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Archives for 06/10/2007 - 06/16/2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shitstorm Delayed

posted by on June 16 at 2:47 PM

Today’s Times breaks the news that City Attorney Tom Carr’s office blocked the release of a report critical of the police department. The city attorney’s office said it did so because the report’s release could expose its authors, Peter Holmes and Bradley Moerick, to personal legal liability.

Holmes, an attorney, is head of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), which oversees the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the city organization that conducts investigations into police misconduct allegations. Last year, the city passed rules last year that provided the same legal protection to volunteer board members as city employees.

In the Times’s story, Holmes calls the report “very critical” and “embarrassing,” and suggested that was the reason city officials didn’t want it released.

Earlier this week, Stranger writer Jonah Spangenthal-Lee reported that Holmes had turned in the report, which deals with the arrest of George Patterson, an African American man who accused two SPD officers of roughing him up and planting drugs on him. OPA was investigating Patterson’s misconduct allegations, but police chief Gil Kerlikowske interfered with the investigation, according to internal SPD communications, exonerating both officers before the investigation was complete.

O Bless the Lord…

posted by on June 16 at 11:58 AM

When was the last time you attended a high school production of Godspell? Well now, through the magic of YouTube, you can attend one anytime you like. Enjoy…

Thanks to Slog tipper Hank.

Coming Soon…

posted by on June 16 at 10:29 AM


Smith opens next week…

Surging Past Washington State on Gay Rights: California, Massachusetts, Oregon… and Colombia?

posted by on June 16 at 10:12 AM

Washington State’s domestic partnership law goes into effect in July.

When it does I’ll be able to order my boyfriend to get an autopsy, donate his organs, and decide just where and how to dispose of his remains. I have so much to look forward to. Meanwhile gays and lesbians in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Colombia—not “District of” (which is, I’ve learned, spelled with a “u”), but “in South America”—will be enjoying much broader rights.

In Massachusetts, of course, the gays are getting legally married—just like the gays in Spain, Holland, South Africa, and other points more progressive. But in a clear sign that Washington State’s well-meaning legislature was guilty of some seriously under-reach on securing rights for same-sex couples in the last legislative session, Colombia’s national legislature has passed—and it’s conservative president has pledged to sign—a law extending some of the major benefits of marriage to same-sex couples in that Latin American nation.

Colombia is set to become the first Latin American country to give established gay couples full rights to health insurance, inheritance and social security under a bill passed by its Congress.

The plan approved Thursday is expected to take effect soon. It is backed by President Alvaro Uribe.

The Washington State domestic partnership law includes the right to inherit property in the absence of a will but it does not mandate health insurance coverage for DPs or social security benefits (which are, unfortunately, in the hands of the feds). Still, if they’re passing laws in Colombia—Colombia!—that go farther than Washington’s DP law, we can and should do better, and demand more, during the next legislative session.

In other gay marriage news…

This Michael Kinsley essay is a must-read.

The debate of 14 years ago about gays in the military seems almost quaint. Kids grow up today with gay friends, gay parents, gay parents of friends and gay friends of parents. If only blacks and whites were as thoroughly mixed together in society as gays and straights are. Kids are also exposed constantly to an entertainment culture in which gays are not merely accepted but in some ways dominant. You rarely see a reality show without a gay cast member, while Rosie O’Donnell is a coveted free agent and Ellen DeGeneres is America’s sweetheart. The notion that gays must be segregated out of the military for the sake of our national security must strike Americans younger than, say, 40 as simply weird, just as we of the previous generation find the rules of racial segregation weird. (O.K., run that by me again: they needed separate drinking fountains because … why?)

And we’re not done with Massachusetts

Fresh off the success of defending gay marriage from its latest attack, advocates say they have one more fight in Massachusetts: Repealing a 1913 law that bars same-sex couples in most other states from coming here to get married.

Some say the law—which says couples cannot be married here unless their unions would be legal in their home states—has its roots in the effort to block interracial marriage, and plan soon to strategize for its repeal….

Massachusetts is the only U.S. state where gay marriage is legal. A few states recognize civil unions for same-sex couples.

Opponents of gay marriage, including the former governor and now Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have said repealing the law would make Massachusetts the “Las Vegas of gay marriage.”

And Stephen Colbert thinks gays should come with a warning label, and homosexuality should be treated as a disease. Call it Disco Fever

SIFF 2007: Saturday Highlights

posted by on June 16 at 8:44 AM

What to see on the second-to-last day of the festival? The Stranger’s recommendations for every damn slot in America’s biggest film festival continue below and at

(SIFF has also just announced new shows for the excellent doc For the Bible Tells Me So and the mediocre local rom com Outsourced. SIFF Notes has been updated accordingly.)


Pacific Place, 11 am. Everybody loves Sons, a Norwegian film about an overzealous anti-pedophile.

SIFF Cinema, 1:30 pm. The last film in the Swashbuckler Saturdays series is Scaramouche. La France, avant la révolution! Starring lots of swords.

Egyptian, 4 pm. Josh warned you off Children of the War yesterday (but Lindy liked it!), and the Queen Latifah-narrated Arctic Tale is really too big for a film festival, so I’m going to steer you to Delirious, the Steve Buscemi vehicle about celebrity.

Egyptian, 7 pm. Assuming you missed out on tickets for the gala, why not stay for another round of Buscemi in Interview (which he also directed, from a scenario by murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh)? Bradley Steinbacher liked it.

Egyptian, 9:30 pm. Stick it out at the Egyptian for the freaky kid horror film Joshua, which Andrew Wright adored. (Do not confuse with Kyle, which annoyingly plays in the same slot.)

Neptune, midnight. The replacement midnighter is End of the Line (on the SIFF Notes grid but not the Seattle Times guide; don’t be confused), which is a Canadian horror film set on a subway. Excellent.

The Morning News

posted by on June 16 at 8:40 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Open: North Korea invites back nuclear inspectors.

Recalled: Washington Beef possibly contaminated.

Dogtags: Identification from two missing GI’s found in Iraq.

Plumbing Problems: Sewage from Tacoma Mall flowing into Wapato Lake

More Chaos: Fatah seizes the Parliament building.

Pink = Out: The Amazonian pink river dolphin may be nearingextinction.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Real Change Vendors

posted by on June 15 at 6:02 PM

Some Real Change vendors will be missed… and some won’t.

Last Stop

posted by on June 15 at 5:40 PM

Before taking off for the day I check over at Wonkette, where I learned…

That there are rumors out there about Arnold Schwarzenegger divorcing Maria Shriver…

Someone flung human shit all over the U.S. Senate

And that Peggy Noonan no longer loves George W. Bush, and Republicans are morons.

Anyway, it’s kind of cute to watch somebody like Peggy Noonan start to get a small clue:
The White House doesn’t need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don’t even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.

The really hilarious thing is that these same brokenhearted Republican conservatives are rushing blindly to Fred Thompson… who is building a political machine completely controlled and staffed by Bush-Cheney people.

Republicans: They’re like even stupider versions of Democrats, if you can imagine such a thing.

Why Do We Hate God So Much?

posted by on June 15 at 5:04 PM

The author of a local blog about religion—the religious author of a devout blog about ol’ tyme religion—found his way to our “Month of Sundays” feature. His post about “Month of Sundays” is titled “A bunch of writers who hate God do reviews on 30 churches in Seattle,” and he’s got some questions…

I found this article through another blog, West Seattle Blog, and it’s from a publication that I would consider anti-christian or maybe even anti-religious. It’s full of swearing and blaspheme, which is expected, but very eye-opening too in how they percieve religion. Some think back to the days that they were forced to go to church, some are very quick to point out the hypocritical people, and all express their complete disgust for anything that has to do with God. Why do they hate God so much? Any thoughts?

I’m a little busy working on next week’s Queer Issue. But if you have time and some thoughts, gentle reader, head on over to Inward Truth and share ‘em.

Oh, and Inward Truth’s post about “Month of Sundays” is illustrated with a painting of a pack of Christian martyrs being fed to lions in the Roman Coliseum… because having your church reviewed in The Stranger is, uh, just like being torn limb from limb by a pack of hungry wild animals in front of a cheering mob.

Seems like a bit of an overstatement to me, especially considering that we didn’t send Annie Wagner out to review a church service.

Gruesome News

posted by on June 15 at 4:57 PM

This sad report just in from someone on the Amtrak 507 down to PDX: Just south of Centralia, the train “bounced” and then came to a stop.

Several minutes later an announcement came on that that they had run someone over.

The coroner is on the way.

“I’ve Been Waiting All My Life to Say This, Bob: 420”

posted by on June 15 at 4:45 PM

In honor of Bob Barker’s last auction today on The Price Is Right, we present the most hilarious bidding war in the show’s history.

Imagine you’re an enterprising young stoner called down to the podium on The Price Is Right. You have only a moment to decide: Bid logically, probably lose, and become a footnote, or bid the Magic Number and go down forever in game show history?

Give it up to our boy Evan, who goes three rounds, bidding Toke Time with a clear voice and a straight face.

“What was her bid, Bob? You know, I’m gonna have to go with 420, Bob.”

God bless him, someone had to do it.

More Than Meets The Eye

posted by on June 15 at 4:34 PM

Not that I’d ever doubt the skills of the filmmaker behind The Island, but, man, Michael Bay’s got a lot to live up to.

Reichert to Chair Giuliani’s Campaign in Washington State…

posted by on June 15 at 4:02 PM

… and The Democrats sent out this weird, mish-mash, attack press release. I’m all for attack dog politics, but this seems pretty slap-dash. For starters, Reichert wasn’t even in the Congress during the Clinton impeachment.


SEATTLE – Washington State Republican Dave Reichert announced today that he is endorsing the Presidential Campaign of former New York City Mayor and playboy Rudy Giuliani. Reichert will serve as Chairman of Giuliani’s campaign in Washington State, and will serve as national co-chairman of “Law Enforcement for Rudy.”

Giuliani has himself shown a blatant lack of regard for conviction or personal behavior.

“Rudy Giuliani was too busy with his mistress to pay attention to the real problems in New York City,” said Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz. “The hypocrisy of Republicans like Reichert promoting Giuliani is enormous. The GOP tried to impeach a President for his personal affairs, at the same time Rudy Giuliani was cheating on his wife.” [CBS News, 5/11/00]

Aside from thrice-married Rudy’s personal mishaps, his Mayoral record itself has come into question by those who worked the closest with him. As Mayor of New York City, Giuliani upset his city’s firefighters so much that, in a recent letter to the 260,000 members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), union officials urged that if locals are approached by the Giuliani campaign, “we hope you will say not just, ‘No,’ but, ‘Hell no’.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/8/07; Bloomberg, 3/9/07]

Moreover, the New York City Police Department recently took the time to honor a GOP Presidential Candidate…and it wasn’t Rudy Giuliani, it was John McCain. [NY Daily News 6/8/2007]

Meanwhile, Eastside Rep. Reichert said:

As someone who has been involved in law enforcement and homeland security issues for over 35 years, I know Rudy Giuliani will be a tough, determined, and principled leader. … He transformed a crime-ridden New York City into the safest large city in the country and has always shown courage in the face of challenges. He’ll be a true leader for our country.

I’d like to know what Mr. Law Enforcement Dave Reichert thinks of Giuliani’s flip flop on gun controla story first reported by moi.

Crafty Work: A Chat With Bülent Akinci

posted by on June 15 at 3:56 PM


One of my favorite films at this year’s festival was Running on Empty. Bülent Akinci’s striking debut walks a fine line between existential dread and mordant comedy. The film is beautifully shot and inventively structured, but style never overshadows substance. There’s French chanson, a surprisingly erotic shower scene (the woman is fully clothed, which somehow makes it sexier)—even some dancing. Yet Running on Empty is not—thank God—quirky. It’s a noirish picture about a salesman at the end of his tether.

Though the Berlin-based writer/director rejects the term “road movie,” Burkhard Wagner (Requiem’s Jens Harzer) spends the entire film trolling the Autobahn. At night. From the start, it’s clear something is seriously wrong with this wiry fellow with the crazy laugh, but he has a knack at this selling thing. Wagner’s plan is to off-load his insurance policies, then return to his neglected wife and child. But things aren’t quite what they seem, an impression reinforced by the editing, which makes it difficult to distinguish past from present, reality from fantasy. Then again, that’s exactly how Wagner perceives the world.

I met up with the soft-spoken filmmaker while he was in town with Running on Empty. Unfortunately, there are no more SIFF screenings and the film doesn’t have US distribution. That’s a situation that will, with hope, change at some point in the future. One way or the other, I’m certain you’ll be hearing from Akinci and Harzer again. The director was accompanied by a translator, but provided most of his answers in English. Here are a few excerpts from our conversation.


How did you end up in Germany?

Because of my parents. My mother came to Germany in order to work, so after six months, she took me also.

When was this?

In the 1970s. [Akinci was born in Ankara in 1967.]

Continue reading "Crafty Work: A Chat With Bülent Akinci" »

The Yes Men Pull Another One

posted by on June 15 at 3:50 PM

This prank was perpetrated, in part, by Seattle’s own Reggie Watts.

The premise of the presentation, which included a PowerPoint lecture by “S.K. Wolff,” was that as humans begin to die as a result of calamities caused by climate change, their remains could be harvested for an alternative fuel source called “vivoleum” that would eventually replace oil.
Osenberg, supposedly the director of human resources with the vivoleum program, took the stage carrying a lit candle while volunteers handed out candles to the audience.
The approximately 250 assembled guests were told the vivoleum for the candles had been “sourced” from an ExxonMobil maintenance worker who donated it before dying of cancer.
The candles were actually made of wax and human hair gathered from barbershops.
Organizers of GO-Expo were not impressed with the stunt.

The candles were supposedly made of Reggie. Gross!

Nothing Further, Your Honor

posted by on June 15 at 3:46 PM

The Pigs on Parade are back this summer. But I write about art, so those are the first and last eight words I will be writing about pigs on our streets.

Everything worth saying on the matter has been said by Emily Hall, former Stranger art critic.

What must happen, what absolutely must happen, is for this city to get over its ambivalence and distaste for ambition. You don’t become a great art city by filling the street with painted pigs. You become a great art city by supporting artists doing what artists do.

Rock, Paper, Revolutionary

posted by on June 15 at 3:02 PM

When I moved to Virginia for college (I’d grown up here in Seattle), I heard people use the term “rochambeau” for the game “rock, paper, scissors” for the first time.

I had always thought that “ro” maybe stood for “rock,” and “cham”… well, my theory trailed off here, but who knows, maybe the French use champagne in place of scissors? (Champage would get the paper wet, a rock would smash the bottle?)

But today in the New York Times, there’s an article about descendants of the historical Rochambeau, a Frenchman who helped out with the American Revolution. (He’s better known as Maréchal, after the field marshal title given him by Louis XVI after he returned from America.)

Is this where the name of the game comes from? The OED is no help, it doesn’t even have an entry for “rochambeau.” I shall have to investigate further.


This Week on Drugs

posted by on June 15 at 2:52 PM

Spin Doctor’s Orders
: Bush wants to reinstate mandatory minimum sentences.

Morbid or Obese? The FDA weighs pros and cons of diet drug.

Potty Mouth: Straight-edge student suspended for saying pot is safer than alcohol.

Killer Weed: Police save man choking on stash.

Moore: Wants your health-care horror stories.

The Anti-Drug Panic Button: Because nobody knows how to calm drug hysteria like the feds.

Poked and Prodded: Texas becomes final state to allow needle-exchange program.

Some SIFF Advice

posted by on June 15 at 2:43 PM

I was complaining to Annie about a SIFF movie I saw last weekend, Children of War, a documentary about the MS-13 gang. And she said: “Slog about it because it’s playing again this weekend!” [Harvard Exit, Saturday at 4pm].


Based on our reviews, I had circled a slew of movies at the beginning of the festival, including Children of War. The review mentioned Ronald Reagan and El Salvador, and so I was sucked into my teenage protest past and ran out to see the movie.

Gong! All context and no substance.

The context is that Ronald Reagan’s war in El Salvador was bad—and combined with our follow-up conservative deportation policy, the U.S. government created the MS-13 problem. That’s the context. And I believe it, I guess. But it’s hardly enough to carry a whole movie.

The only other thing we get is gang members, including the founders, talking about how they joined the gang to fit in and have a sense of community. What a stunning revelation! We also get some FBI guys saying we must stop this gang.

Problem is, the movie (scared to give any credence to the FBI POV, I guess) and content to linger in the analysis that the gang is merely a side effect of Reagan policies (and let’s be indignant about that), we don’t learn a damn thing about the gang.

Seriously. Not a thing. Do they run drugs? Do they run prostitution rings? Do they run extortion, protection, and blackmail rackets? What makes them a “gang.” What kind of documentary is this?

The movie does talk about the time some MS-13 members shot up a school bus of kids, but there’s absolutely no context on that.

If it was the filmmaker’s intention to make me feel sympathetic to these gang members and bitter about American policy, it would help to paint a richer picture—even if it’s unflattering to the gang—so, I could wrestle with the story myself. This movie told me what to think and then had a lot of gang members saying the same thing for two hours.

Unwittingly highlighting this lack of substance, the movie is divided into sections (a title card, “Origins,” for example, announces each section). Every time that happened, I’d think, “Cool, maybe this movie’s gonna start now.” But alas, a minute into every new chapter, I’d find myself asking, “How is this section any different from the preceding one?” The answer is: It wasn’t. More gang members talking about the need to fit in. And more narration about Ronald Reagan.

Miss Black Candy Rack

posted by on June 15 at 2:40 PM

I recieved this image from KT:
-2.jpg This what she had to say about it:

I’m in Colombia right now. I am a huge fan of s’mores-themed novelty snacks… I was in a grocery store earlier today and I came across the product in the attached picture. It is a s’mores-type treat. Note the name. Note the cartoon. Note the bizarre highlighting on her rack that makes her tits seem mis-matched. I thought you might like to comment on this.
I really don’t know what to say about the cartoon’s rack. But then again, breasts are not my (main) thing. For many years, the body area of a woman that most excited me was the forehead—the higher the sexier. These days its tummies, which is why the cultural standard of covering breasts and exposing tummies is in harmony with my way of thinking/desiring.

bigliberty.jpg I also like armpits.

As for black kisses:
ttt0497-cassandra_wilson_02.jpg The best landing for flying lips is the surface of Cassandra Wilson’s forehead.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on June 15 at 2:30 PM

SIFF this weekend is a pigpile of world premieres and awards and a peculiarly Polartec version of glamour. If that doesn’t appeal to you, here’s what’s on tap in the normal theaters.

In On Screen this week: Fresh from SIFF, a tale of brutal facial disfiguration gone disgustingly right—David Schmader reviews Crazy Love. Josh Feit geeks out on refreshingly square girl detective Nancy Drew.


I coldheartedly question the necessity of the local production Inlaws & Outlaws, a feel-good gay marriage doc that plays like a PSA. Andrew Wright gets pumped about Johnny To’s newest, Triad Election (not quite as good as SIFF’s Exiled, but close enough). And Lindy West digs the infanticide fantasy, hates the Utilikilt, in the Aussie update of Macbeth.

There are some fabulous limited runs this week too.

At Northwest Film Forum, the coolest rock-n-roll documentary ever made: D.A. Pennbaker’s Don’t Look Back.


Look out for sure.

And more sick attitude over at Grand Illusion, with the fantastic 1969 film If…, by Lindsay Anderson, about armed rebellion at a middling British public school. Especially if you were able to catch Jean Vigo’s Zéro de conduite at SIFF Cinema this spring, you should not miss this sizzling, angry, homoerotic update on the theme of schoolboy mutiny. The following still is in black and white, but most of the movie is in color. At first you think the black and white is for stodgy scenes and people (the first time it crops up is when the camera follows a new teacher up to his cold bare garret), but then you realize it’s willfully random.


And next Wednesday, there’s a great lineup of experimental docs at the Henry’s Artists’ Cinema series, including shorts by Jem Cohen, Matt McCormick, and featured filmmaker Brian Doyle.

See Get Out for all your Movie Times needs. See you after SIFF!

Gay Parenting = Child Abuse

posted by on June 15 at 2:14 PM

So says conservative radio hater Michael Savage.

“Savage Nation’ appears on about 350 stations, reaching an estimated eight million listeners weekly…. [Savage] was up to his usual, well, savage tricks on Savage Nation last week, again calling gay parenting “child abuse,” echoing remarks he originally made during the February 26 program.

This time, Weiner’s savagery was unleashed in response to remarks by Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney, whose stance on gay issues apparently varies depending on which office he’s currently seeking, responded to a mother from New Hampshire who asked about his opposition to gay marriage by referring to same-sex parenting as part of “the American way” and an example of “freedom of choice.”


To Savage Weiner, however, the only “proper answer” for Romney would have been to tell Ms. Fish that her parenting is “child abuse.” What is needed, according to Savage Weiner, is “a conservative candidate all the way who would say to a gay woman: ‘You know what? I’m very sorry for your children. I think it’s child abuse for you to raise children.’ “

Hm. If you’re going to call gay parenting “child abuse,” what the hell do you call this?

Father gets 30 years for daughter’s scalding death

No one had a good word for the father of 10-year-old Jordan Gonsioroski when he was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for her death caused by scalding bath water last summer in their Blaine home.

“If it were up to me, I would do the same thing to him that he did to her,” Jordan’s mother, Amanda Johnson, said after the sentencing in Anoka County District Court…

Before imposing punishment, the judge said he couldn’t determine who actually immersed Jordan in the scalding water in her father’s mobile home July 15 because Gonsioroski and his girlfriend, Meier, gave conflicting accounts when they each pleaded guilty.

Yes, well, at least Jordan had proper male/female role models, and not a pair of abusive-by-definition gay parents. That would have been a crime.

More Sprawling Contradictions…

posted by on June 15 at 1:37 PM

And here’s another ass backwards thing about the $17 billion light rails/roads package: the $972 million we’re spending on 520. In order to raise the necessary dough so that RTID won’t be seen as raising taxes for nothing (it’s more like a $3.9 billion to $4.4 billion project) the RTID folks talk about tolling—$1.2 billion in tolling, to be exact.

But wait, in order to hit get to $1.2 billion they upped the traffic numbers on 520 by 28% from their initial tolling and revenue projections over the same time period.

Huh? Isn’t this road expansion all about easing congestion? Upping traffic by 28% sounds to me like they want it both ways. Are they adding capacity to ease congestion or cater to more cars? And isn’t tolling supposed to decrease the number of drivers?

This revelation from RTID makes it clear what this package is all about.

From the PI:

[RITD] initially assumed it would raise $700 million from tolls over a 30-year bond repayment period. Staffers now think the amount could be at least that much but as high as $1.2 billion based on predictions that evening peak traffic on the bridge will be 28 percent greater than previously thought.

Oh, and ECB asked RTID what the 28% increase was based on and RTID did not provide any justification for the assumption.

“Drive Until You Qualify”

posted by on June 15 at 1:16 PM

The new sound bite from Republicans who support sprawl is “Drive Until You Qualify.” It’s their clever way of defending roads expansion and catering to exurban development.

Supporting the $904 million on I-405 expansion in this November’s regional transportation plan (the same plan that Seattle voters must vote for if they also want to expand Sound Transit light rail) GOP King County Council Member Reagan Dunn told the Seattle Times:

The I-405 project, especially, will improve traffic for people who must “drive until you qualify” for affordable suburban homes, said King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “The benefits are real. It will help young people; it will help our future,” he said.

His point is: People can’t afford to live (“live” meaning big houses, big yards, two car garages) in the city and so, to provide affordable housing we have to provide roads for them.

It’s a clever bit of demagoguery because it plays to the truth that yes, housing is becoming more and more expensive in Seattle. However, the GOP solution is a Catch-22. The more you drive people out to the ‘burbs, the more you keep Seattle from addressing its housing and transportation crisis, because suburban development takes dollars and developers away from transit and in-fill density.

I argued in my column this week that anyone who fills in the bubble for 50 new miles of light rail this November thinking they’re voting for the environment is also filling in the bubble for sprawl and environmental degradation.

Dunn seconds that point by making it clear what the $17 billion ST/RTID package is really all about.

Letter of the Day

posted by on June 15 at 1:16 PM

I thought Christine Wenc’s friend’s existential rant closing “Smoking is Sublime” was apt: He says [of smoking], “It’s like signing your name on a wall. ‘I was here.’” My mother was a smoker for 40 years. Then it killed her—three months ago, at the age of 60.

She just missed her first grandchild, my daughter, who was born last month.

Yeah, she WAS here.

Greg Kirkos

They’ll Get Right On That…

posted by on June 15 at 12:55 PM

Don’t expect the White House’s drug policy office to trip over itself responding to FOIA requests. Here’s the response they sent when Students for Sensible Drug Policy (for which I serve on the board) requested copies of those post-9/11 ads linking drugs and terrorism:


That’s right, it’s on its way—by June 22, 2207. I hope it’s a typo; 200 years is almost longer than a damn rebate check. I once called the City of Seattle lethargic for dilly-dallying a couple months on event permits, but now I take it back. Sorry, Virginia Swanson, I didn’t know how good I had it.

Is it Going to Rain on Your Parade?

posted by on June 15 at 12:42 PM


I hope not. Sheesh, what would these people look like if they got rained on?

Jack Olmsted films.

A Great Place to Hang Out This Summer

posted by on June 15 at 12:17 PM


I don’t want to curse or ruin this place, but man, I had the pleasure of hanging out at the revamped Lloyd’s Rocket at the intersection(?) of Boren and Yesler and 12th last night: Lively patio, friendly wait staff, live jazz, flirty, loud, roomy, and mind-boggling for Seattle: Integrated!

This is the place that used to be a boarded up eyesore gas station.

I had a tasty chicken sandwich.

SIFF 2007: Friday Highlights

posted by on June 15 at 12:00 PM

Twenty-one days down, three to go! It seems my capsule review of Cthulhu is drawing consternation from some quarters. To clarify: “recommended” means “worth seeing at SIFF.” Not: “You might as well eviscerate yourself and bleed to death on the dirty sidewalk if you can’t get tickets to this film.” (That’s “Don’t Miss!”, naturally.) Reviewing local films is more political than reviewing theater, I swear. So who saw Cthulhu last night? It’s all gloriously anonymous down in the comments.

The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in the festival continue below and at


Pacific Place, 2 pm. We weren’t able to review Iska’s Journey, but the Variety review is encouraging. (And by “encouraging,” I mean, “In her dirt-poor village in the Zsil River valley, Iska works in terrible conditions scavenging metal, coal and anything else of value from the rubble. When she returns home penniless after daring to dicker with a buyer, her resourcefulness is rewarded with a sound beating.”)

Harvard Exit, 4:30 pm. Miss Gulag is a smartly executed doc about a beauty pageant at a brutal Russian prison camp.

Miss Gulag

“Emerging Master” Rafi Pitts is in town, though I’m not sure if he’ll be introducing his 1997 movie Season Five (Pacific Place, 4:30 pm). He will introduce It’s Winter (Pacific Place at 7 pm), a film with risqué (for an Iranian film) intimations of extramarital shenanigans.

Another interesting option in the 7 pm slot is a work-in-progress peek at Sweet Crude (Neptune, 7 pm), which is being produced by the fine people at Verité Coffee. The film is a doc about oil and volatile politics in the Niger Delta. And if you’ve always wanted to accost Winona Ryder, she’s in town to promote the world premiere of the feminist revenge tale Sex and Death 101 (Egyptian, 6:30 pm), directed by Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters.

Sex and Death

Neptune, 10 pm. It’s already out at Scarecrow, but Confession of Pain, from the directing team responsible for Infernal Affairs, should probably be seen on the big screen. Little Book of Revenge (Pacific Place, 9:30 pm) might be worth a look too. It’s the U.S. premiere of a Quebecois black comedy.

Skip the midnight show and get rested for the penultimate day of the festival.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Tonys

posted by on June 15 at 11:47 AM

Okay, this totally falls under “picking on midgets.” Nevertheless, it’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened at (or at least outside) the Tony Awards.

“It’s Winston Churchill!”

Thank you, Defamer.

Today, The Final Come On Downing!

posted by on June 15 at 11:09 AM

And goodbye, darling Bob.

Even right now maybe, just this very minute, Bob Barker is Bob Barkering for the very last time ever. He and his skinny skinny microphone retire today at last.

I remember watching Bob from my highchair at lunchtime, when his hair was still black as midnight coal, as I crammed the little square vegetables from my bowl of Campbell’s Vegetable Soup up my nose. I can’t say if I’ll miss old Bob, but I sure do miss cramming vegetables up my nose. You understand.

Oh, Bob Barker! The source of so much excitement! The father of so much adventure! Lest we forget…

Sullivan on Massachusetts

posted by on June 15 at 10:57 AM

Andrew Sullivan is the most passionate, eloquent, and effective voice for marriage equality in the United States. A vocal and prominent proponent of same-sex marriage before any national gay groups would touch the issue, Sullivan has done more—through his blog, his books, and his advocacy—to advance the cause of marriage equality than any other single individual in the country. (Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson comes in a very, very close, photo-finish second.) Sullivan’s willingness to pick anti-marriage equality arguments apart is as invaluable as his ability to skin dishonest anti-gay marriage pundits alive is entertaining.

And here is Sullivan’s moving reaction to the news from Massachusetts

Looking back on two decades of struggle, past the ashes of so many, to the clearing on which we now stand, it’s hard not to weep. Two decades ago, marriage for gays was a pipe-dream. Some of us were ridiculed for even thinking of the idea. And yet here we are. Past the vicious attack from the president, past the cynical manipulation by Rove, past the cowardice of so many Democrats, past the rank hypocrisy of the Clintons, past the inertia of the Human Rights Campaign, past the false dawn in San Francisco, and the countless, countless debates and speeches and books and articles and op-eds.

Yes, we have much more to do. Yes, we still have to win over those who see our loves as somehow destructive of the families we seek merely to affirm. Yes, we don’t have federal recognition of our basic civic equality. Yes, in many, many states, we have been locked out of equality for a generation, because of the politics of fear and backlash. But look how far we’ve come. From a viral holocaust to full equality—somewhere in America, in the commonwealth where American freedom was born. In two decades. This is history. What a privilege to have witnessed it.

It was driven above all by ordinary gay and lesbian couples and their families—not activists, not lobbyists, not intellectuals. Couples and their families. It was driven by a brutal, sudden realization that we were far more vulnerable than we knew. In the plague years, husbands reeled as they were denied access to their own spouses in hospitals, as they were evicted from their shared homes in the immediate aftermath of terrible grief, and refused access even to funerals by estranged and often hostile in-laws. This day is for them, for all those who were abused and maligned and cast aside because they loved another human being.

It’s also for all the lesbian mothers who realized in the last two decades just how much contempt and hatred existed for their care of their own children, who lived in constant insecurity, or who, at best, had to endure erasure from visibility. It’s for gay families in Virginia today, denied dignity and protection multiple times over, enduring popular votes of meretricious contempt, and carrying on regardless, living their lives, building their relationships, cherishing their homes, caring for their kids, honoring their parents. And it’s for the countless, countless gay couples throughout human history—who for so long had to live lives in which their deepest longings and loves were denied, crushed, ignored or threatened.

The media didn’t much notice yesterday. But America changed. The world changed. And an ancient and deep wound began, ever so slightly, to heal.

89th and Roosevelt

posted by on June 15 at 10:54 AM

Maple Leaf


With all of the booming development going on in Seattle, it boggles my mind that this barren patch of cement - on 89th and Roosevelt Way NE - has sat empty for nearly 6 years:


In 2001, on Thanksgiving Day, a fire gutted the building which housed a coffee shop, salon and video store (where I used to work).

Over the next two years, the building came down, slowly, until only a brick-work skeleton was left. Then…nothing happened.

Eventually,the empty lot became a graffiti hotspot so the neighborhood leaned on the the property owner, Sam Voskovich, to clean up the site.


According to Barbara Maxwell, Chair of the Land Use Committee on the Maple Leaf Community Council (MLCC), the neighborhood has had a rocky relationship with the Voskovich. “The community council tried to be patient and respectful of the loss that he had as a property owner and wait for him to do what he had to do. Sam believed he was the victim of arson. He was looking for sympathy,” she says.

The MLCC held several meetings where Voskovich presented plans for a apartment/condo/retail complex but the project never took off. Maxwell claims Voskovich has received offers to buy the site but has held on to the property because of a “sentimental attachment”. I tried to contact Voskovich to talk about his current plans but he didn’t return my calls.

I’m not a fan of the Community Renewal Act (read: eminent domain) Mayor Nickels was pushing earlier this year but I’m tired of driving by this concrete dead zone. I just hope the development fairy stops by my neighborhood sometime soon.

A War Between Squirrel and Man is Coming

posted by on June 15 at 10:41 AM


A report from the latest scrimmage skirmish, this time in Germany:

An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch.

The squirrel first ran into a house in the southern town of Passau, leapt from behind on a 70-year-old woman, and sank its teeth into her hand, a local police spokesman said on Thursday.

With the squirrel still hanging from her hand, the woman ran onto the street in panic, where she managed to shake it off.

(Via Seattlest.)

More Marriage in Massachusetts

posted by on June 15 at 10:22 AM


To put a constitutional amendment before the voters in Massachusetts two consecutive legislatures had to vote to put it before the voters. Supporters of a ban on gay marriage only needed the voters of 50 of the 200 members of the Massachusetts legislature. Last year they got 62 votes. Yesterday they got just 45.

What changed the minds of legislators that voted for the ban last year and against it this year? Getting to know gay couples, gay couples that have adopted children, concern for gay grandkids, help with yard work, and the efforts of Massachusetts’ Democratic governor.

From the New York Times:

One legislator who switched his vote was Representative Paul Kujawski, Democrat of Uxbridge, saying meetings with gay and lesbian constituents convinced him that “I couldn’t take away the happiness those people have been able to enjoy.”

Senator Gale D. Candaras, a Democrat, voted against the amendment Thursday, although she had supported it as a state representative in January. Ms. Candaras said her vote reflected constituent views in her larger, more progressive Senate district and her fear of a vicious referendum campaign.

Most moving, she said, were older constituents who had changed their views after meeting gay men and lesbians. One woman had “asked me to put it on the ballot for a vote, but since then a lovely couple moved in,” Ms. Candaras said. “She said, ‘They help me with my lawn, and if there can’t be marriage in Massachusetts, they’ll leave and they can’t help me with my lawn.”

The Boston Globe published this statement from Gale Candaras, a Dem member of the legislature that switched her vote:

“Same gender couples have been adopting children and building families here in the Commonwealth for about twenty years. In many instances, same gendered couples have adopted children with severe challenges, children no one else wanted, and they have worked miracles with them. These children would have lived lives of despair without these families.

I have been most impressed by the number of individuals who have called me and asked me to change my vote because they have changed their minds. One grandmother told me she had changed her mind and wanted me to change my vote in case one of her grandchildren grew up to be gay or lesbian. She did not want any of her grandchildren to be denied the right to marry the person they love.”

And the governor of Massachusetts worked his ass off to prevent the ban from going to the ballot—so don’t let anyone tell you there’s “no difference” between Democrats and Republicans on the gay issue. Again, the NYT:

From the Boston Herald:

“In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,” Gov. Deval Patrick said to roaring applause after the vote in the Constitutional Convention. “Today’s vote was not just a victory for marriage equality, it was a victory for equality itself.”

The ban’s defeat affirmed the status of gay marriage in the only state where it’s legal. The five-vote margin of victory brought a surprising and dramatic end to days of fierce lobbying by Patrick and legislative leaders. In total, 11 lawmakers switched sides to defeat the proposed ban, a sudden shift that shocked ban proponents who said they didn’t see it coming….

Murray, DiMasi and Patrick were lobbying until the final moments. All three said they were unsure of the outcome even as they gaveled the Constitutional Convention into session. “This was as close as I’ve ever seen any vote,” DiMasi said. “I had to go with my instinct, and that’s what I did.”

And, finally, I can’t resist posting this story from yesterday morning’s Boston Globe. The leader of anti-gay marriage forces in Massachusetts predicted, well, let’s just enjoy the delicious quotes…

Kris Mineau, a leader in the campaign for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, said today he was confident his side has enough votes to get the measure on the 2008 ballot. “We’re feeling very good about this,” said Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute….

“We’re confident we have the votes, and we’re calling on Senate president Terry Murray to keep her word and hold the vote,” Mineau said. “If they don’ t hold the vote, you know we have the votes.”

Well, Kris, they held the vote and you didn’t have the votes. How you feeling now?

Mike Gravel, Surrealist

posted by on June 15 at 10:04 AM

Long-shot candidate Mike Gravel, former US Senator from Alaska—secretly brilliant, or just insane? You decide:

One more below the jump.

Continue reading "Mike Gravel, Surrealist" »

Marriage Equality in Massachusetts

posted by on June 15 at 9:52 AM

The decision by the Dem-contolled legislature in Massachusetts not to place an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot didn’t make the front page of the New York Times this morning—but, hey, neither did that comical plot to blow up JFK Airport. There’s a single-column piece on the National News page, but no picture.

The importance of what happened—or what didn’t happen—in Massachusetts yesterday can’t be overstated. The chance that anti-gay activists in Massachusetts will be able to ban gay marriage in that state, and revoke the marriages of thousands of married couples in Massachusetts, are vanishingly slim. They can’t just come back next year and try again. From the NYT

The vote means that opponents would have to start from Square 1 to sponsor a new amendment, which could not get on the ballot before 2012.

And as we’ve seen throughout the same-sex marriage debate, the more time passes, the more familiar Americans become with the issue, the more supportive people are of same-sex marriage. That’s why the religious right has worked so hard and, it must be said, so successfully, to enshrine their bigotry in state constitutions all over the country. It’s going to be difficult to undo the damage that’s already been done, to write bigotry back out of all those state constitutions, but Massachusetts made it a little bit easier.

Because same-sex marriage—not “consolation prize” civil unions or domestic partnerships, but full marriage equality—is going to remain a reality inside the United States. Social conservatives are good at ignoring the progress being made in Holland, Spain, Canada, Mexico, South Africa (!), and all the other countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. The institution of marriage has not crumbled to dust in those countries. Yet social conservatives, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, argue that same-sex marriage is a radical social experiment and God only knows what sort of chaos it will unleash. Better to err on the side of caution and, you know, do nothing about the insecurity and injustice same-sex couples have to endure.

Well, making that argument just got a little—hell, a lot—harder. Same-sex marriage is a reality in America, and will remain a reality in America. The nightmare scenarios spun by social conservatives about same-sex marriage will have to be weighed against the reality of same-sex marriage in one of the most populous states in the union.

Thanks, Massachusetts.

John Travolta’s Aggressive Suckery

posted by on June 15 at 9:14 AM


When I first heard that the new movie musical of Hairspray would star John Travolta as Edna Turnblad (originated on film by the brilliant Divine and reprised in the musical by a Tony-winning Harvey Feirstein), I did more than reserve judgment—I actively hoped Travolta was harboring some untapped camp talent that would make the casting make sense and perhaps result in triumph. It seemed possible: Why would John Travolta want to do something he’s horrible at?

Who knows, but judging from this preview clip, he does, and has, and it ain’t pretty. As Defamer notes, “The scene prominently features Travolta’s Edna Turnblad delivering her dialogue in an utterly inscrutable Southern-ish accent (doesn’t it take place in Baltimore?) in a register slightly deeper than Travolta’s own.”

As for “untapped camp talent,” Travolta displays none. I’m tempted to say, “This is the kind of drag your dad would do,” but it’s too weird. One thing’s for sure: Travolta’s never seemed straighter. Weird.

(However, I remain excited to see Alison Janney’s take on the spastic-with-racism Mrs. Pingleton.)

Alert Pam Roach! Call Ken Schram!

posted by on June 15 at 9:10 AM

A store in Pioneer Square is promoting bestiality! What other possible explanation is there for this sweatshirt? My God, what about the children that walk by this store! Or young adults, their inhibitions lowered by alcohol, that frequent Pioneer Square?

On the Radio

posted by on June 15 at 8:39 AM

I’ll be on KUOW’s Weekday this morning, starting at 10 a.m., to talk about the news of the week with other local journalists (and to take listener calls).

Got something you think we should discuss? The comments thread awaits.

The Morning News

posted by on June 15 at 7:49 AM

Dissolved: Palestinian unity government, as Hamas tightens its grip on Gaza.

Bottom of the Barrel: Donald Trump’s new reality show, “Lady or a Tramp.”

Bad News
: Current SCOTUS even more right-wing than expected.

Under Investigation: AG Gonzales, for allegedly coaching Monica Goodling’s testimony in fired attorneys scandal.

Emergency Contraception:: Not available to women on US military bases.

Sippy Cups: The latest threat to our national security.

Jailbird to Be: Libby, whose bid for release was rejected.

Sex-selective abortions: Still happening in India, despite ban.

Richer than You: Howard Stern, who’s building a 16,000 square foot mansion with 12(!!) bathrooms.

The Most Powerful Celebrity in the World: Oprah. Duh.


Recipes of the Day

All recipes from Deborah Madison’s book “Local Flavors.” I’ve made them all, and they’re all good.

Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Somebody’s Mother

posted by on June 14 at 5:04 PM

In this week’s paper, I covered a woman’s bizarre death in Lake City. Today, I got a call from her 26 year-old son. Obviously, this is a rough time for the family and it seems they’ve been kept in the dark by SPD and the King County Medical Examiner. I shared what I could and I’ll be posting some follow ups soon.

It’s easy to get callous about things like this when they come through the fax machine on a daily basis. I’ll totally cop to the flippant tone of the article which, frankly, was due to my utter shock and disbelief as I read the police report.

This morning, I got an email from KROQ, asking if I’d be interested in appearing on their morning show to talk about the article. I can’t imagine anything less appealing than cracking wise about this woman’s death with a couple of shock jocks during drive time.

The icing on the cake came this afternoon. I found out that a well known Portland blogger linked my story with the headline “Nappy Headed Dead-Ho.”


My sincerest condolences go out to the woman’s six children.

I Know This Clip Is Old

posted by on June 14 at 4:15 PM

But it’s still one of my favorites of all time. There is no context for this interaction. It just occurs.

143rd and Linden Avenue North

posted by on June 14 at 4:14 PM


Bitter Lake

With Seattle’s insanely expensive real estate market showing no signs of slowing, a new housing market is emerging: urban car camping.


The decrepit, road-worn Winnebagos and camper vans - clothing and food wrappers piled ceiling high - parked along Linden Avenue North, from 130th to 145 in North Seattle’s Bitter Lake neighborhood, are becoming a more common sight in SoDo or Ballard. However, Bitter Lake residents say they’ve been dealing with campers for years and are finally starting to get attention from the city.

While living in a vehicle isn’t technically illegal, campers are leaving garbage and human waste along city streets and the Seattle Police Department says campers are bringing crime into neighborhoods.


Sergeant Diane Newson, head of the Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct Community Police Team, says the mostly residential Bitter Lake neighborhood, just west of Aurora Avenue near the Seattle/Shoreline border, has seen an influx of drugs and prostitution and says the campers are to blame: “They are wasting their lives, spending their money on drugs and alcohol. [They’re] not the [kind] homeless people you feel sorry for. A lot of them are on welfare or unemployment” but have refused social services offered by SPD. “Most of them don’t want help. It’s a lifestyle choice. If your life is your next fix, you don’t really care,” Newsom says.

Several days ago, Newsom placed orange stickers on 10 different motor homes, giving notice the vehicles needed to move off the block within 72 hours, a standard parking rule in Seattle which The Stranger’s very own ECB has been ticketed and towed for. Despite the notices, campers just move down the street or around the block and Newsom says “The problem is, [car camping] is not against the law.”

The mobile homes on Linden have become a high priority for SPD because, according to Newsom, “People don’t feel safe when those motor homes are parked in front of their house.”

Broadview Community Council President Dale Johnson says Linden has attracted so many car campers because of the unfinished streets. Johnson believes that the lack of sidewalks in his North Seattle neighborhood is the main reason Linden has drawn so many campers. “Car camping goes to out of the way derelict areas. In the last 3-5 years, that street has been a derelict street. Clearly it’s an unfortunate situation. We’d like to make that into a livable street. We’re lobbying to have the city keep the promise it made 10 years ago, to improve Linden sidewalks. “It could be a very nice little corner of the city,” Johnson says.

Pics courtesy of the Broadview Community Council

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 14 at 3:38 PM

It’s All Very Charming: Eric Grandy Dances About Architecture… In Helsinki.

The World is a DJ: Seattle rocks good tastes.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics: Watch CSS and Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head fall on the ground and run into cars. Ha!

Mark Wahlberg in Leather Pants: Rock Star isn’t a good movie.

The Devil That You Know: Trent Moorman hates Wireless headset microphones.

Gang Gang Diary: Gang Gang Dance shares tales from the road YouTube style.

Look! A fat-headed baby cat!


Re: Is There Anything Better Than Cherries?

posted by on June 14 at 3:26 PM

I’ll see your post about cherries, Wagner, and raise you one food fact and two bonus Recipes of the Day.

Food fact: According to my latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated, cherries are the only summer fruit that cannot be successfully frozen. Enjoy them while they last, look forward to when they return.

Bonus Recipe of the Day No. 1:


Apricot-Cherry Clafoutis - Adapted from “Not Cherry Pie,” by Corinne Trang, Saveur, May/June 1998. Via the Ethicurean.

Butter for the skillet or baking dish
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoon kirsch or other appropriate liqueur (amaretto, brandy, apricot brandy)
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups pitted cherries
1 1/2 cups pitted fresh apricots (NOTE: You can also use all cherries, but if you do, don’t use apricot-flavored liqueur).
Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F (215 C).
2. Generously butter a skillet or baking dish. Then, optionally sprinkle some turbinado (raw) sugar into the dish. (The sugar will caramelize in the oven, creating rich flavors in the crust.)
3. Cut the fruit into bite-size pieces: cherries in half or quarters, apricots in quarters or eighths.
4. Put the vanilla extract, eggs, sugar, milk, liqueur, and salt into a blender. Blend for a few seconds. Add the flour and then blend until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Pour batter into skillet, place fruit on top.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
7. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, if desired.

Bonus Recipe of the Day No. 2: Red and White Salad of Fennel and Cherries, via Cook & Eat


1 lemon
1 fennel bulb
1 jicama root
1/2 small Vidalia onion
20 cherries
2 T honey
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 t fresh lemon thyme
flake sea salt
ground pepper (optional)

Juice 1/2 the lemon into a medium bowl, and add some cold water.

Trim any of the greens off the fennel, remove any tough outer leaves, and the core. Shave the fennel into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Place the rounds in the lemon juice water mixture to soak.

Peel the thick brown skin from the jicama, and julienne. Add into the fennel. Give it a toss to coat in the lemon juice water.

Remove the outer peel of the onion and shave to 1/8 thick. Add to the fennel/jicama mixture. Give it a toss to coat in the lemon juice water.

In a separate bowl, whisk together a dressing of the juice from the remaining lemon, the honey, rice wine vinegar and olive oil.

Drain the excess liquid from the fennel mixture, and add the dressing. Add the lemon thyme (leaves only, stems removed). Stir to coat. Cover and set aside.

Leave the Stranger, Become Rich!

posted by on June 14 at 2:57 PM

SNL’s Laraine Newman, circa 1976

A little more follow-up on the Primary Primer in this week’s paper: My favorite tidbit in the round-up was this news regarding Seattle City Council Member Tom Rasmussen— “Notable endorsement: Former Stranger scribe Sandeep Kaushik!

Turns out that Kaushik, former pauper (and boyfriend to SNL’s Laraine Newman, btw), not only endorsed Rasmussen—he donated $50. Doesn’t sound like much? Okay, but he also donated $50 to David Della, $62.50 to incumbent Port Commissioner Alec Fisken, $50 to Mayor Greg Nickels, and $150 to KC Council Member Dow Constantine.

Still doesn’t sound like much? Okay, check this: Since he escaped poverty and started working in politics in 2005, Kaushik and his family have donated $3,437.50 to local candidates.

$50 to David Della? Weren’t you running the anti-rebuild campaign, Sandeep?

Is There Anything Better Than Cherries?

posted by on June 14 at 2:45 PM



Except maybe Angela Garbes, who has been making me salivate in this bitsy column for the past several weeks. This week’s is about fava beans, which is convenient since my Pioneer Organics dropped some evil-looking bulgy fava beans on my porch yesterday and without Angela I would not have known that these are relatively old fava beans. Now I know which Alice Waters recipe to try. (Actually, I cheated on Angela and just bought a recommendation of Mark Bittman’s. I’ll be making basil-fava pasta courtesy of Patricia Wells.)

Back to cherries. There isn’t much to say about cherries. You should just eat them.

But has anyone tried canning sweet cherries? This article, from a 2003 Food and Wine, suggests canning Rainiers with basil. Ever since I’ve tried to do this during the inch of a corner of a week when both Rainiers and basil are in season. I’ve always failed.

So sorry ‘bout your Ms

posted by on June 14 at 2:35 PM

Not really, though my prediction about the Cubs playing down to the level of Weaver almost came through. After a 3-run first, the Cubs were quiet, as was the CBIL, until the Mariners busted loose for four runs on one stinking hit in the 6th(one hit batsmen, two walks, an error and a double) to go up 4-3 on the Cubs. (The guy in front of us actually asked to be warned when the whistle might be cued up, as OSHA had registered a complaint about the decibels involved.) But, despite some trash talk in the men’s room, no more whistling was to come: the Ms relievers broke down for once (hello, various comment thread types from Tuesday night’s game) and the Cubs scored two in the 8th and held on to win 5-4.

The Cubs were something like 3-12 in one-run games coming into this series, and now we’ve won two one-run games in a row from a much better team. What does this mean? Nothing much for the Cubs, as the Brewers also won and we’re still 5 games under .500, but it’s worse news for the Ms, since the A’s and Angels both won. Some small part of me felt bad that CBIL flew all the way here just to see his Ms lose twice, but a larger part of me is very happy that my season record is now 2-3.

Month of Sundays: Where’s Antioch Bible Church?

posted by on June 14 at 2:28 PM

Last night at the Deluxe someone asked me why we didn’t send a writer to Antioch Bible Church for “Month of Sundays.” Antioch is the home of the gay-bashing, boycott-botching Rev. Ken “Special Envoy” Hutcherson—how could we neglect Antioch?

“We didn’t,” I said. “Of course we sent someone to Antioch!”

I ran to the door, grabbed a copy of the paper, and opened it up in a panic. And… Antioch isn’t in there. Which fucking sucks—not only because it belonged in the package, but because writer David Nixon dragged his ass out to Antioch on Sunday morning, sat through a service, and turned in an absolutely hilarious review of the service.

I’m not sure how it got omitted from the package—editing error, I expect, or maybe it was Ken’s Prayer Warriors?—but we’re going to add it to the package online.

My apologies, David, and here’s the piece for Slog readers…

Antioch Bible Church

Lake Washington High School Gymnasium

12033 NE 80th Street

Kirkland, WA 98033

Sunday services: 9 am, 11 am

I’M CIRCLING AROUND the gym, trying to find a cute girl I can sit next to. There are none. Seriously, NONE. This is absolutely not the place to pick up chicks. I also notice that I am the only one here with sideburns.

Don’t let the gymnasium fool you. They’re very high-tech here. There’s three giant screens, and video cameras, and wireless headset mics for the preacher dudes. There’s a Christian indie soft-rock band, and the lyrics are projected on two of the screens so we can sing along. I throw in some barbershop harmonies but no one seems to notice.

On the center screen there’s a slide show of the downtrodden. I’d guess there are around 800 people here. The audience has a much higher percentage of black people than you find on Capitol Hill, though still mostly white. There are a number of black man/white woman couples. Very few black women. One of the preacher dudes mentions his Norwegian wife and jokes that his children are “Blackwegian.” Everyone laughs. They’re very big on the multicultural thing here.

After the show, I chat with the main pastor, Ken Hutcherson. I confess to him that it’s practically my first time in a church. He announces it loudly and excitedly to the people around us. Then he puts a firm grip on my shoulder and steers me to a table where some women take my information so they can follow up with me later. Luckily I have Christopher Frizzelle’s e-mail address memorized. DAVID NIXON

Again, sorry about the accidental omission, David. The only person more upset about it, I expect, is Ken Hutcherson himself.

Venus Velazquez: “I support an interest cap on payday loans!”

posted by on June 14 at 2:22 PM

Going through the campaign finance records of this year’s city council candidates for a story we did this week, I found that Latina activist and now-candidate Venus Velazquez had gotten more than $1,000 from Money Tree, the controversial payday loan company that drew the ire of minority activists earlier this year.

Indeed, forming Communities Against Payday Predators, activists tried to pass a 36% interest cap on the loans in Olympia. They failed.

Knowing that donations from Money Tree folks like company execs Dennis and David Bassford and Money Tree spokesman David Gandara had been flowing to minority politicians, including Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37, South Seattle) and Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-11, Renton)—and apparently swaying their positions, I called Velazquez today to find out where she stood on the issue.

Velazquez says she’s on record supporting the cap on interest rates, having signed a letter from the activists last winter. “David [Gandara] knows my position on this,” Velazquez told me, “but he gave me money anyway because he wants me to win. He’s an old friend.” Velazquez and Gandara worked together at the Washington State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce when Velazquez was the Chamber president. “My door’s open to David,” she says, “but he knows where I stand.”

As for the Bassford contributions Velazquez explained: “David [Gandara] wants me to win. He asked his friends to contribute and so [Bassford] donated.”

Velazquez also reports that Sen. Prentice, the main opponent of capping payday rates, has endorsed her.

Footnote: Velazquez said she didn’t mind that we reported the Money Tree contributions because she’s “on record” for the cap, but she reports she didn’t like that we described her as “An impolitic loudmouth who’s willing to tell it like it is.”

While she revels in being “outspoken” and “from the East coast” she told me that “loudmouth” had sexist overtones. I told her that we constantly described Dwight Pelz the exact same way, and that she should be flattered.

Dear Ladies, You’re Dumb. Love, Hyundai

posted by on June 14 at 1:45 PM

Here. Watch this new Hyundai commercial.

I object!

“Who in the world doesn’t want to be smart? The whole human race wants to be smart. Even guys who aren’t smart wish they were smart.”

What the hell? Einstein, Kennedy, the Wright Brothers, and the Professor on Gilligan’s Island is the best you can do? Cause white dudes are the only people in history who’ve ever proven to be smart? Would it kill you to flash a picture or two of her, her, her, or her?

Besides that, when you’re showing images of the “everyday smart man,” where the hell is the female teacher? The female doctor? Or even the mom? Moms can be smart!

Jesus, Huyndai. Not too smart if you ask me. Not that you would… I’m just a girl.

Joe Schwa Szwya Szwaja @ Liberty

posted by on June 14 at 1:29 PM

City Council candidate Joe Szwaja had a meet-and-greet with Capitol Hill folks last night at Liberty on Fifteenth Ave.

In addition to having the hardest name to spell of any candidate ever, Szwaja has some real progressive credentials, including the backing of a coalition of social-justice and low-income housing activists who have been trying to get someone to run for council on a progressive platform for years. (He’s also the guy who ran against Jim McDermott as a Green in 2000—which is to say: He ran against Jim McDermott from the left.)

Standing outside Liberty, surrounded by a half-dozen supporters (including fellow Green and onetime Ron Sims opponent Gentry Lange, who was also celebrating his 32nd birthday) Szwaja explained why he’s taking on Godden. “She’s been on the council three and a half years and what has she done? You associate a lot of city council members with their accomplishments—Peter [Steinbrueck] with his work for the homeless, Nick [Licata] with fighting corporate wellfare, Richard Conlin with sustainability. Jean hasn’t really accomplished anything.”

Szwaja has raised more than $20,000 so far and hopes to top $100,000. That sum that won’t put him in Godden’s league, but he says he’s not concerned. “We’re not going to beat Jean in the money race, but that’s not really the kind of campaign we’re running anyway. We’re going to be very competitive in terms of the number of donors. We already have more than 200 donors, and our average donation is around $75.”

Szwaja seems like a nice, genuine, likable guy. He listens well, and gives thoughtful responses. However, I am troubled by his history of run-ins with the law, a topic we didn’t discuss at last night’s event but that I’m sure will come up during the Stranger’s endorsement interviews. The charges, as documented in a P-I story by Angela Galloway, include a domestic-violence incident that put his then-girlfriend in the hospital with three gashes across her face. (He acknowledges throwing a plate after his girlfriend threw a bottle at him.) Szwaja was also was convicted numerous times of driving after his license was revoked. He was arrested in 1988 for failing to pay $2,584 in costs associated with his son’s birth and medical complications. And he failed to pay $5,100 in child support, for which a judge garnished his wages in 1994.

Are these charges relevant anymore? I think so. Failing to pay child support, losing your temper and throwing things, getting your license suspended and then driving anyway—all of these are things that speak to character, and character matters in politics. I’m not saying people can’t reform themselves, but they have to make a compelling case—and that starts with being least a little contrite. So far, Szwaja’s only response has been a defensive post on his web site, in which he refers to his legal troubles as “mischaracterized personal issues,” accuses Galloway (inaccurately, she says) of relying on an opposition memo for her information (she says she got the information from Wisconsin news accounts and a court records database), and notes that the police dropped the domestic violence charges (while failing to mention that he completed a mandatory course for first-time offenders, according to Galloway’s story).

As an aside, the response to her story has been, frankly, a little shocking. Readers attacked Galloway personally, calling her “lazy,” “sick,” “slanderous,” and a “hired gun” for Godden and her article “shoddy,” “unprincipled,” and “ugly.” I think it’s a legitimate use of the press to point out information that voters may or may not think is relevant to the election.

An Educated Guess

posted by on June 14 at 1:21 PM

I kind of think the Secret Festival screening this weekend will be Michael Moore’s Sicko.

Where Am I, Josh Feit?

posted by on June 14 at 1:20 PM

In answer to your question, I am on my way to get a new pair of glasses.

Yesterday, while driving to Port Townsend, I became suddenly, violently ill and threw up into my own lap. Then, just as I was getting ready to leave, my glasses broke and putting a giant rubber band around my head was the only way to get them to stay on so I could see while driving. I don’t have time to waste on Tim Duncan.

These are dark times and the fact that the Cavs (who, honestly, I watch and cringe in disbelief that they are even in the NBA finals) are likely going to get swept by the Spurs tonight is not helping.

Here’s the what: The Spurs are a great team (I never said they weren’t; I just hate them that’s all). They are better than the very young Cavs—a mindblowingly talented star who needs to develop a jump shot, an exciting rookie who’s delivering (“( . )( . ) Gibson” for Finals MVP!), idiotic dudes with really bad hair (I’m looking at you, Drew Gooden and Anderson Varajeao) who can’t catch the passes that Lebron (a great playmaker!) throws to them, and the heartbreaking Ilgauskus. Spurs win; basketball lovers lose.

Crush on Obama

posted by on June 14 at 1:15 PM

From the chorus:

I can’t wait til 2008/Baby, You’re the best candidate/ I like it when you get hard…on Hillary in debate ….

You’re the best candidate/ of the new oval office/you’ll get your head…of state

and the best line: “Universal health care reform/you make me warm”

A Good YouTube Debate Takedown

posted by on June 14 at 12:45 PM

I’ve been too busy to do more than a cut-and-post job on the upcoming YouTube/CNN debate, but Postman says what I’ve been thinking:

I do want to see it. And I hope it’s more interesting and telling than the usual presidential debate. But I’m skeptical… If the debate is one of the biggest political innovations in history that says a lot about the stale nature of political debate in the country…

For years audience members have asked questions at political debates. TV stations have even sent video crews out to tape people asking their questions. The YouTube questions will be more creative and a little more, as the Times said, “anything goes.” But will there be revolutionary questions? Will there be things asked that can knock the candidates from their well-practiced balance of showing just enough emotion to not look like they are pre-programmed?

I don’t see how a debate produced by CNN with questions vetted and selected by someone or some ones who have to produce a TV show, can be expected to be revolutionary.

Where Are You, Angela Garbes?

posted by on June 14 at 12:44 PM

I want some analysis ahead of tonight’s Tim Duncan vs. LeBron James game.

June 10th Hath Forsaken Me

posted by on June 14 at 12:34 PM

On Saturday, June 10th, 2006, The Stranger thought it would be really funny to have me attend a gay orgy for Party Crasher. Though everyone there was very nice to the clothed, nervous journalist in the middle of the orgy, I do believe that something about the experience broke part of my heterosexual brain—I still have vivid flashbacks every time I smell chlorine.

This last Sunday, June 10th, 2007, I attended Christian Faith Center South for the Month of Sundays feature.

I am probably the only straight man in Seattle who can authoritatively and definitively state that I would rather attend a month’s worth of gay orgies than another single service at the CFC.

I thought that the lovely and talented Cienna Madrid was Our Worst Enemy, but it appears that, on June 10ths, I’ve really gotta work for my paycheck. What’s up, then, for June 10th, 2008? I can only guess, but I’m really glad that Tubs is no longer with us.

The Tree of Life

posted by on June 14 at 12:34 PM

This image of a very big tree can be found on the comment section of Burial’s Myspace music account.
l_94b797a59c61305c29a9751b0a6ccef9.jpg The tree is for pagans what the cross is for Christians. The tree is a complex life system; the cross is a simple death machine. In the period that saw the replacement of life worship with death worship in much of Europe, the Middle Ages, a popular method of converting German pagans to Christianity was to chop down their huge and sacred trees. In Willibald’s Life Of St Boniface—an account of the Anglo-Saxon missionary, Boniface, who killed his earthy Germanic name and adopted a dead Latin one—you will find this favorable description of his felling of a huge pagan tree, The Oak of Thunor, in AD 723:

Taking his courage in his hands (for a great crowd of pagans stood by watching and bitterly cursing in their hearts the enemy of the gods), [Boniface] cut the first notch. But when he had made a superficial cut, suddenly, the oak’s vast bulk, shaken by a mighty blast of wind from above crashed to the ground, shivering its topmost branches into fragments in its fall. As if by the express will of God… the oak burst asunder into four parts, each part having a trunk of equal length. At the sight of this extraordinary spectacle the heathens who had been cursing ceased to revile and began, on the contrary, to believe and bless the Lord.

Boniface did not stop with just cutting down the tree; he used the dead oak to build a chapel, which he dedicated to Saint Peter.

From my failed project, The Big Trees of Seattle:

Big trees amaze me. They rise up into the open sky and spread out, covering a wide area of city life. During the summer, when big trees have all of their leaves, each is a total universe—a self-contained, self-governed, self-determined society of critters, birds, fungi, and tiny insects that go about their tiny business in the shallow and deep grooves of the bark. Cutting down a big tree is the same as wiping out a whole city, which is why a powerful chain saw is to a big tree what Hurricane Katrina was to New Orleans. In an instant, an entire economy is gone, and exposed insects are stranded, and stunned birds go crazy in the massive absence of what was just there—a big tree.

I Guess There Are No Progressives Running for Anything in Seattle…

posted by on June 14 at 12:27 PM

Goldy from HorsesAss is putting on a candidate forum to showcase progressive candidates up for office around the state this year. Maybe he’ll be doing a second one or two where locals like Port reform candidate Gael Tarleton or KC Prosecutor candidates Bill Sherman or Keith Scully will take the microphone, but for now he’s bringing in folks from Whatcom County, Sea Tac, and Bellevue.

Antics & Applets
Beer & Ballots
Candidates & Cupcakes

theWAbus Candidate Derby

27 June 2007, Wednesday
6-8 pm
Cupcake reception to follow

Central Area Senior Center
500 30th Avenue S.
Seattle WA 98144

Hosted by Darcy Burner, 8th Congressional District front-runner, the Derby will feature a Jean Godden look-alike contest along with a spirited discussion on education, environment, election reform, economic development, equal rights and transportation.

The Washington Bus introduces you to progressives running for office across the state. Hear their vision and get on the bus to support them. We are led by gifted volunteers and partnered with brilliant organizations like Progressive Majority to make things happen. We’re so new that we’re still wearing onesies. If anyone in your house wears onesies, bring them along too. Prizes for the best Godden get-up.

Ken Mann - Whatcom County Council, District 2, Position B
Mia Gregersen – SeaTac City Council, Position 3
Keri Andrews – Bellevue City Council, Position 7

Thanks to the Central Area Senior Center and Cupcake Royale.

Good Sex Ed on the Web

posted by on June 14 at 12:20 PM

See, the web isn’t just about porn! Good Vibrations (via Nerve) has an awesome roundup of educational sites about (mostly straight) sex, masturbation, how to do self-exams, and answers to that perennial teenage question, “Am I normal?” Check out the Canadian Planned Parenthood video to see a break-dancing penis!

New Episode of Rock ‘N’ Roll Olympics Up!

posted by on June 14 at 12:12 PM

It’s CSS vs. Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, and you can only watch it on Line Out.

Re: Father’s Day

posted by on June 14 at 11:41 AM

Kids, if you’re not sure what to get dad for father’s day, check this shit out:


Nothing says “thanks for knocking up mom” or “thanks for picking me out at the adoption store” like effigies of an incestuous, limb severing, Alderaan explodin’ family.

And now, your moment of Star Wars zen:

Via And I Still Persist
Thanks to Schmader for the tip.

Chicago Considers Congestion Tax

posted by on June 14 at 11:39 AM

Chicago is the latest city—after New York, London, and several European cities—to seriously consider a congestion tax on vehicles entering the central city. The money would be used to fund the Chicago Transit Authority. Not surprisingly, the idea is faring poorly in an online poll hosted by the Chicago Tribune, whose readers oppose the idea 66 to 34 percent. (Meanwhile, more people than ever—77 percent of all Americans—are driving to work alone.)

But congestion pricing may be inevitable, and not just for Chicago. After all, many cities already tax traffic on bridges into and out of their borders—an acknowledgment that congestion does have a price, and that drivers are the ones who should have to pay it. Mayor Nickels?

SIFF 2007: Thursday Highlights

posted by on June 14 at 11:24 AM

A bunch of new reviews went up yesterday. Two very bad movies (of course I had to see them): The Neve-Campbell-gets-naked-and-it’s-still-pointless I Really Hate My Job and the ugly, boring La León. Does anyone know Argentinian slang? The Spanish word for “lion” is masculine; the ferry in the movie is called “El León.” My best guess as to why the movie is called “La” instead is that it’s some kind of gay slur? Affectionate gay slur?

Plus, one okay movie: Steve Buscemi’s Interview, reviewed by Bradley Steinbacher. And one excellent movie: The freaky-kid horror feature Joshua (not to be confused with Kyle, which is also in the festival this weekend), reviewed by Andrew Wright.

The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in the festival continue below and at


The early matinee—dull French triangulation d’amour—is no good. Stay at work, buddy.

4 pm, Neptune. Falkenberg Farewell is where it’s at. Prudish gays and adventurous art lovers should also enjoy Black, White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe (Egyptian, 4:15 pm).

6:30 pm, Neptune. Assuming you don’t live on the Eastside (where Joshua is playing at Lincoln Square, 6:30 pm), it’s time to witness the mostly incomprehensible yet nonetheless entertaining Cthulhu, by former Seattle City Council candidate Grant Cogswell and former inmate in a Czechoslovakian prison Dan Gildark (no, seriously; a press release is after the jump). Some reediting has occurred since I saw the film for review, so feel free to take the capsule with a sprinkling of sugar.

The Cthulhu netshed: best part of the movie

Neptune, 10 pm. If you’ve been there all night, you might as well stick around for Blood on the Flat Track, a very Seattle Channel doc about the Rat City Rollergirls. Pretty good if you aren’t expecting genius. (Note: I saw this one in its rough cut too.) The audience should be raucous.

Now for the curious tale of Cthulhu director Dan Gildark, as recounted in a press release.

Continue reading "SIFF 2007: Thursday Highlights" »

God, It’s About Time!

posted by on June 14 at 11:12 AM

Capitol Hill’s Cha-Cha, which to my unending misery, has been closed for 4 days, re-opens tonight at its new Capitol Hill location. The new digs (on Pike St., east of Broadway at 10th) are even closer to the Stranger offices, so I’ll be there immediately after work. Drinks on me and my trust fund!!

P.s. Arcade Fire’s first album is way better.

Man of One Face, Many Personalities

posted by on June 14 at 11:00 AM

There’s something sweet about him…
yet he can project danger and insanity.

— David Chase, The Sopranos


Not too surprisingly, Steve Buscemi is all over YouTube.
See below for a couple of choice clips from his diverse career
as an actor (Parting Glances, Mystery Train, Fargo, etc.).
Interview, his English-language remake of Theo Van Gogh’s
Dutch original, represents his fourth directorial effort after
Trees Lounge, Animal Factory, and Lonesome Jim.

[As for the Chase quote. Not only did Buscemi play the doomed
Tony Blundetto, he directed four episodes of The Sopranos,
including “Pine Barrens,” for which he received an Emmy Award.]

I realize I’ve left out a ton of titles, including those, um, Michael
Bay blockbusters, the animation efforts, and the early TV appearances (Miami Vice, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Tales
From the Crypt
, etc.), but everyone’s bound to have their favorites.


Take Tom DiCillo’s Living in Oblivion, for instance [above,
pictured with James LeGros and Catherine Keener]. Buscemi’s beleagured director represents one of his best loved performances. And he’s even better as a neurotic paparazzo in DiCillo’s Delirious, which plays almost like a companion piece. I particularly enjoyed
his Odd Couple rapport with Michael Pitt’s aspiring actor.

But that is now, this was then…and here’s a scene from
Reservoir Dogs (warning: anti-Semitic content!):

Continue reading "Man of One Face, Many Personalities" »

Libby Going to Jail

posted by on June 14 at 10:51 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge said Thursday he will not delay a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for I. Lewis ”Scooter” Libby, a ruling that could send the former White House aide to prison within weeks.

Month of Sundays

posted by on June 14 at 10:48 AM

Not everybody is ticked off about our “Month of Sundays” package. This letter just arrived from Eugene Cho, the founder and leader of Quest Church, which is the church I visited last Sunday…


The visit 30 churches idea and article was brilliant. Loved your piece about Quest. Seriously. Brutal, hilarious, and damn good writing.

I do have one correction. I also did pour wine!

Thanks for the visit and swing by again next year…


Swing by next year? Is Eugene suggesting that we make “Month of Sundays” an annual event? It’s not a bad idea…

Oh, and Eugene Cho has a blog—“Beauty and Depravity”. It’s worth reading—hell, seeing as Cho actually has a sense of humor, we might have to add his blog to our “Friends of Slog” list.

UPDATE: Here’s what Cho has to say about “Month of Sundays” at his blog…

Best Press About Our Church Ever

The title is not a joke. We received—what I perceive to be the best press about our church ever. Bar none. We’ve had our share of media from the local press. Last week, there was a solid article and great pic of the merger story. This past December, there was a dedicated “portrait” of my personal story in the popular magazine insert called Pacific Northwest in the Sunday paper. But this morning, someone sent me some info of a great article from The Stranger—the premier rebellious, hilarious, provocative, alternative, and very popular weekly newspaper. They advertise themselves as the “only newspaper in Seattle.” [It’s a good paper - minus the raunchy over the top sex ads near the back of the magazine.]

Seattle is infamously known as the least “unchurched city in America.” The Northwest is the least unchurched region in America. But it isn’t godless or spiritual. It’s a beautiful place - full of life, questions, conversations, and such. What I love the most about living in this city and this region is that you have to earn the right to have your voice in the larger marketplace of thoughts, ideas, and philosophies.

Anyway, the Stranger staff sent 30 of their staff to visit 30 churches this past Sunday and they wrote up the most brutal and simultaneously, hilarious “reviews” of these churches. I am so excited - honestly - that Quest actually made the list! I feel so cool. Like, I finally have been accepted as a true Seattle-ite.

Cthonically Speaking…

posted by on June 14 at 10:45 AM

Ahh. The sweet, sad sunset of SIFF! And so it’s begun. Tragic. Like waking up from a warm and wonderful dream to a cold and ugly woman. The movies all go away. The booze dries up. The parties pitter out. Life plods on.

But no chunky chicks have sung quite yet (as far as I know), so we all still have a few glorious days left to snatch what SIFFiness we can. And tonight, for me, it’s Cthulhu!

As David has already explained below, Cthulhu is happening this very evening at the Neptune Theater (6:30 sharp!), and Eric has already informed ya’ll about the big Chthulhu party afterwards. (They both forgot to mention that I’m in the damn thing, but since I’m just an extra, I’ll forgive. But I’m an awesome extra. The fucking king, yo.)

But Cthulhu isn’t the only option for those whose tastes run to the dark and peculiar, as do mine. There is also One Day Like Rain, which is screening at Harvard Exit tomorrow night and defies synopsis. The SIFF catalogue gives it a valiant attempt, however, and calls the film, “A pleasantly confounding, dreamlike combination of Donnie Darko and Ghost World, with a little bit of Twin Peaks thrown in for good measure.” Indeed? I watched the film’s awesome trailer six hundred million times and have come to two conclusions: something about this movie seems to capture me, and I can’t even begin to figure out what the hell is going on. So I asked the writer/director, Paul Todisco, and this is what he told me:

How did this movie happen? And WHAT is it ABOUT??

This story just kind of poured out of me during a couple weeks in June in 2005. It had been brewing in my head, though, in some form or another for ten years. It was birthed from a decade of metaphysical readings and mystical studies and practices…I pursued those things because I was compelled to and was fascinated by them. I knew a movie (or several movies) was going to come out of it somehow, but I didn’t know what. I don’t think I really knew what it was going to be even when I sat down to write. But there it was, a story about teenage girls, suburbia, and elevating consciousness. All the elements I’m familiar with were there - I grew up in a suburban neighborhood - North Syracuse, New York - and understood the angst that can result from childhood years in such a place. Alchemy, metaphysics, and the evolution of consciousness were also major themes. And I guided the story along, of course, as it unfolded. Many things that I had always wanted to put in a film found a place in this story. It was like putting puzzle pieces together - I had the pieces all ready…they had been ready for years. I think my subconscious just pieced them all together for me.

Which of the characters do you personally identify with?

Definitely Gina. Gina has a unique way of seeing the world; she has a clarity of vision. She is both obsessively inspired by and burdened by the responsibility of this vision.

Additionally, there is a bit of me in every character. I think it’s impossible to write anyone (that is, to make them a believable character) without identifying at least a bit with some element of them.

Does “One Day Like Rain” have any connections with your earlier work?

Although it’s quite a big departure from my first feature, which was mostly two guys talking, was very character-driven, and was about the inter-personal relationships between people, this movie is very visual, and is about transpersonal relationships, meaning, the relationship between a person and the cosmos - or the soul. It’s very unique in that way, and a huge challenge. But there are still connections between the two films. They are both about suburban malaise; and in a way, David Keenen (main character in “Freak Talks About Sex”) struggled with a lot of internal dilemmas and ultimately, I believe, experienced a shift in consciousness. So the themes that were just barely being birthed in “Freak…” are now the forefront of the entire film in “One Day Like Rain.” And there are stylistic similarities. I shot both films with the same visual style. I just had much more visual, non-dialogue scenes in “One Day Like Rain.”

Before I made “Freak…” I made a conscious pact with myself that I would make a film that avoided any “cheese.” My goal was realism, and to get natural performances, yet to still direct it carefully and with beauty. I am pleased with the outcome of “Freak…”, and with “One Day Like Rain” was ready to layer on the next step, which was to try to put more of the text into the visuals themselves, to tell the story visually and stylistically, to make the film less realistic and more atmospheric, more surreal, and more of a visceral experience. This is a bigger challenge and I knew creatively that I had to have a film like “Freak…” behind me before attempting this territory. Of course, there is still a long way to go with future films…

What’s your favorite thing about this film?

I love most of all that it is a visual journey and, hopefully, a kind of transcendental experience. I want it to transport the viewer into a new way of looking at things; everyday things that may be very familiar to us. And I love that it is the kind of movie that reveals more to the viewer the more a viewer thinks about it or the more times he/she watches it. These are the kinds of movies I love, and I really think “One Day Like Rain” is rich enough to offer this as well.

People bring themselves to this film. Every interpretation is different, but within specific parameters. I tried to find the right balance between mystery and message.

Well, I’m still confused. But I’m eager to riddle it all out.


Victory in Massachusetts

posted by on June 14 at 10:44 AM

From the Human Rights Campaign…

Today, during a joint session, Massachusetts lawmakers voted 151 to 45 to defeat a measure that would have placed a discriminatory, anti-marriage constitutional amendment before voters on the November 2008 ballot. The proposed amendment threatened to undo the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s historic 2003 decision making the state the first to recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Letter of the Day

posted by on June 14 at 10:27 AM


EDITOR: I am most likely late in writing this, as I have recently been traveling, but I was very upset by “A Month of Sundays.” Not because I am conservative, or religious (hear me out), but because the very people who felt so like outsiders going into the services wrote of their subjects as if all church-goers were from Mars.

I, like many of the journalists, am a secular humanist (though I hesitate to define myself in any way). My father was raised Catholic and my mother Methodist and sometimes when they were feeling guilty they would drag my brother and me to church (Episcopalian or Unitarian or whatever) for Christmas or Easter, but it was never really serious. Both my parents are now wonderfully accepting secular humanists.

“A Month of Sundays” seems incongruous to your publication mostly because the majority of the article is intolerant and biased. The authors report feelings of surprise and gratitude at the sense of community they see in the congregations, yet they adopt a clearly mocking tone about the people who inspire such feelings. Some of the authors clearly admire the officiants, yet they leave the services early to enjoy beautiful weather rather than fulfill their journalistic duties. Seattle is not a church-going city, as observed by Dan Savage in the introduction to the article, and so it seems obvious that many congregants would be elderly, ascribing to values from waning generations. Yet the authors hardly bother to explore the motives of the people drawn to service, whether it be because of tradition or because some people need a sense of community. (Or because some people actually believe in God. Should we absolutely write them off because of that?)

The dark side of all organized religions is plain to see all over the world. Some people of all creeds, religions, orientations, etc, etc. are not doing good, are not tolerant, are not kind, but some are. And it is not the duty of the journalist to find the good people, but it is the duty of the journalist to look at each and every one as if he or she could be any which way, and report in a manner that lets the reader decide. “A Month of Sundays” approaches the task of appraising Sunday worshippers as if they are the worst Seattle has to offer, only rarely allowing the church- (or mosque, or synagogue) goers to prove themselves otherwise. Haven’t we all had grandparents or teacher or elders whom we respect, who on Sundays might possibly have been a friendly old person in church?

In our own progressive, secular personal lives, we all laugh at the televangelists, and we despair about the people who blow up other people in the name of religion. In attempting to write a piece of journalism, however, please do not let your writers forget to be journalists. Don’t let the personal lives of the writers get the better of the story.

I have not been to church in years. I am lucky because I have a supportive, active community of my own. But I beg of you, who teach and preach tolerance in this terribly intolerant country, to reach outside of yourselves and give everyone a chance. Even the people who make it to church in Seattle. Judge not, lest you be judged. I mean that in a secular, fair, journalistic sense.

Kate deBuys

And Nepotism too

posted by on June 14 at 10:19 AM

OK, so the CBIL (Canadian Brother In Law) and I had a blast at the Mariners-Cubs game yesterday. For those of you still perusing the NYT Style Section, the Cubs won a well-played ballgame 3-2. The key: Ichiro’s failure. In the first inning, he singled, went to second on a passed ball, then third on a wild pitch. Yet the Cubs managed to strand him there—and keeping Ichiro from scoring when he’s on third with one out if damn near impossible. Had he scored, we might have seen another extra-innings debacle. Main downside of the game: impossibly loud, ignorant Notre Dame/Cubs fan three seats over, shouting out instructions to the players like they could hear him from the fucking upper deck. CBIL matched him with his “Raaaauuuuuuul” chants and eardrum-bruising whistles. Today’s game: we get your worst pitcher, so the Cubs batters will probably revert to form and the Mariners will get out of town with a series victory.

Marriage Under Attack!

posted by on June 14 at 9:46 AM

It’s just like the conservatives have been telling us! Marriage is under attack! Under siege! A Democratic controlled legislature is threatening the institution of marriage!

I’m not talking about California’s Dem-contolled legislature, which once again voted to strengthen marriage by making its rights and obligations available to same-sex couples. (And once again Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to veto the bill.) I’m talking about the Dem-contolled legislature in Massachusetts, which is voting today on a proposed ban on same-sex marriage at a state Constitutional Convention.

Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Massachusetts for three years, and thousands of gay and lesbian couples have married there. Heterosexual marriages have not been harmed; Massachusetts continues to have the lowest divorce rate in the country.

If the Dem-controlled state legislature in Massachusetts approves the proposed ban and sends it on to voters, and the voters approve it, the marriages of thousands of same-sex couples in Massachusetts will be destroyed.

Protesters for and against the proposed ban on same-sex marriage have gathered in front of the State House where the legislators are voting. Says one anti-marriage protester…

“I respect everybody, gays or lesbians, but they have to respect our values too,” said [Cesar] Munera, who lives in Watertown. “I’m here and I believe God is going to do something special today.”

And all gays and lesbians have to do to show “respect” for Munera’s values is quietly accept second-class citizenship. Is that really too much to ask?

Have a Question for the Democratic Presidential Candidates?

posted by on June 14 at 9:32 AM

The YouTube/CNN Debate web page is now open for video submissions.

The best video questions will be broadcast (and webcast) during the Democratic debate in South Carolina on July 23. Some early examples:

Cthulhu Premiere Tonight

posted by on June 14 at 9:13 AM


Tonight Seattle audiences can finally get a look at Dan Gildark and Grant Cogswell’s Cthulhu, the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired, gay-themed, set-in-Astoria crypto-zombie thriller, which has its official world premiere at the Neptune this evening.

Cogswell’s a friend, which is why I attended an early screening of Cthulhu, and I really dug it. As that aggresively hyphenated description above suggests, the film is twisty and mysterious and I’m happy to report that it’s all very confidently executed and quite spellbinding. Yes, Tori Spelling plays a supporting role, and she’s fine, but if we’re going to name-check participants beyond Gildark and Cogswell, it should be cinematographer Sean Kirby, the acclaimed shooter of Zoo who does equally lovely work here.

See the trailer and buy tickets for Cthulhu’s two SIFF screenings (one tonight, one Sunday afternoon) at the film’s glamorous official website.

All the News that’s Fit to Hillary

posted by on June 14 at 8:55 AM

Yesterday, Eli noted the NYT article on the upcoming YouTube Presidential debates.

Well, in yet another example of how DIY digital 2007 is flipping off traditional media and transforming the upcoming Presidential campaign, HRC—who never liked the media anyway—is starting her own Hillary news site

From Politico:

But Wednesday morning, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign broke the news of Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg’s endorsement on a new website the campaign runs, The campaign later e-mailed reporters suggesting they check the site.

HillaryHub isn’t a typical campaign site. With a simple, three-column look, occasionally edgy headlines and links to a blend of videos, reports from newspapers and blogs and campaign memos, it’s a news aggregator on the model of the Drudge Report. The difference, of course, is that the stories are chosen to depict Clinton favorably and to tweak her critics.

Politico is wrong. HillaryHub is pretty much a typical campaign site, and so, I don’t foresee many folks going there.

If HRC (or any other candidate) really wanted to upend the status quo, they’d set up a news website that wasn’t just a round-up of news about the candidate; they’d make it a more general news site (still calling it something like HillaryHub) and use it as an opportunity to comment and weigh in with the candidate’s POV—establishing the candidate as a pundit and news personality in their own right.

Thursgay Styles

posted by on June 14 at 8:06 AM

I don’t know how the New York Times Style Section wound up on Slog’s enemies list. I didn’t put it there—but it seems that someone on staff has issues with this twice-a-week special section of the NYT. Not me, not so long as the NYT brightens my morning with photos like these.

The Morning News

posted by on June 14 at 7:07 AM

In Guatamala: Massive quake shakes nation and nearby El Salvador.

In Iraq: A shaky calm after mosque bombing.

In Total Information Awareness: FBI wants to create database with six billion records.

In advertising: Kellogg’s says it will phase out marketing to kids.

In children’s television: Most ads promote unhealthy foods.

In Bangladesh: 126 dead in massive monsoon.

In Washington: Congress subpoenas White House and two former aides.

In Iraq: Violence just keeps on getting worse.

In Gaza: It’s getting worse there, too.

In blogs: Apparently, all female bloggers are the same.

In My Kitchen: Two pesto-related recipes of the day.

1) Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Brazil Nut Pesto
from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking
(via Fancy Toast)


For the Soup:
3 tablespoons clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large potato peeled and chopped
1 ½ pounds cauliflower, coarsely chopped
5 cups vegetable stock or water
1/3 cup heavy cream
fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt

For the Pesto:
½ cup toasted Brazil nuts (you can also substitute pine nuts; I’m allergic to tropical nuts)
2 handfuls spinach leaves, stemmed
4 cloves garlic
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
generous pinch of fine-grain sea salt or kosher salt

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat, add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes, until translucent. Stir in the potato and cauliflower and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and puree thoroughly with a handheld immersion blender; or blend in batches in a conventional blender or food processor. Stir in the cream and season to taste.

To Make the Pesto:
Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, drop a spoonful of pesto in each one, and use a knife or toothpick to swirl.

2) Italian Grandmother Pesto (via 101 Cookbooks)


1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and freshly grated
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: large mezzaluna for chopping (but a good sharp chef’s knife will do)

Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. I scrape and chop, gather and chop. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil “cake.” Transfer the pesto “cake” to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a bit of olive oil—just a few tablespoons.

Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil.

Makes about 1 cup.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

George Patterson’s Arrest Video

posted by on June 13 at 6:08 PM

Last week, I wrote about George Patterson’s controversial arrest and I’ve been slogging about the looming OPARB report, which will (hopefully) be out Monday.

Last week we promised we’d post the video of Patterson’s arrest, which was filmed by a nearby Walgreens security camera.

Due to technical difficulties, the video won’t be available on Slog. However, the Times has been doing an amazing job covering all of this, so check out their site for the video.

It’s a long clip, with no sound, but stick it out. It gets really interesting starting around the 16 minute mark.


Letter of the Day

posted by on June 13 at 5:36 PM

Well that was fast:

A Prayer for The Stranger

For the Editorial Staff That Dreamed Up “A Month of Sundays:” Dear God, May we understand our motivations for publishing this article. May we find more constructive and intelligent ways to talk about religion. May we understand the impact our words have on people who are seaching and seeking and take responsibility for the power of those words.

For the Readers of “A Month of Sundays:” Dear God, May we seek out answers for ourselves by experiencing religion, if that is what we desire, firsthand, and not through the misguided lense of this article, and articles like it. May we not let cynical, unresearched articles about “the religious” be an excuse for thinking we are unwelcome and keep us outside looking in. May we experience the actual embrace of a community that contradicts the perceptions that articles like these perpetuate.

For the Few Writers Who Made A Real Attempt to Understand The Communities About Which They Wrote: Dear God, May we forgive the other writers of “A Month Of Sundays” for their irresponsible crap.


Derek Eisel
St. James Parishioner.

Re: New Commercial…

posted by on June 13 at 5:22 PM

Melissa McEwan wrote about that commercial over at Shakesville a few days ago. Here’s her take on what happened behind the scenes:

“All right, you advertising geniuses. What we need is a way to convey that you can find porn just as easy on as you can on Google—and real kinky shit, too! Like, chicks with dicks—but, ya know, something we can actually put on the air.”

“Boss, I’ve got it! Chicks with swords!”

“Chicks with swords, Sanders? That sounds totally lame.”

“No, check it out—it’s a euphemism for chicks with dicks, right? But Mom and Pop America will never clack onto that! Plus, we can dress up hot chicks like Lord of the Rings extras, I Dream of Jeannie, maybe throw in a sorta Xena-type for the lezbeens, and cast a sorta geeky guy so there’s plausible deniability; we’re not pushing porn—he’s just into swords and sandals fantasy shit. And if some feminazi totally busts us, we’ll just say she’s crazy! That always works.”

“Good job, Sanders! You deserve a promotion! Now where’s that girl who always complains about misogyny in our campaigns? I need a cup of coffee…”

Dept. of Slog Tips About Kitchen Fires

posted by on June 13 at 5:21 PM

This just in…

Brasa, at 3rd and Lenora, had a pretty big kitchen fire today. Per my girlfriend, high up in the “Darth Vader” building, there was lots of dark black smoke from the exhaust vent. A call has confirmed that Brasa is closed for at least the evening.

They Can’t Smell You If You’re Wearing Their Blood.

posted by on June 13 at 5:16 PM

Today was totally Blog Like It’sthe End of the World Day.


This Summer’s City Council Races

posted by on June 13 at 5:10 PM

The winnowing down primary is August 21.

The City Council is non-partisan and non-district, so the winnowing down process is just about kicking random people out of random races until voters are left with two random candidates (usually including the random incumbent) that’ll face off in November.

ECB and I published a candidate primer in this week’s issue to inaugurate the municipal campaign season.

We tallied money raised (Tom Rasmussen raised the most); cited curious expenditures (we left out that Tom Rasmussen’s customized M&Ms said “Tom 4 Seattle” and “Tom 2007”); and noted interesting donors (Money Tree for Venus Velazquez?) We also gave thumb nail bios.

There’ll be a lot more coverage to come, including heavy Slog time for the “also-rans” that got short shrift in today’s wrap up.

Meanwhile, here’s some of ECB’s earlier coverage:
Sally Clark; a general round-up, including Tim Burgess; and Bruce Harrell and Venus Velazquez.

Also stay tuned to Erica’s column as she’ll be tracking the races there too.

New Commercial Tells the Truth About What People Look for On the Internet

posted by on June 13 at 4:55 PM

And it’s brilliant. I can’t think of any other times search engines have really spoken publicly as to where much of their income comes from…

Month of Sundays

posted by on June 13 at 4:54 PM

What happened when The Stranger sent 30 writers to 30 church services last Sunday? All hell broke loose. Here’s a taste of Lindy West’s piece on visiting the “meditation room” at Sea-Tac airport last Sunday…

On the front wall, where one expects Jesus to dangle, there’s a large photograph of a mountain lake at sunset. “Lake Wenatchee,” it reads, “January, 1986.” Just to the right is a tiny door with no doorknob, which could only lead from the adjacent chaplaincy. The door has a peephole in it. Is the chaplain in there behind the peephole? Is he peepin’? Can he peep all the atheism that fills my cold, doomed heart?

I lower my head and pray to Lake Wenatchee. I get the overwhelming feeling that Lake Wenatchee doesn’t give a shit. And even if it did, what could it possibly do for me? Or my family, or the hobo taking a nap, or all those people terrified to get on all those planes? How awful, to blame your misfortunes on a personal failure to pray persuasively enough. Anyway, at least Lake Wenatchee exists (Lake Wenatchee, 1; God, 0).

When you read the whole package—which you can do by clicking here—you’ll see that our writers were damn near everywhere this weekend. We went to Methodist worship, Catholic mass, Islamic prayers, Jewish services, mega-churches, mini-churches, mainline churches, offline churches.

We didn’t, however, get a writer to a Church of Scientology service.

This omission is sure to piss off the super-duper-sensitive, e-meter-grippin’, lawsuit-happy cry babies that run the Scientology racket, of course. I’m braced for their angry letters. Heck, I’ll write one myself: “By refusing to send a writer to our church services is a clear manifestation of the Stranger’s religious bigotry. By omitting Scientology from this feature package the Stranger subtly communicates to its readers that Scientology is not a legitimate religion that deserves to be taken just seriously as any other… blah blah blah… L. Ron… blah blah blah Suri Cruise…”

Of course the Church of Scientology would be pissed off if we had included them in our “Month of Sundays” package. “How dare you mock our sincerely held, if completely crazed, religious beliefs!” You really can’t win with the Scientologists.

Still, I’ll admit it was an oversight on my part to leave ‘em out. But if there’s anyone out there that wants to head to a Scientology service and report back to us about it, we’ll happily amend our “Month of Sundays” package to include America’s goofiest new religion. I emailed the Church of Scientology of Washington State, inquiring about services in Seattle, and got this response…

Sunday Service is at 11am. It is at the church located at 601 Aurora Ave North, 98109. All are welcome.

Anyone wanna go check it out this weekend and write it up?

Re: If Ever a Whiz of a Wiz There Was…

posted by on June 13 at 4:35 PM

I was pretty devastated after reading this news. A sizable chunk of my childhood was spent memorizing every episode of “Mr. Wizard’s World.” Unlike so many other science shows, he focused on experiments that one could do with things around the house.

So, for Don Herbert, I present to you how to extract DNA at home. Go mess up your kitchen one more time, in his honor. (Directions after the jump)

Continue reading "Re: If Ever a Whiz of a Wiz There Was…" »

The YouTube Debate

posted by on June 13 at 4:15 PM

Coming July 23

The presidential debates are about to enter the world of YouTube, the anything-goes home-video-sharing Web site that puts the power in the hands of the camera holder. YouTube, which is owned by Google, and CNN are co-sponsoring a debate among the eight Democratic presidential candidates on July 23 in South Carolina, an event that could define the next phase of what has already been called the YouTube election…

Today On Line Out.

posted by on June 13 at 4:00 PM

SIFF Little Fingers, pt 1: Seattle International Film Fest’s Face The Music.

Sweet!: Colin Johnson Hired at Nectar.

SIFF Little Fingers, pt 2: Cthulu: The After Party!

Rest In Peace: Pleasure Forever’s Bodies Need Rest

What Kind of Drug Uses a Fork or a Knife?: Straight-Edge (For Life!) Megan Seling Doesn’t Get Love Spit Love’s “Am I Wrong?”

With Lasers: Trent Moorman Carries a Laser Down the Road that He Must Travel

Top of the Pops: Sky Cries Mary are No Way Better than Art Brut.

Our Retired Explorer: Shackleton Speaks.

Thanks to our awesome new music intern, Molly, we now give you “Fat Animals”:


Decisions, Decisions

posted by on June 13 at 3:46 PM

Check out BBC World America’s great new ad campaign. It’s text-message-tastic.


There are three other versions: immigration, China policy, and bird flu.

Thanks to Slog-tipper Brian.

Leave Your Trite Lefty Analysis in the Comments Thread

posted by on June 13 at 3:31 PM

The fact that there’s a civil war brewing/exploding between Hamas and Fatah is so obviously all the fault of Israeli pizza parlors.


APB at City Hall

posted by on June 13 at 3:22 PM


BROADCAST: Burnt Microwave Popcorn and Building Evacuations

The following message has been approved by the Mayor’s Office for citywide email broadcast.


DATE: June 9, 2007
TO: Employees at Civic Center Buildings
FROM: FFD Facility Operations Division
RE: Burnt Microwave Popcorn and Building Evacuations

At our Civic Center buildings we continue to see a high number of instances of employees burning microwave popcorn and triggering the building smoke alarms. This is a serious issue which requires Fire Department emergency response, building evacuation, and resetting of building systems.

In May, we had the most recent building evacuation at the Justice Center due to burnt microwave popcorn. This is the eighth time in less than three years that we had to evacuate 400+ persons from Justice Center due to burnt popcorn. We have also had multiple evacuations of 300+ persons at City Hall and Seattle Municipal Tower due to burnt popcorn.

If this problem continues, it will result in a ban of all microwave popcorn in downtown City buildings, as some other downtown buildings have done.

We would like your help in eliminating these alarms due to burnt microwave popcorn, so we don’t have to ban it. Please read and follow package instructions. Stay by the microwave and “listen to the pop, to know when to stop.”

Thank you for your cooperation.


posted by on June 13 at 3:20 PM

The reviews for this week’s installment of “Savage Love” are already rolling in, and they’re decidedly mixed.

I’ve read you faithfully since junior year of high school, which makes it somewhere close to ten years now. I’ve always felt so much gratitude for filling the niche that you do, that I’ve never held it against you for persevering on politics (preaching to the choir). And I’ve never felt that you mailed it in—until this week.

I hope that you were either just proving a point, what with your merciless dismissals of these pathetic unconsidered inquiries, or merely overwhelmed by the luxury of some exotic excursion. But judging as how you usually regale us with stories of such adventures, I’ll go out on a limb and suggest the job has begun to catch up with you. Say it ain’t so! And, for the love of mankind, step it up next week, will you?

By the way, if you’re ever around Boston, I’d love to buy you a beverage.


I read you weekly in the Dig in Boston. I must say I prefer your amended, to-the-point responses in this “quickie” version of your usual column. You actually fit more bizarre stories and responses on one page, giving much more reading pleasure on a single page than usual.

Please consider this style moving forward and keep up the great work.

Brad In Boston

great advice in your latest column! you seem to be too busy to even bother… distracted? trouble at home? bored? where’s the love mr. savage?

missing you

Amazing. This week’s column is the best. More.

So, yeah, very mixed reviews on this week’s column. Some folks loved it, some hated it. But I never phone ‘em in, Jordan. This week’s column actually took more time to pull together than one of my usual Dan-on-a-rant columns. It took me longer to pull together letters that could be dismissed with a word two than grabbing the first few interesting letters off the top of the pile and banging something out would have.

But, like, hey. They can’t make everybody happy. And readers that were disappointed by this week’s column—no venting? no self-indulgent digressions? no political rants?—are gonna enjoy next week’s column, I promise…

New Column!

posted by on June 13 at 3:15 PM


Also: The new issue is online, featuring “A Month of Sundays” (how the hell did we talk 30 writers into going to church?). And don’t miss our new (online only) science column, King of the Nerds.

Re: Maleng & Satterberg

posted by on June 13 at 2:49 PM

I did a post earlier today about the political contribution habits of former KC Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng and his “heir apparent” Dan Satterberg.

The point of the post was—based on Maleng and Satterberg’s contributions to other politicos—Maleng seemed worthy of the moderate GOP label that Satterberg’s trying to capitalize on—while it’s not so clear that Satterberg deserves it.

I listed a bunch of contributions (Rossi, Esser, Sidran, McKenna) in that post, but a commenter wanted to hear more about Satterberg’s donor habits. There’s not much more, but a few other local folks he contributed to are: GOP KC Council Member Kathy Lambert and KC Sheriff Sue Rahr.

I checked at the federal level, and he doesn’t show up. His sister donated to Steve Forbes and the RNC in 2000.

Maleng, for his part, did show up on the federal level, donating $1000 to Bush in 2004.

If Ever a Whiz of a Wiz There Was…

posted by on June 13 at 2:47 PM

Mr. Wizard was one.


RIP, Don Herbert.

Whiting Tennis Talks

posted by on June 13 at 2:37 PM

You must listen to Seattle artist Whiting Tennis talk. This episode is one of the best artist interviews ever on In/Visible (the weekly art podcast). Seriously.

Did you know, for instance, that the piece the Seattle Art Museum recently bought was actually intended to move around the city, sitting in empty lots, Matta-Clark-style?

That a cat carrier can be made of string?

Tennis is smart, he’s open, he’s slightly grumpy, he’s easygoing, and he’s an important Seattle artist. Check it out.

Detail of Blue Tarp by Whiting Tennis (2007). The whole painting is 12 feet wide and 8 feet tall, and went on display Saturday night at Tacoma Art Museum.

Schiess dem Fenster!

posted by on June 13 at 2:09 PM

As long as we’re analyzing classic movies, I figured I might as well link to local institution Outlaw Vern’s masterful deconstruction of the Die Hard series. Among the highlights: a brilliant insight into the Passion of John McClane.

Bruce is crucified when he walks barefoot across the glass. This is when he dies as far as on a symbolic level. at first he seems to have retired to his fate and tells the walky talky cop to apologize to his wife for him. however he changes his mind and comes back to life (again i must point out this is in a metaphorical way) to ascend to the heaven of the upper floor of the building.

When Bruce finally sees his wife again it is a dramatic type lighting as he steps out with his arms raised like on a cross. This is a very christlike portrayal and so what do you think his wife says? That’s right, she says “Jesus!”

Move Over, Olympic Sculpture Park

posted by on June 13 at 1:11 PM

Grenada has an underwater sculpture garden.

(Thanks for the tip, Nancy!)

What Star Wars Is

posted by on June 13 at 12:58 PM

The substance of the remake of The Hidden Fortress:
da_trash.jpg I bring this up on the Slog today because I learned last Friday that the idea had never occurred to our very own Star Wars expert, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee. But at the bottom of all that is in and about Star Wars is junk. The leading motive of the movie is junk: what to do with it, how to get rid of it, and how you can be confused with and crushed by it. The Millennium Falcon is a piece of junk, a whole race of little Arab-like people survive by selling junk on desert planets, and robots have only two conditions: being junk and being not junk.

Now for a little Marx. The base from which this fear, this preoccupation, this nightmare of useless stuff arises is the real problem that America faced (or felt it faced) in the 70s with consumer garbage. At the time, recycling was not yet considered to be a real solution to the problem, and so the only solution, and one that was a doomed solution, was to keep finding new empty places (spaces) to dump consumer junk. The problem is still with us today, but it’s not dominating the American mind as it did back then, at the beginning of the end of the 20th century.

One Thing that Makes Me a Little Nervous About an HRC Presidency…

posted by on June 13 at 12:23 PM

…the sexism will play out this way: Government will start to be viewed as “women’s work.”

We already live in an era when privatization is seen as macho and strong and good while public sector endeavors, oh like public schools, are being abandoned and not taken seriously, ie: they’re “Women’s Work.”

In a double reverse back flip, I’m sorta concerned that if a women takes over the Oval Office, the sexist backlash will find sick synergy with the pro-privatization zeitgeist and a lot of the public (women are guilty of this too) will lose an earnest engagement with the office.

On the bright side: When I ran this minor concern/theory by a friend last night, he responded with the obvious rejoinder: “But, umm, Hillary’s like, a dude.”

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 13 at 12:00 PM

Architecture in Helsinki (Music) Australian orch-pop sextet (I know, another one, right?) Architecture in Helsinki are equal parts twee band geekery—their two full-lengths feature cute and informative charts identifying which of many instruments are played on which songs—scrappy pop punk pogo, and unexpected bursts of funk. Their songs might be laden with classical instruments, but they’re hardly heavy, demanding not so much studious listening as joyous dancing and singing along. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $15, all ages.) Eric Grandy

Speaking of Donations to Republicans

posted by on June 13 at 11:52 AM

There’s a little smear buzz about city council candidate Timothy Burgess, the former Seattle Ethics and Elections Commissioner who’s running against city council incumbent David Della. The gossip is that Burgess is a Republican because he donated to McCain in 2000 and Rob McKenna for state AG in 2004.

ECB reported and addressed this issue in her column last March:

Tim Burgess, former head of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, has made a few political donations that may not be in line with the liberal constituency he’ll need to attract as a city council candidate: $1,000 to anti-choice, pro-war, pro-abstinence education presidential candidate John McCain in 2000, and $1,350 to Republican then-AG candidate Rob McKenna (who recently endorsed McCain) in 2004. Burgess says he gave the money under “unique circumstances”—attacks on McCain by the religious right and the defeat of his first choice for AG, Democrat Mark Sidran, respectively—and adds, “I’m definitely a Democrat.” Burgess previously supported Della, but says he’s “been disappointed in his leadership,” particularly on parks, which he oversees as head of the council’s parks committee. Burgess also disparages Della’s preference for a larger new viaduct to replace the current Alaskan Way Viaduct on the waterfront.

I talked to Burgess about this earlier this year too, and he repeated that he donated to McCain in 2000 because he liked that McCain was taking on Falwell and Robertson—”agents of intolerance” (those were the days).

Burgess explains, “McCain was running against then-Gov. Bush in the South Carolina primary. Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the extreme religious right viciously smeared McCain over his faith and accused him of having a daughter outside of his marriage—his adopted daughter from Bangladesh. The attacks had obvious racist overtones. I have spoken out against the extreme religious right’s leadership for nearly 20 years and this smear so enraged me that I fired off a check to Sen. McCain.

(Not sure if he heard McCain’s “gook” comment, but…. Sigh, that’s when I pen-knifed the McCain bumpersticker off my car.)

Meanwhile, I just took a look at some of Burgess’s other donations and mostly the guy seems like a Democrat to me: NARAL and Democratic Port Reformer Geal Tarleton are his most recent donations. He’s also kicked in to lib KC Council Member Dow Constantine, Dem House leader Helen Sommers, and all the Seattle City Council Members, including the max to lefty Nick Licata.

The only donation that tweaks my spider senses: $650 to Casey Corr. Uggggh.

The American Innocence

posted by on June 13 at 11:42 AM

Where else could the “Exploding Whale” happen but here, in this country, in its history, with its citizens, its animals, it cars, religions, skies, and general wildness. I have Toby to thank for this footage of American genius, American madness.

Three from the Vault

posted by on June 13 at 11:28 AM

This Week on Drugs took a break last week to make room for Freaky Friday. Nevertheless, drug-news enthusiasts, here are a few stories for your fix…

First, Holland is hopping on the no-smoking bandwagon, threatening American tourists’ god-given right to get baked off their ass in coffee shops. Some high-strung hippies are freaking out, but there’s no need, really. The law passed last Friday only requires the bake havens to designate smoking sections separated by a glass screen. Needless to say, smoking sections will consume most of the establishments. Also in Holland, students invent powdered booze.

Next, in Snohomish County, a 17-year-old girl has been charged with controlled substance homicide in the death of her friend who allegedly died from consuming ecstasy last New Year’s Eve. The girl brought her overdosing friend to the emergency room with a 20-year-old man, also charged, but their friend was pronounced dead on arrival. Genuinely tragic, the legal case stinks worse than an Alaskan canning plant. Why is this being considered a homicide rather than yet another overdose? Did the dead girl really take only ecstasy, and, if so, how much did she take? And why did Adam Kline’s “Good Samaritan” bill, which would protect people from prosecution so they call medics for overdosing friends before they croak, die in state senate committee earlier this year? Answers to those questions and more coming soon.

Last, a Spokane prosecutor put his hat in the ring for Eastern Washington’s biggest asshole. He’s pressing charges against a woman for delivery of marijuana, which seems routine until you discover she’s a great grandmother suffering from a laundry list of ailments and she was using the marijuana as medicine. Moreover, she wasn’t exactly “dealing” the marijuana: She handed a small nugget of weed back to her “dealer” as a way of saying thank you. But Washington state drug laws don’t distinguish between sales and delivery, which can simply be passing a joint from one person to another (deliverers, all of you!), so this prosecutor plans to beat the great grandmamma senseless with a gavel.

Happy Ending

posted by on June 13 at 11:10 AM

Leo’s owners found him yesterday.

Will the Real “I’m a Moderate Republican” Please Stand Up

posted by on June 13 at 11:04 AM

The race to replace Norm Maleng as KC prosecutor is looking to be a tight contest between Democratic KC prosecutor Bill Sherman (a smart liberal dude who ran for Rep. Ed Murray’s open seat last year losing to Jamie Pedersen) and Republican Maleng’s longtime chief of staff Dan Satterberg.

(Also running on the D side is Keith Scully—legal staff for an enviro group that the Stranger respects and looks to for insight on local urban planning issues, Futurewise.)

Maleng, who died suddenly last month, was of course widely seen as a moderate R in the Dan Evans model. Satterberg is spinning himself in the same vein: a non-ideological, moderate R.

However, a check on both Maleng’s political contributing habits and Satterberg’s show that Maleng may have been a bit more in earnest about his moderate values.

While both men contributed to Stephen Johnson, the hand-picked and bankrolled by the BIAW, conservative ideologue in last year’s harshly partisan Washington Supreme Court race, and have also kicked in to partisan heads like Dino Rossi, Luke Esser, and Rob McKenna … Maleng clearly took his moderate-to-bi-partisan giving more seriously.

Maleng consistently donated to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington (zero from Satterberg); Maleng donated to Seattle City Council liberal Jean Godden; liberal iconoclast Bob Ferguson; Port of Seattle, liberal reformer reformer Lloyd Hara; and Maleng even kicked in to liberal ideologue Larry Gosset. Larry Gossett!

Nada from Satterberg to any of those folks.

Footnote: Maleng left behind quite a campaign war chest of his own. The question is: What’s going to become of that war chest. There’s talk that it may go to the state GOP—and then get funneled back to Satterberg. Given Maleng’s history of donating, I think it oughta go to the Mainstream Republicans of Washington, something I’m not sure Satterberg is.

Bust a Nut

posted by on June 13 at 11:03 AM

This is just…wow:

Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage when Geoffrey Jones, 37, rejected her advances at the end of a house party, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

She pulled off his left testicle and tried to swallow it, before spitting it out. A friend handed it back to Mr Jones saying: “That’s yours.”

Monti admitted wounding and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Full fucked up story (including Ms. Monti’s claim she is “in no way a violent person”) can be found here.

Gay Bashing on Pike Street

posted by on June 13 at 10:55 AM

Some are wondering why we haven’t posted anything to Slog about this gay bashing

Man may have been hit because he is gay

A man who was beaten while walking with his boyfriend last weekend may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation, according to Seattle police reports. On Sunday, the couple was together about 2:40 a.m. in the 700 block of East Pike Street when they heard someone utter a slur toward gay men, according to a police report.

The victim, a man in his 20s, turned and approached the man who made the comment. That man, who was with a group, punched the victim and threw him to the ground, at which point four to six others joined in the attack, according to a police report.

The victim suffered a cut behind his left ear. Firefighters treated him at the scene, a police report said.

The six bashers jumped into a car and fled after the assault. The victims got a license plate number and gave it to the cops. So hopefully there will be an arrest soon.

Why haven’t we written about this on Slog? Why haven’t any of the homos at The Stranger jumped on this? I don’t wanna speak for my pole-smoking colleagues—perhaps they’ll weigh in now—but I shied off posting anything because I would feel compelled to say this:

When there’s two of you and six of them maybe it’s not the best idea to “turn and approach” the guy that called you a name. Confronting bigots feels righteous, for sure, but righteous isn’t always wise. Sometimes we have to pick our battles, choose the time and place, and we also have to learn to recognize when circumstances—like, oh, being greatly outnumbered—call for deescalation, not confrontation.

For the record: I am not saying the guy that got bashed had it coming, or was asking for it, is to blame, etc. He’s the victim. Period. I’m only saying that turning and confronting six self-identified, very likely drunk bigots when you’re outnumbered three-to-one on a dark street at 2:40 AM is risky and unwise. Better to walk on by, flag down a passing cop, and point the potential bashers out to someone with a shotgun in his car.

But maybe the PI report got it wrong. If the victim is out there and wants to talk about what went down that night—and give us the license plate number, and descriptions of the bashers—give us a call. We’ll post more about this crime and what’s being done about it.

Wow. People, THEY DUMB.

posted by on June 13 at 10:52 AM

The magic question: “When Did 9-11 happen?”
The YouTube tags read, ‘american, 9 11, terrorist, terror, usa, us, twin towers, jihad, dumb americans‘…

SIFF 2007: Wednesday Highlights

posted by on June 13 at 10:43 AM

The Stranger’s recommendation for every slot in the festival continue below and at Does it seem to anyone else as though the quality of the films is flagging in the last stretch?


Pacific Place, 2 pm. Start off with the pleasantly morose doc Out of Time, about old-timey Viennese businesses that have outstayed the interest of their clients. (Except the middle-aged butcher. Everybody loves the butcher, but the cheeky bugger wants to retire to the countryside.)

SIFF Cinema, 4 pm. OK, I recommended it yesterday, but who can resist another still from the wack Indonesian musical Opera Jawa?


The Hungarian generation-gap drama Fresh Air (Neptune, 4 pm), which we weren’t able to review, also looks good. Here’s the Variety writeup.

SIFF Cinema, 7:30 pm. This one should be good. Anthony Asquith’s A Cottage on Dartmoor is a proto-noir from 1929 concerning a barber, a manicurist, and a love triangle. Introduced by self-styled “czar of noir” Eddie Muller.

The late evening slot is tough. Oh La La! is silly (and should probably have been called Augustin Puts on a Show, so as not to mislead the easily titillated), Vitus is a dumb movie about a precocious child, Several People, Little Time is a (very badly titled) Polish movie about a cranky poet. Then there’s a dubious shorts program. I suppose I’d probably go with How Is Your Fish Today? (Harvard Exit, 9:30 pm), from China.

Another Matthew Shepard?

posted by on June 13 at 9:38 AM

His name was Aaron Hall. On April 12 he was beaten to death in Crothersville, Indiana, because, his accused killers say, he made a pass at them.

Thirty-five-year-old, 5-foot-4, 100-pound Aaron Hall was brutally beaten on April 12 for hours by two teens who have described the murder in chilling detail to police. Each says Hall precipitated the violence by making a homosexual suggestion.

The beatings included repeated pummelings with fists and boots and dragging Hall down a wooden staircase by his feet as “his head bounced down all of the steps,” in one of the accused’s words. He died naked and alone, in a field, where he had crawled after his killers dumped his body in a roadside ditch.

Police found Hall’s body 10 days after his death wrapped in a tarp in the garage of Jackson County Deputy Coroner Terry Gray, whose son is one of the accused.

The Bloomington Alternative says this story is shouting for major media attention. Many in the blogosphere, including Towleroad and DailyKos, are saying the same. (Although, be sure to read the dissent in the Towleroad comments by “Bil Browning,” who says this story isn’t being picked up because Aaron Hall wasn’t gay.)

Whoops, I Did It…Oh, Never Fucking Mind.

posted by on June 13 at 8:51 AM

PLEASE don’t say, “cheese”!

Waxing ever less original in her feverish “Prove to the Universe that I Have a Chode” campaign (and in her grim determination to make absolutely sure everyone everywhere meets it personally), Britney Spears did this…



Let me be quite frank. I am so sick of this retarded twat’s retarded twat. Can I get a “A-MEN”?

More Progress in Iraq Today

posted by on June 13 at 8:48 AM

Of the bad, frightening, Shiite-holy-shrine-destroying variety.


The Morning News

posted by on June 13 at 7:10 AM

Hamas: Seizes Fatah security headquarters.

Fatah: Boycotts all cabinet meetings with Hamas after Gaza clashes.

Bush: Begging for Republican support for immigration bill.

Buchanan: Immigration bill is part of New World Order plot.

GOP candidate Mike Huckabee: Wants women to dress like he tells them to. (Also, he owns a thong.)

Iraqis: Failing to meet nearly every US benchmark.

Dems: Attempting to restore timetable for Iraq withdrawal.

Fitzgerald: It’s time to jail Libby.

Kuwaiti women: Banned from working at night.

Recipe of the Day: Smoked Pork Shoulder (via Serious Eats)


1 pork shoulder (18 to 20 pounds)

Dry Rub
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/3 cup garlic salt
1/3 cup kosher salt, finely ground
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground black papper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Injection Baste
3/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Make the dry rub: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer to a shaker. Store leftover rub in an airtight container.
2. Make the baste: Whisk together the apple juice, water, sugar, salt, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Fill a basting syringe and begin injecting the meat. Use about 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) per pound of shoulder. Coat the shoulder well with the dry rub and refrigerate overnight.
3. Cook on a pit or smoker for about 1 hour per pound or to an internal temperature of 195 degrees. Pull or chop the meat. Pile the meat onto buns for sandwiches Leftovers can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Red Rocket

posted by on June 13 at 12:29 AM

Anyone know why the Needle is suddenly red?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What the Hell Happened?

posted by on June 12 at 10:20 PM

Says Bauhaus in a comments thread

[After] reading this and after a recent trip to the QFC at Broadway and Pike (to which I’ll never return), I can say without reservation that there sure are some crass, self-absorbed motherfuckers here in Seattle. Do we have more than our fair share here? It sometimes seems so.

Says K X One…

Don’t be a tease!

You MUST share your reasons for never going to that QFC again!

I agree, Bauhaus. Spill…

Fucking Cubs Hitting

posted by on June 12 at 9:38 PM

Or lack thereof. OK, this isn’t exactly live-blogging the NFC Seahawks-Bears matchups, but I am at Bruno’s after the Mariners just beat the Cubs in 13 innings. I was involved in very serious academic bullshit that kept me from attending tonight’s game, but I caught the last 7 innings after riding my bicycle up the nice flat path, blah blah blah. Insert your own Chicago/Seattle comparison here.

But I’ll be at the games tomorrow night and Thursday afternoon, with the loved one of The Stranger’s Fearless Leader (I forget his Slog nom de plume, so I’m being discreet, but in Canada he’d be my brother-in-law).

Wednesday will be only my fourth game this year. My record: 0-3. Wins are listed first, for you non-sports-fans (Gurldoggie, where are you? Shoulda been in on Freaky Friday.)

And so, my unlucky presence will ensure that the Cubs will lose, I am sure, just to allow for gloating by said Canuck Bro-in-Law. Nonetheless, I look forward to it: any baseball fan who doesn’t want to watch Ichiro is nuts (my money says he’ll be the first Japanese-born player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame). And the worst day I ever spent at a ballpark was a great day. But if the Cubs keep not hitting like they didn’t hit tonight, I might not be responsible for my actions.

Countdown to a Shit Storm

posted by on June 12 at 6:41 PM

Peter Holmes, chair of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) says he has turned in his review of the Office of Professional Accountability’s handling of the George Patterson case. OPARB, which reports to the City Council, oversees the Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability which is tasked with investigating citizen’s complaints against the department.

The OPA, has been dogged for months over their handling of the Patterson case.

The city’s legal department needs to review OPARB’s findings but the report should be out sometime next week. I don’t know what’s in the report but I fully expect a total shit storm.

George Bush’s Watch Stolen Off of His Wrist

posted by on June 12 at 6:13 PM

The site is in Dutch, but it sure is fun to watch Our Fearless Leader get his watch literally stolen right off of his wrist at a rally in Albania.

Via BoingBoing.

Dept. of Mysterious Notices

posted by on June 12 at 5:19 PM

Not sure if it’s Slog-worthy, but there’s a sign on Tubs that says “Public Auction June 15th.” We’re not sure what’s going on exactly—is Tubs no more, or are they just getting rid of old fixtures?—but we will keep our eyes open for more informative signage.

UPDATE: Tubs is dead.

Some Local News Stories We’re Ignoring

posted by on June 12 at 4:28 PM

Apparently no one at Slog gives a shit about the City Council okaying new strip clubs, newly announced plans to revamp Seattle Center, and some issues some company called Boeing is having with some new product line or something.

Oh no. No. No. No.

posted by on June 12 at 4:10 PM

Did someone at Town Hall last night really ask Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini—there to read from his new book, A Thousand Splendid Sunsif he knew where Osama bin Laden is hiding?

Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance

posted by on June 12 at 4:06 PM

And we would go on as though nothing was wrong.
And hide from these days we remained all alone.
Staying in the same place, just staying out the time.
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

— Joy Division, “Transmission” (1981)


The four music-related films I was most looking forward to seeing
at this year’s SIFF are This Is England and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, and Control. The first three have already played. The fourth, Anton Corbijn’s critically acclaimed Ian Curtis bio-pic (based on Deborah Curtis’s Touching From a Distance), wasn’t part of the 2007 line-up.

I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad. A friend waited in line for an hour at Cannes last month and wasn’t able to get in. Fortunately, the trailer—in English with French subtitles—has just been posted to YouTube:

American release dates haven’t yet been announced for
The Future Is Unwritten, 30 Century Man (which was
just picked up for US distribution), and Control, but you
can now sign up for updates regarding the latter

Interestingly, Sam Riley, who plays Curtis, appeared as Mark E. Smith in Michael Winterbottom’s 24-Hour Party People (Sean Harris assumed the Curtis role—and did a great job, too). This Is England opens in limited release on 7/25. Also, don’t miss the rousing concert documentary Gypsy Caravan, which opens at the Varsity on 7/20.

Click here for more information about Control (at my site).

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 12 at 3:41 PM

Terry Finally Admits It: He likes Röyksopp. And knows how to make an umlaut!

Mean People Rock: What’s the meanest song you’ve ever heard?

Excellent Adventure: Who would you see if you could travel back in time?

Daft Punk Go to the Movies: Their feature film Electroma is coming.

Psych Invades Sunset: You can’t say Jonathan Zwickel didn’t warn you.

Everything is cute today.

O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on June 12 at 3:34 PM

indictment on charges of child rape.

King County prosecutors have charged a former church youth leader with rape and molestation after a teenager told police that the man had repeatedly sexually abused her when she was 15 years old.

Brent. A. Krum, 37, was charged with third-degree child rape and third-degree child molestation.

According to court documents, the Krum met the alleged victim in 2004 at a Summit View Church youth group where he served as a youth leader…. The girl did not report the incident at the time, but the police report states that other members at the church were “suspicious of Brent’s close relationship” with the teen….

Investigators said that on January 2, 2007, the girl, now 17, received an e-mail from Krum saying, “This may come across as a lame question, but… Would you have interest in ever talking again?” The police report said the e-mail prompted the teen to contact investigators and report the past abuse.

And, yes, in the piece up on the PI’s website right now, they refer to the ex-youth minister as “the Krum.”

Babydykes Kicked Off Bus

posted by on June 12 at 3:29 PM

Portland’s pride parade is this weekend.

And just in time for pride… a Portland bus driver kicked two teenage lesbians off his bus for kissing, giving queer Portlanders something to march about.

Maika Rich and Jocelyn O’Neal, both 14, admit they were kissing while on the No. 12 bus traveling on Barbur Boulevard at about 5 p.m. on June 8. They were headed to the Sexual Minority Youth Recreation Center. They say a female passenger complained to the driver about the kissing and that the driver told them to “knock it off” and also called them “sickos.”

Rich says she then gave O’Neal a hug because it appeared she was upset about the exchange. They say at that point the driver stopped the bus and ordered them off.

In The Club

posted by on June 12 at 3:21 PM

The man in the image is the director of a British movie called Surveillance.
siff155b61004316.jpg When I talked with the director, Paul Oremland, in SIFF’s hospitality lounge near the top of W Hotel, he shared this piece of information with me: “In the UK, a person is photographed, caught on camera at an average of 360 times a day.”
I was astonished.
“But it doesn’t end there. In the UK, the government can keep track up to 50 million license plates a day.”
I was doubly astonished.
“But it’s not just the government. They other day, I took money out of a cash machine and 15 minutes later, I received a call from my bank in London. They just wanted to make sure I was in the States.”
I was triply astonished. The UK has become one big eyeball.

As for Oremland’s film, Surveillance, which shows today at 4:30 pm at the Egyptian, this is what we, The Stranger, wrote:

Fact 1: Paul Oremland’s dramatic thriller follows a young gay Brit led by a chance one-night stand into a twisty government conspiracy. Fact 2: Britain’s been making better gay-themed films (and more subtle dramatic thrillers) than the U.S. since the dawn of cinema.

I wonder what Grant Cogswell has to say about that?
SIFFcd27139a9f1b.jpg Cogswell was in the lounge, drinking wine, talking with a Scandinavian director, talking with his director, Daniel Gildark, and talking with me. At one point, he told me that his film, Cthulhu, has much changed since its test screening a month or so ago. “It’s far better and clearer.” Be it so or not so, the poster for Cthulhu deserves some sort of SIFF award. It’s a perfectly mad image.

The Fabulous Life of Washington’s First Man

posted by on June 12 at 3:05 PM

From the press office of Gov. Christine Gregoire:

OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire today congratulated First Gentleman Mike Gregoire on reaching his goal of visiting elementary school students in each of Washington’s 39 counties. Sharing the joy of reading with students across the state, First Mike visited classrooms to read Jon Scieszka’s “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” and answer questions about Trooper - the family dog, life in the Executive Mansion and what it is like to be married to the Governor.


SIFF 2007: Tuesday Highlights

posted by on June 12 at 2:47 PM

The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in the festival continue below and at


Skip the early matinee. You actually already skipped the early matinee. It was about interior design.

Neptune, 4 pm. We didn’t get to review it, but Slant Magazine says Euphoria trades in “sumptuous visual beauty,” though the characters are a little thin.


Early evening is a tossup: The Scandinavian Falkenburg Farewell (Bradley Steinbacher calls it “startling” and “wholly original”) at the Egyptian, 7 pm or the Indonesian musical Opera Jawa (Lindy West calls it “gorgeous, frightening, freakishly weird”) at SIFF Cinema, 6:30 pm.

Opera Jawa

Pacific Place, 9:30 pm. Charles Mudede recommends Sons, a sort of Norwegian Little Children.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on June 12 at 2:32 PM

They weren’t a mother and a father, just a mother and her male “companion,” but the religious right can nevertheless take comfort: this little boy has male and female role models, just as God intended…

Investigators found a crying 6-year-old boy tied up in a sweltering car at a suburban restaurant after employees reported seeing a man take the child outside and return without him to finish eating.

Police believe the boy, whose name was not released, was tied up for about 30 minutes while the outside temperature was in the 80s Saturday in Ringgold, Ga., about 13 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Sgt. John Gass said Tuesday.

“He was sitting up in between the two front seats and he was crying,” Gass said. “He had a rope tied to one of his ankles. The child was just sweating, just soaking.”

The boy’s mother, Rachel Gilchrist, 35, and her companion, Raymond Minchew, 61, both of Sandy Springs, Ga., were arrested Saturday and charged with cruelty to children.

Dozens of children die every year after being left—usually by accident—in hot cars. Temperatures in a locked car in the sun can reach fatal levels in as little as 15 minutes.

Last Friday at the Sculpture Park

posted by on June 12 at 2:10 PM

Last Friday afternoon I raced—literally, ran down Denny—to On the Boards for what I thought was a 5 pm show but turned out to be an 8 pm show. Bummer. Had hours to kill. Bought a magazine at a Safeway, put my iPod on shuffle, walked down to the sculpture park. Sat on a bench at the entrance to the pavilion, where a few of the sculptures and the water and the sky are laid out in front of you like a gigantic painting. Was minding my own, legs crossed, when a pretty woman sat down next to me.

“Are you Max?” she said. She wore a black dress and excellent lipstick.

No, I said.

She made a bummer face. “I didn’t think he’d have an iPod on.” There was a long, mysterious, beautiful pause. We really seemed to get along in our silence. It was chemical. Then she said, “So far it’s all been—” and did a thumbs-down.

“Thumbs down?” I offered.

“Thumbs down.”

Still had no idea what she was talking about, but I said, “Well, don’t keep on—”

“I’ve discontinued the practice,” she interrupted. “This is the last one.”


“Well, you can sit here next to me,” I said, and I actually did want her to keep sitting there.

“No, I think that’d be weird. If he sees us…” she said.

She got up, said goodbye, and went looking for Max.

Now Open

posted by on June 12 at 1:46 PM


There’s a new chain restaurant and bar at the corner of Pike Street and Seventh Avenue downtown, across Pike from Gameworks. It’s called the Daily Grill and they have quite a happy hour—lots of snacks, pretty cheap, 4 pm-7 pm weekdays. They also have quite a budget for signage. My cell phone takes notoriously bad pictures, and the glare in that right window doesn’t help. But there are four NOW OPEN signs outside this front entrance of Daily Grill—the fourth is in the window on the right, behind the glare—and there are two more NOW OPEN signs outside a secondary entrance.

I stopped in with Ms. Clement over the weekend, and she said to the guy at the desk, “I understand you’re now open.”

Call & Response

posted by on June 12 at 1:46 PM

On Sunday, Joe Lieberman went on TV:

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman told Bob Schieffer. “And to me, that would include a strike into… over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

Today, General Wesley Clark had a response:

Senator Lieberman’s saber rattling does nothing to help dissuade Iran from aiding Shia militias in Iraq, or trying to obtain nuclear capabilities. In fact, it’s highly irresponsible and counter-productive, and I urge him to stop.

This kind of rhetoric is irresponsible and only plays into the hands of President Ahmadinejad, and those who seek an excuse for military action. What we need now is full-fledged engagement with Iran. We should be striving to bridge the gulf of almost 30 years of hostility and only when all else fails should there be any consideration of other options. The Iranians are very much aware of US military capabilities. They don’t need Joe Lieberman to remind them that we are the militarily dominant power in the world today.

Only someone who never wore the uniform or thought seriously about national security would make threats at this point. What our soldiers need is responsible strategy, not a further escalation of tensions in the region. Senator Lieberman must act more responsibly and tone down his threat machine.

African Cinema Three

posted by on June 12 at 1:27 PM

Pictured is Jon Sibi Okumu and Rachel Weisz:
picture3constantgardenerblog.jpg This is the situation in the movie The Constant Gardener. Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz) works with Dr. Joshua Ngaba ( Jon Sibi Okumu) in the slums of Nairobi. Tessa Quayle is English (Wiesz is Jewish), and married to Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), an Englishman (Fiennes is English). Justin works for the British Embassy and almost never sees his wife; not he but she is too busy at her work, too busy trying to save the world in the slums of Nairobi.

Justin suspects his wife is fucking the African doctor. He suspects this because she is always with the doctor, and also because he sees himself as a weak man, a petty civil servant. He is not as spirited as his wife. His wife burns like a man, has the will of a wild horse, and the hunger of a tiger. She leaps at any injustice; she bares her teeth at any man who dares to challenge her determination. Justin is in love with a power he can not satisfy. But the African doctor can satisfy her. Why? Because he is an African. How can he, a man with two thousand years of civilsation behind him, sexually compete with an energetic African—even if the African is a doctor? But it turns out the African is not fucking his wife because the African is gay. The African fucks men not women. This has another direction of meaning that I cant take in this post (but, quickly, gay sexuality for the basic African mind means decadence, means all that civilisation, that education, that doctoring has finally corrupted the wholesome African meat of the man and made him a Westerner from just below crust to core).

The white woman turns out to be faithful to her white husband. But this is not the matter. This is what I want to point out (and here I must turn to Zizeck and Lacan for some guidance): Even if Tessa was fucking the African doctor, the fact of Justin’s jealously, a jealously that has racist reasons, is a problem that needs to solved in and of itself. (The film fails to see this.) Why do African men, in the presence of European women, make him feel this way, feel this jealously, this fear? Where do these feelings come from, and how do they fit into (and work within) his identity? Can he have an identity without them? He can’t, which is why he dissolves and dies at the end of the film.

He is only alive when he is imagining the worst: his white wife with the bewitching black doctor.

Breast Feeding in Britain

posted by on June 12 at 12:57 PM

Still breast feeding at seven or eight? That’s nothing, Paulus. Some Brits breast feed longer than that…

“Better Than a Mango, Even…”

posted by on June 12 at 12:11 PM

Charles’ recent Natalie Merchant post reminded me of this fascinating video about a British family that breast-feeds well past the age that most people would consider healthy. The two daughters are so smitten with mom’s tits that they draw portraits of them and have even given them names (“Milchior” and “Boobial”).

And poor dad is left out in the cold.

WARNING: Totally NSFL (not safe for lunch)

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 12 at 12:00 PM

‘Force of Nature’ (Piles of Paint) Elise Richman is called a painter, but what she does is this: She sculpts paint into landscapes of stalactites and gives them frames. Every tiny, brightly colored peak is an accumulation of dozens of drops of paint. There’s the applying, the waiting, the meticulous repeat. Each show is hundreds and hundreds of these little rainbowy formations. They aren’t paintings, they’re devotions. (Gallery 4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Pl S, 296-8674. 8:30 am—5 pm, free.) Jen Graves

In Sardinia, the Cheese eats you

posted by on June 12 at 11:27 AM

Warning: Do not read if you have just eaten, or plan on eating anything for the next 6 - 72 hours.

Ready? Behold the most disgusting foodstuff in the entire world.

That better be some strong red wine, I’m thinking.

Now Would Be a Good Time to Buy Something from McSweeney’s

posted by on June 12 at 11:27 AM

From the website for McSweeney’s (publisher of excellent books, publisher of the McSweeney’s quarterly, publisher of The Believer, publisher of DVD quarterly Wholphin):

As you may know, it’s been tough going for many independent publishers, McSweeney’s included, since our distributor filed for bankruptcy last December 29. We lost about $130,000—actual earnings that were simply erased. Due to the intricacies of the settlement, the real hurt didn’t hit right away, but it’s hitting now. Like most small publishers, our business is basically a break-even proposition in the best of times, so there’s really no way to absorb a loss that big.

Taking a cue from Fantagraphics (when Fantagraphics was “in similarly dire straits”), McSweeney’s is selling everything in their store at discounted prices (including subscriptions to McSweeney’s, the huge faces-of-The Believer poster, and fine T-shirts) AND holding an auction of rare items.

What sorts of rare items? Right now, an original Tony Millionaire drawing of Ben Gibbard, a painting of an amputated president by Dave Eggers, a copy of Wholphin doodled on by Spike Jonze, this awesome package of Marcel Dzama Berlin Years prints doodled on by Dzama, and more.

You know what to do.

(Now please enjoy some reviews of Seattle audiences written for The Stranger by McSweeney’s and Believer alums: Sarah Vowell in 2002; Ben Marcus in 2002; Vendela Vida in 2003; Paul Collins in 2004; Sean Wilsey in 2005; Dave Eggers in 2005; John Hodgman in 2005; and Ryan Boudinot in 2006.)

Smoking Ban Had “Minimal Effect” on Bars

posted by on June 12 at 11:23 AM

According to the state Department of Revenue, which found that while bars lost some smoking customers, they “gained customers drawn to a smoke-free environment.”

Burn, in other words, on us.

Washington State = Turkey?

posted by on June 12 at 10:52 AM

Check out this map…


You can click on the map for a larger version. And you can read all about it here.

Via Towleroad.

From the Annals of Medicine

posted by on June 12 at 10:33 AM

From Wikipedia:

[Nitrous oxide] was used on 30 September 1846 for painless tooth extraction upon patient Eben Frost by American dentist William Thomas Green Morton. Horace Wells Connecticut, a travelling dentist, had demonstrated it the previous year 1845, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Wells made a mistake, in choosing a particularly sturdy male volunteer, and the patient suffered considerable pain. This lost the colourful Wells any support. Later the patient told Wells he screamed in shock and not in pain.

From Trivia Library:

In December of 1846, Wells printed the results of his studies in anesthesia, but his ostracism by the Boston medical profession had left him an emotionally crippled man. He continued to experiment—on himself—with a variety of gases, including nitrous oxide, ether, and chloroform. These vapor inhalations strongly affected him emotionally, and he deteriorated mentally. In New York City in 1848, he sniffed chloroform, went berserk, and threw acid on the clothes of a prostitute. Jailed for this offense, Wells committed suicide by slashing an artery in his leg.

Meet Tyler Whitney: 18 and Already Outed

posted by on June 12 at 10:15 AM


Tyler Whitney is a young conservative activist—he’s serving as webmaster for the GOP’s most rabidly anti-gay presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, leads an anti-gay group on his college campus, carried a “Go Back in the Closet!” sign at anti-gay protest. On his MySpace page, Whitney says he’s interested in meeting, “any conservative college student in the DC area that is interested in fighting the left.”

And Tyler Whitney is gay, and he’s just been outed.

Well, not so much outed. Whitney had begun quietly coming out to friends—presumably his more tolerant “fight the left” buddies—and Between the Lines, a gay paper in Michigan where Whitney goes to college and works with that rabidly anti-gay student group, got wind of it and decided to hurry Whitney’s coming out process along.

Bay Buchanan, Senior Advisor to Tancredo, says Whitney’s “sexual preference is a personal matter,” and that it should have “nothing to do with the campaign.”

Sorry, Bay, but gay-bashing conservative thugs—people like you, your horrible brother, your vile candidate—can’t have it both ways on the gay issue. If Whitney’s sexual preference is a personal matter, if Whitney’s sexual preference shouldn’t have anything to do with the campaign, then neither should mine—or the sexual preferences of any other Americans. Until your candidate lays off the gay bashing, until the GOP stops attacking the rights and humanity of gay and lesbian Americans, then Tyler Whitney’s sexual orientation—it’s not a preference, Bay, and you know it—is fit for public debate.

Or is sexual orientation only a private matter when a Republican is being sodomized?

Responding to Bay Buchanan, Michelangelo Signorile says

In other words, if he wants to work against his own kind—for a man who’s railed against gay rights and has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign—we’re happy to have him!

Some folks will question the ethics of outing a messed up 18 year-old. Like lots of young ‘mos from conservative backgrounds, Whitney seems to have compensated for his sexuality by going off the anti-gay deep end. What better way to cover up for your homosexuality than working against the rights of gay people?

But by eighteen you’re old enough to know better—if you’re 18 and gay in America, you’re old enough to know that you don’t have to live a lie. If you’re 18 and gay and not ready or willing to come out, you’re old enough to know that keeping your closeted mouth shut about gay issues is the option that doesn’t make you a flaming hypocrite.

And if you’re 18 and closeted and gay and politically active, as Whitney was, you’re old enough and savvy enough to know that aligning yourself with anti-gay politicians, marching with assholes that carry “Straight Power!” signs at anti-gay rallies, and being best buds with a guy that thinks gays should be imprisoned is as good as painting a bulls eye on your back. You not only risk being outed, you invite it.

Hell, you’ve earned it.

And I say this as someone who… how can I put this? I say this as someone that recently talked someone else out of outing someone in the public eye. A “Savage Love” reader was contemplating outing an innocuous celeb back in April. I advised him against it because, as I wrote to him privately, outing is brutal and it should be reserved for brutes.

Tyler Whitney qualifies.

Foul Ball

posted by on June 12 at 10:12 AM

Two months ago, I fretted over a $100,000 contract that the public agency overseeing Safeco Field handed over to a private lunch buddy of the agency’s board director.

The director: Jose Gaitan
The buddy: Consultant Pat Fearey

Well, the agency’s board, the Mariners Public Facilities District, met yesterday and re-upped Fearey’s contract and handed out a few others too including one to Dwight Pelz’s sister, Janet Pelz, and a contract to K&L Gates.

I’ve looked at Fearey’s receipts for her first four month contract and it seems to me she didn’t do a whole hell of a lot—at least not for the $20K a month she was getting. “Conference call.” “Outlining scope of work.”

What is up with a public agency handing out giant lobbying and consultant contracts when its entire budget is only about $800,000?

An Ode to Sperm

posted by on June 12 at 9:22 AM

In honor of Father’s Day.


Holy Crap

posted by on June 12 at 8:29 AM


God knows there’s an infinite number of allegedly Christian beliefs worth mocking. But rarely do they achieve the tabloid shock of the recent edicts put forth by Egyptian Muslims:

The breast-feeding fatwa declared that the Islamic restriction on unmarried men and women being together could be lifted at work if the woman breast-fed her male colleagues five times, to establish family ties.

According to the New York Times, the edicts “have proved a source of national embarrassment in Egypt, not least because they were issued by representatives of the highest religious authorities in the land.”

“We were very angered when we heard about the Danish cartoons concerning our prophet,” wrote Galal Amin, a professor at the American University in Cairo, in Cairo’s daily newspaper. “However, these two fatwas are harming our Islamic religion and our prophet more than the cartoons.”

Full story here.

The Morning News

posted by on June 12 at 7:17 AM

The Nays Have It: No-confidence vote on Gonzales fails in the Senate.

What ceasefire?
: Fighting breaks out again in Gaza.

Milestone: Toyota hits one million in Prius sales.

Rebuked: Bush administration, as court determines that US residents can’t be locked up indefinitely as “enemy combatants.”

Tossed: 10-year sentence for consensual teenage sex in Georgia.

Missing: Girl with endless hiccups disappears.

Asshole: Sen. Brownback tells all-male Catholic audience that women who go and get themselves raped shouldn’t be allowed to have abortions.

Recipe of the Day: Jewish Pizza! (This exact version is the very first non-vegetarian thing I ever ate—at Spago—after ten straight years of vegetarianism).


1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package fresh or active dry)
¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for the bowl
¾ cup cool water
3 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)


3 to 4 ounces smoked salmon, sliced paper-thin
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup minced fresh dill
1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 heaping tablespoons domestic golden caviar
1 heaping tablespoon black caviar
4 sprigs fresh dill for garnish

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water; stir in ½ teaspoon of the honey and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Mix the remaining 2½ teaspoons honey with the salt, olive oil, and cool water and set aside.
3. Put the flour in the bowl of a food processor. With the processor running, slowly pour the honey-oil mixture in through the feed tube. Then pour in the dissolved yeast. Process until the dough forms a ball on the blade. If it is too sticky, sprinkle on a little more flour.
4. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl and let rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each into a smooth, tight ball. Put on a flat sheet or dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
6. One hour before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before rolling and shaping.
7. Preheat the oven, preferably with a pizza stone inside, to 500 degrees while getting the pizza ready.
8. Cut the salmon into 2-inch squares and reserve.
9. Roll or stretch each ball of dough into four 9-inch circles. Put the circles on an oiled, floured baking sheet.
10. Brush each pizza with olive oil to within one inch of the edge and sprinkle with red onion. Put the pizzas in the oven and bake 8 to 12 minutes, until the crusts are golden brown.
11. While the pizzas are baking, mix the dill with the crème fraîche or sour cream and season with pepper.
12. When the pizzas are done, transfer to warm dinner plates and spread with the crème
fraiche or sour cream mixture. Arrange the pieces of salmon on top and put a tablespoon of golden caviar in the center of each. Spoon a little black caviar on the golden caviar. Garnish each pizza with a sprig of dill and serve.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Welcome Back Habeas Corpus

posted by on June 11 at 6:33 PM

… we’ve missed you. The 4th Circuit United States Court of Appeals has ordered the release of a man held by George W Bush as an “enemy combatant.”

Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, from the decision:

To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them “enemy combatants,” would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.”

(Emphasis added)

Know Who I Like Reading?

posted by on June 11 at 6:15 PM

Joe Nickell, the Missoulian writer who is part of a new blog on ArtsJournal called Flyover: Art from the American Outback. Nickell writes at the heart of his subjects (chiefly music), he’s mellifluous in print, and, in person, he has a hell of a way with old-timey shirts.

The blog is a group portrait of art in smaller cities by arts journalists of all kinds. It’s exactly the sort of thing I wish had been around (Nickell and co. invented it several months ago) when I was writing about art in Denton, Texas, and in Tacoma, where my boss once asked me whether the dancers at the ballet also sing while they’re performing.

These writers have tough jobs, jobs with high highs and low lows, jobs where cynicism is not an option. Read them. Throw in your comments.

Freeman: Transit Proponents Are Socialists, Terrorists

posted by on June 11 at 4:30 PM

Can you spot the misrepresentations, shaky claims, inconsistencies, and just plain nuttiness in this video produced by Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman’s anti-transit organization, End Gridlock Now? I’ve helped you out by putting a few of them in bold; citations are included in cases of factual errors.

[Cheesy, Bruce Hornsby-esque music plays in the background as shots of traffic flash across the screen.]

Narrator: The personal automobile. Probably no other single element in the past century more symbolizes the meaning of American freedom than this one invention. To Americans it is likely the single most defining measure of individual freedom and mobility.… The truth is, Americans have always considered personal mobility equal to freedom, because our love affair with personal mobility began even earlier in the days of the horse—which later became “horse power.”

Freeman: I think private use of the car has been critical to the mobility in America and worldwide [1] and it allows us to go where we want, when we want, with whom we want, and to do it any time of the day, seven days a week. It’s very important [2], whether you’re running to the convenience store for diapers at 11 o’clock at night, or whether you’re running to the church service on Sunday, or whether your friends are getting together to go to a restaurant together or go to a movie or go shopping or go to the hospital—just think of all the trips you take. How many of them are accommodated very easily any other way except for a car?

Narrator: Today, many people attribute much of our success and prosperity as a nation to the automobile and the ability of people to move about freely in commerce and recreation. Others even point to former socialist nations that have failed economically and their overdependence on public transportation, which narrows and sometimes even removes choices of commerce.

Freeman: The automobile and everything to do with the automobile is a huge piece of the economy of our country. I’ve heard that it’s as much as 20 to 25 percent of the entire economy is directly related to the car [3; see page 36] and use of the car.

Narrator: Some favor a stronger dependence on public transportation.

Freeman: Public transit is a very important small piece of the puzzle. In our three counties, where public transit is more effective than any place else in the state, it only moves something less than three percent of trips. [4; see page 15]

Narrator: Others favor moderately increasing our highway lane capacities as the best and fastest way to relief.

Freeman: The plan calls for a very small amount of new road construction. Six percent of new lane miles in the right places will actually reduce congestion 36% from today’s level and accommodation of about 3 million new trips today that aren’t even on the roads. So that’s a major change, a major relief to congestion and accommodation of the new trips that are coming to this region. [5 , 6, and 7. RTID calls for 1500 new lane-miles on state highways and arterials, a 13 percent increase. Freeman’s plan, in contrast, would add 2,000 new miles of pavement. The principle of induced travel holds that you can’t build your way out of congestion.]

Narrator: To many commuters here at home in Seattle, traffic congestion has nearly reached the point of intolerance.

Freeman: We stopped building roads in 1970 [8], and in those days we built out a system that had 20 years of capacity upon completion—in other words we built out a 20 year future. So comes 1990, we’ve used up all of that capacity that was planned for in this region in the 50s and 60s and finished by 1970. Over the next two decades everything worked, we rode on momentum, and then came 1990. We ran out of capacity.[9]

Narrator: And some others want light rail added into the transportation mix.

Freeman: If it worked, I’d be the leading proponent for light rail. Light rail is in general a huge boondoggle every place it’s been tried in the state and, frankly, in the country and around the world. [10]

Narrator: Losing faith in government’s ability to deal with our traffic crisis, Kemper Freeman, Jr. began his own study four years ago, investing more than a million dollars to find answers and develop a regional transportation plan to reduce congestion.

Freeman: It’s a plan that will accommodate the growth in trip capacity – we’re going from 11 million trips a day to 14 million trips a day. [I couldn’t find any source for this claim anywhere.] We also reduce congestion by 36 percent for everybody. [Addressed above.] It’s a very modest investment that produces huge results [Addressed above] … Our plan is generated by an authentic study of where the problems are. … You ask anybody, you say ‘where are the pinch points?’ and everybody knows where those are.

Narrator: To most people the end of the age of the automobile and personal mobility will spell the end of the American dream. Perhaps on equal ground with private property rights, personal mobility has everything to do with the future of America and individual liberty [11]

Freeman: There are some people who want to slow this country down and do this country harm. Picking a fight with the automobile is a pretty good way to do it.

Majority of Americans Don’t Believe In No Stinkin’ Evolution

posted by on June 11 at 4:19 PM

From a new Gallup poll:

The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.

Nothing really surprising there. And, sadly, nothing really surprising here, either:

[E]ven more Americans, two-thirds, say the theory of creationism is definitely or probably true.


Something Greater Than No Confidence in the Attorney General

posted by on June 11 at 4:15 PM

Looks like Senate Democrats couldn’t get enough of their colleagues to vote no-confidence in Gonzales today. Among their remaining options: Impeachment.

Today On Line Out.

posted by on June 11 at 3:48 PM

PWRFL BTTL: The Capitol Hill Block Party’s Battle of the Bands.

Knots in the Laces: Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart it Races.”

Made Graves: A Farewell for Pretty Girls Make Graves

And I Miss You: Jawbreaker’s “Do You Still Hate Me?”

Nothing is cute today.

Only Two More Days Until…

posted by on June 11 at 3:31 PM


So stoked.

Hai Karate

posted by on June 11 at 3:14 PM

Just in case you didn’t get quite enough Chuck Norris in Brad’s earlier post about Chuck Norris, featuring Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris.

The Meaning of Her Being Beautiful

posted by on June 11 at 2:59 PM

Her name is Bianca King.
biancaking.jpg Her age is 21. Her country is the Philippines. Her fame owes much of its size to TV shows. The reason why I bring her image up in this post is her comment: ” I like being beautiful and I’d like to share that with other people.” What a strange thing to say. It has two possible meanings: One, Bianca would like to share the fact that she likes being beautiful with other people; or two, she’d like to share her beauty with others, rather than being stingy and keeping it all to herself in some dark room. Which does Bianca mean? If only pictures could speak.

Today in Anaesthesia

posted by on June 11 at 2:39 PM

Cinema and Copulation

posted by on June 11 at 2:27 PM

As yet to be made is a great movie based on a novel by Vladmir Nabokov—Rainer Werner Fassbinder came close with Despair, and Kubrick’s Lolita is weak because it’s unfaithful to Nabokov’s screenplay. The Russian had this to say about the horrible movie that was made out of Laughter in the Dark.

I have [seen it]. Nicol Williamson is, of course, an admirable actor, and some of the sequences are very good. The scene with the water-ski girl, gulping and giggling, is exceptionally successful. But I was appalled by the commonplace quality of the sexual passages. I would like to say something about that. Clichés and conventions breed remarkably fast. They occur as readily in the primitive jollities of the jungle as in the civilized obligatory scenes of our theater. In former times Greek masks must have set many a Greek dentition on edge. In recent films, including Laughter in the Dark, the porno grapple has already become a cliché though the device is but half-a-dozen years old. I would have been sorry that Tony Richardson should have followed that trite trend, had it not given me the opportunity to form and formulate the following important notion: theatrical acting, in the course of the last centuries, has led to incredible refinements of stylized pantomine in the representation of, say, a person eating, or getting deliciously drunk, or looking for his spectacles, or making a proposal of marriage. Not so in regard to the imitation of the sexual act which on the stage has absolutely no tradition behind it. The Swedes and we have to start from scratch and what I have witnessed up to now on the screen—the blotchy male shoulder, the false howls of bliss, the four or five mingled feet—all of it is primitive, commonplace, conventional, and therefore disgusting. The lack of art and style in these paltry copulations is particularly brought into evidence by their clashing with the marvelously high level of acting in virtually all other imitations of natural gestures on our stage and screen. This is an attractive topic to ponder further, and directors should take notice of it
(The Sunday Times, 1969). Has sex on the screen improved since then?

Genarlow Wilson

posted by on June 11 at 1:59 PM

The Georgia teenager sentenced to 10 years in prison for getting a blowjob from another teenager—he was 17, she was 15—was ordered released today after serving two years.

A Georgia Superior Court judge today ordered the release of Genarlow Wilson, who has served two years of 10-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex with another teenager at a party when he was 17. Prosecutors said they would appeal the order.

A small group of Mr. Wilson’s supporters gathered and watched in silence here as Judge Thomas H. Wilson’s order arrived, page by tantalizing page, over a fax machine at the Atlanta office of Brenda Joy Bernstein, Mr. Wilson’s attorney. (The judge and the imprisoned man are not related.)

Not until the thirteenth and last page was it clear that the judge had ordered that Mr. Wilson be freed. “It’s an order of release!” said Ms. Bernstein, staring at the page for a moment, stunned. Then Ms. Bernstein grabbed the hand of Mr. Wilson’s mother, Juanessa Bennett, and ran toward a bank of reporters and cameras, yelling, “He’s released!”

Juanessa Bennett, in a voice barely above a whisper, said she felt as if she might faint.

In granting Mr. Wilson’s habeas corpus petition, Judge Wilson wrote that it would be a “grave miscarriage of justice” for Mr. Wilson to be kept in prison for the remaining eight years of his sentence.

It would also be a grave miscarriage of justice if Wilson has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, or if he is, in fact, prosecuted again. Since his arrest the “crime” he committed is no longer a crime in Georgia. More from the New York Times on Wilson’s Kafka-esque nightmare:

The case began three years ago when Mr. Wilson was arrested for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl at a New Year’s Eve party in 2003. Under Georgia law, that offense qualified as aggravated child molestation, a felony charge largely intended for use against adult sexual predators, not teenagers like Mr. Wilson, who was 17 at the time of the incident. He had no prior criminal record and was an honors student and star athlete.

Critics pointed out that if Mr. Wilson had engaged in full sexual intercourse with the girl instead of oral sex, under Georgia law he could have been charged only with a misdemeanor, because of an exemption written into the molestation law specifically to cover contact between minors. But because that exemption did not mention oral sex, when Mr. Wilson was convicted, he received a mandatory sentence of ten years in prison without possibility of parole…. Last year, largely because of Mr. Wilson’s case, the state legislature amended the law again, to reclassify most sex acts between teenagers as misdemeanors, but the legislature declined to retroactively apply the new law to Mr. Wilson’s case.

Deaf, Dumb, and Blind

posted by on June 11 at 1:31 PM

I exchanged e-mails with this guy who plays in the band in Village Theater’s production of Tommy. Given last week’s hilarious brouhaha about my spoof review, I’m posting the exchange.

Sent: Fri, June 8, 2007 9:11 am
Subject: The Who’s Tommy

Hi Josh,
I recently read your review of Issaquah’s “The Who’s Tommy,” and it certainly inspires questions. First, I won’t hide - I play in the band for the show. Having said that, I’m not writing this to go on the offensive. I read all reviews with respect for the reviewer’s opinion, and I take no offense if a reviewer dislikes a production for any reason.

I do have to ask, how familiar are you with the story and history of “Tommy?” The show is certainly not a new work, as you state in your review (“new musical premiering…”, having originally been written by The Who in 1968, produced as
an Opera (by the Seattle Opera company in 1970), a movie in 1975 (starring Ann-Margret, Elton John, Jack Nicholson, Eric Clapton, and others), and as a Bro adway hit in 1992 winning five Tony awards, including best score. Each production includes necessary story elements, including the Acid Queen, World War 2, and Pinball. All I can conclude from reading your review is that you are not familiar with Tommy, nor with the Who in general.

Again, I’m not here to convince you that your opinion of the show is right or wrong. The public decides this for themselves, and given that other mainstream reviews have been positive and ticket sales are brisk, I think success speaks for itself. You don’t have to like the show at all, but I have to admit - your review does read as if you did not do your homework. Sorry to say. Responses and open discussion welcome.

John High, and no I’m not a “self-indulgent Issaquah Hippie.”



I’m 400 million years old. I’ve had The Who’s Tommy in my record collection since I was 12. It was a joke. I didn’t like the shows devout veneration of classic rock. That worship contradicted Tommy’s whole point. Townshend wrote Tommy because he was freaked out by the fact that rock was turning teens into zombie fans. He was spoofing rock worship. But the Village theater show goes as far as to end with rock icons as deities. That move represented everything the show was against. Since you guys were so hung up on the power of classic rock, I figured I’d spoof you by saying your show was derivative of Radiohead.

Nice. thanks for the response. I’ll be sure to share with the guys….

The Gay Bomb

posted by on June 11 at 12:33 PM

The Pentagon had admitted that it sought to develop a “gay bomb.”

A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting….

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, “One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.”

The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

Sadly the bomb is no longer in development—otherwise I would start a petition for the Pentagon to test its gay bomb the next time Rafael Nadal plays Andy Roddick at the U.S. Open.


The Republican Base Speaks

posted by on June 11 at 12:08 PM

Andrew Sullivan posted this letter from a reader at his blog last week…

I am an occasional listener to talk radio on my drive to work and I have been listening in on the anger of conservative talks show hosts (Limbaugh, Levin, Hannity) and, oh my God, their callers. It’s unbelievable. You would think that [illegal immigrants], who are here because the primarily Republican business owners wanted and used cheap labor, would be treated with more sympathy. Or that their desperate attmepts to arrive in the land of the free and the brave would elicit at least some measure of admiration for their determination to seek a better life…. Yet, the hate spewed against them on radio was so intense I literally gagged.

I agree with you: if Hispanics were listening in on these shows, they are hardly likely to vote Republican for years to come. It wasn’t just about illegals, it was about what kind of illegals these were.

That letter reminded me of a piece I read in the New York Times recently about a couple of bigoted talk-radio hosts in New Jersey.

Craig Carton and Ray Rossi think mental illness is hilarious and Asian-Americans are best mocked with sing-song Chinese accents. The men, hosts of an afternoon radio show called “The Jersey Guys” that is heard here on WKXW (101.5 FM), favor adjectives for politicians that have to be bleeped out.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Carton and Mr. Rossi started “Operation Rat a Rat/La Cucha Gotcha,” a listener-participation game that encourages people to turn in friends, neighbors and “anyone suspicious” to immigration authorities. They introduced the segment with mariachi music and set the campaign to end on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), a well-known Mexican holiday.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the phrase “La Cucha Gotcha” is meant to evoke the Spanish word for cockroach.

What do you think the odds are that Carton and Rossi are Republicans? I’m thinkin’ the odds are high—and as the author of the letter to Andrew Sullivan pointed out about Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin’s shows, any Hispanic voters exposed to Carton and Rossi would be highly unlikely to vote Republican for years to come—hell, decades.

Democrats shouldn’t just hope that Hispanic voters hear or hear about these shows. Democrats should make sure Hispanic voters hear what’s being said about them by the Republican base, conservative talk-show hosts, and Republican elected officials. Hispanics are the largest growing segment of the population—and Democrats should be buying time on Spanish-language radio stations and running translated excerpts from Limbaugh, Levin, Hannity, Carton & Rossi, et all.

The Republican base is speaking, Dems. Make sure Hispanic voters are listening.

SIFF 2007: Monday Highlights

posted by on June 11 at 12:06 PM

Finally! We’re in the final week of SIFF. The Stranger’s recommendations for every slot in the festival continue below and at

Pacific Place, 2 pm. A Parting Shot is pretty damn good—a cool drama with just a trace of the thriller it might have been. More about lead actor Isild Le Besco here. This may be her best performance yet.

You could stay at Pacific Place for the Montreal toughs in The Point (4:30 pm), but SIFF Cinema, 4:30 pm has got something twice as ridiculous and twice as enjoyable: The hysterical lesbian May-September prison piano drama Four Minutes.


Eddie Muller is in town if you want to hear him introduce the mediocre B noir The Big Combo (SIFF Cinema, 7 pm). But you’re better off at Pacific Place, 7 pm for The Paper Will Be Blue, one of only a few Romanian films at SIFF 2007. Meanwhile, Pacific Northwest Ballet AD Peter Boal will wax nostalgic about being tutored by Balanchine at the age of 10, no doubt, in his introduction to the lovely documentary Ballets Russes (Harvard Exit, 6:30 pm). It had a theatrical run in Seattle relatively recently, but if you’ve been following the new directions Boal has been taking PNB, it’s the place to be.

SIFF Cinema, 9:15 pm. The noir melodrama The Damned Don’t Cry is already out on video, but I’m going to go ahead and call it for Joan Crawford and, of course, an introduction from professional raconteur Eddie Muller.


Other good options are Out of Time (Pacific Place, 9:30 pm), the sad little doc about Viennese businesses from another era, and Shotgun Stories (Harvard Exit, 9:30 pm), a multigenerational Arkansas drama produced by David Gordon Green.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 11 at 12:00 PM

Haneke Retrospective (Film) Grand Illusion continues its Michael Haneke (Caché) retrospective with two brutal and fascinating features for the price of one. See the original Funny Games ahead of the upcoming remake with Naomi Watts, and catch a rare and timely screening of 1994’s 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, about the circumstances that draw various characters into a massacre perpetrated by a 19-year-old student in a Vienna bank. (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. Funny Games at 7 pm, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance at 9 pm, $5—$8.) Annie Wagner

African Cinema Three

posted by on June 11 at 11:57 AM

Part two of African Cinema will begin by thanking Ousmane Sembène for leaving the world with four masterpieces (Xala, Faat Kiné, Mandabi, and Moolaadé). The death of the great Senegalese director brings to an end the post-colonial period of African filmmaking, the highest of achievement of which is Hyènes, a film by Sembène’s countryman and protégé, Djibril Diop Mambéty.

Now, let’s have a quick look at an image that has no equivalent in the democratic cinema of Sembène:

The first thing we see is Lucy and her man:

The second thing we see is the Savage Queen from Heart of Darkness. In both the novella and movie, Children of Men, the Savage Queen is, like Ethopia’s Lucy, the absolute life-force. But there’s an important difference: In Heart of Darkness, the Savage Queen is abandoned for the infertile white woman at end of the novella; in the movie, on the other hand, she is retrieved and protected (dying Europe needs her fertility) and the infertile white woman is abandoned (after she is shot in the neck). Outside of African cinema, we have yet to see the image of an African woman who is not in essence Lucy or the Savage Queen.

Three will be this…

No Confidence

posted by on June 11 at 11:27 AM

Democrats in Congress are trying for a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today. Sound like a good idea?

Republicans don’t think so, and even with the Democrats in control, it seems they’ll have enough votes to block this latest expression of dissatisfaction with our scandal-plagued attorney general.

Let’s Find Leo

posted by on June 11 at 11:13 AM

Early Saturday morning, this sweet yellow lab/golden retriever mix went missing from outside the NW Actors’ Studio at 11th and E Pike St. Since then the owners received a tip that a homeless man named Harold (black, tall, thin, often with a bicycle and hanging around Value Village on 11th) was seen with the dog this weekend. Also, Seattle Police spotted a similar looking dog at 10 pm last night at 16th and Galer, near Interlaken Park.

Leo is wearing a pinch collar (no tags), and has a pinkish nose and a small scar near his right eye. If you see Leo, try to get a hold of him—he’s a sweetie and well behaved. If you have any tips, please call Shelby at 206-335-4168 or the Seattle Police.


posted by on June 11 at 11:02 AM

All my smartest friends seem to be for Obama. They support him it seems mostly for grand reasons of political aesthetics: He represents a realignment; he’s not canned.

These are compelling reasons, particularly the notion that he may foster a realignment. His religious, hopeful appeal may obliterate the GOP base and turn out “Obama Republicans” taking back a portion of the “Reagan Democrats” that Reagan sucked off the blue collar Dem base nearly 30 years ago.

And so, I’m having a hard time sticking by my Democrat of choice, HRC! Yes, she’ll keep the old battle lines in place (and that may be a bad move … although, I sorta like it), but this article in the latest New Republic reminded me why I like her: She’s wicked policy smart.

Re: This Morning’s NYT Headline

posted by on June 11 at 10:21 AM

As we linked in this morning’s news round-up, the NYT has a front-page story on the Bush administration’s latest strategy in Iraq: Arming and working with the more moderate Sunnis (as in militarized, but not Islamist radicals) to put down al Qaeda.

The NYT article, mostly the splashy headline, puts the emphasis on the fact that this branch of Sunnis was allied with Qaeda, but they fail to make hay out of the bigger, and more damning irony: This is Saddam Hussein’s base. In other words, this is the same faction that was keeping al Qaeda away when Saddam Hussein was in power. (They only linked with the Islamists briefly in wake of U.S. occupation.)

Now, as the article notes, the U.S. is looking to Saddam’s old crew to “bring stability” and perhaps “consolidate the minority Sunni power” against Shiites (Iran) … JUST LIKE SADDAM WAS DOING!

I apologize for the krazy all-caps, but oy vey, man.

Indeed, not only was there zero connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, but Sadamm was a bulwark against radical Islamists.

We are now fighting Saddam’s war. Hey, George Bush, Bite me.

Highlights From Chuck Norris’s Presidential Platform

posted by on June 11 at 10:13 AM

Over at the website World Net Daily, Chuck Norris is musing about what he would do if we were elected president. Here are some of his better ideas:

• Require members of Congress to work out on the Total Gym 15 minutes each day—or else they can’t vote on anything.

• Resurrect Bruce Lee and appoint him head of homeland security (OK, the CIA and FBI too).

• Turn the Rose Garden into a new fighting ring for the World Combat League, in which liberals and conservatives will fight for legislative leadership and priority. (For fun, Saturday night fights will feature a recurring bout between Hannity and Colmes). “American Idol” already told me they will provide the entertainment.

• Increase jobs in America by sending ninja teams to sabotage and steal them back from other countries.

• Tattoo an American flag with the words, “In God we trust,” on the forehead of every atheist.

• Resolve the Iraq war by bringing all of our military personnel home immediately, then going over there by myself for “martial arts negotiations.”

• Expose the real WMDs – my fists and feet.

• Personally smoke out bin Laden by myself and round-house kick him all the way back to America, where my United Fighting Arts Federation will handle the justice issues.


Chuck Norris ’08!

Time’s Profanity Problem

posted by on June 11 at 8:57 AM

If Bush can say “shit” to Tony Blair in front of an open mic and “fuck Saddam” in the West Wing, and Dick Cheney can say “Go fuck yourself” on the floor of the Senate—and if a federal appeals court judge can cite these examples of course language used in refined places when overturning the FCC’s decency standards—how come Time can’t use them in print?

On June 4, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of broadcasters in a challenge against Federal Communications Commission sanctions for indecent and profane language. Among the penalized quotes was Richie’s discussing her Simple Life experience on a live Fox awards show in 2003: “Have you ever tried to get cow s___ out of a Prada purse? It’s not so f___ing simple.”

The court argued, among other things, that the FCC’s enforcement was “arbitrary and capricious.” But the reason that stood out most was the court’s assessment of the national indecency climate: “In recent times, even the top leaders of our government have used variants of these expletives in a manner that no reasonable person would believe referenced ‘sexual or excretory organs or activities’”—the definition of indecency that the FCC and the courts have used. The decision cited Bush’s remark to British Prime Minister Tony Blair last summer, in front of a live mike, that Syria needed to “get Hizballah to stop doing this s___,” as well as Cheney’s hearty invitation to Senator Patrick Leahy, “Go f___ yourself.” (The court could have cited Bush’s remark, later reported by TIME, from March 2002 when war in Iraq was allegedly still a last resort: “F___ Saddam. We’re taking him out.”)

The fact that Bush sometimes curses may seem irrelevant, but the “community standard” is one of the most important factors in legally determining indecency. What’s good for Dubya, the court ruled, is good for the debutante….

Of course, the President and his party may try to exploit the inevitable outrage from this defeat. But actually there’s another way for them to make chicken salad out of something you are now allowed to say in prime time. They could call off the decency crusade. They could say it’s a good thing to protest idiotic crudity—on the radio, on TV or on the Senate floor—but to legislate against it is another matter. They could embrace the civil libertarians to whom they inadvertently handed a big win.

What do you have to lose, Mr. President? In recent years, you have disappointed your anti-illegal-immigration base, your fiscal-conservative base and now your family-values base. But to free-speechers, after this court ruling, you are the f___ing man.

If “fuck” and “shit” are good enough for the President and broadcast television—and the pages of the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and other fine publications—surely they’re good enough for the pages of Time. The only subscribers you’ll lose, Time, are the demo-killing subscribers you should be anxious to lose. Publications written by and for adults shouldn’t shy away from adult language, or patronize us with crap like “f___” and “s___”.

Go ahead and drop the “f” bomb, Time, we can handle it.

The Mobster’s New Clothes?

posted by on June 11 at 8:14 AM


Spoiler alert: Apparently there’s nothing to spoil from last night’s Sopranos finale, the vague stasis of which has fans and critics howling and bickering.

Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times: “The abrupt finale last night was almost like a prank, a mischievous dig at viewers who had agonized over how television’s most addictive series would come to a close. The suspense of the final scene in the diner was almost cruel…Nothing happens. Credits. What? Mr. Chase wanted to end his tale without melodrama or even a splashy denouement. He succeeded.”

Frazier Moore of the Associated Press: “Chase was true to himself, and that’s what made The Sopranos brilliant on Sunday night, and the 85 episodes that went before. The product of an artist with a bleak but incisive vision, The Sopranos has always existed on its own terms. It was challenging and elegant, but seldom tidy.”

Nikke Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily: “It was terrible. Apparently, my extreme reaction was typical of many series’ fans: they crashed HBO’s website for a time tonight trying to register their outrage. HBO could suffer a wave of cancellations as a result…Chase clearly didn’t give a damn about his fans. Instead, he crapped in their faces. This is why America hates Hollywood.”

Me, I was too busy watching Kiki & Herb lose a Tony Award to a ventriloquist (this is why America hates Broadway) to pay attention to last night’s Sopranos, but I’ll weigh in sometime after I catch it on DVD. Until then, please continue bickering in the comments.

The Morning News

posted by on June 11 at 7:54 AM

Promises, promises: US to arm Sunnis who say they’ll fight al Qaeda-linked militants—the same militants they used to fight for.

Bad Alzheimer’s news: Cases may quadruple by 2050.

Back on the table: The stalled immigration bill, which Senate Democrats now say they may reintroduce.

Voter IDs: Now mandatory in Mississippi.

Go Spurs!: San Antonio wins Game 2.

Lieberman: I’ve got an idea! Let’s attack Iran!

Powell: I’ve got a better idea: Let’s restore habeas corpus and shut Guantanamo.

Standing firm: Bush says he’ll keep Gonzales no matter what.

Recipe of the day: Greek-Style Lamb Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce (from Cook’s Illustrated)



For Tzatziki sauce
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber , peeled, seeded, and diced fine (about 1/2 cup)
3/8 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves or dill

For Lamb Patties
4 (8-inch) pita breads (see note above)
1/2 medium onion, chopped coarse (about 3/4 cup)
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 pound ground lamb
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 large tomato , sliced thin
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)

1. For the Tzatziki Sauce: Line fine-mesh strainer set over deep container or bowl with 3 paper coffee filters or triple layer of paper towels. Spoon yogurt into lined strainer, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine cucumber, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in colander set over bowl and let stand 30 minutes.

3. Discard drained liquid from yogurt. Combine thickened yogurt, drained cucumber, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, garlic, and mint in clean bowl.

4. For the Patties: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut top quarter off each pita bread. Tear quarters into 1-inch pieces. (You should have 3/4 cup pita pieces.) Stack pitas and tightly wrap with aluminum foil. Process onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and pita bread pieces in food processor until smooth paste forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer onion mixture to large bowl; add lamb and gently mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Gently flatten balls into round disks, about 1/2 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

5. Place foil-wrapped pitas directly on oven rack and heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add patties and cook until well browned and crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook until well browned and crust forms on second side, about 5 minutes longer. (See below for tips on flipping patties.) Transfer patties to paper towel-lined plate.

6. Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup Tzatziki Sauce inside each pita. Divide patties evenly among pitas; top each sandwich with tomato slices, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, and 2 tablespoons feta. Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Paris Watch 2007: Medical Emergency = Paris Doesn’t Poop

posted by on June 10 at 8:41 PM

Paris Hilton didn’t eat or drink anything for three days in prison because she was afraid guards would snap pictures of her on the toilet.

According to an “insider” (whatever the hell that means):

“She didn’t eat or drink a single thing for three days because she didn’t want to use the toilet. She was in real danger”

Hilton also suffered from “extreme claustrophobia” and began hyperventilating and freaking out.

“She cried the entire time, and that wasn’t helping the dehydration.”

Jail medical officials became concerned that severe dehydration and a buildup of waste and toxins in Hilton’s body could cause a complete collapse and “even kill her,” the source said.


Via NY Daily News

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 10 at 12:00 PM

Northwest New Works Festival (Awesomeness) Every year, a little more energy hums around this two-week performance party (four shows, two weeks, 16 acts) because it keeps getting better and better. The early show: Joe von Appen (a one-man flipbook who begins by directly wooing the front row: “I’m a mammal and I’m looking for something three-dimensional to call my own”), tEEth (tableaux, karaoke, angry stripping), and more. The late show: maika misumi (martial-arts dance), Implied Violence (punks, dandies, and German expressionism), the mellifluous marimba of Erin Jorgensen, and more. I can’t wait. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 5 and 8 pm, $14.) Brendan Kiley

SIFF 2007: Sunday Highlights

posted by on June 10 at 10:21 AM

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


SIFF Cinema, 11 am. There were some questions raised in the comments earlier about whether the opening sequence of Sharkwater, in which director/subject Rob Stewart embraces a shark, posed a danger to the shark. The answer, according to Rob Stewart, is sort of. 1) Apparently (don’t try this at home), sharks get really wonked out if you tickle them in their magnetically sensitive regions. This is how the hug was instigated. 2) Not all sharks need to keep swimming in order to move new oxygen over their gills. 3) The huggee was one of the sharks that needs to keep swimming in order to move oxygen over its gills. But 4) the amount of time the huggee was hugged was not sufficient to starve the shark of oxygen. I hope that clears up some confusion. Sharkwater has mediocre elements (the narration could be less repetitive), but it’s riveting.

Pacific Place, 1:30 pm. The bleak, hyperrealist drama The Paper Will Be Blue is an excellent example of the new breed of Romanian cinema. Don’t miss.

Harvard Exit, 4 pm. Commemorate Charles Nelson Reilly (RIP) with The Life of Reilly, a documentary of his recent one-man show about a troubled childhood.

Neptune, 7:30 pm. The locally produced film Made in China takes a look at the children of white missionaries raised in China. Christopher Frizzelle says it’s fascinating.

The night screening is ideal for people who don’t currently hold tickets. Who wants to see anything at 9 pm on a Sunday night? Unfortunately, nothing all that exciting is going on.

They Have Faces: Part Four

posted by on June 10 at 9:45 AM


Here are seven more great faces, including the late Kryzstof Kieslowski [above], that are featured in this year’s film festival.
I’ll probably stop here, although there are thousands of other intriguing mugs out there. Click the links for parts one, two, and
three (Annie dedicated an entry to actor/director Isild Le Besco).


Toni Collette: Evening, Like Minds. I have no idea if these films
are any good—the former, from the Hungarian director of the Holocaust drama Fateless, looks aestheticized to within an inch
of its life—but Collette makes everything she touches that
much better
. Like Minds plays the Neptune on 6/10 and Evening plays the Neptune on 6/16. (Evening opens in Seattle on 6/29.)


Isabelle Huppert: La Vie Promise. You may recognize her from The Piano Teacher, I Heart Huckabees, and the films of Claude Chabrol. Her impassive face is so inscrutable, there’s an entire book dedicated to it. She’s been photographed by all the greats, making her a sort of modern-day Garbo or Dietrich—with freckles. There are no more SIFF screenings, but La Vie Promise is available on DVD.

Continue reading "They Have Faces: Part Four" »

Dept of Weeping Women

posted by on June 10 at 9:34 AM

Huynh Công Út, the same guy who took this photo:


Took this one:


[Insert hilarious, cringe-making joke here.]

Thanks to tipper Jonah.