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Archives for 05/27/2007 - 06/02/2007

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Rave Seen

posted by on June 2 at 3:35 PM


I recently began chaperoning my 14-year-old niece and her candy-raver friends at parties. Before we enter I them ask them not to eat pills, and then keep an eye out to make sure they don’t drink from random water bottles or smoke. That’s basically my role. Last night we went to a party called “Jello in the Sky with Diamonds,” which promised—you guessed it—Jello wrestling!

These were the highlights and lowlights: A girl named Angel gave me two glow bracelets and a cherry-flavored ring-pop, the Jello room was packed with half-naked teenagers who stunk like blue-raspberry Kool-Aid and feet, my niece stepped in a pool of blue vomit, one DJ played an entire set that sounded like a giant dental drill pulsating in a walrus tusk, and the police came. Back when Seattle’s rave scene was still fetal, the arrival of police meant the party was over, but last night the two cordial officers only helped tackle a creepy old man suspected of dosing kids with GHB… and the beats went on.

As for partying as a geriatric raver (nearly 30 now), it’s kinda weird—the scene has changed since I went to warehouse parties in the mid-nineties. The parties start earlier, like 9 p.m., and end before the sun rises. The DJs are still a gamble, but their sets and body language are more masturbatory now. House is all but dead, replaced by Happy Hardcore, Breaks and countless permutations of Trance. About half the kids are rolling, but the other half, including myself, are stone-cold sober. Nobody is on acid, but they all have glow sticks to give each other psychedelic “light shows.” The styles are more cookie-cutter and distinct: candy-tastic, emo-riffic, or poser-ous. My niece’s look is archetypical, with regalia that includes about a half-pound of candy—those bright plastic beads connected by thin elastic string—which covers all the skin between her wrists and elbows and everything from her collarbone up to her ears, a necklace with an enormous clear acrylic unicorn bust, and a powder-pink tutu. Her friends are adorned with similar garb. I stand out as looking plainly dressed and post-pubescent.

They Have Faces: Part Two

posted by on June 2 at 1:30 PM

Here are five more great faces featured in
this year’s film festival. Click here for part one.


Marion Cotillard: Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, i.e. La Môme (The Kid). It’s inevitable the film would be re-titled La Vie en Rose for English-speaking territories, but “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” is the Sparrow’s defining number. In fact, it’s the movie’s message, i.e. Piaf had a tough life, but given the choice, she wouldn’t change a thing.

Olivier Dahan, one of this year’s Emerging Masters, will be at today’s 3:15pm screening at the Neptune. I caught last night’s showing, and felt that Cotillard fully justified the hype. Dahan’s portrait has its problems, but her remarkable performance reduces most of them
to rubble. La Vie en Rose opens at the Egyptian on 6/22.


Cotillard as a femme fatale in A Very Long Engagement, for which she won the César, the French version of the Oscar. Did the make-up team on La Vie en Rose do a fantastic job or what? It takes some effort to make Cotillard look unattractive (or at least frail and sickly).

Continue reading "They Have Faces: Part Two" »

Color Me Cthulhu!

posted by on June 2 at 12:56 PM

Alright. I’m veritably pooping with veritable anticitwitterpation. I’ll admit it. The SIFF screening is June 14th at The Neptune (6:30, sharp!), but in the meantime, you can see, well, me maybe, if you don’t blink, here:

Hey, mom! Look at me! I’m a fish monster!

Glub, glub!

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 2 at 11:57 AM


‘The Cloud’
First, The Cloud is a sweet (but not simpering) teen romance. Then it’s a terrifying ecodisaster thriller. Then it stitches the two genres together in a surprising and heartbreaking way. There is a brooding heartthrob, a tragic heroine, mean boys, a nuclear accident, mass panic, mass death (the scenes of mobbed train stations and gridlocked highways are chilling), an epic bicycle escape, fatal rain, and young, irradiated love. It’s a German take on the Hollywood blockbuster and it’s ausgezeichnet. (Pacific Place, 600 Pine St, 324-9996. 6:30 pm, $10.) BRENDAN KILEY

Someone Start a Web Site Like This in Seattle, Please

posted by on June 2 at 11:04 AM


Not that we’ve got much in the way of alternatives, but here’s a cool site in DC (where I’m visiting my parents right now) that gives you maps and times and details so you can live life without owning a car. The site sets you up to to get around on alternatives like rail (Metro), buses, bicycles, carpools, vanpools, flexcars, zipcars, and taxis.

I was texting with a friend back in Seattle last night—updating each other on our nights out on the town—and voila: I, tipsy on some drinks, just hopped the Metro at 1am (last train came at 3:12am) back to my folks. My friend, having had some drinks himself, was, yikes, tooling around in their car looking for parking, ughh.

Just one of the benefits of rapid mass transit on a Friday night in the city.

SIFF 2007: Weekend Highlights

posted by on June 2 at 7:53 AM

The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in America’s biggest film festival continue below and at

SATURDAY JUNE 2 (happy birthday, mom!)

SIFF Cinema, 11 am. Should you take your kids to The Three Musketeers or the penguin surfing movie that will be saturating every screen in the nation starting next Friday? I wonder.

Pacific Place, 1:30 pm. Tsai Ming Liang’s I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone is a fascinating, sad, and lovely film by a really, really important filmmaker. It may or may not be returning to Seattle. Do. Not. Miss.

The late afternoon slot should go to Strange Culture (SIFF Cinema at 3:30 pm) if you’re into art and politics; Big Rig (Egyptian at 3:15 pm) if you’re a hipster. Aw, but I’m being mean. Doug Pray’s trucker doc sounds great.

The Sentimental Bloke

SIFF Cinema, 7 pm. Seattle film historian David Jeffers makes the case for the 1919 Aussie silent A Sentimental Bloke over at Siffblog:

The Sentimental Bloke is a rare surviving silent feature from a foreign, English[-language] market. It is considered by many to be the best example of regional Australian film from that period. It is currently unavailable on commercial video, anywhere, and is rarely seen outside of Australia[…] This film will not be screened at the SFSFF (San Francisco Silent Film Festival), so to the best of my knowledge this is the only currently scheduled screening available within a reasonable distance (if you know otherwise, please let me know, I asked!).

The late evening decision is hard. Kurt Cobain About a Son (Neptune, 9:30 pm) makes Aberdeen (and other PNW environs) look beautiful.

Kurt Cobain About a Son

Running on Empty is a strong existential film from Germany about a traveling salesman. And Amy Kate recommends the zombie comedy Fido (Lincoln Square at 9:15 pm).

Neptune, midnight. It’s all about the NZ horror comedy about lambs coming home to roost. Or something. This is the last screening of Black Sheep before it opens in Seattle later this summer.


Harvard Exit, 11 am. Start your Sunday off right with a cool drink of ’70s Catalan: Life on the Edge (original, way cooler title La Vida Abismal). Kathy Fennessy calls the plot “a wisp of a thing,” but identifies a new god in the acting pantheon. He has a mustache.

Solid choices in the early afternoon slot: David Schmader adores For the Bible Tells Me So (Egyptian at 1:30 pm), but I just saw Jessica Yu’s classically inspired experimental doc Protagonist (Lincoln Square at 1 pm), and the ex-ex-gay ex-minister featured therein sure gives all the homos in Bible a run for their money. Also good: Tell No One (Neptune at 1:30 pm).

Lincoln Square, 3:30 pm. It’s back to Bellevue for the Romanian drama Offset.

SIFF Cinema, 7 pm. Who doesn’t love a grisly tale of cannibal fetishists? Grimm Love is based on the story recounted in this Savage Love column from 2003. Ew.

SIFF Cinema, 9:30 pm. Lindy West has nothing but good things to say about the dark Icelandic film Children.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Nightlife Update

posted by on June 1 at 5:02 PM

Sally Clark’s proposed nightlife regulations aren’t official yet (and won’t be until sometime next week; more on that in a minute), but bars and clubs are already expressing concern that the proposal, as described in a “briefing paper” issued by Clark’s office yesterday, is even more restrictive and punitive than the mayor’s proposed nightlife license scheme. “There are some things [in the briefing paper] that we can work with, but as an overall package, this goes far beyond what the mayor proposed,” nightlife lobbyist Tim Hatley says. “These would probably be the most stringent regulations in the country. It’s not an improvement.” Clark says her proposal is an improvement on the mayor’s, because it focuses on violence instead of nuisance crimes. “For me, it came down to how many of these things are really important enough to have that be the item you can get your license suspended or revoked for,” Clark says. “To me, that came down to violence.”

Clark’s proposal, like the mayor’s, includes a new $300 license for all bars and clubs over a certain size and occupant density. The main difference, in Clark’s view, is that the city can only pull a license for violent incidents. (Other violations will result in an as-yet-unspecified fine). However, many aspects of her legislation echo the mayor’s—and, in some cases, Clark’s proposal goes much further. The legislation still includes the concept of “impacted public areas”—currently defined as all areas within 50 feet of a club’s front door—leaving open the possibility that the city could shut down a club because a fight breaks out on the sidewalk outside. Clark says the 50-foot perimeter could be reduced, but adds, “There’s a reasonable argument to be made that what happens in front of your business is your responsibility.”

Clark’s proposal also includes all the “operating standards” in the mayor’s original legislation; introduces the possibility of new regulations, such as licenses for bouncers and promoters; and actually increases penalties for violating the city’s noise and nuisance codes. While noise violations will result in escalating fines starting at $2,000, nuisance violations could result in “abatement,” or shutting a club down as a nuisance to the neighborhood.

“Six grand [the fine for a third noise violation] could cripple a club,” Hatley says. “And then you get into modifying the nuisance code—[the proposal] says we can shut you down for just being a ‘nuisance’—well, what does that mean?

The legislation will be discussed in a public hearing at council chambers at 5:30 pm on Monday, June 4. The actual text of the proposal, however, won’t be available until after the hearing, another sore spot for nightlife supporters. Hatley notes that the mayor first started discussing new nightlife regulations almost two years ago; Clark plans to move her proposal through in just three weeks. “I mean, hello, these are major changes!” Hatley says. “To spring this on us with no actual language is just ridiculous.”

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 1 at 4:35 PM

Chop Suey vs. Poster Giant: The big break-up.

Blakes and Freaks: American Idol runner-up coming to Breaks and Freaks?

One-Night Stand: Dan Paulus reviews last night’s Coconut Coolouts/Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head show.

This Week’s Setlist: Hear local bands! For free!

Gabba Gabba Prey!: The Christian Ramones.

Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting: Fear’s notorious 1981 SNL performance.

Walk in the Park: New York’s Thoth.

Eating This: Jonathan Zwickel takes a bite out of CD wrapping.

On E: And maybe this post is what made him do it.

Please Let That Be You: The Rentals are releasing a new EP.


SIFF 2007: Week 2 Podcast

posted by on June 1 at 4:25 PM

I can’t believe it’s week 2 already! (That was a hilarious joke. It feels like week 3,027.)

Lindy West and I pimp our favorites and demolish our not-so favorites for the second week of the Seattle International Film Festival on The Stranger’s SIFF Notes Podcast. Enjoy.

The Makers of Zoo

posted by on June 1 at 4:09 PM

The makers of the controversial documentary Zoo, Mudede and Devor, have finally received their Schrammie for making a movie about you know what:

rr0e9c1f29aee2.jpg Yes, it has a bald spot.

The Week in Geek

posted by on June 1 at 3:41 PM


Smile, you’re on Google Maps! - Google Maps introduces “Street View,” street-level photos of major cities available on their mapping application. Of course, if you happen to be wandering by (or sunbathing) when the Google Van rolls by, you’re in the system forever. Predictably, some people are all upset about violations of their fantasies of privacy. Listen: If you’re in public, you’re not in private. Public != Private. Got it? If you want to cheat on your wife, wear a ski mask like everybody else.

Be sure to check out some of the many hilarious discoveries made so far on Google Sightseeing, Street Viewr, and Threat Level.

Drop in Bucket - Spammer asshole arrested, spam continues unabated.

Oh Please, Oh Please - After at least two years of taunting, the Comcast-Motorola-TiVo DVR is threatening to launch later this summer. Now I only have to manage to avoid taking a sledgehammer to my current Comcast DVR before then. Not going to be easy.

Damn, that’s cool - A TED talk on Photosynth - a mind-blowing photo viewing thingie which sadly only works on Windows PCs.

Billionaire Summit - Jobs and Gates share a stage, say nice things about each other, don’t get in fist fight. Video and exhaustive and pointless recap here.

Robot Family - These are weird.

I’m learning a new programming language this week. Here’s my first stab at it:


Most hated made-up, thinks-its-cool-and-webby-hip-but-totally-sucks-ass word of the week: Webinar.

Fuck that word.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on June 1 at 2:42 PM

Hate SIFF? Love movies? (It happens.)

Opening today:

This fabulous image…


… is from the Japanese softcore “pink film” The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, playing all week at Northwest Film Forum. Andrew Wright has a titillating capsule at Get Out.

For a slightly more intellectual rollercoaster, turn to Grand Illusion, which has a brutal double-header from Michael Haneke, the Austrian director of Caché and Code Unknown. His early films The Seventh Continent and Benny’s Video are screening through Thursday, two for the price of one.

In On Screen this week: several quick turnarounds from SIFF—Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up; the excellent slasher comedy Severance; Once, a much ballyhooed Irish musical that actually sucks ass; and the pretty, dim-witted omnibus embrace of all things Paree, Paris Je T’Aime. Plus: blue-collar Sundance import Steel Dreams, dumbass Kevin Costner serial killer movie Mr. Brooks, and the girl power sports movie / Shue family vanity project Gracie. We received notice too late for the print edition, but Hollywood Dreams is no longer opening in Seattle.

For complete Film Shorts and Movie Times, see Get Out. For exhaustive coverage of all things SIFF, see SIFF Notes Online at

Three for Three

posted by on June 1 at 2:23 PM

Of three films I’ve seen thus far (yes, I’m the lightest SIFF lightweight… I just don’t enjoy sitting, especially indoors on a sunny day)—all three rocked.

The Canadian documentary about the work of industrial-waste photographer Edward Burtynsky, Manufactured Landscapes, was gorgeous and bleak at the same time. The film simply witnesses post-consumer waste and environmental devastation due to large-scale industry, and though it lacks a sermon or call to action, I left feeling ill at ease in the material world. It opens at one of Landmark’s Seattle locations on July 13, or rent it later if you have a nice big TV.

Fido, the zombie comedy from Andrew Currie, sounded ridulous and was in fact deliciously so and totally entertaining.
The cast, and Carrie-Ann Moss especially, injected just enough coy subtlety to balance the camp. It plays again tomorrow (9:15 pm, Lincoln Square) and is worth the trek to Bellevue. (It will open in Seattle later this summer.)

Last night’s The Ten, a set of twisted, loosely related comedic vignettes from the creators of The State, was laugh-out-loud funny throughout. It would have been even better without the slightly forced Ten Commandments organizational device. Rob Courdy was especially darling in a prolonged, somehow touching prison-rape joke—people were moaning between guffaws. This one plays again tomorrow (11 am, Egyptian) and would benefit from a big bong hit beforehand. (Opens in Seattle sometime in August.)

Two minor annoyances noted at the Egyptian: The sound was painfully hot (i.e. too loud at the high end) and the theater air was freezing—wear long pants regardless of the sunshine outside.

Ahhh, Delicious Friday!

posted by on June 1 at 2:15 PM

No plans? For shame! Here’s a novel suggestion

Sorry, “SINGLE MALES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Relatively not safe for “work” or whatever. Forgiveness, please.

Are You a Starbucks Barista?

posted by on June 1 at 2:08 PM

Do you want to help the Stranger out? Shoot me an email at

This Week on Drugs

posted by on June 1 at 1:36 PM


Two: New milk-fat percentage from the bare-breasted mermaid of mochas.

Seven: Clerks scalded by coffee-tossing robber.

10: Fingerprints required to get pot in Dutch coffee shops.

12: Jurors denied hearing medical defense in pot trial.

86: Head of China’s FDA faces execution for malfeasance.

101: Class taught by DEA on how to make meth.

1,000: High-school students to receive hair-strand drug tests.

6,000: College students on UW frat row getting wasted and breaking shit.

118,000: Dollar value of one million contraband fags.

Poster of the Day

posted by on June 1 at 1:23 PM


Changing the Climate, the Seattle Times Way

posted by on June 1 at 12:59 PM

The Seattle Times has gotten a lot of, um, mileage out of its “Seattle Times Climate Challenge,” a month-long push to get Times readers to cut their carbon footprints and “share their stories.” According to a self-congratulatory piece by Times editor-at-large Mike Fancher,

Our readers are very environmentally conscious, and they often ask what they can do personally to make a difference. So, we thought the “Climate Challenge” would be an engaging way to provide useful information that inspires readers to act, while also learning from each other. The Times would provide some tools and ideas, but reader motivation would take it from there.

In yesterday’s wrap-up of readers’ experiences, Times reporter Alex Fryer concluded that readers who participated in the Challenge produced substantially fewer emissions than the national average.

I might be a bit more impressed with the Times’ green makeover if they weren’t simultaneously running the “NWSource Great Gas Giveaway,” in which 32 winners will get a $200 gas card. The grand prize? Free gas for a year. Way to “make a difference,” guys.

Saving Mary Cheney

posted by on June 1 at 12:32 PM

George W. Bush’s has nominated a man for Surgeon General—some douchebag named Joseph Holsinger—that believes he can cure the gays of their gayness. John Aravosis wonders if Holsinger can cure Mary Cheney and Heather Poe of their burning hunger for each other’s twats.

And if Mary and Heather are cured, then will Heather still be the parent of their child? Has Bush at least asked Mary to try to be cured by his Surgeon General nominee? Or does Bush not believe that his Surgeon General nominee’s anti-gay science is legit, and if so, then why is he nominating him at all?

…I trust the Democrats won’t be confirming a “cure the gays” nut as our next Surgeon General. As Mitch McConnell always reminds us, it takes 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate. Hopefully the Democrats have been listening.

Frankly, Scarlett…

posted by on June 1 at 12:17 PM

The whispers began yesterday with the following email, which was kindly forwarded to me by pretty, pretty David Schmader:

Adrian, Have you heard anything of this? xoxo, dave

Begin forwarded message:

Date: May 31, 2007 8:46:06 PM PDT
Subject: Celebrity I saw Yous

… I think I saw that really gay blond queen from “Project Runway” he in town for something?


Frankly, I have zero clue what the hell Brad (or anyone else) is talking about. Big blond queens? “Project Runway”? Whatevs. But, lo! Some light has at last been shed! Behold:

Hey Adrian! Yesterday I had a D-list Celebrity Sighting on 5th Avenue. I stepped from of my office doors and standing fifteen feet out of my reach was “Project Runway’s” Austin Scarlett. His petite 100-pound body, perfectly quaffed blond locks, and over-sized sunglasses got my knees a knockin’. Don’t ask me why, maybe deep down I have a thing for dandy fops. As we stood there our glances met. Slowly he lifted his sunglasses up and began to give me elevator eyes. Again…knee’s were a knockin’. As we gazed into each others souls, I knew this was my moment to approach him. Unfortunately my knockin’ knees froze on me. The sunglasses came down and with a major flip of the neck Austin sashayed out of my life. Not a beat was missed as he headed off to I’m sure one of Seattle’s high end clothing stores on 5th Avenue or perhaps The Gap. Bravo Austin Scarlett. Bravo!


And there you have it! Apparently the city is overrun with the dandyfopping queen from “Project Runway”. Be careful not to step in any.

Have You Seen this “Man”?

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 1 at 11:40 AM


Barack Obama
(Political Starfucking)
Whatever, John Edwards. Barack Obama is so the Democratic hottie of the moment. Oprah loves him. Clinton fears him. Everywhere he goes, he’s mobbed. Expect no less when he shows up in Seattle for this “kickoff” event, during which he’s sure to talk about the “audacity of hope,” flash his megawatt smile, and mention that local connection of his—Stanley Ann Dunham, his feisty atheist mother, lived for a time on Mercer Island. (WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave S, Doors at 5:30 pm, $25—$100.) ELI SANDERS

Re: “The New Jordan”

posted by on June 1 at 11:18 AM

About Charles’s post:

No. Here is The Answer:

No one is The Next Jordan.

Iverson will always be relevant; Iverson is winning. (Actually, Iverson wins.)

LeBron, effective last night, is LeBron.


For the rest of my life I will regret that last night I left the bar during the first half of the fourth quarter. To attend a vegan barbecue. I missed the whole reason I watch ball in the first place.

Dan Savage vs. Ed Young

posted by on June 1 at 11:15 AM

You may have heard of—they’re the dating website responsible for this ad campaign that takes the piss out of…

Well… when I wrote about the lawsuit against yesterday, gee, maybe I should have done the full disclosure dance and mentioned the fact that, uh, I’ve been participating in a group blog at’s website for the last month. (Hey, private school tuition is expensive!)—even though I was coming out against the lawsuit.

Anyway, a month ago invited me to join four other guest bloggers and Dr. Helen Fisher,’s chief scientific advisor, to engage in a “Great Mate Debate.” I’m blogging there three times a week with author Wendy Shallit (Girls Gone Mild), Greg and Amanda Behrendt (He’s Just Not That Into You, It’s Called a Break-Up Because It’s Broken), and Ed Young—pastor Ed Young, TV preacher, author, and lecturer.

We’ve mostly been discussing marriage at the Great Mate Debate—I didn’t name the blog, so please don’t complain to me about it—and it’s been hard to avoid the gay marriage subject, so it’s been hard for me to avoid addressing Ed Young’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Well, all hell broke loose today—Ed called me out for my alleged bigotry, I responded to Ed at length.


Voice Mail of the Day

posted by on June 1 at 11:10 AM

I’m responding to the article today in the paper about Chris Crocker. It’s called Excape from Real Bitch Island.

Um, the writer talks about Chris imitating, quote, ghetto black women. And I just want to clarify that he’s not imitating ghetto black women. He’s imitating ghetto black drag queens and trannies and gay men who are hatefully imitating ghetto black women. So, that “tea” and “shade” and that other little bullshit that they published supposedly being ghetto black women. It’s not. It’s just black, gay, trans, and drag queen men pretending that they are ghetto black women.

Ghetto black women, of which I am one, don’t necessarily use those words. They’re old and tired. So, Eli, get it right.


posted by on June 1 at 11:05 AM


Attention Planners-Ahead - Alaska Airlines is starting non-stop service from Seattle to Hawaii this fall, and running a damn cheap introductory sale, which ends tomorrow.

Seattle -> Honolulu = $218 R/T
Seattle -> Lihue, Kauai = $298 R/T

Shut up!

We go dis fall check out de pakalolo, bruddah! Brok da mout!

Latawnya the Naughty Horse

posted by on June 1 at 11:05 AM


All praise to Slog citizen Fnarf for alerting me to the amazing bit of equine-themed anti-drug propoganda known as Latawna, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say “No” to Drugs.

Read it in its (short) entirety at

This Poster Makes My Scalp Tingle

posted by on June 1 at 11:01 AM


Rolling, “a documentary-style journey through the Los Angeles party scene,” plays tonight at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival: 8:15 pm at the Rendezvous Theater. Don’t forget the Vicks.

Sound Art on Film

posted by on June 1 at 10:52 AM

Earlier this year Seattle collectors William and Ruth True commissioned a full-scale installation from sound-art pioneer Bill Fontana, and the piece now occupies the entire building of Western Bridge, the Trues’ private gallery space. Below, the San Francisco-based artist talks to Jen Graves about the installation.

“Lookalike” is a Relative Term

posted by on June 1 at 9:52 AM



And Bill Clinton should sue.

Source story (from London’s Daily Mail) here.

SIFF 2007: Fri Highlights

posted by on June 1 at 9:45 AM

The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in SIFF continue below and at SIFF Notes Online:


Pacific Place, 2 pm: Yet again, you only have one choice for the afternoon slot in the festival. And yet again, this is one choice you can’t mess up. Brendan Kiley adores The Cloud, a nuclear teen romance from Germany. (That’s right, Germany, my dear haters.)

The Cloud

The second slot is full of riches. Eagle vs. Shark (Neptune at 4 pm) will be coming out later this summer (and I’ll actually be interviewing the director as this post goes up), but if you liked Napoleon Dynamite, you should not miss this goofy New Zealand romance. It’s completely derivative, but I very much enjoyed myself. There’s another screening of the excellent acid disfiguration romance Crazy Love (Pacific Place at 4:30 pm). Also recommended for politicos and film buffs, respectively: the Ukrainian doc Orange Revolution (Harvard Exit at 4 pm), the made-for-Polish TV doc Still Alive: A Film About Krzysztof Kieslowski (Egyptian at 5 pm). I don’t recommend Armin (Lincoln Square, 4 pm), a PTSD-epilepsy mashup about a Bosnian child actor, but if you’re on the Eastside and have no other choice, a mildly intriguing Romanian short by the assistant director of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu is screening in front of it.

Pacific Place, 7 pm: I’m definitely most excited about Protagonist, the new experimental doc by In the Realms of the Unreal director Jessica Yu. It’s been picked up by IFC for theatrical distribution, however, so we should see it in Seattle soon.


Another excellent option is Life on the Edge (Harvard Exit at 7 pm), a jazz-infused Catalan drama.

Egyptian, 9:30 pm: Megan Seling digs Doug Pray’s new trucker doc Big Rig. Also splendid: the French mystery-action film Tell No One (Neptune, 9:45 pm). You can watch a trailer at this website. And here is an awesome production still:

Filming _Tell No One_

Men in Love

posted by on June 1 at 9:26 AM

Some straight people do horrifying things to their children. They beat ‘em, drug ‘em, cage ‘em, microwave ‘em, kill ‘em. And between me and Dave, Slog manages to take note of the most spectacular examples of heterosexual depravity—not all examples, despite the complaints lodged in comments. We actually show remarkable restraint around here, only Slogging about an item, or including it in “Last Days,” when it rises to the level of, well, the truly, remarkably, horribly horrifying.

But, hey, there are tons of depraved homosexuals out there—God knows—and if we’ve been remiss in bringing you examples of homosexual depravity, well, that’s probably because we know we can rely on the anti-gay Christian-industrial complex to bring you examples of homosexual depravity. We wouldn’t to step on James Dobsons’ toes, you know? Also, while homosexual acts of depravity are, like, all depraved and shit, gay sickos tend to abuse each other, not children, and so Slog, “Last Days,” and Nancy Grace are less likely to take note.

But, hey, turnabout is fair play, and so…

Gay rape orgies shock the Netherlands

A GAY gang that allegedly raped victims lured on the internet, drugged them and infected them with the AIDS virus has shocked the Netherlands….

Officials said the three HIV-positive men invited gays contacted on the internet to private homosexual orgies. When the victims turned up, they were allegedly given ecstasy and GHB (which is undetectable when mixed in drinks), leaving them helpless and, in some cases, with no memory of what happened.

The three suspects—one of whom is a male nurse—were said to have raped the men, and even injected some of them with a mix of their contaminated blood.

The Next Jordan

posted by on June 1 at 8:59 AM

Returning the player image from bling to the basics, LeBron, “after the breathtaking display of talent [that] gave the Cavs a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals,” said:

“I’m banged up. I’m winded. I’m fatigued.. I’ve got all day tomorrow. It’s going to be tough to get some rest when you got a crazy, 2-year-old running around the house. So hopefully, I can take him to one of his grandma’s house.”
Fatherhood? Childcare? Grandmas? These are things that, even jokingly, could never come out of Allen Iverson’s mouth, which is why, despite his prodigious ball skills, he never became the next Jordan.

Amnesia and Job-Related Stress: The Michael Schreck Mystery Thickens

posted by on June 1 at 8:58 AM

In this week’s Last Days, I devote a few hundred words to the saga of Michael Schreck, the Issaquah man who disappared after going jogging on Cougar Mountain, setting off a massive and fruitless search before turning up three days later at home without a scratch on him.

At the time of his reappearance, Schreck attributed his disappearance to a fall from a trail that left him unconscious in a ravine for three days; Schreck reportedly fought off hypothermia by covering himself wtih leaves and branches.

The whole thing stinks with unanswered questions, from “What kind of fall knocks someone unconscious for three days but leaves no visible bumps, scrapes, or bruises?” to “How did Schreck manage to fend off hypothermia by covering himself with leaves and branches if he was unconscious?” and beyond.

Today Q13 helps the mystery thicken, reporting on the two letters written by Michael Schreck and his wife to King County rescuers (who spent a rainy weekend scouring Cougar Mountain in vain).

Emily Schreck wrote that her husband has been diagnosed with amnesia since his mystery run on Cougar Mountain two weeks ago.

Michael Schreck blames his four-day disappearance on job-related stress and says he hit his head and went unconscious during that time.

Uh, what the fuck? What part does “job-related stress” play in rendering someone unconscious in a ravine for three days? And if Schreck is suffering from amnesia, where did all the details of his miraculous return—his memories of coming to, hauling himself out of the ravine, keeping himself alive with muddy creek water, etc—come from?

My guess: “Job-related stress” is what drove Michael Schreck to do whatever he actually did for those four days, and “amnesia” is how he wants to get out of explaining it now.

But whatever. As Q13 reports:

[The Schrecks’] notes offer their thanks to the searchers. They also offer a one-thousand dollar donation. King County Search and Rescue accepted the one-thousand dollar donation, but is declining to lend Emily Schreck a guide to find where her husband says he collapsed.Deputies say the case is over and there’s no sense diverting a rescuer to find a spot Michael Schreck might not remember.

As ever, stay tuned.

Morning News

posted by on June 1 at 7:38 AM

Gone: Top Bush adviser, Dan Bartlett, resigns.

Out: Still an assisted suicide advocate, Kevorkian released from prison.

Caught: King of Spam arrested for fraud.

“He may not be able to make a full assessment of the situation in Iraq by September, as demanded by lawmakers.” Top U.S. commander Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno says surge analysis may not come in September.

“Our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies.” No more individual funerals at Fort Lewis

“Suppression of genuine opposition, abridgement of the right to protest, and the decline of media freedom are all serious setbacks.” U.S. State Dept. trashes Putin.

“What are Republicans?” Minority Leader John Boehner convenes GOP for a rebranding session.

Attacked: Lebanese army resumes assault on Palestinian militants.

Reconsidered: Wall Street Journal may sell to Murdoch after all.

Sally Clark: Unveils City Council nightlife proposal

Le Bron James: Cleveland star has history-making NBA playoff performance.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Analgesic, My Fiend, Is Blow in the Wind

posted by on May 31 at 5:42 PM

Scientists have discovered particles of cocaine and marijuana, as well as caffeine and tobacco, in the air of Italy’s capital, they said on Thursday.

The concentration of drugs was heaviest in the air around Rome’s Sapienza university, though the National Research Council’s Dr. Angelo Cecinato warned against drawing conclusions about students’ recreational habits.

Calling their study “the first in the world to show the presence of particles of cocaine suspended in the atmosphere of the city”, the researchers said they took samples in Rome, the southern city of Taranto and in Algiers in North Africa.

Paranoid blowhards will surely be peeking through the blinds to spot scientists in lab coats taking air samples, but the rest of us can find hope in the technology. If used for good, it could determine relative drug use rates between neighborhoods, showing which demographics use which drugs at which rates—or dispelling commonly held beliefs about who uses certain drugs and in what quantity. You gotta wonder how the U-District’s drug concentrations compare to other Seattle neighborhoods…

Today on Line Out.

posted by on May 31 at 5:05 PM

The Love I’m Searching For: The Rentals Return to Seattle.

No, No, No: Amy Winehouse’s Bad Look.

Where Would Sex Be?: Without the Wah Wah Pedal.

I Know It’s Serious: Are Comas the New Horse?

Partcoma?: Don’t Fuck with Partman Parthorse.


Hopkins and Me and Some Simple Strategies for Stalkers!

posted by on May 31 at 4:43 PM

My affection for the Egyptian Theater runs deep as Lindsay Lohan’s coke spoon, but forgive me if I feel that the old girl waxes a bit threadbare in the presence of such glittery grandness as Anthony Hopkins. Just last Monday, for instance, the Egyptian’s projector exploded or melted or something during the first fifteen minutes of The Life and Times of Yva Las Vegas, which was actually rather awesome, since Yva was in the audience, and she stormed the stage with her guitar ablaze and dazzled us all with an impromptu concert. But still. Perhaps as the venue for the Lifetime Achievement Award thing the SIFFsters threw for Anthony Hopkins last night, The Egyptian should have been carefully reconsidered. Just a thought.

Anyway. Let’s start at the beginning.

When it comes to stalking celebrities professionally, as I have often been rumored to do, (say it to my face and I’ll slap you), I have developed this policy: meet the famous upfront, face-to-face. Always have someone introduce you properly. Whenever appropriate, get shitty drunk with them. Also, never, but never, herd in amongst (ugh) the paparazzi, and don’t ever bring a camera, never ask for an autograph or picture, and, good lord, avoid “interviewing” at all costs. Nothing sucks ass like interviewing the famous. Nothing. It’s completely degrading. Any fucking schmuck can dress up like a desperate hairdresser in a tragic suit and square-toed Aldo’s, paste an insipid smile on, and beg celebrities to answer the same old stupid questions that they’ve been asked a zillion times before by insipid assholes in square-toed Aldo’s. The celebrity, of course, (baring some notable exceptions), will answer as patiently as possible while secretly yearning to rip your head off, shit down your neck, and get back to groupie sex and their billion dollar prescription habits. Perish. The fucking. Thought.

Also, careful anonymity cannot be overrated. Through simple lurking and spying, I have personally allegedly witnessed huge stars pick loose women up off the street for sex, and seen a budding big-budget starlet snort coke in the men’s room of a certain Pine St. bar. Roseanne once spit her gum at me (I still have it), and I once also supposedly witnessed a very famous director snag an entire cadre of nubile boyflesh from a hotel lounge, scamper them off to his suite for, you guessed it, an entire night of nubile boysexing. But I don’t want to say too much about that here. You understand.

It’s also possibly worth noting that unless you are a well-practiced and consummate sort of eavesdropper (as am I) that it might be impossible for you to avoid detection. In this case, your stalking might be best served from the safe embrace of a large crowd. When it comes to spying, I have ears like an obsessive bat, the focus of ten Zen monks, and the strange ability to witness a person’s every move, even if I seem to be looking exactly the opposite direction, and have nails in my eyes. It’s almost supernatural.

But the fans! The tittering crowd of fans! Those quixotic souls who care enough to emerge blinking from their holes to haunt such strange events as last night’s award ceremony, just to get a glimpse of their icon….that’s where the real fun is. The real meat. I love lurking all stealthy and anonymous amongst the fans, seeing how they react and overreact—-and I adore eavesdropping on what they say. That’s my favorite sport. That’s where I decided to be last night when old Tony Hopkins made the grand entrance for his SIFF awards event—-in the herd of fans. There was a fairly reasonable mob hovering outside the theater to watch Sir Anthony red-carpet his way inside, eager for a glimpse of the biggest star SIFF has snagged since Jeff Goldblum back in 2000-whatever, so I tucked my press pass into my jacket and joined them. Many people clutched Hopkins-related memorabilia and Sharpies in the hopes of an autograph. One extremely freaky dude wore a homemade Hannibal Lecter mask, but I’d rather not dwell on it.

When Anthony finally arrived, he was already somehow mobbed by a mobile cache of admirers, and when he came into sight, an over-excited woman in her fifties began screaming, “I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!” like a thirteen-year-old girl in the presence of Justin Timberlake’s underwear. Many of the autograph seekers held their various objects out with, “Sir Hopkins, please! Sir Hopkins, please!” Sir Hopkins only favored one hopeful with an autograph, then posed briefly with his wife for pictures, before scampering off into the theater.

Once the star was safely inside, the young guy whose poster of some sort Anthony signed held it triumphantly over his head and trumpeted, “EBAY!” Everyone laughed. Then an older woman remarked to no one in particular, “He looks just like my father!” and was answered, “He looks like everyone’s father.” Everyone laughed again. Then the dust settled, the buzz died down, and the entire crowd scattered, smiling, a little happier, and little star struck. Inside, Sir Anthony was given a big chunk of one-eyed glass and copious ass kissing. He was very, very grateful, and that was that.

The end!

(Thanks to Jose Trujillo/The PI, for the pic, which is from Tuesday’s screening of Hopkin’s film “Slipstream”, and not from the event described above. To which I did not bring a camera. Because I never carry a camera. As I explained earlier. Word.)

The Teenage Prostitute’s Handbook

posted by on May 31 at 4:36 PM

Back in March, I wrote about a teenage prostitute who was being aggressively prosecuted by King County. Today, I got my hands on copies of several letters sent to the girl from her pimp, who’s currently in jail on a domestic violence charge.

How you doing babes? I need you to do something for me. SMILE.


Now I must get down to business with you. I hope you know what I expect of you when the 20th comes around. I expect for you to continue to handle yourself in a productive, professional fashion as if I was still there, because I am. I’m still here. Do not let these people tear us apart. Every time they took you away from me, I was there smiling when you came back. Now I expect the same from you and without a doubt in my mind, I know you will be. I need you to be my better half and continue to hold me down like you always have. I believe in you. Here is the ultimate test.

Now I need you to switch and play my role for yourself so I’m going to give you the Dos & Don’ts that you need to follow and apply at all times. With no exceptions or excuses. Period.

Don’t ever run out of condoms.

Don’t consume any alcoholic beverages or ingest any form of drug or illegal substance in any way shape or form while at work or 3 hours before.

Don’t reckless eyeball or communicate in any way shape or form with any individuals of African descent.

Don’t ever get in a car with tinted windows you can’t see in.

Don’t ever double date with another girl.

Don’t ever get comfortable or close with any other females at work.

The chilling letter goes on to tell the young woman how she can send the pimp her earnings while he’s incarcerated. It ends with these words of encouragement:

Nothing has changed. I need you to continue to be my better half. I wish that I could be there for you in the flesh and I promise to be back before you think. So hold me down like I know you can. Shine.

The young woman’s mother got suspicious when letters kept coming to the house addressed to a person who didn’t live there.

In a second letter, the young woman’s pimp shows his poetic side:

-A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the tiny hole. Then, it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared it had gotten as far as it could, so to help the butterfly, he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily but it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of his life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon, and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body to the wings. When this happened, the butterfly would be ready for flight. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in life to become strong enough to fly.

Struggle with me and we’ll fly together.

-This is what you strive to obtain:
1) Money.
2) Power.
3) Respect.

We’re Bonnie and Clyde now. It’s me and you against the world.

The young woman’s court file also contains her handwritten schedule and notations of her earnings, as well as inspirational tips on how to succeed in her sad line of work.

Get up to his level. Love yourself. Be about the money. You’re on a time limit. Stay sweet. Get him to look at me. Be the baddest bitch. Get him to remember you. Make him just so amazed.

Nightlife Update

posted by on May 31 at 4:03 PM

City Council member Sally Clark has released the details of her nightlife license proposal (co-sponsored by Jan Drago), an amended version of Mayor Nickels’s plan to regulate the behavior of clubs and their patrons. Unlike Nickels’s proposal, which would have allowed the city to suspend or, eventually, revoke a nightclub’s license for nuisance violations involving noise and litter (as well as more serious violations), Clark’s proposal would allow fines in lieu of license suspensions. Only violent offenses would result in automatic suspension of a license.

Other changes:

• Clark’s proposal would create a “nightlife enforcement unit” that would enforce the new operating standards, respond to complaints, and issue fines; the mayor’s proposal placed that responsibility with the Department of Executive Administration (DEA), a division of the mayor’s office.

• Clark’s proposal would give the nightlife board (originally proposed by Nickels) the authority to hold hearings and review penalties or license denials imposed on bars and clubs—and it would require the DEA director to consider them.

• The new proposal would also strengthen the noise ordinance, using a decibel standard rather than the subjective “person of normal hearing” standard in the mayor’s ordinance. It would also boost fines for noise violations, from the current $500 to between $2,000 and $6,000. The authority for noise code enforcement would shift away from police to another, unnamed, department, and a “minimum” of two new staff would be hired to deal with noise complaints.

• The ordinance would subject “overly noisy establishments” and clubs that repeatedly violate occupancy standards subject to fines or abatement through the city’s nuisance code.

In addition to those amendments, the ordinance directs the mayor to: work with the state liquor board to get more agents assigned to Seattle; use the new powers the legislature gave the city last session to pressure the liquor board not to renew the licenses of problem clubs; require permits and training for bouncers; consider licensing event promoters; and revisit whether and what sort of clubs should be allowed in neighborhood business districts.


posted by on May 31 at 3:53 PM

P Is For Poodle

General Idea was a trio of artists who lived and worked together for more than 25 years until two of them died of AIDS, about four months apart, in 1994.

Their remaining member, AA Bronson, is giving a talk at the Henry tomorrow at 7 pm that you shouldn’t miss. I just got back from a press preview with him this morning, for the exhibition that opens Saturday at the Henry called General Idea Editions 1967-1995.

It’s a small show, but packed with the famous (the AIDS adaptation of Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture) and the obscure (the Miss General Idea pageant, the sharp-fingered couture-hand, the pills, the placebos, and the 1980s poodles meant as a taunt to all the writers who refused to address the themes of sexual identity in the work).

There are portraits of the artists as poodles (above), as doctors, and as white baby harp seals. (“We were always picturing ourselves as something other than artists,” Bronson said this morning.) The work captures the consumerist, appropriation-minded attitude of the late 20th-century, slyly, kindly, and playfully, to the end.

UPDATE: I’ve corrected the day of the lecture, which is tomorrow (Friday, June 1), not Saturday. Apologies.


Too Many Dead

posted by on May 31 at 3:35 PM

Via Shakesville:

So many Fort Lewis soldiers are being killed in Iraq the Army base will no longer hold individual memorial services.

Starting next month Fort Lewis says it will hold one memorial a month for all the dead soldiers.

Why Didn’t We Think of That Before?!?!

posted by on May 31 at 3:28 PM

Cease-Fire Eyed to Stop Violence in Iraq

U.S. military commanders are talking with Iraqi militants about cease-fires and other arrangements to try to stop the violence, the No. 2 American commander said Thursday.

RTID Moves Forward

posted by on May 31 at 3:26 PM

The executive board of the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) approved the joint RTID/Sound Transit package this afternoon sans the dreaded Cross Base Highway, a proposed new four-lane, $477 million highway in Pierce County that would have cut through Fort Lewis and the McChord Air Force Base—and destroyed the last remaining oak-woodland prairie in western Washington. Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, a Cross Base supporter, vowed to veto the entire proposal when it comes to Pierce County if it didn’t include the highway; Cross Base supporters and opponents each claim they have the votes to override the executive’s veto (all three counties have to approve the joint measure to put it on the ballot in all three counties). If Ladenburg does veto the joint ballot measure, and if the county council fails to overturn the veto, the ballot measure could still move forward in King and Snohomish Counties, but that’s hardly an ideal scenario.

Today’s lengthy meeting was a mix of praise (from environmentalists), criticism (from Pierce County officials and commuters) and mutual back-patting (from the board). “The package you’re looking at today is something we think we can advocate for,” said Rob Johnson, political director for the pro-transit Transportation Choices Coalition. “The environmental community is willing and excited to get this package on the ballot this fall.” However, Mary Ann Lincoln of the Spanaway Community Association, who lives in Spanaway and works in Redmond, insisted that Pierce County residents need the Cross Base Highway to commute. “I have spent five hours a day in my car. I have arrived at work angry and frustrated and that’s no way to arrive at work,” Lincoln said. She added that the number of drivers the new highway would serve “is probably a lot more people than the environmental community has in their organizations.”

The joint ballot measure includes $1.1 billion to replace the aging SR-520 bridge across Lake Washington, plus anywhere from $700 million to $1.2 billion in tolls. (Currently, RTID is using the higher number; more on that in a moment.) Additional funding for the $4.4 billion project—up to $1 billion—could come from a $1 billion “pool” of future state and federal money anticipated by the legislature; however, the more of that money pays for the 520 replacement, the less will remain for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the other recipient of funding from the “pool.”

RTID adopted the higher toll revenue estimate, according to a story in yesterday’s P-I, because the agency now predicts that evening peak-hour traffic on the bridge will be 28 percent higher than anticipated. (That’s cars, not people, so that figure doesn’t indicate higher transit use.) However, that increased revenue estimate also assumes that tolls will be around $3 each way—the highest toll level RTID considered. Given that tolls have a diversionary effect—people find other routes, or avoid trips during peak hours—you’d expect that higher tolls would mean fewer bridge users, not more. And if it doesn’t, it’s hard to see what problem building a wider (six-lane versus four-lane) bridge is going to solve—if single-occupant car traffic is just going to go up and up no matter what, what’s the point of building a larger, more expensive bridge?

The proposal now goes to the RTID Planning Committee for final adoption on June 8. From there, it goes to the Snohomish, Pierce and King county councils for placement on the November ballot.

Teenagers Struck

posted by on May 31 at 3:20 PM

In case you’re at the Olympic Sculpture Park this weekend and notice that those white vinyl woven structures inside the pavilion are missing, here’s what’s up: A bunch of teenagers swinging inside them (they’re sculptures called Capulas by the artist Pedro Reyes) broke one. (It fell to the floor, which wasn’t far up, so nobody was hurt.)

The pieces were made for sitting and swinging in, so it’s no big deal, Darling said. They’ve been taken down to be restrung and they’ll be back up probably in a matter of weeks.

Darling said the art in the pavilion is scheduled to change over in January. He can’t say for sure who’s coming up to replace Reyes, but he’s talking to the hard-to-categorize LA artist, graphic designer, filmmaker, animator, and Yeti-admirer Geoff McFetridge.

(McFetridge was a graphic designer and graduate of CalArts when he started having art exhibitions 10 years ago. In addition to art, he’s made commercials, music videos, and he did the opening titles for Adaptation and The Virgin Suicides. Check out this short doc about him and his work.)

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father—Supreme Court Edition!

posted by on May 31 at 3:20 PM

Scalia daughter pleads to DUI charge

The daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, of Wheaton, on Wednesday accepted a plea agreement under which prosecutors dropped four other charges including endangering the life of a child and failure to secure a child younger than eight in a child-restraint system.

She was arrested Feb. 12 while driving away from a fast-food restaurant in Wheaton, 20 miles west of Chicago. Three of her children were inside her 1996 Ford van when someone called police to report a suspected intoxicated driver, authorities have said.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Regular Guy

posted by on May 31 at 2:45 PM

I was disappointed in this year’s exhibition of MFA grads from UW, but two artists stood out, and Fred Muram is one of them.

Thing is, Muram’s three videos in the show are only half the story. They’re part of a performance series he does that’s like a mild satire on artist lectures and autobiographical documentaries.

In this one, which is, unfortunately, not on display at UW (he sent it to me after I requested it), he plays a regular guy playing an artist.

His low-key narration gives the distinct impression that, as an artist, he doesn’t know what to make. So he goes about it by trial and error, and all of his experiments, not just the successes, are shown. His character is sort of nervous, sort of a failure, and sort of lost, but determined and lovable and vulnerable, like someone out of Miranda July.

He sets things on fire (which his professor declares is dumb). He watches his remote-controlled airplane crash in his apartment living room and wonders whether shooting it in a studio instead would have improved the piece. He stages a friend keeping the song “Sabotage” alive through an electrical brownout.

It’s funny, and clever, and at times, touching and slightly intimate. And it’s unlike anything else being made in Seattle. I want to see more of this character.

Après Film at Septieme

posted by on May 31 at 2:22 PM

I watched the Darfur doc The Devil Came on Horseback at the Harvard Exit again last night. It’s devastating. Aside from the gut-clenching photographs, the best sequence in the documentary is an interview with a highly educated survivor living in a refugee camp, who, in his careful English, delivers an impassioned thank-you to the government—here he corrects himself—to the people of the United States for the food and supplies their camp has received. It’s the most understated, worthwhile guilt trip I’ve ever been subject to. The entire audience was choking back tears.


Filmmakers Annie Sundberg (who was in attendance, along with subject/witness Brian Steidle, who took the above photograph) and Ricki Stern are basically self-distributing the film, but Annie assured us they’d bring it back to Seattle sometime in the late summer.

After the movie Annie and Brian and some old and new friends (the “new” category included a pirate computer-game programmer who met Brian at Folklife this weekend and Iraq in Fragments director James Longley) headed to Cafe Septieme for drinks and dinner. Annie, who is of Swedish extraction, may look hardcore and distant in her headshot, but she’s not above discussing the merits of pet health insurance or evangelizing the bicycle as a means of urban transport. She told one adorable story about locking her bike (vintage women’s Robin Hood, blue with sparkly blue grips) up to a similar one (brown Robin Hood—the male model) and being suddenly moved to write the other bike a love letter on behalf or her smitten three-speed. Turns out it belonged to an acquaintance. A female acquaintance. The actual story is much longer because the female acquaintance has a gender-ambiguous nickname.

Then James Longley, who highly recommends the beet salad, announced that Pirates of the Caribbean is no good, even if you have insomnia and are attending a midnight screening.

If you liked The Devil Came on Horseback—or even if you missed it—you should definitely check out The Trials of Darryl Hunt, another excellent documentary by the same filmmaking team that screened at SIFF last year and is opening at Northwest Film Forum on July 27th. Here’s the trailer:

Arigato, Takohachi

posted by on May 31 at 1:47 PM

A year or so after I moved to Seattle, I read one of Eric Asimov’s “$25 and Under” columns in the New York Times. It was all about tonkatsu—panko-breaded, deep fried pork goodness—and left me with a rabid craving for the stuff. Unsure where to go for a fix, I emailed Stranger food critic Min Liao (whose food writing, sniff, I still miss to this day). She instructed me to head to Takohachi, “the place with the octopus sign.” I’ve been enjoying Takohachi’s homestyle Japanese cooking ever since.

Sadly, Takohachi is closing for good on June 2. The owner is retiring and, according to one of the many charming and carefully hand-lettered signs that hang on the restaurant’s walls, a new Japanese restaurant will open in the spot on 610 S Jackson later this summer. I have no idea what that place will be like; I can only hope it will retain the tall, wooden booths and simplicity and comfort of its former occupant’s food.

I went to Takohachi for a final lunch the other day. Along with tonkatsu, I had curry rice, fried rice, hamburg steak, croquettes, and tori no kara-age (soy-marinated, fried chicken). Generally, I skip chicken in favor of the other white meat, but I cannot believe I stayed away from the Takohachi’s fried chicken this long. It’s fantastic—tender and juicy and flavorful and crispy. Go now while you still can.

Unfortunately, my computer is being an a-hole and not allowing me to upload a photo of the Takohachi sign. So go here instead. And while I’m on the subject, if anyone knows what’s happening to the sign when Takohachi closes, please let me know. I want it.

The Gays Sue eHarmony

posted by on May 31 at 1:18 PM

I’ve received numerous complaints at “Savage Love” from various homos upset about eHarmony’s anti-gay policies. The popular dating website—founded by a Christian conservative, promoted by an extremely annoying ad campaign—doesn’t take ads from “men seeking men” or “women seeking women.” eHarmony also doesn’t acknowledge the possibility that some of members may be bisexual because, as the founder says, he’s not an expert on same-sex dating.


Well now someone is suing the old bigot.

A lawsuit alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Linda Carlson, who was denied access to eHarmony because she is gay.

Lawyers bringing the action said they believed it was the first lawsuit of its kind against eHarmony, which has long rankled the gay community with its failure to offer a “men seeking men” or “women seeking women” option.

It was inevitable, of course. But I never wrote about eHarmony because their exclusionary policies never really exercised me. It’s not as if there’s a dearth of gay dating websites out there—and does anyone know if,,,,,, etc., accept ads from “men seeking women” and “women seeking men”? I don’t have time to check ‘em all out but, gee, I kinda doubt it.

There’s room on God’s green Internet for gay personals websites and straight personals websites—just as there’s room in the real world for gay bars and straight bars, gay porn companies and straight porn companies, gay rodeos and straight rodeos. It’s not like homos are exactly under-served in this area—there are almost too many queer personals websites out there. And so if the breeders wanna have one all to themselves, well, what’s the harm in it?

Don’t get me wrong: I think eHarmony’s anti-gay, anti-lesbians, and anti-bi policies are offensive and idiotic—not to mention bad business practices. Queers are big users of Internet personals—if I owned eHarmony stock I’d be pissed. But I hardly think eHarmony is worth the trouble of suing. Unless, of course, we’re going to insist that Lesbotronic and Slave4Master and Dudesnude, etc., all start accepting ads from “men seeking women” and “women seeking men.”

Dunshee House in Trouble?

posted by on May 31 at 1:10 PM

Dunshee House—formerly Seattle AIDS Support Group—sent out a vaguely worded appeal for funds today. The press release doesn’t go into detail about the crisis the group apparently faces. It simply emphasizes that despite “enjoying a robust and well attended menu of groups,” and having “reduced our administrative expenses by over forty percent,” Dunshee House needs an immediate influx of cash “to ensure our continued existence for the remainder of this year.”

Why Dunshee House is in trouble when its groups are full and its expenses are down? You guessed it: “ever diminishing resources for AIDS service organizations.”

Full text of the appeal after the jump.

Continue reading "Dunshee House in Trouble?" »

Madam Sex

posted by on May 31 at 1:01 PM

This book is presently displayed in the window of a small bookstore, Spine and Crown, on Pine Street.


This is the author of the art book, Contemporary Art in France:


Catherine Millet is also the author of a pornographic memoir called The Sexual Life of Catherine M., which was published in 2002 and reviewed in this paper by the Marxist philosopher Nic Veroli. Here is the opening paragraph of that review, “Sex Boredom, Death: Looking For the French Fuck”:

Between the moment you are ejected from your mother’s womb, screaming and covered in blood, and the moment you die, groaning and on your way back to the primal muck, you have to find some way of passing the time. That is the human condition and there is no haggling with it. Some people get into politics or art or they go bowling. Catherine Millet picked sex as her existential hobby and that is what she writes about in her memoir, The Sexual Life of Catherine M.

I read the book about the time the review was published and found it amazing, not because of the amount of sex Millet had experienced in her life but because her writing made all of that sex sound boring. When she sucks a penis it’s with the feeling of a cold sea creature; she simply does it because the thing is in front of her face, at a party or in a park. This is her rhythm: She meets a man, sucks/fucks him, has a few dull sensations, finishes, and moves on to the next encounter with no hope or desire that it will be better than the previous encounter, or other encounters in her near and distant past. One wonders if a woman who has almost no passion when it comes to writing about sex can have any passion when it comes to writing about art. And writing without passion is not writing at all.

I wanted to have a quick look at the inside of Contemporary Art in France, but the closed store imprisoned the book. Nevertheless, Ellen Forney did a nice illustration for Veroli’s review of Millet’s dry sex book.


Nightlife License Moves Forward

posted by on May 31 at 12:25 PM

Council member Sally Clark is expected to introduce a revised nightlife licensing proposal later today, to the likely disappointment of bar and club advocates, who had hoped the council would scuttle the mayor’s proposal in favor of non-license-based legislation that would increase enforcement of nuisance laws like the noise ordinance without giving the city the ability to shut down clubs at will. The silver lining, however, is that city officials will only be able to pull the new license in the case of violent incidents, which are relatively rare—alleviating fears that clubs would be held responsible for noise and litter violations that take place off their property. Clark’s neighborhoods and economic development committee will hold a final public hearing on the proposal on Monday, June 4 at 5:30 pm in City Council chambers.

Party starts… NOW!

posted by on May 31 at 12:20 PM


Don’t fuck with the horse…

See what all the hubub is about over at Line Out.

SIFF 2007: Thurs Highlights

posted by on May 31 at 12:07 PM

The Stranger’s suggested viewing for every slot in the festival continues below and at SIFF Notes Online: There’s a new venue, starting today: way out in Bellevue, you can enjoy the cushy, independently owned seats at Lincoln Square Cinemas.


Pacific Place, 2 pm: The first movie of the day is again decided for you. The dreamy Spanish epilepsy tale Doghead is the only thing in this slot. But hooray, it’s excellent.


In the mood for an elaborate Hong Kong spaghetti western homage? Johnny To’s Exiled (Egyptian at 4:45 pm) is where it’s at. Documentary aficionados should check out Crossing the Line (SIFF Cinema at 4 pm), a North Korea curio about an AWOL American soldier from the director of the excellent A State of Mind.

Northwest Film Forum, 7 pm: Stranger art critic Jen Graves has a NEW REVIEW of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s nonfiction film Strange Culture, about government paranoia and political art:

Strange Culture

Steve Kurtz has his own personal 9/11: 5/11/2004, when his wife Hope died of heart failure. FBI agents subsequently found in his house harmless bacteria he was using for an artwork in a museum show, and the government began to stalk him as a bioterrorist. The bioterrorism charge had no legs, but the government has continued its attack on Kurtz, whose work is critical of the government’s lack of regulation on the big business of genetically modified foods. (Kurtz is awaiting trial on mail fraud, which could carry a sentence of 20 years in prison.) Artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s forays into identity get heavy-handed (when Tilda Swinton, for instance, remarks ponderously on the implications of the death of Hope, who she has just played in earlier scenes), but they’re a side show anyway to the main event: a portrait of what happens when your own paranoid government gets into your house. JEN GRAVES

Lincoln Square, 9:45 pm: First, I must point out that Jennifer Aniston’s Seattle directorial debut is happening tonight. Surely someone out there is grateful for this information. (It’s okay—you don’t have to admit it.) If, on the other hand, you absolutely must be the first on your block to see the newest horror comedy—or you’re totally averse to staying up late (it screens again Saturday at midnight)—now’s the time to make the trek out to Bellevue to see Black Sheep. Here’s the trailer:

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 31 at 11:21 AM


‘a deer in the headlights’
Toronto artist Stephen Andrews didn’t lowercase the title just to be twee. His sentence fragment points the way to his drawings—based on photographs, and rubbed on over layers of mesh—as bits of information massed together and longing for meaning. Since his 2005 show of war drawings, he has switched to advertising. His latest animation is a symbol-packed 45-second car commercial in which you play the driver, the deer, the pedestrian, and the road itself. (Platform Gallery, 114 Third Ave S, 323-2808. 11 am—5:30 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES

FINALLY! Japanese Beer… for Kids!

posted by on May 31 at 10:37 AM

Do you remember your first beer? The one you snuck out of the fridge and then choked down while your parents were off at the Steak & Chop House? Didn’t you hate the sneaking around, when you could have enjoyed drinking that beer while spending quality time with your family? Well, thanks to TV in Japan for alerting us to the great new non-alcoholic beer Kodomo no nomimono, developed especially for kids ! See? It’s fun to pretend getting drunk off your ass (and eventually losing your job, and any hope of a lasting meaningful relationship).

Chris Crocker: Outtake 1

posted by on May 31 at 9:45 AM

Like I said yesterday (just before Slog got “hit by the MySpace truck”) there was a lot I couldn’t fit into my Chris Crocker profile.


So I’m going to post some of my left-out Crocker material as Slog “outtakes” over the next week. Here’s the first: The back-story of how Chris got the attention of MTV.

It’s a story that, just like yesterday’s huge Crocker comment thread, shows how well Chris communicates with his fans (or, to put it in more cynical terms, how well he uses his position at the head of a digital mob).

Chris clearly knows there’s some power in being able to send out a MySpace bulletin and have his fans respond immediately to his directions. Here he is, in his “Queen of All Ghetto” video, warning his haters: “I’ma tell my MySpace fans on y’all. I can have my groupies on your ass in 5,4,3,2,1… It’s nothing.”

Matt Sunbulli was one of the first big-media people to find this out. As I write in my profile, Sunbulli is MTV’s “web correspondent,” and he’s asked Chris to make a video for the MTV web site. The video should be posted online sometime in the near future, and could also air on MTV cable.

“I kinda troll the web on a daily basis,” Sunbulli told me when I called him two weeks ago to talk about how he found Chris. “I have a pretty good feel and pulse on the web. I stumbled into him.”

Like a lot of people, Sunbulli first watched Chris’s This and That video, was intrigued, and proceeded to the others. “Two things resonated with me right off the bat,” Sunbulli told me. The first: “The intimacy of the videos.” And the second: “This tremendous group following that he had.”

It reminded Sunbulli of this high-minded web essay about the rise of digital mobs and the dangers to the national discourse in pandering to them. Chris is not exactly what the essay was talking about, but his huge following got Sunbulli thinking about the online future—”About social groups forming around social personalities, and almost mimicking mob behavior and taking it to the next level… How long are we from having an online revolutionary? I truly think we’re not very far away from having online revolutionaries rising wholly from the web.”

Sunbulli got in contact with Chris, told him he was fascinated by him, and said they should talk. This was one of the earliest signs of interest from the wider world that Chris received, and he got back to Sunbulli very quickly, sounding very excited. Sunbulli didn’t write back immediately; he’s a busy guy.

“The next day I check my email and I have like a 1,000 emails in my MySpace in-box from his ‘friends,’” Sunbulli told me. People were demanding that he put Chris on his next MTV webisode. “That honestly made me more interested,” Sunbulli said. “The fact that he had this much sway.”

All Chris had done, it turned out, was send out a MySpace bulletin telling his fans to contact Sunbulli. So Sunbulli did some quick calculations about MySpace bulletins, which appear on MySpace members’ pages when sent to them by their MySpace friends.

For active MySpace users like Chris’s fans, these bulletins tend to disappear quickly, because they’re constantly being pushed down by other bulletins from other friends. Given the short “hang time” of a MySpace bulletin, Sunbulli concluded that the emails he was receiving about Chris Crocker represented only a tiny fraction of the highly motivated “fans” at Chris’s disposal.

He was a bit in awe. He was a bit scared. He thought: “This is tremendous power.”

(Meanwhile, for another churning comment thread related to Chris Crocker, and one with a bit of a different tone than yesterday’s Slog comment thread, check out today’s Towleroad post about my story.)

That’s Not Funny

posted by on May 31 at 9:23 AM


Especially these days.

(However, if it were funny, all credit would go to the eagle eyes of DJ Freddy King of Pants.)

Morning News

posted by on May 31 at 8:17 AM

The Law and Order Candidate: Fred Thompson to join GOP Presidential Field.

No Law or Order: Suicide bomber kills 25 in Fallujah

“New High”: On Wallstreet S&P 500 hits new record.

New Low: First quarter report shows U.S. economy stalling.

The UN: International Court will prosecute Lebanon assassins.

Ambush: Taliban attack kills 16.

Techie Team Up: Gates and Jobs make rare joint appearance.

Bush Putin Team Up: Bush invites Russian leader to Kennebunkport.

A Goal to Set a Goal. Bush administration to unveil Greenhouse gas strategy of its own.

Jihadist Freelancers: Power vacuum in Gaza gives rise to bin Ladenism.

Jewish Federation Shootings: Naveed Haq pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.

Boycotting Israel: British Academics sever ties with Israeli Universities.

Trying to Restore Peace in Gaza: Olmert and Abbas will meet to discuss cease fire.

Guantanamo Suicide: Saudi detainee found dead in cell.

U.S. Must Free Detainee: Federal Judge says prisoner’s Constitutional rights were violated.

The First Family of France

posted by on May 31 at 7:41 AM

Maybe you’ve heard about the new president of France. Nicolas Sarkozy is conservative, wants to make France a little more like America, and kinda has a bone for George W. Bush. I’m not so into him. But his two older sons?


Holy crap—and his daughters aren’t bad either. They’re calling them the French Kennedys. I have to go lie down now.

Daddy’s Girl

posted by on May 31 at 7:23 AM

A 20 year-old university student in Montreal took daddy—a real biological father—for a drink on the patio of gay bar. It’s a bar that’s notorious for sex acts on the dance floor, the porn that’s constantly showing on the TV monitors around the bar, and gay men in leather. The student and parent were asked to leave—not because the bar has anything against daddies. No, the bar has something against girls.

The patio belongs to Le Stud, a self-styled “hard, manly and virile” leather bar on the fringes of Montreal’s Gay Village. Audrey’s father, Gilles Vachon, said a server sidled over and said “This establishment is for men only. Please leave.”

Audrey Vachon, 20, said she has never felt singled out the way she was on that day…. Her expulsion has provoked a storm of criticism of Le Stud’s owner, who said it is house policy to admit only men—other than on Ladies Night on Wednesdays.

Montreal’s gay chamber of commerce has called on Le Stud to stop discriminating against women. And Le Stud should admit women—not just because it’s the right thing to do, but for the bar’s good. Maybe the owners of Le Stud aren’t paying attention to the evolution of the modern BDSM/fetish scene, but it’s increasingly pan-sexual. Today’s straight and gay BDSM/leather fetishists recognize that they have more in common with each other than they do with non-kinky gay and straight folks.

Still, I can’t understand why anyone—male or female, gay or straight—would want to take mom or dad to a leather bar, even just the patio. But if that’s what floats Audrey’s boat, she should be able to do it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chris Crocker: The Stranger Profile

posted by on May 30 at 4:14 PM

For this week’s Stranger I wrote about Chris Crocker, a 19-year-old gay kid who, using little more than a digital video camera and an internet connection, has managed to channel his small-town frustrations into national online fame.


This was one of the most fun and heartbreaking stories I’ve ever had the chance to write for The Stranger, and I have a number of “Crocker outtakes” to post over the next few days—things I couldn’t fit in the story, but that shouldn’t be kept from the world. Look for them starting tomorrow.

But for now, check out the power of online fame. My story went up online a little less than an hour ago. Chris, who has never had a profile written about him before and was eagerly awaiting it, immediately sent out a MySpace bulletin to his fans giving them a link to The Stranger.

In my story, I write that Chris’s fans “hang on his every MySpace bulletin,” and I wasn’t kidding.

Already, his lovers (and haters) are weighing in on the article by posting comments on his MySpace page. A few kind examples:

Wow…i’ve read da whole article… I love you more now.
I just read the article. Hot damn boy. Get out of there and come here, to LA =D
OMG that thing I read has changed my whole views bout you and your videos I was in tears when I was reading that omg I had do idea that you had to go throught something like that some ppl are just ass holes and you know that is something they have to live with that u so you know what life goes on… Well f u need another fan to tlak to I’m here for you babe… LoVe ya

And then there’s this, from one of the many Crocker haters, who posted the following comment more than 50 times in a row:


UPDATE: And perhaps I should change “national fame,” above, to international fame. This just landed in my in-box from the UK. (And, just to be clear, I’m not posting these to stroke myself, but to show how fast—and far—things can move online these days, and how “viral” anything about Chris can become. Remember, my story went online only an hour ago.)

Greetings, Eli.

My name’s Willem Botha, proud South African, now living in UK to further my studies in film making.

Just want to say that your article on Chris was amazing and I enjoyed reading every word of it. Thank you for sharing it with the world. That boy seriously needs to get out of that town and fast. But things are looking quite bright for him at this moment, which I’m very glad for. I really do care about his future and I wish only the best for him.

Anyway, that was all I wanted to say. Thanks again for the wonderful article!

Best regards


Take 2 for I Dot the Eye

posted by on May 30 at 4:10 PM

SIFF’s one-time-only shorts program about “foundational musings” or some such mumbledygook was uneven (as only the best shorts programs can be) but I am happy to report that two of the best entries can be seen elsewhere.

Rob Perri’s I’m Keith Hernandez, a satirical mash note about the titular baseball player and his druggy, porny, mustachey exploits, will be getting another screening at the Seattle True Independent Festival on Thursday at 6:15 pm at the Rendezvous. Highly recommended.

And Marie Losier’s The Ontological Cowboy, about Richard Foreman, the founder of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York, can be streamed on her website.

The Ontological Cowboy

I love the part about the babies. Also, this is a kind of conflict of interest, because occasional Stranger film freelancer Brian Frye appears to have done the cinematography.

Man on the Moon

posted by on May 30 at 4:03 PM

This is David Sington:
782739d1e326.jpg He directed In the Shadow of the Moon, a documentary about nine men who’ve done something that the rest of us (in history or in the present) have never done: walk on another world, the moon. The rare moon men are asked to express the feeling of seeing the earth as a planet in the sky, as another world, as a complete object? “Earth hung like a fragile jewel in the blackness,” says one moon man.

I had few drinks with the director in SIFF’s guest lounge in the W. After talking about his documentary, we began talking about Francis Bacon. I’ve just read The New Organon but not the book Sington highly recommended, The New Atlantis. “It’s a slim book. You’d be with it in a second. But I wrote a book with my wife called Paradise Dreamed. It has a section on [The New Atlantis], which is about a utopia managed by scientists.”
“Sounds Platonic,” I said.
“It is Platonic, and might very well be the first work of science fiction in history.” During this pleasant conversation, we ate fat shrimp and salmon on sticks.

In the Shadow of the Moon screens today at 7 pm at McCaw Hall.

Bush School On the Defensive

posted by on May 30 at 3:30 PM

I’ve got an article out today about accusations of economic and racial bias at The Bush School.

This morning, Bush preemptively sent out a letter to parents:

Dear Parents and Members of the Bush Community,

Today, The Stranger will publish a story about The Bush School. We have not seen the story, but the questions we have been asked lead us to believe that the story will focus on circumstances that some Third Grade families and the school have been dealing with since the fall. The questions also lead us to believe that these circumstances will be used to draw conclusions about how the school deals with race and diversity issues.

While numbers are not all that matters, in the past seven years we have gone from a school that had only 15% students of color to a student body of 24% students of color. This does not include the other areas we think about when we talk about diversity-economic, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc. We are proud of this work. We know we are not done, but we know we are headed in the right direction. This article in The Stranger, however, is not how we would have chosen to talk about this Third Grade situation or the school’s strong commitment to building a welcoming and diverse community.

Bush is obviously very concerned about their image. In fact, it appears they gave their homepage a little makeover to highlight their diversity.

The May 26th Google cache of their homepage looks like this:


These pics were also on the main page:



If you visit Bush’s homepage now, you’ll find this:



Today in Line Out

posted by on May 30 at 3:14 PM

Kiss Her Ass: Beth Ditto’s pin-up girl cover.

Sasquatch Video Diary: Interviews with Beastie Boys, Bjork, the Arcade Fire, and the Money Mark.

Truckasauras Wrecks: Eric Grandy reviews last night’s Truckasauras show.

Secret’s Out: Jonathan Zwickel reviews last night’s Secret Chiefs 3 show.

I Don’t Give a Fuck: ‘Cause it’s my birthday! And here’s my musical present for you.

Online Guitar Archive Goes Down: And now Eric Grandy can only play half a Nirvana song.

Return of the Rentals. Again.: An L.A. residency and new album in the works. FINALLY!

Trent Moorman Gets Thrashed: And he wants you to too.

East Bound and Down: Kim Hayden’s love letter to Jerry Reed.


New Column!

posted by on May 30 at 3:10 PM


Also, a brand-new Stranger is online now.

Delicious Cruelty

posted by on May 30 at 2:56 PM

The Minimalist is the New York Times’ best food column, and this week is no different. Mark Bittman takes us on a journey into soft-shell crab land, making a po’ boy sandwich from them. The best part? In the video, he cleans a soft-shelled blue crab! Why is this so cool, you ask?

Because cleaning a soft shelled crab-

-involves cutting off what amounts to the face.

Yes! A soft-shelled crab is a blue crab that has just molted, which means it’s real shell hasn’t formed yet, so you fry it up whole, legs and all, and devour it. There is no way you can ignore that your food was an animal.

The Tragedy of Heterosexual Parenting

posted by on May 30 at 2:55 PM

Over at Americablog John Aravosis has posted the complete text of a press release put out by Stephen Bennett, the sometimes spokesman for the Concerned Women of America—that’s right, the spokesman for all those concerned ladies. This particular press release is from some organization that I’ve never heard of—The Parents Group—and and it makes me want to go hunt through all the tubes on the Internets looking for more horrifying “Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father” Slog posts.

Bennett has his panties in a knot because the White House released a picture of Dick and Lynn Cheney with their new grandchild, Samuel David Cheney. Little Sam is the first dude to see the inside of Mary Cheney’s vaginal canal in a long, long time—Mary is a lesbian, you see, and she had this baby with her lesbian partner, Heather Poe. And Bennett crapped his pants when he saw this photo and its caption on the White House’s official website:

His parents are the Cheney’s daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe.

Says Bennett…

Heather Poe is Mary Cheney’s live-in lesbian lover. She may act like a parent, she may treat the baby as a parent, she may love this baby with all of her heart, but in this reality we all live in, Heather Poe is NOT the baby’s real parent. She has NO biological connection to the child whatsoever. Some man, the baby’s real Daddy, is the child’s other REAL parent….

President George W. Bush held several presses conferences calling for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the God-ordained institution of marriage between one man and one woman, while homosexuals pushed for the union of two men or two women to be equally recognized as real “marriage.”

However, the President’s number two, right hand man, Vice President Dick Cheney, clearly rebels against his superior, makes a public mockery of the President and the current Administration he is supposed to represent, and clearly holds to a different set of moral standards and beliefs.

When President Bush stood on the victory stage several years ago after being elected into office by values voters, Mary Cheney was on stage as well with her lesbian lover, Heather Poe. It was a slap in the face to the values voters who had just elected the duo into office. That wound has never healed.

I’m right there with you, Stephen. Seeing Mary Cheney and Heather Poe up on stage with Bush on election night 2004 made me burst a few blood vessels too. It pissed off every thinking queer in the country—but instead of being pissed at Bush for allowing those dykes to stand on that stage with him, we were pissed at those dykes for standing on that stage with Bush after Karl “My Daddy Sucked Cock” Rove’s gay bashing campaign.

But Stephen Bennett isn’t content to merely point out the hypocrisy of the Bush and Cheney families when it comes to gay rights. (“Gays we’re related to have rights, gays we’re not related to don’t.”) No, he has to haul out the every-child-needs-a-mother-and-a-father crap—and use the most slashing, hateful possible language.

While this little innocent child Samuel David Cheney deserves every fighting chance at life, the sins of two women, Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, have deliberately denied the Vice President’s grandson one of the most basic human rights of all: the right to a Daddy and a Mommy.

I say shame on the White House, shame on the President and shame on the Vice President for allowing such a caption to be “officially” added onto the White House website and such a beautiful photo of two happy grandparents and their new grandchild.

I guess we can tragically and officially say both the White House and Bush Administration have officially recognized the sinful sexual unions of homosexuals, as well as recognized and embraced the tragedy of the social experiment of homosexual parenting.

You can’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without being confronted by yet another tragic example of terrible heterosexual parenting. You want tragedy, Stephen? A heterosexual parent in Texas hanged her four children yesterday and herself. The foster care system is packed with children failed by their heterosexual parents—and many of these children are adopted by same-sex couples.

Samuel Cheney is going to be fine. Not only is his family wealthy and powerful, but little Sam benefits from the singular advantage that all children born to or adopted by same-sex couples enjoy: Sam is a wanted child. Gay couples can’t get drunk and adopt one night; lesbian couples don’t accidentally get themselves inseminated. While most opposite-sex couples that find themselves accidentally pregnant rise to the challenge and make great parents (mine included), a distressingly large number do not. That’s the tragedy of heterosexual parenting, Stephen, and its fruits are everywhere on display.

Drug dealing dead holds children and wife hostage in filthy house for four years.

Vegan straight couple starves infant son to death.

Mom and dad put two boys in cage and lock shock collars used by dog trainers on them.

Mom mutilates baby boy’s genitals—cuts his penis clear off—while dad’s at work.

Mom and Dad give baby fatal drug overdose—“a cocktail of pills, including Mylanta, Unisom, Zantac, Benadryl and Sudafed”—while on family vacation.

Dad murders daughter by crashing his twin-engine plane into the home the child’s grandmother.

Mom and dad use 100,000 volt stun gun on their 18 month-old son—again and again.

Susan Smith, Andrew Yates, Scott Peterson—I could go on and on.

But, hey, I don’t doubt that children abused, neglected, abandoned, and murdered at the hands of their heterosexual parents take comfort in knowing that they were abused, neglected, abandoned, and murdered by their REAL parents.

So pull your fat fucking nose out of the Mary and Heather’s business, Stephen, and look to the plight of children living in the Bible Belt. Child abuse, neglect, abandonment—the more religious a state, the greater the danger it seems to pose to children. What did Jesus say about eyes and specks of sawdust and great planks?

Seattle Central Community College Receives Threat

posted by on May 30 at 1:57 PM

Today, Seattle Central Community College sent out a letter to staff and students about a threatening message found in a Science and Mathematics Building bathroom. The threatening note, found nearly a week ago, specifically referred to May 31st.

Our security department is working with the Seattle Police Department and we have increased security in light of this threat.

Many colleges across the nation have dealt with threats and hoaxes in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings. Please be assured that Seattle Central takes every threat seriously and will do everything possible to provide a safe learning environment.

I spoke with a teacher at Central who said that the school is asking students to keep “an ear to the ground” and watch out for anything suspicious.


Just got off the phone with SCCC spokeswoman Laura Mansfield. She says that the threatening note, which was scrawled on a toilet paper dispenser, read “I will kill everyone at SCCC on may 31st.”

According to Mansfield, the school will be “conducting business as usual” tomorrow. The school plans to have 6 or 7 security officers on campus tomorrow and will be receiving additional assistance from SPD. The campus will also be in “lockdown mode,” limiting the number of entrances into the school.

SCCC has not identified the note-writer but Mansfield says that the school is conducting an ongoing investigation.

Cell Phone Diaries

posted by on May 30 at 1:42 PM

While I was in Los Angeles last week my cell phone died—the color screen went all white, and then the display came back but everything was backwards, and then it went all white again. It was a brand-new phone, one of these new beautiful slide phones, a Samsung. I hadn’t dropped it in water. I had dropped my previous phone in water, which was why I had a brand-new phone. The phone I dropped in water I’d only had for about three months. I got that when my previous phone—well, you remember.

Long story short, I had to get a loaner phone from T-Mobile while I was on vacation. I’d bought my latest phone from a T-Mobile dealer, not from a T-Mobile corporate retail location, so I couldn’t just walk in to a T-Mobile store in Los Angeles and exchange it. (Note to T-Mobile: This is retarded!) I had to get this grubby phone as a loaner while T-Mobile mailed me a new phone as well as an envelope to send my broken phone back in.

One of the many weird things about this phone is that not all of my numbers—stored on my SIM card—carried over. Another weird thing: The phone still has a bunch of text messages written to the guy who had it before me. His sent box is empty. But his inbox is full of messages—mostly messages from a girl. I’ve changed her name to Stephanie. I’ve changed his name to Tyler. Angela, Brad, and Adam are pseudonyms, too. Considering these people live far away from Seattle—in a small, sunny, affluent community called Oak Park, where everyone’s parents work in the entertainment industry or are lawyers (or are lawyers in the entertainment industry)—no one minds if I share the messages, do you? You would read them if T-Mobile gave you a loaner phone, wouldn’t you? Of course you would!

Children of privilege, fighting about their love life, over text messages, over two days. Notice the time stamps. Part of what’s fascinating is that you only get one side of the conversation. You gotta fill in what’s missing.

From Stephanie, May 16, 12:25 pm:

? That wasn’t mean. I just knew you wouldn’t be effected if we broke up. Thats part of the reason

From Stephanie, May 16, 12:29 pm:

I dunno i want to know what you want

From Stephanie, May 16, 2:32 pm:


From Stephanie, May 16, 6:15 pm:

Tyler talk

From Stephanie, I think, but she’s texting from someone else’s phone, because just a random number comes up, May 16, 6:33 pm:

Not ne more

From Stephanie, still texting from that other number, May 16, 6:33 pm:

And now you’re lying. He told me he talked to you about it. From stephanie

From Stephanie, May 16, 8:00 pm:

So you’re too cool to think of me even once now?

From that other number [maybe it’s not Stephanie texting this time?], May 16, 8:03 pm:

Wow i feel bad but she did it you know

From that other number, May 16, 8:06 pm:

Hahaha are you stoned?

From that other number, May 16, 8:09 pm:

Yeee doww. Delete your txt i dont want to be stabbed

From that other number, May 16, 8:13 pm:

Haha what are you doing

From that other number, May 16, 8:15 pm:

Haha yee dow

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:32 am:


From Stephanie, May 17, 8:39 am:

Talk. To. Me.

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:43 am:

Say something! Do you like it like this!

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:51 am:

Answer! Do you??

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:52 am:

Cuz i don’t like it..

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:53 am:

Oh so.. That means you wanna stay broken up?

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:55 am:

So. I’d still rather be with you. Now its your turn to say what you want..

From Stephanie, May 17, 8:57 am:

Fuck you! Do you want me or no? !

From Stephanie, May 17, 10:55 am:

Oh my god and i totally forgot to tell you i ran into a mail box! Lol. How funny is that

From Stephanie, May 17, 11:16 am:

But i love you and i miss you

From Stephanie, May 17, 3:00 pm:


From Stephanie, May 17, 3:45 pm:

Don’t be like that. I didn’t want to break up with you. You don’t even give a shit so why are you mad?

From Stephanie, May 17, 3:48 pm:

Then lets stop baby. :) i love you.

From Stephanie, May 17, 3:49 pm:

Then lets stop baby. :) i love you.

[Yup, same message, one minute later.]

From Stephanie, May 17, 3:50 pm:

I don’t wanna be friends with you

From Stephaniee, May 17, 3:51 pm:

Be with me. Again. No fighting this time.

From Stephanie, May 17, 3:54 pm:

Whats a break

From Stephanie, May 17, 3:57 pm:

I don’t like breaks then. I’m not gunna just let you set me aside till you’re in the mood. All or nothing. Be with me and i’ll give you your space. You were being so perfect the last week so i need to be perfect back

From Stephanie, May 17, 4:01 pm:

Absolutely nothing. What did they say i said

From Stephanie, May 17, 4:12 pm:

What the fuck. Tyler stop being fucking immature and buying into oak park drama. If i wanted to ruin my OWN reputation you’re right i would make my boyfriend look bad by talking shit about him.. Come on. Uh. Buh.

From that other number, May 17, 4:50 pm:

Hey sorry what did you say back

From that other number, May 17, 4:53 pm:

Ha ha you are so funny. Text me later. Give adam my number so he can text me if he gets some shit

From that other number, May 17, 4:55 pm:

Yah i know i think she hung out with brad today

From Stephanie, May 17, 4:58 pm:


From Stephanie, May 17, 5:03 pm:

And you hump angela in front of everyone.. Kick it i don’t like him i like you

From Stephanie, May 17, 5:06 pm:

There is no drama

From Stephanie, May 17, 5:13 pm:

Wait are you kidding

From Stephanie, May 17, 10:02 pm:

Are you fucking kidding me.

From Stephanie, May 17, 10:10 pm:

You’re pathetic. I just wanted you to know.

From Stephanie, May 17, 10:15 pm:

Seriously [Tyler’s last name]. In the last half hour you made me realize that i wouldn’t care if you died.

From Stephanie, May 17, 5:17 pm:

Delete my number don’t talk to me anymore. Bye

From another person, not mentioned in any of the above texts, identified only by a first initial and last name, May 18, 9:48 am:

Should of came last night.

Discrimination? Yes, Please!

posted by on May 30 at 1:16 PM

Since the rosy-fingered dawn of buttsex, men and women of equally huge gayness have fought, fretted, and fussed in desperate efforts to win the respect and dignity that every sodomite deserves. Whether it has been for the right to have our love sanctioned by the state (a fool’s errand if ever one there was) or to kindly have people in Texas not bind our arms with old tires and light us on fire for fun, we have failed spectacularly. But welcome to fresh new day in our interminable and interminably gay battle!

While Seattle fags, dykes and others quibble and squawk over important things like parade routes, Australia (a dusty country born of criminals) has devised a more direct and brilliantly effective route to basic equality. Indeed, those lucky Australian gays get to do a little legal discriminatin’ of their own!

An Australian hotel catering for homosexuals has won the right to ban heterosexuals from its bars so as to provide a safe and comfortable venue for gay men.

Oi! Fucking genius!

Losing My Religion

posted by on May 30 at 1:12 PM

This is how it happened:
yyystar_wars_death_star.jpg I was seven, spending the summer in Seattle (from DC), and expending a large amount of mental energy in the doomed project of removing the African accent from my developing American English. I was tired of classmates, particularly black American classmates, making fun of it and wanted to return to school that fall sounding just like Flip Wilson, my hero at the time. For complicated reasons—busy parents, culture shock, lack of friends outside of the family circle—I had reached the age of seven without seeing a single movie. The whole business was a mystery to me. What is it people saw in those big boxes?

Because everyone was talking about Star Wars that summer, I begged my Maiguru Sana (Auntie Sana, my mother’s sister) to take me to a screening of it in Ballard. She agreed. She too had never seen a movie in her life—she was 33. Because her husband’s time was completely occupied by a doctorate dissertation, she had the free time to watch this Star Wars with me. We went to Ballard, we entered the theater, we sat near the front row, the screen opened, the spectacle began, the spectacle ran, the spectacle ended, and I was totally transformed. (My Maiguru, on the other hand, slept during the whole movie—even the loud space battle couldn’t wake her up.)

Now to explain the meaning and cause of the great transformation. I went into Star Wars a Christian and walked out of it an atheist. Before seeing the movie, I understood the war of Good against Evil to be an entirely Christian one: God vs. Satan. The war happened on the ground, in the sky above, and the immense dark space beyond the moon. The universe was ordered by heaven and hell. So imagine the shock of seeing on the screen a whole different order, a whole different war between the forces of Good and the forces of Evil; a war, furthermore, that made no mention of Jesus, or Lucifer, or the star of Bethlehem, the Romans, the beasts in “The Book of Revelations,” the Last Supper. Yet, in the absolute absence of these Christian codes of goodness, I still sided with these other codes and acts of goodness taking place in a faraway galaxy.

In the bright afternoon light of that day, I realized that God was limited, and what was infinite was the Good itself, and that the Good could take on different shapes (Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, John, Luke Skywalker, Jesus, Princess Leia, Mary). In the bus back to the University District, my head was on fire. It was like seeing the world for the first time. I was born again.

Dept. of The Lunch I Wish I’d Had Today

posted by on May 30 at 1:10 PM

It’s this one:


In India, where many traditions are being rapidly overturned as a result of globalization, the practice of eating a home-cooked meal for lunch lives on.

To achieve that in this sprawling urban amalgamation of an estimated 25 million people, where long commutes by train and bus are routine, Mumbai residents rely on an intricately organized, labor-intensive operation that puts some automated high-tech systems to shame. It manages to deliver tens of thousands of meals to workplaces all over the city with near-clockwork precision.

At the heart of this unusual network is a chain of delivery men called dabbawallas.

Get Those Boobs In Shape for the Workplace!

posted by on May 30 at 12:25 PM

Today’s episode of Good Morning America featured a story that Brad thoughtfully forwarded to me, on the (correct) presumption that it would make my head explode. The article—an anxiety-exploiting diatribe disguised as “news”—is titled “Cleavage: The Owners Manual,” but it leaves in question to which gender the so-called “owner” belongs.

Actual excerpt:

The weather’s getting warmer and necklines are dipping lower — sometimes, too low.

From the beach to the mall to the office, women seem to be showing off their cleavage more than ever before.

Why? According to Elisabeth Squires, author of “Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls,” American breasts are getting bigger while shirts are getting smaller.

“We are seeing more cleavage these days for a few reasons. First, the fashion of the day is tight and skinny. At the same time, women are bigger than they were even 15 years ago. Bra fitters tell me that an E cup is the new C cup,” Squires said on “Good Morning America.”

“We have to remember that while more women are showing more cleavage, you really have to use your breast power responsibly,” Squires said.

I KNEW there was a reason I make more money than male counterparts, pay less for basic services, and generally get treated as the default gender in every aspect of society! It’s my breast power! But don’t take my word for it; take the word of an uncited “recent study”:

According to Squires, the appearance of breasts can help women in the workplace.

“A recent study showed men photos of women in a workplace with large breasts showing cleavage, medium breasts and small breasts. When asked about who looked most professional and personable, the men chose the women with medium-sized breasts,” she said.

“You don’t have to be flat-chested to be taken seriously,” she added. “You just have to be proportionate. For women who are small busted, that may mean a little padding. For well-endowed women, that may mean a minimizer.”

Squash those girls down, ladies! Or, whatever, puff them up! Just remember that you “have to” be proportionate, and you’ll be well on your way to workplace domination.

Headless pornification: The new C cup!

Update! Althouse sez: “‘Breast power’” is real. We can pretend we don’t know, but we do. That doesn’t mean we have great judgment about how to use it.” Thanks for that stunning insight, Ann!

“The New Reagan”

posted by on May 30 at 12:10 PM


It’s official: Fred Thompson is running for President.

On a related note: Could this be our next First Lady?

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 30 at 12:00 PM


Can Can Castaways
(Cabaret) The Can Can is an intimate, subterranean den with an old-time speakeasy feel, rich food, and reasonably priced liquor—an enchanting hideaway any night of the week. On Wednesdays, the cabaret’s small cadre of captivating dancers take to the tiny stage and spin eerie fables to a cirque noir and vaudeville-flavored soundtrack by the Bad Things, Dresden Dolls, and the like. (Can Can, 94 Pike St, 652-0832. 9 pm, $5, 21+.) Amy Kate Horn

SIFF 2007: Wed Highlights

posted by on May 30 at 10:55 AM

Yeah, it’s gorgeous out, but it’s almost hot enough that you can imagine how people in other cities retreat to air-conditioned movie theaters for relief. Luckily, SIFF has a fantastic lineup today. The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in America’s biggest film festival continue below and at SIFF Notes Online:

Start off at Pacific Place, 2 pm: Again, you only have one option for the first afternoon slot, but this time, it’s a good one. Lindy West was evidently entranced by Children, a “meandering love letter to Icelandic loneliness.”


The late matinee is up for grabs. We liked the slightly sadistic French farce My Best Friend (4 pm at the Neptune), but you may prefer to take your chances with Anthony Hopkins’s experimental vanity project Slipstream (4 pm at the Egyptian) or the fine-sounding coming-out tale Outing Riley (5 pm at the Harvard Exit) or Agua (5 pm at SIFF Cinema), a beautiful movie about a doping scandal in swimming.

Settle in at the Harvard Exit at 7 pm for The Devil Came on Horseback, if you haven’t seen it yet. (Other good options are Doghead (Pacific Place at 7 pm), if you won’t be able to see the early matinee tomorrow, and the found-footage shorts program Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Northwest Film Forum at 7 pm), which has some intriguing-sounding films.) I don’t really know why you would want to see a live episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio, but if that’s your thing, too bad. Remains of the Day and the Tribute to Anthony Hopkins are sold out. Rush tickets may be available—just show up at the Egyptian and wait.

Also at the Harvard Exit, 9:30 pm: Do not miss Tsai Ming Liang’s (Goodbye Dragon Inn, What Time Is It There?) newest, I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone. It’s heartbreakingly gorgeous.

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

It makes mosquito netting and atmospheric particulates seem so romantic. (The acid disfiguration doc Crazy Love, at Pacific Place, 9:30 pm, is also awesome, but it’s opening here just as the festival is winding down on June 15, so I’d go with Tsai.)

Google Image Search Wants Me Dead

posted by on May 30 at 10:42 AM


Most times, Google Image Search is a perfectly lovely tool. See that pretty flower up there? Google Image Search found it for me, after I typed in the search terms “pretty flower.”

But last week I had an experience with Google Image Search that assaulted my eyes, blew my mind, and continues to disturb my sleep. (Fragile readers might want to turn back now.)

The experience was instigated by a Google Image Search featuring two common, non-pornographic words. The first word has five syllables, the second has three, and neither would raise a red flag from even the most prudish web browsers.

Google Image Search had no difficulty processing the combination, offering up what at first looked like the typical variety of more-or-less pertinent image options. But then I saw, in the second row down, a thumbnail image that seemed out of place, and gross, looking something like a rifle-blasted ham.

I clicked the image, and immediately learned the awful truth: The photo was a rear shot of a raped baby.

If you need to take a moment to go to your special place, or have an analgesic gaze at that pretty flower up there, I understand. After learning what the mystery image was, I had to slam shut my computer and run around screaming for about five minutes. (To my poor officemates who encountered me during this initial freakout, I apologize. It couldn’t have been pleasant, but the only way to mitigate my pain was to spread it around.)

After the horror came the questions: What the fucking fuck? Should I report this to Google, or the police? It seemed clear that photographs of a baby’s raped anus had to be in violation of all sorts of laws, but a look at the photo’s original source answered my legal question, in the worst way possible.

The reason this photo of a raped baby’s anus is not child pornography—allegedly—is that the baby is dead, and the photo is post-mortem criminal evidence, presented as part of an Indian medical student’s thesis on pederasty (?!), which for some reason was posted online.

The moral: If you’re worried about accidentally encountering images that might ruin your life, switch your Google search preference to “moderate filtering.” I wish I’d done that before last Friday.

Insult to injury, or vice versa: Today’s story from Richland, WA. Sigh.

My, that’s a pretty flower. (For further narcotic diversion, go here.)

God’s Party

posted by on May 30 at 10:14 AM

What will happen if Giuliani nabs the Republican nomination? Maybe this:

With former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leading in many national polls for the Republican Party nomination in 2008, some conservative groups are looking for ways to defeat him. One conservative activist has even threatened a religion-focused third party challenger if he wins the nomination next year, according to a blog post at the Christian Broadcasting Network.

And there’s this, from that CBN blog:

From the moment Giuliani is nominated—if they are stupid enough to do it next February—a third party will be started emphasizing pro-family issues and conservative economic and foreign policies, and probably within a decade or two that 3rd party will be the dominant party along with the pro-abortion and left-wing Democrat Party.

2008 is going to be very interesting for the GOP.

The Resemblence is Striking…

posted by on May 30 at 10:14 AM


…and Joe knows nothing too.

They Have Faces: Part One

posted by on May 30 at 9:45 AM

We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!
— Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard


Like all film festivals, SIFF isn’t just about movies, but the faces that populate them. This isn’t to discount the directors, writers, and other crew members who bring films to life, but to acknowledge that gazing at other people is a big part of the movie-going experience.

It isn’t just about basking in the beauty of the conventionally attractive (The Banquet’s Zhang Ziyi, Interview’s Sienna Miller) or reveling in the strangeness of the unconventional (hello, Vincent “Mr. Vargas” Schiavelli!). We’re all attracted to different features for different reasons. Herewith, a few of my favorites from the fest.

While I admire these actors for their abilities—and talent can
make even the most bland or unattractive visage seem more appealing—these are seven faces I find inherently fascinating (including Red Road’s wide-eyed Nathalie Press, above).

Steve Buscemi: Interview, Delirious, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s portion of Paris, Je T’aime. (Here he is as Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs). The 33rd Seattle International Film Festival belongs to Buscemi!

Andy Lau: A Battle of Wits. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek claims
he “has the face of a grave elf.” (He sings and dances, too.)

Continue reading "They Have Faces: Part One" »

I’ll Buy You a Cheeseburger Any Time You Like, Beth

posted by on May 30 at 9:34 AM


Blaming gay men for the pressure our culture places on women to by skinny is like blaming gays and lesbians for heterosexual divorce. Yet Beth Ditto does just that in the latest issue of New Music Express. Says Beth…

“If there’s anyone to blame for size zero, it’s not women. Blame gay men who work in the fashion industry and want these women as dolls.”

Does Ditto think gay men only began working in the fashion industry in the last twenty years?

Uh, Beth? Gay men have been making clothes for and slathering makeup on women since the beginning of recorded human history. And body types, like everything else, come in and out of fashion for reasons that have nothing to do with gay men and our desire to play with dolls. My God, who do you think dressed the zaftig-by-today’s-standards Marilyn Monroe?

The reason certain body types come in and out of fashion has little to do with the pack of cocksuckers that run the fashion industry. The skinny thing, like all aspects of fashion, are all ultimately about sexual display and attraction. And sexual display is about the flaunting of wealth, power, and status, Beth, and not about the ability of evil male homosexuals to dictate beauty standards to helpless straight women.

When food was scarce and most people were skinny, plump bodies were “ideal” because they were a sign of status and wealth. And the oppressed skinny girls felt awful and unattractive—and gay men made clothes for the fat girls and the skinny girls just the same. Today food is plentiful and most people are heavy and skinny bodies are “ideal” because they’re a sign of status and wealth. And the oppressed plump girls are made to feel awful and unattractive—and gay men make clothes for the skinny girls and the fat girls just the same.

Happy “Last Throes” Day

posted by on May 30 at 9:28 AM

Two years ago today Dick Cheney said

I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time. But I think the level of activity that we see today, from a military standpoint, I think will clearly decline. I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.

Of course Dick did attach an artificial timeline to those last throes—he said we were in them, but didn’t say how long they would go on. That was classified.

Yes, yes: DAMF.

Hillary Clinton Has a Sense of Humor

posted by on May 30 at 8:55 AM

Sort of. Check out her latest YouTube video, in which she addresses all the people who have taken to YouTube to mock her search for a campaign song (as well as to offer Clinton campaign songs of their own invention).

If you haven’t been following the churning web debate (and mockery) over the multi-round online voting process that will choose Clinton’s song, click here. Current results:


The Morning News

posted by on May 30 at 7:22 AM

Declassified: Plame was undercover when her identity was leaked

If You Build It, They Will Penetrate It: Russia says it can penetrate our missile shield

Contagious: Feds quarantine TB infected traveler

Race To The Bottom: Nevada’s new governor tying Bush’s low poll numbers

On Their Own Terms: Iran rules out suspension of uranium enrichment

Zoellick in Wolfowitz Clothing: Bush nominates Robert Zoellick for World Bank president

Sorry About The Tear Gas: LAPD admits they fucked up at May Day rally

Still Cheaper Than Going to The Movies: A $6 round trip toll for 520?

Now, helpful airline safety tips:



Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hi, This Is Monica Lewinsky, of Portland Monthly’s Home and Garden Mag … ?

posted by on May 29 at 11:36 PM

Will Monica Lewinsky market a new Portland Monthly spinoff that former Oregonian urban design critic Randy Gragg will run?

Thanks, Artdish.

Every Child Needs a Mother

posted by on May 29 at 11:13 PM

Take it away, Associated Press:

Texas mother hangs herself, 3 children

HUDSON OAKS, Texas - A young mother who may have been depressed apparently hanged three of her small daughters and herself in a closet using pieces of clothing and sashes, authorities said Tuesday. A fourth child, an 8-month-old daughter, was also found dangling in the closet but was rescued by her aunt from the family’s mobile home.

“It’s horrendous. That’s all I can say,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said…

Christopher DeLaurenti

posted by on May 29 at 7:00 PM

The New York Times has a front-page piece on their website right now about Seattle-based composer and sound artist—and Stranger music columnist—Christopher DeLaurenti. It’s the top story on the NYT’s website right now.

For seven years, Christopher DeLaurenti went to orchestral concerts wired, wearing a leather vest with microphones nestled in the shoulders and cables running down the back. Come intermission, when the audience wandered out, Mr. DeLaurenti perked up.

The DeLaurenti concert going vest had microphones sewn into it. He made his way toward the stage. With his MiniDisc recorder running, he secretly captured the random sounds that followed: woodwind noodles, honks of oboe reeds, the murmur of voices, the scraping of chairs.

For Mr. DeLaurenti, 39, a Seattle-based “sound artist” and composer, the noises were art. Now, out of more than 50 hours of recording, he has compiled a CD of greatest hits. It is called “Favorite Intermissions: Music Before and Between Beethoven, Stravinsky, Holst,” the latest entry in humankind’s search for art in unexpected nooks.

Congrats, Christopher!

Why Germany?

posted by on May 29 at 6:22 PM

SIFF’s spotlight country this year is Germany, for reasons I can discern only dimly. The program page on their site notes that The Lives of Others won an Oscar this year. (Pan’s Labyrinth wuz robbed!) Or here’s Carl Spence expounding on the choice in the German spotlight press release:

“Germany has a rich and bold history of cinema. The current resurgence of German films infuses tradition with innovation for some of the most uniquely powerful films anywhere in the world,” says Carl Spence, SIFF Artistic Director.

Meh. History, sure, but recent German cinema ain’t all that inspiring. Turkish Germans are mixing things up, but there’s only one such example in the lineup. (Running on Empty plays Saturday and Monday at SIFF.) Meanwhile, Volker Schlondorff sneaks by with another heinous clunker about the Polish Solidarity movement, in which a German actress is dubbed into Polish to play the “mother of Poland.” Geez. Can’t Germany leave Poland well enough alone?

I mused in the capsule for the German shorts package that Austria or Romania would’ve been more interesting.

Check out the welcome Romania got at Cannes: prizes and analysis. And see SIFF Notes for reviews of the remaining Romanian features in SIFF.

There’s a decent Austrian doc in SIFF, but the real action lies elsewhere.

The Seventh Continent

Starting Friday, Grand Illusion’s got the clenched precision of Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke packaged in double features for the next two weeks.

Justices Uphold Pay Discrimination

posted by on May 29 at 6:01 PM

Didn’t know you were getting paid less than your male colleagues until a year after you took the job? Tough shit, says the Supreme Court:

The court held today that employees may not bring suit under the principal federal anti-discrimination law unless they have filed a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was set. The timeline applies, according to the decision, even if the effects of the initial discriminatory act were not immediately apparent to the worker and even if they continue to the present day.

The ruling came in the case of a 20-year Goodyear employee who discovered late in her career that her 15 colleagues—all male—were paid more than her, including those with less seniority. In some cases, the pay disparity was upwards of 40 percent.

“Current effects alone cannot breathe life into prior, uncharged discrimination,” Justice Alito said in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas.

Yeah. Try telling that to any woman who’s toiled in a job where she makes less than her male counterparts, and she’ll respond that current events “breathe life” into that initial act of discrimination every single time she opens her lousy paycheck.

As usual, Ruth Bader Ginsberg played the voice of sanity, noting that the all-male majority’s ruling “overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination,” adding that that given the fact that most workplaces keep salaries secret, most employees would have no idea within 180 days that they made had received a smaller raise than their colleagues. She also said the court should allow pay discrimination charges to be filed based on “the cumulative effect of individual acts.” Alito, predictably, dismissed Ginsberg’s protest as a “policy argument” with “no basis in the statute.”

Wow. Just … wow.

New Managing Director at ACT Theatre Not Working Out So Well

posted by on May 29 at 5:29 PM

Only two months ago we were posting about Susan Trapnell stepping down and Jolanne Stanton stepping up as the new managing director at ACT Theatre, which was generally read as a sign that the theater was healthy and confident again.

As of this afternoon, Jolanne Stanton has become the “interim managing director,” a euphemism for she’s quitting or she got canned. ACT’s Karen Bystrom says “the search for a new managing director has begun immediately.”

There were questions, two months ago, about Stanton not having much theater experience, about her short one-year tenure on ACT’s board. At the time, those questions were deflected with answers like yes, well, we think she’s the right person for the job anyway. Looks like she wasn’t the right person for the job after all.

An Appetizing Anecdote

posted by on May 29 at 4:44 PM

Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death on May 23, 1934. A friend throws a party on the anniversary of the shooting every year, with 46 shots of alcohol served for the 46 shots that killed them. It’s a good party. There’s no rule, but people usually look sorta old-fashioned. And there’s lots to drink. I only remember doing one shot of whiskey this year—you mark where you’ve killed them on a big drawing—but that’s not counting all the vodka.

Now, I may look like a person who’s been drunk a lot in his lifetime, but beneath this exterior beats the heart of a truly uptight guy. I had my first sip of alcohol at 19. Until two weekends ago, I’d never been so drunk I threw up.

So it’s the morning after the Bonnie and Clyde party and there’s a strange smell in the kitchen. The kitchen sink is piled with dishes that I’ve been putting off—piled higher than the sink. And now the dishes and the walls of the sink are coated in crusty, stinking orange stuff. I have no recollection of throwing up in the kitchen sink in the middle of the night, but there it is. Vomit. Hardened to all the dishes. Bits of raw cauliflower. Bits of basil. Salsa chunks. Some unidentifiables.

I fill the sink with water to let everything soak—right? And then after it’s soaked? Well, the problem is I don’t have a garbage disposal, or a dishwasher, and there are huge hunks of stuff in this water, which I can’t let go down the drain, or it’ll get all backed up and I’ll have problems only a plumber can solve. I put all the dishes on the counter and pull up the stopper thing at the bottom of the sink and empty it into the trash, while plugging the drain with a dish, but when I put the stopper thing back in place it fills up immediately, and—well, at this rate, I’ll be cleaning this up into next year. I need something bigger than this stopper thing, so I grab a big plastic noodle strainer.

The noodle strainer works much better than the stopper thing, because it’s big and catches more, but after a while—a lot longer than it should take—it occurs to me that, like, I’m not going to be able to purify this water with a noodle strainer, no matter how many times I drag it through. Have I mentioned the identifiable food? And the smell? I am essentially playing with my own vomit. Through my kitchen window I can see people out on the street, in the sun, enjoying their lives.

Only then—insights come hard when you’re hungover—does it occur to me that, um, I should get a big bowl, something that doesn’t have holes in it, and just carry all this chunky water to the toilet and flush it down. Whoa! Brilliant! I don’t spill a drop. Then I wash all the dishes with a vomit-encrusted sponge, to get off all the big stuff, and then again with a clean sponge, to actually clean them, and then clean the sink and the counter where I had to put the dishes while playing with my vomit, and then throw away the sponges.

Why couldn’t I have just thrown up on the floor? That would have been so much easier to clean.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on May 29 at 3:30 PM

Laser Tag and Ass Tattoos: Trent Moorman Takes on Folklife.

Monster Weekend: A Wrap-Up of Sasquatch.

Peter Bjorn &…Kanye?: Kanye West’s New Mixtape.

WTH?: Anacortes’ What the Heck Fest Announces Lineup.

Strung Out: Earlimart to Play with String Quartet at Georgetown Music Festival.

Gorgeous: The Stranger’s Sasquatch Slideshow.

Secret Symphonies: The New York Times on Christopher Delaurenti’s Favorite Intermissions

And now, the adorable Björk (photo by Kelly O):


Knocked Up: Deleted Scene

posted by on May 29 at 3:04 PM

I’m tempted to give writer/director Judd Apatow credit for his continually enlightened dealings with homo themes, but this scene seems entirely improvised. Nevertheless, enjoy. (Audio NSFW, wear headphones.)

(Thanks to eternal Hot Tipper Jake.)

Dept. of Little Birds

posted by on May 29 at 3:03 PM

What’s going on over at Mike Seely’s little blog today?

The Biggest Sister

A little bird (a very trustworthy little bird) just told us that former Microsoft executive and Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski has been named President & CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of King County. Noted for her formidable intellect and candor, it will be interesting to see how Tina P’s style translates to the nonprofit world, which tends to be more Seattle Nice than Velazquez Spice.

Uh… gee. A little bird told Slog that Podlodowski was leaving Lifelong the day she announced it to her staff—heck, we posted Podlodowski’s email to Lifelong’s staff the day she sent it out, last Thursday, which included the news that Podlodowski was going to head up Big Brothers/Big Sisters. (I wonder if Seely’s trusted source reads Slog?) Here’s what Podlodowski had to say when her email appeared on Slog moments after she sent it out…

Jeez - I just sent email to my staff…not to be forwarded…and there it is on the Strange Blog. I knew you guys were good, but that’s amazing…

And Mike? Lifelong is a non-profit agency and Podlodowski did pretty well there. I think the question of how her style will translate to the “non-profit world” is already settled. But feel free to run it past your little bird if you like.

The Problem With Short Films

posted by on May 29 at 3:00 PM

After watching Paris, je t’aime:

And SIFF’s 2007 Fly Filmmaking Challenge, which contained three short films by local directors (Lisa Hardmeyer, Matt Daniels, and Dayna Hanson), I have come to conclude that film, as an art form, requires length if it is to be meaningful. Short films, unlike short stories, are mostly empty and consistently end in disappointment. To make a short film is to make something that is bound to fail. Even the best short films are barely worth the effort required to make them. For example, Hanson’s “Rainbow,” the second film shown in the Fly Filmmaking Challenge, has great (even magical) moments, but nothing substantial can be drawn from the brief experience of watching it. As for Paris, je t’aime, what a mess of a movie. Only two of its 18 shorts can be classified as any good. The rest are dust to the mouth and dull to the mind.

Obama’s Doodle Masterpiece

posted by on May 29 at 2:54 PM

This Obama doodle, commissioned for a charity fund raiser, just sold for more than $2,000 on ebay.


Pictured: Charles Schumer, Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein, and Edward Kennedy. Obama apparently drew the picture while he was presiding over the Senate.

For more Obama-gawking, and at a much cheaper price ($25-$100), there’s an opportunity coming up this Friday: Obama will be holding his “Seattle Kickoff” at the Qwest Field Event Center starting at 5:30 p.m.

Surface/Transit Moves Forward

posted by on May 29 at 2:51 PM

A few minutes ago, the City Council officially endorsed the surface/transit option for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and allocated $8.1 million to develop it into a detailed plan. The city’s transportation department will spend the money figuring out how to divert viaduct car trips onto surface streets and transit, using street grid improvements, bike and pedestrian enhancements, new transit, and trip reduction strategies to get people out of their cars.

The council approved the measure unanimously—a seismic shift from the days when only Peter Steinbrueck supported the surface/transit proposal, and a sign that the council is taking seriously last March’s “no/no” vote on two new waterfront freeway options.

“[The plan] focuses our energies on the substance of the solution rather than design of the solution, which is what got us sidetracked” previously, council president Nick Licata said. Licata, once the council’s staunchest supporter of rebuilding the viaduct, cosponsored the resolution.

Jerry Falwell is Still Dead

posted by on May 29 at 2:31 PM

The right has waged a balls-out assault on gay people, gay couples, and gay parents over the last five years. All those anti-gay marriage amendments, George W. Bush’s gay-bashing reelection strategy, conservative Christian bigots pouring all their blood, sweat, and tears into anti-gay campaigns. (Sorry, poor, sick, and imprisoned people—until we stamp out the gays, you’re just going to have to wait!) And what do they have to show for it? Support for gay rights in the US are back at historic highs. The American public is evenly divided over whether homosexuality is morally acceptable—but morally acceptable or not, a large majority of Americans believes that homosexual sex should be legal.

The clearest example of the recent renewal in pro-gay rights attitudes comes from a question asking Americans whether they believe homosexual relations should be legal. Public tolerance for this aspect of gay rights expanded from 43% at the inception of the question in 1977 to 60% in May 2003. Then in July 2003, it fell to 50% and remained at about that level through 2005. Last year, it jumped to 56% and this year it reached 59%, similar to the 2003 high point.

And for the record: homosexual sex is sooooooo much better in Chicago, which is where homosexual sex was invented in 1977—the same year Chicagoans invented the cheddar-char dog, deep-dish pizza, and all-you-can eat deep-fried mozzarella sticks.

The Science Hope

posted by on May 29 at 2:08 PM

It’s only a matter of time before the bird-flu goes the way of Y2K. The only thing man should really fear is man. That is the message transmitted to us from the history of Easter Island.

Today in Improbable Stories About People and Animals

posted by on May 29 at 1:41 PM

Last week, this (11-year-old) kid allegedly killed this (9-foot-4, 1,000-pound) boar:


It was in the Alabama woods. The (eleven-year-old) kid shot it with a .50-caliber revolver. Not a rifle. A pistol.

Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Hogzilla II. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50- caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.
“I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited,” said Jamison, who just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school. His father said that, just to be extra safe, he and the guides had high-powered rifles aimed and ready to fire in case the beast with 5-inch tusks decided to charge.

Some say the photo is doctored, but at least one expert (if a guy from Field and Stream counts as an expert) is siding with the boy: “‘There’s always gonna be naysayers in situations like this,’” [Kirk] Deeter said. “‘My gut reaction is it’s an enormous hog. An 11-year-old kid shot a 1,051-pound pig.’”

(Lest you think American hunters have cornered the market in human-on-boar cruelty, here’s a story from today’s Newcastle Sunday Sun: “Wild boars set free by animal rights activists have ended up savaging each other to death.”)

Tomorrow in Improbable Stories About People and Animals: The bestiary in Surat, India where, according to an account written by a 19th-century traveler in a periodical called The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction: “At my visit, the hospital contained horses, mules, oxen, sheep, goats, monkeys, poultry, pigeons, and a variety of birds, with an aged tortoise, who was known to have been there for seventy-five years. The most extraordinary ward was that appropriated to rats, mice, bugs, and other noxious vermin. The overseers of the hospital frequently hire beggars from the streets, for a stipulated sum, to pass a night among the fleas, lice, and bugs, on the express condition of suffering them to enjoy their feast without molestation.”

Deep-Fried Bacon Double Cheeseburger: Too Far?

posted by on May 29 at 1:31 PM

You thought deep-fried bacon cheese hot dogs were off the charts, but check it out: This guy beer-battered and deep-fried a bacon double quarter-pounder from McDonald’s. (He is, somewhat surprisingly, Australian). The end result—a puffy fried sandwich resting in a pool of grease beside a pile of double-fried French fries—actually looks sort of pretty, but I have trouble believing this guy ate the whole thing in one sitting. For a photographic play-by-play, go here.


New Nature

posted by on May 29 at 1:28 PM

Bionic bamboo can be found near Fourth and Jackson:
bioniccf8dd72cef47.jpg Let’s for a minute be in a mind partially molded by the scholastic causes. What is it we now see? All that the artist has removed. And what has the artist removed? Everything in the metal that was not a bamboo. And what is the final purpose of this piece of art made from metal? Feeding the artist. The philosopher says: “Seek for food and clothing first, then the Kingdom of God shall be added unto you.”

SIFF 2007: Tuesday Highlights

posted by on May 29 at 1:18 PM

The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in the festival. Links go to that film’s capsule on SIFF Notes Online, the most comprehensive guide to America’s biggest film festival.


2 pm, Pacific Place: You have no choice. The only film in this slot is Hounds, which SIFF did not screen for the press.

4:30 pm, Egyptian: Assuming you already saw the fascinating and beautiful documentary Manufactured Landscapes (Pacific Place at 4:30 pm—director Jennifer Baichwal will not be in attendance, but I did an interview with her yesterday which you’ll be able to read [or listen to] when the film opens theatrically in July), you should see the Lolita tale Summer 04, starring Martina Gedeck of The Lives of Others.

7 pm at Northwest Film Forum: Skip the Anthony Hopkins movie and see Ghosts of Cité Soleil—a doc about impoverished people sure to raise the ire of you Life in Loops haters. Ghosts is a look at the circa 2004 lives of pro-Aristide gangsters in the sprawling slums of Port au Prince. The film is unabashedly glam and deeply horrifying.

Ghosts of Cite Soleil

9:30 pm, SIFF Cinema: Jen Graves loved the predictable yet electrifying father-son story Salty Air. This is your only chance to see it in Seattle proper—the next SIFF screening is on the Eastside.

So You Missed Folklife?

posted by on May 29 at 12:53 PM

Then here, have some! Trent Moorman goes to Folklife and—well, actually, he got a little distracted…

(Thanks for the video, Trent.)

Chicago Architecture

posted by on May 29 at 12:06 PM

Chicago is famous for its architecture. Skyscrapers were invented in Chicago… Louis Sullivan… art deco treasures… blah blah blah. But there are two things I dig about Chicago architecture that you don’t hear about on architectural tours.

First, Chicago seems to be doing something we can’t do around here: imposing some decent design standards on new condo construction. Real brick is used all the way up and all the way in—not just bricks for the first floor, not just an inch-thin veneer of brick. And no Juliet balconies, ECB. Real ones—big enough to sit on, cook on, get high on.

But what I love most about Chicago vintage architecture is the city’s collection of overlooked and sometimes completely crazy commercial buildings. This weekend I stayed with a friend who lives near one of my absolutely favorite buildings in Chicago. Check out this terra cotta riot of eagles…



Click here for a larger, more detailed picture.

Someone needs to let Stephen Colbert know about this building. It ought to be Colbert Nation’s world headquarters.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 29 at 12:00 PM


Secret Chiefs 3
(Music) You don’t have to be a Sufi mystic or student of Pythagorean tonal theory to dig Secret Chiefs 3, but it helps. Brainchild of multi-instrumentalist, occultist, and genius Trey Spruance, the nine-piece collective smashes trance-inducing Middle Eastern song structure, tuning, and instrumentation with stabs of death metal, surf jazz, and electronic deviance, making modern traditional music as bazaar as it is bizarre. Recommended if you like Ennio Morricone, Mr. Bungle, or opium binging. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $12, 21+.) Jonathan Zwickel

Nickels Trivia

posted by on May 29 at 11:27 AM

While it wasn’t a $900,000 scam at a tribal casino, it sure looks like Team Nickels had an inside fix of their own going.

The latest financial reports from the Team Nickels campaign shows that the winners of a Nickels fund raising raffle (it was a trivia quiz) were all former and current Nickels and city staffers.

And the winners are:

Nickels’s community outreach person, Sharee Pierce, won $100 Gwen Stefani concert tickets.

Former Nickels campaigner Katie Kuciemba won $100 credit at El Gaucho. Former Nickels campaigner and current Dept. of Neighborhoods spokesman Peter McGraw and transportation department staffer Tracie Sunday each won a $100 credit at El Gaucho.

And Rob Johnson, Transportation Choices political director (and big Nickels supporter) also scored $100 at El Gaucho.

Oh, and Jake Nickels scored $58 Mariner tickets.

I’ve got a call out to Team Nickels for an explanation about this incredibly pressing scandal.

After We Withdraw

posted by on May 29 at 11:18 AM

Oh, I wasn’t going to post this, but then I read the flurry of dumb Sheehan comments, and I simply cannot forbear.

Here’s The New York Times on Saturday, forcing you to think about what might happen after the U.S. withdraws from Iraq.

My favorite part is that finally I can tell the people who constantly reiterate that “the Iraqis want us out” to shut up. True, the NYT has only 40 new interviews with Iraqis, but again, you try polling in Iraq.

The New York Times interviewed more than 40 Iraqi politicians and citizens and consulted recent surveys of public opinion in Iraq. The views of a broad range of senior military officials, American intelligence experts, politicians and independent analysts who have recently returned from Iraq were also solicited.

The somewhat surprising verdict of most Iraqis was clear. For all their distaste for the American occupation, many of them fear that a pullback any time soon would lead to a violent chain reaction that would jeopardize the fitful attempts at political dialogue and risk the collapse of the Iraqi government.

“Many militias and terrorist groups are just waiting for the Americans to leave,” said Salim Abdullah, the spokesman for the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Arab group in the Parliament, who lost two brothers this year to attacks by insurgents.

“This does not mean the presence of American troops in Baghdad is our favorite option,” he said. “People in the street say the United States is part of the chaos here and they could have made it better and safer. Still, we need America to make the country more stable and not leave Iraq in the trouble, which they, themselves, have caused.

So to everyone on Ms. Sheehan’s side: What’s the difference between the plight of an American soldier and an Iraqi civilian in Iraq? The American volunteered.

So You Missed Sasquatch?

posted by on May 29 at 11:10 AM

Line Out Will Get You Caught Up:

Demonstrative Fun: Jonathan Zwickel on the Saturday Knights and Two Gallants.

Dapper Slacking: Megan Seling on the Hold Steady, the Blow, and Mirah.

A Day of Magical Drinking: Eric Grandy on the Hold Steady, the Blow, Two Gallants, Electrelane, Ghostland Observatory, Mirah, Grizzly Bear, the Beastie Boys, Manu Chao, the Arcade Fire, and Björk.

Mas Sasquatch: Jonathan Zwickel on the Beastie Boys, God, and Citizen Cope.

Acid Brass: Terry Miller on the Dust Bin Roots of the Blow and Björk.

Love Connection: Jonathan Zwickel on the Black Angels, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Interpol, and the Beastie Boys.

Pics and video coming soon!

Chicago’s Bike the Drive

posted by on May 29 at 11:06 AM


I got up on Sunday morning of Memorial Day Weekend at 4:45 AM, hopped on a rented bike, and met my brother on Chicago’s fifteen-mile lake-front bike path, and headed downtown before the sun came up. My brother has to be at the front of the starting line for Bike the Drive—my brother has to be at the front of every line—and cyclists start lining up at the starting line in Chicago’s Grant Park at 5 AM.

Bike the Drive is an annual event that draws tens of thousands of Chicagoans to the lakefront—and raises shitloads of money for Chicago’s kick-ass bike organization, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. The city closes all six lanes of Lake Shore Drive for four and a half hours on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Chicago shuts down all six lanes of Lake Shore Drive for cyclists. Twenty thousand people show up—racing maniacs, families, little old ladies on tricycles for grownups, paraplegics on arm-pedeled bikes. Despite the fact that it was pouring rain at 5:30 AM for this year’s BTD, turnout was as high as its ever been.

It costs $35 to participate—and your money gets you a t-shirt, food-stocked rest stops at both ends of the route and in the mid-way point, and a fleet of roving bike repair men and women in case you get a flat or break a chain. Biking should be like this every day of the year.

Biking the drive with my brother—we did two and half loops of the fifteen-mile drive, clocking in 45 miles before 9 AM—was a delight (even if he did bitch about the rain non-stop). But I couldn’t help but think of Joel Connelly’s dystopian vision of Seattle in 2077. If we fail to bring the environmental extremists in our midst to heel—particularly one shadowy enviroterrorist who goes by the initials “ECB”—Joel predicted that one day bikes—oh, the horrors!—would rule the streets.

Well, Bike the Drive provided a real-life glimpse of Joel’s terrifying vision—here was Joel’s dystopian future made manifest! Tens of thousands of bikes! Taking over a six-lane freeway originally built for cars! And riding the length of the city as if they had a right to be there!

You might not want to look at this next picture, Joel, until you’re sitting on the toilet. Wouldn’t want you to drop a load in your trousers:


Reality TV Goes Dutch!

posted by on May 29 at 10:37 AM

This is what happens when Dutch people stop getting polite and start getting terminal. Vital organs? Impending doom? Welcome to the most perverse and horrible popularity contest in the universe…Who’s Gonna Get My Kidneys?


The Stranger’s Restaurant Guide, Now with Reader Reviews (by Björk)

posted by on May 29 at 10:29 AM

Ah! The Björk Chops were so tasty, it appears the great dóttir of Iceland herself has taken to posting a rating and review for Fisherman’s in Restaurant Guide portion of GetOut, The Stranger’s fully searchable Events and Restaurant Guide.


But we don’t just want to hear from the Icelandic minstrelsy regarding Seattle dining. Get in there and let us know where you dined over the weekend. Give us the low-down on the food, the service, and the experience. My boyfriend and I had a fantastic outdoor meal yesterday, and I fully intend to give hearty praise to the fine establishment.

Gay Pride in Moscow

posted by on May 29 at 10:10 AM

This is what it looked like this year as gay rights advocates from Russia and the European Union tried to get permission to march in Moscow. A European Parliament deputy was kicked. A British pop singer was punched in the face. And the parade organizers were arrested.

More here.


The Bjork Chop: Now Available at Fisherman’s Restaurant

posted by on May 29 at 10:03 AM


Without a doubt, this is the greatest pork-related Bjork story I’ve ever heard, provided by Hot Tipper Chef Jeff:

I work in a restaurant here in Seattle called The Fisherman’s. No big deal when Bjork shows up Friday with her cute little mini-Bjork daughter and asked for “pork on a stick.” I could dig that, like a corndog with no corn part. No, a pork chop on a stick. WTF? We grilled said pork chop (a sweet 12oz porterhouse), cut it into pieces, and presented it skewered by those colored frill picks. It was the most Bjorky pork, totally inedible looking. She loved it I guess, because guess who came back just before heading to the Gorge on Saturday for another? We now call it the Bjork Chop.

In other food gossip: This weekend I finally had a meal at the Volunteer Park Cafe, and, like Bethany Jean Clement, I loved it. And like all responsible diners, I returned home and weighed in on the joint in The Stranger’s restaurant listings, now tricked out to accept reader reviews. Carry on.


posted by on May 29 at 9:44 AM

It seems that some women are addicted to the stuff.

The finding that women who do not use condoms during sex are less depressed and less likely to attempt suicide than are women who have sex with condoms and women who are not sexually active, leads one researcher to conclude that semen contains powerful-and potentially addictive-mood-altering chemicals.

Study author Gordon G. Gallup, Ph.D., a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also found that women who routinely had intercourse without condoms became increasingly depressed as more time elapsed since their last sexual encounter. There was no such correlation for women whose partners regularly used condoms.

Miss USA Goes Boom

posted by on May 29 at 8:23 AM

…during last night’s Miss Universe pageant. Enjoy.

The Morning News

posted by on May 29 at 7:59 AM

Peace: Cindy Sheehan bows out.

War: 8 U.S. soldiers killed, several Westerners abducted, 38 civilians killed as violence escalates in Iraq.

Genocide: U.S. to impose sanctions against Sudan.

Global Warming: Pelosi urges Bush to get serious.

Corporate Power: FTC scrutinizes $3.1 billion Google/Double Click deal.

Federal Deficit: The numbers are much worse than the Government says.

Censorship: Venezuala President Hugo Chavez goes after CNN and protesters.

Defiance: France’s new rightist president scoffs at WTO.

Regret: Hispanic groups cancel support for Gonzales.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Statues of Limitations

posted by on May 28 at 1:36 PM


Is the Seattle Art Museum and city’s honeymoon over? The city’s Special Events Committee recently decreed that SAM must face a worst-nightmare scenario in their new Olympic Sculpture Park: 100,000 stoners-per-day this August will be allowed to stream past millions in art on their way to Hempfest.

Until recently, SAM and the city seemed too cozy to let Hempfest come between them. When Hempfest organizers first saw plans for the sculpture park in 2005, they went to the event permitting committee and said it would constrict the entrance to Myrtle Edwards Park, posing a danger to attendees and blocking emergency vehicles. But the city only batted their eyes at SAM and hit the snooze button. When Hempfest caught wind of the park’s construction details in 2006, they returned to the city and explained the narrow access through the construction would be unsafe for the crowd. Again, the city snoozed. Exasperated, Hempfest organizers filed a lawsuit for a permit providing a wide enough entrance.

This April, SAM spokesperson Chris Rogers told the event committee, “We’ve made the determination that … we will close that staircase and what has been renamed the high road.” Without that easement, SPD Sergeant Lou Eagle said Myrtle Edwards Park would be unsafe for Hempfest—held there since 1995.

Hempfest organizers had every reason to believe the city’s brass would, again, do nothing – that is, nothing to upset SAM. After all, SAM’s investment in the waterfront park and expanded museum are considerable endowments to Seattle. (But no other public venues are adequate for the annual pot protestival, leaving Myrtle Edwards Park as their only option.) So Hempfest organizers, torn between pot-lovin’ appreciation for groovy sculpture and their event’s survival, were reluctantly prepared to sue both parties for their right to assemble.

Then something happened. The city’s serenade to SAM changed tune, May 11, when they sent this letter:

Continue reading "Statues of Limitations" »

SIFF Notes: Annoying Lefty Audience Gets Comeuppance

posted by on May 28 at 12:52 PM

I saw my 3rd SIFF movie of the weekend last night, another one of Annie Wagner’s recommendationsBamako.

It was a quiet movie about a makeshift courtroom that’s set up in the courtyard of a bungalow apartment complex in a dusty neighborhood in Mali. The court—with robed judges and earnest attorneys representing both sides—is trying the World Bank (!) for its rape of Mali.

The passionate anti-World Bank testimony from dispossessed citizens, citizen intellectuals, and even an old man who sings his testimony is all delivered as life goes on around the trial—including an elusive “plot” about a super foxy lounge singer (who lives in the complex) with her husband and sick daughter.

The poetic denunciations of World Bank policies—wholly accurate— were boiler plate leftism and got a bit tiresome. Some of the neighbors listening over a loudspeaker in the street outside the courtyard acknowledged this for the audience by unplugging the speaker at one point and announcing “this trial is getting boring.” The movie needed more comedy like that to lighten the often pedantic script.

Despite the longwinded speeches, though, the calm pacing, lulling electric fans, marvelous colors, occasional offbeat conversations, and snap shots of life going on outside the trial, made the movie a weird gem.

My favorite moment though was this: The typical Seattle audience (judging from the righteous head nodding at all the standard anti-Bush, lefty rhetoric) seemed thrown for a loop when the testimony veered—as all reactionary Leftism does—into demagoguery about traditional values.

Indeed, one or two speeches sounded like they were lifted straight from Bush’s own family values script. It was fun to observe the apparently simple-minded lefties in the audience (who had offered audible knee jerk, knowing agreement when the characters in the film as much as name checked Bush) get confused and fall into silence when the speeches started to sound more like Focus on the Family’s James Dobson.

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 28 at 12:00 PM


‘Monkey Warfare’
(SIFF) Shot in two weeks for just $30,000, this paranoid pot romance—which is also an urban-guerrilla comedy—is pleasantly disorienting. First it’s about a couple of burned-out radicals. Then it’s about a siren with easy access to huge amounts of marijuana. Then it’s about a pack of bicycle anarchists and a Molotov cocktail. Monkey Warfare is a Canadian movie, but it looks and feels dirtier and sexier than you thought contemporary Canadian cinema could be. (Harvard Exit, 807 E Roy St, 324-9996. 2 pm, $10.) Brendan Kiley

Gunshots and Discotheques

posted by on May 28 at 11:49 AM


Just before 1 a.m., SPD’s Anti-Crime Team (aren’t all cops supposed to be anti-crime?) heard several shots fired while on patrol near the 300 block of 19th Ave, in the Central District, where officers found a young man walking down the street with a gun sticking out of his pants.

As the police were dealing with the young man, a “suspect vehicle” pulled up to a nearby house and a man ran inside. After SPD called in the SWAT team, the eight people in the house surrendered and were taken in for questioning.

SPD spokesman Jeff Kappel says there were no injuries and that the gang unit is investigating.

Police were also called to a “major disturbance” at Neighbours on Broadway, which started after an employee was hit over the head with a bottle.

SPD’s media office is closed for the holiday so details probably won’t get out until tomorrow. I’ll report back if I have any updates.

Making Up Letters—Why Bother?

posted by on May 28 at 11:04 AM

Every day with the usual “Savage Love” mail I get one or two accusations of fraud: I have to make up the letters that appear in my column, distressed folks insist. People just aren’t that… weird… are they? Usually I point to my own laziness in my defense: Why would I make up the mail? That would only mean more work for me—and I’m busy enough, thanks.

A recent letter in “Savage Love” from a man into ball busting—he enjoys being kicked in the nuts and found himself a nice young lesbian that enjoyed kicking ‘em for him—earned a few dozen accusations of fraud. Being kicked in the balls? Surely no man is into that. I had to be making it all up. (Never mind the fetish websites out there for bull busters and ball bustees.)

Well, they do exist—and for proof I can point to this morning’s newspapers. The AP reports the story of a sad, frustrated Canadian ball-bustee

Police in Ontario are looking for a man who allegedly approached women and asked them to kick him in the groin. Three women reported similar incidents to police over the past two months, and two of the women reported the suspect was on a bicycle. None of the women reported injuries.

Police Sgt. Cate Welsh said Monday the man’s request is not a crime, but they are concerned nonetheless. ”That kind of behavior tends to be a precursor to sexual assault.”

Yes, it is. But a welcomed assault on the ball-bustee, officer.

The Morning News

posted by on May 28 at 9:16 AM

Talking: U.S. discusses Iraq in face to face meeting with Iran.

Fighting: Israel expands ground operations in Gaza.

Talking while Fighting: Palestinians attempt to quell ongoing violence in Lebanon.

Drinking: UK study finds rich kids drink more.

Censoring: Polish government thinks Teletubbies may be gay.

Lobbying: Eli Lilly throws drug money at Democrats now.

Bumming: U.S. troops feeling disillusioned in Iraq

SIFF 2007: Obits Edition

posted by on May 28 at 9:09 AM

Charles Nelson Reilly is dead.

The Life of Reilly

For a more extended memorial, see The Life of Reilly, a film based on his final one-man show, playing at SIFF June 4 and 10.


posted by on May 28 at 9:00 AM


I tried to think of a clever title—These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, Walk (Don’t Run), I’m Walkin’ (the Fats Domino ditty)—but nothing fit. When music won’t do, I tend to turn to Nicolas Roeg. The following has little to do with his 1971 masterpiece, but I’m still waiting for Roeg to get his due, so I like to drop his name whenever I get the chance…

So, after a weekend screening of Andrea Arnold’s Red Road, I was thinking about walkabouts—er, walkouts. I only noticed two, but when one catches my eye, I always wonder what turned off the viewer so much to make them flee (assuming their reasons were film-related in the first place). My friend and I quite liked Arnold’s debut.
It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I’m open to surprises.

At a certain point, the story transitions from a meditation on voyeurism (Kate Dickie’s Jackie is a surveillance expert) to a revenger’s tale, but the couple to our left departed long before Jackie enters the world of the trio she’s been surveilling. I’m guessing they simply found it dull. That wasn’t my impression, but I did find it increasingly hard to watch. The third act reminds me of Jane Campion’s In the Cut, in which an intelligent woman (a professor) purposefully puts herself in harm’s way. Jackie also places herself in a position where she could be raped or killed, but she retains greater control over the situation than Meg Ryan’s Frannie. If anything, Arnold gives away too much about Jackie’s motivations—I was hoping for more mystery—but the epilogue is sublime. Incidentally, though SIFF didn’t program Anton Corbijn’s acclaimed Ian Curtis bio-pic, Red Road does conclude with Joy Division (and I’ll take what I can get).

Continue reading "Walkabout" »

What I Ate

posted by on May 28 at 12:01 AM

For those waiting with bated breath (you’d be dead by now, but let’s not be too literal) to find out why I’ve been absent from Slog, here’s the answer: I’ve been in Austin, Texas for the past week, enjoying the sun, humidity, and Morrissey. Mostly, though, I was eating. To find out more, go here.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today the Stranger Suggests

posted by on May 27 at 12:00 PM


(Festival) Why the fuck would I suggest that you drive 3 long hours only to spend 12 hours baking in the blazing-hot sun of Eastern Washington? Sasquatch!, of course! If you didn’t go yesterday, you missed Björk, Arcade Fire, Mirah, the Hold Steady, and a bunch of other awesome shit. For shame. But the goodness continues today with Beastie Boys, the Polyphonic Spree, Blackalicious, Bad Brains, Spoon, and so many more. (Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Noon—midnight, $75, all ages.) Megan Seling

Outside Reading & a Quick Correction

posted by on May 27 at 10:45 AM

First, the correction: An alert SIFF Notes reader noticed that the first date in the capsule review of Manufactured Landscapes is incorrect. The correct date and time is today, Sunday May 26 27 at 7 pm at the Harvard Exit, not Monday. The SIFF Notes grid and website have the correct information.

And some notes for further reading:

The New York Times has a profile today of the unforgettable couple featured in Crazy Love, which plays at the festival Wednesday and Friday.

Also: Not many movies come complete with a director’s statement, but the two movies in SIFF which were commissioned by Peter Sellars’s New Crowned Hope Festival to celebrate the 250th birthday of Mozart are accompanied by elucidating essays. Read about Tsai Ming-Liang’s I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (at the festival Wednesday May 30 and Saturday June 2) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century (at the festival Monday June 4 and Thurs June 7) at this web page (choose “English,” then “Program”).

SIFF 2007: Highlights for the Memorial Stretch

posted by on May 27 at 9:15 AM

The Stranger’s suggestions for today and tomorrow at SIFF:


11 am, Neptune: Go see Never on a Sunday, an entertaining Mexican take on Weekend at Bernie’s.

1:30 pm, Egyptian: If you’ve already seen the excellent Girls Rock! (at SIFF Cinema, 1:45 pm), check out The Island, an awesome movie about an acetic Russian monk. Bradley Steinbacher liked it. Bradley Steinbacher liked a movie about an ascetic Russian monk. Go.

The Island

4 pm, Northwest Film Forum: The Stranger’s classical & avant critic, Christopher DeLaurenti, endorses the 1992 Henning Lohner/John Cage film One11 and 103. If you want something a little less heady—or you already have the DVD—check out the subtle commentary about racial relations vis-a-vis jump rope in Doubletime. I believe both directors will be in attendance. (Don’t bother with Rescue Dawn—you’re better off renting Little Dieter Needs to Fly; and previously rumored guest Werner Herzog will not be in attendance.)

Early evening: It’s a tossup. I’ll be at Bamako (Pacific Place at 6:30 pm), because I haven’t seen it yet and I was totally enchanted by SIFF Emerging Master Abderrahmane Sissako’s 2002 film Waiting for Happiness (playing in the fest tomorrow). Sissako won’t be in attendance, however, presumably because he’s on the jury at Cannes. And the movie’s opening at the Northwest Film Forum later in the summer. Other excellent options in this slot are Manufactured Landscapes, about a photographer drawn to scenes of human-inflicted devastation (Harvard Exit at 7 pm, filmmaker in attendance) and the local-interest option King of Kong (Egyptian at 6:30 pm, about the fierce battle for the title of top Donkey Kong player in the world.

Manufactured Lanscapes

9:15 pm, Pacific Place: You’re going to need to check out Exiled, Honk Kong filmmaker Johnny To’s gunslinging ode to the spaghetti western. But it’s got a big-name US distributor, and you could see it in theaters later this summer. For a lower-profile film, go with the first-person doc A Walk into the Sea (Northwest Film Forum at 9:15 pm, filmmaker in attendance), about the sad but not entirely shocking demise of one of Andy Warhol’s discarded lovers. It has distribution, but I haven’t heard any firm dates for Seattle.

Neptune, midnight: Strictly for caffeinated passholders: Severance opens next Friday in Seattle, so regular folks need not glue their eyelids open tonight. But the punning British horror-comedy with a The Office twist is screechingly funny and—this is what really won me over—it features this enormous wheel of cheese for no reason at all.


11 am: I wouldn’t, if I were you. What good are holidays if you can’t sleep in for hours? Perhaps anticipating this, SIFF has scheduled a bunch of repeats for this slot: additional screenings of Severance, Monster Camp, Paris Je T’Aime, Fish Dreams, and Doubletime—at the Neptune, Egyptian, Harvard Exit, Pacific Place, and SIFF Cinema, respectively.

1:30 pm, SIFF Cinema: See the graphic and shocking The Devil Came on Horseback (the main American subject and one of the filmmakers will be in attendance), about the genocide currently in progress in Darfur, from the directors of The Trials of Darryl Hunt.

4 pm, Neptune: If you didn’t shell out for the gala screening on Saturday, now’s your chance to catch A Battle of Wits, starring Andy Lau as the 4th-century warrior Ge Li.

7 pm, Egyptian: The Fly Filmmaking Challenge has loads of potential this year, with Dayna Hanson, Matt Daniels, and Lisa Hardmeyer set to premiere their made-to-deadline shorts films.

Matt Daniels's Numb

Maggie Brown (of Lynn Shelton’s We Go Way Back) stars in Hanson’s entry and Northwest Film Forum programmer Adam Sekuler edited Daniels’s movie, so basically the entire Seattle film scene (and a decent portion of the modern dance scene) should turn out. (I can’t go, unfortunately. Happy birthday, Gabey!)

Late evening: Documentary fans should seek out Crossing the Line (Neptune at 9:15 pm), by the North Korea-obsessed filmmaker who brought us the fascinating A State of Mind. If you’re into experimental work, the Argentine film The Aerial (Northwest Film Forum at 9:30 pm) is pretty cute, if somewhat derivative. A friend of mine used to say she’d go to any SIFF film with me except the ones about street urchins. Here’s the one you’ll want to avoid this year, C.—another film from Argentina, helpfully entitled Glue.

The Morning News

posted by on May 27 at 8:52 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Prisoners Freed: Not from Guantanamo. Forty-two Iraqi captives freed from an al—Qaida prison.

Dr. Death: Kevorkian to be released from prison soon.

Who Will Do Our Dirty Work?: U.S. Parks having hard time finding workers.

No Gay Pride Parade in Moscow: Gay rights protesters arrested.

There’s No Mystery With Dinosaurs: Creationist museum set to open tomorrow.

Showing a Country’s Best Side: Miss Kazakhstan says they’re making a movie in response to Borat.