Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 06/25/2006 - 07/01/2006

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Trees, Bolivia

posted by on July 1 at 4:29 PM

Even though both of my parents have aged into Republicans, I was raised as a Democrat. (Now there’s a mind game.) When Dukakis and Bush were debating on TV in 1988, my mother explained that the reason to vote Democratic was “because Democrats care about poor people.” (Her political party of choice changed when she became a born-again Christian.) The reason I like reading about the president of Bolivia is because I was taught to admire the attitude he has toward those people at the bottom of the economy. I also think Bolivia is a beautiful word. I have been sitting in Vivace, with its huge windows looking into huge trees, reading about “a country that’s seen 189 coups d’etat since 1825.”

Critical Mass Attack

posted by on July 1 at 4:15 PM

Sounds like a couple of K.C. deputies got out of hand at yesterday’s Critical Mass ride. (On the last Friday of every month at 5:30, bikers mass at Westlake Center and bike through downtown in a show of biker power.)

Here’s a report from one biker who witnessed what sounds like a cross between a police temper tantrum and an arrest.

I was riding up the street from Alaskan and turning onto Western Ave to head North when I saw 4 or 5 folks corking the one minivan (basically that means stopping the car from driving through the throng of bike riders. It’s a safety thing we do at every intersection. When you see a few riders surrounding one car, it means the driver decided not to wait even though one rider was already in front of him/her and and tried to drive through the crowd of bikes. Other riders then surround it to raise the stakes of continuing to drive forward).

As I turned the corner, one beefy white guy got out of the van and ran after a guy sitting on a bike (he was not corking at that point). He was in the process of getting ready to ride off at the time. When the guy from the van ran after him, it happened really fast. he caught the bike rider and threw him to the ground. I assumed at the time that he was an angry driver with road rage and jumped off my bike to help the rider. I started pulling the rider up by his backpack in order to get him away from the nut attacking him who kept grabbing him and throwing him to the ground. At the same time, the guy on the bike was trying to get free of his backpack (the attacker had grabbed it too) and was swinging violently too as I was falling over the bikes and trying to get in the middle to seperate the two and try to stop the violence. At that point, the attacker started yelling “Stop! Stop! You’re under fucking arrest! I’m a fucking cop! You’re under fucking arrest. I’m a fucking cop!” I didn’t believe him at first as he just seemeed to be so needlessly violent with no cause whatsoever. I kept trying to break them apart.

By then an Asian (Hawiian?) cop had gotten out of the van and was involved with another biker who had been trying to pull the first cop off the first guy. That cop pinned the second biker to the ground face to the pavement. I *finally* saw a badge and backed off, pulled out my cell phone and started clicking pictures as fast as I could. They pinned the first guy who was attacked down, pretty fiercely, and sat on his back and legs, they roughly pulled him up and dragged him away. I pointed my camera in the face of the asian cop while his knee was on the biker’s back and got a picture of it. then I circled around the brawl, got a picture of the big white guy and tried clicking a few more. I got a picture of their license plate as well and some of the tussel.

At the end, as the cops dragged the riders into their UNMARKED minivan, the crowd started chanting “Fuck You!” When that stopped, the cops yelled something about clearing off and shutting the fuck up or something and I called them assholes. They told us to get the fuck out of there and I told them to fuck off and come and get me if they wanted to. They stormed into their car though.

Anyway, that’s my story (though a block later a marked SPD car cut through the scraggly group of bikes and in front of us and when I yelled “Nice fucking signal!” he replied, “Fuck you asshole!” But that’s not a part of this incident, just emblematic of cops who give cops a bad image….)

Apparently the cops were King County police and if you ask me were ready to blow up at the slightest provocation… My opinion (based on their beefienss and temper): Steroids, but that is total conjecture).

Here’s a thread on the arrests.

My prediction: Next month’s Critical Mass ride is going to be huge.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Big Box vs. Little Saigon

posted by on June 30 at 7:39 PM

Big box. Mall. Northgate. These are the words that Darrell Vange does not use when talking about the colossal project he’s proposed for a 10-acre site that lies northwest of Rainier Avenue South and South Dearborn Street.

There’s a commercial district two blocks away — Little Saigon, at the intersection of 12th and Jackson. About 10 of these first and second-generation Vietnamese businessowners attended the June 27 design review meeting, and Vange’s presentation sounded to them like big box, mall, and Northgate, all of which could spell doom for their district.

“This project has the potential to displace this community,” says Danny Tran, of JTD Real Estate, on 12th near Jackson.

Before we consider that issue, let’s get a visual overview of this project’s massive scale. Using Microsoft’s new mapping toy, here is a look at the site:

Goodwill Site.jpg

Sorry it’s so small, but it’s hard to zoom because the site’s so big. That’s Rainier Avenue running along the picture’s right side. And that’s Dearborn along the bottom, which is the southern border. At the top is Weller Street, which represents the site’s northern border. It reaches west to 13th Avenue South.

Most of this site (7.5 acres of it) is owned by Goodwill. That’s its thrift store in the middle of the photo and its warehouses to the right. Goodwill has needed a new building for some time. About seven years ago the nonprofit was set to trade its land for a new building, but the developer Wright Runstad had planned to sell office space to dot-commers. When the dot-coms went bust so did the new Goodwill building.

In swooped Vange, who had been eying the site since the mid-1990s. And rather than offices he envisions a mix of retail and residential. Lots and lots of both. Goodwill get its new building, a sprawling 120,000 square feet, part of which will be the thrift store. Here is the view of the current Goodwill from Dearborn and Corwin.

Goodwill 1.jpg

We’ll zoom in.
Goodwill 2.jpg

And this is the new Goodwill:
Goodwill Building.JPG
Thanks to TRF Pacific for the rendering

The thrift store is on the ground floor. Above that will be the adult education classrooms.

But in addition to the Goodwill site, Vange and Ravenhurst Development plan 600,000 square feet of retail. Consider that Northgate North (anchored by Target and Best Buy) is only about 400,000. And if you want to understand what has Little Saigon worried, its commercial district is only about 200,000 square feet.

More photos and details about the conflict with Little Saigon after the jump.

Continue reading "Big Box vs. Little Saigon" »

A Life in Ruins

posted by on June 30 at 6:06 PM

An impressive corpse, Detroit’s Book-Cadillac Hotel:

Nickels Campaigns on Your Dime

posted by on June 30 at 5:30 PM

He’s at it again. The city’s department of transportation has produced a 4-page, full-color flier promoting Mayor Nickels’s $1.8 billion transportation levy. The flier is blatant campaigning (complete with before and after photos). Ethics rules (are supposed to) prevent campaigning from City Hall—that is, using public offices and public money to promote issues that are going before the voters.

Nickels already pushed the envelope with fliers and videos!!! to hype his $4 billion plus waterfront tunnel—which may go before the voters this fall.

And in fact, Nickels got dinged for electioneering out of his office during his 2005 reelection campaign. (He had to reimburse the city over $2,000.)

I talked to Seattle’s ethics director, Wayne Barnett, about the fancy new transportation levy promo fliers—the mayor’s money quote: “Every neighborhood in the city will see improvements. People will have a better experience getting around whether by bike, bus, car, or foot”— and Barnett says he knew nothing about them. That means, nobody ran this by the ethics office. (Typically, when Team Nickels gets called on this sort of chicanery, they do a whole song and dance about how they ran it by ethics first.)

I guess they’ve been getting away with so much campaigning out of Nickels’s office lately, that they didn’t feel like they needed to check anymore. Well, they should have. Look at this thing yourself:

bridging1.jpg bridging2.jpg

bridging3.jpg bridging4.jpg

Anyway, the city says they’ll get back to me on how much they spent on the brochure.

Team Nickels will argue that the four-page color brochure is “informational” not “promotional.”
But that doesn’t make any sense. How can they be giving info on something that won’t happen unless voters vote for it? In other words, Team Nickels is telling you what you’ll get… if you vote for it. And so, by definition: They are promoting an initiative.

I’m Hating It

posted by on June 30 at 3:51 PM

Need a new reason to be creeped out by McDonald’s and abstinence-only education? Well, here ya go.

Letter to the Editor

posted by on June 30 at 3:10 PM

Charles got a lovely letter just now in respone to Human Remains, his feature on crack heads and the evolution of the Central District (which you should read now if you haven’t yet).

Hello Charles,

I’ve been a Stranger reader for a long time. Since I can no longer trust the “unbiased” opinions of our daily “free press”, I look to the Stranger to keep me informed and straight. I love the sexy side, the political side, the human interest side, the comics, even the stranger ones….because they DO make sense to me. My circle of friends find the paper “weird” but if they would only opened their minds, I think they would surprise even themselves. Reading the paper was just what I was do when your article, “Human Remains,” stopped me cold. I read with great interest about my neighborhood, what is left of it, how it’s changed and why.

I grew up in the CD. Our family home is still located at 27th and Mercer. I went to Saint James Cathedral School, was baptized in the church, and went to Holy Names Academy High School. It was during my sophomore year that I had a Black awakening and helped start a Black Student Union at HNA. Out of over 400 students, blacks represented maybe 50, more or less. I transferred to Garfield High School in my junior year. I came in the midst of Black Power and Black Awareness, Black teachers, African American curriculum, what a cultural experience!! I walked to school everyday both at Holy Names and at Garfield and I remember when EVERY house I passed was Black owned. I remember Madison, Union, Jefferson, Yesler, Jackson, 23rd Avenue and MLK Way (or Empire Way) as it was called back then. These streets were our thoroughfares. What a vibrant neighborhood I lived in!

But I digress… While reading your article I had the pleasure of reading your reflections under “Black Twilight.” You quoted lyrics from Central Intelligence’s tune, “Aim For The Sky.” My son, Fred Cain II, is one of the founding members of the group. That CD was such a defining point in both my son’s and my life. It allowed me to look into his soul and realize what was really important to him, God, his family, his new daughter and her mother, his mom (me) !! I saw that I didn’t do too bad raising my son as a single mom. It was the fruit of many years of labor and weekly meetings. Then the CD was released. What a high!! The performance on public access television, public performances, the gig at the EMP, seeing a stack of them at Tower Records, (where I promptly moved them from the back to the front.) I was so proud. The whole CD was a look into the souls of these five young Black men and the places they grew up in and the lives they lived. Unfortunately the CD didn’t do well commercially because it was socially consciously rap, not gangsta rap, and the players, Fred, Kym, Grant, Sadace, and Damon weren’t criminals.

Fred continues to live in the CD because he saw what was happening. He knew once he left, he wouldn’t be able to afford to move back in. He is still rapping under the label,Grind Hard Records with his partner K-Stel. Thanks for the shout out to Central Intelligence, whose name was giving props to the 206, the CD.

P.S. I love your commentaries.

Fred’s mom

The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 30 at 3:03 PM


If he wasn’t in Austin doing Showgirls, this is where David Schmader would be tonight:

Iron Composer 13 (SACRÉ BLEU!) America’s favorite alcohol-soaked songwriting competition returns with an all-star cast. The battling composers: SNL kook and <>former Blue Man Fred Armisen versus Martin Crandall and Dave Hernandez of the Shins. The celebrity judges: alterna-comics David Cross, Todd Barry, and Jon Benjamin. The winner: the Vera Project, for which the whole shebang—including opening act Pleaseeasaur— is a benefit. (The Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm, $25.) DAVID SCHMADER

Both Brad Steinbacher and I suggest showing up early for Pleaseeasaur (pictured above).

McGavick on Social Security

posted by on June 30 at 2:53 PM

I know I said I wasn’t going to post about politics news today, but…it’s too much fun when you force Mike McGavick to talk about the issues.

Earlier this week, I got him to come out of the closet on net neutrality. That’d be a: No.

And now!!: The Seattle Times’s David Postman got him talking about social security reform. He wants to phase in private accounts.

Oh, and despite my post this morning, there’s also going to be some Nickels news later today.
Stay tuned.

Porn, Wireless

posted by on June 30 at 2:50 PM

As directors switch to digital filmmaking in greater numbers (Superman Returns is the latest blockbuster to go all gigabyte), amateur directors, and even some professionals, are already on to the newest thing: cell phones.

From a story from the AP:

Italian filmmakers used a Nokia N90, a higher-end cell phone sold around the world, to produce the 93-minute “New Love Meetings,” which they say is the first feature film to be entirely shot with such a tool.

“With the widespread availability of cell phones equipped with cameras, anybody could do this,” documentary co-director Marcello Mencarini said in a telephone interview from Milan. “If you want to say something nowadays, thanks to the new media, you can.”

Personally, the idea of sitting through a feature-length film shot entirely on a cell phone ain’t exactly appealing, especially given the current quality of cell phone footage. But something short—say, an eight-minute porn flick made for our very own Hump!—could be very interesting.

Is someone in Seattle talented enough, and brave enough, to do it? We’ll find out on August 21, when all the entries are due.

Another Reason to Worship Steven Seagal

posted by on June 30 at 1:46 PM


Under the Ballard Bridge

posted by on June 30 at 1:37 PM

I spotted this pair of jeans—which looked brand new and completely clean—on the bird-shit-splattered steps underneath the Ballard Bridge yesterday.


Hey, if you got smashed and blacked out in Ballard recently and woke up someplace in just your boxer shorts and you’re wondering what the hell happened to your pants, they’re under the bridge. You’re welcome.

Gay Parents Rock—Glam Rock

posted by on June 30 at 1:19 PM

It was in our morning news post yesterday, but I didn’t give the pro-gay parenting decision out of Arkansas the stand-alone Slog post it deserved.

Arkansas is the deep south, and the citizens of that state love their gay neighbors about as much as the citizens of any other state in the deep south. Which is to say, they don’t love us much. But the state’s supreme court struck down the state’s ban on gay and lesbian foster parents yesterday. The state’s ban not only prevented the state from placing foster kids in the homes of gay and lesbian couples, but in any home where a homosexual resided, i.e. the home of a married heterosexual couple with a teenage lesbian daughter; a single woman who lived with her gay brother, etc. The ban was sweeping, it was hateful, and it hurts kids in the foster care system who need homes (there are more kids in Arkansas who need foster homes than there are foster homes), most of whom were—it has to be said—abandoned, abused, or neglected by their heterosexual parents.

Well, not only did Arkansas’ Supremes toss the ban out, they also went out of their way to endorse same-sex parents—foster, biological, adoptive—in their decision. Why? Because the facts about gay parents compelled them to:

“There is no correlation between the health, welfare and safety of foster children and the blanket exclusion of any individual who is a homosexual or who resides in a household with a homosexual,” Associate Justice Donald Corbin wrote.

In addition, the court said, the testimony of a Child Welfare Agency Review Board member demonstrated that “the driving force behind adoption of the regulations was not to promote the health, safety and welfare of foster children but rather based upon the board’s views of morality and its bias against homosexuals.”

The ACLU brought the lawsuit, and here’s their take on the decision:

“The Arkansas Supreme Court clearly understood what social scientists and every respected child welfare organization have been saying for years: There is no reason to deprive children of good homes by excluding lesbian and gay people from serving as foster parents,” said Rita Sklar, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “We have a shortage of foster homes in Arkansas, especially for teenagers and sibling groups. Thanks to today’s ruling, Arkansas’ foster children have a better chance of finding loving homes.”

But the governor of Arkansas—Republican presidential hopeful and former fatso—Mike Huckabee has asked the legislature to screw over the the kids in need of foster homes in Arkansas.

Governor Huckabee said today he hopes legislators will consider reimposing a ban on gay foster parents that was struck down yesterday by the state Supreme Court. “I’m very disappointed that the court seems more interested in what’s good for gay couples than what’s good for children needing foster care,” said Huckabee in a press release.

Actually, the court is interested in the exact opposite, but that’s not going to stop Huckabee from distorting the decision, the facts, and the lives of kids in Arkansas. Bashing gay parents will win him votes from the haters who make up the bulk of the Religious Right, and who gives a shit about the safety and well-being hundreds of kids when there are votes at stake?

Still, the decision is something to celebrate, despite Huckabee’s statements today. And what better way to celebrate than by enjoying a pro-gay parenting music video featuring a Swedish glam rock band?

Video courtesy of my brother’s friend Po.

Way Better Than Heaven

posted by on June 30 at 1:01 PM

Next time we’re in Amsterdam, we’ll be able to nibble a few hash bonbons and then wander through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. For real: Dutch construction company BAM has partnered with the City of Amsterdam to create a $20-million-euro, 12,500-square-foot chocolate factory theme park, De Chokoladefabriek, in an abandoned loop of underground tram tunnel. Scheduled to open in 2009 at Ruijterkade 105-106, the Chokoladefabriek will cost 20 euros and include a Roald Dahl-inspired glass elevator and chocolate fountain. amschocfactory.jpg

Surface Meaning

posted by on June 30 at 12:39 PM

This remarkable image, which is part of a collection of images taken by Michael Burns, a local photographer:

And this remarkable passage from Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche’s last book before madness:

“The fatality of one’s being cannot be derived from the fatality of all that was and will be. No one is part of an experiment to achieve an ‘ideal person’ or an ‘ideal of happiness’ or an ‘ideal of morality’—it is absurd to want to discharge one’s being onto some purpose or other. We invented the concept ‘purpose’: in reality, ‘purpose’ is absent… One is necessary, one is a piece of fate, one belongs to the whole, one is in the whole—there is nothing which could judge, measure, compare, condemn our Being, for that would mean judging, measuring, comparing, condemning the whole….But there is nothing apart from the whole!”

These two things (one image/a part of a paragraph) are brought together by nothing else than the surface of my desk.

Breaking News: Consolidated Works “Seeking New Quarters”

posted by on June 30 at 11:40 AM

Consolidated Works will not renew its lease with Vulcan (signed five years ago and scheduled to terminate on October 1, 2006) and will leave the 500 Boren Ave N address.

Here’s some verbiage from a press release that was leaked to The Stranger earlier today:

“Allena Gabosch, President of ConWorks, said, ‘… seismic improvements to the building are required by the city, and even after those improvements, our landlord will require a nine-month exit clause to permit it to develop our South Lake Union Lot if an opportunity arises.’”
“The lease on the current ConWorks space ends on September 30, 2006, but ConWorks plans to vacate by July 31, 2006… In true ConWorks fashion, the organization will host a party the final weekend of July 2006 to celebrate all of the great art, great friendships, and great times that have been enjoyed at 500 Boren Ave N.”

I wonder how well the first three and a half years at 500 Boren Ave N will be represented at the party.

Click here to see the press release.

So Far as I Could Tell

posted by on June 30 at 11:12 AM

It’s Friday. I do not feel like writing about the viaduct or Mike McGavick or Maria Cantwell or Greg Nickels or net neutrality or even Linnea Noreen. At all.

What I feel like Slogging about, or at least sharing, is this Village Voice rock review from 1984. It’s a review of a Meat Puppets gig. I’m not sure what the bizarre suggestion to Henry Rollins is about—although, it seems well stated. Anyway, this far-flung bit of alternative paper poĂ©sie made my week.

Here are the last two paragraphs:

The crowd, of course, was there for headliners Black Flag, and gave the openers a respectable-at-least reception—but the makeup of the audience itself made a much better analogy for the Meat Puppets’ declaration of the twists in everybody’s roots than for Black Flag’s newly bombastic dirges (suggested lyric for Henry Rollins: `I want to speak French but I don’t know how/Gonna beat my head in’). The crowd was a likably eclectic bunch, unideological even about (their) alienation—not only hardcore fans, but flannel-shirt types, college kids, a surprising number of women, aging counter-culturists, somebody’s mom. There we all were, a hopeless residue on the periphery of a culture that had made losers of us all, and liking it. When the Meat Puppets ended their set with `Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds,’ it didn’t sound like a gag, it sounded like a bedraggled anthem for what we all had in common, and I didn’t even care that so far as I could tell nobody else in the room thought so at all. —Tom Carson, Village Voice, 4/24/84

Le Tour de Scandal!

posted by on June 30 at 9:49 AM

The Tour de France begins tomorrow, and already German Jan Ullrich and Italian cutie Ivan Basso are out because of doping charges.

But don’t worry Dan, there’s still Zabriskie.

(And for another Slog flashback, here is Zabriskie on the care of one’s taint.)

The Morning News

posted by on June 30 at 8:00 AM

Gitmo: The Supremes declare the whole damn thing unconstitutional, the Pentagon flips ‘em off.

That Other Supreme Court Decision: Here’s hoping Dems take Kos’ advice.

Bin Laden: He’s still out there somewhere, not that anyone, you know, cares.

Another Day, Another (Alleged) Atrocity: When can we stop pretending that every last person wearing a uniform in Iraq is hero fighting for our freedom? Some of them should have yellow ribbons tied around their necks.

Missing Israeli Soldier: No, wait. He’s not dead.

Space Shuttle Goes Up: Here’s hoping it comes down in one piece.

Starjonesgate: ABC told Star to make something up a lie about why she was leaving, and they would back her up. I think Star’s going to come out on top somehow. She certainly has the upper hand right now.

HPV Vaccine: This is worth linking to twice… Fed panel, bucking fundies, recommends HPV vaccine be giving to all girls before age 12.

The Deadliest Place on Earth: Kid dies at Disney World—the ninth death at the park since 2003.

Light Bulb Removed from Man’s Anus: He has no idea how it got there. Uh-huh.

Are Fundies Turning on GOP? Christ, I hope so.

Pegging 101

posted by on June 30 at 7:48 AM

Witness the awesome power and reach of Savage Love.

It’s an Oldenburg!

posted by on June 30 at 7:30 AM

When the Seattle Art Museum announced its intention to build a sculpture park, the first name that came to the minds of plenty of people was: Claes Oldenburg. The pop artist, born in 1929, lives and works in New York with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen, and the two of them have been making “colossal monuments” of everyday objects together since the 1970s. Oldenburg’s 1969 Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks” is an icon of pop art and just a damn fine sculpture, and his 1976 Clothespin in downtown Philadelphia was the first of his monuments to find a place in an urban setting.

According to their web site, Oldenberg and van Bruggen have more than 40 giant sculptures around the world: shuttlecocks, a half-buried bike, a screw bent into an arch shape, a spoon with a cherry (that happens to be a fountain) perched on it.

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X (1998-‘99) is one of these: it has been jutting up from the lawn of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden since 1999. According to the provenance label on the national gallery’s web site, the piece was fabricated for the NGA through PaceWildenstein in 1999.

Except that Oldenburg evidently actually made three of these 19-foot-tall typewriter erasers, and now one of them—the largest by a hair according to measurements provided by Seattle Art Museum and the NGA—will be installed for at least three years at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, thanks to a loan from Paul Allen. (He is coming out of the woodwork with art this year.)

Yay! Oldenburg is incredible, and this means that we got our pop star and our public sculpture hero. And Typewriter Eraser, Scale X is a good piece—not the pair’s absolute best, but solid.

Below is the Typewriter Eraser that will be installed in late September in Seattle, followed by the NGA’s Typewriter Eraser.

Oldenburg - SAM.JPG

Oldenburg NGA.jpg

Still, should I ignore my nagging feeling of disappointment that the Olympic Sculpture Park will have basically exactly the same sculpture as the NGA, and one that has gained its national visibility from having sat there for seven years? (The third iteration is still at PaceWildenstein, according to the SAM spokeswoman who sent out the press release today). Oldenburg and van Bruggen aren’t site-specific artists, necessarily—their universal Euro-American pop works are highly transferable. And commissions are exciting, but they can be a letdown, and the past few years have been uneven for Oldenburg and van Bruggen. This way, we get a tried-and-true quantity, I suppose.

Except that Oldenburg did once propose a civic monument for Seattle: a giant cathedral in the shape of a colossal faucet with a windmill-style hand-crank set on the edge of, and pouring water into, Lake Union. He made this suggestion in a 29-by-22-inch 1972 work on paper made in watercolor, graphite, colored pencil, and crayon.


Now that is what I wish we could see built on the edge of Elliott Bay.

Another Question For Mike McGavick

posted by on June 30 at 5:08 AM

Given how hard it was for me to get a straight answer out of McGavick on net neutrality this week (after a phone call, to which his campaign said they hadn’t been asked about that yet, they’d get back to me…and then a long-winded statement that didn’t say anthing..and then a non-answer to my follow-up…and then, finally, after another follow-up question, they wound their way around to an answer…) this contest, sponsored by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo to get a straight answer from McGavick, seems appropriate.

Here’s Marshall’s challenge:

So here’s the deal. We’re holding a contest to see who can get a straight answer out of Mike McGavick on Social Security — against phase out or in favor of it. To the winner goes a special TPM ‘Privatize This’ t-shirt, a TPM mug and … and a special place in our new TPM Hall of Social Security Heroes. Anyway, it’s really exciting stuff.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Iron Composer! Vera benefit! Tomorrow night!

posted by on June 29 at 4:10 PM

Tickets, if you can believe it, are still available for tomorrow night’s Iron Composer/Drink for the Kids Vera benefit at the Showbox, where Fred Armisen goes up against Martin Crandall and Dave Hernandez of the Shins. The most awesome part? David Cross, Todd Barry, and Jon Benjamin judge their booze-filled songwriting efforts. Heeee-larious. And one more cherry on the sundae, Pleaseeasaur opens the show. Pleaseeasaur likes wearing costumes on stage.

You can get your tickets at the Showbox Box Office (Mon-Fri, 11 am-6 pm), any Rudy’s Barbershop, and select QFC outlets. You can also charge by phone at 1-800-922-TIXX or online by

Pundits Pile on Cantwell

posted by on June 29 at 4:02 PM

Earlier today, The National Journal, an even-keeled, impartial, elite(ist) DC analysis magazine, weighed in on Maria Cantwell’s reelection campaign. Here was their money quote (at least for the GOP): “We can’t imagine ever viewing any other Democratic incumbent as more vulnerable than Cantwell.”

Now, the equally well-respected Cook Political Report delivers some more bracing analysis for incumbent Cantwell.

Here’s how their write-up begins:

Washington: On many levels, freshman Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell may be the party’s most vulnerable incumbent. Cantwell has not established herself in the minds of voters, her poll numbers tend to be weaker than those of her colleague Sen. Patty Murray, she does not have a long record of accomplishment, and she can’t finance her campaign as she did in 2000 when she defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Slade Gorton. As important, Cantwell will face a very strong opponent in former Safeco CEO Mike McGavick.

I’ve pasted in the rest of the Cook Report write-up below.

Continue reading "Pundits Pile on Cantwell" »

Too much fun

posted by on June 29 at 3:52 PM


Hey armchair designers! Create a masterpiece in minutes with Bearskin Rug’s compositionals. It’s so Tschichold!

Jenna Bush: Teacher

posted by on June 29 at 3:36 PM

From the lips of Aristotle:

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.”

On a somewhat related note, Jenna Bush is migrating south to teach Latin American children how to think.

Teaching is a tough job, but Jenna’s the “fun twin,” so I’m sure she’ll be a hit—as long as she doesn’t traumatize the kiddies with her recess drinking games (helpful hint Jenna: It’s not a “game” if anyone is crying, vomiting, crying vomit, or vomiting tears).

Bus Rapid Transit

posted by on June 29 at 3:22 PM

Seattlest kicks a few holes in Ron Sims’ BRT plan—and I couldn’t agree more:

Bus Rapid Transit as an alternative to actual mass transit sucks. It’s what anti-transit people offer to cities to ridicule their efforts at light rail or monorails…. And they are said to “work” in a few of those places, although the mark of success for BRT is significantly lower than for light rail. If the actual goal is to get people out of their cars and onto transit by choice, no one’s going to give up the hybrid for a damn bus.

When Ron Sims came in to talk up his BRT plan in May he brought along Kevin Desmond, general manager of Metro. Desmond admitted that BRT isn’t really rapid transit. That’s reason enough to vote against Sims’ bus plan. From the Slog archives

They were here to sell us on Transit Now, Sims’ proposed sales tax increase to boost Metro bus service. They describe the plan as “Bus Rapid Transit,” which is an odd thing to call adding more buses to already crowded city streets—because, um, aren’t all those new buses going to be stuck in traffic with the old buses and cars already on the road? Unless, of course, traffic lanes currently open to cars are reserved for buses only, right? (It’s a nice idea—hey, I’m for anything that makes driving less convenient—but I’m not holding my breath.) When I said that I didn’t think more buses stuck in traffic could be described as rapid transit, Desmond said, and I quote, “It’s not true rapid transit.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Desmond.

“I Am a God.”

posted by on June 29 at 3:15 PM

For those who missed last night’s America’s Got Talent on TV… YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS. (This site accepts no responsibility for any disturbing dreams you may have tonight.)

Willy Wonka and the Air Disaster

posted by on June 29 at 3:11 PM

A couple weeks ago I took a flight on Sun Country (think Southwest without all the perks). Before we took off I looked through passenger safety information.


Something strange caught my eye in the final frame:


Now I don’t fly all that often, so maybe I’m not up to speed on the latest in airline safety pamphlets, but it seemed a little odd that Willy Wonka would suddenly make an appearance, especially since he’s nowhere to be found anywhere else in the pamphlet.

Can someone offer an explanation?

Nickels’s Office Reorg

posted by on June 29 at 2:18 PM

Dear Team Ceis,
This is a shout out to the mayoral staffers that were overheard downtown during the lunch hour today bitching about your big reorg & talking about my column.

I want to write more. I only can, if you’re willing to talk.

Sherman Sweeps the Enviro-Endorsements

posted by on June 29 at 1:35 PM

King County Deputy Prosecutor Bill Sherman has now been endorsed by both of the big environmental groups that will be weighing in on the hot state house race in Seattle’s 43rd District. Sherman got the nod from the Sierra Club last week and today received the sole endorsement of the Washington Conservation Voters.

Sounding pleased, he had this to say when he called me with the news:

“I see this as an important step in the campaign, to have the environmental community unified behind one candidate.”

There are six liberal candidates in this race, all of them ideologically indistinguishable for the most part. Becoming the enviro-darling should help Sherman stand out from the pack, especially in the tree-hugging 43rd.

“And That’s the Way It Is…”

posted by on June 29 at 1:22 PM


I’m not exactly thrilled that the perpetually perky Katie Couric will be narrating, but I’m quite pleased that PBS is devoting the season premiere episode of their excellent American Masters series to the peerless Walter Cronkite. I certainly appreciate this man too, but Cronkite was the first journalist who thoroughly hypnotized me as a young girl.

On a related note, if you are unfamiliar with the American Masters series, I highly recommend checking out Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart: Lou Reed (available on DVD), which essentially plays like a Frontline investigation of New York proto-punk and covers everything from Reed’s mentoring by poet Delmore Schwartz to his collaborations with David Bowie and Robert Wilson. Great stuff.

Suicide Mission (Continued)

posted by on June 29 at 1:22 PM

We sent our young intern, Sarah Mirk, to the Columbia City Theater last night to check out Linnea Noreen’s “convention.” The 29-year-old Noreen, running as an Independent, is holding a series of conventions this week to get the required 1,000 signatures so she can be on the November ballot against Seattle Congressman-for-life, Rep. Jim McDermott.

I met with Noreen last week, and while I was impressed with how serious she was about her doomed suicide mission (and relieved to meet someone who’s actually taking on McDermott), I wasn’t much impressed with her inchoate platform (check out the Slog post I did on it.) Although, I will say, her rap on the war was as smart as any of the half-baked solutions I’ve heard anybody propose.

Anyway, until Noreen’s campaign proves to be anything more than a goofy oddity, we’re siccing our ace intern on the “Linnea beat.”

Some highlights from Mirk’s report from Columbia City:
Noreen got 115 signatures, but there were only about 60 people in the room for her speech. (Everyone there seemed to be an acquaintance—mostly knowing Noreen from her recent stint as coordinator for Seattle Works, a non-profit that places young professionals on local boards and commissions.)

The food plate: Beer, cupcakes (excellent!), and hummus.

Asked about the recent cleavage controversy (exclusively reported here on Slog!), Noreen said: “If I’d known wearing a low-cut suit would have gotten me so much press, I would have worn something more scandalous.”

As for Noreen’s speech? It came off bland: “I don’t have to tell you how important [transportation issues] are, since we’re all stuck in traffic.” And much like a classroom presentation, her talk was complete with a lilting college twang: “What’s missing? is the federal funding? for these projects?

She’s for universal health care coverage. She wants less federal bureaucracy in education. And on her banner issue, transportation, she said she wants a strong regional focus on public transit.

All-in-all not an impressive speech (and a bit awkward given that she appeared to be playing the part of political candidate in front of a room full of friends.)

However, Noreen was impressive and engaging 1 on 1, Mirk reports.

One of the big questions on Noreen is: How the hell does a 29-year-old afford to quit her job and run for office? We checked with the Federal Elections Commission, but since Noreen has only been running since April, she hasn’t filed finance reports yet—they’re due tomorrow. Here’s what she told us we’ll find when the reports go on-line. She has about 75 contributors (all friends and family) for a total of about $15,000. She says she’s already spent most of it, though. And judging from the stacks of glossy full-color fliers (and buttons, and stickers, and yard signs), it’s no wonder. Meanwhile, she says she took out a $50,000 loan, using the equity on her condo as collateral. She also says she’s been living frugally (or like a “geezer” she says) since she started planning to run last fall.

Noreen was in the 6th grade when McDermott was first elected to Congress in 1988. He has $267,000 on hand.

Can You Dance If You Want To?

posted by on June 29 at 1:01 PM

A friend of mine, an attractive, straight lady, is looking to take her cousin, another attractive, straight lady, out dancing tomorrow night. These are women any guy would want to flirt with. They are in need of a Fun Evening Out. They are in need of good music and the presence of cute, eligible, hetero guys. Mostly they are in need of a dance floor. I put it to you, Slog readers: where do attractive ladies who want to dance go on a Friday night? Is there anywhere that is not (a) gay, or (b) insufferable?

Your comments are greatly appreciated. The cousin arrives tomorrow.

Beach Bummin’

posted by on June 29 at 12:55 PM

I’m headed to the seaside for the weekend. Can you suggest a trashy/smart/funny (but no “chick lit”) beach book or two? Doesn’t need to be a recent release; I’m all about the library.

Age of Industry

posted by on June 29 at 12:03 PM

These beautiful industrial monsters from the end of the 19th century are doomed. Useless since 1979, the Hulett ore unloaders are rusting in a city that cannot afford to watch them rust, Cleveland.
A city should have the courage to let go of the past, but these 100-foot-tall, 880-ton machines have undone the past and now maintain a presence that is so powerful and dream-like. Their use-value shifted from being unloaders to works of art.

(Note to my critics: Do not compare the Hulett ore unloaders to King Street Station or that downtown church.)

Roving Rim-Job Reporter

posted by on June 29 at 11:55 AM

See, regardless of what I do in private, I could never stop people on the street and ask them what they thought about rim-jobs. My nice-Southern-girl upbringing would choke me. But it’s great that other people do.


posted by on June 29 at 10:59 AM

One of the things that makes An Inconvenient Truth so effective is Al Gore’s use of technology to present his data in a compelling way. His charts and graphs are animated, show progression over time, and combined with the use of imagery from around the world, they manage to transform mountains of boring data points into a gripping education on how it all fits together.

Swedish public health expert Hans Rosling has started a non-profit called Gapminder that aims to use similar techniques to make the vast amount of public health data accessible and useful to everyone.


Check out this video of a lecture Rosling gave demonstrating what they’ve done, then go to Gapminder and play with charts.

Everybody loves to play with public health charts, right? Is it just me?

Pas de Deux

posted by on June 29 at 10:58 AM

Ce soir, Dave Segal suggére:

Cloudland Canyon
Cloudland Canyon are a German-American kosmische soundclash. Yank Kip Uhlhorn and Kraut Simon Wojan met while the former was touring in Germany in 2002 with his other band, Panthers. The two exchanged tapes and ideas over three years and produced one of this year’s finest brain-massagers, Requiems Der Natur 2002—2004. Inspired by Terry Riley’s cyclical minimalism and Ash Ra Tempel’s solarized guitar haze, Cloudland Canyon open your third ear to new vibrations. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave NW, 784-4880. 8 pm, $7, 21+.)

[You can translate any French words you don’t know here. Stranger Suggests is French-flavored this week, in honor of freedom.]

The New “Freedom Tower”

posted by on June 29 at 10:41 AM

nyc15.jpgArchitects have unveiled the design for NYC’s new “Freedom Tower” to be erected next to Ground Zero. From the AP:

Glass prisms, landscaped plazas and a lighted spire meant to resemble the Statue of Liberty’s torch are all included in the latest design of the skyscraper being built to replace the World Trade Center.

Mmm… hey dumbshit architect, NYC already has a statue of liberty torch. It’s called the “STATUE OF LIBERTY’S TORCH.” And since you’re already begging for trouble, instead of “Freedom Tower” why not just call it the “Somebody Drive a Truck Bomb Into Me” Building.

All I know is the “Freedom Tower” better have a Starbucks.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on June 29 at 10:33 AM

Followers of the Prayer Warrior’s travels will remember that on Tuesday he announced a trip to Indianapolis, where he planned to hang with the “ex-gays” at Exodus International Ministries. The Warrior (aka Ken Hutcherson) asked for “much prayer,” as he would be encountering protesters and such.

As always, Slog commenters offered some counter-prayers — and they seem to have been answered, raising the question: Is the Almighty reading The Stranger’s blog?


June 27, 2006

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Talk about spiritual warfare, I arrived at the airport EARLY this morning only to be told the flight was canceled. After some regrouping (instead of speaking tonight I would speak twice tomorrow), I caught a later flight.

I had a wonderful flight to Denver, and caught my flight to Indianapolis only to be brought back due to mechanical difficulties. Do you think the enemy (the prince and power of the air) wants me to speak?

Please pray for this important event, that God’s message would be broadcast with or without my arrival.

Your Pastor,

McGavick Moves Up a Notch

posted by on June 29 at 10:18 AM

Since I was so mean to Mike McGavick yesterday (sheesh, my reporting to get McGavick to finally say how he’d vote on the net neutrality bill—against—showed up in a Democratic Party press release at the end of the day—yecccchhhh!), it’s time to give McGavick some good Slog. And that is this…from the even-keeled National Journal comes the latest 2006 Senate Race rankings. McGavick V. Cantwell goes from #8 to #7.

Here’s what they wrote:

7) Washington. Cantwell (D) Last Ranking: 8. With the climate improving ever-so-slightly for the GOP, and with Cantwell unable to capitalize on voter angst over Iraq, McGavick’s chances get a slight boost. It’s possible this race slips in the months ahead because other Democratic opportunities in other states bump it off. But right now, we can’t imagine ever viewing any other Democratic incumbent as more vulnerable than Cantwell.

Richard Serra in Seattle

posted by on June 29 at 10:05 AM

So it looks like a bunch of us walking-notebook types will be meeting with the man himself when he visits the Olympic Sculpture Park for a tour and to talk about his work on July 24, by which time his Wake will be up and visible from the street as you walk by. (Check it out below.)


Wake is the second piece to be installed at the park, which opens Oct 28, but it’s the first one visible to the public. Mark Dion’s nurse log went in last weekend, but a greenhouse is being built around it, so you can’t see it. Here are the available images from that project, what Dion calls “a learning lab on Northwest ecology.”

Mark Dion.jpg

Seattle Art Museum expects to announce another piece for the park today, and “it’s a big one,” spokeswoman Erika Lindsay said. Stay tuned. She said there will be one more work announced in July, and that will complete the opening lineup.

And for all you curious about Louise Bourgeois’s male nude fountain, that will be the last piece installed. Here’s her drawing of the fountain, and an image from her six eyeball benches (six benches, six eyeballs, three pairs of eyes), which will be installed near the fountain:



A neighbor is posting his observations about the park’s construction on the museum’s web site in blog form here and the webcam, perched above the pavilion with the flying roof, is here.

The Morning News

posted by on June 29 at 8:32 AM

Prisoners at Gitmo: The Supremes slap Bush, rule that prisoners at Gitmo are POWs and—no way!—King George has to abide by the Geneva Conventions. The GCs ban torture of POWs, so what is Cheney going to do for fun now?

Sinking Fast: By the time we send Al Gore to the White House it’s gonna be underwater.

Israel vs Gaza: It’s beginning to look a lot like… gee, armageddon. Oh, and Israel arrests Hamas leaders—you know, those guys that just won a democratic election? Those guys, the ones bent on the destruction of Israel.

Israeli Soldier Found? Dead?

Dumb Shots: The House overturns a mandatory gun lock law, which means more kids with gun nut parents are going to shooting themselves with their dads’ guns. Oh well, at lease they won’t grow up to vote like their parents.

Headline of the Day: “Bear Flees for 2nd Time Before Neutering.” Can you blame him?

Starjonesgate: Wait a minute—they fired her ass twice?

Another Gay Bishop? It could happen—and all the usual suspects are pissed. Schism in three, two, one…

Google: They want your financial records too.

Banning Booze: Tacoma banned booze sales in some areas, and the homeless left for other areas. Seattle wants to do the same. It may be time to bring back what may be my best idea ever: The Beer Barge.

Another Day, Another Shooting: Driver shoots and wounds Washington State Trooper, Pierce County Sheriff Deputy shoots and kills driver.

Streetcar: Always empty, completely useless—and not worth the $10 million it will take to save it.

A Little Good News: Fed panel recommends that girls get newly-approved, life-saving HPV vaccine by age 12, which will piss off the fundies for sure—and so will this: After a seven year battle, the state Supremes in Arkansas toss out a state ban on gay foster parents. The ruling was unanimous.

While My Ukulele Gently Weeps

posted by on June 29 at 8:12 AM

Back in the ’80s, Ben Bagdikian wrote:

“Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on a ukulele: The instrument is too crude for the work, for the audience, and for the performer.”

It ain’t the Passion, Ben, but I think we can agree that this guy can play the shit out of a ukulele.

Born to Make Mistakes

posted by on June 29 at 7:55 AM

For today’s opening post, I offer this humble prayer by the Human League.

Im only human

Of flesh and blood I’m made
Born to make mistakes
I am just a man
Please forgive me

(Quick note for my old school R&B heads: Though Loose Ends cold bite the Jam/Lewis Roland 808 cow bell sound, they brought it to perfection in “Contemplating.”)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Limbaugh & Chloe? W…T… F!?!

posted by on June 28 at 5:12 PM

According to Atrios Blogspot, rumors are flying around D.C. that conservative radio host (and Viagra popper) Rush Limbaugh is dating actress Mary-Lynn Rajskub— better known as the acerbic Chloe from the hit show 24! AND ONE OF MY FAVE TV CHARACTERS IN THE WORLD.

Rumors were swirling around Capitol Hill and beyond Tuesday that Rush Limbaugh is dating actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays Chloe O’Brian on the Fox series “24.” Though that still doesn’t explain the unauthorized bottle of little blue pills (shhh, Viagra!) that customs agents found in Limbaugh’s luggage at Palm Beach International Airport on Monday. If you saw the papers over the weekend, including The Washington Post, there were photos of Limbaugh planting a big kiss right on Rajskub’s lips during a dog-and-pony event at the Heritage Foundation.



Obama: Why can’t God be a democrat?

posted by on June 28 at 4:31 PM

Today at a faith-based conference in DC, Senator Barack Obama addressed his view of the relationship between religion and politics, and urged his fellow democrats to court people of faith—including evangelicals:

It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,’” he said. “Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats.”

Obama continues:

“We cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. … In other words, if we don’t reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway.”

I think this is a rather ballsy stance for Obama to take. Right now, he’s a democratic rock star—young, intelligent, and charismatic. Clinton and Bush Sr. called on him to help raise money for Katrina victims, he’s campaigned against making estate tax breaks (aka the “Paris Hilton tax break”) permanent, he’s fought to increase Pell Grant limits for college students, etc. He’s well-known and well-respected among democrats. And yeah, I agree that many democrats are hostile to people of faith (even though there are religious democrats to be found; they’re just not the frothy kind, so no one notices). But asking dems to start courting evangelicals seems a bit…oh, I don’t know, freakishly absurd. There’s a reason it isn’t done: Evangelicals don’t walk the democratic party line—they tend to poo on it. And Obama’s appeal for religious sensitivity might lead to more bullshit like this.

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how his message will resonate with or repel his fellow democrats.

Any thoughts?

Re: What Will McGavick Say About Net Neutrality?

posted by on June 28 at 4:00 PM

Well, McGavick’s campaign sent a response to my follow-up question to his initial statement on the Snowe/Dorgan net neutrality amendment (which just failed in the Senate Commerce Committee). My follow-up question was this: “I don’t get it: does that mean he doesn’t support the net neutrality amendment?”

McGavick’s “response” to my follow-up question wasn’t really a response at all. Perhaps I’m being bitchy, but judge for yourself. Here’s what he sent:

“As with so many other things, the partisanship surrounding this issue is at an extreme high. The arguments on both sides have been distorted to the point where complex discussions with serious implications are summarized in bumper sticker length. I’m for continued innovation on the internet and for incenting investment in the broadband infrastructure. I support consumer choice, competition and the right to access any website. We ought not to restrain innovation through heavy handed regulation or restrain the deployment of new internet technologies, just as we should not restrain development and innovation at places like Microsoft. I’m concerned about the implications of over regulation especially as they pertain to new technologies and development. I’m very open to new ideas as we move though the legislative process. At this point, I fear that the Snowe-Dorgan amendment may go too far.”

I called back and said, that sounds like a ‘No,’ but I’m not sure. Soooo, 1 more time: “Yes or No on the amendment? If you were on the Committee—like Cantwell is—how would you vote?” Here’s what I got back:

As he said, Mike remains very open to new ideas as we move though the legislative process, supports continued innovation, consumer choice, equal access to the internet and investment in infrastructure. However, he does not feel that the Snowe-Dorgan language as currently drafted offers the correct balance on all of these issues, and accordingly would not support it at this time.

That was difficult.

I also asked Cantwell’s office for her position on the Snowe/Dorgan amendment.

Here’s what Cantwell said:

Look, its about the future of the Internet. The telecom companies have no business stifling innovations and serving as gatekeepers, getting between consumers and the content they want -just because they are used to wielding monopoly power. That’s why I have cosponsored strong net neutrallity legislation [Snowe/Dorgan]-to make sure we maintain the open architecture of the Internet that will promote innovation and freedom of expression of the net.

Snowe/Dorgan failed 11-11. Cantwell, obviously, voted for the amendment.

The Future Is Our Only Goat

posted by on June 28 at 3:58 PM

During this month’s ArtWalk, I found myself standing next to the abstract painter Jaq Chartier at Dianna Molzan’s show of paintings at Gallery 4Culture, The Future is Our Only Goat. We both found ourselves perplexed and mesmerized by them, and couldn’t exactly say why.

The show closes Friday. I want to get back down there to try to make heads or tails of these paintings (and, maybe, the title, which puts me in mind of the Holy Ghost).

Molzan was one of the three founders of 1506 Projects on Capitol Hill (see Katie Kurtz’s 2004 piece on 1506), which I believe is, sadly, now defunct. Molzan left Seattle last year for Los Angeles. (I have an email in to Molzan to find out more, including whether the gallery intends to put out a book.)

In a statement, Molzan writes that the paintings are made “entirely of invented forms,” “leaving behind literal visual interpretations,” and in the strictest sense, this is true, but only in the strictest sense. Her paintings are abstract, but they’re also suggestive of everything, from ice-cream cones to to chairs to topographical maps to trash heaps. The odd style and bright colors seem deliberately awkward and, occasionally, like they’re flirting with the idea of poor pictorial taste (psychedelia and kitschy stained-glass, for instance) and skewed perspectives.

Here are two of the pieces at 4Culture: first Robber Barons, then The Stork Club.

Robber Barons.jpg

The Stork Club.jpg

The Funniest Woman in the History of Ever

posted by on June 28 at 3:58 PM

For tonight, Brendan Kiley suggests:

Lauren Weedman is, quite simply, the funniest woman in the history of ever. She knows how to bring the pathos, then drop kick it for comic effect. She’s also a master of self-indictment. Bust is about a women’s jail, Hollywood, and an unfortunate Glamour article. (Empty Space Theatre, 901 12th Ave, 547-7500. 7:30 pm, $25-$30, through Aug 5.)

Hooray America

posted by on June 28 at 2:40 PM


Huge, huge props to Mr. Dan Savage for suggesting such a great cover idea, and word up to Marcellus Hall, the superhero that painted it for me.

The Putin Pucker

posted by on June 28 at 2:35 PM


Yes! That is Vladimir The-KGB-Agent-With-a-Heart-of-Gold Putin rubbing his world-historical face in a little kid’s stomach. I love the shocked and slightly disgusted looks on the other kids’ faces. And the youngster with the baseball cap, scratching his head with an that embarrassed aw-shucks expression slays me.

(Check this site for a video in Windows or RealPlayer. I’m holding my breath for the YouTube version.)

Other notable events in Putin kissing history:

As a teenager, Vlad (known as “the Impaler” to the dames of St. Petersburg) dabbled in a little spin the bottle. As his ex-girlfriend recalls:

“Our kiss was short, true. I suddenly became very hot.”

The Kremlin leader and judo champion has also been known to kiss the mat. (Warning: Not suitable for acid casualties—the freakily garbled soundtrack might give them flashbacks.)

(And, because sex is ever the handmaiden of death, here’s the other Putin story of the day: The four Russian hostages in Iraq? The ones taken with an eye to strongarming Russia into withdrawing from Chechnya? They’re dead and Putin has (allegedly) ordered special forces to assassinate the kidnappers.)

Seattle Weekly’s Fantasy Ozzfest

posted by on June 28 at 2:12 PM

I try to stay out of the Seattle Weekly vs. Stranger rivalry as much as I can, but this really can’t be overlooked. This is their preview of Thursday’s Ozzfest show:

Ozzfest: Black Sabbath + Judas Priest + Slayer + Dimmu Borgir + Superjoint Ritual + Black Label Society + Lacuna Coil + Every Time I Die + more

The last time we saw Ozzy Osbourne perform, his vocal chords kept giving out, resulting in a reluctance to shoot for the higher notes of his back catalog. But the man still puts on an engaging show filled with plenty of leap-frog jumps, childlike hand claps, and jumping jacks (we are serious!) Aside from Ozzy, however, the only band that seems to be worth a damn on the bill is former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde’s band, Black Label Society (although the Slayer reunion and Lacuna Coil are solid picks too—Ed.). With that in mind, the emergency tent might be more fun to watch than the performers.

This is a gaffe on quite a few levels. For one, Black Sabbath isn’t playing—Ozzy is doing a solo set. Secondly, Judas Priest isn’t playing—but they did play TWO YEARS ago. Thirdly, Slayer not only isn’t playing, they certainly aren’t “reuniting” (they never broke up). However, Slayer will play at Qwest Field in Seattle on July 14.

Dear Weekly music writers: I love a good stoning as much as the next metalhead, but I think it’s time for you to put down the bong. Or at the very least, try checking the festival website before you go to print.

That Ad

posted by on June 28 at 1:49 PM

Our Ad Of The Day is for the “2nd Annual Freethinkers’ Picnic,” which will be on July 4th, between 3-8pm. A picnic (“BBQ, music and more”) for nonbelievers? As an atheist, I find the absence of God to be a terrible realization. Those of us who have been forced to leave the warm and loving arms of God and walk toward death alone, under cold stars and meaningless moons, are not happy people. Being an atheist is no picnic.

Literary Excitement!

posted by on June 28 at 1:24 PM

One of the best things about working in a bookstore is getting my hands on books first. I came in to work today and my boss gave me the most exciting book of the summer: viola!

Bookclub, anyone?

Tomorrow’s Issue Online Today!

posted by on June 28 at 12:48 PM

The printing presses are still rolling but the new edition of The Stranger is online now.

Net Inscrutability

posted by on June 28 at 12:04 PM

The Senate Commerce Committee is getting set to vote on the Snowe/Dorgan net neutrality amendment. The amendment, in cahoots with Rep. Jay Inslee’s excellent amendment in the House—would mandate that internet service companies cannot prioritize certain content providers over others. Maria Cantwell is on the Commerce Committe, and she has committed to vote for the Snowe/Dorgan amendment.

Yesterday, I asked the McGavick campaign where McGavick was on the Snowe/Dorgan amendment. They said net neutrality “isn’t something we’ve been asked about yet. We’ll call you back.”

Later in the day, I Slogged it this:

I’m still waiting to hear back from the McGavick campaign to find out what McGavick’s position on net neutrality is. I gotta say, it’s a little startling that when I called McGavick’s campaign this morning, they weren’t prepared to talk about the issue yet. This is a major issue in the techie Puget Sound, with two of our Fortune 500 companies (Amazon and Microsoft) and one of our delegation (Rep. Jay Inslee), taking a leadership role on it. If McGavick wants to replace an incumbent senator like Cantwell, who has a reputation for being plugged in on techie issues, he better start doing his homework.

Today, McGavick’s press people forwarded me this statement from McGavick:

The public has a clear interest in the prevention of online content discrimination whether it is from companies seeking to unfairly squeeze out rivals, or the censorship of unfavorable opinions. I do have concerns about over-regulation, and Congress must always be very careful about regulating an industry in anticipation of a problem. Also, I do think that we will need to acknowledge future costs of internet infrastructure development, and who will pay for that build up. However, the internet occupies such a unique place in our lives that I’m open to some preventative measure to ensure that it remains a free, fair and neutral marketplace for ideas, products and services. I’m not certain that either the Snowe-Dorgan or the Stevens proposed amendments strike the appropriate balance between limited regulation and protection of a neutral internet. On this, as with so many other issues, the sides on each side of the argument are intensely polarized and as a result I fear that a true compromise may be impossible to reach at this point.

Sigh. I don’t know what this means. Does McGavick support the net neutrality amendment or not? Like, would he vote for the amendment?

Nude & Pregnant Britney: Tres Bazaar!

posted by on June 28 at 11:43 AM

A newly dyed Britney Spears strips down to her pregnant belly to grace the cover and inside pages of August’s Harper’s Bazaar. Check out this picture and more after the leap!


Continue reading "Nude & Pregnant Britney: Tres Bazaar!" »

Today in Vietnam War History

posted by on June 28 at 11:10 AM

Courtesy of The History Channel, a couple of big events on this day.

In 1965:

In the first major offensive ordered for U.S. forces, 3,000 troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade—in conjunction with 800 Australian soldiers and a Vietnamese airborne unit—assault a jungle area known as Viet Cong Zone D, 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The operation was called off after three days when it failed to make any major contract with the enemy. One American was killed and nine Americans and four Australians were wounded. The State Department assured the American public that the operation was in accord with Johnson administration policy on the role of U.S. troops.

In 1972:

President Nixon announces that no more draftees will be sent to Vietnam unless they volunteer for such duty. He also announced that a force of 10,000 troops would be withdrawn by September 1, which would leave a total of 39,000 in Vietnam.

The War is Over Pt. 2

posted by on June 28 at 10:55 AM

While the NYT is busy flagging Cantwell’s reelection bid against Republican challenger Mike McGavick as a “difficult” race, the signs that dissension within Cantwell’s own party—once thought to be a factor—seem to be petering out.

Last night, after debating whether or not to withhold an early endorsement of the D incumbent as a way to keep the pressure on—to get her to change her position on the war, the King County Democrats voted resoundingly—Cantwell needed a 2/3 vote for the early endorsement—to give her the nod. The vote (from lefty King County) was 35-9 according to delegates who were at the vote at the Renton Union Hall last night.

Typically, the KC Ds don’t endorse until late in the summer, after all the local districts have endorsed.

“We wanted to show our full support for our incumbent senator, she’s out there working for us everyday,” says Susan Sheary, chair of the KC Dems.

Handicapped Porn Star Challenges Barriers

posted by on June 28 at 10:25 AM

Encarna Berlin

“Encarna Conde does not fit the profile of your average silicone enhanced, pouting porn star. At 45, she is a late entry to that group of women who seek fame or fortune by performing sexual acrobatics and faking orgasms for the camera…. The reason for the fuss is that Encarna is a wheelchair user who has a musclecontrol disorder called ataxia. She is also president of the Association of Andalucian Ataxia Groups….Her decision to appear on screen with professional porn actors came after she wrote to Spain’s biggest porn producer to complain that disabled people never featured in his films.”

Well, the Guardian may be slightly snarky about it, but I think it’s great. I’ve had a number of handicapped clients over the years and the image of sexless person in the wheelchair was always troublesome to them. One man - in his forties, partially paralyzed - told me he had to make sure to hide all traces of sexual activity from his live-in helpers, because they would be shocked by the idea that he had a sex life!
So you just go, sexy Encarna.

One More for The Morning News

posted by on June 28 at 10:04 AM

From the living to the dead: The marine in Fahrenheit 9/11 was bombed to death in Iraq. As we all well know (and will ever really know), being dead is being totally nothing, which is why the Bible says that being a living dog is better than being a dead lion. Being something is infinitely better than being nothing. Farewell forever Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar.

Rapture Spam

posted by on June 28 at 9:59 AM

How will all us non-batshitcrazy non-Christians non-believers know what’s happening when the Rapture arrives? Who will explain all the piles of clothes scattered about? Thankfully, some good Christians have found a solution to this most vexing problem.

The Birth Of All That Is Us

posted by on June 28 at 9:36 AM

I’ve been reading Lewis Mumford’s The City in History. It’s a book that takes forever, not because of its length (576 pages), but because it begins with prehistorical human settlements and slowly (stone by stone, log by log, brick by brick) moves through the ages—Egypt, Mesopotamia, Athens, Rome, and so on and so forth. The cities developed by each of these stages are essentially dull cities, and reading about them requires several cups of coffee—the Hellenic polis, the temples, the fortification of towns—nothing really happens until the 19th century.

Now Mumford, an American historian who lived in Manhattan in the middle of the 20th century, had very little love for the subject of his most famous book, the city. For him, it is the source, the locus of so much that is bad in human history. For example, he argues that war is not natural but entirely social—it has its birth in the city. Without cities, there would be no such thing as war. Cities are also less about people and more about kings and princes who expend massive amounts of human energy on monuments that symbolize their power. Mumford mumbles and grumbles through each of these early concentrations of misery. But when he gets to the 19th century, he becomes hysterical:

“From the eighteen-thirties on, the environment of the mine, once restricted to the original site, was universalized by the railroad. Wherever the iron rails went, the mine and its debris when with them. Whereas the canals of the eotechnic phase, with their locks and bridges and tollhouses , with their trim banks and their gliding barges, had brought a new element of beauty into the rural landscape, the railroads of the paleotechnic phase made huge gushes: the cuts and embankments for the greater part remained unplanted, and the would in the earth was unhealed.”

But it is the 19th century that awakens this book. All of a sudden, humans are up and busy and doing things that amaze and make the pages fly:

“Food-chains and production-chains of a complicated nature are being formed through out the planet: ice travelled from Boston to Calcutta and tea journeyed from China to Ireland, whilst machinery and cotton goods and cutlery from Birmingham and Manchester found their way to the remotest parts of the earth. A universal postal service, fast locomotion, and almost instantaneous communication by telegraph and cable synchronized the activities of vast masses of men…”
Wow! Who cares about pharaohs and slaves. What’s exciting is this new race of capitalists and industrial workers. They will animate the great novels of that period, and force Western philosophy to finally abandon the endless path of ontology and turn to the information of sociology. Everything that matters—that speaks to us, that is us—makes its first appearance in the penultimate century of the last millennium.

Serving the President

posted by on June 28 at 9:35 AM

I’ve been wondering when Congress would throw a hissy about President Bush basically nullifying their powers. From the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Arlen Specter, said yesterday that he is “seriously considering” filing legislation to give Congress legal standing to sue President Bush over his use of signing statements to reserve the right to bypass laws.

Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, made his comments after a Judiciary Committee hearing on signing statements, which are official documents that Bush has used to challenge the constitutionality of more than 750 laws when signing legislation .

We’ll see if this actually goes anywhere (the smart money’s on “nope”), but it’s at least a small step in the right direction.

The Morning News

posted by on June 28 at 7:45 AM

Israel: Saving Private Gilad.

The GOP: Looking to condemn the New York Times

Maryland: Closely watching a local dam.

Seattle: In a giving mood.

Seattle Police: Conflicting stories about the hero off-duty cop.

Seattle Mariners: 39 wins, 39 losses. Whoo fucking hoo.

Ronaldo: Pretty fly for a ”fat” guy.

The Diamond Industry: scared of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Viagra: Not just for conservative blowhards anymore.

Cantwell Votes to Uphold First Amendment. NYT Says She’s in Trouble.

posted by on June 28 at 1:25 AM

A proposed Constitutional amendment to outlaw flag burning failed by just one vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. The Senate needed 67 votes (two-thirds majority) to send the proposed amendment to the states for ratification. The vote—to overrule a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said flag burning was protected by the First Amendment—failed 66-34.

The NYT article, about the close vote, name-checked Maria Cantwell as one of the senators against the amendment that’s “facing [a] potentially difficult race” this year.

Here’s what they wrote:

Eleven senators facing re-election this year opposed the amendment and several are facing potentially difficult races, including Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a Republican, and the Democrats Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii, Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.

(I’ve cut & pasted the NYT’s article in below in case the link doesn’t work.)

And here’s the roll call on the vote.

Sen. Patty Murray voted with Cantwell to uphold your First Amendment rights.

Of course, this is all symbolic. Proponents of the amendment don’t seriously contend that flag burning is common…or even a problem. And opponents don’t contend that people will be oppressed (literally) if they can’t go out and burn a flag.

It seems to me, though, that opponents like Cantwell win the argument over symbolism here. The flag represents our freedom—particularly our freedom to dissent. King George (of England) and all that. Passing a rule to squash dissent in the name of the very flag that represents that freedom is just plain dumb. Or backwards. Or Orwellian…or whatever you will.

Continue reading "Cantwell Votes to Uphold First Amendment. NYT Says She's in Trouble." »

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bewildered Bush

posted by on June 27 at 5:44 PM

I know, I know, laughing at pictures of Bush looking stupid is SO five years ago, but an AP photographer recently caught the president’s finest faces EVER in which Bush alternately exudes terror, repulsion, confusion and disgust while experiencing a hug from a mammoth-sized Merchant Marine.

Also noted — the marine received 4,872 demerits? Is hugging G.W. his final punishment or what?

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on June 27 at 5:24 PM

Here’s the latest from Hutch. As always, your prayers are welcome in the comments…


June 27, 2006

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Please pray for me as I travel to Indianapolis tomorrow to Exodus International Ministries to Homosexuals. We are expecting many protestors, so we need to cover this event with much prayer.

Also, an opportunity has arisen to work with the Russian church as they plan a marriage rally in Bellevue this October. Also, they are ready to join us in an initiative to repeal HB2661. Pray for God’s blessing on our relationship with them, as we work together for His glory.

Your Pastor,

Knock Knock

posted by on June 27 at 4:42 PM

Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has come up with an ingenious and slightly horrifying way to cram ever more of their clients’ products into your face hole—a door flier that makes it look like you’ve got unexpected pizza! Then, confused, you open the door and… BAM! The old fork in the eye.

Remember, if they open the door, it’s not breaking and entering, it’s just entering.


This concept is clearly ripe for hilarious abuse. Share your wacky ideas for how to use this next-generation technology in the comments.

(via The Raw Feed)

HUMP! Makes Fleshbot

posted by on June 27 at 4:37 PM


Fleshbot—the nation’s most trusted source for porn news and gossip—wrote up HUMP! today. Fleshbot even encouraged its vast, horny readership to enter HUMP!, which begs the question: Is Seattle’s amateur porn contest open to out-of-town filmmakers and wannabe porn stars and starlets?

Well, yes—I guess so. Anyone can enter HUMP! so long as they keep their films under eight minutes, don’t violate any of the rules (no animals, no children, no poop), and turn in all the required releases. (A full rundown of HUMP! rules and regulations can be found here.) But local filmmakers and wannabe porn stars and starlets do have an advantage over out-of-towners: EXTRA CREDIT!

One of the pleasures of last year’s HUMP! was watching how filmmakers cleverly weaved the extra-credit elements—cupcakes, sandwich cookies, tube socks, and a photo of Stranger receptionist Mike Nipper—into their films. Who can forget the cupcake fucking the sandwich cookie? Or all the hot chicks wearing nothing but tube socks? Or the guy fucking his female slave after covering her head with a paper bag that had Nipper’s picture taped to it? Ah, those were good times.

Well, three of this year’s extra-credit elements are much more Seattle-specific, which confers a distinct advantage on local filmmakers. Out-of-town filmmakers, if any choose to enter, are going to have a hard time coming by a Dick’s Drive-In bag, burger, or location shot; a T-shirt from Babeland; and a Washington State Ferry.

Kids These Days

posted by on June 27 at 4:23 PM

You know how it’s totally obvious that kids these days are total idiots, and even worse, that they got no damn soul?

It’s because they didn’t get to see Stevie Wonder funk up Sesame Street with a screamin’ Superstition when they were growing up. And this isn’t just some 3 minute radio edit, they stretched… it… out.



Also check out Stevie’s take on the Sesame Street song.


UPDATE: For some reason, the Superstition video has been made “private,” which sucks. If anyone can find it elsewhere, let me know.

Marijuana Muffins

posted by on June 27 at 4:21 PM

Why doesn’t our favorite office baker, Megan Seling, ever pull a stunt like this? C’mon, Megan—our receptionist isn’t an 86-year-old woman. He can take it.

“I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’m absolutely sure who holds the future.”

posted by on June 27 at 4:02 PM

This has to be seen—Star Jones announces that she is leaving The View, and her co-hosts pretend that 1. it’s a shock and 2. that they aren’t 100% thrilled to see her go. Star talked it over with Jesus, you see, and since the show is “moving in another direction for its 10th season” (read: all dykey and shit), so is Star. There hasn’t been a more horrifying ten minutes of television since Bush kept reading My Pet Goat on the morning of 9/11. Yeesh.

Burn Old Glory, Burn!

posted by on June 27 at 3:58 PM

As expected, the flag burning amendment failed in the Senate today. Unfortunately, it failed by just one vote.

Thankfully, if the anti-free speech fucktards in Congress do manage to soil the Constitution one day, this site has a number of handy ways to get around the amendment.

Found In Translation

posted by on June 27 at 3:42 PM

The reason why the Penguin edition of Andre Gide’s nouvelle La Symphonie Pastoral is great is because of Dorothy Bussy, the translator. I have read this version more times than the years I have lived, and can read good chunks of the French original not because I understand a lick of that language but because I’m so familiar with passages like this:

“She [blind Gertrude] told me later that when she heard birds’ song she used to suppose it was simply the effect of light, like the gentle warmth which she felt on her cheeks and hands, and that, without precisely thinking about it, it seemed to her quite natural warm air should begin to sing…”

and this:

“I took Gertrude with me through the forest to that fold in Jura where in the clear weather one can see through a curtain of branches and across an immense stretch of land at one’s feet, the wonder of the snowy Alps emerging from a thin veil of mist, The sun was already declining on the left when we reached our customary seat. A meadow of thick, closely cropped grass sloped downwards at our feet. Further off, a few cows were grazing; each of them among these mountain herds wears a bell at its neck.”
and this, the prime passage of the nouvelle:
“[While listening to the Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony] asked [blind Gertrude] to imagine the colors of nature in the same way—the reds and oranges analogous to the sounds of the horns and trombones; the yellows and greens like those of the violins, cellos, and double basses; the violets and blues suggested by clarinets and oboes. A sort of inner rapture now took the place of her doubts and uncertainties. ‘How beautiful it must be!’ she kept repeating.”

The only value nature (trees, wild animals, mountains) has for me is a literary one. I’m happy never to see another forest in my life, but life without access to pastoral literature like La Symphonie Pastoral would be unbearable. But that is not the point I want to make in this post. I want to point out, instead, that the translator of the Penguin version, Bussy (1886—1960), was a lesbian (and a major influence on Eleanor Roosevelt, her pupil at Souvestre). Which explains why the natural beauty of Gertrude, the orphan adopted by the narrator of the story, a country priest, is convincing. In the way that Bussy could not openly express her form of love in real life, the fictional priest, who is married, cannot openly love Gertrude; in place of actual love—actual desire, actual lust—he uses the codes of Christian love. The distance enhances Gertrude’s beauty, which conditions the beauty of the rural town, the priest’s home, and the seasons the gently arrive and depart. “I had not seen [the house] for fifteen years,” writes the country priest about the moment he first met the young woman who will unsettle his position with his family and God, “for none of my duties take me that way; I could not have said where it lay and it had so entirely dropped out of my mind that when I suddenly recognized it in the golden enchantment of the rose-fleck evening sky, I felt as though I had only seen it before in a dream.”

You can find this edition of La Symphonie Pastoral in most secondhand bookstores.

The Smart Car

posted by on June 27 at 2:13 PM


On sale soon in Seattle and a few other select cities, according to the New York Times. Cost: Probably between $12,000 and $15,000. Fuel efficiency: 46 mi./gal. (in city). Size: less than 9 feet long.

All About Rivers Cuomo’s Sex Drive

posted by on June 27 at 2:01 PM

When I first heard about it, Cuomo’s vow of celibacy definitely seemed like an overreaction to whatever rock-star angst he was dealing with. But now that I read more about it, the guy who sang, “What’s the deal with my brain/Why am I so obviously insane…” does sound a bit…weird, on the subject of sex and women.

If he’d called me, I could have made this whole celibacy thing easier on him. There are hi-tech chastity belts for men now that you can wear for extended periods — you can piss, go through airports, everything. The only thing you can’t do is get (very) hard or get off. It’s not my usual type of scene, but we could have worked something out.

However, since he’s now married, I’m sure he’s working out those two years of pent-up nerdy-rocker-boy lust on his loving wife. I hope she’s got some good lube.

I-920 Update

posted by on June 27 at 1:59 PM

Northwest Progressive Insititute’s Andrew Villeneuve was on KISW 99.9 FM (Seattle) this morning debating I-920 sponsor Dennis Falk and, evidently, the host.

I-920 would repeal the state’s estate tax, which affects about 250 families whose estates are valued at over $2 million. Among the arguments against repealing the tax: It would swipe about $40 million a year from public-school funding.

I’m guessing that’s what led to this bizarre exchange that Villeneuve exerpts on NPI’s blog.

Host: Well the bottom line is this: First of all, I think the reason the public schools system is the way it is is because we encourage people to continue to have babies ridiculously without any control - I would like to see something -

Me: How does that factor in here? (Host tries to talk over me)

Host: Listen my friend - you know what, our population base is coming from idiots who just think they can pop out a baby without being ready to have a baby - which pretty much is almost every case that’s out there, Hispanic or not.

Me: Really.

Host: Oh yes!

Me:: That’s a gross mischaracterization.

Host: Not at all. We have more single mothers in the state of Washington per capita than any other place in the country, there genius. And you know why? Because women think they can pop out kids any time they want, and they’re a drain on our system. Let’s be honest here. You wanna - if you wanna really shrink school sizes, then teaching people how to have families responsibly is the way you go. Not taking money from the rich - again, to fund organizations and governmental agencies that will reward people for being idiots and not being responsible. Which is what you’re doing.

Kubrick Before Kubrick Was Cool

posted by on June 27 at 1:30 PM

Care to see Stanley Kubrick’s rarely seen first film? You can find it (in all its glacial downloading glory) here.

Good Sign

posted by on June 27 at 12:21 PM


I spotted this message on a house along the Fremont Canal yesterday evening.

Pride 2006: The Movie

posted by on June 27 at 11:30 AM

As I wrote on the Slog yesterday, the 2006 Pride Festival at Seattle Center was 10 billion times better than any fests of yesteryear held at Volunteer Park.

Seattle Center Pride offered up an array of indelible images, from the numerous sweet queer families with newborns to the massive flesh gyration in the Center fountain. But for many festival attendees, the essence of Pride 2006 can be found in this YouTube video.

(Thanks to filmmaker Jake.)

Breaking Sleater-Kinney news

posted by on June 27 at 11:14 AM

Sleater-Kinney will announce at noon PST today that they are going on “indefinite hiatus” - read about it in Line Out.

McDermott’s Leak Case Moves to the Full Federal Appeals Court

posted by on June 27 at 10:42 AM

The Jim McDermott leak case (featuring a police scanner, a cell phone, a Waffle House restaurant, Bill Clinton, and a guy named Boehner) will be heard by the full U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. this September.

It’s an interesting First Amendment showdown, and one that I wrote about in The Stranger last month. The full court’s announcement this morning that it will revisit the most recent ruling in the case—which came in March, went against McDermott, and was delivered by a three judge panel of the Appeals Court—means that McDermott has one more stop before he finds himself at the U.S. Supreme Court defending the right to leak information of public importance.

The Root of All Evil

posted by on June 27 at 10:36 AM

dawkins.jpgRichard Dawkins’s razor-sharp (and often inadvertently funny) condemnation of religion (“the process of nonthinking called faith”), The Root of All Evil, is available on Google video
(Part 1 and Part 2). The series originally appeared in January on Channel 4 in the UK. Each half is 45 or so minutes of adamantly atheist entertainment.

Second Hand Smoke Kills

posted by on June 27 at 10:23 AM

Really, addicts, it does.

Second-hand smoke clearly kills people and the only way to control it is to ban all smoking in workplaces, the U.S. Surgeon-General said on Tuesday in report that puts the Bush administration on the side of smoking restrictions.

The report by Surgeon-General Richard Carmona, which echoed the forcefulness of a 1964 Surgeon General’s report that paved the way for mandatory cigarette warnings and advertising restrictions, detailed the effects of second-hand smoke and said no one should be forced to inhale it.

“The scientific evidence is now indisputable: second-hand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults,” Carmona told a news conference.

The report said it is impossible to protect nonsmokers even with designated smoking areas, making a workplace ban necessary. It does not offer specific legislative proposals.

Lapdances, on the other hand, hurt no one.

The Dino Rossi Strategy

posted by on June 27 at 10:15 AM

At his blog, West Sound Politics, Lary Coppola, editor and publisher of the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, explains why McGavick is going to beat Cantwell in November.

Here’s the money graph:

McGavick hasn’t really taken any positions on anything controversial or of any real substance. His strategy is extremely smart. The bottom line is this: Given the time until the election, McGavick’s poll numbers, his ability to avoid being pinned down on the issues, his ability to raise serious money, and most of all, his reasonable, likable demeanor — especially when contrasted to Cantwell — if this guy can meet and talk to enough moderate and/or conservative Democrats, he can win.

Thanks Postman.

Call it the Dino Rossi strategy. And, I agree, it could work.

P.s. I’m still waiting to hear back from the McGavick campaign to find out what McGavick’s position on net neutrality is. I gotta say, it’s a little startling that when I called McGavick’s campaign this morning, they weren’t prepared to talk about the issue yet. This is a major issue in the techie Puget Sound, with two of our Fortune 500 companies (Amazon and Microsoft) and one of our delegation (Rep. Jay Inslee), taking a leadership role on it. If he wants to replace an incumbent senator like Cantwell, who has a reputation for being plugged in on techie issues, he better start doing his homework.

K.Fed? Please Stop Rapping!

posted by on June 27 at 10:13 AM

As you know, Britney Spears has put A LOT of work into her current “I’m Not a Monster” Image Rehabilitation Tour. And what did she get out of it? Just a lot of people making fun of her Matt Lauer interview where she chews gum, blubbers like a baby, and is oblivious to a big garbage fly sitting on her eyelash. IT’S REALLY SAD! Especially when all she to do to prove how HORRIBLE and FUCKED UP her life is on a daily basis is show everyone this story from Life & Style magazine.

Insiders says hubby Kevin Federline is driving wife Britney Spears crazy with his nonstop rap­ping around the house — especially when she’s trying to have a serious conversation with him. “She says it’s way beyond a joke now,” says a Spears family friend. “She’ll be talking to him, and then he’ll burst into some rap rhymes without warning or apparent reason.

Omigod. Britney, I’m so sorry I ever made fun of you. At the time it just seemed like the thing to do. I blame peer pressure or maybe the Jews—now let me bust some funky lyrics for you! Rap Rap! Rappy-rap-rap! Rappity-rap-rap! RAP!


Eric Rofes Has Died

posted by on June 27 at 9:43 AM


The author, educator, activist, and leader of the gay men’s health movement died of natural causes yesterday at his home in Provincetown. It appears to have been a heart attack. More info here.

The Stranger clashed with Rofes over the direction of the gay men’s health movement, but we always respected his commitment to improving the lives of gay men and celebrating gay male sexuality. He wrote numerous books, the two most important being Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men’s Sexuality and Culture in the Ongoing Epidemic, and Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures. In 1999 Rofes wrote piece for us on barebacking—you can read it by clicking here.

The Morning News

posted by on June 27 at 7:50 AM

Support the Troops! Screw their widows.

George W. Bush gets caught spying on your bank accounts… and somehow it’s the media that have behaved “disgracefully.”

Katrina Cash: Flushed down the toilet.

Rush Limbaugh: Still poppin’ pills.

File Under “Nobody Cares”: Old lady in Olympia gets a dog.

Gaza: Israel massing troops at edges of Palestinian enclave.

Axl Rose: Guns ‘N Roses lead singer has an appetite for, uh, Swedish security guards.

Do it, JK! Rowling may kill off Harry Potter.

Naomi Campbell: Supermodel slaps sense into maid, ingrate maid sues.

What Will McGavick Say on Net Neutrality?

posted by on June 27 at 7:30 AM

The Senate Commerce Committee is taking up the Senate version of Jay Inslee’s net neutrality amendment this week. The amendment is being sponsored by Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND).

Cantwell is on the committee, and she has committed to supporting the amendment

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is the chair of the committee. Stevens is Cantwell’s nemesis (and Mike McGavick’s pal). Stevens offered his own net neutrality amendment, but it was a goofy sham. It didn’t mandate that the telcos treat all content providers the same…which is the definition of net neutrality.

Net Neutrality is popular in Seattle. Microsoft and Amazon are both lobbying for the Snowe/Dorgan amendment. Even Dave Reichert broke GOP ranks and supported Inslee’s amendment.

I wonder if McGavick will do a press release—like his CAFE standards fuck up — saying that Cantwell is a Johnny-come-lately to tech issues—which would be crazy, given that she was a star in the early ’90s in the House where she fought President Clinton’s clipper chip telephone eaves dropping program (!!)…

Or, will Mr. Civility send out a press release praising Cantwell for her excellent vote. Or will he criticize her, saying she should have gone with Stevens’s “compromise” …which again, was a bit of a joke.

Or, maybe, McGavick will say he called Snowe and Dorgan and orchestrated the whole net neutrality amendment himself… behind the scenes, and all.

Or, maybe he won’t say a word. We’ll see.

Called McGavick’s campaign, and they said net neutrality “isn’t something we’ve been asked about yet.” They said they’d call back later today to tell me McGavick’s position on the issue.

Sometimes A Cigar Is Not Just A Cigar

posted by on June 27 at 12:24 AM

If Rush wasn’t so hip-deep in denial he wouldn’t need the blue pills to get Mr. Happy to come out and play.

Hat tip to Roxanne of Rox Populi.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Local Treasures

posted by on June 26 at 7:37 PM

Seattle is lucky to have a writer like Charles Mudede living here and writing about our city. Go read Mudede’s article on the local hiphop label Mass Line.

Charles’s lead paragraph is about 4 defining hiphop moments in Seattle. I don’t know shit about hiphop, but I’m going to take the liberty of adding a 5th moment: Charles Mudede’s article on Mass Line. What we have here is a great writer who loves hiphop (and who is voting in his heart for locally produced hiphop to succeed), writing about something that’s going on—something that Mudede has wanted to be going on for years now: the emergence of a multi-culti label that represents a handful of intertwined hiphop groups with an apparent political mission statement.

That a wonderful writer like Mudede wanted this to happen, and that it’s now happening—presented the opportunity for one of those rare articles that becomes part of the story.

The news peg for Mudede’s story was Friday night’s Mass Line label showcase at the Showbox. The show sold out.

It’s the Thought That Counts

posted by on June 26 at 5:57 PM

A leather whip, a sniper rifle, six jars of fertilizer, and a copy of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook were among the gifts foreign leaders gave George Bush in 2004, according to The Guardian.

Dazed and Confused

posted by on June 26 at 5:48 PM

It appears that Rush Limbaugh isn’t living any cleaner these days

Sources have confirmed to CBS4 News that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.

Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when officials found the drugs, among them Viagra.

Via Drudge.

“Watch this Right Now”

posted by on June 26 at 4:12 PM

That’s the name of Fox’s new pilot, which is reportedly a “terrible rip off of Daily Show.”

It’s set to be hosted by conservative political commentator Laura Ingraham, who cannot have a hope in hell of rivaling Jon Stewart as far as hilarity, handsomeness, or magical specialness goes (because everyone knows Jon Stewart rides to work on a unicorn made of kittens).

I can’t wait to watch this not be funny.

How To Make Me Stop Reading

posted by on June 26 at 3:31 PM

Dick Kelley has been complaining that we’re not giving him enough coverage in The Stranger. Today, in what I assume is another installment in his campaign for more Stranger attention, he sent me an email that begins this way:


The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld Vermont’s right to regulate campaign finance, but struck down its contribution and spending limits as too low because they were mandatory.

This decision has nothing to do with either my refusal to accept contributions above $100 per person per election, or with my promise to introduce an Arizona-type Clean Campaign bill in the January, 2007, session…

“Something important happened today, but it had nothing to do with me” — not a great way to start a story pitch, Dick.

(The full email, just in case someone else wants to read all the way through, is in the jump.)

Continue reading "How To Make Me Stop Reading" »

Raging Trannies

posted by on June 26 at 3:15 PM

As if Hurrican Katrina wasn’t enough, New Olreans is being hit again:

The transvestites first appeared in March when they raided Magazine Street like a marauding army of kleptomaniacal showgirls, said Davis, using clockwork precision and brute force to satisfy high-end boutique needs.

Pot Tea

posted by on June 26 at 3:05 PM

Iced tea containing cannabis is about to go on sale in the UK. The tea—C-Ice Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea—is five percent of hemp flower syrup but only contains a tiny bit of THC. Anyone who tried to get high drinking this tea would drown first. But the anti-drug hysterics are, of course, hysterical.

But British anti-drug campaigners say that selling the tea is dangerous because it will give young people the impression that cannabis is commonplace.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to give kids the impression that pot—the most widely used and easily obtained recreational drug on the planet—is, you know, commonplace or anything.

Stay the Course

posted by on June 26 at 2:51 PM

Iraq is all my fault, I realize, but I feel obligated to post this: Despite the Bush visit, despite killing Zarqawi, despite an offer of amnesty/reconciliation, the violence in Iraq just keeps getting worse.

At least 57 people were killed in attacks and 10 students were kidnapped from their hostel in Baghdad, one day after the prime minister unveiled a peace plan aimed at easing the violence….

The first attack happened near Baquba in the village of Khairnabat, northeast of Baghdad, when a booby-trapped motorbike exploded in a marketplace killing at least 18 and wounding 20, a defense ministry source said. Baquba’s main hospital confirmed the toll and said most of the dead were children.

Shortly after a home-made bomb exploded in the main market of the city of Hilla, south of Baghdad, at least killing seven and wounding 13, according to the main hospital.

And in the fourth incident of mass abductions this month, gunmen arriving in five sports utility vehicles with tinted windows stormed into a hostel on Oqba bin Nafaa square in the capital’s Karradah district and abducted 10 students, who were singled out for being Sunnis, security officials said.

The broad daylight abduction occurred despite the fact that Karradah, like many of the capital’s principal districts, is filled with checkpoints manned by Iraqi soldiers as part of a massive operation launched on June 14 involving more than 50,000 troops.

Never enough troops on the ground, blah blah blah. Here’s what I had to say about the mess last August.

Lawsuit of the Day

posted by on June 26 at 2:44 PM

From the Washington Post

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former handyman has won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit over a penile implant that gave him a 10-year erection.

Charles “Chick” Lennon, 68, received the steel and plastic implant in 1996, about two years before Viagra went on the market. The Dura-II is designed to allow impotent men to position the penis upward for sex, then lower it.

But Lennon could not position his penis downward. He said he could no longer hug people, ride a bike, swim or wear bathing trunks because of the pain and embarrassment. He has become a recluse and is uncomfortable being around his grandchildren, his lawyer said.

In 2004, a jury awarded him $750,000. A judge called that excessive and reduced it to $400,000. On Friday, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed that award in a ruling that turned on a procedural matter.

Sure, Queer Pride Is Great, But…

posted by on June 26 at 2:29 PM

Straight girls need pussy too. I think I’ll buy several copies of this and give it to all the not-lesbian women I know who talk about how they want to get girls but claim not to know how.

Hardcore Hill

posted by on June 26 at 2:29 PM

What’s the dirtiest thing you saw at Pride? Boys in jocks dancing in the Seattle Center fountain? Bare-breasted dykes? Mark Finley’s mouth?

For certain residents of the Hill—anyone who lives on or walked down 15th last night—the dirtiest thing about Pride had to be Planet Booty. An anonymous fan of dirty, dirty gay sex projected hardcore gay porn—live action porn, dick going in and out of butt, thirty feet tall—on to the side of an innocent apartment building at 15th & Howell.


The show went on for hours and no one in the neighborhood called the cops. (Or at least we don’t think anyone did, since cops never came.)

When Kelly O showed up and started taking pictures, the person projecting the porn—who shall remain anonymous—leaned out of nearby building. “Don’t tell anyone,” he said. The porn projectionist was asking us to be discreet about the thirty-foot-tall, live-action, hardcore gay porn that he was showing the whole neighborhood.

Uh… okay. We’ll be discreet.

Today in Fox News

posted by on June 26 at 2:13 PM

What kind of journalist thinks our society needs less journalism?

Answer: John Gibson, of Fox News, who on today’s Big Story, will ponder the question, Freedom of the press gone too far?

Maybe tomorrow he’ll let farmers consider the question: Farming, gone too far? Or ask teachers: Education, gone too far?

But maybe it depends on your definition of journalism, and at Fox News, this constitutes journalism. Please read that story and tell me whether you think the reporter should have considered the possibility that the Idaho man purloined “The Joy of Gay Sex” not to make a political statement but because he likes the pictures.

Scissor Sisters

posted by on June 26 at 1:52 PM

This post probably belongs in Line Out, our music blog, but I don’t feel like I belong in Line Out… so I’m posting it here. The Scissor Sisters played a show in London last week, debuting stuff from their new—and totally fucking awesome—album, Ta Dah. So how did the famously fickle UK press treat the band?

The Sun: Sisters Act is Rock Solid… they have a huge hit on their hands.

ITV News: Scissor Sisters Back With a Bang.

Mirror: Scissor Sisters Still Cutting It… The filthy but gorgeous New Yorkers have been off the scene for almost a year but they’ve lost none of their sleazy magic.

The Loneliness of the Long-Winded Critic

posted by on June 26 at 1:46 PM

There are few things more depressing, from a movie critic’s standpoint, than to spend countless hours (well, ok, 3 or 4) and hundreds of words trying to get an idea across, only to then see that another writer has nailed it in a single sentence.

Case in point: “The ethical duties of Superman leave me cold; I just want to watch him catch a falling car.” Damn you, Anthony Lane. I’m off to read Harry Knowles in an attempt to feel better.

Edit: “Not only is traditional medicine of little to no use… due to his secret identity — those he protects with his identity… can’t be there for him.” It’s working already.

So It Wasn’t My Mother After All…

posted by on June 26 at 1:45 PM

I have two older brothers. It now appears that they, and not my mother, made me gay. Thanks, Billy & Eddie!

Ten years ago researchers made the startling discovery that the more elder brothers a boy has, the greater chance he has of being homosexual. For each additional brother that precedes him, a boy’s likelihood of growing up gay increases by a third.

At the time it was speculated that this was because boys with elder brothers are psychologically affected by their family dynamics in a way that influences sexual orientation.

But new research published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows this is not the case.

The link between fraternal birth order (FBO) and being gay only exists when brothers have the same biological mother. Having older adopted or stepbrothers with a different mother made no difference to whether a boy turned out gay or straight. However, brothers sharing the same mother but raised in a separate family still exerted an influence.

We can add this new info to the growing mountain of evidence that homosexuality is an in-born trait, and not some sort of cocksucking temper tantrum. It won’t satisfy the religous bigots, of course, but it will hopefully give pause to fundies who have large families. The more boys “God gives you,” the likelier it becomes that God is gonna give you a gay boy.

Adventures in Urban Transporation

posted by on June 26 at 1:23 PM

Last week I traveled to the fine city of Minneapolis, home of Prince, two-for-one beers, and light rail.

The light rail line, called the Hiawatha Line, runs from the Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis, out past both of the area’s airports, and finally deadends, fittingly enough, at the Mall of America. It’s a simple line with 17 stations, but it’s not a hassle and works great (just $1.50 and 25 minutes to the airports). My only complaint: A wretched, high-pitched shriek of an alarm that pierces the ear drums whenever a car’s door is closing. At 5:30 a.m., it’s not the most pleasant sound to experience 14 times.

Still, I’ll take hearing loss over my experience when trying to get back into Seattle from Sea-Tac, when bus 194—pretty much my only option unless I felt like forking over something close to $60 for a cab ride—broke down near Safeco Field.

Thankfully, as our afflicted bus made its way out of Sea-Tac we passed major construction on our very own light rail line, under which a massive banner promised: “Ride the Rail to the Airport in 2009!”

It may be long overdue—and will no doubt be way over budget by the time it’s done—but if our light rail works as well as the one in Minneapolis, all will be forgiven. Just keep the ear drum piercing to a minimum, okay Sound Transit?

From the Mailbag

posted by on June 26 at 12:51 PM

A publicist for the University of Wisconsin press writes:

Dear Editor/Producer,
As I am sure you are already aware, Aaron Spelling, one of television’s most successful and prolific producers, died last Friday at the age of 83.

Actually, I didn’t know this. (Why am I learning it from a publicist for the University of Wisconsin Press? Because they recently published a book about working in Hollywood by a guy who is available “to share his experiences with the legendary Spelling.”)

Responsible for some of the most successful television shows of all time, Spelling was known for his uncanny ability to produce winning series after winning series. As a result, he has been both admired and highly criticized for his talents as a writer and producer. Either way, television and America definitely would not have been the same without him…

I merely offer that the Brenda years were the best.

The NYTimes on “Green Upgrades”

posted by on June 26 at 12:37 PM

Because recycling is confusing! (More on so-called “climate neutrality” programs here and here.

In Defense of a Certain Rabbit Who’s Running Scared

posted by on June 26 at 12:33 PM

It’s not “in” to say this, especially post Hitchens’ Atlantic piece, but I like John Updike. I’m glad that he continues to exist. One of my friends raises an imaginary gun to her temple whenever The New Yorker publishes a new story by him. Former Stranger staffer Nate Lippens used to say: “Too male, too pale, to stale, too Yale,” which still makes me laugh. Paul Constant has a review of Updike’s Terrorist in The Stranger that comes out in a couple days, and I don’t want to give anything away, but the sub-headline of the review is: “Newsflash: John Updike Is Not ‘With It.’”

What inspires me to raise an imaginary gun to my temple, more often than not, is the Sunday New York Times Book Review, which was so crashingly boring this week I can’t bring myself to revisit it. The only thing I read to the end? On the last page, an essay by Updike commenting on that article by Kevin Kelly on the cover of the New York Times Magazine a couple weeks ago—the one about the end of physical books as we know them. That article was annoying, especially the part where—and Updike takes Kelly to task for this—Kelly describes that, once all books ever written by anyone are owned by everyone on the universal library of all written knowledge or whatever, copies of books are no longer going to be how writers make money. Writers will instead make money on “performances, access to the creator, personalization…” This is presented as an exciting development: more fetishization of the writer as opposed to the writing. Sounds like a goddamn nightmare. Kelly is the “senior maverick” for Wired magazine, and I bet he watches a lot of TV.

Incidentally, the Updike piece was adapted from a talk he gave at BookExpo America a couple weeks ago (a bookseller convention that Paul Constant ate pâté at).

And here’s a link for anyone who wants a lot more information about Updike’s career than you probably need.

UPDATE: I just found—on that abovelinked Updike page (actually, a sub-page called What’s New in Updikiana) a link to this rebuttal to John Updike on Time magazine’s website. Now, I loves me some Sean Wilsey, and he makes a lot of good points and a couple of choice digs (Updike is “a writer who hasn’t actually been edited for decades”), but Sean, what about the whole making-money issue? How do you feel about selling personal access to yourself as your only way of making a living? (This particular issue is complicated by you, Sean, since your book is a memoir—which is, you know, a way of selling to other people access to yourself.)

Black HelicopterCon 2006

posted by on June 26 at 12:28 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - They wore T-shirts asking “What Really Happened?,” snapped up DVDs titled “9/11; The Great Illusion,” and cheered as physicists, philosophers and terrorism experts decried the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks that shook America to its core.

Some 1,200 people gathered at a Los Angeles hotel on the weekend for what organizers billed as the largest conference on the plethora of conspiracy theories that see the 2001 attacks on Washington and New York as, at best, official negligence, and at worst an orchestrated U.S. attempt to incite world war.

“There are so many prominent people who are incredibly well-respected who have stated that the evidence is overwhelming that 9/11 was an inside job,” syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones told a news conference.

“There are hundreds of smoking guns that people need to be made aware of,” said Jones, calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and charging that mainstream media had been slow to cover the growing movement of 9/11 skeptics.

The “9/11 and the Neo-Con Agenda” conference comprised two days of seminars, video presentations and talks by groups including “Scholars for 9/11 Truth,” and an appearance by actor Charlie Sheen.

Note to conspiracy theorists: When Lt. Topper Harley is your big name guest speaker, your convention’s got problems.

Local Girl Makes Good…Maybe

posted by on June 26 at 10:58 AM


CBS has announced that the new cast for the next season of the reality show Rockstar will include Portland’s most eccelectic, erotic export: Storm Large. She makes regular appearences in Seattle and has a weekly show in Portland. Naturally, The Mercury caught on to her first, but we’re rather fond of her too (see a recent Up & Coming I wrote about her here).

She’s a talented, obscenely charismatic performer with a beautiful, dramatic voice, but I have no doubt that CBS execs were as impressed with her beautiful, dramatic appearance as they were with her vocal talents. So what exactly is she competing for? The winner will become the lead singer for a new super group ingeniously named “Supernova” and featuring drummer Tommy Lee, former Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, and former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. I’m no fan of reality TV, but I might be willing to endure the presence of icky judge Dave Navarro to watch some of it this time around. The premier episode airs next Wednesday, July 5th.

The Pinkest Day of the Year

posted by on June 26 at 10:19 AM

Due to my reliance on leisurely Sunday mornings at home, I didn’t make it to the downtown Pride Parade until nearly 2:00 p.m., when I got to watch the last bits of the parade funnel into Seattle Center for the festival. And while I can’t weigh in on the success of the (smartly) relocated parade, I can testify that having the post-parade festival land in Seattle Center is ten billion times better than having it land in Volunteer Park.

One li’l reason: Seattle Center is designed to accomodate huge crowds of people and festivals, and offers an array of environments for visitors to explore, whereas Volunteer Park offered only monolithic, overcrowded parkness, with all the rickety food stands and Honey Buckets that implies. And the Center’s array of environments put the festival’s wealth of gay (or at least gay-friendly) diversity on full display, from the dozens of gay families with babies taking breathers in the air-conditioned Center House to the shirtless revelers in the fountain to the alterna-queers enjoying the world-class people-watching from the Beer Garden. Add to this the baseline thrill of having the Pride Festival not in the gay ghetto but in Seattle fucking Center and you’ve got a fest even the most cynical, over-it queers can look forward to attending again.

Not only is Seattle Center big enough to hold a gazillion gay people comfortably, it’s big enough to simultaenously host other, non-gay events, such as KISS 106.1’s BFD Summer Bash, the kiddie-friendly pop extravaganza that took over Key Arena yesterday evening. On the roster were a whole bunch of young pop artists I either didn’t know or didn’t care about (Nick Lachey, Ashley Parker Angel, All-American Rejects) and one I love to death: Pink, who I slipped in to see on a fortuitously acquired press pass and who kicked fucking ass.

It was a most heartening end to a surprisingly effective Pride Day: Watching the pair of 12-year-olds to my left react to Pink’s ditz-bashing “Stupid Girls” like young hippies first hearing “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (or whatever song first explodes your notion of what a song can do) , then gawking in awe as Pink plopped herself down on a stool to serenade her teenyboopper audience with “Dear Mr. President,” her nouveau would-be update of “How Do You Sleep?,” only instead of John Lennon bitching about Paul McCartney, it’s a pop princess calling deep bullshit on the leader of the free world. To all those who diss the crudeness of Pink’s political expression: Duh. She’s not Camille Paglia, she’s a top 40 pop star (one that can totally deliver the goods live, no less), and she’s exposing her target audience to more grit and substance than all her peers combined. Plus, the bitch can sing—like, SING sing, the kind of singing you feel privileged to be in the same room with. By the time she got around to the “Dear Mr. President” couplet—”What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away?/And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?,” eliciting roars of support from the teen-packed house—I was ready to nominate her to the Supreme Court.

All in all, the best Pride Day I’ve ever had in this town. Congrats and thanks to all the folks who made the dream of a non-ghetto parade a reality, and God bless you, Pink.

The Greatest Song Ever Written

posted by on June 26 at 9:48 AM

It’s hot today. SO LET’S LAUGH!!

Thanks to Lance for sharing this joyful message with the world.

Much to Say About Pride

posted by on June 26 at 8:44 AM

On the theory that a lot of people with strong opinions about Pride were either passed out or otherwise occupied yesterday, I’m going to do another opinion-soliciting post. Let it out, homos and homo-watchers…


Was the move downtown a good or bad thing? Was the Seattle Center beer garden better than the gay ghetto beer gardens? Was Sunday a “BLOWOUT success,” as one of our commenters put it yesterday? And were you too feeling “SHAMED and HORRIFIED” that Mark “Mom” Finley provided the color commentary on UPN? Were there enough drag queens? Also: Did you see that hot dyke cop dancing in the fountain in full uniform?

More 43rd District Endorsements

posted by on June 26 at 8:22 AM

Lynne Dodson—she of the “Send a Teacher to Olympia” yard signs—has received the sole endorsement from the Washington Education Association. It’s another big endorsement for Dodson, who’s collected quite a few already.

But will she get the nod from the Washington Federation for Quality Campaign Photography? Something tells me that one is going to be an uphill battle…


The Morning News

posted by on June 26 at 8:00 AM

Iraq: Amnesty is Out, Reconciliation is In.

Iraq II: Republicans defeat Dem plan for troop withdrawal. Pentagon adopts it.

Iraq III: Beheadings are back.

Buffet’s Billions: He’s giving `em away.

Disgruntled Seattle Smokers: Move to Germany, the nicotine addict’s paradise.

World Cup: England defeats Ecuador or Uruguay or—oh, who gives a shit.

King George: He may graciously allow the Senate to “review” his illegal wiretapping program.

Tom Cruise’s Most Recent Ex-Wife: Nicole Kidman remarries “in a traditional Catholic ceremony.” Can divorced people do that? Can Scientologists do that? Can Kidman marry a heterosexual?

Lance Armstong: Okay, he had cancer. But is he a total asshole or what?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fear of Pickles

posted by on June 25 at 11:52 PM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you have a major psychological problem, get yourself to a daytime talk show, quick! There are experts standing by to help you. Maury Povitch, husband of this woman, is such an expert. In this video he demonstrates his highly evolved technique for curing someone of extreme pickle phobia (no, seriously) and getting big laughs at the same time.

Watch and learn.

(via BoingBoing.)

You Have a Friend in You

posted by on June 25 at 8:59 PM

Apparently this is a video shown at the end of a Scientology orientation session. Watch it quick before YouTube is sued into bankruptcy.

“If you leave this room after viewing this film, and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid, but you can do it. You can also dive off a bridge and blow your brains out. That is your choice.

Got Something To Say About Pride?

posted by on June 25 at 12:49 PM

Get it off your chest…


Get it out of your hair…


You’ll feel better.