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Archives for 08/06/2006 - 08/12/2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

President Bush Reads The Stranger

posted by on August 12 at 5:25 PM

And he can’t even get that right.

Downtown Bomb Threat

posted by on August 12 at 4:09 PM

I was bopping around downtown around 2 pm when I ran into a police blockade set up at First Avenue and Columbia Street. I asked an officer directing traffic what the deal was, and he said they were dealing with a “situation.”

What sort of situation?
“A moderate situation that might develop into serious. Move along, please.”

There were police vehicles and a police presence for roughly four square blocks, encompassing First and Second Avenue, and Marion St. and Columbia St. A black SWAT vehicle also appeared to be parked on the curb. Police tape was everywhere.

The next officer I approached refused to chat with me, but a camera man setting next to him told me that a “suspicious package” had been found in the area. He didn’t know where the package had been found, of if someone had tipped off the police. He hypothesized that a bomb threat had been called in.

I followed the detour and began snapping photos. Another officer stopped me and asked me what I was doing. In turn, I asked him if he could give me any more details on the situation.

“Are you with the press?” he asked.
“I work for The Stranger,” I replied.
“Do you have any credentials?” he asked skeptically.
“Nope. I have a passport and some chap stick, though.”
“I need you to erase that picture and move along.”
“Can you tell me if this suspicious package was found, or if someone called in a bomb threat?”
“Erase the photo and move along.”
He seemed angry (and his lips appeared quite thin and chapped), so I didn’t argue with him (or offer him chap stick).
I obediently “erased” my photo, walked up to First and Marion, and snapped a few more, where a friendlier officer’s moist, full lips confirmed that it was a bomb threat, and told me to scoot. So I did.

Here are the photos:

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Arts in America: Weekend Edition

posted by on August 12 at 12:50 PM

Yeah, that Laguna Beach marathon on MTV is reeeeally tempting, I know, but turn it off because there are 8,000 cooler things to do in the city today. Like, Endfest, the South Lake Union Block Party, the Subdued Stringband Jamboree, Vera’s Beat Back Bush screening at the Ethnic Cultural Center, Head Like a Kite headlining at the High Dive, Brian Aneurysm spinning at Krakt at Re-bar, or, as Jen Graves reported in this week’s Stranger Suggests, you could go see Bull at the Howard House.

‘Bull’
(ART) Bull is a video in which Austrian artist Hubert Dobler proves that you can’t keep a good motorcycle down. A good motorcycle charges and snorts and revs and roars. His engine is always running, even when he’s tethered to the ceiling of a dusty warehouse and all he can do is thrash about and kick up furious smoke. He demands to be watched. This is not to say that the other art at Howard House—a sculpture show including works by Diem Chau, Jenny Heishman, Sean Johnson, and Jason Wood—should be ignored. Just when you go, don’t miss the Bull in the back room. (Howard House, 604 Second Ave, 256-6399. 10:30 am—5 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES

What more do you want!?

Oh, you should also know that Kayne West is gettin’ hitched, and Disney still plans to distribute Mel Gibson’s upcoming film Apocalypto despite the fact he’s an utterly embarrassing and drunken jackass.


Friday, August 11, 2006

There’s $26 Million More Where That Came From

posted by on August 11 at 5:31 PM

Mike McGavick announced today that he’s loaning $2 million of his own money to his campaign against Cantwell.

And so…the controversial $28 million that SAFECO gave him on his way out the door (the Democrats have filed a complaint with the FEC about the money saying it’s an illegal campaign contribution & the granddaughter of a SAFECO founder sued the company over the payout claiming it violates corporate rules) becomes relevant.

*Note to the PI: Your web site is no good. I wanted to link Neil Modie’s article on the Democrats’ FEC complaint because I know Neil had that story first, but neither your own web site nor Google found a link to that article. I entered everything: “FEC”, “Democrats”, “McGavick”, “$28 million”, “Modie”.

The Triumph of Orwell

posted by on August 11 at 5:15 PM

War is peace, slavery is freedom, Gwyneth Paltrow is African.

It’s for a good cause, but still…

“Property Rights” Initiatives Gut Land-Use Law

posted by on August 11 at 3:12 PM

If there was any doubt that “property rights” initiatives such as Portland’s Measure 37 and Washington’s proposed Initiative 933 lead to development run amok, the Sightline Institute has laid them firmly to rest, with these maps showing development in the rural area surrounding Portland before and after Measure 37 (which allows property owners to do pretty much anything they want on their land, regardless of environmental and land-use laws, or forces taxpayers to pay them to follow those laws). The first map shows development around Portland before Measure 37 passed; each dot represents ten new rural residents. Obviously, most of the new development was concentrated around Vancouver; development near Portland was limited by Oregon’s strict growth-management law.

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The second map shows development around Portland after Measure 37 passed. As you can see, rural and exurban housing development shifted dramatically; now most new development is massed in the rural areas in Oregond outside Portland—a direct result of the initiative, which gutted state and local land-use laws. Washington’s Initiative 933, on the ballot this November, is even worse: not only does it require taxpayers to pay land owners to follow nearly every state and local environmental and land-use law, it makes no allowance to enforce federal laws like the Clean Air Act; includes no exemptions for public nuisances; and actually allows property owners to jeopardize their neighbors’ health and safety, as long as the threat is not “immediate.”

Guenter GraSS

posted by on August 11 at 2:59 PM

German novelist Guenter Grass has just admitted to having served in Hitler’s army—in the SS, no less.

Nobel prize-winning German author Guenter Grass has admitted for the first time that he served in the Waffen-SS, Adolf Hitler’s elite Nazi troops. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Grass, 78, said he volunteered for submarine service toward the end of World War Two. He was called up instead to serve in the Waffen-SS in the eastern city of Dresden.

The author, best known for his first novel “The Tin Drum” and an active supporter of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), said his wartime secret had been weighing on his mind and was one of the reasons he wrote a book of recollections which details his war service. The book is out in September.

“My silence through all these years is one of the reasons why I wrote this book,” the paper quoted Grass as saying in a preview of its Saturday edition. “It had to come out finally.”

Where Did All The Helmets Go?

posted by on August 11 at 2:47 PM

Helmet.jpg

I resisted for years. Decades. I fucking hate bike helmets—they’re hot, they’re uncomfortable (that freaking strap under your chin!), and you can’t help but look tarded wearing one. But my boyfriend and boss implored me to wear one—they both worried that I might fall and hit my head and suddenly realize that my whole life was a lie—and I gave in. Four years ago, I got my first bike helmet. It was blue and I hated it, but I wore the fucking thing. And when someone stole my dirty bike helmet a few months ago (?), I bought a new helmet.

But it seems like I’m the only person in Seattle wearing a bike helmet these days. I rode from Capitol Hill to the U-District and back this morning, passing dozens of folks on bikes, but I was the only tard out there wearing a helmet. What gives? Did I miss a memo or something? Are head injuries not a concern anymore? Are the streets paved with Marshmallow Fluff now?

You know, back before I started wearing a helmet absolutely everyone else was wearing them. It was the lone holdout. And while I felt and looked ridiculous once I started wearing my fucking helmet, I took comfort in the fact that we all looked ridiculous together, all us tards on our bikes. Somehow that took the sting out. But now? I ride around with a fucking bucket strapped to my head, the only tard out there in a helmet, seething with resentment and jealousy.

Hezbollah Video Dating Service

posted by on August 11 at 1:48 PM

…because everybody needs love, right?

The Sandwich Man

posted by on August 11 at 1:33 PM

Only one person, one subject, one man—a man who has the dubious honor of having a sandwich named after him—this person, this four-eyed thorn, he and he alone must click on this.

Gays: Costing tourists money

posted by on August 11 at 1:09 PM

Remember those hot, vaguely illegal Comeback posters Dan slogged about in June? Well they’re still pasted to “Back in Parking Only” signs around the city, even though the party was two months ago.
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And now we have hard proof that they’re making slightly oblivious tourists hopping mad. A $38 ticket was handed down right outside the Stranger offices to an innocent kid from Clackamas, OR who parked front-in after mistaking the sign for just another piece of public porn.

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Thanks, gays.

Pamberi Ne Enlightenment; Pasi Ne Romantacism

posted by on August 11 at 12:57 PM

Translated from Shona, “Pamberi Ne Enlightenment” means “Forward With Enlightenment” and “Pasi Ne Romantacism” means “Down With Romantacism.” Now my point: After reading a number of books on and by the powerful, 17th century philosopher Spinoza, I have decided that what you see in this famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich is the source of all our problems.
friedrich.wanderer-sea-fog.jpg Romanticism—which began in the late 18th century and has its roots in the claim that “man is born free but everywhere is…”, and also in Kant’s ambivalence with (and ultimate undermining of) the enlightenment project, with science, with the sober business of cold calculation—taken as a whole, romanticism is just bad. That entire stage, that spirit—its poets, painters, musicians—should be knocked out of the continuum of history and, in its space, around 1850 joined to around 1780. I’m very serious about this. We will never fully recover the force of the age that Spinoza inaugurated unless we abandon, flush out of our system, the nonsense of romanticism.

Postman on Language

posted by on August 11 at 12:52 PM

I don’t envy David Postman for having to police the language in the comment threads of his Seattle Times blog, Postman on Politics. But by cracking down on cuss-words and uncivil discourse, he’s creating an interesting experiment (in addition creating a lot of work for himself).

First, an example of all the extra work that policing comment threads creates: Yesterday, when a commenter called “skeptic” used the term “bullshitters” in a comment thread, Postman responded:

Watch the language please.

When someone, in the same comment thread, then used the phrase “you idiot,” Postman weighed in:

When we get to the “you idiot” level the comments have slipped beyond what I think readers have come to expect here. Please, all, think about what you’re writing and what it adds to the debate.

And then when the offending commenter protested that “you idiot” was more than justified given the context (and was really a “PG-version of what I should have said”), Postman clarified:

There’s nothing particularly offensive about the word “idiot.” Don’t think that’s on the banned list. I wish I had a good answer to your question, “what am I to do?” It seems this week in particular both sides are hyper-aggressive, as well as defensive, and in many threads the debate has turned like this. I’m open to any suggestions anyone has about how to keep comments civil.

Here’s the question that’s being testing by all this language policing over at Postman on Politics:

Is consistently high-minded and expletive-free discourse possible, or even desirable, on a political blog that’s open to anyone with an internet connection?

After all, political figures from George “Get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit” Bush to Dwight “Investigate those bastards” Pelz have had a hard time keeping coarse language out of their own political discourse. Should the average blog commenter be held to a higher standard? And what happens to political debate when you can’t even use the word bullshit — a staple of back room, bar room, and even lunch table discourse for most politically inclined people, from the president on down.

Over here at the Slog, we’re testing the reverse question: What happens when there are no off-limit words? Granted, we’re not politics-only over here, but here’s a sampling, from yesterday’s comment threads:

her mom is bat-shit fucking crazy
I call bullshit on the claim that airlines *always* lose luggage. I have lost luggage exactly once in all my travels, when I took the fucking train.
What a limp-dicked punk - the classic pussy would-be wife beater who feels inadequate around both women and other men.
The art community rejected him because that painting looks like a piece of shit. Seriously, that shit makes Bob Ross look like fucking Raphael.

And finally, from a post on the same topic as the one that sparked all the language angst over on Postman’s blog:

Reichert’s bullshit is insane, I don’t understand how you can get away with that

Coarse, yes. But to-the-point, no?

“Fat People Crying”

posted by on August 11 at 12:41 PM

For the past two nights, the Key Arena has been filled with the two-headed hydra of country-flavored schlock known as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul tour. Along with the married talents of the headliners, the tour brought to Seattle Center a sudden density of schlocky new country lovers, inspiring a number of remarkable eyewitness sightings.

The first comes from my better half Jake, whose summer job at the Children’s Theater puts him in the thick of Seattle Center happenings, and who snapped this photo of an image found on the back of all of Faith Hill’s tour buses:

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Clearly it’s supposed to be Ms. Hill—the shoulder-width hair is indisputable proof. Still, if I didn’t know the image was placed on the back of a Faith Hill tour bus, I probably would’ve assumed it was one of those new Jack in the Box silhouettes, with a melted head.

The second sighting came from local comedian Emmett Montgomery, who reported watching a pair of McGraw and Hill fans waddling around with their wiener dog, which was dressed in an American flag sweater, a cowboy hat, and chaps (and goddamn I wish I had a photo of that.)

The final report comes, once more, from Jake, who caught a ride home from Seattle Center with a cabbie whose previous passengers had primarily been Key Arena concertgoers taking post-show cab rides home or to their parked cars. Asked by Jake to characterize the post-show concertgoers, the cabbie was impressively succinct: “Oh, you know—fat people crying.

Bless you, cabbie.

A bright spot in a gray afternoon

posted by on August 11 at 11:48 AM

Here are two important lessons I have learned: I am always late to a good party,

And: When something you love has withered and died, make porn out of it.

Example: Buffy Porn, which I’d heard rumors of, but had never read. (As in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and if you’re groaning right now, you obviously haven’t watched season three and beyond, which is when it gets really good. Either that, or you are sadly a hooker with poor taste.)

Witness: The livejournal Femslash Porn Battle, a competition I found yesterday, but which ended over a month ago. The setup was simple; prompts were given in the form of a fandom, pairing, and inspiration word (BtVS, Willow/Buffy, pillow fight), and writers had four days to create pieces of short erotic fiction.

All of your old, retired favorites (as well as some current ones) are resurrected and primed for gropage: There is Buffy porn, Firefly porn, Battlestar Galactica porn, Harry Potter porn, even The Facts of Life porn. Most of it is terrible. Some of it is great. Either way, it is like stumbling upon a surprise party filled with old friends, and then watching them hump.

I loved the Buffy scenes for their sweet nostalgia, but my favorite was a bit of Harry Potter porn. In this scene, Professor McGonagall goes down on Hermione after offering her tea (how polite the English are!):

(Posted by Hermionesviolin)

[Hermione] could feel warmth welling up from the pit of her stomach and managed a small smile.

“That’s better,” McGonagall said. “Now let’s get you out of those damp clothes.”
Hermione looked up in surprise.

“You heard me.” McGonagall got up from her place at the table and lifted Hermione’s heavy cloak from her shoulders. Hermione stood, unsteadily, to allow her to take it off. She was still standing there when McGonagall came back from the coat closet. McGonagall gently unfastened her robes, letting them fall onto the chair behind her. She took Hermione by the hand and led her to the side of the room where the fire burned brightly. Hermione sat down on the thick red rug obediently. McGonagall slowly unfastened the buttons of Hermione’s blouse. Hermione closed her eyes and let McGonagall ease her backwards after she had taken off her bra…

In the end, Professor McGonagall gives Hermione quite the tongue lashing.
So Peruse. Laugh. Remember the good times (seasons 4-7).

The War is Still Over

posted by on August 11 at 11:42 AM

Exactly a month after Sen. Maria Cantwell absorbed anti-war candidate Mark Wilson into her campaign—the wisdom of that ploy, initially seen by some as a sloppy gaffe, has been made plain. In fact, in my endless “The War is Over” posts and posts before the Wilson hire, I kept arguing that the war issue was overblown and was actually diminishing in the Cantwell race. And so, I saw the Wilson hire as the final chapter, rather than the initial attempt, to get control of war dissent.

Last night may have been the epilogue. Seattle’s 36th District Democrats—a famously dissident voice as of late—changed course and came out as full-fledged pragmatists. The testy anti-war 36th (Ballard, Denny Regrade, Magnolia, Queen Anne) had endorsed Al Runte for mayor last year, stuck by the monorail—God Bless them—and most of all, had been one of Sen. Maria Cantwell’s harshest critics.

However, last night, after the board failed to make any endorsement recommendation, the membership itself voted to endorse Cantwell. Since there wasn’t a recommendation from the board, Cantwell needed a 2/3 vote, or 67%, to get the endorsement. (If the board had given her the nod, she would have only needed 50-plus-1.) Cantwell got 72%.

*On a related note of common sense, the membership also held its nose at Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander’s DOMA vote, and gave him the nod—he only needed the simple majority—over right-wing property rights guy John Groen.

Arts in America: A Team Effort

posted by on August 11 at 11:16 AM

Today’s installment of Arts in America is brought to you by Megan Seling and Jen Graves.

Mike Douglas is dead at 81.

Dictionaries are cool, but this Visual Dictionary is even cooler.

Hillary Clinton has boobs, and you can see them.

Seeing theater can be fun, but seeing it with the Ideal Audience Member is even more fun.

Speaking of theater, New York’s Fringe Festival is no longer fringe.

And finally, Hannah Levin suggests that Grand Champeen should not be missed.

Grand Champeen
(MUSIC) Live-rock truism #32: You can judge the impact of a performance by watching the exiting audience. Grand Champeen (arguable heirs to the legacies of Superchunk and the Replacements) played the Tractor a couple of years ago, and I was dumb enough to show up just as they were finishing. It was apparent by all the incredulous head shaking and wide-eyed raving that I had seriously missed out. Don’t make the same mistake. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave, 784-4880. 9 pm, $8 adv/$10 DOS, 21+.) HANNAH LEVIN

Steps to Announcing That a Terror Plot Has Been Foiled

posted by on August 11 at 10:55 AM

First: Tell the Vice President so he can criticize Democrats as weak on terrorism before they even know that a plot has been foiled.

Second: Tell the Republican National Committee so it can be ready to send out a fund-raising appeal on the day that the foiling of the plot is announced.

Last: Tell the public.

Subterranean Monuments, Bikini Carwashes

posted by on August 11 at 10:44 AM

At least if Ken Johnson is transferring his visceral descriptions and levelheaded complaints over to the Boston Globe, we still have Cotter and Roberta Smith covering New York art for the Gray Lady.

A couple of thoughtful moments from Cotter today on shows I wish I could go to this weekend—Subterranean Monuments: Burkhardt, Johnson, Hujar at Vassar:

Hujar, who died of AIDS in 1987, his work unknown except to small following, brought to all of this a tender gravity and intimacy, a freshly conceived politics of beauty. In his underworld, art wasn’t what you made, it was what you were. And what he and many of his sitters, friends and lovers were was a population apart from the great, big American world, including the American art world. Whether or not apartness is a choice — for Hujar, Johnson and Burckhardt it probably wasn’t — it can be an achievement, even a victory. That is one of the gifts art gives. It is not small.

And The Social History of Objects at Triple Candie):

At present, in some quarters of the art world, there’s a push to circle back to a pre-Conceptualist state, in which paintings and sculptures are art, and everything else is not. In this view the Duchampian ready-made is anathema. So it makes sense that an against-the-grain space like Triple Candie is offering a group show entirely of ready-mades. It is also a show without a curatorial “eye,” and made up of both artists and nonartists. A news release lists among the participants “the reverend of the oldest church in Harlem, the deputy director of a major New York museum, a scholar who is also the daughter of two prominent civil rights activists, and a Harlem-based architectural historian and city planner.”

Now for something you can actually see. Last night’s opening at Lawrimore Project was an eye-opener even for those who attended SuttonBeresCuller’s installation there, because the main room of the gallery is no longer full of a Chinese restaurant. And what an amazing room it is: high ceilings, sandstone-like backerboard wall panels, skylights, old battered poles.

The crackling show, This Is Gallery, is Lawrimore’s preview of what’s to come: many of these artists will have solo shows here in the coming years. There’s sculpture, photography, installation, video—and three little sort-of paintings all the way in the back, by New Mexican artist Claudia X. Valdes. Arizona artist Liz Cohen’s bikini carwash video is uncomfortable in a way that makes Vanessa Beecroft’s nude women in heels look like feminist icons, and is perfectly paired with Cris Bruch’s pink string wall hives. New Yorker Alex Bag’s hysterical super-camp video links to Seattle photographer Anne Mathern’s repulsive young woman in a formal dining room, and both tie to Cindy Sherman’s Lucille Ball. Lead Pencil Studio and Bruch might be seen as cohorts for their meticulous structures, but LPS makes extroverted forms and Bruch’s are introverts. Sabrina Raaf (Chicago) stages large sci-fi portraits of women whose bodies are being altered and experimented with in some hideous future full of bright, sterile, private environments. Seattle artist Tivon Rice’s life-sized, low-mounted video-sound installation of a dog’s vicious teeth as he sleeps is a tense, alluring piece, as are Charles LaBelle’s throbbing reversed images of seedy California motels.

Here are some images to chew on.

Sabrina Raaf’s Fat Drain (only the left image is at Lawrimore)

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Tivon Rice’s Osteotomy (an operation in which bone is cut through)

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From Liz Cohen’s Bikini Carwash series

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Lawrimore Project is open today and Saturday, 11-6 pm.

Nearby, check out SOIL’s new shows, Exploded Views and Chauney Peck: How Does Grass Grow? I’ve only seen them through the window so far, but the buzz is good on both.

I-Martin Selig

posted by on August 11 at 10:16 AM

I-920 should be renamed I-Martin Selig.

920 is the initiative to repeal Washington state’s estate tax (which affects about 200 families—those people whose estates are above $4 million for couples.)

On August 8, Selig—the prominent Seattle developer —dropped another $175K into the campaign’s coffers. That brings his total contributions to $807,500. With the only other major donation being $50K from the Nordstrom family, Selig’s contributions now make up about 80% of the campaign’s $1 million total war chest.

Since it’s likely Selig will save tens of millions of dollars if the estate tax is repealed (the rate for the very rich is about 19%), I guess a million buck investment is well worth it to him.

They Sent It To Us

posted by on August 11 at 10:03 AM

The press release begins:

Dear ELA Supporter!

The ELA stands for “Emotional Literacy Advocates” who work towards “bridging the gap between feelings and words.” I am most certainly not a supporter of the organization. Nor its mission. The windy gap between feelings and words is one of the last wild places left—colonizing it with civilized language is like taking a chain saw to the last stand of rain forest in Brazil. Fuck you, ELA.

I have just completed producing the next arts-based learning tool—”The Full Spectrum Birthday Song (or Why Just Happy)“—in support of ELA’ s mission to create learning forums for insight into emotion through language and the arts!

Here’s a clip of the song. It’s creepier than you’d expect. But that’s okay, right? Creepy is part of the full emotional spectrum!

The rest of the simpering pablum follows the jump:

Continue reading "They Sent It To Us" »

Hey Ladies!

posted by on August 11 at 9:40 AM

Afraid of losing your man? Well fear not! Just make your underage daughter fuck him while you’re indisposed!

I wonder what Nirpal Dhaliwal thinks of this…

The Mayor Can’t Get No Respect

posted by on August 11 at 8:34 AM

Heaven knows the Stranger has had its share of wild typos, but The Seattle Times has a nice whopper of its own in today’s edition—spelling the mayor’s name wrong in a headline:

Nichols turns down audit challenge by Rick’s strip club

The story itself is pretty interesting. Erica C. Barnett first reported on it in yesterday’s Slog.

The Morning News

posted by on August 11 at 6:20 AM

Flying: More miserable than ever—thanks, terrorfucks!

Liquid explosives: Uh… they’re kinda hard to detect. How long until we have to board naked?

Terror Intel: So who did the government have to torture to find out about the plot to blow up all those airplanes? Um, nobody.

American Muslims: They’re annoyed with Bush for his use of the phrase “Islamo fascists” to describe would-be plane bombers.

Israel: “To hell with Condi,” says Israel, “send rockets.”

Iraq: The chaos continues.

How Low Can He Go: Bush’s approval rating drops to 33%.

Something Else to Worry About: Killer Turtles.

Seattle Lesbians: They feel comfortable at ball games.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

McDonald’s Gives Boys Hummers

posted by on August 10 at 5:45 PM

Because they know what makes little boys happy.

Girls get a Polly Pocket, whatever that means.

The Other Library

posted by on August 10 at 4:36 PM

Two fresh images of the nearly completed extension to the Douglass-Truth Library.

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Sad Hour

posted by on August 10 at 4:30 PM

When I lived in San Francisco, I used to go to a bar in the Tenderloin that offered Sad Hour. Paper coasters bore the details: “Sad Hour, 5—7 p.m. Come in and cheer down.” It was a colossally divey place, genuinely so, a place you would not want your mother to know you were. The portly bartender, Carl, when not screaming Tourette’s-style at regulars staggering in high out of their minds or passing out in their seats, was available for a slow dance or two. Sad Hour had no drink specials, no snacks, just bittersweetness served up with a view of life’s rich pageantry—tranny hookers, miscellaneous nefarious deeds—transpiring in the gloaming outside.

These happy hours are nothing like Sad Hour.

Take the Metropolis with You

posted by on August 10 at 3:47 PM

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closer.jpg

This is the first art car I’ve ever been atrracted to (rather than repelled by).

Heidi Klum: Nearly Nude!

posted by on August 10 at 3:39 PM

FOR THE RECORD: Women are not pieces of meat, merely to be gazed upon and objectified. They are living, breathing HUMANS with real emotions and beautiful souls.

Bearing that in mind, here are some super hot pix of Project Runway’s HEIDI KLUM almost nude!

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From the newest Esquire magazine.

Hawthorne Heights Sues Victory Records

posted by on August 10 at 3:35 PM

Ha HA!! It’s true!

Due to recent events we have decided to leave Victory Records. Our departure is anything but amicable. We have decided to leave Victory, in part due to the actions of the man who sits at the head of the label, Tony Brummel. Tony Brummel is a man that cares more about his ego and bank account than the bands themselves.

Read all about it in Lineout.

What Would Her Father Think?

posted by on August 10 at 3:20 PM

francebean-1.jpg

Well, we’ll never know, but this is what a Frances Bean photo shoot looks like.

Dept. of Redundant Repitition

posted by on August 10 at 3:08 PM

We’ve always talked about doing a column called “They Sent It to Us,” where we publish actual press releases sent to us by actual PR firms. This press release, which just landed in my inbox from a firm in Los Angeles, would be a good candidate.

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 2006) Before I Go, the debut novel of actress and writer Riley Weston, will be published in September 2006 by newly-formed Los Angeles-based Campfire Press. The fictional novel, which is aimed towards women of all ages, is the first book by Weston, who is best known as a writer on the hit television series, Felicity. With the flurry of publicity that surrounded her for lying about her age, Riley chose not to leave Tinseltown. Instead, like a great Hollywood comeback story, Riley stayed busy acting, singing and writing movies for television and the big screen. She recently sold a family comedy screenplay to Revolution Studios and now her debut novel is set to be published.

Sigh.

I’ll put the whole press release after the jump, in case you’re interested in reading more about Riley Weston’s fictional novel.

Continue reading "Dept. of Redundant Repitition" »

It’s Hammertime… 2006!

posted by on August 10 at 2:55 PM

hammer.jpegGuess what?? M.C. Hammer has a new song! And it’s called “Hammertime”? (Ummm… Didn’t he already record a song with that name? Guess not.) Anyway, produced by Scott Storch, the new “Hammertime” is at once hokey, derivative… and TOTALLY AWESOME.

CLICK—CLACK—TRICK… IT’S HAMMERTIME!
LIsten to it HERE!

These People Vote

posted by on August 10 at 2:44 PM

Thirty-nine percent of Americans believe Muslims in America should have to carry a special ID, according to a new Gallup poll.

Thirty-four percent believe that Muslims in America are generally sympathetic to al-Qaeda; 22% say they would not want a Muslim as a neighbor.

R.I.P. INB

posted by on August 10 at 2:42 PM

No matter what you think of the INB (they were fucking fantastic), this eulogy, by comrade Christopher Frizzelle, is an excellent read. And it contains an enviable achievement—the perfect paragraph. I won’t tell you which one. You’ll have to guess.

Cantwell Contestant for Colonizing the Cosmos

posted by on August 10 at 2:01 PM

One or two of you might remember Michael Nelson. He’s run for public office six times in Washington, as a libertarian for governor and then as a Democrat for U.S. representative. Last fall he bagged 9.17% of the vote for King County Executive. This year, he’s challenging Maria Cantwell in the Democratic primary. This is noteworthy not because of Nelson’s electoral endurance, but because this year, he has legally changed his name to Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson. And he has two blogs.

On his blogger profile, MGN lists his interests in this order:

*Orbital space colonization
*Economics
*Raising the living standard
*Raising the quality of life
*Wisdom and knowledge

His favorite movie is Weird Science.

From the blog:

Like Martin Luther King, I also have a dream. My dream is for our human civilization to advance into our solar system by beginning with the building of small and orbiting and expandable and turning space stations.

A lot of MGN’s campaign platform is built on this crucial idea that colonizing space is necessary for solving Earth’s problems — mainly the war, disease and genocide resulting from overpopulation.

I gave MGN a call and asked why he had such a dogged determination to run for various public offices. “It’s the responsibility of everybody to stand up when they see solutions to problems,” he said, “I’m trying to promote the concept of Spaceship Earth… We will realize that Spaceship Earth is too small for war to continue.”

Josh and Erica interview MGN last year in a bar (he ordered milk) and were scared by his libertarian anti-minimum wage ideals. When I talked to him today, he specifically mentioned his support for minimum wage and government jobs for all the current unemployed. Josh and Erica might find him more mainstream this year for another reason: on his blog he’s pro-density in a weird, enthusiastic sort of way.


Let’s increase housing by building up into the sky. Let’s decrease traffic and gas use by building up into the sky. Let’s encourage the building of the movie-making industry here to glorify King County.

I think printing his full name on the ballot will bring Goodspaceman at LEAST 15% of the vote.

Nickels Will Not Retract Unfounded Allegations

posted by on August 10 at 1:35 PM

Last month, Mayor Greg Nickels made a splash in the press with apparently unfounded allegations linking Rick’s strip club to organized crime. The allegations came as Nickels was pushing for his proposal to create a strip-club zone south of downtown on a local cable call-in show. Nickels said he believed Rick’s, which was implicated in the “Strippergate” campaign-contribution scandal, was engaged in “an organized attempt to buy influence on the council.” Some people would call that “lobbying”, but Nickels said it’s how he “defines organized crime.”

Two weeks ago, Rick’s attorney Gil Levy struck back, urging Nickels to “reconsider and retract your recent public statements in which you claim that ‘organized crime’ is involved in my client’s business.”

Given the scope of the [Strippergate] investigation, and given the diligence of the Deputy Prosecutors who conducted the investigatoin, one can reasonably assume that any and all criminal conduct in which my client and its principals might have been engaged would have been discovered and appropriate charges filed. …

You claim that my client is linked to organized crime because of amounts spent on the [lap-dance ban repeal] referendum campaign, (approximately $500,000 including amounts contributed by others). The reason that you and the public are aware of this amount is because the Campaign organization has scrupulously complied with campaign finance disclosure laws. More importantly, according t public records you spent over a million dollars in the 2005 election when you did not face a serious challenger. No one would have the temerity to suggest you are associated with organized crime based upon the amount you spent on your reelection campaign. For the same reason there is no basis for you to make a similar charge against my client.

Levy went on to offer Nickels “a complete and thorough inspection of my financial records by any independent auditing agency that you suggest, and will pay for the cost of the audit.” I have a call in to Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis to find out why the mayor didn’t respond to Levy’s offer.

Read the whole letter here.

Text Message from Sean Nelson

posted by on August 10 at 12:48 PM

And I quote:

Note to air travelers. The security line begins in the parking garage and takes a minimum of two and a half hours to get through. If you’re flying first class or have no carry-on luggage, it takes about ten minutes. I think this is a commentary on race and class in America, but I’m too cranky to parse it. Safe travels.

Real Men Don’t Make Lasagna

posted by on August 10 at 12:32 PM

Well, this is depressing.

Some guy named Nirpal Dhaliwal argues at great length in today’s Daily Mail that women should embrace our sexual and reproductive servitude and stop “browbeating” men into listening to our hormonal prattling.

I couldn’t make this shit up:

Back in the Nineties, emboldened by the successes of feminism, women sought to slay the dragon of patriarchy by turning men into ridiculous cissies who would cry with them through chick-flicks and then cook up a decent lasagne.

Men cooking for women? Horrors!

Rather than partnership, professional women tend to seek dominance in a relationship. They map their lives out early on and pursue their dream of ‘having it all’ with cold-blooded ruthlessness.

Young women have a crystal-clear agenda: they want the career, the wardrobe, the smartly furnished house, the 4x4 and the cute kids they’ll ferry in it to expensive schools. No man is going to get in their way; and the men they choose for themselves are pliant and feeble enough to facilitate that programme.

But having ticked off the various items on their life checklist, women are left with a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Where was the drama? Where was the passion? Where was the stimulation and growth?

Where was the sexual abuse? The cheating? The financial dependence?

It was all forsaken for an anodyne, materialistic shopping spree that is a Good Thing. ultimately a poor substitute for a real life. These women consider themselves to be alpha-females, but they are nothing but a pathetic sham.

Deep down, women love men who stand up to them, who won’t be pushed around. They love men who will look them in the eye and tell them to shut up when their hormonal bickering has become too much.

Yeah, I hate it when my hormones make me complain about having to do all the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing with no assistance or emotional support. What I need is a real man who’ll stand up to me and shut me up!

I’m always telling my wife, the writer Liz Jones, to shut up. She gets into a prissy huff about it, but I know she respects me for not indulging her neuroticism. Long ago, I realised it is unhealthy for a man to embroil himself in arguments with women.

While men want an argument to make sense and have a rational conclusion, women solely want the argument itself: it’s a pressure valve for their emotions, and once they get started there is no stopping them.

Except by smacking them down and making them feel stupid and worthless for talking about their emotions, of course.

Real men don’t pretend or even try to understand women. They simply love them for being the mysterious, capricious creatures that they are. And they don’t take them too seriously, either. They know the vicissitudes of the female mind, its constant insecurities and the fluctuations in mood.

Unlike the steady, unfluctuating male mind, of course, which never produces a single thought that doesn’t “make sense and have a rational conclusion.”

Sometimes my wife bemoans my detachment and laissez-faire attitude to our marriage and wishes I were more wrapped up in her. I tell her she would soon get bored of it, because men who put women on a pedestal can’t make love to them in the way that women want.

A man who is too in awe of his woman isn’t going to tear her blouse open and ravish her on the couch; he isn’t going to pull her hair and whisper profanities in her ear. Whenever my marriage is at a crisis point, and my wife’s ego and mine are jostling for a position of supremacy, we inevitably have strenuous, battling sex.

And if women don’t want to give up that “position of supremacy,” if they aren’t willing to be submissive, sexually and otherwise, real men will just “walk out on” them. But fortunately, all women are naturally submissive, because

the female orgasm is the natural mechanism by which men assert dominion over women: a man who appreciates this can negotiate whatever difficulties arise in his relationships with them.

Good thing women haven’t figured out how to give themselves orgasms, because then how in the world would “men assert dominion over” them?

Here’s the kicker:

Last Christmas, my wife threw me out after discovering I’d been cheating on her. On the night we got back together, I made strong, passionate love to her. Unfaithful as I’d been, I was not going to let her have me over a barrel for the rest of our marriage. I needed to keep a sense of self and not allow her to mire me in guilt and a desperate quest of forgiveness.

I needed to let her know what she would be missing if we broke up for ever. I gave her a manful bravura performance that night, and at the height of her passion, I asked her: ‘Who’s the boss?’

The question threw her. Initially she wouldn’t give me a reply, but I enticed it from her. ‘You are,’ she finally gasped. ‘You are!’

Entice, threaten, frighten into submission… tomato, tomahto.

It’s worth reading the full article, if only to see the photo of Dhaliwal’s wife staring doe-eyed (and a little frightened?) into her “real man“‘s eyes.

Oliver Stone’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

posted by on August 10 at 12:12 PM

I deplore World Trade Center. It’s a hack job of the grossest order: trite (if you or your significant other were buried under 20 feet of rubble, would you drift off into pillow-soft-focus reveries about sawing wood with your son?), boring (two people immobilized under 20 feet of rubble does not make for an interesting hour of cinema), and infuriating (in the way the film recklessly links 9/11 and the Iraq war).

From my review:

The two cops are eventually rescued by a rogue marine named Dave Karnes. Karnes isn’t just any first responder—in fact, he’s retired from the service. But he’s been called by God to pull on his camo and descend on Ground Zero without credentials or safety equipment. (His revelation comes in a pew at Pentecost—religious viewers are expected to overlook the fact that Pentecost occurs in the spring.) This footman of the apocalypse, played with hokey gravitas by Michael Shannon, tends to say things like, “I don’t know if you guys know yet, but this country’s at war.” (Did God tell you that, buddy?) Better yet: “Looks like God made a curtain with the smoke, shielding us from what we’re not yet ready to see.” (Is that like when Oliver Stone fades to black five times in one movie?) But my single biggest complaint about World Trade Center is the way it uses the Karnes character to link 9/11 with the war in Iraq. After all the drama is over, Karnes swells with righteous anger. “Gonna need some good men out there. To avenge this,” he announces gruffly, his pronouns damning in their lack of specificity. Then, immediately before the credits roll, Karnes gets his own title card: “DAVE KARNES RE-ENLISTED IN THE MARINES AND SERVED TWO TOURS OF DUTY IN IRAQ.” The truth is sloppy, I’m sure, but this kind of causal carelessness is absolutely unforgivable, especially when so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had some hand in 9/11.

Implying that going to war in Iraq was a way to “avenge” 9/11 is, in my opinion, an overtly political move. This seems to have gone clean over most critics’ heads:

A.O. Scott, New York Times: “But Mr. Stone and Ms. Berloff, like Mr. Greengrass, keep their distance from post- — or, for that matter, pre- — 9/11 politics. The two men buried under the Trade Center don’t even know what brought it down, and everyone else is much too busy to begin learning the exotic vocabulary we would all eventually acquire. This movie has nothing to say about Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda or jihad. That comes later.”

David Ansen, Newsweek: “Piercingly moving and utterly unpolitical, “World Trade Center” holds us in a fierce grip.”

The subhead for David Edelstein’s more ambivalent review calls the movie “strenuously apolitical.”

It wasn’t just the New York critics who had the wool pulled over their eyes. Here’s Bill Arnold, in the Seattle P-I: “When it was announced last year that Oliver Stone was making a 9/11 movie called “World Trade Center,” the assumption was that it would be another of his dark revisionist views of modern history, perhaps something on the order of “JFK.” But surprise! Stone’s take on 9/11 could hardly be less political — or controversial.

What these reviews aren’t telling you is that (presumably left-wing) film critics and explicitly right-wing activists are being given completely different talking points about World Trade Center. According to a piece by David M. Halbfinger in the New York Times (behind a firewall here:

Oliver Stone, that symbol of everything about Hollywood that conservatives love to hate, is getting help in marketing his newest movie from an unlikely ally: the publicity firm that helped devise the Swift boat campaign attacking John Kerry’s Vietnam record in the 2004 presidential race […] Mr. Stone said that he knew nothing of the firm’s political work until he was contacted by a reporter on Wednesday. The director’s ”World Trade Center,” a largely factual drama about the rescue of two police officers from ground zero after the 9/11 attacks, is to be released on Aug. 9 by Paramount Pictures. But it is already drawing rave reviews in some unlikely quarters.

L. Brent Bozell III, president of the conservative Media Research Center and founder of the Parents Television Council — best known for its campaigns against indecency on television and for stiffer penalties on broadcasters — called it ”a masterpiece” and sent an e-mail message to 400,000 people saying, ”Go see this film.”

Cal Thomas, the syndicated columnist, wrote last Thursday that it was ”one of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-faith, pro-male, flag-waving, God Bless America films you will ever see.”

(Mr. Stone, for his part, has insisted in the past that the film is ”not a political movie,” while acknowledging in a recent interview that this ”mantra” had been handed to him by his employers.)

To top it all off, a writer on The National Review’s Web site, Clifford D. May, actually wrote the words ”God Bless Oliver Stone.”

This about a filmmaker whose conspiratorial tirades — not to mention his hyperviolent ”Natural Born Killers,” polarizing political films ”J. F. K.” and ”Nixon,” and the lesser-known television documentary on Fidel Castro — have driven conservatives batty for decades. Only last year, The Washington Times, in an editorial, called the hiring of the ”conspiracy-addled” Mr. Stone a ”maliciously inspired choice” to direct ”World Trade Center.”

Such glowing reviews for an Oliver Stone movie might have seemed blasphemous to many conservatives until recently, when Creative Response Concepts, on retainer for Paramount, began pitching ”World Trade Center” to pundits who would not normally be considered part of Mr. Stone’s core audience.

[…]

A Paramount spokesman said that the studio did not similarly pitch liberal groups in its multifront promotional campaign, reasoning that the entertainment press had covered that base.

Or rather, the entertainment press was being told the movie was “apolitical,” and that was enough for them.

Want to read some less blase assessments of the movie? Try Kenneth Turan, in the LA Times. Or this account, in Slate, of the facts about the rescue that the movie missed. And here’s an amusing piece in our sister paper, the Portland Mercury, that ballsily claims WTC is “Worse than the Actual Event.”

Arts in America! Hooray for America!

posted by on August 10 at 11:55 AM

Yeah, so there was some terrorist plot that got “interrupted” or something. Big news. But in even bigger news:

Project Runway: “I made a tinker toy and they kicked me off.” A moment of silence for Bradley, please.

Cartoonist Bob Thaves: Dead at 81.

Jen Graves: Wants to know what’s going to happen to Hoss.

The Dixie Chicks: Getting no love from Kansas City, Houston, and Memphis.

MTV: Might not bring back Snoop’s controversial cartoon after all.

I Don’t Shut Up, I Grow Up: Opening this Saturday at 20Twenty.

Stranger Suggests: Ellen Forney!

Ellen Forney
(MULTIMEDIA READING) Seattle artist and Stranger contributor Ellen Forney has made her name illustrating the edgier elements of life—kicking smack, succeeding as a call girl, fucking a woman with your hands—in a style so sweet and warm it goes down like honey. Tonight, Forney celebrates the publication of her brand-new, career-spanning Fantagraphics collection, I Love Led Zeppelin—featuring choice collaborations with Margaret Cho, Dan Savage, and yours truly—with a multimedia reading/book-release party. (Bailey/Coy Books, 414 Broadway E, 323-8842. 7 pm, free.) DAVID SCHMADER

Terrorists Love Gatorade (and iPods)!

posted by on August 10 at 11:36 AM

This just in from CNN…
The terrorists who were planning on exploding ten planes over the Atlantic with liquid explosives were going to do so with an energy drink and an iPod… uhh, WHAT?!?

A senior congressional source said it’s believed the plotters planned to mix a “British version of Gatorade” with a gel-like substance to make an explosive that they would possibly trigger with an MP3 player or cell phone.

Okay, now I’m scared. These guys are like MacGyver!
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Netflix Mon Amour: Confederate States of America

posted by on August 10 at 11:20 AM

Yes, and you thought that I just queue glorious skip-through cheese. Joke’s on you, then—apparently, I also queue deeply flawed mockumentaries as well. Annie Wagner reviewed CSAback in March (all the way at the bottom of the link), when it was at the Guild 45th for a week or so, but it was just released on DVD this past Tuesday. (In case you missed its week in the sun: CSA is a fictional documentary about the South winning the Civil War.)
Although Annie’s review is right—the movie is paced poorly and not thought through in any real way—I still feel as though CSA is worth a toss in the queue, especially because the humor probably works best at home. It’s funny in the way that good standup about race relations is funny: you laugh, and then you squirm, and then you wonder exactly why you laughed in the first place. It’s certainly more effective than—if not as reliably funny as—Sarah Silverman. Plus, it’s always kind of academically exciting to see a mainstream American movie question Abraham Lincoln’s motives—it’s when they put Abraham Lincoln in blackface and make him sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” that you begin to wonder if the whole thing is a good idea. I’m glad I rented it, but I’m glad I only rented it, if you catch my drift.

They Don’t Know What Year it Is Now, Either

posted by on August 10 at 11:01 AM

Thirty percent of Americans don’t know in what year the September 11 attacks took place, according to a Washington Post poll.

Of that group, six percent gave an earlier year, eight percent gave a later year, and 16 percent admitted they had no idea whatsoever.

Five percent had no idea on what month and day the attacks occurred, either.

How much did John Kerry lose by again?

(Thanks, Eli, for the headline!)

Today’s Animal: the Invading Jellyfish

posted by on August 10 at 10:49 AM

They have an improbable, but beautiful, life cycle.

A group of jellyfish is called a smack.

You can eat them—slice and marinate the jelly bits, serve with sesame seeds and green onions—but you should know that they shit out of their mouths.

They are spineless. And brainless. And, thanks to global warming, they are infesting the Mediterranean. And clogging English canals. Some of the deadly ones are drifting around Rhode Island. And killing tourists in China. And starving sturgeon in the Caspian Sea: no more caviar.

Clearly, something must be done. Where is the president during the great jellyfish crisis? Battling crickets and cameras in Crawford.

Discard Page 18

posted by on August 10 at 10:40 AM

Please read Dr. Daudi Abe’s colorful history of Seattle hiphop, “Going Way Back,” online. Due to an Exacto-knife mishap, the final few lines of each column were sliced off in the print version. Today you will know me by the trail of my tears.

Baby Spears’ New Whip!

posted by on August 10 at 10:18 AM

Thanks to Hollywood Scoop, we now have photographic proof of two things: 1) Kevin Federline is actually capable of doing something akin to “work.” And 2) Baby Sean Preston Federline-Spears is well on his way to being the most spoiled child in America. Check it!

Little Sean has been given a replica Cadillac Escalade to keep him entertained. The Escalade comes complete with spinning rims, a radio that plays 3 songs, and most importantly seat belts.

britney redd.jpg

FUN FACT: That baby car is worth more than you make in a year!

Mel Gibson: From Hunk to Drunk!

posted by on August 10 at 10:11 AM

As I promised in the brand-new Last Days, here is the dazzling footage of celebrity anti-Semite Mel Gibson morphing “From hunk to drunk!”

(Thanks, US Weekly!)

Hiphop Documentary This Saturday

posted by on August 10 at 10:10 AM

After you enjoy the feature package on the state of hiphop in this week’s issue, you may also be interested in:

Letter to the President is a feature documentary, narrated by Snoop Dogg, about the rise of the Republican right wing in America and how its policies have affected black communities. It also examines the role of hiphop music as a voice for the disenfranchised and its role as social and political commentary. Featuring Immortal Technique, Quincy Jones, David Banner, Juvenile, Saigon, Eazy E, Tavis Smiley, Chuck D, Mystic, 50 Cent, KRS-One, and others.

Live performances to follow the film, featuring dRED.i, the Rebels, and others. Hosted by Piece on Saturday, August 12, at 2:30 p.m. Admission is FREE. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Avenue at Union Street.

Hitler for Sale

posted by on August 10 at 9:57 AM

Watercolors thought to be by a young Hitler are going on sale at a small British auction house, which is a mite nervous about dealing in the FĂĽhrer, but ready to rationalize.

Auctioneer Ian Morris tells the Guardian that while some auction houses won’t deal in Hitler or Nazi memorabilia, these paintings are OK to sell because they’re from before Hitler became, well, Hitler. These watercolors of fields and trees might tell us how he got to be such a bad man. And then, of course, comes the oft-repeated theory that it was “the art establishment” that brought us Hitler, since he felt so rejected when the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts would not have him that he had to lash out on the world.

“Perhaps if his art had been better received and he had developed a successful career as an artist rather than being rejected by the art establishment he would not have become the man he did, ultimately responsible for the death of millions of people,” Mr Morris said.

In other words, the painting below may have been involved in helping to bring the 20th century to its knees. Look upon it at your own risk.

Hitler372.jpg

Burner’s First TV Ad

posted by on August 10 at 9:50 AM

Eastside Democrat Darcy Burner released her first television ad this morning, and I’m told it will be running on local network TV soon. It’s an introductory ad that goes over her biography and ends with a call for change — something that voters are clearly in the mood for given yesterday’s primary results in Connecticut.

Will it play well in the 8th District? Here’s the commercial . What do you think?


UPDATE: And here’s a rather bizarre Dave Reichert commercial that I just noticed floating around on YouTube. Did the Reichert campaign put this out? Is it a spoof? Any of you tech geeks out there able to trace its origin?

New Jay Adams Book Due in October

posted by on August 10 at 9:34 AM

Jay-A.jpg

I am rather obsessed with punk-minded skateboard pioneer Jay Adams. The fascination initially took hold because of this unforgettable documentary (and honestly, this redundant, dramatized version wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared, thanks to Catherine Hardwicke’s low-key direction and the wise use of hand-held cameras and actors who could actually skateboard—no thanks to Stacy Peralta’s self-aggrandizing screenplay).

My interest in Adams, his fellow Z-Boys, and the culture that grew up around them was also reinforced by the stunning photographs from C.R. Stecyk III and Glen E. Friedman book, Dogtown: The Legend of Z-Boys. Friedman and Stecyk also released another collection, Fuck You Heroes, which includes some arresting images of Black Flag and Chuck D.

This October, Burning Flags Press will release Jay Boy, a collection of photographs taken by Adams’ stepfather throughout the ’70s. C.R. Stecyk III has once again written the introduction, and Adams himself wrote all the captions. Unfortunately, he wrote them from jail, where he landed again this year. It is unclear whether it was because of back taxes or a drug charge, but regardless, all proceeds from sales of the book will go towards the Jay Adams Family Fund to help care for his wife and family while he is locked up (supposedly his wife is pregnant). It is a limited edition pressing, so if you’re a fan, you may want to place your pre-order here.

Avoid Sea-Tac

posted by on August 10 at 9:27 AM

You may have heard something about a major terrorist plot being thwarted in Britain today. Liquid bombs? Scary shit.

It’s also causing airports around the globe to run into major delays. These photos, taken at Sea-Tac, were sent to me at 8:30 a.m. The lines stretch out of the main terminal and snake all the way to the parking garage.

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The Infernal Noise Brigade Lives On—On the Mississippi

posted by on August 10 at 8:46 AM

Its members, along with artists from around the country, are going on a little river-rafting trip:

Theoretically, the crew plans to stop in various river towns to give workshops on everything from silkscreening to power tools and put on a performance — a kind of punk-rock musical variety show — followed by a dance party. They have no money, less expertise and nothing by way of permits. Imagine if Don Quixote, Salvador DalĂ­ and Che Guevara collaborated on a floating medicine show.

The Morning News

posted by on August 10 at 8:00 AM

Terror Plot: Foiled?

Lieberman: Going it alone.

Israel: Pushing further into Lebanon.

China: Huge typhoon.

Muppets: Now for adults only.

You Say It’s Your Birthday

posted by on August 10 at 12:12 AM

monkcoffee.jpg
Today is the 36th birthday of my partner, Monk. I’m very happy to be loved by someone who sings along to bad `80’s pop songs with me, talks dirty to me in the voice of Yoda, and sometimes wears a Shriner fez or a Boy Scout uniform when he does BDSM. Happy Birthday, love.


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Dr. Drew and I are through

posted by on August 9 at 6:26 PM

The ire of my officemates was raised when a Flash advertisement suddenly began playing the comfortingly deadpan voice of Dr. Drew talking about Erectile Dysfunction.

For many years I have allotted Dr. Drew (of Loveline fame) immense respect for his ability to telepathically read past abuses over the phone and be the advice-laden father figure to so many mentally and sexually dysfunctional 13 year-olds. My fanatical, semi-humorous assertion that Dr. Drew is always correct is well known among my friends. A conversation between a friend and myself would commonly end as such:

Me: Did you hear that you can still get herpes even if you wear a condom while having sex with a kitten?
Friend: No, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, where did you hear that?
Me: Dr. Drew, so he must be right.
Friend: Well, that’s nothing like I’ve heard.
Me: Dr. Drew said so and he is God.

Now Dr. Drew has sold his soul to Viagra. Seriously, Dr. Drew, I put up with your plugs for the blatantly Christian organization Alcoholics Anonymous (and similar orgs such as Narc Anon) that you so lovingly call Al-Anon (fledgling terrorist organization?) but this is it Dr. Drew. Congratulations on taking money from pharmaceuticals like Pfizer who spend more money on advertising (to convince industrialized countries that they need more prescription drugs) than on research and development. Companies that bribe our doctors with free goodies and vacations. Or we can narrow it down to just Pfizer, who killed African children by testing drugs on non-consenting patients, almost like something out of the movies. What it really boils down to is Dr. Drew is taking money from a Fictional Person who cares more about making money and making American dicks hard than patient’s livelihoods or defeating global illnesses.

Dr. Drew, you are dead to me.


Brandon Eng
Intern Whore

Rebellion! Cars! Hamburgers!

posted by on August 9 at 5:07 PM

Ah, anarchy. I know you were co-opted long ago into Hot Topic Patches and Warped Tour bands. But recently I’ve noticed a local upswing in major corporations trying to market themselves as the paraphernalia of a hip, subversive youth counter-culture movement. For some reason, this is still surprising to me, if only because I can’t tell if the campaigns are run by irony geniuses or woefully 50-something execs informed by Youth Culture consultants.

Example 1: The Toyota Yaris “YarisWorks” campaign that descended on Seattle this summer. In an attempt to get kids to buy the new Yaris car, Toyota has been using marketing tools usually utilized by grassroots organizations — like canvassers on Broadway and a giant tent at Block Party offering free silk screening. They’ve also been handing out a pamphlet detailing different “D.I.Y. projects all made possible by the Toyota Yaris!” D.I.Y., for you old folks, is a culture based around the anarchy-offshoot idea of being a self-sufficient non consumer who creates things with one’s own two hands. Those side-stapled zines you see around? From the D.I.Y. community. Stenciled graffiti designs on sidewalks? D.I.Y. art. Gutterpunk kids who sew their own clothes and publish their own vegan cookbooks? D.I.Y. for sure. Toyota gives directions for how to make a “D.I.Y. knitted cover for your flip cell phone!” Here’s the buzzword-heavy explanation of the campaign on the YarisWorks website.

“Find out what happens when Yaris asks leaders of the indie arts and music communities to create rad, hand-on workshops, interactive nighttime parties and weekend celebrations of all things D.I.Y.!
In addition to the aforementioned free silk screening, these workshops and interactive parties include a “Scarf + Button Making Class,” a zine making event and a “Tofu Festival.”

I called up Hazel Pine, who helps run the D.I.Y. Academy at Seattle’s Zine Archive and Publishing Project, to ask how she felt about Toyota ‘s Block Party D.I.Y. stand. “We felt appropriated and pissed,” she said, “Toyota was at one end with their huge-ass booth and we were at the other end with the cheapest table we’d begged Block Party to let us have… I think in terms of business they’re being smart. People are going to be like, ‘What’s up with Toyota? But, hey! Free silk screening! I’m gonna do that!”

Example 2:Across Seattle, the fast food chain Jack in the Box has been closing down franchise stores and posting signs warning of the branch’s “Radical Makeover!” A week or so later, the restaurants emerge with spray-painted stenciled Jacks in various “rad” poses. Look, it’s Jack at a protest! Viva las hamburguesas!

J-box revolution!.JPG

The megaphone and raised fist are obviously meant to evoke the idea that Jack is leading… uh, someone… in an uppity revolution. And when will we see the first street team hired to stencil Jacks on curbs and Burger Kings? Is all this an attempt to separate themselves from the image I previously associated with the chain — the subliminal Jesus fish formed by the O and X in their logo?

jack_in_the_box.jpg

Swanium

posted by on August 9 at 4:49 PM

This museum is located in Tianjin, China.
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Recently completed, the museum was designed by Shin Takamatsu and is said to be China’s second largest building. Usually I reject buildings that are inspired by animal shapes—in the case of this museum it is a swan—but the fancy lights and massive elegance of the new museum have turned my critical weapons into harmless glitter, and I’m forced to surrender. I’m seduced. I’m naked. I’m all yours, you heavenly thing.

McGavick Pledges to Contribute $$ to Lieberman Campaign

posted by on August 9 at 4:23 PM

McGavick issued a press release today on the Lieberman news:

“The latest victim of partisanship is Sen. Joe Lieberman,” Mike McGavick said this morning. “As the Senator said in his concession speech last night, it’s time for our elected leaders to stop playing political games so that we can get things done for this country. Senator Lieberman’s message of independence and bi-partisanship is right for our country. We don’t have to agree on all issues, but this nation is desperate for leaders that will look beyond their party leaders to help our families and communities—even if it might put their own re-election in doubt. In support of Sen. Lieberman’s campaign for civility, I wish him the best, and Gaelynn and I plan on contributing to his campaign.”

Given that Lieberman’s voting record mirrors Cantwell’s voting record, McGavick should consider two things.

1) If McGavick thinks Lieberman is a symbol of the healthy, moderate bi-partisanship that he wishes would displace the polarized partisanship of DC, he should drop out and contribute to Cantwell’s campaign. Again, her record mirrors Lieberman’s.

Or:

2) If McGavick is so enamored of Lieberman’s record of defying partisanship, McGavick should stop running as a party line Republican, and follow Lieberaman’s example and run as an Independent himself.

As I wrote a few weeks ago: McGavick’s attempt to transform the current foul mood of voters (anger at the party in power, the GOP) into a general anger at partisanship…is a deliberate end-run around Cantwell, who isn’t hotly partisan.

From the end of my article:

Cantwell famously teamed up with the GOP to pass bipartisan campaign finance reform; in 2003, she reached across the aisle to pass the sales tax deduction; she didn’t join the Democrats’ gimmicky Alito filibuster; she voted for the PATRIOT Act. She’s under fire from liberals for being conservative.After the audience Q&A, I asked McGavick where Cantwell fit into his critique of D.C.’s pessimistic culture. “I barely talked about Cantwell [because partisan bickering] is a national issue,” he said. “It’s not about Senator Cantwell.”

McGavick is running against D.C., not against Cantwell. If McGavick can continue to do an end run around Cantwell with his broad critique of D.C.—he could win. And Cantwell is letting this happen. She needs to make McGavick run against her—and things like her VA funding vote— if she wants to short-circuit McGavick’s charming attempt to co-opt public anger to his advantage.

Hot Homophobe of the Day

posted by on August 9 at 4:10 PM

Not one but two Slog readers just wrote in to alert us to the amazing email sent out today by the owner of Outsidepride.com, which sounds like it could be some online community of ex-gays but is actually a gardening supply retailer. Nevertheless, after one traumatic night of watching CBS, Outsidepride’s owner Troy Hake saw fit to send the following email to his entire customer base:

This is not your typical newsletter from Outsidepride.com, Inc. In fact, this is the first one in six years which is not business related. I apologize for cluttering your inbox with an unsolicited email; however you are free to unsubscribe just by clicking the link at the bottom.

I want to share with you my television viewing experience the other night on prime time television. I ask those of you who agree with me to go to www.cbs.com and go to the bottom of the page, click the feedback link and express your opinion. I know the vast majority of you will agree with me as all polls indicate. We are the majority, not the minority as the liberal media would lead you to believe.

My wife and I sat down to watch television the other night with our children. Cold Case was on which is normally a fairly enjoyable show to watch; however, the last half hour of the show dealt with a young man who wished he had asked his male friend to come with him (long story short). The show ended with the two men hugging and obvious intimation they had discovered their gay feelings towards each other. The very next show was Without A Trace. The whole last half hour of this show was about two lesbians who were struggling with their feelings of lesbianism. It ended with full acceptance from one father and the two lesbians making out. Yes, they were kissing right at the end of the show on public prime time television. So much for wholesome family television.

Now, I am NOT trying to bash homosexuals and I am not a bigot; however, I feel homosexuality is morally wrong and should not be “promoted” as what is the norm for society. Text books are being rewritten as I am writing this to “highlight” every homosexual who has made a contribution to society. There are teachers who have been asked to make sure students know that, “This person in history was a homosexual.” History is being rewritten to promote homosexuality and prime time television is doing its best to make homosexuality a “normal” behavior. If homosexuality was the norm, civilization would have ceased to exist thousands of years ago. Procreation takes a man and a woman. There was Adam and then there was Eve, not Adam and Steve.

There are literally tens of thousand of you reading this email right now. If you are tired of the way public television is going let CBS know! It will only take about 1 minute of your time. Again, just go to www.cbs.com and click the feedback link at the bottom. It is time the majority speak up and not let the minority run this country. The majority can bring back the Christian heritage this country was founded on because it is, “In God We Trust.”

Thank you for your time,
Troy Hake
President
Outsidepride.com, Inc.

I’m almost ready to believe his assertion of non-bigotry—no legitimate bigot would’ve screwed up the “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” quote. Still, Hake’s extension of his paper-thin, black-and-white worldview to the whole of the world’s population is a classic bigot move—CBS wasn’t presenting homosexuality as “the norm,” they were presenting it as one of many possible norms, but such dualism is terrifying to bigots, who are locked in a battle to make their beliefs the world’s beliefs, and can only imagine everyone else is trying to do the same.

Whatever. Go to the CBS website and tell them you appreciate the inclusion. (Scroll down to the “feedback” link on the bottom left.)

Things That Make You Go Hmm…

posted by on August 9 at 4:05 PM

The Washington State Supreme Court is giving the plaintiffs in the gay marriage case a little extra time to contemplate asking the court to reconsider their lame-brained decision. A good sign? Discuss.

Malaysia Puts the Kibosh on Pussycat Dolls!

posted by on August 9 at 3:18 PM

YES!!! This is the best goddamn news I’ve heard all day! From the AP…

Malaysia fines Pussycat Dolls organizers

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysian authorities fined organizers of a concert by the chart-topping Pussycat Dolls for allowing the singers to wear skimpy costumes and for their “sexually suggestive routines,” a news report said Wednesday.
The Subang Jaya Municipal Council fined organizers Absolute Entertainment 10,000 ringgit ($2,714) for flouting decency regulations, the Malay Mail tabloid reported.
The fine came a day after Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim was quoted in the local media as saying the group took Malaysia “for a ride” by their alleged indecency.
“I believe the way the Pussycat Dolls behaved on stage amounted to gross indecency,” said Rais, according to the paper. “The Pussycat Dolls reportedly put on a show which not only featured scantily-dressed performers but also included sensuous elements,” he said.

YEAH! You tell ‘em, Malaysia! And fine them another 50,000 ringgits because only ONE of them can sing!!

Pussycat-dolls-hove_208048m.jpg
And put on some burqas, for the love of god (Allah).

One Music Festival I’m Not Interested in Attending

posted by on August 9 at 3:01 PM

While I’m inexplicably charmed by the band name “Oops I Stepped in Some Christ”, I don’t think the time to check them out will be at “Methfest 2006”, where they will be appearing with, um, Fetal Distress, Arachnid Arcade, and Boostatali.

I’m guessing that “Methfest” was chosen for either its shock value or as a reference to the bands’ preferred tempos and song duration (ostensibly fast and unending), but it still seems like a poor marketing choice. Nevertheless, perhaps they could get some good ideas for flyers from this Just Say No-style banner I recently spotted outside a rural Montana high school:

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Methfest transpires at the Rendezvous on Friday, August 18. Attend at your peril.

Hey, Crawl Space Fans

posted by on August 9 at 2:58 PM

Anne Mathern, the den mother of Crawl Space (and I must say a dead ringer for Kate Hudson—in the good ways, in the good ways), appears to have been picked up by Lawrimore Project.

Her photography will be included in THIS IS GALLERY, the introductory here’s-who-we-are group show at Lawrimore (Seattle’s newest contemporary space, and a darned unusual and interesting one, too), opening tomorrow from 6-10 pm.

Mathern has never had representation before, and this seems perfect. Her slick and post-advertising, but sad-sack and high-camp aesthetic doesn’t quite fit with James Harris or Howard House, but I can imagine it looking right at home in the lineup at Lawrimore:

ANNE MATHERN (Seattle) — CHRIS JORDAN (Seattle) — SABRINA RAAF (Chicago) — ERWIN WURM (Vienna) — CHARLES LABELLE (New York) — CRIS BRUCH (Seattle) — LIZ COHEN (Arizona) — TIVON RICE (Seattle) — KERRY SKARBAKKA (New York) — ANNIE HAN + DANIEL MIHALYO OF LEAD PENCIL STUDIO (Seattle) — SUTTONBERESCULLER (Seattle) — CLAUDIA X. VALDES (New Mexico) — SAMI BEN LARBI (Seattle)

Mathern also has a solo show at Crawl Space opening Saturday, Aug 19.

Those Crawl Space kids get around. Of the other members, Todd Simeone is the only one with solid representation, and he just closed his first solo show at James Harris. But Brad Biancardi, in addition to his painting at the Lee Center at Seattle U, has a show of ink-on-gesso paintings of federal buildings hollowed out at Crawl Space through Sunday—definitely worth checking out. I saw them in the evening, when the gallery lights were down for a slide show, and they absolutely glowed with emptiness (a portrait of the current administration?). Plus, Jason Wood has floor sculptures—sharpened pencil self-portraits that speak nicely to Diem Chau’s carved crayons—in the Howard House group sculpture show through August 26.

Dept. of Medicine

posted by on August 9 at 2:38 PM

I was just at the doctor’s office, getting my first physical in too long, wearing one of those little gowns that opens in the back.

“Pull down your underpants,” she said. “Now turn your head and cough.”
“Is that a hernia-check?”
“Yes. Know why we ask you to turn your head?”
“No.”
“So you don’t cough on the doctor.”
“Really?”
“Yes. Just learned that last year.”
“Huh.”
“Yeah.”

In other coughs: Scientists are hoping Monet can help them better understand smog.

Also: Dog flu!

Snarkiest Link

posted by on August 9 at 2:22 PM

Since Monday, ArtsJournal has been posting links to the Seattle Times’s somewhat disappointing series of stories on Dale Chihuly. Each day the intro to the links has grown more … doubting. I love (and am occasionally the victim of) that little editorial voice in those intros. Today’s is the most sarcastic of all three this week. (Scoop!)

Scoop: Chihuly Protects His Work The Seattle Times reports in the third part of its investigation of glass artist Dale Chihuly that the artist protects his work by trying to prevent other artists from copying it.

Biennials and Such

posted by on August 9 at 2:16 PM

Through October 8, Portland Art Museum has up its Oregon Biennial. This is worth the drive for three reasons: 1. Its good reviews. 2. These artists are so close to here, we should know exactly what they’re up to. 3. It’s an introduction to PAM’s new curator of Northwest art, Jennifer Gately, who started in January and put together this multimedia extravaganza including painting by Storm Tharp (I like Tharp’s wall sculpture Maybelline, below), and Chandra Bocci’s Gummi Bear Big Bang II, a reimagining of the work she had in the 2003 biennial. (Shown here is II.)

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Tacoma Art Museum’s Northwest biennial opens in February, but this week curator Rock Hushka, who made the selections with David Kiehl, curator of prints at the Whitney, announced the artists on the list:

Victoria Adams
Juan Alonso
Daniel Attoe
Jay Backstrand
Justin Colt Beckman
Nicholas Brown
Cris Bruch
Buddy Bunting
Sally Cleveland
Judy Cooke
Claire Cowie
Mark Danielson
Susan Dory
Joe Feddersen
Ellen Garvens
John Grade
Victoria Haven
Patrick Holderfield
Denzil Hurley
Sarah Jane Lapp
Anya Kivarkis
Mack McFarland
Mark Takamichi Miller
Steven Miller
Jeffry Mitchell
Brian Murphy
Natalie Niblack
Nicholas Nyland
Mary Ann Peters
Jim Riswold
Phil Roach
Alex Schweder
Michael Spafford
Juniper Shuey
SuttonBeresCuller
Lisa Sweet
Keith Tilford
Marie Watt
Sherrie Wolf
Robert Yoder
Claude Zervas

Painting-drawing-sketches by Peters, Mitchell (sketchbooks!), Holderfield, and Tilford are in a ravishing 19th-century-to-contemporary drawings show at James Harris this month that you really don’t want to miss.

Holderfield is up next at James Harris, with a solo show I can’t wait to see in September, of his wild painting-drawings on paper and an installation. The show is titled Pilgrim and has plenty of images of fire. This is Arson 11.

arson11.jpg

A Dose of Pacific NW Passive Aggression for Oklahoma City

posted by on August 9 at 2:06 PM

Check out this reticent press release from Mayor Nickels:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 9, 2006

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Marianne Bichsel

Statement from Mayor Greg Nickels regarding meeting with new Seattle
Sonics owner Clay Bennett

“Mr. Bennett and I met yesterday. I expressed to him our desire to keep
the Seattle Sonics at KeyArena. The deal offered to the previous
ownership group is still on the table and I look forward to continued
discussions with Mr. Bennett.”

- 30 -

You tell him, Greg.

Paris Hilton’s Mysterious Ass Goiter

posted by on August 9 at 1:31 PM

paris_hilton_150.jpg

Undoubtedly you’re familiar with the face and body of Paris Hilton, America’s premiere celebutante heiress-turned-internet porn princess-turned-reality TV star-turned multi-millionaire business woman-turned-fledgling pop star.

But are you familiar with her ass flap?

Hilton’s mysterious butt goiter (here’s another photo) has held the internet gossip hotspot Defamer in its sway ever since the strange flesh wad was first spotted cowering near Paris’s famously nonexistent butt.

Could the flaps simply be extra skin left over from her butt’s failure to materialize? Will the flaps grow larger as she ages? Or will the internet attention drive Paris to surgery? Who knows, but feel free to share your theories.

In the meantime, please enjoy this offering from an anonymous Defamer reader, who lays out the “Assy Knoll” theory.

Quagmire Fiasco

posted by on August 9 at 12:51 PM

“I have the blood of American Troops on my Hands”

Reporter and “Fiasco” author Tom Ricks: “I asked one officer why are you talking to me about these things, and he looked down at his hands, and he said because I have the blood of American troops on my hands. And I said what do you mean? And he said because when I said to Rumsfeld we need that division, and Rumsfeld said no, I gave up. I compromised. And he said U.S. troops died because of that. And he said that’s why I’m talking to you. … And he was practically crying as he spoke to me about this.”

This peek at Tom Ricks’s upcoming book, Fiasco, showed up on Thinkprogress.org last night. (I couldn’t seem to link the post, but if you scroll down on the site you’ll find it.

Anyway, I’m excited to see Fiasco starting to get some traction. I’ve heard from a friend who read an advance copy that Fiasco is a breathtaking indictment of the war.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but here’s something I already find encouraging about this book: Its title.

Just like a scandal isn’t a real scandal until it loses the “Gate” suffix and gets its own name—that is, it goes from “MonicaGate” to “The Lewisnky Affair”…Iraq needs to stop getting tagged a “Quagmire” (the tired old reference to Vietnam) and take on its own defining moniker. Fiasco about says it.

206-386-4636

posted by on August 9 at 12:41 PM

If you ever want to know anything, that’s the number to call—the library’s quick information line. Anything at all. Yes, there’s always Google, but what if you don’t know how to ask your question in the Google search field? What if you like a little human understanding with your research?

The question of the morning: How the hell does the water cooler in the office heat up water so quickly? I was trying to pour hot water into a cup. One or two drops. The jug on top had run out. I replaced the jug. Right away, I press the hot water spigot. Boiling hot water gushes into my cup. How?

I call 386-4636. Dave picks up. I explain my question and describe the water cooler we have. Dave:

We used to have one here. I believe it’s an instant hot water thing. It could be there’s a little hot water tank in there but I don’t think so. Do you know what make and model it is?

Put him on hold, go turn the water cooler around, get down on my hands, find a long number under the word “model”: F323HB040-RW210. No company name on the machine, no discernable logo.

Dave thinks this might be a model number combined with a serial number, does some typing, asks what company provides our water. I tell him it’s All Water. He puts me on hold. A minute or so later he comes back:

OK. Thanks for waiting. I called All Water here in Seattle, and they said if you have hot and cold, the hot side is instant hot water—I don’t know if you’re familiar with instant hot water machines, but they heat the water in copper tubing that’s surrounded by coils, which heats the water almost instantly—but the water in the cold side is held in a little refrigerated tank. If you were to run the cold water tap continuously, when that reservoir is empty, it would become room temperature. They don’t use a hot water tank on the hot side because it would be more expensive to make a whole tank, and you only need a little at a time, as opposied to taking a bath.

Dave, ladies and gentlemen.

Heckuva Job

posted by on August 9 at 11:59 AM

More than 1,000 families displaced by Hurricane Katrina in a single Louisiana parish still lack usable trailers from FEMA a full year after Katrina hit. Meanwhile, 10,000 trailers sit unused in Arkansas, FacingSouth reports.

The Day in Gossip

posted by on August 9 at 11:54 AM

Sean “H.R. Puff’N’Diddy” Combs ALLOWS Justin Timberlake to use HIS catchphrase, “Sexy.” Meanwhile, the Nortorious BIG will still allow Puff Daddy to use his career.

Is David Hasselhoff the Anti-Christ? Well… DUH!

Kristin Cavallari and Brody Jenner break up! 98 percent of America wonder, “Who are Kristin Cavallari and Brody Jenner?”

Saved by the Bell’s Screech gets mugged; Slater called in for questioning.

Jennifer Aniston finally gets engaged to that fat hairy guy with the hair in his nostrils.

Angelina walks out on Brad Pitt! Angelina? A HOMEWRECKER? That’s so unlike her!

And finally, proof that Fox News is fair and balanced!

hannity2.JPG

Jonathan Raban’s Movie Career

posted by on August 9 at 11:36 AM

Yesterday, Jonathan Raban drove over to Chroma Sound studios on Interlake and recorded a vocal track for Dan Gildark’s movie Cthulhu. Raban is providing the voice of a BBC radio newscaster. Cthulhu screenwriter Grant Cogswell told me immediately afterward that Raban’s voice is going to be “one of the best fucking things in the movie” and is “amazingly unsettling and cool.” I tried to get the audio track out of the filmmakers, to post here on Slog, but they refused. They said that it wouldn’t make sense out of context, they said that it would spoil the ending, they said the file was very rough—basically, they don’t want to give it. They think the audio file getting out would be bad for the movie. Dudes, have you ever heard of guerilla marketing? Sampling? Ringtones? iPods?

The best I could do is get the text of what Raban says. Context: end of the movie. What’s happening on screen as you hear this: No idea. Accent: English.

It is two o’clock Greenwich Mean Time, you are listening to the BBC World Service.

A night of rioting in Europe, believed to have been brought on by record temperatures on the continent has spread to Britain and, in the last hours, the Eastern United States.

It is a dark night in a London largely without electricity and held by martial law, with fires throughout the city of a number and intensity not seen in the capitol since the Second World War.

It is morning in China, and officials in Beijing have declared a full military alert.

Conspicuous in all of this is the silence of the American government. The American president’s last public appearance was at his compound on the Hawaiian island of Lanai Friday, and since the beginning of the crisis, a majority of American representatives have failed to appear on the floor of the Congress. Everyone is asking, who is in charge of the world’s largest superpower? Keemian Marting is in Atlanta, Georgia:

That’s it.

Now, can someone close to Chroma Sound please leak us the audio file?

The Climate-Change “Debate”

posted by on August 9 at 11:36 AM

Better known for their igloos, the Inuit of far northern Canada are buying air conditioners.

“These are the times when the far north has to have air-conditioners now to function,” said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a rights activist for 155,000 Inuit in Canada, Alaska, Russia and Greenland.

“Our Arctic homes are made to be airtight for the cold and do not `breathe’ well in the heat with this warming trend,” she said.

Meanwhile, even Pat Robertson says he’s a “convert” to the anti-global warming cause.

via

Arts in America

posted by on August 9 at 11:10 AM

Project Runway: On tonight! (Angela better be gone by show’s end.)

Black women being treated like dogs: A hit on MTV!

Michael Jackson: Thinks he’s the target of “one of the biggest conspiracies in entertainment history.”

New German Nightclub: Made out of empty water jugs.

World Trade Center: Opens today and Annie Wagner hated it.

And lastly, David Schmader suggests that you eat something delicious.

Mama Williebelle’s BBQ
(GOOD EATIN’) For all those hungering for a quintessential summer experience before Seattle plunges back into damp darkness, Mama Williebelle’s BBQ is the answer. Located on the lakefront at Madrona Park, this beloved seasonal food stand offers an array of great grub, including soul-food standards (collard greens, sweet-potato pie), a visionary veggie burger, and what Stranger writer Paul Constant praised as “the most amazing burger in the Seattle Metro area”: the bacon-sausage-fried-egg-and-cheese-topped Willie Burger. (853 Lake Washington Blvd, Mon—Sat 11 am—9 pm, Sun 11 am—7 pm. Through September.) DAVID SCHMADER

Attention, New York!

posted by on August 9 at 10:51 AM

04_darty_kangoo_aerial_rope.jpgCircus Contraption, Seattle’s beloved, wicked, and wildly talented cirque noir troupe, has landed at Theater for the New City (TheaterMania.com has tickets). Their Grand American Traveling Dime Museum opens Friday—go! (Full disclosure: I used to book CC’s shows, but haven’t worked for them since 2005. Also, I am in love with them.)

Arrested Development Gets Cable Deal

posted by on August 9 at 10:38 AM

arresteddevelopment-744884.jpg

Don’t get too excited, it hasn’t been resurrected, but at least it will gain new life in syndication. What’s more, because the G4 network has multiple platforms, you’ll be able to watch it online as well. Stranger contributor Ma’Chell Duma LaVassar originally mentioned this in the comments section of this Line Out post, but I figured Slog readers might want to read the full story here.

Wank-a-Thon

posted by on August 9 at 10:36 AM

The Brits inaugurate a new kind of Palm Sunday.

Participants ask friends and loved ones to sponsor them for a certain amount of money for every minute they masturbate during the Masturbate-A-Thon…

Yes, but do your friends and family really want to know how long it takes?

Lamont & Lessons for Cantwell

posted by on August 9 at 10:26 AM

In my opinion, any analysis piece on the Lamont victory that does not mention this quotation…

“It’s time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years,” Lieberman said, “and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.” The implication that there is something wrong with criticizing George W. Bush is unacceptable to most Democrats, who believe that Bush himself has done the most to undermine his own credibility. [This take from E.J. Dionne’s column last week.]

… is missing the real issue here. The primary victory for Lamont was not a referendum on the war. It was a referendum on an incumbent arrogant enough to try to curtail his constituents’ freedom of speech.

I didn’t support the war. I think Cantwell’s vote was way off the mark (even more unforgivable, from my point of view, were her votes for the PATRIOT Act). But reasonable people have a right to disagree on this point, especially since we’re already in Iraq and neither party has a good exit strategy. (Sorry, peaceniks, but “Troops out now” isn’t going to cut it.) What’s absolutely not okay, however, is the insinuation that anyone is unpatriotic for saying Bush isn’t credible. DUH: Bush misled the country on WMDs—therefore, he’s no longer credible. The above quote was everywhere last week and over the weekend. And voters don’t like to be treated like sheep.

That’s where the Cantwell analogy fails to hold. She’s never said anything so ridiculous and politically suicidal.

Hong Tran?

posted by on August 9 at 10:07 AM

Cantwell challenger Hong Tran (a dissident Democrat running against Cantwell in the primary) is trying to generate some momentum out of last night’s news from Connecticut. Tran is 100% right: Sens. Cantwell and Joe Lieberman have similar voting records…and not just on the war. See for yourself: Cantwell’s record & Lieberman’s.

However, I’ll be honest: In my opinion, Tran is not a very good candidate. I was assigned to do a story on Tran a few months ago by a hopeful editor that thought Tran had the makings of Washington’s Ned Lamont. I published the story, but it was kind of a flop because after repeatedly giving the microphone to Tran, she didn’t have much to say. Tran’s issue, obviously, is the war. Unfortunately, her rap on the war wasn’t eloquent or persuasive. She basically said, “troops out now.” Um…okay. When I pressed for more details, she didn’t have any.

I went into the story rooting for Tran. (I know her from a previous article I did years ago involving a case she was working on for her legal aid group, NorthWest Justice Project). But I came away from the story on her senate campaign underwhelmed.

Stop Flaunting Your Love on Reality TV

posted by on August 9 at 9:21 AM

First it was Nick and Jessica. Then it was Carmen and Dave. Now, former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has filed for divorce from former Miss USA Shanna Moakler.

Who’s left as far as MTV lovebirds go? That Ashley Angel jackass and his moody girlfriend? I give ‘em one more month. Who wants to start a pool with me?

Chew On This

posted by on August 9 at 9:15 AM

A little bad news for the anti-circumcision crowd: Male circumcision lowers risk of HIV infection by 60%.

It used to be called the unkindest cut. But now the head of the one of the world’s largest Aids charities believes we are on the brink of a revolution in attitudes to circumcision.

Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said research revealing the protective effect of circumcision against HIV was set to change parental expectations and medical practice across the world. Instead of viewing the operation as an assault on the male sex, it was increasingly being seen as a lifesaving procedure which every parent would want for their sons.

The Word from the 43rd

posted by on August 9 at 8:49 AM

The 43rd District Democrats met at the HUB at the U.W. last night to endorse one of the 6 candidates in the race to replace Rep. Ed Murray (Murray’s jumping over to the state senate.)

A candidate needs to get 60% for the endorsement, and that didn’t happen. So: NO ENDORSEMENT.

Former 43rd District chair Dick Kelley got the most votes, 49.3% in the first round. If no one gets 60% in the first round, any candidate that gets 40% or higher can still be considered for an endorsement. Kelley, was the only one that received over 40% in the first round. So, the next question on the floor only concerned Kelley: Should the 43rd endorse Dick Kelley? He needed 60% on that second vote. He only got 51%.

The stats from the first round were:
Dick Kelley: 49.3
Jamie Pedersen: 21.3
Bill Sherman; 19.6
Jim Street: 18.7
Lynne Dodson: 15.6
Stephanie Pure: 4.9

The Morning News

posted by on August 9 at 8:27 AM

There’s really only one story in the world of politics this morning, and it connects directly to the Iraq War, the rise of the liberal blogosphere, and the mood of the country heading into the Congressional elections this fall.

It’s the story of last night’s upset victory by political novice Ned Lamont, who defeated 18-year incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary. And it’s a story that’s making Democrats and Republicans alike quite nervous.

In the New York Times, Adam Nagourney sees Lamont’s win as a referendum on Iraq and a sign of the “stiff anti-status-quo winds blowing across the political landscape as the fall elections approach.”

But more than that, the results of this most closely watched primary of the year raised red flags for both parties, going into the highly competitive fall elections.

For Democrats, the result — closer than polls suggested and than many Democrats had expected — dramatized the fault lines in the party over the war…

For Republicans already contemplating a gloomy fall horizon, the Lamont victory suggested that many Democrats — stirred by their opposition to the war and hostility toward Mr. Bush — are as energized as any group of voters in years, enough so to move them to the voting booth in huge numbers.

In the Washington Post, Shailagh Murray sees a potent combination of net-roots and grass-roots support.

Six months ago, Ned Lamont’s name recognition was, within the margin of error, zero.

Over at Salon, Joan Walsh has some marching orders for the Democratic establishment:

Now, if Democratic party leaders have any courage, they’ll lock arms against Lieberman’s selfish move and repudiate him just as boldly and quickly as Lieberman declared he would run. Because Lieberman’s run is selfish, and politically stupid. His “concession” speech echoed the Beltway wisdom that he’d been defeated by Bush haters, by the “politics of polarization.” But Lamont’s victory is more than the surprise uprising of Cindy Sheehan’s Camp Casey from last summer. The country has turned against the Iraq war, and Democrats like Lieberman — and Republicans like, well, most Republicans — have lost the battle for the middle ground.

Lamont’s victory isn’t just a win for the antiwar wing of the party. It’s a victory for Americans who fear the recklessness of the Bush administration, who feel the wheels are falling off the truck, and who want Democrats to fix it. Mainstream Democrats who can’t see that political reality are a threat to the party.

And of course, Kos has his own marching orders.

In other news…

Israel shuts down south Lebanon.

Condi allegedly furious with Bush.

And the editor of the National Review thinks global warming is great.


Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Headline of the Day

posted by on August 8 at 8:14 PM

“Lamont Defeats Lieberman After Tight Race”

Lieberman to run as an independant—Kos has some suggestions for derailing Lieberman’s bid.

1. Push Harry Reid to strip Lieberman of all committee assignments.

2. Let people know what a sore loser Lieberman is.

3. Get all Democrats — including Bill Clinton — to publicly back Ned Lamont.

4. Get the Democratic interest groups who backed Lieberman to switch allegiances in the general.


Tattoo Tuesdays

posted by on August 8 at 8:10 PM

It’s more like “Tattoo Week” in Seattle. This Thursday there’s an opening party for a show called ‘NO WIMPS’ at hot-shot new art gallery BLVD. Then Saturday, oh yes, Saturday there’s a real live contest for the “WORST” tattoo. 4 pm. At the Annual Seattle Tattoo Convention. Ten bucks to enter - not sure what the prize is….

I’m also NOT sure how I ended up with this picture on my camera last weekend. Who-what? Who is this? And is that a beaver tail? An un-finished Mr. Peanut? Whoever you are, get thee to that contest!

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The Race Hasn’t Been Called Yet…

posted by on August 8 at 7:38 PM

…but Lamont is ahead. With 87% of the vote counted, Lamont leads by almost four percentage points: 52 to 48. The New York Times endorsed Lamont, which makes me wonder why they’re running this picture of a Lamont supporter on their homepage right now…

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Kind of makes Lamont supporters look—oh, I dunno—kind of sinister, huh?

UPDATE: Uh… gee. Drunk and all, so take it for what it’s worth, but… if Lieberman loses by a percentage point or three, I’m thinking his threat to run as an independant if he lost the primary cost him the primary. It pissed off rank-and-file Dems, some who might have voted for him otherwise. Lieberman made that call when he was way down in the polls, and it seems that he had the Joementum going into the voting today. I’m thinking that if Joe had gambled all and committed to respecting the will of CT’s dem primary voters, the bastard would’ve won.

UPDATE 2: What does it mean? Here’s my take: Dems are going to start fearing their own base—and that will be a good thing. It’s worked out pretty well for the Republicans. Lord knows that the Rs fear their own base—they fear the right-wing religious nutcases—and so they work hard to appeal to them. A Lieberman loss will put the same Fear-Of-Base into Democrats.

La la la. Another beer, waiter!

The Most Adorable Roadkill Ever

posted by on August 8 at 5:43 PM

This is sad. Sorry.

10 Minutes…

posted by on August 8 at 4:50 PM

…until the polls close in Connecticut. Meanwhile, why not enjoy a nice YouTube video or two.

UPDATE: Any exit polls? Nope. The final, official results in the Lieberman-Lamont race won’t be in until tomorrow morning (although it should be pretty clear who won by about 10 p.m. tonight).

FURTHER UPDATE: With 3 percent of precincts reporting, Lamont is beating Lieberman 59.6% to 40.4%. And I’m signing off… To watch the results come in, click here.

Colin Farrell: If He Can’t Please a French Woman, Who Can?

posted by on August 8 at 4:22 PM

According to this hee-larious article in Us Weekly, it appears that hot hunk’o man-meat Colin Farrell is more like a lukewarm slice of baloney in the sack. Here’s the article entitled, “Colin Farrell’s Man-Loaf Not Up to Size.”

Woody Allen’s former au pair, Angelique Jerome, claims she bedded he-ho Colin Farrell just hours before the London premiere of Miami Vice. The 24-year-old French temptress claims the couple met up at his hotel suite at “breakfast-time, and that they made love three times before lunch. “Maybe he has lots of women because he’s not that good in bed,” Jerome told London’s Sunday Mirror. “Maybe they don’t want to stay.” She continued: “He has a great body and a charm that any woman would kill for. But he’s all talk. Between the sheets, he is a letdown with only half a baguette in his lunchbox, if you know what I mean. He comes across as a tiger onscreen, but behind closed doors he’s as wild as Mickey Mouse.” […] “He kept saying `C’est bon (it’s good), you’re beautiful, c’est bon’. He sounded like James Blunt. “We made love three times but the actual sex only lasted 10 minutes in total.” He’s lucky the woman was French and was therefore confined to French bread metaphors. If he’d tangled with an American lass, we might’ve veered into one of those unfortunate hotdog similes, and no one wants to read that.

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“Half a baguette is still pretty good… right? Right?”

Santorum Is Coming To Town

posted by on August 8 at 4:00 PM

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The Northwest Talibani at the misleadingly named Faith and Freedom Network—shouldn’t that “and” be an “or”?—is hosting a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) a week from Thursday in Bellevue. (Check out FAFN’s creepy logo. Is that cross superimposed on the Constitution? Or burned into it?)

Area Republicans willing to cough up $1000—and area PACs willing to cough up $2500—will have a chance to lunch with the man who made “man on dog” a national catchphrase. The fundraiser is Thursday, August 17, at 11:45 AM at Daniel’s Broiler, located at 10500 Northeast 8th, 21st Floor, in Bellevue. Rick Santorum is currently trailing his Democratic challenger, Bob Casey, by 13 points, and needs all the help—and $1000 checks—he can get.

Still… I wonder if lunch with Santorum is worth it? Odds are good that Santorum won’t be in the Senate next year, so I’m not sure that many fiscally conservative area Republicans are gonna fork out $1000 for the pleasure of watching Sen. Santorum slowly chew his steak, gradually reducing the seared flesh to a brown and liquidy substance, fit for swallowing.

Of course, thanks to the efforts of a certain local sex-advice columnist, Senator Santorum’s name is now forever associated with another brown, liquidy substancethat frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes a byproduct of anal sex. (Actually it’s more of an amber substance, or so I’ve been told.) We understand that the Senator is not amused by any of this, and we suspect that the Faith & Freedom Network isn’t too pleased either.

They would be even less amused, I bet, if a bunch of protestors showed up at Daniel’s Broiler to welcome Santorum to town. Just a thought.

Peter Jennings, One Year Later

posted by on August 8 at 3:49 PM

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I missed the fact that yesterday was the one year anniversary of Peter Jennings death. Recognize.

Vertigo

posted by on August 8 at 3:37 PM

After reading this short piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about the Sydney Symphony’s Symphony at the Movies, I began wondering why American orchestras have failed to include the best of Bernard Herrmann in their repertoires. Is he neglected because he scored Hollywood thrillers? He is certainly the greatest film composer of all time, and one certainly doesn’t need the movie images to enjoy completely his atmospheric compositions. Maybe the Seattle Symphony can shake its present funk by making a leap of faith and embracing a mind whose music turns what ever space it enters into cinema.

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For Geeks With ADD

posted by on August 8 at 3:00 PM

Coming soon: Star Wars in 20 minutes.

The Death of Steve Guttenberg

posted by on August 8 at 1:52 PM

Ever wonder what was the EXACT MOMENT that actor Steve Guttenberg lost the last ounce of public appeal? Now we know, with the following trailer from the 1990 classic film Don’t Tell Her It’s Me, co-starring an egregiously awful cast of Shelley Long, Jami Gertz, and Kyle MacLachlin. By the end of this hee-larious trailer you will want to snap Guttenberg’s neck. (And check out that mullet!)

Tip o’ the hat to Best Week Ever!

A Perfect Day for an Upset?

posted by on August 8 at 1:45 PM

Over in Connecticut, in the Lieberman vs. Lamont race, turnout is high and the weather is perfect.

Get your pre-poll-closing fix here, here, here, here, here, and here — and, with news of a Connecticut Attorney General investigation into last-minute allegations of Lieberman web site hacking, here.

There’s No Such Thing As “Vertical Sprawl”

posted by on August 8 at 1:42 PM

The New York Times’s recent story on so-called “vertical sprawl” relies on a massive conflation of two unrelated issues (of which the very phrase “vertical sprawl” is a perfect example): Sprawl, in which too many people move to an area with too little infrastructure to support them, and gentrification, in which wealthy people displace the working class from center-city neighborhoods.

The Times bounces back and forth between gentrification and sprawl, misleadingly presenting the two issues as the exact same phenomenon and criticizing both in a sweeping indictment of Smart Growth policies. But the phenomenon the Times calls “vertical sprawl” is really two separate issues, and a fair treatment of those issues would have taken them each individually.

First, gentrification: As condos are built in existing neighborhoods, property values frequently go up, a situation that can drive out working-class property owners whose property taxes become too high. (On the other hand, an increase in the overall housing stock can also benefit residents, particularly renters, when supply exceeds demand—the definition of a renter’s market.) I don’t disagree that there are problems with gentrification that are real and should be addressed. But gentrification does not mean the same thing as sprawl; historically, in fact, it has meant the opposite.

Which brings us to the second topic the Times could have explored: Sprawl, which is when people move further and further away from urban centers, requiring more infrastructure. That means freeways, new electrical grids, and, too frequently, massive yards, a situation that leads to traffic congestion, environmental issues (runoff, groundwater overuse, strains on infrastructure) and parking woes (as all those exurban workers drive to jobs downtown). Using the actual definition of sprawl, “vertical sprawl” isn’t sprawl at all. It’s the opposite: When people live in dense urban centers, they need less infrastructure (roads, pipes, wires, etc.) to support them. And most of the necessary infrastructure already exists.

But what about cars? The Times cites parking and traffic problems as two of the costs of densification, but those issues are only issues in the absense of Smart-Growth policies. If new inner-city development includes the infrastructure needed to support them (transit systems, incentives to get people out of their cars, parking where it’s needed) then traffic and parking won’t be a problem. The only way traffic and parking will be problems is if developments are built with no supporting infrastructure—which isn’t Smart at all.

Capitol Hill Art Walk Reborn

posted by on August 8 at 1:23 PM

There is art on the hill, kids. Get out there. These businesses are staying open for you tonight. This is your `hood. Go hang out in it. Make the rounds. Look at some art, loiter on a corner, drink, discuss, and repeat.

2Tue: Capitol Hill Art Walk

The Capitol Hill Art Walk has been revived by local businesses along the Pike/Pine Corridor. On the 2nd Tuesday of each month citygoers, scenesters and art lovers will be treated to an energizing night of art, music, dance, food and revelry … (including) a scavenger hunt as well as video art, sculpture, paintings, burlesque and photography.

2Tue: Capitol Hill Art Walk starts on Tuesday, August 8th from 6-9 pm and will include events at the following businesses:

B-BAM! 907 E. Pike St., Babeland 707 E. Pike St., Bazr 910 E Pike St., Faire 1315 East Olive Way, Galactic Boutique 1213 Pine St., Kaladi Coffee 511 E. Pike St., Salon Chemistry 723 E. Pike St., Retail Therapy 905 E. Pike St., Retrofit Home 1419 12th Ave., Stitches 711 E. Pike St., Zero Zero Hair Salon 1525 Summit Ave.

—Elysha Rose Diaz

Strange Statues From Around the World

posted by on August 8 at 1:18 PM

It’s difficult to choose which one of these oddities to draw your attention to, so I’m just going to post a few:

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You can view them all here.

Arts in America

posted by on August 8 at 1:17 PM

Duran Duran: Now Hungry Like the Virtual Wolf.

Taxidermy: Back in Fashion.

Sorry, Winnie: Kevin Arnold Has Another Baby-Mama.

Raunchy Lyrics: Sex-Causing.

Lindsay Lohan’s Summer Plans: Go to Iraq to Entertain Troops with Hilary.

Now eat.

Mama Williebelle’s BBQ
(GOOD EATIN’) For all those hungering for a quintessential summer experience before Seattle plunges back into damp darkness, Mama Williebelle’s BBQ is the answer. Located on the lakefront at Madrona Park, this beloved seasonal food stand offers an array of great grub, including soul-food standards (collard greens, sweet-potato pie), a visionary veggie burger, and what Stranger writer Paul Constant praised as “the most amazing burger in the Seattle Metro area”: the bacon-sausage-fried-egg-and-cheese-topped Willie Burger. (853 Lake Washington Blvd, Mon—Sat 11 am—9 pm, Sun 11 am—7 pm. Through September.) DAVID SCHMADER

Addendum: Eating at Mama Williebelle’s BBQ is a good idea and it will be good tomorrow as well, but today’s Stranger Suggests is actually this fine event at the Baltic Room (please forgive):

Marshall Watson/Brian Go (MUSIC) Patrick Haenelt and Greg Skidmore’s Oscillate weekly continues its torrid streak of bookings with local tech-house DJs Marshall Watson and Brian Go. Gifted with impeccable taste, the two have done their research in order to bring you the all-killer/no-filler content discerning heads demand. Expect superior tracks from new and old dance-floor commanders like Booka Shade, Ada, New Order, Underworld, Wighnomy Brothers, Carl Craig, Speedy J, Alex Smoke, Alex Under, Trentemøller, and more. (Baltic Room, 1207 E Pine St, 625-4444. 9 pm, $5, 21+.) DAVE SEGAL

There are a lot of stupid things in this world…

posted by on August 8 at 1:10 PM

But this is by far, one of the dumbest products I’ve ever heard of.

drunkdog.jpg

Beer? For Dogs? Woof!

Non-alcoholic and non-carbonated, our Happy Tail Ale is the ultimate liquid refreshment for your best friend. Our brew is made with choice malted barley and filtered water, featuring all-natural beef flavorings. Plus, it’s fortified with Glucosamine and Vitamin E!

Sure, there are lots of ways you show your dog you love him: Taking him for a walk, giving him a belly rub, tossing him a few treats…but how about a beer? Of course, you can’t give him the same beer you grab from the fridge when YOU want a treat! Alcohol, hops and carbonation are bad for dogs. But what about giving him a drink that not only tastes good, but is healthy as well?

Your dog will love our Happy Tail Ale, cold from the fridge and in a flavor he loves!

Visit www.beerfordogs.com for more information. Or don’t.

The Roof Was on Fire

posted by on August 8 at 12:17 PM

Yesterday, the Showbox had a small fire on the venue’s rooftop due to a faulty air-conditioning unit. Luckily, the flame was quickly extinguished and no damage was done to the inside of the building.

In an e-mail today, the venue is happy to report that everything is okay and the highly-anticipated Peaches and Herms/Eagles of Death Metal show is still a go for tomorrow night. “We are undergoing a few minor fixes and expect to be fully operational for the Peaches show on Wednesday.”

An Open Letter to Paul Allen

posted by on August 8 at 12:06 PM

Dear Paul:

As a fellow local celebrity and richie-rich, you’ve probably been following the controversy following Dale (known in the vernacular as “Ol’-One-Eyes”) Chihuly. I think we can agree that the man says some stupid crap. “I can sign my names 100 times a minute” and “I can’t think of a good answer for that” are not the kinds of things one says when defending oneself in a public forum. And the whole lawsuit is a coup de dumbshit. But Dale isn’t to blame—the rarefied air of wealth and fame has twisted his mind, like a stretch of Hubba Bubba around a dirty index finger. Dale sounds like a man who isn’t used to explaining himself, a man surrounded by sycophants instead of the ungrateful, careless slobs most of us call friends.

Sound familiar, Paul?

Now there’s help: me. Or, rather, a version of me, called StonerBuddy—an addition to a wealthy celebrity’s retinue that, in this day of constant public exposure and the relentless pursuit of folksy cool, is as indispensable as a valet. StonerBuddy will be your everyday companion and common-man reality check, a tether to keep you from floating into the ether of celebrity hubris and delirium. He’ll hang out, make nachos, ride around your private velodrome, play laser tag in your mansion. Most importantly, he’ll keep you in touch with what everyday folks think and feel.

In lieu of sending samples of my previous work as StonerBuddy, I have custom-crafted a few rough examples of things StonerBuddy might say to you in the course of conversation:

You know that eight-person submarine you got? We should run an essay contest for middle schoolers and the winners get a date on it. A dinner date. With cool music. And the waiter in a combo tuxedo scuba suit thing. Yeah.
Fuck, dude, tater tots are good. Do you think aliens would like tater tots? Or would they be all robotronic and like: “These. Resemble. Human. Feces. Why. Do. You. Eat. Them.” And we’d be all like… uh… shit. I don’t know. These tots are kind of grossing me out. You got any chips?
Duuuuuude! You’ve been keeping a giant sculpture of typewriter ribbons in storage? Are you fucking nuts? Break that shit out! Put it in fucking Westlake Plaza—no, wait. Strap it onto a car, dude. Then we can drive it around town. That’d be boss, dude.
You should get Styx to play your barbecue.

The client, of course, retains all credit for any ideas generated in conversations with StonerBuddy. StonerBuddy will remain in the background, quietly assisting the client be what he’s always wanted to be—the coolest bazillionaire in the history of ever.

Here at StonerBuddy, we understand that the discreet man of distinction cannot risk opening his doors to any jibber-jabberer. Binding non-disclosure agreements are a standard part of the StonerBuddy package, as are non-asking-for-stuff contracts, assuring the client that his StonerBuddy will never, ever, ever request money, influence peddling, or assistance of any kind. The StonerBuddy stands to gain nothing except the pleasure of the client’s company, a hoi polloi sidekick and readily accessible window into the soul of the rabble.

C’mon, Paul. Don’t do a Dale. Let us help you help yourself.

Ordinarily yours,
Brendan Kiley

Top Gay Albums: “USA! USA!” Edition

posted by on August 8 at 11:52 AM

Last week, I Slogged about Attitude magazine’s well-hyped list of the Top 50 Gay Albums of All Time.

“I think this list is interesting, but it has more of UK spin on things,” wrote Impossible Prince in the comments section of the post. “Perhaps Mr. Schmader could come up with a US version.”

One week later, Impossible Prince’s wish is my command. Having carefully weeded out the work of those great gay-music-making Brits (Pet Shop Boys, Smiths, Bowie), I compiled my list of America’s Greatest Gay Albums, which you’ll find, complete with dashed-off commentary, after the jump.

Continue reading "Top Gay Albums: "USA! USA!" Edition" »

“Fucking Magnificient”

posted by on August 8 at 11:50 AM

That’s the way sculptor Richard Serra described Seattle’s coming waterfront sculpture park, speaking to Jen Graves last month.

Jen herself is waiting to see the completed project before she offers any expletives or superlatives of her own:

It’s not possible yet to assess the experience of being in the 8.5-acre park, or to say whether it will succeed where so many other sculpture parks have failed.

Myself — well, my only qualification for commenting is that a friend took me and a bunch of other people on a sunset tour of the park last week, but that being said, I do think “fucking magnificent” will come to be a common descriptor.

Here are some images from our tour of the park-in-progress, starting with Serra’s Wake, which was still awaiting its gravel bedding when I walked through. Below that are two reasons I love the park already — the view of Seattle it provides is dense and cosmopolitan, but reprioritized, with the retro nostalgia of the Space Needle shrunken down to appropriate size and a lot of room left over for imagining the city anew. Below that is an Aspen grove. And below that is Mark Dion’s Nurse Log (currently being nursed by a cocoon of green netting and mist-squirters, which made us all quite jealous).

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(Photos by Summer Hayes)

Even Scalia Can’t Help Tom DeLay Now

posted by on August 8 at 11:47 AM

Or can he?

Meanwhile, I love this. And as a former resident of Tom DeLay’s district, I’ve already made my donation!

Dept. of Old Professions

posted by on August 8 at 11:20 AM

The current Exotic Underground, a magazine for kinky straight people, is not something I generally pick up—I just flipped it open and landed on the sentence “Vaginal moisture problems are difficult for all parties concerned”—but I was at Neumo’s waiting for a band to go on, casting around for something to read, and I found a long article about prostitution that has some excellent sidebars, including one called Weird Tales of Whoredom Through the Ages. There are lots; here are three:

Roman Emperor Tiberius liked his prostitutes so young that he was known to force unweaned babies to perform fellatio on him. In 84 A.D., such excesses led Emperor Domitian to outlaw prostitution for any child under seven.

(Unrelated: Don’t you think this bust of Tiberius looks like Eminen?)

The lawyer for an ancient Greek hetaera (high-class courtesan) named Phryne, sensing he was losing his client’s trial for “impiety” charges, abruptly tore off Phryne’s clothes, revealing her legendary breasts to an awestruck courtroom. The judges acquitted her.
In 2002, an Israeli man requested an escort for his hotel room and suffered a heart attack when his daughter arrived.

Loving the Ladies in Line Out

posted by on August 8 at 10:55 AM

FM.jpg

Stevie? Tina? Kathleen? Jump over and tell us who’s missing from the list in Line Out.

Dept. of Anthropomorphic Sports Equipment

posted by on August 8 at 10:43 AM

The front page of the Seattle Gay News that’s sitting around town right now has this awesome headline:

SIX ATTACKED BY BASEBALL BATS AT SAN DIEGO PRIDE

The article doesn’t mention what weapons the baseball bats used. Their hands?

UPDATE: Good readers, I didn’t mean to make light of a gay-bashing by calling attention to the headline and nothing else; I do not condone gay-bashing. The headline just made me think of funny things.

Mel Gibson’s Anti-Semitic Ringtone

posted by on August 8 at 10:15 AM

Tired of annoying your co-workers with your ridiculously outdated cell phone ring? Then send them into spasms of anger with the new Mel Gibson Anti-Semitic Rant Ringtone! According to MSNBC.com…

Oasys Mobile has created a “Mel in Malibu” ringtone with a professional actor impersonating Gibson’s infamous tirade. The tirade, free to download, has the potty-mouth bits bleeped out. “We’re starting a series of Scandal Tones that are inspired by celebrities going through a scandal,” Oasys spokeswoman Gina Torres tells The Scoop. Any other celebs in the company’s ringtone future? “We’re looking towards doing something with Lindsay Lohan,” Torres says. “We’re waiting until she gets hospitalized again and then we’re going to have the sound of an ambulance siren in the background and this husky-voiced Lohan sound-alike blaming it on dehydration. She’s already been hospitalized three times this year, so we figure we won’t have to wait long.”

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“Ring! Ring! It’s for Jew!”

More Name Games in the Supreme Court Race

posted by on August 8 at 9:50 AM

Some bad news for incumbent SC judge Susan Owens. (Owens, a dissenter on last month’s DOMA ruling, is a whip smart liberal who’s up for reelection this year.)

Anyway, the Secretary of State’s office decided that on the ballot in her race—which includes candidates: attorney Richard Smith, administrative law judge Norman Ericson, and two guys named Johnson—the Johnsons will be given “descriptors” so that people can distinguish between them. The “descriptors” will say: Stephen Johnson, State Senator, attorney … and Michael Johnson, attorney.

(Stephen Johnson is a hyper conservative state senator from the Auburn/Covington area.)

Anyway, the problem for Owens—and for Smith and Ericson—is: while the Johnsons are described attorneys and state senators, the implication is that other candidates are unqualified nobodies.

The Sec. of State has the authority to use “descriptors” to distinguish candidates with similar names. But this solution seems detrimental to Owens. Conspiracy theory 101 tells me that Rob McKenna’s Attorney General’s office, which guided the Secretary of State’s office on how to deal with this, recommended a solution that would hurt liberal Owens’s chances. McKenna is a hotly partisan GOPer.

Gulagiday

posted by on August 8 at 9:44 AM

From the UK Independent:

The Mayor of what used to be one of the most infamous outposts of Josef Stalin’s Gulag wants to charge masochistic foreign tourists ÂŁ80 a day to “holiday” in an elaborate mock-up of a Soviet prison camp.

Igor Shpektor, the Mayor of Vorkuta, 100 miles above the Arctic Circle and 1,200 miles north-east of Moscow, says he is looking for an investor to turn an abandoned prison complex into a “reality” holiday camp for novelty-seeking tourists keen to understand what life was like for Soviet political prisoners at first hand.

Presumably, gratuity for firing squads is included in the final bill.

It’s Goldy With a “Y”

posted by on August 8 at 9:18 AM

Two great posts over at Horsesass: Goldy takes calls bullshit on one of the head hypocrites behind I-933 and then bashes back at the PI’s Joel Connelly.

The Morning News

posted by on August 8 at 7:40 AM

Lamont vs. Lieberman: Connecticut voters cast their ballots.

Murder & Gang Rape: Our troops were just trying to beat the stress of combat.

Latest Polls: Bad news for Republican incumbents, good news for the country.

Israel: Deeper into Lebanon.

Iraq: Deeper into hell.

Ellen Forney: Seattle PI heaps praise on local cartoonist and Stranger contributor.

Hempfest vs. SAM: Seattle pot festival gets its permit, withdraws its lawsuit.

McCartney vs. Mills: Ex-Beatle’s “amicable” divorce sounds like it’s getting ugly.


Monday, August 7, 2006

The Forever Tax

posted by on August 7 at 6:16 PM

The city council passed an amended version of Mayor Nickels’s transportation tax package today. The package, which would pay for road and bridge maintenance citywide (full report in “In the Hall” this Wednesday) includes a tax on commercial parking (yay!); a $25-per-employee head tax on employers who don’t pay for bus passes (boo!—what about people who walk, bike or carpool? And Metro passes are more expensive than the tax); and a measure on the November ballot that would increase property taxes to pay for two-thirds of the proposed improvements.

The property tax has been billed as a $1.6 billion tax over 20 years. The problem is, the tax isn’t limited to 20 years. Under state law, it can last forever. That’s because state law prohibits cities from passing property tax increases that last longer than eight years. The 20-year timeline, in other words, is just a suggestion—a fact made abundantly clear by the nonbinding resolution the council passed as part of the tax package stating its “intention” that the city “will not levy any of the additional taxes that were authorized” under the measure. The resolution passed unanimously.

Lieberman Looking Confident

posted by on August 7 at 5:01 PM

Which leads a New York Times writer to ask: Could Joe Lieberman actually pull this thing out?

Dakota Fanning: No Rape Scene for You, Young Lady!

posted by on August 7 at 4:56 PM

Dakota_Fanning.jpgWeirdly enough, investors for the new Dakota Fanning movie where she gets brutally raped are getting cold feet, and have decided to de-invest.

Investors have withdrawn cash from controversial movie HOUNDDOG - which sees child actress DAKOTA FANNING appear in graphic rape scenes. The child star’s mother and agent are hopeful that Fanning’s part in the controversial film will win her an Oscar but the team has been lambasted by critics who fear the role will jeopardise her childhood and horrified investors have withdrawn some funding after seeing the upsetting scenes. A crew member says, “The movie is dynamite in every sense of the word. I think it will shock people, especially in the deep south where it is set, because of the rape scenes and others in which Dakota is stripped down to her underpants, but in pure theatrical terms it will either become a cult classic or surprise everyone by sweeping the board with awards.

You hear that, eight-year-old girls across America? Get a rape scene, get an Oscar. (And we thought Barbie was a bad influence!)

Santorum Spreads

posted by on August 7 at 4:51 PM

What can I possibly say about this news segment on Current?

Santorumheader.jpg

You know, I haven’t updated the SpreadingSantorum.com website for more than two years now—the last post is dated June 21, 2004—but the site is still the #1 result when you Google “Santorum.” From The Daily Show to Current to relatively recent pieces about Sen. Santorum in The Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer, SpreadingSantorum.com has to be the most talked about defunct website in the country.

Mathematicians? Mind-Readers? Can Someone Please Tell Me How the F*** This Is Happening?

posted by on August 7 at 4:24 PM

OK. Go to this website.

Follow the instructions—easy:

(1) In your head, choose a two-digit number.

(2) Add the two digits together, then subtract that sum from your original number. (So, if your orginal number is 23, you subtract 5 from 23.)

(3) Whatever number you come up with, stare at the corresponding symbol on the screen. Keep staring for about 10 seconds. You’ll see.

Freaky, right?

I’ve done this again and again. I even did it with Brendan Kiley just now, and we both choose our own numbers and didn’t tell each other what they were, and it worked for both of us simultaneously. The only logical answer we can come up with is that the computer is reading our minds.

Someone with a math degree please get in the comments and explain this to me.

UPDATE: All is explained in comments. It’s not as exciting as you may have hoped. The computer is not reading your mind. As you were.

Mike

posted by on August 7 at 4:13 PM

Jen, this by far is the best remix in the Modern Renaissance Photoshop contest:

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Bubble-gum rape and chicken wings

posted by on August 7 at 3:57 PM

Okay. This is depressing and I apologize.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. military court in Baghdad heard graphic testimony on Monday of how three U.S. soldiers took turns raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl before murdering her and her family.

The details of the rape and murders are horrifying and grisly. Adding another heap of creepiness to the trial, however, is the blasé attitude of the defense team and defendants:

Defense Attorney Captain Jimmie Culp was blowing chewing gum bubbles while [Sergeant Anthony] Yribe, sitting to his left, began sucking on a red lollipop during the testimony.

Special Agent Gary Griesmyer recounted [Sergeant Paul] Cortez’ account of the day. “While they were playing cards and drinking Iraqi whiskey, the idea came to go out to an Iraqi house, rape a woman and murder her family,” he testified.

That casual phrasing makes it sound like raping young girls is a minor military blooper instead of the perverted fantasy of monsters. Like one minute they’re innocently playing bridge and drinking their demonic Iraqi whiskey and then oops! they accidently raped and killed a child, gunned down her family, and then lit her body on fire.

[Private Steven] Green said he wanted to go to a house and kill some Iraqis, [Specialist James] Barker wrote in his sworn statement. After the rape and murders, he wrote that he began to grill chicken wings.

Bubble gum, lollipops, and chicken wings? I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around how fucked up all that is.

Tools, Minus the Sharp

posted by on August 7 at 3:51 PM

From the great state of Tennessee:

Voters in Rhea County have elected five new people to the County Commission and say a short-lived request for a ban on homosexualty was only one issue in the change.

People who live in the Dayton area say overcrowded schools and how the county is handling growth also drove the election on Thursday.

Wait… the County Commission didn’t really vote to ban homosexuality, did it?

In March 2004, commission members voted unanimously voted to ask state lawmakers to introduce legislation amending Tennessee’s criminal code so the county could charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.

Wow. That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard — oh, wait:

Two days later, they rescinded the vote, saying they didn’t understand they were voting to ban homosexuality in the county.

Married Couples Beware!

posted by on August 7 at 3:50 PM

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Two fags got hitched in a casual, family-oriented, quietly religious ceremony in the Alki Room at Seattle Center on Saturday night.

Indeed, My great pal Jason had a commitment ceremony with his longtime beau Mike this weekend. (Maximum Mazel Tov you guys—great food & great dance party afterwards. Although, I was still recovering from the Thursday night party-bus thing).

The ceremony had been scheduled months in advance. The fact that it landed in the sickly shadow of the July 26 state Supreme Court ruling, added a poignant pitch to the evening.

Seeing all the little kids and gleeful parents and weeping sisters and single (straight) gals in foxy dresses dancing it to Britney Spears and Guns and Roses—made the supreme court’s whole threat to the family/human race thing seem more comedy than bigotry.

And so it was, with a classy touch of comedy that the ceremony dealt with Madsen, Alexander, Sanders, Johnson, and Johnson. The officiant pronounced the couple “hitched” rather than married. And during his vows, Jason said: “We don’t need a state supreme court decision to validate our marriage… Although, that would be nice.”

But the bigotry of the Madsen, Alexander et al supreme court decision is real. And so, laugh as we all did at the “hitched” line & at Jason’s impeccable quip, the comedy—as it always is—was mixed with equal parts tragedy. Why aren’t Jason & Mike legal?

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Another Haq

posted by on August 7 at 3:46 PM

It’s surprisingly relieving to do a Google search for “Haq” and come up with stories about cricket.

(Favorite quote: “Never has a Test batsman more resembled an elephant climbing over a garden fence. The first surprise was that Inzamam toppled over in the first place: as a man built like a giant weeble, you would have thought his low centre of gravity would have saved him.”)

Arts in America

posted by on August 7 at 3:35 PM

In the Wait, What Year Is This? File: Madonna Ticks Off Pope. (Real story: She couldn’t dress better than that for her own crucifixion?)

As Far As Fine Arts on TV, Project Runway Will Have to Do.

The Manifesto Against Ballet.

Afghans Watch Their First Movie, About the Destruction of Their Own Buddhas. (Great read.)

Because you have already seen a movie, you do not like ballet anyway, there is nothing to watch on television, and your interest in Madonna ended years ago, do this:

Seattle Spelling Bee (GRUDGE MATCH) In this corner: Andrew Bleeker, youngish, bespectacled Stranger intern who almost won the last Seattle Spelling Bee. In that corner: his nemesis, Randy Hilfman, a middle-aged Eddie Bauer copyeditor and bee champion whose orthographical prowess suggests a dark deal with the devil. In the crowd: you, drinking, tense; the suspense is killing. In the shadows: me, lurking, waiting for an opportunity to slip Randy a roofie. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. 8 pm, $5, 21+.) BRENDAN KILEY

And here are a couple of celebs from a Modern Renaissance Photoshop contest over at Worth1000.com:

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Washington State to Washington State Trannies: Not On Our Dime!

posted by on August 7 at 3:28 PM

Uh… If you’re like me, you probably didn’t know that the state of Washington would pay for a sex-change operation until you read this morning that Washington state wants to stop paying for sex-change operations. From today’s Seattle Times:

Medicaid officials plan to rewrite regulations to make it clear the state will no longer cover sex-change operations. But before the new regulations are in place, the state will likely have to pay for more surgeries.

In a pair of rulings issued last month, a state appeals board ordered Medicaid to pay for two people to travel out of state to undergo sex-change operations. The state estimates the procedures, also known as sex-reassignment surgery, will cost $50,000 to $60,000 each.

So it appears that anyone out there contemplating a request for a state-financed sex-change operation is shit out of luck: If your request wasn’t already in the pipe then you’re, uh, cut off. Or not.

Back to the Seattle Times:

But Porter said the state plans to continue covering other services—such as hormone treatment and psychotherapy—for people diagnosed with gender-identity disorders….

“We understand this is a very real condition for some people,” Porter said.

Yeah, for some people it is a very real condition. But for too many others sex reassignment surgery is just a goofy stunt.

Sen. George Allen: Opposed to Abortion Before He Bought Stock in Plan B?

posted by on August 7 at 1:45 PM

This is interesting on two levels: One, anti-abortion Republican Senator George Allen has some serious explaining to do to his Evangelical constituents. And two, perhaps he’ll be forced to square his opposition to abortion with his stock holdings by telling Evangelicals that taking the morning after pill doesn’t equal having an abortion.

(Or, perhaps he’ll just dump his stock. Stay tuned.)

Career Opportunity

posted by on August 7 at 1:38 PM

Fancy a job as a professional male submissive? Go to China. “The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, employs 20 muscled young men as “models” for customers to punch and scream at.”
Apparently most of the patrons are women who are employed in karaoke bars and massage parlors.

Netflix Mon Amour: Ultraviolet

posted by on August 7 at 12:49 PM

One of the wonderful things about Netflix is freedom from Bad Rental Guilt: the act of putting a movie in my queue and receiving it in the mail is so passive…so disposable…that I’ll watch anything.
Case in point: Ultraviolet, a movie released earlier this year to reviews so bad that only masochistic perverts—both the celeb-horny wankers (Milla Jovovich’s ass appears for .2 seconds somewhere in the first reel) and helplessly indiscriminate sci-fi consumers—came out for the half-a-week that it was in theaters.
But then came Netflix. I threw it in my queue—in between watching things like the excellent BBC adaptation of Bleak House, I have taken to watching very bad action movies with my finger on the skip button, self-editing them into moral-less, plot-less forty-five minute mashes of comically misguided badassery. And I will explain why you should watchUltraviolet in this fashion immediately following the jumpy-button, below.

Continue reading "Netflix Mon Amour: Ultraviolet" »

The Climate-Change “Debate”

posted by on August 7 at 12:01 PM

“There is no other cause, as far as we can determine” for a growing 1,235-square mile “dead zone” off the Oregon Coast, with oxygen levels so low that fish and crabs suffocate. The dead zone, which is unrelated to recurring oceanic current changes such as El Nino and La Nina, has quadrupled in size since 2002.

Meanwhile, July set an all-time record for US electricity use, breaking the previous record, set last July.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Commander-in-Chief

posted by on August 7 at 11:46 AM

Ignoring statement by his own generals, Bush dismisses concerns about civil war:

You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box. And a unity government is working to respond to the will of the people. And, frankly, it’s quite a remarkable achievement on the political front.

In other news, Peter Galbraith reports that one year before his “Axis of Evil” speech, Bush met with several Iraqi-Americans who described what they believed the political situation in Iraq would be after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam—to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg poll revealed that Bush’s approval rating among young voters is lower than in any other group: 20 percent, with 53 percent disapproving, compared to 40 percent in the US population as a whole.

Motorcycles are Dangerous; or, God is an Asshole

posted by on August 7 at 11:46 AM

Within the span of two hours, two brothers were killed in separate motorcycle accidents on the same stretch of road in central Pennsylvania. “One was headed to the scene of his brother’s accident,” reports the Associated Press.

Heat, Fire

posted by on August 7 at 11:37 AM

The way to read in Cal Anderson Park on a broiling day is to sit on the edge of the reflection/wading pool (humans used to be barred, but now it’s full of swimming dogs and children just about all the time) with your shoes off and your feet in the water. The other day I was sitting there with my iPod on shuffle and suddenly Tom Robbins was orating the last chapter of The Great Gatsby. Not a bad soundtrack to the sight of people running across a huge lawn and splashing through a pool. In the dead of summer. When you’re pondering your love life.

Now, Zelda Fitzgerald? That lady had some problems. A new book of literary anecdotes includes this one:

…the sodden Zelda Fitzgerald calls a firefighter to her house and when he asks where the blaze is, she strikes her breast and says, “Here.”

The Tipping Point

posted by on August 7 at 11:22 AM

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick keeps saying he wants to run a “different” campaign. That is: a campaign that doesn’t stoop to the childish, partisan, misleading level of attack politics that typically clutters civic debate.

I want to believe the guy, but then he sends out childish, partisan, misleading press releases that clutter the civic debate.

Here’s a bit of his latest release on the GOP “trifecta” tax bill. [Asteriks are mine.]

SEATTLE—Mike McGavick hoped [Sen. Cantwell] would fully explain to Washingtonians her recent vote against lowering their taxes.* Sen. Cantwell last week voted against state sales tax deductibility, against an increase in the federal minimum wage… Among the many things contained in the tax package Sen. Cantwell helped block was renewal of state sales tax deductibility. Sales tax deductibility has saved Washingtonians an average of $550 annually.*   As a reason for voting “no”, Cantwell and Senate Democrats claimed a provision in the bill would lower the wage below the state’s minimum for tipped workers in Washington.* The reality about Sen. Cantwell’s vote:

The U.S. Department of Labor says the bill will protect Washington’s minimum wage of $7.63 an hour.*

*Cantwell voted against abolishing the estate tax. Ending the tax would help .3% of Americans. These are the richest of the rich, with estates valued at $10 million and above. There are about 250 Washington families that would have been affected.

*The reason Washingtonians have been able to save an average of $550 is because Cantwell struck a bipartisan deal to extend the sales tax deductibility provision in 2003. She didn’t take the bait this time because this time it was tied to the estate tax repeal…and a tip deduction wage provision. Meanwhile, she’s the lead sponsor this year, along with Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, of a bill that would make the sales tax deduction permanent. As she said when she voted against the GOP ploy to pass the estate tax repeal, all these issues should be voted on in their own right.

* Cantwell is right about the GOP call for a tip credit deduction provision. The rule would have allowed management to slash workers’ wages by counting tips against their salary. This would bring service workers’ wages down to around $2.15p/h. The tip deduction would have hit about 120,000 workers who depend on tips in Washington state—a $950 million wage hit. The Washington Dept. of Labor said the federal law would have trumped our state law prohibiting tip deductions.

*It’s true, Washington’s minimum wage would have stayed at $7.63 per hour, as opposed to slipping down to the new proposed federal level of $7.25. But Cantwell’s concern was about the tip deduction, not about the lower proposed federal minimum.

What really bugs me about this whole thing is: The GOP “trifecta” tax package was purely an election year political stunt, a cynical partisan ploy to neutralize a winning Democratic issue—the minimum wage. And, first thing Monday morning, McGavick, who continually claims to be above the juvenile partisan fray, sends out a misleading hack-job press release on Cantwell, trying to score partisan political points.

McGavick appears to just be following GOP orders. Listen to the GOP leadership quoted last week in the D.C. paper The Hill:

Even if they do not win enactment of the “trifecta” bill, [Republicans] said they would be able to blame Democrats…”There’s no risk. It’s all reward,” said Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “It’s a very compelling political package.”  —The Hill, 8/2/06

Lieberman’s Last Day as a Democrat?

posted by on August 7 at 10:56 AM

As Dan noted below, tomorrow is the Connecticut primary, which is being billed as a watershed moment for the Democratic Party (and, more so, for the liberal blogosphere).

The primary has been the talk of the netroots for months. When I was in Las Vegas back in June writing about the Yearly Kos blogger convention, Markos Moulitsas, probably the most widely read liberal blogger in the country, essentially bet his prestige on a netroots victory over Lieberman, telling the crowd in no uncertain terms: “Liberman is going to lose.”

I saw Markos’s bet as a play for clout as much as an act of political retribution against pro-war Lieberman, and I wrote that Moulitsas and the liberal blogosphere were due for a huge clout-perception-payoff if the prediction of a Lieberman loss proved true.

It looks like it’s going to prove true tomorrow. Polls are showing Lieberman is likely to lose the primary to anti-war and netroots-backed Ned Lamont, a scenario that would force Lieberman to either abandon his long career in the Senate or run in the general election as an Indepentent. And Dan Balz of the Washington Post is now previewing the potential clout payoff for the netroots this way:

A victory by businessman Ned Lamont on Tuesday would confirm the growing strength of the grass-roots and Internet activists who first emerged in Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. Driven by intense anger at President Bush and fierce opposition to the Iraq war, they are on the brink of claiming their most significant political triumph, one that will reverberate far beyond the borders here if Lieberman loses.

One more day until we find out what actually happens. In the meantime, for Lamont vs. Lieberman addicts, some links:

Washington Post on Lieberman’s big speech.

Hartford Courant, via The Note, on possibilities for the morning after.

The Note itself on why the case against Leibarman is sui generis (and therefore maybe not the “watershed” people think it is).

Chicago Tribune on voters abandoning Lieberman.

Kagan on why Lieberman is the “last honest man.”

Salon on why “it is hard to overstate what a profound and monumental upset it will be if Ned Lamont defeats Joe Lieberman.”

I-933, Anti-Government Activists, and Your Supreme Court

posted by on August 7 at 10:54 AM

There’s a good post over at WashBlog detailing the links between anti-government and development interests such as the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), the campaign for Initiative 933 (which would force state government to pay landowners to follow environmental and zoning laws) and state supreme court candidates Stephen Johnson and John Groen, who are challenging Justice Susan Owens and Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, respectively. Anti-government groups including the BIAW, the Washington State Farm Bureau, and a group called Americans for Limited Government associated with Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, and Grover Norquist, have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the pro-933 campaign—and to Johnson and Groen.

I-933 would neutralize decades of environmental law, requiring the state to pay developers to follow virtually every state and federal regulation. Among other bizarre provisions (outlined comprehensively by Sightline here), I-933 makes no allowance to enforce federal laws like the Clean Air Act; includes no exemptions for public nuisances (like pig farms, with their “lagoons” of open sewage) and actually allows property owners to jeopardize their neighbors’ health and safety (by digging a gravel mine, for example, or discharging harmful pollutants) as long as the threat is not “immediate.”

Scary stuff, no? It gets scarier. Under I-933, according to WashBlog,

farmers who have been using water for decades under established rights could see their supplies dry up. That’s because anyone would be allowed under I-933 to use as much groundwater or upstream water as they could collect on their own private land. In fact, they’d be allowed to waste the water as much as they want. You can’t do that legally now.

Under I-933, the burden of paying for pollution cleanup would shift from polluters to taxpayers. Our state’s vehicle emissions testing program could be declared illegal. People would be able to burn garbage whenever they wanted. Anyone could build in floodplains.

I-933 would also allow property owners to sue for damages from laws that were passed decades ago. And so much for small government: Administering I-933 would cost the state an estimated $1 billion every year.

HUMP: A Cry For Help

posted by on August 7 at 9:52 AM

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This aspiring HUMP filmmaker has a few questions…

Just wondering if you could give me tips on the easiest way to get my video from my phone to a DVD. I use T-Mobile so I put them in my album but dont know how to copy to DVD. Also, they are 15 sec snips becuse thats all my phone will record so I’ll have to put them all together.

I noticed in the rules that there are”no animals.” Well, the cat is there in one flick. I didn’t fuck her… just said “hello pussy.” Should I not include that part? The dildo we used Is a “Rabit” but since that is just a brand I think it should be ok.—R.L.

First the question I can answer: The rules say “no animals,” but what we mean is “no fucking animals.” No bestiality, no real K9 action, no cross-species love. Stuffed animals are fine, furries are fine, and actual animals are fine if they appear in establishing shots or incidental shots. If a person made a film outside at, say, Greenlake, it would hard to keep dogs and geese out of the shot. (The rules also say “no children”—and that is an absolute ban. No kids, period.)

A rabbit dildo is fine, smartass.

Now the question I can’t answer: How do you move 15 second video clips from your phone to some kind of editing software to a DVD? No clue—but it can be done. This guy did it. Hopefully someone out there reading this knows what R.L. needs to do, and will walk him through the process in comments.

Jodie + Swayze + Gibson = LUV!

posted by on August 7 at 9:48 AM

It’s Monday morning, and those brave celebrities of Hollyweird are lining up to defend drunken Jew hater Mel Gibson. When asked if Mel thinks Jews stink, really awful actress and apparent expert in anti-semitism Jodie Foster said…

“Absolutely not. Mel is honest, loyal, kind, but alcoholism has been a lifelong struggle for him and his family,” adding, “I do not have personal experience with addiction, but I have seen it take many paths in people I know.”

Still not convinced Mel thinks Jews are swell? Let’s ask the grand arbiter of all moral issues, Patrick Swayze, who says that Gibson is…

“…a wonderful human being. He is not anti-Semitic. People say stupid things when they happen to have a few, and especially if you don’t drink any more, or have limited your drinking for a long time and all of a sudden you decide to have one too many with the boys — you are stupid.”

Ohhh-kay. Is that alcohol I smell on Patrick’s breath?

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Patrick and Demi work on a scupture entitled, “Liquor Decanter.”

Guy Gone Wild

posted by on August 7 at 9:18 AM

The body of jaw-dropping journalism devoted to Joe Francis, the creepy mastermind of the Girls Gone Wild “empire” continues to grow.

Following last year’s bizarre article in Radar (chronicling Francis’ apparent imprisonment and sexual humiliation at the hands of an enemy) comes another juicy Francis expose—this one from the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times story starts with the (female) reporter being pinned by Francis against the hood of a car, ends with a police officer encouraging the reporter to press charges, and goes a million icky places in between. Read it.

The Morning News

posted by on August 7 at 8:00 AM

Fidel Castro: He’s gonna die. But it looks like the Cuban dictator’s death watch may last longer than John Paul II’s, the late Catholic dictator.

US Troops: Reinforcements arrive in Baghdad. Is it the other 200,000 troops Gen. Shinseki said we’d need to pacify Iraq? Ah, nope.

Cindy Sheehan: Back in Crawford.

Middle East: Israeli warplanes pounding Lebanon.

Pacific Northwest: US warplanes delight suburbanites pounding beers.

Joe Lieberman: Threatened Dem explains his stance on Iraq. But can he explain this? Or this?

Jack Abramoff: Republican scandal claims another victim.

Seattle Man: Too pretty?

Alaska Oil Field: Shut down cuts 8% of US oil production.

Tiger Woods: Pretty good at this golf thing.

Showbox: Small fire at Seattle Club.


Sunday, August 6, 2006

The sons of his opponents wish that he was their dad.

posted by on August 6 at 10:15 PM

A quick refresher course on the father of our country:

Arts in America

posted by on August 6 at 6:02 PM

The first of the Seattle Times’s three-part series on Dale Chihuly. More on that later …

And David Schmader talks big about the Coup. I, for one, trust that Pink-President-Hating-Loving Guy on museo-political matters:

The Coup (MUSIC) With Pick a Bigger Weapon, indie hiphop superstars the Coup continue their heroic quest of making political art that doesn’t suck. Spitting his wry and wise rhymes over Prince-y synth beats and slow-love jams, MC and mastermind Boots Riley remains a model of 21st-century humanity: conscious enough to carry an indefatigable fury, smart enough to hash it all out over the hookiest jams since Outkast. Plus, he loves to fuck. With Common Market. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9442. 9 pm, $12 adv/$15 DOS, all ages.) DAVID SCHMADER

Attention Smokers…

posted by on August 6 at 5:31 PM

You have to step outside to light up… but things could be worse.

Employers in Europe are free to refuse smokers a job, confirming their status as the continent’s last pariahs. The European Commission, which has presided over a vast array of anti-discrimination legislation in the past six years, has confirmed that it does not cover tobacco users.