep things simple, he’s starting a thread for this in our Forums.

[Confidential to Ryan: you didn’t post an IFOTD to correspond with Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s BASFOTD… so, um, you got some catching up to do. Confidential to anyone wondering which of B&S’s albums to start with: my advice is here. Everyone else: Today’s BASFOTD will be up within the hour, God help me.]


posted by on March 23 at 3:25 PM

Not technically knitting, but…


Bird Flu in Northern Mexico?

posted by on March 23 at 3:22 PM

This is the kind of headline I don’t like to see.

Humans Hostile Hosts to Bird Flu!

posted by on March 23 at 3:19 PM

This is the kind of headline I like to see.

Time-Waster of the Day

posted by on March 23 at 3:02 PM

Sure, it’s a promo device for Virgin Records, but I don’t care, this is endlessly entertaining—ideal entertainment for a stoned music fan or anyone trapped in cubicle hell. Supposedly there are 75 band names depicted in the painting below. Some are obvious (Guns ‘N Roses, B-52s, Smashing Pumpkins, Black Flag), but I’m still trying to find a couple dozen more. Please post your findings in the comments section.


Oversized image can be viewed here.

Put Up or Shut Up

posted by on March 23 at 2:59 PM

The whole debate Dan and Erica were having this week about the design of the condos going up on the north end of Broadway was sparked when developer Schnitzer Northwest released their design plans—and they got panned by Bob Burkheimer, the developer who owns the property across the street. Burkheimer complains that the design isn’t in keeping with “the character of the neighborhood.”

You know what Bob: You’re the one who pushed for a height rezone on Broadway so you could change the current character of the neighborhood by building something. Right now the character of the neighborhood is empty lots and closed shops.

My advice to you is put up or shut up (literally). You have no right to bust on Schnitzer Northwest. Sure, maybe you think the design is ugly (it looks okay to me)…but it’s certainly better than the blank grafittied lot you’ve got going across the street.

What are you waiting for? You got what you wanted from the city, now return the deed. Build.

The Knitta You Love to Love

posted by on March 23 at 2:41 PM

The letter just arrived in the Stranger editor in-box, from one Erika Barcott:

OMFG there’s a picture of my treesweater on the cover of The Stranger! I am about ready to DIE from being thrilled. (Is it even possible to die of thrilledness? I will let you know.)

For those who haven’t yet seen it or would value a reminder, here’s the treesweater cover:

Even better, Erika has an essay on the making of the treesweater—complete with knitting pattern information—posted on her blog here.

Erika continues:

Also, a BIG thank you to Steven Cobb for taking the picture and submitting it. His picture makes the treesweater look FANTASTIC! Thank you so much, you folks have made my YEAR!

Dear Erika: You are welcome. Thank you for the amazing treesweater.

Is the Green Party’s Candidate for U.S. Senate Even Registered to Vote?

posted by on March 23 at 2:38 PM

Horsesass has what could be a pretty juicy scoop on Aaron Dixon, the Green Party candidate who’s running against Democratic Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell.

Apparently the man so disgusted with Cantwell and the Dems that he’s willing to pour his energies into giving voters a third choice, isn’t even an active voter himself! … And there’s no record that he’s ever been credited with voting.

I called Dixon’s campaign just now to ask whether he’s registered to vote, and in response to this simple question was told someone would have to call me back later. Doesn’t inspire much confidence in Dixon’s voting record. As Goldy at Horsesass asks:

So why the hell is he running for the US Senate?

Now I don’t want to get all high and mighty on him, but in my book, you don’t have much right to criticize the electoral process if you don’t participate. And if anybody should understand the importance of minority communities exercising their voting rights, it’s a longtime activist and former Black Panther Party leader like Aaron Dixon.

I mean, really… who the hell is Dixon to talk about “all the people fed up with the current political system” if he doesn’t vote?

Darcy Burner Web Fundraiser

posted by on March 23 at 12:35 PM

Democrats need to take 15 seats from Republicans this fall if they want to win back the House of Representatives. And in Washington State this year, there’s only one House race in which Democrats have a good chance of snatching a seat from a Republican incumbent.

It’s the race for the eastside’s 8th Congressional District, between Republican Congressman Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Darcy Burner. This race has been getting a bunch of notice from party officials in D.C. lately, with Republican Senator John McCain recently conceding that Reichert is in a “tight race” to hold on to his seat.

What could make the race even tighter?

Well, $250,000 in “Red to Blue” money from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee could certainly help Burner tip the already-shifting 8th District into the Democrats’ column. But in order to qualify for the “Red to Blue” money she needs to have $320,000 cash on hand by March 31. Over at Horsesass, Goldy is running a web fundraiser to help Burner get there.

Burner’s campaign manager, Zach Silk, tells me Burner still needs about $60,000 to reach the $320,000 target, but that she’s been raising money at a fast clip this month thanks to the increasing interest in her campaign.

Artful Chaos to Take Over Westlake This Weekend

posted by on March 23 at 10:59 AM

The world-infamous Infernal Noise Brigade, including their brand-new dance team, is planning something big this Saturday and Sunday at Westlake Park. Word on the street says some sort of grand cacophony will go down promptly at 4:30 p.m. both days. Get there before the cops do. It should be fun to watch the grimaces of unsuspecting shoppers.

The live performance will interrupt a related audio installation that’s in place at the park today through Sunday. Creator Inphaseprod says to expect a “sound composition for 16 loudspeakers carefully mixed for spatial orientation. Aimed at sonically recreating situations of street liberation, strategic blockades, and other manifestations with an emphasis on the music of the Infernal Noise Brigade and its ability to transform tedium into the ecstatic.”


Evolution: Too Hot for IMAX

posted by on March 23 at 10:52 AM

So I saw the new IMAX/Warner Bros. production, Deep Sea 3-D a few days ago, and for the most part, I was impressed. You can read my review in this week’s Film Shorts. It’s gorgeous, there are some amazing-looking creatures, and the kid-friendly narration (by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet) has a sense of humor about itself. (The movie opens Friday at Pacific Science Center.)

Director Howard Hall and producer Michelle Hall were at the screening, and afterward, someone in the audience had the sense to ask, “I noticed you touched on symbiosis and other biology concepts in the narration. But you never used the word ‘evolution.’ Was that on purpose?

(If the interlocutor had been really clever, he would have said, “by design.”)

Howard Hall replied, “Absolutely. The word ‘evolution’ does not appear in this film. Neither does ‘sex.’ This is on purpose. There are some things you just don’t say in a commercial theater.”

He went on to refer obliquely to evolution-haters “in the Midwest” and quickly said he hadn’t seen that sort of thing here in the Northwest. (Hello, Discovery Institute.)

I can’t endorse a boycott, which I think would be counterproductive, but I am going to write a letter to IMAX and Warner Bros. If a SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY isn’t a safe forum for discussion of evolution, what next?

Beards, people!! BEARDS!

posted by on March 23 at 10:41 AM

What have I been telling you?!?!

Name That Gay Bar

posted by on March 23 at 10:31 AM

Yesterday I Slogged about a chance meeting with the owners of Seattle’s newest gay bar—which hasn’t opened yet, and hasn’t settled on a name. They were torn between PULSE and SUGAR, and I offered to toss up a Slog post and get a little input from the Stranger’s fag-representin’ readership. The results…

Nobody liked Pulse or Sugar. Other suggestions included Shirtlifters, Gaysha, Santorum’s, Pre-func, Poncey, Tweaker’s Corner, Asshammer, Mocambo, Rehab, Cockpit, and Tim Eyman’s.

But most people seemed to like a suggestion that David S. and I came up with almost simultaneously: Fagbar.

So Fagbar it is—yes, new bar owners, this is binding arbitration—unless we can come up with something better.

A Little Chin Music

posted by on March 23 at 10:09 AM

Courtesy of the Onion:

SAN DIEGO—In an interview following Japan’s 10-6 victory against Cuba in the World Baseball Classic championship game Monday, Ichiro Suzuki called the tournament a “great opportunity to represent anything besides the Seattle Mariners.” “Playing alongside my countrymen on the world stage was nice, but the highlight of the event for me was not having to watch helplessly from the on-deck circle as [Seattle outfielder] Willie Bloomquist pops out for the fourth time in one game,” said Ichiro, who has been contemplating a return to his non-Mariner roots since late 2003. “Honestly, I would have played for the Netherlands team if it meant 17 days away from the Mariners spring-training camp.” Although he said that the legendary Sadaharu Oh did a fine job coaching Team Japan, Ichiro added that “next to Mike Hargrove, any idiot in a baseball cap would seem like a decent manager.


For those who care, the Mariners’ home opener is Monday, April 3 against the California Angels at Anaheim, or whatever they’re called.

Mississippi Outlaws Sex Toys

posted by on March 23 at 9:59 AM


In Mississippi, people can buy guns at a gun show with no background check and certain weapons can be carried almost anywhere. Sure, guns and toys can bring joy and a sense of comfort to the user, but apparently the legislators concluded that a genital replica is a far greater threat to society. 

This, from a state that levies only an 18-cent tax on cigarettes, 55 cents below the national average and where 62 percent of residents are overweight, making it the fattest state in the country.  Yet still the public schools don’t make gym class compulsory.  Mississippi’s laws would make you believe sex is the single greatest threat to public safety and well-being.

Don’t tell the good folks of Mississippi, but any kinkster will tell you that the best place to buy sex toys is a hardware store. Over at Amazon, frustrated residents of Mississippi can order a copy of Kinkycrafts: 99 Do-It-Yourself S/m Toys for the Kinky Handyperson. People who’ve purchased Kinkycrafts rave about it…

What a great way to enhance your love life, without having to spend much money on expensive toys. My mate and I have never been so excited to go to a hardware store!
You’ll never pass a hardware store without smiling again! This book is chock-full of wonderful toy ideas, aimed at a wide range of interests, price ranges, and skills (even for those who aren’t normally into crafts, like myself). For the price of one or two floggers at an adult store, I’ve made several small projects and they’ve been great!
Some of the ideas presented in this book are genius… others are just weird. But there are more than enough projects for the person casually interested in the scene to make, before spending the BIG bucks on custom-made [sex] toys… You’ll never look at your local hardware store the same way again!

Ace is the place. Pass it on.

Drug Trouble

posted by on March 23 at 9:33 AM

I enjoy a humongous bong hit as much as the next emotionally conflicted honky writer, but judging from today’s news reports, drugs are nothing but trouble.

The first story is the stupidest, involving a man from Tampa who reportedly purchased some crack, but was unsure if he’d gotten “the real thing.” His solution: Consult some nearby police officers. Full stupid story here.

The second story involves officers as well. This time they were sheriff’s deputies from Omaha’s Sarpy County, and the drug in question was crystal meth, which the deputies reportedly found laced in their food at an “area restaurant.” (I love an area restaurant!) According to Sarpy County’s KPTM News, two of the three officers dining at the restaurant were in uniform at the time of the suspected poisoning, and all are fine now. Authorities continue to search for the food-tainting tweaker whose contempt for cops somehow overrode his or her need to ingest every fleck of meth they can get their hands on. Full story here.

Finally we land in the world of legal drugs, thanks to the ongoing discovery of insulting judgments found printed on Walgreen’s prescription receipts. From the manic-depressive woman who found herself labelled a crazy psycho to the undiagnosed mother-of-three labelled “a bitch,” Walgreens has offended a number of Florida customers with such insulting editorializing on their drug utilization reviews (those info sheets that get stapled to bags of prescription meds). Full story, as always, here.

In closing, please enjoy this photo of a man with a dolphin head preparing to do heroin.


Re: Beware the Unbelievers

posted by on March 23 at 8:47 AM

Perhaps researchers at the University of Minnesota should ask Americans who they would rather be held captive by—athiests or religious people?

When these study subjects pick loving, compassionate believers over Godless, heartless athiests, researchers should share the results of this study with them and then ask if they’re having any second thoughts. The study found that religious people were more likely to support torture than non-religious people. As Andrew Sullivan wrote on his blog yesterday…

Most disturbing to me are the high numbers of self-decribed Christians favoring torture: only 26 percent of Catholics oppose it in all circumstances, while only 31 percent of white Protestants rule it out entirely. If you combine those Christians who think torture is either never or only rarely acceptable, you have 42 percent of Catholics and 49 percent of white Protestants. The comparable statistic of those who are decribed as “secular,” which I presume means agnostic or atheist, is 57 percent opposition. In other words, if you are an American Christian, you are more likely to support torture than if you are an atheist or agnostic. Christians for torture: it’s a new constituency. Another part of the Bush legacy.

Um… wasn’t Jesus Christ a torture victim? I seem to recall a recent Mel Gibson movie that touched on that. Or maybe it was Mel Brooks?

Beware the Unbelievers

posted by on March 23 at 8:42 AM

According to a new study from the University of Minnesota, Americans rate those who don’t believe in invisible sky people as even less trustworthy than immigrants and gays. Shocking.

American’s [sic] increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn’t extend to those who don’t believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota’s department of sociology.

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

Many of the study’s respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to rampant materialism and cultural elitism.

Clearly, the 3% of Americans who identify themselves as atheist are behind all of our problems. Look at all the wars they’ve started. Not to mention the cultural elitism. Damn atheists, think they’re so big.

And what’s with the phrase, “allow their children to marry”?

The study also makes this unexpected discovery:

The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one’s exposure to diversity, education and political orientation—with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts.

As a devout atheist, I couldn’t be more pleased. Our plan is working. Bring on the rampant materialism!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


posted by on March 22 at 11:40 PM

Today’s item comes from a Slog reader in Scotland, who writes [footnotes are mine]:

Hi Christopher,

I’ve been enjoying the BSFOTDs, so nevermind the naysayers.1 And I thought you’d enjoy this: I just turned on BBC1 and they were showing highlights of the Chelsea/Newcastle football match2 tonight, set to “The Blues are Still Blue.”3 It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of B&S being used to convey the glamour and athleticism of professional sports would’ve been unthinkable.4 Imagine highlights of Michael Johnson5 running the 100 while Stuart shyly mumbles “Stars of track and field are beautiful people.”


Gabriel in Edinburgh

1. The identity of one of my naysayers has recently come to my attention. Turns out this is someone who for years has been rolling his eyes at me because I am not up on what is *cool* at any given second, disqualifying himself as someone whose concerns I’m going to take seriously.
2. Chelsea won, 1-0.
3. Track four on the new album, The Life Pursuit, and the second single to be released, “The Blues Are Still Blue” is a groovy ditty set in a launderette about how when you put all your clothes together in the machine and then take them out, the black will be gray and the white will be gray but the blues are still blue.
4. It’s true, athleticism isn’t really associated with the band’s milieu, but this has been a misconception from the beginning. Stuart Murdoch is a football—er, soccer—player; according to Paul Whitelaw’s book Belle and Sebastian: Just a Modern Rock Story, Murdoch has “been chancing his shins on the football fields since an early age and continues to play in his local sport center’s five-a-side team to this day, alongside B&S keyboardist Chris Geddes and manager Neil Robertson… Something of an athlete in his youth, a still-spry Stuart can often be glimpsed today sprinting determinedly around Glasgow…”
5. Former U.S. sprinter; holds five Olympic gold medals.

[This has been an international installment of Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. Gabriel, thanks for writing. To the man who has promised an Interpol fact of the day every time I post a BASFOTD, the comments field is right there; make it good. Everyone else: Belle and Sebastian play the Paramount this Saturday. The New Pornographers open. Do whatever you can.]

The Big Show

posted by on March 22 at 6:51 PM

In tomorrow’s Stranger, I write about the big, fat Whitney Biennial 2006 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NY, one of those shows that far-flung critics are supposed to flock to, because if you don’t, you’re the girl who missed the biggest slumber party of freshman year and will misunderstand references to it forevermore. The biennial, as Calvin Tomkins says, is “the closest thing to a national salon.” Journalistically speaking, it is the type of story that far-flung critics flock to and then pronounce irrelevant, and following this logic, the learning curve should curb the flocking, but actually, this ritual exercise is a passive aggression that only an arts journalist outside of New York can love. The flurry of stories that come out after the show are as much a performance as the exhibition itself.

Snubs are always the most fun, and these come this time from Peter Schjeldahl of the New Yorker, who hasn’t even reviewed the thing in full; Christopher Knight, the salty, crusading Getty reformer at the LAT; and Modern Art Notes blogger Tyler Green. On the other side of the aisle are the incomparable, salty-with-a-soul Jerry Saltz for the Voice, and NYT’s loosey-goosey Michael Kimmelman.

The complaints go like this: The art is ugly. The show is sprawling. It’s also too small, because a single show is incapable of providing a panoramic view of American artmaking over the last two years. And hey! Those curators are European-born.

Complaining makes for good reading, but—my apologies—I did not complain much in The Stranger simply because I was not so moved. I did not find the art abusively ugly. The installation was, but it’s less important. And who cares about a panorama? Considering the state of the world, I’d like a manifesto, an organizing principle, or at the very least, a mood capable of being argumentative, thank you very much. If I have to drop the “best-of” concept in order to get it, so much the better, considering the arbitrariness and provinciality of the “American” (read: NY/LA) art world. This was the first themed biennial, and the theme wasn’t a constricting presence but a rich and lovely metaphor—Day For Night, describing the filmic technique of shooting nighttime scenes during the day with filters—that eloquently supported a core of works grappling with the dark forests of contemporary American business, popular culture, and foreign policy.

I disagreed with most of Knight’s close readings and I found his call for the dismantling of the biennial predictable and overstated, but I love how far he is reaching on behalf of art when he writes, “Had the museum organized—separate from the regularly scheduled biennial machine—a sharp, cogent theme show dissecting imperial U.S. ambitions and taking on an activist role, the exceptional effort might have galvanized attention.” It sounds like he and I want the same show, and I don’t care whether it comes in the form of a biennial or not. I simply had the feeling that this biennial was a halfhearted protest show. In the end, I couldn’t tell whether many of the artists were drifting toward apathy or activism.

My favorite review is Saltz’s. He writes in terms both aesthetic and political, and as always, in plain English:

“Day for Night” is the liveliest, brainiest, most self-conscious Whitney Biennial I have ever seen. In some ways it isn’t a biennial at all. Curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne have rebranded the biennial, presenting a thesis, not a snapshot, a proposition about art in a time when modernism is history and postmodernist rhetoric feels played out. This show, and the art world, are trying to do what America can’t or won’t do: Use its power wisely, innovatively, and with attitude; be engaged and, above all, not define being a citizen of the world narrowly.

The award for sharpest, most cogent diss goes to Green, who damns the show on strictly aesthetic terms:

The 2006 Whitney Biennial is an awesomely bad exhibition, an all-in presentation of a narrow strain of today’s art. … The show is full of hideous things that consciously reject the viewer’s first glance and don’t deserve a second. The show is badly installed, crowded and over-stuffed with curatorial gasbagging that turns wall text into wall essays. Finally, curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne apparently felt the need to compete with the artists, to create installation art out of groupings of artists in some kind of effort to say something. (Isn’t that what artists are for?) I suppose some of this is bound to happen when curators are compelled to prove the relevance of a tired concept. The Whitney Biennial needs to be gutted, almost destroyed, to be saved.

And most surely, the award for most creative review goes to Artnet’s Ben Davis, who wrote about the anonymously authored wall texts using images of those instead of the art:

We are told of (Anne) Collier’s “determination to continually test and subvert her own artistic practice.” Sure, just like everyone. Aside from containing a split infinitive, this last phrase is notable because it represents another key feature of these commentaries—they tell you how to feel or experience the art. Amid the hubbub of competing works, there’s clearly a fear that the viewer will not be able to stand still long enough to decipher any particular work. A nearly abstract Jennie Smith pencil drawing of strange creatures “is explicit in its relation to themes of ecological awareness and social change”—though apparently not so explicit that we don’t need to be told about it.

One last thought: Green has advocated that the biennial will not get the ventilation it needs to grow and mature unless it goes on tour. If it ever came to Seattle, the Frye Art Museum should host. After all, the Frye and the Whitney were born the same accidentally anti-establishmentarian way: by the rejection of the Man. In New York, the Whitneys offered their collection to the Metropolitan, and they were turned down, so they started their own eventual powerhouse. Once upon a time, the Seattle Art Museum didn’t want anything to do with the collection of Charles and Emma Frye, and now look what has happened—the place is hopping.

Go, Peter, Go!

posted by on March 22 at 5:56 PM

Peter Steinbrueck’s amendments to the mayor’s downtown height and density increases passed 5-0 (with Jan Drago abstaining) in the council’s urban planning committee today with minimal alterations - a victory for affordable housing supporters and Belltown residents who didn’t want large parking garages at street level in their neighborhood.

In addition to upzoning most of downtown by about a third, Steinbrueck’s legislation:

• Requires developers to pay between $17 and $19 a square foot, on average, into a fund that would build affordable housing downtown (the exact amount will be determined between now and Monday);

• Prohibits new parking garages downtown except on small (30,000 square feet or smaller) lots, where developers who build parking above ground would be required to build an equivalent amount of parking below the surface; and

• Requires new parking garages to include storefronts at sidewalk level, to “create some activity” on the street.

Two amendments by Jan Drago failed 5-2 (Nick Licata left before the end of the meeting): One would have upzoned a small plot of land in Pioneer Square whose owner wants to build a residential tower; the other would have reduced the average housing bonus in Steinbrueck’s plan to less than $16 a square foot. The mayor wanted the bonus to be just $10 a foot, making the legislation the council passed this afternoon a huge victory for Steinbrueck, who had pushed for $20.

Must-See TV: The Daily Show, South Park

posted by on March 22 at 5:09 PM

Last night: The Daily Showwatch this clip.

Tonight: South Park. Read my post about tonight’s episode, and then be sure to watch tonight’s episode. Tom Cruise and his lawyers will be watching “The Return of Chef!”, and so should you.

Xenu commands it!

Tacoma’s Pigs Are Better Than Spokane’s Kids

posted by on March 22 at 4:55 PM

For Jen Graves

SPOKANE, Wash. — A dispute over a Beatles poster led to the killing of a man whose body was found in the Spokane River, police say.

In an affidavit filed to obtain an arrest warrant, police wrote that Robert A. Entel Jr., 18, told investigators he strangled Bud Robert Johnson, 45, with a computer cord.

By contrast, Entel’s roommate, who said Entel is her cousin, told officers he talked of holding Johnson’s head under water in the river. She said he told her watching the last bubbles rise to the surface was “better than sex,” investigators wrote.

Entel was described as 6-foot-3 and about 200 pounds, while Johnson, a diabetic, as 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds.

Something tells me that this young man was a virgin.

Re: Ben Noble

posted by on March 22 at 4:45 PM

Picking a new director for the city council’s central staff gave council a chance to put a savvy politico in the slot. For example, over at the County Council, they have a chief of staff whose main role is political rather than policy oriented. And so: The King County Council often routs County Executive Ron Sims, just like they did last week in the office move debate.

At the city, part of the reason Team Ceis runs circles around the city council is because council’s policy wing is so zoomed in on policy wonkery that they get out-foxed by the mayor’s political machine, which tends to focus on the bigger political picture instead of the righteousness of the details. This is because the council’s central staff chief is usually more a policy-head than a politics-head.

In picking Ben Noble, the wonkiest (smartest?) guy I’ve ever met (guarantee Noble got 1600 on his SATs—or at least 800 on the math portion), it may appear that Council President Nick Licata and crew blew an opportunity—opting for wonkery over Machiavelli(y).

Think again!

Noble’s a double threat. The guy isn’t only smart as hell, but he’s also a subtle political operator.

Nice choice.

P.s. To my smartest (and best) friend Tom N. It’s true. Ben’s as good as you at the math. Plus, (just like you) he can explain it to math dyslexics like me.

In Rare Non-Broadway-Related News

posted by on March 22 at 3:56 PM

The city council chose smart, wonky city staffer Ben Noble as its new central staff director yesterday, ending a months-long wait to see who would replace brainy economic analyst Saroja Reddy as head of the council’s research and analysis division. Central staffers, unlike council aides, work for the council as a whole; the council has frequently used their analysis to call bullshit on Mayor Nickels’s development proposals. Noble, who has been on central staff since 2000, has been serving as interim central staff director since Reddy took a job at the Gates Foundation.

Terrorists Take Note

posted by on March 22 at 3:41 PM

Today ETA (the Basque independence movement’s isolated, weak, and politically irrelevant terrorist wing) has declared a cease-fire and Catalonia struck a deal with Spain for greater official autonomy. In their struggles for linguistic and political independence against fascist (Franco-era) and post-fascist Spain, the Basque Country nurtured its terrorist organization while Catalonia worked slowly and steadily for political solutions.

Today, far more Catalans speak Catalan than Basques speak Basque and Catalonia has more political independence and political clout both in Spain and the EU.

Of course there were political machinations and deals and every terrorist group is its own animal, but terrorists might want to examine the Basque-Catalan nationalist movements as an object lesson in what you can—and can’t—achieve by assassinating perceived enemies and blowing up busses.

McGavick’s Mixed Messaging

posted by on March 22 at 3:10 PM

In money terms, Republican senate hopeful Mike McGavick did well last night at his fancy downtown Seattle fundraiser. With Arizona Senator John McCain as the star draw, McGavick raked in more than $300,000.

But in terms of messaging, the event was rather Twilight Zone. And reading today’s papers, I can tell I’m not the only reporter who left scratching his head. McGavick used the event, held in a huge ballroom at the Westin Hotel, to position himself as a maverick moderate in the McCain mold. (How’s that for a lot of M’s?)

Of McCain, McGavick said: “He is exactly my role model for what a United States Senator ought to be.

Ok, we’re with you so far, Mr. McGavick.

But one question: Your opponent, Democrat Maria Cantwell, often joins forces with McCain when he’s doing his moderate thing on issues such as global warming, campaign finance reform, and healthcare. Cantwell also gets a lot of heat from liberals for being too moderate. So why replace a moderate incumbent who McCain likes (Cantwell) with a moderate challenger who McCain also likes (McGavick)? What’s so urgent about your campaign, Mr. McGavick?

McGavick answered that question by decrying “the mean-spirited partisan bickering that so dominates Washington (D.C.) now.” And McCain amplified the point, telling the crowd: “It’s time for a change.” But as Alex Frier of the Seattle Times pointed out this morning, that call to action was a bit puzzling because…

…it was not clear whom they were targeting.

Exactly my thought as I was leaving the event. If voters are mad at D.C. and find themselves moved by a “time for a change” message, it’s not going to be the Democrats who suffer this fall. It’s going to be the Republicans, who control both houses of Congress and the presidency. So it’s quite strange to hear McGavick running against D.C. and telling people it’s time for a change when this November, he’s going to be the candidate with a big R next to his name on the ballot.

In his Seattle Times story, Frier also has some fun with another bit of McGavick mixed messaging. At the event, McGavick made a point of decrying pork-barrel allocations that have driven up federal spending. McCain echoed this complaint, slamming a proposed “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska as a prime example. But as Frier notes, that “Bridge to Nowhere”…

…was heavily pushed by Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, an early ally of the McGavick campaign.

Got that? The example of what we don’t want is… The guy up north who’s a McGavick backer. The guy who also backed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—until a certain junior senator from Washington famously stood up to him. (Hint: she’s McGavick’s opponent.)

Other coverage of the strange evening is here, here, and here. And while you try to puzzle out where McGavick is going with his messaging, consider this: The latest poll shows McGavick trailing Cantwell by a hefty 13 points.

Name Seattle’s Newest Gay Bar

posted by on March 22 at 2:30 PM

So I just ran into the guys who are opening Seattle’s newest gay bar. It’s in the space next door to the Comet, across the street from Neumo’s. It the former location of The Easy. (Gee, remember when Seattle had two dyke bars, not one? Those were the days.) Anyway, they’re having a hard time picking a name. Right now they’re torn between…




I told ‘em I would toss up a Slog post and let Stranger readers weigh in, and they were excited about hearing from you. So is Pulse too circuity? Is Sugar too druggy? Wanna suggest a better name?

It’s going to be a dance club, and the space looks amazing. No word yet on whether or not they’ll be bringing back The Easy’s legendary Monte Christos, but the dance floor is cool, and it looks like they’re going to have a stage, so maybe some enterprising Capitol Hill theater types will be able to, a la Re-bar, mount productions in the space early in the evening before the dancers come out.

So what’s it going to be, faggots?

Pulse? Sugar? Other?

The Threat of Intelligent Crows

posted by on March 22 at 2:24 PM

Dear whoever created this poster and plastered it around Capitol Hill:


If your goal was to instill low-level terror and itchy dread, mission accomplished.

More on New Broadway Condos

posted by on March 22 at 2:23 PM

I think the picture makes my point perfectly (and does so even better in the color version, which shows the generic green-glass office-park-style windows and taupe pressed concrete facade; unfortunately, I don’t have a color copy, but similar buildings in Portland can be seen here and here). The design is blocky, ugly, and out of character with the surrounding buildings. I have no problem with the height of the building - six stories isn’t that tall - but I do have a problem with dropping generic Pearl District-style lofts into the north end of Broadway, where they’ll be an embarrassing anachronism in 10 or 20 years, when we’re kicking ourselves for letting developers model everything in Seattle after Vulcan headquarters . (The brick Dan likes so much is only on the back side, not facing Broadway.)

And what’s so bad about a courtyard? The Press Apartments on Pine Street have one, and it hasn’t become a “bathroom and bedroom for the homeless.” For that matter, what’s so awful about the homeless? If you want to live in a city and have forced interactions with strangers - the “hustle and bustle of street life” that attracts Dan to cities like New York- those strangers are going to have to include the homeless.

ISO: Furries, Refluxophiles, Herbaholics

posted by on March 22 at 1:55 PM

From a list of doggie personal ads in Harper’s.

Rex, age 11, Norwich
I like to eat grass even though I know it makes me sick! My favourite food is chocolate. I would describe myself as a dog who likes to take it easy and I am looking for someone to share a sunny afternoon or two with.

Biff, age 6, Norwich
I like to eat grass, then vomit it up. My favourite toy is a model plane. My favourite food is duck. I would describe myself as funny-looking and a comedian. I am looking for a lady dog to make laugh.

Angie, age 1, County Downe
I like to lick my owner’s face. My favourite treat is walks in the sunshine. I would describe myself as small and cuddly. I am looking for a big strong dog to take care of me.

(Strange—the ladies don’t seem to like it when I mention that I’m funny-looking and like to eat until I vomit.)

Fuck South Dakota

posted by on March 22 at 12:46 PM

Notice to those of you glued to Slog who neglect to read the rest of The Stranger’s website: The author of “Fuck Christmas,” “Fuck the South,” and “Fuck The ‘New York Times’” has a brand-new diatribe for the pro-life zealots in SD.

South Dakota is Indian Country

posted by on March 22 at 12:44 PM

And the tribes are sovereign, which means they can do whatever the hell they want—a point being driven home by Cecilia Fire Thunder. From Native Times:

When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother’s life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set of a maelstrom of protests within the state.

Napoli suggested that if it was a case of “simple rape, ” there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli’s description of rape as “simple.” He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by “simple rape.”

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty, ” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

New Condo at Broadway and Mercer

posted by on March 22 at 12:13 PM

Sorry about the delay, but here are the drawings of the new condo going up at Broadway and Mercer, the one Erica and I spent most of the afternoon yesterday arguing about on Slog. (You can read yesterday’s debate by clicking here for Erica’s original post, then just scroll up to read the rest—and don’t skip the comments, as readers had tons to say.)

The site is currently host to an ugly, empty ex-Safeway and a large parking lot. Along 10th the present structure consists of a long, beige cinderblock wall. Here’s what is slated to go up:


Erica C. Barnett thinks the new condo building is ugly. I disagree. First, anything is better than a parking lot and a cinderblock wall. But beyond that, I think the building’s use of brick, the many storefronts on the Broadway side, and the mix of heights are all good features. I’m also for reviving that end of Broadway—yes, even if it means putting some condo owners on the block. Unlike, say, Pike/Pine, there are no loud bars, clubs, or music venues at that end of Broadway, and so nothing much for NUMBY—“not under my balcony”—types to complain about.

Anyway, there are more drawings of the building Erica and I were shouting at each other about yesterday. To see them click here, here , here, and here.

Then feel free to discuss.

Blog of the Day

posted by on March 22 at 11:48 AM

Seattle Weekly staffer Philip Dawdy has a blog: Furious Seasons. It’s actually a good read, and I was amazed to discover that Philip and I are in agreement about Scientology, pot, and some other issues. There are also lots of interesting posts about metnal illness. Furious Seasons doesn’t have permalinks, so you’ll just have to go read through the whole thing to get Philip’s thoughts on these and other issues.

Philip’s blog also offers some insight into morale at ye olde Seattle Weekly:

Why am I doing this? Why am I on this earth? Why am I a writer and not a stockbroker? Why am I never going to get ahead? And so on. I had planned to ask those sorts of broad, public questions earlier today when I posted my 200th entry on this blog. But I spaced it. And now I am on post #204 or something like that. In terms of words, that works out to over 40,000 words—the length of a short book—in less than six months. That’s on top of my day job, where I have churned out 30,000 words in the same period. 70,000 words. Why do I do it? What does it get me? How does it improve my life to work that hard?

It doesn’t sadly. This was driven home to me in a few ways today. One, my bosses declined to pay for treatment to a muscle injured suffered on the job due to an improper workstation and my insurance won’t cover it and worker’s comp will take forever and they’ll likely fight it, even though the fix is $300 to $400. Basically I was told to stuff it. I pointed out to my bosses in my emailed reply that my salary hasn’t kept pace with inflation. I got 3 percent last year and that’s what I have been told to expect this year…. What’s more, my rent has gone up 10 percent this year, my student loan payment has gone up by 20 percent and now much of my raise will go to dealing with something my bosses should be footing the bill for….

I know I should be blogging about how the US Senate just passed a bill undoing all the mental health parity in the 35 states that have it, but I need a drink.

It’s a not a stiff drink, but maybe a picture of a workstation at The Stranger will make Philip feel better about his workstation at Seattle Weekly. This is Bradley Steinbacher’s desk. Brad’s been with The Stranger for 13 years. So has his chair.

Horrible City

posted by on March 22 at 11:40 AM

This picture of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, was taken by my cousin, Shingi, late last year.


Though it looks pretty and peaceful, the city is actually dirt poor and on the verge of collapsing. The beauty we see in the picture is much like the beauty of a cheap whore: remove the makeup and the horrific truth is revealed. (Baudelaire is very much in my blood this morning.)

Corporate Taste Test

posted by on March 22 at 11:33 AM

The local chapter of Corporate Accountability International, a cool group that exposes and challenges irresponsible behavior of transnational corporations (full disclosure, I used to work for them in the early 90s), held a water taste test in Seattle yesterday.

The group is currently battling companies like Coke and Pepsi and Nestle for privatizing water supplies in developing countries.

Yesterday, to prove that bottled water doesn’t actually taste better (and in fact, is less well-regulated) than public utility water, they set up shop at Westlake Center and gave people (including Ethan Stowell, Executive Chef and Owner of Union Restaurant & Doug Nufer, Manager of European Vine Selections) a blind-fold taste test.

People took sips of bottled water like Coke’s Dasani or Pepsi’s Aquafina—and tap water from public water here in Seattle. Out of nearly 60 people who took the test, only two (not Stowell of Nufer) could spot any difference. And the two folks who could tell the difference said they could only do so thanks to the “plastic-y” taste of the bottled water.

Freshening the Airwaves

posted by on March 22 at 11:24 AM

Stranger associate editor/writer Charles Mudede and My Philosophy columnist Larry Mizell Jr. are in negotiations with KEXP’s John Richards to host their own Seattle-centric hiphop program on the influential station.

The two rap authorities meet next week with Richards to sort out the details of the proposed show. Mudede hopes they can secure at least 30-60 minutes a month to air music from Seattle’s burgeoning hiphop scene, which has been drawing international attention over the last few years. He stressed the importance of his and Mizell’s access to local luminaries’ works in progress. “This show will allow us to get material early from the streets, old-school-style, bringing it from the [artists’] studios to the airwaves,” Mudede says. Stay tuned for future developments.

John Longenbaugh Sighting of the Day

posted by on March 22 at 11:17 AM

That’s him, in the turban.

Transgender Question

posted by on March 22 at 11:06 AM

I keep thinking about a line from the movie Transamerica where Bree is trying to get a form signed and she says something like “After my operation, even a gynecologist won’t be able to tell I wasn’t born a woman.”

Is this true? Accurate?
(I know my ignorance is showing, but I am asking out of real interest.)

Another Woman You Should Know

posted by on March 22 at 10:32 AM

In response to my post about Dr. Wafa Sultan—watch her in action here—David Summerlin, a regular in our forums and comment threads, brought Irshad Manji as an example of another free-thinking, secular Muslim.


Manji’s book, The Trouble With Islam Today, is a must-read. She’s not part of the “Islam-means-peace” crowd that I was slamming in my earlier post. She acknowledges that there are huge problems within Islam, and that, in practice, political Islam means anything but peace. Buy her book.

And check out her recent op-ed in the New York Times—”How I Learned to Love the Wall”—supporting the wall that Israel is building to seperate itself from the Palestinians.

She also signed the “THE MANIFESTO OF 12: Together Facing the New Totalitarianism,” which is up on her website Muslim Refusenik. (An aside to David S.: I thought you didn’t support the Manifesto?. Or am I remembering that incorrectly? Not being snarky—honestly can’t remember what you said about the Manifesto of 12, but seem to recall that you were opposed.)

Manji is also one of local superstar Laurence Ballard’s heros, and I swiped the pic of her above from Ballard’s website.

Goldy and Me

posted by on March 22 at 10:16 AM

Last evening I joined Goldy at Drinking Liberally for his weekly installment of podcasting liberally.

I’m more accustomed to discussing celebrity panty lines than politics, but I had a great time telling Goldy why I don’t think politicians should be above reproach when they make stupid (and unjustified) statements involving chodes, and Goldy obviously enjoyed telling me that I am young and reactionary.

All very true.

I had a lot of fun. Drinking Liberally has grown since my last visit, and although most of my evening was tied up listening to Goldy’s other guests (including Seattle PI’s Joel Connelly), the energy was high and the beer was flowing.

Huffing Suspect of the Year

posted by on March 22 at 8:59 AM

First, if you haven’t yet watched the video Savage wrote about, do it. That lady’s impassioned lucidity almost made me cry.

Then, when you need something ridiculous to take your mind of the mess of the world, come back and gaze upon this amazing mug shot:


Bestowed upon the world by The Smoking Gun, the shot features Ohio’s Patrick Tribett, who was arrested on suspicion of “abusing harmful intoxicants” after attempting to make a purchase at a Dollar General Store. Tell-tale signs of Tribett’s alleged intoxication: constricted pupils, sluggish speech, and, uh, the gold spray-paint all over his face.

Full story here.

Speaking of celebrity huffers (alleged and otherwise): Have you seen Citizen Ruth lately?

SF to Vatican: Butt the Fuck Out

posted by on March 22 at 8:32 AM

More good news:

San Francisco elected officials, who have tangled with the Catholic Church before, issued a blistering statement Tuesday that calls on the Vatican to overturn its edict that children waiting to be adopted should not be placed with gays and lesbians.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution that takes aim at a statement issued two weeks ago by Cardinal-elect William Levada, the former archbishop for San Francisco who now serves as second-in-command at the Vatican. Levada said Catholic agencies “should not place children for adoption in homosexual households.”

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors… challenged local church officials to defy the Vatican.

“It is an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great city’s existing and established customs and traditions, such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need,” the resolution stated.

Hat tip: Rex Wockner.

Swedish Censor Fired, Afghani Christian on Trial

posted by on March 22 at 8:05 AM

A little good new in the long Mohammed cartoon saga: a Swedish government minister who censored a website loses her job.

In other world news, why aren’t the Christian whackos who give orders to the Bush White House screaming and yelling about this:

Under mounting international pressure over the case of a man facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity, Afghanistan said on Wednesday the judiciary would decide the case.

An Afghan judge said this week a man named Abdur Rahman had been jailed for converting from Islam to Christianity and could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.

Sharia, or Islamic law, stipulates death for apostasy. Afghanistan’s legal system is based on a mixture of civil and sharia law.

Let freedom reign.

“I hope she is still alive.”

posted by on March 22 at 6:24 AM

A reader sent me this note…

I have no idea who this woman is, but what she has to say is pretty riveting. I hope she is still alive.

Watch the whole thing. It’s fucking amazing.

UPDATE: Thanks to David in Wedgewood and, uh, an obscure little publication called The New York Times, we now know who the woman in the videotape is.

Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.

So, yeah, she’s still alive—for now. But many in the “Islam means peace” crowd would like to see her dead.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


posted by on March 21 at 5:56 PM

Scotland is a formation of land 3 billion years in the making. Its oldest rock is the igneous formation now found in Northwest Scotland, transformed at insanely high temperatures 2,900 million years ago into layered gneisses, which looks like this:


After about 500 million years, the landscape was eroded to low hills, which were submerged in rivers carrying red sandstone sediment, and then, 500 million years after that, this land mass (called Laurentia, no longer in existence) was partially submerged in an ocean (no longer in existence) full of animals (many no longer in existence). Fifty million years later there were some crazy magma events, and 20 million years after that there was some major tectonic dancing around; details here. To recap:


It would be still another 419,992,000 years before human beings graced the topography of Scotland, and another 2,000 years before they began building villages and making fashions out of bears and wild pigs, and another 7,776 years before a graduate of the University of Glasgow named Adam Smith, who had a big nose, as you can see—


—would write his famous and lengthy Wealth of Nations, and another 81 years before Madeleine Smith, a Glaswegian with a fondness for bonnets, as you can see—


—would stand trial for feeding arsenic to her lover (who was a common laborer) so that she could marry a guy who had money and a nice last name, and it would be yet another 139 years before a 28-year-old University of Glasgow dropout took a picture of his friend sitting with her shirt off in a bathtub and breastfeeding a stuffed tiger to go on the cover of his first album, which enjoyed an initial printing (on vinyl) of 1,000 copies but was not available in America for another three years, when it was released on the same day in 1999 that Texas Governor George W. Bush announced his intention to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States, which might seem like a long time ago but isn’t, relatively speaking.

[This has been a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. Fuck you, haters.]

Selling Theater Seats That Don’t Exist

posted by on March 21 at 5:53 PM

Scalping isn’t normally an issue for local theaters—nobody wants to see plays that badly. But at least a dozen websites have begun selling unauthorized tickets to ACT Theater’s upcoming production of The Pillowman. The tickets are going for almost double what ACT charges—and some of them are for seats that don’t exist. You can buy tickets in ACT’s 18th row on,,, and other web sites. “But the theater only has eight rows,” said Karen Bystrom of ACT’s marketing department. “You’d be sitting across the street in the Union Square Grill.”

The sites are also selling overpriced tickets (with actual seats) to Late Nite Catechism at ACT, various events at the Paramount, and Wonderful Town at the 5th Avenue. “That’s scalping!” Jennifer Rice of the 5th Avenue shouted when she saw the site. “Ticketmaster would kill us!” (Insert Ticketmaster-as-institutional-scalper joke here.) On checking with the ticket office, Rice discovered that the “scalped” tickets were still available for sale (as opposed to having been purchased for resale).

Only one theatergoer has come into ACT with a printed receipt for one of the non-existent seats. “We’re trying to get the word out,” said Bystrom. “To make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else.” ACT, the 5th Avenue, and the Paramount are continuing to investigate.

The sites selling nonexistent seats at ACT include:

Re: For Jen Graves

posted by on March 21 at 5:12 PM

For Charles Mudede

More than a dozen pigs will jump off a 10-foot-high diving board into a 1,200-gallon pool at various times during the Tacoma Dome Boat Show, open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 1 and 2 in the Tacoma Dome.

Attention Seattle Inferiority Complex!

posted by on March 21 at 5:00 PM

Look, here it is in this week’s New Yorker, proof that Seattle is finally world class.

It seems the classiest magazine in the nation is expanding its “Goings on About Town” section, which until now, as far as I can tell, has been a listing of well-chosen events in the New York area—and only in the New York area. In this week’s issue, after the “Goings on About Town,” there’s something new called “World Beat,” a listing of well-chosen events in worthy cities around the globe.

Which cities? After Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, there Seattle is on page 64, in the company of international cities such as London, Paris, Sydney, and Tokyo.

For the late spring, the New Yorker “World Beat” section suggests events at the Crocodile, the Showbox, and El Corazon.


Overheard on the John Carlson Show

posted by on March 21 at 4:37 PM

A Democratic operative just called me to report that on today’s John Carlson show, Republican Senator John McCain, in Seattle for a fundraiser, described the race for the 8th Congressional District between Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Congressman Dave Reichert as “a close one to watch.”

Guess McCain hasn’t been getting all those recent press releases casting Reichert as a formidable incumbent.

UPDATE: And that fundraiser McCain’s in town for… It’s to benefit Republican Mike McGavick, who’s trying to unseat Washington’s junior senator, Maria Cantwell. You can watch McCain’s seech for the $250-a-plate McGavick fundraiser via a live webcast that begins at 7:15, here. By the way, the closer you want to get to the visiting Senator at the event, the more it will cost you: It’s $250 for the meal, but $1,000 for the VIP reception at 6, and $4,200 to have your picture taken with campaign finance reform guru McCain.

Since he likes public exposure…

posted by on March 21 at 3:58 PM

…I thought I’d tell folks the story of Sean Dolstad, who told Seattle police that February 27 was a “weird day.” That ain’t no lie. He spent his day on the campus of Seattle University. First stop: the Fine Arts Center, where he hung out in the women’s bathroom. A Gig Harbor woman who encountered him there told police that Dolstad grabbed her arm and asked if it was OK for him to be in there. (Answer: No!) By the time security arrived, he was gone.

Dolstad resurfaced that same afternoon — in the women’s locker room of the Student Center. This time, a woman saw him “leaning against the (bathroom) stall’s wall with his pants down and his hand on his genitals. Dolstad was not in a position to be using the toilet. (The witness) believed he was masturbating.”

That’s probably a safe bet.

The witness also told police that “Dolstad placed his finger against his lips and made the ‘shhh’ gesture.”

The woman ran out and got hold of security. Officers arrived to find a man sitting in the locker room, but he was wearing a black hat — not the red cap the masturbator was wearing. This fellow told security that the man in the red cap had vanished.

This sleight-of-hand might have worked, except that it didn’t really explain this guy’s presence in the ladies’ locker room. Plus, he had a mysterious duffel bag with him. Security asked to look inside, and that’s where they found the red cap — along with “personal lubricating jelly” and a “greasy pornographic magazine.” Mystery solved!

Dolstad blamed the drugs — he was on speed. The cops asked him whether he ever imagined he’d get away with it. “Not that I was hoping I would get caught,” he replied. “I knew I would.”

Dolstad entered guilty pleas this month to charges of indecent exposure and assault, both misdemeanors.

“Oh, yeah, you spent it on the war.”

posted by on March 21 at 3:57 PM

Tomorrow’s edition of The Stranger has a news piece by Eli Sanders on Sen. Maria Cantwell’s shaky appearance at Garfield High last saturday; shaky because, as Eli slogged this weekend, the event, intended as a campaign pep rally with full-on support from Democratic superstar Sen. Barack Obama, got momentarily hijacked by antiwar demonstrators. The interruption highlighted the fact that Cantwell’s got trouble with the ever-important (antiwar) Seattle base.

Witness the importance of Seattle: In Gregoire’s underwhelming showing in 2004, 75,135 King County voters who voted for John Kerry did not vote for Gregoire after she famously took the liberal base for granted by playing to moderates. This is something for Cantwell to consider—given that she only won in 2000 by 2,200 votes.

For a harsh account of Cantwell’s appearance at Garfield you only have to go as far as Seattle’s 36th Distrtict Democrats (Democrats!) web site where’ll you’ll find this write up:

Cantwell vs. Garfield PTSA (0.00 / 0) The Cantwell staff and several of the volunteers they had “trained” attempted several times to shut down our Garfield PTSA table in the Garfield gym during this event, because we were handing out material on our well established positions on the war and military recruiting in school. They also confiscated our material from people in the crowd.

An amazing show of jack-boot force from the junior senator.

By the way, Maria, that was OUR school you were in, that was OUR principal sitting next to you on the stage, and it was OUR hospitality. Sorry you had to bring your own sound system—Garfield’s is so bad you can hardly hear anything. Yeah, we know, but where’s the money to replace it? Oh, yeah, you spent it on the war.

If you wanted a nice clean event with compliant little Bush-like constituents, take your next event to Mercer Island.

by: Hagopian36th @ March 20, 2006 at 15:15:38 PST
[ Reply ]

Re: Re: Re: Changes on Broadway

posted by on March 21 at 3:40 PM

Weird. I don’t feel oppressed when I walk past the six-story building that sits at the corner of Broadway and John—which is “jammed right against heavily traveled sidewalks.” So is the seven-story tall Biltmore, which is a beloved local apartment building.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Pearl District, and I don’t recall many buildings with setbacks. I recall a lot of buildings that built up to the sidewalks—maybe they’re the older buildings, but they’re also the ones with street-level retail, cafes, stores, and restaurants. As for Vancouver, you’re right—there are lots of taller, skinny buildings that don’t fill their lots.

But we can’t have “tall, skinny buildings” in Seattle, because we set an idiotic six-story, 65-foot height limit. That being the case, we’re going to have to live with the kind of development that, yes, fills the lot, and builds up to the allowed 65 feet. If you want to see an example of ugly, short, and set-back, check out the short, wide, and set-back building at the end of Broadway. Most people think it’s the ugliest building in the city. So set-backs, nice as they are, don’t guarantee you anything. Neither does short.

Since we’re total pussies around here about height (hello, Peter!), we can’t jump on developers for building out to their lot lines—and I disagree with you, Erica, about how people feel about crowded sidewalks. The hustle and bustle of street life is one of the things that people dig about living in the city.

Re: Re: More Changes on Broadway

posted by on March 21 at 3:40 PM

Dan: Setbacks don’t “suck.” In fact, in most cities - including Vancouver, B.C., the model we’re supposedly striving for - they’re required. You would never see a building like this in Vancouver, because Vancouver requires wide, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and narrower buildings that don’t take up entire lots. (So, by the way, does Portland.) Vancouver, which has no height limits, nonetheless requires buildings to be shorter on the side that faces the street, in keeping with the principle that tall buildings feel oppressive and monolithic when they’re jammed right against heavily traveled sidewalks. Too many people who talk about wanting a city full of “tall and skinny” buildings forget that tall and skinny aren’t the same thing. For a building to be thin, it has to be set back from the street. I’m talking about sidewalks, Dan, not parking-lot-sized courtyards for the homeless. Look at Hawthorne Street in Portland, where buildings that aren’t set back from the street seem totally out of scale with the surrounding developments - even when they’re exactly the same size.

Faster Than a North Korean Missile!

posted by on March 21 at 3:37 PM

SEOUL (AP) — North Korea suggested Tuesday it had the ability to launch a pre-emptive attack on the United States, according to the North’s official news agency.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the North had built atomic weapons to counter the U.S. nuclear threat.

“As we declared, our strong revolutionary might put in place all measures to counter possible U.S. pre-emptive strike,” the spokesman said, according to the Korean Central News Agency. “Pre-emptive strike is not the monopoly of the United States.”

Thankfully, Superman is finally returning this summer, which means he can grab whatever missile Kim Jong-il launches our way and redirect it into the sun.

(Hopefully that’s not what Bush is counting on.)

Vera Project moving update!

posted by on March 21 at 3:07 PM

The Vera Project is having their last show at the Fourth Ave space this weekend, it’s a volunteer showcase featuring bands of vera kids (including the perfectly named Vomiting Unicorns). The new Seattle Center location won’t be ready until the fall, however, so here’s what Vera has to say about what they’ll be doing in the inbetween time…

The Vera Project is gearing up for all sorts of exciting transitions scheduled for the next several months. Big moves, construction deadlines, a compressed programming schedule, and an expanding list of special events are all planned and fast approaching.

On April 1st, Vera will officially be moving out of our longtime 1916 4th Ave location. March 24th brings the last show at our 4th Ave location: “Night of The Living Vera,” a music event showcasing performances by some of Vera’s core volunteers and members. While the Snoqualmie Room at the Seattle Center is undergoing renovations (projected move-in is early Fall), Vera’s offices will be based out of a house located in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Shows and other programming will be held at various interim locations, starting at the Capitol Hill Arts Center located at 1621 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.

April-September 2006 Vera’s capacity for programming will be greatly reduced due to our relocation to numerous temporary facilities. But of course Vera wouldn’t be Vera without awesome all-ages shows, so we’re presenting at least two shows a month. Our first satellite performance by Scout Niblett and guests is on Friday April 14th at the CHAC lower level. There will be limited silkscreen facilities at the South Lake Union house, and Audio Engineering classes will continue in accordance with music events. Jeromeskee from Massive Monkees will teach breakdance classes at the Velocity Dance Studio (915 East Pine Street #200, Seattle, Wa, 98122) every Tuesday starting on April 18th. Other regular programing like Acoustic Veracity and events for the Ver(a)rt Space will continue at temporary locations. Details will be posted at

The April 5th Mayor’s announcement of Vera’s move to the Snoqualmie Room will be the first of Vera’s upcoming special events. The day will start at 10:00 am with a Press Conference and performance by world famous Seattle breakdance crew Massive Monkees. Celebrations will continue at 6:00pm with free performances by Smoosh and Common Market. Other special dates include the annual “Free For All” event scheduled for July 8th at the Mural Amphitheater, the “A Drink For The Kids” benefit planned for early summer, and the Capitol Hill Block Party on July 28th and 29th where Vera will coordinate a stage.

Please see our website at for updates and news on upcoming events.

Capitol Hill Arts Center (CHAC):
Velocity Dance

A Little Good News…

posted by on March 21 at 2:55 PM

…for a change.

The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

And the vote wasn’t even close: 207-125.

Re: More Changes on Broadway

posted by on March 21 at 2:45 PM

Setbacks suck, Erica. Buildings that are built out to the sidewalk are a huge part of what works about urban neighborhoods like, oh, Pioneer Square and Belltown in Seattle, all of Manhattan, most of Chicago, much of San Francisco. Any plazas or courtyards on Broadway would quickly become bathrooms and bedrooms for the homeless.

I just looked at the specs that Erica has—and I don’t think they’re ugly. I don’t think the Pearl District in Portland is ugly, though, unlike Erica. The building reminds me of many, many buildings in Vancouver, BC. The only problem I have with it is that it’s just six stories and not twelve or twenty stories.

We’ll get the images scanned and post ‘em in a few minutes. Before anyone concludes that the building going up on Broadway is ugly it might be nice if you actually saw it.

Re: The Chosen Folk Get Their Own Falwell

posted by on March 21 at 2:40 PM

But a blow was struck for reasonable Christianity today when the Archbishop of Canterbury said creationism shouldn’t be taught in schools: “I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory, like other theories.”

Read the rest here.

The Chosen Folk Get Their Own Falwell

posted by on March 21 at 2:37 PM

Thanks to a young adulthood mired in the works of Woody Allen and Fran Leibowitz and continued appreciation for the work of Jon Stewart, I habitually expect Jewish people to be smarter, funnier, and wiser than everyone else.

But thanks to the moronic outbursts of Rabbi David Basri—who’s blamed Israel’s bird-flu outbreak on election ads promoting gay marriage—I am reminded that even a prominent Kabbalah scholar and sage can talk as much Godly bullshit as the stupidest Christian.

Full story here.

More Changes on Broadway

posted by on March 21 at 2:24 PM

The good news: Something is finally getting built at Broadway and Mercer.

The bad news: (Surprise!) It’s ugly.

Earlier this month, Schnitzer Northwest released its plans for a long-anticipated condo development at the Safeway site on the north end of Broadway. So far, the reviews have been, to put it mildly, mixed. The condos, at 65 feet high, are among the first six-story developments on Broadway after the city council upzoned the street from four to six stories last year. The drawings show a generic Pearl District knockoff with tall green-glass and concrete façades and no setbacks from the sidewalk on Broadway-plans neighboring property owner Bob Burkheimer calls “out of keeping with the character” of the neighborhood.

Burkheimer, who threatened to mar the north end of Broadway with a one-story big-box development if the council didn’t approve the Broadway upzone quickly, still has no immediate plans to develop his property, leaving the site across the street from the condos in indefinite limbo.

Good Times For The Dems

posted by on March 21 at 2:17 PM

Some more good news for the sane: The Democrats are raising dough faster than the Republicans.

Gay + G.I. Joe

posted by on March 21 at 2:14 PM

Today’s Google search for “Gay + G.I. Joe” (yeah, so what?) yielded a ridiculous but funny cartoon.

Snubbing World Leaders Is In

posted by on March 21 at 1:34 PM

Last week Jessica Simpson snubbed President Bush; this week Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke snubs Prime Minister Tony Blair. Which world leader is next in line to get snubbed by a pop singer?


posted by on March 21 at 1:29 PM

Frizzelle thinks he’s so sneaky, posting his BASFOTDs after I have already left the office and am unable to respond with a mayo fact. But I’m back, baby! And here’s another little tidbit about mayonnaise you might not know…

Mayonnaise is a muse! Many artists have mentioned mayonnaise in their songs. The Smashing Pumpkins have a song called “Mayonaise,” (sic) and everyone from Nerf Herder, to Beck, to Lou Reed to the Cramps have said the word mayonnaise in a song.

Here are a few favorite lyrics…

“Tried to find a raisin/Brownies in the basin/Monza by the streetlight/Aunt Jemima all night/Holiday & salad days/and days of moldy mayonnaise.” — “Electric Aunt Jemima,” Frank Zappa

“All packed to go, baloney and mayonnaise sandwiches for the road/lay them out across the dash in the August sun/and if they turn green don’t be afraid/nothing can hurt you but yourself.” — “Sandwiches for the Road,” Drive By Truckers

“Well, I was sittin’ at home cookin’ up a steak/Satan came down dressed like a snake/Well, he called my name as I turned up the flames/And then I realized I was out of mayonnaise.” — “No Money, No Honey,” Beck

Go mayonnaise, go mayonnaise, GO!

Cops Tour Blog, Installment 3

posted by on March 21 at 1:22 PM

Written by drummer David Weeks on March 20th, 2006, at 1:19am, just outside Little Rock, AR

Thursday, March 16th

We sleep in ‘til noon, then slam mimosas and run out the door to catch GoGoGo Airheart. After only a few minutes on 7th street, we run into several Seattle music folks. Michael is in the bar chatting with our distributor, while John, Brian and I greet the likes of Johnny Sangster, Kwab and Shay from the Sunset in Ballard. A few minutes later, Mark Pickerel and Kate Becker from Vera Project join the mix. John, Kwab and Dave look for a way into the “secret” Beastie Boys show. We decide a 3-hour wait isn’t worth it, and head to Ironworks Barbeque for some proper Texas fair. After lunch we run into the goddamn Beastie Boys and stop for a pic. Nice folks but Adam Yauch prefers not to be touched. We jump into our van Falco and head to The Vice Magazine party. We hear great stuff from Fatal Flying Guilloteens—crushing! Being poor and on tour, we head to Mike’s sisters for more cheap Lonestar.

Friday, March 17th
We spend all day Friday at the beautiful Big Red Sun for the Mt. Fuji Records bash. We arrive early to greet the beer man. John sets up the PA and our label-mates, Little Brazil, kick off the show by noon.

Tim Seely looks every bit like Don Henley while playing Dave’s kit. After we play, the party kicks into high gear with a bomb-ass set by Seattle’s Saturday Knights! Mike’s sister Keri manages to join them on stage. The party was packed and everyone was dancing and getting drunk. Slender Means close the night with a strong set that was abbreviated when all power cut out. It was an unfortunate end to an awesome party.

Saturday, March 18th

Our final day in Austin had us playing the 2nd annual Mt. Fuji/Sonic Boom/Control Group/Thingmakers party at the Longbranch Inn. The sky pisses down rain all day. We manage a solid crowd and go through several cases of beer donated from New Belgium. The whole day was filled with great music including sets from Wintergreen, Slender Means, Little Brazil and the Cops - all bands on Mt Fuji. Jason Hughes label, Sonic Boom Recordings, is well-represented with blistering sets by U.S.E. and Conner, the label’s newest signing. Bremerton kids Lonely H, our Seattle homies Schoolyard Heroes, and the handsome Danes in Figurines pay their dues for the Control Group, a label run by Nabil Ayers of Sonic Boom.

The showcase was a smash and many great Seattle people show up to rock with us. Dana from Three Imaginary Girls, Rachel and Ben from Visqueen, Bethany from Pirate Radio, and Kyla Fairchild of Hattie’s Hat and No Depression are just a few of the many friends we see. The Longbranch show wraps up as the sun goes down. Mike heads out to see Whirlwind Heat, Battle, and Superchunk; the rest of us head home and sleep.

Sunday, March 19th

Sunday is the start of our 26-hour drive to Philadelphia. We leave tornado warnings in Austin end our day in Little Rock, driving through intense rain all day. Note to self: No beers sales on in Arkansas on Sundays. Tomorrow we race a serious storm front on our way to Philly.

For Jen Graves

posted by on March 21 at 1:10 PM

Graves, in connection with what I said last night in the bar, I offer the second thesis of Alain Badiou’s Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art:

“2. Art cannot merely be the expression of a particularity (be it ethnic or personal). Art is the impersonal production of a truth that is addressed to everyone.”
That’s exactly my point and belief. Down with the personal, the individual, the hero, the genius. Art is always only the production of art.

Holy Shit

posted by on March 21 at 12:29 PM

In early March a local doctor moved to Botswana to “help alleviate Africa’s desperate shortage of doctors and nurses.” Yesterday a crocodile ate him.

Root was in the lead dugout with the tour guide when a crocodile leaped out of the river, grabbed the UW physician and disappeared back under the water. Root was not seen again.

Words fail me—hell, my bladder almost failed me when I read about it in this morning’s PI.

Enough is Enough

posted by on March 21 at 12:14 PM

Listen up people. Stop being ignorant and read about a man whose mind is of this moment. Theory is still important.

Re: George vs. Helen

posted by on March 21 at 12:14 PM

Courtesy of Talking Points Memo comes the exchange between Bush and Helen Thomas at this morning’s press conference:

THE PRESIDENT: Helen. After that brilliant performance at the Grid Iron, I am — (laughter.)

HELEN THOMAS: You’re going to be sorry. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, let me take it back. (Laughter.)

HELEN THOMAS: I’d like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet — your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth — what was your real reason? You have said it wasn’t oil — quest for oil, it hasn’t been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise — in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist — is that — I didn’t want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect —

HELEN THOMAS: Everything —

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

HELEN THOMAS: — everything I’ve heard —

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it’s just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We — when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I’m never going to forget it. And I’m never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn’t allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that’s why I went into Iraq — hold on for a second —

HELEN THOMAS: They didn’t do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look — excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That’s where al Qaeda trained —

HELEN THOMAS: I’m talking about Iraq —

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That’s where — Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That’s where they trained. That’s where they plotted. That’s where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That’s why I went to the Security Council; that’s why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences —

HELEN THOMAS: — go to war —

THE PRESIDENT: — and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

Hybrids: The Quiet Killers

posted by on March 21 at 11:55 AM

“Just because drivers are supposed to stop or swerve or yield doesn’t guarantee they will.”

(Thanks to Christian at 2045 Seattle.)

Cuckoo for Crow

posted by on March 21 at 10:49 AM

The response to this week’s theater column, featuring a slap at the “spectacular, clanging, and unerringly pretentious Degenerate Art Ensemble,” has riled up a few folks. “Cuckoo Crow was awesome,” one of my friends said. “You’re nuts.”

“I’ve known them forever,” another friend said. “They’re great.”

The friend I attended with liked the show more than I did (though he got ice cream—and we agree that the projections were really beautiful). My other friends liked the show more than I did. Even Misha Berson at the Times seemed to like it more than I did. I felt like a man alone until I got this nice letter from a stranger named Milo:

“As someone who has been a big fan of the DAE for a while now, I just wanted to thank you for giving Cuckoo Crow a bad review in the last issue. I left that theatre angry, not least of which because I naturally assumed they were going to get away with it. God, what a piece of shit!”

Thanks, Milo! I don’t feel so crazy anymore. Anybody else out there see the CC?

George vs. Helen

posted by on March 21 at 10:26 AM

Did anyone catch Bush’s press conference this morning? I guess Helen Thomas beat the shit out of him. I’m sorry I missed that. Any eye witnesses?

Adieu, Confounded Books

posted by on March 21 at 7:34 AM

Confounded Books, the excellent small press/zine/comic bookseller that shares space with Wall of Sound (315 E. Pine Street), announced yesterday that it is going out of business. Here’s the official press release from proprietor Brad Beshaw:

It is my sad duty to report that Confounded Books will close its doors on the 29th of April 2006.

This has been a difficult decision for me, and I have been agonizing over it for more than a year now. In the end I reached the conclusion that continuing was both a financial and physical impossibility. With the exception of a sales spike in 2003 when the store moved to its current location on Pine St., in Capitol Hill, business has been in decline for years. Almost 6 years ago, in 2001, I took a part time job at Fremont News to supplement the Store’s income. Far from being a temporary stop-gap-measure, I have had to increase my hours over the years, so that I now work 3 days a week at the newsstand, and 7 days at Confounded, for a total of 10 days a week! Obviously this is far too much.

Continue reading "Adieu, Confounded Books" »

Must-See TV

posted by on March 21 at 7:12 AM

From today’s NYT:

Chef Returns to ‘South Park,’ With a Difference

“South Park” lost its Chef last week when Isaac Hayes, who voiced for the character for nine years, quit, saying he could no longer stomach the show’s treatment of religion. But the creators of “South Park,” Matt Stone and Trey Parker, have acted fast: tomorrow’s episode, the first of the 10th season, will feature “the triumphant homecoming of school chef, Jerome McElroy,” Comedy Central announced. (Yes, that is Chef’s name, as diligent fans know.) Stan, Kenny, Kyle and Cartman are happy to have him back, but “they notice that something about Chef seems different,” according to the statement. The episode, titled “The Return of Chef!,” will be on at 10 p.m. Eastern time. A spokesman for Comedy Central said there was no word on who would do Chef’s voice.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the hardest working men in show business—Isaac Hayes quit South Park last week, and they’ve turned around a half-hour animated show mocking his departure? Hopefully Scientology will play a role in the new episode, just as it played a role in Hayes’ decision to quit the show.

There’s more—lots more, and very creepy more—on Hayes’ departure at Defamer. It seems that his decision to leave the show in the wake of the Scientology/Tom Cruise mocking “Trapped in the Closet” episode may not have been entirely his. Hayes recently suffered a stroke, and is at home recovering. Fox News reports

Friends in Memphis tell me that Hayes did not issue any statements on his own about South Park. They are mystified. “Isaac’s been concentrating on his recuperation for the last two and a half, three months,” a close friend told me.

Hayes did not suffer paralysis, but the mild stroke may have affected his speech and his memory. He’s been having home therapy since it happened.

Defamer says…

While a right hemisphere stroke has been know to cause behavioral changes such as “lack of concern about situations, impulsivity, inappropriateness,” it would also play the kind of cognitive neurological havoc on the brain that impairs one’s ability to, say, compose an extremely lucid, soundbite-friendly statement on the evils of criticizing one’s “religious beliefs.” It’s enough to make you think this message may have been composed for him, perhaps by the same team of handlers who abducted Hayes from the evil clutches of his neurological rehabilitation treatment program, replacing it with their far more effective vitamins-and-heating-pad-on-your-head stroke-Thetan-reducing technique.

Even if Hayes did leave the show of his own free will, and if he did compose that press release, the NYT shouldn’t characterize his departure from South Park as a dispute over “the show’s treatment of religion.” As Stone and Parker pointed out the day he quit, Hayes didn’t have a problem cashing checks when the show made fun—sometimes viscious fun—of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Mormonism.

Anyhoo, the new episode is on tomorrow night at ten on Comedy Central. See it the first time it airs because if Tom Cruise doesn’t like it you may not be able to see it again.

Punked by God and Gravity

posted by on March 21 at 6:55 AM

In the forthcoming Last Days column, I refer to the phenomenon of ridiculous death, those instances of fatal horror so terrible and perverse they register as something close to comedy.

Last night I was reminded there still exist things beyond the reach of such humor, as this BBC report makes clear.

Not-so-long story short: Yesterday in Uruguay, thousands of people gathered to watch a taping of the television show A Challenge to the Heart, in which contestants raise money for local charities by completing challenges set by the network. Today’s charity was a hospital in the town of Young, and the challenge required contestants to maneuver a train a certain distance down railway tracks. Maybe it was wind, or an incline, but somehow, as contestants pushed and pulled the train and its two carriages, the train gained speed, running over a number of contestants, injuring eleven, killing eight. Limbs were severed, and the accident was witnessed by nearly 3,000 schoolchildren.

“Local authorities have declared three days of mourning,” reports the BBC.

Full story here.

Beauty and the Beast

posted by on March 21 at 12:11 AM

Goldy over at HorsesAss disagrees with me for taking Cantwell to task for basically cheerleading Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior. Click the link to read the whole thing. Here’s a chunk:

Many of us inhabitants of the liberal blogosphere like to say that we are part of the “reality-based community,” the implication being that our counterparts on the right are not. And yet, the right’s growing dominance over the past couple decades suggests that at least when it comes to electoral politics it is they who are more grounded in reality than us…

Case in point, Sen. Maria Cantwell and the constant chatter from WA’s angry left, bemoaning the fact that she doesn’t meet our unrealistic expectations… all this wailing and gnashing over her failure to stop a war she couldn’t stop or her refusal to join a filibuster that could not win. And then there’s The Stranger’s Cienna Madrid and her fellow environmentalists over on Slog, who just can’t hold back their contempt for the environmental record of one of the most reliably pro-environment members of the Senate.

Cantwell’s transgression? She “welcomed” Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne’s nomination to be Secretary of the Interior, telling the New York Times that he “understands the Northwest and a lot of Interior issues,” and has “stood up to the administration” over nuclear waste cleanup at a federal facility in Idaho.

Oh Cienna… get real.


Goldy, honey, I like you. You’re old, wise, and there is no denying that you’re on top of your shit when it comes to Washington politics. But I think you’ve missed the mark on this one a bit.

Yes, Cantwell’s got a green thumb. From what I’ve read, she’s been an outstanding environmental advocate. In 2005, The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scored her at 90%. The environment is an arena where she has, in the past, taken a clearly defined role as leader—a role she shouldn’t be compromising with Kempthorne poised to become Secretary of the Interior.

Which is what I believe she did last Friday by chattering “welcome!” and declaring that Kempthorne “understands the Northwest and a lot of Interior issues.”

Kempthorne is not a man who cares shit about the environment, and no, his nomination wasn’t a surprise. But Cantwell’s response came out of left field.

Goldy, passion and analysis are not mutually exclusive. And in my opinion, passion is what Democrats are missing (and I don’t think you disagree). Democrats think and act too defensively; they are too concerned with placating conservatives, and Cantwell appears to be swimming with the tide.

Here’s what the LCV had to say about Kempthorne:

“During his career in Congress, Governor Kempthorne earned a paltry 1 percent lifetime LCV score. Enough said.”

Terse and to the point, as Cantwell should have been.

I didn’t expect her to give Dirk the finger, or rip open her shirt, revealing “The Environment or Bust” written on her heaving, award-winning bosom. That’s my job. No one has to take me seriously, and I’ve never had to win a popularity (or bathing suit) contest. I’m sure both are mighty stressful. But jesus christ, Cantwell could have easily (and gracefully) taken a tougher stance without pissing off her enviro-loving constituents or the (ack!) Kempthorne crowd. Something along the lines of, “Even though Governor Kempthorne and I have disagreed on environmental issues such as ANWR drilling and roadless wilderness development, I remain committed to these issues and I will work with [that sweaty little chode] on resolving them to the best of my abilities.”

You see that? No need for, “Kempthorne understands Northwest Issues! Ra ra ra!”
She’s a politician, not a cheerleader. It made me gag. It still does.

Because if Cantwell is really committed to the environment, she and Kempthorne are going to clash—soon. Right after he’s finished getting his nails buffed. Kempthorne is not someone who works well with others when it comes to the environment. If you recall, he “invited” the EPA to leave Idaho over an altercation concerning Couer d’Alene Basin clean up.

If Cantwell is intent on defending ANWR drilling and pushing the Roadless Conservation Act, she’s in for a fight. Dirk’s agenda consists of drilling, opening up roadless wilderness areas for development, and getting his eye brows cartoonishly tweezed on a regular basis. That’s about it. He’s a pompous Idaho playboy who is at best, incompetent, and at worst, weasely and chode-like.

So I guess I don’t understand: Why placate someone like that? Why kiss ass, when sooner rather than later Cantwell should be foiling Kempthorne’s plans to brand his name into every mountain in the northwest and drill the earth until it squeals like a pig?

Yeah, I’m young. Most of the time, I’d prefer to be discussing puppies, sex, or something shiny rather than dwelling on Kempthorne or the havoc that [sweaty chode] is about to wreak on a national level. I’ve got a lot to learn, and it seems that if I want to become a mature liberal democrat, I’ve got a lot to lose—like my spine, and a healthy dose of passion.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Apocalypse Soon

posted by on March 20 at 5:47 PM

From the Q&A following Bush’s speech in Cleveland today:

QUESTION: Thank you for coming to Cleveland, Mr. President, and to the City Club.

My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips in his latest book, “American Theocracy,” discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the Apocalypse.

Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the Apocalypse?

And if not, why not?

BUSH: Hmmm.


BUSH: The answer is I haven’t really thought of it that way.


About A Boardwalk

posted by on March 20 at 5:14 PM

Even when W. Scott Trimble isn’t making moving sculptures, his sculpture still moves. His latest work, his first large-scale installation, opened at Crawl Space on Saturday night, and it is kaleidoscopic in nature, zooming in and out of life-sized scale. Titled Divergent Paths, it takes up the entire gallery.

It is a boardwalk that begins underfoot when you enter, then tapers to miniature size as it splits and its offshoots curve around the room and up the walls, arteries becoming veins becoming capillaries until each ramp, staircase, skybridge, and tightrope hits its own tiny terminal point: a papal/electric highbacked chair, a closed or open door or series of doors (I’ll take door #3, Bob), a charbroiled pit. The swarming city of narratives is made largely of one basic, repeated form, the rectangular wood plank. As the large planks taper into the smaller boardwalks, the paths curve sharply, and these curves continuously refresh the driving thrust of the scene, like the longed-for downhills in a bicycle trip.

At the opening, where Trimble wore a necktie made of little wood planks, he revealed that he began this work—which is more stately than kinetic earlier sculptures such as the landscape-coating vending machine he showed at this past Bumbershoot—after breaking up with a woman he intended to marry. The circumstances and the symbolism of the title seem obvious, but their physical effects here are finely wrought and absolutely enchanting.



posted by on March 20 at 5:11 PM

The Boy with the Arab Strap—which has the best two songs in a row in the band’s entire catalogue (FACT!), although it is not my favorite album—is Belle and Sebastian’s third and, to date, best-selling album.

[This has been a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. Only five more days until March 25…]

Reichert Pushback, Day 2

posted by on March 20 at 3:55 PM

In my recent profile of eastide Congressional hopeful Darcy Burner, I wrote about two criticisms that Burner, a Democrat, is making of her opponent, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert.

The first is that Reichert is too far right for his moderate eastside district. The second is that as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Reichert has been stalling anti-terrorism measures recommended by the 9-11 Commission, including measures to help first responders communicate better during a terror attack.

On Friday, Reichert’s campaign hit back against the charge that he is too far to the right by issuing a press release hyping Reichert’s credentials as a moderate. And today, his campaign issued another press release announcing that Reichert has received an early endorsement from the Seattle Firefighters Union, Local 27.

The announcement is clearly intended to deflate criticism that Reichert, a former King County Sheriff, is ignoring the needs of first responders now that he’s in Congress.

But Burner’s campaign manager, Zach Silk, counters that Reichert’s endorsement by a group of firefighters outside of Reichert’s district doesn’t change the fact that Reichert’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security is sitting on six measures—four of them sponsored by Republicans—that could make the country safer from terrorist attack and help first responders communicate better in emergencies. He also points out that last year, Reichert “failed to back the popular COPS program which would relieve pressure on some of our most important first responders, police officers.”

Silk continues:

With all due respect, the Seattle Firefighters Union is clearly out of touch with the needs of first responders in the 8th Congressional District.

When you look at the record, Republican Dave Reichert has been a disappointment for first responders. It’s not enough to sit on some subcommittee in DC — people in the 8th Congressional District expect results.

The endorsement that’s really relevant for this race is the State Council of Fire Fighters, and we feel like we have a strong shot at their endorsement.

P.S. For those following the Great Burner Debate, it’s still raging in the forums.

Deadly Farce

posted by on March 20 at 3:44 PM

Is it okay if we don’t support these troops?

After a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine in western Iraq, American troops went into nearby houses and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old-girl, residents told The Associated Press on Monday.

The military says about 12 Marines are under investigation for possible war crimes by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service following the Nov. 19 insurgent attack in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Hat tip: Americablog.

Dominic Holden on D.A.R.E.

posted by on March 20 at 3:09 PM

Dominic Holden—prominent marijuana reform activist, former head of Hempfest, and the man behind I-75 (which made pot bust the SPD’s lowest law enforcement priority)—gave me the heads-up about Bellevue schools dropping the D.A.R.E. program. I wrote and asked him if he had been exposed to D.A.R.E. as a child, and what advice he might have for parents.

I was in a D.A.R.E. prototype program, which was basically identical: polished police, scary workbooks, and lectures about kid geniuses turning into junkies.

I recall being seated with lots of other kids at the South Shore Middle School gymnasium and a cop telling us that spray paint, pot and crack would all melt our minds. Basically, we were warned that one day we could start innocently breathing paint, then need to get higher. For that we would turn to marijuana. Soon, the pot wouldn’t be enough and we would have to turn to crack. Finally, we would end up as dirt heads spare changing for Kool looseys at the convenience store, which given the neighborhood at Rainier and Henderson was a palpable fate.

Continue reading "Dominic Holden on D.A.R.E." »

Photo Slop

posted by on March 20 at 2:16 PM

Psst! Wanna get your picture taken with John McCain, that tireless champion of campaign finance reform?

It’s just $4,200.

Bellevue Smokes D.A.R.E.

posted by on March 20 at 1:48 PM

D.A.R.E.—or “Drug Awareness Resistance Education”—is a school program that teaches little kids about the evils of drugs. It also encourages kids to trust the cops, narc on their parents, and view all drugs—pot in particular—as a one-way tickets to prison. Needless to say D.A.R.E. employs the kind of scare tactics that tend to backfire.

Once offered in nearly every school in America, D.A.R.E. has been in retreat for about a decade, as studies keep rolling in showing that the expensive program has no impact or the opposite of its intended impact:

…despite its widespread use and $209 million budget, DARE’s long-term effectiveness at deterring drug use has come under widespread questioning lately. A recent study of 1,800 Illinois elementary- through high-school students concluded that DARE doesn’t work—and may even increase drug use among some groups of kids exposed to it. An Indiana study also reported that DARE had little effect on drug attitudes among teenagers, finding that DARE graduates were actually more likely to have recently smoked marijuana than those who hadn’t taken the course.

Today’s King County Journal reports that Bellevue is the latest city to drop the D.A.R.E. program

At the end of this school year, the Bellevue Police Department will end its involvement in D.A.R.E., becoming the latest law enforcement agency in King County to drop the well-known drug and prevention program in public schools.

In calling for an end to his department’s 17-year involvement with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, Bellevue police Chief Jim Montgomery cited several studies stretching back more than 15 years.

They show, he said, that D.A.R.E. students are no more likely to avoid tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use when they get older than are other students.

This is, needless to say, very good news—particularly for those dope-smoking parents in Bellevue.

While I Was Googling…

posted by on March 20 at 12:35 PM

So while I was gathering images for this post, I stumbled upon this treasure…

tom hanks impersonator.jpg

…which is, indeed, a three-part headshot for a professional Tom Hanks impersonator.

The only thing that would make this better is if he were married to a professional Rita Wilson impersonator.

Peter’s Big Plan

posted by on March 20 at 12:33 PM

This morning, after a months-long battle with Mayor Greg Nickels over the details of Nickels’s plan to increase density and building heights downtown, City Council member Peter Steinbrueck rolled out his compromise proposal, which would require more affordable housing downtown, mandate higher green-building standards, and place stricter limits on above-ground parking than the mayor’s initial downtown zoning plan.

Specifically, Steinbrueck’s proposal would:

• Require developers who build housing taller than current height limits to pay an average of $18.94 per square foot into a fund that would pay for affordable housing downtown. (Nickels proposed a $10-per square-foot affordable-housing bonus);
• Require new developments to meet US green building standards (which Nickels’s plan did not require);
• Require eight-foot awnings on all new downtown developments; and
• Restrict above-ground parking on larger lots to three stories and require developers to build an equal amount of parking underground . (Nickels’s proposal placed no limits on the height of parking garages). Although “the single highest construction cost to developers is parking,” Steinbrueck notes, Seattle doesn’t require developers to build any parking at all.

As of Friday, Steinbrueck and the mayor had not yet agreed to a compromise, although Steinbreuck was optimistic that Nickels would sign off on his proposal. If not, Steinbrueck said, he was prepared to move forward without the mayor’s backing, although that could jeopardize his support among more skeptical council members, such as Jan Drago. “Overall, the whole downtown is getting upzoned by about a third,” Steinbreuck says. Even with the affordable-housing requirement, “this it a huge windfall for developers.”

From The Can’t Help But Share Category

posted by on March 20 at 11:59 AM

I just got one of those solicitation spam emails from someone named Ripely J. Herpes. Is this someone’s idea of unsuspicious?

Honestly, the names lately have been getting outrageous. Have the senders of these things given up on whatever scam first compelled them, and turned their efforts instead toward nomenclature performance art?

Because You Don’t Want The Cat Burning in Hell

posted by on March 20 at 11:42 AM

The Onion’s Marian Byers explains why it’s never too early to tell your kittens about Jesus.

Spring Arrives

posted by on March 20 at 10:26 AM

As of 10:26 a.m. it is officially spring. Hallelujah!

Headline in today’s Seattle P-I

posted by on March 20 at 10:20 AM

Man sought in fatal shouting outside convenience store in Kent

Whiny children make ship-shape conservatives?

posted by on March 20 at 10:16 AM

Who am I to argue with science:

The study from the Journal of Research Into Personality isn’t going to make the UC Berkeley professor who published it any friends on the right. Similar conclusions a few years ago from another academic saw him excoriated on right-wing blogs, and even led to a Congressional investigation into his research funding.

But the new results are worth a look. In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids’ personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There’s no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings — the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it’s unlikely that 3- and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.

A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.

The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

Sadly, I know just as many whiny liberals as I do conservatives. The only discernable difference is that liberals tend to be much handsomer.

Kerri Harrop’s Protest Download

posted by on March 20 at 9:23 AM

Local treasure Kerri Harrop wrote me this weekend to ask why we hadn’t Slogged Saturday’s anti-war protest. I invited her to write it up. Here are Kerri’s thoughts…

I can’t really tell you how many people were in attendance for this weekend’s anti-war rally and march, held on Saturday to protest the three year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I am terrible at crowd estimates. I can tell you, however, that the excitement I felt upon approaching Federal Building was quickly replaced with a sinking feeling.

As with virtually every political event I’ve attended in the past few years, the crowd in attendance was overwhelmingly middle-aged plus. The gray hairs in North Face jackets far outnumbered the 20- and 30-somethings that I had hoped would be wending their way through the streets of downtown, voicing dissent and tying up traffic.

Recent history has shown us that George Bush and his minions don’t really give a good god damn about public opinion. The local media clearly doesn’t care either—Saturday’s rally was merely a blip on the news radar, despite the fact that the march stretched for blocks down 4th Avenue.

I think back to three years ago, when the streets of virtually every major city in the country (and across the world) were filled with citizens opposing the impending debacle that is now the Iraq war.  At that time, there were no casualties to mourn. We had not yet, as a nation, spent billions of dollars to blow up a country and then make pathetic attempts at patching it up. George & co. had not yet been nailed for lying about WMDs.

Now, well over 1,000 days into the “conflict,” there are untold casualties and egregious offenses to civil liberties taking place here and abroad. And, judging by Saturday’s turnout, not too many folks can be bothered to voice their opposition.

Granted, an anti-war protest is not going to stop the daily atrocities in Iraq. And, yeah, there’s a lot of rhetoric to wade through (not to mention a whole lot of Gore-Tex). The beauty in a protest march lies within the heart of the idea; the idea that we, the people, can mobilize and make a difference. A political rally offers the opportunity to share information and shed light on facts, statistics, and ideas that are otherwise under-represented in today’s climate. The dissemination of information is vital to the success of any cause. Walking away with one new fact, one new resource, or one new point of view is the mark of a successful event.  

And, come on, it’s been THREE FUCKING YEARS. People should be outraged.  

It was good to see a well organized and visible group of college kids from the UW in attendance. The anarchists, as usual, made a decent showing, although their penchant for wearing bandanas to cover their faces seems unnecessary at a peaceful protest. And there were definitely folks under 40 in the streets. Just not enough.

The most subversive action I witnessed on Saturday did not come from the demographic I would expect such action from. The older gentleman pictured below managed to sum up his feelings quite succinctly and with DIY ethics that would make Fugazi proud. march 18.jpg

Iraq War Open Thread

posted by on March 20 at 8:42 AM

Today is the first day of the fourth year of the Iraq War. Bush says his strategy is working. The former Iraqi Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi, says his country has fallen into civil war. More than 2,300 American soldiers and more than 33,000 Iraqis have been killed.

What say you?

Save the Planet!

posted by on March 20 at 8:30 AM

Give a Hummer driver the finger! From today’s New York Times:

For Janna Jensen, it was the dirty looks and nasty gestures from other drivers that finally persuaded her to give up the family’s $55,000 Hummer H2. Her husband, Michael, meanwhile, was tired of the $300 monthly gasoline cost and the quality problems that began soon after they bought it.

So the Jensens of Reno, Nev., dumped the sport utility vehicle this year for a more modest Honda Element, still an S.U.V. but one with better gasoline mileage and a lower profile than the H2. And they are not alone.

Luxury sport utilities are becoming decidedly less cool than just three years ago, when they were the hottest things on wheels and dealers had long waiting lists for the most popular models.

On top of the sales drop that has hurt all sport utilities, fewer than half the people who bought luxury S.U.V.’s are going back for another one.

Savvy Women…

posted by on March 20 at 8:03 AM

I’m not sure if they read The Seattle Times on Sunday, but they probably spent the day throwing up if they do.

The Seattle Times has launched GENDER: F. There’s a little box with a red check mark that I can’t replicate here, and it’s ever so edgy. I couldn’t bring myself to crack open the magazine-style section but “The Savvy Northwest Woman’s Guide to Doing, Making, Looking, Feeling Good” isn’t meant for GENDER: Ms like me anyway. But the cover text left me all agog. “THE GREAT AMERICAN BREAST: Amazing Facts, Better Bras,” “GROWN-UP GIRLFRIENDS: Nurturing Our Relationships.” “YOUR HEALTH: Five Things to Know.” “FINDING BALANCE: Powerful Seattle Women Share Their Life Lessons.”

GENDER: F, in other words, appears to serve up the same patronizing crap that most women’s magazines dish up every month—you know, the kind of magazines that truly savvy women don’t need to read and/or wouldn’t be caught dead reading. (Love to hear some comments from any actual women who actually read the thing.)

GENDER: F reminds me of another recent Seattle Times effort: NEXT. Launched in 2003, NEXT was a full page of opinion pieces by children—excuse me, NEXT was a “youth-oriented opinion page… by writers in the 17-25 age group”—that was supposed to draw youngsters into the Seattle Times. NEXT was a pathetic joke, and it limped along for a few years before someone at Seattle Times HQ had the good sense to take it out behind 13 Coins and kill it. I predict the same future for GENDER: F. It’s patronizing and pointless, it’ll limp along for a couple of years, and then its body will be found in a dumpster behind 13 Coins.

Yeah, yeah: What do I know? I didn’t read GENDER: F’s profile of Jean Enerson, and I skipped the big breast expose. But I was right when I predicted that NEXT would fail before it even started running. Sometimes you just know, you know?

Hollywood Mystery

posted by on March 20 at 7:55 AM

The UK’s The Mirror is all abuzz about the “A-list Hollywood actor” who allegedly wanked to completion during an otherwise professional massage. Two years after the alleged 2004 incident, the masseuse remains furious and seems to be considering possible legal action. From The Mirror:

“The star—who cannot be named for legal reasons—was on a golfing holiday with his wife and staying at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland. The masseuse, 34, told an industrial tribunal she felt ‘abused’ by the actor’s actions. ‘It was disgusting and, even though he was a Hollywood superstar, I couldn’t believe he thought he could get away with something like that. He abused me and I considered that a criminal act. When I was giving his wife a massage afterwards, I wanted to tell her everything.’”

So…the fella has a wife, or at least he did in 2004, which automatically disqualifies him, him, and him.

But what about him, him, him, or him??


Tomorrow is a Brand New Day

posted by on March 20 at 5:15 AM

I look up from my book and see that dawn has arrived. It’s 5:14 am. Spring is now my favorite time of the year.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

B is for Balzac

posted by on March 19 at 6:45 PM

I figure that everyone wants a little, but not a lot, of Balzac in their lives. Just a bit. I can help. I am reading Lost Illusions and I am in the mood to share good lines. Here is my first, from page 27 of the Modern Library Classics (yes) paperback translation from the French.

On looking at his feet, a man might have been tempted to think him a young girl in disguise, the more so because, like nearly all men of subtle, not to say astute, minds, the contour of his hips was womanly.

For Some Ungushy Cantwell Coverage

posted by on March 19 at 4:12 PM

Read the current issue of the Stranger. It’s not just the anti-war activists and Greens who are fed up with Sen. Cantwell.

It’s also the party’s very own precinct committee officers (the Democratic party workerbees) who pushed back against their incumbent earlier this month at the Democratic precinct caucuses. Several precincts in the pesky 46th District (N. Seattle) passed resolutions censuring Sen. Maria Cantwell for her recent vote against the Alito filibuster. One precinct committee officer even resigned over Cantwell’s filibuster fumble.

Cantwell, Obama, an Exceptionally Hot Gym, and an Unsteady Campaign Event

posted by on March 19 at 3:15 PM

On Thursday, Goldy over at HorsesAss suggested I had gone ga-ga for a certain political candidate. Today he has his own ga-ga moment, fawning over Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and her appearance at the Garfield High School gym yesterday with political wunderkind Barack Obama. (You can find other gushy coverage here, here, and here, and Seattle Times coverage here.)

I have to say, I don’t agree with Goldy that the event was a good sign for Cantwell, who’s running for re-election this year.

Supporters of Aaron Dixon, Cantwell’s nettlesome Green Party challenger, were outside the Garfield gym beforehand making noise, and Robert Jamieson of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer had welcomed Cantwell to the Central District on Saturday morning by basically calling her an opportunist in print. Then, when Cantwell rose to speak, she was immediately interrupted by protesters holding up a long banner that read: “Maria Can’t Say No to War. Barak, Don’t Obom Iraq.”

Cantwell seemed flustered, and embarrassed to have brought her superstar Senate colleague all the way across the country for an anti-war ambush. As the protesters chanted, she made the standard stalling remarks about what a great country this is for allowing such dissent, and then said it was time to move on, that she wasn’t there to talk about the war, but rather about education.

That didn’t move the protesters, who kept chanting, and with the event teetering on the verge of collapse, King County Executive Ron Sims had to spring out of his seat on the dais and lead the crowd in a counter-chant of “Cantwell, Cantwell!” That gave Cantwell’s handlers enough time to hustle the protesters out of the gym, but the long, awkward moment reminded everyone in the audience that Cantwell voted for the war in Iraq and is unapologetic about it — a position that isn’t going to serve her well in liberal Seattle, especially with a Green Party challenger nipping at her expensive heels (and on top of that a well-funded Republican challenger, former insurance company executive Mike McGavick).

Cantwell’s speech went on, and was received with strong applause. But then, shortly after Obama rose to speak, there was a loud thud. It was packed in the Garfield gym, and extremely warm, and someone had apparently fainted from all the body heat. That interrupted the event again, and brought back the teetering feeling. Obama, who has a breathtaking presence and a mesmerizing oratorical ability, was able to calm the crowd, made sure a doctor was taking care of the person, and then moved on. An elderly black woman who had brought a framed picture of Obama continued to hold it aloft every time he made a good point. But there were other things being held up during his speech as well: Signs saying, “Iraq Entering Year 4, How Many More,” and “Garfield PTSA Opposes Military Recruiters in Schools.”

Then someone shouted at Obama: “What about the war?”

Obama, too, wanted to talk about education, not the war. And not having been in the Senate when the decision to invade Iraq was made, he had an easy dodge. “Now hold on,” he said. “I didn’t vote for the war, young man.”

His speech continued, education was talked about, the crowd was enthralled by his magnetism, and Cantwell got her photo-op in what’s considered the heart of Seattle’s black community.

But I left with a sense of having watched a re-election campaign teeter, and with the feeling that Cantwell could land in serious trouble with her Seattle constituency if she doesn’t find a way to address the war — nevermind her recent embrace of Idaho Republican Dirk Kempthorne’s nomination as Interior Secretary.

She’s lucky Obama’s star power smoothed the event over, and she’s also lucky she was only dealing with two tricky constituencies on Saturday, the black and anti-war communities. Imagine if environmentalists like Cienna Madrid had been in the crowd as well.

SXSW Observations, Day 4

posted by on March 19 at 12:07 PM

—Best sign posted on a bar door: I’D CARD MY OWN MOTHER

—Best graffito scrawled on the Coyote Ugly saloon window: If stupid were bricks, you’d be the Great Wall of China.

—I tried to enter my ex-employer Alternative Press’ party at Emo’s Annex, but was repelled by Poison the Well’s hope-obliterating waves of party-killing hardcore. So I stumbled over to Flamingo Cantina, where I encountered Poison the Well’s polar opposite, the Brothers and Sisters. Everyone describes B&S as a modern-day Mamas & the Papas, and that’s not inaccurate. There’s also a late-era Byrds country-rock vibe emanating from their instantly lovable/hummable nuggets, featuring synchronized tambourine hits by hippie chicks Lily Courtney and Marie Butcher. Happening upon Brothers and Sisters like this is a large part of what makes SXSW interesting: the unexpected segues in your schedule, the random forces that tug you from one extreme to the other. Plus, there are the fascinating discrepancies in the ambiences of the various venues and the perpetual parade of tantalizing T&A sashaying before your eyes… er, what I mean is, it’s all about the music, man, the music.

—Sinking realization: Hearing the MC5’s Back in the USA play over the PA before the Brothers and Sisters set actually overshadows 99 percent of what any of the bands at SXSW will ever do.

—Sign outside of Forbidden Fruit (a “tastefully naughty” gift shop): IF HUMAN SEXUALITY OFFENDS YOU, DO NOT COME IN

—At Factory People, Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott were spinning yet another grip of world-class minimal techno obscurities. It was refreshing to hear the strangely sensual sound of Berlin clubs transferred to an American boho haute couture shop like this. (On a completely unrelated note, what’s up with the jeans selling for $242? For that price, they better come with a guarantee of getting you laid within 12 hours of wearing them.)

—Over at Caribbean Lights, Cadence Weapon (AKA Rollie Pemberton) proved he was the Bill Cosby of this rap shit with the sort of nerdy, meta lyrics and flow you’d expect from a young ex-Pitchfork writer. He was working onstage with a rodential white DJ named Weasel (a phenomenal scratcher and beat-provider) and being met with awkward silences by the blogger-laden crowd. Edmonton, Alberta, represent!

—Recent Data Breaker stars Birdy Nam Nam fared much better at Oslo. The French turntablist quartet proved themselves to be Big Dada’s most exciting artist since Roots Manuva. The highlight came when they all took solo turns on the wheels of steel and l’homme with the beard and hat cut up James Brown’s “The Payback” with alarming ferocity and cleverness.

—For something completely different, Zombi transported us back to a mid-’70s Euro-prog-rock paradise at Room 710 with a set of throbbing and swirling atmospheres that evoked Tangerine Dream, Heldon, and Dario Argento’s favorite soundtrackers, Goblin. What Zombi are doing on a grindcore/black-metal label like Relapse remains a mystery.

—The night concluded with a storming display of acid-robo-disco-funk by the Juan Maclean. The NYC four-piece had the floor precariously bending from the strain of pogoing dancers from the first cowbell hit and ELP-like Theremin flourish. This is the third time I’ve seen the Juan Maclean and every time they kill it. They are such a stronger force live than they are on disc, and the dude who plays Theremin and keytar may be the DFA label’s MVP.

What Do Lesbians Think?

posted by on March 19 at 11:57 AM

The case of Khalila O’Rielly-Williams is the first time I’ve heard about a woman being arrested for sexual misconduct with a female minor. O’Rielly-Williams is the very-recently-resigned 23-year-old female basketball coach at Seattle Prep charged with having sex with a 16-year-old female student.

It’s definitely a man bites dog story.

It’s unlike other statutory rape stories.

Sadly, “older men taking advantage of girls” is a standard story. In fact, the exact same week the O’Rielly-Williams story broke, a sad, but unfortunately mundane story about a 46-year-old Lynnwood male H.S. science teacher, James Lowell Stone, showed up in the papers as well. Stone was arrested for sexual misconduct with a minor—a 17-year-old female student.

Of course, we already have a script for the Lynnwood story. This is what we expect of men. Men are lecherous predators. The court papers imply that he seduced her with marijuana. (Stone has pleaded not guilty.)

Another version of the sexual misconduct with a minor story—once uncommon, but one that seems to show up in the news all the time in recent years—is the Letourneau version: Female teacher having a sexual relationship with a male student. This story is still a bit hard for people to compute. Initially, there is the light-hearted reaction that the boy got lucky (what 16-year-old boy doesn’t dream about sex with his hot female teacher?). Initially, there’s also a weird feminist angle that, hey, it’s kind of cool for an older woman to turn the tables in a society where men date younger women, but women don’t “score” with young guys. You go girl.

There’s also the “male priest or male baseball coach molesting young boys” stories. Our homophobic society knows how to process these stories too. They play to hateful stereotypes about the depravity of gay men—that is, gay men as pedophiles.

Of course, all these stereotypes—light hearted and/or hateful—complicate our ability to deal with these basic and serious stories about sexual predators.

So, what to make of the Seattle Prep story? I don’t believe I’ve ever read about a case like this. It seems like it should be a big deal—kind of like the Letourneau story when it first hit. Yet, The Seattle Times coverage is flat line. Only by doing a double take on the feminine pronouns does it become clear that we’re even talking about lesbian sex.

I think the reaction to the story will be most similar to the reactions we have to the Letourneau version. That is: It’s harmless. Lesbians tend to be invisible and unimportant (AKA marginalized) in our culture, and so, this case probably doesn’t press many buttons for the larger world. (Similar to the 16-year-old boy getting “lucky,” a lot of guys probably fantasize that this story is “hot.”)

We’re also talking about a 23-year-old and a 16-year-old. That’s not as shocking as the 30 or 40-something male coach and the teenage girl. In fact, in Washington, 16 is considered the age of consent in some circumstances. It’s the fact that O’Rielly-Williams worked at Seattle Prep that led to the charges, I think. It’s illegal for school employees to have sexual contact with students.

Obviously, I’m not saying (if the charges against O’Rielly-Williams are true) that this was a consensual lesbian relationship. The 16-year-old is definitely a victim in a situation like this. There is a serious problem with a supervisor, adult coach having sex with a student.

I guess I just want to hear from lesbians out there. How does this story hit you? Affect you? How does it land politically?

Hot Tracks on Wax… Cylinder

posted by on March 19 at 8:26 AM

If you enjoyed the Border Radio column last July wherein I mentioned the old-timey music archive Turtle’s “78 RPM” Jukebox (you’ll have to scroll down to the end of the column), make sure to read Jody Rosen’s excellent story “How Pop Sounded Before It Popped” in today’s New York Times Arts section. It offers a comprehensive and entertaining overview of the efforts of historians to preserve and distribute the wealth of surviving popular recordings from the early part of the 20th century. Fun, fascinating stuff.

Kos Has a Point

posted by on March 19 at 6:33 AM

Kos says

Bush is incompetent, sure. But by hammering on just that issue it suggests that Bush’s policies would be better for our country if only we had someone more competent executing them. That’s not true. Bush is both wrong on the issues AND incompetent.