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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

“We’re Coming to the End of A Tragedy”

posted by on November 5 at 14:31 PM


Philadelphia Weekly devoted its election-issue feature to photographer Zoe Strauss (here’s the story), whose book America is coming out on November 7 and includes the above images—which are particularly perfect for today.

Here’s a podcast I did with Strauss a few months ago when she was showing at Open Satellite in Bellevue.

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Music & Nightlife
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Books It’s Pronounced CHOOT. Seriously.

posted by Paul Constant on November 5 at 5:00 PM

This New York Times profile of Carolyn Chute, the author of The Beans of Egypt Maine, is pretty fascinating stuff.

The 2nd Maine Militia, or Your Wicked Good Militia, as it’s sometimes known, is progun, against corporate lobbying and campaign contributions, and opposed to tax subsidies for big business. The group has been known to meet in a hired hall, but more often it assembles in the woods behind the Chutes’ home, where the members shoot at cans and other targets, talk about what’s wrong with the world and dine on potluck.

In 1996, in an incident recreated in “The School on Heart’s Content Road,” the militia invaded the State Capitol in Augusta, carrying placards that read, “Smash Corporate Tyranny.” Many of the militia children were in costume, and Mr. Chute wore a Revolutionary War uniform. There were some kazoo-playing and a little shouting, and someone duct-taped a piece of cardboard over a portrait of Joshua Chamberlain, the Maine governor and Civil War hero.

When I was a very young kid back in Maine, I was at a supermarket with my mom. We rounded a corner and came face-to-face with this old woman with ratty hair and rumpled clothes, muttering to herself in the tampon aisle. After we passed her, I asked my mom what was the matter with the crazy lady. She responded, with not a little bit of fear in her voice, “She’s a writer.” And that’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. So thanks, Carolyn Chute.
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2008 Bumpin’

posted by Brendan Kiley on November 5 at 4:55 PM

Slog tipper Keith writes: “Just when you thought you were done crying tears of joy…”

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2008 “The Wasilla Hillbillies”

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 4:53 PM

Disgruntled McCain aides doing all they can to undermine Sarah Palin’s plans for 2012:

NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin’s shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain’s top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus…. One aide estimated that she spent “tens of thousands” more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

Can’t wait. And it appears that McCain’s people didn’t want Palin to launch her 2012 bid immediately before McCain’s concession speech:

McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.

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2008 The Northern Lights of Happiness

posted by Charles Mudede on November 5 at 4:53 PM

It’s the fifth day of November. It’s nearing 4 pm. I’m standing on the corner of 6th and Main. Behind me is a small beauty business, and heading west on 6th is a truck for a plumber. As it passes, I read on its side: “A way goes trouble down the drain.” An old black man is slowly walking down the steep hill between Main and Washington. Two white woman in a red BMW (dented door, dirty windows) stop and let a very pregnant Asian woman cross the street. In the distance, cars flowing up to the freeway. Further still, a string of airplane lights. Then it seizes me. A rush of joy. It emanates from a warm area deep in my being and terminates with tingles on my flesh. To see the inside of my body is to see an aurora borealis on an arctic sky. Obama is the president of the United States of America.
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2008 / Election Night Obama Victory March Tonight

posted by Megan Seling on November 5 at 4:38 PM

According to fliers that were being passed around during last night’s “dancing in the streets” celebration, there’s going to be an Obama victory parade tonight at 6 pm, starting at the corner of Pine and Melrose.
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2008 / Election Night Election Night at Seattle’s Oldest Private Black Social Club

posted by Kelly O on November 5 at 4:35 PM

When the Stranger Election Control Board asked me to go to Columbia City, to watch the election results come in at The Royal Esquire Club, um, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. The Royal Esquire is Seattle’s oldest-running members-only black social club. As we were driving there, I wondered what a room full of African American men (who might look like THIS, only in front of a television) - I wondered what they might think when I came be-bopping into the room.

I mean, I look like this. That’s me in the middle…


I was on assignment with Lindy West. Also female, also blonde. It definitely didn’t help matters that when we stopped at Wendy’s on the way there, to grab some quick fast food, an angry Native American in a wheelchair rolled up to the drive-thru, up our to car window, and yelled “HONKYS!” super frickin’ loud.

But all the nervousness was for not. It wasn’t just a men’s club - there were women, kids, old, and young. Everyone was kind and friendly, and when those results came in, and Obama took the Presidency, I couldn’t think of another place I would have rather been, anywhere. Two ladies with tears streaming down their faces grabbed me and we alternately held hands and jumped up and down, then hugged and kissed each other like great old friends. It completely surprised and absolutely inspired me. I couldn’t believe no one batted an eye when I blurted out “WE DID IT! WE DID IT!”

But then again, I suppose we ALL did do “it”.

There’s been a million videos on SLOG, I know. But here’s the video we made there last night. Please watch it. I promise, it’s a pretty good one…

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2008 Palin as President

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 4:30 PM

Did you visit the “Palin as President” website before the election? It’s worth one last visit. Check it out.

Thanks to Slog tipper Griff.
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News Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 4:25 PM

Overheard in bar in downtown Seattle bar about an hour ago:

“Kerry Killinger and his wife let their their household staff go last night. And then they vanished.”

Killenger is the former chief executive of Washington Mutual. He lives—or lived—in the Highlands. Anybody know any suddenly unemployed “household staff”? We’d love to hear from ‘em.
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2008 / Election Night / Science Witness the Magic of Regression Analysis…

posted by Jonathan Golob on November 5 at 4:09 PM

… and some damn good statistics.

FiveThirtyEight’s election-eve prediction, of 349 electoral votes for Obama:

Reality this afternoon, of a projected 349 electoral votes for Obama:

I might start caring about baseball, just to further appreciate the awesomeness of Nate Silver.
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??!! Stupid Marches On

posted by Paul Constant on November 5 at 4:00 PM


The above stupid British kid legally changed his name from George Garratt to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined. He clearly did this for attention, because he is a stupid kid. Let’s stop paying attention to this stupid, stupid kid.
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2008 / Election Night Joy in Seattle

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 3:47 PM

Video from the Showbox…

Kate, who shot this video, writes…

It was wonderful euphoria, and I don’t remember when I started crying but by the end of this video there were tears running down my face. I hugged strangers who had become friends (nice to meet you, Regina!). An older man who had been drinking tall boys all night was standing next to me and gently crying. I tapped him on the shoulder and said “cheers.” We clinked beers and he said, “Something just happened.” “Yes it did, yes it did,” I replied. My face hurt from smiling. And that night, as we danced in the streets and the cars honked their horns in rhythm (beep beep beep. yes we can.), it felt like we were all thinking and celebrating as one conscious person. This must be what unity feels like, I thought. How amazing to be a part of it this moment.

I went to The Showbox by myself since my friend had bailed on me (something about catching a plane that night, details), but I never once felt alone. Thank you for last night, for giving me a community. The Stranger and The Slog got me through this election (and my boring day job). I don’t know if it was because I was sitting close to the doors or just because of the energy in the air, but I had the chills all night.

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Strangercrombie It’s That Time of Year

posted by Paul Constant on November 5 at 3:13 PM


We are now accepting donations for Strangercrombie, our annual fundraiser for charity. This year we’re raising money for Treehouse. Treehouse helps over 5,500 foster kids a year with clothing, school supplies, tutoring and other critical services.

Each year Seattle businesses generously donate their finest goods and services to our holiday auction—last year we raised more than 60,000 dollars for charity. We’re also asking you for your help, to make Strangercrombie an even bigger success.

We need your donations!

Here are the kind of things we’re looking for:

Fabulous vacation packages.
Rare orchids.
Those vintage LPs you’ve finally decided to give up.

Here’s what we don’t want: Junk. No, we don’t want your bodily-fluid-crusted couch or the musty bag of ugly polo shirts you were going to dump at Goodwill. We want your best goods and services, because it’s for charity and because we’re serious about this.

If you have something to give, send us an email:

And if you’re a business that would like to donate, feel free to let us know, too.

Strangercrombie. Once a year, we do something good.
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2008 Headline of the Minute

posted by David Schmader on November 5 at 3:09 PM

Palin’s Future? Grandma Governor, for Now.

I hereby banish Caribou Barbie to the graveyard packed with would-be Palin nicknames (Missy Shit-for-Brains, Madame Vice President), replacing it for all time with Grandma Governor.
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2008 / Election Night Joy in Brooklyn

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 3:06 PM


Lizzie Leitzell grew up in Seattle and now lives in Brooklyn. She was out in the streets last night, taking pictures, when Obama won. I particularly love her photo, above, of a pair of cops joining in the celebration. There are lots more terrific pictures at Leitzell’s blog.

UPDATE: It seems that not all the cops out in Brooklyn last night joined in the celebration: “Cops Rough Up Partying Barack Hipsters on Burg’s Bedford Ave.” Via Towleroad.
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2008 Joy in Texas

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 2:42 PM

Last night on Slog the SECB had this to say when Texas, as expected, was called for John McCain about .0001 seconds after polls there closed.

Fuck You, Texas

And the horse you rode into national politics on.

Just now Slog tipper Joshua sent us this picture—taken at the packed party Joshua attended in San Antonio—at the precise moment CNN projected that Obama would win the White House.


Indiana went blue, Virginia went blue, North Carolina still could. Joshua’s picture fills me with hope for Texas. So let’s amend our comments: Fuck you, Texas… for the time being. Swing over to the blue column in 2012 and all—well, most all—is forgiven.
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2008 A few more…

posted by Aaron Huffman on November 5 at 2:34 PM

from the moment of the announcement at the Showbox, from Matt Hickey.



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2008 / Election Night / Visual Art “We’re Coming to the End of A Tragedy”

posted by Jen Graves on November 5 at 2:31 PM


Philadelphia Weekly devoted its election-issue feature to photographer Zoe Strauss (here’s the story), whose book America is coming out on November 7 and includes the above images—which are particularly perfect for today.

Here’s a podcast I did with Strauss a few months ago when she was showing at Open Satellite in Bellevue.
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Film The Most Boring Thing I Have Ever Received in the Mail

posted by Lindy West on November 5 at 2:27 PM




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Life A Conversation With My Mum

posted by Dominic Holden on November 5 at 2:25 PM

It was 8:56 p.m. last night and my mom wouldn’t turn on the television.

She was born in Australia in 1938. Despite living here longer than she lived there, she never really became an American, by citizenship or culture. She brews tea three times a day, steeps it in a knitted tea cozy, and sips it boiling hot with a bickee. She doesn’t know what R & B stands for. American politics freak her out. But after Bush’s re-election, my mom switched her citizenship—so she could vote for a different kind of president. Here she is, caucusing for Obama in February:


“Hello?” she answered the phone last night.

“He-ey, mum. Have you been watching the election results?”

“No,” she said. She hadn’t answered a call a few minutes before, either. “I was afraid John McCain,” her voice froze, “had won.”

“Obama’s winning, mum. He’s going to win.”

“Oh, praise God. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God,” she said. “Now we praise God that someone doesn’t shoot him.”

She’s always been a worrier. But then again, she’s not the only one worrying about that sort of thing.
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2008 / Homo Local Zeros

posted by Dan Savage on November 5 at 2:25 PM

There’s an interesting search widget up at the website of the San Francisco Chronicle. It allows curious readers to look up donors to the campaigns for and against California’s Prop 8. You can look people up by name, by zip code, or by state. I was gratified to see that Washington state donors to the “No on 8” campaign (737) outnumbered donors to the “Yes on 8” campaign (99) by more than seven to one. But some ridiculously large checks from local “Yes” donors swamped the generally smaller checks written by local “No” donors.

Now let’s meet some of Washington state’s “Yes on 8” donors.

Deborah Bell of Bingen, Washington, does engineering and land surveying for Bell Design Company. She donated $2,500 to “Yes on 8.”

Craig Morley of Saint George donated $5,000 to “Yes on 8” campaign. Mr. Morley is an appraiser for Morley & McConkie, LLC. Here’s hoping Mr. Morley doesn’t miss the 5K, what with the real estate-bubble bursting and all.

Bryant L. Adams of Tumwater donated $5,000 to the “Yes on 8.” A Bryant L. Adams is listed as the president of HEAL, “a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity research corporation funded totally by public donations” that is looking into “cancer prevention and cure by using new methods involving natural products.” Gays and lesbians and supporters of fairness who want to help fund the fight against cancer might want to direct their donations to other charities.

Lin Whatcott of Maple Valley is an accountant for DaVita, which “provides dialysis services for those diagnosed with chronic kidney failure.” Ms. Whatcott made two donations to “Yes on 8.” A $10,005 donation on October 18, and a $9,995 donation on September 16. Ms. Whatcott was also made the maximum possible personal donation to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Donald Pugh of Bellevue donated $50,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign. According to the records submitted to the Califorinia Secretary of State’s office by the “Yes on 8” campaign, Mr. Pugh is a consultant with Thermo King Northwest. Gays and lesbians and supporters of fairness might want to get their thermo consulting done elsewhere.

Mikesmall.jpgThe biggest local donor to “Yes on 8” was Mike Murray of Redmond. Mr. Murray is a former Microsoft exec who retired in his early 40s so that he might “commit his time to humanitarian causes.” Mr. Murray lists his employer as the “Crystal Springs Foundation,” a charity that he founded (their website appears to be defunct). Mr. Murray donated a whopping $100,000 to “Yes on 8.”

The SF Chronicle’s search widget is here. I only looked up donors who gave $2,500 or more. Feel free to do a little poking around yourselves, Sloggers.
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2008 Oh, and a Big Wrist Slap to Caffe Vita

posted by Brendan Kiley on November 5 at 2:22 PM



Is mercenary, opportunistic, and tone-deaf.

Way to be the first people to take an awesome political moment and use it for purely commercial self-promotion.

I’ll be staying away from Vita and its sister business, Via Tribunali, for perhaps the duration of the first Obama administration.

You’re jackasses.


I take back “jackasses.” That was unnecessary. (I’m still grumpy from having to hang out with Republicans last night who muted Obama’s acceptance speech.)

But I maintain that the impulse—to cash in on something beautiful—deserves calling out.
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Books “Hey, Remember When I Fucked Everything Up for 8 Years Straight?”

posted by Paul Constant on November 5 at 2:12 PM


Here’s a story about Bush’s inevitable memoirs:

In less than three months, President-elect Barack Obama will take office and the Bush administration will belong to history. With the president reportedly interested in writing about his White House years, publishers have a suggestion:

Take your time.

“If I were advising President Bush, given how the public feels about him right now, I think patience would probably be something that I would encourage,” says Paul Bogaards, executive director of publicity for Alfred A. Knopf, which in 2004 released Bill Clinton’s million-selling “My Life.”

That’s probably good advice. I wonder what poor sucker is gonna get saddled with the task of ghost-writing the thing?
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2008 / Election Night / Visual Art Currently Hanging

posted by Jen Graves on November 5 at 2:02 PM

At the entrance to the King County Election Headquarters:

Nola Avienne’s amygdala (layered) (2007), iron filings embedded in paper created on a magnetic drawing machine, 2 by 8 feet

Artist Nola Avienne knew that this piece of hers had gone into a public collection, but she didn’t know it was at Elections HQ. I wrote to tell her this morning, and she responded that it gave the piece an unintended meaning:

I am delighted that all those circles made hundreds of “O”s for Obama.

I hope it hypnotized and subliminally swayed those undecided voters. I finally got a good night’s sleep last night knowing we had hope.

O, Nola

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2008 Don’t Stop Believing

posted by Eli Sanders on November 5 at 1:35 PM

A companion video to this, here’s what happened at Pike and Broadway last night when Neighbours brought speakers up to the roof and started blasting Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

I keep hearing rumors that Neighbours is going to be replaced with condos soon. If so, this will go down as one of its great final acts.
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2008 / Election Night / Life Majority Rules

posted by Christopher Frizzelle on November 5 at 1:31 PM

A few weeks ago, while eating breakfast in a hotel in Florida with my family, FOX News on the TV in the corner, my step-grandmother, diehard Republican, said, “There’s no way this country will elect a black man. It’s not going to happen.” She lived in Germany the first half of her life, before marrying my grandfather, a politician from California, also a diehard Republican; she was too young to be a Nazi but has talked unapologetically about how she would have been one if she were old enough; she refers to Asian men and women as “ornamentals.” She chewed her eggs and shook her head and added, “And if it does happen, we get what we deserve.”

Those words—we get what we deserve—were reverberating in my mind after midnight last night in the sea of revelers at the intersection of Broadway and Pike when someone I barely know emerged from the crowd, handed me a full bottle of champagne, and then disappeared back into the crowd. There was a magical quality to the crowd—the unbridled joy, the to the lack of irony, the brotherhood/sisterhood, the genuinely-liking-each-other, the gravity-less monkeying on the street utilities, the open drinking in front of cops. It had the electric, unselfconscious feeling of a sports victory but it was amplified by the fact that we were celebrating not a team’s victory but the victory of liberal ideas as a framework for the future of the free world.

One got the startling sense last night that we were bigger in number than we realized. It is possible to deeply internalize your family’s fucked up Republican arrogance, to believe on some level that you are outnumbered—as another of my relatives, also a diehard Republican, likes to chirp whenever we talk about politics, “Majority ruuu-ules!”—and one great gift of last night was the realization not only that there are lots of liberals out there (duh) but also that there are enough people out there who like liberals to make this happen (easy to forget). Obama has made liberalism likable again.

The dance club Neighbours made its contribution to history by dragging a speaker out onto the roof, blasting a couple songs (“Don’t Stop Believing”) for people to dance to (or take off their shirts and put each other on their backs and run around to), and then handing the microphone to a drag queen who—even though she was unlit up on that roof and basically out of sight (there’s a metaphor in there somewhere)—led the crowd through the most glorious, sincere, elated national anthem I’ve ever been part of. It was the middle of the night, it was the middle of the street, and everyone—EVERYONE—sang.
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Posted by ouch | November 5, 2008 5:36 PM

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