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Archives for 05/20/2007 - 05/26/2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Required Late-Nite Viewing

posted by on May 26 at 8:53 PM

For the stoners and history majors…

Gunga Din and Blackface Today

posted by on May 26 at 6:26 PM

I attended the first show in the Swashbuckler Saturdays program at SIFF, and—as a side note—the projection problems that plagued the Egyptian last year are back. No fire this time, but the film went out of focus at the first punch and the projectionist didn’t notice until the brawlers had straightened their uniforms and shuffled off to the next scene. Way to dampen the swashbuckling, dude.

The show was Gunga Din, a 1939 George Stevens action-adventure film, and one of those archival presentations that really could’ve used a scholarly introduction. The movie is still relatively entertaining, but it can be hard to get into the fight scenes when you’re having second thoughts about all that Jewish-to-Indian blackface…

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… not to mention the cheery British imperialism, homosocial misogyny, California mountain ranges, and Yank accents peppered with probably ahistorical British slang. That post-lashing Cary Grant lounging about with his shirt calculatedly unbuttoned was also distracting.

But the rampant blackface in Gunga Dinwhich pretty much anybody would recognize as objectionable today—also reminded me of the new Michael Winterbottom film A Mighty Heart, which I saw earlier this week. Here’s Angelina Jolie as the French-Cuban wife of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl:

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Her skin is clearly pigmented, she wears dark contacts, and the wig is Africanized too. Now, the character she plays in the film is more a caricature of Jolie herself than any stereotype one might have about persons of Cuban ancestry raised in Paris. She spends most of the movie being very pregnant, playing with adorable children of other nationalities, and worrying about her man. In that sense, her blackface get-up is in no way comparable to the abject character of Gunga Din, a childlike would-be soldier more loyal to the Queen of England than any of his darker-skinned countrymen.

But Jolie was undoubtedly cast in the role of Mariane Pearl because the producers needed a star, and there are no French-Cuban actresses of equal stature wandering around Hollywood. Why else was Sam Jaffe cast as Gunga Din?

Girls Rock!: The Rock Show

posted by on May 26 at 12:32 PM

I caught Girls Rock! over at the Harvard Exit last night, and it was so much more adorable than I thought possible. The structure gets a little sloppy in the third act, but that’s okay. The punk fucking rock kids and teens are beyond amazing.

If you want to see my favorite of the girls, the bright and slightly spazzy Amelia, play a noise show (at least I’m assuming—that’s obviously her favorite genre) this afternoon, head over to the Chop Suey at 1:30 pm. Her band King is in the lineup, along with a Rock Camp “House Band” featuring the totally fierce 8-year-old Palace (pictured below) and her song about how much San Francisco sucks.

Hell yeah.

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Tix are $10 (or more—donations go to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp), and more info about the show can be found here.

I’m not going to be able to make it, so somebody go and tell me how much it rocked, please.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 26 at 12:00 PM

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‘At What Point Is the Wax No Longer Wax?’
(Art) Wax is so different under differing conditions that only thinking makes it wax, Descartes wrote. California artist Amir Zaki makes trees and photographs seem just as contingent. Are these oddly shaped trunks and stumps suburban mutants that have been caught in a strange light at night, or did Zaki alter them? It’s a well-trod theme in photography, but Zaki’s images are fresh, neither stagy nor naturalistic, but alien in a surprisingly familiar way. (James Harris Gallery, 309A Third Ave S, 903-6220. 11 am—5 pm, free.) Jen Graves

The Morning News

posted by on May 26 at 9:08 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

An Open-Air Drug Market: The Central District, apparently. Seattle Police arrest 47 alleged gang members.

He Knew it All Along: An early report told Bush the difficulties of establishing democracy in Iraq.

No Kyoto, No G8: US rejects Germany’s climate change proposal.

Welcome Back From Iraq: A soldier’s boyfriend killed her kid while she was on her tour of duty.

Opposition Party Seized: Over 200 members of Zimbabwe’s MDC Party arrested.

Diaper Beau: The man at the center of the Nasa love triangle is re-assigned.

That’s “Angus,” not “Anus”: Carl’s Jr. sues Jack in the Box for misleading ads.



Friday, May 25, 2007

Rosie Quits

posted by on May 25 at 5:56 PM

Rosie O’Donnell quit The View today, three weeks before her contract was up. Rosie was the most compelling thing on television—and the best thing to happen to The View since old-what’s-her-face caught a football with her kisser. With Rosie on board, ratings were up, and The View suddenly mattered—particularly to right-wing pundits. Who’s going to bitch slap that fucking moron Elisabeth Hasselbeck now?

Skanking

posted by on May 25 at 4:57 PM

The ultimate Trustafarian:
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This Week on Drugs

posted by on May 25 at 4:26 PM

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Seattle Cops: Lying about drug bust and deleting e-mail.

SF Cops: Busting folks for pot despite I-75-like ordinance.

Judge to DEA: Lift ban on pot research.

Snitches: Website reveals identities.

Mommies: Choosing marijuana over Merlot.

Fetuses: May never learn to drive.

Study Sponsored by Starbucks? Four cups of coffee a day reduces risk of gout.

Acto del Patriota? Mexico using US dollars to stop drug smuggling by tapping phones.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston: Fundraising for Scientology drug rehab center.

OPA Under Investigation

posted by on May 25 at 4:23 PM

After clearing officers Greg Neubert and Mike Tietjen of a number of serious charges, The Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) is under investigation by the city council. The OPA Review Board, created in 2002 to review internal police investigations, will be digging through the full Neubert and Tietjen case over the weekend, according to OPARB chair Peter Holmes.

Holmes says that OPARB will be reviewing “how thorough the investigation was,” as well as SPD Chief Kerlikowske’s final approval of OPA’s findings, although OPARB is prohibited from recommending disciplinary action for officers.

Holmes also told me that SPD was slow to provide the full case file and has still not provided a list of other OPA complaints against Neubert and Tietjen. “We requested [the case file] last month and we got it yesterday,” he says.

OPARB plans to review the file and meet this weekend. They could release their findings by next week.

A Cheese Nun?!

posted by on May 25 at 4:15 PM

Did anyone else go to the Cheese Festival last weekend? I would have, had I known there was going to be a “Cheese Nun.” I guess not ALL cheese is bacon-flavored and comes from a metal can. Hey, I’m learning. You can check out the C-Nun, and some fancy looking espresso and lavender cheese, in this little video…

Thanks Chuy and Sir “Paul About Town”!

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on May 25 at 4:04 PM

This weekend is all about SIFF (and SIFF Notes Online), of course, but say you don’t feel like braving the dead stare of Platinum pass holders and the anxiety of watching a film with the director nervously anticipating your every titter. What are your options?

Seattle True International Film Festival: The scrappy underdog festival kicks off this weekend. Andrew Wright has the lowdown. (Actually, many directors will indeed be in the audience at STIFF, but the fanciest pass holders only paid $50.)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: Sean Nelson reviews the juggernaut.

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Ping Pong: Grand Illusion has a “manic, wonderfully overwrought manga adaptation about the fierce competitive drive of dudes with names such as Peco, Smile, and Demon,” says Andrew Wright.

The Freshman: The Paramount’s Silent Movie Mondays series wraps up on… a Friday? Yes, indeed, The Freshman and For Heaven’s Sake play tonight at the Paramount.

And check out Get Out for complete movie listings. Drown yourself in cinema!

Today on Line Out.

posted by on May 25 at 3:55 PM

Sasquatch Sightings: What Ari Plans to See This Weekend at Sasquatch.

Tommie Sunshine: Looks Like a Dirty Hippe, Smells Like Apples.

Wow. Just Wow: Battles’ “Atlas.”

Motorin’ : Motor’s Ominous Pounding.

Where It’s Hotter: Japanther Rock Under the Sea.

“I Knew Him Best and I Knew Him Well”: The Smiths vs. the Sycophantic Slags.

And now, the very real Sasquatch:

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SIFF 2007 Fri-Sat Highlights

posted by on May 25 at 3:17 PM

The Stranger’s suggestions for each slot in the festival for the next two days:

FRIDAY MAY 25:

4:30 pm, Harvard Exit: To continue your Son of Rambow ’80s nostalgia high, see This Is England, a semiautobiographical tale of growing up punk in the ’80s.

7 pm, Harvard Exit: Carrie Brownstein (hot hot hot) and Beth Ditto (hot hot hot) are instructors at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in PDX—the subject of a new documentary. Girls Rock!, featuring badass 8-year-olds like Palace…

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… will drag you into the post-riot grrrl age. (There’s also a show at Chop Suey tomorrow at the kid-friendly time of 1:30 pm with some of the camp alumnae.) Director Arne Johnson and producer Shane King will be in attendance to answer your questions after the show. Or, you can skip the Q&A and bust ass to…

9:15 pm, Northwest Film Forum: Life in Loops, an innovative “remix” of an existing documentary from the late ’90s about the working and underclasses in global cities, is one of the best experimental films in the fest.


SATURDAY MAY 26:

11 am: If you like mountains and overcoming adversity, check out Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey at the Egyptian. The director and producer will be in attendance. If you’re a movie nerd, you might prefer Murch, about the editor/sound designer of American Graffiti and The Godfather, at the Harvard Exit. The directors will be in attendance.

Early afternoon: It’s a tossup between the archival presentation of Gunga Din at the Egyptian, 2 pm and the massively expensive Egyptian epic The Yacoubian Building (based on this book, which is now available in an English translation) at Pacific Place, 1 pm.

Late afternoon: Check out the surprisingly good The Singer (3:30 pm at the Neptune), starring an uncharacteristically subdued Gerard Depardieu. Or the solid Monster Camp (4:30 pm at the Egyptian), about a Seattle community of live-action D&D warriors. Or the too-long but beautiful Malaysian entry After This Our Exile (4:15 pm at Pacific Place).

The first evening show has no losers—you can see the new Judd Apatow a little early, an ode to Paris, young love in Brazil, ancient action in China. But the all-around winner is probably Gypsy Caravan, SIFF Cinema, 6:30 pm. Director Jasmine Dellal will be in attendance.

In the late evening, check out Monkey Warfare (9:45 pm at the Egyptian), a paranoid pot romance-cum-urban guerrilla comedy from Canada. Director Reginald Harkema will be in attendance. We also liked Vanaja. Director Rajnesh Domalpalli will be in attendance.

And you should probably skip the late night. Unless you’re a huge fan of excrement.

Significant Others

posted by on May 25 at 2:56 PM

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More Significant Others next week.

Schrammie Bomb!

posted by on May 25 at 2:33 PM

The Department of Corrections headquarters were evacuated after they received a suspicious, handwritten, stained package containing…a Schrammie.

From the PI:

The package came from KOMO-TV headquarters, the station confirmed. It was addressed to the Department of Corrections secretary, Harold Clarke, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Ted DeHart said.

The Washington State Patrol dispatched its bomb squad. A bomb technician opened it and discovered the bobble-head doll. A State Patrol trooper has called Schram to discuss the incident.

Schram sends the dolls to people who he thinks have done something dubious.

Schram was taking the blunder in stride, saying that he was partially amused, embarrassed and perplexed.

“I am big on taking responsibility. I didn’t mail it. But it’s my ‘Schrammie,’ ” he said.

(Personal note to Ken: Feel free to send us a Schrammie any time. Bradley Steinbacher is your biggest fan!)

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UPDATE:
Our very own Charles Mudede and his partner in crime Robinson Devor received a Schrammie back in July for making a little gay-agenda promoting, horse-fuck-athon snuff film (currently making the rounds at Cannes) called Zoo.

I’d never seen a Schrammie on Charles’ incredibly cluttered desk, so I asked him where his Schrammie was. “I never got it,” he says.

For not following through on his promise to send Rob and Charles their Schrammie, Ken has become the first official recipient of The Stranger’s Dingleberry Award.

Shame on you Ken, shame on you.

(Double personal note to Ken: Your award is on its way. Really.)

Commercial of the Day

posted by on May 25 at 2:32 PM

Here’s how they sell condoms in France…

UPDATE: Says COMTE in comments…

Huh, I thought the punchline was going to be more along the lines of, “Don’t want to raise a spoiled brat? Use condoms.”

That’s actually this condom commercial, COMTE…

Star Wars Hair-Mania

posted by on May 25 at 2:27 PM

Another tribute to Star Wars, on this, its 30th anniversary—Hair Portraits!

On the far right, you find this:

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Thanks, Tyler!

The Believable

posted by on May 25 at 2:20 PM

From the PI:

Maleng and his wife, Judy, were planning to visit Norway this summer to explore his heritage. On Thursday evening, they were at a dinner to toast a Norwegian ambassador at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture when Maleng collapsed.

About 10 minutes after he arrived, Norm grabbed onto Judy’s arm and fell to the ground,” Maleng’s chief of staff, Dan Satterberg, told the crowded courtroom.

He suffered cardiac arrest. Nearly an hour of resuscitation efforts at Harborview Medical Center weren’t able to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. He was 68.

My obsession for the day is this death. Its suddenness shocks my own heart—the pump of my life. It’s now not a matter of why does it beat but why doesn’t it stop beating? The amazing thing is this beating; more believable is it stopping, the body falling, the glass of existence shattering, and the opening of the vacuum into which the soul is sucked and crushed.

My Life on the J List

posted by on May 25 at 2:11 PM

I’m proud to see my name on any list that includes Evan Wolfson, Alison Bechdel, Larry Kramer, Barney Frank, and Tony Kushner… but someone needs to let the bigots behind this website know that I’m not Jewish. I have a big nose, dark hair, a circumcision scar, and a penchant for hiring Jews (see here, here, and, of course, here), but I’m actually Irish Catholic.

And “Savage Love” isn’t a “gay-themed sex-advice” column. It’s a straight-themed sex-advice column written by a gay Catholic—that’s the whole freakin’ point, you dumb ass anti-semites.

From Kathleen Wilson: RIP Mamie

posted by on May 25 at 2:07 PM

I know a lot of Slog readers delight in my dog “issues.”

And it’s true, I am thrown off balance by dogs. (Hey Barry, thanks for bringing that dog to my party on Saturday night.)

However, for the record, I have had a few good times with dogs. There was an ex g.f.’s dog named Nakita who I took care of for a week once when my g.f. went out of town. I fell for Nakita: the daily walks, romping about on the couch, and feeding her.

I also had a good time with a dog named Fafner once on a hot summer afternoon in a swimming pool in Baltimore.

And I have a good memory about the time this doberman Son of Satan type dog leapt out at me and my g.f. in college. Suddenly possessed, me—a notorious chicken around doberman Son of Satan dogs—stood my ground and stared it down. Cowering, it backed off. My college g.f., unaware of my phobia, was impressed, boy!

This is all to say, I got a sad e-mail from former Stranger music writer Kathleen Wilson today. She wrote to tell me that her 10-year-old dog Mamie died. Why would Kathleen e-mail me about Mamie?

Well, one of my other rare fond dog times was with Mamie in the backseat of a car as Kathleen and I drove down to Portland for North by Northwest back in 1999 or something. I was terrified about it, but Kathleen assured me Mamie was a lovely dog. Kathleen was right.

From: Kathleen
Subject: Mamie Louise, R.I.P
Date: May 25, 2007 1:30:28 PM PDT
To: josh@thestranger.com

Sniff!

My lady kicked heart disease, and was rallying with exceptional spirit through her chemo for recently diagnosed lymphoma (loving the weekly car trips to Pullman and WSU Vet Hospital because it meant she got to spend the night in a hotel) when, three days after her 10th birthday (Dick’s french fries and steak, as per tradition) she succumbed to an undetected and unexplaineable side effect of her chemo. I am totally heartbroken.

She was one of the great ones. I know you bonded with her on that trip to Portland.

xo
Kathleen

Hot Tips for SIFF 2007

posted by on May 25 at 1:46 PM

As you plan your slate for SIFF, consider these helpful resources.

Ted Z. at Big Screen Little Screen has compiled 20 trailers for the first week of the festival—many of which SIFF does not have up at their site.

Media Babe, who is employed by the best video store in the world, has a complete list of films in the festival whose DVDs are already available for rent. (Most of these are not Region 1, so if you don’t have a region-free player, you’d best cross-reference with Scarecrow website.)

Finally, I’ve compiled a work-in-progress list of movies that will be opening theatrically in Seattle soon after the festival. I’ll be adding this information to the capsules in SIFF Notes Online shortly.

Knocked Up (wide) …… 1 June
Severance (Varsity) …… 1 June
Paris Je T’Aime (Seven Gables) …… 1 June
Paprika (Landmark) …… 8 June
Surf’s Up (wide) …… 8 June
Crazy Love (Landmark) …… 15 June
Eagle vs. Shark (Landmark) …… 22 June
Golden Door (Landmark) …… 22 June
La Vie en Rose (Landmark) …… 22 June
Day Watch (Landmark) …… 22 June
Angel-A (Landmark, perhaps Varsity) …… 22 June
Red Road (Landmark) …… 22 June
Death at a Funeral (Landmark) …… 29 June
Evening (Landmark) …… 29 June
Rescue Dawn (Landmark) …… 13 July
Introducing the Dwights (Landmark) …… 13 July
Broken English (Landmark) …… 13 July
Lady Chatterley (Landmark) …… 13 July
Manufactured Landscapes (Landmark) …… 13 July
Vitus (Landmark) …… 20 July
Cashback (Landmark) …… 20 July
Black Sheep (Landmark) …… July?
Goya’s Ghosts …… Not yet set
The King of Kong …… 17 Aug
Rocket Science …… 17 Aug
Dans Paris …… Not yet set
Retribution? …… (not confirmed)
Fido? …… (not confirmed)

Son of Rambow Greg Nickels: SIFF 2007 Opening Night

posted by on May 25 at 1:20 PM

Everybody I spoke to seemed to love the opening-night selection Son of Rambow, a movie about Will and Lee, two British kids in the ’80s respectively afflicted by smothering or neglectful home lives, who overcome all sort of obstacles (from falling in an oil pit to being crushed by enormous steel pillars) to premiere their adorable prequel to Rambo: First Blood in a theater showing Yentl. Whew.

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The movie must overcome an initially forbidding level of cutes, which it does mostly through supersize but not wholly cartoonish violence. It also takes some ill-advised detours into social commentary: Will’s fundamentalist Christian mother shucks her veil to symbolize a newfound freedom. But mostly, it’s lovable. Son of Rambow will open theatrically sometime in 2008 and will not play later in the festival.

Before the movie, there was an awkward VIP reception, where topics included the best parties last year, Greg Nickels’s wayward son, the most promising parties this year, Greg Nickels’s wayward son, the picked-over fishbones at the party occurring right now, and—did we mention? Greg Nickels’s wayward son. Greg Nickels did not put in an appearance, though a wild ‘n’ whiskery Tom Skerritt did.

The only thing notable that happened during Carl Spence/Deborah Person/Gary Tucker’s famously long intro was that Stranger Genius award winner (and Academy Award nominee) James Longley was given an award by the city—something about bringing attention to the film infrastructure available in Seattle. Longley dutifully gave some shoutouts to the great postproduction facilities here—Alpha Cine, Modern Digital, Bad Animals, 911 Media Arts, etc.

And then, the gala.

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There were blue drinks supplied by Bombay Sapphire:

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There was delicious fried chicken supplied by Ezell’s:

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There were crowds and long lines and cupcakes and projections of John Hughes movies on the walls. Much to Greg Nickels’s entirely imagined relief, topics of conversation shifted from Jake Nickels to the best Madonna song. Despite the copious free alcohol, this is the closest anyone came to debauchery atop the white tablecloths:

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And then we all went home.

(Photos by Tim Wind)

Star Wars Turns 30, Begins Mid-life Crisis

posted by on May 25 at 12:52 PM

Bradley Steinbacher just asked me if I was “a Star Wars nerd.” I prefer the term aficionado. As such, it is my duty to inform/remind you that thirty years ago today, Star Wars was released in theaters in all of its digitally unmolested glory.

Since that fateful day in 1977, Star Wars has become a cultural phenomenon. Jedi was included as a religion on the 2001 UK census form, Reagan’s crazy space laser program shared a name with the series and uh, Ghyslain Raza got super famous on the internet with his wicked lightsaber skills:

Despite the undeniable cultural impact of the series, no one in our office would admit to loving Star Wars. Stranger film editor Annie Wagner says she is “totally indifferent to Star Wars” and Josh Feit was only able to confirm that “he saw it” on its initial release but threatened to kill me if I revealed his age at the time. By my calculations, he was 55.

Finally, enjoy this vintage Nightline clip where film critic John Simon outs himself as the world’s biggest asshole:

I’ll be watching SW while doing bong rips and making Wookie noises at my cats all weekend. Feel free to stop by.

Some Notes on the Home

posted by on May 25 at 12:18 PM

1)
Few things in life make me happier than watching my daughter walk up the metal steps of the school bus. It is the passage for her transition from the family to the state. As the philosopher points out in almost all of his books: the ethical substance (society) is made up of two laws—one which is divine (the family) and one which is human (the state). Put another way: one which is oikos (the house) and one which is polis (the city). The steps on the school bus lead Delphinium (my daughter) from her father or mother (family) to school (state). For her, I’m nothing more than the given, the natural, the home (in short, all that Aeschylus’ trilogy, The House of Atreus, designates as bad); the polis, the fashioned, is the social space in which she gets to decide the self she wants to be (which is the self that will overcome the given). The house is about the underworld, the night; the polis is daylight and clarity. Her leaving me is leaving the dark limits of birth and death and entering the open universal, the larger community, the longer course of social history. Each step my daughter makes up and into the bus negates me. When the doors close behind her, I’m totally negated. The state is the power she has over me, the family, and nothing makes me happier than to see her little power grow.

2)
When beautiful Cassandra steps down from the chariot and sees Agamemnon’s house, she screams: “No … no … a house. [a] house full of death, kinsmen butchered … heads chopped off … a human slaughterhouse awash in blood …” To Greek eyes, the home was a dark force because of its direct connection with the life and death forces of nature. And in Late Antiquity, Christianity began its long war against the home, the site of terrible crimes: fornication, murder, incest. When it completely defeated the family in the High Middle Ages, the powers of death were transferred from the home to the church. To understand this long struggle between the church and the home is to see one of the main reasons for the continuing Christian resistance to abortion rights. It is for the church a kind re-empowering of the home, which, as the the philosopher says in almost almost all of his books, is the domain of the woman. The substance of the popular novel The Da Vinci Code is this struggle that dates all the way back to the The House of Atreus.

3)
My father to me, while driving to my mother’s grave: “In traditional Manica [or African] society, there were no big churches. Your hut was your church. The altar was in the hut. You didn’t leave the hut to pray. You prayed in your hut. When Christianity arrived and settled, that’s when you left the house to pray in the church.”

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 25 at 12:16 PM

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‘Objective Sound’
(Art) Bill Fontana, based in San Francisco, is a pioneer of sound art and a guy to pay attention to. His latest installation is a resonation-portrait of the industrial area hugging the Duwamish River in South Seattle, near the art gallery Western Bridge. Fontana will pipe sounds from the neighborhood (machinery, trucks, trains) into the darkened gallery, where steel and glass objects found nearby and brought inside will act like musical instruments, shaping the sounds. (Western Bridge, 3412 Fourth Ave S, 838-7444. Noon—6 pm, free.) Jen Graves

Also…

‘Life in Loops’
(SIFF) If you didn’t shell out 50 bucks for yesterday’s official opening film and party, your SIFF should begin with this terrific experimental documentary, a “remix” of Michael Glawogger’s controversial 1998 film Megacities, about members of the urban underclass. The sampled footage (including some new outtakes) becomes electric in this pulsating, rhythmic edit: A dye-sifter in Mumbai turns purple and green after a day spent crouching over his powders, a junkie in New York demonstrates his various hustles, and a young man in Tokyo seems in danger of going hikikomori, given his inordinate affection for huggable girl-shaped pillows. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 324-9996. 9:15 pm, $10.) Annie Wagner

Web Site of the Day

posted by on May 25 at 12:12 PM

This strikes me as an invaluable resource.

The Week in Geek

posted by on May 25 at 11:41 AM

Nothing happened this week, except I took the day off on Friday.

Wait, that’s today.

I’ll leave you to discuss the wide-ranging implications of this:

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BREAKING: Capitol Hill Seattle Blog Working With Anti-Gay Bigots!

posted by on May 25 at 11:20 AM

They’re voting over at CHS on what should go into the old Rainbow Grocery space up on 15th. CHS isn’t clear about whether we’re voting on what we’d like to see in the space or what we’re likely to see in the space—I suspect the latter, as “a large chain retailer” is currently in the lead.

The polling service CHS is using—Opinion Republic—allows people to add more candidates/possibilities to an already up-and-running poll. Neato! I’d like to see a gay bar in that space, which is not among the current options. Cha Cha found a new space, but Manray is homeless. But when I attempted to add “gay bar” to the poll I got this message:

Your response contains innappropriate language (sic). Please revise.

So I attempted to add “a homosexual establishment.”

Your response contains innappropriate language. Please revise.

Christ! So I attempted to add “a place where men can drink and sing showtunes.” Third time’s the charm. No offensive language—no “gay,” no “homosexual”—so my option was in. Only my option didn’t turn up when I went back to CHS! A moment later the poll itself stopped functioning—so maybe “showtunes” is “innappropriate language” too? Quick! Someone alert the Seattle Commission on Sexual Minorities!

In an earlier post about the poll CHS says…

Opinion Republic has been crappy the last few times we tried to use it. If it continues to suck, we reserve the right to pull its sorry ass and replace with a poll that actually works.

Crappy and bigoted, CHS—take your business elsewhere. (But add “gay bar” to the list, please.)

SIFF’s Velvet Rope

posted by on May 25 at 11:15 AM

My plan last night was to skip out on the Vera Project’s “anti-prom” between DD/MM/YYYY and Japanther and grab a drink at the SIFF opening gala. Dan gave me a pair of tickets on the condition that I slog about it. But the wizened man at the velvet rope said my tickets were only valid for the Son of Rambow screening and not the gala event:

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Meh. Japanther rocked as always, and the Vera’s anti-prom (theme: “under the sea”) was a blast. Maybe next year, SIFF.

Rambo Junior and The SIFF Hippie

posted by on May 25 at 11:06 AM

Mudede and Annie will Slog about the SIFF opening night party later, but three preliminaries:

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1. Son of Rambow was adorable. Little British kids in the ’80s making a dead-earnest prequel to First Blood? Hard to beat. Plus a French dandy exchange student, an oppressive religious cult called the Brethren, a teacher who impales himself with nose-hair clippers, and hyper-real shots of kids falling through trees and getting catapulted through junkyards for their jerry-rigged action sequences. You can’t see it at this year’s festival, but it’ll be released in 2008. Go.

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2. Next year, I’m showing up at least 45 minutes late. The opening remarks (which sounded like a p.r. orgy—”Seattle is passionate about film!” “SIFF is passionate about Seattle!” “The Mayor’s Office of Film and Music is passionate about SIFF!”) were interminable.

3. I wish I had a photo of the ubiquitous Culture Hippie. He was there at the after-party, in his beard and purple t-shirt and Guatemala shorts and sandals and beret. While the suits and swanky dresses stood around the empty dance floor, making stiff small talk over the night’s first free drink, the Culture Hippie breached the no-dance perimeter, threw himself beneath the sparkling disco ball, and did his freaky-deaky undulations to the ’80s music. Faces around the dance floor turned shades of embarrassed and alarmed. It was great.

Gore on America’s Lack of Reason

posted by on May 25 at 11:06 AM

Speaking at the 92nd St. Y in New York last night, and promoting his new book, “The Assault on Reason,” Gore said, among other things:

In one generation we went from a nation of readers to a nation of average Americans sitting motionless 35 hours a week in front of a flickering box.

$14 Billion Milkshake

posted by on May 25 at 11:05 AM

As Bradley noted in morning news, this fall, we’ll be voting on a light rail extension.

As I’ve been noting for months (and most recently in this week’s paper) the $10.2 billion light rail extension comes with a $6.7 billion roads package. (Want a shake with that salad?)

As I’ve pointed out before, expanding roads sabotages the whole point of expanding light rail.

Those 160,000 extra riders by 2030 that the Sound Transit expansion promises— will likely be cancelled out by the “carbon footprint” of all the future single occupancy vehicles we’d be investing in at the same time. I asked ST if their estimates for the ridership of this $10.2 billion project took into account its $6.7 billion evil twin. That is: When they were modeling commuters’ future habits, did they account for the new roads we’d be voting for in the same package? They did not.

This leaves me cold. I don’t want to be told about the benefits of voting for the light rail expansion without being told about the net results of the whole package I’m being asked to vote for.

But let me address something else. I’ve been using $10.2 billion and $6.7 billion to describe the two components of this light rail/roads package. That is in 2006 dollars.

There’s this other thing that’s come into vogue ever since the $3 billion monorail package got slaughtered for “really” costing $11 billion. The $3 billion was in 2005 dollars. The $11 billion was derived from adjusting payments on the $3 billion cost over time. This is called Year of Expenditure dollars, YOE dollars.

It goes like this: If I borrow $1,000 from Dan Savage today, and tell him I’ll pay him back over 10 years time, $100 a year, my $100 payment in 2015 is probably worth $85 in 2015 dollars, depending on the rate of inflation. So, for my 2015 payment, Dan would need, say, $115 for it to be equivalent to 2007 dollars. If you add all those numbers up over the ten years, the payment nominally looks larger than $1,000. Maybe it says $1250. And if Dan charged me interest at the outset, you’d have to factor that in as well. It’s called debt financing.

If you go that route: The $10.9 billion light rail expansion and the $6.7 billion roads expansion package comes out to $23 billion and $14 billion respectively when you give it the monorail treatment and transfer it into YOE dollars

Despite my bitterness about the $11 billion number that was thrown around to kill the monorail, I’m happy to shell out $10.2 billion or even $23 billion to get some mass transit in Seattle.

However, I am not able to stomach $6.7 billion or $14 billion on roadsroads— when I was told by everyone in town that $3 billion or $11 billion was too much for mass transit.

“The Future of America Has Been Stolen”

posted by on May 25 at 10:43 AM

I don’t know who Greg Palast is. Maybe I should, but I don’t. So I have no sense of how reliable or alarmist he might be. But this link, forwarded to me this morning, seems at least worth clicking on.

It connects to an interview in which Palast, apparently a liberal investigative journalist, talks about “Rove-bots” burrowing into the Justice Department, the real meaning of Monica Goodling’s recent House testimony, and the finer points of “caging.”

Isaiah Washington’s PSA

posted by on May 25 at 10:26 AM

As part of his journey though anti-gay-bigot rehab—still not quite sure how that works exactly—Isaiah Washington filmed this public service announcement.

Yeah, words have power—the power to get your ass in a heap of trouble.

Urinal of the Day

posted by on May 25 at 10:07 AM

mar21gal12gz1.jpg

It’s enough to make a man pee sitting down.

Via Newspeak—the Colorado Springs blog that is, it appears, positively obsessed with urinals. There’s a link to a weird-and-wonderful urinal site on Newspeak. Me and the boyfriend are talking about putting in a urinal if we ever have our ugly 70s bathroom torn out—because, hey, it’s all dudes at our place, so why not? Well, thanks to Newspeak I found the urinal we’re gonna get…

mothermayi.jpg

A “Mother May I” urinal will go pretty well with the rest of my Catholic kitsch. Yeah, it’ll be hard on our pee shy friends—the whiners—but we could make it worse for ‘em

The Ballad of the Chrome Sheriff

posted by on May 25 at 9:57 AM

In this week’s Last Days, I report this sighting by Hot Tipper Todd:

“I was in Home Depot to get a key made. As I’m looking around for an employee, I spot a somewhat-homeless-looking man wearing a mask. This mask was made entirely of duct tape. It had holes for his eyes and mouth (picture Dr. Doom) and a clear safety shield, which was in the upright position. This guy walks up to an employee and asks, ‘What aisle is the duct tape on?’ Oh my freaking god, am I dreaming this? Apparently not, because that same employee ended up making my key for me, and he wouldn’t shut up about the duct-tape guy. Since then, I’ve shared this story with friends and coworkers, and I’ve heard of many sightings. Does anyone know what this guy’s story is? I gotta know.”

At the end of the item, I urged readers to share any info they had on the man known alternately as the Beekeeper, the Chrome Sheriff, and the Duct-Tape Guy.

Responses have been coming in steadily, from history briefs (“From 1998-2000, he wore a sandwich board with Spanish writing on it and road-race bibs like the kind marathon runners wear”) to notes of commiseration (“Thanks for letting me know I haven’t been hallucinating this guy”) to this seemingly legitmate input from Hot Tipper Mark:

I don’t know the particular case, but it is very common for schizophrenic patients (who make up a large number of homeless types) to create masks and headgear of that sort (most frequently out of tin foil). It has to do with the symptoms—they lose “ego boundaries,” and thus believe that voices control them (ie Son of Sam) and that everyone can read their thoughts, thus, they create magical head protective devices to keep the alien intruders out and their thoughts contained within. The more funding for mental health (and all other health) gets shunted away to other people’s delusions about Iraq, the more we’ll see dumping of schizophrenics to the streets and away from proper care (you probably know that the current administration has set back cancer and other research formidably, as part of their Marcos-ization of the country).
Thanks to all who’ve shared so far. Others, write lastdays@thestranger.com.

The Seattle You Know Will Be Assassinated

posted by on May 25 at 9:52 AM

… this Monday, at 111 Pike Street, at high noon, by a small statue. From the press release:

8-ft. kinetic statue of coffee-drinker to be unveiled at café grand opening… the new Coffee Drinking Man statue playfully refers to Jonathan Borofsky’s 48-foot tall Hammering Man sculpture.

Um, how exactly? Sebastian Simsch, co-founder of Seattle Coffee Works, explains:

Despite its large size, the statue is cute, in a boy-next-door sort of way…

Wrong, Sebastian. Coffee Drinking Man isn’t a playful reference, it’s a mocking opposite, a kick in the dick—Hammering Man is a minimalist pop monument. Coffee Drinking Man is simpering kitschy toy.

Here are the last two sentences of Mr. Borofsky’s artist’s statement:

At its heart, society reveres the worker. The Hammering Man is the worker in all of us.


seattle.jpg


If that was ever true, Joe, it ain’t so now. Society doesn’t revere the laborer, it reveres the layabout, the lounger. So says Seattle Coffee Works:

“Coffee Drinking Man encourages people to savor the fruits of their labor and enjoy their leisure time.”

The gap between the reference and the referent has grown too wide—this parody doesn’t even understand it’s a parody.

On Monday, Coffee Drinking Man will symbolically kill Hammering Man and the city will cease to recognize itself. There will be nothing left to be precious about, nothing left to feel nostalgic for or preserve.

Seattle will be senile.

No One EVER Watches The View…

posted by on May 25 at 9:35 AM

But maybe…just MAYBE…you should. Just for a moment. Just this tiny little bit:

Hate Rosie as I do, I’d pay good money to see her beat the holy living shit out of Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Apparently, she’s working up to it.

UW Brings Back Campus Escorts

posted by on May 25 at 9:12 AM

The University of Washington is restarting their campus escort program earlier than expected.

From the PI:

The service is in response to last month’s shooting of Rebecca Griego, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend at her UW office, and the mass shootings at Virginia Tech, UW Police Chief Vicky Stormo said.

When guards are not providing escorts, they will patrol campus buildings and offer other security.

The UW had another escort service called UW Cares that was funded and run by students. But that program ended in recent years because of a lack of use. Stormo expects the new program to be more popular.

“We’re in different times now,” she said. “We’ve had some incidents. It’s certainly in the forefront of people’s minds, so I think it’s going to be utilized more than before.”

Indeed.

Do You Live at 310 1/2 East Mercer Street on Capitol Hill?

posted by on May 25 at 8:03 AM

Is this your house?

HouseForSale.jpg

Technically it’s not your house, of course, it’s your landlord’s house. But you live in it, you pay the rent.

Well, the house you live in is for sale—and according to this real estate listing, you’re not supposed to know.

Capitol Hill Multi-Family Home

Drive by only, tenants unaware of sale. This recently remodeled craftsman-style duplex is situated in one of Seattles most desirable neighborhoods. The units feature views of downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mtns. The unit mix consists of one 3-bed/1-bath unit and one 1-bed/1-bath unit.

You might wanna start looking for a new place to live—unless you can swing the 700K asking price. And since you’re about to get evicted anyway, shit, there’s really no reason for you to pay June’s rent. Save that money—you’re probably going to need it.

The Morning News

posted by on May 25 at 7:18 AM

Immigration: According to a New York Times/CBS poll, most Americans favor a change in immigration laws allowing illegal immigrants to gain legal status. A guest worker program is also favored.

War Funding: President Bush gets his $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. Democrats get to explain to their constituents why they folded on a timetable for withdrawl.

Oops: Israel accidentally dropped a bomb near the home of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas.

Lobbyists: Ethics legislation finally passes in the House.

Moqtada al-Sadr: The popular Shiite cleric/militia leader comes out of hiding, delivers a sermon at a mosque in Iraq’s southern city of Kufa.

North Korea: In the business of test-firing short-range missiles again.

World Bank: Out with Wolfowitz, in with Bill Frist?

Found Money: An employee at a Goodwill store in South Carolina will be allowed to keep $5,000 she found in the pockets of a donated pair of pajamas.

Passings: King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng died last night after a cardiac arrest.

Indictments: You may have heard a little something about Mayor Greg Nickels’s son Jacob, and his alleged involvement in a casino racketeering ring.

Light Rail: 49 miles of expansion coming soon to a ballot near you.

And finally, some sanitation tips from Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911:

674. Immediately on arriving in camp sinks should be dug. This is a matter of fundamental sanitary importance, since the most serious epidemics of camp diseases are spread from human excreta.

One sink is usually provided for each company and one for the officers of each battalion. Those for the men are invariably located on the side of camp opposite the kitchens. All sinks should be so placed that they can not pollute the water supply or camp site as a result of drainage or overflow. To insure this, their location and their distance from camp may be varied.

When camp is made for a single night, shallow trenches, 12 inches deep and 15 to 18 inches wide, which the men may straddle, will suffice.

In more permanent camps, the trenches should be about 2 feet wide, 6 feet deep, and 15 feet long. They should be provided with seats and back rests made of poles, and should be screened by brush or old tent flys.

IM.1008_zl.jpg


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Can I Get A Witness?

posted by on May 24 at 10:19 PM

It’s that solicitous woman’s voice every time:

Record your message after the tone. To send a numeric page, press 5. When you are finished recording, hang up, or for delivery options, press pound.

Does anyone not know to record your message after the tone?

Does anyone ever send a “numeric page”?

Does anyone really need more delivery options?

Does anyone want to hear this woman ever again?

“This is a real war on women, and a war on children.”

posted by on May 24 at 7:56 PM

A war on women and children? You mean economic insecurity? Millions of children without health insurance? A food stamp program amounts to starvation rations?

No, the war on women is about these new fangled birth control pills that eliminate a woman’s periods for as long as she takes ‘em.

ABC News fears the worst.

It’s unclear whether women will embrace this new pill, which contains the same formulations of estrogen and progestin used for birth control pills for decades, but its arrival marks yet another step toward the blurring of the genders.

Says Amanda at Pandagon

Did Tampex pay for this article or something? “First, women quit having periods and next thing you know, they’ll start peeing standing up. Before you know it, men will be cleaning toilets on their hands and knees!”

Bush Hit

posted by on May 24 at 7:09 PM

It doesn’t get any clearer than this.

Sanjaya

posted by on May 24 at 6:07 PM

What’s this all about?

Tape of Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes Beating Surfacing?

posted by on May 24 at 5:11 PM


Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes
claims that on April 12th, 2005 SPD officers brutally beat him in front of Capitol Hill club The War Room, after a dispute over littering got out of hand. News on Alley-Barnes’ case has been quiet for awhile, due to a gag order in federal court, but it appears there is video of the incident. We’ve sent in a request to SPD for the tape and we’ll post it up if/when we get it.

Port Recall Update

posted by on May 24 at 4:40 PM

KC Superior Court Judge Charles Mertel finalized the language on the Pat Davis recall petition today.

The word “knowingly” stayed in over protests from Davis’s lawyer, who noted defensively that the blogs were making too much of a big deal over the word. Judge Mertel wasn’t moved—reportedly saying he doesn’t read the blogs.

The only real change to the language I posted this morning is that points 1 and 2 (which together redundantly focused on Davis’s act of signing Mic Dinsmore’s handsome retirement package) were collapsed into one point.

Husky Apparel to be Sweatshop Free

posted by on May 24 at 4:14 PM

Rod Palmquist, of the Sweatshop Coalition says that their campaign to stop the production of Husky apparel in sweatshop is over. “We won,” he says.

By 2009, 25% of UW apparel will be produced in factories that pay a living wage. UW will then increase the number of sweatshop-free factories it uses by 25% every year, until all Husky goods are sweatshop-free.

UW spokesman Norm Arkans says that the school is ready to “roll up our sleeves and get working.”

Meet the Westboro Bomber

posted by on May 24 at 3:54 PM

That Liberty University student? The genius planning to “keep the peace” at Jerry Falwell’s funeral by setting off homemade gasoline bombs and blowing up protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church?

He’s kinda hot.

vert.uhl.ap.jpg

Deep soulful eyes—and is he wearing lip gloss? Man, he’s my dream date. Except, of course, for the whole violent Christian extremist thing.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on May 24 at 3:45 PM

Never Soggy: KJ Sawka’s Crunchy Drumming.

Bum Rocking: Lindstrom and Prins Thomas’ Essential Mix.

Spanish Blues: Eric Jaeger and Encarnación’s Passionate Flamenco Arguments.

Free Shit, Literally: Citizen Cope and Soulive.

Radio Free Internets: KEXP and The Future of Webcasting.

The Deep, Dark Roots of Techno: DJ Tom LG’s Blue Mood.

Shhhhh: Apparat’s Walls.

Philanthropy Rocks: Another Benefit for Eric Howk.

And now, the adorable viruses from Dr Mario (a game that is Fnarf-endorsed and vastly superior to Tetris):

viruses.gif

Tina Podlodowski Leaving Lifelong AIDS Alliance

posted by on May 24 at 3:30 PM

Tina Podlodowski is leaving Lifelong AIDS Alliance to head up Big Brothers/Big Sisters of King, Pierce and Jefferson County. Podlodowski is a former Microsoft exec and who was elected to the Seattle City Council in 1995. Full text of Podlodowski’s email to Lifelong’s staff after the jump.

Continue reading "Tina Podlodowski Leaving Lifelong AIDS Alliance" »

“When I Look at Jordin Sparks, I See Diabetes.”

posted by on May 24 at 3:24 PM

While that title would make a fantastic name for a band, it’s an actual quote from National Action Against Obesity’s MeMe Roth (appropriate name) who went on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto to make the case that American Idol winner Jordin Sparks shouldn’t have won the competition, because she is obese (which she clearly isn’t) and sets a bad example for children (which she clearly doesn’t—unless you count that she cries at the end of her songs, which is really annoying).
When it comes to despicable pundits, she’s no Ann Coulter, but maybe MeMe can fill in when she’s on vacation?

Whoa! Mayor Nickels’s Son Indicted in Alleged Casino Scam

posted by on May 24 at 2:28 PM

This just in from the AP

SEATTLE - Jacob Dyson Nickels, the son of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, has been indicted as part of an investigation into a multistate casino-cheating ring that allegedly stole millions of dollars by bribing casino employees to falsely shuffle decks.

Nickels, 25, was a pit boss at the Nooksack Indian Tribe’s Nooksack River Casino in Whatcom County in the summer of 2005 when he accepted $5,000 to introduce one of the ring’s alleged conspirators to crooked dealers, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday at U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Two of the defendants, George Lee and Tien Duc Vu, won more than $90,000 on mini-baccarat that October with the help of Nickels and two dealers, Levi Seth Mayfield and Kasey James McKillip, the indictment said.

Repeated calls to the mayor’s office were not immediately returned Thursday. Jacob Nickels is charged with one count of conspiracy and four counts of theft of funds from a gaming establishment on Indian lands in the five-count indictment.

In all, three indictments were unsealed Thursday — two in Seattle and one in San Diego — naming 24 defendants in an alleged racketeering enterprise dating from March 2002.

Twelve people were named in two indictments in Seattle; seven of them were also indicted in San Diego.

Of the 18 targeted casinos in California, Washington and Indiana, 10 were owned by tribes.

The group used “false shuffle” cheating schemes during blackjack and mini baccarat games, the Justice Department said. The schemes involved bribes to casino supervisors and card dealers and use of blocks of unshuffled cards, the indictments said.

Members of the organization allegedly would signal a card dealer to do a false shuffle and then bet on the known order of the cards, winning more than $850,000 on one occasion.

The indictments also alleged that the ring used hidden transmitters and special software to predict the order in which cards would appear.

The first indictment in Seattle was returned under seal in February 2006 and alleged a scheme to steal more than $1 million from the Emerald Queen Casino near Fife, Wash. The second, returned under seal in March, included Nickels.

The Western Washington defendants will be summoned to appear in federal court for arraignment June 1 and June 7, the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle said in a news release.

Two other defendants have been arrested in Canada in connection with a related cheating scheme in Ontario, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

And here’s Mayor Nickels’s statement:

Sharon and I have just learned of the charges involving our son Jacob. We will be encouraging him to cooperate fully with the investigation. Until we know more we will have no comment on the substance of these allegations.

We love our son deeply and will be supporting him fully throughout this difficult time.

Some basics on 25-year-old Jacob Nickels: He dropped out of Western Washington University a few years ago after putting in about 5 years there. Then he took the Nooksack River Casino job in Whatcom County. He rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a pit boss.

However, he inexplicably quit and returned home to live with his parents in West Seattle late last year, getting a Starbucks job, I believe.

Jacob’s younger sister, Carey, attends the London School of Economics.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 24 at 1:36 PM

japanther.jpg

Japanther
(Music) This Brooklyn duo is one of the most electrifying bands alive. Their shows are massively amplified, sweat-soaked punk-rock revivals. Ian Vanek’s inspirational ranting—delivered via modified pay-phone-handset mic and frequently from atop his drum kit—will make you want to ride a bike, vandalize a condo, and quit your job, while Matt Reilly’s scuzzy bass riffs will just make you want to rock the fuck out. With DD/MM/YYYY, Little Party and the Bad Business, and Sam Rousso Soundsystem. (Vera Project, Seattle Center, www.theveraproject.org. 7:30 pm, $7, $6 w/club card, all ages.) Eric Grandy

If You Feel Like Watching a Video…

posted by on May 24 at 1:34 PM

Watch this one!

Then read the accompanying story that Jonah and I wrote! It reeks of high-mindedness and pretension.

Shrum v. Edwards

posted by on May 24 at 1:34 PM

For those who don’t remember Bob Shrum, he was the mastermind behind John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Now the much-mocked political consultant has a new book out, and it’s not kind to John Edwards:

In the one passage of the book already widely leaked, Shrum recounts how he and other political advisers pushed Edwards into a vote for the [2002 Iraq War] resolution that Edwards—and, even more so, his wife, Elizabeth—didn’t want to cast. The episode didn’t make Shrum look great. But the real damage is to Edwards, who comes across as a cipher taking orders from his handlers. As Shrum puts it: “[H]e was the candidate and if he was really against the war it was up to him to stand his ground. He didn’t.”

More on who’s knifing who, and exactly how, and perhaps why, here.

Transgression

posted by on May 24 at 1:18 PM

Catherine Crouch, a lesbian filmmaker, wrote and directed a short science fiction movie about a woman who falls asleep in San Francisco in the 1970s—a city teeming with butch dykes and swishy boys—and wakes up in a “brave new world” where people can choose their gender but must conform to rigid codes of gender-appropriate conduct, i.e. the men are manly men and the women are womanly women. No effeminate boys, no masculine girls.

On her website the filmmaker was honest about what inspired her to make this film…

Things are getting very strange for women these days. More and more often we see young heterosexual women carving their bodies into porno Barbie dolls and lesbian women altering themselves into transmen. Our distorted cultural norms are making women feel compelled to use medical advances to change themselves, instead of working to change the world.

I’ve heard lots of lesbians express similar concerns—particularly lesbians that are attracted to butch dykes, an increasingly endangered species, but not to transmen. Some lesbians are concerned and anxious about how many of their fellow lesbians are getting their tits cut off, taking hormones, and transitioning. Says Crouch in the Bay Area Reporter

My anxiety is about the amount of women I see transitioning into men and how fast it seems to be happening. I wonder about this sudden escalation. They are women, or they were women, and now they are not. They seem like me, so I am not understanding what is the difference between them and me.

Hm. This anxiety—which is not Crouch’s alone—seems like that a subject worth exploring, perhaps in film, through allegory, with humor.

Crouch’s short film—The Gendorcator—was accepted into Frameline, SF’s gay and and lesbian film festival, and was scheduled to be shown—and then Crouch and Frameline were accused of transphobia. An online petition was launched and a whopping 130 people signed. Today Frameline bowed to this ridiculously weak community outrage and yanked The Gendorcator from its schedule. Cowards.

Censorship is wrong when they do it to us, when we attempt to do it to them, and when we do it to ourselves.

And censorship always and everywhere backfires. I hadn’t heard of this film until it got yanked from Frameline’s schedule—hell, it’s the first gay short film I’ve heard about in ages. Now I’d like to see it. Here’s hoping Seattle’s Three Dollar Bill Cinema has the guts and good sense to screen it.

Port Recall: Devil’s in the Details

posted by on May 24 at 1:10 PM

Good Government activist Chris Clifford is going back to KC Superior Court today to defend the language of his Pat Davis recall proposal.

Shall Pat Davis, Port of Seattle Commissioner, be recalled from public office because, as alleged by King County registered voter, Christopher Clifford:
1. Commissioner Davis committed an act of malfeasance when she signed an agreement to provide Mic Dinsmore, an outgoing Port of Seattle employee, with a gift of approximately $239,000 of public money outside of his employment contract.
2. Commissioner Davis committed an act of malfeasance by signing an October 10, 2006 memorandum addressed to the former chief executive officer of the Port, which had the potential effect of obligating the Port of Seattle to pay monies not voted on or approved by Port of Seattle Commissioners at a regularly scheduled public hearing.
3. Commissioner Davis committed acts of malfeasance by voting in executive session on or about January 10, 2006 and June 8, 2006, in violation of the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act (Ch. 42.30 RCW).
4. Commissioner Davis committed an act of malfeasance by knowingly exceeding the purposes for executive session in the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act (Ch. 42.30 RCW) by negotiating and voting on a gift of public money in executive session.

Davis’s attorneys have suggested alternative, including striking the word “knowingly” in the 4th point.

The House Always Wins

posted by on May 24 at 12:59 PM

Gamblers arrested for attempting to do unto casinos as casinos do unto gamblers.

Dozens accused in scheme to cheat casinos

Two dozen people from Washington, California and Canada were indicted today on allegations of racketeering and scheming to cheat casinos out of millions of dollars.

The defendants are alleged to have taken millions since 2002 by bribing dealers at the Emerald Queen Casino near Fife and other casinos across the country to do what are known as “false shuffles” during mini-baccarat games.

Another Post About Television

posted by on May 24 at 12:52 PM

But this one’s about interweb television.

I’m not a huge fan of The Burg (Williamsburg hipsters mocking Williamsburg hipsters is a little too too), but this episode, about the quest to find a new bar that is teetering on the precipice of coolness, a place that “will be really popular but not before we’ve outgrown it,” is pretty funny.

Here’s a preview short called “Hip or Dangerous?”:

Lost Seattle

posted by on May 24 at 12:51 PM

Earlier this week we learned that the last remaining pawn shop on First Avenue is closing for good this afternoon—and today we learn that the last remaining crazy ladybug shop/shack on 15 Ave. West is also closing.

Lost Season Finale!

posted by on May 24 at 11:57 AM

American Idol? Kersnooze! Kersnooze! Kersnooze!
The real action on TV last night was the two-hour slam bang season finale of LOST, and yes… SPOILERS AHEAD!
I’ll admit it, Lost is now officially off my shit list. I was getting so tired of the endless circular questions, but the latter half of the season has been super fun and action packed. My fave parts of last night’s episode?
• The mind-bending surprise ending depicting Oxycontin freak Jack meeting Kate in the future and not commenting on how much makeup she was wearing. (Who do you think the obit in the paper was about?)
• The two hot chicks beating the crap out of Charlie (what a way to go, huh?).
Walt has pubes.
• Do you want to smack the smirk off of Juliette’s face, or what?
• And this following scene, in which Hurley causes the most awesome hippie-induced death I’ve ever witnessed, immediately followed by Sayid snapping a guy’s neck with his FEET. And I know he was a dick and all… but… POOR TOM.

American Idol: Excuse Me, But What the Fuck?

posted by on May 24 at 11:56 AM

Okay. Like fifty zillion others, I watched last night’s American Idol finale. I have nothing to say about Jordin’s win or Blake’s loss or the all-star Idol descration of Sgt. Pepper.

All I care to talk about is what happened after Jonathan Jayne and Kenneth Briggs—AKA the lightly developmentally disabled guys Simon trashed during auditions—were brought back to the Idol stage.

It started fine, as Jayne and Briggs appeared to claim their award for “Cutest Couple” of the season. Viewers will remember the backlash that occured after Simon told Kenneth Briggs he looked like “a bush baby.” After giving Briggs his award, host Ryan Seacrest asked, “So how did it feel when Simon said you looked like a bush baby?”

Suddenly, the giant Idol screen was filled with the image of an actual bush baby. With Griggs standing next to the screen, Seacrest informed him that American Idol’s producers wanted to show their gratitude by sponsoring a real-live bush baby in his name.

All of this was presented as heartwarming. Never have I seen such contempt gussied up as a tribute. It made my brain melt.

To add insult to injury: Bette Midler soon appeared to sing “Wing Beneath My Wings,” which, as anyone who’s read the lyrics knows, is the most condescending and insulting song ever. If anyone ever tries to devote “Wind Beneath My Wings” to you, never stop punching them in the face.

Did Anyone Know…

posted by on May 24 at 11:41 AM

That there is a cafe in Tacoma called the Antique Sandwich Co?

More to the point, would you eat an antique sandwich?

Forgive me from being someone who didn’t grow up around here and should probably have already known about this.

This Cannot Be Real

posted by on May 24 at 11:05 AM

And yet it is: Kurt Cobain shilling for Doc Martens from the afterlife.

scaled.doccobain.jpg

Thank you, Gawker and Slog tipper J.Milwaukee, and fuck you, Courtney.

Mr. T Is Passionate About Upping Your Nut Consumption

posted by on May 24 at 10:58 AM

How did I miss this until now?

Thank you, Metafilter.

The Collector

posted by on May 24 at 10:30 AM

The first paragraph of a story published a week ago in the New York Times:

THE owner of Napoleon’s penis died last Thursday in Englewood, N.J. John K. Lattimer, who’d been a Columbia University professor and a collector of military (and some macabre) relics, also possessed Lincoln’s blood-stained collar and Hermann Göring’s cyanide ampoule. But the penis, which supposedly had been severed by a priest who administered last rites to Napoleon and overstepped clerical boundaries, stood out (sorry) from the professor’s collection of medieval armor, Civil War rifles and Hitler drawings.
We humans are endless.

The Gore/Obama ticket

posted by on May 24 at 9:56 AM

Yet another person makes the case, this time over at TPMCafe.

Snakes on a Plane (Almost)

posted by on May 24 at 9:48 AM

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Customs officers at Cairo’s airport have detained a man bound for Saudi Arabia who was trying to smuggle 700 live snakes on a plane, airport authorities said.

The officers were stunned when a passenger, identified as Yahia Rahim Tulba, told them his carryon bag contained live snakes after he was asked to open it.

Tulba opened his bag to show the snakes to the police and asked the officers, who held a safe distance, not to come close. Among the various snakes, hidden in small cloth sacks, were two poisonous cobras, authorities said.

The Egyptian said he had hoped to sell the snakes in Saudi Arabia.

The President

posted by on May 24 at 9:45 AM

While everybody’s transfixed (in embarrassment) at our President’s wild press conference performance this morning, check out the calm wisdom of Al Gore.

Regular Stranger contributor (and my best friend) Tom Nissley interviews Gore over at Amazon.com’s books blog.

Nissley’s an incisive interviewer and his lead off question—about Gore’s use of the sort of shorthand media imagery he supposedly deplores in contemporary political culture—sets the brainy pitch of the Q&A.


Can’t get enough of the wonky Al Gore? Our very own Annie Wagner filed an equally heady interview with the man exactly a year ago.

Mixed Signals

posted by on May 24 at 9:34 AM

Homes sales are way up and home prices are way down. At least, they are in the nation as a whole.

Sales of new homes surged in April by the biggest amount in 14 years, but the median price of a new home dropped by the largest amount on record. The mixed signals left no clear picture of whether the worst of the nation’s housing slump is over.

But here in Seattle, it’s still, for the most part, up and up.

Required Viewing

posted by on May 24 at 7:43 AM

The Morning News

posted by on May 24 at 6:59 AM

Rising Toll of 9/11: For the first time, a person’s death has been linked to inhaling dust from the fallen Twin Towers.

Squealing Aides: Ex-Justice aide Monica Goodling admitted she may have “crossed the line” when deeming applicants for non-partisan legal jobs as “too liberal.”

Missing Soldiers: The body found floating in the Euphrates River yesterday is indeed that of a U.S. soldier missing since May 12. Two other soldiers remain missing.

Coal Mining Remains Dangerous: At least 35 dead after an explosion in a Siberian mine just weeks after over 100 were killed in a similar accident.

Transportation: It will take more than rising gas prices to get Americans out of their cars.

Speaking of Gas: President Bush is set on vetoeing a gasoline price-gouging bill.

Continuing Bans: Since 1983, gay men have officially been banned from donating blood. And yesterday the FDA said that ban will continue.

The Coolest Girl in School: Caitlin Snaring from Redmond has won the National Geographic Bee.

ELF Conviction: Stanislas Meyerhoff, member of the Earth Liberation Front, has received 13 years in prison for arson.

Sad State of Tributes: Downtown Seattle’s memorial Garden of Remembrance is running out space for new names.

American Idol: Local boy Blake Lewis comes in second, forcing the Seattle P.I. to reduce the size of its headline font by a full 10 points.

And finally, some advice for attacking an enemy’s artillery from Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911:

575. A frontal attack against artillery has little chance of succeeding unless it can be started from cover at comparatively short range. Beyond short range, the frontal fire of infantry has little effect against the artillery personnel because of their protective shields.

Machine guns, because their cone of fire is more compact, will have greater effect, but on the other hand they will have fewer opportunities and they are limited to fire attack only.

As a rule, one’s own artillery is the best weapon against hostile artillery.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Kissin’, Burnin’, and Sinnin’

posted by on May 23 at 10:37 PM

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I promise my Slog posts won’t all be music-related,
but here are some thoughts on a couple of SIFF selections.

Rocket Science, the fiction debut from Spellbound’s Jeffrey Blitz, features a soundtrack by Clem Snide’s Eef Barzelay. I liked the wistful instrumental interludes quite a bit (they feature “utterings,” but no actual words, so I guess they aren’t technically instrumental). Blitz also includes a few Violent Femmes tunes, and I never noticed before how much Barzelay sounds like Gordon Gano, i.e. nasal.

But the best musical moments in the film—which isn’t bad, by the way—are the cello/piano duets on Femmes numbers like “Add It Up.” Reminds me of Twelve and Holding, in which Zoe Weizenbaum plays BÖC’s “Burnin’ For You” on the violin to impress construction worker Jeremy Renner (and if she wasn’t 12, it might’ve worked).

Continue reading "Kissin', Burnin', and Sinnin'" »

Blake Lewis…

posted by on May 23 at 9:53 PM

…click here to learn what the fuck happened tonight on American Idol.

New Kids on the Block

posted by on May 23 at 7:30 PM

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Hello Moe! A week from today, on May 30th, brand spankin’ new Moe Bar is having a Grand Opening Bash. It’s hard to believe that this re-invented space used to be the Bad Ju Ju Lounge. The new space is frickin gorgeous… Says Jason Lajuenesse, a co-owner of Neumo’s and Moe Bar, “We wanted to evoke the music history of this space and all the good times we had here as Moe’s a decade ago, and connect that with all that’s happening in Seattle’s amazing music scene right now.” True that. The poster art, from Moe shows past, is enough to make any Seattleite nostalgic…

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Big congrats to Jason, these happy guys, and everyone else who busted their ass to make Moe Bar a reality.

Then, as everyone probably knows, The Cha Cha Lounge and Bimbo’s Bitchin Burrito Kitchen is moving on up on the Hill, to the former Des Amis spot at 1013 E Pike. Doors pop open there on June 14th.

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Bimbo’s will be upstairs, and the Cha Cha Lounge will be tucked away downstairs. The decor is already starting to look crazy and awesome in the true tradition of superstar owners Jeff Ofelt and Wade Weigel…

It was also announced, official yesterday, that the old Cha Cha space at 506 E Pine, will remain OPEN until it’s demolition. A little bird told me the space will be transformed into something best described as a “den of queer punk debauchery”. What?! WHO DARE try to make a bar that’s both queer AND punk? Stay tuned…

From the Sea or On the Wall

posted by on May 23 at 4:54 PM

When I saw this image from this article about Jim Rittman’s Paradise Insects/Symbiotic Relationships,

I instantly thought of this slideshow from the New York Times this week, which contains this image:
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Humans can create nothing more crazy or beautiful than what already exists in nature, in my opinion.
Also, I love this little guy, from the same slideshow:
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Today in Line Out

posted by on May 23 at 3:52 PM

Happy Hump Day: I like my oatmeal lumpy.

Sasquatch is Coming: And it’s bringing hiphop.

R.I.P.: Lead singer of Blueboy has died.

“Tarantula”: New Smashing Pumpkins song’s got a whole lotta wankery.

Noise for the Needy: The line-up grows and grows.

John Mayer Appreciation Post: Not really, though.

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New Column!

posted by on May 23 at 3:28 PM

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Also, the new issue (featuring deep-fried mac and cheese vs. deep-fried blueberry muffins, Joss Stone vs. Amy Winehouse, and Charles Mudede vs. last weekend’s condo expo) is online now.

What A Difference Makes

posted by on May 23 at 3:15 PM

1) At lunch time I discovered the difference between the hot foods at the Whole Foods Market in Vulcan land and the Whole Foods Market in Portland. The one down south is much better than the one down the road. The reason? The Whole Foods up here somehow lacks the natural (even erotic) love you find in the other, smaller Whole Foods in downtown Portland.

2) Last night I chanced to enjoy a meal at One Pot, which happened in a not yet open gallery space, Vermilion, on 11th ave, next to the dying Backstage Thrift. The theme for the evening was Apicus, a Roman cookbook complied in the late 4th or early 5th century AD. The dishes, prepared by Morgan Brownlow, were drawn directly from the ancient text. Served to a long and packed table: chicken wings in cumin sauce (“it’s sweet and vinegary and salty taste is due to food preservation”), sticky chicken feet, balled sausages, farro (“which fed the Legions”), and peas in the style of Vitellius. Absolutely Roman.

3) As for this block of architectural science fiction, it’s up north, in Vancouver.
8fab94532d4e.jpg Ice, ice, baby.

Mork Me Baby One More Time!

posted by on May 23 at 2:58 PM

I am rather perplexed to report that I just smacked—-BAM!—-right into Robin the fuck Williams on Third Ave., near the W Hotel. Indeed, Robin the fuck Williams! This is what happened:

I was jauntily making my way to the SIFF press office at The W Hotel, when LO! Robin the fuck Williams suddenly came sauntering towards me, wearing sunglasses and being rather bowlegged. Recognizing me immediately (as he ALWAYS does), he exclaimed “ADRIAN! My GOD! You look AWESOME! Come! Let us proceed to my suite, where we shall indeed smoke gargantuan mountains of weed and discuss every little thing!” or something. And so we did.

OR!

I was jauntily making my way to the SIFF press office at The W Hotel, when LO! Robin the fuck Williams, in sunglasses and rather bowlegged, came ambling up the sidewalk. I recognized him immediately (as I always do), and, rather startled (running into a legend on Third Ave. is always a soupcon surreal), I launched myself at him, bellowing, “Mr. Williams! Good heavens! How do you do!”, to which he smiled politely as if I were some kind of lunatic and responded, “How YOU doin’? just like Joey on Friends, but in that practiced way that all big stars learn in order to keep the general street flotsam at arms-length. Then he just continued bowlegged and sunglassy up the street, and vanished at last around a corner, leaving an eddy of twitterpation in his wake. I then proceeded to the SIFF Press Office, where I screamed something like “OH MY GOD! I JUST RAN INTO FUCKING ROBIN WILLIAMS ON THE STREET!” to everyone in the room, and they very kindly did not have me arrested as a crazy person. For which I thank them. I thank them sincerely.

One of these accounts is perfectly accurate. Which one? I’ll never tell.

But it was the first one. Word.

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Lame Fuck Congress

posted by on May 23 at 2:48 PM

What did conservative members of the House do today? They spent an hour eulogizing Jerry Falwell on the House floor. Your tax dollars at work.

Bubble Gum Consciousness

posted by on May 23 at 2:44 PM

I keep seeing ads for the 5th Ave. Theater production of West Side Story (May 26-June 17).

Just Like Amazing Spider-Man #1-200 is the great American novel, WSS is the great American opera.

Ironic Tonic

posted by on May 23 at 2:39 PM

The researchers who announced pot may prevent Alzheimer’s must know the scientists behind this study

People with mild cognitive impairment may slow their mental decline if they have up to one alcoholic drink a day, a new Italian study suggests.

Those who were cognitively impaired at the start of the study and had up to one alcoholic drink a day, typically wine, developed dementia at a 85 percent slower rate than those with cognitive impairment who abstained, the researchers reported.

Exactly how moderate alcohol intake might help thinking is not known. But Solfrizzi speculated that alcohol might somehow help keep the brain’s blood vessels healthier. Some other research has found that alcohol increases the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which helps neurons communicate with each other.

Cheers! Stay tuned for news that cocaine makes you rich and meth helps you sleep.

Mary Cheney Pushes One Out

posted by on May 23 at 1:57 PM

Mary Cheney gives birth. Grandparents rejoice. Religious conservatives crap pants.

MSNBC is all over it. No word on what’s to be done with the placenta, or if Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the christening. If Jerry Falwell were alive today, he’d warn us all to stay out of skyscrapers—we’ve all seen what happens when the gays piss off the Jesus.

The Good One

posted by on May 23 at 1:44 PM

Guy Davenport’s translation of a fragment by the pre-Socractic philosopher Heraclitus:

By cosmic rule, as day yields night, so winter summer, war peace, plenty famine. All things change. Fire penetrates the lump of myrrh, until the joining bodies die and rise again in smoke called incense.

How superior it is to Kathleen Freeman’s translation of the same fragment:

God is day-night, winter-sumer, war-peace, satiety-famine. But he chances like (fire) which when it mingles with the smoke of incense, is named according to each man’s pleasure.
Sense can not be made of the last sentence, and Davenport’s “by cosmic rule” is so much better than Freeman’s “God is.”

Now, what is it about selection and approach that makes one writer better than another? More importantly, how is it that the choices a writer made in another context, another language, culture and time, can be recognized by us as poor or rich, bad or good? As with Parmenides, one suspects that literary change might be an illusion. The real (the good) might always be the same, always the one.

Organic Art at the Film Forum

posted by on May 23 at 1:20 PM

purple-cloud.jpgA still from Marie Jager’s 12-minute 2006 collage film The Purple Cloud.

Jen Graves’s latest In/Visible podcast is online now. She talks with contemporary film artist Marie Jager, and she points us toward a screening tonight curated by Jager:

At 8:00 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, May 23, as part of the Henry’s “Artist’s Cinema” series at Northwest Film Forum, the L.A. artist offers a glimpse of her influences by choosing historic films and contemporary works for a two-hour program of short films that share “a profound wonder of both nature and absurd fictional premises” (the roster includes Dudley Murphy’s The Soul of the Cypress [1920], Jean Painleve’s The Love Life of the Octopus [1965], Jack Goldstein’s 46-second film Butterflies [1975], Dr. Jean Comandon’s The Movement of Plants [1927], At the Winter Sea Ice Camp [part of the National Film Board of Canada’s Netsilik Eskimo series], and Jean Rouch’s Mad Masters from 1956).

This also is your chance to see Jager’s Purple Cloud on a big screen in a dark room (the little screen at the entryway to the Henry is slightly window-addled). It’s a three-part work presenting fragments of the book’s narrative, moving from gemstones in deserts to tomb boats at sea to a city of doomed survivors who’ve only escaped the stalking of the toxic purple cloud temporarily.

Welcome to the World-Wide City

posted by on May 23 at 1:11 PM

Today is a tipping point: The world’s population is suddenly more urban than rural, according to calculations published by researchers at North Carolina State University.

Working with United Nations estimates that predict the world will be 51.3 percent urban by 2010, the researchers projected the May 23, 2007, transition day based on the average daily rural and urban population increases from 2005 to 2010. On that day, a predicted global urban population of 3,303,992,253 will exceed that of 3,303,866,404 rural people.

In the United States, the tipping point from a majority rural to a majority urban population came early in the late 1910s, the researchers say. Today, 21 percent of our country is rural although some states—Maine, Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia—are still majority rural. In North Carolina, a rural majority held until the late 1980s.

Bad News for Local Republicans

posted by on May 23 at 12:48 PM

Dino Rossi and the GOP are supposedly set to run against Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2008 on the theme that local government is too big. You’ve heard it before from the Republicans: We pay way too much in taxes.

Well, the hard data is out and guess what, the Republicans are wrong: Washington state actually ranks 36th among the 50 states in the percentage of personal income spent on state and local taxes. We pay about 10.3 percent of our personal income in taxes on average. The national average is about 11 percent on state and local taxes.

So, why is there so much clamoring among the masses about high taxes? Here’s why: The bottom 5th on the class ladder (the masses) pays about 17 percent of their personal income in taxes according to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The top 1 percent (average income $1.6 million) pays about 3 percent.

This discrepancy is due to our regressive sales and property tax system. Regressive taxes are a Democratic issue, not a GOP issue. And given the explosion in wealth in this region, it sure seems like it’s time to tackle this issue.

By the way, our middle classes pay about 11 percent, the average, in taxes.

Factor all this into the fact that Gov. Gregoire’s $30 billion budget is actually average for Washington state budgets over the last ten years when you account for inflation (about on par with the famous Rossi/Locke budget she inherited.)

As I’ve reported 100x now:

The fact is: Gregoire’s budget is consistent with every budget going back 10 years. Including the Rossi/Locke budget. It’s about 6.1% of all income earned by Washingtonians, a common way of looking at the size of state government, according to this report by the Washington Budget and Policy Center. The Rossi/Locke budget clocked in at 6%.

Shooting in the International District

posted by on May 23 at 12:31 PM

IN_OTHER_HOODS.jpg

Police responded to a call about a shot fired on the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South King Street just after 2AM this morning. They found a man in his 30s or 40s who had been fatally shot in the head.

Police have not recovered a weapon at the scene but homicide detectives are looking for an acquaintance of the victim.

I’ll update as info becomes available.

A Feakle Matter

posted by on May 23 at 12:00 PM

This headline on an Irish newspaper’s website caught my eye:

Clare priest ‘deeply ashamed’ by gay-website photos

So I clicked through my “priests behaving badly” Google Alert to the story itself. Good times…

A Co Clare Priest has put in a request for time away from his parish after photographs of him, allegedly from a gay website, were published in a tabloid newspaper.

Fr Michael Hogan today issued a statement acknowledging he breached his vow of celibacy, and has apologised to locals in the East Clare parish of Feakle. Fr Hogan said he was “deeply ashamed” at revelations concerning his use of a gay website in the Sun newspaper today, and his indiscretions in relation to his vow.

There’s nothing shocking about Catholic priests violating their vows of celibacy, of course, but I may never recover from the shock of Feakle Parish. I about fell off my chair. I mean, how perfect is that? If Charles Dickens wrote gay porn he’d set it in Feakle parish.

But one aspect of this story disappoints. Was this Feakle priest hot? Did he have an easy time finding someone to come up and see him sometime in Feakle? Or did he have to leave Feakle parish to get a little action? We need a pic, Irish editors, to make that call. I’d go find ‘em myself but there are four hundred papers called “the Sun” in Ireland and the UK. Am I supposed to go search ‘em all? Gee, thanks loads.

I’m thinking “Feakle parish” needs to enter the lexicon with lower-case santorum. I shall now use it in a sentence: “Last night my boyfriend and I visited Feakle parish. Luckily there was no santorum.”

UPDATE: Still no pictures of Fr Hogan. But a little web surfing took me to the Limerick Blogger. TLB reports that the good parishioners of Feakle have come out in support of their dirty-pic-postin, vow-of-celibacy-breachin’ priest. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about Feakle. Feakle hosts an annual Feakle Festival in Feakle, and it’s coming up. And you too can own a little piece of Feakle.

UPDATE 2: Still no pictures of Feakle’s naughty priest. But I did find a picture of Pepper’s Bar in downtown Feakle…

PeppersFeakle.jpg

…where you’re welcome to come up to the bar push up a stool.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 23 at 11:30 AM


A Tribute to Howard Bulson

(FOND FAREWELL) With his sweet smile, unflappable gentlemanliness, and encyclopedic mental songbook, piano man Howard Bulson was a true Seattle icon, spending four decades tinkling the keys at a plethora of Seattle nightclubs: Sorry Charlie’s, the Mirabeau Room, Julia’s on Broadway, the Dexter and Hayes Pub, and many more. On May 7, Bulson passed on. Tonight, friends and fans pay tribute to the man with a benefit show (for Bulson’s family), organized by and featuring Paul Jensen of Dudley Manlove Quartet. (The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333. 7 pm, $20.) DAVID SCHMADER

From the P-I: $200,000 Embezzled from the Bellevue Arts Museum

posted by on May 23 at 11:30 AM

As if BAM hasn’t been through enough, Regina Hackett reports this morning that the museum has sent a letter to its members announcing that the museum’s chief financial officer has stolen $200,000.

The museum has let the employee go and didn’t name names to the P-I. It’s conducting an internal investigation, and viewing this as “a fundraising opportunity,” director Michael Monroe told Hackett.

American Idol: Blake the Butcher

posted by on May 23 at 11:08 AM

Last night was yet another blood bath on American Idol, but this time? It was beatboxing Blake who did the butchering. Oh yeah… SPOILER ALERT!
It was the last night of singing for finalists Blake and Jordin (neither of whom deserve to be there, but who gives a flying flip? It’s American Idol, not the electoral college). And while Blake got kudos for his tiresome fakey-ass beatboxing remix of “You Give Love a Bad Name,” he MURDERED (and subsequently was murdered by) the final original song given to both contestants entitled, “This is My Now.” How bad of a song was it? Here are a few of the lyrics. You be the judge.

This is my now, and I am breathing in the moment / But I look around / I can’t believe the love I see / My fears behind me, gone are the shadows and doubts / That was then, this is my now.

WOW. That’s really terrible. On the upside, Jordin excels in singing terrible songs, and even shed a few crocodile tears on the final bars, thereby clinching her victory tonight. Blake on the other hand, unable to fall back on his junior varsity mouth rhythms, decapitated the song, set it on fire, and then extinguished the blaze via urination. In other words, NOT SO GOOD. Hand Jordin the trophy now, please, and let’s forget this season ever transpired.
EXCEPT FOR ONE CONTESTANT, the memorable SANJAYA. And get this! According to a new video just released, it’s been revealed that perhaps Sanjaya isn’t really who he says he is! In this clip, Sanjaya reveals his true name and intentions: He is Bill Vendall, a grad art school student who entered Idol as part of an art project to fulfill his graduate thesis! Whether truth or bullshit, now I really wish he had won!

The Problems of Vagueness

posted by on May 23 at 10:35 AM

The Seattle Times has got a feel-good editorial this morning about the humming employment rate in the region.

It’s a stilted piece that cheer leads tax breaks for Boeing and the construction boom without documenting the Tale-of-Two-Cities-side of the boom—which includes, for starters, the loss of affordable housing. Seattle had 2,352 condo conversions last year—a 450 percent increase since 2004. Those numbers are particularly alarming, given that 3,900 lower-priced rentals have been either converted to condos or filed for conversion in the last two years. Indeed, the average price of new condos is $250,000.

There’s also a long term cost to corporate tax breaks as budget expenditures. Indeed, the article acknowledges that such booms will fade, which (unwittingly on their part) shows that corporate tax breaks are short term fixes that, I’d argue, continue to leave people without things like reliable health care and fully funded education.

The other thing the editorial got me thinking about was how desperate we are for mass transit. Sigh.

Anyway, I’ll spare you my quaint Marxist critique (or as my colleague C. Mudede says— Maker’s Marxist critique). But there is one randomly weird thing about the editorial: The last line.

They write: “Business buzzes on. As always there are problems, which at the moment tend to be the problems of fullness.

“The problems of fullness.” ???? What in the world are the problems of fullness? Is this a gastrointestinal metaphor? Do we have gas? Is this a body weight metaphor? Are we having trouble moving nimbly?

Tomorrow, the Seattle Times needs to do a follow-up editorial and document the problems of fullness. Pretty please.


Edwards: “War on Terror” = “Bumper Sticker Slogan”

posted by on May 23 at 10:23 AM

He’ll say this in a major policy speech today, according to advance excerpts posted on TPM. Another excerpt:

We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes. By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam.

I Have a Crush

posted by on May 23 at 10:16 AM

I went to Crush for the first time last night and I am smitten.

Crush inhabits two floors of an old house (on Madison at 23rd) and is paradoxically roomy and comfortable and modern and chic. The waiter was charming (as was the water) and pleased to have the kitchen accommodate my weird dietary restrictions. And the food… gorgeous presentations and dreamy textures and flavors through three courses, including a superlative quartet of giant scallops flash-seared on one side (perfectly tender one centimeter in) on a bed of rich sweet onion risotto. My finicky family ate wild-mushroom gnocchi, crispy-skinned wild salmon on a fennel purée, an incredibly rich and tender leg of duck, and a sweet course that included a heavenly, custardy bread pudding and a gooey, warm-centered milk-chocolate torte on a caramel crust. We left giddy and satiated.

Right now Crush is part of the “New Urban Eats” dining deal (three courses for $30 Tues-Thurs through the end of May). You should make a reservation.

By the way, did you notice that we’ve added reader reviews to our online dining guide? Get in there and tell us which kitchens you’re enamored with.

Get Your SIFF Notes Now!

posted by on May 23 at 10:13 AM

The Stranger’s comprehensive guide to the Seattle International Film Festival—fiercely opinionated, unafraid to geek out, and piles upon heaps of fun (you laugh now, but just wait until you set your eyes upon “Match the Boy Tit to the Gay-Themed Movie”)—won’t hit the streets till later today or tomorrow, but you can access all 174 original reviews and 139 terribly informative synopses at SIFF Notes Online now.

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SIFF Notes Online lets you plan with ruthless efficiency: Search films by date and “Stranger recommends,” check out our pick of the day (which won’t go active until Thursday, duh), and read Slog posts like this one—plucked from the chaos and allowed to air out on SIFF-exclusive territory. And if you see a movie you like, you can move fast: We provide a link straight to that film’s entry on the SIFF website so you can purchase a ticket within minutes.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the print guide too—we’ve got at least 15 last-minute changes and corrected errors that the official guide can’t offer.

Also, you can subscribe to the weekly SIFF Notes podcast to hear my festival recommendations and the latest news and gossip.

* * *

And as an addendum: A colleague just asked me to recommend a date movie for opening weekend. I’ll get to the straight-up best selections in a day or two, but if you’re on the make, my schmoopy suggestions are after the jump.

Continue reading "Get Your SIFF Notes Now!" »

EMO: Dangerous Subculture Exposed!

posted by on May 23 at 10:08 AM

ABC’s local affiliate in New York City has uncovered something that should have been obvious to us all along: EMO is DANGEROUS! Think of the CHILDREN! Oh, the HUMANITY!

ABC 4 News is sounding the alarm about a teen phenomenon sweeping the nation. It’s something we found most teens know about, but few parents had any clue of. It’s called EMO CULTURE. EMO is an abbreviation for emotional. Part punk, part goth, emo kids celebrate sadness and pain.

I blame Megan Seling. No one would ever have heard of EMO if it wasn’t for Megan’s damn, EMO-coddling column.

Via Gawker.

Son of a Bitch: Meet Deryk Schlessinger

posted by on May 23 at 9:57 AM

For what seems like decades, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has denounced the society-detroying demon of “permissive parenting,” urging parents to live up to their God-given duties with honor and instill the eternal values of the Ten Commmandments in their children, and berating all who fail.

This week, the world got a glimpse of the fruit of Dr. Laura’s own loins—21-year-old Deryk Schlessinger—and it wasn’t pretty.

As the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called “repulsive.” The MySpace page, publicly available until Friday when it disappeared from the Internet, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned “My Sweet Little Habib”; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets. The site is credited to and includes many photographs of Deryk Schlessinger, the 21-year-old son of the talk radio personality known simply as Dr. Laura.

Some background on Deryk Schlessinger: Apparently he converted to Orthodox Judaism along with his mother in 1998 (when he was 12) and joined the Army in 2004. Now he’s deployed in Iraq, where he’s a soldier and blogger.

Among the treats reportedly found on Schlessinger’s now-yanked MySpace page: A stick-drawing cartoon showing a top-hatted man raping a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family, another cartoon showing a man forcing a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child’s mother pleads for her son’s life, and the following blog entry:

“Yes…FUCKING Yes! I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it … and some that don’t.”

Full story here; Dr. Laura must be so proud.

Speaking of Dr. Laura’s wounded pride, please enjoy these classic nude photos of the good doctor. (NSFW, or eyes.)

The Other Monica

posted by on May 23 at 9:56 AM

She pleaded the fifth today before Congress, was granted immunity, and proceeded to describe how she favored Republicans in hiring at the Justice Department, among other things

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More here.

About That Missing Jogger

posted by on May 23 at 9:49 AM

So.

In 2002 a girl disappeared in Portland, Oregon. Her Jeep was found parked near the trailhead of a park. Things looked bad. There was a massive search, involving more than a 100 people. Then the girl—Sarah—turned up at Northgate Mall in Seattle. She refused to answer questions about what happened to her, but it seemed pretty clear that she staged her disappearance. The whole world got up on its high horse and called for the girl to be punished. Robert Jamieson went all self-righteously sentence fragmenty on her in the PI:

The antic was stupid and selfish. It stirred public anxiety, prompted folks to put up “missing” fliers and put at risk rescuers who scrambled over challenging land.

The “disappearance” also occurred at a time when people are reeling from recent vanishings of girls and young women….

Predictably, Sarah’s story made top news in Seattle, feeding the fear factor.

Such emotional exploitation has no price tag, though the cost authorities spent in trying to find Sarah has been put at around $50,000.

Officials say Sarah and her family probably won’t have to pony up the cash — though they ought to pay so that we taxpayers don’t have to.

As for Sarah, the young woman should be punished for faking her disappearance…. For being 16, and in this instance, reckless and less than sweet.

So.

In 2007 a 47 year-old runner leaves his car parked at a trailhead in Washington state. There was a massive search, involving more than 100 people. Three days later the missing runner turns up at his own house—and his previously talkative family now refuses to answer questions about where he was and what the fuck happened to him. The man says he fell down a ravine and spent “three cold, wet nights of unconsciousness in a wooded ravine on Squak Mountain, south of Issaquah, followed by a long hike home after he came to,” with nothing to drink but muddy water. According to the police, the missing runner—Michael Schreck—has no scratches, no bruises, and appears to be in fine health. Experts don’t think his story is credible—it was raining and temperatures were in the 40s over the nights that he was missing.

Oh, and the man went missing on in a wilderness area when people are reeling from number of recent deaths in wilderness areas—including the unsolved shooting of a mother and daughter on a popular hiking trail.

So why isn’t the media—which was so quick to call for the head of the missing 16 year-old girl—jumping down Michael Schreck’s throat? How much did the search for Schreck cost? How come the media isn’t howling for answers?

Who’s the King of the Jungle?

posted by on May 23 at 8:40 AM

Lions pick a calf off a herd of buffalo, alligators try to steal the calf, the herd of buffalo returns and kick lion butt—literally.

Via Towleroad.

New Idea for the Viaduct—Make it a Bike Path!

posted by on May 23 at 8:36 AM

At least for a day. While it’s not Bay to Breakers, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s annual Bike the Drive event shows what can happen in a city where things actually get done. This year’s BtD is this Sunday, and I’ll be dragging the Stranger’s Fearless Leader off some barstool in Boy’s Town for the ride.

The history: the CBF does another event, the Boulevard Lakefront Tour, which takes cyclists around Chicago’s historic boulevard system (and is a climate-neutral event!). They used to shut down LSD from for a few miles on the South Side, and then some wild-eyed dreamer said: Hey, why not let us take over all of Lake Shore Drive for a day? Mayor Daley said “Make it so,” and so it was done. In less than a month, the plan was complete and approved. Bike the Drive was a reality a mere six months after it was first proposed.

This is the sixth year of the event, which draws between 15 and 20 thousand participants, from whacked-out Critical Mass types to families with kids on training wheels. I’ve done it each year, always starting in the first rank (soon passed by the hard-core cyclists). It’s an amazing transformation of urban space, to be someplace that formerly was just for cars. The most striking thing is how quiet it is—some boombox-wielding jerks notwithstanding, it’s just the silence. Views of the spectacular Chicago skyline that you normally only get at 50 mph are transformed when travelling 15 mph on a bicycle.

The highlight for me is always the start, when heading northbound into the sun rising on Lake Michigan over Navy Pier. Then the second highlight is the finish, four hours and sixty miles later, when I crack open the beers I’ve been lugging in a mini-cooler in my panniers to carbo-load for my ride home.

Seattle ought to start thinking about arguing about talking about looking at the environmental and social impact on the neighborhoods of maybe actually doing something like this.

The Morning News

posted by on May 23 at 7:26 AM

Iraq Spending: Democrats remove a troop withdrawl timetable from bill. Antiwar activists squawk; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls compromise “great progress.”

Reform: Remember all that talk about democrats cleaning up Congress? Evidently it’s easier said than done.

Missing Soliders: One of the three soliders missing in Iraq since May 12 may have been found floating in the Euphrates River.

Iran Nukes: The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is still defying the U.N. Security Council.

Google: Getting kinda creepy.

Today in Menstruation: The FDA has approved a “no period” birth control pill.

Seattle Police: The FBI are investigating whether two SPD officers violated the rights of a suspected drug dealer.

Pop: Jones Soda has reportedly landed beverage rights at Qwest Field during Seahawk games, beating out Coke and Pepsi.

Missing Jogger: He, um, fell into a ravine.

Apolo Anton Ohno: Winner of this year’s Dancing With the Stars.

SeattleOklahoma CitySeattle Sonics: Winners of the #2 pick in the NBA draft.

And finally, some proper stepping instructions from Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911:

60. The length of the full step in quick time is 30 inches, measured from heel to hell, and the cadence is at the rate of 120 per minute.

The length of the full step in double time is 36 inches; the cadence is at the rate of 180 steps per minute.

The instructor, when necessary, indicates the cadence of the step by calling one, two, three, four, or left, right, the instant the left and right foot, respectively, should be planted.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

THE FUTURE IS GOOD

posted by on May 22 at 6:30 PM

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Suns and Warriors—GONE. The NBA season is pretty much dead to me, so I looked to the future and the NBA Draft Lottery tonight. Little did I know how good life could be. The big news?

SEATTLE’S GOT THE #2 PICK, DUDES.

What does this mean? It means, Seattle, that we’re gonna get Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, two 19-year-old guaranteed superstars. That we could get Kevin Durant is literally mindblowing (goodbye, Rashard Lewis!). That we could get the big man ODEN? Jesus.

My mind is racing…Could this save the Sonics? We have no GM, no coach and we’ve got the #2 pick?! WTF. This should save the Sonics.

More thoughts later. Gotta listen to Lenny Wilkins on SportsTalk…

ps. The last time Seattle had the #2 pick? Gary Payton. ‘Nuff said.

pps. If I may get all regional on you, it’s a great day for Northwest Basketball. Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy was onhand to accept Portland’s #1 pick. This means our two respectable, solidly mediocre teams might actually get good. Zach Randolph, LaMarcus, and Oden together? Woof!

UPDATE: It’s 12:53 a.m. and I am a little drunk, looking up what the world wide web has to say about all this. My favorite basketball blogger, Bethlehem Shoals, delivered this gem over on the genius/love that is Freedarko:


Shoals: the northwest just became the epicenter of the known basketball universe

Comment of the Day

posted by on May 22 at 6:24 PM

Monkey made this observation in the comment thread attached to this post about followers of Jerry Falwell preparing to fire-bomb followers of Fred Phelps:

It’s sort of like watching Alien vs. Preditor.

Well said, Monkey.

“They’ve placed multi-culturalism above democracy and freedom.”

posted by on May 22 at 6:02 PM

This Bill Moyers interview with Bruce Bawer is required viewing.

Bawer is the author of Stealing Jesus and, most recently, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying Europe From Within. Bawer has contributed pieces to the Stranger on Dinesh D’Souza, the controversy over the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. You can read his stories in the Stranger by clicking here. You can buy his books by clicking here. He blogs at www.brucebawer.com/blog.

Via Sullivan.

Impeach the Motherfucker Already

posted by on May 22 at 4:52 PM

Tiptoe Tommy drew our attention to this poll on MSNBC’s website. Should the president be impeached? Almost a half a million people have voted already. You can vote by clicking here.

How to Live Your Life

posted by on May 22 at 4:47 PM

In the comment thread to this post I did yesterday about how a lot of personal blogs out there show just how religious America actually is, I noted that I found it a little annoying that people wore their religions on their sleeves.

A sarcastic commenter took me to task:

Yes. Just what exactly is the point of wearing one’s religion on one’s sleeve? Kinda reminds me of those ridiculous gay pride parades.

I get their point. Identity politics, be it for queers or Evangelicals, certainly rubs lots of people the wrong way.

Here’s the big difference between queer identity politics and Evangelical identity politics, though. When the religious right wears its politics on its sleeve, it’s to tell other people how to live: You cannot have this prescription; you cannot get an abortion; you cannot marry the person you’re in love with; you cannot not teach anything except abstinence.

The only gray areas, I guess, are in the Intelligent Design debate and the prayer in school debate, where Evangelicals believe they’re being oppressed, and being told how to live. I say “gray area” because I’m not so sure they have a point: the Christian Right wants prayer in school to be an official part of the classroom, and non-believers would have to opt out. So, in that scenario, the Evangelicals are telling people how they should live. (It’d be a different story if they were just arguing that students should be allowed to pray privately at lunch or something—which they already have the right to do anyway.)

Meanwhile, gay identity politics isn’t about telling others what to do. It’s about equal protection so gays can live their lives. This seems to me a completely legit reason to wear it on your sleeve. No doubt it annoys some people. But it’s not telling others how to live.

The Beauty Killer

posted by on May 22 at 3:56 PM

This is Rem Koolaas’s Prada Epicenter in Beverly Hills:
4prada.jpg Indeed, nothing kills architecture like a palm tree.

Bush Hits New Lows

posted by on May 22 at 3:49 PM

Bush’s approval ratings hit new lows in two polls today. Only 33% approve of Bush’s job performance according to Rasmussen; Bush is pegged at 31% by ARG. These are, as others have pointed out again and again, Nixon numbers—and much, much worse than Jimmy Carter ever polled.

Which is why I laughed when I read this piece by Niall Ferguson about the tragedy of George W. Bush…

Before the curtain can fall on The Tragedie of King George, we need at least three more scenes to decide the fates of three crucial characters—the only principals still left standing aside from King George himself. First, we need a scene in Israel. Since the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s popularity has been in free fall. His current approval rating is around 2 per cent, by comparison with which King George is a pop idol.

Today on Line Out

posted by on May 22 at 3:45 PM

Georgetown Music Fest: It’s coming.

Sean Nelson vs. Dinosaur Jr.: On KUOW.

Dear Sally: Terry loves you.

Show Me How You Move, Girl: Dyme Def takes MySpace by storm.

Keep It Simple, Silly: Trent Moorman gets fooled.

M.I.A. Goes M.I.A.: Her Sasquatch performance is canceled.

In One Hour and 15 Minutes: Beastie Boys tickets will go on sale.

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I’m (Probably) Better At Tetris Than You Are

posted by on May 22 at 3:26 PM

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Hey, so I’m a geek.

I realized this the other day, and it’s hard to admit because I always thought I was cool.

No, I don’t like the Lord of the Rings movies or speak Klingon, but I do have a crush on Kevin Rose and I get excited about scoring over a million points in Tetris on my Nintendo DS, which I did the other day.

My high score in the Standard Marathon game is 1,440,356. It was level 50 something. Or 60 something. I can’t remember.

Basically, that means I’m awesome. I mean, right? Am I? Is that good? What’s your high score? Can I make money for being this good at Tetris? If so, where do I sign up? Will Kevin Rose be there?

I never should’ve bought this Nintendo DS. I knew it was going to ruin me…

A Journalism First?

posted by on May 22 at 2:54 PM

I just got a quote for a story I’m working on for tomorrow’s paper … via text message. The quote was from King County Council Member Dow Constantine who sent six texts to make his point.

I love the future.

Student Planned to Use Bombs on Protesters at Falwell Funeral

posted by on May 22 at 1:57 PM

Holy shit!

Authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several gasoline-based bombs in his car.

The student, 19-year-old Mark Ewell of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service.

Three other suspects are being sought, one of whom is a soldier from Fort Benning, Ga., and another is a high school student. No information was available on the third person.

Authorities were alerted to the potential bomb plot by a concerned relative of Ewell.

Via ABC News

It’s on TV Tonight!

posted by on May 22 at 1:54 PM

Let’s see… let’s see… what’s on TV tonight… OH, YEAH. It’s the…

DANCING WITH THE STARS season finale (ABC, 9 pm)! For those who give a poop, it’s a neck-and-neck horse race between Apolo “Oh YES!” Ohno, Joey “The Fat One” Fatone, and Laila “I have no nickname” Ali. I really don’t care who wins, I’m just happy that the beautiful sport of ballroom dancing is finally getting the respect it so richly deserves. GOD! C’mon, I’m just kidding!!

VERONICA MARS series finale (CW, 8 pm)! It’s a two-hour goodbye to Veronica, who has been my fave teen crush ever since Buffy went bye-bye. The series is now officially kaput, so if you never got around to seeing this great show, check it out on DVD! (All together now… SOB!)

• And what else? Ahh, yes. AMERICAN IDOL, the penultimate episode (Fox, 8 pm)! Tonight’s the last time you’ll ever get to hear Blake’s godawful beatboxing. Look, I don’t give a crap if he is from Seattle. He stinks. VOTE JORDIN SPARKS!

Oh, and by the way, you heard about Paula Abdul breaking her nose after tripping over her chihuahua, Tulip, right? Check out this video of Paula trying to explain what happened… while COMPLETELY POOP-FACED.

Today in Drowned Dudes

posted by on May 22 at 1:52 PM

John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man to sink with the Titanic.

He made millions investing in real estate, wrote a science-fiction novel (A Journey in Other Worlds, 1894, about life on Saturn in the year 2000), invented things (a bicycle brake, a “vibratory disintegrator” which has something to do with gas and peat moss), loaned his yacht to the U.S. government during the Spanish-American war, and owned a dog named Kitty.

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From Wikipedia:

His divorce, followed by his marriage [September 11, 1911] to the much younger Madeleine Talmadge Force, caused a scandal. The couple planned an extended honeymoon abroad to wait out the controversy, but cut it short because of Madeleine Astor’s pregnancy. They booked passage home on the Titanic.
Many exaggerated and unsubstantiated accounts about what Astor did the night Titanic sank appeared in newspapers and books after the disaster. There was a story that he was the one who opened Titanic’s kennel and released the dogs; another story has Astor putting a woman’s hat on a boy to make sure he was able to get into a lifeboat. Another legend states that after the ship hit the iceberg, he quipped, “I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous.”

Tomorrow in drowned dudes: Yusuf Ismail, “the Terrible Turk,” a wrestler who only lost one match in his life but drowned in a shipwreck 1898.

Who Doesn’t Love a Wall?

posted by on May 22 at 1:27 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Ocelots, jaguarundi, and bobcats, apparently. This morning’s AP article discusses the harm that the new border fence will do to the land animals in the Rio Grande Valley region. Once the fence is up, the animals won’t be able to get to their only source of fresh water. Nor will they be able to cross the Rio Grande river to find mates on the other side. Not only will this cause incalculable damage to the animals, it will also hurt tourism in the area which is drawn by the diversity of animal species.

The fence, argue the region’s environmentalists, is at odds with the last 30 years of government policy putting together the wildlife refuges along the border. One could say the same of immigration policy.

What was NAFTA but an invitation to open borders? An easy way to access the market in Mexico— flooding it with (for example) cheap corn, driving Mexican farmers out of work, forcing them to come north looking for agricultural work, which is then gladly provided. In fact, we wouldn’t be producing much food at all without the labor that comes illegally across that border.

So what is a fence doing where we’ve been inviting people in with a wink and a nod since NAFTA went into effect?

I guess you can’t just put up an ocelot ladder, eh?

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Music for Box Lovers

posted by on May 22 at 1:25 PM

This beautiful box, Wohnhaus Ritter-Gey, can be found in the tiny country of Liechtenstein:
pub_16562_w500h500q75bw1_1729540271.jpg In my mind this Liechtenstein box makes a close connection with a piece of magical music that introduces the Breezeblock sets hosted by my favorite DJ of the moment, Mary Anne Hobbs, on BBC 1. The piece music is by Rebelski, a Manchester-based keyboardist. I purchased the track from the iTunes store, after Hobbs gave me its name (“Stickers On the Keys”) the night before last, and have listened to nothing else ever since. It’s not exceptional but simply composed of delicate and lyrical loops, like DJ Krush’s “Shin-Ki-Row” (“Mirage”). It’s the music of slow motion, of slow snow, of things that glow in the winter dusk.

Keeping the Peace

posted by on May 22 at 1:22 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

An eleven year old German girl hung a sign from her window reading “Help! Please call the police!” When a passerby headed her plea, the police arrived to discover the torture she was facing: the girl had been asked to clean her room.

Wish I’d thought of that.

Pat Davis Is Seattle’s Paul Wolfowitz

posted by on May 22 at 1:06 PM

Port of Seattle Commissioner Pat Davis broke the law when she unilaterally signed a memo promising outgoing Executive Director Mic Dinsmore a six-figure severance windfall, two other port commissioners wrote in April e-mails as the issue came to light—and Davis should resign from office or possibly face censure by the commission, the commissioners recommended.

Chef Sets Himself On Fire, Gets Stabbed in the Hand

posted by on May 22 at 12:25 PM

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Marco Pierre White, kitchen god and undeniably bad motherfucker, was in town last week to promote his new memoir. At the dinner (for which I shelled out an insane amount of hard-earned money to meet the man), MPW certainly lived up to his legend—passionate, boozy, venerable, lecherous. Also, Sambuca was set on fire and fumes were inhaled through straws.

Today, invaluable resource of information Page Six brings news of MPW’s escapades in New York last week at the Spotted Pig:

As White was demonstrating a flaming Sambuca trick to pals Mario Batali, Tony Bourdain, Carole Radziwill and others, the burning booze spilled on his shirt and the table. In the ensuing group effort to extinguish the flames, several champagne flutes and wine glasses were broken and White “was accidentally stabbed in the hand,” our source said. “Blood went everywhere but he didn’t want to go to the hospital … very macho.” White stuck his hand in a bucket of ice water, wrapped it with some napkins and was put in a cab.

Marco, you the man.

Unreal: Bay to Breakers

posted by on May 22 at 12:15 PM

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I can’t figure out the right way to Slog about Bay to Breakers. Words and even pictures hardly do it justice.

This past weekend marked the 97th year the 7.5-mile footrace has been run over the same course through San Francisco, making it the longest consecutively-run race in the world. Every year, some ten thousand competitors register and run the course, starting at the Embarcadero (the Bay), weaving through downtown, the Western Addition, and Golden Gate Park, to finish at Ocean Beach (the Breakers).

Another 70 thousand runners walk the course, mostly in costume, or naked, and in various states of inebriation. It’s a block party a hundred blocks long. It’s the best San Francisco holiday out of many. Like Burning Man, it’s one of those things that everyone should experience once in their lives. Unlike Burning Man, it’s something I see myself doing every year for the rest of my life, as long as I’m able.

Bay to Breakers is the most grand expression of civic pride I’ve ever been a part of. Bands and DJs rock out on street corners, mobile soundsystems cruise the streets, elaborate floats are built and pushed to accommodate bars, kegs, beer pong, dance floors. There are no spectators. Everybody walks, runs, or rolls. You reach the top of Alamo Square—the halfway point, and the only hill on the course—and look down from the peak. In both directions, thousands of people of all stripes are celebrating life for the best of all reasons: Because it’s there.

This year was a spectacularly sunny day. Along with 20 or so friends dressed in vintage track suits, I helped pull a granny basket and a tricked-out shopping cart, filled with 14 cases of iced PBR. We made it a few miles before we pulled over in Golden Gate Park and sat in the shade, drinking beer and freaking out with the freaks.

I’m a man of simple pleasures. All it takes to make me happy is 80 thousand costumed revelers drinking cocktails at 9 in the morning, parading through San Francisco on a gorgeous day, listening to a GnR cover band crank out “Paradise City” from a float being pushed by 12 women in bikinis.

More pics after the jump. Like I said, words, pictures, video—its all not even the half of it.

Continue reading "Unreal: Bay to Breakers" »

For Josh

posted by on May 22 at 12:02 PM

The Anne Frank photo gallery.

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Via.

Dept. of Crushing Disappointments

posted by on May 22 at 11:52 AM

From comments left on the site Celebrity Nudity Database, regarding Anne Hathaway’s nude scenes in the movie Havoc:

I just saw the un-rated version and I’m disappointed, there’s no additional scenes involving Anne’s nudity in this film and “the hard-core stuff” A.K.A the scene with the vibrator.—scorpionking
It’s the first day of the release of this film and I’ve got the DVD in my player at this moment, courtesy of Netflix, and I can say categorically that there’s no Hathaway bush in this film. As mentioned in other reviews, there are three scenes where her not-inconsiderable rack in on display (9:58, 36:45, and 1:03:54) but no money shot. Judging from the hair on her arms, though, I’d say she’s hiding quite a growler under that skirt.—mzungu
Anne Hathaway’s nice breasts are exposed three times, thats it. Whoever wrote the original nudity reviews for this should be smacked! They were either lying or crazy.—Beavis
In addition to what the other reviewers said, you see the top half of her ass hanging out of her pants during a fight sequence at the beginning of the movie. If you pause in the right places, those pants are so far down that she may as well be butt naked. I would say this is almost as good as a nude ass scene, but I give it 2 stars because the shots are all brief and you have to use your pause button.—dav345
Ms Hathaway performs 3 nude scenes in this movie. In the first scene, Ms Hathaway is in the back of a car with a male companion. She removes her top and bra to expose her magnificent breasts before going down on the actor to perform a blowjob. The actors facial expression suggests he ejaculates in her mouth. In the second scene Ms Hathaway lays on a couch and performs for a video cameraman. She slips down her top to reveal a fully erect nipple, before sliding her right hand down her jeans to masturbate. The pelvic gyrations in this scene are also mastubatory in nature. Her nipple is fully engorged and erect and in such a state represents the equivalent of a full female erection. Such a state cannot be “acted”. She is sexually fully aroused in this scene. Look at the shadow her nipple casts and the raised nature of her Glands of Montgomery - wow!!!—adoctorwrites
If you are into nudity, either male or female, pass on this movie. There is nothing worth seeing.—tushlover

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My Home State

posted by on May 22 at 11:35 AM

Texas state Sen. Mario Gallegos of Houston, who is fighting complications of a liver replacement and is in Austin against his doctor’s wishes, has set up a hospital bed in the Texas Capitol so that he can spring into action if Republicans call a vote on a bill that would require Texas voters to present a Department of Public Safety ID or two other pieces of identification in order to vote. Democrats need Gallego’s vote to block the bill, which they oppose on the grounds that it suppresses votes from low-income and elderly residents, who are most likely to vote Democratic.

Gallegos has also fought against limits on asbestos lawsuits, supported extending a sales-tax-free period on clothes and school supplies from three days to two weeks, and once fought off a political challenge from his ex-mistress of 17 years. Texas Democrats: You may not always agree with them, but unlike ours, they’re never boring.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 22 at 11:30 AM


Ototo on Queen Anne

(PERFECT SUSHI) Ototo’s interior mimics a bento box—handsome, minimalist, and designed to show off the main attraction: super fresh seafood and artistic sushi rolls. The deluxe California roll—sesame-speckled rice around real snow crab, avocado, and a touch of cream cheese—is perfection. (7 Boston St, 691-3838. 5—10:30 pm.) AMY KATE HORN

Niketown’s New Ad Campaign

posted by on May 22 at 10:42 AM

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Walking up Sixth Avenue yesterday I couldn’t help but notice Nike’s new ad campaign. Huge shots of famous athletes in action—mid-jump, mid-swing—next to equally huge shots of the soles of their athletic feet, complete with inspiring messages written on them with what looks like a Sharpie.

My first thought was… ugh. Feet don’t really do it for me. And these feet? Kinda scary. Standing on the sidewalk in front of Niketown I felt like the sole of this foot—this huge foot, a foot as long as I am tall—was about to come crashing down on me, stomping me into the sidewalk, and the last thing I would see before I died was… an inspirational message unworthy of a Successories poster. Not how I want to go.

My second thought? Man, it must be tough for foot fetishists to walk past Niketown these days. Sixth Avenue and Pike has to be off-limits to any businessman with a foot fetish—and that’s most businessmen, judging from my “Savage Love” mail—unless he’s not embarrassed to be seen with an obvious hard-on or is willing to carry his briefcase in front of his crotch, like a high school boy carries his books. Yeah, Niketown’s is pure torture for foot fetishists—sweet, sweet torture.

It’s also gotta sweet torture for macrophiliacs and crush fetishists.

A powerful shot starts here—yeah, you can say that again, Niketown.

My First Failure Today

posted by on May 22 at 10:19 AM

I just tried and failed to extract the exact meaning from the mysterious lines of “What A Fool Believes.” What the hell is this song by the Doobie Brothers about? I will give it another shot after lunch.

He came from somewhere back in her long ago
The sentimental fool don’t see
Trying hard to recreate
What had yet to be created once in her life

She musters a smile
For his nostalgic tale
Never coming near what he wanted to say
Only to realize
It never really was

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing
And nothing at all keeps sending him…

Somewhere back in her long ago
Where he can still believe there’s a place in her life
Someday, somewhere, she will return

Mesmerizing.

Thanks, Mom & Dad

posted by on May 22 at 10:02 AM

An 11-year-old boy whose parents won court approval to treat their son’s leukemia with an unconventional method has died after five years of fighting the cancer. Noah Maxin died Thursday at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, said Rinda Schelat of Reed Funeral Home in Canton.

Noah’s parents, Greg and Theresa Maxin, won the right in 2002 to abandon chemotherapy treatment for their then-7-year-old son. County child welfare officials had accused the couple of neglect after the Maxins told Akron Children’s Hospital they were pulling Noah out of chemotherapy three months into a 3 1/2-year treatment plan. The couple said they were concerned about the long-term effects chemotherapy would have on Noah, whose cancer had gone into remission.

After researching alternative treatments, they found a doctor specializing in holistic medicine who recommended a healthier diet along with supplements to boost Noah’s immune system. The parents put him back on chemotherapy after the cancer returned four months later.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

posted by on May 22 at 9:44 AM

In Orange County, Florida (a phrase that should instill fear in all sentient beings), a woman was helping her aging father move, when she got a horrifying surprise:

A Central Florida woman who was cleaning out her parents’ home found a hidden box of photographs with images of her mother and father molesting her young daughter more than a decade ago.

The touchy grandma’s dead, the touchy grandpa’s been arrested, and the full awful story is here.

Savage Love Podcast

posted by on May 22 at 9:11 AM

Somebody out there really likes my podcast… which you can download by clicking here. Me and my squad of tech-savvy, at-risk youth put up a new “Savage Love” podcast up every Tuesday.

McDermott Gets a Bill for $900K

posted by on May 22 at 8:48 AM

Politico is reporting that Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott, who recently saw a federal appeals court rule against him in his long-running legal battle with Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, has been presented with a request for $880,000 in legal fees from Boehner’s lawyers. (This on top of the $60,000 in damages Boehner has already been awarded.)

It’s not certain that McDermott will have to pay Boehner’s legal fees, or the damages. He could still appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the big bill from Boehner’s legal team points at a dynamic that I wrote about in May of last year, when I did a feature on McDermott and his legal troubles:

For Boehner, another motive for the lawsuit may be purely financial. It’s not that he really needs the $60,000 in damages he could be awarded from McDermott; according to public records, Boehner took in nearly $1 million in campaign contributions in the last two years and has a war chest of nearly $400,000. But the case does help Boehner shake cash out of his conservative constituents in Ohio, many of whom respond well to appeals vilifying a Seattle liberal who “doesn’t know right from wrong,” as a 1998 Boehner fundraising letter put it. And that cash can then be used to fight Boehner’s legal battle or help his political friends. (This same 1998 fundraising letter, like many of Boehner’s political materials, prominently instructs readers to “say Bay-ner.” Apparently, the congressman doesn’t want to be known as Bo-ner.)

But perhaps the biggest incentive is that if the lawsuit didn’t exist, McDermott, whose seat is so safe he needs to spend very little cash to defend it, would be out raising money for other [Democrats]… He might also be donating money directly to them from his campaign fund…

“This is a strategy of the Republicans to keep me from spending on other people,” McDermott tells me. “There’s no question it does that.”

Boehner’s legal fees, which McDermott will have to pay if he loses, are estimated in court filings at over $600,000. I ask McDermott whether he has the money to cover Boehner’s legal fees plus his own, and he shakes his head no…

Luckily for Boehner, the laws involved in this case say that Boehner doesn’t have to pay McDermott’s fees if he loses—meaning Boehner is the victor no matter which way the case goes. Win or lose, his lawsuit will have successfully sidelined McDermott.

UPDATE: In response to the above, McDermott’s spokesman, Mike DeCesare, just sent me this statement:

The most recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia seriously undermines the First Amendment protections guaranteed by the Constitution, and we continue to review the significant constitutional issues involved. The letter sent by Rep. Boehner’s attorney was unexpected, unsolicited and premature. This is a very important case, with significant constitutional issues involved, and for the attorney to the plaintiff to act otherwise is impertinent and unwarranted. We are considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and there are over two months remaining before a decision is required.

Meanwhile in Heterosexuality

posted by on May 22 at 8:46 AM

Identical male twins sleep with the same woman within hours of each other. The woman gets pregnant. She names one of the twins as the father. The named-as-father twin contests being the designated daddy, and sues. A paternity test is ordered and…

But a paternity test in this case could not help. The test showed that both brothers have a 99.9 percent probability of being the daddyand neither one wants to pay child support. The result of the test has not only brought to light the limits of DNA evidence, it has also led to a three-year legal battle, a Miller Family feud and a little girl who may never know who her real father is.

Click the link and you can see a photo of the twin brothers—but anyone harboring doing-it-with-twins fantasies may not want to click the link. This thoroughly resistible pair won’t be modeling for A&F anytime soon.

SF Chronicle Attacks Gay Parents

posted by on May 22 at 8:30 AM

The SF Chronicle screws up—big time.

In a piece about the efforts of gay foster parents and the city’s efforts to recruit more of them, Chronicle reporter Ilene Lelchuk asked Paul Cameron for a quote. The city had so much good stuff to say about same-sex couples as parents—as does the legit research—and clearly the editors at the Chronicle needed some gay-bashing “balance.”

“Focus on the Family’s objection to same-sex parents is grounded in interpretation of biblical scripture and research by Paul Cameron, director of the Family Research Institute in Colorado. Cameron says gays and lesbians are unfit parents, are more likely to molest children of their same sex, switch partners frequently, have shorter life expectancies and cause their children embarrassment and social difficulties. ‘Any child that can be adopted into a married-mother-and-father family, that’s the gold standard,’ Cameron said. ‘An orphanage would be the second choice, and then a single woman.’”

Lies, lies, lies. Studies show again and again that gay parents are fit, are no likelier to molest their children, and that our children are perfectly well-adjusted. Here’s the most recent study. The Chronicle didn’t mention that Cameron’s research has been debunked again and again, and other pertinent details—like, oh, the fact that Cameron was kicked out of the American Psychological Association. Or that Cameron has written glowingly of German efforts to “contain” homosexuality during the Nazi dictatorship.

Going to right-wing haters like Paul Cameron for “balance” is like ringing up the Grand Wizard of the KKK for a quote when you’re writing about mixed-race marriages or rap music or soul food. It’s offensive in the extreme, it’s irresponsible journalism, and it’s way past its expiration date. Lying haters like Paul Cameron exist outside the realm of responsible discourse—just like the Klan or the American Nazi Party.

The Morning News

posted by on May 22 at 7:03 AM

Lebanon vs. Fatah al-Islam: A fragile ceasefire is in place after another day of heavy shelling.

Abortion: Pro-life groups now claiming it’s all about the health and safety of women.

Poisoning: Britain seeks to extradite a Russian businessman for the murder of Alexander Litvineko last November.

Immigration: Both sides of the aisle are unhappy with the latest plan.

Gasoline: Prices break records for the tenth day in a row. Now only New Jersey has an average below $3/gallon.

Under the Influence: German man pulled over for drunk driving…in a wheelchair.

Occupations: The Pentagon is mulling over the possibility of staying in Iraq for decades.

Leading the World: The U.S. doesn’t want to talk about climate change at next month’s G8 summit.

Happy Ending: Missing Issaquah jogger has returned home.

Aviation: Boeing’s mammoth 787 “Dreamliner” is entering its final assembly stage.

Pranks: Kentridge High School student suspended for posting video mocking teacher on-line.

And finally, some artillery advice from Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911:

422. Troops should be accustomed to being fired over by friendly artillery and impressed with the fact that the artillery should continue firing upon the enemy until the last possible moment. The few casualties resulting from shrapnel bursting short are trifling compared with those that would result from the increased effectiveness of the enemy’s infantry fire were the friendly artillery to cease firing.

Artillery_march1915.gif


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Future of England (Is Unwritten)

posted by on May 21 at 8:31 PM

jostrufutur.jpg
The German poster

Long before the line-up was announced, I was hoping SIFF would program these two punk-oriented films, so I’m thrilled they came through (Anglophiles rejoice!). I haven’t seen either yet (This Is England screens for the press tomorrow), but my hopes are high based on the good reviews they’ve been garnering. Click here
for England’s Dreaming’s Jon Savage on This Is England and here for Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir on The Future Is Unwritten. I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast the two, so here goes.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

- This Is England is a narrative feature from Shane Meadows (TwentyFourSeven, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands).
- Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten is a non-fiction feature from Julien Temple (The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle).
- The compact Meadows is 34 years old. The lanky Temple is 54.
- Meadows went to Burton Technical College, where he met actor Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes). Temple went to Cambridge.

shane%20meadows.jpg
Meadows: skin for life

- This Is England is Meadows’ sixth feature. The Future Is Unwritten is Temple’s 11th…not counting his video collections.
- Temple also directs narrative features
(Earth Girls Are Easy, Pandaemonium, etc.).
- This Is England is semi-autobiographical. Note that the main
character is named Shaun (non-pro Thomas Turgoose).
- Meadows often works with the same actors
(Considine, Vicky McClure, Andrew Shim, etc.).
- Temple often works with the same musicians
(Mick Jagger, David Bowie, the Kinks, etc.).
- Temple’s narrative films often feature musicians,
like Sade (Absolute Beginners) and Tupac (Bullet).

Continue reading "The Future of England (Is Unwritten)" »

More Dogs on Their Hind Legs

posted by on May 21 at 4:42 PM

I’m not sure whether this is adorable or deplorable. Behold, Chihuahuaroos…

Poor li’l guys. They’ll never be able to run in the Chihuahua races, like the one at PETCO last Saturday.

small_world.jpg

Just a Bunch of Politcal Theater

posted by on May 21 at 4:28 PM

President Bush on the furor surrounding his attorney general.

Is This Really Necessary?

posted by on May 21 at 4:16 PM

Dan made this creepy post, about Real Dolls earlier today. How about these?

hotdoll.jpg

Hotdolls? The Sex Doll for Dogs?

Today in Line Out

posted by on May 21 at 4:05 PM

Extraordinary Melodrama: The Arcade Fire/Sergio Leone mashup.

Detective Work: Eric Grandy tries to crack the code on Vietnam’s “secret guest” opening act.

Annie Is So 2006: Sally Shapiro is the new hot shit.

Best Song Ever (A Few Weeks Ago): M. Ward’s “Chinese Translation” live on Conan.

Radio Radio: Internet radio is in trouble.

Taking Orders: DJ Kahled, waiters got your back.

Dear Publicists: You’re fired.

Eeee-ahhh!

donkeybaby.jpg

Testing Green Power

posted by on May 21 at 3:58 PM

Environmentalists have been pushing behind the scenes, with some success apparently, to get some helpful language into the final RTID plan (like commitments to go with HOV lanes, HOT lanes, and tolling; and full-funding for 520).

It’s not clear how much authority any of this language will have, though. However, progressive politicians like KC Exec Ron Sims will be able to use the language as a hammer to ensure that RTID doesn’t spike single occupancy vehicle use in King County.

Also unclear is how successful the environmentalists will be at removing the controversial Cross Base Highway from the RTID project list. The Cross Base, a deal breaker for many enviros and progressives, is a proposed 6-mile highway to link East and West Pierce County—Frederickson to Lakewood on I-5. It’s called Cross Base because it crosses Ft. Lewis and McChord. There’s $477 million in the current RTID budget for the project.

Environmentalists hate the project. Not only is it a pure car capacity project, but it would destroy environmentally sensitive, or “Green Field” land.

Last week, the report was that the anti-Cross Base Highway faction, with supporters like Pierce County Council Member Shawn Bunney, was going to roll Pierce County Executive John Ladenberg—an adamant Highway Supporter—on the issue. Bunney told the Tacoma News Tribune that he supports building the highway, but not at the expense of sacrificing support for the joint $16 billion Light Rail/RTID ballot measure.

The RTID Board is supposed to approve its final plan on Thursday, May 31.

If the Cross Base Highway is off the table it will be a measure of how powerful the local environmental community is—and more importantly, how prominent environmental concerns have become for regular voters. Indeed, if the RTID board thinks it cannot send its $7 billion package (coupled with Sound Transit’s $9 billion package) to voters with the Cross Base Highway on the list, it’ll prove that Al Gore won.

It’s on TV Tonight!

posted by on May 21 at 3:16 PM

• It’s another big season finale night starting with the much maligned 24 (Fox, 8 pm), which everyone agrees is pretty crappy compared to last year. However, in tonight’s two-hour finale, expect a showdown with Jack’s dad (James Cromwell) and the death of yet another CTU member. (Trying to get a decent life insurance rate while working at this place must be a bitch!)

• Next, it’s the breakout freshman series HEROES (NBC, 9 pm). Tonight, all the heroes gather in Kirby Plaza to stop Peter Petrelli from going nuclear and destroying NYC. (Insert obvious 9/11 metaphors here.)

• And speaking of a dark, depressing future, check out the following trailer for the new Fox series debuting this Fall called THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (say that five times fast), in which a not-as-buff-as-Linda-Hamilton mom tries to protect sonny-boy from the Terminators of the future (with a little bit of help from a hottie teenage robot… whoo-whoo!).

Miranda July, Now with Video!

posted by on May 21 at 2:37 PM

If you missed it, here’s some video. There’s talk of stabbing pillows in the front lawn with a big pointy knife. Who knew Miranda was such a toughie!

binLaden@blogspot.com

posted by on May 21 at 2:20 PM

I’ve been having fun lately perusing random blogs. Not the political blogs, but goofy personal blogs that people—hockey coaches, young parents, dads, stressed teens, librarians, foodies, PHd candidates, Renaissance Fair types, soldiers in Iraq —write for their friends and their moms (or not their moms in some cases).

It’s kind of like getting a chance to finally meet all those people you move through airports with. You do actually get a bead on Americans and their lives. Hard to find a common denominator, but I do get a sense that people are calmer and more lighthearted than our frantic media culture implies.

One thing that really strikes me, though, is all the “God, Willing” and “God Bless” and “God’s Path” that pops up in blogs that are otherwise focused on the swim meet, gardening, or somebody’s vanity CD project.

I’m not surprised that America is religious. But the extent to which people wear it on their sleeves is a little annoying. More surprising, though, is the language people use. There’s an empty mantra tone to it. It seems unconsciously cut and pasted in as filler, transitional language.

Mostly, it reminds me of Bin Laden.

Is There a Real Doctor in the House?

posted by on May 21 at 1:57 PM

Let’s say you bought one of those incredibly expensive life-sized dolls—“the most realistic love doll in the world”—you heard about on Howard Stern or read about in “Savage Love.” They’re incredibly expensive silicone sex toys—lady-shaped and life-sized, a “Real Doll” never has to be taken to dinner, never wants go out dancing, and never, ever says “no.” They never say anything—they just sit there, looking all lifelike and horny and ready. Like Stephanie here…

Stephanie6.JPG

A Real Doll costs close to eight thousand dollars when you figure in taxes and shipping—one of the most expensive sex toys in the world. And as a sex toy, a Real Doll is designed to be used. Some come in for hard use. So what do you do when your Real Doll’s breasts flatten out or her jaw falls off or her vagina, uh, splits open?

You go see the Real Doll Doctor, of course. Here’s a safe-for-work picture of a Real Doll’s head being repaired…

head08.jpg

Here are some disturbing, NSFW pictures of breast, vagina, and butt repairs.

Real Doll now makes boys. Real Doll also offers “flat back torsos”—male and female—for a fraction of the price of a full-size Real Doll.

Keeping Up With Cannes

posted by on May 21 at 1:05 PM

While I’ve been busting ass to get The Stranger’s annual SIFF Notes pullout together (don’t you just love working twenty hours over a single weekend?), my attention has more than occasionally wandered to the the Cannes coverage currently pouring out of southern France.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien's The Flight of the Red Balloon

The best stuff is at The New York Times (no blog this year, sadly, but there are some OK podcasts) and The Guardian’s film blog.

Stranger in Your Garden

posted by on May 21 at 12:59 PM

A green-thumbed reader wrote in with this question:

As a regular reader of The Stranger, I have a large stack of old issues laying about my house. I also tend a plot in one of the city’s 50+ P-Patch sites. I was wondering, is the paper on which The Stranger is printed and the ink with which it is printed OK for use in organic gardening as sheet mulch? My understanding that I should try to use newspaper that is printed with soy-based ink for this.

Personally, I’m not that picky about this kind of thing (I’d probably grow “nonorganic” vegetables if it was my own backyard), but I don’t want to break the rules, and I want to be able to make a case to our P-Patch minders that newspaper (or yours at least) is an OK mulch.

Regards, David

I talked to the folks over in Distribution and they assured me the paper is printed with soy-based ink. Hooray! However, newsprint has a tendency to clump and harden when it gets wet, so it is best used in areas where you are blocking things from growing altogether. I have had good luck making newsprint barriers on pathways and in garden beds needing a fresh start. Hope this helps and kudos for gardening organically!

Lesbianism Confirmed…LIVE!

posted by on May 21 at 12:34 PM

They are desperate, Ellen DeGeneres’ people. Desperate, desperate, desperate! Also, they are knee-jerkers. Transparent over-reactors. And so forth.

As I think I might have reported earlier, some bitter fat chick who harasses retarded pregnant women (even though some of the bitches really fucking have it coming) perched her fat and bitter ass upon a mountaintop last week and yelled to the world this terrible secret: Ellen DeGeneres avoids discussing hers or anyone else’s huge gayness on her talk show because the producers of said talk show force her. Not to. Talk about her huge gayness ever. On her show. Whatever.

Sensitive to the fat and assy criticisms, the producers or somebody immediately maneuvered to deflect them by dyking the show up with Cameron Diaz’s BIG NAKED BOOBY. Observe:

Whoa! DYKEY! BOOBY! That’s Ellen!

In somehow related news, I know someone who has probably touched Justin Timberlake’s erect penis! And it’s not a boy! Dammit!

It’s a terrible responsibility, such knowledge. Such power. And a lonely one. Hold me. I’m serious.

In conclusion, none of this keeps me from loving Ellen like a mother and wishing my face could be Justin Timberlake’s underwear for just ten minutes. Thank you.

Anonymous Burger Texting

posted by on May 21 at 12:20 PM

Last month I lost my cell phone and, along with it, the phone numbers of nearly everyone I know. I’ve since tracked down most numbers, but some have slipped through the cracks, and I occasionally receive text messages from unknown senders. Like this amazing one sent last night:

“Yo! What’s the best burger in Seattle?”

I love getting texts and emails like this from friends. Good burgers are an extremely subjective matter, though, so in order to responsibly provide a recommendation, I wanted to know who the query was from and what sort of burger (fancy? fast food?) s/he was after, so I replied with “Who dis?” and “What kind of burger?” Sadly, I received no reply.

To my long lost, burger texting friend: please get in touch. We obviously have a lot of catch up on. We can do it over cheap, sloppy burgers and vinyl songs from the Wurlizter at Zesto’s in Ballard or over the decadent Coupage Burger—short rib, seared foie gras, truffled potato crisps—at Coupage. It’s up to you.

For those interested, a diverse and inspiring “best burger” conversation over at Chowhound.

Dick in a Box

posted by on May 21 at 12:10 PM

falwelltshirt.jpeg

No one is going to Jerry Falwell’s funeral—not George W. Bush, not any of the 10 Republicans currently running for President.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 21 at 12:00 PM


‘The Kid Brother’/’Speedy’ Double Feature

(WURLITZER!) Near the end of Harold Lloyd’s silent-film career, he made two uproarious, gag-stacked features steeped in ’20s Americana. The Kid Brother is about a smart wimp in a small town; Speedy takes Lloyd to the Big Apple, where he romps at Coney Island and gets ball-crazy at Yankee Stadium. Fabulous Stranger Genius shortlister Dennis James accompanies the films on the Wurlitzer organ. (Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. 7 pm, $9$12.) ANNIE WAGNER

Pink Flamingos

posted by on May 21 at 11:56 AM

Gay sex occurs in nature—and so do gay parents.

A pair of gay flamingos have adopted an abandoned chick, becoming parents after being together for six years, a British conservation organisation said Monday.

Carlos and Fernando had been desperate to start a family, even chasing other flamingos from their nests to take over their eggs at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Slimbridge near Bristol.

But their egg-sitting prowess made them the top choice for taking an unhatched egg under their wings when one of the Greater Flamingo nests was abandoned.

Carlos and Fernando waited four years longer than my boyfriend and I did before adopting. Oh, and file this detail as Not Safe Just Before Lunch (NSJBL):

The couple can feed chicks by producing milk in their throats.

Uh… gee. Making milk with their throats, huh? That’s talent.

Carter on Bush

posted by on May 21 at 11:52 AM

Don’t back down, Jimmy!

Where The Sisters Are

posted by on May 21 at 11:51 AM

From a comment to my last post, which concerned the True.com ads that are ruining Myspace:

Great. I hate shit like this, basically it is saying that WHITE women are as downtrodden as black MEN. Where do we Black women come in?
Well, according to the True.com ads, this is where they come in:

girluuu.jpg

But the woman in the image can’t be all that dumb. Judging from the posters behind her couch, she likes modern jazz.

Jesus Christ Struck by Lightning!

posted by on May 21 at 11:39 AM

Let’s say I got hit by lightning on a Sunday and, oh, it burned my arm off. I’m thinking Christian conservatives would claim it was God’s wrath—you know, just like God sent hurricane Katrina to drown all those little old ladies in nursing homes to express His righteous displeasure with all them gays in the French Quarter. Dan Savage lightning? Well, it looks like God finally had enough of my women-peggin’-men-promotin’, nutty-xtian-fundy-bashin’, dirty-filthy-smut-mouthin’ sex advice column and… zap! He took one of my arms as a warning. Keep writing that sex advice column, Savage, and He’ll take the other one!

Well, a 33-foot-tall statue of Jesus was hit by a bolt of lightning on Sunday in Golden, Colorado, on Sunday afternoon, blowing his outstretched arm clean off. Wrath of God? His righteous anger? No, no—of course not! When lightning hits a sex-advice columnist or porn store or a Prius that’s wrath of God. But when lightning hits a statue of Jesus? What is it then?

Don’t look for any religious symbolism here—it was only a freak act of Mother Nature, says Sister Ilaria.

The nuns at Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden were thanking God on Sunday that no one was hurt when a bolt of lightning shot out of the sky and struck their 33-foot statue of Jesus.

The lightning bolt broke off one of Jesus’ arms and a hand and damaged one of his feet, sending marble plummeting to the ground during a Saturday afternoon storm.
“There were pilgrims up there on the hill,” Sister Ilaria said. “The biggest miracle is no one got hit with the falling debris.”

Or maybe God was sending those pilgrims a warning about idolatry? What was the Second Commandment again? Something about “graven images” wasn’t it?

Man, I can’t wait to read about this on Jesus’ blog.

Via Newspeak.

Miss Direction and the Duct-Tape Guy

posted by on May 21 at 11:29 AM

Recent days brought a pair of notable sightings from Last Days’ hot tippers.

First comes Hot Tipper Emma:

I was waiting for the bus and a blue station wagon pulled up with a sign on it that said “Miss Direction, transforming the mundane.” A lady got out of the car wearing a black coat with what looked like compasses sewn to her jacket. She introduced herself as Miss Direction, accompanied by her friend Michelle, and she and Michelle wanted to give me a ride to wherever I needed to go in exchange for my life story and my signature in their guest book. I don’t really relish telling my life story to strangers, but I took the ride anyway, even if it meant being asked questions like, “If you were an animal, which animal would you be?” Miss Direction dropped me off in front of my office, and gave me a little piece of paper that said “abandon desire.”

Even more beguiling than Emma’s Miss Direction sighting is Hot Tipper Todd’s report on the Duct-Tape Guy:

I was in Home Depot to get a key made. As I’m looking around for an employee, I spot a somewhat homeless-looking man wearing a mask. This mask was made entirely of duct tape. It had holes for his eyes and mouth (picture Dr. Doom) and a clear safety shield, which was in the upright position. This guy walks up to an employee and asks, “What aisle is the duct tape on?” Oh my freaking god, am I dreaming this? Apparently I was not dreaming, because that same employee ended up making my key for me, and he wouldn’t shut up about the duct tape guy. Since then, I’ve shared this story with friends and co-workers, and I’ve heard of many sightings. Does anyone know what this guys story is?? I gotta know.

Does anyone know anything about this masked man? Has anyone else encountered Miss Direction (who sounds a little flat-chested, if you know what I mean)? Are we in the middle of a public-art renaissance?

Art Brut

posted by on May 21 at 11:28 AM

From The Shakespeare Riots by Nigel Cliff:

In 1849 more than 25 people were shot dead outside a New York City theater… Believe it or not, they were there to disrupt a performance by an actor they considered unworthy of playing Macbeth.

(Thanks for the tip, A.)

Digital Maoism

posted by on May 21 at 11:20 AM

It looks like I am almost exactly a year late in stumbling upon this great essay, by computer visionary Jaron Lanier (the guy who coined the phrase “virtual reality”).

I found the essay because someone told me I had to read it for a feature I’m working on, and while it ends up being not quite right for my project, it has some fascinating things to say about digital mobs, the online race to be most meta, and how all of this is making everyone more stupid and disconnected (the opposite of what web utopians hope) while also resuscitating an old, dangerous idea: That the collective is smarter than individuals. Lanier writes:

The hive mind is for the most part stupid and boring. Why pay attention to it?

If I’m bringing you news of an essay you heard about long ago, sorry, but it’s new to me, and here’s one passage that I found interesting. In it, Lanier dismisses blogging as the solution to the problem of the web aggregators making people dumber. I’m not sure I agree with him, but it’s something to chew on:

Compounding the problem is that new business models for people who think and write have not appeared as quickly as we all hoped. Newspapers, for instance, are on the whole facing a grim decline as the Internet takes over the feeding of curious eyes that hover over morning coffee and even worse, classified ads. In the new environment, Google News is for the moment better funded and enjoys a more secure future than most of the rather small number of fine reporters around the world who ultimately create most of its content. The aggregator is richer than the aggregated.

The question of new business models for content creators on the Internet is a profound and difficult topic in itself, but it must at least be pointed out that writing professionally and well takes time and that most authors need to be paid to take that time. In this regard, blogging is not writing. For example, it’s easy to be loved as a blogger. All you have to do is play to the crowd. Or you can flame the crowd to get attention. Nothing is wrong with either of those activities. What I think of as real writing, however, writing meant to last, is something else. It involves articulating a perspective that is not just reactive to yesterday’s moves in a conversation.

To read responses from a number of smart people who disagree with Lanier, click here.

The Button Gap

posted by on May 21 at 11:19 AM

RightSideUpButtons.jpg

Flying out of Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport on Friday—why doesn’t that fucking airport have WiFi?—I spotted these buttons by the cash register in the newspaper/water/candy shop at my gate. You can see McCain, Guiliani, and Romney buttons in there—but look close and you’ll see an Edwards button too. I dug around and found a single Hillary button. So despite appearances this newspaper/water/candy shop is not partisan. So what accounts for the button gap? Here’s what I think happened: Dem buttons are selling and GOP buttons are not.

I’m guessing the bin was filled with a roughly equal number of Dem and GOP buttons at first. But since Democratic travelers are excited about the upcoming election and happy about their field of candidate, Dems are buying buttons. Republican travelers, on the other hand, are terrified of the coming presidential election and extremely unhappy with GOP candidates and consequently aren’t not buying buttons. Which means the shop is stuck with GOP buttons, which means market forces have conspired to create a button gap—and the impression of partisanship—at the newspaper/water/candy shop at Reagan National.

I have some actual evidence to support my button gap theory: Dem candidates are outraising GOP candidates—in the South. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Dem presidential candidates are raising more money in the American South than GOP presidential candidates. Says TPM Cafe

The key is that this Dem success is not the result of a single superstar candidate. As it happens, the top three Dems—Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards—are all doing well in the south.

In other race-for-the-White-House news… Edwards is leading in the polls in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register, followed by Obama, Clinton, and a surprisingly strong showing by Richardson…

Your Friendly Neighborhood Good Government Activist

posted by on May 21 at 11:09 AM

David Postman seems a little uncomfortable with the fact that I’ve been calling GOP activist Chris Clifford a “Good Government Activist.”

Over on his blog, Postman posts a rundown of Clifford’s greatest, mostly partisan, hits.

Postman fails to link the fact that Clifford won his suit against the city of Seattle to make sure the Mardi Gras task force meetings were open to the public.) Instead, Postman provides a link to a Seattle Times story reporting that Clifford lost his battle for a temporary restraining order on the meetings.

In fairness to Postman, he acknowledges that his rundown was just a “cursory” list.

Anyway, the reason I’ve been calling Clifford a “Good Government Activist” is this: He has a record of challenging closed meetings and discovering ethics violations. I first met Clifford, by the way, when he was battling against former city attorney Mark Sidran’s crackdown on Seattle nightlife in the late 90s.

Clifford sued the school district (scroll down on that link) when its school closure discussions were closed to the public.

Clifford successfully sued Republican KC Council Member Jane Hague for taking contributions from companies with business in front of the council.

As I linked above, Clifford was successful in his efforts to keep the Mardi Gras Task Force meetings open to the public.

Clifford’s fights against Sidran (Postman links a story about Clifford’s failed lawsuit charging that city policies were racist) actually resulted in a follow-up lawsuit that iced Sidran’s push for an added activities ordinance (a cumbersome licensing scheme which would have constituted prior restraint), which a judge labeled unconstitutional. Go Chris!

When Clifford called me a few weeks ago to let me know he was pushing a Pat Davis recall petition (Port Commissioner Davis signed off on a suspect retirement package for outgoing Port CEO Mic Dinsmore), I was hardly surprised.

O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on May 21 at 10:15 AM

…inability to resist Satan’s instructions to place our babies in microwave ovens

A woman blames the devil and not her husband for severely burning their infant daughter after the two-month-old was put in a microwave, a Texas TV station has reported.

Eva Marie Mauldin said Satan compelled her 19-year-old husband, Joshua Royce Mauldin, to microwave their daughter on May 10 because the devil disapproved of Joshua’s efforts to become a preacher. “Satan saw my husband as a threat. Satan attacked him because he saw (Joshua) as a threat,” Eva Mauldin told Houston television station KHOU-TV.

I guess the reason I never popped my son into a microwave while there was still time—he’s way too big to fit in one now—was because Satan didn’t see me as a threat and order me to do it. Me and Satan, we’re buds.

Or maybe it’s because Satan doesn’t exist?

Gays in the Military

posted by on May 21 at 9:57 AM

Gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly in the UK’s armed forces—British gay and lesbian soldiers are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, alongside US forces. Conservatives in the UK and the USA predicted chaos, conflict, strife, low morale, etc., when the Brits opened their armed services to homos seven years ago. So how did it work out?

Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears—about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness—have come to pass, according to the Ministry of Defense, current and former members of the services and academics specializing in the military. The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue.

Of course.

Whenever conservatives are confronted with social change, conservatives predict chaos and moral disorder and the collapse of our civilization and boiling seas and toads falling from the sky and blah blah blah. Give women the vote? Integrate the schools? Decriminalize mixed-race marriages? Secure voting rights for all? Repeal sodomy laws? Fear-mongering social conservatives opposed all of these ideas.

Whenever a necessary social change is proposed, that change is resisted by social conservatives. They scream that this latest proposed change is dangerous and we’re warned once again of dire consequences, chaos, disorder, toads, etc. Then the social change comes—women are given the vote, mixed-race marriages are legalized, sodomy laws are repealed. And the dire consequences? They never materialize. Life goes on without toads raining down on our heads. And then, when the next necessary social change is proposed, the same social conservatives start screaming and yelling about all the dire consequences.

And somehow no one points out that these social conservatives have been wrong, all along, about everything, forever.

Today’s proposed social change is the integration of gay people—into our armed forces, into the institution of marriage, into family life. And the same social conservatives that opposed every good idea advanced over the last 100 years are giving us the same line shit they always do. Gay marriage? Gays and lesbians in the armed forces? Gay parents? Dire consequences for the American family! Moral chaos! Disorder! Toads! Tsunamis! Hurricanes! And on and on.

Why does anyone listen to social conservatives anymore? Again, they’re wrong, they’ve been wrong, about everything, forever.

The Morning News

posted by on May 21 at 8:20 AM

Lebanon vs. Fatah al-Islam: At least 39 killed yesterday in “one of the most significant challenges to the Lebanese army since the end of Lebanon’s bloody civil war.”

Israel vs. Hamas: At least five dead after Israel stepped up air strikes in Gaza.

Immigration: Employers unhappy with the proposed Immigration Bill, despite having a hand in creating it.

Iraq Study Group Recommendations: Not so crazy after all.

Jimmy Carter: “Irrelevant,” according to the Bush administration.

Cutty Sark: Tourist trap goes up in flames.

Acquisitions: America’s largest wireless network to be purchased for $27 billion.

Sicko: Michael Moore’s latest applauded at Cannes.

Dept. of Last Ditch Efforts: Local real estate mogul wants the Seattle Sonics to move near Boeing Field.

God’s Good Graces: First United Methodist Church’s sanctuary to be saved.

Streetcar: Greg Nickels’s cute little train is half-way finished.

And finally, a little bayonet wisdom from Infantry Drill Regulations, 1911 edition:

53. Keep the body well covered and deliver attacks vigorously. The point of the bayonet should always be kept as nearly as possible in the line of attack. The less the rifle is moved upward, downward, to the right, or to the left, the better prepared the soldier is for attack or defense.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Miranda July the Morning After

posted by on May 20 at 6:56 PM

The big party at Neumo’s last Thursday night ended with Miranda July and Becky Stark dancing with the crowd to DJ Fucking in the Streets’s set. It’s a happy, distant blur now—dimly recalled: the moment in one song when everyone started crazily jumping up and down—and it makes you wonder: How was July’s morning-after?

Hear for yourself. She was on KUOW at the ungodly hour of 9 to 10 the next morning, doing an interview with Steve Scher. Scher doesn’t seem to have read much of July’s book, but there’s some great stuff they do with callers, and they talk about all this stuff toward the end. (He asks her if that story about her lifting her dress over her head at a party is true.)

Enjoy.

Today the Stranger De-Suggests

posted by on May 20 at 12:54 PM

Tonight’s Killers’ Seattle show at WaMu Theater is cancelled and has been rescheduled for May 27.

Due to his on-going recovery from bronchitis, Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers has been ordered by his personal physician to rest his voice for another day. The Killers show, scheduled for the WaMu Theater on Sunday, May 20 has been rescheduled for Sunday, May 27. All tickets purchased for the May 20th performance will be honored On May 27th.

From Idolator, video of Flowers’ doctor canceling a recent show after the band played two songs:

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 20 at 12:00 PM


The Killers, Hot Hot Heat

Lie: The Killers’ Sam’s Town is, as lead singer Brandon Flowers boasts, the greatest album of the last 20 years. Truth: The same overreaching, voice-of-a-generation ambition that smothers Sam’s Town is, in concert, magnified into spectacular rock ‘n’ roll melodrama. British Columbia’s Hot Hot Heat complement the Killers—they’re less self-important and easier to dance to. (WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave S, 628-0888. 8 pm, $33.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

The Morning News

posted by on May 20 at 8:20 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing


Horse Sense: Curlin wins the Preakness.

Senseless:Two dead in Idaho church shooting.

Sensible: Texas will release over 200 juvenile prisoners.

Sensitive: Michael Moore defies US ban on his healthcare film.