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Archives for 07/22/2007 - 07/28/2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Doing the Dead

posted by on July 28 at 4:25 PM

Slog tipper B.D. writes:

While Washington was once known as THE capital of horse fuckers around the world, we eventually got around to banning such practices. [Here’s Mudede’s piece on that happy subject. —Ed.] Now it seems, after a judge’s ruling, Wisconsin can be known as THE capital of necrophiliacs around the world. Cue Alice Cooper’s song Cold Ethyl.

Here’s the article that B.D. is talking about. A snippet:

(AP) Madison, Wis. Three men who dug up a young woman’s corpse to have sex with it after seeing her obituary photo cannot be charged with attempted sexual assault because Wisconsin has no law against necrophilia, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

A judge was correct to dismiss the charges against twin brothers Nicholas and Alexander Grunke and Dustin Radke, all 21, because lawmakers never intended to criminalize sex with a corpse, the District 4 Court of Appeals said in a 3-0 ruling.

The cause of the woman’s death in the first place? Motorcycle crash.

Follow the link and there are pictures of the boys. (One of the twins does his hair differently, though they appear to be identical.) There is also a video that I just can’t bring myself to click on. I leave it to Slog’s intrepid readers click on it and find out more if more is what they want.

Aside: There are a couple other “local news” video segments next to the one I can’t bear to click on, including “Man with Cerebral Palsy Drowns in River” and “Search Continues for 2nd Sewer Worker.”

In related news: God hates Wisconsin.

Get Thee to the Capitol Hill Block Party!

posted by on July 28 at 3:24 PM

So many people, so much fun… why are you reading SLOG and not on the ‘Block?!

“A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman who has lost an eye.”

posted by on July 28 at 2:59 PM

Because Wikipedia is obviously the best thing ever (and fuck you too Tom Wolfe, you frivolous, unnecessary geezer) I started by looking up a small bird and wound up at Project Gutenberg, reading The Physiology of Taste, or Transcendental Gastronomy by the French laywer, politician, and gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (died 1826).

What little I’ve read of it is aristocratic, sometimes bizarre, and great. It begins with a series of aphorisms. Here are my favorites, which are pretty much all of them:



I. The universe would be nothing were it not for life and all that lives must be fed.

II. Animals fill themselves; man eats. The man of mind alone knows how to eat.

III. The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed.

IV. Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will tell you what kind of man you are.

VIII. The table is the only place where one does not suffer from ennui during the first hour.

IX. The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star.

X. Those persons who suffer from indigestion, or who become drunk, are utterly ignorant of the true principles of eating and drinking.

XI. The order of food is from the most substantial to the lightest.

XII. The order of drinking is from the mildest to the most foamy and perfumed.

XIII. To say that we should not change our drinks is a heresy; the tongue becomes saturated, and after the third glass yields but an obtuse sensation.

XIV. A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman who has lost an eye.

XV. A cook may be taught, but a man who can roast is born with the faculty.

XVI. The most indispensable quality of a good cook is promptness. It should also be that of the guests.

XVII. To wait too long for a dilatory guest shows disrespect to those who are punctual.

XVIII. He who receives friends and pays no attention to the repast prepared for them is not fit to have friends.

XIX. The mistress of the house should always be certain that the coffee be excellent; the master that his liquors be of the first quality.

XX. To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his happiness as long as he be beneath your roof.

(I’m pretty sure he would’ve objected to the word “foodie,” too.)

Robert Frost, Slog Commenter

posted by on July 28 at 1:56 PM

Commenter Musely was so inspired by the latest installment of Whose Calves Are These? that he wrote a poem:

Whose calves these are I think I know.
He lives upon the hill though;
He will not see me stopping here
To snap his calves with my cellphone so.
It is indeed rather queer
To snap these calves while standing near
But a shot of them I must take
I’ll do it boldly, without fear.
He gives his sexy ass a shake
And I’m quite sure it’s no mistake—
Above the din of some band’s beat
He must have heard me picture-take,
Ogling his legs from ass to feet,
But oh those calves—this shot I’ll keep—
And gaze at it before I sleep,
And gaze at it before I sleep.

I had his permission—but whatever. Nice going.

(PS: White’s been right on all of them. The Drummer is Jason Finn, The Boss is Tim Keck, The Genius is Susan Robb, and The Cripple is Brendan Kiley.)

(PPS: Next one will be a lady, for you, Sean.)

Be Sure to Keep Your Television Tuned To…

posted by on July 28 at 11:26 AM


Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 28 at 11:00 AM

Aa (MUSIC) No, the Comet isn’t hosting an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting during the Capitol Hill Block Party (though maybe they should). Rather, they’re throwing their own adjoining party with NYC noise-jammers Aa (pronounced “big a, little a”). Aa are three guys on percussion and one on samplers and synthesizers, making a rhythmic racket. Their aerobic live shows are part sweat-soaked vision quest, part ritual dance. With Das Llamas and the Pleasureboaters. (Comet, 922 E Pike St, 323-9853. 11 pm, $5, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY
See what else is happening in Music on Saturday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on July 28 at 9:30 AM

This week, Erica C. Barnett will be on 710 KIRO talking with Goldy about the City Council races, the nightlife debate, and, I imagine, bikes.

Be sure to tune in to the show at 7pm.

The Morning News

posted by on July 28 at 8:08 AM

by Rebecca Tapscott

Mo Money, Mo Problems: Bush administration plans to offer a $20 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia and it’s neighbors. To allay Israel’s concerns, the U.S. may up Israeli military aid to $30.4 billion in the next decade.

Used and abused: Governor Eliot Spitzer and two senior aides may testify to the Ethics Panel on their alleged misuse of State Police, to gather embarrassing information on the Senate Republican leader, Joseph L. Bruno.

War on Corruption: Congressional Democrats agree on new lobbying policies that increase transparency by identifying lobbyists who give multiple large donations to candidates.

Agriculture cashes in: The house passes a $286 billion, Democratically-backed bill re-enforcing agricultural subsidies. The bill, among other things, supports land preservation, healthy diets for youth, and famine relief abroad.

I wish I could buy me a spaceship: NASA has reportedly ignored warnings of astronauts who were drinking heavily before launching.

Nightlife lives!: Sally Clark’s nightlife legislation develops new enforcement tools for the city, and makes no mention of the new license proposed by Nickels.

One man’s trash: Nickels proposes a 6.2% rate increase on Seattle’s garbage collection for 2008. The money would go to rebuilding the city’s garbage facilities in Wallingford and South Park, estimated to cost $110 million.

Bus stop, bus goes, lane stays, crime grows?: Third Avenue, between Yesler and Stewart, will remain a bus-only corridor during peak hours. Although this should improve traffic flow, critics note the increase in crime and trash.

Blinded by science: Scientists discover a glass sponge reef off the coast of Washington. Until recently, the reefs were thought to have gone extinct 100 million years ago. Scientists agree: they’re really cool.

School land is dirrty: The State Department of Ecology plans to spend $3.5 million to remove soil contaminated with arsenic and lead from local schools.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Whose Calves Are These?

posted by on July 27 at 7:58 PM

This one’s called The Drummer.


Somewhat confusing clue: This was taken at the Block Party. (He wasn’t playing.)

Previously in Whose Calves Are These?:

The Boss.

The Genius.

The Cripple.

The Biker and The Bather.

The Simpsons Movie

posted by on July 27 at 5:35 PM

Saw the first screening this afternoon with my kid. The first ten minutes—which includes a string of fast-and-furious jokes and Bart’s full-frontal skateboard ride—is worth the price of admission. Total genius. The rest of the movie, eh, kinda underwhelming. It’s good, glad I saw it, will rent it when it comes out on DVD. But it’s no South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.

Hey, when are they going to make another South Park movie anyway?

Della Trashes Ex-Monorail Chief, Then Asks Him For Money

posted by on July 27 at 5:30 PM

David Della was a longtime, staunch opponent of the monorail, voting and speaking out against the now-scuttled project every chance he got. A Della press release issued two weeks ago once again trumpted his opposition to the project, trashing Della opponent Tim Burgess for accepting the endorsement of former Seattle Monorail Project board chairman Tom Weeks.

Under Weeks’ tenure, the monorail lost public support and was cancelled because of a flawed financing plan that ballooned to $11 billion over 50 years.

“Presenting Tim Burgess, from the people who ran the monorail into a financial sink hole,” said Della campaign consultant, Michael Grossman. “Now I understand why Tim thinks the mayor’s tunnel is such a bargain.”

Della, in other words, has hardly been shy about his disdain for the monorail and its erstwhile leaders. Which is why Weeks found it odd when Della called him—twice!—to request a donation and Weeks’s endorsement. Weeks says that Della called personally both times; the first time, he got Weeks’s answering machine, the second, his wife, Deb, who politely declined Della’s request for their support.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on July 27 at 4:03 PM

The weed-free edition.

How Un-American: Mexican authorities hand over Kingpin’s seized $206 million to drug treatment programs.

They CAN Fix Stupid! Scientists reverse effects of cocaine.

Can They Fix His Kind of Stupid? Orrin Hatch tries to prevent FDA from regulating tobacco.

Drug-Prisoner Activist: Virginia Resner gone but not forgotten.

Disney to Extinguish Cigarettes: All clean on the silver screen.

Tour de Farce: Juiced up but still riding high (photo for Eli).


Desperately Seeking the Nacho King

posted by on July 27 at 4:01 PM

Hello everyone. So you know how the Stranger restaurant listings now have reader reviews? I am looking for one of our most prolific and focused reader-reviewers, who goes by the name Chambers McSween, Nacho Critic.

Do you know Chambers McSween, Nacho Critic? Are you Chambers McSween, Nacho Critic? If you have any info of any sort on Chambers McSween, Nacho Critic, email me at

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on July 27 at 3:01 PM

First, some news:


Karen Allen is going to return for the next Indiana Jones movie. Even better: Spielberg has stated that the movie will feature no CG. Nice.

Now onto movies that are actually open, beginning with, of course, The Simpsons Movie. From Andrew Wright’s review: “[W]arts, post-freshness dating, needless Green Day cameos, and all, the simple fact is that I laughed more here—particularly in the first 20-minute chunk—than at any other movie this year. I’m not booing, I’m saying Boo-urns.”

Also opening: Talk to Me (“With a better script, and more life in the camera, Talk to Me might have become the movie everybody is talking about,” says Charles Mudede); Sunshine (“The term “visionary” gets batted around a lot when it comes to the sci-fi genre, but in its final, blazing moments, Boyle’s dazzling, triphoppy space opera comes closer than most,” says Andrew Wright); No Reservations (“Crack my shell, Eckhart! Crack it!” says Lindy West); Steve Buscemi’s Interview (“When you come to despise the only faces you’re given to watch, it’s hard to keep caring,” declares some jackass); My Best Friend (“Despite a promising black-comedic concept and the presence of the dependably wonderful Daniel Auteuil, that inner dimension just ain’t happening here,” says Andrew Wright); and The Trials of Darryl Hunt (“Every American should see this movie,” according to Christopher Frizzelle.

And finally, a couple interviews: Andrew Wright sat down with Sunshine director Danny Boyle, and Charles Mudede had a conversation with Talk to Me director Kasi Lemmons.

Today in Line Out

posted by on July 27 at 3:00 PM


It’s Block Party madness, dudes.

Whoosh: JZ reviews Femi Kuti.

They’re Baaaack: Trent Moorman shares some Crayola outtakes.

Bell Bottom Bliss: Adam Sandler ruined this song—“Kiss You All Over”—for me.

More Mools: Spool still loves the Mools. And that still rhymes.

Anticipation: Donte Parks’ Block Party mixes.

The Buck Stops Here: Kim Hayden’s last Buck Owens appreciation post.

Calm Before the Storm: The Block Party’s set up phase.

Best Song Ever (This Week): Dan Deacon’s “Snake Mistakes.”

The Future of Ryan Adams: Here’s what to expect from him tonight.

Brokeback Mountain… For Robots: Eric Grandy on Daft Punk’s Electroma.

Ludicra Tomorrow Night: What the Block Party lacks (black metal) can be found at the Funhouse.

This Week’s Setlist: The Block Party edition!

Stranger DJs: The Stranger staffers take over the turntables.

See It: The Trials of Darryl Hunt

posted by on July 27 at 2:53 PM


I saw this film at last year’s SIFF (where it won Best Documentary), and it changed the way I think about the legal system. Made over 10 years, it is the story of a man who spent 20 (!) years in prison for a rape/murder he was wrongly convicted of (by an all-white jury, with testimony given by a KKK member, and then some). The film looks at the race and class bias in the justice system and the incredible work of the Innocence Project.

You won’t believe all the crap that went on in this case; it would be comic if it weren’t so awful. Also, this isn’t some old-timey case from way back when, this was 2004! This film will blow your mind.

The Trials of Darryl Hunt plays July 27 through August 2 at Northwest Film Forum.

Bonus: Hunt’s attorney Mark Rabil in attendance Friday and Saturday.

Subject Line: Cleavage

posted by on July 27 at 2:45 PM

A recent email fund-raising appeal from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

(Washington Post blog headline on the subject: “Let the Cleavage Conversation Begin.”)

Merchant of Warsaw

posted by on July 27 at 2:30 PM

A letter from an old friend:

This is from an interview in The New Yorker with Avraham Burg, an Israeli Labour politician who recently recanted his Zionism. He is speaking of his retirement from political strife and his longing for European cosmopolitanism as a relief from Israeli self absorption and fanaticism.

“Life is not just to be a pioneer with a hoe and a bold fighter at Lion’s Gate,” he said. “Life is also to be a merchant in Warsaw. Unequivocally, that is a richer totality in life.”

This from a man who was once Speaker of the Knesset. The rest of the article doesn’t offer much, but this quote: “There’s richer life to be had in being a merchant! It is inexpressibly good.” It’s so rare to see a truth appear in the popular press.

That truth is the same truth that separates red states from blue ones.

What Do You Know?

posted by on July 27 at 2:26 PM

Friday-afternoon braintwister: What do all of these words have in common?

Apollo, Orion, Tsunami, Phoenix, Voodoo, Pulse, Unlimited, Clix, Essence, Groove, Kilo, Marine, Touch

The Week in Geek

posted by on July 27 at 2:14 PM


The average American worker wastes 1.7 hours—nearly 20%—of their workday online. The average Slog reader, significantly more.

Grad students at NYU are working on getting your plants to call you when they’re thirsty. “We hope that the system will help people learn how to take better care of their plants over time and maybe not even need the phone calls after a while.”

Computer learns baby talk. “Wow, that’s really annoying,” say researchers, and turn it off.

The CNN/YouTube debates, as imagined by local funny man Matthew Baldwin, aka The Defective Yeti. Bueno.

Twitter. I still don’t get it.

It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

For only $125, this umbrella’s handle will light up when it’s going to rain, so you don’t forget to bring it with you! Wow!

Here’s what you do: Take your computer into a room near your (roommate|(girl|boy)friend|boss|worst enemy). Open this page in 15 browser tabs, about 1 second apart. Crank up the volume, lock the door, and go buy more RAM.

Say Hello to Xylitol

posted by on July 27 at 2:12 PM

Last night at the Hideout, I was talking to Jennifer Borges Foster and she interrupted me and said, “Are you drinking peach schnapps?” She smelled something on my breath. I was, in fact, drinking water. But I was chewing a piece of this—I took it out and showed her:


A couple minutes later, I was talking to Brangien Davis and she said, “What do I smell? Are you drinking peach schnapps?” I showed her the gum. “Can I try it?” she said. She put it in her mouth. I told her to anticipate tropical peach, with an edge of mint. She turned to the person next to her. “You should try this.” And then to me: “Do you have another piece?”

I had one piece left, but I am nothing if not generous. As I was digging it out of the package, Davis took an interest in the packaging and, in particular, the two words there to the right: “WITH XYLITOL.” What is xylitol? Why does it begin with an x? Will we grow an extra ear if we continue to chew it? She requested a full investigation, and as she was making this request there was a small explosion behind the bar, a liquid explosion, and all of us got hit with little droplets of something. The source of the flying liquid was never ascertained.

Davis said, “I blame xylitol.”

On the way home from the Hideout, I stopped in a grocery store and bought Tropical Twist Trident’s competitor, Citrusmint Orbit.


Huh. No mention of xylitol anywhere on the cover of the packaging. But further investigation of the miniscule text on the sides found this (blown up big so you can read it):


There it is. Xylitol. OK, xylitol: who are you and what do you want with us? Per Davis’s request, a full investigation (2 minutes on Wikipedia) has been conducted, and lo and behold, xylitol is not some awful, awful, third-ear-growing agent, but a rather docile sugar-alcohol. It is “a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. It can be extracted from corn fiber, birch, raspberries, plums, and corn.”

Cute! But wait—there’s more!

Xylitol was first derived from Birch trees in Finland in the 19th century and was first popularized in Europe as a safe sweetener for diabetics that would not impact insulin levels…

More on Finland, the country xylitol calls home:

Xylitol is widely used in Finland, its “home country.” Many Finnish confectioneries employ xylitol, or have a xylitol version available. Virtually all chewing gum sold in Finland, as well as the rest of Europe is sweetened with xylitol.

Although, culturally, xylitol gets around:

In China, Japan and South Korea, xylitol is found in wide assortment of chewing gums. China, Korea and Japan even have a brand of gum named “Xylitol”, Japan also has a brand called “Xylish”. In addition, when Extra introduced xylitol-containing products to Hong Kong and Guangdong, the word “xylitol” is transcribed into Cantonese as “???” (Jyutping: saai3 lok6 to4), which literally means “suntan camel”, and the camel is used as a figurative icon in its advertisements.

Oh, and:

Xylitol is a “toothfriendly” sugar. In addition to not encouraging tooth decay (by replacing dietary sugars), xylitol may actively aid in repairing minor cavities caused by dental caries. Recent research confirms a plaque-reducing effect and suggests that the compound, having some chemical properties similar to sucrose, attracts and then “starves” harmful micro-organisms, allowing the mouth to remineralize damaged teeth with less interruption.


Xylitol also appears to have potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. A group of Finnish researchers has found that dietary xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and actually improves bone density.

Plus, did I mention—

Studies have shown that xylitol chewing gum can help prevent ear infections…

I’m sorry, there’s just so much—

ASICS Corp., a Japanese company, markets a line of women’s t-shirts with xylitol infused into the fabric. Xylitol, like several other sugar alcohols, exhibits a cooling effect in the mouth. The t-shirts are intended to utilize this same property to keep a person cooler in warm weather.

Downsides: it’s a mild laxative (hasn’t had this effect on yours truly) and one time scientists fed a standard poodle a shitload of xylitol and it died.

Somewhat off topic: I’m starting a band called Berries, Corn Husks, Oats, and Mushrooms.

Re: Reefer Madness

posted by on July 27 at 2:02 PM

Check out the headlines for the story about a British report linking pot smoking and psychosis, which the AP blasted around the globe and Jonah derided this morning.

From the Seattle PI: “Marijuana may increase risk of becoming psychotic, study finds”

From the Washington Post: “Pot Ups Risk for Mental Illness”

From Fox News: “Study: Even Infrequent Use of Marijuana Increases Risk of Psychosis by 40 Percent”

By reading these headlines, you would believe recent findings show conclusive evidence that marijuana use leads to increased risk of psychoses. You would be wrong. The report is actually based on a meta-analysis of previously debunked studies, and the findings, as the article’s text immediately volunteers, are completely ambiguous:

The researchers said they couldn’t prove that marijuana use itself increases the risk of psychosis, a category of several disorders with schizophrenia being the most commonly known.

There could be something else about marijuana users, “like their tendency to use other drugs or certain personality traits, that could be causing the psychoses,” Zammit said.

Enter an American scientist from the federal government’s don’t-do-drugs-or-we’ll-send-you-to-the-slammer campaign:

Dr. Wilson Compton, a senior scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Washington, called the study persuasive.

“The strongest case is that there are consistencies across all of the studies,” and that the link was seen only with psychoses — not anxiety, depression or other mental health problems, he said.

That’s a tepid warning from a man paid to scream about the dangers of drugs. He’s willing to admit that previous studies have only one thing in common—that more hardcore stoners are psychotic than non-stoners—but they don’t know why they share that commonality.

Is this not obvious? If this study shows anything, it’s that psychotics are smoking pot to chill the fuck out. They’re self medicating. But now the study is being trotted out to convince parents their children will go nutso if they fire up a spliff… Why?

In the U.K., the government will soon reconsider how marijuana should be classified in its hierarchy of drugs. In 2004, it was downgraded and penalties for possession were reduced. Many expect marijuana will be bumped up to a class “B” category, with offenses likely to lead to arrests or longer jail sentences.

Two of the authors of the study were invited experts on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Cannabis Review in 2005. Several authors reported being paid to attend drug company-sponsored meetings related to marijuana, and one received consulting fees from companies that make antipsychotic medications.

Notes on Religion: Moses, Jesus, Muhammad.

posted by on July 27 at 1:59 PM

For Moses, it’s splitting the waters and walking on the bottom of the sea; for Jesus, it’s walking on water; for Muhammad, it’s flying through the sky to Jerusalem. Each miracle represents, according to the logic of Islam, a step in a movement that it completes.

Do Doo Doo Tee Doo Doo Doo Tee Doo Doo Doo Doo

posted by on July 27 at 1:43 PM

“He put in the phony tusks while the woman was under anesthesia…”

posted by on July 27 at 1:10 PM

An oral surgeon who temporarily implanted fake boar tusks in his assistant’s mouth as a practical joke and got sued for it has gotten the state’s high court to back up his gag.

Dr. Robert Woo of Auburn had put in the phony tusks while the woman was under anesthesia for a different procedure. He took them out before she awoke, but he first shot photos that eventually made it around the office.

This story is so weird I can’t believe it: The assistant grew up on a farm with pot-bellied pigs, couldn’t stop talking about them, and obviously missed them. The surgeon is described as a “kindhearted, fun-loving man,” a joker, a nice old geezer.

Put the two together and disaster strikes:

The oral surgery on Alberts was intended to replace two of her teeth with implants, which Woo did. First, though, he installed temporary bridges that he had shaped to look like boar tusks, and while Alberts was still under anesthesia, he took photos, some with her eyes propped open. Before she woke up, he removed the “tusks” and put in the proper replacement teeth.

When the farm girl found out, she freaked, quit, and sued her boss. He tried to apologize. She wouldn’t hear it. Everyone’s feelings were hurt.

The two settled out of court but the surgeon’s insurance wouldn’t cover the costs so he turned around and sued them.

He lost. He appealed. Then he won.

In a sprightly 5-4 decision, Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote that Woo’s practical joke was an integral, if odd, part of the assistant’s dental surgery and “conceivably” should trigger the professional liability coverage of his policy.

Integral? How? The Seattle Times does not explain.

The Greater Seattle Commute Experiment

posted by on July 27 at 1:06 PM


If you’ve ever wondered what the Seattle metro area would be like if drivers were less coddled, I present to you the I-5 Spokane Street to I-90 Bridge Repair.

The work on northbound I-5 will require some of the most extensive lane and ramp closures Seattle drivers have ever seen. I-5 will be reduced to two or three lanes during the daytime, and sometimes just one lane overnight, during the intensive 19-day period, Aug. 10 through 29…

Drivers will likely face lengthy backups and significant delays on freeways and city streets from 4 a.m. to midnight. Traffic will be the worst during the morning rush hours. The August construction lane closures will create long backups on northbound I-5 and will push traffic onto other routes, including city streets in Georgetown, SODO, Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill. WSDOT anticipates I-405 and State Route 99 will be popular freeway alternatives. Trucks will be encouraged to use I-405, East Marginal Way South and Airport Way South.

Backups and delays will not be limited to the Seattle area and south end; they will spread to the Eastside. We expect the typical morning congestion on I-405 to extend throughout the day. Many more trucks will be using I-405 during this construction. Other drivers will also choose I-405 as an alternate route.

Will the city continue to exist when thousands of solo-drivers are faced with getting on a bus, taking a train, using a water ferry, walking, or cycling to work? How will people adapt? Just how unsustainable is ‘driving until you qualify’ for a suburban McMansion? Does car capacity matter—or is it more commuter capacity? What is the local climate impact of all the cars?

This is basically a wonderful prospective study of these questions—provided the data is collected. It’s even more informative because only one direction of I-5 will be closed. Much like when the Viaduct closed after the earthquake, we can get a peek into what a very different Seattle would be like. I’m so excited!

In fact, this reminds me of one of my all-time favorite climate change papers, taking advantage of the mandatory grounding of all commercial aircraft from September 11th to 14th in 2001:

Some researchers have speculated that persisting contrails exacerbate “global warming” in areas where they most frequently occur…Previous attempts to identify a contrail effect in the climate record have been based mostly on circumstantial evidence…
These results support the hypothesis that the grounding of all commercial aircraft in U.S. airspace, and the consequent elimination of substantial jet contrail coverage during the 11–14 September 2001 grounding period, helped produce an enhanced surface DTR in those areas that typically experience the greatest numbers of jet contrails during the fall season (e.g. the Midwest).

What questions do you want answered from the great I-5 shutdown of 2007?

Notes on Religion: Against Symbolism

posted by on July 27 at 12:41 PM

We can separate Christians into two great camps: on one side, those who read the events in the New Testament as having literally happened; on the other side, those who read the events as symbolic. We can also determine those in the former category as tending to be politically conservative, and those in the latter as tending to be liberal. But, ultimately, Christian symbolists have a much weaker theological position than literalists. Why? Because symbolism reduces the bible to picture-thinking, a lower order of language that speaks to those in the lower orders—the poor, the uneducated, the great unwashed. To grasp the complexity of God, they need a simple and symbolic explanation. In short, symbolism is snobbish.

Also, if you don’t take Jesus’ death and resurrection literally, it means that God could have told the story of salvation in another way. Meaning, it empties the real life of Jesus of its peculiarity and makes it nothing more than an expression of a universal language. Meaning, the story is not fixed but is rewritable. Meaning, God could easily have used different characters and locations and not lost the substance of His message—salvation. But the victory and significance of Christianity is that it transforms God’s infinity into a particular, an individual. It humanizes the spirit.

Christian symbolists hold onto the New Testament by its tail; Christian literalists ride the feral book on its back.

Reefer Madness

posted by on July 27 at 11:29 AM

Which Stranger staffer will be the first to crack?

People who smoke marijuana daily or weekly double their risk of developing a psychotic illness over their lifetime, according to a study published Thursday.

Among all cannabis users, including sporadic experimenters and habitual users, the lifetime risk of psychotic illness increased by 40%, the report said.

“It’s not as if you smoke a joint and you’re going to go crazy,” said Richard Rawson, who directs the Integrated Substance Abuse Program at UCLA and was not involved in the study.

But he cautioned: “It’s definitely not a good idea to use heavy amounts of marijuana.”

Via the LA Times

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 27 at 11:00 AM

Capitol Hill Block Party (FESTIVAL) It’s the opposite of urban flight: The best of Seattle converges in the heart of the city for the Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend. This year’s bacchanal boasts its most impressive lineup ever, standing alongside music festivals twice its size. You can’t go wrong either day, but Friday—featuring the sugar-boosted metapop of Girl Talk and the socialist, soulful hiphop of Blue Scholars—is simply world class. (Broadway and E Pike St, 3 pm, $15, all ages. .) JONATHAN ZWICKEL
See what else is happening in Music on Friday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Move Over, Connie Thompson!

posted by on July 27 at 10:57 AM

There’s a new bumbleress stinking up YouTube. Please welcome Merry Miller!

Speaking of pretty women doing stupid things, Lindsay Lohan is in deep, deep shit.

(Thank you, Defamer.)

The Yin to Latawnya’s Yang

posted by on July 27 at 10:19 AM

This is most awful thing ever.


Letter of the Day

posted by on July 27 at 9:52 AM

A conspiracy theory:

Good one, Stranger.

For months now someone calling himself “ecce homo” has been posting comments constantly. He’s your most dedicated troll, always on Slog, he’s rude, he’s obnoxious, and he’s positively obsessed with Dan Savage. And who else do we know that’s constantly on Slog, constantly posting, rude, obnoxious, and positively obsessed with Dan Savage?

Dan Savage.

Dan Savage is “ecce homo,” and “ecce homo” is Dan Savage. Want proof? Late last night Savage posted this comment to one of his own Slog posts:

Okay. I was at Pony tonight for Circus, and I thought I saw this guy—this girly boy or the boyly girl that’s tormenting me. But just as suddenly as he or she appeared, he or she was gone. Maybe I hallucinated him/her.

Posted by Dan Savage | July 26, 2007 11:54 PM

Nine minutes later “ecce homo” posted this comment:

How was the Glory hole, “Dad”?

Gonna write your next book on what an attentive and admirable parent you are?

Posted by ecce homo | July 27, 2007 12:05 AM

According to previous posts written by this “ecce homo” person, he’s a respectable, sober-minded, suburban gay dad with two children. And yet there he was, ready to pounce on Savage at midnight, minutes after Dan himself posted comment to an old Slog post written by Dan himself.

Usually when people engage in sock puppetry it’s to defend themselves or stroke their own ego. Leave it to Savage to create a sock puppet to beat himself up.


Hot, Shiny Balls

posted by on July 27 at 9:18 AM

Yesterday I got this cryptic e-mail from my friend Mike Ragen, entitled “kickball”:

i shot it, my friend matt daniels directed and edited


It linked to this video:

When pressed for more information, Mike wrote:

its a kickball taunt video. my friends are on a kickball team and one of the teams they are playing does video taunts so we decided to outdo them.

I haven’t seen the other team’s video, but whatever. Mission fucking accomplished.

Republicans Fleeing YouTube Debate?

posted by on July 27 at 9:10 AM

The GOP was supposed to have a CNN/YouTube debate of its own in the near future, but Giuliani has bailed out and it looks like others might as well. Only John McCain and Ron Paul have agreed to actually show up. Two theories, from TPM readers, about why a YouTube debate might be so worrisome for some Republicans:

You realize why Rudy doesn’t like the YouTube debate format, right? He doesn’t want the NY fire fighter’s to get a clean shot at him on national TV. Maybe Newt was right. Maybe pygmies is the perfect word…


One of the thoughts that occurred to me with regards to the Democratic Youtube debate was how weird the questions for the GOP candidates could potentially be. For the Democratic debates, most of the issues that are on the table are pretty mainstream, like healthcare and Iraq and poverty and global warming, and thus its pretty difficult for the standard rank-and-file member of the democratic base to ask them in an amusing viral format like Youtube and still come out as looking too bizarre (unless they happen to be a talking snowman). As far as issues like illegal immigration and “coercive interrogation techniques” go, how does one ask questions like this in a Youtube format in an amusing way? The differences between the GOP base and the political mainstream can seem less extreme when asked by someone like Wolf Blitzer, but if presented from the standard GOP rank-and-file member of the base, it seemed like a great way to show how unhinged the GOP has become on some of these issues. Personally, I’m surprised the GOP ever got close to agreeing to this format, and once the Democratic debate happened and showed the format in action, I didn’t see how it could have been pulled off by the GOP.

The Writing Beat

posted by on July 27 at 9:08 AM

The thing about the movie Police Beat, which just came out on DVD, is it’s less a movie and more a piece of writing. It’s an essay. The essay is about white people, about ambition, about trying to please a woman who has different values than you do, about the difference between what you see and what you know, about jealousy, about understanding all too well. Z, the immigrant who narrates, wears his cop uniform and rides his cop bike and delivers the essay in his native Wolof and a little French, with English subtitles. Yes, the cinematography in Police Beat is dreamy, but the movie would be nowhere without the words.

Like, there’s a scene in the middle of the movie when Z is riding his bike around a very leafy Capitol Hill. It’s pretty. There’s piano music. He’s thinking about stuff. He hasn’t heard from his lady in longer than he’s okay with. His patrol partner has taken up heroin. He’s met a lot of shrieking, vituperative, blood-splattered citizens on his beat lately, but you can tell he’s really just thinking about his lady and why she hasn’t called.

He thinks:

Who am I? I am a problem solver…

And then:

Why? Because I have all these problems…

And then:

And I am by no means alone…

And then (pace doesn’t change but here, so you don’t have to keep scrolling):

To live is to solve problems. That’s the definition of everything… Leaves are stretching out for light because that’s their problem… Ants move dirt because that’s their problem… Flowers are bright not for lovers, but because they have problems….

That’s writing. That’s pure Charles Mudede.

You know what isn’t writing? The text on the back of the Police Beat DVD box.

It goes a little something like this:

From the boldly original director of the controversial Zoo, this is not your typical crime story! Based on actual police reports, Robinson Devor’s critically acclaimed film follows Z, a rookie bicycle cop in Seattle, as he investigates a series of unsettling crimes. A new West African immigrant separated from his girlfriend, Z views all his cases through the eyes of a heartbroken outsider. The city’s many outrageous and offbeat crimes become a surreal reflection of Z’s disorientation and pain. Ride along on this intense emotional journey through the urban jungle in this lyrical spin on the POLICE BEAT.


I guess it sounds very movie-ish, but man if that isn’t a disappointing way to summarize Police Beat. “Not your typical crime story!” “Outrageous and offbeat crimes”! “Writing” like this not only gives you no sense of what the movie is like, it’s exactly what the movie isn’t: badly written and studded with clichés. The person who wrote Police Beat, who shares a cubicle wall with me, told me to take my grievance to Northwest Film Forum, the main producer. NWFF’s Michael Seiwerath said that the DVD’s text and art came from Image Entertainment, the distributor. Attempts to find the writer within the Image Entertainment empire who wrote the Police Beat DVD text have proven unsuccessful.

The Return of the Fundy Pharmacists

posted by on July 27 at 9:05 AM

Olympia pharmacists sue in Federal Court over new rule that guarantees customers can get Plan B.

Sigh. We’ve been here before.

City Council Voted to Rip Out a Fountain

posted by on July 27 at 8:49 AM

I’ve been searching for photos of Seattle’s old municipal building—our old city hall, which was torn down in 2003, just at the moment that it was becoming kind of interesting, architecturally speaking. Built in 1962, our old municipal building had a sort of Marcus-Welby/Police-Woman-esque charm. But we tore it down to make way for a much grander City Hall.

And guess what the city council voted to destroy along with the old municipal building? Why, a fountain. It sat just in the plaza just outside the doors on the 5th Avenue side of the municipal building. I used to walk past it every day on my to work. I thought it was pretty cool, this old fountain. It featured a large rectangular monolith sitting in a small pool—picture a green, mod version of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A pattern of squares covered both sides of the gently curving, 12 foot-tall monolith. And there were benches around the fountain—you know, benches where a person could sit in quiet contemplation.

So when it came to building a new city hall, the Seattle city council voted to destroy a fountain, trash a work of art, and deprive us all of a place of quiet contemplation. Because this particular work of art got in the way of building a gaudy new civic palace where the members of the City Council would work. But when it comes to building a new skatepark—which the city has promised to do for years—the city council is suddenly concerned about preserving fountains and neglected pieces of public art and places of quiet contemplation.


Does anyone have pictures of the old municipal building? And the fountain on the 5th Avenue side? I’d love to post ‘em.

On the Radio

posted by on July 27 at 8:31 AM

I’ll be on KUOW’s Weekday this morning starting at 10 a.m., talking about the news of the week with other local journalists.

Probable topics: Gonzales and contempt, Bush and subpoenas, cheese-and-wire terrorism, the YouTube debate, the Burner/Tom race, and the death penalty. Plus whatever you call in about.

The Morning News

posted by on July 27 at 7:56 AM

“Meth mouth”: Congress doesn’t like it..

Fidel Castro: Mysteriously absent during Cuba celebrations.

Masturbation: Worse than prison rape?

Chinese software pirates:Busted!

Obama: Doomed by astrology?

Global Warming: Hates South Texas.

Mueller: Gonzales lied.

The Dow-Jones Industrial Average: Biggest slide since February.

Baboons: Have this whole birth control thing all figured out.

Recipe of the Day: Grilled Pizza Margherita (Recipe from, of all places, the Food Network)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

What’s In a Name?

posted by on July 27 at 6:45 AM

Process queens are running amuck in Michigan. The Office of LGBT Affairs at the University of Michigan has concluded that its name oppresses some people. Or everybody. Or something.

The letters LGBT, as representative of the identities lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, are no longer inclusive of the diversity of the community. Changing trends in identification tell us that the community of LGBT people go by any number of terms, including Queer.

Sorry, UM, but “queer” is so 1991. Today’s ‘mos prefer the term “invert,” or “third sex.” But it’s not just L, G, and B that are problematic, but also T, as….

…many consider transgender to mean transsexual when the term is intended to be an “umbrella term” for anyone who transgresses the boundaries of the gender binary.

And guess what? The name “Office of LGBT Affairs” oppresses straight people too, a.ka. “allies.” So they’re going to change the name. Great! So call a meeting, toss some ideas around, and pick a new name. Easy! Ah, no. That’s not the way it works in the LGBTQIALMNOP community. Everyone has to be included, every voice has to be heard, input welcomed, feelings honored, etc., etc., etc. And a respectful, inclusive process takes time. How much time?

Three years.


Fall 2005, Winter 2006

Consistent feedback received about the exclusiveness of the letters in office name

October, 2006

Preliminary informal discussions with students, staff and faculty.
Developed Environmental Scan Survey about possible Name Change

November, 2006

Initiated discussion at Creating Change, National LGBT Conference, with National Consortium of directors of LGBT Directors in Higher Education

December 2006-January 2007

Online Survey is administered and sent through all of our email listservs

January, 2007

Analyzed Data from Survey—results indicate interest in name change

February/March, 2007

Conversations with Sue Eklund, AVP, Dean of Students and Royster Harper, Vice President of Student Affairs
Student Intern conducts research on names of offices across the United States

April, 2007

Develop one page document and talking points for name change

June, 2007

Approval received from Sue Eklund, AVP, Dean of Students and Royster Harper, VP of Students to move forward with this process

Summer, 2007

Will identify overall programmatic goals for 2007-2008 with our ThemeYear title of “What’s in a Name?”

We will meet with stakeholders on campus including, Women’s Studies, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, School of Social Work, Office of Institutional Equity

Develop information for Web Page about Name Change Process

Fall, 2007

Forums will be held for ideas and feedback about and for name change with U of M community members

Evaluate feedback and reevaluate timeframe and process

We meet specifically with the LGBT Caucus of the Students of Color of Rackham

Will identify budget and infrastructure implications

December, 2007

Name Change Decision Made

Spring, 2008

Transition Process begins for name change

We will have a contest for the logo.

July 1, 2008

Transition fully completed

Sometimes our movement moves so slowly that it looks like it’s not moving at all—or moving backwards.

UPDATE: Some folks think I’m being an asshole about this. UM’s LGBT group is just trying to be inclusive! And there I go making fun of them when all they want is to make everyone feel all warm and included and heard and shit! But I’m not mocking them for wanting to change the name, Alex, I’m mocking them for dragging this process out for three fucking years. I’m all for inclusiveness—got no problem with it, all for it, big fan. “So call a meeting, toss some ideas around, and pick a new name,” I wrote. But don’t take three years to do it—my God, think of all the Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts, Qs, Is, TSs, etc., that are going to have to get their degrees and leave Michigan before the name is finally changed! If folks are feeling oppressed by LGBT how can UM justify taking three years to process its way toward an inclusive name for the group?

But some folks do agree with me—like this guy, and this guy.

Three Reviews

posted by on July 27 at 2:50 AM

A woman is standing at a busy intersection—where Denny crosses over the freeway—reading the new Harry Potter book.


I did not ask if I could take this photo, because she was so far away and there were cars streaking between us. As we crossed in the intersection, I said, “How’s the book?” and she said, quickly, “It’s good.”

The next day, I’m walking by Rite Aid and I see this guy, evidently without a home, on the ground reading the new Harry Potter book.


I ask if I can take his photo and he says, “If you want.” I ask how the book is, and he says, “It’s good.”

The following evening at the Hideout is a party for the release of the new issue of Rivet. It looks as follows.


It includes the work of Ellen Forney, Brangien Davis, Jennifer Borges Foster, Susan Robb (a genius), and Jennifer Zeyl (also a genius). I asked the editor of Rivet, Leah Baltus, how the new issue is. The glow of a juke box behind her was lighting up her hair. She said, “It’s good.”

Drunk (Second in a Series)

posted by on July 27 at 12:43 AM


Water Fountain off Galer at the entrance to the path by the Volunteer Park Tennis Courts. As a rule, outdoor water fountains suck. Imagine my surprise.

Temperature: Not chilly-cold, and not even really cold, but colder than the first rush of water from your faucet. Colder than room temperature. Who knew? Score: 4

Stream: Every outdoor water fountain I’ve ever come across, if it even works, has zero pressure and zero height. Wow. This worked up to a high, not insubstantial, arc. It wasn’t strong or thick, but it was defined. Score: 5

Hum: No electric buzz here, but this fountain has a white noise pipe rush. You can hear the rush loud and clear because the pipe is exposed, attached to the stand. That was my favorite part. Score: 6

Style This fountain, at some in point in time, was going for a classic Roman look. It’s got a ceramic pillar stand, a silver bowl atop, and an ornamental, raised drain in the center. Of course, since it’s outside, the whole show is decayed with hints of moss. The pipe too. The push button is perched on the back of the bowl. It gives a dose of solid resistance for your thumb. Score: 5

Brand: Unknown.

Comments: I’m startled. It’s also shaded by a tree, set on a peaceful, leafy dirt pathway.

Final Score: 5 out of possible 10


Water Fountain at SCCC gym.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Night Flying

posted by on July 26 at 9:45 PM

Someone was just trying to fly a kite on the baseball field at Cal Anderson. Wasn’t working. There’s no wind, and it’s dark.

Dept. of Corrections

posted by on July 26 at 6:17 PM

An avid reader pointed out that the hole in the ground by Mike’s Chili Parlor in Ballard is not, contrary to what it says in my Frito pie roundup in this week’s paper, a Mars Hill Church expansion, but rather a mixed-use development that will include a Trader Joe’s. We regret the error, and appreciate the readership!

Skatepark Wars

posted by on July 26 at 6:08 PM

In this week’s paper, I had a small piece about the most recent delay in the relocation of the SeaSk8 skatepark, which was formerly located just east of Seattle Center.

On Monday, City Council was supposed to vote on a plan — previously approved by the council’s parks committee — to relocate SeaSk8 next to the Vera Project, on the north side of Key Arena. The vote was postponed until August 6th, due to some indecision about whether the fugly Du Pen fountain, which currently occupies the site, should be ripped out in favor of a skatepark.

The Du Pen family wasn’t happy about the fountain’s removal and several Council members received emails citing Du Pen as one of the few spots in the Center where families can hang out.


It’s also worth noting that Du Pen gets used as a skate spot anyway, when it’s not full of water.

City Council rep Tom Rasmussen says he hadn’t heard about the controversial plan for Du Pen’s removal until the weekend before the vote. “I open the paper this weekend and see it’s going to go smack in the middle of this sculpture in Seattle Center. That’s when I expressed concern about this site. The council’s gotten really frustrated because we haven’t gotten a lot of good [skatepark relocation] choices presented to us.” Rasmussen has been a big supporter of skateparks in the past, and is all for a Seask8 rebuild, but he says he doesn’t want to see the Du Pen fountain ripped up

Council member Richard Conlin agrees that the Du Pen site isn’t optimal. He points to a scrapped plan for a site on Broad Street— which fell apart due to pressure from the Center’s Century 21 committee— as his first choice. “I supported the Broad Street location,” Conlin says. “I thought that was the ideal situation.” Although the Broad Street site isn’t happening, and the Du Pen site is less than optimal, Conlin says he’ll push for a resolution during the August 6th Council vote. “We’ve got to do this [and] I believe we have the votes at this point.”

SeaSk8’s latest delay has drawn a fiery response from Seattle’s skate community. The folks at the Skate Park Advisory Committee have done an admirable job of lobbying the city and have worked too hard for SeaSk8 to die again. Hopefully, the city can get it together and finally rebuild the long-promised and too-long delayed skatepark.

On Sleestak, a local skateboard website, blogger “Bobcat” offers up a unique way to solve the SeaSk8 problem:

Here’s my solution fuckwads: Give us a 1/4 of that barely used parking lot north of the opera house. Since it seems to rain in Seattle (oh the horror!), that would be an excellent place to put skaters and keep us out of the main Seattle Center rotting core.

The Latest in Lindsay Lohan

posted by on July 26 at 6:03 PM

Take it away, Inside Edition:

Lindsay Lohan reportedly has an explanation for the cocaine in her pocket—the star says she was wearing someone else’s pants.

This one’s for you, Lindsay, published in The Stranger five years ago today:


Whose Calfs Are THESE?

posted by on July 26 at 5:44 PM

This one is called Bulla and Bobo.


Whose Calves Are These?

posted by on July 26 at 5:29 PM

This one’s called The Boss.


Previously in Whose Calves Are These?:

The Genius.

The Cripple.

The Biker and The Bather.

Clinton vs. Nuts

posted by on July 26 at 4:35 PM

Introducing the Hillary Clinton nut-cracker:


(All praise to hot tipper Nipper.)

Today in Line Out

posted by on July 26 at 3:51 PM

Bell Bottom Bliss: “My Love Is Alive” by Gary Wright.

Crayola Colors!: Invading a Block Party near you.

So Sad: Teeth & Hair call it quits.

The Weather Channel: Prepare for a weekend of blue skies and sunshine.

PWRFL POWER: Is very funny.

More Mr. Owens: Kim Hayden continues her appreciation for Ol’ Buck.

Triple Threat: Three killer DJs rock Circus at Pony tonight.

Cancer Rising on Cancer Rising: Larry Mizell’s conflict of interest.

Block Party Band of the Day: What everyone is saying about Talbot Tagora.

The Mooools: Ari Spool loves the Mooools. Hey, that rhymes!

Eddie Izzard…

posted by on July 26 at 3:38 PM

… is coming to the Seattle Rep, August 11 and 12.

Tickets go on sale on July 30 at

They’re fifty fucking dollars.

Doesn’t that seem a bit steep? I mean, do people still like Eddie Izzard? (And do they know he was born in Yemen?)

Here’s Eddie on the letters of St. Paul:

Funny. But not fifty fucking bucks funny.

Oceans of Jokes, Rivers of Tears

posted by on July 26 at 3:36 PM

Hey! Were you guys at Laff Hole last night, as per Brendan Kiley’s demands? Did you get all your holes properly stuffed full of laffs?

Well, I sure did. It was fucking awesome.

Despite the obvious undercurrent of heartbreak brought on by Hari Kondabolu’s departure, this was one of the best Laff Holes I’ve ever been to. It was packed, you were drunk, everyone was funny.

I could never say enough good things about Hari, who—in addition to being an excellent pal, a highly principled smartypants, and the opposite of a jerk in every way—was instrumental in bringing the Seattle scene to its current kickass funtime state. Now he’s moving to London to become a genius (like we need one more of those). And you should all be fucking bummed. I am.

By the way, if any of you have never seen David Cope do comedy before (I hadn’t), you should. He fucking killed it last night with this video. Watch it. The video is on Myspace, not Youtube, so I don’t know how to embed it, but let’s just say that the Myspace kids rated it “93% Booyah!” (Furthermore, Ari Spool, in a private communique which I will now make public, called David Cope “seriously the funniest guy in the city and totally going to take Hari’s place on the Seattle comedy throne.”)

Emmett Montgomery assured me that next week’s Laff Hole is going to be “ambitious” and then some really positive adjective that I forgot. Anyway, I’d go to it if I were you.

Gooo comedy!

This Week’s 6-page News Section!

posted by on July 26 at 3:31 PM

I’m happy to announce that this week’s news section is hot and heavy.

For starters, both mad freelancer Dominic Holden and vet staffer ECB have follow-ups to the stories they wrote last week.

Holden got a copy of the affidavit the Washington State Patrol filed to get their search warrant on the Kent couple they shook down. He finds that the medical marijuana bust was even more egregious than we first reported.

Erica follows up her scoop about Mayor Nickels’s assault on the city’s bike master plan (the Seattle Times copped her story two days later, btw) with news of a bad-ass, smart-ass bike protest in the works for Fremont.

Erica also has a new scoop this week about the City Council’s flip-flop on the nightclub license. Surprise! They’re for it now.

Eli Sanders weighs in on the increasingly testy Democratic primary on the Eastside between Darcy Burner and Rodney Tom.

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee has a goofy story about people who like to dress up and play vampire at the UW on Saturday night. That is: 50 people who like to dress up and play vampire at the UW.

There’s also Charles Mudede’s Police Beat column (starring the controversial Officer Greg Neubert) and my Counter•Intel column on GOP Rep. Dave Reichert’s religion.

Jonah also files a bunch of blurbs from the neighborhoods about rat-infested apartments and skateparks.

Finally, as a nice companion to ECB’s nightlife piece, we sent Party Crasher, Paul Constant, to all 5 of Mayor Nickels’s “Dangerous Clubs” to find some danger. (Seems like we should have sent him to the post office instead.) Anyway, Constant’s report from the bathroom of the J&M is of particular interest.

Stone Way Protest Ride

posted by on July 26 at 3:28 PM

As I reported this week, bikers will be riding in Fremont to protest the elimination of a long-planned bike lane on Stone Way, along with the extended closure of the Burke-Gilman Trail, at the behest of a single business owner. Details about the ride are now available: Riders will meet at Gas Works Park at 4:30 on Wednesday, August 1, and ride in a loop around lower Fremont at 5. More information is available here.

Hopes for AIAs Trashed

posted by on July 26 at 3:19 PM

by Rebecca Tapscott

In two years, the City will release a final study ascertaining the effectiveness of Seattle’s Alcohol Impact Areas, aimed at deterring chronic inebriates. However, concerned neighbors like Katie Comer, staff member of Pioneer Square Community Association, can already tell it’s not working.

“It was great for about a week,” Comer says about the new Liquor Board rules, which ban a list of name-brand beers and wines with high alcohol content and a low price. “Then they switched [from Steel Reserve] to Icehouse.” A shrewd swap—both beers have over 8% alcohol content.

The Washington State Liquor Board acknowledges this staggering loophole, but explains that a formula approach, which could ban beers with a certain alcohol content and price, is unfair to producers. According to current rules, community members must show a link from the product (by name) to the problem. This leaves community members gathering littered beer cans in order to update the banned-products list.

Not Idiotic

posted by on July 26 at 3:14 PM

Some folks took issue with my characterization, in the Morning News, of Emory Bundy’s Crosscut piece criticizing light rail for its supposedly enormous environmental impact. (I called it “idiocy.”)

Anyway, someone less glib than me has written a comprehensive takedown of Bundy’s idiotic argument. Here are just two of his excellent points:

First off, Bundy only considers the carbon cost of operating an automobile in the comparison. Emory does not consider the equivalent cost of building and maintaining roads and freeways. True, those roads and freeways will continue to be maintained regardless of whether light rail is constructed or not, but he also does not consider that light rail combined with rising gasoline costs will reduce traffic substantially enough to make it unnecessary to expand existing roads and construct new ones. […]

Bundy [also] completely ignores the carbon costs of building (and the useful lives of) cars and trains. Cars are not built to last, because auto manufacturers know that we will dispose of cars long before the end of their useful lives—after less than 10 years. Trains last for 40 years or more as my sister, the economist with a scary knowledge of the economics of transportation, pointed out. In other words, Bundy failed to consider if effective light rail and greater density will encourage people to purchase fewer (or no) cars at greater intervals, and how this compares to the carbon cost of building trains versus buses.

Read the whole thing here.

Our Coverage

posted by on July 26 at 2:49 PM

Eli is carefully tracking the Hillary v. Obama dustup; Josh and Erica are debating the mayor’s housing policies; Jen is writing movingly about two artists that committed suicide (or was it muuuuurrrrderrrrr?); Dominic is slapping around congressional Dems in the Washington delegation for a boneheaded vote on medical marijuana; and Jonathan Golob is debunking that obesity-is-contageous study.

Me? I’m writing “Savage Love”—or I’m supposed to be writing “Savage Love.” The cover of the current issue of The Stranger, which is sitting on my desk, keeps distracting me. Mostly because I’m hoping that everyone pictured on the cover—with the exception of, uh, that wee baby in the lower left-hand corner—is making a film for HUMP!, the Stranger’s annual amateur and locally produced porn festival. But I’m especially hoping that these three guys are making a film for HUMP!




And this guy too, if he’s a guy and not one of those sexy boyish lesbians that make me feel conflicted and confused…


Ecce Homo shall start discussion in the comments thread attached to this post concerning the appalling inappropriateness of this post, detailing my deficiencies as a parent and a person. Other commenters will then weigh in, decrying my ageism, my looksism, my anti-fat bigotry, and my promotion of the “unattainable beauty standards” that these guys somehow managed to attain.

But it will be worth it if these guys—all of them photographed at Pony last weekend—will see this post and decide, hey, we’re gonna enter HUMP.

For details about how you—the guys shown above, everyone else reading at home—can enter HUMP!, click here.

Re: The Morning Headline Police

posted by on July 26 at 2:06 PM

Not that I’m one to defend the mayor, but I think his proposal to expand a tax-exemption program to include people at higher incomes may make a lot of sense.

Josh wrote:

The mayor’s new plan encourages landlords to rent to people with higher incomes than is currently allowed under the city’s housing program. Currently, landlords get tax breaks when they set aside a certain amount of units for renters making 70 percent of the median income. Nickels wants to extend the tax break to landlords who rent to those making 90 percent of the median. Translation: Landlords would now get the tax break for renting to individual renters who make $49,000 a year rather than $38,000 a year.

There are certainly some good things about Nickels’s idea. First, he’s making the tax breaks available in more neighborhoods; expanding it from 17 neighborhoods to 39. Second, he wants to add couples into the plan.

Actually, Nickels’s proposal would give developers (those building new residential units; not all “landlords”) a 12-year break on their residential property taxes if they agreed to make between 20 and 25 percent of their units affordable to people making between 80 and 100 percent of median income. (Commercial space would still be subject to full property taxes).

Currently, the system provides the tax incentive to developers who keep between 20 and 30 percent of their units affordable for people making between 60 and 70 percent of median. The problem with that system is that it doesn’t provide enough incentive to make it worth developers’ while to take advantage of the program; it may not be politic to say so, but developers operate in the free market, and they aren’t going to build affordable housing if it costs them more than building housing at market rate. Since the program was started, in fact, just 11 projects with affordable units have been built.

Moreover, contrary to what John Fox claims, the city isn’t giving individual developers “millions of dollars.” The total annual cost of the program, according to the city, is just $620,000; that’s an average subsidy of $131 per unit per year. The median homeowner pays $2.26 a year to fund the program.

Subsidizing middle-income housing makes sense, particularly for families. The larger the apartment, the larger the differential between “affordable” and market rate. For example, in one project being built in the University District under the current program, full-price one-bedrooms go for $1096, and apartments for those making 70 percent of median income go for $954—a $142 break. The break on two-bedrooms is much larger: $1,112 for a subsidized unit, versus $1,386 for an unsubsidized unit—a cut of $274.

I’m not disagreeing with Josh that the mayor’s plan doesn’t solve the problem of affordable housing for very low-income people. But it never has been aimed at low-income people (unlike other city programs, such as the housing levy), and Nickels isn’t making any pretense that it is. In fact, the mayor sent out a press release saying as much, stating that the program is aimed at “middle-income wage earners … priced out of the market with few places to turn.” The city should do more to fund low-income housing, but we have a middle-class housing crisis, too; my rent, for example, costs me almost half my monthly income, substantially more than the 30 percent that housing folks agree is “affordable.”

The one place I definitely disagree with the mayor’s proposal (sorry to be so contrary, Josh!) is the expansion of the program throughout the city. Originally, the program targeted neighborhoods where affordable housing was most scarce; because the availability and definition of “affordable” differs throughout the city (White Center vs. Capitol Hill, for example), applying a broad brush citywide (and allowing developers to build $1000 apartments in parts of the city where the average unit might be closer to $700) makes no sense.

As an aside, almost none of the City Council candidates who’ve spoken to the Stranger’s editorial endorsement board over the past couple of weeks came even close to guessing the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment; most guesses fell hundreds of dollars shy of the true median of $1,010.

And Now, Clinton Hits Back at Obama

posted by on July 26 at 2:00 PM

From a Clinton campaign press release:

Senator Clinton taped an interview with CNN’s John King this afternoon where she was asked to react to Barack Obama referring to her as “Bush-Cheney Lite.” The following is what Senator Clinton said (the interview will air later this afternoon on CNN):

SEN. CLINTON: “Well, this is getting kind of silly. I’ve been called a lot of things in my life but I’ve never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney certainly. We have to ask what’s ever happened to the politics of hope?

“I have been saying consistently for a number of years now, we have to end the Bush era of ignoring problems, ignoring enemies and adversaries. And I have been absolutely clear that we’ve got to return to robust and effective diplomacy. But I don’t want to see the power and prestige of the United States President put at risk by rushing into meetings with the likes of Chavez, and Castro, and Ahmadinejad.”

Can You Catch Obesity?

posted by on July 26 at 1:55 PM

… the lay press article Dan linked to says so. Well, let’s look at the key figure from the peer-reviewed scientific article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The horizontal black lines are the 95% confidence intervals; for a given row, if the black line doesn’t touch the vertical zero line, there is a 95% chance of correlation. Reading down the figure, you have an increased chance of being obese if your mutual friends (you both agree you are friends), same-sex friends, spouse, or sibling (particularly same-sex sibling) are obese. The connections between obesity in friends and family seem to be about equally strong. Nifty.

Does this mean you become obese because of your family or friends? Let’s ask my friend David what he thinks:

All reasonings concerning matter of fact seem to be founded on the relation of cause and effect. (David Hume, 1737)
(This quote is more fun if you imagine it being said with a deep Scottish brogue.)

Thanks David! The correlation between obese people having obese family and friends doesn’t automatically mean that having such relationships causes obesity. There are any number of ways this could be interpreted; perhaps obese people feel more comfortable being friends with other obese people. A study of cause and effect would be very different than this one—take skinny people and give them only obese friends, take obese people and give them only skinny friends, wait twenty years, and weigh (for example.) If you want to show a causal link between having obese friends and becoming obese, you’ll have to do that. A retrospective study like this one can’t cut it.

The authors of the article go on about how this study “suggests that obesity may spread in social networks…” but until some cause and effect studies are done, suggests does not equal proves. Claiming that this study proves obesity spreads through friends makes both David and me cranky.

Scientology, Insanity, David Letterman: A Foray into Madness!

posted by on July 26 at 1:26 PM

This morning’s post by Jen Graves about the poor, confused couple who killed themselves because they thought Scientologists were hunting them gives me, as they say, much pause. And then even more much pause. And then maybe even a little more. Much pause.

But even more importantly than all the pausing, the story puts its finger quite firmly upon a bizarre seeming Scientology-and-crazy-people connection that has truly puzzled me for centuries. Is there some unfathomable connection between Scientology and the paranoiac ravings of the mentally ill? Is there?

Let me paint a picture:

Me, bright and bubbly and fresh from college, cooling my heels in a nice mindless job as a devastatingly sexy graveyard bellman at a fabulous Portland five star hotel. (Can you see me? Tight black single-breasted suit with red accents, gold buttons, and some sort of blondish surfer-hair thing going on? That’s me. Shut up.) In my rather short but highly eventful tenure at the hotel (the sex! The drama! The Whitney Houston hairballs! Jesus, I am SO not kidding!), I was fated to experience separate and unlikely adventures with two of the CRAZIEST women ever to set crazy toe in this crazy, crazy world.

These two women had an alarming amount in common. Both of them were paying guests in very expensive rooms. Both of them looked to be in their late 30s-early-40s and traveled alone. They were both really quite lovely, and they both dressed beautifully. (Someone much less gay than I might even say they were “entirely fuckable”.) They both were also—-and pay attention here this part is important—irredeemably INSANE—-legitimately, lock-her-ass-up-in-a-rubber-room, CRAZY. Totally and utterly. Mad, mad, MAD! (I’m telling you!) But the oddest commonality between these women haunts me still, and it is this: BOTH of these women insisted (INSISTED!) in their madnesses that SCIENTOLOGISTS WERE PLOTTING TO DESTROY THEM.


Indeed. Here’s how it all went down:

Crazy Lady #1, Mrs. David Letterman

When I clocked in, security was already as they say “on alert”. The guest in room 527 (I’ll never forget it) had already caused several disturbances in the hotel. I was informed by the head of security that the lady was quite seriously batshit, there was nothing to be done about it, that she was hounding the desk, that she had already requested help from a bellman for something, and she was waiting for me. Oh, joy. I was also told that I must under no circumstances go to the woman’s room alone, nor at any point ever enter the room, and security was to stand on either side of the hallway, out of sight, watching me, just in case. Fabulous. So. Two security guards and I set off.

My knock on room 527 (with two guards on either side of the hall, peeking around the corners) was answered immediately by a lovely woman with long brown hair. She wore a sleeveless black velvet dress and a very calm, but very intense gaze that demanded steady eye-contact. (It actually gave me a headache.) Of course, she immediately insisted that I come into her room. No, I can’t, I told her. Not allowed. She asked again. Nope. Come on in! Uh-uh. Okay. She pointed to the threshold of the door, where the room service food she had ordered earlier lay neglected on its tray at my feet. “See that?” Yes. “Have them take it away. I can’t eat it. The Scientoligists poisoned it. They poisoned it with poisoned shit. The Scientologists are following me. They are trying to kill me. Come, in, I want to show you something.” Oh. No. Fucking. Way, lady. “Okay, just a minute.” She retreated into the room for a moment, and returned with a piece of paper covered—-every fucking inch of it!!!—-with very tight, deep writing …sideways, vertically, in spirals, looking like English, totally indecipherable. “My husband is David Letterman. Do you know who David Letterman is? He’s my husband. You have to send this fax to him. He’s my husband. Do you have the number? He has to get this—-the Scientologists are trying to kill me…” She pointed to the room service tray again, “They shit in my oysters!” Of course they did. I took the tray. I took the fax. I had a migraine for the rest of my life.

And then, several months later….

Crazy Lady #2, Mrs. Jesus

A completely different woman. Around 1:00AM, she left her room and came the lobby. It was a Saturday, so the lobby, with its lounge and restaurant and piano bar, was still rather off the hizzle. She dove into the crowd and began to engage other guests in quiet conversation. Then she turned and approached me at the desk. “Can you help me?” Of course! What can I do for you? She paused and put her fingers urgently to her temple. “Okay. Okay. Okay…” She said…but not to me. “Alright. Alright. Look,” (she’s talking to me now) “My husband is CIA. I talk to him with a transistor in my brain.” She began talking to her brain again, forgot me and wandered back into the mulling heard of guests. I was then approached by one of the other guests, who wore a concerned expression. “Excuse me,” said the other guest, “That woman? Is she a guest here? Well, she says she is talking to someone in her head, and that she has to blow up a Delta flight tonight. I’m wondering if maybe we should call somebody.”

Hmm. Maybe.

But just then, the crazy CIA-transistor-in-her-brain woman rushed back up to the desk where I stood still gossiping with the other guest about her and not really calling anybody. Crazy-pants regarded us, then paused with her fingers to her temple, in conversation with the voices in her head again. Finally she said, “The Scientologists are trying to kill me. Don’t listen to what this woman says. She’s a Scientologist. They follow me. They want to kill me and my husband.” Then she wandered over to the elevators, and presumably back to her room. But that was not the last of it. She emerged again two hours later, when the lobby was much emptier, but not so empty that a dozen people didn’t get an eyeful when she, in a fit of excitement, lifted her shirt, exposed her pendulous and un-bra-ed boobs, and screamed, “I FUCKED JESUS CHRIST! THE SCIENTOLOGISTS ARE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!” and rushed out the front door.

So. These events (and at least two other crazy-people-think-Scientologists-are-after-them tales that I won’t get into just now) leave us with some dark and disturbing questions. Does some inherent and undiscovered element of madness lend itself to cumpulsory delusions of murderous Scientologists somehow? Or, more simply and possibly most obvious…have these poor crazy souls had some kind of horrible brush with a shadowy something you and I know nothing about? A shadowy something that touched their minds and made them insane? Are these people merely reaching up to us dimly through their madness to warn us about…something? Is there something we should know about this so-called “Scientology”? And what the hell does David Letterman have to do with it?

Only Tom Cruise knows for sure.

No, wait. So does this asshole…


Yoga for Blank

posted by on July 26 at 1:13 PM

I do love a good yoga class, but this niche craze is getting silly:



Please allow me to introduce “Yoga for Weddings™”. Yoga for Weddings is featured in the July/August 2007 issue of Yoga Journal.

Yoga for Weddings is a private yoga class service. As wedding planning and the actual wedding day can be a very stressful process, classes are designed to help you and your loved ones focus, relax and enjoy this special occasion.

Classes are broken down into three tiers:
1. Planning Stage,
2. Day/Week of the Actual Wedding
3. After the Wedding

See also Yoga with Your Dog, Mom and Baby Yoga, Yoga for Acrobats, Yoga for Teens, Punk Rock Yoga, etc.

Romney Weighs In

posted by on July 26 at 12:08 PM

On the Clinton-Obama argument:

Weighing in today during the first of a series of “Ask Mitt Anything” forums in Iowa, Mr. Romney declared Mrs. Clinton’s answer to be the right one. Diverging from his usual stump speech, he spent the first 10 minutes of his remarks attacking the Democratic presidential hopefuls and singling out Mr. Obama for excoriation.

Mr. Romney told his audience of about a hundred people that Mr. Obama “told us his agenda for the people he’d be visiting his first year: Ahmadinejad, Chavez; he’d be going to Syria, meeting with the president of Syria,” referring to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, and Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela.

“It’s absolutely extraordinary that somebody can be so out of touch with the nature of our world,” Mr. Romney said.

Washington Dems Roll Out Red Carpet for the Feds

posted by on July 26 at 12:07 PM

By a vote of 262 to 165, the House of Representatives killed an amendment last night that would have prevented the federal government from arresting authorized patients in the 12 states where medical marijuana is legal. Of Washington’s nine representatives, only three four supported it: Democrats Baird, Inslee, McDermott and Smith.

What is perplexing is that Representatives Dicks, Smith and Larsen, who voted against, are also Democrats. Do they know their state has a medical marijuana law? Or that 82 percent of Washington voters (and probably more in their Dem districts) support medical marijuana? Who knows—they obviously don’t give a shit because they don’t have to. Their own progressive constituents tend to respond to our onerous drug policy and efforts to correct it in one of two ways. Some claim votes like these indicate federal Democrats are out of touch with their districts on this issue so we need to elect third-party candidates; I don’t. (I only vote for candidates who can realistically win.) Others whine that this issue is a low priority and even though they really want our drug policies to change they don’t think it will ever happen… meow, meow, meow. What progressives are actually saying is, “Go ahead. Vote to maintain backward drug policy; we won’t hold it against you.”

Democrats need to stick it to their representatives to vote for better drug laws—funding treatment on demand, providing needle exchanges to stop spread of disease, protecting sick people who smoke pot during chemo—because these issues are not election losers. Locally and nationally, super-majority support exists among voters for medical marijuana. And to those who say that they’re waiting for drug laws to be changed at the federal level can sober up by looking at this vote. Dozens of successfully implemented local drug reform measures have passed in the last decade, proving that the state level is where there is hope to heal America’s ailing drug laws. Until mainstream progressives get a spine on drug law reform, federal votes like this one, pushed by several high-level drug policy reform organizations, will send a confusing message that state medical marijuana laws have been negated and perpetuate the misconception that bad policy will forever remain.

UPDATE: I just called Dicks’, Smith’s, and Larsen’s D.C. offices to ask why the Congressmen opposed the amendment. Surprisingly, an aide for Rep. Smith claims, “That was an accidental vote.” He had reportedly misheard the language, she said, and has changed his Nay to a Yea. “I walked it down and put the vote in its proper place this morning,” she told me. The record above has been fixed accordingly. Dicks’ office punted me off to an aide who didn’t take my call. And a spokesperson for Larsen’s office said she would “check with Rick” and get back to me. Also, further analysis on the vote by Lee Rosenberg over at Horse’s Ass.

Party Crasher Goes Looking for Trouble at the Mayor’s “Five Most Violent Clubs in Seattle”

posted by on July 26 at 11:57 AM


And what does he find? Well, here he is taking a leak at the J&M…

A word for those who think they can easily buy drugs in nightclub bathrooms: All the clubs on this list either have tiny bathrooms with urinals so close that straight men want to flee them immediately, or they feature a kindly attendant. The J&M’s bathroom attendant is a lovely man with a few teeth who sprays soap on your hands, tells you that you look very sexually attractive to the opposite sex, and pats you on the back when you tip him. Selling or buying drugs in front of him would feel like having sex with a Wal-Mart greeter.

And here he is walking into Wild Palms…

I hand off [my contraband] sweatshirt to some friends and head inside. Behind me, someone moans, “What’s up with all these white people tonight?” There goes the neighborhood; I’m the seventh honky in the place, and it’s packed wall-to-wall…

He even ventures into Venom…

The owners of Venom must’ve designed it for people who think their other drinking establishment, Cowgirls Inc., is too subtle. Dozens of security people circulate, poking and prodding anyone who stands still for more than a minute; keep wandering about like cattle or they’ll bodily move you…

What does our intrepid man-about-First-Avenue conclude about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad clubs on the mayor’s list? Find out here.

Bad Economics

posted by on July 26 at 11:54 AM

This book review has introduced me to a new enemy, the economist Tyler Cowen:

The best sections of [Discover Your Inner Economist], concern tactics for maximizing one’s cultural consumption, or what amounts to imitating Cowen. He lists eight strategies for taking control of one’s reading, which include ruthless skipping around, following one character while ignoring others, and even going directly to the last chapter. Your eighth-grade English teacher would faint. But the principle here is valuing the scarcity of your own time, which people often fail to do. It works for movies, too—Cowen will go to the multiplex and watch parts of three or four movies, rather than just sit through one. Why wait for a highly predictable ending when a fabulous scene might be unfolding in the movie playing next door? Cowen also offers advice for how to defeat the boredom that, despite our best intentions to be culturally literate, overtakes many of us minutes after we enter an art museum. How do we deal with this “scarcity of attention”?
I agree that watching the parts of four Hollywood movies is much better than watching just one Hollywood movie. What’s wrong is Cowen’s reason for doing this: scarcity.

Cowen is pushing the idea that you must watch these movies in this way because of the “scarcity of attention.” But that is completely the wrong way of looking at it. One must watch these movies in this way not because of scarcity but because of the abundance of images. But, in the first place, why does Cowen come up with such an idea as “the scarcity of attention”? Not for existential or psychological reasons, but because scarcity is the ground on which his whole economic concept stands.

“The critical economic problem is scarcity,” he says in his book. Like all other capitalist economist, Cowen is ideologically welded to this bad idea of lack and shortages as the key problem. However, scarcity is rarely real but manufactured. There is an abundance of energy in the world. The sun gives it to us daily for free. All this talk about there being not enough energy, food, fuel has been essentially false. And the wars that have been fought to protect the little there is for survival have been false wars—wars whose only truth is that they benefited those who in this or that period of history owned the means of production.

If scarcity was an authentic problem (rather than a fabricated one) then Africa would not be poor.

Guess My Lunch!

posted by on July 26 at 11:43 AM

Listen to my lunch!

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 26 at 11:00 AM

Patterson Sims on ‘Anxious Objects’ (ART TALK) Before even-keeled Michael Darling, before take-charge Lisa Corrin, before academic Trevor Fairbrother, there was Patterson Sims, the notoriously charming Seattle Art Museum curator who could always get a collector on the phone and an artwork in the museum’s vault. Now he’s directing the Montclair Museum of Art in New Jersey, where he put together Anxious Objects: Willie Cole’s Favorite Brands. The Newark artist’s mashups of African, modern, and consumer stuff are visiting the Frye, and Sims is back for a one-night stand. (Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, 622-9250. 7 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES
See what else is happening in Arts on Thursday. Go!
‘Mr. Hulot’s Holiday’ (FILM) The great French physical comedian and filmmaker Jacques Tati (best known for Playtime, which will screen later in August) first introduced his unforgettable character Monsieur Hulot in this 1953 film. Fans of Lloyd, Chaplin, Keaton—even dumb Mr. Bean, goddammit—should not miss this tale of Hulot at the beach, fucking up everything for everyone and emerging unscathed and lovable in the end. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 7, 9:15 pm, $5-$8.50. Series continues through Aug 16.) ANNIE WAGNER
See what else is happening in Film on Thursday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

I’m Too Sad To Tell You

posted by on July 26 at 10:57 AM

Last week, an artist named Jeremy Blake was seen wandering into the ocean off of Rockaway Beach. Nearby, his clothing, wallet, and a suicide note were found under a boardwalk. The week before that, Blake’s girlfriend of 12 years, Theresa Duncan, had committed suicide in their apartment. (Duncan was a filmmaker with a blog called The Wit of the Staircase.)

At first, the story of Duncan and Blake was blurry and sad. It looked like he had walked to a watery death out of mad grief over his lost love. It brought to mind Ophelia, without the floating body. The 35-year-old Blake was just missing, gone, disappeared. I thought of Bas Jan Ader, who, for his final work of art, sailed out to sea alone in 1975 after his friends sang him a romantic shanty, and never returned. He, too, was never found. (Jan Verwoert has a really terrific recent book about Jan Ader’s alternately heartbreaking and rationalistic, fake and real, art.)

Yesterday, the LA Times published a story titled “The Apparent Double Suicide of Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan.” Evidently, the lovers had been convinced that Scientologists were after them. Friends and family who expressed doubts about the pair’s claim were shut out. Blake and Duncan became something like a cult of two themselves.

And then comes today’s news, linked on Artsjournal, that a fisherman has found a body in the area. The story is all talk of physical details: a body marked by “brown eyes brown hair, but no scars, tattoos or any other distinguishing features except for several teeth with gold crowns,” the investigators’ search for “any dentists or doctors who might have worked on Blake’s teeth.”

Blake’s best-known work outside the art world, where he has shown at big museums and even has a major exhibition scheduled to open in October at the Corcoran in DC, is the abstract color sequence he did for the film “Punch Drunk Love.” The sequence is set right into the middle of the movie, like a visual intermission from plot. The movie has been underappreciated, but it is a thing of strange, popping beauty, full of rage and uneasy love. I’m going to watch it again and think about the media image of Blake’s blank skin and gold teeth.

Behold the Power of Beyonce

posted by on July 26 at 10:39 AM

During a concert Tuesday night in Orlando, Beyonce followed a stint of ferocious, hair-whipping dance with a face-first plunge down some stairs.

It was an amazing tumble, as those of us lucky to see yesterday’s YouTube footage can attest. Minutes after watching the video, I tried to post in on Slog—but it had been suddenly removed and seems to be gone for good, which is a shame, as nothing humanizes a glamorous, freakishly beautiful superstar like a face-first tumble down some stairs, and Beyonce’s post-tumble recovery (she popped right back up and kept on dancing) was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen her do.

But apparently, Beyonce (or perhaps Jay-Z) is so powerful she can tell YouTube what to do….UPDATE! Tireless Slog commenter Mr. Poe directed me to still-active YouTube footage of the tumble, which you can enjoy (for now) below.

Obama’s Counterattack

posted by on July 26 at 10:30 AM

A friend who’s following these early days of the presidential race writes:

That’s what I’m talking about… Turn a perceived gaffe into an opportunity. Straight out of the Rove playbook and I love it.

He’s talking about the way that Barack Obama has been swinging back at Hillary Clinton over her calling him “irresponsible and frankly naive.” The back-story on their back-and-forth is here.

It involves Obama saying, during the recent Democratic debate, that he would meet personally during his first year in office with world leaders who have been shunned by the Bush administration. (Clinton said she would not meet with those leaders, and was widely seen as giving the more prudent answer.)

Here’s Obama’s latest:

“The notion that I was somehow going to be inviting them over for tea next week without having initial envoys meet is ridiculous,” he said in an interview outside his Senate office. “But the general principle is one that I think Senator Clinton is wrong on, and that is if we are laying out preconditions that prevent us from speaking frankly to these folks, then we are continuing with Bush-Cheney policies.”

Smart pivot.

While Clinton wants to be perceived as the strength and experience candidate, Obama wants to be perceived as the change candidate. That’s why he’s trying to turn their current dispute into a “More of the same vs. Change” dispute, rather than a “Wisdom vs. Naivete” dispute, which is what it had been initially.

Bonus for the Obama campaign: By bragging that they’ve now got Clinton “on her heels,” they present their man as not afraid to try to land a knock-out punch on the supposed “strength” candidate.

Letter of the Day

posted by on July 26 at 9:56 AM

… was also the first letter of the day, sent at 12:10 am:

From: “Preston”
Date: July 26, 2007 12:10:15 AM PDT
Subject: Dear Man

Dear Mr. Editor,

Can I please ask everyone to please desist in putting on good 21+ concerts in the Seattle area? I think I speak for the entire under 21 crowd when I say it’s just getting really annoying not being able to go and see my favorite band because you feel the need to get drunk while you rock out. Seriously, is booze really important enough to you people for you to deny the amazing memories of a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah concert ON HIS BIRTHDAY to a 14-year-old-boy? Why don’t you just order a vodka and children’s tears at your 21+ Brian Jonestown Massacre concert? Because otherwise mine will just go to waste.

Thank you for hearing out my request,

Preston, 14

The Morning Headline Police

posted by on July 26 at 7:58 AM

Judging from this morning’s PI headline, “Nickels wants to widen tax break on affordable housing,” and this morning’s Seattle Times headline, “Mayor proposes more tax breaks for new housing,” you’d get the impression Mayor Nickels is taking serious steps to address the number one problem in our city right now: The lack of housing for people with low incomes.

You’d be wrong.

The mayor’s new plan encourages landlords to rent to people with higher incomes than is currently allowed under the city’s housing program. Currently, landlords get tax breaks when they set aside a certain amount of units for renters making 70 percent of the median income. Nickels wants to extend the tax break to landlords who rent to those making 90 percent of the median. Translation: Landlords would now get the tax break for renting to individual renters who make $49,000 a year rather than $38,000 a year.

There are certainly some good things about Nickels’s idea. First, he’s making the tax breaks available in more neighborhoods; expanding it from 17 neighborhoods to 39. Second, he wants to add couples into the plan. (Currently, the program only caters to individuals.) The disappointing thing about his plan for couples, though, is this: The plan targets couples making 100% of median—$62,000—rather than the current 70% standard for singles.

Nickels would also extend the break to condo developers. Again, nice impulse. But the benefit to people making average wages seems minimal. The break would be for condo units going for $350,000 a year (or affordable to people making 20 percent above median income, $75,000.)

Team Nickels boasts that the plan for renters would set rents below market rate: About $50 less on average rent for the single renter and about $200-$250 less for couples. That’s nice, but the whole plan seems to miss the original intent of the program by undercutting lower-wage renters.

Although the papers bury it near the bottom, both the PI article and the Seattle Times article do eventually give the microphone to Seattle Displacement Coalition leader John Fox. From the Seattle Times:

John Fox, coordinator for the Seattle Displacement Coalition, said the housing crisis hits people who make less than half the median income the hardest.

“If the developer isn’t willing to come in and set aside units for people who need housing, then they don’t deserve to get millions of dollars of tax breaks.

From the PI (and a little higher up than the Seattle Times):

Some low-income housing activists also say the program discourages builders from providing low-cost units for the neediest.

“To hear the mayor lament the hardships of the moderate-income category when a tsunami is breaking over the heads of our low-income residents is galling,” housing activist John Fox said in a statement.

Ultimately, Nickels is responding to the fact that developers say they aren’t participating in the current program because they stand to lose money under the existing standard (setting aside units for singles making 70 percent of median).

But Nickels is proposing an off-point solution. If the intent of the program is to provide housing to those making 70 percent of the median, the city should figure out better incentives to make that happen. Nickels’s fix is like lowering standards to raise high school test scores. He’s not addressing the problem.

Final note: What’s really frustrating to me about writing this post is that I’m stuck fighting for a program that’s about renters making 70 percent of the median. What about the people Fox is fighting for—people making 50 percent of the median—or $27,250 for one person, $31,150 for two. I guess they’re still out of luck in this town.

Ultimately, it’s not that I’ve got a problem with a program that helps renters who make closer to the median in its own right.

The problem I see is this: Nickels is responding to the failure of a program that’s designed help lower income people by shifting it to help someone else. Again, he’s not addressing the problem.

And this morning’s headlines could give readers the impression that he is.

The Morning News

posted by on July 26 at 7:43 AM

In firings: 9/11 wingnut Ward Churchill sacked.

In Congress: House votes to ban permanent bases in Iraq.

In contempt: Bolten and Miers will face charges.

In hypocrisy: US ambassador says Iran isn’t doing enough to deal with Iraq.

In desperate straits: Army orders surge in recruitment program.

In bummers: Obesity “socially contagious,” according to study.

In justice
: Judge orders Sudan to pay $8 million to USS Cole victims’ families.

In the Ukraine: Massive poison cloud after train derails.

Only in Texas
: Creationist appointed to head state school board.

In idiocy: Long-time light rail critic says light rail is bad for the environment. Guess what transportation alternative he likes? Buses.

In freakishness: Mutatos!

In deliciousness: Recipe of the Day

Zucchini Bread (Photo and recipe from 101 Cookbooks)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Damn Fine Police Work

posted by on July 26 at 7:25 AM

My home town is now hooker-free

From well-known areas along Mannheim Road near O’Hare Airport to seedy sides of Chicago Heights and Cicero, Dart described how the world’s oldest profession has gone high-tech, as 60 women were arrested after advertising “massages” and other services on Web sites such as

and drug-free

Police today began tearing down and burning at least 20,000 marijuana plants being grown in a Cook County Forest Preserve near Barrington…. Two men have been charged with growing the plants, which were found in 11 separate plots, the largest of which covered nearly a half-acre, Cook County Forest Preserve police said.

It is now impossible to buy sex or find pot in Chicago. So if you’re going to visit the Windy City, please remember to BYO hookers and pot brownies.

Ken Schram’s Double Life

posted by on July 26 at 6:57 AM

On the teevee Ken Schram plays KOMO’s left-leaning, late-middle-age curmudgeonly commenter. But on MySpace Schram plays a 29 year-old woman.

Tempur-Pedic Unboxing!

posted by on July 26 at 12:03 AM

It’s finally here!

See all the exciting details of this long-awaited space-age product after the jump.

I can’t believe they just give this stuff away.

Continue reading "Tempur-Pedic Unboxing!" »

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Obesity is Contagious

posted by on July 25 at 8:25 PM

So say those biased, fatphobic scientists.

If your friends and family get fat, chances are you will too, researchers report in a startling new study that suggests obesity is “socially contagious” and can spread easily from person to person.

The large, federally funded study found that to be true even if your loved ones lived far away. Social ties seemed to play a surprisingly strong role, even more than genes are known to do.

“We were stunned to find that friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person’s weight status as friends who are right next door,” said co-author James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.

The study found a person’s chances of becoming obese went up 57 percent if a friend did, 40 percent if a sibling did and 37 percent if a spouse did. In the closest friendships, the risk almost tripled.

Researchers think it’s more than just people with similar eating and exercise habits hanging out together. Instead, it may be that having relatives and friends who become obese changes one’s idea of what is an acceptable weight.

Despite their findings, the researchers said people should not sever their relationships.

Florida Prison Officials Want to See Masturbation Rubbed Out

posted by on July 25 at 7:21 PM

This is exactly why prison riots happen:

A Broward prisoner accused of committing a sex act while he was alone in his jail cell was found guilty Tuesday of indecent exposure.

Terry Lee Alexander, 20, unsuccessfully fought the charge, which had been brought by a female Broward Sheriff’s Office detention deputy who saw him perform the sex act in his cell in November.

In reaching the guilty verdict, jurors found that an inmate’s jail cell is ”a limited access public place” where exposing oneself is against the law.

The judge sentenced Alexander, of Lauderdale Lakes, to 60 days in jail, on top of the 10-year sentence he is currently serving for armed robbery.

The sole witness in the case, BSO Deputy Coryus Veal, testified that Alexander did not try to hide what he was doing as most prisoners do. Veal saw him perform the act while she was working in a glass-enclosed master control room, 100 feet from Alexander’s cell. There was no video tape or other witnesses.

Alexander’s attorney argued that the prison cell was a private place and that what Alexander was doing was perfectly normal.

”Did other inmates start masturbating because of Mr. Alexander?” McHugh asked Veal. “Did you call a SWAT team?”

”I wish I had,” Veal answered.

Veal, who has charged seven other inmates with the same offense, insisted that she was not against the act itself — just the fact that Alexander was so blatant about it. Most inmates, she testified, do it in bed, under the blankets.

Veal said this was the third time she caught Alexander, and she had had enough.

The case drew snickers in the courtroom, especially during jury selection, when prospective jurors were quizzed about their own habits.

Defense attorney Kathleen McHugh faced 17 prospective jurors and asked point-blank who among them had never done that particular sex act.

No hands went up.

While most prisons deal with such an offense internally, Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne — and Miami-Dade Corrections officials — are hoping to curb the practice among inmates by prosecuting them.

There was no information on whether similar charges had been brought against female inmates.

Re: Post Office Shooting

posted by on July 25 at 7:16 PM

Indeed, there was a shooting in the parking lot of the post office on 23rd and Union. According to one post office employee, one shot was fired at about 4:20pm. A man sitting in his vehicle was struck in the shoulder. Another witness said the man drove himself to the hospital.

More details if they become available.

re: Is There Anyone Left?

posted by on July 25 at 5:23 PM

How about this solution for the doping problem in competitive cycling: legalize it. EPO, transfusions, steroids, surgically re-routing muscles, synthetic blood, removal of ‘unnecessary’ organs, ECMO—if it can be done, you should be allowed to do it.

As Fnarf commented:

Cycling is all about efficiency of body processes. Cyclists are machines for moving oxygen through the blood. They are vastly more efficient than this than you or I, or even other athletes. Your average baseball or football player would have a massive stroke or coronary half an hour into the first day if they tried to do what these guys do.

It all comes down to the genetic hand—your lungs, your blood cells, your hemoglobin, your heart—you’ve been dealt. By allowing some shuffling of the deck, wouldn’t more cunning enter the sport?

Why should nerds be limited to testing, to spoiling the fun? Let cycling become the 21st century sport it wants to be.

You Know Your City Council Candidates aren’t Too Impressive When…

posted by on July 25 at 5:12 PM

School Board, County Prosecutor, and Port candidates are higher quality.

We’re winding down our endorsement interview process for the August 21 primary—had two more batches of candidates in today (one candidate told us two separate parables about dry wall)—and I have to repeat what I said at the start of this process: Why aren’t any of the top-shelf candidates running for city council?

We are meeting a lot of smart, on-point, persuasive, passionate, original thinking candidates in all the races except for City Council. If only people like Darlene Flynn and Sherry Carr (school board candidates), Bill Sherman and Keith Scully (KC prosecutor candidates) were running for city council—non-committal (and unpersuasive) people like Sally Clark wouldn’t stand a chance.

Hey, Sally. One more time: You do? Or you don’t? Think Mayor Nickels has failed to hold SPD Chief Kerlikowske accountable? Your “answer” the first time was, well, way too Sally Clark.

Another Shooting

posted by on July 25 at 5:03 PM

A man was just shot in the leg in front of the post office on 23rd in the Central District. Close the post offices, Greg.

Re: The Irony

posted by on July 25 at 4:50 PM

The spokesman for the protesting Burning Man employees from this post (and now that I’ve watched the video, I think they’re serious) is 2001 fringe mayoral candidate Caleb Schaber.

See the results of his Stranger endorsement interview here.

(And check next week’s paper for the Stranger Endorsement Board’s interviews with current candidates for city council, port, school board, and county prosecutor.)

You Suppose Seattle Weekly Employees Read David Schmader’s Column?

posted by on July 25 at 4:43 PM

The cover story in the new Seattle Weekly reminds me of something. What could it be? Could it be this? Or this? Or this? Or maybe this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or am I thinking of this? Or this? Or these older ones over here? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this one the week before that? And remember this one? And this one? And wasn’t this one great? And how about this one? Not to mention this one. And while we’re at it this one. Plus this one. Oh and also this one

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 25 at 4:25 PM


“Scaling Back”: Decibel Fest Announces Full Line Up.

Bell Bottom Bliss: Heatwave’s “The Grooveline.”

Ol Buck, pt. 3: Buck Owens’ Instrumental Hits.

Do Not Adjust Your TV: YACHT - “Women of the World”

Summer Jams: Donte Park’s Summer Mixtape.

Post Punk: Free Daft Punk After Party.

Accident Prone: Musical Appreciation in a Car Crash.

“The Whole World is Watching”: The Latest Battle in Seattle.

Velvety Maroon Loons: Mike Nipper’s Alternate Bell Bottom Bliss.

You Are Not Experienced: Paul Allen’s Teenage Bedroom.

Against Me! Against Kane Hodder: Block Party Bands of the Day.

Stronger: Kanye West and Zach Galifianakis.

New in Art

posted by on July 25 at 4:16 PM

New York is Now and Ghost World by Charles Mudede:

The future of Africa is Miller’s next and most important step as an artist.


Chad Wentzel and a Star-Studded Celebration of Infinitude and Perpetual Beauty by Peter Gaucys:

As in his previous show at Crawl Space, the cut-paper extravaganza Everything I’ve Ever Wanted All at the Same Time, Wentzel makes a genuine attempt to pin down his euphoria and share it. His vision is ecstatic. He wants to bring it to the gallery. And yet, as his own larger-than-life rhetoric acknowledges up front, he knows that he will fail to.


UPDATE: Christopher Frizzelle just alerted me to the fact that this post makes no sense. Charles Mudede and Peter Gaucys did not make any art. They wrote about art made by Paul D. Miller and Chad Wentzel, respectively. They wrote about this art in our paper, this week, which has just been posted online. Basically, I wanted to point you toward two reviews worth reading about art worth thinking about.

Oh, and what’s with all the attitude about the cat in my post from earlier today? I mean, I thought the cat thing was sweet, but here everyone seems to think the cat is causing the death? Wouldn’t you want to have a cat around to notify the nursing home to notify you so that you could get to the nursing home in time to say goodbye to your dying relative? That cat is performing a service! And it’s not just a service to you, it’s to the one who’s dying, too. Give a cat a break!

It’s Official: Shannon Thomas Out at LGBT Center

posted by on July 25 at 4:08 PM

The email that was sent out today…

From: Shannon Thomas <> Date: Jul 25, 2007 2:17 PM Subject: Center Updates

Hey Volunteers,

First of all, a HUGE shout out and thank you for all your wonderful volunteer time and energy. We had a fantastic couple of months…Fruit Bowl was a huge success with nearly 400 in attendance (our largest ever), as was QueerFest. This past year we also had two organizations (Ingersoll and GCSS) merge with The Center, we held a very successful winter event (SnowBall), we made huge impacts in our community through the work of our Fiscal Projects (including Inlaws & Outlaws, ERW, FTM Gender Odyssey, and more), and QArts had 12 great shows, all curated by volunteers.

We have many exciting things planned for this next year, and expect a year of growth and change. And we’d LOVE you to be a part of that change.

However, part of growth always involves change. After almost 4 years here, I have decided to make a change in my life, and have resigned from The Center. I will be here through the first week in September, with some eeded vacation in August. The Board of Directors has started the transition process, which includes a search for a new Executive Director. We will update you as things progress.

The Center is an important piece in our movement for social change, and will continue to make a positive impact in our Seattle and LGBTQ communities - and with you ongoing support, it will grow even stronger. As we move forward we’ll be offering many new ways to get involved.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I have truly enjoyed working with all of you, and I cannot tell you enough how important you have been to keeping The Center open and alive! I will miss each of you, and wish you nothing but the best.

And please, make sure you come to the Volunteer Appreciation party, planned for Thursday, August 9th, tentatively from 5-8pm, location to be determined.

Thank you again for all you’ve done and will do. You are the backbone of The Center, and are appreciated!


Shannon Thomas, MNPL
Executive Director
Queen City Community Development/
The Seattle LGBT Community Center

Is There Anyone Left?

posted by on July 25 at 4:00 PM


The leader of the Tour de France was kicked out today by his own team for reasons that remain murky. This on top of the two teams that have already withdrawn because of riders testing positive for doping.

Meanwhile, apropos of the above photo, a text-message exchange I had with Brad Steinbacher this weekend:

From: Steinbacher

Can you please, for the love of god, explain the Tour de France for me?

12:25 a.m.

From: Sanders

Hot men in tight pants.

9:53 a.m.

A Cat Whose Company May Be Your Last

posted by on July 25 at 3:42 PM

From the AP:

Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

The Meaning of Pterodactyl Porn

posted by on July 25 at 2:28 PM

Let’s get to the bottom of the pterodactyl porn posted by Christopher Frizzelle:


Plus this…

Equals this…

Pterodactyl porn is an orgy for oil. The way the woman pumps, pulls, and sucks—that’s American hunger. And the substance (essence, energy) of the dinosaurs is what makes the country grow and go.

Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

posted by on July 25 at 2:05 PM

This just in…

Shannon Thomas has resigned from the LGBT Community Center. I heard it as a rumour from a fairly reliable source, then from someone high up at the Center. Apparently she told the Board before/during Pride. I think her official last day is Sept 1 but she’s going on vacation mid-August. Don’t know when this will be officially announced. Don’t know if she was asked to resign, or if it was on her own iniative. They went way over budget on Queerfest and, allegedly, Neighbors bailed them out with a big chunk of money.

Drunk (First in a Series)

posted by on July 25 at 2:01 PM


Water Fountain outside gym on 2nd floor of Seattle Central Community College

Temperature: Colder than expected. But not cold enough. Score: 3
Stream: Medium, but leaning toward meek and low (had to press mouth against spout). Score: 3
Hum: Loud, strong rattle. Unfortunately, it’s deceptive: The boisterous encouragement turns out to be unrelated to the stream. Score: 5
Style: Mini-sink jutting from wall, steel basin, beige plastic front. Press-bar on front of fountain with hand print imprint. Generally, I like the hand print effect, but it only works if there’s some tension and spring in the press function. None here. Also, this fountain is drab looking. Score: 3
Brand: Howe ?
Comments: This fountain is located outside of a gym. This highlights the disappointing stats. Thankfully, though, the stream wasn’t quite as lifeless as most fountains of this style.
Final Score: 3.5 out of possible 10

Albert Ellis

posted by on July 25 at 1:50 PM


I love a good psychotherapist obit. (Go ahead, put your Freudian analysis of that statement in the comments, make my day.)

And I am not alone. Jen Graves and I were walking back from lunch just now and she said:

“Did you read that thing about the thera…”

We got distracted, and moved on to something else, but I knew what she was talking about. A moment later, I said:

“The obituary?”

Here is my favorite part of the obituary, the part where the psychotherapist-as-a-young-man does some completely understandable things that today would probably get him tagged as a sexual predator.

At 19 he was painfully shy and eager to change his behavior. In one exercise he staked out a bench in a park near his home, determined to talk to every woman who sat there alone. In one month, he said, he approached 130 women.

“Thirty walked away immediately,” he said in the Times article. “I talked with the other 100, for the first time in my life, no matter how anxious I was. Nobody vomited and ran away. Nobody called the cops.”

Though he got only one date as a result, his shyness disappeared, he said.

Here is Jen’s favorite quote from Dr. Ellis:

“Neurosis,” he said, was “just a high-class word for whining.”

European Graffiti

posted by on July 25 at 1:45 PM

Christopher praised the work of local graffiti artists last night. This guy buries ‘em…


Via Sullivan.

The Irony

posted by on July 25 at 1:45 PM

It burns: Burning Man Protest Protested by Burning Man Protesters.

Jenna the Vampire Slayer

posted by on July 25 at 1:44 PM

My two favorite things, porn and comics, have formed an unholy alliance. Today, at the San Diego Comic-Con, Virgin Comics (haw!) announced that uber-mega-porno-superstar Jenna Jameson will star in her own graphic novel, titled Shadow Hunter.

According to the press release:

Shadow Hunter is the story of a provocative superheroine who survives a brush with death only to find herself fighting the legions of hell for her very soul. The story, while provocative and sexy, contains no nudity and is intended for a mainstream audience.

What what what??? No nudity? Legions of hell? Mainstream audience?

“I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Virgin to bring this story to life, first as comics and eventually in film and other formats,” said Jenna Jameson. “Working with comics is creatively liberating – everything is possible. My character is sultry, sexy and kicks ass!’

I love it when celebrities half-heartedly endorse comics. Has Jenna ever picked up a comic before in her life? Do you think she’s a Marvel girl or a DC girl? Does she know that Batman could totally beat Superman in a fight?

I plan to ask her these questions, and many more this Friday when she’s kinda sorta in town.

Via Newsarama

Either there is a civil strife in heavens, or else the world too saucy with the gods incenses them to send destruction…

posted by on July 25 at 1:41 PM


A crowd of 100 stunned stargazers brought a town centre to a standstill when five mysterious UFOs were spotted hovering in the sky.

Drinkers spilled out of pubs, motorists stopped to gawp and camera phones were aimed upwards as the five orbs, in a seeming formation, hovered above Stratford-Upon-Avon for half an hour.

The unidentified flying objects lit up the otherwise clear night sky above Shakespeare’s birthplace in Warwickshire on Saturday…

Aviation experts are baffled. Full story here.

(Thanks for the tip, Matt. Thanks for the headline, William.)


posted by on July 25 at 1:39 PM

WASHINGTON, July 25 — The House Judiciary Committee voted today to seek contempt of Congress citations against a top aide to President Bush and a former presidential aide over their refusal to cooperate in an inquiry about the firing of federal prosecutors.

Nice Figure

posted by on July 25 at 1:19 PM

Adult rat heart stained for cadherin, DNA, and filament actin (from the ever talented Veronica Muskheli).

The red staining is with phalloidin bound to rhodamine, a stain made from a mushroom poison that binds polymerized actin. When the heart cells beat, these bands of actin are pulled towards one another, causing the entire cell to forcefully shrink in length. The green staining is for cadherin—the protein that glues one cell to the next. Finally, the DNA is stained with a blue dye. This is a tough machine, capable of beating for a lifetime.

Go to Laff Hole. Tonight. Laff Hole—Go!

posted by on July 25 at 1:12 PM

Tonight is Seattle’s last night to see Hari Kondabolu, who is not only super fucking funny but is super fucking smart—he’s leaving us to get a graduate degree (in human rights or something equally virtuous) at the London School of Economics.

But enough about tomorrow. Let’s talk about tonight!

There’ll be Hari (who, in recent months, has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen and was too good for both of them), all the People’s Republic of Komedy kids, Dan Moore, David Cope, Dartanion London, Scott Moran, Kevin Richards, and a screening of Hari’s short film called Manoj, made in conjunction with the badasses down at Massline Media.

Dear Hari: We’re sorry to see you go.

Dear Everybody Else: Go send him off! At Laff Hole! Tonight! Chop Suey! 10 pm! Go!


Send Mom Money

posted by on July 25 at 11:54 AM

What are we to make of this?
unknown-2.jpg The son is living it up in America. He’s handsome, has equally handsome men for lovers, probably works in the software sector, cooks complicated courses, drinks only top shelf spirits, and dwells in a large condo that holds a spectacular of view of the massive wealth of energy that has taken the shape of Seattle’s skyline.

Below is his humble mother. She is back India, back in her tradition, back in the hut, back in the kitchen. She bakes, breeds, knows not a lick of English, and wholly believes in gods that emerged with many arms from the prehistorical mists and marshes that once covered the earth.

What is this ad telling us this: The son’s American sins—his showy cosmopolitanism, his taste for decadent foods, music, sex—will be pardoned if he sends his poor humble, honest, loving, pious mother some of his soft-earned dollars. Money is the bridge of forgiveness between him (in the immoral future) and her (in the moral past).

Tension at the Center

posted by on July 25 at 11:50 AM

There’s a feature by Brendan Kiley in the paper that disappears from streets today about the remaking of Seattle Center, and it’s not boring. How do you write a piece about Seattle Center and make it not boring? You dig up some history about the place’s cursed past, you get someone at One Reel to leak you documents, and you present all the major players—the deputy director, the renovation committee, the SIFF cinema guy, the Central Park-obsessed David Brewster, the people at Bumbershoot who are afraid of what more lawn will do to their festival, the environmental engineers (referred to as Willy Wonka Mystery Box people)—in all their weird complexities. But it’s not just about the texture of the fight. Kiley also finds a way to advocate what he thinks is the best solution.

The story was linked to on Slog last week, with reference to the taffy shop at the Center House not being mentioned, so you might have already read it. But if you haven’t—well, enjoy.

What A Difference A Headline Makes

posted by on July 25 at 11:47 AM

Seattle Times: Man Shot Outside Capitol Hill Nightclub* In Early Morning

Seattle P-I: Man Shot Near Police Station**

* That “nightclub”? The Satellite bar.

** Guess it’s time to have a special license for police stations.

Re: The Retinal Photograph of a Decapitated Rabbit

posted by on July 25 at 11:30 AM

I cannot figure out if this photo is supposed to be cute or sad.


Or sad?

Capitol Hill Shooting

posted by on July 25 at 11:28 AM

Someone was shot this morning at 2 AM in the 1100 block of East Pike Street—in front a nightclub. The Wildrose? The Cha Cha? This report in the PI doesn’t say.

UPDATE: Says DJ Riz in the comments…

i already mentioned this in the morning news slog. it was at the sattelite lounge. q13 reported it as the sattelite lounge nightclub and is trying to tie it in with other nightclub violence.

In other news of Capitol Hill mayhem, Slog Tipper Brian writes…

The Capitol Hill library has just been evacuated for a fire… the place is stinky and all the hippies and urban moms are on the sidewalks comforting their overly sensitive children.

Rats & Rugby Thugs Beckon Thee to Gay Paree

posted by on July 25 at 11:17 AM


This past weekend, I finally saw Ratatouille, the Disney/Pixar/Brad Bird film about [spoiler alert] a rat that becomes a chef by pulling a guy’s hair. The movie’s good, if you don’t mind looking at cartoon rats of varying degrees of disgustingness for 110 minutes, but not as exciting or satisfying as The Incredibles, Disney/Pixar/Bird’s last collaboration. But the movie makes Paris look absolutely gorgeous, which I understand isn’t hard, but still, the Pixarized Paris was one of the best parts of the movie, and makes me want to visit Paris immediately (as does another less-than-exemplary film, Everyone Says I Love You).

After Ratatouille, I found the photo above on Towleroad, which identified it as the work of the French tourism site C’est So Paris, which hopes to attract Londoners to Paris for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup matches “in the city of love.” (See the full ad here.)

If Paris is as gorgeous as Pixar suggests AND full of mashing rugby thugs, I’d be willing to overlook the haute cuisine prepared by vermin…

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 25 at 11:00 AM

Femi Kuti (AFROBEAT) The polyrhythmic spectacle unleashed by Femi Kuti and the Positive Force is peerless. The proud torchbearer of Afrobeat’s musical and political legacy, Kuti brings a massive band: costumed dancers, horn players, a wire-tight rhythm section, and his own half-braggadocio/half-polemic vocals. The sound is bigger than big, funkier than funky, infectious and totally unstoppable. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $25 adv/$28 DOS, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL
See what else is happening in Music on Wednesday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

BREAKING: Straight Parents Never Fight!

posted by on July 25 at 10:50 AM

And straight parents never embarrass their children either at school assemblies. At least that’s what Rupert Everett would have us believe. The once-amusing, rapidly-curdling Brit homo actor came out against gay parents in a recent interview.

“Oh God, I could never do that to a child. Can you imagine what it would be like, having your two dads coming to school speech days? And hearing those awful queeny rows while you are trying to get to sleep?”


Gay parents: they get into rows, they’re embarrassing. Straight parents: never fight, never embarrassing. So, gay men, please refrain from adopting or fostering children. Better they should languish in the paradise that is foster care for their entire childhoods.

Goodness. Rupert Everett clearly has… issues… about being gay. From an earlier interview:

Unfortunately, I am single, yes, but I’m too exhausted for anything else and being gay is a young man’s game.

Now no one wants me. Being gay and being a woman has one big thing in common, which is that we both become invisible after the age of 42. Who wants a gay 50- year-old? No one, let me tell you. I could set myself on fire in a gay bar, and people would just light their cigarettes from me.

Everett is a talented actor, I’ll give him that. But from what we can infer about his personal life based on his comments about his sexuality, well, he strikes me as one of those queens that has an extremely fucked up personal life for which he refuses to take any responsibility. There are a lot of gay men out there that run around blaming gay culture and other gay men for their unhappiness. Oh, the mandatory drug abuse! The ageism that deprives old gay men of young gay ass! The the cruel bitchery these bitches are subjected to! The existence of relatively happy gay men—or, for that matter, completely miserable straight people—doesn’t register.

You know, Rupert, if you’re unhappy… it could be because… you’re doing something wrong. Maybe it’s that you’re doing drugs, you’re chasing boys that are out of your league age- or looks-wise, or you’re a caustic, bile-spewing bitch. Maybe.

Oooh, baby. Yeah. That’s it.

posted by on July 25 at 10:38 AM

Did you guys know that Bratz have Babyz now?
Babyz that also appear to be Prostitutez, even though they are still Babyz??

From the best Wikipedia entry I have ever read:

In 2004, the first Bratz Babyz were made.

Soon after, they made Bratz Big Babyz, dolls about 5 times the size of regular Babyz dolls. In 2006 the Bratz Big Babyz Bubble Trouble Dolls have been appeared, that laughed, burped, and blew bubble when you fed them soda. A half year after the Bratz Babyz Hair Flair, the Big Babyz has the realistic hair version, “Bratz Big Babyz Hair Flair”.

Itsy Bitsy Bratz are the smallest version of Bratz Babyz. They can be called Micro Bratz.

The Bratz Babyz have been the target of complaints from some parents about the sexualization of children’s toys, especially the “Babyz Night Out” fashion pack, the “Brattoo Parlor” playset, and the fact that the Big Babyz wear something under their skirts that looks like a thong.

Because the only thing sexier than a baby in a thong? A baby in a thong with a Passion 4 Fashion and no nose (but how does the cocaine get in?) who subsists entirely on Mountain Dew. Obvz.

Required Viewing

posted by on July 25 at 9:37 AM

A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton tells Bill O’Reilly to go fuck himself:

O’Reilly has mounted his high horse about examples of “hate speech” that his freshly louffa’d interns managed to dig up in various comment threads at DailyKos. Meanwhile numerous commenters at O’Reilly’s website have threatened the life of Hillary Clinton: “If [Hillary] wins… my guns are loaded.” Americablog reports that the Secret Service is looking into the threats emanating from O’Reilly’s hateful website.


posted by on July 25 at 9:20 AM

I suppose I could get up off my ass and turn off the radio… but… I’m doing the NYT crossword puzzle right now…

It looks like they ate that pan of brownies I sent over to the KUOW studios. The local morning show, Weekday, is doing a whole hour on nicknames. Host Steve Scher wants to know “how you got your nickname, and how it affected your life,” and folks are calling in to tell us how they got their nicknames and how their nicknames affected their lives. Online dictionaries should include an MP3 of this mornings weekday next to word “inane.”

Got a nickname? KUOW wants to hear from you. You can call 1–800–289–KUOW right now, or send your nickname to

In Cold Blood

posted by on July 25 at 9:15 AM

Two convicted criminals with a mysterious relationship break into the home of a well-respected pillar of the community, restrain him in one part of the house while they try to steal a huge amount of money from his family, and in the process sexually assault and then kill his wife and daughters.

All of this is alleged in a horrifying crime out of Connecticut, a crime that has way too many creepy echoes of the 1959 crime that made Truman Capote famous.

Lady Looks Like a Dude

posted by on July 25 at 8:29 AM


A 27 year-old, HIV-positive, and under-arrest dude.

Darren Garcia offered an undercover officer a blowjob in exchange for $30. Getting a blowjob from an HIV-positive person—for free or for money—puts the recipient at practically no risk of HIV infection. That seemingly relevant fact isn’t mentioned anywhere in this rather hysterical report from the Rocky Mountain News. The paper does let us know, however, that Garcia was wearing an Avalanche jersey at the time of his arrest.

Liberal Bias at Wikipedia? Could Be.

posted by on July 25 at 8:07 AM

There’s been some debate lately about whether Wikipedia has a liberal bias.

I don’t have an opinion on that. But I did find an unsubstantiated (and controversial) claim in their entry on Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert.

Wikipedia writes:

April 23, 2004: He says his opposition to abortion stems from his belief that the Christian Bible is literally true, and that American law should reflect Christian values. When it comes to pregnancy prevention, he favors abstinence-only education. Reichert believes he has an answer for unwanted children. His family adopted, and his daughter continued the tradition [5].

Click on that footnote and it takes you here, where it says:

Church and State

He says his opposition to abortion stems from retrieving around 200 dead bodies in his career. When it comes to pregnancy prevention, he favors abstinence only education. Reichert believes he has an answer for unwanted children. His family adopted, and his daughter continued the tradition.

He doesn’t believe in formal recognition of any kind for gay relationships. To correct some of the legal hurdles this can create for gay couples, he favors changing the law so that “everyone has the same rights.”

He says that while he lives his own Christian beliefs, everyone has a right to free choice in religion, and that it’s very important to keep government and religion separate.

I’ve rooted around a little for an April 23, 2004 Reichert quote about American law and Christian values, and I haven’t turned up anything. Maybe it exists, but Wikipedia is pretty blase about providing any source for such a charged assertion.

The Morning News

posted by on July 25 at 7:58 AM

City of God: All-Catholic town opens in Florida.

Gonzales: On the stand and under pressure.

Giuliani: Leading in GOP poll.

No indictment
: In Katrina “mercy-killing” deaths.

Bush: Even less popular than Cheney.

While Seattle studies, other cities act: Plastic bag ban on table in Annapolis, Md.

In Baghdad: Mutilated, tortured, and unidentified bodies rise to pre-surge levels.

Supersize sodas: Back at McDonald’s.

In related news: CNN tracks obesity since 1985.

British floods: Is global warming to blame?

Photo shoot freakout: Britney loses it.

Recipe of the Day: Zucchini and Lemon Risotto (Photo and recipe from Last Night’s Dinner).


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

American Graffiti

posted by on July 24 at 11:35 PM

Happened to be walking up East Thomas Street near Summit Avenue right around sunset. Used to live on East Thomas, so I know everything about it—when to expect bricks, when you have to swerve to avoid big bushes, where the driveways are—but suddenly there was a wall I’d never seen before. No wait, it was a wall I’d seen before, but it was now a different color. Colors. It was covered in graffiti.


They used to sandblast and paint over graffiti on this wall to keep it from, well, being covered with graffiti. But now? Looks like someone came along and decided that a little graffiti doesn’t hurt anyone, even maybe that a little graffiti is kinda nice. How German. It does remind a person of Hamburg or Berlin, where just about every building, from the ground to about fifteen feet high, has a belt of graffiti around it. (You’ll be looking in the window of a fancy restaurant, people in coats and ties and such, and the exterior wall all around the window will be covered in spraypaint—drawings, tags, stencils, etc.)

As a former resident of the street, I had to admit this wall is looking not too bad. A couple old ladies walked by and they didn’t comment on what in the heck the gosh darn kids have been doing to the neighborhood, etc. They just walked on by, squinting in the semi-shade. There are green trees along the sidewalk, and these colors sorta go well with green. Yeah, some of the tags are crappy, but whatever. It’s nice to live in a graffiti town, just the way it’s nice to live in a poster-happy town. Go East Thomas Street! Go team! Way to—

I backed up and realized that the building behind this wall is in the process of being demolished. The whole half a block is junked.


In other words, no one with any clout wants this wall to look this way, it’s just sort of being left to look this way because its owner split, or its owner is going to get rid of it, and no one minds because something new is on the way.

If the other buildings going up in the neighborhood are any indication, what is on the way is going to suck. What I’m saying is, enjoy it while you can, people. Looking forward to seeing how it fills up.

(Related: Where can you buy spraypaint on the hill?)

Shooting in the Cemetery

posted by on July 24 at 8:08 PM

Two elderly women were rushed to Harborview Medical Center Tuesday evening after police reported they had both suffered gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide attempt at the Evergreen-Washelli Funeral Home and Cemetery in the 11000 block of Aurora Avenue North.

The women appeared to have been shot in a car parked along a road inside the cemetery next to a group of graves, said Seattle police spokeswoman Renee Witt.

Police were called to the cemetery shortly before 6 p.m. to investigate a call reporting shots fired in the area.

When officers arrived on the scene, they reported finding the bodies of the elderly women.

Witt said police are investigating to determine if the two victims were related, possibly mother and daughter. The younger woman was reported to be a 60-year-old Seattle resident, but police did not have a confirmed name, age or address for the other woman.

Witt said both suffered handgun wounds to the head, and a gun was recovered at the scene.

One of the women also left a note in the car, Witt said.

Via the PI

More updates as they become available.

Who’s Irresponsible and Naïve Now?

posted by on July 24 at 4:25 PM

People clearly disagree about the import of the Edwards-Clinton jacket exchange at the YouTube/CNN debate last night.

But almost everyone seems to see meaning in another moment: The answers from Clinton and Obama on whether they would meet with controversial foreign leaders as president. Today the Clinton and Obama campaigns are trading hard hits over who said what last night, and what it all meant.

A moment from last night’s debate has burst into a full-blown dispute today between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, the two leading Democratic presidential candidates. It is their first public wrangling.

Senator Obama said in the debate that he would meet with the leaders of rogue nations; Senator Clinton said she would first make sure that such meetings were not intended as propaganda.

Pundits generally saw hers as the better answer, underscoring her experience on the world stage and at the same time casting Senator Obama as inexperienced.

Today, Senator Clinton drove home the point by directly criticizing Senator Obama’s statement.

I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naïve,” Mrs. Clinton told the Quad-City Times in Iowa.

Here’s the video:

And here’s the response from Obama:

For his part, Mr. Obama said the Clinton campaign was creating a “fabricated controversy” and suggested that Mrs. Clinton’s position was a continuation of Bush administration policies.

He also sought to use the exchange to highlight perhaps his biggest difference with Mrs. Clinton and one that he believes makes her vulnerable with Democratic primary voters — her support to authorize the Iraq war. Mr. Obama, who was not in the Senate at the time of the 2002 vote, opposed the authorization. Today he told the newspaper that Mrs. Clinton’s vote then was “irresponsible and naïve.

Today on Line Out

posted by on July 24 at 3:25 PM

Jump for “Hold Music”: Architecture in Helsinki debut new video.

Worth Peeing Your Pants Over: The new Fiery Furnaces leaks and the love/hate debate rages on.

“The Six Teens”: JZ’s Bell Bottom Bliss.

When it Rains: Rihanna turns a hit song into a fashion accessory.

Jailhouse Rock: Inmates re-create “Thriller.”

I Don’t Like Tori Amos: But I would never, ever kick a puppy.

Prepare to Sweat: Don Ray’s “Standing in the Rain.”

Capitol Hill Block Party Bands of the Day (and Yesterday): Speaker Speaker and Mass Sugar and Grand Archives vs. Boat.

Laser Love: Trent Moorman on Voyager One’s laserific weekend performance.

Band of the Week: Jonathan Zwickel on the perfectly imperfect Moondoggies.


Is There a Nobel Prize for Best Entrance?

posted by on July 24 at 2:46 PM

If so, Tandi Iman Dupree totally deserves it.

(Thank you, MetaFilter.)

A Hell of a Question

posted by on July 24 at 2:44 PM

Responding to my post about how Star Wars broke my belief in a Christian God (I now believe in a Spinozistic God), Brad Steinbacher, a man who knows his galactic stuff, posed this tough question:

“If Star Wars is great because it lacks God, then how come in the Empire Strikes Back, which everyone on the planet agrees is the best SW film, Han Solo tells a lowly rebel member: ‘Then I’ll see you in hell!,’ when he sets out in search of Luke Skywalker on Hoth? The existence of Hell — or the idea of Hell — means there is an existence of Heaven… Star Wars films only achieved true greatness when God was brought into the fold?’”

This is a very important point. Why does Han Solo have a concept of hell? The solution: We must never forget that his is a concept (idea) of hell, and not specifically a Christian hell. As we have seen on Earth, hell as an idea is transcultural and transhistorical. Hell has existed, in one form or another, in different cultures, and has changed over the years in these separate cultures. Because hell as a concept can be imaged in different and unrelated cultural environments, we can image that, as a concept (an idea), it can exist in galaxies that are far, far away and in times that are long, long ago.

What is important is not God or Satan but their forms as The Good and The Bad. You must see not persons or living beings but forces, isomorphisms, universal structures, trans-galactic moral systems.

The Retinal Photograph of a Decapitated Rabbit

posted by on July 24 at 2:23 PM

From Alec Soth’s photography blog.

Internal Monolgoue While Reading a News Brief About the Grand Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana

posted by on July 24 at 1:12 PM

Teenagers are being shown the door at the Grand movie theater if they show up for a late night show.

What? Really? That’s crazy.

Managers with the Lafayette theater on Johnston Street say they have a new policy. That teenagers seventeen and under must have a parent with them to see a movie. No matter what the rating is.

They say it’s to eliminate some of the problems they’ve been having with unsupervised children.

Pshaw. Like what? Little humpin’ in the back row? Little smokin’ in the bathroom?

Back in March, a 15-year old girl was shot near the theater.


It’s Tuesday, I’m in Love

posted by on July 24 at 1:09 PM


The author of this blog’s name is Maddox, and he is not one of Angelina Jolie’s 37 kids. This Maddox is mean, sarcastic, usually hilarious, smart (I think), and he hates U2 and blogging and sentences in blogs that have links to websites and stories every other word. I’m pretty sure he’d hate me. My friend Danny introduced us this morning, and I’ve spend the majority of the day developing a raging crush on him by reading through his massive archives. That sounds dirty.

His most recent post, “The iPhone is a piece of shit and so is your face,” made me laugh outloud. I mean… LOLZ!1one!!

No, I’m not going to get an iPhone, quit emailing me about it. I’m not getting one because I already have a phone that’s better: it’s called the Nokia E70, it’s the pinnacle of human achievement, and I love it more than my family.

You’ve probably never heard of the E70 because Nokia’s marketing team is busy finding every last dick in the universe to suck, so I’m going to do their job for them and tell you about this product. And no, I’m not being paid to do this. I’m just tired of the iPhone fanboys shooting huge sticky wads and high-fiving each other (literally) over their stupid cellphones.

As an April Fool’s joke he also made a page dedicated to blaming the sinking of the Titanic on the entire Jewish population. And people took him seriously.

As of this writing, there are only two living survivors of the Titanic, and both of them claim to have been babies and too young to remember what happened.

Even though some of the world’s richest and most famous passengers were on the ship, not a single video was made of the Titanic sinking.

Abraham Lincoln dies the exact same day the Titanic sinks, except 47 years prior! The Titanic had the capacity to carry 3,547 passengers aboard! They both have 47!!!!

When will you sheeple realize that you’re being lied to? How many amateur documentaries must be made using stock footage before you believe that we’re important?

I should’ve known about this. Someone should’ve told me about him years ago.

Where have you been all my life?

Repopulating the City’s Wild Animals

posted by on July 24 at 12:54 PM


If you see one of these (or a moose or a bear) around the city, it’s the work of artist Lars Bergquist. There’s a video about him at the newish blog Dodge & Burn.

Towleroad Tells It Like It Is

posted by on July 24 at 12:46 PM


Venerable gay blog Towleroad weighs in on Washington State’s new domestic partner law.

Towleroad’s caption for the photo above: “Second-class citizens celebrate their second-class status in Olympia, WA.”


Poor James Harvey

posted by on July 24 at 12:35 PM

James Gaddy, associate editor of PRINT magazine, has a lyrical story, Shadow Boxer, about the aspiring abstract expressionist who, in his day job, designed the Brillo boxes that helped make Andy Warhol famous.

For two artists whose aesthetic philosophies and levels of success were diametrically opposed, Warhol and Harvey had much in common. They both came from blue-collar, immigrant families. Warhol was born in Pittsburgh in 1928, Harvey a year later in Toronto before his family moved to Detroit when he was three months old. Warhol earned a degree at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon), moved to New York, and started illustrating for Glamour. Harvey studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago; after a brief move back to Detroit, where he designed window displays for retail giant J. L. Hudson (Warhol designed windows for Bonwit Teller), he moved to New York to break into the art world.

Imagine Harvey’s surprise when he saw Warhol’s Brillo boxes in their 1964 gallery debut. Harvey had despised the commercial process of making them, Gaddy writes. Harvey’s gallery, the Graham Gallery, responded to Warhol’s use of Harvey’s design.

The Graham Gallery was less amused. It issued a feeble press release on behalf of Stuart and Gunn (and Harvey) that stated: “It is galling enough for Jim Harvey, an abstract expressionist, to see that a pop artist is running away with the ball, but when the ball happens to be a box designed by Jim Harvey, and Andy Warhol gets the credit for it, well, this makes Jim scream: ‘Andy is running away with my box.’” But the final line practically admitted defeat: “What’s one man’s box, may be another man’s art.”

But Gaddy doesn’t stop there. He details more of the undoing of James Harvey, an unknown abstract expressionist who arrived a generation too late.

History has been as kind to Warhol, the aesthetic maestro, as it has been harsh to Harvey, the romantic on the cusp of the age of irony. James Harvey’s last show, at Graham in November 1964, presented paintings that were “dynamic, restless, and painted with rich skill,” according to the Times. But by July 15, 1965, Harvey was dead in New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. He had succumbed to what was described in his obituary as a “long illness” (according to Washburn, this was a cancer of the blood). His family came and picked up his photographs, unsold canvases, and remaining possessions, and took everything back to Detroit, where it remains.

The image Gaddy uses for his story in PRINT is a Brillo box held in the apartment of the art historian Irving Sandler.

One of the few surviving examples of Harvey’s box is owned by the art historian Irving Sandler, who keeps it in his Manhattan apartment encased in Plexiglas. When Warhol was autographing copies of his Brillo Box at the Stable Gallery for $300, Sandler suggested that Harvey sign copies of his Brillo boxes at Graham—and sell them for 10 cents. Harvey signed only one and sent it to Sandler as a gift, a half-hearted gesture to reclaim something he never much cared for in the first place.


Maybe It’s Time to Eliminate the “Youth Pastor” Position?

posted by on July 24 at 12:14 PM

Battle Creek, Michigan: Youth pastor arraigned for child solicitation.

Farmington, New Mexico: Youth pastor arrested for alleged rape.

San Diego, California: Youth pastor sentenced to life for molesting four boys.

Spokane, Washington: Youth pastor guilty of eight sex felonies.

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina: Youth pastor gets two life sentences for molesting children.

And in a little good news for youth pastors…

Pocatello, Idaho: Youth pastor charged with lewd conduct and sexually abusing a minor acquitted on all charges. Church officials, quoted by the AP, “say he will now return to his previous duties.”

In Search of…

posted by on July 24 at 11:53 AM


We’re looking to get in touch with the person who posts restaurant reviews under the name “Kinkos.” If this is you, please get in touch. Thanks!

As you were.

UPDATE: It’s not for anything bad. Kinkos posts a lot of reviews, and we’d like to get in touch to say thanks. But you know, it’s cool if he/she wants to stay anonymous. We’re totally down with that. Totally.

Sentence of the Day

posted by on July 24 at 11:45 AM

“We are extremely proud to be associated with these great media companies,” Ben Eason, Creative Loafing CEO, said in a statement. “The addition of two top-ten markets—and two of the industry’s most respected alternative news products—offers us a pivotal gateway of connectivity with the young adult audience.”

Bedbugs Be Gone

posted by on July 24 at 11:45 AM

This fragment is from one of the most important apocryphal apostolic Acts, Acts of John.

Now on the first day we arrived at a deserted inn, and when we were at a loss for a bed for John, we saw a droll matter. There was one bedstead lying somewhere there without coverings, whereon we spread the cloaks which we were wearing, and we prayed him to lie down upon it and rest, while the rest of us all slept upon the floor. But he when he lay down was troubled by the bugs, and as they continued to become yet more troublesome to him, when it was now about the middle of the night, in the hearing of us all he said to them: I say unto you, O bugs, behave yourselves, one and all, and leave your abode for this night and remain quiet in one place, and keep your distance from the servants of God. And as we laughed, and went on talking for some time, John addressed himself to sleep; and we, talking low, gave him no disturbance (or, thanks to him we were not disturbed).

But when the day was now dawning I arose first, and with me Verus and Andronicus, and we saw at the door of the house which we had taken a great number of bugs standing, and while we wondered at the great sight of them, and all the brethren were roused up because of them, John continued sleeping. And when he was awaked we declared to him what we had seen. And he sat up on the bed and looked at them and said: Since ye have well behaved yourselves in hearkening to my rebuke, come unto your place. And when he had said this, and risen from the bed, the bugs running from the door hasted to the bed and climbed up by the legs thereof and disappeared into the joints.

What’s great about this story is not that John has the power to expel the bedbugs from the bed, but he has the power to make them return.


Looking for a Visual Art Intern

posted by on July 24 at 11:34 AM

Check out the classified ad if you’re art-curious…

RIP Weekly World News

posted by on July 24 at 11:23 AM


As ECB notes in The Morning News, the Weekly World News, America’s preeminent all-fiction tabloid, is calling it quits.

Full disclosure: My first published writing appeared in the Weekly World News, in the form of a letter I wrote to the WWN’s legendarily cantakerous advice columnist Dotti Primrose in 1989. I was a tremendous fan of Dear Dotti’s unapologetically abusive and bigoted advice, so I wrote a letter under the guise of a femme lesbian named Monica, who was eager to convince Dotti that not all dykes were truck-driving, flannel-wrapped hogs.

To my delight, Monica’s letter was selected for print, and Dotti hit it out of the park. “Dear Butchy,” wrote Dotti. “I had to use kitchen tongs to open your letter because it was so covered with yucky lezzie germs.” Swoon!

RIP, Weekly World News.

Do This Now, Seattle

posted by on July 24 at 11:18 AM

US city issues immigrant ID card:

New Haven - best known as the home of Yale University - is offering the cards to all its residents, including to some 12,000 undocumented immigrants.

City leaders say the plan will enable immigrants to open bank accounts and make them less vulnerable to crime.

Issuing ID cards to illegal immigrants is an act of reason. Let the rural folk live and dissolve in mystery, myths, and other imaginings; we in the city must do reasonable things—that is our moral duty, being reasonable.

City Council Shits on Skateboarders

posted by on July 24 at 11:08 AM


The City Council has tabled for two weeks a proposal to build a skate park near KeyArena.

The council Monday had planned to vote on the proposal to build the skate area between the arena and the Seattle Center’s Northwest rooms. The proposal allows the removal of the DuPen Fountain and sculptures, which council members say would be installed elsewhere at the Center.

The topic led to an unusually snippy exchange between council members. Some members worried a skate park would be too rowdy for that area, which they described as a place for “contemplative” respite.

Yeah, that’s what I go to Seattle Center for: contemplative respite… and minigolf, elephant ears, and basketball games. Christ.

Time to face facts, skaters: the isn’t going to be another skatepark built in Seattle until skaters start showing up at city council meetings. Not to talk—there’s been enough of that—but to skate. Up and down the aisles, during the meeting, shutting it down, risking arrest. The message to the council: if you don’t provide us with a place to skate then we’re going to skate in council chambers. The city is playing you for fools with this process shit.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 24 at 11:00 AM

‘Knocked Up’ (GUT-BUSTING CINEMA) When it comes to Judd Apatow, I’m a fair-weather fan: When he’s winning (the sublime Freaks and Geeks), I couldn’t love him more; when he’s stumbling (the light and gassy 40-Year-Old Virgin), I can’t be bothered. From beginning to end, Knocked Up is a winner, featuring too many brilliant performances to list here and packed with more messy, hilarious life than any comedy in years. (See Movie Times for more info.) DAVID SCHMADER
See what else is happening in Film on Tuesday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

News on the Alternative Weekly Front

posted by on July 24 at 10:59 AM

Both the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper—two quality papers—have been sold to Creative Loafing, a chain that owns alt-weekly newspapers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa Bay, and Sarasota.

The previous owners of the Reader and City Paper own a minority share of both The Stranger and our sister paper The Portland Mercury. This hasn’t changed. The small chunk of the Stranger and Merc owned by the Reader’s former owners was not included in the sale. The majority ownership of our papers remains in the hands of the same local dipshits that founded Seattle’s only newspaper 157 years ago.

Courtney Love’s Ass Learns to Type (Sort of), Laments, “Wonky” Lips!

posted by on July 24 at 10:46 AM

Our very own Old Widow Cobain (if I might dust off that old chestnut) has unleashed her rather horrible self upon the wide, wide world of blog, and the CIA and Homeland Security or whatever should be quite concerned, as she seems to be sending secret messages to persons dubious and unknown (and possibly terroristic) in some kind of ingeniously indecipherable code. To complicate matters, she seems to be typing with her ass. A particularly puzzling and disturbing recent example:

ut up z demo of demo iof demo of carcrash we habve about 4 other songs too, and id like to get opinions on them sopme of them. i need to write another dylanney one rexcept i just found otu my fat fighters mafrtin got stolen on the chunneltrain and thats why i got that new gibson for my bday but i need it nd its nowehr eint hehosue the only guitar is kurts ild one with strings i havent changed in teh 12 years sinc ehes passsed, and its hrd to play too.

Indeed. Linguistics experts with magic rings over at TMZ have been working desperately to decode her messages, and have had some success with the following post, in which they say she seems to either be dimly recognizing her own innate horribleness, lamenting her face, and devising crackpotted plans to fix it somehow, or sending her famous chicken and dumplings recipe to Osama bin Laden

my mouth still looks wonky, i think i gott go back to paris tot he dr, hes nit a cosmetic surgeon he just fixes bad surgery … this really isnt znyones business but im hating that id di that to my mouth back in the day … i just wnt the mouth god gave me back.

We may never know for sure. Never.


The Drug War at Home

posted by on July 24 at 10:29 AM

I was recently seen screaming and yelling on Slog about the Seattle Times glorifying DEA pot busts; in last week’s paper Dominic Holden weighed in on the Washington State Patrol’s appallingly callous arrest of couple for growing medical marijuana.

So we all agree that busting pot growers—whether they’re growing for medical or recreational use—is a bad idea. A waste of police resources, a part of the failed war on drugs, an invitation to tyranny, etc. But what would you do if there was a pot grow operation in the house next door? And the pot growers next door were total and complete assholes? Stick to your anti-drug-war politics? Or call the cops and rid your block of these assholes? That’s the moral dilemma this “Savage Love” reader faces…

My neighbors are two fat hairy straight pot smokers, who grow dope ( I can smell it and see the lights). They yell at me about insane things like making my yard too nice, and last week they chased a child of eleven down the alley shirtless with a butcher knife for teasing their cat. There garage is falling down, they leave their windows open all day and all night, they have an old toilet in their yard, three shitty cars, drug deals coming and going, and the grass and weeds are two feet tall and the house is falling apart.

All and all I don’t mind them except when they scream at each other, cook chicken fried steak, and yell or play their TV all night or try to speak to me about their racial views (racial slurs) which I do not hold.


The truth is I want my sister who is a kinder gentler person then them to move in next door. Is it totally chickenshit of me to turn them in for growing and selling pot? I already know it is okay for me to like and fuck whoever I want as long as there is mutual consent. But this narc-on-the-neighbors thing is a moral dilemma for me.

Dan, I cringe when I see them with their shirts off smoking cigarettes and yelling. Can I morally give them the boot with the help of Big Brother just so I can have some peace and my sister closer to me?


Normally Against The Drug War

Hm… I’m not sure what I would do in this situation. So I’m kicking it to you, Sloggers. What should NATDW do? Call the cops? Suffer in silence? Let’s vote…

The results of this Slog poll, like the results of all Slog polls, are binding.

Re: Edwards vs. Clinton’s Coat

posted by on July 24 at 10:15 AM

I think this Slog comment gets at what I and others were picking up on.

a big problem with edwards joke is that it falls in line with all the other inappropriate/unnecessary commentary on hillary’s wardrobe. it makes him look like just one of the boys, something he should be (and hopefully is) above.

Posted by infrequent | July 24, 2007 10:06 AM

Another thing that made Edwards look like “just one of the boys” last night: His somewhat tortured answer when a black minister asked him why he uses religion to justify his personal opposition to gay marriage.

Re: Edwards vs. Clinton’s Coat

posted by on July 24 at 10:12 AM

Here’s Politico’s Roger Simon (linked by Eli below) on Edwards’s comment about Clinton’s jacket:

Write this down, guys: Attack her policies, attack her past votes, attack her personality if you want to, but don’t attack what she is wearing. It looks sexist and cheap.

But we awarded points to Edwards for his video, in which he played the song “Hair” — a reference to the extremely expensive haircuts he charged to his campaign — and showed pictures of the poor in America with the ending frame: “What really matters?”

It was a nice attack on the carping press who concentrate on the insignificant while failing to help address America’s real problems.

And here’s Politico’s Roger Simon spilling 700 words on John Edwards’s hair.

I didn’t think Edwards came off as “not a nice man,” and I don’t think his statement was an “attack.” (Believe me, I’m the last person to defend attacks on Clinton’s clothes; I just don’t think this was one.) I think the comment came off more as a light-hearted, if not very successful, attempt at a joke—a joke set up by the question, which prompted ALL of the candidates to make not-very-funny jabs at one another (Obama made a lame joke about the White Sox; Gravel Biden said the thing he liked best about Dennis Kucinich was his wife). Politico and others will surely use this one comment as further evidence he’s “smarmy,” but, as always, consider the source.

Edwards vs. Clinton’s Coat

posted by on July 24 at 9:15 AM

Last night at the YouTube/CNN debates, the Democratic candidates were asked a cheesy closing question: What do you like, and dislike, about the person to your left?

The answer from John Edwards was particularly cringe-making. Politico calls it flat-out dumb. Others have called it sexist. What Edwards chose to criticize about Clinton was her choice of jacket — live, on-stage, to her face, in front of a national audience.

I admire what Senator Clinton has done for America, what her husband did for America. Um. I’m not sure about that coat.

(The Edwards comment starts at 3:00)

For people who find Edwards smarmy, the look on his face as he criticized Hillary’s debate-night fashion choice is sure to reconfirm their sense that Edwards is, to use the immortal post-debate phrasing of Lynne Cheney from 2004, “Not a nice man.”

Edwards seemed pleased to have delivered his sly, potentially-humiliating insult. Parts of the audience groaned, however, and one couldn’t help but have sympathy for Clinton in that moment.

Her response:

John, it’s a good thing we’re ending soon.

And then a few moments later Obama, ever gentlemanly, offered this:

I actually like Hillary’s coat, I don’t know what’s wrong with it.

I don’t know how much attention this exchange will end up getting, but I bet it turned a lot of debate-watchers off John Edwards, or at least confirmed for Edwards-haters that they are right to see him as a creep with a great smile.

To My Smoking Coworkers

posted by on July 24 at 8:16 AM

All those times outside the office when I’ve asked you not to smoke? Thanks for not shooting me in the head.

The Morning News

posted by on July 24 at 7:07 AM

Uh-oh: Botulism!

Uh-oh, again: FEMA says it won’t stop selling formaldehyde-laced Katrina trailers.

New role: For Middle East envoy Tony Blair.

Doctor shortage: Hits poor the hardest.

Bush hates poor kids: But Dems may have enough votes to override his veto of legislation expanding kids’ health care coverage.

If it weren’t for abortion, we’d have plenty of white kids to work the fields: DeLay’s twisted logicon immigration.

In contempt? Miers and Bolten to face vote in attorney-firing scandal Wednesday.

Bye-bye, Bat Boy: Weekly World News is no more.

Who knew? Blogging can mean big money.

$5 coffee?: Starbucks prices to rise an average of 9 cents.

Recipe of the Day: Squash Blossom Quesadillas (Recipe and photo via Homesick Texan)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Monday, July 23, 2007

OPARB Asks the Mayor For An Apology

posted by on July 23 at 11:35 PM

This letter was hand-delivered to the Mayor’s office today:

Dear Mayor Nickels: The OPA Review Board demands a retraction of your public accusation that we were somehow responsible for the June 18 leak of our draft report to the Seattle Times. You appeared last Wednesday, July 11, on Seattle Channel’s television show “Ask the Mayor”, hosted by C.R.Douglas.

When asked about your criticism of the Board, you stated:

Mayor Nickels: …I have been critical simply in terms of these recent reports that have been [sic] come out—the first one that was leaked to the press as a confidential draft document, I thought that was unfortunate. I don’t think that helped… ah…the credibility of the Board…

CR Douglas: Do we know that it was them that leaked it?

Mayor Nickels: Well, they certainly spread it around widely enough that it wasn’t a shock that it was, ah, sent to a…

CR Douglas: So you hold them accountable for the leak?

Mayor Nickels: I, I think so. And their report wasn’t ready; it had, just…it was wrong in many instances. It accused the Chief, for instance, of inappropriate…

CR Douglas: But they admit it was a draft—I mean they weren’t, they weren’t trying to have it as their definitive statement…

Mayor Nickels: And when it was a draft it ought not to be on the front page of the newspaper for three or four mornings. Ah, so, I think that hurt the credibility of the Board, and I’ve expressed that….

It is irresponsible for anyone—let alone Seattle’s mayor—to make such false charges, especially where accountability, transparency and citizen volunteers are involved. While asserting that the Board “spread [the draft report] around widely enough” to cause the leak, you fail to disclose that you and Chief Kerlikowske also received our draft report
prior to the leak—and thus had both opportunity and motive to leak the document yourselves.
Consistent with our normal procedure, we intended to review our final report with the OPA Director and Chief Kerlikowske prior to its public release. When Deputy Mayor Ceis demanded copies of the report on June 18, there was no final report and no scheduled release date. Despite the ensuing leak later that same evening, we were frankly astonished at the ferocity of the press conference held by you and Chief Kerlikowske the very next morning. The Chief later apologized on KUOW’s June 28 “Weekday” show for his ad hominem attacks on Mr. Holmes; until your own contrary statements on last Wednesday’s Seattle Channel show, however, we didn’t believe any Seattle official could be so reckless as to accuse the Board of leaking its own report. We hereby deny any involvement in the leak of OPARB’s draft report to the Seattle Times. We further publicly release the Times and its journalists from any agreement not to disclose the source of the leak. We do so freely and without any coercion or pressure from anyone. Accordingly, if any OPARB member was responsible in any way for the June 18 leak, we urge the Times to report that fact publicly.We will continue to press for transparency in Seattle’s police accountability system, Mr. Mayor. We owe nothing less to the citizens of Seattle as well as the great majority of Seattle police officers who serve with professional dedication, every day. You, in turn, must similarly commit to seeking out the truth instead of reckless scapegoating, no matter how politically convenient the latter course may be.

Peter Holmes, Brad Moericke, Sheley Secrest

According to Peter Holmes, OPARB has not received a response and isn’t expecting one.


posted by on July 23 at 7:18 PM


Dominic Holden took this picture five minutes ago at the corner of John and Broadway. In addition to the four stalled buses pictured—the one in the intersection stalled, the others can’t move—there is a fifth bus behind him.


Speaking of the Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy

posted by on July 23 at 5:33 PM

I learned the other day that Ahmet Ertegun (Atlantic Records/whitey falling in love with Afro-American music in the mid-20th century/Rolling Stones history of the world etc…) was not Jewish.

I assumed he was Jewish because of his first name, and because of the legacy on that score by guys like Leonard Chess, Art Rupe, and Ertegun’s colleague Jerry Wexler.

Ertegun was raised Muslim and is, duh, Turkish —which, despite the recent news, solidifies Turkey as ground zero for the excellent secularist revolution that changed the 20th century and put us on a collision course with Al Qaeda.

Turkish Prime Minister Kemal Ataturk, of course, is the early 20th century figure who brought an indigenous secularism to the Islamic world that ultimately sparked a reactionary backlash with things like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist writings of Sayyid Qutb.

Ertegun sparked things like the music of Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.

The Real Cause of Club Violence:

posted by on July 23 at 4:53 PM

Professional Athletes.

A party at a local club for a group of professional sports players drew trouble this weekend, when a large fight broke out and police arrested two people.

The security manager at Level 5 on Fifth Avenue North told Seattle police Saturday that the club drew several hundred people for a party for a professional basketball player. The crowd included both NBA and NFL players, he told police.

About 1:30 a.m., he said, fights began breaking out among the crowd in the club. Bouncers began breaking up the fights and tossing people out of the club.

When officers arrived, the crowd outside was so large, it filled the street from curb to curb. At least one person was detained after a Gang Unit detective spotted him with a gun.

There were no reported injuries, but officers did arrest two people, spokeswoman Debra Brown said.

Police have not specified which athletes were present at the club.

It’s time for a crack down on athletes. Shut down Key Arena before we start seeing drive-bys and riots after Storm games!

Via the PI

Dan Savage: Soldier #75 in the Jewish World-Wide Gay Conspiracy

posted by on July 23 at 4:23 PM

Sorry you wacky Jihadists, but Dan Savage isn’t Jewish. So you might want to remove him from your list of Jews running a World-Wide Gay Conspiracy.

Speaking of the WWGC: I can tell you that, having known Savage for 15 years now, he has yet to con me into sucking a cock. In fact, he’s never even tried.

Now Charles Mudede, on the other hand…

(Thanks to

The $100 Laptop

posted by on July 23 at 4:12 PM


It’s tough. It’s waterproof. It can be powered by a foot pump. It has a small screen built for reading in the bright sunlight of the deserts or the mountains. It will, in theory, allow Andean farmers to check the price of potatoes before going to market and Libyan teenagers to read Moby Dick online and guerillas all over the world to play peaceful games of pong with their adversaries. Right now it costs $176. Its brain-daddy, Nicholas Negroponte, is trying to get it down to $100.

But it’s finally here.

Oh, and Intel has decided to stop playing Rapacious Capitalist and trying to compete with their rival laptop-for-poor-kids (Intel’s Classmate PC cost $225). They’ve joined Negroponte’s nonprofit.

It’s hard for me to imagine a foot-powered internet-trolling laptop for $100, but persons knowledgeable about computers can check the specs here.

Death by Plastic

posted by on July 23 at 4:08 PM


Of all the disturbing, eye-opening images brought up during Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us” presentation last week, one stood out most vividly. Weisman was talking about the widespread transition to plastic packaging 50-some years ago and the accumulated environmental effect of the 120 billion pounds of plastic produced every year now. There is, he reported, a floating mass of plastic bobbing in the Pacific Ocean, composed of non-biodegradable petrochemicals. He said this flotilla of eternal junk is estimated to be some 800 miles wide, bigger than Texas.

There are plenty of reports about the “Eastern Garbage Patch.” It circles in the North Pacific Gyre, a slow, clockwise-spinning current in a vast swath of usually untraversed ocean between Japan and the West Coast of the US. What used to be one of the most pristine, remote, and desolate places on earth has become a swirling trash heap.

The problem is plastic. It floats, it blows, it doesn’t biodegrade. Instead it photo-degrades, meaning as it floats in the currents, it’s broken down by sunlight into smaller and smaller particles but never completely disappears.


It’s no longer just a six-pack ring showing up around a seagull’s neck—plastic pollution is affecting the entire food chain. Trace particles of petroleum-based plastics are showing up in zooplankton, the microscopic animals that form the basis of the aquatic food chain. From bottom to top, we’re all eating plastic.

And we’re getting massive islands of garbage and endless schools of plastic bags in what used to be untouched ocean.

Thankfully, Seattle is considering a ban on plastic bags. That’s something we all have to get behind 100%. It’s hard to believe we—ANY city, really—has gone this long without one. Convenience is no argument against health.

The YouTube/CNN Debate

posted by on July 23 at 4:00 PM

On now, and you can watch it live online here.

Our Comments Policy

posted by on July 23 at 3:43 PM

Thanks for all the excellent ideas and feedback on blog comments. Our new comment policy is below—it’s really no different from the informal policy we’ve been operating under all along, but now it’s in writing.

The Stranger’s Blog Comments Policy

We remove comments that are off topic, threatening, or commercial in nature, and we do not allow sock-puppetry (impersonating someone else)—or any kind of puppetry, for that matter. We never censor comments based on ideology.

We will continue to post-moderate comments and remove those that don’t adhere to these guidelines. We’ll also always leave a note so you can tell that we’ve deleted something and why. If you see a comment that should go, feel free to alert me.

Last week we added code that makes it nearly impossible to double (or triple or quadruple…) post, and today we lightened the load on our server, so comments should post and load faster.

We’re also working on adding an optional user-registration system and we’ll make sure that all you frequent fliers can register your usual user names. Thanks for making Slog Seattle’s best blog, y’all.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 23 at 3:30 PM

More Cowbell: The Bell Bottom Bliss of Climax Blues Band.

Except…: Megan Seling Accepts Grand Funk.

Instant Classics: The New Classic Rock of the Lonely H.

Mercury Tears: Chromeo and Slint.

Sweet Shit: Free Gold Passes to Bumbershoot.

Boom Bye Bye: Buju Banton Signs Reggae Compassionate Act, Ditches Homophobic Lyrics.

Greatest Hits: Seattle Band Jumped in Harrisburg, PA.

Greatest Hits, pt 2: Silver Platters Robbed in “Biggest Hit Silver Platters Has Ever Taken.”

Handshakes and Backstock: Got Sympathy for the Record Industry?

Blazin Squad: “Rasta-Type Hippy” has Unfortunate Email Address.

Hard To Explain?: Tonight: Eisley at the Croc, Watermelon Slim at the Triple Door.

Domestic Partnership Perverts

posted by on July 23 at 1:53 PM

Washington state’s religious right is pretty exercised about the fact the Domestic Partners bill went into effect today.

They’re also pretty forlorn. Stymied by the gays’ up-front strategy about the ultimate goal (marriage!)—which leaves conservatives unable to grouse about secret cabal agendas—The Faith and Freedom website laments over the turning tide:

Ed Murray is quoted by Rachel La Corte of the Associated Press, “When it comes to gay and lesbian issues, change is coming at the state level.” David Ammons, of the AP, says that according to Murray, the gay community isn’t much interested in civil unions as a next step; they are going for full marriage equality. Equal Rights Washington echoes that sentiment. They say an interim step would only serve to detract from the ultimate goal.

There is nothing much that is new in that. That’s what they always say – and they mean it.

I was, however, surprised and disappointed at the comment of one former Christian lobbyist told the AP he thought it “looks like a losing battle.”

Meanwhile, here’s an e-mail that Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) got today:

TO: Senator Ed Murray

FROM: Mr. Richard ———

Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 12:25 PM


I guess I can now call you Mrs ed murray. What a sad day in Washington
state. When I came here many years ago I never thought this would become
a state of perverts
supported by the state!

Murray laughs that the tide is indeed turning. He asked me: “Name one House Democrat who lost their seat for opposing DOMA?”

And I would add: Name one who has lost their seat for supporting the gay rights bill.

I Just Got Spammed via Text Messaging

posted by on July 23 at 1:42 PM

This has never happened before.

Huge Stock Alert
This is an easy tripler
It’ll be $5 before end of the week

Even if I wanted to do something, I have no idea what I’d do with this information.

Northgate Silver Platters Robbed Yesterday Morning

posted by on July 23 at 1:32 PM

Breaking News/Nerd Alert!

Yesterday morning, around 6:40 am, the Northgate Silver Platters was broken into, and about 200 Blu-ray discs were stolen. (Blu-ray, for those who aren’t familiar, is basically a more expensive DVD with supposedly SUPER DUPER MAGICALLY better quality that can only be played on a Blu-ray disc player or a Playstation 3.)

“It was basically the whole section of Blu-ray,” says SP Vice President Mike Batt. “We’re one of the main vendors that carry Blu-ray in Seattle, and they took pretty much everything in the section.”

Read the whole story over in Line Out.

Re: Comments on Comments

posted by on July 23 at 12:32 PM

Slog has been wrestling internally (and publicly) with how we should deal with obnoxious commenters.

Meantime, over at HorsesAss, Goldy is taking a stand.

Portland Gets It

posted by on July 23 at 12:19 PM

In Seattle, when a bike lane threatened to take out a few feet of road that could otherwise be used by cars, businesses put pressure on the mayor and got the bike lane killed.

In Portland, when the city replaced prime curbside parking with parking corrals for bikes, businesses and city leaders applauded the move.

According to the Oregonian, each of the so-called “bike corrals” replaces two traditional parking spaces with 22 spots for bikes. Businesses like the corrals because they keep bikes from stacking up on the sidewalk, create better sight lines for pedestrians, and keep big vehicles from blocking storefronts so that no one on the street can see them. In fact, businesses like the corrals so much, they’re helping to pay for them.

Along Belmont, industrial designer and cyclist Bill Stites rounded up support for the corrals and won a $5,000 grant from the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations for the project. The Belmont Area Business Association and some local businesses are also ponying up. And businesses near the racks have agreed to clean up the street beneath them, which street sweepers can’t get to now.

Stites, the Sunnyside neighborhood’s representative on the Belmont business association board, said he encountered no resistance to the idea among business owners. “You’d think the attitude would be, ‘We’re not going to lose any car parking, get out of here with the cycling,’ ” Stites said. “But it hasn’t. It’s been amazing.”

Too bad Seattle is different than every other city in the world. That’s why we can’t tear down the viaduct, can’t build rapid transit, can’t replace car parking with spots for bikes, can’t stripe bike lanes if businesses complain…

The Look

posted by on July 23 at 11:20 AM

Look at the look on that boy’s face:
Part One

That’s a look to make any father proud. Get rid of that silly head thing he’s wearing, and there you have a perfect boy. No hurt, no pain, no emotion on the surface. All summer within; all winter without. You can smile at him, and what you’ll get back is that wall, that supreme indifference. Melt into the air the clownish clothes, gaudy gold, and traditional values of aristocrats, but keep forever that expression made of stone.

My best attempt at that stone look:

Part Two

My mother to me, while driving to downtown Gaborone in 1988: “Do you know what I hate about Americans. They always smile at you when you pass them on the street. And you think they know you, and you realize they don’t know you. They are just smiling at you because that’s what Americans like to do. I hate smiling back at someone who is smiling at me for no reason. Really, haaah, what is the worth of smile if you are smiling all of the bloody time?”

Hairspray’s Race Problems

posted by on July 23 at 11:01 AM


It’s something I brought up in my film review and Dan reiterated yesterday on Slog: The new movie of Hairspray—originally written for the screen in 1988 by John Waters, adapted into a Tony-winning Broadway musical in 2003, and now back on the screen as a movie musical by Adam Schankman—has some unfortunate problems with race.

As you probably already know, Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, an effervescent fat girl with dreams of dancing stardom who finds her calling as a segregation-busting teen leader in early-60s Baltimore. As some commenters have pointed out, expecting historical accuracy from a movie based on a musical based on a John Waters film is ridiculous. I agree, and my problems with Hairspray-the-movie-musical’s handling of the plot’s racial elements aren’t about historical inaccuracies, but about a weird and troubling lunkheadedness on the part of its makers.

Trust me, I didn’t enter the movie expecting to be offended about its cluelessness in regard to race issues—I expected to be offended by the hideous miscasting of John Travolta as Tracy’s mom Edna, and I was: Travolta’s aggressively terrible. But eventually even Travolta’s crimes against humanity were eclipsed by the film’s race problems, which especially sucks because the original film dealt with race issues so elegantly and hilariously.

In John Waters’ original Hairspray, Tracy’s awakening as a pro-integration activist is spiked with a rich and telling dash of vanity and cultural fetishism. (“Oh Link!” cries the original Tracy, mid-make-out session. “I wish I was black!” With dewey earnestness, Link replies, “Our souls are black, though our skin is white.”)

This entire aspect of Tracy and Link’s “turning on” to the struggle for civil rights is completely axed from the new movie, as are all of the original Velma Von Tussle’s racial slurs, and the entire storyline of Penny Pingleton forced into shock therapy for dating a black guy.

A similar blanching occurs with the music: In the original, black people were represented by ass-kicking R&B, the type of songs that would make David Duke wish he were black—”Shake a Tail Feather” by the Five Du-Tones, “Tell Him” by the Exciters, “Nothing Takes the Place of You” by Toussaint McCall. In the musical, we get black actors singing showtunes about “the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.” I wish I were kidding.

And yes, I know it’s all supposed to be a light froofy goof, but I was unable to get swept up in mindless fun because I kept getting hit in the face by the filmmakers’ tone-deafness in regard to one of their movie’s main themes (and John Travolta’s horribleness). That is all.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 23 at 11:00 AM

The Chocolate Box (CHOCOLATE) Yes, it makes me a traitor to my sex or humanity as a whole or whatever, but chocolate is not my favorite thing. It’s good and all, but way down on the list of what I want to put in my mouth. For those who are not insane in this particular manner, voilà: The Chocolate Box, a whole store made of chocolate (not really, but that’d be neat, wouldn’t it?) near the Pike Place Market, replete with high-end, often locally made, cocoa-based indulgences. Per the inevitable accompanying verbiage: “See the store that leaves you begging for more” and “get your fix” of “the decadence within”! (The Chocolate Box, 108 Pine St, 443-3900. 10 am—9 pm.) BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT
Check out some reader reviews of The Chocolate Box or write your own. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

“Would Rossi Be Heeding This Kind of Advice if He Is Elected Governor?”

posted by on July 23 at 10:51 AM

As much as PI columnist Joel Connelly mistrusts The Stranger, even he couldn’t resist running with the goodies I found on Lou Guzzo, the current idea guy for Dino Rossi’s “nonpartisan” nonprofit, Forward Washington.

In his column today, Connelly goes with a recent Slog post to trash Rossi.

Death to the GOP Meme

posted by on July 23 at 10:30 AM

The Olympian picks up the good word from those paragons of the liberal media, Forbes magazine. Forbes gave Washington state a gold star earlier this month for our dramatically improved business climate.

This morning’s Olympian editorial spells out the bad news for the GOP. The Republicans and Dino Rossi campaigned in 2004 on the notion that the Democrats were bad for the economy. The GOP has continued to hit that theme in the run up to 2008. Whoops.

The Olympian writes:

More subjective was a Forbes Magazine ranking that said Washington has one of the best business climates in the country. ranked Washington fifth among the “best states for business,” up from 12th place a year ago — the largest leap of any state in the nation. Forbes said, “Washington is also the only state to finish in the top five in three main categories (labor, regulatory environment and growth). And Washington’s numbers are up across the board when you look both backward and at projections into the future.”

That’s a tough pill for state Republicans to swallow because they always claim Washington is an anti-business state with high taxes and overly burdensome regulatory environment. The Forbes ranking, while subjective, shoots a giant hole in that argument.

Poor Esser is left to excuses: “Anytime you’re governor and good things happen, you’re going to take credit for it, regardless of your party. When you unpeel the onion a bit, you’ll see a fuller story,” Esser said. He claims Gregoire “stumbled into a good economy.”

Maybe so, but the economic vitality of Washington state is hard to deny:

• Tax revenue continues to roll in. Since Gregoire took office in 2005, the 10 quarterly forecasts have risen by $3.2 billion.

• Foreign trade is booming.

• Boeing just rolled out its new 787 Dreamliner and will continue to head the export parade,

• At 4.6 percent, Washington is enjoying one of the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years.

• Tourism is on the incline. Seattle was recently ranked by AAA as the third favorite tourist destination in the country for the summer of ’07.

• The state has $1.2 billion in reserves and voters are expected to approve a constitutionally protected rainy day fund at the ballot box this fall.

Whether it’s solid political leadership, luck or a proper alignment of the stars, it’s clear that Washington state’s economy is hitting on all cylinders. While Democrats ride the wave of success Republicans are left relegated to the sidelines — just like last fall’s election.

This is bad bad bad for Dino Rossi’s pending campaign for governor. His only move is to try and take credit for the state’s improved business climate by pointing to the Locke/Rossi budget from 2003—which, perhaps, set the come back in play … ?

Problem is: the Locke/Rossi budget from 2003 represents the same “out of control” growth (according to the Republicans) as the Gregoire budget from 2007.The GOP’s been bashing Gregoire’s budget for being out of control. Can’t have it both ways, guys.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on July 23 at 10:10 AM

Today is the first day of Washington’s new domestic partnership law, and the Prayer Warrior will be taking to the air to discuss his feelings on the subject.


July 23, 2007

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Pray for me at 10:30 this morning, as I’m on AM570 with John Carlson and Ken Schramm regarding domestic partnership.

At 1:00 I have a very important conference call, and will need serious prayer for wisdom from God to explain a strategy that I will start when I return from vacation.

Your Pastor,

Good Use of My Favorite Curse Word

posted by on July 23 at 10:00 AM


Spotted at a U-District bus stop.

The Mad Driver

posted by on July 23 at 9:43 AM

The doors open, I walk up the steps, pay the fare, and see a surgical mask on the bus driver’s face. The number of the bus: 44; the day: July 22; the time: around 10 pm; the location: the UD; the question in my head: Why is the driver wearing a surgical mask? Is there a smelly person on the bus? My nose says no. Has the bird flu finally arrived? My information says no. Is he simply crazy? My reason screams yes! But why is a crazy person driving the bus? Two possibilities: one, a madman killed the real driver and hijacked the bus; two, Metro is now hiring crazy people to drive its buses? Because no good can come out of either possibility, I jump off the bus at the next stop.

Tonight: The YouTube/CNN Debate

posted by on July 23 at 9:30 AM

This evening in South Carolina, the Democratic presidential candidates will be fielding questions posted for them on YouTube.

Groundbreaking? Over-hyped gimmick? We’ll find out tonight beginning at 4 p.m. Pacific time on CNN, though I don’t expect we’ll be seeing this question:

Winning the War on Teenage Sex

posted by on July 23 at 8:12 AM

This weekend the Washington Post reported that a long, steady decline in teen sex—and teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teens—leveled off in 2001.

After decreasing steadily and significantly for more than a decade, the percentage of teenagers having intercourse began to plateau in 2001 and has failed to budge since then, despite the intensified focus in recent years on encouraging sexual abstinence, according to new analyses of data from a large federal survey…

Experts are unsure of the reasons for the change, but they speculated that it could be the result of a combination of factors, including growing complacency among the young about AIDS and the possibility that some irreducible portion of the teenage population can never be dissuaded from having sex.

We’ve spent a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to talk teenagers out of having sex, and this seemingly irreducible portion of the teenage population shrugs off the abstinence message, stubbornly insisting on their supposed right to sex. These teenagers seem to believe that sex is a choice they can make for themselves and that there’s something “cool” or “hip” about making the government, which only cares about their physical and metaphysical salvation, look foolish and out of touch.

If this new report makes anything clear it should be this: the time for talk is over. The time for taking the gloves off has arrived. It is time to get serious about winning the war on teen sex. If the number of teens having sex won’t be reduced willingly, then it is time to reduce their numbers by force.

It is time to consider the chemical castration of American teenagers.

Some may say that chemical castration is an extreme measure. But premarital sex is always wrong. Remaining sexually abstinent until marriage not only prevents the transmission of diseases and teen pregnancy, it saves souls, and prevents hurricanes. (Say what you will about Sen. David Vitter—the “pro-family, pro-abstinence, anti-gay-marriage senator from Louisiana—at least he waited until after marriage before seeking out hookers to diaper him.)

We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to talk teenagers out of having sex while their gonads and hormones shout at them to do just the opposite. Clearly talk isn’t going to win what is, at bottom, a war on teenage hormones. We have to start speaking the language hormones understand. We need to fight hormones with drugs that attack, block, and neutralize hormones.

No more negotiation. No more talk. It’s time to put depo provera and tamoxifen, the two most effective chemical castration drugs, in Doritos and Mountain Dew and lip gloss and Axe body spray.

He won the Hemingway look-alike contest and it felt good.

posted by on July 23 at 7:45 AM


There were 123 contenders for the glory. This year’s winner “shares Hemingway’s fondness for Key West, cats and having a good time, though he has never attempted any writing—except insurance policies.” His favorite book of Hemingway’s is The Old Man and the Sea. (Wrong answer!) Plus, does he look a little chipper to you? A little too Christmas-y? Those cheeks?

All I’m saying is, this guy was robbed:


The Morning News

posted by on July 23 at 7:32 AM

Federal minimum wage: Going up to an astonishing $5.85 an hour this week.

Health-care showdown: Democrats face potential veto over children’s health-care expansion.

First woman president: Not here, silly! In India.

Meanwhile, in Turkey: Islamist party wins election.

Failing: Infant AIDS efforts in Botswana.

Time to censure? Feingold thinks so.

The farm bill: Pelosi caves on subsidies to Big Agriculture.

Deluded: McCain “happy” with state of foundering campaign.

Recipe of the Day: Elixir of Fresh Peas, from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Sunday, July 22, 2007

And Now for Some Wholesome Sunday Evening Porn

posted by on July 22 at 11:26 PM

Slog tipper Ben N. writes:

This is the funniest porn clip I have ever seen in my entire life.

NSFNWBPSFTSO (Not Safe For Normal Work But Probably Safe For The Stranger Offices).



I have watched said clip and all I can say is OH MY GOD. Oh my God. Oh my God, omigod. It is not safe for work; it is not safe for life. Is this old? Or is this, like, straight from the frontlines of contemporary hetero relations? Is this the latest? (Was posted in February.) Charles, can you weigh in? Brad, Josh, Eric, Jonah, Anthony—straight males at The Strangeris this safe for you? Thoughts, Erica?

The men flapping their arms/wings? I repeat: NSFW, NSFW, NSFW.

Frightening TV Commercial

posted by on July 22 at 12:00 PM

Scary Australian black balloons are the new cute Al Gore polar bear.

Watch this effective ad about green house gas from the Melbourne government.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 22 at 11:00 AM

Cardboard Tube Fighting League (RIDICULOUS SPORT) Forget toilet paper. Whatever with paper towels. Cardboard tubes are for fighting: It’s the civilized way to satisfy the deep-seated human urge to bash each other with sticks. Cardboard Tube Fighting League is new and delicate—the only way to keep it from degenerating into some kind of Renaissance Faire awfulness is to show up early, bring friends, and make this event your own. (Gas Works Park, 2101 N Northlake Way, 4—6 pm, $1.) BRENDAN KILEY
See what else is happening in Film on Sunday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

The Morning News

posted by on July 22 at 8:04 AM

by Rebecca Tapscott

Sk8ter news: On Monday, the City Council will vote on the opening of a new skate park.

Jail news: In 2012, King County plans to stop housing small-misdemeanor offenders, prompting the development of new jails.

Pagan news: A Sunday feature on Paganism, brought to you by the Yakima Herald-Republic.

White Pass news: A money dispute with the county causes the fire commissioner to stop sending crews to medical emergencies in the White Pass area, increasing emergency response time by fifteen minutes.

Endangered animal news: Federal officials announced a plan to review some decisions of an ex-Bush administration official on wildlife. The review will not include the controversial decisions on the spotted owl, the bull trout, or the marbled murrelet.

Sex news: Since 2001, the sexual activity rate for American teenagers has plateaued. Some note that this coincides with the implementation of abstinence only sex education.

Sex AND alcohol news: Ex-participants of Alcoholics Anonymous expose their experiences pimping and being pimped to older male members of the organization.

Famine news: Ethiopian government enforces a food and trade blockade on rebel led areas of the country, putting hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation.

Palestinian news: Members of the Fatah movement in the West Bank hand in their weapons and pledge to support Abbas. A militant leader says it’s time to try the “political stage.”

Turkish delight: Young activists in Turkey use satire and comedy to protest the government hierarchy in their country.