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Archives for 03/11/2007 - 03/17/2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 17 at 1:09 PM


Dr. Dog
(Music) Shoobie-doowie up-ba-ba. Aah-ahh-ahh-ooh-woo. Whoa-oh-oh-oh. It’s easy enough to sing along at a Dr. Dog show—you just kinda make up the words as you go. Onstage, the band twinkle, lurch, swell, and roll, practiced in loose and sloppy delivery that sees band members switching instruments, singing harmonies, and swaggering behind unstyled hairdos and goofy sunglasses. The Philly five-piece are masters of the sunshine-pop hook, pouring as much slaphappy glee into a three-word chorus as into a five-minute breakdown. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 9 pm, $12 adv/$14 DOS, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL
‘Return to Camp Death’
(Improv that Doesn’t Suck) The premise is simple: Somebody shouts out a made-up teen-slasher movie title and the three members of Blood Squad spend an hour acting it out. The Squad doesn’t use stage blood or props, which is smart—small theater cannot summon anything worse than the gore in our imaginations. It also helps that the show starts late with a mostly tipsy audience and the actors stealing sips from their backstage beer stash. (Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave, 800-838-3006. 10:30 pm, $10.) BRENDAN KILEY

Where Have All the Honeybees Gone?

posted by on March 17 at 10:08 AM

By news intern Sage Van Wing

Maybe you’ve heard that the bees are dying. Scientists don’t know what’s causing it, but they do have a fancy new name for it: “Colony Collapse Syndrome.”

Since October 2006, 35 percent or more of the United States’ population of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) simply flew from their hives and disappeared. We’re hearing about it now because nearly every managed hive in the country is down in California pollinating this summer’s almond crop (including a number of hives managed by Washington State beekeepers). Without the bees, there are no almonds. In fact, without the bees, quite a lot of our food would not exist. Industrial agriculture has not yet figured out a way to pollinate without bees.


In 1945 there were 5 million managed colonies in the U.S. At that time, a much higher proportion of people lived on small, mixed-use farms: they grew crops, they raised animals, they kept bees.

Now there are approximately 2.1 million managed colonies. That’s a big drop. What’s happened to beekeers in this country is exactly what’s happened to agriculture: consolidation. Instead of countless farmers with a couple of hives in their backyards, there are now only a few thousand beekeepers, each with thousands of hives. The industrial-scale monocrops of the midwest—corn, wheat, soybeans—don’t need bees to be pollinated. And all the family farms that have been gobbled up by those massive crops have gone the way of the little beehives that used to be in their backyards.

During the 3-4 week period of the almond bloom in California, almost 1 million bee colonies are required. The apple bloom in Washington requires nearly as many. This means that nearly half of all colonies in the U.S. need to be there to get these crops pollinated. Beekeepers from as far as Florida or Alabama will go. At any given moment, half the bee population of the United States is sedated in their hives, on the back of a semi-truck, being hauled across the country.

If you can keep your bees alive, you might make a lot of money doing pollination (though, like farming, beekeeping is pretty capital intensive to get started— one colony worth of bees might cost $200, and you’d need at least 1,000 plus trucks and equipment etc..). The trick these days though, is keeping your bees alive.

The very lifestyle that allows beekeepers to make money may be exactly what’s at the root of Colony Collapse Syndrome. “When you stress the bees,” says Steve Shepherd, the bee expert at Washington State University, “they’re more susceptible to viruses and mites and fungal disorders.” And stress them we do. We give them antibiotics and supplement their feed and take them out of their normal habitats and provide them with food they’re not used to. “These bees are being asked to do things they wouldn’t normally do,” says Shepherd.

In the summertime, the average honeybee lives for four to six weeks. In the wintertime, when the hive activity is slowed down, a bee will live for four to six months. If they’re moved somewhere warm during this period and asked to be more productive, that’s a lot of strain on the winter population. If those bees die, the queen bee has to be stimulated to breed more.

Which is what all the beekeepers are doing right now—stimulating their queen bees like crazy. Shepherd says the Washington keepers he’s talked to have managed to breed their hives nearly back up to the levels they were at before. So by the time they make it back here for the apple bloom, there should be enough bees to pollinate the crop. But what happens next year?

The Morning News

posted by on March 17 at 9:37 AM

Tactical shift: Attacks Kill 2 Iraqis and Expose Hundreds to Chlorine Gas

Kennedy Conspiracy #2,481: Marilyn Monroe mystery solved?

Dems like, totally the worst bosses ever: Bush says Dems trying to micromanage the war

Civil rights fiesta: Mexico City begins gay civil unions

Before we build any more roads, tunnels or transit: Can we deal with this city’s vitamin D problem first?

Gone-Zales? Hole in sinking ship gets bigger

Something nutty at ACORN: Martin Luther King County investigating ‘06 voter fraud

What a relief: Debt forgiveness in Latin America

Straight Talk

posted by on March 17 at 9:31 AM

John McCain refuses to say whether or not condoms can help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It’s a true portrait in courage:

Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”

Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”

Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”

Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”

Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”

Okay, we’re twenty seven years into the AIDS epidemic. Ten thousand people in Arizona have or have had—because some are, like, dead and shit now—HIV/AIDS. John McCain was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, the Senate in 1986. The AIDS epidemic has been killing Arizonans and other Americans over the life of McCain’s political career. And he’s not informed enough on the subject? Excuse me, but what the fuck?

He knows: Condoms stop the spread of HIV and other STDs. He won’t say that, though, because it will piss off the religious conservatives McCain is trying to appeal to. Nice.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It’s Turning into “Hell No!”

posted by on March 16 at 4:46 PM

King County just completed another count. They’ve now counted nearly 155,000 votes. (Ultimately, they’re expecting about 186,000 to come in.)

The NO tunnel is exactly where it was on election night: 70% NO.
However, the elevated re-build, originally at 55% NO, and then at 56% NO, is now at 57% NO.

Even though Nickels lost big here (he’s basically spent his entire second term hyping the tunnel), he also kinda outfoxed Gregoire and Chopp by baiting them into putting the elevated on the ballot.

57% NO is harsh.

Last Kiss

posted by on March 16 at 4:42 PM

Medics tell do-gooders to stop giving the kiss of life, condemning future generations of teenagers to a life without the hallowed fantasy of resuscitating—or being resuscitated by—a beautiful stranger.


This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on March 16 at 4:26 PM

Movie News from SXSW: Jamie (The Quiet, But I’m a Cheerleader) Babbit’s Itty Bitty Titty Committee takes the top narrative prize in Austin; King Corn sounds like a fratty, Pollanesque counterpoint to Hybrid; and the “mumblecore movement” (Bujalski, The Puffy Chair, The Guatemalan Handshake, you get the picture) comes out with its first “collaboration”: Hannah Takes the Stairs.

Also, Northwest Film Forum has begun a blog. It’s not terribly exciting so far, but NWFF employees all appear to be literate.


Opening today:

Charles Mudede reviews Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Climates (“a portrait of the kind of life we must at the end admire and desire”) at Northwest Film Forum, tonight through Thursday at 7 and 9 pm.


And I review Mira Nair’s somewhat disappointing adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake. There’s plenty of fine acting, so it’s never tedious, but the direction is…. just… so… grrr.


On the other hand, Jhumpa Lahiri is gorgeous, and she has a cameo:


In On Screen this week: Bradley Steinbacher assesses The Dead Girl (somber, quiet, and for the most part effective), Andrew Wright explores Chris Rock’s repertoire of dusty jokes in I Think I Love My Wife (Viagra, gays, racial difference, and/or Michael Jackson), and Megan Seling takes on Sandra Bullock (S. Bullfrog, -fighter, and Boulevard to you!) in Premonition.

Lotsa hot stuff in limited runs this week: Seattle Jewish Film Festival opens tomorrow night (seek out The First Time I Was Twenty, starring the girl from Look at Me, and The Rape of Europa [here’s Variety’s effusive review]; go to Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner only if someone drags you) and continues through March 25. The Aaina Film Festival, focusing on Southeast Asian women, is this weekend only (I really like Amu). Northwest Film Forum wraps up its Jacques Rivette series with Haut bas fragile tonight, Va savoir tomorrow, and The Story of Marie and Julien (not my personal favorite) on Sunday. SIFF Cinema continues its Janus series with Fellini’s La Strada, Buñuel’s Viridiana, Vigo’s Zéro de conduite, and Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal. Puccini for Beginners, the post-lesbian rumpus from the director of The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, is on at the Varsity through Thursday. Mafioso is continuing at the Varsity, and The Rules of the Game is now at the Harvard Exit. Whew!

But that’s not all! The locally produced Iraq in Fragments is playing at the Grand Illusion at 5 pm today and 1 pm Sat-Sun. Plus, the documentary will have its TV premiere on Cinemax on Tuesday at 7 pm. And another local doc, Jesus Freaks, about the yearly Creationfest music festival at the Gorge, is at 911 Media Arts tonight.

Film shorts and movie times are available through Get Out. Get to it!

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on March 16 at 4:20 PM

In this missive, the Prayer Warrior claims to have had an official title bestowed upon him by the White House. The title: Special Envoy for Adoption, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief.


March 16, 2007

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Thank you for praying for my call to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. It went very well.

I was honored to receive a commission by the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives as a Special Envoy in the following areas: Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief, which allowed me to meet with the Latvian government.

The purpose of the trip to Latvia was to support the Latvian government as they stand for Family Values and Religious Freedom in their country.

I met with all the Religious Leaders in Latvia except two. I also met with the Ministers of Integration, Minister of the Interior, and the Minister of Human Rights and Parliament.

The successful result of the meeting was to foster complete agreement to work together in the future to strengthen family values. All agreed to keep traditional values of marriage between a man and a woman and ensure that marriage remains an institution between a man and woman as well as ensure religious freedom within the country.

During my meeting with the American Embassy I expressed that many in the Latvian Parliament and many of the Latvian people believe that they in the American Embassy support the Homosexual agenda. I talked to them about their funding of many Homosexual groups against the wishes of the majority of the Latvian people.

Pray that my discussions will produce a change of policy. That is what we are expecting when we receive the full report that I requested from the Embassy.

Continue to pray that the new influence that God has granted through me serving as a special envoy for the White House will be effectively used as I deal with the adoption issue in the United States this next week.

Your Pastor,

Today on Line Out.

posted by on March 16 at 4:15 PM

What’s For Dinner: AC Lewis and DJ Food.

Tube Amplification: Steel Tigers of Death’s New Duds.

Two Americas: The Haves and Have-Nots of SXSW.

Ladytron: Amanda Lear’s Sweet Revenge.

Army of Twee: Björk’s 30 Member All Female, All Icelandic Brass Band.

Stooges and Playboys: Jonathan Zwickel’s Sweat-Drenched SXSW Revelry.

Meanwhile, in Seattle: Some Things to do Tonight.

Pole Position: Midgets, Giants, and Cox.

Tape Op: Dave Segal Trims His Cassette Collection.

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 16 at 3:49 PM


‘Another You’
(Theater) There are a precious few performers who justify theater’s existence, whose presences are so powerful that you cannot imagine why anyone would want to see anything but theater. Allen Johnson—writer, storyteller, boiler mechanic—is one of those people. His solo show Another You is a chain of dispatches from an inner typhoon of violence, sex, and longing. He is just back from a run at the Public Theater in New York and a three-city tour in Germany. Tonight is his only homecoming show. Sit in the front row. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 8 pm, $15.) BRENDAN KILEY

And Tomorrow Night, Do This!

posted by on March 16 at 3:33 PM

Comedy is funny. And who, in these dank and scabrous times, couldn’t do with a bit more funny? Not you, that’s for damn sure. So it would logically behoove you to get your funny on by experiencing the newish and promisingest addition to Seattle’s nascent but promising comedy “scene”. They are an improv group called “Scatterbrains” (four boys, three girls, all sex, sex, sex!), and even though they insist on intruding their big Rendezvous debut upon the drinkingest High Holy Day on the Irish Calendar, you should see them anyway. (Do your green-beering beforehand, come thoroughly tanked and get even tanked-er…funny is always funnier through very booze colored glasses. It’s fact. )

When: Saturday, March 17, 2007 7:30pm
$5 at the door 21+ (drinks available!!!)
Rendezvous Jewel Box Theater
2322 2nd Ave
206-441-5823 (check out those bowling shirts!)

Erin’s Go Bra or whatever!

Washington’s Republican Attorney General: Bush Made a Mistake

posted by on March 16 at 3:14 PM

Goldy has the scoop, quoting McKenna as saying about the firing of former U.S. Attorney John McKay:

We had a good relationship with John McKay. He was an excellent attorney, highly respected by other prosecutors as well. I think President Bush made a mistake.

More Viaduct Numbers

posted by on March 16 at 3:04 PM

KING 5 did some exit polling from the viaduct vote. Here’s what they got:

70% No on the tunnel.
60% No on the elevated.
34% voted No/No. And of those 34% No/No voters, 56% supported a surface/transit option.

In real life, KC has counted 140,000 of the 157,000 votes that have come in so far, and the stats are (like KING 5’s poll) 70% NO on the tunnel and, (slightly lower than the KING 5 poll) 56% NO on the elevated.

King County Elections will announce an updated vote count at 4:30 today.

The Stardust Goes Boom

posted by on March 16 at 1:23 PM

And it’s done totally Vegas-style:

I spent a couple of nights at the Stardust while attending the Porn Awards for The Stranger in 2000, and it was a trip: super-low ceilings, odd smells, and the hotel’s few guests spread out all over the vast and empty-ish grounds (the one and only reason I chose the Stardust over any other Vegas hotel was its stature as the setting for Showgirls.)

Now it’s gone. RIP Stardust; your name has been fulfilled.

(Thanks to my beloved Towleroad for the link.)

How to Get a Politician to Say the Right Thing About the Gays

posted by on March 16 at 1:00 PM

There’s an interesting sub-plot to the recent blogosphere controversy over whether or not gays are immoral and (actually worthy of serious thought) what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should say about such things.

You have to be following intra-gay politics very closely to have been up on this, but over the last few weeks there’s been a notable dust-up pitting some prominent gay bloggers (led, it seems, by Andrew Sullivan and Michael Petrelis) against what is probably the country’s best-known gay rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign.

For the overview, see here.

In sum, some gay rights activists and bloggers feel that the Human Rights Campaign has become a bloated, ineffectual organization that inflates its membership numbers, acts as a Democratic party mouthpiece rather than representing the full spectrum of gay political leanings, and vilifies its gay critics.

How does this connect to the Clinton/Obama controversy? Well, part of the argument from HRC’s critics (that is, critics of the Human Rights Campaign, not critics of Hillary Rodham Clinton) is that HRC is so focused on working behind the scenes and playing by the rules of Washington, D.C., that it doesn’t actually get anything done.

In some ways, this is a continuation of a very old debate in the gay community, a debate about tactics. And, really, it’s a debate you could probably find among members of any minority group that is fighting to gain full equality under the law in a culture that has historically been hostile toward the idea of extending such rights. Speaking very broadly here, it’s a debate over whose rules to play by.

Here’s an easy way to see the divide in the gay community. These are the rules the newly-energized ACT-UP played by in response to Gen. Peter Pace’s statement that homosexuality is “immoral”:


And what did HRC do in reponse? The usual: It put out statements and called on its members to write letters, make phone calls, and generally complain through proper channels.

Because, as a rule, HRC does not talk like this guy:


(That’s Larry Kramer, for the non-gay-politics-obsessed.)

And it certainly doesn’t talk like this guy (who this week had to be calmed down by, of all people, Kramer).

Personally, I don’t see why anyone would view the two approaches as mutually exclusive, rather than complimentary. The less-politic activism from the non-HRC quarters of the gay community gives the HRC a way to say to its Washington insiders friends: “Look, we’re feeling pressure from our base to push you on this. We know it’s a tricky issue, but we’re being pushed in an impolite way and now we’re going to push you in a more polite way.”

But the question of the moment is whether HRC actually does end up getting things done with its thoughtful statements, well-placed donations, and private behind-the-scenes phone calls. Well, at least in the case of Obama and Clinton, it appears it did.

You’ll remember that at first Obama and Clinton both failed to defend the morality of homosexuality. But after this, from HRC, the other HRC, Hillary Rodham Clinton, put out a statement saying this:

I have heard from many of my friends in the gay community that my response yesterday to a question about homosexuality being immoral sounded evasive. My intention was to focus the conversation on the failed don’t ask, don’t tell policy. I should have echoed my colleague Senator John Warner’s statement forcefully stating that homosexuality is not immoral because that is what I believe.

And Obama put out a statement saying this:

I do not agree with General Pace that homosexuality is immoral. Attempts to divide people like this have consumed too much of our politics over the past six years.

Both of those statements could have been written by the Human Rights Campaign, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.


Whose Palm Tree Is This?

posted by on March 16 at 12:50 PM

What sort of jackass plants a perfectly healthy little palm tree in the middle of a busy intersection in rainy Seattle? Has anyone else noticed this bizarro transplant at Denny and Stewart? What’s with the funky-fresh cement tiles? The weird colored triangles up on poles? Why it does it seem like Wolfgang Puck is somehow to blame? Call me crazy, but I hope once the fence comes down, the homeless guy(s) who sit across the street will move over there with some nice lawn chairs and Hawaiian shirts….


Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on March 16 at 12:13 PM

The Prayer Warrior is back in the U.S. and busy busy busy…


March 16, 2007

Pray for me as I talk with Jay Hines, Director of Faith Based Community Initiative [sic] in the White House today at 1:30 Pacific time.

After the call, I will give an update on what happened on my trip to Latvia.

Your Pastor,

It’s on TV!

posted by on March 16 at 11:35 AM

• NERD ALERT ONE! This Sunday brings us part one of the two-part BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season finale, wherein that creepy creep Dr. Baltar goes on trial for crimes against humanity. Call in Johnnie Cochran!

• NERD ALERT TWO! In a valiant effort to keep VERONICA MARS from being canceled, creator Rob Thomas plans to pitch a show where Veronica is a FBI trainee — in the agency’s special “Lingerie Division.”

• RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES! Original Buffy KRISTY SWANSON and Mr. Show’s DAVID CROSS will appear as people who are remarkably similar to Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern in an upcoming Law & Order: Criminal Intent. FINALLY! A reason to watch this show!

• UMMM… EW! According to the 60 Minutes interview airing this Sunday, American Idol b-hole SIMON COWELL was once offered 100 grand to watch a couple make love and then critique them. Randy Jackson agreed to step in when he learned the couple was doing it “DOG-gy style.” Ouch. That’s not funny.


Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream

posted by on March 16 at 11:24 AM

I was watching TV, and a new show came on.

It was about a guy who left his working-class hometown to become a novelist in New York City.

His first novel was entitled Turtle on a Snare Drum, and it made him a blockbuster literary sensation. It also sullied his reputation with his old hometown, which the young novelist apparently portrayed as a pitiable den of hicks in the book.

When a teaching gig requires the young novelist to return to his long-lost hometown, he’s forced to reconnect with all he left behind.

Old friendships are resurrected, complete with kooky secret handshakes. Air-bands are re-formed, with long scenes of guys passionately rocking out together in slow motion. The novelist character is the kind of writer who discusses things like “Did you intend a deeper allegorical nihilism?” Several major plot points hinge on the fact that ”All Garrett men suffer from nut allergies.” And the whole thing is played with a dewy-eyed emotional seriousness that makes it seem like Grey’s Anatomy for dudes, but without humor.

Did anyone else have this terrible terrible dream?

Connelly’s Latest Blather

posted by on March 16 at 11:13 AM

Joel Connelly—that two-house-owning, Whidbey-Island-dwelling man of the peoplesure does love callin’ stuff “highfalutin.”

With his favorite target—proposals to build anything other than a massive new elevated freeway on Seattle’s waterfront—gaining traction (voters rejected the rebuild 44 to 56 percent), he’s turned his sights on another one of those wacky effete Seattle ideas: Mass transit. In today’s column, Connelly comes out in favor of legislation that would consolidate all the regional transportation agencies into a single uber-agency, on the grounds that it would allow someone other than us effete Seattle liberals to make “politically incorrect” decisions—like building roads instead of light rail. Or—even better—taking money away from light rail and putting it into buses.*

Above all, proposed transit systems would have to be justified as the best way for getting people from place to place.

Backers of light rail would have to give proof of benefits to match its sky-high cost. They’d have to show suitability to the Eastside. A Ron Sims vision speech won’t cut it.

The commission could consider fast, predictable bus service as an alternative. It could ask salient, politically incorrect questions: What about diverting transit dollars to the vitally necessary upgrade of state Route 520?

Predictable bus service? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Joel Connelly hasn’t been near a bus since Emmett Watson was a lad. Bus service isn’t predictable—it’s slow and unreliable and has to share roads with all the other traffic, which is why people don’t like using it. Predictability is precisely light rail’s advantage. And handing over authority over Seattle’s transit system to road-crazy Eastside Republicans may be Connelly’s wet dream, but it would be a disaster for Seattle. If this week’s election told us anything, it was that voters are sick of doing things the same old way. Building more roads, which get congested—then putting buses on those congested roads—doesn’t work. Perhaps if Connelly took the time to ride Seattle’s transit system, the way the “ordinary folks” he claims to speak for do, he would have come to a different conclusion.

*On the other hand, at least he’s not insulting the intelligence of Seattle voters and calling for an elevated viaduct rebuild.

Double Exposure

posted by on March 16 at 10:48 AM

From this:


To this:


Local This American Life Airs Tonight

posted by on March 16 at 10:35 AM

This American Life has been on a live tour for the last couple of weeks, including a stop in Seattle on March 7. The show airing tonight is from the tour. It includes Sarah Vowell, David Rakoff, and our own Dan Savage (with a special guest). I went to the live taping, it was entertaining and fun—with great music by Mates of State. The theme is What I Learned from TV, a topic close to my heart. I also learned that Ira Glass has a special place in his heart for The O.C.

This American Life airs tonight at 7:00 p.m. on KUOW 94.9 FM. You can also listen to it afterward on their website.

Phrase of the Day

posted by on March 16 at 9:08 AM

“Castration without malice.”

Airport Art

posted by on March 16 at 8:55 AM

I’m at Eugene’s airport, which is tiny and charming, as airports go. But the “art” in Eugene’s airport is almost as annoying/upsetting as those piles of glass bones are at Sea-Tac. (Yeah, that’s what I like to think about on my way to the plane, Sea-Tac—bleached bones, violent death, rot, decay.) The long hall that leads to the A Gates here is decorated with… images of people flying! But not in airplanes. They’re just, you know, soaring through the air…


Here’s a close-up…


Flying. People flying. But not in planes. Flying like Superman! That’s cute. But to my eyes—to the eyes of a terrified all-too-frequent flyer—these people don’t look like they’re flying. They look like they’re falling. It looks like the plane they were on split in two, spilling people into the sky a mile up, and now everyone is plummeting toward earth, with their carry-ons, where they’ll land with a splat. And die.

Like I said, not as bad as all those “glass art” bones at Sea-Tac. But still not something I wanna see before I board.

Okay, popping a Xanax now.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on March 16 at 7:52 AM

A local couple is being held at the King County Jail after their 6-month-old baby died of a drug overdose while the family was in California.

The baby’s parents, Lorrie Peck and Tom Boettger, appeared before a judge on Thursday. They are now being held on $1 million bail each on a fugitive charge. They have not been charged in the baby’s death.

The western Washington couple took a family trip to San Diego last fall with the baby and Peck’s 10-year-old daughter. They came back from the trip without the baby and reportedly told friends the baby had tragically died.

A report from the San Diego Police Department details the baby’s last few days.

Boettger told police the baby had an upset stomach. He said he crushed a cocktail of pills, including Mylanta, Unisom, Zantac, Benadryl and Sudafed, then mixed the drugs with water and fed it to the baby.

Morning News

posted by on March 16 at 7:27 AM

Is Hillary Clinton a “Bitch?” CNN/ABC’s Glenn Beck says yes. “You know what I mean? … It’s in her vocal range.”

Was Rove in on the purge? Yes, according to newly published White House e-mails.

When will we know who the 2008 nominees are? Try Feb. 5, thanks to the new California primary.

Troop Withdrawal? Senate says nope. Not by 2008 anyway.

Is 45% for the elevated really that bad? Hard to say. But 44% definitely sucks.

Will Gonzales be the AG much longer? Not if Republicans keep piling on.

Who talks to Barbara Walters? Hugo Chavez talks to Barbara Walters.

Is Al Qaeda still a threat? Yes, but they’ve changed their name to Fatah al Islam

Isn’t Strippergate old news? Not according to the Washington State Supreme Court.

Is Wikipedia reliable? Comedian David Adkins, AKA Sinbad, who’s supposedly dead, says Nope.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dogs on Film

posted by on March 15 at 7:25 PM

In case you’re not sure what a kookoo crazy-ass dog show looks like, don’t worry. I took pictures. And in case you were wondering, I did not make any of this up.

This is what a dog show looks like from the sky:

This is a dog being cute:

This is a lady dancing with her nicest, most nonjudgmental and loving best pal:

And this, O haters and naysayers, is the crazy shit hanging above that Basenji-Rape-Lady’s table:

I can’t wait for the next one. Who’s going with me?

There Really Aren’t Any Pictures of the Guy Smiling

posted by on March 15 at 6:26 PM

I wasn’t much into revising King County to mean M.L. King Jr. County. It seemed dishonest and just weird for whitey Seattle.

When the logo hit, I was pleasantly surprised at least that the image of MLK was stern and bad (a nice reality check on the white wash coopt number that’s been done on MLK. Yep: A pet peeve of mine is that King’s radicalism has been diminished in our contemporary pop culture reading.)

Anyway, when I saw the logo side by side with other local logos at yesterday’s County, City, State joint viaduct press conference, I was converted. I love this logo.


And I love that I live in Martin Luther King County now. How cool is that?

King County spokesperson Carolyn Duncan from Exec Sims’s office tells me the image is not based on any specific photo of King. Getting rights to any specific photo was too complicated, she says. So, the desing firm they hired to come up with the logo, Tony Gable, had to mock up the image from scratch, basically just studying lots of pictures and then drawing their own. The direction they chose was “determination” as opposed to King’s other visage: looking “visionary.”

I told her I was glad they rejected the touchy feely, soft focus image that King seems to occupy nowadays, and didn’t mock him up looking content or happy.

Duncan said that wasn’t hard. “There really aren’t any pictures of the guy smiling,” she said.

Today in Line Out

posted by on March 15 at 4:05 PM

It was sorta a slow day over in Line Out Land… We’ve got a paper to write, after all. But there’s still entertainment to be had. Here’s what we covered today:

Modest Mouse: Make their American Idol debut, break my heart.

Playlist Appreciation: I’m a terrible singer, but I love to sing.

Beer Ears: Which songs sound better when you’re drunk?

Portland Is On Fire: Kim Hayden suggests you head South for the weekend.

Catfight! Rowr!: Ari Spool is wrong, I (Megan Seling) am right.

SXSW Envy: Eric Grandy is missing Simian Mobile Disco.

Eternal Flame: The Bangles will never burn out.

You’re Not Invited: Eric Grandy gets in on the “hot boy vs. shitty band” debate. Whatever. He doesn’t even like dudes.

What’s Hot: Mims is. And this is why.

Are You A Drummer?: The Rotten Apples want you!

Finally! A Stuff Magazine Story I Can Get Behind!

posted by on March 15 at 3:35 PM

Mmmm…. Deep-fried bacon cheese dogs…


1 hot dog
1 slice of thick-cut bacon
1 can of spray cheese
1 can beer
1 cup flour
Oil for frying

Read the whole artery-busting recipe here.

Cross-posted. Mmmm… delicious cross-posting…

What’s Going Up After the Bars Come Down

posted by on March 15 at 3:27 PM

Here’s an artist’s rendering of the new development planned for Pine Street between Summit and Belmont on Capitol Hill (aka the Cha-Cha/Bimbo’s/Man Ray block):


It’s easy to see (UPDATE! now you can click on the link for a bigger version) that the development is going to be just as monolithic, standard-issue, and uninspired as neighborhood residents have feared. It lacks the architectural texture that architects Weber + Thompson assured the neighborhood it would have (larger, actually usable balconies would be a start, as would some recessed units and visible courtyards, like the ones at the Press Condos down the street). It’s a block long and six stories high, with one small corner of sidewalk-accessible open space at the west end. The drawing shows eight storefronts, which would be an improvement on early plans to include just three large storefronts on the entire block; however, rents, at an estimated $30 a square foot, will still be out of reach for most independent businesses—and the developers have said bars aren’t welcome, anyway. (Current rents are as low as $14 a square foot.) The project is going through design review at the city, but since that process has no teeth (the city can’t dictate aesthetics), residents are left with little recourse to alter the plans for a project that, along with the six-story building planned for the plot behind Linda’s across the street, will redefine the neighborhood.

As we’ve said before: We’re not against density. What we’re against is density that obliterates the very “vibrancy” that made the neighborhood desirable in the first place. Build your condos, developers, but put them on open lots first — otherwise, you may drive a stake in the heart of the “vibrant” neighborhood you’re trying to draw people in to.

Like A Good Catfight?

posted by on March 15 at 3:09 PM

Megan and I are in a perpetual argument, which we have decided to open up to the masses over on Lineout.

Boys are hotter when they play music=fact.

But does the quality of the music matter?

Megan says yes.

I say no.

Please, join us in this very intellectual pursuit.

The Clarification

posted by on March 15 at 3:02 PM

A comment posted by Ben on my post Reality-effects, made this point:

Charles, forgive me, but if reality effects are the effects our actions (physical and mental) have on reality, AND if all human experience is mediated, then we can’t actually get at the reality effects any more than we can get at the rest of reality. Our access to the reality effects would be mediated like our access to the rest of reality. Why would we have special non-mediated access to just this part of reality? If you grant that we don’t, then what’s the big deal with reality-effects as an object of study over any other part of reality?

How are reality-effects different from reality itself? This is what I think Ben wants me to clarify, because if I can’t clarify this point then what exactly is so special about the concept (or password) of reality-effects?
This is the clarification: I do not confuse reality with truth. The truth is not out there. The truth is not out in the wilderness or desert of the real. What doesn’t exist outside of the human is truth of any kind. A man who dreams he is a king every night might in truth be a king but not in reality. The only home truth has in the whole universe is in fictions fashioned by humans (or human modes). As a consequence, there is no evil or good in the world as such. There are stars, clouds, George Bush, bullets, Arabs, sand. They all in fact happen to be here. So, if you want to be moral, you must make a story for yourself and others to act morally. Morals, like truth, are within fictions that can be applied, be affected by, the inhuman (or the indifferent to human) Real.

What one satellite drifting over Southern California in 1992 registered as “a heat anomaly” was a riot in Los Angeles. The “heat anomaly” was the reality; the riot was the “reality-effect.” The truth was only a matter of the conflicting fictions: one fiction ending in the “Rodney King Uprising”, the other in the “LA Riots.”

In Case You Missed It…

posted by on March 15 at 1:39 PM

As per this week’s Nightstand: On May 17 at Neumo’s, we’re doing an event with Miranda July (director/star of Me and You and Everyone We Know, but also Nest of Tens, Atlanta, and various excellent performance art pieces). There will be a reading and music and a discussion and a dance party.


July’s collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, will be published on May 15 by Scribner. I haven’t read it, because Christopher won’t let me, but it includes “Something That Needs Nothing,” a story originally published in The New Yorker. Their new website won’t let you read the whole thing online, but it does attempt to entice you with these hilarious keywords:

   Teen-agers (Teenagers);
   Love Affairs;
   Gays (Homosexuals);
   Portland, Oregon

Re: Clinton and Obama (and The Gays)

posted by on March 15 at 1:20 PM

Dan’s feeling miffed at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for failing to come out swinging in favor of the morality of gayness. So, apparently, is the Human Rights Campaign. To recap:

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced this week that he believes homosexuality is “immoral,” after which reporters began asking the presidential candidates what they thought of Pace’s statement. And because Democratic candidates are always in more of a political bind on gay issues, most of the media attention has focused on what the Democratic big three — Clinton, Obama, and Edwards — said in response. (Or, in the case of Clinton and Obama, what they didn’t say.)

Clinton, asked by ABC News whether homosexuality is immoral, responded:

Well I’m going to leave that to others to conclude. I’m very proud of the gays and lesbians I know who perform work that is essential to our country, who want to serve their country and I want make sure they can.

Obama gave three non-answers to the question, posed by Newsday:

Answer 1: “I think traditionally the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman has restricted his public comments to military matters. That’s probably a good tradition to follow.”

Answer 2: “I think the question here is whether somebody is willing to sacrifice for their country, should they be able to if they’re doing all the things that should be done.”

Answer 3: Signed autograph, posed for snapshot, jumped athletically into town car.

Edwards, taking a notably different tack, was more straightforward with Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: Let’s talk about General Peter Pace, the chairman of the joint chiefs. He suggested today, his own personal opinion, homosexuality, he said, was immoral. As a result, don’t change the don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

First of all, in your opinion, is homosexuality immoral?

EDWARDS: I don’t — don’t share that view.

Afterward, both Clinton and Obama used spokespeople to suggest that they disagree with Pace. But the Human Rights Campaign reportedly isn’t satisfied and wants them to do more.

If all this feels like a replay of the 2004 presidential election, in which the issue of gay rights vexed Kerry and helped Bush win, it’s because it largely is. And who benefits politically when Democrats are forced to either side with the gays or the gay-haters? The answer is pretty clear: Republicans.

Of course, in a perfect world, this wouldn’t be an issue. Of course Democrats (and Republicans) should be able to say publicly what most of them probably already believe in private—based on the gays they employ, the gays they take money from, and, in more than a few cases, the gays they secretly sleep with—which is that being gay is hardly immoral.

Of course it’s ugly and unpleasant to watch people pander to prejudice.

But this is politics.

And the lesson of the last presidential election is that the gay issue creates a Hobson’s choice for Democrats. There is no good answer, no politically-smart way for them to be absolutist about supporting gays and full gay equality without creating a media frenzy that would distract from other issues and alienate a good part of the electorate. Which is why I find my self agreeing with Kerri Harrop (for a change).

By appearing uncomfortable in answering the question about gays and morality, and eventually approaching a muffled correct answer (through their spokespeople), Clinton and Obama are telegraphing to the average American that they are more like him or her than not.

Poll after poll shows that while support for gays and gay rights is increasing in this country, it’s far from a settled issue.

So, while appearing to be unsettled by questions about gays and gay rights might make certain Democrats seem craven and spineless to certain parts of the Democratic base, it no doubt plays well with the average American — if he or she is even following this episode.

And Edwards is not above trying to thread the needle by showing both comfort and discomfort with gay issues at the same time. His answer on gay marriage? “I’m just not there yet.” Translation: I’m with you, America. I’m uncomfortable about this.

It may be unpleasant for the liberal base to watch Democrats playing to the average American in order to win. But show me the Democrat who unequivocally supports full civil equality for gays and lesbians and I will show you… Dennis Kucinich.


Idol Update: The Horror… THE HORROR!

posted by on March 15 at 12:56 PM

Now, I’m usually the type of guy who waits until the “final six” to start watching American Idol, but with such horrific things happening on every single episode, how can I miss it?? After Simon and Ryan’s homophobic “gay-off” competition Tuesday night, last night’s episode featured a special performance by Dorian Gray… I mean DIANA ROSS—who was really, really, really not so good. I was fully expecting Randy to follow up her performance with “I dunno, dog. It was really pitchy… didn’t work for me.”
And hilariously, the people over at must be doing something right, because the absolutely adorable yet atrociously bad singer Sanjaya has been allowed to stay on for another mutually torturous week.
But perhaps the most torturous moment of all? Not only are the Idol contestants forced to sing abysmally bad songs, and then RE-sing them after they’re voted off, they also have to shoot commercials for the show’s advertisers. Check out this clip of the Idol Kids shilling for the Ford motor company, and even more horribly, singing the Modest Mouse song “Float On.” OMIGOD! It is so excruciatingly horrible you don’t know who to kill: the Idol Kids, Ford Motor Company, the producers, Modest Mouse, or yourself! In other words… it’s so horrifying, it’s AWESOME.

Let It Be Nothing

posted by on March 15 at 12:53 PM

Llyod’s Rocket is dead again:
a2eeee7273f7.jpg I think it died this year. But for much of 2005 it was slowly revived/remodeled, and for much (if not all) of 2006 it barely lived as a restaurant/bar and coffee drive-thru. I visited the Rocket once (it’s across the street from a bar I love, Saba) and was impressed by its ghostly crowd of empty tables and barstools. Lots of loud jazz art covered its walls, and there were lots things to do (flat-screen TVs, happy music, a posh portico) for the lots of people who were not there. Instead, the place had five souls in it: three making up the staff; and two (myself and a friend) making up its customers.

Before Llyod’s Rocket was restored in 2005, Diana George wrote about it in this passage from a longer piece called “Empty,” which was published in The Organ, a now-defunct NW art journal:

On the tiny triangular plot formed by the three-way crossing of 12th, Boren, and Yesler sits the abandoned Lloyd’s Rocket building. From 1961 to 1995, it was a gas station run by Joe Lloyd. He closed the station a year before he died; his wife Erma owned the property until her death in 2001, when it passed to the Lloyds’ children. It was never more than a notional structure—some big-windowed walls; a flat, bi-level, stepped-down roof; two carport-like awnings; some columns. The irregular, sprawling building slid into decay over the years. Weeds sprang up, pigeons roosted in the empty service bays, tires were dumped in the lot. In 1998, a chain-link fence went up around the lot, to deter crime, and the empty building was boarded up with large murals painted on plywood. The murals, depicting Seattle’s African-American history, are said to have been painted by “kids;” a sign, now gone, labeled the effort the “Lloyd’s Rocket Beautification Project.” With its proximity to the Youth Detention Center (a little further up 12th), the beautification of Lloyd’s is ambiguous. The murals were only partly, if at all, an expression of community spirit; they were also graffiti control measures, and the same kids who painted them were also potentially subject to the sorts of civility laws that might have landed them in the detention center: laws against sitting, against postering, against graffiti. Nor did the murals halt or even slow the building’s decay, as they too grew bleached and weathered.

Entrepreneurs and developers of Seattle listen! Leave Lylod’s Rocket alone. Just let it rot. The place is good for pigeons, good for graffiti, good for nothing.

I Heart Fantagraphics

posted by on March 15 at 12:34 PM

Have you been to the new Fantagraphics store in Georgetown yet? This past Saturday, the Jim Blanchard-slash-DT’s show really made me miss old skool Seattle. A Seattle where you could still go buy a comic or some zines, then see a messy punk show at Fallout Records…. a Seattle where you might see Art Chantry chatting up Jack Endino in an art gallery. Georgetown Records seems to be picking up where Fallout left off…. actually, as Capitol Hill seems to be turning into Pioneer Square, Georgetown seems to be turning into a more mature Capitol Hill. Anyway. Get down to Fantagraphics. There’s hundreds of amazing graphic novels and new comics on the shelves - including this not-so-new-but-still-my-FAVORITE COMIC IN THE WORLD….


The Blanchard gallery show runs through March 21.
Check out my video with the DT’s, Blanchard, AND a cameo by the inimitable Miss Ellen Forney over on our video page.

Re: Clinton and Obama

posted by on March 15 at 12:23 PM

Oh, I knew my Meet the Press addiction would come in handy someday… Edwards on the gays:

MR. RUSSERT: Gay marriage. You said this: “ It is [a hard issue] … because I’m 53 years old. I grew up in a small town in the rural south. I was raised in the Southern Baptist church and so I have a belief system that arises from that. It’s part of who I am. I can’t make it disappear. … I personally feel great conflict about that. I don’t know the answer. I wish I did. I think from my perspective it’s very easy for me to say, gay civil unions, yes, partnership benefits, yes, but it is something that I struggle with. Do I believe they should have the right to marry? I’m just not there yet.” Why not?

SEN. EDWARDS: I think it’s from my own personal culture and faith belief. And I think, if you had gone on in that same quote, that I, I have—I, I struggle myself with imposing my faiths—my faith belief. I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, I was baptized in the Southern Baptist church, my dad was a deacon. In fact, I was there just a couple weeks ago to see my father get an award. It’s, it’s just part of who I am. And the question is whether I, as president of the United States, should impose on the United States of America my views on gay marriage because I know where it comes from. I’m aware of why I believe what I believe. And I think there is consensus around this idea of no discrimination, partnership benefits, civil unions. I think that, that certainly a president who’s willing to lead could lead the country in the right direction on that.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe you’re born gay?

SEN. EDWARDS: I, I, I think that—I, I, first of all, sexual—I’m not an expert on sexual orientation. I, I think that, that, there’s a real possibility that people are born gay, yes.

MR. RUSSERT: You don’t believe—do you believe that homosexuality is a sin?


MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that openly gay men and women should be able to serve in the military.


MR. RUSSERT: And you would do that as president?

SEN. EDWARDS: Absolutely.

Eh, I still hate the slimy bastard.

Free Victrola

posted by on March 15 at 12:08 PM

Tomorrow the nascent Victrola II on Pike Street (between Minor and Bellevue and next to the Eagle) is giving away free doppios all day as part of its opening celebration. Besides roasting and dispensing coffee here, they sell beer (including Duvel), wine, and edible-looking sandwiches. I’ve been in a few times since it opened last month and I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t hold a candle to Bauhaus—the atmosphere is sterile and the counter staff comically sleepy, unless you’re in a hurry, in which case they’re frustratingly inept. Allow time for your free espresso to take forever.

Oxford University Press Has My Number

posted by on March 15 at 12:05 PM

Oxford University Press has a great book series going: Pivotal Moments in US History.

There are 10 installments so far. I discovered the series inadvertantly. A while ago I bought a great fat book about one of my obsessions, the 1961 Freedom Rides. And just yesterday, I bought a book about another one of my obsessions, James Madison’s fight to get the Bill of Rights into the Constitution. As I was reading the James Madison book last night, I noticed it was part of the same series as the Freedom Rides book, and I thought, “Damn, these guys are on it.”

Check it out: The 10 “Pivotal Moments” they’ve flagged so far, chronologically, are:

The Treaty of Paris

Washington Crossing the Deleware

James Madison’s fight for the Bill of Rights

Adams vs. Jefferson, Election of 1800

The Fight to Admit Texas into the Union

The Battle of Antietam

The Stock Market Crash

The Birth of Rock and Roll

Brown Vs. Board of Ed

The Freedom Rides

Hey, Does This Striped Couch Make Me Gay?

posted by on March 15 at 12:04 PM


Welcome to my apartment. Have a seat on my—ohwaitdon’tsitonthat! Unless you’re… you know. That’s the thing that lets people know I’m… you know. Pretty much nothing on the Garrison Keillor Index of Gayness applies to me—no small dog, no polka dots, not flamboyant—except this couch. That Mary McCarthy collection of essays you can see in the bookcase? That map of the world? That typewriter? None of those are exactly rainbow windsocks.

But this couch is so striped it’s immoral. Even more immoral, I had a dream about this couch before I saw it—and who ever dreams about couches except… you know? In the dream it was an old-timey sort of couch with orange and gold stripes. Woke up and thought, Weird, because it was the kinda thing I would never buy. Then a day or two later I walked into Dixon’s Used Furniture—this was back when Dixon’s Used Furniture was still in business—and in the back room, crammed with mattresses and broken chairs and great stacks of cushions, there was this old-timey sort of couch with orange and gold stripes. Weird! It was cheap and it had problems. (You know, like gay people.) It was all torn up, and still is, but oh man it’s comfortable.

Yesterday, Annie Wagner and Jen Graves sat next to each other on this couch for an hour. By the time they left my apartment I’m pretty sure they’d secretly decided to leave their boyfriends, braid each other’s hair, and live like Gertrude and Alice. You have to be careful about these couches with stripes.

Re: Clinton and Obama

posted by on March 15 at 12:02 PM

As Dan notes below, Clinton and Obama both hedged when asked if they agreed with Gen. Peter Pace’s assertion that “homosexuality is immoral.”

John Edwards, however, didn’t.

As Amanda reports, Edwards told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he does not “share that position.” Then he went further, saying that “the don’t ask, don’t tell policy is not working. And as president of the United States I would change that policy.”

Just one more reason to support Edwards.

Freezing in May

posted by on March 15 at 11:18 AM

Update on the I Am My Own Wife situation in this week’s theater column.

Short version: This week, two theaters—the Rep (budget $9.6 million) and ArtsWest (budget $794,000)—both announced they would be doing I Am My Own Wife in May of 2008. Both were surprised by the other’s announcement—having two productions of the same play in the same season just ain’t done.

The play (a solo show based on the real life of a prominent transvestite who outlasted both the Nazi and Communist regimes in Germany) was to have been produced by the Empty Space back before the Space collapsed, allegedly with a dream team: Allison Narver directing, Nick Garrison starring, and Jennifer Zeyl designing. Rumor is the Rep has taken in the scuttled Empty Space production.

Making for (if the rumors are true) a nasty equation: One midsized theater closed, a big theater took in the orphaned production, which is now locking horns with another midsized theater over the show.

But who has the rights to the play?

First, a call to Dramatists Play Services in New York: They “don’t talk to the press” but indicated that neither theater has the rights.

Second, a call to ArtsWest: Executive director Alan Harrison read his contract, signed by Dramatists on December 8, 2006, over the phone: ArtsWest has the rights.

Third, an email from the Rep: “Due to some record keeping errors within the Dramatists Play Service we both currently have the rights. We are working it out and should have a solution within a day or two.”

This was news to Harrison at ArtsWest. He says he’s left multiple messages with Dramatists and the Rep and nobody’s called him back. But he’s the one holding a paper contract. Nobody seems to agree on what’s happening.

Would the Rep throw its weight around to get the production? Would the Empty Space crew feel queasy about that? Or will ArtsWest get the production, leaving the Rep—and, by proxy, the memory of the Empty Space—out in the cold? Who will be freezing come May?

I’d be more excited to see the Narver-Garrison-Zeyl triumverate than ArtsWest’s proposed production (starring Nick DeSantis). So how about some horse trading? Narver’s production gets to go up at ArtsWest and DeSantis gets a guaranteed part in whatever replacement show the Rep puts up in May ‘08.


McCain’s Straight Talk Express, v2.0

posted by on March 15 at 10:25 AM

In which the TV monitors are tuned to Fox News.

Protections for Renters Scrapped in Olympia

posted by on March 15 at 10:10 AM

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was slogging about the bill to regulate condo conversions.

It was actually Monday. But the viaduct vote sorta took over our newsroom for 48 hours.

Luckily, the PI’s Olympia bureau stayed on top of the story and reports on the bad news for renters.

According to the PI, House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Seattle) tabled the bill.

The bill, sponsored by liberal Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32, Shoreline), would have increased assistance for displaced renters and allowed local governments to monitor and cap condo conversions of low-rent units.

UPDATE: City Council Member Tom Rasmussen, who initiated the bill (although, who was undermined by the city’s own lobbyist), just sent out this statement:

Today, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen expressed dismay that proposed state legislation to help renters whose apartments are converted to condominiums was not permitted to be voted on by yesterday’s deadline in the state Senate and the state House. “Seattle is experiencing unprecedented loss of apartments and displacement of renters due to conversion of apartments to condominiums. I am very disappointed that the legislature failed to recognize the crisis and failed to give local government greater ability to help low income renters who must move,” Councilmember Rasmussen said. The proposed legislation would have helped low income renters with the costs of moving and would have provided more notice to purchase or move out of their apartments. Over 4,000 apartments or about 3% of Seattle’s rental stock have been converted to condominiums since 2004. The amount of rental housing declined by about 167 units in 2005-2006, contributing to low vacancy rates and rising rents.

“The state law that controls condo conversions is out of date and needs to be changed to give local government the ability to respond to this crisis. The proposed legislation balanced the rights of property owners with need to help people who are impacted by the conversions,” Councilmember Rasmussen added. “I will continue to work to pass this legislation next year in Olympia.”

Clinton and Obama

posted by on March 15 at 8:46 AM

Clinton and Obama both win bad press for refusing to give a straight answer to the “are homosexuals immoral” question.

Clinton’s dodge made today’s New York Times, and now she’s doing damage control.

Obama’s dodge makes Newsday, and now he’s doing damage control.

Hm. Reading these stories doesn’t put me in a check writing frame of mind. I’m sure I’ll come around—I sent Kerry a check, for crying out loud—but I’m going to hold out a little longer in hopes that Gore jumps in the race.

Morning News

posted by on March 15 at 8:33 AM

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Confesses masterminding 9/11 and killing Daniel Pearl.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Says she would keep some U.S. forces in Iraq.

Sen. John Sununu (Republican-NH): Breaks ranks and calls for AG Gonzales to get the axe.

Senate Judiciary Committee: Postpones summoning Rove, but authorizes supboenas for DOJ officials and fired prosecutors.

Fatah and Hamas: announce new Palestinian government.

On the Rise: Web censorship.

On the Rise: Prescription drug abuse among college students.

On the Rise: Men complaining about sexual harassment in workplace.

We Interrupt this regularly scheduled broadcast: To bring you hardcore porn.

Assistant HS Principal: Charges $5 a head, throws kegger for kids.

New York Restaurant: Charges $1,000 for a pizza.

Fatal Shooting: West Seattle man murdered.

The Naked Man in Westlake Center Goes Primetime

posted by on March 15 at 12:18 AM

He’s been featured in Last Days since 2003 (scroll down to Sunday) and in Police Beat as recently as last month: The naked man walking around Westlake Center. (NSFW and fundamentally upsetting pic here.)

Last night, he broke through to primetime, earning a mention on Q13 News, whose 10pm broadcast featured the report Naked Man Arrested in Downtown Seattle.

All of the report’s revelations are predictably heartbreaking:

Seattle Police are looking for solutions to deal with a man who continues to walk around nude in Westlake Plaza.

Officers arrested the 46-year-old Seattle man for a 13th time Monday night.

According to police, the man is mentally ill and lives at the El Rey Community Psychiatric Clinic on 2nd avenue and Lenora street in Seattle.

The King County facility is home to homeless mentally ill people.

Police say sometimes the man walks naked over a mile to get to Westlake Plaza.

According to police, the 46-year-old has been arrested 82 times in King and Snohomish counties for trespassing, theft, and indecent exposure.

The 46 year old Seattle man has not been prosecuted for indecent exposure, because, he is incompetent to stand trial.

Full story here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


posted by on March 14 at 6:13 PM

So I took the afternoon off and went to see 300. Somehow seeing a deeply homophobic film—the Persians are portrayed as some sort of gaysian menace, a pride parade with suicide bombers, a threat to all things decent and, er, Greek—took my mind off Garrison Keillor’s deeply homophobic column today at Salon. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed 300 in part because the Persian Emperor is played by an eight foot tall black drag queen. Emperor RuPaul.

I mean, my God, the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to reassure the straight boys in the audience that there was nothing homoerotic about staring at men in thongs for three hours.

The King of the Spartans—among the most notorious boy fuckers in ancient history—dismisses Athenians as weak-willed “philosophers and boy lovers”? Hilarious. And Xerxes, the Persian Emperor, is so gay—how gay is he? mascara! nose rings! eye liner! leather!—yet he fills his tent with… lesbians? He he he. The King of the Spartans telling his three-hundred soldiers—recruited from and outfited by International Male—that Sparta is “the world’s one hope for reason and justice.” Bah! That would be the same Sparta that owned slaves and made running off into the woods and murdering a slave a right of passage for young boys—basically, the Spartan Bar Mitzvah. Holy crap! The endless sex scene between the Spartan King and his wife? Not funny, just pornographic. I went to the bathroom.

300 reminded me of Troy, another recent Hollywood film set in and around ancient Greece. When we first see Brad Pitt as Achilles he’s shown in bed, naked, with two nude and completely spent females draped over him. “See?” the filmmakers were screaming. “He’s an ancient Greek soldier and he wears a skirt and he’s oiled up like a porn star—but he fucks girls! Two at a time!”

300’s homophobia is so over the top it ultimately functions as a satire—see? I get satire sometimes!—of its presumed audiences’ homophobia. So is it a homophobic movie? That’s debatable, I guess.

What isn’t up for debate is the film’s politics. There are times when the Persian army looks unmistakably like a crowd of chanting Islamic radicals. And if the Spartan King has to break the law to defend Spartan freedom? Well, sometime a King’s gotta do what a King’s gotta do. Because, as the Queen of Sparta points out, freedom isn’t free. And, yes, she uses exactly those words.

Breaking: Tunnel Revived by Drago and Discovery Institute!

posted by on March 14 at 5:58 PM

Well, its (non-wingnutty) transportation arm, anyway. City Council member Jan Drago is co-hosting a meeting titled “Breaking the Log Jam: Advanced Tunnel Technology and New Financing Options for the Alaskan Way Viaduct” with Bruce Agnew of the Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Foundation next Friday, March 30, at City Hall. On the agenda: A brief update on surface/transit options by city transportation department head Grace Crunican, followed by a lengthy lecture on deep-bore tunnel technology, an option that has some salivating now that both the new viaduct and the cut-and-cover tunnel have been rejected. Deep-bore tunnels are carved by machines with mouths that can be as large as football fields; a deep-bore tunnel was considered and rejected for the waterfront several years ago. The seminar will also look into public-private partnership options for financing whatever replaces the viaduct. Public-private partnerships have alarmed government watchdogs because of the potential for huge profits for private companies (from tolls, for example) with little or no benefit to taxpayers.

Sightline on the “Equity Argument”

posted by on March 14 at 5:48 PM

I have a little blogcrush on Sightline’s Eric de Place. Here’s why: Often, I’ll start out reading one of his blog posts on carlessness, or the viaduct, or the state of transportation planning in Seattle, and think, “I ought to write something about this,” and then I’ll get to the end, and I’ll think, “Damn, there’s no way I could say it any better than that.”

Today was one of those days. Here’s an excerpt:

Even by the weird and hysterical standards of Seattle’s great viaduct debate, something very strange is going on. The weirdness has got to do with what I’ll call the “equity argument” — that our treatment of the viaduct should not discriminate against workers.

… According to the purveyors of the equity argument, the elevated-rebuild is good for workers — and all the other choices are bad for them. And what’s even weirder is that in spite of having no actual evidence in support of the claim, the elevated-rebuild backers just keep saying it over and over again, as if repetition will make it true.

Exhibit A is P-I columnist Joel Connelly.

He recently groused that the surface-transit option, “would be underwritten by the paychecks and jobs of those who live and work in the Emerald City.” (He went on to accuse the supporters of any option other than the elevated-rebuild as being variously “highfalutin,” non-indigenous Seattleites, or politicians.)

Now, of course, Connelly is exactly right that the surface-transit option will affect paychecks and jobs. Then again, that’s true of every option – surface-transit, rebuild, tunnel, retrofit, horse and buggy, personal jetpacks, whatever. So it’s hard to know what it is about the surface-transit option that Connelly thinks is so damning. It’s hard to know because Connelly never tells us; and he never tells us because, as I said, there’s no actual evidence in support of his argument.

Exhibit B is yesterday’s article in the P-I that pits the rebuild supporters (a scrappy bunch, “barely funded, grossly outmanned campaign”) against the “plutocratic” tunnel supporters. (Never mind that the elevated-rebuild crowd counts among their number an extremely powerful developer, the editorial board of the city’s largest-circulation newspaper, the governor, the speaker of the house, and the state department of transportation, just to name a few.) The article cites a couple of rebuild-supporting politicians – city council members Licata and Della – who make the equity argument. But again, neither Licata nor Della provides any actual evidence. Not a shred.

But is it true that any option other than the elevated rebuild is bad for workers? I have no idea. Neither do Connelly, Licata, or Della. Neither does anyone else.

Look, I’d sincerely like to know which of the various choices is, in fact, best for workers. I’d love to see some actual evidence — some studies, some data, some analysis… really anything but bald unsupported assertion. Until then, seeing as how everyone in Seattle has apparently become unmoored from the necessity of logic and reason-giving, I’d be happy to speculate about the equity effects of replacing the viaduct.

Read the whole thing here.

The Will of the Voters

posted by on March 14 at 5:40 PM

From the moment the votes came in at the “No Viaduct” party at the Edgewater Hotel last night, everyone involved in the viaduct debate was jostling to define “the will of the voters.” Politically, it seemed like a no-brainer: The voters said no to both a larger new elevated viaduct (55 to 45 percent) and a four-lane cut-and-cover tunnel (70 to 30 percent) because they weren’t satisfied with either option. Hence, elected officials should come up with a new one.

However, political leaders had different perspectives. Although everybody agreed that the voters want “collaborative” “consensus-based” discussions about what to do (we do?), they differed dramatically on what that means.

Mayor Greg Nickels interpreted the vote last night as an unambiguous signal that voters “do not want a freeway on our waterfront,” a statement Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis clarified further: “No freeway, underground or above ground.” At today’s press conference in Olympia, Nickels (perhaps consciously parroting political foe Peter Steinbrueck) was even more direct: “Whether it is above ground or below, [voters] don’t want another freeway on our waterfront. This is the 21st century. We must put aside our 1950s mindset.” Nickels also took pains to redefine “capacity,” traditionally understood as the number of cars that are able to travel on a road, as “moving people and goods,” a definition enviros have long embraced but which politicians have been slower to get behind.

Gov. Gregoire paid lip service to Nickels’s new definition of “capacity” (“capacity means if we can find a way to stop 110,000 cars from being on that road, that would be great,” Gregoire said cagily) but still seemed open to the idea of a new elevated viaduct on the waterfront, despite overwhelming opposition in an election whose results she herself said she would respect. “It’s just premature to say anything,” Gregoire said. “We have looked at a [non-freeway] option before and we have not agreed on a way to make it work.”

Meanwhile, right-wing bloggers and City Council member Nick Licata continued to labor under the delusion that a 55 percent rejection rate was actually good news for supporters of a larger new elevated viaduct, because, um, it didn’t lose as badly as the tunnel. “[The vote] will definitely keep it alive,” Licata told the Times. Sort of like that 65 percent vote against the monorail kept it alive, huh, Nick? To quote Sen. Ed Murray, talking to Dan Savage last night, “Legislators who lose 55 to 45 don’t get to be legislators.”

So, to summarize: Nickels is tentatively moving toward support for the surface/transit option (potentially sabotaging Steinbrueck’s attempt to own that position and perhaps set up a run for mayor); Gregoire is probably still for the rebuild, but is open to other options (kind of — the non-freeway option Gregoire said the state had studied is not the surface/transit option Steinbrueck and others support); and Licata is in outer space. Oh, and House Speaker Frank Chopp (a supporter of his own bizarre park-enhanced version of the elevated proposal) was nowhere to be found during this afternoon’s discussion.

Who’s Deciding What You Get to See?

posted by on March 14 at 4:56 PM

My article on SIFF Cinema last week explored the hyper-competitive world of independent exhibition in Seattle. Now for the utterly non-competitive world of the theater chains. From today’s New York Times:

The other major Hollywood studios are following similar no-frills scripts at [ShoWest,] the principal industry showcase for mainstream movies. A frayed relationship between the major studios and exhibitors, cost-cutting across the board and consolidation among the national theater chains has turned a promotional event for big-budget movies into one that is not promoting very many big-budget movies […]

Mass events at places like ShoWest have been replaced by one-on-one contact with the exhibitors responsible for the lion’s share of American cineplexes, like AMC, Regal and Cinemark. Studio executives say they can cover most of the country with a few phone calls or a visit to an exhibitor’s headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. [AMC], or Knoxville, Tenn [Regal].

Within the Seattle city limits, the (California-based) Landmark Theatres chain has a bigger presence than the majors, and their booker is local. But a few Missourians who are personally feted by the studios decide what will play at Pacific Place, Uptown, and Oak Tree; and people in Tennessee decide what will play at the Meridian 16. And if it won’t play in Peoria, it probably won’t play those theaters. It’s a bizarre thought.

More from Deadline Hollywood Daily.

An Open Letter to the Clouds in the Sky Right Now

posted by on March 14 at 4:54 PM

Dear Clouds,

Why are you so puffy and white? I mean, I know why you are puffy and white, technically. You are fair weather cumulus clouds, and your life is fleeting as you float through the sky. You get less puffy as you age and the water droplets within you move on to other lives as different kinds of clouds, or rain, or snow.

But metaphorically, why are you so puffy and white? Do you feel that today holds promise? Are you happy that the tunnel got shut down, or that Ryan Seacrest might finally come out of the closet? Are you looking forward to a dinner of polenta and broccoli rabe followed by some bowling, as I am?

There can be no assurances, as you are clouds and I am not the cloud-whisperer. But I am only human, and I needed to ask. I can only hope that you don’t respond to my query with angry downpours. I don’t want to offend you, fair weather friends.

Ari Spool

Breaking News From The Animal Kingdom

posted by on March 14 at 4:49 PM

Apes can be mean; apes can be kind:

In an incident that is both heart-stopping and heartwarming, a pregnant bonobo at the San Diego Zoo bit off the tip of her keeper’s index finger Tuesday. But another bonobo rescued the severed tip from her habitat mate and returned it to keepers so it could be re-attached…“I guess my fingers got too close to her mouth,” said Mike Bates, the injured senior keeper of the bonobos, a veteran of more than 22 years with the zoo.

A Few More Notes on This Afternoon’s Viaduct Press Conference

posted by on March 14 at 4:00 PM

1.) Mayor Nickels began his remarks by thanking Seattle City Council Members (and tunnel supporters) Jan Drago, Sally Clark, and Jean Godden for being at the press conference. He left out David Della (an elevated supporter) until someone called out and reminded Nickels that Della was there. Awkward, weird moment.

2.) Mayor Nickels strayed from Gov. Gregoire’s, KC Exec Sims’s, and (I guess) Mayor Nickels’s coordinated interpretation of the voters’s message.
Gregoire: “I don’t know which options are on or off the table. What I do know is what the voters said. It’s time for a collaborative process.”
Sims: “The voters told us they want consensus. They want us to work collaboratively.”

And in the “Which one of These Doesn’t Fit?” category—

Nickels: “The voters sent a clear message. Above or below, they don’t want us to build another freeway on the waterfront.”

Several reporters pointed out that Nickels interpretation immediately took two major options off the table—which is certainly going to cause consternation rather than collaboration.

Sims cautioned us reporters: “Everybody wants a conflict. I’m not interested in that. Voters said they want us to work collaboratively.”

One reporter pushed Sims (an outspoken proponent of the surface/transit option, which the AP’s Dave Ammons suggested was the clear winner) to take credit for an “I told you so.” Sims, however, demurred.

Oh, and another weird moment, Ammons, addressing a question to Sims, said he wanted to “hear from the svelte Ron Sims.”

Last thing: Nickels disputed the Seattle Times half-baked analysis that election results were irrelevant because lots of people were simply frustrated and turned off and didn’t participate.

Commenting on the high turn out, Nickels said the election “speaks volumes about how engaged and passionate the people of Seattle are about the future of the city.”

Today on Line Out.

posted by on March 14 at 3:50 PM

Shangri-Late Night: Mary Weiss’ Re-Introduction.

A Girl’s Best Friend: Megan Seling’s “Friend” and Neil Diamond.

Oh Dear Lord: A Post Not About Clipse.

Ghosts In The Charts: Notorious B.I.G. and Arcade Fire Top Billboard Charts.

Got It High, Killed It Dead: Jonathan Zwickel on Clipse.

Lean In, Get Grazed: Trent Moorman on Clipse .

All Three Demographics: Donte Parks on Clipse.

Deserter: Matthew Dear’s Bummer New Single.

The (Copy)Right Stuff: New Kids, Old Songs.

Cat Butt: Why Would You Do That?

…Belongs To Me!: Kurt B. Reighley on Cornelius’ Public Images.

Original Arctic Monkeys: Sinead O’Conner and Funboy 3.

Good Medicine: Tonight’s Wealth of Local Hip Hop

Dog People Are Mostly Crazy

posted by on March 14 at 3:20 PM

Lindy West went to last weekend’s Seattle Kennel Club dog show:

Dog people are all white and mostly crazy. Everything about them is hysterical and/or devastating. One handler’s calf sported a giant, slobbering mastiff tattoo. Almost everyone was wearing a novelty T-shirt (“I HEART BITCHES” or “Who rescued whom?”). A pet psychic sat placidly beneath a banner: “DOGNOSTICATION.” A Saint Bernard walked by, wearing a bib, while, nearby, a man hair-sprayed his Pomeranian. Upstairs, where various breed clubs brought sample dogs, we stopped by the basenji table. The basenji is one of my favorites: a tidy, barkless African sight hound that can climb trees and smile like a human. A curious passerby asked about the dog’s uncanny silence. “Well, he can make a sound like a woman being raped,” said the owner, without emotion.

Read the whole story.

Seacrest vs. Cowell: It’s a Gay-Off!

posted by on March 14 at 1:59 PM

When Isaiah Washington calls someone the “f-bomb” he gets sent to rehab. When Ann Coulter calls someone the “f-bomb” she gets raked over by Republicans, and fired from some of her syndicated newspapers. But when RYAN SEACREST and SIMON COWELL repeatedly call each other gay in front of a national TV audience on last night’s American Idol — well, apparently that’s okay. Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE GAY.

Viaduct Press Conference In Olympia

posted by on March 14 at 1:04 PM

Gov. Christine Gregoire, King County Exec Ron Sims, and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (along with the Democratic and Republican transportation committee leaders from the the house and senate) held a noon press conference today to announce a “collaborative” reaction to last night’s viaduct vote.

Their “collaborative” reaction was that they’re going to work “collaboratively” to “move ahead.”

Specifically, Gov. Gregoire walked through $900 million in safety, upgrade, and repair projects to the north and south ends of the current viaduct. As for what’s going to happen to key portion between King St. and Virginia, that’s going to be figured out “collaboratively.”

Reporters pressed Gregoire to say what’s on and off the table, but she would not.

I asked Nickels, who repeated his mantra from last night that voters had said no to a freeway along the waterfront (and who also said “I will not be advocating for a tunnel”) if House Speaker Frank Chopp’s own elevated alternative (“plan 9”) was off the table in this collaborative process. He said: “The voters were clear. They don’t want a highway. You cannot pretty it up.” Chopp, a key player in this process, was absent.

Erica C. Barnett asked the governor if she agreed with Nickels’s definition of capacity (people and goods as opposed to 110,000 cars). Gregoire hedged, then said she and the mayor were in agreement on all three criteria for any viaduct solution: Safety, capacity, and mobility.

More later.

You Know It’s Time to Adjust Your Meds…

posted by on March 14 at 12:46 PM

…when Larry Kramer has a cooler head than you do. This just arrived for me via email…

dear dan,

i love you and admire you but i think maybe you are overreacting to dumb garrison keillor’s dumb and retro remarks, which can be better attacked by a column of yours. he certainly is not on a par, demo wise, with pace…. thank you for mentioning the speech; it sounds as if you did like it, which pleases me very much. its delivery last night was met with huge response and the demo at the recruiting station blossomed fast, like in the old days. i do hope we can get act up up and running again. interestingly most of those who were there were young and not so many of the old members whom i thought would certainly turn up. anyway, like the sondheim song, bit by bit, piece by piece, putting it together. rex tells me that the seattle gay paper is going to run my speech, which is excellent. i have had an offer from the op-ed page of the la times. i have never had so many emails in my life and i fear for my own working schedule to finish my huge tome. i hope you will not be angry at me, or us. i always thought garrison keillor was a big joke and could never understand why he was so popular. bud trillin, my good friend and his friend too, says i just dont get his humor. but then they’re both from the midwest and i am not.

i will get copies made [of keillor’s piece] to distribute at our act up meeting tomorrow night. i gather keillor broadcasts on saturday at some time so maybe some of the members might be intrigued about doing a demo—maybe big butch guys wearing dresses or some such. “you want to know what tough is? we are tough and you are stupid.” anyway we can discuss it and see if it flies. i like the idea of two actions in three days. keep the troops busy.


Wow. Maybe I am overreacting. I mean, if Larry Kramer is the measured voice of reason here then, sheesh, I may need to take the rest of the afternoon off. Where’s 300 playing anyway?

Is Homosexuality Immoral?

posted by on March 14 at 12:18 PM

Jake Tapper at ABC News puts the question to Hillary Clinton. Her response:

“Well I’m going to leave that to others to conclude. I’m very proud of the gays and lesbians I know who perform work that is essential to our country, who want to serve their country and I want to make sure they can.”

Proud of you, kids, keep up the good work. But I’m not gonna go out on a limb here and say that you’re not, you know, immoral. Says Sullivan:

The woman who addressed the Human Rights Campaign and will receive as much money as they can funnel to her, won’t say whether she believes homosexuality is moral or not. One word: pathetic.

“Wear As Much Leather As Possible”

posted by on March 14 at 12:03 PM






Leather Invasion is about getting leather folks of all orientations out in fetish gear in non-kinky places. This event: An invasion of the new Olympic Sculpture Park. Wear as much fetish gear as possible, but obey all laws and observe appropriate conduct for public space. Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, 2 pm.

It’s happening March 25. (These are the plums I get for editing the kink calendar.)

Playing Games

posted by on March 14 at 12:02 PM

Can you discern what trait these seven have in common (besides being badasses)?


Think you’ve got it? Click here for the answer.

Police Find Tonya Harding “Tweaking Out”

posted by on March 14 at 11:42 AM

Perhaps it’s unfair to classify this as “news,” since the prospect of Tonya Harding harboring an affinity for meth is about as revelatory as Dan Savage harboring an affinity for Ashton Kutcher’s ass-crack. But news it is, as KING 5 reports on the disgraced figure skater/disgraced celebrity boxer/disgraced whatever else you got’s double run-in with the law:

According to a police report, Harding said four men and a woman tried to break into her car and steal it. In his report, the deputy wrote that Harding’s account was “very implausible.” Later that same morning, police received another call regarding Harding, this time from a friend who told authorities the skater was “seeing animals.” The deputy took Harding back to her trailer and checked her home to “put her at ease”…Police reports describe Harding as “very agitated” and “tweaking out.”

Full story here.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 14 at 11:24 AM


Deborah Eisenberg (READING) She has been writing short stories for years and years—good ones, fascinating ones, published in places like the New Yorker—but she’s been more or less unknown to the world at large because, well, she writes short stories. Then her fourth collection, Twilight of the Superheroes, came out, was praised to the skies, and became a word-of-mouth hit. It’s out in paperback. She’s never read in Seattle before. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600. 7:30 pm, free.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Box Me In

posted by on March 14 at 11:19 AM

These are new homes near the corner of 21 and Alder. They are not great but certainly much more interesting than the most of the new townhomes that are under construction or recently completed in the Central District.

But check out this new home in Tabiago, Italy.



How sad even this decent local effort seems when compared to actual architecture.


Protest Garrison Keillor

posted by on March 14 at 11:16 AM

Larry Kramer gave a speech in New York City last night to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of ACT UP. Kramer called on gays and lesbians to form a new “gay army” to fight for the rights of gays and lesbians. There’s a great roundup and a link to the full text of Kramer’s speech over at Towleroad.

The first action for the new gay army is already planned: ACT UP/NY is going to “storm the military recruiting station in Times Square on Thursday at noon,” demanding that Gen. Peter Pace be fired.

I have a proposal for a second action: Disrupt a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Coulter Keillor’s live radio show on NPR. (Why protest Keillor? Read my earlier post “Fuck Garrison Keillor.”) One of ACT UP’s most successful early demos was disrupting a live broadcast of the CBS Evening News. If we’re going to start acting up again there’s no reason Keillor’s show should be spared. Keillor’s attack on gay parents was just as offensive and just as misinformed as Pace’s “immoral” comments or Ann Coulter’s Edwards’ joke.

And what do you know? Garrison Keillor’s show this week is broadcasting live from New York City. Hello? ACT UP/New York? I suggest you hit Garrison where it’s sure to hurt—on the air.

UPDATE: Oh, never mind. What does it say about my mood, to say nothing of my trigger finger, that Larry Kramer has a cooler head than I do these days?

UPDATE 2: Hey, this wasn’t an Emily Latella moment, as some are saying in the comments. It was “never mind” to protesting Keillor, not to complaining about Keillor’s blatantly homophobic column—which, no, I don’t read as satire. Unless this is satire: “Oh, the world sure is complicated. It was bad enough when nice straight people LIKE ME were getting divorced and remarried. Now the homosexuals are doing it too and, well, we’re just going to have to live with that, I suppose. Least you homos could do, though, is stop acting like such pansy asses. For the kids. Okay?”

Spin Off

posted by on March 14 at 10:24 AM

Given that the elevated option they endorsed only scored 45% support, The Seattle Times editorial spin this morning conveniently chalks up voter sentiment to confusion and anger at the ballot (rather than to what voters literally said: No to both freeway options on the waterfront).

The Seattle Times cavalierly states that the frustrating vote “prompted many to refuse to participate.”

What? KC counted 100,000 ballots last night out of about 117,000 that came in before the deadline. They anticipate that ultimately they’ll see a 55% return rate (on a mail-in election in mid-March!)—about 186,000 votes.

Where is the evidence that “many” refused to participate?

The Seattle Times is hauling out an off-point, unhelpful (untrue?) bit of analysis that distracts from the momentum that’s building among leaders: We need to think differently about this corridor; particularly when it comes to the talisman of “capacity.” Mayor Nickels, who had worshiped at the altar of car capacity throughout his efforts to sell the waterfront tunnel, heard the voters and changed his message last night, talking about capacity in terms of “people” rather than cars.

It will be interesting to see if that message is repeated at today’s press conference in Olympia. I’m heading down now.

Out of a Freak-Ridden Wasteland Comes a Star of Tomorrow

posted by on March 14 at 10:19 AM


Yes yes, Seattle got a ton of shit for offering up a parade of freaks at the local American Idol auditions, but no less than three Seattle auditioners have made it into Idol’s top twelve, and one of them is a total star-in-the-making: Blake Lewis, hailing from Bothell, WA and pictured above.

I missed last night’s show, which I’ve been told featured a less-than-stellar Blake Lewis performance, but on every previous show I’ve seen, Lewis has easily distinguished himself as a front-runner, and a new breed of Idol contestant: he sings, dances, beat-boxes, and is accomplished at all of it. As Simon said early on (I’m paraphrasing), “Blake Lewis is the only contestant who’s bringing something new and completely contemporary.” I look forward to him mopping the floor with everybody.

(Plus, who doesn’t love a cute honky in a Common Market T-shirt?) Go Blake Lewis!

Hillary Clinton Calls on Gonzales to Resign

posted by on March 14 at 10:02 AM

Becoming the first presidential candidate to do so. (At least by my count.)

OOPS: Not the first.

Fuck Garrison Keillor

posted by on March 14 at 10:02 AM

Oh. My. God. I’m sitting here writing a silly little blog post about General Peter Pace when I get an email from a friend telling to go read Garrison Keillor’s piece on marriage and family over at Salon.

Keillor, concerned about the emotional well-being of children, comes to praise heterosexual marriage, monogamy, and life-long commitment:

I grew up the child of a mixed-gender marriage that lasted until death parted them…. Back in the day, that was the standard arrangement. Everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, a male dad, and a refrigerator with leftover boiled potatoes in plastic dishes with snap-on lids….

Under the old monogamous system, we didn’t have the problem of apportioning Thanksgiving and Christmas among your mother and stepdad, your dad and his third wife, your mother-in-law and her boyfriend Hal, and your father-in-law and his boyfriend Chuck. Today, serial monogamy has stretched the extended family to the breaking point. A child can now grow up with eight or nine or 10 grandparents—Gampa, Gammy, Goopa, Gumby, Papa, Poopsy, Goofy, Gaga and Chuck—and need a program to keep track of the actors.

Keillor has been married THREE TIMES. He has children from two of his marriages, children who presumably need a computer program to keep track of their step-siblings, half-siblings, and sprawling extended families, children that have to be “apportioned out on Thanksgiving and Christmas.” Okay, fine, whatever. Keillor can recognize marriage, life-long commitment, and less complicated family structures as the ideal, even if he himself has failed—failed spectacularly—to live up to that ideal himself. It might have been nice, however, if the withered old hypocrite had admitted to Salon readers that he has failed to live up to the ideals he’s espousing. How about a little full disclosure, Garrison?

From Keillor’s wiki entry:

Keillor has been married three times:

To Mary Guntzel, from 1965 to 1976. The couple has one son, Jason, born in 1969.

To Ulla Skaerved (a former exchange student from Denmark whom he famously re-encountered at a high school reunion), from 1985 to 1990. Keillor is mildly notorious for having dumped his long-time lover and PHC producer Margaret Moos to marry Ulla. The marriage failed when Keillor had an affair with his Danish language teacher.

His current wife, violinist Jenny Lind Nilsson (b. 1958), from his hometown of Anoka,whom he married in 1995. They have one daughter, Maia, born in 1998.

Oh, tell me more about the old monogamous system, Uncle Garrison, you old serial adulterer you. (Note to Salon’s editors: I know the Internets can be confusing, but surely you had access to this information. It didn’t occur to you to make Keillor admit that he hasn’t exactly lived up to his own standards?)

But Keillor really didn’t come to praise heterosexual marriage and monogamy. He came to bury gay couples—particularly gay couples with children.

And now gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife’s first husband’s second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin’s in-laws and Bruce’s ex, Mark, and Mark’s current partner, and I suppose we’ll get used to it.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men—sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That’s for the kids. It’s their show.

Oh. My. God.

Where to start? How about that one sentence that somehow manages to pack in six flaming stereotypes about gay men—fussy hair, small dogs, over-decorated apartments, and on and on. Yes, Garrison, all of us gay men—particularly us gay parents!—are decadent, flamboyant creatures. Sure, having kids means puke on your chartreuse trousers and candy ground into your expensive sofa—but, hey, those are small prices to pay if it means getting to show off your chartreuse pants at PTA meetings!

What an asshole. Asshole, asshole, asshole. What Keillor wrote today on Salon is every bit as offensive as Ann Coulter’s “faggot” joke about John Edwards and relies on the same set of cultural prejudices.

I know a lot of gay couples with children—some of which, as I type these words, are losing their health insurance in Michigan because of an anti-gay marriage amendment passed in that state by hateful motherfuckers who, like Keillor, hate, fear and know nothing about gay couples. None of the gay couples with kids I know go in for chartreuse pants and polka-dot shirts or striped (?) sofas.

Most of the gay male parents I know adopted children that men and women in “opposite-sex marriages” weren’t interested in—children with HIV, older children, mixed-race children, children with developmental disabilities, children abused, neglected and abandoned by their heterosexual parents. Every year I go to Michigan for Gay Family Week in Saugatuck and I’m staggered by the love, patience, and compassion demonstrated by these men. These couples deserve our gratitude and support. What they don’t deserve is a rich, old hypocrite insinuating that they’re more interested in their fussy hairdos and over-decorated apartments than they are in raising their kids.

And Garrison? Ultimately gay parents aren’t interested in being “accepted as couples and daddies” by withered old adulterers. We exist irrespective of your “acceptance.” And if I seem angry, you fucking motherfucker, it’s because I am. Angered and shocked. I’m used to being attacked by right-wingers obsessed with gay sex and fixated on anti-gay stereotypes. It’s a new and different sensation to be attacked so crudely by a man of the left—particularly when that man’s fat ass squats in a large glass house.

Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure/self-obsession…

Last week the This American Life tour stopped in Minneapolis and Keillor attended the performance. I read a piece about… being a gay parent and having a “small weird dog.” I used, in jest, the phrase “opposite-sex parents” to describe a straight couple with kids, which sounds a lot like “mixed-gender marriage.” David Rakoff, also on the tour, read a piece that touched on his homosexuality and mentioned, in passing, his love for All About Eve, which could be interpreted, I suppose, as Rakoff “worship[ing] campy performers.” Is there some sort of connection, Garrison?

Oh, and what was i wearing when I read in front of Keillor? Chartreuse pants and a black polka-dot shirt? No. Try blue jeans, a t-shirt, and a green hoodie.

UPDATE: And what if some gay parents are flamboyant? Flamers, even? So what? What if some gay parents have striped sofas and over-decorated apartments and wear chartreuse pants and make their kids write book reports on All About Eve? The idea that effeminate gay men can’t or shouldn’t be parents is bullshit, just another iteration of the same old anti-gay double standard the right trots out.

People opposed to same-sex marriage are just fucking addicted to double standards. Marriage is about children—unless you’re straight, in which case you can get married without having children. Marriage is about monogamy—unless you’re straight, in which case you can get married and swing and cheat or have threeways. Marriage is about a life-long commitment—unless you’re straight, in which case you can marry multiple times, like Keillor.

Now marriage is about gender-appropriate behavior. So you shouldn’t get married and have kids if you’re not a manly man and a womanly woman—unless, of course, you’re straight. Straight female tomboys marry and have kids without attracting Keillor’s ire, as do effeminate straight men. (How many NPR listeners have over-decorated apartments, I wonder?) And straights can obsess about their hair (they’re not selling all that RoGain to gay men) and wear appalling clothes (they’re not selling all those low-rise jeans to lesbians)—it’s only when gay men have children that it becomes a problem.

Also, Keillor’s piece rests on the assumption that gay marriage is leading to the creation of gay families. It’s not. Same-sex couples are having children in all 50 states, not just the one state where it’s legal. One of the reasons the need for same-sex marriage is so pressing is because there are real children out there being raised by same-sex couples and our kids need the rights and protections that marriage provides for children. To see friends losing their health insurance—including a couple whose son has leukemia!—characterized as selfish attention-seekers by an attention-seeking star… it makes my freaking blood boil.

I mean obviously, right?

Live from the ‘No, Hell No’ Victory Party

posted by on March 14 at 9:10 AM

City council member Peter Steinbrueck, ring-leader of the anti-elevated pro-surface/transit avengers, talks about the night’s victory….

Sexual Immorality

posted by on March 14 at 8:45 AM

Yesterday General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called homosexuals immoral. I spent the evening making cupcakes with my kid. It’s almost too wholesome, huh? My son turns nine today and he gets to bring in a treat in for his class on his birthday. So we stayed up late making chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chocolate sprinkles. I should have been down at one of the no-new-viaduct parties—I love running into Greg Nickels at events like that, just so I can remind him that I voted for Al Runte—but I’ve been away a lot recently and I really needed to be home. Baking.

I suppose that I’m letting down my end of the cultural compact. I should have been off doing something immoral or illegal, something that would justify the terror my kind strikes in the hearts of men like Pace. I mean, if guys with medals all over their chests—brave guys, military men—are gonna be scared of homos, well, we ought to give them something to be scared of, right?

If I was in the military I might be scared of the guy next to me with a gun. “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that [the military] should not condone immoral acts,” said Pace. “I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.” But the military, famously, has been passing out “moral waivers” like candy bars in an effort to meet recruitment quotas. Legal and private sexual contact between consenting adults? Immoral. A rap sheet with a bunch of felonies on it? Not a problem.

Morning News

posted by on March 14 at 7:00 AM

Viaduct: Cary Moon wins the big vote.

And: Peter Steinbrueck rides the wave.

Gonzales Gate Pt. 1: The local angle.

Gonzales Gate Pt. 2: The smoking e-mails.

Don’t Blame Us: US auto makers tell Congress to back Off.

Don’t Blame Me: Drunk driver blames….Unicorn??!!???

Blame the “Weird” Fetish: Portland couple wants sex with 5-year-old girl.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Election Night Party Report

posted by on March 13 at 10:05 PM

The crowd at the no-viaduct campaign party in a smallish meeting room at the Edgewater Hotel grew increasingly rowdy (and sweaty) as rebuild opponents anxiously awaited the results of tonight’s election on two up-or-down ballot measures – one on a larger elevated viaduct, one on a scaled-back, four-lane tunnel. Both freeways were defeated—the tunnel by a margin of 70 to 30 percent, the viaduct 55 to 45. The crowd of about 300 included establishment figures like the Downtown Seattle Association’s Kate Joncas, mainstream environmentalists like Aaron Ostrom from FutureWise and Jessyn Farrell and Rob Johnson from the Transportation Choices Coalition, and surface/transit option supporters like city council member Peter Steinbrueck, People’s Waterfront Coalition founder Cary Moon, and Sierra Club leader Mike McGinn.

As Ostrom announced the results and the mayor entered the room followed by his entourage, one staffer began clapping loudly, but the room was slow to comply. Ostrom, who spoke first, waited for an uncomfortable period while a TV reporter finished interviewing Steinbrueck in front of the mayor’s podium—almost literally stealing Nickels’s spotlight. As Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis hugged Moon, he told her quietly, “We’ll be talking more soon.” Nickels, surprisingly for one of the most longstanding supporters of a tunnel freeway on the waterfront, trashed the idea of having a freeway — any freeway— “on our waterfront.”

After his brief remarks, Nickels scurried out Hollywood-style, trailed by a pack of TV reporters who chased him onto the elevator like papparazzi. Ceis, wielding a glass of red wine, was direct about Nickels’s meaning: “No freeway. The voters don’t have to hit us on the head for us to get it.” Then he gestured toward Moon with his glass of red wine. “There’s your story.”

Over at the Spitfire Lounge on Fourth Ave., the surface/transit supporters are still celebrating at 10:00, while the more staid party at the Edgewater was winding down. Moon, who walked into the room to loud applause, said she hoped Nickels would “support the will of the voters and get on board with the surface/transit plan.” Steinbrueck, usually no fan of the mayor, had conciliatory words for the longtime tunnel supporter. “The mayor deserves to be praised for having stood up to the governor” against the rebuild, Steinbrueck said. Steinbrueck, who recently announced he would not be seeking reelection to city council so that he could fight for the surface/transit option full-time, said he would “be happy” to work with the mayor if that’s what Nickels wanted.

Tomorrow morning, the governor and mayor are expected to sit down again and attempt to hash out a solution. The speculation tonight was that they would agree to begin work on the portions of the roadway south of King Street—the portions that are the same under any plan—and, possibly, to begin implementing the surface/transit option as a “stopgap” until a new plan can be devised. Tonight, Steinbrueck said he planned to introduce legislation freezing all city money for the viaduct in this year’s budget (about $8 million) and allocating $500,000 to begin a joint city/county study of the surface/transit option, the council and mayor’s official “backup” plan.

The Party at Spitfire

posted by on March 13 at 10:05 PM

The party here at Spitfire is significantly more laid back. People are hanging around, drinking martinis, and the atmosphere is thoroughly jovial. It’s less crowded, creepy Jean Godden isn’t here, and everyone is celebrating their win.

We appear to be the only press here. Peter Steinbrueck is talking to a young woman who, rumor has it, was violently pushed out of the way by Jan Drago at the last party. Apparently Drago was stampeding along to meet a friend. Watch out!
The TVs aren’t playing the results when we walk in, but at 10 they are switched to the news. At the time, I am interviewing Steinbrueck for a video we’ll have up tomorrow, and he’s on the TV in the background of his own interview. Someday, that will be a limited edition collectible YouTube video, I’m telling ya!

I’m putting this picture in again because I like it.
mayor sad.jpg

American Drunk Ass Ho!

posted by on March 13 at 9:54 PM

I am watching American Idol RIGHT NOW. I am almost completely sure that Paula Abdul is a little…glug, glug, glug… again. Somebody….please. HELP. HER.

Shut Up, Nick

posted by on March 13 at 9:21 PM

Someone needs to tell Nick Licata—like, oh, anyone out there that’s still interested in Nick’s political future—to shut the fuck up already. Nick backed a rebuild, urged a “yes” vote on the rebuild, tried to line up enviros for the rebuild, and Seattle voters just rejected the rebuild by a 10 point margin. It’s time to knock off the faux populism, Nick, and come out for surface option. Instead Nick just told the Seattle Times

Seattle City Council President Nick Licata, who supports rebuilding the viaduct, called the 44.5 percent vote “a pretty solid base for elevated.”

“It will definitely keep it alive,” he said. “I think that Olympia will have to moderate its stance, taking into account some design elements, seeing if they can make it less bulky, less noisy, and seeing how much open space they can create on the waterfront.”

A less bulky viaduct? A less noisy viaduct? Oh, yeah, that’s gonna happen, Nick. The state’s gonna look at the vote and decide to build us one of those slim ‘n trim elevated viaducts we’ve heard so much about.

Nick? The rebuild lost. Badly. Says State Senator Ed Murray: “A loss is a loss. Legislators who lose 55 to 45 don’t get to be legislators.” Viaducts that lose 55 to 45 don’t get to be rebuilt.

Christ, would someone with some sense—someone who opposes the rebuild, like the majority of Seattle voters—please run against Licata?

The No-Rebuild Party at the Edgewater Hotel

posted by on March 13 at 9:12 PM

The party at the Edgewater was dead when we arrived. It took place in a third floor conference room. We saw Viet Shelton in the elevator heading up, carrying a plate of calamari.
There was a ton of food at the party, and people were sitting around, looking at the waterfront.
food modified.jpg
There were pictures of the reconstructed Viaduct on easels against one wall.

We went down to the lounge, where we ran into Sandeep Kaushik and Cary Moon. Erica had an $11 glass of wine by accident (it’s what the waitress suggested-DAMN YOU EDGEWATER!).
sandeep and cary.jpg
When we went back up to the third floor, the room was packed to the gills. Everyone was waiting for the announcement. When it did happen, they had to wait a minute because Peter Steinbrueck was accidentally doing an interview in front of the podium.
People cheered heavily as they announced the first result-55% Voted NO on the Rebuild. The cheering was less pervasive at the second result-70% voting NO on the Tunnel. Maybe this was to not offend Mayor Nickels, who was looking quite sullen.
mayor sad.jpg
When NIckels stepped to the podium, he surprised everyone by saying “The people don’t want a freeway on the waterfront.” Does that mean he is supporting the no-build option? We’ll see?
jean godden.jpg

The Viaduct Results!

posted by on March 13 at 9:05 PM

Dear Sloggers,
I am so sorry that I didn’t slog earlier. The Edgewater Hotel is supposed to be renowned for it’s wonderful service for business travelers-I guess they didn’t make room in their accomodations for wi-fi. Jerks!

Anyhow, the results are in!

Rebuild-55% NO, 45% Yes

Tunnel-70% NO, 30% Yes

Suffice to say, the mayor looked pretty broken-hearted.

I will go into more detail in my next post. I just wanted to get you all the results!

No and Hell No

posted by on March 13 at 8:34 PM

Seattle voters rejecting Greg’s tunnel and Gregoire’s elevated

Seattle voters appear to have overwhelmingly rejected both a four-lane tunnel and a six-lane elevated highway to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct, according to counts released moments ago by King County Elections.

Mayor Greg Nickels’ plan for a tunnel was the big loser, with only 30 percent of the voters supporting it in early returns. Voters were also rejecting the idea of a new elevated highway, with less than 45 percent of voters backing that plan.

Gee, it looks like the PI’s Joel Connelly and the ed board at the Seattle Times are going to have to dissolve the people and elect a new one.

Fancypants Four Star Fears The Queers, Takes Ass-Fist Soon!

posted by on March 13 at 6:58 PM

Millions of “sources” report that General Peter Pace (head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or something) said lots of rather rude and nasty things about The Gays recently, and that he refuses to take them back. This of course means that he has a longstanding habit of getting gangfucked by truckers on the sly while wearing soiled panties like the squirrelly little bitch that he surely is in secret, as per the Universal Law of Repressed Faggotry. The same law mandates that the General (shown below wearing a fancy little outfit) will be discovered with some equally homophobic Evangelical’s greasy fist crammed up his asshole in a roadside toilet by year’s end. George Michael could not be reached for comment. Updates as the fisty events unfold.


LiveSlogging the Viaduct Results

posted by on March 13 at 5:42 PM

Hello! I will be your LiveSlogging host tonight, when we attentively watch the viaduct vote returns. Please tune in, starting at 7:30ish, to hear all the snark, debauchery, and other madness going on from the (victory?) parties at the Edgewater Hotel and Spitfire.

See you then!

Richard Dawkins Will Be Pleased

posted by on March 13 at 4:59 PM

Congress has its first atheist—excuse me, “nontheist”:

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), a member of Congress since 1973, acknowledged his nontheism in response to an inquiry by the Secular Coalition for America. Rep. Stark is a senior member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is Chair of the Health Subcommittee.

Although the Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office, the Coalition’s research reveals that Rep. Stark is the first open nontheist in the history of the Congress. Recent polls show that Americans without a god-belief are, as a group, more distrusted than any other minority in America. Surveys show that the majority of Americans would not vote for an atheist for president even if he or she were the most qualified for the office.

Remember “And”?

posted by on March 13 at 4:56 PM

One thing that struck me as I was reading Michiko Kakutami’s simplistic review of two new Leni Riefenstahl biographies in the New York Times and, to a lesser extent, Judith Thurman’s long review in the New Yorker (the new site is better guys, but it’s still not quite there): Have we lost the ability to think conjunctively?

Riefenstahl was a genius and a propagandist, an independent artist who also had male mentors, a canny opportunist who really fell for Nazi ideology. And she lied, lied, lied her way into old age.

Is this really so difficult to understand?

Letter of the Day

posted by on March 13 at 4:44 PM

As an employee of a major bookstore chain, I’d like to say Paul Constant’s article on The Secret was phenomenally refreshing. For the past few weeks, I’ve forced a big happy smile as customer after customer has requested a copy of it. The Secret came out around the same time as the Harry Potter 7 pre-order, and to my dismay, even the expected frenzy over that pales in comparison to sales for this crap. It is a Frankenstein’s monster of every gimmicky book product that the average customer seems to like: A self-help book, get-rich-quick scheme, and religious makeover all in one, it’s like the PERFECT STORM. What is most disturbing to me is that even in a city as seemingly intelligent as Seattle, the average citizen seems to have disabled their bullshit alarm in favor of feelgoodery. It’s not just glassy-eyed new-agers coming in for this product, it’s normal people, and that’s scary. I don’t know about the power of the law of attraction, but I now firmly believe in marketing’s power to trump the laws of reason.

Sean Freeder

Tens of Millions of Exceptions

posted by on March 13 at 4:08 PM

When you make generalizations about three billion men on the one hand and three billion women on the other—when you write a book like this one or a column like this one—you gotta know there are gonna be tens of millions of exceptions out there.

So I knew what to expect after I wrote a column that accepts the central premise of Joan Sewell’s new book I’d Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido. Sewell argues that women naturally have lower sex drives than men and that women need to embrace their low libidos and stop buying into the lie that a woman with a low libido—defined as “lower than her mates”—is somehow sexually dysfunctional. And straight men? They just need to deal.

So I knew when I wrote…

Back when women with low libidos were regarded as abnormal—way back at the beginning of the month—it was fashionable to blame the man in a woman’s life for her lack of desire. For years, whenever I printed a letter from a guy who wasn’t getting any, or wasn’t getting much, mail would pour in from women insisting that he had to be doing something wrong.

I called them the “if only” letters: If only she didn’t have to do all the housework, she would want to have sex. If only he would talk with her about her day, she would want to have sex. If only she weren’t so exhausted from taking care of the kids, she would want to have sex. If only he didn’t ask for sex, she would want to have sex. Well now, thanks to Sewell, straight guys everywhere know that it doesn’t matter how much housework you do, or how sincerely interested you are in her day, or how much of the child care you take on: She still won’t want to fuck you. So leave the dishes in the sink, grab a beer, and go play a video game, guys. Your “if only” nightmares are over.

…that I’d be on the receiving end of some angry emails….

I know I’ll be just one of many, and don’t think I didn’t miss your sarcasm, but I wanted to pipe up as one woman who has never—I mean never met a man whose libido could match mine. If it were up to me, I’d be having sex twice a day. I’ve never met a man who could handle sex once a day (every day) after the first flush of lust. Several months in, everyone’s slowing down. I spent a long time wondering what was wrong with me (or wrong with our relationships) before I accepted that I just have a very high libido….


You wrote in your column about differing sex drives: “Well, I should say that He designed straight men and straight women to be sexually incompatible. Lesbian couples, with their bags of Doritos, and gay couples, with our mutually insatiable sexual appetites, seem pretty intelligently designed.”

To you I say: Not! I am a 34-year-old lesbian. I want it CONSTANTLY. I would happily do daily. Hell, at this point twice, even once, a week would be nice. My girlfriend prefers the Doritos. In my previous life, when I was with men, I wanted it constantly too. So don’t spread vicious rumors that women who want it constantly are a hoax. We are out there. We are frustrated too.

Wants It All The Time

Women with high libidos don’t exist? The hell you say. Here I am. I’m a woman with a high libido. Once-a-day sex? Bring it on. Twice a day? Even better. My partners and I (I have three of them — two husbands and a wife) have widely varying libidos, but I can say that of the four of us, mine is the highest charged. Maybe I should get my testosterone levels checked?

Serene (in Oakland)

Thanks for writing, ladies. It’s my considered opinion—16 years into this sex advice business, and after reading literally hundreds of thousands of letters from straight men and women—that women on average have lower libidos than men. The existence of horny exceptions does not disprove the rule.

I will be swamped with letters like these over the next couple of weeks. Because not only is the existence of tens of millions of exceptions to Sewell’s rule a given, the odds that exceptions to this male/female generalization—women with sky-high libidos—are regular readers of my column as well are also sky high.

Today in Line Out

posted by on March 13 at 4:00 PM

The More You Ignore Him, the Closer He Gets: Morrissey is coming to Seattle.

Mutant Sounds: Record Collector Gods.

Punk Poet: Josh Feit celebrates his favorite Patti.

Tacoma Aroma: Air blows South.

“I’ve Been Abused”: The Zombies (sometimes) rocked the Triple Door.

Viacom vs. YouTube: Ridiculous.

I <3 Elton: Circa 1971, of course.

Coffee and Record Contracts: Starbucks starts a new record label.

Y.A.C.H.T.: Goes grunge.

The Screamer: Learn how to perfect your “hardcore metal scream.”

Basic Channel: A Mudede favorite.

And if you’re lookin’ for something to do tonight, well there’s plenty of stuff goin’ on.

Overheard in the Office

posted by on March 13 at 2:32 PM

Erica C. Barnett on the phone, doing some sort of interview: “The fifty yard line’s the one in the middle, right?”


posted by on March 13 at 2:12 PM

My girl making a white friend in Macy’s:
84db43c440bd.jpg The one concept that I took from Jean Baudrillard (who died early last week at the old age of 77), and I’m sure he got it from elsewhere, as concepts never have an actual origin but are always already from elsewhere, is reality-effects. What this means is that all human experience is mediated—there is no such thing as sense-certainty—and so what really matters is not reality as such but reality-effects: the effects that a human imaginary has on the real. This allows us to read all of human reality as a fiction with real-effects. Political fictions, be they imagined from the right or the left, have real effects. And it’s on the nature of these effects, there type and extent, that one must judge a work political or social fiction. (Fiction can also be understood as ideology.) As for Baudrillard’s concept (or password) of the virtual, it’s of zero use to us because all has always been virtual. What we have never known is that the real does not exist for us as anything but efficacious or inefficacious, strong or weak effects. Also simulacrum, the virtual in its hyper form, such as Disneyland, has been with us from the beginning of human time. In fact, the first persecution of Christians, 68 AD, resulted from a theme park that the emperor Nero wanted to build in a part of Rome he burnt to the ground (the imaginary: the theme park; the reality-effect: the persecution of Christians—the imaginary: the apocalypse; the reality-effect: the persecution of Christians). Simulacrum is the weakest version of Marx’s commodity fetish, Lukacs’ reification, Benjamin’s phantasmagoria, and Debord’s spectacle.

Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors, 15th Avenue East Edition

posted by on March 13 at 1:43 PM

Three different people this past weekend said that Linda—of everybody’s old favorite faux-Western bar Linda’s Tavern on Pine, everybody’s new favorite faux-Western bar King’s Hardware in Ballard, and ’70s playboy-lounge Viceroy in Belltown—is opening a place on 15th. It’s unclear where, however, and no new or transferred liquor license application can be found. Speculation about the location tends toward the Cypress site (but would the proprietors, who also run Nectar, give up so quickly?) and the Rainbow Grocery space (the shelves have been suspiciously empty off and on in recent weeks). If the new place (“Linda’s King’s”?) has good brunch, which it likely will, there will be much rejoicing on the top of the Hill.

[A non–15th Avenue East aside: That lamp made out of a big hoof at Viceroy is the best lamp in town.]

Also: The big sale—50% off many, many books—at Horizon Books does not mean they’re closing, according to a gentleman working there this past weekend, though those who would whine about independent businesses and our fair city as a whole going to hell in a handbasket if they did go out of business should go buy some books there instead of ordering from Amazon.

Gonzales, Footnoted

posted by on March 13 at 1:23 PM

Apparently, mistakes were made in the firing of all those U.S. Attorneys. Who knew?

But does that mean Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be stepping down? In a word, no. In two words, not yet.

Meanwhile, Postman is poring over Gonzales’s recent USA Today column and has offered some rather damning footnotes.

Zioncheck for President: The Official Movie-Deal Press Release

posted by on March 13 at 1:18 PM

As I mentioned last month, Zioncheck for President—the book by former Stranger writer Phil Campbell chronicling his stint as campaign manager to former Stranger writer Grant Cogswell during his 2001 run for Seattle City Council—has been optioned for a film that will be directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and shot in Seattle.

Full press release after the jump. As for casting: Obviously Phil should be played by Brecken Meyer, but Grant’s a tougher call, as he’s essentially the old-bastard love child of this guy and this guy. But I’m sure there’s someone. Congrats, Phil!

Continue reading "Zioncheck for President: The Official Movie-Deal Press Release" »

What’s For Lunch?

posted by on March 13 at 12:10 PM

Maybe a bento box.


Visit this Japanese housewife’s blog to see more impressive—but not particularly appetizing—designs. And how she makes them.

And check out her bitchin’ New Year’s card:


The unnecessary face-obscuring just makes it seem dirty. Or dirtier.

(Word to Boing Boing and Justin.)

Holy Shit! Painting of Light to be Subject of Film

posted by on March 13 at 12:07 PM


That’s right: Last week, Variety announced the unholy alliance forged between Thomas “Painter of Light” Kinkade and Lionsgate Entertainment, which will produce “a feature adaptation of Thomas Kinkade’s painting ‘The Christmas Cottage.’

Yes, that’s the cinematic source material pictured above, and yes, reviewing the forthcoming film is clearly a job for Lindy West. Stay tuned. (And thanks to Defamer.)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 13 at 11:31 AM


Clipse (HIPHOP) Word from our “guy” down in Pioneer Square is that eight balls are currently at a premium. But if anyone’s gonna level the field, it’s Clipse—the pair of Virginia Beach brothers who rode around shining with last year’s coke-rap chronicle Hell Hath No Fury. The album is a hustler’s-eye view of the financial rewards and ethical anxieties of dealing powder in the inner city, set to the Neptunes’ sinister, swerving soundtrack. Word is that Clipse rise above the hype as performers. With Cool Nutz, Dime Def, and J-Mar. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $18, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Lunar Eclipse From Space

posted by on March 13 at 11:21 AM


Last month NASA scientists were calibrating the cameras aboard a spacecraft called STEREO-B when they caught this image of a lunar transit across the face of the sun.

Check out this even cooler video shot from the satellite.

See the Queen!

posted by on March 13 at 11:19 AM

Go here to see the naked Queen of England.

In the WaPo: The Viaduct

posted by on March 13 at 11:15 AM

The Washington Post has a good summary of the viaduct debate and what it calls today’s “weirdly constructed” ballot. (Don’t forget to send in your ballot for today’s all-mail election! How I voted: No and no.) Deputy mayor Tim Ceis on the surface/transit option: “I think it’s gaining momentum in a lot of people’s minds.” Especially after tonight, when most political analysts predict voters will reject both options.

Violence on Capitol Hill

posted by on March 13 at 10:51 AM

Our weekend post about a shooting outside Sugar nightclub on Capitol Hill and our earlier report in the paper about fights outside Capitol Hill’s Club Lagoon started a heated conversation about violence on Capitol Hill.

To follow-up, news intern Jonah Spangenthal-Lee (Sp?) reviewed the police reports from the shooting outside Sugar. Here’s his write-up:

Early Saturday morning, as Capitol Hill night clubbers flowed out into the streets, police swarmed the block of East Pike Street that stretches between 10th Avenue and Broadway, responding to two separate and simultaneous blasts of gunfire.

According to SPD reports, at 2:02 a.m., the Seattle Police Department responded to a “shots fired [on] the 1500 block of Broadway.” Police nearly collided with a speeding gray Chevy Avalanche, which upon further inspection was occupied by a shooting victim and three other men. Upon exiting the vehicle, a bullet dropped onto the pavement from a “superficial bullet wound” in the victim’s left calf and was collected by SPD.

There is some speculation that this shooting may have been preceded by an incident at Sugar nightclub at 916 East Pike Street. Security manager John Rogers told me that his security team had broken up several fights that night, and the shooting victim claims to have been at Sugar earlier in the evening. He reports that Sugar was holding a staff meeting to discuss the incident Monday night.

Within 60 seconds of that shooting, an officer on patrol in the same area heard a series of four gunshots before being flagged down by several pedestrians who drew his attention to “fighting and shooting” at the Shell gas station that sits at the northeast corner of Pike and Broadway. The responding officer reports seeing a group of six or seven black males run north on Broadway, before fleeing in three separate vehicles. The officer returned to the Shell station to retrieve several spent bullet casings and “shield the evidence from encroaching inebriates.”

At this moment, officers were attending to the slightly wounded occupant of the Chevy, and closed off Pike before bringing in the K-9 unit, which yielded little success due to “heavy pedestrian traffic.”

Back at the Shell station, a fight between three men and a pizza delivery driver suddenly broke out, sending several pizzas scattering across the concrete. Upon trying to escape his assailants, the delivery driver slammed into a car parked behind him. The officer at the scene, unable to receive any backup due to a number of officers being occupied in the pursuit of a possible shooting suspect, “scare[d] off” the delivery man’s attackers. When officers searched the area later, they were unable to find any further victims or damage from the shooting.

The SPD is still investigating the shootings.

It’s Actually Not a Meaningless Vote. Vote Today.

posted by on March 13 at 8:44 AM

Today is the last day to send in your viaduct ballot.

So, find your ballot— hidden among all those bills, lost in your back pack, gone missing on the living room table, or on the floor with your laundry, homework, and bong—and fill it out and send it in.

The Stranger recommends making Gov. Gregoire really really uncomfortable: Vote ‘No’ on the tunnel and ‘Hell No’ on the rebuild.

Stay tuned. We’ll have coverage tonight after the first results come in.

Morning News

posted by on March 13 at 8:32 AM

White House Prompts Prosecutor Purge: White House directly linked to firing scandal.

$1 Billion lawsuit: Claiming copyright infringement, Viacom Sues Google/YouTube

Dirty Phone Reocrds, Pt. 1: D.C.-based Escort Service set to release 15,000 client phone records.

Dirty Phone Records, Pt. 2: AT&T and Feds protest revealing details of wiretapping program.

Anti-Obama Backlash: Al Sharpton takes issue with Obama’s record.

Anti-Gore Backlash: Scientists take issue with details of Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.”

Sex Offenders: Wisconsin Legislators may force them to drive in marked cars.

Abortion Rights: North Dakota Legislators may take them away.

Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace: Lashing out against gays.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: Lied to Senate Judiciary Committee about circumventing Senate approval.

Darfur: Sudan President, al-Bashir lashes out at UN oversight.

Iran V. Hollywood: Iranian leaders lash out against Thermopylae movie, 300

GOP Voters: Downcast about 2008 chances.

Now, what About the Shangri-Las? Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts bad ass girl rockers.

I Was a Teenage Press Bill

posted by on March 13 at 6:51 AM

I got word a little after midnight last night that my favorite bill, the student press bill, passed the House 58-37.

Three GOP amdendments, including one that would have taken highschool students out of the bill, limiting the First Amendment protections to college students—failed.

Onto the Senate. If it passes there, Washington state will rightly grant its students greater rights than the limited federal rights (I’d call them restraints rather than rights) put in place by the Reagan-era courts.

Three cheers. Okay. I’ll shut up about all this soon enough.

Monday, March 12, 2007

In the Hall, Cutting-Room Floor Edition

posted by on March 12 at 9:36 PM

My favorite quote from this week’s notes for In the Hall, which is, unfortunately, too long to print, is Nick Licata’s (obviously somewhat biased) take on the city council’s reaction when Peter Steinbrueck announced he wouldn’t be running for reelection:

When I was living in the commune, one day we all decided we were going to go and eat some meat. We had gotten tired of eating nothing but vegetables. So of course, this being a commune, we had to go out to where the cows were and watch the cows get slaughtered. So we set out one day in the morning through the fields—the mist was rising from the ground—and we came up to a field where about eight cows were standing around eating grass. And the guy who was going to slaughter the cows got out his shotgun, and he put the shotgun to one of the cows’ heads. And the cow just looked up at him, kind of curiously. And then suddenly, BAM!—he just blew its head off. And the other cows looked up, and they all looked really freaked out. And then, after about a minute, they all took a few steps backward, and then they all went on eating. That’s about what it was like.

Re: Milwaukee. Just Too Hip for Seattle.

posted by on March 12 at 5:44 PM







posted by on March 12 at 5:20 PM

How to open a beer bottle with a piece of paper:

Nifty! (via Lifehacker)

“Let the games begin!”

posted by on March 12 at 4:37 PM

At 2:03 this afternoon, the Seattle Rep announced its next season would include I Am My Own Wife:

I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old transvestite, is the subject of this extraordinary comedy-drama. Not long after the fall of the Berlin wall, playwright Doug Wright began a five-year conversation with Charlotte that led to his hit play, I Am My Own Wife. The winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Award for best play, Wright uses 26 characters – played by one versatile actor – to piece together Charlotte’s controversial life, which outlasted both the Nazi and communist regimes in Germany. I Am My Own Wife is a beautiful and profound story of survival.

At 3:57 this afternoon ArtsWest announced it would be doing I Am My Own Wife:

…Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a soft-spoken but tenaciously gender-bending biological male who died in 2002 at the age of 74. Based on interviews with the real Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, this play is largely about Charlotte’s enduring the cruel repressions of the Nazis and the Communists. Her harrowing tales of survival through the eras of the Gestapo and the East German secret police are nothing short of breathtaking. But are they true? And does it matter?

“Yep, we secured the rights in November,” said ArtsWest executive director Alan Harrison. “I try to consult with other theaters but maybe I’m just a mosquito to them.”

Rep spokesperson Ilana Balint said the Rep also had the rights—it’s unusual for one play to agree to play in two houses in the same city in the same year.

The Rep hasn’t set a date for its production nor a director but Balint confirmed the Rep has been talking to Allison Narver, former artistic director of the Empty Space, who had planned to direct I Am My Own Wife at that the Space before it closed last November.

Neither the Rep nor ArtsWest was aware the other had scheduled the play.

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” Balint said. “Let the games begin!”

Pressing Bill

posted by on March 12 at 4:34 PM

Democratic House leadership is supposedly moving on my favorite bill tonight: SeaTac Representative Dave Upthegrove’s (D-33) student press bill.

It was supposed to hit the floor for a vote on Friday. I waited and waited into the evening instead of getting going on my Friday night drinking. No bill. It was supposed to make it to the floor again on Saturday. Nope.

So, supposedly it’s hitting tonight. Reportedly, the GOP has some amendments lined up, similar to the ones they tried to tack on in committee that would limit the bill by excluding high schoolers from the press protections.

Representative Upthegrove’s bill would raise the hurdle that school admistrators must meet to justify censorship of high school and college papers. It would, as states are allowed to do, provide more protection for students than the current federal guarantees contained in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1988 Hazelwood standard.

Hazelwood holds that the school adminstration simply has to find an educational purpose for censoring stories, including demonstrating that the article in question may disrupt the educational environment. Upthegrove’s bill pushes a tougher standard, the Tinker standard (a 1969 Supreme Court ruling that was weakened by Hazelwood) which gave student speech the same First Amendment guarantess that exist in the real world. It’s a sentimental fave of mine, and, as a recent story in the Stranger shows, germane.

Condo Conversion Confusion

posted by on March 12 at 4:07 PM

Housing activists have been pushing for a cap on condo conversions. A bill to regulate the terms of conversion for displaced renters (including providing relocation money) made it out of committee without the cap, but with the hope that once the bill was taken up again the cap idea would be reintroduced.

And indeed, Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32, Shoreline) is sponsoring amendments that would give cities the right to cap conversions. Seattle liberals Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37, South Seattle) and Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-11, South Seattle) have signed on.

While the cap provision isn’t as stern and sweeping as the activists want, the more limited protections it allows are at least targeted at poorer renters. The caps would only apply to developments where at least half of the units are rented at or below 60% of the fair market rent.

This idea was initially being pushed by Seattle City Council Member Tom Rasmussen, who is still pushing for the idea. Here’s what he wrote in an e-mail to state legislators today: “The majority of the Council supports giving cities the right to limit conversions and we appreciate the work of those who are proposing amendments that would give that local option.”

That’s cool. But this is weird. Despite Rasmussen’s note, Seattle’s lobbyist in Olympia, Rose Feliciano, sent an e-mail to legislators saying the city doesn’t support the amendments.

There are three amendments likely to be proposed by the prime sponsor Rep. Chase. Amendment 122 allows jurisdictions to provide limitations on the number of apartments that can be converted. We do not support having [that] amendment added to the bill.

Mr. Mudede

posted by on March 12 at 3:59 PM

…the world awaits your architectural exegesis.


Today on Line Out.

posted by on March 12 at 3:45 PM

Ark Rivals: Sweden Glam Rockers Ark to Play Eurovision.

Pooing Clouds on Impatient Teenagers: Final Fantasy at the Paramount.

No Vaseline: The unlubricated glories of DJ Riz’s iPod.

Nacho Supremacy: Caped Crusaders Fight Against Great Odds to Make Seattle Cheesy and Fun.

Pissed, Annoyed, Confused, and in Love: Megan Seling on Dramarama.

Art Is Hard: Sub Pop’s New Label, Hardly Art.

When Bright Eyes Talks To The President: What Democracy Sounds Like.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on March 12 at 3:39 PM

The second dispatch from Latvia:


March 12, 2007

Dear Prayer Warrior,

I think I have been on every Latvian and European Union television since I’ve been here. Thanks for your prayers.

It went extermely [sic] well with American embassy…they aren’t very happy right now, because I had to lay it out, they are not representing American values well.

It also went well with the Parliament, the Ministry of Interior, and Minister of Integration.

Please pray for me as I fly back tomorrow, and get in late afternoon.

Your Pastor,

Still A Democratic Priority?

posted by on March 12 at 3:15 PM

A few weeks ago, I slogged about a Democratic bill that would codify Tim Eyman’s 747 (1% property tax cap).

I complained that handing Eyman a victory (especially when his 15 minutes have been over for about 20) seems like a dumb priority for this year’s whopping Democratic majority.

Certainly, property tax reform itself is a good idea (people on fixed incomes, for example, shouldn’t get hit with unwieldy property tax increases. Nor should poorer people be paying a greater percentage of their incomes in property taxes than rich people).

But locking in a system that jeopardizes local services and is failing to address people’s complaints anyway (747 has been in play since 2002) is an odd move for the Democratic majority.

So, I was pleased when the bills codifying 747 didn’t make it out of committee before the Feb. 28 and March 5 cutoffs.

However, word is: the the House Democrats still want to pass the Eyman law and they’re meeting in caucus this week to move it out—which they’re allowed to do with “dead” bills if they believe the bill is “essential to the budget.” Property taxes meet that test.

If Democrats are going to resurrect property tax relief, they shouldn’t rubber-stamp Eyman’s pseudo-populist fix. They should get real about addressing the system.

Voila: Enter the Washington Budget and Policy Center. Last week, they released an intriguing idea that the Democrats should take up in any renewed discussion of the Eyman bill.

The Budget and Policy Center is talking about a “circuit breaker” idea that would target property tax fixes. The idea works like this: When property tax bills reach a certain percentage of a homeowner’s income, they get a tax credit. The proposal developed by the Budget and Policy Center is, they claim, revenue neutral and would give the poorest 20% of homeowners a 14.9% tax cut; the next 20% would get about a 12% cut; the middle 20% would get a 1.9% cut; and the top 40% would see a 2% increase.

That’d be a nice change from the regressive setup of the current system: According to the Budget and Policy Center report, the poorest homeowners pay 6% of their income in property taxes while the richest bracket pays 2.8 %.

There’s more hope of moving the circuit breaker idea on the Senate side where the property tax relief bill is already more progressive than the House’s lazy idea of enshrining Eyman’s 747 into law.

The Senate’s idea would exempt the first $50,000 of a homeowner’s property value. Activists want to broaden that idea to include the circuit breaker fix.

Cheney: Iraq Drawdown Talk is “Undermining” Troops

posted by on March 12 at 3:05 PM


WASHINGTON, March 12 — Vice President Dick Cheney offered an aggressive defense of the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy today, asserting that those in Congress who pursue a gradual drawdown of American forces are “undermining” the troops and that a withdrawal would represent “a full validation of the Al Qaeda strategy.”

Liberty: Freedom of Espresso

posted by on March 12 at 2:59 PM

Liberty has begun daytime espresso service, and in celebration: free espresso drinks, all week long (that’s through Sunday), from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. (one per customer per day, please, greedmonster). They’re using Stumptown beans (very good and also very do-goodery, in a good way, though currently trucked up from Portland, so you’ll want to offset that carbon or whatever until June, when a roastery will open on 12th and Pike) and organic milk. Also: free wi-fi, all the time. And: today only, free cookies and muffins from North Hill Bakery across the street (which is really good but should really be open on Sunday, goddamn it). Furthermore: Booze is available, in case you want caffè corretto or some other version of giddyup-whoa. It is quiet and peaceful. Someone just did a shot.

Liberty, 517 15th Ave. E.

Not Going

posted by on March 12 at 1:57 PM

When I saw this big sign for a future hotel and condo on the parking garage on Second and Pine, I panicked:

I feared it meant the death of one of the most striking pieces of architecture in our city. But the project, called “1” Hotel and Residences and priced at $250 million, will retrofit, rather than destroy the only building in Seattle that impressed the man behind the most important building in Seattle, Rem Koolhaas.

If this were the ideal city, the parking garage on Third and Pine would be closed and left that way, left unused, left to be just the beautiful work of architecture that it is.

Re: This is What Democracy Looks Like

posted by on March 12 at 1:50 PM

Here are a couple of the protesters holding their own on Faux News (that guy has totally slept on my couch!):

Barista Stalker Gets Seven Months

posted by on March 12 at 1:30 PM


A few months back, I wrote about an incredibly popular story in the Seattle Times (it topped the Times “most e-mailed” list for weeks, inspired a defensive followup editorial, and eventually traveled all the way around the world) about “bodacious baristas” who serve up “sexpresso” at Eastside drive-through coffee shops. Three things seemed noteworthy about the story: 1) Many of the girls who do these minimum-wage, zero-benefits jobs are underage; 2) One popular theme is “sexy schoolgirl”; and 3) Most of their customers are middle-age men, only one of whom was willing to tell the Times his name.

In the same post, I noted that a grown man had been arrested for stalking a 17-year-old high-school barista (and threatening to kill her and her family) in Kirkland—a bit of synchronicity that gave a creepy context to the Times’ “sexpresso” story.

Last week, the creep was sentenced to seven months in jail (the max is five years), plus ten months’ suspended jail time, for stalking and threatening the barista and her family. He also has to go through alcohol and drug treatment , and he won’t be able to buy a gun or contact the victim for at least five years.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

posted by on March 12 at 1:05 PM

Here’s some video from last week’s busted-up anti-war protest at the Port of Tacoma. From “Give Peace a Chance” to a hail of tear gas canisters in less than a minute.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Matt Hickey.)

One More Reason to Love Donnie Davies

posted by on March 12 at 12:47 PM


Thanks to Hot Tipper Craig.

Most Dangerous Women: A Children’s Play

posted by on March 12 at 12:32 PM

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for, big, tough ladies molding history with their strong, womanly hands, but every time I hear those old ’70s hosannas to “dangerous women” I don’t think of Emma Goldman, I think of Squeaky from the Mason Family and Ilse Koch and about how Eleanor Roosevelt somehow managed to be a historical bad-ass while maintaining the ability to say “please” and “thank you” and about how the whole dangerous-woman-are-great! spin is patronizing anyway—and it is for those deeply feminist reasons that whenever I hear this:

Well-behaved women rarely make history.
—Laurel Thatcher Ulrich*

I want to say this:

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
—Oscar Wilde

But that’s not the point. The point is: Most Dangerous Women, a children’s play, will happen this Wednesday at MOHAI, featuring the 7th and 8th graders of Seattle Girls’ School playing historical figures like Aung San Suu Kyi. Which sounds nice. And not at all dangerous. And way too late to have made it into this week’s theater calendar.

(* Did you know that the utterer of this bumper-sticker wisdom is Mormon? And teaches at Harvard? And that the trustees of Brigham Young University smacked down a BYU proposal to have her speak at the BYU Women’s Conference?)

Justify Your Pod: David Schmader Versus Riz Rollins—No Vaseline

posted by on March 12 at 12:06 PM


Justify Your Pod is the Stranger podcast featuring writers, musicians, and various other celebrity victims defending the most suspicious, troubling, and incriminating songs on their iPods.

This week, David Schmader is proud to bust the figurative balls of beloved local DJ and Seattle treasure Riz Rollins, who’s forced to hold forth on everything from Ice Cube’s powerhouse shout-out to the glories of unlubricated anal sex (the spinning of which almost got Riz into a fist fight) to the glorious gospel power of Jim “Gomer Pyle” Nabors. Enjoy.

Delta Zeta Evicted

posted by on March 12 at 12:04 PM

Remember that sorority at DePauw University that kicked out overweight women and minorities in an effort to freshen up its look? Well, now DePauw University has kicked out the entire sorority:

DePauw University severed its ties today with a national sorority that attracted controversy when it evicted two-thirds of its DePauw members late last year. The sorority called the evictions an effort to improve its image for recruitment, but the evicted women described it as a purge of the unattractive or uncool.

To Know Everything

posted by on March 12 at 12:00 PM

This weekend I caught up with the Academy and the rest of the world and saw The Lives of Others at the Harvard Exit. It’s a fascinating and layered film, and easily more interesting than the pretty, grim fairy tale of Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m sure all of this film’s themes have been more or less covered by now, but one thing really struck me that I don’t recall reading about, and that’s the parallel the film draws between the Stasi’s stated mission to “know everything” and the romantic love of their surveilled couple. The lovers struggle to know each other (in every sense) totally, perfectly—to know the other as one knows the self, to become one—just as the secret police try to know everything about them and every other citizen. But both these quests are ultimately quixotic, founded on an impossible ideal of perfect and complete knowledge. The lovers, in the end, don’t know each other so well at all, and the Stasi can never really achieve their ludicrous mission.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father—Snohomish County Edition

posted by on March 12 at 11:58 AM

A 27-year-old Everett man and his girlfriend were arrested Friday for allegedly starving the man’s 4-year-old son….

The 22-pound boy told deputies he had only consumed popcorn and water that day, Hover said. He was taken into protective custody, treated at a local hospital and then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

The child suffers from conditions associated with severe malnutrition, Hover said, including hypothermia caused by a lack of body fat, anemia and muscle degeneration.

The boy had lived with his father, the man’s girlfriend and his 14-month-old half-sister for about a year, Hover said. The girl, who appeared to be well-fed and healthy, also was removed from the home.

The father initially told deputies his son had always been skinny and had medical issues, Hover said. After his arrest, Hover said, he allegedly told detectives he had deliberately denied the child food and had asked his girlfriend to follow suit.

King County’s New Logo

posted by on March 12 at 11:52 AM

Out with the old…


…in with the new.


Read all about it here.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 12 at 11:32 AM


The Zombies (LIVING HISTORY) We should be willing to suffer through whatever solo-career flab Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone (basically, the Zombies) put us through just to hear them play a few scraps of Odessey and Oracle—it’s hard to explain how goddamned good that record is. It was released in 1968. Its opening song is a letter to a girlfriend in prison. It has organs and flutes and electrifying harmonies. It sounds like a rose smells—nostalgic and complicated, sweet but not cloying. Their earth-moving days are 30 years behind them, but I can’t help wanting to see bodies that house the genius. (The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333. 7:30 pm, $30 adv/$32 DOS, all ages.) BRENDAN KILEY

Auto Eroticism

posted by on March 12 at 10:22 AM

Move over, Mr. Hands: Sex with horses is so 19th century. The wave of the future: Sex with cars.

As The Sun reports:

MECHANIC Chris Donald loves his work—he has sex with CARS. Chris, 38, has a recognised psychological condition that makes him physically attracted to motors. He has had sex with more than 30 different models in 20 years—plus two motorboats and a pal’s Jetski.…His weird obsession mirrors that of electrician Karl Watkins, who The Sun revealed was jailed for having sex with pavements in Redditch, Worcs, in 1993.

Full story—including details on Mr. Donald’s inspired use of exhaust pipes—here.

Chopp: Out of Sync with His District

posted by on March 12 at 10:21 AM

According to polling done last October, Rep. Frank Chopp’s pro-elevated rebuild position is unpopular in his district, the 43rd—Capitol Hill, U-District, Wallingford.

Like, really, really unpopular.

67% of voters are against the idea. That’s 2 out of 3 voters.

Non et Merde Non!

posted by on March 12 at 10:17 AM

Rushing out the door to catch a plane to Paris, I realized I forgot to vote. Oh, foie gras… So I grabbed my ballot and planned to fill out and mail it after I arrived.

I figure Paris, which has dealt with transportation woes since it was founded by the all-paving Romans, could provide an example for our fair city.

The banks of the Seine are the closest things Paris has to a waterfront. And three-and-four-lane waterfront roadways lining the river are the closest things Paris has to freeways inside the city. And they get along just fine. Of course, there is a real freeway near Paris, the Périphérique, but it circumnavigates the city like the DC beltway.

Does the lack of freeways – elevated, buried, or otherwise – make the city an unlivable mess? No; it’s Paris. It’s amazing. If it were any more livable they’d ban funerals. People avoid driving when they can, they invest in real public transit solutions, they ride public transit even in bad weather, they enjoy the views from the street, they walk. Any people who dress better, socialize constantly, and eat like kings seven days a week without turning into manatees must be doing something right.

So, I fill out my ballot.


This is one of those big riverside roads, but imagine if instead a double-decker freeway were here. Well, the views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower sure would be stunning as you zip by…

Photo courtesy of my father, Ronald, AKA the Cornichon.

Army Surgeon General Resigns

posted by on March 12 at 10:00 AM

More Walter Reed fallout.

Undiplomatic Behavior

posted by on March 12 at 9:18 AM

Israeli diplomat recalled for… well, let’s go to the news report

Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found bound, drunk and naked in the yard of his residence, a spokeswoman said Monday….

Two weeks ago, El Salvador police found Tsuriel Raphael naked outside his residence, tied up, gagged and drunk, Israeli media reported. He was wearing several sex toys at the time, the media said. After he was untied, Raphael told police he was the ambassador of Israel, the reports said.

Bachelorette Parties: Can You Have Your Cock and Eat It Too?

posted by on March 12 at 8:54 AM

So a feminist goes to a bachelorette party and sees cock everywhere

Who the hell started the tradition of putting pensises on everything at a bachelorette party? This one was pretty typical—we had penis whistles and penis party favors that also had pictures of sperm on them, which seems sort of like a threat if you’re the bride and not really planning on getting pregnant right away. We even had a penis cake….

Let’s face it—as funny as eating a penis cake is, it’s undeniable that the act of doing so is engaging in an alarming and peculiar inequality. Men at bachelor parties don’t eat vulva cakes. That’s probably because they detect and revolt at the underlying communion-taking of eating symbolic foods. Which is really too bad, because a vulva cake makes much more sense as a visual pun than a penis cake.

All of this is to say that bachelorette parties are the worst sort of “post-feminism”, if you take the term to mean “the cultural attempts to pretend that equality has already been achieved”. Bachelorette parties are supposed to be about how women are are equal to men now, so when we get married, we get to have the same drunken bacchanalia that is subtly-to-blatantly punishing of the person about to get married. Bachelorette parties should be like gloriously feminist in theory, and yet in practice they tend to be a rowdy, drunken bout of phallic worship. They’re supposed to be one last fling as a single woman with your female friends, so basically female-centered, but penises are everywhere, as if we need to keep a lot on hand as a reminder. It’s all weirdly unfair.

Hm. I like to think of myself as feminist… but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that a bachelorette party represents an alarming inequality. If one of my fellow feminists feels that way—if she isn’t engaged in a little comic exaggeration —then I think she’s a little too easily alarmed. I do, however, have a theory about what those cock cakes are about. Well, two theories:

1. It’s an attempt, in theory at least, to humiliate the bride-to-be (BTB) by shoving cocks in her face. The underlying assumption is that the BTB will naturally be embarrassed by cock because she hasn’t encountered one before. Because like all BTBs, of course, she’s a virgin. Yes yes: 95% of us have pre-marital sex (and while some of us can only have pre-marital sex). Yet women keep wearing white, symbolizing virginity, at their weddings. Many wedding traditions invoke and, at the same time, mock the ideal of sexual purity. The horror at the sight of cock is just another way for the BTB and her friends to send up and/or live out the virgin thang.

2. It’s about ownership. The traditional bachelor party is a wake for male sexual freedom; it’s about the death of sexual autonomy and male friends gathering together to grieve the end of their doggin’ around days. For the women at the bachelorette party, all those cocks represent the cock she’s about to take possession of. A bachelor party is about male fear of castration; a bachelorette party is about female anticipation of castration.

Those are my theories, anyway, and I’m sure there are other, better theories out there. Whatever the reason for all those cock cakes at bachelorette parties… I don’t think we need to be alarmed by them, do we?

Milwaukee. Just Too Hip for Seattle.

posted by on March 12 at 8:45 AM

Originally posted on Sunday, but I’m moving it up into today’s mix.

In their second pass at a ‘Yes to the Rebuild, No to the Tunnel’ editorial today, the Seattle Times ed board spends most of its time attacking an option that’s not even on the ballot, the surface/transit option—warning readers not to “idealize something they know little about.”

That trenchant observation misses the whole point of the Double No vote: Double No is a way to force the surface/transit option out of political quarantine, so in fact, voters get a chance to learn about it. Indeed, surface/transit voters and leaders—like KC Exec Ron Sims, City Council Member Peter Steinbrueck, and Seattle state Senator Ed Murray—have repeatedly asked WSDOT to study the surface/transit option.

In order to get an honest chance to study the surface/transit option, voters need to vote no on the two other options, which luckily, we do know something about: the $3.4 billion tunnel and the $2.8 billion rebuild.

(Condemning voters who are interested in the surface/transit idea because they don’t know enough about the surface/transit idea is something like not offering employees health care and then docking their pay for taking too many sick days.)

Both the rebuild and the tunnel will devastate the waterfront—upending any chance for building a real neighborhood there—while coughing out an unacceptable level of CO2 emissions by accommodating 140,000 cars a day. Given the wave of facts that have come in about the environment this year, it would be suicide to pretend we have the stubborn right to build a freeway on our waterfront.

The defensive Seattle Times takes this swipe at proponents of studying the surface/transit option: “There is nothing environmentally hip about a bunch of cars and trucks emitting fumes while backed up on I-5 or jamming the waterfront roadway.” (Apparently, dear children, the Seattle Times—as opposed to its readers—knows a little something about the surface/transit option.)

The Seattle Times’s attempt to marginalize the surface/transit option by spinning it as a function of trendy, environmentally correct tyranny is absurd. If the surface/transit idea is so hip, why isn’t it on the ballot?

I’ll tell you why it’s not on the ballot. Because unfortunately, hip or not hip, progressive ideas (which catch on in such hip towns as, um, Milwaukee) have a hard time finding traction in a city like Seattle that luxuriates in idealizing the past.

And let’s compare and contrast: Is there something hep about 140,000 cars and trucks emitting fumes while crowding onto the new waterfront highway that the Seattle Times endorses; a highway that’ll be 71 percent larger than the current viaduct and will overwhelm the piers, historic buildings, sidewalks, and bike lanes?

If the issue is fumes, consider: The surface/transit plan has a goal of reducing the number cars by about 20,000 a day. Indeed, emissions will be far greater if we go ahead and build a gridlock inducing freeway. The city’s own study reveals that 60 percent of the capacity downtown is going unused. So, there’s no evidence that adding more cars there will force back-ups on local streets.

Ironically, while the Seattle Times is getting all righteous about CO2 fumes, the conventional criticism of the dreaded surface/transit option is that it won’t maintain capacity. Umm, isn’t that a good thing? And as KC Exec Ron Sims points out, the surface/transit plan aims to maintain capacity—commuter capacity (through increased transit), just not car capacity through increased pavement. Sounds smart. Let’s study it.

Morning News

posted by on March 12 at 8:40 AM

Stay the Course: Bush announces more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

And if that Doesn’t Work: Pentagon works up pull out plan.

It’s Not Working: Grisly violence sacks Iraqi homes.

Chirac: says Je ne reelection pas.

Gonzales: Sen. Schumer and the NYT say the AG should go.

Fred Thompson: Law & Order’s Arthur Branch eyes GOP Presidential bid.

Just saying: Transit ridership spikes to highest level in decades.

Dubai or Bust: Less U.S. taxes. Less subpoenas. Sweet. Haliburton heads overseas.

Illegal Immigrant laws Pt. 1: Challenged in Federal Court.

Illegal Immigrant laws Pt. 2: Screwing over US Citizens.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

No, This Is What’s Wrong With Straight Guys

posted by on March 11 at 6:13 PM

Say No to a New Viaduct! Say No to a Tunnel!

posted by on March 11 at 2:33 PM

Say yes to gondolas.

The harmful effects of global warming on daily life already are evident, and hundreds of millions of people won’t have enough water within a couple of decades, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.

At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out of their homes each year as Earth reels from higher temperatures and sea levels, according to portions of a draft of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press.

Tropical diseases such as malaria will spread. By 2050, polar bears mostly will be found in zoos, their habitats gone. Fire ants and other pests will thrive.

Free Wi-fi

posted by on March 11 at 2:07 PM

Ah… Portland International Airport. Cozy, warm, and, best of all, free Wi-fi. Why can’t Sea-Tac have free Wi-fi? How hard is free Wi-fi? Aren’t we the tech capital of the whole freakin’ world? Wouldn’t it make sense from, oh, a marketing perspective for Seattle’s airport to have free Wi-fi?

The wireless service at Sea-Tac is buggy and unreliable, to say nothing of expensive. On top of being pricey, every pay wireless system at every airport in the country is also an insult to the intelligence of the average computer user. You can buy 24 hours of unlimited internet access for just $9.95! But who’s in one airport for 24 hours? You’re in one airport and maybe you need to get online for a few minutes. Then you get on an airplane and fly to some other airport, where you need to get online for a few minutes. But your next airport—surprise!—has a different internet service provider, a different Wi-fi service, and you have to pay another fee for another 24 hours of unlimited internet access. Yippee.

Come on, Port of Seattle. Free Wi-fi at Sea-Tac Airport already. Sheesh.

Driving Down Halliburton Boulevard in the New Iraq

posted by on March 11 at 2:04 PM

If this doesn’t make our reason for war obvious, I don’t know what will.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 11 at 11:32 AM


‘The Rules of the Game’ (FILM) Jean Renoir’s swirling, hard-headed humanist farce about the decadence of the French haute bourgeoisie has been magnificently restored—just in time for obit writers to punish themselves for abusing the term “Altmanesque.” This precise cross section of society is like a slice of cake, every layer more delicious than the last. Robert Altman said it himself: “The Rules of the Game taught me the rules of the game.” (Varsity, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755. See Movie Times for details.) ANNIE WAGNER

The Morning News

posted by on March 11 at 9:14 AM

Numbers game: Bush wants 8,200 more troops for Iraq and Afghanistan
in addition to the 21,500 previously proposed

Number of the beast= national ID cards

Senator Schumer: calls for Gonzales to resign

“Reminiscent of an ugly divorce”: the backup plan to rebuild the viaduct

Britain’s beloved Churchill: blames jews

Dur: Ann Coulter, batshit crazy?

Finally entombed: The hardest resting man in show business

“I blame the government”: Baghdad car bomb kills 31

James Cameron was right about something: Skynet fights back