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Friday, February 22, 2008

Saturday in Conflicts of Interest

posted by on February 22 at 11:56 AM

The Independent Spirit Awards are tomorrow, and competing for the producers award are two NW players: Portland's Neil Kopp (Old Joy, Paranoid Park) and Seattle's Alexis Ferris (Police Beat, Zoo, and--maybe this one should be on the DL--Cthulhu). The other nominee is Anne Clements, who produced the lovely, if less high-minded, Quinceañera.

The award is accompanied by a $25,000 grant. Here are Variety's mini-profiles of the contenders.

Also on Saturday: a sendoff party/fundraiser for Lynn Shelton's boy-bonding drama My Effortless Brilliance, starring Calvin Reeder, Basil Harris, and Sean Nelson, Emeritus. The film is premiering in competition at SXSW on March 9. The party is at Northwest Film Forum at 11 pm: food, booze, Sean singing, good times.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Buy This Book

posted by on February 14 at 3:21 PM


I contributed an essay to this newly released anthology edited by Ben Karlin, former producer of The Daily Show, founding producer of The Colbert Report. The book has everything Slog readers enjoy...

Gratuitous fat bashing (self-hating variety)...

Now it is not my intention to get all victimy, as I know just as well as the next guy how to put down a spoon. And I don't really think that the women in my family were conscious of the fact that by overfeeding me they were channelling their aggression towards the women who might one day steal me away. But, while it might not take a whole village, it definitely takes more than one person to make a fat kid.--"Girls Don't Make Passes at Boys With Fat Asses," Andy Richter

Pit bull fear mongering...

Alas, like poorly fenced-in pit bulls raised by angry Mexican youths, the complications of life can only be kept at by for so long. Eventually, they will attack and tear you apart, and unless there is some passerby to pull you out of their vicelike jaws, you will be grievously injured, if not killed. Come to think of it, most of that last sentence is just about pit bulls.--"You Too Will Get Crushed," Ben Karlin

And charming gynophobia...

I wanted to open by saying one nice thing about Wendy's vagina--I didn't want to come across as a gay cad (a gad?)--before I set off on a little stroll down Repressed Memory Lane. So here it is: Wendy's vagina was well concealed. Unlike today's waxed, shaved, defoliated, clear-cut vaginas, Wendy's vagina was discretely hidden under what, by modern standards, could only be described as a Van Gogh haystack of curly brown pubic hair.--"I Am a Gay Man," Dan Savage

There are essays by Stephen Colbert, Neal Pollack, Will Forte, David Wain, Rick Marin, and more. Oh, and about the title of my essay—it completely blows, I realize. I put it on the piece as a place saver, thinking someone, someone funny, would change it, just like all authors' place-saving headlines are changed before, say, op-ed submissions go to print. Whoops.

Anyway, buy the book, huh?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On the Radio

posted by on February 7 at 4:04 PM

I'll be on KUOW's Weekday tomorrow morning to talk about all things caucus before I head off to the Obama rally at Key Arena.

Show starts at 10 a.m. on 94.9 FM.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Model of Tolerance

posted by on February 5 at 8:54 AM

In a quick post yesterday I mentioned Joel Connelly's latest little shout out.

In yesterday's PI Joel wiggled his tongue up the ass Jim Wallis, a politically liberal political evangelist. Joel seemed particularly impressed that Wallis had the backbone--the courage! the nerve! the audacity!--to order the big, bad "secular left to be more tolerant". And as Wallis tours the country, selling his new book, Connelly wonders...

Is there a refuge equidistant between anti-gay pastor the Rev. Ken Hutcherson and Christian-bashing Dan Savage of The Stranger?

Hm. Ken Hutcherson is Washington state's biggest anti-gay demagogue. Anywhere there's a microphone and three or more state legislators, Hutcherson can be found demanding a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, the repeal of Washington state's gay rights legislation, the overturning of Washington state's new domestic partner registry, etc. Hutcherson last made national news for turning up at a Microsoft shareholders' meeting and demanding the company drop its pro-gay corporate policies--or else! (Or else what? Toads raining down on the Redmond campus? Hordes of locusts in the cafeterias? Firefox with an 85% market share?)

Now columnists at daily papers like to be "fair," so when they label someone on the right as an extremist--someone like Ken Hutcherson, who is an extremist--they feel obligated to tag someone on the left with the same label. Gotta be impartial, gotta be balanced: So if you're going to call Ken Hutcherson intolerant better call Dan Savage intolerant too.

Really, Joel? Intolerant? Moi? P'shaw.

I'm perfectly willing to tolerate Ken Hutcherson--and Jim Willis and Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee and the Nazi Pope. I already tolerate them. Hell, I am the very model of a modern major tolerator. Like everyone on the secular left, I believe these men and their followers should be free to live by their own (dim) lights. You won't find the secular left pouring into Olympia to demand a state constitutional amendment banning heterosexual marriage or adoptions by fundamentalist Christian couples (although a strong argument could be made--some of those adopted kids are going to be gay, after all). The secular left isn't threatening Microsoft with Divine's retribution for providing benefits to the partners of its married heterosexual employees.

Does Joel even understand what tolerance is? A tolerant person doesn’t think everyone is nifty. Tolerance means you're willing to put up with people you don't like or disagree with in exchange for being put up with in return. You cut the people you don't like some slack. You leave them alone. They leave you alone. But a tolerant person is entitled to his opinions--and the right to express them. What Joel is doing--intentionally, I think, because Joel isn't an idiot (although he plays one in the newspaper)--is conflating dislike with intolerance. I don’t like Ken Hutcherson. I don’t like his religion. But I am willing to put up with both. Hutcherson doesn’t like gay people, or gay marriage, and has no intention of putting up with either. He wants to make it legal to discriminate against gay people and he wants to ban gay marriage. And that’s where Hutcherson tips out of the “dislike” column and lands with a splat in the “intolerant” column. As I wrote in a "Savage Love" column back in 2006:

Joking about Christianity isn’t evidence that I’m intolerant--hell, I’m perfectly willing to tolerate Christians. I have never, for instance, attempted to prevent Christians from marrying each other, or tried to stop them from adopting children, or worked to make it illegal for them to hold certain jobs. I don’t threaten to boycott companies that market their products to Christians, and I don’t organize letter-writing campaigns to complain about Christian characters on television.

It would indeed be hypocritical for me to complain about fundamentalist Christians who’ve done all of the above to gay people if I turned around and did the same thing to Christians—but, again, I’ve done no such thing. Intolerant? Hell, I’m a model of tolerance! Oh sure, I joked about the Virgin Birth because I think it’s silly and sexphobic. And I’m free to say as much, however unpleasant it is for some Christians to hear. Fundamentalist Christians, for their part, are free to think homosexuality is sinful and unnatural, and they’re free to say so, however unpleasant it is for me to hear. But fundamentalists aren’t willing to just speak their piece, Rob. Nope, they seek to persecute people for being gay, and that’s where their low opinion of homosexuality--which, again, they have an absolute right to hold--transubstantiates into intolerance.

Now if this Willis person Joel Connelly rimmed yesterday can convince more evangelical Christians to work on poverty and climate change, hey, that's great. Bring it on. But evangelicals are going to have to do more than merely broaden their agenda if they hope to make common cause with the likes of me. They're going to have to drop certain things. They're going to have to jettison the anti-gay, anti-straight, anti-freedom aspects of their agenda if they're sincere about wanting to find “common ground." Sure, sure: We can all work together in perfect harmony on the stuff we all agree on. But evangelicals can't demand that, seeing as how they're paying attention to poverty and climate change now, we're somehow obligated to give them everything they've always wanted on reproductive rights and gay rights; a ban and a ban, respectively. (Willis isn't arguing for this, but other progressive evangelicals are.)

But you know what I won't tolerate? Being told that, after decades of putting up with their bullying co-religionists, the big, meanies on the secular left have hurt the feelings of progressive, liberal Christians everywhere by finally saying “enough” to the Ken Hutchersons and Mike Huckabees. Hugely powerful Christian leaders from the Nazi Pope on down long ago declared rhetorical and political war on gays and lesbians and on women's rights. And when liberals and progressives and queers finally emerge from the defensive crouch we assumed out of a misplaced respect for other peoples' religious beliefs and started to respond with equal vigor, progressive Christians come mewling out of the woodwork. "We're not all like that," they whisper in our ears, "and you're hurting our feelings when you write things like this."

To liberal Christians and Evangeliacals: We get it. You're not all Hutchersons. Stop telling us and start telling the Hutchersons and Robertsons and Huckebees and Santorums and Bauers and Nazi Popes--they're the ones that need to hear it, they're the ones that have blackened the name of Christians, they're the reason more and more young people are reluctant to identify as Christian. (not me: I identify as a cultural Catholic--hell I had my kid baptized.)

I’m sick of progressive Christians whispering to me that the religious right doesn’t speak for all Christians—great, fine. But you needed to start screaming it—and not in my face, Rev. Willis. In the faces of Ken Hutcherson, Pat Robertson, Mike Huckebee, Rick Santorum, Gary Bauer, and the Nazi Pope.

If you're saying it to them, well, you're obviously not saying it loudly enough. We can't hear you now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mad Freelancer Vs. Scientist

posted by on February 1 at 12:37 PM

What does it take to be considered an expert? Well, that rant I posted yesterday about the half-assed, pot-causes-cancer report apparently qualified me as the world's leading authority to refute it. Basically, I called bullshit on their claim that there’s an impending international “epidemic” of lung cancer, indicated by only 14 illin’ pot smokers in New Zealand. Sure, smoking pot is bad for the lungs, but the only complete previous study that used enormous sample sizes showed no link between pot smoking and cancer. People forwarded my post around the tubes and it worked its way Down Under. Last night a guy in Dunedin, NZ called me to say he heard about the post and ask me to speak about the study's flaws on his radio program. The station is college radio for Otago University, one of the institutions that issued the report. And the other guest on the show – which started at midnight our time – was a cancer epidemiologist who conducted the study.

Headline for Charles.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Stranger News Hour

posted by on January 26 at 2:58 PM

Tune in 710 KIRO tonight.

It was a busy week in the state legislature. For one thing, the Democrats' Amnesty, Acid, and Abortion agenda took a hit when Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33, Des Moines) decided to table her bill to make sure pharmacies filled Plan B scrips. But they're still pushing: an expanded domestic partnership bill; tax rebates for the working class who can't otherwise get a break in our regressive sales tax system; and $50 million in additional funding for low-income housing.

Oh, there's also a bill to kill Sound Transit.

Also, Erica has a story this week that's got the political classes texting.

The first half of the show, however, will be all about the results in South Carolina with James Boyce from The Huffington Post.

Join us tonight at 7pm when we go on with host David Goldstein.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on January 19 at 12:27 PM

Tune in at 7pm tonight.

I'll be talking about the first week of the legislature. And burn on me. Despite my curmudgeonly pre-session predictions, the Democrats are actually coming out strong with some good bills.

Erica C. Barnett (!) will join us this week to talk about the the new look city council and what she learned in her interview with Ron Sims.

And...holy's the Nevada caucus. We'll talk about the results. It looks like Romney declares victory and it's neck and neck between Obama and Clinton. Umm.... was neck and neck a half hour ago. Now Clinton is holding a 50 to 45 lead according to CNN with 35% reporting.

Friday, January 18, 2008

This, Dan, Is What We Call the "Bible." But you can call it the "U.S. Constitution."

posted by on January 18 at 5:32 PM


I’m going to be on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher tonight, recounting my recent adventures in South Carolina.

When I sat down to talk with Catherine, the woman in the photo above, I was a worried that our interview would be brief. Catherine and her husband Tom were hosting a phone bank party in the offices of their pest extermination business in Rock Mill, South Carolina, when I barged in with a producer, a wrangler, a camera man, and a sound tech. They’re passionate supporters of Mike Huckabee, fundamentalist Christians, and hard-core social conservatives.

They were also among the nicest people I’ve ever met.

Now, I’ve met super-nice Fundamentalist Christians in the past; hell, Ken Hutcherson showered me with compliments about my dedication as a parent the one and only time we met face to face. (I apologized for not being able to stay for the end of his debate with Ron Sims because I promised my son I would be home in time to tuck him in, and Hutch humped away at my leg--figuratively--for about 20 minutes.) I think a lot of fundamentalists compensate for the meanness of their judgment by pouring on the sweetness and light.

But I expected a different reception in South Carolina—the South, the Bible Belt, where good, God-fearing, racist Christians turned out in droves in 2000 to vote against John "Mixed-Race Love Child" McCain. So I was amazed that after I came out to Catherine—by making an just-ever-so-slightly crude sexual joke—she laughed patted my leg, and continued with the interview. I ended up spending the better of two days with Catherine and her husband Tom. They cheerfully told me over and over again that I was going to hell, I made the occasional dirty joke, and then we agreed to disagree about shredding the U.S. Constitution.

But here’s what I found really interesting about the Huckabee supporters I met in South Carolina: Over and over again Huckabee supporters told me—on the record, cameras rolling—that they supported Huckabee because they wanted to see "a good, Christian man in the White House.” Because... uh... just look at the pickle all those Buddhists, Atheists, agnostics, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians presidents have gotten us into.

When I pointed out that we we already had one of those in the White House--good, Christian George W. Bush, the man South Carolinians helped elect in 2000 and 2004--and that things haven’t been going so well, there was a momentary silence before the fundamentalist version of the Great Walk Back began.

Conservative pundits have been pointing to George Bush’s prescription drug program and out-of-control spending and insisting that, despite what they believed/wrote/said about Bush, George W. Bush is not a real conservative. Yeah, right. What they're doing, of course, is absolving themselves of any responsibility for the disasters that Bush has inflicted on the country by insisting that Bush isn't one of them, never was, uh-uh.

Religious conservatives are doing the same thing. They voted for George W. Bush because he was a good Christian and being a good Christian is the chief qualification for the Oval Office. A good Christian is going to be a great president because he's a good Christian. But George W. Bush has been a terrible president--and many of them recognize that.

So what to do next? Instead of reexamining the criteria they've applied in the past--a process that might lead them to conclude that good & Christian isn't nearly as important as, oh, smart & competent--and look for other qualities in a candidate, a lot of fundamentalist voters in South Carolina have concluded that George W. Bush isn't a real good Christian. One person we interviewed insisted that George W. Bush wasn’t just a poor Christian, but not a Christian at all.

Anway, I'll be talking about this--and more--on Real Time tonight. I believe it's on in Seattle at 11 PM, HBO.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on January 12 at 2:23 PM

Tonight's installment of The Stranger Hour on KIRO is at 8pm.

I'll be on talking about the upcoming legislative session in Olympia and trying to make sense of the Democratic primary New Hampshire.

Tune in..

Monday, January 7, 2008

'Zoo' Makes New Nonfiction Award Shortlist

posted by on January 7 at 12:21 PM

Since the Oscars are clearly going to shit this year, this little indie protest award might prove almost meaningful.

The shortlist for a new nonfiction filmmaking award contains:

"Billy the Kid," directed by Jennifer Venditti (opens this Friday at SIFF Cinema)
"Deep Water," directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell
"The Devil Came on Horseback," directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
"Ghosts of Cite Soleil," directed by Asger Leth
"In the Shadow of the Moon," directed by David Sington
"Into Great Silence," directed by Philip Groning
"Lake of Fire," directed by Tony Kaye
"Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)," directed by Jason Kohn
"Manufactured Landscapes," directed by Jennifer Baichwal
"The Monastery - Mr. Vig and the Nun," directed by Pernille Rose Grønkjær
"No End in Sight," directed by Charles Ferguson
"Sicko," directed by Michael Moore
"Taxi to the Dark Side," directed by Alex Gibney
"The Unforeseen," directed by Laura Dunn
"Zoo," directed by Robinson Devor

Congratulations, Charles!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on January 5 at 3:18 PM

Tune it tonight at 8pm for a special installment of the Stranger News Hour on KIRO 710am.

Eli will talk with KIRO's David Goldstein from the presidential campaign trail.

Monday, December 31, 2007

My One Regret

posted by on December 31 at 11:24 AM

I regret not having read Badiou's Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil...
..before making Zoo, a film that currently has one of its best critical examinations in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Badiou's concept of the truth as an event that occurs on the edge of (and presents a void to) the state of a situation, what the Greeks called "nomos"--the order, the rule, the custom, the standard, the society of opinions--better expresses the spatial organization or geographic location of the Enumclaw Horse Sex Case than Plato's Phaedrus, one of the two books that heavily influenced the film's structure and concepts. (The other important book is Foucault's History of Sexuality: Volume One.)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on December 29 at 10:59 AM

The year in review and some predictions about 2008 on our weekly sit down with David Goldstein.

Tune in tonight at 7pm.

Friday, December 28, 2007

While I Was Gone

posted by on December 28 at 3:15 PM


Jonah and Josh (the male cabal that forms two-thirds of the Stranger's news staff) took advantage of my absence to write this totally offensive look back at 2007 "with" (they wish!) Venus Velazquez, the foxy onetime City Council candidate last seen losing to Bruce Harrell thanks to a DUI. Those two really know how to kick a lady when she's down! Anyway, here's an excerpt.

Best Decision of the Year: No. And Hell No.

The voters get credit for making the best decision of 2007. When it came to Seattle's waterfront, voters wisely said no to Mayor Nickels's expensive (and unfunded) tunnel option and no to Olympia's retrograde elevated rebuild. Both options were bad news for the environment and downtown. Invaluable bonus: The "No" and "Hell No" votes put the "surface/transit" option in play, which is good for the environment and will be killer for the neighborhood. Double bonus: Surface/transit guru Cary Moon is foxy.

Venus Velázquez says: First of all, I'm way foxier than a hippie like Cary Moon. Second of all, the best decision of the year was mine, when I refused to take that fascist sobriety test. Did anyone check to see if Bruce Harrell was fucking drunk? You know, I know where that guy drinks and I know for a fact he's wasted after two beers.

On with Robert Mak this Weekend

posted by on December 28 at 1:00 PM

Tune in to Robert Mak's year-in-review round up this Sunday. I'll be on with a panel talking about the year's top local stories. There'll also be predictions for '08.

Mak's show airs: 9:30am on KING, 11am on KONG, 8pm on NWCN, 11:30pm on KING.

On the Radio

posted by on December 28 at 9:08 AM

I'll be on KUOW's Weekday this morning talking about the news of the week, the biggest news from the year gone by, and the probable big stories in the year ahead. Show starts at 10 a.m.

Got something you think we should discuss? As always, put it in the comments.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nice Tiger, Pretty Tiger

posted by on December 27 at 3:42 PM

The new Stranger t-shirts are beautiful...


...but, man, our timing is terrible.

In other tiger news, it looks like the two surviving victims of the SF tiger attack, and those near and dear to the deceased victim, will soon be enjoying large cash settlements courtesy of SF taxpayers. The zoo now "admits" that the wall of the moat the surrounded the tiger enclosure was shorter than they thought, and not up to national wall-of-moat-surrounding-tiger-enclosure standards. From SF Gate:

Zoo officials have gone back and forth on the grotto's measurements since a 350-pound tiger escaped on Christmas Day, killing 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr. and seriously injuring two of his friends....

Earlier this week, zoo officials said the moat's wall was at least 20 feet tall. Today, they said it was little over 12 feet. Since the investigation began Tuesday, officials have given at least five different measurements for the enclosure, which is surrounded by a moat, two walls on either side of the moat, a small patch of grass and then another waist-high fence. Experts say that the depth of the moat and height of the walls could have a large impact on the animal's ability to escape the enclosure.

According to this Wiki page, in the wild tigers can jump as high as 16 feet. This story puts Woodland Park Zoo's problem with elephant herpes into perspective, huh?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on December 22 at 3:14 PM

Tune in tonight's installment of the Stranger News Hour on KIRO radio where Jonathan Zwickel and Megan Seling will talk about the Crocodile Cafe: Why'd it close. What it means for Seattle's music scene.


And of course, they'll pay tribute to the "indie rock think tank" —to pull a nice phrase from Seling's story this week.

Tune in at 7pm.

Friday, December 21, 2007


posted by on December 21 at 3:02 PM

Okay, the haiku thing is totally played--with the exception of the P-I's hilarious terror-kus--but you should vote for Hillku at Capitol Hill Seattle Tourney because 1. their haikus actually manage to be funny and 2. I found this video on their website...

Avenge Slog! Remember the Slogamo! Vote Hillku here.

DIY, Portland

posted by on December 21 at 2:00 PM

DIY, Portland is a monthly radio show and podcast "highlighting revolutionary do-it-yourself projects," and this month DIY, Portland highlights DIY sex, a.k.a. self-pleasuring, beating off, passing the time, what Brad does at his desk when he thinks I've nodded off at mine, etc. DIY, Portland is usually broadcast on Portland's community radio station, KBOO, but this month's installment is too explicit for the airwaves and, as such, is exclusive to the Internets.

And it's probably too explicit for the air because the producers were foolish enough to interview... me.

Host and producer Julie Sabatier welcomes guests such as syndicated sex advice columnist (and Stranger editor) Dan Savage, who will enlighten listeners about the dangers as well as the ethics of DIY sex, and Portlander Isis Leeor, who will talk about a class she created called "Look Ma, No Hands! How to Orgasm With Your Breath." Listeners will get the inside scoop on assisted onanism from a protected source in the phone sex industry. The show will also feature music from Leviethan.

You can listen to DIY, Portland here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Feel Like It's Friday

posted by on December 20 at 1:58 PM

So, I'm going to hype this week's installment of The Stranger News Hour on KIRO 710 AM a little early.

I'm also eager to plug it because this week's episode has some guest stars: Stranger music columnist Megan Seling and the Stranger's music editor, Jonathan Zwickel, will be on with David Goldstein to discuss the sad news about the Crocodile.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Me and Cookies and Martha Stewart

posted by on December 18 at 10:01 PM

I meant to post this sooner, but tomorrow morning at 7:30 am Pacific time, I will be interviewed live on Martha Stewart's Sirius Radio Channel about this story I wrote a few weeks ago for The Stranger.

I'm sorta nervous. I hope I don't sound like a goober.

If you don't have Sirius, you can get a free 3-day trial and listen online here. If you're my mother, I suggest you do that.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Didn't Like My Arts Wrap Up?

posted by on December 17 at 3:43 PM

Well, you can check out my take on this year's local news instead.

I taped a year in review show with Seattle Channel's C.R. Douglas last week and it's airing all week.

I'm on with a panel of local reporters and columnists making our picks: biggest story of the year, winners, losers, predictions.

Don't like my news wrap up either?


I'm taping an installment with KING 5's Robert Mak tomorrow.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on December 15 at 12:35 PM

It's time for our weekly session with David Goldstein.

I'm dragging Jonah along this week to talk about his coverage of the Seattle Police.

And I've got a list of suggestions for the 2008 state legislature and some news from the latest Sound Transit board meeting where 2008 light rail came out swinging.

There's also a closely-watched City Council meeting coming up on Monday where both the controversial Vulcan deal and a proposal to protect industrial zoning are queued up for a vote.

All of this action explodes into conspiracy theories and stars outgoing council member Peter Steinbrueck—highlighting a question we've been asking lately: Who will take on Nickels when Steinbrueck leaves at the end of the year?

And another question: Is the local GOP dead? And how does Goldy's ex-wife fit in?

Finally, I will bring this to Goldy's attention: Tomorrow is the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Into the Lion's Den

posted by on December 11 at 10:06 AM

Last Thursday, news intern Brian Slodysko attended a police accountability forum, hosted by SPD's Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) and the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB).

One complaint that was repeatedly echoed on slog—other than the lack of publicity for the meeting—was the fact that the meeting, on police accountability, was held inside a police precinct.

From reading the comments on Slog, it appears a number of people may not have attended the meeting because it would have been like walking into the lion's den. Well, I called up the OPA to ask what they were thinking.

"The west precinct meeting room was available," says OPA Director Kathryn Olson.
"We have done community forums in a variety of public facilities [but] we’ve also done meetings in the precinct." Olson says the OPA didn't intend to alienate anyone when they signed up to use the West Precinct conference room. Besides, Olson says, visiting a precinct is a great opportunity! "I’d encourage people to go inside the precinct if they’ve never been inside a precinct," she says.

The problem with that, as I told Olson, is that some people have been in a precinct—on the business end of things—and they're probably not going to want to come back and visit. When I pointed out that only 4 people—not including media or city employees—attended the meeting, Olson attributed the low turnout to "huge traffic problems that evening."

Olson says she wants to hear from people about where they'd like to see the meetings held. So, if you've got a recommendation or want to address anything else, you can email Olson here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. This Saturday 710 KIRO

posted by on December 7 at 2:33 PM

I'll be on David Goldstein's radio show tomorrow at 7pm.

We had a fatso news section this week: Sweetheart deals for Vulcan; North Seattle neighbors who hate everything; Dave Reichert meets with SEIU; and a progressive candidate steps up to challenge Democratic State Senate incumbent Margarita Prentice. So, I'll want to yack about all that.


Plus I wanna get Goldy's goat and talk about this story: The Democrats complaint against Dino Rossi gets tossed.

Judging from his blog, Goldy will want to talk about Tim Eyman getting tossed from the Yakima City Council meeting.

I do not want to talk about Tim Eyman.

Kind Waters

posted by on December 7 at 2:18 PM

Open the December issue for ArtForum and will find these kind words by John Waters:


"Zoo is a jaw-dropping, sympathetic documentary of the so-called Enumclaw Horse Incident." On his top ten films for the year, he gave Zoo the high position of number 4. Thank you, John.

On the Radio

posted by on December 7 at 8:21 AM

I'll be on KUOW's Weekday this morning, talking about the rain storm, the presidential election, the SLUT, and other news of the week. Show starts at 10 a.m. Got something you think we should talk about? Put it in the comments and maybe I'll hear you.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on December 1 at 10:34 AM

I'll be on Goldy's show tonight to talk about: The Special Olympics in Olympia this week. Go Supermajority Democrats! Also some Slog tidbits from the week: State Sen. Margarita Prentice is likely to face a challenge from the left from Juan Martinez; the $5 million Vulcan giveaway; and the new poll that Goldy's so hot on. Tune in.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Agent Garbes

posted by on November 28 at 9:34 AM

Stranger food writer (and basketball zealot) Angela Garbes has a story in the Chicago Sports Weekly about the local reaction to the Sonics mess.

It looks like her editors asked her to "hang out in the hood" to get the reaction on the street.

So, there's lots of live Existential dialogue from fans at the Central District's Philadelphia Fevre cheesesteak shop:

“My feeling is this is a done deal,” said Ankrim, shaking his head. This season Ernie splurged and upgraded his season tickets to courtside seats so he and his teenage son Eric could enjoy what they believe is one of the Sonics’ last season in Seattle’s Key Arena. It’s a peculiar honeymoon, one without a home to return to.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Stranger Science News Hour

posted by on November 24 at 6:56 PM

Tonight I'll be the 7pm guest for the “The David Goldstein Show" on 710 AM (live streamed)

The topic? My news article on the failed HIV vaccine. Prepared to call me a mastermind of the global AIDS conspiracy? Do it on live radio.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A-Five, Six, Seven, Eight!

posted by on November 22 at 9:39 AM


Well well well. The things you learn from reading the Village Voice's gay star-watcher Michael Musto:

Dan Savage's The Kid, his book about how he and his boyfriend became parents, is being turned into a musical, and I hear Scott Elliott (The Women, The Threepenny Opera) has inked to direct. That's one more reason to hope the stagehand strike ends.

Oh. My. God. I'd start out by expressing surprise at learning about such a thing from a gossip columnist on the other side of the country, but I'm used to it. Dan's a deeply superstitious freak (the time's we've flown together, he's not only compulsively crossed himself--the four-point Catholic way--but me, too) and given the potential for kaboom that comes with any idea "in development," he typically plays it safe with reporting anything. Part of this seems to be a semi-legitimate fear of a "jinx" or falling piano or rogue wave or whatever, but another part is the fact that he could probably spend the majority of his day discussing potential projects, and restricting himself to the ones that make it to the finish line is a sensible move.

I still recall fondly the half-decade I spent awaiting the arrival of The Kid movie. It was bring adapted by Showtime or HBO and I couldn't wait to take six of the world's biggest bong hits then spend two hours watching professional actors pretend to be my friends. Alas, that project never came to fruition, but Hollywood's loss is musical theater's gain, and now I can't wait to take those aforementioned bong hits (with perhaps a whisper of PCP) and go watch the singing, dancing freaks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

the Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on November 17 at 11:57 AM

Christopher Frizzelle will be on with Goldy tonight at 7pm talking about this week's arts feature on the Lawrimore Project plus Amanda Knox's bad short story.

Goldy will try to steer the conversation towards Dino Rossi and Frizzelle will rightly direct it to this week's national book awards.

Tune in tonight at 7.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

the Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on November 10 at 11:30 AM

Tune in The David Goldstein show tonight at 7pm when we go over the election results, which will devolve into an argument about Prop 1 and the news that Gregoire is open to a light rail vote in 2008. Speaking of Gregoire, we'll probably yell about this news too.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. 710 KIRO

posted by on November 3 at 10:40 AM

Lots to talk about this week: Tuesday's election; the Sonics; Dino Rossi; the Mayor's climate change pow-wow.

Tune in to the Stranger News Hour on the David Goldstein show tonight at 7pm.

P.s. Goldy also might be hosting a Kos Radio on Sunday nights with bloggers from Daily Kos.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Mustaches

posted by on November 1 at 5:02 PM

In about two hours, the inaugural Monsieur Mustache Pageant will begin at CHAC.

The judges are cartoonist David Horsey, comedian Aziza Diaz, hairstylist Miguel Vigil, the cafe owner Faizel Khan, and me.

The contest will be a pageant in six rounds, including The Talent Round, the Boxer Shorts Round, and The Tug, wherein our pentavirate will fondle the hairy faces.

The pageant is a benefit for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Nick Farina, a well-liked Seattle waiter (El Gaucho, McCormick and Schmick's, the Met Grill) who has B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and over a million dollars in medical bills.

This guy will be there:


So will this guy:


So should you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shalom Auslander

posted by on October 24 at 10:10 AM

I'll be doing an on-stage interview with writer Shalom Auslander tomorrow night as part of Nextbook's local reading series. He'll be reading from and discussing his new book, "Foreskin's Lament," which received a nice review in The New York Times on Sunday.

Auslander is a funny guy, even though his author photo is rather severe:


And he writes on a theme that has been a favorite of Stranger writers and readers this year: The divine ridiculousness of God. As The Times wrote:

It has been another good year for God everywhere but in the bookstores. Whether it is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s emancipation proclamation from Islam in “Infidel” or the historian Mark Lilla’s reckoning with Christianity’s relationship to politics in “The Stillborn God” or Christopher Hitchens’s withering indictment of the Big Three in “God Is Not Great,” the religious impulse so prevalent around the globe has been taking a serious — that is to say high-minded — drubbing. With the exception of Hitchens, who is not above throwing a sucker punch to please a crowd, the current challengers to the Lord’s dominion have been instructive and edifying company on the page, but rarely any fun.

Now Shalom Auslander has entered the ring, flying off the ropes, pro-wrestling style, with his memoir, “Foreskin’s Lament,” a no-holds-barred affront to the G-d whose name is never uttered by the faithful under Jewish law.

The details:

October 25, 7:30 PM, Conor Byrne's Pub

I'm sure Issur has a question for Auslander. Anyone else want to help me figure out what to ask him?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scary Stuff

posted by on October 23 at 12:45 PM

In honor of Halloween the boys at Queerty interviewed lil' ol' me about scary politicians, terrifying sex practices, and horrifying presidential candidates.

Queerty: Who are the top three scariest politicians?

Dan Savage: Jenna Bush, Jeb Bush Jr., and all future Bushes lurking in the scrota and ovum of every last member of that dense, selfish, clueless plague masquerading as a political dynasty.

The rest of the interview is here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Stranger News Hour. 710 KIRO

posted by on October 20 at 5:40 PM

This week's installment should be rowdy. We'll be talking about: Venus Velazquez's DUI and our call to Vote No on the $17.8 billion roads and transit measure. Also: More fall out from Richard McIver's arrest, Dave Reichert's limp fund raising, and all those other endorsements we made.

Tune in tonight @ 7pm.

Friday, October 19, 2007

On the Radio

posted by on October 19 at 9:03 AM

I'll be on KUOW's weekday this morning, yakking with Danny Westneat and D. Parvaz about the news of the week. Show starts at 10 a.m.

What should we talk about?