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Archives for 06/11/2006 - 06/17/2006

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Because Boobs Are Terrible Evil Things Unless There’s a Baby Attached To Them

posted by on June 17 at 5:11 PM

In the same week that women are told “breast-feed or else” comes this story: Art teacher fired for posing topless for art photos. One wonders what would have happened if she’d been photographed breast-feeding?

Stolen From Africa

posted by on June 17 at 4:10 PM

On my way to work, I happened to come across two Buffalo Soldiers, who were part of the Juneteenth march that started behind Garfield High School.

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Here is a passage from the most famous song (by Marley) about one of the most complex figures in America’s complex history, the Buffalo Soldier:


If you know your history,
Then you would know where you coming from,
Then you wouldn’t have to ask me,
Who the ‘eck do I think I am.

I’m just a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America,
Stolen from Africa, brought to America,
Said he was fighting on arrival, fighting for survival;
Said he was a Buffalo Soldier win the war for America.



The Light in the Piazza on a Sunday Morning

posted by on June 17 at 1:16 PM

After a smash premiere run at Seattle’s Intiman Theater and in the midst of a Tony-winning run on Broadway, tomorrow The Light in the Piazza, the gorgeous musical adaptation of Elizabeth Spencer’s great novella, with book by Craig Lucas, music by Adam Guettel, and direction by Bartlett Sher, airs on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center.

Airtime is Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on Seattle’s KCTS. For art lovers, musical lovers, Craig Lucas lovers, piazza lovers, or just those nursing hangovers, it should be a most lovely way to spend a Sunday morning…

Street Stylin’

posted by on June 17 at 11:10 AM

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Friday, June 16, 2006

The Old QFC Building on Broadway

posted by on June 16 at 7:20 PM

I hate the old QFC building. We all do. To see it …

Old QFC 1.JPG


… is to hate it.

And to see it as a bird sees it …

Bird's View Old QFC.jpg

… is to hate it even more. That’s it on the left — with the orange marker. Nature abhors a vacuum, and yet there it is. All that unfilled space! And across the street on the east side of Broadway is another void: the old Safeway, also with an orange marker.

Continue reading "The Old QFC Building on Broadway" »

Anti-Prostitution Hysteria

posted by on June 16 at 6:49 PM

Why is it that people who call themselves journalists instantly toss every shred of objectivity overboard when it comes to the issue of sex work? In today’s PI, guest columnist Bonnie Erbe purports to be talking about sex workers in Germany for the World Cup. But in fact, she’ s not actually reporting news, she’s just leaping from one unsubstantiated assumption to the next and frothing at the mouth as she does so.

I’ll make the standard disclaimer here: No one should be forced to do sex work, and it should be adults-only, no kids. However, Ms. Erbe doesn’t make any distinction between adult women and children, and independent businesswomen and rape victims. This line, in particular, is classic: “Whether women enter the sex trade willingly or not, no government should sanction prostitution.”
Because the government knows what’s best for you, ladies. You don’t need to worry your pretty little head about what you think is okay, other people will make your personal choices for you.

And this: “By its very nature, prostitution is demeaning to women and encourages anti-social, some would say depraved, behavior by men.”
It enrages me that people who don’t know anything about sex work toss off lines like this as if it had been handed to them on a stone tablet instead of on a press release from anti-sex-workers activist group. Guess what, Bonnie, you don’t get to define my experience. I’m a sex worker, I’ve had sex for money, and I didn’t feel demeaned by it. My clients are actually very ordinary men with jobs and mortgages and the whole American Dream thing going on, and I bet if I did a line-up, you’d be utterly unable to distinguish guys who were my clients from guys who weren’t.
So you can take your demeaning and depraved soundbites and stuff them. That would be doing us sex workers a major-league favor.


McGavick: Processing the War

posted by on June 16 at 5:38 PM

A Democratic hack friend of mine thinks GOP Senate candidate Mike McGavick should come out against the Iraq war, saying it would be a brilliant political move. However, McGavick seems to have a better idea: Criticize the Senate’s role in U.S. military policy, but not U.S. military policy itself.

In an article published earlier this week in Vancouver, WA’s daily, The Columbian, McGavick exploits incumbent D Senator Maria Cantwell’s hazy position on the war. Meeting w/ the Columbian’s edit board, McGavick questioned Congress for giving Bush a blank check. His criticism is obviously a dig at Sen. Cantwell…

But cleverly enough…he frames the issue not as an anti-Iraq-war position, but as a process issue that, de facto, casts Cantwell in a failing role.


Here’s the Columbian’s write-up of McGavick’s spiel:

McGavick takes stand Wednesday, June 14, 2006 By KATHIE DURBIN Columbian staff writer

Congress has ceded too much power to the executive branch of government and needs to reassert its authority to help set the terms of war, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick said Tuesday during a trip to Vancouver.
‘I think it’s become too easy for this nation to go to war,” he said. “We backed our way into war.” In a meeting with The Columbian’s editorial board, he said the way the nation went to war in Iraq in 2003 and in Vietnam in the 1960’s undercut the “unified resolve” needed to hold the American people together in wartime.
The legislative branch has failed to defend its authority to declare war under the War Powers Act and scarcely debated the Bush administration’s new policy of pre-emptive war, McGavick said. That’s dangerous, he said, in a time when the United States has the “unilateral destructive power” to take over another nation “in a day.”
“I don’t like the stew we’re mixing,” he said. “I don’t see anyone on either side discussing this, and it distresses me enormously.”
McGavick appeared to distance himself from the Bush Administration’s conduct of the Iraq war and he declined to criticize Cantwell for her stance on the war, calling her vote to give President Bush the authority to go to war “courageous.” That vote has cost Cantwell support from those opposed to the war within her own party.

However, McGavick spokesperson Elliott Bundy told me this afternoon that McGavick is not against the war in Iraq and accused the Columbian of spinning the article to make it appear as if he was. Bundy says McGavick thinks, “setting a time table is wrong. The least moral option is withdrawing troops ahead of establishing democracy in Iraq.”

I interviewed McGavick about the war last month, and indeed, he said he supports the war in Iraq and says he would have have voted for it. He thinks removing Sadaam Hussein was important in the war on terrorism.

Bundy says McGavick’s criticism of Congress is not a criticism of the Iraq war, but a “forward looking position” about establishing a “much more extensive role for Congress.”

Meanwhile, Down the Ballot

posted by on June 16 at 5:38 PM

Seattle Citizens for Free Speech, the group that wants to overturn the four-foot rule in strip clubs (among other new restrictions) has raised nearly $550,000. I’m not positive, but I think that may be the largest amount ever raised for a city initiative—and the election is still five months away.

Two Things

posted by on June 16 at 5:38 PM

The best parade in the city (sorry queers) takes place in Freemont, tomorrow at noon. The Solstice Parade is a showcase for all the freaks in town (why be normal, right?) to display their silliness for the rest of us. Giant robots, dance troupes, floats, art cars, kids in costumes and, of course, naked cyclists. No text or company logos are allowed, so there are no Jaycees, Miss South Seattle Freight Haulers Association, or politicians looking for free publicity. Just folks showing their craft of acting outlandish. There’s also fun and music to be had at the Fair that takes place throughout the weekend in quickly suckifying Fremont. Sunday looks especially bangin’ with performances by Llama, Sgt. Major, New Fangs and the Tall Boys.

ALSO: Go see “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple” Sunday, 7pm at the Egyptian. It will fuck you up.

Sally Clark Update

posted by on June 16 at 5:29 PM

Sally Clark, incumbent of less than five months in Seattle City Council position 9 (Jim Compton’s former seat) has raised nearly $30,000 toward her reelection campaign so far, and three June events (including fundraisers sponsored by 43rd District Rep. Ed Murray, City Council members Jan Drago and Richard Conlin, and local powerhouse consultant Christian Sinderman) are not yet reflected in Clark’s fundraising totals. (Her birthday party/fundraiser will be sponsored in part by one of the contenders for the appointment that ultimately went to Clark, Columbia City activist/realtor Darryl Smith.)

What political observers are starting to wonder is: How come no one is running against Clark? With less than a year under her belt, you might expect her to be the most politically vulnerable member of the council. (Regular council elections, in which Clark will also have to participate if she’s reelected, are in 2007.) However, none of the candidates who sought appointment to Compton’s seat earlier this year have expressed an interest publicly in running, and many of the top few contenders, all of them minority women, are widely viewed as stronger candidates for appointment than election. Clark has also shown herself to be a thoughtful, hardworking council member with a disarming sense of humor and an ability to ask tough, smart questions. Unless someone steps up with a strong record in local politics, money, and powerful friends on the council or elsewhere, Clark may have the council’s safest seat.

World Cup Fever!

posted by on June 16 at 5:03 PM

People! I’ve got World Cup fever! Handsome men of all ethnicities in shorts running endlessly back and forth + an excuse to drink beer at odd hours: What’s not to love? Also: I was lucky enough to be in a small town in France that time that France won the Cup (1998, maybe?), and I watched it in the town square (feverish excitement!), and upon winning it all the frogs went ape-shit, turning over cars and singing “We Are the Champions” (with a French accent it sounds like “We Are the Champignons” or “We Are the Mushrooms”), sealing my amour of this most excellent tournament 4-ever.

I went to two bars broadcasting Cup games before realizing it behooved me to attend the England v. Trinidad/Tobago game at the George & Dragon (which is GOING OFF, Cupwise) and write about that for Bar Exam next week. So, for the fellow-fevered, the column I started to write after the jump. (The woman that fell out of her chair was a blonde; do I need to say it?) (And: Tomorrow at noon, you can watch our Team U.S.A. get their asses handed to them by the Italians!)

Continue reading "World Cup Fever!" »

Poster of the Week

posted by on June 16 at 4:59 PM

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Capt. Obvious

posted by on June 16 at 4:57 PM

In the days following the Capitol Hill shootings, as the Seattle Police Department struggled to explain what drove Kyle Huff’s murderous rage, they turned to one man: Professor James Alan Fox, a Northeast University (in Boston) professor who is one of the nation’s leading experts on criminal behavior.

Fox was placed in charge of a special task force. Interviews were conducted with Huff’s relatives, his friends and with survivors of the shootings.

But before Fox could go public with his findings, there was a leak. In April a TV news station learned of a letter found in a Dumpster that explained Huff’s hatred for ravers. Then in early June, the SPD confirmed the existence of the letter and circulated copies. This past week the police issued the crime lab’s findings: Based on analysis of handwriting samples, we think that Kyle Huff wrote this letter.

Still, we had reason to hope that based on his expertise and his unrivaled access he might offer even more insight into Huff’s mind. After all, 12 weeks have now passed since the shootings.

So what did we get? These quotes in a Seattle Times story:

“He perceived them as being evil.”

I wonder what gave him that idea — you know, besides Huff killing six ravers. Maybe it was Kyle Huff’s letter. In it, Huff wrote:

“The things they say and do are just too disturbing to me to just ignore”

Fox also tells us this about Huff’s attitudes toward ravers:

“He saw himself as a revolutionary.”

And my guess is that he learned this from this part of Huff’s letter:

“This is a revolution, brother”

Fox told the Times that Huff believed he was on a “mission.” Kyle, what say you?

“…this is something I feel I have to do. My life would always feel incomplete otherwise.”

You get the idea. And I guess the question is, how much did we pay for Fox’s unique powers of perception?

The Human Condition

posted by on June 16 at 4:42 PM

Density is the solution to everything. From the Vancouver Sun:

Last year Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation took aim at the popular myth that living in the country or suburbs is better for your health. The organization declared that the “suburban dream has gone sour,” releasing evidence that clearly showed that car-dependent Canadians get far less physical activity and are at greater risk of being overweight or obese… The closer you are to the corner store the more chance you will walk. Walking for non-work trips increased 19 per cent with each quartile increase in the number of retail establishments in the area, according to a King County 2005 study.
347048030_l.jpg Healthy density in Vancouver.

SIFF Sex Scandal!

posted by on June 16 at 4:36 PM

Alright, it’s not really a scandal, and only tangentially connected to SIFF, but this new I, Anonymous submission is sexy, SIFFy, and scandalous enough to warrant your attention:

Yesterday my partner and I went to see the movie “In Bed” (part of SIFF) at the Egyptian. The movie starts (sound only, some visuals of sheets moving) with a heterosexual couple loudly having sex, and it goes on for a couple minutes. The whole movie focuses on this casual sexual relationship between the two—about 1/3 of the movie was just sex, the rest was them getting to know each other. In any case, regardless of your sexual orientation (we’re queer girls) it was hot.

So, the movie gets boring…and I invite my lady to take off. She bolts for the bathroom, which is empty, and we head into the large stall and well, get to it. You know….

After a couple minutes these two women come in and are talking REALLY loudly, it was totally odd; at this point we’re not doing anything but um..we’d like to come out of the stall and go home! They talk and talk and it occurs to us that they’re trying to keep us in there? Get us to come out? Weird. A couple minutes later we walk out and some asswipe manager comes in and says “If you guys have to use the bathroom can you at least go into a single stall? You really shouldn’t use the handicapped stall for so long because..” blah blah blah. What she was really saying was “I’m so jealous that you two love birds get to fuck in here after watching a hot movie, and those two bitches were totally freaked out by your lezzie sex! Please stop making me so jealous ‘cause I never get any action except with my toys!”.

My partner and I were both amazed that these two women actually CARED enough to go and get someone! Hell, if I saw two pairs of feet in a stall I’d hang around to watch- I think people getting in on is hot, more power to ya..what’s the harm?

Oh Egyptian people, you need to have a more healthy acceptance of sexuality. Relax! And go get some…

Impromptu lesbian sex: Eternal component of cosmopolitan ladies’ rooms, or inappropriate pollution of public space? Discuss.

SIFF 2006: Closing Weekend

posted by on June 16 at 4:34 PM

There are tons of interesting movies at SIFF this weekend—it’s a final, last-minute pileup before we all go into movie withdrawal, just in time to ignore the summer blockbusters. Tonight, check out Sundance favorite Quinceañera, the big, gay, Canadian C.R.A.Z.Y., the weirdly satisfying Slovene black comedy Gravehopping (love the scene with the language instruction tapes), the ever-intriguing François Ozon’s Time to Leave, and French pop lust galore in Backstage. And a special event: Portatastic, fronted by Mac McCaughan of Superchunk, plays a live original score to the very cool Lon Cheney film The Unknown (by Tod Browning of Freaks explo-sideshow fame). Tickets are a little steep at $20, but I’d venture to suggest it’s worth it.

It’s hard to find an image for The Unknown, but if you do a Google image search for the phrase, the following strange thing appears. It has nothing to do with the movie, but I thought you’d enjoy it:

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Saturday, check out the lovely local film We Go Back if you missed it Tuesday. It’s rush tickets only for Strangers with Candy (yum!), but waiting in line for dubious reward may not be so boring when Jerri Blank lookalikes are constantly streaming past, angling for free tickets to the SWC afterparty. The other special event is Melodic Meshes, a cool-sounding collection of avant garde shorts (usual-suspect Meshes of the Afternoon, by Maya Deren, is actually the only one I’ve seen), including Tung (Bruce Baillie), Hands (Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke), The Furies (Slavko Vorkapich), and one by by Joseph Cornell. Finally, I’d put money on the Sneak Midnight Film Saturday night being Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly—the print’s in town for a press screening next week, and SIFF’s coy clue (“a twisted new animated film from a director who first made his mark at SIFF with a film in 1991”) seems to fit.

And then… the moment we’ve all been waiting for…. Sunday, June 18, The Last Day of SIFF 2006. Repeat screenings include C.R.A.Z.Y. and Quinceañera, Monster House, Backstage, and Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. Oh, and Broken Sky, which Dan Savage really, really liked, for some reason.

We have a new in-house review for The Science of Sleep, the closing night movie for this year. Happy Gondrying!

Ten Tiny Dances

posted by on June 16 at 4:10 PM

Ten choreographers. A new dance every fifteen minutes. A very small stage. In a bar.

It’s called Ten Tiny Dances. It started years ago in a town called Portland with a man named Mike Barber. Now Barber and Crispin Spaeth (recently of Dark Room at Western Bridge) co-curate and perform Ten Tiny Dances both here and there. The Seattle iteration will go down this Saturday and Sunday at the Capitol Hill Arts Center.

Past participants include Crispin Spaeth, Sarah Rudinoff, Juliet Waller Pruzan & Stephen Hando, Amy O’Neal & locust, Monster Squad, and others.

It’s a nice way to get your modern dance on without feeling like you’re being held hostage—the pieces are short, there is booze, and you can come and go as you please.

(Now please enjoy today’s best headline: Magician ‘told to shut up about death’. I didn’t link to the story because it’s so sad, it takes all the fun out of the title. Don’t read it.)

The Burner Rally

posted by on June 16 at 4:06 PM

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Here are a couple of images from Darcy Burner’s noon rally at Westlake Plaza, an event designed to provide a counter-point to President Bush’s mid-day Medina fundraiser for Burner’s opponent, Dave Reichert.

Burner cast herself as the candidate who would stand up to the president, rather than stand with him. “Together, we are going to stop George Bush,” she told the crowd. State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz was there and, as usual, he was good for a rabid quote: “This administration is nothing but a second-rate, jewlery store smash-and-grab robbery.” (Pelz is pictured below, with Burner.)

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Street Stylin’

posted by on June 16 at 3:49 PM

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Click the photo for a close-up of her eye paint

“Cynical & Salty”

posted by on June 16 at 3:35 PM

I’ve been giving Sen. Maria Cantwell a drubbing for prioritizing out-of-state operatives to run her campaign…flying in Kerry “talent,” at every turn, for example.

I know it’s kind of provincial of me, but seriously, I do think it represents a bad impulse: A drift away from local sensibilities in favor of a pour & stir DNC-style campaign…which tend to be skittish and lackluster.

So, I’m happy to report that Cantwell just hired Kelly Wicker as her campaign’s political director. Wicker is a longtime local Democratic hack, and most notably, did political outreach during Locke’s 2000 campaign (I know, I know…but still, Locke won that one w/ 58% of the vote) …And she was also the external affairs point person in his administration. Most recently, Wicker worked for Secretary Valoria Loveland at the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture.

I don’t know a lot about Wicker, she’s been described to me as “cynical” and “salty” … but it’s nice to see Cantwell tap a local for such a key spot. Although, I hear a number of locals also turned the spot down.

Birthday wishes

posted by on June 16 at 3:26 PM

On July 6th, President Bush will be turning the Big Six-Oh. Which makes me wonder, what sort of gift is appropriate for one of the most feared, hated and (gag) respected people on earth?

How about a braided leather whip or Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook?

(High-five to the Sultan of Brunei for his wicked sense of humor.)

If You’re Looking for Something to Do on Father’s Day and You Like Short Stories…

posted by on June 16 at 3:12 PM

…you might want to go to “Short Stories Live!” at Town Hall Seattle on Sunday. I’ve been to “Short Stories Live!” and even though that exclamation mark bugs me, it’s my opinion that being read to in an excited voice is a perfectly fine way to kill Sunday afternoon hours. Plus, the stories this Father’s Day installment happen to be of the drunk-and-abusive-parents variety (Dickens, Dorothy Allison, Frank O’Connor). Ticket information here.

HUMP Tickets!

posted by on June 16 at 3:08 PM

From the HUMP! mailbag…

When do HUMP! tickets go on sale? I’ve searched your website through, and if the information is there, I’m sorry I simply cannot find it. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME!!!!—Chelsea

First let me say that everyone at HUMP! HQ just adores your enthusiasm, Chelsea. And you’re not the only person that has written in to ask about buying tickets to HUMP!, Seattle’s second annual amateur porn contest.

But Chelsea, honey, we only just announced the contest! Filmmakers don’t have to submit their finished entries until August 20, and HUMP! itself doesn’t go down until September 8-9, 2006, at Northwest Film Forum. Ticket sales? Right now we’re worried about getting release forms to filmmakers and doing all we can to grease the, er, wheels for folks who want to make and star in a film for HUMP! We’ll worry about ticket sales later!

But rest assured, Chelsea, once the tickets go on sale you’ll read about it here first!

Britney + Matt - Socks = LUV!

posted by on June 16 at 2:54 PM

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Did you check out the Britney Spears interview last night on Dateline — LIKE I ASKED YOU TO? Ohhh, boy! Was it a doozy! If the point of the interview was to remedy Britney’s ridiculously bad public image… well, it worked. Because all I could think during the entire interview was, “WOW. Matt Lauer is a total kiss-ass douche-bag.” Even Barbara Walters never pitched so many soft-ball questions—and then ANSWERED THEM.
But my fave part was when Matt asked Brit what she sees in hubby Kevin Federline, and her response was “he’s simple.” Which makes perfect sense, because of course you always want to date someone who’s more stupid than yourself. Secondly: HEY MATT. WHERE THE FAWK ARE YOUR SOCKS? For some reason Matt’s feet were going commando, covered only by a pair of really gross brown loafers. Was he dressing like a hillbilly to put Britney more at ease? Fave part III: After Britney bawled her eyes out after being asked “If the papparazzi were being too mean,” Matt put the question to the viewers at home. “Are the papparazzi being too mean to Britney? Vote on our online poll at nbc.com. It’s right below the question, ‘Are Nazis being too mean to the Jews?’”

P.S. I do have to admit that Britney’s fun bags looked amazing.

Grace Glueck Does the Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons

posted by on June 16 at 2:33 PM

NY Times art critic and reporter Grace Glueck is seething at Tyler Green, the blogger who questioned whether Glueck should be allowed to be a trustee at the Clark Art Institute (see her review today of Anselm Kiefer at the Aldrich), when such a dual role directly violates the newspaper’s written ethics policy. Glueck has resigned her position as trustee, and according to a report in the North Adams Transcript yesterday (sorry, I’ve been off with visiting in-laws), her resignation reads:

“One example of the many inaccuracies and distortions in the blogger’s screed is his inference that I had influence in The Times’ coverage of the Clark over the years. This is an insult to the Clark and to my colleagues at The Times. Certainly the high quality of the Clark’s collection, its exhibitions and its acquisitions, its scholarship program, its long-range building projects, and its growing international fame were enough to attract the attention of my savvy colleagues without advocacy by me. And in point of fact, I never acted as an advocate.”

(That comment right there sure sounds like advocacy to me, but no matter …)

A woman working in PR for the museum tells the Transcript that this incident brings out the “good and bad” of blogging, and Glueck says that her “reason (for resigning) is that a blogger has cited as a conflict of interest, my working for The Times while serving as a Clark trustee, and as inaccurate as are his insinuations, it seems better for The Times and the Clark that I leave the Clark board.”

In other words, Glueck is resigning because of Tyler Green, not because of any wrongdoing.

What of her violation of the ethics policy, when policies like these are put in place to protect the very foundations of independent reporting, which CultureGrrrl blogger Lee Rosenbaum praises Glueck for in an odd Glueck defense this morning? (Rosenbaum tortures her own argument so much as to say that Glueck’s dual positions did pose a conflict, but not one as serious as when the Times’ former publisher sat on the Metropolitan Museum’s board.)

The fact is, it only adds insult to injury to commit an offense, and then sling mud as you grudgingly rectify it. If Glueck really feels that her dual positions presented no ethical quandary, then she shouldn’t be fighting with Tyler Green. She should be fighting with the upper management at the Times, crusading for a change in the newspaper’s policies, or at least publicly arguing for one. Until she presents a substantive defense of her perspective on the issue, I can’t help but see her, at least in part, as disingenuous.

The Dawn of the Blog of a Bride of Satan

posted by on June 16 at 1:38 PM

In a preemptory response (?) to this week’s Party Crasher, the hostess of the megafun 6/6/06 Wedding to Satan in Volunteer Park blogged a review of having her party crashed by Party Crasher. Those who worry that I’m going to show up with a marauding band of Vikings should take note. However, if you want me to show up with a marauding band of Vikings, please let me know four to six weeks in advance. Thank you for your kind attention.

Nothing About the 2004 Election Shocks Anymore

posted by on June 16 at 12:42 PM

Except, maybe, this:

African-American Voters Scrubbed by Secret GOP Hit List

One group of voters wrongly identified by the Republicans as registering to vote from false addresses: servicemen and women sent overseas.

Here’s how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, “Do not forward”, to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as “undeliverable.”

The lists of soldiers of “undeliverable” letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters’ registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted.

A check of the demographics of the addresses on the “caging lists,” as the GOP leaders called them indicated that most were in African-American majority zip codes.

Read the full story here.

GOP Strategist caught slumming in DC Pride

posted by on June 16 at 12:14 PM

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman, who ten days ago said that the war on gay marriage “…is five times as important as the war on terror and the war in Iraq combined,” was just outed on a myspace account for picking up chicks at a Pride parade in DC. The clever fox was even handing out business cards. Hot, Jack! At least they were women, you rascal.

Via Wonkette (and one thousand and one kisses for making me smile this morning):

…he told kristin about how he really enjoyed my outfit (TITS GALORE) and that i was beautiful, etc. by the end of the night (5 am or so), he was offering to pay for our room and give us a thousand dollars if two of us would fuck him. oh, jack burkman. his card is my DC souvenir.

Here’s the actual profile, complete with the aforementioned business card (courtesy of Seattle98104).

I wonder what he was doing at a Pride parade, and if he’s married or not (I couldn’t find mention of a wife). Maybe he was just trying to prove his point about The Gays—that sleaziness is like an STI they spread via handshakes. Some undercover homo must have slapped him on the back and made him horny while he was on his way to church.

For shame, The Gays. For shame.

Ladies. Wrestling. Tonight.

posted by on June 16 at 11:34 AM

David Schmader suggests:

Pin Down Girls
(LADIES WRASSLIN’)
For one night only, the Showbox transforms into a multimedia den of ass-kickin’ iniquity, as the Pin Down Girls throw down an evening of no-holds-barred, lady-on-lady tag-team wrasslin’. Among the delights: vintage female-wrestling videos, live music by Lushy and the Invisible Eyes, and “the grudge match of the century” between the Throttle Rockets and the Westward Ho’s. Best of all: Proceeds benefit 826 Seattle. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, www.ticketswest.com. 8 pm, $12 adv/$14 DOS, 21+.)

Shiny and gelatinous

posted by on June 16 at 11:23 AM

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Last night I stayed up until 2 am baking cookies for David LaChappelle’s studio staff. Why do I do things like this? Because I’m a fucking weirdo, that’s why. They turned out terrible, and I’m not sending them. Sorry dudes. I tried.

Is Rick Santorum Trying to Tell Us Something?

posted by on June 16 at 11:18 AM

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Would a straight man pull that hot pink tie from his closet—get it? closet?—and wear it to work? I mean, he looks gayer in that tie than I look in my boyfriend’s ass. Seriously, Rick. Just come out already.

Terminated With Extreme Prejudice

posted by on June 16 at 11:03 AM

The anti-straight American Taliban strikes again—this time in Idaho.

The owners of a roller skating rink have fired an 18-year-old woman they called one of their “Top 10” employees because she moved in with her boyfriend, violating a company ethics policy that prohibits “live-in relationships of an intimate nature.”

She said she was fired after casually telling her bosses, Skate Plaza owners Marvin and Pat Miller, that she planned to move in with her boyfriend in mid-May…. Pat Miller praised Plotner, saying that “In all the years that we’ve employed people, she was one of the Top 10. It was a sad day when she left because everybody loved her.”

But Miller added, “We’ve had our (employee) handbook out for many years and it does say if you live in an immoral way with a member of the opposite sex or same sex, you will be terminated.”

See, straight people? The American Taliban—even the ones who own roller rinks, those noted temples of teenage virtue—aren’t just interested in telling gay people how to live. They’re after your asses too.

Amsterdam Is the Book Capital of the World…

posted by on June 16 at 10:25 AM

…for 2008. I’m not sure why the “World Book Capital” is named two years out, or even what the “World Book Capital” is, but Seattle has never been it. From the announcement:

Amsterdam is the eighth city to be designated World Book Capital, after Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006) and Bogotá (2007).

According to the full announcement here, Amsterdam’s campaign for the title included “a costume parade on the theme of heroes in literature for young people.”

(Hat tip, Sarah Nelson.)

Re: Morning News

posted by on June 16 at 9:53 AM

In today’s morning news, Tom links to a New York Times article about how Democratic Congressional candidates are looking to win big in the suburbs this November. It’s an interesting article, worth noting again here because it zooms in on Washington State’s 8th District (the Burner-Reichert race).

Democratic hopes of retaking the House, party strategists say, could hinge on places like Bellevue, a city of 107,000 just across Lake Washington from Seattle. Here, a fast-growing Asian population and an influx of empty-nesters and singles living in new residential complexes have helped to make this the kind of district that, while continuing to send a Republican to Congress, has turned increasingly Democratic.

Folgers: Good to the Last Drop….of LSD!

posted by on June 16 at 9:32 AM

Yes, yes, those creepy Burger King ads brought a fresh dose of surrealism to contemporary advertising, but nothing prepared me for this.

Hat tip, as ever, to Jake.

Morning News

posted by on June 16 at 9:27 AM

Your paperboy is late today. Remember this when he comes collecting.

House rejects timetable for pulling out of Iraq.

A shoe bomber who actually detonated, killing 10 in a Shiite mosque in Baghdad.

Iran’s gettin’ all conciliatory on our ass.

William Jefferson gets stripped of his committee seat after the bribery scandal.

Democratic candidates troll the suburbs for votes. Meanwhile, this Wash Post blog finds hope for Republicans in gubernatorial races.

Behold, the wonders of Vitamin D.

Catholics are changing the words in mass. But it’s still kneel, sit, stand, sit, kneel, sit……

All Things Jack Black

posted by on June 16 at 9:15 AM

jack black bunny.jpg

The requisite promotional onslaught for Jack Black’s new film, Nacho Libre (opening today and reviewed by a certain buck-toothed cult hero in The Stranger here), brought to my attention the fact that he and his wife just had a baby. I must be out of touch, because I didn’t even know he had gotten married, I thought he was still dating this foxy and funny lady. Anyway, investigating all these developments led me to this delightful interview with Black in The Believer, where he and Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler discuss wedding etiquette, the Kronos Quartet, Kurt Vonnegut, and Jesus. Enjoy.

Confidential to Megan Seling: Little lady, the fact that you haven’t viewed Tenacious D: The Complete Masterworks is a cardinal sin. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the live stuff, but the HBO skits are absolutely priceless. Get thee to Rain City Video and make amends.

Bands: Minimize Your Suckiness

posted by on June 16 at 9:13 AM

Hey, local bands! Looking for pointers on how to decrease your suckiness? Head on over to Line Out for a reader-generated list…

The Birth of Friday

posted by on June 16 at 7:46 AM

Let’s begin the day (which for many of us around the world will be, expectedly or unexpectedly, the last day spent in time, in life, in all that there is) with a great description of the Big Bang:

“The universe began in a ‘Big Bang,’ which was a homogeneous explosion from an unimaginably hot, dense speck of matter and energy. The explosion, which resembled that of a hydrogen bomb but on an unimaginably grander scale of power, propelled all the stuff in it outward in all directions and spawned the universe. The universe expanded and cooled, matter slowly coalesced into the diverse structures—galaxies, stars, planets—we now see in the sky.”


Thursday, June 15, 2006

“Don’t Poll Facts. Just Sound Bites.”

posted by on June 15 at 5:34 PM

Nancy Drew has an item in this week’s In Other News about the Elway poll numbers re: the Sonics (first reported here on Slog.)

Nancy wrote:

New polling, done by local pollster Stuart Elway, has some devastating, although not surprising, news for the Sonics: 78 percent of those polled would be a-okay if the Sonics left town. Just 15 percent wanted them to stay. The poll asked whether voters were “more inclined [to] let the Sonics leave Seattle” than to pay for a KeyArena renovation with “taxes.”

However, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, who’s working behind the scenes to hammer out a deal to keep the Sonics in town, was skeptical of the poll, telling the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the question was framed to elicit a negative take on the Sonics by spinning it as a choice between raising taxes or letting the team leave. Given that raising taxes is exactly what the Sonics are demanding, it’s not clear how Ceis would have worded the question differently. NANCY DREW

We had called Ceis for a comment on this story. That is, we wanted him to tell us how he would have worded the question differently. Well, he finally called back today to tell us. Ceis said you don’t get an accurate poll result from a single question. You have to explain the talking points on both sides of the issue. As he saw it, you had to explain the Sonics’ side—they’re losing money on this lease deal. And then explain the POV of those who are against the subsidy—it’s debatable how much a sports team really contributes to the economy.

I suggested that there was more to the nay side than just a question about the Sonics’ contribution to the local economy… that the real issue was this: The current lease is also a shitty deal for the city because we’re losing $2.3 million a year, still paying off the renovation we funded for the Sonics in 1995. (We’re not supposed to be paying it off… the Sonics are!). In short, the real issue is that the public is sick of subsidizing a private business that hasn’t lived up to its end of the bargain. Why would we want to do that again, especially when we have other needs that are going unmet?

Ceis said: “Facts don’t matter in a poll, you just have to test both sides’ sound bites.”

I’ll keep that in mind when Team Nickels releases its own polling on the viaduct tunnel option or the mayor’s $1.8 billion transportation levy. When they trot out their winning numbers, I’ll know it’s based on their craftier sound bite.

Meanwhile, I asked Ceis if there was, indeed, a Sonics deal in the works.

He said: “We’re not commenting publicly now. When this issue was being debated in public, it was just raising temperatures.” He said nothing would be announced this month.

The Best Local Movie at SIFF 2006

posted by on June 15 at 4:59 PM

For tonight, Annie Wagner suggests:

‘Walking to Werner’
(SIFF FILM)
Directed by Linas Phillips, Walking to Werner is a documentary about walking on foot from Seattle to Bavarian filmmaker Werner Herzog’s house in L.A. It’s full of eccentric characters, bank-shot spirituality, and best of all, voiceover from Herzog himself, hilariously repurposed from DVD commentary tracks. It’s the best local movie at SIFF 2006. (SIFF at the Neptune, 1303 NE 45th St, 324-9996. 6:30 pm, $10.)

Old folks burnin’ for Darcy

posted by on June 15 at 4:31 PM

Gearing up for Bush’s visit tomorrow, Democrats staged a senior citizen protest today outside Reichert’s office on Mercer Island. Though expecting a protest by “geezers,” I found the crowd was late middle-aged at best. This guy sported some sweet old-timey suspenders,
suspenders.jpg
but in general there was a distinct lack of walkers, canes and crotchety behavior.
protesters.jpg
The dozen or so 8th district locals waved Pro-Darcy Burner signs at cars and two television cameras before trudging upstairs to Rep. Dave Reichert’s incredibly nondescript office and handing his secretary a letter. The letter condemned what Dems perceive as Reichert’s “rubberstamped” support of Bush’s social security plans and and MediCare cuts. In an anti-climax typical of all protests that don’t end in tear gas, the secretary informed the group that Reichert was in D.C. since Congress is in session (for once) and also could we leave quickly, please, because having so many people in the lobby violates fire code. “That’s it? We’re through?” one woman asked as the aging activists shuffled down the stairs. “You gotta love theater,” replied Viet Shelton, a Washington Dems organizer, and suggested they continue waving signs for a while. Outside Shelton seized on Richert’s absence to proclaim, “Reichert can stand with Bush tomorrow, but he can’t stand with his own constituents today.” For my part, though, I bet Reichert thinks about senior citizens an awful lot. His office is right across the street some of Mercer Island’s fine public art: this creepy, life-size statue of old people.

creep-statue.jpg

Breaking News: Changes in Neumo’s Ownership

posted by on June 15 at 4:14 PM

I just received word that Neumo’s booking agent (and Sealed With a Kiss promoter) Jason Lajeunesse, Chop Suey booking agent Steven Severin, and Neumo’s bar manager Mike Meckling have bought co-owner Marcus Charles out of his share of the Capitol Hill music venue. I’ll post more details as they become available; look for a full report in next week’s Rocka Rolla column.

Update on Dino Rossi’s Lobbying Foundation

posted by on June 15 at 4:14 PM

Mary Lane, the executive director of Dino Rossi’s new foundation, just called to tell me that the new group isn’t going to lobby legislators. They’re going to file w the PDC as a “grassroots lobbying” group, which means they can’t lobby legislators. They can only lobby the public…or “raise awareness.”

They will also have non-profit 501(c)(4) status, which means unlike 501(c)(3) nonprofits, they can take political positions and endorse candidates. They can’t, however, do independent ads targeted at the general public on behalf of candidates.

Lane says they aren’t going to take positions on candidates anyway. She says they’ll be doing mailings and ads directed at the public to advocate on state budget and fiscal issues. According to the PDC, if the group takes a position on any bill pending before the legislature it will have to disclose who’s supporting them financially. If they’re not dealing w specific legislation, but simply “raising awareness” on “issues” … it’s my understanding that they don’t have to disclose their donors.

I asked Lane if the new group was relying on Rossi’s recent donor list. She said “No, not really. Right now, we’re just relying on people Dino knows who are interested in fiscal responsibility issues.”

Lane also says the group will be non-partisan.

Oh, as to the bizarre photo of the U.S. Capitol, she just laughed and kept saying the group wasn’t officially up and running yet. Oh, and if you go to their site now…they’ve fixed it.

She also asked me if Charles Mudede still worked at The Stranger.

I said that he did. She then recounted a story that she clearly holds dear. She said she had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mudede once at a bar on Pike Street during the 2004 election season, and when Charles found out she was Rossi’s communications director, he told her he thought she must be kidding. “You don’t really believe in that stuff?” she remembers a bewildered Mudede asking. He then told her that he was a Marxist. At this point, Lane was just as flabbergasted by Mudede as he was by her. He then tried to explain why being a Marxist was a wise decision in today’s corporate superstructure. Lane told him they’d have to agree to disagree. Good luck w that.

All Your Wombs Are Belong to Us

posted by on June 15 at 3:55 PM

From NARAL:

Ohio Abortion Ban Proposed Rep. Tom Brinkman has introduced a bill that would completely outlaw abortion in Ohio. This bill would create felony criminal charges against any provider who performs an abortion, even to save the life of the woman.

The “Culture of Life” marches on…

One More

posted by on June 15 at 3:46 PM

After posting this visualization of a type of tower that’s breeding and spreading across the world, I will shut up and move on.

060412toronto1.jpg

Toronto will be the home for this twisted, still-unnamed (and maybe unnamable) 50-story tower, which is designed by Beijing-based MAD Architectural Design Studio.

New Village Voice Editor Quits

posted by on June 15 at 3:37 PM

Eric Wemple, the new editor of the Village Voice, just quit—he, uh, quit before he even, like, started. Gawker has the email.

Although Wemple accepted the job of editor-in-chief of the historic Voice—even introducing himself to the staff—subsequent discussions revealed disagreements over newsroom management.

“Erik’s concerns are not unreasonable,” said Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media. “The Voice is an enormous and complex horse race. We asked Erik to mount several ponies mid-stride, and he was alarmed to find us still in several of those saddles.”

Disagreements over newsroom management? That’s pretty straight-forward. But what on earth does Mike Lacey—who also oversees the editorial department at Village Voice Media’s Seattle Weekly—mean by “We asked Erik to mount several ponies mid-stride, and he was alarmed to find us still in several of those saddles”? I mean, I’ve been writing the dirtiest sex column on earth for fifteen long years and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything that sounds so… so… fucking filthy. Mounting ponies? Mid-stride? Surprise saddle occupants? Kinky…

What Up, SIFF?

posted by on June 15 at 3:26 PM

I must admit, SIFF has worn me out. I haven’t even been the most conscientious viewer this year—for a time I was mustering around one movie per day—but I must be hovering around .8 movies a day now. Even having seen about forty movies before the festival began, I’m not going to finish anywhere near 100. The shame!

But we’re coming into the home stretch, and this weekend is packed with great stuff. Onward, ho!

I saw Beowulf & Grendel last week, which I liked a little more than Lindy West, but not a ton. (My historical epic-lovin’ boyfriend, however, dug it.) My biggest gripe is the very Clan of the Cave Bear-esque troll rape digression—what the hell was up with that? The movie begins its US theatrical run in Seattle at the Varsity tomorrow (7 and 9:30 pm), and the publicist is promising “VIKINGS & WENCHES TO DESCEND ON SEATTLE PREMIERE.” Apparently,

There’ll be Vikings in the streets, and in the seats, complete with broadswords, axes, and fierce visages.  And then there are the G.A.L.S., which stands for Gerry Addicted Lust Syndrome, an international fan club made up of adoring women who just can’t get enough of the hunky actor who stars as Beowulf, Gerard Butler. Now, while that may sound typical, these gals take their mission one step further—all the way to the box office! G.A.L.S. have been flying and driving from all over the country to be in Seattle on July 16th to flood the theatres in support of Mr. Butler’s latest film. Their efforts raked in over a half-million in sales so far for this independent film when it screened in Canada. Now on the heels of their recent 3 day convention in Las Vegas, the GALS are gearing up for film’s upcoming American release this summer.

Who Killed the Electric Car? is a strong addition to the agitdoc ranks, although it would have been nice to have a few more subjects as captivating as the elderly inventor of a industry-suppressed car battery. There are too many speculative interviews and too little inside scoop. But my parents liked it, and it does the job.

New stuff: The screening at 4:30 pm at the Egyptian is In Bed. There was another screening of Frostbite today, but you missed it already. (Sorry!) And on Sunday, there will be an encore screening of one of the movies that’s won the Gold Space Needle audience award or one of the juried prizes. That’s at 6:30 at Broadway Performance Hall.

Tonight, the computer-animated kid-eating house movie, Monster House, plays at the Egyptian at 7 pm. (It’ll open locally at the end of the month.) The excellent, locally produced doc Walking to Werner plays at the Neptune at 6:30 pm. And then there’s the Face the Music Rock Party at Neumo’s—the lineup includes our very own Sean Nelson, plus Razrez, Awesome, and more.

Meanwhile, The President Gets a Warm(ish) Welcome From Reichert

posted by on June 15 at 3:03 PM

With a recent Democratic poll showing Bush’s approval rating at 26-percent in the 8th District, eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert offered the following press-release welcome to the president, who’s arriving tomorrow to headline a big mid-day fundraiser for Reichert in Medina:

“I’m proud to have President Bush visit Washington’s Eighth district,” said Reichert. “I grew up in southeast King County and have lived here for over 50 years. As the oldest of seven from a working class family, it is an incredible honor for someone like me to represent this district in Congress and to welcome the President of the United States to this beautiful place my family and I call home.”

Although the President and I donÂ’t agree on everything, I have great respect for the tremendous responsibility the leader of the free world must bear every day. I welcome President Bush and I welcome his support for my reelection campaign.”

The Automobile

posted by on June 15 at 2:50 PM

This is the world of cars:

31.png

In 2002 there were 590 million cars in the world. That is one for every ten people: 140 million cars in the United States, 55 million in Japan. This contrasts with just nine million cars in China and 6 million in India.

Street Stylin’

posted by on June 15 at 2:48 PM

stylin6-15-06.jpg
David, who wouldn’t divulge the shop at which he bought his hat

Yesterday Was Flag Day

posted by on June 15 at 2:34 PM

And, in the spirit of the day (and the flag-burning amendment currently simmering on the Senate floor), I offer a few related adjectives as defined by veteran and literary patriot (in the original sense), Ambrose Bierce, 1842 to 1914-ish. (Sorry Uncle Simon—you say you fought to defend the flag, I say you fought to defend the right to make fun of it.)

FLAG, n. A colored rag borne above troops and hoisted on forts and ships. It appears to serve the same purpose as certain signs that one sees and vacant lots in London—”Rubbish may be shot here.”
PATRIOTISM, n. Combustible rubbish read to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
JUSTICE, n. A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

(About that 1914-ish: In late 1913, the 71-year-old Bierce took a trip—he toured the Civil War battlefields of his youth and joined Pancho Villa’s army as an observer before vanishing. In one of his last letters, he wrote: “Good-by—if you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart this life. It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stairs. To be a Gringo in Mexico—ah, that is euthanasia.”)

Redwood Update

posted by on June 15 at 2:26 PM

As I reported last week, Redwood, a new hipster bar a few blocks off Capitol Hill’s Pike/Pine strip, is in danger of closing after noise complaints from a nearby apartment building brought it under the city’s regulatory scrutiny. Today, the SPD sent me a list of all the 911 calls to Redwood in the three months since it opened. Sixteen of the 17 calls for service between March 6 and May 25 were noise complaints. All the complaints with an identified address came from the same location: The apartment building across the street, whose landlady has encouraged tenants, in writing, to call 911 when they hear people talking outside the bar. (I’m willing to bet the “null” and “no contact” calls came from that building too.)

I understand that people need to sleep. But Redwood is in a noisy, dense neighborhood, in a spot where drug users and alcoholics used to congregate. If anything, they’re improving the neighborhood, not damaging it. It’s a shame that a few disgruntled neighbors can threaten a business (and, for that matter, monopolize the city’s limited emergency resources) just because they don’t like a little noise in their vicinity.

Slog Exclusive: Darcy Burner Poll Numbers

posted by on June 15 at 1:42 PM

President Bush arrives here tomorrow for a high-dollar fundraiser benefiting eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. This will be Bush’s first western stop on a cross-country fundraising jag intended to help vulnerable Congressional Republicans hold onto their seats. But while the Bush visit is sure to help Reichert’s war chest (to the tune of $500,000-plus), it’s also something of a PR gift for Democrat Darcy Burner, who’s made a sport of tying Reichert to the deeply unpopular Bush.

A recent Burner campaign poll of 500 eastside voters, conducted from May 15 - 21 and released to The Stranger early this afternoon, shows just why Burner is so eager to hang the anvil of Bush’s sinking popularity around Reichert’s neck. Finding number one:

Bush’s job performance rating has plummeted to 26% (good or excellent) versus 73% (just fair or poor) with a majority (53%) rating his job performance as poor. Bush is extremely unpopular in the district, and tying Reichert to the Bush agenda drives voters to Burner.

This finding may be why, according to the Burner campaign, Bush is ditching the White House press corps for his visit with Reichert, sending them straight on to his next stop, New Mexico, instead of bringing them here. Reichert needs the money Bush can help raise, but he doesn’t need lots of major media stories highlighting his close relationship with a president who’s that unpopular on the eastside.

Other findings from the poll show low job-approval ratings for Reichert, even lower re-elect numbers for the freshman Congressman, trouble for Reichert among independent voters (who will be key to any victory in the 8th District), and an impressive jump in name recognition for Burner, a former political unknown.

Reichert’s own job performance rating is just 39% (good or excellent versus 43% just fair or poor), for a net negative job performance rating (-4%). The Republican-controlled Congress has even worse ratings in the district (21% good/excellent, 75% just fair/poor). Together, these low ratings foreshadow a strong desire for change among Washington 8th’s voters.

Reichert’s reelect numbers fell to 33%, a drop of 1% from Lake Research Partners polling conducted in October ‘05. The remaining two thirds of the electorate would consider voting for someone else, vote to replace Reichert, or aren’t sure. This is despite the fact that he has sent 6 pieces of franked mail in the last 6 months, which has clearly buoyed his numbers and solidified his base.

Independent voters disapprove even more of the job performances of Reichert, Bush, and the Republican-controlled Congress. Among independent voters, Reichert’s job rating is weak (37% good/excellent, 43% just fair/poor). Similarly, independents are more frustrated with Congress (15% good/excellent job, 80% just fair/poor job) and President Bush (21% good/excellent job, 78% just fair/poor job) than the electorate as a whole. These voters are dissatisfied and open to someone new.

With no paid communication, Burner has raised her name recognition ID with voters from 18% to 46%. Voters respond positively to her biography as daughter of an Air Force veteran and a public school teacher who put herself through college and went on to a successful career at Microsoft. Her message of running for Congress to change the direction of the country is very compelling.

The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners and has a margin of error of +/-4.4%.

Meanwhile, a number of protests and rallies have been scheduled to coincide with Bush’s visit. Today a group of seniors are delivering a letter to Reichert’s Mercer Island offices complaining about policies—backed by Bush and Reichert—that they say are bad for seniors. (More on this later.) Tomorrow there will be a rally at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle starting at 11:30 a.m. and featuring Burner, State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz, some King County councilmembers, some state legislators and, according to organizers, several hundred supporters. And also tomorrow: Some protesters will be over on the eastside, near the route that Bush’s motorcade is taking to the Reichert fundraiser in Medina, doing things that for the moment remain unclear to me.

Southern Baptists

posted by on June 15 at 1:31 PM

Still nuts.

Another controversial measure that came up before the Southern Baptist assembly sparked some debate, but passed nevertheless. The resolution dealing with alcohol use by SBC members not only expressed opposition to the drinking of alcohol but also stipulated that no one who does so may be elected to serve with any entity of the denomination.

Which could interfere with their goal of

baptizing one million new converts in the year that began last October 1. With less than four months remaining until the deadline, only a few thousand new baptisms have been reported, and many Southern Baptists feel a miracle might be required to put the benchmark within reach.

via Pandagon.

It’s On TV Tonight!

posted by on June 15 at 1:16 PM

There are TWO “don’t miss” events tonight for you tube lovers starting with the Britney Spears interview with Matt Lauer on Dateline (NBC, 9 pm). If you caught part one of the interview on this morning’s edition of The Today Show, you’ve already had a sweet taste of Britney boo-hooing about how she’s being picked on because she’s a goddamn hillbilly. (Tell it to the bald and blind banjo pickers, sweetheart.) Tonight she’ll defend her indefensible marriage to K.Fed, as well as threaten to start HER OWN MAGAZINE to counter all the “lies” spewed by the tabloids. Dude, I would TOTALLY edit the shit out of that magazine! Where do I send my resume??
Secondly, if you are a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and you have cable, DO NOT MISS the new British import, Hex (BBC America, 10 pm). It’s about a hot and sexy prep school where one hot and sexy teen gets some hot and sexy magical powers. Plus, her best friend is a LESBIAN GHOST. (Did she perish from lesbian bed death?) Anyhoo, this show is smart, funny, and best of all DIRTY. Check it out!

hex.jpg

What it is. And Isn’t.

posted by on June 15 at 11:27 AM

He failed in his bid to be a lead lobbyist for big business as governor, so now he’s started a firm to lobby as….well, a lobbyist.

Dino Rossi announced this week that he’s starting Forward Washington Foundation to promote his 2008 run lobby in Olympia. His former campaign spokesperson, Mary Lane, will be the executive director of the lobbying firm.

Although, go to Forward Washington Foundation’s website ….look at the photo Rossi’s running of the capitol building… is that even Olympia???

Here’s Olympia: building.jpg

And here’s the picture Rossi is running: 538315835_fw_sidebar.jpg

I guess Rossi just downloaded the how-to lobbyist kit from his puppet masters in D.C, and this was the picture they provided.

Kos Says He Regrets That “Bitch” Remark… Sort Of

posted by on June 15 at 11:00 AM

On Saturday, down in Las Vegas, I Slogged about an interview I had with Markos Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos. During the interview Moulitsas went off on Maureen Dowd and her recent column about him, saying:

Maureen Dowd is an insecure, catty bitch.

That remark (quite catty in its own right) made its way around the blogosphere, landing in Slate on Monday and yesterday prompting this semi-retraction from Kos himself:

…And then there’s Dowd, whose snarky piece wasn’t just par for the course with her, but wasn’t really that bad all things considered. I snapped about it somewhere else and I sort of regret one of the three words I used. The other two I don’t — insecure and catty.

Thus ends the Kos-Dowd catfight, for now. Meanwhile, in the same post, Kos also recommends reading this article by a man whose writing (and lips) generated quite a bit of Slog discussion over the weekend, Ari Melber.

Decoding Da Vinci

posted by on June 15 at 10:57 AM

Dave Kehr (the DVD columnist for the New York Times) has a bunch of interesting—and rapidly aging—stuff on his blog that I’ve been meaning to write about for some time. (Damn you, time-sucking SIFF!) I recommend the explosive dog fight of a debate about aging critics and young, upstart know-nothings, to be found in the comments here and a follow-up entry here. As a young upstart myself, I ought to have something to contribute to the debate. But although I think Kehr can sound rather crusty at times, and I don’t think every studio release deserves a 1000-word analysis, I also mildly dislike The New World (which has, weirdly enough, become one of the major flash points here: to put it simplistically, the kids are pro, fogies con), adore Jonathan Rosenbaum, and think many of the kiddie reviews that Kehr abhores are, indeed, pretty facile.

I do, however, have something to say about this entry, which is Kehr’s claim about a “craftily homophobic subtext” in The Da Vinci Code. His argument is fairly persuasive, but when I was watching the film, what interested me more was the possibly Islamophobic subtext. The movie is, obviously, an anti-Catholic screed, but the use of the cilice and self-flagellation is pretty rare in the Catholic Church these days—Opus Dei or Opus no. Self-flagellation is, however, extremely common in Shiite ceremonies honoring the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. When I watched the scenes of Silas whipping himself bloody, it looked like an individual perversion of collective rituals like (hidden behind a pop-up for delicate stomachs) these: View AP image. Silas is supposed to be a sickening automaton, who kills without remorse for a supposedly higher cause. If Ian McKellan’s character is an amoral fag, I say, then Silas is a Muslim suicide bomber.

DaVinciSilas.jpg

SIFF Smackdown

posted by on June 15 at 10:55 AM

I attended a screening of The Trials of Darryl Hunt at the Broadway Performance Hall last night. It is an extremely tense story about a black man convicted of raping and killing a white woman—the man then spent almost 20 years in prison while trying to prove his innocence. During the film, someone in the audience was jangling something—and while SIFF-goers are more sensitive than most to noise (which I appreciate)—it was really annoying.

When I was walking out of the screening room after the film, a woman was confronting the man who had been making the noises (rattling a dog-tag necklace, it turns out), apparently he had also been talking a lot during the film. He wasn’t taking the criticism very well, acting very hostile toward the woman. I was agreeing with her in my mind when she launched an attack on his b.o. problem. Yikes. Things were escalating in the argument as I exited. The last thing I saw was her chasing after him, outside the theater, screaming “TAKE A BATH, PIG!!”

What are You Doing This Weekend?

posted by on June 15 at 10:51 AM

Since 78% of you don’t want the Sonics to get a public subsidy, how about helping out I-91, the initiative that would prevent just that?

Here’s a message from I-91’s Chris Van Dyk:

With over 10,000 signatures gathered, we are nearing the half-way point for our stadium-stopping ‘Sonics Pay Their Own Way’ Initiative 91. We need about 25,000 signatures to qualify 18,000 valid, by July 6th, to get I-91 on the ballot this November. Much of the credit for signatures gathered goes to SEIU Local 775—Washington State’s long term care union. A big thank you, to everyone who has helped! Any help you can give is most appreciated—if you need more petitions, please let us know. This weekend, we are planning a major push at the Fremont Fair. (If you like to avoid crowds, head to your favorite grocery store or farmer’s market!) We will be set up near the “Bridge Entrance” (the entrance nearest the Fremont Bridge) with petition boards and make-yourself-obvious-in-a-crowd yardsigns to carry. We will be there from 10:00am on, Saturday and Sunday, and if you don’t see us, call 206-854-6127. (It has been suggested that we be the first initiative drive to gather signatures in the buff at the Fremont Fair. Although the Sonics might want the shirt off your backs, please be advised, as a political organization somewhat more sensitive to public opinion than the Sonics, we don’t.) The reception to I-91 is powerful—as a recent Elway poll indicated, 78% of the public are with us, and about four out of five sign Initiative 91, and willingly. Getting signatures is just a matter of being out there. So have fun while you do it, by joining us at the Fremont Fair. Please stop by and help if you can, for a few hours. If you think you might, please email or give me a call. And if you have signed petitions in hand, please send them in! And thanks much for your help already! Chris Van Dyk, Co - Chair Citizens for More Important Things PO Box 4473 Seattle, WA 98194 cvandyk5@msn.com

Christian Porn!

posted by on June 15 at 10:23 AM

ptc.gifYou know, Christians aren’t that different from you and I — because we both loooooooove TEEN PORN! Especially easily accesible Teen Porn. The main difference is that they watch it, masturbate, and then feel so guilty afterwards that they have to level a $3 million dollar fine.
When the CBS show Without a Trace recently featured a teen orgy scene (no nudity, though. SOME ORGY!), the evangelical Christian based Parents Television Council got so hot, they sent in a shit-ton of emails (most of whom never saw the episode) to the FCC who then levied a 3.3 million dollar fine against the network.
But just to prove how much Christians love their soft-core porn, read their hilarious complaint HERE, and scroll on down the page to watch an actual clip from the show!

Life Lessons

posted by on June 15 at 9:43 AM

It unfortunately missed the cut for this week’s Last Days, but this story is too good to ignore completely.

The gist: For the edification of a high school forensics/criminology class, a Florida teacher took students to a “crime scene” in a Fort Lauderdale park, which the teacher had tricked out with an array of would-be evidence for the kids to gather and catalog.

The twist: The students’ discovery of a real live (by which I mean real dead) corpse, believed to have belonged to a 45-year-old homeless man who happened to die at the artificial crime scene, of apparently natural causes.

Full story here.

Morning News

posted by on June 15 at 9:06 AM

2,500 dead American soldiers in Iraq. Here’s the list from last month alone.

2,100 illegal immigrants caught by Operation Return To Sender.

The Iraqi prime minister appears ready to offer amnesty for Sunni insurgents who attacked American soldiers. The Huffington Post analyzes Bush’s reaction.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri will fill the vacancy in Bush speeches formerly occupied by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

What happens when President Bush watches PBS? He becomes a liberal. Witness his creating the world’s largest marine protected area, off the coast of Hawaii. To be fair, it helps when the PBS program in question has pretty pictures rather than complicated ideas. Take note, Bill Moyer.

That’s the extent of good news for liberals. But conservatives rejoice with this Supreme Court ruling, which gives police more latitude with search warrants.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Belle of The Ball

posted by on June 14 at 4:43 PM

Remember Belle de Jour, the anonymous London call girl whose blog and subsequent book created such a stir a while back? The pinnacle of her blog fame has passed, but she’s still around, and she still has a knack for neatly summarizing aspects of a sex worker’s existence.

“… there is also the problem of envy. No one has ever (to my knowledge) called me a sexpert. Which is baffling. I’ve had sex with a statistically measurable proportion of humanity that even includes an error margin. And I daresay I’ve learned a thing or two about sex meanwhile. But this is not good enough for the world of sexpertdom. I think I know why.
It’s about clothing. If you have sex, then later, with your clothes on, take money for talking about the sex you had, this qualifies you as a sexpert. If, on the other hand, you have sex and take money for the sex itself, this does not. To sum up: taking money with your clothes on, sexpert. With your clothes off, not. So basically sexperts are reporters about sex, rather than sex professionals. Or something.”

I understand how she feels, because no one’s ever called me a sexpert, either.

Whoop Whoop!

posted by on June 14 at 4:30 PM

What’s so fabulous? I’ll tell you what’s so fabulous: Tomorrow’s Stranger is online RIGHT NOW! And from now on, you can read Thursday’s paper online on Wednesday afternoon.cover-big.jpg(Click here to learn more than you need to know about Amanda Lepore.)

Gaping Hole

posted by on June 14 at 4:05 PM

The Washington Post reports

Michael J. Gerson, one of President Bush’s most trusted advisers and author of nearly all of his most famous public words during the past seven years, plans to step down in the next couple weeks in a decision that colleagues believe will leave a huge hole in the White House.

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Maybe Gerson could be persuaded to take the huge hole with him?

The Nasty Bits

posted by on June 14 at 4:04 PM

Last night’s Anthony Bourdain dinner at Union was rife with local food luminaries, miraculous and obscenely bountiful food from his Les Halles Cookbook, and groping. I came away with the twin gifts of a copy of his new book, The Nasty Bits, and a monumental hangover. The man himself: all velvety brown eyes, cushy-looking lips, and dirty one-liners. Indeed: hot. More in next week’s paper.

Someone said Licorous, the new lounge-adjunct of Lark, is at last open on 12th and is lovely.

No one said anything about the new vegetarian place around the corner from the Stumbling Monk. It is called, most unfortunately, the Healthy Hedon.

The Meth Epidemic

posted by on June 14 at 3:57 PM

Don’t believe the hype

Methamphetamine use is rare in most of the United States, not the raging epidemic described by politicians and the news media, says a study by an advocacy group.

Meth is a dangerous drug but among the least commonly used, The Sentencing Project policy analyst Ryan King wrote in a report issued Wednesday. Rates of use have been stable since 1999, and among teenagers meth use has dropped, King said.

“The portrayal of methamphetamine in the United States as an epidemic spreading across the country has been grossly overstated,” King said.

I have noticed fewer meth zombies stumbling up and down Pike/Pine lately…

Coulter vs. Carlin

posted by on June 14 at 3:16 PM

Now here’s one smackdown I want to see. Let’s just hope Carlin’s firing on all cylinders tonight.

Yeesh!

posted by on June 14 at 1:58 PM

From US Weekly…

No changing table? No problem. On June 4, Britney Spears, 24, with 9-month-old son Sean in tow, picked up pink thongs at a Victoria’s Secret in Mission Viejo, California. Her next order of, uh, business? Changing Sean’s dirty diaper — on the floor next to the cash register! Says the source, “Britney then tried to hand it to an employee,” but the salesperson wouldn’t take it.

BritBabe2.jpg
Unbelivable! Are they saying that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t want a Sean Preston original?

This Just In: A Blue Man vs. Two Shins

posted by on June 14 at 1:08 PM

The next Iron Composer: Will be a Drink For the Kids benefit for the Vera Project.

The celebrity contenders: Fred Armisen (of SNL, Trenchmouth, the Blue Man Group) vs. Dave Hernandez and craaaazy Marty Crandall of the Shins.

The celebrity judges: David Cross, Todd Barry, and Jon Benjamin (AKA Tinkle).

The celebrity date: June 30th, June 30th (which is also the title of a nice book of Brautigan poems) at the Showbox. More information is promised soon at this site.

The New Hedreen Gallery at SU

posted by on June 14 at 12:51 PM

Jen Graves suggests stopping by:

‘Painted On’
(ART)
Curator Carrie E. A. Scott (a sometime Stranger scribe) is just getting going at the new Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University. Her second show mishmashes well-known painters (Brian Murphy and Seattle U prof/prostitute-painter Francisco Guerrero) with surprises like Edward Matlock, whose The Real Estate Boom at first looks like a prosaic portrait of two parents and their kid in their backyard. It grows more threatening the more you look at it, just like Brad Biancardi’s inviting, claustrophobic, shining room, or the phrase “prostitute-painter.” (Lee Center for the Arts, 901 12th Ave, 296-2244. Tues—Sat 1—6 pm, free, through Aug 25.)

On the Other Hand: Boo!

posted by on June 14 at 12:50 PM

Bad news about good habits.

Cantwell Calls For Haditha Investigation

posted by on June 14 at 12:10 PM

In a nod to some of the anti-war protesters who have taken her to task for trusting Bush & the DOD for her info on Iraq, Sen. Cantwell called for a congressional investigation into Haditha this morning.

David Postman reports on his blog:

During debate this morning on an emergency supplemental bill with money for Iraq and Afghanistan, Sen. Maria Cantwell called for a congressional investigation of the killings in Haditha:

“The United State must make sure it does not ever condone indiscriminate, deliberate, killings of civilians.”
She said soldiers accused of wrongdoing should be subject to the military justice system:

“But I think we should also play our oversight role here in Congress and make sure that Congress is not leaving the investigation of this issue simply up to the Department of Defense. We need to make sure that Congress is also investigating this issue and giving the accountability and oversight that everyone deserves.”

Here’s a little snippet of the Q&A session (as they recounted to me, anyway) that several anti-war protesters had w the junior senator on May 6—after first staging a sit-in at her Seattle office a week earlier.

Q: How many U.S. soldiers have had to endure a second deployment? Third? Fourth? Fifth?

A: I don’t know.

Lietta Ruger, a member of Military Families Speak Out, informed Cantwell that two Fort Lewis soldiers were recently killed on their sixth deployment.

A: [Cantwell was speechless.]

Q: When it comes to gathering information on Iraq, what is your main source of information?

A: The Department of Defense.

It’ll be interesting to see how Cantwell’s move plays w her antsy base & w the McGavick campaign.

Hooray!

posted by on June 14 at 12:05 PM

Good news about bad habits:

Drinking coffee may shield the liver from the worst ravages of alcohol, a study of more than 125,000 people suggests. The risk of developing alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver dropped with each cup of coffee they drank per day.

“Consuming coffee seems to have some protective benefits against alcoholic cirrhosis, and the more coffee a person consumes the less risk they seem to have of being hospitalised or dying of alcoholic cirrhosis,” says Arthur Klatsky at Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Programme in Oakland, California, US, who led the study.

Dust Off Your Zombie Costume

posted by on June 14 at 12:03 PM

Bush is coming to town on Friday morning to fundraise for Dave Reichert at a private estate in Medina. If you have the time and means to get over to Bellevue, it should be a lovely day to make the president feel unwelcome.

Show up at Maydenbaur Park in Bellevue for a “Walking Dead” protest and die in. Please be there or close by at 8:30am on Friday, June 16th. We will walk until we are stopped and stage a protest for the 2,500 dead soldiers from the Iraq war. Contact Kenn Dzaman (kennspace@yahoo.com) for more info.

How Horrible

posted by on June 14 at 11:26 AM

This RMJM designed tower, “City Palace,” is going to built in Moscow’s “nascent financial district.”
060609moscow1sm.jpg

This SOM designed “dancing” skyscraper, “Infinity Tower,” is being built in Dubai.
060608som.jpg

When will the madness end?


The Mayor Wants Your Opinions on Hiphop

posted by on June 14 at 11:11 AM

That’s right, today Mayor Greg Nickels announced that the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is accepting nominations for the fifth annual Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Hip Hop. According to the official press release:

“The award acknowledges and honors innovative performance, community service and entrepreneurial achievement by locally based members of the hip-hop community whose work has had significant impact in Seattle. Nominations are open to the public and all are invited to nominate a favorite performer (solo/group), B-boys/B-girls, visual artist, DJ, MC, media/journalist, publication, promoter, record label, Hip Hop Pioneer or Unsung Hero. An independent panel will determine the categories and number of award recipients based on the nominations received.”

Applications are due by Friday Aug 4, and can be found here.

American Creativity

posted by on June 14 at 11:05 AM

In Mary Anne Weaver’s information-rich essay about the early years that lead to the spectacular rise and equally spectacular fall of the former video-store clerk known to billions around world as Zarqawi, you will find this remarkable passage:

“If you want to understand who Zarqawi is,” a former Jordanian intelligence official had told me earlier, “you’ve got to understand the four major turning points in his life: his first trip to Afghanistan [in 1989]; then the prison years [from 1993 to 1999]; then his return to Afghanistan, when he really came into his own; and then Iraq.” He thought for a moment. “And, of course, the creativity of the Americans.”

Touché!

posted by on June 14 at 11:04 AM

Daily Kos has the goods on an embarassing gaffe by our Dear Leader this morning.

I’m Late Getting to This

posted by on June 14 at 10:33 AM

But for those who haven’t heard, a crazy, brick-wielding, drunken man furious that he arrived at BLVD Gallery in Belltown after it closed on Friday night smashed in the glass door, then turned around to find he’d locked himself out of his own car. Just get to the art on time, man.

Why You Should Never Miss “Passions”

posted by on June 14 at 9:59 AM

Don’t have time to watch the daily NBC soap Passions? As this video will prove, YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO WATCH!

Diligence and Obscurity

posted by on June 14 at 9:33 AM

iwantyou.jpg

Thanks to hot tipper Isaac Novak for photographing this bit of sentimental poster art that’s popping up all over Seattle.

Morning News

posted by on June 14 at 9:28 AM

Bush asks for patience in Iraq. He’s decided to start taunting Iraqi insurgents again. Quite the diplomat, this one.

The new Somali government (and we’re using that term very loosely now) courts endorsement from the West.

The search continues for a Democratic Party campaign platform.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn’t found it.

Alberto was a wuss..

The best therapy for survivors of one of the worst natural disasters in American history: Girls Gone Wild tapes, Hooters dinners and strip clubs. God bless America.

Here’s one for the young readers: A fossil from the New York Times tells you how to spend your money. (He forgets to thank you for those Social Security checks he’ll get from you and never give back.)

Every Child Needs a Mother and a Father

posted by on June 14 at 9:00 AM

Mom asks Dad for a divorce, so Dad stabs one child to death, wounds the other.

But, hey, at least they don’t have gay parents. Letting gays and lesbians adopt “does real violence to children,” as the Catholic Church is always reminding us—and they’re the experts when it comes to doing violence to children.

It’s Your Fault That This Happened

posted by on June 14 at 7:24 AM

My new morning workout:


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art

posted by on June 13 at 7:34 PM

I was looking up something else when I found it.

The museum exhibits the world’s largest collection of anatomically correct fabric art, inspired by research from neuroscience and dissection. Our current exhibition features three quilts with functional images from PET and fMRI scanning, and an anatomically accurate knitted brain.

The two artists in the latest exhibition to hit this online museum are Karen Norberg, whose knitted fallopian tubes look a little like pastel sea creatures, and Marjorie Taylor, who renders, in quilts, brains hooked up to monitoring machines. Taylor, according to a link on the site, is the head of the psychology department at the University of Oregon.

marjorie_taylor_2.jpg

Alki’s Lady Liberty

posted by on June 13 at 6:41 PM

Sorry about the light Slogging—a virus or food poisoning or God’s divine vengeance knocked me out mid-day on Monday, and I’m only just now pulling my head out of the toilet. I won’t go into the gruesome details…

But I will jump in and make a comment about an item up on Seattlest…

Alki’s Lame Statuette of Liberty

Not sure how often you make it out to Alki, but apparently there’s a tiny Statue of Liberty on the beach over there that’s falling apart. There’s a group of people trying to recast the thing in bronze and by the looks of their fundraising meter they’re almost there, but can we stop for a second and ask whether we can’t come up with something better than a tiny Statue of Liberty?

Isn’t there already one of these somewhere out east that’s, like, full size and meaningful and in fact connected with that city via the unbreakable bond of Ghostbusters II? Our little one seems kind of like the mini Stonehenge that drops down behind Spinal Tap in the movie. “The Northwest Program for the Arts would like to present to the city…Lady Liberty!” and two people step aside and there it is. Tiny and bronze and a copy of something that exists somewhere else. Do all of our statues have to be so kitchy?

LadyLib.jpg

I made it out to Alki twice last week, Seattlest. And while I agree that Seattle’s fifty-year-old Lady Liberty is small and kitchy, Seattle itself was a smaller, kitchier place back then. I don’t think the fact that New Yawk City has a bigger, older Lady Liberty isn’t a good reason to scrap our own. And isn’t there something meaningful about one Lady Liberty on the East Coast facing Europe and another on the West Coast facing Asia? (Now if we could only get one in, say, Texas facing Mexico and South America—and to hell with bronze, make that one out the bones of the Minutemen.) When you consider the United State’s long history of anti-Asian immigration policies (to say nothing of the internment of the Japanese), an east-facing Lady Liberty is that much more meaningful.

But it is too small—the scale is all wrong, it’s easy to miss, and it looks so fragile up there. While we’re raising money to re-cast Alki’s Lady Liberty in bronze, maybe we should go for broke and raise enough to have her re-cast at a respectable height, say 10’ or 12’.

And, finally, a link to the fine folks at CapitolHillSeattle —don’t want you guys to feel like we’re neglecting you.

Eyman’s Latest Flameout

posted by on June 13 at 5:40 PM

Andrew over at Northwest Progressive Institute has the best write up of Eyman’s latest flameout.

If you haven’t heard (I hadn’t heard until now because I was busy getting tomorrow’s paper out the door), Eyman’s 2001 1% tax cap initiative, I-747, was thrown out today by KC Superior Court.

The court ruled that I-747 misled voters into believing they were amending I-722 (an earlier Eyman tax cap.) As the judge pointed out, I-722 wasn’t in effect when Eyman campaigned on I-747, and so, it was impossible for him to amend I-722. (I-722 was also thrown out by the courts. It had violated the 2-subject rule: The initiative had tried to reduce existing property taxes and enact a 2% cap on future property tax growth.)

Eyman’s buffoonery is really starting to shine.

As the PI points out:

With the failure of Referendum 65, only two of the last six ballot measures sponsored by him [Eyman] have reached the ballot. Voters approved only one of the two, last year’s Initiative 900. It empowered the state auditor to conduct performance audits of state and local government agencies, but the Legislature had already passed a similar law.

Andrew, at NPI, adds: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see the press is picking up on the point we’ve been making repeatedly for months: Tim Eyman is not just a liar, but a failure.”

Hell’s Kitchen Recap!

posted by on June 13 at 5:40 PM

Who caught last night’s season premiere of Hell’s Kitchen? This is one of my fave shows from last year AND one of the most annoying. Shall I break it down? YOU KNOW I GONNA!
WHAT I LOVE: The one true purpose of reality TV is HUMILIATION, and Hell’s Kitchen never disappoints. I love it when Chef Ramsay throws plates of food on the floor, smashing it into the contestants’ chests, or vomits up their offerings calling it “cat shit.”
WHAT I DON’T LOVE: If you’ve ever watched Bravo’s Top Chef, you already know why it is a superior show — they actually have contestants who can COOK. In Hell’s Kitchen, the contestants look like they were found on Craig’s List. Here’s some of the choice jobs these losers have had: “cafeteria worker,” “caterer,” “deli manager,” and “prison cook.” There’s only one freaking sous chef in the entire pack! No wonder Ramsay is ripping new b-holes for these losers, and screaming “MOVE YOUR FAT ASSES!” Which brings me back around to…
I LOVE THIS SHOW!

GORDON.jpg

The Logical Conclusion

posted by on June 13 at 5:32 PM

Of Christian fanatics’ opposition to contraception: The “rhythm method” of birth control (in which a couple abstains from sex during the period each month when the woman is most fertile) leads to “massive embryonic death.” Just like birth control, and IUDs, and breastfeeding…

Pride Flag on the Space Needle

posted by on June 13 at 5:05 PM

Looks like the Space Needle is going to be topped with a Pride flag after all!

space-needle.jpg

(At least, the flag will fly in this Thursday’s Portland Mercury, as the illustration for a piece in our Queer Issue. Your beloved editor, Dan Savage, writes about how great Seattle’s homos have it, compared to Portland’s. Even without a flag flying on the real needle.)

Anthony Bourdain Reading Report

posted by on June 13 at 4:59 PM

bookstore back.JPG

The Bourdain reading at the University Bookstore was nuts. I’d say there were easily 200 people there—the majority of them women of all ages, though there was also a decent population of young punk boys. The Q&A portion was particularly delightful. He affirmed the savory quality of the Peruvian guinea pig he had eaten in a recent episode of No Reservations, selected pork as the meat he’d eat exclusively if he could only choose one for the duration of his days, and won rounds of applause with this exchange:

Attendee: “Do you balance your lifestyle with any sort of exercise?”
Bordain: “Um…no. Just liquor, red meat, and cigarrettes.”

They actually sold out of his new book, The Nasty Bits, so my party walked over to Half Price Books and bought a used copy of his third novel, The Bobby Gold Stories, which he kindly signed, along with the Eating Out column of The Stranger.

bordain and HL 1.JPG

The sweetest moment, by far was when Bourdain was being photographed with a very well-behaved baby on his lap. He whispered in the baby’s ear, instructing him that “Bobby Flay is a very bad man, don’t watch his show.”

Confidential to Chow queen Bethany Jean Clement: I can’t tell you how jealous I am that you’re going to his dinner tonight.

More Borat

posted by on June 13 at 4:10 PM

Viva Vera Update

posted by on June 13 at 3:26 PM

Tonight the Vera Project is throwing a fundraising party at Vain (2018 First Ave). It starts at 7 pm, it’s free, it’s of course all-ages, and it features the talents of Fankick, Rat City Roller Girls, DJ Skeet, and DJ Teenage Rampage. There’s also gonna be guerilla hair by Vain stylists and live art.

And even though it’s free, you should most definitely bring your checkbook so you can donate to Vera’s Capital Campaign. They’ve raised over half of the million and a half bucks needed for their new venue, but there’s still a ways to go. And don’t be intimidated by the folks throwing around the big money either. Every little bit helps, from a few bucks to a few hundred.

If you can’t make it out tonight, online donations can be made by visiting www.vivavera.com or you can call 956-VERA for more information.

Some Other Things from that Elway Poll

posted by on June 13 at 3:26 PM

43% in favor of Mayor Nickels’s $1.8 billion street maintenance ballot measure.
42% against.

(The levy would include a $195 property tax increase, a 10 percent tax on commercial parking, and $25 per-employee tax on businesses.)

The council has threatened to cut the taxes in half before sending it to voters for approval.

Also: 50% of Seattle voters polled were in favor of County Exec Ron Sims’s bus service proposal to increase the sales tax one-tenth of one percent for $50 million annually to fund 700,000 new hours of service by 2015.

Although, a majority of voters didn’t think it was the “best way” to address our transportation problems.

Huff Letter Is Legit

posted by on June 13 at 2:55 PM

The Seattle Police Department is releasing a report that states handwriting analysts’ belief that the letter found in the trash in April and released to media last week was in fact written by Kyle Huff.

Last week, SPD was saying only that it appeared Huff authored the letter. I’ll post more on the report later this afternoon.

The toxicology report on Huff is the biggest puzzle piece still unaccounted for.

Seattle: The Smartest City in America

posted by on June 13 at 1:03 PM

According to the Business Journal, which ranked the 53 largest American cities by average education level. Forty-seven percent of Seattleites have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the highest education level in the country. (Only two other cities, Austin and San Francisco, had college-grad rates above 40 percent.) At the bottom: Miami (where 47 percent of adults didn’t even graduate from high school), Cleveland, and Detroit.

Speaking of Pay-As-You-Drive…

posted by on June 13 at 12:54 PM

Flexcar just expanded its service into Bellevue.

A Fairer Car-Insurance Proposal

posted by on June 13 at 12:28 PM

I’ll leave it to others to debate whether a pay-as-you-drive tax is feasible or constitutes a violation of privacy. What I’ve never understood is why pay-as-you-drive insurance is a controversial idea. As the Sightline Institute (formerly Northwest Environment Watch) notes, the current flat-rate insurance system is heavily skewed against people who drive less: Even if you drive fewer than 5,000 miles, for example, most insurance companies will only knock about 10 percent off your premium. In other words, if you drive a third as much as the average policy-holder, you still pay 90 percent of the premium.

Sightline links a great post today about pay-as-you-go insurance on Harper’s blog by economist Dean Baker, who argues that switching to pay-as-you-drive “might reduce annual gasoline consumption by as much as 10 percent.”

Baker continues:

Currently, auto insurance is viewed as a fixed expense. People pay the same amount for their insurance no matter how much they drive. This means that when someone is comparing the cost of driving to work with the cost of carpooling or public transportation, they won’t factor in the cost of insurance, because they will pay the same whether they make any particular trip or not.

Baker notes that some insurance companies are coming around to pay-as-you-drive; Progressive, for example, has started experimenting with pay-by-the-mile policies, and AAA in California has started offering a graduated by-the-mile policy as well.

Of Fajitas and Firearms

posted by on June 13 at 12:22 PM

Some of us kinda-uncomfortable-with-the-ubiquity-of-guns-in-urban-settings types have been watching San Francisco, where voters passed a handgun ban by 58 a percent majority back in November. Well, the damned thing’s been overturned by a judge in the San Francisco Superior Court (the same court where one of those “activist motherfuckers,” as I believe Dick Cheney called ‘em over his evening shuffleboard game with Ann Coulter, ruled that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry back in March of 2005):

… [the judge] agreed with the National Rifle Association, which argued that Prop. H exceeded the powers of local government and intruded into an area regulated entirely by the state.

The NRA laid out their usual facile daisy-chains when it comes to people shooting each other, guns are obviously the solution, not the problem!—just like gin is the surefire way to battle my nascent alcoholism). But the judge seemed to lay a little groundwork for a statewide clampdown on handguns:

”California has an overarching concern in controlling gun use by defining the circumstances under which firearms can be possessed uniformly across the state, without having this statewide scheme contradicted or subverted by local policy,” the judge said.

The city attorney, of course, is planning to appeal, but all you let’s-ban-‘em-in-the-city types (I’m looking at you, Mr. Sanders) might want to begin refining your ban-`em-in-the-city arguments.

In other SFSC news:

A San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded $46,000 yesterday to two men who were beaten by off-duty officers in a fight over fajitas in 2002.

Because fajitas don’t kill people…

A Completely Unscientific World Cup Poll

posted by on June 13 at 12:15 PM

Please provide your answers in the comments.

A) The U.S. will rebound and win their next two games.

B) The U.S. were thoroughly spanked, and things are only going to get worse when they take on Italy.

C) Who cares? Everyone knows Brazil is going to cakewalk through the World Cup anyway.

The Children Are Our Targets

posted by on June 13 at 11:28 AM

Yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) tried to ease concerns about violence in Iraq by saying:

“27.51 Iraqis per 100,000 die a violent death on an annual basis. 27.51. Now what does that mean? To me, it really doesn’t mean a lot until I compare it to people that I know or have a feel for the rhythm of this place. Well I by now have a feel for the rhythm of this place called Washington, D.C., and my wife lives here with me, and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, she’s at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C. than an average civilian in Iraq.”

As it turns out, King may be on to something:

A report released today by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF,) and based upon data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) finds that more children and teens died as a result of gun violence in 2003 than American fighting men and women killed in hostile action in the first three years of the Iraq war combined.

In all, 2,827 kids and teens were killed in the United States during the calendar year that marked the US invasion of Iraq. At last count, the Department of Defense reports 2,497 US soldiers killed in Iraq.

Photograph of You

posted by on June 13 at 10:58 AM

The spaceship is at the edge of the galaxy. It’s in hyper-drive. Stars and gas clouds appear, approach, and pass at the speed of light. Out here where no one can hear you scream, the lead singer of A Flock of Seagulls, Michael Score, is suffering because he doesn’t have a photograph of the woman he loves and will never see again. She is on Earth; he is in deep space. And the deeper he flies into the great abyss, the harder it is for him to recall her face—the end of her nose, the lids of her eyes, the flesh of her lips, the whole frame of her beauty.

Desperate, Score uses a computer to reconstruct her image. He types in a few instructions, and on the screen appears what very much looks like his lost love; he gets excited, he presses the print button, the image stutters out of the printer—but it’s all wrong, this is not how she looks like, his memory is failing him. Score crumples the printout and leaves the computer room with a type of grief that only astronauts can understand. If he had just one photograph of her, something to remind him, he wouldn’t have to spend the rest of his life wishing, wishing—wishing he had, before departing Earth, packed a picture of her into his suitcase.

When I first saw the video for “Wishing,” in 1982, it made a powerful impression on me, not only because its premise (being in deep space and longing for a photograph of the one you love) successfully married a video narrative to the mood of the music, but also because the spaceship A Flock of Seagulls were on resembled the spaceship that Carl Sagan used in Cosmos (1980), the Spaceship of the Imagination. Because I didn’t believe in God, space was my only religion, and Sagan was the highest priest of that religion. I believed in the Spaceship of the Imagination, and wanted to be onboard with Sagan, as he travelled to some distant star cluster or a distant pulsar (the lighthouse of the universe).

Cosmos was about the science of space travel; the video for “Wishing,” on the other hand, introduced the emotional matter of love to space travel.

Only a small number of emotional situations can be worse than this: As the ship passes the rings and moons of Saturn, heading toward the limits of the solar system, suddenly you realize—patting your pockets, searching your bags—you forgot to bring a photograph of the woman you love; the woman whose body, whose beating heart, whose life-breath will never be present to you again. And the space between you and her grows; and the stars are getting colder. Though I worshipped Sagan, he ultimately failed to prepare me for the galactic sorrows of a lovesick astronaut.

Michael Jackson: Bashed by His Own Hand?

posted by on June 13 at 10:57 AM

Just in time to celebrate tomorrow’s one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s still-amazing acquittal on child molestation charges, FOX News’ resident Jacko obsessive (every media outlet’s got one, hello) shares his exclusive insider story—with allegedly damning photos!—about Jackson’s post-arrest claims of brutality at the hands of Santa Barbara’s Sheriff’s Department.

As FOX News’ Roger Friedman reports:

Now this column can show you photos obtained exclusively from sources close to Jackson. What the sequence of photos shows is that [Jackson], according to sources, self-inflicted a wound on his arm and caused a rapidly rising welt to form.They also show it turning not black and blue, but a kind of amber color. My sources say this discoloration was caused by makeup.

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“If you look closely at his cheek,” says my source, “you can see the blush on it is the same color as the bruise on the arm.” Even weirder…it’s quite easy to see the tape holding his nose in place. Jackson isn’t wearing his typical whiteface makeup either. It may be one of the few photos that show Michael Jackson exactly as he is, warts and all.

According to Friedman, “His idea was to create sympathy for himself by inventing a race war of some kind. ‘He wanted it to be like O.J., a black vs. white issue,’ says [Friedman’s] source. ‘He wanted the black community to burn down police stations, riot and protest if they [the police and authorities] went against him.’”

As it turns out, Jackson didn’t need such race-baiting machinations to get his acquittal—but it’s damn telling he thought he did. Full story here. Sigh.

Muralist Michael Fajans Dead

posted by on June 13 at 10:27 AM

He died in a motorcycle accident yesterday, the P-I reports this morning. I don’t know his work, and I’d never met him, but I’ve heard artists speak fondly of him, especially those in the GSA building I wrote about last week. He had a studio there. His partner of 20 years, Cathryn Vandenbrink, led the effort to build the Tashiro-Kaplan building, which, with its artist lofts, low-cost housing, and gallery spaces has just about single-handedly revitalized the art scene in Pioneer Square. Fajans was only 58. Vandenbrink says there will be a party to celebrate his life.

The Borat Movie

posted by on June 13 at 9:22 AM

Just so everyone in the world knows it… OMG! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THIS FREAKING MOVIE!

The Morning News

posted by on June 13 at 8:42 AM

Rove will not be indicted for his role in the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity. Vindicated! Ah, it’s just a matter of time till we find another flagrant act of corruption worthy of a special counsel investi…

And here it is! Faced with the question of whether to cater to oil companies or protect groundwater from pollution, Rove sided with … you guessed it. There’s still time for a sequel to The Inconvenient Truth before the 2008 election.

Rove’s master and main squeeze makes a surprise visit to Iraq to meet the prime minister of the new government. Yes, that’s a Fox News link. They usually get the best access on Bush propoganda stories like this one. Here’s a question I don’t have the time to research right now: During our other wars, did U.S. presidents make similar surprise visits to war-torn regions? Or do these just seem more cowardly because it’s Bush?

Alberto is looking like a tropical storm and will probably make landfall near Tallahassee, according to the St. Petersburg Times, which has a handy weather blog.

Violent crime is on the rise, which we can only hope will inspire our Republican government to build more prisons.

Great news for drunks who drink coffee.

The U.S. soccer team tries to put the pieces back together after getting clobbered yesterday by the Czech Republic.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got in a nasty motorcycle wreck yesterday but to the relief of rabid Steelers fans he landed on his face, not his arm. A broken jaw and facial fractures are not career threatening. No schadenfreude allowed for Seahawks fans still bitter over the Super Bowl.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Justice: Not Swift Enough?

posted by on June 12 at 6:14 PM

City Council passed legislation today that will take a dramatically different approach to battling crime in three areas most plagued by it: Downtown, Miller Park, and Rainier Beach. The idea is to shift the focus from arresting offenders to connecting them with services that can help keep them from lives in crime and, ultimately, jail.

If the pilot program works, it could influence policies city-wide, especially in drug enforcement, which contributes a huge (and expensive) share of King County inmates.

“This is the first time the council passed legislation linking law enforcement and human services to address the crime,” said Council President Nick Licata, in the press release issued after the bill’s passage. “It’s an innovative program that will help tackle the root causes of crime.”

But only if it has a chance to prove itself. Even before the ordinance passed Licata expressed concern about whether the program, slated for July 1 launch, will have had time to impress critics who favor the traditional lock ‘em up approach and City Hall colleagues who must decide in September whether to fund the program for next year. “We only have eight weeks,” says Licata. “What can we show?”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The program’s start was delayed by the number of players who wanted input: the mayor, council staff, police, social service providers, and community activists.

Pedersen is a Weasel. Part 9.

posted by on June 12 at 5:30 PM

If you go to Jamie Pedersen’s web site (he’s running for Ed Murray’s open state house seat in the 43rd district—Capitol Hill, U-District, Wallingford…), there’s something misleading afoot.

When the site boots up, you’re greeted by a picture of Jamie—then, like a slide show, every five seconds, the picture changes. What you’ll notice about the series of pictures is that they feature Jamie w a high-profile local politician: Ed Murray, Gov. Gregoire, County exec Ron Sims. You might even get the impression that these popular dems (especially current 43rd rep Murray) have endorsed Pedersen.

You’d be wrong.

If you don’t believe me, call Murray’s office, Gregoire’s office, and Sims’s office and ask if they’ve endorsed Jamie Pedersen. I can’t wait to hear what they say. Especially, Ed Murray.

re: Scientology in the Park

posted by on June 12 at 5:17 PM

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Our intrepid news intern, Sarah, reports from inside the tent:

The bright yellow Scientology party tent sprawls across Westlake Center, cheerfully advertising “Stress Test!” I duck inside and begin to read one of the many posters hanging along the side of the tent. It’s about Emotions. “Hi,” a soft voice says behind me, “I’m Jeff. Do you want to take a tour?” Jeff, a middle-aged man with chest hair poking out of his “Volunteer Minister” T-shirt, shows me a poster of L. Ron Hubbard. “Have you ever read Battlefield Earth?” Jeff asks, “That’s an amazing book.” One of the posters shows a child crying because he fell out of a chair. I ask if they have pamphlets about falling out of chairs and Jeff hands me one from the giant stack on a table. “They’re only $5, plus tax,” he says politely. I’ll take a stress test for free, please. Jeff guides me over to a man with bushy eyebrows and American flag suspenders who introduces himself as Phaxon. Phaxon administers stress tests via “E-Machine”: a silver box emblazoned with a dial and L. Ron’s signature. “You need full contact,” Phaxon tells me, placing two metal cylinders in my hands, “Now think about people and events in your life.” I draw a blank. The E-Machine dial doesn’t change. I try to think about something scary. Tyrannosaurs Rex! The dial jumps and Phaxon looks straight into me, “What was that?” After a few more minutes of embarrassingly little dial action, though, it’s obvious I’m failing the Scientology test. No buried childhood scars equates to zero penchant for fighting Thetans.

Upstairs, Downstairs

posted by on June 12 at 4:30 PM

A guy with a beard was talking to me about On the Boards and the Northwest New Works performances while we waited for the bartender. You couldn’t hear the television in the Mirabeau Room during the NWNW after-party, but its message was clear: Major Earthquake Hits Japan. I pointed at the television. The bearded man looked, then looked back at me: “Anyway, like I was saying, the studio series really is the best-kept secret of the whole festival.”

(More about NWNW after the jump, including a small woman doing an excellent performance as a heavy-metal boy, the tragedy of talking dancers, and one man pushing his wife aside to ask another man about his “barrel,” and a confidential to the The Cody Rivers Show.)

Continue reading "Upstairs, Downstairs" »

If You’ll Allow Me to Quote Myself

posted by on June 12 at 3:27 PM

Here’s what I would do tonight if I were you (as I wrote in Stranger Suggests):

Bill Buford
(READING)
He went from being the high-powered New Yorker fiction editor to being a “slave” in a Mario Batali restaurant. His previous book, Among the Thugs, about hardcore soccer hooligans, is a nonfiction classic; this new one is called Heat, and it begins with an epigraph by George Orwell, which begins: “A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into.” (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600. 7:30 pm, free.)

[Count the number of “beings” and “begins” in that paragraph. I did it on purpose, I swear!]

Scientology in the Park

posted by on June 12 at 1:55 PM

A source just called from Westlake Park where he is currently being amused by a Scientology Volunteer Minister Cavalcade recruiting event. He says that yellow-uniformed “ministers” are trying to coerce passersby into a tent without much luck. He’s watched plain-clothed plants (mostly teenaged girls) pretend to accept the invitation and then sit down for counseling (presumably E-meter evaluations) over and over again. My source also noticed that the whole thing is set up to funnel foot traffic in; that it’s almost impossible to walk around it. If I didn’t have meetings all afternoon I’d be down there getting metered. Anyone brave enough to go inside (and report back, with photos) will be my hero.

It’s On TV Tonight!

posted by on June 12 at 1:50 PM

Think summertime is BORINGtime for TV? Au contraire, mein kampf! The fun’s just begun. Take tonight for example…

8:00 FOX HELL’S KITCHEN
It’s the glorious return of one of my fave series from last year, Hell’s Kitchen, wherein angry Brit chef Gordon Ramsay lords over a bunch of amateur cooks and shoves plates of food into their chests. Humiliation has never tasted so delicious!

10:00 ABC HOW TO GET THE GUY
Four women desperately try to find a man in this new reality series. More humiliation ensues — this time, not so delicious.

10:00 A&E ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS CHAMPIONSHIP
Fuck the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and everything inbetween! Comedian Dave Attel hosts this nationwide contest to see who reigns supreme in the classic game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Even better? The winner gets $50,000! (For those bored at work, hit this site for some online Rock Paper Scissors action.)
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Monster Cars

posted by on June 12 at 1:13 PM

In an effort to explain why the Disney/Pixar animated film Cars only made millions of dollars instead of a gazillion dollars, the Box Office Guru writes:

One reason Cars did not surge higher may have been that the marketplace has suffered through a glut of computer animated films this year. Not long ago, the arrival of a digital toon was an event as it only happened once or twice a year. Nowadays with weaker entries like Doogal and The Wild hitting theaters, and more studios jumping into the game, the novelty has worn thin. Over the Hedge and Ice Age have been satisfying families over the past two months grossing a stellar $322M combined. Also not helping matters was the film’s lengthy 116-minute running time which is considerably longer than the typical 90-minute length that most young kids are used to sitting through.

The length? Too much competition? Creative exhaustion? How about this guru: A whole lot of us are no mood to celebrate—to laugh at, to laugh with—the very machines that have turned Iraq into a death factory. Disney should have stuck with cute toys and lovable animals—cars can never be anything but political.

Rainbow’s End

posted by on June 12 at 1:05 PM

Seattle Out & Proud, the group that’s holding the gay pride festival on June 23, 24, & 25, wanted the Space Needle to fly the rainbow pride flag during the festival.

In an e-mail to Dale Kershner, President of Seattle Out and Proud, last Friday, the Space Needle turned down the request.

Dale

First I want to say thanks for contacting us. I wanted to get back to you in your time period that you asked for yesterday. Unfortunately, we just won’t be able honor your request. First of all, the timing is off because we are oversubscribed so far this year. We can only do a couple of these to avoid any perception of commercialization. Our primary focus is charitable giving and, although we do some “community service events”, they are closely aligned with the city, county, travel & tourism and our own objectives. We have established guidelines with our board and management team because of the many requests we receive and we take care in being fair and independent with the limited number of flag or banner raisings we do.

We wish you well with your event and are pleased that you are using Seattle Center as your venue. I’m stepping out right now for a lunch meeting but will be in this afternoon if you have any questions.

Thanks and good luck with your event.

Mary Bacarella

Director of Marketing

Space Needle Corporation

Out and Proud’s lawyer, Dave Coffman, met w the Seattle Center folks this morning, not the Space Needle, but the Center—and the Center reiterated the Needle’s position: They don’t want to commercialize the needle. (I guess they should have thought of that before they flew the SeaHawks’ 12th-Man flag.)

Is homophobia at play? Coffman wants to give the Needle the benefit of the doubt, and says he really doesn’t know.

Out and Proud has a contract w Seattle Center to hold public events there over the weekend. They’re not paying for the space because the events are open and free to the public. The Needle is not, like the Center, a city department. It’s a private venue.

Dark Harvest

posted by on June 12 at 1:00 PM

Here’s a very disturbing article about a New York based tissue harvesting company called Biomedical Tissue Services which was caught stealing body parts from cadavers in funeral homes:

The man’s body stretched out in front of Lee Cruceta in the back room of a Manhattan funeral home after hours one day last summer had yellowish skin. His vacant eyes had the same sickly cast - a sign of jaundice. Cruceta telephoned his boss, Michael Mastromarino, to tell him the bad news: The body had failed inspection.

The boss came down, checked out the body himself and declared that “everything looked fine.”

Out came the surgical tools. The extraction of flesh and bone began.

Authorities say Biomedical Tissue Services secretly carved up hundreds of cadavers - among them, that of the British-born host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” Alistair Cooke - without the families of the deceased knowing about it. They then peddled the pieces on the lucrative non-organ body parts market.

Authorities released photos of exhumed corpses that were boned below the waist like a freshly caught fish. The defendants, they alleged, had made a crude attempt to cover their tracks by sewing PVC pipe back into the bodies in time for open-casket wakes.

Not only does this brew up fresh hell for the families of the violated cadavers as well as innocent tissue recipients with God-knows-what stuffed and stitched to their bodies, but it reminded me of an Invader Zim episode that really scares the shit out of me (Dark Harvest, parts I and II). Thanks for stirring up trouble, freaky body snatchers.

Back In Indeed!

posted by on June 12 at 1:00 PM

Shall we debate the merits of this month’s Comeback poster?

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Were they produced especially for “back in” street signs? It appears so. Well done.

New Viaduct Poll Numbers

posted by on June 12 at 10:55 AM

Elway did polling in early June on the 4 viaduct options.
Team Nickels’s tunnel option didn’t fare as badly as it has in the past, but some cursory analysis on the numbers still show that Nickels’s fantastical tunnel option would have trouble at the polls.

Here are the numbers. 400 Seattle voters were polled between June 1-5. They were asked to say which viaduct option, out of 4 pending, they favored: build a tunnel, repair it, tear it down (and move traffic to surface streets), or replace it.

Tunnel: 32%
Repair: 28%
Tear Down: 12%
Replace: 21%
Don’t Know: 7%

Voters were also asked which option they would choose if $$ didn’t matter.

Tunnel: 44%
Repair: 25%
Tear Down: 7%
Replace: 19%
Don’t Know: 5%

A couple of things to consider: Money is supposed to be the big drawback to Nickels’s tunnel option, yet taking money out of the equation (that is: if you were Czar of the world and could just have whatever you wanted) … a majority of Seattle still doesn’t want a tunnel. Also: when you consider that “Repair” and “Replace” are both essentially “Keep the Viaduct” options, that option comes out in first place (or at least tied for first place) in both questions. Although that option never hits majority status either.

P.s. Another thing from the Elway poll:
Keep the Sonics: 15%
Let the Sonics leave: 78%.

The Mysterious Horny-Making Properties of Anthony Bourdain

posted by on June 12 at 9:35 AM

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The topic mentioned in the subject line above was first brought to my attention by Stranger writer Hannah Levin in this week’s Eatin’ Out column. I was aware of the existence and resultant hubbub over Bourdain’s celeb-chef memoir Kitchen Confidential, but I’d never read it, and never seen Anthony Bourdain in action. But he certainly seemed to have Hannah hyperventilating in an oddly intense way—a phenomenon I saw repeated in quadruplicate at a barbecue on Saturday, where an otherwise sane woman told of seeing Bourdain earlier in the day at Capitol Hill’s Honey Hole (Bourdain’s in town for a book signing tomorrow) and nearly dampening herself with excitement.

Three other women in the room instantly commiserated, and were nearly beside themselves with envy over Lady #1’s public brush with Bourdain. It was weird—mostly because these weren’t the type of women I expected to hear gushing like gooey N’ Sync fans over any guy, much less all of them over the same one.

I pressed for specifics of Bourdain’s appeal. All women cited an “alpha-male quality” that allegedly becomes irresistible when coupled with the inherent sensuality of chefdom. Several used the phrases “bad-boy” and “punk”. One woman spoke of a chapter in Kitchen Confidential in which Bourdain tells the stories behind the scars on his hands, and several other women swooned in agreement.

Like I said, weird, but impressive, and it got me wondering if all, by some miraculous alignment of the heavens, Anthony Bourdain is a human aphrodisiac who makes all women insane with horniness.

If any of you have theories on the mysterious power of Bourdain, please share them in comments.

(Anthony Bourdain signs his new book The Nasty Bits at the University Bookstore on Tuesday, June 13, at 2:30 pm. That evening, Bourdain appears at a dinner in his honor at Union, 1400 First Ave. This $150, Chef Ethan Stowell—created dinner is totally sold out, but maybe you know someone. Stranger writer Bethany Jean Clement—whose carnal response to Bourdain is unknown to me—will be attending, and writing about it in the Stranger after next.)

A Quick Note on the Global City

posted by on June 12 at 9:23 AM

“The next time you go on a hike, take a look at the surrounding trees. You might be surprised to discover that `tree’ is actually a cellphone tower.” Eileen Rivera, Tech TV

The power of the world city, which thrived without contest in all other centuries but our own, the 21st, is now diminished by the global city—the city of the future. The world city (Rome, Zanzibar, Singapore, Berlin, Cape Town) was a world within itself. Outside of the world city, there was nothing but the sea; inside, there was everything. If we use Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Murders in the Morgue” (1841) as an example, Paris counted Russians, Germans, Englishmen, and even an orangutan as its citizens (and suspects). Paris was then (as it is now) a whole with in which all was possible.

A mid-sized city like Seattle, which has never been (and will never be) a world[-class] city, is a global city. A global city is defined not by how cosmopolitan it is, or by its size, but by its links with other cities. Meaning, global cities are not isolated bubbles that enclose an entire cosmos but, particularly at the level of information technologies, extensively networked in a galaxy of other cities, both near (Seattle, Portland, Vancouver BC, San Francisco, Minneapolis) and far (Seattle, Hong Kong, Seoul, Honolulu, Kobe).

Seaports, warehouses, and industrial factories defined the infrastructure of the world city; airports, camouflaged cellphone towers, satellite dishes, data rooms, optic fibers define the near-virtual infrastructure of the global city. In Philosophy of Right, Hegel writes: “Just as the earth, the firm and solid ground, is a precondition of the principle of family [village] life, so is the sea the natural element for the industry….” The sea is to the world city what air is to the global city.

347053271_l.jpgGlobal Vancouver

One more point: A world city like New York can become a global city; but the reverse is not possible—Seattle can never grow into a Paris.

The Morning News

posted by on June 12 at 8:47 AM

Zarqawi died about 55 minutes after the two 500-pound bombs fell on him. U.S. general says reports from Iraqis that American soldiers beat Zarqawi, such as appeared in this L.A. Times story, are “baloney.”

Three Gitmo prisoners managed to hang themselves Sunday.

More War on Terror: ACLU challenges the constitutionality of the NSA’s wiretapping.

From the War on Another Terror: The USA Today has a pessimistic report on the chances of Democrats beating Republicans in gubernatorial races.

Speaking of bad omens, say hi to Alberto, batting leadoff in what’s sure to be another power-packed summer lineup of tropical storms/hurricanes.

There’s a cell phone ring that only kids can hear. If only Hilary Duff could hit that note…

The U.S. soccer team faces the Czech Republic in its World Cup opener today. If geo-politics plays a role in fan support (and it always does at the World Cup), then we’re not going to have the crowd in our corner.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Antidote to Las Vegas: The Capitol Hill Farmers’ Market

posted by on June 11 at 3:27 PM

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Recipe for feeling like a human again after three days on The Strip:

2 bosch pears

1 zucchini and carrot muffin

1 bouquet of flowers

Now if I could only get these flowers out of my mind…

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Meet the Internet Killers: Seattle’s Gogerty Stark Marriott

posted by on June 11 at 7:15 AM

On Friday, I proudly reported that Seattle had a connection to the exciting news out of Montana: A couple of Seattle consultants, Dan Kully & Christian Sinderman, helped catapult insurgent Democrat Jon Tester through last Tuesday’s Montana D primary. Tester is now poised to topple GOP bad guy, Sen. Conrad Burns. That’s all very cool.

Unfortunately, another Seattle consultant is connected to another national story: Yesterday morning, I Slogged about how AT&T and big telecom derailed a “Net Neutrality” amendment to the omnibus telecom bill. The excellent amendment, sponsored by longtime cyber rights Saint, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), would have prevented telecom companies like AT&T from demoting independent web sites and blogs to fourth tier web status. Markey wanted to prohibit the telecoms from tying a site’s web presence to a pay-to-play hierarchy.

Well, guess who orchestrated AT&T’s lobbying efforts to derail the amendment. Bob Gogerty at Seattle-based political consultants, Gogerty Stark Marriott.

I will call Gogerty on Monday morning to get an explanation for Gogerty’s campaign, which was a huge fuck you to Microsoft, Amazon & the entire Puget Sound delegation (including everyone from Rep. Jay Inslee to Rep. Dave Reichert) who lobbied and/or voted for the amendment. It’s also a fuck you to Slog & every blog on this list of Seattle blogs. (Not to mention, the entire world wide Internets.)

Indeed, it’s kind of crazy that the death of the Internet as we know it may one day be traced to a political consulting firm out of web Nirvana Seattle.