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Archives for 07/15/2007 - 07/21/2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Ricki? No Ricki?

posted by on July 21 at 11:45 PM


Okay, Dave is right—letting the fat white girl found the Civil Rights Movement? That’s a little offensive. And letting Corny Collins, hot though his white ass may be, singlehandedly integrate American television? Just as offensive.

But what I kept wondering while I watched Hairspray tonight… was… no cameo for Ricki Lake? What’s with that?

Cy Twombly: Loved too Much!

posted by on July 21 at 9:35 PM

So some woman kissed a Cy Twombly painting on display in France, left a red lipstick stain, and is facing prosecution:

“A red stain remained on the canvas… This red stain is testimony to this moment, to the power of art.”

Speaking to French news agency AFP, she said the artist had “left this white” for her.

Crazy narcissistic mademoiselle, oui?


But a good chance to bone up on our Twombly, whose last name is an anagram for nothing at all. Which I find suspicious. Also, his father was a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. Also, he was born in Lexington, Virginia, which was also the birthplace of Sam Houston, the only person ever to be governor of two states (Tennessee and Texas) and who, in this picture, looks manly but, in this picture, looks like a goof.

Also, Holland Cutter of the New York Times wrote that Twombly’s “wiry, vernacular anti-aesthetic has become a patrician exercise in a kind of horticultural expression.” I’m with him up until the “horticultural” part. Hey Holland! You know what his wiry anti-aesthetic has actually become? Kandinski + meth.




Hillary Clinton Pro-Pot. Barack Obama Not.

posted by on July 21 at 8:38 PM

There’s an amendment in Congress that would prevent the Feds from undermining state medical marijuana laws—stopping things like raids on medical marijuana patients. (If only states—like Washington state—would follow their own medical marijuana laws.)

Anyway, on the Presidential campaign trail: Hillary Clinton has pledged, if President, to stop the raids. Barack Obama has not.

Tammy Faye? Dead, Dead, Dead!

posted by on July 21 at 7:13 PM

It is my dubious and depressing duty to inform you that she of the filthy, filthy washcloth and ever-oogy Christyness, Our Teary Lady of Mudslide Mascarra, the weepy PTL Queen-cum-gay-loving Kabuki princess, Tammy Faye, has finally gone to meet her maker, back to where she came from, God save her soul. She was 200,000 years old.

Lest we forget

And let’s all pray that a moist towlette awaits her in heaven…a moist towlette called JESUS! Shalom!

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on July 21 at 1:45 PM

I’ll be on 710 KIRO radio at 7pm Saturday for our weekly rundown of what we’ve got in the news section.

This week’s section—about the master bike plan and the mayor’s cave to a Fremont power broker; an outrageous pot bust; developer loopholes; and Jay Inslee’s faulty webcasting bill —already generated a lot of comments on Slog.

Let’s continue the discussion on the radio.

Killing a Taxi Driver

posted by on July 21 at 1:38 PM

We know that the war in Iraq is in a very bad state, but when disturbing, anti-war images like this can rise all the way to the top of national TV, it means the situation is even worse than we think. And remember, this report was produced by an embedded reporter, not one working for Al Jazeera. What a fucking mess.

Reichert’s Religion

posted by on July 21 at 12:06 PM

In the past, it may have been tacky to report on a politician’s religion. But the GOP—which pushes moral values and faith-based initiatives and intelligent design and abstinence-only education and limits on abortion rights— has made the “courage” to wear one’s religion on one’s sleeve a badge of honor in our decadent, secular society.

And so—in the wake of GOP Rep. Dave Reichert’s vote for Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-IN) amendment this week (which would have denied Title X family planning money to Planned Parenthood)—I think it’s appropriate to bring up Reichert’s religion.

Reichert is a Missouri Synod Lutheran, a conservative branch that believes in a literal interpretation of the bible, that women cannot be pastors, and that creationism should be taught in their K-12 schools and universities.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 21 at 11:00 AM

‘Big Fuckin’ Hands’ (ART) Ellen Forney’s black-and-white hands on red backgrounds are big and fucking. The largest paintings are shorthand for sex acts (a fist gripping an index finger); the smaller ones are individual portraits of friends’ hands miming actual sexual acts. What a difference there is between the broad comedic shorthand and the surprisingly quiet, intimate gestures. We stand in the gap, a little embarrassed, a little turned on. (Liberty, 517 15th Ave E, 323-9898. 4 pm—2 am, free, 21+.) JEN GRAVES
See what else is happening in Art on Saturday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

The Morning News

posted by on July 21 at 8:43 AM

by Rebecca Tapscott

It’s raining cats and dogs: The National Weather Service predicts 1 to 2 inches of rain in the Seattle area, and the possibility of local rivers flooding.

Voter fraud in King County: Officials investigate possible voter fraud in 2006 election.

Liebmanville: Henry Liebman now owns 40 acres of Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, making city officials, Port commissioners and labor leaders uneasy.

Local news consumed by violent crime: Seattle PI website (and the Seattle Times, just not linked here) reports on rape, police chases, murder, and kidnapping.

Schmaneva Convention: Bush approves new torture methods, which some believe violate the Geneva Convention.

A New Cash Crop: Conservative, Republican farmers in North Dakota lobby to legalize growing hemp—not for moral reasons, but because it could make them rich.

India elects president: Pratibha Patil, the country’s first female president, was elected this morning by 65.82% of votes cast by national lawmakers and state legislators.

Unrest within: Pakistan’s supreme court ruled that the President’s suspension of the chief justice earlier this year was illegal—raising questions about his ability to continue the presidency.

North Korea maintains nukes: Negotiations to disarm North Korea failed this week. Negotiators plan to resume talks in September.

Russian government censors itself: Russia’s foreign minister retracts his US-critical article, claiming the editors of Foreign Affairs magazine changed his writing to the point of censorship. The magazine denies his claim.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Screw As I Say, Not As I Screw

posted by on July 20 at 8:55 PM

Prominent Republican arrested for patronizing prostitutes:

Coy Privette, a retired Baptist pastor, conservative lawmaker and outspoken advocate for Christian groups, was charged Thursday with paying a prostitute for sex acts. The 74-year-old Cabarrus County commissioner was arrested at his home in Kannapolis early Thursday….

Privette, a prominent Republican with a 30-year career, is one of the state’s most vocal opponents against alcohol sales and legal gambling. He also serves on the State Baptist Convention of North Carolina and as president of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.

I’m thinking the Christian Action League of North Carolina opposes fornication, gay marriage, abortion rights…

And, hey, how come Sen. Vitter hasn’t been arrested? Did they legalize prostitution in DC without telling anybody? I mean, anybody besides Sen. Vitter?

Re: Tension at The Stranger

posted by on July 20 at 4:42 PM

Jeff Kirby makes a good point about taffy, but I think the best part of Brendan Kiley’s Seattle Center story is where he advocates for a brutal beating/rape as just the thing to get people excited about the Seattle Center:

New York’s Conservancy formed in 1980, but only got off the ground years later when muggings, vandalism, and the Central Park jogger—who was raped and beaten almost to death—became symbols for a city gone feral, and galvanized citizens to take charge where government failed. Until we have a Seattle Center jogger, the Seattle Center cause will be one of irritation, not urgency.

For shame, Brendan Kiley. For shame.

Clinton’s CSPAN Cleavage

posted by on July 20 at 4:25 PM


Discussed today, at length, in The Washington Post. Money, er, quote:

There was the sense that you were catching a surreptitious glimpse at something private. You were intruding — being a voyeur. Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease. It means that a woman is content being perceived as a sexual person in addition to being seen as someone who is intelligent, authoritative, witty and whatever else might define her personality. It also means that she feels that all those other characteristics are so apparent and undeniable, that they will not be overshadowed.

To display cleavage in a setting that does not involve cocktails and hors d’oeuvres is a provocation. It requires that a woman be utterly at ease in her skin, coolly confident about her appearance, unflinching about her sense of style. Any hint of ambivalence makes everyone uncomfortable. And in matters of style, Clinton is as noncommittal as ever.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on July 20 at 4:20 PM


For the Love of Christ: How many medical marijuana stories can one human post on a single blog? Not enough, apparently. The issue is a big deal this week for presidential candidates, who – for the first time ever – are forced to take a position to oppose or maintain controversial drug policies. Celebstoner has the lowdown on the showdown, beginning with Mrs. Didn’t Inhale.

During a visit to Manchester, New Hampshire on July 13, Len Epstein of Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana told the senator and presidential candidate: “Twelve states allow medical marijuana, but the Bush administrations continues to raid patients.”

Clinton replied: “Yes, I know. It’s terrible.”

Would you stop the federal raids?” Epstein asked.

Yes, I will,” she responded firmly.

Here’s Obama’s wishy-washier take:

“I don’t think that should be a top priority of us, raiding people who are using … medical marijuana. With all the things we’ve got to worry about, and our Justice Department should be doing, that probably shouldn’t be a high priority.”

And the elephants in the room: John McCain made his diagnosis on July 14.

“I don’t think marijuana is healthy,” the senator stated. “I don’t think it is good for people and there is a large body of medical opinion that says there is plenty of other medications that are more effective and better and less damaging to one’s health to use to relieve pain.”

That’s basically the official position among conservative candidates. Here’s America’s mayor…

“You can accomplish everything you want to accomplish with things other than marijuana, probably better. There are pain medications much superior to marijuana,” he said.

Giuliani’s more full of shit than Paul Bunyan’s colostomy bag. Rudy’s clearly rooting for his former employer, Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin. But he is also intentionally redirecting the debate to focus on painkillers; marijuana’s greatest medical marvel is the ability to quickly curb nausea. Pills that you swallow and throw up again, not so much.

Why so chatty about the wheelchair weed?

Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) are sponsoring an amendment that would kill funding for federal efforts to preempt state medical marijuana initiatives… it would at least halt the DEA’s efforts to thwart the will of voters and legislatures in 12 states.

Cold Trail: New meth tracking system dispatches officers to drive in circles around parking lots where meth manufacturing suspects purchased Sudafed.

Crony Express: Drug Czar’s minions sent to campaign for vulnerable Republicans.

Up in Smoke? UK considers terminating relaxed pot laws.

Up in Price: New pharmaceuticals less effective than old, generic drugs.

Up in Arms: FDA wants to regulate cigarette advertising.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 20 at 4:00 PM


Bell Bottom Bliss, pt 3: Pilot’s “Magic.”

Setlist: Megan Seling and Ari Spool on Priests & Paramedics, the Hungry Pines, and Branden Daniel & Everybody Gets Laid.

Weirdo Turbo Flow: Block Party Band of the Day: Aesop Rock.

Beyond the Laser Dome: Trent Moorman on Voyager One.

It’s Time to Light the Lights: Escort’s “All Through the Night.”

Bummer: Howlin Rain Cancels, but Show Goes on with Citay, Whalebones, and Bison.

Lean Wit It: Kelly O’s New Low-Impact Workout.

Tension at The Stranger

posted by on July 20 at 3:24 PM

posted by Jeff Kirby

It’s probably not wise that I speak out against a Stranger writer in his own forum, but his brazen words in this week’s paper have left me little choice. Brendan Kiley’s article about the Seattle Center is irresponsible journalism at its worst; the kind of near-sighted, poorly researched slander that should cost a journalist his job in a fair and just world. He left out the single most important aspect of the story, the center of Seattle Center: this is where one goes to get good taffy. The Center house may be built like an armory, and it may have had maggots fall from the ceiling at one point, but god damn it if it isn’t the only place I know around here where a man can get some fresh, flavorful taffy. Kiley advocates for “plan four,” in which it is suggested the Center House “build a fancy-ish restaurant up top and some cheaper cafes on the bottom, mak[ing] the whole thing less a food court and more a place you’d want to be.” The Center House is better than a “food court,” Mr. Kiley. You can’t get freshly pulled taffy at the goddamn mall, now can you? And what do you suggest we build in its place? A “cheap café”? I don’t want a cheap café; I want to see my taffy being made in front of my eyes, like Benihana for people who still have their soul. But you, like the people in charge of plotting the destruction of this city treasure, obviously just don’t get it. For shame, Brendan Kiley. For shame.

Hell, Thy Name Is Greyhound!

posted by on July 20 at 3:05 PM

Hello, everyone. I am desperately sorry for the light slogging lately, but I’ve been quite gone on a wee little trip. I regret to have been away. And God forgive me, I don’t know why I agreed to go away, in the way I went away, in the first place. I can’t understand what the fuck came over me. I clearly wasn’t in my right mind. I’ll probably regret it forever. And ever. And ever.

My “boyfriend” who is supposed to “love me” or something (ha!) decided a few weeks ago that it would be a novel notion to pursue an adventurous excursion via (Shudder! Gasp!) the goddamnmotherfucking BUS. He thought a bus trip would be “fun”. Fun!

Indeed, I said the goddamnmotherfucking BUS, by which I mean GREYHOUND, by which I mean HELL on EARTH on WHEELS. I can barely bring myself to talk about it. My nervous system hasn’t even begun to digest the experience, and frankly, it may never fully do so. And therefore, for the sake of the shreds of my remaining mental health and faith in mankind, I’m compelled to vomit some of the story up here for you. I’m sorry. I have no choice. It’s a compulsion. It’s necessary. I can’t stop myself. I have to heal, somehow.

Lucky, lucky you.

But (and you’ll thank me later!) I have kindly boiled the entire 14-hour-long-sitting-bolt-upright-in-a-rolling-metal-death-tube-full-of-convicts-methheads-and-sociopaths-that-smells-like-an-alcoholic-cat’s-ass experience down to a few simple bullet points, rather than provide the world with an exhaustive and detailed point-by-point report. This is for your own good. Trust me.

However! Please note! A quick little disclaimer, to avoid any confusion before we begin: I do not travel via Greyhound, damn you, I’ve never done so before, and you can bet your sweet fanny’s ass that the temporary lapse in judgment that compelled me to do so will never, by God, NEVER, happen again. It was a dreadful mistake. A one-time-thing. I may never be the same. Somebody hold me. I beg you.

Also! Before we go off to the simple bullet-pointed list of What I Learned on Sitting Up for 14 Hours on a Fucking Cat’s-Ass-Stanking Greyhound Bus, I have to get this off my chest, and I want to get it just right before my mind successfully represses it forever…

“I just want to say that it’s only by the grace of God Almighty that anyone gets anywhere, and it’s the men and women fighting for this country that’s the only thing holding this nation together.”

Yes, that’s how it went: a little rambling and disjoionted 3-AM public service announcement from our lunatic Greyhound driver forced upon his captive bus-bound audience. Amen and hallelujah!

Fuckety fuck fuck fuck.

Okay, here we go:

9 Terrible Things I Learned On a Goddamnmotherfucking Greyhound Bus

1) Everyone who has ever been to prison is compelled by forces beyond our understanding to tell everyone else all about it, all the time, at a volume of twenty million decibels.

2) Everyone on Greyhound has been to prison.

3) There is no such thing as quiet crazy.

4) It is completely appropriate, even expected, to scream things at the driver like, “It’s about fucking time!” and even more appropriate for the driver to respond, “Fuck you, too!” and then rant about Jesus.

5) The words “nigger” and “fag” are alive and well and thriving without a trace of irony.

6) You could be Osama Bin Laden, carrying a nuclear bomb up your ass and a dead hooker under each arm and nobody’s going to check your ID.

7) There is such a thing as The White Trash Gene.

8) For some, relish is a meal.

9) There is no hope for mankind. Not. A. Shred.

Well, whatever. It’s still marginally better than flying, I guess.


News Tips

posted by on July 20 at 3:00 PM

This was on my voicemail a few days ago. Read it aloud in your best “old prospector” voice. That’s what it sounded like.

“Hi I was wondering if you guys had heard about Pam Roach’s son getting thrown in jail again for drugs. None of the websites for KIRO, KOMO, any of ‘em have anything about it. I contacted all of ‘em, they said, ‘well yeah, we didn’t have room for it.’ And then I tell ‘em what chicken shit pieces they’re running about lost dogs and stuff and they get defensive and eventually hang up on me.”

Indeed, Pam Roach’s son was arrested again.

Thanks for the tip, you crazy old prospector.

Narrative Ressentiment

posted by on July 20 at 2:59 PM

What Islam and Christianity have in common is narrative ressentiment toward their parent, Judaism. At one point, The New Testament attempted a complete break from its parent book, the Bible. But what would it be without the great stories of Noah, Abraham, and Job—the greatest story ever told? Jesus walking on water was nothing compared to Moses parting the sea. Instead of a cut, it decide to turn the Bible into an amazing map (an amazing story) leading up to its own realization. The New Testament is a coda, a tail. This is why it’s saturated by the end of Jesus, his death.

As for Islam, it practically kidnapped Abraham and took him to Mecca. A gap in the Bible—what happened to Hagar and Ismael, Abraham’s lover and son?—was enough to build a new narrative passage to the oasis of Islam. In essence it was a narrative theft. And the Jews of Medina didn’t hide this judgment of Muhammad’s scheme. They rejected him on the spot (“Give us back our story! You thief you!”). That rejection politicized what would become Islam.

But what do you do if all the great stories have been told—and only a great story can establish a religion, a state, a race? You take, borrow, steal, and become resentful.

Still Dead Narrative

posted by on July 20 at 2:12 PM

My correct position on the death of narratives is accurately expressed by the poem “La Cloche fêlée”:

It is bitter and sweet, during winter nights,
To listen, beside the throbbing, smoking fife,
To distant memories slowly ascending
In the sound of the chimes chanting through the fog.

Happy is the bell with the vigorous throat
Which, despite old age, watchful and healthy,
Faithfully sends out its religious cry,
Like an old soldier sentinel under the tent!

My soul is cracked, and when in its boredom
It wishes to fill the cold air of the night with its songs,
Often it happens that its feeble voice

Seems like the thick death-rattle of one wounded, forgotten
By the edge of a lake of blood, under a great pile of the dead,
And who dies, without moving, after enormous efforts. (Translation: a mix of Wallace Fowlie and Geoffrey Wagner)

I enjoy the hearty and holy (and wholly naive) narrative “which sends out its religious cry, like an old soldier sentinel under the tent!” But I cant see this narrative as anything than what it is: as dead as Homer. And as a writer (and filmmaker), I can only say this to myself, in all honesty: “moi, mon âme est fêlée.” My soul/bell is cracked.

By the middle of the 19th century, the greatest poet of that century (Whitman’s negative), Baudelaire knew that the cracked bell would be the condition of the writer, the artists, the drinker—his/her soul is not only cracked for good but also trying to move while under the pile of the dead (Aescylus, Christopher Marlowe, John Lyly, John Webster, Spinoza, Nietzche, Hegel, Marx, Dickens, Ruskin, Walter Pater, Joyce, Zora Neal Hurston, Gogol, Richard Wright, Nabokov, Ellison, Bely, Sontag, Sologub, Borges—and all the rest of my dead).

To get excited over a story is to get excited by a voice coming out of a tomb.

Burn On Nickels

posted by on July 20 at 2:11 PM

The Washington State Liquor Control Board has rejected the city’s request to summarily suspend the liquor license of Belltown’s Tabella Restaurant & Lounge.

In a statement, the liquor board said, “Investigators concluded that there were no grounds for an emergency suspension,” under the requirements of state law.


What will Nickels do, now that his nightlife witch hunt appears to have come to a screeching halt?

Via Seattle Times

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on July 20 at 2:01 PM

Briefly, the news: As noted by Adam Sekuler at Northwest Film Forum’s Hot Splice, two filmmakers with local ties made it into Filmmaker Magazine’s annual roundup of fresh talent. Congrats to Adam Blubaugh and Calvin Reeder (who’s mostly in LA now, but still counts).

You can see Calvin act in his buddy Brady Hall’s June & July, which appears in the web version of On Screen. (If you’re clutching a print edition, flip back to Film Shorts.) Also in the On Screen lineup: the pointless film-adaptation-of-the-musical-adaptation-of-the-superior-film Hairspray (condemned by veritable bad-movie connoisseur David Schmader), the SIFF biopic Goya’s Ghosts (Jen Graves says Javier Bardem’s great, but, um, he doesn’t play the artist), the eccentric-agrarian doc The Real Dirt on Farmer John (Andrew Wright admits it wanders, but apparently it’s still worthwhile), and Lady Chatterley, a refined French take on D.H. Lawrence’s novel (Jon Frosch says it’s better the second time around).


And in extra-special web extras this week, we have Lindy West taking down I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.

Film Shorts is located at Get Out. This week, you’ll find reviews of Half Moon, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Cashback, and many more. And with that, I’m off to a vacation in the woods where no movies can find me. See Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday for me!


posted by on July 20 at 1:40 PM

jetBlue donated a few tickets to YearlyKos. Bill O’Reilly had a stroke. And now, well, so much for jetBlue.

FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly and right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin complained that jetBlue was a corporate sponsor of the YearlyKos blogger conference and had offered a few free tickets for conference attendees (not exactly a huge commitment, and something companies do for conferences of all political stripes). O’Reilly and Malkin claimed that this was akin to jetBlue supporting people who endorse murder and assassination and ripping the heads off little bunnies.

jetBlue, mind you, advertises on FOX (according to Markos), shows FOX News on its flights, and its CEO has given $2100 to far-right GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But please just ignore all of that. Because jetBlue has now, finally, shown some attention to the left as well, O’Reilly and Malkin decided that jetBlue must be destroyed.

So what did jetBlue do in response? Did they say “hey, what do you mean we’re catering to the left, we’ve been showing FOX News on our flights forever?” Did they say “would you like our CEO to stop donating to right-wing politicians in order to show that he doesn’t take sides in politics?” Did they say “if we pull our sponsorship of YearlyKos should we then pull our sponsorship of FOX News shows too?

No, jetBlue responded by pulling their logo from the YearlyKos Web site sponsor list, sending the clear to signal to every company in America that you, we, are pariahs that no company should dare touch. That we are, in fact, just as O’Reilly and Malkin have claimed, akin to murderers and assassins.

Now jetBlue is calling DailyKos a “hateful” website. Says Kos

I’m cancelling my JetBlue American Express card and will be looking at alternative options for my future travel. Too bad. Unfortunately, JetBlue just told me (and the rest of us) that they accept O’Reilly’s bullshit smears.

What’s really interesting about this whole affair is that the most aggressive pushback is coming from Hillary Clinton’s camp. JetBlue may have just exacerbated their PR problem, but at least we’re seeing that the days when Democrats would’ve followed suit are behind us.


posted by on July 20 at 1:40 PM

Yesterday, I got an email from Toby Thaler —the Fremont Neighborhood Council’s land use chairman— about my article in this week’s Stranger, where I quoted Thaler about growing problems with bland townhome design in Fremont.

In my piece, I say:

Toby Thaler—the Fremont Neighborhood Council’s land-use chairman—says he’s happy to have more housing in the neighborhood, as long as it fits in with Fremont’s traditionally kooky aesthetic. “It’s not the density that’s a problem for us,” Thaler says. “We’d like development to be compatible with existing neighborhoods.

Toby took umbrage to my use of the word kooky, and sent me an email:

I appreciate your coverage of the problems of largely uncontrolled development in Seattle’s neighborhoods, including Fremont. While you accurately quoted me, you added your own adjective to my characterization of “…Fremont’s traditionally kooky aesthetic.” I did not say that. In fact, I get nauseous at the overuse of “whimsical” and “quirky” by real estate agents and other Fremont boosters.

“Kooky” may apply to the street life in downtown Fremont, but not to the sometimes artsy residential areas.
Toby Thaler

Wait, isn’t “artsy” just an evasive way of saying kooky? Will in Seattle, Fnarf? Care to weigh in on this one?

“It Doesn’t Get More Indie Than the Indians”

posted by on July 20 at 1:31 PM

More than half of all American Indians live in cities. And Seattle has one of the biggest concentrations of Urban Indians in America.

We got the National Urban Indian Health Institute. And the UW Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. And the Daybreak Star cultural center (art collection, Head Start school program, more), which

owes its existence to Bernie Whitebear and other Native Americans, who staged a generally successful self-styled “invasion” and occupation of the land in 1970 after most of the Fort Lawton military base was declared surplus by the U.S. Department of Defense.

This weekend is the annual pow wow at Daybreak Star in Discovery Park—with a salmon bake, fry bread (the official state bread of South Dakota), drumming and dancing, stuff to buy—which is part of the summer pow wow circuit.


The pow wow circuit is similar to a rodeo circuit, and entire families travel them from Memorial Day to Labor Day. People traveling the circuit consists of dancers, singers, gamblers, rodeo riders, announcers, and concessionaires. The circuit can be addictive…

And, quoth Noel Franklin from the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, “It doesn’t get more Indie than Indians and right now Indian Country is HOT. The Seminole Tribe recently acquired Hard Rock Café.”

Check your pow wow etiquette here. From item number one: “Please don’t sit on someone’s blanket unless invited.”

From item number seven: “All persons not in regalia are asked that legs be covered before entering the dance arena.”

Good to know.

Pole Dancing: “Better Than Classical Feminism In Every Way Possible”

posted by on July 20 at 12:24 PM

Check out Johnna Mink, “The Susan B. Anthony of pole dancing,” featured on last night’s Colbert Report:

Via DollyMix.

The Death of Harry Potter

posted by on July 20 at 11:28 AM

posted by Jeff Kirby


Tonight is the beginning of the end for children and childish adults across the world. The final installment of the Harry Potter book series goes on sale at midnight, and is expected to smash sales records. According to the Guardian, it’s also expected to smash children’s fragile emotions, exposing them to the grief that comes along with the death of imaginary literary friends (although they haven’t leaked who gets the axe).

Virtually every bookstore in Seattle is trying to get in on the wizard action, throwing Harry Potter parties with games, trivia, bands, and prizes. At first the plan was to compile a list of all the bookstores with events tonight, but as it turned out, all of them are, so the choice is yours where you want to spend Friday night wearing a pointy hat and holding a wand.

The Key Question

posted by on July 20 at 11:16 AM

The Seattle Times reports that Sonics/Storm owner Clay Bennett wants to reopen negotiations with the city about the KeyArena lease.

I’m pretty much still against subsidizing the Sonics at the Key for reasons I reported when the issue was before the city in 2006:

An in-depth 2004 study by the Cato Institute found that, if anything, professional sports teams may actually hurt local economies. The study debunks industry claims that sports teams generate new consumer spending (they actually just suck up existing discretionary spending), and concludes, “the net economic impact [is] a reduction in real per-capita income over the entire metropolitan area.”

In addition to the economic specifics, there are also some ugly details about the city’s current arrangement with the Sonics that undermine the team’s case for a new handout—and bolster [council member Nick] Licata’s skepticism. The city just authorized and financed a $77 million upgrade to KeyArena in 1995. With debt service, the total bill stands at about $130 million. (The city would still be covering that debt, due by 2014, while taking on this new one.) The Sonics were supposed to cover the debt themselves, but because the Sonics are in the red, the city has been covering the difference to the tune of $2.2 million a year since 2000. (It spiked at $2.9 million last year.)

However, something has certainly changed since then. The Sonics got a big deal draft pick, Kevin Durant. Another thing that’s happened since then, though, is a citywide vote saying “No” to sports subsidies, resoundingly: 74-25.

We’ve been doing our city council candidate interviews this month and one “Yes or No” question we’ve been asking is: Should the city reconsider subsidizing the Sonics?

According to our notes, only three candidates have said “Yes.” Scott Feldman (it’s his platform centerpiece, actually); Bruce Harrell (in general, he stresses that he’s big on “building bridges and finding common ground”—which didn’t ring true because he struck me as a pretty ornery and stubborn guy); and John Manning (which contradicted the frustration he voiced in the interview about city leaders ignoring public votes on the baseball stadium and the monorail.)

“Metro Should Be Free to Anyone Who Dares”

posted by on July 20 at 11:03 AM

This morning, Last Days was CC’ed on this letter from an eloquently aggrieved Metro rider. Enjoy.

Dear Metro Transit: Last night on the #49 bus headed to Capitol Hill from 4th and Pike, I sat down and immediately smelled feces. I got up but it wasn’t on the chair, nor under it. It was just lingering…somewhere. It was disgusting, the whole back of the bus reeked. Ahead of me were three homeless/street people all smelling of summer b.o. One of them brought out a $2000 digital camera/camcorder and talked about how he stole it from someone at Re-bar. They were loud, each of them took up two seats and everyone around me was just appalled that they didn’t even attempt to hide their stolen item. Of course, when they got off the bus near Broadway they didn’t pay, just made some excuse about losing their transfers or holes in their pockets. The day before, when a homeless man got off through the back door he left a syringe behind. I kicked it under a seat so no one would step on it. This morning, I boarded the #14 at Bellevue and Roy and sat in a seat with garbage at my feet and a dime bag with dust remnants of weed. Don’t these buses even get cleaned at night? My question is, why should I have to pay when I’m riding on buses that smell like shit with a bunch of smelly drug addicts and thieves? Do I really have to pay for that privilege? It should be free to anyone who dares.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 20 at 11:00 AM

Howlin Rain, Citay, Whalebones, Bison (MUSIC) West Coast psychedelic rock is back—all reverb, flutes, and volume. Here’s a major dose: From the Bay Area come the eight-piece Citay—think acoustic Led Zeppelin—and Howlin Rain, a woozy, bluesy spin-off of metal masters Comets on Fire. Hometown shredders Whalebones just need more hair and amyl nitrate to actually become Steppenwolf, and BC’s Bison are as heavy as their namesake. This is easily the weekend’s best show. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave, 784-4880. 9 pm, $8, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

UPDATE: Howlin Rain has canceled due to a family emergency. Citay, Whalebones, and Bison will still play.

Sing Sing (PARTY) Sorry Jonathan, but this is the weekend’s best show: Sing Sing, Seattle’s reigning hipster dance party, is celebrating its first birthday with sets from French-Canadian electrofunkers Chromeo, Chicago party killers Flosstradamus, and resident jocks Fourcolorzack and Pretty Titty. While the DJs will drop jam after jam at breakneck pace, Chromeo is the highlight. The duo’s sophomore album, Fancy Footwork, is a perfect sequel to their neon-lit debut, full of lover-man lines and jheri-curled joints as suitable for breakdancing as for romancing. (War Room, 722 E Pike St, 328-7666. 9 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY
See what else is happening in Music on Friday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Speaking of Michael Jackson…

posted by on July 20 at 10:53 AM

…which remains my all-time favorite sport, forensic artist Stephen Mancusi has posted his works depicting how Jackson might have aged without plastic surgery and all the rest of the shit he’s done to his head.


See the whole series here. (And thanks for the heads-up, Towleroad.)

Time Is on Our Side

posted by on July 20 at 10:52 AM

This is now the king of all the YouTube versions of Michael Jackon’s greatest gift to humankind, Thriller. MJ in the age of globalization.

Helping Hillary

posted by on July 20 at 10:17 AM

A high-ranking official at the Pentagon wants Hillary Clinton to stop all her talk about pulling out of Iraq. Clinton has some harsh words for him, and wants to talk to his boss, the secretary of defense.

The general consensus: A gift for the Clinton campaign.

The conspiracy theory: Republicans want to help Clinton get the Democratic nomination because they think she’s beatable in the general election.

Evil Emperor Seizes Control on Saturday

posted by on July 20 at 10:12 AM


President Bush is undergoing a routine colonoscopy tomorrow, which means Dick Cheney will be our president—officially, as opposed to shadowy—for the day.

Watch Your Tongue

posted by on July 20 at 10:02 AM

From the American Prospect:

When is it against the law to curse on your own private property? When you’re the director of a woman’s health clinic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Operation Rescue protesters have invaded your parking lot, that’s when.

Update: More info here. (Thanks to commenter “Touring.”)

Whose Calves Are These?

posted by on July 20 at 9:33 AM

This one’s called The Genius.


Previously: The Cripple and The Biker.

The Morning News

posted by on July 20 at 7:00 AM

The Plame Game: CIA leak lawsuit dismissed.

US sub-prime lending market could see $100 billion in

Bad Gas: FEMA knew about toxic trailers.

Patriot Act’s Greatest Hits: FBI, Justice Department begin fraud probe of anti-terror office.

A New Low: Bush hits 19% in Wisconsin.

VA pays for Agent Orange exposure.

Long Summer:
Success of troop buildup in Iraq won’t be known till November.

Waiting for Your Vote to Count: Overhaul of US voting system put on hold.

Contempt: Bush’s Chief of Staff could face contempt charges if he doesn’t turn over documents in US Attorney firings probe.

Say Goodbye to Flavor: King County cuts trans fats.

“We will not be moving in the middle of the night”:
Sonics back in talks, making a move and name change to the Oklahoma City Bombers less likely.

Now, if you’ve ever wondered what Pon-Farr would look like in, um, Turkish…well, watch this:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Me So Hornety

posted by on July 19 at 10:18 PM

Seth Rogen, action star?

The doughy star of this summer’s breakout hit, “Knocked Up,” is finalizing a deal to write, and likely star in, Columbia’s bigscreen adaptation of “Green Hornet.” He will exec produce, along with co-writer and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg.

Rogen would play Brit Reid, millionaire publisher-turned-masked crime fighter — a role George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhaal flirted with in various stages of the project’s long gestation.

That’s the best movie news I’ve heard since Jack Black was in talks to play Green Lantern.

The Green Hornet movie has been in development hell for at least a decade. Kevin Smith was the last big name attached to the movie. He was supposed to write and direct it, but he wussed out when he realized he doesn’t have an f-ing clue about how to direct action. The Weinsteins even told Smith they’d get someone else to direct the action as long as he wrote the film and handled the non-actiony stuff, but it was still a no go.

I am giddy with nerd-excitement. Seth Rogen has a great, albeit short, track record but I hope like crap this Green Hornet movie doesn’t run off the rails like the last dozen did.

Now, who the hell is gonna play Kato???


Via Variety

O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our…

posted by on July 19 at 7:48 PM

…youth pastor’s arrest on child solicitation charges.

A church community expressed shock Thursday night after learning the youth minister was charged with soliciting online to who he thought was a minor.

Pastor Jim Gysel of the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church said Troy Deal, the man facing the allegations, is not the man he and the community have known for the past five years.

Nightlife License Resurrected?

posted by on July 19 at 6:17 PM

A couple of sources in the club world report that Nick Licata and Richard Conlin, erstwhile opponents of Mayor Greg Nickels’s proposed nightlife license (which only Sally Clark, who authored the council version of the mayor’s proposal, and Jan Drago previously supported) may be changing their positions after the release of a list of the city’s “most violent” nightclubs that even Mayor Nickels’s office, which released it, has admitted is flawed. Licata met with club representatives in his office today; neither he nor others present at the meeting have called me back yet to confirm that Licata’s opposition to the license is wavering. Conlin, likewise, did not return a call for comment.

The mayor’s list was compiled using LiquorStat, a city system that tracks how many violations occur in and around clubs. One major flaw of the system is that it doesn’t distinguish between actual violations of liquor and other laws inside the club, mere complaints about the club, and violent or nuisance crimes that occur outside the club. So an incident that happens in a parking lot nearby a club can be pinned on the club—even if the perpetrators never set foot inside. If someone merely had a drink in a club, then committed a violation elsewhere, that counts as a violation too. And even if the bar itself calls in a violation —for example, someone who’s trying to use a fake ID—it still counts as a violation by the club. As a result, club advocates say, the system grossly inflates clubs’ violation numbers. According to a letter sent to council members by Last Supper Club general manager Darcy Hanson, the Last Supper Club was included on the mayor’s “most violent” list despite having no violations on record.

For the record, we have never had a liquor violation, firearm incident, or violent assault. We have consistently worked hand in hand with liquor control, police, and all other government offices to ensure a safe and law abiding operation. The Last Supper Club being added to the current list of “Problem Clubs” has left us in shock, to say the least. During my tenure, there has never been any notice of my venue being a problem club! It is of great concern to me that the Mayor can use “facts” that his office openly admits are provided by a city data base that “needs to work out the kinks”. It is highly unethical to use inaccurate data to slander these businesses to further an agenda. I believe this media barrage is clearly meant to rally support for this proposed ordinance and not to better the community or public safety. We have always prided ourselves with keeping an open line of communication with the neighborhood, city, and state officials. This current environment is threatening this type of communication on a city wide level. Ultimately it is contradictory to what the Mayors office, business owners, and the community wants: A safe and prosperous nightlife.

Look Out, Savage Love

posted by on July 19 at 5:50 PM

Self-proclaimed “thug misses” Khia—last heard singing “My Neck, My Back (Lick It)” (“Then you roll your tongue, from the crack back to the front/ then suck it off til I shake and cum nigga/ make sure I keep bustin nuts nigga”)—has an advice column for Hood Magazine, where she’ll answer your “qestions” about love, sex, and relationships.

Here’s the first question, with Khia’s response.

Khia I got a serious situation going on, I be with this girl from time to time, well I be fucking this girl sometimes, we don’t do nothing but fuck, we don’t talk, we don’t go out, we just fuck. When we first started fucking she told me she was on the shot and was trying to get me to hit her raw but I never would. Then we started using her condoms all the time and now she saying she pregnant. I really think she poked holes in the condoms or something because I never slipped not once. What should I do? -Fucked up in the HooD

What’s really HooD Fucked up in the HooD? Shit, I guess we all get fucked up in the HooD from time to time but shit what did you get yourself into? You know damn well not to hit no HooD trick raw, butt naked, or any other bitch at that, cause a real bitch would pack her own protection shot. There’s so much shit to catch out here so this sounds like a set up to me. Do you know of her fucking any other niggas you know, the streets don’t lie. Now you already knnow if your dealing with a lady or a tramp so a blood test is needed ASAP before you do any claiming. In the mean time be a loyal nigga and a friend and be there for her and the child, hell you was hitting it, and if it comes back not yours you’ll look like a real ass nigga who stepped up to the plate and she’ll look like a nasty whore that needs Muarry [ECB: Maury?] to find her REAL baby daddy… You Are Not The Father!!!!!!!!Hello

Watch your back, Savage. There’s a new hot mess in town.


(Via DListed)

12th Ave & E. Jefferson

posted by on July 19 at 5:35 PM


Since Waid’s Hatian Lounge, located on 12th and Jefferson, opened in July 2006, neighbors have complained about late-night noise. This week, after a shooting occurred near Waid’s, a small group of Barclay Court residents marched to city hall and urged the City Council to pass legislation to “protect” their neighborhood. Mike Webb, who lives around the block from Waid’s, told the council the shooting was “the result…of an illegal nightclub in our neighborhood,” However, according to Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Renee Witt, SPD found “no connection between the incident and Waid’s.”

This is how bad things have gotten between Waid’s owner, Waid Sainvil, and the neighborhood. For the last 3 years, neighbors say the he building Waid’s occupies has been home to several problem businesses. Before it was Waid’s it was Cafe Langano and before that, Mundo’s.

Now, neighbors say they’re fed up with the booming bass and loud patrons, and they want Waid’s out of the neighborhood.

While Barclay Court residents have been complaining about the problem for years, they’ve yet to produce any real concrete evidence that Waid’s is a problem. Anecdotally, I’ve gone to Waid’s late on a Saturday night and didn’t hear the earth-rattling bass several neighbors told me about. However, Waid Sainvil has been able to produce some evidence that he’s trying to appease the neighborhood. He sent me a copy of a recent test by a sound engineer, which showed he was within the city’s noise level limits, and he claims he’s spent $70,000 soundproofing the building, although he was unable to show me any receipts for the work.

Yesterday, I spoke with Barclay Court resident Richard Shaffer and asked why Waid’s had been blamed for the recent shooting. Shaeffer clarified the neighborhood’s position. “It does appear that there was no clear connection between the shooting and Waid’s”, he said. “There was no malicious intent [in our statement]. That was our understanding at the time. We apologize if we jumped to a conclusion.”

Waid’s conditional use permit —which allows him to operate near a residential zone— is under review by the Department of Planning and Development and a final decision about the restaurant/bar/nightclub’s future should come next Monday. Sainvil is confident that his business will remain open. “This thing is just getting out of control,” he says. “If they want to shut me down, they have to come up with a good reason. The shooting had nothing to do with me.”

Who’s Got the Herb?

posted by on July 19 at 5:01 PM


Sunday’s Lee “Scratch” Perry show at Neumo’s raised a very important issue for Seattle show-goers and pot smokers.

What is the weed policy inside a club? Why is it apparently stricter inside a venue than outside, where, thanks to Prop I-75, city police have been instructed to turn a blind eye?

“If it’s cigarettes, we’re gonna get a fine,” says Steven Severin, owner/booker at Neumo’s. “If it’s an illegal substance, it gets reported to Liquor Control Board and everything else Mayor Nickels has to try ot shut down nightlife, and that’s gonna go against us.”

Bottom line: “Don’t bring your shit inside,” Severin warns. “Don’t make it difficult for us.”

Read the full report over on Line Out.

The Patient and the Voyeur

posted by on July 19 at 4:58 PM

Take it away, Maureen O’Hagan:

A prominent Seattle psychologist has been suspended from practice after being accused by the state Board of Psychology of secretly videotaping a woman in his office bathroom.

Oh, and:

In Washington, he was frequently court-appointed as an evaluator in child-custody cases and was a consultant for the Archdiocese of Seattle when it was defending itself in sexual-abuse cases involving priests.

The Latest in the Mike Webb Murder Case

posted by on July 19 at 4:44 PM

Seattle Times reports that cops have arrested a 28-year-old for the murder of Mike Webb. What Seattle Times hasn’t reported, but the Seattle P-I has, is that the 28-year-old confessed to the crime.

Today on Line Out

posted by on July 19 at 4:21 PM

Buck You: Kim Hayden’s undying love for the legendary Buck Owens.

Body Movin’: The music that makes Donte Parks run.

D.Black: Local hiphop artist is today’s Block Party Band of the Day.

More Maritime: The band posts another new song on the internets.

Smashing Pumpkins Respond: “Another mistruth in this letter is the statement that the Pumpkins were once the most important band in the world. If the facts are what we are all seeking, everyone knows that Citizen Dick has always been and will forever be the most important band in the world.”

Sound Check: Trent Moorman investigates the pedal steel guitar.

Up & Coming: Here’s what you can do tonight.

“Brother Louie”: JZ says “Unarguably the best disco ballad about interracial romance ever recorded.”


Gotta Catch ‘em All

posted by on July 19 at 4:20 PM

As a counter to Brad’s earlier post, here’s evidence that not all nerd activities lead to antisocial behavior. Consider this Pokemon enthusiast, who approaches his hobby with a serene, almost Zen detach … um, ok, I can’t do it. This kid is nucking futs.

How Was It? Bastille Day

posted by on July 19 at 4:12 PM

Bastille Day, the French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on 14 July 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis the 16th’s Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king’s power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers.

What does this mean to Seattle? Hell if I know. But I tried to find out. And because this city, weirdly, decided to celebrate the holiday on Sunday the 15th, from 11 am-6 pm at the Seattle Center (?), I thought I go out and talk to some people Saturday night. I ate a big hunk of super gooey Brie (yum) then drank a whole bottle of Two Buck Chuck (oops) and stormed the biggest Bastille Day celebration I’d heard of - The Comet Tavern. The music was perfect, and members of local band Romance were especially nice. And patient. I can’t believe how many times I asked them to try to sing the French National Anthem…

“Fête Nationale” How Was It!

Adventures in Polite On-Line Discourse

posted by on July 19 at 2:48 PM

This video is old, old, old, but I was reminded of it when I started playing Halo 2 on-line again recently. If you’ve never spent time fragging teens over Xbox Live, this is the type of lunacy you’ve been missing.

(Note: definitely NSFW.)

More on Rodney Tom

posted by on July 19 at 2:45 PM

As Eli noted yesterday, Rodney Tom is a trendy topic these days. (At least here on Slog and in the PI, and in the Seattle Times anyway.)

Tom is the Republican-turned-Democrat state house Senator who’s taking on Darcy Burner in the Democratic Primary for the right to run against Republican Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8) for U.S. Congress.

In the discussion yesterday, Burner’s folks made the case that Burner was more viable than Tom. They explained that in last year’s election in Tom’s own 48th state senate district (parts of which fall within the 8th U.S. congressional district), in a de facto head-to-head between Burner and Tom, Burner scored 250 more votes in her race against Reichert than Tom scored against his GOP opponent at the time, incumbent state Sen. Luke Esser.

Eli deflated that argument (250 whole votes!) by pointing out the obvious: Tom’s race was “down ballot.” That is: More people who could vote in both races voted in the the Burner race—a U.S. Congress contest—than voted in a state senate race. Of course Burner got 250 more votes. It’s a wonder she didn’t beat Tom by more.

There’s something else worth noting here. In Tom’s actual head-to-head with a Republican incumbent, Luke Esser—who’s got some Reichert-esque hair of his ownTom won 53 to 46.

And there was nearly 68 percent turn out in the Tom/Esser contest, which seems like a good sampling of how Tom can do against an R in that district. And if anything, the 48th—with urban like Bellevue in the mix—is more liberal than the other parts of the 8th where Tom didn’t have to stand for election last time. Given that Tom’s coming at Burner from the right, I think his score in the 48th bodes well for him.

Moreover, given that Burner’s coming from the left and more people that could vote in both races voted in her race than in Tom’s, it’s not good news for Burner that she didn’t out poll Tom by more than 250 votes there.

Regarding This Week’s Last Days….

posted by on July 19 at 2:35 PM


In this week’s Last Days column, I write about the nuptials of Ingo and Andy Pixel, who got married on Saturday and are pictured above.

SATURDAY, JULY 14 Speaking of good news, the week continues with Ingo and Andy Pixel, who today concluded two and a half years of karaoke-soaked living in sin by becoming husband and wife. At this point in history, Last Days has difficulty summoning much enthusiasm for heterosexuals partaking of a social privilege that’s denied to so many. Still, when die-hard freaks find their soul mates, everyone must cheer. Congrats, Ingo and Andy!

Once the column hit stands, more than one friend o’ the Pixels wrote to alert me to the following stipulation, included in the invitations to the wedding ceremony:

We are grateful that we have the opportunity to share our love and celebrate with the blessing of the state government. Unfortunately, not all of our loved ones are so lucky. We have a registry web page set up through the Human Rights Campaign (the forerunner in fighting for equal rights legislation in the United States), and we would be thrilled if you decided to participate by making a donation in our name.

Well shut my mouth (and make your donation at the link above.)

(Photo by Jenny Jimenez.)

Dueling Editorials

posted by on July 19 at 2:07 PM

I didn’t plan it. And I’m sure they didn’t plan it either.

But the Seattle Times published an editorial today that takes the opposite position of the editorial I published in the Stranger today.

That’s no surprise.

What is surprising is that they take the knee-jerk liberal side and I take the right side (pun intended) … or the capitalist side!

The debate is over fees that webcasters have to pay artists. Since webcasting includes many nascent, low-income independents that are fueling creativity in this blossoming industry, there’s a desire to give them breathing room on paying performers for the right to play songs. I agree with that impulse: Indie musicians and indie webcasters both benefit from the freedom webcasters have to put music out there.

However, indie webcasters should not be able to stiff performers. SoundExchange, the group—like ASCAP or BMI in traditional radio, which collects and pays songwriter royalties—collects from webcasters and pays performers. They want to up the rate for big webcasters (companies that make above $1.25 million in revenues) and let indie webcasters continue to pay the rate as its been since 1998—10% of revenues, a rate the webcasters negotiated themselves.

Seems fair to me. However, Rep. Jay Inslee has a bill that would lower the rate for indies, making it 7.5% of revenues and lower the rate by 80% for the big webcasters. In this equation, musicians (like the whole Kill Rock Stars roster) would get shortchanged for their work. Again, I agree with Inslee’s impulse to help the indies, but since the indies and the big webcasters, like AOL and Clear Channel, are being fronted by the same big media lobbyist (DiMA), Inslee’s gotta appease both camps.

Lots of folks accuse SoundExchange of collecting the money, but not paying musicians. I asked them about this. Here are the numbers (and they are audited, btw): 17,000 artists have been paid in 2006 with an average payout of $360 for webcast plays. Also, SoundExchange does not pay through labels, they pay directly to the musicians.

Other critics have pointed out that SoundExchange would retroactively collect crushing fees once indies passed the $1.25 million revenue mark. SoundExchange Spokesperson Richard Ades says that is not true. “There is no retroactive billing. Once they cross the threshold, they start paying the new, higher rate. That’s the deal on the table.”

Indie musicians rely on indie webcasting. And indie musicians have rallied around Inslee’s bill saying that new rates will put the webcasters out of business and hurt indie musicians. That makes no sense. Indie webcasters have blossomed under the 10% rate of the last 10 years, and SoundExchange wants to keep that equation in play. They only want to raise the rate for big companies.

This is good news for musicians all around.

Live in Ivar’s Old Place

posted by on July 19 at 2:05 PM

475055618_42e85e6dc9.jpgThe Smith Tower, our oldest and coziest skyscraper, may soon go condo.

Technical Difficulties

posted by on July 19 at 1:52 PM

The Senate held a hearing on Iraq strategy today, and the hearing involved a video link that would allow the U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan C. Crocker, to testify about the progress of the “surge.”

Senator Joe Biden, the presidential candidate and chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, presided.

The Caucus reports:

The session was plagued by repeated technical difficulties that disrupted both the image and the sound from Mr. Crocker.

“Baghdad, can you hear the U.S. Senate?” Mr. Biden said into his microphone at one point when the communications went silent.

An activist for the Code Pink anti-war movement shouted from the gallery, “Senate, can you hear the American people?”

You’re a Goddess. Wait, No You’re Not. Wait, You Are Again. Hold On…

posted by on July 19 at 1:40 PM

A 10-year-old girl who is worshipped as a living goddess in Nepal has had her title reinstated after defying tradition and visiting the US.
Sajani Shakya was one of the three most-revered Kumaris, who are honoured by Hindus and Buddhists alike.

She was chosen after undergoing tests at the age of two.

Since then she has been expected to bless devotees and attend festivals until she reaches puberty.

But she provoked the ire of temple elders by travelling to the US.

… temple authorities at her home town say that she will not be stripped of her title because she is willing shortly to undergo a “cleansing” ceremony.

Blessing devotees, attending festivals—you going to Bumbershoot, Goddess? would you like another funnel cake, Goddess?—a deity’s life isn’t so bad.

Except maybe this part:

Living goddesses are selected from the Buddhist Shakya family - the same caste which Buddha came from - and must follow certain rules, such as being kept in a dark room without crying.

Also, they have to wear heavy forehead makeup for years:


And there’s this part of the selection process:

Her greatest test comes during the Hindu festival of Dashain. On the kalratri, or ‘black night’, 108 buffaloes and goats are sacrificed to the goddess Kali. The young candidate is taken into the Taleju temple and released into the courtyard, where the severed heads of the animals are illuminated by candlelight and masked men are dancing about. If the candidate truly possesses the qualities of Taleju, she shows no fear during this experience. If she does, another candidate is brought in to attempt the same thing.

It’s gonna take a lot of funnel cake to make that one worth it.

The Stranger Is Seeking a Drained Iraqi Brain

posted by on July 19 at 1:13 PM

Some 2 million Iraqis have fled the consequences of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, creating an Iraqi brain drain that is making it even harder for that country to stabilize. With U.S. politicians now talking about a complete U.S. pullout soon, Congress has been considering whether America has a moral responsibility to welcome more of the professional class that’s now fleeing the country we threw into chaos.

But while the politicians debate, some members of the Iraqi brain drain have already made it to the U.S. Have any of them made it to this city?

The Stranger is seeking such a person for a story. Are you a recent Iraqi refugee living in Seattle? Do you know one?

If so, email me here and put “Iraqi refugee” in the subject line.

Reflecting on Rossi

posted by on July 19 at 12:35 PM

Yet another dreamy national ranking for Washington state. And again, it makes Dino Rossi look bad.

A few weeks ago, Forbes magazine ranked Washington State as one of the top five states to do business in. Washington State’s ranking was 12 last year. The gold star helps deflate Dino Rossi’s reelection bid. He campaigned in 2004 on the argument that he’d be much better than Gregoire at improving Washington’s business climate. Forbes to Dino Rossi: “Sorry, dude.”

Now comes this study from the Center for Public Integrity (where I used to work), that ranks Washington #1 when it comes to disclosing information about our governor’s financial affairs.

Why does this make Rossi look bad? Because he’s currently the poster child for non-disclosure: Setting up a “nonprofit” so he can raise undisclosed amounts of money from undisclosed donors.

Footnote: On the business climate thing. Rossi may try to take credit for the state’s improved business climate by pointing to the Locke/Rossi budget from 2003. Problem is: the Locke/Rossi budget from 2003 represents the same “gargantuan” growth (according to the Republicans) as the Gregoire budget from 2007.The GOP’s been trying to ding Greogoire’s budget for being out of control. Can’t have it both ways, guys.

The High Cost of Making Cupcakes

posted by on July 19 at 12:14 PM

For the second time this year, toy-maker Hasbro is recalling Easy-Bake Ovens due to reports of kids getting their fingers caught in them, and sometimes suffering burns, some of them severe.

There have been 249 reports of children getting their hands or fingers caught, including 77 reports of burns, 16 of which were reported as second and third-degree burns. There was one report of a burn serious enough to require a partial finger amputation to a 5-year-old girl.

Approximately 1 million ovens are affected.


Narrative Death

posted by on July 19 at 11:54 AM

JK Rowling rails against spoilers.

JK Rowling said fans wanted to finish the saga “in their own time.”

JK Rowling has hit out at US newspapers that have published plot details from the final Harry Potter book. The author said she was “staggered” that papers including The New York Times had printed reviews ahead of the novel’s publication on 21 July.

It’s not that the Potter book is bad or good, but this: why do people still care about stories? Or more specifically, narratives. The art of narration is so primitive, so old, so dead. As a mode of transferring information, nothing new can be received from a narrative. Every story has been told. This is the sole wisdom of Christianity: The Bible (or what they shamelessly call the Old Testament) exhausted every story. It was from then on a matter of interpretation, of reading into the narrative, looking for the signs of the Messiah. It’s only the process (reading/hearing/watching) that matters. Knowing where a story is heading is something of great importance only to a mind that believes in a prime mover that is unmoved. That is what Hegel brought to Spinoza’s substance: a story. And it is precisely our indifference to the story of world history (the story of Him) that has made us modern, made us sterner, made us urban. The protection of the narrative elements against “spoilers” is like a wizard protecting his bag of bad tricks.

Calves in Costume

posted by on July 19 at 11:43 AM


Friend of Slog Keith—after reading this post and possibly playing this game (next round coming today!)—found this photo of a potato with smooth calves (why so shaved, man?) taken at Alki a couple weeks ago. The comments are all about this guy’s legs.

Mr. Potato Legs makes one of the commenters think of another mascot:

I had an encounter with the Ivar’s clam mascot…at the Fire Festival in Pioneer Square…and we were all taken with the nice shape of the costumed clam’s lower human half. Maybe the “Mascot Workout” will be our next fitness craze.

And the next commenter writes:

given that Spuds on Alki is owned by Ivar’s … perhaps it was the same person! Anyone ever seen the spud and the clam in the same place, hm?

Blogs. (Good God!) What Are They Good For?

posted by on July 19 at 11:15 AM

The tenth anniversary of the blog-as-medium passed recently. In its honor, some writers-turned-bloggers, including Ross Douthat, have been asking: What are blogs good for?

At its best, the blogosphere exposes the enormous weaknesses of the traditional op-ed page: On the web, complicated arguments get the space they deserve, the actual underlying data for any debate is only a hyperlink away, potentially-corrective feedback is more or less instantaneous, and nobody has tenure. You can be dead wrong and still find an audience, obviously, but you can’t be stale: There are fewer Bob Herberts and David Broders in the blogosphere, and while there’s obviously a blog establishment of sorts, its hold on its audience is far more fragile than the “It’s Ellen Goodman For You Today - Or Nothing!” iron grip that the MSM used to enjoy.

The flip side of this is that blogging is the enemy of literary craft and intellectual depth. Arguments over tax policy and the proper interpretation of Knocked Up find a natural home in the blogosphere; attempts write a great novel or compose a paradigm-shifting philosophical treatise do not. If you want to be the next George Will or Paul Krugman, you’d be well-served to take up blogging now, because it’ll make you a better pundit. If you want to be the next Ian McEwan or Philip Roth, or the next Alastair McIntyre or Richard Rorty, I’d advise you to rip your internet cable out of the wall now, before it’s too late. Yes, the novelists and philosophers of the past kept diaries and wrote letters and still managed to produce longer, deeper works - but blogs aren’t a private or semi-private outlet, like a journal or a commonplace book; they’re a form of daily journalism, with all the pressures, commercial and otherwise, that form entails. And constant journalism has always been the foe of literary or philosophical greatness: I love G.K. Chesterton, for instance, but I think his sheer output kept him from becoming something more than what he was; he was a great Christian polemicist, which is no small thing, but I think he could have been greater still if he’d written at a less hectic pace. I’m sure others have their own examples of writers who might have done more had they written slightly less, and I think in the age of blogging those examples will proliferate. We’ll have better punditry, but fewer masterpieces.

Sullivan concurs:

The kind of brain activity that permits one to post two dozen items a day, keep track of countless more, and surf endless online reports and ideas and spats, is not conducive to also producing a long or reflective or deep work of philosophy or fiction or history or poetry. Even if you find the time, your mind cannot adjust that quickly.

Absolute Sagan

posted by on July 19 at 11:07 AM

Could there be more than this? You were once here, Carl Sagan. Where are you now, the captain of the Spaceship of the Imagination? The scientist who told us that when two stars are close to each other they exchange star stuff. The man who told me that if I wanted to make an apple pie from scratch, I must first invent the universe. And now you are beyond this universe, beyond all this that darkles, this “our funnanimal world”—our animal world, our fundamental world, our phenomenal world, our fun world.

Havana to Show Movies Outside All Summer Long

posted by on July 19 at 11:06 AM

Wow, this looks like a ton of fun! Havana, the makers of the best mojito in town, have just announced that they will be starting to show movies outside in their illustrious parking lot every Wednesday until the end of August. Which means…you get to drink outside! They will have lawn chairs so you don’t have to sit on the ground while you watch these films (of course, when the DJs come on, the lawn chairs will move, and dancing will ensue).

Here’s the schedule of movies and their requisite DJs:

Wednesday, July 25 — SCARFACE (1983) with Soul One

Wednesday, August 1 — DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS (2001) with Sean Cee

Wednesday, August 8 — XANADU (1980) with El Toro

Wednesday, August 15 — BLOWUP (1966) with DJs of the Emerald City Soul Club

Wednesday, August 22 — GOODFELLAS (1990) with Cherry Canoe and very special guests

Classics, all of them. Seattle City Light is even going to come around every Wednesday and shut off the streetlight so that the parking lot will be completely dark. I’m personally excited for Blowup, a movie I’ve never been able to see all big and stuff. It’s $5 to get past the parking lot gate, and there’s free popcorn. The movies will show when it gets dark, between 9:30 and 10 pm.

Hey! Did you know about The Stranger’s new bar guide? You can find new bars and review your favorite watering holes from all over the city. Do it!

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 19 at 11:00 AM

Mama Williebell’s BBQ (BEACHFRONT GRUB) The star attraction of Madrona Park—that inviting stretch of grass and sand nestled against Lake Washington at the end of the number 2 bus line—is back up and running for another summer. Mama Williebell’s will thrill lovers of well-sauced meat (chef Artie B offers pulled chicken and ribs), megaburgers (the awe-inspiring Willie Burger is roughly the size of an infant’s head), and Southern food (collard greens and candied yams). Bonus: a one-of-a-kind veggie burger to die for. (853 Lake Washington Blvd. 11 am—9 pm, through Sept.) DAVID SCHMADER

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

RIP Frites

posted by on July 19 at 10:26 AM


So it’s official: Frites Belgian Fries, the popular and beloved all-french-fry restaurant just north of the Neumo’s box office at 10th and Pike, is closed.

As for the question, “Why, why, WHY?????“—it’s complicated, and seems to involve a fair bit of neighborhood upheaval (most notably, the sale of Neumo’s to a new owner) and some mysterious drama (an acrimonious split between Frites founder Anthony Falco and his ex-manager Corey Allred). Before I heard any rumors about anything related to Frites closing, I received an email from Allred and his brother, warning me of the “rumors abounding on Capitol Hill” and expressing their willingness to “set the record straight.” (The Allreds also mentioned the possibility of their opening a new Frites stand at a new location under the name “the Frites Brothers.”) Unfortunately, they included only an email address, and I’m waiting to hear back about a possible phone chat. (I simply must know these rumors they’re so interested in me not hearing!)

For now, the one reportable fact is that 10th Ave’s greasy gut-bomb of delight is gone, and must be mourned. “It was my first try at the restaurant business,” says Anthony Falco, who founded Frites after he fell in love with the sidewalk fry-stands of Belgium. “It was so much harder than I ever imagined, and so much more fun.”

RIP, Frites. Grieving parties may share their remembrances here.

The Man Who Designed Everything

posted by on July 19 at 10:20 AM


Raymond Loewy designed trains, planes, cars, desks, lipsticks, jukeboxes, dishes, refrigerators. He created the logos of Lucky Strike, Hoover, Shell, Exxon—even the US Postal Service. He was a Frenchman, born in 1893, but he came to the United States in 1919 (after both his parents died in the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918-19). Once here, he changed the look of modern American life completely, streamlining everything from the Greyhound Bus to Air Force One.


There’s an exhilarating show about him at Bellevue Arts Museum. If you’re in the area for the art/craft fair this weekend, don’t miss it. (Drawings for failed designs—it is barely believable that someone ever proposed a fecal unit remover—are fascinating, too.)


This is a perfect show for Bellevue Arts Museum, although it’s presented terribly on the disjointed spaces that act as galleries on the second floor, instead of on the unified third floor.

It made me wish that this museum that has struggled so much to get its mission right would drop the art angle completely and limit itself to industrial design and craft instead of trying to exploit old ideas about art and design and art and craft. (As for the permanent Pilchuck glass galleries at BAM, they rightly belong at the Museum of Glass.)

My visit also made me hope that BAM will dust the bronze stack of chairs by Peter Pierobon in the middle of its lobby. It is covered—covered—in dust.

Cosy Moments Cannnot Be Muzzled!”

posted by on July 19 at 10:13 AM

I’m sorry I missed this when it was published last month: Christopher Hitchens writing about what might be closer to his heart than Orwell: Marx’s journalism.

Discussed: Wodehouse, the Victorian opium trade, New York newspaper wars, and Prussian peasants, who used to be allowed to gather firewood that fell on the ground. (Marx wrote editorial after editorial defending their traditional right to fallen branches which seems, in light of his subsequent achievements, kind of noble and kind of cute.)

And here is a shot of pure, distilled Hitchens—elegant and edifying with a heroic dose of self-regard:

If you are looking for an irony of history, you will find it not in the fact that Marx was underpaid by an American newspaper, but in the fact that he and Engels considered Russia the great bastion of reaction and America the great potential nurse of liberty and equality. This is not the sort of thing they teach you in school (in either country). I beseeched Wheen to make more of it in his biography, and his failure to heed my sapient advice is the sole reproach to his otherwise superb book.

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

posted by on July 19 at 9:51 AM

Some very vague icing on the the yummy Patriot Act cake! (Emphasis addded.)

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported,

withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the

receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.


July 17, 2007.

Read the whole frightening thing at—yes!—the White House website, probably equipped with a handy hit tracker for everyone’s security.

King County To Trans Fats: Get Bent

posted by on July 19 at 9:23 AM

Today the King County Board of Health will vote on banning trans fats.

From my column this week:

In 1911 Crisco food chemists, seeking a cheaper and more-shelf-stable fat for industrial baking, came up with a clever idea: turn the bends in cheap unsaturated fats into kinks, creating trans fats. A kinked chain can pack in like a straight one, allowing tasty baked goods at a lower price. And as an added bonus, because kinked fats are unnatural, they take longer to spoil. Brilliant! But the problem is our livers hate these fats, and they protest by pumping out way less good HDL cholesterol than normal. Plus, each additional 2 percent of your calories from trans fats nearly doubles your risk of getting heart disease, which is why every reputable source agrees there is no “safe” amount of trans fat in your diet.

Two percent of calories is about 5 grams of trans fat – one muffin, a small order of fries, or 5 double-stuffed Oreos (before they were reformulated) per day.

The proposed ban would only affect restaurants, not pre-packaged food.

The legislation would require all food establishments with operating permits from Public Health – Seattle & King County to discontinue using products that contain 0.5 grams or more of artificial trans fat per serving, excluding pre-packaged foods with nutritional labels. The implementation timeframe will be addressed by the Board of Health’s Advisory Committee on Nutrition at its July 9th meeting and will be incorporated immediately into the proposed legislation.

Read the FAQ [PDF] for more information, or attend the meeting today at 1:30pm in the King County Courthouse, Room 1001.

Big Deal

posted by on July 19 at 8:35 AM

Just posting a link to this story will bring charges of fatphobia… but here goes:

If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese, U.S. researchers predicted on Wednesday.

A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore examined 20 studies published in journals and looked at national surveys of weight and behavior for their analysis, published in the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

“Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese,” Dr. Youfa Wang, who led the study, said in a statement.

I don’t have a problem with large people. I fully expect to be, as most of my biological family is, large-ish myself one day. I do, however, have a problem with large people that see any acknowledgment of the health risks of obesity—diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers—as tantamount to anti-fat bigotry. Big people shouldn’t be discriminated against, of course, anymore than gay people should or left-handed people. (And, yes, I’m willing to acknowledge the health risks associated with being gay.) But obesity is unhealthy, period, and anyone that isn’t alarmed about the sea of corn syrup our kids swimming in isn’t paying attention.

Yes, yes: some heavy people are active. But the active obese person, like the three-pack-a-day smoker who lives to be 90, is a lucky exception, not an epidemiologically significant study.

Boom Goes The Dynamite

posted by on July 19 at 8:16 AM

Hitting WD-40 with a stick > Combining Pop Rocks and Coke.

Warning: Contains exxxtreme (and completely understandable) F-bomb droppage.

A Drugstore in Spring

posted by on July 19 at 7:36 AM

It happened sometime in the spring. I realized it one day when I brought my stuff to the counter and the cashier was just, like, hanging out with his coworkers up front, smiling, talking about stuff. Smiles used to be hard to come by at the Rite Aid at the corner of Broadway and John.

As someone who lives very close, I can tell you it used to be—before the spring—staffed by people who looked liked they’d been found in a medieval forest. They were barely human. They were not experts at English, and when they spoke the entire purpose of what they said was intended to prevent further communication. I once asked one of these goblins if there was any way I could request that they begin carrying carbonated water—seltzer, club soda, Perrier, something like that. She snapped, “No.” There’s no way I can request something? Well, she said, rolling her eyes, “You can call 1-800-RITE-AID.”

So anyway, it’s months later, and I’m at the front registers, and the guy is laughing with his coworkers. This guy is new—a good hire, good smile, a real person. And this smiling business, all this mirth—this is new. Never before in history had anyone ever looked like they were doing anything at this Rite Aid except artlessly forestalling mortal doom. Whereas this new guy was having a good time at his job. And the two women he was talking with were having a good time at work too.

“Shouldn’t you guys be working?” I said, because it was so great seeing them enjoying their existence.

“I’m building employee morale,” one of the women, a supervisor, said, grinning.

These three are not the only ones. An entire shipment of people has entered into employment at the Rite Aid at Broadway and John in the last six months, good people, sprinkling their good-people dust everywhere, and even some of the medieval-forest people are themselves undergoing transformations, so that now some of them actually seem, when they are looking at you, not to be staring through your eyes. They are animated, real, befriendable.

Last night, I stopped into Rite Aid—I actually look for excuses to go in now—and bought a little something, and when I got to the cashier it was the same guy in the above paragraphs. We’ve developed a little rapport. He’s a student somewhere. He was fixing with the receipt machine with one hand (the receipt paper was jammed) and holding a stuffed monkey with the other (it had been sitting on top of the receipt thing).

“Technical malfunction?” I said.

“Technical malfunction and Fred needed a hug,” he said, referring to the monkey he was squeezing with his right hand.

“How’s my favorite drugstore these days?” I said, having just decided I was going to go home and alert the Slog citizenry of the recent sea change at my local drugstore.

“It’s well,” he said, awkwardly, and then, charmingly, realized that that sounded kind of awkward and started riffing. “It’s been very well-kept. Well cleaned…”

He laughed at himself and, in the process of giving me my receipt, failed to give me the $20 I had just taken out with my debit card, and shut his register drawer. It took me a couple steps to realize I didn’t have the twenty I’d taken out, and by this time he was in the middle of ringing up the next person. I turned on my heels and explained.

“Are you sure? Are you sure it’s not in one of your pockets?” he said.

I checked all my pockets. I didn’t have it. He looked at me. I looked at him. I waited for him to decide how he was going to handle this. Cue the tension music. If this had happened six months ago, if he were one of the old employees of the Rite Aid, he would have not believed me, and if I had a problem he would have told me to come back at the end of his shift when he was counting his till, or to take it up with 1-800-RITE-AID, or whatever.

Meanwhile, he was in the middle of this other transaction, and he said to this customer, with a wry glance in my direction, “Did you want cash back?” And then to me, he said—and in doing this he became the mascot for the flowering of humanity and neighborhood values in a setting that had never seen either—“Oh, I must have just handed you your receipt. Sorry about that. Here you go, here’s your twenty.”

The Morning News

posted by on July 19 at 7:00 AM

Execution Resurrection: Florida brings back the death penalty.

You’re Probably On It: US terror watch list got 20,000 hits last year.

From Russia With Love: Putin blamed for 2nd murder plot.

Sesame Street 1, Bush 0:
President tries to kill Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding, fails. Now, Snuffy is pissed.

Reading Bones: Skull analysis says we all came from Africa.

Boom: Steam pipe explodes in NYC. Kills 1, injures 30

Seeing Red: Red light cameras multiplying like Tribbles.

Hot Dogs,the Silent Killer: Botulism found in hot dog chili sauce.

Phew: Cardboard stuffed hum bao a hoax.

Now, follow the Turkish-Brick-Road to…the Turkish Wizard of Oz!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hey, Supermajority Democrats

posted by on July 18 at 7:52 PM

As the 2007 legislative session came to an end in Olympia this Spring, I started doing a series of posts criticizing the giant Democratic majority for not delivering.

My frustration keeps getting compounded when I see what other legislatures around the country are up to. No payday loans in Georgia. Yes Civil Unions in New Hampshire.

Anyway, today takes the cake. During the 2007 session, my favorite bill was Rep. Dave Upthegrove’s student free press bill, which would have protected high school and college newspapers. The bill failed.

Well, look what happened in Oregon on Friday. From Rep. Upthegrove’s blog:

As many of you know, I authored and sponsored legislation this past legislative session to prohibit censorship of high school and college student newspapers. My bill passed the House but died in the Senate. During the debate, I was interviewed by a columnist for The Oregonian— the daily newspaper in our neighboring state to the South. An Oregon legislator, Rep. Larry Galizio, read the newspaper column about my bill— and as a result, introduced similar legislation in Oregon.

Well guess what? The Oregon bill passed! And on Friday, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongowki signed into law the first measure enacted since 1995 that protects the free press rights of high school students.

A national conservative organization praised the new legislation— showing that censorship knows no ideological bounds.

I’m impressed with the great work of Oregon Rep. Galizio and the other Oregon legislators and certainly plan on talking with them soon to discuss “lessons learned” as we gear up to revisit the issue in Washington next legislative session. Our thanks should go to Governor Kulongowski as well for signing the bill. The Student Press Law Center continues to be a great advocate and the J-IDEAS Programat Ball State University continues to provide a valuable public forum for education and discussion.

It’s kinda cool to know that, although we fell short this year in Washington, our leadership sparked a successful effort in Oregon.

That’s one way of looking at it, Dave.

Your Brief Career as a Spammer, or, Fixed!

posted by on July 18 at 5:17 PM

Oh, hi.

So sorry for all the trouble everyone’s been having with our misbehaving spam filter. It should be fixed now. Is it? Can you comment? CAN YOU?!?!?

The comments that were caught are available, and I’ve considered releasing them from their spammy imprisonment, but at this point most of them are some variation on, “Hey! My comments are being filtered! WTF?” so perhaps not. Please do post your thoughts again.

In case you care, an explanation:
Because we love you, we’ve been trying to speed up the comment-posting process (so slow!). Our research led us to discover that one of the public spammer blacklist operations that our blogging software checks is no longer in service, resulting in a long wait and a time-out when our system tries to check if you guys are no-good spammers. SO, on the advice of SixApart, we removed that server and replaced it with Spamhaus, a well-regarded blacklist service. As it turns out, Spamhaus is not so fond of quite a wide range of Comcast IP blocks, so suddenly a lot of you were on the no-fly list. See how that didn’t work?

ANYWAY, we took that server out of the loop and things should be settling down. Rest assured that this minor fiasco was because we were trying to help you out, not t’other way ‘round.


Post Mortem

posted by on July 18 at 4:54 PM

There were a number of conspiracy theories surrounding Yasser Arafat’s death, but as Israel Today reports:

A leading Palestinian “resistance” figure has confirmed what many suspected all along: Yasser Arafat died of AIDS.

Smart Capitol Hill Advertising

posted by on July 18 at 4:44 PM

A head-turning ad from the window at Value Village on 11th between Pike and Pine:


Spam Filter Gone Haywire

posted by on July 18 at 4:40 PM

Is anyone else having trouble posting comments this afternoon? Let me rephrase that: Can anyone comment successfully right now? Thanks for your patience as the Tech Lords look into it.

This Week’ Stranger News Section

posted by on July 18 at 4:40 PM

I’m psyched. We’ve got a fat news section this week.

Erica C. Barnett has a scoop about Mayor Nickels’s move to undermine the much-heralded master bike plan. Surprise! Nickels is kissing the ass of influential business leaders, flouting the plan at their request.

Regular freelancer Dominic Holden details an unwarranted (pun intended) and egregious bust of a sick couple who (legally) use medical marijuana.

Developer Loopholes
Jonah reports from West Seattle where town home developers used a loophole to avoid community review. By the time neighbors knew what was going on, it was too late to weigh in. Jonah reports that developers are getting away with this all over the city.

Love Crimes, City Hall, and the U.S. Congress
Finally, we’ve got Charles Mudede’s Police Beat column on love, ECB’s In the Hall column on your city council members, and my Counter•Intel column on Rep. Jay Inslee’s misguided attempt to “save” webcasters.

Eli Sanders’s reports from Election ‘08 will be back next week.

Meanwhile, in other news sections today:
The Seattle Times has a story about Mayor Nickels’s battle with clubs; the PI has a story about a wild police chase; and the Seattle Weekly reports on the campaign finances of Port Candidate Gael Tarleton—a story you may had heard something about before it was in the Weekly.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 18 at 3:50 PM


Still in Fucking Full Effect: Reports of Reggie and the Full Effect’s Death Greatly Exaggerated.

The Areas of Youtube’s Expertise: John Hodgman Realizes the Ultimate Potential of the Internet.

DJs Are Block Stars: Block Party “Bands” (how rockist) of the Day: Devlin & Darko, Pretty Titty, and Franki Chan.

“Crazy”: A Cool Jazz Tribute to Gnarls Barkley.

Bring Your Own Bandwith?: Sam Makhovech on John Wesley Harding.

Hungry Pining: Band of the Week: the Hungry Pines.

…And Other Delights: Amy Sedaris’ New Music for Old People.

Bell Bottom Bliss, pt. 1: Jonathan Zwickel on Looking Glass.

Had it With These Motherfucking Snakes?: Trent Moorman on Bill Snakes.

Hip Hop Ambassadors: Block Party Band of the Day: Blue Scholars.

Darcy Burner vs. Rodney Tom: The Past as Prologue?

posted by on July 18 at 3:25 PM

There’s a lot of chatter today about the Democratic primary that’s shaping up in the eastside’s 8th Congressional District.

Democrat Darcy Burner, who narrowly lost to Republican Congressman Dave Reichert in 2006, will try again for Reichert’s seat in 2008. But first she has to get through the Democratic primary, which Democratic state senator Rodney Tom (formerly known as Republican state representative Rodney Tom) has announced he is entering.

Tom is arguing that he’s more in line with the politically-mixed 8th District than Burner, and more viable against Reichert given his longer political resume.

The Burner campaign is eager to knock this notion down, and they’ve slipped me some rather interesting numbers from the 2006 elections as part of that effort.

Political junkies will recall that in 2006, Tom was making his run for state senate as a newly-minted Democrat while Burner was making her run for Congress as a newbie Democratic darling.

As it happens, Tom’s legislative district, the 48th, lies partly within the Congressional district that Burner was trying to win, the 8th. So it’s possible to do a “head to head” comparison of votes won by Burner and Tom in the part of the 48th legislative district where both Burner and Tom were on the ballot in 2006. No surprise, the Burner campaign has done that comparison.

According to their spreadsheet, Burner beat Tom in his own district in 2006 by about 250 votes. I haven’t had time to double-check the Burner campaign’s numbers yet, but if their numbers hold up, it’s going to become a bit harder for Tom to argue that he has more appeal on the eastside than Burner.

The rejoinder from the Burner camp will become: Eastside voters have already answered the question of who has more appeal. They’ve shown that in Tom’s own district, Burner is more popular than Tom.

As Burner spokesman Sandeep Kaushik puts it: “In terms of her values and her priorities and her positions on the issues of the day, Darcy Burner is more in line with the people of her district.”

UPDATE: A Democratic operative with no dog in this race just called to point out what he sees as a big flaw in the Burner campaign’s spin on these “head to head” numbers: The entire 250-vote difference could very well have nothing to do with Burner being more popular than Tom on the eastside, and everything to do with the fact that down-ballot races normally draw fewer votes. Tom was much further down the ballot than Burner in 2006, and so it’s more than likely that in that election, 250 Democratic voters just didn’t have the attention span (or the familiarity with state politics) to get around to casting a vote in Tom’s legislative race.

The Critic’s Pick Right Now on

posted by on July 18 at 3:20 PM

It’s Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Suzy Lake 1972-1978 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art—LA-based NYT writer Jori Finkel’s curatorial debut.

Holly Myers of the LAT liked it, too.

Congratulations, Jori.

(I’m going to see the show in two weeks; Finkel is an old friend and mentor of mine.)

A still from A Natural Way to Draw by Suzy Lake, 1975.

Wait, Now the Squirrels Are on Our Side?

posted by on July 18 at 3:17 PM

This story was reported today on the 700 Club (the only place I go for news, of course):

Iranians arrest 14 squirrels for spying
Islamic Republic’s intelligence agents allege rodents were carrying advanced Western spy gear
Iranian intelligence operatives recently detained over a dozen squirrels found within the nation’s borders, claiming the rodents were serving as spies for Western powers determined to undermine the Islamic Republic.

“In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran’s borders,” state-sponsored news agency IRNA reported. “The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence services.”

Iranian police commander Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqadam confirmed the report, saying that a number of squirrels had been caught bearing foreign spy gear within Iran’s borders.

“I heard of this but I have no specific knowledge on the subject,” he said. He refused to give further details.

Recently, Iran has increased its efforts in combating espionage by the West. The use of rodents has not been documented in the past.

You keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

[Thanks to eternal tech shack wonder-man Brian!]

How Harry Is this Spoiler?

posted by on July 18 at 2:50 PM

According to sources completely untrustable, the not-quite-yet-released and alleged finale of the entire Harry Potter franchise, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, has been uncovered, leaked, and otherwise unleashed early, and—-watch out!—you shall discover the spoily alleged plot points revealed below.

However! To protect the willfully ignorant, these secrets have been cleverly and thoughtfully hidden in a field of white text that must be selected and highlighted to be seen. If you don’t wanna know…I strongly suggest that you DO NOT highlight the field below.

Last warning!

Dumbledore is fucking ALIVE, his whole murder was a fakeout, of course.

But! Snape is forced to murder him again.
Ron Weasley dies (thank God).
Then later; Hermione dies (ditto).
And then: Harry kills himself in order to destroy Voldemort!
In the end, Harry is reunited in the Deathly Hallows Ghost World with his parents, Ron, Hermione, Sirius and Dumbledore…kind of like the end of Return of the Jedi!

Return of the WHAT? Ugh. I warned you not to highlight it.

Rainier Is Hot; 14th Is Not

posted by on July 18 at 2:34 PM


If you’ve ever been lost in Seattle, unable to make out what street you’re crossing because the signs are dingy, small and unreadable, then find hope in this. By 2016, the Seattle Department of Transportation promises to replace them with bigger, shinier, new signs. What’s more, the city announced last week that they’re selling the old ones. They range from $10 (for the small guys) to $15 (for the big suckers up to 10” by 48”). I called to find out how the sale, which runs for nine more years, is going so far. Mike Long of the Fleet and Facilities Department answered.

“How many signs have you sold so far?”

“About 600.”

“Which ones have been the most popular?”

Rainier Avenue has sold the most because of the significance to Mt. Rainier. Madison has also gone quickly. Also, any first name, like Brandon.”

Brandon Street? I don’t know where that is.”

“Neither do I.”

“Well, which signs are the least popular?”

“The ones not moving are odder street numbers, like 14th Ave.

“Would it be illegal to buy signs and put them up on telephone poles for the wrong street?”

“I would think so. I don’t know the rules of law about that. As long as it’s on your property it would be okay. You Strangers, you might do it.”

“Can you reserve a Holden Street sign for me?”

“At this point, no. We’re not holdin’ signs.”

“No pun intended?”


The city’s surplus warehouse is located at 3807 Second Ave. S. Hours open to the public are from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Here’s a list of current sign inventory (.pdf). They also sell old parking meters.

Christopher’s Classic Tastes

posted by on July 18 at 2:21 PM

Regarding Frizzelle’s post about the under-appreciated beauty of men’s calves: You’re living in the wrong century, Christopher. I ran across this in Eleanor Herman’s Sex With Queens, my current beach reading:

When the German princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha found herself not queen of England, as she had imagined, but the widowed Princess of Wales, she lived a retired life at Kew Palace with her eight children. Family friend and advisor John Stuart, marquess of Bute, was in almost constant attendance, often in locked rooms with the princess dowager. A handsome man known for his shapely calves in white silk stockings—that benchmark of eighteenth-century male beauty—Lord Bute seemed to conduct his love affair openly, coming and going from Kew as he pleased.

And before anyone makes fun of my beach reading, please note that Eleanor Herman’s last book—Sex With Kings—was a New York Times Bestseller, and that’s pure class, that is. And I challenge anyone to read Herman’s absolutely heartbreaking chapter about Marie Antoinette without stifling a sob or two.

The Smell of Democracy in the 43rd

posted by on July 18 at 2:13 PM

I spent three hours last night in the sweltering, sweaty confines of a converted classroom at the University Heights Community Center, where the 43rd District Democrats had gathered to decide who (if anyone) they’d endorse for this year’s local primary races. (Next door, belly dancers writhed with gold pots on their heads; across the hall, jazz and ballet dance classes were in full swing.) The meeting was supposed to wrap up no later than 9:00 pm; but, this being the 43rd, process trumped the official agenda at every turn, and the last stragglers didn’t stagger out of the room until well after 10:00.

The biggest surprise of the night: Jean Godden’s failure to win the 43rd’s endorsement, an outcome that was seen as a victory by supporters of Godden opponent Joe Szwaja, who isn’t a Democrat and thus wasn’t allowed to speak. (Other Democratic organizations have allowed the Green Party candidate to have his say, but the 43rd are sticklers.) Szwaja supporters fanned out across the hallway outside the meeting room, handing out a letter by activists John Fox, Gary Clark, and Trevor Griffey urging a “no-endorsement” vote. The letter charged Godden with neglecting the interests of neighborhoods and low-income people while approving subsidies to Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and failing to support state legislation that would have allowed cities to limit the number of apartments that can be converted to condos. (For the record, she did support the legislation, along with the rest of the council.)

Whether 43rd District members found those charges compelling, or whether they simply couldn’t muster sufficient enthusiasm for Godden (about whom her advocate, Linda Mitchell, could say only, “Jean Godden is one of only three women left on the Seattle City Council, so it’s important that we keep here there”) was unclear, but the jubilant Szwaja and his supporters certainly saw it as a victory.

On the other hand, it could have also been a result of the convoluted process the 43rd Dems use to decide endorsements, which requires a candidate to win 60 percent of the room’s support to win sole endorsement on the first go-round. That process meant that in all but a few relatively uncontested races (Bill Sherman vs. Keith Scully for King County Prosecutor; two levies to fund King County Parks), any candidate who won less than 60 percent but more than 40 percent (stay with me here) had to go back for “reconsideration,” a second, yes or no vote on that candidate. (The members of the 43rd, apparently familiar with this outcome, let out a loud, collective groan when the reconsideration vote was announced.)

Under that system, it’s virtually impossible in races with three or more candidates to win full endorsement on the first go-round; however, it’s also unlikely that more than one candidate will top 40 percent. In the race for Godden’s seat, Godden beat 40 percent, but just barely, while the other three candidates split the remaining 60. Then, during the up-or-down vote, she failed to win 60 percent of voters. Hence, no endorsement. A similar thing happened in two other races—School Board Position 2, where Lisa Stuebing got through the first round but failed to push past 60 percent, and City Council Position 3 (the seat currently held by Peter Steinbrueck, who was on the scene, wielding a Venus Velazquez yard sign), where Velazquez met a similar fate. Only Port Commission candidate Gael Tarleton made it through both rounds of voting to win the 43rd’s endorsement.

Other highlights of the evening:

• Council member Tom Rasmussen, who’s running for reelection unopposed (and isn’t even on the primary ballot), has nonetheless been a cheerful presence at endorsement events across the city. Rasmussen kicked off last night’s meeting with an odd speech in which he expressed his ambition to take over Steinbrueck’s Urban Development and Planning Committee and vowed never to use the word “vibrant” to describe the city again. “The Italians have a word for it. It’s ‘basta’—enough of the word ‘vibrant’ already!”

• Event organizers apologized repeatedly for the choice of room, which was much smaller than the upstairs room they usually use and had virtually no circulation. As I sat off to the side of the makeshift stage, I watched the mercury in a thermometer on the wall rise to a high of 84 degrees—a temperature that did not make for a pleasant-smelling congregation.

• I swear I’m not trying to pick on Bruce Harrell, but he STILL insisted on referring to himself in the third person—and bringing up his football career at the UW and Garfield High as a metaphor for how he’ll be a “fighter” on the council. (“I played football here at the UW and I’m still the 8th leading tackler in their history.”) That’s got to be, what, 20 years ago now? Dude, it’s time for a new metaphor. Harrell was also the only candidate who didn’t clean up after himself—long after everyone else had removed their campaign signs, five Harrell signs remained plastered around the room.

• After referring to Democrats as “the rainbow party,” open-seat candidate Al Runte declared himself “the candidate of young people.” As proof, he offered his campaign staff—made up entirely of high-school Democrats. “They average 17 years in age,” Runte bragged. Then he joined his 17-year-old campaign manager in the back of the room.

He’s not a man, he’s a piece of iron.

posted by on July 18 at 2:11 PM

You know when all the fanboys were bellyaching about how John McClane got pussified down to a PG-13 for Live Free or Die Hard? Dude, John Rambo doesn’t tone it down for anyone.

I mean, seriously, the part where he uses the machine gun on the Jeep driver? Holy God.

Confirmed: Librarians are Super

posted by on July 18 at 1:50 PM

Christopher’s experience with Seattle’s information elite has been on my mind all week. See, my librarian friend Jared began volunteering as an online reference librarian on Sunday. He’s been over every night since, solving problems on my living room floor.

Here’s a sample:

i have noticed alot of asian girls who date white men, but not alot of asian men who date white girls. what’s the deal? Any statistics about how often white women date or marry asian men, and maybe some tips for an asian guy who wants to date a white girl? thank you


I need help in finding a school that will teach paranormal psychology. I am wondering if you know of any school in Oregon that has this certain type of class.

Immediately followed by this (coincidence???):

There seems to be a ranch house in Texas that is plagued by frightening poltergeist activity. At night, ear-shattering blows seem to emit from inside the walls. Thunderous booms accompanied by loud and prominent footsteps echoing from the hall terrify all who choose to spend the night there. Light fixtures shake and rattle, chairs and tables are heard to fly by themselves and shatter against walls and floors.

An entity terrified the owners and guests by whispering their names among other things
When this unknown entity chose to make it’s presence known, the room, or rooms, would grow “Ice Cold”. The poltergeist activity was vicious and violent, but no one was ever harmed in any way - at least not physically. Eventually, the owners called a noted parapsychologist to investigate the haunted house in an effort to comfort the curious.

Their equipment recorded the same ear splitting blows to the walls, etc.
Anyway, this noted ‘expert’ on poltergeist hauntings attributed EVERYTHING to something called, ‘The Palchi Effect’. He stated that this happens when water runs through, or squeezes through layers of limestone underground. Now- I’ve heard some lame explanations for hauntings before, but this one beats them all. Any information on this ‘science’? Help me out.

Jared answered all but the last (which he deemed unsolvable, and agreed with the questioner that the “doctor” was obviously the type prone to inventing science and recycling his feces) while sitting on my living room floor in short-shorts, snacking on Twizzlers, and watching Steven Segal movies.

So there you are, Christopher. A glimpse of the Other Side.
(Librarians I love you.)


posted by on July 18 at 1:09 PM

I don’t like Tully’s, but almost every day on my way to a much tastier coffeeshop I have to walk by one and I see the poster in the window flaunting the shop’s latest creation…


And every day, when I think of the combination of bananas and a latte, I get a little dizzy and sick to my stomach. I also wonder “What the fuck kind of word is Banoffee?

I did some searching and it seems Tully’s isn’t the first to use the term. Via

This pie, an easy take on toffee with bananas (hence the name), made its debut at The Hungry Monk, a pub in England, in 1972.

Sounds a hell of a lot better than bananas being blended with coffee. So I give you, Banoffee Pie!

(Recipe via, and first appearing in Gourmet, January 2005.)

2 cups canned sweetened condensed milk (21 oz)
1 (9-inch) round of refrigerated pie dough (from 15-oz package)
3 large bananas
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
Special equipment: a 9-inch pie plate (preferably deep dish)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
Pour condensed milk into pie plate and stir in a generous pinch of salt. Cover pie plate with foil and crimp foil tightly around rim. Put in a roasting pan, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up side of pie plate, making sure that foil is above water. Bake, refilling pan to halfway with water about every 40 minutes, until milk is thick and a deep golden caramel color, about 2 hours. Remove pie plate from water bath and transfer toffee to a bowl, then chill toffee, uncovered, until it is cold, about 1 hour.

While toffee is chilling, clean pie plate and bake piecrust in it according to package instructions. Cool piecrust completely in pan on a rack, about 20 minutes.

Spread toffee evenly in crust, and chill, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices and pile over toffee.

Beat cream with brown sugar in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks, then mound over top of pie.

Just As We Thought!

posted by on July 18 at 12:52 PM

Parts of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise—a masterwork of Renaissance sculpture—are coming to Seattle.

Back in May, I noted here on Slog that the Art Institute of Chicago’s web site named Seattle Art Museum as a stop for the famed gilt panels, which have never before been seen in North America and will only be in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, and Seattle before returning to Italy, where the government says they will not travel again.

SAM sent out its press release this morning for the traveling show, tentatively scheduled to make its Northwest visit January 26 through April 6, 2008.

In the show are three original panels and four sculptures, two before restoration and two after.

It will be a classical moment: Also on view at SAM during that time will be Roman Art from the Louvre (February 21-May 11, 2008).

Poor Guy

posted by on July 18 at 12:44 PM

He’d had a pregnant-looking belly his whole life—36 years—and, it turned out, he had his half-formed twin in there. (From ABC News and thanks to tipper Billy.)

Andy Samberg in the House

posted by on July 18 at 12:28 PM

The highly stalk-able SNL hottie Andy Samberg will be in Seattle tonight, promoting his new movie Hot Rod. Ack. The movie looks crushingly UN-funny. Well maybe not “crushingly,” but definitely NO WAY-NO HOW as funny as this or this. He’ll be at the Pacific Place AMC Theater downtown at 8 pm. But it’s one of those free-screeners-have-to-have-a-pass-and-wait-in-line-for-two-hour-dealies. Not open to the public. So why am I even telling you this? I dunno. Maybe Andy will pop into Johnny Rockets for a chocolate malt afterwards. Or turn up at the W Hotel bar. Or better yet, wander up the hill and go shake it at Ruff Gemz at the Baltic Room. I’m just sayin’ - keep your eyes peeled.


Words of Peace

posted by on July 18 at 11:51 AM

Police accountability activist Anwar Peace has been a thorn in SPD’s side for the last few years. So much in fact, that SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske took out a restraining order against Peace.

Three weeks ago, Peace allegedly broke his no-contact order and is now sitting in King County Jail.

After an NAACP police accountability rally at city hall on June 28th, Peace ran into the Chief downtown. According to a police report, Peace followed Kerlikowske through city hall and hopped on an elevator with him. Eventually, a security officer intervened and Peace left.

Two days later, Peace allegedly called Kerlikowske’s office phone and left 17 messages, which, according to court documents, stated “I’m not afraid of you, I’m not afraid of your officers. Cap me because I will only become stronger if you kill me, and that’s the only way that I will leave you and your mother alone. You are a scandalous motherfucker, I will take you out. I will be the most slanderous mother fucker you’ve ever met and I will go up to your motherfucking place every goddamn day [and] violate this shit. You’ve already fucked up my life so why won’t I fuck up yours?”

On June 30th, officers showed up to Peace’s home and arrested him on a domestic violence charge after he got into a fight with his girlfriend. While in jail, the DV case was dropped—his girlfriend says it was an argument that got out of hand and that she actually attacked Peace— but Peace has since been charged with harassment and “intimidating a public servant.”

Last Sunday, I went down to the King County Jail for a brief Q&A with Peace.

Do you have any intention of hurting the Chief?

Peace: I am a very peaceful individual. I’ve never had any violence in my life. I’m not about violence, I’m about peace. The restraining order has been a thorn in my side for the last few years. It has limited me from going into downtown. Every time a police officer sees me, they harass me; they play mind games with me.

Does this hurt your cause? Are people just going to think you’re crazy?

Even though some of my tactics and techniques are a little outlandish, nothing I do, or have done, is out of hate or vengeance. I would just like officers to step up and clean house. For the [police] department to not be able to clean itself up is really disheartening. I’m kind of being framed as the next Omari Tahir-Garret [but] I’m finally getting attention from the mainstream media.

Why were you arrested two days after your initial contact with the Chief? Why didn’t they arrest you at city hall?

This is the game we’ve been playing. It is interesting that they didn’t arrest me. I gave them lots of opportunities.

Did you think there would be consequences for showing up to city hall for the rally?

Did I think I’d catch a case? Yes. [A lot of] great men have spent time behind bars.

After all of this, what would you like to say to the Chief?

I’m sorry for the concern for his family. I understand, but there are families out there in Seattle that feel about the SPD the way [Kerlikowske] feels about me.

I wish him a relaxing retirement.

On Monday, Peace was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty. I tried to contact Kerlikowske about the incident, but my calls weren’t returned.

Get to Know Your Doomed Sidekicks

posted by on July 18 at 11:50 AM


Name: LTJG Nick Bradshaw

Nickname: “Goose”

Occupation: F-14 RIO (Radar Intercept Officer).

Hobbies: Piano playing/singing.

Significant Other(s): Carole Bradshaw (wife); LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (other)

Notable Quip: “No, boys. There’s two ‘O’s in Goose.”

Dialogue Doubling as Ominous Prediction: “The defense department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid.”

Cause of Utterly Predictable Yet Untimely Death: Ejection from F-14 trapped in horizontal (or “flat”) spin; cracked coconut on canopy. (See video, below.)

Immediate Effects of Untimely Death Upon Star Lead: Moody reflection, struggles with self-doubt, unconscionable spurning of Kelly McGillis sexual advances.

Remedy for Effects of Untimely Death Upon Star Lead: Man-up speech delivered by respected higher-ranking officer, blasting of commies back to the Stone Age.

Overall Doomed Sidekick Rating Based on 1-10 Scale: 8.


The Love Eye

posted by on July 18 at 11:45 AM

In this image I find what I’m always looking for in a woman’s face: a lazy eye.
1497257611_l.jpg What is it that makes a lazy eye so special? And it can only be one lazy eye, not two. To find low lids on both eyes is to find a face that has been drugged. One eye must be alert, aware, and striking the surfaces of objects with its ray of vision. The other eye is the one caught between the sleeping world within and the awake world without. But why is this beautiful? Why is it sexy? What kind of love is this laziness?

Chicago’s Policing Problem

posted by on July 18 at 11:45 AM

An article in today’s Chicago Tribune shows that Seattle’s not the only city with a policing problem. In fact, Chicago seems to be going through an eerily similar fight over police accountability.

The full article is behind a free-membership firewall, but I’ve reposted some of it here:

The list of Chicago police misconduct allegations that city officials are fighting to keep secret shows that the scandal-plagued Special Operations Section has a disproportionately high number of complaints over the last five years, according to a copy of the list obtained by the Tribune.

The top four police officers on the list, who all had 50 or more misconduct complaints in five years, were members of the section, which is currently the focus of a criminal probe by the Cook County state’s attorney that has resulted in six officers indicted for robbing and kidnapping people.

Thirty Chicago police officers assigned to the Special Operations Section had 862 misconduct complaints filed against them in five years.

Number of complaints against the 10 most-cited SOS officers over five years.

The number of those complaints upheld by the Office of Professional Standards. One led to a 15-day suspension; two ended with reprimands.

The top 10 Special Operations Section officers with the most complaints on the list combined for a total of 408 complaints over five years. Of those complaints, only three were sustained by the Office of Professional Standards, and only one resulted in a suspension - for 15 days. The other two cases ended with reprimands. And the top 30 officers from the section were accused of brutality and other offenses 862 times.

One officer was accused of misconduct 55 times, with none of the complaints sustained, according to the list.

The fate of the list plays into a larger debate about police oversight facing the City Council and Mayor Richard Daley this week. The council is expected to vote Thursday on Daley’s proposal to reform the Office of Professional Services in the wake of a string of police misconduct scandals, including the investigation of the Special Operations Section, an elite unit whose officers are sent to troubled spots all over the city.

Critics have also pointed out the irony that Daley is promising to make OPS investigations more transparent at the same time his lawyers are fighting to keep such information secret in federal court.

The current fight over the list is not the first time the records have shed negative light on the police department. Last year, Futterman produced statistics from the records that showed a relatively small group of 662 officers — or about 5 percent of the department — account for the lion’s share of complaints. But the extraordinarily low rate at which OPS sustained complaints — less than 1 percent — allowed bad cops to act with virtual impunity, critics said.


I can’t wait to see how Mayor Daley handles his police problem. It appears he’s pulling the same disingenuous crap that Nickels did, pushing for police accountability in public, while doing what he can behind the scenes to suppress the issue and make sure he doesn’t end up with a massive scandal on his hands.

Will Chicago get rid of that troublesome one percent, or will they continue to let a handful of cops rack up complaints?

Even Amy Sedaris’s Press Releases Are Hilarious

posted by on July 18 at 11:38 AM


Towleroad directed me to the delightful press release sent out recently by Amy Sedaris’s people. The key announcement is about the completion of the drafting of an agreement—including “numerous clauses and sub-clauses, with substantial remunerations and disbursements, and also some waivers, and some subwaivers, and also a disclosure or two, and there is one subdisclosure, as I recall, and an addendum or two,” says Lady Sedaris—that would allow Jerri Blank and the rest of Strangers With Candy’s Flatpoint High crew (I love you, Tamela!) to appear on the 500th episode of The Simpsons.

“There is any amount of mischief that Jerri Blank and her gang can cause by moving into Springfield,” says Sedaris. “I think we might be talking about plotlines involving baby farms, crystal meth labs, a prostitution ring or two, a food poisoning epidemic caused by the sale of off-brand Girl Scout cookies made illegally in Manchuria… Fun stuff like that.”

The prospect of a Sedaris-soaked Simpsons episode is indeed promising, but that’s not the only fresh delight hyped in the press release:

A line of Sedaris branded holiday wrapping paper is also in the works, that will most likely be marketed exclusively through, Barnes and Noble, and big box retailers such as Costco, Target and Wal-mart. “There will be two basic designs,” says Sedaris. “One will feature photos of Santa, the Christmas Rabbit, half-used spools of Scotch-brand tape, packs of ‘AA’ Energizer batteries, a few broken ornaments, those mini-liquor bottles that are America’s favorite stocking stuffers — and of course photos of me. And the other design, aimed more at the kids market, will feature photos of Santa, the Christmas Rabbit, myself of course, some holly maybe, or maybe not, bowling pins exploding in a strike or a spare, and photos of large checks written by various unmarried aunts, uncles, and sundry parties. All on a background of tens and twenties.”

Finally, there’s the delightful closing line of the official Amy Sedaris bio:

She is the sister of well-known Greek-American radio announcer David Sedaris, a recent subject of scandal.

Read the whole thing here.

The New Ones

posted by on July 18 at 11:32 AM

Tacoma Art Museum announced Tuesday that it has hired Margaret Bullock, formerly of the Portland Art Museum, as its new curator of collections and special exhibitions—filling the last of two second-in-command openings on Seattle-area museum staffs.

The first was filled in April, when Marisa Sanchez arrived as Seattle Art Museum’s new assistant curator of modern and contemporary art.

(Sanchez replaces Susan Rosenberg; Bullock fills the spot once held by Rock Hushka, who now heads up TAM’s curatorial department. Patricia McDonnell used to be TAM’s chief curator, but the museum dispensed with the title after she left. Hushka is in charge, but he’s not called the “chief”: his title is director of curatorial administration and curator of contemporary and Northwest art.)

Bullock comes from the Harwood Museum of Art at the University of New Mexico in Taos. Before that, she was at PAM from 1998 to 2001, working her way up to associate curator of American art. She has dual master’s degrees, one in anthropology from WSU and one in art history from the U of O, and a dual bachelor’s degree in art history and English from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In Portland, Bullock curated exhibitions ranging in subject from 19th-century American silver to Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell, and Grandma Moses.

We’ll get to know Bullock in time, but for now, are you curious about what SAM’s Sanchez is like? Tune in to an In/Visible podcast on this afternoon.

Schwam! Sell. Serve. Work! (Sorry for the Appropriation!)

posted by on July 18 at 11:27 AM

You know those moments in life where, after all your preparation and micromanagement, something just clicks into place and you manage to pull off some nearly impossible feat and ascend to a new level of Legendary? Or is that just me?

Anyway, nothing you or I have ever done even comes close to this. Your attention is requested for the performance of one Tandi Iman Dupree, here in the 2001 Miss Black America drag pageant. Spend the first ten seconds of the video preparing yourself for all manner of amazing, and keep your eyes peeled throughout.


(Via !! omg !!.)

Rodney Tom. Republican or Democrat?

posted by on July 18 at 11:16 AM

The PI’s got a story on Rodney Tom. Tom is a Democratic state senator from the Eastside suburbs (who used to be a GOP state house member from the Eastside suburbs) who’s now running for Dave Reichert’s U.S. House seat.

First, though, Tom has to take out the well-funded, campaign-tested, progressive Darcy Burner. (Here’s a story by Eli on Burner from last year.)

Tom’s also got to overcome his voting and doning record as a rank and file GOPer, which the PI article documents: supported privatizing social security, donations to Rossi. One thing they miss: Tom also voted—last year as a Dem—against the Dem bill to reign in Glacier Northwest’s mining expansion on Maury Island.

Tom’s response to his conservative positions is that he’s a better fit for the bi-partisan district. I think, pointing to his recent voting record as a Dem (Maury Island non-withstanding) he should say: “Just like ex-smokers are the most vehement anti-smokers…”

Seriously, though, I was excited about Tom last year when he switched parties. (I think his move exactly mirrors the zeitgeist of the bi-partisan 8th.) And, I was also impressed with how Tom used his new status to lead on hot button issues for the Dems: gun control and sex ed.

I think the well-funded Burner—$185K— will squash Tom, but I do think a D primary in this long-coveted turf is a good test lab for sorting out the identity of the Democrats.

Once Is Plenty

posted by on July 18 at 11:16 AM

Handy Anthony Hecht seems to have solved the double-post problem in comments on Slog. TFG, AFT!

Chinese Restaurant Art

posted by on July 18 at 11:11 AM

When Lawrimore Project opened a year ago with an exhibition that involved SuttonBeresCuller building and then unveiling a trompe l’oeil Chinese restaurant in the gallery, I got an email from a Seattle curator letting me know about another artist who makes Chinese restaurants: Montreal-based Karen Tam.

Tam has been doing it since 2002. Her restaurants, unlike SBC’s, are fully functional. (SBC did occasionally serve Shanghai Garden in theirs.) She builds kitchens as well as eating areas, and she serves.




From August 3 to September 1, Tam will build a restaurant installation at Centre A in Vancouver, as part of a group show about Chinese restaurants called REDRESS EXPRESS:

Providing the starting point of this project, the exhibition brings together recent artworks that explore the Chinese restaurant as an iconic institution and bring forward critical discourses in relation to the head tax redress [the head tax was a fixed fee charged for each Chinese person entering Canada] and identity politics in general. The Chinese restaurant installation by Karen Tam exposes the cultural underpinnings and ethnic stereotypes that define family-owned Chinese restaurants in Canada as well as the evolution of Chinese Canadian cuisine. Kira Wu’s photographic series of the exteriors of Chinese-Canadian restaurants in the neighbourhood initiate a review of signage and cultural arbitrage. Shelly Low’s self-portraits and Rice-Krispies squares sculpture intimates a self-conscious projection and representation of the consumable ethnic or exotic ‘other’. The Yellow Pages (1994) by Ho Tam provides a video primer from A to Z of past and present Asian experience within North America. Gu Xiong’s series of hanging banner portraits of present-day and historical figures important to the development of Chinese Canadian communities gives face to the historical moments of redress.

I wonder whether Tam’s restaurants have misspellings on the menus—the classic misspellings of English words that are so common at Asian restaurants. This is something that arose in my mind when I first saw SBC’s installation. I asked about it, and the artists explained to me that they felt it would be disrespectful to leave the misspellings of local restaurant menus intact in their artwork, even though they said the artwork was an homage to local restaurants. That elision points to a larger question about cultural voyeurism. And one thing missing from SBC’s Chinese restaurant was the Chinese people who live in the surrounding International District and/or work in its restaurants.

I wonder about the conversation that Tam’s installation will kick up. If you’re curious to see, there’s a symposium about the exhibition Aug. 2 and 3 in Vancouver.

“Some May Never Live, But the Crazy Never Die”

posted by on July 18 at 11:02 AM


Dr. Hunter S. Thompson killed himself with a gunshot to the head a little more than two years ago. If he was alive, today would be his 70th birthday.

Dwight Garner of the New York Times writes a brief but telling bit on his blog.

Happy birthday, Hunter.



“Too weird to live. Too rare to die.” — Hunter S. Thompson

“Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.” — the Dali Lama

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 18 at 11:00 AM

‘The World Without Us’ (THOUGHT EXPERIMENT) Even the cockroaches couldn’t survive: Bridges would crumble, concrete would crack, a mighty forest would stretch from the Mississippi River to what was New England, long-buried rivers would retake the streets, cities would turn green again. Ever wonder what the world would be like if the people suddenly vanished? Alan Weisman elaborates on his award-winning Discover magazine article, imagining a human-free planet. Consider it porn for the radical environmentalist inside all of us. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255. 7:30 pm, $5.) JONATHAN GOLOB
See what else is happening in Books on Wednesday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Further Embracing My Inner (Girly) Geek

posted by on July 18 at 10:46 AM

I still lovelovelove my pink Nintendo DS Lite. I haven’t yet hit the two million points mark in Tetris (my high score is currently 1.6 million, level 70-something… so close!), but I did finally beat Yoshi’s Island. Now I need a new game. Suggestions? I’m thinking the New Super Mario Bros.

Even more tempting than a new DS game, though, is the idea of finally caving, accepting the video game geek I really am, and buying a Wii. I really want a Wii. I’m really good at Excite Truck and bowling, and my Mii is totally cute. But I haven’t been able to justify spending almost $300 on dumb video games.

That is until I saw this. If anything’s going to push me over the edge, it’s this:

pinkwii.jpg will custom paint your Wii for $99. They’ll paint your laptop or iPod too.

I want. I really, really want.

DeVito for Clinton, Skerritt for Obama, Midler for Richardson, and More Hollywood Donations

posted by on July 18 at 10:42 AM

A Hollywood blog has a list of second-quarter donations by the stars. Some excerpts:


* Danny DeVito, actor: $2,300
* Tom Hanks, actor: $2,300
* Tobey Maguire, actor $4,600
* Paul Newman, actor: $4,600
* Rhea Perlman, actress $2,300
* Ben Stiller, actor $6,900
* Lily Tomlin, actor $2,000


* John Lithgow, actor: $1000
* Christy Romano, actress: $300


* Oliver Stone, director: $500
* Mary Steenburgen, actress: $2300
* Ben Stiller, actor: $4600
* Peter Coyote, actor: $1054
* Sharon Lawrence, actress: $1000


* Mark Ruffalo, actor: $700


* Jodie Foster, actress $1,000
* Jamie Foxx, actor $2,300
* Bruce Hornsby, singer $2,300
* Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles, actor $2,500
* Paul Newman, actor $4,600
* Tom Skerritt, actor $1,000
* Will Smith, actor $4,600
* Isaiah Washington, actor $2,300
* Joanne Woodward, actress $4,600


* Shelley Morrison, actress: $1600
* Alexandra Paul, actress: $1300
* Deirdre Hall, actress: $1000
* Hector Elizondo, actor: $300


* Michael Douglas, actor: $3100
* Val Kilmer, actor: $2300
* Paul Newman, actor: $2300
* Steven Spielberg, director: $2300
* Jodie Foster, actress: $1000
* Christie Brinkley, actress: $500
* Bette Midler, actress/singer: $4600


* Tony Sirico, actor: $1000
* Melissa Gilbert, actress: $4600

Re: Insane Harry Potter Nerds

posted by on July 18 at 10:35 AM

To those of you who are freaking the fuck out and swearing you’ll never come to Slog again, or whatever, because I might’ve spoiled your precious little wizard book, know this:

Hagrid dies too.

No, I’m kidding. I haven’t read a single Harry Potter book.
I did try to hunt down a legit leaked copy on the intarweb, but all I found was creepy hot wizard-on-boytaur fan fiction.

Jesus people, you didn’t see me writing to the New York Times when they spoiled Captain America’s death, did you?

The Return of Alexyss Tylor

posted by on July 18 at 9:58 AM

From the woman who brought you the classic Vagina Power comes another dose of completely NSFW wisdom.

(Thank you, Slog citizen Riz.)

Is That My MOTHER’S Unitard?!?

posted by on July 18 at 9:36 AM


You know what would be terrible? If you went to a museum and all they had on display was your mother’s unitard. So boring! (And weird, and upsetting.)

So thank God the folks at EMP’s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame have gone out of their way to make it perfectly clear that any unitards featured in their “Out of this World” exhibit of “extraordinary costumes from film and television” are not your mother’s.

Thank you, Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

(And thank you, eternally hilarious Jake, whose eagle eyes also found this delight.)

Props to the Washington State Legislature

posted by on July 18 at 9:27 AM

When your job includes something as boring as covering the Washington State Legislature, you cling to excitement wherever you can get it.

For me, this morning is an exciting morning. In a NYT story about the impending collapse of abstinence only education (hurrah!), my beloved Washington state leg gets the nod in the lead:

For the first time, however, Virginity Rules and 700 kindred abstinence education programs are fighting serious threats to their future. Eleven state health departments rejected abstinence education this year, while legislatures in Colorado, Iowa and Washington passed laws that could kill, or at least wound, its presence in public schools.

The accurate sex ed bill had been passing the House side in Olympia for years. In 2007 it finally moved out of the Senate. (In fact, it even passed out the Senate first this time.)

Congrats to Senators Mary Margaret Haugen and Rodney Tom, the initial sponsors, for passing an important bill this year. Tom, btw, is the State-GOP-House Member-Turned-State-Democratic-Senator who’s running against Darcy Burner in the D primary for U.S. House.

And here’s a pretty good epitaph on Bush’s failed abstinence only ed policies.

Runway Hell

posted by on July 18 at 9:20 AM

From an AP report of the recent air crash in the “Blade Runner of the tropics,” Sao Paulo:

The pilot of an airliner that burst into flames after trying to land on a short, rain-slicked runway apparently tried to take off again, barely clearing rush-hour traffic on a major highway. The death toll rose Wednesday to 189 and could climb higher.

The TAM airlines Airbus-320 flight that originated in Porto Alegre in southern Brazil on Tuesday cleared the airport fence at the end of the runway and the busy highway but slammed into a gas station and a TAM building, causing an inferno.

The 6,362-foot runway at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport has been repeatedly criticized as dangerously short. Two planes slipped off it in rainy weather just a day earlier. Pilots call it the “aircraft carrier” — it’s so short and surrounded by heavily populated neighborhoods that they’re told to take off again and fly around if they overshoot the first 1,000 feet of runway.

By contrast, New York’s LaGuardia Airport has a 7,003-foot runway that accommodates similar planes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Now I know what to call LaGuardia: aircraft carrier two. I’ve flown out of that airport once and will never repeat the experience. 7000 feet is still too small. One moment, the plane is heating up; the next moment, it’s in the air. And what’s missing is the calming drama and rumble of a long run.

If We Only Knew

posted by on July 18 at 9:17 AM

If we only knew now what we know now, maybe we would take some action.

This clever line was tossed off at the end of a rant in a discussion thread at this site about Minneapolis politics.

The discussion was about implementing Green building standards.

The line strikes me as great sound bite for today’s environmental movement to use as much as constantly possible.

The Verdict

posted by on July 18 at 9:08 AM

From a rather damning New York Times news analysis of the new National Intelligence Estimate:

WASHINGTON, July 17 — Nearly six years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives expended in the name of the war on terror pose a single, insistent question: Are we safer?

On Tuesday, in a dark and strikingly candid two pages, the nation’s intelligence agencies offered an implicit answer, and it was not encouraging. In many respects, the National Intelligence Estimate suggests, the threat of terrorist violence against the United States is growing worse, fueled by the Iraq war and spreading Islamic extremism.

The conclusions were not new, echoing the private comments of government officials and independent experts for many months. But the stark declassified summary contrasted sharply with the more positive emphasis of President Bush and his top aides for years: that two-thirds of Al Qaeda’s leadership had been killed or captured; that the Iraq invasion would reduce the terrorist menace; and that the United States had its enemies “on the run,” as Mr. Bush has frequently put it.

After years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq and targeted killings in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere, the major threat to the United States has the same name and the same basic look as in 2001: Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, plotting attacks from mountain hide-outs near the Afghan-Pakistani border.

The headline on the intelligence estimate, said Daniel L. Byman, a former intelligence officer and the director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, might just as well have been the same as on the now famous presidential brief of Aug. 6, 2001: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

No Up or Down Vote on War

posted by on July 18 at 8:55 AM

In attempt to force a vote on withdrawal from Iraq, Senate Dems can’t overcome Republican filibuster.

Cantwell and Murray (and Clinton and Obama) all voted for cloture—that is, to end debate and vote on the issue itself. They lost 52-47. You need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

UPDATE: Here’s Senate Majority Leader Reid on the vote, including video of his speech.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on July 18 at 8:00 AM

With this item, it may be time to officially retire this series of Slog posts.

A man who had been released from prison early for good behavior was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill a young mother and leaving her 5-year-old daughter to be eaten alive by alligators in the Everglades.

Harrel Franklin Braddy had befriended Shandelle Maycock and her daughter Quatisha. Maycock testified that Braddy went to her home in November 1998 and grew enraged when she asked him to leave.

He choked Maycock until she was unconscious and then forced her and Quatisha into his car, the woman testified. At one point, Maycock gained consciousness, grabbed the child and jumped out of the moving vehicle.

Braddy stopped, choked the woman again and put her in the trunk, she testified. Maycock never saw her daughter again. Prosecutors said Braddy then drove to a section of Interstate 75 in the Everglades known as Alligator Alley and dropped Quatisha in the water beside the road.

She was alive when alligators bit her on the head and stomach, a medical examiner said. Authorities found the girl’s body two days later, her left arm missing and her skull crushed, prosecutors said.

You may now debate the legitimacy of these posts—whether they alienate and annoy otherwise supportive heterosexuals, whether they’re gratuitous and grotesque, and whether I secretly wish that all these awful things would happen to my own child—because, Jesus, why else would I post this sick shit?

Oh, yeah: I post this sick shit because there are shitloads of people out there that run around insisting that all children need a mother and a father.

The Morning News

posted by on July 18 at 7:00 AM

Fear Mongering: Report says Al-Qaida is getting stronger. Are we really doomed, or are somebody’s poll numbers just really, really low?

Troops: Afghanistan needs more of ‘em to stabilize democracy.

Ganging Up:
Anti-gang legislation and crackdowns are actually making things worse.

No Deposit, No Return: Man discovers he isn’t the father of his son, can’t recoup child support.

He Was Die-Cast For Your Sins: Wal-Mart to sell a 12-INCH TALKING JESUS DOLL!!! Voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait.I wish.

Drugstore Cowboy: Bush Administration had drug control board officials shill for vulnerable GOP candidates, despite a 1994 law barring them from political activities.

Bringing Your Work Home With You: National Guard sniper allegedly shoots his wife, then himself.

Harry Dies: New Harry Potter book leaks on the net. Or did it?

No Surprise: Exxon and Enron have been helping shape our national energy policies.

Two Turkish clips today, both are probably NSFW:

First up: oh snap! It’s the Turkish Exorcist!

As a bonus, I’m including a clip of the totally badass Turkish action flick, brilliantly titled “Death Warrior.” After watching this, If you don’t have an uncontrollable urge to punch a ninja, something is wrong with you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lee Rosenbaum’s Take on SAM

posted by on July 17 at 8:46 PM

It’s in the Wall Street Journal, it’s conspicuously late (although not as late as the maybe-never New York Times), and Lee Rosenbaum has a middling opinion of the new Seattle Art Museum.

GOP Rep. Reichert on the War

posted by on July 17 at 8:19 PM

Over on his blog, Postman’s got an interview with US Rep. Dave Reichert about the war.

Reichert’s position boils down to this: Let’s wait until September for the full report on the surge. He characterizes all the withdrawal resolutions as “politicizing” the war.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with “politicizing” a war—as if that’s some how sullying its … purity? I know there’s got to be some canny aphorism about how war is politics… which it is, obviously.

There’s always this: “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.”

Anyway, the weirdest part of Reichert’s rap is this, from Postman:

Reichert still firmly supports President Bush. The congressman is a former sheriff. When he talks about the war he frequently relates it to police work. And in this case he sees parallels between the criticism aimed at Bush and his most famous case, the hunt for the Green River Killer.

“During Green River we were just hammered on by the press and the community and I got hammered by people and criticized and I just feel some of the same pressures are being applied to the president.”

What kind of line is that? As if Reichert was in some way a victim of the Green River Killer. Come off it. Of course the press hammered him. It took Reichert nearly 20 years to catch the killer. This quote reveals how much he believes his own campaign press releases, how much he believes that his Green River Killer mantra is an answer for everything—whether it’s germane or not. Kinda like Bush on Iraq and al Qaeda.

p.s. Good on Postman. I know you’re all gonna holler about how the GOP frames the debate, but seriously, I don’t think reporters talk to Republicans enough. I try to as often as I can, which is difficult at a partisan paper like The Stranger

Problem Clubs

posted by on July 17 at 6:30 PM

Seattle’s problem nightclubs, according to Greg Nickels:

J&M HOTEL & BAR, 201 First Ave. S.

VENOM, 2218 Western Ave.



COWGIRLS, 421 First Ave. S.


LAST SUPPER CLUB, 124 S. Washington St.

WILD PALMS BAR & GRILL, 309 First Ave. S.

Seask8 Finally Gets a New Home

posted by on July 17 at 6:18 PM

Tomorrow, the City Council’s parks committee will (hopefully) approve a new site for SeaSk8 skatepark, which was previously located just east of Seattle Center.

If everything goes according to plan, SeaSk8’s new home will be…right next to the Vera Project!

Despite the long wait, Ryan Barth —chair of the Skate Park Advisory Committee— is happy the park’s finally going in. “We’re very excited to have Vera as a neighbor. We’re hoping we can actively program the space.”

Unfortunately, Barth says, the new 6600 square-foot SeaSk8 won’t be quite as big as the old 8900 square-foot SeaSk8. “It’ll be a very well used site because of its location at Seattle Center,” Barth says, but we’re worried it’s going to be crowded all the time.”

I’ll update tomorrow when the the parks committee signs off on the location.

Construction Dusk

posted by on July 17 at 5:55 PM


Overheard in the Office

posted by on July 17 at 5:31 PM

Annie Wagner: “Is Wednesday some kind of bizarre holiday only in Woodinville?”

Cézanne Inspires New Game: “Whose Calves Are These?”

posted by on July 17 at 5:27 PM

The enthusiastic response to The Biker—“I have a calf fetish”… “My calves are fucking HOT!!!”…“I got calves like a couple of cantaloupes”—has inspired a new Slog series called Whose Calves Are These?

The only clue—other than the peripheral objects in the photos—will be the title. The first photo in our series was taken yesterday and is titled The Cripple. Guesses should go in the comments. All answers will be revealed at the end of the week. Good luck.


[Confidential to Annie Wagner, Kim Hayden, and Gillian Anderson, all of whom didn’t know what a stanchion is: that thing on the left is a stanchion.]

Today in Line Out

posted by on July 17 at 4:00 PM

Vacation, Gotta Get Away: Eric Grandy’s cheap trip to Europe.

Rock Lottery Wrap-Up: Sam Machkovech vs. Tall Guy.

Decible Announces Preliminary Line-Up: Including Diplo, Biosphere, Guns n Bombs, Jeff Samuel, and many more.

New Maritime Song: Megan likes it!

This Week’s Setlist: Listen and find out how to win tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party.

How the Mighty Have Fallen: Smashing Pumpkins forget how to take a joke.

Block Party Bands of the Day: Matt and Kim vs. Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.

But We’re Way Cooler Than Utah: Of Montreal skips over Seattle.

What Is Steely Dan?: Apparently, it’s not music.

Daft Punk Goes to the Movies: Electroma makes Seattle debut.

Adam Franklin: Trent Moorman on the guitar sculptor.


Attention Fantasy Football Players

posted by on July 17 at 3:38 PM

You might want to skip drafting Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick this year. He’s probably going to be a little distracted.

Let Them Meat Cake

posted by on July 17 at 2:57 PM

So, you’re a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy who just finished a nice New York steak and baked spud dinner, and are now ready for dessert. But you don’t want something sweet, really. What you want is more meat. What do you do?

Whip up a meatcake, of course.


(thanks, Aubs)

“The consumption of blogs is often avid and occasionally obsessive.”

posted by on July 17 at 2:50 PM

You think? The Wall Street Journal today has a piece about the 10th anniversary of the advent of blogs, and a dozen people—Newt Gingrich, Tom Wolfe, Mia Farrow (!?)—list their favorite blogs and opine about about, you know, what it all means.

(Digression: Slog is not mentioned—the outrage!—although the word “slogging” comes up in the throat-clearing intro—

…The spell check on Microsoft Word has yet to awaken to the concept of the blog. Type in “blogging,” for instance, and you will promptly earn a disapproving underscore in red, with the suggestion that “bogging,” “clogging,” “flogging” or “slogging” (unappetizing alternatives all) might, in truth, be the word you seek.

—but that’s it.)

Worth noting: I found the link to this story on the lit blog Maud Newton, one of the blogs mentioned in the WSJ piece. I found it in the column to the right called “Remainders.” It’s just links to other stuff, but it’s the best little list of literary links on the interweb. This site, while packed with stuff, has been known to put one to sleep.

Here’s what Maud’s got in the remainders column just now: The revivification (again!) of Ayn Rand; the drinking habits of Iris Murdoch and the publishing world in general (“The more lavish the book launch and delicious the wine, the less literary cachet the book is likely to have”); the fight over Derrida’s papers; a Nobel Prize winner’s plans to release her next book for free (on, you guessed it, the interweb); what font choices reveal about you as a person; The Gainesville Sun setting “a new typo-per-sentence record” (better than The Strangers’s?); and more.

On Data

posted by on July 17 at 2:44 PM

Tell me what this means:

Thanks to new technologies (like microarrays), collecting vast amounts of data is easier than ever. So, what do all those dots mean? Without some annotation – information on what those dots represent, which ones are more important or interesting for a given problem – it’s hopeless to answer a useful question.

The technology is great, but without careful context, the data is worse than useless. Poorly applied, it’s an endless source of false leads, false connections and false certainty. This is the difference between data and evidence.

Which brings me to:

“We have no credible information pointing to a specific imminent attack,” said [White House homeland security adviser] Ms Townsend. “But the warning is clear, and we are taking it seriously.”

Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary, told a newspaper last week that he had a “gut feeling” that al-Qaeda was preparing an attack.

Courtesy of MSNBC

Aside from the Constitutional and moral cesspool that centers a policy to not control the collection of personal information on citizens, it’s the pathetic uselessness of the data generated (“no credible information” “gut feeling”) that drives me nuts. Warrants are filters, guaranteeing that there is some good reason to be listening, and that other cheaper and potentially more informative methods have failed. Warrant-less wiretapping is like running a microarray having made no effort to identify the spots. There is no better way to generate a lot of time-wasting information and false leads.

ID “Outreach”

posted by on July 17 at 2:41 PM

There’s a well-funded creationist on the loose… in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Discovery Institute’s pro-intelligent-design blog crows about outreach to Spanish-speaking communities.

Just fantastic.

The Mindfuck of Male Pregnancy

posted by on July 17 at 2:22 PM


The most recent Stranger is graced by a feature by Jen Graves, which is primarily about the prospect of male pregnancy (it’s not science fiction) but branches out into some amazing supplementary territory, touching on the mindfuck of miscarriage, infant mortality, and humankind’s klutziness in dealing with both.

But mostly it’s about dudes carrying babies to term inside their hairy dude bodies, and all my follow-up rumination on the piece centers on the freaky implications of making pregnancy a cross-gender option.

Lesbian couples making a family with donated sperm have been having this discussion for years: Who’s gonna carry this thing? Who gets to get fat and eat whatever they want and pee all the time and vomit in the mornings and stink in weird new ways, all over? Which partner gets to keep her (or his) basic shape? And who gets the ineffable experience of being a (birth) mother?

(Tellingly, one of the quoted responses to these questions in Jen’s piece is from a gay guy who can’t imagine willingly allowing himself or anyone he’s romantically involved with to get all fat with child. Obvious Plan B: Adopt and stay pretty.)

Anyway, if you haven’t read the piece yet, do it now.


posted by on July 17 at 1:37 PM

From the comments:

@23 ftw

Posted by 1up | July 17, 2007 1:24 PM

Am I the only one who doesn’t know what “ftw” means?

According to the (not exactly authoritative) Urban Dictionary, it’s short for “for the win!,” used to express enthusiasm for something, and derived from the game show Hollywood Squares. Lol!

The Politics of Caesar

posted by on July 17 at 12:34 PM

A new book presents Jesus as a political thinker:

The revolutionary idea finds its most powerful expression in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The familiarity and brevity of the Golden Rule sometimes obscure its radical implications. Unlike the Ten Commandments or various secular codes, it does not list a series of prohibited acts. Instead, it provides a way to think about how to behave toward one’s fellow man.
But against the Golden Rule as a political platform there is Mark 12:17: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Ultimately Jesus rejected politics. His mission on earth was basically spiritual. It’s hard to hide or get around that fact. The same is not true for Muhammad; politics was at the center of his Medina period. (During his earlier Mecca period, Muhammad was more like Jesus—apolitical.)

Christians should just take their founder’s advise and keep God out of politics. As for the Golden Rule, it’s as empty as Kant’s categorical imperative: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

Artist Trust Gives 45 Percent More in GAP Grant Money Than Last Year

posted by on July 17 at 12:21 PM

Specifically, the amount is $112,214 to 77 Washington artists working on projects in literary, performing, media, and visual arts.

It was Artist Trust’s 20th-anniversary year, and it raised more than expected at the annual auction. The spoils go to artists.

Here’s the whole list of money-winners.

Encounter With a Certain Seattle Type

posted by on July 17 at 12:17 PM

So I’m on my way to work this morning, walking past the fountain in Cal Anderson Park.


In the shallow pool that the fountain drains into, there’s a hippie man walking around with his shoes off. Nothing unusual. People walk around in this pool without their shoes all the time, especially in the summer. Seattle Central kids do it after class. Biker boys and girls do it at the end of the day. Parents do it, children do it, dogs do it (though they don’t have to take their shoes off, obviously).

Anyway, this hippie man sees me walking to work and, from his shoeless perch in the fountain, calls out to me: “If you took your shoes off you could do this, too.”

No shit, I think. But I’m on my way to work.

He has a self-satisfied smile, and the pose of a man who is offering me a revelation. I really detest this Seattle type. The type who’s doing something utterly unremarkable, something barely transgressive at all, and who acts as if he’s just levitated the Pentagon or discovered the key to changing the universe and needs to share this key with all of us poor saps who — horrors — are busy rushing off to work.

But I decide to be polite. In response to his informing me of the obvious, that if I took off my shoes I could do what he’s doing, I say:

“That’s true.”

And keep on walking.

This is not enough for the hippie man.

He says, with an obnoxious, laconic condescension for people like me, people too busy to hear his good news:

“Oh, but you can’t because you’re off to… work.”

As if no one ever heads to work on a Tuesday morning. As if having a job is harming the world and walking around in a fountain is saving the world. I usually try not to engage with people like this. What’s gained by confronting a grown man who thinks he’s superior because he’s walking around in a fountain with his shoes off on a Tuesday morning?

I don’t know what’s gained, but it felt good. I stopped and said to the man:

“Fuck you.”

He smiled blissfully.

And then I headed to work, also feeling blissful.

Comments on Comments

posted by on July 17 at 12:16 PM

Over the last couple of years we’ve had hundreds of thousands of comments on Slog, most of them pertinent, witty, and intelligent. From time to time we’ve removed comments—mostly spam, completely off-topic posts, and incidents of someone impersonating someone else. We don’t remove comments based on their ideological or political point of view.

We’ve never had a written comments policy, but we’re thinking about adding one to our blogs. We’re working on a definition of what’s acceptable and where to draw the line in terms of hate speech, threatening language, and ad hominem attacks. Our goal is to maintain an environment that’s lively, positive, and orderly, but not oppressive. What do you think of this plan? What guidelines should we set for comments?

Hairspray: The “Very Special” Edition

posted by on July 17 at 12:07 PM

So the premiere was last night. Two premieres, actually—the real one, in New York and the “very special” one at the 5th Avenue, where the Hairspray musical hatched and squawked and gorged itself on the blood of local virgins before flying off to Broadway.

A few notes:

• There was an inadvertently hilarious “very special video message” from the musical cast (attending the NYC premiere, of course) to all us “very special” schlubs stuck in Seattle. Their eyes wandered around, searching for the camera, reading awkwardly from the teleprompter, culminating in one of the stars reading (actually having to read), “enjoy the movie, Seattle!” You could smell their itch to get the fuck out of their “very special” video hole and make for the premiere, with its hors d’oevres and champagne. It made me feel a little guilty, like I was some pesky kid brother keeping them from having their fun.

• There was also a kind-of-sad, kind-of-hilarious big-hair contest with little kids, old ladies (go Angie from Issaquah!), drag queens, and one irrepressible gal of size who obviously won the audience applause vote. And when 5th Ave artistic director David Armstrong mistakenly awarded first prize to a drag-queen trio (who were fine, but really—that gal obviously won), the crowd turned ugly, booing and hissing, emboldening the gal of size to force her way between the drag queens and shout “it should be me!” It was tacky. It was brash. And it was perfect since this whole “very special” evening was an homage to the Marquis de Tacky.


Hm? The movie? It’s fine, it goes down easy, except John Travolta. Watching him swim around in his drag fat suit was embarrassing. But greater minds than mine (like David Schmader’s) will be reviewing Hairspray in this upcoming issue.

• As for Travolta’s Scientologism (“we cure gays!”) and the gayness of the movie and alleged “gay boycott“—even though the Marquis de Tacky himself defended Travolta in the New York Times (“If he were homophobic, he’d have had a heart attack on the set”), the movie ties itself in knots to prevent Travolta and husband Christopher Walken from kissing. They peck on the cheek, they slap each other on the ass, they have an extended song and dance about their undying love, but (weirdly, almost ostentatiously) they never kiss.

Which, in a movie with flashers, charged interracial make-out scenes, and a bushel of double entendres, seems odd. Especially when the ostentatious kisslessness involves a Scientologist in drag who doth protest too much:

“There is nothing gay in this movie,” Travolta told the London Times on-line. “I’m not playing a gay man.”

(You are, John. You’re playing Harvey Fierstein’s interpretation of Divine’s character. Meaning you’re playing a woman via two gay men. It couldn’t be any gayer.)

Anyway: Very Special!

Velazquez Closes In On Harrell

posted by on July 17 at 12:03 PM

Venus Velazquez, who had been trailing behind opponent Bruce Harrell in fundraising for City Council Position 3 (retiring CM Peter Steinbrueck’s seat), saw a substantial funding boost in the last six weeks, according to records filed with the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission. Since the end of May, Velazquez has raised $29,716; Harrell, the other leading contender for the open seat, has raised $24,078. Velazquez’s better-than-usual numbers close the funding gap between her campaign and Harrell’s from $23,102 to $17,644—a feat that’s more impressive than it sounds, given that Harrell has the support of Seattle’s developer and business establishment, including the Chamber of Commerce’s political arm, the Alki Foundation; the Seattle/ King County Association of Realtors; and the Rental Housing Association of Washington. Velazquez, meanwhile, has the endorsements of several labor groups, the Washington State Women’s Political Caucus, Steinbrueck, and three local Democratic districts (one of which is a dual endorsement with Harrell.) The 43rd District Democrats will meet tonight to make their picks in city and county races; I’ll report on what they decide tomorrow.


posted by on July 17 at 11:34 AM

Topic: After watching this video, should the viewer feel A)more or B)less inclined to adopt the Atkins Diet?


Who’s Going Where in Miami

posted by on July 17 at 11:12 AM

A few months ago, Aqua Art Miami announced it will be doubling its franchise. Now we know the details.

The original Aqua Art Miami, invented two years ago by Seattle gallerists and artists Jaq Chartier and Dirk Park, is still happening at its usual location—the charming Aqua Hotel in South Beach, where the courtyard hot tub gets packed with artists at night.

But in addition to Aqua Art Miami, across the water from it, will be Aqua Wynwood. Aqua has taken a five-year lease on a 28,000-square-foot warehouse just south of the Rubell Collection at 42 N.E. 25th St. In addition to the 44 galleries that will show art at the hotel, the warehouse has booths for about 45 galleries, and the booths range in size from 200 square feet to 850 square feet.

Park says the largest booths, designed to give galleries more room to show their art, are larger than any other spaces in Miami during the December art-fair crush, except for the booths at the mother of them all, Art Basel Miami Beach held at the city’s convention center.

Aqua Wynwood provides an upscale option (the price, at 40 dollars per square foot, is much higher than at the hotel) for galleries that don’t want to show in the cramped and hot hotel rooms.

Because Aqua has the lease on the warehouse year-round and not just in December, it can control the layout of the booths and their design. The walls will be sheetrock, not temporary. Most galleries will have four walls instead of only three. Dark video spaces are possible. The booths of Aqua Wynwood will be “comparable to a programmable gallery space anywhere,” Park says.

A 5,000-square-foot parking lot will be transformed into a courtyard with a bar and cafe. The chief design concept for the whole project? Comfort, Park says.

Aqua Wynwood, which is invitation-only, is half-booked, Park said. “We’re not trying to press the sales on this thing,” he says. “We want people to look at their options and make a decision.”

Originally, he was concerned that the hotel fair would lose its better galleries to Aqua Wynwood, but “the hotel has its advocates,” he says. It’s also more affordable. “Galleries that we honestly expected to move on over to the booth fair have said, ‘Nope, I want one more year at the hotel.’”

Seattle galleries remaining at the hotel are Howard House, Platform Gallery, Roq La Rue, and G. Gibson Gallery.

Moving to Aqua Wynwood are Greg Kucera Gallery, James Harris Gallery, and Lawrimore Project.

Expect announcements in the weeks to come if Aqua Wynwood can score any major galleries, or steal any away from the more established secondary fairs NADA and Pulse.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 17 at 11:00 AM

Colman Pool (SEATTLE’S BEST SWIMMING HOLE) I bet this is one of the best public pools in the country. It sits right next to Puget Sound and saltwater is pumped into it, so you float better. To get there, you hike a little, either through woodsy Lincoln Park or along the beach. And it has a slide, a high dive, a low dive, and one very dark-skinned regular who sits at the deep end between dips. Somebody should find out who he is and how he has that much time. (Colman Pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW, 684-7494. Noon—7 pm, $3.75.) JEN GRAVES
See what else is happening in Film on Tuesday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Social Networking for Drunk D.C. Douchebags

posted by on July 17 at 10:41 AM

Stranger alum Angela Valdez has a cover story for this week’s Washington City Paper that has created quite a buzz, including appearances on Wonkette, Gawker, and Feministing. (Yay, Angela!) The story, about a group of entitled, old-money Republican d-bags who belong to an exclusive (and indescribably racist and misogynistic) online social-networking/drinking club, makes me glad I don’t live on the East Coast.

Over and over, guys tell me that women on LNS give it up for free. The forum is always abuzz with reports of last night’s takedowns, trips to poundtown, debates about whether sluts are still datable, and the acceptable number of notches in one’s headboard. At every bar and party, I witness dancing that would be banned at most high school proms—usually girls in heels driving backward into guys in flip-flops.

One LNS member tells me he can be a social conservative and still have premarital sex. Another says the pliability of young women correlates to an obsession with social status.

“The girls think that maybe if they go home with some guy they’re gonna be the next big thing in D.C.,” he says, “that they’re gonna be cool and be part of this whole group.”

The girls, he says, think they might become the next Katherine Kennedy or Coventry Burke, young women who’ve achieved semi-celebrity status on the site. But, he says, the deed has repercussions. In the worst cases, girls recover from a hangover and find their indiscretions revealed on the site, either by their suitors or witnesses from the bar. (Landry says he monitors the site closely to remove such posts.)

The avid LNS reader might assume girls would know better. The forum is full of warnings against promiscuity, even as it encourages the hunting tactics of men who benefit from an evening’s adventures.

RE: optimal number for a woman
Posted By: Guy on 10-23-2006 1:35 pm
I could put up with 12. Anything more than that without a good explanation, and the girl is incapable of being in a serious relationship.

RE: optimal number for a woman
Posted By: higher the better on 10-23-2006 1:39 pm
I prefer high #’s. It usually means they really like to have sex, and that they are very good at it. And the idea that you might be exposing yourself to a serious disease is thrilling and really gets my blood flowing.

RE: optimal number for a woman
Posted By: SF on 10-23-2006 1:58 pm
I think one sexual partner for every 2-3 years is acceptable for a girl from a good family. Sex just isn’t something girls should be doing if they are interested in marrying me.

Getting tainted by older men
Posted By: Roger Chillingworth on 07-02-2007 9:16 am I’m concerned with a lot of the younger ladies in DC who are hooking up with and dating older guys. Whenever I first start seeing a girl I go through a checklist of what is acceptable, and having dated a guy who is 10+ years older than her is a tremendous red flag. I hope some of these younger girls realize the scarlet letter they are attaching to themselves by engaging in this scandalous behavior.

RE: Getting tainted by older men
Posted By: Steve Pimpington on 07-02-2007 9:21 am
I agree wholeheartedly. Nothing says “I blow guys for money” like dating some old rich dude. And the scarlet letter they are attaching to themselves is “W.” For “whore.”

Read the whole sordid story here.

Jon Lovitz Will Fuck You Up

posted by on July 17 at 10:35 AM

I am in love with Jon Lovitz:


IT was fight night at an L.A. comedy club last week when Jon Lovitz roughed up Andy Dick over the murder of their “Saturday Night Live” colleague, Phil Hartman.

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who witnessed the assault, said, “Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started pouring out of his nose.” Lovitz told Page Six, “All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is a [bleep]hole.”

A bleephole, indeed.

Via NY Post

Thanks to Ben for the heads up.

Say What?

posted by on July 17 at 10:33 AM

According to IMDb, Chewbacca speaks in “a combination of several animals, including bears, badgers, walruses, tigers and camels.”
chewbacca.jpg Chewbacca frustrates us. He has one foot in the human world and another foot in the animal kingdom. The hairy thing can think, reason, fly a space ship, but it makes noises like a dumb animal. The thinking thing can not express itself. The thoughts in its human mind have no way of becoming words in its animal mouth. What for it starts as an idea ends as a groan, a grunt, a growl. Han Solo can understand these animal sounds, but not as words. He feels what Chewbacca is saying. He feels Chewie’s meaning in the way the owner of a dog feels the meaning of his/her dog’s bark.

The Nigerian novelist Achebe once described the relationship between the colonizer and the colonial subject as identical to the one that exists between a horse rider and his horse: the horse rider talks to its horse with no expectation of the horse talking back to him. The relationship between Han Solo and Chewbecca is not as severe as the colonial one, but it’s certainly not the ideal democratic relationship. Without free speech there can be no real freedom. The one that speaks will always have power over the one that can not speak.

In sum, Chewbacca is the ideal slave. It has the capacity to do human work, and yet lacks the essential democratic tool—language. Without speech it will always be a beast of burden.

Dina Martina’s Starry, Starry Night

posted by on July 17 at 9:44 AM


For another summer, Seattle’s very own Dina Martina is knocking the gays dead in Provincetown. This morning brought an update from Dina’s creator and channeler Grady West:

Okay, last night was without a doubt one of the most surreal nights of my life. During “Showgirls” (the Monday night P-town cabaret I co-host…it’s kind of like Trannyshack, only it’s been around about 20 years), I acted out a scene from Gone With the Wind with Rue McClanahan, Bruce Vilanch, and Jeff Stryker in front of 400 people. Rue was Scarlett, Jeff was Rhett, Bruce was Mammy, and Dina was Prissy. Jesus, life is weird sometimes.


The Art of Writing on Water

posted by on July 17 at 9:10 AM

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

In his final interview, given to the French newspaper Le Monde in the spring of 2004, Jacques Derrida spoke of death and writing: “I leave a piece of paper behind, I go away, I die: It is impossible to escape this structure, it is the unchanging form of my life.” He worried that everything he wrote would simply disappear after he was gone.
If only Derrida had experienced the brief life of a blog post.
I blog, I go away, I die: It is impossible to escape this structure in our post-newspaper, post-book age.

True, there’s more death in a blog than in a book, but it still has its beauty: Blogging is like writing on running water.

The Morning News

posted by on July 17 at 7:00 AM

Ho No He Didn’t: Senator Vitter denies banging hookers.

Filibuster Busting: Dems say they’ll fight Republican attempts to kill Iraq withdrawal bill.

Subpoena Power: House Oversight Committee wants Rumsfeld to testify about friendly-fire cover-up.

Good Riddance: Eastern Michigan University fires administrators who covered up rape and murder on campus.

“I Am The Emperor”: The last words of a man shot and killed in the Colorado governor’s office.

Cyber Snooping:
Justice Department details how they’re stealing our precious bodily fluids data.

Crisis: Mexican migrant workers returning home with H.I.V.

It Was Bound to Happen Sometime: Seattle Police arrest naked cyclists.

Gun Fight: Supreme Court to examine D.C. handgun ban.

Adventures in Turkish Cinema continues with TURKISH SUUUUUPERMAAAAAAN!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

What the Rock?

posted by on July 16 at 7:34 PM

I got home to find my street &mdash and several other neighboring blocks &mdash covered in gravel. What gives? Are they repaving? Are they putting in sidewalks? Is the city trying to give their new rock chip repair business a boost?




posted by on July 16 at 6:25 PM

I’m reading a book about the first U.S. Congress, and I learned that at all the evening soirees (which apparently happened most every night) everyone drank whipped syllabub.

Whipped syllabub?

I texted a friend to ask what whipped syllabub was.

My friend texted to say: “Ha! That’s an old British thing. It’s a mixture of whipped cream, whipped egg whites, sugar, and white wine. Sound gross to me.”

Not me. I want to dress up like James Madison and have a whipped syllabub party.

And Now for a Little Safe-for-Work Art History on Slog

posted by on July 16 at 5:39 PM

This was going to be a post about the worst vacation I’ve ever had in New York City; the hazards of falling for people electronically; the power of great art to lift you out of yourself, especially when you’re feeling unbelievably shitty for traveling clear out to New York City to see someone you haven’t spent much in-person time with; and men’s calves. But most of that is none of your business.


So let’s just focus on the calves. I mean, look at them. Has there ever been a better depiction of men’s calves in the history of art? (Anything come to mind, Jen?) This guy stopped me cold on a sad night at MoMA. (MoMA stays open until 9 pm on Thursdays all summer.) He is The Bather, brought into this world by Cézanne in 1885-1887.

I just showed this guy to Jen Graves and asked her to free associate. “This is a painting about paint.” And also: “The thing that Cézanne’s known for is the heaviness of the objects. An apple weighs a hundred pounds. A person weighs a ton.” Wikipedia will tell you all about Cézanne as the bridge from Impressionism to Cubism. None of these things really occurred to me as I was standing there, looking at it, next to some strangers. My thoughts were more like: Calves! What a shape they are!


I was starving, and MoMA lets you re-enter as much as you want, so I went outside to buy a hot dog from a hot dog stand, only it was late enough that I had to walk a ways to find a hot dog stand that still had hot dogs. On the way, I walked behind these three Eastern European guys with six excellent calves.


Ate, got rained on, went back in side, saw the Richard Serra show—unbelievably great, especially the huge, slightly oxidized metal ribbons that you walk along as they turn in and out, presenting a constantly unfurling vertical horizon (nice to be so far from home and be confronted with a piece literally about perspective)—and as I was leaving MoMA, passed a bank of brochures. One of them was a membership brochure. Lo and behold:


Then, two days ago—clearly still obsessed—I took a long walk to Lake Washington, and for a couple blocks walking through the Central District ended up behind a guy listening to his iPod and carrying a bike helmet. I snapped this shot.


I call it The Biker.

The Dynamic Duo

posted by on July 16 at 4:51 PM

Wanna see a Clinton/Obama ticket? So does Newsweek.

Conventional thinkers like to make this sound risky, pairing a woman and a black man on the ticket. But it’s not as wild as it sounds. The calculus of choosing someone for the second spot is always, first and foremost, whether the choice hurts your chances. The answer here is no. Anyone who would be put off by Obama isn’t going to vote for you in the first place.

I’m still voting for Lyndon LaRouche.


posted by on July 16 at 4:40 PM

In February, OPA investigators interviewed SPD officer Michael Tietjen in reference to George Patterson’s complaint that Tietjen and Officer Gregory Neubert had roughed him up and planted drugs on him during a January arrest.

Throughout the OPA investigation —and subsequent OPARB investigation and OPA do-over— the police department has repeatedly attacked Patterson’s credibility, labeling him as a hard core drug dealer.

It looks like SPD might’ve been trying to damage Patterson’s rep even further, when they conducted an undercover buy-bust operation, a month after he filed a complaint with the OPA.

During an interview with OPA Sergeant Woolery, Tietjen dropped this previously unreported gem:

Woolery: Have you contacted Mr. Patterson since the [January 2nd] incident?

Tietjen: Yes I have. A couple of nights ago, I was working undercover trying to buy narcotics and I approached Mr. Patterson and asked him if he would sell me narcotics.

Woolery: Did he?

Tietjen: He didn’t.

Woolery: Was he engaged in any activity that would cause his arrest?

Tietjen: That night?

Woolery: That night.

Tietjen: Well…

Woolery: Did you arrest him that night?

Tietjen: No.

One more thing: Tietjen was also one of the officers involved in the controversial Tasering and arrest of DV-One.

Man, I’d love to have that kind of job security.

Throw the Book at ‘Em

posted by on July 16 at 3:57 PM


Spotted this browsing the shelves at the Barnes & Noble in Holland, Michigan.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 16 at 3:33 PM

Piss Champion: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Mystical Tangents.

Great Moments in TV, pt. 1: Yellow Magic Orchestra on The Best of Soul Train.

Hits from the Bong: Rory Sheridan’s Super Perfect Hair.

Pitchfork Festival: Jamie Lidell’s Tinsel Draped Genius.

Best Worst Band Name?: TacocaT’s Anagrammatic Awesomeness

T Baggin’: Christopher Frizzelle is Just Nuts About Emerald City Soul Club.

Great Moments in TV, pt. 2: King 5 gets Dummy Retarded.

White People Been Holding Out: Larry Mizell Finally gets Grand Funked

Super A+: Kelly O gets Plastic Littled

Fucking Awesome: Jeff Kirby on Botch’s Recently Remastered American Nervoso

Let’s Go Sublime: The Fields Forever.

Nude Direction

posted by on July 16 at 3:30 PM

White Girl by Rashid Johnson (2007)

Rashid Johnson’s nude at James Harris Gallery this month (review coming up in this week’s edition) is called White Girl, which in itself is a pretty terrific art-historical joke.

But she reverses tradition in another way that’s so obvious, you can overlook it.

These are the most famous and influential reclining nudes in art history.

Sleeping Venus by Giorgione (ca. 1507)

Venus of Urbino by Titian (ca. 1538)

Grand Odalisque by Ingres (1814)

Olympia by Manet (1863)

Blue Reclining Nude by Matisse (ca. 1928)

Here’s the exception at that level of fame, but the mirror device turns her around in your mind anyway:

The Rokeby Venus by Velazquez (1647-51)

Chocolate Oscars!

posted by on July 16 at 3:19 PM

In the “Outstanding Chocolates” category at the Fancy Food Show awards (seriously, this is the best name they could come up with?) out in the Big Apple, three Seattle chocolate companies. “Squeals of celebration”! Much, much more here.

Port Candidate Cash

posted by on July 16 at 3:10 PM

When candidates went before the 34th District Democrats last week (Burien, W. Seattle, Vashon), Port candidate Gael Tarleton was questioned about her relationship with SAIC, a customs security company (they make a scanner to spot radioactive material.)

Tarleton was questioned about SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.) because 23 employees of SAIC have kicked in $8,300—about 10% of her $80,000 raised. Tarleton also has stock in the company. The question on the table: Since SAIC markets its security product to ports, does Tarleton face a conflict of interest?

I asked Tarleton about this, and she explained: “I worked at SAIC for 12 years. I left five years ago. [She helped build SAIC’s business in Russia.] When I made my family and friends list to start raising money for this Port race, a lot of my friends from SAIC— who know what I do and how well I do it, and these are people who care about ports and about our country—went on my list. Most important, I will recuse myself if any business with SAIC comes before the commission.” (SAIC has not made a corporate donation to Tarleton—just employees there.)

Tarleton’s stock in the company came as part of her retirement employee package when she worked there. It’s about 5% of her and her husband’s retirement portfolio. She has the option to sell it in 2008, and says she and her husband haven’t decided what to do with the stock yet. “Again,” she says, “if any business involving SAIC comes before the Port, I will recuse myself.”

To be fair: Here are some more campaign finance questions for the other candidates in Tarleton’s race.

1) Incumbent Bob Edwards biggest contributor is shipping company SSA ($2800 from the company itself). Does that explain why the Port is ponying up $10 million to build a bridge between terminal 25 and 30 for SSA? Edwards says no and adds that the Port will end up making back its investment.

2) Question for Jack Block, Jr. Why has your father donated $100 to your opponent Bob Edwards? Block explains that his dad (a former Port Commissioner himself) donated to Edwards before Block Jr jumped in. Indeed, Block Sr. has since contributed $200 to Jr. Although, Jr. reports: “Fathers and sons don’t always talk to each other. I love my dad dearly. I knew that if I had talked to him beforehand that he would tell me not to run. We had a troubled relationship.

TMI, Jack.

re: Remember Godzilla?

posted by on July 16 at 2:52 PM


About 315 gallons of water apparently spilled from a tank at one of the plant’s seven reactors and entered a pipe that flushed it into the sea, said Jun Oshima, an executive at Tokyo Electric Power Co.

But check out this way more impressive nuclear power plant fiasco from the mid-90’s:

Detroit Edison’s plan to release slightly radioactive water from the Fermi II nuclear plant into Lake Erie today has received the blessings of state, county and city officials…
The 1.5 million gallons of tainted water are being dumped as part of repairs to the plant. It was damaged Christmas Day when a steam turbine failed.

(from the Buffalo News Feb 24, 1994.)

Take that Japan. USA! USA!

Extra bonus nuclear disaster fact? The Fermi I reactor - with a liquid sodium metal core, plutonium producing fast breeder reactor - melted down in 1966. Both plants are built on the shore of Lake Erie. For the non-chemists among us: Sodium Metal + Water = Boom.

Speaking of Art and Politics

posted by on July 16 at 2:30 PM

Last Thursday, I was invited to take part in a conversation on KUOW about art and politics. The same day, The Art Newspaper reported a story called “Can US museums help win the war on terror?” (thank you, ArtsJournal). It’s about a new program from the US State Department (in conjunction with the American Association of Museum) that will fund museums that promote US foreign policy.

Dancing In Freeway Park?

posted by on July 16 at 2:29 PM

This does not look like fun. It looks rather sad:

As part of its summer programming to revitalize downtown’s Freeway Park, the Parks Department and Homestreet Bank are sponsoring Dancing ‘Til Dusk at Freeway Park. Free dancing will be held on an outdoor dance floor each Thursday evening in August. There will be live music and professional instruction for those who want to brush up their dance steps, as well as food and refreshments for purchase. Dancing ‘Til Dusk will be held in the Waterfall Plaza, at Sixth and Seneca in downtown Seattle. Instruction is 6-7 pm, and open dancing is held from 7-9 pm. No partner necessary.
Poor park, how humiliating, how embarrassing. Your sinister magic mocked by waltzing rich people.

The Last Man

posted by on July 16 at 1:47 PM

The new ad for sour Skittles is upsetting in so many ways. Milking a worker is just one of its many wrongs.

Attention, Drinkers: Meet the Brand-New Stranger Bar Guide

posted by on July 16 at 1:34 PM


Are you sick of drinking at home with your cat hogging the remote? Find more exciting bars than you’ll know what to do with it in the brand-new Stranger Bar Guide. It’s vast, searchable, and just like the Stranger Restaurant Guide, it’s powered by readers’ reviews. Find a new bar and/or rave about old faves here.

Return of Obama Girl

posted by on July 16 at 1:26 PM

In the sequel, she takes on Giuliani Girl:

“Giuliani Girl, stop your fussin’. At least Obama didn’t marry his cousin…”

Remember Godzilla?

posted by on July 16 at 12:56 PM

There was a gigantic earthquake in Japan today and eight people died. That’s bad.

But this seems potentially worse:

A strong earthquake shook Japan’s northwest coast Monday, setting off a fire at the world’s most powerful nuclear power plant and causing a reactor to spill radioactive water into the sea - an accident not reported to the public for hours.
Officials said there was no “significant change” in the seawater near the plant, which is about 160 miles northwest of Tokyo.

… but …

That fed fresh concerns about the safety of Japan’s 55 nuclear reactors, which supply 30 percent of the quake-prone country’s electricity and have suffered a long string of accidents and cover-ups.

(Eerily, the Atomic Age officially began 62 years ago today, when the United States detonated a plutonium-based nuclear weapon in New Mexico. Happy birfday, Atomic Age! Maybe this year you’ll get that giant death lizard you’ve always wanted… )

The End of 20th Century British Literature

posted by on July 16 at 12:27 PM

Literary critic Terry Eagleton makes this case:

The knighting of Salman Rushdie is the establishment’s reward for a man who moved from being a remorseless satirist of the west to cheering on its criminal adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. David Hare caved in to the blandishments of Buckingham Palace some years ago, moving from radical to reformist. Christopher Hitchens, who looked set to become the George Orwell de nos jours, is likely to be remembered as our Evelyn Waugh, having thrown in his lot with Washington’s neocons. Martin Amis has written of the need to prevent Muslims travelling and to strip-search people “who look like they’re from the Middle East or from Pakistan”. Deportation, he considers, may be essential further down the road. The uniqueness of the situation is worth underlining.
One British writer who has not crumbled is Jonathan Raban. His novel Surveillance, which received mixed reviews, continued the fight against control society. In fact, the weak reviews and Raban’s strong political position must not be separated.

Club Crackdown Continued: This time it’s the Gays

posted by on July 16 at 12:15 PM

It’s not just the the hip hop.

Last Friday night, the SPD and the Liquor Control Board hit Pony, the new (temporary) gay bar in the old Cha-Cha space.

Apparently there were noise complaints from nearby new condo residents—of course.

Pony proprietor Marcus Wilson (AKA Ursula Android) says his liquor license is in order and the music (they were playing heavy metal in honor of Friday the 13th) was no louder than the rock the Cha-Cha had been playing for years.

Wilson has a hearing downtown this afternoon to deal with the complaint.

UPDATE. (And a response to comment #22 who writes: “Josh- The nearest condo building would not have been able to hear the music from Pony. It’s clear you don’t like home owners in this neighborhood, & decided to sloppily incorporate this sentiment in your piece.”)

Nah. “Some of my best friends” are homeowners in this neighborhood (and other neighborhoods.)

The reason I “incorporated” this into the post is because it’s what the SPD told Wilson on Friday night. The fact that the nearest condo wouldn’t have been able to hear the music just shows what a line the SPD were giving the club.

Anyway, Wilson just told me he met with the cops today, and everything is fine in the light of day. Wilson reports that Pony just needs to keep it down a bit and turn the lights up some. Wilson says that’s SOP, and he doesn’t feel like he’s being “pigeonholed.” He says he’s had similar minor compaints in every bar he’s worked in Seattle— Chop Suey, the Crescent and the Eagle.

“Why Bush Will Be a Winner”

posted by on July 16 at 12:05 PM

Written by William Kristol, published in The Washington Post on Sunday, and dissected by Arianna Huffington (complete with some interesting Acela eavesdropping) here.

Pizza and Petty Covers Menace Alki!

posted by on July 16 at 12:00 PM

Speaking of the mayor’s war on nightlife, I happened to spend some time this weekend out on Alki, where two establishments—Slices, a small pizza shop, and the Celtic Swell, an Irish bar—ran into trouble with the mayor’s anti-nightlife goons almost exactly one year ago. Residents of the apartments directly above the Swell complained about noise from the bar, prompting the city to demand that its owners obtain a special license to sell booze after 10:00 pm and sign a “good-neighbor agreement” with the city. As for Slices, here’s what I reported a year ago:

Slices’ troubles with the city started earlier this year, when the pizza shop applied for a license to serve beer and wine. Some residents argued that the pizza joint would turn into a “beer garden” and contribute to public drunkenness, noise, litter, and underage drinking, according to the West Seattle Herald. (Because the restaurant is partly outdoors, some neighbors believe patrons would be able to pass beer to minors on the street. And no, we’re not making that up.) In response, the city attorney’s office has written a letter to the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) opposing Slices’ liquor license unless Slices owners Patrick Henley and Tom Lin sign a good-neighbor agreement of their own. In the past 24 years, the liquor board has never granted a liquor license to which the city objected. “It seemed pretty basic for a pizzeria to get a beer and wine license,” Henley says.

I went by Slices around 9:30 on Saturday night, and, like the last time I stopped by hoping for a slice after dark, it was closed. (Guess the city decided that pizza and beer don’t go together after all.) The Celtic Swell, in contrast, was jammed with large groups of mid-20s men and women on the prowl. The women wore gobs of makeup and tight sexy-casual clothes; the guys wore wrinkled khakis, ball caps, and bored expressions. The live music, which consisted of a Tom Petty-loving neo-hippie with a guitar, was more lousy than loud, and once we went outside, we couldn’t hear it.

Yes, I can imagine that if you lived right above a bar like the Celtic Swell, you might be able to hear its patrons occasionally. However, the idea that these two establishments are in any way a threat to Alki’s “peace and quiet” is laughable. In the summer, Alki is crowded with throngs of people from all over Seattle, from cackling teens to shrieking babies to wannabe gangstas blasting hiphop from souped-up Hondas. It is not, in short, a quiet place. Targeting small businesses isn’t going to make it so.

Picasso Heist in the P-I

posted by on July 16 at 11:27 AM

Some Picasso etchings were stolen from a Bellevue gallery last week, and the P-I is all over it. Embedded in their story about the robbery last week, they had a slide-scroll pentaptych—four surveillance images and a police sketch—of the woman who police say distracted a gallery employee while her two cronies came in and lifted the works off the wall. Small version (so it fits here):


And here’s a sextaptych (can that please be a word?) of the cronies in action:


(Follow this link and you can see these better.)

Meanwhile, P-I art critic Regina Hackett, over on her blog, has the tip that the lady in the sketch might have shown up at Howard House. “Howard said he recognized the alleged culprit from the police sketch in the P-I.

Seattle Times did a story too, but it lacked slide-scroll polyptychs, the info the P-I about how much similar pieces had recently sold for, etc. And does the Seattle Times even have an art blog? I just spent a couple minutes on their site and can’t find one.

(Unrelated, from the archives: Remember this local art heist?)

I, Anonymous: Yelling Methhead Edition

posted by on July 16 at 11:18 AM

Another day, another anonymous complaint about a screaming freak.

While I no doubt would agree that your shirt needed a nice dry-cleaning after a presumed night of meth-fueled debauchery, I don’ t endorse your choice to yell at the top of your lungs on on the corner of Belmont and Republican to your party /tryst mate if he knew of the location of a good dry-cleaner. Neither do I endorse his equally rude response “to just head down Belmont to Olive Way.”

For starters, lets assume the dry cleaners down there were open at 7 am on a Sunday. Do you think they really want the shirt off your back, party boy? More importantly, and more to the point: DO YOU THINK THAT THE 100 OR SO OPEN APARTMENT WINDOWS IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDING YOUR FABULOUS BRAIN WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT AT 7:03 AM ON A SUNDAY?

I realize this is difficult to get your mind around, sunshine, but the world doesn’t really revolve around you.

Do all your sleeping neighbors a favor next time, and don’t yell. Try a little politeness next time.

Sounds like someone could use some remedial methiquette.

Return of Paradise

posted by on July 16 at 11:12 AM

Jewelery designed by Oumou:

1473015515_l-1.jpg In her we see dialectics at a standstill—the absolute. She is the point at which the future reaches what was lost, Eden. In all technology is this promise of a return: not of Jesus but of Eve.

A Question

posted by on July 16 at 11:07 AM

What poses the greater threat to the survival of Israel: Iran or neoconservatism?

An answer here, via Sullivan.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 16 at 11:00 AM

‘Manufactured Landscapes’ (FILM) Edward Burtynsky is a photographer of what might be termed the human sublime. His landscapes of industrial waste combine stark compositional beauty with awe at human achievement with horror at its ecological fallout. The surprising and wonderful thing about Manufactured Landscapes, a documentary about the artist, is that it never takes the photographs at face value. Turns out the landscapes that contain Burtynsky’s landscapes have a lot to say. (Varsity, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755. See Movie Times for more info, $6.25—$9.25.) ANNIE WAGNER
See what else is happening in Film on Monday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

The Politics of Wasting Time

posted by on July 16 at 10:22 AM

From the PI:

A hit-and-run driver marred a Pacific Northwest rite of passage Sunday when he struck and seriously injured a local man who had nearly finished the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

Gerald Marvin, 24, of Seattle suffered serious injuries when the driver of a sport utility vehicle swerved out of his lane on U.S. 30 northwest of Portland. Struck from behind, Marvin slammed into two other cyclists, who suffered minor injuries.

Police pulled over a 40-year-old driver, an ex-convict with a 1989 conviction for an Oregon murder, eight miles from the accident scene.

What angers the public is the nature of the disruption. A good-for-nothing criminal not only harmed a law-abiding cyclist but also prevented him from completing his goal. Though the goal is in essence meaningless, the public codes it as noble. What must be examined, then, is why one way of wasting your time is registered as noble and another way as ignoble. From that examination, political/economic results will emerge. In a society like ours, little is innocent and almost everything is an expression of political and economic control.

Every Child Needs a Mother and Father

posted by on July 16 at 9:58 AM

No one died. But still.

RENO, Nev. - A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect… [Prosecutor] Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” series, to give their children proper care. “They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games,” Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Pigging Out

posted by on July 16 at 7:59 AM

The New York Times has a story in its business section this morning about that new Trojan ad. The ad didn’t state explicitly that these particular Trojans were for disease prevention only, and not pregnancy prevention, which made the ad very, very controversial with the every-sperm-is-sacred/premarital-sex-should-always-screw-up-your-life crowd, which prompted CBS and Fox to refuse to show it. (You can see the ad by clicking here.)

Pittsburgh and Seattle are the test markets for Trojan’s new campaign—and while Fox and CBS rejected the ad, our local Fox and CBS affiliates accepted the ad. Which means we’ll be seeing the ad a lot.

Anyway, I was startled to see this quote in Andrew Adam Newman’s story:

“I’m offended by the reality that television is so hypersexualized and glorifies sexual excess and promiscuity, and then runs screaming into the megachurch and drops to its knees when someone wants to run an advertisement that urges people to be responsible about their sexual expression.”

Television is hypersexualized? Glorifies sexual excess? Promotes promiscuity? Sounds like they went to Dr. Laura for a quote. Who the hell is this prude?

Oh, right: it’s me.

The Morning News

posted by on July 16 at 7:00 AM

Major Oversight: US intelligence oversight panel failed to report violations for last 5 1/2 years.

Powering Down: North Korea deactivates its nuclear reactor.

Shook Ones: Large quake hits Japan’s coast.

Dick: Cheney pushing for a military “solution” in Iran.

I Thought We Were Friends:
Nearly half of all foreign fighters in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia.

The Impending War Between Man and Machine:
Air Force unleashes robot attack squadron.

The $30,000,000 Club:
Obama and Clinton have ridiculously deep pockets. Whoever buys me a boat, gets my vote.

Roll Call:
See how your state reps voted last Friday.

And now, because no one demanded it, the epic ending to Turkish Star Wars. It’s the surreality of a Jodorowsky film, the production values of a Power Rangers episode and a level of copyright infringement usually only found on Canal Street, all rolled up into one big fluffy cloud of bad ideas and bong smoke.

Re: Former Stranger Editor to Head Up PI Arts & Culture Coverage

posted by on July 16 at 1:08 AM

Maybe this is why the PI is hot for a former Stranger editor.

From a recent Harvard U. study:

The results were especially grim for newspapers. Only 16 percent of the young adults surveyed aged 18 to 30 said that they read a newspaper every day and 9 percent of teenagers said that they did. That compared with 35 percent of adults over 30. Furthermore, despite the popular belief that young people are flocking to the Internet, the survey found that teenagers and young adults were twice as likely to get daily news from television than from the Web.

Speaking of which: I was out at a bar Friday after work, and I was laughing about this time 100 years ago when, desperate for a writing gig, I convinced the editors of a now long-gone music magazine called Cake that their aspirations of being an anti-establishment, “alternative” rag were undermined by the fact that they weren’t covering heavy metal. I argued that metal was the real music of the people, and that it was being ignored by both the mainstream music press and the so-called alt press. They bought it (I didn’t know shit about metal), and they handed me a regular gig.

Anyway, as I was telling this story, a woman sitting at a nearby table, exclaimed: “You wrote for Cake!?!” She had read it as a teenager. She told me she had been hired to start up a new magazine here in town, and she wanted to base it on Cake. She wanted to know if I had any old copies so she could see it again.

She wrote down her name and business number, and told me I should get in touch if I could dig up any old copies for her.

Her business phone? The Seattle PI.

I did find some of those old (bad) mags. Here’s some crazy garbage I wrote in Cake issue #20 about a band called Kyuss:

“They combined Sonic Youth montage with Black Sabbath molten lava that sparkled like a black light poster and fit like a well-worn Jimi Hendrix T-shirt. Now, Kyuss are back with the exact same mix: thick LSD guitars, tarantula buzz rhythm, while frontman John Garcia sings as if he’s playing the lead in a 1971 production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Surgeon General Is a Pussy

posted by on July 15 at 9:23 PM


From a package of Hungarian Marlboro Lights, brandished by a member of Benni Hemm Hemm—the the third-biggest band in Iceland—who played Seattle over the weekend.

The Icelanders, hanging out drinking Miller High Life at a cocktail party before their show, were equally frank. “This country is fucking scary,” said one, the guitarist. “The rest of the world is really worried for you. And not in a good way.”

Read more over on Line Out.

Attention Paranoiacs!

posted by on July 15 at 9:00 PM

Are you posessed by the compulsive notion that your phone conversations are secretly taped? Do shadowy someones read your email? Is your toilet paper bugged? Is your TV is secretly watching YOU? Well. It’s really so much worse than you think it is

When you print on a color laser printer, it’s likely that you are also printing a pattern of invisible yellow dots. These marks exist to allow the printer companies and governments to track and identify you — presumably as a way to combat money counterfeiting. When one person asked his printer manufacturer about turning off the tracking dots, Secret Service agents showed up at his door several days later.
And you know that the toaster comes alive at night and watches you sleep, right?



Erstwhile Stranger Editor to Shake Up the P-I’s Arts and Culture Coverage

posted by on July 15 at 6:08 PM

Emily White, who’s written a couple books (this one and this one) and was the editor of The Stranger in the second half of the 90s, has been made Arts and Culture Editor of the better daily in town.

True, in my opinion her recent book sort of bugged, but, my god, do you know what she brought to The Stranger that The Stranger didn’t have before she got here? Charles Mudede, for one. She bought the first piece Mudede ever did for the paper, back when he was just this guy with tiny little dreds that he twisted as he spoke or thought. And Matthew Stadler, who wrote all kinds of crazy shit (like a long, factual article all about a French neighborhood in Seattle that didn’t, in actuality, exist—internet archives don’t go back that far [can we get an intern on finding it in the archives and retyping it?]). And Charles D’Ambrosio (the first four essays in his collection Orphans were originally published in The Stranger—again, pre-internet). I would need to make a couple calls to confirm this, but I’m guessing Rebecca Brown was first cajoled into doing stuff for The Stranger by White. Ditto Stacey Levine. Before Emily White came to The Stranger, there was no book section. You follow?

Oh yeah, and she wrote great stuff too.

I have it on pretty good authority—hers—that she thinks I’m dumb as rocks, but I happen to think she’s rather talented. Actually, I happen to think I never would have wanted to work at The Stranger without her influence on the thing. Whoever at the P-I hired her is fucking brilliant. I’m going to have to get a subscription again.

Annex Decides to Leave CHAC. Finally.

posted by on July 15 at 5:01 PM

There has been speculation for weeks whether Annex Theatre was going to break off their partnership with Capitol Hill Arts Center.

Word came down this weekend: They are, and they’re moving into the old Northwest Actors Studio space.

So: Annex is in NWAS, People’s Republic of Komedy moved to Chop Suey, and Blacklight, the goth dance night, has disappeared in a poof of pancake makeup and bat fur. Or something.

Pure Cirkus was another CHAC partner that left in a huff. (Pure is most famous for hanging themselves from meat hooks.) From the column I linked to at the top of the post:

Other performers who’ve worked with CHAC, like Stephen Hando of Printers Devil Theatre and Xavier Frost of Pure Cirkus, say, respectively, that communication at CHAC “isn’t great” and “sucks.”

Weirdly, Pure Cirkus just sent us a press release hyping their new show at CHAC. So they’re back. But everybody else is leaving.

It’s all very confusing.

Where We’re Not Wanted

posted by on July 15 at 4:09 PM

Iraq, apparently.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts about his government’s military and political progress yesterday, saying his forces are capable and American troops can leave “any time they want.”

According to this morning’s front-page NYT story, American troops would like to leave Iraq now.

Cpl. April Ponce De Leon describes herself and her husband as “gung-ho marines,” and in two weeks she deploys to Iraq, where her husband has been fighting since March. But she says she stopped believing in the war last month after a telephone conversation with him.

“He started telling me that he doesn’t want me to go and do the things he has been doing,” said Corporal Ponce De Leon, 22, speaking by telephone as she boxed up her belongings in their apartment near Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“He said that ‘we have all decided that it’s time for us to go home.’ I said, ‘You mean go home and rest?’ And he said, ‘I mean go home and not go back.’

Naked Bikers Meet Art Noise

posted by on July 15 at 4:02 PM

The nude cyclists (see Schamder’s post below) stopped through the midday Sounds Outside concert at Cal Anderson Park yesterday. Some took pee breaks, a handful danced in the grass, and one guy pulled a harmonica from his fanny pack, jumped onstage, and added a short shot of flesh to Non Grata’s set.

Graffiti Makes Nice

posted by on July 15 at 3:54 PM


Bicycle-Seat Holocaust on Capitol Hill?

posted by on July 15 at 11:37 AM

I just got this email from my intrepid intern Marti, about something she saw yesterday on Capitol Hill:

There was a mass herd of naked bikers on Madison and 12th, around 2:50 pm. I’d guess 40-50 of them. Mostly guys, although there were a few naked women donning ample amounts of body paint. The guys were buck-naked though (sans paint). I was completely fascinated by their schlongs as they floated past—I stared blatantly at them, because they were stacked into these weird little piles on top of the bike seats (ouch). One of them said something about defeating Bush as they went past, although the comment was isolated and whatever message they were trying to convey was lost (if there was a message at all.) Do you know what this was about?

Dear Marti: No, I do not, but thanks for asking and for your estimable schlong-noticing skills. Everyone else: Know what yesterday’s nekkid bike ride was for/about? Troops out of Iraq? Bush out of the White House? Bike seats out of buttcracks? Please share.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 15 at 11:00 AM

‘TKO’ (AUDACIOUSNESS) At first, it’s hard to tell what South African artist Tracey Rose is doing in TKO, her grainy, black-and-white DVD projection. You hear her breathing and moaning, and every once in a while, her naked body emerges into focus. She’s boxing ruthlessly with the camera—four cameras, actually—and she’s going to continue to the point of screaming, orgasmic exhaustion. The woman is a champ. (Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave NE, 543-2280. 11 am—5 pm, $10, free for students.) JEN GRAVES
See what else is happening in Art on Sunday. Go!

The Polyphonic Spree (MUSIC) The Polyphonic Spree, a symphonic pop ensemble from Dallas, Texas, have turned a corner with their new record, The Fragile Army. They replaced their Technicolor holy-roller robes with dour black paramilitary fatigues and gave their music grim tones to match. Where the soft ’70s radio sunshine of their previous records could be overwhelmingly twee, their new album is a battle between light and dark. The Spree have always been a terrific live spectacle; now they have a record worthy of their pomp. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $23 adv/$25 DOS, 21+.)
To listen to “Section 22 [Running Away]” by the Polyphonic Spree, click here. ERIC GRANDY

See what else is happening in Music on Sunday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

The Morning News

posted by on July 15 at 9:04 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Still Alive: Bin Laden appears in another video.

Still Obvious: Who’s behind the Iraq insurgency? The Saudis.

Still Molesting: The Roman Catholic church agrees to pay $660 million to over 500 people who were abused by clergy members.

Still Unsafe: Texting while driving may have led to a teen’s car crash.

Now Trivial: Edwards and Clinton discuss limiting the presidential debates.

Now Arming: Putin tears up a Russia-Nato arms pact.

Now Open: Pedestrians can cross the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge for free today.