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Archives for 09/02/2007 - 09/08/2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO. Tonight.

posted by on September 8 at 2:12 PM

A nice treat on this week’s the Stranger News Hour during the David Goldstein Show on 710 KIRO at 7pm.

No city hall stuff. No police accountability stuff. No RTID stuff. No news section stuff at all. Stranger arts writer Charles Mudede will be on to discuss this year’s Stranger Genius Awards.


Every Child Doesn’t Need a Lazy Family Values Parent

posted by on September 8 at 1:37 PM

The Parents Television Council, a right wing media watch dog group, has issued a report decrying the fact that the traditional family TV hour, the first hour of prime time TV, is not safe for kids.

The right wingers at PTC find that Fox is the worst offender.

Some of their findings:

There were 677 sexual scenes or spoken sexual references, an average of 3.76 per hour.

Well over half of all programs (54.8%) contained sexual content.
Since 2000-2001, the amount of sexual content during the Family Hour has increased by 22.1%.

CBS experienced the largest increase in sexual content since 2000-2001, from 0.34 to 2.31 instances per hour – a 579% increase.

ABC had the most sexual content with 5.97 instances per hour.

The War at Home (Fox) had the highest frequency of sexual content of any program with 33 instances per hour.

And they write:

We found that the Family Hour has become increasingly laced with sex and violence. Along with scheduling adult-themed shows like Bones and Desire for the Family Hour, we also found the networks taking graphic and explicit shows that had originally run in later timeslots, like Grey’s Anatomy and C.S.I., and re-airing them during the Family Hour.

The report goes on to blame the commercial interests of broadcasters and scolds broadcasters for lacking in corporate responsibility.

The PTC has every right to criticize broadcast television and call for fellow conservatives to put economic pressure on broadcasters to change their ways (which the report does). But I gotta say, I love it when right wingers eschew personal responsibility and whine.

Indeed, there’s a great response to the report in City Journal (an urban policy magazine), that A) dings the PTC for living in the long-lost era when prime time TV broadcasting was even relevant … and B) more importantly, slams the family values crowd at PTC for being delinquent parents.

By explaining how the media and technology revolution of the last 20 years has made it easy for parents to actively provide their kids with appropriate and educational stuff to watch, the City Journal article basically nails these conservative “family values” whiners for being lazy, uncreative, delinquent parents who rely on throwing their kids down on the couch after dinner and having Fox TV baby sit.

From the article:

In light of these marketplace realities, let’s return to the question of who killed the broadcast TV family hour. The answer: parents like me! Armed with all these new viewing options and technologies, parents, not broadcasters, now determine the content of the family hour and when it will take place. We no longer have to sit down at 8:00 each night to be spoon-fed our daily dose of family-friendly fare. For example, in our home, my wife and I have designated one television for most of our children’s video consumption, and we use a DVR to amass a large library of programming that we believe is educational, enriching, and appropriate. We can catalog and archive dozens of programs and supplement them with VHS tapes, DVDs, and computer software. When we allow our children some TV time, we know that they’ll be able to watch our preferred episodes of Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Blue’s Clues, and The Wiggles.

Technological empowerment will spread and benefit parents even more in coming years. Comcast Corporation, the nation’s largest cable provider, conducted a poll last year of its most aggressive VOD and DVR users and found that 85 percent indicated that they “always have appropriate shows available for their children to watch.” Moreover, 65 percent said that they “have fewer conflicts about what to watch on TV,” and 63 percent said that they “watch more television as a family” thanks to the tools.

Needless to say, families didn’t have such content tailoring and viewer empowerment in the past. The PTC seems stuck in that past, though, when it sees a national crisis just because some TV broadcasters fail to air enough family-friendly programming at 8:00 each night. I happen to agree with the PTC that not all of the programming shown on broadcast TV at 8:00 PM is appropriate for my children. But like millions of other parents, I can now take matters into my own hands.

Again, the PTC has every right to criticize broadcast TV, but my advice to the family values crowd at the PTC is this: Spend less time whining and start putting some energy into your parenting.

p.s. Oh, and, ha ha ha, you lost the culture wars.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 8 at 11:00 AM


LSD and Other Drug Scare Films at Grand Illusion

If you have any taste for paranoid kitsch, you’ve probably already seen a few drug-scare films from the ’50s and ’60s. But this 16 mm selection, organized by archivist-impresario Dennis Nyback as part of his Summer of Love Film Festival, is the cream of the crop. After you’re done gaping at “LSD babies,” Nyback will screen a spot-on drug-scare parody made by Matt Groening and friends while they were still high-school students in Portland. Aww! (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. 7 pm, $4–$8.)


And Dad was all like, “Gay Marriage,” and Tagg was all like, “No way!”

posted by on September 8 at 10:43 AM

This detail from the NYT story on Mitt Romney’s gay-rights flip flop made my head explode…

Mr. Romney’s eldest son, Tagg, 37, says that back in the early 1990s, he told his father privately that he was thinking about becoming a Democrat.

His father sat him down to dissuade him, taking him through the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Tagg Romney says he does not remember his father’s talking about abortion, another issue that has troubled his candidacy, but he does remember being warned that Democrats would lead the country toward same-sex marriage.

“He thought it was very wrong to discriminate,” Tagg Romney said. “But where Democrats are going, they’ll eventually want to extend marriage to gays. I said, ‘No way.’”

Where to start?

Mitt Romney Assumes the (Anti-Gay) Position

posted by on September 8 at 10:36 AM

It can’t be an accident that the NYT chose to illustrate this story about Mitt Romney’s flip-flops on gay marriage with this photo…


Hm. Mitt’s new anti-gay position looks pretty gay, doesn’t it? And leave the little girl alone, Mitt. Go bother bigots of voting age.

How Fast Were Those Cyclists Going?

posted by on September 8 at 8:30 AM

I’m a cyclist. I ride pretty much everywhere, often down to the U-District. At least twice a week I ride through the intersection where two cyclists were hit—run over—by a dump truck yesterday. Both men were dragged under the truck for 25 feet; one died at the scene, another was badly injured. Neither was wearing helmets—does anyone wear helmets anymore?—but I’m not sure helmets would have helped them under the wheels of a dump truck.

The truck was turning right from Eastlake Avenue East on to Fuhrman Avenue East when it hit the cyclists, who were in a bike lane headed toward the University Bridge. David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, is quoted in this morning’s PI as saying that this accident has, er, struck the bike community in “a very personal place.”

As a cyclist, my first reaction was, “Fucking drivers—fucking truck drivers, fucking bus drivers, fucking car drivers.” I immediately assumed that the truck driver had to be at fault. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people—drivers that aren’t using their signals—turn right, right in front of me, right on top of me, at that intersection. That could have been me under that dump truck.

But watching the TV news last night, I listened as one witness said the truck was moving very slowly and the bikes were moving very fast—too fast for the truck driver to see them coming.

And then I thought about that hill. Coming off Capitol Hill along the freeway, blasting down Harvard Avenue East, which dumps you on to Eastlake Avenue East right before Fuhrman… man, it’s easy to pick up some serious speed. It’s also tempting—particularly on a summer day, when the bridge is constantly going up and down—to race toward University Bridge, to beat that light at Eastlake and Fuhrman, so that you can blast up the incline that starts after you cross over the bridge. If you take advantage of that hill—if you pick up speed, pump your legs, and get low—you can be at that intersection so fast that car, bus, and truck drivers can’t see you coming, much less react to you in time.

So knowing what I know now… I’m going to have to set aside my natural allegiance to my fellow cyclists and reserve judgment about the truck driver. It’s possible that the cyclists were at fault yesterday. Were they coming down Harvard Avenue East? Were they hurtling toward the bridge? If they were, well, it’s possible that they were going so fast that they, essentially, threw themselves into the path of a truck that was already turning right, a truck being driven by someone that never had a chance to brake, a driver that couldn’t have seen them coming, couldn’t react in time.

It’s going to be hard for area cyclists to wrap their heads around this, but this accident may not be the driver’s fault. It may be the cyclists’ fault.

It is, of course, still a tragedy. And that intersection, however yesterday’s accident unfolded, is still dangerous—it’s not just cyclists that blast through it, or hurry up to beat that bridge. But yesterday’s death may not fit the script of our usual “careless driver, martyred cyclist” morality play.

Friday, September 7, 2007

What the Fuck, Phoenix!?

posted by on September 7 at 8:58 PM

Tonight I’m going to New York for the first time ever. I’ll be there for a whole week and I’m really, really excited.

Or I was excited, until I got off the plane for a two-hour layover in Phoenix. I walked into the airport, looked down, and saw this:


What the fuck is that!? Can you see that? Can you see all the little plane shapes flying erratically in the vertigo-cursed sky? Why the hell would you put this carpet everywhere in your airport!? I don’t want to see that! I don’t want to see hundreds of planes swirling around, mere seconds away from colliding into one another or being sucked into a whirlpool of death! That shit’s fucked up!

Fuck you, Phoenix. Fuck you and your nasty little mind tricks.

I can’t wait to get to New York.

Kubrick’s Ignoble Alabama Blacksnake

posted by on September 7 at 4:59 PM

From the mouth of a dead man:

It is quite true that my film’s view of man is less flattering than the one Rousseau entertained in a similarly allegorical narrative [“Emile”] — but, in order to avoid fascism, does one have to view man as a noble savage, rather than an ignoble one? Being a pessimist is not yet enough to qualify one as a tyrant (I hope)….

dom.jpg The words above the image from 2001 are taken from a letter that Kubrick wrote in response to a critic, Fred M. Hechinger, who in 1972, in the New York Times, described his movie A Clockwork Orange as “everything from ‘fascistic’ to ‘anarchistic’ to ‘nihilistic.’”

Jim Emerson, a smart critic in the Ebert camp, recently discovered the dead letter and reanimated it because of my own criticism of Kubrick’s cinema.

That’s right. Either from beyond the grave (“Anything that says there’s anything after death is ultimately an optimistic story,” Kubrick said of “The Shining”), or from within it, Stanley Kubrick responds to a critic who accuses him and his films of nihilism.

But my reading of Kubrick’s work has no similarities with Hechinger’s reading. We are saying completely different things. Hechinger had a moral agenda; my designs and criticism do not. What I want to get at, and expose like an organ in a body, is the core of Kubrick’s work. What is its logic? What makes it tick? And that thing is human hate. You will not find love in that body, nor will you find peace. All is war, and all sex is rape.

There is a scene in Full Metal Jacket that needs closer inspection. It happens like this: A Vietnamese man on a motorcycle brings a prostitute to some bored American soldiers. He calls a price and promises she will suck and fuck. A black soldier, played by the great Dorian Harewood, accepts the fucking offer. But the Vietnamese prostitute rejects his bid because she fears he has a big dick. The black man then unzips his pants and shows her “pure Alabama blacksnake.” The prostitute’s eyes pop out at the sight of his animal, and she greedily accepts his bid: sold.

The problem with this scene is it makes no sense. First, she doesn’t want to fuck him because his dick is too big; second, he shows her that his dick is too big; third, she wants to fuck him because his dick is too big. There is no escape from this breakdown of meaning. There is no escape because there is no hope here. That dark contradiction is a symptom of a cinema that sees nothing but the worst in all motives and interactions.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on September 7 at 4:53 PM

The Prayer Warrior is on the move again…


Dear Prayer Warrior,

Thank you for praying for my trip to DC. Please pray for me now as I lead in the development of a plan to deal with corporations that are supplying millions of dollars each year for same sex marriages and anti judeo Christian values.

Your Pastor,

Anyone Want to Get Oysters With Me Tonight?

posted by on September 7 at 4:23 PM

You know what totally sucks about being young and punk rock, and yet able to hold a steady job? (Other than “Nothing!” of course.) When I crave oysters and three-tiered platters of deluxe seafood like the feast Angela Garbes got to eat in this week’s chow lead, I have to go alone, because none of my fucking poor-ass friends can afford to eat like I want to. (Sorry guys, but you know it’s true.) And I make enough money to pay for me, but not really enough to pay for them.

I even started a club with a few of my other friends who are in the same position (a Sub Pop employee and a teen center worker). But a club is not able to quench immediate urges—it requires planning and the syncronization of our collectively incredibly busy schedules. It is not just enough to get the oysters eventually—I want them tonight.

I guess I’ll just have to wait until we all grow up to be able to have this urge satisfied. Or I could start hanging out with old people. (Hi, Meinert!)

Peeing is Fundamental

posted by on September 7 at 4:14 PM

From today’s Seattle Times

Two transgender individuals attending a weekend conference in Seattle were kicked out of a men’s bathroom at Pacific Place and then ejected from the downtown mall in what could become a significant test involving transgender people under the state’s year-old gay-rights law.

The Aug. 31 incident led about three dozen people who were attending the Gender Odyssey Conference at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center to march on the mall in protest on Labor Day, staging what they called a “pee-in” at the fourth-floor bathrooms.

The two female-to-male transgender people involved in the incident weren’t arrested but said they were mortified as a security guard led them down escalators as shoppers gawked and pointed.

“I don’t think straight people can truly understand the gravity of what this means emotionally,” said Sean, one of the two. He and the other man, his friend Simon, both asked that their last names not be used.

Peeing is basic,” Sean said. “Anyone who feels a need to use a bathroom should be able to do so without someone rapping on the stall while your pants are down around your ankle.”

Returning Phone Books to Dex

posted by on September 7 at 4:06 PM

As Dan, Christopher and dozens of Slog readers have noted, phone books have become obsolete to the average computer owner and are a huge waste of paper. Last week, Slog readers encouraged me to round up as many phone books as I could, pile them into my car, and drop them off at Qwest Dex regional headquarters in Bellevue.

At first, I invited Slog readers to drop their phone books off at a central location so that I could deliver them to Dex. I constructed a massive cardboard box and left it next to the Stranger offices in a nook where homeless people often sleep. Within a day, someone ripped of the “Stranger” banner and threw it the box. The box also accumulated four Pepsi cans, a sock, two t-shirts and three trash bags from Top Food and Drugs. Only two people dropped off their phonebooks.

Dan ordered me to go door-to-door to collect unwanted phone books. I put on a nice shirt and drove to Ravenna.

The first house I visited (on 19th) had a large “God Bless America” sign leaning on the living room window, and a pro-life sticker taped above the doorbell. I swallowed, rang the doorbell, and nervously tapped my foot on the welcome mat. Nobody answered, thank God.

The next house had a large dog, so I skipped it.

After the third house, I started to get terribly bored. I rang the doorbell on another “America” house and ran away. I skipped houses. I tied my shoe slowly. I purchased some gum. After a while, I had no idea where I was. Then, I realized I had to pee. People looked up from their gardening and glared at me. I wanted to yell, “I’m not a solicitor! I’m the Public Intern! I’m here to help!”

I called Christopher Frizelle—he had written about the a large stack of phone books in the basement of his apartment, and I asked if I could come over and get them. He told me “yes” and I drove to his apartment off Broadway. Together, we piled over sixty phone books into the backseat and trunk of my Camry.


I drove to Dex headquarters (a nondescript building facing the freeway near Factoria) began unloading the phonebooks.


It was 5:30 PM, so employees were leaving the building as I dumped phone books next to the entrance. A man asked me what I was doing there and I told him, “just delivering phonebooks.” He chuckled and walked to his Lexus. Another man stood in the lobby on his cell phone, presumably calling security. I continued to add to the pile of phone books.


Books began to fall from the top of the mound, which made the pile even uglier. I waited for someone to come out and confront me, so I could tell them why I was there and what I was doing. No one came outside. The Dex people pretended the mound didn’t exist.

Steven Blum
Public Intern

Bicyclist Killed

posted by on September 7 at 3:33 PM

A garbage truck hit a bicyclist at Eastlake E. and Furhman Ave. E about a half hour ago. This is at the Southern entrance to the University Bridge off Eastlake.

The bicyclist, a man, was killed. He was with another biker, who was not harmed.

As the sad tipster who called in with the news—he lives right by the scene of the accident—reported it: “We’ve really got to figure out a way for bikes and cars to share the road.”

No details are available yet.

“Knowing that a Tintin-loving Belgian named Claude Souvenir is partially responsible for our album title is a delight.”

posted by on September 7 at 3:32 PM

My nefarious influence on the world via Wikipedia continues:

Hi Brendan

Just read your humorous account of discovering your own “facts” on wikipedia. Funnier yet: I’m in a band in LA that named our album The Ortolan after reading that same wikipedia entry. It comes out nationwide next Tuesday… Anyways, knowing that a Tintin-loving Belgian named Claude Souvenir is partially responsible for our album title is a delight.

Best, Will

Here’s the short version: About ten years ago, in Paris, after a very long and great dinner, I had a tipsy conversation with a suspicious Belgian named Claude Souvenir who told me about how one eats the ortolan, a tiny bird that is customarily caught, tortured, and eaten whole, with rich Christian symbolism.

My memory of that conversation made it into this article, which I wrote last year. Then my memory of that conversation went up on Wikipedia, presented in a sort of authoritative way.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across my own quote, while doing research for something else. I thought it was funny that my memory would be cited as an authority on anything and wrote this story about it.

Then Will (above) wrote me the letter about reading my story about reading my own memory in a Wikipedia article—the same article that influenced the choice of his band’s album.

Anyway, the Wikipedia article in which my memory was cited as an authority—I’ve been edited out of it. Which is sort of insulting and sort of relieving.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on September 7 at 3:30 PM


Tonight: The Juan Maclean, Clipse, Dirty Projectors, and More.

SRSLY: This Week’s Setlist.

Roll Deep: Trent Moorman on Drum Rolls.

The Best: Kim Hayden on George Jones.

“Dicked Around at Work. Ate Some Tacos”: Jeff Kirby on Ben Snakepit

Don’t You Know?: Terry Miller on Jan Hammer.

Animal Collectives: Molly Hamilton on Deerhunter, Grizzly Bear.

Eyman Initiative Will Be on the Ballot

posted by on September 7 at 3:28 PM

Tim Eyman’s latest initiative, I-960, which would require a super majority vote of the legislature to pass tax increases and require those tax increases to go before a vote of the people—withstood a joint legal challenge from the Service Employees International Union and environmentalists at Futurewise.

The state Supreme Court refused (unanimously) today to toss the initiative before it gets its chance at the ballot this November.

There were two legal arguments against Eyman’s initiative.

First, the plaintiffs argued that I-960’s requirement for a legislative super majority to pass any tax increase is a de facto amendment to the state Constitution. “Editing the Constitution by initiative is beyond the scope of the initiative process,” envionmental attorney Knoll Lowney says. Indeed, you cannot amend the Constitution by the initiative process.

The Constitution already specifies when legislative action requires more than a simple majority. Most tax increases are not on that list.

Second, the anti-Eyman folks argued that I-960’s requirement that all tax increases passed by the legislature must automatically go to a vote of the people also takes the red pen to the state Constitution. Requiring a vote of the people, circumvents the referendum process as spelled out in the state Constitution. You cannot file a referendum without first collecting signatures. To change that guideline, you’d have to change the Constitution—which, again, you cannot do by initiative.

The court didn’t reject the central claim that I-960 may be unconstitutional, but they rejected the idea that I-960 would literally change the language of the constitution. For example, it may be unconstitutional to pass an initiative saying people cannot protest on Wednesdays, but that initiative wouldn’t change the language of the constitution. However, if and when it passed, it could be thrown out for violating the constitution.

And so, since I-960 wasn’t setting out to change the language of the constitution, the Court held that the initiative did not fall outside the scope of the initiative process.

As to I-960s constitutionality, they would be happy to rule on that after the election.

The Court wrote:

At issue is whether this court should review the validity of the challenged provisions of I-960 prior to the November 2007 general election. Preelection review of initiative measures is highly disfavored. The fundamental reason is that “the right of initiative is nearly as old as our constitution itself, deeply ingrained in our state’s history, and widely revered as a powerful check and balance on the other branches of government.”

Appellants challenge the constitutionality of I-960. Such a challenge is not subject to preelection review. While the disputed sections of the initiative may be subject to constitutional challenge, if passed, the initiative does not exceed the scope of the legislative power. The initiative therefore may be placed on the general election ballot.

How Dry I Am

posted by on September 7 at 3:04 PM


First Hill

9th and Madison

The Washington State Liquor Board has temporarily suspended Vito’s Madison Grill’s liquor license. They will not be serving booze this weekend.

According to Liquor Board spokesman Brian Smith, last February, the Seattle Police Department received a tip that Sting Entertainment was promoting an event at Vito’s, and was allowing minors in to the bar for a $10 cover charge.

When SPD showed up, there were 10 underage patron in the bar, some with drinks in their hands.

Smith says Vito’s was originally supposed to serve a 7 day suspension in July, but they came to an agreement with the Liquor Board. Vito’s license has been suspended for 4 days and they will pay a $1500 fine.

Prohibition at Vito’s ends on the 11th.

Tim Burgess and David Della on Issues That Are Not Gay Marriage

posted by on September 7 at 2:28 PM

If you’re interested in Tim Burgess’s position on issues besides gay marriage and his decision to take money from Concerned Women for America, don’t worry—we’ll be continuing to cover the campaign, and we plan to have Burgess and (hopefully) Della in for an endorsement interview with our full editorial board.

In the meantime, here’s an article I wrote when Burgess first got into the race against Della (scroll down to the last few paragraphs); here’s a Slog post Josh wrote about Burgess’s position on police accountability after a debate between Burgess and Della last month; here’s another on the police accountability issue; and here are Burgess and Della’s campaign web sites, where you can get a sense of their views on city issues (and read a press release where Burgess accuses Della of “Karl Rove campaign tactics”).

Rep. Joe McDermott’s Open Seat

posted by on September 7 at 2:25 PM

Earlier this week, I posted a list of potential candidates for the state house seat vacancy that’s opening up in the likelihood that Rep. Joe McDermott (D-34, West Seattle) takes over Sen. Erik Poulsen’s (D-34, West Seattle) state senate seat.

Poulsen announced earlier this week that he’s going to leave the state senate to lobby on behalf of Washington’s public utilities.

One name I wasn’t aware of was Ivan Weiss, the chair of the 34th District Democrats. Washblog reports that Weiss is in.

Again, replacing Sen. Poulsen and Rep. McDermott happens through an appointment process. The approximately 113 Democratic precinct committee officers in the 34th are courted by candidates. Then the PCOs vote on nominees and winnow it down to the 3 top names. Those names are forwarded to the KC Council and the Council chooses. The pick is limited to a Democrat—not because McDermott is a Democrat, but because the turf is controlled by a D—Dow Constantine—at the County Council level.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on September 7 at 1:43 PM

It was a violent week for the drugs.

New Gateway Theory #1
: Marijuana leads to stabbing.

New Gateway Theory #2
: Stabbing leads to marijuana.

New Gateway Theory #3: Marijuana leads to Pit Bulls killing children.

Vietnam: Executing six for trafficking heroin.

Tasers: Killing dopers.

Not Violent: Montana to open eight free treatment centers.

Cop Quote of the Week: “I feel bad leaving these drugs in the evidence room. There’s a million dollars in drugs someone could use.”

If Bloomberg’s Not Running…

posted by on September 7 at 1:22 PM

…then why, people are wondering, did he just launch MySpace and Facebook pages?

Totally Worth It

posted by on September 7 at 1:08 PM





Sierra Club’s Anti-Roads/Transit Statement Likely to be in Voters Guide

posted by on September 7 at 12:57 PM

I reported last week that the Sierra Club’s attempt to get its anti “Roads and Transit Package” POV published in the Voters Guide had gotten a preliminary nod from King County Superior Court.

Here’s the deal: Environmentalists who oppose this November’s $17.5 billion Roads and Transit package (they think the roads portion cancels out the benefits of the transit portion), took Sound Transit to court last week arguing that Sound Transit (cleverly) picked a cuckoo road warrior, Kemper Freeman, to write the Nay statement in the voters’ pamphlet. They believe that his message—strictly anti-transit—will turn off liberal King County voters.

Environmentalists worry that liberal voters won’t hear the complaints from the left about the $6.9 billion roads portion of the package—and how it would impact the environment.

Well, it looks like Sierra Club and Sound Transit (ST is in charge of the Roads and Transit statements in the voters guide) are about to sign off on an out-of-court agreement that will put Sierra Club’s anti position in the guide .

From today’s Sierra Club press release:

The Sierra Club is determined to have its opposition to RTID reflected in the Voter’s Pamphlet Guide. The public has the right to know that massive highway expansion will make global warming worse. For more information, check out

The Sierra Club originally went to court over concerns that the original “con” committee appointed by Sound Transit did not include road opponents, only those against Sound Transit. The Sierra Club wants to include this statement:

“The Sierra Club opposes because it makes global warming worse. ( Billions spent on 150 miles of new highways and roads will swamp transit benefits. Proposition 1 also relies on regressive tax increases. Climate change demands smarter approaches like congestion pricing – not massive new taxes for new roads.”

The Sierra Club has come to an agreement with the committee initially appointed by Sound Transit to include the Sierra Club’s statement in opposition, and Sound Transit indicated it was open to settling on the terms proposed. Settlement today could not be finalized as King County elections and the RTID Steering Committee needed more time to respond to the compromise offer.

Could You Just Sit There and Watch This Cute Baby Lamb Die?

posted by on September 7 at 12:48 PM

Producers of the British TV series “Kill It, Cook It, Eat It” are coming under fire for their decision to screen the slaughter of baby lambs, piglets, and veal calves on TV. National Farmers Union spokesman Anthony Gibson says farmers aren’t opposed to letting people see how their meat is produced; they oppose this show, he says, “because it smacks of sensationalism to show baby animals being killed.”

Slog readers, what do you think? Is it OK for a network to use the televised deaths of animals like this:


or this:


or these:


… to boost their ratings?

African Zembla

posted by on September 7 at 12:27 PM

Rep. McDermott Knighted by King in Lesotho, South Africa:

In recognition of his tireless efforts in Africa in medical, economic, humanitarian, political and cultural areas, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) was knighted by the King of Lesotho during a ceremony held on August 22 at the Royal Palace, Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho.

“His Majesty Letsie III, by the Grace of God, Sovereign of the Kingdom of Lesotho, is pleased by these presents to appoint Jim McDermott Knight Commander of The Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe” reads the official citation.

During the official ceremony, King Letsie III personally draped a symbolic ribbon across Rep. McDermott, as the congressman’s wife, Therese Hansen, and Lesotho officials looked on.

Not bad! But the place to go for high honors is another small kingdom inside of South Africa, Swaziland:
swazii.jpg Where is my lion skin? Where is my medal? Where is my Chibuku Shake Shake?

Presbyterians—They’re Not All Alike

posted by on September 7 at 12:20 PM

Who knew?

Not me, apparently, when I posted yesterday that city council candidate Tim Burgess was a member of the Presbyterian Church in America—which, it turns out, is the very conservative faction of the Presbyterian Church, the other faction being the Presbyterian Church USA. Dave Meinert and others familiar with the split promptly ripped on Burgess in the comments, charging that PCA church doctrine is racist, sexist, and fundamentalist. I noted in the comments that I “may have been mistaken,” and took the reference to PCA down. (Burgess had talked to me about the difference before, but in rewriting my post yesterday, I got it backward.)

So, for the record: Burgess’s congregation is part of the Presbyterian Church USA, the more mainline, liberal branch of the Presbyterian Church. I stand corrected; my apologies for any confusion.

Tim Burgess Semantics

posted by on September 7 at 12:10 PM

Erica did a great job reporting on our meeting with city council candidate Tim Burgess.

For those just joining us: ECB has a story in this week’s paper revealing that an ad firm co-owned by Burgess (the Domain Group, now known as Merkle/Domain) worked for eight or nine years for Concerned Women of America, a serious right-wing group that fights against equal rights for gays and lesbians, among other “family values” issues.

In the buildup to the 2004 elections, CWA paid Domain $328,479 for copywriting, media buys, and consulting work.

Erica also called readers’ attention to an op/ed Burgess wrote for the Seattle Times in early 2005 (after the “family values” voters carried the day in November 2004). In the op/ed, Burgess, trying to get the Democrats back on track with “values voters” like him, urged Democrats to reach out to religious voters. He wrote: “We value the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

The CWA contract and Burgess’s use of boilerplate anti-gay code language alarmed us. Erica’s story (she originally wrote about it on Slog) was accompanied by several angry posts by Dan.

Erica and I have both been following Burgess on the campaign trail and thought he was a strong candidate. And so, after the CWA news broke, we invited him into our office to hear him out more fully.

Again, Erica has a great report on the meeting, but I’m still having trouble getting excited about a candidate whose political judgment was such that he could take on a client like CWA. I am comforted by the fact that two years into the contract, he battled with his partner to kill the contract, and that he gave his employees the option to opt out of any CWA work, though.

I’m also happy that when I asked Burgess why he now thinks the CWA contract was a mistake, he said: “I don’t want to be associated with those types of messages. These are hate messages.

Although, footnote, I’d like to know why Domain Group was in CWA’s orbit in the first place. Did Domain have a strong reputation with the Christian right? Why so? In our interview, Burgess also told us that Gary Bauer came to Domain. Burgess says they turned him down. He doesn’t, however, remember if CWA came to them or if Domain sought out CWA. Either way. It’s unsettling. It’s also unsettling that he wouldn’t tell us which presidential candidate he voted for in 2004.

Meanwhile, I’m still not sure what I think about Burgess’s evolution on gay marriage. He says he switched from pro-civil unions to pro-gay marriage after gay leaders such as Tina Podlodowski, state Rep. Joe McDermott, and City Council member Tom Rasmussen— whom Burgess met with in his deliberations before deciding to run for city council— convinced him that his problem with gay marriage was “semantic.”

Here’s a snippet from our interview, where I tried to get to the bottom of that explanation, which had seemed like a sweeping way of not really answering the question.

Me: You keep saying, “They convinced me I had a semantic problem.” But what was the specific problem you had with marriage that you didn’t have with a civil union? How did they convince you it was a just a semantic problem? What semantic problem did they identify, and then how did you come out on the other side of that conversation?

Burgess: I think it came up where, and I don’t remember if it was Tom or Tina who asked my position on gay marriage, and my response was, “I have no problem with civil unions.” And they said, “Hey great, BUT…” and then we got into a discussion about marriage equality and what that meant. And so I then talked about and had a dialogue with all of them. With Joe McDermott, with all kinds of people to tell me what the difference is and why this is important. And I went through a process…

Me: Tim, I’m trying to get at specifically what you weren’t aware of. You said it’s just semantic. So I want to know: I used to think this about gay marriage, but now…

Dan: Why did you think a same sex marriage should not be allowed to be a marriage? What was magic about those syllables?

Tim: I don’t think I thought affirmatively it should not be. I supported civil unions, and I viewed marriage as inside the context of the church. Then my position became: Marriage can be religious or it can be civil and that’s where I then saw the freedom to say, you know what, it can be civil unions. That’s fine. But it can also be full marriage equality and I don’t have a problem with that.”

Satisfying answer?

Ron Sims

posted by on September 7 at 11:41 AM

The King County Executive has a secret admirer.

Today in Bizarre Myspace Advertising

posted by on September 7 at 11:15 AM


I hope there are free ringtones in the afterlife.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 7 at 11:00 AM


Dirty Projectors, YACHT at Vera Project

Dirty Projectors’ new album, Rise Above, begins with a fun premise: cover Black Flag’s Damaged (which main Projector Dave Longstreth hadn’t listened to since middle school) from memory. The result is acoustic and choral, a beautifully faded impression of a punk-rock classic. The Dirty Projectors’ set will be a pastel reverie; YACHT’s will be a hypercolor explosion: Wizard-spaz Jona Bechtolt will dance, sing, give some motivational speeches, and probably hug somebody. (Vera Project, Seattle Center, 956-8372. 7:30 pm, $8, all ages.)


Director Stabbed to Death

posted by on September 7 at 10:43 AM

Mark Weil, a prominent Uzbek theater director and part-time Seattle resident was stabbed to death in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, presumably by “two young men in baseball caps waiting for the director in front of his building.”

He was not robbed.

From the AP:

The Ilkhom Theater, which Weil founded in 1976, was the first independent theater in the Soviet Union. Long before perestroika was introduced in the late 1980s, Ilkhom gained popularity for staging uncensored productions that combined elements of Uzbek folk theater, Italian commedia dell’arte, absurdist plays and pantomime.
Some of Ilkhom’s productions have discussed themes of homosexual love, a taboo topic in Uzbekistan, a predominantly Muslim country in Central Asia where gays still face ostracism and persecution. Homosexuality is punishable by up to two years in jail.

Weil was about to open to open a production of The Oresteia.

“I’m opening the season tomorrow, whatever happens,” were Weil’s last words, according to [spokeswoman Oksana] Khripun.

Broadway Renaissance

posted by on September 7 at 10:23 AM


Photo courtesy of Andrew Taylor.

UPDATE: I know it looks like a sneakily attached sticker, but according to a Hooters rep, they’ve been “looking at opening a new location in the [Seattle] area.” Waiting to hear back from Brix and Hooters corporate.

UPDATE 2: PHEW! The Brix developer just called. Hooters is NOT moving in. However, I just got word that Chili’s will be taking over the Bailey-Coy Books property.

Re: All About My Mustache

posted by on September 7 at 10:22 AM

The commentors in this post about my mustache and its raison d’être are right—I’m a jackass for neglecting to mention that this devastatingly dapper fellow…


…is Burke Kenny, the 22-year-old Olympia gentleman who, this very week, won top marks at the World Beard and Moustache Championship in Brighton, England.

After four years of nurturing his full beard and mustache with a meticulous daily regimen (which includes scrubbing it with Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap, paddle brushing and trimming split ends), Kenny’s own facial hair was deemed some of the best on the planet.


He is also obviously hilarious. This quote is the best sentence I’ve read all week: “I love to let the beard speak for itself.”

Huzzah, good sir! Godspeed, congratulations, et cetera.

A Law After My Own Heart

posted by on September 7 at 10:04 AM

All men have secrets and here is mine, so let it be known: People who gab on cell phones while driving make me want to kill. If I had a penny for every time I saw a cell-phone gabber attempting a ridiculous left turn, I could buy a nice semi-automatic weapon and shoot them all. Instead, I’ll just take consolation from the U.K., where lawmakers have passed legislation punishing cell-phone drivers with two years in jail. Full story here.

Sabey Corporation: Good Developers, or Just Plain Crazy?

posted by on September 7 at 10:00 AM

If you haven’t heard, the 5 building, Rainier Cold Storage complex in Georgetown is getting a makeover. The Sabey Corporation purchased the 300,000 square foot site for $10 million last October and immediately reached out to Georgetown residents and business owners for input on the renovation.


Confounded and surprised by Sabey’s neighborhood-friendly approach to development, I contacted Jim Harmon, Sabey’s Senior Vice President of Investments. My first question: “are you guys crazy?” as seeking out community input generally means you’ll end up hearing a million different things from a million different people.

Harmon laughed. He told me Sabey got involved with Georgetown when they saw how organized the community was. Sabey didn’t have a fully realized plan for the site, so they asked the neighborhood for suggestions. “We walked into it not knowing specifically what we were going to do,” Harmon says. “People were surprised that we didn’t have a specific plan.”

Sabey recruited 8 neighborhood representatives from Friends of Georgetown History, a Georgetown merchants group and the Georgetown Community Council, and held monthly meetings to figure out a plan for the 5 buildings at the site.

During the process, Sabey’s structural engineers determined one of the buildings was sinking and would have to be demolished. The cold storage had frozen the ground underneath it, and when the freezer was turned off, and the ground started to thaw, the building started to sink.

Because of the costs associated with demolishing such a massive building, the site will be turned into an office tower. However, Harmon says “We don’t know what the design is going to be. Not glass and shiny fancy marble. It just wouldn’t go with the neighborhood.”

Sabey hasn’t determined what they’ll do with the other four buildings on site—one of which is occupied by Georgetown Brewing—although Harmon says residential units and ground level retail are a possibility. There are also preliminary plans to add some office space in the Rainier bottling plant, which is currently used by artists and craftsmen. The current tenants will remain, Harmon says, noting “to squeeze the artists out just wouldn’t be wise.”

Sabey should have a complete plan and a time line in the next few months.

Photo by Rick Moerloos via Flickr

Save Slog!

posted by on September 7 at 9:41 AM

Say the rich family with the big house with four kids that lives on the other side of Capitol Hill from me uses 10 times as much water as I do in my West Capitol Hill apt.

Well, they pay a lot more for it than I do. And that makes sense. (And they can afford to.)

But should their water come rushing out of the pipes faster than it does at my house?

This is essentially the same question that’s in front of Congress when it comes to Net Neutrality—a proposal that would prevent Internet providers from speeding up or slowing down net content based on source, ownership or destination.

The telecom companies like AT&T that control the pipes to the Internet want to give better service to the bigger content providers. Their reasoning: Big providers use more and pay more, so they should get better service—while smaller content providers should be relegated to second tier service.

Practical implication: AT&T could make much more accessible to the public than; or they could make more accessible than Slog!!!

The battle (the main lobbyist for AT&T is based here in Seattle) heated up this week when the DOJ filed comments with the FCC arguing that net neutrality regulations are unnecessary because the market will take care of everything. And, the DOJ pledges that if inequity breaks out they will swoop in and take action.

Don’t believe that the DOJ will stand up for the little guy if necessary? Take some action of your own.

Attacking Rudy, First in a Series

posted by on September 7 at 9:37 AM

NEW YORK - A filmmaker who was behind documentaries that bashed Rupert Murdoch and Wal-Mart is now focusing on Rudy Giuliani, creating an “online viral video campaign” about the presidential candidate timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack.

Robert Greenwald on Thursday launched the first of four short videos about Sept. 11 and the Republican former mayor. The others are planned to launch throughout the month.

Here’s the first, about Giuliani’s ill-fated emergency command center:

The Morning News

posted by on September 7 at 8:07 AM

Good news: Senate plans to consider bill allowing groups barred from receiving US aid because of their abortion policies to receive contraceptives.

Food additives
: Connected to hyperactivity in children.

Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction: And Bush knew it.

Norman Mailer: Hospitalized with breathing problems.

Larry Craig: Resigning again?

Suicide bomb in Algeria: Fifteen dead.

Cholera in India: Those who aren’t dead face hunger.

Dead bees: Israeli acute paralysis virus to blame?

“Kicking ass” in Iraq?
: So says Bush.

Ruling: USA Patriot Act enables “far-reaching invasions of liberty.”

Condi: Secretary of State? Nope—“office wife,” according to Washington Post.

Babies: Too fat?

Brownback: Supports war, constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Suicide: Rate soars among US girls.

Things you didn’t want to know: Hugh Hefner still has sex “several times a week.” (Also, he loves Holly the most.)

Recipe of the Week: Tequila-Glazed Chicken With Jalapeno (Recipe and Photo via Bon Appetit/Epicurious)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tim Burgess Interview

posted by on September 6 at 5:57 PM

Yesterday, Dan, Josh and I met with Tim Burgess, who’s running against incumbent David Della for City Council. My main goal was to find out what he was thinking when he, as the owner of an international ad agency based in Seattle, took on anti-gay, anti-woman hate group Concerned Women for America as a client in 1999. Concerned Women, Slog readers will recall, is the D.C.-based group that wants to ban abortion, believes homosexuality is a disease, and thinks birth control is abortion. For a look at what the lovely ladies of CWA are up to in Washington State (mostly seeking to ban sex ed and allow pharmacists to refuse to do their jobs) go here.

Additionally, Dan, Josh, and I were concerned about an opinion piece Burgess wrote for the Seattle Times in the wake of the 2004 election. In that op/ed, Burgess asserted that if the Democrats wanted to win over “values voters” (religious voters who were widely credited for Bush’s reelection), they needed to understand what their values were. Among other things, Burgess wrote, values voters “don’t like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isn’t a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is.”

Burgess has since tried to distance himself from those views, saying that he was merely trying to describe what certain people of faith believe. Given the context in which that editorial was written—two months after Bush was swept to reelection by values voters, after a year of anti-gay-marriage initiatives in which “upholding the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman” was code for banning gay marriage—we were skeptical.

First of all, I give Burgess credit for showing up. Given the beating he’s taken on Slog over his editorial and his association with CWA, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he wanted to stay as far away from the Stranger’s office as possible. Compare Burgess’s stand-up behavior to his opponent David Della, who has not returned a single call from anyone at the Stranger since I wrote a mildly critical story about him after he defeated Heidi Wills four years ago. (No city council member, in my experience, has ever held a grudge that long; hell, even Margaret Pageler would sit down with us.)

Over the course of an hour-plus interview Burgess explained but didn’t exactly absolve himself. Although he did say working with CWA was “a mistake” that he wouldn’t repeat if he could do it over again, he never quite managed to explain his rapid (very rapid) transformation from ad agency executive working for anti-gay, anti-choice hate group to city council candidate with a pro-gay-marriage, pro-choice platform. “It was a business decision,” Burgess said. “I told my employees later that it was the wrong decision.” Burgess said he tried after one or two years to convince his partner, Richard Perry, to drop what eventually became an eight-or-nine year contract, but Perry would not agree. In lieu of dropping CWA, Burgess said, his firm began allowing employees to recuse themselves from working on CWA literature and other projects, an opportunity Burgess availed himself of as well. (His former employee James McWhinney, who is gay, corroborates this, saying he himself “chose not to” work on the CWA campaign. McWhinney describes the “culture” of Burgess’s agency as “one in which I finally felt free to be myself.”) Given the chance to represent CWA now, Burgess said, “I would say no because I don’t want to be associated with those kind of messages. Those are hate messages and a distortion of what I view the Christian doctrine to be.

But let’s not let Burgess off the hook completely. After all, his firm did profit handsomely from their association with—and creation of—what Burgess now describes as “hate messages.” (In Burgess’s own words, “[CWA] came up with themes and we executed them.”) In 2003 alone, they took in $328,000 from CWA. That’s a lot of money from a contract Burgess now says was “a mistake”. And Burgess was the person at his firm directly responsible for bringing in new business; he told us he “can’t recall” whether he approached CWA or vice versa.

As for that editorial: Burgess told us he was only trying to “describe the views of voters from my faith tradition,” adding: “My assessment of that election was that Senator Kerry lost because he did not connect with people of faith. It was a plea to my political party to welcome these people to the table.” Throughout our interview, he used similar language, referring to values voters in the third person: “Those people,” “their views”. But in the 2005 editorial itself, he made it clear that he considered himself a values voter, using the first person throughout. “[F]or many of us, our political views are shaped and guided by our religious faith. We’re not Bible-thumpers, but we read it, study it and believe it.

Burgess described the op/ed as “an attempt to say to my political party, this is a big issue that needs to be addressed.” But he refused to tell us whether he voted for Kerry or Bush—responding a bit too pointedly that “no American should have to answer that question.” (He was more willing to reveal that he voted in favor of both the four-foot rule in strip clubs and pro-pot Initiative 75).

Burgess now says he fully supports equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. As recently as a year ago, however, he did not. He says the evolution of his position on the marriage issue came after he started considering a run for council, when he talked to gay and lesbian friends about what issues they considered most important. “At the time, I supported civil unions and I viewed marriage as something that happened within the context of the church,” Burgess told us yesterday. “After talking with (gay former City Council member] Tina [Podlodowski] and [gay state rep] Joe [McDermott], I decided that I had been hung up on a semantical issue.” However, he acknowledges that he would not push his own pastor to perform gay weddings or lobby the leaders of his own denomination to allow them. “I’m just not there yet,” he said, adding: “I’m running for city council, not city theologian.”

Asked again about the coded anti-gay language in his editorial (“sacredness of marriage between a woman and a man”), Burgess said it was not his “intent” to suggest that only men and women should be allowed to marry, a point that Dan didn’t find entirely convincing. “That’s the only possible interpretation of that phrase!” he shouted. Burgess responded: “Maybe I should have written it in a different way or more artfully, but I didn’t.

Ultimately, I believe that Burgess’s contrition is sincere, that he supports abortion rights and gay marriage, and that he has, as he told us yesterday, “evolved and learned from my experiences in life.” What I don’t know is whether the City Council is ready for a member whose views have shown a tendency to shift so rapidly.

Now Boarding

posted by on September 6 at 5:16 PM

With all the tough talk about airport security, apparently you actually don’t need an ID to fly.

That’s pretty scary. But what’s scarier is this: I once lost my driver’s license, this was in 2002, and I got on board at National Airport in DC with this … which no joke… I’d been referring to as my Mohamed Atta ID since 9/11.



Tim Burgess

posted by on September 6 at 3:38 PM

Remember him? The guy who did work for Concerned Women for America, and is now running for City Council?

We met with him yesterday. I just spent three hours writing a 2,000 word long post about it. And now, thanks to the magic of technology, that post is gone. Once I’ve stopped banging my head into my desk, I’ll try to recreate it.

Today in Line Out

posted by on September 6 at 3:29 PM

Up & Coming’s Say: Go see Dan Deacon and/or 1-2-1-2.

Dub & Death: Floating in the remembrance of things past.

Candy-Gram: Golden Robot Army makes a sweet impression.

New Morrissey Musical: Done by some dudes from Reno 911?

Sorry, Grizzly Bear: We neglected to love them in the paper, so Eric Grandy loves them on Line Out.

News on Booze: With Deerhunter!

Win Free Tickets to Clipse!: One more reason why you should be refreshing Line Out every three minutes.

Mr. Stevie Wonder: Jonathan Zwickel calls him “Nourishment in the junk food world of pop.”

History: Trent Moorman goes back to Georgia circa 1986.

Machine Head: Band and fans hated by Disney.

Skatebård: Kicking some ass on the dancefloor.

Spoon at the Showbox: Christopher Hong reviews last night’s show.

Old World Vs. New World Pt. 2: Carl Orff vs. To Rococo Rot.

You Said You’d Never Forget!!: 9/11 happened in 2001, people. 2001!


New Kid in Town

posted by on September 6 at 3:24 PM


Looks like Seattle’s got a brand-new weekly publication debuting this week. This one’s called “SEAT” and the focus seems to be alterna-christians (rad!). Not sure what the title references (right hand of god, maybe?).

Anyway, welcome to town, “SEAT”!

Also, dude might want to get some trucks on that board if he plans on doing any righteous shredding.

Things You Shouldn’t Say When Asking the Stranger to Publicize Your Event

posted by on September 6 at 3:09 PM

“Oh, you guys don’t just publish anything?”

“How long should the press release be?”

“We’d like to advertise, but y’know, for free.”

“Oh, so our event’s not cool enough?”

Ron Paul Sets His Seattle Schedule

posted by on September 6 at 3:00 PM

Like I’d heard earlier: Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will be in Seattle on Sept. 14 to try to capitalize on the excitement he’s generated here.

He’ll be giving a speech on the Constitution at Seattle University and holding a rally at the Lake Union Naval Reserve Gym.

He’ll also be holding some fundraisers: A $200-a-plate lunch with supporters, a $2,000-per-person “briefing” on his campaign at a private home, and a $1,000-per-person reception at the Lake Union Naval Reserve.

In My Top Ten

posted by on September 6 at 2:37 PM

Recently from the mouth of John Cusack: “I’ve made 10 good films.”
His list:

“The Sure Thing, Eight Men Out, Say Anything, The Grifters, Bullets Over Broadway, Grosse Pointe Blank, The Thin Red Line, Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, Max - that pretty much covers it.”

Do the rest of his movies suck?

“Well, there aren’t 40 that are great, put it that way.” He pauses for an eternity, eyes widening. “But that’s fine. Ten is a good batting average, don’t you think?”

Actually, Cusack, 10 is generous. We will accept The Grifters, The Thin Red Line, and Being John Malkovich. As for the rest, add them to your forty that aren’t great.

Seattle Housing Authority to Save Lock Vista?

posted by on September 6 at 2:23 PM

According to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is looking at purchasing several of the Lock Vista apartment buildings currently slated for condo conversion. Residents recently collected 600 signatures urging SHA to use eminent domain to acquire the building.

Rasmussen will be visiting the Lock Vista Apartments tonight at 5:45 to meet with residents and find out if any of them have found other affordable housing in the area. He also wants to know if any residents can afford to purchase their units if they’re converted.

I’ve got a call in to SHA about their plans.


Virginia Felton, SHA’s Communications Director, says they’re trying to figure out a way to buy the building, but with an estimated cost of 15-20 million dollars, it’s a bit of a longshot. “It’s not clear that we’ll be able to do anything before a sale goes through,” Felton says,”but we’re looking at it.”

SHA actually looked at purchasing Lock Vista two years ago when it was up for sale but, according to Fetlon, the studio and one-bedroom apartments “didn’t fit [SHA’s} needs at that time. [SHA is] trying to get out of the studio apartment business.”

SHA is looking at the building again because of all of the noise being made by residents and the displacement coalition but even if they were to purchase Lock Vista, there’s no guarantee all of the residents would be able to stay.

“By law, any project that we get involved in, 50 percent of the residents have to have incomes below 80 percent of the median income, ” Felton says. “If people [at Lock Vista] were over that income we [would] simply help them transition out.”

SHA will make a determination on Lock Vista sometime next week.

Apple Placates Bitchy Masses

posted by on September 6 at 1:44 PM

Yesterday, Apple announced that they were dropping the price of the iPhone by $200, a mere 2 months after it hit the market at $600. This move made all the “I’ll wait a few months” people unbearably smug while making all the early- and instant-adopters unbearably whiny.

Today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs posted an “open letter” on Apple’s site announcing that they will be giving early iPhone buyers a $100 credit.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Apple is a smart company.

The Flowchart of Armageddon

posted by on September 6 at 1:41 PM

Four horsemen hold press conference to deny allegations.

Via Apostropher.

Flexcar Drivers to be Charged Rental-Car Tax

posted by on September 6 at 1:13 PM

This week, FlexCar put its members on notice that, starting October 1, they will have to pay the state-authorized rental car tax on top of the sales tax they already pay. That brings the total tax rate to 18.7 percent.

There are a lot of reasons this is completely unfair, several of which were enumerated in an e-mail to FlexCar members:

As you know, car-sharing provides a valuable alternative to personal car-ownership and fosters increased use of public transportation among local residents. It is also a membership-based organization, making it significantly different in function and structure from traditional car-rental.

The logic behind charging a rental-car tax is this: Rental cars, like hotels, are mostly used by people from out of town—people who don’t vote here and don’t spend their tax dollars locally. It’s a relatively uncontroversial way of funding city services, primarily convention and visitor services.

Carsharing is different. The vast majority of FlexCar members have made the often difficult and inconvenient decision to live without cars. They shouldn’t be penalized for good behavior. Unlike renting, carsharing produces quantifiable benefits. It provides an alternative to car ownership (whereas renting usually just supplements a car the driver already owns), takes cars off the road, reduces congestion, improves the climate, and reduces the total number of vehicle miles traveled in a city. To sign the petition to reinstate the carsharing exemption to the rental tax, go here.

Hi, I’m Not From Around Here

posted by on September 6 at 1:12 PM


A Stranger staffer just sent out this email to the entire office:

Subject: Honeycrisps are HERE!

I just purchased the first of the season from QFC. Looks like only the non-organic variety are available at the moment.

Huh? “What the hell is a honeycrisp?” I wonder out loud.

Apparently they’re apples. According to Megan Seling, “they’re retardedly good.”

Pain and Laughter

posted by on September 6 at 12:58 PM

The pain can be seen on the face of a sheep that appears for a quick moment in John Howard’s YouTube plea for peace during the The Pacific Rim Summit—tellingly, the Australian prime minister’s plea is not directed at terrorists but at the rowdy members of the global justice movement.

As for the laughter, you will find it here:

Comedians Ride Fake Motorcade Through Summit Security

Cast members of an Australian TV comedy show — one dressed as Osama bin Laden — drove through two security checkpoints Thursday before being stopped near the Sydney, Australia, hotel where President Bush is staying.

The stunt embarrassed Sydney police who have imposed the tightest security measures in the city’s history for a summit of leaders from Pacific Rim countries.

Paul vs. Huckabee on Iraq

posted by on September 6 at 12:55 PM

Lots of chatter in the blogosphere today about this exchange from last night’s Republican debate. Anti-war fans of Ron Paul, prepare to cheer:

Mumblecore at NW Film Forum

posted by on September 6 at 12:48 PM

A pair of Mumblecore movies by director Aaron Katz is showing at Northwest Film Forum this weekend.

I’ve cheered about Mumblecore before. I like the genre because despite its sullen, art house trappings, the films are sad & groovy, emphasis on groovy: Slow films running on irrepressible optimism.

Stranger Film Editor Annie Wagner, also a Mumblecore fan, seconded my opinion during NWFF’s last mumblecore showing.

Annie’s on vacation, so she asked me to review the latest batch showing this weekend as NWFF kicks off its “Mumble Without a Cause” showcase.

You can read my short review of Katz’s movies in this week’s Film Shorts calendar.

I didn’t have room in the review, though, to highlight a couple of extra things.

1) Despite the non-Hollywood actors (Mublecore specializes in the “Use-your-Friends” school of casting) the acting is top-notch. You forget the people on screen are acting. And there’s definitely some Hollywood good looks going on. The lead female in Quiet City looks like a real-life Scarlett Johansson, and the lead female in Dance Party USA looks like a young Cybil Shepherd. (Seems to be a thing with these movies. The girl in Andrew Bujalski’s 2002 Mumblecore classic Funny Ha Ha was a total looker.)

2) The piano music interludes in both Katz movies, composed by Keegan DeWitt, are beautiful.

3) Katz’s cinematographer, Sean McElwee, has serious chops. The closing scene of Dance Party USA obsesses on a charming surprise visual that reframes the whole flick with Mumblecore optimism.

Obama: Apparently Not a Morning Person

posted by on September 6 at 12:45 PM

Did you really want to know that Barack Obama’s kids won’t climb into bed with him because he’s “too snore-y and stinky.” Well, you do now. Thanks, Glamour!

All About My Mustache

posted by on September 6 at 12:30 PM


I used to look like this.

Now I look like this.

I know, it looks a little weird, but the looks it gets are even weirder—people keep asking whether it’s an ironic mustache or an unironic mustache or an aggressively anti-ironic mustache, which is really a kind of backwards irony. It’s hard to keep up.

Fact is, it’s a charity mustache. A mustache for the kids. A mustache for the annual Mustache-A-Thon for 826 Seattle, the youth tutoring and writing center.

It’s like a walk-a-thon for lazy people—some of us grow mustachios, others sponsor them.

So if you don’t hate children and don’t hate literacy and don’t hate me, you might consider donating here (via Paypal) or sending a little something to:

826 Seattle
8414 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

And now for the first Mustache Fact of the Week: The Dutch slang for mustache is de befborstel, which refers to the mustache specifically as a tool for stimulating the clitoris, probably from beffen “to stimulate the clitoris with the tongue.” (Dirty Dutch.)

Speaking of Gay Men Who Grew Up in the ’40s and ’50s

posted by on September 6 at 12:15 PM

The infamous Larry Craig is 62 years old, meaning he grew up in a time when it was much different to be a gay man. David Kopay, a former football player for the University of Washington, is 65, meaning he grew up during that same time period.

Kopay had some dark days as a gay man in the UW’s football program, but he went on to become the first openly gay professional athlete in American team sports, and now he’s pledging half his estate—$1 million—to the UW’s center for people with different sexual orientations, Q Center.

The Seattle Times has a nice write-up of the gift in today’s paper. The P-I had a similar story on Wednesday.

Talk about different paths.

New Craig Scandal

posted by on September 6 at 12:13 PM

This time it’s Larry’s daughter that’s in trouble. Apparently Larry Craig’s daughter, Shea Suzanne Howell, is a fugitive from the law! She’s wanted in Idaho on a contempt of court warrant—the original charge was “unlawful entry,” which her dad knows something about—and Howell’s warrant, unlike Howell’s dad, is still active.

Thanks, Slog Tipper Nick!

Stop the Bullets, Kill the Gun

posted by on September 6 at 11:01 AM

Because it’s been a while since we’ve had a good gun-nut vs. non-gun-nut throw down here on Slog (seems like it’s all pit bull nut vs. non-pit bull nut these days), have at this one:

A new campaign from British radio station Choice FM:

Some topics to start you off:
• Guns are cool.
• Guns suck.
• High-speed cameras are awesome.
• What’s with the racism?
• Compare and contrast Dan Savage’s responsibility for this and all similar outrages with Hillary Clinton’s.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 6 at 11:00 AM


Sketchfest Seattle at Erickson Theater Off Broadway

What further praise can we throw at the Cody Rivers Show? We’ve called this local sketch-comedy duo “high concept” and “loopy” and “like a baby giraffe wearing a monocle and giving you a high-five.” They’re just the best thing ever, and choosing them for the opening act of Sketchfest 2007 was smart. North America’s oldest sketch-comedy festival is two weeks long, with 15 groups from Los Angeles to New York, and hosted by the People’s Republic of Komedy. Enjoy. (Erickson Theatre, 1524 Harvard Ave, 8 pm, $15, through Sept 15.)


A Poll From the Darcy Burner Campaign

posted by on September 6 at 10:56 AM

This is a robo-call poll, which is far from the gold standard of opinion polling, and it was commissioned by the Burner-endorsing group 21st Century Democrats.

With those two big grains of salt, take a look at the results, which the Burner campaign just shared with me:

The poll surveyed 509 registered voters in Washington’s 8th District, where Burner is again trying to take down Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. It was conducted on Aug. 28, the day after president Bush’s visit to Bellevue to help raise money for Reichert’s reelection campaign.

It found Burner leading Reichert 44% to 39% (no margin of error provided), with 17% of voters still undecided.

Among independent voters, it found Burner leading Reichert 40% to 24%, with 36% undecided. “The campaign sees this as a strong indication that Darcy’s message about fighting to bring the war to a responsible close, as opposed to Reichert, who is standing with Bush in scheming to extend and expand the war, is resonating not just with Democrats but with middle of the road unaffiliated voters as well,” said Burner spokesman Sandeep Kaushik.

As for Bush, he’s as unpopular in the 8th District as anywhere else, with only a 30 percent approval rating from voters.

Again, I’m not inclined to put much stock in robo-polls paid for by partisans, but here’s Kaushik’s take-away: “As one would assume, the Bush visit was politically damaging to Reichert.”

The New Spirit of Power

posted by on September 6 at 10:54 AM

Somewhere I read that the dying (or dead) leader of Cuba believed the winning ticket for the third U.S. presidential election of this century would have Hillary Clinton as the runner and Barack Obama as her running mate.
clinton_obama.jpg Because this kind of thinking does not find itself isolated in the head of a dying (or dead) dictator on an impoverished island state, but has serious currency everywhere, including the U.S., it needs to be examined.

What is the meaning of this kind of thinking? What is it saying to us? And in what language is it saying this thing that it is thinking? The thinking is speaking in a language that Christians can understand: the language of the Holy Trinity. The coupling of Clinton and Obama results in a trinity—them and a third, a Holy Ghost. But who is this Holy Ghost? The Holy Ghost results from the fact that Hillary has the skin needed to realize American presidential power and Obama has the needed sex. If they win the presidency, then the top of American (and world) politics would have a white male without the actual body of a white male. The white male is the Holy Ghost of the trinity that comes into shape when the skin of Clinton and the sex of Obama are coupled.

So, back to the head of the dying (dead) dictator on the island state. His thinking: Hillary negates Barack’s blackness; Barack negates Hillary’s sex. The result? A white male who is there but not there.

Giuliani on Pavarotti

posted by on September 6 at 10:30 AM

As The Caucus notes, cross-dressing opera buff Rudy Giuliani has put out an official statement mourning the death of Luciano Pavarotti—and will probably be the only presidential candidate to do so.

Today in Larry Craig

posted by on September 6 at 10:17 AM

The toilet Larry Craig made famous was listed on various cruising-for-sex websites. A friend of Andrew Sullivan wonders just how Craig got to that particular toilet:

It’s an obvious one, but I hadn’t thought of it until a friend asked. Could someone ask which flights Senator Craig was taking during his lay-over, so to speak, at the Minneapolis airport? If we had that, we could see which gates he had to get to and from and also see if the restroom he used was en route or out of the way. His account of his actions would make much less sense if the restrooms were way off his obvious itinerary, no? So where were they in relation to his trip?

So… was it a coincidence, Sen. Craig? Or was it Satan?

And it looks like Larry Craig is now intends to quit the Senate after all.

Sen. Larry Craig has all but dropped any notion of trying to complete his term, and is focused on helping Idaho send a new senator to Washington within a few weeks, his top spokesman said today. “The most likely scenario, by far, is that by October there will be a new senator from Idaho,” Craig spokesman Dan Whiting told the Associated Press.

But there is glimmer of hope for fans of GOP sex scandals…

The only circumstances in which Craig might try to complete his term, Whiting said, would require a prompt overturning of his conviction for disorderly conduct in a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport, as well as Senate GOP leaders’ agreement to restore Craig’s committee leaderships posts taken away this week.

Craig has lawyered up, and may yet get that conviction overturned. And from the DCCC…

Gay Bashing on Broadway: Young Man Attacked and Dragged From Car Over Labor Day Weekend

posted by on September 6 at 10:10 AM

[Originally posted yesterday evening.]

Andrew Geske, 26, was walking home from the Capitol Hill gay bar Pony early Monday morning when, according to a police report and Geske’s own recounting of events for The Stranger, he was attacked by a young man driving a black BMW and then dragged down Broadway as the car sped away and a passenger held onto Geske’s arms.

Geske, a barback at a nearby bar and a personal trainer, suffered sprained fingers and scrapes on his back, elbows, and knee, but is otherwise unharmed. “It was a gay bashing,” Geske told The Stranger. “Word needs to get out that gays are still being targeted. Call me naive, but I didn’t think this could happen here.”

He sent these pictures this afternoon:



According to the Seattle Police report, the attack is being investigated as a bias crime. It began around 2:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, along the stretch of Broadway that runs between Seattle Central Community College and the Bonney-Watson Funeral home. The Black BMW pulled up alongside Geske and his roommate as they were walking home from Pony holding hands. Geske told me he assumed, since the car was pulling up to him, that one of his friends was driving, and he went over to say hi.

“I had just started walking up to the car when the driver got out of the car, yelling, ‘Get the fuck away from my car, faggots,’” he told me. “Then he slammed a punch into my face.”

Geske is a tall man—6’ 2”, 180 pounds—but he says his attacker was taller than him, and proceeded to hit him several more times in the face. “I fell against the car,” Geske told me. “My arm ended up inside of their window, which was down… The passenger grabbed onto my arm, and they just peeled out driving real fast. I just remember staring at my roommate on the sidewalk, trying to figure out what was going on. It happened in like five seconds, all of this.”

Geske had been drinking, he said, but “all of a sudden I was completely sober, realizing I was driving along the ground.”

He was dragged, he said, for several blocks, past the Jack in the Box at the intersection of Broadway and Denny, past Dick’s Drive-In. He finally pulled himself free at the intersection of Broadway and John. “I freed myself loose and kind of rolled away onto the ground,” Geske told me. “They were gone real quick.”

A witness told police that she heard the people in the car calling Geske and his roommate “faggots” and “homos.”

No one was able to get the car’s license plate.

Geske has lived in Seattle for nine years, and said nothing like this had ever happened to him before—although sometimes, when he and a boyfriend used to walk across the Denny overpass to the club El Corazon, drivers would yell out the window and call them faggots. “We just said, ‘Oh, must be the edge of Capitol Hill,’” he told me.

On Monday, at a Labor Day BBQ he’d already planned, gay friends kept coming up to Geske and telling him about their recent experiences being gay bashed, he said. One of them recounted an experience that happened recently on Capitol Hill.

Police spokesman Mark Jamieson says he isn’t aware of any data showing an increase in gay bashings on Capitol Hill lately, but some anecdotal evidence suggests that as the neighborhood changes—more straight clubs, more people who commute to the Hill at night to party—the climate for gays is changing. Geske, too, had heard the grumblings about the changing neighborhood well before he was attacked.

“I guess I do feel like it’s less of a home for gay people,” he told me. “And you want to think that’s OK, because even the people who aren’t gay might be OK with gay people. But apparently some of them want to drag you down the street.”

Annals of Public Art

posted by on September 6 at 10:08 AM

Yesterday, Pink is the New Blog covered the guerrilla installation placed on a West Hollywood street by the artist Dirty Agenda, celebrating the parenting skills of Britney Spears:


(You can’t see it in the above photos, but here’s what Li’l Baby Spears has printed on her t-shirt.)

This morning in Seattle, I happened upon another public installation exploring the anxiety of motherhood.

The setting: a car parked just north of Pine on 11th Ave.

In the backseat:


In the driver’s seat:


Good luck, mystery artist!

Gay Love is Beautiful

posted by on September 6 at 10:06 AM

Since I’m the first to Slog about unfit, abusive, monstrous straight parents—which I do to refute the “any set of opposite-sex parents are preferable to any set of gay parents” charge (most recently made by Mitt Romney), not to argue that all straights everywhere are unfit to parent—I wanna be the first to link to this appalling story out of the UK.

Craig Faunch and Ian Wathey were one of the first homosexual couples in the country to be officially approved as foster parents.

They looked after 18 children in only 15 months.

With no previous convictions, they came across as respectable men who simply wanted to help boys with a variety of problems. In reality, they were paedophiles, who repeatedly abused the children in their care.

Even when the mother of two of the children reported her suspicions to the council, officials accepted the men’s explanations and did nothing. Instead of banning children from staying with Faunch and Wathey, they sent youngsters with more serious problems to them. Between them, the couple abused four boys aged between eight and 14.

Why didn’t social workers investigate the men after receiving complaints? Because, according to the report, “staff were afraid of being thought homophobic.” As a result, more children were placed with these fucking scumbags, and more children wound up being abused.

Gay people, as I often remind other gay people, aren’t any better than straight people. Per capita, there are just as many shitty gay people out there as shitty straight people—hell, there are probably more shitty gay people, considering how warped some gay people are after their shitty straight families and shitty anti-gay churches are through with ‘em.

If gay parents on average are any less likely to be abusive, that’s only because it’s harder for gay people to become parents—we can’t, as I’ve written, get drunk and adopt one night. Becoming a gay father is a long, drawn-out proces. You’re going to have to fill out forms, sit down for interviews, jump through hoops, and undergo background checks. And when that screening process works—and it’s an arduous process, speaking from experience—it screens out unfit gay parents.

It didn’t in this instance, and that’s tragic—no, it’s criminal. That social workers allowed this to go on because they were afraid of being “thought homophobic,” well, reading that just about made my head explode. When it comes to placing foster kids in homes—children that have already suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment—authorities have to err on the side of making sure kids aren’t going to be subject to still more abuse. If you can’t stand the idea of being thought homophobic—or heterophobic, for that matter—you have no business placing kids in foster care.

Finally, and we’ve had some examples of spectacularly awful straight foster parents in Washington state recently—read about ‘em here, and here. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Luciano Pavarotti, 1935–2007

posted by on September 6 at 9:40 AM


The Morning News

posted by on September 6 at 9:20 AM

Pavarotti: dead at 71.

Eyman: Getting his day in court (again).

Bush to China
: Fix climate change. But don’t “stifle economic growth.” Wink, wink.

Thompson: Running. Really.

Syria: Fires on Israeli war planes.

Terror plot: This time, German.

Craig: The speculation continues.

IPhone: Cheaper in advance of holiday (??) season.

Recipe of the Day: Late Summer Romano Bean Salad (recipe by me; photo via Creative Commons)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Just Give the Pit Bull What It Wants and You Won’t Get Hurt

posted by on September 6 at 9:19 AM

Too bad the pit bull wants your four month old infant.

The pit bull from next door had charged into Angela Silva’s garage and was lunging for Tom Jr., the 4-month-old boy in her embrace. She hid her son in a garbage bin and vainly tried to swat the animal away. But the angry dog toppled the can and was once again homing in on her crying child.

Silva this time hurled herself between baby and dog—wailing as it shredded through her arms—and held on for dear life. A pair of contractors across the street heard her screams and, with power tools whirring, shooed the dog away.

And so ended the scariest eight minutes of Silva’s life. Now Fremont police are hunting for the dog, a pit bull terrier named Swisher that had already bitten another neighbor months before and was whisked away by a stranger in a red car not long after Tuesday morning’s attack.

MOHAI on the Move

posted by on September 6 at 8:00 AM

It looks like MOHAI—that’s the Museum of History and Industry—is going to move to South Lake Union. Its new location will make ignoring MOHAI that much more convenient.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Burn on Sen. Brownback

posted by on September 5 at 10:52 PM

Brownback’s answer on gay marriage gets booed at the Fox News GOP debate. It’s a joy to watch.

Thanks, Think Progress. And thanks Fox News.

Our Meeting with Tim Burgess

posted by on September 5 at 5:07 PM

We’ll post about it tomorrow—we’ve got a lot of tape to transcribe. But as the meeting was wrapping up Burgess did say this to me:

“I’m not hitting on you.”

It’s not on tape, sadly, but Josh and Erica heard it too—and, man, I’m glad Tim cleared that up. I was starting to wonder, what with the way his foot bumped mine and the hand signals he was making under the bottom of the stall divider. It turns out that Tim just uses a wide stance when he talks to reporters. Still, that’s the last time we conduct a candidate interview in the men’s toilet.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on September 5 at 4:15 PM

Kala Uber Alles: The Global Dominance of M.I.A..

More Savy Fav, pt 1: Megan Seling on Les Savy Fav’s New Songs.

Drugs, Drugs, Drugs!: Nikki Sixx is So Passé.

Quiet Enough For You?: Megan Seling Gives You a Björk fix.

Down With MPC?: Yeah, You Know ER Don.

Immaculate Conversation: Kurt B Reighley Interviews Immaaculate Machine.

Bach Rockin’ Beats: Charles Mudede on Violins in Hip Hop.

Songs Become Underdogs: Trent Moorman on Jersey Boys.

More Savy Fav, pt 2: Eric Grandy on Les Savy Fav’s New Songs, Videos.

Get It: TJ Gorton on Patrick Cowley’s “Get a Little.”

Welcome to the Dollhouse

posted by on September 5 at 3:14 PM


NE 42nd St & University Way NE

It’s not easy to find the Dollhouse Apartments. The small, graffiti covered front door is barely noticeable, tucked between Finn MacCool’s and Than Brothers on the Ave. Inside, the world’s longest flight of stairs leads into a series of eerily dark hallways, lined with mismatched doors and chipped paint.


The building has a bit of a reputation in the U-district. Its nickname: “The Heroin Hotel.” “There were a lot of junkies and a lot of weirdos [living here]. Ave Rat kids could kick in the door, [there were] sketchy people living on the top floor selling drugs” says Jordan Michelman, a longtime Dollhouse resident. “All those people are gone now. “

While the management seems to have cleared out some of their problem tenants, the building has received several inspections from Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

According to DPD spokesman Alan Justad, the Dollhouse’s owners were fined $1,000 in 2004 for a series of violations. Recently, Justad’s office received a complaint about a broken stove in one of the units and went to check things out. The inspector found a number of smaller violations—the report says exit lights had been vandalized, the front door handle was loose, there were holes in the walls, and the stairwell doors didn’t close—but he wasn’t able to check out the whole building. Those problems have been dealt with, Justad says, but he adds “we can only see the units made available by the owner or tenants.” Inspectors also visited the building in 2001, but DPD was unable to provide information on the reason for the visit.

Still, residents seem to love the Dollhouse. Michelman, a UW graduate, has stayed in the building for the last 2 years. “For me, there’s something about living there that feels bohemian. I like living somewhere where there’s weirdos going through my garbage. We don’t have cable in the building but the frat guys at the bar beat each other up pretty regularly so that’s pretty good entertainment,” Michelman says.

The Dollhouse is currently managed by Circle Point Homes, and a property manager told me “we’ve gotten all of the old tenants out, so I think the [Heroin Hotel] nickname it had should be going away.”

Photo by Argon Design via Flickr

On Being Eternally Affiliated with the Worst Movie Ever Made

posted by on September 5 at 2:47 PM


In 1999, on the advice of an intelligent female friend, I watched Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls. This was four years after the film’s theatrical release, which I’d ignored out of solidarity with good taste and political correctness. But when the most intelligent feminist I knew all but ordered me to stop what I was doing and rent Showgirls, I obeyed, and soon learned one of life’s great truths: Paul Verhoeven’s critically savaged, thoroughly diastrous stripper drama is the most amazing inadvertant comedy in the history of cinema, and with some slight contextualization and one major cut, the funniest movie ever made.

Soon after my epiphany, my friend Eric (Fredericksen, then a Stranger staffer, now director of this joint) urged me to share my findings with the world. Northwest Film Forum arranged a screening, I provided live annotation, and since then I’ve toured sporadically around the country as a semi-professional ambassador for the hilarity of Showgirls.

As some of you know, in 2004, I got a call from MGM, the studio that produced Showgirls. Instead of a cease-and-desist order, they had me provide the commentary track to the DVD re-release, which has recently been re-re-released. No matter what I do with the rest of my life, my name will be forever linked with Showgirls.

I couldn’t be happier. The film’s mindblowing comedic magic is eternal. In advance of upcoming screenings in Texas and Florida, I’m hosting a one-nighter tomorrow night at the Triple Door—the only place in the world where you can enjoy Wild Ginger cuisine while watching the worst movie ever made in a nightclub co-owned by Kenny G. Join me, if you please.

Federally Funded Human Embryonic Stem Cells

posted by on September 5 at 1:39 PM

The University of Washington was selected by the NIH as one of two national centers for human embryonic stem cell research. The purse? Ten million dollars in federal funds spread over five years. Hurray for us!

(Full disclosure time: I was a small contributor to the grant, including preliminary data, experimental design and writing. The lab I work in will be receiving some of the funds. Writing this, I am the eponym for conflict of interest.)

Hearing the news, Eric Earling at Sound Politics noted:

And a reminder that despite the annoyingly simplistic campaign rhetoric one hears around election time, there actually is federally funded, embryonic stem cell research already occurring in the country.

Not so quick Eric. Added to the bottom of the press release is this defensive notice:
The source of human embryonic stem cells is limited to federally approved stem cell lines listed on the National Institutes of Health Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry.

Only lines created before August of 2001 may be studied with federal funds, as per the president and his infinite wisdom. Twenty-one are still around, and only ten are actually available for purchase right now. Federal research on human embryonic stem cells is limited the oldest lines, the lines where culture techniques were perfected, and the lines from a very limited genetic pool. (Fun fact: Three of the more popular lines (H1, H7 and H9) all started as embryos from the same in vitro fertilization clinic in Israel. How’s that for genetic diversity?)

What’s wrong with refusing to federally fund the creation of new embryonic stem cell lines? When government opens the purse, it gets to set rules. New lines are still being created (and pre-implantation embryos destroyed) — just with private dollars, behind closed doors and without any federal governmental oversight. For anyone seriously concerned about the ethical implications of this research, this is the worst possible outcome. Rather than a real national debate to hash out some reasonable rules and guidelines, we’ve simple swept the whole problem under the rug.

Solving some of what stops us from using human embryonic stem cells clinically — purifying out desired cell types from the differentiating population, delivering and integrating cells into target organs, avoiding grafting undesired or undifferentiated cells, protecting the genetic and epigenetic stability of the aged existing lines, and evading immune rejection — will require the creation of new embryonic stem cells. So long as the asinine Bush policy remains in place, we cannot forge a coherent and ethical means of doing so.

US Court Rebukes DEA’s Attempt to Crack Medical Marijuana Records

posted by on September 5 at 1:35 PM

Ads appearing each week on the back of the Stranger and Seattle Weekly – and similar papers on the West Coast and in Hawaii – are pretty much picking a fight with the feds: “Medical marijuana. Our doctors can help.” The ads then provide a phone number for The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation clinic, which connects patients with doctors who specialize in writing medical marijuana authorizations for the sick and dying. To the the Drug Enforcement Administration, however, THCF is flagrantly running a multi-state business that permits people to violate federal law.

On May 24th, the feds had had enough—federal prosecutor James Hagerty, at the behest of the DEA, filed a subpoena for the records of 17 individuals, 14 of whom were patients with marijuana permits from doctors at the clinic. But the subpoena had broader implications, too. 11 of those named were registered patients with Oregon’s Department of Human Services medical-marijuana program, and the subpoena also demanded that the State of Oregon turn over those patients’ private medical records to the feds.

But in a formal rebuke yesterday afternoon, a federal Judge sided with the state and the clinic, granting a motion to quash both subpoenas. “Absent a further showing of necessity and relevance, compliance with the subpoena would impact significant State and medical privacy interests and is unreasonable,” wrote Judge Robert H. Whaley of the U.S. Court Eastern District of Washington. The ruling represents a major defeat for the DEA and a victory for states with dissenting drug policies.

Adam Wolf, a staff attorney for the ACLU’s Drug Law Reform Project, was the lead counsel for the clinic. On the phone this morning from Santa Cruz, he summarized the decision by saying, “Doctors and their patients who use medical marijuana are safe from the prying eyes of federal prosecutors.”

What Wolf didn’t say is that had the ruling gone the other way it would have ominous ramifications. Paul Stanford, director of THCF, says forcing the state and clinic to hand over private records “would have had a chilling effect, making it more difficult for patients to get past the paranoia of registering with the state, as [required by law] in Oregon.”

Really, who would want to join a medical marijuana program if it meant your medical records became an open book and SWAT teams could come crashing through your door as you lay on your death bed? (As it stands currently, authorized patients are immune from conviction in states with medical-pot laws—as long as they grow a small enough amount to stay out of federal court.)

The case originated out of Yakima, Washington. Three individuals suspected of growing marijuana were alleged to have distributed pot to the patients named in the suit. Originally, feds sought all medical records from those patients; then restricted the request, in oral argument before the judge, to request only addresses and phone numbers, according to yesterday’s order. The shift in scope, to basic contact information already available to the all-seeing eyes of the feds, showed the DEA’s cards. “They were trying to intimidate patients and doctors from participating in the medical marijuana program—clearly unnecessary for the investigation [into the three suspected marijuana growers],” says Stanford.

The judge saw through the bullshit, too: “The Government has not shown why it needs to obtain all of the addresses and phone numbers from the State of Oregon and the THCF Medical Clinic rather than from some other source.

Federal prosecutors may ask judges to reconsider the decision in the 9th District Court of Appeals.

Everything, In Two Weekends

posted by on September 5 at 1:29 PM

There’s just too much.


This weekend: TBA in Portland. Who’s performing: a new show by “Awesome,” hiphop from Lifesavas, dancing by, um motherfucking Baryshnikov (who is working as “just another dancer” with Donna Uchizono Company), comedy by Reggie Watts, weird performance by Hand2Mouth, tEEth (pictured, amazing), Kommer, (a funny, surreal play about melancholy by a Dutch company), tons more.

Also this weekend: The Pataphysical New Year at Smoke Farm (two competing plays by Implied Violence, monologues by Joe Von Appen, dance by Jessica Jobaris, tons more).

Also also this weekend: SITE Specific, a new outdoor theater festival at Seattle University with new small plays by Ki Gottberg, Kristen Kosmas, more.

Then next weekend, there’s the Bridge Motel project, more TBA in Portland, the Genius Awards

I shall expire. Pleasantly.

Craig: He’s Fighting the Ethics Committee Complaint

posted by on September 5 at 1:22 PM

Doesn’t sound like Sen. Wide Stance intends to leave quietly. Americablog is all over it.

Mass Money Bus

posted by on September 5 at 1:18 PM

This is a Metro Transit bus caught by the camera on my Samsung cellphone:

This is a computer generated representation of a prison bus:

Being in the one above is much like being in the one below. As it is hard to see the free world through the windows of a Metro Transit bus that’s wrapped by an ugly ad for a portable music machine, it is hard to see the free world through windows that are covered by thick wire mesh. Whereas the metro bus is dishonest, the one below it has the decency to tell its passengers the truth: You all are prisoners.

Paying Poor Folks To Offset Carbon So You Don’t Have To

posted by on September 5 at 1:12 PM

Think those offsets you’re buying make it “green” for you to fly?Think again: according to the London Times, the climate impact of wealthy Westerners’ air travel is often offset by labor in the global South—as in the case of a company called Climate Care, which offsets its customers’ greenhouse-gas emissions in part by providing “treadle pumps” to poor farmers in India. The pumps, which are operated by foot pedals—manual labor—give rural families the ability to pump water on their land without using diesel power. However, the Times notes, most families with diesel pumps use them for a maximum of 30 hours a year, producing just 0.03 tons of carbon. In contrast, it would take an Indian peasant three years, assuming he or she pedals for two hours a day, to offset the emissions produced by a one-way flight between England and India.

Via Gristmill.

Microwave Popcorn: The Silent, Stinky Killer

posted by on September 5 at 1:04 PM

I’ve taken my lumps on Slog for banning microwave popcorn here at Stranger World Headquarters—that shit is nasty and stinky and it kills people. On the same day that doctors announced that a consumer of microwave popcorn developed a serious and potentially fatal lung condition that only used to affect workers (who cares about workers!), the biggest manufacturer of microwave popcorn has announced that it will remove the killer ingredient from microwave popcorn—a “butter flavor agent” called diacetyl—from its products.

Even if ConAgra does away with diacetyl before diacetyl does away with us all, the ban on microwave popcorn at Stranger World Headquarters remains in force. It may not be deadly—or less deadly—but that shit still stinks.

Larry Craig: Slog Reader Visits the Scene of the Crime

posted by on September 5 at 12:57 PM

Slog reader Zach writes…

I found myself in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Aiport over the Labor Day weekend and couldn’t resist searching out the famous gay bathroom in which Sen. Larry Craig tapped his closeted little foot into infamy. The internet said the cruisy men’s room is located in the middle of Northstar Crossing, a shopping area just past the main security checkpoint as you’re heading to your gate.

It was real easy to find. As I stood there snapping photos with my camera phone an guy driving one of those little airport passenger cars slowed down to ask me why I was taking photos of the bathroom.

I said, “Well, this is the famous bathroom.”

He said, “Yes…Yes it is.” quite dryly and resumed his drive.

Zach enclosed a photo…


It’s in the News-Paper

posted by on September 5 at 12:35 PM

The intrepid souls at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer discover the existence of a local speakeasy—pardon, “speak-easy”—attempt to gain admittance (“my reporter self was intrigued”!), and fail. Some people got in—a year ago to the day. Speak-easy! So quaint. What the fuck dictionary are they using down there?

[UPDATE: Nota bene: The gaming at the speak-easy ceased a while back, and the speak-easy—which is indeed a private club—has moved.]

Queueing Up for the State House

posted by on September 5 at 11:50 AM

With Democratic state house Rep. Jim McIntire (D-46) announcing he’s not running for reelection (he’s running for state treasurer instead) and Democratic state Senator Erik Poulsen (D-34) leaving the Senate to lobby for public utilities, a number of hopefuls are lining up to get a seat in Olympia.

Poulsen’s West Seattle Senate seat is likely to go, through the appointment process, to 34th District Democratic Rep. Joe McDermott. The other 34th District Rep., Eileen Cody, is not interested in the senate seat—in part because she has a powerful position in the state House, chairing the health care committee.

So, there’s going to be a queue for McDermott’s house seat (also done by appointment.)

Names I’ve heard for that house seat are:

1) Tania Maria Rosario, organizer for the Senate Democrats and former SEIU organizer.

2) Tim Nuse, a Starbucks exec who works on environmental and sustainability issues.

3) Jack Block, Jr., the retiring Burien City Council member who just lost a bid for the Port of Seattle.

4) Irene Stewart, the retiring school board member from West Seattle.

5) Sarah Earl, a Democratic activist.

6) Sharon Nelson, KC Council Dow Constantine staffer

7) Lucy Karkowiak, Burien City Council Member

8) Toni Lysen, former 34 District State House Rep.

As for replacing Jim McIntire in the 46th District: As ECB reported yesterday, District Chair Scott White has thrown his hat into the ring. Since McIntire plans to finish his term, he will be replaced through an election rather than an appointment process.

Whoever gets Poulsen’s Senate seat and whoever gets McDermott’s House seat (assuming McDermott takes over for Poulsen) will have to stand for election in 2008.

On Larry Craig and Double Standards

posted by on September 5 at 11:40 AM

Earlier this week, Josh posed an interesting question about the discussion around Larry Craig: What if it had been a woman in that bathroom? Josh noted that when a man does something “gay,” the burden of proof is on him to prove he isn’t gay, but when a woman does something “gay,” the assumption is that she’s “just goofing around.” Josh’s conclusion: “We take female homosexuality less seriously because we take females less seriously in general.”

Elsewhere on the Internet, folks are asking a related question: Why is Craig’s alleged crime (not public sex, but merely soliciting sex in public) so much worse than the casual solicitations women are subjected to, by men, all the time?

Some answers:

-Unwanted advances from men, directed at women, are accepted as the natural order of things. Women endure daily harassment that circumscribes where and when we can walk, who we must take with us, and what we wear. If we go outside without an escort, we’re asking for trouble.

-Homophobia, duh. Gay sex is evil and wrong. In contrast, women who go out in public unescorted deserve to be followed around and screamed at by men in passing cars and followed around by leering dudes.

-When a man solicits gay sex from another man who isn’t interested, it’s “disorderly conduct.” When a man says to a woman, “Hey baby, wanna fuck?” it’s free speech.

A side note: The other day, I was followed down the street by a guy. For about ten minutes, he would up ahead of me, turn around, and just stand there, tongue waggling lewdly. I asked him politely to leave me alone. He didn’t. To get away from him, I had to walk rapidly down a side street. Fortunately, he didn’t follow me. Later I was whistled at by a guy in a truck while riding on my bike. On the bus another recent night, a young man, about 20 years old, kept talking to me (“Do you have a boyfriend?”) even after I told him I didn’t want to talk. He and his friends got off at my stop and followed me up the street. None of this is considered unusual or a crime.

That Other World

posted by on September 5 at 11:37 AM

In Salman Rushdie’s East, West, a collection of short stories, an astronaut dies in what Robert Coover described in the New York Times as a “futuristic nightmare,” the short story “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers.” The astronaut traveled to Mars; something went wrong during the mission; and now he is stuck on the red planet. Because no one can get to Mars before his air runs out, he is doomed; because the whole world has reached the end of history, the society of the spectacle is total: the whole world is watching the astronaut die on Mars. He is on every TV screen; his life time seems to be limited by the screen he is seen in; and each day he experiences is quickly sucked into the vacuum of the death that is sure to come in a matter of weeks.

I bring this up because on the website for The Oregonian there is a video diary of a woman whose life is soon to end. Her name is Lovelle Svart, her body has been wasted by a restless disease, and the world around her is not solid but melting with each entry she manages to post on the site.

Svart is much like the astronaut in Rushdie’s short story. Not only are we watching her die, but because she is dying, she is on another planet. Death does not happen here but always there, on a strange and phantom planet that flickers like a fading star, a planet that is quickly running out of air, a planet that is impossibly faraway from this our world of health and heavy things.

New iPod Roundup

posted by on September 5 at 11:37 AM

The Apple news today:


• iPod Shuffle: Now in different colors.
• iPod Nano: Fat, wide and thin, with video.
• iPod Classic: The old standby, now in 80GB and 160GB models.
• iPod Touch: iPhone without the phone. Has Wi-Fi, web browser, calendar, etc.
• Wireless iTunes Store: For iPod Touch and iPhone.
• Wireless Starbucks: Like the music playing while waiting for your latte? Grab your iPod or iPhone, tap-tap-tap, you got it.

But the real insult here is this: They dropped the 4GB model of the iPhone (makes sense) and lowered the price of the 8GB model by $200, basically giving a giant fuck you to everyone who bought one in the first 2 months. Classy.


On Language

posted by on September 5 at 11:22 AM

Apologies to William Safire for that swiped subject line, but my previous Slog post about a burgled tattoo artist has spun off a most interesting discussion of the word cunt in the comments thread.

Let’s Be Fair to Tim Burgess

posted by on September 5 at 11:09 AM

We’ve been pounding on Tim Burgess. (Be sure to read Erica C. Barnett’s newslead in today’s paper—link coming soon.) Burgess is challenging incumbent Seattle city council member David Della. We don’t much like Della—does anyone outside of a Della campaign commercial truly like David Della?—and were leaning toward endorsing Burgess. We were, past tense, until we learned that Burgess’ firm had done hundreds of thousands of dollars of work for Concerned Women for America, one of the more toxic right-wing, anti-gay, anti-woman organizations in the country.

It was just business, Burgess supporters countered, and we shouldn’t condemn Burgess for taking all that right-wing money—money his firm helped CWfA raise—because, like, again, it was just business! And Burgess always secretly hated Concerned Women for America and Burgess stands for everything the Concerned Women for America stands against and Burgess supports same-sex marriage and Burgess is for abortion rights and he’s not a religious bigot himself and blah blah blah.

But how to square that with the op-ed Burgess wrote for the Seattle Times after the 2004 presidential election? He identifies himself as one of “Seattle’s faith-driven values voters,” ticks off his values-voter bonafides (“I go to church, read the Bible, pray, try to live a Christian life, and even—don’t leave me now—vote for Republicans sometimes…”), and offers up some advice to Democrats on how to reach “people like me.”

We take our faith and citizenship seriously. In fact, for many of us, our political views are shaped and guided by our religious faith….

We worry about the vulgarity and coarseness of our culture and the “values” preached to our children day after day on television, in movies and magazines, and through music lyrics. We despair at the level of coarseness in our political discourse, too.

Admittedly, we struggle with a lot of pressing issues. We don’t like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isn’t a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is.

I want to put Burgess’ op-ed in context.

It appeared in print on January 26, 2005. That was ten or so weeks after George W. Bush was reelected; less than a week after George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term. It ran when the Rove machine looked invincible, before Republicans lost the mid-term elections in ‘06, back when the phrase “permanent Republican majority” could still being used without sarcasm.

You remember the 2004 election, right? Remember the emotional aftermath? George W. Bush was reelected, Republicans gained seats in the House and Senate. Bush’s victory—excuse me, Karl Rove’s victory—was credited to religious “values voters.” You know, voters like Burgess. Anti-gay marriage amendments passed in 14 states—every state with one on the ballot—and in the days immediately after the election Democrats were being urged to abandon gays and lesbians just as they had abandoned gun control. Because Democrats had to curry favor with an ascendent religious right, with red-state America, with “values voters.”

With Tim Burgess.

Folks do remember the 2004 election? Remember how upset you were? How hard you worked? How drunk we all got at Chop Suey on election night after Ohio went—or was stolen—for Bush? How estranged you felt from your fellow Americans over next days, weeks, months? Remember this map?


Remember this Stranger cover?


And here’s what was on the cover of The Stranger the week that Bush was sworn in for his second term, the same week Burgess’ op-ed appeared in the Seattle Times:


At at time when most Seattle voters were contemplating suicide and/or a move to Canada, there was Burgess, giddily pouring salt in our wounds. Democrats, liberals, progressives, secular voters, and gays and lesbians—real Americans, not despicable theocrats—were still reeling from the one-two punch of Bush’s reelection and his swearing in. And Tim Burgess selects that precise moment to jump up on a soapbox and scream, “Hey, I’m a values voter!”

And to let us know that he, like other values voters, opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.

I want to zero in on the marriage issue and the rhetoric Burgess used in his op-ed:

We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man.

There’s not a lot of wiggle room here for Burgess. To write in January of ‘05 that you valued “the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman” was to use explicitly right-wing code. It meant—it still means—that you oppose same-sex marriage. Period. To say that “marriage between one a woman and a man” is sacred is as good as saying that marriage between two men is profane, a moral scandal, and an attack on “sacred” traditional, opposite-sex marriage.

Sorry, Burgess supporters (hey, Tina!), but there’s no other way to interpret Burgess’ statement about marriage in that op-ed. “Values voters” like Burgess, and “family values” groups like CWfA, have made themselves all too clear: marriage is zero-sum game. Same-sex marriage, according to groups like Concerned Women for America, undermines the sacredness of opposite-sex marriage. Only by banning same-sex marriage—and demeaning and oppressing same-sex couples—can the “sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman” be upheld. Burgess used loaded language in that op-ed, and his meaning was unmistakable: Burgess not only opposes same-sex marriage, but he views it as an unholy, unchristian assault on “sacred” opposite-sex marriage.

And, I’m sorry, but Burgess didn’t misspeak or use religious-right code unknowingly. Burgess helped Concerned Woman for America craft their message and fund-raising appeals for nine years. Burgess was in the pay and pocket of the religious right. So at time when the flames of the culture war were burning out of control, at a moment when same-sex couples were under attack, Burgess decides to throw a little more fuel on the fire. He chooses that moment to attack vulnerable same-sex couples in Washington state—and he uses the rhetoric of religious bigots everywhere to do it.

And now this guy wants to sit on the city council in Seattle—you know, Seattle, the U.S. city with the highest per-capita concentration of gays and lesbians outside San Francisco. But check out this Burgess’ campaign flyer. Burgess doesn’t identify himself not as a “values voter” anymore, but as a leader with “progressive values.” He’s also for “a strong supporter of marriage equality,” and says he “supports a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”

What happened between January of ‘05, when Burgess wrote that he, like other “faith-driven values voters,” doesn’t “like” abortion (who does?), and valued the “sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”? Hell if I know. Tim’s campaign materials don’t offer up any hints about how he went from holding an anti-gay marriage position—and a propensity for using anti-gay, right-wing rhetoric to advance it—to being a “strong supporter” of marriage equality. And Burgess’ once-voluble supporters in the gay and lesbian community have gone conspicuously silent. (Hey, Tina!)

So we’re going to ask Burgess. We’re having him in today to speak with us—with me, Erica C. Barnett, and Josh Feit—and we’re gonna find out how Burgess evolved from an anti-gay-right-wing-rhetoric-spewing “values voter” to a “progressive values” candidate in two short years.

UPDATE: Folks in comments are offering up suggestions for questions we might want to ask Tim Burgess. If you’ve got a question for Burgess, please add it to the list.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 5 at 11:00 AM


Spoon at Showbox

For those who feared the throngs at Block Party—or who figure Spoon just sound better within easy reach of a full bar—come see the Portland-via-Austin soul-jangle quartet at the Showbox. Their latest, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Gax5 to hardcore fans, aka Spoonfeeders), might be the best in the band’s 13-year career, with some meat-and-potatoes indie rock, some experimental elements, and some grinding, hook-heavy tunes that explode onstage. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $18 adv/$20 DOS, all ages.)


Speaking of Donating to Burner.

posted by on September 5 at 10:52 AM

As Eli just Slogged: The press release went out this morning from the Rodney Tom camp. He’s dropping out of the Democratic primary against Darcy Burner.

Tom, a former GOP state House Rep turned D state Senator, threw in the towel after his Democratic rival Darcy Burner, a former Microsoft exec, raised $125,000 over three days in a “counterfundraiser” (as Eli reported last week.) The Burner fundraiser coincided with President Bush’s Bellevue visit last week on a fundraising jag for the GOP incumbent Rep. Reichert.

I spoke with Tom’s campaign team this morning and they say Tom just couldn’t compete with Burner on the money front. Tom consultant John Wyble said while Tom had raised $100,000 in just the last month, Burner’s $125,000 in three days from hundreds of small donors (that she could simply go back to) was overwhelming.

Tom was done.

I can’t say I’m surprised. On the Stranger News Hour last Saturday, host David Goldstein asked mean acknowledged Rodney Tom suitor— about the Burner fundraiser, and I said the big loser wasn’t Reichert, but Tom. It seemed a bit of a death knell for his bid.

Who Knew Puppies Could be so Terrifying?

posted by on September 5 at 10:45 AM

So there’s this new shop in Ballard just down the street from me. I walk by it almost daily, but I’ve never noticed the name because I’m too distracted by the most fucked up window display in the history of all window displays.


Look at it… just look at it. It’s a bunch of stuffed puppy dogs hanging from a metal tree. You can buy them, they’re about $40 a piece. $40 A PIECE. FOR A STUFFED DOG WITH A LEATHER STRAP.


During the day it’s absurd, but harmless. At night, though, it’s just terrifying! So much so that the other night I had a dream about the hanging pups. They were alive. They were hanging from the tree, snapping and scratching at me, flashing their teeth in anger, trying desperately to release themselves from their branches so they could attack.

When I walked by last night a couple girls were admiring them—“That one is so cute!”

No, no it’s not cute. It’s utterly fucked up, Seattle, and you know it.

Rodney Tom Pulls Out of the 8th District Congressional Race

posted by on September 5 at 10:39 AM

That leaves only Darcy Burner running for the Democratic nomination. The statement from Burner:

Senator Tom called me this morning to let me know that he is pulling out of the 8th district congressional race and is formally and enthusiastically endorsing my candidacy. We will be working together in the future to bring real change to the district.

I wonder how much this had to do with Burner’s ability to capitalize hugely on Bush’s recent visit to Bellevue to raise money for Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. Burner used the Bush event to promote an online counterfundraiser for herself. With the help of prominent local and national liberal bloggers, she ended up raising her nearly $130,000. That may not be as much money as Reichert raised in Bellevue with Bush’s help, but it was way more than anything Rodney Tom had raised up to that point, and it showed that Burner was not only the pick of the local and national netroots, but had the tech savvy to turn their backing into a significant amount of cash.

Here’s what I wrote about all of this for last week’s Stranger:

[Burner’s] counterfundraiser also served as another body check to Burner’s opponent in the Democratic primary, state senator Rodney Tom. While Burner was raking in the online donations, at one point at a rate of $100 a minute, Tom was reduced to joining the protest outside the Bush event—nice symbolism, perhaps, but not very lucrative.

The local and national netroots want to be the kingmakers in campaigns like this. In the Burner-Tom race, it appears they probably were.

Meanwhile, here’s something I’ve been meaning to post on Slog. It’s a breakdown that shows who was king among the blog king-makers. No surprise, DailyKos was at the top of the list:

Burner’s online haul offered a telling indicator of which liberal blogs currently have the most money clout. By Goldstein’s calculations, links from the hugely popular blog DailyKos led to around $40,000 in donations to Burner—the most of any blog participating in her fundraiser. The blog Eschaton was second, delivering about $25,000. And Goldstein’s blog, HorsesAss, was fifth, bringing in about $5,000.

Hell Hath No Fury…

posted by on September 5 at 10:17 AM

Like a tattoo artist burgled.

Sent to I, Anonymous:

You spineless, selfish, art-stealing Nazi. Are you so fucking uninspired and talentless that you had to come to the Seattle Tattoo Convention and STEAL a visiting artist’s sketchbook containing years of hard work and ORIGINAL ideas? Are you honestly thinking you could possibly pass off THEIR art as your own and possibly impress somebody? Do you realize that the WHOLE TATTOO COMMUNITY SPANNING THE GLOBE has a vile disgust for you and we are all searching for you and that book? Trust me when i say that when we find you and we WILL find you. We are going to FUCK YOUR FACE UP WORSE THAN A PICASSO PAINTING YOU STUPID THIEVING CUNT.

New Ads from Thompson and Clinton

posted by on September 5 at 10:10 AM

Here’s the first ad from Fred Thompson, who will officially announce his candidacy tomorrow. The current knock on Thompson is that he’s lazy and doesn’t want to the presidency bad enough—hence his late entry into the race and his lackluster pre-campaign. Is this really the face of a man who’s ready to run hard?

Next, the new Clinton ad. Everyone on the Democratic side wants to be the “change” candidate. This ad is called… wait for it… “Change.”

Apple Dorks Take Note

posted by on September 5 at 10:00 AM


Apple’s finely-tuned hype machine—the best in the world by a damn sight—has everybody all frothy over whatever new must-have, slightly-different-than-the-last-one gadget Cupertino has up their sleeves this morning.

Fat Nano? Wireless iTunes? iPhone Nano? iTuna? xPod? zTrip?

The event starts at 10am (that’s like, now), and live coverage can be found here, here, here, here, here, or here.

“I Was Disgusted.”

posted by on September 5 at 9:54 AM

John “Torture’s Okay” Yoo crony Jack Goldsmith, the former head of Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, is coming out with a book that trashes the Bush administration’s pseudo legal justifications for running rough shod over the constitution.

From an upcoming NYT preview of the book:

Nine months later, in June 2004, Goldsmith resigned. Although he refused to discuss his resignation at the time, he had led a small group of administration lawyers in a behind-the-scenes revolt against what he considered the constitutional excesses of the legal policies embraced by his White House superiors in the war on terror. During his first weeks on the job, Goldsmith had discovered that the Office of Legal Counsel had written two legal opinions — both drafted by Goldsmith’s friend Yoo, who served as a deputy in the office — about the authority of the executive branch to conduct coercive interrogations. Goldsmith considered these opinions, now known as the “torture memos,” to be tendentious, overly broad and legally flawed, and he fought to change them. He also found himself challenging the White House on a variety of other issues, ranging from surveillance to the trial of suspected terrorists. His efforts succeeded in bringing the Bush administration somewhat closer to what Goldsmith considered the rule of law — although at considerable cost to Goldsmith himself. By the end of his tenure, he was worn out. “I was disgusted with the whole process and fed up and exhausted,” he told me recently.

The Consolation of Flapjacks, Part 2

posted by on September 5 at 9:51 AM


Last week, I slogged about some particularly delicious pancakes I had at Seattle’s lovably low-rent Mecca Cafe. Got some nice commiseration in the comments, inspired a person or two to go get themselves a pancake, but still I wondered: Is finding a delicious pancake actually that remarkable? Has anyone ever made a non-delicious pancake?

This past weekend, I travelled to Salt Lake City, where I received an answer to my rhetorical question in the form of a crispy-on-the-outside, phlegmy-on-the-inside flapjack from a seemingly reputable restaurant. It was inedible, I sent it back, earning profuse apologies from the waiter and another pancake exactly like the first. I spit out my test bite of goocake #2, tipped the waiter (it wasn’t his fault), and ran for my life.

But seriously: What the fuck? The people of Utah pride themselves on their “pioneer stock”—how can they fuck up something as elementary as a griddle cake, which presumably sustained their ancestors for centuries? In Utah, does “pancake” secretly mean “charbroiled goo wad”?

Shame on you, Utah. You deserve that giant lake full of undrinkably salty water.

(Everyone else, share your tales of flapjack triumph and heartbreak in the Stranger’s Reader Reviews.)

Donate to Darcy Burner. Here.

posted by on September 5 at 9:45 AM

The FEC has tossed a complaint against DailyKos.

This is big news for bloggers and the netroots.

The complaint alleged that Kos was a political campaign committee and should be subject to campaign finance laws or else should stop pimping for Democrats.

The FEC said nope. Kos is just like a newspaper editorial page.

The Morning News

posted by on September 5 at 9:42 AM

Obama: Making up for foreign-policy limitations with 150-plus advisers.

Petraeus: Next March is “about right” for troop reductions.

European parliament: Time to relax about liquids on planes?

Rhode Island club fire: Defendants tentatively agree to $13.5 million settlement.

Strike 1: 3,500 University of Minnesota workers go on strike after contract negotiations break down.

Strike 2: NYC cabbie group begins two-day strike—just in time for Fashion Week and the US Open.

US economy: Headed for a fall?

Craig: Still backpedaling on resignation, seeking GOP support.

Craigslist: The law is catching up with online prostitution.

Recipe of the Day: Minty, Boozy Chicken (via Serious Eats; recipe below the jump)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Fly the Sacrificial Skies

posted by on September 5 at 9:29 AM

Note to self: Don’t fly Nepal Airlines anytime soon

Officials at Nepal’s state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.

Nepal Airlines, which has two Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend some services in recent weeks due the problem.

The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday at Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with Hindu traditions, an official said.

“The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights,” said Raju K.C., a senior airline official, without explaining what the problem had been.

Jennifer Dunn

posted by on September 5 at 9:01 AM


The Dunn family released a statement a few minutes ago. It was sent out via email from the office of her son, King County Council Member Reagan Dunn.

The family of Jennifer Dunn regret to inform you that today, Jennifer passed away.

Jennifer Dunn led an amazing if all too short life. In the words of President Bush used on her retirement from Congress, “She is a superb legislator and a strong leader who has stood for the best of Washington State’s values and who has improved the lives of its people.”

Her political career was a series of firsts: first women to chair the Washington State Republican Party (1981), first freshman woman to win a place in the House Republican leadership team (1992) and went on to be elected as the highest ranking Republican women in leadership as the Vice Chairman of the Conference.

Dunn suffered a pulmonary embolism while in Virginia, and never regained consciousness. “She passed peacefully surrounded by family,” according to the statement.

Full text of the Dunn family statement after the jump.

Continue reading "Jennifer Dunn" »

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

“No Shit” Item of the Day

posted by on September 4 at 9:35 PM

Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University studied a sample of North American and British rock and pop stars and concluded they are more than twice as likely to die a premature death as ordinary citizens of the same age.


E Union Street & 23rd Ave E

posted by on September 4 at 5:58 PM


Last Saturday, Seattle Police swarmed on Thompson’s Point of View, at 2308 E. Union St., after a man was shot inside the restaurant-bar. Two men got into an argument and one of the men pulled out a handgun and fired 3 shots, hitting the other man in the arm.

The neighborhood has almost become accustomed to incidents like this. After Chocolate City—formerly located on 20th and Madison—finally closed last March, Central District residents hoped the drug dealing and violence associated with the club would go away. It didn’t. According to several neighbors, the problem has simply migrated over to the intersection at 23rd and Union.

Jean Tinnea, who lives and works near Thompson’s, says the police have done a good job of making their presence known in the neighborhood. But when the police aren’t around, Tinnea claims she frequently sees young men hanging out on the corner of 23rd and Union, talking on cell phones and passing things in and out of cars. “The usual signs of drug dealing,” she says.

When I called Thompsons to ask about Saturday’s shooting, the woman on the phone snapped “what shooting?” and hung up the phone.

Craig: Not Gay, May Stay

posted by on September 4 at 5:48 PM

Here’s the headline of the day:

Craig rethinking resignation, spokesman says

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, is reconsidering his decision to resign after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting and may still fight for his Senate seat, his spokesman said Tuesday evening.

“It’s not such a foregone conclusion anymore, that the only thing he could do was resign,” said Sidney Smith, Craig’s spokesman, in Idaho’s capital.

“We’re still preparing as if Senator Craig will resign September 30, but the outcome of the legal case in Minnesota and the ethics investigation will have an impact on whether we’re able to stay in the fight—and stay in the Senate.”

Yes, yes: Larry! Stay and fight, Larry! Stay and fight! Don’t let them shove you out—did Trent Lott go quietly when they tried to shove him out? No! So why should you? Stay and fight, Larry!

And Another Resignation in the State House

posted by on September 4 at 4:47 PM

David Postman reports that Seattle Rep. Jim McIntire (D-46), a black sheep in the Dem caucus because he adamantly supported a state income tax, says he’s running for state treasurer next year instead of seeking reelection to the legislature.

There were some fireworks last year when McIntire lost his position as the chair of the House Finance Committee. McIntire attributed the demotion to his outspoken stance on the income tax.

As I reported earlier this year:

Chopp was true to his word. One of his first moves after the Doubletree meeting was to take the Finance Committee chairmanship away from progressive tax reformer Representative Jim McIntire (D-46, North Seattle), a dogged advocate of the longstanding progressive demand for an income tax. “It was pretty clear that Frank did not like the fact that I was out there talking about income taxes,” McIntire says.

UPDATE! (From ECB): Longtime chair of the 46th District Democrats Scott White has announced that he’s running for McIntire’s seat. White has obviously been planning this move for a while; his list of “early endorsers” already includes state Sen. Ken Jacobsen, state Rep. Phyllis Kenney, King County Executive Ron Sims, City Council member Tom Rasmussen, and more than a dozen others.

Reason Number Four Million and Six Why You Shouldn’t Use Meth

posted by on September 4 at 4:44 PM

An 8-month-old boy in California died after his mother accidentally cleaned his nose with a cotton swab used earlier to clean a methamphetamine pipe, reports the Associated Press.

Last Night at Bumbershoot (Non-Wu-Tang Dept.)

posted by on September 4 at 4:26 PM

What Miranda July’s PowerPoint presentation at Bumbershoot was about: Her new book, Learning to Love You More, based on the website of the same name wherein people complete various assignments like “Make an encouraging banner” or “Record the sound that is keeping you awake.”

What’s on the book’s cover: Old man and an old woman making out.

What July said after she explained that she was going to give a PowerPoint presentation: “But it’s not going to be boring. I just put myself in your position and I was like, ‘Oh no.’”

Best encouraging banner: One from Poland that read “You will find it.”

What happened after the Learning to Love You More presentation: An auction.

Relationship between the Learning to Love You More presentation and the auction: None, which is why, as it started, July said, “Let’s just pretend that we all just got here.”

Beneficiary of the auction: “A worthy local cause.”

Up for auction: Three items July collected from people standing in line before the event.

First item: A blue, plastic souvenir coin purse emblazoned with the Pacific Science Center’s logo.

Topics discussed onstage with the coin purse’s owner: His job developing video games, his love of souvenirs, the death of his father 20 years ago.

Amount the coin purse went for, after fierce bidding: $28, plus $2 because the winner had no change.

Second item in the auction: A pair of red-handled scissors that recently failed to cut through thread.

Original owner of the scissors: A senior at Roosevelt High School named Fern.

Fern’s answer when asked what she wants to be when she grows up: “I’d like to be a journalist or a librarian.”

July as auctioneer: “$50? Do I have $50? They cut everything else but thread!”

Amount the scissors went for: $70.

Third and final auction item: A homeopathic remedy for tendinitis.

Occupation of the woman with tendinitis: Conflict mediator.

Total amount raised in auction: $160.

What July said after she counted the money: “This grant is not merit-based. It’s entirely need-based. It’s not that much money, although there’s been times in my life when $160 would have really affected me.”

What July said after she told everyone to close their eyes and not peek: “If $160 would make a difference in your life, just raise your hand.”

Grant recipient: Unknown.

Today in Line Out: Super Packed Bumbershoot Edition

posted by on September 4 at 3:28 PM

Today Line Out is all about Bumbershoot.

artbrut.jpgArt Brut by Justin Renney

Jonathan Zwickel went to Bumbershoot for the first time since 1996 and never wanted it to end.

Eric Grandy found new appreciation for Viva Voce and also thinks Art Brut put on a better show than Wu Tang.

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee thinks he’s wrong.

Speaking of Wu-Tang, we have a bunch of awesome photos by Justin Renney from the show, as well as video.

The Insane Clown Posse made a special disguise appearance over the weekend.

Seaweed are back and they still fucking rock.

Jeff Kirby is better at Guitar Hero than Michael Ian Black, but (sorry Jeff) Michael Ian Black is funnier.

Roky Erickson leaves Kurt B. Reighley wondering.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists had the most fun they’ve ever had ever. And they covered Springsteen.

And because we’re fair, we don’t get to have all the fun. There’s also an open thread where you can share your own Bumberdreams and nightmares.

bumberlupe.jpgLupe Fiasco by Justin Renney

Tons of other stuff was posted over the weekend too like more photos, more opinions about Art Brut, and a lot of great videos of things you may have missed. Get clicking.

As for other musical musings:

Nipper still has love for the U-Men.

Some girl named Danielli is looking for Peter Buck.

Where is My Mind” has never felt more relevant.

And Donte Parks gives away tickets to the Brunettes.

Another Gay State Senator?

posted by on September 4 at 3:26 PM

Democratic State Senator Erik Poulsen stepped down today to become a lobbyist for the Washington Public Utilities District Association. He’s leaving at the end of the month. His replacement is likely to be gay state Rep. Joe McDermott.

Here’s how the process works:

The replacement will be a Democrat because the Democrats control Poulsen’s turf at the County level. (In our weird process, the County makes the appointment.) The process actually starts at the precinct committee officer level in Poulsen’s district, West Seattle’s 34. They forward three names to the King County Council, which ultimately makes the choice.

History shows that the likely successor is one of the state reps from the Senator’s district. There’s two of them: Eileen Cody and Joe McDermott. Word is Cody doesn’t want it. McDermott is likely to get the nod.

What I Said…

posted by on September 4 at 3:22 PM

…about Spokane mayor Jim West in The Advocate after West’s death last year is similar to what I had to say today about Jim McGreevey.

I felt sorry for them—for the older guys, the men in their 40s and 50s, that ever-present clump of middle-aged men who hung out in bars they were way too old for and lusted after guys who were way too young for them. My friends didn’t feel sorry for them. They made fun of the “old trolls,” as they insisted on calling them, although they would condescend to let them buy us drinks.

It was 1981, and I was three months shy of my 18th birthday. Unlike most of the other boys in the vapid crowd of just-out teenagers I was running with, I knew a little gay history and I could add and subtract.

When those older men in the bars were 18, it was 1961 or 1951—and it might as well have been 1661 for all the difference it made. When they were our age it just wasn’t possible to be an openly gay teenager. We were talking pre-Stonewall! The dark ages! There weren’t gay youth groups or gay bookstores or gay neighborhoods. No PFLAG, no NGLTF, no FFA. “Give ’em a break,” I used to tell my friends. “They missed out.”

West is 54 years old. That means he was 18 in 1969, the year of the Stonewall riots. He was 26 in 1977, the year that Harvey Milk was elected to the board of supervisors in San Francisco. He was 29 years old when I was 17 and hanging out in bars in Chicago.

He was 34 years old when my boyfriend was being beaten in his Spokane high school, in a district that West represented in the Washington State legislature.

Jim West knew better. He knew he didn’t have to live a lie. He knew he could have lived as an openly gay or bisexual man—bisexual is all West has admitted to in most of his interviews, although no pictures of young women were found on his work computer—but he chose not to. Unlike the older gay men I met in 1981, West and other closeted middle-aged men today didn’t come of age at a time when no one could conceive of openly gay and lesbian people and communities. (Or politicians: Washington State has four openly gay members of its legislature.) Jim West chose the closet and shame and lies and hypocrisy.

So while I had sympathy for gay men who came out late in life in the 1970s and 1980s, I find I have no sympathy for Jim West or other men like him today. Their stories aren’t tragic, they’re pathetic. They didn’t miss out. They opted out. Fuck ’em.

City Light Employee Survey Reveals Widespread Dissatisfaction

posted by on September 4 at 3:21 PM

In a long and frequently testy briefing in council chambers this morning, City Light chief Jorge Carrasco presented the results of a survey of City Light employees that showed higher-than-ever levels of employee dissatisfaction at the agency—and a massive disconnect between the how workers and management perceive how things are going at City Light. Under a barrage of questions from council members Nick Licata and Richard McIver, Carrasco seemed defensive and dodgy. “Some of these results are, quite honestly, disturbing,” Licata said. “When we have less than 20 percent of the employees saying the executive managers [understand] what’s going on in the lower levels of the organization, that’s really a condemning statement. … They don’t feel they’re getting good direction from management.” Carrasco’s (rather feeble) response: “When has City Light had a work force that has been embracing of management?” He then added that many of City Light’s top managers have been in the department for less than a year. “We need to give them some time” to turn employee-management relations around, Carrasco said.

The survey revealed that City Light employees do not feel they are fairly compensated, either in terms of pay or benefits; do not feel management provides leadership or adequately supports City Light’s mission; do not feel adequately trained or involved in decisions that affect them; and do not feel there is effective communication between various levels of City Light. Interestingly, top management overwhelmingly approved of City Light’s performance, particularly the performance of executive management, while rank-and-file workers overwhelmingly disapproved. In several categories, top managers gave 100 percent approval to management performance and communication with staff, while rank-and-file workers gave approval ratings as low as 19 percent. According to a council staff analysis of the survey, “it is immediately clear that the rank and file of the department has little confidence in Executive Management. … Unfortunately, it appears the Executive Team was unaware of those challenges.”


posted by on September 4 at 3:17 PM

This has never happened before. The deadline for submitting a film for HUMP! is a week away, and we already have four submissions in the building… here’s hoping this year’s HUMP! is the best HUMP! yet…

Fellow Time Travelers

posted by on September 4 at 2:51 PM

I posted this on Line-Out over the weekend, but I feel like I should have posted it on Slog. A) Line-Out was Bumbershoot crazy this weekend, and so, my 1955 time travel didn’t exactly fit in the mix. B) I think most of my fellow 1955 time travelers are on Slog anyway.

There’s an amazing splice of rock DNA floating around online: An actual Alan Freed radio broadcast from early 1955 on WINS in NYC.

The show heats up about 30 minutes in when Freed plays some Mickey “Guitar” Baker, Ray Charles, and B.B. King.

Zoe Scofield: All Over the Goddamned Place

posted by on September 4 at 2:51 PM


I’ll say it again: local dancer and choreographer Zoe Scofield—and her collaborator, the video artist Juniper Shuey—are all over the goddamned place:

In the new season at On the Boards.

At the Time-Based Art festival in Portland (Sept 14–16).

At Smoke Farm, helping curate its performance festival (the “Pataphysical New Year”) this weekend.

And, now, across the iUniverse—Scofield and Shuey made a video with Dave Matthews which was released today on iTunes:

Mssr. Matthews’s fans are conflicted about the video (“absolutely pure genius,” “I don’t get it,” “the video is one of the most creative things by Dave Matthews,” “eh”). But they are rabid, flesh-eating freaks—I wouldn’t trust them with a roll of Scotch tape.

Anyway, congratulations Zoe! Music videos are The Way to Make Dance Pay. May you make many more.

The Future of Democracy

posted by on September 4 at 2:08 PM

To begin with, Athenian democracy was made possible by two facts: the war with Persia and the growth of the Athenian navy. Meaning, the extension of political power to all male citizens of Athens corresponded with the emergence of the Athenian Empire, which itself emerged from the Delian League—an association of Greek city-states in the 5th century BC that owed its existence to the presence of Persian military power.

With this in mind, let’s turn to Europe’s modern period—16th-19th century. From a chapter, “War and Militarism,” in Stuart Hall’s book Modernity:

[British expenditure between 1695-1820 shows that] state finances were dominated by foreign wars. …Whether the state was absolutist or constitutional made little difference to the proportion of its expenditure on the military.

Later in the chapter:

Over time it was the increasing scale of war, and particularly its growing reliance on technology change, industrialization, and specialization which, in combination with the growth of commercial, legal, and diplomatic interaction among states, gave the modern centralized nation-state its distinctive edge over other state forms. States that could mobilize and sustain armies and/or navies gained a war-making-advantage.

The conclusion of that chapter:

It is argued by some scholars that the more military superiority depended on the ability of a state to mobilize large numbers of soldiers, particularly of lightly-armed foot soldiers, the greater have been the prospects for representation or popular government… the soldier has often become, and struggled to become, a citizen-soldier.

Put poetically: Democracy has an ugly relative, and that relative is called imperialism. Stable and durable state expansion, the military, and democracy are interconnected: A state’s imperial designs needs a large army; a large army needs lots of bodies; and a citizen will more likely trade his body if the return is a larger role in the rule of the state. Any consideration of democracy and its place in the future will be inadequate if this historical relationship between democracy, militarism, and the state is ignored. (Another example: British democracy—the series of parliamentary reforms between 1840 and 1870—increased as the size and pressures of the British Empire increased.)

National politics today: With the American public rejecting the imperialist war in Iraq, what then is the use of democracy for capital? If the people will not fight, why give them the right to vote? Capital wants war; people want democracy. Capital will soon, if it hasn’t already, resolve this contradiction: war without the people. The future of politics is in the hands of capital if the people continue to rely on a form of democracy that has as its substance a statist-imperialist agenda. The end of the statist democracy would mark the transformation of the people into the multitude. War in its state form is not possible if the governing polyarchy (rather than democracy—the rule of the people by the people) emerges from the noise of the multitude.

Re: Sims Endorses Clinton

posted by on September 4 at 1:17 PM

I’m not too surprised by the Sims for Clinton news.

About eight months ago, I was talking to some Democratic folks about HRC v Obama, and one of them told me they thought Clinton was gonna win. I asked why, and they said her campaign was “on it.”

I asked for an example, and this Democrat, also a Sims staffer, said: “Well, we’ve already gotten tons of calls from her campaign asking for Ron’s endorsement. Why hasn’t Obama called our office, one of the highest elected black politicians in the country? Pretty dumb. I bet Clinton is calling the Rons all over the country.”

As Eli points out, Sims is probably jonesing for an appointment. Indeed, the Sims staffer I talked to also said the pesky Clinton callers “talked about opportunities for Ron.”

Letter of the Day

posted by on September 4 at 12:31 PM

Here I am, still feeling a bit annoyed about the moats around the beer gardens at Bumbershoot—and stupid, stupid regulations that prevent parents from bringing their kids inside the beer garden (I can drink in front of my kid at home and in restaurants, but not beer gardens?)—when this email arrives…

We are hoping to raise awareness with you regarding NW Soberstock 2007—it is quite a story and one we hope ends with a full house on Saturday Sept 15th at Marymoor Park to enjoy great music, food and fun and allow families to come together in a venue that is different than those offered today—how many times has a parent dreaded hearing their child say “Can I go see the “place name of any band here”?” and instantly had fear—mostly due to the realization that there will be drugs and alcohol being passed around and “promoted” so to speak—our festival and future festivals will leave an option for parents to remove that fear—our show is not an AA function—it is an event that gives the community and families an alternative to the ones out there right now. We recently added Sneaky Thieves and 4 time Grammy award winner Kevin Max of dcTalk and have to admit that the artist response has been significant.

We did not have a lot of time to get this started—six months ago no one would have given me a dime—to date—we have raised 18K—some from private investors—but also from sponsors Emerald City Guitars, The Redmond Inn, Talking Rain, Fox Bowman Duarte and Lakeside Milam. Rachel and I would love to set up a time to talk with you and believe if you met us—you would feel the energy inherent in this story, we do need to get a few more breaks to get the word out and would be forever grateful if were you to help is out!


Michael J Sasenick
Rachel Galberth
Us Productions LLC

McGreevey on Craig

posted by on September 4 at 11:58 AM

I should have posted something yesterday on Jim McGreevey’s op-ed in Monday’s Washington Post about Larry Craig. But I found it hard to suppress the urge to vomit every time I tried to read McGreevey’s piece, and I didn’t want to splatter vomit all over my newish laptop.

I got through it this morning and, man, what a dishonest piece of shit. It’s an absolutely nauseating piece, from its unctuous title (“A Prayer for Larry Craig”) to the italics at the end letting us know that the former New Jersey governor is studying to be an Episcopal priest. That would be the same ex-governor last seen in public making fun of his ex-wife’s dress sense.

On to the op-ed: McGreevey, like Craig, was a cruiser—toilets, rest stops, Israel—and he feels for Craig. Both men, he argues, were victims. You see, they were both born too soon to enjoy the fruits of gay liberation.

McGreevey opens with a close call of his own…

I pulled into the rest stop, parked my car, flashed my headlights, which was “the signal,” and waited. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw a state trooper approaching. I desperately tried to convince the trooper of my innocence, showing him my former prosecutor’s badge, a gift from the office when I left. The trooper radioed his office and returned. “I never want to see you here again,” he said. I survived for another day.

I was in my late 20s. It would be another 25 years before my parallel lives collided and I was coerced out of the “closet.”

Why was McGreevey cruising rest stops? Because he had to, he argues. Because there were no other options for gay men of his generation.

As a child, recognizing my difference from other kids, I went to the local public library to try to better understand my reality. Back then, many library card catalogues didn’t even list “homosexuality” as a topic. I had to go to “sexuality, deviant” to learn about myself, and the collected works were few and frightening: “Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases,” “Homosexuality: Its Causes and Cure,” “Sexual Deviance & Sexual Deviants.”

If you haven’t experienced it, it may be hard to understand the sinking feeling most every gay boy or girl of my generation experienced upon coming across that section of the library. All I could do was slam the drawer closed and leave, steeped in hopelessness.

Okay, let’s pause for a moment. McGreevey was born in 1957—in New Jersey, so he wasn’t exactly cut off from the outside world. You can walk to Manhattan from New Jersey. And “boys and girls of his generation” weren’t exactly limited to dated card catalogues when they sought information about themselves. McGreevey was 12 years old when the Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969; 16 years old when the American Psychiatric Association declared that homosexuality was not a psychiatric disorder; 18 years old when the first openly gay person was elected to the legislature in Massachusetts; 20 years old when Harvey Milk was elected in San Francisco in 1977; 22 years old when 100,000 people gathered in DC for the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

And on October 11, 1987—right around the time McGreevey, then in his late 20s, had a close call with a state trooper—200,000 gays and lesbians were marching on Washington, demanding our rights. (I was at the ‘87 march.)

Jim McGreevey can’t claim to have grown up at a time when the only information available to him about homosexuality was filed under “sexual deviance & sexual deviants” in the library. People older than McGreevey and younger than McGreevey were coming out, making noise, writing and being written about. He can’t claim ignorance about other gay people or his options. If McGreevey was trawling toilets in 1987 it wasn’t because he thought he was the only gay person in the world. It was because he was a closeted, cowardly piece of shit.

Oh, but it wasn’t just card catalogues that oppressed little Jimmy. There was the big, bad Catholic church too!

No relief was forthcoming from my then-Catholic faith, which said the practice of homosexuality was a “mortal sin” subject to damnation.

Yeah, yeah: My dad was a Catholic deacon, my mom was a lay Catholic minister, and my high school was a Catholic seminary. And like millions of other gay Catholics, I somehow managed to come the fuck out of the closet and live with a little integrity. Damnation, Shmanation. An openly gay or lesbian person that wasn’t raised in one gay-bashing “faith” or another is rarer than a straight guy in a Manhattan gym.

After all the whispering, fights, insults, reading of academic journals and lessons from the church, you simply say to yourself: This thing, being gay, can’t be me. Everything and everyone told me it was wrong, evil, unnatural and shameful. You decide: I’ll change it, I’ll fight it, I’ll control it, but, simply put, I’ll never accept it.

Again with the academic journals and the church. Not buying it, Jimmy. Academic journals and the good counsel of Catholic priests—har har—weren’t the only options gay teenagers had in the ’70s, or a gay young adult had in the ’80s. Gay people and gay issues were being debated—pro and con—in every daily newspaper and on every television news program in the country.

So when you write that in high school “[you] made up [your] mind to behave in public as though [you] were straight,” it wasn’t because you couldn’t conceive of another way of living. Examples of openly gay people were everywhere—including scores of openly gay elected officials. What you should have written is something like this: “I wasn’t brave enough to come out, I didn’t have the courage to live openly like other gays and lesbians. I was fearful and chose to lie to the people I loved, and to live without honesty or integrity.”

Hello? Editors of the Washington Post? Jim McGreevey did not come of age in the 1870s, but the 1970s. He could have lived as an openly gay man and instead he chose lies and deceit and the closet. That life was not imposed on him by dated card catalogues and the Catholic church. Jim McGreevey should not be allowed to play the victim in his WaPo op-ed. The fact of the matter is that McGreevey victimized himself.

And what of Craig? He was older—he was a part of a generation that came of age when there was no information out there about homos, no known options, and many gay and lesbian teenagers concluded that they were utterly alone, the only boy or girl on earth that felt the way they did, and that they had no choice but to be and remain closeted. But you know what? That excuse is moving past its sell-by date, even for a man in his sixties. Craig was born in 1945, which would have made him 29 years old at the time of the Stonewall riots. Craig has know—for most of his adult life—that he didn’t have to be a closeted, lying piece of shit.

And finally, McGreevey’s prayer…

I pray that the tide of American history continues to sweep toward the inevitable expansion of freedom that recognizes the worth and dignity of every individual—and that mine is the last generation that is required to choose between affairs of the heart and elected office.

Ack. Shut the fuck up, McGreevey, you lying sack of shit. Harvey Milk was elected to office in 1977—and he was the first of a wave of openly-gay elected officials, all across the country. I too pray that the tide of American history is sweeping toward the expansion of freedom that recognizes the worth and dignity—yadda yadda yadda—but you can’t claim to be a part of a generation that was forced to chose between “affairs of the heart and elected office.” You were born in 1957, Jimmy, not 1937.

You are—or could have been—a part of the Stonewall generation. You opted instead for the closet, for lies and rest stop sex and sham marriages, because it was easier. Because you were a coward, McGreevey, a coward.

O They Will Know We Are Scientologists By…

posted by on September 4 at 11:34 AM

…our inability to bamboozle Europeans.

A Belgian prosecutor on Tuesday recommended that the U.S.-based Church of Scientology stand trial for fraud and extortion, following a 10-year investigation that concluded the group should be labeled a criminal organization. Scientology said it would fight the criminal charges recommended by investigating prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen, who said that up to 12 unidentified people should face charges.

Van Espen’s probe also concluded that Scientology’s Brussels-based Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine, violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.

Sims Endorses Clinton

posted by on September 4 at 11:20 AM

For those keeping score of local endorsements, King County Executive Ron Sims is backing Hillary Clinton for president. From the release just put out by the Clinton campaign:

The Clinton Campaign today announced the endorsement of King County Executive Ron Sims and named him a Co-Chair of Hillary’s Washington campaign and a member of the campaign’s Environment and Energy Task Force.

“At this critical time in our history, Hillary Clinton is the experienced leader this country needs to deliver the change it demands,” Sims said.

Clinton gushes back:

“Ron’s courage and achievements in King County have produced environmental programs that are models for other governments across the nation,” Clinton said.

A few things about this announcement:

1) The other Washington co-chair of Clinton’s campaign is Rep. Jay Inslee, also a big environmentalist. So is Clinton, who has struggled to gain traction in Washington state relative to Edwards (loved by labor) and Obama (loved by former Deaniacs), angling for Washington’s enviro crowd?

2) Is Sims, who seems stuck at County Executive after his failed run for governor, and who has long been mentioned as someone who might make the jump to the federal government through a presidential appointment, angling for a spot in what he presumes will be the next Democratic administration? If so, what stock does one put in his judgment that Clinton will be the Democrat who wins the White House?

3) The release, intended for a national audience, makes sure people get the message that this is another black elected official who has endorsed Clinton over Obama.

Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Ron marched alongside his politically active parents in the struggle for racial equality, and honed a passion for civil rights issues that has been a guidepost throughout his political career.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 4 at 11:00 AM


‘Pierrot le Fou’ at Varsity

Part The Swiss Family Robinson, part Bonnie and Clyde, and all mid-’60s Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou finds the consummate guy (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and the archetypal girl (Anna Karina) murdering and thieving and foraging their way through the French countryside, with the occasional musical number to brighten the mood. The pastiche is the story and the stars are the characters and what the hell are we supposed to make of that kowtowing-yet-satirical Samuel Fuller cameo? Pierrot le Fou is crazy, meta fun. (Varsity, see Movie Times for more info.)


Crapolicious Calls Bull on “Green” Bumbershoot

posted by on September 4 at 10:58 AM

I’d read the gripes of a few folks on Line Out about Bumbershoot’s policy of no outside water bottles in Memorial Stadium, but these photos from Crapolicious are worth a thousand words:


See the Crapolocious original, “Allegedly ‘Green’ Bumbershoot Crapoliciously Forces Concert-Goers to Throw Away Hundreds of Bottles of Water” here. (And thanks for the heads-up, Mike.)

Another Trygve

posted by on September 4 at 10:23 AM

State Rep. Jamie Pedersen and his partner Eric welcomed their son last week, and I tossed up a post about the happy news—and the SGN’s “Victory in Europe!” treatment of it—on Slog yesterday. Jamie and Eric chose the name Trygve for the kid, and their choice drew some comments. It’s a cool name—hey, what boy won’t want to be known as “Trigger”—but I’ve never encountered the name anywhere else before.

Until late last night. I’ve been reading William Shirer’s Berlin Diary. Shirer, of course, is the author of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a huge, sprawling book about the Nazi Germany. (ECB just finished reading it for the first time.) Shirer was a correspondent for CBS—hired by Edward R. Murrow herself—who lived and worked in Berlin in the years leading up to the war. Unlike Rise and Fall, which was published after the war (ka-duh), Berlin Diary was published in 1941, when the Nazis were pretty much winning the WWII. It’s fascinating reading. Shirer was in Austria during the Anschluss, for instance, and reading his description of Vienna as the Nazis took over—homegrown Nazis and German imports—will make it impossible for you to enjoy Sound of Music ever again.

But this is what leapt out at me last night: In his diary entry for October 29, 1939, Shirer takes a looks into “what Germans are reading in these dark days.”

Among the three best-sellers are: (1) Gone With the Wind, translated as Vom Winde Verwehlt—literally ‘From the Wind Blown About’; (2) Cronin’s Citadel; (3) Beyond Sing the Woods, by Trygve Gulbranssen, a young Norwegian author. Note that all three are by foreign authors, one by an Englishman.


So from never having encountered the name Trygve before to encountering it twice in the same day—once in the Seattle Gay News, once in William Shirer’s Berlin Diary. I’m not sure what it signifies, but it spooked me.

The One Form

posted by on September 4 at 9:58 AM

history_boys_1121.jpg School uniforms are rational. Why? Because they greatly reduce the class stress caused by teen fashions, by flashy back-to-school items.

ELIZABETH, N.J., Aug. 30 — Many public schools are supplying their students with an ever-growing list of essentials that go far beyond textbooks to include scientific calculators, personal laptops and free breakfast.

Now they are dressing them, too.

The Elizabeth school district has spent more than $2 million since January 2006 to buy navy blazers, khaki pants, polo shirts, gym shorts and even socks as part of a new policy to put all its students in uniforms.

The district, which serves mostly poor and minority families, has outfitted more than 9,000 students — nearly half its enrollment — so far as it phases in the uniforms a few schools at a time over five years to spread out the cost.

Another advantage to school uniforms is they weaken the illusion that individuality (or an identity) can be bought. And those most harmed by this illusion are in the class at the bottom of society.

Local Columnist Appreciation

posted by on September 4 at 9:30 AM

Dan wrote recently about his affection for the P-I columnists D. Parvaz and Cathy Sorbo, and I’ve written previously about my love for the Seattle Gay News columnist Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid. But the newest column by Ms. Dirzhud-Rashid is so impressive I can’t bear to offer an excerpt.

Here’s the online version in full.

After reading the first paragraph in the print edition, I put down the paper and applauded.

It only gets better. (Key components: astrology-based sexual boundaries, the miracle of an SPD officer’s smile, and the greatest use of parenthetical statement in the history of journalism.)

Richardson on Iowa’s Divine Right

posted by on September 4 at 9:30 AM

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who Kos is now calling “the buffoon of this campaign,” recently said this about Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses:

Iowa, for good reason, for constitutional reasons, for reasons related to the Lord, should be the first caucus and primary.

Got that? The Lord made Iowa first. Don’t question.

What if It Was Courtney Love’s Blog Arrested in that Bathroom?

posted by on September 4 at 9:21 AM

A very Courtney-Loveish message, just for you, courtesy of her blog:


So, please, deogners fropm sesugn shcool with cotton pantires thing boulevardier experience, take heed…Courtney neds you!


What if It was a Woman That Got Arrested in that Bathroom?

posted by on September 4 at 8:00 AM

I was talking to a woman the other day, she has a girlfriend, and she told me, “I’m not a lesbian.”

Could a man say the same thing and sound even close to credible? Obviously, Sen. Larry Craig can’t. Most people I know laughed and scoffed at Craig’s defense. “I was in Canada with this guy, and you know, we both just ended up deciding to get married, but I’m not gay.” That’s how one person I know spoofed Craig’s “I was trying to pick up a guy in the bathroom, but I’m not gay” defense.

What if we caught Sen. Maria Cantwell coming out of the Wild Rose? Would we believe her if she said she was just goofing for the night, but she’s not really gay? Ha. Half the guys I know would probably just think it was hot, and not even question her.

My sense is that women are perceived to be straight at the core—and that lesbianism is just a fanciful experiment. I suppose it’s mostly straight men that think this. But, indeed, the woman I spoke with who has a girlfriend who says she’s not gay, is hardly the first woman I’ve spoken to who’s been in the same situation and said the same thing.

Not so with men. A man does something gay—like shop for a blow job in the Minneapolis airport— and the burden of proof is immediately on him to prove he’s not gay. A woman does something gay, and the burden of proof is on her to prove she’s really gay and not just goofing.

What is the reason for this? Do we take the “transgression” of male homosexuality as more of an affront to society? Do we take female homosexuality less seriously because we take females less seriously in general?

The Morning News

posted by on September 4 at 7:28 AM

Happy Labor Day: Union membership down to 12.5 percent, as of 2004.

Bush in Iraq: Troop reduction might be possible.

Felix approaches Honduras: “Tourists Flee.” (“I only got seven dives in,” one says.)

Partisan past: Chertoff has a lot to answer for.

Dementia: 50 percent more likely
if you smoke.

Stem-cell research: British government approves human-animal hybrids.

Gender-neutral restrooms at Emerson College: Hooray!

The last abortion clinic in Mississippi: Fighting to stay open.

Recipe of the Day (below the jump): Gal Bee (Broiled Short Ribs). Recipe and photo via Minimally Invasive

Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Monday, September 3, 2007

Lightning Storm

posted by on September 3 at 11:05 PM

Either that or it’s the world’s biggest photo shoot. I’ve been watching the flashes for the last five minutes at least—just happened again, did you see that!? It’s getting stonger and stronger. If you’re on Capitol Hill, look toward the skyline. Best of all, it’s silent.

What If It Was Me That Got Arrested in That Airport Toilet?

posted by on September 3 at 1:34 PM

Or Michaelangelo Signorille? Or Armistead Maupin?

A gay blogger annoyed by the gay community’s delight in Sen. Larry Craig’s fall wonders how we’d all feel if it had been a ‘mo in good standing that got busted in that bathroom.

Am I alone in thinking that this is total and complete BULLSHIT that there are officers (paid with tax dollars let’s not forget) who have NO other purpose than to sit in a fucking public restroom trolling for unsuspecting cruisers to bust? Does nobody else think that its a waste of time and money? Who the fuck cares if someone (ie a gay man) wants to cruise a restroom? Isn’t there a rapist or a child molester or a thief or a murderer out there to catch? This kind of “sting operation” is just a witch hunt. We live in a country who marginalizes and denies an entire population equal rights, makes them feel like less-than-human-second-class-citizens and then criticizes and damns them when they (understandably) develop an anonymous, underground, secret way of connecting with one another. And what do we do when someone that we don’t like is busted for the same thing that many (myself included, I grew up in a small redneck town in Wyoming…my options for meeting men were very limited, but I digress) of us have done in our time? We join the hysterical ranks of finger pointers and tell them “that they had it coming.”

[Had] it been Dan Savage or Michaelangelo Signorille or fucking Armistead Maupin for that matter who had been caught in this situation the whole Gay community would be seething with rage and indignation!

Sure, I think it’s bullshit that there are officers cruising toilets—that’s not real police work. But I also think cruising toilets is gross, and that if there are complaints about it from the general public—if inept gay cruisers are being so obvious that it unnerves the straight shitters—then their ineptitude is to blame when the police step in. I also think it’s bullshit that professional homophobes like Craig and Haggard are out there cruising toilets and seeing male escorts, respectively, and when men like Craig and Haggard are destroyed by the very homophobia they’ve promoted, well, I’m sorry but that’s hilarious.

But say it had been me—or Signorille or Maupin. I’ve been to that airport, and I’ve used those bathrooms, and I have a weakness for blue-eyed blonds. I’m generally too germ-o-phobic to sit down in an airport toilet, and I avoid touching anything with my hands when I do have to use one. But maybe there’s a cop that’s so hot that a little accidental eye contact could tempt me into a stall, where I would play the foot-tapping game, slide my hand along the bottom of the stall divider (eew!), and get arrested for my efforts. What then? Rage? Indignation?


The arrest of someone like me in an airport toilet—an openly gay person in a not-strictly-monogamous same-sex relationship, a gay writer that has written scores of pro-sex, pro-kink, pro-risk-taking columns—would be a good occasion to discuss the idiocy of sending police officers into airport restrooms. (It would also be a better example of entrapment, as the bait—that super-hot officer—would have tempted me into committing a crime I might not have committed but for the bait, which is a classic entrapment scenario.) But in this instance Craig’s hypocrisy is a bigger story than the misapplication of scarce police resources at the Minneapolis airport, and so that’s what we were talking about—or were, as the story is over.

A Little Good News for Pit Bulls

posted by on September 3 at 12:45 PM

From the PI:

Four members of a family required hospital treatment after being attacked by a dog after it broke loose from its chain in their yard, the Yakima County sheriff’s office said….

Two of the victims were girls ages 2 and 3. The youngest was sent to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for stitches from a plastic surgeon. The other girl, her mother and a grandfather were treated at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital for bite wounds, a nursing supervisor said.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that one of the family’s dogs, which appeared to be a Rottweiler mix, broke loose from its chain and attacked one of the children in the yard. When the mother tried to save the girl, the dog attacked her, too.

Wait: a Rottweiler mix? Mixed with what? Maybe bear.

Assignment: Wrestling Samantha

posted by on September 3 at 11:47 AM

I received an email from Samantha, a reader who was hoping to have her wrestling party featured in “Party Crasher” in an upcoming issue of The Stranger. Paul Constant couldn’t make it and Samantha begged for me to come and wrestle with her in Paul’s place.

I drove to Samantha’s house in South Seattle and walked into her backyard. As she didn’t send a picture with her email, I wasn’t sure how to find her. I asked around and finally someone led me to a young woman jumping up and down in red tights with a cowboy pistol graphic on her crotch.

Samantha hugged me and almost fell down. “You’re the Public Intern!” she exclaimed. “We need to get you into tights!” She playfully slapped me on the tummy and led me into a bedroom where a pair of aquamarine long johns and green-stripped boy shorts were waiting for me on the bed. The crotch pouch on the long johns was so large that it was was literally drooping (think Gonzo’s nose) out of the tights. I went to the bathroom and pulled the long johns over my legs, keeping my boxers on. Just as I was thinking about how the long johns were warm and felt like someone had recently worn them, I heard a woman outside the bathroom yell “I gotta go peeeee!” The door flew open and the woman berated me for tying my shoes in the bathroom while there were people in line waiting to urinate.

Samantha proclaimed that my t-shirt wasn’t gay enough for a wrestling match. She reached under her shirt, removed her tank top and instructed for me to put it on. Then she led me outside to the backyard where a large tent had been erected, lit by spotlights and strung with paper ribbons. Samantha tore through the paper ribbons like she had reached the end of a race and started running in a drunk half-ass way around the corners. By this time, a small crowd had gathered. “Take him down, Sam!” someone shouted. “That’s the boy who was tying his shoes in the bathroom!” another woman yelled.


Samantha and I circled each other a few times, making intimidating expressions. Finally, she let out a deep grunt and lunged at me. I twisted her arm. She pulled my leg and my head went down. My face was smashed into the grass. Somehow I reached my leg over Sam and pinned her to the ground. I pounded my hand on the beer-soaked grass three times to symbolize that I’d won. I hoped that someone in the crowd would turn to his neighbor and go “Oh wow. Even though that boy is a terrible wrestler, it is obvious to me that he’s at least seen wrestling before. Just look at how he pounds the ground.”

Then, I saw something gray dart in front of me. I sat up and looked across the circle, and saw a pit bull running loose. I got off the ground, climbed out of the ring, changed my clothes, and left the party. Gardening, protesting, cleaning buses, wrestling—I’m fine with all of those things. But not pit bulls.

Steven Blum
Public Intern

For Unto Them a Child is Born

posted by on September 3 at 11:24 AM

First, congrats to Jamie and Eric Pedersen on the birth of their son, Trygve Pedersen. But… uh… the Seattle Gay News’ treatment seems a bit… excessive…


Pedersen’s kid? Our savior? Kinda hard to tell. But should the news of Trygve’s birth really have pushed the news about Sen. Larry Craig below the fold?

And you gotta love the last paragraph of the story. After the SGN tells us that the baby was born at the University of San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center on Monday, August 27, 2007, at 12:44 PM by Cesarean section and that Jamie and Eric were in the next room and that Trygve scored a 9.9 out of 10 during the Apgar check and that the Pedersen family will be staying in San Diego until September 6 and that Jamie’s parents, who live in Puyallup, and Eric’s mom, who lives on the East Coast, will be staying with Eric and Jamie for two weeks after they bring Trygve home, the SGN tells us…

The Pedersens say they are grateful for all the support they have received, but request people respect their privacy while they spend some time with their newborn son.

Yeah, SGN—you might want to respect their privacy.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 3 at 11:00 AM

Dude Movie


For being stupid, Superbad is pretty good. The word “fuck” is used 186 times in it, according to IMDB. A teenager asks a cop what it’s like having a gun and the cop says, “It’s like having two cocks. If one of your cocks could kill someone.” That’s the kind of movie you’re in for. It’s just perverted enough that if Philip Roth got stoned and went and saw it, he’d love it. (See Movie Times for more info.)


The Reason Why Erica—And Other Newsies—Should Wait Until Morning to Do Morning News, and Not Draft It Late At Night Before Going to Bed

posted by on September 3 at 9:37 AM

Because sometimes news happens in the morning…

In Iraq: George W. Bush pays another one of those “surprise visits” to Iraq. Our Dear Leader is in a very dangerous place. Pray for His safe return.

The Morning News

posted by on September 3 at 7:58 AM

In Darfur: Chaos erupts as Arab tribes turn against each other.

In clinical trials: New schizophrenia drug shows promise.

In the fullness of time
: Bush will be “viewed as a far-sighted leader.” According to Rove, anyway.

On television: “The Wire” comes to an end.

In the Atlantic: Hurricane Felix upgraded to a Category 5.

In Basra: British forces start pulling out.

In North Korea: Kim Jong Il agrees to dismantle nuclear facilities.

Recipe of the Day: Stuffed Rond de Nice Squash Poached in Olive Oil (below the jump). Recipe and photo via Smitten Kitchen.


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Don’t Blame Me

posted by on September 2 at 3:45 PM

OK, I’m the fuck out of Seattle, and the door did indeed hit me on the ass on the way out, Chris (nice security lines at Sea-Tac by the way: saw a blind and deaf woman get pulled out of line for the extra special search since she set off the metal detector. Maybe her white cane was packed with C-2. Profiling by Pinheads: Helen Keller, terrorist).

Yet the Mariners continue their losing ways despite my jinx-removing absence, and even so are only 2 out of the Wild Card, thanks to those Devil Rays of Tampa Bay beating up on the hapless Yankees today. The post-season is still well within reach, and all the talk of the M’s streaky nature should give you all heart: if you’re a streaky team, you want your 9-game losing streak to come sometime before the last two weeks of the season.

The Gossip

posted by on September 2 at 3:23 PM

Rick Rubin can’t stop talking about them in this week’s New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Northern Lights in Seattle Tonight

posted by on September 2 at 2:44 PM

Thanks to a G1 Geomagnetic storm, there is a decent chance of seeing the Northern Lights in Seattle tonight.

If the POES activity level hits 9 or 10,

or the estimated planetary Kp gets above 6

and the night sky is clear, we should be able to see the Northern Lights.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 2 at 11:00 AM


‘SAM at 75’ at Seattle Art Museum

There’s the golden, bald Brancusi. The 1964 painting that looks like a Dubuffet (hanging amicably next to a gaseous-green Matta) but is actually an Eva Hesse. The 17th-century Dutch still lifes next to Maurizio Cattelan’s taxidermied dog. One of the priceless few portraits by Marsden Hartley after the death of his beloved German soldier. This is the first showing of SAM’s vaunted billion dollars’ worth of art donated this spring. It closes September 9. (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, 654-3100. 10 am–5 pm, $7–$13 suggested donation.)



posted by on September 2 at 10:47 AM

Went yesterday… had a great time, loved it. I particularly loved the Mad Max, bicycle-powered theme park rides. Tear out the Fun Forest, Seattle Center, and give the space to the geniuses behind Cyclecide, please.

Caught Schoolyard Heroes at Memorial Stadium—we wanted to see Panic at the Disco, but couldn’t hold out until 10 PM (yes, yes: complete pussies). And you know what? If One Reel needs Memorial Stadium to make Bumbershoot possible, we ought to keep Memorial Stadium. Want more green space at Seattle Center? Tear out the Center House and Key Arena and that place where the Seattle Reign used to play. Bumbershoot is just too good, and too important, a cultural event to risk screwing up. We ought to err on the side of not fucking up Bumbershoot and keep Memorial Stadium and lose some of the other crap.

More Bumbershoot coverage over on LineOut.