Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 07/30/2006 - 08/05/2006

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Gay Army

posted by on August 5 at 6:49 PM

I finally got around to reading about the gay marriage decision in this state, an issue that I have little interest in, only because I think the institution of marriage itself is bad. Marriage, like slavery, should be abolished. But I do realize that, as a heterosexual male, this belief comes from a clear position of privilege. But consider this for a moment: In the the 90s, all the fuss was about gays getting into the army, another institution that should be abolished; these days, however, the gay community is not pressing that issue so hard, if at all.

Glass Houses

posted by on August 5 at 3:00 PM

Spotted this poster when I was running around downtown earlier today…


“CHIHULY never even BLOWS glass—Tar Art Rat.”

Life Imitates Comedy

posted by on August 5 at 2:37 PM

Okay, so there’s nothing funny about waking up to an intruder in your home, let alone naked in your bed with you. However, this PI story about a break-in in Lake City makes the perpetrator’s get-away sound like a sequence from one of the old Pink Panther movies.
“The (naked) man ran off, wearing the victim’s silk robe. Police later found a bicycle and believe the intruder used the bike to escape, but had to abandon it when the stolen robe got caught in the chain. Police found a purse stuffed with women’s underwear not far from the bike.”
Peter Sellers, as Inspector Clouseau, could have done this to perfection.

USA Today and the Legacy of The Holy Roman Empire

posted by on August 5 at 2:34 PM

For now, this is the state of the American mind:

As for the escalating war in Lebanon, I place the blame particularly on Germany and in general on Europe. Directly from that continent, from its history, from Ferdinand and Isabella, comes this:

Bad News/Good News

posted by on August 5 at 2:17 PM

First, the shitty news: Stranger news writer Thomas Francis left the Stranger last week. Tom was only with the Stranger for about 8 months. Tom was a talented writer and a dogged, damn good reporter. It’s a rare combo. It’s a drag to see him go. (He took a job with a New Times paper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) Tom said he wasn’t happy in Seattle. He said there wasn’t enough traditional, big city, hard-boiled sleaze to report on in Seattle; he found it too politically homogenous; and on a social level, it was too politically correct. I couldn’t really disagree with him. Tom also had a depressing apartment.

Ultimately, I believe the fact that Tom could conceive of living in Fort Lauderdale is a good indication that he and Seattle were not much of a match. I heard that Seattle Weekly (also a New Times paper) tried to get Tom to jump ship from the Stranger to the Weekly. Tom said, ‘No,’ and drove to Florida last weekend.

I wish Tom luck at his new job. Soon enough, I imagine, I’ll hear about some corrupt developers in Fort Lauderdale getting caught in Tom’s gun sights.

The Good News: This summer, we hired Sarah Mirk, the best news intern we’ve had since the uncanny Amy Jenniges showed up at the Stranger offices back in 2000. (Amy Jenniges, an SU student at the time, went on to become our star neighborhood reporter, and late last year, went to Portland to become news editor at our sister paper the Mercury.)

Certainly you’ve read the Slog Posts and neighborhood coverage that Sarah Mirk has filed this summer. Well, Sarah has agreed to put off her upcoming semester of college (she goes to school in Iowa and was slated to spend a semester in Ecuador) and now plans to stay on with the Stranger through the end of the year as I set out to find a permanent replacement for Tom.

Having convinced Tom to move here (and seeing what a lousy time he had), I’m now a little self-conscious about getting Sarah to give up a swath of her golden college years for a Fall in Seattle. So, if anyone can hook her up with a fake I.D., that’d be excellent.

Arts in America

posted by on August 5 at 1:45 PM

Something you can not do today, but could if it were 1844, according to The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800s (this is a better bathroom book than I could ever have imagined when I got it as a joke gift):

A grand exhibition of the effects produced by inhaling Nitrous Oxide, EXHILARATING, or Laughing Gas! will be given by Union Hall this evening, December 10, 1844. Forty gallons of gas will be prepared and administered to all in the audience who desire to inhale it. Twelve Young Men have volunteered to inhale the gas to commence the entertainment. Eight strong men are engaged to occupy the front seats to protect those under the influence of the gas from injuring themselves or others. This course is adopted that no apprehension of danger may be entertained. Probably no one will attempt to fight …. The gas will be administered only to gentlemen of the first respectability. The object is to make the entertainment in every respect a genteel affair. (From Advertisements for a Laughing Gas Entertainment, Hartford Courant.)

And now for something you can—nay, should, must, shall—do today:

Diplo (DJ YOU LOVE TO HATE) Some DJs play more hits than Google gets in a day; others dig in bottomless crates for obscure cuts that sell for fortunes on eBay. Diplo is the rare selector who can flex both approaches—and keep clubbers moving until they stop. Dirty South rap plays tonsil hockey with ’80s new wave; electro and dancehall add themselves to their MySpaces; crunk and baile funk bump uglies with gusto. Dude’s a font of lovely surprises behind the decks. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9442. 8 pm, $12 adv, all ages.) DAVE SEGAL

Opera fanatics: NYTer Jim Oestreich likes Thomas Ades’s brand-new The Tempest opens in Santa Fe. (Unfortunately, the photo in the print version of the paper is not reproduced in full online. This is unfortunate because the print photo makes it look suspiciously like Will Ferrell is in the opera.)

Good Morning

posted by on August 5 at 5:42 AM

Chinook (“king”) salmon are running through Elliott Bay at this moment, from the ocean on their way to spawn in the Green River and its tributaries. I’m not a fisherman, but nothing delivers the spirit of this city like fighting a delicious, shiny monster as the sun rises behind the skyline.
Inner Elliott Bay is open for kings Friday through Sunday until August 20. The bite seems to be hottest right at dawn (yawn).
(For the fish nerds: green splatter hotspot, glow/cop-car hoochie, 42-inch leader at 75 feet deep, 5:45 am, near Todd)

Friday, August 4, 2006

Chihuly Suit Not Settled; Chihuly Inc. “Misinformed” By Its Own Lawyer, Who Now Refuses to Comment

posted by on August 4 at 7:23 PM

You read right. There is no signed settlement agreement in the Chihuly copyright lawsuit case, despite what the P-I reported this morning.

And the explanation? Chihuly and his second-in-command, Billy O’Neill, had been “misinformed” by their attorney, Susan Foster, who now is refusing to talk about the matter, according to comment from Chihuly’s publicist, Janet Makela, to Regina Hackett of the P-I late Friday.

Hackett says she asked Chihuly in person whether the settlement was “signed, sealed, and delivered,” and the artist said yes. Same for O’Neill.

We’re supposed to believe that Chihuly and O’Neill didn’t know about the outcome of the lawsuit they initiated? More likely is that a journalist’s reputation was expendable if it meant getting your preferred message on the front page of a newspaper on your preferred timeline.

The mystery, though, is why this was the preferred message, and why now. Settling means Chihuly is conceding defeat. Maybe because Hackett’s last story about Chihuly was a sympathetic profile, he felt he could snow her. The defeat angle was largely absent from Hackett’s story, which probably pleased him. Instead, he got to tell his side about being tired of lawsuits. As for timing, the Seattle Times is widely expected to run a three-part series investigating Chihuly starting Sunday, and maybe Chihuly wanted to get himself into the limelight in a venue he sees as friendly before that appeared. Who knows.

I’ve talked to Hackett repeatedly about Chihuly and journalism, and she’s not for sale. I absolutely believe her when says she regrets not calling the opposing side’s attorney, and that she is surprised that Chihuly handed her a lemon. Then again, I’m not surprised. But maybe I’m a cynic.

Arts in America

posted by on August 4 at 6:12 PM

Love Singer Arthur Lee Dies at 61.

Edward Winkleman On the End of Pluralism.

And the one, the only, including the man who can magically turn “memoir” into a three-syllable word (that song is just so great), H.D.:

Harvey Danger (MUSIC) Now that the world is ending, I’ve been listening to Harvey Danger’s “Plague of Locusts” a lot. It has it all: rivers of blood, golden lamp stands, Hydra, scorpions, pestilence, boulder hailstorms, frogs, the fiery lake. Tonight’s show marks the Kill Rock Stars rerelease of Little by Little, which has a slightly modified track listing, although it doesn’t have “Plague of Locusts.” (It was never released on a proper album.) Please God, make them play it. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $8, 21+.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

P-I Not Filing a Correction Yet

posted by on August 4 at 5:01 PM

Regina Hackett says she expects to hear this afternoon from Chihuly’s lawyer some clarifying information that will explain the discrepancy between her report in this morning’s P-I and what Rubino’s lawyer claims now. I’ll post when I hear, so we can finally know whether this lawsuit is settled, or in negotiations, or sort of settled, or what.

(Hackett did say that she regrets not having called Rubino’s lawyer yesterday. But, she says, she called Rubino six times, and for previous stories, he has talked with her—he has always only spoken to me off the record, and referred me to his lawyer for on-the-record comments—so she thought he was still open to talking on the record, and just refusing comment.)

Name that Intoxicant!

posted by on August 4 at 5:00 PM

It’s time to play “Name That Intoxicant” where YOU try to guess what kind of substance is making the celebrity in question so FREAKING HIGH.
This week’s celeb? BRITNEY SPEARS. (You really have your work cut out for you in this video, Britney could be on a number of substances! So yes, multiple answers are allowed!)

Or, in Ron Jeremy’s case, a little of both

posted by on August 4 at 4:56 PM

Porn Star or Food Network Personality? That’s one spicy meatb … oh, the hell with it.

Note: this is not to be confused with the genuinely challenging Porn Star or My Little Pony? quiz from a few years back.

More About the Chop Suey and Comet Sales

posted by on August 4 at 4:52 PM


As I reported yesterday in Line Out, both the Comet and Chop Suey have new owners.

I just got off the phone with Chris Dasef, former owner of Chop Suey and new owner of hallowed Seattle watering hole the Comet. Here’s what he had to say about the reasons behind the Chop Suey sale:

“John Villsvik has been an interested party for a while. He was [originally] going to buy in with me to rid myself of some other investors. They didn’t want to be a part of it anymore—and I didn’t want them to be a part of it either. We couldn’t come to an agreeable percentage on joint ownership, so I said, ‘hey, I want to buy the Comet, you should just buy Chop Suey.’”

Dasef also cited a desire to get Chop Suey out of debt as a motivating factor:

“When Neumo’s first opened up, we had a rough time of it [financially]. We got behind on a few things, and I just wanted to get caught up and get square on everything.”

Villsvik (who unreachable at the time of this post) will be assuming the old debt and (according to Chop Suey booking agent Colin Johnson), has no current plans to change the club in any major way.

As for the Comet, Dasef said there would be some minor cosmetic changes and the current staff would be retained:

“The Comet is going to be exactly the same. We’re going to remember, support, and cherish the parts of the Comet [that everyone loves]. We are going to clean it, add some fresh paint, and make it less cluttered. We will still have graffiti, live bands, and the same clientel. We also plan on spending [several] hours cleaning up those bathrooms.”

Additionally, Dasef plans on applying for a license to serve hard alcohol, a change that old timers may grumble about, but seems to be a necessary upgrade for most bars these days.

I’ll have more details and an interview with the new Chop Suey owner on Monday.

Iowa for ITMFA

posted by on August 4 at 4:43 PM


Speaking of Wedgwood

posted by on August 4 at 4:24 PM

I recently experienced this little exchange with my checker—a friendly teenage girl—at the Wedgwood QFC, after placing some cash on the counter.

My friend: “Look—someone signed that dollar.” (There was a big red scribble on it.)

Me: “Oh yeah! Maybe it was someone famous. Maybe it was George Washington. I should hang on to it. It should probably be in a museum or something.”


(At this moment in her shortish life, the checker has never met a huger fucking fool. My gaffe makes her uncomfortable. She stares at the floor, unsure of whether or not to take my “famous dollar.”)

Checker: “Uhmmm……Please say you’re kidding.”

Me: “What?”

Checker: “……………You do know George Washington died before that bill was even made, right?”

I fessed up to “kidding,” then made a joke about my public school education. Then she asked—if I know so much about presidents—could I name the first five? As it happens, yes. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk. That’s eleven, sucker. STUFFED.

Huh? Chihuly Case Not Settled, Actually, And Even Less So After This Morning’s Story in the P-I

posted by on August 4 at 3:05 PM

A few posts ago I gave Regina Hackett of the P-I props for reporting that the Chihuly lawsuit has been settled.

Turns out it hasn’t been settled.

And Chihuly speaking out in a statement released last night to the Times and P-I about the ongoing negotiations has jeopardized the negotiations, says Scott Wakefield, attorney for Bryan Rubino, Chihuly’s former glassblower. The two sides had a handshake deal not to talk publicly while talks were ongoing toward the settlement, Wakefield says.

I have a call in to Chihuly’s publicist, Janet Makela, to get the artist’s side.

In a phone interview just now, Wakefield says he would have told Hackett the whole story—if she had called him for comment while putting the story together. (Can it possibly be true that she didn’t?)

Wakefield says the Times did call him last night. Ironically, he didn’t get the message until this morning, because he was at the movie “Scoop.”

Airing of Dogs

posted by on August 4 at 2:57 PM

I thought I recognized the name of the author of the NYT travel article Annie Wagner mocked just now. And confirms that yes, indeed, I do recognize David Laskin’s name.

David Laskin is the author of a great book about The Partisan Review (and Mary McCarthy, Edmund Wilson, Robert Lowell, Jean Stafford, and Elizabeth Hardwick, and their various doomed marriages) called Partisans: Marriage, Politics, and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals.

He’s also the author of the sentence: “Nobody walks more than three blocks in Seattle, except to air the dog or power around Green Lake.” (It just had to be repeated.)

God of All

posted by on August 4 at 2:47 PM

Yesterday, like today, Christians and Muslims were killing each other in Iraq, and Jews and Muslims were killing each other in Lebanon. Yesterday, unlike today, was also the 350th anniversary of Spinoza’s excommunication from the Jewish community in Amsterdam. These were the words that excommunicated the philosopher:

Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night; cursed be he when he lies down, and cursed be he when he rises up; cursed be he when he goes out, and cursed be he when he comes in. The Lord will not pardon him; the anger and wrath of the Lord will rage against the man, and bring upon him all the curses which are written in thr Book of the Law, and the Lord will destroy his name from under the Heavens…

The Amsterdam synagogue excommunicated Spinoza because of his “relentless application of reason” on the nature of God, religion, and human beings. Writes Rebecca Newberger Goldstein:

The Jews who banished Spinoza had themselves been victims of intolerance, refugees from the Spanish-Portuguese Inquisition. The Jews on the Iberian Peninsula had been forced to convert to Christianity at the end of the 15th century. In the intervening century, they had been kept under the vigilant gaze of the Inquisitors, who suspected the ‘New Christians’ of carrying the rejection of Christ in their very blood. It can be argued that the Iberian Inquisition was Europe’s first experiment in racialist ideology.

Spinoza’s reaction to the religious intolerance he saw around him was to try to think his way out of all sectarian thinking. He understood the powerful tendency in each of us toward developing a view of the truth that favors the circumstances into which we happened to have been born. Self-aggrandizement can be the invisible scaffolding of religion, politics or ideology.

Against this tendency we have no defense but the relentless application of reason. Reason must stand guard against the self-serving false entailments that creep into our thinking, inducing us to believe that we are more cosmically important than we truly are, that we have had bestowed upon us - whether Jew or Christian or Muslim - a privileged position in the narrative of the world’s unfolding.

Spinoza didn’t believe in an afterlife but instead a God who was in the world completely. For him, God was everything, every action, every thought, every word. But positing God as “the all” meant that God was both good and evil, killer and creator, lover and hater. Writes Genevieve Lloyd in Spinoza and The Ethics:

Spinoza introduces a constantly changing God — the ultimate subject of all crimes and infirmities. Such a God…must be full of contradictions. Since there is no other agent or subject of properties than this one indivisible substance, he must hate and love, deny and affirm contradictory things. From the standpoint of morality, this God is an abomination, producing in himself all the follies and iniquities of humankind. All those who say that Germans have killed ten thousand Turks must speak falsely unless they mean that God, modified as Germans, has killed the Turks. All the phrases by which one expresses what men do against one another will have no true sense other than that God hate himself, asks favours of himself and refuses them, persecutes himself, kills himself, eats himself, calumniates himself, throws himself on the scaffold, and so on. Having reduced God to the most perfect simplicity — to the unity and indivisibility of substances — Spinoza must attribute to him the most infamous extravagances that can be conceived, infinitely more ridiculous than those of the poets concerning pagan gods.

From Spinoza’s God emerged Hegel’s Geist; from Hegel’s Geist emerged Marx’s dialectical materialism; and from Marx’s dialectical materialism emerged the end of history and the last man. God is all to nothing.


posted by on August 4 at 1:46 PM

One day after I bought this,
I am coveting this:
(Good little consumer.)

Range Life

posted by on August 4 at 1:45 PM

I was at Brouwer’s in Fremont last night—my great friend Jason is getting “married” to his longtime boyfriend Mike (thanks Justice Madsen), and we were celebrating there. I was talking to a guy in the party who had recently bought a house in Wedgwood, and he said this: “Wedgwood is the new Queen Anne.”

I don’t understand what that means. What does it mean? Is 35th Ave. NE a groovy drag?

Good News for People Who Love Good News

posted by on August 4 at 1:44 PM

23 years after his debut with the Smiths, Johnny Marr has become a full-time member of Modest Mouse.

I can honestly say that I would never have predicted this in a million years, and can’t wait to hear what happens…

Yeah, OK, I Know, It’s a Freakin’ Travel Article…

posted by on August 4 at 1:38 PM

Hey New York Times, next month’s Vanity Fair says you’re making yourself look foolish trying to appeal to dumb suburbanites around the country and abandoning your Manhattan devotees. Posh, said I.

And then I read this Seattle travel article. Of course, it’s so, so obvious to get offended over a tourist’s view of your own real estate, but the tone of that piece is just off the charts. Is there a clearer illustration of the bizarre NYT hybrid of suburban Martian and provincial Manhattanite than this sentence?

“Nobody walks more than three blocks in Seattle, except to air the dog or power around Green Lake.”

Chuckle, chuckle, stupid, barf. AIR THE DOG??????

“Haq rented a one-bedroom apartment upstairs—furnished with nothing more than a leaky air mattress… He didn’t even have any pots or pans.”

posted by on August 4 at 1:10 PM

I’m slow on the uptake this week—I only now got a chance to read Josh and Brendan’s excellent reporting on the personal life (and apartment, and temperment, and roommates) of the guy who shot up the Jewish Federation in Belltown a week ago today. There’s all kinds of vivid, startling stuff in this that none of the other papers reported. It completes the picture on a guy who could easily be dismissed as inhuman. He’s pretty freakin’ human. Read it.

Hasselhoff Sings!

posted by on August 4 at 12:59 PM

Sure, you’ve seen the pictures of David Hasselhoff in his speedo. And yes, you’ve seen the videos. But last night America got a taste of the actual singing (well, lip synching) ability of Hasselhoff in the flesh, when the tables were turned on America’s Got Talent and The Hoff got on stage to perform his excruciating non-hit “Jump in My Car.” It’s worth it for two reasons: watching the Hoff take the stage in K.I.T.T., and the sight of Brandy’s brain melting as she tried to endure what her ruined eyes were seeing.

Re: McGavick Defies Kansans: He Wants to Teach the “Theory”

posted by on August 4 at 12:39 PM

I posted this in the comments to Josh’s post, but I’m going to pull it up here. McGavick is not, I repeat, NOT being reasonable on this ID issue. In fact, his language closely approximates the “teach the controversy” tactic advanced by the Dover school district (whose ID advocacy was adroitly bitch-slapped by Judge Jones in late 2005) and the Kansas Board of Education, before voters were so humiliated they threw the bums out.

In the comments below, I said:

Pardon my vehemence, but I think you guys are being extremely naive. Any gesture toward “compet[ing]” beliefs, or teaching “all the different theories” on a national level will—and has been—taken by local school boards as an OK to teach intelligent design as a scientific theory that undermines evolution. This it is not. No reference to creationism belongs in the high school science classroom, except possibly as an outdated point of view that Lamarck, Darwin, et al, had to confront when introducing their explanations of how species change over time. ID is an obfuscating trick, and any discussion of its merit (or decided lack thereof) entails the use of purposefully obscure concepts in information theory, biochemistry, etc. High school students are not equipped to deal in that kind of critique, and they shouldn’t be invited to.

Let me remind you that Santorum’s infamous amendment to No Child Left Behind used conciliatory language too: “that good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science. Where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and prepare them to be informed participants in public discussions.” The part I bolded looks nice, huh? Everyone can get on board with that. Unfortunately, Santorum would consider ID “a testable theory of science”—that’s exactly how it’s promoted—whereas anyone who understands the definition of a scientific theory would disagree.

The effect of this kind of legislation, were it mandated rather than being expressed as the “sense of the Senate” (a non-binding resolution) would be to present evolution as a theory in crisis—which it is not. As a theory that “generates so much continuing controversy” within the scientific community—which it does not.

My standard high school biology text—mid ’90s, Catholic school—did not even touch on creationism. There’s no reason why it should have. It would have been a distraction from learning the scientific method (which ID blatantly flouts) and the current understanding of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, which was what I was there to do.


posted by on August 4 at 12:37 PM

Eastlake is one of the most awkward and promising neighborhoods in Seattle. In the promising column: Sitka & Spruce. (Have you been yet? And you call yourself someone who cares about food!) In the awkward column: the thousand-year-old Eastlake Zoo Tavern, which suddenly finds itself in the midst of a changing city. Intrepid bar columnist Bethany Jean Clement reports.

Chihuly Settles

posted by on August 4 at 12:19 PM

Props to Regina Hackett: she reported this morning in the P-I that Dale Chihuly has settled his suit against Bryan Rubino, the glassblower who worked for Chihuly and whom Chihuly accused of making knockoffs.

“I guess the most important thing I realized is something I probably knew all along. At least among artists, it is best to resolve our differences one on one. I am pleased that Mr. Rubino and I were able to do that,” the P-I reports that Chihuly stated in a release sent Thursday night (now how did I get left off of that press list?).

Hackett raises another spectre for Chihuly that could result in a lawsuit from a disgruntled dealer, Doyle LaCount, the man who ran (which was shut down recently): whether Chihuly’s publishing company or galleries misrepresent his contributions to his prints (he doesn’t directly paint on them).


Josi Callan Named Interim CEO at EMP

posted by on August 4 at 12:02 PM

Josi Callan has been named interim CEO of EMP and the Science Fiction Museum, replacing Kristy Dooley, who left about a month ago. At the same time, EMP artistic director Bob Santelli, a music scholar and curator, has announced he will leave EMP in September. Callan’s contract is for one year, an EMP spokesman said.

Callan’s last job was as inaugural director of the Museum of Glass, a newborn, big-budget, flashy-architecture venue backed by a wealthy businessman that has been more of a tourist destination than a respected member of the cultural community. Sound like any other organization you know?

At the glass museum, Callan never hired another on-staff chief art curator after her first one resigned seven months after the museum opened in July 2002. Part of her job at EMP will be to determine whether to fill the position Santelli held, as artistic director, or to axe that post completely.

Is EMP moving away from curatorial? Has it ever really been very curatorial? The place has lost plenty of great staff curators, including Chris Bruce and Ann Powers. And I’m not a pop-music journalist, so it’s hard for me to seriously assess the content of most of EMP’s shows, but its first foray into fine art, DoubleTake, is badly curated and the art is insensitively presented. (To its credit, EMP has organized a few good talks around the exhibition, and is bringing Nan Goldin and Eric Fischl to town.)

The other thing Callan is known for in arts circles is the inflated salary she earned at the glass museum before she left this January: $285,894 in 2005, according to tax records. That was far more than any of her counterparts in Seattle and around the country, and it ran counter to the Internal Revenue Service’s guidelines for nonprofit compensation. Meantime, the museum spent its first years making layoffs to avoid red ink. (Again: sound like any other organization you know?)

The Museum of Glass’s new director, Timothy Close, isn’t making nearly as much as Callan did: $180,000. Mimi Gates at Seattle Art Museum made $190,000 in 2004. EMP is a nonprofit, but it defies categories, so it is hard to know what to compare it to. It’s fair to say it pays more than strict art museums. The spokesman declined to share Callan’s salary, but tax forms show that in 2004, when Santelli was deputy director, he made $267,500.

But the real question is: Does Callan represent a new type of museum, one run more like a business? If so, should those types of museums be nonprofits? What makes a nonprofit? Cultural nonprofits have become more business-like, appointing CEOs instead of directors or directors with business instead of scholarly backgrounds, but they’ve also maintained curatorial departments—although some say curators have lost some of their traditional power to marketing, PR, and education functions.

What do you think? Do you care whether EMP has an artistic director, a leader devoted to the creative side of things? Did you even know it did?

Seattle’s Greatest Newspaper!

posted by on August 4 at 12:01 PM

It’s no secret: I love the Seattle Gay News. Over its 4,000 years of publication, the SGN has distinguished itself as the closest thing the publishing world has produced to a Showgirls, by which I mean an unfailingly bizarre parade of oddball humanity and jaw-dropping failure.

As with Showgirls, it’s hard to pinpoint just what makes the SGN so reliably mind-boggling. Is it the hilarious typos? (“Fighting Addition in the Gay Community a Top Priority”). Is it the awesome headlines placed atop stories by arts reporter Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid? (For The Lady in the Water: “A classic kid’s ‘boogeyman’ film that’s good for adults too”; for A.I.: A.I.: More Kubrick than Spielberg, but still good.”) Is it the syndicated features on auto repair used to fill out the paper during slow weeks? Is it the regular columnist who wrote of his battles with blackouts and seizures in the paper’s front section then advertised his skills as a sensual masseur/pro-dom top in the back? Yes, yes, and YES!

More than anything, the SGN is a relic of the bygone era of gay journalism, when gay writers could only get published in gay papers, and the only requirement for getting published in gay papers was to be gay and have something to say, no matter how divorced from reality or grammar.

I leave you today with an example of the kind of sweet gay kookiness that regularly finds its way into the SGN. The following appeared on the paper’s letters page of last week, also known as the most significant week for gay rights in Northwest history. Nevertheless, the SGN found room to publish this, under the title, “A Harried Older Gay Man” (sic throughout):

Recently a friend asked me about how many different hair styles I have worn throughout the years. Although I watched many Gay men change hair styles throughout this time. I didn’t make any real efforts to change my looks via hair cuts. There have been a variety of different hair styles throughout the years including long hair, business cuts, short styles, buzz cuts, totally bald and perms. Although I have escaped some of those different styles, I did use several varieties of mousse, aerosol sprays, hair tonics, and balms. When approached about coloring my grey hair, the answer has always been NO. I don’t feel comfortable with the thought of being blonde, redhead, or brunette. Signed, a harried older Gay man

I love you, SGN!

Madonna Gets Crucified!

posted by on August 4 at 11:33 AM

GOD! Catholics really need to lighten up! I mean, so Madonna wants to stage a mock crucifixion during an upcoming concert in Rome… what’s their major malfunction?

“To crucify yourself in the city of the pope and the martyrs is an act of open hostility,” Cardinal Ersilio Tonini was quoted as saying in La Stampa daily on Wednesday. “It’s a scandal created on purpose by astute merchants to attract publicity.”

Oh. Well… it’s not like the Catholic church ever used the crucifixion of Jesus to astutely market their cause, right?

“How do you like my nails?”

A Letter from Paul Barwick

posted by on August 4 at 11:00 AM

In my feature in this week’s Stranger, I wrote a bit about Paul Barwick, one of the plaintiffs in Washington State’s original gay marriage lawsuit. Back in 1971, Barwick and his lover, John Singer (soon to become Faygele benMiriam), headed downtown from their commune on Capitol Hill and demanded a marriage license from King County. When they were refused one, they sued, leading to Singer v. Hara, the most famous gay marriage case in Washington — until last week’s ruling in Andersen v. King County, that is.

Barwick, who now lives in San Francisco, read my article and sends this email. (For those currently following the post-Andersen debate in the gay community over whether to push the state legislature for marriage-and-nothing-less, or shift gears and begin a campaign for civil unions, or launch a California-style incremental approach — well, Barwick himself seems to favor the “take whatever victories we can get” approach.)

From: Paul Barwick

Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 08:42:34 -0700

To: Eli Sanders

Subject: Excellent Article


I just wanted to tell you what a great job you did with the article “Marriage Denied”. It was an excellent summary of the current situation and brought up some points that I was entirely unaware of.

Even though its been 35 years since Faygele and I kicked this whole thing off I still tend to be optimistic. Sure, the court ruling from Olympia and others around the country have been disappointing. At the same time, though, I remember the state of our community back in the early 1970’s. We truly have come a long, long way, as evidenced by not only the polls of people’s attitudes, but by the freedoms we have now in our daily lives. When I came out, just a year or so before Faygele and I trooped down and demanded a license, the choices I faced in living as a gay man were pretty grim. I could live, as most did at the time, in the closet, not even giving my real name to my gay friends for fear of being outed, or I could live as that major oddity, the “self avowed homosexual”.

That’s not to say that we have achieved equality. But we are certainly closer to it than Faygele and I and all the rest of the queer folk in Seattle and around the nation who refused to accept our place in the closet could ever have realistically imagined at this point.

Perhaps it is for the best that the courts ruled against us. Had it ruled in our favor the other day we would have been in the position of gaining the right to marry at the cost of leaving a majority of our straight neighbors feeling cheated, feeling that once again that an over-reaching government has dictated an unpopular view. So now we are faced with the task of continuing to do what we have shown, in the past 35 years, that we are so capable of doing - changing public opinion person by person.

We are on a roll here. We just need to keep coming out and to keep speaking up. We should take what ever victories we can get, be it civil unions or domestic partnerships. At the rate that we are winning hearts and minds it won’t be long before those straight neighbors themselves begin to see the unfairness between whatever version of “marriage light” we end up with and their full version. At that point they will be the ones advocating equality, if for no other reason than to save themselves the bother of keeping track of two versions of marriage.

Yes, it is a case of two steps forward, one step backwards. Yes those forward steps too often are like slogging through mud up to our knees. But let’s not forget that the hardest part is behind us. We have gone, in 3 and a half short decades, from a point where the idea of same sex marriage was simply an idea so far fetched as to be unthinkable to the point where not only is it being seriously debated, but where only slightly more than half of the people in this country are against it.

As we used to say, “back in the day”

Yours in equality,
Paul Barwick

Hey, Global Warming Deniers…

posted by on August 4 at 10:58 AM

Think more-frequent heat waves have nothing to do with global warming? Think again.

Westneat + Paynter = Guilt

posted by on August 4 at 10:33 AM

I ran into Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat and Seattle PI columnist Susan Paynter at KUOW this morning. (I was filling my bike bag with plaques and SPJ awards when they came into the waiting room, but they promised not to rat me out.) Seeing Westneat and Paynter reminded me of a recent column by each—Westneat on the gay marriage decision, Paynter on pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill—that I dug, meant to link to here on Slog, but neglected to. Better late than never.

Here’s Westneat on gay marriage:

It’s the state’s business to further procreation because it’s “essential to survival of the human race.” So it’s OK to bar homosexuals from marriage because they can’t have kids.

First off, we humans breed just fine without government oversight, thanks very much.

But the notion that marriage and procreation are necessarily linked is truly archaic. No doubt it comes as news to lesbian mothers who have given birth. And it will surely be a shock to all you marrieds who are infertile or who — gasp! — choose not to have kids…. But worse than the [court’s] reasoning is the potential fallout. It practically urges the state to ban adoption by any gay or lesbian parent.

Some states have done this. Maybe ours is next. Using this court’s reasoning, the state could take away the kids of all lesbian moms and gay dads, including, I guess, my daughter’s classmate, whose two moms are on the school PTA.

Sound far-fetched? One of the justices, Jim Johnson, wrote that the “binary biological nature of marriage” gives it an “exclusive link” with “responsible child rearing.” If a kid didn’t spring from your loins, you have no business raising it.

As long as we’re giving biological litmus tests, why stop with gays? Ban all adoptions. Ban step-parenting. Ban any family that isn’t tidily nuclear.

Of course none of that will happen. We’re only putting gays and lesbians in this box. Not because of this blarney about procreation and parenting. We’re doing it because they’re different. And because we’re the majority, so we can.

That’s classic discrimination. The kind that usually can be fixed only by the courts.

One of the justices said someday we’ll look back at this period with regret and shame. There’s no reason to wait.

Here’s Paynter on fundie pharmacists:

Even if we were only talking about the morning-after pill, there would be plenty to protest…. But, before people revel too much in this decision they ought to consider that it could cover a multitude of medications they, themselves, might want. What about being refused AZT because a druggist assumes the HIV-positive patient is gay and disapproves of his or her “lifestyle?” (To me that always sounded like disliking someone’s taste in patio furniture rather than one’s inherent sexual orientation.)

What if it’s a pharmacist who may or may not be Tom Cruising spiritual waters aboard the SS Scientology? Say he’s opposed to filling prescriptions for antidepressants? Couldn’t happen? It recently did right here in this state.

And, at a pharmacy in Seattle, a woman’s prescription for a cervix-dilating medication was refused by a pharmacist who suspected she was on her way to have an abortion. Not that it ought to matter, but the woman’s physician prescribed the drug because she was about to have surgery for uterine fibroids….

Maybe it’s true that “refusnik” druggists are rare. After all, we have Rod Shafer of the State Pharmacy Association to assure us with an Alfred E. Neuman smile that “there is no crisis.” But, when it’s you standing at the counter with prescription in hand and time ticking away, having to shop for a druggist who’s willing to do his job is more than a mere inconvenience. It’s an outrage.

Revenge From a Fish Best Served Cold

posted by on August 4 at 10:22 AM

Note to self: Next time you go fishing for blue marlin off the coast of Bermuda, make sure to wear some Kevlar.

When he saw a companion on his boat hook a giant fish during a sea angling contest, Ian Card was delighted.

Next second, the scene of triumph turned to horror - as the 14ft blue marlin leapt out of the water across the vessel and speared Mr Card through the chest with its spiked bill.

The impact of the 800lb fish knocked him overboard into the Atlantic off Bermuda.

Then, with a thrash of its tail and with the 32-year-old still impaled and bleeding profusely, it dragged him underwater.

Terribly injured, he somehow stayed conscious as he struggled to pull himself free of the marlin’s 3ft razor-sharp spike before he drowned.

Blowoff at Homo A Go Go

posted by on August 4 at 10:19 AM

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Who are these handsome men, and why should you travel to Olympia to hear them play music this weekend? Click over to Line Out and all will be revealed…

McGavick Defies Kansans: He Wants to Teach the “Theory”

posted by on August 4 at 9:55 AM

Never mind too conservative for Washington state: It looks like Washington state’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick is too conservative for Kansas.

As has been widely reported, Kansans ousted the fundies this week by voting out the members of the state school board who passed a curriculum last year that challenged evolution and encouraged teaching intelligent design.

From Wednesday’s AP:

Conservative Republicans who brought international attention to Kansas by approving academic standards calling evolution into question lost control of the state school board in primaries. As a result of the vote, board members and candidates who believe evolution is well-supported by evidence will have a 6-4 majority. Evolution skeptics had entered the election with a 6-4 majority.

Well, check out this transcript from a Mike McGavick campaign stop yesterday in Redmond at Marymoor Park. During a Q&A with the audience, McGavick was asked if he thought intelligent design should be taught in public schools.

Watch McGavick dance. He doesn’t want to offend the lulu base that wants creationism in the schools, but he also doesn’t want to come off like a weirdo to the moderates on the East side.

Q:  My question concerns George Bush and John McCain have both said they support teaching intelligent design in the public school. My question is do you support this position, and if you are in the U.S. Senate will you vote to support the teaching of intelligent design in public schools?

McGavick:  The observation was that Senator McCain and President Bush have said that they support teaching intelligent design and the question then is how do I feel about this.

Q:  And how would you vote on it.

McGavick:  And how would I vote on it. Well, first of all, curricula is set at the local level not the national level so why they feel they should be opining on this I’m not quite sure. My view is that’s a matter for local legislatures and local school-boards to decide on curricula.  What I do believe though is we should teach all theories.  So I think any theory that has some validity behind it should be taught.  I wouldn’t give it the same weight in my own view as something like Darwinism, which I think has greater scientific weight behind it, but the idea that we teach different beliefs seems to me to be part of teaching education. Education’s all about different beliefs and how they compete for our mind, and so I would never want to see limiting ideas being taught, I don’t understand that idea.

Q:  Well, I would agree with you, I think it has a place in terms of (inaudible) religious studies. But what concerns me about Bush and McCain’s and other people that support that view is they want it taught in science courses. I’m fine if it’s comparative religion, but I have a problem when you start talking about teaching it in biology, and that’s where I want to hear your views.

McGavick: I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about where it’s taught. What I want taught is how science regards it. That’s what I would want taught, is what is the full measure of support and opposition to these ideas, because I want students to have broad minds. I want students to have available to them all the different theories that could be. I want them to be fully informed about different views or comparative support or lack of support. And then we’ll go from there. That’s what being a student is all about. I don’t have a specific “it ought to be taught this way or that way,” I’m not running for the school board and I don’t know why they’re commenting in that way, but I don’t have an objection to it being taught anywhere as long as it’s taught in a way that is, you know, fully disclosing of the comparative support and the comparative ideas and where they fit and don’t fit. At that point I want minds exposed to a lot of ideas, so I don’t know where their particular view comes from but that’s where I view it.

Mel Gibson’s dad has some theories. Maybe he should get a job as a teacher in a public school, teaching a curriculum approved by McGavick—and spread the good word.

Come With Me, We’ll Win!

posted by on August 4 at 9:41 AM

boat-chedkered.jpgaccordian.jpgToday at 12:00 noon I’ll be playing accordian LIVE on KEXP with my favorite band, BOAT! Tune in! Cut the phone from the wall! Free the birds in the stall!!!

Morning News

posted by on August 4 at 8:38 AM

Civil War in Iraq: Getting closer.

Israel & Lebanon: More deaths, more threats, more bombs.

The Ahmadinejad Solution: Take a wild guess.

36 Hours In: “Peachy” Seattle.

Estate Tax Repeal: Defeated in the Senate (with Cantwell’s help).

Lieberman: “Facing a likely defeat.”

Neocons: On to the next war.

Climate Porn: Slammed in the UK.

Pat Robertson: Now a global warming believer.

Cantwell Says No to Wait Staff Tip Deduction

posted by on August 4 at 5:09 AM

Yesterday’s battle over the GOP’s “Repeal the estate tax/Raise the minimum wage” combo (including a tip credit deduction) was stalled by a Democratic filibuster. The Democrats, including Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, didn’t like the estate tax repeal because they argued it would have socked social programs (by one estimate, the plan would have lowered federal tax revenue by $268 billion over 10 years) with a tax break for .3% of the Americans—the wealthiest Americans whose estates are valued over $10 million. They also didn’t support the tip deduction, which would have allowed management to deduct wait staff wages to well below minimum wage (in the neighborhood of $2.15p/h pay) by simply counting tips to make up the difference.

Washington State has a law outlawing the tip deduction scheme. So, the GOP argued that states like Washington—there are 6 others—which prevent management from deducting wages based on tips, wouldn’t be affected by the federal change.

Cantwell called bullshit on that by asking for an opinion from the Washington state Dept. of Labor. Here’s the response she got:

Under our preliminary analysis, this proposal, in effect, appears to nullify an employer’s obligation to pay the minimum wage rate in RCW 49.46.020 with regard to tipped employees. This means that Washington workers who receive tips - typically service industry workers - would see a decrease in income. However, the proposal does give states the right to amend their laws to specifically reinstate their current minimum wage rate laws. Until and unless the Washington State Legislature amends the minimum wage act to reinstate the current minimum wage rate provision for tipped employees, it would diminish workers’ rights in Washington State.

Of course, local Republicans are likely to argue that Cantwell is being an alarmist because—as noted in the DOL’s finding—Olympia can act to reinstate laws that prevent tip deductions. However, the obvious follow-up question to any Republican who argues that point is to ask how they would vote on that. Good luck asking GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick that question. He’s fond of dodging questions by saying he doesn’t address state matters… at least when it’s convenient.

Indeed, McGavick’s statement sidesteps the analysis from the Washington state DOL. Here’s what he said:

Contrary to Sen. Cantwell’s claim, the bill would not lower the wages of employees receiving tips below Washington state’s minimum wage of $7.63 and hour. In response to Democrat claims, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a letter stating that the Department interprets the bill as protecting the current minimum wage in Washington state.

Yes it protects the minimum wage. Washington state’s minimum wage is $ opposed to the $7.25 raise proposed by the GOP legislation. Washington state’s wage would trump the lower federal wage—as it does now. But it doesn’t protect tips.

However, the real question I have for McGavick is this: Isn’t the GOP effort to pass an estate tax repeal by coupling it with a minimum wage increase (one that takes a slap at working class people like wait staff) and using cheesy tax breaks for Weyerhaeuser and Microsoft to entice Senator Cantwell, redolent of the ugly partisan gamesmanship McGavick claims to detest? Indeed, at campaign stop after campaign stop, McGavick says his campaign is a referendum on partisan chicanery like that.

Cantwell said the estate tax repeal and the minimum wage should be voted on separately. She’s right.

Meanwhile, old Sen. Ted Kennedy broke out a mighty fine sound bite: “Under the Republican bill, Paris Hilton and her family will get $250 million, while the tipped workers in Hilton hotels will lose up to $5.50 an hour.”

Clarification: In the post I did yesterday on all this, I reported that Cantwell would go for amending the estate tax repeal for estates valued up to $7 million. Cantwell said this would be an exemption for 99.7% of Americans. Meanwhile, the Democrats put out a press release saying the GOP estate tax repeal would only affect .3% of the wealthiest Americans. Taken in concert that didn’t seem to make sense. If the GOP wants to shelve the status quo, which taxes .3% of the wealthiest Americans, and Cantwell wants to repeal some of those estate taxes too…wouldn’t that mean her “Up-to-$7-million” exemption would nudge the number of those exempted from the tax up over 99.7%?

No. Here’s what I failed to say. The status quo isn’t 99.7% exempted from the tax. It’s more like 99.24%. It jumps to a $7 million cut off in 2009, which is what Cantwell supports. That change would exempt 99.7% of Americans from the tax. The GOP plan would go beyond that, and eliminate the tax altogether—for folks with estates valued at more than $7 million and up— in 2009 or 2010. That change would exempt the remaining .3% of Americans from the tax.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Heil Hip Hopler!

posted by on August 3 at 8:36 PM

Ass shaking? Sausage brandishing? Steak licking? Gold bikinis disappearing into… into… uh… women?

This classic German rap video has it all.

Hillary For…

posted by on August 3 at 6:13 PM

Senate Minority Leader?

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid… has sent private signals to Senator Hillary Clinton and other stalwarts of the party that he “would like to” step down from his post in early 2009…. What Reid is offering Senator Hillary Clinton is his total, robust support to succeed him as Senate Majority Leader if she elects not to pursue the Democratic nomination for President.

Many are realizing that the electoral map is not something one can wave a magic wand over and reverse the views of 42% of Americans who believe that they know Hillary Clinton well and have strongly formed views of her and will not vote for her under any conditions—according to recent polls. Reports are that Senator Clinton herself knows this and that her own enthusiasm for running actually trails that of her husband, her advisors, and her staff—whose enthusiasm for the race is ranked in that order with Hillary the least enthusiastic.

Another One Out at The Weekly

posted by on August 3 at 5:25 PM

Several sources have confirmed that George Howland, Jr., political editor at Seattle Weekly, has left the paper. Howland would be the fifth editorial or production staffer to leave the Weekly as part of a post-New Times staff exodus, following writer Laura Cassidy, editor Knute Berger, managing editor Chuck Taylor, whose position has reportedly been filled by reporter Mike Seely. The sources say that Howland left on good terms, but that he agreed that New Times’ style (predictable frat-boy contrarianism is how I would characterize it) wasn’t a good fit for the longtime Weekly staffer (who—full disclosure—was my supervisor at the Weekly from 2001 to 2003). Former art director Karen Steichen left the paper earlier this summer.

Lamont Beating Lieberman

posted by on August 3 at 5:23 PM

By 13 points, according to today’s Quinnipiac University poll.

(sic) This, Bitches

posted by on August 3 at 2:49 PM

Seattlest takes issue with my issue-taking with the Blue Angels, as well as an inordinate amount of glee in pointing out a typo in that post.

Are the Blue Angels “wastes of taxpayers (sic) dollars”? Depends on how you define “waste.”

Is providing exhilaration this a practical way to spend “taxpayers (sic) dollars”?

I don’t know… Is providing exhilaration this (sic) a practical way to spend those dollars?


Metroblogging Seattle Wants You to HUMP!

posted by on August 3 at 2:42 PM

C Ro over at Metroblogging Seattle writes

I’ve heard the theory that Americans are so violent because they are sexually repressed. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is, The Stranger has got part of the cure. That’s right, I’m talking about Hump! And if you start today, you have just under three weeks to put together your amateur porn film (movie?) submission. And I highly encourage you do to so.

You see, I went to one of the screenings last year and it was utterly fantastic. If you’re interested, I did reviews in brief (heh heh. I said, “in brief.”) of all the films last year and even though I didn’t love them all, I was very impressed with the assortment and, of course, so very glad I attended. And since I’d like this to become an event in perpetuity, please please please, you braver-than-I people, submit some entries!

Visit our special HUMP page for more info about how YOU can enter HUMP!

Arts in America

posted by on August 3 at 2:29 PM

Capote All Over Again, But More Society Ladies, and More Flirting With Perry.

Robin Williams as Jon Stewart as President.

Rocky Down for the Count in Philly.

In Which Paris Borrows LA Art and Breaks it, Then Gets All Frenchy and Snotty and Blames the Art.

Around here, Tonight=Artwalk:

‘Junctions’ (ART) If drawings are the closest we get to seeing an artist in his creative undergarments, then a peep show uncovering 200 years of artists starts today at James Harris Gallery. In a collaboration with Jill Newhouse in New York, Harris pairs contemporary draftspeople like Patrick Holderfield and Jeffry Mitchell with forebears from Bonnard to Ingres to Delacroix to Corot. This isn’t about context, subtext, or isms—just the naked act of making marks on paper that others might see. (James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave S, 903-6220. 11 am—5 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES

Best Music Video EVER!

posted by on August 3 at 2:19 PM

That’s it! I’m quitting my job, and joining this band! Check out this amazingly fun and hilarious video from OK Go and their song, “Here it Goes Again.” And prepare yourself to squeal like a girl and scream “AWESOME!!”

This Is A Baby Fox.

posted by on August 3 at 2:17 PM


Steve Keene, Maker of Summers

posted by on August 3 at 1:09 PM

Some of you may know Steve Keene, the hyper-prolific painter who creates entire bodies of work in single days, sells them for no more than the price of a compact disc, and has done album art for Pavement, Silver Jews, and Apples in Stereo. His bio states, “I want buying my paintings to be like buying a CD: it’s cheap, it’s art, and it changes your life, but the object has no status.” A few weeks ago I ordered a piece without knowing what I’d get (he sends you whatever he was painting on that day).

Yesterday evening, to my shock and glee, I unwrapped not ONE, but FIFTEEN PAINTINGS. Fifteen. Yes. I know!!

His explanation, via email this morning?

“I was doing some house cleaning.”

Lucky, lucky, unbelievably lucky me.

On the Other Hand…

posted by on August 3 at 1:09 PM

When the world hands you melting glaciers, make beer!

Hate the Rational Basis Test?

posted by on August 3 at 12:46 PM

If you’re upset about the dimwitted “rationale” that the WA Supremes dreamed up to excuse the legislature’s discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, you may find (limited) solace in the following law review article (warning: that’s a PDF; for the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty’s table of contents, go here).

Quoth aggressively libertarian attorney Clark Neily,

The original legal definition of insanity is the inability to tell right from wrong. So it is the first irony of the “rational” basis test that it is, according to that definition, insane. The word “basis” is likewise a misnomer, since the rational basis test is concerned not with the actual basis for challenged legislation, but with speculative and hypothetical purposes instead. Finally, the word “test” is inappropriate, at least insofar as it suggests some meaningful analytical framework to guide judicial decision-making, because the rational basis test is nothing more than a Magic Eight Ball that randomly generates different answers to key constitutional questions depending on who happens to be shaking it and with what level of vigor.

Mendacious as the rational basis test is in name, however, that is nothing compared to the intellectual dishonesty it engenders in actual litigation, where it produces a variety of bizarre phenomena that would never be tolerated in any other setting. These include the spectacle of judges simultaneously recognizing and refusing to protect fundamental constitutional rights; permitting government lawyers and witnesses to misrepresent—or at least disregard—material facts; preferring conjecture over evidence; saddling plaintiffs with a burden of proof that is technically impossible to discharge; abandoning judicial neutrality; and blatant— but unacknowledged—misapplication of the test in select cases to achieve preferred outcomes.

Admittedly, Neily is a sworn enemy of the post-New Deal Supreme Court, and you might very well disagree with him on such subjects as school vouchers, property rights, etc. But it’s nice to see a legal scholar get worked up about the sort of reckless nonsense (DOMA encourages procreation) that was okayed in the Andersen decision.

Electric Boat Odyssey

posted by on August 3 at 12:45 PM

You too can be a person of leisure when you rent an electric boat down on Lake Union. You can drive yourself around the lake and look at the all the houseboats and the city skyline and the parks and other people’s boats and the sky and the water. There is a nice table, so you can bring snacks and cocktails. The boat is completely silent, letting you listen to music and have great conversation with friends. Highly recommended.

Stranger Insurance

posted by on August 3 at 12:36 PM

With the coming of Sound Transit Light Rail in mind, I direct this passage from “Victorian Detective Fiction” to the publisher of The Stranger, Tim Keck:

The Strand Magazine was launched in 1891 by George Newnes, an editor who had already experienced considerable commercial success with the periodical ‘Tit-Bits. Newnes’ acute business sense, combined with a kind of public paternalism (perhaps best exemplified in the ‘Tit-Bits Insurance Scheme’, whereby the next-of-kin of anybody killed in a railway accident could claim insurance if the deceased had had a copy of Newnes’ magazine with them), suggested that the new magazine was guaranteed at least a degree of success, as well as providing the reading public with what Newnes described in the first issue as ‘cheap, healthful literature’.
The future can learn much from the past.

Still More News for Republicans to Ignore

posted by on August 3 at 12:35 PM

Don’t worry. It’s just a land-surface temperature anomaly .

The image below shows the difference in land temperatures from July 12-19, 2006 compared to average temperatures for the same areas during the past six years. Dark red indicates areas where land-surface temperatures were at least 10 degrees Celsius warmer in 2006 than during the preceding six years.


According to NASA:

Most of the United States was unusually warm, especially the U.S. Midwest from North Dakota to Texas. Across the Atlantic, Ireland, Britain, France, and Germany were extremely warm as well. Air temperatures in many parts of the United States soared to or past 40 degrees Celsius (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit), and Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands experienced their hottest July on record, reported the Associated Press and United Press International. Farmers on both sides of the Atlantic were facing major crop loss, and on both continents, power companies struggled to keep up with electricity demands.

Meanwhile, scientists have discovered that vegetation (urban forestry; green roofs) can lower city temperatures and reduce the need for air-conditioning and energy consumption substantially, as demonstrated by these heat maps of New York City (also courtesy of NASA):


Purple areas (which are cooler) correspond directly with greener areas (which have more vegetation.)

NASA’s mission, incidentally, used to be “to understand and protect our home planet.” No longer.

Dedicated Followers of Fashion

posted by on August 3 at 11:54 AM


All this Project Runway mania has got me thinking about designers I love.

If my salary increased ten fold, I’d blow a fair amount of cash on Valentino and Marc Jacobs, but I’d retain my appreciation of smaller independent designers, such as Fancy Pony Land, a thoroughly charming label run by Lorna Leedy (an outfit from her Spring 2005 collection is pictured above). I was initially turned on to her work by Lipstick Traces owner Jenn Gallucci, a passionate local champion of outsider designers. Leedy’s work is always inspired by nature (not nearly as hokey as it sounds) and is characterized by her unmistakable, engaging leather appliquĂ© work.

I’ve since bought four of her shirts, including a customized version of this one (she made mine red and added “ejaculating” rhinestones). If my apartment caught on fire, I’d grab my cat, my vintage Marantz receiver, and that shirt on my way out the door.

I also picked up this one with circling great white sharks, and this one with angry, “killer” tomatoes, and I’m still coveting this skirt covered with happy teeth and peppermints.

I’m also a huge fan of the shirts and jewelry on the website of indie collective Chocosho and the handbags at Queen Bee Creations (though their ubiquity is making them slightly less appealing).

What about Slog readers? Tell us which designers, big or small, are currently rocking your world.

Re: “How Will Cantwell Vote?” Answer: No Way

posted by on August 3 at 11:49 AM

Here’s her press statement on it:

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement announcing her opposition to the cloture vote on the legislation scheduled for a vote before the full Senate later this week.

“The Republican trifecta plan is a perfect storm for Washington state. It cuts salaries for Washington state’s minimum wage tip workers, it does not make permanent the state sales tax deduction, and it would not make permanent the R&D tax credit. All these measures can and should be passed on their own. Therefore, I will oppose the cloture motion.

I have fought to raise the minimum wage, make the sales tax deduction permanent, and make the R&D tax credit permanent. This is a cynical ploy on the part of the Republican leadership in an election year.

Cutting the salaries of Washington’s tip workers by more than five dollars an hour is horrible. Over 122,000 tip workers could see a pay cut of as much as $5.50 an hour in our state.

Washington voters passed a minimum wage increase adjusted for inflation in 1998 by a wide margin. It is senseless to roll it back now.

I support estate tax reform.  I support a 100 percent repeal of the estate tax for 99.7 percent of all Americans, including small businesses and family farms. Every American should be able to pass their first $7 million to their children without paying an estate tax. 

A 55 percent tax rate is unfair for Americans and our small businesses and family farms deserve relief. Yet there are four years before changes to the estate tax expire, so Congress has time for a cleaner package. We need estate tax reform, but it needs to be within reason.  We need a well thought-out policy, and I will continue to push for a compromise that will truly help America prosper.

So, Cantwell didn’t take the bait. Good for her. (By not voting for cloture, it means she supports filibustering this election year political ploy by the GOP to undermine the Democrats’ advantage on the minimum wage issue.)

Her opponent, GOP Senate Candidate Mike McGavick supports the bill.

That raises a serious question about McGavick. The main theme of his campaign is: Ending the cynical partisan gamesmanship that plagues Washington, DC.

I kind of believed he was sincere about that. Until now. It seems to me, this bill represents the height of ugly politicking that McGavick claims to detest. Basically, the GOP wants to ram through a tax cut for the wealthiest .3% of Americans by coupling a minimum wage increase to entice Democrats. I agree with Cantwell that a minimum wage increase should be voted on it its own right.

The bill wouldn’t even up the minimum wage in Washington state anyway. Ours is currently at $7.63 p/h and the new fed wage would be $7.25p/h. The fed bill also includes a tip credit deduction provision would also lower the wage to $2.13/hour for workers that earn tips. In Washington that’s 122,000 people. Compare: The estate tax repeal at the Washington state level would help 250 families whose estates are valued at $2 million.

To tempt Cantwell (who was perceived as a swing vote by the GOP) the bill also had some pork for Washington businesses like Weyerhaeuser and Microsoft. I think this bill defines the cynical type of partisan politics that McGavick claims to be against.

Big Brother’s Jack in the Box

posted by on August 3 at 11:30 AM

It’s an age-old reality TV question: What happens when someone on Big Brother—where contestants are under video surveillance 24/7—wants to masturbate?

Thanks to YouTube, we finally have an answer: The randy contestant simply gathers up his family-size bottle of Lubriderm, checks his dignity, and crams himself into a utility trunk next to the pool.


Jon Stewart Is God

posted by on August 3 at 11:22 AM

Hey everyone, a new religion! Click on Listen to the song if you’re in the mood for something inspirational (Jon Stewart is God, he made the earth and sky…)

More News For Republicans To Ignore

posted by on August 3 at 11:20 AM

Alaskan glaciers melting twice as fast as expected. (Registration required.)

The glaciers of Southeast Alaska are shrinking twice as quickly as scientists had previously estimated, according to a new study.

The findings from Fairbanks and Juneau glaciologists are slated for publication in a leading scientific journal.

During a 52-year period, the Panhandle lost ice in 95 percent of its glacier-covered areas, said Roman Motyka, of Juneau, one of the study’s co-authors.

The scientists participating in the study pinpointed the amount of ice loss by analyzing changes in the elevation of Southeast Alaska’s glaciers between 1948 and 2000.

Their measurements show Southeast Alaska lost an average of roughly 14.6 cubic kilometers of ice per year during that time period.

A cubic kilometer roughly equates to 264 billion gallons of water - about a quarter more than Los Angeles consumes in one year, according to estimates by NASA.

Juneau residents and tourists visit the retreating Mendenhall Glacier daily. Some of the most dramatic ice losses in the Panhandle are underway at lake-terminating glaciers, such as the Mendenhall, fed by the Juneau Icefield, according to the study.

“I just few over the Juneau Icefield three days ago. I was absolutely shocked by how dry and shrunken it looked,” said Nick Jans, a Juneau author, on Tuesday.

Further to the south, the amount of ice loss at Tracy Arm’s South Sawyer Glacier is “not even conceivable,” said Juneau photographer Mark Kelley.

via Grist.

Humiliation. Not The Good Kind.

posted by on August 3 at 10:35 AM

Aaron Berwick, Australian security guard, has been outed as a kinky swinger. In some ways he’s very lucky - if he was here in the US, he’d probably be fired instantly. But in Australia, they take a more practical view of things. Quote from Reliance, the security company Berwick works for: “I’m sure a lot of the lads will have a joke with Aaron about this. Given some of the high-profile escaped prisoners we’ve had, perhaps he’s the best man for the job as he’s obviously got plenty of experience in securely tying people up.” Love it.

Of course, like anyone having his fifteen minutes, he will have to endure some snarky observations about his looks. “The picture of the pair shows podgy Aaron - looking like Daffyd, the only gay in the village from TV’s Little Britain - wearing a see-through tank top, red dog collar and leather trousers.” I had no idea who “Daffyd” was, so I Googled him. Here he is.daffyd2.jpg
Ouch. That hurts.


posted by on August 3 at 10:16 AM


It’s that time of year again! Every August, Seattle is treated to 4 days of being under attack by jet fighters in the form of the Blue Angels performing at Sea Fair. Aptly described by a friend as “sky NASCAR”, these giant wastes of taxpayers’ dollars whiz around the city at like 300 feet all weekend, scaring the bejeeezus out of everybody.

It’s. Really. Really. LOUD.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t enjoy fighter jets screaming around the city. It makes me uneasy. Call me crazy.

For more fun, see the Blue Angels’ Frequently Asked Questions. You get the feeling that some of these questions aren’t frequently asked, but that they made the question just up to have a place to put the answer.

How much fuel is used over the course of a year, including transportation, training, etc.?

Over a one-year period, the squadron, including Fat Albert, uses approximately 3.1 million gallons of fuel


What is the distance under Fat Albert’s propellers to the ground?

The distance under Fat Albert’s propellers to the ground is approximately six feet.

Damn! 6 feet?! I was just going to frequently ask that!

How do team members deal with the time away from home?

Individuals are made aware that they will be away from home a lot before they volunteer for duty with the team and are selected based on their ability to cope with, not only family separation, but with a strenuous practice and show schedule. Additionally, the Navy, Blue Angels, and civilian communities at Pensacola and El Centro provide a family-type support network.

Ah yes. A family-type support network. That’s the best kind.

How Will Cantwell Vote?

posted by on August 3 at 10:15 AM

The Senate may be considering a bill this week to raise the minimum wage from from $5.15 to $7.25. (Washington state’s is already at $7.63.)

The GOP is sponsoring the bill. That may sound weird, but the bill is actually a trade off from the GOP to get rid of the estate tax.

Liberal groups that traditionally clamor to raise the minimum wage, like labor unions, are balking at the bill because they argue that getting rid of the estate tax is a sop to the rich that will gut social programs.

The bill is a tricky one for Senator Cantwell. Not only is she being tempted with a vote to raise the minimum wage, but the bill would also allow Washington residents to permanently deduct the state sales tax from federal tax returns. (This has been one of Cantwell’s big goals, and she’s passed legislation to extend the deduction…but never has she gotten it to be permanent.)

In another bone to Cantwell (she’s said to be a key swing vote on the estate tax) the bill also includes tax breaks for the timber industry & tax breaks for R&D at Microsoft.

However, on the negative side, the bill would also include a “tip credit” (or tip deduction) that would allow restaurants to include tips in wait staff wages as counting toward the minimum wage payment. That provision is anathema to labor.

The bill passed the House last weekend. Our delegation split along party lines with our three Republicans voting for it … and 6 Ds against.

The Guardian Is On Fire This Morning

posted by on August 3 at 10:02 AM

First, this:”Up to 100 bears were involved in the massacre,” Daniel Medley, general manager of Wookey Hole Caves, said last night. “It was a dreadful scene.”

Then, another massacre, this time by a critic: “Ron Mueck is supposedly having an exhibition at this year’s Edinburgh festival. I say supposedly because I’m not convinced the artist actually exists. Perhaps a clever novelist made up Mueck just to expose the tastelessness and stupidity of our time?”

Here’s a link to Yahoo’s slide show of the exhibition.

(Thanks, ArtsJournal.)

Calling All Hookers!

posted by on August 3 at 9:44 AM

The CW network (that’s the name of the new combined WB and UPN net) just announced their newest reality show, “The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll”—a contest based on the most egregiously awful girl group ever! (For those under a rock, the Pussycat Dolls are a group of glorified strippers who parlayed the one-hit wonder “Don’t Cha” into an overextended 15 minutes of fame.) The group already has six members (five of whom do absolutely NOTHING except shake their tits) and are now, for reasons only known to commerce, looking for a SEVENTH member. And dig this quote!

“At its core, this show goes beyond just finding a new Pussycat Doll; it’s about female empowerment, self-discovery and personal transformation,” said Dawn Ostroff, CW’s president of entertainment.

To this I declare, “IS THERE NO GOD??” Now, I love a good, bootylicious stripper as much as the next red-blooded American. And I absolutely ADORED the Spice Girls! But for some reason I wish all six of these gals (and the as-yet unrealized seventh) would get run over by a truck!
Care to psychoanalyze me?


Sacred Institution Watch

posted by on August 3 at 8:39 AM

So gay people can marry—so long as our marriages are empty, soul-crushing shams. From the New York Times:

THEY spend decades denying their sexual confusion to themselves and others. They generally limit their encounters with men to anonymous one-night stands and tell all manner of lies if their wives suspect…. Even after a pained awakening or acknowledgment of their sexual orientation, these men want to save their marriages, Mr. McFadden and others say, either by lying, promising their wives they will not have sex with men or persuading them to accept their double lives.

Morning News

posted by on August 3 at 8:03 AM

Hezbollah: Entirely destroyed?

Israel: Hitting the tail of the lion?

Iraq: Where it’s hard to love a man in uniform.

Spike Lee: Finishing a requiem for New Orleans.

Lieberman & Lamont: United in Walmart bashing.

Rory Stewart: The Accidental Governor.

Rumsfeld: Iraq “not a classic civil war.”

Cheney: Not quite so heroic anymore.

Bush: Crafting a war crimes loophole?

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Every Child Needs a Mother and a Father

posted by on August 2 at 7:04 PM

This one’s for you, Justice Madsen:

Mother Sentenced For Cutting Son’s Tongue

A mother accused of cutting off part of her son’s tongue with hot scissors avoided a 5-year prison sentence and was sentenced to 10 years probation….

Davis heated a pair of scissors on a stove in August 2004 and held it to her 6-year-old son’s neck before cutting off a piece of his tongue as punishment for talking back, authorities said. Her estranged husband, Toby Davis reported the injuries to police and she was arrested.

Mel Gibson Party Photos

posted by on August 2 at 6:10 PM


For those of you who just can’t get enough documentation of Mel Gibson’s idiocy, you can now view a photo gallery of Gibson growing progressively drunker at the party before his arrest.

Via Salon.


posted by on August 2 at 6:07 PM

A word from Babeland…

Hi there-

Thanks for covering our new window displays at Babeland. Yes, we’re trying something new: window displays that coordinate with our advertising. I don’t think that makes us a “corporate” business. Babeland is still owned by me and Claire Cavanah. We started the store in 1993 to give Seattle folks a
great place to shop for sex toys and we were lucky enough to have amazing customers and a staff who helped make us one of the best toy stores in the country.

We’ve since opened stores in New York and Los Angeles and part of what makes those stores successful is their Seattle feel, which I would characterize as fun and authentic. I’ve loved some of the window displays we’ve had over the years (my favorite: caroling vibrators) but some of them haven’t always hit the mark. I guess that’s the problem with glitter and glue guns: it’s either totally fabulous or not at all. Our new windows will have a cleaner look, while hopefully still being fun and entertaining. The best of Babeland old and new.

What won’t change is our enthusiasm for sharing sex information, our amazing sex toys, and our dedication to promoting sexual vitality.

Keeping it real,

Rachel Venning
Babeland Co-Founder

Thousands of Scientists vs. One Jackass

posted by on August 2 at 5:28 PM

The House Majority Whip, Roy Blunt, said today that there would be no action on global warming during the entire 110th Congress because, in his words, “the information is not adequate yet for us to do anything meaningful.”

I am so sick of this fake “debate.” The consensus among the world scientific community is that global warming is real, that it’s caused by human activity, and that we’re going to face serious, potentially devastating consequences if we don’t change our fossil-fuel-burning ways. There is no such thing as legitimate climate-change “skepticism,” only denial.

Republicans Surrender, Cede Fries to French

posted by on August 2 at 5:08 PM

Freedom fries are no more.

Neither Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio nor Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, the authors of the culinary rebuke, were willing this week to say who led the retreat, as it were, from the frying pan. But retreat there has been, as a casual observer can see for himself in the House’s basement cafeterias. “We don’t have a comment for your story,” said a spokeswoman for Mr. Ney. Several Republican staffers and lawmakers suggest that the change isn’t worth investigating, unlike the eagerness in March 2003 to get into the headlines about patriotism on the menu.

Best Block Party Video Yet

posted by on August 2 at 4:46 PM


Part one of the postively transplendent (that’s “resplendent” fused with “transcendental”, for you non-Annie Hall fans) report filed by Stranger news reporters Dan Brockman and Susan Flowers is up now on our own Block Party site. Go watch it now!

Death Brigade

posted by on August 2 at 4:24 PM

The image was taken by Malixe, a local photographer, and is available here.
Friday was a brisk night and under the eerie glow of a thousand pock less moons held up by quaint black light poles the Infernal Noise Brigade readied themselves for their final march just after 10:15 pm. This is the night before the Infernal Noise Brigade’s sleighted Wake, as the band decided to break up in April, but came back with some of their former members to put on one final show this July. On the Teletubby hill of Cal Anderson Park, two blocks off Broadway a few band members waited solemnly. The code of dress did not follow the norm for the Infernal Noise Brigade, who regularly dress in beige and black with stripes of construction worker orange and fluorescent safety tape. Their normal followers seem to follow the typical activist/anarchist dress code of bandana masks and sloganeering signs. Yet the absence of typical anti-authoritarian clothes served as a reminder that this was a funeral procession, not just a march. The Infernal Noise Brigade was sharply dressed in their Sunday best; somber hues were de rigueur. A coffin waited in the distance, a flag of fluorescent tape, orange, and black fabric draped over the top. As people gathered, the murmur of people reached a celebratory crescendo as the whistle blew and the Infernal Noise Brigade marched through the park, pallbearers towed the mighty coffin behind.
The Infernal Noise Brigade hit the center of the Capitol Hill Block Party just as the main stage was wrapping up. The crowds looked on in curious wonder and excitement as the Infernal Noise Brigade marched up and down Pike Street repeatedly, as if it were a spirit, humming mad. People clapped their hands in tune with the beat and then, as if it were a ghost with unfinished business, the INB settled in front of the Comet Tavern. Nestled close to the door, the marching band whipped the crowd up, almost mockingly, since the Comet had blacklisted the band at their previous show there. People danced in the street-lit fervor as a tumultuous uprising built while the brass and drum boomed.
Finishing their final haunting (the Infernal Noise Brigade not known for allowing grievances to pass un-avenged), the Infernal Noise Brigade took off the beaten path once again, only to be quickly herded off the street by a zealous man-in-blue on Pine Street. Marching past the Egyptian theatre, fans climbed over the hills and on top of the bus stops next to Seattle Central. Seemingly forced to stop, the Infernal Noise Brigade made their last stand in front of Kincora Pub as the ladies and gentlemen of the law looked on. The band scattered and the crowd is blown away like dust. There was little sadness in the crowd, knowing that the real sorrows lie ahead, on Saturday night, in the final wake for the Infernal Noise Brigade. This was an appropriate funeral march for an ephemeral force that represents a certain flavor of Northwest activism.

Make sure to read Christopher Frizzelle’s coverage of the demise of the Infernal Noise Brigade in next week’s paper.

Brandon Eng
Intern Whore

Say It Ain’t So!

posted by on August 2 at 3:34 PM


Mariners to trade Ichiro?!? Seattlest is all over it…

UPDATE: Well, it ain’t so—which I would’ve known if I had read the whole post, but it was about sports and I couldn’t really be bothered to read the whole thing. You know, since I’m gay and all.

Chucked Out

posted by on August 2 at 3:11 PM

Another head rolls at Seattle Weekly:

From: Chuck

To: everyone

As you know, Andy Van De Voorde, executive associate editor of Village Voice Media, is here today, and we finally had a chance to talk about the future of Seattle Weekly after Skip’s departure. We’re not in agreement about that future, so I’ve decided to step down effective the same day as Skip, which is Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Your new managing editor will be Mike Seely. I’ll be working with him over the next two weeks to make the transition as smooth as possible. As you know, Mike has limitless energy and passion. He’ll be a radically different M.E., to be sure, but this job can accommodate a wide range of talent and style.

The past four years have been a blast. I’ve loved working with all of you, and you’ve taught me a lot. Maybe we can do it again sometime.

Chuck Taylor
Managing Editor
Seattle Weekly

Arts in America

posted by on August 2 at 3:03 PM

Don’t Kill the Kid, Or Else: Stephen King and John Irving to J.K. Rowling.

This Ain’t Misery: Armistead Maupin Stops Studio Execs from Allowing Toni Collette to Threaten Robin Williams With a Box Cutter in The Night Listener.

41-Year-Old LA Artist Jason Rhoades Has Died: Maybe “Heart Failure”? Had Been Scheduled for a Project in Portland Aug 12. Here’s an installation view of his My Madinah: in pursuit of my ermitage… from 2004, courtesy David Zwirner Gallery. (I haven’t seen Rhoades’s work in person; Jerry Saltz put him in the “clusterfuck esthetics” crowd with Mike Kelley, Thomas Hirschhorn, Paul McCarthy and others; and here’s a good piece on him from Art in America in 2003 by Lilly Wei):

Now for local, unsettling penetration, free of charge at SAAM and, seriously, unforgettable:

‘Tooba’ (ART) The best work of art up in the city right now is Iranian-born Shirin Neshat’s 2002 video installation Tooba, at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Projected on two screens, the narrative, accompanied by a throbbing religious chant, follows a band of men dressed in black who penetrate a desert garden, wordlessly climbing over its walls like a menacing vine, and surrounding a lone tree into which a wrinkled woman has disappeared. Feminism, Islam, international politics, fear, aggression, poetry—what more could you want from contemporary art? (Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100. 10 am—5 pm, $5.) JEN GRAVES

J for Jerry; V for Victory

posted by on August 2 at 2:58 PM

Architect Jerry Garcia, whose image dominates the cover of today’s PI, recently sent me jpegs of, and his thoughts on, this stunning apartment complex in Copenhegan:

Picture 15.jpg

The company that designed this building, which is called V House, is PLOT and is no more. Soon after the completion of V House, in 2005, the two architects ( Julien De Smedt and Bjarke Ingels) that formed PLOT decided to break into JDS and BIG. Both architects are products of the Koolhaas era.

Picture 16.jpg

From the condo boom that Seattle is in the middle of, one wishes that buildings like this, structures that are radically rational, complex, fully engaging, fully urban, could emerge and dazzle.


To read more about V House, go here.

Drop a Child, Save a Child

posted by on August 2 at 2:16 PM

Apparently Britney Spears’ well-documented child rearing missteps are serving as inspiration for a baseball team in New Jersey, who are hosting a “Britney Spears Baby Safety” night. Really.

Hempfest, SAM, and The City, Ongoing

posted by on August 2 at 2:06 PM

Have Seattle Art Museum and Hempfest hit an impasse? Is it actually possible that Hempfest could be in danger of being canceled? I didn’t believe that was possible two days ago, when Hempfest filed a lawsuit against the city in order to get its event permit for the festival, scheduled for Aug 19 and 20.

At that point, it just seemed as though the details were still being worked out, and not quickly enough to keep the festival from being nervous (after all, Hempfest has endured protests before, and, well, all that pot will make you paranoid).

Seriously, though, Hempfest says it needs to know how SAM will clear a path through its Olympic Sculpture Park construction zone so that Hempfest can set up and break down in Myrtle Edwards Park right next door to the construction site. SAM was saying on Monday that it was confused about the lawsuit, since everything was AOK and on track. But that’s not what the letter SAM sent Monday seems to say: it implies that Hempfest is asking for more than SAM can give it.

All involved still say the festival will go on, but here’s a tidbit from the letter SAM sent Monday in response to Hempfest’s written request that SAM make room for up to 40 trucks per day to pass through the site:

During our site walk-through on July 19th, SAM and Sellen offered to accommodate the load-in and load-out of exceptionally large vehicles that would have difficulty entering and exiting from the north. At the meeting, you suggested there would be up to five vehicles per day that would need to be accommodated. Your letter now suggests that up to as many as 40 vehicles will require access through the construction site for each of the three days that precede the weekend event, and for two days following. This simply cannot be accommodated amidst very intensive construction activities, unless these additional vehicles can enter and exit prior to 7 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

So can SAM accommodate up to 40 vehicles per day? No, this letter says. Will Hempfest really be sending 40 trucks per day through there? That’s unclear. Spokesman Dominic Holden says that’s still the official request, although he says his past experience suggests that more like 25 will need to use the lane.

When I asked both parties Monday about the specifics, they both said specifics weren’t the point. For Hempfest, it was a case of a luxury development project versus free speech. For SAM, it was a case of construction being messy and Hempfest being impatient. But now that the specifics have hit the skids, the city more now than ever needs to show some leadership. Right?

Well, Virginia Swanson, head of the city’s special events committee, which is responsible for organizing all of this, has not returned my phone call. What gives?

I do expect to hear this afternoon from City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck, with whom I’ve been playing phone tag. Maybe he can clear up who’s at fault, what’s going to happen, and why this situation got this far—even though, strictly speaking, it’s not his job. It’s Swanson’s.

Worst Thai Barbecue Ever

posted by on August 2 at 1:37 PM


Frank Blethen’s Estate Tax Lobbying (And His New Gay Agenda)

posted by on August 2 at 12:21 PM

A lot of people, myself included, have been wondering whether estate tax foe and Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen is now putting pressure on Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell to vote in favor of the federal estate tax repeal (a measure that’s currently being pushed by Republicans in Congress).

With Cantwell in a potentially tight re-election race, any lobbying from Blethen could carry the implicit suggestion that the endorsement of this state’s largest newspaper is contingent on Cantwell voting for the estate tax repeal. Today David Postman took the ballsy step of ringing up the Times’ ĂĽber-boss and putting the question directly to him:

He told me, “This is the whole issue, is Maria responsive to D.C. Democratic party bosses or is she responsive to the people of the state of Washington?”

Blethen said he and his lobbyist, Jill Mackie, have lobbied Cantwell as well as Patty Murray and the state’s House delegation. He also lobbies the congressional delegation from Maine, where the family owns newspapers.

Blethen said he knows that people in the newsroom are uncomfortable with his political activity on the estate tax. He said editor Mike Fancher has made it clear on many occasions and said former Managing Editor Alex MacLeod was “far less subtle. He just looked me in the eye and said, ‘You shouldn’t be doing this.’ And I’d say, ‘Your job is to make sure we don’t affect anything you do.’ “

Does it pose a conflict to lobby a senator who will soon be looking for an endorsement from the paper’s editorial board?

“No, it doesn’t. All of our endorsements are based on a whole range of public policy issues and their philosophies on them, as well as their past behaviors on them.”


And it gets even more interesting:

Blethen has a new angle on lobbying for repeal of the estate tax. He wants to enlist gays and lesbians in the campaign for repeal.

He said that especially with last weeks’ state Supreme Court decision upholding a gay marriage ban, same-sex couples should be concerned about what the estate tax hit would be. If they could marry, even under the current law, there would be a partial exemption on an inheritance. Now in Washington state there’s no chance of that.

“If you’re a couple and you’re trying to preserve assets for a surviving spouse and children you get a 100 percent hit.”

Blethen said the estate tax has not been a primary concern for gays and lesbians. But now that the gay marriage fight has ended, for now at least, he said there could be increased interest in the issue. Log Cabin Republicans, the organization of gay Republicans, supports repeal of the tax.

Just When You Thought the Brokeback Mountain Jokes Were Over…

posted by on August 2 at 11:55 AM



Nice advertising campaign, guys.

Hot Incest Porn!

posted by on August 2 at 11:42 AM


Apparently, that’s how a number of outraged mothers perceive the above cover of Babytalk. As the Associated Press reports, the “wholesome parenting magazine” was denounced by a significant percentage of its readership for its choice of such a “gross” and “shocking” cover.

“I shredded it,” said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas. “I don’t want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn’t want to see.”

This creepy line of reasoning is continued by another concerned mom:

“Men are very visual,” says Kelly Wheatley, of Amarillo, Texas. “When they see a woman’s breast, they see a breast — regardless of what it’s being used for.”

I’m not sure if these women believe that men need protection from the sight of boobs, or that women need protection from men inflamed by the sight of boobs, but either way, it’s ridiculous.

Full story here.

Notes From the Prayer Warrior

posted by on August 2 at 11:34 AM

Malicious propane tanks and identity theft are one thing, but now it looks like the prayer warrior is facing an even more serious threat:


August 1, 2006

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Please pray for the protection of my family.  There was a threat against my life, but not just against me, but “where I live.”  Pray for a protective hedge around my home, and that my wife and children will feel safe and secure.

Your Pastor,

Shoutout to M. and the Gang

posted by on August 2 at 11:26 AM

The August edition of Visual Codec (M., I loves ya, but I refuse to play along with the lower-case thing) is out, with a musing I enjoyed from Carrie E.A. Scott about whether and when the prices of Seattle artists will start to climb.

Scott, who works at James Harris Gallery, writes that “with such top tier products as SuttonBeresCuller’s Three Dragon” restaurant (up now at Lawrimore Project; my take here), she finds herself wishing she could buy something at least partly for investment purposes, given the upwardly mobile mood of Seattle’s art community these days.

It’s funny to think of SuttonBeresCuller, performance and installation artists, as making “products,” and it doesn’t seem to me that they’ve figured out how to make truly standalone objects (or even that the idea interests them beyond finding something to sell—an artist’s gotta eat, but it doesn’t necessarily make for their best work)—but in that vein, I took a look at what they’ve sold in their first commercial gallery show:

PENCIL, 2002 Wood, graphite, aluminum, polystyrene 117 x 11 x 11 inches $4,500 (SOLD)

TRAILER PARK, 2003, 10 x 15 x 6.6 feet (and growing), $8,500 (SOLD)

HAVE YOU SEEN PATCHES II, 2005 C-print 24 x 32 inches Edition/5 $1,700 (Ed 1/5 SOLD)

BEAST OF BURDEN, 2004, C-print, 20 x 29 inches, Edition of 5, $1,600. (Ed1/5 SOLD; Ed 2/5 SOLD)

Okada, 2004 C-print 30 x 45 inches Edition of 5 $2,200 (Ed1/5 SOLD)

I LIKE THANKSGIVING AND THANKSGIVING LIKES ME, 2001 C-print 12 x 18 inches Edition of 5, $600 (ED 1/5 SOLD)

SEARS PORTRAITS, 2002-present, Color photographs, Dimensions variable, Editions of 25, $50-250 (5 Editions SOLD)

So … anybody for a Chinese restaurant? It’s going for $30,000. (Scott Lawrimore jokes that the price of the Chinese restaurant will be $500,000 after the show comes down. “Get ‘em while they’re hot,” he says.)

(I had lunch down there yesterday. Quite good. Quite like Shanghai Garden, I’m told. You can make reservations, 206-501-1231. Tomorrow’s the last day.)

Remembrances of Gropings Past

posted by on August 2 at 11:11 AM

Today’s New York Times reminds us of Wonkette’s favorite Senate elevator story, in which Washington Sen. Patty Murray gets groped by the late Strom Thurmond:

(In 1994, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was said to have engaged in excessive touching of his then-freshman colleague Patty Murray of Washington. Ms. Murray later asked for and received an apology from Mr. Thurmond, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported at the time. Through a spokeswoman, Ms. Murray declined to comment.)

Confidential to Patty Murray: When the New York Times calls to ask you for a quote about being groped 12 years ago by a dead southern Senator, you’re being handed a once-in-a-lifetime joke opportunity. Seize the moment! Don’t blow it with “no comment.”

Confidential to all Slog readers: Anyone want to suggest what Murray should have said about the encounter?

Ballsiest Impeach Sign Ever

posted by on August 2 at 11:08 AM

At Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan.


My Kind of 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

posted by on August 2 at 10:45 AM

A reader pointed me to this fascinating Washington Post article about tension between the 9/11 Commission and some of its Defense Department witnesses.

Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.

Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said.

This is awesome because it shows how aggressive the 9/11 Commission was in trying to cut through fradulent propaganda; and, most deliciously from my perspective, that most 9/11 conspiracy theorists have it ass-backwards.

As I have previously speculated, it seems much more plausible to me that any lying the government did about its actions in response to the terror attacks was probably an attempt to cover their asses and make it seem like they had some degree of control over the situation, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Here’s the money quote:

For more than two years after the attacks, officials with NORAD and the FAA provided inaccurate information about the response to the hijackings in testimony and media appearances. Authorities suggested that U.S. air defenses had reacted quickly, that jets had been scrambled in response to the last two hijackings and that fighters were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93 if it threatened Washington.

In fact, the commission reported a year later, audiotapes from NORAD’s Northeast headquarters and other evidence showed clearly that the military never had any of the hijacked airliners in its sights and at one point chased a phantom aircraft — American Airlines Flight 11 — long after it had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Now, mes petits conspiracy theorists, do you think that the government lied about trying to mitigate the situation because they wanted to hide the fact that they were secretly in charge of the situation? This is getting more and more convoluted. I say, Occam’s Razor, darlings. If it looks like the government fucked up, they probably did.

Benaroya Relents; Naked Lady Will Stand

posted by on August 2 at 10:35 AM

In an update on yesterday’s post about this sculpture,


she’s going up at Second and University, outdoors. No word from exhibition organizer Randy Bolander on why the change of heart at Benaroya, but then again, he’s not asking.

And just to balance things out—to give a little PR to a show and an artist I think are deserving, I’ll add that Western Bridge’s Boys and Flowers show closes Aug 12. Get down there and spend some time with the subtly altered and layered photographs of Vancouver’s Scott McFarland. I came across this image of his last week in a recent acquisitions show at MoMA in NY (it’s called Orchard View, Early Spring; Rubus discolour, Prunus nigra, Prunus serrulata, from 2004, and it’s 3 1/2 feet high by almost 10 feet long):


A few others better suited to the Slog (Wishbone, 2002; Torn Quilt With the Effects of Sunlight, 2003, and Dipping, Conrad Arida with Mother and Child Wading in the Water, 2004):




(All images from Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto.)

I Want LAMB SAUCE, You Effing DONKEY!!

posted by on August 2 at 10:29 AM

If you haven’t caught up with one of the funniest reality shows on television, HELL’S KITCHEN (starring Chef Gordon Ramsay, Monday, 9 pm on FOX), here’s a taste of the wonderment you’ve been missing… YOU FUCKING DONKEY!!

Hello, Boring

posted by on August 2 at 10:19 AM

Goodbye and we’ll miss ya to Pike/Pine’s legendary stop-and-giggle storefront; hello, ignorable corporate-identity-conscious window dressing.

Score One For Science

posted by on August 2 at 10:00 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Conservative Republicans who brought international attention to Kansas by approving academic standards calling evolution into question lost control of the state school board in primaries.

As a result of the vote, board members and candidates who believe evolution is well-supported by evidence will have a 6-4 majority. Evolution skeptics had entered the election with a 6-4 majority.

Give ‘em the Boot!

posted by on August 2 at 9:38 AM

Someone is getting kicked of Project Runway tonight for breaking the rules. Tim Gunn is pissed.

Thoughts on who? And why? And does this mean they’ll bring Malan back!?

Some Local Morning News: McGavick Sued Over $28 Million Golden Parachute

posted by on August 2 at 9:30 AM

Emma Schwartzman, a great great granddaughter of a SAFECO founder, has filed a suit against GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick claiming that his $28 million stock option and severance package “resulted from a fraudulent transaction between McGavick and the Board of Directors; breached defendants’ fiduciary duties to shareholders and constituted corporate waste; and violated federal securities laws by concealing the magnitude and extraordinary nature of the payout.”

(The Democrats have also denounced the deal, and have a complaint pending with the FEC arguing that the $28 million constitutes an illegal campaign contribution.)

McGavick says the lawsuit is politically motivated.

While McGavick’s rejoinder isn’t far fetched— Schwartzman’s attorney, Knoll Lowney, is well-known in environmental and lefty circles (he successfully challenged Tim Eyman’s property-tax measure I-747, and represented the Thornton Creek activists in Northgate)—McGavick’s line isn’t much of a defense. Poltically motivated or not, the issue remains: McGavick walked away from SAFECO with $28 million that he wasn’t originally entitled to. And a lot of people have legitimate questions about the deal. For instance, maybe the handsome severance package itself was politically motivated. Again, the Democrats argue that the money is an illegal campaign contribution.

Schwatrzman’s lawsuit may get to the bottom of it.

Try Wearing an Ascot

posted by on August 2 at 9:22 AM

ascot6.jpgSavage’s entry below about the demise of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy reminded me of a very vivid dream I had the other night in which I was wearing an ascot (those foofy scarves which are wrapped around the neck and tucked into an open shirt):
I was dating Jessica Simpson and apparently the relationship was getting serious. So I felt the right thing to do was to introduce myself to her father, Joe Simpson. For the event, I decided to wear an ascot. After trying it on and looking in the mirror, I decided I looked like a fucking idiot. However, when I pulled the ascot off, I noticed my shirt was open almost to my navel, and my chest was so hairy, it looked like someone had pasted a badger on it. So I put the ascot back on. When I met Joe Simpson, he shook my hand and said, “So. You’re the young man who’s been dating my daughter. And an ascot wearer, as well! You, sir, are a man of distinction with whom I would share my brandy anyday.”

I am now convinced everyone should wear ascots.
Feel free to interpret this dream.

Queer Eye Cancelled?

posted by on August 2 at 8:05 AM

That’s what they’re saying over at Defamer. How come I’m the last to know?


Nice outfits, guys. They work for a night of clubbing, but they’re formal and somber enough to wear at your own show’s memorial service the next morning.

Morning News

posted by on August 2 at 8:04 AM

Lieberman: Friends running for the exits.

Lamont: Surging.

Bush: Even more Oedipal.

Gibson: Even more regretful.

USA Today: Small business?

Toyota: Big business.

Sen. Max Baucus: In mourning.

Alexander Graham Bell: Indispensable.

Rumsfeld: “Slightly deranged.”

Who Puts The “Green” In “Green Party”?

posted by on August 2 at 7:00 AM

Conservative Republicans do.

It cost Pennsylvania Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Carl Romanelli $66,000 to get on the ballot. Where did he get the money? Paul Kiel over at TPM Muckraker explains it all for us:

It’s worse than we knew. Is the Green Party candidacy in the race for Rick Santorum’s seat a wholly Republican sponsored affair?

As reported today by the AP and the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Green Party managed to get their candidate Carl Romanelli on the ballot with a costly petition drive, which was mostly funded by contributors who had also given to Rick Santorum’s campaign. The party raised $66,000 for the effort, all of which they spent on a private company to collect signatures. TPMmuckraker was able to establish that at least $55,000 of that came from conservatives.

Virginia Davis, Santorum’s spokeswoman, told the Inquirer that their office had encouraged the contributions. Why? Because a challenge from the left is seen as a liability for the Dem candidate, Bob Casey.

Says Kos:

The Green Party in Pennsylvania is now a wholly-owned suibsidiary of the state Republican Party.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

God’s Glorious Gays

posted by on August 1 at 5:32 PM

There’s been a lot of Christian bashing on the Slog recently, but today in the news room we received an Envelope of Hope. Or at least I received an Envelope of Hope; Erica C. Barnett and other staffers wouldn’t touch said Envelope because it bulged suspiciously and bore giant Disney postage stamps, so they shuffled it off onto the lowest rung of the short Stranger ladder. The envelope turned out to contain a 23-page manuscript entitled, “Article for publication: The Scriptures and Homosexuality”

Judging by the Constitution-style cursive, the deeply embedded musty smell and the sheer length of the opus, I’d say it’s written by an old guy. That, or it’s from prison. The author doesn’t give his age, but says we have “full and unequivocal permission to call me a `gay Seventh-day Adventist’ if you like, or some other expression, including `Native American gay man’.”



The most immediately legible part of the letter is the post-script, so I read that first. It says we need not fear prosecution for printing his article

“It is in no way `reviling’ the judges, nor is it `libel.’ No, I do not consider the five Supreme Court judges `totally evil.’ The judges are wicked, yes; but they are a mixture of good and evil, and can still do something good, and still fulfill a useful function in society.”

The very lengthy and rather scholarly argument of Native American gay man is that the Bible does not ban “same-sex” marriage because gender is not strictly binary as “the male comes from the woman, so he is a `he-she.’ The woman comes from the male, so she is a `she-he.’” Most of the pages are taken up with debunking traditional interpretations of the anti-gay hot spots in the Bible — Leviticus, Romans — and explaining God’s true, pro-gay love.

The conclusion gets a bit more Anno Domini:

This is what the Bible has to say about Judges Alexander, C. Johnson, J. Johnson, Madsen, and Sanders: `Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith… having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and commanding to abstain from breads which God created to be received with thanksgiving…’ Nothing more needs be said about the five pagans who trashed Christ, expressing their utmost contempt for him. End of essay.

I tried to read through the whole letter. I really did. I made it to page three. Thanks for sending it in, anyway, gay Seventh-day Adventist. It’s always nice to know who are our most avid readers.

Arts In America

posted by on August 1 at 3:40 PM

To begin with:

moviereview060501_560.jpg(This image has nothing to do with the recommended movie below. The image is from another movie, The Promise , and my reason for posting it is, simply, I couldn’t find a beautiful image for the movie suggested by Annie Wagner.The Death of Mr Lazarescu might be a great work of art but nothing in the look of its main characters offers something that the object-hungry eyes can devour)

The Death of Mr Lazarescu
(FILM) This two-and-a-half-hour movie, winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2005, is about headaches, stomach pain, liver damage, solicitous yet unhelpful neighbors, quince jam, incompetence, inefficiency, cats, proper use of prepositions, young and gorgeous Eastern European lady doctors, turf wars between various ranks of medical professionals, and the decrepit state of the Romanian health-care system. Sounds irritating, yes? But it’s also beautifully, suddenly, unexpectedly sad. (Varsity, all shows $6.25, see Movie Times for details.) ANNIE WAGNER

The end with:

a) Universal Studios reactivates the Universal Mammy.

b) Our man in Portland writes: “The pleasure of a small museum is that there is so little to look at.”

c) Finally, in this PDF file, political philosopher Sang Yil Kim of Hanshin University uses Zadeh’s fuzzy logic to challenge Hegel’s absolute logic. The abstact:

Overcoming Dualism and Unifying Korea: A Process View Sang Yil Kim (Hanshin University) 1. Introduction The primary philosophical and religious reason why Korea is divided is the dualism that originated from a Newtonian and Cartesian paradigm. This dualism, which divides the world into matter and mind, is deeply rooted in western philosophical and religious traditions. Marxist materialism and Hegelian idealism have become two major streams in philosophical and political history. Korea is the only country still divided by such a dualistic ideology. I will attempt to overcome this dualism by introducing “fuzzy logic” and Han philosophy. Fuzzy logic was founded in 1965 by F. Zadeh. I believe it to be the best tool to overcome reductionism and dualism. Han philosophy is a unique, nondualistic, and ancient Korean belief system.

Speaking of belief system, I just learned that the genius Burial (whose recently released self-titled album transformed my inner being, my categories for experiencing time, space, and others) has been in existence for 26 years. Admittedly, I thought he was much younger, a child even, a boy wonder—so fresh and exciting is his music.

Yay! The 2007 Calendars are Here!

posted by on August 1 at 3:24 PM

Omigod. It’s already AUGUST! That means it’s time to start searching for your 2007 calendar NOW! (Otherwise, you’re going to get stuck with something like this.)
One of my favorite calendars of all time is the annual Women in Waders calendar featuring hotsy-totsy bikini wearing babes reeling in trout and wearing fishermen waders. I like it, because I’m sick like that.


However! I’m really considering switching my allegiances this year to this brand new product, Men of Mortuaries—wherein America’s hottest funeral directors whip off their mourning clothes to show off their buff bods (and it’s for charity, to boot)! Hey boys, I think I could use your help burying something! (That’s innuendo!)


A Little Political Porn

posted by on August 1 at 3:24 PM

Via DailyKos:

With fewer than 100 days left before the Nov. 7 election, certain assumptions can now be made, contingent upon the absence of a cataclysmic event.

First, the political climate will be extremely hostile to Republican candidates. Second, while Republicans benefited from turnout in 2002 and 2004, this time voter turnout will benefit Democratic candidates. And third, the advantages that the GOP usually has in national party spending will be significantly less than normal.

In terms of the political climate, the facts are clear. All of the traditional diagnostic indicators in major national polls taken in the past 10 days show numbers consistent with an electoral rout.

Come on, Faggots!

posted by on August 1 at 3:07 PM

We were half convinced that we would have to call off the first HUMP on the day the tapes were due. At 9 AM, we had just six submissions. But by the end of the day we had more than fifty films. We had amateur straight porn, lesbian porn, bisexual porn, “incest porn,”cupcake porn, and pirate-vs-ninja porn.

What we didn’t have, sadly, was much—or really any—gay porn. There was a tiny bit of boy-on-boy action in one of the videos (thank God for you and your crew, D. B.), but the action in that particular film was more poly/bi/free-for-all than specifically gay—and the gay scene was short and was cut in with the hetero and lesbo sex scenes that dominated the film. There simply weren’t any films that featured hot gay boys engaging in hot gay action.

There were, however, tons of hot gay boys and men in the audience at HUMP—hell, I would estimate the audiences at HUMP were at least 1/3 gay. The gay guys who came to HUMP left the screenings looking a little distressed—what gay man wouldn’t be after sitting through two hours of hard-core straight and lesbian sex?—and some of them complained to me about the lack of gay action. I remember one particularly good-looking, 20-something gay guy who demanded to know where the gay films were.

“Well, did you make a film?” I asked him.

“No,” he replied, looking scandalized.

“Then don’t bitch,” I said. “Make one for next year’s festival.”

I told that pretty boy—I told all the disappointed gay men at HUMP last year—to take some responsibility for the lack of gay action on the screen. Gay men were free to make and submit films, but none did. Lesbians made films—lots of films! hot films!—and straights made films—lots of films! hot films!—and bisexuals made films. If gay men want to see hot gay films at HUMP, then gay men have to make them.

Last week a gay friend told me that some of his gay friends were making porn for HUMP—good news! Then yesterday the same friend told me that his gay friends chickened out—bad news!

Come on, faggots! Are you really going to let the lesbians show you up again this year?

There are still three weeks left to go before films are due—the deadline for submissions is Monday August 21. Full-length porn classic Deep Throat was shot in just five days, so three weeks is plenty of time to bust out eight minutes of gay porn! If you don’t want to be sitting the theater watching a lot hetero and lesbo action, gay boys, then get on the stick.

And remember: You don’t have to make hardcore porn to get your film in HUMP—it can be erotica, it can be animation, it can be puppets. Hell, you don’t even have to show anyone naked to make a sexy film—check out this short film from YouTube:

But Is There A Gift Registry?

posted by on August 1 at 1:18 PM

Cartoonist Mikhaela Reid shows us “pre-pregnant” women what to expect…


Attention Scrabble Nerds

posted by on August 1 at 1:13 PM

The New Yorker’s fascinating and provocative article on Wikipedia led me to the site’s phenomenally detailed page on Scrabble, “a popular word board game in which 2-4 players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a 15Ă—15 game board.” On this page we find: Scrabble history (original name: “Criss-Crosswords”; original manufacturer: Alfred Mosher Butts); various rules for challenges (although unsuccessful challengers forfeit their turn in the US, the British, Irish and Australians follow a much looser standard, “in which no penalty whatsoever is applied to a player who unsuccessfully challenges”); and acceptable words, a topic of much hot contention among Scrabble-playing Stranger writers. (Some of us insist that obscure two-letter words such as ae, ch, ug and xu are legitimate because they appear in the Scrabble Dictionary; others maintain that the fairest form of play is one in which players use only words whose meanings they actually know. There’s also information on the highest-ever US game (770); references in literature, TV and film; and incredibly obscure strategies and tactics, including a bizarrely complicated mnemonic device known as anamonics. Have fun!

Direct Democracy Meets Direct Action

posted by on August 1 at 12:15 PM

The People’s Waterfront Coalition, which advocates for the surface/transit alternative for replacing the earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct, has teamed up with the new wiki-based direct-democracy site “as a means to engage the public in direct conversation about the specific details of their proposal.” (The PWC’s moreperfect page, with links to pages defining the problem, discussing solutions, and outlining alternative views, is here.) The site allows anyone to add issues, edit pages, and start or join discussions.

The success or failure of will depend largely on how many people participate in building and maintaining its content. (Right now, the site is very local, its content driven by a few dedicated Seattle activists.) But the site’s potential is vast. The guy behind the web site, Tim Killian, is a local campaign veteran who worked on Washington’s medical-marijuana initiative and is currently managing the campaign against Seattle’s new strip-club regulations. Though media coverage of has been pretty limited, the site has gotten some positive press in the Seattle P-I and at

“I am laying my body on the tracks for this piece.”

posted by on August 1 at 11:16 AM

That’s what Frank Gehry says in today’s LA Times about the Claes Oldenburg-Coosje van Bruggen sculpture of a massive men’s dress-shirt collar and bowtie that is stalled in construction due to engineering problems, but was set to sit outside of Gehry’s Disney Hall.

Gehry said that “Collar and Bow” is “an important piece” that will visually connect Disney Hall with future commercial development across Grand Avenue.

Connecting buildings with speculative commercial development is, after all, the purpose of art. You can understand why Gehry would lay down his very body for something this important.

Clinton at Benaroya

posted by on August 1 at 11:16 AM

When I arrived at the big Jim McDermott fundraiser that former president Bill Clinton was headlining at Benaroya Hall last night, I was told by one of McDermott’s press people that the former president was running a bit late.

“It’s Bill Clinton,” she said. “Events are transpiring.”

Apparently, dinner was transpiring. Outside of Wild Ginger, located on the other side of Union Street from Benaroya Hall, security and police officers were waiting to escort Clinton across the street and onto the stage. Gawkers loitered on the corners, holding copies of Clinton’s book, My Life, hoping for an autograph. Inside Benaroya, a series of bands tried to make the wait more pleasant, but really, no one was there to hear them.

Finally, about an hour and a half after the event started, Clinton arrived.


You can read summaries of his remarks here and here. The Seattle Times says his suit was lemon-colored. Personally, I would say it was tan, with a salmon-colored tie. But in any case, it was too big—the former president has been losing a lot of weight since his quadruple bypass surgery last fall, and he looks great, but he also seems to need some new suits to fit his new figure.

McDermott, who threw the event to raise money for his legal death-match with Republican Majority Leader John Boehner, entered the stage to the sounds of Aretha Franklin singing, “You better think what you’re trying to do to me…” Clinton, of course, entered to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.”

Aside from raising money for McDermott’s legal defense fund, Clinton was there to tamp down the widespread sentiment that Democrats don’t stand for anything. In his words, Republicans stand for secretiveness, cronyism, and an uncompromising ideology in which “the facts are irrelevant.” Democrats, he said, stand for openness, accountability, and a philosophy that seeks to empower average Americans rather than concentrate power in the hands of a hyper-rich elite.

Clinton said he’s been reading Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine, and this led into his best laugh-line of the night as he recounted how Suskind has reported that Bush’s advisers like to make fun of people who still inhabit the “reality-based community” (as opposed to being powerful enough to make their own reality).

“I’m serious, read the book,” Clinton said. “Now, if you’ve read my book, you know I grew up in a troubled home. I spent half my childhood trying to get into the reality-based world. And I like it here, thank you very much.”

The Top 50 Gay Albums of All Time

posted by on August 1 at 10:30 AM

It’s a weakness: I will pay attention to any and all music lists, no matter how arbitrary or pointless or stupid. So imagine my glee at the new list compiled by UK gay mag Attitude, ranking the Top 50 Gay Albums of All Time.

As far as arbitrary lists, this one’s a corker, drawing on some mysterious combination of nominations from celebrities (Boy George casts his vote for #10! Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears supports #25!) and the general gay sentiment of Attitude’s editors. A lot of the press coverage of the list focuses on the inclusion of the Beatles’ Please Please Me (“George and Paul singing into one microphone, their cheeks touching, was the gayest thing we’d ever seen,” says former Wham! manager Simon Napier-Bell), and there are a couple other such vaguely-gay acts in the rankings (Belle and Sebastian at #48! Kate Bush at #16!).

But mostly, it’s gay, gay, GAY, with the top spot taken, most righteously, by the Scissor Sisters, with Morrissey coming in at a respectable #3.

As for the glaring omissions: No Hedwig? No Erasure?!

As for subtler omissions: No Notorious BIG? Call me crazy, but that creepy way Puffy has of whisper-repeating every other line of Biggie’s has always seemed super gay to me…

Full gay list after the jump.

Continue reading "The Top 50 Gay Albums of All Time" »

Re: Art News Part I

posted by on August 1 at 10:12 AM

Just saw this in the Seattle Times, in a story by Matthew Kangas on the Akio Takamori exhibition at the Henry (do go):

Parents will need to decide if this exhibit is appropriate for their children: Two color prints of nude babies and toddlers by Barbara Jo Revelle and Nan Goldin depict genitalia, and Edward Weston’s 1925 photograph of his young son, Neil, shows a nude torso.

Not a torso!

Here’s that dangerous image:


Art News, Part II

posted by on August 1 at 9:45 AM

The organizers of Hempfest Monday filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle because the annual rally, to be held this year Aug 19 and 20, is still waiting to receive its event permit along with details about how the Seattle Art Museum will accommodate Hempfest’s need for a loading lane adjacent to the Olympic Sculpture Park under construction on the Elliott Bay waterfront downtown. (Hempfest is held at Myrtle Edwards Park next to the OSP site.)

At the end of the day Monday, SAM’s director of capital projects, Chris Rogers, said the museum would be sending a clarifying letter in response to the suit. I couldn’t reach the head of the city’s special events committee, Virginia Swanson. Rogers did say, though, that Hempfest and SAM may run into a conflict depending on how many large trucks Hempfest plans to drive through the construction site. Basically, Rogers said, the trucks would delay construction, and the museum can not afford any more delays since the four-month public conversation about the county’s trolley barn, which county executive Ron Sims promised to move but which didn’t have a new home by the time SAM needed to remove the barn, pushed the park off schedule, Rogers said. Originally set to open this summer, the park now will open Oct 28.

But SAM is required to accommodate Hempfest, festival spokesman Dominic Holden says. He points out a city ordinance passed unanimously by the council in June requiring SAM to “ensure safe public access … to ‘Special Events’” during construction. Holden says the museum has been dragging its feet on this event since Hempfest filed its permit application in January. He also says the city is in violation of its law to process special-event permit applications “within sixty (60) days of the application, if practicable.” (Both Rogers and Holden say the city regularly passes out permits only days before an event.)

Holden says the lawsuit, which Hempfest threatened a few months ago, is the result of SAM’s consistent maltreatment of its construction process. He says the city has had to pick up the pieces of SAM’s mess all along the way. He cites as examples the removal of the trolley barn, traffic problems around the area, a crane that fell on train tracks in March (no one was hurt), and the fact that Ivar’s pulled out of its Fourth of July Festival this year. Ivar’s told the P-I that the construction was a deciding factor in pulling out, and Holden says he would like to know how much money the city had to spend providing basic and emergency services that would have been provided by Ivar’s during the firework.

Meanwhile, Rogers said that with the transformation of the scraggy waterfront land into a park, Myrtle Edwards Park nearby may no longer be the right place to host a festival that brings 150,000 to 200,000 people, as Hempfest does. He called upon leadership from the city in setting guidelines for land use in the park. (Holden says the site is the only area in the city that’s large enough for the event and not in a residential neighborhood.)

Holden said he expects Hempfest will go on, and with minimal intrusion in the construction of the sculpture park. He sees the sculpture park as a beautiful addition to downtown—as long as it doesn’t interfere with the First Amendment right of marijuana reform advocates to assemble in the public park.

And Rogers, too, said Hempfest will go on. He said the museum has been participating fully in the preparation process for months, and that pulling everything together is the responsibility of the city’s special events committee.

I’ll write more as I know it. Preliminary thoughts?

Art News Part I

posted by on August 1 at 9:43 AM

What does Seattle have in common with Loveland, Colorado, a bitty city with a population of 50,000 in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains?

Like Lovelanders, it turns out we might not be able to look at nude sculptures without poisoning our children, either.

The third annual West Edge Sculpture Invitational has several sculptures up now on Harbor Steps, on the outdoor staircase on the south side of Benaroya Hall, and inside Benaroya. (I saw the show last week, and few of the sculptures, if any, are worth writing about, although there was one lovely weathered-wood pedestal.) The artist Tomas Oliva was selected to be included in the show by several jurors, but then word came back from Benaroya Hall through the West End Marketing Committee that his sculpture would not be allowed in the display because—of course—it would not be appropriate for children. The final word is supposed to be delivered today on the issue, according to the organizers of the show.

Here’s the sculpture:


Oh, blah blah. So it looks like her first nip-out since the breast augmentation. So what? The nudity is what you take umbrage at in this sculpture? The whole thing just makes me tired. (And it reminds me a little of the La Jolla biotch who filed a lawsuit to have seals removed from the beach so it could go back to being “a family beach,” not a place where seals do such lascivious things as birth their own young.)

Tune In

posted by on August 1 at 9:34 AM

I will be on KOMO radio (1000 AM) this morning at around 10 with Ken Schram and John Carlson to discuss the article and exclusive 3-hour interview that Brendan Kiley and I had with Naveed Haq’s recent roommate, Wick Renner.

The Green Old Party

posted by on August 1 at 9:30 AM

The Green Party in PA is doing all it can to help reelect Sen. Rick Santorum.

Thanks to the generosity of GOP donors, a Green Party candidate is expected to make it onto the ballot in Pennsylvania’s Senate race and siphon votes from Democratic front-runner Bob Casey in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

While Santorum said Monday that he would welcome another candidate on the ballot, Casey’s campaign accused Republicans of “trying to steal the election.”

Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli, making his first bid for statewide elective office, acknowledged Monday that Republican contributors probably supplied most of the $100,000 that he said he spent gathering signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 ballot.

Records on file with the Federal Election Commission show the Luzerne County Green Party received $66,000 in June from 20 contributors who gave between $1,000 and $5,000 apiece…. An analysis showed that at least $29,000 came from donors who also have given to Santorum’s campaign, and nearly all the donors had given to Republican candidates in recent elections.

Like all Green Party candidates, the asswipe in this race has never run for office before. Like ol’ Ralph Nader, Romanelli is just another useful idiot doing the bidding of the GOP. Like Nader, Romanelli is a lying spoiler and an attention-seeking amateur. Like all Greens, Romanelli relies on fools for votes and Republicans for money.

Greens are part of the problem, folks, not the solution.

The No. 1 Thing We Overlooked When We Considered Invading Iraq, Still Overlooked

posted by on August 1 at 8:55 AM


A place with almost 5 million more people than Iraq.

Yesterday, we turned the uncontrollable south of Afghanistan over to NATO.

I reported from the south of Afghanistan in 2003 for just a week, as an embedded reporter with a crew from Fort Lewis on behalf of The News Tribune. I’m far from an expert on Afghan affairs. I can say that in the past few months, I’ve been increasingly depressed at the reports coming out of the country. (I was in Kandahar, the historic capital, and the former Taliban stronghold, where a warlord who had me over for dinner afterwards showed me his black Land Cruiser and bragged that it had been one of Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s seven identical Land Cruisers before the Mullah fled across the Pakistani border in the 2001 airstrikes.)

Not that I’m surprised. When I was there, U.S. servicemen and -women could not go into the city of Kandahar, which is 10 miles from the air base at the former airport, without a security detail provided by the local warlord (whose brother had recently been deposed as provincial governor for his lack of loyalty to Karzai).

(Just for a quick aside, check out the architecture of the Kandahar airport. The tower at the far left was being used in 2003 as a holding pen for guys on their way to Guantanamo.)


The “coalition” forces—I think I saw about five Romanians in addition to all of the Americans at the mess hall every day—were lining the pockets of said warlord by renting his banged-up pickup trucks for $1,300 a month and employing many of his 1,050 “associates” for trips off-base that included speeding past the mountains where the regular rocket attacks originated, and where a great sign in white rocks read, “NO DRUGS.” (At that point, the opium trade had ballooned several-fold since the fall of the Taliban.)

As long as we’re paying them, I guess they’re on our side,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Hoffman, a tough-talking decorated Vietnam vet who is a police officer when he’s home. “It’s not that safe here,” he told me matter-of-factly.

That was 2003, when Rumsfeld was still claiming that combat in Afghanistan was over. According to the New York Times, 2005 was the bloodiest year since 2001 in “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan. Now, we don’t hear much from the administration about the forgotten war—not that we really ever did, especially after the invasion of Iraq. This, from the New York Times a week ago:

The plan is for European and Canadian NATO forces to step in and provide security for civilian teams in southern and eastern Afghanistan while the remaining Americans concentrate on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda. This is a new variant of the Bush administration’s misbegotten theory that Americans should be war-fighters and leave nation-building to others.

There are two big problems with this. First, in violent situations like that in southern Afghanistan, NATO can assure security only if America, its leading member, provides reconnaissance, transport and combat support. Second, the idea that American troops are there not to bring security to Afghans but to hunt down the Taliban—and too bad if Afghan civilians are caught in the cross-fire—is a disastrous approach to counterinsurgency warfare. It has not worked in Iraq and it is not working in Afghanistan.

Afghan women in the south are still buried in burqas, only now it’s not required by any law but demanded by fear of violating social custom and family tradition. Widows are still worthless and dependent, and the average woman bears five children. When I met with a dozen women at a small domestic-arts compound in Kandahar, they removed their burqas and sat on the floor against the walls of the room, speaking through a translator. The older the women were, the more furious they were. Hanging over them were the tall, menacing ghosts of their burqas. In a nearby hospital, I heard the story of a woman whose husband had shot her in the back. She was treated and sent back to him.

The on-base hospital—a room with a few beds and one operating room with oxygen pumped by hand—was wild, and it was tame compared to the city hospital 10 miles away in Kandahar proper. On base, in a single regular afternoon, in one bed was a 20-year-old student looking for the first time at his bombed-off stump of a left arm. The bomb had been intended for American soldiers in Kandahar, but it missed them completely. On another table was a man who moaned loudly for hours, something about a car crash, but who had no identifiable physical injuries. In another bed was another victim of the bombing, whose bowel had been cut in six places, his penis torn, and whose chest wound was sutured with horse hair for lack of surgical stitches in the city hospital. There, conditions were “horrid,” Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Wahl of Wisconsin, head of the surgical team, told me. “The director there told me it was better under the Taliban. These people are getting slaughtered.” It was hard to kill their pain, because since the Afghans use opium casually, their tolerance for opiate painkillers is high, and doctors have to use about seven times the dose used for American patients.

Meanwhile, at the red-roofed warlord’s compound right next to the cabins where the troops sleep, the warlord can not decide whether he prefers the LED fake palm tree outside his front door in red, or in green, so he has his men exchanging the two back and forth until he decides. He picks green. Then it stops working. The troops are disappointed they no longer have the glowing palm tree to see.

Morning News

posted by on August 1 at 8:30 AM

Castro: Bleeding in the intestines, but only temporarily giving power to Raul.

Landis: Home to non-native testosterone, according to reports.

Rich tax cheats: Out of control.

Israel: Shelving that 48-hour-bombing-pause plan.

Mel Gibson: Shelving those Holocaust movie plans?

Democrats: Twelve makes unity.

Basement Lipo: Fatal.

And in the day before yesterday’s news… The New York Times has endorsed Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Politics of 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists

posted by on July 31 at 8:43 PM

I continue to find the politics of 9/11 conspiracy freaks completely fascinating.

Read the article on the hypermotivated kids behind the Loose Change agitdocs in this month’s Vanity Fair (which is not very good, sadly), and you’ll conclude that people who want to believe that 9/11 was orchestrated by the government are liberals who are angry at the Bush administration.

But there’s obviously an anti-federal government angle too (remember how The X-Files was judged to be a conservative program because the bad guys were all in some shadowy ur-government?). This NYT article about a lecturer at University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests he’s possibly coming at 9/11 doubt from a right-wing perspective. (He announced his opinions on a conservative talk show, and people are quoted saying the liberal population at the university should accommodate his views.)

It’s always interesting to find subjects that span the liberal-conservative divide, no matter how dubious their content.

The Grossest Thing I Have Ever Seen on Primetime Television

posted by on July 31 at 8:23 PM

Okay. So, I was just watching Wife Swap, and as usual, the setup involved a finicky neat-freak woman trading places with some sort of grime-friendly hippie with seventeen pets that sleep in her bed.

To display the depth of the comparatively filthy woman’s filthiness, the camera closed in on a corner of her child’s bedroom, where there was an infestation of ants.

These ants could be seen as they marched across a discarded pair of little girl’s panties.

These panties were unclean, with a small but clearly visible brown streak, upon which the ants were feasting.


Ew, ew, EW.

How can showing such a thing on television be legal?

Naveed Haq’s Lost Summer

posted by on July 31 at 7:16 PM

Brendan and I, me and Brendan, worked all weekend on the Jewish Federation shooting story, and ended up in Everett last night, in the apartment where alleged shooter Naveed Haq began to unravel this summer. We did a three-hour interview with Haq’s college pal and close friend, Wick Renner. Renner, Haq’s final roommate—Haq’s last tether to the real world—tried desperately to get Haq back on track. Here’s the sad story we heard from Renner.

Flyer, Flyer Pants on Fire

posted by on July 31 at 6:53 PM

Anti-Smoking Crusaders weren’t the only Stranger-bashers that showed up at this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party—fans of fact-packed newspapers were there too. An eagle-eyed Stranger staffer spotted this flyer tacked to light poles on streets that lead to the Capitol Hill Block Party:


Ouch—that hurts! But we beat you to the joke months ago, Mr. Flyer. We added the titles at the end of the winning submission in this year’s 28 Seconds, our annual SIFF short film contest. You’ll have to Watch all 28 seconds of this short film to get to the end, but it’s well worth your time…

(The winning entry comes first, followed by the runners up. Enjoy ‘em all.)

Re: O, They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Whining, Bitching, Moaning, and Anal Fissures

posted by on July 31 at 6:24 PM

Speaking of conservatives with victim complexes, the New York Times this morning had an article on the vast system conservatives have set up to indoctrinate their young. Kids like Christina Pajak head for “conservative boot camp” in the summer to read and discuss Russell Kirk, Frank S. Meyer, Milton Friedman, and others who wish the world of the 1950s (the imaginary world of the 1950s, that is) had been frozen in amber.

The kids also get to visit Reagan’s “Western White House,” Rancho del Cielo and learn about why he was the bestest damned president EVER! According to Lauren Wilson, it’s because he was just so darned nice to Nancy.

“I love Ronald Reagan,” said Ms. Wilson, who attends Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. “One of the biggest things was his affection for Nancy; it’s just obvious they were each other’s world.”

But here’s the victim thing, and the passage that made me shudder in terror and curse out loud to no one throughout my morning shit and halfway through my shower:

He [lecturer Donald Devine] lamented the prosecution of Kenneth Lay, the late Enron executive convicted of fraud, by asking, “Do you think it’s possible for a rich person to get justice in the U.S. today?

I think I’m going to throw up.

We’re to Blame

posted by on July 31 at 4:50 PM

Think Friday’s shooting spree was the work of a deranged nut? Think again. According to Christopher Chantrill at (no, really) The American Thinker, it’s really “Seattle’s Culture of Victimology” that’s to blame.

Choice quote:

You would expect that an angry American Muslim would choose Seattle to perform his outrage. Progressive Seattle legitimizes and condones the outrages of the self-described oppressed peoples. It rewards them with reduced responsibility for their actions. It encourages them to experience themselves not as equal citizens but as violated victims.

When you encourage people to feel like victims you cannot be surprised that they act out as victims.

O, They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Whining, Bitching, Moaning, and Anal Fissures

posted by on July 31 at 3:31 PM

So the Christians had a big concert at the Gorge Amphitheater this weekend—good for them, I hope they enjoyed themselves. The PI has a full report.

I also hope—wait, I know—that a number of abstinence pledges were broken this weekend. I doubt that there were condoms available on-site, so here’s hoping that local Christian kids did what Christian kids all over the country are doing: Opt for anal over vaginal intercourse. (A New Sermon on the Mount: “Whenever two or more are gathered in My name, someone is getting it in the ass.”)

But here’s what concerns me: Why is the PI pandering to the persecution complex that plagues modern American Christians? On the front page of the PI I found this headline:

Hip, Fun and Faithful: Christians find solice, unity at Creation Festival

The implication? Local Christians can’t find solace anyplace else—not in any of the thousands of tax-exempt churches, mega- and otherwise, that squat all over the landscape; not from a mainstream media that coddles them at every turn; not from a federal government that’s crawling with their co-religionists.

Oh, it’s a hard knock life for Christians in America, ain’t it? We’ve got a fundamentalist idiot for a president, the halls of Congress are packed with born again ‘tards, fully 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christian, and the Pope can’t fart without the TV news people reverently huffing away at his ass. None of that is any solace—nope! That’s why the poor, persecuted darlings need to gather en masse at the Gorge. Back to the PI’s headline shop:

Creation: Festivalgoers feel `not so alone in believing.’

Oh, for crying out loud.

UPDATE: Ironically, when I was finishing up this post a PI reporter called me for a comment on something unrelated. When I told the reporter what I was writing—about Christians’ persecution complex—the reporter said, “Yes, they like to think of themselves as the underdogs.” They do like to see themselves that way—but does the PI really need to encourage them to see themselves that way?


posted by on July 31 at 3:24 PM

I meant to post this in the midst of last week’s small dog appreciation frenzy, but I was busy doing stuff. Like my job. But I still want to brag about how I have the cutest dog ever. Her name is Lucy. She’s a corgi. And yes, she still has her tail.


Awe, puppy!

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Body Doubles…

posted by on July 31 at 3:24 PM

…and some things you didn’t, such as the reasons why Luke Wilson needed one for My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Arts in America

posted by on July 31 at 2:43 PM

To begin with:

Rowing on the Lake 21-0092.jpg (EXQUISITE LEISURE) The romance of a rowboat cannot be overstated—the gentle lapping of the waves, the splashes of fish, the water lilies and drooping willows, the occasional wheeling bat. Summer evenings are meant for rowing with a bottle of champagne, straw hat, small stringed instrument, wine and grapes and cheese, and a boon companion. Rowboats are more romantic but canoes are faster and better for slipping in and out of the narrow corridors of Lake Washington’s labyrinthine shoreline. (UW Waterfront Activities Center, behind Husky Stadium, 543-9433. 10 am—9 pm, $7.50 per hour.) BRENDAN KILEY

To end with:
1) Architecture soon to meet Project Runway.

2) This is absolute beauty:

3) Ebony and Ivory, side by side on the screen, making lots of money.

4) “Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry? Do you really want to hurt me?
Do you really want to make me cry?”

Nine Words

posted by on July 31 at 2:28 PM

To paraphrase Josh Feit, the person behind this poster either wants to kill himself or start a book group.


J.D. Salinger fans—care to weigh in?

Shark Week!

posted by on July 31 at 2:13 PM

It’s my favorite time of the year (other than Christmas and National Threesome Week): it’s the Discovery Channel’s annual SHARK WEEK. That’s right, an entire week of shows dedicated to sharks ripping the asses out of any ass in sight. Tonight’s featured presentation is the world premiere of Shark Attack Survivors (Discovery, 9 pm) in which a bunch of sissies whine, “Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! I got attacked by a SHARK.”
Well, let me tell you people something… Sharks are nothing but a bunch of finned pussies. Check out this video of ME doing a little scuba diving off the coast, and my run-in with one of these so-called “predators of the deep.” That’s right, sharky! Run home and cry to mommy!

Overheard in the Office

posted by on July 31 at 2:04 PM

Charles (singing): “I don’t want to be the source/the source of your divorce.”

Charles sure loves Mikey Dread.

A Little Good News…

posted by on July 31 at 1:02 PM

That abortion ban in South Dakota? It looks like the voters in that state are fixin’ to repeal it.

Pity the Poor American Male

posted by on July 31 at 12:23 PM

According to the New York Times , 15 percent of American men between 30 and 55 are not working despite being employable and in their prime. Instead, the Times reports, they are “turning down jobs they think beneath them or are unable to find work for which they are qualified.” That’s up from 5 percent in the 1960s, a difference the Times says “represents 4 million men who would be working today if the employment rate had remained where it was in the 1950’s and 60’s,” when women started moving into the work force.

So let’s see if I’ve got this straight: The unemployment rate for men was once much lower. Then women came along and took jobs that would have gone to men. As women get more educated, the jobs that are available to them improve. As a result, men in the newly competitive marketplace have trouble finding work that isn’t… ummm… “beneath them.”

The Times goes on:

Many of these men could find work if they had to, but with lower pay and fewer benefits than they once earned, and they have decided they prefer the alternative. It is a significant cultural shift from three decades ago, when men almost invariably went back into the work force after losing a job and were more often able to find a new one that met their needs. …

Even as more men are dropping out of the work force, more women are entering it. This change has occurred partly because employment has shrunk in industries where men predominated, like manufacturing, while fields where women are far more common, like teaching, health care and retailing, have grown. Today, about 73 percent of women between 30 and 54 have a job, compared with 45 percent in the mid-1960’s, according to an analysis of Census data by researchers at Queens College.

So it’s not that the men can’t get jobs. It’s that the jobs that are available are women’s work, and thus “beneath” men’s dignity.

But at least that frees men up to take care of housework and child care, right?


Many women without jobs are raising children at home, while men who are out of a job tend to be doing neither family work nor paid work.

So what are they doing? Reading, sitting around, and sleeping, the Times suggests:

[Former steelworker Alan Beggerow)] has not worked regularly in the five years since the steel mill that employed him for three decades closed. He and his wife, Cathleen, 47, cannot really afford to live without his paycheck. Yet with her sometimes reluctant blessing, Mr. Beggerow persists in constructing a way of life that he finds as satisfying as the work he did only in the last three years of his 30-year career at the mill. The trappings of this new life surround Mr. Beggerow in the cluttered living room of his one-story bungalow-style home in this half-rural, half-industrial prairie town west of Chicago. A bookcase covers an entire wall, and the books that Mr. Beggerow is reading are stacked on a glass coffee table in front of a comfortable sofa where he reads late into the night — consuming two or three books a week — many more than in his working years.

He also gets more sleep, regularly more than nine hours, a characteristic of men without work.

Meanwhile, while Mr. Beggerow sleeps, lounges, re-mortgages his family’s house and declines to look for work, his wife has taken on three part-time jobs, all traditional women’s work, and is looking for another:

She is taking in work as a seamstress, baking pastries for parties and selling merchandise for others on eBay, collecting a fee. Still, she says, she hopes to land a part-time clerical job. “The comfort of a paycheck every week would take a load off my mind,” she said.

So it seems the real story here isn’t so much that men aren’t working, but that men are piling onto their wives (in addition to the housework and childcare that remain American women’s primary responsibilities) one additional burden: Earning a paycheck, often at a crappy job, while they lounge around, remortgage the house, and burn through their family’s remaining savings.

The Morning News

posted by on July 31 at 11:31 AM

52 %: Percentage of Americans who now want the US out of Iraq, according to a new Gallup poll.

47 %: Percentage of South Dakotans who want to overturn the state’s abortion ban, compared to 39% who support the ban.

$2: Minimum-wage hike passed by House but tied to the poison-pill estate tax repeal and facing dim prospects in the Senate.

57: Minimum number of civilians killed by Israeli strikes during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s aborted diplomatic visit.

48 hours: Length of time Israel agreed to suspend bombing over southern Lebanon (an agreement it rescinded shortly thereafter.)

$250,000: Amount Fox News agreed to pay four women to settle a sex discrimination suit by four female employees.

18: Age at which FDA will consider allowing women to buy the morning-after pill over the counter.

200: Number of additional prisoners to be housed at new $30 million federal facility at Guantanamo.

$50 million: Bail for Naveed Haq, suspect in six shootings at the Seattle Jewish Federation.

Which Superpower Would You Choose?

posted by on July 31 at 11:20 AM

According to a scientist, turning invisible may be possible in the future.

No word yet on flying.

And Now for Some Theater that Does Not Suck

posted by on July 31 at 11:08 AM

Brendan Kiley has already sung its praises, so this is redundant, but whatever: Lauren Weedman’s new show Bust is excellent. If you care about theater, if you want to stop thinking about whatever it is you’re thinking about, if you have nothing to do on Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Saturday night, if you like funny, you should see it. Weedman is a fantastic actress—it’s eerie to watch her go from one character to another—and (more important to me) a fantastic writer. If Zadie Smith spent time in a women’s jail in L.A. and wrote about the people she encountered—the career guards, the cops, the slut behind the front desk, the visitors, the inmates, the have-a-hug Christians in the chaplain’s office—you’d have something like the characters in Bust. (Sarah Rudinoff did something similar in The Last State, conjuring a bunch of characters at odds with one another and playing them all.) There’s also a great running subplot about Weedman writing a story about rape for Glamour, a lucrative and untimately horrifying experience. (Her editor goes from being an encouraging sycophant to a self-aggrandizing nightmare; the way the story goes from being Weedman’s to being what Glamour readers ostensibly want is all too accurate.) Allison Narver’s direction is sharp and the sound design by Mark Nichols gives the unchanging set tons of dimension. The show plays at Empty Space Theatre—in its new home on 12th Avenue—through Saturday. Get yer tickets here.

Real Israel

posted by on July 31 at 11:06 AM

Last night, the reports by the major networks on the bombing of Qana made it apparent that Israel is losing this war. On NBC, for example, about five solid minutes was filled with graphic images of dead babies, their burned toys, their weeping mothers, their blood, and the scale of the destruction. At the end of the report, it was very quickly noted that, though the Israeli army regretted the deaths of the civilians, they had proof that Hezbollah was launching missiles from that site, and in so doing deliberately made the children a target of Israel’s powerful weapons. This is probably true, but, still, what Hezbollah has, and what Israel severely lacks, is a sense of the battle being fought on the level of the media—the news, the internet, the radio. Israel can rationalize the situation, show, as they did last night, that rockets were being launched from that site, but it is too late—nothing can beat the image of dead babies. No amount of reasoning can diminish the power of that image, and Hezbollah is aware of that. Rational Israel is fighting a real war; emotional Hezbollah is fighting a virtual war. And in our world, our global society of the spectacle, the army that locates the most important front to be the one in TV land, is the army that is on the path to victory.

Jamie Pedersen

posted by on July 31 at 10:51 AM

On Slog last week Annie Wagner wrote that we were having 43rd District Candidate Jamie Pedersen back for a second round of endorsement interviews because we felt sorry for him.

There’s no argument—Pedersen is a drip. But as Stranger Election Control Board member David Schmader pointed out, yesterday (the day the rotten WA Supreme Court gay marriage decision was handed down) was Pedersen’s “sad day,” both for personal and professional reasons. Certain members of our board suffered sympathy pangs.

While it’s true Pedersen didn’t seem to be in fighting form during our meeting—he barely used half his allotted time for a final statement—I want to set the record straight about something. As I said to my fellow Election Control Board members after the candidates cleared out of our conference room last Wednesday, I was leaning toward endorsing Pedersen—not just having him back, but endorsing him—because of the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage.

Yes, yes: I slapped at Pedersen on Slog—and slapped at him hard—when his campaign volunteers were running around implying that Pedersen was the only candidate in the race who supported marriage equality. Everyone running in the 43rd supports marriage equality—they don’t have a choice. Pedersen and his supporters maintained that he was the obvious choice for voters who viewed marriage equality as their top issue, as Pedersen has worked on marriage equality for ten years now.

That argument didn’t move me—and I was even less impressed with the argument that Pedersen, as the only gay candidate in the race, had a right to the “gay seat” in the state legislature. It seemed perverse, if I may use that word, for gay and lesbians to run around arguing that the five other candidates in the race should be discriminated against based on sexual orientation.

But that was then.

I expected the WA Supremes to rule against us—and I said so on Slog—but I didn’t expect their ruling to be such an affront. The ruling was staggeringly dishonest and thoroughly chickenshited. The Supremes found that the legislature had a “rationale basis” for discriminating against same-sex couples (it somehow encourages heterosexual sex and procreation); they found that gays and lesbians were too politically powerful to be considered a suspect class (getting an anti-discimination bill passed after three decades of struggle was somehow evidence of our political power and proof that we didn’t need the courts to protect our civil rights); and they found that homosexuality was not necessarily an “immutable characteristic,” which is #1 on the religious right’s list of anti-gay talking points.

Then, after all that, the justices had the nerve to beg the legislature to grant same-sex couples all rights that the court itself was too cowardly to grant us.

Sitting in my office, reading through the decision, the case for sending Pedersen to Olympia became more compelling.

Like I said to my editorial accomplices last week, the WA Supreme Court smacked down same-sex marriage, abandoning its responsibility to protect minority rights, and punted this issue to the legislature. Regardless of Pedersen’s shortcomings as a candidate (and all of the candidates have shortcomings—as do all of the members of the Election Control Board), sending Pedersen to Olympia now would be a symbolic act of defiance. The voters in the 43rd would be not just be flipping off the Supreme Court by sending Pedersen to Olympia, we would also be sending this message to the legislature: “This issue is not going to go away.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage also oppose civil unions, gay rights laws, adoptions by same-sex couples—and on and on. They essentially oppose the very existence of gay people, but since they can’t eradicate us they’ll settle for stamping out gay visibility. They want us to cease loving each other, go back in the closet, marry opposite-sex partners, and drink ourselves to death—you know, like in the 1950s, the good old days.

When the haters win one—when they pass an anti-gay marriage amendment or defeat a gay rights bill or extract a favorable ruling from a court—they believe they’ve come one step closer to shoving us all back in the closet. So when they win one—and they won a big one last week—it’s important for us to shove back, to make sure they understand that this issue is not going away because we are not going to go away.

The Washington State Supreme Court handed opponents of marriage equality a huge symbolic victory last week. Voters in the 43rd can counter that symbolic victory with a symbolic gesture of defiance—that is, sending Pedersen to Olympia.

Anyway, that’s what I argued after our meeting with the 43rd District candidates last Wednesday. I believe I said, “If I had to vote today, I’d vote for Pedersen.” So that’s why we’re having him back—we’re really considering him, not just feeling sorry for him—and we may yet endorse Jamie Pedersen. If that happens, I wonder who will be more shocked: Me or Pedersen?

UPDATE: I intend to ask Pedersen why the decision isn’t being appealed, however. Alexander seemed awfully unsure of himself in our meeting with him, not to mention being incapable of defending his ruling, and anxious to see it appealed (probably just a dodge to shut us up, but we won’t know until we appeal.) Jamie says he’s a fighter for gay marriage—so why aren’t we fighting to the bitter end, Jamie?

Tell the Stranger…

posted by on July 31 at 10:42 AM


I told him I’d tell them.

“Encouraging Procreation”

posted by on July 31 at 10:20 AM

As last week’s Washington State Supreme Court decision made clear, procreative heterosexual intercourse is at risk of extinction and must be protected and encouraged by any means necessary (including such stupid, bigoted means as denying marriage rights to same-sex couples).

To help keep the fundamental human drive for reproduction from going the way of the 8-track, please enjoy this German guide to getting your procreative freak on.

Overheard at Capitol Hill Block Party

posted by on July 31 at 10:12 AM

Event Patron 1 (watching Band of Horses): “Do you like this band?”
Event Patron 2: “Oh, I love them!”
Event Patron 1: “The singer’s got kind of a muppet mouth.”
Event Patron 2: “Yeah, his funny mouth is one of my favorite things about the band.”

Spencer Moody (to cop): “Why are you being so mean?”

Mel Gibson Sinks Deeper!

posted by on July 31 at 10:09 AM

As reported Saturday, Mel Gibson is in a heapin’ helpin’ of TROUBLE after being pulled over drunk as a skunk, and allegedly screaming obscenities and anti-Semitic remarks. Now, even more details are emerging: According to, not only was Gibson’s arrest report doctored to remove the offending language, he was allegedly stopped twice before in recent years—and allowed to leave without being arrested or even ticketed.
Also, during his most recent arrest the cop’s supervisor ordered him to remove any language from the report that would show Gibson was being “belligerent.” But according to

At one point at the Sheriff’s station, sources say Gibson was “jumping like a monkey” on a steel cage and told the arresting deputy, “I’m not going to hurt you physically. I’m gonna hurt you. I’m gonna make you lose.”

Hmmf. That’s not belligerent. That’s me whenever I get low blood sugar.
Regardless, look for more trouble this Fall when Mel is supposed to release his newest film Apocalypto—whose studio is DISNEY? They CANNOT be happy about this.


Darth Kitty

posted by on July 31 at 9:11 AM

I really don’t get the whole Hello Kitty fetish, but surely this is some geeky fangirls wet dream… Via Boing Boing.


Hood River, Oregon

posted by on July 31 at 9:00 AM

On my way out to Maryhill Double Friday morning, I passed the International Museum of Carousel Art, where, had I stopped, I might have attended a little bit of Carousel College.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gay Marriage: Why Aren’t We Appealing the WA Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage?

posted by on July 30 at 5:20 PM

Bart Lovejoy writes…

It is common knowledge that the couples who sued the state for Equal Marriage lost.

It is not common knowledge that they have the right to file a motion to reconsider.

I spoke to one of the plaintiffs in the case and she didn’t even know that this was an option. This blew me away. She hadn’t even been informed that this was an option! She said she had not ever heard of it. She told me to ask Jamie Pederson, who was one of the lawyers involved in the case.

So, I spoke to Jamie Pederson face to face and he told me that they (the lawyers involved in the case) were not likely to file a motion to reconsider because they (the lawyers) don’t think it will change the outcome. That just doesn’t sit right with me. There was no guarantee that they would win when they went into this suit and there’s no guarantee that it won’t change the outcome. The lawyers still have approximately 20 days left to file. Apparently, the lawyers are not asking the LGBT community what it wants to do and they are not asking the couples if they would like to file for reconsideration with the court. Outrageous! Where is the conviction, the principle?

In the Stranger (online) there is an MP3 file where Justice Alexander says at least 4 times that the plaintiffs have 30 days to file for reconsideration of the ruling.

If they don’t file I want to know WHY?

I told Mr. Pederesen that if they don’t file that the lawyers on the case would be remiss in their duties to their clients and to the broader community. If this is the case, I will be writing letters to the editors of every paper in Washington State in order to let the LGBT community know that 2nd best is just fine with Democrats and that 2nd class is just fine with the couples’ lawyers. Even if the outcome is the same they would at least get more exposure and continue to stand on principle. That is, after all, the whole point.

The opinion of the Washington State Supreme Justices who sided with the ‘right wingnuts’ out of fear sided on the wrong side of the constitution and we have to fight them on their decision with a motion to reconsider! They need to understand that their ruling was not happily received.

More Details from the Police Report

posted by on July 30 at 2:50 PM

The account given at yesterday’s press conference and in today’s papers leave out some dramatic details about Friday’s shooting at the Jewish Federation—the target Haq chose with an internet search. Particularly noteworthy: Details about victim Dayna Klein, the pregnant woman who Haq shot in the arm as shielded her stomach, and the 911 call she placed that brought the shootings to an end.

After being shot, Klein got to a phone and called 911.

I’ll just quote the report from here:

She told the 911 operators that the gunman had shot people and was holding her hostage. As the 911 operators asked where the gunman was the wounded victim said ‘right here’ and the gunman took the phone. The gunman got on the phone and said, ‘this is a hostage situation, I have a hostage.’ The 911 operators asked the gunman’s name he replied ‘Naveed Haq.’ Haq said, ‘This is a hostage situation and I want these Jews to get out.’ He sated he was ‘at 2131, the Jewish Federation, on 3rd Ave.’

In response to various questions Haq stated, ‘I’m upstais. I’m not upset at people. I’m upset at your foreign policy. These are Jews and I’m tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.’ He repeats that his name is Naveed Haq and gives his social security number as XXX-XX-XXXX. He states, ‘I just want us to get out of Iraq, I’m an American too but I want our people out Iraq.’ Haq states that he has one pregnant female at gunpoint and ‘I shot her once, I shot her in the arm.’

He states he wants the Police to call the media and tells the 911 operators ‘I have this gun pointed at her head.’ When 911 operators say she needs an ambulance he states, ‘I don’t care.’ Haq tells the 911 operators he is ‘acting alone,’ that he has not been drinking today.

He suddenly states, ‘I’ll give myself up.’ In response to questions he states he is ‘wearing a green shirt, blue pants, I’m in jeans.’ He sates, ‘I’ll put my gun down.’ He sates, ‘She says my gun is down.’ The 911 operators ask whom and Haq states ‘the woman I just shot.’

Naveed’s Apartment

posted by on July 30 at 2:49 PM

“I came home after target practice one day and I had my pistol,” said Chris Richey, a friend and neighbor who lives in the Everett apartment building that Haq occupied until two weeks ago, when he suddenly disappeared, eventually driving to Eastern Washington to buy some guns of his own. “Naveed’s eyes got as big as dinner plates. He started asking me questions about my gun and it kinda made me nervous so I went into my apartment and locked it up.”

We rolled up to Everett yesterday to visit Haq’s Everett apartment in a tidy, spare boarding house of 11 apartments on Nassau Street, in a pleasant residential area a few blocks away from Puget Sound. Haq lived on the second floor. The SPD statement of probable cause lists two residences—an apartment in Kennewick and his parents’ house in Pasco—but not the Everett apartment he lived in until two weeks ago. Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said search warrants had been issued to the Pasco and Kennewick residences (the latter is section 8, government-subsidized housing), but not the Everett apartment where he spent most of the summer, presumably unraveling. He left the building abruptly two weeks ago—around the same time Israel invaded Lebanon. Richey heard Haq had left the country, on a family emergency, and assumed he went to Pakistan, his family’s country of origin.

It’s unclear how Haq afforded two apartments. The statement of probable cause says Haq is unemployed (and, incidentally, had $12 in his pocket at the time of the shooting), but gives a business number, which goes straight to voicemail: “Naveed Haq is not available.” Haq told Richey and his Everett neighbors that he worked the night shift at a nearby Albertson’s, but we couldn’t find anyone at Alberston’s who had heard of him. Apart from the unnerving pistol discussion, Richey said Haq was “very pleasant,” a guy who was “tired of violence being everywhere. I liked talking to him. I probably talked to him more than anybody else. We talked about the Mariners, we watched baseball. He never seemed mentally ill or edgy or nothing. I was disappointed when he moved out [two weeks ago]. I enjoyed his company.”

Haq moved to Nassau Street roughly eight weeks ago, staying with a from his WSU days, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering in 2004, then rented an empty apartment in the same building. A couple of weeks later, he disappeared. Two weeks after that, on July 27, he picked up the pistols he had legally bought—with the five-day waiting period—in the Tri-Cities area. The next day, on July 28, he was in Seattle and shooting.

“It’s just a real screwed-up situation,” Richey said. “Things don’t add up.”

For a quick hit on Haq’s state of mind, check this story in the Seattle Times. In the meantime, we’re doing more interviews today and tonight to try and fill in some of the gaps: Where did he get his money? Why did he move into a new apartment in Everett but leave his things in Kennewick? Why did he move out just a few weeks after he moved in?

Arts in America

posted by on July 30 at 2:14 PM

To begin with:

Welcome to the Dollhouse
(FILM) Todd Solondz’s hilariously caustic portrayal of the humiliations of junior-high-school life won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The film’s geeky heroine, Dawn “Wiener Dog” Wiener, attempts to navigate her way through puberty while enduring one indignity after another from her peers, family, and teachers. As always at Central Cinema, you can enjoy snacks and beer while watching. (Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, 686-6684. 7:15 and 9:30 pm, $5, late show 21+. Runs July 26—30.) GILLIAN ANDERSON

To end with:
The world is sleeping. Heads aint ready. This be the future of Israel. To quote a sample used by the German hiphop crew Freundeskreis, “The way I give back is through the knowledge of my raps.”

Savage in the Sunday NYT

posted by on July 30 at 12:15 PM

In case you haven’t seen it: Our very own Dan Savage has a great piece about the Washington State Supreme Court’s brain-dead gay marriage decision in the op-ed pages of today’s New York Times. Read it.