In case you missed or want to see again the first movie I made with Rob Devor, Police Beat, it screens tomorrow (Wed, July 25) at West of Lenin.
Bodies have a way of turning up with alarming regularity in "Police Beat," a delicately funny tale about everyday surrealism. Directed by Robinson Devor and written with Charles Tonderai Mudede, the episodically structured film traces the ups and downs, sometimes literally, of an African transplant, Z (Pape Sidy Niang), who has, rather bewilderingly, found work as a Seattle bicycle cop. As he rides along the city's emptied streets, pulling the dead out of the water and the living out of trouble, this stranger in a strange land throws a mirror up to a world that alternately looks everything and nothing like our own.
If you can't make it (or if—gasp!—you don't like baked goods) you can still donate at caferacerlove.org.
See more of this weekend's food-related fun in our chow calendar!
Gee, maybe it has something to do with crap like this. (We need a term like "slut shaming" that applies in cases like this—e.g., when it's normal and healthy male sexuality and sexual expression that is being stigmatized and pathologized.)
UPDATE: And we may already have a winner:
Also Dan, it's easy: "Smut shaming"
Yesterday, Steve Barker interviewed me for his Ordinary Madness podcast, in which he talks with local folks doing interesting things in arts and entertainment. We talked about awards (of the Pulitzer and the Genius varieties) and presidential politics and movies (of the summer blockbuster and SIFF varieties). Today, that podcast is available for your streaming or downloadable pleasure.
However! I was rambly and tired and I fear that I was a bloviating mess. Luckily! Ordinary Madness has been around for a year, and so there's a great backlog of interviews that are all available for free. I would instead direct you to these other Ordinary Madness podcasts in the archives, with people who are actually doing interesting work and not just fucking up The Stranger's blog all the time:
If you're willing to dig a bit, there are all kinds of interesting folks further back in the archives: Ryan Boudinot, the folks behind Hoarse magazine, John Osebold, and Katie Kate, among others. Thanks to Steve for asking me to be on the show, and congratulations on a great first year.
Um, yeah, I'm against presidents drawing up top-secret "kill lists" and having the sole authority to order the execution of American citizens deemed to be national security threats. My opposition can be summed up in two words: "President Santorum."
All you have to do is come to the CakeSpy shop on Pine between 2 pm and 5 pm with some new socks (or cash) to donate to the wonderful Teen Feed organization. You hand over the socks, I hand over a cupcake. Easy!
On Monday the Seattle Times gave former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro precious space on its op/ed page to advocate for online voting:
HAVING served as Washington's chief elections official for 20 years, I am impressed by those advocating our state move to online voting.
While there still are security issues to resolve before we implement true online voting, I strongly encourage more elections officials to embrace available technologies that utilize the power of the Internet to make our elections more accessible and efficient, without compromising the security of a voter's ballot.
Okay. Fair enough. I'm a technologist at heart and don't entirely dismiss the notion that online voting could someday be made accessible, efficient, and secure. But in talking about something as central to democracy as the integrity of our voting system, you'd think both Munro and the Seattle Times might have bothered to disclose to readers that in addition to being a former secretary of state, Munro is also a current director and former longtime chairman of Dategrity Corporation (formerly VoteHere), a for-profit company selling online voting technology.
This strikes me as a pretty ginormous conflict of interest.
That Munro is "impressed by those advocating our state move to online voting" shouldn't come as much of a surprise to the handful of us election integrity wonks familiar with Munro's decade-long leadership of VoteHere/Dategrity. But the fact that the Seattle Times didn't see fit to mention this to their readers is simply mind-fuckingly irresponsible.
Munro is a "former Washington Secretary of State," the paper tells us. He "served as Washington's election chief for 20 years." That makes him sound awfully damn credible. But while I don't doubt that he genuinely believes in online voting, the fact that Munro stands to make more than few bucks should it be widely adopted is something he and the editors had an ethical obligation to disclose. You know, context and all that.
Makes me wonder how much of the rest of their op/ed page is similarly filled with advertorials?
We interrupt Slog silence to let you know that Brendan Kiley will be on Weekday on KUOW shortly to discuss the implications of vandalism—or, as some call it, violence—as a political tactic yesterday and in general.
Here's where you can listen live to KUOW.
And nepotism, that's why!
Anyway, Today in Baseball History is very Chicago-centric:
1916 In Chicago, the Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park beating the Reds in 11 innings, 7-6. The ballpark will be renamed Wrigley Field in 1926.
Wheeghman Park had been home of the Chicago Whales of the Federal League, and I kind of wish the National League club had taken the Whales nickname when their owner bought the Cubs. It would be an accurate description of the size of so many sausage-chomping and beer-swilling Midwestern fans, not to mention players like Hack Wilson and Rick Reuschel, and would provide a connection to the fauna of the Pacific Northwest, somewhat justifying this post.
1946 The Cubs are shut out by Cardinal southpaw Harry Brecheen in their home opener at Wrigley Field, 2-0. The game is the first in the club's history be televised with 'Whispering' Joe Wilson doing the play-by-play on Chicago's WBKB.
1967 Rookie hurler Tom Seaver gets his first major-league win when the Mets beat the Cubs, 6-1. 'Tom Terrific' goes 7 2/3 innings giving up eight hits and one run.
1997 In the second game of a doubleheader, the Cubs stop their season-opening losing skid at 14 games beating the Mets, 4-3. By losing the opener, Chicago set a National League record (0-14) for the most consecutive losses to start a season and has the second-worst record behind the Baltimore Orioles who lost 21 decisions before winning a game in 1988.
Am listening to the Cubs blow a game to the Reds right now, already down 4 runs in the middle of the first. Reds have batted around. If they win today, it's the Cincinnati franchise's 10,000th win. Ah, History! Makes my upcoming colonoscopy seem all the more appropriate.
Here's an exclusive Savage U teaser/clip/taste just for Slog...
Think of it as 18 and Not Pregnant—that's how I think of it. A show about what your life can be like if you manage to get through high school without making a baby. You can go to college! You can have sex, if you haven't already, with protection! And with an eye on your future! A future that an unplanned pregnancy would really screw up! And one day some obnoxious gay dude will show up on campus and answer your sex questions!
I have the attention span of a goldfish, so the prospect of sitting still and silently through a play without an intermission makes me break out in hives. It's why I don't write theater reviews. Add to that the fact that David Schmader himself has said that it would be impossible for anyone at this paper to review this show, for obvious, nepotistic reasons. But holy cowfish. I've seen A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem, twice now, and Schmader is brilliant. He's as hilarious as you'd naturally expect, but, much more importantly, riveting from beginning to end. I strongly encourage you to get tickets before it ends on April 14. Or somebody might beat the crap out of you. Like, yourself.
Hot on the heels of a week in which solo performance became a viral internet topic on par with Kim Kardashian being doused with flour (thank you, Mike Daisey, for real; even before this hubbub, Daisey had done more to popularize the entertainment value of one person talking onstage than anyone since Spalding Gray), tonight I'm launching an encore run of my new solo play A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem at Hugo House.
Fair question in the wake o' Daiseygate: Is it true? Yes. This isn't always the case with my shows—here's an explanation of my show Straight's journey from page to stage—but this time it is. In fact, there are things mentioned in this show that I would pay a lot of money to have be not-true. But c'est la vie.
Also, not only am I Stranger staffer, the show has a couple chunks that explicitly reference my work at The Stranger, which means it's basically impossible for anyone at The Stranger to review this show. But here are write-ups from Seattlest, Culture Mob, the Seattle Times, and the SGN.
And did I mention Kim Kardashian was doused with flour??
Let's begin with Biomapping. It's is a "tool for visualizing people's reactions to the external world." It was invented by Christian Nold, a London-based artist, and inspired by psychogeography, a core situationist theory and practice. But psychogeography, the study of the relationship between emotions and features of urban space, never left the limits of fun and games. It was a great idea, and even a deep one, but it failed to produce a school of professionals or a unified body of serious research. Psychogeography never became more than a 20th century form of flaneurie.
Biomapping, on the other hand, has real political, academic, architectural, and commercial potential—indeed, Nold had to copyright the concept because marketers were too quick to exploit it. Information about how people internally experience or feel certain parts of the city is not just beautiful but very useful.
To learn more about these potential uses, listen to this lecture by Nold. I'm also teaching a class at Hugo House this April that will incorporate Nold's findings into (hopefully) a new thinking about writing and the urban experience.
I always get emotional when I see a train pulling out of Columbia City Station...
Hello! I am writing this from Florida, where I have just returned after a cruise of the Caribbean with my parents to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. (Everything that needs to be said about how I feel about my parents was said many years ago by Lefty Frizzell. And everything that needs to be said about cruise ship vacations was said a few years ago by David Foster Wallace.)
Anyway, soon I will be back, and in addition to resuming my Slog-n-Stranger chores, I'll be doing a four-week encore run of my solo play A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem at Hugo House. Shows run March 23-April 14, Friday and Saturday nights, eight performances total. Full info and tickets available here.
Hello! A couple weeks ago I slogged about my new solo play upcoming at Hugo House.
This past weekend brought the final Hugo House performances, which were sold out to the point that a lot of people who wanted to see the show couldn't, so we're doing an encore Hugo House show this Saturday at 8 pm.
Full show info and tickets available here.
1. If you're only planning to do one fun thing this weekend, I'd encourage you to go see my coworker David Schmader's solo play, A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem, at the Hugo House. It's just terrific: Repeatedly laugh-out-loud funny, devastating, true, and very smart. I think it could very well be his single best piece of writing, and if you don't manage to find something of yourself in his performance, there's probably something wrong with you.
3. Also tonight, we just got an e-mail that Fancy Mud, the most recent production from surrealist vaudeville troupe Le Frenchword, is having a slushy Friday-night special for those who are willing to leave their homes. All tickets to tonight's showing of Fancy Mud at the Re-bar are just $10. I really liked Fancy Mud when I reviewed it back in September, calling it "a well-acted Three Stooges routine, plumped up on pretension and massive amounts of processed sugar."
4. Tomorrow night, Alexis M. Smith reads at Elliott Bay Book Company. Glaciers is a debut novel about Portland, about the Pacific Northwest, and about how people are all made up of a strange, non-linear mess of points in time and space. Read some of the book here. This looks like the big reading of the weekend.
5. Other weekend book events—including an appearance by Seattle Sounder Steve Zakuani at Secret Garden Bookshop!—can be found in the readings calendar.
I moved to Seattle in the summer of 1991, after getting a BFA in theater from the North Carolina School of the Arts (which seemed like a good idea at the time). In 1993, I wrote and performed my first solo play, Letter to Axl, which The Stranger’s then-theater critic was very kind to, and which The Stranger’s then-editor Emily White liked enough to run an excerpt of as a feature story.
Thus began my unholy alliance with The Stranger, with my next two shows (1998’s Exploring Whoring and 1999’s Straight) adapted from stories originally written for The Stranger and directed for the stage by Dan Savage.
In 1999, I was offered a job on the Stranger staff and I took it, and I never wrote a full-length solo play ever again.
Until now. My new show A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem opens this Friday at Richard Hugo House (whose program director Brian McGuigan commissioned it). Cienna Madrid wrote some words about it here, Hanna Brooks Olsen wrote some words about it at Seattlest, and you can find full info here.
Thus ends Slog’s most conflict-of-interest-ridden post since….some time last week, probably.
I may be far ahead of the pack—my nearest competitor, Cornell West, is behind me by 4K+ votes—but I am not taking victory for granted. No premature celebrations. VOTE FOR MEEEEEEEEEE!
...but I'd like to win. Vote for me!
Of course, what I said that earned me a Moore Award nomination was a true and accurate characterization of the position taken by HPV vaccine opponents. I stand by it and I don't think accurately describing the POVs of anti-HPV vaccine POS's counts as "divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric." But still! It's an honor just to be nominated! VOTE FOR ME!
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!
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