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Archives for 07/02/2006 - 07/08/2006

Saturday, July 8, 2006

The War is Over Pt. 3

posted by on July 8 at 4:39 PM

Anti-war candidate Mark Wilson, who had been challenging Sen. Maria Cantwell in the run-up to the Democratic primary, has decided to endorse Cantwell.

Arts in America

posted by on July 8 at 2:40 PM

The Stranger Suggests:

As the president of the Stranger Negro Club, I want to give Choklate’s new CD, Choklate, our full endorsement. Three reasons why the CD won the club’s support: (1) Vitamin D organized the music; (2) it has a guest appearance by Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na; and (3) the singer not only draws from the rich tradition of the black voice, but contributes to it. Choklate is the soul sister of the year. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm, $8, 21+.) CHARLES MUDEDE


The Guggenheim will open a Gehry-designed museum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2012. It will be the largest Guggenheim in the world. (“The project poses some striking cultural juxtapositions, bringing a museum named for a powerful Jewish-American family and designed by a Jewish architect to the capital of an Arab country that refuses diplomatic ties with Israel…”)

Dolly Parton calls the new rollercoaster in development at her amusement park “the most exciting thing to come out of these hills in a long, long time.”

Modigliani built anatomically impossible women.

The star of the National Ballet of Marseille’s Metapolis II is a set built by Zaha Hadid.

The song currently playing at Vivace is “Big Dipper” by Built to Spill. (Here is some information about the Big Dipper.)

Of Events Both Fun and Not

posted by on July 8 at 12:37 PM

Are there any Seattle metro-area soccer hooligans having a World Cup House Party tomorrow morning? You should invite, if only because I’ve never cracked a beer before noon.

Or, alternately, if you hate fun, today’s the big day for The Pioneer Square Fire Festival. You’d better hurry on down, though…you’ve already missed the two-hour marching band extravaganza and the saxophone-led rendition of “The Girl From Ipanema.” God help us all.

UPDATE: My coworker just came back from his lunch break wearing a child-size Bellevue Fire Department Fire Fighter’s Hat. Looks like there’s fun to be had in Pioneer Square, after all…if you broadly readjust your definition of ‘fun.’

Friday, July 7, 2006

Seeing-eye Dog

posted by on July 7 at 6:47 PM

Remember the Museum of Glass’s dog show last summer, with work by William Wegman, David Gilhooly, and Karen Willenbrink-Johnson? Seems that the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has organized a bigger one with the same “Best in Show” name, and today’s NYT gives the 50 paintings from Tiepolo to Stubbs to Warhol and Hockney some puppy love.

Does this somehow redeem, by association, the show that stayed up at the Museum of Glass for 3 1/2 dog years?

No. Bad dog! Bad dog!

(Hat tip to Mike.)

In other dog-and-Tacoma art news, the Tacoma Art Museum has acquired Scott Fife’s 12-foot gray puppy for its permanent collection. Fife’s TAM show was in late 2004, and at the time, I wrote,

The artist made only one work explicitly for this exhibition, “Leroy the Big Pup.” Leroy’s improbably sinuous form, made with painstaking effort, is all warm puppy. But the cold, distracting surface resembles patchwork airplane construction. The animal whose super-sized charm is being celebrated is also being dissected. Fife will not let a viewer forget how objects and meanings are made and unmade.

Fife is terrific—a Seattle artist who has deserved what recognition he’s gotten in the past few years. Check out the images from his last show at Platform here, and this is Leroy himself at TAM.


Good dog.

There’s A Man Out There

posted by on July 7 at 6:12 PM

He has longish, straight blonde hair, his name is Linas Phillips, he’s a local filmmaker, and he’s walking around the block of the Northwest Film Forum for twenty-four hours—from noon today until noon tomorrow. He’s taking pledges to help his film Walking to Werner, which is about hiking from Seattle to Los Angeles to find Werner Herzog (and which Annie Wagner liked). Pledges start at 25¢ for every hour he circumnavigates the block.

Helpful Gadgets

posted by on July 7 at 5:31 PM

A long-overdue invention.

RE: All Children Are Artists

posted by on July 7 at 4:55 PM

German women make much more sense to me.

Today in Anti-Terrorism

posted by on July 7 at 4:04 PM

The FBI claims to have thwarted a plan to blow up train tunnels and flood lower Manhattan.

And some valiant passengers subdued a man who tried to ram his way into the cockpit of a Delta plane. The twist: he was a US citizen and an active duty soldier.

All Children Are Artists

posted by on July 7 at 3:50 PM


“The most effective form of birth control I know is spending the day with my kids.” —Jill Bensley

Bad Vitamin Water, Bad

posted by on July 7 at 3:34 PM

Someone in the office grabbed this Vitamin Water, in hopes of cooling some “hangover hot-pipes” and noticed it was “rotten”. Does water “rot”? What the hell is that floating around in there? vitamin.jpg

The Oldest Crow in the World…

posted by on July 7 at 3:12 PM

…has died.

In related news, he never got to fly.

Kelly Clarkson: Too Fat For Vitamin Water?

posted by on July 7 at 2:17 PM

Kelly Clarkson.JPG

If this is true, this is bullshit. There’s no way Kelly Clarkson weighs more than 130 pounds—at the very most.

This really blows, because I’ve only recently discovered the amazing hangover-healing powers of Vitamin Water and now I’m going to be hard-pressed to give them my money. Fuck you, Vitamin Water.


posted by on July 7 at 2:10 PM

The creepy/sad/pathetic/but mostly creepy trailer for the new Rocky sequel, Rocky Balboa.

I think he has an eye booger.

Audible Up & Comings

posted by on July 7 at 1:57 PM

It’s not the snappiest of names, but the Stranger’s new feature called Audible Up & Comings is a great way to check out some local bands playing in town this week. On the weekly show I, Megan Seling, go through the calendar and pick a few of my favorite bands who are also featured on the Stranger’s Band Page, and play them for you. Then, should you hear something you like (which hopefully you will, I try to get a pretty good mix of genres), I give you all the show info you need. All you have to do is click and listen, no pesky reading required!

We’ve only done two shows so far, so I still sorta sound like an awkward dork, and I apologize for that. But it can only get better from here! (To some degree, since I sorta am a dork—but not a hippie, Josh Feit, I was born in 1980!)

This week’s show features Sindios, Joy Wants Eternity, Velella Velella, the Lonely Forest, and more. You can listen to it here.

And if you’re in a band, be sure to get some of your own songs posted at, so you could maybe be featured on an U&C show!

Naming Hippies

posted by on July 7 at 1:26 PM

Yesterday, I described soon-to-be-gone Seattle Weekly editor-in-chief Knute Berger as having a ponderous, hippie-vibe that was at odds with the self-consciously macho shtick of his new bosses. Thus, his recent resignation. However, my assertion sparked a conniption fit at the Weekly, and they demanded that I “Name” the hippies there!!!

I don’t really know anyone at the Weekly, but far freakin’ out: Turns out it’s The Stranger that’s actually crawling with hippies. And proud of it.

1. Stranger Copy Editor Kim Hayden: She makes her own clothes and doesn’t wear deodorant.
2. Stranger Senior Copy Editor Gillian Anderson: She went to Evergreen.
3. Stranger Theater Editor Brendan Kiley: He’s a guy, and he’s the theater editor.
4. Stranger Associate Editor David Schmader: Where’s the roach clip? The guy owns 30 Dylan albums and more than one bong.
5. Stranger News Writer Erica C. Barnett: Bikes everywhere. Green politics. For her vacation, she just spent the week camping (probably eating gorp) at a commune in Northern California.
6. Stranger Music Writer Megan Seling: She’s wearing a checkered bandana on her head today.
7. Me: Favorite record album is “Electric Music for the Mind & Body” by Country Joe and the Fish, 1967.
8. Stranger Film Editor Annie Wagner: Obviously, the biggest hippie on staff—strict vegetarian, Dean-delegate, lefty intellectual who doesn’t wear makeup. If this was 1970, she’d be defiantly burning her bra & writing a manifesto about it.

Stranger Associate Editor Charles Mudede insists he’s not a hippie. But the guy likes reggae. Oh excuse me, “Dub.”

The Art of Burial

posted by on July 7 at 12:46 PM

This is a comment to my most recent Line Out post about a musician whose work has captivated me since first hearing it back in early April, Burial:

the imagery conjured up by Burial’s music is so vivid and hanuting. i’ve never been able to visualize music (without chemicals) in the way this music touches my imagination. it’s both alien and deeply personal. living and dead… last night i sat on my sofa, eyes closed, imagining lost worlds, muggy urban afternoons passing by at warp speed and the sound of humanity suffering. nothing sounds good right after you listen to this album. it may not always be an album i return to year after year, but for now, it’s the most provocaive, emotional music i’ve ever heard.

Burial is my mission in life.
(Burial is available at Easy Street on Queen Anne and can also be downloaded from Bleep.)

Mid-Day Repast

posted by on July 7 at 12:37 PM

afternoondelight.jpgBy local philanthropist Kelly Crabtree, who describes this still-life composition as “My finest work, and my gift to the world.”

Rose Lohan: The Artist Formerly Known as “Lindsay”

posted by on July 7 at 12:04 PM

lindsay-lohan.jpgSorry Scientologists! Madonna has snagged Lindsay Lohan, and has indoctrinated her into the Kabbalah religion. And to celebrate, Lindsay now has a new Kabbalah name, which is “Rose.” So, no more “Lindsay,” it’s “Rose,” thankyouverymuch. (Sidenote: Her Kabbalah name for “Fire Crotch” is now “Fire Bush.” GET IT?? Moses? Burning Bush? Jewish things?? Huh?? Ahhhhh… forget it.)

Critical Evidence

posted by on July 7 at 11:50 AM

Given that K.C. Sheriff’s detectives arrested Zack Treisman for a serious felony (assaulting an officer), it’s a little curious that the K.C. Prosecutor’s office didn’t move forward yesterday with any charges. Treisman’s arraignment was cancelled yesterday, and the K.C. prosecutor’s office told me they need more time to review the case.

Review the case? K.C. Sheriff spokesman Rodney Chinnick sounded pretty convinced when I spoke to him earlier this week (and pretty exercised) that Treisman had “choked and punched an officer.”

Treisman is the Critical Mass cyclist who—thinking a fellow biker was being attacked by a citizen—wrestled with what turned out to be an undercover K.C. detective.

Perhaps the reason the prosecutor’s office has hit pause is this: Treisman’s attorney, David Speikers, has over 20 sworn statements from eye witnesses who contradict the K.C. sheriff’s account that the the plain clothes detectives identified themselves before tackling biker Jace Brien.

Here’s some typical testimony from a Critical Mass rider and witness named Mike Hahn:

“As the riders corked, I could see the driver of the van (white male, large build, blondish hair and facial hair) shout at them and throw his hand up in the air. He then almost immediately flung his door open violently and charged toward the corking cyclists…The van driver was yelling at the cyclists very loudly, and seemed to be enraged. The driver had not identified himself as an officer. I could see that there were other occupants in the van who had not yet stepped outside. All (including the driver) were dressed casually with no visible indication of their status as officers.

What’s notable about the testimony is that none of it mentions the siren blasts or air horn blasts that the Sheriff’s office assured me were sounded at three different times before Brien was tackled.

In fact, one new surprise witness—not a member of the Critical Mass ride, but a motorist named Kathleen Ridihalgh who claims to have been stopped behind the unmarked Sheriff’s van at the Belltown intersection (Vine St. & Western) where the arrests took place—provided this testimony after hearing the Sheriff’s office account in the news:

“The van went into the path of bicycles and the van occupants jumped out fast and aggressive. I did not hear a siren. At that point I thought, ‘should we get out and help the bicyclists?’”

At a Critical Mass rally yesterday outside the K.C. jail, I spoke to Katherine Bauman, a 19-year-old biker who had “corked” the intersection with Brien. She said the van honked and honked, but there was no siren blast. “They honked and charged out of the car,” she says. “They said nothing official [before tackling Brien]. He said, ‘get the fuck out of the intersection.’ Other bikers were yelling for the police.”

I asked the K.C. prosecutor’s office if the overwhelming testimony had a role in their decision to postpone the arraignment hearing. Spokesman Dan Donohoe said he couldn’t comment on evidence, but said they felt comfortable taking more time because Treisman was not a flight risk.

I think part of the confusion of the detective’s identity comes down to the fact that their badges looked more like hiphop accoutrements than police I.D. One witness writes: “Attacker #1 was a male caucasion, extremely large stocky build, with…flashy jewelry including chains and rings, baggy ‘gangsta’ clothing…”

In the photos I’ve seen, the officers don’t have flashy jewelry, but rather, huge badges on long necklaces.


Arts in America

posted by on July 7 at 11:43 AM

In today’s Stranger Suggests:

‘Strangers with Candy’
Strangers with Candy is basically just an extra-long, perfectly passable bonus episode of the original TV series, which means, of course, that it’s fucking hysterical. This “prequel” guest stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but the reason to see it is still Amy Sedaris, who plays a fortysomething ex-junkie high-school student who’s “moist as a snack cake down there.” (Varsity Theatre, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755.) LINDY WEST


Leonard Cohen puts out.

Susan Sontag’s On Photography: Still explosive.

A new Salvador Dali museum may have “pumps that are able to spurt out water that will spell out Dali in the air… Or it may dribble in an obscene way. We don’t know. It will definitely get people wet…” [Fun fact: The word “eclectic” is misused in this article.]

Paris Hilton sings an awful song, dances with trees, rolls around in sand.

And the Met—in case you’re following this—says their Duccio’s Madonna and Child is not a forgery.

Prince Admits He’s Gay!

posted by on July 7 at 11:35 AM

Not this Prince, who’s been linked with more hot women than you’ve wanked over in Swank (including her, her, and, before she went plural, her.)

No, the prince who’s come trotting out of the closet is India’s Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, a member of one of the country’s richest royal families, who publicly announced his homosexuality last month, in defiance of India’s 145-year-old law forbidding any and all same-sex sex.

Following his announcement, the 40-year-old Prince Manvendra was not only disowned by his family, he had the pleasure of reading of his fate through a “disinheritance notice” placed by his parents in an Indian newspaper. “Henceforth, no one must refer to my name as mother of Manvendra,” read one notice signed by the prince’s mother. “If any individual or organization dares to do so, it will invite contempt proceedings.”

Despite the hideously public rejection, Prince Manvendra seems to be doing well, telling Reuters that he’s found happiness among the gay community in the western state of Gujarat, and is not interested in his vast, lost inheritance.

Good for him. Full story here.

Howard Dean Redeems His Scream

posted by on July 7 at 9:35 AM

Howard Dean is officially exonerated of his legendarily freakish scream, thanks to the brave, wise, and concise statement he made yesterday in response to the New York Court of Appeals ruling against gay marriage. (Note the strategic avoidance of the word “gay,” and the heartening inclusion of the word “bigot.”)

“As Democrats, we believe that every American has a right to equal protection under the law and to live in dignity. And we must respect the right of every family to live in dignity with equal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law. Today’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing, but it does not end the effort to achieve this goal.”

Full story and statement here.

Blart and the British Vagina

posted by on July 7 at 9:00 AM

Blart is an occasional feature in the vis-art section that captures a quick thought that applies to a single object. It has been devoted to a biblical murderess amid “the neutered aftershock of futurism,” to “craniopagus, a kind of facial fusion, which is very uncomfortable and extremely rare, though not unheard of,” to an American revolutionary murder victim and Charlie Brown, and now to Todd Simeone’s and Nietzsche’s “moment of ‘chance itself.’”

I named the feature Blart because I wanted the writing to feel like it had the rush of blurting to it, like someone was blurting something out about art.

Except that it appears that I did not invent the word Blart after all (such hubris), and in fact, that the word has several colorful uses in the land of the queen mum. Yes.

The Morning News

posted by on July 7 at 7:01 AM

London marks a grim anniversary today. Meanwhile, Lebanese officials say they’ve arrested a man they claim was planning an attack on New York’s transportation systems.

In Mexico, conservatives have declared victory. Liberals vow to challenge the final tally in court.

North Korea continues to talk smack. Japan and South Korea smack back.

June’s job growth wasn’t as good as expected.

Ground will be broken today on Nickels’s folly the South Lake Union streetcar.

King County prosecutors want more time to decide whether they’ll charge the Critical Mass biker arrested last week.

Citizens for More Important Things dropped off more than 20,000 petitions yesterday, leaving just two more nails left to be hammered into the Sonics’ coffin.

Microsoft is reportedly set to take on the iPod with a device of its own. Said device is rumored to be slightly smaller than a Volkswagen.

And finally, today’s cheery story: Girls in Cameroon are having their ”breasts ironed” with hot stones to avoid tempting rapists. Happy Friday.

Michigan Is for Gaylords

posted by on July 7 at 6:06 AM

Yesterday we drove straight from Felch, Michigan, to Gaylord, Michigan. It wasn’t quite as exciting as it sounds.


Downtown Gaylord.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Five to Four Revisited

posted by on July 6 at 5:48 PM

Erica C. Barnett is on vacation. Sooooo, today, I got to revisit my FivetoFour days—that is, the days when I did a City Hall column, and had to go down to city hall all the time.

Here’s what I got at city hall today:

Best Quote: “They’re thugs!” —Council Member Peter Steinbrueck on the K.C. detectives who arrested the Critical Mass bikers last Friday. “Let us take care of our own business.”

Hottest Issue: It’s a toss up between Peter Steinbrueck’s proposal to make city dept. heads get reconfirmed by council (Jan Drago says she’s for it…except in the cases of the police chief and the fire chief) & Nickels’s proposal to lower ethics standards for boards and commissions so that members only have to disclose potential conflicts of interest… as opposed to recusing themselves. A crew of Nickels staffers—including legal counsel Regina Labelle— was on the floor lobbying council members on the issue.

What do people think about the big Ron Sims proposal for the North lot? It’s about time!

Biggest change since I last haunted the floor: Team Nickels has a council liason (AKA lobbyist) that council actually likes. Her name is Emelie East, and one fawning council aide—an aide for a council member who detests Team Nickels—described East as “absolutely charming…I wanted to go out to coffee with her immediately.”

Festering Issue: Council President Nick Licata’s outright campaigning for I-91, the anti-Sonics subsidy initiative. “If he spent as much time being council president as he did on this…” Council Member Drago groused, handing me a Yes on I-91 mailer she got with Licata’s face plastered on it.

Proof that These People Lead the Most Boring Lives in the World: The outright giddiness caused in one office by the irony that longtime U.W. antagonist Matt Fox had written a letter to the city earlier in the week siding with the U.W. against a 520 expansion proposal (the Pacific Street Interchange proposal) that would disrupt the campus.

Erica! Please get back here!

Be Movie Extra, Share Screen With Long Duk Dong

posted by on July 6 at 5:16 PM

Yes, you.


OK, to tell the truth, even if you show up at the Capitol Hill bar Barca at 11 am on Tuesday (July 11) to be an extra, you will not get to meet Gedde Watanabe, the now 51-year-old Utah native who was so ridiculously abused in the movie Sixteen Candles, but you will be in the same film with him. The movie is a short feature comedy called Fortune Hunters, by Seattle writers/filmmakers Thom Harp and Mike “I’m-A-Hall-and-Oates-Man” Standish.

I kid because I love. Standish is a friend of mine. Unfortunately for him, the Hall and Oates love is no joke. It extends also to Huey Lewis & the News. But his film has gotten support from just about every corner, including city and county grants and sponsorship help from the Northwest Film Forum. The script was a finalist in both the Independent Feature Project’s Spotlight Award and ITVS Open Call. The oldest family-operated fortune cookie factory in Seattle is involved—for real.

And have we mentioned Gedde Watanabe is starring? With him are Kelvin Yu (The Shield, Las Vegas, Gilmore Girls), and Jessica Skerritt (Driver’s Ed).

If you want to take part, all you do is show up at Barca, 1510 11th Ave, at 11 am on Tuesday. They need people between noon and 5. People who can be there the whole time will be in the front of the scene, and people who have to duck in and out will be in the back.

Neat-o tidbit about Watanabe, from IMDB: “In his audition for the film Sixteen Candles, he went through the entire process pretending he did not speak any English, imitating a Korean friend. After he was finished, he eloquently thanked the casting director in perfect English. He was soon cast.”

Artdish Hot Month and More

posted by on July 6 at 4:44 PM

1. Blogger Jim Demetre of Artdish has done the serious labor of assembling a list of what’s going on this month art-wise (locally) and it’s a bookmark-worthy reference.

2. Two enticing things to add to that list that were just announced today: Author and art historian Peter Selz (“Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond,” 2005) will lecture July 20 at 7 pm at the Frye. He’ll talk about the development of sociopolitical artistic activity in California and beyond since 1945, and about contemporary artists’ responses to issues such as censorship, capital punishment, September 11, and the war in Iraq. One week later, same time, same place, the artist Robert Yoder will speak about the making of Sluice Gate, the abstracted carpet that now adorns the Frye’s entryway. Does the rug break the non-abstract rule of the museum, the P-I’s Regina Hackett asked? I like where that question leads. Maybe some of that will come up during Yoder’s talk about his first textile work.

3. Tonight is Artwalk. I’m going to, among other spots, Punch, where Justin Beckman “explores the habits and activities associated with his recent five years in Eastern Washington through an installation of photo-based media and video” featuring “guns, motocross, and rodeo.” The show’s called Eastern Philosophies: Part One.

That sounds a little like Tony Weathers’ great piece in the Grown Accustomed show at Crawl Space, which you can see on weekend afternoons (this is the final weekend). Weathers put video screens on the floor under a raised church pew, and the screens show manipulated footage (slowed-down, spliced) of the tedium/excitement and lowbrow leisure of a backcountry motocross race. Also terrific is Anne Mathern’s video, No. It features Mathern shaking her head and saying “No” over and over again. The word passes between two small speakers, one mounted on each side of the screen at ear level, as she turns her head. Her unchanging, slightly wary expression makes the word “No” waver between being mere senseless repetition and an eerie response to an unknown threat. And definitely do not miss Rachel Rampleman’s Poison (Sarah Fucked Bret). It’s a 30-minute documentation of Rampleman’s own sister, Sarah, telling the story of her gross but touching groupie dalliance with Bret Michaels of Poison.

4. Oh, and out of curiosity and on a credible recommendation, I’m going to this, too, tonight: JOHNNYWOW! STUDIO/GALLERY, Slabtown Bride-Mart: Solving the Family Values Crisis. 619 Western Ave, fourth floor. Evidently, JohnnyWow is a guy, and maybe even one over the age of 60.

Today In Ill Fortune and Malfeasance

posted by on July 6 at 4:10 PM

1535, England: Sir Thomas More, author of Utopia and sometime Lord Chancellor of England, is executed by King Henry VIII after refusing to agree to Henry’s attempt to separate the English church from the Catholic church.

1887, Hawaii: King Kalākaua is forced, at gunpoint, by American and European businessmen, to sign the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii, commonly known as the Bayonet Constitution, which stripped power from the Hawaiian monarchy, and repealed suffrage from all Asians, poor citizens, and most of the native Hawaiians.

1942, Amsterdam: Anne Frank and family go into hiding in the “Secret Annex” above her father’s warehouse.

1944, Connecticut: The Hartford Circus Fire, one of America’s worst fire disasters, kills approximately 168 people and injures over 700. It began during a performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. (From Wikipedia: “Bandleader… Merle Evans, was one of the first to notice and immediately struck up John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, show-business code for a life-threatening emergency. Ushers spotted the flame and threw buckets of water on it, but to no avail. Seconds later, the fire reached the roof. At the top of the center pole, the fire split in three directions. The announcer at center stage urged the audience not to panic and to leave in an orderly fashion, but the power went out and he could not be heard.”)

1967, southern Nigeria: Nigerian forces invade Biafra (a short-lived secessionist state), beginning the war that would kill between 600,000 and three million people, mostly through starvation and illness.

1974, Minnesota: A Prairie Home Companion makes its first live broadcast. There were 12 witnesses, most of them children.

1988, the North Sea: The Piper Alpha drilling platform explodes, and is eventually engulfed, in balls of fire. One hundred and sixty seven oil workers are killed—and only sixty two survive—in the world’s most fatal offshore oil disaster.

Happy birthday, big guy.

Arts in America

posted by on July 6 at 3:43 PM

Today in Stranger Suggests:

Seattle Spelling Bee
What do people like to do when they’re drunk? Show off their big fucking brains, that’s what. Well here’s your chance, poindexter—the Seattle Spelling Bee (hosted by a champion from the Williamsburg Bee in Brooklyn), where contestants win prizes and drink tickets as they slur their way to the top. Just imagine that spazzy kid from Spellbound with a couple of shots in him—now that’s entertainment! (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. 8 pm, $5, 21+.) BRENDAN KILEY


The Met’s Madonna and Child is “not even a good forgery.

Zadie Smith’s third novel is still good, nine months later.

David Denby is still wrong. (Not even Meryl Streep could keep me from walking out of this movie.)

Sean Connery: Old, no longer sexy, bookish.

Diana Ross: “Deep.”

The new Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis: “Its structural bravura will certainly please the techno-fetishists.

Great artists: Still loners after all these years.

Lindsay Lohan’s British Breasts!

posted by on July 6 at 2:46 PM

Sure, it was just COINCIDENCE that Kim Jong il tested his nukes on July 4th! Just like it was COINCIDENCE that these photos of Lindsay Lohan tugging at her sore breasts appeared in British GQ on the same day! C’mon Lindsay… who’s side are you on, anyway?

lindsay cover.jpg
More boob-astic imagery after the leap!

Continue reading "Lindsay Lohan's British Breasts!" »

House of Blues Bought Out

posted by on July 6 at 2:01 PM

There’s been talk about HOB being up for sale for quite some time, but it sounds like this deal still took many employees by surprise.

Cultural Decoder Sought

posted by on July 6 at 1:59 PM

I keep seeing posters for the Red Dress Extravaganza at Noc Noc Saturday night: “Red Dress contest—Men in red dresses get in free—It’s not about Drag! It’s about getting F’dup in a dress.” ($10 pm, $5.)
Should I know what that’s about? Ever been to a red dress party? Any idea where the theme came from? I see references to various red-dress fundraisers and rave-ish happenings online but no explanation or history of the phenomenon. This party features “red hot sexy burlesque girls,” and art by Joe Vollan (swoon) and Summer Boothe. Doesn’t seem to be a fundraiser… bearded-lady-in-red-dress.jpg

The Unity

posted by on July 6 at 1:08 PM

This picture taken by Kevin Buauman shows Portland’s Belmont Street Lofts at dusk. Designed by Holst Architecture, the Belmont Street Lofts is a four-story mixed-use building that was completed last winter and now possesses a beauty that is almost preternatural. Its articulation is at once soft and hard: soft because of the material (wood) and the material’s warm color; and hard in shape—it squareness, its strict lines, its admirable indifference to curves and bulging. The material is natural and its shape is unnatural. This is a great example of what the dialectically minded call “differentiated unity.”


The local architect Jerry Garcia is very good at finding correspondences and matches in architectural phenomena, and so it’s in imitation of his gift that I now point out the similarities between Belmont Street Lofts and the older, southern half of Seattle’s Japanese Congregation Church on 17th and Main.

18f8d6c1b878 2.jpg The harshness of this building, however, has been worn out, it seems, by the ages. It is now just warm and wood-rich.

Further Feline News

posted by on July 6 at 1:05 PM

Kitten survives trip through wood chipper (link can be seen under “free video”).

Boom column updated

posted by on July 6 at 12:58 PM

Today’s Boom column on development near Qwest Field has been updated to accommodate the remarks of John Chaney, executive director of Historic Seattle. His organization is involved with the renovation of the Johnson Building, which will be one of the first in a wave of condos and apartments built atop old Pioneer Square warehouses.

Stomachs, cats, and power saws

posted by on July 6 at 11:42 AM

Vladimir Putin clears up last week’s spontaneous kiddie-stomach-kissing by explaining, “I wanted to stroke [that little boy] like a cat…there was nothing behind it.”

Which might be the most sensual, convincing reason for kissing bellies that I’ve ever heard. And there are certainly worse things in this world than raspberries bestowed by the president of Russia. Say, for instance, getting your chest carved up by a freak with a stolen power saw:

Via Breitbart:

New York—A man grabbed two cordless power saws off a subway station workbench and went on a rampage Thursday, swinging the saws at riders and slicing open a man’s chest before running away, police said.

The 64-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Police were searching for the suspect, described by witnesses as a thin man in his 30s, who had earrings in both ears and was possibly carrying a teddy bear.

Given the choice, I’m sure most people would opt to be “stroked like a cat” by a stranger rather than “carved like a turkey”. Here’s hoping the victim is doing as well as can be expected post power saw to the chest.

Make It Work, People

posted by on July 6 at 11:20 AM

In less than one week, the new season of Project Runway begins.

Who’s stoked?

Apropos of Summer Insomnia: Question about TV

posted by on July 6 at 11:16 AM

Early this morning, I watched (on DVD) three ancient episodes of the great American TV Show All in the Family. The three episodes I watched were from 1971!

In the first episode, Archie discovers that Meathead is mailing a letter to President Nixon to discuss pollution, ecology, the war in Vietnam, race relations, water quality and food safety standards. Outraged at Meathead’s insolence, Archie decides to write his own letter to Nixon praising the commander in chief for being a great president. (The episode comes with a great fantasy sequence in which Archie imagines that Nixon reads the letter on national television to thank him.)

In the second episode, Archie suspects that Meathead’s flamboyant friend is a fag. (Great line: Archie accuses the entire country of England of being a “fagdom.” Archie’s homophobia gets a bracing reality check when he discovers that his own drinking buddy, a he-man ex-pro-football player, is the one who’s gay.

In the third episode, Archie tries to turn his minor car accident into a whiplash lawsuit, and he hires a Jewish lawyer because he thinks Jews make shrewder, smarter, and craftier lawyers. In a stunning sequence, he makes Meathead go through the Yellow Pages and read the names of Jewish lawyers until Archie picks the firm that sounds the most Jewish: Rabinowitz, Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz. (He ends up losing his case.)

These episodes were ultra sophisticated and the second two in particular addressed homophobia and racism with a candor that would be shocking today. Lefty morons would probably think the script was politically incorrect (completely missing the point) and everyday TV viewers would probably just find the whole thing too shrill and chaotic and depressing.

There’s certainly some cool shows around these days on HBO, but I love these brilliant time capsules—a mainstream, hit TV show—that prove how angsty and contemplative and engaged America once was.

Question: Are there any shows out there today that are this smart and provocative..that are worth watching? And I don’t want to hear about some ironic, post-p.c. show that throws sexism and racism around just to be flip and “refreshing.”

Oh, I also watched the movie Match Point starring Scarlet Johannson. God damn.

Further Adventures of Apnea Boy

posted by on July 6 at 11:05 AM


Last night I was covered in electrodes, sensor bands, and more wires than I could count, then a plasic tube pumping air was strapped to my face and I was wished a good night’s sleep. Is there a better way to relax before bed?

Continue reading "Further Adventures of Apnea Boy" »

On HPV & Gay Men

posted by on July 6 at 10:51 AM

My vignette on HPV (and rock-star epidemiologist Dr. Laura Koutsky) focuses, like most of the recent press on the new vaccine, on women and girls. That’s because HPV infection is clearly linked with cervical cancer in women, and guys generally have an easier time of it.

But I know a lot of gay men are curious about the vaccine, too. HPV has been also been linked with (much rarer) anal and penile cancers in men. Gay and bisexual men, moreover, have a 17% higher rate of anal cancer than do heterosexuals. The rates are still very low, but they’re worrisome.

The new Merck vaccine is currently being tested on men and boys, for the same age range that it was confirmed safe and effective in women and girls (9-26). Eventually the company hopes to market the vaccine to the same target range of prepubescents (11 and 12-year-old boys). In men, it’s hoped that the vaccine would, as in women, prevent two common strains of HPV responsible for 80-90% of all cases of genital warts. In addition, vaccinated men would be less likely to pass the cervical cancer-related strains of the virus onto their female sex parters, and (hopefully) would develop anal and penile cancers at lower rates themselves. (A rival vaccine, currently being tested by GlaxoKlineSmith, only protects against the cervical-cancer strains and won’t be available to guys.)

So for people who are older than 26, the obvious question is, why isn’t the HPV vaccine recommended for us? Sadly, the answer seems to be, the older you get, the more likely you are to have already contracted one or more of the strains of HPV that the vaccine is meant to protect against. Getting kids early means they probably haven’t started having sex yet.

More questions? Here’s the CDC’s Q&A page. I can also try to tackle other stuff—or at least pass on the questions to the experts.

Adding Insult to Emmy

posted by on July 6 at 10:39 AM

This morning brought the announcement of the 2006 Emmy nominations, and you are forgiven if you don’t give a shit. (Desperate Housewives is up for best hairstyling!)

However, there are a couple distinct delights among the nominees, one personal—a “Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy” nod for My Name is Earl’s Jaime Pressly, who cracks my shit up like no other woman on TV—and one political: a “Best Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)” nod for the Tom Cruise-roasting, Scientology-bashing South Park episode “Trapped in the Closet.”

Culture buffs will remember this South Park episode for unleashing a shitstorm of controversy, allegedly driving offended Scientologist Isaac Hayes from the cast, and allegedly inspiring Tom Cruise to demand the show never be aired again. (Cruise denies playing a part in the fracas, but the show was indeed yanked from Comedy Central’s roster of re-runnable programs.)

And now the good folks of Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are celebrating the episode as an exemplary bit of television. Was the nomination motivated by the Academy’s love of prickly satire, hatred of Tom Cruise, or both? Who knows, but you can download and view the whole “Trapped in the Closet” episode here, and watch the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast on August 27.

Stadium District

posted by on July 6 at 10:11 AM

As residential density increases downtown, new Seattle neighborhoods will rise up alongside the old ones, and with recently announced developments near Qwest Field, a stadium district appears to be taking shape. Approximately 1,000 residential units will be built over the next few years — “That’s a brand new neighborhood,” said King County Executive Ron Sims, who held an informal press conference Monday morning to present the projects to reporters.

I’ve got pictures coming, but first here’s the statistical picture: The big project on Qwest Field’s north parking lot will be 956 residential units, with the majority portion being apartments, 140 of which will rent as affordable housing, within the price range of people making roughly $35,000. The market-rate condos will cost $500 - $600 per square foot. There will be 34,000 square feet of retail and roughly 1,000 parking stalls. The small project is the renovation of the Johnson Building, a storage facility at 1st Avenue South, Occidental Avenue and Railroad Street. There are 69 units planned, including three live/work lofts on12 of which will be affordable to people within range of people making up to 115 percent of Seattle’s mean income, which is roughly $63,000 for a single person.

Before he got into these specifics, Sims talked about the cities that in his opinion represented the best integration of sports stadium and neighborhood — Yankee Stadium in the Bronx; Fenway Park in Boston; Wrigley Field in Chicago. Kevin Daniels, president of Nitze-Stagen, which has a hand in both projects, drew his inspiration from San Francisco, where AT & T Park (formerly PacBell Park) complements the Mission Bay neighborhood.

Sims talked about how in those cities and others, cameras showing nationally telecasted sporting events would venture outside the stadium to show distinctive parts of the neighborhood surrounding the park. “Impressions of a community are always drawn by what you see on TV,” said Sims, who imagines more pedestrians in the blocks circulating through the stadium and through brightly lit stores and restaurants. “That’s a shot that you can’t pay enough money for.”

Today, if a cameraman were sitting above the north end zone of Qwest Field, and he whirled around to look for an outside-the-park shot, here’s what he’d see:

N Lot 2.jpgPhoto courtesy Weber + Thompson

Acres of asphalt: Not much of a “money shot.” It’s even more offensive from a bird’s eye view:

North Lot BEV.jpg

The project planned for the north lot does not completely eliminate that parking lot blight, but it drastically reduces it. Here is a computer graphic that shows how it would look if we were hovering above I-5, again looking north.

N Lot.jpgGraphic courtesy Weber + Thompson

Now let’s switch to an artist’s rendering of the new mixed-use project, from the same perspective but closer:

N Lot 6.jpgCourtesy Weber + Thompson

[A dozen pictures after the jump, along with consideration of the projects’ impact on Pioneer Square and the opinions of downtown real estate mogul William Justen.]

Continue reading "Stadium District" »

When Will We Get Our Koolhaas Prada?

posted by on July 6 at 9:27 AM

The fabulous Justin Davidson writes on the new (old) architecture of shopping.

What does Seattle have to offer besides the creepy, simulated-leisure atrium of Pacific Place?



When the Rum Runs Dry

posted by on July 6 at 8:41 AM

2depp2.jpgPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest opens tonight at midnight (at Pacific Place and Cinerama, among others), and although everyone I know has been looking forward to Captain Jack Sparrow’s return to the big screen, many critics are no longer enamored.

Our own Bradley Steinbacher:”So much of Dead Man’s Chest is a reaction to the original’s success that all the originality has been ironed out of the franchise.”

FW Weekly: “…You never stop feeling the gears grinding. Not a single moment in the movie feels spontaneous.”

Chicago Tribune: “The original movie’s swashbuckling and drunken spirit has gone a bit stale, as Dead Man’s Chest is persistently silly but never that much fun.”

Regardless, the UK’s Daily Mail reports that Depp will be raking in the royalties: “The Sparrow character will feature on biscuits, cereal, chewing gum, frozen yoghurt, bean bags, baseballs, chess sets, Christmas decorations , dolls, Halloween costumes, pillowcases, sheets, disposable nappies [WTF?], stationery and many, many other items.”

Skipping Out

posted by on July 6 at 8:15 AM

As Bradley posted, the PI reports that Seattle Weekly’s editor, Knute “Skip” Berger, is quitting in the wake of the most recent corporate merger to consume his paper. The New Times chain took control of the Seattle Weekly in a merger with the Weekly’s previous owner, Village Voice Media, seven months ago. Berger is the 9th prominent staffer, including the publisher, art director, music editor, ad director, and classifieds director to leave since the merger was completed in January. Berger has been with the paper for 15 years, and has done three stints as the editor: 1993 to 1995; 1997 to 2000; and 2002 to today.

Seattle Times reporter David Postman first posted the news about Berger’s resignation on the Seattle Times blog on Wednesday after Berger himself posted the news on the Seattle Weekly’s own web site Monday. (Sorry we didn’t Slog about it ourselves. We were wrapped up in July 4th deadlines and the story about the Critical Mass arrests.)

Berger’s resignation is hardly surprising. New Times management has told the Seattle Weekly point blank they don’t like the paper and that it needs to change. The New Times frat boy, Libertarian, hard-news formula is certainly at odds with Berger’s utopian, ponderous, hippie vibe. I’m surprised actually that Berger didn’t tell his new & self consciously macho bosses goodbye several months ago.

I don’t have much to say about Berger that I haven’t said before. Erica C. Barnett, Dan Savage, and I (and other Stranger staffers) have published Slog posts and articles over the years criticizing and challenging Berger’s analysis—particularly on growth, density, and transportation issues.

Even though Berger and I have covered many of the same stories over the years, I don’t believe I’ve been in the same room with him or even talked to him more than one or two times during the seven years I’ve been at the Stranger. So, honestly, I don’t have a personal reaction to his news. I don’t know him.

I will say this: About two months ago, based on a premature rumor, Savage Slogged that Berger was leaving for a job in Atlanta. I remember thinking, “That rumor doesn’t ring true. Berger cares too much about the future of Seattle to take a job in Atlanta.” I don’t know what he’s going to do now, but I’m certain he won’t abandon the 15 years of work he’s put in at the Weekly by abandoning the Puget Sound. We’ll still be hearing from him on local issues.

As for the Seattle Weekly, this isn’t the last of the staff changes and turmoil there. Seven months on now, New Times is still busy focusing on the Village Voice. (They’ve yet to hire a new editor there, after their initial hire quit.) Eventually, though, New Times will turn its attention to Seattle Weekly and there will be further changes. But after half a year now, I’m bored of waiting for New Times to do something. Maybe Berger was tired of waiting as well.

The Morning News

posted by on July 6 at 6:26 AM

The New York Court of Appeals says no to gay marriage.

North Korea remains defiant, vows to launch even more missiles that go kablooey shortly after takeoff.

Iran and the European Union make a date for dinner, chat about nukes. No word on the menu.

Mexico’s presidential election is still too close to call.

Lt. Ehren Watada faces up to seven years in prison for refusing to go to Iraq.

Seattle schools on the chopping block: And then there were seven.

Seattle Police want King County Deputies to mind their own damn business.

It’s Italy vs. France in the World Cup finals.

The “Cola Wars” are alive in well—and now the FBI is getting involved.

Got an extra $150 million kicking around? Have I got a 100-room mansion for you.

ALSO: I missed this story in the Seattle P-I about Knute “Skip” Berger resigning as editor-in-chief of Seattle Weekly. Berger joins publisher Terry Coe, music editor Michaelangelo Matos, art director Karen Steichen, production director Mary Bradford, director of advertising Tim Miklos, director of display advertising Jeffery Adams, and director of classifieds Heather Burgess as those out the door since the announcement of the Village Voice Media-New Times merger.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006


posted by on July 5 at 4:45 PM

Last Friday, I slogged about a glossy 4-page brochure that the city produced to promote Mayor Nickels’s transportation levy: a $1.8 billion plan to fix up our basic transportation infrastructure (to be funded by a $195 on average property tax, a 10 percent tax on commercial parking, and a $25 per employee tax on businesses.)

My problem with the brochure was that it looked like a campaign piece. (It’s not kosher to campaign for or against ballot issues with public money from public offices.)


The brochure, about 2200 of them, cost $3,400.

And the mayor’s office told me I was being “ridiculous” for questioning the mayor on this. They told me the mayor has every right to tell the public how he wants to spend the public’s money. Nickels spokesman Marty McOmber told me: “The purpose [of the brochure] is to present the mayor’s views to the public on how the money should be spent. It’s responsible for him to put his views in front of the public.”

Right. But the $1.8 billion isn’t the city’s money to spend yet. That’s the whole point. First, Nickels needs to convince voters to give $1.8 billion over to the city. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with these flashy brochures. That’s called campaigning. And that’s why I’ve got a problem with it.

McOmber boasted that the mayor “isn’t shy about setting a sweeping agenda and letting voters know about it.” Okay. Unfortunately: It’d be one thing if the mayor was simply telling us what he wanted to do with money he’s got. (That, in fact, would be cool.) It’s another thing—and not cool— when, really, what he’s telling us he wants…is our vote. In short, the mayor isn’t telling us how he wants to spend the city’s money—he’s trying to convince the public to give him more money…and with neat-o “before & after” pictures to boot.

Unfortunately, the ethics office seconded the mayor’s office on this. They told me: “The mayor is allowed to tell the public how he wants to spend its money.”

Right, but…oh, never mind.

Kim Jong Who?

posted by on July 5 at 4:26 PM

According to this page on the BBC’s site, people are reading about, in this order: North Korea, Israeli tanks in Gaza, the Hoff, dead Ken Lay, and—drum roll please—the “India skull man.”

I can’t believe this story didn’t make the top five.

(And today Seattle makes its mark on the world with this quote: “When I got here, I said, ‘Oh boy, this don’t look like no treatment center.’”)

Ramping up the intelligence of politics

posted by on July 5 at 4:10 PM

Jimmy “Wikipedia” Wales posted an open letter to the political blogosphere yesterday, to launch his new site, Campaigns Wikia:

The candidates who will win elections in the future will be the candidates who build genuinely participative campaigns by generating and expanding genuine communities of engaged citizens.

This website, Campaigns Wikia, has the goal of bringing together people from diverse political perspectives who may not share much else, but who share the idea that they would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites.

This can be the start of the era of net-driven participatory politics. And it does not matter if you are on the right, on the left, moderate or extreme, socialist or libertarian. Whoever you are, and whatever you believe, you can share with me my sincere desire that the process start to be about substance and thought, rather than style and image.

I hope Jimmy’s new vision will be as successful and informative as Wikipedia has been, but there is the very real possibility that the system of collaborative writing, editing, and flagging that makes Wikipedia so great will disintegrate into gridlocked contrarian mud slinging when applied to the touchy world of politics. Please feel free to aggressively disagree with me, though.

Today’s Juiciest Gossip!

posted by on July 5 at 3:31 PM

Today’s hottest gossip!

PARIS HILTON claims that not only would she make “a great mother,” she’ll no longer be handing out her vagina to guys on a silver platter. It’s the end of an era, people!

As it turns out, KEVIN FEDERLINE released his single “PopoZao” on the internet “as a joke” so when his REAL music drops, “people will be fucking blown away.” Wow… he’s like the Lex Luthor… OF IDIOTS.

DAVID HASSELHOFF gets “steaming drunk” at Wimbledon, and actually tells a guard, “Do you know who I am? I’m The Hoff!” This shit would NEVER happen in Germany.

“Cor blimey, guv’nah! It’s The Hoff!”

More Sun Country Madness

posted by on July 5 at 3:13 PM

Last week I posted about Sun Country airline’s mysterious passenger safety pamphlet, which features what looks like a drawing of Willy Wonka about to de-plane down the passenger slide.


Then, this past Monday, Dan Savage (who just took his own trip on Sun Country) pointed out that I’d somehow missed another curious addition to the airline’s pamphlet:


Again: WTF? Willy Wonka and a ballerina on the same flight? Are they in cahoots? Is it some sort of devious (and costumed) hijacking plot? Or is it just a coincidence?

And just how are those “brace positions” supposed to save you when the plane flies cockpit-first into a mountain?

So many questions…

The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 5 at 3:11 PM

`Let’s Rock Again!’
The death of Joe Strummer at the still-vital age of 50 was a cruel loss. Dick Rude, a close friend of the Clash frontman, documented the last 18 months in the life of punk rock’s most intelligent, compassionate, and talented pioneer—and tonight you can see it for FREE, along with Xerox Babies, Rude’s documentary about the early L.A. punk scene. (JBL Theater at EMP, 325 Fifth Ave N, 770-2702. 7:30 pm, free.) HANNAH LEVIN

Hard Hits in the 8th: Round One

posted by on July 5 at 2:03 PM

National Republicans are trumpeting the recent endorsement of eastside Congressman Dave Reichert by the Washington State Council of Firefighters, and they’re using the opportunity to pound a new theme: That Reichert’s opponent, Democrat Darcy Burner, is a “B-List” candidate.

Here’s a graphic from an email sent to Washington State reporters today by the National Republican Congressional Committee:


The Republican charge that Burner has made a “B-list Blunder” traces back to a Slog post that I wrote back in March, shortly after Reichert had secured the endorsement of the Seattle Firefighters’ Union. Pointing out that the Seattle firefighters aren’t in the 8th Congressional District, Burner spokesman Zach Slik told me that the more important endorsement would come from the Washington State Council of Firefighters, and he added that Burner had a “strong shot” at getting their support. Now that she hasn’t received their support, Republicans are pouncing:

Darcy Burner: Burned By Firefighters’ Unions

Political observers can always spot a B-List congressional candidate: They run sloppy campaigns, take out-of-the-mainstream positions, and tend to say some goofy things.

Case in point: After Republican Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) won the endorsement of the Seattle Firefighters’ Union last March, Democrat congressional candidate Darcy Burner’s campaign manager Zach Silk snubbed the union, and claimed that the other union’s endorsement was key:

“With all due respect, the Seattle Firefighters Union is clearly out of touch with the needs of first responders in the 8th Congressional District. … The endorsement that’s really relevant for this race is the State Council of Fire Fighters, and we feel like we have a strong shot at their endorsement.” (The Stranger, March 20, 2006)

Feet, meet mouth: Last week, Washington’s State Council of Firefighters endorsed Dave Reichert’s reelection bid. This is a classic B-List Blunder. Liberal activist Darcy Burner is now left having taken a ridiculous position — that she knows first responders’ needs better than first-responders themselves.

To which Silk responds:

If Darcy was really a B-list candidate, the NRCC wouldn’t dedicate so much of their limited resources to this kind of slick attack…

Darcy will continue to work closely with fire fighters and other first responders in the district to understand their concerns and needs so that she can fight for their priorities in Washington, DC.

Screw Snakes on a Plane

posted by on July 5 at 12:26 PM

Here’s the movie I’m hyperventilating over, as blurbed by the Seattle Times.

(The Times writer fails to credit Charles Mudede for writing the picture, but maybe she was just confused about how a documentary would have a screenwriter. The movie’s one of them newfangled documentary-ish cinematic essays, and I can’t fucking wait…)


posted by on July 5 at 11:20 AM

I’m on vacation—so no Slogging for me. I’m in Northwestern Wisconsin, home to irony-free PBR signs.


Headed into the Michigan’s UP, which I believe are the spawning grounds of our own Kelly O. Wish me luck…

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on July 5 at 11:13 AM

Wondering how Ken Hutcherson spent the Fourth of July? Wonder no more…


July 5, 2006

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Please pray for me as I re-injured my chest last night when I fell on a propane tank. I will be going in this morning to make sure I haven’t cracked some ribs. Pray that I will recover quickly from this, and I will be ready for Gideon’s Posse this Friday night!

Your Pastor,

Lock Her Up

posted by on July 5 at 10:05 AM

An Edmonton, Canada woman is due to be sentenced for molesting her son, supposedly at the direction of an Internet “master”, and sending the creepy pedophile pictures of it. (Earlier story here.) Her attorney is trying to claim she’s not a danger to society and she should be allowed to serve her sentence “in the community”. I say, lock her up. I don’t give a damn if she’s in a wheelchair. Cerebral palsy doesn’t keep someone from knowing right from wrong, and putting your kid’s dick in your mouth is wrong, wrong, wrong. You two aren’t kinky, lady. You’re some kind of maternal mutant, and your “master” is a sociopath.

Criminal Boredom

posted by on July 5 at 8:28 AM

This is just the kind of thing that gives potheads a bad name (along with Cheech and Chong, short-term memory loss, and residual Cheeto dust under fingernails): A Vermont teenager has been sentenced to prison after confessing to cutting off the head of a corpse to make a bong.

His professed motive: boredom.

Full story here.

How to Avoid Prison

posted by on July 5 at 7:13 AM

Former Enron chairman Ken Lay is dead.

The Morning News

posted by on July 5 at 6:47 AM

North Korea (remember them? Part of the “Axis of Evil,” president is batshitcrazy) had a little Independence Day gift for America: long-range missile tests.

In Mexico, the conservative candidate has declared the victory, while his liberal challenger demands a recount. Looks like NAFTA didn’t just export jobs south of the border.

Discovery made it into space yesterday—well, except for some foam, which NASA says is no big deal.

Israel vs. Palestine: “You hit one of our schools, we’ll hit your Interior Ministry.”

Car thefts are down in Seattle. Meanwhile, King County Executive Ron Sims wants $6.8 million for new furniture.

Seattle police arrest patriotic man for scaling a crane in Belltown to watch the fireworks. FOX News declares liberals are waging “War on Independence Day.”

950—count ‘em, 950—new condos and apartments are being proposed for a parking lot near Qwest Field. If the proposal is accepted, the number of Pioneer Square residents will double.

World Cup: Italy shocks Germany. Meanwhile, in a real sport, a new world record is set.

Our very own Seattle Mariners can’t win in their own division.

And finally, Ice Age bones have been discovered in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

American Hunger

posted by on July 4 at 4:21 PM

A few minutes ago, this came up from the loud mouth of the man who lives in the apartment directly beneath mine: “Just plain old meat and bread, don’t even put no cheese on it. I know your ass now; you just want to argue. Meat and bread—that’s all. I don’t want to argue.”

Brilliance, Independence

posted by on July 4 at 2:52 PM

I’m at Top Pot and the album the barista is playing Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s self-titled debut album, and I realize this has already been said by a million different people—quoth the album: “We’ve already said it before in a million differen ways which are not quite right”—but let me keep the echo going: this is a very good album. It just ended in the store and now I’m playing it again, from the top, on my iPod. I realize that to all the people who know about music this Slog post must read to you like a press release from Mars—who doesn’t already know about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? who is this guy? what year is it?—to which I say, it’s possible to miss good things, and if you are one of the two or three Stranger readers who missed Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or who for whatever still haven’t looked into Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, let me take the time to say, You are missing a good thing. This is brilliantly catchy.

To paraphrase Matthew Stadler, I like it because it is good.

Also, independence is good. How do you feel about fireworks? Brendan Kiley suggests:

You could cadge your way onto a friend’s roof to watch the Big Explosions, or be a lame-ass and watch them on TV, or be a triple lame-ass and ignore them altogether, but you should be mingling with your brethren, preferably in the general vicinity of Seattle’s finest intersections: Belmont and Belmont and Bellevue, Bellevue, and Bellevue. Nearby, you can find secret parks, nooks with simultaneous views of Puget Sound and Lake Union, and small bats that come out and circle at dusk. (Capitol Hill, 10 pm.)

200, a Celebratory Animation

posted by on July 4 at 10:23 AM

This animation, created in 1975, is closer than almost any other depiction to how I see America—a hypersaturation of trite symbolism, a cornucopia of consumption (automobiles, burgers, TVs, hotdogs, baseball), a frenetic pace capable of inducing seizures; but all of it completely ecstatic—psychedelic, even.

Surprisingly, this presentation was produced by the United States Information Agency—an office pro-American propaganda. It was funded by a Bicentennial Project Grant and animated by one Vincent Collins. It’s pretty clear—to me, at least—that it is a sly jab at American values of the time, but this was probably lost on the folks at the Information Agency, who were probably just given a recommendation about Collins (who was known to be a psychedelic animator). It’s not dissimilar to what happened with Stephen Colbert and the Press Corps dinner.


American Icons I Can Get Behind

posted by on July 4 at 10:00 AM

Sexy muscle cars such as this ‘72 Chevelle:


Foxy, funny ladies such as Amy Sedaris:


Kosher hot dogs from Hebrew National:


And of course, the man who refused to let Ronald Reagan co-opt his song:


I’m sure our ever-opinionated Slog readers have a few of their own—do tell.

American Mythologies

posted by on July 4 at 9:40 AM

This image of a Sudanese immigrant was on the cover of yesterday’s Seattle Times:

This paragraph is in the last and most famous essay, “Myth Today” (1956), of the most famous book, Mythologies (1957), of France’s most famous semiotician, Roland Barthes (1915-1980):

I’m at the barber’s, and a copy of Paris-Match is offered me. On the cover, a young Negro in a French uniform is saluting, with his eyes uplifted, probably fixed on a fold of the tricolour. All this is the meaning of the picture. But, whether or not, I see very well what it signifies to me: that France is a great Empire, that all her sons, with no color discrimination, faithfully serve under her flag, and that there is no better answers to detractors of an alleged colonialism than the zeal shown by this Negro in serving his so-called oppressors. I am therefore again faced with greater semiological system: there is the signifier, itself already formed with a previous system (black soldier is giving the French flag salute): there is the signified (it is here a purposeful mixture of Frenchness and militariness); finally, there is a presence of the signified through the signifier.

The picture from the cover of yesterday’s Seattle Times says something like this: “Although things are very bad in Iraq, the US is still the land of hope for the global poor and destitute, as exampled by this happy Sudanese immigrant. So, in the face of America’s diminished international standing as the symbol of liberty, fairness, and prosperity, still be proud to be an American.”

This image of another recently Americanized African, me, was constructed by The Stranger’s art director Corianton Hale.
895918458_l.jpg For other reasons, the image is as guilty as the one from Seattle Times.

More Morning News

posted by on July 4 at 9:00 AM

More Politics: Lieberman admits he just might not be a Democrat.

P.s. Happy Independence Day to Moxie Media, the Seattle-based political consulting firm that’s doing the mail for Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Dem insurgent who’s challenging Lieberman in the primary.

The Morning News

posted by on July 4 at 8:30 AM

War: An ex-soldier is being held for rape and the murder of three people in Iraq.

Politics: Conservatives have a slim lead in Mexico’s presidential election.

The Final Frontier: Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch today—if NASA can keep it from blowing up, that is.

Seattle Mariners: ouch.

Independence Day: Let the eagle soooaaaaaarrrrrrrrr!

Monday, July 3, 2006


posted by on July 3 at 9:17 PM

The following description was excised from the lead news story in our upcoming issue: “hiphop bling.

My editor told me I’d be smart to lose it.

Note to Viet: Originally, I wrote “hiphop blingle” or “bingle.

The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 3 at 5:38 PM

The art thriller of the 20th century began March 18, 1990, when two unarmed men pretending to be police officers walked off with $300 million in art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including the priceless Vermeer The Concert. Then things really got colorful. Documentarian Rebecca Dreyfus captures it all: the devotion, the intrigue, the Irish mob connections, the 75-year-old art detective who wears a bowler, the $5 million reward, and most of all, the fact that everything is still missing after 16 long years. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 329-2629. 7 and 9 pm, $5—$8.) JEN GRAVES

Shot of Old Glory: a Recipe for Your Fourth

posted by on July 3 at 5:13 PM

I made this up for you just now (but haven’t tested it).

1/2 oz POM pomegranate juice
1/2 oz Hpnotiq (a blue vodka-and-tropical-juice liqueur)
1/2 oz Cruzan (a rum cream liqueur, or use plain old cream in a pinch)
Pour, in that order, into a shot or liqueur glass.

The liquor stores are closed tomorrow, so plan ahead.

I went home and made this, and it was a disaster: The POM juice and the Hpnotiq mixed into a dull purple-gray, and the cream rum curdled when it touched the fruit juice, and then sank. The red element needs to be more syrupy and viscous. I don’t know what to do for white. The Hpnotiq is delicious on its own… pop it in the freezer and drink blue slushees beneath the fireworks tomorrow, stash the cream rum in the fridge for some other day’s after-dinner-party coffee drinks, and chug the POM as a hangover aid on the fifth.

Who’s got a functional red-white-and-blue-layered cocktail or shot recipe?

Discoursing Football

posted by on July 3 at 3:53 PM

Let’s begin the little winding path of pictures and words with this image of global Pele:

With that image in mind, consider this: During a weekend email exchange about the globalization of Football and Pele, the editor of the South African journal Chimurenga, Ntone Edjabe, sent these words:

“For me, generally, discussions around the commercialisation of the ‘beautiful game’ have become as stale as talks on the blinging of hip hop. I think nationalism has been dead since Camus kept the goal for Algeria in the 30s, since di Stephano sold his right foot to the Franco-sponsored Real Madrid in the 50s, since the Mozambican-born Eusebio led the 1966 world cup in scoring, a tournament that had been boycotted by all African and Asian teams. We’re talking stillbirth here.

If we swing back to the nearest tv screen, however, there’s a new spin on the much publicised war of the worlds - only two contenders remain: Nike and Adidas. The pseudo third-worldism of Puma has been kicked off stage, along with Ivory Coast, Ghana, and other minnows.

The trajectory of Puma, over the last 5 years, in reconquering the world chests from the bottom (Jamaica’s olympic team, Cameroon’s football team, etc. and of course, da street soldiaz worldwide) so to speak, is an interesting take on the brand war.”

Now consider the “pseudo third-worldism of Puma”:
africangame2-1.jpg (The source of that image can be found here.)

The final item along the way is this email, which I received from a good friend who lives in Vancouver, BC and is a response to my recent post “Field of History”:

Charles, I don’t know if you read these words in Le Monde Diplomatique by Ignacio Ramonet before you posted about football and slavery: “The buying and selling of footballers is a perfect image for the state of the global market: the treasures of the South are consumed in the North, because only the North has the money to buy them. This market, full of traps for the unwary, generates a modern slave trade.”

The Ramonet article is over here and worth reading not only in light of what I had to say about the symbolic significance of the Ghana/USA match, but the globalization of Pele and Ntone’s comments concerning the “brand war” that presently dominates the international stage of football. It all comes together very neatly.

Better Switch Your Major to Business

posted by on July 3 at 3:37 PM

Got a student loan? Planning to get a student loan? First, the bad news:

Students across the nation will have to pay thousands more in college loans beginning Saturday, according to a series of reports released today by the research arm of the Campaign for America’s Future. College students and graduates will be pushed deeper into debt as interest rates on Stafford loans — the basic student loan — rise from 5.3 percent to 7.14 percent on old loans and to 6.8 percent on new loans at the end of this week.

Second, some more bad news:

Tuition at the average four-year public university has increased by 40 percent since 2001, and nearly two-thirds of all four-year college graduates now have student loans. Students and their parents are going further and further into debt, creating a burden that is often unsustainable. Student loan debt already causes 14 percent of young graduates to delay marriage; 30 percent to hold off on buying a car; 21 percent to postpone having children; and 38 percent to delay buying a home.

And finally, a little finger-pointing:

Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage explained how Congress has carried out a raid on student aid through acts of commission and omission.

“The failure of the current administration and Congress to make college affordable for all qualified students is a disservice to the country,” said Borosage. “The Republican leadership has allowed interest rates on student loans to rise, increased the interest rate on loans that parents take out to help pay for their children’s education and refused to allow a vote on a bill that would cut interest rates in half on new loans.”

RockStar: Storm Large Sneak Peek!

posted by on July 3 at 3:13 PM

storm2.jpgFor those who are itchin’ to cheer on Northwest (via Portland) hottie Storm Large in this Wednesday’s premiere of Rockstar: Supernova (click HERE if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about), WELL, ITCH NO LONGER. The entire premiere episode is waiting for you right now, right HERE (WARNING: The music on this site is AWFUL!!)—so check it out, if you have the time. If you don’t have the time, then at least check out this VIDEO BIO OF STORM LARGE that was filmed for the show. It is simultaneously hilarious, thrilling, sexy, cheesy, embarrassing and wonderful all rolled up into one.

(P.S. You must have Windows RealPlayer to watch this. Which sucks.)

Corey Pearlstein Responds

posted by on July 3 at 3:12 PM

… to this story, the ConWorks move, his role as artistic director, etc.:

We want to do the closeout here, figure out what to sell, what to store, do right by our tenants, and throw a really good wake. Not a wake for ConWorks, but a wake for this venue. Then we’ll step back and ask all the questions—what are all the human resources, the physical, technical, creative stuff that is requisite for the thing we want to do. Do we, for example, need a visual arts curator for doing the kind of thing we were trying to do? Maybe ConWorks should be a postdisciplinary space instead of this multi-pronged thing. Could ConWorks live conceptually online, say?

It sounds like anything could happen—a change in mission, closing up shop, finding another venue, staying homeless. Pearlstein said that announcing that ConWorks is moving and uncertain has been a relief: “And I hope people don’t take away a sense of discouragement or an idea of what you can’t do with art in Seattle—we were just changing the tires on a moving car from the day I got here.”

“And if you write anything about this conversation,” he said, “send out a profound fucking thank you to Seattle—there has been so much energy and goodwill and people have just been amazing.”

More from Corey and the folks in and around ConWorks in the next issue…

The Film Company

posted by on July 3 at 1:38 PM

There’s a rumor in the air about The Film Company, a local for-profit which produced Guy Maddin’s The Brand Upon The Brain (a feature film that’s to have its gala premier at the Toronto International Film Festival), and also produced Lynn Shelton’s critically acclaimed We Go Way Back (a feature film picked up by Cyan Pictures and opens at the end of September). The rumor is that The Film Company is leaving Seattle. To where? To New York City. Rumor has it that the reason for the move is purely financial. If the rumors are true, news of the departure will be made public Thursday, July 6 (5:30 - 6:45 pm) at the Northwest Film Forum.

Jesse Oxfeld Out at Gawker

posted by on July 3 at 1:15 PM

Oxfeld’s firing is leading folks to speculate that we’ll now see an “Us Weekly-ization” of Gawker. This is probably an accurate prediction, but wasn’t that inevitable?

Much Ado Over Nothing

posted by on July 3 at 12:57 PM

Looks like PI Columnist Bonnie Erbe worked herself into a lather about nothing: Germany reports very little change in the level of sex work activity during the World Cup. They can’t seem to find any of those thousands of forced prostitutes, either.
I’m not surprised. I heard the same story about the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, and about various cities hosting the Superbowl. There’s usually some noise about a jump in the sex trade, and strippers and escorts always hope they’re going to bank, but the reality is: business is usually so-so at best. The guys are focused on sports and beer, not sex.

The K.C. Sheriff’s Side of the Story

posted by on July 3 at 12:45 PM

I talked to K.C. deputy sheriff Rodney Chinnick. He says the witnesses’s accounts are “not an accurate portrayal” of what happened on Friday. In short, he says, the undercover officers—who were on duty as sheriff’s detectives with the metro transit division (meaning they patrol the bus line routes for things like drugs and prostitution and vandalism)—sounded their horn and siren when Jace Brien stopped them at the intersection. Chinnick stresses that it’s a misdemeanor, “disorderly conduct,” for someone to block an intersection.

Chinnick says that after the detectives sounded their air horn and alarm, Brien defiantly threw down his bike “challenging the officers.” The officers sounded their air horn and alarm again. At that point, according to Chinnick, the officer who was driving got out of the van showed Brien his badge and said: “You’re under arrest.” Brien then reportedly fled about 15 feet. A second officer, on the driver’s side, got out and chased Brien down. Chinnick reports that the crowd was yelling out: “What are the charges?” …which he cites as evidence that at this point the crowd knew these were officers.

Then another biker (this would be Zack Treisman) emerged from the crowd and tried to pry the second officer off of Brien, jumping on the officer from behind and putting a “strangle hold” on him, according to Chinnick. At this point, a third officer emerged from the van. This officer wrestled Treisman off the second officer, shouting: “Stop resisting arrest!” Treisman punched one of the detectives, Chinnick says.

Treisman, 30, was arrested for assaulting an officer. Brien, 18, was arrested for disorderly conduct and minor in possession of alcohol. (The deputies found beer in his back pack.)


Ice-T to Produce Hasselhoff Rap Album

posted by on July 3 at 12:24 PM

No… NO… NO!!! I mean, yes… Yes… YES!!
From Ananova:

Ice-T is to produce David Hasselhoff’s first hip-hop album. The pair are neighbours in Los Angeles and are said to have struck up a close friendship. Hasselhoff has had some success as a singer, releasing seven albums. He’s also said to be very popular in Germany. Ice-T, who was one of the first real hip-hop stars in the late 1980s, said: “The man is a legend. And we are going to show a whole new side of him.” The rapper is said to be convinced that the 51-year-old for Knight Rider and Baywatch actor can take on the biggest names in rap, reports The Sun. Ice-T added: “He’s gonna come out as Hassle The Hoff - I promise you. The Hoff will surprise people with his rap skills and humour.”


Happy Birthday to…

posted by on July 3 at 11:45 AM







1. Franz Kafka (1883).

2. M. F. K. Fisher (1908).

3. Tom Stoppard (1937).

4. Tom Cruise (1962).

5. Jen Graves (1975).

6. That actress who played the neighbor in Full House (1976).

Million-Dollar Burner

posted by on July 3 at 11:40 AM

The second quarter of political fundraising ended on Friday, and the campaign of eastside Democrat Darcy Burner tells me that Burner reached her goal of hitting $1 million raised. (The precise number will be in later this week.)

Given all the first-quarter focus on Burner out-fundraising her opponent, freshman Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, the news that Burner’s now hit such a big number for the second quarter will be exciting for people backing her campaign.

However, it’s highly unlikely that Burner’s fundraising outpaced Reichert’s again this quarter, what with Reichert’s recent money-raising visit from President Bush and all. Also, it’s a virtual certainty that Reichert remains far ahead of Burner in the overall fundraising totals. As of May, Reichert had brought in a total of about $1.4 million. (His campaign won’t be releasing his end-of-second-quarter total until mid-July.)


I spoke to Burner a short time ago, and she tells me she’s getting good marks from the national party for having hit the $1 million goal:

We’re really, really happy. The folks in D.C. are pleasantly stunned that we’ve managed to raise that much — and so much of it is from here. It is again a real demonstration of how excited people are about changing the direction of the country.

Burner says she’ll be focusing less on Reichert’s new fundraising total, when it comes, than on his new cash-on-hand number. Her cash-on-hand number is currently $680,000.

FURTHER UPDATE: I’m told that due to a last-minute surge, Burner’s cash-on-hand number is actually more than $700,000. I’ll do a new post with the precise number when it comes.

Critical Mass: Whose Streets?

posted by on July 3 at 10:50 AM

This morning’s P-I has an account of Friday’s Critical Mass arrests, and this line from the P-I story jumped out at me:

Seattle police were not called to assist and were not involved with the investigation.

I’ve ridden with Critical Mass before, so I know that it’s often monitored by Seattle Police officers who seem to get what the event is about. For example: Last year, for a potential story, I was on a Friday evening Critical Mass ride that decided to head over the Aurora Bridge. The bikers began by occupying every lane of the bridge and riding really slowly, forcing the normal car traffic to become a creeping parade led by cyclists. Seattle Police arrived in short order and used their patrol cars and loudspeakers to force the cyclists into one lane — the far right lane. Then the patrol cars occupied the lane next to the cyclists to protect them, and to keep them in place as car traffic whizzed by in the other lanes. No arrests, no injuries, and the cyclists exited the bridge on the Ballard side a few minutes later, point made.

I doubt the King County Sheriff’s deputies who came upon Critical Mass last Friday were very familiar with the event. And it doesn’t seem that the deputies involved in Friday’s incident made much of an effort to get in touch with their Seattle colleagues about what they were witnessing — either before of after they made two arrests. Which strikes me as strange.

I just spoke to Sean Whitcomb, the Seattle Police spokesman, and he said he’s been looking, but hasn’t yet found any record of communication between the King County Sheriff’s deputies and the Seattle Police department about the incident. He wouldn’t comment on whether the Sheriff’s deputies should have contacted the Seattle Police because he’s still getting to the bottom of the situation.

But he did say that for minor arrests (like a Sheriff’s deputy taking a disruptive drunk on a Seattle bus into custody) it’s not expected that the Seattle Police be notified, while for major incidents (like a Sheriff’s deputy disrupting a Seattle bank robbery) it is expected that the Seattle Police be notified.

Where does Friday’s incident — undercover King County Sheriff’s deputies making two arrests at a monthly Seattle bike protest — fit into this spectrum? Whitcomb wouldn’t say.

It’s a Series of Tubes

posted by on July 3 at 10:44 AM

During a debate on net neutrality, Senator Ted Stevens (R - Alaska) explained how the internet works. I started highlighting the misleading, false, and just totally boneheaded statements, but it turns out it’s the entire thing.

There’s one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn’t going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let’s talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren’t using it for commercial purposes.

We aren’t earning anything by going on that internet. Now I’m not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people […]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says “No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet”. No, I’m not finished. I want people to understand my position, I’m not going to take a lot of time. [?]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can’t afford getting delayed by other people.


Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it’s not using what consumers use every day.

It’s not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a viloation of net neutraility that hits you and me.

If you’d like to share your thoughts on how much of an asshead he is, send Senator Stevens an internet of your own.

If you want to know how the internet actually works, start here.

Audio of Stevens’ comments can be found here.

World Wife-Carrying Championship Results

posted by on July 3 at 10:15 AM

It’s official, Estonian Margo Uusorg is the new world wife-carrying champion, after winning the 11th annual contest in Sonkajarvi, Finland. Some credit is also due to his wife, Sandra Kullas, who “clung to his back upside down with her feet around his neck” as Uusorg raced along a 250-meter track complete with pools and hurdles.

The contest is of course held to commemorate the legend of Rosvo-Ronkainen, who made people trying to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks. Replace the heavy sacks with young brides, and you’ve got yourself a world-class athletic event!

Uusorg and Kullas received laptops and the wife’s weight in beer (49 kilograms) for their record-setting 56.9-second effort.

Photos from the Critical Mass Arrests on Friday

posted by on July 3 at 9:00 AM


(The scene of the arrests. Brown undercover Van in background is facing north. Bikers were on the west corner about to turn north.)


(Zack Treisman getting arrested for assaulting an officer.)


(Zack’s arrest.)

firstCopOn biker.jpg

(This is the first deputy who reportedly charged at biker Jace Brien without identifying himself.)


(Another photo of the arrests. You can clearly see the officer’s sheriff’s badge dangling from his neck. Witnesses say the badges did not come out until after the officers tackled and wrestled Brien and Treisman.)


(This is the second plain clothes deputy who emerged from the van.)

I’m still waiting to hear back from the K.C. Sheriff’s office to get their explanation of these arrests.

The Morning News

posted by on July 3 at 7:08 AM

Palestinian militants demand Israel release a bunch of prisoners. Israel says, ”Um… no.”

In Spain, a subway car jumped the tracks this morning, killing at least 30.

Mexico’s presidential election is a wee bit close.

America’s farmers: The real ”welfare queens.”

Is it okay to call a fat kid a “fat kid?” Experts want to know.

Neo-Nazis are marching in Olympia today. The region eagerly awaits their keen insights on race relations.

Cops vs. bikers: You may have read something about it over the weekend.

The Seattle P-I: Now publishing high school journalism. (As opposed to other rags, which merely publish high school level journalism.)

Ichiro and Jose Lopez are all-stars. Oh, and the Mariners are just one game back in the AL West.

Quit it like Beckham.

And finally, the story of the year, from the BBC:

[David] Hasselhoff, 53, hit his head on a chandelier in the men’s toilet after using the gym at the Sanderson Hotel in London’s West End on Thursday.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Critical Mass: Eye-Witness Account No. 3

posted by on July 2 at 7:25 PM

From Ilsa Govan, a Seattle public school teacher…

Continue reading "Critical Mass: Eye-Witness Account No. 3" »

More on the Critical Mass Attack: Another Eyewitness Account

posted by on July 2 at 5:40 PM

I just interviewed another eyewitness to the weird arrest that took place at Friday’s Critical Mass ride. (This witness has also filed a sworn statement. He forwarded it to Zack’s attorney through Wright Brother’s bike shop in Fremont—as several other eyewitnesses have done. Zack is one of the two bikers that was arrested. ) The witnesses’s name is Graylan Vincent. He’s 25, and he’s been a regular rider with Critical Mass for the last year.

His report confirms what I’ve already heard from several bikers: It was around 6:30. The 200 cyclists—a big turn out for Critical Mass—were a half hour into their monthly ride. They had just finished biking north along the waterfront and had cut back into Belltown and biked up a big hill east bound. Then they turned north and were at an intersection near the Spaghetti Factory [sounds like Elliot Ave. and Broad St.] At the intersection, a biker [Jace] coasted into the intersection and stopped a brown van. This is called “corking.” That’s when a biker warns traffic to stop because a herd of cyclists is about to come through the intersection.

Vincent, who’d already gone through the intersection and was at the north corner, described the van as shiny and modern “like a Chevy Astro type van.” He looked back to see Jace telling the van to stop. Then he sees a big guy—Vincent describes him as “looking like a SeaHawks fan with a long baggy shirt, baggy shorts, sunglasses, and a shaved or bald head…a big beefy guy”—get out of the van. “Uh, oh,” Vincent thought, “this looks like trouble.”

Vincent was struck by the fact that the big guy didn’t say anything. No arm gestures. No warnings. “That was scary,” he says. “Then the driver just made a beeline toward [Jace] and grabbed him and threw him to the ground. He had this look in his eye like his blood was just boiling.” (Jace, who’s 18, would later be charged for possession of alcohol by a minor because the officers would find some beers in his back pack. I don’t think he was charged with anything else.)

That’s when another Critical Masser named Zack got off his bike and tried to pry the guy off Jace. Then another big guy, dressed the same way, got out of the van and grabbed Zack. Vincent says it just turned into a brawl, with the two pairs “just rolling around on the ground.” The crowd of bicylcists was gathered around and yelling for them to break it up. A lot of the cyclists were also taking pictures.

It’s at that point, when things were starting to get out of control, Vincent says, that the guy who was wrestling with Jace yelled: “I’m a cop. I’m a fucking cop. You’re under arrest.” It was such a crazy scene that Vincent says he thought the guy was kidding.

But then he saw hand cuffs. And then he saw the officers pull out badges. Once they announced they were cops, Vincent says, everyone started backing off. Then two other plain clothes officers arrived (Vincent doesn’t know where they came from…perhaps the van, he says) and helped with the arrests.

Vincent describes the incident as, “Road rage hiding behind a badge.”

He emphasized that the officers didn’t say anything or demonstrate in anyway that they were law enforcement until midway through the brawl when things started getting out of control.

The officers were not SPD, but reportedly, deputies with the King County Sheriff’s Dept. There was no one available for a comment at the K.C. Sheriff’s office. I left a message at sheriff spokesman John Urquhart’s number. I will call again first thing tomorrow to get their take on this incident.

Suggests Sellout

posted by on July 2 at 4:23 PM

For tonight, I suggested this:

“Awesome” (JOIE DE VIVRE) Back before Delaware at Re-bar and noSIGNAL at On the Boards, “Awesome” used to play straight-ahead concerts—or the closest thing to straight-ahead concerts as the theatrical-minded musicians could manage. Tonight the band returns to its roots, with musical saws, comedy, performance art, a clutch of surprise guests, and, of course, songs about robot ghosts, drowned men, bullhorns, birds, and bees. (Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 382-4250. 8 pm, $10.) BRENDAN KILEY

But tonight is sold the fuck out so the band has added another show at Open Circle this Monday.

Now please enjoy this photo of a lascivious door knocker.

Update: Critical Mass Attack

posted by on July 2 at 10:57 AM

Both of the Critical Mass bikers who were arrested on Friday afternoon are out of jail now. The biker who was reportedly chased down and attacked by the K.C. deuputies got out on Friday night. Pending charge: possession of alcohol by a minor. This is Jace, the biker who tried to halt traffic as the Critical Mass pack approached an intersection in Belltown. He evidently halted the wrong car: a van occupied by some pretty angry plainclothes K.C. deputies. According to witnesses, the plain clothes officers rushed out and didn’t i.d. themselves before knocking Jace to the ground. Jace is 18 and the officers subsequently found beers in his backpack.

The other Critical Mass biker, Zack, a 30-year-old U.W. grad student who rushed to help (thinking Jace was being attacked by some amped up dudes), is facing a more serious charge: assualting an officer. The officers apparently identified themselves in the middle of the scuffle. Zack was released on $3000 bail on Saturday evening. (A bondsman covered the fine, so Critical Mass only had to pay $300.) He had a five-minute hearing yesterday at K.C. court.

Zack has an attorney now. Witnesses are dropping off signed statements at Wright Brothers bike shop in Fremont in advance of Zack’s meeting this afternoon with the lawyer.

Zack’s girlfriend, Jill, who (whom?) I spoke with this morning, says before they meet the lawyer they’re taking Zack to get checked out by a nurse: “He’s got bruises all over his upper torso from what they did to him.” Jill also reports that after Zack was released last night at around 6:30pm, a crew of Critical Mass bikers, including Jace, headed over to Myrtle Edwards beach to take a break from this whole thing.

Zack’s hearing is this Thursday at the K.C. Courthouse at 2:30.