Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 04/16/2006 - 04/22/2006

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Beautiful Spring Day Inside

posted by on April 22 at 7:00 PM

You probably wouldn’t expect this from a pseudo gay Stranger staffer like myself, but I spent the better part of the day inside Sport, the pre-fab sports bar at Fisher Plaza, watching the first round of the NBA playoffs. Go Washington Wizards!! Go JillBert Arenas!!

It was a great place to spend this unofficial first day of Spring. There are plasma TV screens everywhere (giant ones and small ones); tray tables that attach to comfy brown swivel chairs; and a menu the texture of a basketball with a long list of fattening appetizers, personal-size pizzas, dripping sandwiches, burgers, beer, booze, and milkshakes. (I had the SW chicken burger doused in guacamole, a tall bloody Mary, and a large cone of jo jo fries wrapped in yellow tissue paper.) I spent less than $20 to sit there for 3-and-a-half hours, lounging w/ a couple of my mellow pals.

I know the $2.2-million-on average-drain on the city budget-for the last six years-Sonics didn’t make the playoffs, but if you’re still interested in this year’s NBA post-season run off (they seem worthy for the first time in years), Sport—just across the street from Seattle Center on 4th Ave. N.—is the place to watch them.

In The Hood Today

posted by on April 22 at 1:00 PM

Walking to my apartment from Red Apple (I had just purchased a pound of greens for lunch) on 23rd and Jackson, I hear a really round, light-skinned woman standing next to a man fixing a car that has never seen better days, yell, with great affection, at another man (unseen by me) across the street from her: “Jamie! Jamie! Jamie, you ol’ black crispy nigga. How ya doing?” One of the many delights of black English plucked fresh from the streets of Seattle on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Fundies Lose One in Washington State

posted by on April 22 at 10:15 AM

The Associated Press is reporting that the Washington state Board of Pharmacy drafted its rules yesterday on whether or not an individual pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription based on moral objections. The answer: Not.

That’s a relief. Women’s rights advocates had feared that a compromise recommendation would carry the day—a compromise between protecting an individual pharmacist’s feelings and protecting a customer’s health. Some “compromise.”

That “compromise” recommendation, from the Washinton State Pharmacy Association, had urged the Board to prioritize an individual pharmacist’s feelings by giving pharmacists with moral objections the right to refuse to fill prescriptions—if the pharmacist directed customers to other pharmacies.

While the Board’s new draft rules do reportedly allow pharmacies to refer patients to another business or recommend a timely alternative if the pharamcy does not stock a certain drug, the rules don’t allow individual pharmacists to send customers away based on their own moral objections.

I haven’t seen the draft rules yet, so I’m not sure if that caveat is problematic, but it seems to me: With or without these new rules, there’s no way to force a private pharmacy to stock a certain drug anyway. However, with these new rules in place, if a pharmacy does stock something like Plan B, there’s no way for a self righteous individual pharmacist to turn the customer away.

Amy Luftig or Sara Ainsworth, if you guys read this post, can you give us your take in the comments thread?

Friday, April 21, 2006


posted by on April 21 at 8:46 PM

Via Americablog: Pink performing “Dear Mr. President.” Amazing.

What’s the Matter With Straight People?

posted by on April 21 at 8:15 PM

We’ve been hearing from a lot of homophobic straight folks about Christopher Frizzelle’s brilliant Club Z piece, Bleak House. You know, gays are gross, we all fist, we’re all into sleazy sex, we all go to bathhouses, etc.

Well chew on this, bigoted breeders:

In a searing court attack on Charlie Sheen, actress Denise Richards alleges that her estranged husband is unstable, violent, addicted to gambling and prostitutes, and visits pornographic web sites featuring young men and girls who appear underage…. Richards also charges that Sheen, 40, assaulted her and threatened her life during a December 30 incident at the actress’s Los Angeles home. Richards claims that an enraged Sheen—who was over for a visit with the couple’s two children—told her she was “fucking with the wrong guy” and called her a series of vulgar names in front of the children. The actor, Richards said, then shoved her to the ground and screamed, “I hope you f—king die, bitch.” As Richards, 35, tells it, Sheen was angry because she had told her divorce attorney about discovering details of Sheen’s porn-surfing practices. Richards’s declaration, filed in support of her request for a restraining order against Sheen, contends that Sheen “belonged” to “disturbing” sites “which promoted very young girls, who looked underage to me with pigtails, braces, and no pubic hair performing oral sex with each other.” Other sites visited by Sheen, Richards alleges, involved “gay pornography also involving very young men who also did not look like adults.” Richards claims that she also discovered that Sheen “belonged to several sex search type sites” on which he “looked for women to have sex with.” His online profile, Richards adds, included a photo of “his erect penis.” The Richards evisceration also portrays Sheen as a lousy father who urged her to abort their first child. And, when she was about to give birth to their second child via a C-section, Sheen’s attention was “diverted to his pager for the results of his betting.”

Wow. Straight people are so violent and sleazy and gross, huh?

Reefer, Represented

posted by on April 21 at 5:53 PM

Nick Licata wasn’t around City Hall when I made my rounds this week, and one of his colleagues was eager to tell me why. It turns out the new council president, along with ex-Seattle police chief Norm Stamper and goofy ’70s pot icon Tommy Chong, is speaking at the annual conference of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, where the panels have names like “Reefer, Rhetoric and Retorts,” “Grassroots to Grasstops,” and “We’re Pot Smokers and Damn Proud of It!

Cantwell Supports Santorum Bill

posted by on April 21 at 5:37 PM

Just after I go and file a pro-Cantwell slog post, this news comes to my attention: Santorum’s S333 lays the ground work for military intervention in Iran—and Cantwell has signed on.

Cantwell is being called to task for supporting the bill over on Washblog.

Introducing… Line Out!

posted by on April 21 at 5:35 PM

Line Out: The Stranger's Music Blog

The Stranger’s all music all the time blog, Line Out, is launching today. Line Out is the place to go for Stranger-lovin’ music junkies who don’t want to read about TomKat’s placenta-munching proclivities, Charles Mudede’s fever dreams, or the minutiae of Seattle parking regulations (not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but there are only so many hours in the day).

At Line Out, the paper’s music-oriented staff writers, columnists, and freelancers will opine and observe with the kind of acuity, fervor, and humor you’ve come to expect from their printed work. We’ll be writing about upcoming shows, reviewing gigs, alerting you to hot new bands, hipping you to amazing records old and new, castigating sonic wackness, and editorializing about important issues concerning the music industry.

Please peruse Line Out and fill up the Comments box, if you’re so inclined. We thrive on your feedback.

Flannery’s Face and Legs

posted by on April 21 at 5:28 PM

Nightstand this week is about Flannery O’Connor. When it seemed there might be room for a roomier, moodier O’Connor article in the current book section, the brilliant illustrator Tra Selhtrow was hired to do a drawing, but then my O’Connor stuff got shoved over into Nightstand, which doesn’t get an illustration. But Selhtrow’s awesome, inky drawing of O’Connor can be seen here.

Another thing about this week’s column: It neglects to mention that the letter quoted is from The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor. Here’s the picture on the back:


O’Connor raised peacocks and spent most of her adult life battling illness—she died of lupus at the age of 39, “at the height of her powers,” her author bios usually read. Thus, the crutches. A letter of hers dated September 24, 1955 begins, “I am learning to walk on crutches and I feel like a large stiff anthropoid ape…” In the middle of the letter she interrupts herself: “However, my crutches are my complete obsession right now. I have never used such before and I am to be on them for a year or two. They change the tempo of everything. I no longer am going to cross the room without making a major decision to do it.” And in closing, a page later, she writes, “I must be off on my two aluminum legs.


posted by on April 21 at 4:12 PM

Leilani Lanes out on Greenwood is closed forever. Some belated photos from the auction last week:





Wanna Play Doctor?

posted by on April 21 at 3:40 PM

I thought people stopped using that excuse circa 6 years old. Prize-winning line: “Unfortunately, the breast exams quickly turned into something much more.” Fortunately, he was snagged before doing anything too awful. Nimrod.

Speaking of… Ever wonder how Nimrod, the ancient king obliquely mentioned in the Bible, came to be a middle-school insult? Of course you have.

Nimrod appears in Genesis 10:8—9, in a post-diluvian genealogy (he was a descendent of Noah): “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.”

How’d a “mighty hunter” become synonymous with “dolt”? Word on the etymological street has it that Warner Brothers is to blame. In a 1938 cartoon, Bugs Bunny taunted the hapless hunter Elmer Fudd by calling him “Nimrod.”

(The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first disparaging usage of Nimrod to 1932, in play (The Great Magoo) by Ben Hecht and Gene Fowler: “He’s in love with her. That makes about the tenth. The same old Nimrod.” But the play only ran for eleven performances, so I’m giving the honors to Bugs. Celluloid: 3,435,712. Theater: 0.)

McGavick: Negative Cash Flow

posted by on April 21 at 3:35 PM

Last week, I praised Mike McGavick for tapping local GOPers to run his senate campaign, while I bitched out Maria Cantwell for doing the opposite—relying on D.C. staffers and consultants to run her shop.

I followed up that report with the latest polling numbers, showing that McGavick had climbed from 13 points behind Cantwell to eight points behind.

However, turnabout is fair play: So, let me ding the McGavick campaign for a second here. It took a costly round of TV ads for McGavick to chip away at Cantwell’s lead—a super expensive strategy. To wit: Earlier this week both candidates filed their most recent quarterly campaign finance reports. McGavick boasted he raised a stunning $1.2million in the last quarter. Here’s the problem, though. He spent all of it—and more.

According to his previous report—filed last December—McGavick had $955K cash on-hand. According to the new report, he’s got $896K on hand. That means, despite raising $1.2m, he’s got $59K less than he had four months ago. In other words, he’s spending it faster than he’s raising it. That’s a sucky place to be this far out from election day.

In comparison: Cantwell raised $1.82 million this quarter ($600K more than McGavick); and, unlike McGavick, she has more cash on hand than she did going into the quarter: $5.67m Vs. $5.58m.


posted by on April 21 at 3:32 PM

Via the wonders of Google, it appears my plagarism cherry has finally been popped, courtesy of a dude named Homebrewer.

(For comparison, the original. )

I especially appreciate how he considerately expands upon my themes in the last paragraph. For, indeed, I certainly have “seen alot of strange stuff KIDDIES!” Seamless, I tells ya.

Coppola + Antoinette + New Order = Love

posted by on April 21 at 3:24 PM

I like but don’t love Sofia Coppola, love but don’t worship New Order, and don’t know poo about Marie Antoinette.

Nevertheless, this preview for Sofia Coppola’s forthcoming Marie Antoinette, set to New Order’s “Age of Consent,” makes me swoon.

Nick and Jonah have a podcast.

posted by on April 21 at 3:05 PM

It’s true. And with those two forces combined, the world could end.

You might remember Nick and Jonah from their Queen ramblings. Or maybe you’ll recall Jonah’s interview with Andrew W.K. Most notably, though, Nick and Jonah are the bassists for Kane Hodder and Schoolyard Heroes respectively, they’re roommates, they’re friends, and when put together, they’re hilarious.

The name of the podcast is War of Attrition, and they plan on doing it every week. They just posted the first episode this morning. It’s so new, I haven’t even listened to it all yet, but just the playlist alone (Manowar, Fleetwood Mac, the Village People, and Skid Row) promises good times. And I’m only 15 minutes into it and already they’ve talked about how Stevie Nicks is a slut and chest hair’s presence in rock and roll. Awwwwesome.

Listen at

The Place To Be

posted by on April 21 at 2:40 PM

“It darkles…all this our funnanimal world.” — James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake

Images by Michael Wolf and music mixed by Kode9 made my week. This darkling image is from Wolf’s Hong Kong Back Door series:

As for the music, this is an mp3 of a 20-minute mix that was recorded earlier this month on Radio One. The mixer is Steve Goodman (aka Kode9) and what is mixed is a CD by Burial that comes out next month on Goodman’s label, Hyperdub. In the way Wolf’s image of the apartment clusters is darkled by late light, low sea clouds, and faded colors, Goodman’s mix is darkled by the sort of hisses, crackles, echo tracers that Berlin’s Basic Channel discovered and mastered in the mid-90s.

Attention Darcy Burner Fans and Skeptics

posted by on April 21 at 2:20 PM

Thanks to all of you who posted questions last Friday for Darcy Burner. (If you’re a little late to the game and don’t know who Burner is, click here or here.)

I just talked to her campaign manager Zach Silk, and word on the street is that Burner will be submitting her answers to me no later than Monday morning, 10:00 am. I will post them shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, here’s something to make your wait a little sweeter:


Rove Indictment Coming?

posted by on April 21 at 1:02 PM

TruthOut says it’s likely.

And Americablog has more links to indictment speculation, although Aravosis isn’t celebrating yet.

The Most Exciting Quote Since 1992

posted by on April 21 at 12:27 PM

Joel Connelly, whose obsession with the Stranger continues unabated (still more here) loves Bill Clinton almost as much as the Stranger loves Nick Licata. Connelly spent some time in the then-candidate’s limo in 1992, and he’s been milking the anecdote ever since.

Check out the following series of excerpts from Connelly’s column over the last 14 years

February 29, 1992

Earlier in the day, Clinton was in high spirits as he drove back to Boeing Field. He had just used a bullhorn to address about 600 people who weren’t able to jam into the Edgewater. “I might move out here,” he joked.

March 8, 1993

As Bill Clinton’s limousine drove onto the tarmac at Boeing Field last spring, seeming to head straight toward a gleaming Mount Rainier, he mused, “I think I’ll move out here sometime.” A year later, it almost seems like he’s keeping the promise. Clinton is due back in the Northwest April 3-4 to meet in Vancouver, B.C., with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

November 18, 1993

Mount Rainier appeared to rise directly out of the end of Boeing Field last year as President Clinton’s limousine drove onto the tarmac after a campaign visit. “I think I’ll move out here sometime,” joked Clinton, buoyed by good crowds and a beautiful late winter day. He seems to be making good on his promise.

November 5, 1994

Clinton has been greeted by sunny skies on six visits since the summer of 1991. “I think I’ll move out here sometime,” he said during a 1992 trip while driving onto the tarmac at Boeing Field with Mount Rainier seeming to loom up at the end of the runway.

February 8, 1996

Clinton has developed an affection for the region. In 1991, just before launching his campaign for president, the future president, his wife and daughter spent a few days in British Columbia. In his 1992 campaign, heading down a runway at Boeing Field with Mount Rainier in the distance, the soon-to-be-president joked, “I think I’ll move out here sometime.”

June 29, 1998

“I think I’ll move out here sometime,” Clinton joked at the end of one visit, driving onto Boeing Field as Mount Rainier seemed to rise out of the end of the runway.

August 15, 2000

As his motorcade snaked onto the tarmac at Seattle’s Boeing Field during the 1992 campaign, with Mount Rainier seeming to rise out of the end of the runway, Bill Clinton mused: “I think I may move out here some time.”

Jan 28 2002

Clinton haters would recoil at words once spoken as the presidential motorcade snaked onto Boeing Field, on a clear day with Rainier’s Willis Wall seeming to rise out of the end of the runway. “I think I’ll move out here sometime,” he quipped.

April 17, 2006

As his motorcade drove onto the Boeing Field tarmac, with Mount Rainier seeming to rise out of the runway, then-President Clinton quipped: “I think I’ll move out here sometime.” Clinton was in the Northwest 13 times as president and has returned repeatedly since.

After being trotted out by Connelly out at least nine times, Clinton’s quote is more threadbare than a mattress at Value Village. Note also how the context has changed over the years: Initially, Clinton made his quip in the spring of 1992, during his first presidential campaign. But by 2002, Connelly was claiming the incident happened while Clinton was president, referring to the “presidential motorcade.”

Next week: Joel Connelly on lunch!

Welcome Home, Speaker Speaker!

posted by on April 21 at 12:15 PM

The Stranger’s 2006 Big Shot winners, Speaker Speaker, have been on tour for a good two weeks, but tonight they’re finally back in Seattle’s warm embrace. Well, almost. They’re in Redmond, actually, at the Old Fire House, where they’ll play an all-ages show with Schoolyard Heroes and Paris in Arms. If you haven’t yet, be sure to give Speaker Speaker a listen, as they’re currently one of my favorites. And fans of Sicko, Jawbreaker, and Ted Leo MUST check them out. Seriously, it’s required. If you don’t, I’ll find out and and write you a citation.

Castro Castrated

posted by on April 21 at 12:13 PM

First the White House Easter Egg Roll, now Castro Street: Gay parents ruin everything!

For more than a decade, heterosexual parents have been drawn to the quarter-mile-square Castro to raise their families in its quaint Victorian homes and small-town atmosphere. In recent years, the Castro’s same-sex couples have also increasingly chosen to become parents, a revolution that has brought even more children….

But this new Castro has not emerged without tensions.

The racy storefront displays have pitted protective parents against equally militant gay residents. Many parents—both heterosexual and gay—say the suggestive ads are inappropriate for children. Gay activists want to preserve a sexually liberated atmosphere that embraces such gay-themed holidays as “Leather Day” and—in celebration of hairy men—”Bear Day.”


posted by on April 21 at 12:12 PM

The Seahawks’ 2006 campaign is officially doomed.

Freedom of Speech

posted by on April 21 at 11:35 AM

If only they had more of it China. You know, like we’ve got here in America.

A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement who disrupted a White House appearance by Chinese President Hu Jintao was charged in federal court on Friday with harassing, intimidating or threatening a foreign official.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington said the misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to six months in jail.

ITMFA Update

posted by on April 21 at 11:07 AM

Most of my days are consumed with filling ITMFA orders. Which isn’t much fun, but hearing from folks who have received their ITMFA buttons and pins—instead of folks who are angry about not having received their buttons and pins—make it all worthwhile. (For the record, we got a lot more orders than we expected, and ran out of buttons and pins. We’ve got more in, and more still are coming, and orders are going out daily.)

Here’s a nice letter from a satisfied ITMFA customer…

Thanks so much for the ITMFA pins, especially the American flag version. I’ll be sporting it on my Armani at an advertising event at Philadelphia’s Union League next week (if they actually let Jews in yet). Just wanted to respond to the poster who was concerned about Cheney taking the top slot if Bush is impeached. When people ask me what my ITMFA button stands for, I say, “Impeach the motherfuckers already.” The plural use keeps the structure of the acronym in place and earns many smiles, too!—David

And a nice picture from another satisfied customer…

Hi Dan. Attached is a picture of me, my dad Tom and my 8 month old son Tommy wearing our buttons. I wear mine on my purse strap so I always have it on.

ITMFA pic.jpg

Thanks again for all you are doing!—Denise

Satisfied t-shirt customer Christie writes…

I noticed you wanted photos of people with ITMFA gear, so I have attached a photo of me in my ITMFA tshirt. I also blogged about it.


Keep having these great ideas. We have to find SOMETHING to focus on until he gets impeached. (I’m keeping a good thought.)

Christie Keith

You can get an ITMFA t-shirt by clicking here.

And, finally, a satisfied customer asks…

I have a double life. I am a teacher in a very conservative school district. (just imagine a high school senior pulling into the parking space next to me in a new hummer….) I need to wear my ITMFA button at my very conservative job. I need a substitute slogan that I can give to my A-hole superiors and uptight co-workers and students when I know they will recoil in horror if I give them the real story. Have any of your readers come up with an alternative job-saving slogan for ITMFA? I am willing to give the real meaning to the people I know are cool, but I can’t afford to have one of those little pieces of paper go into my permanent file!

The Emperor

posted by on April 21 at 9:56 AM

One more word on the emperor of the global economy, President Hu, who is pictured here at Paine Field in Everett:


When the heads of Boeing left Seattle for Chicago, the feeling expressed in the daily papers and financial journals was one of deep despair—the departure of the heads meant that the company as a whole had departed. Boeing was no longer a Seattle company but a Chicago one. The flaw of this thinking (or feeling of despair) was exposed by the President Hu’s visit to Boeing’s Everett factory. Hu did not go to Chicago to meet with the heads; he went to the actual site of production. And this was not done as an act of solidarity between the Communist Party of China and the unionized workers and engineers of Boeing, but because Boeing is a company that is in reality based in Seattle’s metropolitan area. The headquarters in Chicago must be regarded not as Boeing but in the way that the company’s smaller plants in the midwest and Japan are recognized—as moons circling the spatial and historical core production of commercial airplanes.
Since the very beginning of capitalism it has been capital’s dream of dreams to detach itself from production and to seem autonomous—money making money rather than labour (Hegel’s savage beast) making money. This is what the heads of Boeing wanted to achieve: complete autonomy from work, both physical and mental. But Hu’s stop in Seattle’s metropolitan area made it clear for all to see that Boeing is based nowhere else but here and that the departure of the heads has not resulted in capital eclipsing labour, but the other way around: labour eclipsing capital.

Why Don’t We Put on a Show?

posted by on April 21 at 9:38 AM

And why don’t we do it in a concentration camp?

Thankfully, as Ynetnews reports, the idea’s been stymied—an especially wise move considering the show scheduled to be performed at the former Polish death camp (which oversaw the deaths of a reported 100,000 Jews and 130,000 others) was Jesus Christ Superstar.

Full story here.

The Race for the 43rd: Lynne Dodson

posted by on April 21 at 8:00 AM

Today is the last day of our week-long look at candidates who want to be the next state representative from Seattle’s 43rd District. So far we’ve heard from Dick Kelley, Bill Sherman, Jim Street, and Stephanie Pure. Today we hear from Lynne Dodson.

(There is also a sixth candidate, Jamie Pedersen, whom I wrote about in The Stranger two weeks ago.)

It’s been made clear, over the last four days, that the Slog has some pretty serious policy geeks among its readership. Which is great. You guys have done a fantastic job of peppering (and in some cases pestering) the candidates with your (mostly) sharp questions. In a race where the major difficulty for voters is going to be differentiating among six good liberals, you’ve helped highlight some interesting differences among the contenders.

I’ll be doing a post on Monday to see who you liked best, but for now, one more to go… Y’all know the drill:

Got something you want to ask Dodson? Post it in the comments. She’ll check in periodically throughout the day to answer questions. (Don’t understand what any of this is about? Click here.)

Lynne Dodson

Money Raised: $30,446

All of the candidates in this race talk about public education. I am the only candidate who has worked in and for public education my entire career. I’m not running because I’ve always wanted to be a politician. I’m a teacher and an activist who is tired of seeing our state’s future shortchanged.

My website ( has detailed positions on a broad range of issues, so I will briefly outline my background and priorities here.

I’m a graduate of the University of Washington (Ph.D., Social Welfare), a teacher at Seattle Central, the mother of two Seattle public school graduates, president of the faculty union for the Seattle community colleges and an education activist. I know the issues facing our schools.

Pre-K, K-12, community colleges, and the four-year college system compete for scarce funding. Washington State is 42nd in the nation in per-student funding and 46th in class size. We face threats like attacks on the education trust fund, charter schools and rapidly increasing tuition costs.

We need to prioritize public education and fund it, not just talk about its importance while diverting funds and shifting costs onto families and students.

We need more teachers — people who confront the consequences of inadequate funding — in the legislature to be directly involved in policy and decision making to create a seamless pre-K through higher education system, and to address the unstable and unfair tax system that prevents our state from adequately funding education.

I’ve been effective in working for change as an elected union leader and a legislative and community activist. I’ve helped build coalitions among labor and education constituents to fight for educational initiatives at all levels. I’ve worked to keep tuition low and eliminate I-200 restrictions to increase access and opportunity in our four-year colleges.

My roots and my passion have been in fighting for social justice: developing programs to reduce institutional racism in job training programs, policy work on welfare and teen parent programs, educating about the effects of trade policies. I’ve walked the picket line for workers’ rights and helped organize two of the largest anti-war rallies in our state’s history. I’m effective because I know when to hit the pen and paper and when to hit the streets.

I brought hundreds of faculty and students to Olympia to lobby for education, tax reform, health care, unemployment, civil rights, and worker safety. I’ve testified at committee hearings and drafted proposed legislation. I’ve built coalitions to ensure social services, labor issues and education are not being pitted against one another for scarce resources (while funds for corporate welfare seem inexhaustible).

We need to approach our state’s opportunities and challenges in new ways. We must get away from our “can’t do” timidity and fight for our principles and values. I’m an agent for change. I’ve learned we can create the world — and the state — we want. We need to have the vision to see it, and the leadership, creativity and energy to work for it. I do and I will.

Pot Addled Motherfuckers

posted by on April 21 at 6:00 AM

Emergency contraception, global warming, and now pot—do the assholes running the federal government ver listen to their own scientists? From today’s New York Times:

F.D.A. Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that “no sound scientific studies” supported the medical use of marijuana, contradicting a 1999 review by a panel of highly regarded scientists….

The Food and Drug Administration statement directly contradicts a 1999 review by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific advisory agency. That review found marijuana to be “moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting.”

Dr. John Benson, co-chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that examined the research into marijuana’s effects, said in an interview that the statement on Thursday and the combined review by other agencies were wrong. The federal government “loves to ignore our report,” said Dr. Benson, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “They would rather it never happened.”

Some scientists and legislators said the agency’s statement about marijuana demonstrated that politics had trumped science.

“Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the F.D.A. making pronouncements that seem to be driven more by ideology than by science,” said Dr. Jerry Avorn, a medical professor at Harvard Medical School.

Are the Bushies capable of telling the truth about, you know, anything? Anything at all?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Subtract the Difference

posted by on April 20 at 7:27 PM

The great rock music critic Chuck Eddy—I mostly know him thanks to his book of poetry Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums In the Universe, which I believe included Michael Jackson’s Thriller at #13—is the latest New Times casualty at the Village Voice. Eddy has been music editor at the Voice (or the Vwatch-Ay, as me and my friend David Shhhmaa-day like to call it) for 7 years.

Eddy’s farwell, posted on Gawker, includes this fuckyou equation to the New Times Order:

To make it brief, I have been “terminated for reasons of taste”; if you’re wondering what that cryptic phrase means, my advice would be to look at just about any random music section in one of the many other New Times alternative weekly papers around the country, compare it to any random music section I’ve put together here at the Voice, subtract the difference, and draw your own conclusions.

Boys are so stupid.

posted by on April 20 at 5:18 PM

My friend Mac, who sent me the Donald Duck is a Nazi video, also sent me this this afternoon. He insisted it should become our new hobby. Who’s in? Ghost ride the whip, suckers.

Mormon Missionaries are the New Black

posted by on April 20 at 5:10 PM

Perhaps you remember Brandon Malan and Graham Larson, the stylish Mormon missionaries who brightened The Stranger’s most recent “Worn Out” fashion issue.

Well, according to Hot Tipper Barak, Malan and Larson’s “Worn Out” appearance has instigated a season of love for Mormon missionaries across Seattle:

I was just walking down the street in the U District and ran into two missionaries. I asked how they felt about the missionaries in the fashion issue and they laughed and said it was great—that people have been more excited to see them at the door because of the issue and that they’d even been invited into people’s houses just to see the photo of the “Worn Out” missionaries posted on the fridge, because “they thought our friends were so cute.”

Thank you, Barak, for sharing this sweet story, and congrats to the adored-for-their-cuteness Mormons…

The Real Jim McDermott

posted by on April 20 at 4:33 PM

A friend and attentive Stranger reader called me today to ask about the Jim McDermott insert that ran in our paper this week. “How does that work?” he wanted to know.

The implication, I think, being that he found it strange to see a McDermott promo in our pages given that I recently wrote a column urging an insurgent Democrat to challenge McDermott. (Our news squad has never been too keen on McDermott, and, in fact, we endorsed Green Joe Szwaja in 2000 —mostly over free/fair trade issues.)

This friend also knows that rather than voting for McDermott in 2004, I wrote in…well, this friend.

How it works is this: Editorial and ads are separate, and I didn’t even know the McDermott flier was in our paper until today. The reason I found out about it today was because McDermott came by our offices this afternoon to meet with me and news reporter Eli Sanders. He wanted to talk to us about election 2006. Well, Eli whipped out the flier to ask McDermott how he liked hanging out with super lips Angelina Jolie. (There’s a picture of McDermott w/ the foxy Jolie on the back of the flier.)


McDermott told us that Jolie was one of the two most “real” people he’d ever met. The other was Bono.

Santorum Bling

posted by on April 20 at 2:55 PM

First there was Santorum, the senator.

Then there was santorum, the substance.

And now there’s santorum, the necklace.


Inspired by my favorite writer and sex advise columnist, this piece is a sterling silver chain dripping with faceted smoky quartz rondelles and teardrops. Accented with tiny bubbles of polished moonstone, the 17” long chain closes with a sterling figure 8 clasp.

Lower and Lower and…

posted by on April 20 at 1:59 PM

The latest Fox News poll finds that

President Bush’s job approval rating slipped this week and stands at a new low of 33 percent approve, down from 36 percent two weeks ago and 39 percent in mid-March. A year ago this time, 47 percent approved and two years ago 50 percent approved (April 2004).

Approval among Republicans is below 70 percent for the first time of Bush’s presidency. Two-thirds (66 percent) approve of Bush’s job performance today, down almost 20 percentage points from this time last year when 84 percent of Republicans approved. Among Democrats, 11 percent approve today, while 14 percent approved last April.

Can he make it below 30%?

The Kids are Alright

posted by on April 20 at 1:33 PM

On March 30, in the wake of the Capitol Hill murders, Savage and I wrote:

The Stranger has filed a public-records request with the Seattle Police Department to track any history of 911 calls to Seattle’s all-ages venues to see if, as the Seattle Times assumes, there actually are problems with all-ages shows. (The request could not be completed in time for this story.) We asked for a tally of police calls to Ballard’s Paradox, Downtown’s Vera Project, Eastlake’s El CorazĂłn, and SoDo’s Studio Seven (a teen dance club that the Seattle Times originally and—incorrectly—associated with Saturday’s massacre). It is possible that our records request will turn up a pattern of trouble, but it is unlikely, given that in the four years since the TDO was repealed we’ve only been alerted to one problem at one recent show.

My public records request was completed this week, and here’s what it turned up: In the last four years since the TDO was repealed, there have been a grand total of 11 calls for service to the SPD for between the estimated 1,000 and 2,500 all-ages shows that have happened at those venues. I repeat: Only 11 calls for between 1,000 an 2,500 shows.

(The estimate on the number of shows is based on Megan Seling’s all-ages calendar, which consistently tallies anywhere from five to 12 all-ages shows per week at those clubs. Additionally, we checked the dates of the police calls to those clubs and only counted them if the record showed an all-ages show at that time.)

Lil’ Kim’s Impending Incarceration

posted by on April 20 at 1:21 PM

Though I heard a while ago that a show documenting Lil’ Kim’s last days as a free woman was in the works, I somehow missed the whole damn thing—a fact I just became aware of when I received this press release from her handlers:

Catch tonight’s season finale of BET’s hit reality series “Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown.” It is the day of her surrender and Lil’ Kim’s family, friends and business associates are trying to adjust to what life will be like once the pint-sized diva begins her 366-day jail term in Philadelphia’s Federal Detention Center. Viewers can witness the final chapter in her journey during the episode premiere on Thursday, April 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. BET’s cameras captured the emotion as Lil’ Kim and her entourage were transported from her New Jersey mansion to Philly on a tour bus. Just before stepping off the bus, an emotionally-spent but resolute Lil’ Kim expresses her love for everyone, exhibiting the courage that has awed observers and “camp Kim” insiders alike with a simple statement:

‘A cell can only hold my body, not my mind,” she says to her supporters. “I love you, and I will see you soon - sooner than you think.’

Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown debuted on BET on March 9. The six-episode series chronicling the rapper’s last 14 days of freedom was produced by BET in collaboration with Edmonds Entertainment and Queen Bee Entertainment. The premiere episode drew a whopping 1.9 million viewers, making Lil’ Kim the most watched original series in BET’s 25-year history.

Has anyone else seen an episode? There’s something about her sentence that truly disturbs me—though I suppose it will be good for her sales figures in the long run, for whatever that’s worth. On a bizarrely-related note, Syracuse University recently offered a course entitled “The Life and Times of Lil’ Kim.”

Black Angels Photo Runs in Area Paper—for No Reason Whatsoever

posted by on April 20 at 1:12 PM

This week on page 55 of The Stranger, a photo of the Austin, Texas psych-rock band Black Angels ran in the Up & Coming section of the paper, despite the fact that Black Angels are not playing in Seattle this week; however, they do have a show here June 19 at Chop Suey, and we predict it will enhance the life of anyone into astral-plane-gliding rock and roll, if Black Angels’ new album on Light in the Attic Records, Passover, is any indication.

The photo erroneously ran due to serious eyeball/mind fatigue suffered by The Stranger’s music editor and some members of the editorial production staff. All concerned regret the error and apologize for any inconvenience.

Where the buffalo roam

posted by on April 20 at 12:57 PM

A Californian woman has recently purchased a used Boeing 747 jumbo jet in order to build her “feminine” and “eco-friendly” dream home. The house will be nestled in the Malibu hills, with panoramic views of the ocean, mountains, and a nearby valley. Now, god knows I coo every time the term “eco-friendly” is thrown about, but this quote from architect David Hertz killed me:

“As we analysed the cost, it seemed to make more sense to acquire an entire aeroplane and to use as many of the components as possible, like the Native American Indians used every part of the buffalo.”

Huh? Stereotypical buffalo spearin’ Native Americans, long-praised for their efficient use of animal parts, being compared to a woman whose family owns one of California’s largest Mercedes-Benz dealerships , and who just paid $100,000 dollars for a 747 jumbo jet so that bits of it could be used in her multi-million dollar dream home in Malibu? Did I mention that the jet’s nose will be converted into a “meditation temple”? Those Native Americans are going to shit their buffalo shorts when they see it!

Just for kicks, here is a picture of the house:

And here is a picture of a buffalo:

An Interview

posted by on April 20 at 12:19 PM

With Chris Abani, a Nigerian novelist and poet probably best known for GraceLand, about a boy named Elvis, a group of traveling actors, a witch doctor, thuggish cops, and the swampy slums of city Lagos. It’s really good.

Some excerpts:

His first book, a political thriller published in 1985 when he was 16, envisioned a neo-Nazi takeover of the government. When a coup threatened to topple the country two years later, the authorities decided that Abani’s book had set the blueprint for the uprising and jailed him for six months.
Having written a play that the government found subversive, Abani was given an ultimatum: sign a document confessing to treason (which carried the death penalty) or sign the death warrant of all his friends in the play.

Now he lives in Los Angeles.

“… even though Nigeria is a former British colony, architecturally it takes more from America. If you drive through a small town in America, it literally is like a small town in Nigeria, the way the power lines are overhead, and all that sort of stuff.”
“No, [Americans] don’t care about Africa. I don’t care about Africa, because Africa doesn’t really exist.”

Where’s Gregoire on Women’s Rights?

posted by on April 20 at 12:13 PM

Yesterday, I posted a petition that over 70 groups signed opposing any rule changes that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription based on personal objections. It’d be like giving a waiter the right to refuse to serve a customer the cajun bacon cheese burger because the waiter is a strict vegetarian or because they keep kosher.

Anyway, the petition I posted yesterday was actually the petition that went to the Board of Pharmacy—not, as I said, to Governor Gregoire. I’ve attached a copy of the petition that went to Gregoire below. (Women and health advocates are worried that Governor Gregoire isn’t flexing her muscle on this issue.)

It’s the same as the petition that went to pharmacy board, except it includes a customized paragraph to Gregoire, challenging her to to walk her talk.

We applaud your strong and vocal commitment to access to health care but believe that this issue directly threatens your ability to make that commitment a reality. It is hard enough for many people to get the health care they need. This policy makes it even tougher.

Continue reading "Where's Gregoire on Women's Rights?" »

Buck Angel Speaks!

posted by on April 20 at 11:09 AM

Via Fleshbot:

Buck Angel, the man with a cunt, discusses his singular porn career.

Project Runway

posted by on April 20 at 10:37 AM

Santino Rice is coming to Seattle. He writes…

hey editor. I’m excited about visiting your city this weekend…

what do you think? any ideas?



Santino is looking for advice about shit to do in Seattle. So far the only thing he’s been told is—sigh—visit Pike Place Market. Surely we can do better than that. So, Seattle fags and Project Runway fans, what should Santino see? And where should he be seen?

Benefits of Smoking

posted by on April 20 at 10:35 AM

Although I am vehemently anti-smoking (liberate yourself now!), I have to say that the sidewalks of the city are much more active and full of energy now that so many people are hanging around out there. I spend a lot of time walking, and I am enjoying this new dynamic aspect of city life.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on April 20 at 10:28 AM

Heterosexual Parenting Watch:

Man arrested for trying to sell daughter

GRAND CHUTE, Wis.—Police have arrested a man who they say was trying to sell his 18-month old daughter.

A 37-year-old Green Bay man was arrested last night at a Grand Chute home after a three-day investigation. Grand Chute police officer Aaron Schellinger says the allegation was reported to Appleton police Monday by mutual friends.

He says Grand Chute got the case police because the person who was going to buy the child lived there. He says the child’s mother is in Milwaukee.

The suspect is expected to make an initial court appearance tomorrow in Outagamie County court.

Colossal Blunder

posted by on April 20 at 10:25 AM

How will history look upon our Dear Leader’s reign? Rolling Stone asked an actual historian to weigh in. What he has to say ain’t pretty for Bush.

Happy 420!

posted by on April 20 at 10:20 AM

Ah, 420. Like most things intimately connected to the smoking of marijuana, the origin of the pot-friendliest number in the world is hazy and frequently has the munchies.

As myth-busting website makes clear, myths about 420’s genesis and meaning abound. Among the mythic frontrunners: It’s the penal code for marijunana use in California! (Nope—Section 420 of CA’s penal code deals with obstructing entry to public land.) There are 420 chemical compounds in marijuana! (Nope—according to High Times, there are 315.) It’s Jerry Garcia’s birthday! (Nope, he was born on 8/1.) It’s Jerry Garcia’s death-day! (Nope, he died on 8/9.)

As it turns out, the most well-supported 420 creation myth is also the most interesting. From

‘420’ began its sub-rosa linguistic career in 1971 as a bit of slang casually used by a group of high school kids at San Rafael High School in California. ‘420’ (always pronounced “four-twenty,” never “four hundred and twenty”) came to be an accepted part of the argot within that group of about a dozen pot smokers, beginning as a reminder of the time they planned to meet to light up, 4:20 p.m. Keep in mind this wasn’t a general call to all dope smokers everywhere to toke up at twenty past four every day; it was twelve kids who’d made a date to meet near a certain statue.

And that’s how a bunch of high-school stoners from California came to influence American slang.

For more on the cult o’ 420, check out the Wikipedia listing, especially the freakishly thorough section on 420 references in popular culture.

Save the Sonics!

posted by on April 20 at 10:01 AM

The owners of the Sonics—lead by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz—are threatening to sell or move the team unless Seattle spends $220 million to tart up Key Arena. The motley collection billionaires who own the Sonics have, graciously enough, agreed to kick in $18 million. Oh, and here’s the fine print: The Sonics would pay $1 million a year in rent, manage Key Arena, and keep all the income generated by other events. But the city would continue to “own” Key Arena—and pay for any big maintenance projects. Well, Goldy’s got a great idea. How can we raise the money to keep the Sonics in a gold-plated Key Arena?

Gee, how about a latte tax?

Yes, what better way to finance a new arena whose primary purpose is to make a very rich man even richer, than to tax the business that made him so awfully damn rich in the first place? And what could be more delicious than a Marble Mocha Macchiato, than the spectacle of Schultz’s Sonics spending millions of Schultz’s dollars to convince voters to levy a tax on Schultz’s ubiquitous Starbucks?

Now I know what you’re thinking… voters already rejected Initiative 77’s Latte Tax back in 2003. But this Latte Tax would keep a professional basketball franchise in Seattle, whereas I-77’s Latte Tax only funded desperately needed preschool for low-income families, and really… who the fuck cares about them? It’s all about priorities.

What would it cost? Well, back in 2003 I-77’s sponsors estimated a 10-cent per shot tax would raise $7 million a year. The Sonics had previously backed a 20-year revenue package that would have provided $176 million for new construction plus $75 million to guarantee the bonds, so I figure a 20-cent per shot tax should more than cover the costs over 20 years.

Sounds good to me. And, hey, if the owner of Starbucks is going to screw Seattle, can’t Seattle screw Starbucks? Perhaps the rabid sports fans who scream and yell at local elected officials whenever a pro-sports team threatens to move away should direct some of their anger at Starbucks. Basketball fans picketing in front of Starbucks would make news.

Yet Another Cost Overrun From Team Nickels

posted by on April 20 at 9:25 AM

What’s going on w/ Team Nickels?

Today, Bob Young at the Seattle Times has quite a scoop, reporting that Team Nickels underestimated its South Lake Union Park giveaway to Paul Allen by about 16% or $4.2 million extra on the original $25 million project.

This Allen giveaway was suspect right from the start when Nickels crooned: “With the generous help of Vulcan, we’re going to create a magnificent park.” Now, it looks more like “generous help” from tax payers, who will be paying about $9 million to pretty up Vulcan’s investment in South Lake Union, where Vulcan owns about 60 acres of property.

Cost overruns are becoming a regular thing from Team Nickels this year. In January, it came out in the PI that Team Nickels had underestimated the cost of the Fire Levy by 40% or $67 million extra on the original $167 million project. It’s an alarming trend, especially from an administration that’s currently promoting two giant expenditures: a $4 billion tunnel & a $25 million street improvement property tax levy.

Get your act together guys. You’re running a 28% average on cost overruns.

“The Official Snack of Hip Hop”

posted by on April 20 at 8:54 AM

I can’t decide what to think about Rap Snacks, the “Official Snack of Hip Hop”, so you be the judge. I tried the “Bar-b-qin’ with My Honey” flavored potato chips (which features an illustration of Lil’ Romeo on the bag along with the advice “Stay in school”), and they taste pretty much the same as the Lays barbecue chips. The only place I’ve seen these for sale is the 7-11 at the top of Queen Anne.


Unfinished Bar Business

posted by on April 20 at 8:43 AM

So everyone loves Liberty, the new martini-makin’, comfy-leather-sofa-havin’, sushi-servin’ watering hole on Capitol Hill. In this week’s Bar Exam, Bethany Clement writes…

As of last Tuesday night, although Liberty was not yet officially open, drinks were for sale, sushi was free… Liberty is clearly the place on 15th Avenue and on the Hill in general to get a top-drawer cocktail: All juices are pressed from fresh fruit on demand (and, on Tuesday night, by an assortment of four handsome, personable barmen). The walls are pumpkin colored, the dĂ©cor is spare and nice-but-not-too-nice, the bar is made from one contiguous slab of red oak, the wine rack is super cool, and the sushi is tasty.

Liberty is officially open now, and yet some detail work remains to be done. Walking down 15th, you can’t help but notice that the backs of Liberty’s custom made booths—which face the window—are unfinished.


Having to look at the exposed guts of a booth on your way in to a bar seems a little unglamorous. I’m surprised it escaped Bethany’s notice. And while it doesn’t bother me so much—hey, I like dives—my boyfriend, who is a complete snob, refuses to step foot in Liberty until they do something about the backs of the booths. He’s a big drinker, Liberty, so I promise you that fixing the backs of the booths will be worth the dough.

The Race for the 43rd: Stephanie Pure

posted by on April 20 at 8:00 AM

Over the last three days we’ve heard from Dick Kelley, Bill Sherman, and Jim Street. Today our week-long discussion with candidates who want to be the next state representative from Seattle’s 43rd District arrives at Stephanie Pure.

We’ve had great conversations with all of the candidates so far, and Pure is excited about her chance to chat with the Slog’s picky connoiseurs of local politics. You guys know the drill by now…

Got something you want to ask Pure? Post it in the comments. NOTE: Just like Jim Street, Stephanie Pure works for the city and isn’t allowed to use her office computer for political purposes. She does, however, work very near to the Downtown Public Library, and promises to dash over throughout the day so she can keep up her dialogue with our readers. (Tomorrow: Lynne Dodson. Don’t understand what any of this is about? Click here.)

Stephanie Pure

Money Raised: $13,980

PURE for a Change.

Have you had enough of corporate lobbyists and right-wing church activists determining what is best for our schools, our health care and our families? Have you had enough of seeing headlines outlining yet another abuse of power by our current administration? Government has a responsibility to protect those with little or no voice. In this current political environment, state legislatures are the last hope for protecting us from the abuse of power and the neglect we see nationally. We need a legislature that fights for our progressive values. My values are your values — standing up for kids and families, fighting for equality and helping our citizens and small, independent businesses thrive. I am running for state representative because I have the vision, the energy and the experience to deliver results for our district and for Washington State.

Standing Up For Our Kids and Our Families
Right now, Washington State ranks near the bottom in public education spending and the drop-out rate in Seattle Public Schools is 22 percent. I will work tirelessly to advance my top three education spending priorities: strengthening teachers’ professional development, decreasing class size and increasing teacher pay. We must attract more teachers and give them the tools they need to successfully educate students.

Fighting for Fairness and Equality
It isn’t enough to say you support equality and fairness for everyone — you have to stand ready to fight for those protections. Whether it’s fighting for marriage equality or fighting against racial profiling, I will stand and protect the dignity of all of our citizens.

Thrive, Not Just Survive
A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. A productive workforce is a thriving business. Over 600,000 people in Washington State still lack health insurance. Most small businesses want to provide benefits to their employees, yet most cannot find the resources to do so. I will work to organize small businesses to set group rates on health insurance in order to cover more people. Since 55 percent of Washington’s employees work for businesses with 100 workers or fewer, this is key to making a dent in the number of those uninsured.

Delivering Results
My work over the years at the Seattle City Council and in the community has brought many opportunities to deliver results on behalf of Seattle’s citizens.

• Restored $2.3 million to the Seattle Public Library system for increased library hours

• Secured $180,000 to assist people with disabilities by creating “FLASH CARD” — a tool that allows people with disabilities to receive the same discounts as seniors

• Organized a Renter’s Summit in 2000 — an event that brought elected officials and renters together to resolve the challenges facing Seattle renters.

• Played a key role in defeating the Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO) and co-founder of the Vera Project, a successful non-profit music and arts center that provides safe alternatives for all-ages access to music and dance.

• Saved the 50-year old crossing guard program that protects over 2,000 school children every day from dangerous street traffic.

Thank you for the opportunity to post on the Slog! I’ll answer your questions throughout the day. I can also be reached at (206) 652-5377 or

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Burner Accepts Dick Cheney’s Offer

posted by on April 19 at 4:35 PM

How did eastside Democrat Darcy Burner end up accepting Dick Cheney’s offer to campaign for her?

It all began with Cheney’s recent trip to Washington State to campaign and fundraise on behalf of Republican candidates. Before Cheney arrived, it was reported that eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, who’s been trying to cast himself as a “moderate” in his race against Burner, didn’t want to be seen sharing a stage with a wildly unpopular ideologue like Cheney.

But with the head of the Washington State Republican Party sounding unpleased at this development, Reichert revised his position, shared a stage in Everett with the visiting VP, and at the event recounted how Cheney, apparently aware that he has a nearly radioactive approval rating, once said to Reichert privately: “I’ll come out to Washington and campaign for your opponent if it will help you win.”

In response to which Burner fired off a bold and very funny letter to Cheney, inviting him to make good on his reported promise so that she can show him what a mess Republicans are making of the 8th Congressional District. The full letter is in the jump, and here’s the Burner campaign’s press release:

Bellevue, WA — Darcy Burner, the Democratic Candidate for Washington’s 8th Congressional District, sent a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney today accepting the offer he made Republican Congressman Dave Reichert to “campaign for your opponent if it’ll help.”

Burner offered to take the Vice President on a tour of the district to highlight how the Republican policies that Congressman Reichert supports are failing the voters of Washington’s 8th Congressional District.

The letter outlines a tour of the district that includes:

• Mount Rainier to talk about why Darcy opposes the Republican plan — supported by Mr. Reichert - to make it easier for developers and private interests such as mining companies to take over these public lands.

• Pierce County to talk with Iraq veterans and their families to learn first hand how these constituents feel about sending soldiers into combat with inadequate body and vehicle armor.

• City of Kent to meet with workers who have had their jobs exported oversees.

• Senior Center to talk about why the administration’s prescription drug benefit — supported by Mr. Reichert — is creating such confusion and chaos.

• Bellevue Community College to meet with students and explain why the Bush Administration and Mr. Reichert support making it harder for student to get college loans.

Continue reading "Burner Accepts Dick Cheney's Offer" »

With Great Power…

posted by on April 19 at 4:33 PM

New City Council president Nick Licata faced a large and often unruly crowd at last night’s public hearing on police accountability, which speaker after speaker used as an opportunity to vent about ugly run-ins and frustrating encounters with the SPD and its internal watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Accountability.

The hearing was supposed to be a rare chance for the public to provide some input on the Seattle Police Guild’s contract, which is up for renewal this year—the first-ever opportunity the public has had to weigh in on the guild’s contract before top-secret negotiations begin. Instead, it devolved into a one-way shouting match between some of Seattle’s loudest disgruntled citizens (among them: Paul Schell assailant Omar Tahiri and Kurt Cobain conspiracy theorist/videodiarist Richard Lee) and three members of the Public Safety committee: Licata, Jean Godden and Peter Steinbrueck.

The angry speakers could be broken down into two factions: Those who believed they had been mistreated or ill-served by the police department or OPA, and those who felt legislation Licata proposed that would give the OPA’s civilian oversight committee, the OPA Review Board (OPARB) new rights and legal protection did not go far enough.

In the latter camp were those like NAACP vice-president James Bible, who brandished a three-year-old nine-point proposal for “effective police accountability” supported by numerous local civil rights groups and demanded to know why all nine components weren’t on the table (among them: civilian intake personnel and subpoena power for OPARB); and community organizer Eddie Rye, Jr., who said City Council members had not done enough to “bring some sense” to the police guild’s contract. “We have two kinds of justice — one for police and one for the civilians,” Rye said. “We need real positive change and not an illusion of change.”

In the former camp were speakers like Garrett, who called the Seattle police “gangsters” and “terrorists,” and Michelle Jeffries, whose son, William P. Jeffries, was killed in 2002. “The attitude [of the police] was, he’s just another nigger,” Jeffries said. (Another speaker screamed obscenities at Licata, accusing him of “smirking” and shouting, “What the fuck?”)

Licata said today that he was not shocked by the overwhelmingly hostile tone of speakers’ comments. (That tone, I must add, pretty much drowned out speakers like OPARB member and NAACP president Sheley Seacrest and ACLU program director Julya Hampton, who were generally supportive of both the process and Licata’s legislation.)

“When you hold a public hearing on a topic like police accountability, you’re going to get a lot of people who just show up because they’re frustrated,” Licata says, “and rightfully so. If I was them, I’d be angry too.” However, Licata adds, there’s a differene between “having to deal with stuff from the outside and the inside…. I could easily get headlines by proposing stuff that gets shot down right away, but what would that accomplish? If you have a more systematic, gradual approach I think you’re going to get longer-term results.” Some of the suggestions in the nine-point proposal were “very reasonable,” he added, but several may be subject to contract negotiations, meaning they must be negotiated as part of the police guild’s contract, not legislated by the city council.

The Beauty of Density

posted by on April 19 at 3:05 PM

I live for art, for images, for immensely human visions like this:
The image of the Hong Kong apartment complex was taken by a German photographer, Michael Wolf, and it’s part of a series called Architecture of Density, which is posted on his website.

It’s April 19, and You’re Not Dead

posted by on April 19 at 2:59 PM

The death rate in America is dropping. Drastically.

It may be “an amazing success for American medicine,” but let’s not forget that death has a distinguished history. This day alone—April 19—claimed Pope Leo IX (in 1054), samurai and warlord Uesugi Kenshin (1578), the artist Canaletto (1768), the poet Byron (1824), two-time prime minister Benjamin Disraeli (1881), Charles Darwin (1882), physicist Pierre Curie (1906), author Daphne du Maurier (1989), the 76 people who died when the Branch Dividian compound in Waco, Texas was set ablaze (1993), the 168 people who died in the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), and Alice in Chains singer (and Kirkland homeboy!) Layne Staley (2002).

But it should be noted that Easter, the day that Jesus came back from the dead, “falls on April 19 more often than on any other date.” (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

Brian Miller Defends the “Centerfold Culture”—But From Whom?

posted by on April 19 at 2:25 PM

Brian Miller, film editor for the Seattle Weekly, this week assigned himself to review The Notorious Bettie Page. Which is cool.

What’s perplexing, however, is the way he blindly casts about for an opponent in the porn wars. (Maybe try Barnard College, 1982?) Specifically, I’m wondering about the way he describes what I have to assume is this article as an “indictment of centerfold culture.” Are you feeling okay, Brian? Does anyone see that in Joan Acocella’s review? Or how about an “argu[ment] that the entire pin-up tradition popularized by Hugh Hefner in the ’50s leads inexorably to today’s hard-core pornography, the abuse of children, the debasement of women, rape, and everything that is evil about the Internet (and probably the pop-up ads, too).” I mean, huh?

Emergency Contraception Emergency: Where’s Governor Gregoire?

posted by on April 19 at 1:44 PM

An estimated 70 people testified this morning at a Board of Pharmacy hearing about pharmacists’ responsibilities to fill (or not fill) prescriptions.

About 65 of those 70 people—including state Sen. Pat Thibaudeau (D-43), and representatives from Lifelong AIDS Alliance, the League of Women Voters, the Washington Human Rights Commission, and Dr. Gordon Perkin (formerly of the Gates Foundation)—testified against allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on moral grounds. (The 7-member pharmacy board is considering rules that may allow individual pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions based on moral objections.)

A crew from Bellingham showed up too (the hearing was south of Olympia in Tumwater) and handed off a petition signed by 1,000 people against Pharmacist “Refusals.”

A major theme for this morning’s speakers—mostly just regular citizens not affiliated with any organization—was that refusal clauses would hurt rape victims by preventing them from getting emergency contraception.

One major disappointment to women’s rights advocates, however, was this: No one from Governor Gregoire’s office was at the hearing. Activists who oppose refusal clauses for pharmacists feel that Gregoire is not using her office to frame this issue and pressure the Board of Pharmacy to do the right thing. To that end, over 70 groups—including NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Northwest Women’s Law Center, Washington State Labor Council, the Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Sid’s Professional Pharmacy in Pullman, WA., and the Yakima YWCA—delivered a petition to the governor after the hearing today stating:

We, the following undersigned organizations, urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that the Board does not adopt a rule that interferes with a patient’s ability to obtain the medications that they need. We strongly believe that while a pharmacist’s religious beliefs and personal values should be respected, it is unacceptable for pharmacists to impose their moral or ethical beliefs on the patients they serve.

Your help is needed to ensure that patients in Washington can access the drugs that they need, and that prescriptions are filled at the site where they are requested.

I’ve posted the whole petition to Gregoire and a complete list of those who signed the petition below.

Continue reading "Emergency Contraception Emergency: Where's Governor Gregoire?" »


posted by on April 19 at 1:00 PM

Donald Duck is a Nazi.

(Thanks to my friend Mac for passing it along.)

To Moon Is Divine

posted by on April 19 at 12:47 PM

A Florida woman has been charged with child neglect and abuse because the children she was watching were mooning passing cars.

That is stone bullshit.

Mooning has a long and venerable history—the woman in question valiantly “admitted telling the children that she once mooned passing cars as a youth”—and, in her defense, I would like to present a few highlights from the long and illustrious history of the moon:

The first recorded instance usage of “moon” as “exposing the buttocks” comes in 1968, defined in Current Slang (Univ. S. Dakota) thusly: “Moon, to display one’s bare buttocks as a taunt.” I particularly like this usage, from a 1971 issue of National Lampoon: “Have a few `brews’, gross out some chicks, `moon’ a townie.”

During the Battle of Crécy in 1346, hundreds of Normandy soldiers mooned the English archers and allegedly got arrows in the ass for their trouble.

According to a legend from Nice, during a 1534 siege of the city by French and Turkish forces, a washerwoman named Catherine SĂ©gurane led the townspeople to victory, driving away the Turks by mooning them.

These people moon Amtrak trains every year on July 8. Some people buy tickets just to see the flesh parade.

Mooning is also a patriotic gesture of the higest order. From an article in the Guardian, 29 July 1994: “The crew of a hovering American helicopter removed their trousers and mooned at the Russians.”

Indict the woman for letting the kids play unattended by the roadside. Don’t touch the moon!

Viva Vera Update

posted by on April 19 at 12:05 PM

If you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ll know that the Vera Project folks are currently working their butts off trying to raise money for the new venue they’ll be constructing this summer. The amount needed? A million and a half bucks. As of right now, they have $712,404, so they’ve got $787,596 to go.

I won’t nag you to death about donating, but should you wanna kick in a few bucks (or more), visit There you can also get info about the new venue, including photos, a virtual tour, and floorplans. It’s going to look amazing when it’s finished (the goal is to have it ready by fall), but it won’t happen unless the money keeps rolling in.

It Is Time to Worship Pharoah Sanders

posted by on April 19 at 11:55 AM

A saxophonist/flautist of extraordinary finesse, spirituality, and power, Pharoah Sanders has cut several astral-jazz classics that also appeal to psych- and noise-rock heads (I got into him after reading an interview with the Stooges in which the seminal Detroit rockers cited Sanders’s Tauhid as inspirational). Sanders is also responsible for one of my favorite pieces of music: “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” which makes this agnostic believe in God, Heaven, everlasting peace—all that corny shit—at least while it’s playing. Go and see if this 75-year-old legend can still blow holy fire at the Triple Door (216 Union St, 838-4333, 7 pm & 9:30 pm, $27/$30, all ages/21+.)

The Cav Daily Sucks

posted by on April 19 at 11:40 AM

My alma mater is in the news this week for sit-in-related arrests and other student agitation over the $10.72 living wage campaign. (When I was there, the wildest student provocation was wearing an orange-and-blue $8 button. How times have changed.)

So I checked out the student daily to see what the kids had to say for themselves. Sadly, there are absolutely no news stories about the sit-in. There’s a smug opinion piece and a incomprehensible “Life” article, but no news. Once again, I have to conclude that the Cavalier Daily completely sucks.

This message brought to you from the Department of Beating Up on Student Newspapers. Thank you.

The World’s Unsexiest Men

posted by on April 19 at 11:29 AM

Thanks to the Boston Phoenix, it’s official: Comedian Gilbert Gottfried is the least sexy man in the world.

“The parrot-voiced, pickle-faced comic is to sexy what Kryptonite is to Superman,” declares the Phoenix in its first annual list of “The 100 Unsexiest Men in the World,” with the rest of the list filled with such indisputable dogmen as Randy Johnson (#2), Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger (#6), and, of course, Carrot Top

(Suspiciously absent: him, him, and him.)

For full list (which is unfortunately scattershot and not as funny as it should be), go here.

The Bad Bulge

posted by on April 19 at 11:12 AM

There is nothing I hate more than buildings that have curves like this tower proposed by Rafael Viñoly for London:

Or buildings that bulge like this recently completed apartment in Almere, Netherlands—OMA designed it:


Buildings are not bodies. Buildings should not look biological. Buildings should be inhuman, inorganic. And besides, living in an apartment that bulges is like living in a stomach or a womb, both of which are gross.

New Glass Museum Director

posted by on April 19 at 11:10 AM

Tim Close, who has been executive director of the Boise Art Museum since 2000, will start work May 15 as the new director of the Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art in Tacoma.

Close is a photographer whose work is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. (I don’t know what kind of work he does, and he wasn’t available when I called him just now.) He got his BFA from Arizona State University and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

Before Boise, he was executive director of the Albany Museum of Art in Georgia for six years, and prior to that, he led the Arlington Arts Center (a contemporary space for regional artists) in Virginia. He has attended the Museum Management Institute at the J. Paul Getty Trust (which is based on a program that Tacoma Art Museum chief curator Patricia McDonnell was instrumental in forming).

According to George Weyerhaeuser, Jr., the chairman of the museum’s board, Close’s expertise is in contemporary art, “and he is deeply interested in contemporary glass.”

Another trustee described the new director in a press statement as “a motivational leader who believes in teamwork with staff and collaboration with the community,” which sounds like a contrast to the 4-year-old museum’s founding director, Josi Callan, who was not popular among staffers. She made a whopping $282,000, according to tax records the museum filed with the IRS.

The News Tribune in Tacoma reports this morning that Close will make only $180,000, which Weyerhaeuser admits brings the museum much more in line with industry standards.

Vomiting Unicorns tonight!

posted by on April 19 at 11:09 AM

In case you missed the U&C about this new local band in this week’s paper, here it is again.

THE VOMITING UNICORNS, MARTIAN MEMO TO GOD, THE MORIARTYS (Crocodile) Besides having one of the best fucking band names ever, the Vomiting Unicorns also offer fans a really sharp and forward rock-and-roll sound made by blending equal parts of DC post-hardcore with the catchy melodies of Brit pop. They cite Fugazi, Flaming Lips, and Mclusky as influences (so they’re pretty much my dream band), and you can hear little pieces of all those acts in their tight compositions of highly danceable proportions. Since your curiosity is no doubt skyrocketing right now, you’ll be happy to know you can hear a few cuts on The Stranger’s band page at MEGAN SELING

If that sounds at all interesting to you (c’mon dudes, Mclusky and Fugazi!), come to the Crocodile tonight. It’ll be fun, fun, fun.

King of the Future

posted by on April 19 at 9:55 AM

This image was taken at exactly 9 am, April 19, 2006, in downtown Seattle:
1a21c3401c0f.jpg President Hu is staying in the building pictured to the left. His supporters and denouncers line the street. Armed American and Chinese agents are watching, listening to everything that moves. Helicopters hover over the power radiating from the king of the global economy. He directly represents the energy of over a billion souls. And the fate of every animal on this planet is tied to the fate of his country. As the poet Anna Maria Hong pointed out to me two nights ago in Tango’s bar, America is now in its Silver Age—the moment, the stage that follows the gold of greatness. The play we are planning to write will examine what it means to be in a period that is of a lower grade than the Golden Age. The future is no longer a resident of silver America. The future is now having breakfast in that four-star hotel.

Yahoo—Evil, Very Evil

posted by on April 19 at 9:35 AM

Via Americablog: Yet more evidence that Yahoo is helping China jail pro-democracy dissidents.

Yahoo Inc. turned over a draft e-mail from one of its users to Chinese authorities, who used the information to jail the man on subversion charges, according to the verdict from his 2003 trial released Wednesday by a rights group.

It was the third time the U.S.-based Internet company has been accused of helping put a Chinese user in prison.

Jiang Lijun, 39, was sentenced to four years in prison in November 2003 for subversive activities aimed at overthrowing the ruling Communist Party.

Yahoo’s Hong Kong unit gave authorities a draft e-mail that had been saved on Jiang’s account, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said, citing the verdict by the Beijing No. 2 People’s Court. The group provided a copy of the verdict, which it said it obtained this week.

Isn’t it time to start talking about some sort of boycott?

Soprano on Santorum

posted by on April 19 at 8:46 AM

From yesterday’s Philadelphia Daily News:

SEN. RICK Santorum and HBO’s fictional mob boss Tony Soprano have a lot in common.

On Sunday night’s episode of “The Sopranos,” Tony (James Gandolfini) told his shrink Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) that when it comes to homosexuality, he agrees with “that Sen. Sanatorium, who says if we let this stuff go too far, pretty soon we’ll be f—-ing dogs.” Santorum, several years back, made similar remarks, only he used more delicate language than Tony did.

We called Santorum’s office yesterday to ask if he was flattered about getting a shout-out on a popular show.

Apparently not.

“We’re not gonna dignify that comment by commenting on it,” said Santorum communications director Rob Traynham.

There also was a reference to Santorum on a recent “Veronica Mars” episode on UPN, in which a student blackmailing gay students used the alias “Rick Santorum.”

Possibly the longest-lasting pop-culture reference to Santorum is that of sex columnist Dan Savage (carried here in Philadelphia Weekly), who started what’s become a popular campaign to use the senator’s surname to describe a byproduct of anal sex.

Sigh. I’m going to miss Rick Santorum when he’s gone…

McClellan Quits Worst Job in the World

posted by on April 19 at 8:18 AM

Scott McClellan, professional dissembler extraordinaire, resigned from his position as White House press secretary this morning, clearing the way for a new liar-in-chief. I can’t imagine one could perform that job without developing countless tumors all over one’s body, so I wish him the best of luck. (Not really.)

In related news, Karl Rove announced that he has given up his role as “senior policy coordinator” and will begin to concentrate more on politics, no doubt with a focus on removing any tiny shreds of democratic principles and integrity that may still be clinging to the November Congressional elections.

It’s all part of the White House’s ongoing campaign to pretend to change things in the face of a rapidly spreading realization among average Americans that it’s too late.

The Race for the 43rd: Jim Street

posted by on April 19 at 8:00 AM

Yesterday we heard from Bill Sherman. On Monday we heard from Dick Kelley. And today we hear from Jim Street, yet another member of the group of six candidates who all want to be the next state representative from Seattle’s 43rd District.

Over the course of this week we’re letting five of those contenders make their pitch on the Slog (I wrote about the sixth candidate, Jamie Pedersen, here two weeks ago).

Monday and Tuesday’s posts both generated really interesting discussions with the candidates in the comments, and hopefully that will continue today.

Same drill as before: Got something you want to ask Street? Post it in the comments. NOTE: I’m told Street currently works for the city and isn’t allowed to use his office computer for political purposes. He’ll answer questions from a non-work computer on his lunch break, and then again this evening. (Tomorrow: Stephanie Pure. Don’t understand what any of this is about? Click here.)

Jim Street

Money Raised: $44,589

After 23 years of public service, I still start with values. Does a policy value all persons equally? Does it cherish and protect our earth? Does it protect the individual’s right to control the fundamentals of his/her private life? I have been motivated foremost by a concern for those who are not at the table:

• The children — Are they going to get the education they need to live productive and satisfying lives?
• The underprivileged — Are we going to find our way as a society to achieve racial and social justice for all of us?
• Future generations — Are we going to leave to our grandchildren clean water and air, green open spaces, and livable neighborhoods? A livable world?

In answering “yes” to those questions I have built a depth of experience and proven leadership that is unmatched in the 43rd District race or in any legislative race in the State of Washington.

• During my 12 years on the Seattle City Council I played a leading role in the development of the City’s recycling program. I initiated and chaired the Seattle City Council’s first Committee on Public Education which opened the door to the City’s Families and Education Levy. I initiated Seattle’s first Children and Youth Action Plan which added millions of dollars to serve at risk children and families. I am the father of the city’s nationally acclaimed Neighborhood Matching Fund Program.

• I served on Metro’s Transit Committee where I was a leader in the development of the region’s plans for rapid transit. I sponsored the policy that permitted bicycles to be carried on Metro buses. And I initiated the Metro 1% for Arts program.

• I served as the first President of the Puget Sound Regional Council, where I led the development of Vision 2020, the region’s strategy for protecting our quality of life for future generations.

• As a King County Superior Court Judge for four years I gained a broad perspective on how our civil and criminal laws apply to the real world. In juvenile court I had a chance to see what makes young offenders tick and to appreciate their potential to lead productive lives.

• For the last five years I have directed the regional juvenile justice reform partnership, Reinvesting in Youth. I raised $2.5 million from local and national foundations to increase the quantity and quality of prevention services for juvenile justice involved youth and their families. Last month Governor Gregoire signed into law the “Reinvesting in Youth” bill to sustain these gains over time.

• Prior to my service on the City Council I was an economist and operations analyst with the World Bank and served four years in the Air Force including a year in Vietnam.

The voters of the 43rd District will be able to count on me to deliver the same qualities of leadership in the legislature — on the Environment, on Transportation and Growth Management, on Public Education, and on Race & Social Justice.

Jim Street

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Late in the Afternoon at Cal Anderson Park

posted by on April 18 at 6:11 PM

It’s a quarter to 5. There are 89 people and eight dogs on the upper level alone, dozens more on the lower sports fields. Someone wonders if the helicopters have something to do with the President of China being in town.

Three girls and two guys are lawn bowling with colored balls.

A guy is sitting on the edge of one of the outdoor chess boards playing the violin. “I was playing an ode to this guy,” he says when asked, gesturing to the much older guy with enormous white whiskers next to him.

A guy in a Raider’s cap is sitting on the lawn, listening to Guru and eating a turkey sandwich from Subway.

“Are you Mormons or Larouche people? Do you sleep in bunk beds?” says a dude in a porkpie hat, sitting with friends among upside-down bikes. They’re drinking beverages wrapped in bags (the guy in green striped socks has Admiral Spiced Rum—shhhh).

A man on the path, who bears some resemblance to Michaelangelo’s David, walks his golden dog Kona.

A woman on the path has her pug’s leash in one hand and her pug’s poop in the other. The pug’s name is Olive.

Hula-hoopers exhort passersby to choose a hoop and gyrate to the dancehall beats of a boom box.

A beautiful woman who’s bolstering her system with Vitamin Water (c + calcium) and who’s been waiting for a phone call for hours looks up from her book (In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan) and says, “It’s pretty active out here.”

A young woman walking with a young man responds to the question “Where are you headed and how do you feel about each other?” thusly: “We’re co-workers at the W hotel. I love him to death. We’re boy watching.”

A guy with curly hair, huge sunglasses, shorts, and flip flops, closes his cell phone and says, “Everyone else is like, You’re wearing shorts? And I’m like, Hell yeah, it’s sunny.”

A young woman over near the swings, also on her cell phone, is talking to her mother in Toledo, Ohio about her sister.

A Spanish two-year-old named Mara presses her belly against a swing and reaches in the direction of the fountain at the far corner of the park, which someone happens to be climbing, like a giant scaling a watery volcano, and squeals, “I want the fountain!”

A 20-year-old named Mike, in the middle of writing a poem on a yellow pad, declares James Agee’s A Death in the Family “probably the most beautiful book I’ve ever read.”

Two wrinkled, quiet-looking people sit on a bench, the woman with a bright red hat and the man with a cane, watery eyes, and a baby blue cap. “We’re neighbors,” she says. “And friends.” He stares fixedly at the hula hoopers. Later, they will watch TV together. Probably the Hallmark channel. She likes the Hallmark channel. “They have the nice movies.”

Sonics’s Offensive

posted by on April 18 at 6:05 PM

The Sonics sent a letter to the city today saying the city needs to decide whether or not it’s going to commit to $200 million worth of renovations and a new Key arena lease by next month. (The Sonics said they’d be willing to kick in about $18.3 million.) Hat tip: Seattlest.

What always bugs me about the Sonics’s line is this spin, always faithfully reported, as it is here in the AP story:

In February, majority owner Howard Schultz threatened to possibly move or sell the city’s oldest major league professional sports franchise, saying the team has lost about $60 million in the past five years, blaming a revenue-sharing lease with the city of Seattle that lasts until 2010. Unlike nearly all of their NBA rivals, the Sonics don’t keep the revenue from luxury suites, parking and concessions at home games. NBA commissioner David Stern called the Sonics’ lease the worst in the league and last week said that inaction on the issue has shown that the city is “not interested in having the NBA there.”

What the stories rarely add is this context: The city already lent the team $77 million to renovate the Key just 10 years ago—with debt service the bill stands at about $130 million according to the city. And while the Sonics were supposed to pay down the debt with their revenues, the city is actually subsidizing those payments to the tune of $2.2 million a year since 2000. (Nearly $3 million last year.)

Emergency Contraception Emergency

posted by on April 18 at 5:43 PM

Tomorrow morning at 9am in Tumwater—that’s just south of Olympia in Thurston County—there’s a Board of Pharmacy hearing in the Labor & Industries Auditorium at 7273 Linderson Way SW.

Why would you want to go to a Board of Pharmacy hearing? Because the 7-member board is considering issuing rules that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions they find “morally” objectionable like birth control pills, emergency contraception, AIDs cocktails, or antabuse.

Fundamentalists argue that employers shouldn’t be able to discriminate against an employee’s religious freedom by forcing Christian pharmacists to fill “morally” objectionable prescriptions. Women’s rights advocates argue that women (or anyone really) have a right to get the medication that doctors prescribe.

So, I guess it’s a choice between not hurting someone’s feelings and not hurting someone’s health. Boy, that’s a tough one.

The Man in “Maneuver”

posted by on April 18 at 5:27 PM

Henry Heimlich gets credit for curing choking. But he’s coming to Tacoma this weekend to talk about a more recent theory of his: to cure HIV by infecting people with malaria.

Wait! If malaria cures HIV then how is it that in huge portions of sub-Saharan Africa HIV and malaria both exist in epidemic proportions? Shouldn’t the one cancel out the othert?

Then there’s all that research that suggests the opposite is true: that malaria speeds up HIV.

So maybe it’s not such a swell idea to inject malaria into HIV-positive patients. Still, Heimlich was able to convince Chinese researchers it was worth a shot. More recently, he’s been interested in experiments in Africa. Yes, if there’s one thing that Africans need it’s more malaria.

But when you have a famous name it’s a lot easier to promote a theory like malaria-for-HIV. Example: The 86-year-old doctor is speaking Saturday afternoon at the Northwest Naturopathic Physicians Convention at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. It costs $20 to listen to Heimlich lecture on “Treating Asthma, AIDS and Other Diseases Without Drugs.”

But Henry Heimlich’s estranged son tells a more interesting story — and he doesn’t charge. Peter Heimlich’s website was created to declare that the Heimlich legacy was built on fraud.

I wrote two articles on this bizarre subject for Radar Magazine, shortly before it folded. Part 1 and Part 2.

Somebody Popped

posted by on April 18 at 5:12 PM

The spawn of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise has been unleashed upon the world. It is a girl, named Suri (meaning “princess” in Hebrew or “red rose” in Persian), weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and measuring 20 inches in length.

To celebrate, Tom Cruise told GQ that he planned to eat the cord and the placenta “right there” after the creature emerged from the silent woman’s Scientologist vagina.

Fu-Schnickens + Classic Hiphop Radio

posted by on April 18 at 4:35 PM

One of the perils of having a huge music collection is that you can neglect excellent albums for years without realizing it. So it is with gratitude and great pleasure that I recently rediscovered two old, overlooked albums by the rap group Fu-Schnickens—1992’s F.U. “Don’t Take It Personal” and 1994’s Nervous Breakdown.

Cursed with one of the worst names in hiphop, Fu-Schnickens will always be classified in my mental Rolodex with Das EFX, as both groups favored goofy, motormouthed raps abounding with arcane pop-culture references and off-kilter, funky production touches.

Although Fu-Schnickens left us with two nearly perfect albums, they did give Shaquille O’Neal his break on the mic, and for that they can never be forgiven.

Thinking about Fu-Schnickens spurred this thought: the airwaves are saturated with classic-rock stations. Where are the hiphop equivalents of this phenomenon? Where are the frequencies broadcasting nothing but rap jams from 1979 to 1995? Surely there’s a demand for this format, judging by the outbreak of club nights devoted to golden-era hiphop. Oh, here’s an online station bumpin’ the classics. Anyone know of terrestrial or satellite stations doing the same?

Stranger Restaurant Listings: New & Searchable!

posted by on April 18 at 4:21 PM

Greetings fellow members of the Slogosphere:

This is David Schmader, writing to inform you all about the hot, new, fully operational Stranger restaurant listings now living on the Web.

Thanks to all sorts of technological magic, readers can now search The Stranger’s restaurant listings in a multitude of ways, including cuisine type, neighborhood, and a variety of special features (cheap eats, late-night dining, breakfast/brunch, etc.)

Wanna give it a try? Go here.

See something we missed? Let us know.

For now, please enjoy this stock photo of a scoop of ice cream making love to a slice of apple pie.

What the Holy Hell—Dave Reichert’s kickoff campaign

posted by on April 18 at 2:38 PM

I got myself up at the butt crack of dawn this morning (5:50 am) to prepare for Congressman Dave Reichert’s official campaign kickoff at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue with Eli Sanders. I’ve never been to a campaign kickoff or seen Reichert speak, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to catch a few words from the Republican incumbent defending his seat from tenacious newbie Darcy Burner.

When Eli proposed our date (romantics, take note) I had trouble imagining what sort of people would be down to party on a Tuesday morning. Would there even be a crowd? I mean, 7:30 am doesn’t scream “FUN!” like an evening of body shots or limbo races, but maybe I just don’t know how to party.

When we arrived outside the Bellevue center, handfuls of men and women were scattered around the block to protest Reichert’s kickoff. Some were wearing nifty T-shirts, like this one:
There was one lonely (but very handsome) Republican man with a suit and sign outside, who would not allow us to take his picture. In fact, he snapped like a rabid dog when we tried. Inside, more suited men and women were seated nine to a table at about 90 tables in the room. They were happily eating eggs, parsley, potatoes, bacon, and sausage. The crowd was plump but there was not a body shot in site.

As people ate, men and women in suits flattered Reichert onstage. It might have been the early hour but the opening speeches were generic and lackluster, “Dave Reichert is a strong Congressman who has met and exceeded his campaign promises…he knows how to lead…” until King County Prosecutor Norman Maleng stepped up to the podium. As a highly influential and assumedly well-respected prosecutor, I expected great things from him. This is what I got: “Did you know that the president still refers to Reichert as `Sheriff’?” That was it. That was his story. It didn’t end with a heroic account of when Reichert was sheriff, Maleng just kinda trailed off after that. I kept waiting for something else. Does The Sheriff call the prez `Tex’? Was Maleng going to break into a little free rap/theme song to get the crowd pumped?

Wicki-wild wild
Wicki-wicki Wild Wild West
Jim West, desperado
Rough rider, no you don’t want nada
None of this, six-gunnin this, brother runnin this
Buffalo soldier, look it’s like I told ya
Any damsel that’s in distress
be outta that dress when she meet Jim West
Rough neck so go check the law and abide…

“Welcome to the Reichllenium, (bitches),” he could have said to the thunderous applause of all (or at least me). Alas, he did not. That story went nowhere, which became the trademark of the morning.

Team Reichert presents: Stories that go nowhere.

When Reichert took the stage, I wanted him to launch into what he stands for, what his party stands for, what he hopes to accomplish, etc. I wanted meat. I wanted to be able to size him up. Instead, this is what I got:
“President Bush’s tax cuts are working… Change is tough…Dreams are still happening. I read Dr. Seuss the other day….” Which flourished into a story about a little boy Reichert spoke with who wishes to grow up and be a paper cup stacker, and how he, Reichert, wants to help create a nation where this little boy can follow his dreams and stack cups for a living. People in the audience were nodding their heads as if they, too, wanted to help poor children learn to stack cups. Like their plates of soggy eggs, the crowd appeared to be lapping Reichert’s bizarre ranting up.

Reichert also spoke of having a recent man-to-man chat with Cheney to dispel rumors that he was avoiding the VP because of his low approval ratings, “and then [Cheney] offered to campaign for my opponent!” The audience guffawed. I winced. When is joking about your colleague’s low approval ratings good campaign kickoff humor? God, did I need a body shot. Instead, I was forced to start scanning the crowd in search of one person whom I would mate with and then eat, if I had to mate with and then eat anyone in the room.

However, not even my lighthearted fantasies could block Reichert’s freakish speech out. Unless I heard incorrectly, he next launched into a story about how his grandson was born a meth-baby, and that this child weighed two pounds and had burning bowel movements at birth. Meanwhile, people bravely continued eating their bacon and eggs.

“Is this a man who should be representing anyone?” I wondered. I couldn’t even imagine laying eggs in his chest cavity, let alone voting for him. Continuing with his theme of child hood horrors, Reichert then talked about his godson, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of one and was still fighting it at age 11. He even did an impression of the suffering (and assumedly very sick) child rasping, “I love you.” And still the masses ate and nodded.

I couldn’t find any sort of campaign promise or even a point buried in Reichert’s 13 minute, uh, kickoff. Sad anecdotes, yes. Heart wrenchingly sad. But nothing to reinforce his image as an able Congressman, or even as a noble sheriff, as I suppose Melang’s feeble reference to the president attempted to do.

Reichert finished his speech by announcing that he was the only Republican congressman in western Washington or Oregon, and that it made him feel “lonely.” With that odd wrap up, he left the stage to the tune of Hail to the Chief. As the masses cleared out of the room, Normal Maleng reclaimed the microphone to tell the crowd, “God Bless you, Real Good.”

In summation, I am not making this shit up. It was really fucking weird.

Reichert’s (7:30 am!) Campaign Kickoff

posted by on April 18 at 1:50 PM


Above is a picture that I snapped while sitting bleary-eyed at Republican Congressman Dave Reichert’s campaign kickoff early this morning at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. With me on the press risers (which, by the way, were set so far back from the stage that my only hope of getting a picture of Reichert was to snap the above shot off a video monitor) was the one and only Cienna Madrid. She came along because she’s a fellow devotee of the race between Reichert and Democrat Darcy Burner, and because a 7:30 am campaign event seemed like something The Stranger’s Worst Enemy should experience.

Outside, we walked through about 20 liberal protesters gathered to remind “moderate” Reichert’s supporters that the Congressman is anti-choice, has voted against student loans, and has a record of casting the vast majority of his votes with the conservative Republicans who control Congress.



Cienna’s going to tell you more about the rather bizarre elements of Reichert’s event inside the Meydenbauer Center this morning, including his rambling and (in one moment) earnestly scatological speech. I want to focus on his message, such as it was.

I was very curious to see how Reichert would present himself at this kickoff, given that the freshman incumbent is facing a tough challenge from Burner, who out-fund-raised him by a ratio of 2 to 1 in the first quarter of this year. And although no one mentioned Burner by name, almost all of the speakers who lined up to introduce Reichert made reference to the fact that they expected this to be a difficult race for him.

“You would think that he would have a very easy reelection,” said conservative talk show host John Carlson. “Unfortunately that’s not going to be the case.” Republican Senate hopeful Mike McGavick bemoaned the fact the Reichert is being targeted by Democrats outside the 8th Congressional District and tried to stoke whatever nativist sentiment there might be in Bellevue, imploring the crowd to cheer so loudly “even people outside the 8th district will hear you.” It wasn’t a very loud cheer. State Republican Party Chair Diane Tebelius then tried to insulate Reichert from the negative opinion most people currently have of the Republican-led Congress and its ethics scandals: “While some of us are very disconcerted by the activity taking place by a few members of Congress today, we can be very proud of this man,” she said.

Then Reichert rose to speak. It’s been said that he’s not a great campaigner, and this speech didn’t do anything to dispel that notion. I’ll leave it to Cienna to highlight some of the wierder moments, but his overall performance was rambling and surprisingly unfocused.

Riechert seemed to be a bit rattled by the protesters outside the Meydenbauer Center, mentioning them at the outset but also taking pains to note that he had gone out and shaken all of their hands before the event. (One of them, he said, asked: “Who are you?”) Like his warm-up acts, Reichert, too, talked about “the party tide that may be running against us,” and warned the crowd that he is a prime target of the Democrats. “The Democratic party, with the state of affairs today, is going to make a tremendous effort in the 8th district,” he said.

Then, for a man trying to distance himself from hard-right Republicans, he did some rather odd things. He channeled President Bush’s shoulder-shrugging, neck-hunching expression of befuddlement at the media’s inability to understand that, as Reichert put it, “the economy is good” and “the Bush tax cuts are working.” He even copied Bush’s staging from the 2004 Republican National Convention, walking, as he was speaking, out onto a raised runway that extended into the audience from the stage—an arrangement that, when used by Bush, was described by Frank Rich of the New York Times as “a giant phallus thrusting him into the nation’s lap.

Reichert quoted Reagan and the first President Bush to the crowd and said, “Doesn’t that just give you chills?” He talked about a heckler at a parade who once called him a crook, and told the audience he thought to himself at the time, “I’m not a crook”—inadvertently channeling Nixon.

And as far as reasons to send Reichert back to Congress it seemed to be all about “defending freedom,” which, of course, is the Bush line, and one not likely to play well in a district that voted for Kerry in 2004.

“This is our challenge,” he said. “Protect freedom. Protect this country. Don’t give up. Be courageous. The facts are, we’re making progress.”

Doesn’t exactly scream “independent.”

Purity Balls

posted by on April 18 at 1:13 PM


UPDATE: Digby has more here.

SAM Announces Major Installation For Entryway

posted by on April 18 at 12:12 PM

Now we know what we’ll see when we walk into the new Seattle Art Museum, which opens in spring 2007: nine identical Ford Tauruses suspended from the ceiling and outfitted with pulsating LED lights, tumbling wildly down the windowed forum along First Avenue and landing in an upright position in the lobby of the old SAM.

This is Inopportune: Stage One, a major acquisition for SAM by the Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

A press statement from the museum says that Inopportune: Stage One borrows the horizontal format of hand-scroll paintings and the frames of film. (It also looks like an echo of the biblical radiant lamb of God, but I’m not sure that’s an appropriate overlay. Inopportune: Stage Two, which won’t be at SAM, is tigers jumping in the air, pierced by arrows that appear to lift them up, referring to a 13th-century Chinese story of a bandit hero who saved a village from a man-eating tiger.)

SAM has also acquired the accompanying video, Illusion, to be installed in a second-floor gallery that will be free to the public. The video depicts a car exploding in Times Square. “The burned-out car used to make the video will be on display near the projection to lend a sense of reality,” the press statement says.

This is not the first time Cai has exhibited a major work in a Seattle museum. His large boat pierced by arrows and flying the Chinese flag, titled Borrowing Your Enemy’s Arrows and commissioned for the excellent traveling show Inside Out: New Chinese Art, took over a corner of the Henry for a time in 1999 and 2000.

Cai, who was born in 1957, has lived in New York since 1995. He is known for work balancing the beauty and destruction of explosions, including drawings made by exploding gunpowder on the surface of heavy paper. Shortly after Sept. 11, he set off fireworks over the East River between Manhattan and Queens in a piece called Transient Rainbow, which referenced but transformed the violence of the terrorist attacks.

Inopportune: Stage One and Illusion were part of a solo exhibition for Cai titled Inopportune, commissioned by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004. About Inopportune: Stage One, the artist said in an interview for the public-television art show Art:21:

Ever since September 11th, the idea of terrorism is always on our minds. It’s ever so present. And while car explosions have been around for a long time, they have a heightened sense of reality in our minds. “Inopportune” obviously has a direct reference to these conditions that we live in now. But making an installation that is so beautiful and mesmerizing that also borrows the image of the car bomb already has inappropriateness in it. Of course, there’s a concept behind it, but never mind the concept—just the very fact is a difficult thing to overcome. It’s difficult to resolve for some people. Whatever it is, it’s a quite direct reference and commentary about some of these issues. So maybe in this way it’s kind of unfashionable or inappropriate, or inopportune.

Since the ’80s, maybe the ’90s, irony is such an important part of work now. There’s less direct commentary or direct reference to certain social problems or phenomena in our world. Nowadays artists tend to stay away from these kinds of ideas and take a more humorous approach, poking fun at society. All of my work is quite direct, for instance the car bombs or the tigers. It’s a quite a direct reference and commentary about some of these issues.


posted by on April 18 at 10:56 AM

NOFX has a new album out. I love the cover art but I think they meant the title to refer to a member of the crunchy counterculture, rather than someone with an extra-curvy bottom half.
Sometimes spellcheck isn’t enough.

Mix Master Spock

posted by on April 18 at 10:32 AM

“I caught a ride on a spaceship through galaxies/A board this ship they were having a break party/And on the box they were jamming this breakdancing/I caught the groove and now I’m part of the breakdance scene/Now I am dancing through space and time easily/Doing the moonwalk, breakdance, and electric boogie/Breaking in space is the thing in the 80s/Catch the next ride and join me in the galaxies. ” —Keymatic, “Breakers in Space” (1984).

Michael Jackson’s new record deal

posted by on April 18 at 9:49 AM

Having finally severed his contentious ties to the “devils” at Sony Music, faded pop star-in-exile Michael Jackson announced today that he has formed a business alliance to release his next album, tentatively due out next year. The music industry half of his new team (i.e. the one who isn’t Middle Eastern royalty)? The man responsible for the UK pop chart blight Crazy Frog. Oh dear.


posted by on April 18 at 9:40 AM

For two decades I’ve heard rumors about the curious things Tom Cruise likes to put in his mouth.

But now there’s finally some proof.

The Race for the 43rd: Bill Sherman

posted by on April 18 at 8:00 AM

Yesterday’s post by Dick Kelley kicked off our week of Slog presentations from five of the candidates who want to be the next state representative from Seattle’s 43rd District.

(I wrote about the sixth candidate, Jamie Pedersen, in The Stranger two weeks ago.)

Kelley’s argument for why he’s the best candidate led to a wide-ranging discussion with him in the comments yesterday, and Slog readers gave the experience great reviews. Today we bring you Bill Sherman, who wants to continue the dialogue and will be checking in throughout the day so that he can answer your questions.

Got something you want to ask Sherman? Post it in the comments. (Tomorrow: Jim Street. Don’t understand what any of this is about? Click here.)

Bill Sherman

Money Raised: $29,830

I’m running because Seattle needs and deserves a fighter — someone to champion clean air and water; to fight for strong public schools; and defend our individual rights, including reproductive choice, civil rights, and the right to live in a safe, just community.

Energy and Environment
Our environment is under attack, but the federal government is either turning a blind eye, or is outright hostile to needed protection. We have to defend Washington’s environment, and I have the experience and commitment to do that job.

I’ve written oil spill regulations, fought big business intent on undermining air and water quality, and cut red tape to force agency coordination.

Where Republicans want to send oil tankers down Puget Sound, we will stand for its protection and cleanup. Where Republicans want to weaken growth management plans, we will fight for open space and livable communities. Where Republican energy policies have led to pointless war and greater dependence on foreign oil, we will invest in clean fuels like wind and biodiesel.

Public Schools
My support to public education is personal — my five-year-old is a kindergartener at Bryant Elementary, and my 3-year-old will be soon. I will fight for resources, equity, and excellence in our schools—from pre-K through college.

Protecting People and Rights
My job as a prosecutor is to fight for victims of domestic violence. To see the world through the eyes of a domestic abuse survivor is to understand where government fails and succeeds in stark relief. That’s why I’ve worked for nearly twenty years for the most vulnerable in our community, from an abortion clinic defense volunteer in the 1990s to my service as a member of the Voter Protection Legal Team in 2004.

There’s a difference between talking tough and being effective fighting for people. Here’s how I can demonstrate that difference:

• Gun Control. Republican refusal to enact common sense gun laws—like closing the gun show loophole—costs lives and results in tragedies that sometimes do hit close to home. I’ll fight to close these loopholes.

• Civil Rights. Across the nation, the GOP and their allies are running shameless anti-gay ballot measures aimed at scapegoating our friends and family members. This must stop. In addition, to be blunt, I don’t trust our Republican state Attorney General to enforce the Anderson-Murray Civil Rights Act. I’ll fight for vigorous enforcement of these hard-earned rights, and for full marriage equality.

• Tax Fairness. Washington has the nation’s most regressive tax system—and the Bush tax cuts only make it worse. I’ll fight for real tax reform, including a sensible income tax, to reduce the burden on the working poor, young people, and seniors.

I’m proud to have the support of leading environmentalists, educators and public school advocates, social service providers, and fellow Democratic Precinct Committee Officers throughout the 43rd.

Please visit my website,, for more information. Thanks to The Stranger for the opportunity to write. I hope you’ll contact me with comments and feedback!

Stop Worrying and Love the Factory, Or, No She Di’in’t

posted by on April 18 at 7:30 AM

OK, then, fine. If Regina Hackett is determined to pick a fight with me, a fight she will get.

Let it first be said that I’ve been a big Regina fan. Her work as art critic for the P-I always demonstrates her completely poetic imagination, and I’ve loved reading her, and talking to her.

We appear, however, to have arrived at a serious fucking impasse.

Her story in today’s P-I, titled Chihuly victim of his own success? takes pains to refute directly a story I wrote two months ago about the issue of Chihuly’s authorship in the context of a copyright lawsuit he has filed against one of his star glassblowers (Glass Houses, Feb. 16).

Regina’s claim is that the real art world loves Dale, and it’s only provincial idiots like me who “bash” him, because we are of small minds, small hearts (the guy has aching feet and bipolar disorder, after all!), and we slept through art history class.

Oh, and that I specifically am an inspiration to criminals. Regina transforms a joke I made in an interview on this web site about Chihuly’s bulletproof rock-candy sculptures into a spot worthy of local television news:

… Graves invited those who share her negative view (“terrible”) of his supposedly bulletproof Bridge of Glass in Tacoma to express their displeasure by shooting at it.

With a gun.

There are a lot of separate issues here (um, I didn’t mention a gun, but I agree with you, Regina, it works better for dramatic effect to include a firearm, and I should have), but the most enduring issue, I think, is the one about whether an artist’s production methods are relevant to a discussion of the artist’s work and worth.

Regina tackles this two ways in her story. First, she goes about establishing Chihuly’s total credibility in the art world. To do this, she actually lists the people who like him: “art critics such as Arthur Danto ad Donald Kuspit, and artists such as Jeff Koons, David Hockney, Kiki Smith, and John Torreano.” Everyone else falls under the category “Those who have never taken glass seriously.”

Um, when you have to list people who take an artist seriously, that’s just sad.

Regina then describes how three British critics went ga-ga over a 2001 Chihuly show in London. This tidbit is interesting, because it goes directly to how powerfully Dale’s work relies on context, which is something I mentioned in my piece. Henry Geldzahler, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, had it exactly right in 1993 when he praised Chihuly’s work as a form of Manifest Destiny: “American in its apparent vulgarity, its brazenness and its fearlessness to move farther out west even if there is no further west to move to.” You don’t think that plays differently in the Motherland than in Florida, Utah, and Seattle? Of course it does. And it should.

But it sure as hell doesn’t establish Chihuly’s credibility in the art world. The art world is absolutely ambivalent about Dale Chihuly.

How about this: Liz Brown, chief curator at the Henry Art Gallery, is the sole museum source Regina used to prop up Dale in her story.

I called the Henry, Seattle’s only contemporary art museum earlier today, to confirm something I suspected.

The Henry Art Gallery, the contemporary art museum in the city where Dale Chihuly lives, has never, ever, had a solo show of Dale Chihuly.

Seems to me that is worth a story. (And Regina, if your answer is that the Henry has an unfair bias against glass, maybe we should start talking about the relationship between that bias and the problem of craft and physical authorship.)

Brown tells Regina that she is “amazed” that anyone could question Chihuly’s authorship. Regina then trods out the usual litany of art-historical references to establish that production is a dead issue, and that nobody cares how you make your art—at least the people who matter don’t care, because Warhol (who Chihuly is like “in many ways”—yeah, except he has absolutely no intellectual basis for his work) taught all the little children to stop worrying and love the factory.

Throughout art history, artists have used assistants, sometimes liberally, but in the 20th century artists directly challenged the idea that art is more valuable as a hands-on operation.

From Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Lawrence Weiner and Robert Gober, artists say that hands-on production is a choice, not an imperative.

Oh, Christ. Of course it’s a choice, and how an artist chooses can mean something. When Chihuly, who doesn’t blow glass in the first place, starts cranking out works at a rate impossible for any single person to view, let alone oversee, his market might love it, but it causes me some anxiety. When is an art factory just a factory? When do these inflections enter the work of art itself? And when they do, how can they not influence an estimation of that artist’s contributions?

Regina may have swallowed art history whole, but I think issues of authorship and craft in art are constantly in flux. A recent story in ArtNews explored leading painters’ own anxieties about working from photographs. It is widely accepted practice, but it is also something each artist handles consciously (unlike Chihuly’s unconscious use of assistants). The story is responding at least in part to Damien Hirst’s 2005 prank of showing paintings that he fully admits are beyond his capabilities and made entirely by assistants as copies of newspaper and magazine images. Appropriation art is old news, and Hirst is being derivative. But he’s also mocking the very real taboo against taking traditional ideas of craft and authorship into account in the art world. Unseating production’s primary role is the golden discovery of the 20th century, but by now it’s just a hegemony with about as much need for a defender as a grizzly bear. The fact is, the ways that production can enter into a work as an aspect of context are fascinating, and to ignore them is to be some kind of fundamentalist. Anyone who seriously claims that both Dale Chihuly’s inability as a glassblower and his mass production methods are utterly unrelated to the final work sitting in your living room or your museum (or NOT sitting in your museum, as the Henry case may be) has some explaining to do. Those factors may not mean everything about every one of his works, and they may mean different things about different works (huge installations made of hundreds of parts versus paintings on paper versus small sculptures). I never claimed Chihuly wasn’t an artist. I said he wasn’t a great glass artist, and he isn’t. A great glass artist, I believe—horror!—would know how to do complicated things with glass. I called Chihuly “a glass celebrity.” I should have added that he is a mediocre installation artist.

You want hegemony? Nowhere is it more obvious than in this belligerent quote in the ArtNews story from Chrissie Iles, the super-powerful curator who co-organized the Whitney Biennial: “There is an ultraconservative definition of what art is, and it comes from a romanticized view of how paintings are made. If you’ve painted something that’s copied from something else, or had someone do it for you, or if you’ve involved a projection, then it’s not art. That’s very ignorant. The only thing that has a relationship to value is quality.”

Right. Contemporary art museums and leading contemporary dealers are ultraconservative. They just refuse to touch anything that isn’t made by a single guy in a garret. Uh-huh. I do agree that the current popularity of figurative painting is bound to raise questions again, some of which will be stupid. But I hope the answers from all of us—artists, curators, dealers, and critics—come back complicated every time. These issues are far from dead, and to my mind, they’re a hell of a lot more interesting than whether Dale Chihuly has pig shit on his shoe, or whether he thinks about glass while he’s swimming in his pool.

In fact, I might just write about them for The Stranger.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Where the Hell Am I Anyway?

posted by on April 17 at 10:00 PM

Okay, so I travel a lot for work. When I mention that on Slog—which I only do because I’m feeling self-conscious about not Slogging, which I’m not doing because I’m, duh, traveling for work—I get grief. Some folks think I only mention the fact that I’m on the road to, like, I dunno, brag or something. “Hey, look at me! I’m at the airport!” But I don’t like flying, and I hate airports, and I would pretty much rather be, like, home, then—hey, where the hell am I?

Well, this morning I was at Sea-Tac…


Then early this afternoon I was in Minneapolis…


And finally I arrived in Madison, Wisconsin.


In Madison I spoke before 2,000—count `em!—University of Wisconsin students. It was a nice talk. I didn’t have time to get dinner before my speech, so I bought a beer and a pretzel in the Student Union—at the Rathskeller—but just before I was about to walk out on stage the stage manager, very nicely, informed me that no one is allowed to drink and eat on stage at the Student Union. I told her, very nicely, that I wasn’t holding a beer and a pretzel—a pitcher of beer, actually—but props for my performance, and she very kindly let me take them out on stage, where I proceeded to eat and drink them, very nicely.

Anyhow, about the t-shirts? Traveling as much as I do—which, again, I hate, and I’m not bragging—I’ve noticed that there are identical t-shirt displays in every freakin’ airport in the freakin’ country. The name of the city changes, but the displays are all identical. Clearly there’s a market for “Where the Hell Am I Anyway?” t-shirts, but despite the many, many cities my work takes me to—not braggin’, just sayin’—I’ve never been tempted, not even once, to buy one of these fucking t-shirts. But someone must, otherwise they wouldn’t be, like, everywhere, right?

Whoa. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that entire pitcher of beer with just one pretzel.

If It Weren’t for Those Meddling Kids…

posted by on April 17 at 6:06 PM

Parked at 14th and Mercer:

Victory for LA’s Homeless

posted by on April 17 at 4:53 PM

A federal appeals court ruled that a Los Angeles law prohibiting sitting or sleeping on city sidewalks amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment” because LA lacks sufficient shelter housing for the homeless. The decision, according to the LA Times, ends a campaign by the LAPD to remove the massive homeless encampments that spring up every night in that city’s skid row, and could have implications for other laws that target the homeless, like Seattle’s no-sitting law, parks exclusion ordinance and other legacies of the Mark Sidran era.

According to the Times, the ruling “has implications for police agencies around the nation that have grappled with how to deal with the homeless,” including police departments in Portland, Las Vegas, Houston, and Seattle.

[The court] said the disparity between shelter space and the number of homeless guaranteed that sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks was “an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter in the city of Los Angeles.”

Thus the city’s enforcement violated the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, which bars cruel and unusual punishment, she said, adding that prior Supreme Court rulings made it clear that the government “may not punish a person for who he is, independent of anything he has done.”

Ingenious and Disgusting

posted by on April 17 at 4:37 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, the “Brief Safe.”

No Pulitzer for Drama

posted by on April 17 at 3:57 PM

The Pulitzer committee has told finalists Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter), Rolin Jones (The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow), and Christopher Durang (Miss Witherspoon) that they do not deserve $10,000. Nor did the committee elevate someone who was not initially nominated. No playwright got a Pulitzer this year. The state of American drama… is poor. Full list of the people who did deserve Pulitzers is here.

The Jolly “Green” Giant

posted by on April 17 at 3:50 PM

From this month’s “green” issue of Vanity Fair:


You’re the Talk of the Town

posted by on April 17 at 3:44 PM

Amid all the accusations being hurled at the New York Post and Page Six (Page Six unethical? Positively shocking!), Steve Martin weighs in with a spoof of the garish column with this bit from the New Yorker.

If you’re not now, you never were.

posted by on April 17 at 3:40 PM

Before I tell you what I’m about to tell you, I should make sure you know that I, Megan Seling, have never ingested a drop of alcohol in my life. Honest. Not a beer, not a shot, not a sip of wine in 25 (almost 26) years of existence. Drinking never interested me through my prepubescent years (Barbie didn’t drink, why should I?), and once I hit high school I learned about straight-edge and decided that drug free was the way for me. I don’t know why, but regardless of the reason (or lack of), it stuck.

Being a non-drinker is the way most people know me. Some people don’t understand it, some people (co-workers, mostly) make fun of me, and others offer money to watch me get drunk for the first time. If times get tough enough, I might take ‘em up on that. Anyways… I say all of this because, well, I don’t know why. But this weekend, during a small party at my sister’s house, I drank alcohol. Vodka, actually. Skyy Vodka in the pretty blue bottle. It was a complete accident.

I thought the salt from the small handful of potato chips I had just eaten maybe made my tastebuds go a little wacky, so after the first sip of my odd tasting soda, I decided drinking more was the only way to wash the salty taste down. So I kept gulping, slowly catching on that the peculiar taste wasn’t going away, but getting stronger. Then I looked at my brother in law, who was holding the same exact glass with the same innocent looking soda in it. He had just taken a sip and gotten a strange look on his face, wondering what was missing. “Uhh, Pete, is that my glass?” He got a surprised look and then a grin of realization fell over his face. “Uhh… I think it is…” he said. “Pete, did you put alcohol in yours?” The room fell silent for a moment and then exploded into a fit of laughter, as everyone realized that I, after years of refusing, finally drank. Goddammit. What would Ian MacKaye say?!

Heads are Gonna Roll…

posted by on April 17 at 3:35 PM

… at the White House, according to the Washington Post and other sources.

Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten says the ax will chop in a week to 10 days and that “if you’re thinking about leaving sometime in the near future, now would be a good time to do it.” 7-10 days? Why, that’s perfect timing for an office pool! A complete list of White House staffers can be found here. Commentators, guess away!

Re: “A Global Warming Hero”

posted by on April 17 at 3:06 PM

Granted, Nickels even made into Vanity Fair’s glamourous green issue, but the other green mayors he posed with looked healthy and trim, whereas Nickels’ gut was all out there. Someone has got get that man a treadmill or membership to a gym. If he wants to represent Seattle in an honest and green way, then he has got to get rid of that pronounced beer belly.

“A Global Warming Hero”

posted by on April 17 at 1:32 PM

That’s how Laurie David, the wife of comedian Larry David, describes Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in this gushy post on HuffingtonPost today. She’s praising Nickels for his push to get U.S. mayors to adopt the Kyoto Protocol, even though the Bush administration has rejected the agreement.

Nickels has received lots of coverage for his leadership, including a glam photo spread in the current green issue of Vanity Fair. “It’s a strange role for someone whose job it is to fix potholes,” Nickels says, “But American cities care about this issue even if the federal government doesn’t. I wanted to send a message to the rest of the world to stick with it, because America will catch up.”

Three On The City

posted by on April 17 at 1:10 PM

This article is by Mike Davis (City of Quartz, Planet of Slums) and concerns the history and future of car bombs. A sample:

[V]ehicle bombs are stealth weapons of surprising power and destructive efficiency. Trucks, vans, or even SUVs can easily transport the equivalent of several conventional 1,000-pound bombs to the doorstep of a prime target. Moreover, their destructive power is still evolving, thanks to the constant tinkering of ingenious bombmakers. We have yet to face the full horror of semi-trailer-size explosions with a lethal blast range of 200 yards, or of dirty bombs sheathed in enough nuclear waste to render mid-Manhattan radioactive for generations.

This article is by Matthew Stadler (Nest Magazine, Clear Cut Press) and concerns the (smutty sounding) suburb of Beaverton, which he claims is more diverse, more cosmopolitan than the city of Portland. A core sample:

Welcome to Beaverton.

Five new immigrants move to the suburbs for every one who moves to Portland. In Beaverton, one-fourth of residents grew up without English, one-fifth are foreign-born. Hiding its richness behind the inscrutable face of sprawl, Beaverton defies everything we’ve been taught about suburbs and cities.

Though the author of this article is not named, it’s still worth reading. Basically, an 11-member High-Rise Building Safety Advisory Committee admitted last month that it’s impossible to build a terror-proof skyscraper. A sample:

Jon D. Magnusson, representing the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations and chairman of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, [stated that] “Promising terrorism resistance while only considering the smallest of attacks is false advertising.”

Where’s Appelo?

posted by on April 17 at 12:54 PM

Senior Arts Writer Tim Appelo has left Seattle Weekly (again) for a job at (again). I’ll miss reading his essays and reviews, and hope he does well for himself in the belly of that beast on the hill.

Useful Lunatics

posted by on April 17 at 12:51 PM

From the AP:

WASHINGTON - Protection of marriage amendment? Check. Anti-flag burning legislation? Check. New abortion limits? Check.

Between now and the November elections, Republicans are penciling in plans to take action on social issues important to religious conservatives, the foundation of the GOP base, as they defend their congressional majority.

In a year where an unpopular war in Iraq has helped drive President Bush’s approval ratings below 40 percent, core conservatives whose turnout in November is vital to the party want assurances that they are not being taken for granted.

“It seems like for only six months, every two years — right around election time — that we’re even noticed,” said Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council.

“Some of these better pass,” he added. “You notice when it’s just lip service being paid.”

Dear Tom McClusky: Calm down. There’s a reason the GOP doesn’t rush to force through your every whim—because you’re fucking CUCKOO FOR COCOA PUFFS. Even Republicans know that stealing our rights away takes time and effort. You can’t just rush blindly into destroying a democracy because a gaggle of intolerant, ass-hatted “Christians” demand you do so—you have to do it slowly, a little chunk at a time.

But don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get everything you ask for soon enough.

“Why Would Anyone Take a Group of Retarded People to This Show?”

posted by on April 17 at 10:50 AM

A fitting note from the closing weekend of The Pillowman at ACT, courtesy of hot tipper Lynette:

My boyfriend and I went to see The Pillowman at ACT last Friday, inspired in no small part by all the Pillowman hype on Slog. Several strange people were seated in the row in front of us. One had an emphysema-like cough, but did not leave the theater, even though she was seated on the aisle. Another kept loudly asking her companion “Is it over yet? Is this the end?” to which her companion would respond “Shut up!” Eventually, we realized that we were seated behind a group of retarded people.

In case you are unaware of the plot of Pillowman, it involves a retarded man (Michael) who brutally kills some children, and is ultimately smothered with a pillow by his brother. Why would anyone take a group of retarded people to this show? Is Michael supposed to be a retarded role model? Was someone trying to teach these retarded people not to kill children? Was it a well-meaning but misguided attempt to expose them to theater? We were utterly bemused. But given the attention paid to Pillowman, we thought you should know that its appreciative audience includes not only urban hipsters, but retarded people.

This story is doubly weird given the title of my Pillowman review .

Reichert, Cheney, McGavick, Stevens, and… Marie Antionette?

posted by on April 17 at 10:21 AM

‘Tis the season for political candidates to be caught keeping unfortunate company as they try to raise as much money as possible before the fall campaigns begin in earnest.

Here’s a great photo, via Horsesass, of Republican Senate hopeful Mike McGavick “whoring himself” in Alaska last week with Republican Senator Ted Stevens and oil industry executives.


(By the way, there’s an interesting account, in today’s Washington Post, of Stevens’ recent Maria Cantwell Payback Tour through Washington State. He was here to follow through on his threat to make Cantwell regret leading the fight against drilling in ANWAR.)

Back to the theme of unfortunate company, here’s an account, via yesterday’s Seattle Times, of eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert’s revised position on sharing the stage with Vice President Dick Cheney tonight at an Everett fundraiser. (He’ll do it, Reichert now says. Will we get photos, I wonder?)

And here is a juicy bit of gossip from someone who was reading the schedule for Dick Cheney’s other Washington fundraising stop today, an appearance with McGavick in Spokane: It appears that Cheney and McGavick will be raising money in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom of Spokane’s Davenport Hotel.

Yes, that’s right: McGavick and Cheney, holding a high-dollar fundraiser in a room named after the “Let them eat cake” monarchist known for being notoriously out of touch with the plight of people.

Butt! Rock! Suites!

posted by on April 17 at 9:39 AM

This past Friday I had the great pleasure of attending Buttrock Suites, the modern-dance-set-to-a-buttrock-soundtrack juggernaut whose third installment—Buttrock Suites III: Sweetest—runs through the upcoming weekend at Velocity Dance Center (915 E Pine St.).

Over the past few years, BRS has earned plenty of good press and devotees, and now I’m one of them. Sure, the show’s built on a gimmick, but it’s a surprisingly rich and witty one, casting the heady aesthetic pleasures of modern dance/performance against the crude, fist-pumping pleasures of ’80s hard rock, with both dance and music made richer from the collision.

The first half of the show is jokier, with a number of choreographers taking buttrock as both subject and soundtrack: Left Field Dance’s quartet channels the communal lust of teenage hard-rock fandom, Drew Elliott’s and Lasara Jarvis’ duet makes literal a timeless Def Leppard command.

In the second half, things get more abstract and ambitious. Best in show: You, the vast Scorpions-themed, Berlin Wall-destroying extravaganza choreographed by Diana Cardiff, one of Buttrock Suites’ masterminds, and one of the night’s most magnetic dancers.

Throughout, there’s the music—Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Aldo fucking Nova, all of whose sturdy, scream-filled 4/4 rock is built to elicit big, crude emotions and encourage big, crude movements. Experiencing such music in the context of modern dance is just ridiculously exciting, and you should see it while you can.

As I mentioned, Buttrock Suites 3: Sweetest continues through this weekend at Velocity, with shows Fri, Sat, and Sun. Call 206-722-0963 for tickets.

The Race for the 43rd: Dick Kelley

posted by on April 17 at 8:00 AM

There’s only one Ed Murray. But now that he’s decided to give up his house seat and make a run for the state senate, a fascinating political tussle has broken out among six good liberals who all want to become the next representative from Seattle’s 43rd District.

Two weeks ago I wrote about one of the contenders, Jamie Pedersen. Every day this week The Stranger is going to give one of the other five contenders a chance to make his or her case on the Slog, starting today with Dick Kelley. (Tomorrow: Bill Sherman. Full schedule here.)

Dick Kelley

Money Raised: $27,246

(Kelley has promised to check in several times today so that he can answer questions from Slog readers. Got something you want to ask him? Post it in the comments.)

Only one candidate in the 43rd District House race this year is doing something to reduce the influence of big contributors and special interests in the Legislature: Dick Kelley.

Dick Kelley is the only candidate who is refusing to accept big contributions. State law allows one person to donate $700 for the primary and $700 for the general election. This makes it easy for a special interest that wants something from the Legislature to pile up money for their favorite candidates. Dick has limited his contributions — including from himself - to $100 per person per election. Once elected, Dick has pledged to introduce legislation to create an Arizona-type “clean campaign” system of assistance to candidates who don’t take big contributions.

Dick Kelley believes that reducing the power of special interests in campaigns would make it easier for the Legislature to find the money to fund education, clean up Puget Sound, fund health and human services and support the arts. Revenue Department figures show that tax exemptions now cost Washington taxpayers $6.8 Billion per year. $50 Million to subsidize the use of chemical fertilizers and sprays. $100,000 to subsidize the fish pens that raise non-native species and pollute the water. $3 Million to subsidize coin dealers. And this session, the Legislature gave McDonalds and the restaurant industry a $10 Million exemption for the syrup they use to make soda pop.

Dick knows how to get things done: He is the only candidate who has worked in Washington State government.
• He chaired the Shorelines Hearings Board and the Pollution Control Hearings Board, and built a powerful record of protection for our shorelines, water and air.
• He was the principal author and driving force in the creation of the 2005 Homeless Housing and Assistance Act.
• He led the State Personnel Board in implementing the landmark Comparable Worth Settlement to equalize pay for women employees, and he hired the first female judges in the history of the Environmental Hearings Office.

He is a leader in human services and low-income housing
, and was Regional Director of the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration.

Dick is a longtime advocate of human rights. He led the City of Seattle’s Affirmative Action Task Force. As Chair of the 43rd District Democrats for the last 4 years, Dick used his monthly column to advocate for choice, abortion clinic access and, in early 2004, for equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

No freshman legislator will have the influence over transportation decisions that Ed Murray built up over the years, but Dick studied public transportation for his Masters degree. He believes that we cannot pave our way out of traffic congestion, and we must focus our money and planning on getting people out of their single-person cars.

Make the choice that Co-Chairs Nick Licata and Jennifer Belcher and more than 400 of your neighbors already have, a choice for real progressive leadership for the future: Dick Kelley.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Starting Tomorrow…

posted by on April 16 at 7:03 PM

The race to replace longtime State Representative Ed Murray (D-Seattle) is shaping to up to one of the most exciting local political brawls of the season. Six serious candidates have filed to replace Murray, who is giving up his seat to make a run for the state senate, and two weeks ago we ran a story about one of the contenders, Jamie Pedersen. He currently has the most money in the race (nearly $68,000), and is the only gay candidate, making him a natural to replace Murray in many minds.

But many other minds have other opinions, and starting tomorrow we’re going to let the five other candidates in the race have their say. They’ll each get to post a brief statement on the Slog, and then (hopefully) they’ll make themselves available in the comments to answer all the penetrating questions Slog readers can throw at them.

Here’s the schedule:

MONDAY: Dick Kelley

TUESDAY: Bill Sherman


THURSDAY: Stephanie Pure

FRIDAY: Lynne Dodson

Dick Kelley’s statement will be up first thing tomorrow morning, and he’s promised to check in several times throughout the day to answer your questions.

Score 1 For Seattle

posted by on April 16 at 3:23 PM

Greetings from New York City.

This is kinda cool. Looking for something to do last night on a vacation here in Manahattan, I found that Seattle’s own absurd drag queen, Dina Martina, was performing during her two-week run of shows at a low-key dinner theater-type place called the Cutting Room.
Of all the stuff happening in New York last night, this seemed like the best option. It was great.

With the exception of some Seattle expats who happened to be sitting at the table next to mine—it was roomful of 20 and 30-something New Yorkers, awe-struck and laughing non-stop at DM’s deranged drag comedy show.
It was just great to watch New Yorkers getting blown away by Seattle’s crazy comedy treasure. One bewildered woman kept laughing out loud with increasing disbelief: “What?! What?!” as Dina dropped in her off-hand quips (referring to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual. transgender etc. community, for example, as the “BLT” community); dealing with the tootsie pop that she lost in her hair; and unveiling a haphazard rendition of Devil Went Down to Georgia.

If you’re going to be in NYC this month, it’s playing thru April 29. Support Seattle. Go. Tickets are $17, and you can book them at

posted by on April 16 at 11:49 AM

Nothing really timely I suppose, no local relevance, and old news to some, but for the uninformed, please enrich your musical life with podcasts from . For quite some time now, the witty, nerdy, self deprecating DJs at Dublab have championed some of the most cutting-edge electronic/indie/folk/hip hop from the past and present… truly alternative radio from people with a great breadth of musical knowledge. You wont hear anyone from Dublab refer to “Money Mark” as the most talented Beastie Boy (A random remark, but if you heard what I heard on an unmentioned local radio station some time back, maybe you’ll catch my drift). If you’re in my boat and can’t stream media at work, then stock up on their growing inventory of fresh and exclusive podcasts, culled from previous live sessions. The current roster of podcast artists include: Colleen, Daedelus, Terry Callier (THE Terry Callier, accompanied by an awesome interview on the state of electronic music), Greg Davis and Sebastian Roux, Bird Show, Nobody, Feathers, a Hawk and a Hacksaw, the Books, and Thomas “Orb” Fehlman.

Happy Easter!

posted by on April 16 at 9:09 AM

In celebration of the Resurrection, please enjoy another wonderful and ridiculous story that will grow to become part of the fabric of humanity: The Gatorade Conspiracy.

(Bonnet tip to Marti, my lovely intern.)