Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

Archives for 01/28/2007 - 02/03/2007

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bright Lights

posted by on February 3 at 9:34 PM


Who’s got a slingshot?

Kauffmann Still Matters

posted by on February 3 at 7:58 PM

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic’s 90-year-old film critic (he was born in April 1916), ends his review of Notes on a Scandal in this week’s TNR with a duo of quarrelsome declarations that would make our young Lindy West proud. They need to be republished here on Slog.

Verbatim, Kauffmann’s glowing review ends like this:

(By the way, as with Penélope Cruz in Volver, there is a shot of Blanchett on the toilet. Is this becoming a signet of female stardom?)

Philip Glass wrote the score. It doesn’t matter.

Yes, But When the Super Bowl Advertises Beer to Kids It Doesn’t Help Our Economy

posted by on February 3 at 7:35 PM

I can’t remember if the slogan “Always Worth It” belongs to Bud or Miller, but Lt. Gov. Brad Owen probably knows. A press release on his Web site warns parents that ads during the Super Bowl will be influencing our kids (subtly, surreptitiously) to drink. Which is bad. So he provides a survey for viewers to track Super Bowl commercials and record which age groups the ads are targeting.

“We’re very interested in knowing which advertisements have the most appeal to minors,” said Owen. “We all know that teen drinking has tragic and often devastating results, and the industry has been told time and time again that their consumer messages should not be targeted toward this highly impressionable age group.”

That’s right. We don’t want kids in Washington to watch wholesome family sports and be subjected to enticing alcohol ads. But on his Web site - which emphasizes protecting kids and pushing economic development – Owen’s political agendas collide. Just above the Super Bowl warning, another press release promotes legislation that would construct a big NASCAR track near Bremerton.

“This track should be built. It’s important to the state’s economy and would provide thousands of local jobs,” said Owen. “A NASCAR track would be like bringing two Super Bowls to the state of Washington every year.”


If Brad Owen is truly concerned with curbing underage alcohol abuse, he shouldn’t be a shill for NASCAR and its youthful, drinky culture. But pushing a political platform for kids’ safety and economic development is so advantageous - even when contradictory – it’s always worth it.

Tacoma: Ceci n’est pas un SuttonBeresCuller.

posted by on February 3 at 5:16 PM

The men in the second photograph here, taken at the Tacoma Art Museum, are not artists Zac Culler, John Sutton, and Ben Beres. While the artists collectively known as SuttonBeresCuller do in fact constantly wear berets, John Sutton has much better handwriting than that upon his name tag, and he always smokes his cigarettes the right way around. These men are Jason Puccinelli, Jed Dunkerley, and Vital 5 mastermind Greg Lundgren, a sinister SuttonBeresCuller shadow artist-trio who, rumor has it, first struck at the opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, planting an unauthorized tiny sapling version of Roxy Paine’s Split near it with a tag crediting/blaming/whatever SuttonBeresCuller. The wool has been pulled over the eyes of the poor Tacoma News Tribune, just when a poll has found that despite all efforts to the contrary, Tacoma is “still gritty and glum.”

UPDATE: The photo of the SuttonBeresCuller impersonators has been removed from the Tacoma News Tribune’s website. The photos of their ship-in-a-bottle installation being lowered into the courtyard of the Tacoma Art Museum by crane are still up, and they are gorgeous. The opening is this Saturday.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 3 at 10:45 AM

Sound Off! Semifinals
(Underage Music) Ah, Sound Off!—the annual underage battle of the bands that has been at least partially responsible for the early discovery of now-glamorous music-scene veterans such as the Schoolyard Heroes, the Lonely H, the Lonely Forest, Mon Frere, Idiot Pilot, and the Hollowpoints. Now in its sixth year, Sound Off! ups the ante by choosing 12 finalists instead of 8. Tonight’s first round of semifinals features Don’t Tell Sophie, For Years Blue, Halfbreed, and the Oregon Donor. One of them could very well be the next great thing. (EMP, 325 Fifth Ave N, 877-EMP-LIVE. 8 pm, $7/$10, all ages.) MEGAN SELING

It’s the GOP Calling

posted by on February 3 at 9:48 AM

Over at HorsesAss, Goldy has some news about what looks suspiciously like Luke Esser’s first play as new state GOP chair.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Hey, Guys!

posted by on February 2 at 5:32 PM

Did you know that HPV (in addition to causing cervical cancer, plus genital warts and other icky symptoms in both men and women) can lead to cancer of the anus and penis in men? Wait until the federal government gets wind of this—can mandatory universal vaccination and full funding be far behind?

(Via Reproductive Rights Blog.)

The Big Difference

posted by on February 2 at 5:29 PM

Charging a 13-year-old boy for killing another boy with a gun given to him by an adult? How fucking backward. That boy should be free and the responsible adult should be in jail (if he is not there already). What this society has to see is the real difference that exists between children and adults. And, yes, I believe there is a hidden and sinister ideology at work here—meaning, if capital says children are adults then adults are children, and what more does capital want than for the majority of the public it exploits (Exxon profits, war, and so on) to believe they are as powerless as children. We are adults and this is a boy. He should not be in the papers, not be in court, and back in school. He has committed no crime. Only adults commit crimes.

San Francisco’s Other Sex Scandal

posted by on February 2 at 5:27 PM

Why can’t we have juicy sex scandals here in Seattle? Do we even have them in Seattle? Can anyone recall a single Seattle sex scandal?

San Francisco is currently having two sex scandals—two!—in a single news cycle! Not fair! The owners of a specialty porn website,, recently purchased a historic building in San Francisco’s Mission District and panties are bunchin’., which distributes its videos on X-rated Web sites with names such as Hogtied and Men in Pain, bought the old State Armory in the Mission District for $14.5 million, saying the vacant building’s dark Moorish architecture would make a perfect backdrop for fetish films.

”The basements in particular have a creepy, dungeony feel that is quite appropriate,” said founder Peter Acworth…

Although city planners said the studio meets zoning requirements, residents and civic leaders have reservations about allowing people to be tied up, spanked and poked with mechanical implements in the working-class neighborhood.

Hilarious Detail #1: Gavin Newsom, as the mayor of San Francisco, is in the awkward position of having to express his “concern” about the morality of at the same time that his affair with his campaign manager’s wife is making headlines all over the world. Take it away, Mr. Mayor…

”While not wanting to be prudish, the fact that will be located in the proximity to a number of schools gives us pause.”

The mayor is planning to hold hearings. Good luck with that, Gavin.

Hilarious Detail #2: The State Armory, “erected in 1912, empty since 1970 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978,” was sold to “after low-income housing advocates killed proposals to develop the Armory into offices or apartments.” No apartments, just BDSM film shoots—good work, low income housing advocates!

Hilarious Detail #3: The Mission Merchants Association, according to its president, is worried that is going to “attract perverts to the area.” Uh, yeah. Wouldn’t want to attract perverts to San Francisco. Heavens., for the record, makes the best and most ethical straight BDSM porn out there, and they use only BDSM players and real people in their shoots. From their website…

BDSM is about respect and trust. When you watch a movie, you are watching real BDSM-loving people play in this context. We at pride ourselves in the authentic reproduction of fetish activities enjoyed by those in the BDSM lifestyle. [hosts] Kink-community building events, BDSM educational seminars, fundraisers for sex-positive charities, and kink-outreach programs.

Some of there stuff is hardcore, but some BDSMers are hardcore—and why shouldn’t their porn be too? And I fully expect that any BDSM film company that can afford to drop 14.5 million on this…


…can afford to pay their models a decent amount of money too.

Viaduct! Viaduct! Viaduct!

posted by on February 2 at 5:08 PM

(Boring subtitle: A Report from Yesterday’s Hearing on the Pro-Tunnel Challenge to the Voter Pamphlet)

Yesterday’s hearing on a pro-tunnel legal challenge to voter pamphlet language describing the two viaduct measures, covered exhaustively by marathon reporter Larry Lange here, had the unwelcome distinction of being possibly the most boring meeting I’ve ever covered. (Seriously: When I left, they were debating whether to describe the state department of transportation’s cost-estimating process as the “normal” or “usual” process. Ultimately, they went with neither.) The main news was that the city’s ethics board agreed to delete language describing funding for Mayor Nickels’s four-lane tunnel as “uncertain,” and added language saying the state had “validated” the rebuild, but not the tunnel. But the thing that struck me most strongly was how bad the city attorney’s arguments actually were.

Essentially, the city attorney’s office—represented by Carlton Seu—attempted to justify leaving in the sentence describing tunnel funding as “uncertain” because that statement was true. The attorney for the tunnel proponents, didn’t dispute that, but called sentence “completely political”— which it was. Seu countered that the sentence “points out the differences between the two alternatives that the city attorney considered to be necessary.” But that’s not exactly true. Yes, as commissioner Robert Mahon noted, “the money [for either option] is uncertain and it’s always going to be uncertain until the thing’s actually built.” But there are tons of facts the city attorney’s office didn’t see fit to include: The fact that the new viaduct will be 50 percent wider and significantly taller than the current one; the fact that the viaduct would be closed during construction for at least four years and wouldn’t open until 2020; the fact that a new viaduct would violate numerous state and federal environmental and growth-management laws; and on and on. The city attorney’s inclusion of this one anti-tunnel fact, and the omission of so many others that would have benefited the tunnel over the new viaduct, seems like an awfully political move for an office that claims to be above politics.

HPV Vaccine Is Now Required in TX

posted by on February 2 at 5:05 PM

Gardasil is now required for schoolgirls in Texas. Watch the Texas papers this weekend for an uproar.

Meanwhile, in Maryland, a measure that would have required girls to be vaccinated is being shelved.

I Love It When Republicans Turn Into Democrats

posted by on February 2 at 4:53 PM

Next Week in the legislature:

Sen. Rodney Tom’s (R D-48) gun show loophole bill will get a hearing in the Labor and Commerce Committee on Thursday.

There’s also a work session on payday lending on Tuesday. (Angela Valdez has been all over this issue) and so, it’s likely she’ll be filing a report from the hearing. Hi Angela!

Gavin Newsom’s Sex Scandal

posted by on February 2 at 4:43 PM

The very popular, very handsome, and very single/recently divorced mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, is embroiled in a sex scandal. Nothing illegal went down—no underage interns were harmed in the production of this sex scandal.

Newsom did, however, have sexual relations with a staffer. Although the woman, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, was Newsom’s appointments secretary at the time of the affair, she hasn’t made an allegations of sexual harassment. It seems to have been a brief, consensual workplace affair that ended two years ago. A bad idea, particularly for a big city mayor, but we’ve seen worse.

But Rippey-Tourk, however, is a married woman. And her husband, Alex Tourk, is Gavin Newsom’s best friend and campaign manager. When Rippey-Tourk told her husband about the affair, he promptly resigned—from the friendship as well as Newsom’s reelection campaign. Now there’s talk about the affair ending any chances Newsom had of higher office. (He had been mentioned as a potential Dem candidate for governor of California.) It’s a shit storm, for sure, and Newsom’s a cad and I can’t imagine Tourk will be married to Rippey-Tourk much longer.

But here’s the detail that keeps bothering me

Mr. Tourk, Mr. Newsom’s former deputy chief of staff and a close friend, resigned Wednesday afternoon, apparently after his wife, as part of rehabilitation for a substance-abuse problem, confessed to having had a relationship with Mr. Newsom.

I keep picturing Rippey-Tourk’s shrink giving her the usual recovery rap about how she’ll never fully recover until she makes amends to all the people she’s wronged—and that she can’t begin to make amends until she confesses every last thing she did wrong. Or maybe Rippey-Tourk felt guilty about the affair and wanted to unburden herself to her husband, unprompted by her counselors. However it went down, I don’t think this confession was in the best interests of all involved. Not because I want to protect Gavin Newsom—full disclosure: Newsom’s a hero in the gay marriage fight and I’d have an affair with him in a heartbeat—but because, as I’ve argued in “Savage Love” on numerous occasions, sometimes the best way to make amends to someone you’ve wronged—particularly to a spouse you’ve cheated on—is by keeping your fucking mouth shut.

Rippey-Tourk could have sucked up the guilt, committed herself to staying faithful in the future, and allowed her poor husband to go to his grave believing that he didn’t marry the kind of woman that would do that to him. Instead Mrs. Rippey-Tourk unburdened herself and in the process shifted all of the burden on to Mr. Tourk.

Sometimes honesty is not the best policy, and this may have been one of those times. Now in addition to being cuckolded for real—this wasn’t some fetish cuckold roleplay scenario—Mr. Tourk has been humiliated before the whole world. Oh, and he’s out of job too. Gavin Newsom will survive this scandal (and may yet go on to higher office), and Mrs. Rippey-Tourk will be forever seen as the victim of a caddish man and an unnamed abusable substance. But Mr. Tourk? He’s always going to be that poor dude whose best friend banged his wife.

Yes, Tourk’s wife and best friend betrayed him. But with the affair long over, did Mr. Tourk really need to be told about the betrayal? What good did it do? And whose interests did this confession really serve?

I’ll bet you that Mr. Tourk, in his heart of hearts, would have rather not have been told about this affair.

Crayon Terrorism

posted by on February 2 at 4:38 PM

My coworkers are familiar with, and mystified by, my obsession with campaign mailers—those stiff-paper fliers that show up in mailboxes with increasing frequency the more often you vote. I have a folder in my file cabinet four inches thick that’s full of them. Having seen literally thousands of mailers—good, bad, mediocre, and just confusing, I have a question for the people who promote school and education levies:

WHY must you always use fake “kid’s” crayon writing to sell your campaigns? Isn’t there a more creative way of evoking “education” than kiddie-crayon scrawl? Are we supposed to feel sorry for the kids—like, if we don’t vote for your taxes, the cute little (fake) kid who wrote this campaign flier in cute little (fake) crayon writing will have to go to school in a cardboard box and we all know they don’t have crayons there! Or do you just think we’re so dumb and attention-deficient that we won’t read the writing on your fliers anyway, making the crayon-scribble a kind of semiotic code for dummies?

Whatever the reason: Please stop. I know schools are important, kids need good schools to succeed, blah, blah. Hell, the Stranger endorsed both your measures extending property taxes for schools. But: For the love of all that is good and decent, please come up with a better way of selling them to us.

Student Press Law Center Takes On Seattle Times

posted by on February 2 at 4:30 PM

Yesterday, I gave some bad Slog to the Seattle Times for its editorial stance on the student freedom of press bill in Olympia.

I also cracked on new GOP chair Luke Esser—who, now that all the GOP members of the judiciary committee voted against the bill—is in an awkward position for two reasons:

First, being a Rob McKenna acolyte (AG McKenna strongly supports the bill), Esser probably can’t stand that his bird brain caucus flouted the Republican AGs Office.

Second, and much more important, the outcast GOP needs to win back the mainstream. Esser’s going to have to do a good dance to make his crumudgeonly legislators look mainstream after they walked all over something as basic as the student press.

Anyway, I’m bringing all this up again because Postman follows up today with some good links from the Student Press Law Center.

Do WHAT to my Snack Hole?

posted by on February 2 at 4:04 PM

Has anyone else noticed this billboard by the 7-Eleven on Pine and 16th?
Is it as weird (cough, phallic) as I think it is?
Did some fancy ad agency get a million McDollars to come up with this new campaign?


“Blanket” Jackson: Unmasked and Undangled!

posted by on February 2 at 3:30 PM


Thanks to, the world can now see the long-hidden faces of Michael Jackson’s three children.

Above is Blanket, AKA Prince Michael II (yep, he’s a boy), who was once so famously dangled over the German balcony. And here are the two older kids, Prince Michael the First and Paris.

Please supply jokes about Jacko’s offspring in the comments. (One suggestion: “They have their father’s nose—in their backpacks!”)

(Or, if you prefer, just rant about what an asshole I am for inviting people to poke fun of these innocent children.)

Today On Line Out

posted by on February 2 at 3:06 PM

Gouge Away: Ticketbastard To Face Real Cost Advertising?

Now Word On “Squirting”: Microsoft Plan Ambitious New Failure.

Total Pussy: David Schmader on Crybaby Rap.

Meet Helmut: Canucks Are Off The Hook.

Bubble Gum Pop and Gift Bags: UK Pop Sensation Mika, Live.

Setlist: Listen to Bands Playing This Week.

Cosmic Soundcrash: Deerhoof in the Headlights.

Krakt Out: KRAKT Book Luke Vibert, Kill English Language.

Oh Glossies, Up Yours: The Extra X Is For Xtra!

Tonight: In Music.

Death of the Road: Pretty Titty and My!Gay!Husband!’s Honeymoon.

Who’s Your Daddy?: The “Awesome” Afterglow.

High on Bonhomie: Getting Sly and The Family Stoned.

Day Tripping: Kelly O’s Maple Valley Odyssey.

Ordering In

posted by on February 2 at 2:55 PM

Speaking of delivery, our online restaurant finder now has a nice list of almost 50 food joints that deliver in Seattle. You can search by neighborhood and cuisine. Give it a try next time you don’t feel like cooking. (My favorite is the very friendly and fast Gehngis Khan.)

All-Purpose Pizza: Bringing it to the CD

posted by on February 2 at 2:28 PM

Hello! This week’s issue brings a fresh installment of Food Fight, the Stranger Food Quarterly which this season is devoted to places that will deliver food to your home.

Among the many venues featured in the package are delivery joints in Capitol Hill, Ballard, West Seattle, and the South Lake Union/Fremont/Wallingford triangle.

One place conspicuously absent from the Central District piece: All-Purpose Pizza, the beloved pizza joint at 2901 S. Jackson, whose absence from Food Fight has nothing to do with All-Purpose’s grub (which is recognized as delicious) and everything to do with Chris McCann’s recent Chow lead on the joint.

So, to clarify: All-Purpose Pizza exists, is good, and would be happy to bring one of their sourdough-crust pizzas to your home anywhere in the Central District and beyond. (The official delivery area runs from Madison to Orcas St. (north-south) and from 12th Ave to Lakeside Ave S, east-west.)

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on February 2 at 2:25 PM

In On Screen this week: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, of Kool-Aid fame.


California Historical Society

This documentary, by the MacArthur Genius Stanley Nelson (The Murder of Emmett Till), will be broadcast on PBS in April, but I recommend seeing it now in fearsome, larger-than-life color. Making almost shocking use of archival materials (even the first moments of the Kool-Aid suicide/massacre were recorded on film), Jonestown doesn’t waste time psychoanalyzing the charisma-ridden sadist Jim Jones. It does, however, get deep inside his congregation, incorporating sympathetic interviews with those true believers (including his black adopted son) who managed to survive. I totally think this doc got robbed of an Academy Award nomination.

Less impressive is God Grew Tired of Us, an uncomfortably upbeat doc about the Lost Boys of Sudan. If you see it, go tonight at 7:30 pm at the Uptown: Santino Lual, of Pacific Northwest Magazine fame, will be answering questions about what life was like for those Lost Boys who were resettled in the Seattle area.

Anything beside docs? We also review The Italian (not good, says Charles Mudede), Half-Cocked (in which Ian Svenonius fulfills all your Chattanooga indie rock dreams)… and yet another doc: Darkon, about people who hit each other with fake swords in grassy parks in the DC metro area (Bradley Steinbacher uses the word “charming”).

And mark your calendars: Iraq in Fragments is indeed coming back to Seattle, with a new week-long run at the Varsity beginning Friday February 9th. See it, see it, see it!


Elsewhere: Noel Murray and Scott Tobias argue pointlessly about theater vs. DVDs. I find these debates far too general and vague. Iraq in Fragments was shot in DV and transferred to 35: Its powerful colors and expressive close-ups should absolutely be seen on the big screen. With the very-digital looking Caché, which did a lot to extend the possibilities of digital aesthetics, I could go either way. The rewind trick near the beginning would be more exciting and disruptive on your TV screen; the plot twist is more gripping in a packed theater. (Maybe it will eventually be seen as a movie that successfully straddled the two delivery systems.) Sadie Benning’s shorts should be seen on video, preferably in your bedroom. Tyler Perry movies should only be seen with a mostly black audience who will talk back to the screen. (Via The IFC Blog.)

Also, a must-read piece on the theme “Robert Altman was a great pothead” (an affectionate tribute from the screenwriter for The Player). Complete with a discussion of the meaning of “white jazz.” (Via Green Cine Daily.)

Film Shorts can be found at Get Out!, The Stranger’s comprehensive search widget.

White History Month

posted by on February 2 at 2:22 PM

Does anyone have a theory about why this man isn’t starting on the Western Conference All-Star Team?

Black Like Him

posted by on February 2 at 2:17 PM

The New York Times continues to explore one of the more interesting questions of early race for the Democratic presidential nomination:

Why are some black voters so uneasy about Senator Barack Obama?

The answer, essentially, is that he’s not black like them.

Radar’s The Ethnicist

posted by on February 2 at 2:16 PM

Yes, yes, we all love The Ethicist, Randy Cohen’s ethics-spewing character regularly featured in the New York Times and on NPR. But I’m harboring an even more sizable media crush on The Ethnicist, the new Radar Online columnist whose mission is drecribed thusly:

Once a month we’ll answer the impolitic questions you’ve been wondering about…Questions like: Why do certain black guys like big butts and why can’t they lie about it? Are Jews truly good with money? Do Koreans really eat dogs? (And if so, who brings them their slippers and newspapers?)

In the premiere Ethnicist, Radar takes on an age-old quandary: Why do African Americans smoke menthols? For the freakishly well-researched answer, go here.

Black History Month

posted by on February 2 at 2:15 PM

I found this cool web site.

Oh, and this one too.

The Dreams of Dubai

posted by on February 2 at 2:07 PM

And it just don’t stop. Dubai is throwing money at big names to design buildings that have had no other home but in their dreams. Hadid gets to do this:
851_385 Performing Arts .jpg

Gehry gets to do this:
851_3_1000 Gehry Guggenheim Abu Dhabi 2.jpg

Tadao gets to do this:
r851_6_1000 Tadao Maritime Museum 1.jpg

Of the three, Tadao Ando’s dream is the only one worth realizing. (Then again, when has Tadao ever gone wrong?) As for Hadid and Gehry, there is nothing impressive about their designs outside of the fact that they were commissioned by religious Arabs.

Iron Mike

posted by on February 2 at 1:39 PM

Last night on ESPN Classic they were showing some of Mike Tyson’s early fights. One of them was this bout against “Fast” Eddie Richardson on November 13, 1985 in Houston.

The fight was a joke: Tyson knocked down Richardson just nine seconds in, and finally put him down for good a mere minute after the fight started. But the fight itself isn’t what’s interesting (other than just how incredibly fast, and hard-punching, Tyson was back then). What’s interesting is Tyson’s reaction at the end of the bout.

The Tyson we know now is crazy and out of control—a convicted rapist, an alleged wife beater, an ear-muncher, and now, a broke-ass washout, among other things. But watch the video and you see a completely different Tyson who, after the fight is called, rushes over to help “Fast” Eddie Richardson back to his feet. He then later goes over to Richardson’s corner to make sure Richardson is okay. Just 19 at the time, Tyson—who had spent a lot of time in juvie as a kid, and was eventually discovered there—appears completely at odds with the “Iron” Mike we know now.

Tyson would eventually go on to own the WBA, WCA, and IBF titles at the same time—the first heavyweight fighter to do so. But by then his life outside the ring was starting to crumble, and his downfall was swift. In 1988, a year after he claimed all the belts, he fired his long-time manager Kevin Rooney, and just two years after that he was lying on his back in a ring in Tokyo as nobody James “Buster” Douglas was crowned the new champ. Then came prison, a failed comeback, the ear-munching, the facial tattoos, etc.

For four years—from 1984 to 1988—boxing made Mike Tyson a better man. It plucked him from juvie, set his life on a path, and gave him hope as a human being. And then, like the sport often does, it destroyed him.

Deborah Brandt

posted by on February 2 at 1:16 PM

I agree with James over at Seattlest on this one: I’m glad KUOW’s morning host Deborah Brandt is leaving the station, and I feel like a bad, bad man for saying so out loud. While my morning commute only takes me from the bedroom to the bathroom and back, I’ve shared lots of moments like this one with my boyfriend over the last nine years:

She’s been plaguing our commute since 1998, segueing out of news segments while laughing at her own cornball insights. Many is the morning we’d glance at our wife as Brandt chuckled through some comment and find our own “What the hell…?” expression reflected back at us.

Some mornings the banter with Harmon made me want to hang myself—but I opted for switching over to KPLU instead.

The much-less-annoying, sounds-gay-but-isn’t, way-too-attractive-for-radio Derek Wang takes over for Brandt later this month.

Sims Is No Tunnel Supporter. He’s Into the Surface/Transit Option. Please Make a Note of It.

posted by on February 2 at 12:35 PM

There’s a good article in yesterday’s PI that summarizes the “uncouth” factor I was getting at earlier this week when I made fun of Gov. Gregoire for her latest attempt to appear politically coherent about the viaduct.

But I do have a footnote complaint about the article. It has little to do with Gregoire. It has to do with the incorrigible mainstream press around here—that refuses to acknowledge the bigwig support for the surface/transit option.

The article says: “Of the group of tunnel supporters, including King County Executive Ron Sims…”


King County Exec Sims is one of the loudest advocates for checking out the third option, the surface/transit option. Certainly, I understand if the reporter goofed, but editors who have been editing article after article about the viaduct drama should know full well where Sims stands.

Yes, it was a toss-off line in the story. But in such a charged debate, it’s important to get the King County Exec’s position right. Please do.

No Questions Asked

posted by on February 2 at 12:23 PM


Found posted above the mailboxes in a Seattle apartment building.

What You Must Do

posted by on February 2 at 11:57 AM

To the two white women in this office who constantly complain to me about the high number of black men who hit on them, the solution is very simple and can be achieved in a matter of months. Lose lots of weight. Do this, get yourself thin, and as the sun will surely set at the end of this day, those black men will surely stop busting moves on you. There it is.

Seattle Parties

posted by on February 2 at 11:50 AM

This post was written by T.R., a Seattleite who recently moved to New York City.

On a balmy Saturday night, a small line formed outside Gallery Bar, a brand new venue open for just a week on Orchard Street in New York City. But instead of chattering the usual list of VIPs and promoter’s names, you only had to say one word to get in:Seattle.

There, in the bowels of the Lower East Side, gathered a few hundred former Seattleites in a bar part-owned by a Seattleite. The party, in its second year, is the brainchild of former Stranger photographer Casey Kelbaugh, who moved from Seattle to New York three and a half years ago.

He called the idea, “an experiment.” Judging from the crowd it was a pretty successful one. For the first Seattle party last year, held at a friend’s loft in the East Village, he sent out an email to a handful of friends a day before the event. A few hundred people turned up. This year, he had a mailing list of 120 people, and this time, over 250 Seattleities pining for the friendly Pacific Northwest charm came together.

Other than the guy wearing a (hopefully ironic) red and black flannel shirt, and a knit cap, there was only one other sign that it wasn’t a typical crowd of New Yorkers. “Everyone’s so huge!” said Kelbaugh, an observation echoed by another friend. “Maybe it’s the Nordic thing,” I pointed out.

Even though I lived there for six years, I only recognized my friends who I came with, including Courtney Reimer, a writer who moved from Seattle in 2001, and is now the director of the MTV and VH1 Radio Network. Reimer observed the scene: “This party sort of gives lie to the fact that you know everyone in Seattle because Seattle is so small, but I don’t recognize a single person here,” she said. The table next to us was having better luck—they soon erupted in high-pitched squeals at the sight of a familiar face.

Last year at the first Seattle party, actor/musician Ryan Link, manned the stereo, resulting in a predictable, but surprisingly satisfying musical mix: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, The Pogues, Nirvana, Pearl Jam.

This year, the DJ spun an odd selection of songs from my junior high school years. What was he doing playing Boys 2 Men, Teena Marie, and Sheila E? A friend threw ice cubes at the DJ to show her displeasure.

I asked the DJ why he wasn’t playing “Seattle music.” Turned out, he didn’t know it was a Seattle party, and certainly wasn’t from the Emerald City. “Seattle music?—I wouldn’t even know what that is.” He shrugged. “Sir Mixalot?”—T.R.

Are Women “Rational” Political Actors?

posted by on February 2 at 11:35 AM

You’ll need TimesSelect to follow this debate between two smarty-pants female writers, but it’s pretty interesting. For starters, both writers agree that women could be more of a force in national elections if only they didn’t tend to vote irrationally.

First there’s Linda Hirshman, who, apropos of Hillary Clinton’s run for president, wrote in the Washington Post:

In every election, there’s a chance that women will be the decisive force that will elect someone who embraces their views. Yet they seem never to have done so, and I’ve never seen a satisfactory answer as to why. My own theory is that women don’t decide elections because they’re not rational political actors — they don’t make firm policy commitments and back the candidates who will move society in the direction they want it to go. Instead, they vote on impulse, and on elusive factors such as personality.

And in response comes Judith Warner, who writes today behind the TimesSelect firewall:

The ever-controversial Linda Hirshman had an article in the Washington Post this past week, in which she depicted American women voters – and suburban stay-at-home moms in particular – as politically ignorant, disinterested and ultimately self-defeating.

Citing studies and anecdotes culled from a few conversations with Washington-area suburban moms who appear to spend a fair amount of their time sitting around on their living room sofas and reading People magazine, she painted a rather damning portrait of women who don’t read newspapers, don’t read up on policy, and very often get their information on the outside world from their more tuned-in working husbands. Ignorant of the issues, they cast their votes based on such slippery stuff as “character,” and then, in election after election, blow their chances of being “the decisive force that will elect someone who embraces their views.”

Women are not “rational political actors,” Hirshman writes. “Instead, they vote on impulse, and on elusive factors such as personality.”

Some of what Hirshman has to say is, unfortunately, true. Survey after survey shows the consumers of news today to be disproportionately male. In my own anecdotal forays through the living rooms of America’s suburbs, I’ve often been struck by the degree to which women – particularly mothers of young children – don’t keep up with world events.

The reasons are quite obvious – for stay-at-home moms in particular, who don’t have the excuse of in-office dead time to read the paper or browse the Internet, there are just no free moments in the day. But, however understandable the phenomenon, the results can be worrisome. Hirshman cites a recent Pew Research Center study showing that nearly half the women surveyed said they “sometimes do not follow international news because of excessive coverage of wars and violence”; a New York Times/CBS poll last year found that nearly 10 percent more women than men still believed that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. In an age when Americans are showing a troublesome tendency toward irrational belief (There were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; there were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark), keeping up, at least minimally, with the news probably ought to be a prerequisite for the job of childrearing.

That said, while Hirshman’s statistics on female ignorance of the news are worth note, her conclusions about women’s particular irrationality as voters truly miss the mark. These days, all voters vote “irrationally” – if such factors as personal appeal and character can be said to be irrational…

This Week on Drugs

posted by on February 2 at 11:29 AM


Big Busts: Seattle-area baristas admired for their bare flesh while Moses Lake Sherriff admired for his huge find.

Kill Them All: Moscow Mayor wants druggies sent to the gallows, Jacksonville sting operation guns down an 80-year-old man on his front lawn, while Montana Republicans kill a medical marijuana bill.

Little Big Men: Kucinich to head committee that schools drug czar, who launches campaign to randomly drug test all US students.

Run from the Border: Mexico’s drug war turns gruesome while drug trafficking granny tries to support her bingo habit.

Attention, Mr. Keck: Employee manual developed for rope smokin’ staff.

I Posted This Over on Line-Out

posted by on February 2 at 11:22 AM

…but it’s slog-worthy as well.

“Perhaps Unpleasant … Consequences”

posted by on February 2 at 11:15 AM

Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Capitol Hill, Wallingford, U-District) opposes the Seattle City Council on capping condo conversions.

As Erica summarized in her column this week, there’s a bill in Olympia—being pushed by City Council member Tom Rasmussen—that would regulate condo conversions. There were 2,352 condo conversions in Seattle in 2006—as opposed to 430 in 2004. And the average price of the new condos was $250,000. I don’t imagine 2,352 renters have that kind of cash.

Erica wrote:

A bill supported by Council Member Tom Rasmussen that would place restrictions on landlords who convert apartments into condos is moving smoothly through the state senate. The latest proposed changes would strengthen the bill by increasing relocation assistance for tenants (currently $500 throughout the state) to the equivalent of three or four months’ rent and by prohibiting landlords from starting interior construction until the last tenant is out.

Sounds like a cool bill. It’s being sponsored by Seattle-area Sens. Ken Jacobsen (D-46), Adam Kline (D-37), and Ed Murray (D-43).

Well, co-sponsors Murray and Kline, along with Seattle house members Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-11, S. Seattle), Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37, S. Seattle), and Rep. Phyllis Kenney (D-46, N. Seattle) want to add an amendment (being pushed by the Puget Sound Alliance of Senior Citizens, the Seattle Displacement Coalition, and the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness) that would make the bill even tougher on condo conversion. They want put a cap on conversions. It’s an interesting idea when something as disruptive as condo conversions hits a 450% increase over a two-year period. (Conversions also jumped 51 percent between ‘05 and ‘06.)

Rasmussen’s colleagues, Sally Clark and Nick Licata are also reportedly on board.

However, a couple of Seattle legislators are against the cap idea: Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne) and Rep. Pedersen.

Here’s a copy of an e-mail Pedersen sent out to advocates of the conversion cap earlier this week:

Thanks for your message and for taking the time to write to me about SB 5031 and the potential companion bill in the house. As a resident of Capitol Hill, I have heard about these problems from friends and constituents and am very interested in providing reasonable protections for tenants who find themselves in this position. I have reviewed SB 5031 and am supportive of the legislation in its current form. I’d be happy to be a co-sponsor of an equivalent bill in the House. I do not, however, support allowing local jurisdictions to impose moratoria on condo conversions. I suspect that local politics might cause that power to be exercised with unpredictable — and perhaps unpleasant — consequences on the housing market. So if you choose to proceed with a bill in the House that is similar to SB 5031, then you can count me as a supporter and I would be pleased to be a co-sponsor. If you decide to add the language you mention below, then I am not likely to support the legislation without an amendment to remove the language. Please keep me posted about how you plan to proceed — and please feel free to contact me regarding any other questions or comments you may have. Best wishes, Jamie

Displacement Coalition leader John Fox told me:

I’m hardpressed to understand what could be more unpleasant for the housing market than a net loss of 1500 rental housing units county wide in just ‘05, not even counting Seattle. Letting the market take its course has meant removing more rental units (via conversion and demolition) than we are producing. Where’s the trickle down in that? I’m hardpressed to understand what kind of rational “free market” argument you can make to justify allowing this to continue unabated.

And Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett, the director of the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness, promptly sent a formal reply. I’ve linked it below.

Continue reading ""Perhaps Unpleasant ... Consequences"" »

Fact Check

posted by on February 2 at 11:12 AM

A story in the P-I announces disturbing news about a new gang in our area: a drug dealer arrested as part of a small-ish local bust by the ATF “allegedly belongs to the Norteno street gang. The mostly Hispanic gang is rooted in California but has extended its presence and illicit drug dealing into Washington…” Eek!

Here’s my issue: the term Norteño is very unspecific. Norteño is more of a classification, a perceived allegiance or alliance. It’s not one gang with a clear leadership and organization. The P-I story furthers a law enforcement myth that these gangs work like a super secret scary brown mafia. The drug trade is real—and a lot of these guys are involved in it. But it’s not like a lieutenant in a California prison is ordering drug sales in Yakima. And Norteño gangs aren’t a new presence, here or in California.

The Norteños began as Nuestra Familia at Soledad State Prison and grew to control another No. Cal prison at Pelican Bay. The gang started back in the 1970s to offer protection from their natural rivals, the Sureños, So. Cal prison-bred sets tied to the Mexican Mafia (which is not the mafia in Mexico but a prison-based gang). (The gangs did not form, as the P-I states, because of a split in the Mexican Mafia.) Since then, the gangs have spread and diversified. When Latino thugs decide to align themselves with a gang somewhere in the United States, they often choose between Norteño and Sureño — and then add their own local flavor. There’s an endless list of specific gangs tied to one or the other, and often one Norteño will fight another if they’re in a different clique.


Bear Down…

posted by on February 2 at 11:07 AM

OK, America’s biggest secular holiday approaches, with kickoff in, oh, 52 hours and 17 minutes. Or so.

Not that I’m looking forward to it or anything. Because despite the hype, I acknowledge certain facts: as Neil Steinberg points out today, about last year’s Super Bowl:

90.7 million Americans watched the game.

That means [ … ] that some 200 million Americans didn’t watch the Super Bowl last year. Which then means, if history is any judge, that two-thirds of the country won’t be watching it Sunday. Because there are more interesting things to occupy yourself with.

But the haters—or to be fair to Steinberg, the disdainers— aside, the Super Bowl really has something for everyone. Some folks do just watch the commercials, some have money on the game, some are praying for a wardrobe malfunction (though isn’t Prince’s whole wardrobe one big malfuction?). Some of us like to hate Republicans and Homophobes like Manning and Dungy. And who doesn’t like eating like a pig and drinking like a fish?

But some of us like sports, so here’s my call: if the Bears hold the Colts scoreless through the first quarter, Chicago will win. The weather looks like it’ll be rainy, though probably not tornadoes (man, is Florida cursed or what?) and this favors a team used to playing outdoors over the Dome-heads from Indy. The Bears RB tandem of Jones and Benson have very different running styles, and used in rotation they scramble a defense’s brain. And the Colts D is ranked at the very bottom of the NFL against the run.

Then there was this little experiment run by the good folks at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. In Darwinian terms, Bears don’t just beat Colts, they eat ‘em.

Post-mortem, for good or ill, Monday morning.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 2 at 10:45 AM


Rags to Riches
(Music) After two years of brokering drunken dance-floor diplomacy between Capitol Hill’s indigenous hipsters and the War Room’s hiphop clientele, Rags to Riches is calling it quits. Tonight’s final blowout party will celebrate the night’s long, successful run while also ushering in the War Room’s new Friday-night weekly, Ring the Alarm. DJs D-Double, Kuttin Kandi, and Babu are flying in from around the country to ensure a properly banging sendoff/kickoff. (War Room, 722 E Pike St, 328-7666. 9 pm, $5 before 11 pm/$10 after, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY

I Over Use this Word Around the Office

posted by on February 2 at 10:15 AM

And my colleagues roll their eyes when I do. I’m always talking about stories that capture the zeitgeist. (I even had a song I sang: “Zeeetgeast Maga-zeeeen!”)

But I don’t use it in print, ever. Ever.

Until this week. I had to use the Z-word in print.

In my Oly•Intel column about my fear that the Democrats would wimp out on Rep. Maralyn Chase’s (D-32) CO2 emissions cap bill, I wrote:

I’m worried about the Democratic leadership who stressed at a caucus meeting immediately after the elections last year that Democrats need to tread lightly if they want to keep their majority.

In addition to the annoying Catch-22 of that logic, a carbon dioxide cap isn’t as controversial as an income tax or gay marriage—two Democratic proposals that, frankly, have little public traction. An emissions cap is exactly the sort of Zeitgeist item that a Democratic majority should move through the legislature. Unfortunately, the idea is unpopular with a more powerful contingent than the public: big business. I’m afraid that rather than being a victory for the Democrats, the emission limits will end up being another case study of Democratic limits.

I know you all (Democratic legislators in Olympia) think Rep. Chase is an odd duck and there’s some bullshit internecine stuff coming from leadership about how she tried to run a progressive against her colleague, Ruth Kagi, from the 32nd. But people, this is for real. Do not let petty politics scuttle this bill.

This is a zeitgeist bill and this, as we see this morning, is the zeitgeist:


You Win, Chicago Fan

posted by on February 2 at 10:05 AM

I hated the Bears all year, and what little interest I held in this year’s Super Bowl was based on nothing more than wanting to watch the Colts demolish them.

But now that it’s out Peyton Manning is a goddamn Bush fan (not to mention Colts coach Tony Dungy’s support of the homo-hatin’ Indiana Family Institute), I can’t help but root for Chicago this Sunday.

So, uh, yeah: Go Bears!

Not Dead Yet

posted by on February 2 at 9:04 AM

Rep. Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma) proudly announced the death yesterday of a bill that would cap payday loan interest rates at 36 percent (they now top out at about 400 percent APR). Kirby says he won’t give the bill a hearing in his insurance and finance committee, thus preventing it from reaching a vote in the house. Kirby instead put forward his alternative, a bill that would establish a payment plan for consumers who get into trouble with a payday loan. The plan can only be used once a year and closely resembles a similar option that is already in place.

Leaders of the coalition to cap payday loans say they haven’t given up. They will continue to press forward in the senate, where the bill has not yet been introduced.

Aaron Toso with Communities Against Payday Predators cited the growing public and political support for the cap. Organized labor added its heft to the list this week. “That’s our hope,” Toso said, “that it just gets so big they can’t close the door on it.”

A 2006 poll found that over 80 percent of Washingtonians would support a bill requiring payday lenders to “abide by the same consumer loan laws affecting banks and other lenders.”

It seems to me that the success of the cap will depend on whether the coalition can lean hard enough on Democratic legislative leaders to force their underlings to give the bill a chance. House Speaker Frank Chopp told the Tacoma News that the conversations would continue. But the reference was oblique. More to come if I can get up with some big Dems. A cap campaign in Oregon took two years of similarly desperate fighting. My home state’s cap goes into effect this summer.

Unhappy Median

posted by on February 2 at 8:50 AM

A good number of friends and commenters told me that I bummed them out yesterday with my post about the median income in King County. Maybe this will make it all better:

The figure I gave$60,400 — was the median household income for King County in 2005.

The key word there being household. (Although I left that key word out of my post, sorry!) Households often have more than one wage earner, so comparing your own personal income to the median household income is not an apples-to-apples comparison, as they say.

So what’s the deal with individual income in this county?

In 2004, the per capita personal income in King County was $49,300.

Hope that helps, and sorry for any existential freakouts I might have caused yesterday by making people think the median personal income in King County was $60K, when it’s not, not, not.

(You ask: What does “per capita personal income” mean? Here ya go.)

Morning News

posted by on February 2 at 7:22 AM

It’s official: We’re destroying the planet. “Smoking Gun” UN climate report formally released.

The Reaction: ExxonMobil think tank attempts buying off scientists to dispute report.

It’s Official Pt. II: US intel calls Iraq “Perilous” and says “Civil War” accurately describes key elements of conflict.

The Reaction: Congress set to pass resolution rebuking Bush’s troop escalation.

Finally: Senate boosts minimum wage.

Scary: Blocking UN inspectors, Iran says it’s going ahead with 3,000 enrichment centrifuges

Really Scary: Drug-resistant HIV strain hits Seattle.

Well, Boston Thought it Was Scary: Aqua Teen Hunger Force meltdown continues.

Some Republicans Get It: Outgoing US commander in Iraq grilled by Senate Republicans.

Some Democrats Don’t Get It: D committee chair tables payday loan cap.
(P.s. the Stranger’s Angela Valdez was first to report this lame Democrat’s plan to ignore the bill.)

Nickels Gets Lucky: Pro-Tunnel camp gets its way on ballot language.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

More on the Local “Cluster” of Drug-Resistant HIV Cases

posted by on February 1 at 6:48 PM

Here’s the beginning of a story I just wrote for The Stranger’s homepage about the cases of drug-resistant HIV in King County:

King County health officials announced on February 1 that four local gay men have been diagnosed with a similar, drug-resistant strain of HIV, and the health officials expressed concern that this “cluster” of hard-to-treat HIV cases could signal one particularly drug-resistant strain of HIV spreading in the local gay community.

“We’re calling these a ‘cluster’ because their resistance patterns are so similar that we think there may be a common source or sources,” said Dr. Bob Wood, the HIV/AIDS program director for the county’s health department. “We wanted to get the message out—particularly to people who might be having risky sex in the gay community—that HIV is bad, but some HIV is worse.”

The announcement was similar to an announcement made almost exactly two years ago by health officials in New York City, who had discovered a man infected with a strain of HIV that progressed quickly to full-blown AIDS and was resistant to three of the four classes of HIV drugs.

However, while in that case New York City health officials released information that gave a sense of the infected man’s age (mid-40s) and how he met his partners (over the internet), King County health officials refused to describe the age or sexual meeting places of the men in the local cluster, other than to say that they were all crystal-meth users who had anonymous sex with multiple partners, and that there was “variability” in their sexual meeting places.

“The behavior that got them infected was unsafe sex,” Dr. Wood said, explaining why the department wasn’t releasing more detailed information on their behaviors. “And probably the meth didn’t help.”

Tiny Little Spookies

posted by on February 1 at 5:28 PM

I really love the letters I get!

I am looking for a local source of miniature goth dolls. Like, really mini. No bigger than one’s thumb. And the more said doll approximates the countenance of a librarian, the better!

Anyone have any ideas?

The Divine Miss M. Needs Her Life Back

posted by on February 1 at 4:03 PM

And therefore, the wonderful online regional art monthly, Visual Codec, is on hiatus, probably permanently.

From M., the editor and founder:

When it became clear that, instead of drawing a sustainable amount of resources from my life, Visual Codec had instead eclipsed my life, I spent a couple of agonizing months exploring whether I could move the publication forward in a different direction.

Regretfully, all roads ultimately led here, to the part where I’m telling you what I’m telling you.

Visual Codec was great for a lot of reasons. It was smart and appeared magically, out of nowhere one day exactly a year ago. I’m sorry it’s disappearing as fast. M., I loved reading what you and your writers wrote and gathered, and I tip my hat to you. I know you’re leaving to pursue your own artmaking, and I wish you luck.

And maybe now that you have the experience in publishing, the itch will hit you again one day … we can only hope.

Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

posted by on February 1 at 3:55 PM

This just in…

There’s some guy wandering around downtown shooting off a gun randomly.

Hey, it’s not a mayoral sex scandal, a la SF, or a city-wide freakout, a la Boston, but it’ll do. Here’s all we got right now, though:

I left Pike Place Market to go up to 15th, I went shopping this morning, a little after noon. And when I was up there waiting to come back I noticed police helicopters in the sky over Capitol Hill. You could see them cruising back and forth. When I got on the bus to come back down, at 1st and Pine, there was a policeman looking around and the bus driver was talking about this guy walking around the streets, shooting at random. They must not have found him yet, the driver said, since they’re still looking for him.

They have a description of the guy. And since I had to walk down through the market to get home, I asked the bus driver for it but he wouldn’t give it to me.

Anybody know anything?

In other “shots fired” news, the PI is reporting that…

Shots fired near Gov. Gregoire in Tacoma

Shots were fired in the vicinity of Gov. Chris Gregoire while she was visiting a Tacoma neighborhood Thursday afternoon, her staff said. “We were never in any danger,” said spokesman Lars Erickson….

No injuries were reported, and there was no indication the shots were related to the governor’s visit, Seattle television station KING reported. The station also said police were searching a nearby wooded area after receiving reports of a man with a rifle.

It could just be a coincidence. I mean, is there anyone in Tacoma that can’t say there were shots fired near them on any given day?

It’s Baaaaack

posted by on February 1 at 3:53 PM

The South Dakota legislature is back with a new, improved abortion ban. Voters threw out the previous abortion ban passed by their legislature last November—a ban that made no exception for rape or incest. The new one does. Sort of.

The “Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act” would allow rape victims to have abortions if they report the crime to police within 50 days. Doctors would be required to confirm the report with authorities.

In cases of incest, a doctor would need to obtain the woman’s consent to report the crime—along with the identity of the alleged perpetrator—before an abortion could be performed.

So if you were raped 51 days ago, you’re shit out of luck. And if you’re hesitant to report your father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or cousin to the authorities, then you’re shit out of luck.

So let’s say you’re a 15 year-old girl who still lives with your parents and your father raped you. Unless you’re brave enough to report your father to the police, and unless you get your ass to the doctor early enough, you’ll just have to have your dad’s baby.

The new law would also make any doctor brave enough to perform abortions in South Dakota absolutely miserable.

The measure would also stipulate that abortions could be done only until the 17th week of pregnancy, and blood samples from aborted babies would be sent to the police for DNA testing.

Also, a doctor could perform an abortion if the pregnancy would “cause a very significant impairment of the functioning of a major bodily organ or system,” but before that could take place, the mother would have to get a second opinion from another doctor.

The bill would require the doctor to send a written statement to the department of health explaining why the operation was performed and providing all the circumstances surrounding the abortion.

So even if there were doctors in South Dakota willing to assume all that extra paperwork, if he or she screws up and runs afoul of the law—say the doc mistakenly aborts a fetus that’s seventeen-and-a-half weeks old—the doc will be charged with a felony and sent to prison for up to 10 years.

The Very Final Installment of Neal Pollack Fact of the Day

posted by on February 1 at 3:38 PM

This is the very last installment of Neal Pollack Fact of the Day because the big event at Chop Suey is tonight.

People who’ve been to The Stranger’s past literary events with Jonathan Safran Foer and Zadie Smith will recognize the format. In addition to the headliner, there’s a special guest—tonight’s special guest is the famous snowboarder Dan Savage. There is a band—the glorious “Awesome,” the newly anointed “official band” of Stranger literary events, who’ve written some scathing/hilarious songs about Savage and Pollack. And there is an MC—tonight it’s Sean Nelson—whose main job is to ask Pollack a lot of wild, inappropriate questions you would be too afraid to ask yourself.

I did ask Pollack a question over email this morning though, a question inspired by yesterday’s Line Out post about what music Stranger staffers listen to when they have sex. Without further ado, the final NPFOTD:

FACT: Neal Pollack listens to DJ Cheb i Sabbah when he’s making love to his beautiful wife. What does this tell us about Mr. Pollack? “He thinks he’s having sex in 1,001 Nights,” says Charles Mudede.

[We’re going to play DJ Cheb i Sabbah before the show tonight. More lovin’ for everyone! Pollack’s new book is about being a “hipster” dad—expect Nelson to grill him on what the hell that means. The P-I’s take on it is here. Chop Suey is at 1325 E Madison Street. Doors fly open at 7 pm—if you want a seat, get there early. Show starts at 8 pm. It’s 21+. And it’s FREE!]

Today On Line Out

posted by on February 1 at 3:17 PM

Nu Metal: The Children Are Our Future.

Famil-E Circus: The Cartoon That Never Stops Being Funny.

Less White: Listen, Watch, and Love.

Tonight: In Music.

Where They At?: Frostmaster Chill and Sir Lover The MC = Best Names Ever.

A Man’s World: Masculinity and Hiphop.

Cutting Crew: The Knife Are Fucking Insane!

Super Tranny Hiphop: Gender Reassignment and Hiphop.

I’m Sorry, Fourthcity: I am For REAL.

Shadow Play: “Awesome” Sex Jams.

Romola Garai Is Awesome

posted by on February 1 at 3:04 PM

I would just like to say: Romola Garai, who’s underused (but extremely pretty and animated) in Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace (out February 23), is awesome. (See Vanity Fair and I Capture the Castle.)

OK, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was the worst possible choice of Hollywood debuts, and Rory O’Shea Was Here is so terrible it completely failed to open in Seattle. But soon the awesome Romola Garai will be putting herself to appropriately awesome use:


… in Francois Ozon’s English-language Angel: Elizabeth Taylor, high camp! Eeeeee!

And Joe Wright’s Atonement (an adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel), along with Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave, etc. Ye gods!

Romola Garai is awesome. Soon you will agree.

GOP Ally: The Seattle Times

posted by on February 1 at 2:11 PM

Coordinate this, Luke.

In the recent interviews I’ve had with new Washington State GOP chairman Luke Esser (here, here, and here), he’s stressed that he wants the state GOP to have a communications person down in Olympia coordinating its message with the GOP legislators.

Well, here’s your first assignment, Luke: All the Republican members of the state house judiciary committee voted against the student press bill —a bill that would protect student newspapers (high school and college) from censorship.

Currently, federal law provides a baseline of protection for the student press (school administrators have to show that the objectionable article upends community standards). The proposal in Olympia would—as states are allowed to under our Federalist scheme—provide more rights to students, raising the hurdle for legit censorship so school administrators would have to show that the objectionable article actually disrupts the learning environment.

Your caucus is for scaling back first amendment rights, Luke. Actually, that might not seem so out of sync with the GOP, but here’s the problem with your assignment, Luke: Your mentor, Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna, has given his full support to the bill.

So Luke, get right on that will you please. Write up the GOP speaking points that contradict freedom loving Rob McKenna. Get busy coordinating with that mainstream caucus of yours.

I guess, it won’t be too hard, though. Your GOP caucus does have an ally: Those staunch defenders of the free press over at the Seattle Times provided a draft for you today—publishing an editorial against the free press bill.

First Amendment footnote: The student free-press bill is simply an attempt to return to the
Tinker Standard that was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969—a decision that was scaled back by the more conservative Hazelwood decision in 1988.

Painters: Seattle Has An Opening

posted by on February 1 at 1:20 PM

This weekend, I stopped by Crawl Space for the absurdly titled exhibition Centennial (the gallery’s been open three years) and met the painter Ori Ornstein, a newish member of the artist-run space having his first show this month.

He’s a painter, and a transplant from the East Coast, and he claims there’s not much painting in Seattle.

We are about to see a bunch of it: the contemporary Leipzig school written about so fascinatingly in today’s Guardian at the Frye Art Museum opening February 17, Mary Henry at Howard House opening tonight, and Ten Painters at Francine Seders opening February 23.

But in a deeper sense, is it true that Seattle is painting-lite?

Anne Mathern and Chad Wentzel, his CS cohorts, say yes on this week’s In/Visible podcast. They’re planning to fill the gallery one of these months with just two large “painty paintings,” as Mathern calls them, largely because, well, it seems to them like nobody else is filling their galleries with painty paintings.

I think I know what Mathern means by “painty painting,” and I can think of a lot of artists represented in Seattle who fall under the category: Mary Henry, Joseph Park, Squeak Carnwath, Mark Takamichi Miller, Robert C. Jones, Olivia Britt, Donabelle Casis, Margie Livingston (this year’s Betty Bowen Award winner), Brian Murphy, Susan Dory, Michael Schultheis, Matthew Offenbacher, Mark Danielson, Francis Celentano, Juan Alonso, Denzil Hurley, Mike Spafford, Anne Appleby, Joseph Goldberg, Patte Loper, Jaq Chartier, Michael Knutson, Roger Shimomura, Jeffrey Simmons, Susan Dory, Bo Bartlett, Claire Johnson, Nicholas Nyland.

But there is no coherent strain of emerging Seattle painters to fill out the rosters of interested dealers like, say, Billy Howard or Scott Lawrimore, the way a crop of photographers sharing at least some collective concerns has developed, from Tim Roda and Todd Simeone (no longer in Seattle, but represented here) to Anne Mathern, Chris Engman, Isaac Layman, Steve Davis, and Chris Jordan.

Lawrimore Project has thrown its hat into the painting ring for the moment—sort of. Scott Lawrimore has no painters in his stable and this month’s LP *Hearts* Painting is comprised of a single painting in an otherwise empty gallery: Michael Linares’s “Fuck Duchamp” statement, “pictured” here in a funny non-photograph. (Linares, also, is not a painter.) It’s as if Lawrimore were throwing down the gauntlet to local painters: where are you? Why do I have this empty space in my gallery?

The image seems to be a telling one for Seattle painting. Is it here at all? Is it hidden? Is it taboo? (I’ve heard the criticism of the UW painting department before—can that really be the reason for the paucity in new painting? Why don’t any interesting painters come out of the ceramics department, known as it is for churning out grads in any medium but ceramics?)


LED Throwies

posted by on February 1 at 12:56 PM

For a little background on the technique employed by Cartoon Network’s ad-pranksters in Boston, check out the instructional video over at Graffiti Research Lab. Also, what kind of dipshit can’t tell the difference between a lite-brite and a bomb?

That’s Not a Hair Question…

posted by on February 1 at 12:27 PM

Perhaps you heard on yesterday’s news how two guys (Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens) were hanging up blinking electronic signs to promote the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie in Boston—and caused a city-wide terrorism-fueled panic. The two were arrested, spent the night in jail, and today gave the most hilarious press conference in the history of humankind. Check out how freaking IRATE these b-hole reporters get when all the suspects want to talk about is “Famous Hairstyles of the 1970s.”
Seriously, this is the funniest a guy wearing dreadlocks has ever been.

Chicago Firefighter Gets New, Bruce Willis-Shaped Head

posted by on February 1 at 12:24 PM


I’ll say it first: Between roughly 1985 and 1995, Bruce Willis was upsettingly hot. (‘Upsetting’ because of his smarm, which lent an edge of revulsion to his appeal and made the whole icky-hot mess that much steamier.)

Still, even with my pro-Willis leanings, this freaks me out:

A US firefighter has undergone plastic surgery in India to look like Hollywood star Bruce Willis.

John Joseph Conway, 43, from Chicago, checked into the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi with a photograph of his hero. “I am a firefighter. I need to look the part. I wanted to improve my jawline. Bruce Willis has a nice, strong jaw,” he told the Hindustan Times after surgery.

Vivek Kumar, part of the medical team which operated on Conway, said doctors studied his face for three days to give him the look he wanted. “After he contacted us on email, he said that as a man who jumps into burning buildings, people in the community look up to him and he needed to maintain his macho image,” Kumar told the paper.

Perhaps I’m naive, but I would’ve hoped that FIREFIGHTERS—people who risk their lives to protect other people’s lives—might have immunity from the sort of bone-deep self-doubt that’s crippling our nation’s 13-year-olds. “I am a firefighter—I need to look the part”?!? Actually, Mr. Conway, all you have to do is be willing to run into burning buildings with whatever goddamn face God gave you—which is quite enough, don’t you think?


I’m turning into Andy Rooney…

Allied Arts Lobbies Surface/Transit Supporters

posted by on February 1 at 12:15 PM

Laine Ross, president of Allied Arts, the once-progressive-arts-organization-turned-campaign-arm-of-the-mayor’s-office, sent out a letter yesterday urging supporters of the surface/transit option (which would tear down the viaduct and replace its capacity with transit and fixes to surface streets downtown) to vote no on a larger new viaduct and yes on the mayor’s four-lane tunnel and surface roadway. Ross claims that surface/transit supporters like the People’s Waterfront Coalition and the Sierra Club “have been inspired” by the mayor’s proposal.

As PWC founder Cary Moon told me in an e-mail, Ross’s condescending claim is absolutely untrue. “PWC is not ‘inspired by’ the mayor’s tunnel lite proposal. We do not support it. We did not help develop it. We are for no highway on the shore. Their plea to co-opt Transit + Streets supporters is based in misinformation.”

The letter continues:

The good news for Surface & Transit advocates is that the new Surface-Tunnel Hybrid incorporates many of their suggestions. The People’s Waterfront Coalition should be congratulated for its work of getting new transit and better roadway connections incorporated into the Surface-Tunnel Hybrid.

There will be a temptation for some environmentalists to vote no on both ballot questions - against a new viaduct and against the Surface-Hybrid Tunnel - “to send a message” to a car-dominated Olympia. We advise against this ‘Ralph Nader’ approach.

Again, Allied Arts gets it absolutely wrong. Surface/transit supporters aren’t opposing the tunnel and the rebuild because they want to “send a message” to Olympia, a la a vote for Ralph Nader They’re opposing the tunnel because it’s only 13 blocks long; does not (as Allied Arts falsely claims) include funding for a “lid” between Pike Place Market and the Battery Street tunnel (instead, the roadway will be in an uncovered trench); and only includes transit (bus capacity for 21,000 new riders daily) for the length of construction, with no commitment to continue enhanced transit service after the tunnel is open.

Moreover, they oppose both options because they have a better way—one that doesn’t involve building a massive, dirty, ugly new freeway on our waterfront: Tear down the wall, improve surface-street connections downtown, and spend our tax dollars putting transit, not pouring concrete, in the Alaskan Way corridor. If voters check NO and NO on their ballots March 13, as the PWC has urged, both of Gregoire’s false choices will fail. And the surface/transit option will emerge as the only sensible, affordable alternative.

Lars von Twinkie

posted by on February 1 at 11:45 AM

Those of you who haven’t yet discovered Chicago Reader’s characteristically esoteric film blog should definitely check out Pat Graham’s roundup of the not-so-tantalizing reports on Lars von Trier’s new approach to movie-making.

Concept number one: Let the computer be the cinematographer!

Concept number two: Scatter glaring errors (affectionately dubbed “lookeys”) throughout the film for the enjoyment of Da Vinci Code nutters and the distress of everyone else.

I Am Dumb

posted by on February 1 at 11:43 AM

I was just on NPR’s Talk of the Nation discussing Isaiah Washington’s use of the word faggot—I was there to make the “reclaiming hate words” argument—and we segued into a discussion of disabled people reclaiming the word cripple, nuts using the word crazy, etc. I pointed out that there’s an organization that advocates for the rights of adults that were adopted as children. It’s Bastard Nation. Then I said that those bastards are trying to “reclaim the stigma” of illegitimacy. I meant, of course, “subvert the stigma” of illegitimacy.

I am dumb.

We weren’t allowed to use the word “faggot” the whole time we were discussing the word faggot, which made it very difficult for us to discuss the “Savage Love” salutation from back in the day (“Hey, Faggot”), which was the reason I was on the show. I did, however, get to use the words queer, dyke, sissy, and homo.

Oh, and I outed my heterosexual male co-workers as casual users of the word “faggot” on national radio.

Mayor Nickels Lobbies Public

posted by on February 1 at 11:42 AM

Yes, Mayor Nickels has taken down all references on his web page to the Alaskan Way Viaduct. (A week ago, Seattle Ethics and Elections director Wayne Barnett made Nickels stop campaigning on the public dime for his four-lane cut-and-cover tunnel now that the option is officially on the ballot.)

However, Nickels’s nightlife premises ordinance (the wildly unpopular proposal that would turn bar and club employees into auxiliary police, requiring them to report all known or suspected crimes and patrol the area inside and outside clubs for noise, crime and litter) isn’t on the ballot. It is, however, sitting on the desk of council president Nick Licata, who has said he’ll get to it once more urgent matters (like the viaduct) are resolved. Yesterday, Nickels sent out an e-mail encouraging recipients of his newsletter to call city council members and urge them to approve the legislation. Without Nickels’s ordinance, the mayor claimed, Seattle’s neighborhoods could be overrun with “noise, litter, and violence.” The letter reads in part:

A nightlife premises ordinance will go a long way to help improve the quality of life in Seattle’s neighborhoods and business districts. The legislation includes reasonable operating standards for nightlife establishments. In addition, stepped-up tracking of city code and liquor license violations will help ensure Seattle’s growing number of clubs and bars are safe, vibrant places to have fun without undue impacts on Seattle’s neighborhoods.

To date, the legislation has not been considered by council. If you’re interested in making sure Seattle has a vibrant - not violent - nightlife industry, with clear safeguards for neighborhood residents and businesses, I urge you to contact the Seattle City Council and encourage councilmembers to take action on this legislation. Thank you.

This, obviously, is not a violation of city ethics code, which only bars lobbying by public officials when an issue is on the ballot. However, it strikes me as an inappropriate use of public funds for the mayor to feign a “grassroots” citizen campaign in the absence of actual grassroots support.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 1 at 11:23 AM

Team Frizzelle:

Neal Pollack vs. Dan Savage
(Booze, Books, Music) Tonight they come together in an evening of alternative fatherhood starring Neal Pollack, the “greatest living American writer” turned stoner dad, and Dan Savage, the famous snowboarder. Featuring original music by “Awesome” and the MCing/interviewing skillz of Sean Nelson. Oh yeah, and the whole thing’s free. If you have children, get a freakin’ babysitter. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, free, 21+.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Team Wagner:

(Film) This is your last chance to see Japanese auteur Kenji Mizoguchi’s most complex and beautiful film—a morality tale about how coveting fame and being susceptible to flattery can totally wreck your life. Mizoguchi doesn’t settle for ordinary routes to ruin: The main character, a potter named Genjuro, is seduced by a sexy lady ghost. The stunning cinematography and exquisitely shivery score will knock you out, too. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 329-2629. 7 and 9 pm, $5—$8.50. Mizoguchi series continues through Feb 27.) ANNIE WAGNER

A Seattle Patient Zero? Four Linked Cases of Drug-Resistant HIV Reported Here

posted by on February 1 at 11:00 AM

We’d heard rumors of this, and now the local health department confirms it:

Four King County men have tested positive for similar HIV viruses that are highly resistant to several antiretroviral drug classes. One of the men was tested in late 2005, and the other three were tested in 2006. Last month researchers identified a likely link between all four cases.

Translation: Seattle may have a patient zero, a gay man who contracted a multi-drug-resistant strain of HIV and spread it to other local men.

Public Health is working with the four patients and health care providers to locate and test their sexual partners for HIV infection and drug resistance.

Translation: The number four may be just a starting point, although so far the health department hasn’t found any other cases.

In the current cluster, all four were men who had sex with men; all had a history of methamphetamine use, and had multiple, mostly anonymous, sexual partners. The partners who have been found to date either were not HIV-infected or their HIV infection was not related to the current drug resistant strain.

Attention gay men: Read Christopher Frizzelle’s 2006 story on Club Z and crystal meth. Read my 2003 story on the “Immoral Minority” of gay men in Seattle who disproportionately contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the local gay community (a group it sounds like this cluster was a part of). Read my interview with Peter Staley from The Stranger’s 2005 Queer Issue, in which he says:

I firmly believe that if it weren’t for crystal meth we would be experiencing a decline of newly HIV-infected gay men every year.

Here’s what the health department recommends gay men do with the news of this local drug-resistant HIV strain:

Public Health recommends testing every three months for those gay and bisexually active men who use methamphetamines, have a recent history of sexually transmitted diseases, or have had unprotected anal sex with an HIV-positive man or a man whose HIV status is unknown. Other persons at high risk should test at least yearly.

Here’s what The Stranger recommends: Don’t use crystal meth in the first place, don’t have unprotected sex with meth heads — duh — and tell your friends that there’s now one more compelling reason (as if you needed one more compelling reason) not to bareback with people whose HIV status you don’t know.

If the Elevated Wins, Chopp Loses

posted by on February 1 at 10:15 AM

Why is House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Capitol Hill, Wallingford, U-District) so sternly opposed to Mayor Nickels’s $3.4 billion-plus tunnel? Yes, it’s the price tag. But more important to Chopp: He’s out to save Democrats statewide come November 2008. His caucus members have told him point blank: We cannot go back to our districts and tell voters we caved to snooty Seattle.

That’s very big of Chopp to think of his colleagues, but you know which Democrat might get rubbed out come November 2008? Frank Chopp. The ugly, environmentally dangerous, neighborhood-destroying freeway on the waterfront is not popular in Chopp’s district.

If the elevated gets the green light in next month’s Seattle-wide vote, that’ll also be a green light for candidates to line up and challenge Chopp, who caved to the reverse-snooty, suburban and rural districts.

P.S. To an old friend who used to talk to me (isn’t Gilbert having a great year?). Anyway, “Reverse-snooty.” Isn’t that like something you’d come up with? Are your boys going to run somebody against Chopp?

AA Meeting Episode 2: Support Hos

posted by on February 1 at 10:13 AM

sunshine lineup.jpg

Attention Oscar obsessives: After years of tireless suffering in private, I finally have an outlet for the aggressive obsession I’m required to devote to each year’s Academy Awards.

AA Meeting is a weekly podcast devoted to all things Oscar, from nominees’ odds to winner predictions to all the rest of that meaningless award-show bullshit I’m physically incapable of ignoring. This week, I fret over this year’s nominees for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, discuss “Marisa Tomei Syndrome,” and explain why all Oscar-watching parties suck. Enjoy.

(For a helpful list of this year’s nominees, go here.)

Miserable Failure No More

posted by on February 1 at 10:10 AM

Remember when you could type the words “miserable failure” into Google and come up with a link to George W. Bush? Man, those were some good times.

Unfortunately, Google has now taken those good times away.

Thankfully, Googling “Santorum” still takes you here.

DAMF: Bush Doubling the Number of New Troops Being Sent to Iraq

posted by on February 1 at 10:03 AM

Call we call it an escalation now?

Via Americablog.

Good Morning, Gossip!

posted by on February 1 at 10:02 AM

MISS USA TARA CONNER admits that being a coked-up drunk liar was ruining her life—but kissing other girls is still okay, right? RIGHT??

JOSH HARTNETT allegedly gets caught getting a “sloppy BJ” from two girls in a bar bathroom. Sorry, Josh… it still doesn’t make up for losing SCARLETT JOHANNSON. Loser.

As it turns out, SIENNA MILLER and HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN were NOT having real sex during their Factory Girl sex scenes. By the same token, you can’t really call what they were doing “acting” either.

LINDSAY LOHAN sends text message from rehab saying that all she wants is “McDonalds and sex.” And a drink… in McDonalds… while she’s having sex.


Still Looking for a Valentine’s Day Gift?

posted by on February 1 at 9:51 AM


Well, perhaps I can interest you in a gold vibrator? Real gold, the precious metal, not gold plastic. It’s a steal at $500.

Via Fleshbot.

Where Do I Send a Check?

posted by on February 1 at 9:40 AM

Al Franken is running for Senate.

Bad News for the Median (and Below)

posted by on February 1 at 9:30 AM

According to this very interesting study, in 2005, the median income in King County was $60,400.


A typically priced home cost $332,000 in 2005, meaning wage earners had to make $88,400 to spend 30 percent of household income on housing costs, a percentage considered affordable.

The gap between the median income in King County and the income one would need to buy a typical house in King County has grown wider and wider over the last few years. The bottom line:

Buying a home in King County has moved further out of reach for the typical wage earner.

Gore Nominated for Nobel

posted by on February 1 at 9:14 AM

Didn’t those damn Norwegians get the memo? Al Gore is a very silly man, a joke, not to be taken seriously.

Former Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world’s attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday. “A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has made a difference,” Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade, told The Associated Press.

“Al Gore, like no other, has put climate change on the agenda…”

Wait, he was nominated by a Norwegian conservative?

The Passion of Mary Cheney

posted by on February 1 at 9:02 AM

In today’s New York Times Mary Cheney defends her decision to get her lezbo self knocked the fuck up. Like her father, Mary Cheney believes she shouldn’t have to answer for her party’s attacks on same-sex parents.

“When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn’t going to be the most popular decision,” Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe. She then gestured to her middle—any bulge disguised by a boxy jacket—and asserted: “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child.”

Nice try, Mary.

Yes, it’s a baby, not a prop. My kid isn’t a prop either, but that never stopped right-wingers from attacking me and my boyfriend over our decision to become parents. The fitness of same-sex couples to parent is very much part of the political debate thanks to the GOP and the Christian bigots that make up its lunatic “base.” You’re a Republican, Mary, you worked on both of your father’s campaigns, and you kept your mouth clamped shut while Karl Rove and George Bush ran around the country attacking gay people, gay parents, and our children in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. It’s a little late to declare the private choices of gays and lesbians unfit for public debate, Mary.

And so long as your party insists on making the fitness of homosexuals to marry or parent—or, hell, exist—a subject of public debate, Mary, your decision to become a parent is germane and very much fit for public discussion and debate. The GOP’s selective embrace of some pregnant dykes—only knocked-up lesbians with powerful connections will be treated with respect—is a disconnect that demands answers. From you, from your father, from your venomous mother, from the idiot president you helped elect. Is that fair? Maybe not. Want to blame someone? Go look in the mirror—and then come out swinging, Mary—for yourself, your partner, and your child.

This was a pretty good start:

Ms. Cheney noted Mr. Dobson’s distortions of the research he cited [in a piece attacking her in Time] and added: “Every piece of remotely responsible research that has been done in the last 20 years has shown there is no difference between children raised by same-sex parents and children raised by opposite-sex parents; what matters is being raised in a stable, loving environment.”

She said Mr. Dobson was entitled to his opinion, “but he’s not someone whose endorsement I have ever drastically sought.”

But what’s with the “drastically,” Mary?

Could it be this: You sought Dobson’s endorsement in the past—your father certainly has, and you worked on his campaigns—but now, to avoid tough questions, you want to qualify and minimize your past sucking up to the likes of Dobson by stating that you never sought his endorsement all that, you know, drastically or anything.

Again, Mary, nice try. You kept your mouth clamped shut when your father needed the political support of assholes like Dobson. And now that your dad is a despised lame-duck VP, dad’s gay-bashing political allies feel free to treat you with the same contempt with which they have long treated other gay and lesbians. And now you cry foul?

Sorry, Mary, and fuck you. You and your whole fucked-up family crawled into bed with bigots like Dobson when it suited you. And now you and your whole fucked-up family have some explaining to do. So welcome to the political debate, Mary, and remember…

Your side started it. It only serves you right that you’re going to have to finish it.

And you might want to have it all wrapped up before your kid is old enough to understand what’s being said about his family by your dad’s political allies. Take it from me, Mary: Explaining to your child, after he heard something hateful on the radio, that his family is very much “real,” that it’s not an attack on anyone else’s family, and that his parents are, in fact, fit to be his parents is as distressing and emotionally exhausting as it is unnecessary. And I blame you.

Morning News

posted by on February 1 at 8:44 AM

In flames: Three attacked in freak lighter fluid incident.

Incognito: Posing as 12-year-old, 29-year-old sex offender attends Arizona public school.

Inarticulate: Biden’s Obama gaffe cripples first day of Delaware Senator’s presidential bid.

Incapacitated: TV show publicity stunt brings Boston to halt.

In someone else’s wife: SF Mayor Newsom affair rocks reelection campaign.

Insatiable: Binge eating #1 eating disorder in U.S.

In DC: Dem Sen. Levin and R Sen. Warner hammer out anti-escalation bill, foiling surge proponents.

In Olympia: Gregoire asks WSDOT to evaluate Tunnel Lite.

In the Black: Surprise! Exxon sets record profit.

In the Red: Personal savings at 74-year record low.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Trail Of Blood!

posted by on January 31 at 6:01 PM


It’s a terrible stain, and it leaves us with terrible questions. Who—or what?—poor mortally wounded thing was the unfortunate source of the mysterious TRAIL OF BLOOD that runs for half a block, just off Broadway? It appeared suddenly several days ago (Saturday afternoon-ish), and it is still—at this very moment!—running in a drippy scarlet, south-to-north path (judging by the “splatter pattern,” if I may get all CSI, which I never watch, on your ass) from the intersection of Broadway, Roy and 10th Avenues E. It zigzags the length of the sidewalk, all the way to the doors of Planet Beach or whatever (the melanoma shop by the KINKOS), where it abruptly stops.

I asked the people at Planet Beach or whatever what happened. They claim complete ignorance.

There has been no rain to wash the stain away, and I have been forced to walk over it since it appeared. Such a relentless trail of blood cannot be ignored. It’s a mystery that screams to be solved. It really grosses me out.

Did some poor beast—raccoon, squirrel, or—God no—little dog?—get struck at the intersection by some skinny little Bellevue bimbo as she was driving all alone in her gigantic SUV while texting little Kodee’s soccer schedule to all the mothers on the phone tree? (I’ll find her and kill her, I swear.) Did the beast then drag its poor carcass to drop finally dead at the doors of Planet Beach, imagining them to be the doors of doggie heaven? Did a crackhead get cut for the rock in his sock? Was it the extraordinary moment that some poor pubescent became a Woman? Is it all part of some horrible hoax in a plot to make David Hasselhoff cry?


And how, if at all, is the bloody trail related to the ELITE TAVERN’S MOVING PARTY last weekend? (The entire block—Da Lat, The Elite, Broadway Wok and Grill, the former Jade Pagoda—-has fallen to the plague of developers that has swept Seattle like the punishing hand of some hipster-hating deity. Tragic. The Elite, for example, is a most ancient gay tavern—voted Most Beloved in a recent issue of Seattle Magazine (?!)— where gays, old and older, have congregated to be old and gay since the dawn of time.) Or is it related somehow to the smashed window at Da Lat? I don’t know. I don’t want to know.

If you know—or are—-the source of the MYSTERIOUS TRAIL OF BLOOD, don’t tell me all about it at I’m serious.


Hot Pockets

posted by on January 31 at 5:35 PM

I was introduced today to El Salvador’s take on starch stuffed with protein. The Salvadoran Bakery in White Center serves several varieties of pupusas, which are grilled rounds of corn flour dough filled with, among other choices: cheese and beans, chicken, pork or even squash. I was too hungry to stop and take pictures. These dainty but sturdy pockets were lustily devoured in our office. They’re lightly charred and pleasantly greasy, but won’t leave an oil slick your hands. Lucky for me, White Center is far far away from Capitol Hill.

“Then, We Will Return to the Hunt.”

posted by on January 31 at 5:31 PM

The Texas Observer (which Molly Ivins founded, and where I had my first-ever job as a writer) has a loving tribute to Ivins, who died today at 62. Here’s the obituary she wrote after the death of Ann Richards, another Texas heroine who died too soon.

Meanwhile, In Mexico…

posted by on January 31 at 4:48 PM

They’re marching in the streets because the price of tortillas has risen nearly 400 percent.

Tens of thousands of them.


posted by on January 31 at 4:08 PM

FACT: The excerpt from Neal Pollack’s new book in last week’s Stranger—about becoming a responsible pot-smoking father by buying a vaporizer called the Silver Surfer—has apparently created a run on Silver Surfers. Today I got a letter from Tina, the sister of the Silver Surfer’s creator.

We have got tons of orders from the Seattle area and one customer said it was probably because of this article. First, I want to thank you all for publishing the article but would also like contact info for Neal Pollack as I want to especially thank him as well…

Well, you’re welcome Tina. Least we could do. If you’d like to send along a Silver Surfer to the office, our address is 1535 11th Avenue, 3rd Floor, Seattle, 98122.

[This has been a Neal Pollack Fact of the Day! The last NPFOTD will appear tomorrow, since tomorrow night is Pollack’s event with Dan Savage, Sean Nelson, and “Awesome” at Chop Suey. 7 pm doors. 8 pm show. Trumpets! Drums! Booze! Singing and talking! A communal bong! And best of all: no cover!]

Invisible Man

posted by on January 31 at 4:03 PM

Dan mentioned this earlier today, but it’s worth calling greater attention to: Germany has issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents because they orchestrated the kidnapping of a German citizen as part of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program. The man, Khalid el-Masri, was drugged and flown to Afghanistan, where he was held for five months with no lawyer or contact with the outside world. The CIA agents sodomized and beat el-Masri, forced him to sleep on a filthy floor with a single thin blanket, gave him water so putrid it made him vomit, and fed him chicken bones and skin. From his account:

I felt two people violently grab my arms… . I then felt someone else grab my head with both hands so I was unable to move… . Finally they stripped me completely naked and threw me to the ground… . I felt a boot in the small of my back. I then felt a stick or some other hard object being forced in my anus. I realized I was being sodomized. Of all the acts these men perpetrated against me, this was the most degrading and shameful.

It appears el-Masri was kidnapped because of a spelling error; CIA agents were seeking a suspected al Qaeda operative named Khalid al-Masri. The US Justice Department has “declined to provide Munich prosecutors assistance.” A judge dismissed a lawsuit el-Masri filed because it would “damage national security” to allow it to move forward.


posted by on January 31 at 3:59 PM

Molly Ivins has died. She was 62.

The story isn’t up yet, but that much is on MSNBC’s home page.

UPDATE: Short story here.


The Bill I’m Obsessed With

posted by on January 31 at 3:59 PM

Rep. Maralyn Chase’s proposal for a CO2 emissions cap didn’t make it out of committee today.

However, this is a good thing. It was held at the request of the environmental community, which hadn’t finished locking down an amendment to make the emission reduction targets more serious. They want an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 from today’s levels. The current bill sets a weaker standard: A return to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

I’ve got a column in today’s brand new Stranger outlining the significance of the bill and the fight that’s looming. Mainly, I’m worried that the Democrats are going to drop the ball on the bill, much like they did on the Wal-Mart bill last year, revealing that they don’t have the nerve to walk their talk.

My conclusion:

The one person who could save the Democrats from another embarrassment is Governor Christine Gregoire. If—as Oregon’s Governor Ted Kulongoski did last week–she announced a cap and trade plan, then big business wouldn’t be able to shoot this down in the backrooms of Olympia. I called Gregoire’s office to see if Gregoire had a statement on Kulongoski or Chase’s emissions cap. She did not.

Now She Asks … ?

posted by on January 31 at 3:23 PM

In another sign of Gov. Christine Gregoire’s political sloppiness in handling the viaduct, she just sent out a letter to WSDOT demanding that they get some answers about Nickels’s tunnel lite option.

She wants to know what the likelihood of federal approval for building variances will be; she has questions about safety precautions; she has questions about capacity; she has timeline questions. And she begins the letter by stating sternly that no evaluations have been done and this is not fair to voters.

All good questions. So, why is it sloppy?

Because all of this wouldn’t be an issue if she had stuck by her January 17 statement that tunnel lite was off the table. Unfortunately, she flip flopped on that about a week out, saying she wanted to hear from Seattle voters.

This affair is the most uncouth and embarrassing stint of governance and “leadership” (from the city council, the mayor, and the governor) that I’ve witnessed since I began covering politics in Seattle nearly 10 years ago.

Attack at Third and Union: Eyewitness Update

posted by on January 31 at 3:04 PM

Here’s an eyewitness account of the attack at Third and Union that Josh/Angela reported on earlier, sent to Last Days by Hot Tipper Claire:

Something super fucked-up happened this afternoon downtown. I was standing on the corner of 3rd and Union when I noticed a suspicious guy holding a bottle jaywalking across the street. He passed by me, and the next thing I knew, the hair of the woman standing next to me was completly on fire. The man had dropped the bottle, which was obviously lighter fluid, and had walked halfway down the block before any of us around the woman could figure out what was going on. Luckily, some guys chased down the asshole, and we threw a coat over the lady’s head and she didn’t seem to be too hurt. I guess the guy had also tried to set an old man on fire across the street. The police arrived shortly thereafter, apprehended the man, and no one was badly hurt. Still, hands down the worst thing I’ve seen in a long fucking time.

More on the Bike Program Changes

posted by on January 31 at 3:00 PM

The Bike Seattle blog has a detailed explanation of popular city bike coordinator Peter Lagerwey’s recent demotion, which I’ve written about before. Check it out. Lagerwey’s demotion, which was accompanied by the reassignment of fellow bike advocate Pauh Wang to the city’s sign shop (way down on Airport Way; a huge fuck-you from Mayor Nickels and transportation department head Grace Crunican), is causing nationwide ripples, with bike advocates from here to D.C. wondering what the hell SDOT was thinking. Lagerwey’s replacement, Megan Hoyt, is an engineer and expert on pedestrian issues with no previous experience in advocating for bikers’ interests.

Today On Line Out

posted by on January 31 at 3:00 PM

What Do You Do For An Encore?: Jarvis Cocker Is Coming To Seattle!

Hepnotic, Robotic, Hepnotic, Robotic, Rock Your Body: Christopher DeLaurenti and Simon Wickham-Smith’s Electroacoustic Sounds, Field Recordings, and Small Electronics.

Mad Pleasure: Tonight In Music.

Rainbow Coalition: The Best Band Photo Ever.

Drum Drum Revolution: How Will You Deal With The New Legislation Banning Gun Games?

Hipstory: The Birth of Hip.

Sex Jams: Who Listens To What “During That Time?”

The Dark Side: Jen Graves’ Dirty Shame.

Drone Star: Simon Wickham-Smith’s Extreme Bukake.

Doctor “Awesome: Towards an Epistemologically Reasonable Theory of Banjo.

Yay, Amanda!

posted by on January 31 at 2:54 PM

One of my favorite bloggers, Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, has signed on to blog for John Edwards’s campaign—exciting news for Amanda, great news for Edwards. Amanda explains her decision to go to work for Edwards here, noting that her political obsessions— including “women’s rights, ending the war in Iraq, environmentalism, and restoring the American dream where climbing out of poverty and having a middle class lifestyle is an option available to everyone”--are right in line with her candidate’s. (My Stranger colleagues may disagree, but this pretty much sums up why I support Edwards too). Marcotte joins Kate Michelman (formerly of NARAL) as the second prominent feminist to sign on to Edwards’ campaign.

Forgive Me, Father

posted by on January 31 at 2:28 PM

An Italian newspaper, L’Espresso, has done something wonderful, something other magazines and newspapers should do in their own countries. L’Espresso sent reporters into confessionals all over Italy to ask the priest-in-a-box for advice about “sins” like taking an hopelessly ill person off a respirator, being gay, using condoms to prevent the spread of disease, and aborting a fetus with Down’s Syndrome. The Guardian explains it all for us

A yawning gulf between the stern doctrines preached by Pope Benedict and the advice offered by ordinary Roman Catholic priests has been exposed by an Italian magazine…

One reporter for L’Espresso claimed to have let a doctor switch off the respirator that kept her father alive. “Don’t think any more about it,” she was told by a friar in Naples. “I myself, if I had a father, a wife or a child who had lived for years only because of artificial means, would pull out [the plug].”

Another journalist posed as a researcher who had received a lucrative offer to work abroad on embryonic stem cells. With the extra cash, he said, he and his wife could think about starting a family. So should he take up the post?

“Yes. Yes. Of course,” came the reply.

The church’s official teaching is that homosexuality is “disordered” and that homosexual behaviour is wrong. Yet a practising gay man in Rome was told: “Generally, the best attitude is to be yourself—what in English is called ‘coming out’.”

On one issue alone—abortion—the priests all stuck firmly to official doctrine….

But on other issues, the “moral relativism” so detested by Pope Benedict was the order of the day. A journalist who said he was HIV-positive and used condoms to protect his partner was told it was “more of a personal problem, one of conscience”.

American Catholics are familiar with the “yawning gulf” between official church doctrine and the advice Catholic priests typically offer up—in and out of the confessional. Birth control, end-of-life decisions, questions of morality: what your local priest will tell you often stands in stark contrast to what Rome has to say.

Because it’s one thing to be rigid when you never have to face the people whose lives you’re attempting to micromanage. It’s much harder for front-line, communion-distributing, confession-taking priests to be so breezily doctrinaire, as they have to deal with dilemmas faced by actual human beings—male and female, old and young, gay and straight—and not “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” debates favored by Pope Ratzi and the old men in dresses he runs with in Rome.

When I came out at 16 my mother was somewhat distraught despite having long suspected that I was gay. (I never had a serious girlfriend; I asked to be taken to the national tour of A Chorus Line on my 13th birthday.) She spoke with an old family friend, a priest, who not only urged her to accept me but took the opportunity to come out to her himself. Father Ron had a history of troubles with booze and he told my mother that it was better this way. He knew that I had thought—for five minutes—about being a priest myself. But Father Ron was better for me to “come out,” as they say in our English speaking countries, and that with her love and support I would be a much happier and healthier gay person than he had been.

Years later, after my boyfriend and I adopted, we took our son to Chicago to have him baptized. (You can read about why we did this—or why I insisted on doing it—in my book The Kid.) The pastor of the church where my parents married and had all four of their children baptized—the same church where my grandparents married and had all six of their children baptized—refused to allow D.J. to be baptized in “his” church. So we baptized DJ one parish over. An old friend of the family baptized D.J., a priest I had known since I was a kid. (He was the last priest to hear my confession—but it was long before I had anything really good to confess.) When he was done with the baptism service, Father X turned to me and Terry, held up his hand, and blessed our relationship.

I’m not using Father X’s real name because I don’t want to get him in trouble—the kind of trouble those priests in Italy are no doubt in now for doing the right thing (well, on most of the issues raised), and telling their undercover confessors to use condoms, do stem cell research, allow the ill to die natural deaths, and come out.

Oh, Paula… Paula… Paula…

posted by on January 31 at 2:03 PM

For those of you buzzing over the news that walking trainwreck COURTNEY LOVE is being considered as a possible replacement for walking trainwreck PAULA ABDUL on American Idol… well, you never really believed that did you? Unfortunately, Courtney apparently bought it, and Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe spoke to US Weekly today, confirming that Ms. Love has indeed been punk’d.

“I did not call Courtney Love and am afraid someone may have misrepresented me. Courtney Love is a very talented artist, but the judges for American Idol are Paula, Randy and Simon. We have no plans to add to or replace any of them,” said Lythgoe.

NO DUH. Replacing Paula with Courtney is like replacing Pete Doherty with Kate Moss. But I have to admit, after Paula’s weirdly hyper, jaw gnashing performance last night—and sudden disappearance—can a replacement really be that far away?
Here’s one of the better, and more surprising auditions of the night, CHRIS SLIGH, with Paula having a goofball freakout at around the 2:07 mark. SO WHAT DO YOU SAY, SLOGGIES? What kind of alcoholic/prescription cocktail is she on, anyway?

Stranger Valentines: The Deadline Is Near!

posted by on January 31 at 1:36 PM

The deadline to submit your free Stranger Valentine is THIS FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2 AT NOON. After that, we’re shutting things down—so don’t delay!

To place your ad, just go here and follow the simple instructions.

Frances McCue Answers Questions about the Book She’s Writing: “It’s really not a memoir. It’s something else.”

posted by on January 31 at 1:18 PM

Frances McCue is almost done writing a book called Chasing Richard Hugo, a memoir about being obsessed with a dead man. It’s full of daring stuff, including imaginary encounters with the poet based on his letters or things he said or did around his friends, and parts of an essay McCue once read at Hugo House about the strange relationship she has with her father. “Hugo started to take on this lost-father image for me, because I grew up with an absent father who positioned himself near my mother and me, though he never lived with us. I never saw or met him, yet it turned out he was lingering on the edges, and so I’ve always been obsessed with reversing surveillance, with watching the watchers, and Hugo became like the father I was always missing,” McCue says.

McCue won the Barnard New Women Poets Award in 1992, founded Richard Hugo House in 1997, and was shortlisted for a Stranger Genius Award in literature in 2003. She reads from the memoir-in-progress tonight at Richard Hugo House. She’ll also be showing a film she made in Philipsburg, Montana with William Kittredge, Charles D’Ambrosio, and Annick Smith. “Kittredge stands in the old husk of a mill—all that’s left is pipes and wreckage—and reads a poem by Hugo about a beautiful mill in Montana that ‘won’t fall finally down’,” McCue says. “Kittredge is reading this in the blinding sunshine and it’s killer.”

The event info: Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Avenue, 322-7030, 7:30 pm, $10. McCue answers a couple of my questions about the book—and her father, and her search for a publisher—after the jump. (To read it, click on the “Continue reading…” link right below this.)

Continue reading "Frances McCue Answers Questions about the Book She's Writing: "It's really not a memoir. It's something else."" »


posted by on January 31 at 12:56 PM

The time is nigh.


Attack at Third and Union

posted by on January 31 at 12:44 PM

Just got a text message from Angela Valdez that a man set two women on fire down at 3rd and Union. Valdez is on the scene.

The women seem to be okay. Apparently the guy poured lighter fluid on them.

More to come.

Here’s a pic that a reader sent in of one of the victims talking to SPD:


And another of one of the victim’s burnt off hair on the sidewalk:

Born in the U.S.A.

posted by on January 31 at 12:32 PM

When I suddenly find free time on my hands, I write “a letter from America” for a Zimbabwean newspaper called The Mirror. The purpose of the letter is to give those stuck in Zimbabwe an idea (or a taste) of the country that is now my home. My next letter will use this story to give Zimbabweans an idea of what’s like to be in the richest, the most spoiled, the most spectacular nation on the planet:

On Monday, Liz Kirkman and her husband, Brian, were driving from their Snohomish home to Swedish Medical Center in downtown Seattle when the contractions hit the hardest. Unfortunately, they were stuck in morning rush-hour traffic.

“Once I was in the moving car, I was like ‘Uh-oh,’ ” Liz Kirkman said Tuesday. “I started doing the math in my head and thought ‘I am cutting this real close,’ then I got this urge to push.”

Kirkman, a 28-year-old stay-at-home mother, said that by the time they reached Northgate, she couldn’t keep from pushing through the contractions.

Sitting in the front passenger seat of their van, she propped her leg up on the dashboard and delivered Juliet as her husband drove in the I-5 carpool lane.

Dear God, I Ask for So Little…

posted by on January 31 at 12:17 PM

….but I beseech Thee, please, please let this be true.

Our President: “I’m About to Crank This Sucker Up.”

posted by on January 31 at 12:16 PM

This post over at the Newsweek Blogs is notable not just because it relays how President Bush jokingly tried to crush members of the media with an industrial tractor, but also because of the long comment thread that ensues. Most of the commenters are rightfully upset that the President couldn’t seem to stop laughing after the Secret Service pulled journalists out of the path of the multi-ton death machine, but others are upset that he didn’t actually crush the reporters:

Posted By: M D (1/31/2007 at 12:04:45 PM)
Comment: Come on, it’s not like loosing a few reporters would be a huge loss. They’re like pimps and drug dealers, you run a few down and a few more pop up to take their place.

Posted By: Conroy Boykin (1/31/2007 at 10:17:45 AM)
Comment: A good start on burying you liberal skumbuckets under tons of manure!!

Posted By: Michael Cugini (1/31/2007 at 9:35:28 AM)
Comment: Shame Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman werent’ there either to be run over. MSNBCs crack assasins and one sided biased hosts could use a good stomping to get them to see both sides of a story.

Posted By: David Jurman (1/31/2007 at 12:38:56 PM)
Comment: It’s a shame that the media didn’t mention how busy the Caterpillar plant was. It seems they always miss how good the economy is and find something to complain about. It seems the President’s tractor test opened some of their eyes. Too bad it didn’t open their minds. Dr Jurman, Monroe,ct

Posted By: Mike Hall (1/31/2007 at 8:40:51 AM)
Comment: So??? So whats a few less communist members of the press. I think the President needs a few more opportunities as this. Shame Nancy Pelosi or Ms Clinton wasn’t in the crowd.

Since there’s almost nothing that can be said to any of this, I instead close with a link to a radio show that features the late, great Don Walser (a.k.a. “God’s Own Yodeler,” a.a.k.a. “The Pavarotti Of The Plains”) singing one of the finest songs in his repertoire: “The John Deere Tractor Song.” I saw him sing it live once in Boston, and I nearly wept for the goodness of it.

The Contenders: Joe Biden

posted by on January 31 at 12:15 PM

Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.


Joe Biden

Party: Democratic

Age: 65

Status: Declared

Sen. Joseph Biden, currently chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced today (again) that he is running for president in 2008. And then he promptly got himself involved in a mini-controversy over a potentially offensive statement he made about Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy.

Biden grew up and went to college in Delaware. He then attended Syracuse University College of Law and, after graduating in 1968, passed the Bar in Delaware, where he immediately began practicing law. He served two years on the New Castle County Council and then, in 1972, ran a successful campaign for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Caleb Boggs. At the time he first took office, Biden, then 30, was the fifth-youngest U.S. Senator in history.

Shortly after he was elected, Biden’s wife and three children were involved in a deadly car crash. His wife and infant daughter were killed, while his two young sons were seriously injured. He was sworn in from their bedsides. He remarried in 1977 to Jill Jacobs, with whom he has a daughter, Ashley. He has been re-elected five times, has been a Senator under seven presidents, and has served for a number of years on both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He is also responsible for creating the position of “Drug Czar” to oversee the nation’s drug control policy. He supported the war in Iraq and has voted for funding for it, but has continually called for more troops.

Biden has a mixed voting record on abortion, but has mainly voted pro-choice. He has generally voted with Republicans on economic issues, particularly on bankruptcy laws. He voted for re-authorizing the Patriot Act, is against drilling in ANWR, is pro-gun control, and voted against a Constitutional amendment banning same sex marriages.

In 1988, Biden ran for the Democratic presidential nomination but withdrew in scandal because it was found that he plagiarized a speech from British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock. Biden thought about running again in 2004 and was considered as a vice presidential candidate, but reportedly urged John Kerry to choose John McCain instead.

(With help from super-star intern Sage Van Wing)

Previously: John Edwards, John McCain, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback, Christopher J. Dodd, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Vilsack.

Esser Outtakes

posted by on January 31 at 12:03 PM

I’ve interviewed new Washington GOP state chairman Luke Esser a couple of times in the last few days since he was elected Saturday by the GOP rank and file to replace Diane Tebelius.

Excerpts from the interviews will appear in this afternoon’s print edition of The Stranger, but I had to leave some stuff out.

Thanks to Slog, I can post the cutting room floor right here. So, here are a couple of interesting quotes from Esser.

Esser on Dave Reichert: “If not for his larger-than-life persona as the sheriff who caught the Green River Killer, he would not have survived 2006.”

Esser on the viaduct: “The worst thing right now is this phony option. This fantasy land option. The mini-tunnel. The engineering and cost analysis has not been done. For the governor to want Seattle to be presented with this phony option is very misleading. Gregoire seemed to say that at first, but then she seemed to change her mind. We need stronger leadership than that on regional transportation issues.”

[Esser told me he couldn’t speak for the entire GOP on the viaduct issue, but he says his position as a legislator (he was a state senator from Bellevue until he got his ass kicked by GOP Rep turned Democratic state senate candidate Rodney Tom last year) was this: Seattle could do a tunnel if it could raise the extra money above and beyond the $2 billion plus the state had kicked in for a rebuild.]

Esser on Tebelius: “There wasn’t a particular difference between me and Diane ideologically. We’re both conservative Republicans. [Check. Esser practically filibustered against the gay civil rights bill in Olympia last year; voted against cost of living pay raises for teachers; voted against fixes on 520 and 405 because he wouldn’t support a gas tax—this was a senator from the Eastside?; voted against stem cell research; and voted against closing the gun show loophole.]

Anyway, more Esser on Tebelius, and warning, he uses a sports metaphor: “You have to put yourself in a position to win even if you know the political winds aren’t going your way this time. If you lose a game by a lot of points [without giving it your all] it sets a bad precedent for the close game that’s coming up. You always have to be in a position to win.” Esser criticized the local GOP for not raising enough money last year and for leaving its state political director position empty. Esser, who already axed Tebelius’s communications director, says he will be filling the top spots like the political director in the next few weeks. He also says he wants a full-time communications director working out of Olympia to coordinate the GOP message with the GOP caucus.

Esser had also blamed the GOP losses here on the GOP’s image at the federal level: the war, budget deficits, and GOP corruption. He mentioned Mark Foley and Duke Cunningham by name. So, I asked him if local GOP voters were against the war in Iraq now. “I wouldn’t say that at all,” he said.

Other Top Stories

posted by on January 31 at 11:29 AM

We’re running out of allies.

Germany seeks the arrest of 13 CIA agents.

British conservatives just not that into us anymore.

Canada apologizes—and offers huge cash settlement—to innocent Canadian citizen tortured by Syria at the request of the United States.

Our Dictator Is More Dictatorial Than Your Dictator

posted by on January 31 at 11:11 AM

The top story on the New York Times website right now is about the Venezuelan Congress empowering Hugo Chavez to rule by decree.

A congress wholly loyal to President Hugo Chavez approved a law Wednesday granting him authority to enact sweeping measures by decree.

Meeting at a downtown plaza in a session that resembled a political rally, lawmakers unanimously approved all four articles of the law by a show of hands….

Chavez, who is beginning a fresh six-year term, says the legislation will be the start of a new era of ”maximum revolution” during which he will consolidate Venezuela’s transformation into a socialist society. His critics are calling it a radical lurch toward authoritarianism by a leader with unchecked power.

Thank God we don’t live in some banana republic run by a power-mad crypto-dictator who rules by decree!

Oh, wait. We do. Ruling by decree, above the law.

And say what you will about Chavez and the advisability of “maximum revolution,” at least Chavez got his extraordinary powers approved by a supine Venezuelan Congress. Bush’s power grabs aren’t preceded by the formality a vote in our equally supine congress. (Yes, still supine—click on “law,” above.) Bush grabs, and Congress just sits there and does nothing. Man, we’re fucked.

Cougar Tartare

posted by on January 31 at 11:05 AM

Apparently it’s a good idea to cook cougar before you eat it.

Raw cougar meat, eaten by a deer hunter who found himself being stalked, is the apparent source of Washington state’s first case of trichinosis since 2001, a health official says. The hunter was hospitalized for a time after eating the uncooked meat in October but has since recovered, Klickitat County Health Director Kevin Barry told the Yakima Herald-Republic.

“I’ve been told by everyone I know who has eaten cougar that it tastes pretty good,” Barry said.

Hm… I like wild game. It was a wild game restaurant that restored my then-vegetarian boyfriend back to full carnivore status. Are there any restaurants around here that serve cougar meat? I’ll have mine medium, of course.

Today In Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 31 at 11:00 AM


Laff Hole
If you like to enjoy comedy while having your brains eaten by crazed zombies, then this is the show for you. See some of the best young comics in Seattle, then watch in terror as Bloodsquad improvises a puke-inducing horror movie in front of your eyes! Hosted by Scott Moran with Andy Peters, Derek Sheen, Ross Parsons, Kevin Richards, and Dan Carroll. (Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 388-0569. 10 pm, $5, 21+.) PAUL MERRILL


Don’t Kick the Habit
Before the show, why not grab some delicious Pagliacci pizza? Why not do it in a nun’s outfit? Tell them you heard it was $1 off for nuns and if they say no just act really shocked and sad. Cross yourself and mutter about sin. If enough people do this, they will probably give you the dollar off. If they show you this part of the paper, say you can’t read. (Pagliacci Pizzeria, 4529 University Way NE, 726-1717. 11 am—11 pm.) DARTANIAN LONDON

[All Suggests items this week are written by the Strangercrombie auction winners over at]

Biden on Hillary

posted by on January 31 at 10:35 AM

Joseph Biden, the newly-declared Democratic presidential candidate, took a few choice swipes at his opponents today in the New York Observer. Here’s his analysis of Hillary Clinton’s chances:

“Are [voters] going to turn to Hillary Clinton?” Biden asked, lowering his voice to a hush to explain why Mrs. Clinton won’t win the election.

“Everyone in the world knows her,” he said. “Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They’ve looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?”

UPDATE: And this quote, from the same story, is generating a lot of heat in the blogosphere today:

Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Discussion of whether a dropped comma might be making that comment more potentially-offensive than intended is here.

Biden clarification is here.

Death Today

posted by on January 31 at 10:02 AM

According to the editors of Reuters, this is one of the “best pictures from the last 24 hours”:

Beyond the echo of Roland Barthes’ famous essay “Myth Today” (1954), this image of a U.S. soldier—from the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment—patrolling eastern Baghdad yesterday, Jan 30, is deeply sad. There is no greatness, no nobility, no hope here, just a nothingness stemming from the fact that the unfortunate black man and the unfortunate Arabs could by now, by today, Jan 31, be as dead as that flower.

Morning News

posted by on January 31 at 9:03 AM

Federal Jury Says: Seattle violated protesters’ rights during WTO.

Sen. Joseph Biden Says: He’s running for President in 2008.

Stalwart Bush Allies Say: They will head off Senate Iraq war vote.

Wallstreet Says: Cigarettes are hot stock.

Audit Says: Tens of millions of dollars wasted and unaccounted for in Iraq.

Iraq Study Group Says: U.S. botched training Iraqi Police.

NYT Co. Says: Fourth Quarter losses at $648 million.

New York Daily News Asks: Are Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen really fucking in that scene? *This link is screwy, and since this is the article everyone is most interested in, I’ve copied most of it in the link below.

Judith Miller Says: Libby isn’t telling the truth.

The Numbers Say: U.S. economy grows in Fourth Quarter.

Continue reading "Morning News" »

Europe by Night

posted by on January 31 at 2:47 AM

It’s almost over, this month-and-a-half long gallavant across Europe—from Sweden to Italy to Spain to the UK and beyond—with two young, pretty (and by now pretty stinky) rock and roll bands. My fingernails are filthy, I smell like a garbage truck, and I’m sure I’ve accelerated my hearing loss, but it’s been worth it for moments like two nights ago, in the London suburb of Guildford (see below the jump for details on that show) and the thrill of clandestine tourism. At every border, we have to fake not-being-in-a-band beacuse of the work permits (explaining the tons of musical equipment in the back is always an end-run around logic: “we brought all this over to play one free festival in Utrecht… no, seriously”). And our sightseeing is always after dark, usually tipsy, led by some local rocker who is weary of his own city and amused by our interest.

The cathedral at Reims was my favorite. It was this, but menacingly lit from below, seen on a deserted January night, after a couple glasses of pastis:

It’s almost over and everyone, I think, is torn between wanting out of this rolling madhouse and not wanting it to end. It is how I imagine a typical small-time rock tour: Did I mention everybody stinks? Everybody got a cold. Nobody was never-drunk and one of us was drunk more often than the rest of us would’ve liked. Some of us took some drugs, others of us took others, none of us took all the drugs, and a few of us didn’t take any. Everybody shared. A few of us cried. One of us drunkenly pissed on my pants. (It wasn’t me.) Some of us went home with strangers. Some of us tried to go home with strangers. One of us drunkenly asked our hostess in Logrono, Spain: “I don’t want to fuck you, but can I sleep in your bed anyway?” To which she replied: “Everyone here is really hot, but I’ve made my decision. [Somebody else] is already in my bed.”

I don’t want to come home. I can’t wait to come home.

Continue reading "Europe by Night" »

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Required Late Night Viewing

posted by on January 30 at 10:44 PM

I got home, had a drink, calmed down, and then watched Barack Obama give this speech. Obama met Hillary Clinton’s “we expect him to extricate our country from [Iraq] before he leaves office [in January 2009]” and raised her with some actual proposed legislation requiring the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008.

It makes you wonder what the private polling on Iraq must look like if Dem presidential candidates are out there trying to top each other with proposals like these.

Tips on Getting Your Theater’s Name on the Cover of the Stranger

posted by on January 30 at 6:38 PM

So we’re sitting here putting out the print edition of this weekly newspaper and we’ve got a review of a local production of Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People that we want to plug on the cover. Won’t say if it’s a good review or bad. We just want to put it on the fucking cover. But the name of theater is making it nearly impossible.

The Strawberry Theatre Workshop? What the fuck kind of a name for a theater is that? Did Strawberry Shortcake and the Children’s Television Workshop have a fucked up baby and institutionalize it here in Seattle? What’s next for Seattle theater? My Little Pink Pony Players?

Hey, Strawberry Theatre Workshop! Your name is too fucking long to fit on our cover—or any newspaper’s cover. It’s not a name, it’s fucking paragraph. Seven syllables? Have you really earned seven fucking syllables? And while you abbreviate your name Strawshop, we can’t use that on the cover by itself—as in, “Strawshop’s New ‘Enemy’”— because most readers won’t know what the fuck we’re talking about. But our copy editor doesn’t want us to use “Strawshop Theatre’s New ‘Enemy’” because the world might end if we to take the first half the word from the start of your name and shove it together with the last half of the word from the end of your name and then slap the entire word from the middle of your name on to the end. Follow that? ME NEITHER!

And you know what else? It’s theatER not theatRE, you pretentious twats.

Oh and speaking of pretentious twattery, I just went to your website to double check the spelling of your name, which is where I happened upon your “mission statement.”

Our name is derived from the Strawberry Fields of popular music, and the Beatles, who used their recording studio as a daily laboratory of expression. Like a musical ensemble, which still allows the ear to identify the craft of individual players, our aesthetic strives toward…

BLAH BLAH BLAH! The name of your theatER is plenty annoying BEFORE you start explaining it. Remove that pretentious mission statement from your website immediately. Here’s the only mission statement you need, you dirty hippies:

Strawberry TheatER Workshop is dedicated to making theatER THAT DOESN’T SUCK.

Pretentious, suckshit “theatre” gits are a dime a dozen around here—they give ‘em columns if they suck long and hard enough—but theater artists making theater that doesn’t suck? We could use some more of them!

That’s what we need. Non-suckshit theaters, with short, catchy names—names that fit on newspaper covers.

The Institution of Marriage, Take II

posted by on January 30 at 4:48 PM

Savage, I think you’re on to something… Also, I’ve seen a mother-in-law have a panic attack, um, a groom pass out at the altar—but I’ve never seen a girl with pre-wedding jitters like the one in this video. Turn the sound DOWN, and watch all the way to the end… holy wow.

Today on Line Out

posted by on January 30 at 4:02 PM

Hallelujah!: Dave Segal Likes a Gospel Album.

Minimal Mode: Villalobos Remixes Depeche Mode.

Star Spangled: Hillary Clinton = Still Better Than Roseanne.

High Fidelity: Sonic Boom Employees = Still Nicer Than Jack Black.

Arrested Development: Another Reason Not to Watch the Grammy Awards.

White People’s G-spots: David Schmader and Ashlee Simpson.

Kornspace?: Korn Unplugged.

Bonham-Sized: Trent Moorman’s Huge Drum Sounds.

Dreamgirl Realness: Jennifer Holliday’s Live Soul.

$233,078: The Vera Project Makes Bank.

Stargazer: Shelagh McDonald’s Strange Trip.

Nearly Complete: Ulysses and Bryan Ferry.

Can’t Get No Respect: But You Can Get Plants for Home, Office, and Balcony.

Information Is Beautiful: The Idea.

rockrockfuckingROCK: Two Songs at the Same Time.

Watada Update

posted by on January 30 at 3:17 PM

Two charges dropped and one “National Day of Action” planned as the court-martial of Lt. Ehren Watada gets set to open on Monday, February 5.


posted by on January 30 at 2:36 PM

Pamela Sitt, Times editor Mike Fancher’s favorite girly-girl “about town,” writes in this week’s “edgy” new Sunday Styles section about what it means to be “good at” being single. When is Sitt at her “single best”? Why, when “eating pink-frosted cupcakes for breakfast” (gag) and “feeling smug about married people who are required to eat sensible meals,” of course! “After which I like to text-message a girlfriend and complain about getting fat.”

Wow. Smug, insecure, and compulsive—now there’s a girl who knows how to have fun!

But there’s a dark side to all that singly freedom. Namely, Valentine’s Day, when “I’ve decided that I’m too lazy to date. On the plus side, if I just stay single and it were a contest, I would win. This is a good time of year to be bad at being single, when you realize there is nothing good about February, and that has everything to do with Feb. 14. And the weather.”

Do grown women really still stress out about Valentine’s Day? Really? Because I do remember freaking out about it once, when I wasn’t sure whether to ask a cute long-haired boy named Eric to the Sadie Hawkins dance, and then I did, and he said no, and that really sucked. But that was in the sixth grade.

Fortunately, the rest of the column is a series of strung-together quotes. Unfortunately, they’re as unenlightening as Sitt’s pink-frosted Valentine’s Day dilemma.

Tune in next week for another edition of Sittstorm, where we’ll learn about why girls think science is icky, why boys are just soooo hard to understand, and why “retail therapy” is better than going to counseling!

College Students Are Really Classy, Smart, Take II

posted by on January 30 at 1:57 PM

On the heels of a “Bullets and Bubbly” party held by white University of Connecticut students two weeks ago, another group of white students—this time at Clemson University in South Carolina—wore blackface, donned fake butts, and duct-taped 40-ouncers to their hands for a “Living the Dream” party one day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Then, proving once again how smart you have to be to get into college, they posted them on Facebook. One more photo of South Carolina’s finest celebrating black culture below the jump.


Continue reading "College Students Are Really Classy, Smart, Take II" »

Bad King David

posted by on January 30 at 1:43 PM

This man is Pierre Bayle:

He lived a long time ago (November 18, 1647 – December 28, 1706), he was French, a Calvinist, and author of Historical and Critical Dictionary, a book that was enormously popular in his day. Bayle is now forgotten. Little thought is spent on his turbulent life and the great influence his writings had on the enlightenment. Why dig up this forgotten thinker now? For the eyes and edification of forgetful American Christians.

Central to all of Bayle’s brilliant ideas and opinions was his position that reason could not explain God. Human reason was too limited to comprehend Him and so faith in Him could not be reasoned. Like God’s ways, faith had to be mysterious. Bayle’s famous illustration of this point was made in the Historical and Critical Dictionary. It concerned King David, who, Bayle explained, was a criminal, a murderer, a rapist, an adulterer, and adored by God. Evil King David was chosen, elected, loved by the King of Kings. To human reason, this is clearly unacceptable; it wants to judge King David as a criminal and have him punished. And so, Bayle concluded, human reason is not compatible with His mysterious reasoning. If this were not the case, then God would have punished the bad man and rewarded a good one. Because humans have no idea what God is really up to, Bayle advocated humility and tolerance in all areas of life. To be an intolerant Christian, to force your beliefs on other people, was to act as if you knew God’s mind, grace, and plan. But the only thing you, as a Christian, as a human, could know about God is simply and finally your belief in God. That’s it. To reason Him to yourself and to others is to be arrogant, overconfident.

Bayle died in tolerant Rotterdam.

Rape Victim Jailed, Denied Emergency Contraception

posted by on January 30 at 1:13 PM

A Florida woman went to the police to report that she’d been raped—and they arrested her.

A 21-year-old woman told police Saturday that a man grabbed her off Howard Avenue and raped her behind a building during the Gasparilla festivities. But officers investigating the case arrested her after learning she had an outstanding warrant from her teenage years for failure to pay restitution.

She spent the next two nights in jail.

It gets worse. The woman was denied emergency contraception by a prison nurse. Can you guess why?

Adding to the [mother of the victim’s] ire is her claim that a jail nurse prevented her daughter from taking a second dose of emergency contraception prescribed by a nurse at a clinic as part of a rape examination. The jail nurse, said the mother and the victim’s attorney, denied the medication for religious reasons.

Emergency contraception is most effective in the first two days after unprotected sex—according to Planned Parenthood—and the second dose must be taken within 12 hours of the first.

Grey Gardens: A Freaky Update

posted by on January 30 at 1:08 PM


This post will only be of interest to those familiar with the Maysles brothers’ cult-classic documentary Grey Gardens, so if you don’t know the difference between a Big Edie and a Little Edie and/or have never uttered the phrase “I think this is the best costume for today,” stop reading now.

Everyone else: You know how Grey Gardens was recently made into a Broadway musical? I saw it last month, and wrote about it on the Slog. Of course the character Jerry—the sweet, schlumpy townie who visits the Beales, AKA “the Marble Faun”—figures prominently in the musical, with Big Edie devoting a whole power ballad to him, entitled, “Jerry Likes My Corn.”

Okay. A friend of mine in NYC went to see the Grey Gardens musical last week. After the show, she grabbed a cab in front of the theater, and her driver was Jerry—the actual Jerry, who is now a cabbie in New York. Apparently he makes a habit of swinging by the theater during the post-show exodus, and is happy to talk about the show, the Beales, and his strange fame.

Most amazingly, as my source told me, “Jerry said that he didn’t like Big Edie’s corn at all. He asked her to call him when she was cooking (always in bed) because he was sure that she would burn the house down with her cans of sterno. And they weren’t powerful enough to cook anything anyway.”


Thank you, Jerry, and thank you, New York hot tippers.

State Rep Questions Poor People’s “Intelligence”

posted by on January 30 at 12:48 PM

Earlier this year, a group of consumer advocates started pushing a bill in Olympia that would cap payday-loan interest rates at 36 percent. It’s HB 1020. Now Representative Steve Kirby (D-29) is pushing an alternative. It’s HB 1817. This option would set up a 60-day payment plan, allowing consumers to pay back the loan in four installments. The payment plan would only be available once a year. The bill doesn’t address the high interest rates associated with payday loans—nearly 400 percent APR—or allegations that the businesses target the poor and minorities. Aaron Toso, of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, says the bill resembles a similar payment plan already in place and does very little to protect consumers.

In essence, the bill is designed to keep payday lenders in business. Critics think it pays only lip service to the call for reform.

I talked with Kirby on the phone yesterday. I said that the bill doesn’t appear to do much to prevent people from taking out multiple loans, which, compounded, leads to the astronomical interest rates. I asked him what safeguards there are in place to stop people from re-entering the cycle of debt. His answer: “Um, intelligence? What prevents me from walking out in front of the bus?” He says the one-time payment plan option should be enough. “If you went to one of these places and found out you screwed up…. You have an opportunity to jump off this thing.” Kirby, whose committee would be the first to consider any regulation of the industry, says he never planned on considering the cap.

Also from Toso, people associated with the local payday lender MoneyTree (its employees, its owners, and its lobbyists) have made more than $300,000 in political contributions since 2000.

And my own two cents: Yes, poor people make stupid financial decisions. For more on this phenomenon, read Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s brilliant, Random Family. The thing is, when we make it easier for the underclass to behave unwisely, we create a problem for society as a whole, not to mention the unwitting children of the poor.

Slog Straw Poll Results

posted by on January 30 at 12:30 PM

Voting closed at noon in our highly influential and completely unscientific poll of your preferred Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

We had over 2,000 votes in the Democratic poll (which ran for five days) and over 400 votes in the Republican poll (which ran for one day). See the comments here and here for tons of thoughts from Slog readers about what it all means. Results below.





To the Gallows

posted by on January 30 at 12:19 PM

There was once a theory that King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng wouldn’t be able to request the death penalty again after letting Gary Ridgway live (in exchange for turning up a few bodies). But Maleng finally found a suitably horrific case: He will seek the execution of Conner Schierman, who is accused of killing four members of a Kirkland family last summer and then torching their home to cover up his crime.

The Livingest of Sculptures

posted by on January 30 at 11:53 AM

The Guardian has an entertaining profile of Gilbert & George. Here’s a snippet:

George’s theory is that homophobia is still alive and well, even in the supposedly liberal and bohemian art world. ‘There’s a lot of closet gay bashing,’ he says. ‘There are journalists who attack us without saying anything about that [their sexuality], but you can see clearly what it is. The Guardian once said: “They must be very unhappy, after all these years, of being called filthy queers.” The Guardian! Extraordinary!’ In fact, he thinks the art world and the media are a good deal less tolerant than the man on the street. In their real lives, no one ever abuses them.

‘No! They love us!’ says Gilbert.

Taxi drivers love us!’ adds George.

An editor at Thames & Hudson once told George that usually, with art, the critics and the artist must gang up to convince the public. But in the case of he and Gilbert, it has always been the other way round. ‘At our last show at the White Cube, there were 30,000 visitors.’

They expect Tate Modern to be equally swamped: people are mad for art just now - although, personally, he and Gilbert disdain gallery going.

Gilbert: ‘We don’t look at other artists.’

George: ‘We don’t socialise with other artists.’

Gilbert: ‘We haven’t been to a gallery in 30 years.’

George: ‘We don’t belong to the gallery-going class, you see.’

So they didn’t see Velasquez at the National Gallery? George yelps, as if stung. ‘Never! Why would I want to join a long line of middle-class twits? We want to see the world as it is, naked. We left the house the other day at 6.25am, and there in the street was a dead, flattened rat, and a crow feasting from it. That’s an amazing image, isn’t it? I shall remember it forever.’ At the memory of this ravenous crow and its macabre breakfast, the pair of them sip their Nescafe contemplatively.


The World’s Richest Man…

posted by on January 30 at 11:44 AM

…giggles childishly at, slouches in front of, and ultimately seems to bore world’s funniest man.

Via Seattlest.

Yeah, I Like That Ashlee Simpson Song, but…

posted by on January 30 at 11:40 AM

David Schmader listens to the Backstreet Boys!

Last week, Schmader forced me to justify some of the most embarrassing songs on my iPod (well, technically my iTunes). He called me out on Ashlee Simpson, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and screamo Christmas carols.

Well in this week’s Justify Your Pod, I catch him wasting precious gigabytes on the Backstreet Boys, Ciara, M2M’s “Girl of Your Dreams,” that “Born to Add” song from Sesame Street and… Morgan Fairchild? Revenge is so, so sweet.

Click here to listen and find out what song Dave thinks was written to “hit white people’s g-spots.”

And when you’re done listening, you must enjoy “Born to Add” in its entirety.

Adult Baby Daycare

posted by on January 30 at 11:33 AM


An adult baby/diaper lover “daycare center” has opened in Montreal. ABDL Montreal is like a professional dungeon but, you know, for adult babies not adult submissives. That means big cribs, not big cages; nappies, not corsets; pacifiers, not gags. You can book anything from a 45 minute visit to an overnight to a three-day immersion:

72 emotion-filled hours, including three full nights, of being a child! Sleep in our magnificient crib, play with our toys, be totally taken care of! You will be bathed, fed,etc. Not a worry in the world!

If you’re headed to Montreal for week and want to see the city…

Why stay at a hotel? Take advantage from your stay too mix tourism/work with with restfull time off as a baby! Montreal is a very open city that offer scores of activities to awake the child in you! It also provides plenty of attractions for the adult in you! Use the nursery as home base!

ABDL is the first of its kind in North America. But is it just the beginning? Is the adult baby/diaper fetish scene about to go boom?

Hmm. I smell a Brendan Kiley feature assignment…

Cheap Insurance for Infrequent Drivers?

posted by on January 30 at 11:01 AM

While Greg Nickels has been busy pushing for his new waterfront freeway, King County Executive Ron Sims has been working to secure funding for pay-as-you-drive insurance— an innovative program that charges drivers based on how much they actually use their cars. Pay-as-you-drive is more equitable than traditional one-size-fits-all insurance programs, because it doesn’t penalize people who drive less than the norm (or reward people who drive more than necessary). And because it reflects the true cost of driving more closely (much like, say, buying gas), pay-as-you-drive encourages people to think about their car use and plan trips more carefully. Sims staffer Jim Lopez says the county hopes to secure nearly $6 million in public and private funds toward a pilot project with a single insurance company, with the hope of expanding the program if it’s successful. A poll on Sims’s web site currently shows that 57 percent of respondents say they would drive less if they paid for insurance by the mile.

Today In Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 30 at 11:00 AM


Darmando at the HUT
I named my son Dartanion to make him tough. It gave him a sense of humor instead. Everything backfires on me. He’s performing with his friends in something where the improv is based on the standup. That sounds insane and I want no part in insanity. Not in this house. Dartanion London, John Faga, Ian Schempp, Adina Gillett, Kevin Hyder, Ahamefule Oluo, and Heneghen combine to piss me off. (The HUT, 5510 University Way NE, 781-3879. 8 pm, $6, all ages; or check out Boys Allowed at Live Girls! Theater, 2220 NW Market St. 9 pm, 21+.) DARTANION’S MOM

[All Suggests items this week are written by the Strangercrombie auction winners over at]

Steve Wynn’s Elbow: Not Sharp Enough?

posted by on January 30 at 10:47 AM

From The Art Law Blog: Not everybody believes that casino mogul Steve Wynn’s elbow was actually pointy enough to have poked a hole in Picasso’s Le Reve (The Dream) the way he says he did. Insurance agents may make a cast of his elbow in order to find out.

What, then, of Norah Ephron’s testimony as an eyewitness on Huffington Post?


My New Favorite Fruit

posted by on January 30 at 10:32 AM

This office has been known to obsess about fruit (see Honeycrisp Apple), and not just because we all are kind of fruity. I have a new specimen for all of us to try: The Cara Cara Orange.

It looks like a regular naval orange on the outside, but inside it’s pink like a grapefruit! I found it to be sweet and juicy, and the acid tasted more like grapefruit acid then orange acid. They originated in Venezuela, on a ranch, which is where I wish I was right now. It was a marvelous breakfast. They are available now at the QFC at Broadway and Pike, at the very least. Try one!

Another Reason to Root for the Bears

posted by on January 30 at 9:40 AM


No, that subject heading is not a mistake: there’s Super Bowl news that involves those pesky gays who keep getting into everything.

As the freakin’ geniuses at have pointed out, Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy, a good Christian, supports the not-so-good Christians at the Indiana Family Institute, one of the rabidly anti-gay outfits in the state that likes to call itself the the crossroads of America, but which I think of as the home of the modern Ku Klux Klan.

Of course, this might blow up in Bears fans’ faces: Lovie Smith is a good friend of Dungy, and like him, a Christian. Who knows what homophobic affiliations might lurk in his closet. But till we know for sure that both coaches are homophobes, we should all root for the Bears.

These Eighth Graders NAILED IT

posted by on January 30 at 9:40 AM

You may have thought the whole OK GO! treadmill dance thingy was over months ago—BUT YOU WERE WRONG. Because now four teeny-boppers have put together a DEAD-ON re-creation of “Here We Go Again” for their school talent show… and judging from the reaction of that crowd… they will never be unpopular again.

WOW! It’s like the grand finale of REVENGE OF THE NERDS!

They Grow Up So Fast

posted by on January 30 at 9:26 AM


Daniel Radcliffe—a.k.a. Harry Potter—is appearing in a production of Equus in London. The show’s publicity stills are causing a stir. Towleroad has more info. And pics.


Shit’s in the P-I

posted by on January 30 at 9:19 AM

This just in…

Density kills cats!

As Seattle’s population grows, there are the obvious changes. Then there are subtler ones, such as: With more cars to hit pets and more people to steal them, do you let the cat out?

Go read all… 750 words… of this… nonstory.

Today’s Gay Agenda

posted by on January 30 at 9:13 AM

Did you get the memo? Seducing teenage boys is out. Getting the dicks cut off teenage boys is in.

A 14 year-old German child—born a boy, but identifying as female since age two—is the world’s youngest sex change patient. The shriekers on the right are blaming the gays and our gay agenda. From the Concerned Women for America:

Rather than addressing the emotional or chemical problems responsible for Tim’s gender confusion, his parents and doctors have bought into the homosexual lobby’s PC puffery hook, line and sinker.

Sex changes for tweens? That’s today’s gay agenda. And never you mind that most transgender folks don’t identify as gay or lesbian and, more importantly, never you mind that gay rights and trans rights groups everywhere are opposed to sex-change operations for anyone under 18. And, hey, never you mind that it was this kid’s heterosexual parents—in consultation with medical doctors and shrinks—who decided that this course of treatment would be in this child’s best interests. The big, bad gays are coming for your teenage sons’ cocks—only we don’t want to suck them anymore, we want to cut them off.

It seems pretty clear from the CWfA’s press release that we’ve already succeeded in chopping off one kid’s junk. The Concerned Women for America condemns this “extreme procedure.” While they admit that that the child himself has longed for “gender reassignment surgery” since age 12, the CWfA condemns the child’s parents for “allowing him [sic] to go forward with the surgery,” robbing the child of the ability to “father a child.”

But wait! The kid hasn’t actually undergone gender-reassignment surgery yet—and won’t until he’s an adult.

The procedure can be reversed if Kim changes her mind before the surgery and legally the operation to remove male parts can not take place until Kim turns 18. Health insurance covers the cost as it qualifies as an illness.

For a more reasoned, thoughtful take on transgendered children, read this excellent piece in the New York Times. The gist…

Children as young as 5 who display predispositions to dress like the opposite sex are being supported by a growing number of young parents, educators and mental health professionals.

Doctors, some of them from the top pediatric hospitals, have begun to advise families to let these children be “who they are” to foster a sense of security and self-esteem. They are motivated, in part, by the high incidence of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation that has been common in past generations of transgender children. Legal trends suggest that schools are now required to respect parents’ decisions.

HPV Vaccine for Men?

posted by on January 30 at 9:04 AM

The New York Times has an interesting article today on the progress of trials for the HPV vaccine in men who have sex with men. (HPV can lead to anal cancer in men.) Apparently it’s hard to find gay virgins.

But Can She Sing?

posted by on January 30 at 8:45 AM

Hillary Clinton, on the trail in Iowa, tries her hand at the Star Spangled Banner:

Republican Straw Poll!

posted by on January 30 at 8:44 AM

[Originally posted on Monday]

Last Thursday we started our first-ever Slog straw poll. The question: Which Democratic candidate do you favor, at this point, to be the nominee for president? That poll closes today, and we’re currently at 2,000 votes.

But why stop with the Democrats?

I doubt we have many Republicans among our regular Slog readers, but I know that a lot of our readers have a preference for whom they’d like to see as the Republican nominee. I’m guessing it’s someone likely to make it through the Republican primaries but someone… beatable. Who do you think that is?

This Republican straw poll closes, along with our Democratic straw poll, today at noon.

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. Here are the final results:


Slog Straw Poll!

posted by on January 30 at 8:43 AM

[Originally posted Thursday morning.]

Kerry is out, Hillary is in (“to win”), McCain’s asleep, and Obama’s mad as hell. But never mind all of that. Who do you want to be the Democratic presidential nominee?

Our first-ever Slog Straw Poll began on Thursday. Voting closes today at noon.

(This polling mechanism is new to Slog, so let us know if you see any glitches.)

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. Here are the final results:


Morning News

posted by on January 30 at 8:40 AM

The Imperial Presidency: Bush gives White House greater control over federal agencies.

The Reluctant Allies: Europe resists U.S. call for sanctions against Iran.

The Key Witness: Fleischer testimony indicates Libby knew identity of Plame earlier than he had acknowledged.

The Next Witness: Judith Miller to testify today in Scooter Libby trial.

The Doomsday Scenario: UN report on global warming.

The Latest Attempt: New president calls for Somali reconciliation

The Democratic Budget: More money for health care, education, veterans, firefighers, the FBI, and Pell Grants.

The Cycle of Violence: Israel bombs Gaza tunnel.

The Giant Loophole: New ethics rules allow lobbyists to finance the party conventions.

The Good Life: World’s oldest woman dies at 114.

The God Damn Commute: Gas prices stop falling.

The Institution of Marriage

posted by on January 30 at 8:26 AM

Come on now. Could gay people do more harm to marriage than straight people already have?

Via Sullivan.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome Back, Peter

posted by on January 29 at 7:46 PM

Peter Sherwin takes on city hall—suing over the viaduct vote. Somewhere David Sucher is smiling.

King George

posted by on January 29 at 7:43 PM


No doubt Republican apologists for George W. Bush’s ongoing power grab will smile on the latest news. But I wonder how they’ll feel when a Democratic president is once again accepting blowjobs in the Oval Office. An imperial presidency is a lot of fun—but only so long as your guy is emperor.

Accidental Protest?

posted by on January 29 at 5:21 PM

This past Saturday, more than 1,000 antiwar protesters marched here in Seattle. An organized protest. Just today, this photo popped into my e-mail box, from a friend in Germany. I have no idea where he got the photo, but it does make me wonder….


Overheard in the Office

posted by on January 29 at 5:09 PM

[Referencing Paris Hilton]

Anthony Hecht: “I just hope I live long enough to see her die.”

Where the Streets Have No Shame

posted by on January 29 at 4:42 PM

Big-time Irish rockers Bono and the Edge have now become big-time Irish developers. The duo’s first project is this wavy, shiny Dublin hotel:

842_385 Bono-1.jpg

Dublin’s Clarence Hotel is an upscale establishment that is about to undergo a 21st century renovation. The Clarence is being redeveloped by the project’s owners, U2’s Bono and the Edge, to be one of the “most spectacular hotels in Europe”.
And when I go there, I’ll go there with you; it’s all I can do.

O, They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on January 29 at 4:32 PM

…warm welcome?

Wait—that’s not how these posts are supposed to work! These posts are supposed to draw attention to the hypocrisy of American fundies and evangelicals. They so often say one thing (“Love thy neighbor…”) while doing another (attacking their neighbors) that these posts practically write themselves.

I guess we have to add inconsistency to their long list of sins. Because Mike Jones showed up at New Life Church this weekend—Jones is the male escort that outed Ted “Meth & Cock” Haggard, New Life’s disgraced founding pastor—and the New Lifers were nice to Jones!

The former male prostitute whose accusations against New Life Church founder Ted Haggard led to Haggard’s dismissal as pastor visited the megachurch Sunday. Mike Jones, who has a forthcoming book, told The Denver Post that several people shook his hand and told him, “God bless you.”…

Associate pastor Rob Brendle saw Jones in the foyer.

“I told Mike, ‘I don’t want to impose my religious beliefs on you, but I believe God used you to correct us, and I appreciate that,’” Brendle said. “The church’s response to him was overwhelmingly warm.”

It’s great news that Rob Brendle and the rest of the New Lifers don’t want to impose their religious beliefs on Jones or anyone else. Which means that New Life is, I presume, about to come out in support of full civil equality for gays and lesbians—including civil marriage rights. If they’re not, then Rob Brendle is a lying sack of shit and this “O, They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…” post is drawing attention to lies and hypocrisy after all.

Because when religious conservatives use strictly religious arguments in their fight to ban full marriage equality for gays and lesbians—something they’ve done with great success, in Colorado and elsewhere—they are imposing their religious beliefs on others. That Rob Brendle’s God frowns on same-sex marriage is a great reason for Rob Brendle to refrain from marrying a dude and getting his saved-for-marriage ass plowed on his Key West honeymoon.

But the low opinion of Brendle’s God is not a legitimate reason to bar me or Mike Jones from marrying a dude.

And what of religions that bless same-sex unions? What of their free practice of religion? I’m actually surprised that the Unitarians haven’t already filed a lawsuit arguing that a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally interferes with their right to practice their religion. Come on, Units!

Today On Line Out

posted by on January 29 at 4:00 PM

Orchestral Manoeuvres: Christopher DeLaurenti’s Pirated Intermissions.

What Next, White Rappers?: New York Times Ends Apartheid in Brooklyn, Integrates Northsix.

Wincing Two Nights Away: The Shins Add Second Seattle Date.

It’s Hard Out Here for a “Blipster”: Pretty Girls No Longer Make Graves.

What Next, Jimi Hendrix?: New York Times Discovers Black Rock Musician Right Here in Seattle!

Intentionally Funny: DJ Sabzi on Honkies, Nonhonkies, and the Arbitrary Invention of Racial Stereotypes.

No New Music: The Idea of Girl Talk.

And Over the Weekend:

Gays Control All Media: Terry Miller Makes Mixtapes for Ira Glass.

The Idea of New Music in Time: Debate Rages On and On.

A Bunch of Pricks: Seven “Awesome” Men.

Warm It Up: Night Ripper.

Race Car Gloves: Ass Kicking and Mullitude.

The Business of Fancy Dancing: Can Girl Talk Jeté?

Young Jocks: Seattle’s Rising Radio Talent.

Basil and Guac: Deliciously “Awesome”.


posted by on January 29 at 3:59 PM

FACT: Neal Pollack’s kid is named Elijah, a name he shares with the Jewish guy in the Old Testament who raised the dead, among other career highlights (delivering God’s message of doom to Ahab, putting prophets of Baal to death, talking to angels under juniper trees, being sucked up to heaven on a giant whirlwind, etc).

[This has been a Neal Pollack Fact of the Day. This madness will end on Thursday at Chop Suey. 7 pm doors, 8 pm show, opening reading by Dan Savage, original music by “Awesome,” MC’ing by Sean Nelson, etc, etc, etc. And like everything The Stranger does: Free!]

Rep. Maralyn Chase Pushes Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

posted by on January 29 at 3:40 PM

I talked to environmental Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32, Shoreline, Edmonds) today, who sounds a bit like she had her mind blown by Al Gore’s movie. She reports that she rides a tricycle around the Olympia campus now to fight global warming. (I haven’t witnessed this myself yet, but others confirmed that it’s true.)

She says: “These companies are polluting our commons. People don’t realize how serious this is. They don’t understand. We are using up the resources of our grandchildren.”

As I Slogged last week, Chase has two bills—a cap and trade program (HB 1210) to mandate lower emmissions (which I’m all for) and a tax credit program for companies that mitigate their CO2 emmissions with offset projects (which I think is a dumb idea.) That’s HB 1208.

The main problems I have with the tax credit program are: There’s no mandated limit (ie, it’s voluntary); profit incentives to produce more CO2 (ie, more electricity) could easily outweigh the minimal incentive for mitigation ($1 per ton); a company could potentially get more money, the more CO2 it produced (there’d be more CO2 to mitigate)!; and finally, tax breaks sap state coffers.

I asked Chase about the irony of potentially rewarding companies for producing more CO2, and she said: “No, it will cost them more than $1 to mitigate per ton.”

Okay. But if $1 doesn’t cover the cost—where’s the incentive? Basically, if it costs about $5 to mitigate per ton, than the company would be spending $4 they wouldn’t have spent in the first place. That hardly seems like an incentive.

Chase acknowledged this and said the bill is more about calling attention to the issue.

She then told me the cap and trade bill is the real priority. That’s cool. Here’s how cap and trade works: The state mandates a limit on how much CO2 a certain industry can produce. Then the state divvies up the total and sells permits allowing companies to produce a portion of the total. For a good explanation of cap and trade, the Union of Concerned Scientists has a clear explanation that highlights why this system actually creates a stronger financial incentive than tax breaks do.

Chase says she is currently trying to make the bill even more progressive, changing the mandated benchmarks from hitting 1990 CO2 levels by 2020 to an 80 percent decrease from today’s levels—a much more ambitious goal.

Boths bills are in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee this Wednesday.

Chase also told me that she believes Governor Gregoire may be working on cap and trade legislation. (Oregon’s Governor Ted Kulongoski unveiled cap and trade plans last week.) I called the governor’s office to get a beat on any legislation that Gregoire was developing. Still waiting to hear back.

The Solution

posted by on January 29 at 3:17 PM

Here it is at last: Mix Vico’s theory of historical stages with Plotinus’ concept of the “One” (and not Spinoza’s absolute) with Aristotle’s “entelecheia” and what you get is the “World Mind” that appears in Philosophy of History. Four is the number of years it took me to realize that solution, and four is now the number of years it will take me to determine why I wanted that solution in the first place.

Up From Bankruptcy (For Now)

posted by on January 29 at 3:12 PM

Air America lives…just not with Al Franken.

Who Knows Whom?

posted by on January 29 at 1:42 PM

I see “who/whom” confusion daily here in the work of otherwise careful writers. So I’m sharing my trick for deciding when to use who vs. whom. It’s an oversimplification for sure, but it works most of the time.

Isolate the clause containing the troublesome “who”/”whom” (or “whoever”/”whomever”); ignore everything else. (Sometimes this means switching word order around. When the word is the object in a question, you may have to restructure the question into a statement, as in example (2) below.)

Substitute “him” and then “he” for of the word in question and see which sounds correct.

If “him” sounds better, then choose “whom”—the “m”on the end of both words is your clue. If “he” sounds better, then choose “who” (no “m”).

For example:

1. I want to know who/whom made this mess.
Simplified: Who made this mess/Whom made this mess
he made this mess/him made this mess
“he” is better = “who” is correct

2. Eli wants to know who/whom you’d like to see in office.
Simplified: You’d like to see he in office/You’d like to see him in office
“him” is better = “whom” is correct.

The key to correctness lies in the fact that “who” is the subject case and “whom” is the object case, just like “he” is subject case and “him” is object case—which is why this trick works.

Still unsure? This page goes a bit more indepth on the topic, and offers two more tricks to help you get it right. Grammar Girl has a sweet little podcast on who/whom, too.

Traffic Worse, Times Whines

posted by on January 29 at 1:04 PM

Driving alone at rush hour on Puget Sound-area freeways now takes longer than ever, the Seattle Times reported Friday—56 minutes from Bellevue to Federal Way, 49 minutes from Federal Way to Seattle, 53 minutes from Everett to Seattle. The state DOT attributed the increase, which ranged from 4 to 14 minutes in various corridors, to job growth, more cars, and the lack of new roads or mass transit. The Times also notes that a 10-year-old report predicted speeds in the 405 corridor would slow to 26 mph in 20 years. Currently, they’re at 23 mph.


What surprised me most about the report (as a non-driver who’s constantly being tsk-tsked by drivers about how I should “try driving to the Eastside at rush hour”) was how little time it takes to get from Seattle to the Eastside, and vice versa: 24 minutes from Seattle to Issaquah, 33 minutes from Seattle to Redmond, 25 minutes from Seattle to Bellevue. (Remember, these are rush-hour averages; daily averages are presumably much lower.) Look, I know it makes people mad to be stuck in their cars. But come on: Whining about a 20-minute commute is like bitching when Starbucks takes five minutes to make your latte instead of three. Yes, it’s time wasted, but not that much—especially when compared to the nightmare commutes faced by drivers in places like Houston, where roads are plentiful and mass transit scarce.

What the study really illustrates, I think, is that we can’t build our way out of congestion (see, again, Houston); and yet things aren’t bad enough yet to force us to change our car-loving ways. As long as it’s easier to drive alone than carpool or take mass transit, people will drive alone—and mass transit won’t get built. This is the paradox Seattle finds itself in: traffic bad enough to make people bitch and moan, but not bad enough to convince us to invest in real mass transit that will get people out of their cars.

Best Hot Dogs Ever

posted by on January 29 at 12:53 PM

At the Tacoma Golden Gloves tournament last weekend. The lovely ladies at the snack bar at the Tacoma Boys & Girls Club served up the tastiest dogs I’ve had since I last ate at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Lightly charred, poking out of the ends of the bun, smothered in whatever you want. Mmmm.

hot dog.jpg

I also recommend getting yourself to the next amateur boxing event you can find (like Sea Mar’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre at the South Park Community Center on Feb. 17). You may just get lucky enough to watch this bruiser, Esequiel “Puppy” Sandoval.

Lucero vs Sandoval (3).jpg

Thin Deal

posted by on January 29 at 12:30 PM

thin deal.jpg

Check out this banner hanging from the convenience store next to my house. It’s a Washington Lottery ad that reads “Wallet-Fattening Zone.” Does this strike anyone else as misleading?

Here, the State of Washington is basically promising players a hefty return. But, like gambling at casinos, the odds are against the player and generously stacked in the state’s favor. So there is wallet fattening, but it’s the state’s wallet that gets fattened (yes, yes, the money goes to a good cause).

If a jar of multivitamins claims it can boost your immune system, the label is required to have an attention-grabbing asterisk and disclaimer that the statement hasn’t been approved. (And those are wholesome goddamned vitamins!) If predatory loaners promise a low interest rate but actually bilk people out of dough, they can get prosecuted by the state. But this banner has no asterisk or warning that, for most players, it’s actually a wallet-thinning zone.

So isn’t this false advertising? And isn’t Washington State the same entity that enforces laws against false advertising?

Hearts in the Sky

posted by on January 29 at 11:41 AM


Did anyone else see the fabulous fireworks over South Lake Union on Saturday evening and think they’d forgotten some mid-winter holiday? The Seattle Times reported yesterday that Microsoft was behind the surreal display:

Fireworks show was only a game
Seattle residents who live in the vicinity of Lake Union were treated to — or subjected to, depending on their point of view — a brief fireworks display Saturday evening.
The display, produced by Microsoft, was part of a global game for employees called the Microsoft Worldwide Puzzle. The presentation was supposed to contain game clues and was to be webcast for players outside the area.

Mark Mumford: Text Circle or Black Hole?

posted by on January 29 at 11:36 AM


For his second show at James Harris Gallery, Mark Mumford presents a series of brief statements assembled as circles on the white gallery walls. (Imagine the shortest sentence you’ve seen today pulled into a perfect, tire-sized ring with the lowermost words upside down.) Some examples: A MEMORY OF BEING HAPPY IN THE WORLD, A SILENCE SO PERFECT IT CANNOT BE DESCRIBED, and NO ONE CAN SEE US. Described on the gallery’s web site as a response to authoritative communication and advertising, Mumford’s words are fuzzy and vague, wanting interpretation.

The same has been said of Jenny Holzer’s text-based artwork. Throughout her 30-year career, Holzer has shifted between elaborate methods of display, such as huge, site-specific electronic signs, and very ordinary advertising and information media like posters, stickers, and T-shirts. Holzer’s first few text series are thematic strings of contradictory statements presented as the impossible observations of a single voice. As with Mumford, interpreting Holzer’s early writing brings out your history and biases; but Holzer’s writing resonates in a way that Mumford’s does not.

Take, for instance, Mumford’s NO ONE CAN SEE US and pair it with some of Holzer’s texts on the theme of invisibility:




All of Holzer’s sentences could be implied by Mumford’s statement if you work backwards from Holzer’s heady suggestions to Mumford’s dry assertion, but not the other way around. Mumford’s texts resemble those of a fledgling poet, an author who writes simple, generic statements, relying on the reader to stuff the shell of his words with content. Holzer’s descriptions of the complexities of being and knowing and remembering are more sophisticated and precise. She is both authoritative and ambiguous, controlling the channels she critiques. Mumford’s writing is blank, but not critically so; it’s not anti-writing, but almost non-writing.

Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Holzer. I read and re-read her writing for various work-related purposes for more than four years, so comparisons such as this are a reflex, like smiling.

—Abigail Guay

Nomi Versus the Nazis?

posted by on January 29 at 11:35 AM

Legendary Showgirls auteur Paul Verhoeven is making his way back into U.S. cinemas with Black Book, a World War II period piece charting the saga of a beautiful Jewess—who’s also a singer—on the run from the Gestapo.

Initial contact with the film’s website suggests the movie marks Verhoeven’s return to artsy European filmmaking, after a decade devoted to ludicrous American filmmaking: The film took top honors at the Netherlands Film Festival, and was the official Dutch entry for this year’s Academy Awards.

Still, Black Book failed to net a nomination for Best Foreign Language film, and today the New York Post’s Page Six offers some usettling specifics of the plot:

Is the director of notoriously trashy “Showgirls” about to top himself? While it doesn’t open here until March, Paul Verhoeven’s war drama “Black Book” is already gaining notoriety in Europe. Its over-the-top scenes include star Carice van Houten dying her pubic hair blond and getting human waste dumped over her head while half-nude. Cosmo Landesman of London’s Sunday Times writes: “Call me old-fashioned, but when it comes to Second World War yarns about the brave men and women who resisted the Nazi occupation of their country, I don’t want to see sexy shots of pubic hair.”

Speak for yourself, Cosmo Landesman.

Black Book opens in the U.S. in March.

The Mayor of Moscow

posted by on January 29 at 11:30 AM

…says gay pride parades are “satanic.”

Super Bowling

posted by on January 29 at 11:11 AM

With the Seahawks’ season over, I imagine only the hard-core sports junkies will want to read any slog items about the upcoming Bears-Colts game, but I cannot help myself. Plus, sports teaches us a lot about America. Really.

Of all the cases of cultural gigantism which afflict our great nation, few compete with the relentless hype of Super Bowl week. As we drive to giant outlet stores in gas-guzzling hummers, drinking super-sized beverages—hey Seattle, thanks for inflicting on the rest of the world coffee joint where even a small is “tall”— the radio airwaves will be full of what you get when you unleash a nation’s entire body of sports journalists on a single game, and give them six days to fill yards of newsprint and days worth of dead air… lots of information, lots of bullshit.

But is that necessarily a bad thing? If I may briefly channel our former Defense Secretary, too much information at least allows you to ignore things you don’t care about rather than not knowing things you might care about if you knew about them. I’d actually argue that the rest of the Fourth Estate could learn a thing or two from the media pack that will be gnawing on every dry bone it can find in Miami. If the White House Press Corps took on Bush the way that sportswriters take on the Super Bowl teams, we’d not only know what W was doing during his national guard stint, we’d have the life stories of every bartender, coke dealer and cocktail waitress who kept him amused during Viet Nam.

Plus, without the Super Bowl, how would Americans, deprived of classical educational standards, ever learn their Roman Numerals?

From the great Zay Smith

QT Super Bowl XLI Countdown Update:

• A survey has found that XIX percent of Americans who plan to watch the Super Bowl are more interested in the TV commercials than the game and V percent are more interested in the snacks.

• The snacks will include XI million pounds of potato chips containing XXVII billion calories and II billion grams of fat — not counting the XLIV million pounds of guacamole the chips will be dipped into.

• There is a XX percent increase in antacid sales the day after a Super Bowl, by the way.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 29 at 11:00 AM


Seattle’s Best-Looking Comedians
We ran out of clever ideas, so here’s a straightforward standup-comedy show with some of the best-looking comedians in Seattle. Kevin Richards, Owen Straw, Meghan Hounshell, Brian Moote, and Stranger favorite Dan Carroll will be there. Some short movies, too, to relieve your eyes from the blazing hotness. (Jewelbox Theater, 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823. 8 pm, $6, 21+; or check out the Entertainment Show at Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave, 784-4880. 9 pm, $6, 21+.) HARI KONDABOLU

[All Suggests items this week are written by the Strangercrombie auction winners over at]

HPV: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate. What a Stupid Question.

posted by on January 29 at 10:32 AM

The front-page story in the Seattle Times today is about Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil, which prevents the most dangerous strains of a virus that causes cervical cancer.

There’s some nervousness about the vaccine qua vaccine—the usual hippie suspicion of shots—but what confounds me are (a) the “we’re Christian, she’ll be abstinent” argument, and (b) the “vaccine against an STI will increase promiscuity” argument.

First of all, it doesn’t matter if she stays a virgin till her lily-white wedding night. If her husband picked up HPV before he “settled down” or became a born-again Christian—there have always been double standards for men and women, and this is the most tenacious—then tough shit. And hello, cervical cancer.

Second, who says you need to tell your kid how you get the virus she’s being vaccinated against? I don’t recall anyone teaching me how measles, mumps, and rubella were contracted when I got my shots. But I knew they were diseases, and that they were bad, and I didn’t want to get them.

Another Seattle mother took her daughter to get the vaccine but explained only that it would prevent a virus that leads to cancer—no mention of STDs or exactly what kind of cancer.

“She’s not a sophisticated girl,” the mother said. “My daughter is very uncomfortable discussing anything physical.”

Maybe this lady is being squeamish, and for sure, her daughter would probably benefit from a scientifically accurate sex-ed class at school. But I think this explanation is perfectly adequate. Get three shots, avoid cancer. You go, anonymous mom.

Here’s my article from July about the development and politics of the HPV vaccine.

Bodies, Bodies Everywhere

posted by on January 29 at 10:01 AM


I don’t find the Bodies exhibition as offensive as some. Yes, like many people I have qualms about where the bodies in Bodies came from, but I’m not chaining myself to the doors. (Hey, did they ever find that liver or kidney that got stolen?) But I have to say that I’m getting a little tired of seeing skinned, flayed, dismembered, glassy-eyed corpses everywhere I look—yes, even our own pages.

I’m starting to feel a bit traumatized.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on January 29 at 9:32 AM

Is the Prayer Warrior reading the Slog?


Dear Prayer Warrior,

First, I want to thank Josh Feit of the Stranger and King county executive Ron Simms [sic] for their debate last year. It has been a catalyst to jump start my initiative.

The second thing is to pray for the person who busted out my window at church yesterday. It seems that the homosexual community does not know how to practice what they preach when it comes to tolerance.

Pastor Hutch!!!

The Real McCain

posted by on January 29 at 8:54 AM

From, via Aravosis:

…Plus Here’s a Special Morning News Item

posted by on January 29 at 7:06 AM

Malcolm X was always pretty good at being macho. Here he is circa 1963 putting down the wimpy civil rights movement:

An old woman can sit. An old man can sit. A chump can sit. A coward can sit. Anything can sit. Well, you and I been sitting long enough. And it’s time today for us to start doing some standing. And some fighting to back that up.

Of course, in his bombast, Malcolm X missed the significance of the sit-in movement. Namely: You bet anyone can sit. That is precisely why the civil rights movement—built on sitting down at lunch counters and on buses—was so powerful.

I’m sick of the conventional “contrarian” wisdom—among hipsters, anyway— that casts the early civil rights movement as soft, while the post-civil rights/Black Power crowd was supposedly the real deal.

You see: You didn’t have to be Muhammad Ali to bring the fight. You could, in fact, be a small woman. In particular, you could be Diane Nash—one of my all-time heroes from American history.

And so, I was thrilled to see this article about Nash and her former civil rights comrades ( James Lawson, John Lewis and Jim Zwerg) in today’s NYT.

Zwerg, Lawson, and particularly Lewis and Nash (both college students at the time), were superstars of the Freedom Rides during the summer of 1961, when groups of integrated activists rode from bus station to bus station in the South to compel the federal government to enforce the 1946 and 1960 US Supreme Court rulings which had supposedly desegregated interstate bus travel. (Speaking of macho: Lewis and Zwerg, who was white, withstood bloodthirsty mob beatings when their group arrived in Montgomery, Alabama.)

This past weekend, taking along busloads of students, Nash and her aging colleagues retraced the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides as a rolling history lesson.

Nash, no chump nor coward, is also noteworthy for being one of few women who emerged as a leader in the civil rights movement.

That’s Nash second from the right (wearing glasses), sitting down at a lunch counter.

If any of this piques your interest, here’s a great book about the Freedom Rides.

Morning News

posted by on January 29 at 6:56 AM

Iraqis vs. Iraqis: Iraqi government troops lead fight, killing 200 in bloody battle of Najaf.

Palestinians vs. Palestinians: Saudi Arabia urges talks to stop violence between Fatah and Hamas.

Palestinians vs. Israelis: Just four days before scheduled peace process meeting in DC, the first Palestinian suicide bombing in 9 months kills three in Israeli bakery.

Sudan vs. Sudan: How can Sudan keep African Union peace keepers out of Darfur so it can keep killing its own people? By having Sudanese President al-Bashir take over the African Union, of course.

Olympia vs. Text Messaging: Legislation in Oly would ban texting while driving.

Iranians + Iraqis: Upping tensions with the U.S., Iranians expand support and influence on Iraqi Goverment.

Protestants + Catholics: Faltering North Ireland peace plan gets boost as Sinn Fein agrees to cooperate with Democratic Unionist police

Jews +Muslims?: Arabs and Jews cast cynical eye as Israel appoints its first Muslim cabinet minister.

Ethics Scandal, Democratic Style: Pelosi, Bayh, and Emanuel failed to dislcose posts as heads of their family charity foundations.

Speaking of Speaker Pelosi: The California congresswoman leads delegation to Afghanistan.

She Always Wanted to Get Pregnant: 67-year-old woman lied to Fertility Clinic.

She Always Wanted to Be President: Hillary Clinton in Iowa.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


posted by on January 28 at 3:46 PM

FACT: Though there are rumors on the internets that he was born in 1930, Neal Pollack was born in 1970, which is the same year that the Beatles died, Jimi Hendrix died, and an avalance in the French Alps buried a tuberculosis sanatorium and 74 people—mostly young boys—died.

[This has been a Neal Pollack Fact of the Day. Previous NPFOTDs are here and here.]

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 28 at 11:00 AM


Celebrity Open Mic Night
Comedians in Seattle do much of their grunt work in the basement of a bar in Pioneer Square at the legendary Comedy Underground. We pay tribute to our home with this open mic night (that happens every Sunday anyway) featuring Saba from Blue Scholars and The Stranger’s Charles Mudede, David Schmader, and Cienna Madrid. Showgirls and “pregnant sex” may be discussed. Open to public: Sign up at 7:30 p.m. (Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303. 8:30 pm, $6, all ages.) HARI KONDABOLU

[All Suggests items this week are written by the Strangercrombie auction winners over at]

Donnie Davies: Third Time’s The Charm?

posted by on January 28 at 1:26 AM

Donnie Davies… exposed… again… no really… this time we got it right…


Joe My God is on the case. Forget about that actor in LA and that drummer in Chicago. Donnie Davies? His real name is Joel Ogelsby, not Quillen or whatever the hell the name of that drummer was. Ogelsby. Trust the blogosphere—have we ever steered you wrong before?

Says JoeMyGod…

“Pastor Donnie Davies” has been exposed as Dallas-area actor Joey Oglesby. Here he is. Joey Oglesby recently appeared in a production of Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical. Joey Oglesby is a former member of the Chicken & Pickle Guys sketch comedy duo.

Finally. Our long national nightmare is over. I tip my hat to Joey Oglesby and his crew for
a fun diversion.

I swore I wasn’t going to post about this again until it was all over. And it’s all over now. Whew! I mean, look at the crease in that guy’s forehead! The stache! The… wide face? He’s got to be Donnie Davies! He’s got to be. Because I can’t take this anymore.