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Archives for 05/21/2006 - 05/27/2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Postcards from Sasquatch:

posted by on May 27 at 5:05 PM

While standing in the long line to have my bag searched, I found myself next to an enormous man (tall and broad) and his enormous beard (long and broad) and his enormous wife (just broad). He was clearly motorcyclist material, with his bandana and his sunglasses and his leather vest. He was wearing several patches that read “81% Supporter.” I asked him what he supported 81% of and what was wrong with the other 19%. “Hell’s Angel,” he said, not in an unfriendly way but not in a friendly way either. More like the way a lion looks at a little zebra when he can’t decide if he’s hungry or not. “Oh,” I said. “Yeah,” his wife said helpfully. “It’s an alphabetical thing.”
Architecture in Helsinki was peppy and weird and I loved them. They had, like, nine members. And I hear tell they’re from Australia which is, of course, great.
Sufjan Stevens (he of the guy-who’s-going-to-make-50-albums-one-about-each-of-the-50-states-but-has-only-made-two-so-far fame) played a set of weep-worthy sweetness. There was a trumpet. And a trombone. And a melodica. And young ladies who played them and sang a cracked, rough, fantastically-innocent-Americana backup. And a giant inflated Uncle Sam doll. They played a sad-ballad version of the Star Spangled Banner. Beforehand, he handed out small cloth American flags for the audience to wave. Mr. Anthony Hecht ducked into a nearby porta-john after the set and saw someone had stuck a flag in the urinal so you couldn’t help peeing on it. He forgot to take a picture. We’re all feeling a little, uh… forgetful. Did I mention there’s a beautiful rainstorm in the distance?
”There are a lot of beautiful young stomachs here,” one young-looking guy said to another. “Yes,” the other, who looked even younger, replied. “I feel like Humbert Humbert.”
Uh-oh. Thunder. Oh shit. Rain.

Re: Holy… Shit… Harper’s… Oh… My… God…

posted by on May 27 at 3:10 PM

A leftist chap from London shares Mr. Metcalf’s sentiments (albeit to a lesser degree) and is met with an avalanche of criticism and talk of a police investigation.

On a totally unrelated note, last night’s Team Dresch show was so stunning I’m seriously thinking about driving down to Portland to see them again tonight. Aside from their stellar set, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many gorgeous lesbians in attendance at a rock show, like, ever.

Bulge In

posted by on May 27 at 2:47 PM

From the local architect Jerry Garcia to me, and from me to you:

Attached are construction photos of Toyo Ito’s installation in the National Gallery in Berlin. normal_01small.jpg

When the new generation of computer modeling became available about ten years ago, the architectural community began to anticipate a generation of blob buildings. What has instead happened here (Maya Lin), in Berlin, and elsewhere, are a generation of blobs in buildings.

Holy… Shit… Harper’s… Oh… My… God…

posted by on May 27 at 2:10 PM

If you haven’t already read the June issue of Harper’syes, Harper’syou might want to rush out and get one before the whole staff is shipped off to Gitmo or their offices are firebombed.

This month’s Notebook column, “On Simple Human Decency,” by Harper’s literary editor Ben Metcalf, is… stunning. Brave. Nuts. Anyone who thought the anti-Bush rhetoric would cool once Lewis Lapham stepped as Editor down has another think coming…

Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the President of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?

Let me be clear that I have no wish to perform such a deed in fact…. I seek only to gauge what level of discourse is still acceptable in this country by asking, in the hope that I might someday participate in that discourse, whether I am free to posit that it would probably be great fun, and a boon to all mankind, if i were to slaughter the president of the United States with my bare hands?

….In place of the initial question I might ask instead, “Am I allowed to write that I would like to kidnap George W. Bush and fly him to a prison in some faraway land where his ‘rights’ are no longer an issue, there to put a bag over his head and making him stand for hours on one leg while I defecate on his New Testament before chaining his arms to the ceiling until he dies of a heart attack, after which I will claim that he never existed?”

It’s not just idle, sensationalistic threatsMetcalf’s essay has a point, but I’m not going to reproduce his despairing nut graph here. Go buy the mag. And I can’t link to the essay, unfortunately because it isn’t up on the website yethell, I’m surprised that their website is still up at all. So if you want to read this… this… freaking brilliant, terrifying, breathtaking piece (and you do want to read this piece), then you’ll just have to march your butt down to Bulldog or Steve’s Broadway News or the newstand in the Pike Place Market and buy a copy of Harper’s.

And just in case Metcalf’s take-no-prisoners-but-one essay, which kicks off the issue, wasn’t shit-kicking enough, the issue includes an essay by Art Spiegelman on the Danish Mohammed cartoonsand unlike the issue of Harper’s in which Lapham condemned the cowardly American media for not showing the cartoons, this issue of Harper’s shows them alleach and every one. Twice. It also includes Spiegelman’s entry for Iran’s deny-the-Holocaust cartoon contest. (Both of Spiegelman’s parents survived Auschwitz, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus, a comic novel about his father’s experiences during the Second World War.) Spiegelman’s Holocaust-denial comic is… it unnerves me to say… grimly hilarious.

Your Computer Looks Thirsty

posted by on May 27 at 11:53 AM

Perhaps it would enjoy a tall, cool drink of DAVID MF HASSLEHOFF!

Be Warned

posted by on May 27 at 8:59 AM

Never eat (in 1 day)

1 jumbo dog at the Mariners game
1 regular dog at the Mariners game
1 Coke
1 beer
1 bag of Cracker Jacks (????)

2 vodkas at the Re-Bar

Pizza at Gordon Biersch
Garlic fries at Gordon Biersch
2 vodkas at Gordon Biersch

Pop corn at the Midnight movie
Weird candy at the Midnight movie

Friday, May 26, 2006

Love for the Intern

posted by on May 26 at 5:31 PM

I haven’t seen the UW MFA show that’s opening tonight at the Henry Art Gallery, since I had to miss today’s press preview due to some deadlines. But this report from Artdish’s Jim Demetre singles out our vis-art intern, Elysha Rose Diaz (who puts together the monstrous vis-art cal every week), in his assessment of the show:

Diaz, one of only two photography graduates this year, has an intriguing series of photographs that document the fragments and fleeting details of some journey, complete with an important epiphany or two.

Today is yours, black-haired lady.

Seattle Art Museum Loses Curator

posted by on May 26 at 4:46 PM

Good thing Michael Darling, SAM’s new curator of modern and contemporary art, starts July 1, because the only other person in that department, associate modern and contemporary curator Susan Rosenberg, is leaving the museum at the end of June.

Rosenberg is a New York native and a New Yorker at heart. After three years at SAM (preceded by some time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art), she’ll return home, to a teaching position at St. John’s University, a private Catholic institution with five locations in the city. At SAM, she’s curated International Abstraction, Modern in America, and three of the exhibitions on view now at SAAM.

“We will miss the scholarly excellence of her work, her eloquence in speaking about works of art, and the graciousness and energy she brought to an enormous workload,” says Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s chief curator and deputy director of art.

Since you brought it up … enormous workloads indeed. The new SAM (opening 2007) will have double the space for modern and contemporary art than the current building, and then there’s the matter of the sculpture park, which opens this coming fall. What’s the plan for staff support over there? Will SAM bulk up but leave its new heavy weight on the same old number of staffers, from curators to PR workers? I haven’t heard of a plan for a round of new hires, and now with this …

I haven’t been keyed in long enough to know what exactly SAM loses when it loses Rosenberg, what is her particular creative imprint on the operation, which can be hard to determine with an associate curator, anyway. But I’ve enjoyed what seems to me like her dry, almost dark, sense of humor, and I’ll miss that.

In other news, and lest anyone think that Regina Hackett and I are actual nemeses, I’d like to point out a great piece she’s got in today’s P-I. It’s about Michael Knutson, the Portland painter I Blarted about in this week’s Stranger. I talked to him briefly at the gallery during his opening, but I didn’t work up to asking him how he lost his arm, and later I wished I had. Now I know what I missed: Regina has the amazing story, and another good anecdote about how all of Knutson’s early work burned down here.

Booting the Balancer

posted by on May 26 at 4:27 PM

So I wrote this story about a street artist in Fremont (and the city Department of Transportation and Seattle Met magazine and Fremont business owners). Some people think he’s a wonderful, romantic hobo sculptor. Some people think he’s a pain in the ass. Some people think he’s just a dude, no more, no less.

Those people are debating here (under “Fremont Street Artist given boot”).

I’m curious what you all think.

Happy birthday to me!

posted by on May 26 at 4:25 PM

What are you going to do after a long holiday weekend? Why, coming to my birthday party, of course!

Because I’m such a big fan of birthdays (and I don’t care how self-indulgent it is) I put together a birthday rock show with some of my current favorite local actsSpeaker Speaker, Sean Nelson, the Pharmacy, Juhu Beach, and Spacesuit.

Speaker Speaker won this year’s annual Big Shot competition. They’re that good. Sean Nelson, well, he’s Sean Nelson, frontman for Harvey Danger. He’ll be playing a few tunes solo on the piano, which should be lovely. The Pharmacy are finally bringing their punky dance party back home after months on the road, and I can’t wait to see them again. Juhu Beach is wrapping up the recording of their debut EP (you can catch a sneak peek here) and Spacesuit is a brand new band featuring members of Problems with Heroes and Blue Sky Mile. I can’t wait!

It’s on Tuesday May 30th at the Crocodile. Doors open at 9 pm and it costs $6 at the door. Be sure to save the date, it’ll be super fun times, and a great chance to finally hear some of the bands I never shut up about.

Speaking of Jamie Pedersen…

posted by on May 26 at 2:54 PM

The “only gay candidate” for the 43rd state legislative district has friends in high places. Like the IDX Tower.

Pedersen’s raised $86,000 so far. Of that, $15,500nearly 20 percenthas come from contributors in his own law firm, downtown behemoth Preston, Gates & Ellis. Other big donors include employees of Microsoft ($2,050), Vulcan ($1,000), Pyramid Real Estate ($1,400), and the Urban Realty Group ($1,000).

Looks like the Downtown Seattle Association has found its candidate.

100 Percent Beef

posted by on May 26 at 2:22 PM

Finally, a rap rivalry I can get excited about: Ice Cube versus Oprah.

Saving Strauss

posted by on May 26 at 2:12 PM

To label criticism of Leo Strauss and his influence on modern American politics as anti-Semitic, which Adam Kirsch does in this sad article, is simply bizarre. Strauss may have been a central figure but many (or most) of the people who follow his ideas or influenced them are not Jewish (Plato, Hegel, Kojeve, Fukuyama). There’s simply no way to salvage a thinker whose favorite TV show was Gun Smoke.

From the article:

The anti-Semitism behind the current wave of Strauss hatred, like the anti-Semitism that drives so much talk about the neoconservative “cabal” in Washington, is barely even veiled. There is no mistaking the insolent glee with which some of his critics (or, better, his slanderers) associate Strauss, a refugee from Nazi Germany, with the greatest enemies of the Jews. Tim Robbins, in his recent play “Embedded,” portrays characters based on Messrs. Wolfowitz and Perle shouting “Hail Leo Strauss,” in an echo of the Nazi salute. Last year, a BBC documentary called “The Power of Nightmares” compared Strauss to Sayyid Qutb, the ideological godfather of Hamas.

This comparison, made in Power of Nightmareswhich screens on June 9th and 10th at SIFF, and must not be missed (it is the best documentary I’ve seen since Roger and Me)is convincing. The director, Adam Curtis, doesn’t even hint at Strauss being tied to some shadowy Israeli agenda. His Jewish origin is not brought up once. Strauss’s ideas are not Jewish ideas, they are simply bad ideas, whether they come from the Republic or the more rigid sections of Philosophy of Right.

The Great Greats

posted by on May 26 at 2:08 PM

Here’s a little inside information: in next week’s book section, Paul Collins is weighing in on the NYT’s contentious best-novel-of-the-last-25-years list. (Though he goes in a very Paul Collins direction with it. You’ll see. [If you don’t remember Collins’s audience review from a few years ago, refresh your memory].)

The Great Gatsby wasn’t on the list because The Great Gatsby wasn’t published in the last 25 years, but Collins makes a point about it nonetheless, and today over lunch I ran into some more thoughts about it in an interview with Haruki Murakami in the first issue of A Public Space. I know, I know, people talk about The Great Gatsby all the time; if you are one of those people who is sick of everyone talking about The Great Gatsby, stop reading here. Because I’m one of those people who is sick of people who are sick of talking about The Great Gatsby. After all: (1) it’s damn near perfect; (2) it was scorned by critics and readers alike when Fitzgerald was alive; and (3) it’s gloriously short. Murakami would take issue with me describing it “damn near perfect” because in this A Public Space interview, in which he talks about American writers he’s translated (and he only translates writers he wants toso, yes to Salinger and Fitzgerald and Carver, no to Paul Auster, Stuart Dybek, and Steven Millhauser), Murakami says:

Before I started translating it, I had felt that The Great Gatsby was a perfect novel. As I worked on it line by line, though, I began to feel that the magic of this novel lay in fact in its imperfection: long sentences without much consistency, certain excesses in setting, occasional lack of consistency in the way characters conduct themselves. The beauty this novel possesses is supported by the accumulation of all these imperfections. I might go so far as to say that it is a special kind of beauty which could only have been expressed by being imperfect. This is probably something I would never have realized if I hadn’t actually translated it into Japanese.

I’m not convinced that he’s right, that characters not being consistent spells flawsto paraphrase Woolf: is life that way? must novels be?but reading the interview made me excited for the book all over again, and I’ve read the damn thing several times. If you haven’t, well, guess what, it’s a great summer novel. Here, let’s put our toe into chapter three, shall we?

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On weekends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.

Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New Yorkevery Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler’s thumb…

I suppose I better get back to work. (The whole novel’s here.)

Notes From the Prayer Warrior

posted by on May 26 at 2:07 PM

So, the spat between Rev. Ken Hutcherson and the Lake Washington School District turned out to be far less interesting than the school district originally made it sound.

But out of that non-story comes a gift that keeps on giving…

I now have a source who has access to the regular emails that Hutch sends out to his “Prayer Warriors” group, alerting them to various goings on that they should be praying about (or praising the lord about).

You can see the original “The fight is on!!!” email here. But of course, that wasn’t the first, or the last, of the Prayer Warrior emails. I now bring you Prayer Warriors May 26 (Answered Prayers edition), Prayer Warriors May 24 (Bleeding Eyes edition), and Prayer Warriors April 27 (Eyman Rocks edition).


May 26, 2006:

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Thank God for answered prayers!

1. The school disctrict retracted their letter, admitting they were wrong!!! So, come Sunday prepared to sign the referendum.

2. Mark Landis is recovering from his seizure, and feeling fine. They located the bleeding tumor and are planning on surgery within the next month to remove it. Please continue to pray for his protection before, during, and after surgery, and for the whole family.

Your Pastor, Hutch

May 24, 2006:

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Thank you for praying for my eye appointment. God answered prayer! The bleeding has diminished, and my eyes are improving.

Pastor Hutch

April 27, 2006:

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Please pray for 112,000 signatures by June 7 for the Referendum 65, repealing Initiative 2661, which adds “sexual orientation” to discrimination laws. Pray that the Church will stand together on this and make their voices heard.

If you have not signed this yourself, please go to the Commons on Sunday and sign the petition.

Your Pastor, Hutch

I’ll keep bringing you notes from the Prayer Warrior as events (and notes) warrant…


posted by on May 26 at 1:13 PM

A few final points about Weaselgate

The Stranger was accusedor I was accusedof making a mountain out of a molehill when I wrote a quick Slog post on Sunday about Jamie Pedersen’s dishonest support-marriage-equality-then-support-me pitch. (I felt it was dishonest because everyone running in the 43rd supports gay marriageseems like a pretty straightforward point to to me.) This morning The Seattle Post-Intelligencer put Chris McGann’s Weaselgate story on their front freakin’ page. So, um, who’s making mountains out of molehills now?

I’d also like to address this issue, raised in the PI’s story and by a Pedersen supporter in a comment thread on Slog:

The truth comes out (pardon the expression). Looks like Dan’s giant ego got hurt by lil’ ol’ Jamie Pederson: “[Dan Savage] admitted some past animosity because Pedersen had been quoted saying Savage was the wrong public face for the gay marriage issue, but said that exchange had nothing to do with his blog entry.”

If the Pedersen Rimjob Brigade wants to make his statements to The Seattle Times in March of 2004 the issue, hey, that’s fine with me. Because Pedersen’s comments in that piece only support my original contentionnamely, that Pedersen is something of a weasel.

Here’s the story, and here are relevant bits from the Bob Young’s pieceand when you’re reading, remember that when it says “advocates,” it means Pedersen, the only “advocate” Young quotes in his story:

Officials worried gay editor would beat them to court

Blame it on Dan Savage.

To some degree, it was Savage, editor of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly newspaper, who pushed local gay-rights groups and King County Executive Ron Sims to challenge the state law prohibiting gay marriage yesterday.

That’s because advocates and Sims were worried Savage would file a lawsuit challenging the state law before their own hand-picked gay couples did, thereby undermining an effort to use the most sympathetic local gays to test the legal waters…. Ideally, those [gay couples] would be stable, longtime gay couples, preferably with children…

Enter Savage.

Friday, Savage visited the King County office that issues marriage licenses. With him was Amy Jenniges, a reporter from The Stranger, and her lesbian partner.

Both Jenniges and Savage, who is gay, were refused licenses to marry their respective same-sex partners. What they might do next worried gay-rights advocates and Sims, who soon learned of Savage’s visit….

“No offense to Dan, he is a very important voice. But what lawyers look for are people who want to achieve the ends of the lawsuit but don’t have a different agenda. Dan has a newspaper. He has an interest in publicity,” said [Jamie] Pedersen.

Here’s the funny thing about Pedersen’s comments to the Seattle Times: I never had any intention of filing a lawsuit. I applied for a marriage license with Amy Jenniges, a lesbian co-worker, to make a pointand only to make a pointand the point was this: It’s fucked up in the extreme that a big fag like me can enter into a sham marriage with a lesbian I don’t love, don’t live with, don’t have sex with, and don’t have a kid with. How does that protect the sanctity of marriage exactly? Here’s the story I wrote about it for the Stranger. It was a stunta stunt that demonstrated the utter ridiculousness of gay marriage bans. KOMO Newsand other mediagot the point I was trying to make:

They married to prove a point. They hope lawmakers will notice their stunt and realize the reason why two people get married should be more important than their gender.

But what did Pedersen tell the Times? Not that I was the “wrong public face for the gay marriage issue,” as the PI put it this morning, but that I was going to file a lawsuit and that this was hugely problematic because I wouldn’t be a good test caseyou know, since I don’t have a kid and I’m not in a long-term relationship. And why was I going to do this? According to Pedersen, I was rushing to the courthouse because I had “an interest in publicity.” Since I wasn’t a good test case, my vanity lawsuitwhich existed only in Pedersen’s imaginationwas likely to fail. But I was, according to Pedersen, willing to risk blowing gay marriage rights for all gay couples in Washington State just to quench my feverish thirst for publicity.

None of this was truehell, Pedersen’s statements were borderline slanderous. Maybe if I had sued him then I wouldn’t have to clarify this now.

So Pedersen did to me in 2004 exactly what he did to his opponents in the 43rd District race last weekend: He misrepresented my position and my intentions. Perhaps he did it out of simple carelessness, not malice, but what does that tell us about Pedersen? This may have happened a while ago, but it was long after the invention of the telegraph, telephone, and email. If Pedersen was curious about my intentions, he should have called and asked me what I was up to before he made baseless accusations to the Seattle Times, dismissed my relationship, disappeared my child, and accused me of risking the rights of all other gay couples in Washington state. (That goes for you too, Ron Sims.)

If carelessness is a quality that 43rd district Dems are looking for in their state repit’s a bad trait in a politicianthen it looks like Pedersen’s our man. But if support for gay marriage is what we want, then we have six candidates to choose fromagain, they all support gay marriage. The seat Ed Murray’s is vacating isn’t a gay seat, and there are three other gay menDave Upthegrove, Joe McDermott, and Jim Moellerin the House. Perhaps we should look at what distinguishes the six candidates in the 43rd from each other, not the issues on which they’re all in agreement.

There you have it, folks. The reason why Pedersen’s weasel move against his opponents jumped out at me last Sunday: It was déjà vu all over again.

Put to Death for Short Shorts

posted by on May 26 at 12:49 PM

From the BBC (via Andrew Sullivan):

The coach of Iraq’s tennis team and two players were shot dead in Baghdad on Thursday, said Iraqi Olympic officials.

Coach Hussein Ahmed Rashid and players Nasser Ali Hatem and Wissam Adel Auda were killed in the al-Saidiya district of the capital.

Witnesses said the three were dressed in shorts and were killed days after militants issued a warning forbidding the wearing of shorts.

Other Iraqi athletes have been targeted in recent incidents.

Good thing we freed Iraqis from the grips of tyranny.

For My Fellow Occasional Insomniacs

posted by on May 26 at 12:41 PM

This heartened me, courtesy of the New York Times, circa last quarter:

… we now also know that pre-industrial families commonly experienced a “broken” pattern of sleep, though few contemporaries regarded it in a pejorative light. Until the modern age, most households had two distinct intervals of slumber, known as “first” and “second” sleep, bridged by an hour or more of quiet wakefulness. Usually, people would retire between 9 and 10 o’clock only to stir past midnight to smoke a pipe, brew a tub of ale or even converse with a neighbor.

Then the piece goes on to talk about mid-sleep sex. I blush.

(Why am I so wrapped up in old news? Perhaps because I’m not ready to stomach today’s. Or today’s.)

You Can Can Can If You Want To…

posted by on May 26 at 12:30 PM

…you can leave your friends behind, becauseoh, nevermind.

I’ve been falling down on my cruise director duties the last two days because I’ve been out of town in Portlandthat great city of pistachio macaroons and go-go dancers. It’s pretty much impossible to see good (male) go-go dancers in Seattle, though I did recently see a sexy dude decked as a cat dancing with the ladies at Can Can. It’s a restaurant with Moulin Rouge-style whimsy and while-you-eat dancing. Bethany Jean Clement writes in today’s Suggest:

Can Can
Recent entertainment at Can Can has included old-time string band the Tallboys (with a percussion section of a winsome young lady tap-dancing on a tiny plank floor) and the retro-apocryphal sounds of the Bad Things (featuring a surly dwarf beating a tambourine, drinking a beer, and intoning prose poetry). Tonight, the in-house dancers (bosomy, wearing frilly underwear) perform during the dinner hour; later, the Heavenly Spies (“espionage-à-trois” burlesque) take the stage. (Can Can, 94 Pike St, 652-0832. Free/all-ages before 10 pm, $10 after in show room, bar is free.)

Now please enjoy this random photo of people doing the can can as roosters:

No Moves

posted by on May 26 at 12:17 PM

The DJ at SIFF’s opening party was not exceptional but he/she did manage to play a few dance classics that never fail a dance floor. But the problem was not so much the music than the dancers. There were no moves to organize them. Everyone was doing their own thing and it just looked chaotic. A dance floor of substance is one that is a community of moves—the oak tree, the cabbage patch, the snake, the sprinkler, the running man. (Admittedly, those are older moves; the new ones—booty shaking, crumping, freaking—lack the social value of dances like the old and trusty robot.)

Not long ago, I wrote this about a socially relevant dance that was popular in my late teens, which was spent in Gaborone:

Because there are more cattle than people (three to one) in the country of Botswana, it’s not surprising that in 1988 (or thereabouts) the most popular dance in the nightclubs of the country’s capital, Gaborone, involved imitating the movements of a cow. As the hiphop or funk jam played, people on the dance floor would bend over, let their arms hang, and move their shoulder blades up and down to the beat of the music. It was a convincing imitation, and those who mastered the dance mastered the dance floor.

Note: I hate line dancing (the electric slide, the achy breaky, and what have you). Unlike the totalitarianism of line dancing, a community of moves allows the dancer to retain his/her identity while at the same time using recognizable codes. The totalitarianism of line dancing, however, is much worse than what I saw last night: the anarchy of whatever.

Of Spinning Cones and a Jealous God

posted by on May 26 at 11:38 AM

The Enlightenment happened at half past 12 a.m. in Burger King, Park Royal.

That is an excellent first sentence. It happens to be from an interview with a young British Muslim who has cost Burger King “thousands of pounds” in package redesign. It seems that last September, at half past 12 a.m., in Burger King, Park Royal, the young man realized that the “spinning cone” design on his ice cream lid actually spelled “Allah.” Rather than see this as a happy miracle, as a devout Catholic might, the young man was offended and shouted his displeasure from the figurative rooftops. Burger King apologized and agreed to a redesign with guidance from the Muslim Council of Britain.

(Plenty of folks already have, and will, jump up and down and howl about Islam and its cultural totalitarianism. Other than the crazy young man, this story has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with profit motive. If I were to shout at Burger King about some offense to Christianity in its packaging, they would laugh me out of the office because they are already secure in the global Christian market. Burger King sacrificed secularism of its own accord. It is the agent in this story, not the victim.)

You can read an interview with the young man here. It’s very good. The tantalizing first sentence kicks off a swelling of righteous rage that concludes with the Wagnerian rumble of the final sentence:

I’m going to bring this country down.

Judge Burger King’s offense for yourselves:


SIFF News: Boldface Names Edition

posted by on May 26 at 11:23 AM

The SIFF opening party was as ever it is: A 40-minute slog up a narrow staircase, then a 30-minute feeding/drinking frenzy, followed by standing around, followed by a mass exodus around 11 pm. The food lines are a lot like SIFF lines: From the end of the queue, you can’t see what awaits you at the beginning, so everything is a delicious (or not so much) surprise! We got saddled with a Sterling merlot (mehck!) and Chipotle Mexican Grill. Better luck next year. New for 2006: DJs who thought they playing a 1980s bar mitzvah.

Northwest Film Forum programming director ADAM SEKULER enjoined us to take off our clothes! No, that’s not right—he merely expressed his wish that more people would take off their clothes! He actually enjoined us to attend The T.A.M.I. Show, a “who’s-who of early ’60s rock” on Friday, June 2 at 9 pm, followed by a raucous after-party at 11.

Seattle filmmaker DAVID RUSSO, looking bohemian in a patterned synthetic shirt and hand-knitted brown scarf, said he’s moving from Wedgwood to Magnolia, and he’s not happy! Magnolia, apparently, is not a place where one can walk one’s cat around the block with no clothes on at 2 am.

Continuing the naked theme, Seattle Weekly film critic BRIAN MILLER—just kidding! We just wanted you to envision Brian Miller naked. Mr. Miller was spotted flirting wildly (that means whole sentences!) with a lady friend next to a plasma-screen TV advertising Vitamin Water.

And Seattle actor TOM SKERRITT posed for a Kodak moment with The Illusionist star JESSICA BIEL in the awkward enclave of the VIP Lounge.

And what OFFICIAL SIFF GUIDE WRITER confessed to reading a Variety review that dismissed a certain movie’s central concept a “gimmick,” then reframing the official blurb as follows: “Although it may seem like a gimmick…”? Propaganda, we’re telling you! SIFF Notes is your guide to the Seattle International Film Festival.

Ink and Mountains

posted by on May 26 at 9:50 AM

Last night, I went to the opening at the Frye of a show of insanely repetitive blue, black, and white visions of a cold mountain scene by Sigrid Sandstrm. I have yet to look into her work much, and it was hard to get a full read of the show at the party, but it’s definitely worth visiting this weekend. Obsessive and inky are the two words that come to mind at first, and especially hypnotic is the zoetropic video of dozens of Sandstrom’s subtly different takes on the same scene played in the span of a few seconds, over and over. The large paintings on plastic attracted me more than those on paper (large and small), because of their odd, barely see-through quality, which brought to mind photographic negatives as well as things like Shrinky-Dinks, though I’m sure that’s far from where the artist is at. Because of the impact of these scenes as a group and because of their surface intrigue, it’s hard to represent them well in reproduction, but I’ll just give you one here so you have a sketchy flash of Sandstrm’s seemingly endlessly reproduced scene in your mind. In person is the way to go, though, I’m telling you. (This is the image from the Frye’s postcard.)


While you’re there, do not miss Robyn O’Neil’s show of enormous, chilly drawings of tiny doomed men in sweatsuits wandering the snowy landscapes where they’ll certainly perish, despite their efforts and their exertions. It was perfectly appropriate, though a little sad, that during the opening, when people were hobnobbing and drinking and a DJ was spinning, O’Neil’s work was all alone in the back galleries. It is not party work, that’s for sure. I’ll be writing more about it in this coming week’s Stranger. I won’t even attach an image here, because the drawings are so huge and the figures are so small, you wouldn’t get anything from it. (Somehow, I feel like kudos are due to the Frye for exhibitions that demand to be seen in person.)

Greeting you at the entryway is Robert Yoder’s Sluice Gate, an abstract carpetyes, walk on itof incredibly detailed varying textures that has echoes both of Yoder’s road-sign montages and of … a rose. Apparently, the work was also handmade by people in the Himalayas. This one, too, I have to find out more about, but it’s very much worth seeing. (Another note about the Frye: contemporary artists are infiltrating the place. They’ve commented conversationally in yellow wall labels next to historical work, Amy Helfand designed new upholstery for the Frye’s famous several-seater chair, and now there’s Yoder’s carpet.)

The Fine Art of the TV Swindle

posted by on May 26 at 9:27 AM

In this week’s Last Days column, I cover the saga of Joseph Medawar, the C-list Hollywood producer accused of swindling millions from investors in his make-believe television series. According to Reuters, only one episode of Medawar’s alleged Department of Homeland Security series DHS was ever shot (and only after Medawar learned he was being investigated by the FBI), and the so-called DHS trailer shown to investors was just a collection of clips from other people’s action movies.)

Medawar’s not the only huckster peddling phony TV work for nefarious ends. Meet Steven Michael Jones, the 43-year-old homeless Orange County man charged with lewd conduct after allegedly promising to cast several adolescent boys in a TV commercial, then licking their feet.

From the Associated Press:

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jones April 14 near the shore in San Clemente. Witnesses told authorities Jones…approached three boys sitting on a bench. The boys had just come off the beach and were not wearing shoes. Jones allegedly promised them a part in a Johnson & Johnson television commercial, telling them he first needed to inspect their feet.

During the inspection, Jones allegedly licked the bottoms of one of the boys’ feet, while the other two boys used their feet to run away. (All were “under 14,” the AP reports.) What’s more, this isn’t the first time Jones has been accused of fradulent underage foot licking:

Jones allegedly used a similar ruse March 28 on four boys near Dana Point Library. He said he’d pay them $1,500 to appear in a commercial, but first had to inspect their feet…Jones allegedly licked the feet of all four boys.

For now, Jones remains held on five felony counts of lewd acts with a child and one misdemeanor charge of child annoyance. If convicted on all counts, Jones faces 16 years in prison. Full story here.

Voltron Gets Served

posted by on May 26 at 9:22 AM

I can’t explain this, but if you’ve ever had the remotest affection for robots, hot dance moves, or intergalactic warfare, this … thing is for you.

Someone Asked How Cantwell Voted on Hayden

posted by on May 26 at 9:18 AM


She and 14 Others:

Bayh (D-IN), Cantwell (D-WA), Clinton (D-NY), Dayton (D-MN), Dodd (D-CT), Dorgan (D-ND), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Menendez (D-NJ),Obama (D-IL), Specter (R-PA), Wyden (D-OR)

Sen. Murray voted ‘Yea.’

The Morning News

posted by on May 26 at 7:00 AM

Iraq: Mistakes were made.

American Troops: Not coming home anytime soon.

American Marines: Some of them are cold-blooded killerswho knew?

Michael Hayden: Confirmed as CIA headnevermind the illegal spying.

AIDS: Clues to origins of killer virus found in chimpanzee poop.

Al Gore: Superstar.

Al Gore II: No, really.

Australia: Troops to Timor.

Iran: Don’t fuck with us, fellas.

Sharks: Big one dead.

Men: Drink up.

Savage & Pedersen: The Weasel Wars.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

McGavick V. Cantwell. Topic of Debate: Immigration

posted by on May 25 at 7:21 PM

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick continues to attack Sen. Maria Cantwell for her vote, with the majority, to maintain federal policy that lets immigrants (once they become citizens) collect on social security payments they paid into the system when (and if) they worked as illegal immigrants.

There was a failed attempt to change the policy as part of the giant immigration bill that passed today.

McGavick released an attack on Cantwell over the issue on his web site yesterday, and now that the bill’s a done deal, he’s making a point of it again.

From McGavick’s release this afternoon:

“The bill passed today is far from perfect. Important amendments that would have limited Social Security payments to only legally performed work and would have strengthened our election system by requiring photo IDs be presented at polling places were rejected. I note that, unfortunately, Senator Cantwell voted against these provisions.

Team Cantwell should rapid response this one.

Cantwell voted yea to table a motion that would have denied legal immigrants the right to get back money they paid into the system. This is not a “reward for breaking our laws” (as McGavick called it yesterday), but an incentive for immigrants to join the system and follow the law.

The McGavick spot talked about “scarce Social Security dollars” to imply that “law breakers” will be taking a costly bit out of the Social Security pie. Wrong.

Again, Cantwell voted to uphold a system where Social Security dollars are being paid out to people who paid in. So, obviously, the policy isn’t taxing the Social Security pot in a harmful or unnecessary way. Indeed, the pot would be even “scarcer” if those dollars weren’t there in the first place. So if you think about it, McGavick’s position calls on the Social Security Administration to take money from workers, put it into the Social Security system, and never return it. Technically speaking, since retired immigrants would never get the money back, we’d be stealing money form workers for the Social Security system.

The real problem here is that companies are hiring illegal immigrants. Rather than denying workers the money they paid into the system, Cantwell helped pass a measure to deal with that root problem.

I’ve attached a breakdown of the Senate vote on the issue below. A ‘Yea’ vote, like Cantwell’s, means the Senator voted to table an amendment to change current policy that returns Social Security dollars to legalized workers. (Joining Cantwell were GOPers such as: Brownback, Graham, Hagel, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, and Specter… & Ds such as: Murray, Clinton, Feingold, Obama, Voinovich, Harkin, and Lieberman.)

Continue reading "McGavick V. Cantwell. Topic of Debate: Immigration" »

God bless Page France

posted by on May 25 at 6:09 PM

After spending the springtime obsessed with Parenthetical Girls, Figurines, Tom Brosseau, Belle & Sebastian, and Final Fantasy (in that order, each lasting about 2 weeks) I’ve found myself in a bit of a dry spell. Anxious to find that amazing new band that’s gonna send me to the rooftop screaming (or Slog, typing), I’ve been asking around and getting nothing. Well thanks to KEXP I just found it, and the name is Page Francis. Go here and download “Junkyard.” Do it now. Go go go!

Hutcherson Not Busted: Lake Washington School District Retracts Its May 24 Letter

posted by on May 25 at 5:50 PM

Looks like Rev. Ken Hutcherson is not in trouble after all. After doing more research about the relevant state law, the Lake Washington School District has concluded that it is perfectly legal for Hutcherson to rent public school facilities for Sunday church services, and for him to be gathering signatures for Tim Eyman’s anti-gay Referendum 65 at services held on public school grounds.

Here’s the text of the letter of retraction, as read to me a short time ago by Kathryn Reith, the district’s spokeswoman:

Dear Church Leader,

We are following up on the Lake Washington School District’s letter to you dated May 24, 2006, concerning use of school facilities for certain political activities under RCW 42.17.130.

Since we wrote to you, we have contacted the Public Disclosure Commission, the state agency charged with enforcing the guidelines governing the use of school facilities in campaigns. The prohibitions we described in the letter apply to the district’s use of school facilities, but according to the PDC, the guidelines do not restrict the ability of third parties to promote or oppose ballot measures in that part of a school governed by a rental agreement during the time of the rental. Thus, the district is retracting its May 24th letter.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,

Janene Fogard

Deputy Superintendent

From the Desk of The Summer News Intern

posted by on May 25 at 5:48 PM

Young reporter Sarah Mirk ventured all the way to Seattle from Grinnell College in Iowa to be, curiously enough, a Stranger intern this summer. She claims to be a big Stranger fan who reads us on-line religiously & she just “had to work here.” (Truth is: her boyfriend got a summer internship at Hate Free Zone here, so she needed a legitimate reason to give her parents for spending a summer in Seattle. “Hey, Mom & Dad, I’m fetching coffee for A. Birch Steen.”)

Anyway, she’s been on the job for less than a week, and she’s already filed this news blurb about, among other issues, pot smoking and abortion clinics! (“Hi, Mom!”)

Congrats on some solid reporting, Ms. Mirk.

Anti-Choice at Planned Parenthood The third round of negotiations began this week between the union representing Planned Parenthood of Western Washington (PPWW) and Planned Parenthood management. The union wants the managers of the bastion of birth control to be less pro-choiceat least when it comes to union membership.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 is peeved that PPWW is “open shop,” meaning employees do not have to join the union. Although all 400 PPWW employees receive union benefits, only roughly 240 employees pay union dues. While Planned Parenthood negotiator Carol Williams said this policy was due to the CEO’s “belief in choice,” union rep David Fleishman counters, “You usually get big bad corporations that are open shop… You’re not pro-choice when it comes to union membership.”

In addition to open shop practices, another contentious issue on the negotiating table is employee drug testing. According to Williams, PPWW has had several incidents of employees smelling of marijuana and drugs missing from surgical units. Instead of forcing managers to communicate with suspected pot scented employees, PPWW wants a drug test policy. Union rep Fleishman is unequivocal: “We’re hoping we can resolve this without a fight, but they gotta get off their drug testing and start respecting the union.”

Of course, the union and the PPWW managers are also scrapping over other issues, including wage increases and health care coverage for dependents. SARAH MIRK

Today in SIFF News

posted by on May 25 at 4:28 PM

SIFF Notes has a brand-new review for Carmen in Khayelitsha, screening Wed May 31 and Sun June 4. Thanks, Brendan Kiley!


Second, an update to the official guide, if you still have that old thing lying around:

There’s a NEW MOVIE called 0SS 117: Nest of Spies. It’s a humorous Bond-ish French movie set in Cairo. There are additional screenings of No. 2 (Sun May 28 at 3:45 pm at Pacific Place) and The Method (Mon June 5 at 4:30 pm at Lincoln Square Cinemas). My Quick Way Out and The Valet are no longer screening. Our guide, SIFF Notes, incorporates all of these changes. Also, Emmanuelle Seigner, while a certified hottie, was not in Swimming Pool. (Ludivine Sagnier, however, was.)

We made an error in the print version of our guide, too. Get out your red pens! American Blackout is screening on Sat May 27 and Sun May 28 at 1:30 pm at the Egyptian. Not Tuesday the 30th, as was indicated at the end of our capsule review (our grid had it right).

The Illusionist screens tonight, followed by a big party at the old temporary Central Library. All the news that’s fit to queue up for, tomorrow!

A Critical Error

posted by on May 25 at 4:23 PM

It has been brought to my attention that this week’s Critical Overview contains an embarrassing gaffe. Evidently Eli Sanders’s beloved Darcy Burner is not running for the Washington State Senate, as I had stated, but rather the U.S. House of Representatives. Egads. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle.

While errors such as this are inexcusable, I shall nonetheless offer up the following defense: Who of saneor more precisely, sobermind can be expected to read through, much less comprehend, The Stranger’s news section on a weekly basis? Especially w/r/t a piece penned by Mr. Sanders, whose blather is particularly inscrutable?

Also, if I may, a personal message to the fine men (all men, yes?) who write for Sound Politics, where my error was first reported: I do not work in the liberal enclave that is Seattle, Washington. I work in the original Washington; Washington D.C. (Although I make my home in Virginia.) Washington D.C. has been, save for the unpleasantness of the Clinton era, safely in Republican hands since voters wisely sent Mr. Carter packing in 1980. Seattle’s liberals may find the Burner race endlessly fascinating, but the adults at this end of the continent most assuredly do not. I have to say, after skimming your “webblog,” gentlemen, that you seem every bit as obsessed with Ms. Burner as Mr. Sanders and The Stranger.

Again, while this race may seem like a life-and-death struggle in the provinces, here in the capitol of the free world it is but a trifle. No one with any sense expects Mr. Reichert to be turned out of office this November, and the friends with whom I shared your url were mystified by your overreaction to Ms. Burner. The woman is not a threat, and as such, should not be treated as one. She should be treated with condescension and encouraged to look after her children, not attacked on a daily basis. You would think Ms. Burner was Hillary Clinton from the way you write about her on your internet publication. From my perspective, she’s hardly Ruth Messinger. Don’t know who she is? My point exactly, gentleman.

Breaking News at 107.7

posted by on May 25 at 3:28 PM

Phil Manning, who has been Program Director for the local alternative radio station 107.7 the End since 1997, resigned this afternoon.

Scientists refuse to be further spanked by magic

posted by on May 25 at 3:11 PM

Via Scientists, sick of being punked by teenage wizards, are designing their own invisibility cloak.

“To be realistic, it’s going to be fairly thick. Cloak is a misnomer. ‘Shield’ might be more appropriate,” said John Pendry, a physicist at the Imperial College London.

The keys are special manmade materials, unlike any in nature or the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These materials are intended to steer light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation around an object, rendering it as invisible as something tucked into a hole in space.

A cloak made of those materials, with a structure designed down to the submicroscopic scale, would neither reflect light nor cast a shadow.

Instead, like a river streaming around a smooth boulder, light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation would strike the cloak and simply flow around it, continuing on as if it never bumped up against an obstacle. That would give an onlooker the apparent ability to peer right through the cloak, with everything tucked inside concealed from view.

Full delicious story here.

Obedience training pays off

posted by on May 25 at 2:37 PM


Because This Never Happened Before That Craig Newmark Fella Came Along.

posted by on May 25 at 1:55 PM

Robert Jamison is shocked - shocked, I tell you! - to find that sex workers advertise on the web.

Swing Vote!

posted by on May 25 at 1:50 PM

Tonight, you should head down to Re-bar to watch Swing Vote, the latest creation by those weirdoes in Seattle School.

It’s a “hip-hop flavored political debate game show and cocktail party,” featuring our own Erica C. Barnett up against Jim Melton, a principal policy analyst at a think tank. And he was in the Army. Obviously a tough dude. Who will prevail?

Tonight, people. Tonight. Doors at 7. And they’ll be filming!

GM Rewards Drivers For Wasting Gas

posted by on May 25 at 1:42 PM

Forget about higher fuel-economy standards, alternative fuels, and smaller cars. General Motors wants drivers to use as much gas as possible.

Today, the auto behemoth announced it will subsidize gas for people in California and Florida who buy its gas-guzzling Hummer, Suburban, Yukon and Tahoe SUVs, guaranteeing a fixed gas price of $1.99 a gallon for the first 12 months of ownership. That’s about a dollar less than the average per-gallon national average.

The more you drive, the more GM will pay you.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

There is no mileage limit on the promotion, offered on vehicles bought from Thursday through July 5. It covers the first 12 months of ownership, the same period owners receive free OnStar service.

“Consumers are uncertain about gas prices, and this gives them some certainty about what they’re going to pay,” said GM’s market analyst, Paul Ballew.

A Californian who drives a 2007 Tahoe 1,000 miles a month, for example, would receive a monthly credit of about $104, based on the current premium gas price of $3.65 a gallon there. Premium is at $3.19 in Florida, which would generate a monthly credit of about $60 for 1,000 miles of driving a LaCrosse.

Dan Becker, the Sierra Club’s director of global warming and energy programs, likened the program to giving free booze to an alcoholic: “I have never heard of an addict getting off their addiction by having someone subsidize their fix.”

Your New American Idol

posted by on May 25 at 1:32 PM

While I would love to jot a few impressions of last night’s weirdly AMAZING American Idol finale, I gotta give props where props are due: Nobody recaps Idol like the Portland Mercury’s Chas Bowie. Check out his hee-larious analysis! Take it, Chas!

I woke up this morning and checked the papers to make sure it hadn’t been one extended, beautiful fever dream. Sure enough, the whole thing was true: two glorious hours of American absurdity capping off countless hours and months of time wasted jeering at the blandest, limpest form of entertainment that our advanced evolutionary minds have to offer. Last night’s finale to the fifth season of American Idol was like some Croation’s television-fueled image of the United States, where bouncing bubbles of cleavage harmonize with quakey fat men who hold hankercheifs; where singers-turned-psychics-turned singers again are serenaded by the morbidly obese and the nearly illiterate; where the only thing rewarded more than mockery of the socially disenfranchised is the cultural advancement of soullessness, marketed with the knowing phrase “Soul Patrol,” and brought to you by Coca Cola.


Crazy-ass highlights and lots of beautiful photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Your New American Idol" »

Let Them Eat Asparagus!

posted by on May 25 at 1:16 PM

The Cannes not-a-blog continues at the New York Times with A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis going head to head over the Kirsten Dunst-starrin’, best-trailer-in-the-world-boastin’, Cannes-critic-boo-elicitin’, bewiggedy, New Wavery Marie Antoinette.

Here is a still:


You Just Thought You Were A Good Catholic…

posted by on May 25 at 12:10 PM

Hey, Pro-Lifers: It turns out the Rhythm Method may kill more embryos than any other method of contraception! Condoms looking better to you now?
Although given that women are now supposed to consider themselves “pre-pregnant” at all times anyway, the Jesus freaks will probably just take this as yet more proof: women, having your period kills babies!

Viaduct TRL

posted by on May 25 at 11:56 AM

Here’s Team Ceis’s latest campaign video for the mayor’s tunnel plan.

I have mixed feelings about the mayor’s heavy-handed campaigning for the waterfront tunnel.
Yea: I like that he’s a politician w/ an opinion (and one that rubs old school Seattle the wrong way); I like that he’s soapboxing about it; I like that he has a vision about Seattle’s future.
Nay: It bugs me that a mayor who’s already been busted by the ethics commission for campaigning out of his office is so obviously in campaign mode out of 7th floor headquarters yet again; It’s disappointing that the mayor isn’t behind the more progressive surface/transit option instead of the auto-accomodationist traffic option for a downtown freeway; and it’s annoying that Team Nickels/Ceis refuses to answer questions about paying for the tunnel (the real answer is: “We don’t have the money, but trust us, we’ll get it.”)

Ultimately, I wish this whole thing wasn’t going to a public vote. Columnist Ted Van Dyk makes his case against a public vote in this morning’s PI.

This Just In!

posted by on May 25 at 11:49 AM

Bill O’Reilly makes ass of self

Marissa Cooper may be dead…

posted by on May 25 at 11:46 AM

But Seth Cohen lives on! And he has a rock band!

“Best Bus Altercation Ever”

posted by on May 25 at 11:16 AM

I just received an impressive Hot Tip from Ariel Meadow Stallings, the writer behind the celebrated Salon of Shame reading series (profiled in this week’s Stranger by Jen Graves), who offers a good, thorough blow-by-blow of what she describes as “the best bus altercation ever.”

She’s rightit’s a good bus fight, packed with conflict, cussing, and gloriously upended cultural assumptions, and rather than boil it down to a synopsis, I’ll have you read the whole thing for yourself here.

More On Hutch

posted by on May 25 at 11:07 AM

I’ll be on KOMO AM 1000 in about a minute, talking about Rev. Ken Hutcherson’s use of public school grounds to collect signatures for Tim Eyman’s anti-gay referendum.

Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana!

posted by on May 25 at 10:41 AM


A high school principal in Gary, Indiana, called the cops on a cross-dressed gay teenager to prevent him from attending his senior prom.

When Kevin Logan, a gay student at Gary’s West Side High School, arrived last Friday at Avalon Manor in Hobart for his prom, he was banned by Principal Diane Rouse.

That ban, according to Indiana Civil Liberties Union legal director Ken Falk, violates the First Amendment. The Logan family is mulling both a complaint with the ICLU and possible litigation.

“When I tried to walk in, she asked me where am I going. She said, ‘You’re not walking in here today,’” Logan, 18, said. “Ms. Rouse said I wasn’t allowed to have on a dress,” he said Tuesday…

Logan left after police were called

Calling the cops on a harmless 18 year-old fag in a dress doesn’t seems like a good use of police time in a notoriously crime-plagued shithole? Gary is the fifth most dangerous city in the United States, and not because crossed-dressing teenagers are terrorizing the place. I hope this teenagerwhose parents are on his sidedoes sue.

And what can you do? You can send a bitchy letter to the high school principal…

West Side High School
Principal Diane Rouse
9th Ave & Gerry
Gary, IN 46402

The Lost Season Finale!

posted by on May 25 at 10:20 AM

I imagine most of you were watching the BRILLIANT Clay Aiken imitator and the actual Clay Aiken doing a duet on the season finale of American Idol — but for those with TiVo, let’s chitty chatty about some Lost.
If you haven’t watched it yet… SPOILER ALERT!

Mmmm… what’s Hurley doing to that little girl? EWWW! (Oh, wait… it’s just Claire experiencing pre-labor contractions. Whew. That was close.)

Continue reading "The Lost Season Finale!" »

Return of the Killer Bees!

posted by on May 25 at 10:00 AM

Tonight brings together two of my favorite thingsSick Bees and the Comet Tavern. Sick Bees are a two-piece unit with Starla rocking the Telecaster/vox/muumuu, and Julio smacking the junkyard drums. They make pretty/discordant noise-rock that shrieks and coos and jangles and pummels and waltzes and makes you wanna jump around. They only play a couple shows a year, so catch em while you can. Some of their recordings can be found at Up Records.

Here’s a sweet picture of them.


Also playing is Arkade, Welcome (who I think still includes Dean and Mike from Double Fudge, but I may be wrong) and Arthur & Yu.

See you at the Comet.

The Morning News

posted by on May 25 at 9:14 AM

Ken Lay: Guilty on all charges.

Dennis Hastert: Under investigation.

Dick Cheney: May be called to testify against Scooter.

Pat Robertson: Liar.

Taylor Hicks: Who gives a shit?

German Pope: Poles Underwhelmed.

Bird Flu: We’re fucked.

The Saudis: Hateful motherfuckerswho knew?

Four Finalists for 2008 Dem Convention Site: New York, New Orleans, Denver, Minneapolis.

Who’s That Woman?

posted by on May 25 at 9:07 AM


Someone got a head transplant. Can you guess who?

Dream On

posted by on May 25 at 8:08 AM

So last night I had a vivid dream of me moving to the Silodam apartment complex I slogged about yesterday. In my dream, this was the interior of my Amsterdam apartment: the bedroom was big, the living room was even bigger, and the kitchen, which was next to the main door, had lots of gadgets fixed to its blue walls (I was particularly impressed by an electric can opener). But I only lived in that wonderful apartment for a day—for some reason that dissolved during my transition from the dream to the reality of that dream, I had to fly back to Seattle. This building is deep in my head.


On another note: As I said before, the Silodam impresses me as one of the best architectural resolutions of the one/many binary. Here the whole does not annihilate the singular.

The musical equivalent of Silodom can be found near the end of the first movement, “Acknowledgment,” of John Coltrane’s massively human achievement, A Love Supreme. A quote from Ashely Khan’s superb book The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album (Khan also has a superb book on Miles Davis’ signature album, Kind of Blue):

“Then, in another of the album’s most celebrated—and startling—moments, Coltrane blows the four-note pattern [later verbalized as ‘a love supreme’] thirty-seven times in methodic succession. With exhaustive precision and apparent randomness, he transposes the phrase from one key to another.”

There you have it! Please listen to the piece of music described in this passage. The same phrase is repeated in different keys. There is no order to Coltrane’s key-hopping; it is random. The line between order and disorder is obliterated. More impressively, the singular is the four-note pattern, the being, the basic block of the blues—which is repeated 37 times. The human is the same. This is the essence of Coltrane’s idea: It’s only in the total, the whole, existing in the whole, that singularity comes to be. This, admittedly, is even more profound than what we get out of Silodam. But both resolve the binary that has frustrated philosophers since the death of God.
That building is a blast.
That brother could blow.

Busted: Rev. Ken Hutcherson Told He Can’t Collect R-65 Signatures on Public School Property

posted by on May 25 at 8:00 AM

NOTE: I’ve updated this post from its original form in order to add some new information. FURTHER NOTE: About 24 hours after this post first went up, the Lake Washington School District retracted its letter. Click here for the letter of retraction.

Earlier this week I linked to reports documenting how eastside Rev. Ken Hutcherson had used his Sunday service, which takes place in a rented public school gym, to gather signatures for Tim Eyman’s anti-gay referendum, R-65. I also joined those who were asking whether it’s legal for a religious group to use public school grounds to gather signatures for this kind of referendum.

Well, the Lake Washington School District, which rents the gym to Hutcherson, asked its lawyers the same question and on Tuesday fired off a stern letter telling Hutcherson that if indeed he was collecting signatures for R-65 on school property, then he’s run afoul of the law.

Kathryn Reith, the district’s spokeswoman, told me seven other churches that rent space from the district were sent the same letter on Tuesday. She said it’s too soon to tell what action might be taken against them or against Hutcherson’s Antioch Bible Church if it can be proved that they were collecting signatures on public school property during Referendum Sunday a state-wide, church-based effort to help Eyman gather the 112,440 signatures he needs by June 6 in order to get R-65 on the November ballot.

“We didn’t know whether any of them did [collect signatures],” Reith told me. “But we thought it was important that we clarify through our attorneys whether [collecting signatures] would be legal.” (She added however, that she had not yet seen these pictures, which allegedly show R-65 signatures being gathered outside Hutcherson’s Sunday service at Lake Washington High School’s gym.)

The letter to the chuches, which cites this state law regulating the use of public facilities in political campaigns, also raises broader questions:

Could opponents of R-65, which would repeal Washington’s new gay civil rights law, go to court (or to state elections officials) and demand that all signatures collected on school grounds be invalidated? And if the Lake Washington School District alone has eight churches renting its facilities, exactly how many school districts state-wide have churches renting facilities from them, and how many of those churches collected R-65 signatures on public school property during Referendum Sunday?

John Vezina, campaign manager for Washington Won’t Discriminate, the group fighting Eyman’s initiative, said his group was considering its response.

“We don’t have any personal knowledge of this,” Vezina told me. “We are making sure that we do everything legally, and it is vital that the other side does as well.”

Hutcherson hasn’t returned my call yet, but here’s an email he apparently sent out to his “Prayer Warriors” earlier today about the issue…


May 24, 2006

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Well, as you can read in the letter I just received from the Lake Washington School District, the fight is on!!! We better start praying.

Pastor Hutch

And here’s the letter from the Lake Washington School District Deputy Superintendent:

May 24, 2006

Dear Church Leader:

We saw in the news media last week that organizers of Referendum 65, a proposed ballot initiative, have focused on working with churches to get enough signatures to place it on the state ballot. As the leader of a church that holds services on school district property through a building use permit, it’s important that you understand the legal restrictions on activities that take place on public property in order to protect your organization.

In fact, under Washington state law, the facilities of a public agency, i.e., the Lake Washington School District, may not be used directly or indirectly for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition (RCW 42.17.130). Our attorneys have advised us that collection of signatures on any proposed ballot initiative on school property is a violation of that law, as campaigning for any candidate for elected office would be. Therefore we cannot allow your organization or another organization at your invitation to come onto district property for any efforts that would assist a political campaign of any kind.

Continue reading "Busted: Rev. Ken Hutcherson Told He Can't Collect R-65 Signatures on Public School Property" »

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Like Water For Sex

posted by on May 24 at 7:42 PM

So this happened last week, but hey, I just got the keys to this Slog thing, and this story was too good to let pass: The 72-year-old mayor of Waldron, Arkansas has been accused of soliciting sex-for-water. Water bill payment, that is. CNN has the story, Smoking Gun has the full police report.

I’m going to have to Google to find out exactly what creative sexual act is indicated by a “water deposit”. And as far as it being late - well, when you’re 72, things aren’t going to happen as fast as they used to.

Stephen Colbert Star Witness for Tom DeLay

posted by on May 24 at 6:03 PM

When a friend e-mailed this earlier today, I wasn’t sure if it was a hoax or not. Stephen Colbert makes national news again. This time, on behalf of Tom DeLay?

Unveiling SIFF Notes

posted by on May 24 at 6:00 PM


I quote the introduction to the print edition of our ever-popular SIFF Notes:

SIFF Notes provide you with the combined efforts of cinephiles, film scribes, and lowly interns who’ve studied, taught, and analyzed what film festivals mean to cinema as a whole and to you in particular.

SIFF Notes are intended to help make your cinematic gamble as painless as possible. To that end, SIFF Notes give you the basicsinformation about the films (country of origin, theater, showtimes), plus special events and a full programming grid. Most importantly, SIFF Notes feature nearly 200 original capsule reviewsmore than any other guide in town. Be warned! The official SIFF program will mislead you. It is a promotional tool. SIFF Notes, by way of contrast, are on your side. Our reviews are here to help you avoid despicable garbage and lead you to films you will love.

One final note: The Stranger’s third-annual 28 Seconds film contest, in which local filmmakers were given the challenge of creating an entertaining movie lasting a svelte 28 seconds, drew a huge number of entries. Michael Sanchez’s winning entry can be viewed before the following Stranger-sponsored SIFF films: Strangers with Candy (Neptune, Sat June 17 at 7 pm), This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Egyptian, Sat May 27 at 9:30 pm), and The District! (Neptune, Sat May 27 at midnight and Wed June 7 at 4:30 pm). You can also view the winning film (and the runners-up) at

Updates and brand-new reviews will be posted in our online guide and here on Slog. See you at the movies!


Two More Videos Worth Watching

posted by on May 24 at 5:18 PM

Why doesn’t Jack Cafferty have his own show?

And how come I’ve never heard of this Dem Congressman from Ohio before?

Via Atrios.

Microsoft Packages iPod

posted by on May 24 at 4:56 PM

This is funny.


Oh, and for the record: I don’t have a vendetta against Microsoft or anything. Just linkin’.

Healthy Pot Smokers

posted by on May 24 at 3:52 PM

I don’t understand why this headline would come as surprise to anyone: Pot’s Low Cancer Risk a Surprise Finding. I mean, isn’t it pretty obvious why pot smokers would be at less of a cancer risk? Apparently not…

The findings are a surprise because marijuana smoke has some of the same cancer-causing substances as tobacco smoke, often in higher concentrations, said the senior researcher, Donald Tashkin, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles.

One possible explanation is that THC, a key ingredient in marijuana not present in tobacco, may inhibit tumor growth, he said in an interview.

Here’s another possible explanation: Pot smokers don’t smoke pot the same way cigarette smoke tobacco. Pot heads don’t walk into taverns, toss packs of joints on bars, and then sit there for three or four hours, drinking and chain-smoking pot cigarettes. For a pot smoker, pot smoke is a means to the endand the end, of course, is getting high. The point isn’t to sit there inhaling and exhaling pot smoke all night long. No one chain-smokes joints. With pot, you take three or four puffs, you’re high, you’re done. Put the pot away and break out the chips and salsa. (Or, in my case, a box of See’s Candies.)

Contrast pot smokers to cigarette smokers: For most cigarette smokers, smoking is the point. It’s the means and the end. Cigarette smokers smoke to smoke. Smoking passes the time, gives them something to do with their hands, or make `em look, er, cool. In, out, in out, one cigarette after another. Smoke, smoke, smoke. Some smoke to maintain the feeble buzz tobacco cigarettes provide, or to depress their appetites, or to briefly sate their nicotine cravings. But these pharmacological “benefits” are brief, so cigarette smokers keep lighting up, again and again, and smoke and smoke and smoke some more.

So when anti-pot scare-mongers write things like, “…one marijuana cigarette can deliver four times as much cancer-causing tar as one tobacco cigarette,” all they’re proving is that they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. One marijuana cigarette may very well deliver four times as much cancer-causing tar as one tobacco cigarette, but a casual pot smokers will smoke one or two joints a month, not one, two, or three packs in a day. Which means they inhale far less more smoke, are exposed to far fewer carcinogens, and are therefore at lower risk of contracting lung, mouth, or throat cancer.

Hello, Professor Tashkin? Like, duh?

And not only do pot smokers inhale far less smoke than cigarette smokers, today’s pot smokers can get high smoking far less pot than pot smokers did in previous decades. Don’t take my word for ithere’s what the same scaremonger had to say:

Marijuana today is more than twice as powerful on average as it was 20 years ago. It contains twice the concentration of THC, the chemical that affects the brain.

Yup, it sure does. It’s a point that anti-pot scaremongers can’t resist hammering away at. When U.S. Drug Czar John Walters hosted an installment of “Ask the Whitehouse,” a regular live web chat with not-yet-indicted Bush administration officials, Walters delivered this urgent warning to Peter from Bloomington: “Today’s marijuana is also twice as strong as it was in the mid 80’s.”

Psst? Peter from Bloomington? Just between you and me, it’s a good thing that today’s marijuana is twice as strong as it was in the mid 80s. If you’re lucky enough to be smoking pot in 2005 and not 1985, you can smoke half as much pot and get just as high! Isn’t that great! Instead of bitching about this happy development the federal government should be thanking modern pot farmers for cutting in half the amount of smoke pot users are exposed to on our way to getting high.

Hm. Now where were those chips?

Oprah’s Iffy Adventure

posted by on May 24 at 3:40 PM

On today’s Oprah Winfrey show, the Queen of All Media travels with Holocaust survivor/Oprah’s Book Club author Elie Wiesel to the Auschwitz death camp.

I saw teasers for the show last night, and was dazzled by their crassness“You saw babies thrown onto the fire?” was one of Oprah’s questions for Wiesel. And while such garishness is, in some ways, beyond reproach in this age of burgeoning Holocaust denial, there’s no debating the amazement of this:


(Hat tip for the image to Gawker.)

Clusterfuck Alert

posted by on May 24 at 3:31 PM

Heading to the Gorge for Sasquatch this weekend? I hope you’re not camping.

Pelz Donations Run Afoul of Ethics Law

posted by on May 24 at 3:02 PM

As the Stranger first reported, seven members of the Kent-based American Taxi Association collectively donated an even $5,000 to 2005 City Council candidate Dwight Pelz’s campaign. The round figure raised suspicions that the working-class cabbies, not exactly the demographic that usually finances local campaigns, had been reimbursed by the taxi association - an ethical no-no.

Turns out their suspicions were right all along: According to a proposed settlement released today by the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission, the taxi association reimbursed its members for their contributions. First, the association issued seven $650 checks to seven Association members. (The checks were technically “loans” under the Association’s charter, but that distinction seems to be more or less semantic.) Over three days in October 2005, the seven members wrote checks for $650 each to Pelz’s campaign; meanwhile, the taxi association contributed $450, for $5,000 total. According to the settlement, the contributions violated Seattle law, which states that “[n]o contribution shall be made… byone person through an agent, relative or other person in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the source of the contribution.” They also violated the $650 limit on local campaign contributions that was in effect in 2005.

The settlemen, if it’s approved by the ethics commission tomorrow, will require the taxi association to pay the city $4,550 for violating the law. If Pelz refunds the contributions, the taxi association must pay the same amount to the city. Pelz has not yet returned a call for comment.

Debate the Issues, Not the Commercials

posted by on May 24 at 2:45 PM

Over at David Postman’s new blog (sorry, I haven’t figured out how to permalink a specific entry there, so I’m just sending you to the site in general), he questions the Democrats anger at a recent McGavick spot.
Postman writes:

A state Democratic Party release calls the ad negative, misleading, dishonest, a smear, and fear mongering. But is it?

Since Postman’s not allowed to have opinions he doesn’t answer the question. The answer is this: Yes the ad is negative. It’s a little misleading. It’s not dishonest. It’s not a smear. And, yes, there’s some fear mongering in it.

However, when you get right down to it, the ad highlights a policy disagreement between Cantwell and McGavick about social security benefits and immigrants. W/ that basic disagreement anchoring the ad, it’s fair game for McGavick to stoke the coals on it.

Here’s the portion of the ad that the Democrats are really pissed about:

The incumbent also voted to offer Social Security benefits for people who are here illegally. I oppose this idea. There should be no rewards for breaking our laws. Washington state needs a Senator who will… not reward the breaking of our laws with scarce Social Security dollars.

The Democrats argue that the word “offer” implies that Cantwell wants to institute some sort of handout to illegal immigrants. The fact is she doesn’t. She voted against a bill that would have changed the status quo by taking away or denying legal immigrants the right to get back the money they paid into the system when they were working as illegal immigrants.

This is not a “reward for breaking our laws” but an incentive for getting with the system and following the law.

Additionally, the McGavick spot talks about “scarce Social Security dollars” to imply that “law breakers” will be taking a costly bit out of the pie. Wrong. Again, Cantwell voted to uphold the status quo where Social Security dollars are being paid out to peoplewho are now following the lawwho paid in.

Indeed, the pot would be even “scarcer” if those dollars weren’t there in the first place. So if you think about it, McGavick’s position calls for the Social Security Administration to take money from workers, put it into the system, and never give the money back when the worker retiresand I guess, give it to someone else.

The Democrats should spend more time trashing McGavick’s position than grousing about the tone of McGavick’s ads.

This is a campaign. Of course McGavick is going to spin Cantwell’s votes. And, quite frankly, while McGavick is certainly playing fast and lose with the word ‘offer’, he’s still challenging Cantwell’s basic position. She believes legal immigrants are entitled to the money they paid into the system when they were illegal immigrants. McGavick does not. If McGavick wants to have that debate, Cantwell should take him up on it.

Das Criminal

posted by on May 24 at 2:14 PM

This is why I love Marx (from the incomplete fourth volume of Das Capital):

A philosopher produces ideas, a poet poems, a clergyman sermons, a professor compendia and so on. A criminal produces crimes. If we look a little closer at the connection between this latter branch of production and society as a whole, we shall rid ourselves of many prejudices. The criminal produces not only crimes but also criminal law, and with this also the professor who gives lectures on criminal law and in addition to this the inevitable compendium in which this same professor throws his lectures onto the general market as “commodities.’ …The criminal moreover produces the whole of the police and of criminal justice, constables, judges, hangmen, juries, etc.; and all these different lines of business, which form equally many categories of the social division of labour, develop different capacities of the human spirit, create new needs and new ways of satisfying them. Torture alone has given rise to the most ingenious mechanical inventions, and employed many honourable craftsmen in the production of its instruments.

Father’s Day Dance Party At Chop Suey

posted by on May 24 at 2:02 PM

Ah, kids: Don’t have ‘em, don’t want ‘em, and with a few precious exceptions, I don’t even like to be around them. However, I have a great deal of sympathy for music-loving parents in search of kid-friendly activities that aren’t irritating hippie-fests or goofy, corporate-sponsored nightmares. The folks at KEXP are recognizing this on Father’s Day by throwing a dance party at Chop Suey from 1-5 pm. It will be hosted by perpetually proud papa John Richards and geared specifically towards children under the age of 10. DJs Riz Rollins, Kevin Cole, and Darek Mazzone will be handling the soundtrack and additional age-appropriate games and activities are planned, along with break-dancing lessons.

It’s a smart idea and will no doubt be a huge success (the $6 tickets are going fast), but what I really admire is the cause: proceeds will benefit Art with Heart, a local non-profit that does excellent work with youth in crisis. Via their publications and programs, they exercise their belief that absorbing and producing art is one of the best ways to help children rebound from trauma, which is pretty friggin’ cool. Read more about their programs here.


posted by on May 24 at 1:45 PM

Perhaps like me, you’ve spent years dreaming of the day when former Rocket editor/current dead-rock-star-biographer Charles R. Cross interviews washed-up action star Steven Seagal about his secondary career as a blues musician.

Well, dream no more!

(The Steven Seagal Blues Band plays the Tractor this Saturday…)

In Praise of SIFF Shorts

posted by on May 24 at 1:11 PM

The most comprehensive SIFF guide in the city (ours!) will be available to the public later this afternoon. There is, however, one aspect of the festival we weren’t able to preview fully in SIFF Notes. Short films are all over the festival; whether tucked before feature programs or smashed together in packages, they’re so numerous that probability dictates many will be of dubious quality.

Here are your best bets:

Dayna Hanson (formerly of 33 Fainting Spells) has a short, entitled Diesel Engine, that looks to be an elaboration of her performance Spirit Under the Influence, which I reviewed last spring. Unfortunately, it precedes a dance feature, and dance features are almost always too long.


Gaelen Hanson (also formerly of 33 Fainting Spells, no relation) has a new dance film called Your Lights Are Out or Burning Badly (great title), with a score by Kinski. It’s probably more along the lines of 33 Fainting Spells’ fantastic dance films like Measure (SIFF 2001). Precedes the same dance feature.

Stranger Genius Award-winner David Russo expresses his artful frustration with arts bureaucracy in I Am (Not) Van Gogh. It’s entertaining enough to hear him rant about said subject in person; I can’t wait to see what he does with it on film. Precedes The Puffy Chair, a movie that Charles Mudede liked.

Portland filmmaker Vanessa Renwick, whose films I sometimes like and sometimes don’t, has a pretty-looking movie about Vancouver: Portrait #1: Cascadia Terminal. Part of a shorts package.

Continue reading "In Praise of SIFF Shorts" »

In Praise of Shorter Shorts

posted by on May 24 at 1:05 PM

I spent quite a bit of time this past weekend searching for good shorts. Then, I spent a lot of the rest of the weekend complaining loudly to several friends about how impossible it is to find good male shorts in this town i.e., shorts that don’t hang below the knee.

What is going on? It’s as if American retailers are operating under some fatwa that has declared the exposure of male thighs verboten. Should it really be as hard to buy above-the-knee male shorts in this country as it is to buy a mini-skirt in Saudi Arabia?

Today, a sympathetic friend sent me this recent New York Times article, which gives me some hope. But first things first. Before we get to the article’s text, some compelling images:


See those blue shorts? Hot. And things get cooler as you head to the right, toward the jams/surfer shorts end of the spectrum, don’t they? For more proof of this (and more beautiful men) see the helpful slide show that the Times has attached to the article.

And now, Seattle retailers, listen up. The Thursday Styles section has declared the following:

For decades men’s swim trunks, under the name ‘board shorts,’ have inched steadily downward toward a style that would more accurately be described as pants. Finally they are beginning to recede. Thighward. … “The guys have decided to show off the legs again,” said Evelyn Richardson McGee, a manager at Birdwell and a granddaughter of the founder.


But since it inevitably takes ages for these kinds of fashion messages to reach Seattle, does anyone know where in this city a guy can currently get some good short shorts? I’m not talking about the teeny-tiny shorts you can find in certain stores on Capitol Hill. I don’t write in praise those (at least not on me). I’m talking cute, plain-front, classic-cut, shorter shorts like the blue ones above. It’s unbelievable how hard they are to find…

B & O Espresso: Soon to go?

posted by on May 24 at 12:57 PM

The B&O will stay in Capitol Hill. That much seems certain. But no one — including owner Majed Lukatah — seems to know whether the coffee shop and bakery will remain at its current location at Olive and Belmont or whether it will soon move into a vacant space somewhere else in the neighborhood.

For Lukatah, it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. If he stays where he is, he’d have to close the shop when construction begins on that corner, in spring of 2007. It will be a mixed-use building and the developer, John Stoner, says he still doesn’t know whether the proposed six stories and 72 units will be apartments or condos. Either way, says Stoner, he’d like to have B&O anchoring the ground floor — as a tenant or as the owner of that retail space. Though he is still considering a few different building designs, Stoner is offering Lukatah 4,000-4,500 square feet, which is roughly its size today.

But Lukatah says he’s fed up with the uncertainty that comes with paying rent. In 1998 he tried to buy the property — he just couldn’t compete with Stoner, who paid nearly a million dollars. And Lukatah does not seemed inclined to wait around for Stoner to make up his mind about whether to sell or lease the B&O space. Finally, his business would suffer mightily during the construction, as B&O customers might wander into other coffee shops, never to return.

So the B&O is looking — with an increasing level of urgency — for a new location. Lukatah told me yesterday that he is excited about one potential location on the south side of Capitol Hill, and while negotiating with that seller he is investigating a lead that would allow him to stay closer to his Belmont/Olive customer base. The B&O has only seven months left on its lease, so if Lukatah wants to open a new shop elsewhere, he wants to buy it (no more leasing) and start building very soon.

I’ll be keeping in touch with Lukatah about the future of his shop, as well as with Stoner to learn what will come of his development.

Dracula No Longer Homeless

posted by on May 24 at 12:27 PM


BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - More than 60 years after it was seized by communists, the Romanian government is to hand back one of the country’s most popular tourist sites, the fabled Dracula Castle, to its former owner, the culture minister said Tuesday.

The castle, worth an estimated $25 million, was owned by the late Queen Marie and bequeathed to her daughter Princess Ileana in 1938. It was confiscated by communists in 1948 and fell into disrepair. It will be transferred on Friday to Dominic van Hapsburg, a New York architect who inherited the castle from Princess Ileana decades after the communists seized it, minister Adrian Iorgulescu told a news conference.

Van Hapsburg is a descendant of the Hapsburg dynasty which ruled Romania for a period starting in the late 17th century.

Some interesting facts, courtesy of

The castle is actually called Bran Castle. It was built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order in 1212.

Vlad Tepes (or Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia and son of Vlad Dracul) used the castle as his headquarters when he marched in Transylvania.

It’s not, in fact, the real Dracula Castle. That castle is now a ruins on the Arges River.

It’s funny cuz it’s true…

posted by on May 24 at 12:17 PM

which makes it sad.

Hong Tran

posted by on May 24 at 12:11 PM

First of all, I’m a little biased about Hong Tran.

When I first started at the Strangerback in 1970 when we used to be called the Electric Raincoat Stranger Review Tran handed me my first big story.

I was impressed w Tran at that time for being on point and smart and righteous. And quite frankly, humble.

I’m a little perplexed that her first go at public office is a U.S. Senate campaign. She takes a shot at explaining why in the Tran press release I’ve linked below.

Continue reading "Hong Tran" »

One to Many

posted by on May 24 at 11:40 AM

This magnificent apartment complex in Amsterdam, Silodam, was designed by MVRDV, an Amsterdam firm whose projects are frequently provocative. Silodam has 157 apartments, each different in size and color.


The building is one of the best architectural expressions (and resolutions) of the philosophical puzzle of the one and the many, the individual and the whole. Silodam achieves an absolute that does not negate the singular.


Writing for Music for Writing

posted by on May 24 at 11:36 AM

I’ve got a problem, and I’m turning to you, citizens of the Slog, to help me solve it: I need more music to write to.

By “music to write to,” I mean instrumental (or primarily instrumental) music that creates a reasonably smooth aural backdrop without dying of stasis or general gauzy sentiment (i.e. no Windham Hill or anything Enya-flavored.) By “smooth,” I don’t mean softtwo of my long-standing writing-music faves are those noisy pillars of ’90s audio art, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing…. (However, Shadow’s The Private Press is too jumpy and MVB’s Isn’t Anything too wordy to work properly for writing.)

After playing Loveless and Endtroducing.. into the ground (where I still love each of them mightily), I started venturing off into the world of jazz, eventually finding a handful of records that I’ve since played as relentlessly as the My Bloody Valentine and DJ Shadow: Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way and Jack Johnson (only the second half’s good for writing), Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, about six different Thelonious Monk records (including but not limited to Criss Cross, Monk’s Dream, Underground, and that newly discovered live-with-Coltrane-at-Carnegie-Hall disc). But for every one jazz record that fits my writing-music criteria, I find eight that don’t (but that I still love in my non-writing life): Ornette Coleman is too demanding, and all the early stuffCharlie Parker and Louis Armstrong and young Duke Ellingtonis too diverting.

Most recently, I found the wonderful world of Steve Reich, via Music for 18 Musicians and a career-spanning mix made for me by Stranger tech lord/acclaimed techno DJ Brian G. This shit is perfect for writing, and it’s what got me thinking about all the rest of the great music-for-writing out there I’ve never heard of.

So help me out. Boss me around. Clearly, techno is the great unexplored world, but it’s iffy as far as writing goes. The scant bit of techno I’ve paid attention to has either been too spazzy and frantic (Spring Heel Jack), or too entrancing and cinematic (Charles Mudede’s beloved Burial) to allow me to focus on work.

Those who have ideas of stuff for me to check out, let me know over at Line Out.

Burner Becomes “National Netroots Endorsed”

posted by on May 24 at 11:10 AM

Via Goldy, another sign that eastside Democrat Darcy Burner is getting national attention:

She’s now in the company of lefty hero Ned Lamont and others on the an ActBlue page put together by some of the biggest liberal blogs in the country. Goldy says this could mean Burner will now see “tens of thousands of dollars pouring in from online activists throughout the nation.”

Vera hits the halfway mark!

posted by on May 24 at 10:48 AM

This week the Vera Project hit the halfway mark in their capital campaign to raise a million and a half dollars for their new venue in the Seattle Center. Vera hopes to move into the space, formerly the Snoqualmie Room, this fall.

While it’s exciting that they’ve already raised 50% of the cash, there’s still a ways to go, and plenty of opportunities to donate in the near future. On June 13th, Vera is throwing a party at Vain in Belltown that will feature circus performers, the Rat City Rollergirls, DJs, and live art. And later in June, there’s also the much-loved annual A Drink for the Kids, a week-long fundraiser that includes bars all over the city (visit ADFTK’s website for a schedule and more information). Vera will also have a booth set up at Sasquatch, so if you’re heading to the Gorge this weekend, stop by to learn more about the new space and maybe even drop ‘em a few bucks. And as always, you can still make donations by visiting

Drug Test

posted by on May 24 at 10:43 AM

Attorney and drug reform advocate Roger Goodman is running for state house rep in the 45th districtRedmond, Kirkland, Woodinville.

W/ last month’s announcement that eastside Republican state house senator Bill Finkbeiner was resigning, Democrats started talking about a Democratic revolution on the eastside. (In addition to Finkbeiner’s resignation, GOP state house rep Rodney Tom announced he was switching parties). Meanwhile the Republicans started scampering to plug leaks as new ones sprung up. For example, 45th district Republican rep Toby Nixon abandoned his state house seat to run for Finkbeiner’s open senate seatwhich left Nixon’s GOP house seat vacant.

And that’s where Goodman comes in. I’m excited about getting Goodman in the state house because he’s a smart, progressive, powerhouse when it comes to a key issue: drug reform.

Goodman’s work as director of the King County Bar Association’s Drug Policy Project has come to both Eli Sanders’s and my attention in the past year.

Goodman’s campaign will certainly test how much traction drug reform has outside of progressive enclaves like Seattle.

Hat tip: Northwest Progressive Institute.

Oh, ComebackHow Could You?

posted by on May 24 at 10:26 AM

Posters are going up for this month’s Comeback…


…and I have to say that I’m disappointed.

Usually the guys on Comeback’s postersdrawn from someone’s vast stash of vintage pornare hotter than Megan’s microwaved HotPockets. But the images aren’t just hot. They also have a touchingly melancholy quality. The images on Comeback’s posters are older than most of the guys who go to Comeback, so they not only titillate the targeted viewer but also force him to contemplate the fleeting nature of physical beauty. “Come and shake it while you’ve got it,” Comeback’s posters say, “because one day your looks, like this guy’s looks, will be long, long gone.”

But this guy? He never had it, Comeback…

Good News for Pot Heads

posted by on May 24 at 10:23 AM

This morning’s P-I reports

People who smoke marijuana may be at less risk of developing lung cancer than tobacco smokers, according to a new study.
The study of 2,200 people in Los Angeles found that even heavy marijuana smokers were no more likely to develop lung, head or neck cancer than non-users, in contrast with tobacco users, whose risk increases the more they smoke.

Top Chef Finale Tonight

posted by on May 24 at 9:55 AM

So. Bravo’s Top Chef ends tonight, and we’re down to Harold and Tiffani.

I really hoped that Dave was gonna take it all, that was before he got eliminated last week of course, so between the two remaining chefs, I guess I’d like to see Harold win the hundred grand. Even if he is annoyingly pretentious at times. I can’t STAND Tiffani or her dumb red hair, no matter how good a chef she is. Her attitude is bad and I wanna see her go down. She’s sorta the Jade of the show. Ew.

Who are you cheering for?

KUOW at 10Tomorrow Morning

posted by on May 24 at 9:37 AM

Stranger contributor Matthew Richter will be on KUOW’s Weekday tomorrow morning at 10 AM. He’ll be discussing the state of non-profits, locally and nationally, and his recent Stranger feature Utopia Aflame.

The Other Bush

posted by on May 24 at 7:20 AM

What do you want to be Jeb Bush? The president of this here country or the president of the NFL? The world is yours.

Jamie Pedersen’s Dirty Punch

posted by on May 24 at 7:00 AM

On Sunday I went to the U-District Street Fair, where I was approached by four of Jamie Pedersen’s volunteers. Pedersen is one of the six candidates running in the 43rd District to fill Ed Murray’s seat in the Washington State House of Representatives. From my post on Sunday:

We hadn’t taken three steps on the Ave before we had what looked like a petition on a clipboard thrust at us. The young volunteer, looking so very earnest, asked us if we supported marriage equality…. She was asking us to hand our names, mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers over to Jamie Pedersen… We had the same clipboards thrust at us four more times by Pedersen volunteers, each making the same appeal”Do you support marriage equality?”as we made our way up the Ave. Hm. Interestingand dishonest.

When I asked one of Pedersen’s volunteers if any of Jamie’s opponents were against marriage equality, she said she didn’t know for sure”but probably not,” she added. When I asked why she was out there trying to create the impression that the other candidates in the race were opponents of marriage equality, she said, “To get your attention!” Well, it worked.

And in my post on Sunday, I had a couple of questions for Pedersen:

Uh, Jamie? Don’t you think that’s dishonest? Don’t all the candidates running to fill Murray’s seatStephanie Pure, Dick Kelley, Lynne Dodson, Bill Sherman, et allsupport marriage equality?

Before we get to Pedersen’s answers (and a surprise phone call from a national gay VIP), let’s hear from some of the other candidates in the 43rd District race, all of whomsurprise!support marriage equality for same-sex couples:

Dick Kelley: “I am completely in favor of equal marriage rights for everyone. In early 2004 when it was not commonly being proposed as active proposal, we were just trying to block Bush’s constitutional amendment. I used my column in the 43rd district newspaper to write in favor of equal marriage rights and sponsored a platform planks in both 43rd and state party meetings. I don’t believe in compromising on things that are basic human rights. The sort of thing you have to go to the wall for.”

Bill Sherman: “I support full marriage equality.”

Lynn Dodson: “I support full marriage equality for same sex couples. I would push for full marriage equality [if the Washington State Supreme Court punts to the issue to the legislature]. Civil Unions are a half way step. It’s not equality. It’s a second tier.”

Stephanie Pure: “I am fully supporitive of marriage equality, and I am unequivocal on that. If elected I would take the lead on fighting for that.”

And before we get to Pedersen’s answers, let’s hear from a reader: In the comments thread attached to my original post Alex came to Pedersen’s defense…

Continue reading "Jamie Pedersen's Dirty Punch" »

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

For the Wonks

posted by on May 23 at 5:05 PM

John Norquist, head of the Congress for the New Urbanism (recently in the news because of its controversial plan to redevelop Biloxi, Mississippi) spoke last night at Town Hall as part of a series of events to promote tearing down urban highways, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct. (Speakers also included Town Hall’s David Brewster, the Discovery Institute’s Bruce Agnew, and others, but since my crush on Norquist has already been well-documented, I’ll stick to talking about his speech.)

There’s a longer story, which also focuses on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) series of viaduct open houses, coming out in tomorrow’s paper, but for now, here are a few excerpts from Norquist’s highly entertaining comments:

• On French architect Le Corbusier’s high-rise “City of Tomorrow,” which inspired the “urban renewal” program in America, with its disastrous high-rise housing projects: “All the pedestrians have been removed. The only purpose of the street is the movement of traffic. It becomes a utility line.”

• On the ever-growing width of arterial streets in the United States: “Traffic engineers back in the 1920s designed streets … with 50 feet of pavement and six-and-a-half or seven feet of sidewalk. But now [a 72-foot-wide street] is the standard. … There’s no money left for sidewalks, so people walk in the gutter. This is the choice that Americans make: They can either ride in a car or be a criminal suspect.”

• On freeway-building in the mid-20th century, which devastated many poor and minority neighborhoods: “This is the black community in Milwaukee in 1906”a thriving, though down-at-the heels, urban neighborhood. “This is the way it looked after it was ‘improved’ by [the US Department of Transportation]”a six-lane freeway lined with sound walls, which Norquist called “the only surviving technology of the East German republic.”

• On freeways vs. streets for reducing congestion (a timely topic, since the no-rebuild viaduct replacement option would push some viaduct traffic onto city streets): “”From a congestion standpoint, the complexity of a wetland absorbs water, so it slows down flooding… The same thing is true of the street grid. The complexity of the network absorbs [traffic] flooding and gives people the chance to use their brains and pick [different] routes.” In Houston, freeways ”were specifically designed to move traffic out of the city… When the bombs would launch you’d get out of town just in time as the mushroom cloud blew up over Houston.” But during last year’s Hurricane Rita, those very roads “failed when we needed them the most.”

Norquist’s vision of a highway-free waterfront hasn’t gained much traction at WSDOT, which remains intent on providing plenty of room for every single one of the 110,000 cars that currently use the viaduct daily. However, some have speculated that the no-highway option may win out even if it doesn’t make it onto a November ballot (currently, the council is leaning toward putting just two options, an elevated replacement and Nickels’s multibillion-dollar tunnel), because so much of the money for both of those options (between $500 million and $2.1 billion) remains unsecured. The no-highway option, which would improve surface street connections and pay for some improvements to I-5 and transit) is estimated at just $800 million.

New Noise. Again.

posted by on May 23 at 4:55 PM

I posted this many moons ago, when Slog was first starting out. I’m posting it again, though, because it’s been that kind of day. The kind of day where this song should be played at maximum volume. Maybe you need it as much as I do.

Refused. “New Noise.”

Re: God Is My Spotter

posted by on May 23 at 4:27 PM

I wonder if ol’ Pat does the low-carb thing. Would he eat a flying roll? Or just kick it back to heaven with his manly (and godly) legs?

I, Anonymous: Now with Comments!

posted by on May 23 at 4:18 PM

Attention citizens of the Slog:

When the I, Anonymous forum first went live, we decided to rig it without the ability to accept comments. That way we’d prevent the forum from becoming a burning pit of “he said/she said” and vicious backbiting.

Then I realized that by allowing readers to reply, we could help turn the forum into a burning pit of “he said/she said” and vicious backbiting! And we could nip those weird series of “Re: Re: Re:” response posts in the bud.

So go nuts! Go to I, Anonymous forum and reply your fucking faces off!

Start with this one!

God Is My Spotter

posted by on May 23 at 4:10 PM


From the Christian Broadcasting Network website:

Did you know that Pat Robertson can leg-press 2000 pounds! How does he do it?

Where does Pat find the time and energy to host a daily, national TV show, head a world-wide ministry, develop visionary scholars, while traveling the globe as a statesman?

One of Pat’s secrets to keeping his energy high and his vitality soaring is his age-defying protein shake. Pat developed a delicious, refreshing shake, filled with energy-producing nutrients.

You can learn more about Pat Robertson’s protein shake (I apologize for writing that sentence) here.

Bible Verse of the Day

posted by on May 23 at 4:06 PM

From Zechariah, verse five, chapters one through four, King James Version:

Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll. And [the angel] said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth… I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.

So don’t swear. Or steal. Or a ten-by-twenty cubit flying roll will enter your house and eat it. But what kind of roll? This kind? Or this kind? Or maybe this kind? His ways are indeed mysterious…


posted by on May 23 at 3:23 PM

I have no time to Slog today. I’m crashing on my other jobgetting the paper out.
However, I do need to mark May 23, the highest of holy days among the high holy days.


NYT on Cannes

posted by on May 23 at 2:57 PM

The New York Times’ “Cannes Journal” isn’t a blog this year, which has drained some of the life out of it, but it’s still one of the better digestions of the actual movies at the festival. Manohla Dargis makes the South Korean film The Host (about “a mutant creature with a lotuslike mouth”) sound especially yummy.

But then Dargis starts harping on the soon-ness of 9/11 movies again: “This clip made me wonder why Hollywood seems so eager to turn this raw national wound into entertainment.” (It’s Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center that she’s getting all squeamish about this time.) Is she overcompensating because she lives in L.A. but writes for a New York paper? I can’t figure out what’s going on. Sure, many films are exclusively “entertainment.” But certainly not all. Would she be similarly up in arms about, say, a novel about 9/11? Or a pop song?

New U-District BBQ Place

posted by on May 23 at 2:22 PM

There’s a new BBQ place in the U-District called “Smokin’ Dicks.” Seriously. And they’re selling t-shirts that say “My Girlfriend Loves Smokin’ Dicks!” Is this a good thing? Or a bad thing?

Please discuss.

Kill Marissa Cooper — Again!

posted by on May 23 at 2:01 PM

1691.jpgLook at the email I just received… BOY, IS SHE BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE!

Hey there!!! Please help us get the word out by posting an entry on your site!!! We are trying to save Marissa Cooper from being killed off on the OC. A petition has been started and is going strong but we need to reach enough signatures to get noticed. Please help us save the show and the character the show wont survive without. We propose they put her in a comma!! /savemarissacooper Thank you !! Li

If that skinny stick with a deviated septum returns to The O.C., I’M the one who’s gonna go into a “comma.”

What Passes for Commentary

posted by on May 23 at 1:46 PM

Anthony Hecht and I have both posted here about the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s over-the-top propaganda campaign against Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Today on Fox, a representative for another oil company-backed conservative organization, the National Center for Policy Analysis, said watching An Inconvenient Truth to learn about the environment was like watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany.

ThinkProgress has the story.

Rebel: Buy this Thing!

posted by on May 23 at 12:44 PM

News flash: People who buy Ipods are sheep. People who buy this knockoff, on the other hand, are “free thinkers, contrarians, and malcontents.”

Re: Hot Coffee Shop

posted by on May 23 at 11:36 AM

Male models… on a break…


…and they’re playing chess. So much for that, er, “dumb model” stereotype.

On TV Tonight!

posted by on May 23 at 11:27 AM

First things first: Did you watch last night’s season finale of 24? I was totally tricked by Jack’s pretend-to-threaten-to-kill-the-President-so-he’ll-confess-to-his pill-popping-wife-later routine. And then when the President realized he had been tricked? His wife and the chief of staff were all like, “FACE!… FACIAL!… BIORE!” (You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? ) Anyway, my point is THE CHINESE ARE MEAN. And if they’re going to kidnap Jack they can at least let him use the bathroom… he hasn’t been in at least 24 hours!!
Okay! On TV tonight, it’s the season finale of House (Fox, 9 pm), which is that doctor show where the British guy pretends to be an American guy, and ends up being solely responsible for eradicating vaginal dryness in women over the age of 40. DON’T MISS IT!
ALSO on TV tonight, it’s the PRE-season finale for American Idol (Fox, 8 pm) where we’ll get our last opportunity to heckle the shit out of Taylor (AKA “Jay Leno”) and Katharine (AKA, “Only my boobs can save me now”).
I’m with YOU, Simon!

Walk the Talk

posted by on May 23 at 11:20 AM

Atrios says

Saving It!

A genuinely relevant political article in the New York Times would involve a detailed examination of the sex lives of all non-married members of the Bush administration. Abstinence-only education is a key policy feature of the Bush administration, and it would certainly be legitimate to ask if they are, in fact, saving it.

Fucking brilliant idea. I suggest that the White House press corp start with the conspicuously single/suspiciously fey RNC chair Ken Mehlmen. Is his abstaining? And if the Republicans have their way with the US Constitution, is Mehlmen prepared to abstain for ever and ever, amen?

The Fuzzy Math on Democratic Volunteers

posted by on May 23 at 11:02 AM

This morning David Postman uses his new blog to revisit the issue of Cantwell’s position on the Iraq War, along with the companion issue of how Cantwell’s Iraq War stance is affecting her ability to recruit campaign volunteers. But in this revisiting, I think Postman may have fallen for some fuzzy Democratic math.

Postman first raised the Cantwell volunteers issue in this story, in which he reported:

Sen. Maria Cantwell’s continued support for the occupation of Iraq and her lack of regret for voting for the invasion in 2002 is making it hard to recruit volunteers for her re-election campaign, the chairman of the state Democratic Party says.

Not so, replied the Cantwell campaign and Times columnist Joni Balter, who recently slammed Pelz for criticizing Cantwell. Coming to Cantwell’s defense, Balter reported that the Cantwell campaign has 534 volunteers, which she called a “sturdy” number, “neither overwhelming nor underwhelming.”

Today on his blog, Postman, obviously aware of the volunteer numbers pushback, appears to walk back his own earlier report on soft volunteer support for Cantwell, writing:

Someone forwarded me an e-mail Pelz sent to party members late last month boasting about how many volunteers the party already had. “As of this writing, we here in Washington State have the 2nd most number of folks signed up in the entire country,” Pelz wrote. That does seem to undercut his concerns that a mushy position on the war has hurt recruiting for volunteers for the party and campaigns.

But hold on a second. First of all, what Pelz said in Postman’s original story was that Cantwell’s stance on the war was making it hard to recruit volunteers for her campaign, not for “the party and campaigns” in general.

Second of all, because I happen to be working on a story about the volunteer issue for this week’s Stranger, I know what Pelz is talking about when he says Democrats in Washington have “the 2nd most number of folks signed up in the entire country.” He’s talking about something called The Coordinated Campaign, which is run in cooperation with the State Democratic Party and works for Democratic candidates across the entire state. The Coordinated Campaign has signed up 1,000 volunteers this year, but those aren’t Cantwell volunteers. They’re general Democratic volunteers.

What’s going on here, I think, is this: Pelz and the Cantwell campaign are trying to put down the volunteer controversy by conflating the volunteer numbers for the Coordinated Campaign with the volunteer numbers for the Cantwell campaign. But they’re not the same thing, and they’re really not the same thing if you’re using them as a measure of Cantwell’s support in light of her Iraq War stance.

Anti-war Democrats aren’t likely to have any problems signing up with the Coordinated Campaign, which is associated in most people’s minds with the Democratic Party and anti-war loud-mouth Pelz. But they are likely to have some qualms about signing up with the Cantwell campaign, because of her refusal to apologize for her 2002 vote in support of the Iraq invasion.

A look at the actual numbers shows this, especially when you throw in another point of contrast, the volunteer numbers for eastide Democrat Darcy Burner. She’s a political newcomer who is unencumbered by past statements (or votes) on the Iraq War, and she has way more volunteers than Cantwell.

Cantwell campaign volunteers: 534
Burner campaign volunteers: 900
Coordinated Campaign volunteers: more than 1,000

The fact that an incumbent Senator, who represents the entire state, has fewer volunteers than a local candidate in one of the state’s many Congressional districts (a candidate who the Seattle Times keeps reminding us is a “novice”) would seem to support Pelz’s initial claim, not undercut it, right Postman?

Headline of the Day

posted by on May 23 at 10:59 AM

Beware Fake Papal Organists, Vatican Warns


That’s right, kids, you shouldn’t believe just anyone who tells you the Pope sent him to see your organ. Only guys in Roman collars have the Pope’s permission to run around the world pawing at other peoples’ organs.

Dead Drunk

posted by on May 23 at 10:49 AM

This is a super human for real:

“Police said Tuesday 41-year-old Vidmantas Sungaila registered 7.27 grams per liter of alcohol in his blood repeatedly on different devices when he was pulled over for driving his truck down the center of a two-lane highway 60 miles from the capital, Vilnius on Saturday.

Lithuania’s legal limit is 0.4 grams per liter.

“This guy should have been lying dead, but he was still driving. It must be an unofficial national record,” Saulius Skvernelis, the director of the national police traffic control service, told the AP. “He was of high spirits and grinning the whole time he was questioned.”

Medical experts say anything above 3.5 grams per liter of alcohol in the blood is lethal for most people.

Would You Buy Coffee From This Man?

posted by on May 23 at 10:48 AM


Personally, I wouldn’t, but I’m sure plenty of KISS Army-types will be happy to hear about their new business venture in South Carolina. Click over to Line Out to read all about it.

Happiness Is

posted by on May 23 at 10:13 AM

Not having to be in the same room as this happy guy.

Hot Coffee Shop

posted by on May 23 at 10:04 AM


Macy’sformerly “Bon Marche,” formerly “Bon Macy’s”is shooting their fall back-to-school/young-adult fashion ads at the Online Coffee Company at 14th and Pine right now. If anyone out there enjoys the sight of very hot, very well dressed, very tall, very multi-culti young men and women with their morning coffee or tea, this is definately the place to be. Hell, even the photographer and his helpers are hot. This photo, needless to say, does none of the models justice.


Oh, and shhhhhh… don’t tell PETA… but one of the models is wearing fur…

Voting: A thankless task

posted by on May 23 at 9:40 AM

I, like many young Americans, get sick of being pressured to vote every time an election rolls around. It is a drag. I wish there was a system to reward us voters for getting off our asses and deciding who is best qualified to run our state and federal governments.

Like free juice. Or a million dollars.

Yeah! A million dollars!

An Arizona political activist is placing his bets that a proposal to pay one lucky voter $1 million will drive people to the polls.

Dr. Mark Osterloh, a Tuscon ophthalmologist who has run unsuccessfully for governor and the Legislature, filed paperwork Monday to put the idea before state voters on the 2006 ballot.

Under the plan, the $1 million awarded to one randomly selected voter after each election would come from unclaimed Arizona Lottery prize money. A voter could get one entry in the drawing for voting in the primary and another for the general election.

High-five Arizona. You’re the shit.

Wake Up & Smell the News Blooper

posted by on May 23 at 8:34 AM

Courtesy of YouTube, here’s a most entertaining slip of a newscaster’s tongue.

(Hat tip to Jake.)

Instrumental Onslaught Tonight

posted by on May 23 at 8:32 AM

From today’s Suggest, by Hannah Levin:

Rock critics are as guilty of overusing the phrase “wall of guitar” as George W. Bush is of prefacing threats with premature rebukes like “make no mistake,” but in the case of Mogwai’s almost entirely instrumental onslaught, such a descriptor is perennially apt. Songs like “Glasgow Megasnake” (from this year’s Mr. Beast release) or “Mogwai Fear Satan” (from their 2001 My Father My King EP) simply demand architecture of that scope. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 447-1801. 8 pm, $17.50 adv/$20 DOS, all ages.)

Clinton Déjà Vu

posted by on May 23 at 8:06 AM

The Clintons’ marriage is suddenly back on the front page of the New York Times, and some bloggers, especially this one, are furious…

Monday, May 22, 2006

I promise I’ll Shut Up About the Surface/Transit Viaduct Option…

posted by on May 22 at 6:33 PM

If you go to this event tonight, from 7:30 to 9 at Town Hall, and learn about what happens when cities tear down freeways for yourself.

The event, which costs $5, is sponsored by the Transportation Choices Coalition, Mithun, the Sierra Club, and the People’s Waterfront Coalition. Speakers include John Norquist, former mayor of Milwaukee and current director of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and Scott Bernstein, president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

Many, many more details after the jump.

Continue reading "I promise I'll Shut Up About the Surface/Transit Viaduct Option..." »

The Gainesvilleman

posted by on May 22 at 6:28 PM

Remember the Pillowman, the play by Martin McDonagh (congrats on the Tony nomination, Martin! and congrat to the wankers down at Tony central for being smart enough to nominate him!) about a writer living in a police state who gets arrested and interrogated because he wrote stories about fictional murders that kind of resembled real-life murders? Remember all those questions raised by the play about art and responsibility and overreaching state power?

Looks like police down Gainesville way have adopted the same line of thinking as McDonagh’s cops.

(Thanks, Maud Newton!)

Re: Aping Wine

posted by on May 22 at 5:45 PM

But what would happen if they let those apes go, well, apeshit, dear Charles? Drunk monkeys.

Lindsay’s Verbal Assassin!

posted by on May 22 at 5:36 PM

BRANDON.jpegFor those who are unaware, Hollyweird socialite Brandon Davis is the WORLD’S MOST HATED MAN. After verbally accosting Lindsay Lohan (calling her a “Fire Crotch” among even worse things), Brandon can’t even drag his fat, drunken ass to a club without getting verbally humiliated. Check out THIS VIDEO of a woman who rides to Lindsay’s rescue, and gives that spoiled pee-hole the tongue lashing he deserves!

Aping Wine

posted by on May 22 at 5:08 PM

Hot diggity damn! Wine is good for apes! That’s the best news I’ve heard all year. What’s good for an ape is good for me.

We Call It Life

posted by on May 22 at 4:56 PM

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

The conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute (motto: Get Rich or Kill Everybody Else Tryin’) has launched a new campaign to counter the impact of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

The theme of the campaign? Carbon dioxide is good for you! (Sound familiar?)

Two ads from this campaign are presented below. I’m sorry to have to do this to you. You might want to have a punching bag handy.

(Click images to play video. Requires Quicktime.)

Live by the Religious Right, Die by the Religious Right

posted by on May 22 at 4:30 PM

It always amazes me when I hear members of the religious right claim that they are just now catching on to the way they’ve been used by the Republican Party. The Republicans treat the religious right as a collection of useful idiots, working them into a froth about culture war issues every election season, promising action on some of their pet issues (gay marriage, abortion, etc.), and then mostly ignoring them once in power.

I don’t know why the religious right hasn’t caught on to this before, but something about the Bush administration has caused them to get mad as hell and declare that they’re not going to take it anymore. If you missed it, here are some choice quotes from conservative Richard A. Viguerie’s much-discussed piece in Sunday’s Washington Post, titled “Bush’s Base Betrayal”:

In 2004, Republican leaders pleaded with conservatives — particularly religious conservatives — to register people to vote and help them turn out on Election Day. Those efforts strengthened Republicans in Congress and probably saved the Bush presidency. We were told: Just wait till the second term. Then, the president, freed of concern over reelection and backed by a Republican Congress, would take off the gloves and fight for the conservative agenda. Just wait.

We’re still waiting.

Sixty-five months into Bush’s presidency, conservatives feel betrayed. After the “Bridge to Nowhere” transportation bill, the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination and the Dubai Ports World deal, the immigration crisis was the tipping point for us. Indeed, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found last week that Republican disapproval of Bush’s presidency had increased from 16 percent to 30 percent in one month. It is largely the defection of conservatives that is driving the president’s poll numbers to new lows…

In today’s Washington, where are the serious efforts by Republicans to protect unborn children from abortion? Where is the campaign for a constitutional amendment to prevent liberal judges from allowing same-sex marriage?

Instead of conservative action on social issues, the Republican-controlled House has approved more taxpayers’ money for an embryo-killing type of stem cell research. And it passed a “hate crimes” measure that could lead to the classification as “hate” of criticism of homosexual activity. And in the Senate, Republicans have let key judicial nominees languish, even when Bush has nominated conservatives for lower courts…

The current record of Washington Republicans is so bad that, without a drastic change in direction, millions of conservatives will again stay home this November.

And maybe they should. Conservatives are beginning to realize that nothing will change until there’s a change in the GOP leadership. If congressional Republicans win this fall, they will see themselves as vindicated, and nothing will get better.

If conservatives accept the idea that we must support Republicans no matter what they do, we give up our bargaining position and any chance at getting things done. We’re like a union that agrees never to strike, no matter how badly its members are treated.

You know things are bad when a leading conservative is turning to labor unions for inspiration…

It’s a Monday Night KUMITE!

posted by on May 22 at 4:30 PM

B-Boy Battle tonight! ALRIGHT! The War Room. Go!

Worst. Song. Ever.

posted by on May 22 at 4:06 PM

What songs, in your considered opinion, are such aural atrocities they make you want to bury their creators alive? Click over to Line Out and vent your spleen. Go on, do it. You’ll feel better.

An Inconvenient Idiot

posted by on May 22 at 3:59 PM

Bush was asked today whether or not he was going to see Al Gore’s environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth. His answer: “Doubt it.”


“New technologies will change how we live and how we drive our cars, which all will have the beneficial effect of improving the environment,” Bush said. “And in my judgment we need to set aside whether or not greenhouse gases have been caused by mankind or because of natural effects and focus on the technologies that will enable us to live better lives and at the same time protect the environment.

Translation: “Just forget that me and my Republican cronies have been absolutely wrongor, you know, lying to you and distracting you and stuffabout global warming all these years. Let’s just not talk about that. ON TO THE FUTURE!”


You Can Get the Real Deal Tonight

posted by on May 22 at 3:34 PM

So says Megan Seling in today’s Suggest:

Smoking Popes
Seven years ago, Smoking Popes broke many a heart when they ceased being an active band, therefore no longer gracing the public with their fucking fantastic pop-rock songs. They’ve recently dusted themselves off, though, and after nearly a decade of silence, they played a live show in their hometown of Chicago, recorded it, and released it in a CD/DVD called Smoking Popes at Metro. It’s a great recording and all, but you can get the real deal tonight. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 8 pm, $12, all ages.)

In smoking pole news, gay group sex is a crime in China.

Stepping Freedom

posted by on May 22 at 1:49 PM

From G.W.F. Hegel:

Thus, the march of reason through history is a complex dialectical process, in which both individuals and nations are mere tools, unaware of the import and significance of their own deeds. Changes might be introduced by world-historical individuals such as Alexander, Caesar, and Napoleon, but their roles derive not from their conscious intentions or political ideas, for they are motivated, like all other men, by base desires such as ambition, greed, and glory. It is the objective consciousness of their deeds, and not their subjective intentions, that makes them historically significant. They are thus unconscious tools in the hand of the Geist. History is, thus, the development towards the consciousness of freedom as expressed in the political, cultural, and religious institutions of a nation—-Volksgeist.(Introduction to the Lectures on the Philosophy of History, 1820)

Down to G.W. Bush:
“Freedom is moving, but it’s in incremental steps and the enemy’s progress is almost instant on their TV screens.”(Chicago, May 21, 2006)

Nickels Flip-Flops on Commercial Parking Tax

posted by on May 22 at 1:40 PM

Nickels’s new transportation-tax initiative, which would pay for overdue maintenance on (yawn) roads and bridges, includes a new ten-percent tax on commercial parkinga long-overdue proposal that Peter Steinbrueck proposed back in 2002, only to get shot down by parking-lot owners, downtown businesses, and, ummm…. Mayor Nickels.

From the mayor’s press release, headlined “Mayor Puts the Brakes on Parking Tax”: “‘A parking tax at this time makes no sense,’ said Nickels. ‘It would cause tremendous negative impacts on businesses throughout the City.’” Nickels argued that the parking tax would reduce the number of people coming downtown and into neighborhood business districts, hurting parking-lot owners and retail establishments.

Yesterday, Nickels struck exactly the opposite note, arguing that the parking tax would not do much to reduce the number of visitors coming downtown.

The parking tax: Like the Alaskan Way tunnel, Nickels was against it before he was for it.

Referendum Sunday

posted by on May 22 at 1:23 PM

The first Referendum Sunday was so much funaccording to Tim “Lying Sack of Shit” Eymanthat he’s planning to have a few more. From the LSOS’s latest email:

WE NEED TO MAKE “REFERENDUM SUNDAY” PLURAL (as in Sundays)we need May 28th to be “Referendum Sunday” and June 4th to be “Referendum Sunday.” We’re enormously impressed with the passion and enthusiasm of the folks that are out getting signatureswe just need more folks asking fellow citizens to sign on to a public vote on House Bill 2661.

Then LSOS reminds us what this is really all aboutmoney, honey.

Please fill out the form below and send us a donation of $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more (there are no limits on the amount that can be given) to our offices in Spokane. We also accept VISA AND MASTERCARD.

I’d like to make a donation, LSOSI’m just not sure you can take the kind of “no limits” deposit I’d like to make in your “campaign.”

Would You Pay $400 Million for This Team?

posted by on May 22 at 1:08 PM

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Seattle Supersonics and Starbucks Coffee owner Howard Schultz wants at least $400 million for the Sonics - twice what he paid for them. A sports marketer quoted in the story says the $400 million will be “a challenging price to get… but then again, the Sonics are owned by a guy who convinced us to pay $3 for a cup of coffee.”

The Sonics have lost $60 million since Schultz bought them in 2001.

(Thanks to Seth K. at Seattlest for the tip.)

Warning: These Videos Will Ruin Your Day

posted by on May 22 at 12:24 PM

To fit with today’s Slog theme, I guess I should say, “Might induce vomiting & crying.”

Here are some videos that were played in church yesterday to rally people against the anti-discrimination bill.

Former Built to Spill Drummer Rumored Dead

posted by on May 22 at 11:59 AM

Though there has not been an official statement released, friends of former Built to Spill drummer Andy Capps, who played drums on BTS’s 1994 album, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, are reporting that the musician passed away Friday of unknown causes. Although there is much speculation on the message boards of the Neurolux’s website (Boise’s landmark music venue) that it was either suicide or an overdose, police have not yet released any specific details. There is also a discussion thread on the BTS boards that can be seen here.

In addition to BTS, Capps played in several Boise-based bands, including Splinter, Farm Days (the first band of Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch), Butterfly Train, and the Falldowns. He was also a writer and military historian who had previously written columns for the zine Streetmag and the Boise Weekly. I will post more details as they become available.

Might Induce Crying

posted by on May 22 at 11:33 AM

The bold, warm, funny experimental fiction writer Gilbert Sorrentino has died. I had been waiting, with dread, for this to happen. I threw the rest of my unread New York Times away this morning and kept only my torn-out obit page as soon as I saw it, so I could focus just on my former professor, a salty guy who was in love with William Carlos Williams, metonymy, dada, Kathy Acker, and William Burroughs. Unfortunately, the obit did him no favors.

Sorrentino introduced me to concepts whose names I can’t remember but that I still love (novels written without a certain letter, such as Perec’s W, and the insertion of that letter in a single place as a deliberate mistake, for instance). I took every class he offered, including Generative Devices, whose premise was that rules were a better starting point for poetry than psychological plumbing. (We all came up with some weird shit by building lines with congruent vowel sounds.) I used to sit in his office with him, with the blinds drawn against the relentless sunshine and joke about how, as native New Yorkers (I’m from Albany, he was from Brooklyn, and a place like Palo Alto can make those two spots seem terribly alike), the Californians around us felt like pod people. I bought all of his novels at the campus bookstore and didn’t finish a single one. Still, I recommend Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things. Tonight I’m going to start over with them. Some great audio clips of him reading his work, and some appreciations for his major contributions to 20th-century letters are here.

Slightly depressing for entirely different reasons is Damien Hirst’s latest stunt, a human skull cast in platinum and covered in 8,500 diamonds. According to the Guardian, it will be the most expensive work of art ever made, costing between 8 million and 10 million pounds. It will be called For the Love of God.

Reinventing the Wheel?

posted by on May 22 at 11:26 AM

Finally, a “solution” to that annoying problem faced by bike commuters everywhere: pedaling.

The innovative new product? A two-stroke motor that converts your bike into a 20-mph moped. After an easy installation, you can be driving around on the environmental equivalent of a JetSki.

Or you could just get off your lazy ass and pedal.

(Courtesy of Grist.)

AT&T Spying Exposed

posted by on May 22 at 11:05 AM

This seems big.

In 2003 AT&T built “secret rooms” hidden deep in the bowels of its central offices in various cities, housing computer gear for a government spy operation which taps into the company’s popular WorldNet service and the entire internet. These installations enable the government to look at every individual message on the internet and analyze exactly what people are doing. Documents showing the hardwire installation in San Francisco suggest that there are similar locations being installed in numerous other cities.

Says Americablog:

They’re spying on EVERYTHING that happens on the Internet, EVERYTHING you do, that means emails, chats, IMs, Web sites you visit, pictures you send, and any video chats you have.

Sign, All Ye Faithful (And Do It On Public School Grounds)

posted by on May 22 at 10:49 AM

[NOTE: I’m moving up this post from Sunday because it asks for input from lawyers, tax experts, and non-profit workers the type of people who, if they read the Slog, probably don’t read it on a Sunday afternoon. We’ve already received comments from some people who sound like they know what they’re talking aboutand some people who are angry we’re even asking this questionbut I’d like to hear from others.]

At the urging of several bloggers, some liberal observers staked out Redmond’s Antioch Bible Church on Sunday morning to see whether the church was collecting signatures for Tim Eyman’s anti-gay referendum. Shocker: It was.

But keep in mind that Antioch, which is run by eastside Rev. Ken Hutcherson, meets in a public school gym rented from the Lake Washington School District. Seems to me the more important issue is now this:

It is unclear whether Antioch [which is registered as a 501(c)(3) charity] violated any rules or regulations by facilitating the collection of signatures for Referendum 65 on public school property (specifically, the Lake Washington School District’s property).

But whether it’s legal or not, it’s still an outrage that government facilities are being used in a campaign to legalize discrimination against large groups of American citizens.

So all you lawyers, tax experts, non-profit officials, and public school workers out there, tell us: Do you think Antioch did anything illegal here?

Re: Bigoted in Belltown

posted by on May 22 at 10:48 AM

Josh reports that a congregant at the City Church in Belltown was “outraged” and “hung her head in shame” when her pastors made a pitch against gay marriage and passed out Tim Eyman’s anti-gay marriage petition in church this Sunday.

Wanting to find out more about how this congregant could have been so misled about what her church really believes, I took a quick look at City Church’s web site, which had this to say about the church’s beliefs:

We believe in the sanctity of marriage as established by the Holy Scriptures and that God created marriage and that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2-3; I Corinthians 7:10-11; Ephesians 5:22-33).

So a congregant at a conservative, evangelical megachurch was outraged that their conservative, evangelical pastor made a pitch in church for a conservative, evangelical belief that’s explicitly stated in the church’s mission statement.

Christians need to pay more attention to what their churches really teach, and less attention to the stylistic trappings (modern music, big-screen TVs, rock-club-style sanctuaries) that draw young people in.

For more on City Church’s beliefs (which include the assertion that the Scriptures are “infallibly and uniquely authoritative and free from error of any sort in all matters with which they deal, including scientific and historical,” and the belief in “the full historicity and perspicuity of the Biblical record of primeval history, including the literal existence of Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all people,” go here.

Might Induce Vomiting

posted by on May 22 at 10:40 AM

Slog-reader and all around hilarious girl, Alithea, pointed out the disgusting yet undeniable similarities between this shirt from Miss Sixty’s spring line and a colostomy bag.


Colostomy bag:


I couldn’t keep it to myself. I’m sorry.

The Bush Administration in Summary

posted by on May 22 at 9:34 AM

This SNL spoof is a good primer on the Bush presidency.


Thanks Crooks and Liars.

Re: Say You, Say Me, Say Wha?!?!

posted by on May 22 at 9:29 AM

Just wait until the Arab world gets a load of Lionel Richie’s daughter…

Say You, Say Me, Say Wha?!?!

posted by on May 22 at 9:15 AM

For some reason, Iraq is obsessed with Lionel Richie.

Even he’s confused: “I’m huge, huge in the Arab world,” Richie tells ABC News. “The answer as to why is, I don’t have the slightest idea.”

Full story here.

McGavick Doesn’t Know What He Thinks About Discrimination

posted by on May 22 at 7:38 AM

The Mainstream Republicans of Washington State met in Sea-Tac for their annual conference this weekend declaring that GOP candidates who want to win in 2006 better tack toward a moderate platform.

This may be a problem for Cantwell challenger Mike McGavick who spoke at the conference, but as an article in today’s News Tribune points out, isn’t in sync w/ the mods on our state’s recent gay rights bill. McGavick coyly refused to take a position on it (even though it’s a state law.)

The News Tribune reports:

Former insurance executive McGavick, who is trying to unseat Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, said he’s not a member…McGavick gave a luncheon speech at the conference Saturday, emphasizing his campaign theme of civility in politics. He did not delve into social issues that divide many mainstreamers from others in the party.

McGavick said in an interview after the speech that one goal should be to reduce abortions, adding that he supports parental notification. But he does not favor a federal ban.

McGavick refused to take a position on the gay civil rights bill the Legislature passed this year, saying it’s a state and not a federal issue. The mainstream group supported the bill, which bans discrimination in housing, jobs and other areas.

McGavick said he would vote for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman if “activist courts” legalize gay marriage. He said was interested, though, in benefits for “nontraditional” couples with kids.

The Democrats’ rap on McGavick: He supports writing discrimination into the law (Federal marriage ban), but he wont support writing non-discrimination into the law (WA state civil rights bill).

Anti-War Story

posted by on May 22 at 1:05 AM

I want to explain why I’ve been writing so much about the anti-war activists who are scuffing up Sen. Cantwell’s reelection bid.

It’s not because I side with the protesters. I don’t really.

I’m not sure what my position on Iraq is right now. I was against the war in 2002 and 2003 before the invasion began. And I said so again and again in the the Stranger, writing articles with not so-subtle-titles like The Half-Truths and Consequences of George W. Bush’s War Speech and Just Say `No’ to War In Iraq. I also said so in endless heated discussions at Bill’s pizza place on Pine St. w/ my editor.

But today, I don’t have a recommended solution to the fiasco (I told you so, Dan!) in Iraq. I lean toward wanting to make something right there before we just pull out. But I don’t know if that’s feasible. I found a sliver of hope in yesterday’s news about the new government in Iraq, but it was marred with a violent reality check today.

While we do a lot of advocacy journalism here (“Hey, Gov. Christine Gregoire, will you please stand up to the Board of Pharmacy!”), my coverage of Cantwell’s detractors from the anti-war left does not fall into that category. I’m writing about the anti-war folks and their challenge to Cantwell’s reelection bid because it’s a fascinating news story: Cantwell constituents are holding her accountable for a major vote and they’re jarring her campaign in the process. I’m not so much interested in having Cantwell announce that she’s for a December 2006 pull out, as much as I’m just interested in watching her navigate this moment. It’s a great political story.

Cantwell voted for the war, and she’s a U.S. Senator, and so I think she has an extra responsibility (unlike me, for example) to have some answers. There’s a story in watching her try to come up with those answers in this historic election year.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Stabbing on East Pike

posted by on May 21 at 11:09 PM

One of the shopkeepers at Benson Grocery (320 E Pike St at Bellevue Ave) was stabbed in the stomach at 7 pm tonight. Medic One took him away. For several years I’ve appreciated how this man keeps his eye on the street as he sweeps the sidewalk in front of his store every night. No word yet on a suspect, motive, or the victim’s condition.
UPDATE: I stopped in Monday morning and spoke to the corner-store’s owner, Mr. Suk Kang. According to Kang, who wasn’t present at the time of the assault but spoke to the victim at the hospital early this morning, a man walked into the store yesterday evening, immediately turned the corner into the small space behind the counter, and stabbed the cashier, Mr. Soon K. Park, in the stomach several times without saying a word. Park grabbed the suspect’s hands and pushed him backward toward the front door, and then the man fled on foot. A second employee was in the back of the store at the time and saw the end of the struggle. Park was able to describe his attacker, a 5-foot-6-inch black man in his early 20s, to police. Nothing was stolen and no motive is known.

Suk Kang, who’s owned the convenience store for 24 years, says this is the first assault on an employee in the store’s history. He also told me that he expected Park to be released from the hospital later today.

Let the Circle Be Unbroken

posted by on May 21 at 8:22 PM

What goes around, comes around.

Bigoted in Belltown

posted by on May 21 at 7:53 PM

Not only, as Eli reported, were churches collecting signatures against the gay civil rights bill in Redmond at places like Ken Hutcherson’s Antioch Bible Church, but churches in the heart of Seattle were collecting signatures as well.

Just got a report from a member of The City Church in Belltown (at 1rst between Clay and Cedar), where a pitch was made (against gay marriage actually), and lots of signatures were collected.

This congregant was outraged, and hung her head in shame while she watched fellow church goers sign the petition.

Well, What Do You Know? Bill Sherman is For Marriage Equality

posted by on May 21 at 4:42 PM

Bill Sherman, one of Jamie Pederson’s opponents in the race to replace Ed Murray in the State House of Reps, just dropped by my houseit wasn’t an appointment, and Bill didn’t know I lived at this address. He’s just out ringing doorbells in the ‘hood.

And what do you know? Bill Shermanlike, oh, all of Jamie Pederson’s other opponents, I’m thinkingis for full marriage equality.

Imagine Life Without Lawncare

posted by on May 21 at 2:53 PM


U-Distict Street Fair

posted by on May 21 at 2:17 PM

Three quick impressions…

1. We hadn’t taken three steps on the Ave. before we had what looked like a petition on a clipboard thrust at us. The young volunteer, looking so very earnest, asked us if we supported marriage equality. Sure, we support marriage equality. Then we should sign, she said. I didn’t realize that anyone was trying to get a marriage-equality referendum on the ballot, I said.

“Oh, it’s not a petition.”

She was asking us to hand our names, mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers over to Jamie Pederson, one of the four dozen or so people running to fill Ed Murray’s state in the State House of Representatives.

Huh. Weird. Here was a Pederson volunteer at the U-District Street Fair making it sound like Jamie was the only candidate running in the 43rd who supports marriage equality. We had the same clipboards thrust at us four more times by Pederson volunteers, each making the same appeal”Do you support marriage equality?”as we made our way up the Ave. Hm. Interestingand dishonest.

Uh, Jamie? Don’t you think that’s dishonest? Don’t all the candidates running to fill Murray’s seatStephanie Pure, Dick Kelley, Lynne Dodson, Bill Sherman, et allsupport marriage equality?

When I asked one of Pederson’s volunteers if any of Jamie’s opponents were against marriage equality, she said she didn’t know for sure“but probably not,” she added. When I asked why she was out there trying to create the impression that the other candidates in the race were opponents of marriage equality, she said, “To get your attention!” Well, it worked. You got my atttention, Jamieand lost my vote.

Way to be a weasel, Pederson.

2. Washington state has a fucked up relationship to booze. Oh, surewe want you to drink it, we tax the hell out of it, and there are ads for booze everywhere. But when it comes to kids, we treat it like it’s some sort of toxin. Beer gardens at our street fairs and festivals have to be walled off, no one under 21 allowed inside. Contrast that to, say, beergardens in Germany, where booze and grownups and kids all mix. It’s all so… civlilzed. Barring children from a beergarden means parents with children can’t go in themand civilized Germany, unlike barbaric Washington state, recognizes that parents are often most in need of a drink.

Anyway, I’m used to seeing walled off beer gardens that I can’t step inside with my son. Ah, too bad for meI’ll go have a drink at home. But there’s a new development, it seems, in our keeping walled off: The Moat.


That’s the beer garden at Big Time Brewery behind not one but two fencesthe better to keep the beer in and the kiddiesand their parentsout. Ridiculous!

Finally, check out the loneliest place on earththe Young Republican booth at the U-District Street Fair…


These boys seemed mighty ticked when I stopped to take their pictureI guess it wasn’t bad enough that they have to sit there and suffer, but then some smirking asshole had to rub salt in their self-inflicted wounds by documenting their misery. Sorry, boys.

For Francis

posted by on May 21 at 8:06 AM

From Mike Davis’ new book Planet of Slums:

“Slum fires, however, are often anything but accidents; rather than bear the expense of court procedures or endure the wait for an official demolition order, landlords and developers frequently prefer the simplicity of arson. Manila has an especially notorious reputation for suspicious fires…. [A] favorite method for what Filipino landlords prefer to call ‘hot demolition’ is to chase a ‘kerosene-drenched burning live rat or cat—dogs die too fast—into an annoying settlement… a fire started this way is hard to fight as the unlucky animal can set plenty of shanties aflame before it dies.’”