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Archives for 06/22/2008 - 06/28/2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gas Prices: Another Silver Lining

posted by on June 28 at 6:17 PM

The NYT via Atrios:

For car-loving American teenagers, this is turning out to be the summer the cruising died…. [For] decades, cruising on Friday and Saturday nights has been a teenage rite of passage. It is a peculiarly American phenomenon—driving around in a big loop, listening to music, waving at one another and wasting gasoline.

“We’re not cruising around anymore, with gas costing $4.50 a gallon,” said Ewelina Smosna, a recent graduate of Taft High School in Chicago, as she hung out the other night at the Streets of Woodfield, an outdoor mall in Schaumburg. “We just park the car and walk around.”

According to police officers in towns like Elkhart, Ind.; Grand Haven, Mich.; and Mount Pleasant, S.C., traffic has dropped markedly on cruise nights.

People moving back into cities, greater demand (and political suport) for mass-transit, gas consumption way down, and American teenagers getting off their fat asses and walking around—what’s not to like about high gas prices?

Just Now at Cal Anderson Park

posted by on June 28 at 5:40 PM

This is Joey. He learned to slackline three years ago after watching a guy do it in the woods. More on slacklining here. Photos are by Kelly O.







(Hey, Circus Contraption—you gotta put Joey in your next show.)

Letter to the Editor of the Day

posted by on June 28 at 5:30 PM

To Whomever: i can’t believe the ghastly ungodly agrandizmal gaydumb and overall blindness of bias with regards to devoting an entire F-ing issue to a bunch of queers and queens and their faggy little parade: BFD! This, particularly after so grossly overlooking the phenomenal, 20th anniversary even, of the Fremont Arts parade, and dismissing it as a bunch of naked bicyclists.

Fuck you guys.

The parade in Fremont is an eclectic artistic expression and is inclusive to all. (Pretty much the opposite of the Gay Pride parade.)

The folks who put on the parade, The Fremont Arts Council, are a class organization. And it might be nice to give them a little more press than a mere illustrated letter and ten words under ‘nothing happened today.’

You’all should crawl out of your own self absorbed rectums and check out what else is happening in town once in awhile. Fags marching in Seattle—yawn. I was so exhausted with all that I read last issue—overwrought with fagginess—I didn’t even have energy left to read Dan Savage. Larry Crist.

Gay Pride, in Photos, Part I

posted by on June 28 at 3:45 PM

From Friday night at the Wild Rose, the Wet T-Shirt Contest…


More photos after the jump!

Continue reading "Gay Pride, in Photos, Part I" »

So I Hear There’s Going to Be a Big Obama Contingent in the Gay Pride Parade Tomorrow…

posted by on June 28 at 2:15 PM

Here’s something, via Sullivan, to think about while you’re marching with your Sherpard Fairey knockoff or standing on 4th Ave cheering for the gay Obama paraders:

In other parts of the country, gays are criticizing Obama for failing to support gay marriage and for his failure to do more personally to stop the anti-gay-marriage amendment in California, a state that holds a lot of homosexuals who are currently writing checks to Obama (with some now feeling like cheap dates) and also a lot of anti-gay-marriage African Americans who could perhaps be persuaded by Obama to vote no on the amendment.

Remember, homos: Obama is not a proponent of gay marriage—which even Sullivan, chief Obamaphile of the rational right, calls a stance borne of cowardice. (Sullivan also twists the “cowardice” knife by pointing out that Obama’s own parents knew something about wanting to be married at a time when many states wouldn’t allow their kind of marriage.)

Now, personally, I’m not all riled up. I think the lesson that the gay community learned in 2000 and 2004 is that it’s actually in the gay community’s interest to give a candidate like Obama a bit of breathing room on this. Sure, it hurts a bit, but there’s a lot more at stake than just gay rights in a presidential election, and as the gays (borrowing from MLK) like to say these days: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

If getting the universe to bend in a pro-gay direction in the long-term means being thrown under a Democratic presidential candidate’s bus in the short-term… Well, the pro-Obama marchers at tomorrow’s parade will essentially be offering to strike this bargain: Bring it on, throw us under, roll back and forth across us, whatever it takes to win. Because long-term, we recognize that a Democrat in the White House will be better for gay rights than a Republican.

And after the last eight years, what savvy gay rights proponent can argue with that logic?

Task, Act I

posted by on June 28 at 2:11 PM

Still underway at the Seattle Public Library right now is Oliver Herring’s Task. I just came from there.

First, what it is: Task is a work of art by Herring. Its entire purpose is to give other people a chance to be creative within a structure. Herring sets the structure, and then Task plays itself out.

It started this morning at 10, when a mix of art types and regular library patrons waited for the downtown library’s doors to open. By the time we got up to the main floor (the one level with Fifth Avenue), Task was already underway. The 35 volunteers of all ages chosen in advance by the artist had each received, randomly, one task to perform, written by the artist. (Other than that, the artist doesn’t participate. He walks around talking to people and filming and generally looking slightly stressed.)

The first task I witnessed was a man crawling on a path between the two main stages, then doing situps on it. I tried to guess what the task was that he’d been given, but quickly got distracted by another thing. After he was done, he discarded that task and wrote another one, then put it in a tin-foil-covered box. That’s what all 35 of them will do all day, until 5:30. Then, at 6, they’ll talk about it in an open Q&A.

After the tasks are performed, they are entered into a computer and appear on a screen near the stage, so you can see retrospectively what it was that you were just watching.

Here’s what I saw:
1. A young man in a plaid shirt vivisecting a plastic holstein cow with an exacto knife.
2. An older man wearing glasses on a chain, cutting a flower out of cardboard.
3. A dark-haired, busty young woman in an Obama T-shirt tied up in a chair. After several minutes of her sitting quietly, someone came over and freed her.
4. Three people standing on ladders and trying to sing “God Bless America.” An older woman in the audience stepped forward and mouthed the words because the singers didn’t really know them.
5. A thin and stylish older woman, holding a placard she’d made, announcing, “Refashion Nation parade starting! Please? Please?” No one responded, because the others were standing in a circle nearby and bouncing a beach ball.
6. A young woman declaring, “I am not disposable” while her legs were wrapped in toilet paper.
7. A scene from Oprah magazine performed. (Tips on how to talk about body image with family members.)
8. A sit-in protesting walking on the walkway.
9. Three women stretching in unison.
10. A young woman introducing herself to an older man and shaking his hand while saying, “Hi, my name is Tara. And now, you have to shake everyone’s hand in Task.” (The man then turned to me and said, “Everyone has to shake everyone’s hand! That’s 35 factorial!!” He was wearing a nametag that said “Sol (Actually Ned).” I asked but immediately forgot whether his name is Sol or Ned.)
11. A young man and woman inventing a secret handshake.
12. An old man and woman waltzing.
13. A young man subverting other people’s tasks.
14. An old tenor singing a few bars of an aria.

I was asked to participate in the singing of “God Bless America,” but I declined. I did allow my hair to be styled with clothespins by an older woman.

Because there are two stages, the energy in the place is oddly split. (One of the stages, on the bleachers above the auditorium, is generally empty, while the other is crowded.) By noon, the participants seemed to be flagging and I was mildly irritated. Then, I was talked into believing in Task again, by an older man wearing a worn blue U.S. Marine Corps cap and building a fort with cardboard and buckets. On the side, it said “Fort Badass.”

I started talking to him because he was very old, clearly the oldest in the group, and he had long black hair streaming out between the buttons on his shirt at belly level. When I asked him how he got so hairy in the middle, he said archly, “I beg your pardon. I can not help that.” He continued building Fort Badass with two young guys. They kept thinking they were done, and he kept adding features: smokestacks, chimneys, a box for A/C. He even “wired” the place using extension cords.

When he was finished with Fort Badass, I asked his name (Bob), his age (he turned 83 yesterday) and I asked him about his cap (I knew the participants can bring costumes, but he also looked about the right age for World War II service). We fell to talking and it turned out he did fight in WWII, including storming the beachheads in Guam and Okinawa. Later, in the Korean War, he sunned himself on an aircraft carrier in the Caribbean. After that, he owned five men’s stores in Southern California. He has been married 42 years; before that, he was married 21 years to another woman. I asked what was his favorite task so far, and he said making snow out of cottonballs. “I took this pile of cotton, and I knew I was being photographed, see, and I just threw it up to the sky,” he said. “Oh, and I got to read a love poem to a lady on the floor over here. Want me to read it to you?”

“Have a seat,” he said, returning from fetching the manila envelope containing his love poems. (The participants are also asked to bring a few of their own writings.)

“Now I’ve been in love since the first grade,” Bob said. “I have never been without a heartthrob in my life. This poem I wrote to woo my wife, 42 years ago.”

I don’t remember most of it, but it included the lines “Stir the passions of our gender” (!), “Give us love, give us peace,” and “I am yours, you are mine/We are sublime.”

He then read me a poem about his cat.

“Something like this is really good for us,” he said, unprompted, when there was a long pause in our conversation as we figured out a way to disentangle ourselves from this oddly intimate interaction. “Have you noticed that you can really get outside yourself? You can really communicate without anxiety here.”

Another participant came by. “Bob, you wanna be in a conga line?”

“Well sure, why not?” he said, standing up. “Where’s the rhythm?”

On Facebook, Everyone’s a Hussein

posted by on June 28 at 12:45 PM

Obama fans are striking back at all the chatter about his middle name by changing their online identities:

The result is a group of unlikely-sounding Husseins: Jewish and Catholic, Hispanic and Asian and Italian-American, from Jaime Hussein Alvarez of Washington, D.C., to Kelly Hussein Crowley of Norman, Okla., to Sarah Beth Hussein Frumkin of Chicago.

Jeff Strabone of Brooklyn now signs credit card receipts with his newly assumed middle name, while Dan O’Maley of Washington, D.C., jiggered his e-mail account so his name would appear as “D. Hussein O’Maley.” Alex Enderle made the switch online along with several other Obama volunteers from Columbus, Ohio, and now friends greet him that way in person, too.

The origins of the movement are heartwarming…

Like the residents of Billings, Mont., who reacted to a series of anti-Semitic incidents in 1993 with a townwide display of menorahs in their front windows, these supporters are brandishing the name themselves…

Some said they were inspired by movies, including “Spartacus,” the 1960 epic about a Roman slave whose peers protect him by calling out “I am Spartacus!” to Roman soldiers, and “In and Out,” a 1997 comedy about a gay high school teacher whose students protest his firing by proclaiming that they are all gay as well.

…but, um, doesn’t this just run the risk of drawing more attention to a middle name that the Obama campaign itself doesn’t much want to talk about?

The Late-Morning News

posted by on June 28 at 11:44 AM

Posted by News Intern Roselle Kingsbury

Problem Tenant: Pakistan launches a potentially week-long offensive against burgeoning Taliban force in northwest region of the country, responding to threats to the city of Peshawar.

Surprise — Mugabe Wins: Robert Mugabe remains Zimbabwe’s president after winning the one-candidate run off today and President Bush condemns his “blatant disregard for the Zimbabwean people’s democratic will and human rights.”

Obama’s Practice Run: The candidate plans on pausing his tireless national campaign to travel to countries like France, Afghanistan, and Iraq to “consult with some of our closest friends and allies.”

Bearing…down?: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 20 percent Friday in a slide analysts dub “bear” and attribute to the credit and oil squeeze.

Last Minute: The Seattle City Council evaluated a proposed six-year park levy Friday to replace the 2000 levy that ends this year, which must be approved come budget time in October.

And Your Prize Is…:
King County District court found former Seatac TSA supervisor and screener Jeanna Jarett guilty Friday of several traffic violations, including a state-record breaking 0.47 blood alcohol level.

Ingenious Loophole: One Miami man who was jailed after testing positive for cocaine walks free after convincing the judge that it wasn’t cocaine, it was tea.

Porn Pays: Verne Troyer joins the ranks of celebrity-with-tax-problems, but at least he could pay the IRS off with a sex tape.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 28 at 11:00 AM


‘Task’ at Seattle Public Library, Central Branch

A hearty gang of 35 regular Seattle people (nonperformers), led by German artist Oliver Herring, are taking over the third floor of the downtown library. After interviewing and picking his volunteers, Herring writes tasks for each of them, and the all-day performance will begin with each person performing his or her artist-given task, such as “pick a cat hair or dog hair off somebody’s sweater without somebody noticing and place it on somebody else.” The 35 people will spend the rest of the day writing tasks for each other, creating a symphonic group portrait. (Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, 386-4636. 10 am–5:30 pm, free.) JEN GRAVES


posted by on June 28 at 10:38 AM

Mugabe is bad, but not as bad as Bush:

Government sources say Mr Mugabe has won by a huge margin in the vote, which has been widely condemned as a sham.

Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the election amid claims of violence and intimidation by government supporters.

US President George W Bush said he had ordered sanctions be drawn up against the “illegitimate” government.


Reading Today

posted by on June 28 at 10:00 AM


It is a packed-with-readings Saturday including an open mic, a children’s book about an elephant, and a book about utopia.

At Seattle Mystery Bookshop, James Rollins signs from his newest book, The Last Oracle. That’s not an important fact about James Rollins. An important fact about James Rollins is that he wrote the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novelization. If, like me, you left that movie wanting to hold someone accountable, this is probably your only chance to meet someone even tangentially related to the movie. If you go, make sure to ask him if he rolled his eyes while reading the script as much as you did while watching the movie.

At Borders, Jeff Dwyer signs his newest book, the Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Seattle and Puget Sound. I’ve met several ghost hunters, and I find them to be incredibly entertaining people. This could be an amusing way to spend a half hour or so in the afternoon if you happen to be downtown.

And at Elliott Bay Book Company, Gary Vaynerchuck reads from his book 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World. I can’t read that title without assuming that ‘Thunder’ here implies ‘gas.’ What a weird title. Do you think that Vaynerchuck is always referring to things that he likes as “bringing thunder?” Maybe we should popularize it.

Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, can be found over on our books page.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This Week on Drugs

posted by on June 27 at 5:24 PM

Pissing Match: Over an X-Box and a bong.

A man in his late teens told police that he knew his roommate in Crown Hill smoked marijuana when they moved in together about a month ago. But there was too much pot smoking too often.

Until last week, when one roommate took a few bong hits. The other roommate had enough, said there would be no more pot smoking and shattered the bong on the sidewalk.

The next morning, the bong-breaking roommate returned to find that his Xbox and the power supply had been removed from the stereo shelf. When he grabbed the game console, a liquid ran out that he said “smelled like urine,” according to the police report.

Drugs: In rugs.

Coca-Cola Launches Some Weird Coffee Shit: With vitamins.

Pot: Bad for acute pain, good for nerve pain, and great for cancer.

Movie Magic: Pot tolerance on the silver screen.

Fired: Smugglers executed in Indonesia.

Figured: Drug use and production inflate in 2008.

Filtered: High-tech cigarettes pulled from shelves.

Opium: Linked to uranium.

Doobie Howser: Pot popular with future doctors.

Where You’ll Need a Prescription: Even if you bought it over the counter.

While many other countries also apply controls to the following drugs, UAE is unusual in conducting extremely thorough searches of many travellers through its airports, with highly sensitive equipment.

Fire with Fire: Stop drug use by taking more drugs.

Cops: With a place in hell.

Police officials on Tuesday fired 17 officers here in connection with a botched raid on a bar last week that triggered a stampede, leaving a dozen people dead.

The firings came as newly released video footage showed police officers blocking exits as hundreds of young patrons tried to flee. The bar’s owners were suspected of serving alcohol to minors.

PI Makes Ridiculous Link Between Kent Shooting and Video Games

posted by on June 27 at 5:12 PM

“Video game may have led to real violence” is one of the top stories over at the PI right now. From reading said headline, you’d think some kids played too much Grand Theft Auto and went on a shooting spree.

Except that’s not what happened.

The story, written by Hector Castro, is actually about a double shooting in Kent which, according to everyone else reporting on the story, actually stemmed from an argument over a stolen Playstation video game console. Big difference. The headline—which could have been written by Castro’s editors—implies that video game violence led to the shooting, which appears to be complete bullshit.

Now, either the Castro and his editors don’t know the difference between a video game and a game console, haven’t done additional reporting on the story—the initial press release from Kent PD claimed the shooting was over a video game; I’ve got calls in to Kent PD for clarification, but no one’s been around all afternoon—or intentionally filed a misleading-but-sensationalistic headline.

I’ve got a call out to Castro to find out what his intent was but in the meantime, mull over this detail, buried at the bottom of the story.

Witnesses told investigators that they believed the video game dispute led to the violence, but police suspect there are other motivations behind the assault and shootings.

So, So Sorry

posted by on June 27 at 5:00 PM

Here’s the apology:


You’ll have to go to The Presurfer for the hilarious and terrible mistake that forced these ladies to apologize.

“The Craig-Vitter Amendment”

posted by on June 27 at 4:54 PM

Andrew Sullivan renames the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment in honor of two of its co-sponsers. I hope it sticks.

How NOT to Land a Punch

posted by on June 27 at 4:46 PM

I got an email this morning from Judy McGuire about the cover of this year’s Queer Issue. McGuire writes an advice column for a weekly newspaper and recently brought out a book—which was news to me. (Fire your publicist, Judy.) Anyway, here’s Juuuudy’s email:

So pretty… and so familiar.

On her blog Judy claims that our Queer Issue somehow ripped off her book (“Copycats!!!”). And here’s the evidence…


Whoa… pretty damning. I mean, black backgrounds and text-only covers? Wish we had thought of that first. Oh, wait… we did.


I believe our art director—who actually put the cover together—was harkening back to our first queer issues, and not perusing the dollar bin at Half Price Books, when he put this cover together. And we’ve had Queer Issue covers with a solid background and an little iconic image floating in there somewhere before too, like so and so.

But what about that “How NOT to…” thing? I’m embarrassed to say that the “how not to…” concept isn’t all that brilliantly original—on our part or McGuire’s. It has been done before. Heck, it’s been done to death. A selection of “how not to…” titles available on How NOT to Make It in the Pop World (2007); How NOT to Make the Same Mistake Once (1999); How NOT to Turn Into Your Mother (2006); How NOT to Get Rich (2005); How NOT to Share Your Faith (2006); How NOT to Look Fat (2006); How NOT to Write a Screenplay (1999); and on and on and on.

Shout at the Devil

posted by on June 27 at 4:21 PM

As you probably already know, Bobby Jindal, the new governor of Louisiana, is the current favorite for McCain’s VP slot.


The Wall Street Journal has a quick hit about Jindal on their politics blog: Jindal is Catholic, a second-generation Indian immigrant, opposed to abortion always and everywhere, into intelligent design and chemical castration, and wrote a story claiming to have participated in an exorcism.

Basically, he’s my nightmare.

Since McCain has assumed the miter and rod of the Republican nomination, I’ve had a delicious fantasy playing out in my head: That McCain, in trying to purge himself of the Bush legacy (as well as wreak a revenge he’s been plotting for eight long, painful years) would finally throw the evangelicals off the train.

That he’d put out a call to angry Goldwater conservatives, classical conservatives, and isolationist-minded moderates who are disgusted with the heavy spending, foreign entanglements, and social conservatism of the last eight years.

Healthy, classical conservatism is an important part of any country’s conversation with itself, but the evangelicals are perverse, willfully obtuse, destructive, blah blah blah. They’ve hijacked the Republican Party. And maybe McCain’s the man to punch ‘em in the eye and take back the wheel.

Of course, I want McCain to lose. But I want a Roman bloodbath in the process that purges Dobson, et al. from the body politic. It’s a revenge story out of Shakespeare, or Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and I want to watch it go down.

But this Jindal guy, with his charismatic Catholicism, is starting to derail my hopes and dreams.


I wanted to read his 1994 exorcism story at the New Oxford Review, but it lives behind a $1.50 firewall. So, for the good of the nation, I paid the $1.50 and posted chunks of it below the jump. (The whole thing is over 5,000 words long—for an account of an exorcism, it’s painfully plodding.)

It’s called Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare.

Highlights include: His tortured sexual tension with the possessed woman (“we had been very careful to avoid any form of physical contact in our friendship”), her freaking out (“Over and over, she repeated “Jesus is L..L..LL,” often ending in profanities”), and theories as to how she came to be possessed in the first place (“Susan’s roommate, the daughter of a Hmong faith healer, had decorated the room with supposedly pagan influences… Susan, who had experienced visions and other related phenomena as a child, thought her intense flirting with guys and straying away from God had led to this punishment”).

When in doubt, blame the Hmong. Or sex. Or both.


Continue reading "Shout at the Devil" »

Good Weekend, Fellow Books Editors!

posted by on June 27 at 4:00 PM

Galleycat says that, due to cutbacks, the Tribune Company might cut the books sections of a number of papers that it owns. And also the Newark Star-Ledger has killed its Sunday books section, with occasional space provided from now on for a book review or two. No doubt the reviews published will be of local books that are completely uninteresting to everyone but overworked arts editors. This is great news.

Also, this is only related in that it’s about books, but today The New York Times covered a $130 ebook reader (The miBook, it’s called) with a color display that also plays music and works as an organizer. This is probably closer to what an ebook reader will wind up being: multimedia, but still book-y.

Getting Dressed

posted by on June 27 at 3:58 PM

The good people of the Association for Dressings and Sauces have compiled some data about favorite salad dressings and salad-dressers’ astrological sign. The findings (shockingly) do not seem to reflect accepted notions about character dictated by the stars. For instance:

Aquarians tend to be “team-players.” As such, they prefer the most popular salad dressing flavor, Ranch.

Capricorns like variety. Their love of variety makes them flexible and changeable and the life of the party. They’re always trying new things and, therefore, tend to have a lot of different salad dressing flavors on hand at any given time.

More startling results:

Cancers either thrive on intense competition or are very stressed out by it and those who enjoy competition usually hold jobs in sales.

Sagittarians either love competition or hate it and are more likely to be female.

Traci Gibson over at the Association says it was a nationwide telephone survey, with respondents 18 years of age or older, 480 males and 520 females.

For more remarkable salad-related insight, take the Salad Dressing Personality Quiz here. (I’ve just learned that as a blue cheese fan, I’m among the wittiest of salad dressing users—or at least I think I am! I am also most likely to be middle-aged and male. And when it comes to how you dress your salad, surprisingly, “Toppers…tend to be more shy than their mixing and dipping counterparts.” Those toppers are always such wallflowers!)

Ask: Do You Think We’re Fucked? Obama Wins in November.

posted by on June 27 at 3:50 PM

From this observation:

In its new New Jersey poll, Fairleigh Dickinson split its panel into halves. The first half received a battery of national questions — including a “wrong track” question — before being asked their presidential preference. The second half got the Presidential questions first.

Among those respondents who got the presidential question first, Obama had a 47-34 lead. But among who got the wrong track question and then were asked for their presidential pick, Obama’s lead expanded to 51-33. The difference was particularly large among independent voters, who split 24-24 with huge numbers of undecideds when asked the presidential question first, but went 41-14 for Obama if they had been prompted by the national mood questions.

FiveThirtyEight makes an excellent inference:

But here’s the other side of the finding that asking national mood questions can skew survey results in Obama’s favor. If the mere suggestion that the country might be on the wrong track is enough to send scores of independents into the Obama column, imagine what a concerted effort to frame the discourse that way might do. This is something that Hillary Clinton had started to tap into toward the end of the primary process. Screw hope — things are bad right now — and we need solutions.

Obama’s “change” message, by contrast, has oftentimes been a little bit too abstract. Here’s the messaging that Mssrs. Axelrod and Plouffe need to work on: Iraq’s fucked up, the economy’s fucked up, health care’s fucked up, the environment’s fucked up, and all John McCain can say is to “stay the course”. If that’s the mindset that voters take into the ballot booth with them in November, Obama will win quite convincingly.

It isn’t simply a matter of trying to frame McCain as the next Bush. That allows voters to let McCain off the hook if they conclude that McCain isn’t the next Bush, and McCain’s favorables are strong enough that many voters won’t bite on that one. Rather, it’s a matter of trying to portray McCain as being out of touch because he doesn’t recognize that these things like health care are problems when 70 or 80 percent of the country does.

See? My depressing posts about financial crises, crappy energy policy, impeding war with Iran and worms growing in the organs of poor American children are a force for good. I fully intend to ruin many of your future afternoons and lunches with doses of empiric reality.

What A Difference Five Months Makes

posted by on June 27 at 3:21 PM

As Glenn Greenwald points out today, MSNBC hack Keith Olbermann used harsh language to condemn the Bush administration for supporting warrantless wiretaps and immunity for telecoms in this year’s FISA bill. In a ten-minute “Special Comment,” Olbermann referred to FISA (inaccurately, but whatever) as “literally a textbook example of fascism, the merged efforts of government and corporations that answer to no government.” Then, noting Bush’s coziness with telecommunications lobbyists, Olbermann continued:

This is no longer just a farce in which protecting telecoms is dressed up as protecting us from terrorists’ conference cells. Now it begins to look like the bureaucrats of the Third Reich, trying to protect the Krupp family, the industrial giants, re-writing the laws of Germany for their benefit. There is not a choice of protecting the telecoms from prosecution or protecting the people from terrorism, Sir. This is a choice of protecting the telecoms from prosecution or pretending to protect the people from terrorists. Sorry, Mr. Bush, the eavesdropping provisions of FISA have obviously had no impact on counter-terrorism, and there is no current or perceived terrorist threat the thwarting of which could hinge on an email or phone call that is going through Room 641 of AT&T in San Francisco.

But now that Barack Obama is supporting those same provisions, Olbermann has lost his taste for outrage. Not just that: In a conversation with Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter two nights ago, the MSNBC commentator openly praised Obama for his strength and bravery in “refusing to cower even to the left on the subject of warrantless wiretapping,” adding: “not cowering to Republicans is one thing in the Democratic, recent Democratic history, it’s a thing that I think anybody who has a “D” near their name cheers, but not cowering to the left, not going along with the conventional, the new conventional thinking on the FISA bill, that’s something altogether different, isn’t it?

Yep, that would be the “new conventional thinking” to which Olbermann so breathlessly subscribed, oh, five months ago.

On the other hand: The fact that Obama supports the death penalty for child rapists shouldn’t surprise anyone. As an Illinois state senator, Obama voted repeatedly to expand the list of crimes that are subject to the death penalty, including murdering a senior citizen; murdering a disabled person; murder related to terrorism; and killing volunteers in community policing programs, among others. I don’t happen to agree with him (and Scalia, and Clarence Thomas) on this one—I think the evidence from the Senator’s own state shows that the rate of wrongful conviction is still too high to justify killing anyone, and there’s ample proof that African Americans are executed in disproportionate numbers—but it’s not like he’s kept his feelings on the subject a secret. His support for warrantless wiretaps may have been pandering, but the death penalty statement seems to be the way Obama really feels.

Buck Rogers and the Confusing Pride Weekend

posted by on June 27 at 3:00 PM

Via SF Signal.

Today’s HUMP Classified Ad

posted by on June 27 at 2:45 PM


Gay Bondage and JO Porn for HUMP!

We want to make a short film for HUMP that involves a bondage and JO scene. We’re looking for a hot guy with a nice dick who’s turned on by being tied down and edged. No oral, no anal, no nothin’ else. Filming will probably take two to three hours, and we’re willing to pay the right guy $200 (negotiable for the really right guy!), and we’ll give you a cut of the winnings if we win. Last year’s top winners were a lesbian bondage film and a gay humor film—this one will have gay bondage and humor, so we’re sure to win!

It’ll be safe and fun, and you don’t have to show your face in the film if you’re not comfortable with that. But you gotta have a hot bod!

You can respond to this ad here. More HUMP ads are here. And you can place your own HUMP classified here.

Forcing the Past Tense

posted by on June 27 at 2:00 PM

The Globe and Mail has a story by the man who added Tim Russert’s death date to the Meet the Press page of Wikipedia.

I know, I know.

But it’s actually fairly interesting. I’ve always wondered exactly why these people feel the need to update this web page the instant that something happens. And it does explain it a bit, and no, he’s not proud:

Alerted by The New York Times website (which also mentioned Russert’s death a few minutes before NBC did), I visited Wikipedia – partly out of interest about Russert and partly out of a vague and morbid curiosity about how long it would take for his death to register. The change, of course, had already been made to the main entry. But when I visited the Wikipedia page of Meet The Press, the flagship political show he helmed on Sundays, I found it in pristine condition.

Why I was compelled to be the one to change it, I couldn’t tell you, but that’s what I did. I added a “2008” as an ending date on his tenure at the show. I changed everything else to the past tense. And I did so post-haste.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on June 27 at 1:54 PM

Is the woman described in this letter in the current Savage Love….

A few months before I graduated, a friend revealed that she had been lusting after me, and wanted to hook up. The trouble was that she’s in a long-term relationship. She didn’t see this as a problem—she was willing to cheat—but I didn’t want to be a part of that, and turned her down. She then played some games and got me to kiss her when I was drunk, and later flat-out propositioned me (again while I was drunk), and I refused again. Then we graduated and moved hundreds of miles away from each other, which I expected would be the end of it.

Now, though, a month later, she wrote to tell me that she’s “not over” me. Was I right to turn her down, or should I, as she argued, let her make her own mistakes? Should I let her boyfriend (and likely fiancé) know about any of this?

Not An Adultery Helper

…a skanky, skanky whore? I said she was—or might be, if this guy decides to do her—in my response. And a sex workin’ reader begs to differ…

I like Savage Love very much. It’s sound advice that is well-delivered, compassionate and no-nonsense. I want to bring to your attention though, that in your most recent column you used the term “skanky, skanky whore” to describe a girlfriend who desires to cheat on her boyfriend, or who maybe just desires to be promiscuous. Using words like “whore” in a negative context (where you are implying ridicule) is inaccurate and offensive. Whores are sex-workers who provide a sexual service for a fee, which sounds like just the opposite of what aforementioned girl’s intentions are. As a dyke and a sex worker, I’m big on language reclamation, and that starts with using words in their correct, respectful context. Whores are smart businesspeople and important service providers, not cheating, horny, promiscuous girlfriends. Equating the word “whore” with promiscuity and an enjoyment of sex or “sluttiness” and/or dishonest behavior is morally wrong, and also propagates a definition that is one of the ultimate insults to call a woman in today’s culture (ie. unchaste). There is nothing wrong with enjoying sex with lots of people (though there is something wrong with lying to a trusting partner) and there’s also nothing wrong with exchanging sexual services for money. The two are not related though. I know someone of your political-mindedness would not intentionally want to propagate a word as a slur, so please give it the respect it deserves.

Proud Whore In New York

PS. The boy in the column I mentioned who does not want to engage in “adultery” is being a pansy. Of course he shouldn’t do anything he does not feel good about doing, but even if he were to have sex with that girl, he would not be cheating. He has no obligation or relationship of trust to her boyfriend. She, on the other hand, does.

Lunchtime Quickie, Now With Gays on Crystal

posted by on June 27 at 1:00 PM

The boys just stopped by to give me the video they made while building their Gay Pride Parade Float. I think they missed the deadline to officially enter the float in Sunday’s parade, which is just a darn shame.

Master of Your Domain

posted by on June 27 at 1:00 PM

The AFP says:

Web regulators Thursday voted to allow the creation of thousands of new domain names, from .paris to .Pepsi, in one of the biggest shake-ups in Internet history, a French web official said.

It suggests that domains like .nyc, .berlin, .car, .bank, and .xxx might open up. I think that this might make things a lot more complicated, and also ever-so-slightly segregation-y. (.gay, anyone?). The article suggests that they’ll make an effort to fight cybersquatting, but that honestly sounds a little impossible to me. At the very least, it’s going to be like the vanity plate of the new millennium.

Hey Man! You Can’t Leave This Giant Baby Here!

posted by on June 27 at 12:46 PM


Australian sculptor Ron Mueck made this creepy, humongous baby, among many other hyper-realistic but wrong-sized things.

Can you imagine living with this guy? There must be hyper-realistic shit everywhere.

Unity (This Time in Moving Pictures)

posted by on June 27 at 12:45 PM

So you didn’t like the still picture I chose this morning, huh?

Well, here’s the Clinton-Obama unity event in moving pictures—her speech is first, his second:

Now no one can put one over on you with one of those tricky old fashioned photographs!

“Nucular” Weapons End-All, Be-All of Foreign Policy?

posted by on June 27 at 12:35 PM

Posted by (brand-spanking new) News Intern Roselle Kingsbury

North Korea destroyed a cooling tower at its controversial Yonbyon reactor site today, one of the latest steps the state has taken to meet an agreement made with the United States and five other countries in late 2007.

The Bush administration justified invasion of Iraq with seemingly erroneous accusations of harboring nuclear weapons, only to find that they could not be found. Are nuclear weapons really the issue here, especially when the concept of mutually assured destruction has effectively nullified the use of nuclear arms anyway?

Both Japan and South Korea are concerned that the US is too lenient on the communist state. Japan worries about ballistic missiles, and South Korea calls for more attention to widely reported human rights abuses, among other issues.

So far, the strategy of “nuclear weapons = worst thing ever” hasn’t really been great foreign policy. One can only wonder what the next president will do with this outdated strategy.

Well, we know McCain’s take on them, anyway.

Part of the Problem

posted by on June 27 at 12:31 PM

So this campaign, according to Dom’s post earlier today, is a good example of effective HIV prevention education:


But Dom hadn’t seen the fine print on the full-page ads running in the Stranger and elsewhere that are part of this campaign when he sat down to write about these sidewalk stencils. Here’s the ad from the back of the official Pride Guide, which reproduces the copy above (“IT’S THE LITTLE PRICK YOU CAN DEAL WITH: It’s just a swab or finger prick to know your HIV status”). I have two issues with the ad.

First, the small one: Local HIV prevention educators have been telling us for, oh, fifteen years now that their primary mission is boosting the self-esteem of gay men. Raise gay men’s self-esteem, they’ve argued all the way to the bank, give gay men accurate and non-biased information (which has meant, perversely, giving gay men information that isn’t biased against dangerous and unhealthy behaviors and people), and gay men will start making better choices about sex, condoms, safety, etc. But… uh… what about the self-esteem of gay men with small cocks? You know, all the men out there with pricks other gay men presumably can’t deal with? Won’t seeing this message on sidewalks and in newspapers and pride guides all over town increase feelings of worthlessness in the non-hung community?

Second, the big problem: The fine print that isn’t being stenciled on the sidewalks but is in the full-page ads in the Stranger, on the back page of the official Seattle Pride Guide ‘08, and in the SGN:


What message does the fine print send? Here’s the intended—and confused—message Public Health no doubt means to send: If you’re the kind of gay man that isn’t using condoms for anal sex over and over and over again (“No condoms?”), be sure to get tested over and over and over again. Because, you see, once the inevitable happens and you find out that you’ve finally succeeded in getting your dumbfuck ass infected, then you’ll be motivated to start taking precautions! Because, hey, even though you failed to use condoms to protect yourself from HIV, you’ll surely want to start using condoms to protect others after you’re infected. Right? Um, hello? Anybody listening?

No, those guys aren’t listening.

Here’s what this ad really succeeds in doing: It further confuses testing with safety in the minds of many in its target audience. Some HIV prevention campaigns do this far more explicitly (“Stay Safe: Get Tested.”), but this ad campaign helps drive that message home. Years of hammering away at the “stay safe: get tested” message has left a number of gay men with the impression that they’re somehow being safe if they’re getting tested regularly (“test often. test often. test often.”), as if the test magically provides them with some sort of retroactive immunity. It doesn’t. Being safe means taking all reasonable precautions—which means, for neg guys, yes condoms for anal sex with partners whose HIV-status they’re not absolutely certain of—and taking those precautions consistently.

Sure, test often—know your HIV status. But testing isn’t safety and regular testing is no substitute for consistent condom use. Public Health shouldn’t create ad campaigns that imply otherwise.

Tap Your Foot Twice If You’re For Marriage…

posted by on June 27 at 12:31 PM

Stole the headline from John Aravosis because it’s just too perfect. Guess who introduced the “Defense of Marriage Act”—a constitutional amendment that ban gay marriage in the United States—in the U.S. Senate today? Those noted defenders of the sanctity of marriage Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig (R-ID), and Sen. David “Vitter the Shitter” Vitter (R-LA).

Craig, of course, is a pathetic closet case who sucks off strangers in toilets; Vitter is a “family values” crusader who frequents prostitutes.

I don’t even know what to say. This is just… literally… shameless.

“John Kerry With a Tan”

posted by on June 27 at 12:30 PM

Conservative Grover Norquist on Barack Obama.

For Bill Gates on his Last Day at Microsoft

posted by on June 27 at 12:29 PM

Dear Bill,

Congratulations on your last day at Microsoft and welcome to the world of biomedical research!

Everyone I know who endured a ‘billg’ review agrees—you’re apparently a bit of an ass. Quick to question and call bullshit, to point out errors or inconsistency, and to demand the best, willing to yell if yelling is needed.

Excellent! We need an ass working in public health right now—right here in the United States. Peter J. Hotez makes the case in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases:

In 1962, an estimated 40 million Americans lived in poverty, almost one-quarter of the US population. Today, the poverty rate in the US is roughly half of what it was when The Other America was first published, however, the total number of people living in poverty remains about the same. We now recognize that this group of 36.5 million impoverished Americans is at higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases compared to the rest of the US population. However, it is not well known that just as the poorest people in the low-income countries of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America have the highest rates of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), there is evidence to suggest that large numbers of the poorest Americans living in the US also suffer from some of these unique infections.

Like what? Hookworm—causing malnutrition and severe anemia—is assumed to be eliminated in the South. Why assumed? We stopped looking for it in 1970. The last study completed showed the disease still exists. Why stop looking? “…because they only occur among impoverished people and mostly underrepresented minorities, I believe that there has been a lack of political will to study the problem, so that these diseases of poverty have been allowed to simply remain neglected,” notes Dr. Hotez.

Imagine this Toxocariasis worm slowly chewing its way through your body—migrating through your skin, causing horrible itching, through your lungs, causing horrible asthma, and even across your eye.

We know that playgrounds in poor cities are full of toxocariasis eggs. In Bridgeport and New Haven Connecticut around 10% of children have evidence of current or past infection with these guys. Ten percent!

Another? Cysticercosis tapeworms are surprisingly common, particularly among Hispanics.
This tapeworm, in the process of smashing the brain, can cause seizures; in certain Los Angeles hospitals about 10% of seizures are caused by cysticercosis.

I’ll let Dr. Hotez finish up for me:

We need to begin erasing these horrific health disparities by stepping up measures to conduct active and national-scale surveillance for soil-transmitted helminth infections, especially toxocariasis, as well as cysticercosis and congenital toxoplasmosis. In addition, based on data suggesting that the NTDs cutaneous leishmaniasis, ratborne leptospirosis and hantavirus infection, dengue fever, brucellosis, tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis, trichomoniasis, and louse-borne trench fever are emerging among the poor in the US, it is imperative that we address these conditions as well…

The fact that reliable numbers on the actual prevalence of the NTDs are simply not available is reflective of their neglected status, and their disproportionate impact on minorities and poor people. There is an urgent need to support studies that (1) assess the disease burden resulting from the NTDs in the United States and (2) identify the minority populations at greatest risk, and then to (3) identify simple and cost-effective public health solutions. Accordingly, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is pleased to consider and review articles on this vitally important topic. There are no excuses for allowing such glaring health disparities to persist in one of the world’s wealthiest countries.

We don’t like hard realities in the United States. We don’t like thinking of ourselves as in the same category as the poorest nations on the planet. When it comes to horrific diseases, the poor in the United States might be as burdened as the poorest around the world. Human beings with these diseases cannot study, cannot develop fully, cannot reach their full potential. To not even bother looking, to willfully ignore the problem is deeply immoral.

We need an ass to stand up and demand we find out the true extent of this problem, demand we accept reality so that we can start to fix it. BillG, you are just than man for the job. Have at it!

With Sincerity,
Jonathan Golob

Yes, PLEOs!

posted by on June 27 at 11:57 AM

The state Democratic Party chose its Political Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEO) delegates to the national party convention in Denver earlier this week. The process works like this: PLEO delegates to the state convention campaign to move forward to the national convention. After a round of speeches and such, the PLEO delegates pick a slate of national delegates from among their peers.

The list of delegates for Obama (seven in all) includes Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, State Rep. Dave Upthegrove, and state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Notably absent from that list are state Senate majority leader Lisa Brown and state Sen. Ed Murray, who says he did not actively campaign for PLEO spot. (Rep. Dave Upthegrove, another Obama PLEO delegate, gives a detailed, and somewhat different, account of the day’s events on his MySpace blog). “I was a delegate four years ago and it was rather a torturous experience,” Murray said. “We were on the floor for hours and hours and there weren’t enough seats, so you couldn’t even get up and get a glass of water.”

Although state party chair Dwight Pelz (who did not want to talk about the selection process) had hoped to see another Obama PLEO, Matt Bergman, elected as a delegate to the convention, the elected officials and other bigwigs who chose the delegates actually decided on a Clinton delegate instead—Dr. Victor Collymore, a physician at Group Health who gave what Clinton PLEO Linda Mitchell called “an amazing, moving speech” on Clinton’s behalf. Mitchell says delegates also felt that Collymore, who is African-American, “rounded out” the Washington state delegation.

“Putting Country First”

posted by on June 27 at 11:25 AM

A bit of subtle jingoist messaging in the new McCain campaign ad:

Now who would be the guy who isn’t “putting country first”… ? Oh yeah, the one who they say is an unpatriotic Muslim and a socialist (when they’re not saying he’s got a crazy Christian pastor and hangs out at snotty country clubs with the other martini-holding capitalist kings).


posted by on June 27 at 11:24 AM

Bookshelves of Doom has links to two amazing blogs. One is a Live Journal collection of things that are written in the margins of used books. A recent example:

This was in a copy of Inherit the Wind that I checked out of the public library a few years ago; I had this margin note typed up on my computer along with Mencken quotes:

Do you have a problem and no one else can help, and you want revenge, contact us at:

And no, I’ve never tried to contact them.

And BoD also links to The Book Inscriptions Project, which runs scans of inscriptions found in books. As an example, found in a copy of Hardball by Chris Matthews:


I’ve always been terrified that inscribed books that I’ve sold would wind up on something like this blog. There a few notes from exes that I’ve tried to black out before donating to Goodwill, but I’m almost afraid that blacking it out would just cause whoever bought the book to pay even more attention to it. And I can’t bring myself to tear the page out or throw the book away. I’m generally against inscribing books, for just this reason. But I’m sure glad that other people do, so that I can read them.

More Time-Based Goodness: Free Sheep Foundation

posted by on June 27 at 11:24 AM

The news this morning from D.K. Pan, who brought you the marvelous and smelly Bridge Motel Project, and The Belmont sendoff featuring Implied Violence, is that he’s working on this great thing:


The Free Sheep Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster site-specific projects through artistic interventions in architectural spaces. The foundation seeks partnerships with developers, architects, government agencies, and other arts organizations to identify and occupy buildings void of activity, opening these spaces to artists as facilities for cultural production; artist studios, exhibition and performance space. In transforming disused spaces, the foundation serves to integrate artists within the process of development. Through investigation and research, each project will contribute to the continuum of the past and future memories of a site; commemorating the growth of the city.

2400 Third Avenue Project The foundation has leased part of a 10,000 square foot, single story building in the Belltown area of downtown Seattle. This project includes 5 artist studios, a gallery / performance space, and 4 storefront window exhibition spaces. Our lease agreement with Martin Selig Real Estate expires December 31, 2008 (with the possibility of a 3-month extension).

The curatorial vision of this project centers around 4 programs; installations for storefront windows, collaborative projects for interior gallery, nightly display of projected video, and live performances.

Installation — A roster of 6 artists will be chosen for 3-month occupancy cycles in each bay of storefront windows. The emphasis will be on projects which utilize a time-based, site-specific process in exhibition. Gallery — A series of group shows based on an interactive game between artists. The artifacts of the game will be exhibited in a monthly opening (in coordination with the Belltown Art Walk). These games will engender dialogue between artists in the pursuit of play, while simultaneously creating a record of the interactions of those involved. Video — A program of video shorts focusing on works with non-linear narrative with an emphasis on visual poetry as related to explorations of place. FSF will exhibit 3-5 filmmakers each month in a nightly display on an exterior screen. Performance — In conjunction with the gallery opening, there will be a monthly event featuring local and national performers, as well as special programs of music, dance, theater events throughout the month.

The reason it’s important is that it’s not some abstract exercise; it’s a series of ephemeral monuments to the ephemeral monument we all live in, the city. Up with project-based nonprofits!

Here’s the site for the first installment:


Neighbors Still Pissed About City’s Jail Plan

posted by on June 27 at 11:20 AM

Last night, neighbors in Seattle’s Highland Park neighborhood got together at the Machinist’s Union Lodge in South Park and got all riled up about the city’s potential plans to put a jail for misdemeanor offenders at one of two sites in West Seattle.

I wasn’t at the meeting, but the West Seattle Blog—which has been covering the hell out of this thing—was there and got some great videos of some very, very, angry neighbors.

The Highland Park Action Committee is also circulating an online petition, hoping to rally support against the West Seattle sites.

Again, it seems like there’s a pretty good argument against building a new jail in Seattle—or at least coming up with a regional solution—but we’ll see how much longer this drags out.

This city will hold three more meetings next month around the city to discuss the jail siting process.

Saturday, July 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Wellness Center at North Seattle Community College, located at 9600 College Way N. – focus: Aurora site

Saturday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Brockey Conference Center at South Seattle Community College, located at 6000 16th Ave. S.W. – focus: West Marginal Way and Myers Way sites

Wednesday, July 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, located at 225 Mercer Street – focus: Interbay site.

There will be blood.

“I know of NO sex ed program that acknowledges the existence of gay people.”

posted by on June 27 at 11:16 AM

James in the comments thread on my earlier post

“Abstinence-only sex ed programs don’t acknowledge the existence of gay people, much less give young gay people the tools they need to protect themselves.”

Actually, I’d expand on that point. I know of NO sex ed program that acknowledges the existence of gay people. Mine back in high school was pretty comprehensive (we had a huge problem with teen pregnancy… classrooms converted into nurseries to encourage mom and dad to stay in school, etc.). I learned all fifty million ways to keep a girl from getting pregnant. I learned about all sorts of STDs, sperm-killing foam, diaphragms, and more. There was even required viewing of a video of a birth (three football players passed out, and one girl went into false labor). They even told us which condom brands are less likely to break during heterosexual intercourse.

But, nothing at all on gay sex. Notta. Zip. Not that I was looking at that point (I didn’t come out until a few years later). Still, seeing as how we had notebooks and notebooks of information on hotlines, clinics, counselors, and welfare programs we could turn to for help with our straight sex lives, you’d think the could’ve at least handed us an index card with a few info hotlines or clinics or medical experts we could talk to safely about gay sex.

And, you’re right. There is no gay community. I know many Seattleites disagree on this point. But really, I’ve never encountered this supposed inclusive, all-encompassing gay community. The closest thing we have is an annual parade. And if that constitutes a community, then I’m sure there’s also a “Thanksgiving Community” and a “Veterans Day Community” and a “Christmas Community.”

Impressionist Fact of the Day

posted by on June 27 at 11:04 AM

We’ve left the unfortunate Bazille, lying dead in the mud, as the Franco-Prussian War rages on.

Pissarro, having fled for London, gets word that his home has been seized and occupied by the Prussians:

By March [1872], the Pissarros’ house had been turned into a slaughterhouse. … They used Pissarro’s canvases, ripped out of their frames, as butchers’ aprons and as floor coverings to catch the blood. After the soldiers left, the neighbour managed to save forty paintings and (a much greater triumph, in her estimation) the Pissarro family clock. But there had been about 1,500 paintings in the house (including some of Monet’s). The best part of fifteen years’ output was lost. …

In late June, the Pissarros returned to Louveciennes. … In some ways, the future looked promising. But the return to Louveciennes meant going home to a scene of horror. The house was filthy with excrement and scraps of bloodied canvas. The Prussians had used Pissarro’s paintings, the neighbours now revealed, not only for butchering animals but for other ‘low and dirty tasks.’ Village women washing clothes at the local laundry had also been seen wearing painted canvases as aprons.

*From Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of the Impressionists, which I’m reading in honor of the SAM exhibition

Pissarro’s The Road to Louveciennes from 1872, the year he and his wife Julie returned.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 27 at 11:00 AM


The Saturday Knights at Nectar

Mingle, the Saturday Knights’ debut album, is Seattle’s first summer blockbuster. MCs Tilson and Barfly are genial block-party hosts, dishing up goofy punch lines and technical tongue twisters like so much hot barbecue. DJ Suspence straddles genres, presiding over warm breakbeats, wheezy soul organs, horns, piano, and bitchin’ Camaro guitars. With Daptone’s the Budos Band opening (and possibly sitting in with the Knights). More than a record-release party, this is the official start of the summer party season. (Nectar, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 9 pm, $10, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY

Heath Ledger’s Oscar

posted by on June 27 at 10:56 AM

He didn’t win one for Brokeback Mountain—and poor Jake wasn’t even nominated (anti-bottom bias!)—but after watching the preview for The Dark Knight, I leaned over to my boyfriend and whispered, “Heath Ledger will be nominated for an Oscar for his Joker, and this time he’ll win.” I repeated my prediction that night in front of a half-a-dozen witnesses at dinner. But, damn, I didn’t toss it up on Slog right away—so I’m not for the first to get online with this. But I called it first—I have witnesses!

Proud in a Hostile Land!

posted by on June 27 at 10:56 AM

Somewhere between here and Portland lies, among other things, a peculiar little berg called “Centralia”. I know. I’ve never heard of it either. But while we Seattlers or whatever twitter and fuss over our own meager Pride doings, the gays of Centralia Community College are fearing for their proud gay lives.

A spokesdyke from the Centralia Community College Gay Straight Alliance appeared on KING 5 News last night to share the flurry of hate-messages and evil letters that her group has received since they announce their intention to march in Centralia’s annual Fourth of July Parade. She expressed the growing fear for their personal safety in light of the mean-spirited barrage, and says that at this point, unless an armored car or Spiderman or something is provided for their gay, gay protection, she and the group are opting the hell out.

“I don’t want someone to get shot…I don’t want someone to get beaten up afterwards…”

The full report from KING 5 can, and should, be seen here.

(And please forgive Jean Enersen’s face. It’s not her fault.)

Also in This Year’s Queer Issue

posted by on June 27 at 10:45 AM

A piece by me that didn’t quite fit into the How Not to Get Married theme.

It’s accompanied by a Justin DeGarmo illustration that eerily gets my glasses right (and maybe my aspect too?) even though DeGarmo and I have never met…


…and it’s about becoming bored with the gay marriage movement.

HIV Infection Rates Among Young Gay Men

posted by on June 27 at 10:42 AM

They’ve risen fast, says to the CDC, between 2001-2006. I’ll have some thoughts up about why that is shortly. But I wanted to say this now…

The study found that homosexual men were the only “risk group” in which the number of new infections rose annually from 2001-06. In contrast, injecting drug-users, homosexual men who injected drugs, and heterosexuals each showed declines in new infections over that period.

In the 13-to-24-year-old group, the average annual increase was 12 percent, compared to a 1 percent decline in 25-to-44-year-olds, and a 3 percent rise in gay men 45 and older.

So… between 2001-2006 younger gay men were getting infected at much higher rates than older gay men. Excuse me, but wouldn’t most of these young gay men—these boys—have been subjected to the same disastrously ineffective abstinence education programs that their straight peers were? Sex “ed” programs that result in higher rates of STIs and unplanned pregnancies among straight kids are unlikely to produce better results for gay kids.

Hell, the results are likelier to be much, much worse. At least abstinence-only sex ed acknowledges the existence of straight kids and straight sex. These programs don’t acknowledge the existence of gay people; they certainly don’t give young gay people the tools they need to protect themselvesm (accurate, useful information about gay identity, sex, condoms, etc.). Abstinence education programs—designed and promoted by religious groups, above-board and stealth—argue that sex outside of marriage is always wrong, and since gay people can’t get married (or shouldn’t be able to get married), gay sex is by definition wrong. And since gay sex is always wrong, you shouldn’t be doing it at all, so there’s no point in teaching you to do it right or safely.

This problem—HIV infections among high-school age gay boys—will, like all problems confronting gay youth, be laid at the feet of that idiotic fiction, “the gay community.” But these infection rates don’t represent a failure solely—or even primarily—on the part of the “gay community.” They represent a failure on the part of straight parents and straight schools to take responsibility for—to responsibly parent and educate—their gay children. Like I wrote in the Queer Issue (“Appropriate This”) in 2003

But what I found most interesting about the “STDs and young people” stories written in the wake of the mini-epidemic [among straight kids in a Minnesota high school] were the calls to action that invariably came at the end. The calls all went something like this: “Parents are going to have to wake up! They’re going to have to get involved in their children’s lives! Guide your kids, Mom! Protect your kids, Dad! Wave condoms under their noses! Drag them to an STD clinic and get ‘em tested!”

At the same time chlamydia was roaring through student bodies in Minnesota, there were stories in the news about other teens and young adults contracting an STD far more worrisome than chlamydia. These stories occasioned a lot of handwringing and included impassioned calls to action. But the calls to action were very different. Because these stories were about gay teenagers, not straight teenagers, and because the disease was HIV/AIDS, not chlamydia, the calls to action all went something like this: “What is the gay community going to do about this?”

The moral of these two stories is this: When their straight kids are doing something risky and dangerous, straight parents are told they have to take responsibility for protecting their children and get more involved in their kids’ lives. But when a child is gay? Then straight parents are off the hook. Suddenly the child isn’t the responsibility of Mom and Dad, but of the “gay community,” that hardy fiction. Straight parents don’t have to look after their gay kids. They’re absolved of all responsibility for their care and protection. It’s supposedly my job, as an adult gay person, to look after their gay kids—to guide them, protect them, and wave condoms under their noses.

Well guess what, straight moms and dads of gay and lesbian kids: Besides not fucking “gay youth,” there’s not a whole hell of a lot gay adults can do for them. While we can offer some help to the ones who run away from the miserable small town you chose to live in (or the intolerant high school you sent them to), and to the ones you kick out on their asses, we simply don’t have access to that many gay youth. Most are deeply closeted and live far from urban areas, far from gay neighborhoods and organizations. Even if we wanted to help them, we couldn’t.

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on June 27 at 10:22 AM

Thad J. Smith was arrested Monday night on charges he shot his three children several times with an air-powered pellet gun in what he later described to police as “good fun.” …

Marengo police arrested Smith Monday night after his ex-wife reported that the couple’s children—a 10-year-old girl and twin 9-year-old boys—returned home from a visit with their father sporting numerous welts on their bodies, the police said. When questioned, Smith admitted shooting the children with small, plastic pellets fired from an air-powered gun, Deputy Police Chief Joseph Hallman said.

“He said the children were willing participants,” Hallman said. “I don’t know if it was some kind of a game with them or what he was doing.”

If it was a game, it was completely one-sided. The children, Hallman said, told police they never fired a shot back at their dad.

What’s That Definition of Insanity Again?

posted by on June 27 at 10:06 AM

Oh, right: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

On the eve of National HIV Testing Day comes this disappointing news from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of gay men diagnosed with HIV/AIDS is steadily rising, even as infection rates among heterosexuals and drug users have slowed.

That’s disappointing because gay men have been at the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for more than 25 years yet current efforts to stem infections in this population aren’t working.

The CDC admitted as much Thursday in a report noting that that HIV/AIDS diagnoses among MSM—men who have sex with men—climbed 8.6 percent between 2001 and 2006. “HIV prevention services that aim to reduce the risk for acquiring and transmitting infection among MSM and link infected MSM to treatment must be expanded,” the agency wrote in the report.

Current efforts to stem infections in the gay community aren’t working… so, hey, let’s expand them.

Dems Launch $500K Anti-Rossi Campaign

posted by on June 27 at 10:04 AM

A new Service Employees International Union-backed PAC has just launched a new (non-Sopranos-themed) ad campaign targeting Dino Rossi, and a web site,, to go with it. (Via Postman). The ads and web site focus on health-care-related votes that Rossi took as a state senator—including a budget that eliminated health care for 40,000 children, a vote against legislation that would help the state negotiate for lower drug prices, and the Patients Bill of Rights—and lay out the tens of thousands Rossi has received from big drug companies like Glaxo SmithKline, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and Eli Lilly, and from insurance companies like Regence Blue Shield, Premera Blue Cross, and Aetna.

Earlier this week, the state Dems removed the Sopranos theme from an anti-Rossi ad after the Italian Club of Seattle called it racist. I thought Democratic spokesman Kelly Steele handled the blowup well—immediately pulling the ad but getting a few digs in at Rossi at the same time. In a statement, he said the video was

in no way meant to allege or imply that Republican Dino Rossi or his extremist, right-wing developer allies have ties to the mafia or organized crime. It’s a catchy song, which we thought jibed stylistically with our communication about Rossi’s designated attack squad — the BIAW — who continue to pour millions into false and misleading attack ads against Gov. Gregoire. That being said, we’d like to apologize to Rossi’s friend Mr. DiJulio, his organization, and anyone else we may have inadvertently offended. The video will be replaced shortly with an identical message regarding Rossi and the BIAW’s sleazy attack campaign, using a different song.

Although maybe calling Rossi “sleazy” went a little far.

Passing the Test?

posted by on June 27 at 10:01 AM

These have been stenciled all over Capitol Hill.


It’s refreshing to see some savvy gay-health advocacy. And this agitprop stencil, at first, seems an especially good example. It’s funny; little-dick jokes crack a smile, and even if they piss off some guys, funny health messages are a welcome rarity. It’s edgy; they just sprayed this shit on the sidewalk. It’s cheap; they just sprayed this shit on the sidewalk. It’s humble; there’s no logo grandstanding an organization. The message seems clear: Everyone should get an HIV test. So I walked in this morning prepared to praise this campaign, but then someone pointed out something I wasn’t aware of… stay tuned.

Ten Years Ago, If You’d Have Told Me…

posted by on June 27 at 10:00 AM

….that an openly gay former child star would one day be hired to hawk the butchest old-school man’s man scent in America, I would have laughed in your face, and maybe called the cops on your obviously-whacked-out-on-PCP ass.


To paraphrase the marketing geniuses who tried to make smoking
a feminist issue in the 1970s, “We’ve come a long way, gaybee!”

(Also, you rule, Doogie.)

To check out the Stranger’s full gay pride listings, go here.

Currently Hanging

posted by on June 27 at 10:00 AM

Patte Loper’s Oberservation Deck for a Bottomless Pit (2008), graphite and acrylic on paper, 60 by 104 inches overall (diptych)

At Platform Gallery. (Gallery site here.)

Reading Tonight

posted by on June 27 at 10:00 AM


I know that you had plans, but the Hugo House is hosting Seattle Haiku Night tonight. I hope your friends won’t mind so much when you cancel on them—perhaps you can even bring them along. I was very much into writing joke haiku (it was a nice way to spend long, boring hours at a retail job) until I heard a Budweiser commercial that was done entirely in haiku. Then, I figured it was time to put the age-old art back to bed for a while.

At noon, at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Barbara Pope, who is a professor of gender studies, signs from her book Cezanne’s Quarry, which is a mystery that involves the role of women in 19th century France. Frankly, this sounds like an ingenious way to get people who otherwise wouldn’t give a damn to read a gender studies text.

Speaking of painters: up at Third Place Books, Mary Lou Sanelli reads from her collection of poetry, Small Talk, which is a book that was inspired by a painting about a group of women talking. Somehow, a book of poetry with a hook like that is much more likely to be interesting to me. It’s kind of like Jay-Z’s American Gangster album in that way. If Sanelli’s next book is inspired by American Gangster, I will be sure to be in attendance.

And at Elliott Bay Book Company, Tom Spanbauer is in attendance. This is a great reading for Pride weekend, as many of the more book-happy gay people I know get all misty when they talk about reading Spanbauer for the first time. He’s apparently also a great teacher, too, and so he should give a great reading. He’ll be reading from Faraway Places, which was his first novel. It’s been out of print for a good long while and is just now being reissued.

Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, can be found on our books page.

Not Quite the Picture of Unity

posted by on June 27 at 9:00 AM


Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, only sort-of-smiling for the cameras, on their way to Unity, New Hampshire, for their unity—get it, unity?—rally later today.

24 Black

posted by on June 27 at 8:59 AM

Dennis Haysbert’s claim that the character he played on the popular TV show 24, a black president, “paved the way for presidential hopeful Barack Obama” is old news.
However, if this is true, if 24 prepared many American minds for the arrival of a black president, it means that the most popular piece of Bush-era entertainment (it was concocted by two staunch Republicans) completely/terribly/unbelievably backfired (even with the assassination of the fictional black president).

Aristotle was right: once you put something into the world (an act, an action, a drama), it becomes (and does) its own thing.

The Morning News

posted by on June 27 at 7:48 AM

Here We Go: McCain says he’ll reach out to conservative Christians in his campaign for president.

Delayed: FISA vote, until after Independence Day.

Rejected: Calls to delay Zimbabwe “election.”

Announced: City art grants.

The Dow is Down: And oil is up.

Dame Judy Dench: An honorary doctor of letters.

Michelle Obama’s “Makeover”: Whoops - never happened.

Meh: Mayors react blandly to Supreme Court’s overturning of DC gun ban.

Violate “Appropriate” Gender Roles: Get called a “prostitute,” at least in Egypt.

Hope They Rot In There: Millionaire couple sentenced for enslaving, torturing housekeepers.

Do Not Want: American Apparel brings back Hypercolor. Can Skidz be far behind?

No Gardasil for You!: FDA declines approval of cervical cancer vaccine for women over 26—for now.

Recipe of the Day: Spring Vegetable Stew (recipe and photo via Boston Globe)


Continue reading "The Morning News" »

End the HIV Travel Ban

posted by on June 27 at 7:30 AM

Having HIV is the “only medical condition that renders people inadmissible to the United States,” John Kerry and Gordan Smith wrote in an op-ed published in yesterday’s Washington Times.

In fact, we are just one of 12 countries that prohibit, almost without exception, HIV-positive non-citizens from entering the country (China has recently overturned its ban). This policy places the United States in the same company as Sudan, Russia, Libya and Saudi Arabia.

Sudan, Russia, Libya, Saudi Arabia—that’s some mighty fine company we’re keeping. But there’s an effort underway in the U.S. Senate to repeal our cruel, regressive, and unnecessary ban on HIV-positive tourists and immigrants. And you’ll never guess who’s leading the charge against this long-overdo repeal? Sen. David Vitter—yes, Vitter the Shitter, the hooker-banging, diaper-wearing “family values” douchebag from Louisiana.

You can help end discrimination against HIV-positive tourists and immigrants by contacting your senators now—before you leave work today—and telling them to support the bipartisan Smith-Kerry HIV Nondiscrimination in Travel and Immigration Act. Contact info for your senators can be found here. And some good background on this issue can be found here, here, here, and here. Andrew Sullivan—who is HIV-positive and an immigrant—is tracking developments at the Daily Dish.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

God Bless the 2nd Amendment

posted by on June 26 at 6:15 PM

And the 21st Amendment too:

Police say a man who was drinking with friends and playing with a handgun accidentally shot himself in the face in Spokane.

Police say when someone expressed concern about the gun early today, the man attempted to prove it was unloaded by pointing it at his face and pulling the trigger.

There’s No Out Clause in the Lease for the NBA’s Bloated Business Model

posted by on June 26 at 5:51 PM

Judge Marsha Pechman continued to interrupt and question the team’s hired gun from K&L Gates, lead attorney Paul Lawrence, as he finished up his closing argument after lunch.

Her questions continued a theme she’s hit before: She seems troubled by the evidence that the city was using its lawsuit as part of a bigger strategy to pressure Bennett to sell.

As Lawrence tried to knock down Team Bennett’s storyline about that plot—arguing that the city had no formal role in any of the Steve Ballmer group’s shenanigans (and also pointed out that the plan was to move to Bellevue, which Nickels had no interest in)— Pechman cut him off:

“You’re leaving out one stop,” she said, “Mr. Gorton [K&L Gates lead counsel on the Sonics case, Slade Gorton] goes with Mr. Ceis [Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis] to the NBA in New York to lay out their arena plan and agrees not tell anyone about it. Less than 24 hours later he tells [potential new buyer] Mr. [Steve] Ballmer about the meeting.”

Lawrence argued that Gorton was not acting on behalf of the city, to which Pechman pointed out Gorton signed an NBA document—the confidentiality agreement—on behalf of the city. Man.

Lawrence was flummoxed and simply said, he couldn’t deny that Mr. Gorton did what he did. “I cannot explain Mr. Gorton’s actions.”

Again: Gorton was the city’s lead counsel at K&L Gates on the Sonics case. He was also working with Ballmer’s group, headed up by real estate civic big wig Matt Griffin, which had discussed “bleeding” the Sonics to force Bennett to sell in a secret memo dubbed the “Poisoned Well.”

Bennett’s star attorney, Brad Keller, seized on this theme in his closing argument. In fact, he had a handy slide (which was so pretty I snapped a cell phone pic of it and, sadly, security forced me to delete it) showing a color-coded left brain/right brain split labeled “City Litigation Lawyers (green)/Griffin Group Lawyers (blue).”

He walked through the same timeline he presented earlier in the trial:
Wally Walker signed a document stating he was a consultant for the city and K&L Gates before getting involved in the Griffin group’s “Poisoned Well” strategy; there was a meeting at Walker’s house with K&L Gates attorney Gorton about the strategy; two days later, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis met with K&L Gates and Walker at K&L Gates’ offices; after a meeting with the city, there’s an email from Walker to a potential buyer, John Stanton, saying the city is in “total agreement” with the strategy; and finally, there’s Mayor Nickels’s deposition, which Keller replayed on video, where Nickels answers “yes…absolutely” after being asked if he was trying “to create an environment” to make Bennett sell.

Pechman asked Keller if, in fact, it was possible there was no Machiavellian plot, but rather, the city was just doing its job: Didn’t the city have a right to bring a suit, she said, asking “what about the quality and nature of this violates the spirit of litigation?”

Keller, much better at fielding Pechman’s questions than Lawrence, responded, that it went “from proper to improper” when the city went beyond trying to enforce the lease to trying to make its tenant sell.

Judge Pechman says she will post her decision next Wednesday at 4pm.

Hopefully she’ll ignore all this side drama and focus on the real question here: Do the Sonics have to fulfill their obligations under the lease and stay for two more seasons?

And hopefully, when she considers Bennett’s argument that the lease was “economically dysfunctional,” she gets that it’s not the city’s fault, but the NBA’s fault for demanding restaurants and crazy salaries for players. There’s no out clause in the lease for the NBA’s bloated business model.

Rubbed the Wrong Way

posted by on June 26 at 5:42 PM

The effigy of 19th Century journalist known as Victor Noir has long been popular with women visitors.

Officials concerned about damage to the icon’s groin area have erected a fence around the grave, and a sign prohibiting indecent rubbing.

The statue shows Noir in a frock coat and trousers lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin.

The effigy has been held as an aid to love or fertility.

The new sign warns: “Any damage caused by graffiti or indecent rubbing will be prosecuted.”

Remember folks, while rubbing a journalist’s groin does have its benefits, be gentle or you’ll rub that thing right off.

Goldy Makes a Good Point

posted by on June 26 at 5:39 PM

Why is it racist when Christine Gregoire uses the Sopranos theme song in an anti-Dino Rossi ad… but totally NO BIG DEAL when Rossi actually refers to Gregoire as “Tony Soprano” in his stump speech?

The Rest of Your Life: For Charles

posted by on June 26 at 5:00 PM

A bit of end-stage capitalist culture rhetoric from the Master™ 2-Hole Paper Punch:

Master Hole Punches have been in the industry for many years earning their sterling reputation. Ever-faithful, and committed to high-quality standards, these punches are highly coveted items in any office. Put a paper punch in your desk drawer that you know you can count on. MASTER.

Any employee has to last a lifetime in their career, why shouldn’t their office equipment?


Master Model #3275B, 40-sheet capacity, 9/32” punch head diameter, replacement parts available

Live-Slogging the Barely Relevant NBA Draft

posted by on June 26 at 4:59 PM

5:00 - Sonics have five more picks. I can’t feign enthusiasm for another half hour before the next pick, and it doesn’t look like ESPN has any interest in talking about the Seattle lawsuit, so go to a sports site or blog for the rest.

4:58 - Durant’s in NYC to make a comment on behalf of the team about Westbrook. “He’s a great defender, a great guy to be around, I heard.” Huh. I’d love to hear more personality guesses like that. “I hear he makes a mean-ass calzone.”

4:55 - ESPN’s post-pick highlights show a dude who can cut and spin through the lane, toss up nice floaters, and—hoo boy—slam the ball over dudes twice his size. And if he’s as good a defender as ESPN says, that’s a boost with immediate impact for the squad. But the Sonics’ backcourt isn’t as hungry as the front and post; I would’ve gone bigger.

4:53 - No trade. David Stern: “The Seattle Supersonics select Russell Westbrook from UCLA.” No stutter in saying the city name out loud.

4:49 - OJ Mayo goes to the Timberwolves. You may best know him as the kid recently busted for accepting thousands of bucks from a pro sports agent before finishing college. As an ESPN commentator noted earlier, this means he’s already prepared for an NBA player’s typical challenges: accepting gobs of cash. SONICS R ON THE CLOK. Other sites say that rumored Sonics trade deals are bupkis. I hope not; nothing left on the table really says “Top Four Pick.”

4:47 - The Times’ Sonics blog mentions that Bennett had to race across town to head to the Sonics’ war room, where they’re working out their draft day moves. Maybe Bennett will poison the draft by accusing the team with the next pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves, of picking a better player than the Sonics will get due to “ulterior motives”?

4:43 - Sorry, Durant. Your old pal Michael Beasley is heading to Miami. Now the suspense begins, as the Timberwolves’ pick will pretty much decide who our “best of the rest” pick is. Though then again, the Sonics’ GM has been a trading freak the past few years; maybe we’ll trade down to nab some much-needed veteran leadership?

4:41 - Unless, of course, the Sonics are dumb enough to take Beasley in a freak trade.

4:38 - “The Chicago Bulls select Yngwie Malm…” no, it’s Derrick Rose. Miami is on the clock. Their coach, Pat Riley, invented suspense by suggesting obvious #2 pick Beasley is not fit for their team. Expect Yngwi—er, Beasley—to get drafted in the next few minutes while the analysts bore us to death pretending there’s any other result coming.

4:35 - ESPN’s analysts make up for the lack of suspense by babbling on and on about Derrick Rose, the presumed first pick for Chicago. Yawn.

4:32 - David Stern opens. When the NBA commish says, “Thank you for supporting us during one of our most successful and exciting seasons,” I already feel sick and want to turn the television off. Yeah, way to reward the “support” of your Seattle fans, schmucko. But “Seattle” has the fourth pick for now, so here I am. Bulls are on the clock for pick #1.

Maybe Not the Best Joke to Make When You’ve Verbally Abused Your Wife in Public?

posted by on June 26 at 4:42 PM

Republican candidate John McCain, chuckling, tells the Las Vegas Sun he “stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago.”

Oh, John, you big ironist! What a kidder!

Today’s HUMP Classified Ad

posted by on June 26 at 4:41 PM


Have Camera and Editing Gear

Need shooting and cutting, or both? Let me know. I have a bitchin HD camera and an equally bitchin Final Cut editing station. For the last 2 years, folks I know have talked big about doing HUMP, but nothing came out of it. If you have the idea and the personnel, I have all the tech goodies.

You can respond to this ad here. More HUMP ads are here. And you can place your own HUMP classified here.

Belltown’s Community Center Still a Long Way Off

posted by on June 26 at 4:36 PM

As I wrote in my column this week, Belltown is still waiting—after nearly ten years—for a community center that was funded in 1999’s community centers levy. The parks department was talking about moving out of its headquarters in Denny Park and giving the building to Belltown, after some renovations, to serve as its community center. One immediate problem, of course, is that the headquarters is in South Lake Union, not Belltown.

The parks department didn’t get back to me by press time Tuesday (the spokeswoman, Dewey Potter, had been out of town) but I just got the latest: Parks’ plan to move out of the Denny Park building has been scrapped due to budget concerns (the city predicts a budget shortfall sometime in the next two years), and now everything’s back on the table. Parks will, Potter says, “make the building available to the extent we can for community meetings and such,” but that’s only a stopgap measure, and one that doesn’t address the need for a permanent community gathering place in one of the city’s fastest growing neighborhoods. “At this point,” Potter says, “we’re back to square one.”

“A stone hit her on the side of the head.”

posted by on June 26 at 4:31 PM

On this day, 60 years ago, The New Yorker published “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson.

People flipped the fuck out—cancelled subscriptions, wrote bags of hate mail. The story was banned outright in South Africa and, according to Wikipedia, ranked seventeenth on Playboy’s list of books most banned by public high schools in the U.S.

It’s still one of my most vivid reading memories. I was sitting in a classroom in Lexington, Massachusetts (I must’ve been in fifth or sixth grade), in one of those old desks where the hard-plastic writing surface is attached to the chair by a metal bar on the right-hand side. The bar, for some reason, was always chilly.

It was reading time and, having brought nothing to read, pulled an oversized, hardback anthology of short stories off the shelf in the back of the classroom. I read it lazily, only halfway paying attention, until the last two paragraphs, which made me feel funny inside—nauseated and a little afraid. I had, at that time, never read anything that had changed my emotional weather so quickly and thoroughly.

Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. “It isn`t fair,” she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, “Come on, come on, everyone.” Steve Adams was in the front of the crowd of villagers, with Mrs. Graves beside him.

“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.

Still making me feel funny, after all these years.

Happy birthday, “The Lottery.”

End the HIV Travel Ban

posted by on June 26 at 4:30 PM

Having HIV is the “only medical condition that renders people inadmissible to the United States,” John Kerry and Gordan Smith wrote in an op-ed published in yesterday’s Washington Times.

In fact, we are just one of 12 countries that prohibit, almost without exception, HIV-positive non-citizens from entering the country (China has recently overturned its ban). This policy places the United States in the same company as Sudan, Russia, Libya and Saudi Arabia.

Sudan, Russia, Libya, Saudi Arabia—that’s some mighty fine company we’re keeping. But there’s an effort underway in the U.S. Senate to repeal our cruel, regressive, and unnecessary ban on HIV-positive tourists and immigrants. And you’ll never guess who’s leading the charge against this long-overdo repeal? Sen. David Vitter—yes, Vitter the Shitter, the hooker-banging, diaper-wearing “family values” douchebag from Louisiana.

You can help end discrimination against HIV-positive tourists and immigrants by contacting your senators now—before you leave work today—and telling them to support the bipartisan Smith-Kerry HIV Nondiscrimination in Travel and Immigration Act. Contact info for your senators can be found here. And some good background on this issue can be found here, here, here, and here. Andrew Sullivan—who is HIV-positive and an immigrant—is tracking developments at the Daily Dish.

Some Suggestions For Your New Individual Right to Bear Arms

posted by on June 26 at 4:22 PM

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Enjoying your recently expanded rights under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution? Wait, let me adjust that quote above to reflect the Roberts-court interpretation:

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Ahh, with those pesky commas out of the way, we can finally get down to business and discuss the meaning of your new rights—the only rights we’re likely to see expanded in our lifetimes.

If you get a firearm:

1. You have a reasonable chance of shooting yourself:
Between June 1, 1992, to May 31, 1994 about 34,485 accidentally injured themselves non-fatally with a firearm. This averages out to about 18,000 non-fatal injuries a year.

2. If you manage to not shoot yourself, you have a reasonable chance of harming yourself with the gun anyways:
Not counting those who shot themselves, about sixteen-thousand people injury themselves with firearms each year in the United States sufficiently to require a visit to the emergency room. Usually these injuries were the result of the routine handling of firearms, with 43% from recoil.

3. About half of children unintentionally shot—don’t worry, the majority of children intentionally shot are minorities—are shot in their own homes, with their parents own gun. Another 40% are shot in the house of a friend or relative. To those of you working through the math, 90% of children injured by firearms are injured by a parent, relative or friend’s gun.

4. Somewhere between 2% and 12% of children live in a home with a firearm.
Four practices, in combination, can dramatically reduce the risk of these children injuring themselves with the household’s firearm:
1. Store the gun unloaded.
2. Store the gun away from the ammo.
3. Lock up the firearm.
4. Lock up the ammo.

5. Programs that teach children gun safety—like the NRA Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program—do not decrease the chance that young children will handle or attempt to fire a handgun they stumble upon.

Have fun! Try to not to blast away too many of your children your neighbor or yourself—even if is your Constitutional right.

And remember, I still believe bicyclists and pedestrians in Seattle should be mandated to carry loaded firearms at all times.

Apropos of My Morning News Two Days Ago

posted by on June 26 at 4:19 PM

One of the stories I mentioned was about how Blue Shield is raising premiums for female members—even though the insurer doesn’t cover pregnancy and maternity care.

Perhaps this is partly because women are more likely to seek preventive care, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But this should make them better insurance risks. After all, they’re proactively working to stay healthy.

And isn’t that exactly what insurers encourage people to do?

It doesn’t make any sense,” said Alice Wolfson of United Policyholders, a San Francisco-based advocacy group. “The insurers aren’t assessing risk. They’re assessing how much healthcare is used, even when it’s preventive treatment.”

Anyway, some commenters seemed to think that penalizing women for living longer and taking better care of themselves was basically the same thing as charging men more for car insurance because they’re bigger accident risks. I didn’t address it further at the time, but to my pleasant surprise, one of the ladies at Jezebel did just today. Turns out charging women more doesn’t just make no sense—it makes no sense in a whole shit-ton of different ways. For example, insurers are charging women more based not on HOW they use it, but WHETHER they use it—a decision that actually costs them more in the long run.

So, if you’re a young single woman on birth control who goes to the doctor when you have a mild case of bronchitis instead of going to the emergency room if it becomes pleurisy (a real disease! my friend had it last year) or pneumonia, then you’re supposed to be in better shape price-wise because you’re being cost-efficient. But if insurance companies are pricing insurance based on if you use it — as has happened in other insurance fields, such as homeowner’s insurance — then any usage, even if it’s efficient in the long-term, will ratchet up your costs over time and discourage you from utilizing the very insurance you’re paying for. Gotta love a market failure!

The writer also posits that this ain’t a problem that’s going away any time soon. More and more insurance plans are being marketed specifically to men, “if for no other reason then than 29 percent of women are dependent on someone else’s insurance and only 13 percent of men are.” In fact,

fully half of men are primary insurance holders, while only slight more than a third of women are — meaning even if they’re less than half the population, they’re the population for whom insurance plans will most likely be designed and to whom those plans will most likely be marketed. And then they’ll just charge us extra for all that stuff that guys aren’t using, and because they can.

So even if you’re not technically using it, just having that uterus will cost you extra.

So ladies—in addition to the cost of birth control ($260 a year if you’ve got a $20 copay like I do), the fact that insurance companies won’t let you get more than one pill pack at a time (don’t want the ladies getting all hopped up on progestin!), and the fact that routine preventive care like lab tests at the gynecologist is frequently subject to a large deductible even though it saves the insurance companies money—add this one to your list of Reasons the “Health Care” Industry is Fucking Evil.

Why Hasn’t This Been Done Before?

posted by on June 26 at 4:14 PM

Hey there!

Do you like Barbie? Do you like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds? Have I got the doll for you:


Available in October. Pre-order now.

Latter-Day Saints, Postmodern Queers, and Dolly Parton

posted by on June 26 at 3:57 PM


These are the subjects of my piece in the Stranger’s 2008 Queer Issue, where it appears as How Not to Get Married on a Deadline.

Also featured in the “How Not to Get Married” package:

*Paul Constant on how not to get married in a Star Trek Outfit.
*Amy J. Ruiz on how not to get married on credit.
*Brendan Kiley on how not to get married by a complete stranger.
*Mistress Matisse on how not to get married in Vegas.
*Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on how not to get married young.
*And Eric Grandy on how not to get married over and over again.

Read the whole thing here.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

posted by on June 26 at 3:55 PM


Worried about the invasion of the “swamp rats”?

Afraid of the dreaded “nutria itch” (aka, the “creeping eruption”!)?

I’ve got your solution right here:


Makes 4 Servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-3 pound nutria, cut in serving pieces
2 tablespoons Enola’s Secret Seasoning + 2 teaspoons
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt (opt.)
3 3/4 cups chicken stock or broth

In a heavy 5-quart pot on high heat, add oil, heat until very hot. Sprinkle seasoning on meat; stir well. Add meat to pot, brown on all sides. Cook and stir 10 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper and flour, cook and stir 10 minutes. Add salt and chicken stock to pot cook and stir occasionally, (about 15 minutes) scraping the bottom of pot to remove all the goodness. Serve over hot cooked rice, pasta or cream potatoes.

Mmm. Tasty swamp rat “goodness.”

Just in Time for the Development Bust

posted by on June 26 at 3:50 PM

Seattle is mulling over big plans for bigger buildings.

Under a supplemental budget passed June 5, the city has agreed to dish out $50,000 to a half-time staffer who will conduct a zoning analysis of the Roosevelt neighborhood. Residents of the area submitted a neighborhood “urban village” plan that would allow taller buildings and a dense core, which will be the basis for the city’s analysis, back in July 2006.

The Roosevelt Neighborhood Group, which drafted the proposal, and the area’s most controversial landlord agree that the rezoning is overdue. “Everyone is eager to get on this—as would Hugh [Sisley]—to start building,” says Jim O’Halloran, a member of the neighborhood group. Sisley has plans to redevelop his 43 properties; however, it’s unlikely that the city will endorse the 12-story buildings Sisley wants. “Clearly we don’t agree, that’s why we want zoning analysis to take place,” says O’Halloran. “65 feet is maximum. Six stories we can live with.”

O’Halloran is eager to implement the new zoning rules, in part, because he’s concerned that a patchwork of zoning passed in the meantime may not fit the neighborhood plan. This week, the city council rezoned a half block on Northeast 66th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast, to allow a 65-foot residential building (which does fit with the neighborhood’s vision) above the future site of the Roosevelt light rail station.

Meanwhile, rezoning may be delayed in Interbay, which has been the subject of upzoning plans since 2005. “The mayor is going to hold back legislation until structure of incentive-zoning policies is determined,” says Jim Holmes, a senior planner for the Department of Planning ad Development. That incentive-zoning proposal, which would let developers build taller near large arterial streets around the city if they provide affordable housing, is currently before the council.

Lastly, Holmes says the mayor will be briefed on an upzoning proposal for South Lake Union later this month. Meetings to consider those changes to the neighborhood plan began in 2004.

Shouldn’t You Be Working?

posted by on June 26 at 3:50 PM


Maud Newton links to this really neat New Zealand website that hides short stories and poems by authors like Dickinson, Twain, and Fitzgerald in Microsoft-looking documents so that you can read at work without fear of being fired. I’m actually fond of the way that some of these pages look; there is a bullet point presentation of Tolstoy that works quite well.

The Days of Static Buildings Are Over

posted by on June 26 at 3:41 PM

Set for construction in Dubai this fall: the world’s first rotating, self-powering, park-your-car-inside-your-condo skyscraper.

It’s not a building, it’s an action-thriller blockbuster!

Buy Gas, Get Free Tacos

posted by on June 26 at 3:36 PM

Hey, it’s not too late to get two free tacos at Jack in the Box today! But there’s a hitch: You have to fill your car with gas. Hey, what’s not to like about a promotion that pushes unhealthy, high-fat food (and promotes neighborhood dead zones with its drive-through restaurants) by incentivizing a practice that destroys the environment? Meanwhile, people who use food stamps—a demographic that disproportionately eats at places like Jack in the Box—are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet as food prices head ever higher.

Art: The Thing You Say You Did When You Did Something Really Bad, Or When You’re Nuts

posted by on June 26 at 3:22 PM

Pseudo was not only a fake company, it was “the linchpin of a long form piece of conceptual art” involving $25 (lost) million.

Three Makes a Trend (And a Slog Poll)

posted by on June 26 at 2:45 PM

The death penalty, the right to bear arms, and, as Glenn Greenwald reminds, the FISA compromise—that makes three big thorny political issues in the last week or so on which Barack Obama has taken positions contrary to liberal orthodoxy.

So, Sloggers…

How ya like him now?

Seattle Doesn’t Need to Build a New Jail

posted by on June 26 at 1:24 PM

Back in 1999, King County released a study estimating that in ten years, the county’s inmate population would swell to around 4,500, maxing out the capacities at the King County Jail (KCJ) in downtown Seattle and the Regional Justice Center (RJC) in Kent. Consquently, every city in the county was informed that in 2012, their misdemeanor offenders would no longer be accepted at King County’s jails.

Because of the impending deadline, Seattle, Bellevue, Renton and other nearby cities have been scrambling to come up with a solution for a new jail site. There’s been talk of cities collaborating to build another regional jail, and Seattle has been looking at building its own facility at one of four sites around the city. However, this plan has drawn fire from neighborhood groups like Citizens Against Jails in North Seattle (CAJINS!), the Highland Park Action Committee and Greenwood Area Involved Neighbors, who understandably don’t want a jail in their backyard.

Despite the county’s upcoming deadline, Seattle may not need a new jail after all —because, as it turns out, the county’s 1999 study was just flat-out wrong about an impending prison population boom.

King County has reassessed its jail population numbers, and they’re not even close to the estimates given almost a decade ago.


The light gray bars show the county’s 1999 prison population projections, and the black bars show the current estimates. If those numbers prove accurate, the county will still have about 400 empty beds, more than enough to meet cities’ needs for the time being.

Right now, the county makes 330 beds available between both facilities to cities, which pay $108 per bed, and the state Department of Corrections also “rents” 215 beds from the county. But neither jail is anywhere close to full. About 400 of the nearly 1,700 beds at KCJ are empty—three of the facilities’ eleven floors are currently shut down for renovations—and the RJC has room for another 500 prisoners.


According to King County Jail’s spokesman, Major William Hayes, the county’s population projections have changed so drastically in the last decade because of diversion programs like drug court and work release. Although upcoming cuts to budget cuts to drug and mental health courts could increase the number of people going to jail instead of diversion programs, Hayes—who says he’s never seen a jail reach capacity in the 24 years he’s been with the county—says “we could handle quite a few more [inmates]…if we needed to.” However, Hayes also cautions that the jail population “can change overnight.”

Hayes says the county is open to discussing a contract extension with Seattle, an idea that’s also been getting a lot of support from at least one member of the King County Council.

Later next month, Seattle will finish up two feasibility studies and decide whether to build a jail with several Eastside cities, but don’t be surprised if the city and the county find a way to work things out.

Photo by Manuel W. via Flickr.

The Birds

posted by on June 26 at 1:05 PM

This just in:

Sort of a strange, timely tip, but: Just north of 15th and Dravus, West side of the road, in Interbay, there is a copse of trees being aggresively defended by a murder of crows. There’s an injured baby on the sidewalk below. The crows are divebombing pedestrians—a very Hitchcockian sight. A sort of boring tip on its own right, but the baby is weaving in traffic on 15th and probably in mortal peril; if any aviophile Good Samaritans need a Thursday afternoon crusade, now’s your time.

Lunchtime Quickie

posted by on June 26 at 1:00 PM

Pretty (Useless)

posted by on June 26 at 1:00 PM

Zoomii seems to be an interface that makes Amazon look like a giant bookstore. It’s actually pretty neat, and it removes one of my major complaints about Amazon: the fact that there’s no random discovery. By having all the covers next to each other, there’s more of randomness at play in the process of looking a book up. When I look up a book on Amazon, the last thing I want to see is another book that’s more of the same, but that’s all that they offer.

But then, since 90% of all books are crap*, that kind of makes the Zoomii search frustrating, too. Just like a real bookstore!

Continue reading "Pretty (Useless)" »

Close Your Eyes and Think of England

posted by on June 26 at 12:35 PM

From the archives of the BBC:

A West Midlands family is playing a central role in the quest to raise the profile of a forgotten British dish—faggots.

The Doody family from Wolverhampton has been crowned The Faggot Family in a national competition, and to kick off their reign they will launch National Faggot Week.

Best quote…

“The great British faggot is full of flavour and a great belly warmer at this time of year.”

I have a feeling this might be a hoax, but I just don’t want to check.

Call 911!

posted by on June 26 at 12:34 PM

Yesterday at 1:54 pm a shocking transgression came across the Central District police scanner, a transgression that stood out from the run-of-the-mill deliberate hitting of construction workers with cars, aggressive behavior of Ezell’s employees, domestic violence, and burglary.

It was———unlicensed art dealing.

Caller says that a man is selling art without the proper license on the SE corner of the intersection. white male, 30s, blue jeans.

Can you help? Have you seen a white male in his 30s wearing blue jeans suspiciously, suspiciously hawking paintings since then?

(Thanks, Brian!)

Notes From the Prayer Warrior

posted by on June 26 at 12:30 PM


Thursday, 26 June 2008

I asked you to pray about the situation with the State of Washington Commission on African American Affairs. Thank you - your prayers were answered!, the widely disseminated online news division of the American Family News Network will be running a very long article on this subject sometime during the coming weekend. Please watch for it and pray that God will be glorified as the truth about the State of Washington is revealed.

Pastor Hutch

Closing Arguments

posted by on June 26 at 12:25 PM

The Sonics trial is breaking for lunch right now, but before the break the city began its closing arguments.

One notable thing so far: Judge Marsha Pechman interrupted the city’s presentation to ask the city’s attorney, Paul Lawrence, a pointed question: If she made the Sonics stay, would the parties just be back before the court soon enough asking her to resolve future disputes?

This significance of her question is this: She seemed to be worried that the city would continue to try and “undermine its own tenant.” Looks to me like she believes the city has had an ulterior motive here all along: forcing Clay Bennett to sell.

That doesn’t bode well for the city.

You Thought It Was Bad Here

posted by on June 26 at 12:19 PM

Decades-long sentences without evidence, over a million annual arrests, and a multi-billion dollar enforcement budget all make the drug war in America seem pretty egregious. But then, in contrast, it doesn’t seem quite so bad.

Indonesia says it will speed up the execution process of drug traffickers, in a major blow for three Australians on death row for heroin smuggling.

As authorities prepared for the executions last night of two Nigerian heroin smugglers, Attorney-General Hendarman Supandji said other drug offenders on death row could expect their cases to be expedited.

“To give them a lesson, drug traffickers must be executed immediately,” Police chief and National Anti-Narcotic Body chairman General Sutanto said. Officials said the two Nigerians had been moved to a special cell at their prison on Nusakambangan Island, off Central Java, before their executions by firing squad.

That’ll teach ‘em, eh? Those guys will never smuggle drugs again.

Sopranos Season VII

posted by on June 26 at 12:15 PM

Republicans are crying anti-Italian bias, Goldy is calling bullshit, Democrats are pulling ads and switching soundtracks, and I’m expecting a scene with Jennifer Melfi counseling an insecure tough-guy at any moment. Stay tuned.

I’ve Got Poetry to Keep Me Warm

posted by on June 26 at 11:51 AM


During the Great Blackout of Aught-eight, I did, in fact, read poetry aloud. I’ve got shelves packed with books here in the office and skinny little poetry books often get lost in the jumble. As soon as our computers lost power, I started picking out the narrow books and reading bits aloud.

The first poetry collection I grabbed was Mark Svenvold’s Empire Burlesque. There is a poem called “I Recall Being Beautifully Stoned,” subtitled “Seattle 1993,” and it’s about a failed suicide attempt and hitchhiking and being picked up by Ezra Pound in drag. Here’s one bit:

“She stopped for me, said, “Get in,” lit a joint, said: “The perfect BLOW-JOB’S every man’s true EL DORADO— Don’t let anyone tell you different.”

and it ends:

—”What is this place?” Pound said, at last. —”North 85th and Greenwood,” I said, helpfully.

—”No, no,” with a sweep of his hand
That took in the Piggly Wiggly & the strip northward
clear to Canada
—”No,” he said again. “I mean THIS!?”

I turned the page and there was a poem called “White Pages” that was about King Kong. This part was the real genius bit:

Terrible, lusting, big-fingered Kong,/crushed, bereft, knowing it’s all wrong—

Then I abandoned Empire Burlesque and picked up City of Corners, by John Godfrey. I only read one poem from that, called “Across the Way,” and its last stanza was something else again:

Full-term rotundity/in steamy daylight/Her posture:/Magnificent

But then I picked up a book called Wideawake Field by Eliza Griswold. There were some bad poems, there, but there were also some good ones. The thing about good poems is you have to read all of them to get why they’re good poems. And so I sat quietly and read it until the lights and Information Superhighway came back on, at which point I immediately forgot about poetry and fired up some porn.

Ceis Not Allowed to Testify

posted by on June 26 at 11:17 AM

Once again (as she did on Friday) Judge Marsha Pechman schooled the city’s lawyers.

This time, the city wanted Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis to take the stand to rebut Team Bennett’s (frankly damning) case that the city was in cahoots—through its lead counsel at K&L Gates, Slade Gorton— with a prospective ownership group to sabotage the Sonics.

After a lengthy presentation by the city seeking to allow Ceis to testify, Judge Pechman said no go, admonishing the city for trying to use attorney-client privilege as “both a shield and a sword,” adding that it was “fundamentally unfair” to Bennett’s attorneys.

Her point—seconding Team Bennett’s objections to allowing Ceis to testify—was that the city used attorney-client privilege to deny Bennett’s attorneys the chance to summon people like Slade Gorton (who could rebut Ceis’s testimony), but also used it to say they could summon Ceis.

It seemed to me another indication that Judge Pechman believes, as Team Bennett argues, that the city went out of bounds when its law firm took up a plan to undermine Bennett’s ownership while also taking them to court.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on June 26 at 11:00 AM


Andre Dubus III at Town Hall

Dubus’s House of Sand and Fog was a literary smash hit, loudly pimped by snooty book critics and by Oprah. His newest, The Garden of Last Days, is about the last few weeks in the life of one of the September 11 hijackers—much of that time spent in a strip club. It promises to be the kind of book that’s devoured in one tense sitting, even by people who swear that they never read. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 624-6600. 7:30 pm, $5.) PAUL CONSTANT



Happy Birthday, Chris Travis at Sunset Tavern

Chris Travis is the host of The Young & the Restless, 107.7 The End’s Sunday-night local-music show. He’s also co-owner of the small local label Burning Building, and if you ask nicely, he’ll listen to your demo tape when no one else will. For his birthday, Travis shares the spotlight with his favorite Seattle bands—melodic, instrumental act You.May.Die.In.The.Desert opens the celebratory show, followed by To the Waves, Hungry Pines, and Speaker Speaker. It’s his birthday, but you get the present! (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave NW, 784-4880. 9 pm, $6, 21+.) MEGAN SELING

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Impressionism Fact of the Day

    posted by on June 26 at 11:00 AM

    And now, for the final chapter of our resourceful, underappreciated, unpopular-with-the-ladies, mostly now unheard-of impressionist hero Bazille:

    It was not until 12 February that Manet received some terrible news. On 20 November, during a minor attack on Beaune-la-Rolande, Bazille had been killed. He had not died ‘romantically, galloping over a Delacroix battlefield,’ as Renoir put it, but ‘stupidly, during the retreat, on a muddy road.’ In the freezing weather, Bazille’s father made the journey to Beaune-la-Rolande. For ten days he dug in the snow-covered battleground, looking for his son. Eventually he found his body. He hauled it back to Montpellier himself, on a peasant’s cart.

    *From Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of the Impressionists

    A self-portrait by Frederic Bazille from 1865-66. He died in 1870.

    There are three paintings by Bazille in the impressionist show at SAM. One is a gray-toned still-life of a dead heron strung up above a row of dead little birds lying on their backs.

    Wait, Why Are There Gay Men?

    posted by on June 26 at 10:40 AM

    If being a gay man is an inborn, inherent trait with some genetic basis—as the massive, overwhelming, credible, sound, tenable, probable, corroborating, confirming, affirmative collection of scientific evidence states—why are there gay men at all? It’s a trait that strongly discourages procreative sex. Less sex with women means less babies and therefore less spreading of the gay genes.

    These alleles should drop out of the population.


    Well, what is known about gay men and their family members?

    i. Gay men are everywhere, persisting in every culture and in every human population at more-or-less the same frequency—regardless of how much a culture loves gay men.

    ii. The sisters, mothers and aunts of gay men have more babies than those without a gay brother, son or nephew—but only if the relation is through the gay man’s mother.

    iii. A gay man’s male relatives are more likely to be gay—but only if related again through the gay man’s mother.

    Well, we can come up with a few possible explanations, and see what best fits these observations.
    1. Kin Selection.

    The idea? A gay man in the family can only help make the heterosexual relatives pop out more kids and have the kids do better after birth. Babysitting, sexual counseling, consoling, food preparation, hunting…. it’s all gotta be good for making kids, right? Even if the gay uncle, brother or son doesn’t have babies himself, all those related babies are so much better off, the gay alleles survive to make future gay men!

    Sadly, this appears to not be the explanation.

    2. Overdominance.

    This is the gay-is-like-sickle-cell-anemia argument. If having two gay alleles makes you gay, and therefore less prone to baby-making, perhaps having one gay allele makes you a better straight man. Therefore, straight men carrying one gay allele and one straight allele do better than their all straight allele counterparts—the gay alleles survive!

    3. Maternal effects

    In other words, the ever popular mom-made-you-gay theory. Genetically this time. For almost all genes, we get one copy from mom and one copy from dad. For a few of these genes, one of these copies is always turned off from the mom or dad, called genetic imprinting. For example, while dads tend to want the biggest babies possible, mothers tend to prefer surviving childbirth—genetically speaking here. So, the mother’s copies of the genes for growing big tend to be turned off in the baby. Perhaps the same thing is going on for genes that make boys straight.

    4. Sexually antagonistic selection.

    This is the general blame-women theory. Perhaps the gene for making a gay man (not so good for future reproductive prospects) is super good for straight women (making baby making more likely and easier).

    Ok, well which is it? Andrea Camperio Ciani, Paolo Cermelli, Giovanni Zanzotto recently published a possible answer in PlosONE.

    Running the available empiric data about gay men through a whole bunch of models of these possibilities, they discovered one combination that best fits reality and a few aren’t really possible at all.

    Overdominance seems really unlikely. None of the models including this idea fit the data all that well. Nor did the models based on maternal effects. It appears that mom cannot make you gay. Sorry.

    The best fits needed two genetic loci (two genes), with at least one of these loci on the X chromosome. Recall, while women get two X-chromosomes, men only get one. Additionally, at least one of these alleles must be sexually antagonistic—in favor of women reproducing if they have it, even if it makes you gay as a boy.

    Or, as the authors of the study stated:

    Our analysis allows us to draw several conclusions that clarify the basic evolutionary dynamics of the genetic factors influencing human male homosexuality and the related female fecundity increase, resolving a number of open questions. As a main point, we can exclude the GFMH propagation mechanisms based on overdominance (male heterozygote advantage), because none of the models (1b), (5a), (5b) account satisfactorily for the sexual-orientation asymmetries of requirement (B1). At this level of genetic analysis, we can also exclude maternal effects, including maternal genomic imprinting, as they lead too easily to GFMH extinction or fixation, against requirement (A). Only the hypothesis that the GFMH are characterized by sexually antagonistic selection (i.e. the GFMH favor one sex and disfavor the other) produces viable population genetic models (see the case (4) above) leading to the persistence of the trait at low frequencies and capable of accounting for the related pedigree asymmetries. For this reason, predictions of possible widespread diffusion of male homo- or bisexuality in human populations are not warranted, as stable low levels of this character are actually compatible with a broad range of parameters in population genetic models.

    For what could this allele be? Well, an obvious choice is digging dudes. If a woman has an allele that really makes her like guys, she’s more likely to have babies than a woman who has a less guy-loving allele for this gene. If she passes on this dude loving allele to her son, via the X-chromosome, perhaps he’ll be gay. But since she’s having more babies, it’s a wash.


    (Updated for clarity and some more details.)

    Opportunity Knocks

    posted by on June 26 at 10:40 AM

    Meanwhile in Utah

    Utah Republican says he’s happy he lost primary

    U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, a conservative Republican who lost his primary to an opponent who accused him of not being conservative enough, said Wednesday that his defeat frees him to move on to pursue other opportunities.

    Here’s hoping scores of additional Republican members of Congress are similarly pleased at being freed to pursue other opportunities come November.

    Please Stand By

    posted by on June 26 at 10:35 AM

    A transformer explosion has disabled our internets. Paul Constant is reading poetry aloud and we may soon resort to cannibalism.

    Slog will be slow for a while. Please make a note of it.

    Update: We’re back.

    “Can the President order a suspect buried alive?”

    posted by on June 26 at 10:33 AM


    “Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.”

    Today in Ridiculous Myspace Advertisements

    posted by on June 26 at 10:30 AM

    This one’s for you, copy editing department…


    Reading Tonight

    posted by on June 26 at 10:16 AM


    Two open mics, a mystery starring “travel writer Poke Rafferty, his girlfriend Rose and adopted daughter Miaow,” and three other events going on tonight.

    At Third Place Books, The Junie B. Jones® Stupid Smelly Bus Tour pulls into Lake Forest Park. Junie B. Jones® is a character starring in a series of books for first-to-third graders. I can’t help but think that Junie B. Jones® is a Ramona Quimby rip-off, only a lot more obsessed with bodily fluids and the like. Considering that Ramona Quimby was one of my childhood heroes, I can’t help but be all “get off my lawn” to the Junie B. Jones® fans.

    At Town Hall, Andre Dubus III reads from his newest, The Garden of Last Days. (I know that Mr. Poe is excited for this one.) Jonathan Crimmins reviewed TGoLD for us in this week’s paper. It begins:

    Those who have read Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog will find themselves in familiar territory with his second novel. Once again there’s a hard-luck lady, once again a good-hearted violence-prone schlep, and once again a Middle-Eastern man as the ripped-from-the-headlines hook.

    And, at Elliott Bay Book Company, there’s another interesting fiction reading. Jonathan Miles, the cocktails columnist for the New York Times, reads from his debut novel, Dear American Airlines, which is a novel that takes the form of an immense letter of complaint written by a man stuck in an airport after a flight cancellation. It looks pretty interesting, and if the conceit doesn’t make you roll your eyes, it could very well be a book for you.

    For upcoming readings, consult the full readings calendar.

    Dr. No

    posted by on June 26 at 10:12 AM

    Which leads the Washington Post to ask the obvious question: Does this make McCain 007?

    Re: Guns, Guns, Guns

    posted by on June 26 at 10:05 AM

    And now the Obama statement, which tries to claim that Obama was in favor of the Supreme Court’s gun rights reasoning before—well, before even the Supreme Court was in favor of its gun rights reasoning:

    I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.

    As President, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen. I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Today’s decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on June 26 at 10:00 AM

    Craig Norton’s Untitled, wallpaper and ball point pen, dimensions variable

    At OKOK. (Gallery site here.)

    The Latte Smear

    posted by on June 26 at 9:20 AM

    Check out this ad that GOP incumbent Norm Coleman is running against his Dem challenger Al Franken:

    ZOMG! Al Franken lived in New York City! And he’s a liberal—which means he drinks them fancy latte things! And like all them liberals Franken likes them really complicated lattes that take ages and ages to order!

    Do Republican politicians and campaign consultants ever actually go to the heartland they never shut up about? I travel a fair bit and there are Starbucks literally everywhere you go—big towns, small towns, college towns, blue-collar towns. And do you know why that is? Because lattes are popular all over! And the further you get from a major urban area—the farther away you are from, say, 99 Riverside Drive—the more complicated latte orders become.

    Lattes that takes ten minutes to describe are ordered way more often in small town America—in our diabetic “heartland”—than they are in New York City, Norm.

    “…and that led to him masturbating me.”

    posted by on June 26 at 9:00 AM


    Sorry about tossing this up so very early in the AM, but Tak Landrock—a reporter in Colorado Springs—got his hands on an email that Ted Haggard sent to a friend and supporter. In the email Haggard admits to 1. allowing himself to be masturbated by Mike Jones, and 2. using drugs. But that doesn’t make Haggard gay or anything. Gotta love this part of Haggard’s email:

    “It was during the massage that it started to become sensual, and that led to him masturbating me,” writes Haggard. “That was and is our only sexual contact…. During the conversation with Mike during and after the time he masturbated me, he told me about some drugs that he could get for me that would enhance my masturbation experience.”

    See? It wasn’t a gay experience, just an innocent massage “led” astray by some mysterious outside—and dudes masturbating dudes is so totally not homosexuality! And Haggard’s friend, er, swallows this. Haggard was a vulnerable sexaholic, Kurt Serpe tells Landrock, not a vile homosexaholic, which is an important distinction out there in the wilds of Colorado Springs. Back to Landrock’s story:

    “He craved sex, he was a sexaholic,” says Serpe. He believes it had nothing to do with homosexuality, but more about masturbation and gratification. “This is something that he has been struggling with all of his life,” says Serpe. He says Haggard told him the relationship lasted only three-months, not three years.

    Nothing to see here, people—Haggard was only going to Jones for masturbation and gratification, and if there’s one thing we know about gay sex it’s that masturbation or gratification have no place in it.

    So good news, America, there’s nothing gay about going to a male escort over a three month/three year period so long as you’re only after masturbation, and none of that gay, gay, gay anal or oral sex—although plenty of oral went went down during Haggard’s visits, according to the far-more-credible Mike Jones.

    Guns, Guns, Guns

    posted by on June 26 at 8:45 AM

    Yesterday it was a death penalty ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that had Obama in a tricky spot.

    Today it’s a landmark gun rights ruling:

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declared for the first time on Thursday that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to have a gun, not just the right of the states to maintain militias.

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the landmark 5-to-4 decision, said the Constitution does not allow “the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.” In so declaring, the majority found that a gun-control law in the nation’s capital went too far in making it nearly impossible to own a handgun.

    As with yesterday’s death penalty ruling, McCain is the first out with a statement:

    Today’s decision is a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States. For this first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers. I applaud this decision as well as the overturning of the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns and limitations on the ability to use firearms for self-defense.

    Unlike Senator Obama, who refused to join me in signing a bipartisan amicus brief, I was pleased to express my support and call for the ruling issued today. Today’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans. Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right — sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly.

    This ruling does not mark the end of our struggle against those who seek to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. We must always remain vigilant in defense of our freedoms. But today, the Supreme Court ended forever the specious argument that the Second Amendment did not confer an individual right to keep and bear arms.

    The Obama campaign, anticipating today’s ruling, tried to declare a past Obama campaign statement supporting the D.C. handgun ban as “inartful.”

    But, um, the previous Obama campaign statement was:

    Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.

    So, once again, the question of the moment is: What should Obama say?

    And once again, the politically smart choice (“I support the court’s ruling”) is going to get Obama in a lot of trouble with lefties who have imagined him as a liberal messiah who will speak their ideological truth to the conservatives in power.

    The Morning News

    posted by on June 26 at 8:18 AM

    Jackass: Bush rejects EPA document concluding greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled—by refusing to open it.

    A Promising First: House holds first-ever hearing on transgender rights in the workplace.

    Racist?: The latest Gregoire ad, according to Italian Club of Seattle.

    Slashed: Damages in Exxon Valdez oil spill.

    It Gets Worse: Zimbabwe’s neighbors beg country to postpone fraudulent “runoff” election.

    They’re Watching: Why the wiretapping law—supported by Obama, opposed by Schumer—is worse than you think.

    Sonics: Get the fourth pick in the NBA draft.

    Five Dead: In Kentucky factory gun rampage.

    Hundreds Arrested: In child-prostitution ring bust.

    Recipe of the Day: Green Beans and Tofu in Coconut Sauce (recipe and photo via Everybody Likes Sandwiches)


    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    It Sure Would Be Nice to Sit at a Café on the Sidewalk Right Now

    posted by on June 25 at 5:49 PM

    You know, like in Paris, where there’s at least one on every block. But on a nice day here in Seattle, the handful of places with sidewalk seating are already running an hour-long wait for the patio. Why aren’t there more? In addition to exorbitant costs and long-processing times, pulling a table over the threshold requires two separate permits.

    Calling Seattle’s permitting system bureaucratic and outdated, Mayor Greg Nickels on Tuesday proposed reducing permit time and costs for restaurants that want sidewalk seating. The changes, which require City Council approval, would lower the cost from $2,300 to $600 for a 100-square-foot sidewalk-cafe permit and would set a processing goal of 10 days….

    Nickels proposed requiring approval only from the Transportation Department, which controls public sidewalk space.

    Cheers to city hall! Of course, it might have been nice to get crackin’ on this, like, before summer. But progress is progress. Perhaps while the electeds hold twenty-six public meetings to discuss this, conduct a feasibility analysis study, and mull it over, the legislature could eviscerate Washington’s nanny-state liquor laws so by next year we don’t have to drink behind ropes like we’re in baby pens. What’s with that? And, to promote more sidewalk seating, and eating, and drinking—which is seriously is the pinnacle of urban life—we should build wider sidewalks. Every time there’s a proposed development, some jackals start yelping about the need for open space, so we build these bullshit courtyard wind tunnels between buildings and round off the edges of buildings. We don’t need unusable postage-stamp plazas lined with beach grasses for open space; we need more 25-foot wide sidewalks, more patio seating, more little outdoor tables… outdoor tables with ashtrays, sweetie.

    Newsflash: Shipping Cheap Crap Around the World Is Insane.

    posted by on June 25 at 4:53 PM

    The exurbs aren’t the only inanity in trouble thanks to the jump in energy prices…

    As the cost of shipping continues to soar along with fuel prices, homegrown manufacturing jobs are making a comeback after decades of decline. While it once cost $3,000 to ship a container from a city like Shanghai to New York, it now costs $8,000, prompting some businesses to look closer to home for manufacturing needs…

    The rise in transportation costs are fueling what some economists are calling “reverse globalization.” For instance, DESA, a company that makes heaters to keep football players warm, is moving all its production back to Kentucky after years of having them made in China.

    “Cheap labor in China doesn’t help you when you gotta pay so much to bring the goods over,” says economist Jeff Rubin.

    Some local manufacturers have suddenly found themselves in the thick of boom times.

    (ABC news)

    I also think Seattle Bubble might be wrong about the economics of moving from Marysville.

    Pollet’s Lawsuit Dismissed by Judge

    posted by on June 25 at 4:11 PM

    Gerry Pollet—the 46th District candidate whose supporters sued to have his opponent, Scott White, removed from the August primary election ballot after White attempted to withdraw from the race, then changed his mind—lost his challenge in King County Superior Court this morning. Pollet wanted to prove that King County Elections officials had not told the truth when they said White’s faxed withdrawal came in five minutes late (and wasn’t received until the next morning), and that they reinstated him for other reasons. That claim was rejected in Superior Court by Judge John P. Erlick.

    Today I Learned How to…

    posted by on June 25 at 3:45 PM

    spell badminton.

    I always thought it was badmiton. Or badmitton. Or badmitten, like a really rebellious mitten. I never would’ve guessed badminton. I’ve been ignoring that first N my entire life.

    And now, something amazing:

    Studio at Havana

    posted by on June 25 at 3:28 PM

    Looking for something fun to do tonight after Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cabaret? Head up to Havana for…

    STUDIO at Havana has a regular following of devoted Disco, Italo, Cosmic and Mustache Groove fans. Every Wednesday night punks, bike messengers and skaters join Disco Enthusiasts and crowd onto Havana’s small dance floor to move and sweat while STUDIO’s resident DJs—American Athlete and H.M.A.—spin vintage vinyl along with guests.

    STUDIO is Seattle’s only real disco night and STUDIO is STRAIGHT. Mostly. But tonight the boys behind the night are hosting a very special Gay-ass Disco Night to mark Gay Pride Week. Sponsored by the Stranger with give-aways from Boy Butter Lube.

    I’m posting this under Nightlife and Conflict of Interest because I happen to be sleeping with one of the guys that will be DJing tonight. Go and see if you can guess which.


    The Book-of-the-Year Club

    posted by on June 25 at 3:00 PM

    Nathan Bransford, who is a literary agent, has a great discussion up at his blog about whether authors should feel obliged to produce a new book every year.

    I’ve honestly never had the thought that books take a set time to write. I’m kind of shocked by how many commenters over there expect a book a year, as though it’s their right as readers. But a lot of writers on Bransford’s blog seem to think that this slow-pace thinking contributes to a kind of primadonna mentality. I can see both sides, but when it comes to fiction, I think that ultimately, the kind of care that’s necessary almost demands more than a year’s worth of work.

    A Moment in Crime

    posted by on June 25 at 2:51 PM

    Moments ago, I was walking down 11th to move my car, and saw three SPD squad cars parked all around it. Always a bad sign.

    Thankfully, when I walked up, I found three officers tearing through the car parked next to mine. A big bag of what appeared to be weed, a coffee can and a smaller bag of pills were spread out on the roof of the car


    I asked the cops what was up. “Just bustin’ bad guys,” one of them told me.

    One of the officers moved his patrol car so I could pull out of my space, and as I drove away, I saw something flapping on the hood of my car. I pulled over and, much to my delight, found one of the officers’ notepads.


    I walked back and handed it to one of the cops standing around the car.

    If only SPD made my job this easy all of the time.

    In/Visible Is Up: Artists of the Apocalypse Speak

    posted by on June 25 at 2:49 PM


    That there is Matthew Day Jackson’s Chariot II (I Like America and America Likes Me) (2008), the centerpiece of the Henry Art Gallery’s new show The Violet Hour. It’s made of a Skip Nichols race car (crashed/Corvette), steel, wool, felt, leather, stained glass, fluorescent light tubes, solar panels, fiberglass, and plastic.

    Like Jackson’s other two works in the show, this one is a glorious thing to look at and look at and keep looking at. It’s also full of associations in and outside of art—the first to come to mind are Richard Prince’s treatments of upstate New York, Beuys’s plane crash and rescue by the Tartars, and stained-glass windows that survive in bombed-out cathedrals. Traditional Western art and pioneer stories are swirling around, too: the driver’s seat is made from a leather cowboy saddle, and set in the passenger’s seat like an eerie mask is a reflective astronaut’s helmet wrapped in gray felt. Oh, and the entire sculpture is solar-powered.

    That’s the “shattered” windshield of the car.

    There’s the cowboy saddle and the space helmet inside the car.

    The Violet Hour is a remarkably entertaining show for being so simultaneously grim. Jen Liu’s videos feature Pink Floyd standards sung in Latin plainchant, Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” performed by a community brass band and performed as an operatic aria for a soprano, cannibalism, brutalist architecture, and pretty young men. In Croatian artist David Maljkovic’s videos, young people in a post-communist daze linger under the burdensome, overpowering modernist architecture of the Italian Pavilion of the Zagreb Fair, loitering in and around cars that have been immobilized.

    The overlapping themes in the show reveal themselves continually: cars, architecture, nature, text, religion, crystalline forms. It’s a show in which you can do plenty of mental work while also having a great time.

    Talking to the artists (except Maljkovic, who had to remain in Croatia with his wife, who’s expecting) was much the same experience.

    Have a listen.

    Pardon Me…

    posted by on June 25 at 2:23 PM

    …But did Al Sharpton just call Anderson Cooper a big huge fag or something?

    The transcript:

    SHARPTON:..I think Senator Obama is right. None of us leave our personal convictions or religious feelings at the door. But we also respect the fact that everyone doesn’t have to have those same convictions in the public marketplace. So, I may have some very conservative personal feelings, but I feel you have the right to live your life differently. I might think what you do, Anderson, is going to put you in hell, but I’m going to defend your right to get there. So, I think that that’s where I differ with some of my other brothers.


    PERKINS: I’m going to try and keep you from going there.

    SHARPTON: Well, I am too, but I’m not…


    SHARPTON: But there’s a difference in forcing him to heaven, Tony, and in legislating him in heaven, and converting him. I would rather convert him. Let me convert him, Tony.


    COOPER: I appreciate both of your concerns about my — my afterlife.

    Your “afterlife”, indeed, Mr. Cooper. Your big, screaming “afterlife”.

    Well spotted, Rev. Sharpton. Your gaydar is totally ferosh. Or whatever.

    (Thanks to Blaire, the big tipper.)

    Re: Re: What Should Obama Say?

    posted by on June 25 at 2:10 PM

    Well, now he’s said it (and answered the question).

    Barack Obama disagrees with today’s Supreme Court ruling barring the death penalty for child rapists.

    CHICAGO (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama says he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision outlawing executions of people convicted of raping a child.

    Obama told reporters Wednesday that he thinks the rape of a child, ages six or eight, is a heinous crime. He said if a state makes a decision, then the death penalty is potentially applicable.

    He disagreed with the court’s blanket prohibition.

    Smart politically, but sure to upset the anti-death-penalty wing of the Democratic base.

    Today in the Slow Death of Newspapers

    posted by on June 25 at 2:08 PM

    The LA Times reports that its own building is for sale:

    Tribune Co. is putting two of its most historic properties—the Los Angeles Times headquarters downtown and Tribune Tower in Chicago—on the block.
    Tribune CEO Sam Zell says the company seeks to ‘maximize the value’ of The Times’ headquarters in downtown Los Angeles as well as Chicago’s Tribune Tower. He seeks options to maintain ‘some level of occupancy’ in the buildings.

    I like the Times headquarters, which always make me think of a loaf of bread wearing a suit of armor:


    But I adore the Tribune building in Chicago:


    I love the Trib building for its crazy, totally unnecessary flying buttresses


    … and how its outside is festooned with rocks that reporters brought back from their travels, per the demands of Colonel McCormick, the Trib’s crazy owner:


    It’s not like anybody wants to tear down these lovely, bizarre buildings, but still—it seems like poor, grown-up siblings having to sell off their childhood home.

    Re: Impressionist Fact of the Day

    posted by on June 25 at 2:08 PM

    Commenter Suzi (an arts journalist in Oregon) responded to my IFOD:

    The UO’s museum (Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art) is opening a show called “Faster, High, Farther: The Spirit of Track-and-Field Sports,” and I don’t think there’s a single book or piece of information about running or javelin-ing that I want to convey to the overwhelmed-with-Olympic-Trials-trivia Eugene public. But if you know of any good sporty art history books, I guess I could give it a try. (And when the J-Schnitz’s “Cuba Avant-Garde” hits the boards, watch out for the Revolutionary Fact of the Day.)

    I do not, in fact, know of any good sporty art history books, but they have to be out there. Anybody who can help Suzi on this one?

    As for the track-and-field crowd, an pictogram-ish painting of a larger-than-life russki-lady who looks as though she’s just thrown a discus straight at your face springs exuberantly to mind. ! She’s from early 20th-century Russian propaganda—but I can’t remember the artist, and I can’t find it online.

    So I bring you this execration instead (Dali’s Cosmic Athletes, from 1943), with apologies in advance:


    I’m About to Ruin Your Day

    posted by on June 25 at 1:49 PM

    In Florida today, a man was convicted of brutally murdering a creator of Curious George. The details of the beating, which I won’t reproduce here, are particularly soul-deadening. This is horrible. The sentencing hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully, the shitbag will get life.


    posted by on June 25 at 1:48 PM

    Last week, the folks at Capcom sent along a downloadable copy of Commando 3, the never-awaited sequel to their ’80s top-down arcade shooter (think Ikari Warriors or Smash TV). For $10, you get roughly an hour and a half of mindless dudes to shoot guns at. The demo got me excited, but the full game loses steam really quickly.

    So why mention it? The game also includes a preview bonus for the online Street Fighter II remake coming later this year. That bonus was unlocked this morning, and since I’m a goddamned Street Fighter freak, I’ve since wasted a sunny Seattle morning getting beaten down by fireball-throwing 12-year-olds.

    Previews for this game have emphasized the HD part of the game’s stupidly long title (“Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix,” choke). The whole game’s been redrawn to fill every overpriced dot on a 1080p display, and apparently, those new pixels are dedicated to man-muscle:


    Giambi Fighter? Grody. But the exaggerated style works in motion, and SSF2THDR (sheez) winds up looking and playing fluidly, especially compared to preview versions that looked herky-jerky. An even bigger deal is that this is the smoothest online fighting game I’ve ever played. Weird that it’s taken ‘til 2008 to get this right, but fighting games can’t get away with the online tricks that World of Warcraft or even online shooters can. Nuts and bolts: Most other games guess what you’re doing between the milliseconds that go by with natural Internet latency. Fighting games are too twitchy for that, which means they often freeze to allow catch-up. Not here. I had nobody to blame but myself when I got my ass handed to me five times in a row this morning. For a “beta” test version of the game, this already runs quite well.

    Also cool is the game’s online matchmaking. You typically land in a mini-lobby where two people are already playing, and a few contenders line up behind them. Everyone can hear each other’s microphone chatter. The winner of a given match then sticks around to take on the folks in line. It’s this sensation that got me antsy to write about the game. Just add the heavy aroma of greasy pizza, and you’ve got the corner-shop arcade experience that made Street Fighter II such a social gaming phenomenon in the ’90s—stacking quarters on the cabinet to wait your turn, cheering on the kid who was the corner shop’s champ, rooting for the eventual underdog victory. Arcades are a dying breed, so even though the base game is ancient, the authenticity makes this a worthy retread.

    The full version doesn’t have a set release date; “before 2009” is the current claim. There’s also a 3D Street Fighter IV in the works, which is supposed to be a simple, “back to the roots” game with its own multiplayer modes, so I’m not sure why this one’s coming out, too. (Perhaps they felt like Street Fighter fans didn’t have enough options?) Still, for what this beta test gets right, I say bring on the ethnic stereotype fighting bonanza.

    Mile High Club

    posted by on June 25 at 1:45 PM

    In Denver, there’s a push to allow smoking in the airport—which already has the smokiest airport in which I’ve ever had a breakfast margarita. But this push is to allow pot smoking.

    [Mason] Tvert, a crusader for legalizing marijuana, has called for pot-smoking lounges in the nation’s airports. His reason for doing goes beyond his cannabis liberation mission: He wants to help make flying safer.

    “There’s been this growing trend of alcohol-related air rage,” he said Tuesday, alluding to episodes of drunken passengers creating in-flight disturbances.

    Just last week, Christina E. Szele, 35, of New York, was accused of drunkenly disrupting a JetBlue flight, punching a flight attendant and screaming curses and racial slurs after she was prevented from smoking. A cigarette, that is.

    This make perfect sense, especially to the people who hate pot. You see, the criticism among the “I hate pot” crowd is usually that smoking dope turns prodigious workers into slackers and energetic teens into non-communicative sloths. But does anybody want a chatty Cathy in the seat next to them from here to St Louis, or some guy who needs to get up forty times during the flight to “stretch his legs”? Fuck no. You want someone completely fulfilled by reading Sky Mall.

    And if you’re one of the folks who actually likes to smoke weed, then you know an on-site lounge is necessary. Because the problem with getting high at home is that in the time it takes to get to the airport, check in, eat two Whoppers, walk to your gate, take a requisite pre-flight piss, board, taxi, and take off—your buzz is gone. We need pot lounges in the airport. And they should sell travel-pack brownies for mid-flight bumps to keep Bob quiet. Hell, airport pot therapy lounges could help save Ted Kennedy and, if the government will back off, become become part of a cancer-treatment regimen. We need them—for safety’s sake.

    PS: Think pot-lounges at Sea-Tac are a great idea? Don’t like the idea of a stoner smacking on Cheetos in your ear? Rocky Mountain News is conducting a poll, and, at the time of this Slog post, the yes and no votes are neck-and-neck. 49% for, 48 % against, and 2 % voting maybe. Vote here.

    3:30 PM UPDATE: Since the Sloggy masses started voting, the pro-pot-lounge poll has increased to an 8-point spread. But the conservatives are sure to get a second wind after leaving Wednesday-night mass. So, if you haven’t yet, go vote.

    The Tears of Jubilation

    posted by on June 25 at 1:45 PM

    Slog commenter Jubilation T. Cornball, currently attending a gay wedding in San Francisco, waxes emotional in an email he just sent me:

    Thought you might be interested in a real time description of the weddings in San Francisco…I am at the City Hall rotunda now. There is a band playing love songs. Small and smaller gaggles of folks are in various spots under the rotunda dome, all of which have, at their center, two guys or two women and an officiating, um, official.

    And hey—there are straight people getting married here, too! They don’t seem to act like their marriages are under threat.

    This experience is, simply put, one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. I am certainly going to cry for happiness when my friends get married (or if Turkey beat Germany, which I have been following on my blackberry—my damn friends had to get married during a Euro semifinal), but now I find myself tearing up watching strangers.

    One walks through the front door of City Hall to the rotunda, under four large panels of the AIDS quilt, reminding us that the struggles our community have undergone in our lifetimes are huge. But we somehow get through them, and move on to better days and places…including a room filled with marrying couples who might wonder who that strange guy is crying a little by the stairs.

    I think this is what pride is all about.

    Re: What Should Obama Say?

    posted by on June 25 at 1:30 PM

    I’m pretty sure my question from earlier today will be answered shortly, as Barack Obama is currently holding a press conference in Chicago.

    In the meantime, here’s John McCain’s response to the new Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the death penalty for child rapists. It begins with the predictable (and Slog-recommended) line, “as a father…” :

    As a father, I believe there is no more sacred responsibility in American society than that of protecting the innocence of our children. I have spent over twenty-five years in Congress fighting for stronger criminal sentences for those who exploit and harm our children. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is an assault on law enforcement’s efforts to punish these heinous felons for the most despicable crime. That there is a judge anywhere in America who does not believe that the rape of a child represents the most heinous of crimes, which is deserving of the most serious of punishments, is profoundly disturbing.

    “Gender Stereotypes” Does Not Mean What Maureen Dowd Thinks It Means

    posted by on June 25 at 1:20 PM

    I’m a little late getting to this (no time to Slog these past two deadline days), but did folks read the Public Editor column in last Sunday’s New York Times? The column poses the question that’s suddenly trendy now that Hillary Clinton is safely out of the way: Did sexism color media coverage of the Clinton campaign? Specifically, did it color the NYT’s coverage? The answer, Public Editor Clark Hoyt concludes, was mostly no — except for one notable exception: Editorial columnist Maureen Dowd, whose columns

    were so loaded with language painting [Clinton] as a 50-foot woman with a suffocating embrace, a conniving film noir dame and a victim dependent on her husband that they could easily have been listed in that Times article on sexism, right along with the comments of Chris Matthews, Mike Barnicle, Tucker Carlson or, for that matter, [William] Kristol, who made the Hall of Shame for a comment on Fox News, not for his Times work.

    What I love is how he lets Dowd hang herself—and how effectively she does so.

    I’ve been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years,” Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images [uh, not true] about men over seven presidential campaigns. She often refers to Barack Obama as “Obambi” and has said he has a “feminine” management style. But the relentless nature of her gender-laden assault on Clinton — in 28 of 44 columns since Jan. 1 — left many readers with the strong feeling that an impermissible line had been crossed, even though, as Dowd noted, she is a columnist who is paid not to be objective.

    So, by feminizing male politicians so she can call them fags (or “chick,” or “weak sister,” or “Breck girl”, or “effete,” or “Scarlett O’Hara,” or “so feminized … he’s practically lactating,” or a “debutante”) Dowd is actually twisting gender stereotypes! Same thing for when she calls female politicians icy, manly, ball-busting bitches. Ridiculing men by calling girls isn’t sexism—it’s editorial license. Good to know.

    Crush of Shame

    posted by on June 25 at 12:53 PM


    It’s common knowledge that attractive people are attractive. Much more interesting to me are the negligibly attractive—normal-looking-or-lower people who nevertheless produce spasms of lust in otherwise sane citizens.

    Recently I quizzed a group of friends about their personal shame crushes—which, as I explained, couldn’t just be non-glamorous people, but must be those aggressively contrary to the common “sex symbol” ideal. (For example, Johnny Knoxville and Jean Enersen don’t qualify, Kid Rock and Jean Godden do. To find your true shame crush, you must dig deep. If your ego isn’t squirming, you’re not doing it right.)

    My friends’ responses were as illuminating and upsetting as I’d hoped.
    One sane young gay man expressed his bottomless lust for James Gandolfini.

    Another sane 40-something straight man revealed his mysterious attraction to former Secretary of State of Florida Katherine Harris.

    A lovely heterosexual woman shared her confusing childhood lust for Eric Stoltz in Mask, inspiring an equally lovely heterosexual man to reveal his ongoing crush on Charlize Theron in Monster.

    As for me, when it comes to shame crushes, I’m a Bruce Willis-in-1995/baseball-capped-shlub-from-the-inexplicable-syndicated-sitcom-Yes Dear kind of guy.

    (Also, at least once, I’ve wondered what it would be like to kiss CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on the lips.)

    Please help further my understanding of humanity by sharing your shame crush in the comments.

    In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

    posted by on June 25 at 12:42 PM

    Win Tickets to the Foo Fighters/Supergrass Show on July 9th!: Find out how to enter here.

    Tonight in Music: Exile in {Imaginary} Girlville, the Dodos.

    Gay Disco!: Who knew?

    Speaking of Disco: Expect to hear Five Letters’ “The Kee Tha Tha” at Studio tonight.

    Ernestine Anderson Lives in Seattle: The bad news is, the jazz legend might be evicted.

    Accidents Will Happen: More on the currently hanging rock photography show.

    “Bang the Bass. Fuck the Neighbors.”: New Saturday Knights record in stores this week.

    The Band Name Game: Darby McDevitt tells you how to get band names like the Descending Teeth and Spandrel Addict.


    Seattle Air Guitar Champion Chuck Mung
    Photo by Donte Parks

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

    posted by on June 25 at 12:39 PM

    A British man who fled the U.S. after his wife and baby daughter were shot to death in their home has been convicted of murdering them….

    Prosecutors say Entwistle was in debt and dissatisfied with his sex life when he fatally shot his wife and daughter as they snuggled in bed in their Hopkinton home in 2006.

    The (Big) Sleepover

    posted by on June 25 at 12:25 PM

    Poor guy.

    Michael Shane Smith’s mom died last month, so he left Alaska to visit some friends in Sutherlin, Oregon (population 6669). Got too drunk one night, probably blacked out, found his way into a stranger’s home and fell asleep on that stranger’s couch. And then got shot to death.

    Police said Christy Cramer found Smith passed out on her couch early Thursday. Cramer fled the house and got her husband, Keith Cramer, who happened to be at the same place where Smith and Lyons had been drinking.

    Cramer called the cops twice. Once to say there’s a drunk stranger passed out on my couch and again to say I just shot the drunk stranger passed out on my couch with a high-powered hunting rifle.

    Cramer’s lawyer says poor Michael Shane Smith woke up and threatened Cramer. Smith’s friends say he was a harmless, gentle drunk who fell asleep in the wrong place.

    Which reminds me of the story of Daley Bailey, a professional gambler from a small town in Eastern Washington. I knew Daley’s brother (a country musician and carpenter living in Seattle), who used to tell this story:

    Years and years ago, Daley was staying with the parents in Wenatchee for awhile. One night, he went out, got drunk, came home late, and found the door locked. “Shit,” Daley thought, “my folks changed the locks on me.” So he kicked in the door and passed out on the couch.

    The next morning Daley woke up, rubbed his eyes, looked around, and realized he was in the neighbors’ house.

    “The only reason he didn’t get shot,” Daley’s brother used to say, “is because the neighbors were on vacation.”

    Poor Michael Shane Smith.

    City Attorney Seeks to Broaden Obstruction Laws

    posted by on June 25 at 12:22 PM

    Last week, I wrote about how the City Attorney’s office handles obstruction charges, often filing cases under a broader state statute—which some defense attorneys believe makes it easier for the city to score convictions—rather than an existing city law.

    Now, City Attorney Tom Carr and City Council Member Tim Burgess—a former Seattle Police officer—are looking at making changes to the city obstruction law, to more closely mirror the state statute.

    In the state law, obstruction is vaguely defined as “”willfully hinder[ing], delay[ing], or obstruct[ing]” an officer, and does not contain language included in the the city law, which protects people from obstruction convictions that stem from officer misconduct.

    Read on for the proposed amendment:

    Apologies for all the legalese.

    A. A person is guilty of obstructing a public officer if, with knowledge that the person obstructed is a public officer, he or she:

    1. Intentionally and physically interferes with a public officer; or

    2. Intentionally disobeys hinders or delays a public officer by disobeying an order to stop given by such officer; or

    3. Intentionally refuses to cease an activity or behavior that creates a risk of injury to any person when ordered to do so by a public officer; or

    4. Intentionally destroys, conceals or alters or attempts to destroy, conceal or alter any material which he or she knows the public officer is attempting to obtain, secure or preserve during an investigation, search or arrest; or

    5. Intentionally refuses to leave the scene of an investigation of a crime while an investigation is in progress after being requested to leave by a public officer; or

    6. Intentionally hinders, delays or obstructs a public officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties

    The city’s current obstruction law doesn’t include the vague “hinders, delays or obstructs” language, the addition of which could increase the number of cases the city files and wins.

    Of the 256 stand-alone obstruction cases the city has filed since January 2007, 106 were prosecuted under the broader state law. The city also dropped 75* obstruction charges in 2007.

    While the language in the city law protecting people from bogus obstruction charges will likely remain intact, public defenders are currently working with the city to more clearly define “hinders, delays or obstructs.”

    Burgess’s public safety committee should be passing the law change on to the full council in early July.

    (*This number could be higher, but the city attorney’s office apparently doesn’t keep detailed records on the cases they decline to file.)

    Lunchtime Quickie

    posted by on June 25 at 12:20 PM

    In honor of big gay Pride Week, here’s Big Gay Lunchtime Quickie #1! You may remember Seattle’s gender-bending-queer-lady-boylesque-performance-art-solo-stripping-sensation Waxie Moon from THIS video. Here’s his newest, Waxie’s Choral Line.

    You can see Waxie perform tonight at The Triple Door with the one-and-only Dina Martina, El Vez, Queen Shmooquan, and more!

    The Heart of the Matter

    posted by on June 25 at 12:18 PM

    McSweeney’s has a post up called “Lit 101 Class in Three Lines or Less.” I’m really fond of how the one for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe manages to fit some literary criticism into its three lines, and also the last line of the 1984 retelling is gold, but, for Christopher’s sake, this is the one that bats it out of the park:


    ISHMAEL: I’m existential.

    AHAB: Really? Try vengeance.

    ISHMAEL: I dig this dynamic. Can we drag it out for 600 pages?

    Is This is What $4 a Gallon Gas is Doing…

    posted by on June 25 at 12:14 PM

    …bring on $5 a gallon gas. The NYT:

    Across the nation, the realization is taking hold that rising energy prices are less a momentary blip than a change with lasting consequences. The shift to costlier fuel is threatening to slow the decades-old migration away from cities, while exacerbating the housing downturn by diminishing the appeal of larger homes set far from urban jobs.

    In Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Minneapolis, homes beyond the urban core have been falling in value faster than those within, according to an analysis by Moody’s

    “It’s like an ebbing of this suburban tide,” said Joe Cortright, an economist at the consulting group Impresa Inc. in Portland, Ore. “There’s going to be this kind of reversal of desirability. Typically, Americans have felt the periphery was most desirable, and now there’s going to be a reversion to the center.”

    In a recent study, Mr. Cortright found that house prices in the urban centers of Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland and Tampa have fared significantly better than those in the suburbs. So-called exurbs—communities sprouting on the distant edges of metropolitan areas—have suffered worst of all, Mr. Cortright found.

    Confirmed: McCain Aware of Internet

    posted by on June 25 at 12:05 PM

    In case you missed this, an exchange at the recent Personal Democracy Forum in New York City between McCain adviser Mark Soohoo and Tracy Russo, a former blogger for John Edwards:

    The picture gets clearer: John McCain, admitted computer illiterate, has nevertheless been fully briefed on the existence of these here tubes.

    30 Days Reactions From Around the Gay Interwebs

    posted by on June 25 at 11:25 AM

    It looks like GLAAD and I weren’t the only folks offended by this interview night’s 30 Days:


    FX says gays abuse kids, are mentally ill

    Yep. The FX network thought it would be cute, or funny, or something to put on TV an anti-gay bigot and let him spout all the tired old lies from decades ago—and THEN, not have anyone there to say “uh, those are all lies.” So, FX’s viewers were left with the message that gays abuse kids, are mentally ill, beat their partners, and more. Lovely. Maybe FX can get Heinz as a sponsor…. This is outrageous. It’s bad enough for FX to let these bigots broadcast their tired old libel against gays, but then to not have someone there to point out that the “facts” are actually lies. Incredible.


    The episode also airs a disgusting statement from Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council…. I’ve posted about Sprigg before. You may remember that back in March, Sprigg talked about immigration to the Medill Reports, saying, “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

    Good As You

    So first, just as we had been warned, they introduce Peter Sprigg and let him present his baseless “facts” in an unchallenged fashion. Even though the episode featured several pro-gay speakers, it is 100% irresponsible to let Sprigg, sitting in the “expert” chair, rail off this list of supposed gay ills as if they are the gospel. That simply would not be accepted with any other group of people! And it’s unfair to just trust that the American public is going to realize that Sprigg’s words are the product of his own one-sided views, and not credible information.

    But that being said, this portion of the program gets almost worse after the Sprigg clip, when the show proceeds to present the conversation with Dawn Stefanowicz in a way that makes it sound as if she is merely a child of gay parents who has written a book about her experiences. Only problem with that? Dawn is not just someone who they found through an advertisement of casting call. Dawn is an anti-gay activist who has taken a situation that is unique to herself, filtered that through a faith in Jesus, and began a new career of using her own past paint to fight against equal rights for gays and lesbians (attracting the attention of rabidly anti-gay extremists like the American Family Association in the process). She is telling the story of her family, from only her own personal perspective, even admitting that “it was not until [her] father, his sexual partners and [her] mother had died, was [she] free to speak publicly about [her] experiences.” And she’s taking that one-sided story, with nobody alive to challenge it, and sweepingly misapplying it to gay parenting as a whole. It’s patently unfair, both Dawn’s misuse of personal trauma, and her inclusion on this program in this casual, unfleshed out way!

    Complaints should be directed to…

    20th Century Fox Television, Inc. Jeffrey Glaser Senior Vice President, Current Programming (310) 369-0211

    FX Networks:
    Nick Grad
    Executive Vice President of Original Programming
    (310) 369-0949

    Chuck Saftler
    Executive Vice President of Programming
    (310) 369-0949

    Scott Seomin
    Vice President of Public Relations
    (310) 369-0938

    Video via JoeMyGod.

    Impressionist Fact of the Day

    posted by on June 25 at 11:00 AM

    Let’s stick with Bazille, the friend Monet should be more grateful for. He’s unfortunate again, this time with the ladies. At least the dancers seem to warm up to him.

    Bazille’s mother attempted to capitalise on all the social celebrations by putting her son in touch with a young lady, up from Montpellier for the Exposition. But the introduction was not a success. ‘If I were a few years younger and had a few more hairs on my head … ’ he ruefully explained (he was twenty-seven). He had made a far more diverting discovery: the wings of the Opéra. ‘Don’t worry,’ he assured his mother. ‘I bring to it all the necessary objectivity, don’t be alarmed.’ The Paris Opéra was glamorous, gilded and spectacular, dazzling with opulence in the shimmering gaslight. But backstage was another world: cold, grimy, and inhabited by ‘dirty machinists, very dumb musicians, a very old [choreographer] Monsieur Auber, and everyone only thinks about getting her job done as quickly as possible to earn a living.’ Bazille was spellbound, chatting with the dancers about their high rents, their dogs and their cats, and fascinated to discover that none of them had a clue what was happening on stage except when she had to go on, and none had ever really thought about why she danced.

    From Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of Impressionists, a slightly trashy book I’m reading in honor of the SAM show.

    I couldn’t find any paintings of dancers by Bazille, but here is his “objective” view of three women, Toilet, from 1869-70.

    The Old Man of the Left

    posted by on June 25 at 10:33 AM

    Ralph Nader slams Obama for “talking white.”

    Best Thing I Saw on Staycay

    posted by on June 25 at 10:25 AM

    Thanks for all your suggestions about what to do on my Seattle staycation. I actually took a couple of them—or, in truth, was already planning on doing a couple of them. (Not the one about the SLUT tracks, though, sorry Doug.)

    Best thing I saw while wandering around the city with eyes that weren’t headed back to work any time soon:

    A cute guy on one of those bikes of the moment—you know, older road bike, big colored rims, short horizontal handle bars. He was crossing 12th Avenue near the new Trace Condos; he was wearing a yarmulke (no helmet, God will protect); his rims were the same hue of blue as the star on the Israeli flag; and his tzitzis—that would be the strands from the tallis he had on beneath his worn t-shirt—were trailing in the wind.

    I’ve said a few things about Seattle hipsters and Seattle Jews, but this struck me as some sort of of sign (from above?) of the changing city.

    Re: The George W. Bush Sewage Plant

    posted by on June 25 at 10:23 AM

    The question really isn’t “Why didn’t we think of this,” Jen, but “Why don’t we do this too?”

    Every time I pass through George H. W. Bush airport in Houston, Texas, or the Reagan National in D.C., this thought runs through my head: One day I’m gonna fly into George W. Bush International Airport and my head is going to explode. The right is aggressive about getting shit named after their ex-presidents—anyone flown into William J. Clinton International Airport lately? or James Carter International?—and the left isn’t. It’s part of their Great Man/Dear Leader/crypto-fascist schtick.

    Anyway, you can bet your ass that when Mr. 23% is out of office—oh, blessed day—right-wing sycophants will set about memorializing W by naming airports, highways, federal buildings, flower pots, and children after him. This name-shit-after-W campaign will organized and aggressive and it will have two primary goals: Make right-wingers feel better about voting the moron into office in the first place (exonerating themselves, really, for the damage he’s done to this country) and confuse future generations of voters about just how universally loathed this president was.

    So naming naming sewage treatment plants—or other suitably disgusting facilities—after the bastard seems like a great idea to me. The campaign to name shit after W once he’s out of office will be political; a political campaign to name sewage plants after him before he gets out of office is just good defense. And it is not, as some in the comments would have it, a waste of time and effort. Humor has its place at the ballot box. If gathering signatures to memorialize W in this way gets people involved, and if the chance to name a sewage treatment plant after W brings more people to the polls (or their mailboxes) come November, then it’s all to to the good.

    So: What shall we name after the bastard?

    Adam and Steve on a Raft

    posted by on June 25 at 10:23 AM

    In the UK, Heinz pulled an ad featuring a “gay kiss” after receiving approximately 200 complaints from viewers.
    Watch the ad here.

    It doesn’t come off as a “gay” kiss to me. The joke is clearly that the “Mum” making lunches could be a New York deli guy because the mayo is so great.

    Stupid, stupid bigots. This is a gay kiss.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on June 25 at 10:13 AM


    We have a poetry slam, a historical novel about Louis XIV, an allegedly “uplifting and joyous debut novel” about an idiot, and a book from the point of view of a dog in town tonight. Plus more!

    Over at Bailey/Coy books, Stephanie Brill reads from The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals. When I was doing my story about masculinity, I was told by a couple of professionals that as they were studying transgendered people, they learned that there’s basically no textbook on transgender studies. So it’s always good to see a new one of those, and it’s also a fascinating subject that really only started to be discussed a few years ago. This is clearly the reading of the night.

    At Town Hall, Richard Bolles, that What Color Is Your Parachute? guy, gives a little job-finding seminar. Expect a lot of out-of-work people to attend.

    And up in the U District, there is a tenth anniversary celebration of Pontoon, the locally produced poetry journal. I don’t believe I have ever read an issue of Pontoon, but I hate their name so very, very much. It’s a clumsy, ugly word. And I’m usually in favor of the oons: raccoon, poon, boon. Perhaps it’s the ‘pon’ that I’m not in favor of.

    The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is up on our Books page.

    Porn for Lawyers

    posted by on June 25 at 10:00 AM

    The city’s hired gun from K&L Gates, Paul Lawrence, has gotten a reputation during the Sonics trial for being snippy with the judge (and for having his objections routinely overruled while objections to his line of questioning from Bennett’s lawyers are regularly sustained.)

    I know you can’t read anything into courtroom dynamics like that, and frankly, reading over the transcripts from the first week of the trial earlier this week shows the city has done a much better job arguing its case then comes across live. On the written page, Lawrence’s direct examination of Bennett, for example, is devastating to the Sonics’ case. With a hard-hitting series of questions about things like a warning memo Bennett sent to potential investors acknowledging all the problems with the lease, Lawrence showed Bennett knew all about the Sonics financial problems and all about the self-defeating terms of the lease before signing it.

    However, there was a moment during the trial last Friday [excerpted below] when Lawrence’s grating courtroom persona—he has a terrible habit, for example, of telling the judge when its time to break—took center stage along with some sloppy lawyering. It outdid all of Lawrence’s other mini-catastrophes.

    And not just because it’s such an embarrassing exchange in its own right (Judge Marsha Pechman sternly overruled Lawrence, “No, Mr. Lawrence, you are reading the rule incorrectly,” after the longwinded Lawrence saw fit to read to the judge from the rule book), but more because Judge Pechman’s decision to overrule supported a key part of the Sonics’ legal defense.

    The Sonics argue that the city’s case is part of a larger “Machiavellian” plot to force the Sonics to sell. The Sonics hope that this “unclean hands” defense will taint the city’s case and lead to a dismissal.

    During the following exchange, Lawrence is trying to halt Bennett’s lawyer’s damning line of questioning to former Sonics CEO, Wally Walker. The dramatic series of questions—why was Walker simultaneously consulting for the city on the Sonics case while also holding secret meetings at his house with K&L Gates attorney Slade Gorton to go over plans to force Bennett to sell?—revealed, at the least, lousy judgement by the city.

    The following (delicious) excerpt from the trial—after a pompous display, Lawrence is forced to apologize to the judge—is muddled in convoluted Bleak House legal speak, but stick with it. It’s totally worth it.

    Basically, what’s happening is this: Lawrence is trying to have an email rejected as hearsay, but in making his case that it’s hearsay he segues into anticipating the Sonics response that it’s not—and gets his definitions all mixed up. The judge slaps his face and, it seems to me, loudly supports the Sonics’ main defense: The idea that Walker was simultaneously consulting for the city on the Sonics case and working to force Bennett to sell.

    LAWRENCE: I would object. It is a hearsay document by—it is a hearsay document. There is no evidence Mr. Walker was under a consulting agreement with the City at the time, and I don’t think it was inconsistent with his testimony either. His testimony—this is not a document under oath as required to be a hearsay exception for prior inconsistent statements.

    THE COURT: You think that a prior inconsistent statement has to be under oath in order for it to be inconsistent?

    LAWRENCE: I Would be happy to read the rule, your honor. The rule says for it to be a prior inconsistent statement, not related to an admission to a party opponent, sorry, I have to get my glasses on, it has to be a statement, A, inconsistent with the declarents testimony and was given under oath subject to the penalty of perjury at a trial, hearing or other proceeding or in a deposition.

    THE COURT: Well, that’s when a statement is not hearsay. You just told me that this was hearsay.

    LAWRENCE: I am saying it is hearsay. But to get the hearsay exception for a prior statement of a witness it needs to be under oath. This is hearsay because it is an out-of-court-statement.

    THE COURT: No, Mr. Lawrence, you are reading the rule incorrectly. Hearsay is defined, and then it says what is not hearsay. That gives a definition of what is not hearsay. This is not a statement under oath, so it is hearsay. But it is not being offered for its truth, it is being offered to impeach his recollection.

    [Slog note: This would be about the right the time to give it up, Mr. Lawrence….]

    LAWRENCE: But his recollection was consistent with the e-mail, so it is not offered for impeachment. He agreed with exactly what this says. [They] tried to make it otherwise. But it is—My objection is that it is hearsay and it does not fall within a hearsay objection

    THE COURT: So you agree with me that your reference to the rule is incorrect.

    LAWRENCE: Your honor, I was anticipating their argument as to why it would fall outside the hearsay rule. I assert that it hearsay and does not fall within an objection—does not fall into an exception, and I agree what I read you was the exception to the hearsay rule.

    THE COURT: Actually—

    LAWRENCE: I’m sorry, your honor. You’re right. It says statements which are not hearsay.

    THE COURT: It is not the exception, it is the definition of the exception.

    LAWRENCE: You’re right. I apologize.

    The COURT: All right. Overruled.

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on June 25 at 10:00 AM

    A detail from Marc Dombrosky’s installation Headdress Piece re-visited (2007), plastic headdress, hand-embroidered note, sticker

    At Platform Gallery. (Gallery site here.) (Dombrosky also has a solo show at Portland Art Museum opening Saturday.)

    It’s 9:53 AM…

    posted by on June 25 at 9:50 AM

    Do you know why you’re voting Republican? No? Well! Below you shall find all of the very best reasons in the universe…

    What Should Obama Say?

    posted by on June 25 at 9:17 AM

    The Supreme Court ruled this morning that the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the crime of child rape. Meaning: States like Louisiana can no longer threaten to execute guys like this.

    This will please death penalty opponents (and whatever small constituency of child rapists there is in this country), but it’s a tricky political walk for Obama, mostly because of the echoes with this:

    Obama, once an opponent of capital punishment, is in favor of the death penalty for certain crimes but expresses worry about wrongful convictions. That’s not exactly a Dukakis death penalty stance, but still: What will Obama say when he’s asked about this ruling? What should he say?

    The universal consensus among the political class is that Dukakis should have begun the answer to that famous question about the hypothetical rape of his wife with something like this:

    I’d want to rip the guy’s head off with my bare hands. If there was anything left of him by the time a court got to decide on the death penalty, then yeah, I’d support it, and volunteer for the firing squad.

    Which makes me guess that, if he’s been listening to all the replays of that Dukakis answer over the years, Obama’s answer on questions about the Supreme Court barring the death penalty for child rapists will begin with something like this: As the father of two young girls…

    Where he goes from there will be telling, though—for death penalty opponents and those on the Democratic Wimp Watch alike.

    The George W. Bush Sewage Plant

    posted by on June 25 at 9:05 AM

    Why didn’t we think of this?

    Notes From the Prayer Warrior

    posted by on June 25 at 8:57 AM

    I’m back from staycation and catching up on my Prayer Warrior reading. Looks like he recently returned from some time off as well—and is now rested and ready to turn his holy fury on Gov. Christine Gregoire.


    Monday, 23 June 2008

    I’m back!

    Put on your knee pads and start praying!

    This past Sunday I was preaching on Romans 2:11 which says God is no respecter of persons. I was informed last week that this is not true of Governor Christine Gregoire and the State of Washington. There is extreme favoritism in this state.

    I was informed by Rosalund Jenkins, head of the Commission on African American Affairs for the State of Washington, that if I was the black pastor of a black church instead of a black pastor of a white church, I would have more clout to say I was discriminated against at Mt. Si High School at the Martin Luther King Day Assembly.

    I was informed that a homosexual is part of the Commission on African American Affairs so I can forget about fighting the issues of racism and homosexuality.

    I was informed that even though she is head of the Commission on African American Affairs for the state of Washington she does not work for black people. She works for Governor Chris Gregoire because hers is not an elected position, she is a gubernatorial appointee.

    I was informed that if I continue to go down the road of racism and homosexuality, I’m fighting against the white power structure of the State of Washington and I don’t have a chance of winning.

    As I was talking to her, it dawned on me that the NAACP must be controlled and owned by the white power structure of the State of Washington as well.

    I filed a grievance with the NAACP and now I know why James Bible, President of the local chapter doesn’t return my phone calls. The only member of the NAACP who has any intestinal fortitude is Rev. Phyllis Beaumonte. She has constantly said that they are supposed to investigate any complaint brought by a member, yet the President has put this off week after week after week.

    Pray for Rev. Beaumonte. She is trying to get the NAACP to do the right thing.

    Continue to pray for me as I stand on Biblical Truth and the Word. I was informed by the head of the Commission on African American Affairs for the State of Washington that Gov. Gregoire has established a special place for homosexuals in her administration and the State of Washington.

    This will be an uphill battle but I am willing to fight trusting in God until we attain victory.

    Pastor Hutch

    Albanian Women Now Must Live as Women

    posted by on June 25 at 8:56 AM

    Every word of this story is fascinating.

    Especially check out the slide show.

    The Morning News

    posted by on June 25 at 8:29 AM

    Hypocrisy: Woman claims “pro-life” candidate paid for her abortion when they were dating.

    “Grave Violation” : Rockets fired into Gaza.

    “Edge of Suicide”: Lebanon on the brink amid renewed sectarian conflict.

    How Nice For Her:
    Pelosi finally acknowledges sexism against Clinton, says she had the “luxury,” as convention chair, of ignoring it.

    No, Thanks: More states say no to useless abstinence-only-education money.

    No Relief, But: Offshore drilling offers beneficial “psychological impact,” according to crazy John McCain.

    Not Surprising: Justice Dept. illegally used “political or ideological” factors in hiring.

    Women Pay More: For health insurance, under Blue Shield’s new official policy—and it’s not about pregnancy.

    Bush: Irrelevant president threatens to veto homebuyer-assistance law—his second veto threat in a week.

    Pretty Soon, That’s Real Money
    : Presidential candidates have raised more than $1 billion.

    Oh, Yes, He Did: Bush visits Phillipines, makes joke about his Filipino cook.

    Heckuva Job: Weakest spot on Mississippi River threatened by floods.

    Obama: Leading by 15 points in latest poll.

    Recipes of the Day: Chilled Cantaloupe Soup With Chives And Prosciutto (via Cookthink) and Asparagus Spread and Prosciutto on Buttered Toast (via The Kitchn; photo via The Kitchn)


    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    Fuckin’ A

    posted by on June 24 at 10:05 PM

    That was such a beautiful sunset I almost posted that poem again.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

    posted by on June 24 at 6:20 PM

    From the PI

    Federal Way police have arrested a father who said he fell asleep with his 7-month-old boy near a backyard fire pit Saturday night and awoke to find the child burned to death….

    The father told police that he fell asleep holding his child while sitting on a bench adjacent to the pit. He said he awoke to find the child missing and went into the house to see if the boy was with his mother, then returned to the pit and discovered the body shortly before midnight.

    Could’ve been worse—he could’ve had one of them gay dads that talks about bathhouse sex at the kitchen table.

    Fate Sealed

    posted by on June 24 at 5:41 PM

    Did you see this VERY BAD, VERY JINXY… thing… that appeared on a podium directly in front of Barack Obama over the weekend?


    Well, we won’t be seeing that thing again. Obama has a big and widening lead in the polls right now. And that’s great—but so did these guys in the summer of ‘88. Win the election first, slap presidential seals on podiums second.

    The King of America

    posted by on June 24 at 5:40 PM

    But where says some is the king of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.

    We are not safer. I expect this from Bush and am no longer surprised by McCain. I’m having trouble forgiving Obama.

    Look What’s Waiting for Me at Home…

    posted by on June 24 at 5:10 PM

    When the boyfriend wants me to hurry my ass home he sometimes emails me a tempting pic or two. If the right-wing Christian bigots only knew what sort of decadent, sinful stuff we get down to at our place, man, their heads would freakin’ explode.

    Michelle Obama’s Coming to Town…

    posted by on June 24 at 4:34 PM

    … to raise $$$ for Chris Gregoire. $200–$3,200 tickets here.

    The Summer Olympics Are Coming

    posted by on June 24 at 4:15 PM

    The newest sport:

    (Thanks, Ariel!)

    Hillary Hauls Her Ass Back to Work

    posted by on June 24 at 4:14 PM

    The Senator from New York went back to work this afternoon, and according to Politico received royal welcome.

    I’m glad she’s back, and hope she took a nice vacation. I also hope she’s there to fix the government, not fix the race.

    Work it.

    And Now for a Truly Dumb Impressionist Fact

    posted by on June 24 at 4:01 PM

    I know why auction stories make the news; I get it. But they drive me crazy with their fundamental meaninglessness. Here’s the latest, for what it’s worth, which is nothing. (You mean, people like buying Monets??!??!!)

    This is smarter:

    Tonight’s 30 Days

    posted by on June 24 at 3:20 PM

    The third season of Morgan Spurlock’s FX series 30 Days kicks off continues tonight with Spurlock dropping an opponent of gay adoption into a household headed by a same-sex couple in Michigan.

    I happen to know the gay couple featured, Tom and Dennis Patrick, and their four boys. Every summer my family attends Gay Family Week in Saugatuck (not just me and the boyfriend and the kid, but my whole extended family), as do the Patricks. Tom and Dennis are great, mellow, thoughtful guys who’ve adopted four boys out of foster care. The state of Michigan, which should be pinning a medal on these guys, has instead threatened to take away their health-care benefits in the wake of an anti-gay marriage amendment to Michigan’s state constitution. But that’s not the point of this post…

    Yesterday GLAAD—the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation—sent out a mass email urging “community members” to contact FX Networks to protest statements made by an anti-gay activist Spurlock interviews during the show. GLAAD, which once gave an award to 30 Days, says…

    Regrettably, the episode also features a defamatory statement by Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, an anti-gay activist organization, who claims: “Homosexuality is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse, and those are all reasons for us to be concerned about placing children into that kind of setting.” While there is no credible scientific research that backs Sprigg’s claim—and much that disputes it—the episode presents his assertion as if it were fact and offers no credible social science experts or child health authorities to challenge Sprigg’s assertion. Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, and many other child health and social services authorities who support parenting by qualified lesbian and gay parents dispute Sprigg’s claim.

    GLAAD asked FX Networks last week to either edit Sprigg’s comments out of the show or bring in one of those “credible social science” experts to respond to Sprigg’s comments. FX refused.

    I just watched the episode on a preview copy that FX overnighted to me—in hopes, no doubt, that I would disagree with GLAAD and defend FX and Spurlock’s decision to air the show as-is.

    Uh… sorry, FX, sorry, Morgan, but GLAAD is 100% right.

    Sprigg’s comments come early in the program and linger like mustard gas over every scene that comes after. A casual viewer may watch Tom and Dennis with their kids and think, “Okay, these guys are decent parents, and maybe their boys are going to be fine… but other kids adopted by other gays might not be so lucky. Other kids might wind up adopted by those gays that abuse kids, and rape them, and worse.”

    And GLAAD didn’t even mention the interview that comes immediately after Sprigg’s: Right after handing the mic to Sprigg Spurlock talks to Dawn Stefanowicz, a woman that wrote a book about living with a gay parent—her biological father—after he came out of the closet in the 1970s. This woman’s father talked to her about bathhouse sex “at the kitchen table,” and dragged her to a “downtown sex shop.” She holds her father up—with Spurlock’s help, and tinkly so-sad music playing in the background—not as an example of a lousy parent, gay or straight, but as an example of why no gay people should be allowed to parent. “Based on your personal experience do you believe children are at risk if they’re raised in homosexual households?” Spurlock asks this woman. “Children need a married mother and father,” she replies. “I know that there are so many situations that are not ideal, but we still need to hold to an ideal that is best for children.”

    And, as with the interview with Sprigg, Spurlock doesn’t challenge this woman’s assertions or bring in anyone to address them. Instead Spurlock moves on to this: Hey, you can make piles of money providing sperm to lesbians that want to be moms—you know, those non-ideal parents that aren’t best for children!

    So basically Spurlock didn’t just talk to Sprigg, and let him lie and lie and lie some more, he brought in someone to second Sprigg—someone using right-wing religious code—and allows her to assert that it would be better for Tom and Dennis’s kids if they hadn’t been adopted at all. And, again, the casual viewer is left to conclude that it would probably be for the best if Tom and Dennis hadn’t been able to adopt those boys because, hey, God only knows what Tom and Dennis are talking about at the kitchen table when there aren’t any cameras (or clueless Mormon bigots) in the house.

    GLAAD wants you to contact the folks listed below to complain about Sprigg and Spurlock and 30 Days—and so do I.

    20th Century Fox Television, Inc. Jeffrey Glaser Senior Vice President, Current Programming (310) 369-0211

    FX Networks:
    Nick Grad
    Executive Vice President of Original Programming
    (310) 369-0949

    Chuck Saftler
    Executive Vice President of Programming
    (310) 369-0949

    Scott Seomin
    Vice President of Public Relations
    (310) 369-0938

    Wait, People Do This for Fun?

    posted by on June 24 at 2:59 PM

    The Tyee reports on The Death of Pleasure Blogging.

    Technorati founder David Sifry, who compiles extensive blogosphere stats from time to time, released numbers last spring that showed a potential plateau of blogging growth. While the number of blogs was still increasing at an impressive clip, the stats showed more and more people weren’t updating the old ones, thus keeping the number of active blogs stalled at about 15.5 million. Blogging activity appeared to have peaked.

    But, apparently, according to the article, Twittering is still on the rise. But does anyone actually Twitter? Why don’t they just change their Facebook status messages a whole lot?

    Finally, I Won’t Feel Discriminated Against When I Anonymously Rent a Car

    posted by on June 24 at 2:49 PM


    Because—just like when I’m checking into a one-bed hotel room with a guy—I’m always worried the online reservation form will judge my lifestyle.

    Instead, I’d feel discriminated against driving the pink car around town, except: 1) I don’t drive. 2) Zipcar doesn’t actually have any pink cars. I called them, and the receptionist said she’d never come across any pink cars and she was sorry about that.

    Happy pride pander week!

    In Bed With the Bike Lobby

    posted by on June 24 at 1:44 PM

    Ooh, two-wheeled initiatives!

    United States Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, a senator from Illinois, met with leaders from the US bicycle industry to discuss two-wheeled initiatives at the home of FK Day, one of SRAM’s founders June 12.

    The fundraiser was organized by Day’s wife, Leah, who contacted the senator’s campaign staff six months ago. Day was notified of the senator’s availability about a week beforehand, and with the help of her brother-in-law Stan Day (president of SRAM), rounded up 160 guests to attend (and pay US$2,300 each) to represent the bicycle industry.

    Bikes Belong, an umbrella organization representing the industry, had its executive director Tim Blumenthal divert a few days of his French bicycling vacation to spend the evening with Senator Obama and several members of his Bikes Belong board of directors, who were granted a private 20-minute meeting with the senator.

    In true bi-partisan fashion, Shimano American’s Kozo Shimano was also in attendance, getting some face time with the Illinois senator. SRAM and Shimano have been waging war for nearly 20 years, but according to several attendees, the meeting with a presumptive presidential candidate meant more than competing in the marketplace. Greg LeMond and his wife Kathy were also there; LeMond has stated his support for Senator Obama when he presented the Major Taylor sculpture in Massachusetts this May.

    Also, who knew the bicycle industry had actual lobbyists? Via Ben Smith.

    Hey Daddy Bear…

    posted by on June 24 at 1:44 PM

    Also in Milan this week, at the Vivienne Westwood show…

    Battling Satan Will Repeal Your Tax Exemption

    posted by on June 24 at 1:42 PM

    You know a story is going to be good when it starts like this:

    Bill Keller is a publicity-savvy televangelist with a penchant for politics who works out of the back room of a used-car lot.

    Which seems like a pretty perfect mix: Not only can I be purified of my sins, but I can aquire get a gently-used 1991 Dodge Caravan, which will help me spread the message of our Lord and Savior.

    But on to the point: During the Republican primary, Keller’s narrow view of scripture led him to make a comment about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith leading the former Massachusetts governor down the path to Satan. In fact, the direct quote left little to be parsed:

    “A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan.”

    Is implying that a presidential hopeful shares a ticket with Satan grounds for losing your tax exempt status? The New York Times reports that Keller is under investigation by the IRS for bringing his church into the realm of politics, a battle which Keller is welcoming. In fact, Keller and a conservative evangelical legal organization, the Alliance Defense Fund, are actually trying to goad the government into legal action against them:

    The Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting 50 pastors to endorse candidates from the pulpit on September 28, hoping to provoke a legal challenge to the I.R.S. code.

    “We’re asking pastors to make specific recommendations based on scripture as to how their congregations should vote,” said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund.

    Mr. Stanley said the organization planned to send tapes of the sermons to the IRS, and then sue the agency for inhibiting free speech and the free exercise of religion when an investigation is opened.

    Should the court challenge succeed, churches would be all but free to make the endorsements openly that they now crouch in subtext and loopholes. Feel free to draw your own real life parallels to the plot-line of the bestselling Left Behind series.

    Today’s HUMP Classified Ad

    posted by on June 24 at 1:40 PM


    Redhead male with small dick looking for once only extra role

    Hi, this is the first time i have done this. I have always wanted to be part of a Sex or Porn movie. I don’t think i am star material but think as an extra i could play the part. I am willing to do anything as an extra. I have a small uncut dick that measures 2.5 soft and 3.5 hard. it is small and some say cute. I am a redhead and good looking. Well i think i am…lol maybe a role as a humiliated husband or boyfriend. a cockold role would also be suitable for the situation. Can anyone help me here and point me in the right direction. This would be a one off. Well if i was good and liked it i would have to give my day job up.

    To respond to this ad, go here. To read other HUMP ads—or to take one out yourself—go here.

    In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

    posted by on June 24 at 1:25 PM

    Glory!: Liz Phair re-releases Exile in Guyville, Three Imaginary Girls host cover night, Exile in {Imaginary} Girlville.

    Loud and Off: Trent Moorman on isolation, neuromuscular facilitation, and the other perils of being a drummer.

    “Tell Me How My Ass Tastes”: Raps Shaq to Kobe Bryant.

    Tonight in Music: RZA as Bobby Digital, the Blakes, Extra Golden.

    Tonight in Book Signings: Photographer David Belisle releases his new REM photo book at Easy Street with star-studded party.

    madradflickr.jpgPhoto by Rabid Child Images.

    Mooo: This morning Curtis Hall of Grand Archives attempted to eat a 72 oz. steak in one hour.

    Today’s Music News: Gary Glitter records from prison, Nate Dogg gets arrested, and Kelly Rowland tries to top Beyonce.

    Vampire Weekend Bite: Eric Grandy on their new “Oxford Comma” video.

    Dream Theater: Trent Moorman interprets Pico’s dream about Jerry Garcia and petting puppies.

    Damn Fine Typing: Eric Grandy revisits a Jets to Brazil classic.

    Blow Me Hot and Slow: TJ Gorton writes about “everyone’s favorite slow-tempo disco song.”

    Drop the Lime: Tonight! It’s free! But you have to RSVP.

    Yeah, Chop Suey is Being Sold: A few known details here.

    Sigur Rós Coming to Seattle: They’ll play Benaroya Hall Sunday, October 5th.

    “I’ve often thought that there should be beauty contests for the insides of bodies…”

    posted by on June 24 at 1:09 PM

    The Spring ‘08 men’s fashion shows are happening right now in Milan.

    Prada is the line that always goes its own way, for better or worse, last season’s odd and fetishy tutus definitely being on the side of worse. Provocative and much more believable are these rubber garments shown this week.
    They’re quite spare and beautiful. I think the feel of that thick rubber would would be lovely and they would look just right in Seattle’s pearlescent light, if you happen to be a wealthy, good-looking gay millionaire with an interest in fashion.

    But more than anything else, they remind me of this..

    Davy Jones’s Foot Locker

    posted by on June 24 at 1:03 PM

    Remember that sixth human foot that washed ashore in Canada last week?

    It wasn’t human.

    From the Independent:

    “Human” remains found at the mouth of the Campbell River on Vancouver Island actually consisted of an animal paw mixed with seaweed, stuffed into a sock and inserted into an old adidas trainer.

    The only thing more fucked up than people finding human feet on the beach? Other people planting fake human feet on the beach.

    To recapitulate: The other five feet are real. Four are from men, four are from right feet. Nobody knows where they’re coming from. A serial killer? A people-smuggling attempt gone wrong? A box full of feet that’s only now rusted through and opened?

    Canadian officials, who are treating the investigation as a criminal inquiry, have so far discounted just one potential explanation: a 2005 plane crash in the Georgia Strait, from which four men are still missing. The families of the victims were told yesterday that DNA samples from their loved ones did not match any of the genuine human remains.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    What He Said

    posted by on June 24 at 1:03 PM

    Jonathan Rauch in today’s Wall Street Journal

    In 2008, denying gay Americans the opportunity to marry is not only inhumane, it is unsustainable. History has turned a corner: Gay couples—including gay parents—live openly and for the most part comfortably in mainstream life. This will not change, ever…. Conservatives often say same-sex marriage should be prohibited because it does not exemplify the ideal form of family. They should consider how much less ideal an example gay couples will set by building families and raising children out of wedlock.

    America needs more marriages, not fewer, and the best way to encourage marriage is to encourage marriage, which is what society does by bringing gay couples inside the tent. A good way to discourage marriage, on the other hand, is to tarnish it as discriminatory in the minds of millions of young Americans. Conservatives who object to redefining marriage risk redefining it themselves, as a civil-rights violation.

    Lunchtime Quickie…

    posted by on June 24 at 12:55 PM

    …or, in Addition to Never Having Enough Hot Brazilian Guys Dancing in Their Speedos on Your Blog, You Should Probably Have Some Hot Brazilian Girls on Your Blog too…

    The Bruno Future

    posted by on June 24 at 12:42 PM

    On seeing this bit of silliness (silly in both the lost and current sense), I thought of…
    AniJesusWorldStarsExc.gif …my hero (and father of Spinozism) Giordano Bruno. On February 17, 1600, the Catholic church burnt the philosopher’s naked body to nothing for believing what we now know to be true (planets are all over the universe) and what will eventually be known to be true (life as we understand it is on some of these planets). We must never forget that until 1997, the only planets in our universe were those in our solar system.

    As Socrates is the martyr of the ancient world, and Jesus the martyr of the middle world, Bruno will be the martyr of the worlds to come.

    Arcade Classic Meets the Straight-Talk Express

    posted by on June 24 at 12:40 PM

    You’re tooling around on Facebook, you’ve exhausted every other possible diversion for the day, and deep down, you wish you could join John McCain in his quest to end the practice of government-subsidized earmarks. This train of thought might have led to frustration and sadness, if not complete existential despair, if not for…
    Pork Invaders!


    The premise of Pork Invaders is much like the premise of Space Invaders, only instead of aliens, you’re blasting tiny pigs meant to represent wasteful government subsidies. And the little laser that blasts the aliens nows says ‘Veto.’ Also, the extra lives are represented by John McCain’s somewhat draconian-looking campaign logo.

    The reward for beating the level is a small tutorial on John McCain’s record on government spending versus Barack Obama’s. A minor spoiler: McCain believes his record is better, which is why his picture is smiling and Obama’s is locked in a kind of grimace—probably as he contemplates all the government tax dollars he’s wasted.

    In the end, the message becomes muddled: Slowly but surely, the pork closes in on you, and the Straight-Talk Laser Express becomes overwhelmed by the sheer weight and speed of government waste—you can almost picture a pixelated Sen. Robert Byrd dancing on its ashes as he builds another highway in his own honor. It’s kind of a downer, but then again, so is a great deal of John McCain’s run for the presidency.

    Two Bits of News

    posted by on June 24 at 12:37 PM

    1. Seattle artist Marie Gagnon is included in a show (in NY) curated by beloved queer artist Nayland Blake (his blog is here). The show, at Monya Rowe Gallery, is called Guys We Would Fuck. Here’s an interview with Blake on Art Fag City.

    2. The guy Gagnon would fuck is the Fremont Troll.

    Because You Can Never Have Too Many Hot Brazilian Guys Dancing in Their Speedos on Your Blog

    posted by on June 24 at 12:36 PM

    Via QMN.

    In My Own Back Yard

    posted by on June 24 at 12:29 PM


    The Huffington Post reports that “talkmeister” Larry King’s “stunning TV-personality wife,” Shawn Southwick King, has allegedly gone into rehab for addiction to painkillers that have been prescribed for her migraines. King recently released a country album titled “In My Own Back Yard.”

    Those who read my feature this week know that I wrote about seeing Larry King’s family in their natural habitat in, well, their own back yard:

    King, as dry and shriveled as a gremlin, walks across the lawn and stands by the pool, next to his sixth wife and his two young sons, Chance and Cannon. He starts off, as all public speakers have been taught, with a joke. He mentions the age difference between him and his wife: King, who is 74, says that people ask him if the fact that his wife is only 48 worries him. Not at all, King says: “If she dies, she dies.” The crowd ripples with the kind of laughter that you get when you make a joke about your wife dying. One of the little boys gets a frightened look on his face. King puts a comforting hand on his son’s head and says, “I was just kidding. It was just a joke.”

    It’s really weird, on a personal level, to read on a news site that a woman you’ve recently seen in a dysfunctional family interaction has gone into rehab.

    Press Release of the Week

    posted by on June 24 at 12:23 PM

    From the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a kind of Consumer Reports + PIRG for the death-care industry:

    While you might not relate to a convention for Elvis Impersonators, UFO enthusiasts or Tattoo and Body Artists, now there’s a gathering for everyone… Whether you like it or not—all of us will be funeral consumers some day! So how about commiserating with other worm fodder to learn more about the inevitable?

    The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA), a national umbrella organization, is holding its 22nd biennial conference June 26-28 at Seattle University.

    For schedule of events and workshops (including, um, “Using Computers: They’re Not Scary” in the SU computer lab), click here.

    Impressionist Fact of the Day

    posted by on June 24 at 12:08 PM

    Last week we left Bazille by Monet’s bedside, helping Monet recover from a stray discus in the forest.

    It was not the only time Bazille came to Monet’s aid (the mooch!):

    Monet’s father had discovered that Camille was pregnant. The fact that his own mistress was in the same boat seems only to have increased his intolerance. He cut off Monet’s allowance altogether, making it impossible for him to support himself anywhere but at home in Le Havre, despite the fact that Bazille, with his parents’ approval, bought Women in the Garden for 2,500 francs (to be paid in monthly 50-franc instalments). Monsieur Monet was intractable, even when Bazille wrote to him on Monet’s behalf. Camille was left in Paris, under the watchful eye of Renoir and a medical student, while Monet returned to Le Havre for the summer. He began to bombard Bazille with letters, begging for money. The situation was unbearable, he had to leave Camille to give birth to their son by herself in poverty, in August, in their ground-floor studio in Pigalle.

    Bazille responded to Monet’s pleas by promising help, but when this was not immediately forthcoming, Monet became desperate. Camille would starve, the baby would starve … and it would all be Bazille’s fault for not providing an endless flow of money. Clearly, Monet had always depended on his father to support his lifestyle and replenish his finances and was now attempting to transfer that responsibility to his friend. It hardly seems to have occurred to him that Bazille might not have limitless funds. Bazille sent more money. Monet spent it. Why was it gone already? Bazille asked, what had Monet done with it? Monet was unable to produce an explanation. Agonised by his predicament, he painted as many landscapes as he could, of Honfleur and Le Havre.

    From Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of Impressionists, a slightly trashy book I’m reading in honor of the SAM show.

    Monet’s Garden at Sainte-Adresse, near Le Havre, painted that desperate summer (1867) and now in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    *I’ve left off calling these dumb. Some are dumber than others, it’s true.

    “Historic” Ballard Denny’s

    posted by on June 24 at 11:55 AM

    Now history.

    “Gosh, what a sweet little outfit. Is it your little spring outfit?”

    posted by on June 24 at 11:12 AM

    The Onion A.V. Club has a list of 19 one-scene wonders. These scenes generally improve the movie that they’re in, or, in a few cases, like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, are actually the scene that powers the rest of the movie. There’s already a lot of anger at the fact that Christopher Walken’s watch monologue from Pulp Fiction wasn’t included. The comments are a film nerd’s paradise.

    But the thing that this list really did for me was remind me of the genius cameo that David Letterman did in Cabin Boy. Cabin Boy simply wasn’t that good of a movie, even though apologists have been making a case for it ever since it bombed in theaters back in 1994. But David Letterman’s freakish, absurd cameo kicks off the plot and brings a level of humor to the whole thing that the movie never actually manages to attain for the remainder of its run time. He basically ruins Cabin Boy by being so much weirder and funnier than the rest of the film around it. I’ve watched this thing five or six times in a row and I can’t figure out why or how it works, but it’s sure made my day.

    89 Cents of Christopher Knight

    posted by on June 24 at 11:05 AM

    Looking for a little break from art, I went on Saturday to a mall. After a little while, I began to tire of it, to remember that malls aren’t a break. (I often suffer from this forgetting, and then this remembering.) I found myself listlessly sniffing a Mexican chocolate candle at a gift shop when a cartoon speech box caught my eye: “The Mall in Peril,” it read, with the words “Christopher Knight” underneath. This was on the cover of a little 5-by-7 pamphlet with a black-and-white photograph on the cover and the words “ARTS BüK” printed at the top in red.

    Was this my Christopher Knight? The LA Times art critic? I mean, he isn’t mine, but he felt like mine in this environment. What was he doing on the sale rack with the fish-shaped napkin rings and strings of novelty lights?

    I picked him up and confirmed, yes, this was him. His writing was marked down, from $1.49 to 89 cents.

    On the back of the pamphlet was the explanation of what this little thing is:

    BüK (Pronunciation: book), n. an inexpensive pamphlet containing one provocative essay, short story, portfolio of pictures, collection of poems, or other surprising entertainment, readable in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

    The next morning, over the instructed single cup of coffee, I read “The Mall in Peril” by Christopher Knight. It’s a terrific essay from 2005 (I’m not sure whether it is a reprint; Knight wrote something similar but not the same two years earlier for Newsday).

    In Knight’s clear, slightly pugnacious style with black-and-white images of anti-Vietnam protesters, the 1901 proposed treatment of the National Mall, the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1996, an 1853 landscape by Church, a scrim installation in a gallery by Robert Irwin from 1971, and the successful Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the awful World War II Memorial on the Mall, Knight narrates precisely why empty space is essential to the American soul.

    And he lays out how, disastrously, it’s being eroded on the National Mall.

    It was an eventful cup of coffee.

    I considered going back and rescuing every copy of this thing from the gift shop, where surely nobody is going to find it. I’d become its distributor myself. This seemed … weird. So I resolved simply to tell you to find it and buy it.

    It’s here and here.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on June 24 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster’

    By examining the impact of steroids on American popular sports and culture, Chris Bell, the director of Bigger, Stronger, Faster, exposes something that Michael Moore’s documentary Roger & Me exposed nearly 20 years ago: America is less the land of milk and honey and more the land of very sad people. (See movie times.


    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on June 24 at 10:50 AM


    A former youth pastor was sentenced on Friday to six years—three years in prison and three years suspended—for his sexual involvement with a 14-year old girl. yowkiger.jpg Keith Daniel Kiger, 31, of Winslow entered a negotiated plea of guilty to reduced charges of sexual indecency with a child before 4 th Judicial Circuit Judge William Storey. He was initially charged with second-degree sexual assault…. Kiger admitted to engaging in sexual contact with the victim as many as six times, according to the arrest report. Most of the contact reportedly occurred in the back of his van during the day in public parking lots across Fayetteville.

    Who Knew?

    posted by on June 24 at 10:37 AM

    Don Imus is apparently a bit of a racist.

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on June 24 at 10:33 AM

    J.M.W. Turner’s The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 (1835), oil on canvas, 36 1/4 by 48 1/2 inches

    At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through Sept. 21. (I wish I had a trip planned. Instead, I’ll have to rely on the spectacularly overwrought Simon Schama episode.)

    Stealing Jesus

    posted by on June 24 at 10:27 AM

    Conservative Christian leader James Dobson—who said during the primaries that he couldn’t support John McCain if he got the GOP nomination—isn’t too happy with Barack Obama right now.

    You see, Barack Obama somehow got it into his head that he could read the scriptures for himself, interpret them for himself, and develop his own personal relationship with Jesus. As any student of the protestantism should know, the whole point of breaking with Rome in the way, way back was to prevent people from reading the scripture themselves, perhaps in the local vernacular, and forming a personal, intimate, relationship with their savior that wasn’t mediated by priests.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on June 24 at 10:23 AM


    Let’s get down to it tonight: If you’re planning on going to the David Sedaris reading at Third Place, you are entirely out of luck unless you already have a ticket. It’s sold out, and nobody will be allowed in without a ticket.

    The good news is that there’s a reading at Bailey/Coy books. They oughta do more readings over there at Bailey/Coy, I always sez. The bad news is that the reading at Bailey/Coy books is Andrea Askowitz, who wrote My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy. Jen Graves reviewed this a few weeks ago and totally hated the book:

    In response to Andrea Askowitz’s 237-page complaint memoir called My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy, I’d like to propose another book called I’ll Give You Something to Be Miserable About.

    In that book, the female protagonist would be forced—no!—to work a paying job. She’d spend her pregnancy worrying about saving money to pay the rent during her maternity leave. She’d spend maternity leave rushing around researching day-care centers.

    The review goes on from there, and it is beautiful.

    At the Richard Hugo House, Floating Bridge Press celebrates the inaugural launch of their new magazine, appropriately titled Floating Bridge Review. There will be readings by many poets.

    At the University Book Store, Paul Park, who wrote a series that started with a book called A Princess of Roumania, will be reading. Roumania was promising, but ultimately unfulfilling. I think that sci-fi publishers should force new authors to write a free-standing novel or two before they immediately launch into trilogies and tetralogies and dodecahedrogies. A trilogy is a tough thing, and most new authors have no idea how to sustain their ideas for that long.

    Speaking of long pieces of writing, we will move right along: at Elliott Bay Book Company, two authors will discuss their book called Black Velvet Masterpieces, which is a collection of found black velvet paintings. And, finally, Philip P. Pan, whose initials are P.P.P., reads from his book about China, Out of Mao’s Shadow, at Town Hall.


    The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, has more information about all these readings.

    Table Service

    posted by on June 24 at 10:21 AM

    Tomorrow night, the Swedish Housewife brings her Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cabaret to the lush confines of the Triple Door. She plucks 11 acts from her 21 years of producing shows and her enviable stable of counterculture stars for one night of glorious madness. The mighty El Vez will be debuting material from his upcoming tribute to John Sex, and the thrilling Queen Shmooquan will bend your mind with her transcendental madness. Fresh from triumphant performances in New York, Provincetown, and London, Seattle’s one and only megastar of camel-toed razzle-dazzle, Miss Dina Martina, will be in town for a rare summer appearance. There’s much more on board, including the inimitable Waxie Moon, and your hostess for the evening, NYC’s one-eyed wonder Miss Astrid.

    Come early, have dinner, and if the crowd at the Joey Arias show last month is any indication, you’ll be rubbing elbows with a who’s who of Seattle’s alterna-gays.


    Who’s Ashamed To Be a Republican?

    posted by on June 24 at 10:09 AM

    Dino Rossi, of course, as Goldy recently pointed out—and now Fox News is pissed. Not at Goldy or lefty bloggers, but at Rossi and other local Republicans that are running from the GOP “brand.” Video via HorsesAss

    The only Washington state Republican Fox News could find who was willing to, in his own words, “to wave that Republican flag boldly,” is some nosferatu trying to unseat Jim McDermott. Good luck with that.

    Mein Kampf

    posted by on June 24 at 10:03 AM


    Reports the Telegraph:

    Amanda Knox, one of the suspects in the killing of Meredith Kercher, has submitted hundreds of pages of her prison diary to investigators to try to clear her name.


    In her diary, obtained by the Corriere della Sera newspaper, Knox, who nicknamed herself Foxy Knoxy on her MySpace webpage, documented the seven men she has slept with.


    Among the papers is a letter to her American boyfriend, who she remained in contact with during her time in Italy.

    “Dear DJ, I really feel the need to hold you in my arms right now. I have this knot inside and I feel as if someone really cold and strong is pressing my head. I beg you, I cannot stay alone right now. I hate being weak, but I am ill and tired. I want to go home. How can I continue like this for the next 14 days? How can they treat me like this, looking at me as if I was an assassin? They really believe that I am and that’s not ok. This cannot be my life. I beg you, this cannot be my life. Please hold me in your arms, now,” she wrote.


    She also revealed that 35 suitors wrote to her in the first two weeks after her arrest. “Write to me because I want to finally know ‘the girl with the face of an angel’,” said one man. Another proposed marriage. “I will respond to all, but only when I am out of here,” wrote Knox.

    Where is the end of her? “[N]ever, never, never, never, never!” Some holes know how to become a cave; others, how to terminate the fall of a golf ball. She is a hole that only knows how to be a hole.

    Why Do I Subscribe to the Seattle Times and the Seattle PI?

    posted by on June 24 at 9:50 AM

    Because I just can’t get enough of NYT columnist Paul Krugman. From today’s opinion pages of the Seattle Times

    Homeownership’s not for everyone by Paul Krugman

    “Owning a home lies at the heart of the American dream.” So declared President Bush in 2002, introducing his “Homeownership Challenge”—a set of policy initiatives that were supposed to sharply increase homeownership, especially for minority groups….

    And from today’s opinion pages of the PI


    “Owning a home lies at the heart of the American dream.” So declared President Bush in 2002, introducing his “Homeownership Challenge”—a set of policy initiatives that were supposed to sharply increase homeownership, especially for minority groups….

    The Paul Krugman column that graces the opinion pages of today’s Seattle Times and the today’s PI was originally published yesterday, of course, in the New York Times, which is where I first read it. Yesterday.

    Scorching Hot and Beautifully Shot J.C. Penney Ad Promoting Teen Sex…

    posted by on June 24 at 9:20 AM

    …denounced and rejected by J.C. Penney and the advertising agency that may or may not have produced it.

    Full story at Gawker.

    Lip Gloss

    posted by on June 24 at 8:51 AM

    A Malaysian city bans lipstick in an effort to “thwart rape.”

    The Morning News

    posted by on June 24 at 8:04 AM

    Lesbians: The group hit hardest by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    In Exile: Former Mugabe challenger is staying at the Dutch embassy.

    Out: WaPo executive editor steps down.

    Border Patrol: Checking the citizenship status of bus and train travelers daily in New York.

    Swift Boated?: Right-wing book publisher plans anti-Obama book for summer publication.

    Last Chance”: NASA scientist has grim warning on climate change.

    Big Advantage” to McCain: A terror attack, according to McCain advisor.

    “No Evidence”: Of high-school “pregnancy pact,” according to town’s mayor.

    Irony: Dead, courtesy of CNN’s tribute to Carlin—featuring a heavily bleeped version of his famous “Seven Words” routine.

    Well, Thank GOD: McCain “aware of the Internet.”

    Muslim”: Automatically a “smear”?

    Recipe of the Day: Roasted Corn and Barley Salad with Grilled Endive and Basil-Chive Vinaigrette (recipe and photo via Well Fed)


    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Meet the Candidates

    posted by on June 23 at 5:34 PM

    No, not those candidates. Not those candidates, either. The candidates I’m talking about are John Burbank and Reuven Carlyle, running for the Washington state legislature from Northwest Seattle’s 36th District, which includes Ballard, Magnolia, parts of Phinney and Greenwood, and Interbay. Here’s what it looks like:


    Every election season, the city’s district Democratic organizations put candidates through an endorsement process that can only be described as hellish. Interviews are followed by debates in hot church basements and candidate questionnaires that can run to more than a dozen pages. And even after all that, thanks to the Party’s byzantine rules and procedural bylaws, they frequently fail to endorse any candidate at all, and just as often issue a dual endorsement.

    Although the results are often a letdown, the questionnaires themselves frequently yield interesting details. (How else would we know, for example, that now-City Council member Tim Burgess supported elements of the PATRIOT Act? Or that Richard McIver challenger Robert Rosencrantz had only “qualified” support for women’s right to choose?) Although the questions tend to be invasive, pointless, and repetitive (Are you a Democrat? Do you support the Democratic Party platform? Have you ever been a member of another party?) the answers can be revealing.

    For example:

    Asked whether he supported the King County Democrats’ party platform, Carlyle gave a “qualified” response,” adding pointedly, “I do not support creation of a Department of Peace and Nonviolence as the work articulated [in the party platform] is, in fact, the current moral and public obligation of both the Department of State and Department of Defense.”

    Asked a similar question about whether he could support his opponent if he didn’t win, Burbank took the opposite approach, accusing Carlyle of being insufficiently Democratic. “My Democratic opponent is opposed to the impeachment of George Bush,” he wrote. “I favor this impeachment, even as his term comes to an end. … It will … cross up [Bush’s] apparent plans for the invasion of Iran.”

    Carlyle used the question “Are you a member of another political party?” to overshare—at great, great, great length—about his impoverished upbringing, starting with his toddler years “living outside the care of my single mom who struggled at that time with mental illness.” Snark aside, his story is touching (“I began my first real business with regular customers, mowing lawns, at nine to help my mother keep our family together financially”) and sometimes glamorous (he left home permanently at 15 to become a page for Warren Magnuson?) if a bit overlong.

    Burbank wasn’t buying Carlyle’s rags-to-riches story, painting him as a rich, privileged businessman who made “different” life decisions than did Burbank. “He has chosen to work in the private sector to create private and personal wealth while I have chosen to work in the public sector working for the public good and for Democratic ideals,” Burbank wrote.

    Carlyle also touched on the fact that even with Democratic majorities in the state house and senate, Democrats in this state continue to vote against their constituents’ interests (failing to protect Maury Island from strip-mining; failing to cap payday loan interest rates; failing to pass a homebuyers’ bill of rights; failing to pass meaningful tax reform). Carlyle, suddenly sounding very Barack Obama, called this “govern[ing] with fear of losing instead of conviction for change.”

    Asked whether the government should pay for abortions for poor women, Burbank said yes (as did Carlyle) but went one (perhaps poorly worded) step further: “In fact, I support public funding for abortions for all women.” (Hmm, let’s start with birth control first, shall we?)

    Burbank’s campaign theme is reducing inequality, but his solutions tend, by his own admission, toward piecemeal taxes and penalties. For example, in his questionnaire, Burbank said he supports (re-)enacting a special cigarette tax to pay for basic health-care coverage for low-income people, a new hourly payroll tax to fund paid family leave, and the “latte tax” for early childhood education, which he wrote, sponsored, and funded.

    Carlyle had some harsh words to say about that tax, which failed 68 to 32 percent. “I support progressive taxes and progressive benefits and strongly resist incremental programs and taxes that do nothing but lose credibility for larger tax reform,” Carlyle wrote.

    Responding to criticism of luxury taxes, Burbank wrote: “In the absence of an income tax, piecemeal luxury taxes can hep fund some crucial public services.” And he blames “conservative opponents of any taxes” for the resounding loss of his latte tax in liberal Seattle.

    While Dom Waits…

    posted by on June 23 at 5:23 PM

    …for the US Men’s Olympic Swim team to be announced, here’s a hot Brazilian guy dancing around in his Speedo.

    Via Fleshbot.

    Dept. of Bright Spots in an Otherwise Dismal Season

    posted by on June 23 at 4:38 PM

    Felix Hernandez just hit a grand slam against the Mets — in his first plate appearance of the year.

    Depressing Update: Courtesy of “Mac” in the comments:

    And the dismal season continues, as Felix gets taken out at home plate by Carlos Beltran and has to leave the game with an ankle injury.


    Website of the Day

    posted by on June 23 at 4:37 PM

    Sex Is For Fags


    Number 4 on the list of “10 Cool Things All the Cool Dudes are Doing Instead of Being Lame and Queer and Having Sex”—right after “Study for School,” “Join a Boy Scout Troop,” and “Play Football”—is this…


    There is nothing more wholesome than a boy and his dog. And at night, when the sin fairies are tickling your shame buds, you can distract yourself by training your bitch to grow up and kill: shaving her, kicking her when she makes on the carpet, and punching her snout so hard she learns never to whine during the rad 7th Heaven reruns which reinforce your awesome “abstinence-only” lifestyle choice.

    Meanwhile in Iraq

    posted by on June 23 at 4:22 PM


    A member of an Iraqi city council shot at U.S. forces Monday outside Baghdad, killing at least three soldiers, two Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.

    Today’s HUMP Classified Ad

    posted by on June 23 at 4:17 PM


    Female owned erotica publication seeking women to assist in HUMP video

    Erotic publication, BLAM! BLAM! is seeking women in the film industry to help us make a short film for Hump. We’d love to get women involved in the brainstorming session to help flush out a story. You are preferably involved in the industry and can provide ideas as well as talent, or assistance on some level. We are interested in dedicated amateurs and professionals. Must be 18+.

    We are a publication for the predominately hetero women and want to make an erotic film/porn that will appeal mainly to women. (This is why we are interested in having support from women.) Feel free to check out our website to get an idea of what we’re about.

    To respond to this ad, go here. You can advertise for help with your HUMP film here.

    Now Where Will the Glowering Vegans Go?

    posted by on June 23 at 4:11 PM

    When the KFC on East Pine Street shut its doors a couple weeks ago, it was another nail in the coffin for fast food chains on Capitol Hill. Taco Bell on Broadway was demolished recently for a six-story mixed-use development; Jack in the Box closed in March at the light-rail station site. Now only litter from Dick’s, Seattle’s hometown gristle hut, has made its way into the trash can in front of KFC.


    KFC “was doing fine,” says Karen Gutke, director of real estate for poultry franchisee Harman Management Corporation. The building required an upgrade to meet contractual obligations, but “the site’s too small to do a scrape and rebuild,” she says. Colonel Sanders’s placid smile is absent from the sign pole at 10th Avenue and East Pine Street, and so are the PETA volunteers passing out scornful pamphlets.

    “My business partners and neighbors are all happy that fast food will no longer be the use for that site,” says Ted Schroth, owner of the Oddfellows Building across the street. According to Schroth and sources in the neighborhood, the site will be developed into (what else?) a multi-story building with retail on the ground floor and apartments up top.

    But they may be counting their fried chickens before they hatch. Before the site’s big transformation, it could be home to another fast food joint—albeit temporarily. The buyer (rumored to be Ron Amundson, who owns the adjacent property and storefronts on Broadway) is reportedly known to take his time redeveloping new properties. And workers in coveralls last week were painting the telltale red roof with tan paint; they said the new owner is seeking a new fast-food tenant.

    Jack in the Box was rumored to have plans to move into the site. However, company spokespeople did not respond before I posted this and, if the JB lounge was interested, the owner probably wouldn’t be putting his building on the market.

    Regardless, given pedestrian-friendly requirements for new construction in the Pike-Pine corridor and the demand for high-density developments, there are few sites in the neighborhood where zoning or economics would allow a new drive-through restaurant. “If I could find another site, we would build another store,” says Gutke.

    We Need a List of Lists

    posted by on June 23 at 3:00 PM

    Apparently, Entertainment Weekly published its thousandth issue this week, and the entire magazine is devoted to “New Classics,” or the best, um, entertainment in the last twenty-five years. There are 100 new movie classic lists and 100 new music classic lists, but, being the book guy, I’m mainly interested in the 100 new books classics listl. It looks much more reasonable than EW’s list of 100 albums that are new classics, which Jeff Kirby has already ripped on over at Line Out.

    You know, there’s a lot of good here: there’s a nice mix of genres and mediums (I’m glad that they included Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware, which has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read, and they’ve also inserted other ((way too?)) obvious comics choices like Sandman and Maus.) I’d put Wind-Up Bird Chronicle inside the top ten list, and I’d completely remove Cold Mountain (of which I only remember two horrifying words, used to describe a vagina: bewhiskered notch).

    The Tipping Point belongs nowhere but a Fortune 500 CEO’s bathroom, and, since the very funny and very Irish Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt has diluted his own work to the point of obscurity. And The Da Vinci Code and America (The Book) belong nowhere near any list with the name ‘classic’ at the top. (One is the stupidest book I’ve ever read, the other won’t age well at all.) But on the whole, it’s a decent list full of entertaining books, both highbrow and mindless fun. You could do a lot worse than check it out before hitting up the library.

    Oh My God

    posted by on June 23 at 1:53 PM

    Washington Post sez:

    More than 90 percent of Americans — including one in five people who say they are atheists — believe in God or a universal power, and more than half pray at least once a day, according to results of a poll released today that takes an in-depth look at Americans’ religious beliefs.

    Bolded for what-the-fuckedness. 20% of all atheists are rat fink liars? And do those one in five unatheistic atheists actually count toward the less than one in ten people who don’t believe in God?

    I thought we atheists were making some ground. Oh, well. Maybe next generation.

    Lieberman Sucks Ass

    posted by on June 23 at 1:45 PM

    And Time is all over it. But it seems that Time’s Jay Newton-Small runs with a different class of cuckolds than I do….

    It’s a fine line Lieberman’s walking and one that could have serious consequences. The Democrats are well-positioned to pick up several Senate seats in November and if he’s no longer the 51st vote, Lieberman may find himself facing open calls to throw him out of the caucus. No one likes to play the cuckold for long, sooner or later they ask for a divorce.

    Hm. The cucks I hear from at Savage Love never tire of watching other men fuck their wives senseless. But here’s hoping Dems pick up 10 seats this November, for a filibuster-proof majority, and that they’re so sick of watching Lieberman eat John McCain’s ass that they toss him the fuck out of their caucus.

    The Gymnasts You May Not Leer At… Wait, Nastia’s 18 Now?

    posted by on June 23 at 1:14 PM

    OK, I’ll use Dan’s Dominic’s beefcake as my feeble excuse—yeah, I was a gymnast for nine years—to blab about last night’s Olympic trials. First, I’d like to say, what the hell, NBC? Bela Karolyi deserves to be locked in a dark, airtight box for twenty-five years, not given a mic and a camera and allowed to cackle maniacally on network TV without providing even a scrap of analysis of anyone’s performance.

    I would also appreciate not being told that Kerri Strug’s vault on a dislocated ankle (which turned out not to be necessary to the U.S. victory) in 1996 was an act of patriotic heroism every other commercial break. Strug only did it because she was more afraid of disappointing that sadist Bela Karolyi than causing serious and possibly permanent injury to herself. It’s a sign of coercion when an athlete is reckless with her own safety, not bravery.

    But on to the better stuff: Nastia Liukin is awesome. At 18 years old and 5’3”, she’s almost too old and definitely too leggy to have an easy time of it on every event. (If gymnastics can ever said to be easy, it’s a pretty simple equation for Shawn Johnson, who’s hitting the Olympics sweet spot at 16 years old, a 4’9” package of pure muscle.) But Liukin uses her legginess and flexibility to gorgeous artistic effect. You have to watch women’s gymnastics this year. With gymnastics’ emphasis on ever-escalating difficulty, it’s not going to be this pretty again for a long while. Here she is at the 2008 Visa Championships. She wasn’t quite so perfect yesterday, but she came close enough.

    Book Slut Vs. “Real” Slut

    posted by on June 23 at 1:10 PM

    Over at Bookslut, editor Jessa Crispin counters Kerry Cohen’s definition of the word ‘slut,’ as described in Cohen’s memoir Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity. Crispin says that “Having slept with 40 men by the time you’re in your late 30s does not make you a slut,” and, further, she provides an actual mathematical formula to determine sluttiness:

    # of Total Men > Your Age x 1.5

    It’s unclear, based on Crispin’s use of the word “Men,” whether this would also apply to hetero men, too.

    The End of Country Happiness

    posted by on June 23 at 1:00 PM

    The BBC reports:

    Oil prices have risen after emergency talks among the world’s top oil powers and leading consuming nations over the weekend ended with no real resolution.

    US light, sweet crude for August delivery increased by $1.38 a barrel to settle at $136.74 while London Brent crude was up $0.99 at $136.24 a barrel.

    Those thick and too happity country people over there?
    1378-equine_3.jpg It might benefit them greatly to recall (and restore) the role horses had in the pre-automobile world of their humble/honest/hardworking/churchgoing ancestors.

    Lunchtime Quickie

    posted by on June 23 at 12:45 PM

    Think you can out-riff the Big C Diddy? The US Air Guitar Championships! TONIGHT!

    I Just Can’t Get Her Out of My Head

    posted by on June 23 at 12:44 PM


    I want Madeleine Albright to run with Barack Obama.

    In the Last 24 Hours (or more) on Line Out

    posted by on June 23 at 12:40 PM

    Back to Black Lung: Amy Winehouse has emphysema.

    Only in Dreams: All about the time I recorded a record with Weezer.

    Himsa are Breaking Up: True.

    Final Comment: Are we finally getting our cryptic explanation for the Crocodile’s surprise closure?

    Tonight in Music: US Air Guitar, Plants and Animals, and Dysrhythmia.

    “Suck an AIDS Infested Dick”: An angry RHCP fan fails at swaying my opinion.

    Speaking of Failure: Jeff Kirby says “Girl Talk’s Feed the Animals fails to incite dance party.”

    Sub Pop Says: So long to the Shins.

    Disco Dooby: TJ Gorton loves Traks’ cover of “Long Train Running.”

    Epic Fail: Entertainment Weekly tries to list the 100 best records from 1983-2008.

    Let the Summer Begin: Daedelus’ “Fair Weather Friends.”

    No, Really: What the fuck is this?

    As always, there’s plenty more where that came from.

    Now please enjoy this picture of a baby sloth.


    You want more Jonathan Horton?

    posted by on June 23 at 12:27 PM

    Who can blame you, Dom? (In this video: missing the bar, hitting his head, blood gushing.)

    Lunch Date: Girl Factory

    posted by on June 23 at 12:00 PM


    (A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)

    Who’s your date today? Girl Factory, by Jim Krusoe

    Where’d you go? Bleu Bistro.

    What’d you eat? Macaroni and cheese ($7.99) with the optional Caesar salad ($2.99).

    How was the food? It was really good. The macaroni and cheese was more like a baked ziti, only without any red sauce. The top was crunchy and the bottom was goopy, just the way I like, and the cheese was a nice sharp cheddar. The salad was, you know, Caesar-y and good. The whole thing came with three good pieces of not-too-garlicky-for-lunch garlic toast. I always forget about Bleu Bistro, and whenever I go inside I have to fight a momentary fear of the cramped booths in the place going up in flames, but I’ve never been disappointed by the food.

    What does your date say about itself? This is the newest novel by the author of the amazing debut novel Iceland. If you have a good tolerance for quirky, sad writing, Iceland is something that you really need to read; it’s about how we make more of our memories than other people do. Reading that book was such a grand experience that I’m afraid to re-read it. I recall the pleasurable feeling of reading it almost more than I remember the actual words that I read. Girl Factory is about a man who works at a frozen yogurt store in a strip mall owned by a man named Spinner. Spinner is doing something weird in the basement. Also, there’s a hyperintelligent, chess-playing dog running around

    Is there a representative quote? “This was the first time ever that Spinner had trusted me with the keys to Mister Twisty’s, but at any rate I was feeling very tired myself, and for some reason, a little sad also. From the basement I could hear the hum of the giant cooling machines as I sprayed a little Windex on the counters to wipe away the stickiness, and rubbed down the swirl machines with chrome cleaner. And I was just about to go home when I heard, or thought I heard, a difference in the intensity of sound coming from below me…It was probably nothing, but just suppose there was some kind of a malfunction in the equipment downstairs, or even one of the old guys had had a heart attack and fallen into the machinery. We never really kept track of who went down and who came back up, and for all I know there might be someone down there, dying this very minute. I knew that Spinner had said he’d been working on the equipment a few weeks earlier, but I also knew that he had told me once, when I first began to work there, never to go down to the basement for any reason at all.”

    Will you two end up in bed together? Yes. It might not be as miraculous as Iceland—and it would be unfair to expect that of a second novel—I’m intrigued and ready for the book to get really weird. Whether it gets sad will remain to be seen.

    Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television

    posted by on June 23 at 11:56 AM

    My parents had George Carlin’s “Class Clown” album on eight-track tape, and the kids were forbidden to listen to it—which, of course, made it irresistible.

    Don’t watch, just listen.

    Meet Mike Erickson of Oregon

    posted by on June 23 at 11:42 AM

    He’s the conservative Republican candidate for an open House seat, and he’s anti-choice. Well, he’s anti-choice in theory, pro-choice in practice.

    Why Should Bush Bother Catching Osama bin Laden?

    posted by on June 23 at 11:38 AM

    After all, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would hand a “big advantage” to John McCain, according to McCain’s chief strategist.

    A Plague of Locus Awards

    posted by on June 23 at 11:37 AM

    The Locus Awards were given out this weekend “at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Seattle, at an event led by Master of Ceremonies Connie Willis.” Locus is a science-fiction fan magazine, apparently based out of Seattle. Connie Willis is awesome.

    The winner of the big enchilada award for sci-fi novel was The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. This one has swept pretty much every single genre-specific award ceremony in the last year, including the Nebula and Hugo awards, which are both sci-fi, and it was shortlisted for the Edgar award, which goes to mystery novels. The thing about it—and it is a great book—is that it’s not particularly a great science fiction novel or a great mystery novel. But it seems like representatives for every genre spend the majority of their time hoping for crossover appeal, so it’s not that shocking a choice.

    Other winners include Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (a.k.a. Stephen King’s son) for best first novel and Un Lun Dun by China Miéville for best young adult novel. I think that this is the last of the genre awards for the year. Let us rejoice and be glad.

    Let the Eagles Soar

    posted by on June 23 at 11:23 AM

    Here at Slog, we love sports. Josh is all over basketball. Dan is all into his baseball. Jonah, Brad, and Jonathan do football. Me? My love of sports is more, shall we say, primitive. Ladies and gentlemen of Slog, behold the freshly selected 2008 Olympics US men’s gymnastics team.

    Jonathan Horton:


    Justin Spring:


    Kevin Tan:


    Joseph Hagerty:


    Paul and Morgan Hamm:


    Go America!

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on June 23 at 11:00 AM

    mea culpa

    Scott McClellan at Town Hall

    As White House press secretary, Scott McClellan peddled lines that he now says were part of a “propaganda campaign”—you know, lines about little things like the war in Iraq and the Valerie Plame spy-outing scandal. Pity that McClellan is only now copping to his role as a useful idiot for the Bush administration, but better late than never. One hopes that after reading from his new mea culpa memoir, he answers audience questions honestly. For a change. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255, 7:30 pm, $5.) ELI SANDERS


    posted by on June 23 at 10:53 AM

    Easily half the mail at Savage Love now arrives with a qualifier like this….

    I’d appreciate your advice. Please do not print this in your column. Thanks :)

    At least the person that wrote the above had the decency to include it at the start of her letter. It’s extremely annoying to read a long, involved letter about a fucked up, complicated problem and—after having composed a little advice in my head, or having already gone and looked up some stuff online, or having already sent a query to a potential guest expert—stumble across the “don’t print this” admonition tucked away in a P.S.

    Now I don’t mean to be bitchy (it comes naturally), and I frequently write folks back that ask for advice but don’t want to see their letter in print. But really, people. I’m advice columnist, not a therapist in private practice, and my email address is at the bottom of the column to solicit questions for future columns, and not because I need something to do in my nonexistent free time.

    Sometimes I do feel an urge to offer advice to fuck ups with messy personal lives outside of the context of the column or the podcast. But that’s what editorial meetings are for.

    High Drama in Madrona

    posted by on June 23 at 10:45 AM

    From the Madison Park TimesPolice Log:

    Domestic violence Friday 5/1, 11pm

    A woman alerted police to damage in her apartment located in the 2700 block of E Union St. She told responding officers that while she was in the hospital the day before, she thinks her boyfriend came to her apartment and damaged some of her property.

    When she came home in the evening, she found her toilet was filled with photos and letters. In her bedroom she noticed a jar of lotion that is normally white that had been dyed red, possibly from blood. She also found a cup for one of her home’s altars filled with what seemed to be urine, a ring sitting at the bottom. On her living room floor were broken picture frames and glass.

    The victim told officers that her right forearm was bruised where her boyfriend had grabbed her a few days ago. The officers photographed the damage and gave her the department’s domestic violence pamphlet, explaining its contents to her.

    Thank you, Hot Tipper Amelia.

    Saudi Morality Police Arrest 21 Gay Men

    posted by on June 23 at 10:27 AM

    This news item from AP comes to us via Towleroad:

    A Saudi newspaper says religious police have arrested 21 allegedly homosexual men and confiscated large amounts of alcohol.

    Al-Medina daily says the Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which employs the religious police, was told Friday of a large gathering of young men at a rest house in Qatif, in eastern Saudi Arabia. The paper says scores of men were initially arrested but only 21 remain in detention.

    Religious police arresting queers—let’s not forget that that’s what our religious right wanted to see here. Back before the Supreme Court declared that gays had a constitutional right to privacy, “mainstream” leaders of the religious right called coyly for the enforcement of sodomy laws, a.k.a. police arresting gay men at parties, in bars, in our bedrooms, etc.

    Anyway, it can’t happen here… not now. Unless, of course, John McCain gets to appoint three or four new Alitos/Roberts/Scalias to a the rapidly solidifying conservative majority on the Supreme Court. If McCain wins then, shit, all bets are off. The activist conservatives on the Supreme Court lives to overturn liberal decisions. And if McCain wins with an assist from those bitter Hillary Clinton supporters we’re not supposed to talk about anymore—women who wanted to badly to see a woman in the White House that they’re willing to help McCain pack the court with justices that will vote to end abortion rights and giddily hand down more decisions like this one—I think my head will explode.

    But it is happening there. Unfortunately there’s not a lot homos here do to help oppressed gays and lesbians being persecuted in Saudi Arabia. We could—and should—support the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (donate here). But what if you want fuck with the fuckers Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice? What do you do then?

    Right off the top of my head… well, I’m thinking we threaten to mail one gay porn titles (mag, video) into that miserable sand trap for every “allegedly homosexual” man authorities arrest. Any better ideas?

    Denny on First Avenue and University Street

    posted by on June 23 at 10:20 AM


    What’s your name?
    Denny Collins

    How long have you lived in the Diller Hotel?
    16 years.

    What was it like when you first moved in?
    It was more like a flophouse then; this was skid row. This whole area has changed—the art museum, the famous Hammering man, Harbor Properties, the new Four Seasons Olympic Hotel, and on and on.

    What was the rent the day you moved in?
    [Long pause, then laughter] It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten!

    How much has the rent gone up in 16 years?
    I would say the rent, in 16 years, has gone up probably about double, 100 percent. Which is really good.

    When I rented here a few years ago it was $325, and how I miss that price. What types of people are hanging out down here compared with a decade ago?
    Most people are more tourist types. The ones that have moved into the area are the more, if I can use the word, “yuppie” type, with more money. I do feel safer now, but I miss the old days when it was lively, with a little mote partying, and more happy-go-lucky people. People now are a little less friendly. They get to be the big-city “yuppie” type, if I can use that word.

    I know this used to be a hotel—has there has always been that vibe of people moving in and out so frequently?
    Oh yeah, a lot of people in and out all the time. The top floor was actually a bordello when it was first built. That tells you what it used to be like here on First Avenue.

    The Diller is the last of its kind on First Avenue.
    Even the old hotel where the Lusty Lady is doesn’t rent rooms anymore. Yeah, so we are the last one left, I would say, from Pioneer Square all the way to Denny Way, especially on First Avenue. The building is family owned, so they fought to keep it, but they had to fight some pretty hard battles with all the big influence coming around on the block… The Seattle Art Museum, Harbor Properties—the really super rich and big-money people.

    Will this building be around for another 10 years?
    Oh, no. You can see here on this block, this is the only original thing left. Big money is gonna win here, too.

    Three Bodies Removed from Crystal Mountain

    posted by on June 23 at 10:10 AM


    KIRO (which provided the image above) has the story:

    Three bodies have been removed from the Crystal Mountain area near Mount Rainier. The three Seattle-area men apparently died in an avalanche while snowboarding in December. Friends resumed the search after snow melted and found the bodies Saturday. They were removed Sunday by airlift. The three men were 26-year-old Kevin Carter, 29-year-old Devlin Williams, and 41-year-old Phillip Hollins.

    Here’s Courtney Nash’s February Stranger feature on the missing men (and the lure of the avalanche-prone backcountry).

    Headline of the Day

    posted by on June 23 at 10:06 AM

    Via Original Andrew, in comments: Everything Seemingly Spinning Out of Control.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on June 23 at 10:05 AM


    A fantasy author, an open mic, and a bunch of other readings going on tonight.

    At the Bellevue Regional Library, Jennifer Worick reads from Backcountry Betty: Roughing It in Style, a book that has information about “how to trick out your fleece” and how to start a fire with lipstick.

    Up at Third Place Books, Kathryn Harrison reads from While They Slept : An Inquiry Into the Murder of a Family. I’m usually more interested in true crime authors themselves than I am in their books, but this looks like an interesting one. It’s about a man who killed his parents and sister. He apparently killed them while they slept. So that solves the mystery of the title.

    At Elliott Bay Book Company, David Sedaris reads from his newest book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. This reading is sold out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attend. The tickets were for the reading room, but the cafe and bookstore will also be wired for sound. So you may not be able to see Mr. Sedaris, but you will still be able to hear his voice. It will be an experience akin to, say, listening to him on the radio. Also, he generally stays until every last book is signed for every last person in line. And now that he’s not smoking, he won’t be stepping out for cigarettes every twenty minutes or so, and so the line will move faster.

    And at Town Hall, world-famous snitch Scott McClellan reads from his book What Happened, about how he was the stupid mouthpiece of the stupid Bush administration and how he didn’t do anything about the stupid lies he was saying day in and day out until after the 2004 election was a not-so-fond memory. Hopefully, someone will ask him why, besides a no-doubt enormous book deal, he waited so frigging long to squeal.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, can be found elsewhere.

    Brit Living in States Promotes Ugly Stereotypes About Americans

    posted by on June 23 at 9:55 AM

    Not all Americans know how to drive, Andrew.

    Points for Bravery

    posted by on June 23 at 9:37 AM


    The King County Republican Party’s booth at the Solstice Fair this weekend was the second loneliest place in Fremont this weekend—right after, I’m pleased to say, the Scientology booth, which only seemed to pull in the already duped.

    The Morning News

    posted by on June 23 at 7:34 AM

    Out: Mugabe’s rival “in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process.”

    In: Brokaw to host “Meet the Press” through election.

    Horrific: Day care center rape scandal roils small Texas town.

    Hundreds dead: In Philippines ferry catastrophe.

    “Deeply Unprincipled”: Obama’s support for FISA “compromise,” according to Glenn Greenwald.

    How About A Race for Prevention?: Race for the Cure raises thousands for Komen.

    “The Sharpest Drop in History”: Vehicle miles plummet as gas prices soar.

    Time Up?
    : “May be,” for Reichert, according to Washington Post.

    More Expensive than Ever
    : Meat and dairy, thanks to record corn prices.

    Hospitalized: Amy Winehouse, with emphysema.

    Recipe of the Day: Crisp Polenta Cakes With Pinot Noir-Shiitake Gravy and Asparagus (recipe via the Oregonian; photo via Flickr)


    Continue reading "The Morning News" »

    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    George Carlin

    posted by on June 22 at 11:13 PM

    Dead at age 71 of heart failure.

    Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits.

    Greenwater Lakes Trail

    posted by on June 22 at 10:17 PM


    The Greenwater Lakes trail is a good choice if you’re taking a beginning hiker with you. It’s a scenic and relatively easy four miles round-trip to the upper Greenwater lake. Recommended even on a cloudy day.


    Apropos of Sunset

    posted by on June 22 at 9:21 PM

    Some e. e. cummings (the spacing is his)—wrong season, but whatever:

    who are you,little i

    (five or six years old)
    peering from some high

    window;at the gold

    of november sunset

    (and feeling:that if day
    has to become night

    this is a beautiful way)

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on June 22 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Namaste Man’ at Intiman Theatre

    Andrew Weems grew up as the child of a State Department official and an inscrutable, chain-smoking mother. Namaste Man is a series of elliptical stories about his childhood in Zambia, Virginia, and Nepal—tales of hippies and hash bars, yak dung and betel nuts, and a few bleak scenes from his adulthood in New York. Weems leaps through his stories with a sprightly, almost impish, energy. For an autobiographical solo show, Namaste Man is surprisingly generous: Weems seems to care, primarily, about other people. (Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900. 2 and 7:30 pm, $10–$48.) BRENDAN KILEY


    Reading Today

    posted by on June 22 at 10:00 AM


    An open mic and three other readings going on today, which is fairly heavy for a Sunday in Seattle.

    At Elliott Bay Book Company, Chris Carlsson reads from Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists and Vacant Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today. Carlsson is the founder of the Critical Mass bike happening. Now’s your chance, angry car drivers! Go protect him, earnest bike riders! Awesome fight in the basement of Elliott Bay, everyone else!

    At Queen Anne Books, Mary Pols reads from Accidentally on Purpose, which is about how she had a baby from a one-night stand. I can’t hear about these sorts of books without imagining the kid reading it one day. I have yet to read a book or article about this happening, but I think it’ll be a huge trend in, say, 2021. Get ready.

    And then, after all the programmers, bicyclists, and gardeners have been cleared out of Elliott Bay, Joseph O’Neill will read from his critically acclaimed new novel, Netherland. This is obviously the reading of the day.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is at your service.

    The Morning News

    posted by on June 22 at 9:00 AM

    posted by news intern Chris Kissel

    Defeat: Violence forces Zimbabwe opposition leader to pull out of presidential race.

    : Typhoon hits ferry carrying over 700 passengers from the Philippines.

    Mastermind: The New York Times’ five-page look inside the interrogation of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

    Heat wave: It’s really hot in California.

    More bad weather news: Recommendations for Mississippi River levees made 15 years ago were never implemented as the river continues to rise.

    Race and the race: How racial bias could affect the 2008 election.

    Blame it on the Internet
    : Scottish teachers say Wikipedia is the reason for falling test scores.

    Naked people biking: Fremont Solstice Parade ends without a single shot fired.

    Wild Cougars
    : Paul Wulff inherits a team with a high percentage of hooligans.

    Earlier than expected
    : Bodies of snowboarders found near Crystal Mountain.