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Archives for 09/30/2007 - 10/06/2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tacoma is Burning

posted by on October 6 at 6:24 PM

Is this why the sky is glowing yellow in Lower Queen Anne?

UPDATE: Seattle Sightings has some amazing video, which they’ve tossed up on YouTube…

Toe Tapping

posted by on October 6 at 4:13 PM

Damn, it’s the video I wanted to make.

How long will these jokes keep coming? Well, Larry Craig is going to be in the U.S. Senate until January of 2009…

Germ Factory

posted by on October 6 at 3:19 PM

Now I know what my dearly departed appendix was perhaps good for. May I never live in an isolated, cholera-prone community.

Blame Game

posted by on October 6 at 12:46 PM

The dailies have different takes on a shooting that took place near EMP last night.

From the PI:

Four men were shot, including the bouncer at Level 5 nightclub on Fifth Avenue, near the Seattle Center, just before midnight Friday.

After an argument started inside the club, one of the men went out to his car, pulled a handgun from the trunk, and began firing in the parking lot at the other men as they left the club, according to Seattle Police Department reports.

From the Times:

Three men in their 20s were shot late Friday night outside of a club near the Experience Music Project at Seattle Center.

The shooting took place shortly before midnight in the parking lot of the Level 5 nightclub, although Seattle police spokeswoman Renee Witt said investigators are not connecting the shooting to the club, in the 300 block of Fifth Avenue North.

I blame EMP.

First Against the Wall

posted by on October 6 at 12:20 PM

From the front page of today’s NYT:

Julia Kim rapped her spiked Gucci heels along the floor of a Midtown furniture showroom earlier this year as she approached a $30,000 custom wraparound couch that will be the centerpiece of the Manhattan co-op apartment she plans to share with her fiancé, Stephen Rushmore.

With advice from Mr. Rushmore and their decorator, John Barman, Ms. Kim deliberated for more than half an hour over details like the density of the cushions, the number of pillows and the height of the seating.

This purchase was just one of many steps in the journey that began more than a year ago when Mr. Rushmore, a consultant, and Ms. Kim, a former banker who left her job to concentrate full time on renovating the new apartment, decided to buy a duplex just off Park Avenue for $6 million.

Sort of makes all those folks buying up $500,000 condos on Capitol Hill seem kinda benign, huh?

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 6 at 11:00 AM


Built to Spill at Showbox

You can bet that plenty of hardcore fans will be at each installment of Built to Spill’s three-night run. The beloved Boise alt-rockers never play the same show twice, changing set lists and loosening up compositions to make room for Doug Martsch’s famous guitar heroics: He chisels out tiny, shiny hooks and erupts into monumental solos. The band’s most recent singles are an original reggae-rock jam and a cover of “Re-Arrange” by roots legends the Gladiators—proof that Built to Spill are still searching for new sounds to explore. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $18 adv/$20 DOS, 21+.)


Friday, October 5, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen: Audio Graffiti

posted by on October 5 at 5:26 PM

His name is Michael Dory and he’s filling New York City with the sounds of digital crickets.

Graffiti is… nearly always visual in nature, making this experience one-dimensional. Furthermore, rarely does the work have a brain of its own, and is usually incapable of reacting to anybody observing it.

The crickets are…

… small devices that will be aware of passers-by as well as other units of their kind. Each unit consists of a sound generator, amp, speaker and sensory system, and is housed in camouflage appropriate to the streets of the city — soda cans, cigarette packs, and the like.


When approached, the crickets fall silent (as would crickets and cicadas in nature). Each are sensitive to what happens to the others, and the end result will be waves of songs, changing and adapting to their surroundings.

This idea sounds great, for now. But imagine what it’ll be like once the taggers start their turf wars…

Roads! Transit! You Love It!

posted by on October 5 at 5:17 PM

I spent some time at the Transportation Choices Coalition’s Friday Forum on the roads and transit package this afternoon at the downtown YMCA. Although I’m not a fan of the proposal (too many roads, and the transit will take 50 years to build finance), I wanted to hear what the pro side had to say about the roads component of the package, which includes 152 new miles of general-purpose highway miles (and 30 miles of HOV lanes). Here are some of the questions people asked, the roads and transit supporters’ answers, and my analysis.

How can environmentalists support a package that includes so many new miles of road?

Bill LaBorde, Environment Washington: “Nothing is set in stone in this package except the taxes. Our attitudes about climate change are going to change on this. State elected officials are going to change. There’s going to be cost overruns associated with this package.”

Megan Blanck-Weiss from Futurewise: “[The package] invests in failing infrastructure and focuses on safety and maintenance.”

Of course it’s possible that the various components of the package will change, but it is this package we’re voting on. And this package has accountability measures built in to guarantee that every road in it gets built. Nobody on the pro side is going around saying that Sound Transit will go over budget and not actually go to Redmond, so why are they banking on the eventual failure of the roads half of the package? As for the “safety and maintenance” claims: Of all the safety projects in the package, only one—the South Park Bridge—is fully funded through roads and transit. The rest will have to get the remainder of their funding elsewhere.

What parts of the package do you not support, and why?

Rob Johnson, Transportation Choices Coalition: “Certainly there are investments we are concerned about on I-405… [SR-] 167… [and] US-2 –- that does include some safety money but other money, that’s not about safety. And we’re concerned about making sure the $1.1 billion for the [SR-] 520 bridge gets spent in a way that’s environmentally friendly and doesn’t harm wetlands. We feel like 85 percent of the ballot measure is good.

Jessyn Farrell, Transportation Choices Coalition: “There’s $2 billion for the north end of 405 in there, so in a lot of ways we lost that fight. … The radical opportunity here is to say, ‘fine, we’re not going to fight anymore, because we fought and we lost.’ The ‘just say no’ philosophy, frankly, didn’t work …One of the things that made it possible for us to say, OK, we’re going to swallow hard and accept [405 funding] is that… I don’t think it’ll ever open as general purpose lanes.”

The Sierra Club actually puts the percentage of “bad” projects in the package much higher—about 75 percent of the roads portion of the package, compared to TCC estimates of 37 percent. And again, there are accountability measures that stipulate what must be built, and what the roads and transit package calls for is two new general-purpose lanes in each direction for 405. Conceivably, that could change, but it’s still this package Farrell and others support—and this package includes $2 billion to expand I-405.

You talk a lot about how this is the starting point and we’ll get rid of the roads. Aren’t there probably people sitting in another room across town right now saying exactly the opposite – this is the starting point and we’ll get rid of transit?

LaBorde: “That’s absolutely happening, but they are not going to win… [Light] rail will open. People are going to like it. And on the Eastside, they already want it in their communities. [The opposition is] really driven by a bunch of crotchety antisocial white men and most people want it.”

That, of course, may be wishful thinking—as one Eastside resident who attended the forum pointed out. But then again, he was a crotchety old white man—and a Sierra Club member.

The Sound Transit plan includes 12,000 new parking stalls. Is that a good use of taxpayer dollars?

Blanck-Weiss: “Parking at a transit station is better than driving the whole way in.”

Gordon Black, Bicycle Alliance of Washington: “Personally, I’m disturbed by the number of large parking structures Sound Transit is planning. It’s incumbent on all of us to change the mindset of sound Transit.”

It may be true that it’s better to drive and take transit into town and get on a bus—but does that mitigate the fact that building a massive parking garage at a transit hub is a lousy land use decision?

What does the polling say? Will it pass?

Johnson: “The other parts of the region support an integrated approach. On a region-wide ballot measure, it’s more likely for both to pass together than either alone.”

Right now, the whole measure is polling at around 54 percent, a number that appears to be dropping, not rising.

Why can’t it just come back next year, given that transit is popular?

LaBorde: “Everyone assumes it would bad to have this on the ballot next year.
There’ll be a real temptation to scale back the transit side of the package.”

Farrell: “Sound Transit, maybe more than any other time besides 2000-2001, doesn’t have friends in the legislature. … The governor doesn’t want to run on a tax measure, [House Speaker] Frank Chopp doesn’t want a bunch of Democrats running on a tax measure, and there are a lot of legislators who just don’t like Sound Transit.”

Prognostications about the future are just that—predictions that may or may not come true. It’s interesting to me that TCC and other environmental groups that support roads and transit assume nothing is set in stone about the roads side of the package (“Sure, we’re voting for roads, but only because we’ll take them out later!”) but are absolutely 100% rock-solid certain that Sound Transit will never be back on the ballot if this fails. Seems like serious cognitive dissonance to me.

That Federal Prosecutor From Florida Who Flew to Michigan to Have Sex With a Five Year-Old Girl?

posted by on October 5 at 4:28 PM


A federal prosecutor who was arrested in an Internet sex sting after he allegedly traveled to Michigan from Florida to have sex with a 5-year-old girl hanged himself in a Michigan federal prison Friday morning, Detroit television station WDIV-TV reported.

John D.R. Atchison, 53, was put on suicide watch after he used a bed sheet in an attempted suicide in September.

Atchison, “a respected member of the community,” was looking at three million or so years in prison. Anyone who doesn’t feel absolutely awful for his wife and three children has no heart.

Red Hatters Matter

posted by on October 5 at 4:24 PM

HOW WAS IT? is back, and if you’re one of the seemingly hundreds of people I harassed when THESE guys played a concert at the Puyallup Fair, here’s the video:

The band, though they’re a bit older and wider, I mean WISER, sounded amazing. It was a perfect and excellent show. My favorite part of the night, however, was when I tried to convince a lady from the Seattle Chapter of the Red Hat Society that Devo (and men in general) should be allowed to join their 600,000 members-strong cult. I mean CLUB.


She didn’t think I was very funny.

Larry Craig: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

posted by on October 5 at 4:11 PM

Fnarf writes:

Have you seen this? Larry Craig’s recipe submitted to “Congress Cooks!” is a hot dog jammed into a cored-out potato and baked. Yes, really.

It’s on Wonkette, too. Here’s a picture of the tasty food item.

Oh man.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on October 5 at 4:04 PM

First, a bit of news. Paramount Vantage (purveyor of such global consciousness-raising fare as Babel and A Mighty Heart) has gotten into a sticky spot with director Marc Forster’s adaptation of the Afghanistan-set novel The Kite Runner. A child rape scene is stirring up so much advance hysteria in the country that the distributor is considering spiriting the child stars to the United Arab Emirates. More at the New York Times.


Opening this week:

A ton of new movies and festivals are packing this weekend, but the real prize lands this Wednesday. My review of Brand Upon the Brain, part of Northwest Film Forum’s curiously strong Local Sightings lineup (no longer sponsored by Altoids, regrettably), kicks off On Screen this week. Get your tickets for the live show (including live narration, an orchestra, on-stage foley magic, and a “castrato”) here.

Also in the On Screen lineup: Ang Lee’s followup to Brokeback Mountain, the erotic spy thriller Lust, Caution. Don’t believe other critics. It isn’t dull or boring in the least, though I found other flaws.

Lust, Caution

I also got the chance to talk to Lee on Monday—you can read our exchange here. He’s a sweetheart, and his propensity to brag about Brokeback Mountain made me love him even more. (I had to cut the last part of the interview, when he launched into an assessment of every award he’d won, concluding that the Golden Lion for Brokeback Mountain was the only award that didn’t leave him filled with mixed feelings.)

The remaining reviews in On Screen: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (includes “sustained passages of eerie, Malickian beauty [an early sequence involving a train robbery feels like one of the reasons that film was invented], mixed with increasing stretches of self-conscious artiness,” says Andrew Wright), Sweet Smell of Success (“The struggle between the old and the new, the sleek modernism of the interiors and exteriors, the experimental cinematography—all of this places Success in the higher regions of post-WWII American cinema,” concludes Charles Mudede), Michael Clayton (“It isn’t a movie that the world will remember, nor one that will prove that [director Tony] Gilroy is much more than a Hollywood screenwriter,” Charles claims), Ira & Abby (“funnier and smarter” than Dharma & Greg, insists Megan Seling), Great World of Sound (“an unbearably plodding odd-couple comedy” in the guise of a satire of the record industry, says Eric Grandy), Delirious (Sean Nelson calls it “a warm, smart, affecting movie” about the vampire world of paparazzi), and the Jew-meets-Muslim romantic comedy David & Layla (“just another movie,” says Christopher Frizzelle).

And in Film Shorts this week, check out the “magnificent” 5 Centimeters Per Second at Grand Illusion, the “greatest bad sci-fi disco musical biblical parable ever told” (The Apple) at Central Cinema, the “moldily Freudian” but intermittently enjoyable tween fantasy The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, a buttload of Local Sightings screenings, a smattering of Independent South Asian Film Festival screenings, and tons more. (We’re sponsoring Spice World this weekend.) Oh, and there’s that little sold out thing called HUMP! 3. Refer to our exhaustive Movie Times search at Get Out for all your scheduling needs.

Ron Sims on Roads/Transit

posted by on October 5 at 3:57 PM

I just did a long interview with Ron Sims about the big question I’ve posted here on Slog a couple of times now: Is he willing to lead the fight and come back next year with a revised light rail package?

The answer was an unequivocal yes. “I’m into that. I’m back. I’m fully engaged. No question,” he said. “I don’t believe in letting waters stagnate. I want to come back with a package that reduces our impact on global warming that is less expensive. Yes. Light rail is a big part of that package. I will spend a lot of time and political capital on that.”

I’ll write a much longer post on my full interview with Sims on Monday, but here’s one tidbit.

Sims said Seattle was playing into George Bush’s hands. “We’ve been yelling that George Bush won’t accept reality. The ice cap is melting. Why doesn’t he see it? Species are dying. Why doesn’t he see it. We go on and on, and now we want to build this big emitter package. Bush has relied on the fact that people don’t want to do anything. Well I guess he’s right.”

He says he got a note from the elusive Joel Horn! (More on that on Monday.)

Also, Sims signed off the phone call this way: “Peace.”

Today in Line Out

posted by on October 5 at 3:38 PM

This Week’s Setlist: Featuring a live performance by Devoirs!

Dear KISS 106.1: Eric Grandy unrequests Nelly.

Tonight in Music: The Weakerthans. And a lot of bands with names that start with B.

So You Don’t Have To: Erica C. Barnett watches the new Britney video.

Hump 3: The porn-o-rific after-party!

Ja, Ja!: Brent Amaker & the Rodeo tonight at the Tractor.

The Best Song Ever (This Week): Dragonforce’s “My Spirit Will Go On.”

Perfect From… Well, Always: Jeff Kirby’s Built to Spill review.

Jacob Aranza: Terry Miller tells us about the crazy man behind Backwards Masking Unmasked.

Where Is He Now?: Terry Miller tells us where Jacob Aranza is.

Overheard on the Bus: The Red Hot Chili Peppers ruin everything.

Finally: A tribute record that doesn’t make Sam Machkovech want to barf.

Music Will Be Just Like Punditry: Josh Feit weighs in on yesterday’s RIAA verdict.

Control: Eric Grandy gets stoked for the new Ian Curtis biopic.

I Don’t Like the Blakes: And here’s why.

The RIAA Wins: Grand total: $222,000.


I Scream, You Scream

posted by on October 5 at 3:11 PM

Is it ever too cold for ice cream? The local ice-cream-makers known as Epicurean Empire say nay. They may be found exclusively at the Ballard Sunday Farmers Market.

People have been crying out for pumpkin ice cream, and we’ve made it for the people. We got some nice pumpkins at the market, roasted them, put them in our awesome brown sugar batter with toasted Holmquist hazelnuts, and added a pinch of true cinnamon. Fall’s here. And it’s pretty delicious.

This week’s flavors:

Ice Creams:
• Roast Pumpkin with Hazelnuts
Brown Sugar Peach
• Brown Sugar
• Cacao Nib with Choco Swirl

Carrot Habanero
• Concord Grape
• Peach

Washington and Oregon are the largest producers of hazelnuts (also known as filberts) in North America. Click here for nuttrends, the official publication of The Hazelnut Council. It’s the summer issue. nuttrends: Fall’s here—Epicurean Empire says so.

My New Favorite Picture of Rudy Giuliani

posted by on October 5 at 3:05 PM

It accompanies my new favorite story about Rudy Giuliani.

I know Giuliani’s radio days are actually a somewhat old story, what with his ferret tirade now having been thoroughly explored and all, but this story goes deeper than the ferret tirade and may, I think, be the definitive look at Giuliani’s amazingly entertaining weekly call-in show on WABC in NY.

Plus, check out that picture. Rules & Regs prohibit me from copying and pasting the image, but go ahead, click through. It’s great.

I spent a while last night listening to the archival clips of Giuliani on WABC. He holds forth on such topics as dog poop, toy guns that look like machine guns, and the need for various New Yorkers to consider therapy immediately. It was awesome. It made me miss that city.

The New Obama Ad

posted by on October 5 at 2:45 PM

Yesterday I posted the new Clinton ad, and today an Obama fan asks if I’m going to be fair and post Obama’s new ad. Certainly.

While Clinton’s new ad flashes a black-and-white picture of her at Ground Zero, Obama’s new ad flashes a black-and-white picture of him standing in front of the White House, looking humble. Anyone want to parse the subliminal message of Obama’s black-and-white visual vs. the subliminal message of Clinton’s black-and-white visual?

Representing Blackwater…

posted by on October 5 at 2:37 PM

…the public relations firm run by Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on October 5 at 2:30 PM

how much piss can one consume without getting sick? and does it make a difference if the piss is yours or someone elses?



Have You Seen this H’mo? It’s Your Friday Celebrity Update!

posted by on October 5 at 2:22 PM


A sighting. A very fancy fag. An email. These are the elements which confront us today as one certain Miss Mary wonders, and leads us to wonder, whether it was, or was not. (But she’s pretty sure it probably was.) Observe:

Dear Adrian, I swear I saw Carson from Queer Eye enjoying coffee with a good-looking young man at Presse this morning. I did a triple-take, and it wasn’t just a passing similarity. If it wasn’t Carson, then it’s his gay Seattle doppelganger. Just thought I’d share! —Mary

Dear Mary,
Don’t swear. It’s unattractive in a woman. —Adrian

Then: Britney Spears and Michael Jackson: two twirley white women with a penchant for endangering children? Yes. I bring this up for no particular reason, except perhaps to wonder why, precisely, Britney has had her children ripped screaming from her allegedly unfit arms, while Michael Jackson was allowed to abscond elsewhere with his own with comparatively little fuss, and is dangling them from exotic balconies around the world and presumably not molesting them as we speak. And I’m fairly certain that Michael Jackson has never had a valid driver’s license in any state at all, ever, and as far as I am aware, Britney has never seduced a twelve-year-old. It hardly seems quite fair then, does it? All of this child-taking-away? Of course it doesn’t. Furthermore, as I understand the situation, PETA never tried to strong-arm Michael Jackson into relinquishing a single beast from his huge, infamous and totally insane menagerie of circus creatures—-not even that damn monkey—not ever, not once, no matter what the hell he did to his own or somebody else’s children. Not so much luck for poor Britney. Even her poodles are in peril!

A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the group’s president has written an open letter to Kevin Federline encouraging him to pursue custody of Spears’ animals. “PETA fears that the dogs may be in danger.” He says PETA is particularly concerned about the welfare of her Yorkshire terrier puppy London, which she takes to nightclubs and shopping malls.

What else should be taken from Britney immediately: Sharp objects, household cleaners, matches, prescription drugs and anything that can be tied into a noose.

And did I forget to mention that Nicholas Cage woke earlier this week to find a totally naked and rather nude man wandering around his home? Lucky son of a bitch.

That is all.

Mike Jones on Larry Craig

posted by on October 5 at 1:48 PM

Like, uh, literally.

When the Larry Craig scandal first unfolded, Mike Jones told me that Sen. Larry Craig had been an escorting client of his. I asked Mike if he could prove his claim, but he said that while he didn’t have voice mail messages to backup his claim, as he did with Ted Haggard, he would nevertheless come forward IF Craig did not follow through on his resignation.

Today Jones told a Las Vegas radio station, “Larry Craig visited me.” Like Haggard did, in the beginning, a spokesman for Larry Craig told the radio station that Jones’ allegations are “completely false.”

JoeMyGod says the proof isn’t conclusive—so it looks like Craig finally has a scandal on his hands that can be described as a “he said, he said”. But Mike Jones has a credible track record, says JoeMyGod, “I believe him.”

For Your Brunch Consideration…

posted by on October 5 at 1:24 PM

Beginning tomorrow, Smith will be serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. From the menu (the chef is from Licorous):

• Baked eggs with Dijon cream, gruyère, herbed baguette, $8
• Braised pork belly with sunny-side up egg, $9
• Cinnamon-sugar baguette with apples and gruyère, broiled, $6
• The elusive Scotch egg, $5 (surely better than the one at the Athenian)

Also now on the dinner menu: chicken pot pie and roasted marrow.

Someone recently likened the decor at Smith to the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. True. Also, Smith is the seventh business in its accursed location. Creepy! One hopes for a Halloween party.

O They Will Know We Are Conservative Christians By Our…

posted by on October 5 at 1:22 PM

…corporate jets, red Mercedes convertibles, stables of horses, Lexus SUVs, illegal involvement in political campaigns. It looks like scandal is about to engulf Oral Roberts University:

Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.

Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors’ expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter’s senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.

She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as “underage males.”

A bit more on those underage males and the text message they received:

[Among the alleged instances of misconduct:]

—A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.

—Mrs. Roberts frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to “underage males who had been provided phones at university expense.”

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Duck Boat Stopped By Police

posted by on October 5 at 1:18 PM

Slog tipper Paul writes:

Today at 10:30 am I was driving over the I-5 bridge and I saw a duck stopped in Lake Union with a police boat next to it with its lights flashing as if it had just pulled over the duck.

I thought maybe given your recent duck article, you’d be interested in this.


Beautiful Night

posted by on October 5 at 1:13 PM

We can all agree that the song that accompanies this famous scene in Lady and the Tramp
…is simply wonderful.

To get to the core of the song’s magic we must separate into it two parts: the part that is performed by the Italian chef; and the part that is performed by the professional singers.

Oh this is the night
it’s a beautiful night
and we call it bella notte
look at the skies
they have stars in their eyes
on this lovely bella notte
side by side with your loved one
you will find the enchantment here
the night will weave its magic spell
when the one you love is near, oh
this is the night
and the heavens all rise
on this lovely bella notte

The first part of “Belle Notte” is utterly ridiculous. The lyrics are sung in a fake, vulgar, guttural, throat-thick, tongue-gross Italian accent. The chef who sings to the romantic dogs has clearly never been to Italy; and the food he serves is only fit for dogs. What else can we do but laugh when the chef’s big guts push out: “the night will weave its magic spell…” And the meaninglessness of the line, “look at the skies/they have stars in their eyes,” is terribly exposed by the ridiculousness of the chef’s over-swollen “OOOOO” and over-round “ARRRRRSSSS.”

But once he is done, once the mad man has returned to his malodorous restaurant, the second part of “Belle Notte” is swiftly picked up by a swoon of professional singers, and in a matter of moments we are high in the music’s clouds, flying through melodious moonlight. The soft harmonies rise; the sweet voices sing: “side by side with your loved one/you will find the enchantment here.”

From the center of this strange transition—from the gutter to the stars, from the belly to the heart, from the vulgar to the heavenly, from laughter to love, from the body to the spirit—radiates the madness/magic of “Belle Notte.”

Rent Wars

posted by on October 5 at 1:13 PM

The Seattle housing market is tough right now. Across the region, rents have spiked nearly 10 percent, so If your apartment hasn’t gone condo, you’ve probably been priced out.

If you’re one of those folks who’s unable to spend 50+ percent of their paycheck on rent, I’d love to hear from you.

The Week in Geek

posted by on October 5 at 1:12 PM


Blogger’s Privilege - Senate committee approves law that could extend confidential source protection to bloggers.

The British are Coming - For your encryption keys. New law makes it a crime to refuse to give up encryption keys to authorities. Like all such laws, it’s ridiculously broad and easily circumventable.

Leopard is Coming - Apple’s once-delayed, stupid-new-dock-having OS X 10.5 is due this month. It will feature… oh, who cares.

No - I still haven’t bought Halo 3.

No - They still haven’t release Pilot Wings on the Wii Virtual Console.

License to Jam - Tired of getting run over on your bike by people yakking on their goddamned cell phones? Filled with Super Seattle Righteous Rage? For only $950, you can get this cell phone jammer disguised, for some reason, as a pack of cigarettes. The product description is worth quoting:

Open this cigarette box and push the black button seen in the picture and the jammer jams all cell phones signal within range of 60 feet (no one can make or receive any phone calls within range of 60 ft. from the jammer).

In other words, no one can use a cell phone in range of 60 feet from the jammer.

Is there anything better than using the phrase, “In other words” and then using the same words? I submit that there is not.

Not Safe - Most U.S. Americans think their computers are safe, they’re not.

Why Knot - Science gets to the bottom of how cords and cables manage to tie themselves in knots, but offers no particularly useful advice on how to stop it from happening. Me, I coat all my cables and headphone cords with pork fat.

Matt Dillon is so high:

Time for a caffeine nap.

Tonight’s the Night: HUMP! 3

posted by on October 5 at 12:47 PM

Seattle amateur-and-locally-produced porn festival is officially the hottest ticket in town. All eight HUMP! screenings at On the Boards are sold out, so if you’re not one of the 2400 ticket holders, well, you’re shit out of luck, right?

Not necessarily. Rush seats will be available before each screening, and each year we manage to squeeze a few people in. The best bet for rush tickets are the not-quite-prime-time screenings. There probably won’t be many (or any) rush tickets for tonight’s or Saturday’s 8 PM screenings, but there should be some for tonight’s 6 PM screening or tomorrow’s noon, 2, and 4 PM screenings.

There’s no opening night party for HUMP! but there are plenty of bars in the area. And, hey, you’re going to need a drink and some time to process Lauren Likes Candy, Queer Safari, AFP, Thank God the Audio Works, and the other great films submitted for this year’s HUMP! May I suggest a drink at Solo Bar after your screening? It’s is just 4 short blocks from On the Boards and tonight they’re featuring DJs spinning sleazy disco—a perfect match for HUMP!

NEW! Flickr Photo of the Week

posted by on October 5 at 12:44 PM

Here’s the Flickr Photo of the Week, pulled from The Stranger’s neat new reader-powered Flickr account.

High fives to ERIK98122!


Thanks to everyone’s who’s contributed (74 members!) and here’s HOW TO JOIN. I’ve also just been told that we’re going to consider photos from this pool to appear on Stranger covers. Get in there!

This Week on Drugs

posted by on October 5 at 12:15 PM


Britney Spears: Skipping her drug tests and losing her children.

Samuel Caldwell: 70 years since he became the first American busted for pot.

Hawaiian Supreme: Not a pizza. Court rejects “religious marijuana” defense.

What Are the Police Talking Points on Washington’s Marijuana Busts? Seattle Weekly has the scoop.

Bucking: Denver pot group wants Ricky Williams to join the Broncos because he smokes pot, or something.

Busting: NYPD arresting African Americans for pot at eight times the rate of whites.

Lusting: UK organization launches meth-counseling campaign called “Drugfucked.”

Lasting: Vancouver safe-injection facility not dead yet.

Take It with a Gram of Salt: Drug Czar says cocaine is now less available in 37 U.S. cities. Seattle must not be one of those cities.

Our Banana Republic

posted by on October 5 at 12:11 PM

From AP:

“This government does not torture people,” the president said.

He’s technically right, I guess. Governments don’t torture people. People torture people—on the orders of this or that government, but still.

Dear Science Podcast: How Green Are Hybrids?

posted by on October 5 at 12:04 PM

Hybrid Highlander





Tree Canopy

In this week’s Dear Science podcast.

The World Cyber Games, and the Eight People Who Came To Watch

posted by on October 5 at 12:03 PM

Those World Cyber Games I wrote about yesterday? They didn’t get off to a great start:


This was the scene at the 5:45 p.m. opening ceremony, and though the chairs in the back of the room were full of international gaming competitors, the general seating looked like the above photo. Barren. That’s how the Qwest Field Event Center felt through much of Thursday (an odd day to invite the public out, certainly). People didn’t show up, and even if they did, they would’ve gotten a very mixed message as to what the hell this gaming competition was all about.

Strangely, the competition part wasn’t the priority, as most entrants were pushed into a thin, second-floor stretch of PCs with little room for the public to come up and watch. The first floor, meanwhile, was dominated by Microsoft’s gaming PR blitz, as dozens of Xbox 360 and computer kiosks lined the general floor.


In addition, a few giant projector screens were posted on the first floor above beanbag chairs, where the WCG’s live Internet feed of the competition was beamed for all to watch. This is the equivalent of watching a Mariners game on a concession stand TV at Safeco Field.

I would’ve loved to hear a showgoer’s take on the show in my few hours at Qwest Field, but I didn’t run into any on Thursday. Every person I saw had a badge labeled competitor, press or sponsor. So I made up for it by chatting with Valve Software’s Eric Twelker, who was there to show off the company’s new “Left 4 Dead” zombie-killing game (not bad, by the way).

“I know that previous WCGs worked out in places like Europe, where the diehard fans could take a train and be in, say, Italy in two hours,” Twelker said, implying the better reputation of professional gaming throughout Europe. “I don’t think people are jetting here from Los Angeles or New York the same way.”

This weekend could be better as word spreads about easy access to free online ticket vouchers and the WCG begins its more heated competitions (Thursday and Friday lack the big elimination/championship rounds). Hopefully by then, the event will have worked out its absolutely awful kinks. The entry gate situation was a disaster, as a poor, 70-year-old man stood at the main gate all by himself, shaking his head in bewilderment for a good four minutes when I asked him where I could pick up a pass. Some of the gaming kiosks were busted, particularly the Rock Band station, whose drum kit was broken only three hours into the event. And the opening ceremony was a joke, kicked off by a B-Boy dance/beatbox routine that seemed straight out of Saved By The Bell.

But the prognosis is bleak. The WCG has blown its chance at spotlighting most of its pro gamers by shuffling them into a small, upstairs wing, which means even if people show up, they’ll just think the event is a junior arcade. They won’t see the moments I saw, like a gang of Singaporean players, all in matching jackets, staring down and studying the Swedish team during a PC game practice session. Shit’s surprisingly intense…if you know where to look.

Re: “I don’t feel sorry for Larry Craig, but I do feel sorry for these guys.”

posted by on October 5 at 11:47 AM

One of the men arrested for soliciting gay sex in Johnson City, Tennessee—one of the men whose name, photo, and address was publicized by Johnson City Press—has already committed suicide.

Bush Clinton Bush Clinton…

posted by on October 5 at 11:44 AM

Andrew Sullivan isn’t the only one worried about what another Clinton presidency is going to mean for the United States, but he sums it up best

The idea of America being run by two families for two decades is anathema to [conservatives like Peggy Noonan], as it is to many liberals. There is something inherently corrupting about it—not just corrupting of them, but corrupting of us. The experience of such power—presiding over the most powerful nation in modern history—cannot but corrupt; and our decision to delegate real decisions to various royal families while boning up on the latest news from Britney Spears is a sign of real decadence.

Eh, I’m not so worried about Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton. As I told Eli last week as he was getting ready to go hear a certain former governor of Florida speak in Bellevue, I’ve moved on. Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton doesn’t concern me so much anymore. It’s the prospect of Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton/Bush that’s freaking me out.

Let’s say Hillary Clinton wins in ‘08. What do you think the odds are that Jeb Bush, the Bush son that was supposed to be president, will challenge her in ‘12? High, I’d say. The famously vindictive and petty Bush clan won’t be able to resist a Bush v. Clinton rematch. Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in 1992, denying the “victor” of the Gulf War a second term. And, boy, was the Bush family bitter about that. Bill and George H.W. seem to have buried the hatchet, there’s bound to be some lingering desire on the part of the Bush siblings to avenge their father’s defeat. And what better way to do that than for Jeb Bush to jump in the race and deny Hillary Clinton a second term?

If Jeb wins in 2012, he’ll be up for reelection in 2016—the year after Chelsea Clinton turns 35, the constitutionally required minimum age for a person to serve as president.

I Have Officially Been Priced Out of Central Seattle

posted by on October 5 at 11:42 AM

I have to move because they raised my rent in my building and it sucks. But you know what sucks even more? Housing prices have gotten so high I can’t live in dense Central Seattle. And I have a good job, making a reasonable amount of money. I want to live in an area where I don’t need to commute—it’s impossible. Every single studio, one, and two bedroom apartment I’ve seen listed in Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Central District would cost more than 1/2 of my monthly wages to live in.

I’m not looking forward to being homeless, so I guess I’m going to have to look forward to being poor. I thought I finished doing that when I got a full-time job. Fuck the Seattle housing market.

Big Ones

posted by on October 5 at 11:30 AM

That last post was so gay. Here’s something for the straight guys.


(Thanks, Fnarf.)

“I don’t feel sorry for Larry Craig, but I do feel sorry for these guys.”

posted by on October 5 at 11:26 AM

This was buried in the comments thread to a Larry Craig post yesterday. “These guys” refers to 40 men between the ages of 26 and 85 who were arrested for indecent behavior in a two-week-long sting on city parks in Tennessee.

That commenter wrote in this morning to say:

Not only is it fucking scary as hell that the newspaper serving the “Deliverance” area of Tennessee would print all these gory details, but take a look at the fucking photo spread!

I followed the link and—oh my god—the newspaper has published pictures of all the men who were arrested in the sting. The pictures are behind a link deceptively titled “Click Here for a Special Photo Gallery.” It should be titled “Click Here for a Photo Gallery of All the Locals You Should Impale with Burning Stakes.” I mean, sure, whatever, Johnson City, Tennessee—spend all your money arresting guys having sex in bushes because the chances of a family walking by and being horrified are, you know, pretty good, and that ain’t cool.

Publishing the names and ages of all the guys who’ve been arrested in the sting seems a little over-the-top, Johnson City Press, but, yeah, it’s public information so anyone who really wanted it could easily find it anyway, etc. But to then publish a “special photo gallery” of all these guys, along with captions with their first and last names? Is there any point in that? Other than trying to ruin these people?

According to the article, the worst of it was happened off the paved trail—but whatever, I think we can all agree it should be illegal to fuck anywhere families out for their Sunday afternoon after-church stroll might stumble across you. But the thing is, having sex illegally is what a lot of guys of a certain age have been forced to do for most of their lives. Lawrence v. Texas wasn’t that long ago. You consider the kinds of lives these guys have had to lead, and how legally sanctioned oppression might make a person feel about the law in general, and the fact they live in the middle of nowhere, and then you look at their mugs in the “special photo gallery,” and then you scroll up to the top of the page and you see Johnson City Press’s tagline, in big letters underneath the name of the paper: “Empowering People Through the Press.”

I dunno. It seems cruel and unnecessary and weird. (Though it is pretty great that one of them is a pastor and another of them is a teacher.)

From the commenter who found this link:

Pity that some of these men will probably end up dead (self inflicted or mob inflicted) soon, as a result of the article.

Bullshit Pro-Roads Argument No. 9,257

posted by on October 5 at 11:24 AM

“I like polar bears as much as anyone, but…”

No, Chris Vance (for Crosscut). No, you don’t.

And now, I’m off to hear some enviros (Transportation Choices, Washington Conservation Voters) present their case for passing a massive new freeway package. Want to join me? It’s at the downtown YMCA, 909 4th Ave., from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 5 at 11:00 AM

Dance Night

Sing Sing with Sinden at War Room

Sinden is one half of Get Familiar, a regular dance night at a world-famous London nightclub called Fabric. Sinden and his partner Switch (who played this year’s Decibel Festival) are both superb producers with a penchant for twitchy beats and sick bass, but Sinden is supposed to be the better DJ. His remixes for Chromeo, Lady Sovereign, and his own productions display an easy touch with hiphop, house, and electro that should make for a delirious, diverse, and crowd-pleasing edition of Sing Sing. (War Room, 722 E Pike St, 328-7666. 9 pm, $8, 21+.)


Parents Behaving Badly

posted by on October 5 at 10:57 AM

Have you heard of I hadn’t—until Slog tipper Tiffany sent me a link to this tragic and depressing item:

Parents kick out 14-year-old girl for being bisexual. Girl shoots herself in the head. is basically an blog dedicated to the stuff I regularly file under “Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father”—but free of my gay agenda! It’s just one depressing story after another. A mother splashes her three daughters with gasoline and sets them on fire. A dad leaves two year-old in a locked car in the sun in 95 degree heat in the parking lot of Nevada brothel. A prosti-mom snorting coke off her infant son while turning a trick.

Sensitive folks depressed by my very occasional “Every Child…” posts should not, under any circumstances, click this link.

Music Will be Just Like Punditry

posted by on October 5 at 10:40 AM

Hopefully, yesterday’s music downloading verdict will spark the long-overdue conversation that’s less about reactionary posturing and the digging in of ideological heels (which is definitely happening) —and more about defining the music marketplace of the future in a way that acknowledges the facts on the ground. (Those facts are these: CD sales are tanking; fans are growing up to expect music on-line; and musicians are putting it there.)

Over at Technology Liberation Front they’re saying this:

But the far more important factor is the sheer number of people who want to be rock stars. Now that the bottleneck of CD production and distribution has been removed, any musician can reach an infinite number of fans at zero cost. As a result, more and more musicians will find it in their self-interest to voluntarily give music away for free as a means of building up their fan base. Over time, consumers will get used to music being free, and at some point music will be just like news and punditry are today: the vast majority will be free and ad-supported, with a small minority continuing to try to charge money.

cross posted on Line Out.

Meanwhile in Utah

posted by on October 5 at 10:22 AM


A woman that can’t care for her four children—she’s got a drug problem, the father is not on the scene—begged her uncle to take in her children. He’s already raising two children but he did the right thing and took in his niece’s four children—kids that range in age from 10 months to 11 years old. Enter the state of Utah. The man that took in his niece’s four kids is gay and lives with a male partner. The state of Utah wants to remove the four children from the home of Michael Gregg Valdez—he’s the uncle—and Michael Oberg and put them in foster care.

To the state, it’s a simple matter of the law, which says that to adopt or be a foster parent, you must be legally married or single and not cohabitating. Officials asked for clarification of a judge’s directive that Valdez have custody of the children, requesting that the court take custody or grant custody to the state’s Division of Child and Family Services….

The two men, both natives of Utah County, said they would love to get married, but voters passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The men have been together for five years, both are natives of Utah, both are employed, and neither has a criminal history. The state will have to split the four siblings up if it succeeds in removing from their uncles’ home; it’s almost impossible to find a foster home that will take four children. A brave judge in Utah has so far bucked the state:

Officials [requested] that the court take custody or grant custody to the state’s Division of Child and Family Services. On Friday, the courts took custody, then turned around and granted Valez temporary custody of the children.

“The judge said, ‘I see absolutely no reason why the kids can’t stay where they’re at,’” Valdez said.

Under Utah law the men not only can’t serve as foster parents, they also can’t adopt. Finding foster parents for four siblings ranging in age from 10 months to 11 years is nearly impossible. Finding adoptive parents for a sibling group that large is utterly impossible. But the law in Utah is clear: These four children should be tossed into the foster care system, potentially separated from each other for the rest of their lives, and if their mother loses custody permanently, denied any chance of a stable home. Because it would be illegal to place these children in the care of a loving, stable same-sex couple that they’re related to.

My head is going to explode. I don’t even know what to say. So let’s give the last word to the 11 year-old boy whose life the state of Utah wants to destroy:

An 11-year-old boy who is in the temporary custody of his great-uncle says he wants to stay where he is. But his great-uncle is gay, and the state of Utah doesn’t license foster couples who aren’t legally married.

That means this boy and his three brothers and sisters could be taken away from relatives and split up until their mother regains custody.

The boy said, “I would rather live with my mom. But if I can’t, I’d rather live here.”

Mr. Potato Head, Drug Mule

posted by on October 5 at 10:12 AM


It seemed like a smart idea at the time…

Customs officers discovered nearly 10.5 ounces of ecstasy tablets hidden inside a Mr. Potato Head toy sent to Australia from Ireland, the agency said Thursday.

Upon opening the parcel, the officers were greeted with the smiling face of the popular children’s toy, which features a potato-like head and removable facial features. But when they removed a panel from the back of the toy, the officers found 10.34 ounces of ecstasy in a plastic bag.

How to Sell Hamburgers to Germans

posted by on October 5 at 9:47 AM

Burger King is pushing their “Angry Burger,” with comes with “angry onions,” to Germans with this HUMP-worthy spot…

According to this story (sorry, it’s in German), the spot was created by an ad agency in New York City. Somehow I doubt that we’ll be seeing an English-language version on American television anytime soon.

Seen at First Thursday

posted by on October 5 at 9:30 AM


That’s one of 100 9-by-6-inch intaglio prints in the series What Might Go Wrong by Jennifer Zwick. Her first solo show, at Soil through Oct. 28, is called I’m So Scared/It’s All So Hard, and it’s “about anxiety, awkwardness, and the accidental comedy of bodies, yours and mine.”

Here’s her comical tribute to the continuous strangeness of breasts. It’s called Hello.


At Howard House, Matthew Offenbacher, Robert Yoder, and Sean M. Johnson are showing. Yoder seems to be beginning to admit photographic imagery into his abstractions (his tiny bits of photographs look more and more legible with each time I’ve seen his work recently).


And this piece by Johnson has a certain lightness I didn’t see in any of his previous works at HH. It’s called Brothers, and the top nightstand rests on the bottom one by virtue of the weight of books and CDs in the open drawer.


Katrina Moorhead is at James Harris Gallery. The Northern Irish artist works with an almost unbearable delicacy. She shows three paintings and a pair of finely crafted wooden DeLorean car doors. The car was manufactured in Belfast, where the factory had two entrances, one for Protestants, one for Catholics. Her memorial to the fallen company echoes her country’s divisions.

I only wish there were more than just three of her paintings on display. Here’s one, titled You Sat Alone, Reykjavik (2007):


And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Greg Kucera Gallery, where the front rooms are flooded with a knockout display of prints and tapestries by Chuck Close. Here’s an installation view, with his tapestry portraits of Philip Glass and Kiki Smith on the right:


In the back room and upstairs are the furniture sculptures and photographic collages by Drew Daly (who’s talking at the gallery at noon on Saturday). A few in particular drew me in:


Mirror Merge (there’s also a virtual version of this made with two chairs and a mirrored corner)

UPDATE: Originally I posted that there were Close paintings at Kucera, but there aren’t (some of those prints are thick!). And the tapestry portrait is of Kiki Smith, not Cindy Sherman. Please forgive. It was late, I swear.

Grand Old Perverts

posted by on October 5 at 9:28 AM

Another conservative Republican—this time a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana—gets busted cruising toilets. Twice. Naturally he’s straight-identified, married with children, and a strong defender of “conservative values.” You know, like the closet.

More at Towleroad.

I Need an Intern

posted by on October 5 at 9:15 AM

Interested? Click here.

Originally posted yesterday.

Seattle P-I Calls for Release of Lt. Ehren Watada

posted by on October 5 at 9:12 AM

In a short editorial posted yesterday afternoon online:

The twists and turns of the court-martial proceedings against Fort Lewis 1st Lt. Ehren Watada continue to cause pain and division.

Watada came to an easily debated but apparently sincere decision that the Iraq war was wrong, even illegal. He had one mistrial, and his attorneys are trying to block a second proceeding as violating rules against double jeopardy. But the court-martial is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

However the defense appeals turn out, we think there is a case for letting Watada leave the Army without further ado. That could be taken as a statement of higher-level confidence, a choice to focus on the larger military mission that President Bush and Gen. David Petraeus insist is making new progress. At a minimum, many of those who oppose the Iraq war would welcome the leniency for someone they view as a person of conscience.

On the Radio

posted by on October 5 at 9:06 AM

I’ll be on KUOW’s Weekday this morning, talking about the news of the week with Slog favorites D. Parvaz and Danny Westneat.

The show starts at 10 a.m., and although I don’t control the discussion topics, I do end up with a mic in front of me for an hour, so… What should we yak about?

The Morning News

posted by on October 5 at 7:13 AM

Secret Memos: Democrats demand to see secret DOJ legal opinions authorizing expanded interrogation tactics.

Secret Detention: U.S. continues to hold prisoners in “Black Sites.”

Illegal File Sharing: Record industry wins case against Internet downloads.

Lying Candidates: Washington State Supreme Court rules candidates can lie about opponents.

The Economy: Jobs report eases recession worries.

Sen. Craig: His guilty plea stands, but Idaho senator says he’s staying.

Pakistan: With legal complaints against Musharraf still pending, election on for tomorrow.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: Condemns White House for attempting to silence him.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Verdict in File Sharing Case is In.

posted by on October 4 at 6:41 PM

Guilty. Jammie Thomas owes $220,000. $9250 per song.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s blog has the report.

EFF’s write up reads like sour grapes, though. They point out the irony that Sony (Sony-BMG testified against Thomas) fought a successful legal battle in the 80s to allow viewers to copy TV shows on their (Sony) VCRs. Um. Okay.

And their post concludes:

But despite today’s verdict, tens of millions of Americans will continue sharing billions of songs, just as they have since Napster let the P2P genie out of the bottle nearly 8 years ago. Every lawsuit makes the recording industry look more and more like King Canute, vainly trying to hold back the tide.

Look, in my gut, file sharing seems right. It seems, in fact like a key ingredient of the future. However, my gut also says the “everybody’s doing it” defense isn’t adequate.

Thankfully, EFF has posted an alternative pro-file sharing proposal that simultaneously acknowledges artists deserve their due.

And here’s a great take on the issue (that I linked yesterday) from Motley Fool. While it was written before today’s verdict it’s still on point.

It concludes:

The legal system has a role to play in music publishing, particularly in protecting copyrights and trademarks from profit-taking, mass-producing pirate shops and so forth. But John Doe filings against nameless IP addresses is wrong on so many levels that I can’t list them all in this brief space. Let me just name a few of the most important flaws:

It’s a great way to alienate music fans, with very little payoff. The lawsuits have so far failed to stem the illegal downloading tide, and the costs must rival the settlement payoff by now.

Even if the Internet service provider keeps very detailed access logs, it’s nearly impossible to prove that a certain IP address was used by a particular person at any given time.

Copyright is meant to encourage the creative process, not to fatten corporate coffers or limit the available means of distribution. Again, we haven’t seen any payouts to the actual artists and composers here, only to legal teams and company bankrolls.

It’s about time for the Luddite music business to come around to the new realities of the media market. They’ve spent a lot of money on payola to get their chosen mainstream fodder played on the radio. If the computer is the new radio, why should they spend even more money and effort trying to stop that music from being played for free?

A less restrained distribution model would move some of the control from the music industry’s hands and into the consumer’s, which would be great news for a plethora of struggling, hopeful rockers and popsters. I’m thinking “paradigm shift” here — the end of massive superstars, and the rise of music for the people, by the people, and of the people. It’ll mean lower marketing costs, since the music speaks for itself; lower distribution costs, as a meaningful all-digital model takes the place of physical discs; and freedom for everyone to find their own favorites with a click of the mouse, rather than being told what to like. Everybody wins.

Two Dreadful Clips that Make Me Feel Like Crap

posted by on October 4 at 5:59 PM

I couldn’t post these earlier because I was drunk in a ditch, as usual, so if you’ve seen our first dreadful clip already, which you might have, I do apologize. Or I would, if I ever apologized, which I don’t. So.

The first dreadful clip is a violent and jarring little thing, clipped from some horrible FOX-related awards show, and features a terrible physical assault perpetrated upon some total nobody by Danny Bonaduce (“Bonaduce”, coming to us from the Latin for “fantastic douche”). It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that there IS actually something uglier than Danny Bonaduce’s outsides, and, ladies and gentlemen, it’s his INSIDES.

I urge you not to watch.

Yeowch. Charges are pending, thank God.

The second dreadful clip is dreadful for obscure reasons, and none of these reasons have much to do with the fact that it features a lonely lovebird masturbating with a toy ball. These reasons do, however, have much to do with said dirty bird being lately quite DEAD.

Allow me to explain:

The short clip features my niece’s pet love bird “Kiwi” doing her birdy little business, and if it looks familiar, that’s because I posted it in July. Shortly thereafter, the odd video (way too dark, and featuring, God forgive me, a snatch of actual COUNTRY MUSIC in the background—-I don’t know how it happened, stop looking at me like that) climbed to number 12 as one of the most popular YouTube clips in the “Animals” category for that month. Poor Kiwi was tragically killed earlier this week in events that involved a bath and a startled weinerdog and are best not elaborated upon. So then, en memoriam or whatever, I give you, for the last time, Kiwi’s dirty love dance (please watch it with the volume off)…

Sad, sad, sad.

Sputnik’ed Response

posted by on October 4 at 5:38 PM

Sputnik orbited fifty years ago today—a tremendous accomplishment. But, let’s not mistake the meaning here. The Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite was both a fantastic technical achievement and a profound threat. If the Soviets could launch a new moon, they could also hurl an atomic bomb across the globe. In the context of the late 1950s, and under the very real threat of nuclear annihilation by a committed and dangerous foe, how did the country respond?

As my colleague and friend Tom Robey noted in todays P-I:

Science emerged as the antidote for America’s shortcomings. Policymakers jumped to talk about science and, more important, to fund it: President Eisenhower established the position of Presidential Science Adviser; the House and Senate incorporated scientific review into their committee structures; Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Agency; and lawmakers quadrupled funding for the National Science Foundation. Most people agreed we needed to improve education to draw more young Americans into science and engineering.

In no small way, these decisions made America what it is today: the leader in technology, finance, medicine, and economics. Prior to this push, science was largely a career for the wealthy, or patrons of the wealthy. By putting the full weight of the public coffers and general will behind research and academics, we became the first real scientific society and changed the course of the planet as a result.

How do today’s Republicans respond to our challenges—climate change, energy crunches, airline-transmitted pandemic illness, a world filled with hungry, bored, and girlfriend-less teenage boys to name a few?

The office of the Science Adviser to the President has been moved out of the White House; the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment was disbanded in 1995 after the Republican sweep of Congress; NASA has an image problem; science allocations lag behind inflation stifling innovation; and while more Americans than other nationalities win Nobel Prizes, those accolades go to scientists trained in a different era—the uncertain funding situation facing young scholars today is an impediment to many pursuing careers in science.

Even as a young scientist, coming to the end of my PhD training, I cannot easily recommend it as a path for younger students. The ever-tightening NIH budgets are only the start of troubles for a young American interested in science. Classrooms are under assault from throwback religious zealots; the president actively derides intellectualism, curiosity, and scientific pursuits from the bully pulpit.

When I think of the alternative careers I selected against—the NSA, biotech, financial services, software engineering—and the challenges facing me as I become an American scientist, I feel like an anachronism. Thankfully I live in Seattle, an island of the earlier spirit in a sea of reactionary fear.

I’m here. You’re here. And I’m happy for that.

Critics on Critics

posted by on October 4 at 4:35 PM

Is there anything more vicious?

Jospeh Epstein, former editor of The American Scholar (fired in 1997; he blamed the postmodernists), recently wrote some new essays, collected some old ones, and stuffed them all into In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage.

Excerpts as excerpted in the stuffed them all">Boston Globe review, attacking old Harold Bloom:

Harold Bloom… looks “as if he were poured into his clothes and forgot to say when.”

Ouch—that’s Mr. Bloom below:


More from Epstein:

With tastes running to “the hot-blooded, long-winded, and apocalyptic,” Bloom is an “academic Dionysian, calling for higher fires, more dancing girls, music, and wine, all from an endowed chair.” If Bloom “came off any more ex cathedra in his judgments, he’d be pope.”

It’s savage because it’s true. But we can spare the laugh without spoiling our conscience—Bloom has written a few savage words in his day. And, even though he makes pronouncements like a drunk on a tear, Bloom (who has, over the years, become less and less a critic and more and more the academic Dionysian) will always be Epstein’s better.

Glitter in the Brown Out

posted by on October 4 at 4:25 PM

I agree the building isn’t pretty, but it has been significantly improved over the last 12 months, including new paint and new exterior copper cladding. Most of the units appear to be empty—some interiors are stripped down to their studs.

This resident (perhaps the sole inhabitant on the Bellevue Avenue side) made my morning with his or her exuberant holiday display:

Municipal Election Notes

posted by on October 4 at 4:05 PM

Just got finished with today’s round of endorsement interviews.

Some notes:

Jean Godden referred to a rain storm as a “gully washer.”

Tim Burgess left the SPD in 1978 because he had a mind blowing experience when a friend gave him a religious pamphlet.

Joe Szwaja isn’t a typical lefty, he says, because he “can dunk.”

David Della says no family would ever take the bus to the zoo.

Maria Ramirez (running for school board) wishes more kids would do bong hits for Jesus.

Steve Sundquist (also running for school board) had to give one of his daughters a stern talking to when it got back to him that she got busted for freak dancing.

Today on Line Out

posted by on October 4 at 4:05 PM

No Sample Clearances: Wu Tang Clan, Aphex Twin, and Andy Samberg.

Good Times: Kool & the Gang Celebrate the Opening of a Seattle Hotel.

Putting the Fun in Funeral: Band of Horses Add Another Free Show.

Nice Nice: Craig Finn on Lifter Puller, Christopher Walken, and Cameron Frye

Bass Face: Trent Moorman on the Dreaded 5 String Bass

Mask On: Terry Miller on Backwards Masking

The Program: Five Nights of Northwest Hip Hop

Dressed to Kill: The Who’s It’s Hard

Grung Lives, pt 1: Chris Cornell Cleans Up at the Paramount

Grunge Lives, pt 2:”Soulful and Funk-Tinged Rock”: “The City’s Still-Thriving Music Community.”

Winner: Danzig Wins Someone Some Free CDs from Setlist

Grunge Lives, pt 3: But Kurt Cobain is Still Dead

Grunge Lives, pt 4: Greatest Hits

An Grunge Palate Cleanser: Heart’s “These Dreams”

Where I’ve Been

posted by on October 4 at 4:04 PM

UPDATE Sightline’s Elisa Murray informs me that the 116,500 to 186,500 tons of carbon that will be produced by the roads projects in the roads and transit package is actually 116,500 to 186,500 tons per lane mile of new roads. Roughly calculated (and not including the new HOV lanes, which will have impacts of their own), that works out to between around 18 million and 28 million tons of new carbon emissions over 50 years from the roads part of the roads and transit package.

Like Josh, I’ve been in endorsement meetings all day. We’re facing tough choices—between Green Party bomb-thrower Joe Szwaja and bike-and-business friendly incumbent Jean Godden; between ex-cop and -Concerned Women For America PR guy Tim Burgess and a guy we’ve rarely had much nice to say about, David Della; and between possible biz shill Venus Velazquez and grouchy lawyer Bruce Harrell.

We haven’t met yet with the roads and transit folks and their enviro opponents (that’s next week) but judging from the volley of press releases and counter-releases that have gone out just in the past few days, I expect it’ll be a heated one. The first exchange came a few days ago, when the Sierra Club accused roads and transit supporters of misleading voters about just how much the roads projects in the $17.8 billion package would accomplish. While campaign materials have credited the proposal with “repairing and replacing vulnerable bridges—SR 520, South Spokane Street Viaduct, the South Park Bridge, and the SR 9 Bridge,” the Sierra Club points out that only one of those bridges—the South Park Bridge—would actually be replaced by Roads & Transit. The rest, including 520, would still be billions of dollars short. Roads and Transit supporters responded by saying the materials referred to the full (and unfunded) “Blueprint for Progress,” which outlines a plan for eventually paying for those maintenance projects.

Today, the Sightline Institute issued a volley of its own, releasing a nine-page report concluding that the highway projects funded by the package would actually increase net greenhouse gas emissions by 116,500 to 186,500 tons in the next 50 years—at a time when the region is trying to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent. “Our estimates suggest that, over the course of five decades, adding new highway lanes will lead to substantial increases in vehicle travel and CO2 emissions from cars and trucks. Claims about fuel savings from congestion relief may hold slim merit over horizons of a decade or less. But over the long term, new traffic will fill the added road space, leading to long-term increases in vehicle emissions totaling tens of thousands of tons per lane-mile,” the study concludes.

Brown Out

posted by on October 4 at 3:34 PM

This building on Bellevue Ave and E Pine St is ugly.
So ugly that the photo cannot fully capture the Marion Apartments’ ugliness. Why? Because it shows only one moment of ugly, but the building has now subjected us to decades of ugly. At the bus stop, walking downtown, getting coffee. There it has been, with its dark, foreboding parking lot underneath. But it may not be there much longer.
The property owners have proposed replacing the thing with a six-story structure that has 116 units and two levels of underground parking. The street level would house commercial spaces. However, the residential units – 90 more than rented currently – would all be condos. 65’ at its highest point, the views over Chapel toward downtown are sure to be spectacular, so the units are sure cost a small fortune.

”Anything to enliven that street would help tremendously,” says Dave Heater of Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects. He says planning will take at least eight months, and, if permitted, construction would take over 16 months after that. First it must get the thumbs up from the city and residents. The Department of Planning and Development will hold a meeting to hear comments on October 17.

Also, October 17 is the final day for public comment on another construction on E Pine St, at the corner of 12th Ave, that will likely begin next May. Developers plan to stack three more stories onto this awesome two-story warehouse, converting it into a five-story mixed-use building, with 65 apartments.

Dream, Dream, Dream…

posted by on October 4 at 2:06 PM

It’s just an idea, but is it possible that dreaming is an older form of human consciousness that has been replaced by a more accurate operating (or representation) system? Looking at ancient literature, one gets the impression that dreaming was the normal way of organizing the objective world. Burning bushes, talking clouds, humans with animal heads or legs—these fantastic things were real in the way they are real in our dreams. But unlike us, our ancestors never woke up; for them, the dream was everything. The original people of Australia even have a period in their history called “the dream time.” Maybe this was the first form of consciousness, one that was used to hunt, fuck, and grasp. But over thousands of years, a better system of organizing and interpreting reality developed and replaced the old one. The improved system is still in operation today, but it might be replaced by a better and more effective, future form of consciousness. The later, improved system runs by day; the older, dying one comes alive only at night, only in sleep.

I’m in Endorsement Interviews

posted by on October 4 at 1:44 PM

Sorry for the lack of posts from my desk today. I’ve been interviewing city council candidates for our endorsement issue along with some other members of the Stranger Election Control Board.

We had Tim Burgess and David Della in just moments ago. We’ve done some serious hating on both candidates. Della introduced himself as David dirty fuck dick Della (a nod to Savage’s poetry about Della) and Burgess brought us cupcakes and beer. He asked Della if we needed a special license to drink the beer—a nod to Della’s support for the mayor’s draconian nightclub license.

And that’s how it all started.

Got it all on tape and film. So, we’ll be offering up some greatest hits in the run up to our endorsements—out on October 17.

I was at weird event last night—Governor Gregoire’s town hall at Town Hall. There was someone dressed up in a pineapple suit and everyone was forced to ask their questions (by an over-excited moderator) by first stating their “Vision of Success.”

Where Am I?

posted by on October 4 at 1:42 PM


Wait a minute—what have they done to JFK, America’s ugliest airport after LAX? A brand new, beautiful terminal? Still no fucking outlets anywhere, of course, but what a difference.

Campaign Lies Are Protected by the Constitution

posted by on October 4 at 1:36 PM

So says a “sharply divided state Supreme Court”…

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A sharply divided state Supreme Court has ruled that a law that bars political candidates from deliberately making false statements about their opponents violates the First Amendment right of free speech…

Full story here.

(Thanks for the tip, Will.)

Woodland Park Skatepark Breaks Ground

posted by on October 4 at 1:34 PM

After a long, obnoxious court battle, the Woodland Park Skatepark has finally broken ground.

Construction of the park may take until spring.

The Woodland Park rabbits are expected to stage a protest later this afternoon.

Get With The Program

posted by on October 4 at 1:24 PM

It’s official! The biggest local hiphop show will happen at Neumo’s between December 18th and 22nd. The mad extravagance, which is called Blue Scholars present The Program, will feature the very best in Seattle hiphop, and has Mass Line, KEXP, and The Stranger as the cause of its curious existence.


The Program, curated by the Blue Scholars, represents the peak of a new movement of local hiphop that began in 2005 (or 2004, if you want to be accurate) and is currently expanding like something furious at the corner of the known universe.

The schedule:

Tue 18 - Blue Scholars, Unexpected Arrival, Siren’s Echo :: DJ DV-One (ALL AGES)

Wed 19 - Blue Scholars, Common Market, D. Black, Can-U :: DJ Vitamin D (ALL AGES)

Thursday 20 - Blue Scholars, Saturday Knights, Khingz Makoma (of Abyssinian Creole), Grynch :: DJ B-Mello (ALL AGES)

Friday 21 - Blue Scholars, Dyme Def, J. Pinder, GMK :: DJ Jake One (ALL AGES)

Saturday 22 - Blue Scholars, Grayskul, Cancer Rising, The Physics :: DJ BlessOne (21+)

On Monday, October 8th there will be a limited presale with the password of STRANGER. General public onsale starts October 12th at 10:00 a.m. at

(Neumo’s :: 925 E Pike, Seattle WA :: 8:00 pm Doors :: Advance Tickets $15)

Pay to (Watch People) Play

posted by on October 4 at 1:22 PM

Informal poll for the proud geeks who troll Slog: Does anybody want to pay $10 a day to watch “the world’s greatest gamers” compete at Qwest Field for the next four days?

When I first heard about the World Cyber Games international finals, which start today, I thought that a decent number of people might attend this pro gaming event if it was free (aside from parking, natch). Curiosity and all. But if the organizers really think Americans are hot enough on pro gaming to watch it with a price tag attached, then you must’ve missed the collapse of fellow “league” World Series of Video Games just weeks ago. Seriously—this ain’t Korea.

Against my better judgment, I’m off to see what $10 buys a WCG attendant. I know that local gaming companies Valve and Microsoft will be on hand to show off new games (and since the gamers here probably won’t spend $170 on next month’s Rock Band, you may as well try it at Qwest for less), but will that be enough? At the very least, I’ll let you guys know if the Kingston booth is off tha chain with busty, scantily clad ladies peddling RAM.

No, not that RAM.

Clarence Thomas, Literary Hero

posted by on October 4 at 12:20 PM

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s memoir comes out today. Here’s Kevin Merida writing about it in the Washington Post:

If there was any remaining mystery about whether Thomas has gotten over the confirmation hearings and sexual harassment allegations that humiliated him 16 years ago, the justice makes plain he hasn’t. His words speak to a level of bitterness that he previously has not communicated during his tenure on the court. What is perhaps most revealing, however, especially in the last two chapters of the book, is how Thomas has come to define his racial identity through the prism of literature.

In Thomas’s eyes, he is both Richard Wright’s tragic Bigger Thomas in “Native Son” and Harper Lee’s doomed Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” two of the most powerful portrayals of racial division in American literature…

(In other news, Seattle Weekly’s managing editor is not afraid of black people. Anymore. Because he lived in St. Louis. Although when he came back to Seattle, he was afraid of them again. Until he ate a sandwich. Or something. It’s kind of hard to follow.)

2008 Republican National Convention Logo

posted by on October 4 at 12:16 PM

Uh… check this thing out…


That’s not a logo, it’s a cry for help from the GOP’s deeply disturbed collective subconscious. Kos breaks it down

Wide stance? Check.

In Minneapolis? Check.

Prison stripe-wearing? Check.

Starry eyed? Check.

As for the elephant humping the “2008”… Are they going for a “Still screwing the country in 2008” theme, or is it a reference to hypocritical adulterers like David Vitter and just about the entire Republican presidential field?

All of the above? Check!

I didn’t read the elephant as humping that poor, defenseless “2008.” Instead I read the “2008” as the elephant’s big, red, angry shaft, representative of the GOP’s desire to screw the country for another four years.

Either way, that logo is a disaster. All it wants is a diaper, the DC Madam’s phone book, and car bomb going off.

50 Years Ago Today…

posted by on October 4 at 12:13 PM

Larry Craig Can’t Withdraw Guilty Plea

posted by on October 4 at 11:39 AM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Minnesota judge on Thursday refused to let U.S. Sen. Larry Craig take back the guilty plea he made after a sex sting arrest, raising the possibility the Idaho Republican will resign his Senate seat as planned.

“Time to Confront”

posted by on October 4 at 11:09 AM

The worst kind of ambush journalism…

…but check out the super cute Scottish store clerk.

Vie Queerty.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 4 at 11:00 AM


Chuck Close
and Drew Daly
at Greg Kucera Gallery

Everybody already knows what world-famous artist Chuck Close does: He dismantles the act of seeing, in portraits made up of hundreds and hundreds of little cohering parts. In an inspired pairing, Greg Kucera Gallery is showing Close’s prints and large-scale tapestries with sculpture and photography by Seattle artist Drew Daly. Daly tears things apart and puts them back together again, too—most often readymade furniture and photographs of his own face. If Close’s reconstructions are centripetal, Daly’s are centrifugal, always on their way to somewhere else. (Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770. 6–8 pm, free.)



Lauren Weedman at Neumo’s

Lauren Weedman—comedian, NPR commentator, playwright, Comedy Central regular—is funniest when she’s confessing. Wreckage, her best solo show, is about herpes, divorce, and the time she lied about getting raped. In her new book, A Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body, she creeps out Jon Stewart, gets fired from The Daily Show, and gives herself an enema at the Emmy Awards. Tonight, Weedman does what she does best: gets onstage and tells embarrassing stories in front of a crowd. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 6 pm, free, 21+.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • There May Not Be Any Homosexuals in Iran…

    posted by on October 4 at 10:59 AM

    …but there are some in Saudi Arabia, apparently.

    TWO men in Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to 7000 lashes each after being convicted of sodomy and have received their first round of punishment in public, a newspaper said today.

    The men, who were not identified, were meted out an unspecified number of lashes in public in the the southwestern city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, the Al-Okaz daily reported.

    They were then returned to prison where they are to be held until the full punishment is completed, the newspaper added, without saying how many sessions this would involve.

    Seven thousand lashes for sodomy. Peak oil can’t come quickly enough.

    On the Cover

    posted by on October 4 at 10:46 AM

    In honor of HUMP!, we bring you this photo by Slava Mogutin, from his book Lost Boys, published by powerHouse Books. Enjoy.


    The Judgment

    posted by on October 4 at 10:32 AM

    The greatest artistic achievements to rise from the American experience are found only in two art forms: jazz…
    and cinema…
    No great work of literature, poetry, philosophy, visual art even comes close the the bottom of the best that exists in either jazz or film form. That is a fact. You must live with it.

    Clinton’s New Ad, Set in Part at Ground Zero

    posted by on October 4 at 9:55 AM

    A lot of people thought Giuliani would be a first to air an ad like this, but instead it’s Clinton who beats the rest in offering an ad that shows her at Ground Zero—but in a somewhat subtle way. The Ground Zero shots are wrapped inside an ad about health care that the Clinton campaign is calling “Stand by Us.”

    I’m So Excited I’m So Excited I’m So Excited

    posted by on October 4 at 9:45 AM

    Okay, I’m just a little excited because it is just a TV show. It’s not like Jawbreaker is reuniting or anything. But still…


    Project Runway 4. November 14. 10 pm.

    More info about this season’s contestants is at And look, one of them is from Seattle!


    Savage on Colbert Video

    posted by on October 4 at 9:37 AM

    The Return of the Natives

    posted by on October 4 at 9:30 AM

    Jim Demetre writes critically in the piping hot new Stranger about the landscape design of the Olympic Sculpture Park:

    (Landscape designer Charles) Anderson’s impulse toward restoration leaves us with a design that is literal rather than aesthetic, pedagogical where it should be sensual, and—worst of all—idealized instead of pragmatic. The tendency among contemporary landscape architects to use native plants may be rooted in sound principles of sustainability, but efforts to return sites to their “natural” states by using such species often reflects a sentimental romanticism and can lead, as it does here, to ill-conceived and unappealing public spaces.

    Photograph by Curt Doughty

    In the Closet

    posted by on October 4 at 8:34 AM

    The Stranger Election Control Board interviewed the two candidates running for King County Prosecutor yesterday—Democratic challenger Bill Sherman and GOP interim KC Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

    Our endorsements for all the ballot measures and candidates—including the KC Prosecutor’s race— will hit in two weeks.

    Satterberg gave us several copies of his band’s CD and boasted about the endorsement and high ratings he’s gotten from SEAMEC (they’re gay!) and NARAL respectively.

    Super dooper cool.

    Apparently Satterberg doesn’t want everyone in on the news. The GOP candidate’s web site doesn’t mention SEAMEC or NARAL on his list of endorsements and supporters.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 4 at 8:12 AM

    Vetoing Children’s Health Care: Bush hates kids.

    Condoning Torture: Secret DOJ memo endorsing torture contradicts public stance.

    Beating Giuliani: In new poll, Hillary Clinton tops Rudy Giuliani 51 to 43. And among Independents Clinton tops Giuliani 48 to 44.

    Filing for Unemployment: Jobless claims jumped by 16,000 last week.

    Pledging Economic Aid: South Korea to invest in North. It’s not clear what South Korea gets in return.

    Rescuing 2,000 Trapped Miners: South African gold miners brought to safety.

    Funding Affordable Housing: Mayor Nickels wants to trade height rezones for housing funds.

    Calling Bullshit: Sierra Club says Roads and Transit ballot language misleads voters.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    Tonight on The Colbert Report

    posted by on October 3 at 5:11 PM

    Just heard a rumor that THIS GUY will be a guest on THIS SHOW tonight, at 11:30 pm.

    I wish I could afford cable TV.

    It’s Sunny and Hot and You’re on an Empty Beach

    posted by on October 3 at 4:17 PM

    Look out the window. It sucks out. It’s so bad people are jumping off the West Seattle Bridge.


    The only thing that makes me happy right now is staring at this picture of the beach in Malibu that I posted on Slog on Monday. Matter of fact I’ve just made it my computer’s wallpaper. I suggest you do the same. To do that, you’ll need a bigger version of it. Here you go.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on October 3 at 3:55 PM

    David Schmader Wants to Know: Have you always dreamed of watching PJ Harvey sing “Rid of Me,” then kiss Michael Richards and discuss castrating sheep?

    Two Good Reasons to Like the Who: Well, there are more than two, but these are a good start.

    The Internet is Gullible: Ian MacKaye is so not dead.

    Petra Haden Sings the Who: And is performing at the Triple Door tonight as part of Vera’s Drink for the Kids.

    Some Songs Never Get Played Live: Trent Moorman pays attention to the great songs bands ignore.

    Free (GOOD) Records!: Via this week’s Setlist.

    Free (GOOD) Tickets!: To see Jose Gonzales and Tiny Vipers at the Showbox this Sunday.

    Indie Lit: Jeff Kirby on The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

    Zune 2: Terry Miller on how Microsoft’s new Zune still doesn’t stand up to Apple.

    Illegal Leak of the Week: Castanets, In The Vines.

    Backwards Satanic Messages of Rock and Roll
    : Including Judas Priest and Ted Nugent.


    Meanwhile on Lower Queen Anne and the West Seattle Bridge…

    posted by on October 3 at 3:27 PM

    Slog Tipper Kid Icarus writes:

    About an hour ago I was walking back from eating yummy Udon noodles in Lower Queen Anne and noticed three helicopters circling the area. Kiro is reporting a man pulled a gun on his doctor, fled the scene, and jumped off the West Seattle Bridge

    The PI has the developing story.

    Seattle Police said they were called to a clinic at about 11:30 a.m. The man, a 30-year-old Seattle resident, had come in for a session and became agitated, waving a handgun around his doctor’s office on West Mercer Street in Queen Anne.
    The man fled before police arrived, but officers found his jacket containing his identification.
    Police then received reports about a jumper on the West Seattle Bridge. The man jumped onto the bluff below and died, they said.

    The Seattle Times has the same details.

    Best Dim Sum in the ID?

    posted by on October 3 at 3:19 PM

    My old favorite International District dim-sum houses (Top Gun and the King Cafe) no longer exist. Our reader reviews give Four Seas low marks. The food at Vegetarian Bistro is great, especially the radish cake, but the dim sum carts and hubbub were absent when I went for a weekend brunch. Who serves good dim sum in the ID these days?
    Misty in comments says House of Hong is the place to go, and our readers agree (except those who missed dim sum and were unhappy with their entrées…). Sounds promising.

    Stoner with a Flashlight

    posted by on October 3 at 3:03 PM

    Two weeks ago, Q13 ran this story about $25,000 worth of medical marijuana being stolen from an alternative health clinic…

    SEATTLE, Wash. — A burglar is caught on surveillance cameras stealing $25,000 worth of medical marijuana from a Seattle alternative healing center. The burglary happened last weekend at the Emerald Cross Clinic. Police say the suspect got in and out of the clinic through a rooftop cooking vent. Emerald Cross Director Sue Watson says she is very suspicious of this crime, because only patients and volunteers know where the leafy meds are kept. “The thing is, it had to be someone that knew, to know to drop down into this space here,” said Watson…

    Slog Tipper Jim just sent in a link to a the surveillance video. Here tis.

    The View From Here

    posted by on October 3 at 2:34 PM


    Central Park—that’s what I see when I look up from my keyboard. Most of it, anyway. It’s nearly 80 degrees here in New York City. Muggy as hell, too. In other weather news, it looks like the snow is coming to the Cascades. Which is good news indeed.

    Having a Shit Day?

    posted by on October 3 at 2:26 PM

    Let the Nietzsche Family Circus random-generate you into, if not exactly happiness, at least the delusion that your suffering is not meaningless.


    Against boredom even gods struggle in vain.

    (And then there’s this one. And this one. And… )

    Awesomest “Green” Campaign Ever?

    posted by on October 3 at 2:25 PM

    Nonprofit 1% For the Planet, which asks its member businesses to donate one percent of their profits to the organization (and in turn encourages consumers to use those companies’ products) has an awesome new ad campaign that manages to avoid the holier-than-thou pitfalls of so much other “green” marketing. (See here
    , here, and here.)


    The other ad reads, “Problem: The California Condor is Going Extinct. Solution: The California Condor Should Have More Sex.”

    Via AdFreak.

    Rich Enemies Can Be Good Allies

    posted by on October 3 at 2:14 PM

    I bet the environmentalist at the Sierra Club never thought they’d see the day when they’d be happy about Eastside road warrior Kemper Freeman—the president of the Bellevue-based Kemper Development Company—putting $100,000 into a local political campaign.

    Well, Freeman dropped $100,000 on No To Prop 1 late last month— bumping the campaign’s war chest to $156,000.

    No to Prop 1 isn’t affiliated with the Sierra Club, but it is one group that’s campaigning against the $17.8 billion roads and transit initiative. The Sierra Club is also campaigning against the measure. They think roads part of transit and roads is bad for the environment.

    Kemper Freeman doesn’t like the measure because it’s funding light rail—and because the roads package isn’t big enough.

    Speaking of big campaign contributions… holy fuck… the No on Referendum 67 campaign has raised $8.7 million, including a $1.3 million contribution from State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance. Ref. 67 pits trial attorneys against insurance companies in an effort to make it harder for insurance companies to challenge claims.

    $5 Million for Ron Paul

    posted by on October 3 at 2:05 PM

    As the third quarter fundraising numbers trickle in, this one, from the Ron Paul campaign, leaps out. Via The Politico:

    Ron Paul raised just over $5 million this quarter. For somebody who is mostly living off the land (ok, the internet) that is not a bad figure, just below where John McCain will wind up and about three million less than Fred Thompson’s anticipated haul.

    What’s more, it’s $4 million more than what Mike Huckabee raised.

    You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

    posted by on October 3 at 2:00 PM

    Virginia Slims are out; Camel No. 9s are in.


    Since R.J. Reynolds launched the cigarette for (teenage) female smokers in February, the brand has secured a half-percent market share. But that’s not enough. This fall Camel is rolling out ads in all the fashion magazines for the new Camel No. 9 Stiletto, a skinnier, more glamorous, more Virginia Slim-like version. And in a total coincidence (!) Youtube is flooded with clips of skinny, glamorous models smoking. Smoking beauties, they’re called. Needless to say, people are pissed at Camel and Youtube.

    What product will be marketed to women next?


    Not really.

    Another County Executive for Clinton

    posted by on October 3 at 1:46 PM

    Last month King County Executive Ron Sims endorsed Hillary Clinton. Today Aaron Reardon, the Snohomish County Executive, also announced that he’s backing her.

    Release in the jump…

    Continue reading "Another County Executive for Clinton" »

    One Last “Last Supper”

    posted by on October 3 at 1:44 PM

    Spotted this one on the wall of a restaurant in Greenwich Village last night:


    It’s famous New Yorkers—natives and adoptees. That’s Walt Whitman there in the middle of the table, standing in for Jesus Christ. Whitman, unlike Christ, was a great big homo. And that’s Judy Garland there at the end of the table. Garland, unlike Christ, is a great big gay icon. Someone needs to alert Bill Donohue about this outrage.

    And sorry about the crappy photo—I need to get a real camera.

    Clinton Praises Gregoire

    posted by on October 3 at 12:05 PM

    The Clinton campaign is keeping an eye on Washington State. Using Bush’s veto today of a bill to expand state health insurance programs for children as the opportunity, it sent me a press release decrying the veto and praising Gov. Gregoire’s decision to sue the federal government over new restrictions on children’s health insurance.

    Release in the jump…

    Continue reading "Clinton Praises Gregoire" »

    Skillet: The Saga Continues

    posted by on October 3 at 11:23 AM

    Everybody loves Skillet (more here), Seattle’s mobile home for finer street-food dining (i.e., “The Burger” with bacon jam, blue cheese, and arugula; Thai coconut soup; crispy artichoke hearts with chipotle aioli). But no one can eat there.

    First Skillet got shut down by the health department.

    Then Skillet was away for a week catering a photo shoot for Harley Davidson in Los Angeles.

    Now: “…this morning on the way to Terry Ave., the back end of the Airstream dislodged itself from the frame of the trailer. We are working on getting it fixed right away…. it looks as though this week is out. Our apologies for the roller coaster ride, and we will be up and running again as soon as we possibly can.”


    Poor Skillet.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 3 at 11:00 AM


    Comedians of Comedy at Showbox

    You know how you get to be a Comedian of Comedy? You have to be one of the funniest people alive. Three out of four of the original CoC’s are doing sets, including Sub Pop signee Patton Oswalt, but Zach Galifianakis is missing, which is okay because Brent Weinbach is funnier—his sets at Bumbershoot were jaw-droppingly good. This is the kind of show I bring diapers to because I’m going to shit my pants so hard. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 7 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS, 21+.)


    A Sari Moment on the Slog

    posted by on October 3 at 10:22 AM

    This is how to wear a sari

    This is a tennis star.

    Women Today

    posted by on October 3 at 10:08 AM


    “I’m not criticizing your book, I’m criticizing your philosophy of life.”

    posted by on October 3 at 10:02 AM

    Jon Stewart smacks down Chris Matthews, who declares their interview to be the worst of his life. (Sullivan declares the interview the best since Stewart’s filleting of Tucker Carlson.)

    The Story of the Year

    posted by on October 3 at 9:35 AM

    Some stories defy belief. This is one of those stories:

    Two US men are locked in a war of words over custody of an amputated leg, which one of them says he lost in a plane crash and another insists he owns since it was inside a barbecue he bought at an auction.

    Okay, first of all…what?

    John Wood of South Carolina says he had left the limb inside the barbecue smoker at a storage facility, because he wanted to be buried with it. But the storage business auctioned off the barbecue and other items after Wood fell behind with payments.

    You wanted to be buried with your leg so you…stored it in a barbecue inside a storage facility? Huh?

    Shannon Whisnant, who was at first shocked by what he found inside the smoker, now believes it could bring him fame and fortune.

    For now, he has put up a sign on the smoker charging adults three dollars and children one dollar for a peek inside, even though the leg is no longer inside but at a funeral home.

    Wait: You mean people are actually paying to look inside a barbecue that once held an amputated leg?

    He believes a lot more money could be made by going on television shows.

    I smell a Today Show exclusive.

    Whisnant even suggested joint custody of the leg, much to Wood’s outrage.

    Well of course he’s outraged. Can’t a man store his amputated leg in a barbecue without some greedy asshole trying to turn a profit on it?

    And by the way: How did Wood’s leg end up in the barbecue, anyway?

    He kept the limb in a freezer, then dried it out in his front yard, and eventually stored it away.

    Thank you and goodnight!

    Room of Fears

    posted by on October 3 at 9:30 AM

    In Documenta 12, which closed recently after seeing a record number of 754,301 visitors (and 15,537 journalists on top of that, of which I was one), the dark rooms are what you remember.

    The art objects were spotlit, but the rooms themselves were left to their own devices, some animated by gaudy pink and orange paint, others left dark. It was a theatrical device, really, and irritating in person. Oddly, it grows charmed in memory.

    One of the continuously populated dim rooms was the one, in the Neue Galerie, that held dozens of Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov’s drawings, all titled Fears (2007). It looked like this:


    In one of the drawings of two men dancing, the text reads, “Two people are dancing, they feel especially happy because they have left all their daily fears aside in order to feel more free and relaxed. They will pick up the fears again later.”

    The graphic quality of these drawings is what you remember. They are black and white, and from afar can look like abstractions or Bolshevik graphics. In another room is Solakov’s archive of his collaboration with the Bulgarian secret police, about which he is ashamed, first seen in 1990.

    In Fears, the heaviness and lightness of his work are in total balance. (It’s a balance that gets out of whack in his wall essay/diagram about Soviet arms production in the main show at the Venice Biennale.)

    Here are some more of the conflicting and conflicted little creatures.

    Text: A fearless adventurer is on his way to climb up his last mountain. After that he will only stay home, reading newspapers, drinking tea and picking his nose. This is the daydreaming in his head right now. He is used to it. Actually, this really will be his last mountain. An avalanche is coming.

    Text: A big fear, a medium fear and a small fear decided to work together on a family of four.

    Text: Two spooky creatures—a big fella and a little ghost, have an agreement: none of them should ever scare to death the other’s friends. Only a small, healthy fear is permitted.

    More on Documenta 12’s dark rooms tomorrow. (And check out Seattle’s own Henry Art Gallery high on a hill at Documenta.)

    Florida Woman Killed by Her Pit Bulls

    posted by on October 3 at 9:24 AM

    She’d raised the dogs from birth. There were no signs the dogs had been abused in any way.

    Story here.

    (Originally posted late last night.)

    Westneat on Sims

    posted by on October 3 at 9:14 AM

    In his column this morning, Danny Westneat takes KC Exec Ron Sims to task for coming out against the $17.8 billion roads and transit package. The package includes $10 billion for light rail.

    Westneat points out that Sims has been an adamant light rail advocate for years. (So much so, I would add, that he helped to kill the competing monorail system.)

    So, what the hell is Sims doing coming out against the 50 new miles of light rail on November’s ballot—part of the Sound Transit II package Sims voted to approve as an ST board member?

    It’s a good question. Westneat is right to ding Sims for just now pointing out flaws in the light rail plan. Westneat makes the point that Sims failure to raise his concerns earlier in the process amounts to shirking his job description. And so, Westneat suggests, Sims should bow out of public service.

    But Westneat’s column completely (conveniently?) ignores a major reason for Sims’s dissent. Yes, there’s $10 billion on the ballot for light rail. But it’s a $17.8 billion package. And the other $7.8 billion is for roads—including 152 miles of general purpose lanes that will, among other things, accommodate 40,000 new cars a day on I-405.

    As Sims wrote in Westneat’s own Seattle Times last week:

    We must not make transportation decisions without considering the impact on global warming.

    I have introduced several initiatives as county executive to combat climate change. We operate the state’s largest fleet of biodiesel-fueled buses, and we are pursuing a green-fleet initiative to bring more clean and climate-friendly vehicles to King County. We joined the Chicago Climate Exchange and developed a detailed plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. We’ve preserved more than 100,000 acres of carbon-absorbing forests. But all this progress on global warming would be negated by this plan.

    Faced with catastrophic climate change, we need to have courage in our convictions, in our leadership and in our transportation solutions. We must question the environmental implications of our actions.

    I commend the Sierra Club, Cascade Bicycle Club and Conservation Northwest for showing great courage in asking these important questions.

    Again, Westneat is onto something when he blasts Sims for raising his concerns about light rail now, but he fails to put Sims’s environmental dissent in its proper context: $7.8 billion for roads.

    If Computer is the New Radio

    posted by on October 3 at 8:43 AM

    As I noted in today’s Morning News and as Line Out reported yesterday, the RIAA’s big case against music downloading went to trial yesterday.

    Here’s an early verdict … from Wallstreet. Investors are not happy about the music indstury’s lawsuit business plan—especially when damning articles like these (a must read!) start showing up on popular investment web sites.

    Indeed, says the Motley Fool:

    Some lawsuits have proven ridiculous from the outset, targeting computer-illiterates and dead people, or accusing grandmothers of downloading gangsta rap. Others have been dismissed for a lack of evidence against the purported file-sharers. Nearly every standard weapon in the recording industry’s legal arsenal has been proven ineffectual at best, and unconstitutional at worst.

    It’s about time for the Luddite music business to come around to the new realities of the media market. They’ve spent a lot of money on payola to get their chosen mainstream fodder played on the radio. If the computer is the new radio, why should they spend even more money and effort trying to stop that music from being played for free?

    Thanks, Techdirt and Motley Fool.

    Mitt Romney for President. He’ll Set America Straight!

    posted by on October 3 at 8:17 AM

    A funny Mitt Romney spoof ad upended an ad contest by the Romney campaign where supporters were supposed to make their own Romney ads.

    The spoof ad is a send up of the real story about how Romeny talked his son out of becoming a Democrat because Democrats would lead the country to legalize gay marriage

    While the ad—made by a Democratic activist— certainly didn’t win, it had more page views than all the other finalists put together and it beat the official winner by 60,000 votes.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 3 at 6:47 AM

    North Korea: Agrees to dismantle main nuclear plant.

    Hillary Clinton: Latest fundraising and polling numbers strengthen her front-runner status.

    Al Qaida and the Taliban: Winning the ground war in Pakistan.

    Illegal Domestic Surveillance: Congress Questions AT&T, Qwest, and Verizon about role in government spying.

    Chemical Fire: Five workers killed at Colorado power plant.

    Dirty Bomb: Terrorism test run hits Portland next week.

    Google: Closing in on $600 a share, its stock has climbed 27 percent this year.

    “There’s nothing earth-shattering there.” Microsoft unveils new Zunes.

    “The recording industry faces a significant threat to their livelihood.” Opening arguments heard in landmark music downloading trial.

    “17 across: An insulting way to label a black person.” Crossword puzzle homework assignment for 5th graders in Tennessee features the N-word.

    “Sentimental Mush” UK High Court says Gore’s film must come with propaganda warning before it’s shown in schools.

    And in Blackwater News:
    “The Blackwater team acted appropriately while operating in a very complex war zone.” Blackwater chief defends his company before Congress even as more alarming details emerge.

    “How many bad incidents occurred where guys involved didn’t say anything?” Washington Post reveals Blackwater incident may just be tip of the iceberg.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007

    Shake Shack II

    posted by on October 2 at 10:27 PM

    It’s true, there are no prohibitive fences at the Shake Shack, but there are 2 hour lines and huge rats running around between the tables and the ivy. Still, they make the best black and white milkshake I’ve ever had.


    Walking Up Broadway

    posted by on October 2 at 8:12 PM


    It’s a beautiful, warm night in New York City; it feels like mid-July here, not early October. T-shirt weather, tons of people out walking, sidewalk cafes packed. I had dinner with a friend in Madison Square Park—that’s the park between Union Square and Herald Square—then went for a stroll through the Chelsea and the Village, followed by a long walk back up to my hotel near Central Park.

    Oh, and the cafe in Madison Square Park? It’s called the Shake Shack. More of a burger stand than a cafe. They serve burgers, of course, and fries, Chicago-style hot dogs (close but no Wiener Circle char dog), and ice cream. Oh, and they also serve beer and wine. And guess what? Customers are free to carry their beers to cafe tables set out under the trees. And you can sit right there in Madison Square Park and eat your burgers and drink your beers—right out in the open, right there in front of God and everybody. There are no eight-foot high chain-link fences, a la Fremont Oktoberfest, no double lines of picket fences creating a moat around a designated alcoholic beverage consumption area, a la Bumbershoot. Just adults, sitting in a park, enjoying a beer and a burger.

    Imagine that, Seattle.

    Pod People

    posted by on October 2 at 5:17 PM

    That’s what native New Yorker Gil Sorrentino and I used to call suburban Californians, commiserating with the blinds drawn against the sun in his California university office, where he, like all poets with academic jobs, seemed a little chained. (Listen to audio files of the late, great Sorrentino here.)

    Sometime Stranger contributor Travis Nichols this week has an interview on Weird Deer Media with the poet Eileen Myles that reminds me of Sorrentino.

    The interview contains a link to a terrific, long profile of Myles that focuses on her stranding in San Diego, and the dirt of art. Written by one of Myles’s former students, it was published in January.


    Today on Line Out

    posted by on October 2 at 4:30 PM

    Horseplay: Band of Horses to Play Easy Street Queen Anne.

    Planet Rock: Aliens Land at the Crocodile Tonight.

    Mini Bosses: Truckasauras and Leeni Rock 8-Bit Showcase at Nectar Tonight.

    Of Beards and Books: Trent Moorman on Beard Rock vs Lit Rock.

    You Make Me Like Charity: A Drink For the Kids Tonight at Hattie’s Hat.

    Here Comes the Judge: Nation’s First RIAA Downloading Trial Started Today.

    Arrested Development: Jeff Kirby on Hardcore and High School Girls.

    Following the Rainbows: Radiohead’s Pot of Gold.

    Riff of the Year (2006): Built to Spill’s “Conventional Wisdom.”

    C’mon Chemicals: Megan Seling Gets Ill…Mentally Ill!

    Finger Food: TJ Gorton on Elitetechnique.

    Forwards and Backwards: TacocaT’s Tour Diary.

    Mall Maldonado

    posted by on October 2 at 3:52 PM


    TACOMA — Dominick Maldonado has been found guilty of kidnapping, assault and attempted second-degree murder in a November 2005 shooting rampage at the Tacoma Mall.

    The Pierce County Superior Court jury found Maldonado, 22, guilty of attempted second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree kidnapping, six counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Seven people were injured and four others held hostage in the shooting. Maldonado’s lawyers said he was in the throes of a mental disorder and shouldn’t have been held responsible. Prosecutors said he planned the attack for weeks and knew what he was doing.

    The curious thing here? Planning of any kind is considered to be a sign of sanity. If you don’t plan to murder/assault/kidnap someone but do so all of a sudden, you are insane. If, however, you think about how, when, where, and who you are going to kill/punch/kidnap, you are normal. But surely planning can be a type of disorder. A thick plot, an elaborate scheme, a long period waiting and thinking can also be the expression of a chemical imbalance.

    I’m Confused

    posted by on October 2 at 3:51 PM

    So, is the anti-roads and transit campaign for light rail but against building 152 new miles of general-purpose highways and freeways?:

    Our concerns with this package are that it unnecessarily spends sales tax revenues on new highways; it does not prioritize fix-it-first projects, like the 520 Bridge replacement, over new highway lanes; its impact on greenhouse gas emissions has not been assessed, and it ignores a quicker, cheaper solution to traffic congestion: congestion pricing. …

    Some will argue that the 50 new miles of light rail in ST2 should offset the damage of new highways. But we will not move people out of cars if we are simultaneously expanding roadways. With roads, if you build them, the drivers will follow.

    … Or is it against light rail and for 152 new miles of general-purpose highways and freeways?:

    This is not a balanced plan. Only 10% funds roads. Just a fraction of that goes toward fixing dangerous bridges and crumbling freeways. Nearly 90% funds Sound Transit – which moves about 1% of all trips – while everyone else is stuck in even worse gridlock. With or without this plan, traffic congestion will still double by 2028 according to Sound Transit’s own documentation.

    In 1996, Sound Transit promised completion of its Ten-Year Plan within budget by 2006. So what happened? Billions in cost overruns, 10 years behind schedule, transit use declining as a percentage of travel, traffic increasing, and global warming worsening.

    I’m not trying to bag on the anti-roads and transit campaign—hell, I’m probably the most sympathetic hippie on the Stranger’s news team—but this illustrates the problem with combining two diametrically opposed transportation strategies (roads and transit) in a single package. The “yes” side can present a united front, while the “no” campaign ends up with a muddled message.

    Anatomy of a Blog Rumor

    posted by on October 2 at 3:16 PM

    Yesterday, Jacob Metcalf of the website 8bitjoystick (and occasional Stranger contributor) posted that Bungie, creators of the insanely popular Halo series, is parting ways with its parent company Microsoft. Citing a friend of a friend who was in the know, Metcalf posted an email he received about the supposed split:

    “So heres my big secret. You should google Bungie + Microsoft + separation this week.

    You know that big ol BILLION dollar franchise Bungie has created for Microsoft, to show their appreciate Microsoft is letting Bungie leave. Of course Microsoft gets to keep all rights to the Halo franchise, but as today Bungie no longer part of Microsoft. Ask anyone who works there to search the global address book, they’re no longer in there. Microsoft was supposed to release the press release today but if they wait till the 10/6 the impact wont effect the quarterly results. However today is the actual official date and the day the NDAs expire, however you still didn’t hear this from me.”

    “Apparently MS just wants Bungie to make Halo for the rest of their natural days, and Bungie doesn’t like how MS is constantly trying to “handle” everything they do; the way they market their games, the way they interact with their fans (basically the fact that they do appreciate their fans), and how stingie they are with the profits (comparable to the rest of the industry). So as of today they are their own independent entity. They’ll probably make Halo 4 for Microsoft, however hey are also free to create new intellectual properties for whatever system they want. (Even though they prefer the xbox platform)”

    “What a way to say thank you.”

    Jacob also posted the rumor on a Seattle P.I. blog he maintains. The gaming website Kotaku then picked up the story, and wrote:

    Equip your Spartan salt shield, because this rumor sounds simply too soap operatic to instantly believe. On the other hand, it might just be crazy enough to work and stranger things have happened, so we’re looking into it as if it were the real deal. The word from the tubes this morning is that Halo developer Bungie may be parting ways with its owner, Microsoft.

    Then a little while later, another post went up on Kotaku:

    Those rumors surrounding a Bungie departure from Microsoft sure sound fishy, so we got in touch with some folks who might know a thing or two about it. We were hoping for either a “Yes, it’s true. You’ll find the details of the settlement in the attached PDF” or “Of course it’s not true. Don’t be ridiculous.” Instead we got a double barrel blast of non-confirmation.

    The response from a Bungie source? “Talk to your Edelman rep.”

    The response from Edelman, Microsoft’s PR firm? “There’s been no such announcement. We continue to celebrate the tremendous success of the global phenomenon that is Halo 3.”

    Meanwhile, the forums on Bungie’s website exploded.

    And now today, the website Game Informer did some investigating of its own, and posted this:

    Our source stated that Bungie is “tired of Making Halo, and didn’t want to do future Halo games.” For an unstated, but significant amount of money, Bungie shareholders bought the studio name back from Microsoft. Our source also revealed that even though Microsoft will retain the rights to Halo, Microsoft also has “the right of first refusal on future games.” This means that Microsoft has the first shot at publishing Bungie’s future titles. How this will come into play if Bungie decides they want future game X to appear on the PlayStation 3 and Wii alongside an Xbox 360 release will make things quite interesting.

    From Metcalf’s little blog to major industry news, all in 24 hours.

    Good Doom

    posted by on October 2 at 2:43 PM

    Hannah Arendt was wrong about many things but right about this: philosophers should not be leaders.

    The life of dialectics is the continuous movement towards opposites. Mankind will also finally meet its doom. When the theologians talk about doomsday, they are pessimistic and terrify people. We [the philosophers] say the end of mankind is something which will produce something more advanced than mankind. Mankind is still in its infancy.
    Mao Zedong is the philosopher who composed this cosmic passage.

    “Total Sausage Fest”

    posted by on October 2 at 1:55 PM

    That’s how one commenter described the Slog’s population of politically-inclined readers and commenters, based on yesterday’s Slog survey, which sought to shed some light on the gender balance among Slog’s political junkies.

    The question was:

    Answer this question only if you regularly read and/or comment on Slog’s political posts: Are you a man or a woman?

    The results—criticized, mocked, and disputed in the comments, as always—were as follows:

    Theories? Explanations? Denunciations? I await them all.

    In A Weird Coincidence

    posted by on October 2 at 1:51 PM

    (Considering my last post, that is.)

    I just got an email linking sex, photography, and Britain once again.

    This time it seems as if a Seattle photographer, Christian Petersen, has won 2007 UK Erotic Photographer of the Year. See a catalog of his work on Flickr here. Here’s one for non-clickers (it’s not garden-variety erotic photography, I’ll give it that):


    (The release also mentions that Dan Savage’s Savage Love podcast and the Seattle Erotic Art Festival were nominated for awards.)

    Roomba Love

    posted by on October 2 at 1:37 PM

    News-story summary of the day: Study finds some have unusual relationships with robot vacuums. (The headline is also a priceless pun.)

    Sex and Photography

    posted by on October 2 at 1:37 PM

    The most innocent thing loses its innocence the moment it enters a photograph. Hence the problem of images of childhood—which was the subject of Akio Takamori’s show at the Henry Art Gallery last summer. It also became the subject of a heated Slog debate.

    At the time, I wrote about the toughest of the show’s images, Nan Goldin’s Edda and Klara Belly Dancing, Berlin (1998). Last week, Edda and Klara, two girls playing, one with her legs spread, was removed from an exhibition in Britain. Officials are still trying to decide whether it breaks child pornography laws.

    In response, today Elton John removed the rest of the show, 149 photographs in total, from the museum.

    The photograph has been seen in many, many places, but the police reaction still comes as no surprise to me. (It’s art, by the way, not pornography, unless there’s something seriously wrong with you.) It practically begs someone to cry pornography. Unlike photographs that present terrifying situations at a safe distance, this one turns a perfectly innocent event on its head simply by inserting the gaze of the camera, which is presumed to be an adult, or sexualized, gaze. This gaze is the background for all photography, maybe all art, really, which is not made for children. The funny thing is, this may be one of the few photographs I can think of that is made for children. Unless they’ve already been taught to be ashamed of their bodies, they’d find it funny, or silly, or familiar. We adults, meanwhile, find its innocence blinding. We can’t look at it.

    For that reason—not because I want to censor this thing further, but in deference to the genuine difficulty of the image for an adult viewer—I’m going to post the image on the jump. It’s not that it’s NSFW. It’s that it’s not safe for adulthood.

    Continue reading "Sex and Photography" »

    A Time To Panic

    posted by on October 2 at 1:00 PM

    This piece of news will certainly be the cause of my next panic attack:

    CHICAGO — The rapid pulse and shortness of breath of a panic attack can feel like a heart attack, and it may signal heart trouble down the road, a study of more than 3,000 older women suggests.

    Women who reported at least one full-blown panic attack during a six-month period were three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke over the next five years than women who didn’t report a panic attack.

    Re: All About My Mustache

    posted by on October 2 at 12:42 PM

    From the London Telegraph:

    When the First World War began, it was compulsory for all British officers to have a moustache. Poignantly, that edict was revoked in October 1916, because the new recruits were so young that some could not rustle up more than a thin, mousey streak.


    That the fate of the Empire and the moustache have gone in hand in hand is an intriguing notion. As the red patches on the world map have dwindled to insignificant dots, such as Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, so the once-universal furry caterpillar on the lip has become an endangered species.


    In the years between the wars, the image of the moustache underwent a subtle change. Instead of being a symbol of respectability, it started to suggest that the wearer was something of a rake, a bounder, the sort of fellow not to be trusted in taxis.

    The 826 Seattle mustache-a-thon (a fundraiser for the children’s writing center 826 Seattle) is almost over. For six weeks, I’ve been habitually mistaken for a rake, a bounder, and an untrustable-in-taxis kind of guy. That has its charms, but I won’t be sorry to see my mustache go.

    Anyway, if you don’t hate children, writing, or me, you might consider donating: Don’t force me to admit I’ve lived for six weeks with this unsightly chunk of fur on my face for nothing.

    A YouTube Treat for Brad

    posted by on October 2 at 12:28 PM

    Via TheBlogBlog.

    Welcome Back, Fnarf

    posted by on October 2 at 12:26 PM

    We missed you.

    Gold%20Sounds.jpgPhoto of Fnarf (c) 2007 John E. Hollingsworth.

    (Did you really go to Great Britain for the food? And how did you stay away from the internet while traveling? It’s a hard urge to shake.)

    The best show Western Bridge has ever done…

    posted by on October 2 at 11:27 AM

    …is the show that’s up right now, so say several people who’ve seen it. It’s a group show called Insubstantial Pageant Faded, and one of the artists is Anthony McCall, whose life and work Jen Graves writes about in the current issue…

    Back in the 1970s, he made sculpture out of the dust motes and cigarette smoke that just happened to be floating in downtown New York lofts. He’d turn down the lights, as if for a film screening, and project animated, slowly moving line drawings onto a wall. The thick, low-rent air would materialize into ghostly shapes tethered both to the projector and to the wall: enterable, cinematic sculpture. Soon, galleries and museums uptown wanted the sculptures. But in those spaces, the air was pristine. The sculptures were, quite literally, rendered invisible when they were moved to “legitimate” venues…

    Read the rest of the piece here.

    Scene of an Accident

    posted by on October 2 at 11:11 AM

    Two Slog tips arrived this morning in short succession:

    As I was commuting to work today, a bicyclist was hit by a car a few hundred feet in front of us. She was heading north on the west crosswalk of 6th ave at Pine street.
    The car in question was a silver sedan (Civic?), fairly new. The victim was a 30s woman. She was just laying in the crosswalk, in the rain. She was responsive to the paramedics and officers on the scene, so I hope she will be okay. The car was stopped midway through the crosswalk. I didn’t see her bike; she was a few feet away from the front passenger side of the car. The crazy dude who yells about everyone being communists was there, hassling the Uniformed Communist Oppressors. Commuters gawked as they walked down to the bus tunnels; traffic was stopped.
    I had my camera phone with me, but I found her plight so utterly bereft of dignity that I could not bear to steal away what scraps she had left. It remained unused in my pocket.


    I saw a biker who had been hit by a car being tended to by paramedics in the middle of 6th and Pike intersection downtown. on my way to work this morning. sad.

    Here’s hoping she’s okay. (Thanks, Ian and Paul.)

    “If You Were a Lesbo, You’d Have Been All Turned On By That”

    posted by on October 2 at 11:07 AM

    In the Stranger Suggests I wrote this week about the Comedians of Comedy, I woefully did not have enough room to wax melodic about my absolute favorite female comedienne, Maria Bamford. My favorite bits of hers always have her performing characters—she’s also a professional voice actress and her impressions are superb. Here’s a video, and don’t miss her tomorrow night at the Showbox.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 2 at 11:00 AM


    The National at Showbox

    Their last record was better, but this year’s The Boxer earned the National their place as band of choice for the rueful, aging rocker set. Soaked in bourbon and melancholy, the songs on The Boxer are about avoidance: avoiding adulthood, avoiding isolation, avoiding the real world and its wars between nations and between lovers. With his distinctive, haunting baritone, singer Matt Berninger leads what’s essentially an intellectual bar band that even your coworkers who shop at Pottery Barn would like. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $15 adv/$18 DOS, all ages.)


    Jonah on Joystiq

    posted by on October 2 at 9:51 AM

    Jonah’s story from two week’s ago—about a woman who was fired from her contract job at Nintendo—gets linked on some blog that he and Bradley have heard of.

    Way to go Jonah.

    And Now, the Chris Crocker Nude Pictures “Scandal”

    posted by on October 2 at 9:46 AM

    Perhaps it was inevitable that an exhibitionist like Chris Crocker would have an exhibitionist past that includes the posting of nude pictures online. Crocker certainly seems to suggest inevitability in a MySpace blog entry he put up last night, writing: “I had a lot of alone time in the last half of my teen years, [I was home schooled] and when you’re young self-discovery..happens.”

    The self-discovery to which he is referring, and which prompted last night’s mea culpa, could be found on this blog last week. (But it’s not there anymore. Crocker has been trying to get people to take the pictures down, saying they’re illegal to possess. He called me last night to say: “Everybody’s talking about, ‘Oh I saw Chris Crocker naked.’ It’s nothing to brag about. I’m a minor [in those pictures]. Everyone who’s saving it to computers: It’s child porn.”)

    The full MySapce mea culpa, sure to become a document of his generation (or at least of the next 24 hours), includes a public service message and a legal warning:

    In regards to my “nudes”..

    For days now I have been bombarded with messages about the nude photo scandal. The truth is, I was young and stupid when I took those pictures…

    I did in fact upload the nudes of myself to the internet when I was 17. Again, I do NOT condone anyone to do this. On the contrary- I encourage everyone to NOT upload nudes of themselves.

    I obviously did this behind my parents backs and I am truly embarressed for myself and my family at this time, but I just wanted to clear the air and let anyone and everyone know, that has saved these pictures that it is illegal seeing as though I was 17 at the time, so when you brag that you “saw Chris Crocker naked!!!”..what you’re really bragging that you saw a 17 year old me naked.

    Again, I do not condone or stand by my actions at 17, nor anyone else who is underage exploring themselves in this way.

    When he called me, Crocker admitted that at this point he’s probably not going to be able make the nudes disappear. “It’s obviously not like I can zap it from the internet,” he told me. But, he added: “It’s just not something I want out there… I just don’t want people to be under the impression that it’s me as an adult when it’s not.” Still, he seemed somewhat resigned to the pictures being viewed online. “If they want to stare at a 17-year-old cock all day, that’s their damage.”


    Today’s Folsom Street Fair Item

    posted by on October 2 at 7:58 AM

    Damn it. It always unnerves me when I find myself in agreement with right-wing shrieker Michelle Malkin but, uh, she’s got a point: Why would anyone bring his kids to the Folsom Street Fair? As a parent and a homo, I don’t think this is appropriate for kids. I wouldn’t want my child to see straight people behaving so shamelessly in public.

    Malkin links to this story in the Bay Area publication [X]Press about parents that bring their kids to Folsom. She neglects to include the headline (“Folsom Street Fair Not For Children”), or quote any of the precautions that organizers take to warn parents away from the BDSM/leather/fetish street festival:

    Every year unsuspecting tourists and families stroll into the Folsom Street Fair. Some turn away at the gates after being warned by security officials about the event’s graphic sadomasochistic nature, while others saunter in with baby strollers and young children.

    Instead Malkin quotes a section of the story about a gay couple that brought their twin girls to Folsom.

    Two-year-olds Zola and Veronica Kruschel waddled through Folsom Street Fair amidst strangers in fishnets and leather crotch pouches, semi and fully nude men. The twin girls who were also dressed for the event wore identical lace blouses, floral bonnets and black leather collars purchased from a pet store. Fathers Gary Beuschel and John Kruse watched over them closely. They were proud to show the twins off.

    “They will see more than the kids with moms and dads in Iowa,” said Beuschel, who wanted to expose his children to San Francisco’s diverse community. “Every parent has to decide for themselves what is right for them. And I respect that. And we decided that this is right for our children.”

    Personally, as a parent, I’m appalled by Gary Beuschel and John Kruse’s decision to take their little girls to Folsom—and in itty-bitty fetish wear no less. I wouldn’t take my kid to Folsom—at nine he’s too young to understand that BDSM is play, cops and robbers for grownups. And, again, I wouldn’t want to have to explain this to him. But I have taken him to gay pride festivals where, yes, the occasional naked person strolls down the street. He thought it was a crazy party.

    That said, I think Malkin and the rest of the right-wing shriekers are being a bit hypocritical on this score. Who do we usually hear things like this from: “Every parent has to decide for themselves what is right for [their children].” Conservatives!

    Conservatives are always screaming about the divine right of parents to raise their kids however they see fit. Malkin thinks it’s not okay to take a two-year to a one-day kinky street fair—and I don’t think it’s okay either—but I’ll bet you thinks it’s a fine and noble thing when parents opt to “homeschool” their children to “protect” them secular schools teaching their kids facts that conflict with the crap in mommy and daddy’s bible. Where’s the outrage from conservatives when racist parents pound hate into their kids heads? Where’s the outrage over polygamist Morman sects bringing up girls to swap and boys to discard?

    Conservatives don’t have a problem with parents that expose their children to harmful, toxic garbage—so long as their motives are religious. If your God demands that you isolate, lie to, and generally terrorize their children twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year about all the people God hates and the coming apocalypse, well, that’s your right. But conservatives will raise their voices in protest when a couple takes a kid to a kinky street fair for a few hours—which, again, is a dumb thing to do, in my opinion, and I wouldn’t take my kid to Folsom. But I don’t want anyone—certainly not Malkin—telling me and my boyfriend or Gary or John how to raise our kids, where to take them, or what to teach them.

    Finally, be sure to watch Malkin lose her shit here. It has nothing to do with the subject at hand, but it’s always a delight to watch.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 2 at 6:00 AM

    Taliban Offensive: Suicide bomber hits Kabul for second deadly strike in four days.

    Blackwater: Congressional report says wayward military contractor used bribes to cover up reckless killings.

    Global Warming: Receding North Pole ice cap alarms scientists.

    North Korea: South Korean President visits North Korea to meet bizarre fascist Kim Jong-Il and offer historic initiative for reunification.

    Pakistan: 85 opposition party members resign seats in parliament in effort to undermine legitimacy of President Musharraf’s pending re-election.

    Myanmar: U.N. envoy meets junta leader.

    Democratic Presidential Candidates: Third-quarter fundraising reports show Democratic candidates far outpacing GOP counterparts. And Hillary Clinton raises the most of all.

    Barack Obama: Speech at DePaul University sets goal of eliminating nuclear weapons.

    Rush Limbaugh: Democrats call on Clear Channel to denounce right wing radio jock and force him to apologize for his “unpatriotic” and “hateful” “phony soldiers” comment.

    Gov. Gregoire: Announces Washington state will join lawsuit suing Bush administration over restrictions on children’s healthcare funding.

    Gov. Gregoire Pt. 2: Governor comes out strongly for $18 billion roads/transit ballot measure.

    Hero of Ballard: 86-year-old Ballard Woman turns down $1 million offer to sell home for developer’s 5-story parking garage, fitness center, grocery store project.

    Bikers: Yet another mass protest ride planned on Stone Way to dramatize need for bike lane.

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Confidential To The Guy Who Just Sneezed 47 Times, In A Crowded Bar, Without Using Tissue, Showering Droplets of Snot Across the Room

    posted by on October 1 at 10:37 PM

    Please wash your snotty hands, go home, and watch this video:

    Also, you are gross.

    I Can’t Find a News Peg or Any Excuse …

    posted by on October 1 at 8:51 PM

    … to put this great quote on Slog, but then I realized: I don’t need a news peg or any excuse.

    I read the autobiography of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this weekend, Giant Steps. It’s a good read. Not a typical sports book at all. For example, the only thing he says about UCLA’s famed NCAA three-peat in 1969 is, “In spring 1969, after we’d won our third straight NCAA championship…it was time to think about the pros.”

    That’s all he says about perhaps his most famous accomplishment in sports.

    Mostly, his account of college is about LSD, not fitting in with California surfer frat boy culture, summers back home in Harlem fighting with his mom, Islam, Vietnam, girls, and not having any money.

    It’s a sweet coming-of-age book. (The bulk of the book is actually about his youth. And in the final couple of chapters when he does talk about his NBA years, he mostly talks about personal stuff.)

    Anyway, there’s this hilarious quote in Ch. 8. He’s talking pretty earnestly about his early 20s pretentious flex your head period when he actually offers up a wonderful piece of wisdom.

    He begins: “All sophomore and junior years I’d been looking for something to believe in. Having abandoned the religious underpinnings of Catholicism senior year in high school and the physical trappings when I left my mother’s house, and then being taught by Malcolm X that some central philosophy was necessary in order to live a meaningful life, I began my own study of comparative religions …” Okay, whatever.

    And then he goes on about black studies and existentialism and Taoism, Hinduism … building up to his big Islamic conversion. But on the way, he slips in this line:

    “I was definitely into taking responsibility for my actions, but the rest of existentialism left me cold. Zen was just too subtle for me, and the Hindus bewildered me with their different gods for every day.”

    “Zen was just too subtle for me” !!!

    I’m in love with this. I am set free. I have been trying forever to be god damn Zen. And it makes me crazy that I cannot do it. And now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sets us absolutely straight on this Zen thing.

    I am set free from trying to be Zen. Thank you Mr. Jabbar.


    Another Pic from Folsom Street Fair?

    posted by on October 1 at 5:19 PM


    Nope. It’s a Bush administration official—a female official, in case you’re confused (and I sure was)—and you’ll never guess what she said to the Brits about the Iranians. And what she said to the Brits about the Brits was pretty darn diplomatic too.

    Britsh MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America’s stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President Bush’s senior women officials: “I hate all Iranians.” And she also accused Britain of “dismantling” the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon.

    Her name is Debra Cagan, and she’s the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

    Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

    posted by on October 1 at 4:59 PM

    Speaking of South Lake Union…

    I heard that Paul Allen may be leading the group trying to land a Major League Soccer franchise here. So far the media has said it’s Adrian Hanauer (current Sounders owner) and Joe Roth (Hollywood producer). But I heard today that Paul Allen may be involved, with Hanauer too. MLS franchises have to have a dedicated soccer stadium as I understand it. So, one wonders if there’s room in South Lake Union for a small stadium. Not sure how I like that picture. Anyway, you might want to check this rumor out.

    Nah, way easier just to toss it up on Slog.

    From the Files of Police Squad

    posted by on October 1 at 4:43 PM

    Another gem from this month’s Office of Professional Accountability’s report:

    The complainant alleged that the named employee, while in partial police uniform, in a saloon/bar where he was stopping to get a food to go order, acted unprofessionally by locking the complainant in a closet, handcuffing her to a bar stool, and repeatedly going behind the bar after the complainant instructed him not to do so.

    The named employee stated that he had stopped by the saloon/bar to pick up some food to go. The named employee described his actions as “horse play,” which had occurred inside a public tavern filled with up to 30 patrons. It was determined that his behavior led the complainant and witness to question his professionalism and reflected poorly on the Department.


    I’ve got a call in to the OPA to find out how the officer was disciplined.

    “Marijana cigarettes are called joints. One that has been partly smoked is called a ‘roach.’”

    posted by on October 1 at 4:24 PM

    Some good advice for cops looking to bust dopers, circa 1963.


    South Lake Union

    posted by on October 1 at 4:00 PM

    We were warned that building the Commons—a huge park in South Lake Union—would lead to developers running riot through the neighborhood, throwing up pricey condos, pushing out low-income residents, and threatening the social services and small businesses located in the area. Most of the small businesses that were “saved” by the anti-Commons crowd are long gone. But, hey, we didn’t build that park, so at least the neighborhood saved from developers and their pricey condos and—wait, what’s that you say, Seattle PI?

    The gourmet coffee house and the boutique pet-supply shop have sprung up for people moving into the new condominiums and upscale apartment buildings in the South Lake Union area.

    But at least for a few more months, there’s still one place for lower-income people who still live in the neighborhood.

    After learning last week that city funding for the Cascade People’s Center is not being renewed, program director Myla Becker said the center will have to shut down at the end of the year.

    For those keeping score: We didn’t build a park in South Lake Union—a once in a city’s lifetime opportunity—and the condos came anyway, developers profited anyway, small businesses were pushed out anyway, and social services were pushed out anyway. And there’s no public space, no park, nothin’.

    Post # 45,609 in my “Still Bitter About the Commons” series.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on October 1 at 3:17 PM

    Radiohead to Release New Record: It’s called In Rainbows and it’s probably going to be really good.

    Tonight in Music: Trap Them.

    Last Night: Midlake at the Crocodile.

    Pictures Please: The Stranger’s new Flickr pool.

    Last Night Again: Jonathan Zwickel weighs in on the Midlake show.

    Get Your Drink On: And benefit Vera at the same time!


    And here’s what you missed this weekend:

    A Cappella: Terry Miller finds a gem on NPR.

    Child’s Play: How to win the kids over with rock and roll.

    Cars and Stars: Hum’s “Stars” sells Cadillacs.

    Santorum Leaks Possible Run

    posted by on October 1 at 3:00 PM


    The former Pennsylvania GOP senator, trounced in his re-election bid last year by seldom-seen Democrat Bob Casey Jr., apparently has grown weary of beating the drums about the ongoing terrorist threat as a senior fellow with the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center.

    The American Spectator reported last week that Santorum is seriously mulling a run for governor in 2010, when the race will be wide open. Term limits will force current Gov. Ed Rendell from seeking a third term.

    Rick Santorum isn’t going to let a little thing like losing a state-wide vote by nearly 20 percentage points stop him from running for governor. But the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out that Santorum’s residency would be an issue:

    …a Santorum gubernatorial bid is dependent on the Virginia resident being agreeable to actually living in Pennsylvania again. When he was a senator, you may recall, he found that idea abhorrent.

    Please run, Rick, please, please, please!

    OPA Clears Officers in DV-One Case

    posted by on October 1 at 2:51 PM

    The Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability has cleared officers of any wrongdoing in DV-One’s September 2006 arrest:

    The complainant alleged the named employee and unknown employees used excessive force when they slammed him to the ground, kicked him in the head repeatedly, and tased him while he was subdued on the ground causing injuries.

    The complainant also alleged the employees made unprofessional and racist remarks during the arrest. There is no evidence to support that the named employees did anything inappropriate during the arrest of the complainant.

    An independent witness saw the complainant approach the named employees, who had detained his daughter for walking in the street and blocking traffic. The employees told the complainant to calm down and step back, but the complainant tried to brush past one employee and elbowed this employee in the face.

    The complainant was arrested for assaulting the employee and the force used during the arrest was deemed reasonable, proper, and necessary as it was done to rescue a police officer struggling with a much larger suspect. Finding Force— EXONERATED (two officers); UNFOUNDED (two officers).

    None of the other witnesses at the scene, civilian or sworn, heard the employees use any derogatory language. Their conduct was described as professional. Finding Language (all officers)—UNFOUNDED.


    The OPA defines unfounded and exonerated as follows:

    “Unfounded” means a preponderance of evidence indicates the alleged act did not occur as reported or classified, or is false.

    “Exonerated” means a preponderance of evidence indicates the conduct alleged did occur, but that the conduct was justified, lawful and proper.


    According to OPA Review Board (OPARB) member Sheley Secrest, OPARB “plans on pulling that case [to] see if the investigation was thorough and proper.”

    Here we go again.

    Roads/Transit Campaign Strikes Back at Sims

    posted by on October 1 at 2:50 PM

    The Yes campaign for the $17.8 billion roads and transit package is holding a press conference tomorrow.

    I imagine the point of the press conference is to grab back the media spotlight from the No campaign, which got a lot of attention last week when King County Executive Ron Sims—a Sound Transit board member and longtime light rail supporter—came out against the project (which includes 50 new miles of Sound Transit light rail.)

    Sims’s jumbled editorial in The Seattle Times didn’t make it exactly clear what his main beef was with the initiative—he talked about its reliance on regressive taxes (which is rich coming from a guy who used the sales tax himself to boost his bus initiative last year); he talked about ill-conceived light rail routes (which he himself voted for); and he talked about global warming.

    It’s that last point that the Yes campaign will focus on tomorrow. The line-up of speakers comes from local environmental groups: Gene Duvernoy, Cascade Land Conservancy; Jessyn Farrell, Transportation Choices Coalition; Aisling Kerins, Futurewise; and Kurt Fritts, Washington Conservation Voters.

    Said Aaron Toso of the Yes campaign, “There’s an environmental choice on the ballot. And voting for this is the right environmental choice.”

    Sims disagrees. Here’s one cogent moment from his editorial:

    We must not make transportation decisions without considering the impact on global warming.

    I have introduced several initiatives as county executive to combat climate change. We operate the state’s largest fleet of biodiesel-fueled buses, and we are pursuing a green-fleet initiative to bring more clean and climate-friendly vehicles to King County. We joined the Chicago Climate Exchange and developed a detailed plan to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. We’ve preserved more than 100,000 acres of carbon-absorbing forests. But all this progress on global warming would be negated by this plan.

    The $7 billion roads portion of the plan includes, for example, four new general purpose lanes on I-405—capacity for 40,000 extra vehicles per day.

    However, Aaron Toso, spokesman for the Yes campaign, says the new transit will spark a shift toward transit-oriented development—a side effect that will be good for the environment that hasn’t been getting any attention.

    It’s a compelling point. However, it’s kind of wonky. Really, to diminish the impact of Sims’s announcement, the Yes campaign should be hauling out high-profile local Democrats like Governor Gregoire, State Sen. Ed Murray, Mayor Greg Nickels, and House Speaker Frank Chopp—headline grabbers like Sims—rather than enviro theory heads.

    I asked the Yes campaign if any of those folks would be at tomorrow’s press conference, and while some Democratic leaders have been invited, the campaign didn’t know who’d be showing up tomorrow.

    Last Week in Los Angeles

    posted by on October 1 at 2:36 PM


    Zuma Beach is the beach in Malibu with the softest sand and it’s almost always packed. Like nowhere-to-lay-your-towel packed. Plus, big waves. To get to it from the house I grew up in you take a 20 minute drive on a twisting canyon highway with steep drop-offs and memorials to people who’ve gone over the edge. Last Thursday was hot and clear and Zuma Beach was empty.


    Like, miraculously, unexplainably, post-apocalypse empty.


    The Getty wasn’t empty at all, but here’s a pretty serene shot of part of a wall of the Getty, some lawn, and the view onto Los Angeles.


    Of course, this is what most of the city looks like. Don’t know why the camera in my cell phone went on “make this one look awful” mode—green sky!—but it probably has to do with that Christian bookstore right in the center of the shot. I realize you can’t really see it, nor can you see that that arrow to the left of “Christian Bookstore,” pointing up toward the sky, is shaped out of letters spelling “One Way.” It’s the One Way Christian Bookstore on Santa Monica Blvd. Which, business-name-wise, isn’t as great as the crematory Hollywood Forever, but it’s close. (I never got a chance to sit at a traffic light out in front of Hollywood Forever.)




    One distinguishing characteristic of LAX is this nefarious soda machine on the third floor of the parking garage across from the Alaska Airlines terminal. Personal story: I wanted some water. It would not take my dollar bills. Finally it took one of my bills. I hit the button for a Dasani water. The machine grumbled and thought about it and grumbled and thought about it and finally a drink tumbled down, but not all the way down; it was lodged up inside. So I reached my hand up into the—I dunno, the inside hole, the cervix—and pulled out… uh, a Sprite. And (go ahead, laugh) I thought: Too many calories. So I decided I’d pay another dollar and get a Coke Zero—cuz, since when do soda machines have Coke Zero? Pressed the button, it thought about it, it grumbled, and out came… a Sprite. I thought of the terrifying soda machine in Seattle that Schmader wrote about years ago. I took one Sprite and drank it, and left the other one standing on the ground, unopened, next to the caution cone.


    But enough about California. Here is the coastline of Seattle, as seen from the window of an approaching plane. It’s cold to be back.

    No Mom

    posted by on October 1 at 2:34 PM

    Now this piece of news is impressive:

    Singer Britney Spears has been ordered to hand over her two young children to her former husband.

    medium_pregnant_britney_spears.jpg It is nothing short of a major achievement for a woman to lose her children to a man. That takes a lot of work.

    Today in Dubious Achievements

    posted by on October 1 at 2:26 PM

    Breaking news from Vienna:

    A Pakistani man broke the world-record for “ear-lifting” in Vienna Sunday, carrying almost 62 kilograms (137 pounds) from a cord attached to his right ear.

    Zafar Gill’s feat earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, as part of a day of record-breaking attempts in the Austrian capital, organised under the slogan “Vienna - Recordbreaker.”

    Okay, I guess lifting 137lbs. with your ear is kinda impressive—wait, what’s this?

    Gill had to use a special headgrip to protect both his ear and temple, as he lifted the weight for seven seconds about 10 centimetres (four inches) off the ground.


    “You Don’t Have to Be Ironic About It”

    posted by on October 1 at 2:21 PM


    So reads my favorite line in the brilliant feature writer/performer/former Daily Show correspondent Lauren Weedman supplies for this week’s Stranger.

    If you haven’t read it yet, you must.

    Washington State’s Primary Election Debate Hits U.S. Supreme Court

    posted by on October 1 at 1:47 PM

    The US Supreme Court started its new term today by hearing a case from Washington State.

    On appeal, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna argued that voter-approved Initiative 872, which was ruled unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit, should be enacted.

    I-872, passed by 60% in 2004, mandated a “top-two primary,” in which voters would be able to vote for any candidate and then the top two candidates would go through, regardless of their party. I-872 displaced Washington state’s existing primary, in which voters could vote for any candidate, but the top Democrat and top Republican went through (even if two Dems, for example, received the most votes overall.)

    Since that system was tossed by the voters, the state scrapped it, but, at the behest of the parties (which didn’t like I-872) they did not institute a top-two system. Instead, while the parties were busy suing to have I-872 tossed, Washington State went with a system that requires voters to choose a party affiliation and only vote D or R. The result? The top Democrat and the top Republican now make it to the general.

    The Stranger Dept. of Homeland Security (now known as the Stranger Election Control Board) came out against I-872 in 2004. Here’s what we wrote (not sure I agree anymore):

    The top-two primary, in which the two candidates who earn the most votes advance to the general election, is a naive, pseudo solution that transforms the higher-turnout general election into a run-off. Worse, it will exacerbate Washington’s penchant for drab, leadership-challenged politicians (hello, Gary Locke). Candidates would no longer have to face an initial battle of ideas within their own party (e.g.: is a personal-income tax more or less equitable than a sales tax?). Instead, they’d be thrown into a free-for-all where they would have to immediately appeal to those famous and mushy “undecideds”—dragging all the candidates toward the lazy middle.

    It would also sound the death knell for third parties. In contested districts, one D and one R will advance, squeezing out anyone else, and in heavily liberal or conservative districts, the dominant party will run two candidates and achieve the same result. If you want real choices in the general election, reject I-872.

    The 9th Circuit threw out I-872 over the issue of a political party’s right to determine who its candidates are, which the court felt would be smashed by non-nominated candidates identifying with a given party. Proponents of I-872, however, argue that candidates’ and voters’ rights are smashed by the party’s rights under the current system.

    That point—the idea of a candidate’s right to “party preference” vs. a political party’s right to control that affiliation—was batted around in the Supreme Court today.

    Here’s a transcript of this morning’s oral arguments.

    Apropos-of-Nothing-Lad Strikes Again

    posted by on October 1 at 1:21 PM

    This blog spotlights a superhero known as the Vagabond. The Vagabond is a millionare socialite who dresses up as a hobo, named Chauncey Throttlebottom III, to fight crime. He’s only had three adventures, and I’m pretty sure he’s in the public domain, so all you cartoonists really ought to get to work reviving this gold mine.
    There’s a factual error in the blog, though: The author refers to The Red Bee as the worst, or second-worst, superhero of all time. This is patently false: The Red Bee, who wore a pink, red, and yellow costume, fought crime using trained bees that he kept in his belt. He is actually the second-best superhero of all time.
    The first-best superhero of all time is Matter-Eater Lad, who can eat anything. This is an indisputable fact.

    You Shoot ’Em!

    posted by on October 1 at 1:10 PM

    The Stranger now has a reader-powered photo pool, Stranger Photos on Flickr.

    We’re looking for Seattle-area photography—rock shows, art shows, politicians, punks, puppies, nature, graffiti, parades, street preachers, clouds, crime scenes… Whatever you’re shooting around town. (No porn and no copyrighted images, please.) Don’t forget to include a caption and your name and/or URL.

    How to add your photos:

    1. Join Flickr, if you haven’t already.
    2. Join the Stranger Photos Flickr group:
    3. Upload your photos to Flikr.
    4. Add photos to the Stranger Photos group by clicking “Send to Group” on the Flickr page of the photo you’d like to add. That’s it!

    duwamish-baconbits.jpgEntering the Duwamish River by baconbits

    charo-coriantion.jpgCharo, Close Up and Dangerous by Corianton

    thebusstop.jpgThe Bus Stop by Pretty-Kitty

    Flexcar Tax Deferred

    posted by on October 1 at 1:07 PM

    According to my Flexcar newsletter, the company will put off collecting the rental-car tax that was going to be required by the state Department of Revenue pending a “resolution” with DOR . As I reported earlier this month, state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36) has legislation in the works that would exempt Flexcar users from the tax.

    Parting Shot

    posted by on October 1 at 1:05 PM

    A photo of Randy Quaid’s codpiece which, allegedly, was one of the articles of war between Quaid and the NY producers who cancelled Lone Star Love’s Broadway run.


    Randy stopped showing up to work at the 5th Avenue about a week ago and let his understudy take over. But did said understudy have to wear Quaid’s briefs? Perish the thought.

    Also allegedly: 5th Avenue director David Armstrong got up before yesterday’s closing performance and gave a ballsy curtain speech to the effect: Usually in the pre-show process we learn about changes that need to be made to the script, score, and staging. This time we learned that we needed a different star.

    (More on Quaids behaving badly here.)

    It’s Official: The Larry Craig Scandal Will Live Forever

    posted by on October 1 at 12:17 PM

    Okay, Who’s the Fag Taking Pictures for the Catholic League?

    posted by on October 1 at 12:12 PM

    Bill Donohue’s Catholic League launched a boycott of Miller Brewing Company last week over the beer company’s sponsorship of the Folsom Street Fair, part of the fallout over Folsom Street Fair’s “Last Supper” poster. Along with a big statement announcing of the boycott, the Catholic League posted three pages worth of shocking—disturbing! horrifying! disgusting!—photos taken at the Folsom Street Fair between 2003-2006.

    Here’s one pic the Catholic League posted to its website…


    Wow. Hot fucking dude. Here’s another dude from the Catholic League’s website…


    Hot. Nice abs. And here’s another dude from the Catholic League’s collection of Folsom Street Fair snaps…


    Man. Crazyass goats-eye contact lenses, but great tits and shoulders. So many hot, conventionally attractive dudes—what are the odds?

    Pretty long, as it turns out.

    Stranger columnist Mistress Matisse attended Folsom Street Fair 2007—which took place yesterday, with Miller staying on as sponsor despite Donohue’s boycott—and sent me a mess of pictures she took. I was struck by how different Matisse’s pics were from the ones posted on the Catholic League’s website. Matisse’s got some pics of conventionally attractive kinksters enjoying Folsom…



    …but Matisse’s pics also included a lot of un-conventionally attractive people—and lots of straight people—enjoying themselves at San Francisco’s leather/BDSM/fetish street party. You know, all the people absent from the Catholic League’s website. People like this opposite-sex couple. Or these guys with their imperfect bodies. Or guys that are just a little too hairy

    Hm. Based on what the Catholic League chose to show us about Folsom, it would seem that the Catholic League’s photographer—or Bill Donohue himself, or whoever chose the photos for the Catholic League’s website—has a thing for jocks and beefy guys with hairy tits. I mean, check out the hot guys here , here, and here—all from the Catholic League’s website. Whoever was choosing photos for the Catholic League’s website doesn’t just like firm, hairy man tit, but firm, hairy man ass too.

    There are tons of conventionally hot homos at Folsom. But hot homos aren’t the only folks at Folsom—after all, hot, straight bi Matisse was there. Yet conventionally hot guys—and a few conventionally hot girls—are pretty much the only thing the Catholic League wanted to show us. Why do you suppose that is?

    Could it be that a homo with a taste for hairy muscular men has infiltrated the Catholic League? Or is it true what they say about groups like the Catholic League—that they show up at gay and sex-positive events and take “shocking” pictures on behalf of their frustrated, closeted, and deeply jealous members?

    Vanaja vs. Vanaja

    posted by on October 1 at 11:53 AM

    There was a mistake and two short reviews of Vanaja (mine and Lindy’s) were sent to the film editor, Annie Wagner.

    Annie published Lindy’s review:

    Fourteen-year-old Vanaja, the fisherman’s daughter, wants desperately to be a dancer—and it looks like she might get her wish, after sassing her way into a job at the rich landlady’s house. But plans are derailed when the landlady’s hot son, Shekar Babu, arrives from America, and youthful flirtation begets grown-up horrors. The sight of bendy, stompy, preternaturally graceful Kuchipudi dancing is worth the price of admission—but it’s Shekar Babu’s beautiful menace (“Sometimes I want to hurt you because… how should I explain? So that I can then protect you”) and Vanaja’s willowy resilience that give the film its heft.

    And not my review:

    As a work of art, Vanaja’s greatness has nothing to with its story but with the tension that exists between the way it looks and what it is about. Vanaja looks like a Hollywood film, but it’s about an Indian peasant. It looks expensive, but its subject is dirt poor. The amount of the money that went into the cinematography, lighting, and set design does not correspond with the simple life of the villagers, fisherman, and servants. Even the richest person in the film, a woman who teaches the poor girl magnificent dance moves, has a quality of life that does not match the quality of the filmmaking. But the direct conflict between the film’s look (First World) and its story (Third World) generates visual surprises that are more often successful than not. In this film, photographing a poor girl in a chicken coop is a big production.

    I will say no more about this matter.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 1 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Vanaja’ at Varsity

    Vanaja is not a happy film. Bad things happen to its main character, a 15-year-old girl whose father is an alcoholic fisherman, whose village is desperately poor, and whose virginity is executed by a wealthy rapist. If the movie is mean when it comes to her life, it is generous when it comes to her one passion: dancing to traditional Indian music, dancing in rich robes and jewels, dancing with the gods. (Varsity, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755. For more info see Movie Times.)


    Slog Survey: Do You Read and/or Comment on Our Political Posts? Are You a Man or a Woman?

    posted by on October 1 at 10:55 AM

    This web column from The New York Times brings up something I’ve been wondering about.

    We know that women slightly outnumber men online. But at least anecdotally, it seems as if more men are on the political blogs, writing specifically about politics, reading about politics and putting in their two cents in the comments sections.

    I’ve been wondering what the gender balance is among the people reading and/or commenting on the Slog’s political posts. Let’s see if we can shed some light on the matter with our handy Slog polling gizmo. Ready?

    Answer this question only if you regularly read and/or comment on Slog’s political posts: Are you a man or a woman?

    Today is October 1, 2007…

    posted by on October 1 at 10:49 AM

    …and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idablow) is still in the U.S. Senate. Craig had indicated his intention to leave the Senate by September 30—which was, uh, yesterday. But Craig is refusing to step down until a judge rules on his petition to withdraw his guilty plea. And if a judge allows Craig to pull out his hot, sweaty guilty plea, Republicans worry that Craig may try to remain in the Senate through 2008—and they’re not havin’ it.

    Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is a tough guy to run out of town.

    Not that his Republican colleagues aren’t trying. Worried that the disgraced lawmaker intends to remain in the Senate indefinitely, they are threatening to notch up the public humiliation by seeking an open ethics hearing on the restroom scandal that enveloped Craig last month.

    The Senate hearing would examine the original charges in Craig’s case, including the allegation of “interference with privacy,” for peeping into the bathroom stall occupied by an undercover police officer. One senior Republican aide imagined “witnesses, documents, all in front of the klieg lights.” The committee also could look for “a pattern of conduct”—which means combing court records in other locales to discover whether Craig had prior arrests that haven’t come to light.

    That Other Presidential Election

    posted by on October 1 at 10:30 AM

    “Putin is no enemy of free speech,” Ksenia Ponomareva, who worked on his first Presidential campaign, told the St. Petersburg Times. “He simply finds absurd the idea that somebody has the right to criticize him publicly.”
    —this week’s New Yorker
    President Vladimir Putin said Monday he would lead the dominant party’s ticket in December parliamentary elections and suggested he could become prime minister, the strongest indication yet that he will seek to retain power after he steps down as president early next year.
    —this morning’s AP

    The phrase “prime minister Putin” should freak anybody out, especially after reading this week’s story by David Remnick about Garry Kasparov and his war against the Putin regime:

    When I asked Kasparov if he feared for his life, he nodded gravely and said, “I do. The only thing I can try to do is reduce my risk. I can’t avoid the risk altogether. They watch everything I do in Moscow, or when I travel to places like Murmansk or Voronezh or Vladimir. I don’t eat or drink at places I’m not familiar with. I avoid flying with Aeroflot”—the Russian national airline. “It doesn’t help in the end if they really decide to go after you. But, if they did, it would be really messy. And not just because of the bodyguards. There would be a huge risk for the Kremlin if anything happens to me, God forbid, because the blood would be on Putin’s hands. It’s not that they have an allergy to blood, but it creates a bad image, or makes it worse than it already is.”

    It’s a harrowing story, but the most illuminating passage is about chess—the 1984 match when an ironic, pissed-off, 21-year-old Kasparov took on the old Soviet icon Anatoly Karpov. One of them had to win six games for the championship title. They played 48 before officials called the match, saying both players were exhausted. Kasparov was furious; the next year, he beat Karpov like a gong.


    So it isn’t too surprising that Kasparov responded to the idea of “prime minister Putin” by declaring his candidacy for president:

    The former World Chess Champion, who has been selected by Russian dissidents to run in next March’s presidential poll, admitted he could not win the vote — because the electoral system means he has insufficient support to appear on the ballot — but said he hoped to win attention.

    Good luck, Garry. You’re gonna need it.

    Polling Washington

    posted by on October 1 at 9:55 AM

    There haven’t been many polls of Washington State on the presidential race because our caucuses come so late, but here’s an interesting one: Two days ago Survey USA asked people in this state about all the head-to-head combinations you get using Obama, Clinton, and Edwards on one side, and Giuliani, Thompson, and Romney on the other side.

    Who does best against all comers in this state? Obama, it seems. He beats Giuliani by 11 points, Thompson by 14 points, and Romney by 22 points. And, he gets more support from Democrats than any other Democratic candidate in all those match-ups.

    The only head-to-head where Washington possibly goes to a Republican, according to this poll? Clinton v. Giuliani (47-47) and Edwards v. Giuliani (45-44).

    But, worth noting… This type of poll has been done in the last few days in four states: Washington, Oregon, California, and New York. The results in Washington were somewhat anomalous. This is the only state in which Obama seems to do the best against all comers. In Oregon, Obama and Clinton do about the same against all the Republican contenders, and in New York and California (states with far more electoral votes) Clinton does much, much better than either Edwards or Obama.

    What does this tell us? What was already suspected. Voters in this state are very excited about Obama, but elsewhere in the country it’s Clinton who is better positioned to win.

    Never Trust a Fat Cook, Either

    posted by on October 1 at 9:43 AM

    She may have been gorging on tonic water:

    Ironically, in the end, it wasn’t the alcohol that damaged [Clarissa Dickson Wright’s] health. It was the quinine in the tonic water she added to her gin - two pints of gin a day for 12 years, which I calculate as roughly 9,000 pints of gin, and over 50,000 pints of tonic water.

    The quinine destroyed her adrenal gland and now she can’t lose weight, even if she lived on lettuce—which I doubt she ever would.

    This friendly health reminder brought to you via the New York Times.

    Who Likes Giuliani and Thompson?

    posted by on October 1 at 9:35 AM

    Not the hard-right evangelicals who see themselves as king-makers in the Republican party. Some are now saying they won’t endorse Thompson because he’s not anti-gay or outwardly religious enough, while others are saying they might go as far as to back a third-party candidate if the cross-dressing, abortion-allowing Giuliani wins the nomination.

    Question of the Day

    posted by on October 1 at 9:00 AM

    A reader asks…

    Why is Seattle a backwater town known mostly for thieves, prostitutes, diseases, third rate fake counterculture, alternative toady fascism, and thieves, o yes, and third rate, go nowhere ever, wannabe journalists, o yes and stupid, thieving whorelike morons of no consequence? Thank You.


    Nostradamus 2

    Is Ron Sims a Light Rail Advocate or Not?

    posted by on October 1 at 8:12 AM

    Originally posted on Saturday morning.

    In my Thursday Slog post about KC Executive Ron Sims’s big announcement (the longtime Sound Transit board member and light rail booster came out against this November’s $17.8 billion Roads and Transit package which includes $10 billion for 50 new miles of Sound Transit light rail), I concluded: The big question for Sims is whether he supports the Sierra Club’s push to bring a light rail vote back next year.

    The pro-transit crowd that is opposing the measure—like the Sierra Club and the Cascade Bicycle Club—believes we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to invest billions in transit. They say we’d be wasting that investment by simultaneously building 152 miles of general purpose highways and freeways. They want a yea or nay vote on light rail, separate from $7 billion on roads.

    They maintain that Sound Transit won’t pack up and go home if the measure is defeated this year, and in fact, will have a great opportunity to win at the polls next year when there’s a huge liberal turnout in the 2008 election and people start seeing Sound Transit Phase One completing construction.

    However, it’s not clear that Sims, who the Sierra Club believes supports their position (Sims has talked about using money raised through congestion pricing to build light rail)— actually shares their enthusiasm for his former pet project.

    KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson put the question to Sims yesterday, and here’s what Sims said:

    Monson: Saying No to Prop 1, do you now believe that light rail is not going to be a primary solution to our region’s traffic woes in the next generation or two?

    Sims: Well, I believe, no. There’s a… you have to have a tool kit to reduce congestion. You can’t rely on a primary technology, one single principal technology to move forward. It’s got to be a tool kit.

    On Thursday morning, right when Sims’s anti-Roads/Transit editorial landed in the Seattle Times, Sims was on KUOW with Steve Scher. He doesn’t explicitly address whether or not he supports extending light rail in a Phase 2, but he sounds luke warm to me.


    Scher: …and the Roads & Transit plan just doesn’t move enough people…

    Sims: Yeah. It’s because there aren’t a lot of other things it includes – it’s not a toolkit. Principally, it relies on a single technology – rail.

    I’m still struggling with how I’m going to vote on this thing—although I’ve been pretty clear from the start that I think coupling transit and roads was horrible public policy.

    And I’ll admit that I was excited by Sims’s decision to add his high-profile name to the iconoclast environmentalists who are opposing the measure. But if Sims isn’t willing to explicitly fight for a major extension of light rail in its own right—as an alternative to the $17.8 billion roads and light rail package— then his big announcement is actually pretty moronic.

    Morning News

    posted by on October 1 at 8:07 AM

    Darfur: African Union peacekeeping troops driven out by surprise attack.

    Democrats?: Congress approves $50 million extension of abstinence-only eduction program.

    Profits Tumble: Citigroup Bank announce 60% drop in Third Quarter earnings.

    Pakistan: Suicide bombing kills 15.

    Iraq: U.S. troop and Iraqi civilian deaths decline in last month.

    University of Memphis: Shooter at large after killing student football player.

    Christian Conservatives: Threatening to back Third Party candidate.

    Radiohead: Releasing its new album free on-line.

    Supreme Court: Begins new term with full docket of divisive cases.

    Soincs/Storm Season Ticketholders: Sue owners over threats to leave town.

    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    “Iran So Far”

    posted by on September 30 at 1:19 PM

    While I’ve been toying with a pissy little local homophobe, Saturday Night Live’s Andy Samberg goes after a titan.

    Way to go, Samberger! All is forgiven.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on September 30 at 11:00 AM

    Art Benefit

    SOIL Auction at Greg Kucera Gallery

    When young artists are out of school, new to town, or just all worked up and don’t know where to go, they go to SOIL to get connected. It’s time again for the venerable artist collective’s annual auction, this year with work by Deb Baxter, Dawn Cerny, Mark Dombrosky, Yuki Nakamura, Katy Stone, and Jennifer Zwick—and if these names mean nothing to you, then you really have to go. (Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770. Silent auction begins at 3:30 pm, live auction at 5 pm, $10.)