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Archives for 06/18/2006 - 06/24/2006

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More on Net Neutrality

posted by on June 24 at 9:22 PM

Even though The New Republic evidently “stands with the National Review and wingnutoshpere in their opposition to grassroots Democrats,” they did publish a damn good editorial this week trashing the GOP’s attempt to kill net neutrality.

Here’s a snippet:

Under the original rules put in place in 1934, telecommunications companies can’t give preferential treatment to one set of outgoing calls over another by, say, offering static-free calling to one company’s telemarketers but not another’s. The same rules initially applied to the Internet. Telecom companies couldn’t charge website proprietors to have their content sent to consumers more expeditiously. But, last August, George W. Bush’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exempted telecoms that provide Internet connections from these restrictions, dealing a blow to both entrepreneurship and political discourse.

(If the link to the article doesn’t work, I’ve pasted the whole thing in below.)

The editorial misses one issue, though. There’s a sneaky argument that Hands off the Internet, the astroturf, anti-net neutrality lobbying group, makes…that needs to be debunked. They say big companies like Google should have to pay more for faster Internet service. This is a clever attempt to re-frame their cause as as a populist fight to make the fat cats pay, when really their attack on net neutrality is an effort to create express lanes for privileged companies, while redirecting the little guys (bloggers, start-ups) to dusty back roads.

Hands off the Internet spokeswoman Janet Northon played this card in the story I wrote on net neutrality in last week’s paper. She said: “As with anything else, you pay what the market demands you pay. If you want a Lexus, you’re not going to pay Ford prices.”

However, Rep. Jay Inslee, one of four co-sponsors of a House net neutrality amendment, unplugged Northon’s argument. Here’s what he said in my article:

Inslee explains that content providers already pay more for using more bits. However, he insists that once those bits are on the pipeline—a public utility—they shouldn’t be stamped priority. Inslee’s right. Think about your water bill. If you use more water, you pay a higher utility bill, but your water shouldn’t rush out of the spigot any faster while your neighbor’s water trickles out.

Continue reading "More on Net Neutrality" »

What A Night

posted by on June 24 at 4:44 PM

I’m writing a full report on the Lawrimore Project for this week’s issue, but here’s a little dish on what went down Thursday night. (I know, I meant to post it yesterday, but circumstances intervened.)

The place was packed, and just about everyone (except an unnamed Seattle Times writer who I have not come upon at a single event in my six months covering this town) was there, including curators from all three Seattle museums; plus artists who don’t come out of their houses for just anything, such as the great ceramist Akio Takamori (whose show at the Henry opens July 8); and all three of the other contemporary dealers in the city, Jim Harris, Billy Howard, and Greg Kucera (for whom Scott Lawrimore, the owner and creator of the Lawrimore Project, once worked). Sam Davidson, another of Lawrimore’s former employers and another longtime dealer, might have made an appearance, I’m not sure.

In typical fashion, I made several bloopers, the worst of which was nearly running down with my car a powerful art person who already holds a legitimate grudge against me while trying to park in a completely illegal spot, then ramming into the curb in front of me while attempting to make a quiet getaway from said parking spot — all with several onlookers.

Oh, and steely conceptualist Susan Robb told me she’s making illusionistic paintings. That was more shocking than hitting the curb. I cannot wait to see them. She says they depict rocks and minerals. At least I think she said that. It was hard to focus after she told me she’s making illusionistic paintings.

John Sutton, Ben Beres, and Zac Culler have the opening show at Lawrimore Project. It’s a combination of photography, video, two outdoor installations (their mobile park with bench, tree, and fountain; and their mobile living room, complete with working VCR and a copy of the 1970 movie Little Big Man, in which Dustin Hoffman wears a choker made of cowrie shells—is he the one who started that terrible trend?—and plays a Western gunslinger captured and raised by Indians), and an installation including a giant box the artists will be sealed inside during business hours until July 15, when the sides of the box will be lowered outward like the petals on a flower, and whatever they’ve made will be on display. (You can go there, look at the photographs, squint at the tiny video, listen to the guys working, and then step outside and watch Little Big Man while sitting on the couch of their living room.)

They promised to go into the box around 7 or 8 pm, but by 9:30, they still were holding beers and chatting. Around 9:45, they stepped into the box (where Stranger chow writer Bethany Jean Clement was smoked out for trying to smuggle herself into the project), Lawrimore drilled some screws in to seal the door, and a lot of noise began. Sparks flew. It was a bunch of hooey because the guys were coming out in 15 minutes anyway to go to the Hideout for more drinks, but they put on a show nonetheless and the crowd shouted and cracked up and recorded cell-phone videos in response to the absurd and historic occasion.

The other opening “show” is the space itself, by the artist-architects Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, who operate under the name Lead Pencil Studio. (Curiously, I didn’t run into them Thursday.) This is what I’m writing about for this week’s issue, so I won’t say much here, except that Lawrimore Project is much like a local version of the nationally oriented Western Bridge, which opened in 2004, and it’s certainly the best thing to happen to Seattle’s art world since WB started. The variety of spaces in LP makes it like a small museum, and so does its size. I’m guessing here, but I think it’s the largest gallery in town outside of WB. And judging from the first show, it not only has the stomach for experimentation, but a craving for it. Lead Pencil Studio, Sami Ben Larbi, Cris Bruch, Claudia X. Valdes, and Kerry Skarbakka are the other artists on Lawrimore’s roster as of now, but he’s talking to some prospects (they have to remain nameless) that would make terrific additions.

It was quite a night overall. Things ended after last call at the Hideout, where owner Greg Lundgren told me he has a book coming out this week. (It has an intro by former Stranger critic Emily Hall.) I haven’t seen it yet, but I will soon, he says.

About eight hours earlier, I started things off at Christian French’s installation Waiting for BodhiDharma, which is up through Sept 30 at Installation Space, in the hallway of a business on the fourth floor of the tower near the Nordstrom Rack. The work—sumi-style paintings, odd nature photographs, and mixed-media installations like little shrines—is the result of a trip he took to Japan, a mix of his experiences with Buddhism and his background as a pop-inflected American artist. I wasn’t partial to much of it, but I did enjoy the disco-ball helmet (reminded me of Brian Jungen’s refashionings) and the shelf of trophies printed with Buddhist-style sayings, such as, “The ass looks at the well,” and, “The well looks at the ass.”

After that I went down to the openings at Platform (Unnatural Presence, through July 29), James Harris (Todd Simeone: A Difference of Outlines and Outcomes, also through July 29), both of which I can recommend, but I’d run, not walk, to Simeone’s show.

And after Lawrimore but before the Hideout, I stopped in to see the installation that is eating Wyndel Hunt’s apartment, Landscape for Phantom Limbs Pt. 1: there, there. Again, I’m going to return to this subject in this week’s print edition, so I won’t go into it here, but suffice it to say that the installation includes near-total darkness, a flashlight, Sharpie marks, Scotch tape, more than a dash of German romanticism, and a mention of Kasimir Malevich. It’s worth seeing, and you can tonight—its only hours are Saturday nights from 9 to midnight, at 420 Second Ave, #102.

Here are two images from works that I want to get back to see again. The first is Three Corner Peak by Eric Eley at Platform, and the second is Simeone’s 1 and 6 from the suite of inkjet prints Six Ways to Roll Seven.



Friday, June 23, 2006

Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue

posted by on June 23 at 10:20 PM

It’s not quite a sacred Seattle tradition, but when developers build upscale condos, they tend to also mix in condos slightly less upscale, or even some that are affordable to the genuinely middle class.

Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue feels no such obligation. This 440-foot, 38-story glass tower will mix nothing but wealth. It is promoting itself unabashedly as exclusive, and as downtown condo development goes, it may be a sign of things to come.


1521 Rendering.jpg
Rendering by Weber + Thompson

That is on 2nd Avenue, between Pike and Pine.

Here is the view from the sky of what that site looks like today:

1521 Bird's I.jpg

Fifteen Twenty-One will occupy that parking lot and the building that borders it to the north. That is 2nd Ave on the right, heading north. Here is the view from the ground:

1521 Along 2nd.jpg

Sorry Wig Land! That picture, by Sarah Mirk, is looking west across 2nd.

More, including an interview with the building’s developer William Justen, after the jump.

Continue reading "Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue" »

R.I.P. Aaron Spelling

posted by on June 23 at 10:03 PM

spelling.jpgThose who have read my TV column over the years know that more than any TV personality (yes, even Hasselhoff or Selleck) I held uber-producer Aaron Spelling in the highest regard. After suffering a stroke this past weekend, Spelling died earlier today at the ripe age of 83. Though best known for guilty pleasures such as Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker, Dynasty—Christ, the list goes on and on—Spelling never gave two craps about what the critics thought, always keeping the viewers in mind first.

“The knocks by the critics bother you,” he admitted in a 1986 interview with The Associated Press. “But you have a choice of proving yourself to 300 critics or 30 million fans. You have to make a choice.”

It’s a choice I’m glad he made. While there are those who still criticize him for his so-called “mindless” shows, I for one am thankful for all the hilarious, trashy memories. There ain’t nothing wrong with entertainment. We still need it now more than ever.
God speed Aaron Spelling. Got a fave Spelling show or character? Let me know!

Orbiting Your Living Room

posted by on June 23 at 6:20 PM

Stranger news writer Erica C. Barnett will be on 710AM KIRO radio Saturday night at 8pm. She’s going to be a guest on The David Goldstein Show. (That’s Goldy, HorsesAss, the guy who’s really really pissed at the school board…)

Goldy scored a Sunday night slot on KIRO a few weeks ago, and he’s subbing this Saturday for Frank Shiers.

Erica’s really really pissed about transportation, and rumor is that’s what Goldy wants her to talk about.

Modest Music

posted by on June 23 at 5:57 PM

In the middle of downtown Portland is a cafe called Island Joe’s. I’m presently sitting in this cafe because my hotel down the road doesn’t have free WiFi.
This ordinary place, Island Joe’s, is suddenly special because a few minutes ago its stereo played Modest Mouse’s “Gravity Rides Everything.” That song is truly a NW gem.

The Sierra Club Endorses Bill Sherman in the 43rd

posted by on June 23 at 4:11 PM

Earlier today someone outside of Bill Sherman’s campaign passed me the news that Sherman has received the endorsement of the Sierra Club — which is a big deal in the 43rd, a district that is as enviro-friendly as it is gay-friendly (if not more so).

The Sierra Club wasn’t planning to announce its endorsement until next week, but I called Sherman just now and he confirmed that he’s getting their endorsement. (And shortly afterward, the Sierra Club called and confirmed it as well.) Here’s what Sherman told me:

We live in the most beautiful state in the nation, and the 43rd District wants to elect a champion to protect our air and our water. I’m pleased that the Sierra Club has decided that I am that champion.

Next up in the big enviro endorsments: the Washington Conservation Voters. If Sherman ends up with both the Sierra Club’s endorsement and the Conservation Voters’ endorsement, he’ll have strongly differentiated himself from the pack (something everyone in this six-way race is struggling to do), and as the “enviro-guy” he’ll become a pretty formidable force.

Taking That Sex-Positive Thing A Tad Too Far

posted by on June 23 at 4:05 PM

Glenn, I like lots of porn, and I’m glad to see you do, too. Remind me to send you my video.
But even I do not posit that the increased availability of porn is any way connected to a decrease in the number of reported rapes. As you point out, lots of things have changed since the 1970’s. One might as well say that would-be rapists have been deterred by global warming. Let’s not start down that path, because it’s way too fraught with logical pitfalls.
I’m sure you mean well, but sweetie - don’t try to help us, okay?

The War is Over

posted by on June 23 at 3:29 PM

The anti-war issue might not be as big a deal as everyone (including me) have made it out to be for Senator Maria Cantwell. (Cantwell’s refusal to bow to the anti-war base is going to work wonders for her in the general election against McGavick.)

In a sign that the issue may be fading anyway, the 36th District Democrats executive board interviewed Cantwell’s two anti-war challengers, Hong Tran & Mark Wilson, on Monday night. The prickly 36th (Ballard, Al Runte) has been notably exercised about Cantwell. However, word is, neither Tran nor Wilson was a hit.

In fact, Tran was reportedly taken to task by 36th District chair Pete House for even running. Meanwhile, Wilson was blistered for his inconsistency on health care. Wilson was asked how he reconciled his position in 2002 (when he ran against Rep. Jay Inslee as a Libertarian) against expanding government health care vs. his position today (running, obviously, as a Democrat) where he supports expanding government health care coverage.

The district’s endorsements don’t come out until August, but I wouldn’t bet on either anti-war candidate over Cantwell.

A Kissing Booth, a Balloon Artist, and a Fortuneteller Walk Into a Bar

posted by on June 23 at 2:38 PM

Tonight, Hannah Levin suggests:

The Medicine Show: Mojo for Jojo
Vomiting Unicorns frontman Josh Ayala is one creative character, so when his friend Jojo was in an especially brutal biking accident, it only seemed natural for him to put together an eclectic, carnival-themed benefit. In addition to his own band, the attractions include New Fangs and Rotten Apples, a kissing booth, a balloon artist, a fortuneteller, and a killer raffle. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave, 784-4880. 7 pm, $10, 21+.)

Interns, Heat Maps, and the Dan Brown Substitution Project

posted by on June 23 at 2:24 PM

In the context of another conversation, co-worker just observed that “when you get on a plane, there will still be fifteen people reading the fucking Da Vinci Code.”

He’s right. It’s a scourge. And an opportunity: Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to you The Dan Brown Substitution Project. The program: (1) Always carry a few Quality Titles by Quality Authors ready to give away; (2) When you see someone reading The Fucking Da Vinci Code, rip the book from his or her hands and replace it with a Quality Title by a Quality Author; (3) Run for your life.

But what should those Quality Titles be? Something awesome, something with hooks, something to convince him or her that there is more to the reading life than Dan “I-can’t-believe-people-actually-fell-for-this-shit” Brown.

Also: Check out the Dan Brown heat map, courtesy of (A heat map being “the relative interest in an entity at every locale in the United States. We have developed a geographic model of news influence which enables us to gauge the relative amount of exposure a given entity has received as a function of location.”) And the Arnold Schwarzenegger heat map. And Ernest Hemingway. And Jimmy Buffett. (Though the Queen Latifah heat map looks a little suspicious.

Also II: Annie Wagner and I are currently accepting applications for interns who are good-humored, reliable, and available on Tuesday afternoons: and

Smoked Out

posted by on June 23 at 1:41 PM

As much as I hate to reignite the Great Smoking Ban War on our website, I did promise the guy who picketed the talk I took part in at Town Hall last week with Randi Rhodes and Ron Reagan that I would post pictures of his sign on our website…


Here’s a better look at his sign…


The title of the talk was “What Makes a Progressive?”, and the picketer—whose name I didn’t get—had one answer to the question: A progressive paper doesn’t run tobacco ads in its pages. The picketer, upset about toboacco ads in the paper, handed out flyers that read… “Contact The Stranger and Tell Them You Are Fed Up With This Harmful Influence on Our Community.” I’m sorry to report that we didn’t get a single call from any of the 1000+ folks who attended the event.


You gotta love our non-endorsement of the smoking ban. We made it clear that we weren’t endorsing 901 because of the idiotic, unenforceable, and wide-open-to-abuse 25 foot rule. We were for smoking bans in bars and clubs, but we worried about selective enforcement by the SPD.

The Stranger Election Control Board is no fan of secondhand smoke, and we would have loved to endorse a statewide smoking ban. Our problem with I-901 is that it doesn’t stop at banning smoking inside of bars, restaurants, and other public venues. It also bans smoking outside bars and restaurants, prohibiting citizens from lighting up within 25 feet of any door, window, or vent that leads into a public establishment.

In a dense urban area such as Seattle, this creates a practical problem for certain blocks that are popular precisely because they are filled with doors, windows, and vents into public establishments (where would one smoke on such a block, except in the middle of the street?). But more disturbingly, the law’s vague language on its own enforcement creates an irresistible opportunity for selective enforcement, a tactic long used by authorities in Seattle to target “certain” clubs and businesses.

Couldn’t be clearer—for smoking bans, against this one.

Since our non-endorsement of the public indoor smoking ban aggressively endorsed the concept of indoor public smoking bans, angry smokers viewed our non-endorsement as an endorsement. For months after the smoking ban passed (it passed by an overwhelming margin even without our endorsement), angry smokers posted hundreds of comments on our website, blasting us for weeks on end about our support of the smoking ban, which we, uh, didn’t actually endorse.

So where are we now? Since our non-endorsement of the smoking ban endorsed the concept of public indoor smoking bans, smokers were, and remain, furious with us. But because it was a non-endorsement, now anti-tobacco activists are pointing to our non-endorsement as case-closed evidence that The Stranger is in bed with tobacco companies. So by telling people to Vote No I-901, we somehow managed to eternally piss off tobacco smokers and tobacco haters alike. Neat trick.

As for the issue of taking ads from tobacco companies, that’s a business decision, not an editorial decision. An ad in The Stranger does not constitute an endorsement from The Stranger. Provided there aren’t any legal issues—no copyright violations, no libel, and believe it or not, nothing indecent (ahem)—we generally avoid censoring ads.

Sprawl and Isolation

posted by on June 23 at 1:17 PM

People are lonelier than ever, a new report, titled “Social Isolation in America,” finds, with fewer close friends (two, on average) and confidants on “important matters” (none, according to one in four) than ever before.

Sightline’s Eric de Place has an interesting theory about why: low-density suburban sprawl, which de Place says “is correlated with (and probably causes) a significant degree of social isolation and fragmentation. And that lonliness has measurable impacts not only on mental health, but on physical health too.”

Check out le Place’s post, including links to the report and studies linking sprawl and isolation, here.

Cry, Britney, CRY!!!

posted by on June 23 at 12:52 PM

If you were one of the unlucky minority that missed last week’s historic interview between Matt Lauer and Britney Spears— well, here it is again. (But with an ugly drag queen playing Britney.)

Field of History

posted by on June 23 at 12:10 PM

We must never forget that a large number of the slaves America used to pick cotton for nothing came from Ghana. It’s certainly something that cannot be excluded from the context of Ghana’s World Cup match victory over USA last Tuesday. Very few sports activate the forces of history like football.

dramani jpg.jpg

Thee Emergency in Portland

posted by on June 23 at 12:08 PM

Seattle’s Thee Emergency were in Portland this week, and our Mercury web editor, Christine Blystone, recorded an awesome podcast with them:

One of my new favorite bands is Seattle-based rockers Thee Emergency. They just released an album a little over a week ago, and are currently on a U.S. tour. While in PDX this week, they stopped by to talk to me about their amazing year together as a band, broken wrists, and how they drive their fans to drink.


Be sure to check out the podcast here, which also includes two tracks off their new album Can You Dig It?

(That’s Christine and the band, in the Mercury’s teeny tiny recording/archive broom closet.)

Rat City Rollergirls Crash the National Press

posted by on June 23 at 11:50 AM


Just in time to hype their blowout bash tomorrow at Magnuson Park (here’s my Stranger Suggests on the bout), the Rat City Rollergirls—Seattle’s ass-kicking women’s roller derby league—are featured in a splashy, multimedia story on MSNBC. (The primary talking head is a derby queen from Austin, but the majority of the action footage in the video was shot at the Rat City Rollergirls’ stomping grounds at Magnuson Park’s Hangar 27.)

FYI: Tomorrow’s bout is completely sold out (good for them, sad for you), but you can catch the ladies in action at both of this weekend’s Pride Parades, and stay updated on the array of future bouts and appearances through their website.

(Photo credit: Joe Schwartz.)

Licking the Mayor’s Envelope

posted by on June 23 at 11:37 AM

Yesterday, I bitched about Team Nickels for sending out an anti-I-87 press release from their office.

You can’t campaign from a public office.

Under the guise of supporting City Attorney Tom Carr’s announcement—Carr is challenging the initiative in King County Superior court because he believes it violates state law by giving line item budgeting authority to the public (he’s got a good argument)—Team Nickels press release attacked the merits of the initiative itself.

That’s a no-no.

I talked to Seattle Ethics and Elections director Wayne Barnett about this today.

He said the Nickels release “pushed the envelope” and “if they continue to send out releases like this it would be a problem.”

However, he said the fact they did it just this once was okay because it occurred in the normal flow of business—ie, a response to the City Attorney’s announcement.

Would it be in the normal flow of business for the ethics commission to do its job, Wayne, and stop the Nickels administration from flouting the rules?

Strawberries and Honey

posted by on June 23 at 11:15 AM

Aside from some misdirected sexual innuendo, I had a great time at the Madison Farmers’ Market last Friday. The strawberries are incredible right now, so juicy and tasty (I ate them on waffles). I also visited the honey guy, who stocks his booth with a delicious array—including blackberry, wildflower, and orchid honeys. I wasn’t sure which one to get so he gave me a spoon and proceeded to pour different honeys out for tasting. He also indicated that the honey would be good for licking off the guy standing next to me, whom I unfortunately didn’t even know. Suddenly I realized that I had eaten about 10 spoonfuls of honey and walked home content.

Madison Farmers’ Market runs on Fridays from 3—7 pm on 20th Avenue at Madison Street.

Cantwell Counters with Numbers of Her Own

posted by on June 23 at 10:44 AM

The McGavick campaign caused a serious stir yesterday with numbers from a GOP Rasmussen poll showing the race in a statistical dead heat—44 to 40, Cantwell.

Well, Cantwell rapid-responsed today with a polling analysis of her own, done by the the Democrats the Mellman Group, highlighting that Cantwell is comfortably ahead by 9.6 points. (I’d link you to the report, but the copy I have is in some weird format that I can’t seem to plug in here.)

Anyway, stupid move. Because it just makes voters think… “WTF? That’s confusing. Who knows?”

And that’s good for McGavick because now the numbers, which technically favor Cantwell, become suspect and confusing and… irrelevant.

Campaign Cantwell should have ignored the McGavick poll and most people would have still considered Cantwell the big frontrunner.

Outing the Haters

posted by on June 23 at 10:20 AM

This week’s Stranger includes several instances of anti-Chihuahua sentiment. It should be made clear that this feeling is not shared by all staff members—just those with unfortunate self-esteem issues who lash out at others to make themselves feel better.

Other dog talk overheard in the office this morning:
“I would kill my dog if he was starving… but I wouldn’t eat him.”

“I would eat it. We would be together for real—no more metaphor.”

Re: Linnea Noreen’s Excellent Suicide Mission

posted by on June 23 at 10:05 AM

I wonder whether the “insane pleasure” of meeting Linnea Noreen had anything to do with that plunging neckline?


Linnea Noreen’s Excellent Suicide Mission

posted by on June 23 at 9:25 AM

I had the insane pleasure of meeting someone who’s running against U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-7) yesterday afternoon. Excellent!

Pleasure because it’s time for McDermott to go, and while this candidate doesn’t have a chance in hell—she’s 29, has never held public office, and doesn’t have record of political accomplishments—I think her suicide mission will remind people that McDermott doesn’t have a birth right to the seat.

Her name is Linnea Noreen. She’s running as an Independent.

I put off meeting her for weeks because I thought she was just going to be some kook. (My bizarre colleague Adrian Ryan has something to do with her campaign, which I can’t quite figure out.)

I was wrong. She’s smart and serious, and has a sense of fun about her campaign. (She’s holding 18 nominating conventions in the next week, including 3 at Tiki Bob’s. More on that in a second.)

She also acknowledges that she’s not going to win, but says she wants to set an example for young people that “it’s possible…and after I do this high profile race, I think young people will run for things like city council and state Senate.”

She describes herself as “very liberal on social issues” and “responsible on fiscal issues.” Sounds trite, but, indeed, she seems to revel in a third-way sensibility of maverick and common sense solutions that don’t adhere to left or right dogma.

She does have the annoying habit of saying repeatedly of her platform that “no one is talking about what I’m talking about” …while not really delivering on the claim.

For example, on transportation, she says we need to coordinate all the disparate efforts into one comprehensive regional plan…which everyone I know has been saying for years.

She’s against the GOP’s “No Child Left Behind” approach on education & against the Democrats “just throw more money at the schools” approach…but says little more than she’s for “local control.”

She says the Democrats are wrong to fold their arms and refuse to admit there’s a problem with the Social Security system, but says little more than people should have more options. “There should be some of that,” she says about private accounts.

On housing, she says we should abandon the Section 8 system and opt for a system that works more like food stamps…an idea I didn’t quite get.

The coolest thing she said was on Iraq. She said the solution begins with getting the reconstruction contracts to the Iraqis…basically, “make them stop wanting to shoot us” by giving them economic opportunities rather giving economic opportunities to Haliburton.

She didn’t put it this way, but I came up with a sound bite for her: “Before we transition the fighting to Iraqi troops, let’s transition the economy to Iraqi people.” (She says she’s against a steadfast pull out date.)

Noreen’s resume features a stint with the YMCA, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce & most recently, she worked as a program coordinator for Seattle Works, a group that tries to get young professionals engaged politically by getting them on boards and commissions.

Because she’s running as an Independent, she has to get 1,000 signatures to be on November’s ballot. Sounds easy, but the state has made this a crazy proposition by requiring third party candidates to get all those signatures at a series of nominating conventions over the course of one week. And the conventions don’t count unless each convention garners at least 100 signatures. So, Noreen’s holding “conventions” all over the city. Here’s her campaign’s explanation of the whole very confusing signature thing.

Morning News

posted by on June 23 at 8:02 AM

Earth: Hottest it’s been in 2,000 years.

Bank Records: Guess who’s looking at them without a warrant?

Those WMD’s: Found by a man in Texas. Phew!

North Korea: No preemptive strike, says Cheney.

Sears Tower: Targeted, fittingly, by men with “aspirations” but “no means.”

Pride: Can’t the gays just get along?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dear Dick Kelley, Stephanie Pure, Jim Street, & Bill Sherman

posted by on June 22 at 7:40 PM

Whenever Eli Sanders writes an article on the race in the 43rd District, some of the candidates in the race always complain: “Why did you write about him or her and not me?” (There are 6 Democratic candidates running, and I think Linde Knighton is running on the Progressive Party ticket.)

I know all you guys are anxious to get press, but we write articles about candidates when they make news. The fact that you’re running isn’t news.

Eli wrote about Lynne Dodson this week because she, a straight lady, got a surprise endorsement from SEAMEC, a gay group that issues political endorsements. The gay endorsement is super important in the 43rd, which includes Capitol Hill and the Broadway Grill.

SEAMEC’s endorsement was surprising because there’s a gay candidate in the race, Jamie Pedersen, who’s promoting himself—at least in the full-page ad he took out in the 2006 Pride Festival Guide—to be “Our” voice in Olympia. “Our” meaning…the gay candidate. Pedersen also got SEAMEC’s endorsement, but he had to share it with Dodson. None of the other candidates were endorsed by the gays.

The fact that Pedersen, whose whopping bank account makes him something of a frontrunner*, didn’t get the sole endorsement from SEAMEC is surprising. When something surprising happens—like a gay frontrunner getting an underwhelming nod from a gay group—we’re going to write about it. The ‘It” was Lynne Dodson.

You want to be in the newspaper. Do something newsworthy.

Otherwise: We do an endorsement issue. As you all know, you’ve been scheduled to come in on July 26 at noon for an edit board interview. You’ll all get a fair hearing then (just ask Casey Corr), and for good or bad, you’ll be written up in our endorsement issue.

*While Pedersen has raised the most money, as Eli slogged earlier today, Dick Kelley has the most contributors.

Goldy Star for the Intern

posted by on June 22 at 6:37 PM

Stranger news intern Sarah Mirk has arrived. Goldy linked her.

He dug her post about the estate tax repeal, I-920.

P.s. Be sure to read the comments thread on Sarah’s post. Outraged citizen takes action. It’s pretty excellent.

Slave to the Image

posted by on June 22 at 6:23 PM

Few images have impacted my imagination more than this one:
At dusk, the massive, robotic head of Grace Jones rises from the desert floor, turns to the side, opens its metal mouth, and shoots out a silver CX GTi Turbo.

Dreamed up by Jean-Paul Goude (Jones’s husband at the time—1984) for France’s most recognizable automobile corporation, CitroĂ«n, the image transports me from any point in real time to a fantastic world where Jones is the entire economic base, the whole productive force, the source and sole generator of labor power. In the pyramids of ancient Egypt we see masses of hardened human energy, human misery; in this giant head of Grace Jones, we do not see the expenditure of a society of slaves organized by the will of a master, but, instead, the economy of just one, the production of a single slave who works for no master, who works simply because there’s work to be done. The image is of a slave utopia.

The First Local Museum Blog

posted by on June 22 at 5:40 PM

As far as I can tell, neither the Seattle Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, the Tacoma Art Museum, nor the Frye Art Museum has a blog. But the Museum of Glass does. It’s brand new — the museum just launched it, along with a redesign of its web site that I discovered earlier today — two days ago, according to a museum spokeswoman.

Museum blogs can be great (that’s a link to the Walker Art Center’s). Other museums with blogs include the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts/Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, which is a bit sleepy, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has great staffer posts about the building’s renovations and behind-the-scenes peeks at the galleries as they prepare to open in a week. Seattle Art Museum, are you listening? (Actually, I just called SAM and a spokeswoman said the museum is looking into it. SAM could certainly use one, with all it has got going on.)

Tacoma is a haven of innovation. The Tacoma Art Museum is the only museum in the Northwest that has begun offering cell-phone tours with exhibitions, joining a small group of innovators in cities including Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Minneapolis. These are less of a slam-dunk than blogs, to my mind, since I continue to have mixed feelings about audio in the galleries, period. I do like podcasts, though, where you can download the information and listen to it whenever you want. The Museum of Glass will introduce its first podcast this summer, with the Joyce Scott exhibition, and Scott will also join the blog conversations. (I haven’t tried the cell-phone tour at TAM myself. Blogger CultureGrrl tried one recently at the Walker and has her own rants and raves about it.)

One other curious little tidbit about the new Museum of Glass web site: nowhere on it, unless you scroll three layers into the site to the museum’s mission statement, is there any mention of the museum’s long-ridiculed subtitle, “International Center for Contemporary Art.” When the museum first opened and for most of inaugural director Josi Callan’s tenure, everyone was instructed never to refer to the museum simply as the Museum of Glass. We were always to attach International Center of Contemporary Art, a term that confused some people (wait, I thought this was glass) and made others scoff (international in Tacoma?). Me, I just resented the carpal tunnel it induced, and complained about the way the museum often didn’t make the links in its galleries between what came before the colon and what came after the colon in Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art.

Museum spokeswoman Julie Pisto today said the lack of the subtitle on the web site doesn’t indicate anything about the museum’s direction or programming under new director Timothy Close. It doesn’t indicate anything at all, actually, she said. It’s just practical.

Nobody is going to say all of that,” Pisto told me.

Too bad Pisto wasn’t in the room when they made up the name, huh?

Taxation, not misrepresentation

posted by on June 22 at 5:25 PM

I was spending the morning reminiscing over my article in this week’s paper when Tipster Kendra called to say she ran into some petitioners for I-920 (which would repeal the WA estate tax) outside the Safeway on 15th and Harrison who weren’t telling the whole truth. Big surprise in politics, right? Still, she claimed the signature gatherers told her that the estate tax affects every income bracket and when she loudly accused them of being liars, they called over Safeway security. The grocery cop heard the complaint and then told Kendra, “Keep up the good work!”

Moderately well versed in estate tax fact and fiction, I strolled over to the petitioner’s table outside Safeway to play the part of the young, dumb voter.

Me: What’s this Death Tax thing?
Petitioner: It’s a double taxation issue. When you die, all the money that you’ve worked for, the government taxes again.
Me: Who do they tax?
Petitioner: Everyone, people say it’s a tax on the rich, but they hire financial advisors and get through all the loopholes. Who it hurts is the middle class businesspeople.
Me: It’s not just on the rich? I thought you’re estate had to be worth over a certain amount, like $2 million or something?
Peitioner: Nope, I know people who have had only $200,000 who have been hit with it. I’ve heard horror stories.
Me: So, like, my parents have a $300,000 house and, like, $20,000 in the bank. Would they be hit with the estate tax?
Petitioner: Yes they would. It’s a tax when you die, that’s why it’s called the Death Tax.

These are paid signature gatherers who work on campaigns all over the country. These guys were hired by Direct Democracy, which in turn was hired by the group that needs signatures (in this case, Committee to Abolish the WA Estate Tax).

Here’s what the petitioner got wrong: Estates worth less than $2 million are exempt from the estate tax. Farms are also exempt from being counted toward the $2 million. The tax isn’t on death, but on the inheritance — the transfer of money from someone who’s kicked the bucket to their kids. In Washington, 250 families are affected by the estate tax.

The Queer Issue

posted by on June 22 at 4:59 PM

The theme for this year’s Queer Issue is Additional Amendments, Restrictions, and Bans. The paper is on the streets now, and the whole package is up on the website. There are tons of great pieces—from the Washington Post’s Hank Steuver on “family values” hypocrites to our own Cienna Madrid on fag hags to Mr. Nibbles the Gerbil on the oppressed gerbil community.

My contribution is an essay the nascent anti-gay adoption movement: the same religious conservatives who have successfully banned gay marriage in most of the United States have set their sites set on banning adoptions by same-sex couples. If they’re going to ban future adoptions by gays and lesbians, I argue, then they should do something about adoptions that have already been finalized:

If gays and lesbians are unfit to parent any children we might adopt, then we are surely unfit to parent the children we have already adopted. We should demand that any bill banning adoptions by same-sex couples include a provision that would require the state to remove children from the homes of same-sex couples. Adopted or biological, if the state believes that gays and lesbians are unfit parents, how can they leave the kids we’re already parenting in our homes?

Demanding that any ban on adoptions by same-sex couples be made retroactive, and that it require the state to take our children, adopted or biological, would, I believe, prevent such a ban from ever being passed. It would instantly shift the debate from the hypothetical to the real—i.e. it wouldn’t be about the kids we might adopt one day, but about kids we have already adopted. Gays and lesbians are parenting in record numbers—estimates range from a low of 250,000 to a high of 10,000,000—and prospect of removing so many children from our homes should give the haters pause. (Oh, and you’ll have to remove them by force: I don’t own a gun, but if they ever came for my kid I’d find one fast.)

In the early 1990s one adopted child was removed from her home; searing images of the sobbing child and her distraught adoptive parents were seen all over the country. That one removal sparked a national debate about the rights of birthparents, adoptive parents, and children. Are Americans really prepared to repeat that scene over and over again, sending the police into hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian homes? Night after night, nothing on television but scenes of screaming children being pulled from the arms their parents? Just to appease the bigotry of the American Taliban?

I don’t think Americans have the stomach for that, frankly. But just in case they do, a reader sent in this suggestion:

Your proposal to perfect those anti-gay-adoption bills is excellent. May I suggest one more tweak: putting the compassion back in their conservatism, the demons could also include a provision that gives us affected parents and our children-today-gone-tomorrow 30 days to revoke our citizenship and leave for Canada or somewhere in the EU. You know, enough time to sell the house and pack up. So the choice becomes: take your filth out of our country so we don’t have to see it, or we dismantle your so-called family.

My, What a Busy Night!

posted by on June 22 at 4:40 PM

There are two items in Stranger Suggests today. Jen Graves suggests going to the opening of the much-talked-about new art space Lawrimore Project:

‘If These Walls…’
Now that’s trust: Scott Lawrimore, owner of a long-anticipated new contemporary art gallery, chose the Seattle threesome SuttonBeresCuller to inaugurate his space. The catch is, Lawrimore won’t see their show until everyone else does. Today’s opening is a literal closing: the artists will seal themselves inside a 32-by-32-by-12-foot box where they’ll work for three straight weeks until, at 7:00 p.m. on July 15, the walls will come down for the big reveal. (Lawrimore Project, 831 Airport Way S, 501-1231. 6—10 pm, free.)

And Dave Segal suggests some sonic bizness at a new music venue in West Seattle:

DJ Collage
DJ Collage is known as a provider of vocal dynamite for other artists’ records, including Ghislain Poirier and Meat Beat Manifesto. Now he’s ready to prove himself as a solo artist with The Parlor, a punchy collection of dancehall-flecked hiphop and Diwali/bhangra bizness. This is force-of-nature shiz. (Skylark Cafe & Club, 3803 Delridge Way SW, 935-2111. 9 pm, free, 21+.)

Me? I’m going to see Mark Bowden read from his book on the Iranian hostage crisis Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam at UW—Kane Hall, room 220, 7:30 pm, free—and then I’m hopping in a cab by 8:30 so I can check out the Lawrimore Project opening before it ends. I know enough about SuttonBeresCuller and Scott Lawrimore to know that’s not to be missed.

Blocking Gay Rights

posted by on June 22 at 3:44 PM

Ken Hutcherson just called to say he’s going to start collecting signatures in January to repeal the gay civil rights bill.

Of the Eyman fiasco, the Seahawk-turned-preacher used a sports metaphor, and said: “Eyman was the the quarterback, and we sent the quarterback out to do the blocking. That was a mistake. Now, we’re going to send the linebackers out, and we’re going to hit hard.”

What Hutcherson means is this: He says the churches got in on R-65 late in the game, and still quickly collected 75,000 signatures (by his estimate). He reasons that if the church activists take the lead on this, they’ll get the signatures they need.

Hutcherson also said he’d like to thank Ed Murray and Christine Gregoire and Ken Schram for saying that the gay civil rights bill was a separate issue from gay marriage.

He said: “Ultimately, we’re going to have the gay marriage fight, and I’m going to remind them that they said gay marriage wasn’t a civil right.”

Obviously, Murray and Gregoire never said that gay marriage wasn’t a civil right, although, I do get Hutcherson’s ploy on that. In fact, I do agree that the gay rights folks have been disingenuous (and strategically sloppy) by maintaining that the two issues are separate.

Brokeback Passions?

posted by on June 22 at 3:40 PM

I don’t give a crap if it is now officially the oldest joke in the world — I LOVE ME A PASSIONS BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN PARODY!

Apropos of Not Very Much

posted by on June 22 at 3:31 PM

Christopher, if you’re getting rid of your TNR subscription, why not pick up a new subscription (a mere $25) to the Virginia Quarterly Review, which is not at all the same thing but which won multiple National Magazine Awards this year (upsetting such expected frontrunners as The New Yorker)? I’m barely through the spring issue, which is about intelligent design and contains beautiful reproductions of watercolors made by the artist aboard the HMS Beagle, a lengthy excerpt from Marjane Sartrapi’s new graphic novel Chicken With Plums, among other sobering and insightful things; but the summer issue (on stands July 1) looks equally promising.

Subscribe here. They also have an okay, irregularly updated blog.

Stick It!

posted by on June 22 at 3:28 PM

I don’t really fucking loathe much in this world, but as you might infer from the first paragraph of this week’s theater column, I really fucking loathe chewing gum. Really. I prefer halitosis.

So you can imagine how I feel about the gum wall at Pike Place Market. (Nauseated.) And the fact that it has been called out, by the AP, as a tourist attraction. (Ashamed.)

Re: The First Sentence Is: “I Suspect That Al Gore Will Be Annoyed at Me for Writing This Article”

posted by on June 22 at 3:18 PM

Some people don’t think you should subscribe to The New Republic anymore, Christopher.

…the New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement for the sake of its Lieberman-worshipping neocon owners; that it stands with the National Review and wingnutoshpere in their opposition to grassroots Democrats….

If you still hold a subscription to that magazine, it really is time to call it quits…. It is now beyond clear that the dying New Republic is mortally wounded and cornered, desperate for relevance. It has lost half its circulation since the blogs arrived on the scene and they no longer (thank heavens!) have a monopoly on progressive punditry.

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 22 at 2:56 PM


If you’re a regular Stranger reader, chances are good that you have rather strong opinions about music. We’ve been picking apart the bare bones of what we really love in an ongoing series of posts. If you haven’t joined the discussion, yet, you’re missing out. Please, come dork out with us.

It’s Like a Jungle

posted by on June 22 at 2:28 PM

One more word on the remodeling project that’s taking forever at the King Street Station, a building which is far less impressive than the majestic Union Station across the street.

Has anyone walked to the edge of the waiting room and had a peek at what the modernists covered up back in the 60s? One look and you’re heart will sink…. Remember that scene in Sartre’s novel Nausea? The one where the narrator comes across a tree that’s so big, so full of life, so present that he loses his grasp on reality, falls to the ground, and is nauseated for a spell. In the near future, something similar will happen to those waiting for trains in the King Street Station, because it’s completely wild, completely alive up there. The designers went bananas and foliated the coffered ceiling to such an extent that its better to call it a jungle.

The inside of Union Station offers us the sweeping peace of a universe that’s mastered by the mind; the inside of King Street Station brings to mind the terrible creatures in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Photoshoppers Hate Fred Phelps

posted by on June 22 at 2:25 PM

The High Plains Messenger is having a contest

phelps copy.jpg

If you, like us, can’t abide crazies like Minister Fred Phelps and his gay-hatin’ Westboro Baptist Church—whose protest of military funerals has spurred widespread legislation—you’re just the kind of dude or dudette we’re looking for to participate in our first-ever Fred Phelps Photoshop Contest.

Here’s the deal: Obtain, snap or Google Image acquire a picture of Fred Phelps. Photoshop (or otherwise edit) him into some compromising, out-of-character, or just plain funny other picture. Send the picture to by Friday, July 9th. We will pick a winner and lavish you with prizes like Messenger shirts, condoms, hugs, free lunch, or something.
We’ll also be featuring these on the blog as they come in. Get to Photoshoppin’!

The First Sentence Is: “I Suspect That Al Gore Will Be Annoyed at Me for Writing This Article”

posted by on June 22 at 2:21 PM

There’s a great piece on TNR’s website today by Martin Peretz about Al Gore for president. I was annoyed, before I saw An Inconvenient Truth, that everyone who’d seen it was saying that Gore should run for president, because when he ran in 2000 he seemed to have the same I’m-not-going-to-stick-up-for-myself character flaw that Kerry reproduced four years later, and because Gore is wonky and awkward and unlikeable, etc., etc., and then I went and saw the movie and left thinking, Well, shit, Al Gore is the smartest person on the planet and he should absolutely run for president. What this movie allows is for actual human beings living in America to come to the conclusion (on their own) that Al Gore should run for president; for there to be a popular groundswell of support for his running; and for him to accept the public’s call to duty (one has to imagine he would)—which is really the order in which a democracy should operate. (Is it all an elaborate orchestration on Gore’s part? I guess it could be. Again, if so: brilliant. Rather than spending money on launching his campaign, he’s making money on launching his campaign.) Anyway, that groundswell is going to have to have some life in the media, and Peretz’s piece today is a wonderful glimmer of what’s to come.

I am a subscriber to TNR, so you might need to subscribe to read the story. (Subscribe already!) There’s a lot of useful, interesting stuff I’m not going to quote here—including quick takedowns of eight other potential Democratic candidates who might decide to run—but let me just give you two quick excerpts:

The first pragmatic reason to be for Gore, then, is that he is electable. He won once. He can win again. This is not simply a slogan; it is a serious thought. I find, moreover, that there is an undercurrent of guilt around the country about the fact that the presidency was taken from him by a vote of 5 to 4, with the 5 votes coming from Supreme Court justices who, on any other matter, would otherwise have reflexively deferred on a matter of Florida votes to the power of the Florida courts whose judgment would have resulted in Al Gore being president and not George Bush. These “strict constructionists” and “originalists” suddenly turned activists… Imagine what would be the outcome of a rematch. My guess is that if there were a poll asking voters whom they had voted for in 2000, Gore would win by a landslide. I know people who are actually ashamed of having cast their ballots for George Bush. But Gore will not be running against Bush.


His film, An Inconvenient Truth, and his book with the same title are smash hits. On 600 screens now and second on the Times best-seller list (also very high on Amazon and Barnes & Noble), this could be the beginning of a campaign. The movie and the book were not launched as part of a political campaign…. In any case, he says—and I believe him—this is not the launch of a political campaign. But campaign or not, it has bonded him to so many intelligent and activated citizens of all political persuasions and social strata that it may be the most brilliant campaign-launch in our time.

Again, the story is here. It’s day-brightening.

The Race for the 43rd: By the Numbers

posted by on June 22 at 2:21 PM

Our intern, Sarah Mirk, just finished crunching the contribution numbers for candidates in the closely-watched race to become the next state representative from Seattle’s 43rd District.

No surprise, Jamie Pedersen, the downtown lawyer and gay civil rights advocate, still has the same large fundraising lead that he’s held from the start of this race. Other findings: Dick Kelley, the chair of the 43rd District Democrats who has limited his contributions to $100 per person, currently has the highest number of contributors: 555. (But Pedersen, who has not limited his contributions, is right on Kelley’s heels with 529.) And in the sometimes contentious category of contributions from outside of Seattle, Bill Sherman leads with 54 percent of his contributors residing outside of this city.

(Note: The data on the total number of contributors to each candidate does not include contributions under $25.)



Women Are Monsters, Or Everything’s Better With DalĂ­

posted by on June 22 at 2:19 PM



(Exhibit A: The movie poster for Lions Gate’s Descent, about women who descend into a cave for an adventure and discover A. a race of monsters adapted for the dark living there, and B. that the women themselves are scarier than the monsters.)

(Exhibit B: In Voluptas Mors by Philippe Halsmann in collaboration with Salvador DalĂ­, 1951.)

A footnote: Can someone confirm that the Latin translation of “In Voluptas Mors” is “In Pleasure, Death”?

Vision of the QFC’s Future

posted by on June 22 at 2:18 PM

The city-block size QFC has sat abandoned on Broadway for years and is reviled by all. Last night at a public design review meeting, Bob Burkheimer and Driscoll Architects unveiled the still malleable plans for the mixed use development in the works for the site.

The “preferred option” looks like this: (the white arrow points north, so Broadway is on the bottom side of this diagram)
with apartments (not condos!) along Harvard, retail on Broadway and entrances to underground parking garages in the middle of Mercer and Republican. They’re planning space for 400 cars, open to commercial folk during the day and exclusive to residential at night. Those white bars in the diagram? Entrances to the apartments and their private courtyard. The main lobby to access the apartments is on Harvard, but they’re planning a secondary entrance on Broadway. What those entrances, or the building itself, will look like (glass? colors? a nautical motif?) is still undecided.

What they do know is that it’ll be 65 feet tall, which is 25 feet more than usually allowed. Here’s how that’ll look in relation to the surrounding neighborhood:

Given the tumultuous history of this development, I thought the meeting would be kinda hostile. No dice. Totally tame, with the public who showed up offering constructive criticism and expressing enthusisasm about FINALLY having the bum-magnet developed.

Most of the criticism revolved around the retail space and the courtyard. During deliberation, a member of the board said they should consider having public access to the courtyard during the day, thought the architect cited issues of safety in keeping it gated. As for the shops, the architect planned on 4-5 shops that could choose to build their own facades, awnings and public face. Several people in the crowd suggested more like 10-12 shops, so the stretch could resemble the Republican to Harrison block (“the best block on Broadway!”). Another person suggested a stronger architectual hand in designing the retail space, to curb the “rampant individualism” of places like U-Village.

oh, and will the apartments have any affordable housing? Silly you.. not on Capitol Hill! They’ll be sold at market rate, though a mix of studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments is planned.

Farewell, naughty weasels.

posted by on June 22 at 2:13 PM

I am often accused of making poor decisions, but I have terrible listening skills, so accusations don’t faze me much. However, I’d like to apologize to all of the friends, roommates, mothers, guests and nosy strangers who have endured the ramifications of my latest bad decision/impulse buy—Rodeo and Fichus.


Three months ago, I bought a pair of ferrets (while completely sober). I wanted a dog, I don’t have a yard, so I settled for this. It was a mistake, and I’m sorry.

I made a friend drive me to Tacoma to retrieve them (thanks Ben!). The woman I bought them from was shady, and the cage they were kept in was smelly and crowded with ferrets. I quickly learned that my ferrets did not like to be held or touched. I suspect they were neglected, if not outright abused at one of their former homes. I named the female Rodeo, because she likes the taste of blood, and the male Fichus, because he’s more of a benign chewer.

In case anyone out there has never interacted with a ferret, and are under the impression that they make good pets, let me help you out: Their hobbies include nesting, biting, and shitting on things.

Continue reading "Farewell, naughty weasels." »

ISO Summer Film/Theater Intern

posted by on June 22 at 1:43 PM

The Honeycomb Hideout (we don’t know what that means, either—ask Bradley Steinbacher) is searching for a worker bee intern. You: obsessively meticulous yet relaxed; should view data entry as a plodding path to a bright and glorious future. Us: Annie (film editor) and Brendan Kiley (performance editor), friendly taskmasters who rarely if ever send you out to buy lunch. Position lasts three months, approximately 10 hours per week. You must be available Tuesday afternoons. To apply, send an email to with a resume, cover letter, and writing sample (published clip if you’ve got one).

You Are Probably Infected With Toxoplasma

posted by on June 22 at 1:40 PM

And scientists are just beginning to figure out what that means. This is, plain and simple, a fantastic story and somebody should win a prize for it.

This parasite is everywhere, it is mostly benign but can cause serious brain damage, produces little egg-like things called oocysts that can live for a year in the ground and contaminate drinking water and get this: It may be the reason people like cats.

As if that’s not enough (and it is), the story has this incredibly beautiful image:

Scientists added a firefly gene to the parasites so that they produced a glow. When they injected the parasites into mice, a little of the light escaped from the animals. By putting the mice in a darkened box, Barragan and his colleagues could track the parasites as they spread.

Here in the Stranger News Room…

posted by on June 22 at 1:37 PM

We don’t listen to a word news editor Josh Feit says.

Fortunately for him, DC wonk rag Roll Call does.

Josh Feit, news editor of the weekly Seattle newspaper The Stranger, calls the on- going revelations the “sleeping giant” of the campaign.

Feit said the allegations could hurt Reichert’s re-election.

“He won because he was the broad-shouldered sheriff, protector of the public, and this would turn that strength into a liability,” he said.

But it remains to be seen if such a strategy would work, Feit said.

“Will it have traction?” he asked. “I don’t know.”

Full story (Roll Call is subscription-only) below the jump.

Continue reading "Here in the Stranger News Room..." »

Reichert: Good Cop or Bad Cop?

posted by on June 22 at 1:28 PM

Eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert just announced that he’s received the endorsement of the Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs. Interesting timing, as today’s Roll Call has an article that looks at Reichert’s own tenure as King County Sheriff as a potential political liability.

You’ll need a subscription to read the article online, but here are some excerpts:

Freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) earned his suburban Seattle seat two years ago by running a campaign centered on his storied tenure as King County sheriff.

Now Democrats hope that revelations of corruption in the sheriff’s office will taint his reputation as an ideal law enforcement officer and cripple his re-election efforts.

Since last August, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has run a front-page news series about an array of problems in Reichert’s old fiefdom, ranging from abuse of power to officers hit with drug and domestic violence charges…

Reichert is not accused of any wrong- doing but some of the stories paint a portrait of an administrator unaware of questionable, and sometimes illegal, behavior by subordinates. The stories also examine whether Reichert let some bad cops retire with full pensions out of expediency rather than pursuing criminal charges.

“I think it creates a serious credibility problem because he’s shirking accountability for criminal activities that happened on his watch,” alleged Kelly Steele, spokesman for the state Democratic Party.

“Ultimately, in a broader sense, it’s the same problem with the Republican corruption in Washington D.C.,” Steele continued. “Reichert thinks that the rules don’t apply to himself and his friends.”

To which the Reichert campaign responds:

Reichert denies that he dropped the ball in any of the many cases the Seattle paper has outlined. His campaign and Republicans in the Evergreen State also are convinced that Democratic or third-party efforts to tie Reichert to the abuses and activities of rogue cops will fall flat.

“Dave has a record of 35 years of public service in the district; it’s a shiny, wonderful record and people in this community know what he’s done for this community,” said Bruce Boram, Reichert’s political consultant. “His record as sheriff speaks for itself … that’s why the people of the 8th district elected him.”

Eat Up, Boys

posted by on June 22 at 1:13 PM

David Schmader has been calling me a chubby chaser for years, and Sara Vilkomerson at the New York Observer understands why. Now if only such a kindness could be extended to the incredibly shrinking women of Hollywood.

“I don’t think we have racial bias in Texas anymore.”

posted by on June 22 at 1:05 PM


Olympia Pharmacy Refuses to Stock Morning-After Pill

posted by on June 22 at 12:52 PM

The owner of Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia tells the Olympian: “I just think people have to choose when they believe life begins. There are questions about this drug on that issue.”

No, there aren’t. Plan B works exactly like regular birth control, preventing pregnancy by preventing ovulation, fertilization or, in some rare cases, implantation of a fertilized egg. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say pregnancy begins at implantation, not fertilization. Thus the approximately 50 percent of fertilized eggs that don’t attach to women’s uterine walls are not tiny human beings: they’re eggs that women’s bodies failed to nurture.

The state Board of Pharmacy recently passed a draft rule that will, if adopted in August, allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for moral reasons.

The silver lining: Customers of Ralph’s are making their displeasure known by organizing a boycott of the fundamentalist grocer.

The Crescent Tavern Understands, Explains

posted by on June 22 at 12:39 PM

Among the many delights in The Stranger’s brand new Queer Issue—including my favorite; God bless you, Jen Graves—is a collection of gay-specific mandated Waiting Periods, including this offering from Adrian Ryan, regarding the infamously dingy bathroom of a beloved Capitol Hill dive bar:

Crescent Tavern Toilet Perpetual Waiting Period Proposed by Senator Adrian Ryan

A bill disallowing the use of the Crescent Tavern toilet for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to “number one” or “number two” or any combination of numbers one and two, vomiting, booty-bumps, or surreptitious blow-jobbery, with allowances for the occasional emergency use of said toilet by accredited representatives of the CDC for research and/or vaccine-development purposes and/or those outfitted in and lawfully licensed to operate a Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA).

This morning brought a voice mail from the Crescent’s manager/owner Joe Martine, who had a good sense of humor about the write-up:

“…the piece was meant to be funny and I actually got a laugh out of it, as did many of my customers, and I guess any publicity is good publicity. But hopefully when the bathrooms are re-done in the next couple months, you’ll write an article that lets people know that the bathrooms aren’t what you wrote about and what we just read about. I have to agree, they’re not up to par, but that is the next thing we’re going to fix. Thanks for the publicity, please look us up again when the place is done. Take care.”

Thanks, Joe! And yes, we’ll certainly check out/write up the Crescent restroom after the makeover is complete. Heck, maybe we’ll even dispatch Adrian Ryan to spend 96 hours in the glamorous new Crescent can, and report back on the world of difference. Thank you for sharing, and for being a good sport.

For all those who’d like to check out the Crescent’s legendarily scary bathroom before it’s gone for good, the Crescent is located at 1413 E. Olive Way. (Be sure to wear your karaoke pants!) Now please enjoy this photo of a gay wiener dog (is there any other kind?) wearing a cowboy hat and chaps:


(Thanks to Slog reader/photo submitter Lara7.)

Nickels’s 2nd Opinion

posted by on June 22 at 11:55 AM

Earlier this week, Mayor Nickels released a statement supporting City Attorney Tom Carr’s challenge to I-87, a city initiative being pushed by the teachers’ union to raise property taxes to fund kindergarten and shrink class sizes.

But Nickels’s press release doesn’t even address the city attorney’s reasoning for challenging I-87. (Carr appealed the initiative on the grounds that citizens are not allowed to write city budgets by initiative.)

It seems to me that Nickels was using Carr’s legal challenge as cover to launch a separate line of attack. Nickels’s press release charges that “the initiatives would… not address the growing $20 million budget gap [the school district] is already facing. Throwing money at the wrong problems will only make matters worse.”

It’d be one thing if Nickels sent out a press release that simply seconded the City Attorney’s legal reasoning, but I’m not sure it’s kosher for him to send out a press release that is a blatant campaign piece against an initiative.

I put a call in to the city ethics office to check this out.

I’ve attached both press releases below.

Continue reading "Nickels's 2nd Opinion" »

Rachel Corrie: From London to Seattle to New York

posted by on June 22 at 11:28 AM

My Name is Rachel Corrie, the British play about the American girl who was killed by an Israeli tank defending a Palestinian’s house—oh you globalized globe!—has found a New York theater.

The text is drawn from Rachel’s journals and lashed together by Alan “why-hasn’t-anybody-made-a-Macbeth-movie-starring-me?” Rickman and Katharine “why-doesn’t-anybody-know-I’m-an-editor-at-the-Guardian?” Viner and made news in March when it was scheduled to open at the New York Theater Workshop and suddenly scuttled. The theater said something about offending the Jewish community, Rickman and Viner called censorship (I call cowardice), and the Seattle Rep scurried to nail Corrie into next year’s season.

Instead, Corrie went to London, had a successful run, and will open in America, at the Minetta Lane Theater, in October. The play sounds artistically shaky, like a bowl of theater-of-Good-Intentions gruel, but it’s gotten rave reviews. And it certainly deserves better than to be cancelled by gutless theater bureaucrats. So fuck you New York Theater Workshop and hooray for the Minetta. (And, surprise surprise, the Seattle Rep.)

Photo of the Day

posted by on June 22 at 10:29 AM

ITMFA in Paris…


Also Re: Tunnel Tax

posted by on June 22 at 10:25 AM

First of all, it’s just a tax on property owners. Business owners who lease (the same ones who’ll almost certainly go out of business while the waterfront is torn up for nearly a decade) get no say. Josh is right: They should be getting assistance from the city, just like business owners along the light rail line, which is tearing up the Rainier Valley for a much shorter period of time.

Second, when will this $250 million materialize? Not during construction: Property values are expected to plummet while the waterfront is inaccessible, and the city’s own viaduct planning documents indicate the city expects many businesses to relocate permanently or shut down. Moreover, the LID along the South Lake Union streetcar route is only expected to raise $25 million—Nickels’s tunnel tax implausibly envisions revenues ten times as high.

The bottom line is, Nickels and his fellow tunnel zealots don’t have the money to build the $4-billion-plus Alaskan Way tunnel. Currently, they’re $2 billion short—and that’s before the inevitable cost overruns. This plan, even if it works (and there are good reasons to think it won’t) won’t get them there.


posted by on June 22 at 10:05 AM

You spin me right round, baby

Right round like a record, baby

Right round round round


Why the Klimt Was Worth It

posted by on June 22 at 9:36 AM

The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones makes the case for the $135 million sale.

Forget the cliche of Klimt—the gilded Valentine cards, the Athena posters; in short, The Kiss, the one image by this artist that we all think we know. Klimt is so often undervalued, just because of this travestied masterpiece. So tear your mind’s eye away from it. … Klimt’s art is not a happy celebration of love but a tragic Nietzschean acknowledgement of the irrational as something that cannot be controlled or resisted, but will, instead, carry you along, for better or worse.

Re: Tunnel Tax

posted by on June 22 at 9:30 AM

Aren’t businesses along the viaduct going to be closed for several years during tunnel construction? They shouldn’t have to pay. They should be recompensated. And then, when their property values rise (if they’re still even around)—and their tax payments go up—they should just continue to pay into the general fund for the city at large.

Isn’t the whole point of Nickels’s tunnel plan to improve the city at large? If one of the benefits of a redevloped waterfront is increased property values…than the whole city should benefit from those tax revenues…so…other parts of the city can eventually see revitalization dollars too.

Rhetorical: Will the small business owners (who may lose their businesses) get to vote for or against the local improvement district plan? Or is it just a vote by the property owners?

Most important, haven’t we been told over and over again that Team Nickels has a financial plan in place to fund its tunnel? If so, why are we just now hearing about a potential plan to raise a quarter billion dollars for it?

For Linnaeus: New Classifications Every Day Online.

posted by on June 22 at 9:26 AM

Today: A blog of cats who look like Hitler.

Bike to Work

posted by on June 22 at 9:16 AM

Lardasses can slam getting around by bike, but there’s one thing bikes will always have over cars: bikes don’t explode when they bump into things.

A fiery car crash killed three people on the West Seattle Bridge and all traffic lanes were closed for this morning’s commute. A car carrying at least three people struck a barrier and burst into flames at 2:47 a.m., police said.

Tunnel Tax

posted by on June 22 at 9:02 AM

The mayor wants some of the folks who’ll benefit most from his tunnel to help pay for it.

Downtown landowners could see their property values jump by a collective $400 million to $600 million if the Alaskan Way Viaduct is replaced with a tunnel that opens up the waterfront, according to a new study commissioned by the city of Seattle.

Mayor Greg Nickels is considering asking property owners who would gain the most from better views, reduced noise and vibration, more open space and a nicer waterfront to help pay for a tunnel, which would be a more expensive replacement than a new elevated roadway.

Establishing a local improvement district—the same mechanism that was used to help finance the South Lake Union streetcar—could yield as much as $250 million, said Michael Mann, deputy director of the city’s Office of Policy and Management.

Even with that extra $250 million, Nickels’ tunnel is still a billion or two short.

Ban Condoms!

posted by on June 22 at 8:31 AM


I wonder if the same religious fucktards that wanted to block the HPV vaccine—because the vaccine worked, you see, and while it might save the lives of 4000 American women every year, religious fucktards felt the vaccine would undermine their abstinence message, which studies have shown to be, uh, crazily ineffective—will now attempt to prevent the sale of condoms.

The religious fucktards opposed the recently-approved HPV vaccine because it removes one scary threat from their scare-based abstinence education programs: a highly contagious STI, for which there was no effective treatment, no cure, and which leads, in a small percentage of cases, to cervical cancer, sterility and death. Well, guess what? So do condoms.

The consistent use of condoms protects against human papillomavirus, a cause of warts and cervical and other female cancers, researchers are reporting today.

In the study, which independent experts said was the most conclusive to examine the role of condoms in preventing infection with the virus, women whose male partners used condoms every time they had sexual intercourse had less than half the rate of infection as did women whose partners used condoms less than 5 percent of the time.

The same cracked, misogynist logic that prompted the religious fucktards to oppose the HPV vaccine should prompt them to oppose the availability of condoms. They want sex—casual or not—to always and everywhere have the direst of consequences, from pregnancy to death, for both men and women, but especially for women.

While condoms aren’t as effective as the vaccine, huge numbers of sexually active adults are already infected and the vaccine won’t do them any good. Americans who are already sexually active should be encouraged to use condoms, thereby minimizing their risk of passing on the virus or contracting it.

Morning News

posted by on June 22 at 8:09 AM

Condoms: Now with 50 percent less HPV transmission.

The GOP: Now with a familiar message.

Maria Cantwell: Now in a statistical dead heat with McGavick.

Net Neutrality: Now in the Seattle Times.

Bush’s Preemption Doctrine: Now applicable to North Korea?

War Games: Now off Guam.

The Apocalypse: Now with high-tech help.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Re: Why the City is Appealing I-87

posted by on June 21 at 5:24 PM

Erica C. Barnett,

First of all, isn’t it just fab that I have Slog post privileges, so I can upgrade a mere comment on ECB’s post into a full-fledged post. Eat your heart out “Mr. X,” “FNARF,” “Gomez” & “Will in Seattle.”

Anyway, I don’t have a problem w/ Tom Carr’s reasoning. My issue is that Nickels didn’t have the guts to come out against the initiative on his own (and so, piggy backed on Carr’s technical objection) and used that as cover to trash the initiative. Nickels claims I-87 is “throwing money at the wrong problems” and “making matters worse.”

This bugged me because Nickels was all gooey over the 2004 Families & Ed levy…which, by his current standard, threw “money at the wrong problems.”

Moreover, I-87 doesn’t throw money at the wrong problems. It reduces class sizes.
Also, how does creating a revenue stream for smaller classes and all-day kindergarten make the budget matters worse? That’s a weird construction Nickels has got going on.

Again: I think Nickels doesn’t want a property tax on the ballot this fall because he wants to save his own ballot measures: a transportation levy, & maybe a bid to get the green light from voters on spending $4 billion on a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Having said that, yeah, Carr’s got a point. Nickels, though: Nope. Just naked politics.

Why the City is Appealing I-87

posted by on June 21 at 5:07 PM

But first, a little background.

Initiative 87, put forward by the Seattle teachers’ union, the Seattle Education Association, came about because the union failed to convince the Seattle City Council to write them a no-strings-attached check for $25 million a year. As I wrote late last year, most members of the council were “wary of getting involved in public education. Without more details (not to mention a funding plan that doesn’t suck up half the city’s [$55 million] surplus), ‘it’s just not going to happen,’ council member Peter Steinbrueck said.”

In other words, the council told them no. So they’re going to the voters. I-87 and its companion initiative, I-88, would raise property taxes and mandate that the revenues from higher taxes go toward reducing class sizes, providing all-day kindergarten, and restoring arts and music programs to all Seattle schools. All admirable goals. But…

City Attorney Tom Carr appealed the initiative two days ago, on the grounds that state law delegates city budgeting authority to cities, not voters. In other words, citizens are not allowed to write city budgets by initiative. In a statement, Carr said that while funding for schools is important, “so is funding for police officers, fire fighters, homeless services, library hours and the many other good things that our city does. The state legislature provided a specific process for making these tough choices. In that process, it did not include the use of the city initiative.”

Although I, unlike my colleague Josh, did support the $167 million Families and Education Levy, Carr’s argument against this levy-by-initiative seems solid. We hire a mayor and council members to do many complicated things; one of their duties is writing city budgets. The council opted not to write this open-ended check the first time. Why should the Seattle Education Association be able to use campaign ads to turn its loss at the council into a win at the polls?

Return of the Coreys

posted by on June 21 at 4:47 PM

I’ve been excited all day. First I woke up excited, knowing that tonight is the debut of America’s Got Talent (NBC, 8 pm) — wherein Regis Philbin hosts another American Idol knockoff featuring freaky acts from all over the country and judged by DAVID FREAKING HASSELHOFF! I was like, “YES! There is a GOD!” Then I heard the sad news that super producer Aaron Spelling (90210, Charlie’s Angels) has suffered a stroke, and I was like, “F.U. GOD! There is no YOU!”
BUT THEN! I heard the news that some fucking genius is producing a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style sitcom featuring the classic film duo of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream) and I literally had a God-inspired orgasm in my pants. From Variety… DIG IT:

“The Coreys” picks up with Feldman living the comfortable suburban life with his wife Suzie and son, until circumstances bring his old pal Haim back into the picture. Episodes would follow Haim — single and the total opposite of Feldman — as he shakes life up for the Feldmans.
RDF USA exec VP of current/development Greg Goldman said because Feldman and Haim have been friends on and off screen for several years, the chemistry between the two ” just pops off the screen.”

God, I shall never doubt you again. Unless you kill Hasselhoff.


Post Death

posted by on June 21 at 4:28 PM

You would think I could do a simple task like put up whatever we’ve suggested on whatever given day, but I always get sidetracked by Brendan Kiley (who’s currently wearing a sad face because he just lost a long post he was writing—his application unexpectedly quit). Anyway, the item in Stranger Suggests today is this, from the one and only Jen Graves:

‘Rabbit Starvation’
Larry Calkins’s ashy, leathery little dresses and dried-out paintings are all post-death, like skins and pelts of some animal that has been emptied of flesh, drained of blood, and set aside for a few years. I like best a little piece called Relatives, a dark and hazy oil-and-encaustic painting on wood depicting a lineup of cartoonish but malevolent cameos. Calkins is best when he’s frightful. (G. Gibson Gallery, 300 S Washington St, 587-4033. Wed—Fri 11 am—5:30 pm, Sat 11 am—5 pm, free. Through July 8.)

If you read this the moment I post it, you have a whole 32 minutes to rush down to G. Gibson Gallery before it closes. (It’s open tomorrow, too. Beginning at 11 am. Go on your lunch break. I’m sorry.)

Your Karma, My Backpack

posted by on June 21 at 4:00 PM

An interesting poster found by our fearless leader.

“It’s My Dog—What’s the Problem?”

posted by on June 21 at 3:55 PM

If you don’t want to read about this man:


being arrested for allegedly making love to this puppy:


don’t go here.

U.S. Gun Owners/Idiots Pester U.N.

posted by on June 21 at 3:44 PM

There’s a reason people become gun nuts—they’re paranoid, and they often wildly overestimate the dangers around them.

Witness a flood of letters, postcards, and emails from N.R.A. members recently received by U.N. officials. The letters are all protesting a non-existent U.N. plan to outlaw gun ownership in the United States on the Fourth of July. On the Fourth of July!! Those bastards!

In an undoubtedly very successful bid to sell lots of copies of his new book, “The Global War on Your Guns,” NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre has been urging the group’s members to write letters to the U.N. to express their opposition to this made-up plan.

He even made a website, complete with section headers like, “The Mastermind”, “The Conpsirators”, and “The Money Trail”. (Also, “Get the Book,” and “Book Signing Tour Dates.”)

The site has a nifty video intro, in which LaPierre opens with this shocker:

This July, at the same time Americans celebrate our precious freedoms, Kofi Annan will convene a meeting of dictatorships, terrorist states, and over 500 gun ban groups at the United Nations. Their mission? To pass a global treaty banning ownership of firearms, including yours.

He carefully doesn’t mention the actual date of this meeting of the global Fuck America Cabal, but the text on the site isn’t so restrained. As a nice little wink to how completely full of shit they are, the text makes generous use of the ellipsis.

This 4th of July, while you and your family celebrate the 230th Anniversary of the founding of our great nation, there’s one party you won’t be invited to…

…And that’s the party that Kofi Annan is throwing at United Nations headquarters in New York — using your tax dollars — for nearly fifty dictatorships, six terrorist states, governments that endorse execution based on religious faith, and a multitude of other nations from around the globe.

You see, this party isn’t to honor your freedoms — but to conspire to take them away. That’s right. Over our 4th of July holiday, while taps is played at Arlington National Cemetery to honor Americans who have sacrificed their lives for freedom…

…These dictatorships, terrorist states and so-called “free” nations of the world plan to meet on our home soil to finalize a U.N. treaty that would strip all citizens of all nations of their right to self-protection, and strip you of your rights under the Second Amendment.

Before one word falls from their lying lips about our country and our freedoms, I want them to hear from America’s 80 million gun owners and YOU.

Seriously, those ellipses are in the original. Check it out.

There are more than a couple things wrong with this insanity, most important among them that the U.N. is closed on the Fourth of July, and, oh, the meeting they’re describing is not about restricting the legal rights of citizens of sovereign nations to own guns,, as if they had the authority to do such a thing, but about cracking down on the global illegal trade in firearms.

Chairman of the U.N. conference on illegal (note!) small arms trade Prasad Kariyawasam addressed the issue:

“That is a total misconception as far as we are concerned,” Kariyawasam told reporters ahead of the two-week meeting opening on Monday.

… the U.N. conference will look only at illegal arms and “does not in any way address legal possession,” a matter left to national governments to regulate rather than the United Nations, he added.

“The U.N. conference will not negotiate any treaty to prohibit citizens of any country from possessing firearms or to interfere with the legal trade in small arms and light weapons.”

So stand down, you morons.

World Cup Fever 2: Electric Boogaloo!

posted by on June 21 at 3:03 PM

Regarding U.S.A. vs. Italy this past Saturday, I feel quite idiotic for having asserted we’d lose ignominiously when it turned out to not only be a tie but equally incompetently played on both sides. But: a FANTASTIC game! Action! Blood! Handsome Italian men grimacing! Three players red-carded and GONE! And my sportiest friend says unfounded, sweeping (and, even, completely wrong) assertions are what being a sports fan is all about (and he writes for ESPN). (He also reports that the first 18 World Cup matches broadcast on ESPN this year have garnered more than double the number of viewers as the 2002 World Cup. WORLD CUP FEVER, right here in the U.S.A.!) Tomorrow at the crack of dawn, a.k.a. 7 a.m.: U.S.A. vs. Ghana (LIVE at the George & Dragon!).

Who’s more quotable?

posted by on June 21 at 2:37 PM

Ann Coulter or Adolph Hitler?

Take this quiz!

(Hat tip to one of the Blakes.)

It’s official: First Hill gets grocer

posted by on June 21 at 2:33 PM

In my Boom column of June 2, I mentioned how along with about a dozen new high rises First Hill is (finally) getting an urban market, on the ground floor of the new 15-story building at 8th and Madison. At the time, developer Opus Northwest was still hammering out a lease with an independent grocer.

That lease was recently signed. M Street Grocery will be built by Matt Randish, a second generation grocer from Bainbridge Island. “It will be a neighborhood store — small in size, but big in character, like a mini-Metro Market” says Randish. “We’ll go for upper end organic foods, produce, service deli. The floor plan has space for an espresso bar and a bakery.”

Randish only has about 14,000 square feet to work with, so he is designing the store to be big where it counts most. He hired market researchers to make that determination. They told him that the First Hill grocery shopper’s priority list looks like this (in descending order of essential-ness):

1) Fresh seafood
2) Fresh produce
3) Size and selection in a deli
4) A big beer and wine section

Plus, he’s got Location. And while most M Street Grocery customers will be walkers, Randish says he’ll offer validated parking in an adjacent garage.

Construction on the market’s interior will begin late this year and Randish hopes for a grand opening in Spring 2007. He and his family are moving to First Hill to be close to the store.

“The smart choice for your future.”

posted by on June 21 at 1:38 PM

Anal sex.

Blog Post of the Day

posted by on June 21 at 1:21 PM

You’ll find it over at Hominid Views posted by Darryl.

The post goes to the video tape on Cantwell Vs. McGavick on fuel efficiency standards— and does a total number on McGavick for trying to hoodwink voters. Excellent.

Re: Thanks, Science! Now, About That Parade…

posted by on June 21 at 1:11 PM

OK, I first want to say, I am not an evolutionary biologist. And group selection is not universally repudiated by evolutionary biologists. But I do think that this urge to define homosexuality as a “good” gene is kind of messed up.

We are not our genes. There are a lot of hypothetically adaptive traits (murdering other people’s babies, say) which, if they existed, we would be right to resist, for reasons of morality, social harmony, etc. Imagine if there were a gene that decreed that some men have a violent desire to have sex with women, even if the woman doesn’t show signs of consent. That might very well be be an “adaptive” trait, in the narrow view of natural selection: the raped ladies would give birth to lots of kids with your genotype. (The phenomenal reproductive success of Genghis Khan, recently publicized by this fiasco, is a possible illustration of how this would work—mind, I’m not claiming that Genghis Khan had any specific genotype that expressed itself to that effect.) But those men would be right, in a moral sense, to resist their genetic “destiny.” All “adaptive” means is that a given phenotype is more likely meet with reproductive success in the next generation, thereby passing on its underlying genotype to a greater proportion of the population. It’s completely value-neutral. Conversely, there are a lot of hypothetically maladaptive traits—in the sense that genetic success would be decreased—which we might be inclined to celebrate, because they make our society better, or perhaps the very fact of not resisting them makes those individuals happier and more productive members of our society.

Homosexuality might very well be an example of a technically maladaptive trait. Luckily, there’s not just one or two genes for homosexuality—it’s probably a lot more complex than that. So there’s little chance that it would be bred out in a few generations of gays avoiding getting themselves into unhappy heterosexual marriages.

Now, perhaps I’ll be proved wrong, and group selection will be a convincing explanation for why homosexuality persists in spite of its strictly nonadaptive aspects. But I kind of think it’s a blurry convenient solution to a political annoyance, not a true scientific challenge to natural selection. (Or even sexual selection, which though it might be limited, almost definitely exists in bowerbirds and peacocks and so forth.)

Any real biologists want to weigh in?

Regender It!

posted by on June 21 at 1:10 PM

This translator “regenders” web pages, often with telling results.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

posted by on June 21 at 12:41 PM

The other day I was on lower Queen Anne and I passed this sign, in a first-floor apartment window.

close up of crazy tenant #4s sign.jpg

Lady—if you’re a lady—I love you and your 18 exclamation points. I’m sorry he left you. He’s a douchetard. You can do better. But I’m not sorry he inspired you to make this sign, because it made my afternoon. Seattle poets, are you paying attention? Look what this anonymous sign-maker does with so few words. One begins with the assumption that the maker of the sign is sad about the boyfriend’s leaving. But consider, again, those exclamation points. The other possibility—the opposite interpretation—is that she’s really freakin’ thrilled. And then what does one make of that hand-written postscript? “TONIGHT 10 PM—KNOCK ON WINDOW.” Now that’s sexy. Dudes, I’m guessing someone’s in the mood.

crazy tenant #4.jpg

This photo, zoomed out slightly, bespeaks the location of this window—it is across the street from that new restaurant Moxie (you know, the one with the annoying tagline).

For what it’s worth, among the items I saw in the apartment window, the items potentially for sale, was a pretty great skateboard.

(Thanks, Briana, for the photos.)

CNN Covers Carless Local Family

posted by on June 21 at 12:25 PM

My TV boyfriend, Anderson Cooper, just ran a segment on Alan Durning, the Sightline Institute blogger whose five-person family gave up their car earlier this year. (Go to the link that says “Save the Planet, Ditch Your Car” on the left side of the page.) It’s nice to see carless living getting some positive press for once, instead of the trite, faux-contrarian bike-bashing that has been the local media’s only response.

More from those Depressed 1970s

posted by on June 21 at 12:08 PM

And here is another crowning moment, the ‘79 Hostage Crisis, which makes sense as a reflection back on where it came from, but becomes illogical in where it goes.

This should be a great discussion.

Grove Atlantic and The Atlantic Monthly invite you to hear Mark Bowden (best-selling author of Black Hawk Down) discuss his new book, Guests of the Ayatollah, the riveting, definitive chronicle of the Iran hostage crisis.

When: Thursday, June 22, 2006


Where: University Bookstore

43326 University Way, NE

Seattle, WA 98105


What: On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students, inspired by the revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. They took 53 Americans hostage, and kept nearly all of them captive for 444 days. Mark Bowden tells this sweeping story through the eyes of the hostages, the soldiers in a new special forces unit sent to free them, their radical, naĂŻve captors, and the diplomats working to end the crisis. Guests of the Ayatollah is a detailed, brilliantly re-created, and suspenseful account of a crisis that gripped and ultimately changed the world.

Thanks, Science! Now, About That Parade…

posted by on June 21 at 12:02 PM

I read this article in Seed Magazine a week or so ago, loved it, and have been meaning to Slog about it ever since. Erica beat me to it yesterday, but I want to add two things from the homo perspective, since it’s gay pride week and all.

One: With our current discussions about homosexuality so often stuck in the realm of pseudo-religious morality (“You’re immoral” vs. “No we’re not!”) it’s refreshing to read about people who are trying to answer a more interesting and fundamental question: Why do homosexuals exist? As any homosexual will yell you, this is not a question of small import.

The question touches on the political dimension of being gay, yes, but it touches more profoundly on the existential dimension—a realm that is often ignored in all the political focus on homosexuality.

While Annie may have some issues with Stanford biologist Joan Roughgarden (the article’s subject) and her attack on classic Darwinian sexual selection, if Roughgarden is proven right in her hpyothesis that being gay isn’t a “maladaptive trait”—well, that would be nice news for a lot of homosexuals. Here’s the key passage on that issue:

Roughgarden’s first order of business was proving that homosexuality isn’t a maladaptive trait. At first glance, this seems like a futile endeavor. Being gay clearly makes individuals less likely to pass on their genes, a major biological faux pas. From the perspective of evolution, homosexual behavior has always been a genetic dead end, something that has to be explained away.

But Roughgarden believes that biologists have it backwards. Given the pervasive presence of homosexuality throughout the animal kingdom, same-sex partnering must be an adaptive trait that’s been carefully preserved by natural selection. As Roughgarden points out, “a ‘common genetic disease’ is a contradiction in terms, and homosexuality is three to four orders of magnitude more common than true genetic diseases such as Huntington’s disease.”

So how might homosexuality be good for us? Any concept of sexual selection that emphasizes the selfish propagation of genes and sperm won’t be able to account for the abundance of non-heterosexual sex. All those gay penguins and persons will remain inexplicable. However, if one looks at homosexuality from the perspective of a community, one can begin to see why nature might foster a variety of sexual interactions.

According to Roughgarden, gayness is a necessary side effect of getting along.

People in the arts, babies who’ve been given up for adoption, and couples in need of interior decorating advice know this already. But if the culture at large starts to see homosexuality as helpful (necessary, even) to smoothly functioning human societies, and as a natural part of vertebrate biology—well, it may not be long before our current labels for sexual behavior prove insufficient. That’s the second thing I found most interesting about this article. As Roughgarden says in the piece:

“In our culture, we assume that there is a straight-gay binary, and that you are either one or the other. But if you look at vertebrates, that just isn’t the case. You will almost never find animals or primates that are exclusively gay. Other human cultures show the same thing.” Since Roughgarden believes that the hetero/homo distinction is a purely cultural creation, and not a fact of biology, she thinks it is only a matter of time before we return to the standard primate model. “I’m convinced that in 50 years, the gay-straight dichotomy will dissolve. I think it just takes too much social energy to preserve. All this campy, flamboyant behavior: It’s just such hard work.”

Perhaps. But in the meantime, it does make for an interesting parade.

The Death of Black American Greatness

posted by on June 21 at 11:37 AM

Four or so years ago, I was invited by the leading black American Marxist, Dr. Manning Marable (he runs the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University) to contribute a short essay (1000 words) to a journal he edits, Souls. This was the subject of that particular issue, Winter 2003: “Where Is Black Culture?”; and this was the title of the essay I submitted: “The Burden of the Golden Age.” In just over 3000 words, I basically argued that black culture was not actually in decline but had the appearance of being in decline. It was a matter of determining the new locus of black, artistic creativity, as it had clearly moved from traditional sites—such as the church, the jazz stage, the novel.

This video of John Coltrane performing “Impressions,” which I watched last night, killed the opinion I expressed in “Where Is Black Culture.”

To be honest, to be fair, to be direct: black culture is long past its peak, its point of greatness (roughly from a burst of energy in Cane to a final flicker in Song of Solomon). Black Americans simply do not make art that is as powerful, as creative, as technically sophisticated as what we see in this footage. I love hiphop, but it will never reach such levels of greatness, which require a kind of labor that drains every resource, every minute of the day—indeed, a whole childhood is surrendered to an instrument. Such expenditure is foreign to the state of black arts in our times.

At the end of the Village Vanguard performance of “Impressions” (recorded in 1961), we hear the musicians (Coltrane, Dolphy, Jones) laugh. That type of laughter—a laughter that can only come after the presence of too much greatness—has become extinct.

And now that I’m thinking about Coltrane, I must draw a quote from another man who is always on my mind, Hegel: “It oppresses us to think that the richest forms and the finest manifestations of life must perish in history, and that we walk amidst the ruins of excellence.” (Philosophy of History)

Emily’s List Endorses Burner

posted by on June 21 at 11:06 AM

The powerful women’s advocacy group says it will be backing eastside Democrat Darcy Burner in her race against Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. Ellen R. Malcolm, president of Emily’s List, says:

This is the Northwest’s most competitive Congressional race, and EMILY’s List will devote its significant energy to ensuring Darcy Burner’s victory.

Kids Dying of Cancer

posted by on June 21 at 11:04 AM

So I’m not sure why anyone would want to see a 4-hour documentary about children dying of cancer, except I think I’m going to watch it tonight, so perhaps you too are a sadist or a masochist or some unthinkable combination thereof.

A Lion in the House, which played at this year’s SIFF and had a repeat screening at Northwest Film Forum, is being broadcast on PBS (KCTS Channel 9, if you’re in Seattle) tonight and tomorrow at 9 pm. Here’s The Stranger’s capsule review:

This exhausting, heartfelt, meticulous documentary, filmed over the course of six years and lasting 230 minutes, follows five families in and out of the cancer ward at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Through the brutal, unrelenting cycle of remission and relapse—of strokes and brain lesions and fungal infections and lost childhoods—the film focuses not only on the families (whose responses range from heroic acceptance to cheery denial), but also on the doctors and nurses who spend their lives surrounded by dying children. A Lion in the House is heavy and intimate, and unafraid to be unromantic: A little girl tearfully begs to be spared another spinal tap; a grandmother spitefully blames the family doctor for her grandson’s relapse; an overwhelmed mother leaves her dying son alone in the hospital for days as he pleads for her. Part I is when you get to know how awesome and funny and hopeful these kids are. Part II is when the death starts. (LINDY WEST)

Too Gay? Or Not Gay Enough?

posted by on June 21 at 10:45 AM

Capitol Hill Seattle is selling some kick-ass t-shirts


With all of the Savage swipes at Jamie Pedersen from the Slog crew, we’d like to see Jamie go with it jujitsu-style and embrace the nastiness. So we designed this bitchin’ t-shirt for his campaign.

But is that the problem? Is Pedersen too gay for me? Or is he not gay enough? Only my hairdresser knows for sure…

Going to the Lawrimore Project

posted by on June 21 at 10:36 AM

First, the Lawrimore Project was going to open in February. Then April. When I saw the place in May, I understood why it had taken so long: every room of the contemporary art space (located next to the old Immigration Building down on Airport Way) is different, and the details are, I think it’s fair to say, detailed, from the deliberately irregularly attached panels on the high walls of the front room, devoted to large sculpture, to the paint and plywood finishes of the indoor mobile home that houses Scott Lawrimore’s office, and even the shapes of the cinder blocks that the raised office-home rests on.

Tomorrow night from 6 to 10 pm, the place opens. For the two or three people who haven’t already heard, the performance artists SuttonBeresCuller are going to spend the opening enclosing themselves (or at some point they’ll be enclosing themselves, anyway, I’m not really sure when the moment of sealing is) in a large box in the gallery in which they’ll spend three weeks building the art that they’ll show when they come out of the box in mid-July.

But tonight is a bit of a prelude. From 6 to 8 at 911 Media Arts (Ninth and Harrison) is the opening of Steven Vroom’s Documentation Cube, a series of documentary images of works by SuttonBeresCuller over the years that will be projected onto the four walls of the gallery, not as an art show, quite, but as a sort of trip to a multimedia library before an art show. Or something like that.

In other news, the Henry has added Fionn Meade as its assistant curator of public programs and outreach. Meade, an artist and writer, is one of the most thoughtful public intellectuals in the city, so this is a good thing. And in one of those bits of news that only art geeks can care about, Henry assistant curator Sara Krajewski has been promoted to associate curator. Since I am one of those, I say, congrats, Ms. Sara.

Lohan, Hilton, Diddy: Catfight Three-Way!

posted by on June 21 at 10:01 AM

67-lohan.JPGWill someone please separate Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton? Not only did Lindsay and Paris mix it up in the bathroom at an impromptu Prince concert last Friday night — LL took on his majesty Sean “H.R. Puff-n-Diddy” Combs as well! After weeks of brewing tensions between the Mean Girls star and the hotel heiress (primarily because Lindsay has been hanging around with Hilton’s former asshole b-friend Niarchos Stavros), Miss Fire Crotch followed Paris into the can, and… oh, let’s just let the NY Daily News describe it…

“Lindsay followed Paris to the bathroom,” a witness tells us. “They had a huge fight.”
After having words, Lohan returned to her table to find that hip-hop mogul Diddy had been seated with her group. She kidded with him, asking what he was doing at her table.
“He didn’t realize she was joking,” says a source, “and he then yelled at her and told her to get out.”
Diddy “was really mean to her,” says another source, who claims one of Puffy’s bodyguards lifted up Lindsay, and the rapper himself got into a scuffle with a Lohan pal who defended her.

You know, it’s tempting to call Diddy the diva in this situation, but I’m starting to get the feeling that Lindsay brings all these woes upon herself. She’s like annoying jerk in your office that can’t keep her goddamn yap shut, and even when she’s joking she comes off like a bee-yatch. Sigh. When is Hollywood gonna come up with rehab for assholes?
And one thing missing from this story… WHAT ABOUT PRINCE’S FEELINGS?

Sorry I Missed Your Birthday

posted by on June 21 at 9:55 AM

I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t post last Friday, June 16 about Stokely Carmichael. On June 16, 1966 (exactly 40 years ago), Carmichael mounted a makeshift podium at a late-night rally in Greenwood, MI and gave an angry, history-making speech—probably the second-most famous speech of the civil rights era—in which he said: “We been sayin’ ‘Freedom Now’ for six years and we aint got nothin’. What we gonna start sayin’ now is ‘Black Power’!

He then started a call and response chant:
“What do we want?”
“Black Power.”

He hit a nerve…or more accurately, captured the changed mood of the movement & more generally, the changed tone of the ’60s. The crowd went wild, the NYT picked up the phrase the next day. The Velvet Underground was in the studio. NOW was founded. The Beatles (a bubble gum pop group?) came out against the War!

For a decade that brought about one seismic shift after another, Black Power not only altered the very movement that was responsible for much of the decade’s penchant for change (the civil rights movement), but, for good and bad, it also J-pegged the spirit of the tumultuous decade into one moment.

The term had been circulating among the youth wing of the civil rights movement for a few months—and certainly, at least since ‘63, the civil rights movement’s internal divisions had been escalating.

“Black Power”—while a rich and philosophically nuanced concept—was also an emotionally charged, simple bumper sticker phrase that magically articulated the new POV. And Carmichael used it expertly (politically) to isolate MLK’s old-guard and alter the tenets, strategy, and face of the movement.

The term was born out of the history of the previous 6 years, of which Carmichael was a central player—he was a star Freedom Rider in ‘61…and an unparalleled organizer during Freedom Summer in Mississippi in ‘64. He also started the Lowndes County Freedom Party in Lowndes County, AL in 1966…their logo was a Black Panther.

A little dialectical materialism: The Freedom Movement turned into the Black Power movement. In a sense, it capped the Freedom movement. The question became: “Where would it go?” Sadly, like every other irrepressible tidal wave that roared up in that era, it landed with an unwieldy, destructive force. The following three years would be high-profile and dramatic, but at heart, they would be splintered, unproductive, and silly. And they would peter out in the most depressing, sickly, and lost few years in the history of this country…the real “Great Depression”: The early ’70s. (Have you ever watched a movie from then?)

It’s so weird. Stokely C., as a mad organizer during the early and mid-60s, was the heart of the civil rights movement. Working as a foot soldier in the background, he defined its principles for several years. And his Black Power sentiment was a sort of excellent crowning moment of ‘60-66… But, like all dialectics (am I using this term right, Charles?), it was not only an arrival…an ending point, it was also a start. And what it started was a mess.

When civil rights historian Taylor Branch spoke at Town Hall earlier this year, I asked him about Stokely. (Carmichael died in ‘98, I think.) “You had the privilege of interviewing Carmichael…what does he think today?” I asked.

Branch looked sad. He said: “You know, Stokely was frozen in 1966. He arrived at that moment. And he stayed there. He was still obsessed with his debates with King.”

Well, so am I, Stokely. So am I. Happy birthday, wherever you are.

Night of a Thousand Debbies

posted by on June 21 at 9:55 AM

It’s a fact: If you don’t like prime-era* Blondie, you’re dead, or oughta be.

This Thursday night at Re-bar, the joy of Blondie will be celebrated en masse at Night of a Thousand Debbies, described by its creators as “a theme party for all things Debbie Harry and Blondie.”

Along with DJs spinning choice Blondie and Debbie Harry tracks—including DJ Freddy King of Pants, DJ Tyne Daly, and DJ Luckypierre—the night also features Nick Garrison’s band Sissyfist, who I imagine will make some impressive noise with the Blondie/Debbie Harry songbook.

For full info on Night of a Thousand Debbies—including vital dress code info—see the flyer placed after the jump.

* In my estimation, “prime-era Blondie” include the first seven songs on Plastic Letters, the first and last songs (plus “Atomic,” “Accidents Never Happen,” and the title track) on Eat to the Beat, and every glorious second of Parallel Lines. And, of course, “Call Me.”

Continue reading "Night of a Thousand Debbies" »

Morning News

posted by on June 21 at 8:35 AM

John Kerry: Can’t catch a break.

North Korea: Wants to talk about that missile.

Captured soldiers: The Washington Post prints the grisly details.

Republican presidential contenders: High Infidelity.

Dick Cheney: The Dark Side.

Ron Suskind: Recommended reading.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Inslee Takes the Lead

posted by on June 20 at 6:55 PM

Goldstein’s been doing a great job writing about Rep. Jay Inslee’s FISA amendment. In a lovely slap at Bush, Inslee’s amendment to the pending Defense Appropriations bill said:

None of the funds made available in this Act may be expended to conduct electronic surveillance (as defined in section 101(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801(f)) of any United States person (as defined in section 101(i) of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1801(i)) in contravention of the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

There’s something going on with Inslee these days. Last week, I wrote about his right-on fight for net neutrality.

Inslee has always been an on-point progressive… check out his voting record, and his ratings…but goddamn, he’s mixing it up this session.

Inslee is acting like it’s 2007 and the Democrats won. He seems to be taking a leadership role in what appears to be the first wave of attacks.

Overheard in the Office

posted by on June 20 at 6:55 PM

Bradley Steinbacher is currently on vacation, prompting this statement from Annie to Brendan:

“Brad is the glue that holds the drinking together”.

Return quickly, sweet prince.

The Take Back Your Time People Don’t Even Have Enough Time

posted by on June 20 at 5:44 PM

There is no hope for the rest of us to get control of our work-life balance if the people launching the national campaign to help us get control of our work-life balance no longer seem to have control of their work-life balance. I got this sad email this morning: “National coordinators John de Graaf and Gretchen Burger have kept this campaign going on fumes for years but can’t anymore without all of us pitching in.”

OK, so it’s not actually that they’re tired or overworked, but that the campaign is underpaid. They’re in need of financial support. I happen to like what they do, or I would like it if I had time to think about it. In any case, you can check them out here.

Farewell to Fork

posted by on June 20 at 4:06 PM

Today brings some sad news for Seattle’s restaurant scene: Fork, the swank, stylish, yet miraculously unpretentious Capitol Hill restaurant that opened across from the Harvard Exit cinema this past January will be closing its doors this Friday.

I first heard the news from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which cites the health problems being navigated by Fork’s owner/chef Scott Simpson as the reason for the abrupt and unfortunate closure. Again, sad, but Fork will be remembered for a remarkable half-year run, during which it pleased virtually all who entered (including The Stranger’s ever-finicky Bethany Jean Clement, whose Fork review can be seen here).

For those who love it or just want to try it before it’s gone, Fork will be serving through this Friday, when dinner will be served from 5:00 pm—10:00 pm, as it will be every night until then. Interested parties should definitely make reservations, as the sudden goodbye will likely bring out the crowds. (Reservations can be made at 325-7400, and Fork can be found at 806 E Roy St.)

School Closure

posted by on June 20 at 3:55 PM

Open-government activist, and self-styled attorney, Chris Clifford, will be arguing tomorrow morning in King County Superior court (in his lawsuit against the Seattle Pubic School District and all 15 members of the Community Advisory Committee) that the committee violated the state Open Meetings Act by holding multiple closed meetings over the Memorial Day holiday weekend to hammer out its school closure plan.

From the conclusion of Clifford’s complaint: “If allowed to do this, other jurisdictions will hide decision making within the confines of appointed ‘advisory’ committees. The public will loose [sic] control of those devices created by them, and created to work for them.”

Will the US Shoot Down Korean Test Missile?

posted by on June 20 at 3:34 PM

Check it out! From the AP…

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is weighing responses to a possible North Korean missile test that include attempting to shoot it down in flight over the Pacific, defense officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

What’s your vote? (This is more exciting than the World Cup. They should totally televise it!)


Red Alert

posted by on June 20 at 3:31 PM

The people at Seattle Parks and Recreation have completely lost their minds. For reasons that are rooted in madness (and if not, then laziness), they planted several Christmas-red signposts in monochromatic Freeway Park.


I have nothing against signposts that offer lost souls directions to this or that place outside of the enchanting maze of concrete and dark-green pines; it’s just the color of the poles is completely wrong. The signposts, which are perfectly visible, should be green or black or made from concrete. After a very quick look at the context, the surroundings, how could anyone paint these poles Christmas-red? Even the people at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center had the intelligence to match the mood of their building’s glass with the mood of Freeway Park, which has the color of the world before the flower revolution that happened millions upon millions of years ago.



posted by on June 20 at 3:01 PM

That South Carolina is krazy.

Exhibit A: Public schools in South Carolina give academic credit for off-campus Bible education.

Exhibit B: The S.C.-based Christian Exodus organization, which wants to turn South Carolina into its own sovereign Christian nation.

Exhibit C, if you need more: S.C. adopts new evolutionary biology standards that require schools to teach about “scientific criticisms of evolution.”

The prosecution rests.

Capitol Hill Block Party: Site for Your Eyes

posted by on June 20 at 2:16 PM

photo: Common Market & Blue Scholars

In anticipation of the Capitol Hill Block Party (July 28-29), The Stranger has put up a site that serves as a clearinghouse for schedules, music samples by acts on the bill, news updates linked from Line Out, vendor info, and other useful functions to help you prepare and stoke your enthusiasm for this always-stimulating summer shindig.

Hot Gay Animal Orgies!

posted by on June 20 at 2:12 PM

An article in this month’s Seed magazine argues convincingly that same-sex sexuality is not a mere genetic aberration, as Darwin believed, but a natural, and probably necessary, fact of life in the animal kingdom. (Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, in short, states that males compete to procreate with as many females as possible. Females are reluctant; males are horny. Evolutionary success is defined by the quality of offspring. So any aberration from this relentless drive to procreate is a waste of precious fluids.)

Now this:

Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.

As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia. You name it, there’s a vertebrate out there that does it. Nevertheless, most biologists continue to regard homosexuality as a sexual outlier.

Read the full story here.

It’s 5 p.m. in Cuba

posted by on June 20 at 1:57 PM

Havana (see Hannah’s June 2 post) is scheduled to open this Thursday night. An entrance is taking shape in the parking lot across from Cafe Vita on East Pike Street.

History Out the Window at the Tacoma Art Museum

posted by on June 20 at 1:53 PM


And yet this is starting to seem like the panicked prediction that refuses to die. I heard it first in the comments section on this blog, and now I see it quoted on Seattle Art Blog from Regina’s P-I review of the 19th-century French drawing show at TAM, which ends with this: “Those who like this show and others of its ilk have every reason to fear we aren’t likely to see many more from Tacoma, now that Patricia McDonnell has left the museum. What a pleasure they have been.” (Emphasis mine.)

The truth is, I’ve heard nothing to indicate that the Tacoma Art Museum is changing its balance of contemporary and historical shows. It is true that historical shows have flourished during the tenure of recently departed Patricia McDonnell, including exhibitions of Hudson River School landscapes and early American modernism. (The latter is McDonnell’s specialty; it’s specious to speculate that she must be responsible for the importing of a touring 19th-century French drawing show just because she is interested in artists from a completely different time and place, but who also just happen to be dead.)

But there’s a good reason why historical shows have seemingly come out of the woodwork: TAM’s new building. McDonnell started at TAM just before the building opened. Prior to this building, TAM was in an old bank building with a cramped elevator, no loading dock, and variable climate control. That meant that works of greater value — most often, those are historical works — could not be seen there, because the museum did not meet the minimum requirements of lenders of those works.

I agree that TAM’s historical shows have been a welcome addition in the past three years, and I sincerely hope that McDonnell’s seriousness will continue to be reflected at the museum. But let’s not assume that everything is ruined just yet.

Bootleggers Beware

posted by on June 20 at 1:47 PM

A bunch of nerds in Georgia have created a device that neutralizes digital cameras. Eventually, the technology could be used to clamp down on piracy, a $3-billion-a-year industry, by preventing pirates from making clandestine recordings at movie theaters.

Not Only Nan Goldin, But Sisters, Saints & Sibyls Coming to EMP Sept 21

posted by on June 20 at 1:09 PM

When Nan Goldin’s 2004 work Sisters, Saints & Sibyls made its New York debut this spring at Matthew Marks Gallery, critics welcomed it for three reasons. First, it provided insight into Goldin’s tortured life. (For all her confessional photographs, the source of her pain, and especially this source of pain, hadn’t been much plumbed.) Second, they saw in this three-screen narrative slideshow with Goldin’s voiceover a resurgence of sorts, the artist’s first new, strong work since her 1980s Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

And third, Sisters, Saints & Sibyls tells the story of Goldin’s sister’s suicide exactly one month before her 19th birthday (when Goldin was 14), which is really quite a story. Goldin, now 53, dedicated the piece to “all our sisters who have committed suicide or who have been institutionalized for their rebellion.” Barbara, Goldin’s sister, was sent to an asylum by her parents at age 14 for having kissed boys at the movies and for having a black boyfriend. After being institutionalized repeatedly, one day in 1965, she got a day pass to leave the asylum, and laid down on a set of train tracks, where she was beheaded by a locomotive.

According to Christian-Philippe Quilici, EMP’s spokesman, the piece will appear in Sky Church the night of Goldin’s talk. The talk, which is free, will surely sell out. EMP starts taking reservations a week before the event.

A one-night-only appearance in a rock venue is a strange West Coast debut for a work of this stature. No other Seattle museums have enough interest or clout to keep it here a little longer and give it a proper welcome?

Here is an arresting image from the Matthew Marks show, titled My Mother Laying on Her Bed, Salem, MA (2005). (Just for the record, it’s not part of Sisters, Saints & Sibyls.)


Team Nickels’s Mixed Message

posted by on June 20 at 12:53 PM

Late last Friday afternoon, the mayor announced new proposed ethics rules for Seattle boards and commissions. The new legislation would require board and commission members to recuse themselves from participating in issues where “potential financial conflicts exist.” In his news release, Mayor Nickels quoted Bill Block, a member of the Seattle Center Advisory Commission and a member of the mayor’s ethical advisory committee. Nickels’s choice of Block as his ethical poster boy was somewhat surprising, since Block owns a portion of the Seattle Sonics, who are currently lobbying the mayor and City Council for a $220 million financial subsidy for Seattle Center’s KeyArena.

For Whom the Bridge Tolls

posted by on June 20 at 11:56 AM

The Washington State Transportation Commission is inviting the public to “hear and be heard” on the issue of tolls on certain roads and bridges, including I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass and the 520 floating bridge. Want to weigh in? You’ll have to trek to Mercer Island, the site of the commission’s only “Central Puget Sound” forum. Hmmm… I wonder what diverse views on tolling a community of car owners who live on an island accessible only by bridge will have to offer?

(Thanks to: Seth K.)

What Will They Say About the Dead Soldiers?

posted by on June 20 at 11:28 AM

Reading the news this morning that those two missing U.S. soldiers have been found dead in Yusefiya, their bodies so “brutally tortured” that military officials are describing the discovery as simply “their remains,” I’ve been wondering what connections will be made by those who write about the killings.

In particular, I’ve been wondering if a connection will be drawn between the torture and killing of these two U.S. soldiers, who were apparently in Al-Qaeda-wannabe custody before their deaths, and the widely reported torture and killing of suspected Al-Qaeda members in U.S. military custody.

After all, one of the arguments for John McCain’s torture ban was that allowing the U.S. to torture enemy combatants made our soldiers less safe. Or, to put it another way: Throwing out the Geneva Conventions hurts our captured soldiers more than it helps our interrogators.

I don’t know if “The Mujahedeen Shura” would follow the letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions even if the U.S. promised to do the same. But I see that some people, anticipating that these two U.S. soldiers would be found badly tortured, were already wondering yesterday what kind of outrage the U.S. could reasonably express in the event that the soldiers were found to have been mistreated.

What if we get pictures of the soldiers, nude, cowering, screaming in a corner, shitting themselves on the filthy floors of a makeshift cell, as their captors hold snarling dogs on leashes just out of bite range of the soldiers? …

What if, and, really, does it need to be said, they are made to stand, hooded, with faux electrodes attached to their nuts and fingers, told that if they don’t start answering questions, well, testicles only can take so much electroshock before they just pop like squeezed grapes?

What will our government do? What could it do? Could it condemn the actions as not abiding by the Geneva Conventions? Could it call the actions “torture”? Could it demand accountability? Could it demand that the soldiers be treated as POWs? Could it simply say, “Well, we don’t do that shit…anymore”?

UPDATE: Sullivan says this today:

I doubt whether even Donald Rumsfeld will describe what has been done to two young American soldiers as a “coercive interrogation technique.” But you never know. Some people wonder why I remain so concerned about torture, and the surrender of our moral standing with respect to this unmitigated evil. Maybe the news of captured, tortured and murdered Americans will jog their conscience. Or maybe it will simply reinforce the logic of torture-reciprocity endorsed by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gonzales.

“Woman Uses Dead Chihuahua as Weapon”

posted by on June 20 at 11:28 AM

Every paragraph of this amazing story is more impressive than the one that precedes it.


DeLay Says It All

posted by on June 20 at 10:55 AM

The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress plays Wednesday night at Central Cinema.

In a stunning 1994 interview, shortly after the now infamous Republican revolution, Tom DeLay sat down and laid out his vision for America: to destroy the Department of Education, HUD, OSHA, the NEH, the NEA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. His self-stated goal was to “completely redesign government.”

One night only: Wed June 21, at 7 and 9 pm. Both shows are all ages and cost $3.
Central Cinema is on 21st Ave at Union St.

Gregoire: North Korea Missile Launch Threat = Pull Out of Iraq

posted by on June 20 at 10:42 AM

Postman has an interesting quote from Gov. Christine Gregoire regarding the threatened long-range missile test by North Korea. Check out this map of the North Pacific and you’ll see why our governor is now speaking out on U.S. foreign policy. Or check out this sentence from today’s New York Times:

U.S. officials have said the missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2, has a firing range of 9,300 miles and could reach as far as the U.S. West Coast.

Think Tim Eyman is scary, Washingtonians? Meet Kim Jong Il. Here’s what Gregoire said at the end of her regular media availability yesterday:

I’ve wanted to respond to the very disturbing news this morning of North Korea and a three-stage rocket that literally could reach Seattle. And I wanted to do so by saying to people of the state of Washington, this reinforces me and the state that our security is going to have to be at the forefront of our thinking and our attention — that in fact out there remains considerable risk around the world. Not just to Washington state but to the entire country. And I think that also tells me very clearly, in talking to General Lowenberg, that it is very important that we, as timely as we possibly can, ensure that we are turning Iraq over to the Iraqi people and bringing our troops home so they are ready and prepared to do whatever is necessary to defend this country.

“I’m disturbed by what we’re hearing. It is not the news that I think any of us should have to hear from North Korea and I want Washingtonians to understand the security risks to the nation and to us, but to understand that we’ve got to remain ever diligent and I ask every Washingtonian to be smart about their own personal security, and again any time they see something that raises a concern they get to law enforcement right away.”

I don’t know that the Washington National Guard, even with all its troops home from Iraq, has the capability to stop (or clean up after) a direct intercontinental ballistic missile strike on Seattle. But it’s interesting to hear how the governor is connecting the dots on this issue.

Litigate the bastards

posted by on June 20 at 10:34 AM

PRWeek interviews Robert F Kennedy Jr. after his smash hit Rolling Stone article Was the 2004 Election Stolen? about writing the article, reactions to it, and how he’s next going to try and stop GOP shenanigans.

(If you haven’t gotten around to it already, the article’s a good read. It’ll make you crave a sagging porch and wicker chairs to sit with a few likeminded liberals and bitch crabbier about the piss-poor state of Our Country and how it got This Bad than you’ve ever bitched before, and why we’re not going to Take IT Anymore, BY GOD. Yeah. All that without feeling like a conspiracy theorist. Thanks RFK, Jr!)

PRWeek: What reaction have you seen from the general public?

Kennedy: There’s a huge reaction. Rolling Stone told me that it’s gotten two and a half times as many e-mails [about this article] as it’s ever gotten for any other story in its history. So there’s a huge appetite for this story.

PRWeek: Is there a next step?
Kennedy: I’ve been meeting with attorneys… to devise a litigation strategy. And I would say that very soon we’ll be announcing lawsuits against some of the individuals and companies involved.

PRWeek: Who exactly would that litigation be targeting?
Kennedy: I wouldn’t say, right now.

PRWeek: The election is over. Is it too late now?
Kennedy: There’s another election soon. And as the Times [just] reported, the same people are up to the same shenanigans.

Ummm… WHAT?!

posted by on June 20 at 10:16 AM


Kevin Federline has a new cause: saving the penny. Britney Spears’ hubby, along with Virgin Records chairman Richard Branson and director Matthew Eggers will “unite to reinvigorate the purpose of the penny in face of its possible legislative elimination,” according to an announcement. The three will appear in Times Square at mid-day on Wednesday and be among the first to “to sign the `Save the Penny’ petition to be presented to lawmakers in Washington D.C.” They’ll also be donating pennies to charity.

Can someone please give this idiot a job?!?


Pentagon Calls Homosexuality a “Mental Disorder”

posted by on June 20 at 10:06 AM

gaymilitaryxxx739.jpgReason 5,634,000 why the military fucking sucks. In a recently discovered Pentagon document, the military lists homosexuality as a “mental disorder” that ranks right up there with mental retardation. From the AP report:

“It is disappointing that certain Department of Defense instructions include homosexuality as a ‘mental disorder’ more than 30 years after the mental health community recognized that such a classification was a mistake,” said Rep. Marty Meehan (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass.

Maybe the Pentagon can amend their list… and add themselves to it.

Pike Place Politics

posted by on June 20 at 8:30 AM

What he said.

As a straight guy who supports equal rights for gays, I don’t think the 43rd should send a gay or lesbian person to Olympia simply because the candidate is gay. All six Democrats support full marriage equality. All six supported recent civil rights legislation. This seems like the usual ‘Seattle-style identity politics.’ …Sending a heterosexual to Olympia as opposed to a homosexual seems like the least of concerns in the 43rd.

Morning News

posted by on June 20 at 8:00 AM

Missing U.S. soldiers: Both found dead, after having been “killed in a brutal way and tortured.”

Japan: Pulling out of Iraq.

Last throes: Still last throe-ing, according to Cheney.

London pigeon lovers: Crazy.

Sex with robots
: Five years out.

New Orleans: More National Guard déjà vu.

Non-net neutrality: Here already.

Library Answer Lines: Better Than Google. (Highly recommended for SPL Quick Info Staffers and those [like me] who love them.)

The Blue House

posted by on June 20 at 7:00 AM

I walked past the Blue House on Republican last night—the place where angry ingrate Kyle Huff murdered the ravers that made the mistake of trying to befriend him. The landlord is apparently getting the house ready to rent again, and it looks like one of the ways they hope to distance the house from its recent history is by de-bluing it. The blue aluminum siding—which gave the house its name, and that we chose to feature on the cover of the Stranger the Thursday after the shootings (instead of an image of Huff)—is being stripped off. There were only a couple of blue aluminum slats still in place (you can see them in upper left hand corner next to the second story window).


Some blue slats that had been pulled down were laying on the ground and resting on the bushes. I thought about taking one of the slats, but immediately thought better of it. I didn’t want to seem ghoulish. I didn’t want a souvenir. But I wondered if some of the people who knew the victims, or appreciated the special, welcoming place they had created behind those blue slats, might like to have a slat, or a small piece of one, to remember their friends by.

They’re there now, on the ground, for the taking.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mayor Nickels Hates Kids!

posted by on June 19 at 6:43 PM

…I’m kidding, but Team Nickels accused the Stranger edit board of just that when we came out against their $117 million Family & Ed levy back in 2004.

We weren’t convinced that spending on non-core functions for the school district was the right use of our tax dollars—when basics were going unmet. We wrote:

This is a $116.8 million property tax levy that, its supporters claim, will fund programs that “support academic achievement.” In other words it’s a huge package that will pay for shitloads of small-bore measures.

The Stranger Department of Homeland Security is urging a “no” vote because we hate children. They run around in restaurants and their diapers clog landfills.

Actually, we don’t hate children. We love the little shits. Which is why we’re annoyed by the latest levy from the Good Intentions Brigade. The problem with our schools are large class sizes and low teacher salaries. Sinking tens of millions of dollars into this levy prevents us from spending this kind of money—big money—where it really matters and could make a difference. Vote “no.”

I never heard the end of this “No” vote from the folks over at Team Nickels.

Well, listen to Team Nickels today…as they come out against I-87—a 6-year, .39 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value tax that will raise $40 million a year for teachers and smaller class rooms:

The Seattle School District is struggling to get its fiscal house in order and improve student achievement. But this measure and its companion proposal, Initiative 88, do not solve those problems.

As written, the initiatives would require the district to increase
spending on new programs and teachers, not address the growing $20
million budget gap it is already facing. Throwing money at the wrong
problems will only make matters worse.

First of all, I-87 creates a dedicated fund, so, Team Nickels is wrong—we wouldn’t be siphoning money away from the budget. Second of all, isn’t it inconsistent of them to condemn I-87 for addressing the wrong problem, when their Family & Ed levy missed the real problem? (Meanwhile, I’d argue that I-87 addresses the right problem.)

Here’s what I think is going on w/ Team Nickels: They don’t want a property tax levy on this year’s ballot because they don’t want to compete with it. They’re floating their $1.8 billion transportation levy this fall, and they also might have to go the voters to defend their $4 billion tunnel project. They don’t want their legacy projects being matched up against the kids. The more money requests there are on the ballot, the more voters just reject them all.

Moo or Mulatto?

posted by on June 19 at 6:06 PM

I met a woman this weekend who looks a little like Cynda Williams (in the picture below, Williams is about to kiss Billy Bob Thornton in Carl Franklin’s movie One False Move):


The woman I met expressed her unhappiness at the fact that Dairy Queen is selling an ice-cream flavor called MooLatte. Now, the woman—who, like Cynda Williams, is mixed (black/white)—believes, for the purpose of making a color connection, MooLatte references mulatto. But MooLatte could also be a reference to the sound cows make in the English language. So which is it? Or is it both? And if MooLatte intentionally references mulatto, is that offensive? Who uses mulatto these days? The woman I met is into film theory.

Mother Teresa linked to murder in Beacon Hill

posted by on June 19 at 5:21 PM

The Seattle Police Department is releasing more information about the shooting that happened early Friday morning in Beacon Hill along the 1700 block of 14th Ave South. They’re looking for three Hispanic men, all in their twenties, who were driving an older model Ford Taurus, being described as “dull white” with tinted windows and a Mother Teresa figurine hanging from the rearview mirror.

Though this was a drive-by shooting, police spokesman Rich Pruitt says there is no evidence suggesting it was gang-related. A Hispanic man was killed and another was injured, as was a Caucasian woman.

Take Off Your Clothes in Ten Seconds.

posted by on June 19 at 5:14 PM

All hail the man who can take his clothes off in ten seconds!

Can you? I think I smell a Stranger inter-office competition here!

Connie Chung Loses a Bet

posted by on June 19 at 3:25 PM

…or something. I can only imagine the most extraordinary circumstances led her to do this on television, on purpose.

(Basic facts: The performance reportedly served as the finale to “Weekends with Maury & Connie,” the recently cancelled MSNBC talk show hosted by Connie Chung and her husband Maury Povich. All of this is made so much weirder by the fact the YouTube video seems to have recorded only Chung’s vocal track. Merciless…enjoy!)

More Bush Visit Pushback

posted by on June 19 at 3:25 PM

The state Democratic party is now complaining that in order to be in Medina for his big fund-raiser last Friday with the Commander in Chief, eastside Congressman Dave Reichert skipped out on a Congressional vote on the Iraq War.

Republican leaders said this was an important vote, but apparently it wasn’t important enough for Dave Reichert to attend,” said Dwight Pelz, Chair of the Washington State Democrats. “The American public is fed up with the Bush administration and Republican leaders for their poor handling of the war. They expect their leaders in Congress to come up with a successful strategy, not fill their campaign warchests with the man who led us into this failed strategy in the first place.”

4.5 Ounces Of Prevention

posted by on June 19 at 3:19 PM

Family with no stomachs ‘thriving’

“Life is pretty good without a stomach,” she said.

(Because your stomach, when empty, apparently weighs 4.5 ounces.)

Lost Continent of Cinephilia

posted by on June 19 at 3:14 PM

The generational tempest over the dismissals of some long-time film critics, first publicized and/or created by Dave Kehr, is getting some MSM attention in articles like this one. You must click on that link if, like me, you’ve somehow gotten through your life having never seen a photograph of Harry Knowles. However, the analysis is a little facile. Anyone who thinks Dave Kehr wants to revive the “personality cults” inspired by the likes of Pauline Kael certainly hasn’t read this interview, from 2001:

Steve Erickson: Do you have as much “love” for Pauline Kael as most of the Sarris camp?

Dave Kehr: I used to see her once in a while. She was very entertaining and charismatic, with an amazing sense of humor. You could certainly see her charm. As a critic, I’ve rarely agreed with her judgment or her approach. In some ways, she did a lot of harm. Oddly, her influence has become all the more present after she retired, as her acolytes have spread all over. It’s the same voice: mildly amused, a little condescending, seeing “trashy” and “sexy” as the highest praise you can give. That’s the tone editors want. There’s nothing too intimidating about it. It’s kind of sarcastic, hip and glib.

SE: She’s better as a prose stylist than a thinker.

DK: She’s a damn good writer. Is she a thinker? I don’t know. She described acting styles better than anyone I’ve ever read. But I’ve never seen her dig any ideas out of a movie or dig into its structure beyond “I like this guy and I don’t like this guy.”

The latest from Dave Kehr is tomorrow’s New York Times DVD column, on Charlie Chan et al.

The Story of Mr. Rosebud

posted by on June 19 at 2:56 PM

Over here you will find a great review about the second part of a massive, in-progress biography on the 20th century director who was “half man, half amazing,” Orson Welles. Near the middle of the review, this passage appears:

“According to one witness, Welles, while looking at some footage his team had taken during the carnival [in Brazil], pointed to a row of chorus girls and said : ‘I fucked her and her and her.’”

What Not to do Tonight

posted by on June 19 at 2:35 PM

jack black nacho.jpg

I’m writing this not so much as a critical slam, but as a public service announcement to my fellow Jack Black fans. Do not waste your time or money on Nacho Libre. It took two hours (o.k. ninety minutes, but it felt much, much longer) of my life this weekend, and I can never get that back. Unfunny, plotless, and an utter waste of time. I never would have expected something this astonishingly lame from the writer of Chuck and Buck and School of Rock, let alone the director of Napoleon Dynamite. I wish I had read this review first. Or this one.

Under My Window

posted by on June 19 at 1:44 PM

Someone is filming a couple having a fight right under window—could it be for HUMP? Hope so!

Every Child Needs a Mother and a Father

posted by on June 19 at 12:11 PM

A 40-year-old disabled Army veteran is accused of slashing his 11-year-old son to death with a Samurai sword in front of neighbors and killing his wife inside a home in Lake Mary, according to police.

Witnesses said they saw the boy, Nico Duzant, stagger out of the home located on 484 Queensbridge Drive bleeding from the neck and wrists and his father, Franklyn Duzant, 40, allegedly chasing him with the weapon. The father kept attacking the boy with the sword while he was on the ground and then ran into the house, according to the report.

The incident happened on the boy’s 11th birthday, authorities said.

It could have been worse—that boy could have had gay parents. That would really be a tragedy. Full story here.

Although, Re: Moxie Media

posted by on June 19 at 11:48 AM

Your Lynne Dodson stuff has been weird. Those mailers suck. What’s with the krazy pictures of Lynne?

Seattle V. Lieberman

posted by on June 19 at 11:30 AM

Two weeks ago, I reported that a couple of local political consultants, Dan Kully & Christian Sinderman, had a hand in Jon Tester’s insurgent run for Senate in Montana.

Turns out another local consultant, Moxie Media, has a hand in an even bigger-deal, anti-Bush, zeitgeist 2006 race: Ned Lamont’s showdown w Democratic (??) incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman in Connecticut.

Moxie, Lamont’s sole mail consultant, has done 4 pieces for the candidate since getting the gig in February. And Lamont is closing in. The latest polls show Lamont closing the gap, w/ Lieberman winning by just 46 to 40 now. And you’ve heard the rumors that Lieberman, feeling the heat, may choose to run as an Independent.

Moxie’s Lisa MacLean says Moxie is at the table crafting Lamont’s message. The message, according to Moxie’s John Wyble, is straightforward: “This is a referendum on Lieberman, who is unable to stand up to George Bush. He’s missed every opportunity. The war. Alito. The energy bill. And he was the last Democrat to finally go against Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security.”

One of Moxie’s red, white, and blue mailers blares: “If you think George Bush is taking us in the wrong direction…Get to Know Ned Lamont. You have a chance to make a difference. Send Ned Lamont to the U.S. Senate.” The mailer has a picture of Lamont speaking at a podium in front of an American flag w/ this quote printed: “We were rushed into the War in Iraq. We must stop risking American lives and start refocusing on our vital needs at home.”

Moxie’s local clients have included a broad mix: Mayor Nickels, the monorail, Richard Conlin, Tom Carr, Casey Corr, Peter Steinbrueck, Frank Chopp, Heidi Wills, Kollin Min, Washington Conservation Voters, and, currently, Lynne Dodson, a candidate for 43d District state house rep.

“Where the Car is King”

posted by on June 19 at 11:16 AM

Born at a time when fuel was cheap and plentiful, Brasilia is a city where the car is king and pedestrians regularly have to cross six-lane highways. Monumental avenues spin off into seamless slipways shaped like four-leaf clover, deeming traffic lights unnecessary. My car didn’t stop once on the journey from airport to hotel. Even the cathedral has a drive-in entrance. In the Palácio do Itamaraty, built in 1962 for Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, there is an exclusive internal ramp that allows top brass to motor right up to offices on the upper floor.


Via City Comforts.

Street Stylin’

posted by on June 19 at 11:13 AM

Every day I see interesting people on the sidewalk who’ve obviously put effort into their outfits. Some of them work; others don’t, but who am I to judge? (That’s your job.) I started snapping photos and posting them to Slog. My editor is against the project, though, and wants me to knock it off. What say you? Am I clogging the pipe with uselessness?

Heteros Need Not Apply

posted by on June 19 at 10:51 AM

Eli beat me to the post about the story in this morning’s Seattle Times—”some” feel that Ed Murray’s 43rd District State House Seat should stay in gay hands.

“We want to hold as many seats as possible,” said Bill Dubay, a longtime gay-rights activist in Seattle, who lives outside District 43. “We feel that particular seat should be held from a member of our community.”

If “some people”—i.e. Jamie Pedersen and his flying monkeys—feel that this particular seat must be held from a member of “our” community, then “some people” should have the courage of their convictions. If they feel that Murray’s seat is a gay seat, then “some people” should ask the five heterosexuals running against Pedersen to withdraw from the race. Pedersen’s supporters should explain to Bill Sherman, Stephanie Pure, Jim Street, Lynne Dodson, and Dick Kelley—and all the non-gay voters in the 43rd—that they are not qualified to hold this seat on account of their sexual orientations, and that “some people”/Pedersen supporters are going to encourage gay voters to discriminate against the other candidates in the race on the basis of sexual orientation.

If they’re not willing to do that, then “some people” should shut the fuck up.

NASA Dismisses Concerns about Foam Panels on Columbia Discovery, Plans Launch

posted by on June 19 at 10:50 AM

This sounds familiar:

NASA officials (the head safety officer and chief engineer on the space agency’s shuttle-management team) express concern that there is a “relatively high” likelihood that foam panels on the space shuttle might break off upon launching and present a hazard to the shuttle, but were outvoted by “other members of the [shuttle] management team,” clearing the way for NASA to launch Discovery on July 1. The Bush-appointed head of NASA, Dr. Michael Griffin, acknowledged his colleagues’ concerns, but said, “We have elected to take the risk.”


You. Al Gore. Popcorn. Tonight.

posted by on June 19 at 10:43 AM

Annie Wagner suggests:

‘An Inconvenient Truth’
It’s workmanlike and clumsy at times, but Al Gore’s movie about global warming is also hugely invigorating. It should be required viewing for every American citizen. Go, now: Buy your tickets, eat your popcorn, and for god’s sake, walk or bike or take the goddamn bus home. (In wide release; see Movie Times for details.)

It plays downtown, at Pacific Place, at 11:40 am, 12:20, 2, 2:50, 4:15, 5:15, 6:45, 7:45, 9:05, and 10:05. Additional reading: Wagner’s review of the movie is here and her interview with Al Gore is here. The Onion’s news item on it is here.

Who Feels the 43rd Should Go to a Gay Candidate?

posted by on June 19 at 10:21 AM

This morning the Seattle Times reports that “some people” feel voters in Seattle’s 43rd district should elect a gay person as the replacement for State Representative Ed Murray, who’s making a run for the state senate. Who are these people? A lot of them are gay, which makes a certain tribal sense.

But here’s something interesting: According to a Slog tipster, the Seattle Metropolitan Elections Commission, a gay group that does election endorsements, will announce its candidate ratings this afternoon, and on a scale of 1 to 5, it’s not just Jamie Pedersen, the sole gay candidate in the 43rd, who’s getting a 5 (the highest SEAMEC score). Lynne Dodson is also getting a 5 from the group, according to this tipster, who forwarded me the following SEAMAC email to back up the claim:


Subject: [seamec-sc] This evening’s ratings

Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2006 21:50:22 -0700

Hello all,

Here is a recap of this evening’s ratings. All ratings have been adjusted based on SC decision to rate on median as opposed to average interview scores.

43rd House

* Lynne Dodson AAABB 5 (Endorsed)
* Dick Kelley AAABA 4
* Linde Knighton (postponed until general election - this information will not appear on ratings sheet/ad, but candidate will be notified)
* Jamie Pedersen AABAA 5 (Endorsed)
* Stephanie Pure ABBBB 3
* Bill Sherman AAAAA 3
* Jim Street AAAAA 3

Re: Meanwhile, Down the Ballot

posted by on June 19 at 10:17 AM

Last week, I reported that Seattle Citizens for Free Speech, the pro-strip club group, had raised nearly $550,000 for its campaign to repeal the four-foot rule in strip clubs. This, I though, was perhaps the largest amount ever raised for a city initiative. Turns out I was wrong. As Seattle Ethics and Elections director Wayne Barnett (no relation) points out, the Better City Campaign, which advocated for the failed Commons proposal in 1995, raised $939,261. However, I think the strip clubs may yet beat that record.

Bad News & Great Visual Poetry on Line Out

posted by on June 19 at 9:30 AM

This weekend I spent some time catching up with Line Out, The Stranger’s music blog, and found a great post by Trent Moorman, featuring some crappy news for a young band that deserves better, illustrated with most impressive photo montage.


Morning News

posted by on June 19 at 9:02 AM

Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia: Alive and kidnapping, despite the death of Zarqawi.

New Orleans: Still in need of the National Guard.

North Korea: Able to hit the U.S. with a new long-range missile, maybe — but definitely within striking distance of a mention on The Daily Show, given all the dongs it’s dropping:

The first stage of the Taepodong 2 is thought to consist of a cluster of Nodong missiles, which are single-stage, shorter-range rockets; the second stage is believed to be a Nodong missile…

Withdrawal: Not just for Murtha anymore.

Libby: Still waiting for that pardon.

Not funny: Wikicomedy.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Just Blogged the Boards

posted by on June 18 at 10:37 PM

You can read my throw-thoughts-at-a-webpage, see-if-they-stick review of On The Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival Studio Series, Weekend 2 (whew!) review right here.


Long story short: I loved Alex Martin (of Better Biscuit Dance) and her little brown dress. And I want to publish the link to her webpage, which is (mais oui) at Even though I don’t like reductive artist’s statements (especially artist’s statements about consumerism) nearly as much as I like (or like to hate) the art itself, this one, in which Martin explains her project of wearing the same dress for 365 days straight, has a blog and lots of pictures and an invitation to the undressing party. Which takes place July 7. I’m gonna try and be there. (In my new jeans, probably. I’m sorry.)

More dance! I just went to 10 Tiny Dances at CHAC. It was really fun. I highly recommend the conceit, if not every last one of the results. If you’re in Portland, you can see 10TD at the Doug Fir next week.

Also, at 10 Tiny Dances, I spied a most unique being. It was The Ideal Audience Member. More about this later.

Street Stylin’

posted by on June 18 at 1:11 PM