Housekeeping This Week In the Stranger
posted by October 23 at 16:55 PMon
Cover art by Slava Mogutin
Although I’ve been associated with this dirty, filthy rag for a few years now, I have so far stayed away from HUMP!, the annual amateur-porn contest and jewel in The Stranger’s dirty, filthy panties. Maybe it’s because I’m admittedly skeeved out by public displays of sexuality (e.g., the time I went to the strip-club lunch buffet and then had to dry-clean my own brain), and so sitting in a room with a whole lot of clandestine man- and lady-boners watching my neighborhood barista get pleasured with the business-end of a bicycle pump didn’t exactly sound like my cup of unidentifiable fluid. But this year, as film editor, I have certain duties and responsibilities. Duties and responsibilities that involve your genitals. Hooray for us all.
Will they actually let Barack Obama win? Will Diebold steal the election and give it to John McCain instead? Will martial law be declared so George Bush can be self-appointed to a third term? Will conservative thugs at polling places suppress minority turnout in the very swing states where the minority vote could really make the difference for the Democratic ticket? Is this shit I’m reading in Rolling Stone about voter-purging true? Because it’s terrifying. Hold me!
Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on the one-woman crusade to keep military recruiters out of Parks Department events:
Last April, Barker, who sits on the board of Washington Truth in Recruiting, which provides students with alternatives to military recruitment, fired off a letter to the City Council and the parks department after army and navy soldiers showed up to a teen event at the Delridge Community Center in Southwest Seattle in a shiny black Hummer.
“[The parks department had] been advertising a teen-appreciation day [with] basketball, swimming, a DJ, and a barbecue,” Barker says. She says the woman who alerted her to the recruiters’ presence “pulled up with her kids and saw two guys in army fatigues in a black Hummer. She wanted them to go away and they wouldn’t.” Barker says she’s also heard of recruiters showing up to events with climbing walls and video games.
Rebecca Brown on two Hawthornes: Nathaniel, and the California suburb where Beach Boy Brian Wilson just released his tenth solo album:
In the chapter entitled “The Recognition,” Hester Prynne, condemned to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her dress, is leaving prison with her newborn love child. Someone, Hawthorne narrates, “the eldest clergyman of Boston,” calls “Hearken unto me, Hester Prynne!” and exhorts her to confess, repent, and name the father of her child. This speaker is, like many characters in Hawthorne’s work, based on a real person, in this case a leading Puritan divine, John Wilson (1591–1667).
Look, I’m not saying this Wilson was an ancestor of our California-bound Wilsons. On the other hand, don’t we all believe, as our Puritan ancestors did, that if we go back far enough, we all go back to the same old Adam and Eve?
PLUS!: Megan Seling on Seattle’s best cupcakes; Sean Nelson on Mike Leigh’s new comedy; Jen Graves on surveillance-camera art; David Schmader on bad, drunk-ass puppetry; me on Democratic consultant Cathy Allen’s work for two prominent Republicans; election endorsements; and more.