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Archives for 10/08/2006 - 10/14/2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Live Slogging from Thom Pain

posted by on October 14 at 11:48 AM

Last night I was supposed to live-Slog from the light booth at the Rep while watching Thom Pain (based on nothing) by Will Eno. It’s a solo show about a heart-broken smart aleck who hates his audience (according to Charles Isherwood of the NYT, “a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation”—which isn’t even remotely true), played by Todd Jefferson Moore.

But there were problems. Everyone at the Rep was very nice, but my laptop kept losing the signal. Then there were some issues with getting onto Slog. So I kept tying notes but scrapped the posting.

This wasn’t the best play for this experiment: A one-act, one-man monologue with angst and wordplay and literary references requires more attention than I can give while tying and overhearing conversations in the tech booth and screwing around with the wireless connection. The Ring Cycle would be a better candidate—something long, sweeping, an endurance contest that you can check in and out of, with quirky audience behavior and a sense of exclusivity that people without the time, money, or interest to attend might want to window on.

Anyway. The notes (all 1,000 words of ‘em!) follow the jump. Representative passages:

This was the Rep’s idea, I should mention. It seems a bit odd—theater artists (hell, all artists are forever complaining that their critics are thoughtless, reactionary, that they see a show and run home and slam-bang out a review so they can get back to drinking and screwing and playing video games and other base pleasures. But here I am, up in the light booth, fingers stretched, knuckles cracked, all set to react.
A brief flash of light, then lights up—Thom man in his black suit, black tie, no socks. He [Moore] is in his 50s, which seems weird, having read the script, which is a monologue about someone who seemed to be an angry young man. Then again, from back here, the house is full of grey and white heads. By comparison, Moore is an angry young man.
Will Eno didn’t write this play. He recited it in front of his bathroom mirror, tape recorder in hand, stripping himself with whiskey like paint thinner, letting his deeply entrenched banality shine like a beacon—and that’s not actually a criticism.

Continue reading "Live Slogging from Thom Pain" »

Even the Onion Gets It

posted by on October 14 at 9:52 AM

Brad and Y’all:

In case you missed it, even The Onion is aware of how evil good the Bears are.

This week, we feast on another bird on Monday night.


The Miracle of Money

posted by on October 14 at 7:43 AM

Microcredit miracle.

Five years ago, Gulbadan Nesa was destitute, unable to feed her family. Then a simple, yet revolutionary idea — in the form of a $90 loan — changed her life, pulling the Bangladeshi villager out of a devastating cycle of poverty.

In reality, capitalism is as logical, as precise, and as cold as any of the hard sciences. But once we enter its ideological sphere, such as the recent praise and worship of microcredit (capitalism’s cure-all for Third World poverty), its language and tone is as superstitious, as mystical as the most primitive religions.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Note To Our Readers

posted by on October 13 at 5:31 PM

For the past several months “Keenan Bowen” was writing for Line Out, the Stranger’s Music blog. Some months later Bowen began writing occasional short pieces for the print edition of The Stranger. After checks were cut to pay Bowen for her contributions to the print edition of the paper (the Line Out posts were unpaid), the managing editor discovered that Keenan Bowen was a pseudonym for Bailee Martin, Club Advertising Coordinator for The Stranger.

An internal investigation was launched. We learned that Dave Segal, The Stranger’s music editor, had invited Martin to contribute to the paper using a pseudonym. Segal’s managers and Martin’s managers were not informed that Martin was writing for Line Out or the print edition of the paper.

This morning Martin’s manager met with her. This afternoon Dan Savage and Brad Steinbacher met with Segal. After the meeting, Dave Segal turned in his resignation, effective immediately. Martin also resigned as Club Advertising Coordinator for The Stranger.

While all of Martin’s contributions were tainted by a conflict of interest, a preliminary investigation of Martin’s writings for the paper did not turn up any direct evidence of Martin having given favorable coverage to bands or clubs she worked with in her capacity as Club Advertising Coordinator. That position was a salaried support sales staff position, not a commissioned position, and Martin primarily served as an assistant to the senior sales staff.

All of Martin’s writings have been removed from the website for review. They will be reposted once that review is completed and a note about this is attached to each piece.

We will have a full accounting of this issue in next week’s paper.

If All of Seattle Read the Same—“HE’S NOTHING BUT A SHIT”—Book

posted by on October 13 at 5:30 PM

You may have imagined that the author of Persepolis (recently selected as 2006 assignment for the Seattle-wide reading initiative run by the public library) was an aristocratic type, fluent in French and melodramatically doomed in her decades-long exile from her native Iran.

Well, that, and “I will die like a miserable worm, and rot down to compost!”

This interview is a little old, yes, but it’s wildly entertaining.

Whatcha Doin’ Tonight?

posted by on October 13 at 4:32 PM

Don’t tell me there’s nothing going on. Here’s what we’re doing:

“Going to the Triple Door to see Califone.”
“The Inquiry at Hugo House, then the ’70s horror flick Ritual at the Grand Illusion (11 pm).”
“Seeing (and Slogging from) Thom Pain at the Seattle Rep.”
“Drinking my tiny bottle of whiskey, then heading to a house party in the U-District.”
“Shooting hoops with Bill Russell. Unless he cancels.”
Free Indian music concert at McCaw Hall.”
Shortbus at Cinerama.”
“Finally checking out Liberty on 15th. Then hiding out at home with a couple hash bonbons.”
“Going to see the Bodies exhibit.”
“Derek May at Element.”
“Sewing a nice pillow case for my dad’s post-heart-surgery pillow.”

Abstract Afternoon

posted by on October 13 at 3:37 PM

Sorry for the light Slogging, but things are busy as hell right now.

The newsies have been working overtime on our endorsement issue. (It hits next Wednesday and comes with a few surprises.) And as far as I can tell, the arts kids are slammed with the Genius issue.

Anyway, I came back downstairs from production and Savage was handing out little bottles of whiskey.

Excpect some whiskey-induced Slogging as the afternoon turns into the fantastic witchcraft of teenage algorithm.

Re: Re-bar Is For Sale

posted by on October 13 at 3:03 PM

The business, mind you, not the building.

A quick history: Re-bar opened on 1114 Howell St in January of 1990 under proprietor and impresario Steve Wells with $20,000 and volunteer labor. At the time it was a bar in a category by itself—Nathan Benedict, one of the co-owners of Thumper’s (which was just sold—the building, not the business) said it was: “Totally unique. An amazing off-the-grid club.”

In an interview last year, Wells described it as: “One of the few bars where straight and gay people mixed and played black music… For a long time, straight people thought it was a gay bar and gay people thought there were too many straight people, but Re-bar is exactly what my partners and I wanted.”

It was also one of the most interesting theaters in town, a launching pad for Dina Martina (as herself), Sarah Rudinoff (Go There), Nick Garrison (Hedwig), Keri Healey (Cherry, Cherry, Lemon), Collaborator (Extropia), David Schmader (Straight), the Greek Active Theater company (founded by Dan Savage), Kevin Kent (Sister Windy) and on and on and on. It was the best kind of gritty theater—a for-profit bar that subsidized Wells’s talent for handicapping artists, no mission statement, no board of directors, no bullshit. (Sarah Rudinoff said Wells gave her the time slot for Go There before she’d even written the show.)

Anyway: One year ago, Wells’s partners (Carla Schricker and Lani Huston) bought out his share and renewed the business’s five-year lease. Now they’re looking to sell—with four years left on the lease.

Why? Well, there are the new state requirements for all clubs and performance venues with a 100+ capacity to install sprinkler systems (at $30K—$70K). There are a proliferation of new bars, gay, straight, and mixed, that make the competition steeper.

But, Schricker says, “Over the last year, I’ve just been burned out on being up late. I don’t know what to tell you. I turned 40 and started thinking about other ideas. The sprinkler system and the Mayor’s office have been a thorn in our side for sure—it was icing on the cake, but it was definitely not the decision-maker.”

She says she doesn’t want Re-bar to close. But it remains for sale. On Craigslist.

Rare opportunity to purchase Seattle Landmark nightclub established in 1989! The Re-bar is apx. 3,500 SF lounge and theater, ideal for new owner`s concept or face-lift.

1114 Howell Street, Seattle 98101

List Price: $225,000
Selling Office Commission: 5%
Showing Inst: Call Laura Miller at 206.351.3573
View w/Discretion: Yes

Laura Miller
Windermere Commercial/Metro

In Other News…

posted by on October 13 at 2:47 PM

…a sex scandal breaks, blows up, and winds down two blocks from our office. And we never had much to say about it—even though it involves a Catholic priest and naked pictures of “fully aroused” men. Weird.

Josh Busts Rudy

posted by on October 13 at 2:26 PM

The Stranger, way out here on the west coast, doesn’t often get a chance to bust a national political figure. But we sure did this week. I just re-read Josh’s column/take-down of Rudy Guliani and his truly appalling flip-flop on the assault weapons ban. Josh writes…

Once upon a time, Rudy Giuliani said, “Someone who now voted to roll back the assault-weapons ban would really be demonstrating that special-interest politics mean more to them than life-or-death issues.” Indeed, when the GOP Congress let the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban expire in 2004, Giuliani was among the high-profile Republican critics to denounce the move. The availability of assault weapons like AK-47s at gun shows and gun shops has emerged as a major concern for U.S. law enforcement grappling with terrorism in the post-9/11 era. Giuliani’s commitment to limiting access to assault weapons, however, apparently evaporated this week when he came to Seattle to stump for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick, who’s running against Democrat Maria Cantwell.

Mike McGavick doesn’t support the assault weapon ban, which would mean he puts special-interest politics ahead of life-or-death issues, according to Rudy Giuliani circa-2004. But McGavick’s apparent disregard for life-or-death issues didn’t stop Giuliani circa 2006 from coming to Washington to campaign for McGavick.

But Josh was ready and waiting ready to bust “America’s Mayor.” When Josh asked Giuliani why he was supporting McGavick despite his position on the assault weapons ban, Rudy replied…

“I don’t think [the assault-weapons ban] is one of the most critical issues right now.”


“The assault-weapons ban is something I supported in the past.”

You know, in the past—back when terrorism was a problem.

If terrorism isn’t a serious enough problem today that we need an assaults weapon ban anymore, then why do we need a Rudy Giuliani for President campaign? Rudy’s supposedly strong and resolute response to the 9/11 terror attacks and, by implication, any future terror attacks is the only reason he’s a potential Republican nominee for president in 2008. Terrorism is all Giuliani’s got. And if terrorism isn’t that big a deal anymore, why should we consider voting for him?

Sorry, Rudy, but terrorism’s still a problem—and so is the easy availability of assault weapons. Back to Josh’s column…

An al Qaeda manual entitled How Can I Train Myself for Jihad, found by United States Special Forces in the ruins of a training camp in Afghanistan (and posted on a suspected terrorist’s website in 2004), tellingly singles out the United States for its easy availability of firearms, and stipulates that al Qaeda members living in the U.S. “obtain an assault weapon legally, preferably an AK-47 or variations.”

Rudy Giuliani and Mike McGavick: Giving Aid and Comfort to Our Enemies.

Trannyshack Seattle: The Video Promo

posted by on October 13 at 2:12 PM

It’s no secret that The Stranger’s excited about the premiere installment of Trannyshack Seattle, the local edition of San Francisco’s legendary pyschotrash drag night, landing tomorrow night at Chop Suey. (You can read my Suggests for the event here.)

For further Trannyshack hype, I’ll hand the Slog stage over to one of the evening’s participants, that most accomplished freak Jackie Hell:

Dorothy Allison Reads Tonight with the Bent Writing Institute

posted by on October 13 at 1:32 PM

There isn’t an article about it in the current book section, and it was mistakenly left out of the readings calendar. Well, it’s in the readings calendar now.

The short version: Dorothy Allison (the famous lesbian author of Bastard Out of Carolina and other books) is doing a reading at Seattle First United Methodist Church (811 Fifth Ave) at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $17. She’s also doing a writing workshop tomorrow. Everything you need to know is here.

“Nuts” Don’t Like Bush Anyway

posted by on October 13 at 12:48 PM

A lot has been written about former Bush staffer David Kuo, whose new book, Tempting Faith, reveals that Karl Rove views evangelical Republicans as a bunch of “ridiculous” “nuts.” However, Kuo’s book also contains a more damning revelation: the White House targeted funding for “faith-based” organizations to groups that were friendly to the administration, specifically “Christian” groups who shared Bush’s conservative religious beliefs. In the book, Kuo quotesa member of the grant review panel as saying she stopped looking at applications from “those non-Christian groups,” and so did many of her colleagues. Federal law prohibits government agencies from allocating funds based on the basis of political or religious belief. And yet, according to Kuo’s book, that’s just what the Bush administration did.

Meanwhile, two new polls show support shifting away from the GOP among evangelical whites—an important part of the Republican base. A Pew poll found that just 57 percent of white evangelicals were inclined to vote Republican, a 21-point drop. A Gallup poll conducted at the same time found religous whites as likely to vote Democratic as Republican. The midterms can’t get here soon enough.

Same Old Fan, Brand New Shit

posted by on October 13 at 12:18 PM

Federal prosecutors in Arizona have opened a preliminary investigation of a camping trip Congressman Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., took 10 years ago that included two teenage congressional pages, a Justice Department spokesman told NBC News. NBC News first reported on the camping and rafting trip on Tuesday.

Kolbe is the openly gay congreesman who claims to have warned Foley about his over-friendly approach to pages.

Via Americablog.

While We’re On the Subject of Gay Men and Pedophilia

posted by on October 13 at 12:03 PM

Andrew Sullivan posted on this earlier in the week: Check out this bracing and always-to-be-kept-on-file take down of the age-old smear against gay men:

[T]he very scientists that are cited in support of the contention that gays are more likely to be molesters explicitly reject the idea that homosexuals pose a disproportionate threat to children. These scientists note that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of pre-pubescent males.

As for the ‘slippery slope’ argument, the biggest mistake many social conservatives make is to assume that the contemporary taboo against sexual relations with children is a longstanding part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is only now coming under assault by the left. In fact, the Judeo-Christian tradition and many other religious traditions tolerated and even affirmed pedophilic relationships for centuries. The contemporary taboo against such relationships developed only a little over one hundred years ago, as people became more enlightened about the potentially damaging aspects of sexual relations between persons of unequal maturity and power.

Re: The Media and Mark Foley

posted by on October 13 at 11:51 AM

Oops. I didn’t realize (as Dan’s pointed out) that Mark Foley was asked repeatedly by reporters if he was gay, and always denied it. That obviously makes the job of reporting on his homosexuality quite a bit more difficult—but not impossible.

Anyway, while I’m on the topic of things Dan might set me straight on later, here’s something else about the Foley scandal that, at least to me, has echoes with the Jim West scandal. It’s a tricky thing to delve into because it risks helping the religious right push its false contention that all gay men are pedophiles, so before the Jim West echoes, first a statement of what should be obvious:

All gay men are not pedophiles. If we assume that pedophilia is a relatively rare phenomenon spread evenly throughout the population, then sure, it’s more than likely that some small percentage of gay men are pedophiles. But some small percentage of straight men are pehophiles, too. And since there are way more straight men than gay men, common sense would suggest that the religious right should reverse course and focus far more of it’s anti-pedophilia efforts on straight men. I await the press release from Focus on the Family…

In the meantime, it’s also worth pointing out that there is a difference between pedophilia and pederasty (as the term is currently understood in America). Based on the evidence so far, it seems that Mark Foley was a pederast, not a pedophile — he liked teenage boys on the cusp of adulthood, not pre-pubescent boys.

Here’s the echo: If you think of him as a pederast, Foley is similar to West, who was outed when the Spokesman Review hired an investigator to pose in a gay internet chatroom as young man about to turn 18. After West’s death earlier this year, I wrote:

To read the Spokesman-Review’s transcripts of West trolling the gay internet chatrooms is to read a case study in the tortured psyche of a closet case. West, who graduated from Spokane’s Lewis and Clark High School in 1969, the same year that the modern gay-rights movement began in New York, returns repeatedly in his chats to stories of a self-consciously hesitant attraction to men in high school. It was a time when West dated girls, he wrote, “because I was expected to.” West also wrote repeatedly, and fondly, about sex with a male fraternity member in college. Explaining why, as a middle-aged man, he was now chatting with young men on the verge of coming out, he responded simply: “I like youth.” Perhaps he liked remembering a time before he had committed so firmly to a life in the closet.

This conjecture is just that—a conjecture. But it’s not hard to see why in certain people pederasty would be a natural outcome not of their homosexuality, but of their life in the homosexual closet.

Perhaps, for certain older gay men like West and Foley, their deep regret at not having acted on their homosexual desires in their youth—coupled with their realization that if they were 17 or 18 now and in the right community, they probably could act on those desires—drives them first to fantasize about what might have been, and then to try to live out that fantasy through a combination of instant messaging and abuse of power.

The Liberal Media

posted by on October 13 at 11:35 AM

Air America is officially bankrupt.

A Hard Job

posted by on October 13 at 11:21 AM

Freedom is Not Free is a nonprofit that raises money for servicemen and -women injured in the war. Their current product: the 2007 America’s Heroes Reconnaissance Marines Calendar, featuring hott, indisputably hetero shots like this one:


And this:


And my personal favorite, this:


Buy a copy for yourself and all your hetero, hetero friends here.

Via Unfogged.

An Editorial from Christopher Walken’s Mom

posted by on October 13 at 11:11 AM

Seems like everybody’s got an opinion on this whole Google buying YouTube for 1.6 billion dollars thing. Even Christopher Walken’s mom. Enjoy.

Tip o’ the hat to Best Week Ever!

Starting with the Falls

posted by on October 13 at 11:05 AM

1. It’s not just because my parents honeymooned there that I’ve loved MAN’s series on Niagara Falls art this week.

2. Closing this weekend:


This image is a still from Wyndel Hunt’s video Auto-Interrogation and Explanation Without Verification. We tried to convert the video to YouTube so we could share the whole thing here on Slog, because that’s how funny and smart it is, but tech stuff prevented us. That means you really should go to Crawl Space before 5 pm Sunday to see this installation.

In the video, Hunt talks about the small, serious, black-on-black marker drawings shown on the walls of the gallery. Or, he tries to. While his words—which establish an argument for the meaning of the works, then tear the argument down—appear onscreen like subtitles, those same spoken words are sped up to the point of nonsense, and the artist’s movements are sped up and manipulated to the point of slapstick, as he delivers a self-mocking turn on a witness stand of his own making, talking into the microphone like some self-conscious art version of Oliver North.


Will Ryman’s Private Moments at Howard House is the New York artist’s series of cartoonish figures ranging in size from smaller than human scale to an embracing couple 10 and a half feet tall. They’re made of magic sculp (a material like Sculpy but harder), paper mache, pvc pipe, wire, and acrylic paint. Try as I might to consider them in the vein of, say, the caricatures of Thomas SchĂĽtte crossed with the gestures of Giacometti, I couldn’t get hooked on these. They felt overly lighthearted, sometimes plain adorable, and posed in the stiff fashion of people joining together in a staged photograph. Anyone who’s seen them have other thoughts?

3. “I studied the meaning of life for a year.” That’s the photographer Alice Wheeler talking about her formative year at Evergreen State on Eva Lake’s radio show Artstar, recently archived here.

Mel Gibson Blames Israel

posted by on October 13 at 10:17 AM

During Part 2 of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Mel Gibson, the actor says his anti-Semitic remarks (“The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”) were sparked by the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, which were “going at it” the day he was pulled over for drunk driving. After perambulating around the issue for a while, Gibson turned and faced the camera. “Let me be real clear here, in sobriety, sitting here, in front of you, national television, that I don’t believe that Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

Glad we cleared that up.

Then, tepid mea culpa accomplished, Gibson went on to blame critics for his outburst, saying that those who accused him of using anti-Semitic imagery in his movie The Passion of the Christ had pushed him over the edge.

For an entire year, I was subjected to a pretty brutal sort of public beating. During the course of that, I think I probably had my rights violated in many different ways as an American. You know. As an artist. As a Christian. Just as a human being, you know. … The other thing I never heard was one single word of apology.

Hmm. So, basically, Israel and critics are to blame for Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks (made, apropos of nothing, during Gibson’s drunk-driving arrest), and Gibson deserves an apology from critics who violated his rights “as a Christian.” (I wasn’t aware that the Constitution granted special rights specifically to Christians, but whatever.)

Incidentally, for those who’ve forgotten, Gibson’s “Passion” portrays the Pharisees (those evil Jews who, you know, killed Jesus) as standard-issue conniving, boorish Evil Movie Jews with enormous hooked or bulbous noses who morph into horned devils as they screech maniacally for Jesus’s blood. And Gibson’s father—the guy who raised him—has very publicly called the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust “mostly fiction,” and reports about the genocide “overly hyped.”

Yeah. No way is that guy anti-Semitic.

Swearin’ in a Sister: A Chill in Hell

posted by on October 13 at 10:17 AM

Condi is serving the gays Goodwill Realness with a Twist:

Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, AP

WASHINGTON — At a State Department ceremony this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warmly acknowledged the family members of Mark Dybul, whom she was swearing in as the nation’s new global AIDS coordinator.

As first lady Laura Bush looked on, Rice singled out his partner, Jason Claire, and Claire’s mother. Rice referred to her as Dybul’s “mother-in-law.”

A genuine gesture or a tactical grasping at straws? Can the GOP even think on that many levels of deceptive irony? Whatever the motive, on the face of it (where most conservative voters end their intellectual investigation and investment), it is what it is—“a bold gesture in favor of gay marriage,” says AMERICAblog.

(Via Towleroad.)


posted by on October 13 at 10:10 AM

Remember The Residents’s YouTube project with the Museum of Modern Art? Well, they’ve narrowed the two-minute video submissions down to 11, and are asking for votes to determine which six will appear in the exhibition at MoMA. Here they are.

Re: The Media and Mark Foley

posted by on October 13 at 10:07 AM

Eli, some reporters directly asked Foley if he was gay—and Foley denied it, just as Esser did when you asked him directly last year. So I don’t agree that Esser’s denial somehow put the rumors about him definitively to rest. Foley lied, Eli—hell, that’s what the closet is. It’s a lie you tell hundreds of times every day. What if Esser lied?

The difference here is not that one man was asked and the other wasn’t, but that Foley was openly closeted—he had a boyfriend, people knew he was gay. He refused to say that he was gay, but he didn’t try that hard to hide his homosexuality. Foley trusted that the media’s highly selective respect for privacy—it seems to kick in most strongly when it comes to homosexuality (witness those Susan Sontag obits)—would prompt reporters and editors to protect his relatively open secret.

Is someone in the media keeping secrets for Luke Esser? I don’t know that, anymore than I know if Esser, a conservative Republican in the state legislature, is gay or not. But whether or not Esser is gay, rumors about his sexuality continue to circulate, despite his denial.

The Media and Mark Foley

posted by on October 13 at 10:00 AM

In today’s LA Times, Michelangelo Signorile makes an obvious point: It’s not just Republicans who should be blamed for enabling Mark Foley’s destructive life in the closet, but also the D.C. media.

By not reporting on Foley’s deceitful life for more than 15 years — during which he portrayed himself as a heterosexual politician — the media enabled a man overwhelmed by the destructiveness of the closet to ultimately implode in the halls of Congress. By looking the other way on something that made them uncomfortable — reporting on closeted gay public figures, particularly those who are hypocrites — and by deluding themselves that it’s a privacy issue, reporters, producers and editors took part in perpetuating a fiction, one that may well have led to an ugly outcome.

This is similar to an argument I made last year in The Stranger regarding the rumors that long swirled around former Spokane mayor Jim West (destructively closeted) as well as the rumors that more recently have swirled around state senator Luke Esser (not closeted). In both situations, a simple question from a reporter might have helped: “Are you gay?” (In Esser’s case, when I asked him last year, the answer was “No,” putting the rumors to rest.)

The generous explanation for why reporters here didn’t ask is that a sense of propriety stopped them. A less generous explanation might be that a subtle form of homophobia was at work, one that made reporters think asking might lead to a “shameful” revelation. Either way, this reluctance to ask has twice caused a problem to drag on too long. First it was Jim West, who was never asked about the “open secret” that he was gay while he was busy voting against gay rights in Olympia. And now it’s Esser, the rumors about whom could have been debunked long ago with one phone call.

I realize this is a complicated issue, and that asking the question might not always be a magic bullet for stopping a destructively closeted public figure. But if we believe that being gay is not a shameful thing, then there’s no harm in asking. And by not asking, it seems to me, the media only contributes to a closeted public figure’s sense that he or she can get away with anything — a sense clearly felt by Foley, and West.

UPDATE: See above.

Journalist Juice. Shot in the Dark.

posted by on October 13 at 9:57 AM

The Rep has asked me to sit in a light booth tonight and live-Slog my reactions to their new play Thom Pain (based on nothing), a solo show by Will Eno about a pissy, broken-hearted smart aleck who hates his audience:

Now I think would be a good time for the raffle. I hope you held on to your tickets, on the back of which is a number. We have some very nice prizes.

Brief pause.

All right, are you ready? Okay. Here we go. Who has the luck with him tonight? This’ll be fun.


There is no raffle. Who said there was going to be a raffle? Other than me? The good news is, you didn’t lose. You lost nothing except the time it took to find this out. Which is a pretty big chunk. Someday, some minute, you’ll have thirty seconds left to live. Think of me, my little comic bit about the raffle. Think of me, fucking around with your life, and try to smile.

This live-reviewing experiment seems like an embarrassment waiting to happen—simultaneously listening to a man talk, thinking of things worth writing, then writing them seems like a lot to ask—but I requested an ample supply of “journalist juice” in my contract rider. Which oughta help.

(Also: I like espresso. I like black coffee. But my meager mind had never considered having the two together until this morning, when I heard a young woman order a “shot in the dark.” She was wearing cowboy boots, black faux-velvet leggings and a baggy pink sweater. What a dame.)

Stranger Ties to Old Anglo-Dutch Empires Exposed!

posted by on October 13 at 9:45 AM

Well, they got us.

The Stranger has been working in concert with New Times/Village Voice Media, taking our marching orders from NT/VVM editorial head honcho Mike Lacey, who is in turn taking his marching orders directly from Vice President Dick Cheney. We had good run, but the jig is up. Our ties to the old Anglo-Dutch empires have been laid bare for all to see. All we wanted to do was destroy democracy! And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those damn kids in the LaRouche Youth Movement..

Via Boston’s Weekly Dig.

That Damn Marijuana

posted by on October 13 at 8:34 AM

From CNN:

Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy—almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall. General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana….

Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.

“A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action,” Hiller said dryly. One soldier told him later: “Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I’d say ‘That damn marijuana’.”

Thanks to Richard for the tip.

The Morning News

posted by on October 13 at 6:40 AM

Brits: Good luck with that Iraq thing, we’re getting out.

Pot: Magical cure-all.

Warner: Not running in 2008.

Foley: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Bush: Just using evangelicals.

Bush administration diplomas: Phony.

Economists: It’s the minimum wage, stupid.

Allen advisers’ new strategy: “Shut up” for the rest of the campaign.

Dow: At record high. Can Depression be be far behind?

Russia and China: Opposed to sanctions against North Korea.

Congress: “Better off” with Hastert in charge, according to Bush.

“Liberal”: No longer a dirty word.

Fox News: Satanic, according to homobigot Phelps.

Madonna adoption: Apparently back on.

Cat parasite: Creating an all-male world of neurotics and schizophrenics, one infection at a time.

The End of Thumper’s

posted by on October 13 at 12:21 AM

Re-bar’s not the only legendary gay landmark headed for the exit. Thumper’s, the grand old gay restaurant/piano bar at 15th and Madison on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, is closing its doors after 21 years.

Thumper’s final night will be next Saturday, October 21. The next-to-last-night—Friday Oct 20—brings “a gala evening of cabaret,” featuring such talents and Thumper’s mainstays Arnaldo!, Charles Baker, Ruby Bishop, Jeannette D’Armand, Mikel Poulsen, the Boys from Gaydar Productions, Cheryl Serio, and Marcus Wolland, with proceeds benefitting the gay/straight youth chorus Diverse Harmony.

The email announcing the benefit came with a press release laying out Thumper’s backstory, and if you’re at all interested in Seattle/Capitol Hill history (and aren’t prohibitively snooty about less-than-elegant press-release writing) you should definitely give it a read after the jump.

Continue reading "The End of Thumper's" »

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Re-bar Is For Sale

posted by on October 12 at 6:46 PM


The storied Seattle club is for sale—on Craigslist.

$225000 Seattle Night Club For Sale **Re-bar**

Rare opportunity to purchase Seattle Landmark nightclub established in 1989! The Re-bar is apx. 3,500 SF lounge and theater, ideal for new owner`s concept or face-lift.

1114 Howell Street, Seattle 98101

List Price: $225,000
Selling Office Commission: 5%
Showing Inst: Call Laura Miller at 206.351.3573
View w/Discretion: Yes

Laura Miller
Windermere Commercial/Metro

Hm… Re-bar is where I met Terry—we made out in the bathroom, it was all very sleezy. If I had 225K I would buy it as a keepsake.


posted by on October 12 at 6:01 PM

The 2006 recipients of the Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowships ($6,000 each) in visual art are:

Julie Alexander, Cris Bruch, Buddy Bunting, Cat Clifford, Drew Daly, Steve Davis, Ann Gale, Blake Haygood, Jenny Heishman, Ryan Horvath, Tivon Rice, and Alex Schweder.

Now here’s another announcement:

Bruch (pronounced “brew”)

05BRUCH.Cris.Structure and Skin (alt. inst. view).jpg

and Clifford


are on the as-yet-unpublished Shortlist for the Stranger’s Genius Awards.

Check next week’s edition of the paper to find out the other two visual artists—plus the theater, film, and literary artists—on the Shortlist for the Genius.

The hot, sweaty party for the awards starts at 9 pm next Saturday, October 21, at the Henry Art Gallery. Visit here to find out more about winners present and past.

The Dark Ages

posted by on October 12 at 5:35 PM

In trying to figure out exactly how bright the lights are that last July’s City Council- approved strip club Ordinance mandates in all city sex and skin establishments, the only description I could find anywhere was the cryptic “30 lux”. This left me wondering, of course, what the hell is 30 lux? Parking lot lighting? Christmas lighting? Love-makin’ lighting?

I call up the city light department, who give me this very helpful answer: “2-3 lux is one candle.”

I’ve long gotten over the ridiculousness of measuring cars through horse comparisons, but really? Are we still measuring lights based on candles? And does this mean a strip club light entirely with hundreds and hundreds of sensual smelly candles would be acceptable to the moral overlords?

But Somehow I Do Have Time For…

posted by on October 12 at 5:01 PM



Anybody Got Time For This?

posted by on October 12 at 4:47 PM

Because I sure don’t. This email came to

My name is XXXX XXXXXX and I am currently a senior at Redmond High School. As a senior I must complete a Culminating Project, this is one of the graduation requirements. I have chosen to create a fashion magazine. The reason that I contacted you is to ask you if you would be interested in becoming my Field Advisor. A Field Advisor (FA) is “an adult community member who will provide role modeling, academic assistance and career connections for a student working on their senior Culminating Project.” I understand that you are busy as the editor of a newspaper, but please let me know if you are interested.

I get at least one email or phone call like this every week and, being Catholic, they fill me with guilt. I truly wish I could help you out with your Culminating Project, XXXX, but I am, as you put it, busy as the editor of a newspaper. I also don’t mean to single you out, but I’ve been meaning to say something about this and your email came just as I sat down to work this morning.

Over the last six months I’ve started to feel like it’s open season around here. I get a request like yours practically every day—I have barely have time to respond yes-or-no, much less serve as FA to two dozen high school and college students in the Seattle area and across the country. Does anyone? Do the other students at Redmond High School get positive responses—or responses at all—from the community members they cold call?

If the answer is yes, well, then I feel even more guilty. But if the answer is no, well, then I feel a little bit better about my inability to serve.

Mars Hill Responds

posted by on October 12 at 2:14 PM

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill sent me this letter in response to yesterday’s Paradox/Mars Hill story. He gave me permission to share it.

Megan, I wanted to follow up on the article you wrote. I felt it was pretty fair, so thank you. Back in the days when the Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO) was in effect we used our nonprofit status to do shows and lost quite a bit of money that the church covered gladly as we really do want to support the all ages scene. Over the years things have changed a lot with the TDO lifted and our church has changed a lot too from a few hundreds to many thousands of people. One of the big changes is that we’re now meeting in three parts of the city and looking at possibly expanding to do shows in Shoreline, Ballard, and West Seattle. Right now were figuring out how to make our facilities open to all ages shows wherever we get real estate. So, that’s pretty much the big shakeup we are in and trying to figure out with our spreading around the area what that means for the Paradox and shows. Our hope is to continue doing shows and maybe also open some additional clubs under their own name, or possibly the Paradox name, and we’re trying to figure that all out. For example, we are finishing construction on a great new building in West Seattle that has an amazing space for an all ages venue complete with a complete industrial kitchen attached. I know that some folks will be suspicious about our intentions but I hope they give us the benefit of the doubt that even though we are Christians we are one’s that love the all ages scene and really want to help provide nice safe venues for bands and younger fans while also celebrating The Vera Project and others doing the same. We’ve invested a lot of money in the all ages scene and the church has covered the losses for years and have had a really positive experience with the bands and the fans and hope to do even more once we get some construction finished and a complete plan in place.

Many Thanks
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Mars Hill Church

Album Cover Bloodbath

posted by on October 12 at 12:19 PM

I meant to Slog this when I first saw it a couple days ago, but got swamped and forgot.

It’s cheesy, but well done. (Does anyone else find it strangely upsetting to watch the Asia dragon eat the Nevermind baby?)

Cooking With Feminists

posted by on October 12 at 11:32 AM

Stephen Colbert was exceptionally awesome last night. Those of you who didn’t get to witness his “interview” with Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda can catch up now:

Jesus H. Prom King Christ!

posted by on October 12 at 11:26 AM

Death-row prisoner gets pregnant in solitary.


Her womb has been swabbed by God. Praise her.

“You Don’t Pull Craftsmanship Like That Out of Your Ass…”

posted by on October 12 at 11:16 AM


…or do you? From the preview for next week, it looks like Jeffrey’s a goner, but it seems unlikely that they’d totally give that away. Any predictions for next week? Discuss.

The Fonz Demonstrates “The Honk”

posted by on October 12 at 11:15 AM

Aaaaaaaaaaaye, kids! “Safety” is COOL! And nobody knows better than Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzerelli from Happy Days. But let’s say you’re being sexually attacked by former Congressman Mark Foley—it’s simply not effective enough to yell “RAPE!” Because, let’s face it, with your past record? Your parents will never believe you. That’s why all the “COOL” kids are yelling the newest thing in rape or abduction protection, “THE HONK.” Let’s watch as the Fonz and a mentally impaired school teacher demonstrate “the honk” in this classic PSA.

Got it? GREAT! So let’s practice. At exactly 2:37 pm today—NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE—let out a huge HONK!! That’ll show those rapists!

Republicans on Evangelicals: “Nuts.”

posted by on October 12 at 11:10 AM

Earlier this week it was Tucker Carlson speaking “deep truth” about the comtempt Republican leaders have for Evangelical Christians. Now David Kuo, former special assistant to President Bush from 2001 to 2003, is joining the chorus:

A self-described conservative Christian, Kuo’s previous experience includes work for prominent conservatives including former Education Secretary and federal drug czar Bill Bennett and former Attorney General John Ashcroft…

He says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”

“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as `ridiculous,’ `out of control,’ and just plain `goofy,’” Kuo writes.

Via Americablog.

Five Minutes with Dan

posted by on October 12 at 10:42 AM

The Daily Pennsylvanian’s blog, The Spin, has a video chat with Dan wherein he expounds on the Senate race between Rick Santorum and Bob Casey (and Green candidate Carl Romanelli, who is fighting a legal battle to get on the ballot).

Choice excerpt: “Any progressive who votes for a Green anymore after Nader and now Romanelli is a fucking idiot and should be beaten with sticks.”

Just Curious

posted by on October 12 at 10:36 AM

Right now I’m playing Johnny Cash while I work. Is anyone else listening to the voice of a dead man this morning?


posted by on October 12 at 10:30 AM

Oh my God:

Down in the comments thread, a SLOG reader called N in Seattle is talking about BRIBE (Bringing Real Integrity Back to Elections)—the PAC that the Stranger set up back in early 2004 to protest Mayor Nickels’s tacky overtures to the crop of incoming city council members. He held fund raisers for them.

N, thank you for the memories. That was my favorite thing that ever happened, and I’d forgotten all about it.

If I remember right, we actually raised enough money at our fundraiser to buy 1 bus ad. And we got it on a line that goes right by city hall.

Here’s a mock up of the ad that ran. To my evident oblivion it’s posted right here in the Stranger news room. bribe.JPG

Slides Redux

posted by on October 12 at 10:27 AM

I don’t know how I forgot this yesterday when I posted about the giant slides at the Tate Modern, but in 2003, I went down one of Carsten Hřller’s art slides at the ICA in Boston.

The experience, obviously, was not memorable. It was awkward. I laid stiffly in the slide and let the “fun” happen. It was the middle of a weekday and almost nobody else was in the museum. It was quiet. The slide snaked down the narrow atrium at the center of the building, and I made a muffled clattering noise on my way down, catching a glimpse of the sourpuss guy at admissions as I rode absurdly by him. I remember feeling, above all, like a square. When I was deposited at the bottom, I got up, brushed myself off like an embarrassed cat preening after doing something stupid, and exited the museum.

NSFDC (Not Safe for Day Care!)

posted by on October 12 at 9:30 AM

Guess what we missed on YouTube this week? A staged orgy featuring Disneyland characters! Apparently some randy Disneyland Paris employees hopped into the costumes of Walt’s most famous characters, and videotaped themselves in a vast array of sexual positions. Naturally, it was yanked off YouTube immediately. BOOOOO!!!
Here’s the scoop from The Daily Mail!

The footage, which is certain to be banned from Disney’s official merchandise, shows Goofy grabbing Minnie Mouse from behind.

She pulls herself away, but is then cornered for more fake sex with a giant snowman.

In another scene, Mickey Mouse, the children’s favourite, gets in on the act with the snowman.

The clips were shot at Disneyland Paris and then posted on YouTube.Com, the popular site for viewing bizarre videos. It has now been removed.

The video is thought to have been shot using a concealed camera. A French voiceover announces “Disneyland backstage, it’s hot!”

A Disney spokesman said the company was aware of the video and expressed ‘regret’ if it caused any offence.


The Morning News

posted by on October 12 at 6:25 AM

655,000: “Excess” civilian death toll in Iraq, according to a joint US-Iraq study.

20: Factor by which that exceeds an estimate made by Bush in December.

33: Number of FBI agents with even limited proficiency in Arabic.

4: Minimum number of years for which the US Army plans to keep troops in Iraq at current levels.

2: Number of times Mark Foley visited pages’ dorm building, according to ABC.

2”: Number of contradictory positions Bush has taken on nukes in North Korea in the last three years.

3: Number of days it took John McCain to go from blaming Clinton for North Korean nuke to blasting Bush critics for “finger-pointing” on North Korean nuke.

2: Number dead in NYC crash, including Yankees pitcher.

1 in 3: Number of women physically abused worldwide, according to a new UN report.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Milwaukee’s Weirdest Bar

posted by on October 11 at 9:40 PM

I’m writing my column in what has to be the weirdest of Milwaukee’s 800+ bars. It’s basically a photo copy of a photo copy of a photo copy of every bar and hotel lobby Philippe Starck designed for Ian Schrager back when they were re-inventing hotels and lobby bars together. It’s glitzy and ritzy and… and weird. Really weird. I don’t even know where to begin.

Well, let’s start with the door. The bar is attached to a hotel—a Comfort Inn, of all things. At the Comfort Inn, the toilets are still sanitized for your protection. And the sign on the door to the hotel bar?


“Aqua: Upscale Restaurant and Bar.” Uh, if you’re an upscale bar—really upscale—you don’t have to say so on the door. And then there’s the interior. It’s like Liberace met Star Trek in a dark alley somewhere and decided to beat the fuck out of Love American Style.

Check out the bar…


It’s hard to see in my photo, but the bar is made up of water tanks illuminated from inside with blue and green and lavander lights. And they’re bubbling, boiling, like some sort of massive, manic lava lamp. Now take a gander at the white baby grand piano…


And here’s the host stand—two clear Plexiglas fifty-gallon drums, bubbling away. One green, one blue.


Clear Plexiglas barstools…


But this is the pièce de rĂ©sistance: a huge mural of two… zebras. Necking.


WTF? The mural is huge—the length of the bar—and it’s hard to concentrate on my column, what with all the zebra love on display.

Oh, and I’m the only person in the bar. It seems that the freaked out bar at the Comfort Inn isn’t one of Milwaukee’s hotspots. So I have all this glamour to myself….


posted by on October 11 at 4:27 PM

Yankees Pitcher Among At Least Two Dead in New York High-Rise Plane Crash.

A Few Cultural Learnings

posted by on October 11 at 3:58 PM

The New Republic kicks off its latest issue with two intertwined, smart editorials. (I’ve pasted in key exerpts in the jump below just in case the links don’t work.)

The first editorial is by their lead columnist and former editor, whip-smart Peter Beinert.

Here’s his lead:

Last week, I went searching the liberal Web for discussions of Idomeneo. The Deutsche Oper, a Berlin opera house, had recently canceled the Mozart classic because it feared Muslims would react violently to a scene featuring Mohammed’s severed head. Germans declared that free speech was under siege. The New York Times covered every wrinkle. Right-wing websites buzzed. And, on the big liberal blogs, virtual silence.

Beinert’s piece is a nice slapdown on myopic (and I’d say hypocritical) lefties who have an endless history of bending over backward to accomodate reactionaries. Beinert goes on to argue that the left’s pick & choose approach to outrage is a fatal flaw.

Cultural sensititivy my ass. If the Anti-Defamation League rose up to denounce Ali G’s new movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, can you imagine the avalanche of righteous (anti-censorship) indignation that would come thundering down from the left?

Brilliantly, The New Republic’s, symbiotic, second lead editorial, on the facing page is, well, a slapdown on the ADL for its (slow-witted) denunciation of Ali G.’s new movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhsta

Here’s TNR’s conclusion:

Cohen [Ali G.] has revealed Nazarbayev’s intolerance in a way that no State Department report ever will. Here’s hoping the ADL’s plea to keep audiences away from Borat’s film works as well as it did for The Passion of the Christ.

By denouncing censorship across the board—defending stuff that pisses off Muslims and pisses off Jews—TNR sets a rare (high) standard for those that claim to revere freedom of speech.

Continue reading "A Few Cultural Learnings" »

For the Blame Game Before He Was Against It

posted by on October 11 at 2:55 PM

Sen. John McCain on North Korea yesterday:

“We had a carrots and no sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn’t work, we offered another. Now we’re facing the consequences of the failed Clinton administration policies.”

Sen. John McCain on North Korea today:

“I think this is the wrong time for us to be engaging in finger pointing when in this crucial time, we need the world and Americans united in going to the United Nations to bring about sanctions against North Korea.”

(Via Think Progress.)

Congressional Quarterly Upgrades Burner’s Chances

posted by on October 11 at 2:15 PM

Via Goldy:

Democrat Darcy Burner’s challenge to freshman Republican Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th District has become one of the year’s key battleground races — as evidenced by the fact that the national parties poured nearly $1 million dollars into this contest in the last two weeks.

As a result of this and other factors, has move this race to No Clear Favorite from Leans Republican.

Independent polls indicate that Burner, a former Microsoft executive making her first bid for public office, is gaining ground in this partisan swing district in suburban Seattle.

Meet “Dr. Paul,” Hastert’s Spiritual Go-To Guy

posted by on October 11 at 1:14 PM

Here are a few salient details about “Dr.” R.K. Paul, the nutty Houston evangelist who met with House Speaker Dennis Hastert to implore the disgraced Republican to resign.

• He said voters should oust Republicans because their foreign policy is delaying the Second Coming.

• He served as spiritual advisor to dictators and mass murderers, including Liberia’s Charles Taylor, Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic, and Saddam Hussein.

• He claimed another minister’s leper colony as his own, using images from the colony to raise money for his organization.

• He abandoned an 11-year-old girl in Washington, D.C., after she became ill on a fund-raising trip to Little Rock.

• He claims to have convinced Hastert, through prayer, to resign.

• He once fled India after his companions were arrested for causing riots, abandoning them in prison.

• He lost his accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability because he could not substantiate claims about his organization’s finances.

Hastert has since claimed the evangelist “duped” him into letting Paul into the house speaker’s Plano home; Paul himself, however, called that claim “ridiculous,” adding that Hastert had “welcomed” Paul into his home.

Ask a Homo

posted by on October 11 at 12:20 PM

With Seattlest deciding to “Ask a Dot-commer” about one of this week’s noteworthy events, I thought I’d ask a homo about another of this week’s happenings: the Jim McGreevey reading at Elliott Bay last night.

I’m not a huge fan of McGreevey, the former New Jersey governor who came out of the closet two years ago, at age 47. Here’s what I wrote about him in the Stranger’s Queer Issue this year:

Gay rights groups applauded McGreevey’s courage in coming out of the closet at age 47, but a lot of homosexuals I knew wanted to slap him for taking so long and causing so much harm along the way. My ex-girlfriend from long ago, herself no fan of closet cases, has a stock answer to the question of how to punish people who fuck up in the way McGreevey has fucked up: “Their punishment is their life.”

So I didn’t make it a point to be at his Seattle reading as he flogged his tell-all book, The Confession. But a couple of gay men I know did. Here’s the report from one, who wants his handle to be “Another Late-Bloomer for Change.”

I was drawn less by interest in the book itself, and more by curiosity about him as a person. Aside from the fact that he was a terrible reader, and the writing seemed pretty cliche (quotes Dostoevsky), when he moved to the Q & A he was super charming, informative and inspiring. He called attention to our unfortunate two-party system where one party opposes gay rights and the other remains silent; he reminded us the we have a voting population where 30 percent of voters self-identify as Evangelical Christian; and he spoke about the need to never settle for anything less than gay marriage because if we do it will always be just that: less than marriage.

He also spoke of hope that the culture will change, repeating again and again that ‘time is on our side’ as the intolerant age and eventually die. (Perhaps this changed culture will also be guided by politicians who never have to apologize for being gay — or in his case, closeted.)

Too bad he still isn’t Governor.

My other friend at the reading reports that he went home, fell asleep, and…

…had an amazingly hot and surprising sex dream about McGreevey.

I’ve demanded details (and an interpretation of the suspected meaning). More to come…

UPDATE: The friend writes:

It is too graphic to write about — but it was also incredibly hot. I don’t have time for an interpretation, except that I went into the reading not respecting him b/c of the shitty choices he made, etc…, and left respecting him and, obviously, finding him attrative.


posted by on October 11 at 12:15 PM

CNN is reporting that a “small airplane has crashed into a building on East 71st Street in Manhattan.”

They’re showing video of smoke pouring out of a skyscraper, and reporting that “a number of apartments are completely engufled in flames.” On September 11 the first reports were of a small plane having crashed into the World Trade Center. They’re also saying there are no reports of a plane having been hijacked, and no report—yet—of any ties to terrorism.

UPDATE: The New York Times reports

A small plane crashed into a high-rise on the Upper East Side, raining down debris on Manhattan and unleashing what witnesses reported was a gigantic fireball, police said.

The aircraft struck the 20th floor of a building on East 72nd Street, said Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi. Witnesses said the crash caused a loud noise, and burning and falling debris was seen. Flames were seen shooting out of the windows.

“There’s huge pieces of debris falling,” said one witness who refused to give her full name. “There’s so much falling now, I’ve got to get away.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was too early to determine what type of aircraft was involved, or what might have caused the crash in the middle of a hazy October afternoon.

The fire appears to be out now—but CNN keeps showing clips of video from when the fire was raging, giving the impression that the building is still on fire. And CNN insists it was a small plane, not a helicopter. Fire’s out, emergency over—but NORAD is putting fighter aircraft in the air over “numerous US cities.”

It’s probably not terrorism—and if that’s the case, something similar has happened before. A plane once accidentally crashed into the Empire State Building on a foggy day in 1945.

[Originally posted at 11:52, but I’m moving this up because it seems kinda… important.]

The Paradox

posted by on October 11 at 12:05 PM

As Seattlest reported this morning, Mars Hill Church has decided to take back the Paradox from the volunteers who are currently managing the space. It’s a big deal, but there’s a lot more to the story: The move has been in the works for the past week and is the result of a quiet meeting during which Paradox booker Alicia Blake was asked to give back her building keys and was told that her last show at the venue would be December 16th. Mars Hill’s reasoning? They want to tie the venue in closer to the church. But even they don’t know what that means.

It’s no secret that the controversial Mars Hill Church has subsidized the Paradox since its inception in 1999. In the beginning, members of Mars Hill Church ran and booked the space. It was the church’s way of reaching out to Seattle’s youth and securing a place in the local music scene. At the time there was no Vera Project, the Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO) was still in effect, and the struggling all-ages music community needed all the help it could get.

But as the all-ages scene changed, so did the Paradox. The Vera Project started up, the TDO was lifted, allowing bars to host all-ages shows, and control of the Paradox moved out of the hands of Mars Hill members, and the venue stayed afloat thanks to the hard work of longtime volunteers like Alicia and Promotions Director Liz Martin.

If you’ve gone to a show at the Paradox in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen Liz and Alicia—they’re always there, and they’ve worked hard to keep the Paradox an open and comfortable place for everyone. Not only do they not allow the church’s beliefs to affect the acts booked at the venue (neither of them attend the church), but they also show up early at each show to remove all church paraphernalia like newsletters, fliers, and bibles from the band load-in room (which doubles as the church’s foyer). To be at the Paradox was not to be at Mars Hill, and they made sure of that.

But at the end of this year, the Paradox will be switching management. As noted before, Mars Hill has decided that they want to pull the venue closer to the church.

In an e-mail sent out last night, Blake and Martin wrote:

Due to some internal changes happening within the church, Mars Hill decided to review all of their programs, including the Paradox. The church has made a decision to bring the Paradox in closer to the church, and we have been informed a group of Mars Hill members will be taking over Paradox operations. We were asked if we would like to take part in these changes, but we have both decided it would be in our best interest to not be a part of this new version of the venue, as we both would not feel comfortable working in this new environment.

This is the result of a discussion Alicia had with members of the church last week. At the time, Alicia hoped to completely separate the Paradox from the church and to continue using the Paradox name to book shows in Seattle (she’s been the reason it’s existed for the past few years, anyway). But Mars Hill representatives said the church wanted to keep the name, and not only that, take back the space.

Our nonprofit status is tied to the church, as are some of our finances, but this has recently come up as a subject both Liz and I have touched on, with the intent to separate the Paradox for the first time from the church. Over the past few months, Liz and I had considered a few different ideas, which included separating the Paradox from the church, possibly moving the venue and opening elsewhere. After a series of meetings with the heads of the church, we have found our vision for the Paradox does not coincide with the church’s vision.

After the meeting, Blake was asked to return her building keys. She also cleaned out her office, packing up demos and binders of booking information. And yesterday morning, the church made another bold move by changing the password information for all Paradox e-mail addresses, including Alicia’s personal address, denying her access despite the fact she still has a number of shows already booked between now and December 16. She was granted access later in the afternoon after she complained, but she still doesn’t have access to the Paradox’s e-mail list, website, or volunteer e-mail list.

With all the action the church has taken in recent days, you’d think they have big plans for the venue. But they actually have no idea what will happen with the Paradox.

Bubba Jennings, a staff member at Mars Hill who was part of the original Paradox crew back in 1999, says, “We’re still figuring everything out. We know we need to reevaluate the Paradox. All we know, we are most likely going to continue to do shows. We do want the Paradox to be a little bit closer tied in with Mars Hill but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be preaching at shows. We’re not going to do anything like that.”

So what are they going to do?

During a phone conversation yesterday afternoon, Jennings said: “We’re not really sure what we’re going to do. We want to continue to do shows; we’re not going to change anything, like the format or anything. We’ll continue to do the same type of shows and stuff like that.”

“You’re not going to change anything at all?” I asked him.

“We really don’t know. We want it to be tied in a little bit closer with the church and we don’t know what that means. The last thing we want is for the Paradox to become an inhospitable space to people that are not involved with Mars Hill. The whole reason Mars Hill has done it is for it to be a hospitable club to the city with no strings attached, and that’s going to continue. Mars Hill has probably invested probably over $400,000 in the Paradox over the years. And we really value the local music scene and want to see it prosper. I’m not saying the Paradox hasn’t been accomplishing those things, it’s just at a place where, you know, we feel like we need to reevaluate how can it serve the city best and we don’t really know what that looks like yet.”

Jennings also admits, though, that the change in management will leave some people to question the venue’s intentions.

“I think it will leave a lot of people to question and time will show the truth of what the Paradox is about. People should see it, taste it, touch it, and then draw their own conclusions.”

Yet, they still don’t know what “it” is or will be?

“To be honest with you, Megan, I had hoped we were going to have all of this figured out before we went public with it,” he said. “We don’t have all the answers yet because we weren’t planning on sharing it until we knew exactly what was going on.”

I asked him why, if there aren’t any plans for the venue, are all the drastic changes being made with such urgency. But he didn’t have an answer. It seems likely that the church lost track of the Paradox over the years, and didn’t realize that the venue had become so separated from Mars Hill. Once it came to their attention that the Paradox was seemingly out of their hands (with the exception of financial ties), they panicked.

The shows that Alicia and Liz have booked at the Paradox will go on as planned, with the last one taking place December 16. After that, the women have already started making plans for their new production company, Make Believe, which will continue booking shows (both all-ages and 21+) at various venues throughout the city.

Worst. Campaign. Ad. Ever.

posted by on October 11 at 12:04 PM

Perhaps you admire the quasi-libertarian ethos behind November’s ballot initiative I-933. Perhaps you even agree with its land use law-gutting philosophy. But I-933’s new commercial is just hilariously sloppy. As we have reported, the Washington I-933 campaign is just one of a tornado of property rights initiatives touching down in states across the nation — most funded by one New York/Chicago based group, Americans for Limited Government, which channels money into different PACS in different states (Montanans in Action!) to give the campaigns a more home-grown look.

But the new I-933 ad glaringly reveals its assembly-line origin. The ad features choppy flash animation of Soprano-styled mobster politicians using eminent domain to seize control over small businesses. Occasionally, a Washington state flag or city name is slapped onto a sign to provide context that these mobsters are indeed operating in our fair state.

But the exact same video with road signs and proposition names modified is showing in Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. I don’t know what’s worse: the moving piano music as the mobster/politicians evict minorities from businesses while cracking “eminent domain” puns, the squeaky “ethnic” voices of said minorities or the fact that the Statue of Liberty is prominently featured in all four ads. You’d think if you were going to stage a nation-wide campaign disguised as a local grassroots effort, you’d have the decency to edit out the image of Lady Liberty rising outside what is supposed to be, alternately, Seattle, Sun Valley and Phoenix.

In any case, the main glaring error with the Washington ad is that I-933 doesn’t even address eminent domain. The property rights initiatives on the ballots in several other states do focus on eminent domain issues, but I-933 only relates to laws regulating the use of private property, not the government’s ability to acquire it.

Even the I-933 backers who posted the ad concede this. “I readily acknowledge that I-933 is about compensation for damage to use or value of property” and not about eminent domain, said Steve Hammond (president of the I-933’s Citizens’ Taxpayers Association) during an interview in The Columbian,“Because it’s parody, it’s meant to be entertaining as much as factual information.”

So it’s okay if election ads completely mislead voters as long as they’re funny? Even if that’s true, what focus group thought a badly-animated Sopranos rip-off of mobsters discussing land use laws sounded hilarious?

More Naughty Politicians Exposed

posted by on October 11 at 11:24 AM

Another scandal, in Italy this time…

A popular Italian satirical television show has exposed what appears to be widespread drug use among [Italy’s] parliamentarians.

In secret tests for a number of illegal substances the program said 16 of 50 lower house deputies tested positive for cocaine and cannabis.

Almost a third appeared to have taken the drugs in the past 36 hours.

Full story.

Nice to know their lawmakers party, too. Lesson: Don’t ever let anyone you don’t know swab you.

The Stranger Makes In-Kind Contribution to No on I-920

posted by on October 11 at 11:22 AM

Credit to Seattle Times reporter David Postman for outing his paper’s $1,000 in-kind contribution to I-920, the estate tax repeal campaign.

Currently the estate tax only hits estates worth over $2 million. And it exempts farms if they make up at least half of the estate—meaning, working farm families. Repealing the tax would sock earmarked state education funding to the tune of $100 million a year.

Given Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen’s excitable commitment to the estate tax repeal (the tax break will help about 250 of the richest estates statewide), his paper’s support hardly comes as a surprise. But Postman also reports that the Wenatchee World made a $25,000 contribution to the repeal campaign and The Columbian, a paper in Vancouver, WA., aslo donated.

All of this earned the eloquent ire of former Stranger superstar reporter Sandeep Kaushik, who is now the spokesperson for the anti-920 campaign.

Says Kaushik over on Postman’s blog:

The publishers of these newspapers contributing are showing a cavalier willingness to sacrifice their own papers’ journalistic credibility so they can attain a self-serving political agenda.

Well put Kaushik. The Stranger is proud of our in-kind contribution to the no repeal campaign: Kaushik.

For more of Kaushik’s eloquent ire click on the jump.

Continue reading "The Stranger Makes In-Kind Contribution to No on I-920" »

What Could Have Been

posted by on October 11 at 10:24 AM

Two recent experiences brought this picture to mind: 5b5121cf2732.jpg. The picture was taken in 1977, and the young family that’s arranged into an indestructible unity by a portrait photographer is an African family.

While reading the last story in Dambudzo Marechera ‘s House of Hunger (published in 1979 and shared that year first prize for the Guardian Award for fiction—the other winner was Neil Jordan, the now-famous Irish filmmaker), I thought about the new film The Last King of Scotland, which is set in the capital of Uganda, Kampala, during Idi Amin’s rule (72 to 79). What connects the portrait, Dumbudzo’s short story, and the movie is the lost spirit of African modernity.

To use Dumbudzo’s words (which are far from words of praise), the pictured African family is a “modern African family”—the future unit and standard of a fully commodified African society. If all had gone as planned and desired for Zimbabwe, and Uganda, whose capital attempted to modernize its look and architecture—as is shown in the movie The Last King of Scotland—the pictured “undifferentiated unity” would have been as universal as toasters in this society.

More Burner

posted by on October 11 at 9:51 AM

Have a question for the candidate? She’s going to be answering questions live online today at the Seattle TImes web page, starting at noon.

The Burner-Reichert Debate

posted by on October 11 at 9:40 AM

Postman has a good round-up of this morning’s coverage of the one and only debate between eastside Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. I’m told we’ll have video snippets soon later today or tomorrow, so check back for that. And if, like me, you missed the event and are hoping for a full video, TVW is airing the entire debate tonight at 7 p.m.

While this was the only debate between the two candidates, there are two other joint appearances scheduled in the coming days. Details here.

Meanwhile, here’s the P-I’s take on last night’s face-off:

BELLEVUE — If the gloves were ever on, they came off Tuesday night.

The nation’s angst about the war in Iraq and the latest congressional scandal was reflected in a mean-spirited and bare-knuckled debate between Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Darcy Burner, the Democrat challenging him for the suburban 8th Congressional District seat.

In the campaign’s first and only face-off between the two, Burner immediately aimed her attack as much at President Bush and the Republican-led Congress as Reichert himself.

“Something is very, very wrong, and we have got to change course,” Burner said.

“In my experience as a businesswoman, which I was for a dozen years, you deliver results or you get fired,” said Burner, the former Microsoft Corp. manager. “If this Congress and this president worked for Microsoft, they would have been fired.”

The Meydenbauer Center auditorium was filled to capacity with hundreds of people, many vocal and sometimes combative Burner supporters.

Burner never had Reichert, the former King County sheriff, on his heels, but he did get visibly angry as she and the crowd vented their frustration about issues ranging from the Iraq war to health care.

He countered with measured responses to her campaign’s criticisms and consistently tried to redirect the debate away from the broader direction of the Bush administration and back to his own accomplishments and policy decisions.

“This is the United States of America, and at some point, Ms. Burner, you are going to have to come out from behind the bushes and recognize I am your opponent,” Reichert said.

A Different Kind of Art Slide

posted by on October 11 at 9:07 AM


These are giant slides installed at Tate Modern by Carsten Hřller. The idea to turn the museum into a rec zone is one thing.

But what about the experience? Anybody out there been down these yet?

It’s Olsen Twins Wednesday—YET AGAIN!

posted by on October 11 at 9:02 AM

OH, SWEET, SWEET WEDNESDAY! If it weren’t for you, I might never have my weekly dose of those indominable OLSEN TWINS! Today’s episode of Olsen Twins’ Wednesday is especially ear-buggy—because the following song is practically GUARANTEED to get stuck in your head all day! It’s the super-duper catchy “Saturday Night” from the classic “School Dance Party” video. Let’s… get… KA-RAZY!

Video in the Bathroom or No?

posted by on October 11 at 8:50 AM

Hotel art fairs are terrible places to see the art, stuffed as it is into rooms where the dealers have to make decisions such as whether to use the bed as a platform or remove it entirely (and where to? their vans?) and whether to display smaller pieces on the tops of the air conditioner and the bedside table.

At the Jupiter Affair two weekends ago, there wasn’t much in the way of great installation (the installation at these things is so bad, and so much of the art small and commercial, that one artist recently suggested to me that hotel art fairs should be advertised as the IKEA for condos), but Seattle dealer Scott Lawrimore went looking for inspiration for his upcoming installation at Aqua Art Miami, and Jupiter Affair next year.

He came up with something like a Hotel Art Fair Manifesto.

Don’ts: 1. Lots of small work = A.D.D. 2. Videos in closets are disingenuous, if not disrespectful. 3. Looking like you are there to sell work doesn’t sell work. 4. Dealers sitting in chairs in the corners of rooms are not dealers. 5. Putting up work and praying for an audience is lazy. 6. Salon-style hanging of every artist represented should be confined to museums and avid collector’s homes…oh, and salons. 7. Selling work at hotel fairs shouldn’t be the end goal.

1a. A few large, iconic pieces = focus.
2a. Video installations in bathrooms are revered.
3a. Looking like you are there to support your programming sells work.
4a. Dealers engaging people in the art, not the price, are dealers.
5a. Knowing your audience and getting them excited about seeing the work in advance is sedulous.
6a. Devoting entire walls or rooms to one artist’s work is noble.
7a. Getting people to invest time with the ideas of the artists at hotel fairs should be the end goal.

One rottenly made work can spoil the whole stable.
Handwritten tags for the artists, although aloof and quaint, devalue the artist.
Pee-chee art just won’t go away.
Pencil to paper, brush to canvas, finger to shutter isn’t enough.
Really good work is being made in every state in our fair Union, not just its coasts.
Really good work not from the coasts have a chance because of events such as these.
The visual arts are, unfortunately, still quite visual.
Only a few things stood out, so either my filter is clogged, or it is working perfectly.

Tucker Carlson Tells “The Deep Truth” About Republicans and Evangelicals

posted by on October 11 at 8:50 AM

Via everyone, including:

CARLSON: It goes deeper than that though. The deep truth is that the elites in the Republican Party have pure contempt for the evangelicals who put their party in power. Everybody in …

MATTHEWS: How do you know that? How do you know that?

CARLSON: Because I know them. Because I grew up with them. Because I live with them. they live on my street. Because I live in Washington, and I know that everybody in our world has contempt for the evangelicals. And the evangelicals know that, and they’re beginning to learn that their own leaders sort of look askance at them and don’t share their values.

MATTHEWS: So this gay marriage issue and other issues related to the gay lifestyle are simply tools to get elected?

CARLSON: That’s exactly right. It’s pandering to the base in the most cynical way, and the base is beginning to figure it out.

Creepy Secret

posted by on October 11 at 8:41 AM


To paraphrase Sojourner Truth, I ain’t a woman.

Nevertheless, my feminist backbone got all pointy last night during a creepy commercial for Secret deodorant, featuring a pair of supposedly real women “sharing secrets!”

The first woman’s secret: “I think your best friend is the perfect guy for me.”

The second woman’s secret: “I just helped him shop for an engagement ring for you!”

The kicker, imposed in voiceover: “Secret—celebrating 50 years of strong women.”

Maybe I’m oversensitive, but it seems the Secret marketing team might’ve come up with a savvier way to illustrate longstanding female strength than two women giggling over bridal prospects.

As it turns out, I’m far from alone in my Secret-induced queasiness. Many women have grievances about the “Share your secret!” campaign, as the posts and comments here and here show.

If you’re in the mood for some ick, check out the commercials here.

Two More Morning News Items

posted by on October 11 at 8:20 AM

Iraq: Beginner’s Luck? “Militia attack ignites U.S. ammo dump in Iraq.”

More Iraq: “Iraq deaths put at 655,000.”

Amo, Amas, Amat

posted by on October 11 at 8:00 AM

The pope brings back the Latin mass. My grandfather, who never got quite got over Vatican II, would be so pleased.

Philadelphia: My Kind of Town

posted by on October 11 at 7:36 AM

I love Philly—and it’s not just because Philly has a two-line subway system that connects with numerous regional commuter rail lines. (And let’s not mock Philly’s two-line system, Seattle. How many rapid transit lines do we have?) Walking around Philadelphia yesterday I spotted lots of other stuff to love…

Like food carts…


Seattle’s Wigland may be history, but Philly’s Wigland lives!


The stitched-and-trimmed remains of Joan Collins and Linda Evans are performing live onstage in a legitimate theatrical production!


And, finally… and best of all… look at these men. Look at them! They’re standing on a sidewalk in front of a bar…


With beers in their hands! And there are no fences, no moats, no barbed wire, no barriers at all. A smoking ban just went into effect in Philadelphia, and there’s been a lot less grumbling from addicts than there was in Seattle. And I’m convinced the smoking ban went down easier here because drinkers are allowed to step out of a bar, beer in hand, and have a smoke—just like it’s done at pubs in the United Kingdom.

Contrast Philly’s adult approach to outdoor drinking with Washington state’s, which grows increasingly ridiculous with each passing year. Fences around beer gardens, two lines of fences creating little moats, eight-foot freaking chain-link fences at Fremont’s Oktoberfest—all to protect the kids. Pretty soon in Seattle we’ll be drinking in lead-lined underground bunkers to protect the kiddies from alcohol.

But in PA they trust that adults can stand on a sidewalk outside a bar, drink a beer, smoke an idiot cigarette, and refrain passing beers to any toddlers strolling by.

The Morning News

posted by on October 11 at 6:48 AM

Iraq, Take 1: “They just started shooting randomly.”.

Iraq, Take 2: “Unfortunately, the plans of the Saddamists and the terrorists have shaken the new Iraq.”

North Korea, Take 1: “Now, what will happen is over time you find out, Hmmm, that data point wasn’t right.”

North Korea, Take 2: “I think you cannot ask by this resolution to kill a country.”

Foleygate, Take 1: “We decided against publishing the storybecause we didn’t have absolute proof.”

Foleygate, Take 2: “I didn’t think anybody at any time in my office did anything wrong.”

GOP: “Everybody in our world has contempt for the evangelicals.”

Hong Kong: “It’s a way of getting the message across that more needs to be done to clear up the air here.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I’m Siiiiingin’ in a Cave

posted by on October 10 at 7:26 PM

I almost forgot. The Cave Singers are playing tonight at the Chop Suey. I caught their debut show a week or so back opening for Two Ton Boa and they were flippin’ great. They got Derek from Pretty Girls/MCD and two other guys playing nylon-string guitars and the occasional washboard or bass pedals. The vocals are weird and unearthly (I think they’re running em through some processors) and they sounded like they were rocking the Davendra Appalachian tip. Very lovely indeed.

They on at 9:20, so don’t tarry.

Sides of Susan Sontag I Didn’t Think I’d See

posted by on October 10 at 5:13 PM

“Susan and Sarah, Harbor Island, Bahamas, December 2002.”


“Leaving Seattle, November 15, 2004.”


Both by Annie Leibovitz, from her book A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005.

Herbert Muschamp on “The Cumulus Effect”

posted by on October 10 at 4:52 PM

Also from T:

Frequent flyers often lose their sense of orientation. Perhaps that’s why architects, who are among the most frequent flyers in the world today, are now constructing buildings that resemble clouds. … Now wafting across urban skies in Europe, the United States and other regions too far-flung to keep track of, cloud buildings come in nearly as many types as the moist varieties produced by nature. Yet the ground-based versions share a common feature: all derive their main visual identity as urban objects from a hovering horizontal volume, a packet of aerial atmosphere that looks only temporarily tethered. Even when made of concrete, steel and other materials beloved by gravity, these structures are poised to float away on the next gust of wind or fashion.

Here is Tacoma Art Museum.


Just A Little Glossy Love

posted by on October 10 at 4:33 PM

From Pilar Viladas to Seattle architect Tom Kundig, in this week’s T design mag.


Old Growth New Growth

posted by on October 10 at 4:25 PM

Old Growth New Growth is a collaboration between an adult and a 7 year old.


Besides being seduced by the soothing color, lines and layering of this image, I am also fascinated by the age difference of the artists. How do adults and children collaborate? I don’t have kids but I’m used to the idea of adults directing, teaching, and/or telling kids what things should be like and look like based on their own beliefs. And on top of that, collaboration in general is not easy. It’s hard enough for me, someone over the age of 30, to find a partner with whom to negotiate the inevitable power struggles, insecurities and jealousies of art and life. Well, whatever. All I know is, or at least based on what I see, these two, Sarah and Max, create and play successfully together. They just make it look like fun, right? And that’s what’s important… BUT did she give him that limited color palate to work with? Did Sarah ever feel held back by Max’s limited draftsmanship? Did she hinder him with suggestions and/or vice versa? Did they ever compromise to keep the work afloat?
I’m going to go and find out….

-Elysha Rose Diaz-

20Twenty is located in Ballard.
Artist Reception Saturday October 14th, 6-8 pm.
Show runs through November 9th.

Is HIV a Gay Disease?

posted by on October 10 at 4:06 PM

This new public awareness campaign from a gay and lesbian community center in L.A. is, well, thought-provoking. Effective honesty? Inexcusable use of conservative rhetoric? Discuss.


Via Feministing.

Confidential to Paul Constant

posted by on October 10 at 3:47 PM

I too am avenged.

Kiran Desai Wins Man Booker Prize

posted by on October 10 at 3:40 PM

Story on it here. My bang-on prediction here—plus an exceedingly dickish comment by a Mr. “Frank Sauce” that I hadn’t read until today:

Why, exactly, should people in Seattle care about a prize given in a little island in the Atlantic Ocean, an island about the size of the Olympic Peninsula? What makes this even more insulting to my brief attention span, scrolling through your so called blog looking for screenshots from Hump is that this prize is for a novel. The Man Booker is for 1) a book that is 2) not even real in 3) an empire that no longer exists…

And it goes on. My belated feeding of the troll: This shit matters because I said so, and today I am correct 100 percent of the time. Bow before my superior prestigious-literary-awards-handicapping-intellect, Mr. Sauce. Bow, I say!

Cry-Baby Postponed

posted by on October 10 at 3:31 PM

This February, the 5th Avenue was scheduled to premiere Cry-Baby, a musical adaptation of the John Waters movie starring that one guy:


In the tradition of Hairspray and The Wedding Singer, the theater wanted to open the movie-turned-musical in Seattle, then send it to Broadway. But the theater has wiped the show from its current season because its can’t arrange a straight-to-Broadway transition.

The 5th Ave is having trouble locking in a Broadway theater because, according to an enthusiastic email from 5th Ave spokesperson Jennifer Rice: “Broadway is hot, baby!!! Shows aren’t closing. You’ve got a ton of shows like Hairspray, Chicago, Lion King, Beauty & The Beast, Phantom, RENT, Producers… that would normally be closed by now to make room for the newbies. But they’re still selling tons of tickets so they won’t give up their theaters. In this high-tech, reality-TV, TIVO, germ free, fast-paced world there’s still no replacing LIVE theater!

Who knew?

Which dredges up the second question: Why is it so important for Cry-Baby to go straight from Seattle to Broadway? “It’s all about the hype baby! [I love it when she calls me baby.] When a show gets rolling, even if it’s far from NY, you don’t want to cut the momentum. If you have a big lag time between pre-Broadway and Broadway openings you have additional costs (storage of sets and costumes) and you run the risk of losing actors to other gigs. And oh the list goes on and on.”

The 5th Avenue is replacing Cry-Baby in its season with another story about a misfit with a guitar (and the man to whom Elvis Costello owes everything), Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story.


Seen on the Street

posted by on October 10 at 2:53 PM

I just saw a girl with a t-shirt proclaiming: “I put the emo in hemoglobin.”

What can this possibly mean? She’s a sad anemic?

On a related note, today Megan Seling is wearing a great shirt: “Putting the ‘ha’ back in hardcore.” It’s about a band with Boston accents, I think.

Diddy Needs to Die

posted by on October 10 at 2:32 PM


I understand that he’s behind two of the greatest albums in hiphop history and single-handedly rescued Broadway with his blockbusting turn in A Raisin in the Sun, but I cannot tell a lie: I hate any and all incarnations of Sean Combs.

Certainly the strongest case for sparing Diddy’s life stems from his involvement with the Notorious BIG’s Ready to Die and Life After Death, which Puffy-the-producer packed with some of the richest, most extravagant beats ever. But then, out pops Puffy the prick, inserting little asides at the ends of Biggie’s lines—”Yeah”; “That’s right”; “I like that”—as if Biggie, an artist so superior to Diddy it’s almost irresponsible to mention them in the same breath, is somehow being overseen and approved by the Godly Diddy.

Fuck that. Once Biggie died, Puffy-the-Prick took over, “writing” crappy songs for his slain friend, presenting himself as a multimedia impresario, and continuing to insert his ridiculous asides into other, better artists’ work. (Mase was no Biggie, but he certainly wasn’t a Puffy, either.)

What does any of this have to do with anything? Well, tomorrow, October 11, the once and future Puffy will be making, as KUBE 93 reports, “a rare Seattle appearance on the observation deck of the Space Needle, promoting his new album Press Play.

Citizens, we cannot sit idly by while the symbolic heart of our city is coopted by this gold-plated phony. Please join me at Seattle Center tomorrow, to shake the Needle from its base, pushing and pulling until Diddy is forcibly ejected from the observation deck and splatters on the pavement.

And then we will dance.

Steinbrueck Editorial on Surface/Transit Option

posted by on October 10 at 2:29 PM

Showing some leadership, City Council Member Peter Steinbrueck published an editorial in the Seattle Times today that puts it all together: the skyrocketing costs of the tunnel option ($3.6 to $5.5 billion); the need for Seattle to reduce its CO2 emissions (and Mayor Nickels’s hypocrisy on that point); and the economic and environmental benefits of the surface/transit option.

Steinbrueck actually takes the flattery approach in his entreaty, crediting Nickels for a commitment to lowering green house gasses (but nod nod, wink wink…de facto calling b.s. on the mayor at the same time).

Anyway, here’s a portion of Steinbrueck’s much-welcomed editorial:

Limiting our choices to a new elevated freeway or a tunnel ignores the great potential we have to achieve not only a more cost-effective and environmentally sound transportation solution, but remove a blighted condition, spur economic development and add open space to meet our growing city’s needs.

Looming over all of our decisions about transportation in the Seattle area is the scary reality of climate change. The scientific evidence is irrefutable — global warming is real. In Seattle, nearly 50 percent of the emissions that contribute to climate change come from burning fossil fuels for our transportation system.

Since both the tunnel and elevated freeway options are now seriously underfunded, state legislators should seize the opportunity to re-examine this problem…While the mayor’s first choice is the tunnel, he supports the City Council’s resolution that designates a surface and transit alternative as a backup. Since the tunnel will likely prove to be unaffordable and does not take a single car off of our streets, the mayor should recognize we can do much better than that.

WSDOT’s preliminary study showed that 28 percent of the 110,000 vehicle trips that use the viaduct daily could be eliminated by the surface option as people choose alternative destinations, perhaps shopping or doing business closer to home. And that’s only a start. Add high-capacity mass-transit service to the corridor and suddenly you give Seattleites a real choice: They can be stuck in heavily congested traffic on a viaduct or in a tunnel, or they can move quickly on a fast, frequent and reliable mass-transit system that is far less polluting.

This is the most important issue facing Seattle. Steinbrueck is one of the only politicians who’s making sense on it.

Philadelphia Freedom

posted by on October 10 at 2:00 PM

So I walked out of my hotel in Philadelphia this morning—this afternoon, actually, but it was morning in Seattle—and was immediately struck by a malady that afflicts me frequently when I travel: mass-transit envy.


Here’s a map of Philadelphia’s entire subway system.


Last week we had the folks behind Prop 2, or Transit Now, a hike in the sales tax to fund a 15-20% increase in levels of Metro bus service. They want our endorsement and to that end they tried to convince us that the package they’re selling wasn’t merely more buses, 80% of which will be running in the `burbs. Heavens no! The plan includes five BRT routes—that’s Bus Rapid Transit for the acronym impaired. But when I asked if there were actually taking lanes away from cars to create dedicated bus lanes—dedicated lanes are the magic ingredient that transforms regular old bus routes into magical BRT routes (which will never be as rapid as a subway or elevated system, what with all those red lights, but whatever)—I was told, uh, no. No dedicated lanes.

So what makes those fives routes bus rapid transit?

Ryan Bayne, a Sims staffer, explained to us they’re going to put more buses on those routes! Right there in the gridlock with the other buses and cars and trucks and taxis and bikes! Won’t that be rapid! And they’re going to paint the buses nifty colors on those five BRT routes! And they’re going to build really spiffy bus shelters on those five BRT routes!

In other words, Transit Now will do everything and anything to bring BRT to Seattle—except the one thing that makes BRT, well, BRT: dedicated lanes. When I called bullshit on Bayne, he said…

“Bus rapid transit is in the eye of the beholder.”

Hm—that’s funny. Because I don’t behold BRT in Transit Now’s package, and I doubt that anyone who isn’t being paid to behold BRT in Prop 2 can see it either.

For the record, I’m not against more buses. Whatever, bring ‘em on. I’m annoyed, however, when flacks sit across the table from me and lie. Voting for Prop 2 will put more buses on the street—mostly suburban streets. Great, grand, goody. It will not, however, bring rapid transit, bus or otherwise, to Seattle.

Matisse in the Car

posted by on October 10 at 1:31 PM



I recently discovered these paintings by Matisse, the only ones he made from the interior of a car, and I can’t get them out of my mind. They were made in 1917 and 1925 respectively. [I found them in Lawrence Wechsler’s Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences (Christopher Frizzelle loves The Convergence Contest) and on the Cleveland Museum of Art web site (damn, its collection is a glorious time-suck).]

I didn’t know Matisse ever painted from inside a car. Far more common are his views of hotel rooms with open windows (he often used a hotel room as his studio), and in the reviews I’ve found of the car pictures, they’re compared with the hotel scenes, both discussed as refuge pictures—pictures in which the artist and the viewer consider calmly the world beyond from the safe haven of a private enclosure.

But these cars seem anything but a safe haven. Aside from the framing, the car and the hotel pictures are totally different. The car scenes are cramped and anxious, especially the one made in 1917; you can almost feel the other cars zooming uncomfortably by, as if they were too close, even though they’re absent from the pictures. Anxiety is not a state often associated with Matisse, so it’s particularly intriguing to find it. Did he drive? I don’t know. According to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the 1917 picture was made with his son at the wheel. The two were enacting the reverse of what would become an American (chiefly American, that is) teenage ritual. Strange to traverse through a single artist—remember Matisse’s Bathersfrom ancient culture to suburban high-school parking lot.

FOX News Does it Again

posted by on October 10 at 1:00 PM

This time, it’s Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) who gets falsely labeled as a Democrat:


Via Crooks and Liars.

The Male Pill

posted by on October 10 at 12:51 PM

Several new types of male contraceptive may soon become available, including an implant (similar to a female IUD), a patch or gel, an implant that goes under the skin, shots, and a daily pill similar to the female birth-control pill that has been available since 1960.

Not surprisingly, the stories on the new male contraceptive options shift their focus almost immediately from the science behind the developments to whether men will even consider using hormonal contraceptives in the first place. From the BBC :

These have the advantage of being readily reversible, meaning a man could use it repeatedly at different times in his life, stopping to have children in between.

But these act on the whole body and can have unwanted side effects, like the female pill. Some men also say they do not find hormonal methods acceptable because they feel it somehow threatens their masculinity.

And from MSNBC:

Forty-year-old Scott Hardin says he’s glad that men may soon have a new choice when it comes to birth control. But, he adds, he would not even consider taking a male hormonal contraceptive. Hardin is like many men who are pleased to hear they may have a new option but are wary of taking any type of hormones.

Many men won’t consider taking what millions and millions of women have been putting into their bodies for nearly half a century, because they regard it as unsafe. Interesting.

Thoughts? Guys, would you take the pill, patch or shot?

Re: That Damn Gap Ad

posted by on October 10 at 11:44 AM

That damn Gap ad… REMIXED!

Now those pants I would buy.

Dave Reichert’s First TV Ad

posted by on October 10 at 11:25 AM

In his first campaign commercial, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert goes negative and repeatedly mentions his challenger, Darcy Burner, by name. Not the sign of a confident incumbent, and no surprise in a close race that has seen a good bit of negative advertising already.

UPDATE: At first I thought I was crazy, but I’ve asked around the office and I’m not alone: In the foreboding musical score to this commercial, there is an odd echo of the opening bars of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach.” Don’t believe me? Turn up the volume and try it yourself…

FURTHER UPDATE: Over at HorsesAss, Goldy’s caught the Reichert campaign fudging a quote from the Seattle Times in this commercial (to the benefit of Reichert, of course).

It is one thing for Reichert and his cronies to make up lies about Darcy Burner — we all expected him to do that. But you just don’t make up quotes and put them into the mouths of newspaper reporters and editorial boards. There are very few rules that govern the ethics of political advertising, but this is one a candidate should never violate.

Reichert has embarrassed himself. He has embarrassed the Times. And I fully expect the Times to demand that he pull or fix the ad.

That Damn Gap Ad

posted by on October 10 at 10:41 AM


I know I’m not alone in finding the new Gap ad campaign utterly irritating (sorry, I can’t bring myself to link to it, go to Youtube if you must), but I think Danny Miller at Huffington Post has expressed our collective dismay most pointedly.

For My Pike/Pine Neighbors

posted by on October 10 at 10:15 AM

The Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Coalition (PPUNC) wants you to put two meetings, both tomorrow, on your agenda:

Hello All,
1. There will be an important budget meeting at Seattle City Hall re: funds for increased staffing for the Seattle Police Department, specifically for an increase in the number of officers. For those around the city who are concerned about safety issues and various groups around Capitol Hill and elsewhere this may be a very significant meeting. It is at 600 4th Ave Seattle and starts at 5:30PM on Wednesday 11 October.
2. There is a meeting of the PPUNC Steering Committee at 2PM on Wednesday the 11th at the Rosebud Restaurant. As usual all are welcome. The agenda will include a preliminary presentation by the design/development team re: the ” Manray Block” on East Pike street.
Chip Wall

You can join PPUNC’s mailing list at

Chad and Steve? I Don’t Like You Anymore.

posted by on October 10 at 9:37 AM

As mentioned previously, Google has acquired YouTube for a whopping 16.5 billion[Update correction: 1.65 billion]. And while I certainly understand why its two founders, Chad and Steve are psyched about suddenly becoming billionaires… I can’t help but watch this following video and HATE THEIR FUCKING GUTS. Join me, if you will, in screaming at your computer, “shut up, Shut Up, SHUT UP!!!”

Thanks to Gorillamask!


posted by on October 10 at 9:25 AM

On my walk to work this morning, “Under Pressure” by Queen & Bowie came on my I-pod. This song always makes me cry. (Is that normal?) The part where Freddie Mercury freaks out and then Bowie takes it home with “Love’s such an old fashioned word…” just kills me. Bowie wins the battle of the vocal prima donnas here by the way, by going with a distinguished look rather than busting out a pseudo aria.

Anyway: What duo should cover this battle of the divas?

Robert Smith vs. Morrissey?
Common vs Kanye?
Eno vs DJ Fucking in the Streets?

Other Drunks

posted by on October 10 at 8:58 AM

So you get caught having sex in a Mosque. During Ramadan. You’re not Muslim, the girl you’re banging isn’t Muslim. It’s probably not in your best interest to argue that you were way too shitfaced to know where you were fucking, considering Islam’s position on booze.

Every Child Needs a Mother and a Father

posted by on October 10 at 8:18 AM

Mom decides to knock sense into boyfriend, grabs nearest blunt object

A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said. The boy was in serious but stable condition Monday, police said.

I first heard this story yesterday on KUOW. Local “Morning Edition” host Deborah Brandt giggled her way through the report—because, you know, this sort of thing hilarious so long as the baby’s isn’t dead or anything, just seriously injured—before she tossed it over to the hosts of KUOW’s pledge drive. Was I the only one listening who thought Brandt sounded, oh, just a bit callous? Anyone care to dig up the recording?

To her credit, the pledge drive host—I think it was Marci Sillman—sounded horrified by the story and Brandt’s giggly take on it.

Foskettgate: Day 2

posted by on October 10 at 7:39 AM


The fussy society matrons behind Metroblogging Seattle didn’t care for Eli Sanders’ big scoop yesterday.

the Stranger gets someone to violate Facebook’s Terms of Service so that they can make a mean-spirited post to expose Hugh Foskett, Republican candidate for the 43rd district House race, as a college sophomore. [slog]

Hm. I’m thinking that Metroblogging Seattle is really ticked about Sanders scooping `em. I mean, it’s not that hard to find someone’s Facebook entry. And Sander’s post has been widely linked to. And Sanders’ Slog post on Foskett is totally legit.

While some might argue that young Hugh Foskett engages in behaviors typical to college sophomores everywhere—group groping, same-sex soaking, projectile vomiting—it needs to be said that Foskett isn’t any ol’ college sophomore. He’s a College Republican. And not just any ol’ College Republican—oh, no. Young Hugh Foskett is the GOP’s anointed candidate in the 43rd District. And Foskett’s party—all together now—is the party of values, moral majorities, and personal responsibility, to say nothing of the party of abstinence pledges and opposition to same-sex marriage, groping, soaking, etc.

Perhaps this comes as news to Metroblogging Seattle, but the rest of us are painfully aware that the GOP strives to politicize the private, consensual conduct of adult Americans everywhere. As the face of the GOP in the 43rd District—the shitface of the GOP in the 43rd, it would appear—we have a right to expect that Hugh Foskett’s personal life is beyond reproach. If Foskett isn’t upholding his party’s values agenda and setting an example of clean living for college students everywhere—and it would appear that he’s not—voters have a right to know that. It speaks to his own hypocrisy and his party’s do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do approach to “values.”

In closing we’ve reached out to Hoskett in the days before this scandal broke, offering him space in our pages to discuss the issues and communicate with voters. We never heard back from Foskett about our offer, which is still on the table. (Full text of our email after the jump.)

Continue reading "Foskettgate: Day 2" »

The Morning News

posted by on October 10 at 6:35 AM

Governor Bush: In the closet at Santorum fundraiser.

President Bush: Didn’t care about North Korea.

Foley emails: “sort of a joke,” according to right-wing loonie Dobson.

Resign, Hastert: say 52 percent of Americans.

Kerry: Running in 2008. NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Bolton: We’ll go to war with North Korea if it attacks South Korea or Japan.

YouTube: Unprofitable startup? No longer.

Republicans: Free-falling in the polls.

Tom Coburn: Doesn’t care about breast cancer.

Olbermann: Hero to 834,000.

Chevy trucks: Exploiting Rosa Parks.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Today’s Burning Question

posted by on October 9 at 9:06 PM

A Slog reader wants to know…

Sorry to send this request to the Editor, but can you point me to someone over there who can recommend where to get the best dessert in Seattle? My daughter is turning 17 and wants fancy cake or brulee.

We aims to please. Any tips, Sloggers?

Giuliani Slams Cantwell on Detainees Vote

posted by on October 9 at 8:20 PM

I’m just back from a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Seattle where Rudy Giuliani was hosting a fundraiser in the Metropolitan Room for the GOP’s U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick.

Giuliani and McGavick gave a group of 10 reporters or so about 10 minutes before the dinner.

Giuliani’s opening remarks at the Sheraton zoomed right in on the War on Terror.

As I reported last week, the GOP set a little trap for Democratic candidates before the Senate recess last week with the detainees bill. And they are now campaiging full steam ahead on the notion that Democrats who voted against that bill (it iced habeas corpus) are wimpy when it comes to the War on Terror.

Giuliani began: “We need leadership because we’re going to be at war for some time with Islamic terrorists who attacked us. We recognized the fact that they were at war with us right after September 11, 2001, and we need senators who understand that, and understand that we have to be on offense against terrorism…”

A KUOW reporter got off the first question, asking Giuliani if there were any specific votes that Cantwell has taken that he disagreed with.

Giuliani went right back to the War on Terrorism…and cited Cantwell’s vote last week against the detainess bill. “Her ambiguous support for the effort against terrorism probably concerns me more than anything else. Her recent vote on the detainee policy and interrogation policy that are really necessary to really carry on the war on terror that gives us the maximum amount of intelligence we need. If you consider how September 11 happened—it was a break down of intelligence. We didn’t have the right information. In order to give yourself the best chance of preventing terrorism you have to have interrogation. You have to gather information. You have to give the government some kind of scope to do that, and I think that vote probably indicated a lack of understanding of what’s needed to protect us against the terrorist threat.”

Given Giuliani’s rap about going on offense against terror, I got off the next question. I asked what he thought about the fact that McGavick doesn’t support the assault weapons ban (something Giuliani supports…and something the GOP Congress let expire in 2004.)

Giuliani told me: “The assault weapons ban is something I supported in the past. I don’t think that’s one of the most critical issues right now.”

Okay. But here’s Giuliani on the assault weapons ban in 1995:
“There should be very, very few litmus tests, but someone who now voted to roll back the
assault-weapons ban would really be demonstrating that special interest politics mean
more to them than life-or-death issues.”

And here’s a report from a group called Stop the NRA, that lays out exactly why the assault weapons ban is critical in the War on Terror.

And here’s a a quote from an Al Qaeda training manual called: “How Can I Train Myself for Jihad.”

In other countries, e.g. some states of USA … it is perfectly legal for members of the public to own certain types of firearms. If you live in such a country, obtain an assault rifle legally, preferably an AK-47 or variations, learn how to use it properly and go and practice in the areas allowed for such training.

Former vs. Former

posted by on October 9 at 6:21 PM

Former Stranger reporter Phil Campbell argues with former Seattle resident Mike Daisey over at not-former-nothing Maud Newton dot com. Winner? Mike Daisey. Paraphrase? Theater is not an OpEd piece.

The Photographer from Baltimore

posted by on October 9 at 5:22 PM

Seattle Times reporter David Postman has a riff on his blog about a GOP press release that went out today, headlined: “Have You Seen This Woman?” The release dings Sen. Maria Cantwell for avoiding the press, citing articles on the Cantwell/McGavick race in which Cantwell wasn’t available for a comment.

This gives me an opportunity to get into some stuff (and tell a little anecdote) that I left on the editing room floor for the the story I did on Cantwell last week.

First of all, I got off to a bad start in my interview with Cantwell because I began by saying, “I know you don’t do a lot of interviews, so I appreciate…” and she immediately cut me off, throwing an irritated look at her press aide (as if to say, ‘Well, this guy’s an ass,’) and then back to me: “We do a lot of interviews…it seems like every day of the week…” I clumsily apologized, saying, “Okay, you do a lot of interviews, but still, I appreciate it…” and she said flatly, “Okay.”

The reason I went into the interview thinking Cantwell was press shy was because I talked to several beat reporters to get their sense of her, and everybody had a lot of bitching to do about how she doesn’t give interviews.

Indeed, here’s a paragraph that didn’t make it into my final story.

Several beat reporters in DC agree, saying that her press team is paralyzed by Cantwell’s awkwardness, and so her message outreach is disorganized and haphazard. “It’s unclear what’s going on over there,” says one longtime beat writer. “She wouldn’t even say no to an interview, but eventually you’d just get blown off without explanation.” Says another: “I was even trying to write something that was favorable to her campaign, and she wouldn’t talk. It’s just weird.”

Here’s an anecdote from my trip to D.C. that I’ve been telling folks to sum up my sense of Cantwell’s odd personality. I had told the photographer to show up about 15 minutes into the interview so that he could just slip in, catch the interview in progress, take a few shots of Cantwell gabbing away, and slip out. So when I showed up at Cantwell’s office for the interview, I told Cantwell’s staff that a photographer would be showing up in about 15 minutes. Then I went into her office.

Like clockwork, in the middle of the Q&A, this guy walks into Cantwell’s office. He’s a definite photographer “type”: a big, bald punkish guy, futzing with his equipment. Cantwell was a little thrown off that some guy with a camera was walking into her office, and she interrupted the interview and said… “Hi…Uh…hi? …I’m Maria.”

Photographer: “I’m Jefferson.”
Cantwell: “Where are you from?” (As in: Who are you with?)
Photographer: “I live in Baltimore.”
Cantwell (disarmed): “…Okay.”

Wherein Brendan Channels Andy Rooney

posted by on October 9 at 4:36 PM

Two things:

1. What’s the use of the goddamned internet if there isn’t a goddamned site that helps you pronounce things you see on menus? There should be a place where you can click to hear the pronunciations of dishes you want to order but don’t because you don’t know how to say them: bánh mì gĂ , yebeg alicha, lapin confit (don’t give me that look Annie Wagner—we didn’t all study French). Something like this, but not just for Indian food and not expressly designed to mock people.

2. From the Dept. of Five Years ago: Everybody and his step-grandmother has heard about the “rejection line,” but I only recently got ahold of the number (from a friend, I swear): 212-479-7990. Call it. Try the options. Rejection line! Hee-haw!

That is all.

Flashback to The Day After

posted by on October 9 at 4:28 PM


Thanks to our own misguided, idiotic leader and the explosive ambitions of North Korea, my childhood nightmares about nuclear war have re-entered my dreams. Fittingly enough, I turned on the television yesterday just as the opening credits to The Day After began rolling.

I hadn’t viewed the movie since it originally aired, so I was stunned by how vividly I remembered certain elements (a young soldier wandering the countryside around Lawrence, Kansas wrapped in a quilt, John Lithgow quoting Einstein’s observations about World War IV being fought with sticks and stones). I must say, for a made-for-TV movie shot in 1983, I was unnerved by how creepy and moving it remained. Should you care to have your own flashback, check out this clip of Jason Robards, fatally ill with radiation sickness and wandering around the bombed-out streets while Lithgow futilely tries to make contact with the outside world (and yes, that is Stephen Furst from Animal House at the end).

Looking into the production back story, I found this interesting piece reflecting on the making and impact of the film. Among the events surrounding the original airing that I didn’t remember: ABC set up 1-800 phone lines for viewers that might freak out during the broadcast and Ted Koppel hosted a live panel discussion afterwards featuring Dr. Carl Sagan, Henry Kissinger, Robert McNamara, William F. Buckley and George Shultz. Now if only I could find that on Youtube.

Adopted boy bitch slapped by Life

posted by on October 9 at 2:37 PM

This story, via The Washington Post, is soul crushing from every angle. Enjoy!

A talkative 9-year-old boy came to Helen Briggs on Valentine’s Day 2000. She was a foster mother with years of tough love and scores of troubled kids behind her. But she grew to love this boy. Within the year, she’d talked her husband into adopting him.Now, six years later, Briggs and her husband, James, a maintenance worker for the city of Alexandria, are taking the highly unusual step of trying to unadopt him.

In 2003, when the boy was 12, he sexually molested a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl still in diapers. She said it was only then, as she waited outside the courtroom for his sexual battery hearing and caseworkers handed her his psychological profile, that she found out just how damaged the boy had been when he came into her life.

…He’d been hospitalized seven times in psychiatric institutions and diagnosed as possibly psychotically bipolar. He’d thrown knives, kicked in walls, pulled out all his hair and threatened to kill himself. He’d heard voices telling him to do bad things. His confidential case file shows he most likely was sexually abused.

Briggs hired an attorney to terminate her parental rights. But in Virginia, a child older than 14 must give consent. The boy, now nearing 16, wants Briggs to be his mother forever, according to the voluminous confidential case file and e-mail and phone records Briggs subpoenaed for her lawsuit and provided to The Post.

Google Buys You Tube for $1.65 Billion

posted by on October 9 at 2:29 PM

That didn’t take long.

SCANDAL!!! 43rd District Republican Caught in Naughty Facebook Photos!

posted by on October 9 at 2:00 PM

We thought University of Washington sophomore Hugh Foskett had a chance at winning the state house seat in Seattle’s 43rd District this November, what with his math major, his platform of text book reform, and his good looks (always a plus in the homo-saturated 43rd).


But then we saw the young Republican’s Facebook page. You can’t get to it unless you’re a member, but we know a member or two, and what we found on Hugh’s page was a “very conservative” young man with some very liberal attitudes about, well, let’s go to the photos…

Here’s Hugh, second from right, who says on his Facebook page that he’s “Interested In: Women” and “Looking For: Whatever I can get.” Indeed…


Move over, Mike McGavick…


We’re sure this is just tobacco smoke…


Memo to Hugh: Even Bill Sherman didn’t go this far in his attempts to court the gay vote—but then again, Sherman didn’t make it past the primary…


Voter contact?


On message…


And finally:


Hugh! Who knew?

Dream Banks

posted by on October 9 at 12:59 PM

By the look of things (and if this is indeed the case, it would make a lot of sense), the only institutions celebrating Columbus Day are banks.

Here’s a quick note: In Columbus’s time, the whole function of a bank was to hold and protect large amounts of gold. Now that the gold is gone, and paper notes—which once promised this or that bank has a hold of your gold—are becoming nothing more than magnetic traces in computers, what do banks in our world actually hold? The answer will certainly be found in Pascal’s insight that there is no difference between an ordinary man who, night after night after night, dreams that he is a king and a man who, day after day after day, is an actual king.

New Strip Club Ads Hit Airwaves

posted by on October 9 at 12:53 PM

The anti-Referendum 1 (pro-strip club) campaign is running two ads on cable TV, starting today.

Here’s the first one, which makes the case that strip clubs are already strictly regulated:

And here’s the second, which compares the regulations to Prohibition-era restrictions on alcohol and says they will force police “to measure the distance between dancers and customers”:

According to campaign finance disclosure forms, the ads cost Seattle Citizens for Free Speech $136,000, leaving them hundreds of thousands of dollars still on hand. So far, the group has raised $822,000, the vast majority of it from Seattle’s two largest strip clubs.

Check Out Blatherwatch

posted by on October 9 at 12:27 PM

Michael Hood over at Blatherwatch had been working on a piece for the Stranger calling b.s. on the notion that Dave Reichert played a heroic role in capturing the Green River Killer. We were in the middle of editing Hood’s story last week, when the PI got there first. (Agggghhh…scooped by the PI.)

So, we’ve decided not to run Hood’s piece. But Hood posted a version of his Reichert takedown on his blog today:

Part 1.

Part 2.

Paris Hilton Staves Off Alzheimer’s

posted by on October 9 at 11:49 AM


Thanks to London’s Daily Mail, today brings photographic evidence of what might be helping America’s princess maintain her beguiling spaciness. But how does that skinny bitch deal with the munchies? Restrict her binges to chocolate Ex-lax? Or maybe she’s one of those freaks who gets LESS hungry when stoned…bitch….

Stop Him Now!

posted by on October 9 at 11:39 AM

Please, please, please—somebody stop John Kerry before he runs again.

Breaking: 43rd District Scandal!

posted by on October 9 at 11:25 AM

I’m at the airport, headed to Philadelphia, where I’m headlining a fundraiser for Philadelphians Against Santorum. (All Slog readers in Philly are, of course, invited to come on out!) So I won’t be Slogging much today, as I’m going to be at 30,000 feet, white-knuckling the hours away.

But I wanted to get this out there: The Stranger’s crack news team has damning photos in its possession—photos that are going to blow the 43rd District race for the Washington State House of Reps wide fucking open. I’ve seen the photos and all I can say is… whoa. My God. Holy crap.

Check back at Slog—we’ll have these shocking photos up on the site ASAP.

Milking the Gays

posted by on October 9 at 11:15 AM

Did anyone else do a double-take at this sign in the window of Capitol Hill’s City Market?


Union Waves

posted by on October 9 at 11:13 AM

Unionized employees at KING 5 are calling on TV viewers to change the channel during this year’s November sweeps. In a letter sent out late last week (on KING 5 stationery), KING 5’s IBEW members write:

They [KING 5] are currently trying to eliminate an entire segment of IBEW workers from their jobs by not bargaining in good faith. The company and news director Pat Costello have made it clear they want these union workers out and then have other people double up on their current work responsibilities…We are feeling the only way to get this Texas Company [BELO Corporation] to negotiate like civil Washingtonians, not cowboys, is to boycott KING 5’s news during the upcoming November sweeps.

(“Sweeps” is the time when ad rates are established for TV stations by surveying how many people are watching each channel.)

I’ve got a call into KING 5 management to get a comment on their employees’ call for the mass tune out.

And then they came for the…Shiite clerics

posted by on October 9 at 10:13 AM

It’s getting super Animal Farmy in Ahmadinejad’s Iran. This small item in today’s NYT redefines Ahmadinejad’s enemies list. Apparently, it’s not just Jews, Sunnis, and Americans that bother him.

Monday Morning Sports Report

posted by on October 9 at 8:17 AM

Huskies: Close, but no cigar.

Cougars: Close, cigar.

Chicago Fan: Before he gloats, yes the Bears are scary good.

Baseball: Cardinals vs. Mets in NLCS, A’s vs. Tigers in ALCS. Post predictions in the comments.

Sweet Lou: The next Yankees skipper?

T.O.: Can we stop hearing about him now?

The Morning News

posted by on October 9 at 6:14 AM

Korea: “In the end, there was just no stopping them.”

Iraq: “Attacks against the coalition have definitely increased.”

Moms and the GOP: “We’re in a really scary place right now.”

Foley: “I always knew you were a player but I don’t fool around with pages.”

More Iraq: “They have finally noticed that the country is being partitioned by civil war and ethnic cleansing is already a daily event.”

Suspect No Fly List: “I mean, do you think that the president of Bolivia’s gonna hijack an airplane?”

Virginia’s Finest: “He’d get a black card he didn’t like and he’d toss it back and say, ‘I don’t need that nigger ten.’”

Now Lettuce: “We know there’s generic E. coli on it, but we’re not sure what that means.”

Banned in Europe, For Sale in America: “Chemical risks are being spread all over the country in ways that are invisible to consumers.”

Remember FEMA? “Windy Biggie is our friend. Windy Biggie is strong wind.”

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Letter From Bangalore

posted by on October 8 at 12:04 PM

We know we have Slog readers all over the world because we asked once and got responses from France, England, Germany, Norway, Australia, Scotland, and even Antarctica. I don’t know how many readers we have in India, but I do know we have at least one, Daniel, a friend and business journalist who recently sent me this letter about his day.

Which gave me an idea for a Slog feature. Maybe this will work, maybe it won’t, but I’d like to publish some letters from our far-flung Slog friends. You don’t have to be that far-flung to qualify—just somewhere interesting and outside of Seattle. San Marcos, Texas works. So does Burien, Bremerton, Brooklyn, Boise, Oslo, Omak, Pullman, or Paris. So if you’re reading this blog from somewhere outisde the Seattle city limits, send me a letter about your day, and maybe I’ll publish it. Here’s my email address:

And here’s the first letter, from Daniel Sorid, whose assignment in Bangalore ends this month:

Sussy, the maid, and Vasant, the driver, had left for the evening. I lay in bed, ill. My 8-pound maltese, Napoleon, sat beside me and playing with a stringy toy. I could take no more of the stomach pain. It was time to call the doctor.

Dr. Sri is an ergonomics specialist, which means he consults for foreign companies on how staff should sit in their chairs. He may possibly have some other qualifying medical certifications. At the very least, he is a sharp dresser and can prescribe drugs. Sri and I have a deal: I call his cell phone when I’m sick, describe what’s wrong, and he rattles off some medicine that I’ve never heard of. I look it up on the Internet to confirm it’s not some pill for hair loss or acne. It usually works. “Norflox TZ and Astymin Forte,” he told me this time, and I duly scribbled it onto a blue Post-it. Doctor’s visit, Indian style.

Continue reading "Letter From Bangalore" »

File Under: Takes One to Know One

posted by on October 8 at 11:16 AM

From Sunday’s Seattle Times:

Witnesses reported a man in a yellow shirt acting erratically, insulting and threatening passing pedestrians at Pike Street and Boren Avenue near the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, said Seattle police spokeswoman Deb Brown…. The man in the yellow shirt apparently focused in on the second man, saying, “I am going to kill you,” Brown said. He then began punching and kicking the second man until the man fell to the sidewalk. The victim happened to have a concealed-weapons permit, Brown said, and he was carrying a handgun. He pulled out the gun and fired once, hitting his attacker in the abdomen.

“It looked to me like he shot him in self-defense,” said Linda Vu, who was across the street from the shooting, handing out fliers for political activist Lyndon LaRouche. “It’s kind of crazy.”