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Archives for 02/18/2007 - 02/24/2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

ECB’s Going to Love This

posted by on February 24 at 8:23 PM

Sorority at university in Indiana chucks out every overweight member, along with every non-white member. From the New York Times:

Worried [about] a decline in membership that had left its Greek-columned house here half empty, Delta Zeta’s national officers interviewed 35 DePauw members in November, quizzing them about their dedication to recruitment. They judged 23 of the women insufficiently committed and later told them to vacate the sorority house.

The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members. The dozen students allowed to stay were slender and popular with fraternity men—conventionally pretty women the sorority hoped could attract new recruits. Six of the 12 were so infuriated they quit.

Fake Babies, Oscar, and Me

posted by on February 24 at 7:07 PM

Not to flog local comedy till it’s deader than a fake baby,

but if you’re looking for company this Oscar Night, the “Funniest Oscar Party Ever” is going down at Chop Suey, courtesy of those PROK gentlemen.

Festivities include:
Catty commentary, sketches, films, prank phone calls, a DVD give-away, something called “Footloose petition,” and a rotating cast of local comics. Oh, and also “super cheap drink specials as well as champagne drink specials all evening.”

Free 21+ doors at 4, show from 5-8:30 ish

For reasons obscure, I have agreed to participate in the “Red Carpet Lambast” portion of the evening, for which I will most likely produce a combination of blank stares, awkward lashing out, and terrified weeping. And maybe a few good ones about George Clooney’s eye-flap surgery. So if you’re a fan of drunk, bewildered trainwrecks who have never stood on a stage before in their lives, by all means, check me out.


A Waterfront for People (Not Cars)! Rally and March Tomorrow

posted by on February 24 at 5:03 PM

Tomorrow at 11 am, we’re rallying at Victor Steinbrueck Park and then marching to Myrtle Edwards to protest the viaduct rebuild and tunnel options. Seattle’s rollicking Orkestar Zirkonium (a 13-member Balkan-style brass band) will lead the parade. This will be way more fun than your average protest! See you there.

What He Said

posted by on February 24 at 4:53 PM

Okay, no more Slogging—just tossing this up too. I get shitloads of grief from a small number of readers for failing to devote ten or eleven pages every week to presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. I can’t seem to muster up the give-a-shit to justify our refusal to cover the Kucinich campaign. So, like, what Kos said.

When talking about Kucinich, I usually leave it at “ugh.” I’ve found that much kinder than actually getting into Kucinich’s record. But his supporters are OUTRAGED(!) that I would be so dismissive, and they DEMAND(!) I explain myself.

Honestly, it would be better for your guy if I didn’t. But since you all insist…

Kucinich has never proven broad electoral viability. How many presidents have been elected straight from the House of Representatives? Kucinich could gain respect by running and winning in something a little more competitive than an urban 58 percent Kerry district.

Did you know that Kucinich was once ardently anti-choice and anti-stem cell research?

There’s lots more to read here.

But Where Are the Cars?

posted by on February 24 at 4:29 PM

I’m off snowboarding this week with my kid. Winter break, and like that. So I’m not Slogging much. I’m on vacation, and vacating means no Slogging—or that’s what my boyfriend keeps telling me anyway. Still, I wanted to toss this letter up. It takes us to task for this week’s cover, which was my call.


I fully support the No/No vote. Building a new elevated structure is criminal. But how could The Stranger place an image of a brand new modern clean and EMPTY viaduct with blue skies on the cover??? Considering transportation mobility is the #1 issue by the masses, this free advertisement of a dreamy congestion-free viaduct was a shortsighted blunder.

Motoki Nagasooki

Mr. Nagasooki is correct. We should have shown what a new viaduct would look like a week after it opened—not ten minutes after it opened. The new viaduct, which would only maintain current capacity, would be as congested as our current viaduct. Think wall-to-wall traffic, not the lovely drive in the country shown on this week’s cover. And even if the proposed new viaduct increased capacity, it would be still be congested. That’s the way new road construction works. New roads, ostensibly built to relieve congestion, immediately fill up. New roads encourage more people to drive, which only makes gridlock worse—to say nothing of the environmental damage cars do.

But, hey, the parking lot is full.

Now please read Erica C. Barnett’s excellent piece urging a no/no vote on the viaduct replacement. No tunnel, no new viaduct.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on February 24 at 2:41 PM

Busted: Feds sued for denying pot’s medical value.

Foster Kids: Bill would require tracking of psychiatric drugs.

Now This Will Help the Children: Proposal would give parents 15 years for growing one pot plant.

Soil Flush: Couple flushes 70 live pot plants down toilet.

Crack a Simile: Smoking alters brain “like drugs.”

Higher Principal: Buying crack in his office.

Higher Drill: Firefighters fail drug tests.

Weed and Feed: Swiss cows get more than mountain high.

The Night Before The Stars Salute Themselves

posted by on February 24 at 2:11 PM

Remember when Steven Seagal was an Oscar presenter? That was awesome.

Anyway, for those folks who just can’t get enough pre-award buzz, the Seattle Channel has put together a special Oscar Night Preview, complete with a replay of last December’s Film Critic Wrap Show, of which I was bloody terrified honored to be a part of.

Those wishing to behold my, er, glory can do so tonight (Saturday) at 10:00, or tomorrow morning at 11:00.

Seriously, Steven Seagal once presented an Oscar.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 24 at 1:33 PM

Gabriel Teodros

(Hiphop) The release of Gabriel Teodros’s Lovework marks the opening of Seattle’s hiphop season. Dropped by Massline, recorded at Buttermilk Studios, and featuring productions from Amos Miller, DJ Sabzi, and Specs One—the entire CD is locally made but has the internationalist perspective of the East African—American rapper Teodros. Lovework is progressive from top to bottom: no hos, no homophobia, no gun clapping, just lots of love for those who are “in the struggle.” Peace. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $10, all ages.) CHARLES MUDEDE


(Cinema) The pleasures of YouTube—celebrity meltdowns, dancing dwarves, the eternal battle between man and gravity—have until now been small and private. Tonight, they become large and public, thanks to the Northwest Film Forum, which is presenting a curated collection of YouTube’s greatest hits. As NWFF puts it, “What better reflects our culture than rampant access to very little bits of lots of things, irreverence toward copyright laws, and the idolizing of everyday folks doing silly things?” Nothing. Go. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 329-2629. 11 pm, $8.50.) DAVID SCHMADER

Friday, February 23, 2007

This Weekend at the Oscars

posted by on February 23 at 5:03 PM

Some movies are opening this weekend, but does anyone care? It’s time for that exquisitely bizarre end-of-winter exercise in pensioners formerly in the movie business fawning over the bright young things currently in the movie business. Everybody knows the Oscars are a hideous compromise between box office gold and retrograde tastes, which is both explains why United 93 wasn’t nominated for best picture and why nobody will ever let Sacha Baron Cohen within ten feet of a podium mic.

In Seattle, the Oscars air on KOMO 4 starting at 5:30 pm. Brace yourselves for the following excruciating results:

BEST PICTURE: This is a long shot, but everybody was wrong last year, and I’m guessing that the conventional wisdom is wrong this year. We’re in the middle of a long, drawn-out war, and Oscar voters are not in the mood for depressing. Babel is deeply depressing, and judging by my mail, at least half the people who saw it didn’t even like it. The Departed is casually violent, and Academy members tend to like their violence with a creamy moral center. I’m going to go with David Schmader here and call it for Little Miss Sunshine. (Which nominee deserves it? None of the above.)

BEST DIRECTOR: It’s a lock, especially if voters pass over The Departed in droves. Martin Scorsese. (Paul Greengrass deserves it.)

BEST ACTRESS: Helen Mirren. (Deserves it: Anybody but Meryl Streep.)

BEST ACTOR: Forest Whitaker.


SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy. (Maybe Alan Arkin, but I doubt it.)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The Queen (though if Little Miss Sunshine doesn’t win Best Picture, it’ll scoot down here).


ANIMATED FEATURE: Happy Feet. (Cars is the favorite, but I don’t care if most Academy members live in the automobile capital of the world. They’ll feel guilty after watching An Inconvenient Truth, and give it to the penguins. Deserves it: Monster House.)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: An Inconvenient Truth. (Deserves it: Hands down, Iraq in Fragments, but it’s too experimental and Academy voters won’t be willing to give up Al Gore’s teaching moment at the podium.)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: You know what? I think David Carr is, sadly, right. The Lives of Others has the edge over Pan’s Labyrinth. No way do I want to see Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck gloating in the press room about all the “second-rate” critics who maligned his film (especially after the distributor called the regional publicist and had her ask me to take down the more arrogant portions of the interview), but I think the cool-headed tone of The Lives of Others, with its buoyant ending, will win over voters. (Pan’s Labyrinth deserves it, by a hair.)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Children of Men.

FILM EDITING: Babel. (Deserves it: I actually love the editing in Babel, but I think United 93’s is more complex, interesting, and effective.)

SHORT (ANIMATED): The Little Matchgirl. (Thanks, Brad!)

SHORT (LIVE ACTION): Binta and the Great Idea.

SHORT (DOC): Recycled Life.

Check back here on Sunday evening as David Schmader liveslogs the Academy Awards.

If you actually want to see a movie this weekend, here are your brand-new options: Reno 911!: Miami (Schmader says noooooooooooo!), Becket (In Color!, Brendan says), and in On Screen this week, Amazing Grace (boring people may be good, but they’re still boring, say I), The Astronaut Farmer (Bradley Steinbacher says nooooooooooo!), and Our Daily Bread (cabbage racks and dead pigs, say I).


Complete Movie Times and Film Shorts are available at Get Out. Happy Oscar weekend, and good, long luck to James Longley and John Sinno.

The Ugliest of Them All

posted by on February 23 at 5:02 PM

In honor of the Academy Awards, please enjoy the infamous Rob Lowe/Snow White dance routine from 1989.

(Via The Hot Blog.)

Suze Orman to Come Out in Sunday’s NYT Magazine

posted by on February 23 at 5:00 PM

…according to Editor and Publisher. And it seems the financial-advice maven doesn’t consider lesbian sex real sex: “I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin,” she says, though she has a “life partner” whom she’s been with for seven years.

Slog Poll: How Will You Vote on the Viaduct?

posted by on February 23 at 5:00 PM


Maybe you’ve read Erica’s big piece about the upcoming viaduct vote. And maybe you’ve heard what The Stranger recommends:


But how will you be voting in the March 13 special election? This Slog poll closes at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Proposition 1

Proposition 2

Gay Rights. Challenged?

posted by on February 23 at 4:37 PM

An AP story in today’s P-I caused state Senator Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle) to call a press conference this afternoon.

The story, Senator Murray believed, made it look as if the landmark bill he passed as a state representative last year in Olympia—known as the gay rights bill—had taken a blow.

Here’s the deal: In one of those double-reverse-backflip moves (trying to “oh yeah?” the gays it seems), a woman filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission (HRC), the first complaint filed using Murray’s bill, arguing that her boyfriend was being discriminated against on the basis of his sexual orientation because he wasn’t getting domestic-partner benefits from her employer.

The HRC ruled against her, saying federal law governs private employer health benefits—and since federal law doesn’t include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation, her claim didn’t fly.

That ruling seems a bit off point to me, however.

Apparently, Senator Murray thought so, too.

Here’s his statement:

I want to assure Washington’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community that today’s ruling has no effect whatsoever on the progress we achieved last year with our anti-discrimination legislation. The Human Rights Commission has simply and correctly affirmed the scope of the law. The civil rights bill we passed last year applied to hiring and firing only – just as the underlying anti-discrimination law applies to hiring and firing only for all protected categories. HB 2661 was designed to help hard-working individuals who were being refused housing, denied job opportunities and turned down for credit because of their sexual orientation. We never addressed the issue of health benefits for unmarried couples in the bill.

Senator Murray says his new bill to create domestic partnerships is intended to start the process of addressing health benefits. (This session’s DP bill does not grant partners access to each others’ health plans, but does start checking off the list of other benefits like hospital visitation rights.)

However, the HRC ruling does reintroduce a question that many have asked since the DP bill was announced at the beginning of the session: Why aren’t straight unmarried couples included in the bill?

Murray’s answer: This session he’s focusing on the gays. At last month’s senate hearing on the DP bill, Senator Murray addressed the het issue, saying the issue of domestic partnerships for gays had been on the radar screen for years, but this was the first time we were hearing about unmarried het rights. The theory being, it seemed, that opponents of the bill were being sneaky.

Maybe. Or maybe sneaky staight couples should be eligible for domestic partnerships too.

Suck on This

posted by on February 23 at 4:11 PM

I can’t decide if crucifix suckers—made of fruit-flavored sugar, the greatest child-manipulation tool on earth—are more morbid or crass. However, I am tempted to order a dozen Holy Bible mint tins; a graceful storage solution for tampons, joints, crack pipes, condoms, and the like.
You’ll find all this crap and and lots more, including “Jesus Loves Me” kazoos and inflatable Jesus beach balls, at Oriental Trading Company.

Happy Birthday Everyone!

posted by on February 23 at 3:54 PM

I tried to read up on, as much as I could, the 15-day celebration known as the Chinese New Year. Internet searches seem to only scratch the surface of this centuries-old holiday that’s seemingly a million times better than that dumb champagne-drinking debacle back in January. From what I read, today, the seventh day, is known as “renri.” The common man’s birthday. The birthday of all human beings. I think it’s also, probably, a good day to eat some noodles and a hunk of raw fish.

Last Sunday I went down to the International District, in search of commotion. I have to admit, part of the reason I went is because I’m obsessed with firecrackers and all things that explode. Instead, I learned a little something about lion dancing, the Year of the Pig, and met a sharp lady named Alice who sold me a cheap and GIGANTIC bunch of “good luck” pussy willows, that she claimed I could keep in water, then replant in my yard.

I also got to talk to some folks from this amazing little basement studio called the Mak Fai Washington Kung Fu Club. Nice-guy Kevin Chan tried to explain a bit of the New Year holiday to me, and told me how Mak Fai, THE MAN, can do a hundred pushups on his knuckles. Then he let me take some pictures, including this wall of fun.

Happy New Year.


Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 23 at 3:25 PM

Teenage Boots: Teenage Kicks.

Ol’ Dirty: Dirty Projectors’ Rote Covers of Black Flag.

China, Pt 1: Still No Democracy.

Tight Pants & Capes: Satan’s Pilgrims’ Bikini Bloodbath.

You Know You Want To: This Week’s Setlist.

China, Pt 2: The Inverted China Cymbal.

Filthy Beats: Joey Casio’s Undead Crunk.

Tonight: In Music.

No More Camelot: Arthur Magazine Dead?

Monsters of Schlock: Sarah Silverman to Host Sasquatch.

Monsters of Butt Rock: Totally Suite.

A Lovely City: Put Your Hands Up for DEMF.

Friday After Work? Bored? Looking for Action?

posted by on February 23 at 2:55 PM

Try the Seattle Channel!

I’ll be on C.R. Douglas’s viaduct special with Seattle P-I editorial editor Mark Trahant and Seattle Times writer Joni Balter.

7 pm.

Mea Maxima Culpa

posted by on February 23 at 2:38 PM

Here is the first sentence of my review of Becket in this week’s paper:

Becket looks like a Serious movie for Serious people—it’s black and white, from 1963, concerns the friendship (then foeship) between King Henry II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, stars the legendary artistes Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, is based on a play by a Frenchman, uses English history (Normans v. Saxons, crown v. clergy) as its backdrop, and has the audacity to be a movie about medieval power struggles without a single battle scene.

Here is the first sentence of an email by Chris Principio, a marketing manager for Landmark theaters, sent yesterday at 6:02:57 pm:

Hey there, just wanted to follow up with you… BECKET is actually “In Color”…

Here is the entirety of an email by film editor Annie Wagner, sent at 6:03:24 pm:

Brendan! I’m mad at you.

How could I not notice that Becket was “In Color”? According to the internets, temporary color blindness can be caused by Viagra (nope), electric shock (nope), and brain damage (don’t think so). There’s really no excuse—I just remember the movie in shades of grey and, actually, I prefer it that way. (Confidential to Paul Simon: Au contraire, old man. Everything looks better in black and white.)

But I’m sorry for my monochromatic memory and, in the spirit of reconciliation, offer you this anecdote, about a rare kind of color blindness in which everything appears black and white:

While normally rare, achromatopsia is very common on the island of Pingelap, a part of the Pohnpei state, Federated States of Micronesia, where it is called maskun: about 1/12 of the population there has it. The island was devastated by a storm in the 18th century, and one of the few male survivors carried a gene for achromatopsia; the population is now several thousand, of whom about 30% carry this gene.

Today in Hobbies That Creep the Shit Out of Me

posted by on February 23 at 2:33 PM

Obviously it’s none of my business what people choose to do with their time. I’m certainly in no place to judge (Degrassi: The Next Generation, anyone?). But seriously:

I’m sure this woman is a very sweet person. But show me something (anything!) creepier than THIS:

or this:

and I’ll show you a grown woman (ME) sleeping with the lights on. Forever.

Of her creations, Ms. Felts explains, “I have been concentrating primarily on life-sized babies. My main interests are babies and children.” Fair enough. Maybe you share the “main interests” of this sweet, nice woman, and you are beguiled by these “babies.” Maybe you are interested in “adopting.” You yearn for the reassuring weight of its [cold, inert] little body nestled against yours, its [terrifying glass] eyes staring [always staring] up at you, shining [lacquered] with unconditional love. But remember: a life-sized baby doll is not a replica of a baby. It is a replica of a dead baby. And it cannot love you.

Portrait of a Lady

posted by on February 23 at 1:45 PM

Lost in Vermilion (1996) by Mary Henry, who is having a retrospective at Howard House and the Wright Exhibition Space.

My profile of the abstract painter Mary Henry, a 93-year-old woman who once studied with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and who has lived alone on Whidbey Island for 26 years, is out now.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 23 at 12:29 PM

Vera Project

(Grand Opening) The brand-new Vera Project—the very building I’ve been talking about for over a year, the very building that has cost over a million and a half dollars to build—is finally finished. This weekend’s grand opening is so explosive with blistering-hot local talent that these shows just might undo all the hard work and tear that motherfucker apart. Friday night’s hiphop showcase features Common Market and Grayskul; Saturday’s got These Arms Are Snakes, Akimbo, Elphaba, Talbot Tagora, and Panther; Sunday quiets back down a little (just a little) with Mount Eerie, Holy Ghost Revival, Tiny Vipers, and Ghost to Falco. Plus, to thank you, Vera has made all the shows free. (Vera Project, Seattle Center, for complete schedule. 7:30 pm, free, all ages.) MEGAN SELING

Concrete Seattle

posted by on February 23 at 11:59 AM

From Tricky’s post-Fanon reverie “Feed Me”: “I love you/But still nothing is clear/I think of you when I found you/You keep on singing while Im drowning/Down into that two-tone vision/Ive been raised in this place/And now concrete is my religion.” Yes, concrete is the only religion. Cement is God, crushed rock is Jesus, and the water that mixes is John the Baptist.

Where we worship concrete:
f9035991a15b.jpg (Central Library)

Concrete rises to perfection, to heaven:
9215caeb0fc0.jpg (the extention of the Sheraton Hotel)

Concrete paradise:
e66202bb5bc3.jpg(Freeway Park)

Britney Spears: Umbrella of Destruction!

posted by on February 23 at 11:57 AM

Have you seen this picture?

And this one?

If not, you can read the story about Britney’s tirade with an umbrella — or you can watch the VIDEO of Britney’s tirade with an umbrella!
WARNING: This clip is NSFW for foul language and violence with a bumbershoot.
WARNING AGAIN: In certain parts the video is distressingly dark—which really adds to the “horror flick” vibe of this film. Okay… mentally prepare youself… and go ahead.

Question: 1) Why are all paparazzi foreign? It sounds like she’s in Istanbul.

It Takes a Real Man to Bash a 72-Year-Old

posted by on February 23 at 11:54 AM

And if the old man dies from the injuries, all the better.

Hot Tipper R reminded me of this heartbreaking story from Detroit, where gay senior citizen Andrew Anthos is clinging to life after being assaulted by a man with a metal pipe.

As reports:

Anthos, who lives on a disability check, was riding the bus from the public library back to his apartment Feb. 13 when another male passenger approached him and asked if he was gay…Anthos left the bus only to be followed by the man, who hit him in the back of the head with a metal pipe, then fled. The attack left 72-year-old Andrew Anthos paralyzed from the neck down and virtually without speech.

Every detail makes it worse:

Anthos, a die-hard patriot and Ava Gardner fan, is known for his years-long campaign to illuminate the dome of the state Capitol in Lansing for one night each year in red, white and blue lights.

Not only a gay patriot, but a frickin’ good samaritan:

He had been helping his wheelchair-using friend through the snow when he was struck.

According to the Lansing State Journal, last night Andrew Anthos slipped into a coma and was administered last rites. His still-at-large assailant is described as “a light-skinned black man, no more than 23 years old, about 5 foot 7 and 150 pounds.”

Does Michigan have a death penalty?


posted by on February 23 at 11:30 AM

My coworkers know I’ve never shared their seemingly boundless enthusiasm for “moderate” Republican attorney general Rob McKenna. (As a member of the Sound Transit board, he opposed light rail every chance he got.)

Further proof McKenna’s no moderate: Today he announced he’s endorsing John McCain, who, according to McKenna, “understands the difficult challenges our country faces. He has the experience and fortitude to bring people together for solutions we need.”

Solutions like putting more troops in harm’s way in Iraq , overturning Roe V. Wade, pushing abstinence until marriage (for everyone but himself, of course), backing South Dakota’s (since-overturned) total abortion ban, advocating for “intelligent design” to be taught in public schools, and upholding “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

What a maverick.

Anti-Tunnel, Anti-Rebuild Rally Sunday, 11 am

posted by on February 23 at 10:42 AM

Let’s try this again, with my spin on it:

On Sunday at 11 am, we’re rallying at Victor Steinbrueck Park and then marching to Myrtle Edwards Park to protest the viaduct rebuild and tunnel options. Seattle’s rollicking Orkestar Zirkonium (a 13-member Balkan-style brass band) will lead the parade. This will be way more fun than your average protest. Outlandish costumes and witty signs are encouraged. Look for me, the short-haired lady walking a monster.


Pride Doesn’t Pay

posted by on February 23 at 10:23 AM

The Seattle Times is all over the $100,000 debt owed to the Seattle Center by the organizers of last year’s Pride Parade:

It’s been eight months since the Seattle Pride festival and Seattle Center is still waiting for its check. Seattle Out And Proud (SOAP), which organized the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender celebration in June, owes the city more than $100,000. With the money more than four months overdue, Seattle Center officials are debating whether to host the 2007 festival scheduled for the weekend of June 23.

Last year’s Pride festival—relocated from Capitol Hill to Seattle Center for the very first time—was a revelation, with the leap from the gay ghetto to the city center infusing the festivities with thrilling new life. If SOAP can’t manage to scrape together a huge wad of cash, while simultaneously organizing the 2007 festival, it might be a one-time thing.

Full story here and here.

The Contenders: Wesley Clark

posted by on February 23 at 9:33 AM

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.


Wesley Clark

Party: Democrat

Age: 63

Status: Undeclared

When asked about his initial support for the Iraq war and the early intelligence indications of weapons of mass destruction, retired four star General Wesley Clark explained: “Well, I think when you look at intelligence, you get indicators. It’s like a sort of gray goo as you look at it. You can’t see through it, exactly, and if you try to touch it, it gets real sticky and you might actually interfere with the information that you’re getting back.” Which means that he’s yet another Democrat struggling to square his earlier statements about the war with what turned out to be the reality.

Wesley Kanne Clark was born in Chicago, IL in 1944. His mother was a Methodist bank secretary, and his father, Benjamin Kanne, was a Jewish Lawyer and Democratic Alderman. Upon the sudden death of Benjamin when Clark was 4 years old, his mother moved them to Little Rock, Arkansas. There his mother met and soon married a banker by the name of Viktor Clark. When he was 16, Wesley Clark officially took his step-father’s last name. Clark was raised a Baptist, and did not find out about his Jewish heritage until he was in graduate school in England, when a member of his father’s family tracked him down.

When he was 15, Clark was sent to a Military Boarding school in Tennessee for the year because Little Rock public schools were closed due to the desegregation battles there. In 1962, he went to West Point, where he graduated as the Valedictorian. He met his wife, Gertrude Kingston, while he was cadet at West Point. Clark then went on to a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, where he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. After basic training, he was promoted to captain, assigned to a position in the 1st Infantry Division, and then sent to Vietnam on May 21st, 1969.

In Vietnam, he first worked in a staff position, where he was awarded a Bronze star. A month into his first command, Clark was shot in a battle four times and was sent to Valley Forge Hospital in Pennsylvania to recuperate. He was awarded the Silver star for his conduct during that battle. He had converted to his wife’s faith of Catholicism while in Vietnam.

Clark then embarked on a long military career in which he commanded a number of different battalions in a number of different locations, including Kentucky, Colorado, Germany, and DC (where he worked for the Army Chief of Staff). Clark was promoted to full Colonel when he graduated from the National War College in 1983 and to Brigadier General in 1989 when he was in command of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. He held this and other training command posts in Virginia and Texas throughout the Gulf War. He was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1994 and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 1996 when he was promoted to full General and named to the United States Southern Command, where he notably supported the notorious School Of the Americas (a combat training school for Latin American soldiers known for its graduates’ extreme brutality).

In 1997, Clark was appointed by Bill Clinton to the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe which put him in charge of all of NATO’s forces in Europe during the time of the Kosovo war. Following a UN resolution, Clark led the 1999 bombing campaign on Serbia which ended with the resignation of Slobodan Milošević. Though the campaign had been successful, Clark was forced out of the military due to a personality conflict with his superiors, or possibly because another general needed his post in order not to be forced to retire himself.

In 2000, Clark took a position with an investment firm in Little Rock. He also served as a military commentator for CNN. Since 2005, he has served as a military and foreign affairs analyst for Fox news and, in 2006, he joined the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA as a senior fellow.

Clark is pro-choice, pro-death penalty, and against de-criminalizing marijuana. He thinks the surge is a mistake, and believes the UN should be in control in Iraq. Clark had a lot of support in his 2004 bid for Democratic nomination, most notably from liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, and Madonna. Although early polls showed him leading the democratic field of candidates, Clark chose not to attend the Iowa primaries because of Howard Dean’s assumed win there. After Dean and Gephart both stumbled in Iowa, Kerry and Edwards picked up steam, and Clark’s campaign was never fully able to recover.

Here’s one of his 2004 campaign ads in which he discusses the hip-hop group Outkast:

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, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Ron Paul, James Gilmore III, and Tom Tancredo.

Re: Dennis Johnson, RIP

posted by on February 23 at 9:05 AM

Found this sweet comment about DJ posted by someone named Josh over at a Washington Wizards blog:

I remember the ‘79 finals, and in fact, was at Cap Center in some great seats (right behind the basket) for Dennis Johnson’s great performance in game 5… the final game of the Sonics’ four in a row victory over E. and Bobby D.

I was in the 7th grade. I was crushed. I hated Gus Williams and Jack Sikma, but really, I couldn’t bring myself to dislike Johnson. He was the real deal (especially on defense in that series) and you knew it.

I live in Seattle today. Usually (thanks to ‘79 still) I don’t root for the Sonics and always find myself out of sync with Sonics fans. Today, though, I’m with them. Hats off to Dennis Johnson.


Vilsack is Out

posted by on February 23 at 8:00 AM

The expected announcement from the former Iowa governor means that the coveted number five spot in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination goes to… Chris Dodd!

On the Radio

posted by on February 23 at 7:45 AM

I’ll be on KUOW’s “Weekday” this morning starting at 10 a.m., talking about this week’s newsy happenings.

The Morning News

posted by on February 23 at 5:58 AM

In a “mild surprise to outside experts,” Iran is expanding, not shrinking, its nuclear program.

Less of a surprise: Iraqi insurgents explode “dirty bomb” in Baghdad, the second such attack in a month.

“The stench would drop you to your knees”: NY cops get a surprise of their own at feces-strewn suburban house.

Atrocity: Second US soldier pleads guilty to raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her and her family.

No, really. Just go: Lieberman says there’s a “very remote possibility” that he’ll switch parties this year.

Racist?: Republican students stage “illegal immigrant hunt.” “Jaunty!” says the NYT.

“Enemy combatant” Padilla “immobilized by his anxiety,” unfit to stand trial, experts say.

“Famous in life for her bountiful bust”?: Anna Nicole Smith to be buried in Bahamas.

Mad cows from Canada: Don’t worry, it’s “only a handful,” USDA says. Well, that’s reassuring.

This oughta confuse the hell out of the fundies: Chimps observed hunting in Senegal. Female chimps.

Retardation, depression, suicide: All side effects of homosexuality, according to Nigerian presidential adviser.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


posted by on February 22 at 5:50 PM

That’s the amount that the Tacoma Art Museum took in from entry fees for its biennial. The cost to each artist was $25, and the number of artists who entered their work, hoping to be put into the show, was 891.

But the museum made no secret of having selected the artists based on already-established reputations. Trying to have it both ways makes for a namby-pamby biennial, as I wrote in this week’s edition.

Does it also mean that the 850 artists not in the show were made to bankroll somebody’s else’s show unknowingly?

TAM is not as wealthy as SAM, and perhaps it sees the biennial as a sort of tit-for-tat with the regional art community: you pay a fee, we’ll give you the chance to show in a museum, along with your peers. And $25 is not going to make or break any individual.

But if the artists had little or no chance to begin with, then it seems a dastardly move, not to mention unsustainable (after a time, will anybody be left willing to apply but the most desperate?).

I’m waiting for comment from biennial curator Rock Hushka.


“It was not an open call, it was a call to artists,” Hushka says. “It was with a specific statement, and the artists who applied self-selected.”

Hushka says that the call to artists did not state that anyone and everyone would be considered equally, but instead communicated that the show was intended to be a review of the already critically and popularly received work from the past two years.

Hushka will send me the exact wording, and I’ll share then. If that’s the case, then artists were informed, and applied at their own risk.

As for the $22,275 (plus $225 the museum kicked in): the money went to $500 honorariums to each of the included artists, and to pay $1,500 to the critic’s choice award recipient (Denzil Hurley). Five hundred dollars will go to the people’s choice award, and voting for that will continue through the show, which closes May 6, Hushka says.


The call is as follows (I’ll highlight the part meant to give fair warning about the exhibition’s content):

The 8th Northwest Biennial will provide a strong critical analysis of the region’s contemporary art production and is structured to prompt a meaningful dialogue about the Northwest’s artistic strengths and accomplishments. The biennial will provide a timely opportunity to understand how the region’s artists respond to broad national and international trends and ideas while developing their own independent artistic vision and nurturing the region’s artistic vitality. Artists working in a broad spectrum of media including traditional forms, craft-based work, and digital projects are encouraged to apply. Artists exploring alternative aesthetic impulses such as conceptual, performance, and installation also are encouraged to submit portfolios.

Rather than select specific works of art by a slide jury, the focus of the 8th Northwest Biennial will be the scope of the artist’s contributions and recent accomplishments. Individual artists will be invited to participate in the exhibition through a collaborative jury by David Kiehl, Curator of Prints at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Rock Hushka, Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum. All artists will be reviewed through portfolio submissions, and finalists will be selected after studio visits by Kiehl and Hushka. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

In other words, untested talent need not apply.

You still have to wonder: is a call to artists the most effective way to put together a best-of exhibition? And is an already-established, best-of retro the best biennial for the NW?

The museum is having a panel on this very subject (including yours truly, along with other critics and curators) at 1 pm on March 10, titled “Globalism, Nationalism and Regionalism: Why a Northwest Biennial?”

Show up—it should be a lively discussion.

Among this Year’s Democratic Priorities in Olympia…

posted by on February 22 at 5:10 PM

Codifying Eyman’s I-747 into law before the state supreme court throws it out.

Eyman’s 2001 property tax cap (1 percent) was thrown out by King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts last summer on the grounds that voters were misled about the substance of the measure. Roberts said voters thought they were changing the tax increase cap from 2 percent to 1 percent, not from 6 percent to 1 percent, as 747 mandated.

Voters had approved I-747 by 58 percent.

Of course, liberals and Democratic lawmakers have long argued that I-747 hampers their ability to fund basic services. (Before I-747 passed, the state department of revenue estimated that I-747 would cost the state about $1.3 billion in its first five years. In more concrete terms: Conventional wisdom has it that local governments need to increase their budgets by about 3 percent annually to keep pace with inflation.)

So, codifying 747 into law, eh? Um… go, Democrats?

Look, property taxes are a tricky issue, and there needs to be reform so that people with fixed incomes and poorer people aren’t paying a larger percentage of their incomes in property taxes than rich people. And certainly, lots of Democrats heard complaints on the campaign trail about property taxes.

But wait: Why codify I-747? It’s still in effect (at least until the state supreme court rules), and it hasn’t solved the problems and inequities in our property-tax system since 2001.

If Democrats want to score points and reform the property-tax system, they ought to come up with a progressive solution that doesn’t indiscriminately cap revenues.

I’m all for the Democrats addressing the inequities of our property-tax system, but codifying Eyman’s fix seems an odd course of action.

Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 22 at 4:15 PM

In the Butt: What What What the Fuck?

Tonight In Music: Bob Seger and Seattle’s Funkiest White Boys.

Pony Up: Wolves Are So Over.

Moonwalker: Don’t Stop Till You Get Busted by the Cops.

Chris Hong Wins: True and Sincere for Life.

Holding The Sound: Why Do These Great Bands Sound So Bad?

Actually, It’s Quebecois: Arcade Fire Yell at You, Blow Your Mind.

R.I.P., Kirk Rundstrom: Split Lip Rayfield Musician Passes Away.

Night Drive: Van Morrison’s Silly Show-Tune Skiffle.

Things That Make You Go Mmm: Christopher Frizzelle on Hot Pockets, T. S. Eliot, and the Crash Test Dummies.

Re: Press Release of the Day

posted by on February 22 at 3:43 PM

So women can be power lifters, but the International Olympic Committee thinks their ladybits are too delicate for ski-jumping.

Gian-Franco Kasper, head of the International Ski Federation, has said, “Ski jumping is just too dangerous for women. Don’t forget, [the landing] it’s like jumping down from, let’s say, about two meters to the ground about a thousand times a year, which seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view.

The international federation will take another vote this spring on whether women should jump in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. And [internationally acclaimed ski jumper] Alissa said, “So far, we’ve been told every excuse in the book. That it’s too ‘dangerous’ for girls. That there aren’t enough of us. That we’re not good enough. That it would damage our ovaries and uterus and we won’t be able to have children, even though that’s not true. It’s so outdated, it’s kind of funny in a way. And then it’s not.”

In happier sports news, Wimbledon will now pay men and women equally for winning the same events. John McEnroe said: “When you’ve got men and women playing at the same tournament, it is ludicrous to have a difference in pay.

Sneak Peek at Iraq in Fragments

posted by on February 22 at 3:42 PM

Still debating whether or not to see Iraq in Fragments tonight? It’s your very last chance to see the hometown favorite before it trundles off to meet Al Gore and his cartoon frogs at the Oscars.

Perhaps this video interview will convince you.

(Via GreenCine Daily.)

Boobies: Not Just for Gawking at Anymore

posted by on February 22 at 3:32 PM

Is human breast milk vegan?

Apparently a bunch of hippies in a communal house in Berkeley think so.* As reported on BoingBoing, seven vegans put an ad on Craigslist offering free lodging to any nursing mother who’s willing to squirt up some extra boobie juice. In the ad, they say their interest in breast milk “is not sexual. Neither appearance nor sexual preference are of concern to us.” (Which makes the ad less creepy … how?) Generously, they say they are “willing to accept one child” into their household, and assure their potential future wet nurse that they “don’t need gallons of breast milk but whatever you can muster; it is a nutritional supplement for members of the house who want to partake.”

As Carol Lloyd puts it on Broadsheet, “Muster!!!… One can only imagine the “partakers” hovering around the fridge like vultures waiting for the next nutritional supplement. ‘Only two ounces today? Wow, your baby sure is hungry … can’t you muster a little more?’”

Not to mention what happens when baby gets a little older. “Come on, lots of Europeans breast-feed until the kid is three or four! Surely you can manage a little longer!”

*Although, as an ex-vegan myself, it’s hard for me to see how. Isn’t one reason people eschew dairy products because they’re meant for baby animals, not adults? And isn’t it against the whole vegan ethos to place an animal in service animal for food? Or does the fact that the “animal” in question would be a willing human being compensated “supplementing” her customers’ diet make it OK?


Press Release of the Day

posted by on February 22 at 3:27 PM

Who knew Seattle was home to such badass female powerlifters, with such impressive resumes?

Four women powerlifters from Seattle placed first in their age and weight classes at USA Powerlifting Women’s Nationals in Baton Rouge, LA last weekend and came home with eleven new American Records between them.  Faith Ireland, 64, former Washington Supreme Court Justice, placed first in the sixty kilo class with American Records in the squat at 225 pounds, and bench press at 135 pounds.  Her deadlift of 281 pounds also earned the American Record for total at 641 pounds.  Ireland, who started lifting to overcome a back problem said, “When I started lifting weights with the three pound weights - I never thought I’d end up as the best lifter in the country for my age and weight — but it has happened!”

Todd Christensen, owner of Seattle Strength and Power in downtown Seattle, and coach of the four women, was elated with their performances.  “They are all focused and dedicated in the sport.  Their performances have earned each a place on the Master’s World Team which will compete in the Czech Republic in October.” 

Congratulations to all the triumphant lady lifters. Full press release after the jump.

Continue reading "Press Release of the Day" »

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 22 at 3:16 PM

Sexual Practices of the Japanese


(Theater) Vancouver couple Maiko Bae Yamamoto and James Long are theatrical adventurers—their last production was a series of one-person plays for one-person audiences. Sexual Practicesthree interlinked vignettes about life in Japan—promises simulated sex, a workplace romance, a schoolgirl beating the crap out of a businessman with a baseball bat, and one woman’s fetish for Ichiro Suzuki. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 8 pm, $18.) BRENDAN KILEY

Iraq in Fragments


(Film) We must say it again: This movie is excellent. And this is your last chance to see it before the Oscars on February 25. Seattle director James Longley’s triptych of Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish life won him a 2006 Stranger Genius Award and now is competing for a Best Documentary Oscar with An Inconvenient Truth, Jesus Camp, Deliver Us from Evil, and My Country, My Country. (Varsity, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755. 7:20 and 9:30 pm, $9.25.) JEN GRAVES

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at NWFF

posted by on February 22 at 3:12 PM


Stranger film editor Annie Wagner suggested it yesterday, and Slog commenter Fnarf seconded her suggestion in the comments thread:

No movie ever made, not even “Lawrence of Arabia”, loses more when transferred to TV than “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”. While I prefer the absurd minimalism of “For A Few Dollars More”, GBU is better cinematically. A stone cold masterpiece. Maybe THE stone cold masterpiece. The desert fires of hell will burn you into your seat.

I don’t always agree with Fnarf, who for some reason believes Magical Mystery Tour is the best Beatles album, but his impassioned acknolwedgment of the monumental stature of the Go-Betweens makes me trust his judgment, and so I dragged my ass out of the house last night to watch a three-hour spaghetti western I’d never seen.

It was fucking amazing. It also has the most astounding title sequence I’ve ever seen. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly screens again tonight at the Northwest Film Forum at 6:15 pm, and you should totally go.

Thank You for Visiting The O.C.… Bitch.

posted by on February 22 at 2:39 PM

For those who are sentimental about this sort of thing (AND THAT WOULD BE ME), the series finale of my fave teen drama in the world, THE O.C. is tonight (Fox, 9 pm). While I’m sure it will be stomach-churning and sappy/morose, it had better include the following things that every good O.C. episode should have:

1) Ryan knocking someone into a pool (preferably at a fancy dinner party).
2) Kiki falling into an alcoholic stupor.
3) Julie boning… let’s see, who’s left… okay, Seth.
4) Summer taking off her shirt one more time.
5) Taylor Townsend taking off ANYTHING one more time.
6) Marissa being killed one more time. ( I really hated her.)
7) And Luke returning to bust Ryan in the mouth, and say, “Welcome to the O.C., bitch.”

Here’s the original scene that started it all! (SOB! They look so young and stupid!)

The White Wail

posted by on February 22 at 2:04 PM

First, read this piece, by Christopher Frizzelle, about the first fifth of Moby Dick, drunk people on airplanes, and whether or not Melville was a time-travelling (or at least preternaturally prescient) man.

Then read the comments on this post, which start out bitchy (“get a life - post something less trivial”) and then get interesting (“ok. if frizzelle’s ahab and the sign is a modern god of finance and commerce, then who’s ishmael?”).

(I vote that Ishmael is you.)

Like Kids? Hate the Viaduct?

posted by on February 22 at 2:00 PM

Then head down to the Kids’ Parade for a Better Waterfront , which promises “music,” “fingerpainting,” “outlandish costumes” and “noise.” Starts at Victor Steinbrueck Park at 11 am this Sunday, February 25.

More info available here.

Dennis Johnson, RIP

posted by on February 22 at 1:54 PM

Former Sonic Dennis Johnson, the MVP of the ‘79 NBA Finals, has died. He was only 52.


Seattle’s Enviro Scorecard: Not Bad, But More to Do

posted by on February 22 at 1:51 PM

The Earth Day Network has done a comprehensive “urban environment” scorecard, ranking 72 cities by factors such as air and water quality, toxic chemicals, availability of recreation, and response to global warming. Out of the cities ranked, Seattle scored an impressive No. 7.

Among the highlights:

•13.5 percent of our population is considered “more vulnerable” to the effects of environmental degradation, due to diabetes (5.27 percent), lack of health insurance (13.4 percent), adult obesity (18.9) adult asthma (9.33 percent) and other factors.

• Seattle scored relatively low on toxics because our air and water contain high levels of neurologically damaging chemicals and dioxins; we have a large number of Superfund cleanup sites; and we have a poor record of lowering the amount of waste we send to landfills and convert to energy. However, our air and water quality were far superior to most of the most cities surveyed.

• Our vaunted “quality of life” ranked smack in the middle of the scale, with the worst scores for population and housing density, use of public transit, travel time to work, car ownership, and wasted fuel. Our overall cost of living also ranked poorly .

• Seattle scored lowest in the area of global warming, where we got props for committing to meet Kyoto standards but have shown little progress at the local level actually doing so. We’re doing a poor job creating greenhouse gas emission reduction programs; reporting greenhouse gas emissions; creating new renewable power sources; and metering utilities. (A lot of Seattle’s low score can be attributed, however, to geography; we lost points for having minimal wind and sunshine, and for being right at sea level).

Senators on Drugs

posted by on February 22 at 1:27 PM

I’m a fan of public-disclosure laws.

This morning, for example, public-disclosure laws allowed me to learn that just about every pharmaceutical company on the planet—GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Merck—contributed big money to state Senator Cheryl Pflug (R-5, Maple Valley) during her 2004 campaign. (At the bottom of this post I list the contributions I found.)

I looked this up because earlier this morning, in the senate health-care committee hearing, Senator Pflug was openly antagonistic and dismissive to Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles’s (D-36, Seattle) no-brainer bill mandating that pharmaceutical companies publicly disclose any gifts made to health-care providers.

Meanwhile, committee chair Senator Karen Keiser (D-33, Kent), who supported the bill, was equally dismissive of Senator Pflug, reminding Pflug to ask questions rather than give speeches.

Pflug lectured the committee that as a nurse she couldn’t see how this bill was helpful to the patient, that she’d never seen gifts influence prescription practices, and that the bill wasn’t a “value add” but rather was a “negative add” for implying that something inappropriate was going on just because the industry spends billions annually on building brand loyalty by marketing directly to doctors.

“I’m concerned about the implication,” Pflug said, “that there is a cause and effect here that is inappropriate.” She wanted to know where the incriminating proof was. “There’s no way to track the impact of marketing on prescriptions,” she said.

Which prompted Senator Keiser to state the obvious: “Well, maybe if we passed this disclosure bill…”

Indeed, as Senator Kohl-Welles pointed out in her testimony, the bill would not prohibit drug companies from fellating health-care providers with free meals, exotic trips, and tchotchkes like free pens—it would simply make it public. (The bill sets up a website where patients could look up gifts by health-care provider and drug company.)

Senator Kohl-Welles also made the compelling point that drugs are the fastest growing component of ballooning health-care costs overall, while marketing (not R&D) is the biggest expense for drug companies. So, putting the spotlight on excessive marketing (which may act as a deterrent for such crass behavior) would help slow health-care costs in general: a bipartisan goal.

In addition to Pflug, PHARMA lobbyist Jeff Gombosky spoke against the bill. Gombosky had two points:

1) The disclosure rules would compromise proprietary information, and
2) Companies already disclose.

Senator Kohl-Welles asked him the obvious question: If the industry is already disclosing, aren’t they already revealing proprietary information.

Answer: Well, the industry discloses advertising information in aggregate. In other words, there’s no mechanism—like the one laid out in Senator Kohl-Welles’s bill—that allows patients to zoom in on health-care providers and drug companies in specific.

After the hearing, I asked Gombosky if that was right. He told me it was. Okay. So, the companies don’t already disclose.

I also asked him what type of proprietary information would be put at risk by disclosing gifts to health-care providers. He simply said: “Everybody’s business plan.”

Hyping her case for simple disclosure, Senator Kohl-Welles made the analogy to public-disclosure laws that govern people like herself and Gombosky. That is: The public knows who’s spending what and on whom to influence public policy. Kohl-Welles reasoned that health-care costs are such a pressing public-policy issue and public-health issue, that the public should know what’s going on behind the scenes.

Senator Pflug objected to the analogy: “I see a benefit [to disclosing] what us and lobbyists are doing,” she said. “[But] I’m quite sure as a registered nurse that I can’t think of any time when gifts affected prescriptions.”

Given her contributors list — GlaxoSmithKline ($675), GlaxoSmithKline (another $625), Pfizer ($675), Pfizer (another $625), Schering Plough ($675), Eli Lilly ($250), Eli Lilly (another $250), Eli Lilly (another $500), Novartis ($500), and Merck ($500)— I took Senator Pflug’s naiveté with grain of salt.

Re: The Bounding and Scrambling

posted by on February 22 at 1:27 PM

The Unpaid Intern already posted about the entertaining—and sometimes scary—photos by John Divola of dogs running alongside cars:


These coarse, smudgy images are offset by the still, crisp images of another show (the opening act) also running at G. Gibson Gallery—Animal Holes by Eirik Johnson.

Divola’s photos the dogs are positive—almost heroic—figures, a blur of action in the middle of a vacant desert. (I’d say something about Dasein but I’m afraid of sounding pretentious.) Johnson’s photos are the exact opposite—quiet, careful consideration of the negative, where all the texture and detail comes from the subject’s surroundings. They are not images of bodies, they’re images of the absence of bodies, but it’s hard not to see them as close-ups of (or metaphors for) the flesh. In this photo, from San Francisco, the grass makes its hole look like a navel:

Johnson_San Francisco, CA 01.jpg

This hole looks slightly more obscene (blame it on the leaves):

Johnson_Cranbrook, MI 01.jpg

The detail in these big photos is what makes them—you can see every blade of grass, every grain of snow—and their empty centers make Divola’s positive dogs seem wilder, funnier, and even more alive. It’s an excellent pairing.

Public Poetry on Capitol Hill

posted by on February 22 at 1:20 PM

I just had the pleasure of waiting at a “Don’t Walk” sign near Seattle U with a tall, thin, twenty-something man, a natural poet who may also have been tripping on acid.

“First, find a twenty-tentacled octopus and call it Time,” he said to himself. “Then find the tentacle that started growing first. Yeah!”

Thank you, street poet.

AA Meeting Episode 5: Scorsese & Sunshine

posted by on February 22 at 12:16 PM


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 the fifth and final episode, I wrangle with the big two of this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, Best Director and Best Picture, obsessing on the vague ickiness of a Scorsese win, the hierarchy of the dead and famous, and reality TV’s culpability in the impending Oscar triumph of Little Miss Sunshine. Enjoy.

Immigrants Are Terrorists…

posted by on February 22 at 11:58 AM

So are drug traffickers and illegal marriage brokers, according statistics released by federal prosecutors. However, in a 160-page audit report released Tuesday (.pdf), the Justice Department demurs:

We determined that the FBI, EOUSA [Executive Office for United States Attorneys], and the Criminal Division did not accurately report 24 of the 26 statistics we reviewed.

We are concerned that EOUSA’s view of the anti-terrorism category permits criminal cases arising from virtually any federal law enforcement effort, including immigration violations or border enforcement activities, to be categorized as anti-terrorism regardless of the actual circumstances. In our review of the statistics reported by EOUSA, we looked for and accepted any stated terrorism linkage. However, we found many cases involving offenses such as immigration violations, standard document fraud, or drug trafficking, where the subject or target showed no link at all to terrorist activity. Therefore, in accordance with EOUSA’s anti-terrorism definition, we did not accept those cases as having support for coding in the anti-terrorism category.

Congress and the Department management also use terrorism-related statistics to make operational and funding decisions for Department counterterrorism activities, and to support the Department’s annual budget requests.

Funding for the programs has nothing to do with it, officials insist. In fact, there’s no malfeasance to be found and the problems have already been mostly fixed. From the AP

The office has since agreed to change the way it counts and classifies anti-terrorism cases, said [EOUSA] department spokesman Dean Boyd.

“The notion that the Justice Department intentionally inflated its statistics is false and flatly contradicted by the OIG report itself,” Boyd said.

In all but one area, Criminal Division prosecutors either accurately stated or underreported their data — the ones the department usually uses in public statements about its counterterror efforts, Boyd noted.

What Does This Mean?

posted by on February 22 at 11:38 AM

While roaming the history of the 19th century, the most important century, the area of time that separates one period of human reality (that leads up to us) from the other (that leads away from us—the separation, the break being with nature and the universalization of industrial discipline: paying close attention to clocks, and the regulation of eating and sexual habits, and so on), I came across this fascinating piece of information. Two years after Britian’s Royal Mail decided to use railways to transport mail, in 1848, the institution decided to do the most amazing thing: to make a person who sent a letter pay for it, instead of the other way around.

Until that point, 1850, the receiver paid for the letter. It was a letter meant for them, the receiver, and so he/she must pay for it. What I have not yet established, and what challenges my mind at this moment, is what does this switch mean? What has happened in the larger transition from agricultural to industrial society, from rural to urban modes, for this new understanding to happen? For the sender of a message to bare the cost of its delivery? Clearly, there was a reason for the receiver to pay for the letter: it’s his/her letter, it has his/her name on it, it is addressed to them, they own this letter. But why make the sender pay when it is not their letter? The sender did not write the letter to the sender; his/her name is not on it. What does this switch say about authorship? What does it say about the reader? The sender is one type of individual; the receiver is another type. Now what has happened in this new society—the society that will eventually become the world society—for it to see the sender, this particular type of individual, as the one who must pay for the service of mail delivery?

Chocolate City to Lose License

posted by on February 22 at 11:17 AM

Via the Miller Park Neighborhood Association blog.

That’s Not Funny

posted by on February 22 at 11:08 AM

“Two clowns shot dead at circus.”.

“It is a Practice Likely to Cease.”

posted by on February 22 at 10:37 AM

Check out this BBC News report from October 17, 1989, the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake in California. A section of the Nimitz Freeway in Oakland collapsed in the earthquake, prompting observers to predict that the days of building double-decker freeways were over.

Sit Back and Relax

posted by on February 22 at 10:30 AM

The jurors in the Libby trial have reportedly requested a big flip chart, some post-it notes, marking tape, and pictures of the witnesses. Which means it’s probably going to be a long deliberation…

UPDATE: Meanwhile, here’s a great piece from Salon about the closing arguments.

Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, James Turrell … and Lead Pencil Studio

posted by on February 22 at 9:50 AM

In today’s Modern Art Notes, Tyler Green muses on the future of Dia, the sprawling artist-support network whose opening of a museum in a massive renovated factory an hour north of New York City in 2003 was a culmination of decades of production and collecting.

But what should Dia, this giant of late 20th-century art, do now? Earlier this week, Dia appointed a new director, Jeffrey Weiss, who will start this spring, and whose first task is to find a site in New York. Fine, except that the art world grows only less New York-centric, and Dia was always a champion of remote projects (one thinks of de Maria, Turrell, Heizer, and Agnes Martin all in the Southwest).

A champion of projects and artists, not a builder of museum spaces. That’s one of Green’s points. And when he thinks of which young, talented artists Dia might support?

If I were Jeffrey Weiss, I’d make an early phone call to Lead Pencil Studio, and then fund them to do something significant.

LPS (Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, Stranger Genius award winners, represented in town by Lawrimore Project) would help to update Dia. Their investment in real, written history, and the way their work reacts to it by situating itself in a particular moment in time would be a major addition to the forever-and-ever monuments Dia is known for. Thinking about it, there’s no museum in the world where their gallery work would look better than in Dia:Beacon. Picture these small wall sculptures


considered amidst the Heizer black holes of North, East, South, West, the Dan Flavins, the Fred Sandbacks, Smithson’s pile of glass, Hanne Darboven’s relentless serialism, and Judd’s box assortment. It’s difficult to imagine a better processer and inheritor of the classic Dia artists than Lead Pencil Studio.

But Green is talking about Dia throwing its weight behind more ambitious projects. Lead Pencil’s outdoor masterwork, Maryhill Double, was pulled off without institutional support except Creative Capital. Where will they get support next and what can they do with it? They’re determined and independent. Having day jobs as architects means they don’t—and they don’t have to—compromise on art. (In a recent proposal, they violated the single rule put forward by a committee jurying a public art project because they felt the infrastructure needed to change for the whole site to be transformed, and they handily lost the competition.)


Maybe Seattle attorney Charles B. Wright is already onto this idea. He’s the son of collectors Virginia and Bagley Wright, former director and board president of Dia, and still a trustee. Maybe he’ll start that phone chain.

Meanwhile, Han and Mihalyo are out of town installing a new work, In Transit, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The artists have been mum on the specifics of the piece, but here’s the museum’s description:

Han and Mihalyo create an installation that responds to the nervous energy, tremulous earth, and unknown site conditions that arise out of migration; the state of being in neither one place or another. They will employ common materials such as sculpted dirt, wire, and fluorescent lighting to transform the Exploratorium into a place from which to observe the condition of betweenness as it relates to buildings, identity, and memory.

In Transit, part of a group show including Seyed Alavi, Alex Clausen, Paul Hayes, and Erica Gangesi, opens March 8 and runs through June 3. In May, LPS has a show at Lawrimore.

Not Just Fakers

posted by on February 22 at 9:50 AM

For their first two outings, Jason Puccinelli, Jed Dunkerley and Greg Lundgren (PDL to you) may have been toying with their link to the artist trio SuttonBeresCuller (with whom they’re longtime friends), but as of March 1, they’re their own entity.

This new artist trio, known as PDL, will spend the next twelve months aggressively creating new works, challenging perceptions of contemporary art, and causing general mayhem in the great Pacific Northwest. This collaboration will culminate with a retrospective in the spring of 2008, showcasing the images, video and artifacts of their performances and installations. This public launch will kick-off with a performance piece on the streets of Pioneer Square during first Thursday’s art walk from 5 to 8 pm, with a party to follow at the Hideout. Select footage of the trio’s recent projects will be presented, as well as a few special surprises. Extraordinary circumstances have brought together these three talented artists. Their collective skills allow them to perform a complexity of projects no single person could reasonably execute, and together they will work with a single voice and objective. Please join us March 1st and watch PDL tip the first domino in an explosive year of collaborative work. Some future performances and events dates will be announced, others, well, you’ll just have to be there.

The Contenders: Tom Tancredo

posted by on February 22 at 9:45 AM

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.


Tom Tancredo

Party: Republican

Age: 62

Status: Has Exploratory Committee

Congressman Tom Tancredo, former chair of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, has led the fight to deport every undocumented worker in America. He also proposes calling a halt to all immigration— legal and otherwise. He is worried that President Bush plans to merge the U.S. with Canada and Mexico into one North American state.

Tancredo was born in Denver, Colorado, the grandson of Italian immigrants. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Political Science, and has said that his interest in politics began the eighth grade, when he played Fidel Castro in a class assignment. Tancredo taught history for several years at Drake Junior High School in Denver, where he met his wife Jackie. He soon became vocal in a campaign to end bilingual education in the state, and, in 1981, Ronald Reagan appointed him as the regional representative for the Department of Education in Denver. Tancredo remained in this post in until he ran for Congress in 1998.

Although Tancredo ran as a staunch proponent of term limits and promised to serve only three terms, he was re-elected for the fourth time in 2006. During his time in office he has stepped forward as a conservative leader in the immigration debate, urging the U.S. to reject “the siren song of multiculturalism.” In one well publicized maneuver, Tancredo called on the INS to deport the family of an undocumented high school honor student who had been profiled in the Denver Post for his perfect grades.

Tancredo has also said that Miami “has become a Third World country, ” and has described Islam as “a civilization bent on destroying ours.” He has also called for dismantling the Congressional Black Caucus on the grounds that it is restricted only to black people and is therefore exclusionary. When Pope Benedict XVI sparked riots by condemning Islam as “evil,” Tancredo urged him not to apologize. In a radio interview in 2006, Tancredo proposed that America respond to any future terrorist attack by bombing Mecca and other holy sites. Tancredo was named one of the 10 worst congressman by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2006.

Here he is calling Mexico a “foe,” while defending the rights of bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman.

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, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Ron Paul, and James Gilmore III.

The Bounding and Scrambling

posted by on February 22 at 7:45 AM

I am a native of rural New Hampshire: many dogs have chased my car. (As a teenager, I drove a Festiva, which is smaller than many men and beasts, and so a popular target.)

A dog usually will start his pursuit from the wing, bounding over an embankment or popping from a tangle of roadside weeds. After moving within five or so feet of the car, he will shift direction to begin running alongside the vehicle, barking if he’s got the breath for it. (Most have an innate ability to avoid being bumped or flattened.) If the driver does not accelerate, the dog will keep pace beside the vehicle, all bliss and stupid energy. For the car passengers, these attitudes are contagious—even more so than the ticklish, nice feelings one gets from the flapping ears and tongue of the canine-head-out-the-car-window, although that has mass appeal for good and similar reasons.

From 1995 to 1998, John Divola took photographs of isolated houses in the desert of the Morongo Valley in California. Dogs would occasionally chase his car, and he turned his lens on them, capturing all the excitement, the scrambling and bounding. Selected photographs from this series, Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert, are on view at G. Gibson Gallery through March 24.

Divola’s use of a motor drive and grainy, high-speed film blurs his black-and-white images to varying degrees. Some look like well-executed charcoal drawings, coarse and carefully smudged, the running creatures ghostly. In others, Divola highlights the behavior of his canine subjects. In this crisp image, a dog is captured in mid-air, eyes on the camera, arms and legs stretched for flight. With a pole and some cable, he could be rigged up as an airborne carnival ride.


— Abigail Guay

The Morning News

posted by on February 22 at 7:04 AM

So long HPV; bye-bye chlamydia?

Speaking of HPV: Merck just suspended its campaign to lobby states to make its vaccination mandatory.

“Good news” British troops are leaving, the Bush administration says. Iraqi leader Talabani agrees.

An era ends: As Whole Foods buys its largest competitor, Wild Oats.

No verdict yet: In Lewis “Scooter” Libby trial.

Stepping down: Italian prime minister Romano Prodi.

The viaduct: It’s dangerous.

It’s getting ugly: Obama vs. Clinton vs. Edwards.

A good deed gone awry: Sword-wielding neighbor breaks down door, mistaking porn sounds for actual rape.

Black Hawk Down: It’s the eighth one so far in Iraq.

Romney’s abortion views: All over the map since 1994.

Also all over the map: Maverick McCain’s maverick, straight-talkin’ views about Dick Cheney.

Helen Thomas: Out of the front row at Bush’s press conferences.

Refusing the veil: Deadly for Pakistani women’s rights advocate.

Well, It’s a Start

posted by on February 22 at 12:42 AM


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tyler Perry, Sans Madea

posted by on February 21 at 4:14 PM

I’m completely fascinated by Tyler Perry, and I’ve been a dumbstruck fan of his movies and plays ever since, by a fluke, I was assigned to review Woman Thou Art Loosed and Diary of a Mad Black Women for The Stranger.

It’s an interesting week in TP news, because his new production—the first to ditch Madea, his trademark pot-smoking, gun-toting, Dionysian caricature of a grandma, played by Perry himself in halfhearted drag—garnered only 5th place at the weekend box office, grossing a respectable but nonetheless disappointing $18.8 million since its Valentine’s Day opening. (Cinematical discusses the numbers and competition.)

I tend to think the loss of Madea upsets the delicate mix of hard-sell Christianity and hysterical blasphemy that makes Tyler Perry movies both inspirational and palatable. Daddy’s Little Girls tries to compensate by substituting an evil slut of a mother (“I’m gonna wipe those sweet dreams out of your head if it’s the last thing I do!”), but it isn’t the same.

Luckily, according to ABC News, Madea is going to show up in at least the first couple of episodes of Tyler Perry’s new TV show for TBS. (He’s going to be on Nightline tonight at 11:35.) In other news, The New York Times examines the phenomenon of urban theater (which is still very much East Coast and Southern—we don’t get much around here). And here’s an intriguing profile in the Delaware News Journal.

The Best of Mike Tyson

posted by on February 21 at 4:00 PM

I’m wasting time by watching this:

My new motto: “I was gonna rip his heart out, I’m the best ever.”

My personal favorite: “I normally don’t do interviews with women unless I fornicate with ‘em… so you shouldn’t talk any more… unless you wanna… you know.”

Runners up: “I want your heart, I want to eat your children, praise be to our lord!” and “I’ll eat your asshole alive, you bitch.”

Thanks to my friend Mac for sharing and allowing me to procrastinate just five minutes more.

Last Night’s Viaduct Debate: Not Too Boring for the Stranger!

posted by on February 21 at 3:18 PM

Reporters from both the P-I and the Times were present at last night’s Evans School forum on the future of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, but both apparently considered it too boring to cover. Not us! The well-attended forum featured Mayor Greg Nickels, King County Exec Ron Sims, Washington State Department of Transportation Urban Corridors Administrator David Dye, and ex-mayor Norm Rice. Evans dean Sandra Archibald moderated.

Dye argued for the elevated option (or “described” the option, as he put it, since state employees aren’t allowed to advocate on ballot measures), saying it was the only option that created enough car capacity to serve drivers in 2030. “If you start taking major [transportation] links out of the network, those trips go somewhere else. They don’t disappear,” Dye said. “We’re going to have 130,000 trips [on the viaduct] by 2030.”

Sims and Nickels both countered that the viaduct won’t need to carry that many cars; by 2030, they said, transit will accommodate many people who would have driven on the viaduct. Somewhat surprisingly, however, Nickels continued to argue for his four-lane tunnel, which Gov. Christine Gregoire has already declared dead on arrival.

“My first option is still the tunnel,” Nickels said. “There’s no good way to disperse all those vehicles and still have the same mobility.” Later, however, Nickels backpedaled on his dismissal of the surface/transit option, saying he was “open to a surface option as an alternative if the tunnels not to be the preference of the people of Seattle,” but that it would probably kill the maritime industry on the waterfront. “The Port of Seattle and manufacturing businesses don’t have an alternative. If we choose a surface option they may not have a future in the city. … And that can work.”

Sims, meanwhile, advocated for the surface/transit option (which he audaciously claimed was his idea), calling it “the compromise” position. Sims said that while WSDOT worries about vehicle capacity, the real goal should be mobility of people and freight. “Capacity is what you build for when you want sprawl. The mobility model is about the movement of people.” With any viaduct plan, Alaskan Way will be fully or partly closed for 7 to 11 years, Sims noted. So “we’re going to have to make surface transit work… really well no matter what. So why not see how much more we can do before we make a rebuild decision?”

Ichiro, Nintendo, and the Lust for a Princess

posted by on February 21 at 3:10 PM

So, as of today, February 21, 2007 Ichiro hints that he may leave the Mariners, the Seattle team that is majority-owned by Nintendo.

February 21, 2007 is also the 21st anniversary of the release of the Legend of Zelda, the game that announced to the world what Nintendo—then a small Japanese business that had dabbled in playing cards, taxis, and love hotels—was on earth to do. (There’s a whole other weird backstory, about how Nintendo was founded in the 1800s to manufacture playing cards that were introduced to Japan by a Portuguese sailor in the 1500s and then banned but became popular in yakuza-run gambling parlors, meaning Nintendo has its roots in organized crime.)

For my friends in 1986—at least the ones whose parents bought Nintendo systems—Princess Zelda, whose rescue was the goal of the game, became an early sex object. We were all around 8 or 9, most of us didn’t even know what sex was, but we knew that we were trying to rescue a beautiful, beautiful woman who looked like this (that’s her on the left):


Nintendo introduced us to longing for women. It’s fitting then that the president of Nintendo in 1986 (the company’s third president since its founding in 1889) once tried to make his fortune by owning love hotels, those cartoon-bright no-tell motels where couples go to have sex (and, occasionally, tourists go for a cheap night’s sleep):


Nintendo pretends to be a company about toys, about youth—but their roots are in crime and sex and everything they touch leads to fruitless yearning: the yearning for pixilated princesses, the yearning for a winning baseball team, the yearning for a Japanese baseball star, our municipal hero, who is delicately threatening to leave us.


posted by on February 21 at 2:59 PM

Sources say a car has burned up in the underground garage of the Broadway Market, creating a terrible smell and causing the evacuation of the entire building. Sources say they are being forced to go run up and down some stairs out in the world rather than go to whatever gym is upstairs in the building. Everyone says that gym is a dreadful place, and it’s a beautiful day. Fire!

Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 21 at 1:55 PM

RIP, Charles Gocher: Sun City Girls Musician Passes On.

Where Do I Begin?: Hopping Aboard Sun Ra’s Arkestra.

Protect You: A Fitting Tribute.

Everybody Cut Loose: Seattle’s Long, Footloose-ian Nightmare is Officially Over!

Touching: Did the Shins Reach You Last Night?

See You Later, Tortoise?: Post Rockers Need Moisture, Too.

Beyond Beats & Prime Times: PBS Waits For Old Whitey To Go To Bed, Shows Hip Hop Doc.

The Jam: The Young Marleys’ Dancehall Beatboxing.

Sad Robots: Still Something to Write Home About.

Chemical Weapons Found in Iraq

posted by on February 21 at 1:33 PM

In the hands of insurgents.

BAGHDAD, Feb. 21 — For the third time in a month, insurgents deployed a new and deadly tactic against Iraqi civilians today: A chemical bomb combining explosives with poisonous chlorine gas.

Says Sullivan:

There is such hideous irony here: we invaded to stop a dictator giving chemical weapons to terrorists. But the result of the botched, under-manned occupation is that the terrorists no longer need the dictator to get them.

The Unfunny Dream Is Over

posted by on February 21 at 12:54 PM


Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Aaron Sorkin’s ruthlessly unfunny dramedy charting the behind-the-scenes action of an “SNL-like” comedy show, has been placed on hiatus, with industry insiders predicting the show’s all-time-low ratings last Monday will make the hiatus permanent.

Truly, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving show. (My original gripe about Studio 60’s complete failure as entertainment can be read here.)

In better news, 30 Rock, Tina Fey’s funny comedy about behind-the-scenes action at an SNL-like comedy show continues to get better and better. If Jon Stewart and Tina Fey had a baby, it would explode from hilariousness.

The Contenders: James Gilmore III

posted by on February 21 at 12:50 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.


James Gilmore III

Party: Republican

Age: 58

Status: Has Exploratory Committee

James Gilmore III, a former Governor of Virginia, served as the Chair of the Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction from 1999 to 2003. He currently serves as Chairman of the National Council on Readiness & Preparedness, and as President of USA Secure, a non-profit homeland security think tank based in Washington, D.C. In case you couldn’t guess, he plans to run for President on a platform of National Security.

Gilmore was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1949. His father was a butcher, and his mother was a church secretary. Gilmore attended the University of Virginia for both his undergraduate and his law degrees. He met his wife, Roxane, while attending UVA. After a 3 year tour of duty as a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent in Germany, Gilmore began his law career as a partner in a successful Richmond firm. After opening his own firm, Gilmore ran for prosecutor in Henrico County, Virginia and was elected in 1987 and reelected in 1991. In 1993, Gilmore ran for the office of Virginia Attorney General, which he won by a substantial margin.

In 1997, Gilmore was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on a platform promising to repeal the state’s infamous car tax. When he left the office in 2001, Virginia faced over 7 billion dollars of debt. While governor, Gilmore assented to a request from the National Organization for European-American Rights to make May European-American Heritage Month. After reporters from the Associated Press pointed out that the group making the request was a white supremacy group headed by David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, the Governor rescinded the proclamation.

While still Governor, Gilmore was appointed by President Bush to chair the Republican National Committee, but resigned the chairmanship after his extremely brief tenure was fraught with tensions with the White House. Term limits had barred Gilmore from running for the governorship again and the Republican who was nominated in his stead, Mark Earley, lost in a stunning defeat to Democrat Mark Warner shortly after Gilmore took over the RNC. The loss of his home state to the Democrats caused a great deal of grumbling among fellow Republicans, particularly the president’s closest advisors.

Gilmore is pro-life, pro-death penalty, pro-drug war, and pro-tax cuts. He has pushed for offshore oil development and a state school voucher system in Virginia. He has said he would not support a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, though he does not support the surge either. As Governor, Gilmore established the Office of the Secretary of Technology, and has said he would like “Virginia to be recognized as the Internet capital of the world.”

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, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, and Ron Paul.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 21 at 12:23 PM

Ennio Morricone Double-Header

The battle of Algiers.jpg

(FILM) Northwest Film Forum’s series on film music brings two fantastic movies scored by Ennio Morricone (due to be tapped for an honorary Oscar this year): Sergio Leone’s archetypal spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo’s stunning account of the 1950s uprising against French colonial occupiers in Algeria—shown in 2003 at the Pentagon as an illustration of what could go wrong in Iraq. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 6:15 pm (The Good…), 9:30 pm (Battle of Algiers), $5—$8.50.) ANNIE WAGNER

Is David Geffen a Catty Bitch? Or: How it all Comes Back to “Free Leonard Peltier!”

posted by on February 21 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday Kos dredged up the “catty bitch” contretemps in order to make a point about what he said was Maureen Dowd’s unfairness to Barack Obama.

Today Maureen Dowd, writing from Hollywood, delivers a huge gift to the Obama campaign via an interview with former Clinton supporter David Geffen, who helped organize the big Hollywood fundraiser for Obama last night. (And for those keeping score in Kos v. Dowd, no, I don’t think this means she took his critique to heart and decided to be nice to Obama. I think it’s more likely that Dowd’s column was finished before Kos’s post ever went up — which sort of undercuts Kos’s theory that she was ever out to get Obama in the first place, doesn’t it?)

In any case, from David Geffen’s mouth to Maureen Dowd’s notepad, and from there to the NYT Opinon page and blogs everywhere:

“Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together.

“Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I’m tired of hearing James Carville on television.”


“I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person,” Mr. Geffen says, adding that if Republicans are digging up dirt, they’ll wait until Hillary is the nominee to use it. “I think they believe she’s the easiest to defeat.”

And of Mrs. Clinton’s war stance and campaign so far: “It’s not a very big thing to say, ‘I made a mistake’ on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can’t,” Mr. Geffen says. “She’s so advised by so many smart advisers who are covering every base. I think that America was better served when the candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms.”

Presto. A furious Clinton camp, and an Obama-Clinton-Geffen verbal brawl.

But why so glum about the Clintons, Mr. Geffen? This is the part I love…

Once, David Geffen and Bill Clinton were tight as ticks. Mr. Geffen helped raise some $18 million for Bill and slept in the Lincoln Bedroom twice. Bill chilled at Chateau Geffen. Now, the Dreamworks co-chairman calls the former president “a reckless guy” who “gave his enemies a lot of ammunition to hurt him and to distract the country.”

They fell out in 2000, when Mr. Clinton gave a pardon to Marc Rich after rebuffing Mr. Geffen’s request for one for Leonard Peltier. “Marc Rich getting pardoned? An oil-profiteer expatriate who left the country rather than pay taxes or face justice?” Mr. Geffen says. “Yet another time when the Clintons were unwilling to stand for the things that they genuinely believe in. Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”

Like the college kids say: Free Leonard Peltier! (Or no Hollywood money for you!)

The Long Goodbye

posted by on February 21 at 11:49 AM

From the P.I.:

Stopping far short of saying he wanted out, Ichiro said the idea of becoming a free agent after his contract expires this year is at least worth considering. His agent said the Mariners’ ability to win this season will figure prominently into Ichiro’s decision.

Translation: Goodbye, Ichiro. Catch him while you can, because in 2008 he’ll no doubt be in pinstripes.

Can He Get a Witness?

posted by on February 21 at 11:03 AM

As he promised us, Jacob Metcalf, AKA Jake of, testified in Olympia at yesterday’s NASCAR bill hearing. The International Speedway Corp. (ISC), a Florida based company, wants to build the $370 million track in Kitsap County, using $145 million in publicly financed bonds.

Jake of says: “It was fun to read this in a room full of NASCAR executives and hired guns.”

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Geoff Simpson (D-47, not from Kitsap), posted on Slog yesterday. (Click the link above to see his comments.)

Meanwhile, here’s joystick’s public testimony in full:

My name is Jacob Metcalf of Bremerton. I am a proud environmentalist and progressive populist.

This bill is not only the most obscene piece of pork-filled corporate welfare for the International Speedway Corporation of Florida, but is a direct assault on the sovereignty of Kitsap County, our elected officials and our voters.

This bill promotes an unjustified non-contiguous annexation and leapfrog development that throws away the electoral will of the Kitsap County voters and sets a horrible precedent that will threaten local control and will have chilling effects across the state. There is not one legislator from Kitsap that supports the bill. Never forget that 100 percent of the pro-pork for NASCAR legislative and county commissioner candidates lost in the Kitsap election of 2006 in all three legislative districts. Don?t be fooled by the ISC’s spin and myths, this bill is specific to Kitsap County in it mentions specific highways and roads and the ISC’s vice president has said in the media that Kitsap is the only location in their sights. Kitsap is a peninsula with specific transportation problems and a fragile economy. This is plain nuts.

In a statewide Elway poll taken just last weekend 79 percent of Washington voters opposed public financing for NASCAR while only 16 percent want to throw away our hard-earned tax money on the ISC?s ponzi scheme. Trickle down voodoo economic tax giveaways and sweetheart property tax deals for an out-of-state billionaire corporation will not help the working class of Washington.

The legislation does not include the state of Washington in broadcast and merchandising profits surrounding a race. They say that we would be an equal partner. We get the risk, pollution and sprawl and they get to take all the money back to Florida.

But we have to look beyond the numbers and see the bigger picture. They want the state to be an accomplice and to disempower and disenfranchise local control. This bill will create a new larger government entity that is a child of corporate greed. There is no constitutional obligation for the state to fund frivolous entertainment and there is no political mandate to follow this radical path.

The ISC and their allies have engaged in questionable lobbying activity with our elected officials. They have used campaign contributions, expensive tickets to races and an army of Astroturf followers and hired gun lawyers. Jack Abramoff would be proud.

The Kitsap economy and job market is expanding and has added thousands of new jobs in recent years. We need to deal with the threat of urban sprawl with responsible development. This is not it. I believe we can be responsible stewards of our economy by supporting common sense economic policy and stay away from dangerous misadventures such as this bill. I love Kitsap County and the state of Washington and we deserve better than this.

No pork for NASCAR and NASCAR go home!

Retro Option in Today’s Times

posted by on February 21 at 10:36 AM

Last night at the UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, King County Executive Ron Sims, WSDOT Urban Corridors Administrator David Dye, and former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice debated what to do about the Alaskan Way Viaduct at a panel moderated by Evans School dean Sandra Archibald. I’ll have a longer report later today. One option they didn’t discuss was retrofitting the viaduct and preparing for its eventual removal—the option preferred by former monorail proponent Peter Sherwin, who has an editorial calling for just that in today’s Seattle Times.

Michael Medved: No Fags, No Fat Chicks

posted by on February 21 at 10:05 AM


Seattle’s very own right-wing idiot, Michael Medved, has finally weighed in on Tim Hardaway’s recent freakout about big, scary homos. Medved’s piece, published at the lunatic aquarium Townhall, starts out exactly as you’d expect from such a mustachioed douchebag.

Recent comments by retired basketball star Tim (“I hate gay people”) Hardaway did serious damage to his image and career but also unwittingly raised serious cultural issues about sexuality and gender.

Hardaway appropriately apologized for his harsh remarks, but many (if not most) Americans no doubt share his instinctive reluctance to share showers and locker rooms with open homosexuals. That reluctance also explains the controversial Defense Department policy that prevents out-of-the-closet gays from serving in the United States military.

But then, about half-way through the piece, Medved completely jumps the rails. It ain’t pretty:

Tim Hardaway (and most of his former NBA teammates) wouldn’t welcome openly gay players into the locker room any more than they’d welcome profoundly unattractive, morbidly obese women. I specify unattractive females because if a young lady is attractive (or, even better, downright “hot”) most guys, very much including the notorious love machines of the National Basketball Association, would probably welcome her joining their showers. The ill-favored, grossly overweight female is the right counterpart to a gay male because, like the homosexual, she causes discomfort due to the fact that attraction can only operate in one direction. She might well feel drawn to the straight guys with whom she’s grouped, while they feel downright repulsed at the very idea of sex with her.

The Ongoing Mystery of Anna Nicole’s Body

posted by on February 21 at 9:29 AM


The drama continues: According to Florida’s Local 6 News, the Broward County medical examiner has warned that Anna Nicole Smith’s remains are decomposing more quickly than expected, potentially jeopardizing a public viewing.

The speedy decomposition is fascinating enough—is that what happens to bodies made primarily of methadone and silicone?—but the ongoing mystery of the urge to gawk at Anna Nicole’s body is what really seizes my cerebral cortex.

After Anna Nicole Smith was found unconscious with a mouthful of vomit and soon pronounced dead, I was surprised by the number of straight men—smart, interesting straight men—who shared memories of “pulling one off” to images of Anna Nicole during their formative years. I remember when Anna was a gorgeous Guess model/Playboy Playmate, and I remember when she was a walking corpse with a sizey rack. Her reputation as an object of lust straddled both periods. Even when her insides were revealed to be muddled garbage, her basic shape—blonde locks, huge boobs—seemed to keep a measure of its allure. Which brought up a fascinating question: How empty, messy, and pathetic can a “sexy shape” be and still retain some sexual appeal?

Yesterday I got something of an answer, thanks to this video, slogged yesterday by Wm. Steven Humphrey, which proves once and for all that eroticizing Anna Nicole is the sexual equivalent of executing the retarded. The motives behind such an act may be understandable, but there’s simply no way to do it with a clear conscience.

Absolute Spin

posted by on February 21 at 9:03 AM

Check it:

Tony Blair’s announcement today that Britain is to withdraw about 1,600 troops from Iraq over the coming months shows that US-led operations in the country are succeeding, American leaders say.

President George W Bush views the plan to cut British forces to about 5,000 by the end of the summer as “a sign of success”, according to a US National Security Council spokesman, Gordon Johndroe.

They are pulling out and we are pulling more in?A sign of success? What a spin.


posted by on February 21 at 8:38 AM

At the close of the Lewis Libby trial: A suggestion by Libby’s defense lawyer, Ted Wells, that he might have been “drunk” during opening arguments; cries of “Karl Rove lied!”; boasts of a “Perry Mason moment”; and, of course, tears:

His voice breaking, the $700-an-hour lawyer pleaded: “Give him back! Give him back to me!”

Wells sobbed loudly and went back to his chair, where he sat staring at the floor and emitting the occasional sniffle.

The Morning News

posted by on February 21 at 6:34 AM

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez: Typically, FEMA has paid the full cost of repairs in past disasters. Not after Hurricane Katrina.

Going down? Last day of testimony in Libby trial wraps up with harsh words and emotional pleas.

Goodbye to all that: Federal court upholds a new law denying habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees.

Goodbye, Iraq: Britain announces plan for full troop pullout by2008.

Good news: Sexual assaults decline dramatically.

Great idea, guys: US plans outline potential strikes against Iran.

Wanking on the job: Not an inappropriate use of company time, or an ADA-protected disability?

All together now: DUH!: The widespread “sexualization” of girls has harmful effects on girls in the areas of “cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality and attitudes and beliefs,” according to a comprehensive new study by the American Pscyological Association

WSDOT Buries Tunnel Study.

posted by on February 21 at 5:20 AM

Seattle Times reporter Mike Lindblom has a scoop that lends weight to Team Nickels’s contention that its tunnel lite plan was inappropriately dismissed by biased state bureaucrats who were operating under an anti-tunnel, pro-rebuild mandate from anti-tunnel, pro-rebuild folks higher up the food chain.

Lindblom got his hands on a January WSDOT study that said tunnel lite could handle the viaduct capacity and had safety advantages. This info contradicts what the state said publicly about Nickels’s tunnel plan after Gregoire discontinued the study and gave word the tunnel option was dead. Lindblom’s reporting gave Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis the opportunity to fire off this FU quote:

“I think it [the report] pretty clearly shows that in terms of capacity, safety, that there are no fatal flaws to this approach,” Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis said. “It appears to me, WSDOT has deliberately hid the ball.”

In other FU news: Seattle’s 43rd District Democrats voted overwhelmingly last night to say NO to the elevated rebuild. The heavy rebuke came despite (or, perhaps, because of?) a 5-minute Vote YES rebuild speech by pro-rebuild 43rd district Rep. Frank Chopp.

The 43rd (Capitol Hill, U-District, Wallingford) also favored voting NO on Nickels’s tunnel.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Capitol Hill Poster Battle Gets Ugly

posted by on February 20 at 5:30 PM

And The Stranger gets scooped in its own backyard. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports: “Gun pulled on man posting fliers in Capitol Hill.”

A man who was posting fliers on Capitol Hill Monday afternoon was threatened at gunpoint by a gunman who thought his own advertisement had been covered, Seattle police reported.

While holding the weapon, the person apparently told the man, “I’ll put you in the gutter,” according to a police report.

The victim is a Shoreline man in his late 30s. He told police he was in the 1100 block of East Pike Street, posting advertisements on light poles near a skateboard shop and record store.

Eep. Full story here.

And Who Was That “Seattle Alt Weekly Reporter”? Ahem.

posted by on February 20 at 5:15 PM

Over at DailyKos, the big Kos himself has returned to the topic of his once having called Maureen Dowd a “catty, insecure bitch.”

I got in trouble during last year’s YearlyKos when, exhausted and with my guard down, I told a Seattle alt weekly reporter that Maureen Dowd was a “catty, insecure bitch”. I shouldn’t have called her a “bitch”, but she was catty and insecure while interviewing me…

That alt-weekly reporter would be me. And, for the record, even though Maureen Dowd and Kos apparently exchanged emails after that comment, I appear to have been frozen out — frozen out! — of Kos’s email in-box.

Example: Back in October, long after the event that prompted his “catty bitch” comment, I tried to land an interview with Kos for a story I was writing about one of his favorite Democrats, Jon Tester. No response.

Maybe he was busy, or maybe I got no response because I’m just a Seattle alt-weekly reporter. But if it was because I blogged his quote about Dowd — Then listen, Kos, your big beef with Maureen Dowd is that you feel she misrepresents events and doesn’t quote people accurately. And yet you still email her! And I quote you accurately and you don’t return my emails?

I mean, I know I’m no Maureen Dowd, but come on. Return my email! I’ll even let you call me a name or two off the record if it’ll make you feel better.

Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 20 at 4:10 PM

Monster Weekend: Sasquatch Festival Lineup Announced Today.

Monster Multinational: Nonprofit Bumbershoot Strikes Deal with For-Profit AEG.

Funk Breaks: Dennis Coffey’s Mythological Funk.

Heart Breaks: Megan Seling’s Therapeutic Punk.

Sacred Texts: The Other Neon Bible.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Ribbon Cutting for the New $1.8 Million Vera Project.

This Charming Man: Morrissey to Tour U.S. this Spring.

The Golden Child: Master Charlie’s Black-Lit Wisdom.

The Great Beyond: Masculinity, Hiphop, and Kelly Clarkson.

The Contenders: Ron Paul

posted by on February 20 at 4:04 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.


Ron Paul

Party: Republican

Age: 72

Status: Has Exploratory Committee

Republican Congressman Ron Paul voted AGAINST the war in Iraq. He also ran as the Libertarian candidate for President in 1988. He regularly votes against the Republican agenda, and has earned the nickname “Dr. No” from his fellow party members. He’s not a liberal dressed in Republican clothing, though. He’s just a very firm believer in “small government.” He votes against government regulation at every opportunity, even if the regulation would limit something he personally disagrees with—like abortion.

Paul was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Gettysburg College for his bachelor’s degree. He went on to get a medical degree at Duke University, and did his internship and residency at a hospital in Detroit. Paul then served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force for five years, during which time he also trained in obstetrics and gynecology. He has delivered over 4,000 babies.

In 1968, he and his wife Carol moved to Surfside Beach, Texas, where he began his civilian medical practice. In 1974, Paul served as a delegate to the Texas state republican convention. He unsuccessfully ran for Congress that same year, was elected two years later, then defeated, then elected again. He then went on to earn two further terms.

After an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, Paul retired from politics in 1985. He was succeeded in his congressional seat by Tom DeLay. Paul returned to his medical practice, only to win the nomination of the Libertarian party for President. He garnered .5 percent of the vote that year, coming in third after George Bush and Michael Dukakis. He did not run for office again until 1996, when he was elected to Congress in a different district. He has been easily reelected in the four races since then, despite some grumblings from his fellow Republicans.

Ron Paul supports small government on all issues: He’s anti-death penalty, anti-drug laws, anti-police state, anti-Patriot Act and even anti-United Nations. He’s pro-life, but doesn’t believe the government should be involved in such issues as abortion, marriage, or health care. That means he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, too (though he has voted for a law that banned gay couples from adopting children). Paul gets 90 percent of his campaign contributions from individuals, with the average contribution being less than $50.

He has recently said he fears a “Gulf-of-Tonkin-like” event will be orchestrated by the Bush administration to justify war with Iran.

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, Duncan Hunter, and Tommy Thompson.

The Year of Living Carlessly

posted by on February 20 at 3:52 PM

Alan Durning has an insightful, nuanced post up at the Sightline Institute’s Daily Score blog marking the first anniversary of giving up his family car. Among other benefits, Durning reports that he’s saved between $1,500 and $4,000; reduced the amount he drives overall by about two-thirds by using FlexCar, carpooling and borrowing cars; and burned 80 percent less gas (more than his total reduction in driving, because many FlexCars are hybrids). He also says he’s gotten healthier and more aware of his walkshed—which, to the surprise of his biking-for-the-first-time son, contains some really big hills. “When you’re strapped into the back of a moving car, hills are an abstraction, not a reality that you feel in your muscles.”

Of course, there is a down side:

Managing the child-raising transportation demands of December—a soccer tournament for Kathryn, six days a week of drama rehearsals and performances for Peter, holiday errands and gatherings for all of us—had us pining for a family car at times. The logistics get pretty elaborate … And more of the logistical nightmares fall on Amy than on me, which isn’t fair. She shoulders more of the burden, because she does more of the family errands—shopping, transporting kids—than I do. And her work as a roving self-defense teacher takes her to more out-of-the-way places at transit-unfriendly hours.

So we’re making no promises that we’ll stay car-less another year or forever. Still, we’re not rushing to the dealership either. We’re taking it one month at a time.

Carlessness isn’t an easy lifestyle, even for folks who, like me, are childless and have flexible jobs. Still, Durning’s yearlong experiment proves even a two-income family can make do without even one car. Which should be an inspiration to two-car families everywhere: If Durning’s family managed to get by without any cars at all, why not try getting by with just one?

90% of Americans Value Poetry

posted by on February 20 at 3:08 PM

So how come no one reads it? Or buys it? Did high modernism ruin everything? Is the Poetry Foundation ruining everything? Are Republicans in charge of the future of American poetry? Did that reclusive old lady really mean to give 200 million dollars to Poetry magazine? Is the windfall going to be their undoing? Why is J.D. McClatchy so bent out of shape? What does a former editor of The Stranger have to do with all this? Was John Donne actually a pimp?

These and other topics are addressed in this excellent piece by Dana Goodyear in the current New Yorker.

Word on the street is that the Poetry Foundation is in a tizzy over it.

UPDATE: The Poetry Foundation’s response to the article.

Ultimate Viaduct Comment of All Time

posted by on February 20 at 1:23 PM

The rest of y’all have exactly 22 days to top this comment by Golob, which ran below my post about Gov. Gregoire’s rejection of the surface/transit option for replacing the viaduct.. Reprinted with minor edits and cuts for space. (Warning: Extremely high wonk factor ahead.)

SLOG Field Guide to Seattle Viaduct Debate

* Roadus Retrofittus

A curmudgeon who believes the AWV is absolutely critical, perhaps because of an ill advised decision in the past to move to West Seattle. Wants things to stay just they way they are. Possibly considers the Viaduct a work of art—like the leaning tower of Pisa — worthy of preservation in its current form.

Patron Saint:
Peter Sherwin

Typical Post:
“But not an issue if we just fix what we’ve got and build surface and transit for the future.”

At least 1 -12 comments per post.

Key Fact(s) Ignored:
The necessary seawall repairs.

Even if the structure is retrofitted above ground it’ll probably tip over during the next earthquake.

It’ll cost billions.

Secret Hope:
That everything in Seattle can stay exactly as it is and that all the newcomers can be scared off.

* Rodus Rebuilus


Believes that the AWV is absolutely essential, most likely due to an ill-advised decision to move to West Seattle. Considers using transit to get to and from work a fever dream of Kool-aid drinking cultists.

Other subspecies is a resentful non-Seattleite dealing with feelings of inferiority. Wants nothing else than to stick Seattle with a horrific monstrosity.

Patron Saint:
Christine Gregoire

Typical Post:
“You hippies! Without the Viaduct, cats and dogs will live together, frogs will rain from the sky, and my commute from West Seattle to Downtown could take as long as 20 minutes!

“Yes, so San Fransisco, New York, Milwaukee [other major urban area] has ripped down their viaduct and survived. Seattle is completely different from any other major urban area…”

3-6 comments per post

Key Fact(s) Ignored:
No empiric proof that Seattle needs a double-decker urban highway through downtown to function.

Every other urban area, large and small, that has ripped down viaducts and survived.

A new viaduct will have no views, be twice as wide and be finished right about the time gas hits $6 a gallon.

Secret Hope:
That everything can stay exactly the same for all eternity and that all the newcomers to Seattle get fed up and leave.

* Rodus Tunnelus

Want to keep their private driveway from West Seattle to Downtown, but also make everyone else happy.

Patron Saint: Mayor Greg Nickels.

Typical Post:
“This is nothing like the Big Dig.”

A dying species. At most one comment per post.

Key Fact(s) Ignored:
$4-8 billion before cost overruns.

Digging in brackish landfill at possible archaeological sites might prove problematic.

Tunnel ends at Pike Place Market and leaves Queen Anne and SLU cut off from one another.

Secret Hope:
That money grows on trees or Seattle voters are that gullible.

* Rodus Bridgus

Possibly has visited SF or NYC, and seen bridges. Willing to at least consider that some people need to drive, and a North-South bypass route could unload some traffic from downtown and the waterfront.

Patron Saint:
Jensen Inspector

Typical Post:
“The idea is to reclaim the land for parks, homes, business and transit, and NOT to completely surrender it to motor vehicles. This can only be realized by designing and building a cable stayed bay bridge.”

1-2 comments per Post

Key Fact(s) Ignored:
The Port of Seattle and Boeing Field

Idiocy of local politicians.

Secret Hope:
That WSDOT and the city can get their heads out of their asses long enough to at least seriously consider this compromise solution.

* Trasitus Surfusus
Most likely a newcomer to Seattle. Has at least visited places like New York, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco and used public transit. Possible has grown up in some urban shithole — Detroit, LA, or Houston for example — with a fantastic freeway system. May commute by walking, cycling or busing.

Patron Saint:
ECB or Ron Sims

Typical Post:
“The damn thing is going to be gone for a decade during construction and we’re all going to adjust. Why not just rip it down and spend the money on expanding light rail to places like Ballard, West Seattle, and points more distant? It’s worked in _____ {some other urban area}.

Generally the original post + 3-6 comments.

Key Fact(s) Ignored:
Idiocy of local politicians.

WSDOT is a *highway* building department

Washington State Constitution forbids spending of gas tax dollars on transit.

Secret Hope:

To live in Manhattan but with mountains — rather than New Jersey — next door.

* Off topicus

Has some other topic they really really want to talk about rather than the viaduct.

Patron Saint:

Typical Post:
“Darfur! People are dying in Darfur RIGHT NOW.”

“Slack jawed yokels are going to drive in circles on the Kitsap peninsula thanks to YOUR lawmakers!”

0 - 12 comments per post.

Key Fact(s) Ignored:
Uhhh, the Viaduct decision is coming up soon.

Secret Hope:
To get a post on Darfur or Nascar…

* Realist Defetus

Take Trasitus Surfusus and add 10 - 20 years experience with Seattle-area political process.

Patron Saint:

Typical Post:
“OF COURSE transit would be better, but…”

0 -2 comments per post.

Key Fact(s) Ignored:

Secret Hope:
That local politicians suddenly show intelligence.

Posted by golob | February 19, 2007 05:47 PM

Breaking! Britney Heading Back to Rehab! Anna Nicole Is a Creepy Clown!

posted by on February 20 at 12:25 PM

After a VERY short stint in a foreign rehabilitation facility last week — less than 24 hours — is claiming that Britney is heading back to rehab, right here in the good ol’ USA! WHOOOOOO! USA! USA! USA!
Nobody kicks the shit out of drinking and drug addictions like AMERICA (just ask George W. Bush)!
Good luck Britney, and stay tuned for updates!

PLUS! Here’s some truly frightning home video which ran on Fox News and depicts Anna Nicole Smith dressed as the creepiest clown I’ve ever seen. Even creepier? Her hubby Howard K. Stern repeatedly asking her if she’s “on a mushroom trip.” No, Howard… I’M ON THE MUSHROOM TRIP after seeing that video.

Thanks to Matt and Lance. SWEET DREAMS EVERYONE.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 20 at 12:13 PM

‘Elusive Signs’


(ART) Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman Works with Light is one of those art exhibitions you will want to spend hours in, and you will not be able to, because it will give you a headache. Both impulses are right on: The seminal artist Bruce Nauman’s neon works from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the masterpiece One Hundred Live and Die and the parallelogram-shaped room with green light that makes you look like death, are gorgeous, rich, and agonizing. No pleasure without pain. (Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, 543-2280. 11 am—5 pm, $10 general, $6 seniors, students free.) JEN GRAVES

Target: Cheney?

posted by on February 20 at 11:44 AM

With the trial of Lewis Libby winding up today, there’s a lot of talk about next steps in the CIA leak investigation.

Here’s one scenario that has a lot of people salivating: If Libby is found guilty, and if Bush doesn’t pardon him, then Cheney could be next on Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s list.

Hill’s Gold

posted by on February 20 at 11:30 AM

Right around the time that Gary Hill held forth on the Artist Trust stage demanding donations for local artists earlier this month, a gold bar was stolen from an installation of his at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.

Or was it a gold bar? reports:

A solid gold bar weighing twelve kilograms (26.5 pounds)—part of an artwork by Gary Hill—was stolen from Paris’s Fondation Cartier last week. As Le Monde’s Nathaniel Herzberg reports, two or three masked thieves entered the foundation during the night, tied up the security guard, and made away with the gold bar, as well as the cashbox. According to the Parisian police, the thieves are “art lovers and well informed.” The going market value for twelve kilos of pure gold is approximately €210,000 ($271,480).

The gold bar is part of the installation work Frustrum, 2006, which has been on display at the foundation since October 25. Hill, hoping to create a critical image of empire, placed the bar in a tank of industrial oil and added a projection of a trapped eagle and the sound of a cracking whip. For reasons of security, the artist had to use nonflammable oil instead of petroleum, but he insisted that the gold bar be real.

Herzberg wonders about the replacement fake gold bar, which can now be seen in Hill’s work. Was the real gold bar stolen directly from the installation or from a security case? Or did the Fondation Cartier, fearing robbery, have a fake gold bar made without telling the artist? The original, if it has not been melted down, still bears a suggestive mark, the engraving “FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS VISIBLE IS A COPY OF THAT WHICH IS HIDDEN.”

New York had this to say about Frustrum:

By accident or design, the digitally animated eagle at the center of Gary Hill’s new installation is a wimpier version of the squawking bird that opens The Colbert Report. Here, the veteran sound-and-image artist’s political symbols of the most obvious kind (gold bullion, a broadcast tower) upstage an unsettling soundtrack of cracking whips. Guilt, an installation of gold coins printed with torture scenes and viewed through telescopes, combines a bad pun with a weary metaphor. Turning the abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo into genuinely affecting work is more difficult than it looks; Thomas Hirschhorn and Fernando Botero are among the few who have pulled it off. And in art, unlike TV satire, the blowhard act wears thin fast. — Karen Rosenberg




George Takei’s Gay PSA

posted by on February 20 at 11:19 AM

After homophobic jackass/NBA player Tim Hardaway publicly admitted that he “hates gay people,” someone needed to step up and issue a response. Who better than former Star Trek actor/gay activist GEORGE TAKEI? Nobody, that’s who. Absolutely nobody. It’s from the Jimmy Kimmel show!

The Un-Spectacle

posted by on February 20 at 10:20 AM

Under the heading “very discreet art opening,” I received this email from an unfamiliar address with no name attached:

“The History of Art” (the War Against Lebanon), by Marc Samuelsson. A photo study in natural couplings of lawn chairs taken over the course of Israels war against Lebanon. At: Residential Treatment Facility in downtown on a filing cabinet (due to confidentiality, cannot give address). Opening reception: Fri 3/2 (due to cofidentiality, no one can come) Through 08’ (due to confidentiality, cannot provide contact info)

I like to imagine this show, sitting there, just waiting for nobody.

A Schoolyard Scrap

posted by on February 20 at 10:13 AM


“No, you suspend your industrial-scale uranium enrichment.”

(It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t, you know, uranium enrichment.)

The Gambian AIDS Cure

posted by on February 20 at 9:39 AM

Courtesy of the country’s president, who advises potions and herbs:

The United Nations has warned of dangerous consequences after the leader of a tiny West African country declared he can cure Aids.

The President of The Gambia says his herbal remedy can kill HIV in his patients’ blood.

Sasquatch! 2007 Line Up Announced

posted by on February 20 at 9:24 AM

The line up for the 6th annual Sasquatch! festival at the Gorge has been announced — check out the complete roster thus far over on Line Out. Curious about the headliners? Think the letter “B”.

Today is NASCAR Day in Olympia

posted by on February 20 at 9:04 AM

I’m not going to be able to post much today (Tuesday’s the day I have to focus on my other job, getting the paper out). But today is the day the NASCAR bills get their hearings in Olympia in the finance committee on the house side and the agriculture committee on the senate side.

Open thread!

Sponsor Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-47, not from Kitsap), you should get on the comments and explain why building the race track in Kitsap won’t upend the growth management act or cost the state millions.

Opponent Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23, Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island), you should get on the comments and explain how building the race track in Kitsap upends the growth management act (along with other enviro regulations like forest land protections and emissions standards) and will cost the state millions.

State Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-26, Parts of Kitsap), you should get on the comments and tell people exactly where you are on this bill because word is you’re the only legislator from the Kitsap area who hasn’t been exactly clear.

Meanwhile, Chris Van Dyk, you should get on here and tell people about the anti-NASCAR coalition you’re announcing today.

And of course, Slog commenter Jake of, you should share your testimony here, since most Slog readers won’t be down in Olympia today to catch your big speech.

The Morning News

posted by on February 20 at 7:38 AM

Straight talk from the Straight Talk Express: “Maverick” McCain says really maverick things. Like “Overturn Roe v. Wade.”

The path to victory: Iraqi suicide bombers drive bombs into US military base in Baghdad.

Victory for gays: New Jersey approves civil union law, the third US state to do so.

Victory for climbers: Rescuers save three stranded climbers on Oregon’s Mt. Hood.

Happily ever after: The two biggest satellite radio companies, Sirius and XM Radio, announce a merger.

Don’t worry,they’re only killing each other: New Orleans tries to reassure tourists that shootings are only happening in “impoverished” neighborhoods.

Is Bush the worst president ever?: Alternet wants to know.

Bummer, dude: Colorado driver busted with 569 pounds of pot.

Chris Matthews, douchebag: “How many times is [Sen. Hillary Clinton] going to be confused by men?”

Umm… Excuse me?: Hungarian lawmaker introduces bill to allow 14-year-olds in porn.

Umm… EXCUSE me?!: Austrian designer uses Nazi concentration camp as a backdrop for naked photos. Then she claims ignorance. I’ll say.

OK, this has to be a hoax: Croation sugar company is criticized for distributing sugar packets bearing images of Hitler. The “most worrying aspect”? “A lack of reaction in the Croatian society.”

N.B. gAy

posted by on February 20 at 3:07 AM

Not only did NBA commissioner David Stern cancel Tim Hardaway’s promotional events —originally scheduled (pre-homophobic freak out) for all-star weekend—but during the game itself, Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal kissed Houston star Tracy McGrady after O’Neal slam dunked in the first quarter.

And the O’Neal/McGrady kiss came a day after former NBA star Charles Barkley kissed NBA ref Dick Bavetta on the mouth after the pair squared off in a race in yet another all-star weekend promo event.

Sorry. Up late.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Local Boy Makes Good

posted by on February 19 at 5:51 PM

As Brendan mentioned last week, thanks to a combination of talent, luck, and heartening karmic justice, super-duper local comedian Hari Kondabolu will appear (alongside William Shatner!) on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, midnight, ABC. You should watch it.

Haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Kondabolu live? Here is a video of him telling a joke:

And here is a picture of him wearing an outfit that, if there is a God, we’ll be seeing on Kimmel tonight:

On a completely unrelated note, I’d like it to be known that I hate Daniel Radcliffe’s horrible butt.

Of Exorcisms and Interns

posted by on February 19 at 5:00 PM

For the Christians: Today a Romanian priest was sentenced to fourteen years in jail for accidentally killing a nun he thought was possessed by Satan. He and four other nuns tied the poor woman to a cross without food or water for three days. She died. (The whole story sounds improbable until you get a look at the guy. Then it kind of makes sense.)

For the Muslims: Wahhabis in a little village in Macedonia called Labunista accidentally kill a guy they thought was possessed by Satan. They came to his house, read the Koran, and beat him with sticks. He died.

For everybody else: Film editor Annie Wagner and I need a new intern. If you are available Tuesdays (and at least one other day) and are congenial and not a flake, drop some science to: or We promise not to tie you to a cross, hit you with sticks, or read the Koran.

Gregoire: No Surface/Transit Option

posted by on February 19 at 4:25 PM

Gov. Christine Gregoire announced today that she won’t accept the surface/transit option for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and that Seattle had better suck it up and accept her huge new viaduct on our waterfront.

“Today, there is no viable option other than an elevated structure,” Gregoire said. “I know people don’t necessarily like the elevated structure, I appreciate and respect that, but the fact of the matter is we cannot do nothing.”

Umm… Right. Except that’s not what surface/transit proponents are proposing. Gregoire’s criticisms aren’t about the surface/transit option (which has never been studied) but about WSDOT’s surface-only option (which has, Gregoire rightly pointed out, been studied and rejected.) Gregoire’s (and WSDOT’s, and the city council’s) willful blindness on this issue has given the state a convenient excuse to avoid studying the only environmentally responsible option for our waterfront.

Re: Option 9 From Outer Space

posted by on February 19 at 3:52 PM

House Speaker Frank Chopp’s office wanted me to know that the park-atop-viaduct plan the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) looked at last year was “not Frank’s plan” and that “he hated it.”

Fair enough. As I said in my post this morning: If Chopp’s hotly anticipated option is “anything like the Chopp-inspired design that WSDOT looked at last year” —meaning, WSDOT knew about Chopp’s enclosed freeway idea and mocked up “Option 9”—then it’s likely tunnel and rebuild proponents aren’t going to dig it. Indeed, from what I can tell it seems like the big box plan is the worst of both worlds: no waterfront, no views, and still expensive.

We might all have a better sense of what Chopp’s option looked like, though, if the charrette (fancy, and admittedly fun to say, French (?) word for an architects’ study session) planned for last Saturday, Feb. 17, hadn’t been cancelled.

Indeed, City Council members Peter Steinbrueck (an architect and American Institute of Architects (AIA) member) and Jan Drago had helped organize the charrette to take a serious look at Chopp’s ideas. It was organized with Walter Schacht, the local chapter president. It never happened.

According to Chopp’s office, Chopp “decided to put it on hold for a bit.”

The rumor is that the governor told Chopp to cool it, so as not to add more confusion to the viaduct debate.

Drago reports that she didn’t know the charrette had been cancelled until Wednesday, when she was down in Olympia and heard about it from House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-41, Mercer Island).

Drago says the charrette was cancelled because Steinbrueck had belittled Chopp’s idea at last Monday’s council meeting—basically pronouncing Chopp’s plan “DOA before the charrette,” Drago says. Drago says Chopp was offended and sensitive to the criticism.

Steinbrueck, however, says he was disappointed the charrette was cancelled. “It’s important to give [Chopp] a fair shake,” Steinbrueck told me. “There was no intent to diminish it. We wanted to treat Frank as if he were a client and get local architects to graphically describe his vision.”

Steinbrueck does seem a bit… um… biased against Chopp’s plan, though, calling it a “double-wide, lidded park top,” adding that creating an alternate environment above grade would “leave behind a hostile and barren wasteland” at grade.

Steinbrueck also points out that, at over 100’ wide, Chopp’s big box plan would be twice the width of the current structure.

Today On Line Out.

posted by on February 19 at 3:35 PM

Wincing Last Night Away: Gettin’ Braffed.

Downloads, Pt 1: Scientific American’s mass.dstrction Mixes.

Downloads, Pt 2: Dina Martina’s “The President Day Song.”

New Noise: Today in Noise.

Slowness: Gwen Stefani is Retarded, Sigur Ros is Slow.

Guitarjacked: Buddy Holly’s $1,000,000 Guitar.

“Knee Deep in the Mocha”: Sean Nelson’s iPod is a Dark, Foul Place.

Downloads, Pt 3: Various Production Live at Chop Suey.

Be Hot, Wear Diesel

posted by on February 19 at 2:57 PM

Diesel has a new marketing scheme:

In print ads promoting its spring/summer collection, the Italian-based clothing company depicts landscapes that have been transformed by environmental disaster. The proud buildings of Manhattan and the presidential faces of Mount Rushmore are half-submerged in water from melted glaciers. Paris is a steamy jungle. Life looks pretty awesome, though. Diesel’s models are dressed fashionably if barely (to accommodate the weather) and they lounge amid this hip dystopia in glamorous unconcern, fanning themselves or applying suntan lotion to one another’s tawny backs.

The images are stamped: “Global Warming Ready.”


Re: Politicians, Spokespersons, Consultants, Everybody

posted by on February 19 at 1:38 PM

Also, “moving forward.” Belongs only in ugly beige corporate boardrooms. Yuck.

Politicians, Spokespersons, Consultants, Everybody

posted by on February 19 at 1:34 PM

Ban this phrase from your vocabulary:

“At the end of the day.”

In the past year, this phrase has become every politician’s favorite verbal puncuation mark.

It just makes you all sound like fake Raymond Chandler characters. Stop it.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on February 19 at 12:36 PM

12 Minutes Max


(Theater) The two ladies of the Vis-à-Vis Society (formerly of lit-performance group the Typing Explosion) are your middle-school science-class fantasy. They dress in lab coats, give their audiences imaginative surveys, and present their data and analysis via song, dance, and overhead projector. (And they’re lovely.) Other acts at this month’s 12 Minutes Max (curated by Eric Fredericksen of Western Bridge and Betsey Brock of Henry Art Gallery) include music by the Watery Graves, BMX dancing by locust, and other lovely stuff. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 7 pm, $7.) BRENDAN KILEY

p.s. Get there early. I tried to go last night and it was sold out.

Happy Presidents’ Day

posted by on February 19 at 12:16 PM

Lee Harvey Oswald Lives.


And because Schmader likes it when I say this: Lives rhymes with knives.

Lee Harvey Oswald Lives is, of course, the name of my unfinished novel.

A Beloved Adulteration

posted by on February 19 at 12:11 PM

anna nicole.jpg

Thank you for your ingenuity, Kristopher.

Happy Presidents’ Day!

posted by on February 19 at 11:29 AM


To celebrate the momentous day, please enjoy the final word on the subject, Dina Martina’s “The President’s Day Song.”

(To answer Sean’s question in the comments, this song can be found on The Dina Martina Holiday Album, available from UP Records.)

Option 9 From Outer Space: The Big Box Option

posted by on February 19 at 11:26 AM

At the end of Jim Vesely’s column on Sunday, he alluded to Rep. Frank Chopp’s plan for a new rebuild option. He wrote: “In the next few days, there’ll be another bear in the woods. Perhaps a new viaduct design will emerge that will be pleasing to the eye, if not to the mayor.”

Well, if it’s anything like the Chopp-inspired design that WSDOT looked at last year (it was called “Option 9”), I don’t think there’ll be much enthusiasm from Nickels… or even rebuild proponents.

(Sorry about the vertical layout. Just rotate it to the left in your head.)


It’ll turn off Mayor Nickels because it defeats the whole point of opening up the waterfront. The design calls for a giant concrete box—which contains an enclosed freeway—and a park on top.

And it’ll turn off rebuild fans because it kills the waterfront views. (I’ve never understood this point, by the way. Aren’t you supposed to be driving—not gazing off at the Olympics?)

And, word is, Chopp’s big box idea undermines his own mantra about being frugal. It’s rumored to cost nearly $4 billion.

Surface/Transit: Not the Most Expensive for Seattle

posted by on February 19 at 11:12 AM

So Mary Margaret Haugen (D-10) says that if Seattle prefers the surface/transit option to a larger new viaduct on our waterfront, she’s going to yank our funding. From today’s Times:

If the viaduct is torn down and replaced with surface streets and transit, the state might contribute just over $1 billion for construction work, said Senate Transportation Chairwoman Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island.

That’s less than half of what the state has pledged for replacing the viaduct with another elevated highway, and could leave the city on the hook for nearly $1 billion to complete a surface-street project, based on some projections.

First, what a mean-spirited and petty move: putting Seattle on the hook if we decide we don’t want a bigger, noisier, uglier viaduct on our waterfront. Second, how credulous of the Times: “Based on some projections”? What projections might those be? Neither the city nor the state department of transportation has studied the surface/transit option; the most commonly cited estimate, formulated by the People’s Waterfront Coalition, puts the surface/transit option at $1.2 billion. Even if the surface/transit is significantly more expensive, $1 billion, plus $220 million in pledged federal dollars, funding from a planned local improvement district, and city utility relocation funding should be more than enough to pay for it. And considering that rebuild supporters like Haugen claim tearing down the viaduct and rebuilding it to modern earthquake standards would cost just $2.8 billion, I’m pretty skeptical at their $2 billion projection for surface/transit.

The President’s New Strategy in the War on Terror

posted by on February 19 at 10:47 AM

Butt sex.

Speaking of George Bush, with whom Sharon developed a very close relationship, Uri Dan recalls that Sharon’s delicacy made him reluctant to repeat what the president had told him when they discussed Osama bin Laden. Finally he relented. And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him: “I will screw him in the ass!”

(Via Wonkette)

Hey, Y’all!

posted by on February 19 at 10:19 AM

“Hey, y’all! Nevermind!


“But in case y’all want to commemorate my descent into madness, you can wait for the Bald Britney bobblehead doll, or you can create your very own desktop Brit with this handy paper folding project from All you have to do is ‘cut layout of black lines on the fold grey prokleite white valves’!”



Bush and History

posted by on February 19 at 10:15 AM

I don’t think highly of the Founding Fathers but this image even hurts my hard Marxist eyes:

574-BUSH_.sff.standalone.prod_affiliate.42.jpg George Washington/George Bush. Important American President/Important American President. On the occasion of the image, Bush went as far as to compare the the American War of Independence (Washington) with the present War on Terrorism (Bush).

President Bush honored the 275th birthday of the nation’s first president on Monday, likening George Washington’s long struggle that gave birth to a nation to the war on global terrorism.

“Today, we’re fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life,” said Bush, standing in front of Washington’s home and above a mostly frozen Potomac River.

Frozen indeed.
Bush then turned to Hegel for some “march of freedom [God] across the world”:

“And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone.”

Bush then visited the tomb of the man, Washington, whose founding presidential spirit is the spirit that he wants you to see and believe is in him—this imagined pure continuum from tomb to Bush happens in what Benjamin called “homogeneous, empty time”:

He and first lady Laura Bush helped lay a wreath at Washington’s tomb, then the president gave a speech from a platform on the bowling green lawn of the estate.

A quote for this sad business: “Empathizing with the victor invariably benefits those currently ruling.”

Open Letter to Metro

posted by on February 19 at 10:10 AM

For those of us with normal jobs (those of us who aren’t government employees is what I’m trying to say), Presidents Day is not an exciting, special holiday. In other words, most of us have to work on Presidents Day. So when you cancel all your express buses and run the remaining buses on a “holiday” schedule, you make tons of people late for work. Also, when you’re only running buses every hour (instead of, say, every ten minutes like usual) the whole system becomes … very … crowded … and … slow. Which makes people even later. This is why people don’t use your service unless they have to: It’s slow, unpleasant, and unreliable.

Please make a note of it.

Morning News

posted by on February 19 at 9:42 AM

Mortified: JetBlue’s CEO apologizes for massive breakdown in service.

Death Mountain: Climbers stranded on Hood, yet again.

Divided: Local Episcopal congregation splits in two over gay bishop.

Getting Legit: New Jersey ushers in civil unions.

Pillar of Fear: Freedom Tower, set for final approval, will be a monument to ego and anxiety.

Scrotum: The best children’s book controversy since In the Night Kitchen.

Hello from NOLA

posted by on February 19 at 9:34 AM

Alongside bumper stickers that read “New Orleans: Proud to Crawl Home” are “New Orleans: Proud to Swim Home” and “FEMA Evacuation Plan: Run, Motherfucker, Run.”

Many homes still bear the red spray-painted X and body count next to the front door; a few have spray-painted large red and pink hearts over the top like a bad-tattoo cover-up. I expected to see the droves of FEMA trailers, but not the hundreds of For Rent and For Sale signs.

It’s my impression that residents who want to stay are hanging on by their teeth; jobs are still scarce and rents in the undamaged areas are up twofold. We met a thirtysomething couple who are selling their townhouse and moving to Sonoma for a fresh start. The innkeepers where we’re staying can no longer employ a staff and are dipping into their retirement to keep the lights on; they’re determined to hold out through summer and then are going to have to make a tough decision. Thousands of tourists are here for Mardi Gras, but the hotels aren’t full, and most of the people standing next to us at the parades are exuberantly welcoming locals, emphatic that their grand old dame of a city will rise again. Much of the damage has been bulldozed into tidy rubble piles, carpenters and painters are at work everywhere, but real economic recovery is going to take decades.

Still, the spirit of Mardi Gras is robust and the party is in full swing: Half a dozen parades roll through the neighborhoods every day, houses grand and modest are decked out in gold, green, and purple bunting, and pedestrians are festooned with feathered hats, boas, and neckfulls of beads.

Raise a toast to the corpse bride New Orleans and to her stouthearted natives tomorrow.

Confidential to Brian: Cafe Brazil welcomed us with Abitas and the brassy funk of the Soul Rebels, and said to say “Where y’at?”

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Day Without A Fresh Slog

posted by on February 18 at 5:23 PM

just encourages outrageous comments threads re: the Mea Gulpa posts from Dan and Nick.

So, comments on the comments:

To everyone who theorizes that “whiskey dick” prevents women from having sex with men who are too drunk to consent, may I remind everyone of the “piss hard-on,” a phenomenon which often accompanies excessive beer consumption and which would indeed allow a woman to have her way (vaginal or oral intercourse-wise at the very least) with a man either unconscious or not particularly enthused. So the question of whether a man can have sex when too drunk to consent is not really a question. I didn’t see this in the comments threads, though I will admit my eyes were glazing over at a few points.

Second, a lot of this conversation seems to be about how polite cops should be to people. Anytime you have an encounter with a cop and you don’t get tossed in jail, count yourself lucky. Remember, only suspicious and probably rude cops prevented Susan Smith and Charles Stuart from getting away with murder.