I've got a fledgling in my kitchen. Apparently, it fell out of its nest. A determined neighbor had rescued it from the ground a block away, where it was hopping around in a garden—but she declared she couldn't keep it because she has cats.
And now it's on my kitchen counter.
I called the folks at PAWS, who are checking to see whether they can take it under their sheltering wings. In the meantime... any advice?
The Seattle Channel has posted the full video of Monday's mayoral "read and greet" at the downtown Seattle Public Library. So if you're curious about Peter Steinbrueck's blackvoice performance, skip ahead to the 33:53 mark. Or, if like me, you just enjoy being lulled to sleep at night by the melodious voices of mayoral candidates reading from their favorite books, just watch the whole thing.
Seattle may have low unemployment, but across the country, those with jobs don't really enjoy their work, according to a new Gallup poll. (There's plenty of knee-slapping laughter and energy here at The Stranger, so this doesn't seem to be an issue here, I'm happy to report.)
Only 30 percent of workers "were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace," which incidentally is the highest figure Gallup's ever recorded in its annual State of the Workforce survey. Not surprisingly, the largest percentages of dissatisfied workers are employed in low-paying service sector jobs, and that's the fastest growing job segment in the nation. But hey, a shitty job you hate is better than no job, right?
That's the argument that cuddly NPR economics reporter Adam Davidson made about sweatshop workers after the Bangladesh factory collapse in the New York Times. And who am I to argue with Adam Davidson.
A quote from Marx on the alienation of the worker would seem appropriate here, but I don't want to step on Mudede's toes. Here's French anarchist Proudhon instead:
The problem before the working classes then is not to conquer but to overcome at the same time power and monopoly, which means creating, out of the people’s guts and labour’s profundity, a greater authority, a more powerful fact, that surrounds and subjugates capital and the state.More on the Gallup survey here.
German researchers have created a new DRM feature that changes the text and punctuation of an e-book ever so slightly. Called SiDiM, which Google translates to “secure documents by individual marking,” the changes are unique to each e-book sold. These alterations serve as a digital watermark that can be used to track books that have had any other DRM layers stripped out of them before being shared online. The researchers are hoping the new DRM feature will curb digital piracy by simply making consumers paranoid that they’ll be caught if they share an e-book illicitly.
Moby Lives has more reactions to this scheme. As Nick Harkaway points out in the post, treating your customers like criminals is a very bad idea.
Dan Savage is on a book tour for his new book American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics. Please enjoy this Savage Love letter from the archives. This letter was originally published November 29, 2007:
I am a young female currently in a relationship and I want to be honest with my boyfriend. A few years before I met my boyfriend, I met someone in my family. I guess he would be my second cousin. His mother is my father's first cousin. Anyway, we met one Christmas at a family get-together and ended up having sex. Would it be dishonest not to tell my current or any future lovers this detail about my sex life?
One Shameful Secret
My response after the jump...
Okay, that's not really what the organizers are calling it. But hundreds of local voters and members of the Our Economic Future Coalition will be rallying tonight at Kirkland's Heritage Park to demand that Republican Senators Rodney Tom and Andy Hill pass a budget that prioritizes education and critical services over protecting tax loopholes for special interests.
Heritage Park was chosen because it is the dividing line between Tom and Hill's districts. As the Senate Majority Leader and chief budget writer respectively, Tom and Hill have the power to make or break a humane budget.
The XBone will be somewhat freer than initially advertised. MS either acquiesced to customer pressure by easing up on harsh DRM policies—or played us all for suckers in a short con designed to get their new machine more press than Sony got for the PS4. We'll play along for now.
I've been hearing for a couple of years now that the retirement of Speight Jenkins, the (mostly) beloved and longtime leader of Seattle Opera was "around the corner."
Today, that retirement has finally been announced, as well as Jenkins's replacement Aidan Lang, who was found after a hush-hush, two-year search process:
Aidan Lang, respected in the opera community for positions of leadership with New Zealand Opera, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, the Buxton Festival and Opera Zuid, has been named Seattle Opera’s third General Director effective September 1, 2014. Lang succeeds Speight Jenkins, who has led the company for more than three decades. Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera celebrates its 50th Anniversary beginning with the August 2013 production of Wagner’s Ring and culminating with the 2014 International Wagner Competition and 50th Anniversary Concert and Speight Celebration in August 2014.
This announcement marks a moment in Seattle's broader culture as well. Over the past six years or so, Seattle's other two classic performing-arts organizations (the ballet and the symphony) have transitioned away from longtime leaders (Kent Stowell/Francia Russell and Gerard Schwarz) who were intensely focused on institution-building, establishing a foothold for their medium in the city's consciousness, and congealing a reliable audience and donor cohort.
The ballet replaced Stowell/Russell with Peter Boal and the symphony replaced Schwarz with Ludovic Merlot, both exciting choices for audiences in Seattle (and beyond) who were more than ready to see those sometimes staid-seeming institutions push forward into a more daring and engaged phase of their aesthetic development.
Will the 57 year-old Lang inspire the same excitement among opera geeks? Either way, the transition seems to have been meticulously choreographed.
Some of Lang bona fides from Seattle Opera's announcement are below the jump. And you can follow him on Twitter. His most recent tweet: "Speighters gonna Speight."*
David Butler—whose background includes Campagne, Cremant, and Le Gourmand, a trifecta of marvelousness—is opening a French wine bar downtown called Le Caviste. From a review I wrote of Le Gourmand:
The sommelier at Le Gourmand, David Butler, regales the curious with thrilling (really) details about soil in France, tells sly little jokes, whispers descriptions like poetry—his expertise might fairly be described as hypnotizing. For added entertainment, you can watch him assess other tables, watch him see how his overtures go, watch him leave the boring people to each boring other. When Le Gourmand closes, he intends to open a wine bar, which will be approximately the best wine bar ever.
Now, finally, the lease has been signed for 1919 Seventh Avenue downtown—it's around the corner from Barolo, facing the new federal courthouse. Butler expects a fall opening for Le Caviste. Now we must just wait.
(Speaking of sommeliers, I watched a new documentary about them, reviewed over here. David Butler is the one mentioned there who likened a wine to "flinty soil... the strike of a match, far away." He looked far into the distance as he said it, catapulting the mind through space and time. The wine was excellent.)
Read all about it over on Line Out.
Seattle artist Adream de Valdivia—originally from Tri-Cities—made this mantle, traditionally used to wrap the dead, to honor his father and also other family members lost to cartel violence in Mexico. The symbol-heavy images appear to be applied mechanically, as if commercially printed. Rather than detracting from the work, its easy reproducibility acts as a grim promise of the continuing output of the War on Drugs.
The piece is at Bherd Studios, part of the group show 2nd Amendment: A Visual Dialogue. A full review will appear in next week's paper.
Same as it ever was...
New study confirms allegations made by state prosecutors that some of the nation’s biggest banks are violating the terms of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement, the landmark agreement to clean up shoddy foreclosure practices.
The court-appointed monitor of the settlement on Wednesday issued a report saying Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have dragged their feet in processing homeowners’ requests for lower monthly loan payments.
The most common problem found among the servicers, in particular at Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, was failure to notify homeowners of any missing documents in their modification requests within five days of receipt, according to the settlement monitor, Joseph A. Smith Jr. Citigroup and Bank of America were also cited for providing inaccurate information in letters they must send to borrowers before beginning a foreclosure.
In honor of Pollinator Week, Lucid Lounge is hosting a We Love the Bees event tonight. University of Washington biology lecturer Evan Sugden, who specializes in the ecology, evolution, and systematics of bees, will give a talk about creating a healthy environment for bees. Then there will be a showing of the new film Vanishing of the Bees (narrated by Ellen Page!). They are even creating a special Queen Bee cocktail, and the proceeds for the rest of the summer will go to local bee organizations. This looks like an interesting event!
Lucid Lounge, 5241 University Way NE, 7 pm, free, 21+.
This afternoon in the Seattle Times, Emily Heffter has a piece that is—well—wrong. It concludes that an article published today in The Stranger terrorizing all nine mayoral candidates somehow revealed our newspaper intends to endorse Mayor Mike McGinn. For the record, The Stranger is 100 percent undecided in the mayor's race right now.
But Heffter—who I've lauded as a good reporter in the past—contends The Stranger showed its hand because we have "praise" for McGinn while we "heap criticism" on Murray. "Any remaining doubt about who The Stranger newspaper would back in this year’s crowded mayor’s race is probably settled," Heffter writes. Again, this isn't true.
First, we ribbed everyone. Everyone. We said Peter Steinbrueck's vision for Seattle was the "mid-1970s," for Christ's sake. We said Joey Gray's best shot as winning was "massive voter fraud" and that Bruce Harrell will probably "die in Bellevue." We also had a knock on McGinn, based on his substantive policy failures (light rail, police accountability, the arena); that is, we called out his failure to fulfill the tenets of his campaign and obligations of his job. That's a big knock. We also said his weakness is "hot wings." For Murray, we noted his accomplishments in Olympia, but our criticisms were arguably more trivial. Such as his recent comment about this being "the ugliest campaign Seattle has ever seen." You could say we were harsher on Murray or harsher on McGinn. (We were trying to be equal-opportunity dicks!) And for the record, we've also been blistering about McGinn's handling of the police department for the last three years. We'll be sitting down with mayoral candidates next week and issuing our endorsements on July 17. Until then, reading too much into the "unhelpful guide" to the mayor's race we published today is a mistake.
So I'll be as straight with you as a faggot can be: The Stranger could endorse any candidate in the race (okay, not Joey Gray). But seriously: It's up for grabs. Anyone who tells you differently has a dog in the fight. And the Seattle Times has a dog in the fight. That paper has been campaigning against Mike McGinn for four years straight.
You can now add “spymaster” to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s various titles. On Friday June 14, a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report elaborated on previous reports that Amazon had won a $600 million contract to build a “private cloud” for the CIA...[on their employment site,] Amazon is looking for engineers who already have a “Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearance, or are willing to go through the elaborate screening process required to get it. TS/SCI is the highest security clearance offered by the US government, and getting it requires having your background thoroughly vetted.
Local publisher Fantagraphics Books sent out a press release with the sad news that co-publisher Kim Thompson passed away this morning. With Gary Groth, Thompson helped build Fantagraphics, which is the best comic book publisher in the United States. He had impeccable taste, he was a tireless champion of great comics, and I'll miss seeing him at events down at the Fantagraphics Bookstore in Georgetown. Here's the statement that Fantagraphics sent out:
Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson died at 6:30 this morning, June 19. "He was my partner and close friend for 36 years," said Gary Groth.
"Where to begin?" writes Charles Mudede in this week's Festive column. "The Northwest Film Forum's N-E-X D-O-C-S series, which features innovative documentaries from around the world, is simply packed with brilliant things, striking images, innovative narrative forms."
Read Charles's rave reviews of three films in the series—People's Park, Trash Dance, and Public Hearing—here.
However, N-E-X-D-O-C-S has so much good stuff, we didn't have room to praise it all in the paper. Here's Dave Segal's review of Death Metal Angola.:
Death metal—an extreme form of rock birthed in the US in the’80s—is an unlikely catalyst of morale boosting in Angola, a southern African nation devastated by civil war in the late 20th century. Jeremy Xido’s documentary centers on the Herculean efforts of Sonia Ferreira—who also runs the Okutiuka orphanage—and guitarist/vocalist Wilker Flores to hold Angola’s first rock festival. (“[Our music] is a scream in revolt,” explains Flores.) It’s surprising and amusing to see rock—and one of the whitest strains of it, no less—fire the hopes of 21st-century black Africans. But these Angolan death-metal bands shred righteously, and once more the regenerative power of music is reaffirmed. (DAVE SEGAL)
N-E-X-D-O-C-S runs at Northwest Film Forum from June 21-26. Full info here.
From the inbox:
A fresh new way to do a girl’s night out, date night, birthday party or team building event has arrived and is taking the city’s bar scene by storm. Paint Nite, a leader in the viral social painting phenomenon, today announced its expansion into the Seattle market. Paint Nite is a fun and creative way for people to drink, paint and socialize with others in the comfort of their favorite local bar or restaurant.
A relatively new phenomenon, social painting brings people together for a guided painting session in a creative, social environment. While participants mingle with old friends and make new ones, a professional artist provides step-by-step instruction, allowing attendees to turn a blank canvas into a final piece of personalized art in about two hours.
Active in more than 20 cities including New York, Miami, Chicago and Boston, Paint Nite presents weekly events across the U.S. and Canada, with more than 50 local artists hosting thousands of participants in over 250 different venues every week.
What the PR doesn't say, and what you find out when you do a search for Paint Nite events coming up in Seattle, is that a ticket to Paint Nite is $45. You have to buy food and drinks from the hosting venue (Von's 1000 Spirits Gusto Bistro, Ballard Annex Oyster House, Buckley's Belltown Private Room, Black Bottle, Henry's Tavern, and Fado Irish Pub are all hosting Paint Nites in July).
I guess if you've got 45 bucks to spare and a hankering to paint, well, there you have it. I'm kind of curious how this'll go. I'm also curious how much the local artists get paid for each two-hour session. Your ticket includes "a 16” X 20” canvas, paints, brushes, a smock, and professional instruction."
The idea of pitting Ron Burgundy against the age of 24-hour cable news is perhaps the most obvious idea for an Anchorman sequel, but I'm glad they decided to go that way. It's definitely the most fertile ground for satire. And now the trailer for Anchorman 2 is released, and it looks like this:
Meanwhile, a lot of film blogs I respect are excited about this The Lego® Movie trailer. I'm a lot more skeptical. Sure, kids will love seeing all their favorite characters in one movie, and I'm sure this thing will make a shit-ton of money. But this kind of thing is very hard to pull off. Movies with all sorts of disparate intellectual properties can work out well—Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the Toy Story movies—but it seems as though skittish lawyers could suck the joy out of the proceedings real quick:
The Seattle metro area's unemployment rate plunged to 4.7 percent in May, according to the latest monthly report (PDF) released today by the Washington State Employment Security Department. Economists generally consider five percent unemployment to be "full employment" (although that's easy for an employed economist to say).
That represents a significant decline from April's 5.1 percent rate at the same time the region's resident labor force grew 0.7 percent. Statewide the unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent in April to 6.8 percent in May. The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.6 percent.
Of course there are reasons to question the accuracy and volatility of such monthly statistics, but as an apples to apples comparison it is clear that Seattle's economy is doing considerably better than much of the rest of the nation. So what's to explain our relatively tight labor market? Clearly our war on cars, our jobs-killing paid sick leave ordinance, our high property taxes, and our incompetent, ornery mayor.
Greatest strength: His frankness often alienates politicos accustomed to getting their asses kissed.
Greatest weakness: His frankness often alienates politicos accustomed to getting their asses kissed.
Medium weakness: Hot wings. Also, under his watch, the Feds sued the city for police routinely using excessive force. McGinn may talk a good game—about keeping police in check, building light rail faster, and bringing back the Sonics—but he often fails to deliver.
Spirit animal: Brown bear in bike shorts.
Base supporters: Environmentalists, youths, cops, cyclists, light-rail supporters.
Little-known fact: A car blows a tire every time you rub his belly.
Vision for Seattle's future: Light rail in every home!
Biggest enemies: The Seattle City Council, the Seattle Times.
Key endorsements: 37th District Democrats, Cascade Bicycle Club, Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, Sierra Club, IBEW Local 46, Laborers Local 1239.
Amount raised: $236,069.
Latest polling: 22 percent.
Featuring Rachel Maddow, George Takei, Alan Cumming, and Dan Savage.
An experience of lingering amazement, in this week's I, Anonymous:
Thank you for a moment of cognitive dissonance. I once heard a jazz musician explain in an interview why he liked to play abrupt dissonances in the middle of tender ballads: It was his way of setting a bright-orange billboard against a blue sky. It felt like that while you and I were messing around in that dark cubby in that sex club, with my hands all over your nice big furry chest, and my tongue finding your left nipple, when you whispered, "You're making my pussy wet." Not a shock, really, just "Huh?" And then you pulled my hand down behind your balls (nice balls, too!), where my fingers felt an unexpected little valley, a small, perfectly aligned slot. And then you said you were nervous and pulled up your pants, and I gave you a quick kiss on the lips, and we both smiled, and we separated.
For a full day, I've been trying to think of the right label. Are you an FTM with a very convincing dick? A hermaphrodite? I have never touched a pussy, so I don't know what a pussy is supposed to feel like. But I realize it doesn't matter. I've come across guys before in sex clubs (literally) with unexpected body forms—missing fingers, green hair. They don't need labels. They are awesome being exactly who they are. That's how it goes in an anonymous sex club. Each guy is unique, and so is each experience. Thanks for an interesting one.
Join the fun in the comments!
To be fair, said newscasters are basically laying down and asking to be filleted. At one point, one of them apparently forgets Brand's name, calling him Willie Brand (who you may remember as the dude who got court martialed for his alleged role in the deaths of two prisoners in Afghanistan). Another admits to being terrified, and the dude newscaster keeps talking about the guest like he's not there. It's all somewhat reminiscent of this recent Jesse Eisenberg interview, which, OF COURSE, brings us to a Legally Binding Slog Poll™ that is only a slight variation of Paul Constant's Legally Binding Slog Poll™ regarding the Eisenberg interview.
I try hard not to link to XKCD every time a new one is published, but you really ought to bookmark today's cartoon and revisit it every time you hear someone complaining about how today's technology is destroying the brains of the etc. and society is tumbling down the etc.
We're observing Slog silence from now until 11 a.m. while we have an editorial meeting, but look—we made an entire paper's worth of stuff for you!
1. In a lengthy piece, BRENDAN KILEY writes about how boring theatrical promotion photographs are. How many people in the world could this "problem" possibly affect? Be specific and show your math.
2a. Is the news team's guide to the mayoral candidates
(a) as flippant as
(b) more flippant than
(c) way more flippant than you feared it would be?
2b. As an exercise in persuasive letter-writing, please compose a 300-word e-mail to news editor DOMINIC HOLDEN explaining how this jokey mock-fest of a guide is unhelpful at best and downright harmful to political discourse at worst. Remember to use your vocabulary words, and try not to be too lecturing in tone!
3. In her column Never Heard of 'Em, in which she reviews music she's never heard before, ANNA MINARD reviews the Clash's The Clash. At what point does she become just a naive idiot sitcom character, like Rose from The Golden Girls or Balki from Perfect Strangers? Has she already passed that point? Support your claim with examples.
4. BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT eats pig head and cow lips in this week's restaurant review. Between this and news intern CALLAN BERRY's recent Slog post about eating foie gras, do you think that The Stranger's food section is trying to gain lucrative page views as a shock-eating contest designed to outrage vegans? Or is there still a single iota of culinary curiosity at play behind these "investigations"?
5. During a long interview with Sean Nelson, music writer DAVE SEGAL does manage to mention that Nelson worked at The Stranger, yet doesn't manage to say that he worked at the paper for 10 years. Does the fact that Nelson picked up a full-time paycheck at The Stranger for a decade change your perception of this piece? Shouldn't it?