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Archives for 06/24/2007 - 06/30/2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Today the Stranger De-Suggests

posted by on June 30 at 12:36 PM

The Trainwreck Riders have cancelled their tour, including tonight’s Stranger Suggested show at the Sunset Tavern after their van was hit by a drunk driver. Details on Line Out.

A Few Notes About Atlas

posted by on June 30 at 11:42 AM

Maybe I was naive, but I really didn’t think Atlas was going to get shut down over this story. It seemed like they were in the process of getting things up to code and working to have an inspection—unless they were just stalling or bullshitting about all that. I’m sorry it did get shut down, or that it won’t be able to get the proper permitting or whatever. That’s a shame. But I don’t write fire codes. I write music stories.

What I thought might happen was that Atlas would get the fire inspection they’d been telling me for weeks, months maybe, that they were working towards, and then they’d get to work on the needed improvements. Or not.

The store’s owner, when last I spoke to him, said he had no reservations about the story going forward. Seems to me like the problem at Atlas isn’t people knowing about it, but whether or not the owner is actually going to support the endeavor, and whether or not the owner and the volunteers actually see eye to eye about the project. And you know what, I don’t think the owner was ever going to make the necessary investments to the possible venue, because all-ages shows don’t make money, and he’s a business man.

The cops/fire dept had already visited the place, according to the volunteers, before I even started working on this story. They knew about it.

The comparison made in some comment likening Atlas to the Egg Room doesn’t quite work. Atlas was working, they said, to go above board, and what they were doing was essentially legal. Running an after hours bar is essentially illegal, and the Egg Room wasn’t trying to go legit ever. We’re not going to write a story naming all our pot dealers, but we might run one about someone starting, or trying to start, or saying they’re trying to start, a legitimate small business.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 30 at 10:49 AM

Trainwreck Riders

(MUSIC) Between Seattle and San Francisco, there is a lot of open road and a lot of bands that travel it. Trainwreck Riders roll up and down that West Coast highway, guitars jangling, tambourines shaking, fiddles fiddling, singing of loves left at roadhouses and found under starry skies. They play with a worn-in conviction that comes from putting on almost as many shows as miles. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave NW, 784-4880. 10 pm, $8, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

The Morning News

posted by on June 30 at 8:40 AM

by Rebecca Tapscott

London bomb scare: Friday’s London bombs were constructed using Qaeda tactics.

Murder in Baghdad: While American officials report an intense fire fight, local witnesses describe the American raid of Baghdad’s Shiite Sadr City as an assault on Iraqi citizens.

Pope in China: Pope Benedict XVI calls for the unity of Roman Catholics in China, urges China to resume diplomatic ties with the Vatican and permit religious freedom—even though he describes China’s Catholicism “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine.

Rights for Detainees??: For the first time in decades, the Supreme Court reversed itself and agreed to consider the constitutionality of the U.S. policy under which detainees from Guantanamo Bay are tried in military commissions instead of federal courts.

Nickels v. public opinion: Nickels announced Friday the establishment of an 11-member-panel of well-known citizens, intended to increase civilian oversight of the Seattle Police Department.

Engle on the Supreme Court: Ex-Ballard High School principal, David Engle, protests the Supreme Court’s Friday ruling on the racial tiebreaker.

Webb update: The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday that talk-show host, Mike Webb, was indeed murdered in his Seattle home, victim of stab wounds.

Gregoire makes tracks: Governor Chris Gregoire gives a point-by-point rundown of her political progress on Child Protective Services and their response-time ability.

Democrats cash in: Democratic presidential candidates in the final push for contributions before tonight’s midnight fund-raising deadline.

Obama’s tunes: Obama provides ring tones to hype up supporters.

Hey Everyone, Pile on Top of Eric Grandy!

posted by on June 30 at 3:58 AM

The comments in a post below—the one about how Atlas closed because of Eric Grandy’s article in the music section this week—were so disingenuous and stupid that I had to respond.

Hey, all you this-is-the-apocalypse-for-all-ages-music-on-Capitol-Hill types: let’s move this argument over there, shall we?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Slog, Meet iPhone

posted by on June 29 at 11:20 PM

I feel pretty safe in saying that this is the first Slog post written on an iPhone. I’d recount the hilarious story of how I came to have this phone, but it’s too damn hard to type on this crazy keyboard.

Learning curve aside, this thing is fucking cool.

Atlas Clothing Gets A Visit From the Fire Department

posted by on June 29 at 8:30 PM

Atlas Clothing, the budding all ages music venue on Capitol Hill, got a visit from the Fire Department this evening, shutting down tonight’s show. The Valley, the Ruby Doe, Victory Smokes and Police Teeth were set to play. The visit was in direct relation to the article Eric Grandy wrote this week about their semi-legal goings on.

The show for tonight has been shut down, but according to an employee of the store, they may be able to have shows in the future. The fire department didn’t give them any definite answers, so they are currently in limbo.

More details as they come in!

UPDATE: The fire department called them back. The Atlas Clothing Venue is shut down for all ages shows indefinitely.

Ken Hutcherson: Miserable Failure

posted by on June 29 at 5:20 PM

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - A Redmond pastor has dropped an anti-homosexuality initiative. The measure would have set up a state vote on the law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church would have needed 225,000 voter signatures by July 6th to make the November ballot.

Why does anyone listen to this guy? Everything he does—boycott Microsoft! terrorize American embassies! anti-gay initiatives!—either fails miserably or explodes in his fool face. What a loser that man is.

Re: Swearing on Blogs

posted by on June 29 at 5:04 PM

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to What’s My Blog Rated?

I plugged in the Stranger’s URL and was shocked when the site came back with a PG-13 rating. Incidentally, we got a PG-13 rating for using the dirtiest of dirty words: “gay.”

Today, after Dan’s profanity laced post (for the love of pete, do NOT look at that picture), I decided to see what kind of rating Slog would get.


That’s more like it.

But seriously, why are we getting dinged for “gay”?

Gay, gay, gay.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—The Final Cry

posted by on June 29 at 5:00 PM

Welcome to closing installment of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour. Thank you all for playing, please enjoy this final offering from an anonymous class clown.

Dear teachers who give out home work,

I think that you should NOT give out homework any more. Homework is something that most kids do not enjoy, and while it may be good for us the students it is something that we will not stand for it. They shouldn’t need to waste time at their desk (one kept at home of course), with pen and peper, or in front of a computer, losing the time that they could spend at home with their family or doing something that they can actually enjoy. It is unneeded and sometimes can create big arguments between members in a family. For insttance we might not turn work in when it is due. Also it is not always the child with the works fault. We will sometmime think that you don’t give out hard work but lots of small assignments. When you add all the time up it is pretty close to equal the time that we spend doing the hard assignments. Sometimes it will get lost because we had to ahil it around with us and it would be very simple to lose. Sometimes you just give work that is too hard and then when it is late and graded down you don’t have the right to grade us down. We think this because sometimes you give the assignment at a time that is too close to the due date. If you want them to get a better education then try and teach them in class. The kids are young and they will learn about the work that you teach them. They don’t need to spend less time in freedome, but they should be allowed to do what they want in their free time and stop them from thinking that doom (from an angry family) is much too close.

Dear anonymous student: Thank you for providing a suitably chilling ending to today’s bonanza. (And if your family ever gets too angry, please tell someone.) Everyone else, enjoy your weekend, and your freedom from homework.

Another Fucking PI Blog

posted by on June 29 at 4:57 PM

The Post-Intelligencer—which is already hosting about 3,000 blogs—is launching another new blog in a few weeks. Says Net Native…

Inspired by the city beats of Seattlest, Metroblogging Seattle, and, most famously, the Slog, the Big Blog will take a more conversational, informal and fun look at the news and culture that makes this city what it is.

Informal and fun are great, Net Native, but will guys be able to swear? That’s shit has always been the fucking magic here at cocksucking Slog. Profanity and, of course, links to totally NSFW pictures like this one.


posted by on June 29 at 4:55 PM

Can I express my love for Erica’s feature this week on the avian influenza? You really should read it.

The current bird-to-human form of the virus kills an astonishing number of those it infects; according to the World Health Organization, more than half of those who have contracted the virus from birds have died. Its impact is greatest among the young; in a study of more than 200 confirmed human avian flu cases conducted in early 2006, WHO found that just over half of all cases were in people under 20, and that the median age of those who caught the flu was 18. Of the youngest victims, the majority died; the majority of those older than 50 survived.

Unlike the typical annual influenza outbreak, deadly mostly for those very young or old, H5N1 kills people with the healthiest immune systems—people in their twenties. This virus, like the 1918 influenza, induces a panic response from our immune systems; for people in their twenties, it is your own immune system that does you in.

We have much better drugs to control the immune system, things like cortico-steroids. Still, you might find it difficult to get to a doctor when the pandemic comes:

King County, thanks in large part to the vigilant efforts of County Executive Sims, is perhaps the best-prepared county in the nation. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we’re actually prepared. If a severe pandemic hit tomorrow, King County would be in serious trouble. Hospitals, which have almost no excess capacity, would overflow immediately; the movement of goods through the port and freight rail systems would slow to a crawl; medicine supplies would run out; the mortuaries would fill up; and many basic functions of government would cease.

The best plan is not avoid getting infected. Here are some hints on how to that:

Avoid prolonged or close exposure to people who are infected.

Wash your hands. Start with the habit of washing every time you enter your home, and before every meal. For when soap and water isn’t available, carry some instant hand sanitizer—like Purell and with at least 60% alcohol—and use a dime-sized drop that will keep your hands wet for at least 10 seconds.

Use a surgical mask—available at drug or grocery stores—if you go out during the outbreak. It should be good enough to protect you from the virus-carrying droplets, provided you stay 3-6 feet away from someone coughing. And cover your own coughs.

Stock up on food and water.

Something like Erica’s plan

Here’s what’s in my personal stockpile: One 20-pound bag of rice; one gallon jar of pickles; four 40-ounce cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli (a childhood indulgence I would never allow myself to have in “real” life); two weeks’ worth of bottled water, allocating one gallon per person per day; several assorted cans of beans; several large cans of soup; a large box of crackers; a half-gallon jar of peanut butter; canned vegetables, including corn and green beans; several pounds of pasta and jars of pasta sauce; a half-dozen aseptically packaged boxes of broth and soup; cereal; vitamins; toilet paper; tea; and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember.

is a pretty good place to start. Add in a whole bunch of batteries, a flashlight and a radio and you’re there.

Having a functional social network, simply knowing your neighbors, is also key. Go introduce yourself.

Finally, given we live under volcanos, and over three fault lines, it might be wise to take a Community First Aid and Safety class with the Red Cross. That way you’ll know how to help the people in your network. Knowing how to operate a bag-valve-mask, stop dense bleeding, splint a limb or treat shock might make a huge difference.

There is a whole bunch more information at or though King County Public Health.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—The Penultimate Plaint

posted by on June 29 at 4:00 PM

Welcome to next-to-last installment of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour.

They all sound the same. Just like everyone else. There is no creativity in their music and it does not take any real talent to make your songs. You have a real taste in music; you just follow the crowd and the trends. You have been brainwashed.

There is real music out there. You may have to dig a little deeper to find it, but in the end, it is worth it. It sounds original, and real, not like the crap that they have played one thousand times on the radio. So take your head out of the ground, and listen to some good quality musical fusion.

Your friends may not like it. So what? It is not like your ditching your old music completely, you are just broadening your musical intellect. I am not trying to manipulate you into liking everything that I like. I am just helping you experience one of the greatest things in the world.

If you spend your whole life listening to Simple Plan, Little John, and Fall Out Boy, then your will be missing out on millions upon millions of amazing songs that are just waiting for you to listen to them. So change the station from 106.1 and 93.3, and try out some real music. You just might find a new band, or even a new genre that you fall in love with. Just try.

Overheard in the Office

posted by on June 29 at 3:56 PM

Annie Wagner: “I really wish I lived in the century when it was good to be really pale. Because I look like I’m about to die.”

London Police Find Second Car Bomb

posted by on June 29 at 3:48 PM

Another Mercedes, with a bomb made up of 60 litres of petrol, gas cylinders and nails, had been found outside a nightclub in Haymarket at 0130 BST.

Both devices were similar, viable and clearly linked, police said.

The second device was found in a blue 280E model Mercedes. It was given a parking ticket on Friday after being found illegally parked in Cockspur Street.

The vehicle was then towed to the Park Lane car pound about an hour later.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford said police had been alerted to it after staff who had heard about the Haymarket bomb noticed a strong smell of petrol coming from it.

According to the article, “International elements” are believed to be responsible.


Today on Line Out.

posted by on June 29 at 3:45 PM


MetalLOLZ: Metal Gets a Little Less Literate.

Shore Nuff: Shorebirds Play Olympia’s What You Got? Fest.

Olympia and Bellevue: The Real Duality of Nirvana and Queensryche.

Best Song Ever (This Week): Two Gallants’ “Seems Like Home To Me.”

Traveling Mercies!: The Tutmarcs are a Ridiculously Attractive Musical Family.

Cue Gushing: Jonathan Zwickel on Two Gallants.

A Pretty Good Read?: Floyd Landis’ Memoir and Isaac Brock.

American Athlete: A New Blogger Joins Line Out.

Thieves Like Us: But Aranda Don’t Like Theives.

Short Set: New Setlist with Free Tickets to Fresh Fest.

Stay Gay, Pony Boy: Adrian Ryan Rides Pony, Freaks Out.

What a Horrible Night For a Curse: Le Castle Vania at Club Pop.

Re: Blatherwatch All Over Mike Webb

posted by on June 29 at 3:37 PM

As Dan posted earlier, Blatherwatch has the scoop on Mike Webb.
Indeed, Blatherwatch now reports that the King County Medical Examiner says Webb was murdered.

On the Radio

posted by on June 29 at 3:12 PM

The Stranger News Hour returns on 710 KIRO this Saturday from 7-8pm.

Here’s the drill. I briefly talk about this week’s news section—and then take callers’ questions about that. And then we talk about whatever’s got us all bent out of shape.

Last week, ECB and I were on talking about police accountability and the upcoming city council races.

This week, Jonah and I will be on talking about the Kerlikowske scandal.

Tune in. David Goldstein of Horsesass hosts. And we’ve even got our own theme music.

Come of a Preacher Man

posted by on June 29 at 3:09 PM


If the fundy God existed Re-bar would have been hit by lightning last night as I interviewed Mike Jones, the former male escort who outed Ted Haggard right before the ‘06 election. I mean, Mike Jones and Dan Savage on a stage together? With just one lightning bolt God could avenge his servants Ted Haggard and Rick Santorum! What an opportunity! Hell, He could have taken out just me and Jones when we ducked into the photo booth, sparing everyone else in the bar.

But there were no lightning bolts, just a large, upbeat crowd anxious to hear from Jones, who was in town to read from his new book, I Had to Say Something.

Jones’ book is about his experience with Haggard, and his decision to out Haggard, of course, but it’s also about Jones’ life and his thoughtful take on sex work. It’s a good read, and I enjoyed it. I’ve known lots of sex workers over the years (hey there, Ecce Homo!), and Jones and his co-author, Sam Gallegos, do a great job of portraying the less sensational aspects of sex work. Closeted gay men don’t just get sex from escorts, they also get intimacy and a chance to be completely honest with someone about who they really are.

I asked Mike some questions—Haggard dribbles, he’s cut, and he was high on meth most of the times he saw Jones in the final six months of their four-year professional relationship—and then we took questions from the audience. Most of the questions were interesting and relevant, and Jones was every bit as articulate and charming in person as he had been on ABC, NBC, CNN, etc., when the scandal first broke.

There were just one weird question. First, someone hinted that perhaps there was something untoward about the timing of Jones’ outing of Haggard—so close to an election, and hadn’t he worked with plenty of other closeted men before, men who weren’t as high-profile as Haggard? Why not out them? Was it all about getting a book deal?

Jones, in his own defense, explained that he was conflicted about outing Haggard. And that it wasn’t an easy decision, and that far from representing some sort of ticket to fame and fortune, it cost him all of his clients—his massage clients, his escorting clients, and his personal training clients—and he was fired as an art model from a school where he had worked at for years. He spoke up because he felt he had to—hence the title of the book—and it was a personal and professional sacrifice.

Before Jones outed Haggard, let’s not forget, Pastor Ted wasn’t the punch line he is today. He was the head of the 30 million-member American Association of Evangelicals, the founder of a Colorado Springs megachurch, and an unofficial advisor to President George W. Bush. (Ted and George spoke on the phone once a week). Haggard was also actively campaigning for an anti-gay marriage amendment in teh state of Colorado, which voters approved after Haggard was outed, at the same time that he was snortin’ meth and enjoyin’ man ass.

Jones’ low-profile clients—many of them closeted, some of them preachers—were harmless compared to Haggard. It was the scale of Haggard’s hypocrisy combined with the magnitude of the damage he was doing to his fellow gays that made him a justifiable target for an outing. Jones did the right thing.

Did Jones have political motivatation? Of course he did—and he admitted to being politically motivated at the time he outed Haggard, and he admitted to it last night. People seem to think that accusing Jones of being politically motivated—because of the timing of the outing—somehow undermines his credibility. Uh, no. Haggard’s attacks on his fellow gays were politically motivated; Karl Rove’s attacks on gays and lesbians are politically motivated; anti-gay marriage amendments, like the one on the ballot in Colorado at the time Haggard was paying Jones for sex, are politically motivated.

Was Jones supposed to wait until after the vote in Colorado to out Haggard? Look, their attacks on us are politically motivated and timing, they say, is everything in politics. Jones outed Haggard at just the right time for legitimate political reasons, and with pure political motives. (That’s pure political motives, not purely political motives.)

I don’t want to give the impression, by responding at length to that one question, that the crowd was hostile to Jones. The crowd wasn’t. When I called on someone to ask the final question during the Q&A, the man said he didn’t have a question. He just wanted to thank Jones for what he did—for all of us. Then everyone in Re-bar leapt to their feet and gave Jones a standing ovation.

“Standing ovations are nice,” I told the crowd, “but the best way to thank Mike is by buying his book.” An hour later when I left Re-bar people were still lined up waiting for Jones to sign their books. If you weren’t at Re-bar last night and you admire what Jones did, you can thank him by buying his book. Click here to order a copy.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—From the Mouths of Babes

posted by on June 29 at 3:00 PM

Welcome to hour seven of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour. Take it away, anonymous child.

Dear anyone who drives a Hummer,

I hate your guts. Your hideous, gigantic cars sicken me. I know other cars contribute to Global Warming as well, but your cars are about half of it. You get about two miles to the gallon, and about a gallon of that goes out into the atmosphere as ozone-destroying fumes. You think you’re so cool in a “real life army truck” that can make you stand out on the freeway. Do you really need that much attention? I have never seen a single Hummer that wasn’t an eye-catching color, such as yellow, pink, or shiny, shiny silver. If you need to be noticed that badly, you should run naked through a football field. You can’t see pedestrians or any car other than a semi-truck, and you can’t get into your car without a stepladder. A Hummer would be reasonable on the battlefield, when you would be running over enemy tanks, but crushing people’s cars on the street is pretty rude. When you parallel park, you block the entire road, and take up three larking spaces in parking lots. When you get into a crash, you total the other car, but your hardly get a scratch on your vehicle. I think that all you people with Hunners should sell your cars and donate the incredible amount of money you get to cancer research or something.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on June 29 at 2:49 PM

Summer movies just hit you in the face. Here’s what’s up this weekend.

Already open for several days: Live Free or Die Hard. Andrew Wright says it’s pretty great.

Opening today: Sicko, from the inimitable (and I don’t mean that as a compliment, exactly) Michael Moore.


Sicko is perfectly entertaining, but it’s perhaps the least informative movies about single-payer healthcare I could imagine. I could’ve gotten more cogent arguments from a soft-money issue ad. Here’s my full review.

And don’t overlook Ratatouille, which despite appearances…


…. may end up being one of the best movies of the summer. Seriously. Here’s an extended version of the review Charles Mudede wrote for the print edition. And you needn’t take Charles’s word for it (though we wish you would)—check out the stacks upon stacks of 100s on Metacritic right now.

Reviewed in On Screen this week: the star-studded (groan) Evening, in which an imaginary angel makes an appearance, and the dishy ShowBusiness, in which four major musicals workshop and rehearse and shovel fodder toward the tabloids on the way to their Broadway debuts.

The specialty theaters are all bunching up in Suggests this week. Don’t miss the locally produced Walking to Werner at Northwest Film Forum (late show tonight followed by a party featuring Today!, a band made up of Dayna Hanson, Maggie Brown of We Go Way Back, and some serious musicians). We didn’t have much room in the film section this week for a long review, but you should read my profile of filmmaker Linas Phillips, written while Walking to Werner was being edited. The film is absorbing and unnervingly spiritual. The best thing about it is the half-serious, half-cheeky way Phillips deploys found narration, repurposed from commentary tracks on Werner Herzog’s films. It’s a technique without precedent, as far as I know, and it probably won’t be repeated.

Finally, at the Grand Illusion, an awesome program of monster-movie double features starts tonight with The Thing From Another World and The Thing. The J-horror late night, Ghost Train, doesn’t sound half-bad either.

See Get Out for all your Movie Times needs. Like The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Musical Big Screen Extravaganza at the Egyptian. And old-school pirate movies at Northwest Film Forum. And Duck Soup.

Rats and HMOs and Things, oh my!

Polish Humour

posted by on June 29 at 2:16 PM

This is democracy:

German politicians have condemned a computer generated photo of Poland’s leaders sucking the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bare breasts.

Quest Church: Fnarf & Pastor Cho Mix It Up

posted by on June 29 at 2:09 PM

Yesterday I posted an email from Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church, that he wrote in response to a question I asked him about his church’s stance on homosexuality. Unlike Mars Hill, Quest accepts women into positions of leadership—was Quest just as progressive on gay issues? Turns out the answer is no.

Cho said in a follow up email—which he sent to me personally and posted in comments—that he was surprised to see his email on Slog. He assumed we were having a private chat. But I wrote to Cho as a reporter, a reporter (yeah, yeah) that just wrote something about his church for The Stranger, and it was clear from my email that I was asking him for more information about Quest—I was asking him for info I wanted to include in my original piece about Quest. It seemed clear to me that we were having an on-the-record email exchange and Cho’s did not tell me that his emailed response about homosexuality was not intended for publication. We’re not in conflict about the misunderstanding. Cho’s not upset with me; the man is gracious as all fuck. I just wanted to be clear about how this misunderstanding happened and to let folks know that I wasn’t being malicious when I posted Cho’s email.

Yesterday Cho posted a lengthy response to me on his blog, and I haven’t had a chance to respond to it yet; I was working last night and it’s busy day, what with editing to do, meetings to attend, and sins to commit. I will respond to Cho’s questions for me—which include doozies like, “Is it possible for a person or a church to be ‘welcoming but not affirming?’”—sometime this weekend.

In the meantime I wanted to direct Slog readers’ attention to the lively debate going down on Cho’s blog, Beauty and Depravity. Fnarf, Slog’s superstah commenter, has been so freakishly eloquent that I’m not sure I even need to respond to Cho’s last letter at this point—I just want to copy and paste’s Fnarf’s response and call it a day. But, like I said, I will respond this weekend because I think I owe Eugene the courtesy of a response.

Anyway, the conversation going down at Cho’s blog is worth your time. Click here to read it.

You Know You’re a Progressive If…

posted by on June 29 at 2:05 PM

Yesterday our new summer intern, Rebecca Tapscott, filed a Slog post about the cryptically-named Washington Bus Project—a group that’s trying to get young people involved in supporting progressive candidates. They had an event in the Central District earlier this week.

In one part of her post, Rebecca talked about a magazine-type quiz that attendees were given: “You Know You’re Progressive If…”

I ain’t no young person, but I wanted to see if I was still a progressive. (Beyond still digging the Tinker Standard, I feel like I’m losing my teenage Viet Cong edge.)

So, I asked Rebecca to hit me with the test.

1. You like photos of Barack

Until he took his shirt off.

2. You go through other people’s trash (presumably to recycle it, but he didn’t say)

The best advice I’ve ever gotten from a pop song is this: “Trash, pick it up, don’t throw your love away/ Oh trash, woh, woh, my sweet baby, woh, woh/Trash you’re the one!”

3. You still have a Dean sticker on your car

Sliver of my McCain 2000 sticker. I did go to what seemed like an illicit Dean fund raiser once at a lobster feast at a private home on Fire Island.

4. You don’t have a car

I don’t have a public transit system.

5. You are foam free

I do not drink Mountain Dew. Other than that, I am open to most things.

6. You run red lights to be carbon neutral

I was confused by this question. Af first, I thought it meant: Do I use special red colored energy saver light bulbs in my apartment?

7. You know when Paul Wellstone’s birthday is

I am proud to say Paul Wellstone is the only politician I’ve ever donated money to. (I didn’t kick in at the Dean fundraiser.) $50 in 1990 when he first ran for U.S. Senate as a DFLer.

8. You’re a monthly donor to the Washington Bus Project

There’s a song from Jesus Christ Superstar called “What’s the Buzz?” When I was a little boy I thought they were singing “What’s the Bus?” and I pictured a bunch of Jesus Freak hippies running after the bus.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—Cryptic Omission Edition

posted by on June 29 at 2:00 PM

Welcome to hour six of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour.

To all the jerks on the bus,

All the drunk and high people on the bus you know who you are. You are always mean and immature jerks to every one on the bus except your self. And also if you are going to ride on the bus then put on some axe or perfume so you don’t stink like dead rats.

Next, you are rude to some people because you make fun of how they look or how they dress or how they talk. Also your swearing bothers people because if you are going to go on and on about your problems say them in your head. And when you get mad you start throwing things and that hurts people.

Last, the next time you sit next to me, people are going to laugh and point and make fun of you because you are going to let out a lot of gas. your going to be sitting on a huge wo

It ends there. I can only assume he was about to say “woopie cushion.” BUT WE’LL NEVER KNOW.

Blacklight’s Out

posted by on June 29 at 1:48 PM

The last few weeks have been tough for the Capitol Hill Arts Center.

First Annex Theater grumbled about leaving.

Then the People’s Republic of Comedy announced that they’re leaving.

And now Blacklight, a series of club nights CHAC adopted after the Vogue closed, is outie.

Blacklight became CHAC’s club-in-residence back in January and, as CHAC director Matthew Kwatinetz said, was a necessary diversification for the arts center, the kind of diversification other arts centers might have to pursue, what with local theater not being known for its piles of filthy lucre.

Seems that noise killed the club nights. From the just-arrived press release:

Noise in the building became a concern. In Seattle there are two noise laws—one based on measurable levels of noise, and one based solely on citizen complaint. Though CHAC and Blacklight were commended by the police for keeping the measurable (DB) levels low and within legal limits, citizen complaints persisted.

The last night is tomorrow, June 30.

The Week in Geek

posted by on June 29 at 1:39 PM

As we all know, there’s really only one weeky-in-geeky story this week, and that of course is the introduction of this revolutionary, mind-bending product.


Okay, very funny.

Really, it’s the iPhone. For sale in Seattle in less than 5 hours, blah blah blah blah. I freely admit that I want one pretty badly, but still—blah blah blah blah.

Seriously though, there hasn’t been any other technology news this week.

Those cereal straws are fucked up, though, right?

Note: To celebrate the release of the iPhone, this installment of The Week in Geek has been totally phoned in. Ha! Eat it.

Jonathan Zwickel Likes Dick’s

posted by on June 29 at 1:37 PM

Earlier this week, Jonathan Zwickel wrote a blasphemous Slog post , where he bashed the deliciously greasy, hangover curing burgers at Dick’s.

Today, I convinced him to take a blind taste test.

He’ll be posting his thoughts - and hopefully a retraction - this afternoon.

More Than This

posted by on June 29 at 1:32 PM

This is a new fire station in Mexico City:
3pub_17227_w500h500q75bw1_926343965.jpg Designed by at. 103 Architects, the Ave Fenix fire station in Mexico City is architecture that has the power to turn a critic into a poet, a praise poet. The way the heroes of the ancient world needed poets to see and recount their great deeds and victories, buildings like this need griots to sing words of wonder, amazement, and praise. Look at this fire station! Just look at it! This is what thought can do; what a great idea can become. What more do you want than this? There is nothing more than this.

RE: All Our Cats Are Iraqi Americans

posted by on June 29 at 1:00 PM

An Onion classic for Jen Graves:
onion_imagearticle2934.jpg Cat General Says War On String May Be Unwinnable.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—Afternoon Delight

posted by on June 29 at 1:00 PM

Welcome to hour five of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour. Can it be they’re only getting better??

Dear Emos, I hate you with a passion….you just to weird! All you do is mope around say pathetic things like “I hate life” its just really stupid how people care about you. But they really don’t because all you do is whine and mope around and all that and its really really annoying and when you not doing that its all about you. But its not! You just want attention because no one likes you. And I bet a lot of people would like you to burn in a hole while you cut yourself. So if you do burn in a hole bring all your other little emo buddies so you can burn together because no one likes them either. So ya’ll can die together and be one big happy emo family. So please leave all of us alone and be emo in your little corner at home and stop being so “controlling or protective” over people who don’t like you because it would make his/her life a lot easier without you being so protective and jealous over them. So please die in a hole my little emo friend. Thank you.

Good manners are always in fashion.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on June 29 at 12:43 PM


Graduates: Where should they get the party started?

More Handcuffs to Treat Addiction: Murray allocates $450,000 for fighting meth in Washington.

Does Poop Count as Evidence? “Unusually frisky” deer lead cops to what’s left of pot crop.

Jail: No longer mandatory for dopers caught in the Lone Star State.

It Ain’t Just “Blueberry,” Man: Isotopes know more about your pot than your dealer does.

Indonesia: Smuggling pot still a hanging crime; cooking with pot OK’d.

US: Prisons keep ballooning with nonviolent drug convicts.

An Actual Drug War: 40 killed in Rio raids.

Newspapers Still Advertising Drugs to Kids: Get your flavored cocaine!

Floridian Ethos: “This ain’t your grandfather’s or your father’s marijuana. This will hurt you. This will addict you. This will kill you.

In Other Addictions: iNtervention?

Pop Economics

posted by on June 29 at 12:40 PM

Steven E. Landsberg, Slate columnist and author of More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics, holds this as truth:

The problem with the Western idea of eliminating sweatshops is that it only eliminates one of the few options people in intense poverty have. They can either send their children to sweatshops to work, or send their children to bed hungry. This level of child labor existed in the US and Britain when those countries had the same level of poverty, and as our incomes rose, the level of child labor dropped proportionately—without the involvement of richer countries.

If this is true, it renders an entire pop cultural phenomenon misguided:

Science Idol

posted by on June 29 at 12:12 PM

The 2007 Science Idol contest from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Recent investigations and surveys show that the censorship, manipulation, and suppression of federal government science has become pervasive in recent years. Political interference in science has hurt our air quality, allowed FDA approval of harmful drugs, and prevented the public from hearing the truth about global warming.

This spring, creative minds throughout America took the opportunity to show off their artistic and comedic talents in support of independent science by entering the 2nd annual Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest. We received hundreds of compelling cartoons and our panel of celebrity judges helped narrow those entries to 12 great finalists.

Vote for your Science Idol today and win great prizes—while helping UCS spread awareness about the importance of independent science to our health, safety, and environment.

Vote for your favorite.

Tip of the hat to Tom Robey at Hope for Pandora.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—And the Hits Keep Coming…

posted by on June 29 at 12:00 PM

Welcome to hour four of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour.

This is a shout-out to all of the idiots who hire other idiots to work for their trucking and bussing businesses, like the kind young man who hit my school bus last month. You probably know who you are. Oh, what’s that? You don’t remember? Well, let me refresh your memory. We were driving down Martin Luther King Jr. Way, you know, where they’re doing all the construction? We stopped at a red light like normal, law-abiding citizens, when all of the sudden, a large moving van whizzed around us and spun around the corner. As the maniac driver sped passed, he smashed the back of his truck right into our hood, and then kept right on driving. This is not the only time there has been a hit-and-run accident, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Truckers aren’t the only bad drivers, however. I have also seen many inappropriate Metro drivers as well. Last week, I was at the bus stop. The bus came and the other two people and I boarded. As we stepped on, an old lady ran across the street, yelling at the driver to hold the bus. This was a woman who was obviously in her 70s, maybe even her 80s. Ignoring her, the driver closed the door, but we were still stopped at a red light. The woman ran up to the door and knocked loudly. The driver hardly looked up. The light changed and he drove off. Thanks, bus driver, for that permanent picure of a disheveled old woman, helpless and small, standing alone at the bus stop.

Not only that, but I have seen professional drivers on cell phones, putting on makeup, and eating on the job. Personally, I think that stricter qualifications should be made in the personality area. I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck wouldn’t want to hire anyone who would hit a school bus full of kids and drive away.

A propensity to hit and run is my least favorite personality flaw, too. Thank you, anonymous kid.

Blatherwatch All Over Mike Webb

posted by on June 29 at 11:57 AM

Er… sorry. That sounds gross considering, huh? Anyway, Blatherwatch—which used to battle with Webb—is closely monitoring developments. To recap: Disgraced talker Mike Webb went missing in May; today a body was discovered in his home. And it looks like it may have been murder.

King of Infinite Space

posted by on June 29 at 11:51 AM

One of Pascal’s thoughts:

If we dreamt the same thing every night, it would affect us as much as the objects we see every day. And if an artisan were sure to dream every night for twelve hours’ duration that he was a king, I believe he would be almost as happy as a king, who should dream every night for twelve hours on end that he was an artisan.
If Pascal had ended the thought on “almost as happy as a king,” that would have been the real insight. A man who dreams every night that he is a king is really a king. And only a poor man can dream of being a king. Kings have no dreams.

From a song by the Thompson Twins:

If I was king for just one day
I would give it all away
I would give it all away to be with you If I was king for just one day
I had just one thing to say
You know that love is
All we need to get us through
What concerns me here is the substance of this claim. Meaning, does it have any substance, value, weight? What’s so great about giving up one day’s worth of being a king to be with the one you love until the end of all time? Exactly who would give up nights of hot sex for just one day of being a king? A poor fool.

From a speech delivered by a theologian on August 28, 1963:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
The density of sensual imagery in King’s speech (its hills, mountains, flesh) is to language what a density of droplets is to a cloud. He hopes that the condensation of sensual imagery in the language will bring about “the real rain,” the fall from the cloudland of ideas a tangible, graspable experience of freedom. This King wants to stop dreaming.

Draft Aftermath

posted by on June 29 at 11:25 AM

Last night was heavy. We got Kevin Durant. That was enough. Then came the unexpected (to me, anyway) trade of Ray Allen to the Celtics for the #5 pick, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak. (Wally Szczerbiak?!). We got Jeff Green (from Georgetown, who I happen to love, great passer). It was a lot to process, and listening to sports radio afterwards made me start to question everything. Fans were angry that we let go of Ray Allen; vitriol was negating the excitement and joy of landing Durant. It felt so infuriatingly Seattle. What the hell was going on? Like quite a few people, I assumed the arrival of Durant guaranteed the departure of Rashard Lewis. What were the Sonics thinking? I wanted to understand.

I turned to (future Seattle resident) Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko (essential reading for balling fans). He gave me back hope. I asked him to write some of his thoughts so that I might share this hope with you, Seattle.

I don’t live in Seattle yet, and thus have none of your emotional ties to Ray Allen. That said, I’m moving there in a month and have always had a soft spot for the NBA’s foremost art collector and fingernail painter.

THAT SAID, I couldn’t be more thrilled about all the roster slicing and dicing that the Sonics performed last night. During the telecast, there was a lot of talk about Presit adhering to a San Antonio Spurs template. That was bullshit that gets said when people are asked to move mouths for four hours straight. Kevin Durant is the future on so many levels it’s not even funny. Ray Ray, lovely as he was, was the essence of basketball classicism; hell, on some days, you might have even mistaken him for a pre-Jordan shooting guard. Not saying that this is a bad thing, but every team not blessed with a domintant big man (hey Oden) is going for versatility and creativity.

No single prospect sums that up like Durant; putting Jeff Green beside him only underscores that. And while cynics or sentimentalists might decry the trading of Allen as a money-saving move, IT OPENS UP SPACE TO RE-SIGN SHARD. Lewis plus those two guys equals endless possibilities. And while Shard may have bucked at not being the man during the Ray Allen era, he’ll be a mentor to Durant, the older, wiser master that this pupil is destined to exceed. That’s ninja movie maturity that all athletes dig, and what’s more, it’s the truth. See also Nuggets, today’s Denver.

Delonte West is better than you think, Wally cannot hurt you if he’s pushed out to the margins… we’re not talking an instant powerhouse, but this team just went from “House of Durant” to a grand basketball experiment on par with the Suns or Raptors.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 29 at 11:05 AM

Walking to Werner

(FILM) If you saw the mediocre Outsourced at SIFF and were saddened by the apparent want of imagination on the part of Seattle filmmakers, be prepared to be knocked out by this film. Documenting a harebrained pilgrimage from Seattle to Werner Herzog’s house in L.A., Walking to Werner becomes a meditation on the varieties of spiritual experience on America’s left coast. Best of all is the found narration, hilariously repurposed from the commentary tracks on Herzog’s DVDs. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 7 and 9:15 pm, $8.50.) ANNIE WAGNER

Regina On Jen On SBC, Take 55

posted by on June 29 at 11:04 AM

It’s always good entertainment when critics get passionate about something they haven’t seen. Rudy Giuliani, meet Regina Hackett. She’s your kind of girl.

The truth is, on a deep level, critics love criticism. And Regina keeps it coming to me.

This time, she’s so irritated with me for panning SuttonBeresCuller’s recent performance—which happened while she was out of town—that she takes the opportunity to slam me (once again) on her blog. (My review of the performance first appeared in longer form on Slog.)

First, she says, I don’t know criticism from insults. This from the critic who wrote, in direct retort to Sheila Farr (who’d gotten an exclusive preview and written an incisive review of Paul Allen’s art collection that made Regina’s review look late and weak in comparison): “Those who think the container cancels out the pleasures of the art contained need a checkup from the neck up.” That sentence still cracks me up.

(My other favorite Hackettism was her blog post about my being wrong in my criticism of SBC’s boat in the biennial at Tacoma Art Museum. She cited the responses of local critics to the work—questioning the credibility of one of those critics along the way—and decided that the vote was in: 2 out of 3 critics say the boat is good, so it must be! Take that, Graves!)

In this latest case, it’s not just that I don’t know from criticism. It’s also that I don’t know from genius. Because I question the quality of recent work by SBC, I would also have hated John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Morris Graves back when they were enlivening Seattle. Because—to quote once again from the review Regina wrote in 2005—John Sutton, Ben Beres, and Zac Culler are the reincarnation of Cage, Cunningham, and Graves.

Welcome back, Regina. I could spend all day trading barbs with you, it’s so much fun. But I have to get back to the business of criticizing art rather than another critic—until next time, that is. See you on the flip side of another battle, lady.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—The Bonanza Continues to Continue

posted by on June 29 at 11:00 AM

Welcome to hour three of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour.

There’s a new anti-tobacco organization called “no stank you.” They over exaggerate everything in their commercials. Their main target is the smokers themselves. They taught us that smokers are vile, unsocial, disgusting creatures that don’t deserve any form of affection from anybody. They’re the ones that did that commercial about the “smoke buddies,” a few smokers that have the “powers” of embroidered smoking side-affects.

The organization, No Stank You is bitter. They don’t talk about how smoking cigarettes can lead to lung cancer. Instead, they prefer to make fun of smokers, calling them disgusting, poor and “un-dateable”. Most smokers want to, and try to quit, but that is not simple, and No Stank You doesn’t seem to understand that. Smokers and just people who made a mistake, and would quit smoking if they could, and No Stank You just loves rubbing that in their faces.

(All of these are sic, sic, SIC, btw.)


posted by on June 29 at 10:51 AM

Michelle Obama abandons her career to take care of daughters. Because everybody knows girls end up “dancing on tables” if their mom has a job outside the home.

Re: Why Do They Hate Our Nightclubs So Much?

posted by on June 29 at 10:18 AM

British authorities found no link between a defused London car bomb and any terrorist group during the early hours of their investigation, two officials in Washington said Friday.

Via AP

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—The Bonanza Continues

posted by on June 29 at 10:00 AM

For those just tuning in, welcome to hour two of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour.

Dear Solicitor and Telemarketer,

Telemarketers, why do you always call? It often seems that you call at 6:00 in the evening when families are eating dinner and it is very frustrating. It’s also really irritating when it’s a recording on the phone and it goes on forever. When you call and people say they are not interested in what you’re selling, it’s bothersome how you keep on talking. There are times we are afraid to answer the phone because it may be a telemarketer. Even on Saturday morning when we think it could be grandma calling, it’s not; it’s Bob with satellite cable.

Solicitors, you are almost just as bad. It is very annoying when you come up to the door at 8:00 in the evening when some kids are trying to go to bed. A family might be having a party and they don’t want you to come to their door selling stuff. At least you don’t bother people as much as the telemarketers do, who call 24/7.

I can’t understand what it would be like having your job. Don’t you get stressed when people are always hanging up on you or slamming a door in you face? Why don’t you find a job where you are helping people, not disturbing them?

We all feel you, anonymous child.

(I mean that in the non-felonious way.)

Get a Haircut

posted by on June 29 at 10:00 AM


The last two haircuts I got at Rudy’s weren’t even worth the $17 I paid for them. Both times I was given an assembly line, cookie-cutter cut—the first by a stoned-looking stylist—that weren’t even close to what I asked for.

The guy I used to go to in San Francisco recommended Rudy’s, so I figured I’d start there, but no way am I going back a third time. I’m OK with paying more for a better cut. So I ask: Where can a guy go in Seattle—preferably around Cap Hill—for a good men’s haircut for around $30?

All Our Cats Are Iraqi Americans

posted by on June 29 at 9:50 AM

From the New York Times:

Some 10,000 years ago, somewhere in the Near East, an audacious wildcat crept into one of the crude villages of early human settlers, the first to domesticate wheat and barley. There she felt safe from her many predators in the region, such as hyenas and larger cats.

The rodents that infested the settlers’ homes and granaries were sufficient prey. Seeing that she was earning her keep, the settlers tolerated her, and their children greeted her kittens with delight.

At least five females of the wildcat subspecies known as Felis silvestris lybica accomplished this delicate transition from forest to village. And from these five matriarchs all the world’s 600 million house cats are descended.

Speaking of Fox News…

posted by on June 29 at 9:36 AM

This is excellent! Someone busts on to a Fox live interview in NYC and yanks the microphone out of the reporter’s hand and books off down the street yelling fuck you.

Quien Es Mas Macho?

posted by on June 29 at 9:28 AM

According to a Fox News poll— the Democrats.

Giuliani Wants it Both Ways

posted by on June 29 at 9:15 AM

Think Progress busts 9/11 Man.

During a speech on Tuesday at Pat Robertson’s Regent University, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani indirectly blamed President Clinton for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He claimed that Clinton treated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing “as a criminal act instead of a terrorist attack,” which “emboldened other strikes” on U.S. targets. According to Giuliani, “The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond.”

Giuliani himself knows this attack on Clinton is false. Just last year, before he became a presidential candidate, he said:

The idea of trying to cast blame on Clinton [for the 9/11 attacks] is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don’t think he deserves it.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—The Bonanza Begins

posted by on June 29 at 9:00 AM

Good morning! Welcome to the commencement of the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school is revealed every hour on the hour, starting now.

Dear guy that killed me on the internet,

I hate you, you killed me and I lost all my good stuff thanks a lot. Come try to kill me again and I’ll rip your head off with my sword. Then we’ll see who’s laughting after that just because you had your team of 10 guys that’s the only reason you could kill me. You guys were all level 10 newbie’s that were teaming hard working people like me. I spent over 2 million gold pieces to get my guy all that good stuff until you just came over with your team and killed me. I’m calling you out to a rematch you and me and I will destroy you so you better be ready to get owned by my sword you doodoo head. So rawr it’s on so bring your newbie team and I’ll bring my best team and destroy all of you in 2 hits then I’ll splice your heads off. Then I’ll take your heads to a trophy shop then have them hung on the wall of my house so I can adore my killing of the biggest newbie’s on the planet.

The Morning News

posted by on June 29 at 8:51 AM

Why Do They Hate Our Nightclubs So Much? Massive car bomb discovered, defused in the heart of London. The car—packed with gas canisters and nails—was parked in the West End entertainment district, right in front of a packed nightclub.

Why Didn’t We Think of That? New British Prime Minister Gordon Brown promise to “wage war on terrorism.”

How Do They Do It? Air travel to get even more unpleasant this summer, which hardly seems possible.

You Gonna Eat That? Now it’s farm-raised seafood from China that poses a threat. FDA finds banned drugs and additives in farm-raised Chinese shrimp, catfish, eel, basa, and dace.

You Gonna Buy That? Apple’s iPhone. On sale. Now. But ATT’s network is slow, and a cheaper iPhone may be coming.

How Many Debates are They Going to Have? The Democratic presidential hopefuls debated “minority issues” in DC last night—hours after the Supreme Court banned most forms of affirmative action in schools admission.

What Are We Going to Do About Al Gore? Should pollsters be asking voters about Al Gore in presidential polls or not?

When Will Texas See the Error of its Ways? God sends more heavy rains to flooded, waterlogged and unrepentant state.

What the Fuck? Someone in Stamford, Connecticut, the home of the World Wrestling Entertainment, altered the Wikipedia entry for Chris Benoit to say that the wrestler missed a fight due to his wife’s death—but the change was made before authorities discovered that Benoit had murdered his wife and child, and then killed himself.

Mind If I Smoke? Indeed I do. Study shows secondhand smoke to be more toxic than previously thought—and it was already thought to be pretty damn toxic.

Who Are These People? The Sonics held a draft party at Fisher Pavillion yesterday. And people actually came. To celebrate. Excuse me, but what?

Shall We Search the House? Apparently the answer to that question was “no,” as a decaying body was discovered yesterday in the home of missing, disgraced talk-radio host Mike Webb. The liberal talker has been missing since May.

Jazz Hands, Everybody: Bob Fosse was born in Chicago, where he got his start on theater dancing in burlesque theaters—which inspired his trademark sexy, cynical style. In addition to choreographing Sweet Charity, Bells Are Ringing, Damn Yankees, Pippin, The Pajama Game, and more on Broadway, Fosse wrote the book, directed, and choreographed the original Broadway production of Chicago. It didn’t do well—critics and audiences felt it was too cynical. I mean, really! People getting away with murder by manipulating a gullible press and a dysfunctional judicial system? That doesn’t happen.

Well, audiences and critics were ready for Chicago when a revival opened on Broadway in 1996. The revival recreated much of Fosse’s original choreography, and is now the longest running revival in Broadway history. Chicago was made into a crappy movie starring some crappy people and won an undeserved Oscar. Here’s a clip from the cast of the Chicago revival performing “All That Jazz” and “Hot Honey Rag” at the Tony Awards in 1997:

And here’s “Hot Honey Rag” from the crap film. And here’s Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, the original Roxie and Velma, performing “Hot Honey Rag.” (Sorry about the poor quality.) And here’s something truly appalling.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NAACP Rally at City Hall

posted by on June 28 at 7:15 PM

I just got back from the NAACP rally at City Hall.


A diverse crowd of about 150-200 people, from ages eight to eighty, gathered to protest the current state of the police department and call for the resignation of embattled SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske.


A long list of speakers, local poets and MC’s railed against the Chief and accused Mayor Nickels of a cover-up. “We must have community control of the polce. We can’t have the fox watching the chicken coop,” former Black Panther Ron Johnson told the crowd.


The crowd at the rally was pretty subdued, which might’ve been because the speakers were about 50 feet away and 20 feet up from the audience. It was a little weird. However, Anwar Peace was in attendance and was easily the most boisterous audience member. He had a great sign to boot.


Peace also gets bonus points for chasing a cop car down the street, haranguing the officers as he went.


It was a lot of fun to watch.


To close things out, NAACAP president James Bible gave an impassioned speech to the crowd, calling on the city council to end the “second class status for poor people and minorities” and reiterated the NAACP’s “vote of no confidence” against the Chief. Bible also chastised the Seattle Police Guild (SPOG) for their rigid stance against revising the police oversight process, claiming that the process can’t be altered until they negotiate another contract with the city in 3 years. “A contract that allows for the violation of constitutional rights is unconstitutional,” Bible said. “We cannot wait three years for justice.”

While the rally was right outside of city hall, no council members made an appearance, save for council hopeful Joe Szwaja. The sound system was booming, so I’m betting the Mayor and Co. got the message.

After the rally, Bible reiterated a point Josh has hit on a few times this week “The Mayor is soliciting different organizations [to support Kerlikowske] and we feel it’s inconsistent with his asking for an independent investigation.”

This afternoon, Council president Nick Licata announced he’s forming a police accountability advisory group and has invited the mayor to join. Five bucks says he won’t.

Rep. McDermott Calls for Impeachment of the Vice President

posted by on June 28 at 5:25 PM

Seattle’s Congressman joins Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who filed articles of impeachment against the vice president back in April.

Mr. Speaker:

It is time for a new exit strategy, one that removes the Vice President of the United States from office- voluntarily if he chooses, but by impeachment if he stonewalls.

The time has come for the Vice President to go. Our nation and our national security interests at home and abroad cannot afford to have this Vice President one heartbeat away from the presidency.

As it stands now, the Vice President’s damage to U.S. interests, security, system of government, and our position at home and abroad will take years to overcome.

As my constituents in the State of Washington’s 7th Congressional District know, I have struggled mightily with this matter for a long time. In grave matters facing our nation, I believe conscience and a deep respect for our system of government should guide our actions and words.

I didn’t hesitate to speak truth to power before the invasion of Iraq, despite the bitter partisan attacks that I knew would follow.

I have no doubt that I’ll be targeted for a new round of shelling after these remarks…

(The rest of the remarks are in the jump.)

Continue reading "Rep. McDermott Calls for Impeachment of the Vice President" »

Lauren Briel’s Kickoff

posted by on June 28 at 5:22 PM

Last night I eschewed the Washington Bus Project’s event at the Central Area Senior Center in favor of Jean Godden challenger Lauren Briel’s kickoff party at the Baltic Room on Capitol Hill.

For a first-time candidate with a shoestring budget and no name recognition, it was a respectable event—a small crowd of about 25, mostly in their 20s and 30s, gathered in the Baltic Room’s compact upstairs lounge. Over a buffet table that included salami, a large wheel of brie, hummus, and some fattening-looking twisty pastries (would’ve tried them, but I don’t like sweets), I talked with some of Briel’s fans about her campaign and chances. The odds, most admitted, aren’t good: Briel hasn’t raised enough money to get invited to interviews by many of the organizations that issue endorsements, meaning that the major endorsements will almost certainly go to one of her opponents—incumbent Jean Godden or fellow challenger Joe Szwaja, who have raised $160,000 and $23,350, respectively.

Nonetheless, Briel’s campaign manager told me, the campaign isn’t giving up hope. Briel plans to campaign from door to door, focusing on North Seattle neighborhoods like Wedgwood in an effort to get her name and face in people’s minds. (King County Council member Bob Ferguson used a similar tactic in his successful campaign against incumbent Cynthia Sullivan; however, he had money and some institutional support, two things Briel lacks.) In my opinion, Briel should play up the fact that she’s the only renter in the race—a relevant characteristic at a time when condo conversions and a growing population are pushing rents to unprecedented levels. It worked for Judy Nicastro, the incumbent Godden defeated, in 1999—eight years later, Seattle may be ready for another renters’ advocate (and renter) on the council.

What’s Up Doc J?

posted by on June 28 at 5:18 PM

The Sonics selected UT star Kevin Durant—and now there’s all sorts of crazy trade talks in play … Allen, Lewis, etc…

I report this only because it gives me an excuse to haul out the greatest NBA quote of all time—which took place in the wake of some significant trade action eons ago.

I recite it from hazy memory.

After Dr. J was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the wake of the NBA/ABA merger, his new teammate, 76ers’ star George McGinnis said: “Doctor. We’re gonna do a number.” Or as we used to say it on the playground: “Doctah, we’re going to do a numbah.”


If anyone can find this quote in print please send it my way. It was either in SI or Sport when the NBA and the ABA merged at the top of the ‘76-77 season. I’ve Googled every which way I can trying to find the quote, and I can’t turn it up.

Footnote: McGinnis and the Doctah did take the Sixers to the finals that year, but were stunned in six games by Portland.

Boom! Pop! Fizz!

posted by on June 28 at 5:07 PM

This graphic, which is running on the front page of the New York Times website right now
makes me wonder why there aren’t “action” figures of our Supreme Court Justices. They look so plastic with their weird retro photoshopping, it just makes me think of the options.

1) Have Ginsburg make out with Scalia.
2) If the figures had movable joints, I bet Stevens would love to shamefully point his finger at Roberts.
3) I could knit little capes for Thomas and Souter, who just seem like the crimefighting types (“The Justice League,” of course).

Endless possibilities.

Not So Confidentially

posted by on June 28 at 5:02 PM

From departing SIFF communications director Gary Tucker:

This year’s festival did not quite reach the goals we’d been aiming for, so with a potential capital campaign looming in our future, a few sacrifices have to be made in order to end the year in the black. The full-time position of director of communications was new for SIFF this year, hence in the spirit of “last to arrive, first to leave…”.

This belies the sunny 6% box office increase we’d heard projected. Or does it? SIFF Cinema is at least 100 seats bigger than Broadway Performance Hall, the venue which it replaced (though BPH had 102 shows last year, compared to SIFF Cinemas’ 90 this year, if my quick math is right); so—assuming provisionally the other venues had the same number of shows—SIFF had something on the order of 7,000 more tickets available this year compared to last. You’d better hope revenue would increase.

SIFF Cinema’s new yearlong venue opens next week with the very tasty (and undoubtedly expensive) Noir City program.

Pat Davis: “Exonerated”

posted by on June 28 at 4:59 PM

The Port of Seattle Ethics Board released its Report to the Port Commissioners today.

This is the report on the fishy business of the $278,000 retirement payment promised to former Port director Mic Dinsmore in a memo signed by Port Commissioner Pat Davis in October 2006.

The report technically exonerates Davis, but it’s not hard to read between the lines.

While retired King County Judge Terrance Carroll, who conducted the investigation, concluded that Dinsmore’s retirement package probably was discussed in closed-door executive sessions (this had been the subject of heated disagreement between three commissioners who say discussions didn’t happen and two, including Davis, who say they did), Carroll’s report says “it is highly improbable that a detailed discussion…occurred.”

Carroll bases that finding on the fact that Dinsmore’s pay, in general, was a charged issue to start with. (There was a controversial vote on a Dinsmore pay raise last October.) Therefore, Carroll concluded, if Dinsmore’s pay had come up in any substantive way in executive session in January ‘07, it would have been memorable to everyone who was present.

Despite the fact that Davis was technically exonerated, it’s clear from reading between the lines of Carroll’s assessment that she purposefully avoided a substantive discussion of Dinsmore’s handsome payout during executive session. Her goal, it seems, was to upgrade Dinsmore’s retirement package without calling attention to it.

This point is made louder by Carroll’s additional assessments. He says that Davis was wrong to sign a memo authorizing Dinsmore’s big retirement package without circulating the memo to her fellow commissioners. He writes: “the Chair [Davis] mistakenly believed a consensus had developed regarding [Dinsmore’s retirement package.] It is clear that was not the case and could have easily been tested by circulating the memo prior to signature. She acknowledges it was a mistake not to do so.” Again, this “mistake” likely comes from the fact that Davis wanted to keep Dinsmore’s handsome payout from being scrutinized.

Carroll lets Davis off the hook, though, because the retirement package could not be implemented without formal board approval. And so, it never was. Therefore, nothing technically wrong ever went down.

It seems to me, given the fact that Carroll’s report also states that HR “was preparing Mr. Dinsmore’s termination documents” based on Davis’s memo, that Davis and Dinsmore were trying to pull a sneaky move. However, HR flagged the memo and showed it to the new Port CEO, and the whole thing blew up and came to a halt.

It seems—as evidenced by Davis’s low-key discussions of the package, her signature, and Dinsmore’s attempt to cash in—that the pair were trying to line up a big retirement package without getting the required approval. They got caught before any papers were signed and backed off.

Wi-Fi City

posted by on June 28 at 4:55 PM

(Updated below.)

The City of Seattle is providing free wireless Internet access in the Columbia City and the University District business districts. The City’s Wi-Fi pilot project also includes four downtown Seattle parks: Occidental, Freeway, Westlake and Victor Steinbrueck, as well as the City Hall lobby area. This is a pilot project. Users can log-in using seattlewifi for the ssid. (More info.)

When will the entire central city be covered by a free network? My money’s on the tail end of 2008.

UPDATE: Glenn Fleishman, a local writer who covers Wi-Fi at, as well as writing about it and other tech issues for the New York Times, the Economist, and Popular Science, says I shouldn’t hold my breath:

There was a brief halcyon time when cities with lots of urban poor and lower middle-class residents put out “bids” for city-wide Wi-Fi that read like this: “Come and build our networks on your own dime. We’ll give you utility pole access (if we can). We’ll anoint you. We might even move some city telecom business over to you (no guarantees, bud). But you have to pay in a bunch of money for digital divide initiatives and meet really imposing service guarantees.”

And EarthLink, MetroFi, Kite, and a few others—including giants IBM and Cisco—did pour forth the money. Now, about two years in, no major city network is complete, although several are well underway (Portland, Ore., and Philadelphia, notably). The companies building these networks are all guarded about their next moves; EarthLink’s new CEO (the previous one died in January from cancer) may choose to not build new networks. And there’s just not a lot of interest in building networks without much more of a commitment from cities to buy services.

In a city like Philadelphia or even San Francisco, it turns out that there’s relatively poor and uneven broadband penetration with cable and DSL, and not enough competition to spur low enough rates to move people from dial-up to broadband or no access to broadband.

Seattle is pretty well situated, and we have a much more middle to upper class set of residents in the city proper.

The city’s fiber-optic proposal that they put out last year to a bunch of bidders included an option to build out a Wi-Fi network. None of the responses seemed to have included this.

Six-Inch Brick Hole!

posted by on June 28 at 4:16 PM

Speaking of tonight and that enchanted place called Pony, I’ll be there (with the other eleven inches of my penis poking through that six-inch brick hole), and I’ll be wearing my new sunglasses. Have I mentioned them? Well.

In other desperately important news: Here is a mysterious message that I found in a gutter:


Filth? Forgiveness? Courage? Sin? Mmm. Gutter poetic. And devastatingly poignant somehow if you consider that it’s written on stationery hawking something called ZYPREXA, and ZYPREXA is a medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Anyhoozits, have I told y’all about my new sunglasses?


Taken Out to the Ballgame

posted by on June 28 at 4:13 PM


Baseball and rock ‘n’ roll—as American as cocaine and hookers.

Thanks to the stunningly beautiful people at Barsuk Records for sponsoring a day out at SafeCo field yesterday. Many beers were drank, many hotdogs were devoured, and a few crotch-waves were attempted. And hey, the Ms won in the 11th to sweep Boston in a three-game series! Go Mariners!

Read all about it on Line Out.

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 28 at 3:27 PM

New Minus the Bear: Get stoned, go listen.

The Cow Goes: Mooooooooog.

Jen Graves Loves Art Brut: And wants more Art Brut.

Stalked by the Strokes: They’re following me in my dreams. Or would that be more like a nightmare?

Do the Devo: Whip it at the Puyallup.

Eargasm: Terry Miller’s Thursday playlist.

The Zoinks!: Return!

Hi Pot, Meet Kettle: Rolling Stone says the music industry is dead.

Dear Kate Simko: Donte Parks loves you.

Eye Candy: White Stripes caught on camera.

Pine Cones Up the Ass: Linkin Park is not better than Creedence.


Pony Up - The Pictures

posted by on June 28 at 3:22 PM


Pony opened last night! Welcome homo! I can’t even count how many times I heard someone say, “This is going to be the BEST summer ever.” I also heard more than one girl say, “There are so many hot guys here, I wish I was a boy.” This earlier post seemed to have some sort of debate about “fat hipster girls”. Hello stupid. Or girls being there at all. C’mon. Girls are welcome, and if you don’t get it—the dynamic between girls and their gay male friends, well, you should probably just stay home. That said, it was about 90 percent guys in there. Hot ones.


Continue reading "Pony Up - The Pictures" »

A Quick Word on the Cosmic Imperative

posted by on June 28 at 2:59 PM

Does the Christian De Duve concept of the cosmic imperative mark science’s return to philosophy? Has it ever left? (Altogether another important question.) Is there at all a difference between finding existential shelter in the scientific cosmic imperative and finding it in the philosophical will, or will to power, or power, or conatus , or geist? All of these ideas say one thing: The universe is productive, creative, fecund. That fact is evident to the eye. (The problem has always been: is that fact evidence enough for the mind.)

What is more interesting than the cosmic imperative, which is still an exciting idea, is not the creation of life but the creation of thought, self-reflection, the two-in-one. Why? Because if there are life forms on this planet that are thinking about the universe, looking at the it, recording its activities, this means the universe thinks. It thinks about itself. The universe has a way of seeing the universe, seeing what itself is doing. Some planets produce storms, others vapours, this planet produces a thinking substance. Our purpose in life might be nothing more than to be the thought of the universe.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary Day 2, and a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

posted by on June 28 at 2:32 PM

Hello readers. Yesterday I kicked off what I promised would be a new daily series featuring I, Anonymous submissions sent in by students at an alternative elementary/middle school in Ballard. As promised, here is a new entry for today.

If there is one thing I hate at school, it’s the people who lure you into embarassing traps. You may not know who you are if you’re reading this. But I can tell you this. It may seem all fun and games, opening up to some new kid on the first day of school, being their friend, showing them around, and all in all being a good person. But as soon as that new kid starts to accept that there is at least one person who doesn’t think that they are a freak, and you start bombarding them with awkward questions in front of others, exploiting their vulnerabilities and god knows what else. You can’t just waltz into this person’s life and start making school a living hell for them. They were insecure enough at the start, and with you in the way, you’re not making things any better. It may be fun for you, but try putting your deceitful little self in their place. You go to a brand new school, you don’t know anyone, but then a light appears in the form of a good natured person. After the day is over, you go to bed at night thinking that the next day will be just as good. Then you go to school, and the nightmare begins with your only friend turning their back on you, asking things like “Where did you get that shirt? Up your ass? It’s ugly enough,” and “the teacher’s pet doesn’t bite. Oops, guess I was wrong.” Seriously, it is not good at all for a person’s self-esteem. They crumble to dust inside. I have had to endure that kind of abuse for three and a half long years, and I am not going to lie down and take it from you again. So just quit it for Pete’s sake, you ungrateful, deceiving pile of stinking trash, and go sleep in a freshly used toilet where you belong.

Now to the MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT. A quick scan of the dozen or so remaining I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary submissions confirms that they are too cumulatively amazing to dribble out over weeks, and so tomorrow will bring an eight-hour I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary bonanza, with a new I,I: IE submission posted every hour on the hour from 9am to 5pm Pacific Standard Time.

In the meantime, please whet your appetites with another selection from the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary canon:

To Lindsay Lohan, YOU ARE SO STUPID! I know that you’ve been in lots of movies. Some of them, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Herbie Fully Loaded, Just My Luck, Mean GIrls, Parent Trap, and Freaky Friday. I guess you’re a good actress but you’re so stupid! I’ll tell you about that later. Your best movie was The Parent Trap because that was when you were a little girl and still smart.

You have lots of problems. To start off you had a heroin addiction just to get skinny. Nothing was wrong with you in the first place. Then you had anorexia because it was reported that the heroin didn’t work. I don’t think you accept yourself for who you are because it was also reported you got a boob job.

The biggest thing that you’re known for today is partying! This is affecting your acting and your life. You’re setting bad examples for kids who want to be actors and actresses.

See you tomorrow.

Blackface or Kissed by a Bottle of Spray-On Tan?

posted by on June 28 at 1:40 PM

A Mighty Heart is bombing at the box office, and it can’t do any better this coming week, with competition from Sicko in limited markets and Ratatouille and Live Free or Die Hard everywhere. But I’d submit that the distressing subject matter is but one reason filmgoers are staying away. The uncomfortable vision of Angelina Jolie moping around in adopted skin is another.


This article from the Washington Post last weekend is the best thing I’ve read on the legacy of mixed-race “brown”-face in cinema. A must if you can’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Incidentally, there’s a new book out about Oscar Micheaux, who’s mentioned in the article: The Great and Only Oscar Micheaux: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker. I just got it from the library.

And that great ’70s film by Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep, is extending through next Thursday at Northwest Film Forum.

Bus Schedule

posted by on June 28 at 1:34 PM

By Rebecca Tapscott

I’m out shopping at Loehmann’s with my girlfriend on my first day off as the Stranger’s news intern, when my cellphone rings. Caller ID: The Stranger. It’s Josh, asking if I can cover the Washington Bus Corporation…Group…no, well, organization thing…some “activate the youth event”…there will be cupcakes!

On first request, I’m not sold. Obviously no one wants to go, and as the young, politically inclined, unpaid intern, I’ve been chosen to do the dirty work. Upon further investigation, the event is walking distance from my house and I have no real schedule conflict. So, I call up high school friend Jacob for moral support, and we set out.

5:55: I arrive at the Washington Bus Project meeting at the Central District Senior Center having read Erica’s critique of the event and searched in vain for online literature. (It appears their website is “coming soon.”) We have low expectations… although, I am curious to learn what constitutes a “foam free” event, as boasted on bottom left corner of the event’s invitation.

5:57: We sign in, grabbing nametags and pins that read, “I’m on the bus.” My first impression of the event, upon entering the one floor, brick building, equates with a high school dance. There are folding tables set up on the sides of the fluorescently lit room with chips and dip, folding chairs, and a DJ spinning MTV’s latest pop songs in the corner. A few 40-year-olds stand around, dressed in various amalgamations of suits and denim. Yet, in less than thirty seconds, we are greeted by Washington Bus Campaign organizer Thomas Goldstein, who thanks us for coming and directs us outside to the deck for beer. (I wonder if he thinks we’re underage, but he has the courtesy not to ask.)


6:06: We each procure a cup of 1/2 beer, 1/2 foam (by now I’ve learned that the “foam-free” proclamation of the event was a reference to Styrofoam). With social lubricant in hand, we’re ready to mingle.

6:15: It’s hard to decide whom to approach, since in socialist fashion, everyone (including myself) is wearing a paper nametag and no other identification. I corner Sameer, who is standing behind the bar simultaneously looking official and trying to sort out the keg/foam problem, and begin a tirade of questions. He outlines the program for me, smiling broadly throughout a well-rehearsed response: We need to get the youth involved through cultural activities and voting. Use music. Politics is hugely important and we need a way to make it interesting.

6:23: Everyone is still milling around outside, and I figure now is the time to investigate Erica’s concerns. Between now and the beginning of the event at 7:00 I learn:

The location is proximate to the South side because:
Washington Bus Project is largely dedicated to mobilizing the youth and minority vote. The crowd is fairly young—20s to 40s, including the city council candidates. Although most of the group is white, there are a few minorities, mostly politicians or employees of the Washington Bus Project.

There are both cupcakes and beer, as well as toast with spreads and Odwalla.

The event hosted no Seattle candidates because:
1) They hoped to create a friendly event and avoid debates between competing progressive politicians. Also hoped to emphasize the Washington State aspect of the organization.
2) And, to pass progressive legislation in Washington State, we need progressive legislators in multiple districts—not just Seattle’s. Many Washington State races have a progressive candidate running against a conservative one—with the election of a progressive candidate in a traditionally conservative district, for example, Keri Andrews v. Phil Nobel in Bellevue, we change the political landscape of our state, and potentially the nation.


7:03: We are ushered inside for the event, which is introduced with 10 “you know you’re a progressive if” questions, including: #2—photos of Barack Obama excite you (a little cliché, in my opinion, but received noisy applause), #7—you run red lights to be carbon neutral (Paris should have used this argument in her defense), #9—you know when Paul Wells birthday is (no one did); and 10—you donate monthly to the Washington Bus Project (wait, isn’t this event geared towards youth?).

7:05: The four candidates take the stage. I realize that in the previous hour of mingling, three of the candidates introduced themselves to us. They are then asked a mix of personal and political questions (best Q/A by far was for Keri Andrews, candidate for Bellevue City Council. Q: What would your super power be? A: This might not be appropriate, but…the power to make things bigger or smaller.) We also learn that all the candidates are dedicated to the environment, limiting urban sprawl, the youth and firefighters.


7:29: The candidates are asked to mingle with the crowd and seek out the best question from the audience. We take this opportunity to slip out the door (even though the cupcakes remain confined to their pink boxes). On the way out the door we counted the names on the sign in sheets: 49 in total. Nonetheless, I wonder how many people were either affiliated with the Washington Bus Project, people employed to help put on the event, members of the press, or other unpaid interns, showing the support of their respective organization. Every person I met fit one of these categories.

7:31: I begin my walk home, (yeah, the location was good for me) feeling satisfied. The event was well organized and founded on hot-button progressive values. The turn out was decent, even if there were few unaffiliated community members. Nominally, the Washington Bus Project hasn’t been “founded” in Seattle yet, and hasn’t begun outreach, so although improvements could be made, I think Erica’s cynicism was premature. The question is what’s next? Unfortunately, with no website or contact information, it’s hard to say at the moment.

The Washington Bus Project is an affiliate of the Oregon Bus Project, which was established in 2001 and has been relatively successful at mobilizing the vote. As for the origins of the bus analogy, we’re all still a little confused. The incentive seems to stem from the plethora of puns that a bus derives, mostly focused around “driving” things, like change and votes. Getting onto the bus is also a favorite slogan, not to mention mass transit’s friendly relationship with the environment. Oregon Bus Project announces proudly that it does indeed have a real bus, and although Washington’s Project may be lacking a physical vehicle, they seem to be on the same ideological “boat.” With this unity, organization and enthusiasm, I’ll keep an eye out for future events.

Mayor’s Office Grants

posted by on June 28 at 1:14 PM

It’s not secret that I am sometimes put out with the choices funders and residencies make when doling out awards. So it’s only fair that I praise the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs for announcing their awards to what sound like some promising projects:

Awards include $5,000 to Jennifer Zeyl [of Washington Ensemble Theatre] to direct Hedda: Blah, Blah, Bang, a reconstruction of Hedda Gabler, a classic Henrik Ibsen play;

$8,500 to William Smith to compose, record and present Jazzopera, a lecture-performance combining elements of classical music and jazz;

$2,600 to Elspeth Savani Macdonald to present a concert of original boleros, sambas and folkloric music;

$1,500 to Raymond Houle to present Against the Grain/Men in Dance, a series of performances highlighting the evolution of male dance in contemporary society;

$10,000 to Lucia Neare to present Lullaby Carriage, an outdoor, interdisciplinary “dream-theater” piece;

$9,500 to Haruko Nishimura [of Degenerate Art Ensemble] to create a series of solo dance performances in partnership with dance, theater and music artists.

(I’m a little suspicious of that outdoor “‘dream-theater’ piece,” but I’ll hold my horses until I’ve seen it.)

RE: Voicemail

posted by on June 28 at 12:32 PM

Eric, I feel your pain. Josh’s voicemail does the same thing.

“This is Josh,” he says, just like how he answers the phone in real life.

It makes me a little crazy too. Let’s just keep that between you and me, OK?

“Ted Haggard: Dribbles or shoots?”

posted by on June 28 at 12:28 PM

That’s one of the questions Dan Savage is going to ask in his interview with Mike Jones tonight at Re-Bar. Can you think of a better interviewer? Mike Jones is the escort who outed evangelist preacher Ted Haggard as a butt-sex-lovin’, meth-slammin’ hypocrite—the cherry on the shit cake of scandals that plagued the right just before the last election and probably helped contribute to Congress going Democratic.

What would you ask this guy if you could ask him anything? Put your questions in the comments of this post and Savage will probably ask them. The event’s called Come of a Preacher Man, for chrissakes. It starts at 7 pm. It’s free. It’s 21+.


They’ll be dancing afterward.

No Christmas Trees. No Stars of Davids. And Definitely No Talking About That Stuff.

posted by on June 28 at 12:20 PM

The Port of Seattle is holding special Commission meeting today. Item A on the agenda: Report from the Ethics Board.

This is what we’ve all (well, me anyway) been waiting for. Will they come down hard on Pat Davis? Or will they issue a report calling for report to outline reforms for the future?

The best discussion on the agenda, though, is item B: b. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Holiday Decorations. WITHDRAWN

Withdrawn? Guess they didn’t want all the headlines in tomorrow’s papers.

UPDATE Word coming out of the Port on my question about the Ethics Board findings is this: They’re going to say Pat Davis showed “bad judgment” and Mic Dinsmore behaved badly. That’s it. No calls for resignation. No charges.

Confidential to Megan Seling:

posted by on June 28 at 12:19 PM

Your voice mail greeting drives me insane! It must stop.

For the rest of the world: When you reach Ms. Seling’s voice mail, you hear a very chipper, “Hi!” and then a long beat, you know, like maybe she just answered the phone. A long beat. And then, after you’ve said, “Hey Megan, what’s up” or “Hey, are you coming into the office?” you hear something about this being her voicemail or LOLcats or something. And then you say, “Oh!” out loud as you realize you weren’t really talking to anybody. This happens every time. And it makes me so crazy that I can’t even leave a message.

I Am Not Working

posted by on June 28 at 11:34 AM

Instead, I am looking at and laughing out loud in a public place where one woman keeps looking up and giving me a strange “Uh, do you know you look ridiculous?” look.

For the record, yes. Yes I do know I look ridiculous.

Oh Hai! I Fixted ur pilloh!


I can’t stop laughing.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 28 at 11:18 AM

Come of a Preacher Man

(AMERICAN HERO) Two years ago, Ted Haggard was a powerful Colorado evangelist and religious right activist who had the ear of George W. Bush. That was before Mike Jones, a gay escort who had sex with Haggard and bought him crystal meth, outed the right-wing pastor as a world-class hypocrite. Jones wrote a book about his experience, I Had to Say Something, and Stranger editor Dan Savage interviews him at Re-bar. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. 8 pm, free, 21+.) ERICA C. BARNETT


Heather McHugh

(GREATNESS) Heather McHugh is a goat-cheese crouton. She is the star around which the rest of UW orbits. There is no good way to describe her because she is constantly improving your powers to describe things. The stuff she says between poems is so funny you don’t know what to do. This afternoon, she reads from old stuff, new stuff, black-and-blue stuff. Take a long lunch, become suddenly ill—whatever you have to do. (Henry Art Gallery Auditorium, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, 543-2280. 2 pm, free.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

What’s Going On in Your Neighborhood?

posted by on June 28 at 11:17 AM


I’m going deep undercover to get at this cop-scandal we’ve been Slogging so much about and won’t have my tentacles out in the neighborhoods much this week. However, if you’ve got something interesting/wild/frustrating/delicious going on in your ‘hood, send us a tip and we’ll get our crack team of interns on it.

Tonight at Serafina: A Benefit for Miles Thomas

posted by on June 28 at 11:07 AM

Three weeks ago, Serafina bartender Miles Thomas made headlines after fending off an armed would-be robber of the restaurant, who shot Thomas in the arm and fled.

Today Serafina steps up with a day-long benefit for Thomas’s recovery fund. From the press release:

The Seattle restaurant will keep extra-long hours, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., with a 2:30-6 p.m. happy hour, and donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to a recovery fund for Thomas.

On the menu: some of Thomas’ favorite meals, an array of wines donated for the occasion and a drink dubbed the Miles 75, a twist on one of Thomas’ favorite drinks with an apricot-infused liqueur.

A silent auction will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. across the street at the offices of Hoshide and Williams Architects and Michael Courtney Design. Donated prizes range from a scenic flight for two by Seattle Seaplanes; dinner for eight prepared by Serafina executive chef John Neumark in the garden of owner Susan Kaufman; and a date with Thomas after his recovery.

Call 206-323-0807 or visit for more details.

Letter of the Day

posted by on June 28 at 11:03 AM

Typically, posting Letters of the Day is the job of web editor Amy Kate Horn, but since she’s the subject of today’s letter, I shall do the posting. Enjoy, and ew.

Dearest Ms. Horn: Pretend for a moment that I am your good mother who embraces you and supports you 100% for the person you are. In fact I do love you unconditionally and I am very proud of you for your kind email to me today.

Honey, don’t you think that after the big splash your editor made with the “Stranger Gets Religion” that it would be a fabulous idea to make an equally colorful retraction for Christian Faith Center?

Pastor Casey Treat is no Jerry Falwell, my dear. In fact, if you research it, I believe you will find that Falwell’s college has been accused of discriminating against Pentecostal/Charismatics — the type of church Christian Faith Center is. The Baptists are at odds with Pentecostals. I don’t think I am wrong about this.

I have heard Pastor Treat say he wants Gay men and Lesbians to attend his church. Maybe he thinks he can “heal” you. LoL. So do Scientologists, *twinkles* The position of my Catholic Faith is that we are all called to Holiness. Being a heterosexual married to the same person for a lifetime is not easy. We get just as lonely sexually as anyone else. If you are not Catholic or a Christian, we do not hold you to our same standards.

Gay marriage is only a concern if our churches are forced by law to perform this sacrament on people who are not prepared for life long commitment to a person of the opposite sex. I know that seems unfair. But we only ask that our religion be allowed to flourish without government interference, just as Gay men and Lesbians want to be allowed to flourish without government interference in their life choices.

Please do no be offended, my sweet daughter. I love you. Please be at peace and ask your editor to have the courage to do the right thing. I know, I know, your readers might be bored. But your paper is too popular to lose its vast readership over one mea culpa well done with splash and your usual panache.

All my affection, Pro-life Catholic Mother

I need a shower. *twinkles*

Fetus Held Hostage

posted by on June 28 at 11:02 AM

This is wrong.

As happens to many young couples, my girlfriend and I have found ourselves confronted with a decision to make about having a child, and we’re not sure what to do. There are many options available to us, and a difficult evaluation of the responsibilities and obligations, as well as the joys, that come with raising a child.

Our two real options are either having and raising the child, or aborting. While we’d like to think that adoption is a viable option for us, my girlfriend doesn’t believe that she’d be able to give up a child after giving birth to it, and that’s not something I’m going to pressure us into doing….

Right now, we just can’t afford it, which is why we’re here, on this site. We’ve crunched some numbers, and we believe that, to really set ourselves up in a good environemnt for the baby, we need $50,000. That’ll give us the down payment on a decent house, get us a car that runs reliably, allow us to save away a little for the baby’s college fund, cover any medical bills (she’s uninsured), and give us a little buffer while she’s not working.

It comes down to this. If we can’t raise the $50,000 in the next 3 months, we’ll have to choose abortion. We don’t like it, and we don’t like the nature of our appeal, but it is what it is. We’re asking you to donate money to us using the link to your left. Anything you can give would be appreciated.

The couple wishes to remain anonymous, so there’s no info about them on the website, no way to verify if they’re for real, or if there are even two of them, or if anyone is actually pregnant. They’ve raised $12,500 so far and the site says there’s 79 days left to go.

They’ve posted a bunch of the letters they’ve received. It’s interesting reading.

Says Slog tipper Matt:

It’s either a genious but evil scam, or a totally fucked up couple. Either way, it’s great. Kinda.

I Know! Let’s Get a Black Guy to Support the Chief!

posted by on June 28 at 10:56 AM

Whoops. What if he turns us down?

In this week’s CounterIntel, I write about Mayor Nickels’s behind-the-scenes effort to shore up support for the chief, and I noted that some folks, like minority-advocacy nonprofits, who’ve been asked to write supportive letters have turned the mayor down.

Well, I just talked to Darryl Smith, the high-profile, pro-business, pro-development African American South Seattle activist who’s considered to be a city council front runner for 2009. Smith told me that he was also asked to write a letter of support for the embattled chief.

“I was asked, and I decided not to,” Smith says. “I felt like it would have been odd for me to say yay or nay on the chief. I’m not involved with the chief.”

It also would have been odd for Smith to write a letter right now because Nickels has asked for a review of the chief to supposedly get to the bottom of all the accusations. If Nickels is in earnest about the review, he shouldn’t be asking people to write pro-Kerlikowske letters before that review is complete.

Smith says he has great relationship with the commander in the SE Precinct, and he’s lobbied the city for more public-safety dollars, but he’s got nothing to say about Kerlikowske.

The Real Problem with Kerlikowske

posted by on June 28 at 9:35 AM

The current scandal—Kerlikowske’s refusal to discipline officers when the OPA recommends as much (and as Mike Carter reports today, he promotes them instead)—dates back to Kerlikowske’s loss of cred with the rank and file in 2001.

Officers were enraged after they were told to stand down during the Mardi Gras melee in Pioneer Square in ‘01. Ever since then, Kerlikowske has been fighting to regain the trust of the rank and file. So, he’s been flipping off the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA, the department that investigates citizen complaints against officers).

Ironically, his ploy has backfired…with the cops. I don’t think scoffing at the OPA helps Kerlikowske with the rank and file. I think good cops (most cops) appreciate the OPA system, and watching Kerlikowske disrespect the OPA in a cloying, condescending attempt to win back their trust is insulting to the rank and file.

My guess is the rank and file is just as disgusted as the public at the officers who beat the shit out of Alley-Barnes and more so that one of the officers got a promotion.

Pony Up

posted by on June 28 at 9:25 AM

I’m sure there will be several posts about Pony, the new gay bar that opened on Pine Street last night. It occupies the Cha Cha’s old space and it’s temporary—Cha Cha moved out because the building is coming down in a few months. Pony isn’t going to be with us long, but that didn’t stop Marcus & Co. from pullout the stops. The place is gloriously sleazy, and here’s hoping the Liquor Control Board doesn’t take issue with the Athletic Model Guild boys wheatpasted all over the walls.

I have two quick observations: Pony’s much-discussed glory hole? You would need a 10 inch cock to get a blowjob. It’s not a hole cut into a divider between bathroom stalls, but a hole cut through the bathroom’s walls. The wall is about six inches thick, so… uh… if you’re inspired to stick your dick through it, there’s not going to be much on the other side for your mysterious friend to work on. On the plus side, the hole in one bathroom is roughly waist high, the hole in the other bathroom is roughly, uh, cock-sucking-mouth high. But it’s more of a peep hole than a glory hole—and when my boyfriend needed to take a piss he made me come with him and hold my hand over it.

Second, the Ms. Pac-Man machine—love it. But… this is hard to describe. You put in your quarter and you get three Ms. Pac-Men. One is ready to go on the grid, two are in reserve at the bottom of the screen. But as soon as the game starts one of the reserve Ms. Pac-Men disappears! Basically, the game starts after you’ve already lost a Ms. Pac-Man. But you didn’t lose one, one disappeared. You’ve been cheated—cheated!

Other than the overhyping of the glory/peephole (we’re the guiltiest parties), and the disappearing Ms. Pac-Man, Pony is perfect in every possible way. Oh, and anyone that’s never heard of Joe Dellisandro, or wonders why he was such a big deal, needs to go to Pony.

Re: Kerlikowske on KUOW

posted by on June 28 at 9:15 AM

Dan is right. Sending Gil off the island will help. And it will help in more significant ways than just making us feel better.

You see: The problem with our police accountability system is that the mayor has not held Kerlikowske accountable. Having a hammer in our 3-tiered accountability system—which believe it or not is better than most city’s oversight systems—is the final piece. That piece could exist if the mayor took his hire and fire role seriously. He has not. And that’s the only problem with our system right now.

It’s time for the council to step and take over where the mayor has failed.

Gil Kerlikowske on KUOW

posted by on June 28 at 9:02 AM

Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske is taking calls on KUOW’s Weekday right now. And here’s today’s fresh outrage

The Seattle police supervisor whose questionable judgment was singled out by internal investigators and the police chief as leading to a violent arrest outside a Capitol Hill nightclub in 2005 has been promoted, police officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The actions of Sgt. Gregory W. Sackman outside the War Room on the night of the arrest “threatened ‘the safety of the community … and fellow officers,’” wrote a police captain in charge of an internal investigation, and led to the arrest of Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes….

Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske promoted Sackman to lieutenant last week.

It’s time for Gil to go.

The number at KUOW: (206) 543-KUOW, or (800) 289-KUOW.

Porcupines, Lobsters, Skunks, and Pufferfish: The Vagisil Menagerie

posted by on June 28 at 8:54 AM

This ad has been running for weeks, and quietly blowing my mind.

I’m a gay, so the particulars of female netherloins are beyond my knowledge. Is Vagisil’s characterization of the wildlife preserve/saltwater aquarium residing in ladies’ underpants accurate?

Quest Church: Good for Women, Bad for Gays

posted by on June 28 at 8:33 AM

Eugene Cho, the lead pastor of Quest Church, sent me a nice note a few weeks ago after reading my review of Quest in our “Month of Sundays” feature package.

Unlike Mars Hill, which his church resembles, Quest embraces women in positions of leadership—a female pastor opened the service on the day I visited. About the only thing that bothered Questers about my piece, some other members told me, was seeing their church described as a “Mars Hill wannabe.” That stung, apparently, because little, loving Quest isn’t anything like Mark Driscoll’s huge, hateful Mars Hill.

When I was working on my piece I poked around Quest’s website, and read through the church’s brochures, in an effort to find discover Quest’s position on homosexuality. They embraced women, what about the gays? But there was no info posted on Quest’s website, up on Cho’s blog, or in any of Quest’s brochures. So I asked Cho directly: Quest is good on the female thing. Good for you. What about the gay thing?

I took it as a bad sign when I didn’t hear back from Cho right away—and my interpretation of his silence was correct. This email arrived this morning:


Sorry for the delayed response. Not that you were waiting by your inbox waiting for my reply…

Because we are theologically so different than Mars Hill, that’s why the “Mars Hill wannabe” definitely rubbed a few of our church folks that wrong way. As you might assume, MH and driscoll can be fairly polarizing so for those on the other spectrum, it’s not the best thing to be compared to him.

Regardless, to your question about our position on gays. No matter how I answer, I know it’s going to always hurt or offend one side or the other. I say this not to be trite but it’s been a difficult issue. Always is when you’re dealing not just with an issue but one that deals with people…human souls. Quest welcomes the gay community but does not affirm the gay lifestyle.

While I can’t speak on behalf of every single person at Quest, I believe I speak for many when I share that there’s much hypocrisy in the church especially when we isolate homosexuality out of the context of the larger conversation of sexuality that needs to be addressed. Heterosexuals have much to answer to. So, while I do not affirm the lifestyle, I also believe in human rights and the rights that the gay community deserve—the most important one being the freedom to be safe. I wrestle with how a gay person can feel safe in the church—even if they are “welcomed” when their lifestyle isn’t affirmed as God honoring…

Let me know your thoughts if you have the energy.


I sent this email to Eugene Cho:

Is the right to marry included on your list of rights to which we’re entitled?

Re: The gay lifestyle. What you mean is gay sex, right? My “lifestyle” is probably shockingly similar to your own: go to work, go home, eat, take care of my kid, pay the bills. It’s the sex I have with my partner that rubs you the wrong way, so to speak. There is no “gay lifestyle,” Eugene. Some straight people have no kids, never marry, and sleep around—which is what the phrase “gay lifestyle” invokes. My unmarried, 45 year-old heterosexual brother Billy lives a much gayer “lifestyle” than I do.

And, yes, straight people have their own sins to answer for—but your philosophy at least allows for straight people to have fully intimate lives, loving partners, and some sexual release. Your theology disallows that for me, so… I don’t see as how that amounts to equal treatment. Copping to hetero shortcomings (“Hey, look at the way we dress!”) while advising gay people to forgo all intimacy, a.k.a. “the gay lifestyle,” does not amount to the loving tending o’ the flock that you seem to believe it does. Telling people that God disapproves of their deepest needs for love and companionship, and that they must forgo that “sin” in order to be right with God, is an act of emotional and spiritual violence.

If there was a God, you would answer for it one day. But there isn’t and you won’t.


P.S. As I told one of your parishioners—and should have told you when it first came up—“Mars Hill wannabe” was more a reference to the aesthetics of the place. The warehouse, the dark colors, the art, rock and roll, etc. Now I see, however, that at least on the gay issue… well, there’s no daylight between you and Driscoll, is there?

SCOTUS to Seattle Schools: Nope

posted by on June 28 at 7:44 AM

US Supreme Court tosses Seattle’s race-based tie breaker.

My advice to Seattle Schools: Class-based tie breaker.

The Morning News

posted by on June 28 at 6:54 AM

Bush to Congress: Drop dead.

DAMF: Twenty decapitated bodies found near Baghdead—on the same day car bombs killed 35, wounded 57.

The Death Penalty in Texas: or, The Mentally Ill Executing the Mentally Ill: Should we put crazy people to death? Maybe not, says Supreme Court.

Run, Al, Run: Gore leads poll of Dem voters in New Hampshire.

What Can Brown Do For You? Bush’s immigration bill “shedding supporters” as it faces crucial vote today.

We’ll Always Have Paris: Hilton underwhelms in post-prison TV appearance.

Made in China: More “tainted,” i.e., poisoned, toothpaste discovered in United States. Pet food, children’s toys, toothpaste—Jesus, we could save space on those labels if we replaced “Made in China” with a tasteful little skull and crossbones.

Repent! Repent! God continues to punish Texas, sending more floods to punish his wayward gun-loving, immigrant-bashing, capital-punishment-crazed children there.

Spice, Spice, Baby: Posh, Ginger, Sporty, Scary and… uh… Dopey? Ropey? Mopey? Anyway, the Spice Girls are getting their act back together and taking it on the road.

Is Your Cat Missing? It might have something to do with this.

You Think? The mayor and police chief think that maybe—just maybe—we might need to contemplate having a discussion about whether or not the “time may be ripe to review the current system of police accountability,” seeing as how it, you know, doesn’t work for shit.

Attack of the McMansions: Bellevue contemplates restrictions on “megahomes.”

Jazz Hands, Everybody: This morning’s Fosse goes out to Mark Mitchell, who requested “Hey, Big Spender” from Sweet Charity. It is, without a doubt, Fosse’s most iconic work. A line of taxi dancers, aka hookers, attempt to get the attention of a john. In the film version, for some reason, Fosse slowed the number down, and it drags a bit at the beginning. But hang in there—it’s worth it for hair and makeup tips alone.

And now watch in awe as the girls—good Catholic girls, one assumes—attempt to recreate Fosse’s choreography in this high school production of Sweet Charity. Alas, no beehives. And this clip of another high school production features choreography for couch potatoes—the girls hardly get off their asses.

And here… because… well, my God, how could I refrain from posting it? Freddie Mercury and Queen performing “Hey, Big Spender” in 1975. Please note: Freddie Mercury was believed to be heterosexual in 1975, and Queen was popular with straight high school students everywhere. Ahem:

Shooting at 27th and Yesler

posted by on June 28 at 1:12 AM

Just before 9pm Wednesday night, police responded to a call of shots fired at 27th and Yesler.

Officers arrived and found a man in his 20s, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

Medics arrived and declared the man dead at the scene.

SPD spokesman Jeff Kappel says the police are looking for 2 or 3 male suspects and that the shooting was not random.

I’ll have more updates in the morning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hold Your Horses

posted by on June 27 at 8:35 PM

Pony is not open quite yet. It was scheduled to open at 8pm, but that has been pushed back to 9pm. Marcus is downstairs hooking up a DJ mixer. Barry is training bar tenders on the cash register. But all the porn is ready to go.

And yes, Fnarf, it’s going to be very gay.

Re: You Know What’s Fucking Great?

posted by on June 27 at 8:08 PM

These, young Spangenthal-Lee, are OBVIOUSLY the greatest things in life:





Thank you, and good night.

You Might Be a Redneck If…

posted by on June 27 at 8:00 PM

…you have your own line of ham jerky


2600 SW Thistle St

posted by on June 27 at 5:55 PM


West Seattle

The Seattle School District is planning to combine Denny middle school and Chief Sealth high school onto one campus and some parents are, as expected, freaking out.

In a recent report from the Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods, some parents and teachers at the schools voiced concern about the potential for violent or sexual encounters between high schoolers and middle schoolers.

It’s worth nothing that sweaty, hormonal 6-12 graders have safely shared space at Summit k-12 for years.

Seattle Public Schools’ spokesman David Tucker says that while the schools will have some integrated art, language and music classes, “the schools would still be primarily divided between the middle and high school. This is going to modernize Sealth. Classrooms are going to be upgraded with technology upgrades, a 1000 seat auditorium and increased art spaces.” Besides, Tucker points out, “intermingling is already occurring. [Sealth and Denny students] are already riding the same buses.”

Denny Middle School, which is across the street from Sealth, will move onto Sealth’s campus and the former Denny site will be turned into a sports field.

The school district plans to begin construction by the summer of 2008.

Good Question, Angry Andrew

posted by on June 27 at 5:43 PM

In the comments to the post below, Angry Andrew asks:

Why have there been so many red sox fans at these games? I’ve been to plenty of other m’s-red sox games before and never seen so many red sox fans.

We had the same question. The stands were full of Red Sox fans. Annie Wagner was at the game too, and she says the people in front of us as we were walking out were Red Sox fans who were staying at the Westin. Which begs the question: Do people fly all the way from Boston to Seattle to go to Red Sox games?

Paris Is Burning

posted by on June 27 at 5:42 PM

A newscastress refuses to lead with the Paris Hilton story. (“Good lord, why is she such a journalist?”)

Courtesy of my friend Rob.


posted by on June 27 at 4:40 PM

Last night’s ball game was gorgeous, especially when we ditched the sorta expensive seats we had and went all the way to the top. The guys were a lot smaller on the field, but it was much easier to watch the sun go down. The view was total. Even my crappy cell phone camera managed to catch the gorgeousness.


(Here’s a larger version.)

There was also this view:


These guys were drunk and standing up the whole game. (Bigger version here.) They had a lot more mojo than the other fans. A couple minutes after this photo was taken I saw two of them out by concessions buying beer. One of them had a big “B” painted on his torso in red, and the other had giant “O.” I couldn’t figure out how a “B” or an “O” would spell “SEATTLE” or “MARINERS” “MOJO” There are two “O”s in “MOJO,” but no “B”…

When it comes to matters athletic, I’m an idiot.

Later, the line of them turned around to face us, and they spelled out N-O-T-S-O-B. But body paint does not a baseball game win. Boston lost. Losers!

You Know What’s Fucking Great?

posted by on June 27 at 4:19 PM

The greatest things in life are as follows:







If you put all of those things in a blender with some really, really straight sex and set it on rock the fuck out, you’d get this guy:


No, that’s not me. But I wish it was.

Today in Line Out

posted by on June 27 at 3:44 PM

Pierced Arrows Coming to Seattle: Dead Moon fans, you’ll want to be there.

Weezer Promises Sixth Record: But they can’t promise it’ll be good.

Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground: Sign to V2 Europe, but still getting shunned by US labels.

Highly Caffeinated: Blitzen Trapper’s new video is Ari Spool’s brain on Wired.

In His Head: Christopher Frizzelle brings Stevie Nicks to work with him…

And Infects the Whole Office: Now everyone is singing “Leather and Lace.”

Band of the Week: Library Science bring a little reggae to the reggae-lacking city.

What a Waste: Dan Savage has an iPod, but doesn’t use it.

Tight and Taut: Trent Moorman’s poetic musings on last night’s Tortoise show (with an open letter to drummer John McEntire).

Bow + Arrow and Bow & Arrow and the Bow & Sparrow: Srsly.

Got Ink?: Aesop Rock wants to see your Aesop tats.


(Thanks, Eric.)

The End of Rorty

posted by on June 27 at 3:35 PM

This universe spares no one. Even philosophers die. All we can hope is that one day a man/woman will produce a thought strong enough to win even one battle against the given time.

A Long, Hot Summer for DC

posted by on June 27 at 3:34 PM

From the Washington Post:

A Senate committee investigating the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program issued subpoenas to the Bush administration this afternoon for documents related to the authorization and legal justification for the eavesdropping.

The Judiciary Committee subpoenas were delivered to the offices of the president, vice president, national security adviser and the Justice Department, escalating a simmering legal battle between Congress and the Bush administration.

Elizabeth Sandvig Wins Twining Humber Award

posted by on June 27 at 3:32 PM

Artist Trust announced yesterday that the painter Elizabeth Sandvig, who recently had a show at her gallery, Francine Seders, has won the $10,000 Twining Humber Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

Here’s Elizabeth Bryant’s great review of the show.

Sandvig will be honored at a reception September 7 at the Frye Art Museum.

Elizabeth Sandvig, Fox and Partridges, oil on canvas, 2006

The Sky, EXPOSED! (Or: Rose Colored Glasses—-A Giddy Rant About My New Sunglasses!)

posted by on June 27 at 3:21 PM


These are my new sunglasses. Do you love them? God damn it, I do. And how! They are my very first pair of real sunglasses, you must understand, and I understand how retarded that sounds, but, fuck you. I never got in the habit of wearing sunglasses, for reasons far beyond the grasp of common man. Okay, it’s because I’m too damn gay to wear sunglasses. I’m so damn gay that little things, like wearing sunglasses, push me right over the big gay edge. For me, wearing sunglasses is much like throwing a Molotov cocktail at a man on fire. It can take me from simply “gay” to Richard Simmons with a pussy gay….to Ryan Fucking Seacrest gay. (Shudder.) I might as well wear hoop earrings. Or a hoopskirt. Or hoop earrings wearing little hoopskirts—and then prance around with sperm dripping down my chin and Mark Finley riding piggyback on my shoulders. And that’s gay, child. Damn gay.

And all of this is quite tragic, because my life has been a life lived looking…down. My skin is whiter than God’s dentist’s apron, you see, and scientific studies have proved that my eyes are twice as sensitive as a drunken spinster on the rag. I squint and squint and squint, and in all of my wide and dusty travels (the Great Capitols! Far-flung and mysterious places!), all I mostly remember is one big gray sidewalk. Paris? I remember the sidewalk. Rome? The sidewalk. Amsterdam? Hookers, brownies, and the sidewalk. The sun just hates me too much. My fair little eyes can’t endure its merciless burn.

But now. Now! Oh, how things have changed!

Now I have these wonderful new sunglasses. I finally just broke down, gave up, gave in, and bought a pair—-“too gay” be damned!—-and what a miracle they turned out to be! I never take them off. Outside, inside, day, night, reading in the tub, boiling an artichoke, whatever. I even wear them to dark nightclubs and look like a totally pretentious cocksucking dickweed, but fuck you again. Maybe I want people to think I do more drugs than I do. (My eyes are suspiciously unclouded—it makes the hipsters nervous.) But I’m not here to justify anything. I’m here to talk about the clouds.

Why didn’t anybody tell me?

These wonderful sunglasses (bless them!) have opened up glorious new vistas for poor, watery-eyed little me—-they have introduced me to the sky, for one thing, and all sorts of really astonishing things I was never able to pay attention to before. Crazy shit is going on up there! What an astonishing thing it is to watch the relentless roil and boil of restless clouds, and how thrilling it is to watch a common airplane roar, chewing up the sky! And birds! They’re really up there, too! Swooping all over the damn place—-all kinds of them! Remarkable. I’m like a ten year old boy…amazed at common things, always looking up. It’s a whole new world.

Plus, sunglasses are secretly beer goggles. They bathe all of the world in bar lighting! Ergo, I want to make out with everyone. Everyone is at least ten percent hotter, and nobody has zits. And, ironically, I think I might even be a little…well…less gay when I wear the sunglasses, as they’ve allowed my gaze to drift high enough to really consider boobies for the first time. Interesting things, aren’t they? Boobies?

Oh, wonderful sunglasses! How I love them! Is there anything they can’t do?! I regret every moment that I was estranged from them. I’ll never take them off again.


re: Eating and Working and What Should I Do?

posted by on June 27 at 3:09 PM

As has been said and seconded in the comments to your post, Megan, the place to eat and work (and what should you do?) is Cafe Presse. Beyond Christopher’s love for their record selection and Bethany’s reasoning that it’s “so cheap, you can’t afford to eat anywhere else”, there is also the matter of seeing and being seen. Today Presse was host to Club Pop’s Michael Yuasa and myself, Kerri Harrop and Mark Mitchell, and the Stranger’s own diligent slogger (possibly also an arts critic?) Jen Graves.

Lately at McLeod

posted by on June 27 at 3:08 PM



You know that haunted little room off the foyer at McLeod Residence where the 19th-century paintings used to hang? Through this week, Mandy Greer’s show Parlor (above) is in there, with individual works for sale like this one, titled Little White Lion,


and this one,


titled White Milk Balls.

There’s a closing party Thursday night (tomorrow), but the gallery doesn’t turn over until after Saturday.

Then, opening July 6 is what promises to be an ambitious group show of interactive works (its title, Interactivity, seems criminally plain given the names of some of the works in the show: Biomimetic Butterflies, Running Plaid, Contexture).

Mystery Solved

posted by on June 27 at 1:51 PM

The insect complex is called Habitat 67; its location is Montreal along the Saint-Laurent river; and its architect is Moshe Safdie.
habitat_67.jpg I’ve actually seen this building with my very own eyes, and my eyes said no to it three times. Nothing in the world had the power to make me walk inside of it (I’m a man not an ant). Indeed, if it wasn’t for the raw concrete, zero would be the number of things I admired about the Habitat .

If you want to be a man about concrete, this is what you build:

Moshe Safdie is also the architect of the lousy Vancouver Public Library:
librarysq01.jpg A library as a crumbling Roman colosseum? The idea was dead before it left the head of the architect.

Jerry Saltz’s Love/Hate Letter to the Art World

posted by on June 27 at 1:50 PM

My favorite part:

Contrary to popular opinion, things don’t go stale particularly fast in the art world. As they say, everything changes but the avant-garde. Chelsea was a ghost town last week, but had you been with the crush in Europe you’d have observed, at each stop, the same cast of museum directors and trustees, art advisers and clients, curators and more curators, artists, dealers, journalists, PR people, and who knows who else—all talking one another up, all on the lookout for the next paradigm shift. It’s a bubble environment. Everyone goes to the same exhibitions and the same parties, stays in the same handful of hotels, eats at the same no-star restaurants, and has almost the same opinions. I adore the art world, but this is copycat behavior in a sphere that prides itself on independent thinking.

Where in the World?

posted by on June 27 at 1:07 PM

This ad from the back page of last week’s paper contains one of my many recent failures.
AmericanApp16.41.jpg No matter how much I stared at it, I could not determine where in the world the crazy apartment complex existed—Montreal? Barcelona? Tel Aviv? It’s a very famous building, that I know. But where is it located? Who made it? And why did they make such a mazy heap?

Eating and Working and What Should I Do?

posted by on June 27 at 1:07 PM

I finally advanced to the year 2007 and got a laptop. Thank you, thank you.

Anyway, I wanna take my little traveling computer and work out of the office (I’m tired of being here), but I also want to eat. It’s 1 pm. I’m hungry. I don’t want pastries or bread or other coffee shop staples. I want real food. Good food.

What local places have have free wifi and good food?

On Galleries Taking Half, Or, How Good Is Your Seattle Dealer?

posted by on June 27 at 12:59 PM

Ed Winkleman has a brave post up on his blog today, about why galleries split the profits of sales with artists 50/50.

He dives all the way in, including a list detailing a typical dealer’s expenses, beginning here:

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Gallery/Artist relationship is, not surprisingly, the most controversial aspect of any relationship in any business: money. Specifically, the 50/50 split of sales between the artist and dealer. Many folks outside the gallery system will look at that split and be amazed, I’m sure. The artist is the creative genius, the artist spent years in art school, the artist is the one putting it all on the line for the public to take pot shots at their vision. In other professions, like acting, managers only get 15% and agents only get 10%. Why on earth does the gallery take 50% of the money? The short answer is because it costs that much to promote the artist’s work. The longer answer is, well…a bit like the adage about watching sausages being made. The following is a very unromantic discussion, leaving out issues such as how much the gallery believes in the work or how important the artist is to the world. Those things do matter, but I’m taking a wholly bottom-line view here to provide the most objective analysis and hopefully most useful information toward understanding this.

Winkleman spends the post justifying why galleries should take half. But he also gives a nod to artists who feel this is highway robbery:

In general, I find the artists most upset about the 50/50 split fall into one of two categories: 1) they don’t understand the business that well (and many of them have never had full-time representation) or 2) they have a bad relationship with their gallery (i.e., their gallery is not doing enough in their opinion to earn the 50% they’re taking). This second category of artists can also be broken down in two groups: those who are correct in their assessment that the gallery is not doing enough for their 50% and those who may not understand that the gallery is still behind in the deal in terms of recouping their investment and is actually doing more than their fair share for the 50%.

Normally, comments about art on this blog are limited to ad hominem attacks and mouth-breathing disses that date back to the impressionists (“I coulda made that”).

But maybe I could hear from some artists actually represented in Seattle.

Does your dealer take half? Do you think it’s fair? Have dealers in Seattle stepped up their promotion enough to leverage the new publicity Aqua Art Miami gives to Northwest artists? Who’s the hardest-working dealer in town?

I have no reason to believe that Seattle dealers are lax in their duties, and I’m making no accusations with this line of questioning. But while Ed’s being brave…


posted by on June 27 at 12:55 PM

Kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen

Why We Should Ban Plastic Bags

posted by on June 27 at 12:49 PM

Via Metafilter.


See also: Here, here, here and here.

Children Need a Mom and a Dad

posted by on June 27 at 12:47 PM

I left someone out of my post yesterday about dads killing their wives and children. People offended by these posts shouldn’t click here.

The Old Larry’s is the New Collins

posted by on June 27 at 12:41 PM

…at least according to a text message I got from reporter Erica C. Barnett yesterday afternoon.

If you don’t know, Collins—on 2nd Ave. near Yesler—has long been a hang out for city and county “VIPs” like Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis.

But here’s what ECB texted me yesterday while she was arguing about RTID—exciting!— with some county dudes:

At Crimson C — the old larry’s, the new collins. Saw tim hatley, tom from jean’s office.

Hatley is a lobbyist and Tom is Tom Van Bronkhorst—a Jean Godden aide.

The Crimson C, which set up shop in the Larry’s spot (Larry’s, a rowdy black hip hop spot, lost its liquor license) is a block west of Collins and a half block south over on 1rst Ave. in Pioneer Square. Go there if you want to eavesdrop on lobbyists and council aides. Exciting!

IN OTHER COUNTY BUREAUCRAT GOSSIP: The political brain in KC Exec Ron Sims’s office, Ryan Bayne, is leaving to work for the Downtown Seattle Association. This is bad news for Sims, I believe.

And here’s a text message I got from Patti Smith:

I haven’t fucked much with the past, but I’ve fucked plenty with the future. Over the skin of silk are scars from the splinters of stations and walls I’ve caressed. A stage is like each bolt of wood, like a log of Helen, is my pleasure. I would measure the success of a night by the way by the way by the amount of piss and seed I could exude over the columns that nestled the P.A. Some nights I’d surprise everybody by skipping off with a skirt of green net sewed over with flat metallic circles which dazzled and flashed. The lights were violet and white. I had an ornamental veil, but I couldn’t bear to use it. When my hair was cropped, I craved covering, but now my hair itself is a veil, and the scalp inside is a scalp of a crazy and sleepy Comanche lies beneath this netting of the skin. I wake up. I am lying peacefully I am lying peacefully and my knees are open to the sun. I desire him, and he is absolutely ready to seize me. In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I’m an American artist, and I have no guilt. I seek pleasure. I seek the nerves under your skin. The narrow archway; the layers; the scroll of ancient lettuce. We worship the flaw, the belly, the belly, the mole on the belly of an exquisite whore. He spared the child and spoiled the rod. I have not sold myself to God.

No Schama for Seattle

posted by on June 27 at 12:35 PM

Last week many other capitals of culture got to see, on their local public TV stations, Simon Schama’s gazillion-hour series on the history of great works by great artists from Caravaggio to Rothko, The Power of Art.

I tuned in to KCTS assuming it would air, but it wasn’t there. That night I came down with a flu that swallowed my week and made me forgot to follow up or ask why.

Monday I was talking casually with folks at the Henry and discovered that Schama’s series isn’t coming to Seattle. It had been scheduled to air, but funding just didn’t come through, was the word in the Henry offices.

That’s a shame. Here’s the NYT on what you missed, including the story of this painting by Caravaggio, made after he had himself killed a man.


The Dangers of Hot Dogs

posted by on June 27 at 12:22 PM

This week, the world of professional eating was stunned when hot dog eating champ Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi announced he might not be able to compete in the annual Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Kobayashi, who ate 53.75 dogs in 12 minutes last year, has been suffering from arthritis in his jaw.


I believe in Kobayashi. Even if he doesn’t compete this year, he’ll always be my champion. Any man who would even attempt to out-eat a bear has my respect.

One More Pride Parade Anecdote

posted by on June 27 at 11:48 AM

Noon, June 24, Seattle Pride Parade: There were about four male protesters and two were waving large white signs quoting Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about homosexuals incapable of entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
They were shouting anti-gay statements at the parade and its revelers. The parade-goers would shout back occasionally. I was at this particular corner where the protesters were, recovered from a night of drinking at the Wild Rose, taking pictures with a disposable camera which I’d send back to my lesbian friends in my small, conservative home town. Watching the event, I couldn’t help but be wowed. Small-town girl goes to big city.
In a small town, people treated me like they’d rather sneer and say something smart like, “Don’t they have parades and marches for people like you?” Yes they do. It’s Seattle Pride, baby. It’s not like I was all teary-eyed, I was just thinking, Hey this is great.
I didn’t pay much attention to the protesters until I saw the coolest thing ever. It went down like this:
The evangelicals and some of the crowd started shouting an awful lot. Then the sign-bearers walked away from the corner.
This pint-sized young dyke strutted after them, “COME ON! YOU JUST GONNA WALK AWAY?”
One of the protesters turned and she slapped him in the face. He knelt down to pray and she returned to her crew and a standing ovation with her arms outstretched. The evangelicals gathered around their bowed brother, holding up Bibles and showing support.
I was for the smack in the face. But I was also hurt for the man. Though I can’t get behind it, he was expressing what he thought was right.
I was raised by Christian Evangelical parents. I went to church. I was exposed to that scene. I also remember how I was then: a smoldering young’un with some definite scruples with scripture and a smart-mouth to match.
The evangelical had every right to speak his mind.
And in the young dyke I saw a ballsier version of myself, the attitude of, “You’re damn right ‘girl’ is a four-letter word!
I would have bought her a drink if she was old enough.

Nole Knapek

In The Moment

posted by on June 27 at 11:47 AM

Philokaloumen met’ euteleias.
cover.jpg(We love beauty without exaggeration.) The pictured moment was taken from modern Istanbul.

Pony Up Tonight

posted by on June 27 at 11:40 AM


Marcus Wilson’s sleazy new gay dive, Pony, opens tonight at 8pm at the site of the old Cha Cha Lounge (506 E Pine st).

Hell yes!


How Was It? Gay Pride

posted by on June 27 at 11:28 AM

Also, please note, this is my attempt to cram almost an hours’ worth of footage into a six-minute bag. I talked to so many great and inspiring people in Seattle over the Gay Pride weekend. Especially at the Wildrose. Please watch SLOG and our video page this week for additional videos and interviews.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 27 at 11:20 AM

Killer of Sheep

(BLACK CINEMA) Finished in 1977, Killer of Sheep is a film by the most important black director in the history of American moving pictures, Charles Burnett. To obtain an adequate understanding of the film—which is set in a black L.A. neighborhood, and is about a sad man who kills sheep for a living—you must watch it much more than once. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 329-2629. 7 pm and 9:15 pm, $8/$5 for members, through Sept 15.) CHARLES MUDEDE

University and RIAA Hold Hands

posted by on June 27 at 10:54 AM

Here is a portion of an e-mail was sent to all students at the University of Washington:

The RIAA is now sending colleges and universities a letter for each instance they find of a student illegally downloading material from the internet and requesting the university to identify the individual student and forward the letter to him or her…

The University has been notified by the RIAA that we will be receiving a number of these early settlement letters. After careful consideration, we have decided to forward the letters to the alleged copyright violators. We do so primarily because we believe students should have the opportunity to avail themselves of the settlement option if they so choose.

Let’s say Focus on the Family writes a series of letters to the university accusing a “John Doe” embryonic stem cell researcher at the university of violating federal restrictions on the creation of new lines. Mind you, they’ve shown no real material information that any individual has violated the law, just blanket accusations with flimsy identifying information.

They say to the university “give us personal information on every human embryonic stem cell researcher at the university or we’ll subpoena that information.”

The university replies: “Well, we can’t roll over that easily. Send us letters demanding that the recipient contact you or suffer severe legal concequences, and we’ll forward them to everyone working on human embryonic stem cells here. Then you’ll get your identifying information, and we’ll be off the hook.”

Whether the university is directly identifying students to the RIAA or indirectly does so by sending the students a letter directing them to contact the RIAA, the net result is the same.

Do people not understand why academic institutions MUST behave differently than this?

What if the oil industry threw letters at climatologists?

What if the junk food industry thew letters at obesity researchers?

The university has access to a massive collection of very personal information, including detailed financial, academic, and medical records. It is essential for the primary mission of the university to protect its members against angered outside forces. Without this commitment to protect academics, we’ll never be able to get honest answers to questions.

Shouldn’t the proper course have been to:
1. Not save identifying information in the first place?
2. Tell the RIAA to come back with their own damn identifying information?
3. Send letters instructing students to not self-incriminate themselves?
4. Provide proper legal services rather than (borderline negligent) legal advice to settle to any and all demands?

A Homophobic Moment

posted by on June 27 at 10:10 AM

The school official that had a gay kiss blacked out of a yearbook in New Jersey has finally apologized—in person and for real—to the openly gay student whose “tribute page” was censored. Says Marion Bolden now…

“We have to own up to the fact that it was a homophobic moment. That’s what everybody’s afraid to say. There are sensitivity issues we need to talk about as a result of this.”

Marion Bolden offered written apology, which Andre Jackson heard about from reporters. He refused to accept it. When Bolden showed up at Newark’s East Side High on Tuesday and made an apology to a student assembly, and then met privately with Jackson, and he accepted her apology. Still…

During her public remarks, she said the picture of Jackson kissing his boyfriend was not appropriate for the yearbook and that, if it was to be removed, two pictures of heterosexual couples kissing should have been removed as well.

Jackson, who paid $150 for the page, and others noted that the yearbook was filled with pictures of the heterosexual couples kissing.

Jackson earlier told reporters that the yearbook incident revived tensions in his family about his sexuality, and his decision to come out.

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary

posted by on June 27 at 10:06 AM

For years, citizens have funneled their angst, rage, and other ugly feelings through I, Anonymous, the Stranger column devoted entirely to unsigned rants.

Recently I received a slew of I, Anonymiis from an unlikely source: an alternative elementary/middle school in Ballard, where it appears an entire class was assigned to write their own I, Anons, all of which arrived in a single envelope. I’ll be sharing these with readers via the Slog over the next week or so, starting now.

Dear Sister,

You are so annoying sometimes. You are a wimp. If I accidentally hurt you, you start screaming at me. Then I will get in a lot of trouble for an accident. If you hurt me on purpose you never get in trouble. You can’t take what you give people. If you are really annoying me and keep poking me, and I start poking you, you get very, very mad at me.

You also steal my stuff and don’t admit it. Once I had a pack of gum and you chewed all of it. I asked you if you chewed it and you said you didn’t. I asked you again and you got really mad at me. Sometimes you also steal my clothes. I will trying to find a shirt and I’ll look in your room. Then I find it and I ask you why you took it. You will say you didn’t and that our dad must have put it in your room.

You also get mad at me when I won’t do something for you. If I am on the computer and you feel like going on it, you tell me to get off. Since you are my little sister, I don’t feel like I have to, so I tell you I’m not getting off. Then you get really mad at me and start screaming at me.

You are a very annoying little sister and sometimes I get really mad at you.


posted by on June 27 at 9:45 AM


This past weekend I was drinking at Al’s Tavern in Wallingford, a classic little dive a few blocks from Dick’s Drive In. After several beers and a couple shots, I volunteered to fetch some burgers to bring back to the bar for dinner. I’d never had a Dick’s burger and I was psyched.

The kid at the window told me I couldn’t get a Dick’s Deluxe minus mayo. WTF? But OK, my first time here, I’m not gonna argue (and I’m not eating mayo on my burger). Instead I went ahead and got a bag full of regular Dick’s cheeseburgers (no mayo/special sauce) and another bag full of fries. I returned to the bar and doled ‘em out.

The ravenous locals I was with immediately tore into their burgers. I unwrapped mine ceremoniously and took my time looking and smelling before taking a bite. All eyes turned to me, waiting for a reaction.

I chewed. I swallowed. “Just like McDonald’s,” I said.

If there was a cross in the room I would’ve been crucified. Apparently I uttered some sort of blasphemy, not just a faux pas but a serious affront to Seattle civic pride. I offended my companions—at least until they started laughing at me.

But I was totally right. Dick’s cheeseburgers are just like freakin’ McDonald’s. Soft, processed, whitebread bun; smooshed onto a tasty, greasy, beef-like patty; a gooey, melted film of cheese. Nothing more, nothing less. The woefully delicious McDonald’s prototype, offered with a less-corporate-beheamoth-y flair. (Sort of. Why couldn’t the assembly line leave the freakin’ mayo off the Deluxe?) The fries were really good, too.

I was informed that Dick’s pays its employees more than minimum wage, that they pay them to volunteer, that they’re a local institution, that it’s a true drive-in where middle school kids hang out after their Dick’s-sponsored softball games, etc. I appreciate all that—I truly do. But that doesn’t obscure the fact that Dick’s burgers taste like McDonald’s.

Which is just fine—I don’t eat Micky D’s, but I’ll go back to Dick’s.

Addendum: Let it be known that I hail from the land of In-n-Out, which everyone knows is the best fast-food burger on earth.

(photo from

[Ed. Note: It appears that Dick’s wasn’t in our dining database. It was totally one of those things where you are looking for your eyeglasses and the whole time they were right on your head. We sincerely apologize, and the problem has been rectified. Make sure you weigh in with a review that will last forever and beyond.]


posted by on June 27 at 9:37 AM

Apple’s iPhone matches the hype—for the most part, says the New York Times.

As it turns out, much of the hype and some of the criticisms are justified. The iPhone is revolutionary; it’s flawed. It’s substance; it’s style. It does things no phone has ever done before; it lacks features found even on the most basic phones….

The phone is so sleek and thin, it makes Treos and BlackBerrys look obese. The glass gets smudgy — a sleeve wipes it clean — but it doesn’t scratch easily. I’ve walked around with an iPhone in my pocket for two weeks, naked and unprotected (the iPhone, that is, not me), and there’s not a mark on it….

To answer a call, you can tap Answer on the screen, or pinch the microscopic microphone bulge on the white earbud cord. Either way, music or video playback pauses until you hang up. (When you’re listening to music, that pinch pauses the song. A double-pinch advances to the next song.)

Making a call, though, can take as many as six steps: wake the phone, unlock its buttons, summon the Home screen, open the Phone program, view the Recent Calls or speed-dial list, and select a name. Call quality is only average, and depends on the strength of your AT&T signal.

E-mail is fantastic. Incoming messages are fully formatted, complete with graphics; you can even open (but not edit) Word, Excel and PDF documents.

The Web browser, though, is the real dazzler. This isn’t some stripped-down, claustrophobic My First Cellphone Browser; you get full Web layouts, fonts and all, shrunk to fit the screen. You scroll with a fingertip — much faster than scroll bars. You can double-tap to enlarge a block of text for reading, or rotate the screen 90 degrees, which rotates and magnifies the image to fill the wider view.

Finally, you can enlarge a Web page—or an e-mail message, or a photo—by spreading your thumb and forefinger on the glass. The image grows as though it’s on a sheet of latex.

As for my phone dilemma, I’m enjoying not having a cell phone so much that I may not replace my dead, dead, dead Razr at all. Did you know that when you don’t have a cell phone people can’t call you any time, day or night? And that when you’re away from your desk no one can find you? It’s kinda like… being free or something. I’m kinda digging this cell-phone-free feeling.

Re: Young Americans Support Universal Health Care

posted by on June 27 at 9:23 AM

As Dan linked in today’s Morning News, young Americans are leaning left—supporting things like gay marriage, open immigration, and universal health care.

Maybe (on the health care thing, anyway) it’s because, increasingly, according to new data from the CDC, they don’t have health care.

The number of adults without health insurance jumped by 2 million from 2005 to 2006, according to a new federal report.

Uninsured Americans numbered 43.6 million last year, a 6 percent increase from 2005, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Almost all the increase was in the non-elderly adult population — a trend attributed to diminishing employer coverage and pricier private insurance.

The change in non-elderly adults was significant, but the overall increase was not, CDC officials said. The overall count of the uninsured has been fluctuating between 41 and 44 million over the last five years and is not really trending up, they said.

Snow Tires

posted by on June 27 at 9:01 AM

This is a cornfield in the Netherlands where a coked up diver tried to outmaneuver police:


The chase destroyed four police cars before the 35-year-old driver crashed in a ditch.

(Update: Line Out got to this first. Propers to them.)

The Morning News

posted by on June 27 at 9:00 AM

Generation D For Donkey: Young Americans leaning left, according to new poll. Young Americans more likely to favor universal health care, open immigration and the legalization of gay marriage. They’re also more likely to think we’re winning the war in Iraq.

“The Family Jewels.” Newly released CIA files document illegal domestic spying, assassination attempts, bribes, and much, much more.

The New Urbanism: By next year half of the earth’s population will live in cities, says United Nations report.

Texas Must Have Offended God Somehow: Storms of biblical proportions inundate George W. Bush’s home state, causing widespread flooding and stranding people on roofs, in cars.

Tahoe Too: That huge wildfire in Lake Tahoe, California, was partly contained yesterday. Today it’s roaring out of control again.

“That’s it. The End.” Tony Blair returns to private life. Gordon Brown is Britain’s new Prime Minister.

Because We Won the War on Pot: Four states have banned salvia divinorum, a plant that goes wild all over Mexico, because it creates pleasurable hallucinations that last about an hour when chewed or smoked. The plant isn’t illegal. Now the DEA—fresh from its victory over pot, cocaine, heroin, khat, e, etc.—is stepping in.

“No Regrets.” Seattle police chief quite satisfied with his own job performance, thanks. And more evidence that cops are “running out the clock” to avoid being held accountable for abuses.

Jazz Hands, Everybody: Bob Fosse did the choreography for the film version of Kiss Me Kate—and he’s actually in one of the numbers. He’s one of the three male dancers in “From This Moment On,” a song written by Cole Porter especially for the film. Most of the dancing is pretty standard, movie-musical stuff. But about a third of the way through this clip you’ll see Fosse himself dancing with Carol Haney—look for the lighting change and the finger snaps. The dancing is a jarring stylistic break with everything that comes before in the number, just as Fosse’s choreography would become a jarring break with everything that came before on Broadway.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NE 45th St and University Way

posted by on June 26 at 7:17 PM



King County prosecutors have filed attempted murder and assault charges against Noor Abdulkadir Abdow, after he allegedly shot Mark Farney, a former Husky football player and security guard at Tommy’s Nightclub, on June 22.

According to the prosecutor’s filing, Tommy’s security guards told Abdow he was not allowed in the bar due to “previous problems.” Abdow punched Farney in the face and told the staff he was going to his car to get his gun.

Tommy’s owner Jeff Andrew told me that when Abdow threatened to come back and shoot his staff, he called police. Andrew claims the 911 operator told him officers were busy with another call in the area—a police chase near Green Lake—and would not be able to respond unless it was a life or death emergency. Five minutes later, Abdow returned to the bar and shot Farney in the stomach. He then fired at two other security guards and missed.

When police arrived, they found Abdow in a tree, several blocks away. He told police he remembered going back to the bar after hitting Farney but could not remember what happened or how he ended up in a tree.

Abdow is being held on $1 million bail.

Farney is still in the hospital but is expected to recover.

Open Season!

posted by on June 26 at 5:27 PM

Apparently we can go on television now and wish for the assassination of politicians we don’t like…

…or maybe it’s only okay for Ann Coulter to do it. Says John at Americablog:

If you or I said this, we’d be arrested.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on June 26 at 4:10 PM

Rocket Man: Tom Moulton and Rocket.

Mungoloid He Was a Mungoloid: Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime.”

Don’t Hurt ‘Em: Cranking with MC Hammer

Kooky Science: Scientific American’s “Mass Dstrction v.4”

Ambitious Career Thieves: Seattle’s NewNight-Life

Battles: Dan Deacon vs Battles vs 6 More Months for Ari Spool’s Album of the Year.

Nice Business Model: The RIAA Sues College Students into Buying the New Mandy Moore CD.

Zeitgeisty: Billy Corgan’s Ego Tripping.

The Bite of Life

posted by on June 26 at 3:42 PM

Last night I saw a terribly old man eating a meal at the Pause Bar and Restaurant in Portland. My eyes could not leave the sight of this man. I was mesmerized by the slowness with which he ate his food. He was not only slow, but also shook the loose flesh of his cheeks as he chewed. And what he chewed was a of lot food: a hamburger, a pile of thick fries, a green salad, and a piece of pie. Despite his slowness, he ate it all. Not a single crumb escaped his miserable method of eating—a form of eating that had nothing to do with pleasure and everything to do with existence. He was eating to live and become even older than he already was. This old man had a hard bite on life. He was not going to let go so easily. His bite on existence was like a dog biting a rock.

The Killer Crippler

posted by on June 26 at 2:49 PM

We know that Chris Benoit, the “Canadian Crippler” (a popular professional wrestler for WWE), brought his own life to an end…
003.jpg..after killing his wife and his seven-year-old son.
But how did Benoit murder himself and his family?

[The] authorities said that Benoit [the “Canadian Crippler”] appeared to have smothered his son and strangled his wife before hanging himself with the pulley of a weightlifting machine, according to the Associated Press.
My god.

Required Reading: The National Review Cruise

posted by on June 26 at 2:05 PM

Johann Hari is at sea—with the editors, writers, and readers of National Review.

The next morning, I warily wander into the Vista Lounge—a Vegas-style showroom—for the first of the trip’s seminars…. There is something strange about this discussion, and it takes me a few moments to realize exactly what it is. All the tropes conservatives usually deny in public—that Iraq is another Vietnam, that Bush is fighting a class war on behalf of the rich—are embraced on this shining ship in the middle of the ocean. Yes, they concede, we are fighting another Vietnam; and this time we won’t let the weak-kneed liberals lose it….

Then, with a judder, the panel runs momentarily aground. Rich Lowry, the preppy, handsome 38-year-old editor of National Review, announces, “The American public isn’t concluding we’re losing in Iraq for any irrational reason. They’re looking at the cold, hard facts.” The Vista Lounge is, as one, perplexed. Lowry continues, “I wish it was true that, because we’re a superpower, we can’t lose. But it’s not.”

No one argues with him. They just look away, in the same manner that people avoid glancing at a crazy person yelling at a bus stop. Then they return to hyperbole and accusations of treachery against people like their editor. The aging historian Bernard Lewis declares, “The election in the U.S. is being seen by [the bin Ladenists] as a victory on a par with the collapse of the Soviet Union. We should be prepared for whatever comes next.” This is why the guests paid up to $6,000. This is what they came for. They give him a wheezing, stooping ovation and break for coffee.

Via Sullivan.

How to Pick a Presidential Candidate

posted by on June 26 at 1:57 PM

Want a candidate who speaks your language? Who values the same things you do? A candidate who cares about something? A person’s pets can reveal something essential about who that person is.

Calvin Woodward from Associated Press asked the presidential contenders: What pets live in your home?


Delaware Sen. Joe Biden: A cat.

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: “Seamus, our Lab.”

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd: None because of family’s allergies. Would like a dog.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: Golden retriever and chocolate Lab.

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Pound-rescues Harry the beagle-basset, Lucie the beagle, and George the cocker spaniel.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: None.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: Cats Jake and Squeaky.



Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback: Two dogs, two cats, and a fish.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: None.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: Jet the 9-year-old black Lab, Sonic the 1 1/2-year-old Shih Tzu.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter: Two black Labs, Boo and Hunter.

Arizona Sen. John McCain: Sam the English springer spaniel, Coco the mutt, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the black-and-white cat, a ferret, three parakeets, and 13 saltwater fish.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: Family recently lost Marley, a Weimaraner.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: No longer has a pet.

Dennis Kucinich comes out looking pretty good. So does John McCain. But, oh no, Barack, you’ve lost my vote.

Letter of the Day

posted by on June 26 at 1:34 PM


Sorry I didn’t get to see the [Pride] parade (I had to work), but I hope you all had fun. However, what are the rules for cleanup afterward? I stay at a friend’s on Fourth Ave. when in town on, and the litter and detritus was even thick on the streets and sidewalks late at night. And yeah, The Stranger’s little area by the Two Bells was f’d up as well! Is the city responsible? Organizers? Citizens? It looked like a John Glenn ticker tape parade! I live in Portland, and even after the Grand Floral Parade, where a quarter million or so watch on the sidelines, you can eat off the streets within hours. I hope for the best in keeping your city cleaner. This one was bad.


Republican Wishful Thinking on Science

posted by on June 26 at 1:33 PM

I came across this choice quote while reading up on the presidential veto of the embryonic stem cell funding bill:

“Given the tremendous results that have come from adult and umbilical cord stem cell therapy in the areas of oncology and orthopedics — and, more recently, in cardiology and neurology — I am further encouraged by the possibilities these non-controversial, adult stem cells have to offer,” said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio.

What the scientific literature has to say on the potential of adult stem cells to replace embryonic stem cells:

The late 1990s and first few years of this decade were marked by dramatic reports of transdifferentiation in multiple organ systems. Examples included marrow -> skeletal muscle, marrow/blood -> endothelium, neural stem cells -> blood, skeletal muscle -> blood, marrow -> lung, marrow -> brain, marrow -> liver, and marrow -> heart. Indeed, it seemed for a while that the rules of development did not apply to adult stem cells and that simply placing these cells into new environments was sufficient to induce them to acquire the phenotype of their surrounding tissue.

After a few years, however, several of these conclusions were shown to result not from transdifferentiation but from novel processes not known to occur at the time of the initial report. For example, formation of blood from skeletal muscle turned out to result from “ectopic” hematopoietic stem cells that unexpectedly resided in skeletal muscle, rather than conversion of muscle-specific stem cells into blood. Formation of liver from marrow resulted from the fusion of blood cells with hepatocytes, and subsequent reprogramming of the leukocyte nucleus to a hepatic phenotype. Other observations were not reproducible when subsequently attempted or are suspected to result from experimental artifact.

In other words, the “tremendous results” Senator Voinovich cites have largely been debunked.

I don’t work with embryonic stem cells for pleasure. They remain the only reliable source for many crucial replacement cell types. Like beating human heart cells:

Most embryonic stem cell research has nothing to do with destroying embryos to create new lines. Rather, we spend most of our hours getting the embryonic stem cells to do useful things, like replacing the billion or so beating cells lost in a heart attack.

So, thank you Senator Voinovich for your thoughtful evaluation of the scientific literature. Now let me get back to work.

Coordinated Bear Attack???

posted by on June 26 at 12:55 PM

Yesterday, Savage slogged about the winners of The Stranger’s first ever Pride Parade Awards—the fuzzy-men-in-a-tub extravaganza “Bears, Bath & Beyond,” pictured here:


Today brought an entirely different photo of a bunch of bears in a sudsy tub, this one from the Denver Pride Parade, sent in by Slog tipper Keith and entitled “Rub-a-Dub-Dub…Bears in a Tub”:


Could this be a big hairy coincidence? Or are American bears using the internets to coordinate their Pride-related maulings? Who knows, but the more sudsy bears the merrier, especially when they adorn themselves with such hilarious accoutrements as the Seattle bears’ “Back n’ Shoulders” shampoo bottles…

The JT LeRoy Verdict

posted by on June 26 at 12:25 PM

The lady who pretended to be JT LeRoy has been found guilty of fraud by a jury and forced to pay $116,500 to Antidote International Films, the company that optioned her first book, Sarah. (I mean, JT LeRoy’s first book.) Does this seem weird to anyone else?

OK, yes, Laura Albert “lied” to everyone, including Antidote International Films but also Courtney Love and Winona Ryder and Mary Gaitskill and Dennis Cooper and lots of other musicians and writers. (I once heard a voicemail JT LeRoy left on the answering machine of a well known writer, a writer who shared an agent with JT LeRoy, and always thought this was proof that JT LeRoy existed.) But writers “lying” to readers—writing under a name that isn’t their real name!isn’t exactly unheard of. Writers “lying” about their gender isn’t exactly unheard of. Sure, Albert furthered the confusion/deception/act by sending people out to public appearances to act as JT LeRoy, but wouldn’t George Eliot have done the same if she’d been pressured to, like, go on a book tour? Plus, hasn’t this is-he-real-or-isn’t-he? performance art that Laura Albert has been perpetuating for years been kind of wonderful to behold? It’s not like she hasn’t been working really hard at it.

What seems weird is that Antidote International Films optioned a novel called Sarah, not a human being who wrote a novel called Sarah. To get all huffy (more than huffy: to sue a writer for all this money, not just this first $116,500 but also all the legal fees) because the author of a novel—which, by definition, is a book that we are to assume is made-up—has a different name and gender and personality than the person we all thought wrote it just illustrates that Antidote’s interest in the book wasn’t actually, you know, an interest in the book. From the New York Times:

Among the various battles waged at the trial—art versus commerce, truth versus fiction, reality versus the imagination—it was perhaps the battle over JT LeRoy’s purpose in the world that was most in dispute. Before his identity (or, rather, nonidentity) was revealed last year in a series of newspaper articles, the production team at Antidote considered him that rare commodity in today’s biography-obsessed entertainment world: a gifted writer with a titillating past that only enhanced the value of the work.

Bullshit. JT LeRoy’s biography was their interest in the work. Their perception of the person who wrote it was what they liked. It was an interest in career, celebrity, the “sellability” of the author, rather than ideas.

Germany Bans Cruise

posted by on June 26 at 12:20 PM

I know, I know—Tom Cruise is a flaming box of nuts and Scientology is a gold-plated swindle, but isn’t it a little—uh, gee, I’m trying not to use the f-word—authoritarian for the German government to forbid a film shoot because it doesn’t cotton to the (deeply, deeply ridiculous) beliefs of one of the actors?

My New Thai Crush

posted by on June 26 at 11:56 AM


Like most Seattlites, I’ve eaten approximately 17 tons of Thai food, and by now I’m kind of sick of it. But this weekend—thanks to the downtown Pride parade—I tried a longstanding Thai joint for the first time, and was bowled over with delight.

The place: Golden Singha, located in that triangle of commerce where Fifth meets Denny.

The draw: The aggressively fresh vegetables, the mercifully light and non-ketchupy pad thai, and the excessively reasonable prices.

If you’ve grown disillusioned with your former favorite Thai place (hello, Siam), you must must must try Golden Singha.

(Argue with my opinions and deposit your own in the Stranger’s reader review-powered Restaurant Listings.)

School District In No Hurry to Report Sexual Assault Allegation

posted by on June 26 at 11:33 AM

As the Times and P-I have reported, Rainier Beach High School officials failed to report an alleged sexual assault of a girl by two boys, waiting until the girl filed a complaint with the school to report the assault to police.

According to the Times’ account of the police report, the girl told police the two boys began sexually harassing her in a supervised history class. After the class ended, she said, they followed her into the hall, where one of them grabbed her and unzipped her shirt. She said she struggled and hit the boy, who then dragged her into a nearby restroom and sexually assaulted her in a stall while the other boy stood watch outside. She immediately went to school officials and reported the assault.

Their response? The two boys were suspended… for three days.

Although the boys were eventually expelled for nine days (after the end of the school year), it’s worth putting that punishment in context. If three days’ suspension is the standard punishment for raping a girl in a bathroom, it stands to reason that punishments for other offenses must be similarly lenient.

Except, of course, that they aren’t. From a look at other punishments meted out by Seattle school officials over the past few years, it appears that Seattle school officials take sexual assault less seriously than insulting teachers, playing senior-year pranks, and talking back. According to news reports, here are a few examples of punishments for offenses committed at Seattle schools.

Six to 90 days for creating a false MySpace page in a teacher’s name.

Four days for eating in class and talking back to a teacher.

Forty days for creating a video making fun of a teacher.

Suspension until the end of the school year
and barring from commencement for painting on a football field.

Seattle Public Schools’ disciplinary code classifies sexual assault as “exceptional misconduct,” in the same category as selling drugs, gang membership, and bringing guns to school. So why didn’t Rainier Beach officials treat it that way?

Does City Money Buy Urban League Support for the Chief?

posted by on June 26 at 11:11 AM

This weekend, I wondered out loud on Slog why James Kelly of Seattle’s Urban League had a double standard when it came to SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske. That is: Kelly wanted to reserve judgment on Kerlikowske until the investigation into Kerlikowske was complete. That’s rich, given that the investigation into Kerlikowske involves questions about why Kerlikowske exonerated a pair of suspect officers before that investigation was complete.

Well, there may be an explanation why the Urban League is getting Kerlkiowske’s back: The city is a big financial supporter of the Urban League.

Urban League President Kelly has not returned my call yet.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 26 at 11:00 AM


(MUSIC) The term “post-rock” has become a nondescriptor, but if it applies to anyone it applies to Tortoise. The Chicago quintet comprises five virtuoso players, egalitarian in their approach, angling toward a shifting, dramatic sort of instrumental equilibrium. Yeah, it’s brainy stuff, but a band this comfortable with breaking bounds can make trigonometry sound soulful. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $15, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes

posted by on June 26 at 10:52 AM

The Seattle Times splashed a story across its front page today that will, without a doubt, lead to the firing or resignation of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske. In April of 2005 three SPD officers arrested Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes outside the War Room on Pike Street—arrested and beat the crap out of Alley-Barnes.

Alley-Barnes was charged with obstructing justice, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer—but all charges were dropped after the SPD refused to turn over a copy of a videotape of the arrest to Alley-Barnes’ defense lawyers; audio, however, showed that the SPD officers’ written accounts of the arrest were “inaccurate.”

The Office of Police the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), which oversees internal police investigations, found two were guilty of excessive force and all three were guilty of serious breaches in conduct. She recommended discipline for all three.

Kerlikowske, however, did not punish the three officers involved in the assault on Alley-Barnes—just as Kerlikowske refused to discipline SPD officers Gregory Neubert and Michael Tietjen who were accused (and exonerated) of planting drugs on a black man in a freakin’ wheelchair, even after the arrest, which was caught on videotape, did not match up with the officers’ police reports.

It’s a great story, and I’m not writing this Slog post to take anything away from the Seattle Times or Mike Carter and Christine Clarridge’s reporting. But I did want to respond to an irate Stranger reader who wrote me this morning demanding to know why we never wrote anything about the arrest of Alley-Barnes.

Uh, we did cover Alley-Barnes arrestin April of 2005. We were, in fact, the first Seattle paper to write about Alley-Barnes. Meanwhile, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee put in a public records request for the Alley-Barnes tape over a month ago and was down at SPD offices on Friday arguing with the public disclosure officers when the tape was left out of his request.

But, again, props to the Seattle Times.

Children Need a Mom and a Dad

posted by on June 26 at 9:30 AM

I’ve retitled today’s installment of “Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father” in honor of the Texas judge that threw a gay couple out of her courtroom, crumpling up their petition to have their son’s name changed and tossing it over shoulder, and then telling the couple that “children need a mom and a dad.”

Wrestler Benoit found dead with family

Pro wrestler Chris Benoit canceled a pay-per-view appearance at the “Vengeance” event in Houston because of “personal reasons” a day before he, his wife and their 7-year-old son were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

Details of the deaths “are going to prove a little bizarre” when released to the public, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Autopsies were scheduled Tuesday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in DeKalb County.

Authorities were investigating the deaths at a secluded Fayette County home as a murder-suicide and were not seeking any suspects.

I realize that these posts are upsetting to some—hell, they’re upsetting to me. Stories about children being abused or killed are harder to read when you have children yourself; it’s almost impossible to avoid calling up mental images of your own child suffering, or being abused, or murdered. This realization took me by surprise when my son was 18 months old; sitting in a cafe, reading a newspaper, I read a short item about a couple that abandoned their 18 month-old son in a ravine, where he was torn apart by wild dogs. I couldn’t stifle a loud sob.

But I’m going to keep posting these horrifying stories so long as asshole judges tell gay couples that “children need a mom and a dad,” or asshole presidential candidates tell right-wing bigots that “every child deserves to have a mother and a father,” or asshole religious groups spit out press releases attacking loving same-sex parents.

What ever child needs is a parent or parents that are fit and sane and loving, regardless of their sexual orientations. It’s galling to read the comments of that judge the same day that news breaks of another straight parent taking the life of his wife and child—and there has been no shortage of these stories this week.

Bobby Cutts Jr May Have Killed Jessie Davis in Front of Their Son

Jessie Marie Davis was killed in her Lake Township home the day before her mother reported her missing, according to the complaints charging Bobby L. Cutts Jr. with two counts of murder. That means that the couple’s two year old son may have actually witnessed the murder of his mother Jessie by his father Bobby.

Man accused of killing wife, 3 children held without bond

A suburban Chicago man accused of killing his wife and three children was ordered held without bond Monday, while officials began efforts to have him returned to Illinois to face murder charges.

Christopher Vaughn, 32—wearing an orange jail uniform, handcuffs and leg irons—said nothing during the brief hearing, during which St. Charles County Associate Judge William Lohmar revoked a $1 million cash bond set earlier.

Vaughn was arrested Saturday at a St. Charles funeral home just hours before a memorial service for 34-year-old Kimberly Vaughn and the couple’s children, Abigayle, 12, Cassandra, 11, and Blake, 8. They were found shot to death June 14 in the family’s parked sport utility vehicle.

It’s hard to be assaulted by stories like these on a daily basis—stories about straight parents murdering their children—while at the same time listening to “pro-family” organizations and religious bigots insist that same-sex parents are, by definition, a danger to our children. Most straight people—particularly the kind of straight people inclined to read this here blog—don’t listen to the bigots, or tune ‘em out, and tell gay people we should do the same. You know what? We can’t. So the constant stream of slurs directed at gay parents that so many straight people “tune out” winds up functioning like some sort of dog whistle. It’s loud, it’s shrill, and sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones that can hear it.

If this post upsets you, I apologize—sort of. Just know that I’m upset too and that these posts are meant to be upsetting.

Giuliani Gate(s)

posted by on June 26 at 9:21 AM

From eavesdropping to Libby to the AG’s office, it’s been a chore to keep up with the Bush administration scandals.

Now, comes the list of Giuliani messes. Before you fall behind, here’s a tidy round up of Giuliani’s troubles from the AP

Dear Mr. President

posted by on June 26 at 9:13 AM

A day after the U.S. Supreme Court limited student free speech, smart students take free speech to the White House.


Legal Proceedings

posted by on June 26 at 8:35 AM


A District of Columbia administrative law judge who filed a $54 million lawsuit against his neighborhood dry cleaner over a pair of missing pants will not get a penny, a court here ruled Monday…. “The court finds that the plaintiff is not entitled to any relief whatsoever,” Judge Bartnoff wrote.


For the Manford-Roach family, difficulties arose when they first tried to hyphenate Jackson’s last name. The judge overseeing the legal procedure in Dallas, Texas, crumpled up the paper and threw it over her shoulder when she realized they were a same-sex couple, Manford said.

Get out of my courtroom, I would never do this for you,” the judge said, according to Manford. “Children need a mom and a dad.

Free Advice to the Washington Bus Campaign

posted by on June 26 at 8:04 AM

Who is the Washington Bus Campaign, you ask? They’re the group that’s holding a Jean Godden Lookalike Contest tomorrow at 6 pm. With suburban city council members. In South Seattle. (I’ll be at Jean Godden opponent Lauren Briel’s kickoff.)

Based on that information alone, I thought I’d offer the Bus Campaign a bit of free advice.

Unsolicited Suggestion No. 1. Don’t hold a contest in Seattle, making fun of a Seattle City Council member, and not, you know, invite any Seattle City Council members.

Although Jean Godden has reportedly volunteered to MC, which sort of makes me love her, the other (invited) hosts of the evening include the following: Ken Mann (Whatcom County Council, District 2, Seat B), Mia Gregerson (SeaTac City Council, position 3), Keri Andrews (Bellevue City Council, position 7), and De’Sean Quinn (Tukwila City Council, position 2—you know, the really controversial one).

Probably these are all worthwhile campaigns—in Whatcom, SeaTac, Bellevue, and Tukwila. But the fact is, people in Seattle don’t care about Whatcom, SeaTac, Bellevue, and Tukwila. In an e-mail to Stranger editor Dan Savage, Bus Campaign organizer Thomas Goldstein explained that the campaign isn’t focusing on Seattle races because Seattle is overwhelmingly progressive and that would “divide our base. While the races we will choose to start with [are between] a progressive [and] a reactionary.”

Um, guys? You really might want to think about tapping that Seattle progressive base instead of ignoring it if you want to rake in the donations you’ll need to get your campaign up and running.

Unsolicited Suggestion No. 2: Don’t have an event in a place that’s not easily to get to from all parts of the city. Seriously: I tried to figure out how to get there using Metro’s trip planner from ten different addresses around Seattle, and the only direct rides were from South Seattle or downtown (which, incidentally, would have been a great place to hold this event.) In general, the Central Area Senior Center is not a commute-friendly location.

… Which brings us to Unsolicited Suggestion No. 3: The freaking Central Area Senior Center? You can’t be serious. This is supposed to be an event that draws young people, right? Frankly, I doubt that a “cupcake reception” (no, really) is going to get the kids to flock in droves to an old folks’ facility. (“Well, I was going to go out drinking with my friends, but now I’m totally taking three buses to the Central Area Senior Center!”) Booze and nudity, maybe; a cupcake reception at a senior center … no. (In his e-mail, Goldstein notes that there will be beer, but it doesn’t say that anywhere on the invitation.)

Sorry to throw stale beer on your parade, Thomas, but there’s so much about a progressive campaign to get young people involved with grassroots activism that sounds right. So why are you running it all wrong?

The Morning News

posted by on June 26 at 8:03 AM

The Liberation of Paris: Throngs of photographers and fans greet celebutard upon her release from prison. Of course there’s video.

Let’s Start Pulling Out: GOP senator calls surge a failure, says victory “almost impossible.” Read the whole speech here.

Natural Disasters: The UK drowns, Tahoe burns, Pakistan mourns.

Big Gay Mags: Out and Advocate revamping in order to stay alive. Out to “increase focus on fashion and grooming,” which hardly seems possible.

Kerlikowske’s Boys: Seattle’s top cop has a history of winking at police brutality. There’s no video of this 2005 arrest of an artist—an African American artist—but there’s audio: “Please stop kicking me!” Gil’s toast.

Dumb Assholes Just Don’t Get It: Residents of Kittitas County, Washington, fight wind power.

We Showed Them: A decade ago Seattle activists defeated a plan to build a big park in South Lake Union, arguing that the park—The Commons—would replace gritty businesses with condos and yuppies. So how’s that working out?

Jazz Hands, Everybody: A little more Fosse—this time with Liza…

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mayor’s Office Mucking Up the OPA Oversight Process?

posted by on June 25 at 9:06 PM

When Mayor Greg Nickels sent a letter to Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) director Kathryn Olson, asking her to look into allegations made in a leaked Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) report - that Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske had interfered in an OPA investigation - it seemed as if the tide was finally turning. A day before he sent his letter to Olson, Nickels had expressed firm support for the Chief. His letter to Olson seemed to be an about-face. Today, Nickels’ office sent out another letter:


In light of the recent misrepresentations regarding Chief Kerlikowski’s
role in the OPA process, I would like to provide you with the following
two documents:

1) A memorandum from Kate Pflaumer, OPA Auditor, outlining the OPA
process should any question still remain; and
2) Information regarding the number of cases in 2005 and 2006 in which
the Chief disagreed with the OPA Director’s findings.

Emelie East

East is a liason between the Mayor’s office and city council.

As of this afternoon, Olsen stated that her final report to Nickels was a ways off. It appears that the Mayor has already made up his mind before all the facts are in, which is exactly what OPARB accused the Chief of doing.

It’s possible the Mayor’s office is addressing the “misrepresentation” of Kerlikowske’s role in the oversight process, which Pflaumer’s letter explains. However, by including the second document - which states that the Kerlikowske has only disagreed with a handful of OPA’s recommendations for disciplining officers - it looks a lot like Nickels is going to bat for the Chief before Olson gets a chance to complete her report.

Shakesville No Longer Shakin’

posted by on June 25 at 8:20 PM

Shakespeare’s Sister, AKA Melissa McEwan, AKA that fat, pinko, LIBERAL (gasp!) lesbo bitch (according to her dedicated trolls), has suffered a denial of service attack. More tech-savvy people than I will have to explain exactly what this means, but for my purposes, it means that one of my all-time favorite blogs,, is out of service. Updates available at her old place, Shakespeare’s Sister. Drop ‘Liss a line and pledge a donation so Shakesville can be up and running again soon.

Polling and Cell Phones

posted by on June 25 at 5:48 PM

Back when I didn’t have a cell phone, I doubted the vaunted cell phone effect had much impact on polls. But these days I’m starting to think you really have to look at a key stat to figure out how representative a poll is of the general population.

Take this survey of Washington state residents, commissioned by the DOT as part of the update of its bicycle and pedestrian plan. (Via Seattlest). We’re talking bikes, right? The average age of respondents to the poll (which was conducted via telephone in April) was 51. 51! Look, I don’t expect 65+ year-olds to tackle Seattle’s notoriously hilly terrain. And the state shouldn’t be able to deprioritize bike amenities because ridership drops off after a certain age. The least a poll could do is try to get the average age of respondents down to around the age of the average Washington adult. Late thirties, I’m guessing? A poll of the older Washington residents who hang around their land lines just isn’t necessarily representative of this state’s commuters. (Voters, maybe.)

“Better Transportation Than Your Stinking Bus City”

posted by on June 25 at 5:27 PM

Last September, Savage and I tried to convince star summer intern Sarah Mirk to quit school and become a full-time staffer here. She wisely shot us down, but decided she’d help us out by extending her stay in the newsroom thru December—forgoing a planned fall semester in Ecuador.

Wondering what Sarah was up to this summer—her last summer as a college student—I caught up with her over e-mail this weekend.

Well get this, she finally made it to Ecuador. And here’s one thing she had to say:

“They have better transportation here than your stinking bus city—electric ‘trolebuses’ with dedicated lanes. On weekend nights the whole trole reeks of cheap men’s hair gel, but it can get me and thousands of other people all the way across messy Quito in a half hour.

Quito is a city of about 1.5 million.

Pride Parade Awards!

posted by on June 25 at 5:11 PM

The Stranger created the Pride Parade Awards because it wasn’t enough to complain about the Pride Parade—although we reserve the right do that—we felt we had to do something to make it better. We wanted to give The Gays an incentive to pull out the stops, to go over the top, and to spend some damn money on floats and costumes in hopes of maybe winning it all back and more.

There was lots of great stuff in the parade this year—an actual, honest-to-God marching band, Amy Kate’s belly dancing squad, the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps (ROTC), Ed Murray’s bagpipers, the Goth float (!), and, of course, them dykes on their bikes. Consider yourselves the runners-up, all tied for fourth place.

But now… the winners of the First Annual Stranger Pride Parade Awards…

In third place, taking bronze, a $1000 check, and a lovely trophy….


CAMP’S CAMPFIRE. The judges thought CAMP’s ginormous campfire was beautifully constructed and that it promoted CAMP’s mission—organizing camping trips for gay men—while also giving the crowd something fun to look at. The huge marshmallows—toasted then tossed—were a nice, interactive touch.

In second place, taking silver, a check $1500, and a lovely trophy…


BIG PINK POODLE by Tacky Tourist Club of America. Their anatomically correct pink poodle, pulled down the street by hunky men in leather, had the biggest balls in the parade. The poodle was tacky and risque, the men in harnesses were hot and beefy, and the fully retractable penis was, well… full retractable. Nice work!

And in first place, taking gold, a check for $2000 and a lovely trophy…



This two-sided float, created by Northwest Bears, was the crowd favorite. Hell, it made both of Seattle’s daily papers, displacing the usual shots of drag queens and half-naked lesbians on Harleys. Featuring a tub full of hairy daddies covered in suds, “Bears, Bath and Beyond” was funny and sexy, camp and butch, and the unanimous choice of our judges.


I spoke with the guys from Northwest Bears at the pride celebration at Seattle Center after presenting them with their trophy and check. I was thrilled to learn that Northwest Bears decided to go for it—to build their spectacular float—after finding out about our contest. “I was sure we would win if we pulled this together,” said one of the bears, “but some of the guys were nervous about spending the money.” And how much did they spend? “We spent $1500, so we came out ahead!”

Ahead and on top! Congratulations to Northwest Bears!

Screw the Charcoal Grill

posted by on June 25 at 4:34 PM

I’m getting me one of these $18 solar slow-cookers.


It even sterilizes water—a feature that will come in handy in the coming bird flu. (And they’re in Renton, which is local, kind of.)

Today On Line Out.

posted by on June 25 at 4:04 PM

Thunderous Climaxes: NME’s Weekend at the Festivals.

Easy Peasy: Free Tickets to the Last Ever Divorce Show.

Birthday!, not B’Day” Modeselektor’s Happy Birthday!

Wanna Get “Laid?”: Megan Seling’s and James Will Take Care Of You. (Bonus: Born of Frustration”)

The Last Slow Dance at Prom: Grizzly Bear and Feist.

The Rest of Your Life: Eating at Cafe Presse, Listening to Belle & Sebastian.

Cathartic Unravelling: Of Montreal’s “The Past is a Grotesque Animal.”

Speaking of:


Trash Contributions

posted by on June 25 at 3:44 PM

The downtown Pride parade: The bears in bubbles, the butches on bikes, the booze. It was all very fab and all very downtown.

The question on my mind now is whether the downtown parade is sustainable. Considering the exorbitant cost of holding a rally in Seattle Center, can Seattle Out and Proud pay for this thing in years to come? After SOaP’s enormous debt fiasco last year, we were promised a big donation drive this year, and we ‘mos who hauled our gay asses downtown first thing on Sunday morning were prepared to contribute. In comments, Giffy shares the same sentiments:

I probably would have given money if there was a place to do it. No buckets, no requests, nothing…. If I had seen a bucket or a person requesting funds I probably would have thrown five or ten bucks in the bucket. Put up buckets at the parade, have people walking the route asking for money to support the parade.

There was at least one donation “bucket,” Giffy. But if you happen to see it, it may not have instilled great confidence that your money would go to a good place.


Awesome, eh? This trash can was affixed to a SOaP tee-shirt booth about 25’ from the sidewalk, but nobody was buying shwag or donating until Dan Savage—God bless his big gay heart—persuaded the languid volunteers to pull their shit up to the curb. The booth was immediately mobbed by ‘mos clutching $20 bills.

For all the folks who missed the dough-clutching, trash-can-filling fun, you can donate to SOaP here.

Photo by Christopher Frizzelle and his notoriously crappy camera phone (with invasive surgery by iPhoto).

Some Notes About the Pride Parade

posted by on June 25 at 2:49 PM

Before I announce the winners of the Pride Parade Awards on Slog—the winners were already announced, in point of fact, at Seattle Center right after the Pride Parade—a few general thoughts about the parade:

Dykes on Bikes: We love you, everybody loves you, but by the ninth or tenth time you circled the block, well, even beloved dykes on bikes get tedious. You’re supposed to start the parade, not stop it. Take a couple of spins, move on to the next block, leave us wanting more.

Politicians: We love you, each and every one of you. But… there are so many of you. Why can’t the politicians in the Pride Parade all march together, at the front of the parade, a la politicians at the front of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City? Dykes on Bikes, followed by a show political strength—all the politicians that have come to kiss our big gay asses—then the real parade starts. Every year Ed Murray hires a marching bagpipe band. It’s great—why don’t you all go in on the bagpipes with Ed and march with together?

Cars: You know, it’s not every day that you get to see an actual automobile drive down 4th Avenue—no wait, you do get to see that every day. Every damn day. There were far too many entries in the parade that were just… cars… driving down the street. Either create something entertaining—a float, some puppets, group costumes—or go park it elsewhere.

Gaps: Nothing can be done about them, so there’s no use complaining. But… it would be nice if there were fewer gaps.

Volume: If you look out from your flat bed truck and see everyone lined up along the sidewalk putting their fingers in their ears as you pass by, maybe you need to lower the volume a bit?

People With Kids: Lots of people bring their kids to the Pride Parade, so sexually suggestive floats, signs, costumes, t-shirts are just no appropriate—no, wait! It’s the freakin’ GAY PRIDE PARADE. If you don’t want your kids to see sexually suggestive floats, signs, costumes, and t-shirts, stay the hell away.

I Need a New Phone

posted by on June 25 at 2:43 PM


On Friday I had a drink with some of my co-workers at the new Cha Cha—the new, improved, massive, extremely beautiful, ruby red Cha Cha. It’s underneath the new Bimbo’s, and it’s so freaking otherworldly—there’s no other word for it.

But that’s not the point of this post: I set my phone on the table while I had a few drinks with my coworkers. I didn’t realize that my phone was sitting in a shallow depression on the table… which gradually filled up with the vodka, beer, and tequila sloshing over the tops of my coworkers glasses. By the time I picked up my phone to leave it was completely submerged in a puddle of booze. My phone was shorted out and died. And now it’s dead. Dead, dead, dead.

So… I need a new phone. The question now, of course, is do I go get a new Razr today or do I wait until Friday and get an iPhone? I don’t like change, so I’m voting for a new Razr. My boyfriend, an early adopter, wants me to get an iPhone. I’m torn—so let’s vote!

Newark School Official Apologizes for Censoring Gay Kiss—Kinda, Sorta

posted by on June 25 at 1:49 PM

This weekend I wrote a couple of blog posts—here and here—about Andre Jackson, a gay high school senior in Newark, New Jersey.

Jackson paid $150 for a “tribute page” in his school’s yearbook. Like some of the other kids that paid for tribute pages, Andre included a picture on his tribute page of him kissing his significant other. But Andre’s SO was another boy, so Newark Superintendent Marion A. Bolden ordered that all 230 copies of the East Side High’s 2007 yearbook be seized. Officials then used black magic markers to ink out the supposedly “illicit” photo, lest it “offend parents.”

At first school officials suggested that no kissing photos were allowed, and claimed not to be aware of other pictures in the yearbook that showed straight teenagers kissing—including a much more explicit photo on the tribute page directly across from Jackson’s tribute page. Somehow officials failed to notice that picture each of the 230 times they opened the East Side High yearbook to Jackson’s page and blacked out the photo of him kissing his boyfriend. Then they claimed that they acted on “erroneous information”—namely, that they had been told that Andre Jackson, one of East Side High’s graduating seniors, wasn’t actually a student.

Marion Bolden has now apologized.

The Newark city school district that ordered staffers to use markers to black out a picture of a male student kissing his boyfriend from all copies of a school yearbook now says it regrets the decision.

Superintendent Marion A. Bolden issued an apology to the student, Andre Jackson, according to a statement released by the district on Monday.

“The decision was based, in part, on misinformation that Mr. Jackson was not one of our students and our review simply focused on the suggestive nature of the photograph,” the district said. “Superintendent Marion A. Bolden personally apologizes to Mr. Jackson and regrets any embarrassment and unwanted attention the matter has brought to him,” according to the statement.

The district said it would reissue an “un-redacted version” of the 2007 yearbook to any student of East Side High School who wants one.

Andre Jackson isn’t satisfied:

At a news conference organized by Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, Jackson said he was disappointed that the superintendent had not told him she was sorry face-to-face and in public. Because of that, he said he didn’t accept her apology as sincere.

“I would accept an apology—a public apology,” said Jackson, who found out about the district’s statement through the media.

They didn’t even call him? That’s not an apology, that’s a press release.

Another angle on this story: Andre Jackson and his boyfriend are openly gay and black, which can be hard enough without school officials singling you out for discriminatory treatment. Homophobia in the African American community—constantly being fanned by callous African American preachers like, oh, these assholes—helped to create the “down low.”

In order to avoid being ostracized by their families and churches, many gay African American men lead double lives. They have girlfriends and wives but meet up with other gay men on the “down low” for anonymous sex. Since using condoms with their wives would arouse suspicion, gay black men on the down low place their female partners at risk of HIV infection and many of these women wind up contracting HIV as a result. The homophobia in the African American community is quite literally killing African American women.

Gay men like Andre Jackson and his boyfriend—gay African American men who refuse to place women’s lives at risk by leading double lives, gay men who are, in Jackson’s case, out to his “teachers, classmates and his parents”—should be commended and given support, not treated so shabbily by public officials.

The Future

posted by on June 25 at 1:43 PM

Amazon is reportedly looking to move to South Lake Union.

Pride Parading

posted by on June 25 at 1:37 PM


Yesterday I led a group of lesbian, bi, trans, and queer-friendly bellydancers and drummers in the parade downtown. Though we spent most of the route hurrying rather than dancing (it was hard to keep up with the motorized floats), we had a fantastic time and the spectators did too: All kinds of people were crowded on the sidewalks and exuberant despite a cold breeze and occasional sprinkles. It was a massive effort with plenty of witty costumes, performances, and floats (more than 150 groups rolled down Fourth Avenue for three hours or so) and from within at least, it looked to be Seattle’s best Pride Parade yet.

Go to Flickr for a ton of great photos of the parade.

Anti-Choice Group Wastes Money In Seattle

posted by on June 25 at 1:20 PM

This plane:


…is currently circling around downtown Seattle.

The number (360-480-9329) goes to Show the Truth Washington, a Centralia-based anti-abortion group that specializes in showing pictures of bloody fetuses (“because the media, (and others) continue to censor the reality of abortion from the abortion ‘debate’”!) Gee, and I thought abortion was like getting a nice massage. Good thing Show the Truth was there (with their plane! And its sign! With that awful-looking bloody thing!) to tell me THE! TRUTH! about ABORTION! Oh, God, won’t anyone think of the BAYBEEEEEEEES?

I tooled around a little bit on their web site, and found this testimonial letter from a woman named “Jazmin”:

Hi my name is Jazmin I am writing you this letter to thank you. I am 20 years old with a 3 year old & a 5 month old son. I am also pregnant again 3 months today. I was going to get an aboration but I’ve never seen the truth about it, I just knew that with the aboration my life would be a little bit easier (atleast I thought that) but when I saw the pictures of the links you have provided not only did it change my mind, it made me sick to my stomache. How can people do it? I don’t know how but I just have to say today you saved my baby. If it’s a boy or a girl, no matter what, you would be the cause of saving my baby. And when I have my baby I will send you pictures of the baby you saved. … THANK YOU & god bless you & your goals you may want to achieve. The truth needs to be shown!

P.S. You can make a big diffrence & you did to me.Thank you.

Frankly, if that isn’t a ringing endorsement for abortion (um, “aboration), I don’t know what is.

Thanks to Slog tipper Ryan.

Politics Are Supposed To Be Stuffy

posted by on June 25 at 1:10 PM

Apparently Washington Bus Project didn’t get the memo. Look at this event they’re doing Wednesday at the Central Area Senior Center (?):

MC’d 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.

Holy Shit!


Democrats File Complaint Against Rossi’s Non-Profit

posted by on June 25 at 12:59 PM

The Washington State Democrats think Dino Rossi’s non-profit, Forward Washington, is a front to fund his campaign efforts. This would violate state law.

The complaint states:

This complaint alleges that Mr. Rossi has deliberately evaded statutory contribution limits and disclosure requirements by funneling financial support to his gubernatorial campaign through a non-profit entity, the Forward Washington Foundation (“Forward Washington”).

Although it purports to be a non-partisan “think tank,” Forward Washington is nothing more than Mr. Rossi’s unofficial campaign committee. As discussed further below, Forward Washington’s primary purpose and activity is like that of any campaign committee: to solicit and spend contributions in support of a declared candidate for public office. In devising the artifice of Forward Washington, however, Mr. Rossi improperly evades campaign finance rules applicable to other campaign committees. Because Mr. Rossi’s ploy cynically operates to defeat the public’s interest in fair elections and in complete disclosure of election campaign finances, it violates RCW 42.17.

On Friday, I did a Slog post about the NYT article that took John Edwards to task for his non-profit. Edwards non-profit evidently struck the editors at the NYT as a shadow campaign outfit.

In the post, I not so subtly made it clear that Dino Rossi seemed to be up to the same thing. Y’all Democratic Party Slog commenters heckled me for picking on Edwards.

Well, I guess the Washington State Democrats apparently agreed with me. They just filed a complaint with the state saying that Rossi’s non-profit is a shadow campaign organization.

Says the Dems’s press release:

In reality, Dino Rossi is conducting a political campaign: he is currently on a multi-stop, statewide “listening tour” on which he is appearing before crowds of local Republican activists, attacking the Governor and Democratic legislators, and seeking to garner local media coverage for his activities. In addition to financing Dino Rossi’s political travel and paying the salaries of former Rossi campaign political operatives, regulatory filings from his non-profit suggest that Dino Rossi has personally pocketed more than $100,000 from special interests he refuses to disclose for his “non-partisan” “non-profit” “work.” “Dino Rossi is paying himself – with cash from special interests he refuses to disclose – to run a sham, tax-free organization to campaign for Governor,” said Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz. “By using his phony non-profit to circumvent Washington state’s campaign finance laws, Dino Rossi has eliminated all transparency and accountability as he continues his perpetual campaign for Governor.”

What do you Democratic Party partisan zombies say now? Are the Democrats being unfair to Rossi?

I, for one, think the NYT was right to question Edwards’s outfit, and I think the Washington State Democrats are right to question Rossi’s.

The Democrats’ complaint is about 60 pages. So, I haven’t read it yet. I will, and I’ll report more on it.

Re: The Birth of the Anatomy Theater

posted by on June 25 at 12:35 PM


made me want to become a scientist.

Cascade Bike Club Fundraiser

posted by on June 25 at 12:12 PM

Cascade Bicycle Club fundraiser tomorrow night. CBC is the group that worked with Seattle Great City Initiative to pass legislation ensuring that bikes and pedestrians were factored into any new street funding proposals.

From the invite:

Join Senate Transportation Chair Ed Murray, Council Transportation Chair Jan Drago, Councilmember Richard Conlin, and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen for a happy hour fundraiser for the CBC Action Fund
(an affiliate of the Cascade Bicycle Club)

Pike Brewery and Pub
1415 First Avenue
at First and Union Streets downtown

Tuesday June 26th
5:30 - 7:30 PM

Suggested Contribution:
$50 - $100 - $250 - $500

Re: Bong Hits For Jesus

posted by on June 25 at 11:35 AM

The Student Press Law Center has its own article on the ruling.

“I Hope That Movie Gives an Entire Generation of Children Bubonic Plague”

posted by on June 25 at 11:25 AM


Things have gotten increasingly hilarious around my house, thanks to the wealth of advance advertising for Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille, every bit of which drives my fella Jake eloquently insane.

The quote in the subject line was his first pronouncement on the forthcoming CGI blockbuster, which tells a family-friendly story of a rat that dreams of becoming a great chef. “Teaching children that rats are adorable, misunderstood creatures can bring nothing but good,” says Jake, whose vermin feelings were irreparably colored by two years in New York City, where rats rule, and regularly bite the faces of babies. “Also, connecting rats to delicious food is genius. It’s important that kids know that rats love human food, and have great taste. Whatever kids see a rat eating, they should eat it, too.

I doubt this is the moral Disney/Pixar’s going for, but the fact that Ratatouille might serve as genius propoganda in the ongoing war between man and vermin is now impossible for me to ignore…

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 25 at 11:16 AM

Nancy Drew

(FILM) Now this is a conservative backlash to get behind: brainiac sleuthing instead of CGI stunts. Nancy Drew isn’t entirely old school. She does use Google to help her solve the murder mystery at hand—proving, really, that Google isn’t just a lazy crutch that’s dumbing us all down. Knowing what questions to type in is an old-school skill. Nancy Drew knows. (See movie times.) JOSH FEIT

The Headline: “Utah’s Public Enemy Number One Captured”

posted by on June 25 at 10:41 AM

The photo:


Couldn’t have been that hard to find.

Anyway: This charming inmate, Curtis Allgier, member of the Aryan Nation, went to a medical appointment, accompanied by a cop, stole the cop’s handgun, shot him dead, and went on the lam. He carjacked a Ford, got chased into an Arby’s, shot someone inside, and was captured in the manager’s office.

Curtis was last arrested in November, 2006, by a SWAT team in a Salt Lake City motel. He barricaded himself in his room, then went up into the building’s attic and fell through the floor.

The name “Curtis” is thought to come to English from the Old French curteis, meaning “courteous,” with a connotation of “beautiful.”

The Birth of the Anatomy Theater

posted by on June 25 at 10:33 AM

What does this 17th century etching of an anatomy theater show us?
Z1anatomy.leiden.jpg That in the way it’s almost impossible to separate the history of religion from the history of science, it’s almost impossible to separate the history of science from the history of entertainment.If you happened to be in Europe in the 17th century, and also happened to be well-to-do, bored, and looking for something to do with your free time, one place to go was the anatomy theater. There you could meet friends, chat about how things are going in the world, and exchange gossip as the body of a dead prisoner is dissected and the cause of science is advanced.

Here’s another etching.
hogarthanatomytheatre.jpg Indeed, it’s far better to be a living dog than a dead man.

Howard Dean

posted by on June 25 at 10:25 AM

Just announced: He’s in town tomorrow. It’s a fundraiser. Tickets are $50. You can sign up here.

O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on June 25 at 10:07 AM

…pastor making bail for rape.

…pastor making bomb threats.

…pastor swindling elderly widows. This one deserves an excerpt. It seems that even those slow-on-the-uptake marks in the pews are beginning to notice a pattern:

The Rev. Robert N. Riddle was charged in April with swindling an elderly widow out of more than $100,000….

Churches are learning that the preacher in the pulpit should not be accepted on his word alone. Scandalous stories of bad pastors floating from one church to the next have also made some wonder whether denominations where there is little oversight over congregations are even more vulnerable to clergy abuse.

You think?

Wentworth Miller

posted by on June 25 at 9:42 AM

The Prison Break star does nothing for me. But if he turns your crank, you might wanna click here.

No Bong Hits For Jesus and No Free Speech for Students

posted by on June 25 at 9:14 AM

The US Supreme Court handed down a batch of decisions today including: loosening restrictions on campaign advertising and limiting the rights of tax payers to sue the government over the use of tax dollars for President Bush’s faith-based initiatives.

It also ruled, as Dan linked in Morning News, in the “Bong Hits for Jesus” case, ruling against a student’s right to free speech.

The ruling continues to push the law away from the Tinker standard which I Slogged about a lot last legislative session. Tinker protected student speech unless administrators could show that it disrupts the school day. Today’s ruling affirms subsequent conservative rulings that say administrators can use subjective standards (“disrupt the educational mission”) allowing them to ban messages based on content wether or not they disrupt the day.

Check in at the First Amendment Center, a student rights group that’s bound to weigh in later today.

Conservatives get that the ruling is chilling. The AP story reports:

Conservative groups that often are allied with the administration are backing Frederick out of concern that a ruling for Morse would let schools clamp down on religious expression, including speech that might oppose homosexuality or abortion.

Who Do We Have to Thank for a More Secular America?

posted by on June 25 at 9:01 AM

While America is famous for its packed churches and public religiosity and Europe is famous for its empty churches and public secularism, Ross Douthat argues in the new issue of The Atlantic Monthly that Europe is becoming more religious while America is becoming less religious.

America’s secular turn actually began in the 1990s, though it wasn’t until 2002 that two Berkeley sociologists first noticed it. In a paper in the American Sociological Review, Michael Hout and Claude S. Fischer announced the startling fact that the percentage of Americans who said they had “no religious preference” had doubled in less than 10 years, rising from 7 percent to 14 percent of the population.

And who can claim credit for doubling the number of American atheists, agnostics, and/or folks with “no religious preferences” at all? It wasn’t Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, or Christopher Hitchens, as the recent spate of books by “militant atheists” were published long after the number of Americans without faith doubled. So who gets the credit?

The unexpected spike wasn’t the result of growing atheism, Hout and Fischer argued; rather, more Americans were distancing themselves from organized religion as “a symbolic statement” against the religious right. If the association of religiosity with political conservatism continued to gain strength, the sociologists suggested, “then liberals’ alienation from organized religion [might] become, as it has in many other nations, institutionalized.”

So thanks to Lou Dobson, Pat Robertson, and the late Jerry Falwell, along with Ken Hutcherson and Mark Driscoll.

This Man is Running for President?

posted by on June 25 at 8:42 AM

This dude? The one on the right? Waving a rainbow flag over his head?


When Mike Bloomberg leaves the GOP, Mike Bloomberg really leaves the GOP.

Via Towleroad.

Sunday NYT Addict

posted by on June 25 at 8:07 AM

Literary snacks:

• Tina Brown calls critic/novelist Rebecca West a Grand Old Trout. This is in Brown’s review of Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles, 1910-1939. West and H.G. Wells weren’t married—he was married to someone else, actually—but nevertheless they had a kid together, a kid West thought of as “a maddening impediment to literary output.” (Not mentioned: West and Wells met and fell in love—he was 46, she was 20—when “he sought her out after she attacked his novel Marriage, denouncing him as ‘the Old Maid among novelists.’”)

F. Scott Fitzgerald used to throw Venetian wine goblets out the window. And eat hundred-dollar bills.

• According to a solar system-themed graphic of Jewish writers, Myla Goldberg is the planet Mercury, Nicole Krauss is Venus, Jonathan Safran Foer is Earth, and Nathan Englander is Mars.

Jeffrey Eugenides on getting the call from Oprah.

Oh, and:

• A bunch of crazy shit is happening in Iran.

Good morning!

The Morning News

posted by on June 25 at 7:02 AM

Bush Seeks Truce: Bush seeks compromise with Dems that want to end the war—but one that wouldn’t require him to end the war or anything.

Meanwhile in Baghdad: Insurgents manage to blow up “heavily secured” hotel, killing 12. Dozens more die in additional attacks across the Iraqi capitol.

This Message Brought to You By the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Early TV push moves Mitt “Underpants” Romney to the front of the GOP pack in New Hamphire and Iowa.

This Just In: Rupert Murdoch uses vast media holdings—starting with Fox News and New York Post—to further his financial interests.

Going, Going, Gone: More evidence of housing slump in San Francisco.

High Crimes: Supreme Court rules against student that held up “Bong Hits for Jesus” banner, further limiting students’ free speech rights. “Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use,” says Chief Justice John Roberts.

Digital Divide: Facebook attracts educated white teenagers and college students, Myspace attracts teenage Hispanics, immigrants, and “other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm,” says UC prof.

A Nation Holds Its Breath: Judge expected to rule today in case of asshole’s $54 million suit over missing pair of pants.

Minisodes Force the Question: Does a five minute episode of Different Strokes still go one five minutes too long?

Where Can Bill Gates Get One? Seattle Times pushes Apple’s iPhone.

Voting With Their Feet: Capitol Hill Queerfest attracts 30,000, downtown Pride Parade attracts 200,000.

Jazz Hands, Everybody: A little Fosse to start the day right…

Sunday, June 24, 2007

An Open Letter to the Levi’s Store, Marketing and/or Packaging Division

posted by on June 24 at 11:00 PM

Dear Levi’s Store,

Your bags suck. Are they new?

The bags I’m talking about have these very long “handles” made of thin rope. Because I’m a cowboy, I think. If I carry the bag by these handles, it drags on the ground. I’m a person of average proportions—not particularly short-legged or long-torsoed, that I know of.


Not only does it drag on the ground, but I keep kicking the bag! When I kick it (or if a light breeze catches it, or if it bumps into a pile of dog shit) the bag spins around, twisting the sisal handles, threatening rope burn, pinching, and slivers.

I guess maybe the idea was to carry this bag over the shoulder, like a big purse. The problem with that concept is I’m a guy. Isn’t Levi’s all about dudes and guys and rivets? Dudes don’t like to carry bags over their shoulder by thin rope handles, with the little half-height bag part hanging along their side. Maybe I’m wrong, but does this look right to you?


In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I already had a pretty strong aversion to carrying things before I encountered your bag. I hate carrying things, particularly shopping bags. Instead of unfairly biasing me against your new bag, though, I like to think that this makes me something of an expert on how bags can suck. Yours sucks a lot.

So yeah, that’s it. Fire your bag people.


“Silly ‘Drag’ Headline Goes Here”

posted by on June 24 at 10:53 AM

Today, at


Indeed, a drag.

More on Anti-Gay School Officials/Yearbook Photo Censors

posted by on June 24 at 9:46 AM


The New York Times has a piece today about Andre Jackson. He’s the New Jersey high school student that I wrote about yesterday. A picture of Jackson kissing his boyfriend was blacked out of East Side High’s yearbook by school officials that felt it was “illicit.” Yesterday’s story in a New Jersey paper mentioned that photos of straight students kissing made it into the yearbook, but it didn’t describe them. Well, the NYT does. Not only were the photos of straight students more explicit—excuse me, “illicit”—one was on the page facing Jackson’s picture.

The yearbook includes several photos of heterosexual couples embracing and kissing. On the page immediately opposite Mr. Jackson’s, a young man and a young woman kiss on a couch, his hand on her leg as she sits on his lap.

Yesterday school officials claimed that they were unaware that there were pictures of straight kids making out in the yearbook, as they “had only been presented” with Jackson’s picture. Hard to see how they missed that picture on the facing page. Back to the NYT:

The decision to blot out the photo was made by Marion A. Bolden, the Newark Public Schools superintendent. Ms. Bolden said that an assistant superintendent had alerted her to the picture on Thursday afternoon. “I thought that the photo was suggestive,” Ms. Bolden said.

Indeed it was. The photo “suggested” that gay students exist, and that’s what Ms. Bolden wanted to erase from East Side High’s yearbook. The law in New Jersey suggests—no the law states, and states emphatically—that gays and lesbians have equal rights.

Andre Jackson is planning to attend Berkeley College in the fall. It sounds to me like he’s going to have all the money he needs for tuition.

The Morning News

posted by on June 24 at 9:04 AM

posted by Rebecca Tapscott

Iran Crackdown: Iran’s government cracks down on dissent, arresting and humiliating public figures.

The enemy of my enemy: Israel agrees to send Palestinian tax revenue to Abbas in an effort to support Fatah’s emergency response to the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

Hanging: Three senior aides to Saddam Hussein were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.

The gay vote: Democratic candidates approach gay rights issues with caution.

Standardization: Seattle public schools standardize curriculum, as the community weighs potential pros and cons.

Light rail: Update on the plans for Seattle’s new light rail, to open in late 2009.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on June 24 at 8:37 AM

Pride Parade (HOMO LOVE/LOVE FOR HOMOS) Last year, the gays took their parade out of the “gay ghetto” on Capitol Hill and into the streets of downtown. The relocated, reenergized Pride Parade was a huge success, and this year, despite embarrassing planning snafus too numerous to catalog here, it’s happening again. Go! (Begins at 11 am at the corner of Union St and Fourth Ave, then travels along Fourth Ave to Denny Way. Expected duration: two and a half hours, free.) ELI SANDERS