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Archives for 06/04/2006 - 06/10/2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Harry Reid Closes the YearlyKos Conference

posted by on June 10 at 8:55 PM


Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid gave the netroots what they wanted tonight in his keynote address at the first ever YearlyKos conference.

Playing to the concerns and suspicions of the blogger base, he announced new legislation “to ensure that Americans are not misled again about a national security challenge.” Reid’s “Iran Intelligence Oversight Act,” which he said he will introduce next week, would require President Bush to report to Congress on his Iran strategy, and also would require U.S. intelligence services to review any statements that Bush and Cheney are planning to make on Iran, in order to ensure that the president and vice president don’t go beyond the consensus of American intelligence analysts.

“Every thing they say will have to be supported by facts,” Reid told the bloggers and “Kossacks,” to loud cheers. “I have no doubt the White House won’t like this requirement, but after what happened in Iraq, the American people deserve nothing less.”


Reid praised the blogosphere for its history of picking apart untruths perpetuated by the right, for its pushing of the Plamegate story, and for its role in helping Democrats defeat Bush’s proposed Social Security privatization. But Reid echoed other politicians who have suggested the blogosphere could do more, encouraging the netroots to “take real action” in addition to blogging and chatting online.

He offered a three-point plan for the liberal blogosphere leading up to the 2006 Congressional elections: Continue parrying conservative attacks (“When Republicans start their attack machine, we’ll shut it down with the facts”); help spread the Democratic message (“There’s an urban myth in Washington that Democrats don’t stand for anything”); and get out from behind the computers more often (“get out in your communities, talk to your neighbors”).

He also offered this perspective on the rise of the Internet and blogs:

I believe with the Internet and Blogs we are witnessing a revolution in communications—on par with the advent of the printing press in the 15th Century. The printing press wrestled control of information away from a powerful few—namely Kings and the Church. And it is the same with the Internet today. Prior to the explosion of Blogs, our national debate was controlled by a handful of media conglomerates. Like the Kings and the Church of old, these powerful entities controlled what news and information made it into the public square. But not anymore. Not with the Internet. To get heard today, you don’t need money. Just good ideas. For the price of a computer and high-speed Internet, you can have a Printing Press, TV Studio and Radio Tower in one. The Internet has put the power of information in our hands, and now it’s time we use it..

We [Democrats] don’t have a bully-pulpit, but we do have you. We need you to be our megaphone.

Reid’s speech tonight (which I’m recounting here based on his prepared remarks) wasn’t the official end of YearlyKos. That comes tomorrow morning, after the Democratic “multifaith service” and the blogger brunch. But it was the emotional high-point for most of the attendees, and it was the end of the conference for me — I’m heading back to Seattle late tonight.

Thanks for all of the comments on my posts from Las Vegas. Like I said at the beginning, I’ll try to address some of your questions and critiques as I’m writing my feature, which will run in this week’s Stranger.

The Licata Option

posted by on June 10 at 8:11 PM

Ever since Stranger news writer Erica C. Barnett broke the news two weeks ago that the city council may not give voters the final say on the viaduct… a debate over the pros and cons of letting the council decide on its own has dominated editorial pages, radio shows, blogs, and cocktail parties for nerds.

In the “No Vote” corner, you’ve got Mayor Nickels, who is nervous that his tunnel option will go down in flames at the ballot box. (Given that he doesn’t have the money to build the thing, it’s no wonder he’s a little nervous.) He’s practically giddy that the council, which has already voted by resolution to support the tunnel, might bypass the voters.

Of course, he can’t admit that. So, the official spin for the No Public Vote is this: The council and the mayor were elected to lead, and so, let the council and the mayor sort through all the options…including: the tunnel; a rebuild; a cool smart growth, surface boulevard option; and a retrofit…and let them make the wisest choice. This, the no-vote logic goes, is better than throwing all this to a heated public campaign w video ads and distortions and “big ugly” sound bites that ultimately wouldn’t offer up a clear majority opinion anyway.

In the “Yes Public Vote” corner, you’ve got tunnel antagonists like Council President Nick Licata. His official argument is that this is the biggest public works (and transportation) project in a generation: Of course the public should weigh in.

I’m of 2 minds about this.
1) Yes, let the council and the mayor decide. For 1nce they should just show some leadership and make a decision on something.
2) No way, Jose. How dare you (Mayor Gridlock) put the monorail to a vote (a 5th vote!), but not put your unfunded, pie-in-the-sky tunnel plan up for a vote.

One thing I’m certain of: I don’t support the rebuild. The rebuild would marginalize the waterfront for another 100 years, and the rebuild would perpetuate our auto-centric status quo—for another 100 years.

Having said that, during this whole recent debate, it’s actually rebuild booster Licata who has made the most sensible compromise suggestion of all.

Yesterday, Licata broke it down, in the Seattle Times :

Licata, who does not support the proposed tunnel, is pushing for a ballot measure that would ask voters whether they want a tunnel, without giving any other options.
“Build a tunnel or not. That’s what the debate is all about,” he said.

Licata is onto something. The fundamental debate here is tunnel or no tunnel. The other options share a common theme: We can afford them. (And in the case of the boulevard option—we’re going to be without the the viaduct for 3 to 5 plus years anyway, so, we’ve already got an “adapt to life without a freeway” plan in the docket.)

The tunnel, however, is a dreamy option. It’s attractive and compelling—maintain capacity while redeveloping the waterfront and reconnecting downtown to the water. But it’s financially duanting. Estimates are between $3 and $6 billion. Voters should be asked in isolation if they want to go for it. If they do, then the Mayor and the council can move forward w a mandate to push the envelope. If the voters don’t go for it, we’re back where we started, looking at less dramatic options that we can afford and the council can sort through on their own.

At that point, I’d support the boulevard option (as do at least 2 council members…w/ 2 others definitely supporting the rebuild & a majority of the rest leaning toward the boulevard). But first, let’s let the voters have a yea or nay on the option that’s already framing the debate: the tunnel. Voting on all the options seems like a muddled waste of time. Voting on none of the options seems unfair given that the Mayor and a majority of the council have already decided on the tunnel. Let’s stop playing games and put that once-in-a-generation decision to a simple test: a public vote.

As Requested: Arianna

posted by on June 10 at 2:30 PM

The commenters have asked, and now I shall deliver. Ladies and gentlemen (and trolls), Ms. Arianna Huffington:


Also, ladies and gentlemen, here is prospective presidential candidate Mark Warner of Virginia, who just finished addressing the conference after dropping some serious cash (according to Arianna) on a blogger party last night at the top of the Stratosphere. After his speech, Warner was mobbed by bloggers and members of the mainstream press, who have descended in increasing numbers as this conference has gone on:


Finally, another example of how the blogosphere is leveling the pundit playing field. Meet Ari Melber, my little brother’s roommate in New York, a graduate of Seattle’s Garfield High, and a frequent blogger at HuffingtonPost. Here is Melber, 26, discussing foreign policy on a panel earlier today:


Kos: “Maureen Dowd is an Insecure, Catty Bitch”

posted by on June 10 at 11:33 AM


I just finished a brief interview with Markos Moulitsas, the man behind DailyKos, and he’s a bit upset with Marueen Dowd. His take on her column in this morning’s New York Times:

Maureen Dowd is an insecure, catty bitch.

Moulitsas tells me that he’s going to be posting his own version of his interview with Dowd on DailyKos soon, and says he’s not worried about getting into a public fight with someone who holds such a prominent spot on the Times’ Op-Ed page.

I reach more people than most of these publications that are interviewing me—I don’t need them.

Expanding on his critique of Dowd, Moulitsas told me, “she’s feeling defensive.” I asked why, and he told me that he asked Dowd the same question during their interview. As he recounts it:

She said, ‘Because Ana Marie Cox got into TIME after two years of blogging, and it took me 15 years to get this job.’

Late-Night Pizza by the Slice

posted by on June 10 at 10:33 AM

Finally! Middle-of-the-night slices! Juliano’s is a new hole in the wall just up Pine from the Baltic Room that serves pizza until 3 a.m Thursdays through Saturday (and until 1:30 a.m. Sun-Wed). Juliano makes your slice to order (thin crust, generous toppings) and then sends it on a slow journey through a conveyer oven while you stand by salivating. Juliano (I’m only assuming that’s his name) is a bit of a health nut; you’ll find an array of fresh veggies on the toppings list. He’s also got a good variety of cheeses (brie!), even a pretty damn edible vegan cheese. Look past the world’s worst signage and give it a try. 1211 Pine St, 382-6095.

As Dean Addresses YearlyKos, Dowd Heads for the Slot Machines

posted by on June 10 at 8:51 AM


Howard Dean is talking now. But before his speech, everyone was buzzing about Maureen Dowd’s column, out this morning, in which she hones in on the New Media vs. Old Media collision that’s been very apparent at this conference. Dowd quotes Kos, who is going to be on Meet The Press tomorrow morning, gloating about how blogs have evened the opinion-maker playing field: “Traditionally it was hard to get your job,” he tells her. “Now regular people can score your job.”

To which she responds:

Fine. I’ll be at the Cleopatra slot machine pondering a career in blogging, which will set me up to get back into mainstream media someday.

The New York Times’ Adam Nagourney has his own take on the conference, here.


And here’s a picture from last night’s meetup of about 20 Washington State bloggers and “Kossacks” who are down in Las Vegas for the conference. At left, in the orange, is “switzerblog”:


The End of Neutrality

posted by on June 10 at 8:15 AM

First AT&T and the telecoms were spying on you…checking out what you do…now they want to control what you do.

For those that missed it, the House voted against Congressman Ed Markey’s (D-MA) “net neurtrality” amendment late in the week. Markey’s amendment (to an omnibus telecom bill) would have prevented the telecom companies from digital red-lining by preventing the telecoms from levying prohbitive web access rates to independent web sites and blogs.

Now, the theory goes… telecom companies will prioritize sites for Internet users based on how much those sites are paying the telecoms.

You know: Just like Congress prioritizes telecom companies based on how much the telecoms are contributing to Congress: Nearly $15 million in the past two election cycles…and 2006 hasn’t even heated up yet.

Consider: AT&T, the lead opponent of Net Neurtrality, is the #2 all-time contributor at the federal level. AT&T has contributed $1.8 million so far in 2006. The telecom industry as a whole has contributed over $4 million.

Don’t have $4 million? Here’s what you can do!

Friday, June 9, 2006

The Latest Weapon in the Abstinence-Only Arsenal

posted by on June 9 at 6:00 PM


Sweet, cherry-flavored lollipops.

Bad News for Tent City IV

posted by on June 9 at 5:49 PM

Tent City IV in Woodinville has to move out by Saturday, June 17.

King County Superior Court agreed w the city of Woodinville today that the North Shore United Church of Christ, which has been hosting the 70-plus Tent City residents since May 13, violated city permitting rules by housing the encampment.

The city is also going after the church financially—arguing that it cost the city tens of thousands of dollars to accommodate the church and Tent City IV.

When Tent City was in Woodinville 2 years ago, the church helped staff and support it, but the encampment was on city land. This time, when Tent City moved from Bellevue to Woodinville in May, Woodinville wouldn’t allow it to be on city land, and so the church donated its own property. The city fought that move, and won in court today.

Neighbors had also been fighting the move by posting pictures around the neighborhood of the church’s pastor adorned w devil’s horns.

Gates Foundation HQs

posted by on June 9 at 4:52 PM

Announced in February 2005, the purchase of a 12-acre site next to Seattle Center for $50.4 million is the most expensive sale of city property in Seattle history. The City Council had to give it special fast-track approval. We even have to demolish one of our precious few skateparks.

So the pressure is on. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, your new headquarters better blow us away. Our demands: a malaria vaccine for every child in sub-Saharan Africa, plus iconic architecture on 5th Avenue North.

With a $27 billion endowment, you can do both.

Right now the foundation leases a former check-processing plant at 1551 Eastlake Ave. “We’re outgrowing it,ā€¯ says spokeswoman Lisa Matchette. “Having this new headquarters will give us a long-term, permanent home and we’ll have the flexibility to have a campus-like design to expand as our programs grow. We’re planning to be there the next hundred years.ā€¯

The campus won’t open till 2010, but it’s being designed now. So the time for constructive criticism is now. Help the people who help the people.

Slideshow after the jump.

Continue reading "Gates Foundation HQs" »

Overheard in the Office

posted by on June 9 at 4:47 PM

Dan Savage: “Megan. Cookies.” (Megan sometimes makes cookies.)
Megan Seling: “I’m not your puppet.”

Some Relevant Stats on the Estate Tax

posted by on June 9 at 4:45 PM

Proponents of the estate-tax repeal that was just defeated yesterday argue, among other things, that the tax hurts farmers and African-Americans, because it prevents farmers from leaving the family farm to their kids, and helps perpetuate the income gap between white and black Americans.

Neither of the claims holds water. As the New York Times reported last year, the estate tax only affects 300 farms - and of those, all but 27 left enough liquid assets to pay the tax. And as Think Progress reported yesterday, of the roughly 38 million blacks in America, only 59 will pay the estate tax in 2006.

Another Reason to Delete Your Myspace Account

posted by on June 9 at 4:19 PM

Sure, it’s a time-waster at work, but this is even worse. Hat tip to Kerri Harrop.

Seattle Tested

posted by on June 9 at 3:55 PM

For all the Democratic Party hacks and wonks who are tracking the run-up to this fall when the Democrats are supposedly going to take back the House & Senate, there’s a Seattle connection to this week’s exciting news out of Montana, where a grassroots, insurgent D, Jon Tester, scored a momentum-building win in Tuesday’s primary.

Tester beat the establishment Democrat, conservative John Morrison, for the chance to take out the incumbent Republican senator, Conrad Burns. Tester, who was outspent 3 to 1, won by more than 25% in the primary. Here’s DailyKos on Tester’s win last Tuesday night.

Tester’s TV ads (a cute spot that hyped Tester’s “flat top” farmer’s haircut) and Tester’s mail were done by two Seattle-based consultants, Dan Kully & Christian Sinderman respectively. Sinderman also advised Tester’s team on the their campaign ground game and sent two of his staffers out to Montana for the week leading up to the primary…to do some serious GOTV work.

The grass roots Democratic surge in Montana is ready for round two. Bring on Burns.

Burns is a poster child for the Culture of Corruption. Between 2001 and 2004, while the chair of the Interior Subcommittee on Appropriations, Burns received nearly $150,000 in campaign contributions from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Abramoff’s clients, and other donors connected to Abramoff. He’s also an archconservative, scoring zero ratings from NARAL and the ACLU (w a 5% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.) Meanwhile, he scores 100% w the Christian Coalition and a 94% from the National Chamber of Commerce.

My ulterior motive for posting this: Maria Cantwell, get your shit together, and tap local talent. Right now, as opposed to Tester, you’ve got about as much momentum as a Richard Conlin committee meeting.

The Boxer

posted by on June 9 at 3:16 PM

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), giving the lunch keynote today at YearlyKos:


She praised the netroots, and told a questioner who was worried about the low opinion that some powerful Democrats are said to have of bloggers: “You shouldn’t worry about what other people think. Just do what you’re doing, because it’s working.”

HUMP! is On!

posted by on June 9 at 2:41 PM

Our first annual amateur porn contest was such a smash that we had to do it again—HUMP! is back!


Full details are in this week’s paper. Soon we’ll have a dedicated page on our website where HUMPsters can trade tips, post casting calls, find crews, and swap gossip as Seattle’s one-and-only festival of locally produced porn comes together.

We’ve made a few changes to the festival this year—shorter films (max length this year is 8 minutes, not 12), bigger grand prize (a trip to Vegas for 2 and $2,000 cash), and films can be submitted on DVD or VHS; and lots more screenings!

One thing we haven’t changed: This porn festival safe and anonymous for actors and filmmakers! Just like last year, we’ll make one master tape and a single backup from the HUMP! entries, and return the originals to the filmmakers, and we destroy our copies in front of the audience after the last screening. HUMP! lets you be a porn star for the weekend—not for life!

HUMP! takes place at the Northwest Film Forum September 8-9, 2006. So if you’re looking for something fun to do on your summer vacation, we’ve got the answer—make some porn!

“God Reveals Renewable Energy Source to Pat Robertson”

posted by on June 9 at 2:38 PM

Burning heretics!

(From Gristmill.)

Famous in Finland

posted by on June 9 at 2:36 PM

Who are these freaks?


Read all about ‘em at Lineout

Al Gore Compared To Nazis - Again!

posted by on June 9 at 2:30 PM

“It’s like Hitler. Hitler said a little bit of truth, and then he mixed in ‘and it’s the Jews’ fault.’ That’s where things get a little troublesome, and that’s exactly what’s happening [in An Inconvenient Truth].”

Weird Al is Back!

posted by on June 9 at 2:28 PM

weirdal0622_big.jpgYou know how certain celebrities will fall out of favor, disappear for a few years, and then when they finally return you’re like, “WOW! I LOVE THIS GUY!” Well, I just had a similar experience with Weird Al Yankovic. I grew up lovin’ him, then enjoyed loathing him, and now that he’s making fun of British priss rocker James Blunt I’M LOVIN’ HIM AGAIN! Check out his parody of Blunt’s annoying “You’re Beautiful” that he has retitled “You’re Pitiful.”
Listen to it here!

Scenic Dope

posted by on June 9 at 1:26 PM

If you’ve spent any time wondering what theater, TV, and film scenic artists do in their own studios, when they don’t have to worry about someone else’s plot, check out BallardWorks this weekend:

BALLARDWORKS Curated by Cynthia Moore and Mona Lang, Scenic Dope brings together the work of 25 visual artists who make their living in film, theater, and TV. Reception Sat June 10, 6—9 pm. Through July 2. 2856 NW Market St, 784-9987.

SIFF: Party People and an Amphibious Sea Hag

posted by on June 9 at 12:56 PM

Yesterday’s The Heart of the Game afterparty was a chill affair, with lots of adorable kids running around, some discussion of the nastiest caffeine/ethanol combination known to man (that would be Rockstar + tequila, if you’re keeping track), and only one basketball in sight.

I met filmmaker Lynn Shelton (We Go Way Back, playing next Tuesday at 9:30 pm at the Egyptian and Saturday the 17th at 1:30 pm at the Egyptian) for the first time—she was rad. I bitched to SIFF Artistic Director Carl Spence about the problematic projection at the Egyptian Wednesday night, which made Lynn cringe, while Michael Seiwerath shared some projectionist horror stories of his own (none involving NWFF, bien sĆ»r). SIFF AD Emerita Helen Loveridge proclaimed Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, which she had seen at Cannes, to be excellent.

Chris Paine, the director of Who Killed the Electric Car? (tonight at 7 pm at the Egyptian), talked about the movies he had liked at another festival (they were The Guatemalan Handshake and something else that sounded intolerably earnest). Today he emailed to encourage me to come to the screening (I’ll go if my early Prius-adopter dad will come with me) and to inform me that “my eyes dance when [I’m] explaining myself.” Confidential to Chris: poor eye contact does not poetry make.

And finally, a new review, by Lindy West, of the Sarah Polley-starring Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf & Grendel.

The movie screens at SIFF again tomorrow at 9:30 pm at the Egyptian, and it opens for its U.S. theatrical premiere in Seattle (and Seattle only) at the Varsity next Friday. (What, do they think New York and LA moviegoers aren’t gonna like amphibious sea hags or something?)

“The Woman Is Wild, a She-Cat Tamed by the Purr of a Jaguar”

posted by on June 9 at 12:46 PM

Personal story: When I was a little kid I distinctly remember sitting in the back of the Frizzelle station wagon and riding the freeways of San Jose while my mom listened to the radio and, often as not, cried. The station she liked played Hall & Oates ALL THE TIME. Two months ago, I started buying and listening to music that reminds me of my parents, that I’d rejected because it was mainstream or whatever but that, on relistening, makes me pretty damn happy. I’ve been listening to Hall & Oates ALL THE TIME. The big hits, mainly—”Maneater,” “Private Eyes,” “Rich Girl,” “Sara Smile,” “One on One.” Imagine my surprise when I learned, last week, that Hall & Motherfucking Oates are playing the Paramount. Ladies and gentlemen, they’re playing the Paramount TONIGHT. Hannan Levin writes in Stranger Suggests:

Hall & Oates
It’s an unfortunate reality that the mere mention of Daryl and John’s surnames produces snickers and recitations of the chorus from “Maneater.” They’ve been reduced to an ’80s punch line, but the reality is that their white-boy soul fusions were built with some exceptionally strong pop songwriting skills. Do yourself a favor, go listen to “Rich Girl” with fresh ears and hear it for yourself. (Paramount, 911 Pine St, 292-0888. 8 pm, $37—$67, all ages.)

I part ways with Levin on this because I’ll go to bat for “Maneater” any day of the week and twice on Sunday. It’s just so catchy and so supremely weird. Some of the lyrics I’m just learning now—for instance, who knew he’s singing “The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar” [and why the initial cap? is this just bad grammar, or a reference to the car? {also, aren’t those pictures along the side amazing? the saxophone? the beret?}]—but that chorus is as deep in my psyche as the topography of California.

EXTRA DOUBLE-SCOOP CAN-YOU-BELIEVE-IT INSIDE TIP: It just so happens—it’s so cosmic—that Harvey Danger has been working on their fabled cover of “Maneater” and will be perfoming it this very night, giving you, Seattle resident, the opportunity, since the Hall & Oates show starts at 8 and Harvey Danger take the stage (at the Crocodile) probably somewhere between 11 and midnight, to see two hit bands doing “Maneater” in one night.

And people say this town is boring…

Tsunamis and Terrorists in Oregon

posted by on June 9 at 12:45 PM

For anyone planning to head south for Portland’s Gay Pride festivities on June 18—cancel your plans. There’s a Gaypocolypse in the forecast.

From my colleague Scott Moore, whose friend works at a church, where this creepy missive landed in her inbox this morning:

————— Forwarded message ————— Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 13:15:46 -0700 (PDT) Subject: Urgent Message: Portland will have disaster in June 18, 2006!

Dear Pastor,

Please pray to God when you receive this message and seek God’s guidance to you and your congregation.

3 people from 3 different places and churches received vision from God about this disaster. 3 people include a pastor, a church elder and a church missionary.

Here is the information about the disaster:

1. In June 18, 2006 (the coming Father’s Day), there will be a Gay Pride Parade in Portland, Oregon.
2. This Gay Pride Parade will bring the judgment of God to Portland.
3. At June 18, 2006, there will be a huge earthquake happen in Portland area, the earthquake will cause a collapse of Bonneville Dam. A wall of water will flood and destroy Portland.
4. There will be another earthquake happen in the West Coast, cause a Tsunami and the Tsunami will go to Portland from Columbia River. So Portland will be flooded also by the Tsunami. (Portland is about 50 miles away from the sea coast.)
5. There will be a team of terrorists, who will bring automatic weapons (machine guns) and kill as many survivors as they can after the disaster. They kill people before the National Guard will arrive there.
6. Portland and the nearby Willamette Valley will be destroyed.
7. God urge the Christians to leave that area.

Scott adds: I love how the terrorists appear to be immune to—and colluding with—the series of natural disasters. I guess they were CC’d on the memo God sent to the Earth’s molten core, subject line: “Finally killing off all those homos and homolovers.”

The basis of the email apparently came from the pastor of the Beth Tefilah Messianic Congregation in Salem. His highly entertaining “warning” can be found here.

FOX: We’re Against Massacring Civilians

posted by on June 9 at 12:22 PM

This is about a week old, but it’s too wonderful to pass up.

FOX News’ John Gibson, who so valiantly fought to preserve his favorite Christian holiday, feels the need to clarify something about his values…

My Word

My word indeed.

[via Think Progress]

It’s almost noon…

posted by on June 9 at 11:55 AM

And I’ve yet to get any actual work done. It’s all this website’s fault.

Is There An Explanation For This?

posted by on June 9 at 11:48 AM

Gnarles, take it away—to a galaxy far, far away.

There’s a Future for Stranger Interns

posted by on June 9 at 11:47 AM

I’ve been alerted that former Stranger intern Toby Shuster, who moved to NYC last year, has a blog…and yesterday said blog was spotlighted on Gawker. Click on the link to alongthoselines.

R-65: Missed Opportunity. For Gays

posted by on June 9 at 11:40 AM

While it’s true that Tim Eyman pitched his (now dead) anti-gay rights initiative as a stop-gap measure against gay marriage, it always bugged me that liberals and gay rights advocates condemned him for using that tactic.

(Remember how gay rights supporters freaked about those videos that played on Referendum Sunday because the clever propaganda spots linked the two issues?)

“Unfair, unfair!” gay rights advocates cried. “The two issues are separate!”

The reason gay rights supporters freak when opponents of gay rights link gay rights and gay marriage is this: 1) It’s an effective sound bite & …

2) The conservatives are right: If you can’t discriminate against gays, you can’t prevent them from getting married.

Unfortunately, by maintaining & hammering away at the point that the gay rights and gay marriage aren’t linked, gay rights groups have put themselves in a box & have missed a big opportunity.

If they had admitted that Eyman was right—that gay rights and gay marriage are linked—Gay rights advocates would now be able to say that Eyman’s failure to get his anti-gay rights referendum on the ballot was a clear signal that Washington doesn’t have a problem w gay marriage.

Certainly, gay rights advocates can do a double reverse back flip and say…even though we don’t think it’s true that the two issues are linked…Eyman did pitch it that way…and so, this shows that Washington doesn’t have a problem w gay marriage.

However, it’d be much less convoluted, and way more compelling, if gay rights advocates had admitted all along that Eyman was right—the two issues are linked—and so, could now say definitively (w out having to backtrack on their own initial disingenuous position) that Washington doesn’t have a problem w gay marriage.

Certainly, it would have been a gamble for gay rights advocates to let Eyman frame the debate, but sometimes when you gamble there’s a big pay off.

Mostly, I guess, I’m bummed that gay rights advocates were chicken to take Eyman head on…and in fact, were themselves being disingenuous.

Three Good Discoveries

posted by on June 9 at 11:23 AM

1. Philip Kennicott’s piece in today’s Washington Post about what the gilt frame around Zarqawi’s dead head at yesterday’s press conference means. I love it when arts writer Kennicott does work like this, reading the larger culture instead of sticking only to symbols (artistic) that ask to be read. An excerpt:

Zarqawi is gone and good riddance. But there’s nothing in the image of his face that deserves a frame. It’s a small thing, to be sure. But it suggests a cynicism about this war that is profoundly distressing. Our political and military leaders simply can’t resist packaging the war and wrapping it up in a bow.

2. Looks like Jeff Koons’s next subject is The Incredible Hulk. I’m still not sure what to make of Koons—plenty of critics I admire (Jerry Saltz above all) are champions of Koons, but he often rubs me the wrong way. His overwhelming success in the market does, too: When Tobias Meyer was here at EMP on Tuesday, he showed a slide of Koons’ vacuums (which, admittedly, are among his very best works). They sold for $4.7 million in May. Meyer said, “Very few people don’t see it’s genius,” as the EMP audience shifted and almost audibly groaned. “Koons is one of the great artists, next to Warhol and Picasso,” Meyer continued, informing the unwashed Seattleites. “Up to a few years ago, some people would have disagreed with me, but now, nobody disagrees about this.” What he meant was, nobody of importance. Even though I love this work, I couldn’t help but grimace at the speech.

3. The Thinker/Laborer split brought up by the New York Times May 7 article, which I wrote about here, is really getting bloggers and their commenters talking. Today I learned of two more takes on it, at leisurearts (“We’ve always wondered how a supposedly theoretically savvy art world can still cling to the mind/body lacuna” despite its political, feminist, and cognitive problematics) and from Deborah Fisher, who has begun reworking a definition of craft and proposing a category of artists called MakerThinkers, including Bruce Nauman, Chris Burden, Marina Abramovic, Dan Graham. In fact, her invocation of a lot of ’70s performance-based stuff is intriguing, since it is hardly associated with craft, but is definitely associated with an awareness about production rather than a denial of production.

And just for kicks, here’s an image. It’s Koons’ New Hoover Deluxe Shampoo Polishers from 1980.


From Harper’s

posted by on June 9 at 11:22 AM


The Seattle School

posted by on June 9 at 11:09 AM

Apparently Vancity, the home base of the Vancouver International Film Festival as well as a year-round movie theater, has decided that the recent spate of films coming out of Seattle constitutes—if not a Seattle school of filmmaking—than at least a cohesive topic worthy of collective consideration.

The program, called Seattle Beat, kicks off this July with (what else?) Police Beat, written by our very own Charles Mudede.


The schedule follows:

“Police Beat is a real-world vision of what American indies could be if they dared to recognize the drama in our own neighborhoods.—Rob Nelson, The Village Voice

July 28-August 1, 3

Fri: 7:30; Sat: 7:30; Sun: 7:30; Mon: 7:30; Tues: 7:30; Thurs: 7:30

Director: Robinson Devor // Cast: Pape S. Niang, Anna Oxygen // USA 2005 // 80 minutes // DigiBeta //

July 28: 9:15; August 2: 7:30; August 3: 9:15

Director: Lynn Shelton // Cast: Amber Hubert, Maggie Brown, Robert Hamilton Wright // USA 2006 // 80 minutes // 35mm // Produced by The Film Company

July 29: 9:15

Director: Gregg Lachow // Cast: Megan Murphy, Jeff Weatherford // USA 1999 // 109 minutes // 35mm // Produced by Northwest Film Forum

July 30: 9:15

Director: Matt Wilkins // Cast: Earl V. Prebezac, Frances Hearn, Keith Fox//USA 2004 // 84 minutes // Beta SP // Produced by Northwest Film Forum

August 1: 9:15

Director: William Weiss // Cast: Ricahrd Arnold, Mark Wilt, Elizabeth Arnold // USA 2006 // 82 minutes // DigiBeta Produced by The Film Company

July 31: 9:15; August 2: 9:15

Director: Paul Willis // Cast: Heidi Schreck, Matt Ford, Tricia Rodley // USA 2004 // 90 minutes // MiniDV // Produced by Northwest Film Forum


posted by on June 9 at 11:05 AM

Will in the comments is making a plea for some “crazy pics” from the blogger conference. Sorry to disappoint, Will, but the “Plame-ology” panel, which I’m currently sitting in, is full of some seriously sane-looking people who have been tracking the CIA leak case on their blogs and in their small publications for a long, long time — and in a much more detailed/obsessive way than the mainstream media.

If you’re not a Plame-gate addict, this post may not mean a lot to you, but if you’ve been following this story online (as I have, on and off, for some time) you may be interested to see what some of the bylines and blog handles look like in person.

Here is Marcy Wheeler from The Next Hurrah:


Here’s Jane Hamsher from FiredogLake, sitting next to Dan Froomkin from The Washington Post (who basically admitted during this discussion that the bloggers have been kicking the MSM’s ass on this story):


Here’s Murray Waas, who is being described here (and elsewhere) as the Bob Woodward of the CIA leak story. (Note to Dick Cheney: Waas just told us that if there was a better healthcare system in this country, he wouldn’t have had to stop his no-health-benefits freelancing life and get a full time job covering Plamegate). Next to Waas is Christy Hardin Smith, also of FiredogLake:


And here’s former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose New York Times Op-Ed started the whole thing, seated next to Larry C. Johnson, formerly of the CIA:


What Are Lesbians?

posted by on June 9 at 10:56 AM

They’re not homosexuals—at least according to a judge in the UK.

Elizabeth Muhwezi is today being held under suicide watch at Yarls Wood detention centre, awaiting Home Office directions for her deportation to Uganda on 11 June, where she will be at serious risk of persecution on the grounds of her lesbianism. Uganda is one of the most homophobic countries in Africa—and the world….

Previously, an adjudicator at Manchester Immigration and Asylum Tribunal dismissed Elizabeth’s asylum appeal, stating that evidence submitted describing the persecution faced by “homosexuals” in Uganda only refers to gay men. Women, according to the judgement, cannot be understood to be “homosexual.”

Sign this petition and you might just help save a lesbian’s life.

Draw Blood!

posted by on June 9 at 10:44 AM

I saw The Heart of the Game last night at SIFF. It is a documentary about the Roosevelt High School girl’s basketball team. It was terrific. I was on the edge of my seat throughout—the movie was full of action, humor, and drama. For those who love basketball, a must-see. For others, the personal stories and the local basis of the movie make it absolutely worth watching.

The Seattle premiere was rowdy, with the players, families, coach, and filmmakers all in attendance. Even the Roosevelt Marching Band was there playing outside the theater, including a totally darling girl tuba player.

See The Stranger SIFF Guide review here.

The Heart of the Game plays again on June 11 at 4:15 p.m. at Lincoln Square. It opens for a regular run at the Guild 45th and Pacific Place on June 14.

Podcasting Strangerly

posted by on June 9 at 10:43 AM

I made it down to Drinking Liberally for the first time earlier this week, where I got wasted with some of the brightest lights in the Democratic party. I also got some video of a certain Democrat operative swearing up a storm—video I will release if said Dem doesn’t take my calls, pay me compliments, and do my bidding. (You have been warned, SK!) Anyhow, Eli Sanders was there too, and along with Ed Murray we got drafted for what has to be the gayest Podcasting Liberally ever. You can listen to us discuss Tim Eyman, gay marriage, the Monorail (who’s still bitter?), and other subjects with Goldy and his crack squad of brilliant local bloggers by clicking here.

I, Anonymous: Music Edition

posted by on June 9 at 10:41 AM

In addition to the fierce anti-Ben Harper screed in this week’s paper, there have been a couple other good ‘n creepy music-related I, Anonymous submissions in the I, Anon forum.

First up is a relatively fluffy entry asking an age-old question: How come rock bands insist on looking like scowling, humorless twats in their publicity photos?

The second entry is much weightier and creepier, involving a local female concertgoer, the recent Too Short show, and an allegedly misplaced penis.

(Feel free to offer your answers to the first entry and outrage over the second over in Line Out.)

Pharmacist Refusal Clauses on Daily Show

posted by on June 9 at 10:26 AM

Someone forwarded this hilarious clip of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (hero in the fight against pharmacist refusal clauses) appearing on the Daily Show.

Why We Fight

posted by on June 9 at 10:10 AM

From the UK Independent:

The women of Basra have disappeared. Three years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, women’s secular freedoms - once the envy of women across the Middle East - have been snatched away because militant Islam is rising across the country.

Across Iraq, a bloody and relentless oppression of women has taken hold. Many women had their heads shaved for refusing to wear a scarf or have been stoned in the street for wearing make-up. Others have been kidnapped and murdered for crimes that are being labelled simply as “inappropriate behaviour”. The insurrection against the fragile and barely functioning state has left the country prey to extremists whose notion of freedom does not extend to women.

What was all that talk about America being the liberators of Iraqis? Evidently it’s only going to apply to those with both an X and a Y chromosome.

Titsworth the Axe Murderer and His Beef Enchilada Redux

posted by on June 9 at 10:05 AM

Preamble: I hurriedly—and carelessly—posted this yesterday with a dead link. My apologies. Here it is anew, with the fixed link and minus the comments about the bad link. Please enjoy the pleasures of other peoples’ last meals. And this photo of a morbid root vegetable.

Original post: I was reading this story about a recently-executed axe murderer.

For his final meal, Titsworth requested beef fajitas with jalapeno peppers, a rib eye steak with a baked potato, beef enchiladas with cheese and Mountain Dew soda.

I wondered if anybody was keeping track of last meals. I googled. It turns out, somebody is. (The fact that they call themselves “Dead Man Eating” and sell merch like jockstraps and coffee mugs shouldn’t deter you. Keep your eyes on the right-hand column.) Mexican food, fried chicken, and steak feature prominently.

Tragedy + Mime = Comedy

posted by on June 9 at 9:13 AM

Terrorists attack, thousands die, and a nation wonders if it will ever laugh again. Witness the awesome healing powers of mime…

An Infiltrator!

posted by on June 9 at 9:07 AM

If my pictures from the YearlyKos convention aren’t doing it for you, try the view from a conservative infiltrator, who writes:

People here are largely, disappointingly, golf-shirted, short-haired, and white bread. Grooming and hygiene are up to western business standards. There is one dude wearing a pith helmet and another guy in a kilt, but the freakish T-shirts I brought along a camera for are not popping up. Oh, I spoke too soon, there’s a girl in an I HAD AN ABORTION t-shirt…

“Oh, and by the way, betch…”

posted by on June 9 at 8:47 AM


Help. I. Can’t. Stop. Watching. This. (Requires Quicktime)

The most addictive song and video of the year. Flaming hula hoops, dueling robots, and just a sprinkle of Dina Martina—who can resist?

Hat tip to Jhames.

Love Is…

posted by on June 9 at 8:19 AM

Good morning! From the eternally replenishing well of Hot Tips that is my fella Jake comes today’s reason to live: a blog called the The End of Humor, the most dazzling offering of which is a series of bastardized versions of Love Is….

For those out of the freaky single-panel comic loop, Love Is… is the classic daily comic strip devoted, as Homer Simpson put it, to “two naked 8-year-olds who are married.” The strip has always been creepy, but thanks to work of some brilliant and fearless copyright-infringers, it’s finally taken over the edge to its natural end.


For more entries in the fucked-up Love Is… Olympics, go here.

More YearlyKos Photo Blogging

posted by on June 9 at 8:05 AM

Ok, I’m aware that no one was impressed by this image from the blogger conference that I’m currently attending in Las Vegas. (Said one commenter: “Dude, that looks seriously boring.”)

Well, it got better as Thursday went on. Here, from a Thursday afternoon caucus session, is Maureen Dowd, grilling Jerome Armstrong from MyDD:


Maybe she’s thinking, “Dude, this is seriously boring,” but it didn’t seem that way. Guess we’ll find out in her next column. Also here at the conference: The New York Times’ Adam Nagourney and The Washington Post’s Dan Balz, so look for stories in those two papers soon about the netroots’ big meetup in Sin City (and please put links to the stories in the comments if you see them before I do).

Later Thursday, Markos Moulitsas ZĆŗniga (aka Kos of DailyKos) addressed the blog-struck masses. Wondering what he looks like? Here he is:


And just so you don’t think this conference is all geeks staring at their computer screens:


A slight detour: This is for Jen Graves, and it was taken on a walk through the Bellagio with a very nice science-minded guy from this New York magazine. (For the record, I blame the lack of focus in this picture on the fact that in Las Vegas, one can walk down the street carrying a margarita poured into a giant plastic pagoda):


Finally, here is Gen. Wesley Clark, rallying the tipsy blog troops at “The Joint,” in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino:


The Morning News

posted by on June 9 at 1:02 AM

Iraq: Hopeful, but still fucked.

Plagiarism: Repeats itself.

Estate tax: Still plaguing the rich.

The border: Under surveillance.

Cervical-cancer vaccine: approved, but Christians still hate it.

LA Dem William Jefferson: Not indicted, but still out.

Delay: Defensive, unrepentant, disgraced.

Gay-bashing: not just for Christians anymore.

World Ocean Day: was yesterday.

Sex: nothing new.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

How The Other Half Shops

posted by on June 8 at 10:21 PM

So I was downtown tonight—me and Frizzelle had a gig, very high-end, very swank—and needed a drink. We crossed 5th Ave. to go to the, er, can’t remember the name of the place. The bar that sits under that weird building on the narrow base? You know, the one that you don’t want to be standing under during an earthquake? Anyhoo, crossing the street we noticed that there was a little party going on at Louis Vuitton…


A private party—in a shoe store? With valet parking! There was a clump of boys—the valet parkers—standing around on the curb. The party was in full swing, and the boys were hanging out waiting to fetch the cars they had already parked. There was a crowd of very glam women milling around in the store, checking out the shoes. There were wine glasses, there was food. And the women looked… rich. And thin. And well-shod.


We watched the women shop, and they watched us take some pictures, which they didn’t seem to appreciate. So we decided to run along and get our drink. We wound up at that bar under that building that’s on the narrow base—you know, the bar the building will probably fall on if there’s ever a big earthquake. The host was very nice, very young, and very good looking, and showed us to a table in the bar. The waitress, however, was very rude. She told us she would have to see our IDs and walked away. We sat there with our IDs on the table for a while, then got up and left. On the way out I took a picture of the host’s butt.


Hate the Smoking Ban? Move to Las Vegas

posted by on June 8 at 6:21 PM

Where you can smoke at the bars, smoke at the urinals, smoke at the gambling tables, smoke at the restaurants… And where, in a complete inversion of the non-smoker reward system that’s taking shape in other cities, the smoking rooms at my hotel have views like this:


While the non-smoking rooms, as I’ve discovered the hard way, have views like this:


The Pageant of the Weird Where Everyone Gets Together to Celebrate Books By Ritually Destroying Their Bodies for a Weekend and Pretending They’re on a First-Name Basis with Celebrities

posted by on June 8 at 5:24 PM

Paul Constant’s awesome piece in this week’s book section about the big once-a-year publishing convention BEA is being picked up by a bunch of other blogs—including Quill & Quire and Maud Newton and Arts Journal. It’s required reading for book-world types. Plus, it has priceless anecodotes about this guy and this guy and this guy.

SIFF: Baby Chick Murdering Madman!

posted by on June 8 at 4:57 PM

Brand-new reviews today: VishwaThulasi (a Kollywood musical featuring a married virgin, a humble rich man, and a baby chick-murdering madman) , Blood Rain (arson! snuff scenes!), and Malas Temporadas (hard times, indeed).

And a rant for the projectionist at the Egyptian last night: Check the aspect ratio! Poke your head out and check the sound levels! Do not allow the film to catch fire! (Seriously, folks. It does look cool to see the burning, but those frames are lost to that print forever.) Adjust the frame so you can see both the subtitles and people’s heads! Geez. That screening was seriously messed up.

Something to Spend Your Hard-Earned Money On

posted by on June 8 at 4:51 PM

Jen Graves suggests a film for tonight:

‘Maxed Out’
For the love of God, do not attend this awesome film if you cannot afford it, unless you want to end up like several of this movie’s subjects: dead. Don’t let the documentary tag fool you—this is a horror film, about the rapaciousness of credit-card companies, banks, and collection agencies, and the destruction they cause in the lives of regular families made vulnerable by the simple vicissitudes of life and the complicity of senators and presidents. Be afraid. (Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 324-9996. 6:45 pm, $10.)

This is What The Blogger Conference Looks Like

posted by on June 8 at 4:29 PM



I’ve arrived at the tragically 70s Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, where the YearlyKos convention is being held, and if you want to know what a blogger conference looks like — well, the above is what a blogger conference looks like.

Lots of people staring into their computers, lots of people snapping digital pics of other people staring into their computers (guilty), lots of earnest conversations about the great online future…

I’m off to one of the talks soon, but I promise I’ll post a glorious picture of The Strip later on (as seen from my very un-glorious hotel room). Meanwhile, having never been to Vegas before, I just want to say: What the fuck?

Also: Did I really just eat a chicken sandwich while listening to La Isla Bonita while sitting next to an elderly woman who had just pulled in (on a motorized scooter) from the slot machines? And why do I feel like I’ve smoked two packs of cigarettes already?

P.S. For the folks in the comments: No Arianna sightings yet, but of course I’ll let you know as soon as one occurs.

The David Goldstein Show

posted by on June 8 at 4:07 PM

I called Goldy today to get his ssn and address (we still owe him for an article he wrote), and he said, “Hey, I’m gonna have an announcement later today…”

He sounded pretty excited.

“Are they giving you a radio show?” I joked, knowing that he filled in on KIRO last Sunday night.

And the answer is: Yes they are.

Michael Hood at blatherWatch has a nice write up on the news. It’s gonna be 7-10pm on KIRO Sunday nights, starting immediately… or “starting last Sunday night,” as Goldy just told me.

Goldy also posts about it on his blog, and offers this shout out to fellow blogger Stefan Sharkansky:

And finally a not quite as sincere thanks to our good friend Stefan Sharkansky. It is ironic to note that it was Stefan’s excerpt of Sandeep saying “fuckā€¯ on our podcast, and my subsequent defense of it on my new colleague Dori Monson’s show, that initially perked up the ears of KIRO management. Thank you Stefan for everything you have done to promote my career.

Video Game: The gateway drug

posted by on June 8 at 3:30 PM

Amsterdam is opening the world’s first detox center for video game addicts. Since January, Keith Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants, has already treated 20 gaming addicts ages 13-30.

“Video games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs—and just as hard to kick,” says Bakker. Symptoms include sweating, shaking, and persistent virginity.

Hyke van der Heijden, 28, a graduate of the Amsterdam program, started playing video games 20 years ago. By the time he was in college he was gaming about 14 hours a day and using drugs to play longer.

I’ve never been an addict myself, but in college I dated a guy who would play Tribes all night, every night. He was a Tribe Warrior or something. I was supposed to be impressed by that. It was while watching him that I began to suspect the addiction timeline progresses thusly: video games, pot, heroin, death, sims character.

Keeping Anderson Cooper Honest

posted by on June 8 at 2:44 PM

So I was reading the Stranger on my lunch break—as I do every week, because I miss you guys (also, because I still have a geeky obsession with the neighborhoods beat)—and I noticed the full-page ad on page 19 touting a visit by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Cooper will be “On Location in Seattle” on Friday, June 16.

Live from Seattle, Anderson Cooper “Keeping Them Honest” on local issues — the fertility drug black market, the worldwide Starbucks’ phenomenon and why the Wapato Jail facility remains empty.

Now, I don’t claim to speak for all you Cooper fans in Seattle, but I do wonder if you’ll be at all interested in the “local” Wapato Jail issue, seeing as how that empty county jail is… down here in Portland.

Happy to Pander

posted by on June 8 at 1:59 PM

The Democrats are in a tizzy because Mike McGavick attended a rally yesterday to support the renewed GOP push for an amendment to the Constitution against flag burning.

It’s a silly amendment. (And certainly raises 1st Amendment issues.)

The Dem’s beef is that in an article in yesterday’s PI about the GOP’s desperate election season attempt to divert attention away from serious issues (the $400 billion deficit, Iraq, gas prices, NSA spying, corruption) w demagogue issues like gay marriage and flag burning, McGavick said: “The frustration people feel is a reflection of deeper partisanship that has prevented things from getting things done.”

The D’s point being, if McGavick is so frustrated w gross partisanship, why is he pandering w an off-point, divisively partisan issue like flag burning.

It’s a good question, and it certainly outs McGavick as talking out of both sides of his mouth.

I’ve got a call out to McGavick’s campaign to ask them what’s up, but I’ll take a shot at answering the question myself: McGavick, unlike Cantwell, is happy to throw a bone to his base.

Flower Revolution

posted by on June 8 at 1:33 PM

I’m not sure if this passage has any scientific value, as it was written in the 60s by the anthropologist Loren Eiseley, but for as long as humans are around, and for as long as a good number of these humans communicate with English, and for as long as a small number of these English speakers have spots in their spines that are sensitive to the slightest changes in light and sound, this passage will certainly have value as poetry.

Once upon a time there were no flowers at all.

A little while ago - about one hundred million years, as the geologist estimates in the history of our four-billion-year-old planet - flowers were not to be found anywhere on the five continents. Wherever one might have looked, from the poles to the equator, one would have seen only the cold dark monotonous green of a world whose plant life possessed no other color.

Somewhere, just a short time before the close of the Age of Reptiles, there occurred soundless, violent explosion. It lasted millions of years, but it was an explosion, nevertheless. It marked the emergence of the angiosperms - the flowering plants. Even the great evolutionist Charles Darwin called them “an abominable mystery,” because they appeared so, suddenly and spread so fast.

Flowers changed the face of the planet. Without them, the world we know - even man himself - would never have existed.


Blue Orchid

The House of Representatives, Hard at Work

posted by on June 8 at 1:09 PM

Whew! I’m so glad we’re back on track as a country and have finally gotten our priorities straight.

Angelina Jolie’s Baby Pix!

posted by on June 8 at 12:56 PM

Here is the first (alleged) photo of Brangelina’s bouncing baby girl Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.


My opinion? Ehhhhhhhhhh… I’ve seen cuter. Like who? Like how about the absolutely ADORABLE baby pictured after the jump?

Continue reading "Angelina Jolie's Baby Pix!" »

Sculpture Park Opening Set

posted by on June 8 at 12:50 PM

While I’ve been Slogging up a storm about relatively irrelevant things (I know, I don’t know what’s gotten into me), there was some news yesterday on my beat that I missed: the Olympic Sculpture Park is opening with a big fat party Saturday Oct 28, and Sun Oct 29.

The City of Lost Children

posted by on June 8 at 12:30 PM

Tired of the long lines at SIFF? The bizarre and fabulous French film The City of Lost Children plays through Sunday, June 11, at Central Cinema. Cloned assistants, child stealing, and Siamese twins combine in a visually stunning and imaginative story. Well worth a viewing. And of course being able to have drinks and food served to you during the movie is always a fabulous experience.

Central Cinema is at 1411 21st Avenue at Union Street. Shows are at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m. (Late show 21+).

The Rumors Are True

posted by on June 8 at 12:01 PM


Read all about it on Line Out.

Another Reason to Buy the Plane Ticket

posted by on June 8 at 11:57 AM

If morality is so understood—as one of the achievements of human will, dictating to itself a mode of acting and being in the world—it becomes clear that no general antagonism exists between the form of consciousness, aimed at action, which is morality, and the nourishment of consciousness, which is aesthetic experience. Only when works of art are reduced to statements which propose a specific content, and when morality is identified with a particular morality (and any particular morality has its dross, those elements which are no more than a defense of limited social interests and class values)—only then can a work of art be thought to undermine morality. Indeed, only then can the full distinction between the aesthetic and the ethical be made.

There are lots of reasons to love Susan Sontag, and my favorite is the size of her project as a critic. The above isn’t from an essay on photography—it’s from 1965’s On Style, but it presages what was to come in her writings, especially in 1977’s On Photography (“Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato’s cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth,” it begins) and 2003’s Regarding the Pain of Others. On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Museum in New York opened a photography show devoted to Sontag. (Hat tip to Modern Art Notes.) Most of the text is from her own writings, and in some cases—images by August Sander, Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, and Robert Mapplethorpe—the photographs relate directly to the text. Other groupings demonstrate her insights. It’s up through Sept 4.

The other reason to visit NY this summer, of course, is the show simply titled Dada. It’s an enormous exhibition—as the first comprehensive retrospective, perhaps the perfect tombstone?—for a movement born defiantly terminally ill. Leah Dickerman’s catalog, with its black-on-black book cover (underneath a more colorful jacket), is absolutely lucid: the best response to Dada’s disruptive, productive, and massively influential misbehaviors. The show, at MoMA, is up through Sept. 11.

More on the NYer Jungle of Completeness

posted by on June 8 at 11:46 AM

If The Stranger’s review of the gargantuan The Complete New Yorker didn’t dizzy you to collapse—if you haven’t bought it yet and are mulling it over while occasionally mooching from friends (that’s me, the unrepentant moocher), if you already bought it but you haven’t yet unwrapped it, or if you’re just curious about which of the knotty, weird paths through the archives James Wolcott would choose to tread, read this. I wouldn’t call it a review: It’s the best guide to the jungle I’ve read yet.

It concludes with the following bullet points:

Future topics for inquiry.

Why does A. J. Liebling remain a vibrant role model for writers while the superb, prolific St. Clair McKelway has been sorely forgotten?

Why does The New Yorker’s current slate of female byliners (Susan Orlean, Joan Acocella, Nancy Franklin, Caitlan Flanagan, et al.) seem so much girlier than its former greats (Flanner, Kael, Lois Long, Andy Logan, Maeve Brennan, Emily Hahn)?

Bob Gottlieb’s editorial era—victim of a bad rap?

Shawn’s unsigned obituary notices, the art of.

Intriguing, indeed.

Thanks, Bookslut.

Nominate Your Choice Homosexual Crimes!

posted by on June 8 at 11:21 AM

As all enlightened people know, homosexuals are valuable members of society worthy of thoroughly equal rights in housing, employment, health care, and marriage. But that doesn’t mean the gays are beyond reproach. Which is why I’m bugging you.

I’m gathering a collection of homo-specific crimes, misdemeanors, and peccadilloes, and I would love your input.

Among the crimes that have already made the list: the wearing of mesh shirts, the excessive use of “she-bonics,” and the blowing of crystal meth up butt holes.

But of course these are just the tip of the big, gay iceberg—please submit your additions (the more, the merrier!) in the comments below.

When Covering Your Hair With More Hair Infects You With Paganism

posted by on June 8 at 10:57 AM

Plus which, covering dangerously seductive hair with other dangerously seductive hair may not be the way to please God.

Cantwell Flips Off Frank Blethen

posted by on June 8 at 10:45 AM

Maria Cantwell voted to continue debate on the estate tax…meaning…she voted to “filibuster,” or she voted against letting the stupid idea come to a vote.

Also meaning: She gave the finger to Frank Blethen.

Living Like a Refugee, It’s Really Not Easy

posted by on June 8 at 10:11 AM

Those words are the understated lyrics of the Refugee All-Stars, a band whose members are the moving subjects of the eponymous documentary about them showing at SIFF (Neptune Theatre) on Saturday at 4:15 and Tuesday (June 13) at 9:30. These are people who turn their own horror stories into catchy songs, and transform the words “We are the clients of UNHCR” (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) into singable lyrics. They’re well worth your 80 minutes.

And if you like them in the movie, they’re coming to Seattle to do a benefit concert July 13 at Neumos for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Heading to Las Vegas

posted by on June 8 at 9:37 AM

I’m at the airport, heading off to the YearlyKos conference in Las Vegas. This will be the first ever gathering of all the geeks, politicos, and furious lefties who make up the liberal blogosphere, and it’s quite a collection of people: Arianna, Aravosis, Atrios… (And that’s just the A’s.) Howard Dean will be addressing the gathering, as will Harry Reid, a clear sign of the growing clout of liberal bloggers within the Democratic Party.


I’ll be blogging—and photo blogging—from the conference, and I’ll also be working on a feature about the event for next week’s Stranger. So if you’ve got things you want to know about the conference, or things you want to tell the world about the liberal blogosphere, put them in the comments and I’ll try to respond as often as possible over the next few days.

The Other Death of Jane McCrea

posted by on June 8 at 9:00 AM

In today’s Blart, I write about Lichtenstein’s totally loopy 1951 version of John Vanderlyn’s 1804 painting The Death of Jane McCrea. Here’s the original, in all its glory:


If that weren’t enough, the 18th-century poet Joel Barlow (among others) waxed about the buxom Jane in a long poem you can read here. A glimpse:

She starts, with eyes upturn’d and fleeting breath, In their raised axes views her instant death, Spreads her white hands to heaven in frantic prayer, Then runs to grasp their knees and crouches there, Her hair, half lost along the shrubs she past, Rolls in loose tangles round her lovely waist; Her kerchief torn betray the globes of snow That heave responsive to the weight of woe. Does all this eloquence suspend the knife? Does no superior bribe contest her life? There does: the scalps by British gold are paid.

Church of Scientology Trashes Seattle Neighborhood

posted by on June 8 at 8:35 AM

On my run this morning, I noticed hundreds and hundreds of these fliers under wiper blades along 16th Ave. on Capitol Hill. There were also hundreds of a pink folded Scientology flyer under wipers on Federal, but I didn’t hang on to one of those—still had too far to go to carry that garbage with me.

scientology flier

Dianetics reveals the single source of all of your unhappiness, overwhlem [sic] and self-doubt, and shows you how to get rid of it.

Notice that the word Scientology is only in the tiny, tiny, illegible print, and they make no mention of the idea that the single source of unhappiness they speak of is your body’s brain-washed alien soul infestation.

Perhaps it should read:

Today we have conquered the stars… So, why can’t you get rid of the dead aliens living in your blood?

Also note that the email address of the Seattle Scientology mission is For some reason, this multi-billion-dollar global cult can’t manage to give its chapters their own domain names? Lame.

The Morning News

posted by on June 8 at 2:02 AM

“Since al-Zarqawi’s latest video tape … the location was pinpointed.”

“We’re not going to stop until marriage between a man and a woman is protected.”

“If the United States hits Iran, other players will come in.”

“I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

“This legislation will make television and radio more family friendly.”

“A number of coherent and converging elements indicate that such secret detention centers did indeed exist in Europe.”

“One was wearing a skirt. It was really disgusting.ā€¯

“That means to learn the values and history and language of America.ā€¯

“If you don’t want to suffer [cervical cancer], you need to abstain.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Sarah Mirk Contributed to this Story.

posted by on June 7 at 10:25 PM

Hey, I owe an apology to Stranger news intern, Sarah Mirk. I was assigned a 4,000 word feature story by my krazy boss on Friday…due to my krazy boss on Monday. It’s in today’s paper.

Anyway, Stranger news intern, Sarah Mirk saved my ass by doing much research and fact checking, and she didn’t get a proper “Sarah Mirk contributed to this story” credit.

Perhaps, given that I published sentences like: “What if a pharmacist feels they don’t have the training or expertise to safely administer a new drug safely?” I should have asked Ms. Mirk to write the article as well.

Re: Knute Berger Channels Nicole Brodeur

posted by on June 7 at 9:05 PM

I’d just like to second Erica. Knute Berger’s column (here it is, a helpful aid to bulimics everywhere) is the biggest pile of ignorant, self-absorbed, pathetic garbage I’ve ever read.

Just for the record, in my corner of the office, here is the car tally: Me (no car, own a bike), Christopher Frizzelle (no car, no bike), Brendan Kiley (no car, bike).

I walk to work, got my license at the ripe old age of 22 (barely), took Metro buses to and from my house in Wedgwood to my high school in Capitol Hill for four years and who knows how many hundreds of transfers. It’s not hard to live in Seattle without a car. But it is hard to listen to Eastside whiners justify their dependency on automobiles by calling me names. Ugh. “Strange sustainability experiment,” my ass.

“Professionalism,” MTV, and Rolling Stone

posted by on June 7 at 8:34 PM

As if I needed another reason to think Rolling Stone was lame: check out this memo leaked via Gawker.

Knute Berger Channels Nicole Brodeur

posted by on June 7 at 6:04 PM

Knute Berger, adopting the pour-and-stir reflexive contrarianism favored by his new New Times overlords, takes a brave stance against non-car-ownership in today’s Seattle Weekly. People who don’t own cars, he argues, are “moochers,” because they bum the occasional ride. Hell, Berger argues, they’re exactly like smokers who claim they’ve quit smoking because they no longer buy cigarettes.

Never mind that Berger’s analogy is almost literally nonsensical. (A better analogy would be taking an occasional drag off someone else’s cigarette but still calling yourself a nonsmoker.) It also demonstrates a shocking ignorance about the benefits of carpooling. When non-car-owners share rides with their car-owning friends, that’s one less car on the road than if both had driven separately—a tangible benefit to traffic and the environment.

Berger’s rant continues:

Modern life is full and complex. … We might say we want urban villages, but we’re also consumers who demand choice and customization. Being satisfied with what’s down the block isn’t going to cut it.

Unlike Mossback, I don’t own a car. And for most things, “what’s down the block” does “cut it.” My eye doctor, primary-care clinic, grocery store, favorite bars and restaurants, workplace, parks, etc., etc. are all within walking or biking distance of my home. When I need to get outside my neighborhood, I take the bus. Yes, it requires some planning to get to Fremont (from where I live: The 8 to the 26) but taking the bus allows me to sit, think, and have random encounters with humanity—the type of encounters Berger, commuting alone from garage to garage, arranges his life to avoid.
Berger argues that commuting by bike is a waste of time. “Time,” he says, “is the precious commodity of modern life.” But sitting in traffic also takes time—time that can’t be spent doing much besides driving. Is Berger’s commute from the Eastside time better spent than a similar amount of time spent biking? (Given that Berger says he can’t “fit inside Spandex,” he might reconsider his position on this point.) I would argue that biking, which is healthy on a personal and environmental level, is a far better use of that “precious commodity” than sitting in gridlock on 520, cursing your fellow car commuters.

Berger should be thanking bike, bus and carpool commuters for freeing up space on the roads for his precious single-occupancy car—not vilifying them as “moochers” and “crackpots” for having the audacity to try different ways of getting around.

To Frizzelle: Hands off My Dentist!

posted by on June 7 at 5:17 PM

I’ve been going to Dr. Grace (“the best dentist in the world” - it’s true!) for the last five years.

You may have touched him last, but I found him first!

Heart-Explodingly Wonderful

posted by on June 7 at 4:33 PM

Kids plus writing equals love. I had the pleasure of editing a few of the stories in the book, which you should immediately run out and purchase. A selection from my resultant new vocabulary:

ace boon coon (Note the example! Coincidence! I do not have a Porsche. Also, an important note on usage: “…although ace boon coon can be shortened to just boon coon, watch out! Unlike this friendly term, coon alone is a derogatory word for African Americans.”)



(After the reading mentioned in the Seattle Times article, a book-signing/cupcake-eating extravaganza occurred in the John Marshall gym. Some insane person made cupcakes INSIDE those Dairy-Queen-style little cardboardy ice cream cones—batter baked INSIDE cone, with demonic glinty red sprinkles on top. I felt I should try one in the interests of food science, but then I carried it around and couldn’t eat it and ultimately hurled it far and hard onto a thoroughfare where shortly it was run over by a car with a POP! sound. Extremely satisfying. Thank you, crazy cupcake-cone maker.) Now Has a Books Blog

posted by on June 7 at 4:30 PM

And there’s some great stuff on it. When you see posts by “Tom”—and there are a lot of them—that’s Senior Books Editor Tom Nissley, who is also a Stranger critic. (Here’s written for us about Shirley Hazzard, Marilynne Robinson, Charles D’Ambrosio, The Complete New Yorker, Charles Burns, and others.)

Their blog is at

About Last Night! (Sexier Than the Movie)

posted by on June 7 at 4:30 PM

There were four panelists at last night’s “What Dictates Taste?” panel at EMP, and each of them could have sustained a whole event. The highlights included the P-I’s husky-voiced Regina Hackett singing a section of Gypsy—yes!—as she talked about being grateful to live in an era of pluralism, where “you can defend whatever you intensely feel.” I’d have liked to hear more discussion about the implications of pluralism as a type of taste, but there wasn’t time.

Dealer Jim Harris sincerely narrated his discovery a few years ago, after opening a gallery in Pioneer Square, that his taste for minimalism and abstraction had no match in a sustainable Seattle client base. He expanded what he shows, but knowing his roots helps explain a quietude at the heart of everything you see at his gallery.

Collector Barney Ebsworth described an apocalyptic situation, where all the great non-contemporary art in the nation has been snapped up by the growing ranks of museums (they’re making “that loud sucking noise” you hear, he says) by the year 2085—except one painting, held in a home in Akron, Ohio, where throngs of people will make pilgrimages to worship at its altar. It’s a great bit of science fiction. In the end, I have a hard time getting worked up over the idea of art becoming part of the public trust instead of being a well-behaved upper-class housepet. Not all museums are saints, but at least they’re accountable.

And in any case, it may not be museums raking in the valuables: increasingly, it’s foreign collectors, Sotheby’s auctioneer Tobias Meyer said. The Chinese “only buy the best” (ha!) and the more American the work, the better. Russians are drawn to work made before the revolution (denying the whole Soviet era from 1917 to 1991 feels better), and Russian buying power is growing exponentially. “You don’t understand, I want abundance,” Meyer said a Russian woman told him when he suggested that maybe she didn’t need all the impressionist paintings for sale. “I will buy it all, and then I will come back and buy again.” This woman’s taste was driven by what Meyer described with the German word “Nachholbedarf” (another great one from the Deutsches): “making up for lost time.”

Meyer also gave a chilling account of his role as the human embodiment of the blank, amoral market: “I don’t have tastes. If I see something new, I have no opinion. It’s like a yoga posture. I look, and then I try to clear my mind.”

According to Meyer, the living-room wall of a fashionable millionaire once needed a Monet water lily painting, whereas now it must have a de Kooning abstraction. That was perfect, considering that the water lily and the de Kooning upstairs from the lecture room in Paul Allen’s DoubleTake show hang right next to each other, the old nouveau riche and the new nouveau riche. (Note to the gays: You’re in! “An affluent wealthy person today thinks nothing of hanging a (painting of a) drag queen in their living room. It’s very different today than even 5 years ago,” Meyer said.)

In related news: EMP is having Eric Fischl and Nan Goldin over for drinks! Well, not really for drinks, and not on the same night, but each of the artists—both appropriately rock-star-like in their own way—are coming to Sky Church to give talks at 7 pm on Aug 24 and Sept 21, respectively. The events are free, and EMP says it will start taking reservations soon.

SIFF Gone Somber!

posted by on June 7 at 3:43 PM

Day 13: We’ve reached the halfway point!

Yesterday I saw The Forsaken Land (or, as the French had it, prettily, La Terre abandonĆ©e), the Sri Lankan film that shared the Camera d’Or with Me and You and Everyone We Know at Cannes. (The two movies couldn’t be less alike.)

Anyway, it was somber and strange and abruptly, jarringly violent (okay, you’ve seen Hostel or whatever, but stick a sudden shot of a fingernail being pried off into the middle of an art film about frogs and parched holes in the ground—that’s what really gets people to freak the fuck out). I doubt we’ll see it around here again, despite the fancy Cannes prize. And that’s exactly what’s so awesome about SIFF. A surprising little epic of a movie about the vicious aftermath of war, being screened two blocks from my house. (You know nothin’ good’s gonna come to the Harvard Exit the whole summer long.)


Tomight you’ve got lots of good choices, including the awesome 49 Up at 6:30 at the Egyptian and the intriguing (and apparently local) Arctic Son at 7:30 at Broadway Performance Hall. David Jeffers over at the intermittently functional Siffblog expresses some interesting displeasure about the print of The Gold Rush they’re screening tonight at the Neptune. His advice? Skip it, and seek out the 1925 version on DVD.

If you’re planning ahead for tomorrow, The Heart of the Game (both screenings, actually) is sold out, so find a friend with a pass or get there really really really early to stand in the rush tickets line. Lucky for you, the movie—which is totally rad—is opening in Seattle next Wednesday the 14th at Guild 45th and Pacific Place.

Store Wars

posted by on June 7 at 1:56 PM

Well it was a nice day while it lasted.

In Washington D.C. the anti-gay marriage amendment to the US Constitution failed in the US Senate, and here in Washington State, of course, Tim “LSOS” Eyman failed to get his anti-gay-rights referendum on the ballot. What could possibly spoil a day like this for us? Hm… a department store maybe?

Before we get to the sad, sad news, a quick question: Who do you think spends more time—and more money—at Macy’s? Religious fundies or fags? Fags, right? I mean, puhleeze—is there any doubt?

Well, some doubt exists among managers at Macy’s. In Boston a window display celebrating gay pride week was removed after religious conservatives freaked.

The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events. MassResistance, formerly the Article 8 Alliance, which has campaigned against gay marriage and gay-themed textbooks in public schools, objected to the display…

Elina Kazan, a Macy’s spokeswoman, said the store decided to remove the mannequins but leave the list of events in order to strike a balance. “We believe in diversity, and our customers are very important to us,” Kazan said. “But (the display) did offend a few of our customers, and we had to re-examine it.


Gays and lesbians might want to re-examine their Macy’s credit cards. If management at Macy’s wants to “strike a balance” between bigots and homos maybe homos should strike a balance between, say, Nordstroms and Target.

I can’t imagine that Macy’s cut-the-baby-in-half solution made anyone happy. The gays are going to be pissed about gay mannequins being yanked and the religious bigots are going to be pissed that the list of gay pride events is still up. As corporate solutions to conflict go, this one’s a lose-lose, Macy’s.

Raiding the Stephin Merritt Songbook

posted by on June 7 at 1:45 PM

From perennial Hot Tipper Jake comes the link to the website Meaningless, “a dedication to the songs of the Magnetic Fields,” featuring a whole bunch of musical artists I’ve never heard of covering compositions by Mag-Fields mastermind Stephin Merritt.

I’ve long wondered how covers of Merritt songs would work—clearly his songs are eminently coverable, but how would they come off divorced from the Magnetic Fields’ signature flat-affect/depressed robot delivery?

From what I’ve heard on Meaningless, it’s a delightfully mixed bag. A number of the covers are pretty straightforward, recreating something close to the song’s original style, with lovely results. (See “You and Me and the Moon” by the awesomely named Guantanamo Bay City Rollers). Others art it up admirably (the gorgeous “Book of Love” by the Harvey Girls) and pretentiously (Orbit Service’s “My Only Friend”). And some just bang out sweet, simple renditions of songs they clearly love (Our Lady of the Highway’s “100,000 Fireflies”—a song I first learned to love through another cover version, performed by Nick Garrison’s alter-ego Randi Sparks in his/her late-90s show Semi-Precious, which would make a great addition to Meaningless.)

The most ambitious entry I found was Boy Omega’s “Papa Was a Rodeo,” presented in a lush, piano-based arrangement with a tortured vocal performance that aims for something close to emotional honesty—an odd choice for a musical melodrama that’s eight kinds of ironic, but interesting nonetheless.

Thanks to the Meaningless artists for providing Stephin Merritt lovers with a fresh way to enjoy the songs we love, and confidential to Shania Twain: Just because a bunch of indie kids made a website doesn’t mean you’re not required to cover “Sweet-Lovin’ Man,” making Stephin Merritt rich and you even richer…

(To discuss Meaningless and Stephin Merritt, head over to Line Out.)

5 More Notes on An Inconvenient Truth

posted by on June 7 at 1:45 PM

1. The theater at Pacific Place in which I saw the Al Gore-starring documentary* was totally packed. This might have been because The Break-Up, starring the Artists-Soon-To-Be-Formerly-Known-As-Vaughniston, was sold out. (I hear it has a joke about bikini waxing! Fresh!)

Four more notes after the jump…

Continue reading "5 More Notes on An Inconvenient Truth" »

A Letter to KEXP

posted by on June 7 at 1:30 PM

Dear KEXP,

At this moment I’m sweaty, numb on the left side of my face, numb on the right side of my face, unshowered, slightly stinky, tense in the shoulders, sticky in the hair, exhausted, and starving. I can’t eat for a couple more hours. I can’t feel my tongue. But you, KEXP—you were there for me today. You rawk.

Let me tell you the whole story. It begins last night. Heading out to a reading at John Marshall alternative high school, I let my apartment door close before checking to make sure I have my keys on me, and even though I always have my keys in my right front pocket, this time, what do you know, I don’t—damn it, I’m an idiot, I’m locked out. I walk down the hall and knock on the apartment manager’s door. No answer. I call him on the phone. No answer. I go to the reading, call a few more times, come back hours later, buzz myself into the building—the front buzzer calls my cell phone—knock on the manager’s door again. No answer. What the? On the outgoing message, there’s a number for emergencies, and since it’s getting late and I’m effectively homeless, I call that number. No answer. I leave a message.

Long story short, the apartment manager is not the apartment manager anymore—I later learn that he never was, he was just the on-site maintenance person—and he finally calls me back to tell me he quit the day before, to chuckle at my bad luck, and to tell me he can’t help me. He tells me to dial another unit in the building from the front buzzer, someone who does cleaning, but this goes to a cell phone in Everett, and she also laughs at my bad luck and says, “Well, I’m in Everett.” It’s a nightmare, but a crazy tree of phone calls later I get someone who still does work for the management company, who tells me she’s not going to drive across town this late to let me in, it’s not her responsibility when I get locked out, she doesn’t want to hear my complaints about the poor communication in the building that left me not knowing who my own apartment manager is, this is my problem, she doesn’t have to listen to this, why did I call so late, and so forth. I sleep at a friend’s.

As I’m going to sleep, reading this actually funny Catcher in the Rye parody in a couple-weeks-old New Yorker, it dawns on me that I have a 9:30 dental appointment in the morning, i.e., this morning. I get up with just enough time to walk there, in yesterday’s clothes, looking crazy, and without my iPod. The dentist—the best dentist in this hemisphere, by the way; if you need a dentist, call Mark R. Grace, D.D.S. [509 Olive Way, Suite 1242, 623-5546] and plan to be told that they’re booked a few months out, after all, he’s the best dentist in this hemisphere—explains to me a problem involving a cavity that was formed when I still had my wisdom teeth. My wisdom teeth were removed five years ago. I haven’t been to the dentist since. The cavity has grown to roughly the size of Uganda. We begin shooting up my face. This baby’s really going to hurt, is the message. We shoot some junk into what feels like my jaw bone. There’s also another cavity on the other side of my face, so we shoot up over there too. It’s like junkie love, me and Dr. Grace, who wears a wedding ring.

While we’re waiting for my face to turn to marzipan, I tell him why I look wrinkled and homeless, and add, in passing, that I really wish I had my iPod, because at least then I could choose the soundtrack to the jackhammering. Do you want headphones? Yes! Can we get him some headphones? The ones with the radio? Headphones materialize.

This, KEXP, is where you come in. This is where you save me. The headphones are set to one of those obnoxious commercial stations, but I turn the dial and land on KEXP—it’s easy to find, you just run the dial in the general vacinity of 90 until you find a station that’s not playing commercials. My shoulders are tense, the chair is a bummer for such a tall guy, but you, KEXP, you’re there, you come through loud and clear. Just as Dr. Grace is putting sunglasses on me—for reasons related to spray—and revving his drills like the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, DJ John Richards, the greatest DJ in this hemisphere, goes: This is KEXP, etc., and this goes out to everyone having a crappy day. I blast the volume. Dr. Grace starts blasting into me. Every time I feel like cringing I blast the volume more, and whenever we take breaks—We’re going to take a few breaks as we go, Dr. Grace says casually but, but it’s still ominous—I turn it down. God, KEXP, that music you are playing today is great. The Walkmen, Human Television, some others. Loud, slightly angry, great. Great pop. Perfect. Grrrrrrrrrrr, the drill goes. Gghh-rrrr-jung-jung-jung-grrrrrrrrrrr-jung-jung—”OK, now this is a different drill, expect a lot of vibration”—Cruuugggghhrrrrghgrhhrrrr-neeeeoow-neeow—”Oop, tender? Sorry about that”—Gghh-rrrr-jung-jung-jung-grrrrrrrrrrr-jung-jung—

You’ve had your teeth drilled. You know how it is. There is wincing. There is that smell. Your head rattles.

Richards is on such a roll that his show bleeds into Cheryl Waters’, and then Cheryl Waters finally starts, and I know everyone likes to trash Cheryl Waters because she talks like she’s dumb even though she’s not or whatever, but you know what? I love you Cheryl Waters and I always have. I love listening to you. I love your personality. I don’t know you, I’d have a hard time finding you in a crowd, but you’re an old friend. (Hey haters: sue me, OK?) And you’re wearing sunglasses? There’s some discussion between Richards and Waters about the fact that Waters is wearing sunglasses in the studio. Guess who else is wearing sunglasses? I am! So I don’t get sprayed on with pieces of my own teeth! Cheryl, you and me, we’re together in this in our sunglasses! We could be happy, we could go somewhere, some day when this drilling ends, when my mouth isn’t being stretched apart by a rubber dam, you and me, you manning the radio, let’s go somewhere, Cheryl, you’ve got a fast car, I got a plan to get us out of here, I’m gay, yes, it’s OK, we’ll figure it out. You just keep playing these songs, these rare Beatles cuts…

I made it, KEXP. Not because of you, because when you’re in Dr. Grace’s hands, you’re in, uh, good hands, but I made it with you, and without you it wouldn’t have been the same. Your signal is so strong. Your songs are so good. This, today—it only added to all the other things you’ve done in my life, like the way you introduced me to good independent music in the first place, long ago, when I was nowhere and knew only showtunes and had no friends who could introduce me to music. It’s hard to remember, what with how much you matter to me now. But I remember. And I am thankful. That’s all.

with all my love,
and a numb face,

Attention Garfield Alumni

posted by on June 7 at 1:07 PM

The Bash Before the Smash is this Saturday, June 10, at Garfield High School from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They are having an open house before the school closes for a two-year remodeling project. They are gutting some buildings and getting rid of others completely. This is your last chance to relive the glory days of high school as you remember them. Hang out at your old locker, sit in the cafeteria, visit the site where you flirted with that cute boy/girl. There will be entertainment and refreshments.

K.Fed Jealous of Manny?

posted by on June 7 at 1:06 PM

Amidst US Weekly’s accusations of an impending Britney/K.Fed divorce (including rumors of the wannabe rapper sleeping in the basement… HAW!) a new report from MSNBC claims that Mr. Spears is getting increasingly jealous of Britney’s “manny” Perry. Apparently, the Manny is doing a lot of the chores K.Fed was originally assigned to do — like, lay around on the couch eating Cheetos?

“[Federline] doesn’t like that this guy is taking care of his baby,ā€¯ an “insiderā€¯ told the mag. “He feels like Britney is throwing it in his face.ā€¯ What’s more, Spears reportedly is redecorating her house, ditching Federline’s beloved black leather furniture in favor of a “1950s boudoirā€¯ look she favors. “She’s using pink, cream and apricot silk, lace and feathers,ā€¯ reports the insider. “[Kevin] claims that he can’t think in the house any more and it’s affecting his music. [He] is complaining that the place is `some high-school chick’s bedroom.’ā€¯

OHHH, so THAT’S what’s affecting his music. So obviously the manny is hotter than K.Fed (but then, so is that dirty sponge underneath your sink), but what kind of makeover would you give him to make him even hotter?


Bad Comet

posted by on June 7 at 12:11 PM

I walked by the Comet Tavern and saw an employee sweeping all of their patrons’ cigarette butts into the public street. Disgusting. Why can’t they just put some butt cans outside like other bars do and dispose of them in the garbage? Get a clue, Comet, and try and be a better neighbor.

Conflict. Of. Interest.

posted by on June 7 at 11:36 AM

Modern Art Notes is lighting up the blogosphere this morning with the revelation that NY Times stringer critic Grace Glueck is a trustee of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.—in direct violation of the Times’s ethics handbook, and laying open to question the respectability of its culture desk. (As if the Times needs another Jayson Blair/Judith Miller.) MAN is calling for a response from the paper. NY dealer Edward Winkleman has a great, tortured post about it all: he’s horrified, but holding back for fear of retribution toward his gallery, which recently received a glowing review from a Times critic. “I want this to be a big misunderstanding,” he writes.

CHAC’s Last Season

posted by on June 7 at 11:31 AM

Matthew Kwatinetz, CEO and producing artistic director of the Captiol Hill Arts Center, announced in the Weekly that CHAC won’t produce any more theater seasons. That’s not so surprising—arts administrators have been worrying about the subscription model for years. It always seemed a little weird for a start-up theater like CHAC to adopt it. But it was this quote that stopped me:

“Everything [we do] is really successful, except the theater season,” says Kwatinetz. “If what we do is so important to the community, they have to come out. If the Seattle audience doesn’t recognize Seattle value, the value will have to migrate elsewhere.

Which sounds like a thinly-veiled sneer at theater audiences for not paying CHAC enough attention. (Dude: Don’t blame your audiences for not showing up; it’s their prerogative to ignore you.) That and a threat to… what? Move to San Francisco? Take your ball and go home?

CHAC will continue to rent space to other companies, which is a good thing. They have a nice theater and shows like King John, by the upstart crow company, look awfully good in there.

The President, Podfisked

posted by on June 7 at 11:10 AM

No, podfisking isn’t one of those exciting sex acts you usually hear about first on the Slog, although it does sound like it could be one. Podfisking is instead a cerebral/political act—an audio dismantling of another person’s argument—performed for the first time, on this very day, by Andrew Sullivan, who in his inaugural podfisk completely destroys President Bush’s recent speech in favor of a Constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Watch Jon Stewart’s dismantling of William Bennett for laughs and schadenfreude, and then click over to Sullivan for the pleasing experience of listening in on an an intellectual smack-down.

My Brother the Cartoonist

posted by on June 7 at 11:04 AM


My brother Michael Segal does graphic design for Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Ghostly International/Spectral Sound label, a hotbed of quality electronic music. Now the imprint has a new site that features his cartoons starring Ghostly mascots Boy, Cat, and, last but not least, Bird. (A new entry appears every Friday.) He’s also designed some swank T-shirts that will make you instantly popular at the Decibel, Sonar, and Mutek festivals, and anywhere else savvy music heads congregate. (Pardon the nepotism.)

Brother, How You Do Us Like That?

posted by on June 7 at 10:48 AM

Failing several times to write something insightful about this racially charged (or embarrassing) report, I’ve decided to let it speak for itself.

Days of Hubbard

posted by on June 7 at 10:18 AM

It will be interesting to see how NASCAR’s many evangelical fans react to this:

The Church of Scientology is gearing up to bring its message to a whole new arena: racing fans.

“Ignite Your Potential” is the mantra Scientology uses to get Tom Cruise and other Hollywood celebs jumping up and down. Now that message will be used to fuel the engines of a new NASCAR race team.

The venture is called “The Dianetics Racing Team,” named after the best-selling self-help book written by the movement’s founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Kenton Gray, a California race-car driver who has said Dianetics helped his life and driving performance, will head up the Dianetics team.

Of course, NASCAR already has an Enzyte racing team, so it’s not like the “sport” is a stranger to bullshit science.

(Via ABC News via RAW STORY.)

Jon Stewart v. Bill Bennett on Gay Marriage

posted by on June 7 at 9:51 AM

Stewart says everything you want to say except on the polygamy thing, where he’s not allowed to say, but he should say, legalize polygamy.

The Freykis Fracas: Pastor X Weighs In

posted by on June 7 at 8:31 AM

Another Wednesday, another fascinating twist in the ongoing Freykis Fiesta. For those of you just tuning in, as well as those of you who’d like a stroll down memory lane, here’s a quick course in Freykis 101. (Long story short: Gay-hating, allegedly Christian freak sends typo-packed hate mail to a member of the media, member of the media shares hate mail with readers, and all Hell breaks loose, in a bunch of bizarre and hilarious directions.)

After last week’s hubbub, yesterday brought another email to my inbox, this one from the impassioned Freykis defender known as Pastor X. (For background info, go here.) FYI: Pastor X’s new email is long, it’s cuh-RAZY, and it arrived with the subject line “Christian Law Will Prevail!” P.S. All typos are his—including the magnificent “RICO statue”—and all bolds are mine. Enjoy!

Continue reading "The Freykis Fracas: Pastor X Weighs In" »

As Expected: Senate Kills Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

posted by on June 7 at 8:13 AM

The 49-48 vote fell 11 short of the 60 required to send the matter for an up-or-down tally by the full Senate.

The Anti-gay marriage losers tried to spin it as a win.
(From MSNBC):

But ban supporters took solace in the fact that the idea received several new votes from Republican freshmen elected after the amendment received its last vote in 2004.

“We’re building votes,ā€¯ Sen. David Vitter, R-La., a new supporter, said before the vote. “That’s often what’s required over several years to get there, particularly to a two-thirds vote.ā€¯

But here’s a little context check on that.
(From the NYT):

Supporters had predicted they would gain votes this year over the last time the issue came up, in 2004, but actually lost one vote for the amendment in a procedural test tally.

Wednesday’s 49-48 vote fell 11 short of the 60 required to send the matter for an up-or-down tally. The 2004 vote was 50-48.

*The NYT reports that 7 Republicans voted against the amendment. They forgot to add Joe Lieberman, who also voted against the amendment.

Here’s the roll call.

The Morning News

posted by on June 7 at 1:54 AM

Bill Frist clings to a doomed right-wing agenda.

The Wall Street Journal lies about the conclusions of An Inconvenient Truth.

OK Republican claims there has never been “any kind of homosexual relationship in the recorded history” of his family.

Iraq agrees to release 5,000 detainees - a fraction of the 27,800 people the Interior Ministry says are being held in Iraqi and American prisons.

Canadian terror suspects plotted to storm Parliament and behead Canada’s prime minister, prosecutor says.

Katherine Harris insists on running for Senate, despite “horrific” poll numbers, fleeing staffers, and a campaign plagued by scandal.

The US and its European allies concede on Iranian nuclear program, allowing Iran to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

The last tree of Tenere, a wasteland in northeastern Niger that was once home to a forest of trees, was destroyed by a drunken Libyan driver in 1973. Its replacement: an ugly, ugly sculpture.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Officer Steve Leonard speaks

posted by on June 6 at 8:11 PM

Steve Leonard, the Seattle Police officer who on March 25 ended Kyle Huff’s murderous rampage, spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday night, at an award ceremony at Miller Community Center, a few blocks from 2112 E. Republican, site of the murders.

Before taking the podium to receive the award from the Seattle Police Department, Leonard spoke to reporters and recreated the events of that morning.

It was about 7 a.m., and he was driving near the community center, on 19th Avenue, when he heard the shots. Leonard first suspected adolescents playing with fireworks in the fields. Not finding activity there, he continued driving in the direction of the sounds, and upon arriving at the corner of 21st Avenue and East Republican, “I could see some kids on the street — as I turned, I saw them, and that’s when (Seattle Police) dispatch advised us they had reports of shots fired.”

SPD 9-1-1 logs indicate a flurry of calls, all within seconds of each other. Some from neighbors, others from people who were fleeing the house.

Leonard tried to question the young people he encountered, but, “The kids were in shock, stunned. One thousand-yard stares. I had to keep pumping them, ‘What’s going on?””

He remembers hearing “shotgun” and “green jacket.” Leonard spotted a young person on the sidewalk who was shot and trying to stand up. Then Leonard saw Huff walking in his direction — “He was quite tall,” says Leonard, who is about 5’8”. (Huff was 6’5”.) Leonard pulled his weapon; he heard Huff cock the shotgun. “I saw him before he saw me — I’m just damn thankful for that,” says Leonard. “I told him to put down his weapon. He stopped, and then he turned the gun on himself.”

Huff appears to have been intent on searching the streets for more victims — until he was interrupted by Leonard. Said Assistant Chief Harry Bailey: “We’re convinced that had it not been for (Leonard)…we would have had more than six people killed that day.”

Leonard’s ceremony came on the same day that police released a letter they found in a Dumpster on the 2700 block of NE 115th Street last April. Though handwriting analysts haven’t yet confirmed, police believe the letter was written by Huff and intended for his twin brother, Kane. The letter expresses hatred for rave culture, particularly for its attitudes about sex.

In terms of public curiosity, today’s news seems to have finally brought the case to a conclusion. Anthony Moulton, who lived at 2112 E. Republican and lost his best friend, Jeremy Martin, lingered toward the back of the crowd at Tuesday’s ceremony, with a few friends. He learned of the letter in April from police, but he still doubts its authenticity. “It’s pretty damn interesting it was found where it was,” says Moulton. The Dumpster was a mile away from the Huffs’ apartment complex.

Moulton seemed not to care, though, whether the letter was the real thing or not. “In the long run,” he says, “it seems like it’s pretty irrelevant.”

Dixie Chicks on NPR

posted by on June 6 at 6:56 PM


Terry Gross is interviewing the cute ‘n fluffy rabble-rousers on NPR today (I couldn’t figure out exactly when from the website, but Lorraine Bracco is being interviewed right now and I think they are on next). I still haven’t heard the record and politics aside, I’m terribly curious to hear what Rick Rubin brought to the table. Any Slog or Line Out readers out there with an opinion on Taking the Long Way?

You can listen online here.

A Crappy, Crappy Post

posted by on June 6 at 6:19 PM

First of all: If you locked a deer and a bitpull in the bathroom together, which would survive? Both! (But without intervention, the pit bull would’ve drowned.

Second of all: I almost wound up attending W.T. Woodson High (mascot: Cavaliers), mentioned in this story about high schools that reward students who don’t go to the bathroom with extra credit. What do they cheer during football games? “(Don’t) go Cavaliers”?

Third of all: Maybe they should extend that incentive to cops instead.

The weapon accidentally discharged when Officer Craig Clancy took off his trousers.

Fourth of all: This is my favorite headline from this week: Guys accused of chasing other guy into his bathroom.

Fifth of all: The word “shit” comes from Old English “scitan,” which comes from Proto-Germanic “skit-,” which comes from Proto-Indo European “skheid-” which means “split, divide, separate.” According to the same source, “science” comes from Old English “sceadan,” “to divide, separate.”

Sixth of all: This news is two years old, but archaeologists have discovered the birthplace of the Protestant revolution: a stone toilet in Wittenburg, where Martin Luther apparently did his best work.

Take that, W.T. Woodson! A little time to linger in the toilet can be of world-historical import.

Breaking News: Tacoma Art Museum Chief Curator Leaving

posted by on June 6 at 5:45 PM

Patricia McDonnell, who was responsible for the Great American Thing exhibition that was splashed across metro buses all winter, is leaving the Tacoma Art Museum.

“The terms of her departure are under negotiation,” museum board president Judith Nilan said, when asked when and why McDonnell is taking off.

McDonnell is a serious-minded scholar who came to the museum in 2002, shortly before it opened its Antoine Predock-designed building. I’ve enjoyed the way the museum’s identity has been forged from the tension between her more traditionalist, historically driven style and fellow curator Rock Hushka’s contemporary, regional connectedness. Occasionally, I’ve found her presentations stiff, as I did with Great American Thing, but I also appreciated her dedication to the field and often found her a knowledgeable and approachable resource.

Board president Nilan said she expects the museum will do a national search to fill the position, but that she doesn’t know for sure: that’s something director Stephanie Stebich and the board will decide together, she said.

TAM’s modern curatorial history also includes: Barbara Johns (whose work I only saw briefly when I arrived in this area and just before she left the job in 1999—but which people continue to rave about) and Greg Bell (an ardent regionalist and an artist himself, now director of Gallery 4Culture, which has had some great shows lately).

I’ll watch with great interest to see who shows up next. TAM is a terrific regional museum: both rooted, and ambitious. It needs special curators.

And the Prayer Warrior Fails, Too

posted by on June 6 at 5:17 PM

Not only did Tim Eyman fail this afternoon in his quest to repeal Washington’s gay civil rights law. The Prayer Warrior (aka Ken Hutcherson) failed as well.


June 6, 2006

Dear Prayer Warrior,

We need 112,400 more signatures for Referendum 65 by 5:00 pm TODAY! Please pray that God will bring in three times that amount!

Your Pastor,

Here’s the best that the prayer warriors, and all the other like-minded individuals in this state, could do: 105,103 signatures for a referendum that needed 112,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Eyman Fails!

posted by on June 6 at 5:06 PM

From the Associated Press:

Initiative activist Tim Eyman and other foes of Washington state’s new gay civil-rights law failed to submit enough voter signatures Tuesday to force a public vote this fall.

Full story (for now) here.

P.S. to Tim Eyman: Fuck you.

White Boys with Soul

posted by on June 6 at 5:02 PM

What to do tonight? Dave Segal suggests:

Howlin’ Rain
Ethan Miller’s main gig is howlin’ and rainin’ six-string blows for Comets on Fire, whose music conjures images of their moniker. But with Howlin’ Rain, Miller eases back into more acidic and spacious country-rock jams, and mutes his vocal bombast to a gritty Gregg Allman—esque warmth. Aided by Sunburned Hand of the Man drummer John Moloney and bassist/banjoist Ian Gradek, Howlin’ Rain are white boys with soul and a knack for transcendentally aching melodies. Holy shit, indeed. (Sunset, 5433 Ballard Ave, 784-0627. 9 pm, $7, 21+.)

The Best Possible Way to Celebrate Today

posted by on June 6 at 4:40 PM

Take your pick—Satan:

devil vibrator.jpg

Or Jesus!

jackhammer jesus.jpg

Both available via Blowfish.

Some Cool, Some Bogus

posted by on June 6 at 4:38 PM

Cool: If you don’t have plans tonight, go down to EMP to hear what I think sounds like a great discussion panel on the evolution of taste in the 20th century. It’s moderated by Stephanie Stebich of the Tacoma Art Museum and features groovy-haired gallerist Jim Harris, free-associator extraordinaire Regina Hackett of the P-I, collector Barney Ebsworth, and Sotheby’s contemporary-art head Tobias Meyer (of the recent glowing New Yorker review that the magazine was slapped on by bloggers who said the mag should cover artists instead of auctioneers). The talk is free.

Bogus 1: You can walk on Maya Lin’s great big bump at the Henry again this Thursday, from 5 to 7 pm, if you sign a waiver and wear special provided footwear. Lame, but probably better than squeezing around its edges. They aren’t taking advance reservations, only opening the doors at 9:30 am for the signup. It’ll be like Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving! Or a Star Wars prequel!

Bogus 2: This from a press release I got earlier this week from the Museum of Glass in Tacoma:

Press Conference: Chihuly in Tacoma
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
11 — 11:30 a.m.
Museum of Glass, Hot Shop Amphitheater
Tacoma, Wash. (May 31, 2006)— Members of the media are invited to the Museum of Glass Hot Shop for a brief press conference to introduce the upcoming Chihuly in Tacoma event, a tribute by Dale Chihuly to his hometown. Scheduled for August 8 — 13, 2006, Chihuly in Tacoma encompasses a number of special events and activities in the Tacoma Museum District, including Chihuly’s participation in the Museum of Glass’ Visiting Artist Summer Series. Chihuly will work with teams of well-known artists demonstrating several of his signature glass series for Museum visitors. Tacoma Art Museum, William Traver Gallery and other institutions will feature related exhibitions, programs and events. Chihuly in Tacoma coincides with the tenth anniversary celebration of the Washington State History Museum.

Speakers at the press conference include:
Ā· Dale Chihuly
Ā· Mayor Bill Baarsma, City of Tacoma
Ā· Tim Close, Director, Museum of Glass

A question and answer session will follow. Along with the speakers, representatives from the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum, William Traver Gallery and other organizations will be available for questions, interviews and photo-ops.

So, what exactly is the “news” that will be shared at this press conference? And what exactly is this “Chihuly in Tacoma” event, other than that he’s coming to work in the museum’s hot shop for a few days, which he has done before, and that a bunch of places are going to be showing his work, which they already are (you can not throw a rock in Tacoma without threatening some Chihuly glass)? What exactly is the artistic content here? If this is the first initiative of the museum’s new director, Timothy Close, I’m unimpressed. I hope instead that it was planned before he got here, since he’s the one many of us are relying on to help clarify what on earth that museum intends to do with itself.

R.I.P. Billy Preston

posted by on June 6 at 3:51 PM

“Fifth Beatleā€¯ Billy Preston has passed away at the age of 59. Preston played keyboards on Let it Be, The White Album, and Abbey Road.

Strange Folders

posted by on June 6 at 3:39 PM

My desktop is littered with perplexing folders. The most difficult-to-explain titles are:

“Cancer Dad”

“Waxed, tanned, etc.”

and “Beard Party.”

What are the strangest folder titles on your desktop or harddrive?

What’s Wrong With Slog?

posted by on June 6 at 3:25 PM

Capitol Hill Seattle has a theory (featuring a pie chart!), and it’s that we never link to them (or to other local blogs). They also refer to Slog as “the best blog in Seattle,” which is right-neighborly of them.

So now we’ve linked. What else can Slog do for you? We’re here to help.

107.7 the End Hires New Program Director

posted by on June 6 at 1:56 PM

Phil Manning, long time Program Director at 107.7 the End, resigned about a week and a half ago, and the station has already hired a new guy. His name is Lazlo, and he comes to Seattle from Kansas City where he was the Program Director for 96.5 the Buzz.

First glance at the Kansas City station’s website sorta made me wanna puke—their big Summer concert, Beach Ball 2, features 311, Dashboard Confessional, Yellowcard, Hawthorne Heights, and Pepper. Ugh. But their playlist does boast a little more meat, with bands like the Dresden Dolls, Damone, and Band of Horses. The station also has local and alternative/underground hiphop shows, as well as a live DJ spinning on air every Saturday night.

So, it’s hard to say what will happen when Lazlo arrives at KNDD. The new boss could mean big changes. Harms, evening DJ at 107.7 invites everyone to take the opportunity to let the new guy know how you feel. He set up an e-mail address that only Lazlo will have access to. So if you have an opinion about what you like or dislike about the station, if you wanna see something change or if you wanna see something stay the same, e-mail and let your voice be heard.

Second Has Finally Arrived

posted by on June 6 at 1:16 PM

The nearly completed world headquarters for Washington Mutual Bank (whose cash machines are easier to find in Manhattan than in Seattle) has won me over for one reason: its best side, which faces south, has done something special to the middle part of a stretch on Second Avenue that begins in the north with the Josephinum (which, to use Jonathan Raban’s words, looks “like the Medici tomb”) and the flying top of the Space Needle; and ends in the south with the aqua-green glass-fall of the Vulcan’s building at the foot of the Smith Tower. The new 42-story tower of glass and steel, which was designed by NBBJ, has changed forever the way one experiences (or even feels) Second Avenue. It’s as if the street, the sealed stretch, is finally fulfilled.
69ac3a1d624a.jpg Walk up or down to the parallel corridors on First and Third, and you wont find that special feeling, that sense of fullness.

First Avenue, however, is the source of a little good news for regional architecture. The expansion of SAM on that street is presently the top story in the journal Arcspace. Designed by Portland’s Allied Works Architecture, the building is a boxy composition of stainless steel and glass that, when finished, promises to do fancy things with light. Though the expansion looks fine enough, I don’t think it’s a success because it looks too much like Washington Mutual’s headquarters.

c6f925ed1f57.jpg Where does the bank end and the the museum begin?

Devil’s Date

posted by on June 6 at 12:16 PM

A few clubs around town are celebrating today’s “holiday” with special 666 shows. If you wanna get down with the devil, here’s where to go:

Neumos—Supersuckers, Zeke, $10
El Corazon—Left Alive, Church of Hate, Breakneck, Dead Whore River, I Declare War (7 pm, all ages), $8
Funhouse—The King and Beast Side Show, Kaskadia, the Imperial Legions of Rome, Robot Pi, $6
Dante’s—Womanipura, DJ Manos, guests, free
Studio Seven—Betty X, 2 Headed Chang, God Fearing Nation (7:30 pm, all ages), $6.66

The Convolutes

posted by on June 6 at 12:15 PM

I’ve interviewed a couple of people from prominent national groups on the radical right this past week: Judie Brown of the American Life League & Byron Babione of the Alliance Defense Fund

I was talking to Judie Brown because I wanted her to explain ALL’s position that it’s immoral for married couples (never mind horny teenagers) to use any contraception including condoms.

If couples are in the mood to express their love, but aren’t ready for children, Brown recommends something akin to the rhythm method (“natural family planning”). She says this represents true worship of God because it means the couple is willing to take the risk that they might still have a child—which may be part of God’s plan. She also liked the idea of sacrificing your sexual desires 3 or 4 days a month. “You may be dying to have sex,” she says, “but natural family planning requires you to make a sacrifice.” Hot!

I was talking to Babione because ADF had sent a letter to the Washington State Board of Pharmacy urging them to pass a “conscience clause.” I read his letter & wanted him to explain why he thought Christians should have special rights to break the law.

Rather than pissing me off, the interviews, particularly the one with Judie Brown, made me kind of sad. Her logic was plainly convoluted and bizarre and hokey. (Babione was a lot smarter, but also, ultimately, on the convoluted side: Christians employees should have the right to opt out of participating in behavior they think is immoral, but environmentalists should not because environmental concerns aren’t “serious.”)

The scary thing is that people like Brown & Babione are helping set policy at the White House.

The lefties over at People for the American Way do a right-wing watch. Here’s their take on:
the American Life League & the Allied Defense Fund

All Things Terrible and Great

posted by on June 6 at 12:08 PM

NO! (to weak-looking remakes of great ’70s British horror films)

YES! (to my new favorite song and video, and yours, too. Sorry if this is incredibly old news; i am an incredibly old person. Turn it up!)

Happy Devil’s Day

posted by on June 6 at 11:58 AM

Thanks to Kyle Huff’s alleged letter and Louisiana’s proposed abortion ban, 6/6/06 is receiving plenty of terrifying commemoration.

In celebration of the lighter side of evil, please enjoy this YouTube video, which has something to teach us all about home fitness and self-exorcism.

(Hat tip to Jake.)

Huff Handwriting Comparison

posted by on June 6 at 11:50 AM

The police have announced they’re going to be doing handwriting analysis to help them confirm their suspicion that the letter released this morning was in fact written by Kyle Huff. I’m no handwriting expert, but back in late March, when I was working on this profile of Kyle Huff, somone slipped me a copy of one of Kyle Huff’s job applications, and it now provides a handy point of comparison.

Let’s start with the word that Huff is perhaps most famous for writing, “Now.” Here’s his job application, in which he writes that he is available to start work “now”…


Here are a couple “now”s from the letter released today…


And here is a “now” that Huff spraypainted on the front step of a home near the site of the Capitol Hill shootings…


Next, his own first name, “Kyle.” Here is his job application…


And here is the letter released this morning by police…


Finally, the word “stop.” First, the job application…


And now the letter released this morning by police…


Abortion Ban—Now Louisiana

posted by on June 6 at 11:18 AM

The state legislature in Louisiana has passed a bill banning almost all abortions in that state—maybe they’re hoping to prevent any more huge killer fetus/hurricanes from slamming into New Orleans. The angry sky god must be appeased!


There’s no exception for rape or incest, but the Louisiana abortion ban does allow for abortions in cases where the mother’s health would be permanently harmed. Temporary harm to the mother? That’s okay—and it’s also not defined, so the law seems pretty screwy. Oh, and the governor of Louisiana has already agreed to sign the bill, making it law. For those of you keeping score at home, the governor of Louisiana is a Democrat. And a woman.

“To Kane From Kyle”

posted by on June 6 at 10:46 AM

Here’s the letter that Seattle Police have just released. Larger version is here:


An apartment manager who was determined to stop illegal dumpers appears to have discovered the single piece of evidence that provides insight into what drove Kyle Aaron Huff to shoot and kill six young people at a house party in Capitol Hill last March, shortly before he turned the gun on himself.

The manager, who has not been identified by police, looked through his Dumpster on the 2700 block of NE 115th Street and on April 24 contacted police — but it wasn’t about the letter.

“While looking through the Dumpster he found a suspicious device,” said Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Deanna Nollette. “It was a lump of modeling clay with wires coming out of it and a digital clock — it looked bomblike.”

SPD summoned the bomb squad, which found the device to be harmless. “The ingredients were inert,” said Nollette. Police looked through the rest of the Dumpster, however, and it’s then that the letter was found.

Police are analyzing the handwriting on the letter against other samples of Huff’s writing they have recovered during the course of the investigation.

There is no evidence suggesting that the bomb-like device belonged to Huff — it was merely found in the same Dumpster, which was located a little over a mile from the Huff residence, at 12320 Roosevelt Way, in North Seattle. “It was a needle in a haystack,” said Nollette.

The photocopy of the letter released to the media appears to have been written on the back of a notice from the landlord of the Town and Country Apartments, which is where the Huff twins lived.

Nollette refused to say whether Kyle’s twin brother, Kane Huff has been able to provide additional evidence, such as whether Kane found the letter and disposed of it. “We can’t comment on the investigation,” said Nollette.

We have posted the transcript after the jump, and here is Eli Sanders’ post on Huff’s handwriting.

Continue reading ""To Kane From Kyle"" »

Gas Station TV

posted by on June 6 at 10:22 AM

Because without it, “Pumping gas is boring and mundane.”

Kyle Huff’s Letter

posted by on June 6 at 9:34 AM


It appears that the letter police discovered in a trash bin behind Kyle Huff’s apartment is genuine—Huff is the author, Seattle police have confirmed. The letter lays out Huff’s motive for opening fire at an after-party on Capitol Hill in March. Huff murdered six people at the Blue House on Republican, a popular and peaceful site of numerous house parties, before committing suicide when confronted by police.

Tom Francis is down at police HQ picking up a copy of the letter. We will post the contents of the letter here shortly. Stay tuned.

The Morning News

posted by on June 6 at 1:25 AM

Bush supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage; his press secretary, Tony Snow, says he considers the ban a matter of “civil rights” - for heteros. Americans, meanwhile, shrug.

Somali capitol falls to militants; American officials worry.

The Supreme Court says it will rule on race as a factor in school admissions; conservatives applaud.

Palestianian president Mahmoud Abbas calls for a nationwide referendum on recognition of Israel; Hamas freaks.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (who?) expresses worry about inflation; stocks plunge.

Gregoire hedges on the state pharmacy board’s decision to let pharmacists deny prescriptions at will; the Times and P-I run the exact same story about it.

A congressional report reveals that the US government dumped chemical weapons in the ocean for decades; “whoops,” Army says.

The world loves The Da Vinci code; the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane hates it.

A Roman priest asks God to save his dying mother; God, apparently, says no.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Those Really Cool College Republicans

posted by on June 5 at 10:36 PM

The College Republican National Committee is recommending that students hold Global Cooling Beach Parties & set up Snow Cone Stands to belittle Al Gore’s movie.

The CRNC site also posts a brief analysis paper from 1997 criticizing Clinton’s intention to commit to Kyoto. (I’ve linked it below for your reading pleasure.)

Al Gore, if you read the Slog, and I know that you do, please post a lengthy comment.

Continue reading "Those Really Cool College Republicans" »

On My Desk

posted by on June 5 at 6:26 PM

I was asked to submit photographic evidence to this blog that my desk is a pig pen. There’s no denying it. Not anymore.

Kudos to the Nerds

posted by on June 5 at 5:06 PM

At the city’s Department of Planning and Development, whose web site is a model for how governments can use technology to improve public access to information. (SPD, are you listening?) You can learn an incredible array of facts about any property or neighborhood in Seattle, from the general (the zoning in a particular area) to the specific (complaints and land-use history by property, going back to 1983; interactive maps, including detailed aerial photos, of every land parcel in the city) to the very, very specific (wind speed and exposure levels throughout the city; location, photos, and detailed information about every billboard in Seattle). They’re even working on a Google map that combines information on land use permits, complaints, and permits. The beta version is a little buggy, but it’s going to be a great resource for developers and land-use nerds like me once it’s up and running.

Wendy, Dorothy, And Alice Get Their Freak On

posted by on June 5 at 4:24 PM

The sexual awakening of Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy Gale, and Wendy of Peter Pan, rendered in comic-book form? This is going to cause a stir. Where do I get a copy?

Would These Faces Lie?

posted by on June 5 at 3:20 PM

Tim Eyman and his good pals, Jack and Mike Fagan, at Eyman’s phony press conference this morning. Anyone want to suggest a caption?


P.S. Here’s another image for your captioning pleasure, complete with light saber.

SIFF News: New Reviews, and a Wee Update

posted by on June 5 at 1:57 PM

This weekend was a leisurely one for me, having limited my intake to a modest one movie per diem. Those were: Lunacy (demented, yes, and I liked the Benito Cereno conceit, but the animation was unimaginative and overall it felt excessively earnest—I could have done without the post-orgy lecture extolling the virtues of blasphemy); Into Great Silence, about which more below; The Puffy Chair (eminently watchable and quite funny, though more than anything else I kept thinking that it would’ve been perfect for the university film series I used to program) plus David Russo’s I Am (Not) Van Gogh, which was great. Especially the fish.


Into Great Silence, pictured above, is one of the longest movies in the festival (at 164 minutes, it’s bested only by the multi-part marathons The Century of the Self, The Line of Beauty, and A Lion in the House). There are a few missteps, but I really enjoyed it (capsule review here). Its illustration of the monkish life didn’t exactly make me want to quit my job and take vows of poverty and chastity, but it did make me want to clean my apartment. The next screening is Wednesday at 4 pm at the Harvard Exit.

Yet another reason I can’t quite credit claims that violent movies don’t affect behavior: I’ve become dangerously obsessed with crossword puzzles since watching Wordplay, a movie I didn’t even particularly like. (Note to self: mother-of-pearl=nacre, you idiot! I’m so pathetic, I can’t even finish a Monday.)

And one last new review: Sa-Kwa (which has been translated as “Sorry Apple”—a much better title, I think, even though it doesn’t make immediate sense). It screens next weekend at Pacific Place and Tuesday the 13th at the Harvard Exit.

Finally, if you read our SIFF Notes grid and tried to go to a very poor South African film called Cape of Good Hope at 2 pm today, I’m sorry. That seems to have been a mistaken holdover from last year’s grid.

Playing It By Ear

posted by on June 5 at 1:43 PM

Remember this show? John Kaufmann got a bunch of actors to wear earpieces and channel the voices of anonymous people spread across the city. Some were traveling from one place to another, talking about what they were seeing. Some were telling stories. Some were telling jokes. Some were reading old middle school mash notes. It was a chaotic, confessional, fun mess.

Seems like some Brits got the same idea.

(And I hear that Kaufmann show might be coming back sometime soon… )

That Upraised Digit Ain’t a Thumb

posted by on June 5 at 12:51 PM

In which Gene and Roger talk some glorious smack.

How will you spend 6/6/06?

posted by on June 5 at 12:50 PM


Some ideas from Ben Claassen

Sculpture park webcam, Ha-diva, Cris Bruch, The Lawrimore Project

posted by on June 5 at 12:44 PM

I swear, this is the last you’ll hear from me today. Sorry for hogging the screen this morning, there’s just a bunch of good stuff out there.

1. I found out Friday there’s a webcam on the construction at the Olympic Sculpture Park on the Elliott Bay waterfront. It’s only slightly more interesting than watching paint dry, but at least you can get a look-see. (There used to be a webcam on the SAM building expansion, but that’s down now that the work is restricted mostly to interiors, and the museum wants to keep those a surprise until the 2007 opening.) The last I heard, the sculpture park was set to open in October. A museum spokeswoman this morning told me a firm date for the opening will be announced this week.

2. The great new blogger CultureGrrl (Lee Rosenbaum of the New York Times, Art in America, etc fame) has her own anecdotes about the Iraqi-born star architect Zaha Hadid, about whom Nicolai Ouroussoff raved in his review of her Guggenheim retrospective this weekend.

I went into Ouroussoff’s piece an admirer of Hadid’s architecture (from afar: her first American building, a contemporary arts center in Cincinnati, opened in 2003, and I haven’t been there yet, let alone to her other far-flung creations), but I did not know she was a full-fledged painter with an affinity for Russian constructivism:


(Guggenheim press contact this morning says the show, Hadid’s first US retrospective, isn’t traveling.)

3. Jim Demetre points out this morning on Artdish that Seattle sculptor Cris Bruch has a new show up at Elizabeth Leach in Portland. Bruch’s work is always worth traveling for. The last show of his I saw was in April in Tacoma, where a series of trashcan lids punched with holes that spelled messages in cursive were lit from beneath and glowed in a take on the illuminated manuscript (and, according to the press release, a return to his socially invested work of the 1980s). This new piece is called Longest Shortest Distance:


Until now, Bruch hasn’t had gallery representation in Seattle, but that will change this fall, when he shows at the eagerly anticipated space The Lawrimore Project.

Which leads us to …

4. Scott Lawrimore, formerly of Greg Kucera Gallery, has been working for months renovating his own space in a building south of downtown that once housed a sign-painting company. The space is highly psychological—Lawrimore asked me not to spoil the opening by saying much more—and designed by the Seattle artist-architect team Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, aka Lead Pencil Studio (of last year’s Minus Space exhibition at the Henry). Now for the news: Opening night of the Lawrimore Project’s first show, by performance trio SuttonBeresCuller, is June 22. The three artists will actually be spending the opening closing themselves in a box where they’ll spend the entirety of their show making what they’ll show at the closing party a few weeks later.

If Lawrimore can “get things cleaned up around here,” then he’ll open the space to the public before then, on the night of Friday the 16th through Sunday the 18th. The architectural design is worth its own spotlight.

Eyman & Co. to Media: “Feel like you’ve been duped this morning — well, you have.”

posted by on June 5 at 11:55 AM

Last week, Tim Eyman told every reporter on his email list that he would be in Olympia today at 11 a.m., “bringing down petitions” to the Secretary of State’s office. The implication was clear: Eyman had enough signatures for his anti-gay referendum, R-65, and would be turning them in today, one day before the Tuesday deadline. Well, it turns out today’s press event was a total ruse — and if you want to see reporters get mad, try luring them all the way down to Olympia for a phony event, and then mocking them to their faces.

Eyman, dressed in a Darth Vader outfit to emphasize how little he cares about being perceived as some sort of “dark lord,” walked a small batch of signed R-65 petitions past the desks at the Secretary of State’s office and then turned around and walked right back out of the office, still holding the signed petitions. There were maybe 30 petitions, containing about 20 signatures each, which means Eyman showed up today with about 600 signatures in favor of R-65, nowhere near the 112,000 he needs.

The inescapable conclusion: He doesn’t have the signatures, and he was using today’s press event in a last ditch effort to get free press, through which he might encourage more people to sign R-65 petitions before tomorrow’s deadline. One of his cohorts said as much, telling the assembled reporters:

“Feel like you’ve been duped this morning — well, you have.”

The reporters weren’t having it. When Eyman tried to use his camera time to stump for R-65 and a car tabs initiative he’s pushing this year, a radio reporter cut him off, telling Eyman that the media wasn’t there to air a commercial for him. A print reporter asked Eyman if he was even capable of running a successful referendum campaign without misleading people (as Eyman’s been doing with R-65), and without misleading the press. Eyman didn’t have a good answer for that one, except to say that he doesn’t care what reporters think of him, as long as they write about him.

“There’s no such thing as bad press, that’s the reality,” he said.

There were boxes of petitions that Eyman had brought to the event with him, and I asked one of the Eyman supporters to open up the sealed boxes. Turns out the boxes weren’t holding R-65 petitions, they were holding petitions for Eyman’s car tabs initiative — petitions that weren’t even due this week.

“You have to be accountable in politics,” Eyman was saying.

I asked him if this event was an example of running an accountable political campaign, given that one day before the R-65 signatures are due he can’t even tell us how many signatures he has. Again, Eyman dodged: “If we were at all concerned about being well-liked and respected…”

Bottom line: This was one of the most unprincipled press conferences I’ve ever seen, and my sense is that the reporters whose time was wasted this morning are furious. I hesitate to even write about it, given Eyman’s “no such thing as bad press” mantra, but I do think it’s important to give a sense of how dishonest he’s willing to be in order to get a camera in front of himself. It will be interesting to see how the dailies and the television stations handle this stunt — if they give it any attention at all.

One Thing You Could Do Tonight, If You Like Giggling

posted by on June 5 at 11:30 AM

Brad Steinbacher suggests a SIFF film:

‘The Call of Cthulhu’
Based on the cult H. P. Lovecraft story, The Call of Cthulhu is a fine example of creativity trumping—actually, outright spanking—a lack of funding. A mere 47 minutes long, director Andrew Leman’s film takes its style from the early silent greats, crafting a gorgeous, haunting, pitch-perfect mini-epic. Short films rarely get me excited; this one had me giggling. Shows with the shorts The Radium Follie and Terra Incognita. (Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 324-9996. 9:15 pm, $10.)

This is not to be confused with Cthulhu, the movie that Dan Gildark and Grant Cogswell are making (which has also had its share of financial hiccups, and isn’t finished yet, though I think it’s been shot)…

It’s A Class Issue, Like Everything Else

posted by on June 5 at 11:17 AM

Warning: This post is going to mention Dale Chihuly, so if you’re allergic to anything I have now or ever will say about him, step aside and keep up the blind loathing/loving/dismissal/avoidance.

In the last column I wrote for The Stranger, called Things Don’t Make Themselves, I called out some holes in a recent New York Times story that blithely described a division in the art world between thinkers and makers as intellectually grounded in something “post-conceptual.” I highlighted an artist who “omitted from publicity materials that she hired 20 poor Zulu women to glue glass beads to the barbed-wire cage she showed at White Cube Gallery in London. She wanted the piece to be aesthetic, not social, not tainted by the rags that came before the riches.”

The blogger Art Powerlines covered this in a piece I just saw this morning but that was posted several weeks ago (now that I know he’s out there, I’ll check him/her every day, I know!). A good little discussion took off about this on the comments, between Megan V. and Art Powerlines:

Megan V: It seems to me that there is a big difference between what the 1960’s conceptualists and minimalists did in telephoning in the dimensions of their sculptures to a fabrication company, and what Lou does. I think the difference is partially this: those early minimalist sculptures acknoweldged the anonymous nature of their production, they didn’t try to hide it. Like in your LeWitt quote, the materials are part of the concept. So, you have a concept behind the works that is at least partially in coherence with the anonymity of their production, the mechanized, assembly-line aesthetic, the industrial materials, etc.

A steel cube is one thing, a million hand-attached beads is another. The concept behind Lou’s work depends on the viewer looking at and marvelling over the millions of tiny beads, and being aware of that labor. Not given any indication otherwise, one assumes that she did it herself…. and her one pair of hands attaching the millions of tiny beads is a very different thing than dozens of anonymous hands attaching them. It’s like if you found out that Janine Antoni didn’t chew away her own chocolate cubes… it would change the interpretation of the work. Wouldn’t it?

Art Powerlines: What has struck me most about Liza Lou is how she didn’t want to “call attention” to the process of the work, rather the finished product. No one wants to call attention to how the latest air jordans are being made either.

The first line of the press release for Liza Lou’s exhibition at White Cube: “Combining visionary, conceptual and craft approaches, Lou makes mixed-media sculptures and room-size installations that are suggestive of a transcendental reality.”

Transcendental reality? It is so interesting. I don’t see how you can operate your studio like NAFTA and say it’s transcending reality. Do you?

I post this in contrast to an early response I got from a powerful person in contemporary art locally, who told me after reading my first Chihuly piece that by questioning his production methods, I was shirking my duty to educate the masses that art is not handicraft. Class divide, indeed.

Three Things on the Decline of the West

posted by on June 5 at 11:06 AM

Though written by a critic, Rodger Sandall, whose politics clearly stand opposite mine, this essay on Oswald Spengler entertained me for three reasons.

One, it has an extract from The Decline of the West (Spengler’s most famous book—1922) that, despite its bad motives, paints a fairly accurate vision of the future, the world we are in now:

An age of violent conflict is opening, and with the First World War of 1914-1918 it is obvious an era of perpetual warfare has begun.
New Caesars with armies of fanatical devotees struggle for mastery. Meanwhile the mass of mankind looks on with growing bewilderment, apathy, or resignation, prepared to accept the fate that determined soldiers, terrorist movements, fearful police and militarised states impose.
But long before this comes about, political ideologies and parties will have lost their meaning. Life in a globalised world falls to a level of uniformity where local and national differences virtually cease to exist. The only places that matter will be a handful of gigantic “world citiesā€¯—New York, Berlin, Tokyo or Beijing. These will be what Hellenistic Alexandria and Imperial Rome were to the ancient world—vast assemblages of people all living on top of one another, a mob following anyone who keeps them amused.
The lives of the masses will be an empty rehearsal of dull tasks and brutal diversions—arenas and gladiators, gross spectacles of sensuality and sadism watched by drunken roaring crowds.

Two, from Spengler’s book The Hour of Decision (1933), the essay extracts this inspiring (at least for me) passage:

…the arrogance of the urban intellect, which, detached from its roots and no longer guided by strong instinct, looks down with contempt on the full-blooded thinking of the past and the wisdom of ancient peasant stock… Rationalism is at bottom nothing but criticism, and the critic is the reverse of a creator: he dissects and he reassembles; conception and birth are alien to him. Accordingly his work is artificial and lifeless, and when brought into contact with real life, it kills.
(The figure Spengler and the Nazis loathed, the “urban intellect,” is precisely the figure I most admire.)

Lastly, I had no idea that the lefty and anti-war Lewis Mumford, whose book The City in History(1961) I’m reading at the moment, was inspired by the conservative, pro-war Spengler. How did one give birth to the other? Their connection was made here: What I love about Mumford’s book is that the vastness of its project (the history of every city to ever appear on this planet) is managed by what he calls a “mighty theme,” which is exactly what Spengler used, a mighty theme (“The history of mankind as a form of moral prophecy”), to manage the vastness of The Decline of the West, a book which I have yet to complete. But the materials in each of my favorite books (Das Capital, Arcades Project, Little Dorrit, In Search of Lost Time) are organized by a mighty theme—one muscular concept that shapes the chaos of the world into something readable. As with all tools, the mighty concept (or theme) has its good users and its bad ones.

The Ambitious Understudy

posted by on June 5 at 10:30 AM

Clorox, soda, and a Texas high school. Here’s the saddest part:

The warrant notes that Smith “had a lot of family coming in from out of town to see the play and watch her perform.” Additionally, Smith’s mother believed that her daughter was the play’s main character, not an understudy…

(Thanks for the tip, Mr. Ballard.)

Married, In the Dark, and For Procreation Only

posted by on June 5 at 10:12 AM

Hey, straight people: right-wingers want to take repress your sexuality, too. Here’s a developing story about a fresh round of obscenity charges the Justice department is leveling at porn companies, just in time to look good for the upcoming election.

Which Is better?

posted by on June 5 at 10:01 AM

The LA Times this weekend reports on a collection of artifacts from Papua New Guinea that are currently on loan to the De Young Museum in SF (whose director is John Buchanan, recently of Portland Art Museum), and might include objects that were illegally exported from the country and are listed on that country’s national cultural patrimony list.

Papua New Guinea hasn’t made any official request that the objects be returned, but a curator at the national museum is said to want them back, and an ambassador has made similar suggestions. Meanwhile, the museum touted the objects as a major part of its reopening last year, and would no doubt like the objects to be donated permanently by their owners, John and Marcia Friede, a wealthy couple in Rye, N.Y. Friede sits on the museum board.

This is the tension I like: LA Times writer Lee Romney describes the two men at the center of the controversy, Friede and Barry Craig, an anthropologically minded former curator at the national museum in Papua New Guinea who now is at an Australian museum. (Papua new Guinea got its independence from Australia in 1975.)

There is no love lost between the men, who met in Papua New Guinea years ago. Craig expressed disdain for “Americans of a certain wealth pattern who find their immortality by donating … to art museums.” Friede, meanwhile, described anthropologists as “Marxist types” and attributed the “clamor” to Australian expats “who have a very paternalistic attitude toward the country and believe it’s their responsibility to speak for the poor little natives.”

RIP Vern Fonk

posted by on June 5 at 9:55 AM

On March 22, the Northwest lost one its most popular and beloved insurance moguls, when Vern Fonk passed away at age 75.

Fonk will primarily be remembered for his achingly bizarre television commercials, starring the bug-eyed Rob Thielke, and the phrase “Honk when you drive by Vern Fonk!

Courtesy of Belltown Messenger publisher Alex R. Mayer, here’s a scan of yesterday’s obituary from the Seattle Times:


Those who want to honk for Vern Fonk one last time can attend a memorial service this Friday in Emonds. (Full info in obit above.)

I Second That Boo, Bill T. Jones

posted by on June 5 at 9:32 AM

According to the (S.C.) State’s Spoleto Festival blog, the choreographer-performer Bill T. Jones last week returned to the stage after a performance to call out a guy who was booing his performance. When shouting “You come on down” twice didn’t elicit a response, Jones resorted to the macho “I dare you to come down,” and a silver-haired man appeared at the footlights. Somebody else in the audience, most of whom had prostrated themselves in the now-perfunctory standing ovation after Jones’ anti-war piece Blind Date, called out to Jones, “Let it go. A statement was made,” and then said, as if he, too, were being bullied by the dancer, “It was great.” “I know it was great,” the famously self-righteous Jones said.

Shouted the silver-haired man, “I disagree. I’m giving you my message.ā€¯ “What do you disagree with?ā€¯ responded Jones. A choreographer named a MacArthur genius, Jones danced “Blind Dateā€¯ in a suit, sometimes barefoot, often as counterpoint to a soldier, in a multi-media work clearly anti-war, anti-dogma and not so fond of patriotism, either. The man leaned further over the balcony rail and announced, “I think it was a cliche disguised not very cleverly as third-rate art. “Boo!ā€¯ Somewhere in this a wit yelled, “Four more years.ā€¯ … To the man booing, Jones called out, “You’re hiding behind your politics.ā€¯ He said the boos were about the politics of the art, not the art itself. He got the last word, something along the lines of, You stay out of my art; I’ll stay out of your politics.

In response to this, the State’s writer Claudia Smith Brinson wrote, “Booing is not intended as a conversation opener. And while the community agreement at sports events is to cheer and boo and do The Wave, the agreement is different at art events. … As Jones noted, people who don’t like an art performance ordinarily just leave. When Jones tried to force a dialogue, he lost some ground. But the effort was doomed, anyway. People who boo don’t want a conversation. They want to hear themselves boo.”

First of all, was this silver-haired scourge actually a rabid right-wing Bushhead, or did Jones just assume he was? If he ever came out as one, Brinson didn’t report it. What’s quoted above is the extent of what came out about the booer in his exchange with Jones. And while Brinson interviewed Jones later—”As a member of society, I feel hamstrung … I make works about my feelings,” she didn’t bother talking to the booer, who might have had something more interesting to say than Jones’s self-involved hooey.

Jones’s logic is that since he feels disenfranchised in the world, he gets to disenfranchise anybody who disagrees with him in his theater: Yeah, that’s progress. Plus, this idea that sports fans can boo but arts fans shouldn’t is ridiculous, and is part of what makes the arts seem so bloodless. When people are given the options of outright dismissal (Jones’ talk of displeased audience members who “just leave,” thereby getting out of the hair of artists who have the more important task after a performance of soaking in the audience’s worship) or sycophantic panting, who can be surprised when they choose dismissal?

Bill T. Jones, you’re a coward.

Make the Call

posted by on June 5 at 8:36 AM

With the president pushing the Federal Marriage Amendment—which would not only ban same-sex marriage but also domestic partner benefits—and the Senate getting ready to vote on the FMA, Americablog wants you to call your US Senators and Reps and ask them if they intend to to walk their talk on “traditional marriage.” As right-wingers in the House and Senate and the religious conservatives they represent oppose same-sex marriage because they hate sodomy, masturbation, adultery, prostitution, out-of-wedlock sex, and marriages that cannot procreate—all of which John documents—then we have a right to ask if they’re avoiding those terrible, anti-family activities themselves. John’s even written a script for you:

Hello, I’m calling to find out if the member of Congress supports traditional marriage? Can you tell me if he or she masturbates? Do you? What about sodomy, including analingus, cunnilingus and fellatio? Is the member willing to pledge that he/she has never, is not, and will never commit those acts? Has the member ever had sex before marriage? Have you? What about adultery and prostitution? Will they swear never to have been involved, and never to be involved, in either? Will the member promise never to divorce? And finally, if the member is married, do they have children, and if not, why not?

The Morning News

posted by on June 5 at 7:09 AM

Senate Republicans: Still homophobic.

The price of oil: Still climbing.

Ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein: Still evil.

The Bush administration: Still cracking down on the poor and immigrants.

Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: Still hates us.

Ex-VP-turned-environmental-messiah Al Gore: Still denying presidential rumors.

Gaza: Still deadly.

AIDS, 25 years on: Still really, really deadly.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: Still in charge, despite a new allegations linking him to alleged misconduct against Iraqi civilians at Haditha in 2003.

The Seattle Times: Still obsessed with the inheritance tax.

The end of the world: Still nigh.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

I Nominate Berry Gordy, Jr. for Secretary of the DOP

posted by on June 4 at 6:16 PM

I wanted to re-post this derisive post I did last Friday because the Democrats went ahead and actually did it, caving to the tofu wing of the party.