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1. This week, The Stranger—and this sounds like a joke, but it is not a joke—has decided to include four more editorials hashing over the positive and negative sides of the $15-an-hour minimum wage debate. Have the editors of the paper just given up and decided to run the same content over and over again, week in and week out? Will anyone but those of us who are paid to read The Stranger ever notice this gambit?
2. DAVE SEGAL's piece about a band called Godflesh certainly supports the Stranger-is-only-publishing-reruns thesis. This could be any Segal article, from any decade, and it certainly follows his typical pattern: Segal peppers his introduction with meaningless, or possibly made-up, phrases like "grindcore avatars" before describing the band's music in ways that would inspire no normal human being to ever want to hear it. Seriously: Are "blasted dubscapes, and pulverizing guitar and bass riffs" supposed to be a positive trait? What about "witheringly bleak lyrics and gruff vocals, which make drill sergeants sound like Mr. Rogers"? Why would anyone possibly want to do anything but avoid this, as Segal describes it?
3. Oh, look. New content. Hooray? DAVID SCHMADER, KELLY O, and BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT mourn the end of Piecora's, a pizza restaurant that has existed on Capitol Hill for 30-plus years, but is now closing to make way for a new building. Would it be helpful for readers if The Stranger were to supply some sort of a flow chart demonstrating which kind of development is "good" in their new, density-obsessed Seattle, and which kind of development is "bad"? Why does Piecora's rate a full-fledged, full-page good-bye when, say, a long-running coffee shop disappears with barely a mention? Do only the "cool kids" get that kind of attention?
4. BRENDAN KILEY contributes a surprisingly readable review of a play called Tails of Wasps. When a Stranger critic somehow produces a coherent piece of writing about a work of art, do you think that's because the Stranger critic is becoming a better writer, or is it because the work of art is so good that even a Stranger critic couldn't foul up the review? Which do you think is happening here?
5. In the first paragraph of her review, JEN GRAVES says that Ai Weiwei's new exhibit at Seattle Asian Art Museum is "just waiting to be smashed." In your opinion, is this a responsible statement for a critic to make or not?