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Archives for 02/11/2007 - 02/17/2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Re: Mea Gulpa!

posted by on February 17 at 6:12 PM

I have to say that I strongly disagree with NIck—a generally agreeable guy.

The paper running that headline is a retrograde, conservative, reactionary piece of shit. But it doesn’t follow that no woman has ever made a false allegation of rape.

So to Nick…

Um, why are patients being treated with suspicion when they are raped? What, exactly, are patients trying to excuse? I was under the impression that patients (nay, victims of rape) should have nothing to try to excuse.

I would say this: allegations of rape are serious and, for the person accused, potentially life-destroying. People should be treated with suspicion when they claim to have been raped—always gently, and in varying degrees based on the particular circumstances—because, uh, people are innocent until proven guilty. And, yes, that includes accused rapists.

False accusations of rape are leveled against men—and false allegations undermine the credibility of women that have really been raped, victimizing men and women. We live in a culture that’s deeply sex negative and some women conflate regret with rape in order to shift responsibility for a decision, perhaps made while impaired, to have sex. In a culture where choosing to have sex makes you a bad, bad person, being able to pin all responsibility for it on someone else—on that awful man that slipped a date-rape drug into your sixth or seventh drink—is a self-exonerating temptation to which some will succumb.

To those who insist that a fucked up woman can not consent to sex, making any woman has sex while shit-faced a rape victim (but only if she chooses to regard herself as one!), I say this: If the man was drunk too doesn’t that mean he couldn’t consent to the sex either? So didn’t she rape him too? And so aren’t they even then?

I’m queer, like Nick, and I generally empathize with women in most boys-vs-girls conflicts. Yes, yes: men shouldn’t rape women. Men are violent, sexual violence is too real and utterly contemptible. We all agree on that. But false allegations of rape can do tremendous damage and should not be leveled or enabled. And, I’m sorry, but rape allegations do have to be proved before we execute anybody. It was wrong when no claim of rape was ever believed. It would be just as wrong to believe any claim of rape.

And, again, people have to take responsibility for their actions—even actions they took while impaired. Regret doesn’t make it rape. And if you don’t feel like you can make rational decisions when you’re drunk or drugged—whether you’re a boy or a girl—then don’t take drugs or drink. Period. And if you consent to sex that you later regret it’s easy to confront the guilty party. You’ll find that person in your mirror the next morning.

A long time ago—wish I had time to look it up, but I’m running out the door—a woman in a “Savage Love” column quoted, I believe, a Women’s Studies prof. She told her prof that she had sex when she was totally fucked up, sex that she would not have consented to if she were sober. “Was I raped?” she asked her prof. “Yes,” her prof replied. “You raped yourself.”

This Week on Drugs

posted by on February 17 at 1:28 PM

Bad Medicine: Internet shoppers accidentally take anti-psychotic prescriptions.

Bad Morning: Sleepy 17-year-old shot in face during drug raid.

Second Hand: Decline in smokers causes tax-revenue shortfalls.

Second Try: Mexico takes another stab at decriminalizing drug possession.

New Filter: Congress might give cigarette oversight to FDA.

Public Editors: Santa Cruz leaders trim new I-75-like law.

Marijuana as Medicine: Judge says DEA should allow marijuana research.

Marijuana as Cocaine: “This Marijuana that‘s currently on the streets isn‘t like the Cheech and Chong Marijuana. It‘s more like cocaine,” says Mark Souder.


posted by on February 17 at 11:37 AM

Judging from the finance reports at the city, the Not Another Elevated campaign had raised about $33,000 so far in February (most of that coming from the Downtown Seattle Association which kicked in $25K on February 5th). That’s according to the reports which tracked donations thru Feb. 8.

$33K in eight days. Okay.

But guess what: Ever since the February 14 headlines about Gov. “Rebuild” Gregoire and the state saying they’re putting up another Viaduct no matter what the city says (or how it votes), the Not Another Elevated campaign raised $17,300 in online contributions in just over 48 hours.

Poster of the Week

posted by on February 17 at 11:08 AM

les garcons.jpg

Mea Gulpa!

posted by on February 17 at 10:38 AM

Drug rape myth exposed as study reveals binge drinking is to blame

So reads the irresponsible headline of a report from the Daily Mail. Yes, we get it: all but a negligible percentage of persons claiming to be drugged with Rohypnol and GHB were mistaken and had merely had too much to drink. Yes, one-fifth of those claiming not to have taken any drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamines tested positive for them but not for a “date rape drug.” But let’s get something straight: despite the headline, neither the “myth” nor the reality of substances’ involvement of rape is to blame. The problem existed long before the appearance of the date rape drugs in our society or its vocabulary. The blame for rape is and must be placed on one person—the rapist. I am sick of this sort of sneaky nonsense:

“Claiming their drink has been spiked may be used as an excuse by patients who have become incapacitated after the voluntary consumption of excess alcohol.”

Dr Hughes said some women might have felt ashamed at ending up in casualty. “There seems to be greater awareness about the dangers of binge-drinking, which is where the emphasis should stay,” he added.

[…]In the light of the latest research, Dr Peter Saul, a GP in Wrexham, said: “There had always been a suspicion that people would say that their drinks had been spiked when perhaps they had misjudged how much alcohol they were taking.

Um, why are patients being treated with suspicion when they are raped? What, exactly, are patients trying to excuse? I was under the impression that patients (nay, victims of rape) should have nothing to try to excuse.

Why are we still trying to place the blame on the raped? It doesn’t matter if a woman is drunk or sleepy or otherwise incapacitated. I don’t want to hear any bullshit in the comments about how women should be more responsible about drinking or bear the consequences. Of course responsibility in drinking is important, but NO! RAPE SHOULD NOT BE A CONSEQUENCE OF BEING DRUNK.

Just… dudes, will you please—please!—stop raping women?

Britney Spears’ Drapes Go the Way of her Carpet

posted by on February 17 at 9:46 AM


The carnage left in the wake of Anna Nicole Smith continues to grow: Clearly distaught over being bumped from the headlines by another woman’s corpse, Britney Spears reclaims her supremacy over the tabloids by shaving her own damn head in a San Fernando Valley tattoo shop.

On earth as it is in heaven.

UPDATE: Actually, Spears’ shearing took place NOT in the San Fernando Valley tattoo shop but in a Tarzana hair salon Britney visited before getting tattooed in the Valley. ABC News has further details, including the heartbreaking pair of sentences Spears reportedly offered in reply to the salon employee who asked why the pop star was shaving her own head in a Tarzana hair salon: “I don’t want anyone touching me. I’m tired of everybody touching me.”

Friday, February 16, 2007

… And You Think You Had a Rough Show Last Night

posted by on February 16 at 5:49 PM

This story in the Guardian, about British ballet dancers during World War II, is impressive:

In 1944, when Grey was dancing Swan Lake, a V2 exploded overhead, the noise of the bomb mingling with the crescendo of the violins. “I carried on dancing,” says Grey. The only time she can remember a performance being cancelled was in Bath, when the theatre actually caught fire.

It puts me in mind of the story of Vedran Smajlovic, the cellist in Sarajevo who sat on a corner for days, in the middle of a heavy sniper zone, playing requiems for the dead. Twenty-two people had been killed on that corner, when a mortar hit a bread line, so Smajlovic played for twenty-two days. Then he would sit in the Lion’s Cemetery—infamous for the snipers who would pick off relatives coming to bury and to mourn—and play his cello for the dead, the nearby morgue overflowing with bodies.


Nothing to See Here

posted by on February 16 at 5:25 PM

Nine people are shot in New Orleans—seven fatally—just as Mardi Gras is getting started. This news comes hard on the heels of this story in from yesterday’s New York Times about people—“the city’s best and brightest”—giving up on New Orleans, this can’t be welcome news. So how are officials in tourist-dependent New Orleans spinning the shooting story?

Officials noted the bloodshed did not occur near any of the parades Thursday night to celebrate Carnival, which culminates Tuesday in Mardi Gras. The two unrelated shootings were not random or part of a robbery, and the victims were all targeted, Sgt. Joe Narcisse said.

In the first shooting Thursday evening, three people were shot, two fatally, in a car parked in the Ninth Ward, far from the heart of the party. The survivor—the car’s driver—told police he knew and had given a ride to the man who shot them, Narcisse said.

Another shooting wounded six people, one critically, early Friday at a Mid-City nightclub. The gunman escaped in a stampede that followed.

“Once again it’s a situation where violent crimes are taking place in inner-city neighborhoods and traditional hot spots,” said Mary Beth Romig, spokeswoman for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The truth is, Mardi Gras continues to be one of the safest times for tourist to be here.”

Hm. The Ninth Ward? Inner-city neighborhoods? Far from the heart of the party?

Is it just me or does these statements sound like code? Code for something like this: “Nothing to worry about, folks—it’s only black people that are getting shot and killed in New Orleans. We promise that white tourists in the French Quarter, where we’re pouring all our police resources, are perfectly safe.”

Required Reading

posted by on February 16 at 5:18 PM

From U.S. News and World Report:

Recent polls indicate a dramatic shift of independent voters toward Democrats when pressed to take sides. That shift helped Democratic candidates win a majority in Congress in November.

But the swing could be so strong that many Republicans up for re-election in 2008 should be sweating profusely.

It is almost certain that a large number of U.S. troops will still be in Iraq next year. The presidential race gets in full swing early with caucuses and primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.

Bush has ignored the voters’ clear message sent three months ago. He could be poised to take his party down with him when he retires to Crawford, Texas, in 2009.

Via Americablog.

Seattle Celebrity Sightings

posted by on February 16 at 4:55 PM

Did anyone see C-list celebrity Mychael Knight from TV’s Project Runway, swillin coffee at the E. Olive Way Starbucks yesterday? I guess he was signing autographs and launching his new project, which has something to do with “creating a limited run of customizable one-of-a-kind T-shirts” for Starbucks, Corp. Hmm.


What about this idiot, F, G, or even H-list celebrity “DJ Corn” swillin pasta at Bizzarro in Wallingford? Also signing autographs, supposedly sitting with a camera crew from TV’s Blind Date, and getting really, um, LOUD on red wine?


He/she wanted to tell everyone “Happy Valentines Day” and share this video. When I asked him/her why he/she didn’t ask me to post this two days ago, he/she simply replied, “Cause I was too busy gettin’ hyphy wit some krazy Lynwood kids in Nikes…. whuuut.”

Re: 2007 Valentine’s Day Bash: A modest proposal

posted by on February 16 at 4:50 PM

The death-by-machete of the giant, lush jade plant was the irrefutable highlight of the ‘07 V.D. Bash. Dan fails to mention that he repeatedly threw big branches of it into the crowd, telling those overly protective of the plant’s welfare that they could grow their own from a cutting (accurate); the branches were hurled back at our fearless leader with apparent vengeance.

The (unrelated) modest proposal: The good citizens of Seattle should wear Bash-style labels—”blah blah blah I’M SINGLE” and “blah blah blah I’M TAKEN“—at all times. In this way, we may go from being the city notorious for no one speaking to anyone else, ever, to the most-getting-laidest metropolis in the world.

Concerned Women for America on Tim Hardaway

posted by on February 16 at 4:46 PM

Anti-gay bigot making life difficult for anti-gay bigots.

Hardaway’s comments are both unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Matt Barber, CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues. “They provide political fodder for those who wish to paint all opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as being rooted in ‘hate.’ … Hardaway’s comments only serve to foment misperceptions of widespread homosexual ‘victimhood’ which the homosexual lobby has craftily manufactured.”

Yes, yes: the homosexual lobby has craftily manufactured our perceived victimhood. Everything was just hunky-fucking-dory for us homos until the brutally efficient homosexual lobby came along and screwed everything up.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on February 16 at 4:32 PM

Opening today is the excellent The Lives of Others—all you sorely misguided souls who slobbered over The Good Shepherd need to get in line, quick.


My review of the film is here, and my interview with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is linked at the bottom (or you can skip straight there). I like this movie almost as much as Pan’s Labyrinth (the other front-runner for the foreign language film Oscar), but as you may perhaps be able to discern from the Q&A, Mr. FHvD could stand to be taken down a peg, whereas Guillermo del Toro has demonstrated his ability to laugh at himself. So… go Pan’s Labyrinth!

In On Screen this week: The big-kid tearjerker The Bridge to Terabithia (Brendan Kiley’s back, ladies and gentlemen!), plus two programs of Academy Award Nominated Short Films (Bradley Steinbacher votes animated!).

Two romantic comedies opened early for Valentine’s Day. For the entertainment of pasty white people: Music and Lyrics has Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore making not-so-beautiful pop music together. (My review appears here.) For the edification and uplift of black people, there’s Tyler Perry’s didactic, Madea-less Daddy’s Little Girls (go rent the plays instead). My web-only review appears here; you can read my essay about Tyler Perry from last year here.

Also, Iraq in Fragments continues for a second week at the Varsity—this is your last chance to see it before the documentary showdown at the Oscars. Go James Longley! You can beat Al Gore and his silly concert series!


In Film Shorts this week: Andrew Wright’s web-only review of Ghost Rider, plus the Aussie kiddie movie Opal Dream, The Battle of Algiers, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the second week of the Northwest Folklife Documentary Film Festival, and the only week of the Seattle Human Rights Film Festival. I also recommend Robert Horton’s free presentation at the Frye on Sunday, perfectly timed to coincide with the opening of The Lives of Others, about films made and/or set in the German Democratic Republic.

Movie Times are available via Get Out. Happy weekend!

The Surface/Transit Letter

posted by on February 16 at 4:31 PM

I just interviewed Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who organized the “anti-rebuild and study the surface/transit option already” letter that I Slogged about earlier today.

First, Senator Kohl-Welles says that more than the nine legislators who signed today’s letter actually support her position, but they weren’t ready to sign the letter. (Doesn’t sound like solid support to me, but….)

Senator Kohl-Welles (a board member of Transportation Choices Coalition, which, disappointingly, did not get behind the surface/transit option) says she too is not yet “completely convinced that the option is viable, but it’s an option that needs to be explored.” (Let’s see if TCC, supposedly an enviro group, will finally come out and support surface/transit.)

A supporter of Nickels’s bigger tunnel plan (the $3.5 billion to $5.6 billion one that got tabled for tunnel lite), Kohl-Welles says the surface/transit plan has “always been my fall-back plan.” She says the rebuild is “anathema” to her and she will not support it.

She explained that she and Senator Adam Kline (who also signed today’s letter) met with WSDOT last year and were convinced that the mitigation plans developed to accommodate drivers while the viaduct was closed during construction were similar enough to a surface/transit option that the plan has potential. “A lot of that will have to be done anyway,” she says.

I asked Senator Kohl-Welles if it was realisitic to halt the rebuild—given Governor Gregoire and House Speaker Representative Frank Chopp’s push to move forward with it. Senator Kohl-Welles said: “With all due respect, the speaker has excellent political skills, but we also have a senate.

2007 Valentine’s Day Bash

posted by on February 16 at 4:12 PM

For those of you that missed the Bash this year—and it was the best fucking Bash ever—here are some highlights…

The video was shot by the amazing Kelly O.

Oh, and that black woman shaking her head? She was pissed when I took a machete to that jade plant—but, hey, the guy brought it in and wanted it destroyed. It was his ex-girlfriend’s jade plant, and he’d been taking care of it for 14 years. He couldn’t heal until that jade plant was utterly destroyed and so I utterly destroyed it for him. That’s my job, it’s what the bash is all about. I was a little taken aback by how shocked and angry some folks in crowd were—particularly that righteous black woman, who was still shouting “fuck Dan Savage!” in the women’s toilet an hour later.

I mean, yeah. It’s a plant, a living thing. But someone killed the head of lettuce you had in your last salad, right?

My favorite destroys? Melting down a wedding ring and chucking the little blob of melted gold into the street—right up there with taking a hammer to a diamond engagement ring. Loved, loved, loved sending the pic of a woman’s homophobic ex-boyfriend over to Basic Plumbing, where it was plopped into a urinal and pissed all over. That’s in the video—good job, Kelly O!

Most heartbreaking moment? The cute & sweet gay boy that brought up all the pictures of his boyfriend, his ex-boyfriend, to be burned—along with the Valentine he sent his boyfriend in the Valentine’s Day issue of The Stranger.

Scariest moment? The woman at the end… with the blond hair… off her meds…

Ludwig Love

posted by on February 16 at 3:36 PM

My dusky Mies:
t79357az.jpg Like a star that has no warmth.

Re: Not Even Close

posted by on February 16 at 3:15 PM

Thanks for posting that ECB. I’m glad Sightline is on this. The more people start challenging Governor Gregoire on this the better.

As Slog readers know, I’ve been trying in vain to make that point (that we’re behind the curve on this) all session.

A couple of weeks ago I filed this column from Oly fretting that Gregoire’s dog and pony show (her inadequate response to global warming) was going to displace the best piece of legislation down there—Representative Maralyn Chase’s cap and trade bill.

I was not kidding. This is the zeitgeist issue. Why are Washington State’s Democrats blowing it?

Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 16 at 3:00 PM

The Sea Dog: El Perro Del Mar’s Pop Perfection.

Concerted Effort: Elevating the Discourse in Bathroom Stalls.

Roller Mama: Cher Is Hell on Wheels.

Massively Big: Big World Breaks and Massive Monkeys Let It Rip.

14,966.7: So Many Revolutions.

How Do You Know?: “Me and the Crew Used to Do Her.”

Get Your Mac On: Peeling Your Apple.

The Songs Remain the Same: Mr. Mister, Night Ranger, and Whitesnake Write One Kick-Ass Song.

Mystery Men: Various Live on KEXP.

Get It: Hot Mess All Over Your Face!

It Don’t Mean a Thing: If It Ain’t Got That New Jack Swing.

Wack Attack: Metal, Cowboys, and Mr Belding?

“Awesome”: This Week’s Setlist.

Bigly Massive: Christopher Frizzelle’s Record-Breaking, Insomnia-Fueled Review The Shins.

Up To 11: How Loud is Loud Enough?

Not Even Close

posted by on February 16 at 2:48 PM

In the wake of Governor Christine Gregoire’s Outline of a Plan for a Strategic Framework for Future Discussion for Additional Process for Potential Action on Climate Change, the awesomeness that is the Sightline Institute has a breakdown of West Coast states’ climate policies—and, surprise, Washington State falls far behind.

• In Oregon, Governor Ted Kulongoski has pledged to establish the toughest renewable-energy requirements in the nation and offer tax credits of 50 percent to companies that install or improve renewable energy systems.

• In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law mandating caps on global-warming emissions.

• And in British Columbia, they just adopted a law stating that “all new and existing electricity produced in B.C. will be required to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.”

Meanwhile, in Washington, we’re doing a yearlong review of the state’s climate policy to see if maybe we might eventually want to take some action.

Survival of the Fittest

posted by on February 16 at 2:20 PM

This just in from Olympia: The tunnel is dead, long live the surface/transit option.

A number of Democratic Seattle-area legislators issued this joint statement today:
“We oppose an elevated rebuild of the Viaduct. Given that the waterfront tunnel no longer appears to be a viable option, we urge that serious consideration be given to a surface/transit option. We are grateful for all the work that the governor, the City of Seattle and others have put into finding a solution that meets the transportation and economic needs of Seattle and our region. We urge that all parties slow down and pay close attention to the preferences that Seattle voters express in the March 13 election. We would like to take part in forging a solution that will work for everyone.”

The statement was signed by Sens. Ken Jacobsen, Adam Kline, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Ed Murray and Brian Weinstein, and Reps. Joe McDermott, Jim McIntire, Jamie Pedersen and Eric Pettigrew.

Britney in Rehab… aaaand Britney Out of Rehab

posted by on February 16 at 1:22 PM

According to Extra, plummeting pop starlet BRITNEY SPEARS checked into rehab today… for less than 24 hours before checking back out, according to (HEY. It only took three weeks of therapy to drive the gay out of pastor Ted Haggard, and Britney’s problems—getting poop-faced, forgetting panties—aren’t nearly as complicated.)

Extra says that Britney is currently at a rehabilitation facility in an undisclosed location, while TMZ just reported that the rehab is located outside the country, and she stayed less than a day before checking herself out again.

She probably realized the big difference between foreign rehabs and American ones; there they actually and cruelly make you STAY and deal with your problems, while the ones in the USA are more lenient and let you run out to get your Mercedes serviced, go to the grocery store, and drink booze with Paris Hilton. (Hi Lindsay! Hope you’re doing better!)


I love this photo for its classic Tinseltown paparazzi steez. Here, she actually looks like she’s worthy of attention!

Broadway Video Lives to Make Me Feel Dumb

posted by on February 16 at 1:22 PM

I once had to take an alphabetization test to get a temp job working at a bank. It turns out that, even though I am not a good speller, I am very proficient at putting files in order. So you can imagine my massive consternation upon trying to find anything at Broadway Video. The order of letters is just one among BV’s many organizing schemes. The videos are also organized by subject, author, actor and genre. So, when I recently went on a hunt for When We Were Kings, the staff first directed me to “Documentary, Misc.” No luck. I looked for a boxing tag amid the subject-organized documentaries. No luck. Finally, we found a subject tag for Muhammed Ali. And then, it was only on VHS. I am convinced the staff have done this to remind me of my shortcomings.

Next Week in the Legislature: Why I Love that the Democrats Are in Control in Olympia

posted by on February 16 at 1:06 PM

This bill, which requires public disclosure of gifts from drug companies to healthcare providers—searchable online by both pharmaceutical company and your doc—is up for a hearing in the health-care committee next week.

The bill is being sponsored by Seattle-area Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia).

Red Velvet

posted by on February 16 at 12:58 PM

For some reason, I’ve been discussing red velvet cake a lot recently. (That and Iraq. Mmmm.)

As I was sort of blindly hypothesizing to my dinner companions at Kingfish Cafe the other night, red velvet cake does indeed have to contain cocoa. That’s according to the New York Times, and what do they know about delicious Southern desserts, right? Nonetheless, I still want to try their recipe.

The red velvet at Kingfish comes in slices as big as your head. And Cupcake Royale will take very fine care of slighter appetites.

The U.S. House Votes to Rebuke President Bush on Iraq

posted by on February 16 at 12:27 PM

Yes, it’s a non-binding rebuke of Bush’s “surge,” but it’s a big rebuke nonetheless.

Still waiting to see the vote count, and whether this will be cast by the mainstream media as a “bipartisan rebuke,” or just a Democratic rebuke.

UPDATE: The House resolution passed 246 to 182, with 17 votes from Republicans.

FURTHER UPDATE: Here’s how the Washington delegation voted:

Yea: McDermott (D), Smith (D), Inslee (D), Dicks (D), Larsen (D)

Nay: McMorris (R), Hastings (R), Reichert (R)

No vote: Baird (D)

Your Reversible Destiny

posted by on February 16 at 11:50 AM

Fnarf, the Humian, sent me a vision of hell:
20051228111822.jpg Designed by Arakawa and Gins, built by Takenaka Corp, located in Tokyo, and called the Reversible Destiny Lofts, the pictured crazy looking apartment building has this purpose: to simulate and invigorate its residents.

With that in mind, Arakawa and Gins designed a building of nine apartments known as Reversible Destiny Lofts. Painted in eye-catching blue, pink, red, yellow and other bright colors, the building resembles the indoor playgrounds that attract toddlers at fast-food restaurants. Inside, each apartment features a dining room with a grainy, surfaced floor that slopes erratically, a sunken kitchen and a study with a concave floor. Electric switches are located in unexpected places on the walls so you have to feel around for the right one. A glass door to the veranda is so small you have to bend to crawl out. You constantly lose balance and gather yourself up, grab onto a column and occasionally trip and fall.
What misery. What pain. Worse still, an unfortunate octogenarian lives in one of the apartments, crawling about, looking for stimulation and light switches in the dark. If I only could, if the power was right there in my hands, I would banish all of my enemies (an example: that fickle female film critic at Seattlest) to an eternity in the Reversible Destiny Lofts.

Why I Love Working at the Stranger

posted by on February 16 at 11:26 AM

Brad Steinbacher: “Hey Erica, have you looked at (NSFW) Fleshbot today?”

Me: “No, why?”

Brad: “Vagina enhancement!

Me: “Oh, yeah, I was going to write about it, but Twisty’s already written the definitive post over at I Blame the Patriarchy**!”

Brad: “Cool.”

Also, this conversation with my editor: “No, YOU post the photos of Daniel Radcliffe’s butt! “No, YOU!” “YOU!”

**Also, in this instance, NSFW, thanks to photos culled from the oh-so-scientific Vagina Institute. An excerpt:

There are quizzes (”how well does my vagina measure up?” and “should women be allowed to go topless?”); an image of a chiding woman brandishing a tape measure (!?!?); assorted vagina “facts” (”women with large vaginal cavities will tend to produce more odor […] when vaginal funk arises.”); lists of insecurites women might want to consider adopting (such as “worry” over “wrinkles and ‘overly-used’ appearance”), places to submit pictures of your “urine stream” and stories of your “most embarrassing vaginal moment”. One section is astonishingly subtitled “Very seldom do we hear men’s opinion about their preference towards female genitals due to censorship of taboo’s, so what do they really want when it comes to vaginas?”

Wait. Let me guess. They want ugly assymetrical flat-lipped overly-used drooping funk.

Here is one supposed message from a supposed subscriber: “She can’t be all bitchin’ at me just ’cause she’s got a garbage bag for a vagina. I mean, I’m only one soup-can thick. She’s got to help me out a little too.”

Wocka! Wocka! Wocka! Redux

posted by on February 16 at 11:22 AM

Earlier this week I posted a clip from Fox News’ new “satirical” news show, The 1/2 Hour News Hour. The reviews from Slog commenters were not kind.

Here now is another clip, courtesy of Crooks & Liars. Warning: It made me want to punch a puppy in the face. You may have a similar reaction.

Kondabolu on Kimmel

posted by on February 16 at 10:14 AM

Hari Kondabolu—standup comedian, regular at Laffhole, scene queen, and all-around sweetheart—will be on the Jimmy Kimmel show this Monday. They called him yesterday, will fly him down on Sunday, and he’ll be back to work on Tuesday.

The most exciting thing? William Shatner will also be on the show. Hari Kondabolu will share a green room with the Shat.


The second most exciting thing? “It all happened from here. From Seattle, where I have a great job and do comedy on the side.”

It happened, apparently, because of an audition tape that Kondabolu has been sending around, trying to get into national comedy festivals. Somebody handed it to somebody who handed it to somebody who books the Jimmy Kimmel show. Badabing, badaboom.

Congratulations on the gig, condolences for having to look on Mr. Man Show without protective goggles.

Only Five Times a Day?

posted by on February 16 at 10:00 AM

Maybe I need to go on this media diet

Before attempting Adelman’s media diet, students kept a log of their consumption. On a typical Thursday, junior Blaire Babcock, 21, found she checked her e-mail five different times, turned on the TV three times, checked her phone messages twice, browsed once, and once listened to her radio while jogging.

What He Said

posted by on February 16 at 9:42 AM

I could do without the unnecessary profanity, but what he said:

I’ve had it, Greg. I’ve had it with you and your corpulent bloviating in front of the cameras and the media over your hyperexpensive and quixotic desire for a tunnel. I’ve had enough of it. You want a tunnel? YOU pay for it. Go on, whip out your Seafirst Bank of America checkbook and write us a big check out of YOUR personal checking account. Because I don’t have the $6 billion it’s probably going to end up costing by the time it’s built…

Oh, and one more thing, Greg. Quit. Resign. Fire yourself. You have failed as a mayor and have made this town a political laughingstock. And if you’re not willing to quit, then go rob a bank or embezzle some money so we can use the state recall laws on you. It’s over, Greg. You have failed us all. You are the reason my wife, er, town is bats**t insane.

Cool Car

posted by on February 16 at 9:28 AM

Just to prove that my loathing of cars isn’t completely irrational: I walked by this car last night on 15th and thought…


…cool car, man.

Letter of the Day

posted by on February 16 at 9:23 AM


Funny how people can’t read, including my editor and many Stranger sloggers. I never endorsed any public subsidies for a new Sonics arena (and gave a fuck you to Howard Schultz for trying to blackmail the city into such subsidies).

I do know this: The Sonics employ a few hundred people. And the bars, restaurants, parking lots, taxis, hotels, motels, and supermarkets around Key Arena employ hundreds of folks, too.

So I can certainly understand the negative feelings toward the billionaire and millionaire owners, coaches, and players, but where’s the empathy for the middle and lower class folks who depend on the Sonics for a living?

Sherman Alexie

KC Council: Gaming the Public

posted by on February 16 at 9:22 AM

“I deeply regret it” —KC Council Member Larry Phillips in yesterday’s Seattle Times, apologizing for his 1995 vote to overrule the voters and authorize publicly financing SAFECO Field.

On both April 3, 2006 and April 4, 2005 the King County Council, chaired by Larry Phillips, cancelled its regularly scheduled morning Committe of the Whole meeting so it could move its regularly scheduled afternoon Full Council Meeting to the morning. (The KC Council is supposed to meet every Monday at 9:30 and 1:30.)

And on April 6, 2004 (a Tuesday) the KC council’s Growth Management Commitee meeting was cancelled.

Why would I bother to dredge up these old cancellation notices? After all, council meetings are routinely cancelled and/or rearranged.

Here’s why: Because, April 3, ‘06; April 4, ‘05, and April 6, ‘04 all happened to be opening game days at Safeco Field for the Seattle Mariners. They played the Angels, the Twins, and the Angels, respectively.

So what?

Well, as I noted above, yesterday’s Seattle Times had a story about the KC Council’s righteous letter to Gov. Gregoire opposing a free ride for the Sonics. Here’s what it said:

In 1995, voters narrowly rejected a sales-tax increase for a new Mariners stadium. State lawmakers decided to fund it anyway.

They rushed into emergency session and came up with a new package of taxes that was approved by the Legislature and the County Council without a second public vote.

Voters have never let politicians forget that episode.

That is an issue that has never died,” said County Councilman Larry Phillips, D-Seattle, who wrote the letter to Gregoire. “I deeply regret it.”

So, Phillips “deeply regrets” vetoing the voters and authorizing public financing for Safeco Field, does he?

Hmmm? I wonder why all those early April public meetings were cancelled. I wonder what else the KC Council did on those days instead. Could they have put off doing the public’s business because they had somewhere more important to be?

I’ve got a call into Phillips’s office to find out where he and the council were on those dates instead of doing the public’s business. I’ll also ask him—if the answer is what I think it is—how his seats were.

Look, I’m against subsidizing the Sonics, and I’m “guilty” of going to Sonics games. But WTF? I don’t skip out on work to go see Sonics games. And even if I did, my work isn’t paid for by the public. And I didn’t defy the public by voting to ignore a public vote—giving the green light to $500 million publicly-financed project that we’re still paying for.

The Morning News

posted by on February 16 at 7:34 AM

Speaker Speaker: Nancy Pelosi knocks Republicans on their heels, placing strict conditions on new war funds.

Murtha Too: Former Marine—called a coward on the floor of the House by a Republican—is playing hardball too.

Promises, Promises: Kurds want assurance that we won’t screw them if violence reaches their borders, want assurances we won’t betray them—again .

Indictment: Former member of the “coalition of the willing” indicts 26 Americans linked to CIA abduction of Muslim cleric in Italy.

Huh? Wait, aren’t Japanese whaling ships environmental disasters before they catch fire?

New Orleans: City still drowning.

But It’s Snowing in Chicago! Month of January warmest on record.

Sad News: Second Seattle-area child dies after showing “flu-like symptoms.”


posted by on February 16 at 12:53 AM

Oh, dear. I seem to have started a kerfluffle—it must’ve been a slow Seattle blogosphere news day. I will—for the last time, I promise—address all issues that I inadvertently raised after the jump, but first I want to stress the only important piece of information that everyone should have gleaned from all this:

This Saturday, February 17th, you should go to the Fantagraphics Store in Georgetown and see this show. It’s important because Anders Nilsen’s last book, Monologues For the Coming Plague, was a wonderful mix of contemporary art and apocalyptic slapstick, and you’ll be seeing much more of Nilsen’s ugly/beautiful artwork (and the inevitable rip-offs that will follow) in the very near future. It’s important because Gabrielle Bell has been the standout in Fantagraphics’ standout-heavy anthology Mome, and it’s entirely possible that Bell will one day soon create a medium-changing graphic novel. But I think that it’s most important because of Kevin Huizenga, whose last book, Curses, blew away a ton of other excellent books (Lost Girls, Fun Home) to be the best graphic novel of 2006. Huizenga is happening even as we speak, and he’s got the same energy and power that Chris Ware did when he burst on the scene in the mid-1990’s. What’s more, his comics—about magical realism, about the stupid/genius things that we think about when we walk down the sidewalk, about theological discussions, about love, about birds—are not cynical or sarcastic or obsessively literary at all, and I really believe that he’s on the verge of changing the way that comics are going to be created and read for the next ten years, and entirely for the better.
It’s at six o’clock, it’s free, and you’ll still have plenty of time afterward to hit up that party or that rock and roll show. You should totally go.

After the jump, for the sake of the five people who care about this, I will get totally wonky on a blog issue that is at least twenty-four hours old. I don’t recommend clicking through, unless you really care about this sort of thing.

Continue reading "Huizenga!" »

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Or We Can Do It the Hardaway

posted by on February 15 at 6:03 PM

Slog tipper Shane brought this Hardaway blog item (“Tim Hardaway: Moron”) on Sports Illustrated’s website to our attention. Says Shane…

The article is fine, but not that interesting, but the comments? WOW. Most folks (admittedly a sample set of sports fans—ugh) are totally with Hardaway. I was getting more and more depressed reading the comments until suddenly I realized I was nearly laughing out loud. These people couldn’t be funnier if they were trying to be. My favorite has to be…
“It’s interesting that people who love homosexuality are okay, but people who hate it are a “moron.” I guess tolerance is a one-way street.”

HA HA HA HA! Or this one…

“Hardaway is right! Homosexuality shouldn’t be in the world! Ever read the Bible?”

Wait, it gets better, this one…

“Name-calling and intolerance of intolerance does not constitute a tenable position, and it should never constitute an article.”


Anyway, while depressed to see such a startling example of the rampant gay hatred in the proletatiet, I am simultaneously relieved that it seems to reside in the dullest of minds.

Books Intern Recommends (Happy Birthday, Mom!)

posted by on February 15 at 5:57 PM

As The Stranger Books Intern, I now get the keys to the Slog kingdom. For the next six weeks, I’ll be giving my own recommendations from the readings calendar… I knew that B.A. in literature was good for something.

Monica Drake. If I go it’ll be because Chuck Palahniuk champions her so much, and Mr. Palahniuk is one of the PacNW’s major authors. I suppose the same could be said for Jonathan Raban, who is reading tonight himself; but Mr. Raban didn’t write a little novel that turned into a Brad Pitt/Edward Norton vehicle called Fight Club. Thus is my dirty, dirty logic. Monica Drake.
Ravenna Third Place, 6504 20th Ave NE, 525-2347. Free. 7:30 pm.

Mika LaVaque-Manty. This one’s about Scandanavian Hegelianism, which has to do with the conflict between personal rights and the public good. This conflict has repurcussions for everything from the managing of capital to the slope you’re allowed to give your roof. If you go, be polite. It’s at the UW’s Simpson Center, and I’m not totally positive this event is, strictly speaking, open to the public. But it’s not like I’m going to divert a huge crowd there, so I figure if we’re discreet (no cell phones, no crinkly-sounding bags of chips, no excessive coughing) no one will know the difference. Just don’t make a scene and then tell them you heard of the event from The Stranger.
UW Communications Building, Rm 202, UW Campus. Free. 3:30 pm.

Stephen J. Hartnett. If Lewis Lapham says he’s A-OK, then he’s A-OK to me because I love Harpers magazine, Mr. Lapham’s erstwhile employer. Mr. Hartnett will be scratching Seattle’s favorite itch by reading from a book entitled Globalization and Empire: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq, Free Markets, and the Twilight of Democracy.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600. Free. 7:30 pm.

Okay, that gets us through the weekend, which is enough for now. Check back later in the week for more Books Intern Recommends.

P.S., To see all the recommended readings this week, at least according to Frizzelle, click here.

—Chris Weeg

Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 15 at 4:30 PM

A Number of Names: Luomo/Vladislav Delay to Play Seattle.

Last Minute a DJ Saved My Life: With a Tiny Part of a Song.

Bummer Lovin’: The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse.

Flat Baroque: The “British Acid Folk” of Roy Harper.

Tonight in Music: Misanthropic Global Summits, Bittersweet Romanticism, and Harshed Mellows.

Imagineering: Disney Musical Promises “No Britney Spears–Type Debacles.”

Alapalooza: Al Gore’s Live Earth Tour to End Global Warming, Just Like Live Aid Ended Famine.

Sculpture Park High Jinks

posted by on February 15 at 4:30 PM

My stack of police reports includes one about the first major act of graffiti vandalism at the Olympic Sculpture Park. On Friday, February 9, park security caught a young teenage male using an “unknown object” to etch into Wake, a 300-ton sculpture of “actively rusting” steel. Many visitors have imprinted the permeable stubble of rust with fingers and nails. But last Friday’s suspect was forcefully carving with some sort of object. And, he was caught while documenting his enterprise with a cell-phone camera. Strikingly, the guards gave the young man a warning and sent him on his way. Seattle Art Museum spokeswoman Cara Egan says these are “museum guards, not police,” and that “we’re not really going to be detaining people in the park.” Hmmm.

In another sign of the movable feast that is the sculpture park, twee Seattle art types have been leaving gifts of homage at the park. These include a nest of “eaglets” left near the base of the giant Calder Eagle, first reported over at the blog Belltown Bent.


Confessions of a Bareback Top

posted by on February 15 at 3:05 PM

I know I’m over two months late to this blog. And I know that Gawker beat me to it. But apropos of this week’s raging Slog comment thread on gay men’s health, I bring you:

Confessions of a Bareback Top.

In which an obviously self-deluded but supposedly HIV-negative gay man in New York manipulates guys into letting him fuck them without a condom (including, allegedly, one Barneys salesman), and then writes about it.


(And totally NSFW.)

Snow Is So Gay

posted by on February 15 at 2:57 PM


The gaysexuals of the world—from as far away as Germany!—converged on Whistler and faggoted it up last week, as they do for one week every winter. If, say, you just recently learned to snowboard, and you are yourself gaysexual, and had friends who were going this year, and you thought about going, and almost did, but then didn’t—well, these photos by Malcolm Smith will take you there. For free. That’s the service Mr. Smith provides.

This one really makes me want to be there, but this looks like certain hell. They’re all SFW, except maybe this one

It’s On

posted by on February 15 at 2:41 PM

We’re going to vote on the viaduct.

Efforts by two Seattle City Council members to cancel the March 13 advisory vote have failed. Stephanie Pure, aide to Councilman Peter Steinbrueck, who said the ballot measures on how to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct were “a sham and a fiasco” said Steinbrueck couldn’t get enough of his colleagues to agree, and so there will be no stopping the election.

Steinbrueck and Council President Nick Licata wanted to stop the advisory vote, and perhaps save some of the $1 million the all-mail election is expected to cost.

The election, asking voters whether they want to see a tunnel or another elevated structure on the waterfront, was requested in December by Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Tim Hardaway Hates Homos—So What?

posted by on February 15 at 2:22 PM

Some ex-basketball player, reacting the news that another ex-basketball player came out as a gay man, said that he just so totally hates homos. And he said it into a live mic.

Well, you know, I hate gay people. I let it be known, I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to be around gay people…Yeah, I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world, or in the United States. So, yeah, I don’t like it.”

So Tim Hardaway is homophobic—and stupid. (It shouldn’t be in the world or the United States?) Wow, a dumb, terrified-of-homos professional athlete. Will wonders never cease? Unfortunately the homophobic ex-basketball player has since apologized for his homophobic remarks, as Brad pointed out earlier today on Slog.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said I hate gay people or anything like that,” [Hardway] said. “That was my mistake.”

Here’s why I’m bummed that Hardaway apologized: This could have been a wonderful teaching moment.

Not another packed-off-to-anti-gay-rehab teaching moment—where did Isaiah Washington go anyway?—but a perfect opportunity for gay groups and gay people to patiently make a this very important point: No one has to like homos. You can sign off on full civil rights for gays and lesbians without having to think we’re nifty or be all that comfortable with the idea of sharing a locker room with us. (Hell, I’m sometimes not comfortable sharing a locker room with other gay men.) The gay and lesbian civil rights movement would make more strides if we could separate the issue of liking us from the issue of not discriminating against us.

Personally, I’m not interested in being liked by the likes of Hardaway. And I sincerely believe that the gay rights movement’s Sally Field complex—“You like me, you really like me!”—is holding us back. We should be out there make this case to bigots like Hardaway and Washington and Dobson and Falwell and Musgrave: No one wants to change your mind about homosexuality. You can think we’re naughty, you can think we’re sinful. And you know what? You can sign off on granting us our full civil rights, tolerate our living openly, marrying, having families—and go right on hating us! Heck, you can go right on trying to talk us out of being gay.

And good luck with that.

But so long as we conflate liking us—or believing that Jeebus loves us too—with granting us our fundamental civil rights, we make winning those civil rights that much more difficult.

Of course as more and more of us live openly—with or without our full civil rights—the hatred and fear that people like Hardaway espouse becomes less prevalent and less socially acceptable. But not everyone is going to like us or approve of us, whatever the law says, however socially tolerant our society becomes. And it is precisely these people—the haters, the Hardaways—that have to be made to understand that no one is going to force them to change their minds.

What should the gays say about Hardaway? If I were the spokesperson for a big gay group I would say something like this:

Mr. Hardaway is entitled to his opinions—and his prejudices. He is not entitled to live in a world or a United States that’s free from homosexuals. We are ‘in the world,’ we always have been, and we always will be. And gays and lesbians should not be subject to discrimination because some people are homophobic anymore than African Americans should be subject to discrimination because some people are racist. But if Mr. Hardaway doesn’t care to know associate with gay people in his private life, that is his right. It is also his loss.

Or as Canadian novelist Brian Francis put it so eloquently in The Stranger’s 2005 Queer Issue…

Straight men: [you need] gay friends. We have more to offer than your straight friends. We help get you laid (ladies will love the fact you have gay friends, you sexy, sensitive man, you). We will also give you hair-care product advice, baby-sit your kids, and tell your wives that blowjobs are mandatory for any happy relationship and should be administered at least three times per week. Oh, we’ll also assure her that the amount of porn you watch is completely normal.

UPDATE: What are gay groups saying about Tim Hardaway?

“Tim Hardaway is a hero to thousands of young people, particularly in Miami-Dade, and that’s what makes his comments so troubling. Sadly, his words simply put the pervasive homophobia in the NBA on the table. There’s a reason why not a single active NBA player has ever come out in the history of the league, and this is it. We don’t need punitive words or hollow apologies. We need the NBA and the Miami Heat to embrace gay fans and players in visible ways throughout the year.”—Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“Hardaway’s comments are vile, repulsive, and indicative of the climate of ignorance, hostility and prejudice that continues to pervade sports culture. And by apologizing not for his bigotry but rather for giving voice to it, he’s reminding us that this ugly display is only the tip of a very large iceberg. It would be a mistake to assume that since such prejudice is rarely aired so blatantly and so publicly that it is in fact rare. It is not. And the media that are now doing a commendable job holding Hardaway accountable for his intolerance also need to turn their attention to the deeply ingrained homophobia that continues to thrive within our sports culture at all levels.”—Neil G. Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Olympia Moves to Extinguish Disputes Over Medical Marijuana Law

posted by on February 15 at 1:59 PM

A third medical marijuana bill—and the most comprehensive this session—to amend Washington’s troubled Medical Use of Marijuana Act was introduced in the state legislature yesterday. Clarifications to the 1998 voter-passed law are long overdue for patients who have tried to comply with the ambiguous initiative but have found themselves facing criminal charges. The bills seek to draw clearer lines between compliance and violation—thereby, supporters hope, reducing arrests of seriously ill patients and their family members.

SB 6032: Introduced yesterday by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36) in the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee, this thorough bill would clarify who can provide cannabis (a “designated provider”), what language should appear on authorization forms (less restrictive), and how patients can cultivate their gardens (with help from designated providers or other patients).

HB 1395: This bill, introduced by Representative Sherry Appleton (D-23), would recognize authorizations signed by physicians from other states that also have medical marijuana laws. The bill specifically follows through on the recommendations of the state’s supreme court, who wished for patients to escape the horror that befell the diabetic, congenitally deformed, broken-spined, chronic-migraine-suffering Sharon Tracy who was convicted on the technicality.

HB 2124: Another bill from Appleton, this one would prevent locally funded law enforcement from giving case information (i.e., turning in patients) to law-enforcement agencies that don’t recognize our medical marijuana law (i.e., the feds).

The bills are now up against the clock to get out of committee and pass both houses before the session ends April 22.

Fugly Fungus

posted by on February 15 at 1:57 PM

A nasty fungus that is usually found in tropical climates is living up on Canada’s West Coast, potentially infecting anyone who breathes it in. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health warning after a 51-year-old Danish visitor contracted the life-threatening fungal infection on Vancouver Island. Doctors in Denmark found clumps of the fungus growing in the man’s chest. (Eeeeeeee!)

Cryptococcus gattii, a microscopic pathogen, was first identified on Vancouver Island in 2001. Some believe that global warming and climate change have enabled the one-celled organism to thrive on the island.

Police Beat Outtakes

posted by on February 15 at 12:16 PM

This didn’t quite make the cut. But it’s head-scratching enough to warrant a slog. A police report filed LAST WEEK references an incident from LAST NOVEMBER. The victim, a Seattle hospital administrator, was running the Seattle half marathon and took a cup of water from a volunteer. She’d already taken several gulps when she realized that the volunteer had a bloody finger and her water was a suspicious color. She went to the emergency room, where she received a regimen of antiretroviral pills. She filed a report with Labor & Industries, then waited a few more months to file a police report. My ignorant questions: What diseases can you catch from drinking bloody water? Who drinks bloody water?

Today in My Unhealthy Obsession With the Way People Think About Animals

posted by on February 15 at 11:52 AM

Chocolate, champagne, and animal sex tours: “Zoo marketing folks in Boise, Idaho named the tour ‘Wild Love at the Zoo.’”

PETA goes to Manila, begs Filipinos to go veggie: “Pigs dream, enjoy listening to soothing music and, when given a chance, establish complex social structures.”

Seventy-six year old man scalds squirrel to death, gets $500 fine: “I observed the tail going wildly around the cage.”

Norwegian sausage contains surprise: “‘It is absolutely certain that the foot was in the middle of the hot dog. In the picture you can see the meat remains on the foot,’ Kroghdal said. He added that the family will never eat hot dogs for dinner again.”

There. I’m done. It’s out of my system. Back to wondering why the 1964 Oscar for best actor went to Rex Harrison for My Fair Lady when that year’s nominees included Peter O’Toole (Becket), Richard Burton (ditto), Anthony Quinn (Zorba), and Peter Goddamned Sellers (in Doctor Goddamned Strangelove). That year was a tough call for sure, but any of the runners-up deserved the award ten times more than Rex Harrison. Which I guess just goes to show that the legend is true: When you’re in the Academy, every day is Opposite Day.

Bush Alone

posted by on February 15 at 11:51 AM

Until recently, the idea of Bush corresponded in my mind with the idea of the GOP, the idea of his party. From the individual to the whole was one fiction. But lately I have found it harder to see them as united, as one fiction, one program, cause, idea. (I believe that there are nothing but political fictions, the right being a fiction as much as the left. The issue not a matter of absolute truth but which of the positions represents the better fiction, and I happen to believe in the fiction that is on the radical left of the political imagination.) But Bush’s position seems more and more to have no party affiliation but a wholly individual commitment. Instead of addressing the public’s concerns about the war, he is now doing to Iran exactly what he did to start the war that everyone now wants to end in Iraq. He is giving poor, incoherent, misty information that seems more emotional than sensible. He himself is certain that Iran is behind the deaths of 170 or so soldiers—out of, by the way, the 3200 that have died for reasons that have yet to be determined or justified. Then we hear Muqtada al-Sadr is fleeing to Iran to avoid the “crackdown”; then we hear he is still in Iraq and Iran wants nothing to do with him. But the evil light coming through this mist of misinformation is the certainty of more war and war spending. And Bush is doing all of this with no public support at all. Bush is no longer even a Republican, he is just Bush, himself, the one who personally knows things like what Iran is really up to and how he himself has to stop them from doing what he wants them to stop doing. It’s totally up to him.

My Five Favorite American Buildings

posted by on February 15 at 11:50 AM

In response to the recently published AIA list of 150 favorite works of American architecture, Modern Art Notes has enjoined bloggers to put together our own top 5s. Mine are in no particular order.

1. The Egg, Albany, NY
I choose this in part, as I choose these all, for sentimental reasons. I grew up outside of Albany, and this is the first piece of architecture I remember noticing as architecture. It also, of course, is a giant sculpture. Designed by Wallace Harrison in 1966, the Egg—which houses two theaters, is made of poured concrete, and has virtually no right angles inside it—was completed in 1978. It is an early example of curvaceous, iconic architecture, and as the perfect foil to the bullyish towers across the way in the Empire State Plaza, it is is wildly underappreciated.

2. The Chrysler Building, NY, NY
I am simply a sucker for this sparkling thing. It is so naked in its ambition, so hopeful and yet so Darwinian, and so frozen in its moment, with its hood ornament eagles and radiator cap corners. I visit it every single time I am in New York, and every time, I can hardly believe it exists.

3. The First Congregational Church of Bennington, Bennington, VT
There are older churches and more grandiose statements by this same architect, but the delicacy and modest size of this creaky church, and the way its slightly-too-wide facade recalls a barn structure, always seem to me the purest distillation of the early protestant American spirit. Carpenter Lavius Fillmore designed and built this simple church in 1805-06, deriving it from an 18th-century American builder’s handbook adapting the designs of Sir Christopher Wren. Inside, it still has box pews, and its small, adjacent cemetery was full long, long ago.

4. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX
Whenever I see a show I love installed in a so-so space, I think, imagine this art at the Kimbell. This museum of cast-concrete vaulted forms, designed by Louis Kahn and completed in 1972, is the ideal museum, and the reason why is simple. It excels both in light and in form. Many museums can do one or the other, and certain rooms in certain museums can do both. But I’ve never experienced another museum so uniformly pleasing, giving such generous light and such nurturing form, inside and out, upstairs and down.

5. Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA
I realize this is an obvious choice. But every time I tried to boot it off this list, it kept coming back. This place is alive. It makes you feel you’re in on something, and not something that began recently and will fade away, but the electricity of long-term knowledge-gathering. I am surprised that a library should feel so electric. I am surprised that a building this glamorous should feel so substantial and loving. I knew I could trust this building when, after a death in my family, all I wanted to do was to ride up to its top floor, lean my head back, and look at the sky through the diamonds.

Liberal Rhetoric on Iraq Continues to Piss Me Off

posted by on February 15 at 11:35 AM

Of course, I acknowledge, it’s completely silly to expect political discourse to adhere to facts and defer to reason. But it’s seriously disappointing to me that liberals and Democrats—my party! I’m deeply partisan! Ask anyone on the Stranger Election Control Board!—talk in such idiotic generalities about the Iraq war.

I was against the invasion. It was an enormous mistake. And no matter what kind of mealymouthed excuses John Edwards comes up with, any evidence that Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMDs and was on the verge of using them against the U.S. or its allies was utterly, transparently flimsy. No one should have trusted Colin Powell’s presentation at the U.N. It was structured as propaganda, and anyone with half a brain could see that. Indistinct satellite photos? Please. Aluminum tubes? Pathetic. Some terrorist receiving medical treatment in a major city? Even if you accepted all these allegations as true (and practically anyone outside the borders of the United States voiced some skepticism), they proved nothing. Everyone in Congress who voted to authorize the war has some serious explaining to do.

Nonetheless, I completely deplore the logic that says, in essence, “We destabilized a country, removing its government and disbanding its army. Shockingly, sectarian violence exploded over who would fill the power vacuum. So… screw ‘em, let’s leave!”

Despicable rhetorical flourish number one: The phrase “civil war.” Yes, Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. What are you, deaf and blind?

But witness the way this ridiculous rhetoric works. (This example is actually from a Republican—North Carolina Representative Howard Coble—providing the chilly comfort that Ds don’t have a monopoly on stupidity.)

“I’m personally very high on President Bush, but on the matter of troop escalation, I am not in agreement…. [The Iraqis] rejected freedom and chose civil war and the longer we maintain a presence there, the more they will rely upon us. The time has come, in my opinion, for the baton to be handed to the Iraqis.”

Look, bleeding heart liberals. Listen. WE STARTED THE CIVIL WAR! The United States’ flawed, miserable policies in Iraq led directly and inexorably to a state of civil war. It’s our fault. It’s all well and good to say that no more American lives should be lost in this conflict, but how many Iraqis will have to die because we ignited a violent power grab, failed to provide security, and then blamed the resulting chaos on the unwitting citizens?

Every day in the news there are clear signs of the quick, brutal deterioration that would happen if the U.S. were to withdraw troops. Here’s NPR’s excellent Anne Garrels on a Ft. Lewis Stryker squadron in the mixed neighborhood of Dora:

When the squadron commander Lt. Col. Jeff Peterson took over South Dora, he could not trust the predominantly Shiite police battalion. Evidence linking them to Shiite militias was overwhelming. And his troops had to watch their own backs.

“In many cases, we felt like the national police were targeting us,” he said.

Peterson arrested seven police officers he suspected of being behind murders and kidnappings, particularly of Sunnis. They likely weren’t the only ones involved, but he thinks the arrests did send a strong message.

“The (Iraqi) commander and I had some difficult times. After these officers were arrested, I basically went to him, and told him that we would continue to monitor the activities of his battalion. That my desire to partner with him, my desire was to make this battalion as good as I possibly could make it, but at the same time, we were going to be watching.”

His officers have to be careful about what information they give the police, especially when going after Shiite militias with whom the police have close ties.

“We had to conduct operations in such a way that we maintained security until the very last minute,” Peterson said. “We had to be very careful about disclosing the targets, and our routes to the targets. So, I mean, it’s a tough, tough circumstance to be in.”

Peterson has banned the Iraqi police from carrying cell phones on operations so they can’t make calls that could compromise a mission.

Relations between the Shiite police force and the Sunni population were so bad that Peterson decided to lock the police out of a key Sunni neighborhood.

“I thought, given the situation where there was so much distrust, we just had to separate them for a while.”

The results were immediate.

“Murders went down, mosque attacks went down,” Peterson said. “So, immediately, there was a sense of relief amongst the population — that they were no longer going to be subjected to national police running around, and essentially, terrorizing the people.”

Now, when the police are in Sunni neighborhoods, they are always accompanied or monitored by U.S. forces.

Col. Peterson says the increase in U.S. troops made a huge difference. They are able to cover much more territory, get better information on both Sunni and Shiite threats, and monitor the police more closely. But Lt. Steve Harnsberger says it means his soldiers are doing a double job.

You want to hand control of Iraq over to a police force that shows all signs of being infiltrated by Shiite militias and has a nasty habit of terrorizing Sunni neighborhoods? Oh, that sounds like a fantastic fucking idea. That sounds like it will definitely save precious lives—just not the lives of innocent Iraqis.

Want more? Try today’s New York Times story about a sweep of Shiite neighborhoods by American troops and a handful of Iraqi security forces. All you kneejerk liberals who think Iraqis can’t wait for us to get out? Try listening to this guy:

“If the Americans keep doing it, they can make a difference,” said Ali Muhammad, 37, an ice cream shop owner who lives in Ur. “But they have to stay. Otherwise it will never work.”

Or this guy:

Mustafa Jasim, 27, a Sunni, said that the idea of bases in the neighborhood convinced him that the Americans would not leave immediately. “With them here, now I can feel safe,” he said.

Despicable rhetorical flourish number two: “Escalation” versus “surge.”

Sure, my colleagues are just as guilty as the rest of the liberals in this stupid country. But the word “escalation” is flat-out misleading. As Fnarf pointed out in the comments in the above link, an escalation implies permanency. Bush’s “surge” is meant to be temporary. (Note: I think making it temporary is stupid too.) And “escalation,” if used, should always be used in the context “troop escalation.” It’s not an escalation of the war—it’s supposed to contain violence, not inflame it. This is just a pathetic scuffle over words, not ideas. And certainly not strategy.

I am a die-hard Democrat. But I have to say, I hate the Democrats right now.

Re: What Shall We Do With the Woodland Park Bunnies?

posted by on February 15 at 11:24 AM

Another morning, another missive from (aka “Peter Cotton”) about the cruel, nature-hating bastards in the Seattle Parks Department who are removing the rabbits from Woodland Park:

[In Feb 2006] we complained effectively on the Parks Dept’s failure to provide any plan for finding or locating babies left abandoned in park burrows…

(Meaning, I suppose, to tear up the warrens where the rabbits live?)

As a direct result of our complaints then and our threat to file “cruelty to animals” legal charges, the Parks Dept cancelled their Woodland Park rabbit removal project in March 2006.

Keep in mind: These rabbits are not well cared for, nor can the park support them. Because they’re abandoned pets fed by do-gooders in summers and abandoned in winters, they overbreed, starve, become more vulnerable to disease, and die. So by threatening the Parks, Mr. Cotton has effectively prolonged the suffering of the rabbits, etc. But this is the more pertinent question: What’s up with the Parks department letting this lunatic push them around? (I haven’t been able to reach anyone at the Department for comment yet.)

But Mr. Cotton’s letter is the picture of rationality compared to his posts on this Animal Liberation Front site:

On the Parks p.r. person: “Nazi Goebbels perky cheerleader mouthpiece.”

On the rationale for the rabbit removal program: “It is really stupefying how the Parks Dept can malign and misinterpret innocent animal behaviors. This is a sure sign of a Nazi mentality amongst these human bureaucrats.”

Then there are the ALF gurus and sympathizers with their bizarre icons:


And their capital letters:


And their anthropomorphic fantasies:

Total morons with no fucking idea on what the hell they are doing. Wish the bunnies were like this dude so they could kick some human butt.

All for trying to help the poor goddamned rabbits in Woodland Park.

The natural rights of animals are exactly the same as the natural rights of humans. Such rights inhere in all animal species and are independent of any human-made ‘legal codes’.

Which really gets to the heart of the matter: Rights are “human-made ‘legal codes.’” Rights are not like the laws of physics, that exist independent of their description—people invented rights. But it’s not about whether the Edenic fantasizing Mr. Cotton and his ALF pals is right or wrong or increases or decreases the suffering of any rabbits or people anywhere. It’s about message boards and angry emails and righteous indignation and hot air. Which is sad, really. All that psychic energy, wasted on a vapid idea.

Again: Kill ‘em. Kill ‘em all. Make a stew. Feed the hoboes.

“Perhaps you remember that we have two girls.”

posted by on February 15 at 10:48 AM

This breaks my heart.

A clerical error led to the discovery this week of letters written by Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, to friends abroad in 1941 and 1942. The letters outline the Franks’ increasingly desperate attempt to escape Holland, which was occupied by Germany. By 1942, of course, it was nearly impossible to escape to the United States, which had placed strict limits on immigration.

The story seems to unfold in slow motion as the painstaking exchange of letters journey across continents and from state to state, their information often outdated by the time they arrive. Each page adds a layer of sorrow as the tortuous process for gaining entry to the United States — involving sponsors, large sums of money, affidavits and proof of how their entry would benefit America — is laid out. The moment the Franks and their American supporters overcame one administrative or logistical obstacle, another arose.

At one point, Frank actually obtained a Cuban visa; but ten days later, Germany declared war on the US, and the visa was cancelled. The Franks went into hiding in 1942, and stayed there until they were turned over to the Nazis in 1944.

On a related note, I’ve just started reading a 1933 novel called Little Man, What Now?, which tells the story of a small-town German couple’s married life in the inflationary nightmare of 1933—a period with which I have a (probably unhealthy) obsession. I read 100 pages last night and woke up in the middle of the night and read 100 more. At the time, which was just prior to the Third Reich, Germany’s economy was in collapse due to measures put in effect after 1923’s hyperinflation and the Great Depression in America. (In 1919, one dollar was equivalent to nine German marks; by November 1923, a dollar was worth 4,200,000,000,000 marks, making the mark 420,000 million times less valuable.) I don’t ordinarily read novels, but I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

AA Meeting Episode 4: Historical Figures and the Mentally Challenged

posted by on February 15 at 10:41 AM


Dear everyone: AA Meeting is the weekly Stranger podcast devoted to the Academy Awards, from nominees’ odds to winner predictions to all the rest of that meaningless award-show bullshit I’m physically incapable of ignoring.

In this week’s episode, film editor Annie Wagner and I discuss this year’s nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress, from Penelope Cruz’s stealth camp to Meryl Streep’s intellectual vanity to Forest Whitaker’s undeniable ass-kickery. Enjoy.

(P.S. For those wondering if they need an iPod to listen to a podcast, the answer is no. All you need is a computer and ears.)

“And I Saw the Ear Float Away, and It Freaked Me Out”

posted by on February 15 at 10:03 AM


That poetic quote comes from this KIRO news story, about a Pierce County dog groomer accused of cutting off the ear of the shi tzu pictured above, then super-gluing it back on:

Anni Sheriffius said she was trying to wash off what she thought was dirt on her dog Jasmine’s ear when the ear fell off. Sheriffius rushed her dog to the veterinarian to learn that the dog’s ear had been cut off by a dog groomer and super-glued back on. “And I saw the ear float away, and it freaked me out,” Sheriffius said. Jasimine, a shi tzu, had to undergo treatment for an infection. Sheriffius said she still has the ear in a plastic bag, and has been crying for weeks at the thought of someone hurting her dog.

According to KIRO, Pierce County investigators are considering possible criminal charges against the unlicensed dog groomer, whose business appears to have been shut down.

Today in Total Douchebags

posted by on February 15 at 10:01 AM

Former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway went on the radio yesterday to talk about another former NBA player, John Amaechi, who recently came out of the closet. It wasn’t pretty:

“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people,” Hardaway said while a guest on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket in Miami. “I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”

At least Hardaway was being honest—none of that “I have gay friends, I just don’t want to be around them in the locker room” bullshit. And the honesty only continued:

“First of all, I wouldn’t want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don’t think that is right. I don’t think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room.”

Hardaway also went on to say that if he had found out a player on his team was gay, he would have asked for them to be removed from the roster. Even more honesty!

But then, just hours later, all that honesty went away. Hardaway’s handlers, or maybe even NBA commissioner David Stern, must have reached out to him because he later called in to a Fox affiliate to make amends:

“Yes, I regret it. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said I hate gay people or anything like that,” he said. “That was my mistake.”

Ah, that makes everything better.

Fantasy Basketball

posted by on February 15 at 9:35 AM

I know it’s all my fault the Sonics are leaving Seattle for Renton or Oklahoma City (more likely).

After all, I did write several biased articles on the Sonics incorrigible request for a gazillion dollar bail out last year. And certainly the post I did yesterday about the King Count Council’s FU was a bit gleeful.

So, it may be news to readers that I’m actually an enthusiastic NBA fan (partial to Gilbert and the Washington Bullets.) What’s more, I’ve actually been to four Sonics games this year—including two in the past week, and one last night. (I’ve been treated to all these games courtesy of friends scoring tickets.)

The thing that’s struck me most about Sonics games is the crowd’s willingness to play along with the enforced suspension of disbelief — and ignore just how bad this team is.

The announcer is constantly exhorting the crowd to chant “DE-Fense!” and “Make some noise!” (“I can’t hear you!”)

Mr. Announcer, the reason you can’t hear me is because this is terrible basketball.

I’d make some noise if the Sonics were impressive or if they could play DE-FENSE. (Over at, the Sonics are ranked 26th on defense out of the leagues 30 teams.)

I’m happy to cheer for Ray Allen (Allen is George Gervin) when he does something worthy. And I like cheering for Luke Ridnour cuz he plays his ass off, and occasionally makes a cool pass. (Luke: Drive more. You can hit that wild off the glass drive at will.)

But I can’t stand how the announcer expects us to pretend the Sonics are the defending champs of the world or something. They have the 2nd worst record in the Western Conference and they’re in last place (behind Portland!) in their division.

The best part about last night’s meaningless win over Phoenix (MVP Steve Nash and starting forward Boris Diaw were out with injuries for Phoenix) was the one moment when the crowd rebelled and booed Coach Bob Hill during the euphoric black light confetti firework show team introductions.

On the Radio

posted by on February 15 at 9:00 AM

I’ll be on KUOW’s Weekday this morning starting at 10 a.m., talking about the news of the week with three other journalists. (Yes, this program usually happens on Fridays, but it’s been bumped to Thursday this week because of Friday’s planned Iraq war debate in the House.)

What He Said

posted by on February 15 at 8:48 AM


I’m puzzled why some religious people seem to get upset by more outspoken atheists. I can turn on the teevee and be threatened with damnation and hellfire. Who cares if Sam Harris thinks you’re stupid? If atheists want to engage in their own brand of proselytizing, good for them. I’m not especially interested in it, but what’s wrong with it? There are Christian missionaries all over the world.

The Morning News

posted by on February 15 at 8:30 AM

Slam Dunk: Iran is shipping arms to insurgents in Iraq—Bush is certain!

Slam Dunk II: Illegal arms being shipped to Iraq from Malta—shall we invade?

Lying Liars: Condi Rice mislead congress—so says a former Rice aide. But, hey, it wasn’t about a blowjob, so no biggie.

Bush Official Shacks Up With Lobbyist: It’s easier to crawl into bed with corporate lobbyists when you’re sharing a house with them.

Sonics: The Sonics don’t want the public to vote on handing them hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new stadium in Renton. Can you guess why?

A Body to Die Fight For: Anna Nicole Smith’s relations fight over her body, may be months until she’s buried.

Jet Screwed: Passengers stuck on grounded planes for 10 hours.

Just Ban It: Washington legislature to hold hearings limiting cell phone use by drivers.

In Death as in Life

posted by on February 15 at 1:03 AM


Classy to the end and beyond: Anna Nicole Smith’s reputation as a human gets worse by the minute, thanks to a variety of new allegations rounded up by TMZ.

According to this prescription, an L.A. doctor with whom Anna once attended a gay pride parade prescibed methadone to Michelle Chase, which TMZ reports is “an alias Anna Nicole used.” According to this airbill, the prescription was filled at a pharmacy in the San Fernando Valley and mailed to Vicky Marshall—Anna Nicole’s legal name—in the Bahamas that same day: August 25, 2006, thirteen days before Anna gave birth to daughter Dannielynn and fifteen days before son Daniel suffered a fatal methadone overdose.

According to these photos, the contents of the refrigerator in Anna Nicole’s Bahama bedroom consisted of cans of Slim Fast, a bottle of spray butter, a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce, some yogurt, and a bunch of methadone. (“It also appears there are vials of injectable medicines,” points out TMZ.)

Finally, according to this affidavit filed by Anna Nicole’s former nanny in the Bahamas, Anna Nicole/Vicky Marshall ordered her to deliberately underfeed baby Dannielynn. “Ms. Marshall knew that the correct amount of baby food was 3 ounces every 3 hours … Ms. Marshall insisted that the maximum I was to give was 2.5 ounces. Ms. Marshall was obsessed with making sure that her baby was ‘sexy.’

Granted, the idea of Anna Nicole navigating the concept of half-ounces is far-fetched, but still: According to the former nanny, Dannielynn “is badly underweight and not thriving, as a baby should.” In addition, the nanny claims Anna Nicole “attempted to commit suicide” on two separate occasions, once downing a bottle of sleeping medicine, and once trying to drown herself in the backyard pool.

Sigh. Between the suggestions of pregnant junkiedom and allegations of diabolical mothering, Anna Nicole is quickly burning through those weird reserves of sympathy that popped up in the days after her vomit-choked corpse was found on the floor of that Hard Rock Hotel in Florida. The more I hear, the more it seems possible that Anna Nicole’s heart pumped trash, until it didn’t.

Covering Seattle

posted by on February 15 at 12:34 AM

I know that there are people who believe that we shouldn’t mock Seattle Weekly on the Slog, and to those people now, I say: I am not going to ask this question to mock Seattle Weekly. I am genuinely curious.

Dear Seattle Weekly,
Why did you put Jaime Hernandez artwork on your cover this week? There was a great deal of excitement about The Hernandez Brothers at The Fantagraphics Store last week. I went to the panel discussion on Sunday—I couldn’t make the party on Saturday night—but by all accounts, both were a lot of fun. It seems like last week would have been a great time to have a Love and Rockets cover.
In fact, the cover says to go to Page 27 to read more about The Hernandez Brothers. Instead, page 27 directs us to page 33, which promotes this event, with completely different cartoonists. I understand that Love and Rockets artwork will still be on display, but wouldn’t it have been nice to mention Gabrielle Bell, Anders Nilsen, or Kevin Huizenga—you know, the artists who are actually going to be in attendance somewhere on the cover? Because, you know, Kevin Huizenga is the hottest new guy in comics since Chris Ware, and he’s definitely worth the attention, to say nothing of the other two wildly talented artists. I’m just curious what was going on in your institutional mind as you picked your cover subject, Seattle Weekly. If you could fill me in that would be great.
Oh, and while I’m asking, did you really think that it would be a good idea to name your new books column Tome Raider? Because, well, barf.
Okay, maybe that last part was mockery.
Paul Bobby
P.S. While we’re on Seattle newsweekly covers, I’d like to address the good people at The Capitol Hill Times: It’s spelled barista, not barrista. Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Experience the Horrible Truth…

posted by on February 14 at 6:13 PM

As spoken by that god damn claymation dog….


Thanks, Dianna. I think.

Hold me.

I’m so not kidding.

A Wandering Heart—the Epilogue

posted by on February 14 at 5:43 PM

Boy! That was fun, wasn’t it? Grossing you all out with pictures of the pig’s heart we used to take the pictures for the covers of our Valentine’s Issue! Hooray!
But honestly commenters, I gave you a little more credit. I took all of those pictures the day of the photoshoot, and promptly after I disposed of the heart. I will never tell you how.

I am not keeping it under my bed, in my freezer, or where the sun don’t shine. It didn’t look worse in each picture- that was a product of flash photography tomfoolery and your own little imaginations. I don’t need to get laid, and I don’t have a fetish that insists I have porcine organs around at all times.

But honestly, if you had a Ziploc bag full of pig hearts, wouldn’t you want to do something fun with them?

KC to Sonics. Nope.

posted by on February 14 at 5:41 PM

This letter to State Sen. Margarita Prentice and Gov. Gregoire from all 5 Democratic KC Council Members and this e-mail I just got from an aide to King County Council Member Larry Phillips kinda say it all.

From the letter:

We understand that the State Legislature is now considering legislation that would
finance a new Sonics arena in King County, and that this finance plan may require the
Metropolitan King County Council to authorize at least $300 million in revenue for the
project from the King County hotel-motel tax, restaurant tax, and car rental tax.

We strongly believe that any decision to use additional local King County taxes to
finance a new Sonics arena should be made by the voters of King County. Without a
public vote, we will not approve any King County tax increase, including use of the King
County hotel-motel, restaurant, and car rental taxes to finance an arena.

And more eloquent, I think, (especially the last line, which I read as directed at the Sonics) an e-mail from Phillips’s aide:

Here’s a letter Councilmember Phillips and the majority of the King County Council are sending to Governor Gregoire and Senator Prentice saying that the council will not raise taxes for a new Sonics stadium without a public vote. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Joyce and Beckett, Playing Golf

posted by on February 14 at 5:22 PM


posted by on February 14 at 5:15 PM

A Slog commenter has been riding me to write about Rep. Geoff Simpson’s (D-47, Covington) NASCAR bill. The commenter, Jake of, hates the bill. And he should.

For starters, Simspson isn’t even from Kitsap Co.—which is were the $250 million, 83K seat race track is supposed to go.

In fact, not a single member of the delegation from the area supports the bill.

Why not? Because among other things, according to one fierce opponent of the bill, Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23, Kitsap County), it suspends the growth managment act, eliminates the authority to put an emissions cap on the facility, exempts NASCAR from paying the forest land compensation tax (you’re supposed to pay taxes when you clear cut in protected areas), and asks the state to kick in $145 million for the thing.

Word is the bill is not a priority for leadership and isn’t likely to get anywhere. There’s a hearing on it next Tuesday.

Hillary’s Problem

posted by on February 14 at 4:55 PM

It’s all over the web. Hillary Clinton is in a big bind over her stance on the Iraq war (see here, here, here, and especially here).

Voters in New Hampshire (and elsewhere) want to hear an abject admission of error from anyone who voted for the war in 2002. Edwards, who voted for the war as a Senator, offered his admission of error back in 2005. Obama doesn’t need to make any admission of error on the war, having opposed it long before it went so obviously bad. But Hillary… She has a problem.

Like Maria Cantwell in 2005, she is caught between two different constituencies and two different periods of time, the present and the future. In the here and now is Clinton’s need to appease Democratic primary voters who want to hear her admit that her vote for the Iraq war was a mistake. In the future are general election voters from both parties who will want to know that Clinton can make tough decisions regarding war and peace, and then stick to them.

The problem is heightened for a female candidate, I think, because every war position is automatically viewed by many voters through this lens: Is she tough enough to defend me the way a man would?

It’s not fair. But it’s the way it is.

Cantwell was able to thread the needle (and avoid the question) by buying off critics and meting out contrition in tiny doses during the primary, without ever actually saying flat out that she had been wrong to vote for the war. Then, in the general, she was able to say that she had essentially the same position as her male Republican opponent, Mike McGavick: They both supported the war initially, might not have supported it given what we know now, but anyway, here we are, and we need to start managing it better. The similarity of their positions allowed general election voters in Washington to use other litmus tests — the environment, education, character, etc. — rather than the question of who was right on the war, and this neutralized any female warrior problems Cantwell might have faced.

Clinton looks like she’s trying to implement the Cantwell strategy on a national level, throwing rhetorical bones to the base during the primary without admitting error, but leaving herself well-positioned to have the same stance as her opponent in the general (I supported the war then, I might not have supported it given what I know now, but anyway, here we are, and I think we need to change course).

The problem is that Clinton’s primary, unlike Cantwell’s, is going to be more than a year long. She can’t have Democratic primary voters demanding an admission of error everywhere she goes for a whole year without doing something to quiet them, especially when her opponents—unlike Cantwell’s—are serious contenders who have already dealt with the Iraq vote issue.

Clinton is going to have to say something more about her Iraq vote. And she’s going to have to say it soon. Giving the Democratic base what it wants on the war might make her more vulnerable in the general election, but if she doesn’t get closer to what they want, she may not even have a general election to worry about.

Finger Lickin’ Wrong

posted by on February 14 at 4:48 PM


I think this ad might be a hoax. Maaaaybe. Click here for a larger version.

Via Newspeak.

24 Hour Line Out Therapy

posted by on February 14 at 4:36 PM

Southern Rock: Bonnaroo Line Up Announced.

Vice Gripped: Vice TV Asks, “Did [Punk’s] Negative Though Waves Cause the Society We Live In?”

But His Fingers Are Digital, Right?: Noise Artist Built of Analog Gear.

Yellow Magic Beer: YMO Set Themselves Up For Many a Piss Take.

“Do I Look Like a Pirate?”: Home Taping Not Killing the Record Industry.

Red Lipstick Marks Around the Antarctic: Le Banana Split.

Irreplaceable: Megan Seling’s Must-Have Breakup Music.

The Hang Up: Giving up on The Clash.

Can’t Get Funky: There’s No “U” in FNK.

The Greatest Love of All: The Best Love SongEver Written?

The Luxury Pamphlet: The Saturday Knights’ Ridiculous Merch.

Al Franken

posted by on February 14 at 4:27 PM

Yeah, Sean. He sure seems like an asshole.

I’m sending him a check.

The Soft Side of Tyler Green

posted by on February 14 at 4:16 PM

Modern Art Notes’s Tyler Green is the tough-guy art blogger who can pass a judgment with puritanical speed, who seems to have sources tucked inside every museum in the country, who makes a point of calling bullshit wherever he spots it, and who scolded me, when I first met him because I was chewing gum in an upscale hotel bar. (He also identified me, before we’d ever met, and called me out by name while I was looking at art in Miami; I have no idea how he knew what I looked like.) He is the CIA, the NSA, and the NEA—of the individual-grants years, that is—rolled into one.

At said upscale hotel bar, which was entirely draped in the sort of bright, pure white that my mother, an Ohio farmgirl whose hands were never far from real dirt, told me to stay away from, I asked Tyler about his background. He said he had been a sportswriter (as my father was), and then gone into some kind of political work, and then gotten back into art. At the time, I nodded at the slender, young blogger and his slender, young girlfriend, as though, of course, he’d want to get back into art. Except that later, I realized, when had this sportswriter been in art in the first place?

Today, in an extended entry on his blog, he at least partly explains his love for art. The piece unfolds like a personal essay, building quietly and beautifully to the final paragraphs, and it is really quite understated considering all that is behind it. Those who reduce Tyler to a snark machine might take note of what I’m beginning to believe is a certain amount of innate, almost patrician, restraint on his part. (It would explain the gumphobia.)

By offsetting serenity with ranting, he is also, paradoxically for a New Media exemplar, establishing himself as what newspaper editors see these days as the ideal job candidate: a jack of all trades. A critic. A reporter. An essayist. A columnist. A blogger. A pundit. I’ve often wondered: where is Tyler Green headed? Of all the jobs in the art world, which one does he really want? Is he subtly gunning for something?

In any case, happy Valentine’s Day, MAN. Thank you for the memories.

The Contenders: Tommy Thompson

posted by on February 14 at 3:38 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.


Tommy Thompson

Party: Republican

Age: 66

Status: Has Exploratory Committee

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson is one of many potential presidential candidates talking about the necessity of universal health care. “The truth is we are too darn fat in America. I am on the Tommy Thompson diet – I eat half what I am offered.” He also believes that the U.S. health care system will collapse by the year 2013, if it isn’t drastically overhauled.

Thompson grew up in small town Wisconsin where his father ran a gas station and a country grocery store. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thompson’s first brush with politics came in 1966 when he served as a representative in Wisconsin’s State Assembly. In 1981 he was elected Assembly minority leader and, in 1987 ran a successful campaign for State Governor. Thompson was easily re-elected to serve four consecutive terms as Governor of Wisconsin where he is remembered for his tax rebates, welfare reform, and school choice program. Thompson also instituted a program to extend health care to low-income, elderly, and disabled citizens who did not qualify for Medicaid.

In 2000, Thompson left the office of the Governor when he was appointed by Bush to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. As secretary he helped to enact a law limiting funding for embryonic stem cell research and helped to pass the Bush Administration’s Medicare Modernization act.

After the 2004 election, Thompson, along with many other prominent cabinet members, resigned from his position. In his farewell speech, Thompson warned that the world faces a potentially catastrophic flu pandemic and that the U.S. food supply is vulnerable to terrorists: “For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do.”

In the private sector, Thompson became a board member of Applied Digital Solutions, makers of the VeriChip: a human-implantable Radio Frequency Identification chip used to store medical records and other information. Thompson spoke publicly about his support for the RFID identification devices, and pledged to get one implanted into his own arm. However, according to a company spokesman, Thompson has been “too busy” for the “chipping” procedure.

Thompson is pro-life and has supported a ban on partial birth abortion. He believes felons should not have the possibility of parole and wants more federal funding given to the Drug War. Thomspon instituted a state-wide charter school system in Wisconsin. He is also a big supporter of ethanol. Although he publicly supported Bush’s war policies until last year, Thompson now proclaims the best plan for Iraq would be to divide it into a confederation of different Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni states.

Thompson has three children (Tommi, Kelli and Jason), with his wife Sue Ann. He is also a longtime Harley-Davidson motorcycle rider. Thomspon led motorcycle tours while Governor of Wisconsin, has been inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle hall of fame, and is a member of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). Here he is on his bike:


Posted by Eli’s 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, Tom Vilsack, Joe Biden, and Duncan Hunter.

The Romantic Artist

posted by on February 14 at 3:35 PM

Seattle artist Roy McMakin makes architecture, furniture, and playful and cerebral sculptures and photographs. He is known for order.

And yet when Seattle Art Museum asked McMakin to do an artist talk about his sculpture Love & Loss in the Olympic Sculpture Park, he called his old friend Jeffry Mitchell, the Seattle artist, and New York performer Suzzy Roche (of The Roches and the Wooster Group)—two artists whose every gesture is infused with emotion.

What the hell will they do out there on this romantic night? Well, she says she’ll dance naked as well as making music, and the other two, they dodge the question in the latest edition of the In/Visible podcast here, taped yesterday morning at the park.


On Bunnies and Toilet Trolls

posted by on February 14 at 3:27 PM

Frederick R., in the comments thread attached to Brendan “Heartless” Kiley’s suggestion on what to do about the poor widdle Woodland Park wabbits, agrees with Brendan on the bunnies issue. Kill ‘em, kill ‘em all.

But Frederick suggests two other targets for extermination…

Open Woodland Park to hunting. Dogs, rabbits, gay toilet trolls, etc. All game.

Yes, yes—kill the gay toilet trolls. Because men seeking consensual sex with other men in public places deserve to die.


Look, I don’t like the toilet trolls anymore than Frederick does. In fact, I may like them less. (I’m assuming Frederick is straight.) As a gay man, there are certain parks that I will always feel uncomfortable walking into. Because if you’re there and you’re gay, well, then you’re presumed—by straight people and other gay people—to be out there trolling for sex in toilets or bushes. Even if you’re not trolling for sex, you and your kind are “part of the problem.” For African Americans, “driving while black” is a crime. For gay, “walking in park while gay” is seen as somehow criminal.

And me? I don’t have sex in parks. But I would like to be able to walk my kid’s dog—a poodle, if you must know—in the park near my house—Volunteer Park, if you must know—after dark without getting dirty looks and/or offers. It creeps even me out, if you must know.

But toilet trolls aren’t harming anyone—they don’t rape people, and they’re pretty subtle. You usually can’t spot toilet trolls unless you’re looking for ‘em or obsessing over ‘em.

And if men on the prowl for sex are so offensive that they should be shot on sight, Frederick, then I suggest we begin by executing the far more numerous and far less subtle straight guys trolling Pioneer Square, Pike/Pine, Bellevue, and Belltown on Friday and Saturday nights.

Or is trolling for sex in public only okay when straight guys do it?

Hickies, Regret, and Gunshot Wounds

posted by on February 14 at 3:10 PM

Le Grand Content. Required viewing. It somehow makes sh*t holidays, like Valentines Day, make more sense.
Or does it? Insightful… or plain weird?

Maybe I just like that hickie and gunshot are on the same graph.

On the Cover

posted by on February 14 at 2:59 PM

Think of this:

Then imagine these:

3Anna Nicole Smith 006.jpg

Then read this remarkable article on the meaning of the short life of the woman pictured above:

“Courtesan,” which in a different age is probably what she would have been labeled (even though she was married), is a category we don’t have much use for anymore. The woman who makes sexual alliances for money, who was less than a blushing bride but not so fallen as a prostitute, was once a vigorous cultural type, at least through the 19th century. Courtesans were the essential heroines of our greatest operas. They offered up their bodies, in various states of undress, to painters from Caravaggio to Toulouse-Lautrec — and too many others to mention. It was a courtesan who set in motion many of our greatest novels, not least of them Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” — which begins with the love of a man named Swann for a “great courtesan.”

But the idea of the courtesan has all but disappeared, and with it much of the nuance about our analysis of sex and marriage.

Then read one of the greatest passages from the greatest novel, Remembrance of Things Past (the second greatest novel is of course Dream of the Red Room):

[Odette] had in her hand a bunch of cattleyas, and Swann could see, beneath the film of lace that covered her head, more of the same flowers fastened to a swansdown plume. She was wearing, under her cloak, a flowing gown of black velvet, caught up on one side so as to reveal a large triangular patch of her white silk skirt, with an ‘insertion,’ also of white silk, in the cleft of her low-necked bodice, in which were fastened a few more cattleyas. She had scarcely recovered from the shock which the sight of Swann had given her, when some obstacle made the horse start to one side.
They were thrown forward from their seats; she uttered a cry, and fell back quivering and breathless.

“It’s all right,” he assured her, “don’t be frightened.” And he slipped his arm round her shoulder, supporting her body against his own; then went on: “Whatever you do, don’t utter a word; just make a sign, yes or no, or you’ll be out of breath again. You won’t mind if I put the flowers straight on your bodice; the jolt has loosened them. I’m afraid of their dropping out; I’m just going to fasten them a little more securely.”

She was not used to being treated with so much formality by men, and smiled as she answered: “No, not at all; I don’t mind in the least.” But he, chilled a little by her answer, perhaps, also, to bear out the pretence that he had been sincere in adopting the stratagem, or even because he was already beginning to believe that he had been, exclaimed: “No, no; you mustn’t speak. You will be out of breath again. You can easily answer in signs; I shall understand. Really and truly now, you don’t mind my doing this? Look, there is a little—I think it must be pollen, spilt over your dress,—may I brush it off with my hand? That’s not too hard; I’m not hurting you, am I? I’m tickling you, perhaps, a little; but I don’t want to touch the velvet in case I rub it the wrong way. But, don’t you see, I really had to fasten the flowers; they would have fallen out if I hadn’t. Like that, now; if I just push them a little farther down…. Seriously, I’m not annoying you, am I? And if I just sniff them to see whether they’ve really lost all their scent? I don’t believe I ever smelt any before; may I? Tell the truth, now.”

You get the picture.

Oemig’s Impeachment Resolution. Well, I’ll be…

posted by on February 14 at 2:47 PM

Sen. Oemig actually lined up some cosponsors, including a member of D leadership, Sen Harriet Spanel (D-40, Bellingham)—the caucus chairwoman.

Also on board: From Seattle, Sen. Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle), Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard), and Margarita Prentice (D-11, part of South Seattle).

Sens. Darlene Fairley (D-32, Lake Forest Park), Karen Fraser (D-22, Thurston County), Debbie Regala (D-27, Tacoma), and freshman Claudia Kauffman (D-47-Kent)—also from Seattle’s burbs like Oemig—singed on as well.

The resolution is scheduled for a March 1 hearing in Fairley’s Government Operations Committee—which includes Oemig and Kline, and so, is likely to pass.

I just talked to Sen. Kline about his decision to sign on, despite, as he put it, being “caught between two considerations” … a pro and a con.

The con (or cons really) as Kline described them were political. A) “Should they [the Democrats in Congress] spend the next two years doing this? Everything else, like ending the war, is too important. … Why disguise all the good things we’re doing?” and B) Does leadership [in Olympia] want this to go to the floor and get all those headlines on this instead of all the other stuff we’re doing.”

However, Kline tells me that “Eric made a passionate case and… you know what? In substance he’s right.

Oemig’s case is that letting Bush get away with illegal surveillance, promoting the war with false intel, and slashing legal rights for “enemy combatants” sets a terrible precedent for the Oval Office.

Most important for Kline, it seemed, was “pay back” (his words) for the Clinton impeachment.


Ken Starr camped out in front of the White House for four years just looking for something to hang impeachment on. We knew what they wanted the end result to be, and they just went looking. Land deals. Filegate. Hillary’s commodities trading. Travelgate. And then they got the blue dress. Now, we have a little boy President who wanted his war—who should be impeached. The Republicans trade on the fact that we won’t do unto them what they did unto us. Well, they ought to have fear of consequences—the way politics used to be played.

Kline, in fact, says he almost filed the resolution himself—going as far as getting language from U.S. Senator Russ Feingold’s office. “It looked like what Eric came up with,” Kline says.

“But I decided not to,” Kline says. “I’m tired of being the left-wing bad boy. I have serious business I’m working on this session.”

Meanwhile, I was able to talk to U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott’s office about why they told Oemig they weren’t interested in taking up impeachment in Congress. McDermott spokesman Mike DeCesare told me: “We know when the President is leaving office. We don’t know when the troops are leaving Iraq. We know what we have to do. Focus.”

And here’s what U.S. Rep Jay Inslee (D-1) told me:

As much as I despise what this president has done to the country, my job is to find a way to end the war in Iraq, which I voted against. We should do nothing whatsoever to hinder our effort to end the war. Grandstanding that prevents us from growing a coalition against the war is a luxury we cannot afford. We don’t have the votes to remove Bush from office. Bush is leaving office. We need to make sure our troops are leaving Iraq.

I pretty much make the same case as Inslee in today’s print edition of the Stranger.

What Shall We Do With the Woodland Park Bunnies? Oh Whatever Shall We Do?

posted by on February 14 at 2:36 PM

From today’s inbox, courtesy of

These park rabbits are being trapped and forcibly relocated from their natural burrow homes in Woodland Park/GreenLake in Seattle.

More hand-wringing, know-nothing jackassery from do-gooders without the brains God gave a… well, a rabbit.

First of all there is nothing natural about the rabbits in Woodland Park.

The rabbits belong there about as much as I belong in the veldt trying to chase down a zebra for dinner—they are abandoned pets and the children of abandoned pets. They overbreed, they starve, they suffer, they die. They overbreed because during the summers, know-nothing (but well-meaning) jackasses come in droves to feed them. (The rabbits have stripped nearby food sources bare, are killing off trees by nibbling around the bark and roots, and are finding their way into the nearby zoo to eat the plants there.)

Then, in the winter, without hordes of know-nothing jackasses to toss them lettuce, they waste away, get sick, and die. Slowly. And hungry. So let’s not indulge in “happy-rabbits-in-their-natural-habitat” bullshit. Just because they’re furry and living in a park doesn’t mean that they’re happy or healthy.

The parks are trying to relocate the rabbits because they are a hazard to themselves and others. And is worried because:

… there is inadequate vet care for these captured rabbits.

Do I even need to say it, There is pretty inadequate vet care in the fucking park.

Also the captured rabbits are being housed in an abandoned building (called “the chapel”) at Discovery Park in Seattle under inhumane and inadequate conditions. The building is rat & mice-infested and the rats are attacking the adult rabbits at night & eating their food. The male rabbits are kept in small cages with no activity nor exercise whatever…

Rabbitsave, know-nothing jackass that he is, may have a point here. Dumping rabbits to fester and die in park is cruel, dumping them in an abandoned building is also cruel. And I’m not a fan of cruelty. The answer is simple:

Kill ‘em. Kill ‘em all. Butcher the meat, make a stew, feed it to the hoboes.

Everybody wins.

All Things to All People

posted by on February 14 at 2:09 PM

There’s a new li’l cousin’ to The Stranger’s podcastic line-up of original podcasts.

All Things to All People is a variety show, with interviews, music, and assorted (hopefully funny) tidbits of sound, put together by me and a few friends—sort of my idea of what radio would be like if radio wasn’t ridiculous and terrible. It joins Dan Savage’s unbelievably hilarious Savage Love (it’s just like being in the office again!), David Schmader’s unsparing Justify Your Pod (the theme song is brilliant) and AA Meeting, Jen Graves’s assiduous inVisible, and Megan Seling’s totally alcohol and drug free Setlist. It’s good company to be in.

The inaugural ATTAP runs a little more than an hour. features an interview with Green Gartside from Scritti Politti, Steve Fisk’s Eastern Washington Memories, a preview of new slang terms for 2007, Music Listings from other cities (with the guys from MP3 blog Reeler Than Thou), and the song of the month, “Ghostship,” from the amazing new Menomena record.

Coming next month: Hodgman! Personal Productivity! Are You Cool?! And more fun from Fisk, Reeler, Glanz, and the gang!

Show index and download HERE.

But go HERE to give a listen (and a look) to all the Stranger Podcasts.

Stranger Podcasts: They’re good!

Today in Total Douchebags

posted by on February 14 at 2:06 PM

Say hello to Rep. Stacey Campfield of Tennessee:

Legislation introduced in Tennessee would require death certificates for aborted fetuses, which likely would create public records identifying women who have abortions.

Rep. Stacey Campfield, a Republican, said his bill would provide a way to track how many abortions are performed. He predicted it would pass in the Republican-controlled Senate but would have a hard time making it through the Democratic House.

“All these people who say they are pro-life — at least we would see how many lives are being ended out there by abortions,” said Campfield

Planned Parenthood has, of course, responded:

Keri Adams, vice president of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, on Wednesday called the proposal an attempt to terrorize frightened and vulnerable women who are seeking abortion.

“We certainly hope the Tennessee Legislature doesn’t invest too much energy in this bill,” she said. “We think it’s clearly a violation of privacy, and potentially illegal concerning HIPAA regulations.”

Overheard Outside The Stranger’s Front Doors

posted by on February 14 at 1:39 PM

Beefy, Ruddy-Faced New York Queen (upon seeing this week’s cover):

Jon Benet Ramsey, Anna Nicole Smith, and Jesus Christ are my higher powers.

The Same Queen (moments later, to his weathered and rail-thin friend):

Should we dumpster dive or tweak?

Would You Like That Customized Romance Novel “Mild” or “Wild”?

posted by on February 14 at 12:51 PM


Like Lindy West, I’m morbidly fascinated by Valentine’s-related crap.

Top o’ this year’s heap: The offerings of, where lovers are invited to “Star in Your Own Personalized Romance Novel!”

Simply by providing basic facts about you and your beloved—including first and last names, hometown, the length of time you’ve been a couple, and your preferred brand of cologne/perfume—you and your honey can be cast in your own romance, printed in either paperback or hardback and featuring your photo on the cover.

But the most important information couples provide is whether they want their romance mild or wild, with the difference between the two illuminated by excerpts.


As if on cue, a streak of light flashed across the hot night sky. They both saw the shooting star and proclaimed simultaneously, “Ooooh.” “You saw it too?” Again their voices were one. Then, a “Yes,” still in unison and a slight laugh. Ann took the lead, saying, “How beautiful.” John continued, saying what was on both their minds, “How perfect.” He drew her near. Their voices fell quiet, but their actions would soon fill the night. Then basking in the oneness of each other’s arms, John had arched his head to the heavens, and that’s when he and Ann saw the shooting stars nearly collide in the sky above, their burst of brilliance culminating the most unforgettable lovemaking the two had ever known.


As if on cue, a streak of light flashed across the hot night sky. They both saw the shooting star and proclaimed simultaneously, “Ooooh.” “You saw it too?” Again their voices were one. Then, a “Yes,” still in unison and a slight laugh. Ann took the lead, saying, “How beautiful.” John continued, saying what was on both their minds, “How perfect.” He drew her near. Their voices fell quiet, but their actions would soon fill the night. John reached up to squeeze the perfect pair of star-lit breasts, their nipples hardening to his touch. Ann gasped her encouragement and continued her own rhythmic caress that left John pulsating with passion. Her free hand grasped the back of his neck, steadying it as her lips hungrily sought and found his. The nectar of his mouth made her head swim. His fragrance, Old Spice, filled her nostrils and excited her. She kissed him urgently, as if tonight might be their last, or maybe, their first. Ann’s hips started their own rhythm, matching the dance of her hand on John. Breathing rapidly, John responded instantly to her need. He rolled to the side, yielding the middle of the chaise so her luscious body could stretch beneath his, for his full and private access. He moved his hands down to her buttocks all the while seeking her tongue and mouth and lips with his own. The kisses seemed to sizzle in the night as he pulled Ann’s buttocks toward him. Ann released the center of his sex, knowing it must find its final resting place, because if it didn’t, she would die right here on this roof from her own desire for him. With guttural moans of love, they united, he on her, the passion exploding, their sex filling the night with marvelous release and discovery. In the instant of release, their own bodies exploding in a wave of passion, John had arched his head to the heavens, and that’s when he and Ann saw the shooting stars nearly collide in the sky above, their burst of brilliance culminating the most unforgettable lovemaking the two had ever known.

Order yours today!

Wocka! Wocka! Wocka!

posted by on February 14 at 12:31 PM

Here, at long last, is Fox News’ response to The Daily Show. Enjoy.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 14 at 12:25 PM

Valentine’s Day Bash!


(CATHARSIS) The Stranger’s annual feel-good smash returns for the 10th and final time. Bring mementos of love gone wrong—wedding rings, ancient mix tapes, painful mash notes—and Dan Savage, our very own love and vengeance expert (mostly vengeance), will destroy them live onstage before a packed house. Maybe he’ll use a sledgehammer. Maybe he’ll use a blender. Maybe he’ll even fire up the blowtorch. Regardless, it will be hilarious and healing. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9442. 8 pm, free, 21+.) BRADLEY STEINBACHER
Now with liquid nitrogen!

Al Is Running

posted by on February 14 at 12:08 PM

Franken, not Gore. You can make a contribution, if you like, at Al’s campaign website. If the Rs can send that bald dude from Law & Order to the Senate, we can send Franken.

Al’s In

posted by on February 14 at 12:04 PM

Not that one. The other one.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Comedian Al Franken said Wednesday he will run for the Senate in 2008, challenging Republican incumbent Norm Coleman.

For Valentine’s Day

posted by on February 14 at 12:02 PM

My mother sent me this link for Valentine’s Day. It’s a song about God’s love. Enjoy.

Look Who’s Talking

posted by on February 14 at 11:49 AM

Xenophanes, my favorite of the Pre-Socratic philosophers (the sophist Gorgias is second on that list), is famous for mainly one thing: he attacked the anthropomorphization of Greek gods with the reasoning that “if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,/And could sculpture like men, then the horses would draw their gods/Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape.” The habit of imaging God as a human being is as common today as it was 2400 years ago, during Xenophanes’s age of the gods. We will grant that. But here is something truly strange to consider. About 400 years ago, the greatest philosopher of the 17th century, Spinoza, wrote this in a letter to a man, Hugo Boxel, who was not happy with the philosopher’s concept of an impersonal and asexual God that lived not in the sky, looking down on us with human eyes as He sat on a seat that fit his human behind, but in the world, through all of life, as the “universal individual”:

Further, when you say that if I deny, that the operations of seeing, hearing, attending, wishing, &c., can be ascribed to God, or that they exist in Him in any eminent fashion, you do not know what sort of God mine is; I suspect that you believe there is no greater perfection than such as can be explained by the aforesaid attributes. I am not astonished; for I believe that, if a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular.

What is strange about this letter, and tells us so much about the time in which Spinoza lived, and as a consequence the mind of Spinoza and his whole philosophical project, is that it imagines a talking triangle. This is the actual change that has occurred between his time and that of Xenophanes. Spinoza believes that a human life is nothing more than (and can be understood as) a geometric shape. And he says as much in his geometrically shaped masterpiece The Ethics. Such faith in geometry, which, admittedly, can be traced back to the Pythagoreans and also Platonic forms, defines the “age of reason,” a period of time that could dream up talking triangles.

But what of this passage from Nietzsche’s wonderful essay “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”:

[H]ow aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no further mission that would lead beyond human life. It is human, rather, and only its owner and producer gives it such importance, as if the world pivoted around it. But if we could communicate with the mosquito, then we would learn that he floats through the air with the same self-importance, feeling within itself the flying center of the world.
What’s important here is that God is gone and has been replaced by the intellect, by reason. The mosquito imagined 150 years ago doesn’t speak of a Mosquito God, as Xenophanes’s horse spoke of (or painted) a Horse God, but of itself, “the flying center of the world.” Nietzsche’s century is the one that killed God and prepared the way for “the engineers and bridge builders of the future.”

A Wandering Heart

posted by on February 14 at 11:45 AM


Up or Down on the Rebuild

posted by on February 14 at 11:08 AM

Two months ago, after Gov. Christine Gregoire’s first iteration of her viaduct position—a vote between the rebuild and the tunnel— I slogged that the vote was booby-trapped against the tunnel because, as everyone knew, the tunnel didn’t have a legit plan yet. So, at that time, I suggested an up or down vote on the rebuild.

Well, we’re back again. Only now it’s literal. With the governor’s latest iteration of her position on the viaduct, the state has declared the tunnel dead and the dual vote irrelevant.

Okay. So, as I said two months ago, if the rebuild is currently the only fully realized plan, let voters have an up or down say on that plan.

The city council should scramble and let the public vote yea or nay on the rebuild without having to do what amounts to calculus book run-off voting in this bizarre tunnel/rebuild vote scheduled for next month.

More on State Sen. Oemig’s Impeachment Resolution

posted by on February 14 at 10:57 AM

I’m surprised to find that Sen. Eric Oemig’s resolution has more traction than I thought. Indeed, I thought it was DOA. But after speaking to a few Senators yesterday and hearing that key party commitee chairs like Sen. Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane), Govermnet Operations Chair Sen. Darlene Fairely (D-32, Forest Park), and Judiciary Chair Sen. Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle) have all shown an interest in getting the bill a hearing and out of committee to beat the approaching legislative deadlines, it’s clear no one’s ready to dismiss Oemig’s resolution to move on impeachment.

Sen. Oemig actually didn’t have any official co-sponsors as of yesterday afternoon, but that’s because his colleagues were waiting for him to finalize the language (ie, tone it down a bit). He reports that he will shop for co-sponsors in caucus this morning and should have a number of co-sponsors when he officially unveils the resolution at a one o’clock press conference today in Olympia.

I got a sneak peek at Oemig’s resolution, and I have a column coming out today about it, but I didn’t have room to include the specifics from my lengthy interview with him. So here are some outtakes.

Sen. Oemig said that while there’s “a sense this is a federal issue… federal policies are really impacting policy at the state level. The $8 billion a month on the war is causing general cuts in funding for our state priorities like education and health care.”

He also said that when he was doorbelling last fall on the eastside, the anger at Bush and the war came up again and again. Specifically, one older man (with pro-military bumperstickers on his car) actually broke down crying when Oemig canvassed him, pleading with Oemig to do something about the war if elected. At the time, Oemig told the man it was a federal issue. But then other constituents started telling Oemig about a federal clause that allows state legislatures to push for impeachment. “They said, ‘If you’re elected would you vote Yes on that?’ I said absolutely I would. At the time, I had no idea I’d be the prime sponsor.”

Asked about the potential for the GOP to spoof the resolution as distracting from the business of the state, while at the same time stirring up a hotly partisan divide, Oemig said, “I believe the blue wave sent a very strong message that this President needs to be held accountable.”

Frustrated that Washington State’s lefties in Congress (Reps. McDermott and Inslee) don’t appear to be moving on an impeachment resolution—Oemig reports that he talked to staff from both offices and their response to doing something was “not satisfactory”— Oemig said: “This is too important to sweep it under the carpet. It would set a dangerous precedent [to let the President get away with things like illegal wiretapping and lying about war intel].”

Finally, Oemig said: “It’s not only the gentleman crying on his front porch that pushed me to do this, but I think about my son [a one-year-old] asking me in 10 years…What did you do?”

For some clarity on the legitimacy of Sen. Oemig’s resolution, I talked to UW prof Stewart Jay, a professor of Constitutional Law. He told me, absolutely, states have the standing to ask Congress to begin the process of impeachment. He also said that Congress can ignore the resolution. However, he added: “I can imagine that if a significant majority of states passed resolutions requesting the U.S. House to initiate impeachment [proceedings] it could have a political effect in Congress.”

Right now, California, New Jersey, and Vermont are all considering similar resolutions.

As I told Sen. Oemig last night, while I find the language and spirit of his resolution electrifying, I also think it’s politically goofy and quite frankly technically ill-conceived. For example, he says the war is robbing money from things like education and health care at the sate level. Okay. But putting Bush on trial over the next year has nothing to do with hastening an end to the war. If anything, impeachment hearings would divide Congress and sap the necessary bipartisan will that’s needed to end the war soon.

Sen. Oemig’s gesture makes me smile, but ultimately it’s just symbolic. In an era when political symbolism is a big deal, this may be more of a scarlet letter for local Democrats than a gold star. We’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks.


posted by on February 14 at 10:45 AM

Hmm. It seems to me like today is some sort of Extremely Important Holiday…Something that comes after “Stewie’s b-day” but before I was planning to “call Evie on seeing movie”…Something I usually celebrate by passing around the “same-old, same-old”…

Oh, snap! Thanks, Vermont Teddy Bear!
If you haven’t seen this commercial yet, “DON’T PANIC.” It’s not too late:

Awwwwwwwwwwwww!!! I certainly hope I receive something like this today:

Something that will make me feel like this:

Am I right, ladies? Laaaadies?

[Thanks to Meagan, the state of Vermont, the $75 of suckers everywhere (oh, you men!), and God for inventing bears.]

Update: By popular demand, the incredible lurk of “Steve” from Rape Services:

Slog, Take Heed!

posted by on February 14 at 10:33 AM

Competition is in the offing, and furthermore, “‘Ideas are pouring in…. It’s a very creative time.’” One hopes the gents involved have their bumbershoots unfurled and raised against the conceptual onslaught. The newfangled website promises “News of the Great Nearby.” We at Slog have been anxious for news of ol’ Nearby; haven’t seen him since we wound up the gramophone and rolled up the rugs that one frolicsome evening. O, the high-jinks!

Failure According to Ms. Dewey

posted by on February 14 at 10:18 AM

A Slog tipper writes:

Dan Savage’s morning news summary had a link to a story about trimming which had a link to a MSFT search engine called “Ms. Dewey”. I had never heard of this new serach engine, so I checked it out. The site features an animated and sexy librarian-type figure who says a couple witty lines in response to your search request while opening a bubble with the regular search results.

I take it you know about Google bombing and you’ve seen what happens (or used to happen) when you Googled “failure”. Ms. Dewey also has a good response to failure. Go see…

I did go see. I typed in “failure” — and keep in mind this is a Microsoft search engine — and Ms. Dewey said:

You know, it’s easy to make jokes about the president. So easy, in fact, that I’m going to pass on it.

Ha. Ms. Dewey! I typed “failure” again. She replied:

Solidify the base! Stay the course! Leaders lead! There, now can I be president?

Pitchers & Catchers

posted by on February 14 at 10:10 AM

Forget Valentine’s Day. Today is special for another reason.

A Little Less Wrong With Kansas

posted by on February 14 at 9:54 AM

The Kansas Board of Education has voted 6-4 to toss out curriculum forced through by anti-evolution idiots.

The new standards, set to take effect immediately, replace those put in place in 2005 by a conservative majority of the board who challenged the validity of evolution and called it incompatible with religious doctrine.

Conservatives, as you’d expect, are unhappy.

“I think it actually curtails the ability of students to learn and to think,” said conservative board member Steve Abrams of the latest revision.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a story about evolution in schools without our very own Discovery Institute chiming in:

The Kansas board was criticized by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, a group that promotes the concept of “intelligent design,” in which an intelligent force — which some proponents would say is God — is said to be probably responsible for some aspects of nature.

“You have a board in Kansas that is so extreme,” said John West, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, adding that evolution supporters were “anti-religious.”

The institute says Darwin’s theories about the survival of the fittest have led some scientists to embrace eugenics and practices such as forced sterilization.

Note to John West: When Kansas, of all places, rejects your silly little enterprise, you think maybe it’s time to pack it in?

Good Morning

posted by on February 14 at 9:16 AM

Valentines Day will be over shortly.

(Rewritten for my brain-flattering Valentine, Mark Higgins. Original post in the comments.)

The Text of Oemig’s Impeachment Resolution

posted by on February 14 at 8:30 AM

Originally posted yesterday at 10pm

Tomorrow afternoon, freshman state Sen. Eric Oemig (D-45, Kirkland, Woodinville) will be unveiling this resolution. (I was leaked a draft, so it might change slightly, although I was told, it won’t change much).


We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:

WHEREAS, On September 8, 2006, when summarizing a bipartisan Senate Investigation into pre-war intelligence on Iraq, Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said that, “The Committee’s investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq has revealed that the Bush Administration’s case for war in Iraq was fundamentally misleading. The Administration pursued a deceptive strategy of using intelligence reporting that the Intelligence Community had already warned was uncorroborated, unreliable, and in critical instances, fabricated.”; and

WHEREAS, The President, the Vice President and members of the President’s Administration appear to have deliberately misrepresented the severity of the threat from Iraq by providing distorted intelligence to Congress and the public in order to justify war with Iraq,

WHEREAS, The war with Iraq has cost the lives of many Washington State residents and squandered taxpayer money from the State of Washington; and

WHEREAS, The President has publicly admitted to conducting electronic surveillance of thousands and perhaps millions of American civilians without seeking warrants; and

WHEREAS, Washington State residents are likely to have been subject to this electronic surveillance; and

WHEREAS, The President, the Vice President and members of the President’s administration have acted to strip American citizens of their constitutional rights, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a United States citizen as an “enemy combatant;” and

WHEREAS, Such offenses, if committed, are subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of Washington State and of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, Petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the House according to Clause 3 of House Rule XII; and

WHEREAS, Jefferson’s Manual section LIII, 603, states that impeachment may be set in motion by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State;

WHEREAS, If the President and/or members of his administration committed such offenses, ignoring these offenses would undermine core American values of truth and justice;

WHEREAS, Impeachment is a process defined in the United States Constitution by which charges are brought against a President or Vice President or civil Officers of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The filing of these charges is followed by a trial in the United States Senate that determines guilt or innocence;

NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully request, in order to preserve confidence in the office of the Presidency and the Executive branch, that our senators and representatives in the United States Congress determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney with the above offenses, and if so, to follow the Constitutional process of impeachment.

BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.

The Morning News

posted by on February 14 at 6:45 AM

Climate Change Skeptics Rejoice: Record snowfall hits Chicago, deep freeze and record snow hits other parts of U.S.A.—so Al Gore is wrong.

Government Crackdown: Now they’re opening mail and tapping phones—in Iraq.

See, Senate? This is how it’s done—House debates/talks Iraq surge.

Chrysler Cuts: Automaker cuts 13,000 jobs—Americans just aren’t buying enough trucks and SUVs anymore.

Shave Everywhere: Corporate America makes millions selling the benefits of a hairless cock, balls, and asscrack to insufferable fratboys everywhere.

Local Stories We’re All Sick of Hearing About: But they’re important so… Sonics, Viaduct, old folks in love.

Joel “Futurama” Connelly: Batshitcrazy columnist strikes again.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How Bad Are Things In Iraq?

posted by on February 13 at 8:01 PM

It’s so bad over there that the Iraqi government just announced that it will begin opening people’s mail and eavesdropping on their private phone calls—you know, the sort of stuff the Bush administration has been doing over here for years. The New York Times reports

New Baghdad Crackdown Is Announced

The Iraqi government on Tuesday ordered tens of thousands of Baghdad residents to leave homes they are occupying illegally, in a surprising and highly challenging effort to reverse the tide of sectarian cleansing that has left the capital bloodied and Balkanized.

In a televised speech, Lt. Gen. Aboud Qanbar, who is leading the new crackdown, also announced the closing of Iraq’s borders with Iran and Syria, an extension of the curfew in Baghdad by an hour, and the setup of new checkpoints run by the Defense and Interior Ministries, both of which General Qanbar said he now controlled.

He said the government would break into homes and cars it deemed dangerous, open mail and eavesdrop on phone calls.

Well, gee. I don’t even know what to say. Besides DAMF of course. DAMF.

Now, In A Total David Fucking Lynch Moment…

posted by on February 13 at 7:03 PM

And the truly most peculiar part of the whole damn thing is this: that a pirated clip of it STILL isn’t up on YouTube. Now that’s not merely suspicious—it’s practically im-the-fuck-possible. Conspiracy nuts of the world take heed! The unspeakable probable truth has been spoken at last, and from the lips off a claymation spaniel.

Check it out:

It was Saturday night (and I was feeling alright) and I was barely watching SNL. Or Mad TV. (Whatever. Same difference.) I was also, as usual, musing on the complete horror that is everything George W. Bush. (I don’t have an Ipod. I must amuse myself somehow.) Suddenly, there it was—BAM! A total David Lynch fucking moment. And I was caught in it. And I haven’t been the same ever since. Nothing has…

Sandwiched in between other not too funny and already forgotten SNL shenanigans was the most unfunny and tragically unforgettable shenanigan in the history of shenanigans. It was animated. It was terrible. It gave me a three-day case of the twitching heebies. And it goes a little something like this:

We open upon a big clay field of tall clay grass. A gunshot rings out! (Bang!) A moment, then a dead clay duck falls from the sky. (Thud!) Suddenly, bounding through the tall clay grass, comes…a clay spaniel. A hunting dog! (How jolly!) He takes the murdered duck corpse up in his jaws, regards the camera with dead seriousness. He drops the dead duck, and speaks (he can talk; he’s clay…):

“…I am Dick Cheney’s dog…my master Richard Bruce Cheney is involved in a plot to take over the world involving nuclear missiles launched on American cities and blamed on terrorists…please, someone, he has to be stopped…”

Then the claymation dog gathered the kill back up in his little clay jaws and bounded back off into the happy clay grass to lay the carcass at the feet of his horrible clay master, Dick Cheney.

Then it was over. Just like that.

What. The holy. Bleeding. FUCK???

Was this a rerun? Was it NEW? Did it really even just happen? Or was it just some nightmareish hallucination? (It’s a possibility.) Did a goddamn clay-fucking-mation spaniel just hop onto SNL (or MAD TV! WHATEVER!) and lay my deepest and most paranoid paranoias bare in some capital B-izzarre and totally not funny (not. Funny. Not. Not. Not…) manner—-the unfunniest, not-even-trying-to-be-funny-ist manner possible? That damn talking dog was no wisecracking cartoon—-as far as I could tell (it was Saturday night, and I was feeling alright) there was not even a reach at humor—-not even the barest attempt to engage an actual chuckle. That dog was deadpan. He was in earnest. He. Wasn’t. Fucking. Funny.

Was this most misguided thing Mad TV (SNL!) has dome since everything (baring “Dick in a Box” and “Natalie Portman Raps”)? Or was this something darker…deeper…more truly awful? Was this weird animated skit intuiting something many of us are really secretly quite anxious about…that these Bushy freaks are going to pull some seriously heinous shit and take over the world? (Not that I’m saying I think that, but I do.) Did the claymation dog tap into some kind of national zeitgeist? Or can we throw sane caution to the winds and dare to imagine for a terrible moment that it was some kind of message—a warning—-leaked in all seriousness to a willfully deaf and disbelieving country?

Whatever the case, it’s been almost four days, and a clip of the thing still isn’t up on YouTube. (When you search “Dick Cheney’s dog”, for instance, you get “hot ass titty girls XXX”, footage of some mad bodybuilder, and some shit about Lieberman.) Make of that what you will.

Hold me.

Grave Sonics

posted by on February 13 at 4:38 PM

The Sonics are going down south. Amen. The sad thing (for me at least) is that it’s almost near the cemetery that contains my mother’s remains. Sad not because I will in the future have to endure bad traffic to visit the site of her death, but sad because when I looked at the map for the proposed site for the team’s $500 million home, I realized the cemetery was just across the freeway from it. Meaning, I’m sad because now I have to think about my mother’s death for the rest of the day.

Sonics Pick Renton

posted by on February 13 at 4:37 PM

And you know what? Those losers can have Renton. And Renton can have those losers. (And, yes, I did ask Sherman Alexie to write this piece—why do you ask?) But King County and Ron Fucking Sims are going to force mostly Seattle-area taxpayers to put up $300 million worth of public money needed to build the losers a $500 million dollar stadium. In Renton.

Hey, didn’t Seattle just vote against spending public money on the Sonics?

The Proof

posted by on February 13 at 4:21 PM

Megan Seling, this is for you:
b2c659745fd4.jpg Remember many months ago when I told you that in New York City it’s illegal to honk? Remember I told you that and you just refused to believe a word of it. You thought I was drunk in the morning already—because I told about this amazing honking law in the morning. Now look, Megan, look at the picture; poof, there it is: the proof! We see that, one, there is such a law in New York City (I captured the image myself), and, two, though I was drunk that morning, my mind was not playing tricks on me. Next time don’t hesitate to put trust in the things that I say to you, Megan Seling.

Adoptive Parents: Now Better Than Bio!

posted by on February 13 at 3:38 PM

A bunch of folks have sent me a link to this story about adoptive parents. New research gives the lie to one of the arguments the Washington State Supreme Court used to deny marriage rights to homosexuals. The WA Supremes claimed that reserving marriage for straight couples…

…furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race, and further the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by the children’s biological parents… [Children] tend to thrive in families consisting of a father, mother and their biological children.

Take that, gay and straight adoptive parents! Our children “tend to thrive” less optimally than children raised by their biological parents! Those lines were written—let us never forget—by Barbara Madsen, the lying sack of ape shit that intentionally misrepresented her position on gay marriage in order to get her lying-sack-of-ape-shit ass elected. A concurring opinion, written by a justice even more bigoted—if that’s possible—than Madsen herself, was even more disrespectful to adoptive parents: only biological parents are capable of “responsible child rearing.”

You know, like these biological parents. And these. And these.

Well, according to researchers the perceived superiority of biological parents is total bullshit:

Adoptive parents invest more time and financial resources in their children than biological parents, according to a new national study challenging arguments that have been used to oppose same-sex marriage and gay adoption.

The study, published in the new issue of the American Sociological Review, found that couples who adopt spend more money on their children and invest more time on such activities as reading to them, eating together and talking with them about their problems.

Why do adoptive parents do a better job? Well, isn’t it obvious?

“One of the reasons adoptive parents invest more is that they really want children, and they go to extraordinary means to have them,” Indiana University sociologist Brian Powell, one of the study’s three co-authors.

But while this new research knocks down the idiotic anti-gay marriage decision handed down by the WA Supremes—to say nothing of their appalling bias against adoptive parents, gay and straight—it actually supports the idiotic anti-gay marriage decision handed down by New York Court of Appeals, that state’s highest court. It’s worth quoting from the howlingly stupid NY decision at length. Watch as the court twists itself in knots trying to justify a rationale basis for denying same-sex couples the right to marry:

Heterosexual intercourse has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not. Despite the advances of science, it remains true that the vast majority of children are born as a result of a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, and the Legislature could find that this will continue to be true. The Legislature could also find that such relationships are all too often casual or temporary. It could find that an important function of marriage is to create more stability and permanence in the relationships that cause children to be born. It thus could choose to offer an inducement—in the form of marriage and its attendant benefits—to opposite-sex couples who make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other.

Oh, yeah. Those heterosexual relationships—so unstable! So fleeting! Why can’t those people settle down? Clearly without the inducement of marriage straight people would just fuck and fuck and fuck and abandoned babies would be scattered all over the place, like takeout menus. But what about those children adopted by same-sex couples? In Washington state they’re unlucky non-thrivers, irresponsibly reared. And in New York?

[Gay and lesbian] couples can become parents by adoption, or by artificial insemination or other technological marvels, but they do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse. The Legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples, and thus that promoting stability in opposite-sex relationships will help children more.

So because opposite-sex couples do not become parents by accident or impulse—because we are better prepared to be parents, because our children are wanted, planned-for children, because we can’t get drunk and adopt one night—we don’t need an “inducement… to make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other.” And because so many straight people are so irresponsible that they need this inducement, my child’s life has to be made more insecure, his future more uncertain. Because if I could get married to my boyfriend that would somehow make marriage less enticing to straights in needing inducement. Or something.

So this study is welcome—even if it support the NY CoA’s homos-make-much-better-parents-than-heteros argument at the same time that it obliterates the WA Supremes’ bios-do-it-best argument. But it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the gay marriage debate. When one state’s highest court argues that adoptive parents are more fit than biological parents in order to deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians, and another state’s highest court turns a few weeks later and argues that adoptive parents are less fit than biological parents, it can only mean this: Opponents of same-sex marriage are motivated by animus, pure and simple, and they will make any argument, however shameless, to support their bigotry and excuse discrimination.

And no single study will sway them.

Marie of Romania and Her Dusty, Disinterred Heart: A Love Story

posted by on February 13 at 3:36 PM

Dorothy Parker’s “Comment” is only poem I have ever committed to memory:

Oh life is a glorious cycle of song
A medley of extemporanea
And love is a thing that can never go wrong
And I am Marie of Romania.

I’ve been reciting it to myself on Valentine’s Day for years but I never knew who Marie of Romania was—it wasn’t Parker, obviously, and that seemed like all you needed to get the joke. I figured she was somebody happy, maybe a fictional character or something. Turns out, she was real and not particularly happy, especially in love. But she was beautiful:


Marie was born into the British Royal Family in 1875. Her first cousin, Prince George, fell in love with her, but Marie’s mom (a Russian duchess) discouraged the marriage because she hated the English court and wanted to see her children marry abroad (not surprising, since the duchess was haughty and homely and not very well liked by anyone in England). So Marie married her distant cousin Ferdinand, the crown prince of Romania, when she was 18.

She didn’t like him much and wrote to her good friend, Loie Fuller (American, modern dancer, friend of Rodin and Marie Curie) about “the distaste, which grew to revulsion” for her husband. But she had several children, most of whom are thought to be by the Romanian prime minister Barbu Stirbey and Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich, a notorious Russian playboy, whose obituary read: “a man of generous tendencies, who tipped shopgirls with twenty dollar bills.”

Marie hid her heart from her husband in life and did the same in death. She was buried next to Ferdinand, but asked that her heart be cut out of her body and left in a quiet corner of Balchik Palace, her summer residence. In 1940, Romania gave the Balchik region back to Bulgaria. Marie’s heart was unceremoniously disinterred and sent to Bran Castle in Romania—rumored to be the castle where Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula) spent some time and was the model for Bram Stoker’s vision of Dracula’s castle—which is where it sits, mouldering, to this day.

Today On Line Out

posted by on February 13 at 3:25 PM

Stoned Love: The Ladies of Motown.

Tantric Stamina: Can the Police Keep It Up After 30 Years?

No New Romance: Pretty Girls Make Grave Tour Announcement.

Self-Aggrandizing Bullshit: Now with Free Pizza!

As if Awoken From (a) Trance: Element Bites the Dust.

Nu Jazz Masters: The Return of 4Hero.

Inescapable: Can’t Shake Beyoncé.

Aggrandizing Bullshit: Now with Free Music!

The Unstoppable “New Rave” Machine: Klaxons Cribbing.

What About the Drums of Neil Pert?: They mystery of Rototoms.

Random Acts of Cruelty: The Evil iPod Shuffle.

The Frank Chopp Freeway

posted by on February 13 at 3:15 PM

Now that the reactionary (and incorrigibly ugly) rebuild seems like a done deal, let’s get on with naming the monstrosity so future generations know who to curse when they look back on our stupidity.

The campaign to name it after WSDOT director Doug MacDonald is already rolling over on Postman’s blog.

I’m for giving the honors to Rep. Frank Chopp (who also gets nominated.)


posted by on February 13 at 3:13 PM

Last week we put out the call for a favicon for our website and received two dozen of the little buggers. Below are the semifinalists. Please vote for the one you’d like to see in your URL bar. The winner earns five days of Slog posting privileges.

Note: This in an advisory vote; Savage will make the final decision and might overrule y’all with no apology (welcome to my world…).

Drug Policy Forum Tonight at UW

posted by on February 13 at 3:02 PM

If I wasn’t sick in bed today, I’d go check out this drug policy discussion tonight at the UW, sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility. Distinguished speakers will include former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, County Councilmember Larry Gossett, and the King County Bar Association’s Rachel Kurtz. They’ll discuss how our drug war has gone awry and what’s being done in King County to fix it.

Tuesday, February 13, 6PM at the University of Washington Husky Union Building (HUB) Auditorium. Free for University of Washington Students and $2 for the general public.

In Honor of the Impending Valentine’s Day…

posted by on February 13 at 2:51 PM

scaled.Fan-Cupid Heart Valentine Hand.jpg

..I hold forth on long-distance relationships, klutzy dude feelings, and the random sadism of iPod’s shuffle mode over in Line Out.

A Good Reading Is Hard to Find

posted by on February 13 at 2:49 PM

You know readings? Where you sit and listen to someone reading you something they wrote? And they usually have an embarrassed look, wincing slightly at their own words? And you feel weird witnessing this? And all everyone wants to is be somewhere else, or at least have a drink?

The good thing about the reading series at the Bus Stop is that the readers aren’t reading their own work. And of course, it’s a bar. And the readers tonight are excellent. They include Erica C. Barnett, inventor of the viaduct; Josh Feit, the famous hippie; the lustful David Schmader; Town Hall’s director Wier Harman; and poet, laugher, and Stranger Genius shortlistee in literature Anna Maria Hong.

They are all reading on the theme “Dirty South.” Erica C. Barnett won’t be reading any Flannery O’Connor, alas, but if it’s any consolation Josh Feit used to say that Erica C. Barnett looks like Flannery O’Connor…

Bus Stop is at 508 E. Pine Street. Tonight. 8 pm. Free.

Tin Soldiers and W. Coming

posted by on February 13 at 2:25 PM

While freshman state Sen. Eric Oemig (D-45, Seattle Eastside Suburbs) is getting ready to unveil his high profile, dramatic anti-Bush statement— he’s filing legislation tomorrow calling for the U.S. Congress to get the ball rolling on Impeaching the MF Already —Senate Majority leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) has a low-profile, but arguably more pragmatic piece of legislation to defy Bush and his war machine.

Get That Doctor

posted by on February 13 at 2:23 PM

Dr. Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri, a psychologist and pharmacologist who also happens to be bin Laden’s doctor and second-in-command of an organization that the CIA once funded and also named The Base (Al Qaeda), stated in a new audiotape that President Bush “suffers from an addictive personality, and was an alcoholic.”


I don’t know his present condition … but the one who examines his personality finds that he is addicted to two other faults - lying and gambling.
The U.S. Department of State will give you $25 million for any information that leads directly to the apprehension or conviction of this doctor.

Shit’s in the P-I: Who Is Queen of the Viaduct Haters?

posted by on February 13 at 12:53 PM

Over at the P-I’s blog—yes, grandma has a blog—Chris McGann accuses us of supporting the surface option. That kind of ace reporting is why they call McGann “Scoop” over at Hearst HQ. McGann then tries to discredit our support for the surface option by bringing up our past support for another pricey local project.

A growing constituency of Viaduct haters led by author/editor/sexologist/pundit/gay/alt superstar Dan Savage and what appears to be the entire staff of The Stranger are calling for a surface/transit option for replacing the earthquake-damaged structure along Seattle’s waterfront.

Sure King County Executive Ron Sims and other prominent officials share The Stranger’s view—but it’s safe to say the Seattle weekly is spearheading the movement—much like it did on with the failed monorail project.

Oh ouch.

Yes, The Stranger supported the “failed” monorail project—although I wouldn’t describe the monorail project as “failed,” but rather “assassinated”—because we had this hunch that rapid transit systems, elevated or subway, might be an efficient way to move people around an urban area. We also had this hunch that rapid transit might provide an incentive—speed—that would actually get people out of their cars.

Now it was just a hunch, admittedly, but we felt that by building a rapid transit system—the very first in the whole wide world!—Seattle would have blazed a trail. And who knows? If we had taken a chance on rapid transit maybe cities like London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Budapest, Washington, D.C., and Boston would have been inspired to follow suit. If we showed that it could work, this cockamamie rapid transit thing, maybe big cities far and wide would start building their own rapid transit systems! Imagine a subway in London! Or an elevated system in Chicago! Or subways and elevated systems in New York!

Getting back to Scoop McGann’s post, I may be an author, editor, sexologist, pundit, gay, and an alt superstar—shucks!—but I am not the Queen of the Viaduct Haters on The Stranger’s staff. That crown rests on the head of Erica C. Barnett—just ask Joel “Futurama” Connelly.

And getting back to the monorail: All reasonable people everywhere agree that the failure/assassination of the monorail was for the best. Because now that we’re faced with tearing down the viaduct and living without it out for years—at least five, maybe seven, could be longer, regardless of what we build in its place—the last thing Seattle needs is an efficient mass-transit system carrying people from West Seattle to Downtown and back. I mean, really! What were we monorail supporters smoking?

Dead Lovers

posted by on February 13 at 12:38 PM

The remains of a couple were recently found in the northern Italian city of Mantua:
The archeologists believe the two died young and were buried in this loving way for reasons that will never be known. To some archeologist and reporters the discovery of the “hugging” skeletons is touching and sweet. “…I’ve never been so moved because this is the discovery of something special,” says one archeologist. But there is nothing “special” in this or any other grave. As there was sorrow on the day the two were buried, there should be sorrow even on the day they were exhumed by scientists. Death is eternally the negative, the final event that destroys all joy, the blackness that snuffs out even children, the nothingness above which each living thing is held by only a string of existence, the void from which there is no return, no hope, no signs of life, salvation, regeneration. Between the daylight of the now there are twin nights. From one we are departing; to the other we are going. 5000 years and you are still dead. 5000 more years and you will still be dead. These lovers are nothing and nothing else.

Governor to Endorse New, Larger Viaduct

posted by on February 13 at 12:35 PM

Sources say Gov. Christine Gregoire is preparing to endorse a larger new elevated viaduct regardless of what Seattle voters choose in a March 13 vote. Gregoire’s explicit endorsement of a new Alaskan Way Viaduct highlights what we’ve said all along: This vote, which is merely advisory anyway, is rigged to force a massive new viaduct down Seattle’s throat.

The news comes on the heels of an announcement by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) that the mayor’s four-lane “surface/hybrid” tunnel is unacceptable from a financial and safety viewpoint. WSDOT’s rushed analysis of the tunnel, released earlier today, found that the four-lane tunnel (with shoulders that could be converted to travel lanes at rush hour) would result in “unacceptable sight distances” and “does not meet the state’s safety standards.” Additionally, the four-lane tunnel would not “maintain vehicle capacity needs in 2030,” WSDOT’s overriding concern. (Because investing in transit instead is just a kooky pipe dream, y’know?) The analysis was done without the assistance of the state’s own expert review panel, whose members bowed out after announcing they didn’t have enough time to do an adequate analysis, or the city, which WSDOT kicked out of the process. WSDOT also declined today to release a new cost estimate for the tunnel, because, transportation secretary Doug MacDonald said in a letter to Gregoire, “the task of providing a new estimate would be [too large] because fundamental changes in design are embraced by the new proposal.”

College Paper Apologizes

posted by on February 13 at 11:51 AM

The student paper at Seattle Central Community College has dedicated much of its newest issue to the controversy over a recent op-ed that linked black culture with black crime. (See “White on Black” from last week.) The City Collegian’s editor in chief apologizes for not involving enough people in the process of vetting the article but stops short of saying the piece shouldn’t have run. Janell Hartman writes, “Because of my decision to run an article on a sensitive topic without wider consultation, numerous readers whom we aim to serve felt disrespected and offended. The reputation of our newspaper was damaged.”

The issue also includes two pages of letters and guest columns responding to Lee Myers’s spirited treatise on why blacks should stop complaining about inequality and stop committing crime. Unfortunately, the paper’s website hasn’t been updated since October 2006, so I can’t provide a link.

A Comment Thread Worth Watching

posted by on February 13 at 11:45 AM

Because really, any thread that features the phrases “crank and traitor,” “politically-correct faux-sex-positive,” “stress the pleasures of sucking cock,” and “HIV denialist,” along with a possible admission from famous Washington gay marriage defendant Paul Barwick that he hasn’t had sex since 1989, is worth a read, in my humble opinion.

Start here.

Grand Old Pansies

posted by on February 13 at 11:45 AM

Is the new Republican governor of Florida—Charlie Crist—a big homo? The next Ted Haggard? The next Mark Foley? Some folks think so.

One telling sign: Crist recently suggested that maybe—just maybe—the GOP shouldn’t keep funding groups in Florida seeking to ban gay marriage. Marriage, of course, is a sacred institution created by G-d solely for the benefit of Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern. But there are more “pressing issues,” according to Crist. Right-wingers are, naturally, spitting up blood.

But Crist isn’t some new breed of closet-case gay hero: He previously signed Florida’s anti-gay marriage petition and publicly endorsed it. As for the accusations that Crist is a cocksucking, buttfucking, holemunching homo, they’ve elicited a lot of non-denial denials from Republicans in Florida. When asked if Crist was cocksucker Jeb Bush didn’t say Crist wasn’t. Or hadn’t. Or wouldn’t. He merely advised the reporter that asked the question to “put a smile on your face and don’t be such a horse’s ass.”

Crist, for his part, says he’s never had sex with a man. But he would say that, right?

A Wandering Heart

posted by on February 13 at 11:45 AM


An Open Letter to the Gold’s Gym Above the Broadway QFC

posted by on February 13 at 11:44 AM

Dear Gold’s Gym Above the Broadway QFC,

It’s over. Were done. It wasn’t sad to leave you today. Matter of fact, I’ve been meaning to do it for a month and a half. But every time I called to cancel my membership, they said I had to come by in person, and every time I thought to come by in person, something else came up. Or you were closed. Sort of like whatever happened whenever I tried to come work out: something would come up, or you were closed. My new gym is farther away but guess what? Doesn’t matter. Because it never closes. For insomniacs, that’s a perk.

My new gym has other perks too. For example, the men’s locker room doesn’t smell like eggs and cheese. And the cardio room has windows. And you can actually listen to what’s happening on the TVs by plugging your headphones into these little devices they’ve strapped to each machine, rather than watching in silence. And broken treadmills don’t sit there broken for what seems like years on end. And there’s a swimming pool. And a hot tub. Neither of which you have. And there’s a steam room (whoa) and a sauna (ahhh)—again, neither of which you have—and they are coed, so… no crawly stuff.

Did I mention it never closes?

So, like, that one time a couple months ago when it had snowed very early in the morning, and I came to you, the grocery store gym, that night to work out, and you were closed, with a sign on your door that said that because of the unfortunate whatever and you were sorry for any inconvenience and whatever and et cetera? Even though it had been a very, very light snow it had totally stopped 14 hours earlier? That sort of thing doesn’t happen at a gym that’s open 24 hours a day every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And guess what? Remember about a year ago I paid a million dollars for one of your trainers to show me how to make muscles happen and the results, after weeks, were inconspicuous, even though one of your employees constantly said to me, “We’re all about results, we’re all about results here”? Now that I’m going to a gym I actually like, results are resulting. Guess that’s what happens when you join a gym you actually like. You go more.

Anyway, see ya. The guy who handled my cancellation paperwork today was great—first actually good experience I’ve had there. Please don’t make any of your people call me.

cardiovascularly yours,

DAMMIT, 24!!

posted by on February 13 at 11:34 AM

There are two things you can always count on when watching an episode of the Fox hit series 24: 1) Jack Bauer will quickly exhaust other methods of extracting information from a suspect and torture the shit out of him, and 2) when something goes wrong—and something always does—Jack will scream “DAMMIT!”
Well, you may be kissing at least one of those cliches goodbye, because military leaders, human rights activists and actual interrogators are telling Jack to give those torture scenes a rest! From The Independent

The United States Military Academy at West Point yesterday confirmed that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently travelled to California to meet producers of the show. He told them that promoting illegal behaviour in the series - apparently hugely popular among the US military - was having a damaging effect on young troops.

According to the New Yorker magazine, Gen Finnegan, who teaches a course on the laws of war, said of the producers: “I’d like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires… The kids see it and say, ‘If torture is wrong, what about 24’?

“The disturbing thing is that although torture may cause Jack Bauer some angst, it is always the patriotic thing to do.

Plus, torture rarely, if ever, works. In my case, all I’m usually left with is burn marks on my wrists, and sticky underpants — without telling my “captors” anything!
ALSO! If you have trained yourself to yell “DAMMIT!!” along with Jack whenever CTU lets a terrorist escape, then you’ll love this video from, which depicts EVERY SINGLE “DAMMIT” from seasons one through four! (And if you decide on turning this into a drinking game? Prepare to get very, very DRUNK.) “DAMMIT!!”

Federal Bungled Investigations

posted by on February 13 at 10:41 AM

From today’s Washington Post:

The FBI said that 160 laptop computers were lost or stolen in less than four years, including at least 10 that contained sensitive or classified information — one of which held “personal identifying information on FBI personnel,” according to a report released yesterday.

160 laptops in four years? That’s pretty bad. And unfortunately, it gets worse:

The bureau, which has struggled for years to improve its sloppy inventory procedures, also reported the same number of missing weapons — 160 — from February 2002 to September 2005. Those weapons included shotguns and submachine guns, according to the report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

Say It Ain’t So

posted by on February 13 at 10:40 AM

The Wire’s Stringer Bell (actor Idris Elba) has gone off to the land of romantic comedies. With none other than career killer Gabrielle Union. Daddy’s Little Girls features Elba as a struggling mechanic with three girls who falls for a successful attorney, Union. I won’t even go into the weird race and class contortions performed by the genre of the black romantic comedy. I’m sure there are real experts out there.

Here’s my debate: will the sappy movie kill this gorgeous man’s career? Or will his cred from the Wire save him? Maybe the cool kids who follow the wire will fail to notice his dive and Spike Lee or Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow) can come to the rescue.

My favorite scene:


Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 13 at 10:30 AM

Stomp the Yard


(A VERY HOT BOY) Ladies (and gays), if you find yourselves without a valentine this year, get your lonely asses to a theater right quick and fill your hearts with gorgeous joy by ogling the tasty Mr. Columbus Short in Stomp the Yard. The star of this Karate Kid-meets-8 Mile-meets-West Side Story flick has got moves hotter than Michael Jackson circa Thriller, and Short is drop-dead-dreamy sex-bomb cute. Swoon! (Meridian 16, 1501 Seventh Ave, 223-9600; (1:40 pm, 4:40 pm), 7:40 pm, 10:25 pm, or see Get Out for additional theaters.) MEGAN SELING

Every Child Needs a Mother and a Father

posted by on February 13 at 9:59 AM

Okay, nobody died—but still.

Sheboygan police arrested a woman after she allegedly left her two children in a freezing car for 20 minutes while she went tanning.

The 27-year-old woman was arrested after two people spotted the children, ages 23 months and 10 years, in the car, the police department said in a news release. The vehicle was locked but not running…. The temperature at the time was 12 degrees, with a wind chill index of about minus 2 degrees.

The woman could be charged Friday with two counts of misdemeanor child neglect, police said. “She said she was going on vacation and felt that the tanning was a priority,” Lt. Jeff Johnston said Friday.


posted by on February 13 at 9:48 AM

I so called this one. I randomly ended up watching the Westminster Dog Show last night, but as soon as I saw this creature I predicted he would win his round. And I have witnesses to attest to the fact that when I made this (very accurate) prediction of said creature’s triumph, I did not know he was (even better) a Dandie nicknamed Harry and known officially as Ch. Hobergays Fineus Fogg. (Or that he is owned, in party, by… Bill Cosby!?!)


Confidential to Annie Wagner: What does the Ch. mean? Champion?

Confidential to the world: Mr. Hobergays is going to win Best in Show. I mean, look at the competition:

By night’s end, Harry knew who three of his rivals for Best in Show would be: an Akita (Ch. Redwitch Reason to Believe), a toy poodle (Ch. Smash Jp Win a Victory) and a standard poodle (Ch. Brighton Minimoto).

“Reason to Believe”? “Win a Victory”? “Minimoto”? Please.

The Morning News

posted by on February 13 at 7:19 AM

63%: Majority of Americans want all troops home before Bush leaves office.

Blasted Cowards: Democrats—local and national—have abandoned the gun control issue. In a completely unrelated development, five shot dead in Utah shopping mall.

Nothing To See Here: Man opens fire at business meeting in Philadelphia, kills four.

North Korea: Bush administration makes a deal with North Koreans, one that sounds an awful lot like the deal Clinton made with them a decade ago—a deal Bush slammed.

GOP’s John Kerry Seeks Nomination: Flip-flopping Romney jumps into race—Mormon underpants and all.

Come the Revolution: The freaky Shih Tzu is first up against the wall.

Viaduct: Campaign heating up, blah blah blah. Really? We hadn’t noticed here on Slog.

Animal Cruelty: UW in trouble for abusing “100,000 mice and rats, 700 primates and various other animals including dogs, cats and fish.” But the UW doesn’t discriminate against homo sapiens: they abused lab workers too.

These Guys Are Hot: A very special website for the Speedo fetishists out there.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Oemig Resolution

posted by on February 12 at 8:40 PM

DailyKos has picked up Washington state Sen. Eric Oemig’s pending resolution (coming this Wednesday) which will call on the U.S. Congress to investigate the way the Bush administration has conducted the war and determine whether President Bush should be impeached.

Freshman Sen. Oemig (D-45, Kirkland) announced his plans last week.

I did a lenghty interview with Oemig last Friday, and I will file a report soon.

What You’re Voting For If You Vote For a New Viaduct

posted by on February 12 at 5:18 PM

As I’ve reported before, the new viaduct is not a “rebuild.” To comply with modern earthquake standards, the new viaduct would have to be significantly taller and much wider than the current structure. According to WSDOT’s own specifications, the new elevated structure would be, on average, 71 percent bulkier than the existing viaduct; in some places, it would be twice as big. Today, a group of architects including leaders of the American Institute of Architects released drawings of what the the new viaduct would look like—again, following WSDOT’s own specifications. Here’s the viaduct at Washington Street, in Pioneer Square:

New Viaduct.jpg

And a cross-section, with the outline of the existing viaduct in red:

Comparison at Washington Street.jpg

Still want a new elevated freeway on our waterfront?

About Those Iranian Explosives

posted by on February 12 at 5:06 PM

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace, contradicts those anonymous officials who have been trying to tie the Iranian government to powerful explosives that are killing American troops in Iraq.

(Via Think Progress, among others.)

This Sucks

posted by on February 12 at 5:04 PM

Badass feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte has resigned from the Edwards campaign.

She made the announcement today at Pandagon, which right-wing antisemite Bill Donohue criticized as “bigoted” and “vulgar.” (Never mind Donohue’s own “bigoted,” “vulgar” statements—like the time he said Hollywood is “controlled by secular Jews” who “like anal sex.” We can’t have an adult woman using words like “shit” and “vagina”!)

Wingers will undoubtedly celebrate Marcotte’s resignation as evidence of their power and influence. They’ll congratulate themselves for “silencing” her, Donohue’s explicit goal. But, as Marcotte points out in her announcement, they haven’t. “I don’t have a conflict of interest issue anymore that was preventing me from defending myself against these baseless accusations. So it’s on.” It’s a huge bummer (and a disappointment from erstwhile Edwards supporters like me) that Edwards didn’t stick up for Marcotte and her coworker, Shakespeare’s Sister blogger Melissa McEwan. But: His loss, our gain.


Teenage Porn Stars Busted

posted by on February 12 at 4:51 PM

A pair of Florida teenagers were arrested and prosecuted for producing child pornography—for taking pictures of themselves. Bethany already linked to this story but I have to post the gruesome details:

On March 25, 2004, Amber and Jeremy took digital photos of themselves naked and engaged in unspecified “sexual behavior.” The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber’s house to Jeremy’s personal e-mail address. Neither teen showed the photographs to anyone else.

Court records don’t say exactly what happened next—perhaps the parents wanted to end the relationship and raised the alarm—but somehow Florida police learned about the photos.

Amber and Jeremy were arrested. Each was charged with producing, directing or promoting a photograph featuring the sexual conduct of a child. Based on the contents of his e-mail account, Jeremy was charged with an extra count of possession of child pornography.

But guess what? Amber and Jeremy, under Florida law, could legally fuck the living shit out of each other. They only became criminals when they took pictures of themselves doing it.

This. Is. Nuts.

Every teenager in the United States has a cellphone, and every cell phone in the United States has a built-in camera and video feature. Pop culture celebrates pornography (hello, Jenna Jameson) and the “discovery” of a sex tape is no longer seen as a threat to a celebrity’s career (hello Paris Hilton, Colin Farell, Pamela Anderson, Screech, et al). Quite the opposite. Books on having sex like a porn star squat on bestseller lists and there are photography studies in malls—malls!—where average American women can have soft-core, porn-style photos taken of themselves for their husbands.

So I’d say on the kink-o-meter, making a little porn in private—a cell phone pic, a short video—falls somewhere above oral and below anal.

How can we arrest and prosecute horny, sexually active teenagers—sexually active and totally legal teenagers—for doing what we’re all doing? What we’re all encouraged to do? Consuming porn hasn’t been taboo for three decades. In the last decade we’ve lifted the taboo on appearing in porn. And now we’ve placed the means of porn production in the hands of every horny teenager in the country. Do we really intend to prosecute and lock up teenagers for doing with their cell phones what Paris Hilton got famous for doing with hers?

As for Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles’s CO2 Emissions Bill. Well…

posted by on February 12 at 4:41 PM

In my post below about Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles’s cool bill to bust businesses and illegal immigrants that are flouting work rules, Will comments:

Jeanne always does cool stuff. When you going to cover her emissions bill?

Will, I already covered Kohl-Welles’ emissions bill.

Here’s what I said:

It’s an okay idea, but it seems a bit timid in that it’s voluntary. Moreover, while there may be an economic incentive for companies to reduce, there may be a stronger economic incentive to pump out more CO2. After all, the more coal, natural gas, or whatever fossil fuels a given utility burns—the more electricity it can take to market. Those profits could outweigh the savings from cutting back production. (Ha! Plus: The more CO2 a company produces, the more tax breaks the company could get. Afterall, the more CO2 a company kicks out, the more there is to mitigate.)

Furthermore, tax breaks sap state revenues.

Luckily, there’s a better approach that puts money into the public coffers. It’s called a cap and trade system.

Then, I slogged about Rep. Maralyn Chase’s excellent cap and trade bill, writing: “Unfortunately, I don’t see a senate companion bill.

Sen. Kohl Welles?

And I’m not the only one who thinks cap and trade is a better solution than a carbon tax. The folks at Grist posted this analysis today.

Project X

posted by on February 12 at 4:40 PM

New evidence unearthed in Africa suggests chimpanzees have been using stones as tools for over 4000 years.

Speaking of tools, John McCain is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a Discovery Institute luncheon next week.

Hot Not-Even-Barely-Legal Action

posted by on February 12 at 3:45 PM

Being a teenager: Now worse than ever.

Today (and Beyond) On Line Out

posted by on February 12 at 3:10 PM

Who Gives a Fuck About a Goddamn Grammy?: Our New Music Editor, Jonathan “Jay-Z” Zwickel.

Who Gives a Fuck About a Goddamn Grammy? Pt 2: The Same God Who Fixes the Superbowl.

Who Gives a Fuck About a Goddamn Grammy? Pt 3: Seattle Represents at the PLUG Independent Music Awards.

Who Gives a Fuck About a Goddamn Grammy? Pt 4: Reissue, Repackage, Repackage.

Hold Your Horses: PLUG Awards Winners Don’t Represent In Seattle.

Ghosts in the Machine: The Police are in the Computer.

It’s a Man’s, Man’s World: King Natalie Cole?

Mo Chunes: Dave Segal’s Motown DNA.

Dirty, Filthy, Donovan-Loving, Bongo-Playing Hippies: Dispelling the MC5 Anti-Hippie Myth.

Tax Man: Vanilla Ice May Suck, But He Does Have an 808.

Who Gives a Fuck About a Goddamn Grammy? Pt 5: In Praise of The Purple One.

The Bluest Door

posted by on February 12 at 2:23 PM

I went to see Blue Door by Tanya Barfield at the Rep on Saturday night. It was okay—the writing, the performances. None of it will linger long in my memory.

The play concerns Lewis, a black mathematics professor (Reg E. Cathey, clearly at ease on stage and pleasurable to watch) recently divorced and up for a night of insomnia and visits from the ghosts of his ancestors (played by the hardworking—sometimes too obviously so—Hubert Point-Du Jour).

Lewis has lived his life with the constant accusation of being Not Black Enough—by a black student who calls him an Uncle Tom, by the memory of his dead brother, by his white wife who divorced him, in part, for not attending the Million Man March—while the world in general sees him as Too Black (by virtue of being at all black). But Lewis is an intelligent, wry man and seems to live uneasily with, by not hobbled by, this tension.

This is the argument of the play, established in the first scene: Lewis is getting carried away by some kind of classical music (Bach?) while an African voice, singing in Yoruba, keeps interrupting. Then the ancestors come and tell the stories of courting during slavery, being castrated and hanged for trying to vote, and what they think of Lewis: “no matter how many polysyllabic words come out of your mouth, you can’t never escape… being black hangs over you like a shroud. You’re shackled by your blackness.”

Most of the play is anecdotes from 200 years of a black American family (some are amusing, many are sad, many are flat), but the tension between Too Black and Not Black Enough remains—Lewis wants to get lost in Wittgenstein and pi while everyone else pushes him towards blue notes and black history, including the playwright. In the final scene, Lewis has abandoned his classical rapture and is happily singing the Yoruba song with his great-grandfather. It’s a touching image but a morally unsettling way to end the play. Is Barfield saying that a black American isn’t complete until he digs into his Africanness? That he cannot, if he chooses, live on Bach alone?

That conclusion seems kind of… limiting.

The MC5 Were Not Punk. The MC5=Hippies.

posted by on February 12 at 2:23 PM


I just did a post over on Line Out flipping off all y’alls hipster conventional revisionist history wisdom about the MC5.

Check it out motherfuckers.

Gary Locke Joins Erica Barnett at the Barricades

posted by on February 12 at 2:12 PM

Meanwhile over at HorsesAss

Last night on my show, former Governor Gary Locke unequivocally stated his opposition to building another elevated freeway to replace the aging Alaska Way Viaduct… and he said former Governors Rosellini, Evans and Lowry were firmly with him. (Gov. Spellman is apparently neutral.) Gov. Locke went on to say that while he enthusiastically supports the current “Tunnel-Lite” proposal, and believes the financing is in place to build it, he would back a surface-plus-transit option over a rebuild should voters reject the tunnel on March 13. The overwhelming priority for voters in the upcoming special election, Gov. Locke repeated several times, is to vote “No” on the rebuild….

What I find most striking though is the growing number of high profile political, civic and business leaders who are willing to publicly lend their credibility towards the notion that a surface-plus-transit option is not only a reasonable and serious alternative, but preferable to a rebuild. The pro-rebuild/anti-surface camp tends to brush off surface supporters as a bunch of crazy, car-hating hippies or something like that, but that’s a pretty dismissive way to describe Gov. Locke, Executive Sims and a substantial chunk of our political and business establishment.

The Underground Economy

posted by on February 12 at 1:05 PM

Taking a sensible first step, the Democrats in Olympia are tackling the thorny illegal immigration issue in a no-nonsense way (that is, not in a touchy-feely way) by putting the spotlight on the real culprits, the companies that exploit illegal immigrants. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia) has introduced a bill that would bring the “underground economy” to light by forcing the state to look into how many illegal immigrants are working in the construction industry. The bill, which would eliminate the incentive for both illegal immigrants and predatory companies to flout the rules, got a hearing this morning.

Sen. Kohl-Welles’s bill was signed onto by a pretty cool batch, including Seattle-area Sens. Ed Murray and Adam Kline, along with their liberal colleagues Chris Marr and Rodney Tom. Even conservatives, like faux Democrat Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35) signed on.

Here’s the intro to the bill:

The legislature finds that some current estimates place the percentage of unreported employment in Washington state’s construction industry at between twenty percent and fifty percent, although solid data on this phenomenon is not readily available in Washington. The legislature also finds that unreported construction employment may result in the loss of a worker’s employment rights and protections, including workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance compensation. The legislature further finds that unreported construction employment also could deny the state the revenues it is due, including sales taxes, business and occupation taxes, and other business fees paid to the state. The legislature declares that the underground economy in this state may permit unfair conditions to exist against persons working in the construction industry who do follow the employment laws and appropriately pay taxes. It is the legislature’s intent to determine the extent and potential costs to the state of the underground economy in the construction industry.

Has Joel Connelly Gone Round the Bend?

posted by on February 12 at 12:51 PM

That’s the question I found myself asking this morning when reading his column, which presents a dystopian vision of Seattle circa 2077, after the viaduct has been removed. Soft drinks, porn, and hardons are banned; bikes and mopeds (the horror!) are everywhere thanks to laws promulgated by Peter Steinbrueck and a group of young Capitol Hill “trust fund kids.” (Confidential to Connelly: Want to see my credit-card and student-loan debt? I’ll send copies to both your houses. )

Connelly’s doomsday scenario includes a viaduct-free waterfront, which, as everyone knows, is the quickest path to fascism. (See also: San Francisco, Milwaukee, London, Portland, Sydney…) Once the viaduct’s gone, Connelly hypothesizes, everyone will ride bikes and live in densely packed downtown condos, and West Seattle will secede. (I dunno, sounds pretty great to me!) Connelly calls this move toward fascism “coordination,” a word popularized by a certain German leader of the past.

Then there’s this:

The “Bicycle Blockade of Ballard Oil” is a heroic painting that officials frequently show their guests from “the outside.”

Ballard Oil was a business that defied coordination. Its owner insisted he had a right to drive trucks along the waterfront, to take on fuel at Harbor Island and to sell it to engine-powered boats.

In a city switching to leg- and wind-powered transport, that was deemed “anti-social.” A mob, organized by authorities, converged on Ballard Oil. The mural depicts its chief agitator, the radical journalist Erica Barnett, in a Delacroix-like pose with a bicycle chain thrust into the air.



I think we can all see the resemblance.

Loving Marriages Annulled?!

posted by on February 12 at 12:30 PM

The Seattle P-I ran a hilariously earnest letter today about Initiative 957.

Initiative 957 is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of. Under this proposal, men with a low sperm count would have to have their loving marriage annulled.

What about newlywed seniors who can’t have children? Do the initiative sponsors want them to live in sin?

What if a man who has had a vasectomy and a woman who has gone through menopause want to get married? Are they going to have to submit to unreliable medical tests to see if they can become fertile?

What about women over 40? The risk of having children born with medical problems is increased at that age.

If their marriage is annulled, couples could go to Nevada and have a quickie marriage that the state of Washington would honor.

Who is going to enforce it? I can see the state sending out (and where would the funding come from?) people to find out if a couple has had kids within three years of marriage.

Don Webb

This is the point of the initiative—to get people to say things exactly like this. So… you don’t think marriage should be tied to procreation? Tell that to the Washington State Supreme Court who wrote “that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the state’s legitimate interests in procreation and the well-being of children.” Huh?

Sign of the End Times

posted by on February 12 at 12:05 PM

Talking urinals.

Via Drudge.

Olympia: My Two Personal Favorite Pieces of Legislation After the First Month of Session. (And My Least Favorite.)

posted by on February 12 at 12:01 PM

The Democratic majority in Olympia is certainly moving on some basics—most notably Rep. Judy Clibborn’s child health care bill.

Also in play: enacting the recommendations of the Washington Learns task force on education; financial assistance for low-income students; outlawing toxic PBDEs; family and medical leave insurance; domestic partnership bills; the medically accurate sex ed bill; and authorizing simple majority votes to pass local education levies.

Meanwhile, there are a few high-profile disappointments brewing for the Democratic faithful: capping payday loan interest rates and closing the gunshow loophole, for example, seem to be failing.

My personal favorites (a CO2 emissions cap and an anti-censorship bill) also seem like they’re on shaky ground.

Indeed, a concrete measure to lower CO2 emissions (as opposed to Gov. Gregoire and Seattle-area Sen. Erik Poulsen’s “strategic framework for action”), seems to be going nowhere. This is Rep. Maralyn Chase’s (D-32, Shoreline) cap and trade bill.

Second, and this one is a sentimental favorite of mine, Rep. Dave Upthegrove’s bill to raise the standard for censorship of student newspapers—while widely supported—doesn’t seem like much of a priority for the image-conscious Democratic leadership. (Where are you now Mario Savio?)

Currently, federal law provides a baseline of protection for the student press. School administrators have to show “reasonable educational justification” for censoring an “objectionable” article. This vague guideline, according to the court, could mean the article is simply “inappropraite,” or “poorly written” or is somehow “offensive.” The proposal in Olympia would—as states are allowed to under the constitution—provide more rights to students, raising the hurdle for legit censorship so that school administrators would have to show that the speech is unlawful (libelous or obsence) or that it creates “a serious physical disruption to normal school activities.”

Upthegrove’s student free-press bill is simply an attempt to return to the higher standard for censorship that was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969—a decision that was scaled back by the vaguer Hazelwood standard in 1988.

Oh, and then there’s my least favorite bill of all: Sen. Ken Jacobsen’s dog owner’s bill of rights—allowing insufferable dog owners to bring their dogs into bars.

And before I get pounced on by the haters on Slog who like to make fun of the fact that I’m not into dogs, let me say, as I’ve said before, I’m not the hater you think I am. I’m glad to help pay the $88,000 in annual taxes to help run the 11 dog parks throughout the city—on top of the $2 million we already spent building them. (Although it does seem a bit unfair to me that a portion of public land—the 11 parks range from .25 acres to 9 acres—is sequestered off for a specific group of people when we don’t even have enough fields to meet co-recreational soccer league demand). And even though I’m not a dog owner, I’m happy to help pay the $3 million budget for the broad range of pet services provided by the city’s animal shelter to accommodate the estimated 125,000 dog owners in town. (Only about 30,000 of you have gotten your dogs licensed, by the way, which means, legally, you aren’t entitled to all the city services I’m helping to pay for—like making city workers haul off about 200 pounds of dog shit a day from dog parks.)

But beyond paying to help you have a pet in town, I don’t want to hang out with it.

A Wandering Heart

posted by on February 12 at 11:45 AM


The Surface Option: None Dare Call it Fascism

posted by on February 12 at 10:45 AM

…except for the PI’s Joel Connelly.

In his column today the PI’s resident crank describes the future of Seattle—if evil backers of the surface option get their way. Politically Correct Police seize soda pop, all-powerful school board members (?) run roughshod over individual liberties, magazines with images of naked ladies (naked men are fine) are banned, and radical journalists—our own Erica Barnett!—lead mob attacks on polluting businesses.

Yep, that’s exactly what happened in Milwaukee and San Francisco after those cities removed ugly urban freeways.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 12 at 10:30 AM

Bring Your Own Projector
(VIDEOS) So, the concept behind the monthly event Bring Your Own Projector is that you lug your own, um, projector (Super 8, video, whatever) into the basement of the Alibi Room. Then everyone points his or her cinematic treasures at the wall at the same time to produce a wild visual cacophony. The concept of this BYOP theme night is that you bring only fitness videos—homemade or commercial, DVD or VHS—and “excessercise!” Workout gear encouraged. (Alibi Room, 85 Pike St, #410, 632-3180. 8 pm-midnight, free, 21+.) ANNIE WAGNER


Camera Obscura
(MUSIC) What can I say? I like their music. I’ve listened to 2004’s Underachievers Please Try Harder probably 1,000 times. Especially the song “Teenager.” (“He was uncomplaining as a tree/Not a thing like me.”) They are the size and approximate sound of Belle & Sebastian. And they are also from Glasgow, which Daniel Dafoe once called “the paradise of Scotland.” You should go to this show with someone you want to do sweet things to. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 9 pm, $12 adv, all ages.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

God, Grammys, and the Mysterious Pronounciation of Beyonce’s Album Title

posted by on February 12 at 10:10 AM


I obsess over these things and more over in Line Out.

When Will Ted Haggard Fall Off the Wagon and Start Sucking Cock Again?

posted by on February 12 at 9:20 AM

Susie Bright doesn’t think Jesus-worshipping, meth-snorting, man-blowing Ted Haggard is going to be “completely heterosexual” for long—and she’s willing to put her money where her mouth is. Are you?

How much would you bet that Reverend Ted Haggard falls off the wagon in the very near future? …

Ted has now accepted a large “undisclosed amount” from his church elders in exchange for signing a confidentiality agreement and leaving town, after taking a three-week “cure” that wouldn’t get rid of a cough, let alone a lifelong sexual preference for men.

Yes, it’s high time to announce: The Ted Haggard Betting Pool.

We don’t believe Ted’s commitment to the straight and narrow is going to last, and we’re willing to put money on it.

All pool proceeds will be split 50/50 between the winner(s), and LYRIC, the “young, loud, and proud” San Francisco youth group dedicated building LGBTQQ community and inspiring social change.

More info at Susie Bright’s website and at


posted by on February 12 at 9:13 AM

Art rarely scares me. The lights, for the most part, are up. The special effects are not so good. There’s no music jumping out of the narrative bush to attack me.

But Saturday I ran into something decidedly nasty in the Henry Art Gallery’s woodshed. It is Bruce Nauman’s Pulling Mouth, a 1969 video on view from the Henry’s permanent collection (in conjunction with the Nauman neon traveling show that opened Saturday).

Pulling Mouth is one of the artist’s slo-mo videos. It is a black-and-white view of the artist’s face, upside-down. His hands hold his mouth open. You get occasional glimpses of his eyes, squeezed closed, and it looks at first as though nothing is happening, except that he is going to have some sore cheeks.

Then you realize that the bottom teeth, at the top of the screen, are fading from view, and something dark and wet is appearing in their place. It isn’t at all clear what’s going to happen, and then—Nauman pushes out his thick, glistening, terrifying tongue, slowwwwwly, and then he retracts it, and the teeth gradually come back into view. He does this repeatedly, and it never ceases to be anything less than horrible. At one point, he opens his eyes to a sliver width, and they gleam, too.

This may be the most frightening artwork I’ve ever seen, and it’s nothing more than a man sticking his tongue out. That’s maybe the worst part of it, that, unlike a horror video by, say, the artist Chloe Piene, we don’t have to try to terrify each other. We do it naturally.


Where Is the Love?

posted by on February 12 at 9:04 AM

Michael Petrelis, a well-known AIDS activist in San Francisco, has a few things to say on his blog about my feature on Seattle’s new drug-resistant HIV strain, including this:

Finally, the words fear or fears appear seven times in Sanders’ story, and the word love is totally absent. Make of that observation what you will.

Michael, love, read this.

The Morning News

posted by on February 12 at 8:23 AM

Crying Wolf: Iran sending bombs to Iraq, says U.S. Military.

Bombing in Baghdad: New day, same old carnage.

Non-Binding in Washington: Now the House offers a non-binding resolution slamming Bush’s surge.

“Occasionally a joint or something.” Leader of British conservative party admits to past drug use. Possible future Prime Minister disqualified from American Idol.

Et tu, Salon? Liberal website describes Obama as “uppity.”

Move It: Mobile home owners squeezed out by rising land values in western Washington.

Proud to be from Texas: Dixie Chicks kick Grammys’ butt.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Buy Art, Help Kids

posted by on February 11 at 2:15 PM

A friend of mine works for a really amazing nonprofit in L.A. called The Alliance for Children’s Rights that provides legal services for kids (foster kids, homeless kids, sick kids, etc.). This week they’ve organized—and I say this without hesitation—one of the coolest fundraisers ever. They bought up a bunch of 1950s paint-by-numbers canvasses and had famous artists transform them into new, weirdo, totally rad pieces of art. They’re all for sale on eBay and 100% of the proceeds go to the Alliance (i.e. to helping a kid get a house or an operation or a mom).

I know precious little about art, but I love love love this idea. And people tell me that these artists are famous:

“the most sought-after artists of the Pop-Surrealist, Lowbrow, Graffiti, Outsider, Urban, New Fine Art and Contemporary Movements including Mark Ryden & Marion Peck, Tim Biskup, Gary Baseman, Todd & Kathy Schorr, Camille Rose Garcia, Michael Hussar, Shag, Clayton Brothers, Shepard Fairey, Andrew Brandou, Gary Panter, and Miss Van”

Heiko Mueller Before:

Heiko Mueller After:

Gary Baseman Before:

Gary Baseman After:

Cool, right? You can browse all of the before and afters here and bid here.

A Wandering Heart

posted by on February 11 at 11:45 AM


Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 11 at 11:24 AM

Sarah Silverman
(COMEDY) With a brand-new show on Comedy Central and growing legions of worshippers, Sarah Silverman is totally hot shit right now. Tonight she brings her sexy/dorky Jewess-with-a-killer-rack-and-Tourette’s shtick to the Showbox. Fans of horrifically incisive wittiness better have tickets already, as the show is sold out. Beg, borrow, or steal a ticket to find out if Ms. Silverman can manage to shock an audience that’s hungry for shock. (The Showbox, 1426 First Ave, Doors at 6 and 9 pm, 21+.) DAVID SCHMADER

A Great One by Peter Schjeldahl

posted by on February 11 at 9:13 AM

The refusal to numb his subject with deference, the relevant self-revelation, the last line. All reasons to read.

Here’s a sample from The New Yorker critic’s latest, on Tintoretto:

But he and his populous workshop also perpetrated some of the grimmest daubs—murky and slack—that you ever rushed past with a shudder. I realized, too late, that my puzzlement was a warning. Now I feel that I have acquired a brilliant, neurotic, exhausting friend who enjoins me to undertake on his behalf campaigns that he bungled when their conduct was up to him.

I Just Got Punched in the Mouth… And I’m Kind of Happy About It

posted by on February 11 at 2:00 AM

Understand: I’ve always been afraid of being hit in the mouth. I’m a wuss, and got picked on in school and all and was always freaked out by it: What if he hits me? But tonight was an apotheosis. A watershed moment. I just got punched in the mouth—and it was nothing.

I was walking home from a party, just a block from the Stranger offices (which is why I’m here Slogging about it). I saw two young dudes and an old dude getting ready to fight. I stopped. I watched from across the street. The old dude kept saying “I’ve lived! I got nothing to lose! You want to see what it’s like to be a real gangsta? To fuck somebody up?” The young dudes said some stuff I couldn’t hear. The old dude said: ”I’ve already killed somebody! You don’t know how it is!” First Dude took off his jacket. I kept watching. Second Dude picked up a piece of metal from the street and began to chase Old Dude, who ran away.

I ran, from across the street, shouting “don’t hit the old man!” The young dudes stopped. Old Dude kept galumphing away. I said to them: “It’s not right to beat up an old man; He’s just an old man.” Young dude said: “But he thought we was gay and he was hitting on us and shit.” And I said: “Okay, you’re not gay. It’s cool, it’s fine, but it’s not a fair fight, two young dudes against one old dude. He’s an old man.”

It went on this way for a couple of minutes, in what I thought was a friendly conversation: He thought we was gay. We’re not gay. Fine, you’re not gay. But don’t hit an old man with a piece of metal. But he thought we was gay! Okay. But don’t beat him up. I was about to ask him his name, shake his hand, say goodnight.

Then, in the middle of the (repetitive) chatter, First Dude took a step back and then an earthquake—a rumbling in my ears. I never even saw it coming. Then a pain in my mouth. I touched my hand to it and saw blood. All I could think to say was: “Why?”

That’s why!” First Dude said. (I still don’t understand what he meant.) Second Dude snickered the snicker of a man damned to live his life as a second-in-command.

“Okay,” I shrugged. I stood and watched them walk away while I spat blood on the sidewalk.

And now I feel great. All those years of being petrified of getting hit—I didn’t fall, I didn’t wobble, my teeth are intact. A total sucker punch and I’m fine. Just a bit of blood and a split lip. Nothing to it.

Watch out, bullies of the world—it’s taken almost thirty years, but now I’ve been hit in the mouth and I realize it’s nothing.

I’m not scared of you any more.