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Monday, July 21, 2008

Holy Crap, I'm Famous!

posted by on July 21 at 4:20 PM

Or, it's the magic of coincidences...

Details on Lineout.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This Week's Issue

posted by on January 9 at 4:13 PM


Jonathan Raban on the Source of Obama's Big Idea
"What the crowds crave from this scrupulous agnostic is his proven capacity to deliver the ecstatic consolation of old-time religion."

Eli Sanders Witnesses the History-Making Moment in Iowa, Then Sticks Around to Watch New Hamshire Returns on a Hotel TV
"In the Twilight Zone of the Edwards bus tour--same message, same day, new location--people in the crowds were having a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was making them make "I believe" faces, and I was having a 10-times-already-since-2:00-a.m. moment, which was making me sick and reminding me that it's not real, can't be real, that John Edwards can't really care about everyone he meets and want to fight the corporations every hour of the day. I heard, however, that reporters on the Obama bus started to believe, which is extraordinary considering the hope-deadening aspects of watching a message on repeat."

Erica C. Barnett on Why She's Glad Clinton's Still in the Race
"It's not just that I've failed to be electrified by Obama's 'dynamic' personality and message of 'hope'; it's because, on policy grounds, he isn't saying what I want to hear from a Democratic frontrunner going into an election that's the Democrats' to lose."

Also this week's cover: Brendan Kiley eats marrow at three Seattle restaurants, and Jeff Kirby on why the Eastside music scene is still important proving ground.

That Swearing Ban, and Hillary

posted by on January 9 at 8:46 AM

That story about a town's attempt to ban swearing in taverns was misreported by the AP. Mark Brown of the Sun-Times was all over it today, and it turns out that Missouri law already bans swearing in taverns, but the law isn't enforced. Richard Veit, the lawyer behind the issue, is a tavern-goer, but is not happy that there is no way to shut down out-of-control bars. He went looking into the law, and found many things are illegal in taverns, including profane language. Money quote:

"I did not expect it to get this attention," Veit admitted, explaining he was focused on other restrictions. "I thought the story was we were cracking down on underage drinking."

So you don't have a particular concern with swearing?

"Absolutely not," he said.

I hope he really said "Absofuckinglutely not" but no self-respecting, little-old-lady-subscriber-fearing newspaper could print such a thing.

Speaking of fucking profanity, how come none of the whoopdedoo political pundits considering the Deeper Meaning of Clinton's "victory" in NH haven't had bullshit called on them for failing to notice one obvious thing: more Democrats voted against her than for her. If Edwards wasn't there, would his voters have gone for Clinton or Obama? My money's on Obama.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Seattle Will Win, and Barry Bonds indicted

posted by on November 15 at 2:13 PM

Seattle will win Sunday. I say this because the geniuses that run the Chicago Bears have decided Rex Grossman will start while Brian Griese lets his injured non-throwing shoulder owie heal. Grossman's only problem as a starter is that he rattles easily, he cannot handle anything resembling an unpredictable blitz, and if it's too noisy, he's useless.

Seattle will rush unpredictably, rattle him, and the noise makes the over-under on fumbles on the exchange with center 3.5, with the over-under for false start penalties 7.5.

So. I surrender. The Chicago Tribune even ran a fawning story on Mike Holmgren's genius, so I guess we're doomed. And I just figured out that the seats I got, while about mid-field, are in the last row. The very last row. The one where the beer vendors are Sherpas with calves the size of watermelons.

But at least they will have gotten massively large the natural way, instead of the unnatural way, like newly-indicted Home Run King Barry Bonds. Lying to the Feds is a crime? Shit, who knew?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mr. Savage Goes to (Eastern) Washington

posted by on November 8 at 5:25 AM


Over the weekend, Dan Savage got on a plane and checked into the Spokane hotel where fallen Republican lawmaker Richard Curtis stayed two weekends ago. Richard Curtis? Maybe this will jog your memory: nylon rope, $1,000-dollar bareback sex, women's lingerie, an alleged gay prostitute, doctor's toys, money left under a flower pot on the Washington Street Bridge--but anyway! The hotel. What's the hotel like?

The lobby, my God, the lobby.

"Everlasting Love," an early disco hit, is booming over the sound system. The walls and floors of the L-shaped room are covered in beige and tan marble. Faux-Victorian chandeliers dangle from the ceiling. Huge bronze elephant heads with gleaming brass tusks top every column, stained-glass panels with giraffe motifs enclose the bar area, and overstuffed chairs and banquettes are upholstered in black-and-tan leopard-print velvet. It looks like all the furniture has been upholstered with Siegfried and Roy's old thongs.

There's some trouble getting the room I requested—968. When I made the reservation yesterday, I was told that my room request was no problem. But today, the room is "off-line," the receptionist informs me. A pair of stained-glass tigers stares down at me from the wall behind her. The receptionist is blond and perky, and she doesn't seem to suspect anything. She sets about trying to get the room back online for me and invites me to have a drink in the hotel bar--where the waiter is wearing a zebra-striped apron--while she works on the problem. When I return to the reception desk 15 minutes later, a noticeably cooler receptionist informs me that the room I wanted will be off-line for the "duration of my stay," which is only one night...

What Mr. Savage discovers about Mr. Curtis hasn't been written about anywhere else. Continue reading it here.

ALSO IN THIS WEEK'S PRINT EDITION: Charles Mudede on what the Central District has to do with Proust (the author of a book Mudede mentions in town this week); Erica C. Barnett on what could make the Metro system a whole lot better; an interview with Dave Eggers and John Roderick; a bunch of intrepid reporting about happy hours (including the best first sentence Lindy West has ever written: "When I'm at a bar in the early evening, I generally have three things on my mind: gin, fried foods, and flirting with bartenders (also, I will accept nachos)"; and Dear Science on whether there's a scientific way to tell if your girlfriend's faking her orgasms.

Plus loads of other stuff.

Good morning!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cell Phones, Public Flossing and Other Violations of the Rules

posted by on October 13 at 7:15 PM

OK, I'm working off a dial-up internet connection, so no links.

But the umpty-zillion comment brouhaha over the Brother's post about annoying Cell Phone Woman at the airport demands a measured, scholarly response, if I may be so bold as to switch from sports-writer to professor-mode.

Most analysts of urban space divide the world into three kinds of space: private, semi-public and public. Basically, your home (where no one can go unless invited), work and shopping places (where anyone can go if they have a reason to be there and behave properly) and the street or parks (which belong to us all, so anyone can be there).

But we need to conceptualize a fourth kind of space: the semi-private. This is a public space, like an airport waiting area or a bus or the street, where you have some reasonable expecatation of being left the fuck alone. Yeah, you're in a place where other people are allowed to be, but we all gotta get along, and so for crissakes, obey the rules of polite co-existence. The first and foremost of these rules is to not do anything that forces the other people around you to inhabit a space they did not choose to inhabit.

Almost every behavior that drives the Brother or the rest of us up a wall is a violation of semi-private space by someone who turns that space into their own private space. Remember when Slog featured Hot Tips about people flossing their teeth or cutting their nails on the bus? Why would that bother anyone?

Because it transforms the semi-private public space of the bus into the private bathroom of the nail-clipper or teeth-flosser.

We hate screaming children on planes or in supermarkets not because children are evil, but because having to listen to their screams transports us against our will into their nursery, where infantile screaming is perfectly appropriate.

We hate people who fart on elevators because we don't choose to be in the bathroom with them, and their airy bowel movements transport us into their private space against our will.

We hate people who engage in excessive public displays of affection because their foreplay transports us into their bedrooms against our will. Except, of course, for the Voyeur-American community, which is happy to go there. And I guess Fart-Huffers are happy when people pass gas on elevators.

But annoyance at this sort of behavior is perfectly rational, since people who transform the semi-private spaces of our shared public realm into their own little private worlds are petty tyrants who must be resisted.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Idea for the Viaduct--Make it a Bike Path!

posted by on May 23 at 8:36 AM

At least for a day. While it's not Bay to Breakers, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation's annual Bike the Drive event shows what can happen in a city where things actually get done. This year's BtD is this Sunday, and I'll be dragging the Stranger's Fearless Leader off some barstool in Boy's Town for the ride.

The history: the CBF does another event, the Boulevard Lakefront Tour, which takes cyclists around Chicago's historic boulevard system (and is a climate-neutral event!). They used to shut down LSD from for a few miles on the South Side, and then some wild-eyed dreamer said: Hey, why not let us take over all of Lake Shore Drive for a day? Mayor Daley said "Make it so," and so it was done. In less than a month, the plan was complete and approved. Bike the Drive was a reality a mere six months after it was first proposed.

This is the sixth year of the event, which draws between 15 and 20 thousand participants, from whacked-out Critical Mass types to families with kids on training wheels. I've done it each year, always starting in the first rank (soon passed by the hard-core cyclists). It's an amazing transformation of urban space, to be someplace that formerly was just for cars. The most striking thing is how quiet it is--some boombox-wielding jerks notwithstanding, it's just the silence. Views of the spectacular Chicago skyline that you normally only get at 50 mph are transformed when travelling 15 mph on a bicycle.

The highlight for me is always the start, when heading northbound into the sun rising on Lake Michigan over Navy Pier. Then the second highlight is the finish, four hours and sixty miles later, when I crack open the beers I've been lugging in a mini-cooler in my panniers to carbo-load for my ride home.

Seattle ought to start thinking about arguing about talking about looking at the environmental and social impact on the neighborhoods of maybe actually doing something like this.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Neat Way to Support a Neat Nonprofit

posted by on March 23 at 2:22 PM

Artworks is one of my favorite nonprofits in the entire city of Seattle. Besides hosting shows at their space downtown that are run by young people, they also run one of the most subversive community-service programs ever: If you are a kid who is caught tagging, and you receive community service for your crime (most first-time offenders do), then you can serve it out at Artworks. What will you do there? Paint murals. On walls. Outside. It's so brilliant.

Anyhow, like all nonprofits, they are very poor. Help them out at this fundraiser. It's super easy, all you have to do is eat.

Come eat with ArtWorks!
March 27th 5 pm til they close!
McMenamin's Fremont Restaurant, Dad Watson's, is hosting ArtWorks for a "Friends & Family Night".
50 percent of all food & drink sales will go to ArtWorks.
Free [except for the food you order]& all ages welcome!
What an easy, fun, delicious way to support Seattle's #1 nonprofit empowering young people through professional opportunities in the arts.
xo artWorks

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Day Without A Fresh Slog

posted by on February 18 at 5:23 PM

just encourages outrageous comments threads re: the Mea Gulpa posts from Dan and Nick.

So, comments on the comments:

To everyone who theorizes that "whiskey dick" prevents women from having sex with men who are too drunk to consent, may I remind everyone of the "piss hard-on," a phenomenon which often accompanies excessive beer consumption and which would indeed allow a woman to have her way (vaginal or oral intercourse-wise at the very least) with a man either unconscious or not particularly enthused. So the question of whether a man can have sex when too drunk to consent is not really a question. I didn't see this in the comments threads, though I will admit my eyes were glazing over at a few points.

Second, a lot of this conversation seems to be about how polite cops should be to people. Anytime you have an encounter with a cop and you don't get tossed in jail, count yourself lucky. Remember, only suspicious and probably rude cops prevented Susan Smith and Charles Stuart from getting away with murder.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

New Year Resolutions

posted by on January 2 at 9:42 AM

Just got back from the holidays in Northern Michigan where the coffee looks like tea, vegetables are out of season, and reheated frozen shrimp with red cocktail sauce is really something special. My Uncle Dan had the best New Years resolve I've heard yet: "I just don't plan to get any worse."

my aunt roach.jpg

Friday, December 1, 2006

Britney's crotch, Letterman, Putin and Maliki

posted by on December 1 at 1:31 PM

What do all of these things have in common? Find out from the comic genius, Bad Reporter

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Might as well Slog

posted by on November 19 at 3:02 PM

Just to fill some space. Sometimes, you'd think the Stranger was staffed with a bunch of observant Christians, the way Sundays are so slow.

I imagine Brad and the other sports-loving staffers are sweating the SeaGulls game, as the mighty '49ers are currently treating the 'Gulls like fresh meat at a mining claim campfire. Me, I didn't catch all of the Bears game--helping the girlfriend around her house, assembling bookcases from Ikea--but liked what I saw and what I've read online. Teams that play shitty games and still manage to win are teams that go a long way in the playoffs.

And, speaking of shitty teams, word on the internets is that the Cubs are signing Alfonso Soriano to the fifth-biggest deal of all time. Now if we can just pry Ichiro loose from the Mariners, we'd have a chance. . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Props from Chicago

posted by on November 15 at 7:50 AM


Given how often my brother disses Seattle in favor of Chicago, just thought y'all would like to hear some praise from the city of Big Shoulders, which was blackmailed three times to build expensive new stadia with plenty of taxpayer dollars. From Neil Steinberg in today's Sun-Times:

Don't let the door . . . Whenever a sports franchise extorts a tax break or a stadium out of a city by threatening to pull up stakes and leave otherwise, citizens inevitably wonder what would happen if they called the bluff.

Usually they do that wondering while digging into their pockets for the ransom.

But in Seattle on Election Day, a miracle occurred when 74.3 percent of the voters approved a measure forbidding public funds to be spent on sports facilities. Now the so-so SuperSonics are making noises about looking for a new home.

As satisfying as this is, the great part -- for me -- is the name of the group that fought to end welfare for rich team owners: Citizens for More Important Things. .

OK, we have rapid transit and a Mayor-for-Life-or-til-Indicted who loves bicycle lanes, but we also ponied up for the United Center, the New Comiskey Park (Now US Cellular Field, aka The Cell) and that Mother Ship on the Lake, the New Soldier Field. Your rejection of the Sonics beats Chicago's chickenshit ways hands-down.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Some Levity

posted by on November 8 at 10:26 AM

Just as there are good drunks and bad drunks, there are good hangovers and bad hangovers. Nothing reinforces a good hangover, like the one I'm sure most Slog readers and writers earned last night, than a larf.

So, as a service from Chicago, this timely joke from Neil Steinberg's column in today's Sun-Times.

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the interstate. Nothing is moving.

Suddenly a man walks over. The driver rolls down his window and asks: ``What's going on?''

``Terrorists down the road have kidnapped George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They're asking for a $100 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection.''

The driver asks, ``How much is everyone giving, on average?''

``Most people are giving about a gallon.''

High gas prices be damned.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Slog in the WaPo

posted by on November 6 at 11:16 PM

And now for a little self-promotion:

The Slog is mentioned in tomorrow's Washington Post article about Referendum 1 (we say vote no), the sneaky backdoor ban on strip clubs within the Seattle city limits.

And now a little boss-demotion:

Unfortunately, writer Blaine Harden refers to the Slog as "[Dan Savage's] blog." Obviously, Savage, you've been posting way too much. How about requesting a correction?

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Way Too Much Gay on the Slog This Weekend...

posted by on November 5 at 8:18 PM

So, I'm posting about sports.

In particular, I'm posting about Gilbert Arenas.

And of course, there is nothing gay about Gilbert Arenas, who scored 44 points last night and, according to an AP wire story titled "Arenas Erupts in Wizards Win Over Celtics" :

emerged in a huge blue robe, the hood pulled low over his face. He said he was trying to look like a wizard.


And, it goes without saying, that there's nothing gay about the fact that the only thing keeping me sane these days is a 6' 4" 24-year-old man who runs around in shorts with other muscle-bound men for a living.

44 points, people.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Agent Zero Vs. LJ

posted by on November 1 at 11:15 AM

Jillbert takes on LeBron James tonite in a re-match I've been waiting for all summer.


Gilbert: Remember when LeBron put his finger on your chest and bad mouthed you at the line in the closing seconds of last year's big loss? Time to wreak havoc.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Best Scientists Ever

posted by on October 31 at 1:19 PM

This might come in handy after the Stranger's Election Party next week: British scientists are growing human livers in the laboratory.