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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Cheat Sheet

posted by on October 28 at 12:18 PM

Sara writes:

Nov. 4th Stranger Voter Cheat Sheet! I know it was in the paper a few weeks ago! But I need your brilliant SECB to do my absentee ballot...! Help! It's not on the website...???

Oh, but it is: here. And it'll be in the paper again this week.

Here's the long version (with pesky reading!).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Letter of the Day

posted by on October 25 at 12:21 PM

My bus stop has a row of newspaper boxes, with the Stranger and Seattle Weekly at the end. One day I saw that someone had set a fire in the Weekly box. There was a large pile of ash in it, and its plastic window was warped and drooping. The Stranger box next to it was untouched. I mentioned this to my teenage son, and he asked the question I'd been wondering, too: "Why would someone burn the Weekly and not the Stranger?"

Franz Amador

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


posted by on October 15 at 5:14 PM

This past week's Letters section included this one:

DEAR EDITOR: I am delighted every week to lay my hands on the newest issue of The Stranger. Every article is well written and interesting (even when they drone on and on about the newest and hottest cookie-cutter electronica snoozefest), but on every read-through there is a point where I set down the paper and sigh.

Bar Exam: STOP BOLDING RANDOM SENTENCES. [Boldface from the original] Bethany Jean Clement is grossly abusing her ctrl-B privileges. An example—"...people bedded down in run-down campers under part of the West Seattle Bridge, a community in the shadows with grit sifting down on it" [Bar Exam, Sept 25]—bolded text implies emphasis. Ms. Clement might be proud of her flowery prose (it's cute, really), but the next time I'm attending a poetry jam, I'll listen carefully to see if any of the professionals loudly shout the bits they're particularly proud of (and laugh when they do). Until Clement's habit becomes a national trend, I'll keep making fun of this free paper.

Kavan Phalon

Here is Mr. Phalon's envelope:


In case you can't see it, by the drawing near the return address, it reads "An attractive young man," while by the drawing of the goblin, it reads "The editor is some sort of goblin." We will take Mr. Phalon at his word that he is an attractive young man; everyone knows that each and every Stranger editor is some sort of goblin.

In the Comments on the pertinent Letters section, DANE rose to my defense:

I think "Kavan Phalon" is a piping hot TWAT WAFFLE.

We'll set DANE's opinion aside. The thing is, every column in The Stranger employs BOLDING RANDOM SENTENCES (or phrases, as the case may be). Mr. Phalon, it is not by choice; the goblin-editors IMPOSE THIS UPON US. All the arts columns are thus imposed upon: In Art News is forced to use random bolding, as is Constant Reader and Theater News. (I might also point out that all of these run before Bar Exam in the paper, meaning if you're going to sigh and put it down, Mr. Phalon, you have up to three previous opportunities to do so.)

So, is RANDOM BOLDING a thing of abject horror to you all? Please do tell and we will take the findings to the goblin-panel.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

He Flatters Us

posted by on October 14 at 3:28 PM

A Stranger reader named George writes:

The Muni League had a candidate forum in the 46th district last night between Scott White and Gerry Pollet. The candidates never mentioned endorsements from the PI or Times, but the Stranger came up on at least three questions, and in depth when asked about gay marriage. Have some pie, in local politics you’re more relevant than what passes for daily locals.

Awww, shucks.

Letter of the Day

posted by on October 14 at 1:05 PM

Mr. Constant is on vacation—lecturing squirrels in Maine about the literary merits of graphic novels—so I'll post this for him.

Hi Paul...

A couple of weeks ago you posted on SLOG a link to Nina Katchadourian's stories told in book spines. In comments, someone from the University Book Store linked to a contest they were running where you make your own spine story. I won! Apparently I was the only entrant. Still, I thought my entry kicked ass, so I've attached it for your pleasure.

I have a $25 U Book Store gift card coming to me, so thanks for the post!



Congratulations, Doug.

Good Haunted Houses

posted by on October 14 at 9:57 AM

Dear Stranger, Do you know of any good haunted houses to go to this Halloween? Thank you. --Janet


Friday, October 3, 2008

"I Liked When You Were Riding on the Bike, and Thanks for Not Dying"

posted by on October 3 at 9:03 AM


Need a momentary break from election obsession? (Insert folksy Palin wink here.) Relax with some soothing Letters to E.T., courtesy of's Studies in Crap.

Sample excerpt:


More here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rupert the Tiny Barking Deer

posted by on October 1 at 9:38 AM

Slog tipper Mikki writes:

Slog used to put cute animal pictures up all the time and I thought this was perfect. This deer is tiny and darling and deserves to be seen by people everywhere:

More photos at the Daily Mail, plus details that will give you diabetes of the mind:

...staff at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire believe Rupert, as he has been named, will make a full recovery....

At five days old, he is being kept in an incubator and has just opened his eyes.

Mikki, we apologize for being remiss of late in the cute animals department. Efforts are being redoubled.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Letter to the Editor of the Day...

posted by on September 5 at 12:10 AM over on Line Out. (Good morning!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Stranger's Official Sunday Afternoon ColumnTM (Brought to You By Condo Advertisements with Questionable Grammar)

posted by on August 24 at 1:29 PM

Earlier this week, we got an email from someone named Doug/Schatzi, which is, alas, not someone with a slash in their legal name (wouldn't that be marvelous?), but someone named Doug who works at a place called Schatzi Marketing. He wrote:

Hi there, my name is Doug Perkul and I am the former AP at SPIN Magazine. Together with Sundance Award Winner Stefan Nadelman, we created a new literary site called Lit Mob ( Now, before you start to yawn, please note that this is not like what is currently online--the site is more like Pitchfork in that it focuses on books, but also design and musical artists. We would love your thoughts on the site as well as any editorial love that you may be able to share.

Thanks a million! I have attached our press release for your review and am of course available to answer any questions that you may have.


Doug Perkul
Publisher & Founder

You get a note like this and you feel something. "This is not like what's currently online"? "Readers unite!"? It's heartwarming, no? The language of revolution is a little crazy, but literary culture is Saltine-y and ridiculous and nowhere near commensurate with how great great writing can be, and it's refreshing to hear from one of those valiant few who's with you on this, who likewise believes that something must be done, that reading The Elegant Variation and Maude Newton and Arts & Letters Daily and subscribing to The New Yorker and n+1 and The Believer is not enough, and moreover that literature and music have some things in common, that there's got to be a way to get the average person as excited about books as they are about bands, that more alliances between to two mediums could be forged for... well, marketing reasons, really, horrible as that sounds. Reading could use a marketing update. Writers are rock stars. This at least was the thinking behind The Stranger's reading and dance party with Charles D'Ambrosio and Jonathan Safran Foer at Chop Suey in April 2005, and the one with Zadie Smith and Amos Latteier and the Dead Science at Neumo's in October 2005, and the one with Miranda July and Sarah Rudinoff and "Awesome" at Neumo's in May 2007.

Anyway, then I visited the website to see what a site about books that's "more like Pitchfork" is like, because that sounds pretty great, and started to read it and skipped right past yawning to narcolepsy. I have keyboard shapes on my cheek. The writing on Lit Mob is a lazy pile of unnecessary first-person and book-review cliches ("The protagonist is extremely self-absorbed yet easy to root for"). How can book reviewers who can't write be trusted? There is one page on Lit Mob that's kind of not a bad idea--a page of "what our favorite artists are reading now," where members of Earlimart and Cut Copy and Menomena and other bands recommend titles by dead people you already know about (Phillip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Bukowski) and not-dead guys too (David Berman, Alex Ross, Keith Gessen, Jeffrey Eugenides). It's a handsome page, but it doesn't make for compelling reading. I reread Doug/Schatzi's email--what's an "AP at Spin magazine"? Apple polisher? Aryan procreator? Awful person?--and wondered why I ever extended any hope in his direction, then visited the website for Schatzi Marketing, just to round out the picture, and, well, here's what came up on the first page:


In case that's too fuzzy for you to read:

Schatzi is a unique marketing firm that specializes in creating compelling campaigns and programs for brands seeking "authentic" interactions with the marketplace.

Doug/Schatzi writes that he is "available to answer any questions that you may have." OK: Is this a joke, Doug/Schatzi? Could it please be a joke? What does "'authentic'" mean? Does that refer to something that seems authentic but isn't? Something that doesn't seem authentic but is? Something that doesn't seem authentic and isn't? It's compelling, that grammar there. It's packed like a poem.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Letter of the Day

posted by on August 23 at 11:19 AM


I'm moving up to Seattle in a few weeks, and neglected to get a friend in the city to save a copy of the "Best of Seattle" issue. You surely did one, as mid-late summer seems to be when all weekly entertainment/liberal papers publish such things.

A search yielded the best of The Stranger and the a "Best of SeaTac" issue, but neither is quite what I'm looking for. Can you provide the correct link?


Here you go, Jenni.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Burlesque Meltdown?

posted by on August 18 at 12:59 PM

The following submissions were sent to I, Anonymous within minutes of each other, just minutes ago, from separate authors.

Submission 1:

You left our Burlesque Troupe because you knew we were getting rid of you. To save face you announced that you were instead leaving us behind. What you don't realize is that nobody cares. You treat everyone like shit, and no one likes you. Your breathe stinks, your teeth are nasty, and you can't dance. You are a diva with nothing to back it up. Keep living in poverty and chasing your dream of modeling (which is a joke). We are all laughing at you!

Submission 2:

You produce a local Burlesque Show, which although has been around for a while, lacks any form of growth. You think so highly of yourself but you are a joke and your shows aren't selling like they used to. Performers don't want to work with you because you have such a bad reputation. Karma is biting you in the ass, and we are all laughing at you!

Identical closing lines and weird capitalizations? I smell a sexy, saucy I, Anonymous letter-writing campaign...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Text Message from an E. Olive Way Alley

posted by on August 16 at 10:29 PM

some crazy bastard in the apartments next to apacolypse tattoo on olive was just throwing glass out of his/her 4th/ 5th floor window into the opening of the alley. upon impact this glass shattered like christmas in the sun and was amazing. and hit a girl several times. she wasn't cut, luckily, but she was sure as shit freaked out. even the indians squatting in front of the building were irked. what the fuck is wrong with people? i'm moving to queen anne.

[Received yesterday, 6:15 pm.]

Friday, August 15, 2008

Freedom of Expression

posted by on August 15 at 4:34 PM

In this lovely envelope from Arizona:


...came this letter (regarding this):



--I love freedom of expression so here is my opinion--

Aug. 9. 08


I was in Seattle 2 days ago & read some of your mostly fine articles in “the Stranger.”
I am not even close to being a JOHN McCain fan. That being said, the former military man you are mocking with your “JOHN McCain’s Swollen Gland” column is in part a veteran of the American military’s responsibility for the freedoms you & your staff enjoy to write such pathetic rubbish.
THAT being said: May any member/members of your staff that find this column amusing “vomit into their own mouth, fall to the ground, suffocate on the puke, & then have gasoline poured onto their now totally worthless lifeless bodies & be lit on fire
--Thank you for your time--

Lovely sentiment, Murray! And nice stamp. Let's forget about the immolation wish and just focus on the stamp.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Poetry in the Mail

posted by on August 11 at 10:46 AM



Anyone with a degree in contemporary American poetry want to take a crack at this one?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Letter to the Editor of the Day (Featuring the Sentence of the Day)

posted by on July 24 at 6:08 PM

I had to laugh at the person who moved here from Idaho and thought this city was the fucking end all, he was upset about us not having a mass transit system, Seattle is a lame ass town, and I can say that because I have unfortunately lived here my whole fucking life, but we were totally lied too, go back to Gary Locke, when he was mayor, hell, you should go back to Charles Royer, he should of had the insight to see that we needed a mass transit sysem, hell, Portland, OR has had one since the early 80's, with Gary Locke, they told us that they were going to take the Mariner's out of the state if we didn't provide a new baseball stadium, it went to a vote, yes, a vote, the vote was against the baseball stadium, because we wanted the money to go forth for a mass transit system, what did Gary Locke do? [That was the sentence of the day. --Eds.] He took the money earmarked from restaurants and rental cars and it went toward the Mariners, totally against what the people of Seattle voted for,(even Ralph Nader said that these sports companies should be told no, and get their own damn money) and lame ass Greg Nickols and Christine Gregoire have never said a word about a mass transit system being developed here, these people have no idea how bad the traffic is here, and buddy, believe me, I understand why you are moving away from here, because Seattle is still a small ass town, and we need to get rid of these idiots and get someone in here that knows that we need mass transit, bottom line, we are only almost 30 years behind the other cities.The freeways are totally clogged during rush hour, and people would use a mass transit system, especially with gas the price it is now,

Thank You

Andy Corona

[Can anyone find the link to that original letter, the one this references, by the person who moved here, couldn't stand it, and left? Can't find it...]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Letter to the Editor of the Day

posted by on July 15 at 9:03 AM

In response to this...


A reader writes:

You know, i'd really not want to be hopping on the assuredly large number of letters responding to your "what's more offensive..." feature, but fuck it, why not? I figured it was bad enough that the walls of random neighborhoods have been bogged down by the obama-beret-hussein stencils, but now my regular mirth-reveling last days viewing has to be ruined by this shitty bigoted display. Oh, you had a little POW McCain so it balances out. You all pushing for a white history month too? It doesn't weight in the same way at all.

Irony seems to run rampant nowadays, its trumped that retro-90s flannel cynicism and phased out passe early-00s popped collar disinterest as the perfect fashion accessory. Me, i'm as jaded as the ming dynasty, I buy into youth disenfranchaisement as any other hip go-getter. However this ironic racism just makes me think we're a couple a hairs away from the "handlebar" being replaced by the "chaplin" as the moustache du jour.

Knowing that you all still love irony, here's some hot tips on recent faves. Most of our own "Peace Park" has been sacrificed for a piece of parking, echoing are obviously shitty involvement in Iraq on the behalf of our cars. The other being the good-riddance attitude towards the disappearance of big fast food on the hill. Yes, indeed, we've finally ended our support of these evil faceless corporations. This calls for a celebration, how bout a smoke?

The point is in there somewhere, but you'll have to pick through the rambling.

a kid

Monday, July 14, 2008

Letter to the Editor of the Day

posted by on July 14 at 7:46 AM

It's been a few weeks since you guys at the Stranger have given me any good ammunition to fire back at you. I mean I could have gone off on the queer issue for rolling years of fighting for equal rights into a giant rainbow colored cliche henceforth marginalizing and degrading a serious issue into the journalistic equivalent of a plastic feather boa, but why bother? This week's issue, however gave me everything I needed to write you a truly heartfelt and hateful letter.

Michaelangelo Matos' review of Modern Guilt, Beck's latest release, is indicative of everything I hate about the Stranger. I just got and listened to Modern Guilt the night before I read the review. The album not only is fantastic, but it's easily the best release of 2008 so far (yes, it's better than LP3 by Ratatat which is really good.) Modern Guilt is the best thing Beck's done since Midnight Vultures, and that's saying a lot since the three albums between them are all damn good. But Mikey didn't see it that way. Nope, he's still comparing Beck's efforts to Mellow Gold and has written Beck off because he's moved on. Dude, Mellow Gold was released 14 years ago. In case you haven't noticed the world is a different fucking place than it was then. But that's pretty much the thing about the Stranger, isn't it? You guys all really love reveling in the early '90s when Seattle was the hottest thing around. You might as well rename your paper "I Wish Kurt Cobain Was Still Alive", or "Wasn't Grunge Great?"

The part that really bothers me is that the reason Modern Guilt got panned has nothing to do with the album itself. It's obvious by the review that Mike already wrote it off before even listening to it. Then when he got around to the chore of it he didn't hear the music at all, all he heard was minuscule shit like the compression on the drums. Mike didn't like Modern Guilt because it was Beck and he doesn't like Beck because he's a big name. I'd bet a thousand dollars that if the same album had been released by some 22-year old Ritalin babies with bad beards and a stupid band name like "Arms Made of Legs" Mike and all the rest of you would be drooling all over it.

But the true irony doesn't lie in the obvious notion that the Stranger's basis for what makes good music isn't the music at all, but whether or not the band's aesthetic jives with the current scene. No, it's that while Mike Matos is dissing Beck for not doing the same thing he did in 1994 the whole rest of the staff is cumming in their ugly hipster pants over Sub-we-haven't-released-a-good-record-in-15-years-Pop's 20th (25th? 22nd? Some random ass number?) anniversary party. Wow. You guys are so quick to tear down anything truly and legitimately successful while at the same time hoisting the banner of mediocrity so high that it's all the kids who don't know any better can see.

Between Eric Grandy waving his dick around town while (I'm assuming) riding the "it's hip to be gay!" bandwagon, Megan Seling virtually begging to be gang-fucked by all the worst bands in Seattle, and William Steven Humpfrey (or whateverthefuck his name is) masturbating to his own reflection it's a wonder your staff has any time at all to maintain all the lowest common denominator bullshit that keeps Seattle from ever actually being a world-class city. You're all a bunch of no-talent yuppie hacks.

Finneas Maxwell

Monday, July 7, 2008

Washed Up Comedians Drink Coffee, Go to City Hall Just Like the Rest of Us

posted by on July 7 at 10:54 AM

From my inbox:

Bobcat Goldthwait is at city hall ?!

for real. he was just buying coffee at the coffee cart.

if you know who he is...he was a somewhat famous comedian before you were born.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Question, An Answer

posted by on July 1 at 10:56 AM


WHOA! What is happening up on Capitol Hill???

We're watching from the Convention Center building, and we've seen AT LEAST 17 SPD cars headed up the hill...

Any news up there?

Is everyone alright up there?



That steady stream of squad cars was related to a West Seattle bank robbery, which happened in the 2300 block of California Ave. earlier this morning.

Minutes ago, police spotted the robbery suspects near 1st and Spring and, according to SPD Spokeswoman Renee Witt, are now taking them in to custody.

Nothing to see here.

Apparently, the police chase wasn't as wrapped up as SPD implied.

It appears one alleged bank robber—wearing a dress, wig and surgical mask—ended up in a standoff with police on 1st and Spring.

According to a witness at the scene, shots were fired and police now have the suspect on the ground.

The chase apparently began on Broadway.

More info as it becomes available.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Letter to the Editor of the Day: Georgetown Edition

posted by on June 29 at 4:56 PM

Dear Editor,

Living outside of town I get behind on progress in the city. This weekend while in Georgetown I was standing in front of the gaping hole that was the historic Rainier Brewery. A rendering of the building that will replace it is stapled to a sign board. With almost unbelievable temerity, and wrenching commercialism, the developers have named it "The Original Rainier Brewery." The new building is utterly vapid. It has not one ounce of the original Rainier Brewery's honesty or drama. Where we used to enjoy the irreplaceable, massive, old facade we will now be greeted by an example of the developer's art.

A friend explained to me that the money to save the facade would be better spent on the new building. A passerby made admiring comments about the advertisement. I stood in shock, and remembered an earlier generation of preservationists, names now forgotten, who first recognized the Brewery's historic status, and prevented its destruction decades ago. "What's next?", I thought, but I couldn't think of another building of equal scale and merit that might face a similar end.

Hans Nelsen

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Letter to the Editor of the Day

posted by on June 28 at 5:30 PM

To Whomever: i can't believe the ghastly ungodly agrandizmal gaydumb and overall blindness of bias with regards to devoting an entire F-ing issue to a bunch of queers and queens and their faggy little parade: BFD! This, particularly after so grossly overlooking the phenomenal, 20th anniversary even, of the Fremont Arts parade, and dismissing it as a bunch of naked bicyclists.

Fuck you guys.

The parade in Fremont is an eclectic artistic expression and is inclusive to all. (Pretty much the opposite of the Gay Pride parade.)

The folks who put on the parade, The Fremont Arts Council, are a class organization. And it might be nice to give them a little more press than a mere illustrated letter and ten words under 'nothing happened today.'

You'all should crawl out of your own self absorbed rectums and check out what else is happening in town once in awhile. Fags marching in Seattle--yawn. I was so exhausted with all that I read last issue--overwrought with fagginess--I didn't even have energy left to read Dan Savage. Larry Crist.

Friday, June 20, 2008


posted by on June 20 at 10:30 AM

It's official, Paul Constant. You and I will have to become superheroes by conventional means.

From a scientist:

I do drug research for a biotech company. One day, when I was taking blood samples from some rats that had been dosed with a radiolabeled (Indium 111) MS drug, the little son of a bitch bit me (not that I really blame her, we fuck them up pretty good). So, I am proud to say that I have been bitten by a radioactive rat.

I have as of yet developed no superpowers. If I do, I will let you know.

Another childhood dream bites the dust.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Question from a Reader

posted by on June 9 at 12:26 PM

I'm not sure who else to pose this question to and The Stranger usually has all the answers, right? This spring there was a bus ad campaign (maybe billboards, too... I forget) that started off as blank white ads with a few Pepto-pink splatters on it. Over the course of maybe two or three stages, the ads were covered with more pink splatters, but never any text. Now it's been maybe a month since I last saw one and I haven't seen the completion to the campaign. Did I miss it? Does any of the Stranger staff know what I'm talking about? It seemed a lame ad campaigner, and even lamer that I want to know what it was for...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on June 5 at 2:12 PM


posted by P'toxy

On the Hot Tip That Would Not Die

posted by on June 5 at 11:50 AM

This just in from Stranger reader Sue:

Hello, Mr. Schmader:

In last week's issue of The Stranger (5/29/08) your column "Last Days" described a disgusting incident at a Seattle Value Village in which a female found a urine-soaked pair of denim pants. I don't believe it happened; I think you were duped with a bogus report so this woman could either fulfill a bet, get her 15 minutes of fame, or trash the reputation of the store. I'll tell you why I think this.

When a woman goes shopping for apparel, and especially when the apparel is hanging on a rack, the first action she performs is to hold the garment fully opened at arms length. Any urine-soaked crotch in a pair of pants would be obvious at this point. The woman usually also holds the pants against her body to estimate if the waist will be big enough and the legs long enough. Any odor or wetness would be discernible immediately, not after the woman had walked around the store with the garment draped over her arm.

Perhaps you should abandon the practice of publishing the disgusting reports if you can't substantiate the claims of the reporter. They really don't add value to the quality of anyone's life. Here's something I picked up in my readings long ago: ask yourself, "is it true, is it kind, is it helpful" and if not, don't pass it along in any form.


Thanks for writing, Sue, even though your letter is fifty kinds of stupid.

First, full disclosure: Hot Tipper Caroline—she who encountered the soiled jeans and reported the event to Last Days—is a Stranger coworker and good friend, and the story is true.

Second, as Caroline mentioned in the comments to last week's Slog discussion of Moistgate, the jeans were very dark denim, making visible recognition of wetness difficult.

Finally, as Caroline herself put it after I showed her your letter, "I've been a woman my entire life, and I don't hold pants up to my body to judge the length. I just don't. She's totally blaming the victim here."

Agreed. (I'm also delighted by Sue's imagining of a world where people conspire to trash the reputation of Value Village.)

Dept. of Addenda

posted by on June 5 at 11:32 AM

Dear Aryne Chacon:

Finally heard back from the printing press. They print The Stranger on pulp that is sixty percent recycled, forty percent white and red fir.


In other fir news:

Man cuts down 37 fir trees to make light for his pot garden.

A knife, which one man allegedly used to kill his brother in 1998, found under a fir tree.

A famous fir tree at the Chambers Bay golf course will survive its attack by an axe-wielding vandal.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Letter of the Day

posted by on June 2 at 3:45 PM

From Aryne Chacon of Santa Fe, New Mexico:


The Stranger Editor:

I absolutely love Seattle's only newspaper. Your restaurant, music, art, and social happening reviews are what keeps me from living under a rock. And the comfortable writing styles of your journalists is what I look forward to every Wednesday morning.

Though I do have some environment related questions I am curious about. First of all, where are your paper supplies coming from to make each copy? What sort of chemicals are used in the ink? How are the copies delivered throughout the city? What sort of resources and how much is used by the printing machine in your company? How often is your building being operated? What is done with the copies that are sent back?

I would like to continue to enjoy your newspaper and that may be even more possible if you take this letter and respond.

Thank you.

Thank you, Aryne Chacon. We're glad you're not living under a rock.

A few answers to your questions:

First of all, where are your paper supplies coming from to make each copy?

The Stranger is printed in a secret, underground print shop in Yakima, Washington. Sixty percent of the pulp used to make the paper is recycled. The rest comes from trees in Canada. Mike, the friendly guy at the Yakima print shop who has worked in print shops since 1978, says he doesn't know what kind of trees. He'll ask around.

What sort of chemicals are used for the ink?

Soy, mostly, plus some waxes, pigments, and resins. It is not edible.

How are the copies delivered throughout the city?

By fifteen drivers in vans, who go from Bellingham to Olympia and Issaquah to the Kitsap Peninsula. Our distribution czar, Kevin Shurtluff, says they drive about 2,000 miles per paper cycle: "I've, personally, been to the moon (one way) once over the course of my total tenure. The distro team goes halfway there each year. Distance to the moon = 238857 miles. Doesn't really stack up for squat against what semi drivers do; a typical semi engine is designed to last for one million miles."

What sort of resources and how much is used by the printing machine in your company?

I don't know what you mean, exactly, but I'm going to say electricity. And broken dreams.

How often is your building being operated?

Most of us in editorial work from noon until three pm, when we knock off for drinks. Dominic Holden, the new news writer, is often here on weekends, working diligently. I bet he'll grow out of that pretty soon.

What is done with the copies that are sent back?

Again, from Mr. Shurtluff: "We have a contract recycling service. From what I hear from them, demand pulls recycled Northwest newsprint to Asia."

Where, presumably, it is sold to pet food factories in China.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Open Thread

posted by on May 19 at 5:34 PM

It's muggy in the office and we're scrambling to wrap up this week's issue and our enormous SIFF guide... and I can't come up with a better excuse as to why Slog is so slow this afternoon. Why don't you tell us what we should be writing about in this space.

Friday, May 16, 2008

On Racially Profiling the Invisible

posted by on May 16 at 8:47 AM

I got a postcard! My name was misspelled, but I’m cool with that.


The text, in case you can’t read it:

1) The Seattle police mostly shmooze [sic] + rarely police—when you see a police car parked, there’ll be another one around the corner.

2) On Pine St across from Nordstrom’s, a Fed-Ex driver stopped to deliver a package + got a ticket. This never happens. The driver was Asian. You should check the ethnicity of ticketed drivers.

Could police really be racially profiling people for parking tickets? I must demur. After all, parking tickets are issued to unoccupied vehicles, thus preventing the ticketing officer from seeing the driver or identifying his or her race. Besides, if all the cops are congregating to schmooze, they probably wouldn’t be able to watch each driver, make a note of which cars were parked by Asian folks, and ticket their cars. But I do appreciate the note.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Letter of the Day

posted by on May 12 at 11:04 AM

We get letters...

if you had any balls you would print this but they prob got sucked dry years ago. i love the way you guys replace racism and sexism with a new form of oppression against straight people esp anyone with faith. All you need to do to prove my point is replace the words white man, Christian and straight with Gay in your paper. You seem to believe the cure for racism and sexism is to remove yourselves from the status as victims and use the very same hate against those different than guys rely on ppl being too caught up with life to deal with exposing yr BS & bias but if you really think yr foolin a majority of us....just shows how brain dead and dull you are.....FUCK THE STRANGER.

B. Parker

PS As individuals im sure yr all just average ppl but u represent something very creepy...psuedo progressives that rely on fluff and personal extremism re private lifestyle issues to make yr case. The Stranger has absolutely zilch to do with healing or correcting the injustices in this country. So that is why I say FUCK THE STRANGER!

For the record: We do not capitalize the word "gay" in the pages of the Stranger. And while our collective balls are occasionally sucked dry, they quickly re-hydrate—the best evidence, we feel, of intelligent design.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


posted by on May 6 at 2:55 PM

It's the word of the week.

If you didn't make it to the end of Tao Lin's essay "What I Can Tell You About Seattle Based on the People I've Met Who Are from There (I Live in Brooklyn)"--which, according to Slog commenters, was either the worst thing The Stranger has ever published ("It's seriously the worst cover piece I've read in the Stranger") or one of the best ("I'm glad the stranger saw fit to print it; it gives me hope for the state of literature")--you might not know what "choad" means. Or you might think it means what Annie Wagner thought it meant: "I've always heard it meant the nowhere land between your anus and your vagina, and also for guys." Or you might think it means what Wiktionary thinks it means (which is pretty close to Tao Lin's definition, although not quite it). Tao Lin's definition is at the very end of his piece, in the section titled "People in Seattle Have Choads."

It's not Merriam-Webster, but here's a young lady giving the Lin-approved definition of choad:

And here's a choad-related letter we got this afternoon:

To the Editor:

In regards to the comment that people in Seattle have choads I can only assume that Mr. Lin meant a) that men in Seattle have choads as I, as a woman, do not have a choad or any other kind of penis and b) that he had not taken a good look at the genitalia of a representative portion of the male Seattle population. I have not noticed a excess of choads, or any kind of choads on Seattle men. I have noticed that sex with men in Seattle lasts forever, like they might be wishing they were on a Marco Polo team but were trying really hard to be good at sex since they were in the uniform. I also assumed Mr. Lin was a woman; how odd.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spam or Threat? A New Game.

posted by on April 23 at 10:04 AM

Date: April 22, 2008 6:58:34 PM PDT
Subject: she has already gone to hospital!...

Hello, brendan.

Listen to me carefully, i don't know what your name is, but i'll find you and i'll cripple you, because this is you who tempted her!!!

She has already gone to hospital, you're next.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Let's All Take a Second to Yawn at the Yawners

posted by on April 19 at 11:17 PM

A letter to the editor, time-stamped 10:31 pm:

The thing I hate about the Stranger is the underlying fuck you attitude. For example, the slam on the Dali Lama in "Last Days" takes it humor from a general pot shot at all the shit heads in Seattle, then elaborates on biddies and sundry idiots, finally blasting its subject in another shop worn, burning issue of the day, the supposedly inevitable peccadillos of the Tibetan leader. Its all in good fun, and just a load of nonsense, except that the attitude here and in so much of the content of this rag seems to assume we all revel in the same arrogance. Its know all, see all, I'm so cool, and so much better and smarter than anyone else, and its boring as all hell, and seems weirdly struck in some previous decade, the 90's, the 80's? Its hard to tell, but for god's sake, give us something new. Your formula is flat.

with a huge yawn,

Hans Nelsen

Goedenavond, Hans!