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Archives for 10/07/2007 - 10/13/2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cell Phones, Public Flossing and Other Violations of the Rules

posted by on October 13 at 7:15 PM

OK, I’m working off a dial-up internet connection, so no links.

But the umpty-zillion comment brouhaha over the Brother’s post about annoying Cell Phone Woman at the airport demands a measured, scholarly response, if I may be so bold as to switch from sports-writer to professor-mode.

Most analysts of urban space divide the world into three kinds of space: private, semi-public and public. Basically, your home (where no one can go unless invited), work and shopping places (where anyone can go if they have a reason to be there and behave properly) and the street or parks (which belong to us all, so anyone can be there).

But we need to conceptualize a fourth kind of space: the semi-private. This is a public space, like an airport waiting area or a bus or the street, where you have some reasonable expecatation of being left the fuck alone. Yeah, you’re in a place where other people are allowed to be, but we all gotta get along, and so for crissakes, obey the rules of polite co-existence. The first and foremost of these rules is to not do anything that forces the other people around you to inhabit a space they did not choose to inhabit.

Almost every behavior that drives the Brother or the rest of us up a wall is a violation of semi-private space by someone who turns that space into their own private space. Remember when Slog featured Hot Tips about people flossing their teeth or cutting their nails on the bus? Why would that bother anyone?

Because it transforms the semi-private public space of the bus into the private bathroom of the nail-clipper or teeth-flosser.

We hate screaming children on planes or in supermarkets not because children are evil, but because having to listen to their screams transports us against our will into their nursery, where infantile screaming is perfectly appropriate.

We hate people who fart on elevators because we don’t choose to be in the bathroom with them, and their airy bowel movements transport us into their private space against our will.

We hate people who engage in excessive public displays of affection because their foreplay transports us into their bedrooms against our will. Except, of course, for the Voyeur-American community, which is happy to go there. And I guess Fart-Huffers are happy when people pass gas on elevators.

But annoyance at this sort of behavior is perfectly rational, since people who transform the semi-private spaces of our shared public realm into their own little private worlds are petty tyrants who must be resisted.

Another GOP Sex Scandal

posted by on October 13 at 5:34 PM

They just keep coming.

But, hey, let’s focus on the important stuff—like whether or not the chair of Wisconsin’s Brown County Republican Party was wearing an American flag lapel pin when he allegedly fondled that boy. And when the chair of the Brown County GOP offered the kid pot and alcohol and free laundry service—really—were the bumper stickers on his car sufficiently supportive of our troops?

The Brown County Republican Party chair has been charged with performing sexual acts on a boy under 18 and giving marijuana to a minor, according to court documents.

Donald Fleischman faces felony counts of child enticement and exposing himself to a child along with two misdemeanor counts for contributing to the delinquency of a child and one misdemeanor for exposing himself to a child, according to the criminal complaint…. Fleischman faces a maximum sentence of up to 52 years and three months and a fine of up to $230,000…. Fleischman allegedly allowed at least two 16-year-old boys to stay at his house and told one of them he could “smoke pot and drink alcohol” at his house and not have to worry about anything, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint was filed Sept. 7, 2007 and says the incidents took place in 2006.

The boys lived at home for at-risk youth receiving court-ordered treatment that is located across the street from Fleischman’s house. Fleischman allegedly offered the boys marijuana, and one of the juveniles alleged that Fleischman said he could stay at his house if he ever ran away. One of the victims said Fleischman allegedly told him “it would be cool for him to have two 16-year-old roommates and he stated he would even do their laundry for them.”

Yeah, nothing’s cooler than a few 16 year-old roommates—particularly when their t-shirts and boxers are rank after a long day’s skateboarding. The Green Bay Press-Gazette has more details

Green Bay police went to Fleischman’s Goodell Street home Nov. 19, 2006, looking for two runaways from Ethan House, a juvenile facility on nearby Emilie Street, according to the criminal complaint filed Sept. 7.

Fleischman opened the door and allowed officers inside where they found a 16-year-old boy hiding on the floor of a walk-in closet wearing only underwear and a T-shirt, the complaint said. Officers found a black, purple and blue-swirled glass pipe in the living room, which tested positive for marijuana residue, the complaint said.

Police returned to Fleischman’s home on Dec. 8, 2006, and found the boy there again. He had been a runaway from Ethan House for eight days. The teen, now 17, told authorities Fleischman took him to a hotel in Appleton during that time and then to a cabin near Florence for several days before returning to Fleischman’s Allouez home. The boy said Fleischman provided him with beer and marijuana, the complaint said.

The boy told police that when he would go to bed, Fleischman would fondle him and that on one occasion he awoke to find Fleischman at the foot of his bed masturbating.

At what point do we simply start assuming that GOP officials are banging hookers, wearing diapers, cruising toilets, fondling minors, or all of the above?

This Week on Drugs

posted by on October 13 at 4:08 PM

Bolder Colorado: Teachers confiscate a student’s cell phone, search the text messages, find mention of marijuana, pose as that student and send messages to incriminate the student’s friends, and then punish them.

Potland Oregon: Files decriminalization initiative.

Tourist Rap: Netherlands bans sale of psychedelic mushrooms after travelers flip out.

Poppy Culture: Myanmar junta presides over world’s second-largest opium market.

Where There’s Smoke: Baltimore considers self-extinguishing cigarettes after eight people die in fire.

Crack Myths: Top five.

Buy Cycle: Heroin replacing meth Down Under.

Exported: Bolivia sees future in coca-leaf market.

Isn’t that Kinda the Point, Though? Government Accountability Office calls boot camp for troubled teens a “nightmare.” Oh, but the kids are dying and staff are getting off the hook.

Rat Power: Scientist awarded for dispelling myth about morphine addiction.

Bug Powder: Holland receives beetles stuffed with blow.

The Stranger News Hour. Today 710 KIRO

posted by on October 13 at 11:27 AM

Tune in the David Goldstein show this evening at 7pm, where we’ll be talking about the week’s news.

On the list: The testy city council races, Richard McIver in jail, Dino Rossi’s sleazy book deal, and judging from Goldstein’s blog, we’ll be talking about the Democratic candidate for King County Prosecutor, Bill Sherman.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 13 at 11:00 AM


‘Twelfe Night’ at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Choosing this quaint spelling of Twelfth Night seems incompatible with such a modern and knowing interpretation of Shakespeare’s most sadistic comedy. Director David Esbjornson slows the pace, encouraging his capable cast to linger over the lewdest jokes. The romantic leads are fine, but the supporting clowns—Charles Leggett as the drunk Sir Toby Belch and Frank X as a deliciously arrogant steward who gets his comeuppance with interest—give Twelfe Night its nasty juice. (Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. 7:30 pm, $10–$59. Through Oct 20.)


Last Week’s Sims Interview. Next Week’s Endorsements.

posted by on October 13 at 10:57 AM

Last Friday, out the door to a high school pals reunion in Las Vegas, I promised a longer post about my phone interview with Ron Sims.

I apologize for not posting that. It was an unusually hellish week getting back from Las Vegas and getting the paper out and then immediately going to work on next week’s big issue (endorsements).

More important, looking over the Sims interview, he didn’t say too much you haven’t already heard: His wife talked him into coming out against the ballot measure; he doesn’t think the light rail route south to Tacoma is the right one (not enough ridership); he wants to come back next year and fight for a transit plan with multi-modal solutions which include targeted light rail, BRT, and congestion pricing.

He doesn’t have the specifics yet. But he bristles when he’s accused of being “anti-light rail.” He told me: “Ron Sims has spilled blood for light rail. I think it’s a wonderful technology. You have to use it surgically in the right corridors. It is absolutely part of the solution.”

And he said explicitly that his main criticism of the roads transit package was coming from an Al Gore point of view: Sims said he thinks the 152 miles of new general purpose lanes and the 43 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled undermine King County’s fight against global warming.

Regarding the teaser I posted about Joel Horn—Sims simply said Horn had called him after he (Sims) came out against the package and sighed over the 50 year bonds issue.

You’ll remember, Horn got slammed trying to explain the infamous monorail financing plan ($11 billion when you used “year of expenditure” dollars over an unpopular 50-year payback schedule.) Well, Sims’s anti-prop 1 editorial led with a critique of the roads and transit funding plan—$47 billion when you use “year of expenditure” dollars with a 50-year payback schedule. I guess Horn was groaning that this plan wasn’t getting hit like the monorail plan got hit, and he was happy to see Sims raising the issue.

Sidenote: I think “year of expenditure” dollars is a confusing concept and so, I stick with current dollars. The roads/transit package, for example, will costs $17.8 billion in current dollars.

So, I do apologize for not posting—as promised—a thorough account of my Sims interview. But this summary is basically it. (If you click on the link at the top of this post you can read a bit more about the interview, including his spin about how the roads and transit package plays into President Bush’s hands!?!)

Now, I will promise this: In addition to our endorsements, which hit in print on Wednesday, we’ll be posting video footage from our endorsement interviews—Harrell v. Velazquez (which includes Jonah Spangenthal-Lee asking Harrell if he’s having a stroke); Burgess v. Della; and god damn—a virtual fist fight between the pro and anti camps on the roads/transit initiative. We’ll post that one first.

The End of Happiness

posted by on October 13 at 9:44 AM

Today is my last day in Stuyvesant Square, Manhattan.
-1.jpeg I spent a week in a comfortable, one-bedroom apartment on the seventh floor of a complex. Here, each room is like other rooms; each building is like other buildings; each building is an island in the sun.

A description of Stuyvesant Square in the New York Times:

The Stuyvesant Square neighborhood is in every way unrelated to Stuyvesant Town, the rental complex not far away that recently sold, with its cousin Peter Cooper Village, for $5.4 billion. The rental communities consist of 110 uniform, nondescript brick buildings…
Because it is clean, efficient, and unified, Stuyvesant brought me as close as I have ever been to living in an ideal socialist society. Indeed, the complex is something of a socialist theme park for us dreamers and seekers of utopia.

Presidential Debate “Transcript Analyzer”

posted by on October 13 at 9:43 AM

The NYT has a cool on-line gadet.

In their transcripts of the last two presidential debates (the GOP debate last week and the Democratic one from Sept. 26) you can enter a word and immediately learn how many times each candidate said it, and you can click on a bolded link to see what they said about it.

For example, you can see that at the last GOP debate the word “Bush” came up 13 times. The moderator said it 8 of those times—like when the moderator asked Fred Thompson if Bush’s policy in Iraq has been a good one. Sam Brownback uttered the word 3 times and Ron Paul once and Tom Tancredo once.

Meanwhile, Bush got 11 mentions at the Democratic debate: 4 times from the moderator, once by Joe Biden, three times by Hillary Clinton, once by John Edwards, once by Mike Gravel, and once by Bill Richardson.

You, Lady on Your Cell Phone…

posted by on October 13 at 9:18 AM

I hate you.


Hell is other people—on their cell phones. It’s amazing that someone made that observation—hell is other people—so many decades before cell phones came along. Other people may have been annoying, aggravating, dense, murderous, occasionally genocidal, and altogether inconsiderate before cell phones, but other people weren’t truly hellish until they could muscle their way to an empty seat at the front of the line for a Southwest flight, retrieve cell phones from their handbags, and proceed to blather inanities into their cell phones—inanities that can only, it seems, be blathered at the top of their lungs—for an hour or two straight.

Every once in a while this woman—this hellish woman—would say goodbye, and snap her cell phone shut. Then she would examine her cell phone for a moment, a serious expression playing on her face. Each time I hoped she was thinking, “I’m a terrible person, putting everyone around me through this.” But no. She was only pausing to contemplate all the people she could call next, every last number in her phone book, all the friends, relatives, and coworkers that couldn’t possibly wait to see her in person before hearing everything—every last crushingly boring detail—about her trip to Seattle. Then she’d flip her phone open again.

Bush incompetent, war “a nightmare with no end in sight.”

posted by on October 13 at 7:44 AM

Another profile in retroactive courage: The former top American commander speaks up.

In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top commander of American forces there called the Bush administration’s handling of the war “incompetent” and said the result was “a nightmare with no end in sight.”

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who retired in 2006 after being replaced in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, blamed the Bush administration for a “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan” and denounced the current addition of American forces as a “desperate” move that would not achieve long-term stability….

General Sanchez said he was convinced that the American effort in Iraq was failing the day after he took command, in June 2003. Asked why he waited until nearly a year after his retirement to voice his concerns publicly, he responded that it was not the place of active-duty officers to challenge lawful orders from the civilian authorities..

Post-Season Blues and Choices

posted by on October 13 at 7:07 AM

Luckily, I was in Spain out of touch when the Cubs were treated like swine at Swift’s packinghouse by Arizona. Upon my return from the land of amazing architecture, great art, cheap beer (even with the ruinous exchange rate, thank you very much George Fucking Bush) and the best ham ever, I faced what is an annual event for most baseball fans, especially fans of the Cubs and Mariners: now that my team is gone, who do I root for?

Not paying attention to what Ring Lardner dubbed the World’s Serious is not an option. If you don’t watch baseball, the terrorists win again.

Chicago journalist/legend Mike Royko always made his picks based on the cities, choosing rust belt towns over California or New York teams every time. So Cleveland seems to be the way to go in the AL. But in the NL, both teams are soulless expansion franchises playing in car-centric Red State shithole cities. Abandoning the NL is no small thing—hate the DH—but it’s gotta happen.

So, my decision to root for Cleveland meant they were doomed even before last night’s dope-slap from Josh Becket, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. The Tribe also cannot win the World Series thanks to the Ex-Cub Factor, a wholly scientific study (invented by Ron Berler and popularized by Royko) that showed that any team with three or more Ex-Cubs on it cannot win the World Series. The Modified Ex-Cub Factor holds that if neither team has the critical mass of three ex-Cubs (which induces a state known as “Cubness” or “Loserdom”), the team with fewer ex-Cubs will win. Only twice in the World Series (1960 and 2001) has this theory been refuted.

Cleveland features former Cubs Kenny Lofton and Joe Borowski, while the Red Sox have wisely avoided any players who once wore blue pinstripes.

Meanwhile, in the NL, the D-backs have former Cubs Augie Ojeda and Juan Cruz, while the Rockies have only LaTroy Hawkins.

So, look for a Boston-Colorado World Series, at least one game delayed by snow, record low TV ratings, and a Boston victory.

And don’t despair: Opening Day is only 169 days away.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Burke-Gilman Trail Open Again!

posted by on October 12 at 6:49 PM

Just in time for… winter?

Hotel California

posted by on October 12 at 6:40 PM

I’m in L.A. for the annual NORML conference. Hundreds of pot activists from around the country are jammed into the Universal City Sheraton, which has a stack of these notices at the front desk.

Welcome to the Sheraton Universal Hotel and the 36th Annual NORML Conference!

Please recognize that the Sheraton Universal Hotel is a 95% non-smoking environment… Should your accommodations be non-smoking and feedback is received that smoking is taking place in the room, we will be obliged to bring the complaint to your attention and charge the standard $250 cleaning fee.

We have been asked to make special arrangements for delegates with medical conditions that need to be addressed, and we ask that you contact out on-duty front desk manager for information in this regard.

Which means: Smoke all the pot you want in the smoking rooms. And if you’re sick, we’ll look the other way.

It smells like a Foghat concert.

We’re in Southern California because this is ground zero for marijuana. Over the past year, the DEA has repeatedly raided the area’s 250 medical-marijuana dispensaries, which are allowed under state law and enjoy popular support but are loathed by the feds. The clash became a spectacle last night. Activists and sick folks held a rally in front of Schwarzenegger’s office, pressuring him to rebuff the raids. But then a SWAT team of LAPD officers and DEA agents, carrying automatic weapons, stormed a post-rally party in a Downtown LA pot dispensary. Agents didn’t arrest anyone, but they seized all the dope and cash.

Anyway, despite popular support, a lot of folks at this conference feel pretty strongly that the wheelchair weed is a political box canyon. The big question on folks’ minds is, how to change the law for the 50 million healthy pot smokers? I’ll try to answer that question tomorrow night when I give the conference’s closing address. Obviously, they could begin by immolating their tie-dyes.

David Della: Environmentalists Are Racist

posted by on October 12 at 6:05 PM

In yet another volley in what has so far been one of the muddiest campaign seasons I’ve ever seen, David Della told KUOW’s Ruby de Luna that environmental groups (including the Sierra Club, Washington Conservation Voters, and the Cascade Bicycle Club) are supporting his opponent Tim Burgess “because he looks like them. I’ll be crass and say because he looks like them.”

As chair of the parks committee, Della continued, he “worked on the Critical Areas Ordinance, I made sure that pesticides were out of the parks, and we put recycling in.”

Um, not quite, say members of the environmental community. Here’s admitted white guy Kevin Fullerton (who does not look like Tim Burgess), from the same KUOW show: “He has … pitted the interests of ‘working families,’ against environmental values, particularly in the Viaduct debate. We think that’s corrosive public debate.” Della also supports building a massive new garage in Woodland Park to serve the zoo (“Families aren’t going to ride the bus to the zoo. It just ain’t gonna happen,” he told us); and he wants to rebuild the Alaskan Way Viaduct on the waterfront. Given his record, it would have been shocking if enviros had come out for Della. The race of those enviros is totally irrelevant.

In other Della-Burgess news, the Burgess campaign has put up a new web site,, which accuses Della of working from the “Karl Rove Handbook” with his “lies, distortions, half-truths, smears, and misrepresentations.” Could this campaign get any uglier? We’ve got three weeks to find out!

What I Learned on Slog

posted by on October 12 at 5:46 PM

Wow, what a day. Slogging all day is hard work, and I didn’t have nearly the number of posts as most of the other guests. I know that it has been said a million times, but jesus—it really is challenging to not only find things to post (before someone else does), but to try and be smart and witty about it. It is definitely easier as a commenter. Since the hard work of posting something is out of the way, all you have to do is add a one liner on there and BAM, you are soooo special and smart (looking at you POE! Our Sloggy nemesis!)

But honestly, cheers to you dearest Slog readers and regulars. You tolerated an onslaught of posts, and will probably be back for more tomorrow. But that’s ‘cause you like pain don’t you? Yeah that’s right, take it….

Oh wait, ok… back to the wrap-up…

I wanted to add that I have so much respect for the tireless Stranger staff that do this, and their regular newspaper jobs, EVERYDAY. They really do an amazing job, and I am honored to have been a guest here today.

Meet You at the Rendezvous!

posted by on October 12 at 5:40 PM

This is my last post for the day. Thank you very much to The Stranger and to the Slog community for letting me do this! It’s been great fun. Like a highly addictive drug, I’m already unsure how to give it up. Cold turkey seems so drastic. The comments section will have to serve as my methadone until I can walk away clean.

As I leave for happy hour, I want to raise a glass or six to the splendid Rendezvous Bar in Belltown. This place truly does shine through the ugliness of the Belltown bar scene, like a nugget of gold in a mountain of shit. Among its top virtues? It still only costs $75 bucks to rent the Jewelbox Theatre for a show. Seventy-Five bucks?!?!? That means if only 15 of your cheap friends buys a $5 ticket to see your punk band, you’ve paid yourself back for the space! If five more friends buy tickets, the whole band gets beer! That kicks ass.

Equally important, if not more so, the staff is the last remaining friendly bar staff in all of Belltown. They smile, they chat, they don’t give you a heard time about your haircut, and they remember what you drank last time. This is a class joint. Here’s long time bar babe, Babe.


Babe: I’m one of three staff who has been here for five years, ever since Steve and Rene bought the place. The others have been here four years, three-and-a-half, something like that. It says something great about a bar of all places that the staff doesn’t turn over.

I’ll say it does! Here’s to all you Sloggers, to Babe, and to the rest of the Rendezvous staff. See you soon! Whiskey soda! (…but you already knew that.)

Why I Have Been an Absentee Slogger

posted by on October 12 at 5:31 PM

Hello everybody! First off, I must apologize to everyone for having been mostly absent during Freaky Friday. It was clearly poor planning on my part to agree to Slog today knowing that I had a friend coming in from NYC at noon. Having said that—you all did a fantastic job today, and I really wish I could have been more of a participant. As it were, I spent most of the afternoon wandering around the UW campus playing host. In any case, I would like to thank the Stranger staffers for having bestowed me with such an awesome opportunity which I, in turn, squandered miserably. I love you Slog!

Over and out,


It’s HARD To Be A Slogger These Days

posted by on October 12 at 5:27 PM

This is my last post for the day—if it makes it in before the deadline.

I just want to take a moment to thank The Stranger for giving us the privilege, nay the HONOR to be guest Sloggers today. To paraphrase (badly) the Late Sir Donald Wolfit, “Commenting is easy; Slogging is HARD!” It’s been a crazy, hectic, fabulous day, and it’s taught me a very valuable lesson: Anybody who does this for a living has to be out of their freakin’ minds!

We’re planning an aprez-Slog meet-up at Linda’s starting at around 5:30 p.m. and going until we’re either too drunk to see, or in my case, I have to head out to catch Opening Night of Annex Theatre’s “I Feel Fine”, 8:00 p.m. at 1100 E Pike, tickets $12 (I’m not proud—I’m in Showbiz!)

Thanks to all who commented; maybe tomorrow I’ll actually get time to read some of what you—and my fellow Guest Sloggers actually wrote!

That’s All For Me—Be Safe, Be Good!

Atheist Radio

posted by on October 12 at 5:26 PM

Atheist’s finally have their own show.

With all the religious programming out there, it’s not really going to make that much of an impact. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cute idea, but listening to people drone on and on about atheism seems like it would be just as annoying as people talking about god. Can they actually fill up the air time each week with atheism related issues? I can imagine about 6 months into it, they just say “Wow, religious nut bags still hate us…moving on.”

I can fully support groups like The Brights because they are actively trying to change policy in this country, for the atheist/agnostic minority. I can only hope that this atheist radio show stays relevant enough, and with enough listeners to be able to make any kind of change. And even for that to happen, Air America has to stay on the radio.

So What Did We Need That Night Club Ordinance For Again?

posted by on October 12 at 5:20 PM

According to the late online edition of The Seattle Times, two recently-in-the-news night spots may get their liquor licenses yanked, courtesy of the WASLCB: Tabella, and Tommy’s

The violation notices, posted Thursday, were the result of “numerous citations” meted out to the clubs during the August “Operation Publicity Stunt” sting conducted by SPD.

According to records on-file with the Liquor Board, “Tabella received five citations alleging serving liquor to a minor, over-serving liquor, one disorderly conduct citation involving firearms and another involving drugs”, while Tommy’s was cited eight times for violations including “disorderly conduct, over-serving liquor, an employee drinking, and serving liquor to a minor.”

Attorney David Osgood, representing Tabella is stating the original charges won’t stick, but in any case the Times is indicating it’s a “moot point” in that case, since the club is already slated to be sold.

Wide Stance and Goodnight

posted by on October 12 at 5:18 PM

Hey… Well… It’s been awesome, and since my work day has officially started in earnest I need to sign off. In the same vein as Amelia’s goodbye post, I too will leave you with a photo of a man in pants. This one’s from 6th and Pike again. I love the bus stop sometimes. (No I did not get his permission. No he did not notice me taking the photo. The skinny guy to the left DID notice, I think.)


Capitalist Underground

posted by on October 12 at 5:13 PM


I wandered into the Punk Rock Flea Market a three weeks ago and was delighted by what I saw. In the Belltown basement that once held the depressing “Downunder” nightclub, some 40-odd vendors had arrayed themselves, selling absolutely everything from clothes to food to bootleg CD’s to hand-made cat toys. I picked up a bunch of zines, a cool pair of barely-used shoes, a catnip duck and a bronze statue of Ganesh. Score!


Corey Scherrer, one of the organizers (and the photographer behind these pics) said that more than 500 people paid a buck to get in and shop. The dollars went back to the low income housing developer who own the space and who were handing out literature about homelessness and housing as folks entered. Later in the evening 3 punk bands played, and beer flowed freely. Combining cheap goods, punk music, lefty politics and beer is clearly a winning strategy. The organizers have promised future flea markets on a typically anarchistic time frame. “We’ll do it every so often until they tear the place down.” The next Punk Rock Flea Market is scheduled for December 1.

I’ll Be Back in Time

posted by on October 12 at 5:09 PM

Cars are evil, on this we agree. We should never ever drive them and ride our bikes to work instead. Ron Sims should be denounced for coming out against the roads and transit package –or should he be praised? I still haven’t figured that one out, but I’m leaning towards praised. Either way, cars in some form are going to be around for the rest of our lives, so we might as well make the best of it, yeah?
This is the 2009 Chevy Camaro Convertible Concept, and what can I say? This sweet ride is a dick magnet sure to persuade young men everywhere to sign on the dotted line (and jump in my lap—rowr!). It’ll probably sell well if GM can get it together enough to actually build the thing, which is crucial since it’s the best design to come out of GM in at least 20 years. Is it wrong and just a bit white-trashy that I want one so, so badly? I’m already coming up with all kinds of lame excuses: “…But I recycle everything!”

Suhweet Jayzus, I hope they make a hybrid model.

Or maybe I should go for the Jetsons-style 230 mpg Aptera instead.

FDA Approves New HIV Drug

posted by on October 12 at 4:57 PM

(From the AP Wire):

The government approved a novel anti-AIDS pill on Friday, offering a new option for hard-to-treat patients.

Manufacturer Merck & Co. said Isentress should be on pharmacy shelves within two weeks.

The AIDS virus uses three different enzymes to reproduce and infect cells. Numerous drugs are available that target two of those enzymes, called protease and reverse transcriptase.

Isentress is the first in a new class of medicines that blocks the third enzyme, called integrase. Added to “cocktails” of other HIV medicines, the drug can lower the amount of HIV in the blood and help infection-fighting immune cells rebound.

HIV mutates rapidly to resist various treatments, and the Food and Drug Administration approved use of Isentress in patients over age 16 whose blood tests show they are resistant to common older medications.

Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, headache and itching.

Patients take Isentress, also known as raltegravir, twice a day. A Merck spokeswoman said the drug would cost $27 a day, or $9,855 a year—in the range of other competitors.

It is the second novel HIV drug to win FDA approval in two months. Pfizer Inc.’s Selzentry works by yet another method, blocking a passage that HIV often uses to enter white blood cells.

Re: RTID/ST2 Prop 1 is DOA

posted by on October 12 at 4:37 PM

Well, SDA IN SEA may have their doubts, but judging from the slick, 12 page fold-out transit map/sales pitch that arrived in my mailbox this afternoon, it’s not going down without a fight.

Published and no doubt mailed to every living person in the tri-county region (we got four of them in our box – including one for our landlady who lives in London) by the RTID Planning Committee and ST Board of Directors, this lavishly assembled piece of polit-prop will have the average Joe and Jane Voter drooling in antici—(Wait for it!)—PATION! over the shiny, bright, supersonic future in store for us all.

Crammed full of “under construction” photos, and laden with a veritable arsenal of bullet points, plus an almost incomprehensibly detailed map of current, in-progress, planned, and proposed roads and transit projects, it looks like the wet dream of any enviro-friendly mass-transit luvin’ Pugetopolian.

But, of course, “the devil is in the details”, as they say. Upon closer examination, one has to wonder at some of the “facts” cited. For example, part of the “Roads & Transit Investments” section lists such items as: Mill Creek to Lake Stevens on SR up to 15 minutes saved. I guess maybe that’s a major factor if you um, work in Mill Creek and live in Lake Stevens, but even if that’s actually relevant to anyone, is that really going to be a significant a factor for people who live in say, Renton and work in Bellevue? And of course, the qualifier is that these “time savings” aren’t exactly cast in stone, and are at-best pure guesswork.

Secondly, as SDA points out, much of the funding for these projects will come from increases in the State Sales Tax, but that revenue-stream is also contingent on the region hitting the RTID’s population growth estimates, rosily forecast at around 40% of current levels by 2040; that seems grossly optimistic. And even if accurate, most of that growth is expected to come within urban boundaries, where presumably many people, already frustrated with long commutes, will opt to work closer to home—if not at home. And as recent studies have indicated rather than reduce congestion, the 187 miles of new roads will become filled with single-occupancy vehicles almost as quickly as they’re built, in a process known as “induced traffic”.

I’m sure there’s probably a lot more of this sort of questionable prognostication in the piece; it’s literally a dizzying array of facts and figures that only a true policy wonk is even going to try to wade through – I only barely touched the surface after a half hour of perusal, so it will be interesting to see how others parse it out point-by-point (although, again, if you actually want anyone to READ it, do try to keep it brief).

The only real question in my mind is: once Prop 1 goes down in flames, will TPTB take the whole thing off the table, or do what they should have done in the first place, and send separate roads and mass transit measures back to the voters?

For the Wine Connoisseur

posted by on October 12 at 4:36 PM

Are you going to lose it if you have to stare at that spreadsheet for one more second? Looking forward to that after-work drink? Unfocus your eyes and allow me to present the magical Sean Mondavi vineyards to brighten your day. Salud!

Urban Rest Stop

posted by on October 12 at 4:25 PM

A few weeks ago, Slog editors asked readers to name their “cause,” i.e. the non-profit organizations that they support. Many fine organizations were mentioned, but the one that was brought up the most was the Urban Rest Stop. I took a cue and headed over there to have a look.

This is the Urban Rest Stop, or URS, located at 9th and Virginia, right next door to the Greyhound Bus terminal.


The URS is one of three facilities in the entire Seattle area that offers free laundry and showers to people who need them. The URS is the only facility with no barriers for using the services—you don’t need to sign up for treatment, you don’t need to forswear alcohol, and you don’t need to give your social security number or other personal details. According to the staff, the place operates at full capacity whenever the doors are open, 365 days a year.

This begs many questions. Why aren’t there more of these facilities? Why is a place like this, which is providing an utterly necessary service, reduced to begging for money to stay in business? Why is the city spending upwards of $100 grand each year for a handful of poorly functioning public toilets when they could be supporting clean and well-run places that serve 100 times the number of people?


This is Ronni Gilboa, who founded and manages the facility. She has a LOT to say about hygiene, about homelessness, and about the metropolitan government abdicating its responsibility to keep the region’s poorest people healthy and clean. I couldn’t possibly transcribe the many powerful words she shared with me, but here’s a few choice excerpts of our hour-long conversation:

Ronni: By keeping people clean, we keep people healthy and alive. Clean people have an easier time riding the bus and going to the library. They have an easier time finding services and feeling like they’re not invisible. If someone is dirty, they’re in a bad position to ask for help. Once that same person cleans up they become someone to listen to and take seriously. They quickly become more qualified for a job or for a home, more easily able to participate in society.

Access to clean water and sanitation is an essential defining aspect of civilization. The Romans and Greeks had easier access to clean water than people in this city, and it is widely acknowledged that access to clean water and a working sewage system are essential in curing diseases and preventing epidemics.

We’re heading into a long wet winter. We’re going to see a lot of colds, a lot of viruses, a lot of chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, and circulatory problems that get worse with the weather. The URS is often in the strange position of being the first ones to recognize these things and taking the first steps that are necessary to get help to people who need it. If you want people to get better, you have to give them the tools.


posted by on October 12 at 4:16 PM

Well, Seattle… I’m heading out! It’s been a fun day, contributing modestly and enjoying every second of it. I was terribly scared, but you weren’t so bad after all!

I leave you with my thanks and this gorgeous picture—ripped from Bergdorf’s sleepwear. There’s just something about pajama pants paired with killer abs. Mmmm…


Queers on Film

posted by on October 12 at 4:10 PM

SDA in SEA Suggests: The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

Opens tonight, and runs through October 21. With nearly 80 films, documentaries, and short collections, there is sure to be something for every homo’s tastes.


Parting Glances, an excellent film from 1986 is being shown in a restored version. This was my first introduction to Steve Buscemi, and he was awesome, even back then. (Thursday at the SIFF Cinema)


I’m not usually much into documentaries, but there are a few potentially interesting ones: Jerusalem Is Proud To Present (Sun., Oct 21, NWFF), is about the incendiary reaction to the 2005 & 2006 Jerusalem Pride parades. There are a couple of timely films about gays and the current war (I’m never sure which pisses me off more, the war, or the Republican’s refusal to allow gays to fight in it), Semper Fi: One Marine’s Journey (Wed., Harvard Exit) about a southern gay who at age 34 decides to join the marines and go to Iraq (?!?). Also, Tell (Oct 14, Cinerama), a broader documentary about the retarded “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. If you like your gay butch and burly, try With You! about the Gotham Knights, a gay NY rugby team.


There are a slew of girl movies and boy movies, most of which look relatively crowd pleasing. What’s not to like about Naked Boys Singing?

I’ve always enjoyed the short film collections. A mixed bag, but always interesting, with a few gems to keep me coming back. There are shorts for boys, girls, and local shorts.

Full schedule and ticket info here.

PS: Yes, I put the singing naked boys photo in there just to ignite the NSFW panic.

Blue Teeth

posted by on October 12 at 4:07 PM

Meet the Oral-B Triumph 9000 Electric Toothbrush with bluetooth wireless, the smartest thing that will ever be in your head. Of course, if you’re dumb enough to spend $140 for a toothbrush—it has a massage mode!—then the bar has been set pretty low to begin with.


The toothbrush tells you which tooth to brush, how hard to brush it, and how long to brush it. There is, sadly, a market for this. We are now officially too stupid to brush our own teeth.

Things to Remember for Hump! 4

posted by on October 12 at 4:04 PM

Apparently you can shoot porn in a public park (ok maybe it was just nudes, but whatevs).

Breast massages are good for dental work.

And posing with drunk girls while on duty is HAWT!

Local Poets Done Good

posted by on October 12 at 3:55 PM


Our hardworking local poets are very well represented in Scribner’s 2007 collection of Best American Poetry. The volume was edited by none other than local poet and Stranger genius Heather McHugh. It’s a worthy book, one of the better BAP collections in the series, worth buying for McHugh’s introductory essay alone.

Seattle poet Kary Wayson, who was named “one to watch” by the Stranger Genius Awards way back in 2004 has a new poem in the collection, “Flu Song in Spanish.” Like many of Wayson’s poems (collected a few years back in a charming little chapbook called Dog & Me) this one is equal parts lust and anger with her uniquely bitter sense of wordplay. “If the sky says anything, it’s everything! at once!”

Jeannette Allée is another local poet and performer who won last year’s Richard Hugo House New Works competition, among other honors. Her poem “Crimble of Staines,” is another highlight of the book, full of bile and unusual British-isms. “You’re back in motherbickered / England dumb with brick / & viper typists.”

A couple more Seattle scribes are represented—children’s book author Julie Larios has a too-clever-for-my-tastes song called “What Bee Did” and family practitioner/poet-populist nominee Peter Pereira showcases his medical background in “Nursemaid’s Elbow.”

If you’re a reader of poems or a supporter of local wordsmiths, this is a collection worth grabbing. Available everywhere.

Crashed Car Can’t Stop Hawtness

posted by on October 12 at 3:49 PM

In celebrity news….

Orlando Bloom, probably doing something cute and adorable in Legolas costume, crashed his car

Adrian!’s absence on Slog must be because he valiantly came to Orlando’s rescue after the crash. I can only hope he is nursing that poor boy back to health as we speak….

In straight boy news:

Kendra, from The Girls Next Door hotness, is a rapper?!?! Who knew?

And of course, I figure someone better report on Brit Brits “anti-undies” escapades.

NSFW after the jump…..

Cause gawd knows we have never seen it before. Where is Adrian! when we need him? Come out, you Hollywood superhero, and save us from the white whale that is Brit’s Vag-Hole.

Continue reading "Crashed Car Can't Stop Hawtness" »

“Special” Olympians Pride of “Retarded” Country

posted by on October 12 at 3:21 PM

America, the pride is back.


Team USA brought home the gold again at the International Special Olympics in China, which closed yesterday. Although not as popular as the regular Olympics (or the “Steroid Olympics” as they are called) which will be held in Beijing next year, the Special Olympics, held in Shanghai, truly capture the America of the early 21st Century.

After all, they were made in China.

Beam Me Up—Constable Angel?

posted by on October 12 at 3:02 PM

While I’m over at the theatre waiting for my laptop to recharge, I thought I’d chum for a few news headlines, and being the Star Trek geek I am, I couldn’t pass this one by.

Unless you’re a rabid Trekkie/Trekker you could probably care less about this, but word out of Tinseltown is Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz topliner Simon Pegg has been cast in the role of techno-geek Montgomery Scott in the JJ Abrams directed Star Trek prequel, which begins shooting next month.

It seems a rather peculiar choice on the one hand, seeing as there’s not much in the way of physical resemblance between the two (although undoubtedly Pegg, a Brit, won’t have too much trouble sporting an authentic Scottish accent), but on the other, makes sense in terms of widening the film’s appeal to a more international audience.

Pegg joins Heroes’ Zachary “Syler” Quinto, who’s been signed to play the green-blooded, pointy eared, Paul Allen name-stealing Vulcan, Mr. Spock, along with half of the Harold & Kumar duo, John Cho as Sulu, and Eric “The Hulk” Bana as the film’s bad guy, somebody named “Nero.”

No word yet on final casting for the pivotal role of James T. Kirk, although the rumor mill is giving good odds to “Smokin’ Aces” Chris Pine. (I’m still crossing my fingers and hoping Abrams will give the nod to “Deadwood“‘s Timothy Olyphant, but admit that at 39 he’s probably a bit long-in-the-tooth for the role).

Sigur Ros: Not Good at Interviews

posted by on October 12 at 2:44 PM

NPR tried to interview Icelandic group Sigur Ros… it went really poorly. Apparently singing in a made-up language has not done wonders for their actual communication skills.

Sample dialog from the video:

NPR: “Is this… Do you think gonna be going forward beyond how you lyrically want to approach music? Or do you ever think you’ll start to use more standard words?”
Sigur Ros guy: “Uh… I don’t know.” *long long pause*

I can’t tell if it’s the interviewer’s fault or the band’s fault. The questions weren’t that great but can’t these dudes get excited about their music and talk about it? The reason they’re doing interviews in the first place is to promote their documentary video coming out soon. But if it’s one giant long pause, like this interview, I’m not going to be running out to spend money on it…


Maybe Sigur Ros is secretly and silently opposing Tom Rasmussen in the City Council race.

Hubba Hubba Bubba

posted by on October 12 at 2:43 PM

OK, so you’ve decided to go vegetarian, but now you’re sobbing in your soymilk ‘cause you think you’ll never be able to achieve the R-E-S-U-L-T-S you crave at the gym. Well, au contraire mes frères et soeurs.

There’s a big-time misconception that one must eat tons of meat in order to build a strong body, and like most so-called conventional wisdom—it’s total bollocks; which seems perfectly clear if you think about it. Horses, for example, don’t gorge themselves on steaks and sausages –they’re herbivores who eat hay, and they’re among the most muscular and athletic species on the planet.

Fortunately, the guys and gals over at Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness are here to pump you up in a humane and oh-so-environmentally responsible way. I met Robert, the founder of the site, at Veg Fest 2007, and trust me when I tell you that he’s knowledgeable, buff and dedicated. These resources would have saved my fakin’ bacon when I went veg 10 years ago. Back in my day, all we got was a macramé owl and a recipe for homemade muesli and we had to like it, ya whippersnappers!

Then there’s my inspiration, Big Ben:hubbahubba.jpgPowerful, beautiful and built like a comic book hero are words that come to mind –he’s also vegetarian. I’ve been doing Big Ben’s work out, and it’s kicked my ass into shape. He’s refreshingly honest about the process and agrees that genetics play a big role, which many bodybuilders and trainers won’t admit for some reason.

By following some basic rules for mixing the appropriate amount of calories, including protein, carbs and fats, along with weightlifting and cardio, vegetarians can find the right mix that works for us, just like everyone else. And if you’re ever confronted by some gay-bashing Latvians, just channel your inner Big Ben and snap ‘em in half.

Your Cookie Dough Is Looking Good

posted by on October 12 at 2:30 PM

Zesto’s Restaruant, on 15th, may not be the best choice for dinner this weekend. Actually, it’s not a choice at all. It was closed yesterday afternoon by King County Food Protection Program for “Potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures” and “Failure to correct repeated violations”. Yech.

Ann Coulter Cuddles With Dori Monson

posted by on October 12 at 2:28 PM

OMG! Did anyone catch Amerca’s favorite wing-nut trannie Ann Coulter on Dori Monson’s mid-day show on KIRO? (I just found out about it, courtesy of Blatherwatch.)

Gimme dirt people – DIRT!

And Now We Are in Florida

posted by on October 12 at 2:20 PM

I am at Florida Atlantic University today, which is in Boca Raton. Even the college students here act like retirees. I’m wasting time, hiding out, looking at a collection of very cool books in the library—the Jaffe Collection of Books at Aesthetic Objects. The books themselves are art, and some of them are spectacular.

This is Keith Smith’s Book 91 (String Book)-—a series of strings runs from front to back, and with each turn of a page, the design and shape the strings create changes. The librarians, who are very cute, do this wonderful presentation, and they point out the sound of the pages turning, the shadows the book casts, the whole experience.


Here’s a book called Would You Vote For a President Who Is a Fake President? by Joan Iversen Goswell, and she uses stamps to talk about President Bush.


It’s very odd to be in Florida on the day Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and you cannot help but wonder at how things turn out. No one here thinks George Bush would’ve gotten a call from Oslo this morning, had things turned out differently in 2000.

SF Loses Halloween Treats; Tricks Remain Plentiful

posted by on October 12 at 2:18 PM

Despite San Francisco city leaders attempt to stop—just, you know, stop—all Halloween festivities in the Castro District, thousands of drunken amateur drag queens, spandex-clad superhero wanna-bes and curious onlookers are expected to descend upon the historically gay neighborhood anyway, and neighborhood residents are freaking out:

After last year’s violence and ensuing public outcry, city leaders decided to try to stop any Halloween night street celebrations in the Castro this year. But the neighborhood still looks like it is getting ready for a party, and some residents are demanding more information about plans to shut down the celebration and keep the area safe.

The city’s refusal to provide a police or street closures angers area residents, and the absence of porta-johns threatens to ruin the evening for Larry Craig-costumed revelers, who will be stuck wandered the streets of San Francisco looking like insurance salesmen.
Hey Seattle—show SF how it’s done. Send along your party info for The Stranger’s Halloween listings for the weekend of October 26-27, and for the 31st too, of course. Send all the details to, and be sure to put something about Halloween in the subject line.

Gurldoggie Suggests

posted by on October 12 at 2:17 PM

I was lucky enough to be invited to a rehearsal of Dracula: A Case Study, opening today at Theatre Off Jackson. Director Brian Kooser and Monkey Wrench Puppet Lab are the same team responsible for the wondrously creepy and creative Frankenocchio, which played at the Empty Space in 2005, and the same group behind the ever-popular Drunk Puppet Nite at Re-Bar. According to Kooser, “We’ve been making this show for three years. It was supposed to be part of the Empty Space calendar last year, but we all know how that went…It’s the most complex puppet show I’ve ever been part of. We tried our damnedest to be faithful to Bram Stoker’s story, with wild, weird, violent and schizophrenic results. It’s a hell of a ride.”

Here, puppeteer Holly Chernobyl rehearses with “Lucy,” Dracula’s first victim.


The instrument which resembles a cello is actually a Transylvanian percussion instrument called “uto-gardon.” According to Marchette DuBois, who is playing it here, Hungarian folk musicians came in contact with their first cellos in the 1500’s. With a very rudimentary knowledge of stringed instruments, they did their best to re-create
the magical device. The result was this cello-shaped drum which is beat with a club shaped roughly like a bow. Here, it is being used to accompany the violin, giving a very sinister rhythmic thud.


This is a mad spectacle of a puppet show. Shows Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm with an added show on Halloween. Tickets on sale now at brownpapertickets.

Haven’t Those Kids Suffered Enough?

posted by on October 12 at 2:16 PM

The Mayor’s office is circulating an overheated email letting us all know that Marianne Bichsel, Nickels’ senior communications advisor, is stepping down. Apparently she’s been tagged to be the communications director for the Casey Family Foundation, a group that provides funds for foster care institutions.

You may remember Marianne’s greatest hits, such as “We don’t think it’s necessary at this time” or “perhaps funding will be included in the budget.” And who could forget this golden oldie: “The mayor says the idea has merit.” Here’s hoping she brings a higher level of excitement, clarity and honesty to those poor poor foster kids.

Don’t These People Have Jobs?

posted by on October 12 at 2:08 PM

After 5 straight hours of Guest Slogging at home (one nice thing about this is being able to work in your bathrobe), I decided I needed sustenance, and ventured out into the uncharacteristically BEAUTIFUL, WARM mid-day sun for a bit of knosh.

Haven’t been to Crave, so thought I’d give that a go. There was a waiting list – at 12:30 on a Friday afternoon! Okay, let’s try Café Pettiroso – nope, full up. Stellina? Ditto! I mean, what the Hell are all these PEOPLE doing wandering around CapHill this time of day? Are there really that many businesses in the vicinity to FILL UP EVERY DAMNED restaurant or café in the neighborhood? Is THIS what “density” looks like?


Finally found a seat at – appropriately enough – Caffe Presse where, despite their wi-fi continually dropping out, I’ve managed to get in a couple of posts.

And what does the erstwhile Guest Slogger order whilst posting away?


Now, duly fortified, I am off to do more Mobile Slogging.

RTID/ST2 Prop 1 is DOA

posted by on October 12 at 2:07 PM

The state legislature made a huge political miscalculation by combining a major roads expansion and a major light rail expansion onto a single ballot measure. They hoped that supporters of both would combine for enough votes to push it over the top. When in fact, the opposite is true: Road advocates hate the transit part and environmentalists hate the roads part. Nobody is happy, and this initiative will in all likelihood go down in flames.

I predict it will lose by at least 20 points.

RTID/ST2 (Regional Transportation Investment District/Sound Transit 2) Prop 1 has several fatal flaws, in addition to the debacle of combining the two together.

First, it is a 1977 solution to a 2007 problem. Ten or twenty years ago, I probably would have supported this. I loved my cars, but still knew there was value in having a good transit system. So a good combination of roads and transit would have appealed to me. I had never heard of global warming.

But this isn’t 1977 any more. Global warming is becoming an increasingly alarming problem. The single thing this country can do to dramatically cut our greenhouse gases is to get people out of their cars. We are the most car-centered culture on the planet. The only way we are going to get people out of their cars and on to public transportation is to make driving more painful and transit less painful.

Right now, I drive roughly 80% of the time, and take transit about 20% of the time. For where I live, and when and where I need to go, it just isn’t practical to take transit much more than that. In my car, I can get to the central part of the city in 15-20 minutes. By bus, it takes 30 minutes to an hour. If I go at odd times, I might have to wait an hour for a bus to come by. So unless I have lots of time to kill, I usually end up driving. But if reasonably effective, reasonably rapid transit were an option, I could and would dramatically cut down my driving. Perhaps even give up my car entirely. If it took longer to get someplace by car than by transit, then transit would be the obvious choice.

So the only environmentally sane choice we have right now is to build as much real rapid transit as we can. If we had a good light rail spur to west Seattle, then the whole viaduct argument would be moot. If we had good light rail over to the east side, we wouldn’t be clamoring to build bigger bridges and wider freeways.

But environmental issues are not the only fatal flaw. Funding is the second flaw. It largely relies on sales tax… again. Sales tax, as all math nerds know, is the most regressive tax structure we have. It taxes the poor at a much higher relative rate than the wealthy. We just raised the sales tax by 0.1% last year to fund bus rapid transit (a bit of an oxymoron, that) on the backs of the poor. Everybody benefits from a high quality transit system, and it should not be funded disproportionately by the poor. The legislature needs to stop raising the sales tax to fund projects. Nobody likes property taxes, but property taxes and income taxes are much more equitable than sales taxes.

Finally, even if you are more of a fan of roads than I am, the roads portion of this plan is a mess. It prominently talks about replacing the 520 bridge, but in reality it only covers part of the funding. They’re hoping the Federal Government and other funding sources will make up the difference, but there are no commitments from any other funding source. Or maybe they’ll come back in a couple of years asking for more cash. Also conspicuously absent: no mention at all is made of the Viaduct (the elephant in the room). How can a major roads package completely ignore the entire issue of the Viaduct?

We need more and better transit in the region. We need real rapid transit, off grade, not lame bus rapid transit. We need it sooner rather than later. But this ballot measure has too many enemies and too many flaws. It shouldn’t pass and it won’t pass.


Portland, a much smaller city, is a decade ahead of Seattle in light rail. You can even take your bike on the MAX with you. Some day, if we grow up, we can be like Portland.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and Father

posted by on October 12 at 1:56 PM

In honor of Dan on this freakiest of fridays, I give you the story of 27-year-old Bay Area woman Christina Adams. She was arrested Thursday afternoon after drunkenly holding her five-year-old son out of a moving SUV.

“Witnesses said they watched in shock as Adams at some points forced the child to run beside the car to keep up.”

Apparently, after having been stopped by police after onlookers called 911, the woman ended the fiasco by peeing on the cop car while simultaneously yelling obscenities. Two other adults were in the car.

Comte Suggests

posted by on October 12 at 1:25 PM


Seattle ex-pat and raconteur Mike Daisey, who has developed a (deserved) reputation as “the Spaulding Gray of his generation” for his witty, erudite monologues, returns to town for a one-night-only tryout of his newest work, “Lost In Translation” (featuring novelist Randall Keenan and historian Lesley Hazelton), in which he describes his recent experiences visiting “Trinity Site, NM,” location of the first atomic bomb detonation.
(Richard Hugo House 7:00 p.m.)

(Shameless Plug) I FEEL FINE

Annex Theatre, the scrappy little fringe company started by a fistful of Bainbridge H.S. grads back in 1986, opens its 21st season of production with a new collaborative performance-collage conceived by Mike Pham and Rachel Hynes of art-duo Helsinki Syndrom and members of the Annex Company. (Annex Theatre, 1100 E Pike St. 8:00 p.m. $12)


As part of Theatre Communication Group’s 3rd Annual national theatre promotion event kicks off Monday with a whole slew of local companies offering special programs, including A Free Night of Theatre, Thursday the 18th.
(Various Locations - Visit Seattle Performs for details)

What Is Art?

posted by on October 12 at 1:18 PM

Russia has banned this photo from a Russian art showing in Paris:


The photographer said they were inspired by this Banksy work:


Side Discussion for Sloggers: Since the Russian minister is deciding what is acceptable art, I thought I would ask fellow Sloggers to decide if graffiti is art. All types? Is it ok to deface the property of others for the sake of art? Who determines what is acceptable?

The Week in Geek!

posted by on October 12 at 12:53 PM

Apple and AT&T have been in a committed monogamous relationship for at least a year now, brought together by their clever but imperfect baby iPhone. Little iPhone is healthy and growing, but these iPhone-hating killjoys have filed class-action suits against Apple and AT&T, charging them both with monopoly.

Radiohead: you downloaded In Rainbows already, right? Here’s the link again. (I couldn’t get the official site to work for me so I obtained it through other means. Still, I hear many people were not defeated by the glacially slow site yesterday; therefore be not afraid. And the cd is pretty good, if you like Radiohead, which everyone seems to.)

Moon you can plug in!
More moon you can plug in!
Steve Ballmer really doesn’t like Linux and he’s telling us all why. Again. The first reason I personally don’t like Linux is because I can’t configure my laptop’s wireless to work with anything other than Windows. The second reason is that I don’t know the commands well enough to make the Linux terminal thing work efficiently for me. So really, it’s my own fault, and I have nothing actually bad to say about OpenSource.

Finally: some scientists figured out how to harness the power of science to bring them a great deal of fame and money. They are winners. In Physics, Albert Fert and Peter Gruenberg win for coming up with something nano-tech related. In Chemistry, Gerhardt Ertl wins for figuring out how to watch things rust. And in Medicine, Mario Capecchi, Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies win for figuring out how to target and influence specific genes in mouse DNA.

P.S. Geeks, some encouragement from last night at 6th and Pike: this salacious lady wants to have sex with you even if no one else does. She’s already in her pajamas ready to go. (Why do I have to walk past this every day? I like how the flash makes her look all “from my heart to yours.”)


Activist Movement - Valdivia, Chile

posted by on October 12 at 12:49 PM

In 2004, Celco Corporation opened a pulp mill near Carlos Anwandter Nature Sanctuary in Valdivia, Chile. As a result of the horrendous amount of toxins Celco is dumping into the water, within months over 5,000 black-necked swans that inhabited the wetlands were dead. Celco (banking hundreds of millions a year) have Chilean government stating that there isn’t a link between pollution and the deaths. Three years later, the people of Valdivia are still united—fighting for Celco to stop dumping waste into the sanctuary so it can be restored.

Last weekend, hundreds of Chileans came out to show support and watch a documentary about the tragedy. These musicians, dressed in elaborate bird costumes, opened for the event.

My Love-Hate Relationship with KUOW

posted by on October 12 at 12:45 PM

Right now KUOW is in the midst of another of their excruciating beg-a-thons. Wherein they spend hours every day trying to guilt us in to sending them money. A period twice a year when I spend my time exploring other radio options (or working my fingers to the bone guest-Slogging).

Here’s my problem: I love NPR, PRI, and BBC. I love Car Talk, This American Life, Rick Steves, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. I used to like Tavis Smiley andFresh Air, before they got pulled (yes I know Tavis still has a measly hour on the weekend, and you can still stream Fresh Air, but what a pain).

Notice what is missing from my list? Anything local. KUOW is the conduit for all of the public radio that I like, but there is almost nothing in their locally produced line-up that does anything for me. I really hate The Conversation and Sound Focus. Weekday is hit and miss at best. I don’t think a single locally produced show is syndicated or broadcast on any other NPR affiliate. If KUOW got swallowed up, and I could easily get all my favorite national shows from another source, I don’t think I’d miss them very much.

So I keep sending KUOW money, but not much, and with very little enthusiasm.

I love the concept of public radio. I think they provide a much needed antidote to the right wing blowhards and the corporate-owned music stations. Air America is an interesting attempt to produce commercial left-wing radio, but I find them more irritating than entertaining, even if I agree with their underlaying opinions.

So I wish KUOW would up its game with better local programming. And I wish they could find a way to fundraise that didn’t make me want to stab my ears with ice picks. Ugh!

Oh, and for Mr. Poe:


And Now for a Moment of Pure Joy

posted by on October 12 at 12:39 PM


Discovering Jordan

posted by on October 12 at 12:35 PM

Seattle photographer Chris Jordan is like the fabled prophet who is unacceptable in his hometown. He is truly a poet of the trash heap, unearthing the meaning behind the massive quantities of refuse generated by Americans every single day. Past displays have included Intolerable Beauty, which featured richly textured landscapes of sawdust and abandoned freight cars and Portraits of Katrina presenting phenomenally detailed images of the flotsam and jetsam left behind in New Orleans. Despite a slew of remarkable exhibits in New York, San Francisco and at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, we have yet to see a significant showing of Jordan’s work here on his home turf.

Jordan’s current exhibit at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, called Running the Numbers, is extraordinary.



From Jordan’s statement:

This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. My underlying desire is to affirm and sanctify the crucial role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

RE: Every Child Deserves An Enabling Mother

posted by on October 12 at 12:03 PM

Speaking of really good parenting the homepage to Tallahassee, FL (wtf?!) brings us this heartwarming story of a mother who is making sure to teach her children useful life skills before sending them off into the world:

“A 43-year-old woman has been charged with a felony after prosecutors said she helped her son make pipe bombs in her home.”

I guess “useful life skills” is subjective and if your son is already on probation at sixteen, you have to be realistic about exactly which skills are going to get him that coveted fast food job.

Great Book Alert

posted by on October 12 at 11:52 AM

Gluten-Free Girl, Seattleite Shauna James Ahern’s book about living with joy and celebration amidst celiac disease, hits the shelves today. Ahern’s been interviewed extensively for the major papers in town, etc., but I’ve known of her for quite some time through her delightful and intense food blog. Ahern and her adoring/adorable new husband, the Chef, are in New York doing their own version of a book tour involving Central Park and a mass incantation of John Lennon’s Imagine.

I’m not gluten-free, myself. In fact I love gluten. (It does not love me. No matter.) However, Shauna’s recipes highlight what’s best about food and she works with seasonal, local produce as much as she can. And she writes a lot about local restaurants and markets, in lush, detailed prose that frequently gives me goosebumps.

Shauna and the Chef will be back in Seattle on October 20th, when you can meet them at the University District Farmers Market. They’ll be there for two hours (10 am to noon). I’ll definitely be stopping by to elevate my status from Blog Lurker to Person Shauna Has Actually Met.

Whose Side Are They On, Anyway?

posted by on October 12 at 11:45 AM

This week’s edition of Newsweek leads with a scathing report depicting a completely off their nut Blackwater running amok in Iraq.
Adding to an ever-increasing list of recently reported abuses, we can now add: drawing weapons on and detaining U.S. troops:
The lead graf:

The colonel was furious. “Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers.” He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad’s Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company.
These guys are totally, fucking out-of-control. (DHinMi at Daily Kos has a good analysis of the FUBAR’d situation here.)

Hello Slogland

posted by on October 12 at 11:36 AM

So, I’m proud to announce that, in honor of Freaky Friday tm, I slept through my alarm. In order to make it up to all of you who have been anxiously awaiting my arrival with breath baited, I am also happy to announce that I had the honor of meeting none other than Thom Felicia of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame at the infamously seedy and always interesting Pony last night. thomfelicia.jpgWhile the scheduled Pulp night wasn’t as packed as the DJs probably would have liked it to be by the time I left at 12:30, I’m pretty sure Thom’s arrival probably did something to liven up the party. I had the pleasure of running into him at the bar as I was closing my tab, and his manager/friend (I assume not just manager) Marc was a total sweetheart who offered to put me on “the list” for the Seattle Home Show this weekend, which is what brings Thom to Seattle in the first place. I’m a HUGE fan of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Thom specifically (did you see him tear up when that family sang them the song in the last episode!?! So sweet!) So this is all very exciting for me. (The Seattle Home show runs through Sunday at Qwest Field Event Center.) I will now go pick up my friend from the airport.

Re: Lukewarm Warm

posted by on October 12 at 11:20 AM

Well, some Seattle voters may be “all hot for Obama,” but apparently that love-fest doesn’t carry across the entire state.
A survey of Washington State voters conducted last week by pollsters Strategic Vision shows a strong preference for NY Senator Hillary Clinton over her main challenger, Illinois Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The poll, conducted October 5 through 7th queried 800 “likely voters” around the state and disputes the conventional wisdom that Obama leads Clinton as the preferred candidate in Washington, despite recent news reports of a big fundraising lead for the Obama campaign:

When Democratic voters were asked their preferences for the 2008 Presidential nomination, New York Senator Hillary Clinton led with 48%; Illinois Senator Barack Obama received 22% former North Carolina Senator John Edwards received 10%; New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson received 5%; Delaware Senator Joseph Biden received 3%; Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd 1%; Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich 1%; and 10% were undecided.
When Democratic voters were asked what they most looked for in a presidential candidate, charisma, experience, or ideology, 36% selected experience; 30% selected ideology; 18% said charisma; and 16% were undecided.”

On the GOP side, identified Republican voters indicated a weak plurality for former NY Hizzoner, Rudy Giuliani (37%), followed by late-entry codger Fred Thompson (20%), and a neck-and-neck race for third place between former MA Gov Mitt Romney (11%) and AZ Senator John McCain (10%).
Other survey responses show mixed support for Governor Christine Gregoire (48% approval versus 44% disapproval; 8% undecided), as well as a much closer potential 2008 rematch between the Gov and prospective GOP challenger Dino Rossi (47% to 45% support respectively).
Not surprisingly Washington voters took a decidedly dim view of President Bush’s overall job performance (20% approval; 69% disapproval), with a 71% negative response to his handling of the Iraq War against 19% approval.

Please Sir, May We Have Some More?

posted by on October 12 at 11:15 AM

Budget1.jpgOn Wednesday night I headed over to the city council chambers to hear the citizens’ review of the Mayor’s proposed 2008 budget. If you have never been to one of these meetings, they’re quite the spectacle. Everyone within city limits who has a cause to support or an axe to grind is entitled to 2 minutes in which to publicly thank the council, take them to task, or ask for more money. The council theoretically processes all this information and suggests changes to the proposed budget. True to form, close to 100 different groups and individuals showed up to plead their cases, which ranged from the seemingly trivial (building more outdoor public pools) to the plainly necessary (expanding the budgets of food banks to afford fresh fruits and vegetables.)

Two causes in particular caught my attention and seemed worth discussing in much greater detail. First, a coalition of Human Service providers came forward to propose an alternative city budget. Among their detail was $12.5 million dollars which would form the base of a Housing Site Acquisition fund. The money would be available to non-profit organizations, including ad hoc tenants’ groups, so that they could quickly make down payments on apartment buildings that go on the market. The idea is that this would help save affordable housing and limit the number of apartment buildings bought by developers and turned into condos before the tenants even have the chance to get laughed out of a bank office. Among other supporters, Tim Harris of Real Change gave a passionate and well reasoned defense of the proposal, noting that Washington D.C. already has a similar $15 million fund in place, and New York has an available fund of $240 million. Apparently the idea was originally proposed by Councilman Rasmussen and has been circulating for a while. Perhaps the time is right to use of some of the Seattle Housing Levy to help low-income people buy their own property and stay in this city?
The cause which drew the biggest crowd, by far, was the restoration of funding for the Cascade People’s Center. The CPC is a volunteer-run facility providing free programs for people in the South Lake Union neighborhood. They estimate that more than 8,000 people use the center each year. The City has been the single biggest supporter, providing the bulk of the CPC’s operating budget for the last 8 years. This year, the proposed city budget cuts funding entirely, leaving the center floundering for funds, and most likely shutting down. In response, the CPC has been mounting a powerful letter-writing campaign and staged a rally of support in which 100-odd people marched to City Hall with banners and flags and said their piece at the meeting. Supporters made the smart strategic move of letting the kids speak. It was a tremendous show of support. Whether or not it manages to budge the city council is, of course, a different question.

$$$ Burner Is Loaded $$$

posted by on October 12 at 11:12 AM

The Darcy Burner campaign announced today that they have raised more than $300,000 in the third quarter of 2007. She has a much better start than she did in the last attempt to unseat Dave Reichert from the 8th District. Reichert hasn’t reported in yet, but he has so far fallen well behind his fundraising when compared to the last election cycle.

If money were all that mattered, then it is looking more likely than ever that Burner could take the swing 8th District next year. However, she still has to campaign effectively. The thrust of her entire campaign so far has been the anti-Bush candidate and the anti-Reichert candidate. She has had little success in promoting much of a positive image about herself. Instead, she has tied Bush to Reichert like an anchor, hoping to drag Reichert down. And with Bush having a 20% approval rating in WA, that may seem like a good strategy. Indeed, a huge chunk of her fundraising this quarter came from an event staged to protest a Bush/Reichert fundraising junket.

The trouble is, that is what she did last time, and it didn’t work. Reichert, widely regarded as one of the least competent Republicans in congress, is still happily representing the 8th District.

Like Hillary, Burner has become the defacto front runner for the next 8th District campaign. Her once primary opponent has bowed out already without even getting his campaign off the ground. I hope she wins, because Reichert is a douche bag, and she’s right that he is a shill for all of Bush’s worst policies. But she is going to have to up her game if she doesn’t want to repeat her loss a second time. Tieing the Bush anchor to Reichert is only half the battle. She needs to more effectively promote her positive attributes, and not spend all her time hounding Reichert’s (considerable) negatives.

On a positive note, with all the money she’s raising, hopefully she can do better than this next time:

Every Candidate Deserves an Opponent

posted by on October 12 at 11:08 AM

Tell me, beloveds. Who SHOULD have opposed Tom Rasmussen for City Council Position No. 5?

Scientist Pleads Guilty, But Not to Bioterrorism

posted by on October 12 at 11:03 AM

Critical Art Ensemble, “dedicated to exploring the intersections between art, technology, radical politics and critical theory,” took yet another one for Team Science today. CAE (not to be confused with Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis, a goat disease) is home and playground to Dr. Robert Ferrell, a professor of Human Genetics; the scientist is known for his high-tech art involving harmless bacteria. He may be facing twenty years in prison for being innovative.

A few years ago, the Dep’t of Justice slapped Ferrell with charges of bioterrorism. When those charges could not be substantiated, after lots of money and lots of time had been spent trying to make them stick, the DOJ downgraded the crime to mere mail and wire fraud. Today, a press release from the CAE Defense Fund announces that Ferrell has pled guilty to these smaller charges in order to avoid a federal trial. The mail and wire fraud charges involve some technicalities over how Ferrell and his colleague Steve Kurtz handled the transfer of funds and equipment during the research and installment of the project.

This exhibit, dubbed “The Marching Plague” and involving petri dishes full of Serratia marcescens (an anthrax simulant, albeit a harmless one), is one of the traveling installations under fire.

Looking over the case, it doesn’t seem that Dr. Ferrell’s so much scared of the DOJ as he is really really sick. The man has had non-Hodgkins lymphoma for the past 27 years, malignant melanoma, and three strokes since the charges were brought against him. I think he’s just tired.

Come on, science! Are you going to let the government bully you around like this? At least twenty years in jail isn’t as bad as decapitation or getting burned at the stake. I guess that would depend on which jail you’re in, though.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 12 at 11:00 AM

Punk Rock

Black Lips at Crocodile

Black Lips have been making a lot of noise about how their wild days are over—no more live chickens, no more peeing in their own mouths—but that doesn’t mean their live shows aren’t still totally righteous. They call their jams “flower punk,” but their latest record, Good Bad Not Evil, is a triumph of nefarious garage-rock revival. The song “Bad Kids” might incite a riot with the crowd, who will surely be drunk and disorderly. With the Spits and the Girls. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 9 pm, $12, 21+.)


Zombies FTW

posted by on October 12 at 10:58 AM

For all you FPS and zombie obsessed freaks (I know you are out there. Game Fuel in one hand, House of the Dead in your Xbox)… I offer this comedy routine for your enjoyment:

Puppy Lovers: No Longer Safe from Society

posted by on October 12 at 10:49 AM

It is not safe or smart to wire money for a puppy you have never seen. It quite possibly does not exist.

But Is It Art?

posted by on October 12 at 10:24 AM

A what point does a home become a work of Art?

I knew nothing of architecture growing up, like many Americans of my generation, in a subdivision filled with nearly identical 1960s and 70s cracker boxes. Then one fateful day as a young teenager I walked into the Fay Jones designed Nance Residence and it’s no exaggeration to say that my view of the world was transformed.
My best friend in high school lived there, and I got to know the house very well. Over the years, I was amazed to constantly discover new features of the design. The glass walls, fountains, metal sculptures, and built-in cabinetry all integrate seamlessly with the house’s natural setting and their relationships to each other. Even more sublime is the way that Jones wove both natural and artificial light into the composition. In the interior photo, you can see the clerestory window in the gable allowing soft sunlight to filter through, while a complex system of soffit lighting and hand-made recessed lighting covers shield the eye from the glare of light bulbs. The massive stone hearth (one of three in the house) along with the stone floor evoke powerful primitive feelings of shelter, permanence, peace and security, while the residents watch the colorful, ever-changing seasons from the comfort of the interior. Like his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jones preferred very low ceiling heights in entries and hallways as a psychological method of pushing people out of those transitional areas and into the more grand living and entertaining spaces. Jones’s style has at times been called neo-craftsman but is more broadly considered to be an example of Organic Architecture.

When most people think of modern design, they often picture Bauhaus/International style white surfaces, minimalism, rooms that are only to be looked at –never touched, and 2001: A Kitchen Odyssey. Organic design celebrates colors, shapes and textures, especially exotic ones.

Organic Architecture emerged as a reaction to the mechanization and de-humanization of the Industrial Revolution. As a style, it’s characterized by designs inspired by forms and materials occurring in nature, integration of the site within the overall composition of the home, an informal arrangement of interior spaces, and a deep personalization of the home to the needs of the owners. The purpose of the structure is often to soothe the soul and provide inspirational beauty as well as shelter. Louis Sullivan is frequently credited as the father of the Organic Architecture movement in the late 1800s, but it was his master apprentice, Frank Lloyd Wright, who brought the practice into the mainstream. Wright’s influence on American architecture is well documented (perhaps overly so), and even the generic ranch houses of my youth were simply poor copies of Wright’s most popular designs. It was the generation that studied and learned from Wright who created some of the most memorable residential architecture of the 20th century and an enduring school of American design.

Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son (I’m sure he never got tired of being introduced that way), lived in Los Angeles and further refined many of his father’s concepts. Free of the tyranny of cold winters in this mild climate. Lloyd created some of LA’s most recognizable masterpieces, including the gorgeous, copper clad Samuel-Novarro House:
And the Meso-American temple inspired Sowden House:
While the Samuel-Novarro House is slightly more traditional in concept, the Sowden House eschews tradition entirely and features concrete blocks on the fascia which have been imprinted with stylized leaves, branches and grass on the columns and abstract cloud formations on the eaves. The rectangular shaped house wraps around a central courtyard creating its own little world; an oasis in the heart of Los Angeles.

John Lautner was another architect who became widely celebrated late in his career for his unusual and unorthodox designs, including the Sheats-Goldstein Residence seen in many, many films and commercials.
Some Organic modern homes don’t even look like homes at all. Such is the case with Bart Prince’s Sun Valley House:
Or the recently completed Desert House by Kendrick Kellogg.
And before you think that Organic Architecture only applies to energy-inefficient, single family homes, it should be noted that Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, British architects Foster and Partners, and America’s own Frank Gehry have created truly stunning examples of commercial, multi-family residential and civic spaces that are on the cutting edge of 21st Century Modernism and follow many of the tenets of Organic design.

Truly the most striking feature of these creations is their originality, their independence from the vast majority of the architectural world in which they inhabit, and the fact that they existed solely in the mind of the architect, who was then able to transcribe these imaginative flights of fancy into drawings that builders, artists and craftsman made real.

The main drawback to this style of design, especially in residential construction, is that it can be prohibitively expensive due to the fact that most everything in the home, including doors, windows and so forth, must be assembled and constructed onsite, and the often complex design requirements may require pricey materials, costly engineering and consultations with specialists. Anyone with enough money can build an expensive house or building, but all it takes is access to real estate websites to prove the hypothesis that bad taste knows no price-point.

It takes vision, trust, a willingness to take creative risks and a passion for the highest quality of craftsmanship to create a home that is a work of Art with a capital “A.”

Fun Facts: October 12, 2007

posted by on October 12 at 10:13 AM

In honor of this momentous occasion, I decided to take a look at significant events and personages who can also claim this day as their own. But man, who knew today was so chock-a-block full of historical events and celebrity birthdays? Certainly not me. Here’s just a tip of the proverbial iceberg:
This Day In History:
1492 – Columbus arrives in Bahamas (Columbus Day first celebrated this
day in 1792)
1609 – Children’s rhyme “Three Blind Mice” first published in London
1692 – Massachusetts colony discontinues witch trials
1775 – U.S. Navy established
1879 – British Troops capture Kabul Afghanistan
1892 – Pledge of Allegiance first recited in U.S. public schools
1915 – 1 millionth Ford “Model-T” rolls off assembly line
1918 – Boston Children’s Hospital begins first use of “iron lung”
1960 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds shoe at U.N. General Assembly
1964 – Voskhod 1 launched; first 3 man space crew
1971 – “Jesus Christ Superstar” opens at Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York
1973 – Juan Peron elected president of Argentina; Nixon nominates Gerald R. Ford to replace Spiro T. Agnew as Vice President
1978 – Sid Vicious charged in murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen
1992 – “Howard Stern Radio Show” premieres on Albany, NY station WQBK
2000 – USS Cole bombed in Port of Aden, Yemen, killing 17 sailors
2004 – Seattle Storm take WNBA crown in 2-1 series victory over Connecticut Sun
2007 – Slog inmates take over asylum; mayhem ensues.
(Timeline courtesy of
Today’s Birthdays:
Luciano Pavarotti, opera tenor,1935
Hugh Jackman, hunky Aussie,1968
Kirk Cameron, banana smoker, 1970
Marion Jones, steroid abuser, 1975
Bode Miller, ski bum, 1977
(Thanks to Celebrity Link.)
So, waddayasay? If you can’t find something in all of that to celebrate, you’re just not trying very hard.

Lukewarm Warm

posted by on October 12 at 10:09 AM

So it looks as though the Cold War is having a resurgence as the “Lukewarm War of Moderate Lameness” (trademark pending)(wait, don’t try to verify that). The US Army Europe commander finds it necessary to keep more troops in Europe to protect against the possible Russian Threat. (Even reading it, I feel as though I am now living through the 60s)

However, I would guess that if Russia is building up their military it is because we want to build missile defense facilities near their borders….

I wonder how long this strained relationship with Putin and the Russian government can last. Will Bush and Co. be able to gain ground or will we be stuck in another proliferations war, during the time our military is stretched to the limit in Southeast Asia. I know that many people in Seattle are all hot for Obama, but honestly do you think he has the experience and finesse to deal with these diplomatic issues that will be coming up in 2009, his first year as president?

As we all can recall, Obama has been known to say some asshole things about Pakistan, making him looks completely out of his element in regard to diplomacy and tact.

Every Child Deserves An Enabling Mother

posted by on October 12 at 9:54 AM

Good morning, starshines! I bring you this heartwarming story of a mother who wants nothing more than to help her kid realize his dreams. It’s like a Citibank commercial, except with assault rifles.

“I think you have a parent who has fallen down on the job in supervising the child, perhaps indulgent on the child because she knows he has issues,” he said before her arrest.

Yes. Because every child with issues should be purchasing firearms and bomb-making equipment.

A Very Special Interview with Anti-Marriage Equality Justice Barbara Madsen

posted by on October 12 at 9:32 AM

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how a person with a conscience could write the majority opinion in which the Washington State Supreme court denied gay men and lesbians the right to marry. The only way to answer that question is to ask Justice Madsen herself. (Please note that the following conversation takes place entirely in my imagination and is therefore 1,000 percent accurate. Feel free to crib the questions and the answers for candidate interviews!).

…ring …ring

JUSTICE MADSEN: Hello, Dr. Dobson?

ORIGINAL ANDREW: No, this is Original Andrew calling for our scheduled interview.

MADSEN: Right, sorry, I was expecting a very important call from Colorado Springs. So, you mentioned that your readers would like to know more about me since I’ll probably be running for re-election in 2010.

OA: Yes, so let’s start with your background.

MADSEN: Well, my official bio on the Washington Courts home page says that I grew up in Renton and graduated from the University of Washington in 1974, then earned my law degree from Gonzaga University in 1977. I worked as a public defender, Seattle city prosecutor, then as a Municipal Judge before being elected to the Washington State Supreme Court in 1992. I’ve received a ton of important sounding awards, none of which are relevant right now but all of which are strangely ironic given my recent ruling. I’m also the chair of the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission, which must be one of those right-wing Republican groups whose goal is the opposite of what its name implies.

My husband and I have four children, and we never had to suffer the indignity of begging the courts and those piranhas in the legislature to allow us to get married.

OA: Uh, right. So, let’s talk about the Andersen case. Tell us why gay men and women don’t deserve equality.

MADSEN: Now hold on one moment, I never said that. If you read my ruling closely, you’ll notice that it’s chock-a-block full of meaningless moral equivocations and focus group tested lies that I used to totally abdicate my ethical and legal responsibilities to protect minorities from the tyranny of a majority that pathologically hates them for their own specious reasons.

OA: In other words, you don’t agree with the legislature’s debasement and denigration of an entire group of people and their families to score cheap political points, but you’ll happily rubber stamp it.

MADSEN: Only if it’s politically expedient, and you can bet that Gerry Alexander will back me up on that. Look, I’m against all forms of discrimination, except when I’m for them, which is only when it matters. Just like I’m against judicial lynching, literally and figuratively, except when I hear about two men or two women who need the rights, responsibilities and protections that civil marriage provides, then I’m all for it. And I totally believe in equal protection, but only as long as it just means that all wealthy, white heterosexuals are treated the same under the law.

Besides, I noted in my ruling that there is no discrimination since neither a man nor a woman may marry someone of the same sex, which I really can’t take credit for since it’s a copy and paste job from the rulings of those racist judges in the South who wrote that bans on inter-racial marriage aren’t discriminatory because neither whites nor blacks may marry someone of the other race so everyone is treated the same. (Laughs) Those white trash crackers really knew how to turn their state constitutions into an open sham with an Orwellian-style turn of a phrase, didn’t they?

Continue reading "A Very Special Interview with Anti-Marriage Equality Justice Barbara Madsen" »

Brand Upon the Brain!

posted by on October 12 at 9:30 AM

I saw Brand Upon the Brain! last night at the the Cinerama, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was an extremely rare cinema experience. Once in a lifetime, I daresay. A silent film, featuring exclusively local actors, shown with a live score performed by a 15-piece orchestra. Plus, three lab coat-wearing mad scientists (from the ever-creative Aono Jikken Ensemble) generating all of the sound effects from the floor of the theater. Their array of sound toys was just mind-boggling. A creaking door sound made by sliding together pieces of ratcheted wood. The bubbling beakers in a lab mimicked by one of those beer-straw caps. The amazingly accurate sound of a fire created with cellophane and bubble wrap. And to top it off, the film’s writer and director providing narration. The choreography of these 20-odd people with the movie was flawless—beautifully conceived and perfectly timed.

Brand Upon the Brain!

All of that being said, I found the film itself to be rather silly. It started out as a very promising melodrama, as the lead character returns home to an isolated lighthouse after a 30 year absence. You get the feeling that it is going to evolve into a melancholy meditation on nostalgia and solitude, but instead it launches into 50 directions at once, becoming a campy zombie-Hardy Boys-Psycho mash-up. Buñuel this ain’t. It’s being screened at the Northwest Film Forum for the next four days with a pre-recorded soundtrack and narration.

As a live spectacle? I wouldn’t have missed it. As a film by itself? I wouldn’t bother.

I Love Television, Original Andrew™ Edition

posted by on October 12 at 9:00 AM

If the first step is admitting that you have a problem then well, we’ve got a major fucking problem: T.V. these days sucks balls, and not in the way that makes you beg your significant other to call in sick and play hooky together (again). Even Television Without Pity has run out of euphemisms for “this show is shit,” and hasn’t Gossip Girl already caused too many suicides?

But never fear! With some creative remote control button pushing and DVD magic, euphoric bliss with the TV wire mommy can still be yours.

This Week on Television

Sunday, 9:00 pm (PBS): The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. Sergeant Barbara Havers is hot on the trail of London’s latest notorious murderer, and she’s gonna kick some cheerio ass, even if it does mean extra paperwork. Inspector Lynley shows up occasionally and acts all dour, but it doesn’t matter ‘cause the show’s really about Havers—who totally rulz! Blimey!

Monday, 8:00 pm (DVD): 9 to 5. Movie night! Three secretaries kidnap and torture their sadistic boss, then conquer their office in the greatest marijuana-fueled, socialist How-To video of all time! 9 to 5 veterans will especially enjoy the “Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot” edition with the optional Spanish subtitles. No where else will you learn phrases like “Violet, cariño, ¿puedes venir un momento?” and “¡se disparó desde adentro de mi bolsa!”

Tuesday, 8:00 pm (DVD): Remington Steele, Season 3, Steele in the Chips. All hell breaks loose when Remington and Laura are hired to find the inventor of the zero-calorie chocolate chip cookie. Don’t fret, Midred Krebs, IRS, has their backs.

Wednesday, 8:00 pm (DVD): Veronica Mars, Season 1, M.A.D. Revenge is a dish best served sweet, or something. When Tad blackmails Carmen to stay together with him by threatening to post a humiliating cell-phone video of her doing something unspeakable with a popsicle in the hot-tub at Shelley Pomroy’s infamous party, she doesn’t get mad –she hires Veronica to take the chump down. How far will Veronica go? Press play and find out, but be forewarned that this explosive episode may end with mutually assured destruction.

Thursday, 9:00 pm (HGTV): Divine Design. In the beginning, there was Candice Olson. Over the years, HGTV has oscillated from architecture to silly “fix up my house for $50” shows to “quick, help me selling my ratty house with the exploding subprime mortgage” shows. But no one can touch Candice, and she will out-decorate your ass to the moon and back. Kenneth Brown tried to compete and she cut him. Bad.

Friday, 8:00 pm (DVD): Magnum, P.I. Season 4, I Witness. Magnum is called to suss out the facts and provide consoling moustache rides when the King Kamehameha club is robbed, and Higgins, T.C. and Rick all have conflicting accounts of what happened. You’ll be on the edge of your seat and Magnum’s face for the fourth season finale!

Saturday: Get off the sofa, out of the house and put your “structurally perfect, honey-baked ham” to good use!

Gore Announcement Inevitable… Or Not

posted by on October 12 at 8:43 AM

Now that Gore has won an Emmy and an Academy Award and a Nobel, how can he not run? TIME magazine predicts he will not.

Personally, I predict he will not run. The risk is too high. If he runs and loses, he will forfeit all of the prestige and credibility he has spent so much effort building over the last few years. He seems sincerely focused on the issues of global climate change. He has found his bully pulpit. Why risk losing that just for another bully pulpit—one with more shackles?

He could, in theory, use all his current prestige to launch himself past Hillary, Obama, and Edwards, and hopefully all the way to the White House. But running for president is a huge distraction and a full-time job. And if he gets Swiftboated and runs a shitty campaign (à la 2000), and loses, his environmental movement will lose all headway. Both he, personally, and the climate change movement he has spearheaded will spend the next several years floundering in the wind, right when they should be at the apex of their movement. Their momentum will be lost. Even spending the next year campaigning, win or lose, would be a huge distraction, sapping his time and attention, and stalling his movement.

Right now, the 2008 election solidly favors any of the leading Democratic candidates over any of the Republicans. So there is no need for Gore to ride in to “rescue” the Democrats (assuming he could). If Obama or Hillary or Edwards wins, Gore will be one of the most powerful non-political leaders in the world. He could demand and get any position he wanted from them. Like head of the Environmental Protection Agency, or Ambassador to the UN. With any of these roles, he’d have even more power to affect the world’s efforts to curb global warming. He could all but dictate the environmental policies of any of the democratic contenders, without having to actually run for president himself.

If he is serious about his current role, a world leader in the environmental movement, he will not run for president. He can use all of his awards and prestige and credibility to forward his environmental movement, or he can use it to run for president, but he cannot do both.

Curiouser and Curiouser George

posted by on October 12 at 8:36 AM

Author George Saunders is getting a lot of well deserved attention these days. I happened to meet Saunders one evening many years ago at a bar in Rochester, New York, just before he published his first book of stories, “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.” Inspired by our meeting, I sought out a story that had just been published in a small local lit journal. I loved it, and have held on to it ever since. I offer it as an opening salvo.

Sticks by George Saunders.

Every year on Thanksgiving night we flocked out behind Dad as he dragged the Santa suit to the road and draped it over a kind of crucifix he’d built out of metal pole in the yard. Super Bowl week the pole was dressed in a jersey and Rod’s helmet and Rod had to clear it with Dad if he wanted to take the helmet off. On the Fourth of July the pole was Uncle Sam, on Veterans Day a soldier, on Halloween a ghost. The pole was Dad’s only concession to glee. We were allowed a single Crayola from the box at a time. One Christmas Eve he shrieked at Kimmie for wasting an apple slice. He hovered over us as we poured ketchup saying: good enough good enough good enough. Birthday parties consisted of cupcakes, no ice cream. The first time I brought a date over she said: what’s with your dad and that pole? and I sat there blinking.

We left home, married, had children of our own, found the seeds of meanness blooming also within us. Dad began dressing the pole with more complexity and less discernible logic. He draped some kind of fur over it on Groundhog Day and lugged out a floodlight to ensure a shadow. When an earthquake struck Chile he lay the pole on its side and spray painted a rift in the earth. Mom died and he dressed the pole as Death and hung from the crossbar photos of Mom as a baby. We’d stop by and find odd talismans from his youth arranged around the base: army medals, theater tickets, old sweatshirts, tubes of Mom’s makeup. One autumn he painted the pole bright yellow. He covered it with cotton swabs that winter for warmth and provided offspring by hammering in six crossed sticks around the yard. He ran lengths of string between the pole and the sticks, and taped to the string letters of apology, admissions of error, pleas for understanding, all written in a frantic hand on index cards. He painted a sign saying LOVE and hung it from the pole and another that said FORGIVE? and then he died in the hall with the radio on and we sold the house to a young couple who yanked out the pole and the sticks and left them by the road on garbage day.

Morning News

posted by on October 12 at 8:23 AM

They’re In The Money: China’s September U.S. trade surplus climbs to $23.9 billion, up 56% from 2006.

What, No Recount?: Al Gore, U.N. panel split 2007
Nobel Peace Prize

Turkey Trots: Ambassador recalled after U.S. House committee votes to condemn Armenian genocide.

But Does It Still Pay Better Than Blackwater?: U.S. special forces offered six-figure bonuses to keep
their asses in harm’s way

With Friends Like These: Ex-Veep Mondale endorses Hillary; meanwhile Giuliani gets nod from former rival Thompson.

McIver Released With “No Contact” Order: Judge waives bail on promise of “no talking, no drinking & no shooting.” Licata still mum on possible Council punishment.

Where No Woman Has Gone Before: First Female Commander, first Malaysian astronaut docks with International Space Station.

“Material Girl” Indeed: Madonna inks $120 million recording/concert deal with Live Nation; Ticketmaster, Warner Music shit pants.

National Book Award Finalists Announced: Alexie, Forney tapped in Young People’s Lit category.

The Voice of (t)Reason

posted by on October 12 at 8:03 AM

Pop quiz, hotshot: Who said this?

Many in Congress deeply regret having voted President Bush a blank check for war in October 2002. And they are frustrated at their inability to compel him to begin bringing the troops home.

Why, then, is Congress pushing for a new confrontation, with Iran, which could involve us in a war with a nation four times the size of Iraq?

U.S. air strikes on the Quds Force in Iran would bring retaliation, and escalation to U.S. strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. This would solidify the mullahs and could lead to Iran’s distributing surface-to-air missiles to agents and proxies in the Middle East, the unleashing of Shia attacks against our allies and a hellish situation for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention attacks on Gulf tankers, $200-a-barrel oil, a worldwide recession and a 2,000-point plunge in the Dow.
Iran cannot want a war with the United States. If it did, it could have had that war any time in the last 30 years. But Iran did not start any war in those three decades.

If we are going to war, Congress, not George Bush, should take us into it. Isn’t that how the Constitution reads?

Was it La La Land limousine liberal Arianna Huffington or communist America-hating traitor Cindy Sheehan who DARED to say it?

Was it YOU??

Well, que sorpresa, it was in fact proud culture warrior Pat Buchanan. You may remember Herr Buchanan as the former Nixon speechwriter whose little address to the 1992 Republican Party National Convention scared the pants off America to the point that we all voted for Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton so that he could touch our naughty parts and make us feel better.

Pat’s politics have tremendous appeal to that large segment of the American voting public whose right arms are permanently locked at an out-stretched 45-degree angle. You know, the kind of lovely folks from the Republican Party of Personal Responsibility® who have the courage to blame the Jews, Hispanics, homosexuals, blacks and women for all of their problems.

Dude, seriously, how extremist does your Party have to be that Pat “Sieg Heil” Buchanan is now the voice of caution and moderation?

Al Gore, Nobel Laureate

posted by on October 12 at 8:00 AM

As was widely predicted, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In no less important Nobel news, the guys who invented iPod technology also won a prize.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is Stephen Holden Off His Rocker?

posted by on October 11 at 6:25 PM

With supergenius Manohla Dargis in its ranks, the New York Times film section isn’t in any kind of crisis. But perhaps somebody ought to put the editing reins on Mr. Holden, whose piece about the New York Film Festival contains each of the following phrases:

my longstanding resistance to animation

What? I mean, that phrase would be lame if it ended in “graphic novels,” but in film, where animation practically preceded live action (if you count early trompe l’oeil technologies), began in earnest in the ’00s, and is well represented in avant garde movements…. I don’t know how to respond.

Both films [Pan’s Labyrinth and Persepolis] are immeasurably enriched by examining war and social upheaval through innocent female eyes.

Please note the protagonist is probably 30 by the end of Persepolis, which encompasses much of the plot of the book Persepolis 2. So much for the film’s “tacit” feminism.

And, um,

Laugh-out-loud humor is a scarce commodity at any film festival, but there are yucks galore in…


Hearts and Minds

posted by on October 11 at 6:18 PM

From the AP:

A U.S. attack killed 19 insurgents and 15 civilians, including nine children, northwest of the capital Thursday—one of the heaviest civilian death tolls in an American operation in recent months. The military said it was targeting senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

But the military would say that, wouldn’t it? And at what point do we run out of “senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq”? Will it be before or after we run out of Iraqi civilians?

People Have Been Selling Dangerous Drugs to Our Children!

posted by on October 11 at 6:13 PM

But they’re legal drugs, and giant corporations were doing the selling, so no biggie.

First They Came for the Thong Panty Liners…

posted by on October 11 at 6:00 PM

…and I didn’t speak up because—wait a minute. Thong panty liners? I’ve never heard of thong panty liners and they’ve already come for them? Anyway, an artist in Colorado Springs is being censored—CENSORED, PEOPLE!—because The Man, or someone, doesn’t dig her thong panty liner art.


The piece is called “Freedom,” and it seems that the Powers That Be hate artist Jocely Nevel’s freedom. A lot. Newspeakblog is all over it.

All is Forgiven

posted by on October 11 at 5:44 PM

The mastermind of the first terror attack on the World Trade Center—the truck-bomb attack in ‘93, which inspired Rudy Guiliani to move the city’s crisis response center into the WTC—has converted to Christianity.

Outsourced Goes Down the Boob Tube

posted by on October 11 at 5:37 PM

The locally produced comedy Outsourced has landed where, in my opinion, it belonged in the first place: TV. It’s being developed for a pilot by the director (John Jeffcoat) along with screenwriter George Wing and director Ken Kwapis. The majority of pilots never make it to screen, but Outsourced’s heartwarming ethnic hee-haws might be just the ticket.

Flickr Photo of the Week

posted by on October 11 at 4:57 PM

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


Why doesn’t this ever happen when I go to 7-Eleven? Nothing so magical ever happens at that 7-Eleven at 15th and Denny…

High fives to sharp-shooter It Thinks It’s People!

Bobby Brown Has No Stinking Heart…Attack?

posted by on October 11 at 4:34 PM

Because Bobby Brown is Bobby Brown and what the hell did you expect him to do, Bobby Brown has categorically denied the heart attack he so totally had just yesterday. Observe:

Bobby Brown’s spokeswoman Paedra Parks said he had suffered a “mild heart attack,” but Brown denies the reports, insisting his doctor gave him a “clean bill of health.”

“I don’t know where the heart attack thing came from. I got my heart and everything checked out earlier this morning, and I’m just fine.”

Indeed. And that’s all I’m saying about that, or anything else today. So just lay off, mean people.

Love in Action

posted by on October 11 at 3:41 PM

Given a choice between their gay friends and relatives and a religion—Christianity, liberal, conservative, whatever—defined by anti-gay bigotry, young people are choosing their gay friends and relatives. Good job, Rev. Hutcherson.

Ecce Homo

posted by on October 11 at 3:38 PM

Sorry, ma.

Today in Line Out

posted by on October 11 at 3:30 PM

Soundtrack for a Morning at the DMV: Jonathan Zwickel finds common ground with a woman and her Cubicle of Apathy.

Dyme Def: Their future looks bright.

Truth in Justice?: Eric Grandy isn’t the only one wondering about the authenticity of Justice’s religious iconography.

Iran So Far Away: Trent Moorman introduces you to Hypernova, one of Iran’s illegal rock bands.

The Score Extras: Christopher Delaurenti adds a few more musts to this week’s concert listings.

Bill Callahan in Video: Sam Machkovech went to last night’s show and brought back a couple songs just for you.

New JEW: Jimmy Eat World are still a great pop band, too bad their new album isn’t a great pop album.

Having a Halloween (Public) Party?: Tell us about it!

Freaky Friday is Coming: Tomorrow!

Slutty Things to be for Halloween: Ari Spool’s new favorite holiday song.

Here’s 100 seconds of cuteness:

(Hat tip to Robby.)

These Things

posted by on October 11 at 3:25 PM

Her shoes:

The table cover:

Choklate’s hat:

O They Will Know We Are Conservative Christians By…

posted by on October 11 at 3:21 PM

pedophile clowns.

An Illinois man who worked as a “Christian clown” named Klutzo was arrested yesterday on child pornography charges for allegedly taking naked photographs of young boys at a Philippines orphanage…. Regarding the naked photos of young boys, Carlock explained, “That’s how they live.” Three of the boys seen in the photos told investigators they woke up to find Carlock fondling and caressing them. On his web site, Carlock (who has worked with his wife, a fellow clown) describes himself as a Christian clown who performs at parties, picnics, vacation Bible school, children’s church. Carlock told investigators that he previously traveled to the House of Joy in 2004 and visited a Mexican orphanage in 2002. He also reported being an ordained minister who has been involved in pastoral ministry, Christian education and camping, and evangelism since 1967.

There’s video of the Christian clown at work up at TheSmokingGun. Thanks to Slog tipper Griffith.

Doris Lessing to the Nobel Committee: Whatever With You

posted by on October 11 at 3:20 PM

Doris Lessing, who is not Philip Roth, won the Nobel Prize for Literature, it was announced today. There’s a post on the Guardian’s book blog by John Mullan, who interviewed Lessing earlier this year—a gloss of her career, a mention of the fact that she’s the oldest writer to ever win and only the eleventh female, etc. And then, toward the end, this sentence: “The prize money and the recognition will both no doubt be welcome.”

That’s not what the Associated Press is reporting. According to this story, Lessing said when she heard the news: “I couldn’t care less.” And then she said: “I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I’m delighted to win them all, the whole lot, OK?”

Surrounded by members of the international media in her flower-packed garden, Lessing was dismissive of the Nobel — calling the award process graceless and saying the prize “doesn’t mean anything artistically.”

She acknowledged the $1.5 million cash award was a lot of money, but still seemed less than thrilled.

“I’m already thinking about all the people who are going to send me begging letters — I can see them lining up now,” she said. The phone in her house, audible from the street, rang continuously.

You rule, old lady.

Lynwood Convention Center: “Watchmen is a Pro-Israel Group!”

posted by on October 11 at 2:50 PM

After reading David Schmader’s post, I sent an email to the Lynwood Convention Center with the subject “Would you invite the KKK to the Lynwood Convention Center?”

I just received this email from the general manager.

Dear Steven: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts regarding the upcoming Watchman on the Walls conference coming to the Lynnwood Convention Center. While we appreciate your concerns regarding outside activities relating to this group, we are not in a position to deny their right to assemble in a public facility.

The Watchmen on the Walls have met recently in several locations in the Greater Puget Sound to include the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue and the Seattle Sheraton. In both instances, they drew no public attention in the form of protests or violence. In fact, you are the first person to inquire about this group.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and concerns. Please do not hesitate to call me directly if you have additional questions.

Warmest regards,

Eddie T.L. Tadlock

General Manager

Lynnwood Convention Center (SMG)

Which “Watchmen” group did you invite, Eddie? Are you sure you picked the right one? Absolutely positive?

One is a pro-hate anti-gay extremist group, the other is a Christian pro-Israel group.

One has a website with klesmer music, the other has a website with pictures of a blood soaked manhatten skyline.

I really hope you picked the one with the Klesmer music, Eddie. Otherwise, I’m going to have to protest.


Eddie acknowledged via email that he invited a “pro-hate group.” But also said the Lynwood Convention Center “does not condone activities of any organization that promotes hate.”

You really can’t have it both ways, Eddie.

Tomorrow Is Freaky Friday

posted by on October 11 at 1:56 PM

Meet your Freaky Friday Sloggers! Stop by tomorrow and cheer or heckle; they’ll be posting between 8 am and 6 pm (PST).


Callie is a 26-year -old Washington native who grew up on the sleepy streets of Olympia. She graduated from UW in 2004 with a BA in Latin American studies and immediately put it to (not at all) applicable use as an assistant in a life insurance office for the past four years. As of last week, she can no longer call herself gainfully employed and plans to take off for Europe in November. Callie is a constant Slog lurker and occasional commenter who worries that she will not have an easy time producing content to Slog about, as she currently gets pretty much all of her useful information from Slog. She is a liberal, pro-choice, pro LGBT rights, booze-slugging Yahtzee and local-music enthusiast with a predilection for acting like a dirty old man. If anyone wants to employ her after she returns stateside in December she can be found on Slog calling Mr. Poe names, exalting Fnarf, and ignoring Mudede’s posts.


Gurldoggie lives in the Ravenna neighborhood with a gorgeous woman, four chickens, and various cats. A dedicated biker, doper, and renter.


SDA is an openly gay man in his mid 40s. He was born outside the U.S., but lived in America most of his life. SDA enlisted in the military right after high school and served 8 years. A little over 20 years ago, he got his U.S. Citizenship, came out of the closet, moved to Seattle, finished college, and found a boyfriend—all within a few of years. (The two have been together ever since.) He’s now self-employed, working odd and random hours, which is why he has the freedom to spend so much time being a Slog nerd.


Besides regularly shooting his mouth of on the Slog, Comte is a 22-year veteran of the Seattle theatre [his spelling] scene, having worked as an actor, director, technician—even a couple of stints as a playwright—at most of the smaller, and a few of the larger, companies around town. Currently, he is the membership director for the Seattle local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and is also the facilities manager and communications coordinator for Annex Theatre, where he’s been a Company member since 1989. Find Comte online here.


Katelyn is a slightly poverty-stricken food geek in love with the internet and local hiphop. She doesn’t make her bed even though her bedroom is right off the kitchen and everyone can see the mess. Katelyn’s backyard is home to two strapping kiwi trees; also, some stray cats prowl there. She currently labors as a massage therapist for an athletic club downtown. In her not-so-distant past, Katelyn has hawked corporate bagels on Broadway, written thousands of parking tickets at Bellevue Square, and dropped out of a major in theology. She will write for truffle fries or wine.


Age: 33. Yes, there is life after 29, and Capitol Hill
isn’t the least bit like Logan’s Run, not that you’d
know that by looking at the covers of a certain alt
weekly (ahem).

Location: Seattle, Washington (down the rabbit hole).

Occupation: Financial Services.

Sex: Your place or mine?

Education: B.A., Psychology, M.M.P., Master of Melrose

Turn-ons: Surfing, backgammon and men who aren’t
afraid to cry.

Online addictions: Wonkette, Huffington Post, The
Onion, and Slog.

IRL: Working, working out, spending time with friends
and family, seducing Billy and trying to get him to
ditch that goody two-shoes, Allison. I’ve been reading
The Stranger since (gulp) 1995 when it took my sweet,
sweet innocence; Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing on the
radio, of course.


Monique is a 25-year-old female who grew up in the suburbs around Seattle, one day dreaming she’d live the high life on Capitol Hill. With that dream achieved, she now spends most of her time drinking and going to shows. She is a corporate zombie during the day, because unfortunately we can’t all be rock stars. She enjoys reading up on politics, economics, and music. The presidential race is like her Olympics and she is a news junkie, checking websites and blogs all day, obsessing over Slog, and wishing she could write more like Ambrose Bierce.


Amelia is 17 and spends her days attending community college and weekends working at a little hotel in La Conner. She’s a blond, liberal, agnostic Virgo—but you wouldn’t know that from her meaningless commentary on Slog. When she grows up (which she honestly hopes is NEVER), she wants to be either a columnist or a runway model who lives a loft in Seattle.


Michael Beaumier is the author of I Know You’re Out There, a comedic memoir of his years working in the newspaper personals. His writings have appeared in various publications including Gentleman’s Quarterly, and he has made appearances and is a contributor on This American Life. After 15 years in Chicago, he now makes his home in Manhattan. His next book will be published by Simon & Schuster in the autumn of 2008.

Having a (Open to the Public) Halloween Party?

posted by on October 11 at 1:33 PM

Make sure to email all the details to, so we can get you in this year’s listings!

Anything goes. Having an open bar at your gallery? Having a band play in costume in your basement? Having a gothic scavenger hunt? We want to know. We will be making listings for the actual 31st and for Oct 26-27, since we know some of you have day jobs and want to party on the weekends.

Write something about Halloween in the subject line, just to make it easy for me.

Of course, we appreciate more of this:

than this:

Burgess’s Evangelism

posted by on October 11 at 1:04 PM

Between 2000 and 2003, a PR consulting firm co-owned City Council candidate Tim Burgess (challenging incumbent David Della) made nearly $2 million off contracts with Food for the Hungry, a Christian development organization that provides aid and promotes Christianity to people in poor and developing countries. In 2005, the group received $8.3 million from the president’s AIDS prevention office to promote abstinence until marriage in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mozambique, and Haiti. This despite the widely acknowledged fact that abstinence programs don’t work, especially among grown men and women in cultures where faithfulness is the exception, not the rule.

Food for the Hungry’s abstinence promotion goes far beyond the programs allowed in US public schools, appalling as those are. The manual that the organization uses to teach its abstinence and fidelity classes relies heavily on references to the Bible and Biblical stories. For example, the manual defines marriage as “a sacred covenant [between one man and one woman], used by God as an illustration of His love for us,” says abstinence before marriage and fidelity afterward is “God’s plan for sexual purity and sexual expression, and says that those who don’t follow that “plan” “are exposing their soul to [potential damage] by choosing to live outside of God’s will.” It also contains a long list of supposed Biblical references to condom use (specifically, why couples should not use condoms). Food for the Hungry only promotes condom use in certain situations, including by married couples in which one spouse is HIV positive, or when a woman is HIV positive and wants to avoid getting pregnant. The group’s abstinence education manual claims, incorrectly, that condoms are only 80 percent effective in preventing HIV transmission.

Burgess’s firm represented Food for the Hungry for at least five years. In an interview with the Stranger’s editorial board last week, Burgess said he “absolutely” had no regrets about representing the evangelical group.

The Path at Muenster

posted by on October 11 at 11:51 AM

When you’re in Muenster, you have to go to the path, people said. It goes through a park, across a street, and continues through a golden wheat field over a picturesque footbridge. That’s the art.

Pawel Althamer was the artist, and his Path was one of 33 sculptures scattered around the German city this summer during Muenster Sculpture Projects 2007. This was my first time seeing the once-in-a-decade public art show, and after renting a bike, I found Path on the map, with a notation: “Between the western shore of Lake Aa and Haus Bakenfeld.”

But the path did not begin on the western shore of the lake. It was hard to figure out where it did begin. I stopped at an intersection where two walking paths streaked off the paved bicycle lane, and chose one. It led to a crater.

I walked to the top of the crater, looked down into the glowing, gaping hole, and saw a full-scale imitation Romanesque church spire sitting in the hole with a shovel next to it.


This was not the path. It was Guillaume Bijl’s Archaeological Site (A Sorry Installation), a plaque informed me. The plaque claimed to be the marker for the archaeological dig that turned up this so-called relic.

This is the sort of thing that happens at Muenster Sculpture Projects, I began to realize. The art is out there in the world, all over the place in the city, so it’s exhilaratingly difficult to tell what is world and what is art, or in this case, where the art is exactly. For the 107-day duration of the exhibition, the whole city becomes a revolutionary experiment in redefining public art. (There has been talk of Muenster not continuing after this year. That would be terrible. The combination of joy, intelligence, and, increasingly as the show goes on, history, in MSP is unmatched.)

One artist, Mark Wallinger, tied a three-mile perimeter of fishing line above the city, but it was only a fantasy to me: In several hours of biking around the city, I never caught a glimpse of it. I also didn’t catch Gustav Metzger’s small, unassuming heap of granite stones, which were moved to a new location in the city every day.

Here’s what I didn’t see (you have to squint to catch the fishing line on the left side of the image):



On the edge of the lake, Tue Greenfort’s silver liquid manure truck spouting cleansing agents into the lake looked like a municipal vehicle just doing its thing, not an art project.


The art in Muenster is loose, relaxed. I started to be aware that it was playing, happily, with its own credibility.

Still determined to get to Path, I biked back to the intersection and took the other route. At the two-lane road, I got off my bike, crossed it, and entered the field, walking the bike.

The sun had come back after a flash rainstorm, and the soil was thick and frosting-moist. I followed other people’s footsteps.

About 30 feet in, the footsteps ended.

In pictures I’d seen, the single-file path was shaved out of wheat. You easily could see where to go.


But without wheat, you were lost. “Between the western shore of Lake Aa and Haus Bakenfeld,” the map said. Across the field, maybe two soccer fields away, was a white house with a perfect A roof.

Haus Bakenfeld. It had to be.

I walked the bike that way. On one side of the field was a stand of pine trees, on the other a row of houses with their backs to me. A teenager ran out into the muddy field to grab a ball and glanced at me.

Did he know about the path?

I started to sweat.

Was there a path anymore?

I could see into some of the houses. They weren’t modest and old-fashioned, like the one I was headed toward. These were made of glass and had big, tidy Germanic gardens separated by hedges. A woman in a backyard played with a baby. Occasionally I laughed out loud. It was entirely possible that Haus Bakenfeld was not the one I was walking toward, and that my belief in art was making me ridiculous. I was in the middle of a muddy field, jetlagged, sweating, sunburning, and bleeding from a blister, and I couldn’t find the art.

At the last house before the white A-roof, I caught the eye of an old woman holding a ladder while an old man up on it was reaching for a pear on a tree. I asked for Haus Bakenfeld. I pointed to the house in front of me. They shook their heads. I asked whether anybody named the Bakenfelds lived around here. They smiled gently, as at an addled person. “The people who live there are Peter and Kristin Klimke,” the man said in German, spelling the names.

He pointed behind me, all the way back across the field, across the road with its tree-lined sidewalks, and into the park where I’d come from, and said, “The art is over there.”

Back over there, again at the intersection where I started, a group of people had gathered. They looked at their maps and pointed in various directions, debating. When they saw me coming back along the path, they stopped me. “Is that the path?” they asked. I told them yes, considering that they’d be following my footsteps, not the artist’s. I told myself that the artist would approve, because Muenster during the Sculpture Projects is that kind of place.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 11 at 11:00 AM

Film and Q&A

‘The Trials of Darryl Hunt’ at Varsity

Darryl Hunt was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit—raping and murdering a white woman—and spent two decades behind bars. Even when DNA evidence proved he wasn’t guilty, the racist men and women of the racist court system kept him behind bars. The last time the film screened in Seattle, The Stranger exclaimed: “Every American should see this film.” Tonight’s screening is followed by a Q&A and reception with Darryl Hunt and his attorneys, thrown by the Innocence Project Northwest. (Varsity, 4329 University Way NE. 7 pm, $25–$50.)


Abstract Hiphop

DJ Vadim at Nectar

Born in Russia and raised in the UK, DJ Vadim came to fame in the dead middle of the ’90s. He—along with DJ Krush (Japan), DJ Shadow (USA), and DJ Cam (France)—launched the “abstract era,” a period that valued the beats more than the rapper. Vadim currently lives in Brooklyn and is the founder of One Self, his most successful project since the ’90s. One Self, which has three principal members, makes hiphop for those “who think very deeply.” (Nectar, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 8 pm, $10, 21+.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Overheard at Grateful Bread

    posted by on October 11 at 10:51 AM

    Daughter: “What about the Peace Corps?”
    Mother: “I didn’t spend 200,000 dollars on college so you could teach basket-weaving.”

    Titan Missile Base for Sale

    posted by on October 11 at 10:46 AM

    Seattle artist Tar Art Rat (currently based in Berlin) today posted an item on his blog about the eBay sale of a decommissioned 1950s underground missile base near Moses Lake. The base includes 16 subterranean buildings. Tar Art Rat suggests artists should buy it (price tag: $1.5 million) and turn it into “an underground art city/world and fallout shelter.”

    Sounds seriously dreamy.


    UPDATE: Sam M. in the comments points toward Penny Arcade’s great comic sendup/obsessive rant about the missile base’s possibilities here.

    The Artists Speak: No. 35 and No. 7

    posted by on October 11 at 10:17 AM

    Next week, Seattle will be host to “The ‘Can’t Miss’ Conference for Sculpture Parks and Gardens Administrators and Enthusiasts!”

    But back before the Olympic Sculpture Park opened, In/Visible hosted artists Susie Lee (whose first solo show at Lawrimore Project opens tonight) and Tivon Rice and writer/curator Suzanne Beal (whose show Help Me, I’m Hurt also opens tonight at Kirkland Arts Center).

    All three of them had taken a class at UW about the park that included trekking out to the homes of the collectors who owned many of the OSP sculptures. In this great conversation, they described what it was like when the sculptures lived privately, not publicly. This, for example, lived like this


    instead of like this


    To me, that sculpture by Mark Di Suvero, Bunyon’s Chess (1965), is the one that suffers most on the relentless, distancing slopes of the OSP.

    In this week’s new In/Visible, Seattle sculptor Drew Daly talks about his optically teasing furniture, which is domestic by nature. Every one of the “Siamese chairs” in his current show at Greg Kucera Gallery was determined by a process that involved cutting up and manipulating photographs. To initiate a series of mental events for the viewer including both memory and improvisation, Daly started with an IKEA chair, an object with “absolutely no shock value.”

    Approximate Images

    posted by on October 11 at 10:14 AM

    This image approximates the experience of reading Nabokov:

    This image approximates the experience of reading Proust:

    This image approximates the experience of reading Roland Barthes:

    Last Supper Watch

    posted by on October 11 at 10:12 AM

    In this ad from Iceland, Judas misses the last supper and “changes the course of history”—which, I suppose, means that Jesus doesn’t get crucified, rise from the dead, found Christianity, etc.

    The announcement of a Catholic League boycott on Iceland should be forthcoming.

    Lynnwood Hosts International Anti-Gay Extremists

    posted by on October 11 at 9:42 AM

    Yesterday on Slog I posted a link to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on “the furious anti-gay movement in Latvia, [which] has spilled over into the United States,” and is intimately connected with local anti-gay warrior Ken Hutcherson.

    At the center of the report is an “international extremist anti-gay movement whose adherents call themselves the Watchmen on the Walls”:

    The Watchmen portray the battle against gay rights as nothing less than a biblical clash of civilizations. “The homosexual sexual ethic” and “family-based society” are at war, [anti-gay activist and leading Watchman Scott] Lively proclaimed in his letter to The Washington Times. “One must prevail at the expense of the other.”

    As readers pointed out in the comments, later this month, the Watchmen on the Walls will hold an international meeting to plot their war against homosexuals and “homosexualists” (straight people who are sympathetic to gay people) at the Lynnwood Convention Center. Calls made yesterday to the Convention Center revealed administrators’ ignorance of what they were getting themselves into.

    As featured Watchmen speaker Pastor Alexey Ledyaev put it, the Watchmen’s mission is “to bring the laws of our nations in[to] full compliance with the law of God.” This Taliban-esque mission is made more alarming by the anti-gay violence that tends to swarm around Watchmen events.

    The Watchmen conference scheduled for October 19-21 at the Lynnwood Convention Center will feature a number of prominent Latvian anti-gay warriors, along with the Northwest’s own Pastor Ken Hutcherson. Correct me if I’m wrong, but foreigners coming to America with the purpose of doing harm to Americans are traditionally called terrorists, and the Watchmen conference seems like the last thing the City of Lynnwood would want to align itself with.

    If you agree, please consider sharing your feelings with Lynnwood officials.

    City Hall: 425-775-1971
    Mayor’s Office: 425-670-6613
    City Administrator: 425-670-6615
    Email addresses can be found here.

    UPDATE: Original Andrew writes in the comments:

    Instead of contacting people in Lynnwood, whose refusal to host the event could open the city to a lawsuit on first amendment grounds, why not contact US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?


    As twisted and complex as it is to legally enter and reside in this country, I guarantee that someone’s papers aren’t in order. If they want trouble, let’s give trouble back.

    Is Jason Fortuny at it again?

    posted by on October 11 at 8:19 AM

    This Craigslist ad looks very familiar—it looks a lot like this Craigslist ad. Same picture too.

    Is Jason Fortuny conducting another Internet sex-ad sting? Using the same photo and text? Here’s hoping no one falls for it this time.

    Christopher Frizzelle: Trendsetter

    posted by on October 11 at 8:01 AM

    From today’s NYT:

    Necktie sales may have foundered in the decade or more since the words “casual Friday” entered men’s vocabularies, but in the last year or two, stylish men in their 20s and early 30s have embraced the old four-in-hand as a style statement—that is, as long as it is an optional one. Even with tie sales among older age groups uniformly down, sales to men 18 to 34 were up more than 13 percent, to $343 million from $303 million, between March 2006 and March 2007, according to NPD Group, which tracks clothing sales and trends.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 11 at 7:09 AM

    War Stories: Two dead, 38 wounded, in attack on “Camp Victory,” a US base in Iraq. No wonder the U.S. Marines want out. And the Army is taking pretty much anyone these days.

    Crackdown in Burma: Worse than anyone thought.

    Judenfrei: Ann Coulter dreams of a Jew-free America.

    Smoking Ban: California bans smoking in cars with kids.

    Goremania: Al Gore “called ‘overseas’ for a trip related to his work on global warming,” which could mean he’s won the Nobel Prize. Draft Gore movement hopes the prize will propel Gore into race for the White House. But despite “Draft Gore” movement, Gore’s reps insist he’s not running.

    Guns Nuts: Students claim they warned principal about threats from student that shot four kids before killing himself yesterday.

    In Other Nobel News: Brit author Doris Lessing wins the Nobel for literature.

    Sad Face: Richard McIver’s city council colleagues “saddened” by his arrest on domestic violence charge.

    Here We Go Again: Anti-nightlift forces target Level 5 after shooting.

    Sports Interview of the Week:

    Via Towleroad.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Who Wants Out of Iraq Now?

    posted by on October 10 at 9:38 PM

    Uh… the Marines, that’s who.

    And Now for Some Cock-on-Hen Action

    posted by on October 10 at 6:12 PM

    Slog reader Dorothy writes:

    I was sitting quietely in my apartment on roy and bellevue and I heard a sound that i haven’t heard since i was in the country, years ago.

    I looked out my window… and yes, a cock and a hen hanging out in the alley by Roy St…

    I could not locate an owner…

    Hmmmmm. Perhaps The Slog can help…

    Thanks !

    Anyone missing their chickens?

    And Now for Some Hot Sean-on-Kurt Action

    posted by on October 10 at 4:57 PM

    There’s a long review of the new Cobain documentary in the film section this week by Stranger Associate Editor Emeritus Sean Nelson. Here’s the beginning:

    The chief criticism of the new experimental documentary Kurt Cobain: About a Son, advanced by Manohla Dargis in the New York Times and furthered by clever bloggers everywhere, is that were he alive, Kurt Cobain would hate it. This projection isn’t relevant—since he’s not alive—nor particularly damning, because, frankly, who cares? Why should the subject like the documentary? Did those greedy Bible hucksters like Salesman? Did Robert Crumb like Crumb? Could anything matter less? More importantly: The whole point (I hesitate to use the word “tragedy,” though it certainly felt like one) about Cobain, consecrated by his mirthless image on posters down the ages and reinforced dramatically in the film, is that he didn’t like anything about himself for very long…

    The rest of it’s right here.

    Now please enjoy this picture of a dead bird.


    Today on Line Out.

    posted by on October 10 at 4:23 PM

    “They’re After Me MP3s”: Sam Machkovech’s Lucky In Rainbows Charms

    In Pounds: Christopher Frizzelle Gives Radiohead $9 for the New Album.

    Shot: Kim Hayden on Sunday Night’s George Jones Let Down.

    In Bits: Is 160kbps Shit?

    Tonight: Bill Callahan, the Sadies, Film School, Fujiya & Miyagi, Magik Markers

    In Metric: Crystal Castles’ Seattle Debut

    Only Tangentially Involving Radiohead: Michael Showalter & Michael Black Soothe an Aching Heart With Song.

    White & Nerdy: “Weird” Al Yankovic Live at the Washington State Fair in Yakima.

    What, No Bootsy?: Justice Live on Jimmy Kimmel

    “White Diamonds”: New Scissor Sisters Penned Kylie Minogue

    Free Tickets: To See Punk Icon/Tim Burgess Look-Alike Bob Mould

    Midnite Musice: Cerrone’s “Midnight Lady”

    I’m Wrong: Donte Parks Says Not to Miss Project Jenny Project Jan

    David Della: No-Show

    posted by on October 10 at 4:02 PM

    David Della didn’t show up at an Eastlake neighborhood candidates’ forum last night, prompting some supporters of his opponent, Tim Burgess, to speculate that he’s given up campaigning. Della’s consultant, Michael Grossman, says Della “must have had a scheduling conflict” and added, “I wouldn’t read anything into it.” I have a call in to Della’s assistant David Namura, who attended the forum in Della’s stead, to find out what the mysterious conflict was. Namura might not have been the best choice to proxy for Della; in a story that ran in the P-I earlier this week, reporter Angela Galloway quotes Seattle Firefighters Union and Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) officials describing conversations in which Della and Namura obliquely threatened both groups if they continued to support Burgess. The SPOG conversation allegedly happened several months ago; the fire union conversation, sometime last week. According to one fire union official quoted in the story, Namura told him that “if [the firefighters union] continue to actively support Tim, that it wouldn’t be good for firefighters — especially because he’s on the budget committee and some other committees.” Rich O’Neill, head of SPOG, was at the Eastlake meeting.

    Grossman, Della’s consultant, dismisses the charges. “[O’Neill] was obviously so upset that he waited two months to say anything about,” Grossman says.

    Hanging Upside-Down Lady Art Trend?

    posted by on October 10 at 3:46 PM

    It’s on our cover, it’s at SOIL …

    Hanging (front and back), 2007, by Jennifer Zwick

    Where will it show up next and what does it mean?

    On the Cover

    posted by on October 10 at 3:17 PM

    This week we have the fabulous work of Autumn Whitehurst. You may remember her from this cover last April, one of my favorite Stranger covers ever.


    Take It Outside…Your Own Home

    posted by on October 10 at 2:16 PM

    Smokers in Belmont, California have 30 days to fire up inside their apartments:

    Thought to be the first of its kind in California, the ordinance declares secondhand smoke a public nuisance and extends the city’s current smoking ban to include multi-unit, multi-story residences.

    Though Belmont and some other California cities already restrict smoking in multi-unit common areas, Belmont is the first city to extend secondhand smoke regulation to the inside of individual apartment units.

    The ordinance doesn’t affect everyone, however:

    Smoking will still be allowed in single-family homes and their yards, and units and yards in apartment buildings, condominiums and townhouses that do not share any common floors or ceilings with other units.

    Mayor Lobbies Citizens On 311

    posted by on October 10 at 2:09 PM

    Mayor Greg Nickels is once againcampaigning for one of his pet initiatives on the public dime. Two years ago, Nickels got busted for producing and distributing an eight-page color document touting his achievements during an election year; last year, his department of transportation produced a glossy color flier promoting his $4 billion-plus waterfront tunnel (rejected by voters in a subsequent election.)

    Well, he’s at it again. This time, he’s using a city e-mail list to urge citizens to lobby the council on behalf of his $9 million automated “311” system. In a letter that went out to everyone on the Customer Service Bureau’s e-mail list, bureau head Darcy DuComb says Nickels is “working to make it easier to access city services” by creating “a one-stop shop for all the services City government provides.” The system, DuComb’s letter continues, “is much more than a new call center and telephone number [something some council members dispute]. It is a fundamental attitude change making local government more open, accountable, inclusive and responsive to everyone.” The letter then urges recipients to take “action” by “shar[ing] your thoughts about this with the City Council at its upcoming public hearing on the proposed budget. … Testify in person or call or e-mail all Council members.” Information on the public hearing and council members’ contact information follows.

    City ethics law prohibits campaigning on city time or with city funding but does not prohibit lobbying on city time; therefore, ethics director Wayne Barnett says, “I don’t think [the letter] violates ethics law.” Nick Licata’s lobbying legislation, which would require people who lobby the city to register as lobbyists (much as state law does), however, would be an vehicle for such a restriction.

    Council members are skeptical that the costly ($9 million) system will do much to fix the city’s notoriously slow response times, and several say there are more important priorities, such as libraries, parks, and public safety.

    Bobby Brown’s Heart Explodes a Little!

    posted by on October 10 at 2:01 PM

    It’s just been reported by two great sources that source great together that the tortured, tragic, broken heart of Bobby Brown has finally CRACKED, and he was just rushed madly to an emergency room where it was confirmed that he was suffering from an itsy wee bit of the cardiac arrest.

    “It’s a serious condition,” reports Bobby’s lawyer. “I’m very concerned about him. But he’s in good spirits…and very happy with the outpouring of calls and messages.”

    The publicists in this troubling case are attributing Bobby’s dire straights to “diet and stress”, but the doctors, nurses, janitors and everybody else on the planet are blaming crack and Whitney fucking Houston.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on October 10 at 2:00 PM

    A woman found a baby in a field early this morning in Cleveland. According to police, this is what happened:

    A Cleveland man told police that his 5-month-old son must have bounced out of his stroller while the two were crossing a field in the 1600 block of East 85th Street. “He said he hit a bump and the baby must have bounced out of the stroller,” Lt. Thomas Stacho said.

    A woman thought she heard a cat crying at 4:30 a.m. and investigated. She found the baby and called police. The baby was taken to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. “He’s fine,” Stacho said.

    The father realized the baby was not in the house and began looking for him. He walked across the field again and met up with the woman who had found his son. She called police again, telling them she had located the baby’s father.

    Responding officers said the father was “highly intoxicated,” Stacho said.

    Republicans Shut Out Press

    posted by on October 10 at 1:02 PM

    The GOP is holding its annual fall fundraising dinner tonight ($100 a head) in SeaTac.

    The theme of the dinner is “Run Dino Run.” Run from Forward Washington is more like it for the disgraced former executive director of the nonprofit, which is now under investigation by the state for its possible partisan political activity. Unfortunately, the dinner is closed to the press.

    The Spokesman-Review’s “Eye on Olympia” blog has the story.

    The analogous fall fundraiser on the Democratic side, the Maggie Awards, is scheduled for Oct. 22 at Benaroya Hall and is open to the press. (Hillary Clinton is speaking).

    The speaker at tonight’s GOP event is Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, who has an affection for the confederate flag.

    McIver Update

    posted by on October 10 at 12:15 PM

    City Council president Nick Licata says it’s “way too early to say” whether he’ll push council member Richard McIver, arrested last night on domestic-violence charges, to resign from the position he has held for ten years. McIver’s term ends in 2009, and he has not been expected to run again. Licata, who learned of McIver’s arrest when police called him in the middle of the night, says he was “shocked when [police] told me about the incident.” He says today’s hearing by the council’s budget committee, which would ordinarily be chaired by McIver, will go on whether or not McIver is released; currently, he remains in King County jail awaiting a possible 1:30 hearing.

    Outsourcing Myself

    posted by on October 10 at 12:10 PM

    I’m on vacation (Mark Penn not withstanding). And this morning, while I was jogging around Prospect Park, I thought to myself: Hey, if it works for The HuffingPost, maybe it will work for Slog.

    So now’s your chance, all you people who keep telling me in the comments that you could do my job better than me. Links, analysis, news flashes—you can do almost everything in a comment thread that we do up here.

    Below is a pristine, unsullied comment thread. What do Slog readers need to know about what’s happening with the presidential race today? Go crazy.

    (If this works. I’ll give you all an open thread every day while I’m gone to talk about the presidential race. If not, see you when I’m back.)

    If at First You Don’t Succeed

    posted by on October 10 at 11:22 AM

    In her column last week, Erica C. Barnett looked into a story Venus Velazquez’s campaign was shopping around that Velazquez’s opponent, Bruce Harrell, has a neglected son from a previous relationship.

    ECB wrote:

    VELAZQUEZ’S CAMPAIGN has been shopping around the story that Harrell has a teenage son who is not featured in his family-centric campaign ads. Harrell’s ads do include many photos and mentions of his family—mentioning three children with his wife, Joanne—and his experience as a “youth mentor” and Sunday school teacher. Harrell says he sees his son frequently and has “never missed a child-support payment in my life.” Efforts to reach the mother were unsuccessful.

    Obviously, Velazquez didn’t like Barnett’s report and shopped the story elsewhere. This week they landed a story featuring the charged accusations in Seattle Weekly.

    Unlike Erica’s report last week, The Weekly’s story doesn’t have Harrell addressing the central accusation by the kid’s mom. The Weekly paraphrases the mom: “Harrell has had minimal face-to-face contact with her son—about three times in the past eight years.”

    I’m not sure if the Weekly bothered to ask Harrell about that specific accusation, but it seems weird that they didn’t get a response from Harrell on that main point.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 10 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Brand Upon the Brain!’ at Cinerama

    Following glorious stints in Toronto and New York, the Seattle-hatched Brand Upon the Brain!, by Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin, is finally being presented here as it was originally conceived: as a lurid live spectacle. Tonight’s show—featuring incest, crossdressing, a basement full of orphans, and a dastardly age-defying serum—will be narrated by Karen Black. All Foley sound will be created onstage by the Aono Jikken Ensemble, and the kitschy pinpoint stars of Cinerama’s ceiling will twinkle overhead. Magic. (Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave, 8 pm, $25, all ages.)


    Mark Penn’s Perspective

    posted by on October 10 at 10:50 AM

    Like I wrote earlier, top Clinton strategist Mark Penn is in Seattle today to brief reporters and supporters on the Clinton campaign, and to promote his new book.

    I just got off a conference call with Penn, who had some interesting things to say about the Clinton campaign here in Washington and around the country.

    One thing that leaped out at me: Penn prefaced his discussion of Clinton and Washington State by saying, “There isn’t very much current polling in Washington State.” Then he pointed to the same 5-month-old poll that Ron Sims pointed to in September when he tried to tell me that Clinton was in the lead here. But there is, in fact, more current polling. It’s not perfect, but it’s here, and it shows Obama doing better in Washington than Clinton or John Edwards in head-to-head matches with the top Republican contenders.

    Penn told us: “This is shaping up as a very good state for her. Support here continues to grow and strengthen.”

    Maybe. But in addition to the recent poll, there’s also the matter of Obama having out-fundraised Clinton in Washington State in the first two quarters of this year (we’ll find out soon whether that trend continues in the third quarter).

    I mentioned the more recent poll and the fundraising figures to Penn and told him it’s actually Obama who seems to have more momentum in Washington than Clinton. I asked him why that would be, especially when in national polls and in many other states it’s Clinton who is emerging as the clear front-runner.

    “I think Obama had a lot of momentum, but I think that momentum is shifting,” Penn responded. He said over the summer there was a burst in enthusiasm for Obama all around the country, and that this had registered in donations to Obama and strong poll showings for the Illinois Senator, but that now this enthusiasm is abating.

    “That pattern has now reversed itself,” Penn told me. “So that she’s doing better than Obama, because the more people have learned about Obama, particularly over the summer period, the more they have felt that she’s the one really ready to be president… Our sense is that we’re seeing some of the same trends here in Washington.”

    More in the jump…

    Continue reading "Mark Penn's Perspective" »

    Effective HIV/AIDS Education

    posted by on October 10 at 10:30 AM

    Too bad you’re unlikely to see it on American television…

    Some gay bloggers, according to Queerty, are calling this ad “fear-based,” which is what folks always call ads that touch on the reality of HIV/AIDS and don’t just hammer away at vapid “safe sex is hot sex” messages that most gay men tune out. I wouldn’t call it “fear-based,” more like “reality-based.” This is what it’s like when you do something stupid and then have to go get your ass tested—you worry, it’s scary, and you decide, sitting in that chair in the HIV/AIDS clinic, that it wasn’t worth it. Why shouldn’t this be part—part, not all—of the safe-sex message?

    Via Queerty.

    The Pine-Fresh Stink of Lohan: Knocking Soon On a Front Door Near You!

    posted by on October 10 at 10:14 AM

    That smell? That clean wintergreen waft that tiptoes upon the breeze, delighting the nose like the pine tree earrings of the Irish scented Angel of Spring? (Hang in there, I haven’t said much this week.) Why, ‘tis dear wee Lindsay Lohan of course, newly douched (as those naughty French say) of all of her nastier and more thrilling habits and just now sprung from that mysterious place they call rehab.

    And I know what you’re thinking, and I’ve never agreed with you more: How delightful! How promising! How grand! How quickly will she relapse and crash face first into a sofa-sized pile of cocaine with her legs sprawling in the air like a Chinese contortionist and her panties missing and presumed crammed so deep inside her body cavity that coal miners couldn’t drag them back out?

    How terrible of you, to interject that last bit. Be quiet now while I’m typing.

    Yes, Lindsay is free at last from her prison of no drugs, and it might shock you to know (or maybe not, you know, whatever) that she has devised clever plans to pack up her septum and her vagina and abscond with them right back to, oh holy fuck, UTAH (where the rehab is), far, far away from those shadowy hills of Hollywood and the myriad naughty vices that lurk therein. Apparently she believes that losing herself in the Mormon wastess will help her remain free of any temptation whatsoever that does not directly involve JC Penny slacks and uncles of marrying age.

    “I’m going back to shoot Dare to Love Me, but I plan on returning to Utah so I can stay focused and avoid other distractions,” she said in a recent interview.

    So then. Considering these events, and the awesome brainwashing technology weilded by the Mormons, who, like, uh, rule Utah or something, it is not unreasonable to imagine that maybe, just maybe, should you someday soon hear that wee small knock upon your door and peek out to find two Mormon missionaries waiting on your step (they always travel in pairs—-more gay sex that way)…well, you might just want to open the door this time. And blast both of those sons-a-bitches in the face with a shotgun full of rock salt and tell ‘em to quit spreading their devil jibber-jabber.

    Fucking Mormons.

    In other shit: To fill the horrible void left by Miss Lohan (and her septum and her vagina) in the ranks of sloppy drunks, sources so sourcey you can hardly tell the difference report that drinky David Hasselhoff has been once again “hospitalized” (read: chained up like a raving dock whore ), but is, “doing fine and will be back home in the morning”after being treated for alcohol poisoning. The booze reclaims its own!


    Let It Ride

    posted by on October 10 at 10:11 AM


    In preparation for the beginning of snowboarding season Central Cinema is showing a new documentary, Let It Ride, which won the X-Dance Film Award for Best Action Sport Film and Best Soundtrack (you know the soundtrack is the most important thing in a Snowboard film, right?) at this years X-Dance festival. X-Dance is an all action sport film festival that runs concurrently with Sundance in Utah each year.

    Let It Ride is about snowboard maverick and champion, Craig Kelly, who came to symbolize “the freedom, grace, and independent spirit that attract people to snowboarding in the first place.” He died along with six others in an avalanche January 20th, 2003.

    The film is narrated by Metallica singer James Hetfield and the soundtrack includes Pearl Jam, Metallica, the Doors, Johnny Cash and Edgar Winter among others.

    It plays tonight through Sunday at 8:45pm. Advance tickets can be found at Brown Paper Tickets.

    Expect to hear some rockin’ music, see some incredible riding, enjoy the beautiful cinematography, and check out some great old snowboard fashion and hair (Always a hoot!).

    Check out the trailer below.

    The Next Stage: Exploiting Investors

    posted by on October 10 at 10:04 AM

    Capitalism unlimited:

    After the single biggest wave of credit-related write-downs in Wall Street history, more than $20 billion and growing, it’s investors who are holding the risk. For example, Merrill Lynch & Co. on Friday announced a $5.5 billion charge, the Street’s biggest, and immediately investors sent the stock up 2.5%.

    Merrill simply followed the path laid down by Citigroup Inc., which wrote off $3.3 billion and Deutsche Bank AG, $940 million. All saw their stock rise after dropping the write-down bomb.

    The bet is that the bigger the write-down now, the less these institutions will have to write down in the future. This is like a baseball team that celebrates after losing by nine runs, because the odds seem somehow greater that it will lose the next game by a big margin. This logic has Richard Bove, an analyst at Punk Ziegal & Co., flabbergasted.

    “These companies are not going to see their markets jump back immediately,” he wrote in a note to clients. “Their earnings power has been lowered. This is a reason to sell not buy. The theory that if the company writes off $2 billion it should see its stock price up $1 and if it writes off $6 billion the stock should jump $3 is not one I can embrace.”

    The words of Lenin: “Sell them enough rope and capitalists will hang themselves…”

    Another Piece of Recombinant Art

    posted by on October 10 at 9:33 AM

    This time (completely unlike last time), it takes the form of a civic statement. It’s Thomas Schütte’s Model for a Museum from this summer’s Sculpture Projects in Muenster.

    The piece was an invigorating and slightly crazed (though polite enough) act of public-sculpture sabotage. What Schütte did was to put a glass enclosure over another contemporary artist’s cheesy fountain (with a Buddha-like figure and some rocks). On top of the glass enclosure was a bright orange sculpture resembling a high-rise building.


    It may seem like a simple and amusing gesture of art criticism, but it’s actually layered. Is the shape on top the only “model for a museum” or is the whole exercise a model for a museum? Meaning what exactly? I’m still trying to think all this through. (There’s history, too: This was in a small plaza whose redevelopment from parking lot into gathering spot was led by a landmark sculpture that Schütte made in 1987, a pillar with a cherry on top, referring critically to Muenster architecture.)

    At the very least, it’s moments like these that make the Olympic Sculpture Park feel terribly staid. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: The OSP needs action. Meanwhile, consider which pieces of Seattle sculpture you might want to see get some … creative treatment.)

    Ex-Wives of Ex-Gays

    posted by on October 10 at 9:22 AM

    Truth Wins Out—Stranger contributor Wayne Besen’s organization—has posted some very compelling videos to mark National Coming Out Day. Truth Wins Out battles the ex-gay movement and Besen’s video features interviews with women who married ex-gays.

    Says Besen…

    [These] survivors warn about the harm done by ex-gay programs that promote marriage as a cure for homosexuality—whether explicitly or implicity. Not only do these marriages almost always fail, but they hurt the innocent spouses and children and treat them as props or collateral damage. While ex-gay organizations, such as Exodus and Focus on the Family, love to show the wedding pictures, they never show you the divorce papers. This video is a powerful reality check and a warning for those who would marry thinking that it will help them go from gay to straight.


    Questions for Mark Penn?

    posted by on October 10 at 9:04 AM

    Top Clinton strategist Mark Penn is in Seattle today, doing some advance-work for Hillary Clinton’s stop at Benaroya Hall on Oct. 22.

    I’m not in Seattle today, however. I’m in NY on vacation. But I don’t want to miss the Penn action, so I’ll be joining a conference call in about 45 minutes in which Penn is to brief Washington State reporters on the state of the Clinton campaign. I assume it will be an on-the-record briefing, and I assume he’ll take questions. I’ll let you know what happens. Meanwhile, what would you ask the man who people are calling Clinton’s Karl Rove?

    “The Latvian Connection”

    posted by on October 10 at 9:02 AM

    The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report explores to “the furious anti-gay movement in Latvia, [which] has spilled over into the United States.” Ken Hutcherson is prominently featured. Read it here.

    O They Will Know We Are Conservative Christians By…

    posted by on October 10 at 8:57 AM

    …the way we conspire with military juntas.

    An Argentine tribunal sentenced a Roman Catholic priest to life in prison on Tuesday for conspiring with the military in murders and kidnapping during the country’s “dirty war” against leftist opponents, in a case that has become for many a powerful symbol of the church’s complicity with the former regime.

    The Rev. Christian von Wernich, who worked as a police chaplain during the military dictatorship, was found guilty of involvement in seven murders, 31 cases of torture and 42 kidnappings. He is the first Catholic priest prosecuted in connection with human rights violations in Argentina, where at least 12,000 people were killed during the military regime from 1976 to 1983….

    Over several months of often chilling testimony during the trial, witnesses spoke about how Father von Wernich was present at torture sessions in clandestine detention centers. They said he extracted confessions to help the military root out perceived enemies, while at the same time offering comforting words and hope to family members searching for loved ones who had been kidnapped by the government.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 10 at 8:55 AM

    The Collapsing Coalition: Once upon a time there were 50,000 non-US troops in Iraq. Soon there will be just 7000. Britain is cuttings its troop levels in half. Iceland—which was recently cited by George Bush as a member of the coalition in Iraq—just pulled out its one troop.

    No One Could Have Predicted: Nicaragua outlawed abortion and now Nicaraguan women are dying.

    Auto Works Strike at Chrysler: Nobody wants to buy their cars and now nobody wants to build them.

    Frederick of Hollywood: Thompson makes his first debate appearance. Underwhelms.

    Regrets: One of Jay Leno’s writer has a few.

    Unclear At This Time If This Development Will Have Any Impact on Folsom: Miller Beer and Coors set to merge. This guy couldn’t be reached for comment.

    Happy Little Trees

    posted by on October 10 at 7:58 AM

    (Note: The following may only apply to readers of a Certain Age.)

    Remember those yellow Pee Chee folders with the drawings of various healthy sports activities on the outside? The ones where the inner flap contained a measurement conversion table that could tell you precisely how many pecks were in a hogshead?



    Question: Is there anybody out there who didn’t turn the runner’s baton into a lit stick of dynamite? Explain. What was your favorite method of defacement/artistic expression?

    Seattle City Council Member Richard McIver Arrested Early This Morning

    posted by on October 10 at 7:36 AM

    Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver was arrested early Wednesday for investigation of domestic violence assault.

    King County Jail records show he was booked and held without bail pending a municipal court appearance.

    McIver’s wife, Marlaina Kiner-McIver told KIRO radio she called 911 after he became drunk and grabbed her. She says that’s the first time that’s happened in their 33-year marriage.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Re: 4th Amendment?

    posted by on October 9 at 11:25 PM

    Josh wants to know what just happened to the Fourth Amendment. The good news is we still have it in Washington. The bad news is that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals capped its knees in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

    Continue reading "Re: 4th Amendment?" »

    Tuesday’s GOP Debate

    posted by on October 9 at 10:45 PM

    Sounding a little bit like Miss Teen South Carolina that time she tried to answer that question about why Americans can’t find the U.S. on a map, Mitt Romney was the first to field a question at Tuesday’s GOP debate about invading Iran.

    Here’s the NYT description:

    All the leading contenders offered tough if slightly measured responses when asked if they would, as president, take military action to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon without seeking the authority of Congress. But Mr. Romney, who was first to answer the question, seemed caught off guard.

    “We’re going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn’t need to do, but certainly what you want to do is to have the agreement of all the people in leadership of our government, as well as our friends around the world where those circumstances are available,” Mr. Romney said.

    And here’s something that caught me off guard. In the 21st paragraph of the NYT story, they quote John McCain. I forgot that guy was running.

    First Sonics Pre-Season Game on NOW

    posted by on October 9 at 7:09 PM

    If there is anyone on the Slog right now who cares, you can catch your Seattle Supersonics in their first pre-season game against the Sacramento Kings on 770 am. They just announced the starting five—Point Guard: Luke Ridnour, Shooting Guard: Kevin Durant, Small Forward: Damien Wilkins, Power Forward: Nick Collison, Center: Robert Swift.

    What I want to know his, where the hell is Jeff Green?

    I went to the Sonics open practice last Saturday at SPU, and Green, along with Durant and former Celtic Delonte West, were the most exciting players on the court. We are seriously struggling when it comes to the big men. It will be interesting to see how the rehabilitated, tattoo-covered, long-haired Robert Swift does. He put on 40 pounds of muscle that, from what I can tell, landed mostly in his calves and has him lumbering around the court with not a shred of grace…

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on October 9 at 4:24 PM

    Tonight in Music (and Comedy): Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter at Nuemo’s and Metric and Crystal Castles at Showbox at the Market.

    DJ Greg Wilson: The best thing to come out of the Hacienda.

    The Black Lips: Playing Conan O’Brien tonight, the Crocodile Friday.

    Back to School: Eric Grandy gets nostalgic for teachers, books, and Braid.

    Rock/Rawk Horn Rules: Trent Moorman discusses when and when not to use the rock and roll hand sign.

    But It’s NOT Gettin’ Hot in Herre: Donte Parks posts a couple videos just for Grandy’s (and ultimately your) pleasure.

    TacocaT Tour Diary Part Two: In this episode, our local heroes battle a Tiki band.

    Speaker Speaker’s Tour Diary: Backstage boredom results in fake mustaches and videos.

    From the Road: Bill Cody reviews Meat Puppets and Sonic Youth at House of Blues in Dallas.

    If You Only Buy One Album Today: Grandy thinks you should buy the new Beirut.

    Today’s Band Name of the Day: Click to see the ridiculous moniker.

    The Urban Indie Archipelago: Oxford American discusses KEXP’s role in the “nationwide cultural consensus.”

    Disco Flasher: TJ Gorton on Gino Soccio.

    Get With the Program: Tickets on sale now for the upcoming hiphop explosion.

    And yes, this man is wearing cat ears. TacocaT ears.


    4th Amendment?

    posted by on October 9 at 3:53 PM

    I can’t Slog much today because I am swamped getting out a big news section this week.

    However, Dominic Holden can post. And he should post about this startling court decision.

    p.s. Dom, my apologies if you’ve already Slogged about this ruling. I missed it if you did. I do want to know your thoughts.

    It’s Not a State Supreme Court…

    posted by on October 9 at 3:49 PM

    …but it’s something. Dear Abby comes out for gay marriage.

    Sexy, Sexy Abraham Lincoln

    posted by on October 9 at 3:27 PM

    I’ve been busy working on the news section all day, and I haven’t had much time to Slog. However—in lieu of my usual angry-feminist post about sexy, sexy kitten/witch/fairy/trash collector costumes for women—I wanted to share with readers this awesome faux commercial, which parodies everything I’ve ever said about women’s Halloween costumes, and then some. (Get your hot angry feminist Halloween action over here.)

    P.S. Although my favorite costume in this bunch is obviously “sexy 1900s steel conglomerate tycoon,” closely followed by “a frog,” I’m hoping someone will come up with a “sexy feminist” cartoon. Sexy Mary Wollstonecraft? Sexy Susan Faludi? The possibilities are endless.

    He Writes Mighty Fine

    posted by on October 9 at 3:23 PM

    So I’ve been reading a lot of Cormac McCarthy lately, in preparation for the upcoming please-god-be-as-awesome-as-it-sounds Coen Bros. adaptation of No Country for Old Men. Anyway, I’ve been kinda running hot-and-cold on his body of work, particularly the instances where you can feel him straining for a grand cosmic metaphor when a simple description of a coyote would do. But then, well, you hit a sentence like the following from Blood Meridian, and everything sort of … realigns:

    Continue reading "He Writes Mighty Fine" »

    The Program

    posted by on October 9 at 2:50 PM


    Available now are presale tickets for Blue Scholars’ local, five-night hiphop extravaganza The Program. To get the tickets go to and use the password STRANGER. (Each night costs $15, but if you buy all five nights at once, the package is $50. General public onsale starts October 12th at 10:00 a.m.)

    Speaking of Michael Ian Black

    posted by on October 9 at 2:50 PM

    Jeff Kirby and I interviewed him (and Eugene Mirman) before one of his performances at Bumbershoot.

    Weapons of Mass Destruction Materialized

    posted by on October 9 at 2:49 PM

    Last week I promised more on Documenta 12’s dark rooms, and the thought brings me to Spanish-born, Chicago-based artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Phantom Truck.


    Remember when Colin Powell told the United Nations, in February 2003, that Iraq had mobile biological weapons labs capable of mass destruction? A computer drawing of one of them was presented as “solid intelligence.” Then came invasion. Then came the realization that these things, buried under the ground, weren’t capable of inflicting all that crazy terror.

    The artist made a life-sized replica of one of the labs for Documenta. It sat in an unlit room. Because of the dark, and because I’m clumsy, I came this close to running into one of its sharp edges while I was walking, slowly, around it.

    I thought how much fun it would be to explain an injury from the real fake weapons lab.

    Did You Have Sex Before Marriage?

    posted by on October 9 at 2:44 PM

    Like, oh, 95% of absolutely everyone? Well, then you can’t be a success—because success only comes to kids who wait. The latest abstinence education campaign courtesy of the Bush administration:

    So you can’t get an education, have a family, or find happiness if you’ve had premarital sex. Speaking as someone that can only have pre-marital sex—and I’ve had plenty of it, thanks—I find this message insulting. And I trust that the same kids that see through the lies the feds tell ‘em about pot—marijuana will turn you into a crazy terrorist rapist loser!—will see right through the lies the feds are telling ‘em about premarital sex.

    Abstinence education, like the war in Iraq, has been a complete failure—but the Bush administration keeps pouring money into both just the same.

    WET Suit: A Tale of Two Cities

    posted by on October 9 at 2:30 PM

    A New York theater company is threatening to sue Washington Ensemble Theatre over its name.

    Since 2006, attorneys representing Women’s Expressive Theater, Inc. have sent WET four cease and desist letters, demanding it abandon its acronym. In the most recent letter (sent Sept 6), the attorneys included a copy of the 16-page legal complaint Women’s Expressive Theater will file with the U.S. District court, should Washington Ensemble Theatre not want to change its initials.

    There can be, they argue, only one WET—despite counterexamples in the theater world, including the coexistence of ACT in San Francisco and ACT in Seattle, both significant regional theaters, both on the West Coast.

    Since its founding in 1999, Women’s Expressive Theatre has produced seven plays, 11 fundraisers, and an outreach program for young girls. In 2006, it had an income of $124,971. Its largest expense was the salaries of founding directors Victoria Pettibone and Sasha Eden, at over $40,000 each. Women’s Expressive Theater was awarded U.S. trademark registration number 3,125,889 for the name “WET” in August 2006.

    Since its founding in 2004, Washington Ensemble Theatre has produced 12 plays, three fundraisers, and an outreach program for queer youth. In 2006, it had an income of $61,000. No ensemble members have ever drawn a salary from the company.

    The letters say confusion between the two companies is “deeply upsetting to WET” and that the acronym for the Women’s Expressive Theatre “was deliberately chosen in response to stereotypes of women, in particular those involving sexuality.” The letters threaten litigation against Washington Ensemble Theatre and against individual members.

    This is a bullying tactic,” said Gina Driscoll, an attorney and a member of the advisory board at Washington Ensemble Theatre. “If somebody files a federal complaint, you have to answer—and if somebody’s not in a position to fight it, they have to lie down and comply. They’ve put us between a rock and a hard place.”

    “What is the state of nonprofit theater in America today,” asked Washington Ensemble Theatre member Marya Sea Kaminski, “when one theater across the country doesn’t believe we can co-exist in a national marketplace, and would rather tie up both their artists and ours in lawsuits and going to court instead of making art?

    Women’s Expressive Theater did not respond to requests for comment.

    No word whether Women’s Expressive Theater is threatening legal action against Women’s Entertainment Troupe (Los Angeles), the four different Women’s Ensemble Theatres (Chicago, Santa Cruz, Philadelphia, Poughkeepsie), Women’s Ensemble Theatre Troupe (Santa Barbara, slogan: “vagin-o-mite!”), WET City Productions (Chicago), Women’s Experimental Theatre (the Yukon), or the West End Theater (Gloucester, MA).

    The Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature…

    posted by on October 9 at 2:12 PM

    …will be announced on Thursday.

    The frontrunners—according to Ladbrokes, which bets on stuff like this—are Claudio Magris (Italian novelist), Les Murray (Australian poet), Philip Roth (American novelist), Thomas Transtromer (Swedish poet), and Adonis (Syrian-Lebanese poet).

    It’s been 14 years since an American won.

    All I have to say is: GO PHILIP ROTH!!!

    Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter Tonight

    posted by on October 9 at 2:07 PM

    Two-thirds of Stella will be performing at Neumo’s tonight. Here’s what I said in this week’s Up & Comings:

    (Neumo’s) Technically this isn’t a rock show, but it sure as hell will rock. God that’s a terrible intro. I’m really sorry. I’m under a lot of pressure here! It’s really hard to write about two of the funniest men in America (as voted by me) without (a) using their own jokes as examples and ruining them, (b) coming off like a fangirl with a ridiculous grade-school crush on the class clown, or (c) making them sound not funny at all by desperately insisting they are. But I swear to Christ Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, two-thirds of the dildo-obsessed comedy troupe Stella, are hilarious. Their exaggerated facial expressions alone make me nearly piss my pants, and Black’s deadpan delivery only makes Showalter’s self-deprecation and giddy desire to be loved that much funnier. MEGAN SELING

    And while we’re talking about Stella, here’s one of my favorite shorts (NSFW):

    Yup, that’s Paul Rudd.

    If you want more ideas of what to do tonight, head over to Line Out.

    I Had Daydreams Like This in Middle School Every Day

    posted by on October 9 at 2:05 PM

    This is Brendon Small:

    You are cordially invited to our wedding, which will take place on June 2nd, 2010 (it’s also my birthday—I’m saving you a present you have to get me).

    How did we meet, you ask? Well, as you know, Brendan is the successful creator of some of the best animated shows to every grace a television screen—Home Movies and Metalocalypse, to be exact. It’s every fangirl’s dream story: I went to a convention he was signing at, and when I was waiting in line, my phone rang and Dethklok’s “Thunderhorse” was my ringtone, and he looked up, and our eyes met, and it was magic. “Thunderhorse” is definitely our song, if you can have a joint song that the fiancé wrote.

    You will have a choice of porterhouse or salmon (vegan options available).

    The sex is great, let me just tell you. He always does the voice of McGuirk when we are having pillowtalk! So silly.

    Do you think I should be Ari Small? I might just keep my maiden name. And it’s not like it’s a Christian wedding or anything, we don’t have anyone to offend.

    The reception is going to be really fun, we’ll have Guitar Hero stations set up and the cake will be in the shape of a movie camera. I wish we didn’t have to have that table of Cartoon Network bigwigs, they are such downers. But it’s good for his career, you know?

    Anyhow, I hope to see you there!

    If You Buy Only One Album This Week

    posted by on October 9 at 2:00 PM

    It should be this one:

    Full review on Line Out.

    Think of the Children

    posted by on October 9 at 1:51 PM

    It seems that there are men are messing around with other men in a public toilet in Georgetown.

    Andy Bookwalter complained for years about people having sex in the restrooms at the Georgetown Playfield near his house. But the situation peaked in September, when somebody actually started advertising on Craigslist.

    “Looking for fun in Georgetown,” the post was titled. “Looking for someplace fun to get off with other men? Georgetown park bathroom between 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. is a great place. Hit me up if you would like to pick a time.”

    Andy Bookwalter, who lives near the Georgetown Playfield and restrooms, which are at Padilla Place South and South Homer Street, has complained to Seattle Parks and Recreation and to the police about sexual activity in the park.

    Another personal ad on a gay cruising Web site recommends the brick men’s room at the playfield, which is at the end of Bookwalter’s tree-lined street.

    It’s not the kind of thing he wants his two young sons—3 and 1—to walk in on someday.

    Hm. When my son was three years old I didn’t let him wander into public restrooms unaccompanied.* Still, I’d be annoyed too if this were happening on my block.

    So, like, all you “gay” cruisers**? You can use Craigslist and to turn your own bathrooms into cruisy public toilets. No need to alarm the good people of Georgetown.

    * Commenters have pointed out that Bookwalter doesn’t let his son wander into toilets today, at three years of age, but “someday,” when he’s old enough, presumably, to wander into toilets. So that crack is withdrawn. And, again, I’d be annoyed if this was happening on my block.

    ** Lots of the “gay cruisers” in Georgetown—and Minneapolis, Florida, and elsewhere—are straight-identified married men. Just wanted to get that on the record again.

    Art Criticism

    posted by on October 9 at 1:35 PM

    Neo-Nazi style:

    From the New York Times:

    A grainy video of four masked vandals running through an art gallery in Sweden, smashing sexually explicit photographs with crowbars and axes to the strain of thundering death-metal music, was posted on YouTube Friday night.

    This was no joke or acting stunt. It was what actually happened on a quiet Friday afternoon in Lund, a small university town in southern Sweden where “The History of Sex,” an exhibition of photographs by the New York artist Andres Serrano, had opened two weeks earlier.

    Around 3:30, half an hour before closing, four vandals wearing black masks stormed into a space known as the Kulturen Gallery while shouting in Swedish, “We don’t support this,” plus an expletive. They pushed visitors aside, entered a darkened room where some of the photographs were displayed and began smashing the glass protecting the photographs and then hacking away at the prints.

    The bumpy video, evidently shot with a hand-held camera by someone who ran into the gallery with the attackers, intersperses images of the Serrano photographs with lettered commentary in Swedish like “This is art?” before showing the vandals at work.

    Video via Towleroad.

    O They Will Know We Are Conservative Christians By Our…

    posted by on October 9 at 12:55 PM

    “autoerotic undertakings.”

    An Alabama minister who died in June of “accidental mechanical asphyxia” was found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask, according to an autopsy report. Investigators determined that Rev. Gary Aldridge’s death was not caused by foul play and that the 51-year-old pastor of Montgomery’s Thorington Road Baptist Church was alone in his home at the time he died (while apparently in the midst of some autoerotic undertaking). While the Montgomery Advertiser, which first obtained the autopsy records, reported on Aldridge’s two wet suits, the family newspaper chose not to mention what police discovered inside the minister’s rubber briefs.

    They apparently discovered a big, black dildo embedded in the late pastor’s ass.

    Thorington Road Baptist Church issued a press release asking people to “refrain from speculation” about Aldridge’s death. So let’s all try not to speculate about the hogtied Baptist minister in two wet suits with a dildo stuffed up his ass, okay? But I can’t resist pointing out that Thorington Road’s pastor would be alive and well today if he’d indulged his passion for bondage, wet suits, diving gloves, rubberized underwear, etc., etc., on the streets of San Francisco, California, and not home alone in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Remember this picture?


    It’s one of the pictures went up on the Catholic League’s website during the fracas over the poster for San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair. (And, yeah, I’ll seize on any excuse to post it again.) The poster featured a cheeky homage to the “Last Supper,” all hell broke loose, blah blah blah. Conservative commentators went ape shit—and not just about the poster, but about all those “shameless” perverts cavorting openly on the streets of San Francisco during Folsom. But the hooded guy in background of the photo above—a bondage fetishist lucky enough to get tied up by this guy—survived his shameless cavorting. And I’m sure there were wet suit fetishists at Folsom this year, as there are every year, as well as guys with dildos buried in their asses, guys in gas masks, and a few people experimenting with breath control (always dangerous). And somehow they all survived—there were no deaths at Folsom this year. So far as I’m aware there has never been a death at Folsom.

    The gay and straight pervs at Folsom, unlike pervy Pastor Aldridge, are unashamed of their kinks and they don’t care who knows what turns ‘em on. San Francisco’s shameless pervs, unlike Montgomery’s shameful pervs, indulge their kinks with lovers, buddies, and friends—and, yes, once a year they indulge ‘em on the streets of San Francisco in front of God and everybody. (Aren’t conservatives always using the “community standards” rationale to ban porn and sex toys in places like Montgomery, Alabama? Well, “community standards” cuts both ways, folks, and citizens of San Francisco don’t have a problem with the Folsom Street Fair.)

    The moral of this sad story: If you have complicated, crazy, potentially dangerous kinks, it’s better—it’s safer—to be completely shameless about them than it is to be completely ashamed. Because the shameless are likelier to survive their kinks—and keep their obits off the Smoking Gun.

    Female Celebrity Sports Blogs

    posted by on October 9 at 11:27 AM

    Alyssa Milano’s baseball blog, which is called *touch* ‘em all for some reason, features her love of the Dodgers and her love of her new MLB clothing line for women—touch. Oh, I get it.

    Hilarious excerpt:

    And what’s going on with the Dodgers clubhouse in total disarray? My take is that Grady’s inconsistency with his lineups this entire year put the youth and the veterans in direct competition with each other. Had Grady solidified a youth-dominant lineup, only making adjustments when necessary, I believe it would have given everyone time to adjust to their positions on the team and how they were to be utilized. Instead, with his constant shifting, he got a divided clubhouse with a “may the best man win” attitude.

    Elisha Cuthbert’s hockey blog, which doesn’t have a name and hasn’t been updated since 2005.

    P.S. — I encourage everyone to throw hats on the ice after any hat trick. LOL


    And that’s all of them.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 9 at 11:00 AM


    Metric and Crystal Castles at Showbox

    Metric is a terrific live band and Emily Haines, its frontwoman, is a raving anti-pop star who can induce riot-grrrl flashbacks. But the real treat tonight is the Seattle debut of Crystal Castles, a Toronto duo that scrambles Bikini Kill and Koji Kondo into an 8-bit electro-punk shitstorm. Producer/multi-instrumentalist Ethan Fawn lays down lo-fi laser fire while vocalist Alice screams and sighs out raw, angry anthems. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. $17 adv/$20 DOS, 8 pm, all ages.)


    Crosscut Lays Off Assistant Editor

    posted by on October 9 at 10:56 AM

    The story line these days is this: Traditional newspapers are laying everybody off and shrinking as on-line outlets are growing and pushing the old world aside.

    Locally, that story got turned on its head last week when on-line start up Crosscut—hyped as the region’s on-line daily—told assistant editor David Neiwert they were laying him off.

    Neiwert was a part-timer, earning about $24,000 a year for the gig.

    Crosscut, according to Neiwert, wants to shift the money to pay for more original content. Neiwert, for example, says he was responsible for things like assembling the Crosscut’s “clicker” —which is a round-up of headline stories from other news outlets.

    Laying off Neiwert brings the staff down to Editor Chuck Taylor, one business-side staffer, and a tech person. They also pay stipends to writers like Knute Berger.

    Crosscut’s publisher David Brewster explains that Crosscut is not shrinking its operations. He says Neiwert is being replaced with a half-time editor. (They haven’t filled the position yet.) He also says he’s hired another full time employee, associate publisher Lucy Mohl. She begins early next week. “We’re expanding,” Brewester says.

    Excuse our Technical Diffuculties

    posted by on October 9 at 10:37 AM

    Our blog servers are overloaded right now (and dropping packets, if that means anything to you) and it’s causing pages to time out. Please be patient; we have our best people on it.

    Fleshbot on HUMP

    posted by on October 9 at 10:31 AM

    Of all the sexy events we don’t get to attend every year due to our enforced isolation in the Fleshbot porn blogging compound, Seattle’s HUMP! Festival is one we regret missing the most: in order to encourage participants to submit their most uninhibited film and video entries without having to worry about that harpy in Human Resources seeing their naughty bits splayed all over the interweb at some point, all submissions are destroyed in front of the audience at the end of each year’s program. Which means that those of us who didn’t manage to make it to Seattle last weekend missed out on all those “couches doing the nasty, sex on roller skates, aliens fucking predators, hot straight foot-fetish videos, sex machines taking over the world, sweet and oily robot love … come shots in SAM’s Olympic Sculpture park, an evil gay genius doing scorchin’ hot boys under the Space Needle, and ever so much more.”

    Prepubescent Boy-Men Rejoice

    posted by on October 9 at 10:17 AM

    Just Announced:



    Thursday, November 29, 2007

    On Sale Friday, October 12 at 10:00 AM

    I can’t remember the last time a single comedian was booked at KeyArena. Although, George Carlin and David Sedaris are both booked into Benaroya Hall—they probably wouldn’t allow a single Dane Cook fan to step foot where the symphony plays. I think he spreads herpes through his words.

    Freaky Friday Returns

    posted by on October 9 at 10:16 AM

    Put it on your calendar: This Friday, October 12, we’re turning Slog over to a handful of our favorite commenters. (Invitations have already been sent, so don’t waste your time begging.) The inaugural Freaky Friday (in June) was definitely freaky and fun.

    Mitt Romney is a Huge Gaping Asshole

    posted by on October 9 at 10:00 AM

    Gape in awe as the Mormon asswipe walks away from a medical marijuana patient and refuses to answer his question: would Romney have him arrested for using medical marijuana on the advice of his doctors? The answer would appear to be “yes,” but Romney can’t bring himself to say the word.

    What. An. Asshole.

    Dirty David Della

    posted by on October 9 at 9:06 AM

    He’s a class act, that David Della:

    Seattle police and firefighters union leaders claim City Councilman David Della’s office threatened they might pay a price for backing his opponent in the election Nov. 6. Both unions have endorsed Tim Burgess, who was a Seattle police officer from 1971 to 1978.

    In a heated telephone discussion about the endorsement, Della alluded to the police officers’ ongoing contract negotiations to Sgt. Rich O’Neill, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, O’Neill said.

    Della adamantly denies mentioning the contract.

    A leader with the Seattle firefighters union says he got a similar warning last week from Della’s chief of staff, David Namura.

    Equal Rights Oregon

    posted by on October 9 at 8:54 AM

    Religious bigots in Oregon fail to block gay rights and civil union laws from taking effect. Worth lifting a long quote from the AP:

    State elections officials reported Monday the effort fell only 116 valid signatures short of the 55,179 needed to suspend the law and place it on the November 2008 ballot for a popular vote. That means that as of Jan. 1, Oregon will join eight other states that have approved spousal rights in some form for same-sex couples - Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington and Hawaii. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay couples to marry.”

    Hm. Seems to me that if, like, God was all on your side and shit, He wouldn’t let you fall a measly 116 signatures short.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 9 at 8:26 AM

    Hearts and Minds: Winning ‘em in Iraq? Nah, splattering ‘em in Iraq. Private security guards shot two Iraqi women dead in central Baghdad.

    The Errorists Have Won: Bush administration officials leak classified info to Fox Fucking News, destroying intelligence network and tipping al Qaeda leaders off to spies in their midst.

    We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Going Back in the Closet: Gays and lesbians face shunning, discrimination, and sub-standard care in nation’s nursing homes.

    Headlines We Hate: Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers.

    Yankees Suck: No, really. Not as bad as the Ms do, but still.

    For Fuck’s Sake: Google in trouble with conservative commentators for “honoring” Sputnik on the “light hearted doodles on its colorful home-page logo” last week but not American troops.

    They Fell From the Sky: Ten die on the way home from a skydiving event.

    Dumb Diligence: Here in Seattle we like to keep a close eye on the shit we don’t have the nerve to do anything about. Viaduct closed this weekend for inspection.

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    This Can’t Be Good

    posted by on October 8 at 9:15 PM

    Our allies the Turks are thinking about invading Iraq and kicking the asses of our allies the Kurds.

    Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came under intense pressure last night to order an invasion of northern Iraq following the deadliest attacks for over a decade on the Turkish military and civilians by separatist Kurdish guerrillas.

    Mr Erdogan, who has resisted demands from the Turkish armed forces for the past six months for a green light to cross the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, where the guerrillas are based, called an emergency meeting of national security chiefs to ponder their options in the crisis, a session that some said was tantamount to a war council.

    A Turkish incursion is fiercely opposed by Washington since it would immensely complicate the US campaign in Iraq and destabilise the only part of Iraq that functions, the Kurdish-controlled north.

    Slog Tracking Poll: Results

    posted by on October 8 at 6:10 PM

    Here are the results from today’s tracking poll, which becomes our Slog data point for October.

    You can compare it to the results from September here and August here. My own quick look at this month versus last month suggests that Edwards might be picking up some more fans among Slog readers. In the Gore-excluding poll, Edwards has come from a solid third place to virtually tied with Clinton for second place (with both of them still significantly behind Obama).

    Poster of the Day

    posted by on October 8 at 5:54 PM


    Notes From The Prayer Warrior

    posted by on October 8 at 4:40 PM



    Dear Prayer Warrior,

    Heads Up! It’s time to get your knee pads on for strong strategy in the Lord.

    Pray for my plan to speak on November 13 at the annual stockholders meeting for Microsoft. I have countless national ministries who have already agreed to join us in the endeavor to confront the corporation. I am just waiting for 3 others to get permission from their boards. Pray the remaining 3 will join this cause soon.

    Pastor Hutch

    Waiting for Winter

    posted by on October 8 at 4:25 PM

    It’s not too early to Scotchgard your parka, shake the spiders out of your boots, and start craving powder.

    Now is the time to scrape up the cash for a season’s pass: prices are low for the Big S pass (good at all four resorts at Snoqualmie) through the end of October. Your bets for early season are Whistler Blackcomb in BC and Oregon’s Mt. Hood—both are already dusted with white. There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving in the mountains (far from your family).

    Stevens Pass has no snow yet, but they do have a beautiful new website. And Crystal just completed the high-capacity Northway chairlift, adding access to 1,000 acres of new north country terrain.

    Think snow.

    How Can You Get Drunk and Win $1,250?

    posted by on October 8 at 4:24 PM

    Tonight! Details over on Line Out

    The Stranger Publishes Las Vegas Edition

    posted by on October 8 at 4:24 PM

    I was in Las Vegas this weekend and was surprised to find that we publish there.


    An Open Letter to City Market

    posted by on October 8 at 3:54 PM

    Dear City Market,

    It’s probably just because I’m in love with the Larry Craig scandal, but running into this sign outside your store last night made my weekend.


    Of course, you’ve been making these signs for a while. The drunk Mel Gibson last year? Hilarious. But you’ve really been outdoing yourself lately, City Market. You have four of these hand-drawn signs up right now, and they’re all so good I couldn’t decide which one I most wanted to steal and hang in my apartment.







    On reflection, the Owen Wilson one’s clearly the best. It took all I had in me not to rip it off the sign and run. Who draws these, City Market? And what happens to these when they’ve, you know, expired? Do you have some secret door behind the soda case leading to a huge gallery of all the past signs you’ve made? You should! Hell, if you have no room, howzabout you take up some wall space here at The Stranger’s offices? Owen, OJ, Phil, and Larry would be in good company. We already have huge drawings (by Kathryn Rathke) of Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Ayn Rand, Samuel Beckett, and Brian Wilson.

    Whaddya say?

    Today on Line Out

    posted by on October 8 at 3:30 PM

    Flash Flood: Arcade Fire’s New Interactive Video

    Are You Saltworthy?: Megan Seling asks, Is it Harder to Drum Fast or Slow?

    Setlist: The Blakes, Fleet Foxes, Sleepy Eyes of Death, and Special Live Guest Devoirs

    Tonight: She Wants Revenge, Band of Horses

    Ragtime Details: The Best Photo Ever of Thelonious Monk?

    Dave Matthews is For Sorority Girls: Trent Moorman Throws Down with Widespread Panic

    Tous Que Je Fais Désormais Avec Du Mon Temps…: Molly Hamilton on La Blogotheque

    Was the Shit: Jonathan Zwickel on Justin Warfield

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on October 8 at 3:25 PM

    I’m a 21 year old woman, just graduated from college. I’ve been with my current boyfriend since I was 15. We were each other’s first everything- fucking, kissing, relationship. We have a great great relationship. This sounds hard to believe, but really no fights, just discussions and honesty; we both have separate lives outside each other, and amazing, great, kinky sex, even after 6 years.

    So why am I writing you, right?

    The way I see it, its hard to visualize a way of us breaking up. I have a feeling this is the guy I’m going to marry and be with the rest of my life. But some people seem to think it would be a bad thing for us to keep being together without ever being with someone else, if only for seeing what sex is like with other people. Sometimes I wonder too. What do you think, Dan? Say we never break up—am I going to wake up at 40 and wish I had fucked some other people, just for the experience?

    His Only Girl

    I expect so, HOG. I mean, even though I fucked plenty of people before age 40, I woke up at 40 and wished I had fucked some other people, just for the experience.

    HUMP 3 Winners!

    posted by on October 8 at 1:36 PM


    The nice folks at On the Boards were concerned as they braced for eight screenings of HUMP this weekend. They had never moved 2400 ticket holders through their building in the space of 26 hours. But by the mid-way point on Saturday—after the twelve hundredth HUMPer had taken his or her seat—OTB artistic director Lane Czaplinski and Sarah Wilke were marveling at how polite and good natured Seattle’s porn fans are. People were excited to be at HUMP, thrilled that they could buy a drink in the lobby before the screening, and willing to be quickly herded out the doors to make way for the next crowd. Seattle’s third annual amateur-and-locally-produced porn festival came off without a hitch.

    Before we announce the winners of this year’s HUMP, I would like to thank to Lane and Sarah and everyone else at OTB for allowing us to smut up the place for the weekend. Thanks to OTB twice as many people were able to attend HUMP this year—and see it on a much bigger screen—as were able to attend in years past.


    And what did attendees see? Couches doing the nasty, sex on roller skates, aliens fucking predators, hot straight foot-fetish videos, sex machines taking over the world, sweet and oily robot love, Ken Schram having it his way with Ivar Haglund, come shots in SAM’s Olympic Sculpture park, an evil gay genius doing scorchin’ hot boys under the Space Needle, and ever so much more. And only HUMP ticket holders got to see these things: We destroyed our only copies of the films at the end of the last screening, right in front of the audience.

    There were two $2000 first-place prizes this year: Best Hardcore and Best Humor. We didn’t break the films out into Hardcore or Humor categories. Instead we let HUMP audiences decide which films belonged in which category. Everyone that attended HUMP was handed a ballot on the way in and got to cast one vote for Hardcore and one for Humor for any two films.

    And here are the films that received more than 100 votes in the Hardcore category:

    Rise of the Machines, with 148 votes. A humorous look at a future ruled by President Dan Savage (who succeeded President Jenna Bush) and insatiable sex machines that make women squirt.

    Sex on Roller Skates, with 172 votes. Two tall, lean, very good-looking boys skate into Capitol Hill’s Pony, play a little Air Hockey, and then fuck the night away—on roller skates. In the morning they go for a naked skate through SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

    Vampire Strip Club, with 352 votes. A hot babe with an incredible body auditions to work at the titular strip club. But it’s not just a vampire-themed strip club…

    Broken, with 396 votes. An evil genius with a sex-slave ray gun enslaves the Federal Department of Terrorism investigator sent to arrest him. Told backwards, a la Momento, this film involved tons of hot gay sex, gigantic come shots, and HUMP’s only mention of Mitt Romney.

    And coming in first in the Hardcore category, taking home the trophy, the check for $2000, and a gift basket from Babeland

    Lauren Likes Candy, with 480 votes. This was HUMP’s only girl-on-girl submission this year—and it rocked the house. Candy confesses that she’s a pain slut, and the sadistic Lauren is only to happy to provide Candy with the pain she craves. This hardcore BDSM flick pushed the audiences comfort levels and the audiences rewarded the filmmakers with their votes.

    And here are the films that received more than 100 votes in the Humor category:

    AFP, with 117 votes. A pizza delivery boy straight out of Alien serves some hot sausage to a desperate housewife straight out of Predator. An animated short, AFP—or Alien Fucks Predator—featured the evening’s most surprising come shot.

    The Room, with 314 votes. When two roommates run out to get a sandwich their couches seize the opportunity. The couches proceed to get it on in more positions than even the horniest sofaphile thought possible.

    Zombie Tapioca Lovefest 4000, with 423 votes. After sleeping with every freak in Seattle, a desperate man—a cute desperate man—decides to go for the only thrill left: fucking the dead. Well, the undead. In a tub full of tapioca pudding. Great production values, hilarious dialogue, and a cunnilingus scene that will live in infamy. Truly outstanding.

    And coming in first in the Humor category, taking home the trophy, the check for $2000, and a gift basket from Babeland

    Queer Safari, with 729 votes. The runaway audience favorite of HUMP 3, Queer Safari featured a huge troop of actors, the biggest dick in this year’s festival, and absolutely hilarious script. A Steve Irwin-style adventurer enters Woodland Park with only a picture of his wife, his wits, and his cameraman to protect him. There he encounters the Pacific Northwest’s largest glory hole, roaring bears, roaming packs of endangered twinks, lurking dudes, and dancing fag hags. Queer Safari ends with a Blair Witch parody that, amazingly, wasn’t tired at all thanks to the filmmakers creativity and their actors’ willingness to take risks—and, uh, the biggest cock in this year’s HUMP.

    Congrats to Lauren Likes Candy and Queer Safari, this year’s winners. And, hey, a big round of applause for the audiences that choose these films. The audiences at HUMP were overwhelmingly straight and yet they gave top honors to two queer films. Some of the strongest submissions this year—Broken, Sex on Roller Skates, Lauren Likes Candy, and Queer Safari—were queers. “The homos really brought it,” one audience member told me on the way out. They sure did!

    But thanks to everyone that entered—gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, alien, sofa—and, hey, HUMP 4 is coming up in just twelve months. Hopefully straight Seattle will rise to the challenge and it’ll be HUMP 4: Revenge of the Breeders!

    The World’s Saddest Paper, the World’s Worst Pie

    posted by on October 8 at 1:19 PM

    Both are in Kalama, Washington, that two-square-mile town near the Washington border where people stop for gas on the way to Portland.

    The pie was the stuff of melancholy: canned fruit glop scooped into an individual pie shell and barely microwaved. But the October 3 issue of The Reflector (“the newspaper with integrity”) was the stuff of suicide.

    There was the lead story about the volunteer fireman who got fired from his volunteer job and is threatening to sue the city to get his volunteer job back. There was the story about the little girl with the horse named Lisa’s Breeze. There was the police blotter item about Kyle J. Gorman, 21, who was “booked into Cowlitz Co. jail for theft of a donation jar.”

    Then there was the obituary for a certain Mr. Root that contained this two-sentence paragraph:

    Root loved Jesus, basketball, and music. He was disabled.

    Another Washington Endorsement

    posted by on October 8 at 12:33 PM

    Former Gov. Gary Locke is backing Hillary Clinton for president.

    Metrobloggers Aren’t Close Readers

    posted by on October 8 at 11:58 AM

    Seattle Metroblogging accuses Slog (and by extension me, the city hall reporter) of being “obsessed” with Tim Burgess, who’s running against David Della for City Council, while ignoring all the other races. Metroblogger Dylan writes:

    Total number of Slog posts decrying Tim Burgess doing PR work for Concerned Women for America in 2003, something he has said publicly he regrets and wouldn’t do again if he could: 16

    Total number of Slog posts saying anything at all about Venus Velazquez or Bruce Harrell, who I just found out this past weekend were running for City Council: 3

    Total number of Slog posts mentioning any other Council candidate: 0

    Not that I would ever accuse Metroblogging of being anything less than rigorous in its reporting, but that accusation didn’t sound right to me. So I did a quick survey of Slog.

    June 13: “(Money Tree for Venus Velazquez?)…”

    June 14: “Latina activist and now-candidate Venus Velazquez…”

    June 14: “City Council candidate Joe Szwaja had a meet-and-greet with Capitol Hill folks last night at Liberty on Fifteenth Ave.”

    June 20: “Scott Feldman… Al Runte… Bruce Harrell… Venus Velazquez… John Manning…

    June 28: “…council hopeful Joe Szwaja.”

    June 28: “…[City Council candidate] Lauren Briel’s kickoff party at the Baltic Room on Capitol Hill.”

    July 17: “Venus Velazquez, who had been trailing behind opponent Bruce Harrell in fundraising…”

    July 18: “The biggest surprise of the night: Jean Godden’s failure to win the 43rd’s endorsement…”

    July 25: “If only people like Darlene Flynn and Sherry Carr … Bill Sherman and Keith Scully … were running for city council—non-committal (and unpersuasive) people like Sally Clark wouldn’t stand a chance.”

    August 1: “(Vote for Venus Velazquez, not Al Runte, by the way.)”

    August 3: …”city council candidate Venus Valazquez’s campaign against Harrell.”

    August 3: “…city council hopeful Bruce Harrell.”

    July 31: “Four others—incumbents Della and Sally Clark and open seat contenders Bruce Harrell and Venus Velazquez—were rated ‘very good,’ while incumbent Jean Godden ranked just ‘good.’”

    August 1: “Vote For Venus Velazquez. Don’t Vote for Al Runte.”

    September 28: “However, given that the Velazquez-Harrell race is pretty much the only game in town this year…”

    October 4: “Green Party bomb-thrower Joe Szwaja and bike-and-business friendly incumbent Jean Godden… possible biz shill Venus Velazquez and grouchy lawyer Bruce Harrell.”

    October 4: “Jean Godden… Joe Szwaja…”

    And that’s just Slog (and just me and Josh). I’ve also covered the City Council races extensively in the paper itself, including in the news section and in my column—where I actually write about the council races almost every week.

    Also, Metroblogging? Just so you know, there are only two really competitive races this year: The Burgess-Della race, and the Velazquez-Harrell one. If you really want to see scintillating coverage of the race between Sally Clark and that anti-nudity activist and the one between Tom Rasmussen and, um, no one, you’ll have to write it yourself.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 8 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Lust, Caution’

    Ang Lee’s follow-up to Brokeback Mountain is flawed, but Lust, Caution (an erotic spy thriller set in 1940s Shanghai) is so ambitious and detailed that you’ll never be bored. From the clinking of lacquered nails against mah-jongg tiles to the thrill of a first cigarette, Lee envisions a world where sensuality is the engine that fires not just youthful rebellion, but politics, assassination plots, maybe even torture. It’s provocative by design. (See Movie Times for details.)


    Slog Tracking Poll: Who Do You Want to Be the Democratic Nominee?

    posted by on October 8 at 10:55 AM

    It’s that time again. If you’re curious about previous tracking poll results, click here for September and here for August.

    The question for October is the same as before, and very simple:

    Who do you want to be the Democratic presidential nominee?

    We give you two polls with which to answer this question, one that includes Al Gore in the list of candidates and one that does not. Please vote in both polls. (And, for those who have been complaining about us offering a poll that includes Gore: I hear you. If, after Oct. 12, when the Nobel Peace Prize is announced, Gore is still saying that he’s not going to run, then we’ll drop the poll that includes him.)

    Poll closes at 5 p.m.


    posted by on October 8 at 10:51 AM

    From an article by Graham Harman, “On Vicarious Causation”:

    We are not more critical than animals, but more object-oriented, filling our minds with all present and absent objects, all geographical and astronomical places, all species of animal, all flavors of juice, all players from the history of baseball, all living and dead languages. We do not remain in the holistic prisons of our own lives where things are fully unified by their significance for us, but face outward toward a cosmos speckled with independent campfires and black holes, packed full with objects that generate their own private laws and both welcome and resist our attempts to gain information.

    From James Latteier’s blog, Mt Semblant.

    Why don’t the planets speak?’ Jacques Lacan asks this question in all earnestness at the beginning of Seminar XIX in which he introduces the concept of the Big Other. He is using the exemplary case of the stars as the founding of the Symbolic order; but for all their reluctance perhaps they can be made to speak—perhaps because the event of founding is one we can never either locate or erase: that at any rate is the puzzle I want to play with. They did speak at one time, as we all know, through astrology. First, here is what Lacan of the Seminars says:

    ‘…the stars do not speak, planets are dumb, and that’s because they are silenced…We only became absolutely certain that the planets do not speak once they’d been shut up, that is to say once Newtonian theory had produced the theory of the unified field, in a form which has since been completed, a form which was already entirely satisfactory to every thinker…everything which enters in the unified field will never speak again because these are realities which have been totally reduced to language.’

    From Bruno Latour’s book We Have Never Been Modern:

    [For the Achaur, an Amazonian tribe, in nature there are a] set of things with which communication cannot be established. Opposite beings endowed with language, of which humans are the most perfect incarnation, stand those things deprived of speech that inhabit parallel, inaccessible worlds. The inability to communicate is often ascribed to the lack of soul that affects certain living species: most insects and fish, poultry, and numerous plants, which thus lead a mechanical, inconsequential existence. But the absence of communication is sometimes due to distance: the souls of stars and meteors, infinitely far away and prodigiously mobile, remain deaf to human words.

    Speaking of the Amazon, and of black holes, here is a sad story that involves the last man.

    Good News Monday!

    posted by on October 8 at 10:50 AM

    Gee, guys. The past week was so full of bad news: Officials in Myanmar turned off the Internet, cops went on murderous rampages, and our sports team was for shame. I can hardly bring myself to read the newspaper. Neither can my mom. She told me recently, “I can’t pick up the paper anymore, love. Every time it’s either George Bush or somebody raped a baby.” How succinct. She’s Australian and calls everyone “love,” even when making a baby-rape reference. Anyway, since you’re depressed from the bad news, here’s the cure: good news!

    Debbie Cole of St. Petersburg, Florida found $65,000 stuffed into a bag, so she turned it in! That was so nice.

    I’m already feeling better. How about you? … Maybe this will help. Thousands of toads crossing the highway were getting squashed like tomatoes until a few compassionate souls saved millions of them. Wow! Toads!

    Someone uploaded this lovely photo to Flickr. It looks like the Cathedral of Chartres, but I’m not sure. At least it’s nice to see that crusading institutions of murder and misery made such neat stuff from rocks and glass.

    Hey, and let’s not forget about porn. HUMP! 3 happened and lots of folks got an eyeful. Maybe you didn’t go and that is the good news. But there’s still lots of porn online. The totally NSFW X-Tube is absolutely free.

    Speaking of pussies, they are being rescued.

    Listen, the news won’t be fair until it’s balanced. There’s a lot of bad news to counteract. So if you’ve got good news from the past week, put it in comments. Did a woman cut off her abusive husband’s prick, did a baby St. Bernard take a nap, did someone find Larry Craig’s personal stash of brassieres? We need details.

    The P-I Endorses Roads and Transit, Sort Of

    posted by on October 8 at 10:05 AM

    The P-I’s editorial page editor, Mark Trahant, kinda-sorta, very confusingly, says we should vote “yes” on roads and transit. He doesn’t exactly explain why, except to say that it’s unlikely anything better will come along, and maybe we can make it better later. Although he doesn’t exactly explain what “better” would be. Also, there are lots of oblique references to Robert Frost. Read it here.

    Shit’s in the PI

    posted by on October 8 at 9:09 AM

    Yeah, yeah: it’s a law enforcement story. But a brainless one, like all the others about marijuana grow operations. This headline was up on the PI’s website Saturday afternoon:

    Pot industry taking violent turn for worse

    In little more than two months, three killings have been linked to Puget Sound-area indoor marijuana farms.

    And here’s the story—forty one paragraphs about indoor grow ops in King County, the violence associated with them, the emerging Southeast Asian connection, and the deleterious impact all of this is having on the quality of the food served in area Vietnamese restaurants. Seriously. But there isn’t a single graph in Levi Pulkkinen’s story—not one sentence, not a measly parenthetical, not a hint—about how marijuana prohibition is responsible for the lawlessness that Pulkkinen writes about takes dictation from the police about.

    Want to get criminals out of the “pot industry”? Want to put an end to the violence? Want to get indoor grow-ops out of our neighborhoods? Legalize pot, tax the shit out of it, and let American farmers grow it—out in their fields, in the sunshine, just as God intended marijuana to grow. It will raise billions for the state (we could finance universal health insurance at a stroke), put an end to the violence associated with the illegal marijuana trade (just as putting an end to alcohol prohibition put and end to the violence associated with the illegal booze trade), and quickly improve the quality of the offerings at area Vietnamese restaurants. Seriously.

    Legalize pot. Everybody wins and fewer people get hurt.

    It would be great if the PI was as anxious to inform its readers about the benefits of marijuana legalization—and the futility of the war on pot (anybody at the PI having any trouble scoring pot lately? didn’t think so)—as the paper is to breathlessly report every heroic detail of the local, state, and federal government’s destructive and ineffective war on a plant. How many times do we have to read the exact same story about pot? Grow op busted! Violence associated with illegal activity! So many tons seized! Blah blah blah.

    When will the daily papers stop helping to wage the drug war and start actually reporting on it?

    It’s the Sabbatical Year!

    posted by on October 8 at 9:05 AM

    Who knew? Where do I sign up? And who is going to resolve this problem in Israel?

    This year, 5768 by the Jewish calendar, is a shmita, or sabbatical year. Jewish-owned land is to be left fallow, whatever grows there is to be free and at year’s end, all personal debts are to be forgiven…

    That presumably worked fine in a primitive economy before decent fertilizer… but a modern country cannot live on what falls to the ground.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 8 at 9:00 AM

    Progress in Iraq: National reconciliation—which was the whole point of Bush’s “surge”—is “not a realistic goal,” say Iraqi leaders.

    Someone’s Going Home: UK plans to cut troop levels in Iraq by half, from 5000 to 2500.

    This Is What Inevitable Looks Like: Hillary Clinton’s lead continues to grow—just like Howard Dean’s did at the same point in the ‘04 election.

    Gun Nuts: Young man in Wisconsin shoots six teenagers to death before being gunned down himself. Was there a nightclub nearby?

    We’re All Polar Bears Now: The latest victim of global warming? The Chicago Marathon—one runner dead, 25 hospitalized, marathon cancelled before finish after temperature soars into the 80s.

    The War on Drugs: It’s worked so well here—remember B.C. Bud?—that we’re exporting it to Afghanistan.

    Moving Out: Thirteen sex offenders that “never caused trouble” are booted out of the U-District—courtesy of Christine Gregoire.

    Idaho Has a Hall of Fame? Yep, and they’ve just inducted Sen. Larry Craig.

    Shut Out: Seahawks bring shame upon our city.

    Amy Poehler on Larry Craig: “I don’t even like going to the bathroom in an airport bathroom.”

    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    Seattle Times and PI Endorse Burgess

    posted by on October 7 at 11:20 AM


    The PI’s endorsement is pretty vague:

    The best choices for fresh blood are Bruce Harrell, who is seeking the Position 3 opening created by Peter Steinbrueck’s decision to leave, and Tim Burgess, who is challenging incumbent David Della for Position 7. Harrell and Burgess offer the potential for a higher level of performance on a council that can be close to brilliant on policy but still stumble on overall leadership, focus and collaboration with other government offices.

    Blah blah blah. I’m not even sure what that means. Can someone provide me with an example of a moment when our city council was “close to brilliant” on policy or anything else?

    The Seattle Times pretends to address Burgess’ troublesome history in their endorsement:

    In Position 7, Tim Burgess receives The Times’ endorsement over incumbent Councilman David Della.

    Burgess brings an impressive background in law enforcement, journalism, community activism and advertising work for nonprofit organizations….

    Burgess has been characterized as too Republican, evangelical and anti-abortion, labels that don’t ring true. While having contributed to individual Republicans and penned a faith-based-values op-ed in The Times, Burgess describes himself as a progressive Democrat who is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. More to the point, his police, business and neighborhood background will be an asset on the council.

    Hm. The Seattle Times fails to mention of the years of work Burgess did for the anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-female-equality group Concerned Women for America. That’s the major stumbling block for a lot of progressive, pro-choice, and pro-gay voters, not Burgess’ odd donation to GOP candidates or a single op-ed.

    The problem many of us have with the now-infamous op-ed isn’t what it seemed to be saying—although there are problems with that, and I went into them at great length on Slog—but what the op-ed would seem to reveal about Burgess’ work with CWfA. It’s hard to read that op-ed without concluding that Burgess wasn’t just taking CWfA’s money because it was so green and plentiful, but because he actively supported CWfA’s goals.

    In that early 2005 op-ed, Burgess—who, again, had long worked for one of the most conservative Christian groups in the country—offered some advice to Democrats on reaching “faith-driven values voters” like him. Those “values voters” had just handed the White House to George W. Bush for another four years. And it was Burgess’ use of coded right-wing rhetoric—rhetoric that could have been lifted right off a CWfA mailing (perhaps one written by Burgess’ consulting firm)—that has caused so much concern. Here’s one graph that progressives struggle with in particular:

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

    An op-ed by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared in the New York Times last Thursday—the same day, ironically enough, that Burgess and Della came to our offices for an endorsement debate. Titled “The Values Test,” Dobson’s op-ed uses language similar to the language Burgess used in his op-ed for the Seattle Times and Dobson stresses the importance of the same two issues—abortion and gay marriage—that Burgess stressed in his op-ed:

    I firmly believe that the selection of a president should begin with a recommitment to traditional moral values and beliefs. Those include the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, and other inviolable pro-family principles.

    Burgess claims his positions on abortion, same-sex marriage, and the Concerned Women for America have all undergone recent and rapid evolutions. He claims that he’s now pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and anti-CWfA. And that may be the honest—and welcome—truth. That’s certainly the kind of evolution I’d like to see more “values voters” undergo. But the Seattle Times is being dishonest when it leaves Burgess’ long and lucrative association with CWfA out of its endorsement.

    For more—and, some would say, more relevant—info about the Burgess/Della race, check out Erica C. Barnett’s piece in this week’s Stranger.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 7 at 11:00 AM


    George Jones at Paramount Theatre

    George Jones is the greatest country musician alive today. He’s amazingly prolific (I stopped counting his releases at 75), and, like Hank Williams, Jones sings hard; emotion just pours out of him. This guy has lived a tough life—76 years of booze and drugs and heartbreak—and his aching voice pulls at your heart. You know he means it when he sobs: “Well, one more drink of wine/then if you’re still on my mind/one drink, just one more—and then another.” (Paramount, 911 Pine St, 628-0888. 7:30 pm, $44–$55, all ages.)