We're observing Slog silence from now until 11 a.m. while we have an editorial meeting, but look—we made an entire paper's worth of stuff for you!
1. GOLDY is apparently a grown man. He's been writing for well over a decade now, and the various personal anecdotes he cannot refrain from spilling throughout his writing would indicate that he's been on this earth for at least four, maybe five decades. Why, then, would a man who's so firmly entrenched in midlife write a news story with the headline "Fuck the State" that accuses state legislators of terrorism? In another "news" story in this very issue, Goldy complains about the price of fast food. Explain in a brief essay exactly what is wrong with Goldy. Examples of a useful diagnosis include: He's suffered an embolism that has impaired his judgment, he recently lived through a personal loss that inspired him to act irresponsibly as an attention-getting measure, or the name "Goldy" is simply a pseudonym that is passed from Stranger writer to Stranger writer, with the most recent owner of the sobriquet being a teenage boy.
2. Speaking of teenagers, DAVID SCHMADER wastes nearly a thousand words on Morrissey's new autobiography, ultimately concluding that perhaps Morrissey is not very bright. Rather than appearing in the music section, where this kind of puerile diatribe is the norm, it's instead published in the books section. If you can, identify any literary merit in Schmader's review. Use a microscope if necessary.
3. DOMINIC HOLDEN crows about the end of the Seattle City Council as we know it. Unfortunately, the city council is still going to be around in its current iteration for two more years, which means that Holden is essentially burning a bridge before he crosses it. Imagine if you were to hold an "intervention" of sorts for Mr. Holden. Which of his self-destructive behaviors would you bring up first?
4. Did you read CHARLES MUDEDE's article about Black Weirdos? Why?
5. In the theater section, CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE gleefully rips apart 5th Avenue Theatre's staging of Oliver! This "review" is as pretentious as it is wrongheaded, failing to appreciate the play's deft use of child actors and its willingness to choose crowd-pleasing over the too-theatrical. Similarly, in the chow section, BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT denounces a sandwich-and-teriyaki shop on the grounds that it is merely good enough for the neighborhood in which it exists. Shouldn't The Stranger utilize a positive worldview and encourage the city's arts and business communities instead of constantly running them down? (Submit your answer to this question as a comment on any article on The Stranger's website.)
We're observing Slog silence from now until 11 a.m. while we have an editorial meeting, but look—we made an entire paper's worth of stuff for you!
1. DAN SAVAGE writes about The Stranger’s 2013 Holiday Charity Challenge, which pits fans of Slog, Pearl Jam, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis against each other in an effort to raise money for the Orion Center, which is definitely a worthy cause. However, the demographics of this charity fundraiser are highly problematic. To wit: The Stranger’s staff is made up of a majority of white men, and this drive pits them against two white men and another group of five white men. White men make up less than one-third of Seattle, which means this charity function woefully underrepresents more than two-thirds of the city. This brings two questions to mind:
a. What do these demographics indicate about The Stranger’s inherent white-male-supremacist leanings?
b. Given the disgusting sexism and racism fueling this drive, should the Orion Center consider returning the money from this fundraiser, rather than redirecting the resources to young homeless people in need of food, clothing, and shelter? Wouldn’t Orion Center’s refusal of the money give those needy youths a more meaningful message than providing services funded by dirty phallo-Caucasianist money?
2. In the news section, ANNA MINARD has an overlong account of lame-duck outgoing mayor Mike McGinn and his battle with the Seattle Police Department over the purchase of some SUVs. McGinn, of course, would prefer that the SPD buy hybrids. Can you think of a better way for Mayor McGinn to waste the remaining dregs of his political life than a piddling battle over a couple of gas-guzzlers? Does this story make you feel kind of sorry for McGinn, finally?
3. This week’s tiny issue of The Stranger also contains the winter issue of A&P, the quarterly arts publication that is written and produced by the staff of The Stranger. Can you spot any differences between A&P and The Stranger? From a marketing standpoint, why would The Stranger choose to “fracture” its “brand” like this?
4. JEN GRAVES has contributed a 6,000-plus-word essay about Native Americans and photography as the centerpiece of this issue of A&P. If you can, imagine a human being who could read this piece from beginning to end. What superhuman characteristics does this imaginary human being possess that enable him/her to get all the way to the ending without dying of boredom or injuring her/himself to bring some kind of an ending to the ordeal? Would killing this imaginary person be considered a mercy or a sin?
5. This issue of A&P features more comics than you’ll find in a standard issue of The Stranger. Is this a blessing or a curse? Would your opinion change if A&P ran comics that were actually funny, like Get Fuzzy or FoxTrot? Does pretentiousness have a place on the comics page?
Hey, look—we made an an entire paper's worth of stuff for you!
1. When it’s expedient for The Stranger to do so, the newspaper mocks glossy magazines like Seattle Metropolitan for running purportedly advertorial content. This week’s Stranger contains a collection of highly advertorial essays promoting local restaurants, distilleries, and spas, as well as hot tub sales and topical ointments. Write an essay from the point of view of The Stranger explaining why shilling for businesses is “cool” when an alternative weekly decides to do it, but decidedly “uncool” when a glossy magazine chooses to do the same thing. Draw your own simple “pop-art” illustration for your essay (that’s what they often do).
2. In the beginning of her most recent review, JEN GRAVES admits to being delinquent in her duties as a reviewer of visual art. When a reviewer opens a review by admitting failure in important parts of her job, does that make you more or less likely to read the review that follows? If you answered “more,” why would that possibly be the case? Consider your own work ethic and level of professional accomplishment when formulating your answer.
3. PAUL CONSTANT interviews a standup comedian in the books section. Has Mr. Constant completely given up on reviewing books with any literary merit? Do you think that Mr. Constant—who has outed himself as a reader of comic books on several occasions—even cares about literature as an art form? Name at least three Seattleites who could do a better job as a book reviewer than Mr. Constant. Why do they not have this job?
4. Rather than interview the Cave Singers about music, TRENT MOORMAN decides to waste most of his allotted time joshing around about calluses and blisters. If you can, explain the joke.
5. Speaking of advertorial content, DAN SAVAGE has written a page-long “think piece” about HUMP!, The Stranger’s annual amateur porn festival. Mr. Savage, of course, has made a so-called “career” out of trafficking in other people’s perversions, and HUMP! is only one manifestation of his voyeuristic empire. Given that Mr. Savage makes money in exchange for (other people’s) sex, would that make him a prostitute or a pimp? Is “pimpstitute” a thing? Should it be?
Remember: Slog commenters are throwing themselves a Slog Happy tonight at the Canterbury at 7 pm. I'll be there, and so will Stranger staffers Brendan Kiley and Bethany Jean Clement.
Plus: Cienna Madrid is coming, and she'll be bringing along a few books from Hell's Lending Library to hand out to some lucky Sloggers. If you're looking for a white elephant gift, or maybe a gift for someone you don't really like, Hell's Lending Library is the bookstore you want to visit.
We'll see you tonight!
Beloved Slog commenter mr. herriman wants you to know that Slog commenters have arranged a Slog Happy to take place this Friday, November 22nd, at 7 pm. It's at the Canterbury, and mr. herriman writes that this is likely to be the last chance for Slog to say farewell to Capitol Hill's half-assedest medieval-themed bar, as it's shutting down at the end of the year. Come get your post-work or pre-show drink among friends, and try out the unique thrill of commenting in real life, which the olds used to call "having a conversation" in the days before the internet. All are welcome. Well, except for that one asshole commenter. He knows who he is. But everyone else is welcome! See you Friday.
We're observing Slog silence from now until 11 a.m. while we have an editorial meeting, but look—we made an entire paper's worth of stuff for you!
1. REBECCA BROWN has another essay in The Stranger this week. Her work has appeared here with frightening regularity over the last few years for someone whose name does not appear on the masthead of the paper. If you wanted to contribute frequently to a newspaper as notably cash-poor and morality-challenged as The Stranger, what do you believe you'd have to do to "earn" the job? If your answer includes sexual favors, please be sure to employ the Latinate form in your response—e.g., "fellatio"—to avoid unnecessary vulgarity.
2. But why would anyone want to work for The Stranger? Then their byline would appear proximate to BRENDAN KILEY's turgid theater reviews, which manage to make two new plays sound as uninteresting as... well, a piece of writing by Kiley himself. If you can, list one reason working alongside Kiley would be considered anything but a detriment to one's career.
3. For the first time in 13 years, MEGAN SELING has made a smart decision. She's leaving Seattle behind for Nashville, which is a city that is utterly unlike Seattle in at least one respect: It has a respectable and worthwhile alternative weekly. But since leaving quietly would be the sensible option, Seling instead pens a parting essay that makes several questionable claims, including the absurd assertion that Nashville has better chocolate and coffee than Seattle. Further, she peppers her essay with overemotive ALL-CAPS statements, indicating that, if anything, her time at The Stranger has done the opposite of assisting in her maturation. Write a letter back to Seling that politely explains the grievous error she made in giving the best decade of her life to The Stranger, but also offers hope for her future in a city located in the heart of the conservative South. Be the better person in this particular writer/reader relationship and wish her luck, even if you do not really mean it.
4. CIENNA MADRID writes another bitter article about the city council's positive relationship with mayor-elect Ed Murray, whom The Stranger did not endorse in the last election. Pretend that Murray risked his life saving a basketful of kittens from a burning car in the middle of a busy freeway. As a thought exercise, write a Madrid-style headline to top a biased Stranger story about Murray's brave rescue. Bonus points if your headline attempts to arouse the ire of people who prefer dogs as pets and works in a pro-transit bullet point in 10 words or less.
Let's Open with Good News: The King County Council swooped in to save the Orion Center's young adult shelter.
Good News, Part 2: Meshless: Less than a week after a Stranger report hit the streets, SPD says they're disabling a controversial mesh network.
Good News, Part 3: Kshama Wins! At an exuberant event, Kshama Sawant says "The eyes of the left, nationally and internationally, are on Seattle." The City Council is reportedly "apoplectic" over this news. Richard Conlin conceded yesterday, and now the whole country's talking about socialism again.
No Time Like the Present: Goldy says don't listen to the Seattle Times, because now is the time for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
All Eyes on Boeing: International Association of Machinists Local 751 rejected what Goldy calls Boeing's "
suicide pact contract" offer. Goldy tried to be rational about this Boeing mess, but he knows that Boeing doesn't exactly trade in rational thought. And hey, why is the best writing about this coming from the New York Times, and not the Seattle Times?
Spoiler Warning—Megan Wins: Megan Seling and Twitter took on Mars Hill's Pastor Mark Driscoll this week. Here's what happened.
Kirby Wilbur Does Not Want to Elaborate: The former Washington State Republican chair stands by his comments that protesters were "witches and hags."
Ain't No Comma Like an Oxford Comma: Brendan Kiley explains why.
From a Van Down By the River, Obviously: Christopher Frizzelle asks Slog where he should buy his next mattress.
New Used Books: Anna Minard checks out the new Twice Sold Tales in Ballard.
In this week's paper edition of The Stranger, in the Chow Events calendar, we erroneously listed Ethan Stowell's Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off as happening this coming Sunday. In fact, it is happening on Sunday, November 24. It's at Tavolata, and you get to try 117-ish kinds of macaroni and cheese made by pro chefs and notable amateurs, plus lots of beer, and proceeds benefit the Fetal Hope Foundation. We regret the error, and you should go to this, because MACARONI AND CHEESE (PLURAL) plus CHARITY.
In related Chow Events news: Tommy Gun on Capitol Hill has debuted Mac & Cheese Monday, in which you may comfort yourself on Monday evening with a full-size serving of macaroni and cheese for just $3. Also, drinks. No one here has tried their macaroni and cheese—have you?
(Want to make your own at home? Here is my macaroni and cheese recipe from Slog of yesteryear.)
1. Now that The Stranger's favored mayoral candidate has suffered a crushing defeat, the time has come to try to mend bridges that have been burned to ashes. In this case, The Stranger's shriveled olive branch is titled "The Smartest People in Seattle Politics," and it's a puff-piece listicle celebrating those who are supposedly doing good political work.
a. Do you believe the word "disingenuous" is used too often these days? Is it applicable here?
b. Some people use a vulgar slang term for fellatio to describe this kind of unwaveringly positive reportage. Bearing that in mind, is one instance of fellatio enough to make up for a solid six months of whining, cajoling, biased rantings, and relentless negative campaigning?
c. Can you ever trust The Stranger again? If yes, how many staffers would have to be fired before that could occur?
2a. The increasingly irrelevant PAUL CONSTANT turns in a restaurant review that wastes the first third of its column inches mocking the life and work of Ayn Rand. What, if anything, does Ayn Rand have to do with smoked meat? Why does Constant persist in his "battle" against a penny-ante "philosopher" that only 18-year-old white boys find compelling?
2b. Write a Constantesque essay of 1,000 words or fewer that begins with something entirely off-topic and then tenuously ties the opening passage in with the ostensible subject of the essay. Did you make any more sense than Constant? Is it possible to not make more sense than Constant?
3. BEN LIVINGSTON answers the completely inessential question "Can you smoke pot downtown?" A better question might be: "Can you walk one block downtown nowadays without being engulfed in a cloud of marijuana smoke?" Based on textual evidence, do you believe that Livingston is himself "high"? Why or why not?
4. In the books section, BRENDAN KILEY reviews a book that has no words in it. Why bother?
5. Making a rare trip from the unintelligible morass of the visual art section into the populist drivel of the music section, JEN GRAVES opens a preview of a Kronos Quartet show by writing, "This concert is once-in-a-lifetime fairy-tale stuff, man." Can you find a more painful attempt to sound "hip" in this week's issue of The Stranger? Remember to support your argument with evidence!
The Empire Struck Back: Our election night coverage details every inch of the struckening.
Under Surveillance: Commenter TomJohnsonJr. investigates the wifi networks explained in the feature this week. Brendan Kiley explains why you should be worried, even if you're not doing anything wrong.
Are Our New Districts Human-Rights Friendly? Anna Minard investigates.
Seattle's Other Great Sports Team: The Rat City Roller Girls. (The first great sports team, of course, is the Seattle Storm.)
Maybe One Day Rand Paul Will Plagiarize the Wikipedia Article About the Rand Paul Plagiarism Scandal: Rand Paul has had a hell of a week, but he made time to write a column for us. It just keeps coming! Oh, well. At least he hasn't learned anything.
This Is Terrible: A man died in a Snohomish County Jail. His mother is charging that he died because the jail ignored his food allergies.
Saving the Comet: David Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse step in.
Sell Your Extinction: Amazon unveils program for independent booksellers to carry Kindles in their stores.
Superheroic Diversity: Local author G. Willow Wilson had a big week.
Barilla Pasta Might Be Trying to Un-Homophobe Itself: "This is a friendly reminder that sometimes...boycotts do work."
Funny Book Publisher Needs Your Help: Go Kickstart Fantagraphics.
Blue Hair Removal: Brendan Kiley debunks a popular theater myth.
One of my favorite comments on this week's feature—about the Seattle Police Department's new wireless mesh network, what its surveillance capabilities might be, and why we don't have any regulations about it on the books yet—is right up at the top, where TomJohnsonJr simply writes...
... then links to a photo of a phone showing a mesh network router in the background and what is, presumably, a list of available networks that could be pinging his phone at that moment.
Speaking of photography, Malcolm Smith took some marvelous photos of the routers in different places around downtown Seattle for this week's feature. Here are some bonus shots that didn't make it into the print edition:
1. The news section in this week's Stranger was published late in the evening on Election Day, after the first wave of results came in and well after the usual printer's deadline. This means that the few stories in the paper that deal directly with election results were published without the usual careful copyediting to which most Stranger pieces—believe it or not—are subjected. How many errors can you find in the news section this week? How many of them are typographical? How many are the usual profound errors in judgment?
2b. Why or why not?
2c. On a scale of irrelevant to barely relevant, where do you believe The Stranger stands in post-election Seattle?
3. Speaking of irrelevance, CIENNA MADRID and PAUL CONSTANT expend hundreds of words in a tedious review of a Katy Perry album that other outlets reviewed weeks ago. On a lined piece of notebook paper, please list every Seattle band that could have benefited from the exposure that this two-page masturbatory "humorous" review squandered. Now ask one of the musicians you listed how they feel about this review. How many expletives did s/he utter in a single breath? Too many? Not enough?
4. Meanwhile, MATT FIKSE-VERKERK and BRENDAN KILEY contribute a feature story explaining a new surveillance program from the Seattle Police Department that could potentially track every person in the downtown Seattle area via their cellular phone. This "wireless mesh network" seems to be plagiarized directly from Christopher Nolan's 2008 film The Dark Knight. Now that Seattleites have been informed that the Seattle Police Department may have designs on spying on everyone in the area, do you believe anyone will care? Why or why not?
5. Which piece do you believe to be more outrageous: the surveillance report referred to in item 4, or the I, Anonymous written by a Seattleite who serves his or her foodie friends marked-down food from the discount sections of grocery stores? If you chose the latter, how does it feel being a frivolous millennial with no sense of civic responsibility? Make one case for your continued existence, if you can.
Candidate Comcast: The whole country suddenly cares that Comcast has donated money to Ed Murray.
The Land of No: Goldy says Americans are a bunch of negative nellies when it comes to progressive causes.
"...a small step to end a senseless war in Mexico" Brendan Kiley published a great interview with anti-drug war activist Javier Sicilia about Washington's legalization of pot.
More Like GMNo: Ramez Naam wrote a guest editorial saying that GMO products should be labelled, but that 522 isn't the right way to go.
Photographic Proof: Goldy makes a statement about public campaign financing using old pictures of the Seattle City Council.
Data Is Good for You: Dan Savage wants to eat a chart.
Rockwell? More Like Rockgreat! In which Slog has an intelligent, adult conversation about Norman Rockwell.
Sorry for Our Loss: Has it really been less than a week since Lou Reed died?
"Nothing Ejaculatory, Everything Umbilical" Jen Graves's review of Gravity is spot-on.
The Scariest Slog Poll of All: David Schmader asks who you consider to be the scariest movie monster.
You People Feel Strongly About Twizzlers and Rolos: Emily Nokes launches a new candy column, Cavity Search, by reviewing a bunch of weird Halloween candy.
Looking for Something to Do This Weekend? Why not take part in one of the 100 rallies for Kshama Sawant?
(Moved up because Nov. 1 is today!)
Hear ye, hear ye. If you're an artist—or arts organization—and would like to get listed in the next round of large, spicy, post-them-on-the-fridge-useful A&P arts calendars, here's what you need to know.
The deadline: Nov 1.
The dates covered: Dec 4 to Feb 28.
Don't have a full press release with all the pictures and gifs and dozens of superlatives about your event written up yet? No problem! (In fact, great! Complicated, big-byte press releases can be a pain in the ass!) For most calendar items, a simple what, where, and when is enough. A few sentences of description can be helpful, but don't strain yourself.
Send information to your friendly neighborhood section editor or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you haven't taken a gander at the current A&P—lying artists! Anxious actors! (And not-so-anxious ones!) Charles Mudede's recurring "Some of That Jazz" music forecast!—look right over here.
1. In the week before the election, The Stranger has opted to use its precious, shrinking page count to highlight a parody of Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll guiding readers around a fictional church that Mars Hill allegedly wants to build on Sound Transit property. It is yet another instance of The Stranger chastising people for not sharing their far-left values. Which would be a more useful expenditure of The Stranger's time: Pursuing this unfunny joke, or standing in the middle of a field, wagging their middle fingers at the sky, and shouting epithets directly at God?
2. DAVE SEGAL mourns the death of Lou Reed. Is this display of public mourning really about a musician's death, or is it more about a man confronting his own mortality? Find appropriate Lou Reed lyrics to support your stance.
3. DAVID SCHMADER reviews 12 Years a Slave and lambastes the film for not making us feel worse about our nation's complicated history with slavery. In your opinion, when did white guilt become non-optional with The Stranger? When did this once-irreverent alternative weekly become so somber about everything? Does the hiring of CHARLES MUDEDE have anything to do with this? Why or why not?
4. Speaking of Mr. Mudede: For the umpteetnth time, he has written a pro-socialist screed, this time in support of city council candidate Kshama Sawant. In your opinion, is it a good idea for Mr. Mudede to "support" Sawant in this fashion? Wouldn't the "socialist" label scare likely moderate voters away from Ms. Sawant? Write a theoretical news story outing Mr. Mudede as a "sleeper agent" hired by a conservative organization to discredit far-left liberal causes from the inside. Doesn't your story sound kind of true?
5. GOLDY obsesses over a right-wing organization that has bought KOMO, an old-media company that was at one time relevant in Seattle. Goldy is, of course, upset that the new owners of KOMO are known for airing "right-wing propaganda." Speaking of partisan propaganda, have you ever read The Stranger? On a related note: If a hypocritical piece is published in a section of The Stranger no one reads, like the so-called "news" section, does anyone care?
Poll Dance, Part 1: One poll showed the mayor's race as kind of close, if you squint at the results properly. Another one reverts to the same kind of blowout numbers that we've seen in every other mayoral poll. Goldy digs deeper into the numbers in search of an enthusiasm gap.
Poll Dance, Part 2: Dominic Holden tells us about a new poll indicating Americans are very much in favor of legalized pot. The comment thread is full of actually funny Pol Pot jokes.
What Am I Going to Do with All This Toilet Paper? The supermarket strike was averted, which is great news. Many of us stocked up right before the strike deadline, which has inspired unfortunate surpluses.
Today in Bad Advice: Goldy, for some reason, writes a post titled "How to Skirt the TSA and Fly Anonymously."
Dan Savage Vs. Bumper Sticker: Seems like Dan wins to me.
The Cleavage of Controversy: Jen Graves relates a weird story involving a vegan bakery, paintings of Instagram photos, and boobs.
Asshole of the Week: This guy thinks that poor people are broken windows who should be repaired.
Headline of the Week: "If You Have Gonorrhea and You Don't Know It, Clap Your Hands"
Butts Out: Christopher Frizzelle introduces a new Slog feature called Butt Update.
I Liked Captain America Best: Here's a post full of photos of great GeekGirlCon cosplay.
Are You Putting on an Arts Event In December, January, or February? You have to let us know about it.
1. The news section of The Stranger this week is almost entirely a house organ for the candidates and causes that The Stranger endorsed in this year's election. DOMINIC HOLDEN chastises Ed Murray's backers for using battered women as a wedge issue. ANNA MINARD tries to imply that the GMO initiative is going to fail because of big-money donations. And CIENNA MADRID chastises the voting public for not being more supportive of measures that could change the way that the city council is elected. Choose one of the following prompts and write a reaction to this week's news section:
a. Do you believe these articles are sincere attempts to address issues that matter to the city, or are they three desperate campaign ads thinly disguised as news?
b. Or do you believe The Stranger is self-aware enough to understand that all of their endorsements are going to fail in this year's election? Perhaps these articles are merely "ass-covering" techniques, allowing Stranger staff to point back on election night and say, "Well, we knew this was coming. How unfair it all is!"
c. Really, does any of this matter?
2. Here is a table comparing and contrasting regular Last Days writer David Schmader with guest Last Days writer CIENNA MADRID:
Considering the empirical evidence displayed in this table, do you believe that Cienna Madrid is qualified to write Last Days simply because she's a woman? Or does the fact that she's a woman, and therefore more "diverse" than Schmader, trump the fact that Ms. Madrid has never once been funny in her life?
3. Ms. Madrid also contributes a very long feature about a he-said, he-said disagreement involving a frozen piece of fecal matter. Discuss.
4. What amount of money do you estimate would be enough to convince Ms. Madrid to stop writing altogether? Would such a fundraising project be more suited for Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
5. MEGAN SELING crosses a career milestone in the music section, writing her 100,000th overwrought story about a pop punk band. Do you believe that one day, a human being will read one of Ms. Seling's stories, or is she destined for a Kafkaesque career as a writer eternally unread?
Bad Numbers, Part 1: The polls are still overwhelmingly in Ed Murray's favor.
Bad Numbers, Part 2: Charles Mudede on a poorly chosen Nobel Prize.
More Like Can'tlin, Am I Right? Goldy on Richard Conlin's can't-do agenda.
"A Snake Eating Its Own Asshole" Cienna Madrid reads the Seattle Times and gets upset.
Disunited Front: Goldy says the SECB can go fuck itself on district elections.
New Radio on the Block: Anna Minard shared a beautiful map of low-power radio stations in Seattle.
The Hutch-Beck Bromance Gets Serious: David Schmader shares a couple of pertinent videos.
"There goes the Country…" Republican commenters on the shutdown.
Where Should a Seattleite Volunteer? Bethany Jean Clement investigates.
Save Scarecrow! The best damn video store in the world is in trouble. (Turns out, International Independent Video Store Day is today; go give your favorite video store some love.)
"Fly, fledgling faggot, fly!" Dominic Holden's coming-out story.
The Young Man and the Sea: Brendan Kiley takes another look at the 19 year-old who "wrestled a giant Pacific octopus out of the water and into the back of his pickup truck."
October, Octob-ah-r: Goldy's still growing tomatoes.
Don't Forget to Vote: Read our endorsements, and share our cheat sheet far and wide:
Earlier this morning, Christopher and I were having a conversation about preview articles and timing and other terminally boring logistical shit, and we both realized we were having a whole conversation based on how we imagined people read the paper.
Technically, The Stranger comes out in the middle of the week—do you read it then? Or do you wait for the weekend? Or does it not matter because you only read Slog and are not aware of anything that happens in the paper unless we put it on Slog?
A $2 bet is riding on the results, so choose wisely.
1. This week, the STRANGER ELECTION CONTROL BOARD has released its election endorsements. It is a list that is sure to be filled with losers come election night. The past few major Stranger endorsements have been for politicians who have won the popular vote—Mayor McGinn, President Obama, Council Member O'Brien—but now The Stranger's back to advocating for lost causes. Why do you think that is? Did The Stranger's political taste temporarily veer toward the mainstream, or did the mainstream temporarily become more radicalized? Or is The Stranger simply weaving back and forth among all political ideologies, in the hopes that they will eventually earn the attention of a large enough audience to keep them in business for a little while longer? If you find it helpful, feel free to graph The Stranger's various political stances through the years.
2a. JEN GRAVES complains about the fact that some affordable artist housing in nonwhite neighborhoods is more than 80 percent white. According to the most recent census data, Seattle is 66.3 percent white. Do you believe Ms. Graves would be happy if 66.3 percent of the artists in the affordable artist housing were white? Wouldn't that be fair? Why or why not?
2b. How, exactly, would you measure .3 percent of an artist in such a way as to please Ms. Graves? Be as graphic as possible!
3. In her review of the Carrie remake, KELLY O portrays the film as an anti-bullying screed. Is it possible to provide a more obvious reading of Carrie without shutting down your necessary brain functions entirely?
4. REBECCA BROWN is back to writing positive things about Catholicism, this week going on about a desk belonging to a female saint who died at 24. Do the editors not notice Ms. Brown's Catholicism goes against The Stranger's institutional atheism? Does The Stranger not read things submitted by Ms. Brown before publishing them? Or is it simply that the editors are delighted to see Ms. Brown, a known lesbian, writing ecstatically about a beautiful 24-year-old woman?
5. Often, satirists assume the role of a fictional character and then live inside that role, never breaking character and using the skewed fictional worldview to comment on current events; Stephen Colbert is probably the most popular contemporary example of this approach. The voice that BRENDAN KILEY assumes during his theater reviews is that of a delusional dreamer who passionately believes that theater is still an art form that matters. In your opinion, is Mr. Kiley a successful satirist, or is his weariness at the pretense of the role showing through in his most recent reviews?
1. In what could be the most unfortunate return to political commentary since G. Gordon Liddy, PAUL CONSTANT writes about the government shutdown without once mentioning the words sequester, default, or bipartisan. Instead, he employs a litany of cusses, in addition to the words "orangutan," "popsicle stand," and "fart joke." Two can play at this game: Write a Constantesque nonsense story about the government shutdown that employs the following randomly selected words: tonsillectomy, chartreuse, mongoloid.
2. Compare and contrast CIENNA MADRID's news story about a bike-share program that isn't receiving support from local businesses with Constant's creative-writing-project-turned-political-screed. Here's an example of a comparative statement: While it's true that Ms. Madrid's story only affects a tiny sliver of a fringe population of Seattle, at least her essay is awash in (possibly too many) facts and figures, unlike Mr. Constant's made-up mishmash of memoir and liberal pot-banging.
3. BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT complains about Capitol Hill's many themed bars in a funny, well-timed rant, but she then proceeds to swoon over a Southern-themed Capitol Hill bar called Witness. Does Ms. Clement understand the definition of the word "hypocrisy," do you think?
4. In a dour, death-obsessed visual art review, JEN GRAVES writes, "The clothes interact newly and complexly with the paintings." Is "complexly" actually a word? Should it be?
5. In the film section, DAVID SCHMADER reviews several films in this year's Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Do you believe that niche film festivals like this should be graded on a curve? Do you think that film reviews containing the phrase "an erect wang ejaculates" should be taken seriously? Why or why not?
6. MELODY DATZ opens her dance review with a discussion of a penis flapping in the breeze. Can you find a more obvious attempt to draw readers into a stultifying subject with the promise of sexual content in this week's Stranger? Support your claims with textual proof.
"Don't worry, the picture of your badge is going to be blurred." Here's video of the July interaction between Dominic Holden and the police.
The Week in Shutdown News: The Teapocalypse is upon us, even though Americans don't want it. We have so many questions for Republicans. What about the children? Don't you care about the children? Are you mad that these women and children are going to be able to eat for the rest of the month, no thanks to you? Wasn't the budget small enough? Is CNN on your side? Do you want people to starve? How long is this going to go on? Do you object to bars serving furlough specials? Who's got bigger balls—this guy, or this guy? Do you realize that your hypocrisy is showing?
That's Funny, Politics Always Speaks Very Highly of You: Goldy writes an open letter to politics.
Get Humpin': Tickets are on sale now.
Wait, I Thought Government Was Evil? Hooray for Seattle City Light!
I'm Not a Doctor but I Provide Medical Advice in the Comments: Slog knows how to cure a cold.
The Awards Show Was Genius: Bethany Jean Clement recaps the Genius Awards.
Lastly, Fuck You, Michele Bachmann:
1. Too much of this issue of The Stranger is given over to masturbatory celebrations of the Genius Awards, the annual masturbatory celebration thrown by The Stranger for The Stranger, in honor of Stranger-approved artists in the hopes that they'll hang out with Stranger writers. Which profile of a so-called Genius do you believe is the most masturbatory of all?
a. PAUL CONSTANT's profile of Maged Zaher, in which he gushes about being hugged by Zaher?
b. DAVID SCHMADER's gooey claim that Seattle is experiencing a "new golden age" of cinema, followed by Schmader's citation of a handful of tiny, unsuccessful films as proof of this so-called "golden age"?
c. JEN GRAVES's profile of Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney, which praises them for being "unfailingly present"? (Most musical performances do involve the musician showing up to play the music, Ms. Graves.)
d. The name-droppy profile of Rodrigo Valenzuela by Jen Graves—her again?—that doesn't even bother to functionally describe the man's work and tries to hand-wave your attention away the fact that Valenzuela has only lived in Seattle for three years and is going to spend the next year away from Seattle?
e. The profile of Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey by BRENDAN KILEY that fails to understand even the most basic point behind Scofield and Shuey's work?
Vote below, and don't forget to back up your selection with evidence.
2. In the music section, MEGAN SELING—who obviously isn't trusted by Stranger editorial leadership with the big, important work of writing a masturbatory Genius profile—offers up a masturbatory profile of a band called Big Eyes. Seling first describes Big Eyes as a female-fronted band, and then spends too much of the piece complaining about the way women are represented in music writing. It takes nine paragraphs before Seling begins explaining what Big Eyes sounds like, and even then her descriptions are vague and unhelpful. Your vocabulary term for the day is "straw man argument." Have you ever before seen a written piece in which the author sets herself up as a straw man and then tears herself to pieces in the next few paragraphs before finally getting to the point of the article, which has nothing to do with the straw man argument in question? List at least five reasons why this technique doesn't work.
3. Due to an expanded news section, this week's print edition of The Stranger was published without a Study Guide. On a separate piece of paper, please illustrate your sense of astonishment at learning that there is still a print edition of The Stranger.
4. Meanwhile, BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT visits a business that she believes is owned, at least in part, by Christians and then proceeds to complain about the business being owned by Christians. If Ms. Clement were to have pulled this same stunt on a Jewish-owned business, how quickly do you believe the ACLU would be breathing down Ms. Clement's neck? Is there a difference between those two scenarios? Should there be?
The Genius Awards Are Tonight! Just saying.
The Subway Protests: A lawsuit alleges that a Capitol Hill Subway fired an employee for protesting. Then a week's worth of protests ensued. Looks like we might be seeing a grocery store protest next week, too.
Taxation with Overrepresentation: Goldy explains why Washington State over-taxes the poor.
Did Occupy Wall Street Matter? Ansel Herz thinks so.
The Sweetest Story of the Week: Orcas Island lets its rainbow flags fly. (The second sweetest story of the week is a tie between the time Will in Seattle became a hero on Twitter and the time Slog came together to help remove Ashley's tattoo.)
Good Dog: Goldy's house was broken into, but Feisty saved the day.
Dressing Down: Dan Savage takes on a Seattle Magazine writer for saying that people should dress nicely at nice restaurants.
Stop Being a Bumbershit: For the love of God, people, learn how to use your umbrellas. Which of course got this stuck in my head:
1a. Four years ago, The Stranger published a cover photo of a little-known mayoral candidate named Michael McGinn. That cover photo effectively served as a campaign poster for a candidate who was struggling for attention. Many people—rightly or wrongly—attribute McGinn's eventual win to The Stranger. Now The Stranger is doing the exact same thing with city council candidate Kshama Sawant. Given Mayor McGinn's embarrassing polling numbers—30 percent to challenger Ed Murray's 52 percent in a recent KING 5 poll—and poor public image, do you believe it is smart for The Stranger to "throw" all their "eggs" into one untested "basket" like this all over again? Considering how the first time played out, why do you think The Stranger would decide to pull the exact same stunt?
1b. Using your colored pencils, please illustrate The Stranger's credibility in whatever form you consider to be appropriate. Does The Stranger's credibility look like a ramshackle trailer in the middle of the woods? A tiny, misshapen third nipple on the City of Seattle's chest? Does it resemble a mangy, unloved dog? Be creative!
1c. Alternately, if you are not confident in your drawing skills, write a short story about The Stranger's credibility. Does it end well, or is it more like an ambiguous, Raymond Carver–esque story about a drunken man who stares out the window a lot?
2. SPIKE FRIEDMAN contributes a story about baseball players. Why?
3. In the books section, PAUL CONSTANT, who is a white, ostensibly straight male, writes a review of a book by Peter Bagge, a white male cartoonist who has been in a heterosexual marriage for years. The book in question is about Margaret Sanger, a feminist pioneer. Were no women around The Stranger's offices to review the book? Wouldn't a female perspective be valuable here? Or did Constant review the book because it is in the form of a graphic novel (colloquially, a "funny book") and women do not read graphic novels? How much sexism do you believe is on display in this piece and the thinking behind this piece?
A. A little.
B. A lot.
C. More than a little, less than a lot.
D. Comic book reviews in a book review section are a waste of everyone's time anyway.
4. DAVE SEGAL writes about the Decibel Festival. Again. Has Segal written about the Decibel Festival in the pages of The Stranger more or fewer times than Dan Savage has written about gay sex? Remember to show your work!
Hey! Do you own or manage a bar in Seattle? Then pay attention! (If you do not, please feel free to carry on with the rest of your day as planned.) A new installment of Cocktail Compass, our semi-annual happy hour guide, will be hitting the streets next month—now would be a great time to make sure all your happy hour information is correct!
Just head over to the Cocktail Compass website right here. If you already have a listing but just want to update the happy hour times and/or specials, click "Update Info" at the top. If you have a location that's not yet in the guide, click "Add an Establishment." Just fill out the necessary information and you're good to go!
If you don't have a bar or restaurant but do like cheap booze and/or food, you can download our happy hour app FOR FREE right here. It's available for both iPhone and Android devices.