Slog tipper Morgan informs us that someone has gone ahead and constructed a Christmas tree almost entirely out of dirty words:
440 copies of The Stranger is all it took to build the world’s tallest origami Christmas Tree. OK, maybe not the world’s tallest, but it’s probably pretty close. Livemocha, a local company. took it upon themselves to fold and assemble 440 copies of the newspaper to create a magnificent masterpiece- and the Saki consumed along the way probably helped.
I'd like to see someone try this with the Huffington Post. You can find a video of the assembly right here, and another photo after the jump.
Are people still saying that? So-and-so has been served? Whether they kids are still saying it or not, we've been served just the same:
I'm not sure who would win in a fair fight (I'd put odds on Matisse), but I'm pretty sure I'd let Matisse win. She has more boyfriends than I do, and I've seen what they're capable of.
The Cardinal of the Most Holy Roman Catholic Church in Chicago compares the gay rights movement to the Ku Klux Klan. Because of an argument about routing the Gay Pride Parade. Out of touch, much?
Teen Feed gets anywhere from 40-70 homeless teens stopping by for a hot meal every night of the year. And with the Pacific Northwest winters being notoriously damp and cold, supplying the teens with a clean pair of warm socks is a great way to make a small difference.
So grab some new, warm socks** and bring them to Porchlight Coffee on Saturday, Dec 17 (that's tomorrow!) anytime between 2-6 pm (or until the cupcakes run out).
Want to continue to fill your belly? There are a lot more food events right here!
*I probably won't actually bake tons of cupcakes. But I will be baking a lot of cupcakes. My shopping list, so far, includes 10 pounds of butter.
**Or cold, hard cash so TeenFeed can buy socks on your behalf.
I have copyedited many a horrible paragraph/description/joke for this depraved fish wrapper in my short time here (accidental penis-tip amputation, a mid-fatal-bear-mauling phone call to mom) but this week's Last Days was the first time I almost couldn't do my job through the haze of revulsion. I literally pushed my desk chair backwards and held my hands up over my face. Good work, Cienna.
The next moment he brought his hand to his mouth and sucked something off his fingers. It was then that I realized he wasn't scratching but picking...
...illegally injecting a mixture of cement, Fix-A-Flat tire sealant, and superglue into a woman's butt to enhance its size and bubbly shape.
I almost couldn't take it. I smell a Pulitzer! ("Local Investigative Specialized Reporting," perhaps?) In conclusion, I learned a valuable lesson: The pen is mightier than the ipecac syrup.
I believe I have located the answer: Mr. Mudede writes this week about clouds. Yes, clouds. As in those things in the sky. And because Mr. Mudede has nothing to say on the subject of clouds—nothing scientific, nothing radical, nothing humorous—he goes to the two places his notably limited imagination always goes: crime and women. Crime involving women, preferably. It is as if he believes all he has to do is describe a death or an instance of female sexual longing when the unwitting audience is, say, expecting an essay about clouds, and the reader, stunned stupid, will just surrender to his rhetoric. In a remarkable performance of the act of stalling—and a remarkable abdication of responsibility on the part of the editor, CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE, who had every opportunity to intervene—the first 938 words of this supposed essay on clouds detail a lovers’ quarrel as summarized by a police report Mr. Mudede misplaced years ago and barely remembers, one that had nothing to do with clouds. Then Mr. Mudede quotes several people with knowledge of clouds. And then he closes his essay with an irrelevant 540-word story about woman-on-woman sexual violence.
In other forays into areas of utter ignorance:
The panel will try to find answers to these questions, and you'll have time to ask questions, too. So come on down to Town Hall on Saturday, November 12th at 7:30 pm. It's free.
Here's the panel:
* Nick Licata (moderator), Seattle City Councilmember
* Lynne Dodson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council
* Josh Farris, from Occupy Seattle's Tactical Working Group, member of IBEW local 46 and Iraq Veterans Against the War
* Frank Greer of national political consultants GMMB
* Nick Hanauer, co-author of THE TRUE PATRIOT and THE GARDENS OF DEMOCRACY (both with Eric Liu), and Seattle entrepreneur/investor with Second Avenue Partners
* Tabitha, from Occupy Seattle's Sustainability Brigade and Kitchen, also a liaison with Seattle Central Community College
* JM Wong, from Occupy Seattle's People of Color Caucus, also a student at SCCC
Let's get to the bottom of all this, Seattle!
One of the many things going on tonight is a little something at The Project Room by myself and SJ Chiro. This something concerns filmmaking, authorship, and The Five Objections by Lars Von Trier. The show starts at 6 pm sharp. Jen Graves and Yonnas Getahun will recreate a scene from a script I wrote with Rob Devor, Dynasty, and Chiro will present a lovely short film, "The Perfect Human." A discussion will follow the presentations.
This is a sample of some of the music you will hear to night:
The presentation happens Wednesday November 2, 6 pm at The Project Room.
Prudie lays into a reader who's trying to talk/guilt her single, pregnant, college-age sister out of placing her child for adoption. It's a beautiful thing.
November is National Novel Writing Month, in which contestants write a 50,000-word novel over the thirty days of November. I've taken part six times, and I can't recommend it enough to aspiring writers: Nothing demystifies writing like pounding out 1,667 words every day for thirty straight days. One of the first questions people ask when I tell them about "competing" in NaNoWriMo is "what do you get if you win?" The answer, basically, is: Nothing. You win the right to say you wrote a novel in one month.
This year, though, there will be a prize. The good folks at University Book Store are hosting a competition for local NaNoWriMo winners: Just drop off or e-mail the novel you wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011 with University Book Store by December 2nd, and one winner will be chosen to be published by University Book Store Press. (What that means is that the winner will receive ten free copies of their book, their novel will be stocked on UBS shelves for at least three months, they'll take part in a special reading to celebrate the contest, and they'll get a $100 gift card. Two finalists will get $50 gift cards and will also take part in the post-contest reading.)
I'm one of the judges for this competition. I'm looking forward to reading your book. More information about the contest is right here.
It's going to be a lot of fun. Get your tickets—just $5—right here.
* Get a load of this line, from Ron Charles at the Washington Post: "It’s a remarkable episode, drenched in the matinee carnage of classic horror but elevated by the power of Whitehead’s prose to the level of those other ash-covered nightmares imagined by T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cormac McCarthy."
Tonight is the kickoff party for State v. Pan, a fundraising campaign for the unlikely trial of local artist (and Stranger Genius Award winner) DK Pan.
The short version of the story (you can read the long version here): A few years ago, the SPD and FBI collaborated on a years-long surveillance project. They watched a group of friends in Seattle, some of whom were artists, some of whom were lefty dissidents (marching at Republican National Conventions, that kind of thing), and some of whom broke minor laws—poker games, personal drug use, throwing after-hours parties. But the SPD and the FBI weren't looking for card-playing and pot smoking.
You can buy tickets (just $5!) right here.
If you're new to the idea, 2BE1BL is a bookish swap meet: Your entry "fee" is two books you've read and loved. The books you bring are added to the tables of books placed all around the Hugo House's cabaret area. For every two books you bring, you get to choose one new-to-you book from the stacks to bring home with you! All the books left over are donated to Friends of the Seattle Public Library, who will sell them at their twice-yearly book sales to raise money for SPL. There will be a bar, with drink specials. And some music.
The drunky book swap fun starts on Thursday, October 13th at 5 pm at the Hugo House. If you want to explain to some random stranger why they should take your book home, we're setting up a recommendation station where you explain on a Post-It exactly why the book you brought is so special. This worked really well last time. Feel free to sit in the Hugo House's cabaret with a drink or two and read through the books you're thinking about bringing home. Hell, feel free to strike up a conversation with a stranger or two about the books you're looking at. These events are always fun, laid-back, and literary. You should come.
Ain't love grand? Congrats you two. All of your friends & frenemies at Slog wish you many, many more happy years together.
Tonight at 7 p.m., at the onomatopoetic SPLAB in Columbia City, two poets who don't suck:
1. David Rowe* of New Orleans, reading from his collection Unsolicited Poems—poems that not only acknowledge their unsolicitedness (unlike all those other poems, trying to pretend they're wanted), but also are unpretentious, unannoying, often funny, and possibly great. If you require more adjectives, Bookslut.com called Unsolicited Poems “beautiful and chaotic and sexy and sonorous.”
2. Alex Bleecker, whom Paul Constant calls "local awesome poet" and who claims to have spent most of 2010 "being the falangster of love in southeast Asia" (I don't know what that means, either)—Bleecker is also one of the facilitators of Capitol Hill's Breadline reading series at Vermillion on Capitol Hill (the one tomorrow looks good).
Part of the mission of the Unsolicited Poetry Tour is to gather submissions for Dorado, a letterpress literary magazine from David Rowe's publisher, so poets are urged to bring poems (making them, for once, solicited).
*The conflict of interest here: David Rowe and I went to college together. He lived directly upstairs from me in the dorms at one point, and I could hear him walking around. He wore a wool plaid jacket—of the hunting variety, not professorial—nearly constantly, as far as I recall. He seemed brooding, but was actually quite pleasant when you talked to him.
Who are you?
Elicia Sanchez. I'm a stand-up comedian and a video store employee who splits my paychecks between comic books and happy hour. Also, a responsible adult and maker of good decisions. You will most likely see me on the bus sometime.
What is The Enematic Cinematic?
It started as a blog about the shitty movies I watched that turned into a podcast. The podcast episodes consist of me convincing comedians, filmmakers, friends, and/or random people to come over to my apartment, drink some beer, and then record ourselves talking about the movie we watched in segments such as: what we learned, favorite quotes, or a name from the end credits that sounds like a nickname for a penis. And so on.
That's the tagline for the Drinky Movie Show (Sunset Tavern, 9 pm), "an alcohol-soaked descent into film nerd madness." Anchored by the prodigious talents (and drinking problems) of hosts Travis Vogt, Kevin Clarke, and Derek Sheen, tonight's Drinky Movie Show will also feature Level-6 Mage Mike Drucker and grumpy nugget of delight Elicia Sanchez. In case you're a dummy who doesn't know anything, those are five of the funniest people in Seattle. For serious.
Featuring short films, contests, prizes, and drink specials, this will be a full-on multimedia extravaganza that everyone can enjoy! And by "everyone" I mean "People over 21 who watch too many movies and regularly drink alcohol to excess."
Tuesday, Aug 23, Sunset Tavern, 9 pm.
I, Lindy West, will also be in the show. I will be drunk and yelling about movies. So, you know, just another day at the office.
So, there's nothing like discovering that one is an accessory after the fact to grand larceny.
Dan left a bit out of his story of Waiters' Revenge. After he collected a silver service for 12, he didn't take his ill-gotten but oddly deserved gains home. Noooooooo. He wrote me a letter—this was so pre-internet—and asked if I could ask my friends in London to store some stuff for him, as he was doing some traveling around Europe before heading back to the States. My friends—actually, the poor-as-church-mice daughter and son-in-law of one of my professors, two lovely people I hadn't met in person but whom I have become great friends with—said they'd be happy to. Over a year later, I come to London to discover that they'd had to put this duffel bag full of silver under their bed in their Dickensian two-down, two-up house in Forest Gate.
And I was the mule bringing it back to Chicago after my own Grad Student With Backpack summer travels. "Just tell customs you got it used at Camden Market," Dan instructed me. He himself probably didn't know it was over 10 grand in silver, and this was all pre-9/11. The extra weight required me to pay for overload for my luggage, too, now that I think of it.
But I got my own revenge years later by tossing out a lot of shit he'd left in the family basement.
And as for foodservice: I'm writing this while tending bar. Cheers. My own stories of waiting tables can wait for some future Slog thread.
If you've already read the book, feel free to dive right in with your questions and observations. There's a lot to discuss. If you've read other books by Charles Portis (Norwood and Masters of Atlantis are also favorites of mine) we can talk about the differences between his novels. Since there are two very interesting True Grit films, we can talk about the pluses and minuses of film adaptations. We can discuss voice and narration in prose, too (some people can't stand Mattie's narration). Just be sure to start your conversations here, and we'll come and find you. In addition to your fellow book clubbers, librarians and booksellers are standing by.
None of Colson Whitehead's novels are like any other of Colson Whitehead's novels. He's written books about semi-mystical elevator inspectors, crazed stamp enthusiasts, well-paid experts in the art of naming things, and a tight-knit clique of young African-American kids in a mostly white vacation community. His next book looks to be a dive into a new genre for him: Zone One is a novel about a group of survivors trying to re-colonialize Manhattan in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by zombies. Whitehead is one of his generation's best novelists, and he's a witty, clever speaker, too, so this should be a lot of fun.
Of course, the author is just part of Verse Chapter Verse. If you haven't attended before, here's the setup: The featured band plays three or four songs, the author reads for a little bit, I'll interview him for a little bit, you'll interview him for a little bit and then, while the author signs your books, the band comes back onstage and plays us out with a set of four or five songs. This time around, we'll be pairing Whitehead with The Curious Mystery, a psychedelic, garage-y outfit whose atmospheric songs should be a great complement to Whitehead's creepy, funny ode to the months after the end of the world.
So save the date: This edition of Verse Chapter Verse will be Thursday, October 27th at Chop Suey. It'll just cost you $5. Third Place Books will be selling copies of all of Whitehead's books, there will be plenty of booze for everyone, and I guarantee you'll have a good time. I'll let you know when tickets go on sale right here on Slog.
In case you missed it, Salon has an excellent piece on the origins of Mitt Romney's old pro-choice stance: it turns out that one of his relatives died from an illegal abortion in 1963.
He alluded to this in a 1994 debate with Ted Kennedy, but Salon finally identifies the woman as Anne Keenan, the sister of Romney's brother-in-law, who died when she was only 21. The article states that Keenan's "grief-stricken parents asked for memorial donations to be made to Planned Parenthood; and that the family apparently wanted to keep the death quiet because Romney's politically ambitious father, George, was then governor of Michigan."
The piece also describes Romney's pro-choice action as a politician:
That year , he even attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, and his wife, Ann, gave $150 to the group. And while he used much more muted language, Romney vowed during his successful 2002 campaign for governor of Massachusetts to uphold the state's abortion laws. But in 2005, as he prepared to seek the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, Romney switched gears and announced in a Boston Globe Op-Ed that he was changing his position, describing himself as "prolife" and arguing that states should be able to set their own abortion laws.
Well, at least we know where Romney's backbone went. He left it in 1994. Read the whole thing here.
In the wake of ideological attacks on abortion—like the latest craze, legal personhood status for fetuses—and literal attacks on abortion—like last month's firebombing attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in McKinney, Texas—I respectfully request the return of Mitt Romney, 1994 model. But perhaps we can take cold comfort in the knowledge that at least his hair is as majestic now as it was then.
One the most-watched IGB videos isn't technically an IGB video at all. It's the video for Rise Against's "Make It Stop (September's Children)."
Everyone at the IGBP—it's not just me and Terry anymore (and hasn't been for a long time, RSCC)—is hugely grateful to Rise Against for their outsized and moving contribution to the project. And we were thrilled to learn today that "Make It Stop" has been nominated for a VMA award in a newly created category: "Best Video With a Message.” Also nominated: Lady GaGa's "Born This Way," Eminem & Rihanna's “Love The Way You Lie," Katy Perry's “Firework" (which Perry dedicated to the IGBP), and Taylor Swift's “Mean.”
Rise Against's video sends a powerful message and it's reached and touched countless LGBT teenagers and their straight peers. Gay sex-advice columnists standing up against homophobia is one thing; punk bands with millions of straight fans standing up against homophobia is another thing altogether. We wanna thank Rise Against for the stand they've taken against the bullying of LGBT kids, for their enormous contribution to the It Gets Better Project, and for all they've done to make it better. We also wanna thank MTV for acknowledging the video and what it stands for.
And, hey, MTV viewers—and only MTV viewers (cough, cough)—are invited to vote for for all general VMA categories at vma.mtv.com. MTV viewers (cough, cough) who are only interested in voting in the "Best Video With a Message" category can go straight here. Voting's open through August 16.
All the books in the Songs About Books project have one—and maybe only one—thing in common: I love them. So I was a little nervous when Levi Fuller, the brains behind SAB, decided to read all five books before the concert. What if he didn't like the books? These four novels (and one book of poetry) form an indelible boundary—on one side is good taste, and on the other is bad taste. You could have personal disagreements with one or two of these books, but what if he hated three or—choke!—even four of them? I would hate to discover that Fuller, who came up with this project in the first place, had bad taste.
Luckily, all five of Fuller's thoughtful book reviews are up, and I was relieved to discover that he has good taste. If you'd like to learn more about the books before you come to the concert, you should read his posts.
Go read his reviews, and then buy your tickets for the Songs About Books show. It's on August 19th, and you get a CD of the literature-inspired songs to keep with your tickets. I promise it'll be fun.
And if you're curious to hear what a musical book review (or a musical book report, or just a song about a book) sounds like, you should visit the Ball of Wax blog, where Levi Fuller has posted four songs from the project for your free listening pleasure.
These are books that I love, interpreted and experienced by some really wonderful musicians. That just about sounds like a perfect evening, to me. Hope to see you there.
Tim Keck, the man who inflicted the thing known as The Stranger onto the world, is the subject of a profile by the Seattle Times' Jonathan Martin. Martin calls The Stranger "crusading, constantly profane and sometimes hilarious." Considering the sorts of things we call Seattle Times, I'll take it.
...feed 'em Mars Bars and Snickers instead:
Children and adolescents who eat candy tend to weigh less than their non-consuming counterparts, according to a new study published in Food & Nutrition Research, a peer-reviewed journal. This is potentially important news given the current state of the childhood obesity epidemic. But lead researcher Carol O'Neil, PhD, MPH, LDN, RD, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, wants to ensure the study is put into perspective.
"The study illustrates that children and adolescents who consume candy are less likely to be overweight or obese," O'Neil said. "However, the results of this study should not be construed as a hall-pass to overindulge. Candy should not replace nutrient-dense foods in the diet; it is a special treat and should be enjoyed in moderation."
This is a potentially important detail: "This research project was supported by the USDA Agricultural Research Service through specific cooperative agreement 58-6250-6-003. Partial support was received from the USDA Hatch Project LAB 93951. Partial support was also received from the National Confectioners Association." (And where did the study's authors find "non-consuming counterparts," e.g. children who don't consume candy. I would've imagined that finding kids who don't consume candy would be at least as difficult as finding men who don't consume porn.)
Thanks for making things look so good all of the time around here.