1. Using comedic exaggeration, please comment on how thin this week's issue of The Stranger is. Here are three examples to get you started:
a. This week's issue of The Stranger is so thin that if you turn it sideways, it disappears.
b. What happens if you try to open this week's issue of The Stranger? Nothing. A single piece of paper can't be split in half lengthwise.
c. This week's issue of The Stranger is as thin as the job prospects of Stranger staffers, who will presumably be out of work soon because the paper is so thin.
2. JEN GRAVES contributes another surprisingly readable visual art review in this week's paper, which, if you don't count last week's special Regrets issue, means that she has written two decent reviews in a row. Has Ms. Graves been replaced by a Google-produced content-making algorithm prototype? Or does practice make perfect after all?
3a. In the music section, EMILY NOKES celebrates the music club Neumos, which is now 10 years old (or, if you include a previous incarnation of the club, 20), by interviewing the club owner and several bands that have played there. Besides some mean-spirited gossip about Gavin Rossdale, can you find anything newsworthy in this advertorial piece? Could one reason for The Stranger's relative thinness this week have to do with Ms. Nokes giving away advertising for free in a section of the paper ordinarily set aside for content?
3b. On a separate sheet of paper, list the reasons Gavin Rossdale doesn't deserve this kind of shoddy treatment. (Note: Even though they may seem so, Rossdale's dreamy eyes are not a good enough reason.)
5. In the theater section, BRENDAN KILEY discusses a play that combines noted film actor Christopher Walken with Russian literature. In the books section, PAUL CONSTANT reviews a memoir set, in large part, in Soviet Russia. Could this represent a push by The Stranger's editorial board to coax the general public into reconsidering communism, perhaps at the behest of new Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant? What other reason could there be to highlight these two works of art at this particular moment? Does this probable editorial mandate indicate a problematic road for The Stranger in 2014?