The emperor writes:
"Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Or that this noble vintage is grape juice, and the purple robes are sheep wool dyed with shellfish blood. Or making love—something rubbing against your penis, a brief seizure and a little cloudy liquid.
Perceptions like that—latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That's what we need to do all the time—all through our lives when things lay claim to our trust—to lay them bare and see how pointless they are, to strip away the legend that encrusts them."
The American sings:
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog says the Egyptian Theatre is closing at the end of this month. Film lover Sean Gilman (who appropriately enough tweets as @TheEndofCinema) sets the closing date as June 27th.
Another @LTSeattle theatre gone. As of June 27th the Egyptian Theatre is closed. That's three in just over two years.
— Sean Gilman (@TheEndofCinema) June 16, 2013
@pobrecito Don't know. Apparently SCCC was unhappy with their lease proposal. Maybe they got a better offer (like w/Neptune & Metro).
— Sean Gilman (@TheEndofCinema) June 16, 2013
Landmark Theatres, which runs the Egyptian (as well as the Harvard Exit, the Guild 45th, The Seven Gables, the Varsity, and the Crest), has not yet issued a statement. We don't yet know if the Egyptian is staying open under new ownership, or if it's simply closing for good, so you might want to wait to make your "Capitol Hill/Cinema is dead" arguments until we know the whole story.
My heart goes out to the employees at the Egyptian, who have always been absolutely wonderful movie nerds.
The very good author of science fiction and literary fiction died at age 59, according to the BBC. Back in April, Banks announced he had cancer and would not likely live for a year. Even though we knew this was coming, it's still very sad news.
They gave inspiration to others but evidently not to themselves...
Two life coaches who hosted a radio show called "The Pursuit of Happiness" apparently committed suicide together in their Brooklyn apartment, police said.
Motivational speaker John Littig, 48, and his common-law psychotherapist wife, Lynne Rosen, 46, were found with plastic bags over their heads and a tube attached to a canister of helium, according to police.
Two suicide notes were found, police said.
How their deaths were discovered:
The manager of the building, Hasan Boztepe, 51, said he smelled a strong odor coming from the apartment and broke down the door Monday morning after no one answered his repeated knocks.
He found the bodies sitting on a couch, holding hands.
The beloved science fiction pioneer has died, Locus Magazine says:
SF Grand Master Jack Vance, 96, died May 26, 2013 in Oakland CA. Vance was one of the most influential SF authors of the postwar period, and his visionary imagination and sophisticated, often playful use of language inspired countless SF writers, including Avram Davidson, Harlan Ellison, Matthew Hughes, George R.R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, and Gene Wolfe. His landmark Dying Earth sequence, set in the far future, began with collection The Dying Earth (1950) and continued with novel The Eyes of the Overworld (1966), Cugel’s Saga (1983), Rhialto the Marvelous (1984), and several related stories. Vance redefined the nature of planetary romance with his Big Planet (1952), and continued exploring that universe in sequel Showboat World (1975).
I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read very much Vance—a couple novellas, I think, and Dying Earth—but I've read dozens of books that wouldn't have existed without Vance pointing the way.
(Via Sarah Weinman.)
Some Mudedes like to tell capitalism that it's dead, others like to...
A Mutare man seeking to renew his passport was told at the Registrar-General Office he was long dead and was shown a death certificate to prove it.
Elias Simbarashe Munanzwi got the shock of his life when last month he was told by officials that he could not renew his passport because there was a death certificate bearing his name, identity number, date of birth and village of origin.
“I was shocked to learn that records from the RG’s Office show that I am dead,” he said. “Up to now, I fail to understand how a death certificate was created bearing all my identity particulars.”
I'm standing around a plywood work table in a backyard in Seward Park on a cloudy Saturday afternoon with a scalpel in one hand and a can of Pabst in the other, working up the nerve to slice into the frozen rat in front of me. Most of the people around the table have thawing bunnies in front of them; I opted for the rat because he struck me as more approachable. His eyes are closed and unlike most of the other creatures on the table, his mouth isn't stained with blood.
"Make a shallow cut along the back from the shoulder blades to about the hip bones," instructs Mickey Alice Kwapis, our twenty-something instructor. Kwapis taught herself taxidermy in 2011 and now travels across the country giving lessons on "ethical taxidermy." She buys her rabbit specimens from a meat processor plant that would otherwise throw them out. She tells me the rats were bred for snake food, destined for zoos until they ended up here, on this table, as part of a four-hour taxidermy tutorial instead.
My reasons for taking the class, other than simple curiosity, are personal. I am the proud owner of a chronically sick rat terrier, which means I brace for bad news at nearly every vet appointment. At our last monthly check-up, I met a very nice woman who has taxidermied all of her pet cats for the past 20 years. As she flipped through photos of delicately posed cats on her iphone, I thought, "Could I do that? Would I do that???" I'm here to find out.
Cutting into a frozen rat feels like slicing a frozen banana. That's the worst part, really, the first cut—and the pervasive dead rat smell. After that cut, fascination sets in, the awe of gently pulling aside the (hairy) curtain and seeing what's inside the creature in front of you. If you do it right, the process is not bloody. It simply takes patience and dexterity with both a scalpel and a sewing needle. I am good with none of those things. Coring and stuffing a rat settled my mind; my dog will not be taxidermied. When the time comes, he will be bronzed like my first baby shoes, teeth, and maxi pad.
My eleven taxidermy cohorts were respectful, curious, and full of good questions. Here are the answers to a few:
On taxidermying roadkill: It may be illegal (in Washington, it's definitely illegal to take big game). Check with your state's department of fish and wildlife.
On blood: Peroxide takes it out of anything.
On storage: "My freezer is 30 percent booze and 70 percent dead animals," Kwapis says.
Kwapis will be back in Seattle to teach another round of beginner taxidermy classes September 13-15 at The Belfry in Pioneer Square. Check out www.detroittaxidermy.com for more details.
Photos from the taxidermy class after the jump. Not for the squeamish.
And recent days gave me a good but sad one, as this past Friday, Alan O'Day, the songwriter who created "Angie Baby" (as well as the #1 hit "Undercover Angel" and the hilariously titled album Caress Me Pretty Music) passed away at age 72. Here's the cartoon video that was made of his career-defining song, which was broadcast on The Sonny and Cher Show. Also, today is Cher's birthday. Anyway, please enjoy the cartoon "Angie Baby." (And if you need more Angie, don't miss this great live performance and this unnerving computer animation.)
RIP, Alan O'Day.
Let's begin with a passage in the Wikipedia entry for Malcolm X's wife, Betty Shabazz...
Following the arrest of her daughter Qubilah for allegedly conspiring to murder Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz took in her young grandson Malcolm. He set a fire in her apartment that caused severe burns to Shabazz. Shabazz died three weeks later as a result of her injuries.Something bad happened to her grandson today...
Thursday morning, May 9, 2013 [Malcolm Shabazz died] from injuries sustained after he was thrown off a building or shot as he was being robbed in Tijuana.
The special effects pioneer has died. He was 92. Digital effects in mainstream movies are a couple decades old now, and I've yet to see a digital monster that impresses me the way a good Harryhausen creature impresses me.
Pulled over by Middlefield, Ohio police for running a stop sign on March 10, James Gilkerson emerged from his car with an AK-47 blazing, firing 37 rounds at the cruiser before being shot dead by the officers. The two officers amazingly escaped with only minor injuries.
The recently released dash-cam video is nothing short of shocking, so be forewarned: DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE VIDEO OF A MAN BEING SHOT TO DEATH! Also, do not watch this if you do not want to see video of a man unloading 37 rounds directly at the camera.
Honestly. I don't want to hear anybody yelling at me about posting this video. I've warned you. I've even put it after the jump. You don't have to watch. SO DON'T WATCH THIS!
Well, I suppose that's one way to rein in the costs of Social Security and Medicare:
Suicide rates among middle-age Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription pain killers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
Really, NY Times? That's the message you're taking away from these stats: That a surge in baby boomer suicides may be linked to easy access to prescription pain killers? That's the one possible contributing factor you choose to highlight in your lede?
In fact, year after year, about half of all suicides are committed using firearms, by far the most popular suicide method—especially among middle-age men, the group with the highest suicide rate by a long shot. True, the CDC data found that poisoning by all sources (including prescription painkillers) was up 18.5 percent for middle-age men since 1999, but the growth in firearm suicides didn't lag far behind, up 14.9 percent. Meanwhile the big winner in the suicide method sweepstakes was suffocation, up 75 percent for middle-age men since 1999, and a whopping 115 percent for middle-age women. Hanging yourself is the new eating your gun! Who knew?
Tragically, 21,754 Americans age 35-64 committed suicide in 2010 (more than died in car accidents), 10,393 by shooting themselves with a gun. Poisoning by all means—not just prescription painkillers—came in a distant second at 4,722 middle-age suicides, suffocation third at 4,117 but gaining fast. And yet it's "easy access" to palliative care, not guns (or ropes) that our nation's paper of record chooses to warn us about.
(And by the way, if there's a statistic that really jumps out from this report, it's that the suicide rate for middle-age white men jumped 39.6 percent compared to only 4.7 percent for Asian men, 1.9 percent for Hispanic men, and 1.0 percent for black men. A middle-age white man is now three times more likely to commit suicide than a middle-age black, Asian, or Hispanic man. Go figure.)
CLACKAMAS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon cleaning worker was killed when he fell into a running blender at a meat-processing plant, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.
I think I'm going to make a nice tempeh dish for dinner tonight.
A 747 cargo plane crashed yesterday at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, shortly after takeoff, killing seven crew members. Warning: Don't watch this video unless you want to watch video of a 747 falling out of the sky and exploding on impact.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility, but there's no sign of a missile or anything. Instead, this has more of a look of a catastrophic failure due to cargo shifting on takeoff.
Her experience is not so different from that of many young American women now, caught in a post-post-feminist narrative in which it is proposed that sexual emancipation may be achieved through emotional disengagement. Whatever light “Waiting to Be Heard” does or does not shed on the awful death of Meredith Kercher, it offers a dispiriting account of prevailing mores. It is not new for students to “give casual sex a chance.” (Today’s twenty-year-olds may be surprised to learn that even their parents might have tried it.) It is new for girls to strive to adopt the sexual behavior of the most opportunistic guy on campus. “I wanted sex to be about empowerment and pleasure, not about Does this person like me? Will he still like me tomorrow?” Knox writes. But if empowerment, that much abused and much diminished term, means anything it means being able to say no as well as yes, without censure or shame.
Mead's point is subtle and finely argued, but there's a faint whiff of disgust in it, isn't there? The comparison Mead makes to Portrait of a Lady does something to honor Knox's own desires and agency as she set out for Italy, but then the knife turns, and it turns on the question of Knox's attitude about sex. I mean, if an adult woman wants to "adopt the sexual behavior of the most opportunistic guy on campus," shouldn't she be allowed to? Isn't that her prerogative? Granted, The Stranger hasn't gotten our copy yet, so I'm just spouting off here. But isn't there something a little dispiriting in what Mead's saying, too?
The awful headline:
...A tweet ID’ing Tripathi as a suspect rocketed around the Internet last week after the FBI released images of the suspects. The Atlantic chronicled the spread of misinformation, beginning with a tweet by a user named Greg Hughes.
Reporters from media outlets including Politico, BuzzFeed and Newsweek retweeted Tripathi’s name, Alexis Madrigal reported...
Reddit played a role in spreading the misinformation too. And so did Slog.
And now this Brown University student has been found dead, floating in Providence's waters.
UPDATE: It appears he may have died some time ago, and that the misidentification happened after his death (thank you, commenters). So Twitter just made his family's life more of a living hell.
Nothing like a press release from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to cheer up your day:
The time for spring cleaning is here, and with it, the risk of exposure to serious animal-carried diseases like hantavirus and rabies. The Department of Health recommends taking precautions when cleaning areas where wild animals may have been. Visible droppings, nests, dead rodents or bats are signs of animals that can carry these dangerous diseases.
“Although these illnesses are rare, they can be deadly,” says State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes.
The news release page on the DOH web site is always an uplifting read. For example, in recent months I've enjoyed "Tick season is here and the state Department of Health is collecting them," "Chicks and ducklings can carry Salmonella, putting kids at risk," and of course the classic "Seattle psychologist suspended indefinitely due to mental illness."
Journalism's Best Week Ever™ continues with the news that Reuters accidentally published George Soros's obituary a few minutes ago. Here's their tweet about it:
Reuters published an obituary of George Soros in error. Reuters withdrew the article as soon as it appeared.— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 18, 2013
Unfortunately, that's a lie. The obituary was not withdrawn as soon as it was posted—at the moment, you can still access the obituary. Just in case Reuters ever does get around to withdrawing it, I've posted it below.
George Soros, enigmatic financier, liberal philanthropist dies at XX
By Todd Eastham
WASHINGTON, XXX | Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:41pm EDT
(Reuters) - George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions.
The rest is after the jump.
Strewn among the week's tales of gun-wielding toddlers and ambitious heroin scams is this local horror:
FRIDAY, APRIL 12 In worse news, the week continues in Seattle, where today KING 5 News obtained surveillance video capturing the final moments of Mauriceo Bell, the 42-year-old Seattle man who died last Sunday morning in the downtown Metro bus tunnel, where he'd fallen on a moving escalator and was strangled by his clothes. "Surveillance shows him staggering, leaning on the rail for support, and towards the bottom, falling backwards," reports KING 5. "Bell died at the bottom of the escalator, strangled by his own clothing." Important fact #1: "KING 5 has found that particular escalator was not up-to-date on repairs and maintenance... Checking inspection reports on the state Labor & Industries website, it appears Metro owns and operates 78 escalators and elevators. In almost every case, the reports show required repairs not completed and boxes that would signify the work has been done not checked off. Some are weeks overdue, some months overdue. Some go back to 2011. KING 5 found only four out of 78 appeared to be up to date." Important fact #2: "Bell was a father of four and 'a good standup father,' his younger brother says, despite having a long record of run-ins with the law, mostly drug related," reports KING 5, acknowledging that police found a half-empty brandy bottle in Bell's back pocket. "But [Bell's brother] has a message to anybody jumping to conclusions about Bell's character or the circumstances of his death. 'No matter what you say about him, he paid taxes, too. He should have been able to trust his transit system,' he said. 'And isn't that what we're supposed to do if we're inebriated? Take the bus home? Take transit?'"
Condolences to the family of Mauriceo Bell, who will likely end up very sad gazillionaires.
A memorial service for longtime Democratic political consultant Blair Butterworth will be held Sunday, April 21, 10:30 a.m., at Town Hall, Seattle. Butterworth died March 29 at age 74, after a long battle with cancer.
I really liked Butterworth. I get along just fine with nearly all the consultants (secretly, even some of the Republican ones!), but by the time I met Butterworth he had settled into a wise old uncle role that I found both welcoming and instructive. Butterworth had a knack for being brutally blunt without ever coming off as either unfriendly or dismissive. And he was almost always good for a quotable quip:
Butterworth is admirably succinct when asked what he thinks of Vance's contention that the Republicans have a new message and less abrasive tone that will put them back in the game. "It's bullshit. Vance is in denial," he says. Butterworth contends that since 1988, when Pat Robertson's Christian soldiers hijacked the Republican Party caucuses, the state's Republican base has been dominated by anti-government wackos: "It's awfully hard to recruit a great athlete to play on your team if you hate the game."
Politics is a nasty, adversarial game, and it's got to be played that way if you're playing to win. Beyond his skills as a political operative, Butterworth's gift was that he excelled at this profession without ever losing his humanity or his sense of humor. He will be missed.
Of course these fuckers have to get in on it:
The Westboro Baptist Church gleefully announced via Twitter that it will "picket [the] funerals of those dead by Boston Bombs" after two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three, and injuring at least 150. Naturally, the WBC welcomed this development, as it regards any and all disasters as punishment from god for America's supposed moral decline, particularly gay marriage.
For those of you saying that everyone should just agree to ignore the Westboro Baptist Church: It's relatively easy to ignore a troll online, but when they're picketing a funeral of a loved one, it becomes impossible to ignore.
I can't process this and I can't get over it. So I'm sharing it with you, even though many of you may already have seen it.
A Canadian teenager, who was allegedly gang-raped and bullied, has died, her family said.
Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, was hospitalized after she tried to hang herself Thursday. The high school student from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was taken off life support Sunday.
The teen was bullied for more than a year after the alleged sexual assault in November 2011 when she was 15, her family said.
In addition to the sexual assault, a photo taken during the incident was circulated to friends via text and online, and she developed suicidal thoughts as a result, according to her family.
We all know oh so well that bullying teenagers can kill them (finding all five of those links took about 30 seconds). Here's hoping that one more story, and a story as horrifying as "teenage girl raped and then slutshamed to death for it," serves as a spur in the side of this complex network of interconnected humans, of which we are all a part, to be slightly less shitty. And as a warning sign to parents, schools, and law enforcement to take this stuff as seriously as possible.
I needed to take a brain-bath after I spent a little too much time reading about this. So if you need that, too, here you go: a bunch of pictures of a baby covered in puppies.
This e-petition needs to be revived:
In keeping with the great lady's legacy, Margaret Thatcher's state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders.Live by neoliberalism...
The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.
Read Write Web wins the inessential race today with a dumb blog post written by someone who's hoping to piggyback some pageviews on the news of Roger Ebert's death. Here's the nut of the post:
I know Roger Ebert like most of you. I know him from his many film review shows, from his numerous and well-written movie reviews syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, and his many appearances on late-night talk shows. It was through Twitter, however, where I felt most close to him.
Now that Ebert has died, should I unfollow him? Should you? Is there a protocol for this?
This is the question you should bring up the next time someone says there are no stupid questions, just to prove them wrong. Some things should not be blogged. Some ideas that you idly consider while taking a shit should just remain inside your brain until they starve to death from lack of stimulation.
The former Mousketeer has died at age 70.
It's Morrissey versus Elvis Costello over on Line Out!