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Archives for 07/09/2006 - 07/15/2006

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is There A Doctor in the Slog?

posted by on July 15 at 8:42 PM

Does this sound familiar to anyone—a head and/or chest cold that lasts for 2-3 weeks with heavy coughing, totally clogged sinuses, but no fever? And don’t say it’s allergies because my girfriend got it about a week before me, and it’s followed the same path for both of us: starts in the chest, moves to the head, then back to the chest, then the head again— like a viral yo-yo. Anyone else out there experiencing this summertime sickness? Any tips? Magical remedies? Secrets on making phlegm less repulsive?

Let’s Buy Nicole Brodeur a Muu-Muu

posted by on July 15 at 7:18 PM

Nicole Brodeur, erotic NIMBY, wants people to take their icky sexiness elsewhere. One wonders where, given that she labels it misogyny and trots out the usual tired hand-wringing about the children, the children… Personally, I find this a lot more misogynistic than a party with go-go dancers. But given that Ms. Brodeur seem to think that the mere proximity of female bodies has the power to scar the eyes and brains of passers-by, perhaps she should consider buying one.

Sports Car Club on Broadway?

posted by on July 15 at 5:41 PM

Slog reader Phil would like to know what the hell is up with this:


Art on Edge

posted by on July 15 at 11:39 AM

In case you, like me, wondered if Benny, Fremont’s rock balancer, has been hanging out at Myrtle Edwards Park: Nope. According to this P-I story, the bayside sculptures are the work of a redheaded artist who goes by “Stacker.” And if you’ve never been to Myrtle Edwards Park, you’re missing a delightful ribbon of urban green. Enter via the elegant double-helix footbridge over Amgen (Elliott Avenue West and West Prospect Street), where there’s plenty of free on-street parking.

End Times! Yay!

posted by on July 15 at 9:33 AM

Who likes disturbing message boards?

Check this one out.

As things spin further and further out of control in the Middle East, the rapture fetishists are getting really excited. Could this be it??


The Quad Cities

posted by on July 15 at 7:00 AM

We’re on the brink of World War III but, hey, I’m on vacation.

We stopped for the night in the Quad Cities—Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline—on the Mississippi. Walking along the river after dinner we heard cheers coming around a bend in the river. We walked on and found a tiny ballpark on the Iowa side of the Mississippi in Davenport. The Swing, a farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals, was playing the Beloit, Wisconsin, Something Or Others. The park was tiny and beautiful, you could see the river from our seats, and a game was the perfect antidote to a long day spent in a hot car.


Unfortunately we couldn’t get a decent beer. Only Bud was available in the cheap seats. You could get better beer in a bar just behind our seats—but that bar only served people holding tickets to the park’s luxury suite. Yes, luxury suites at the Quad Cities Swing. Luxury suites in the tiniest lil’ ballpark you ever did see. Here’s a picture of my boys watching the game from the dirt mound/levee that protects the park from the Mississippi…


That’s the whole damn park. And those black boxy things hovering over the seats? Those are the luxury suites, where the good beer is served. Sheesh. You just can’t escape the tyranny of luxury suites anymore. Is there any place in this country where the class war isn’t raging?

The Swing—er, the Swingers?—was behind/were behind four runs at the bottom of the ninth inning, but the mighty Swing rallied. They came from behind to win six runs to five. There were fireworks, and everyone left happy. On our way back to our hotel I spotted a historical marker. I’m a sucker for historical markers, so I crossed the street to read it. Here’s a blurry picture:


And here’s a clearer picture:


Yes, children. On this spot in Davenport in 1895, in a building that’s no longer on this spot, Daniel Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment. Sends a chill right down your misaligned spine, now doesn’t it?

Greg Nickels…

posted by on July 15 at 6:28 AM

…has lost his freaking mind.

Hey, these guys own strip clubs, they’re Italian-Americans, and they’re working—through a legal, Democratic process!—to overturn an idiotic Nickels-backed blue law that will put them out of business. So they must be mobsters!

“The clubs don’t make their money off of Pepsi. … I believe that there is organized crime involved in at least that club and perhaps others, and I don’t want to encourage a lot more of them in my city,” Nickels said.

If Greg knows they’re not making their money on Pepsi, and he’s going to toss around charges of organized crime, then he must know how they’re making their money. So if it’s not Pepsi (and titties), Greg, what is it? Drugs? Dice? Bathtub gin? And if these guys are doing something illegal and Greg Nickels knows about, why doesn’t he have them all arrested? Or is the chief of police not taking the mayor’s calls these days?

Perhaps the owners of Seattle’s strip clubs should sue Nickels for defamation. And perhaps Greg’s staffers should institute a four-foot rule—one that keeps Nickels at least four feet away from microphones.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fiery the Angels Fell

posted by on July 14 at 4:32 PM

In 1982, I saw this city on a movie screen and, at once, more than badly desired to be in it, to live and die in it. spinner.jpg Today I found this image: img_6461.jpg The city that first appeared in the movie Blade Runner is now in reality Shanghai.

Consolidated Works, in Quotes

posted by on July 14 at 3:28 PM

Consolidated Works, an omelet flung out of its pan by its board more than a year ago—the board, after firing the founder, then scrambled around picking up chunks of eggs, chunks of cheese, weird ingredients out of the back of the fridge, all the while insisting, “We can make an omelet! How hard can it be to make an omelet?!”—is at a very awkward point in its life story.

What’s happening at the multidisciplinary arts space is difficult to write about. The story is just very gooey and floppy and has lost all inertia. Everyone you ask has a wildly different take on what’s going on. Is this the end? Is this a new beginning? Is it from now on going to “live conceptually online”? Brendan Kiley, never one to walk away from a challenge, captures the status of ConWorks in a column this week made up entirely of quotes. If you care at all about ConWorks, you should read it.

Sleater-Kinney, Last Show, Take II

posted by on July 14 at 3:24 PM

I see that readers of the Slog/Lineout have not yet been notified that there is a new last Sleater-Kinney show ever. How to get ‘em: 500 tickets available (2 per) at the Crystal Ballroom box office, PDX, tomorrow at noon. The rest go on sale to the world via Ticketmaster at 1 pm. Also at the box office only: 250 tickets to the Aug 11 show, available at noon.

I happen to be going down to Portland tomorrow morning (hi Dad! you know that family reunion? is it okay if you drop me off at the Crystal Ballroom instead?), but sadly I will probably not get in line early enough for anything. I shall still try.

(And this is to counteract the S-K hatin’ that’s been going on over at Lineout: I adore Sleater-Kinney. And live, they’re totally amazing. I would say you have to try to get tickets to this show, but honestly, I’d rather you buy them and give them to me.)

Bob Dylan: On Broadway & Bookshelves

posted by on July 14 at 3:18 PM

It happened to Billy Joel and the Four Seasons and Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Now it’s happening to Bob Dylan.

From Playbill:

The Times They Are A-Changin’, the Twyla Tharp-created musical featuring Bob Dylan’s songs is Broadway-bound for the fall….[the show] is “set within a low-rent traveling circus run by Capt. Arab, whose wagon hasn’t moved from its location in some time—though not by lack of effort from his ragtag band of clowns and performers,” according to production notes. “One such performer is the animal trainer Cleo, a young woman exploited by Capt. Arab and loved by his son, Coyote. Coyote longs for a world outside the confines of the family business, and as the circus show plays out, he must decide whether to flee or stay, and if he does stay, how to inspire change within the troupe.”

Wow. That sounds terrible. I imagine the show will lean much more toward Peter, Paul, and Mary-ish Dylan than Dylan-ish Dylan, but hopefully the revenue will make the composer’s old age that much more comfortable.

In other Dylan news, I finally got around to reading Chronicles, Vol. 1, the first installment of Dylan’s memoirs, and—surprise—Bob Dylan is a great writer. The book paints a much more intimate portrait of Dylan than anything that’s come before—including Scorsese’s admirable but unsurprising No Direction Home and the man’s own vast songbook. The first volume is split, oddly but compellingly, between his earliest years making a name for himself in New York and his months spent recording 1989’s Oh, Mercy in New Orleans with Daniel Lanois. (Dylan calls him “Danny.”)

Oh, Mercy’s not one of my favorites, but the account of its recording is fascinating, and contains one of my favorite chunks from the book:

“Danny asked me who I’d been listening to recently, and I told him Ice-T. He was surprised, but he shouldn’t have been. A few years earlier, Kurtis Blow, a rapper from Brooklyn who had a hit out called “The Breaks,” had asked me to be on one of his records and he familiarized me with that stuff, Ice-T, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Run-D.M.C. These guys definitely weren’t standing around bullshitting. They were beating drums, tearing it up, hurling horses over cliffs….The kind of music Danny and I were making was archaic. I didn’t tell him that, but that’s honestly how I felt.”

In other pop-stars-on-Broadway news: Usher will star in a new production of Chicago opening on Broadway on August 22.

Coming Monday…

posted by on July 14 at 2:11 PM

The answer to why Kyle Huff killed (as explained by James Fox).

More on the Mayor’s Proposed New Club Restrictions

posted by on July 14 at 12:56 PM

Yesterday I got a furious voice mail from mayoral spokesman Marty McOmber (who has a policy of not speaking to the Stranger) about my Slog post unveiling the mayor’s draft proposal for new nightclub regulations. McOmber said my post was “riddled with inaccuracies,” adding, “And you wonder why the mayor’s office won’t return your calls.” McOmber told me to call Film and Music Office director James Keblas (who also did not return calls and e-mails for comment for last week’s feature), who he said would set me straight.

Here’s what Keblas said: “The mayor is not anti-nightlife. [His policies to date] have not closed any clubs… This proposal is meant to professionalize the nightlife industry so everyone knows what the conditions are … and centralize the city’s relationship with nightclubs.” So basically, the mayor’s office doesn’t like the way I characterized the mayor’s legislation. Asked if the mayor’s office disputed anything other than my characterization of his position as “anti-nightlife” (my opinion), Keblas pointed to the way I defined “nightclubs”: as establishments with a capacity of 50 or more that provide live entertainment. Actually, Keblas said, nightclubs are drinking establishments with a capacity of 50 or more people that provide live entertainment after 10 pm. I was happy to clarify, but honestly, I think the difference is a pretty minor one. (Most people understand, I think, that a nightclub is a club that operates at night and sells booze.) Keblas also took issue with my use of “leaked documents.” I certainly hope McOmber, a former Times reporter, recognizes the usefulness of leaked documents to reporters’ work.

Again, I asked Keblas to cite the repeated major errors McOmber alluded to in his message. He sent me a long e-mail in response. The e-mail noted two other “errors”: Clubs are only required to patrol parking lots that they own or operate (I said they had to police both lots that they own and lots that they “use,” i.e. operate, which I consider a different way of saying the exact same thing). And Keblas said club employees don’t have to “maintain security” outside clubs before and after closing time, as I wrote; instead, he said, they’re just required to “patrol, i.e., monitor, and call law enforcement if illegal activities are taking place.” Again, this seems like a semantic difference to me. One more substantive thing Keblas did point out is that I said club owners aren’t “allowed” to police adjacent property (like the sidewalk and other areas that aren’t under their legal control). My understanding was that this is true. He asked me to offer evidence. I’m looking into that and will post a correction if I was wrong.

Those minor differences aside, I stand by my post: The mayor’s proposed new regulations (which include requiring clubs to prevent patrons from bringing drugs and weapons on their premises; requiring clubs to keep noise levels inaudible to “a person of normal hearing”; allowing the police chief to summarily suspend nightclub licenses at will; and requiring clubs to police all areas where patrons “or prospective patrons” gather) would harm, not help, nightlife in Seattle. Keblas said in his e-mail that I failed to note that the mayor’s nightlife task force recommended several measures to help nightclubs, including “promoting the development of a vibrant entertainment and late-night entertainment industry within the city” and mediating disputes between clubs and their neighbors. The reason I didn’t note any of the task force’s positive recommendations is that none of those recommendations were incorporated into the mayor’s draft of the law. Yes, the city is adding a new staff person to work with the new nightclub advisory board (which will administer the new nightclub licenses) and clubs. But that staffer wouldn’t be necessary if the mayor hadn’t proposed the new nightclub license and all the attending new restrictions I wrote about extensively yesterday in the first place. Yes, this proposal is just a draft. But from a mayor who claims to support “vibrant” nightlife in Seattle, it’s an alarming place to start.

Conservatives Debate Intelligent Design

posted by on July 14 at 12:46 PM

There’s an interesting debate between National Review writers George Gilder and John Derbyshire this week (that first link is to the Discovery Institute; NR has it behind their subscription wall). The article by Gilder, who’s an ID proponent, is fascinating because it describes the allure of the ID worldview.

Like all the other crackpots, Gilder claims that science needs ID to progress. But he fell in love with ID not because he’s a scientist facing an insurmountable metaphysical wall, but because he, a conservative pundit, is uncomfortable with the thoroughly debunked notions of social Darwinism. He also disapproves of pop sociology comparing animal behavior with human behavior. When he points out that animal behavior can be cited to support any rainbow of human behavior—sexism, matrilineal descent, machismo, homosexuality—you can almost sense his horror of being associated with any base animal. Of course, he has a point: You can’t prove that human society should be a certain way just because you observe that another species is that way.

Continue reading "Conservatives Debate Intelligent Design" »

The Landscape of Devastation Is Still a Landscape

posted by on July 14 at 11:55 AM

“To find beauty in war photographs seems heartless. But the landscape of devastation is still a landscape. There is beauty in ruins.” —Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others


This photo’s from Time.

Art In America

posted by on July 14 at 11:41 AM

Today, the Stranger suggests a trinity of sound, language, and image at the Frye:

Rebecca Brown, Trimpin, Robyn O’Neil (ART & LITERATURE) On the evening of the day that the Trimpin: Klompen exhibit opens, local being/beacon of light/literature Rebecca Brown reads a whole new work. From her own mouth: “It is a new short story. A dark American tale inspired by the Robyn O’Neil show that’s set up there [at the Frye] at this moment.” Do not miss the musical art of Trimpin, the epic drawings of O’Neil, and the rhythmic prose of Rebecca Brown. (Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, 622-9250. 6—10 pm, free.) CHARLES MUDEDE

In honor of Slayer, who’ll be strutting and peddling their death-glam wares at Qwest Field today, here’s a random quote from The Satanic Witch, by the ridiculous jackass and relentless self-promoter Anton LaVey. From chapter five, entitled Fashion: The Witch’s Greatest Friend, the Witch: Fashion’s Worst Enemy: “I say that if you are in any way beyond the help of glamorizing techniques, take the Devil’s name and play the Devil’s game and let people know it. Learn a skill. Patin, play, sculpt, write, draw, read.” It’s like Emily Post for petulant suburban teenagers!

It was only a matter of time: Zidane’s World Cup head butt has inspired a song.

Shakespeare’s first folio sold at an auction for $5.2 million.

Other things that cost $5.2 million: (1) The entire war chest of Democrat Bob Casey, who is running against Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania; (2) 3.85 percent of that fancy Klimt painting in New York; (3) The entire budget for public schools in Brookline, MA in 2005; (4) The income that video game Halo 2 generated per hour in the first 24 hours after its release.

Some senator says the guy who runs the Smithsonian is “unfit to serve,” because of accounting irregularities and “crass commercialism.”

Vinegar is good for you. Hippocrates used it to treat infections. Lord Byron drank it to preserve his pale complexion. The scienticians say vinegar kinda-maybe-sorta inhibits staph infections, some heart disease, and tumor growth. It was, according to Mohammed, the finest of condiments. Drink some vinegar today!

Go West!

posted by on July 14 at 11:36 AM

Two reasons to go to West Seattle this weekend:
The Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, the Northwest’s biggest bellydance fest, shimmies into West Seattle tomorrow and Sunday, showcasing nonstop bellydancing of all flavors on two stages from 10 am both days. (Hiawatha Center, 2700 California Ave SW, free.)
The West Seattle Summer Fest at the Junction, with bands, crafts, food vendors, and a sidewalk sale, runs through the weekend. (SW Alaska St and California Ave SW, free.)

Will This Post Get Me an $8K a Month Job?

posted by on July 14 at 10:46 AM

Earlier this week, I Slogged about the fact Maria “I Don’t Accept PAC Money” Cantwell was dinged by the GOP for making a TV ad with money from the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (DCC) which received over $177,000 in PAC money in the 2005-2006 cycle. The GOP also wanted to know how much of the $3 million raised from PACs by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (the DSCC) has gone to Cantwell.

I think these are legit questions. Of course, I was jumped by a couple of local Dem bloggers for posting about this. They said it was a non-story & that I shouldn’t be led around by the nose by GOP press releases. (Of course, they failed to mention that in the same post, I debunked the third claim in that GOP press release which had accused Cantwell of being bought by AT&T.)

I was happy, however, to second the reasonable first two assertions by the GOP that Cantwell was hedging on her “No PAC Money” pledge.

I called the Cantwell campaign before I posted, but they didn’t call back. Yesterday, however, I got a call from an angry Cantwell campaign staffer in D.C., Michael Meehan, who told me—repeatedly, in an escalating voice— “The Senator has stood by her pledge!” as if that answered the question. He added that McGavick has taken at least $90K in PAC money (thru the first quarter) and that Sen. Murray has taken $1.7 million. Again: As if that answered the question. (Neither McGavick nor Murray ever pledged not to take PAC money.)

In addition to lecturing me on McCain/Feingold, which Cantwell helped pass, Meehan finally explained that Cantwell had only pledged that her campaign committee would not take PAC money. She can’t control what the DSCC or the state DCC does, he told me. Meehan was angry…and didn’t really let me talk much.

I was able to tell him that I thought he was playing semantic games and offered him an analogy: If Cantwell had pledged to be a vegetarian, she could certainly avoid non-Vegetarian meals even though she couldn’t control what’s sold at the grocery store or in restaurants. In other words, sure she can’t control who the DSCC gets its money from, but she can avoid DSCC money. She made a pledge. She set herself up to be judged by a higher standard. She can’t then just turn around and complain that not taking PAC money from the DSCC is too difficult a proposition.

Look, this really isn’t a huge scandal or anything. It’s a Slog post about a Democratic senator who pledged to do something, and there are questions about wether or not she is living up to that pledge.

Note to Cantwell: I’ll shut up about this if you’ve got another campaign job available.

Speaking of the Perfect Penis

posted by on July 14 at 10:44 AM

Yesterday I was doing some HONEST research for an upcoming article—is a penis a willie or a willy? feel free to weigh in—when I came across a listing in Google for this:

Chocolate Clone-a-Willy Kit - $33.99 Makes an exact replica of your favorite penis in milk chocolate! Includes everything you need to make the mold and some chocolate to fill it up with. Manufacturer recommends keeping mold filled with water between uses so that you can mold again. We suggest making a lot of chocolates at one time and storing them in the fridge wrapped air tight. We sell extra chocolate in milk, dark or white.

I am delighted at their multicultural sensitivity in selling different shades of chocolate, but my favorite part is suggesting that you make extras and keep them in your refrigerator.

826 Seattle Stand-Up Comedy Workshop

posted by on July 14 at 10:31 AM

Is your child funny? (Funny ha-ha, not funny peculiar. Hopefully all children are a little peculiar.) A bit of a ham? Always scribbling new “bits” on those cocktail napkins your urbane friends leave strewn about the coffee table? Well 826 Seattle wants to help him or her refine those gifts. Among the many workshops the not-for-profit youth language arts center is offering this summer, during the school-free months, is next week’s Stand-Up Comedy primer: Thursday, July 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Open to fifteen participants, ages 10 to 15. Oh, and it’s FREE. The brave instructor is laugh-master Peter Grayy, host of the Mirabeau Room’s popular Wednesday night comedy showcase. (Don’t worry, Moms & Dads - workshop material won’t get too “blue.”) Best part? Completion guarantees a slot on the bill at the 826 Seattle Variety Show that Saturday afternoon, July 22. (More on that shindig later…) Contact the 826 workshop directors to sign up now.

Dept. of Shameless Self-Promotion

posted by on July 14 at 9:51 AM

Our own Eli Sanders will be on KUOW’s Weekday at 10 a.m. this morning—in other words, about eight minutes from now. He’ll be talking about the Middle East and the rights of Seattle renters, among other things. Tune in.

Bourdain in Beirut

posted by on July 14 at 8:41 AM

America’s favorite rock-star chef Anthony Bourdain is reportedly stranded in Beirut following Israel’s bombing of the international airport and blockage of all ports.

Still, he seems to be making the most of it: “This is a party town,” Bourdain told the New York Post. “Everyone in this city is [bleeping] gorgeous.”

Full report here.

The Morning News

posted by on July 14 at 8:05 AM

There’s actually a lot of news this morning. For example, Valerie Plame is suing the Vice President and Congress reigns in Bush’s spying program, but there’s really only one story: War is erupting in the Middle East. The frustrating and tragic thing is: the United States is in no position to play the peace making role that a world leader like the U.S. is supposed to. In the recent past, while being a strong ally of Israel, we’ve still been able to intervene with a level head and help defuse conflicts like this one. Unfortunately, after several years of Bush’s school bully, anti-terror rhetoric, we’ve surrendered our statesman-like role, and have no diplomatic credibility. Israel is simply doing what Bush would do…What can we say? That sucks.

Here are some reports:

New York Times

L.A. Times


Al Jazeera


The Nation

The National Review

The Middle East Times

Jerusalem Post

Locally: Nickels escalates his war on Seattle nightlife & voters will be asked to approve a $3.9 billion light rail line across I-90.

Ken Schram Is Not Amused By Horse Fucking

posted by on July 14 at 7:55 AM


Unless you’ve led an exceedingly lucky life, you are aware of the existence of Ken Schram, the KOMO 4 personality known for his infamous “Schram on the Street” segments, wherein our host rants about something or other like a crustier version of Andy Rooney.

One of Schram’s newer inventions is the Schrammie, an “award” given every Wednesday to, as he describes it, “someone who, through word or deed, makes me scratch me head and wonder, ‘What the hell are they thinking?’”

The winner of this week’s Schrammie? Police Beat director Robinson Devor, whom Schram takes to task for his next project: the Charles Mudede-penned documentary In the Forest There is Every Kind of Bird.

“This piece ain’t about no bird though,” huffs Schram. “No siree. Robinson Devor’s film is about ‘that guy.’ You know…the guy…the horse…and a “romantic interlude” that ended with the guy dead of a perforated colon. Devor is of the mind to cover some heretofore-uncharted cinematic territory by exploring what could possibly compel a married engineer to carnally engage with a stallion. He also hopes to inform us about how the horse felt about it all. How he plans on achieving that is beyond me, unless the steed happens to go by the name of ‘Mr. Ed.’….Anyway Mr. Devor, for being something of a horse’s ass, take a bow. This ‘Schrammie’s’ for you!”

Jeez, even the Enumclaw Courier-Herald—the horse’s hometown newspaper—had more perspective on the film than Schram did (read his full rant here). Still, congratulations to Robinson Devor and Charles Mudede, who’ve been blessed with an award-winning film before shooting’s even completed.

P.S. Devor and Mudede’s Police Beat opens today at the Varsity…

Celebrate Diversity!

posted by on July 14 at 7:43 AM


Get your hot conservative T-shirts here!

(Here’s my fave. And for that special baby…)

Thursday, July 13, 2006


posted by on July 13 at 6:04 PM

The death (and to a lesser degree, life) of the rooster in this report is amazing. It almost makes me believe in metempsychosis. Whose soul was in the rooster? And whose soul is in the dog, its killer?

Have You Snagged Your Block Party Tickets Yet?

posted by on July 13 at 5:54 PM

Better do it quickly.

The Afternoon News (Local Edition)

posted by on July 13 at 5:30 PM

Following up on her story from last week, Erica C. Barnett has a nice scoop today on Mayor Nickels’s ongoing clampdown on Seattle’s club scene.

She got her hands on a draft of Mayor Nickels’s new nightlife legislation. It reads like a Teen Dance Ordinance for Adults. That is: a bureaucratic affront that makes it impossible for clubs to flourish.

The exciting part about Erica’s latest story is this: the very Nightlife Task Force Nickels created to co-opt the music community is so fed up, they’ve joined forces with an ad hoc group that’s going to challenge Nickels’s clampdown. (They had their first meeting yesterday when they saw Nickels’s proposal.)

P.s. Welcome back from vacation, ECB!


posted by on July 13 at 4:50 PM

It speaks volumes about this workplace when coworkers keep asking, “What’s NSFW mean?” (People, it stands for “not safe for work.”) Forgive us for occasionally forgetting that not everyone is so lucky. And notice Slog’s new page title at the top of your browser window—now you can never say we didn’t warn you.

The Perfect Penis

posted by on July 13 at 4:17 PM

Or perhaps not.

re: Where Are You Right Now

posted by on July 13 at 3:53 PM

Attention, out-of-town readers: The Stranger’s publisher, the esteemed and affable Mr. Tim Keck, was so charmed to learn that Slog has a legion of far-flung readers that he wants to mail you a little bit of Seattle as a thank you. Since he doubts you’ve seen the pretty print version of our newspaper, Mr. Keck is offering to personally send you a Stranger hot off the press, along with new music from awesome local labels Sub Pop, Cake Records, Blue Disguise, and Barsuk.
If you are one of the outside-Seattle-proper readers who responded to my original post, and you’d like a thank-you present, here’s what you need to do:
Send the name and (hidden) e-mail address you used on your original “Where Are You” comment, as well as your real name and physical mailing address, to The first 100 people to respond will receive a little packet of Stranger-style love in the mail.
Don’t worry: We’ll delete your name and address immediately after we send your gift, and we won’t add you to any mailing lists. And no, you proud and quirky Fremontsters are not eligible.

Wilson’s Salary

posted by on July 13 at 3:50 PM

Mark Wilson—the former Cantwell Democratic Primary opponent/anti-war candidate—who was hired onto Cantwell’s campaign last week, will be getting $8K a month.

Wilson’s job title is outreach director. He’ll be tasked with outreach to military families, labor, and the peace and justice community.

That’s like $96K a year…or $24K for three months of work (which is how long he’ll be working for Team Cantwell.) Hey, Senator Cantwell, I’ve bashed you a lot this campaign season…any openings for me?

Breaking News, Updated: Nickels Proposes Anti-Nightlife Legislation; Fed-up Club Owners Organize Opposition7

posted by on July 13 at 3:17 PM

Sealing his reputation as perhaps the most anti-nightlife mayor in Seattle history, Mayor Greg Nickels has proposed a new nightclub licensing program that combines the worst aspects of the noise ordinance, good-neighbor agreements, and former City Attorney Mark Sidran’s unconstitutional added-activities ordinance. (The legislation is the newest bullet point in the mayor’s anti-club agenda. For more, check out last week’s feature story.) In response, club owners (including some frustrated members of the mayor-appointed Nightlife Task Force, which was supposed to sign off on the ordinance) have banded together as the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association, which held its first meeting yesterday, just hours after mayoral staffer Jordan Royer sent the legislation to task force members.

The draft ordinance, which nightclub attorney David Osgood calls “toxic,” “added activities-plus,” and “ten times worse than anything Mark Sidran ever drafted,” includes the following provisions:

• A “nightclub” is defined as any large (50-person capacity or higher) drinking establishment that offers entertainment after 10 pm, including everything from comedy to burlesque to live music to poetry. The new law would therefore apply to just about every venue in the city.

• Nightclub owners would be held responsible for any violations of the new nightclub standards on their “premises,” which according to the ordinance now includes not just the club itself but private parking lots used but not owned by the nightclub.

• Even more egregiously, club owners would be responsible for preventing patrons from carrying weapons or drugs onto the premises—not making efforts to prevent, preventing—and would be required to contact law enforcement “if they either observer are informed of any possible violations of law occurring either on the premises or in the impacted public areas.

• Speaking of which, here’s the definition of “impacted public areas”: “public property adjacent to the nightclub premises where either patrons or prospective patrons gather.” This puts club owners in charge of not only policing the sidewalk outside their clubs (AKA doing the police department’s job for them) but also of anticipating who might be a “prospective” patron, whatever that means, and controlling their behavior, too. This section is a recipe for selective enforcement against clubs—the kind of selective enforcement that was aimed at Oscar’s II, a club with mostly black patrons that the city tried to shut down six years ago.

• The law includes a new noise ordinance that would apply only to nightclubs, stipulating that any noise “audible to a person of normal hearing” outside a club is grounds for yanking its nightclub license—a totally subjective standard that would give neighborhood residents (wealthy condo owners in Belltown, for example) complete control over clubs’ nighttime activities.

• The city can require clubs to screen all patrons for drugs or weapons, limit the days and times of entertainment, require extra soundproofing, and limit crowd size beyond the limits already codified in city law. Even worse, the conditions the city may impose “are not limited to” the conditions in Nickels’s legislation; that means the mayor can add any new conditions he wants, whenever he wants.

• Applications for nightclub licenses, which would presumably be filed well before a club opens, would have to include the name and work schedule of every manager at the club—information club owners couldn’t reasonably be expected to know months before a club has opened.

• The police chief or director of the Executive Administration office can “summarily suspend” a club license, with no hearing or discussion, if he or she “reasonably determines that the continued operation” of the club “poses an immediate threat of serious injury or damage to person or property. The suspension shall take effect immediately.” This is exactly the sort of thing that drove club owners bonkers when Mark Sidran was fighting for the added-activities ordinance, of which Nickels’s proposal is basically a revised version.

• Nightclub license applications would be reviewed by five separate county and city departments, any one of which could scuttle the application. Additionally, the city may also distribute applications to “the Washington State Liquor Control Board, and other agencies, community councils and organizations the Director determines may have information relevant to a decision on the application,” giving anti-nightclub neighbors free rein to raise frivolous objections to club applications, potentially delaying application approvals.

• A license could be denied if the owner, operator or manager has, in the past year, managed, owned or operated a club that had its liquor license yanked or that was determined to be a public nuisance—a completely over-the-top requirement, particularly as it pertains to managers who may not have even been on shift when the liquor violation occurred.

• Club employees would be responsible for maintaining security within 100 feet of the club a half-hour before and after closing time: something they are not currently legally required—or, for that matter, allowed—to do.

• Clubs would be responsible for picking up litter not just inside and around the club, but on the “adjacent” premises.

Oh, and if a club gets its license suspended for any of the above reasons, it would be shut down automatically for 30 days. Three suspensions and the city shuts it down for good.

The newly formed Nightlife and Music Association, which currently has about 40 members, has meetings planned throughout July. If it grows as much as organizers hope, music promoter David Meinert says, “it could be bigger and more powerful than JAMPAC,” the now-defunct music-industry lobby group whose work was instrumental in overturning the draconian Teen Dance Ordinance. Meinert, who pushed for the creation of the city’s music office in 2003, says, “We should judge the effectiveness of the music office on how this goes forward. If this is what we get with an advocate, why have a music office at all?”

What’s not in Nickels’s ordinance? Any help for clubs whatsoever. There are, of course, regulatory solutions that don’t put the entire burden on clubs. A few examples: Twenty-four-hour liquor licenses; requiring people who move into noisy nightlife districts to sign waivers acknowledging they know the nature of the businesses around them; and requiring better noise insulation on new and refurbished condos and apartments, not just clubs. Other ideas?

Yummy Bugs

posted by on July 13 at 2:56 PM

Christopher, Café Campagne, one month in the insect kingdom of Africa will bring all of your insect phobias to an end. In fact, you will not only learn to live with bugs but also start eating them. As a teenager in Harare, I enjoyed dried and crunchy caterpillars, big green grasshoppers, and, of course, pan-fried termites. The termites were caught at the start of the rainy season, just as the males and females were flying/flickering out of their colony in the grand hope of mating and establishing a new colony. The initial fuel for that future colony, which was packed in their abdomen, never failed to be delicious and a great source of protein.
So, see your fear of insects as nothing more than a climatic luxury. If at the snap of a finger the right geographic conditions appeared, those little things would suddenly find themselves in your throat, getting washed down by a cold pint of beer.

Bush: Robot in Disguise?

posted by on July 13 at 1:15 PM

From German TV, an indepth (and chilling) report on why President Bush is so… well, President Bush.

Who’s Really to Blame For Katrina Woes

posted by on July 13 at 12:40 PM

Not the mayor. Not the governor. Not FEMA. Not the even the Bush Administration. The real culprit in the societal breakdown before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina, according to two prominent right-wing leaders: “black culture.”

Rev. Grant Storm, a white minister and president of Conservative Christians for Reform, said:

“The mentality of ‘government’s going to bail me out. Where’s the government?” is “in the black culture,” Storm said. …

“When the government doesn’t come and help them, frankly all they do is yap and complain,” said Storm, instead of “saying ‘Hey, I better go get a job, I better go on my own, I better go find an apartment, I better go take care of myself and my family.

“They are waiting for more FEMA money, they are waiting for more relief money and it ain’t coming, or it’s coming slow; meanwhile, the surrounding parishes — the predominantly white parishes — they are rebuilding on their own, and the same way in the Gulf of Mississippi,” said Storm. “Orleans — they still don’t have their flooded cars off the streets.”

White Southern homeowners haven’t had any problems “rebuilding on their own”? Oh, really?

Re: Re: Photo of the Day

posted by on July 13 at 12:08 PM

Ok, now that I’ve been charged with racism for this post about Condoleeza Rice’s faux-fro photo op, I guess it’s time to trot out a photo from my Jew-fro past, just to prove that I’m an equal opportunity fro-mocker.

Afros are inherently funny, people. And they’re even funnier when Andy Rooney’s sitting next to you.


Art In America

posted by on July 13 at 12:05 PM

Today, The Stranger suggests you get your freak on, in the old-timey sense:

Circus Contraption’s ‘Grand American Traveling Dime Museum’ (CIRCUS) This is your last chance to peer inside Circus Contraption’s extraordinarily delightful cabinet of curiosities—clairvoyant aerialists, acrobatic devils, singing fetuses—before they cart the show off to New York City. Tonight’s is a preview with discounted tickets—$15. (Magnuson Community Center Auditorium, Magnuson Park, Building 47, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, 442-2004. Thurs—Sun through July 23, 8 pm, $20—$23,, mature content.) AMY KATE HORN

In other freaks:

A Toronto performance artist is serving up nice cool glasses of breast milk, donated by local lactaters. (Which recalls the vagina beer project at Crawl Space last October.) The Canadian government has advised against drinking it (because the Canadian government is full of wussies). A quick office poll revealed that only four out of eleven editorial staffers would drink the milk (because our editorial department is also full of wussies). A few quotes from around the office:

“That’s fucking disgusting.”
“Only if I could milk my own glass—hubba hubba!”
“I wouldn’t drink the milk, but I’d definitely make out with her.”
And my favorite: “That’s a bodily secretion—it’s not meant for drinking!”

There are two good readings on deck tonight. From the readings calendar: “Ann Powers (who is brilliant) talks about Tori Amos (who is probably brilliant in her way). Greg Bear (who is a sci-fi writer) talks about Ray Bradbury (who is a sci-fi writer). Michael Klein (who knows about art) talks about Beverly Seems (artist). Experience Music Project, JBL Theater, 325 Fifth Ave N, 770-2702 for reservations, 7 pm, free.”

And, at the Rendezvous, John Yau reads poems that Matt Briggs wrote about in this week’s issue.

A 200-year-old poem, by the lyrical and lascivious Percy Bysshe Shelley, has been found: “Millions to fight compell’d, to fight or die/In mangled heaps on War’s red altar lie … /When legal murders swell the lists of pride;/When glory’s views the titled idiot guide.”

The Egyptian parliament is taking itself to the movies to decide what homo-sex scenes to censor: “I respect freedom of expression and creativity, but this is neither.”

Some critics are still squeamish: “The art world has stepped forward once again to demonstrate that there are still new levels of obscenity to shock us… Ugh. Double ugh.”

And pop artist Ron English is freaking out Houston commuters with this:


Nickels Campaigns on City Time - Again

posted by on July 13 at 12:04 PM

Yesterday, Mayor Nickels released his list of Seattle’s top 12 transportation headaches — the so-called “dirty dozen” traffic hot spots. The road projects, determined in part by an unscientific survey of 700 city residents last month, are primarily in north and West Seattle; all were identified by city residents as maintenance hot spots, although the mayor’s office has said not all were in residents’ top dozen.

Allowing public opinion to dictate public policy is pandering of the worst sort. And it leads to questionable decisions. Is there any reason to believe that Northeast 45th Street in Wallingford, for example, really has the worst traffic in the city? (I can think of plenty of streets that seem worse to my subjective eye, including NW 46th Street in Ballard, N 39th in Fremont, 1st Avenue downtown, and so on.) Yet because enough residents complained about it, North 45th is getting priority treatment. This is a lousy way to determine city priorities. If transportation priorities were set by a majority vote of the citizens, we’d have no bus service and 12-lane highways all the way to Issaquah.

Plus, it’s blatant electioneering—the kind Nickels has gotten slammed for in the past. In today’s P-I, Nickels “unabashedly admitted he was campaigning” for his $1.8 billion street-maintenance package, “saying he’ll tout the mega-proposal in every way possible’—including, apparently, campaigning for a ballot initiative on city time.

Ethics and Elections? Are you following this?

Project Runway Recap

posted by on July 13 at 11:50 AM

For the very first challenge, the 15 designers had to create a dress using materials found only in their new New York apartments. This meant everything from blankets to chandeliers to food from the refrigerator. They were given 15 minutes to rip the place apart, cutting up floor mats, mattresses, chairs, couches, shower curtains… everything in sight. Then they had eight hours to create their masterpieces.

Most of the designs weren’t as crazy as you’d expect. Laura made a great coat, Robert made an adorable party dress (you have to see the bright red bows in the back to fully appreciate it), and Michael, who seems to love the booty shorts and busty tops, surprised everyone with a really delicate and feminine piece made out of coffee filters .

Vincent, though… well… Vincent glued chain to a basket and made his model wear it like a hat.


Vincent is crazy.

It was Keith’s pretty blue dress that won in the end. Not bad for a menswear designer who claims to have never made a dress in his life. The red buttons in the back (plucked from a duvet cover) were a great touch.

Then it was time for someone to go home. The three with the lowest scores were Stacy and her sloppy see-through skirt , Jeffrey McNeck Tattoo and his feather-flinging mess , and of course Basket Hat. Crazy, crazy Basket Hat.

After the judges got really catty, Stacey, who didn’t know how to work a sewing machine and did her dress by hand, was sent home. Not a shocker at all. Of course they’re gonna keep Jeffrey around for drama (he’s dying to be the next, even cockier Santino), and Vincent is the train wreck everyone will love to watch.

Bradley still holds my heart, though. He’s goofy and I love goofy. And his dress wasn’t bad either, though I can see why the simple design didn’t make it to the top three. “It was awesome,” he said about watching his dress go down the runway. “I almost cried.” Awwwe!

But that Malan… Whoa. He’s creepy. He’s gonna be a problem.

No Iraq in Fragments

posted by on July 13 at 11:45 AM

So the previously announced fundraiser for Jim McDermott’s legal bills on Saturday has been cancelled, meaning you can no longer buy a ticket to James Longley’s awesome documentary Iraq in Fragments for $50. Just in case you were considering it.

Trading Up

posted by on July 13 at 11:25 AM


File this under Why Didn’t I Think of That, or That Goddamned Brilliant Bastard.

A Canadian man was handed the keys to a three-bedroom house Wednesday, exactly a year after he offered a red paper clip online, asking to trade it for “bigger or better” things.

In his latest trade, Kyle MacDonald, 26, swapped a bit role in a Hollywood movie for a house in the small Western Canadian town of Kipling, Saskatchewan.

When he started his quest with the paper clip, MacDonald said getting a house was his goal.

He traded in the paper clip for a fish pen and eventually moved up to an afternoon with rocker Alice Cooper before snagging the Hollywood movie role in his 14th trade.

The choice role he had to trade for his brand new house? A walk-on in Corbin Bernsen’s latest, “Donna on Demand.”

I got half a bag of Rainier Cherries in here. Who wants to trade? The bidding starts at 3 avocados.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on July 13 at 11:24 AM

As part of our continuing coverage of the Prayer Warrior’s ribs, I bring you the latest Ken Hutcherson health update (which numerologists and readers of Genesis may find extra significant)…


July 13, 2006

“6 cracks in five ribs,” is what the doctor said. No wonder it hurt so much! Please pray for extra quick healing!

Your Pastor,


Re: Photo of the Day

posted by on July 13 at 11:08 AM

Speaking of the Secretary of State’s hair, Princess Sparkle Pony’s photo blog is helping Condi accessorize the new faux fro.


Check nuts, Dunst!

posted by on July 13 at 11:00 AM

Goddammit! Kirsten Dunst always steals my boyfriends!

First, she took Jake away from me. Unforgivable. But now she’s pouring salt on my wounded heart and reportedly has her hands all over my SNL dreamboat, Andy Samberg!

Save some for the rest of us, you wench!

Rocky VI Trailer!

posted by on July 13 at 10:44 AM

Here’s the official trailer for Rocky VI—wherein the 60-year-old Rocky decides to fight again because of A VIDEO GAME? I thought old people HATED video games!

Former American Idol Contestant Charged with Kiddie Porn

posted by on July 13 at 10:03 AM

Unfortunately for the tabloids, it wasn’t him or him or him, but this guy, 2004 semi-finalist DJ Boyd, who’s been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly producing and possessing child pornography.

According to a report on the recently unsealed indictment in the Deseret News, the federal charges stem from video footage allegedly showing Boyd (who’s now 27) having sex with a pair of girls aged 14 and 15. The indictment claims that Boyd “engaged in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.”

As for the conduct itself: Boyd faces an additional slew of charges from the Salt Lake City District Attorney’s office, including 11 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and two counts of unlawful supply of alcohol to minors.

For the full story on the charges that could land Boyd in prison for decades and decades and decades, go here.

To hear some of DJ Boyd’s music, check out his myspace page.

Munny Munny Munny Munny

posted by on July 13 at 9:30 AM

The Munny is a blank, cute, slightly stout, round-headed figure made by Kidrobot that an artist can turn into a sculptural character. Munny Shows have become attractions in NY, SF, and LA, and now one opens here Friday at the Gilt Edge Society, 2312 Fourth Avenue, from 7 pm to midnight. (It’s curated by the folks at Schmancy.)

Here’s my favorite of the images on Flickr for the show, called Neighbor of the Beast.


Photo of the Day

posted by on July 13 at 9:20 AM


Sadly, the Secretary of State isn’t actually sporting an enormous, awesome, rather angular afro…

Standing in front of a Hungarian flag with the symbol of the Soviet Union cut out of its center, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice smiles while addressing guests at a reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution at the State Department in Washington, February 13, 2006. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

(Via Wonkette. Thanks for the tip, Wil.)

BMW Building on Pike/Pine: Surround Sound

posted by on July 13 at 9:07 AM

[NOTE: It was late Wed night by the time I posted this Boom column on a recently announced major mixed-use development in Capitol Hill . I hope to update it today. In the meantime, I thought I’d move it up for some morning discussion.]

I’m recently returned from the first design review meeting for the sprawling 6-story mixed-use building proposed for the BMW property in Capitol Hill. I wrote a brief about it in this week’s issue, which I somehow forgot to mention on Slog. Sorry to those who wanted to attend the meeting but didn’t know it was happening. Still, the Seattle Central Community College lecture hall was so packed with neighborhood activists and adjacent property owners that the review board barely had time to finish public comment.

I’ll try to atone by posting a short summary. We have to start with a picture of the site, which architect Clayton O’Brien-Smith aptly described as “somewhat irregular.” Take a gander.


Now let me describe the adjacent properties. We’ll go around the diagram clockwise. Starting in the upper left corner, that’s the mini-mart, Pine Food. To the right of that is Linda’s Tavern. Next to that is one arm of this development.

I should probably mention, by the way of context, that the developer Pryde + Johnson can build to 100 percent of the lot, according to code. And the company’s preferred design calls for 208 condos. The condo-owners’ windows would be right next to the Linda’s patio. Linda herself was there to remind the architect that her patio can hold 100 and it’s open till 2 a.m. every night of the week.

Back to the diagram. On the project’s other side, at Harvard and Pine, is Bill’s Off Broadway. Another popular bar with outdoor seating. Continuing down Harvard, you see another arm of the development poking out, and next to that is the War Room, at the corner of Pike. The War Room has that popular rooftop bar, and a partner from the bar attended the meeting to suggest that the architect and/or developers visit the site from the hours of 12-3 a.m. if they want to appreciate some of the challenges, noise-wise. Continuing down Pike, that’s Maharaja Indian Cuisine, which has a liquor license, too. The owner of that property (and, I believe, the War Room) attended the meeting and at its conclusion expressed his support of the project, mainly because he was glad to have more residential development near Broadway.

You can see the project’s Pike extension. And that’s a parking lot, I believe, at Pike’s corner with Boylson. It would also be part of the development. The project would build around both sides of the Starbird Apartments on Boylston. A resident of that apartment building attended the meeting simply to ask by what method he could access his building during the roughly 18-month construction. The DPD planner, Michael Dorcy, suggested parachute, but I think he was joking.

Another nightclub, R Place is just across Boylston, and management from that club attended the meeting, too.

The project calls for 50,000 square feet of retail space at the ground floor and below-grade parking for 190 cars. And if there weren’t enough concerns already about how prospective condo-owners would cope with noise, one resident close to the project also warned the architect about the semi-trucks that make loud deliveries at the QFC (diagonally across the intersection from War Room) during the wee hours of the morning.

The architect, O’Brien-Smith, didn’t have renderings yet, but he said the finished product would look a lot like other recent Pryde + Johnson developments, like this one, The Hjarta, in Ballard.


Bad idea. A woman who owns a 4-plex on Harvard Avenue told the architect that there’s a “proliferation” of buildings like that one in Seattle and that “they’ll all look awful in 10 years.” Judging by the nodding heads, most everyone in the room seemed to agree with this sentiment. Also, there’s no rooftop culture with this project, which puzzled some.

Generally speaking, it seemed that neighborhood activists liked to see the aggressive residential development, but they were having a hard time liking this project. Personally, I’m having a hard time picturing something that doesn’t look like a college dorm. And while I’d love to believe that the real estate agents can find 208 buyers capable of coexisting happily with all five neighborhood nightclubs, that seems unrealistic. Maybe in Chicago or Manhattan or San Francisco, but there isn’t that much of a premium on space in Capitol Hill, is there?

I had a call into O’Brien-Smith in advance of the meeting, but didn’t hear back. I’ll give him another try tomorrow. I would like to post the graphics that he presented today and give him a chance to tell us how his design can deal with the surround sound.

Post your questions in the Comments thread and I can put them to the architect and developer when I talk to them.

The Morning News

posted by on July 13 at 5:58 AM

The Bush Administration: They were just kidding earlier this week about that following the Geneva Conventions thing.

Israel: They were not just kidding about that going to war thing.

Formerly hapless Democrats get a campaign message: “It’s the minimum wage, stupid.”

Former Christian Coalition guy, Ralph Reed, gets sued. It was Jack Abramoff…stupid.

In Massachusetts, Republicans want voters to decide on gay marriage. Democrats and gay marriage advocates don’t.

The U.S., Japan, France, and Britain want to threaten N. Korea with sanctions and military consequences. China and Russia don’t.

And If You Want Local News:

Read this amazing story by Stranger reporter Thomas Francis in the new edition of the paper.

And here’s a story in the PI about the school closure controversy.

…plus a good editorial in the PI about Maria Cantwell & Mark Wilson.

And even though this is in the NYT, and it’s about new revelations of problems with the tunnel in Boston, it feels like a local story.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Santorum on The Daily Show

posted by on July 12 at 11:45 PM

Not so much the Senator, but the goo.

In a segment on Senator Frothy’s recent “50 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum” campaign brochure, The Daily Show insterted a few of their own, including:

(F) If you Google Rick’s last name, you might learn a fun new word for a substance you may not even know existed.

No mention of the original source of this new definition, alas.

Seattle v. Berkeley on Climate Change

posted by on July 12 at 4:52 PM

Greg Nickels has gotten considerable credit and political capital, including in both Vanity Fair and the Stranger, for convincing some 300 US mayors to endorse a resolution supporting Kyoto-level reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. Meeting the Kyoto targets, while a good first step, is a relatively paltry goal: complying with Kyoto would require Seattle to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by just 7 percent, or about 680,000 tons a year. We could do much better. (And we need to: According to a recent study, snowpack in the Cascades, which provides our region’s water, could be reduced to 20 percent of current levels within 80 years, with temperatures in the Puget Sound region rising 2 degrees by 2050.)

In Berkeley, California, they’re taking the threat of climate change far more seriously. Earlier this week, Berkeley’s city council just voted unanimously to put a measure on the ballot that would encourage efforts toward an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. (Funding would come from the city’s general fund or from taxpayers through a second vote). Since cars are the main source of greenhouse-gas emissions, cutting emissions by 80 percent will require a drastic reduction in car use and ownership, something Nickels’s own policies (which emphasize maintaining capacity for cars rather than encouraging people to combine trips and seeks alternatives to driving) scarcely address.

New Issue

posted by on July 12 at 3:52 PM

cover-big.jpgIf you can tear yourself away from Slog for a bit, tomorrow’s paper is online now. If you have 30 minutes, read Eli’s story about sketchy goings on at the Quinault Apartments and how tenants are trying to reclaim their building. If you only have 5 minutes, read about a giant redevelopment project coming to Pike/Pine and get an update on the Critical Mass incident.

Controversial SHA Resident Gets Nickels’s Nod

posted by on July 12 at 3:41 PM

As I predicted a month ago, Mayor Nickels has tapped Sybil Bailey, a low-income housing resident and onetime leader of the Seattle Housing Authority’s Resident Action Council, as his choice to replace outgoing SHA board member Judith Fay. Bailey’s 1998 nomination for the same position by then-Mayor Paul Schell was opposed by low-income-housing activists like the Seattle Displacement Coalition because, in SDC leader John Fox’s words, “she had a long record of rubber-stamping all of SHA’s decisions” as head of the resident action council. Peter Steinbrueck, the council member who jettisoned Bailey’s appointment the first time, wasn’t around this afternoon to comment on whether he’d oppose Bailey’s nomination this time around.

(P.S. Sorry to pile on with all these seemingly random Slog entries, but I’ve been on vacation for two weeks and stuff’s been piling up.)

Talk is Dangerous

posted by on July 12 at 3:26 PM

Turns out people who talk and drive are just as impaired as those who drink and drive. According to Wired, a recent study found that people who drove while talking on either handheld or hands-free devices drove more slowly and more erratically than study participants who were undistracted. Three of the study participants rear-ended the simulated car in front of them; all were on cell phones, and none were drunk. According to Wired:

“Driving while talking on a cell phone is as bad as or maybe worse than driving drunk,” said [assistant professor of psychology at the University of Utah Frank] Drews, who said alcohol was involved in 40 percent of the 42,000 annual U.S. traffic fatalities.

Just like many people who have been drinking, the cellphone users did not believe themselves to be affected, the researchers found.

I wonder if anyone’s done a study on biking and texting?

Unplug It, Turn It Off

posted by on July 12 at 3:04 PM

Turns out our appliances are wasting energy even when they’re not in use. According to NW Current, power-sucking “vampires” (microwaves, computers, TVs, home stereos, etc) use as much electricity as 25 average-size power plants (some 52 billion kilowatt-hours annually), costing the average American household about $100 a year. According to the article, “if everyone in the United States were to start using more-efficient Energy Star appliances and devices, they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 billion pounds of carbon dioxide annually — the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road.”

Read more about it here.

Pardon My French

posted by on July 12 at 3:02 PM

French soccer star Zidane says the Italian player he headbutted in the World Cup final made an insulting remark about his mama, who is in the hospital, and his sister.

The Italian, Materazzi, denies the mother part, which must mean he concedes the point about insulting Zidane’s sister, right?

There’s a right and wrong time to deck a guy for insulting your sister. In the dwindling minutes in a 1-1 World Cup final, that’s the wrong time. Zidane, you took the bait.

[Note: There is no Slog heading for “Sports,” so I labeled this one Homo. Close enough.]

What’s Jeff Gannon Doing Now?

posted by on July 12 at 2:48 PM

Addressing Log Cabin Republicans, apparently.

Via Nerve.

When is a 14-year-old a Woman?

posted by on July 12 at 2:45 PM

When she’s raped and murdered by US troops, that’s when.

Two days ago, news agencies released proof that the Iraqi who was allegedly raped and killed along with her family by US troops in Iraq was just 14 years old. Despite this revelation, according to Editor and Publisher, many news organizations have persisted in championing the young teen’s adulthood by referring to her repeatedly as a “woman.” For example: a widely reprinted AP report describes the girl as a “young Iraqi woman” and a “woman.” A Washington Post story calls the teen an “Iraqi woman.” CNN calls her a “young female” and a “woman.” PBS’s Jim Lehrer called her a “woman” on his “NewsHour” show. CBS calls her a “young woman.” And so on.

Art In America

posted by on July 12 at 1:50 PM

Today, I suggest you enjoy some of Seattle’s finest comic talent stumbling—winningly and hilariously—through:

‘Trapped in the Closet’ (HIPHOPERA) The Brown Derby crew—infamous for their fast-and-loose staged readings of everything from Showgirls to The Exorcist—take on R. Kelly’s epic tangle of sex, cops, guns, sex, midgets, cheating, cherry pie, sex, and sex. They will perform all 12 released episodes of Trapped in the Closet, plus the as-yet-unreleased 13th episode. Featuring Ian Bell, Imogen Love, Rebecca Davis, Nick Garrison, Dusty Warren, AdĂ©, Sarah Rudinoff, Cory Nealy, Kirk Anderson and Evan Mosher of “Awesome,” and others. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. 8 pm, $10, 21+.) BRENDAN KILEY

I saw it last night. It was as horrible and wonderful and wonderfully horrible as you might imagine.

[ps: TITC is much, much funnier if you’ve seen even one of the original installments. Click here for the originals, plus parodies of and tributes to the mad—and mostly accidental—genius of R. Kelly.]

In other horrible wonderfulness:

The real-life inspiration for Jerri Blank, a drug addict turned motivational speaker named Florrie Fisher. Including the following line, delivered, without irony: “I was operated on by the same doctor who operated on the late Jane Mansfield’s son when he was mauled by the lion.”

Scholars exhume Farinelli, the world’ most famous castrato singer, to “measure his bones.” (Hee-haw!)

Somebody stole Alex Martin’s little brown dress! The Seattle performance artist/dancer had been wearing the dress for a year and took it off last weekend at an “un-dressing” performance/party. Now it’s taken on a life of its own, sending Martin photos and emails (“I still need some space”) from According to the Seattle Times, the dress has just announced plans to take a road trip.

The President is Always Right

posted by on July 12 at 1:33 PM

Well, gee. It turns out that the president is infallible. But who’s going to break it to the pope?

Maid of Constant Sorrow

posted by on July 12 at 1:14 PM

My first thought was, “What the hell is Judy Collins doing on the cover of Bazaar?!”

bazaar lohan.jpg

Turns out it’s not Judy Collins at all, but the young starlet/”singer”/firecrotch Lindsay Lohan. A lot of people have been commenting here about how old and weathered Ms. Lohan is looking these days (I still think she’s pretty fucking fine).

Here’s acouple of old pix of Judy Collins for comparison.


You, Me, & Dupree: Hoin’ it up in the Homestretch

posted by on July 12 at 12:53 PM

TV ads for the summer comedy You, Me, and Dupree have been airing for what feels like months. For those who don’t know, YM&D stars Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, and Matt Dillion, and is essentially a What About Bob? for the Butterscotch Stallion set, with Dillon and Hudson as happy newlyweds, and Owen Wilson as the groom’s hard-living college buddy who moves in, wreaks havoc, and, perhaps, teaches us all a little something about life and love.

The ads for the film have been cheesy from the start, trading in the type of cheap shocks best described as Focker-esque: Kate Hudson walks in on Owen Wilson in thong underwear and GOES CRAZY! Then, Kate Hudson walks in on Owen Wilson having sex on the couch and GOES CRAZY! Plus, toilets!

The film finally opens this Friday—less than 48 hours from now—and watching TV last night (Rock Star: Supernova! Go Storm!), I saw a pair of commercials for YM&D that drove home just how desperate the battle for opening-weekend box office can be, especially when the film in question has the whiff of a stinker.

Universal’s two-pronged solution:

1. Frame the film as a spiritual sequel to Owen Wilson’s mega-blockbuster Wedding Crashers: “Last summer, he crashed weddings!” honks the voiceove in one of the new ads. “This summer, he’s living with the newlyweds!” (Beside the casting of Owen Wilson, YM&D has nothing to do with Wedding Crashers, but I imagine it’s good to remind people that they liked this guy in that other movie, so why give up on him now?)

2. When all else fails, bring out the rack. Building on the knowledge that a hot Kate Hudson is a bigger draw than a tight-assed CRAZY! Kate Hudson, the new ads feature extended footage of Kate Hudson’s hot bod—in a bikini, in her underwear. The weirdest twist was a spot I caught on Entertainment Tonight, where the talking head wrapped up his report on You, Me, and Dupree by listing the opportunities to see Hudson in various states of undress in the film. “You get to see her in a tank top, men’s briefs, and a bikini!” gushed the (male) ET anchor.

I understand being galled by Hollywood is like being mad at gravity, but still…

Thanks, but…

posted by on July 12 at 12:40 PM

The puerile Nickels administration would not talk to Stranger news writer Erica C. Barnett for the comprehensive article she wrote last week on club regulations. Nickels reportedly even instructed city department employees not to talk to Barnett for her story.

However, upon returning from her vacation this morning, Barnett had a voice mail from a prominent city official who’s supposedly doing much of the heavy lifting on Nickels’s anti-club agenda. He/she said, and I quote: “Congratulations. I thought you did a great job on your reporting. I just wanted to tell you that.”

Barnett is going to continue to cover this important issue. Next time: Go on the record with your thoughts.

The Living Machine

posted by on July 12 at 12:25 PM

In the glossary of David E. Miller’s recent study of new and green directions in regional architecture, Toward A New Regionalism, there is a description of this thing:
A Living Machine™ is:

a wastewater treatment system composed of a series of tanks teeming with plants, trees, grasses, algae, koi and goldfish, tiny fresh-water shrimp, snails, and a diversity of microorganisms and bacteria. Each is a different mini-ecosystem designed to or break down waste. The process takes about four days to turn mucky water crustal clear, It is chemical free and odor free (except perhaps for the sweet fragrance of flowers).
The only problem I have with this machine is that its mini-ecosystem sounds like the condition for breeding bilharzia rather than producing fresh water. But my knowledge on such matters is limited to a few classes in high school. Maybe it’s good to drink what this machine makes and bad to put your foot into it.

Speaking of terrible writing…

posted by on July 12 at 12:13 PM

Tonight is the bi-monthly Salon of Shame reading at the Jewel Box Theatre in the Rendezvous, where writers are invited to come and purge their terrible essays, journal entries, poetry, and teenage musings in front of an appreciative audience. Only $1 dollar if you plan on embarrassing yourself, and only $5 dollars to point and laugh. The readings are hilarious, the audience is grand, and good times are had by all.

Plus, our MC of Shame, Ariel Stallings, has been bragging about one-upping my terrible teenage romance novel of May with “Tips for giving a nice blow job.” (“Try this: imitate your mouth to almost be like a vagina.”). Her father’s rumored to be in the audience tonight. Lordy, what fun!

Here’s a complete list of readers. Show up and give `em hell tonight at 7:30 at the Rendezvous.

Ariel Meadow Stallings
Dawn Bustanoby
Gabrielle Fine
Ben Haley
Ariel van Spronsen
Sunny Hong
Cheryl Crow
Bill Kennedy
Grace Stahre
Hester Serebrin
Cienna Madrid
Jean Lenihan
Lucy Pond
Angie Kritenbrink
Phyllis Fletcher?

And if you’d like to sign up for the next reading, please go here. (Josh, this means you, goddammit. Your adolescent “rock opera” yearns to be heard.)

Cantwell’s PAC Pledge Hedge

posted by on July 12 at 11:59 AM

The State GOP did a good & overdue hit piece on Cantwell yesterday. They point out that despite Cantwell’s no PAC $$$ pledge, she does in fact, get help—through the Democratic Party—from PACs. For example, Washington GOP Chair Diane Tebelius points out that: “Cantwell’s recent TV ad was funded by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee which received over $177,000 dollars in PAC money in the current 2005-2006 cycle.”

Tebelius also points out that the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) sends money to the state party organizations on behalf of candidates. Tebelius says in the GOP press release: “Voters need to know how much of the $3 million dollars of PAC money taken by the DSCC in 2006 is now being used by the Cantwell campaign?”

I think these are fair questions, given that Cantwell makes a big deal about not accepting PAC money.

Although, one of Tebelius’s bombs backfires. Her press release says: “While Cantwell Accepts No Money From AT&T’s PAC, She does accept donations From AT&T’s executives. Two vice presidents for congressional affairs at AT&T gave a total of $3,500. A lobbyist who lists AT&T as a client gave an additional $3,250. Cantwell serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which is poised to take up legislation vital to the telecommunications industry.

It’s true that Cantwell is on the Commerce Committee—which took up the recent omnibus Telecom bill. Perhaps, the most heated controversy in that bill was the net neutrality amendment which AT&T lobbied against. (Indeed, in addition to its own lobbying, AT&T even funded a separate astroturf lobbying group called Hands Off the Internet, to kill the net neutrality amendment. That’s how important offing this amendment was to AT&T.) Anyway, the point is: Cantwell voted for the amendment…that is: Against AT&T. Sorry, Diane.

Although, again, I do think Tebelius’s first two questions are good ones. I’ve got a call into the Cantwell people to see what they say.

Renters being routed?

posted by on July 12 at 11:58 AM

The Seattle Displacement Coalition fired off a press release today, timed to this Seattle Times story about how the downtown condo boom might be coming in small part at the expense of rentals, especially low-income rentals.

I have to dash off for an interview, which by coincidence, deals with one case of rentals converting to condos. But let’s start the debate now. Press release after the jump.

Continue reading "Renters being routed?" »

Where Are You Right Now?

posted by on July 12 at 11:45 AM

Demographic sample hour: If you’re NOT inside Seattle’s city limits right now, readers, where are you?

[Update: The responses to this are fascinating so I’m moving the post up to the top again.]

The Dick of Death

posted by on July 12 at 10:58 AM


I rode my bike to a graveyard in Ganges, Michigan, to take a picture of this tombstone for Schmader when I stumbled over the one shown above. Hiscock was just a few steps from this tombstone.

Lick the Shovel Clean

posted by on July 12 at 10:52 AM

A gift from Jim Guigli, the retired mechanical designer from Carmichael who wowed the judges at this year’s year’s San Jose State University bad writing competition:

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you’ve had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.

Project Runway Starts Tonight!

posted by on July 12 at 10:40 AM

Warning: This post contains massive amounts of geeking out over Project Runway.

Okay, so I watched last night’s “Road to the Runway,” where Bravo introduced the 15 designers starring in the brand new season of Project Runway (which starts tonight at 10 pm!), and I already have my season crush all picked out: Bradley Baumkirchner.


I know, I know, he’s not nearly as adorable as Danny V., but his audition tape was really funny and his design book and sample clothes were super cute! His colorful, vintage-inspired pieces looked a little geeky (hot librarian-style), but were also still really classic and charming… Check out this dress from his Fall ‘06 collection. (You can see more of his work here.)

Besides all that, he also has a great smile. You don’t see it in the pictures, but it’s there. Just watch tonight to see. Now some blogs are saying he’s boring and will be one of the first to go. Bastards! They might be right, as I’m terrible at predictions, but if I had to guess I’d say he’s gonna be that quiet and super-talented one who surprises everybody. Sorta like Chloe, who won last season, might I remind you.

I’m also rooting for Vincent (I like the crazies) and Katherine. Though I doubt the latter will get very far. And they’ll keep that pretty girl for awhile, ‘cause people appreciate the presence of a pretty girl.

That Malan is trouble, though, I’ll tell you that much. I also don’t trust that mother of five with the insanely bright lipstick. And Jeffrey, the token rocker dude, seems to be aching to settle into the role of the new Santino.

Man! I can’t wait until 10 pm! (And yes, I’m aware it’s slightly—okay, very—pathetic.)

Terrorists Heart Indiana

posted by on July 12 at 10:37 AM

The federal antiterrorism database, aka the National Asset Database, was designed to document “unusual or out-of-place” sites “whose criticality is not readily apparent” that could be targeted for terrorist attacks. But it has a few bugs:

Via The NYTimes:

The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general [for the Dept. of Homeland Security] found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation.

The database is used by the Homeland Security Department to help divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars in antiterrorism grants each year, including the program announced in May that cut money to New York City and Washington by 40 percent, while significantly increasing spending for cities including Louisville, Ky., and Omaha.

“We don’t find it embarrassing,” said the department’s deputy press secretary, Jarrod Agen. “The list is a valuable tool.”

With listings such as “Old MacDonald’s petting zoo”, “Beach at End of a Street,” “The Sweetwater Flea Market,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Bean Fest,” and an Amish popcorn stand, the National Asset Database reads more like a list of terrorist vacation hot-spots (bring the whole family!) than potential targets.

Travel Writing: Not As Glamorous as You Thought

posted by on July 12 at 10:27 AM

Music writing isn’t either, but at least no one’s ever stolen my pants.

In-City Whale Watching

posted by on July 12 at 10:21 AM

If you’ve never seen a whale in the wild and want to, get down to the waterfront as soon as you can. Last night on Elliott Bay I watched a huge whale cruise around, breech, blow, etc. right up near Pier 54 between Ivar’s and the ferry. The sight was thrilling (and slightly scary). The laymen on our boat decided it was a gray whale. Someone took pictures and I’ll post those when I get them.

Axl, Work With Me

posted by on July 12 at 10:03 AM

This is funny even if you have never worked with a fussy editor. However, if you have worked with a fussy editor, do not drink anything while you read it, because you will spray it all over your keyboard. Notes on “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” as Delivered to Axl Rose by His Editor.

Ummm… Aquaman isn’t Real.

posted by on July 12 at 9:45 AM

TV lovers love HBO’s Entourage—a tale of young Hollywood bucks making it big in Tinsel Town. In the show, the lead character Vince Chase lands the role of a lifetime playing Aquaman, which in the show grosses more than the real life blockbuster Spider-Man. NOW HERE’S WHERE TRUTH AND FICTION COLLIDE. HBO ran a two page ad in Variety congratulating the fictional Aquaman movie on setting a new record—which CNBC’s Joe Kernan then reported in his show as the real thing. Reality can be so confusing!!

Whoops. Don’t want to look like a jerk? The moral is simple: WATCH MORE TV.

Crawl Space, Brought to You by A&E

posted by on July 12 at 9:30 AM

There’s always a story behind how startup artist-collective galleries devoted to young, emerging contemporary artists get by financially, but few of them involve home-improvement reality television and a man named Roger Hazard.

Crawl Space Gallery has cramped finances. It doesn’t sell much art, or even show much art destined to be widely saleable, and the gallery has never received a grant to pay for exhibitions of young contemporary artists such as Todd Simeone, Anne Mathern, Brad Biancardi, Jason Wood, Chad Wentzel, Tony Weathers, and Diana Falchuk—some of the most promising emerging artists in the city. Instead, seven member artists pay dues that go into operating the space, including covering the $750 monthly rent.

But Crawl Space has an unlikely angel: the A&E network.

Turns out that after several of the gallery’s founding members dropped out and left only Mathern and Megan Szczecko standing, Szczecko moved to New York and took a job working as an assistant designer on the A&E show Move This House, which joins such other A&E fare as Sell This House! (the only one with an exclamation point), Flip This House, Ask This Old House, and Inside This Old House.

The show is shot in Seattle, so when Szczecko comes back here, she stays with Mathern, and A&E covers half Mathern’s home rent. That frees up Mathern, a freelance photographer and nanny in addition to her studio work, to cover $250 in gallery rent every month. Because Szczecko makes good money at A&E, she throws in as much as Mathern to keep Crawl Space going, even though, from New York, she’s more like a silent partner. A&E is subsidizing Seattle art! Some of the Crawl Space artists even appear on the show.

Crawl Space is good. Supporting it is good. Now everybody, go watch Move This House and buy whatever its advertisers tell you to.

Thanks, Tanya and Roger, you crazy pair!


The Morning News

posted by on July 12 at 6:02 AM

Novak: Names Rove as a Plame Source.

The Bad Korea: Blasé About Missile Talks.

The Good Korea: Upset About Trade Talks.

Kyrgyzstan (Who?): Doesn’t Trust the U.S.

The EU: Doesn’t Trust Microsoft.

Hezbollah: Doesn’t Like Israeli Soldiers and Vice Versa.

Bush: Doesn’t Like Your Privacy.

GOP: Didn’t Get it the First Time. Still Wants to Privatize Social Security.

Bombay Bombings: Death Toll Nears 200.

And Locally:

SPD Chief Kerlikowske: Doesn’t Like it When Officers Do Cocaine.

Cantwell: Doesn’t Like Having Opponents in the Primary.

Real Estate Developers: Do Like Having Conservatives on the State Supreme Court.

State Revenues: Up $85 Million.

Rep. Rick Larsen: On Colbert.

Attila the Bun. Attila the Bun!: In Custody.

And Annie’s Question for Greg Nickels (from yesterday’s Slog): In Today’s PI.

Relax, Josh, I’m Back

posted by on July 12 at 1:42 AM

As my colleague Josh has noted, I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, road-tripping down the West Coast, hanging with the hippies, and spending some time in a truly great city, San Francisco . I also dropped in on the sixth anniversary party for our sister paper, the Portland Mercury , got drunk with my former news-team colleague Amy Jenniges,, got stranded with a dead rental car in middle-of-nowhere Garberville, CA (a tiny town with a cool—if a bit Dead-heavy— community radio station, and blew a tire in 100-degree weather in a tiny speck of a valley town called Dunnigan (population: 897; median income: $28,800; poverty rate: 56.2%) with nary a service station in sight. After the rental company (Advantage, for the record) informed me that, quote, “you’re on your own,” we limped east to the quaint university town of Davis, which, I was surprised to learn, is the bicycling capital of America. Not only does Davis have one of the highest bike-commuting rates in the nation (17 percent), ubiquitous bike parking, 100-plus miles of bike paths (50 of them grade-separated, dedicated lanes) and more bikes than people, the town’s bike-friendly policies won it the first-ever “platinum” designation from the League of American Bicyclists, and just this year, Bicycling Magazine named it the “best bike city in America”. A bike is even in the city’s logo, symbolizing Davis’s commitment to funding bicycle infrastructure. If only Seattle, whose latest transportation initiative includes only modest increases to the city’s woefully underfunded bike-trail and bike-path maintenance program, would adopt similar bike- and transit-first priorities.

In the future, people will ask…

posted by on July 12 at 12:39 AM

“Where were you when you first heard Nicole Richie was dating Jeff Goldblum?”

The report.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tattoo Tuesdays

posted by on July 11 at 9:40 PM

A new SLOG column! Every Tuesday. The best of the WORST tattoos in Seattle. Might as well start with this nice pink poodle, some What-The-Fuck?-Lettering, and MY own pride-and-joy “Tweety with a Mohawk”. tattoo1.jpg tattoo2.jpg tattoo3.jpg

Arts in America

posted by on July 11 at 4:17 PM

The Stranger Suggests…

The Legendary Pink Dots
It’s been just over 25 years since these London loons got together to make extraterrestrial pop that vacillates between dark psychedelia and childlike dreamscapes. Their latest release, Your Children Placate You from Premature Graves, continues that tradition. For anyone disenchanted by the formerly great Flaming Lips’ current preference for supermodels and cartoon characters, the Legendary Pink Dots are a heady, pleasantly challenging respite. With Hypatia Lake and Eric Lanzillotta. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $13.50, 21+.) HANNAH LEVIN


Charlotte Rampling is obsessed perverse, smoldering, reckless, and unmoored.

Jackie Chan is a drunk.

Pearl Jam is good for the environment.

And EMP is going Disney.

Amy Sedaris on The Colbert Report

posted by on July 11 at 3:03 PM

My love for Amy Sedaris and the entire Strangers with Candy crew run deep. And even though I thought the movie was kind of… EHHHHHHHHH…. this video from last night’s Colbert Report on Comedy Central speaks volumes on why Sedaris and crew are the funnest people in the world. I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH THEM!!

Mouth grills and Beat Kids!

posted by on July 11 at 2:46 PM

I was just reading about students in Arlington, TX, who have been banned from wearing ear gauges and mouth grills at school. It’s the same generational clash that all rebellious teenagers face: students cry “self expression” teachers preach “modesty” and “them’s the rules”, but what really piqued my interest was the mention of mouth grills.

I had no idea what a mouth grill is, and I dote on teeth (and teeth accessories). Apparently, mouth grills are popular enough to be banned from schools; why haven’t I ever heard of them?

A quick Google search led me to Mr. Bling, and Wow! Here’s a set for $1,380:


And here’s my favorite, for only $420:


It’s gotta take guts and a pretty sharp sense of humor to pull off the flashy beauty and utter ridiculousness of the mouth grill. Shame on the Arlington school district for stomping on budding student creativity and oral pride. We know who’s to blame if those fabulous grills are melted down for hookers and heroin.

Oh, and here’s another reason kids are grand.

Genius of Love

posted by on July 11 at 2:35 PM

What’s on his mind? To quote A Tribe Called Quest, “Hot sex.”


Burgers, Evesdropping

posted by on July 11 at 1:13 PM

May I suggest the Linda’s burger at Linda’s? I went for lunch yesterday—Linda’s has been open for lunch for a few weeks now—and had the best burger I’ve had in a long time. Juicy, bacony, chow-downable. Sub a side salad for the fries, get blue cheese dressing, smear the blue cheese dressing on the burger as you go. This = heaven.

Overheard while I was there (from the table behind me): “If you can’t multi-task as a barista, you should fucking not do it.”

UPDATE: Cienna Madrid interviews a Linda’s burger in this week’s paper. (How could I have missed that?)

Would You Sit on This, Ladies?

posted by on July 11 at 1:03 PM

Heterosexual women (and gay men, I suppose) can now purchase affordable blow-up dolls (as opposed to this one, which goes for $6,999)—too bad it’s ugly as sin.

Confidential to “Go Ahead”

posted by on July 11 at 12:34 PM

In response to Where Are You Right Now?

Seattle. Seattle Weekly offices. Go ahead fire me.
Posted by: Go Ahead | July 11, 2006 11:13 AM

And I wonder: Why don’t you quit? Leaving beats being fired: It’s more emotionally rewarding and presents an easier history to sell as you look for a new job. Is it a layoff/severance package you’re holding out for?

The Perfect Anne Coulter

posted by on July 11 at 12:32 PM

The most awesome Anne Coulter interview evah! (Go ahead, click, it’s a small file.) And I’m not even an Adam Carolla fan!

Hat tip to:

Syd Barrett, 1946-2006

posted by on July 11 at 11:57 AM


The Crazy Diamond shines no more. Syd Barrett died July 7 from complications relating to diabetes, but for all practical purposes, he hasn’t really been alive since he vanished from the music scene over 30 years ago. The founder of the enormously influential British psych-rock band Pink Floyd, Barrett burnt out in classic acid-head style. But before he fried his brain, Barrett left a small but potently inventive body of work that continues to fire imaginations worldwide.

Barrett was a pivotal figure in unmooring rock and roll from its R&B roots and catalyzing the music into fresh, dynamic permutations of exploratory instrumentation (haters will call this “wankery” or worse, but they deserve the earthbound mediocrity that is their typical listening diet). While Pink Floyd certainly excelled at the extended freakout, they also could pen concise, eccentrically infectious pop tunes (“Arnold Layne,” “Lucifer Sam,” “See Emily Play,” and “Bike,” to name but a few). Either the drugs were better then or Barrett was a mad genius. Actually, both assertions are true.

The mastermind behind Pink Floyd’s 1967 debut, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Barrett is largely responsible for launching psychedelic rock into deep space with tracks like “Astronomy Domine” and “Interstellar Overdrive.” The rest of that all-time classic album perfectly captured the by turns absurd, blissful, whimsical, and disturbing aspects of the LSD-enhanced sensorium.

Barrett contributed only minimally to Pink Floyd’s second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968), and then shakily embarked on a solo career in 1970 with help from his Floyd replacement, guitarist David Gilmour. Both The Madcap Laughs and Barrett possess an awkward winsomeness and can be construed as forerunners to the sort of bedroom/lo-fi aesthetic that has flourished in the rock underground from the late ’80s to the present. On these LPs, Barrett mostly retreats into more introverted singer-songwriter territory, albeit one tinted with the eerie glow of a manchild tumbling down the rabbit hole of insanity while eking out memorable melodies on an acoustic guitar. Both albums are the aural equivalent of Taj Mahals constructed out of glued-together toothpicks.

In 1972, Barrett formed a band called Stars with ex-Pink Fairies drummer Twink and bassist Jack Monck, but that unit didn’t last long and, aside from an aborted 1974 recording session with Peter Jenner at Abbey Road Studios, Barrett gave up on music and retreated to his mother’s basement.

Barrett’s ramshackle, surreal, crazy-psychonaut persona and music have inspired everyone from Radiohead to Robyn Hitchcock to the TV Personalities to Julian Cope to bands that have named themselves after Syd songs (Gigolo Aunts, Baby Lemonade, and Effervescing Elephant, for all I know).

While his life was a tragedy and perhaps a cautionary tale, Barrett blazed incredibly brightly while he was an active musician, and his legacy will last as long as people desire to expand their consciousness through sound.


Pink Floyd (Syd, center)

Re: Feline Follies

posted by on July 11 at 11:53 AM

Dave, don’t forget that the Northwest has its own cat man, Stalking Cat (legally Dennis Avner), who lives on South Whidbey Island where the (mostly artsy/lefty) locals have reportedly been “pretty welcoming.” I saw him buying baked goods in Freeland last summer—a quick survey of the other shoppers’ faces revealed sly glances and small smiles of amusement.
The Seattle Times published a profile and beautiful and jaw-dropping photo essay on him in 2005.

On an only-slightly related note, I saw a great T-shirt the other day.

We’ll Topple That Dastardly Kim Jong-Il…

posted by on July 11 at 11:20 AM

… with the awesome power of musical theater!

American Idol Auditions in Seattle!

posted by on July 11 at 10:39 AM

Oh boy, oh boy, oh BOY! Finally a chance for the WORLD to see what an awesome singer I am, and I don’t have to travel half way across the country to do it! That’s right—the American Idol auditions are coming to SEATTLE on September 19 at Key Arena! Remember: Not only the awesome singers (like me) get chosen to perform in front of Simon, Paula and Randy. It’s also really EMBARRASSING performers as well! And I really want to see the Northwest represent this year. So put on your most ridiculous costumes, pick out a truly awful song to sing, and START PRACTICING NOW!
Here are the AMERICAN IDOL AUDITION RULES—and if you really suck (not me), be sure to buy all the American Idol audition books and videos that will help you do (almost) as well as me!

GOOD LUCK… to me.


Boobie Scarves

posted by on July 11 at 10:37 AM


These are so horribly tacky that they’re sort of fabulous. I especially like the tattoos. I can think of several people I’d like to give boobie scarves to for Christmas. But a Google search yields only dead ends, so all my cross-dressing pals may have to go boobie-scarf-less.
More boobie scarves

HUMP Dilemma

posted by on July 11 at 10:10 AM


One of last year’s prize-winning filmmakers has a question for HUMP’s Steering Committee…

I had a blast fucking a canteloupe last year! The whole contest was super fun and I am really excited to film something again this year. However, I have a question about the rules of the contest and whether my (very tasteful) idea will be OK. Here’s a description of the part that I a looking for a ruling on:

What if the film opened with a (fully clothed) man and an animal interacting completely non sexually. Just normal scene estabishing stuff. Then, we transition to a dream sequence of the same man and another person in a furry animal suit, having sex. No real animal is present during the sex. Would this be OK?

After careful deliberations the HUMP Steering Committee has decided that the use of an animal in your proposed HUMP entry passes the butt-sniff test. You may proceed to film the proposed scenes, as described. While the HUMP rules do state “no poop, no kids, no animals,” so long as your film includes no scenes of bestiality, you’re in.

The same does not apply, however, to children or poop—they may not appear in HUMP entries even as “scene establishing” as props, in dreams, etc. So any filmmakers thinking about setting their HUMP entries in, say, a fourth grade classroom (teacher comes on to harried mom and dad at parent-teacher conference), or a sewage treatment plant (eww), are encouraged to think again. No children, no poop. No animals `cept in pre-getting-it-on establishing shots.

The HUMP Steering Committee has spoken!

Terror on a Tuesday

posted by on July 11 at 9:50 AM

At least 135 are dead after six or seven bombs were detonated at a crowded train station in Mumbai, India. The bombs were set off around 6:30 pm. No group has come forward yet to claim responsibility.

Worst. Story. Ever (so far this week).

posted by on July 11 at 9:44 AM

You know what’s worse than five kids—aged 10 to 17—drowning during a church outing?

When four of the five are siblings.

Dear God.

Feline Follies

posted by on July 11 at 9:42 AM


If the above photo isn’t enough to make you vomit in the cat box, how about this story from Delaware, where police are searching for two sisters, after their home was found to contain 110 cats, three dogs, countless mountains of fecal matter, and—surprise!—the corpse of the women’s 84-year-old mother, which had been lovingly placed in a plastic storage container in an upstairs bedroom. Full story here.

And if you’re curious to see more of Mr. Leopard Man, go here. (NSFW, and thanks to Jake.)

David Hasselhoff’s “Get Out of My Car” Video

posted by on July 11 at 9:39 AM

Wow. Wow. Wow. OH, WOW!

I mean, it’s just…. WOW.

Paging Mayor Nickels

posted by on July 11 at 9:36 AM

This just in: Tunnels kill people.

The Morning News

posted by on July 11 at 6:49 AM

Money Spent on Lobbying. Highest Ever.

Gas Prices. Second Highest Ever.

Not Counting Bush’s Signing Statements. First Veto Ever.

New Al Qaeda Video. Grossest Yet.

PAC Slush Fund. Same as Always.

Psylocybin. Same as Always.

Iraq. Same as Always.

Military Detainees. Big Change.

Grace Sherwood. No Longer a Witch.

Monday, July 10, 2006

He’s Got Issues

posted by on July 10 at 6:46 PM

What bugs me about the anti-war left is how absolutist they are (troops out now!) And even more irksome, how self-righteous they are. It’s a complicated situation, and a personal revulsion to bloodshed just isn’t a compelling, stand-alone argument.

The news that anti-war candidate Mark Wilson dropped out of the running—he was challenging Maria Canwell for the Democratic nomination—elicited a revealing response from Chad Shue, the anti-war vice-chair of the 38th District Democrats (Snohomish, Marysville, Everett). Shue was one of Wilson’s biggest supporters. The 38th had even endorsed Wilson until local electeds came in and rescinded it.

Check out Shue’s post on his blog about the Wilson news. It’s soaked in the self-righteous tone (emphasis on self) that I’m talking about. It sounds much like a fundie who’s only argument against gay marriage is that they don’t believe in it.

More on Wilson - Cantwell
I stand by every word I have spoken, every word I have typed, and every action I have taken thus far in the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Washington State. To Mark Wilson, I say thank you for your efforts to this point and to Senator Cantwell I say, congratulations on your savvy in bringing Mark into your campaign…There will be some who will ask of me (as they did when Howard Dean dropped out and endorsed John Kerry), if you were a Mark Wilson supporter and he now endorses Cantwell, why don’t you follow. To them, my answer remains the same. Mark Wilson, just as Howard Dean, gave voice and a face to my issues and values. However, the race was never about him but, rather…

I cut out the end of his sentence—I’ll fill it in…in a second—to make a point. If you were doing a parody of this 10th-grade tone, how would you end that line? Perhaps you’d finish it like this… “However, the race was never about him, but, rather, it was about me!” Obviously, that’s a little over the top, but check out how Shue actually does wrap it up. It’s not too far from that. He writes: “However, the race was never about him, but, rather, about those issues and values that I care about most.”

Good God, man. the race is not about the issues and values that you care about most (meaning, I guess, stopping the war)…the race is about helping the Democrats win back Congress. That’s bigger than just your issues, Mr. Shue.

The Witch of Pungo

posted by on July 10 at 5:48 PM

Today, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine officially pardoned Grace Sherwood (aka the Witch of Pungo, obviously the best witch name ever—it totally beats the bat shit out of Starhawk) on the 300th anniversary of her conviction in a trial by water.

“With 300 years of hindsight, we all certainly can agree that trial by water is an injustice,” Kaine wrote. “We also can celebrate the fact that a woman’s equality is constitutionally protected today, and women have the freedom to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

The good citizens of Virginia celebrated with a re-enactment of Sherwood being dropped into the river.

Arts in America

posted by on July 10 at 5:34 PM

The Stranger Suggests…

Ray Davies
Ray Davies isn’t getting any younger, and you should see him while you still can. He’s 62, and anyone of sound mind is aware that the Kinks frontman is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. His new (and interestingly, first official) solo record may lack the immediacy and intellect of his early offerings, but he’ll undoubtedly spend a fair amount of time excavating his back catalog. (Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 467-5510. 8 pm, $32—$43.50 plus fees, all ages.) HANNAH LEVIN


Anderson Cooper is a low-rater.

Bono is a financier of “imperialist garbage.”

Neal Pollack is “sad all the time.”

Keith Richards “can’t wait.”

Old rocks are heading home.

The Office: U.K./American Cross-Over?

posted by on July 10 at 4:29 PM

Exciting news for TV lovahs! Fans of the The Office (both the British and U.S. version) will be getting a nice surprise this coming fall—a cross-over episode featuring members of the British cast visiting their American counterparts.

“There’s a lot of love between [the casts and crews] of the two versions of the show,” NBC’s Ben Silverman told The Post, declining to reveal plot details of the upcoming episode so as not to spoil it for fans. “Expect some cameos from the U.K. paper company,” says Silverman.

I was one of those who was very dubious about the premiere of an Americanized version of The Office, but now? I LOVE IT! (Especially the episode where Michael gets his foot caught in a George Foreman grill, and Dwight experiences a head injury and vomits on his car.)
Are you with me, OR AGAINST ME?

Another Nice Portrait of Lenin

posted by on July 10 at 4:11 PM

Comrade Lenin Sweeps the Globe Clean, 1920, for Charles.


Xenophobic in Raymond

posted by on July 10 at 4:00 PM

Reader Michelle sent this:

I spent this Fourth of July holiday in Grayland, Washington. As I was skimming through their local paper, I was shocked to see this ad placed by Maynard’s Body Shop. Yes, I believe in our right for freedom of press, and to publish whatever it is that we pay for. However, I just feel so bad for these ignorant people that would alienate and offend an entire population of people—by putting their stupidity on display.

World Cup Artists Arrested

posted by on July 10 at 3:11 PM

“Can u kick it?” was the invitation that got them into so much trouble.

Is this the art version of Zidane’s head-butt?

As We Work

posted by on July 10 at 2:58 PM

It’s Monday. It’s back to work. It’s time for a little labor art and music.

Here you will find an mp3 of “Joe Hill.” An organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, Joe Hill was executed in Utah, in 1915.

Here is a nice Soviet painting of Lenin listening to peasants:

And, lastly, here are the lyrics for Geoff Francis and Peter Hick’s labor masterpiece, “All For Me Job”:

Oh it’s all for me job, Me bloody, bloody job, Just to make the boss an extra dollar, Since the award’s been done away, They’ve cut me leave and cut me pay, Now the family and me must live in squalor.

Where is me wife,
Me lovely, lovely wife ,
Just to make the boss an extra dollar,
Working seven days a week,
You know we hardly ever meet,
Maybe I’ll catch up with her tomorrow.

Where are me kids,
Me lovely, lovely kids,
Just to make the boss an extra dollar,
Since the last I saw them play,
They’ve grown up and moved away,
If you come across them kindly will you holler?

I’m sick in the head
And I haven’t been to bed,
The doctor says I ought to take more slumber,
But if I say I won’t work back,
Then I’ll get the bloody sack,
Then across the Western Deserts I must wander.

This land we used to know
As the land of the fair go,
All gone to make the boss an extra dollar,
But now in union we will fight
`Til we’ve won back every right,
Then we’ll never need no more to live in squalor.

Oh it’s all for me job,
Me bloody, bloody job,
Just to make the boss an extra dollar,
But now in union we will fight
`Til we’ve won back every right,
Then we’ll never need no more to live in squalor.

Depressing Entertainment News Item of the Day

posted by on July 10 at 2:56 PM


Gil Scott-Heron is going to jail—and he’s apparently HIV positive as well.

Bush Has the Veto (and He’s Not Afraid to Use It)

posted by on July 10 at 2:52 PM

From the Denver Post:

President Bush will likely cast the first veto of his presidency if the Senate, as expected, passes legislation to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, White House aide Karl Rove said today.

“The president is emphatic about this,” Rove said in a meeting with the editorial board of The Denver Post.

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del. If the Senate approves the bill this month it would go to the president’s desk.

“It is something we would, frankly, like to avoid,” Rove said, when asked if the White House

But Rove said that he believes the legislation will pass the Senate with more than 60 votes this month, “and as a result the president would, as he has previously said emphatically, veto the Castle bill.”

Rove then peeled a banana with his foot, smeared shit on the wall as he left.


posted by on July 10 at 2:42 PM

(((grrrls))).jpgFor those keeping a list of all the wonderful things we’ve lost to Portland, add Zac Pennington’s Parenthetical Girls, who played their CD release show at the Sunset Tavern last Saturday night to a bewildered, awestruck audience. Zac tortured us all with stern instructions, haunting story songs, and a set arrangement both childish and sophisticated. His foppish, fancy-boy antics were riveting, as he howled and swayed like a pubescent Jarvis Cocker. The new record, Safe as Houses is one of this year’s best. Pitchfork loves ‘em. Why don’t you?

Re: The Butt Heard Round the World

posted by on July 10 at 2:15 PM

One group’s answer to Anthony’s million dollar question about the World Cup head-butt…

The Paris-based anti-racism advocacy group SOS-Racism issued a statement Monday quoting “several very well informed sources from the world of football” as saying Materazzi called Zidane a “dirty terrorist.” It demanded that FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, investigate and take any appropriate action.

Critical Mass Update

posted by on July 10 at 1:21 PM

Given that there was so much interest in the the Critical Mass update I posted Friday (there’s nearly 100 comments in the thread), I’m moving it here, so people can take the microphone today.

Plus, I just spoke to Zack Treisman’s attorney, David Speikers, and I’ve got a fresh update. I called Speikers because I wanted to ask—if the KC prosecutor decides not to press charges—will he turn the tables and sue the Sheriff for misconduct? Spiekers told me he believes the detectives “did not follow proper undercover procedure” and he hopes this incident “calls attention to problems,” but his client just “wants to be done with this.”

However, here’s the real update. Speikers reports that 3 more witnesses have contacted him—three people who were in a car that was perpendicular to the police van at the intersection. Speikers says one of the passengers did hear a small, brief “whoop” sound when the van was parked 3 cars back from the intersection (when two male bikers were blocking the intersection and Critical Mass cyclists were streaming through). However, when the van pulled up to the light and faced off with Jace Brien, the new witnesses report hearing no air horn or siren noises. In fact, they were so oblivious to the fact that the undercover detectives were bona fide law enforcement, that they called 911 when they saw the undercover officers wrestle the bikers to the ground.


posted by on July 10 at 1:09 PM

The Guggenheim will build its biggest museum yet in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, designed by Frank Gehry.

Picture this (the wildly successful tourist magnet Guggenheim in the Spanish outpost of Bilbao)


next to this


Here’s a glimmer of conflicts to come in an American art museum set in a Muslim country. American museums have a difficult time addressing the subject of Islam in this country. Then again, Tom Krens has never been one to let little details like whether a museum is a good or workable idea get in the way of global expansion.

Eccentric Millionaires and Monochrome Filters

posted by on July 10 at 12:44 PM

Two shows that opened Thursday were on my mind all weekend: Byron Kim’s Threshold at the Henry, and Dawn Cerny and Alice Tippit’s The Artful Pursuit of Happiness at SOIL, and I seriously recommend them both.

Kim uses the confrontational nature of monochrome to his advantage, softening it with inviting, referential titles, both questioning and asserting the medium as a conveyor of the essences of things. He also doesn’t do just one thing. He veers from conceptual abstraction (Synecdoche, a grid of panels painted the colors of sitters’ skin) to playful representation (Miss Mushinski (First Big Crush) mimics the green-and-blue-striped shirt he wore for three weeks straight after his grade-school teacher complimented him on it) to romantic manipulation (Through the Night (Skowhegan) is a swoon-inducing vision, looking upward, of trees silhouetted against a moonless, deep-blue night sky).

Cerny and Tippit’s installation I can barely describe. It is a riot of objects, a full-on storm of drawings, paintings, cut-outs, and plenty of other stuff that I’ll have to go back to fully record. Drawing everything together (or not, in a good way) is a fictional millionaire whose pursuits and preoccupations these objects represent. What’s there is elegant, satirical, silly, adolescent, old-fashioned and excessive. And from what I could tell, everybody is talking about it. (Anyone who saw Cerny’s show this spring at 4Culture will recognize the impulse behind the silhouettes.)

Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures here; I’m having trouble uploading.

The Great White Northwest

posted by on July 10 at 12:17 PM

The whitest major city in America? That would be Portland, Oregon.

The second whitest? Seattle.

Solves All Problems

posted by on July 10 at 10:48 AM

New research conducted at the University of Amsterdam suggests that a high dose of RU-486 (a prescription hormone treatment used to trigger abortion) can function as an immediately effective antidepressant. It works by blocking stress hormone receptors in the brain. Read New Scientist’s story.

Poly, Observed

posted by on July 10 at 10:08 AM

Poly gets some decent press in the UK Observer. “If monogamy is, as the psychotherapist Adam Phillips says, our secular religion, polyamory is the latest heresy….” says William Leith, and he goes on to admit that, “Heresies such as polyamory, quite naturally, make me feel edgy and defensive.” But he handles it well enough, and while it’s hardly a ground-breaking article, it’s nice to see in a mainstream publication.

Counting on Christian Activist Judges

posted by on July 10 at 8:05 AM

This Washington Post article on the Alliance Defense Fund caught my eye.

Considering itself the antithesis of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Scottsdale-based organization has used money and moxie to become the leading player in a movement to tug the nation to the right by challenging decades of legal precedent. By stepping into the nation’s most impassioned debates about religion in the public sphere, the group aims to bring law and society into alignment with conservative Christianity.

The group successfully challenged the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in California and Oregon, and worked on statewide ballot initiatives prohibiting such unions. Its attorneys helped the Boy Scouts win approval of a policy barring gay Scout leaders.

The group has been battling embryonic stem cell research in Missouri and won a Supreme Court stay preventing the removal of California’s 29-foot Mount Soledad cross. In Florida, where saving the life of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo became a crusade, the group supported efforts to nourish her.

The article caught my eye because you know what else the Alliance Defense Fund is working on? Passing a refusal clause for pharmacists in Washington state.

Indeed, I interviewed an attorney from this radical Christian group for my story on refusal clauses last month.

This quote from the Post article may sound alarmist…

“They’re not for some form of generic religious freedom. They’re for Christian superiority, that Christians take over the courts,” said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “They are living in this fantasy world where the majority religion, Christianity, is claimed to be literally under attack.”

…but it’s not an alarmist quote. At all. It’s an accurate description of the group.

Indeed, check out this exerpt from my interview with Byron Babione, an attorney with the ADF:

“It’s a really un-American idea to condition a profession on a willingness to leave your moral and religious conviction in the car,” Byron Babione, legal counsel for the Arizona-based ADF, tells me. ADF sent a letter to the WSBP in March supporting the board’s push for a conscience clause. (The ADF is most famous for winning 2000’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, which overturned a New Jersey law that had mandated the Boy Scouts to admit gays.)

“Our argument is not that people shouldn’t be able to get their prescriptions,” Babione says. “It’s that pharmacists with a sincere objection based on moral conviction should not be forced to dispense medication that strikes at the core of their beliefs.”

Babione believes conscience clauses protect minority views. “Americans talk a good game on accommodation and toleration, so why not accommodate pharmacists on this very narrow area, especially when there’s an abundance of pharmacists that will fill the prescription?” he asks. “In this case there’s no imminent harm [to the patient] because there are so many alternative pharmacies willing to fill Plan B prescriptions.” (Try telling that to a woman who lives in Walla Walla.)

Would Babione’s argument change, I ask him, if there came a time when a majority of pharmacists didn’t want to fill prescriptions for Plan B. Babione said the question was irrelevant because if Christian conservatives were ever in the majority, Plan B would be illegal anyway.

I guess the ADF’s commitment to minority rights isn’t set in stone. They want to grant Christians the privilege of being excused from the law when Christians don’t believe in the law, but they want to set the rules for others when Christians are in control.

My chat with the Alliance Defense Fund creeped me out so much that before my pharmacy article came out, I did a separate Slog just about the interview. I’m glad to see the Post is creeped out too.

The Morning News

posted by on July 10 at 6:21 AM

Anarchy in Iraq.

Euphoria in Italy.

GIs in Handcuffs.

Election Challenge in Mexico.

Fucked up in Gaza.

3-story Building Collapses in NYC.

China in Pyongyang.

Bush in a Box.

Congress Not in the Loop.

Wal-Mart Wants in.

Microsoft in a Hurry.

Toxins in Columbia River.

Cantwell Opponent Out of Race. In Cantwell Camp.

What a Nation Craves

posted by on July 10 at 12:07 AM

In times of strife, every nation needs its narcotic entertainments. During the Great Depression, Americans were uplifted by the gorgeous order of Busby Berkley; during the Cold War, we warmed ourselves in the arms of ALF. And now, during the ongoing Iraq War/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Axis of Evil intervention/imperialist takeover of the beige and vulnerable, America’s narcotic entertainment of choice is clearly pirates.

This weekend, America took its pirate fetish to the bank, giving Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest the most profitable opening weekend in cinema history. According to studio estimates procured by the Associated Press, Dead Man’s Chest, the sequel to the blockbuster based on a weird old ride at Disneyland, raked in a record $132 million in its first three days, trouncing the previous title holder (2002’s Spider-Man, whose opening weekend took in $114.8 million), and earning nearly double the total of the rest of the weekend’s top 12 films combined.

What does this say about our nation’s soul? I dunno, but we have the next few years to figure it out, as the third installment of the Pirates series is due in theaters over Memorial Day weekend next year.

In the meantime, the makers of Pirates 3 have issued a casting call for “extreme character types,” including little people, albinos, and “exotic amputees.” (Thanks to Defamer.)

Sunday, July 9, 2006

The Butt Heard Round the World

posted by on July 9 at 8:57 PM


So, the million-dollar question: What the hell did Materazzi say to make France’s star, and arguably one of the game’s all-time greatest players, lose his freakin’ mind?

Theories? Wild speculation? Discuss.

Complete Bumbershoot Line-up Announced

posted by on July 9 at 4:34 PM

Ah, at last, a few good reasons to go to Bumbershoot this year. One Reel has announced that they’ve added this delightful collection of freakishly talented musicians:


As well as these lovely lads from Austin:


And last, but hardly least, the queen herself:


The full schedule can be viewed here.

Rampant, Idiotic MacBookery

posted by on July 9 at 2:28 PM

So I bought a MacBook last month, thinking, for some odd reason, (possibly the goddamn ubiquitous print and web ads) that it would do everything out of the box. And, damn if that’s not true…it does do everything out of the box. It’s got GarageBand! I can make my own CD’s! It’s got iMovie! I can make my own movies! It’s got Photo Booth! I can take pictures of myself using my new MacBook! Holy shit!
Except the motherfucking thing doesn’t come with word processing.
The motherfucking computer doesn’t come with a word processor. I am (allegedly) a writer. I write lots of things that I then send to people who publish them. I need a word processor. Open-source word programs aren’t compatible with my employers, and so, finally, today, I had to buy fucking Microsoft Office for Macintosh. For four hundred dollars.
If a computer doesn’t have a working word processor that’s at all functional, is it realy ethical to claim that it does everything out of the box? I’ve held a guitar, I think, twice in my life. I want to direct movies about as much as your average potted petunia. I just want a word processor on my computer. When did this become too much to ask? How many computer-illiterate buffoons—like myself—were fucked over by Apple this way? I thought people bought Apples so they wouldn’t give a buttload of money to Microsoft.
Enjoy your Sunday, Seattle. I’m going to go find a whack-a-mole game and play the holy hell out of it. That’ll show that chinless sweatshirt-wearing hipster emo Apple pitchwhore.

What in the Sam Hill?

posted by on July 9 at 9:00 AM

Two Seattle artists had the idea to pay tribute to the outsized, largely failed ambitions of the wealthy early 20th-century entrepreneur Samuel Hill, a Quaker who built the earliest paved roads in Washington, put up a full-scale replica of Stonehenge outside Goldendale, and made friends with the celebrity Queen Marie of Romania, who called him “scatter-brained and simple” but helped him to create his Maryhill Museum of Art anyway.

The tribute opens today.

It is called Maryhill Double, made by Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, who work under the name Lead Pencil Studio. Maryhill Double is a replica of the Maryhill Museum, made of construction materials. It stands a mile away from the museum, across the Columbia River Gorge, facing its poured-concrete doppelgänger. (It is only open Sundays, from noon to dusk, through Oct 1.)

Hill originally built the museum as his own mansion, but it could never have been a family home. His wife and mentally ill daughter, both named Mary—the museum’s namesakes—had left him years before, in Seattle, and returned to their former home, Minneapolis. He had three more children with women he didn’t marry. He envisioned surrounding himself with fellow Quakers instead of family, and set about forming a Quaker farming community on the land around the mansion. But despite his advertising, nobody came. The mansion, now the museum, basically sits out in the middle of nowhere, on its own, except for the Stonehenge a few miles off.

When Han and Mihalyo approached the museum with a proposal to build a double next to the museum—which is known for a Rodin collection (secured by a modern dancer who was another friend of Hill) and not contemporary art—the museum’s curator told them the museum wasn’t interested. It turned out the Creative Capital Foundation was, though, so, with the foundation’s money and support from Artist Trust and the Henry Art Gallery, Han and Mihalyo got permission from another landowner, and moved their proposal across the river.

I can’t wait to walk through both. Oh, and Stonehenge. There are also peacocks on the grounds.

Here’s the mansion in 1926. It, and the surroundings, look pretty much the same today, I’m told.



Here are details.