There are those who rush around during the holidays, sending unasked-for Christmas cards, buying terrible presents for everyone (including people they hate), and begging you to attend their caroling performances—which sound like someone threw a bag of cats into a cement mixer. Then there are those who pull down the shades, drain a bottle of Jim Beam, eat an entire pan of far-too-hot Totino's Pizza Rolls, and watch TV Christmas specials while cleaning their firearms. (Sound familiar?)
Anyway, for those in the second group, I want to make it nice and eeeeasy for you to find all your fave holiday specials this week, especially since you're drunk and holding a crossbow. So here's a list of the heavy hitters that you won't want to miss, and... umm... I think the arrow goes in the other direction. Mmm-kay.
One year ago, Burial released his sixth EP, Truant/Rough Sleeper. The two tracks on this work were long ("Truant" running almost 12 minutes, and "Rough Sleeper" running almost 14 minutes) and altogether sounded like the fragments of musical ideas for an epic album that existed only in its maker's mind. But despite the EP's messiness, it felt strangely organic, like some urban animal that comes out only at night and whose habitat features the moon-glistening tracks of subways, the iridescent pools of leaked and soil-thickened oil, and the sparks of electric cables that link the dead underground city with the living surficial one. The beats on Truant/Rough Sleeper come alive, hobble for a bit, and then collapse into hisses and crackles. Ghosts enter and exit the tracks. Angels appear and glow in the ambient fog before being extinguished like the lamp on a faulty streetlight. The record has no narrative or theme, no beginning or end. And certain parts—the roughest, rawest parts—seem to have no designer. The sounds are as blind and godless as evolution itself.
On average, Murray's executive staff (deputy mayors, budget director, and communications director) will make $29,000 more per year than those holding equivalent positions under Mayor Mike McGinn. It's an average of 21 percent more a year based on current salaries.
Murray's two deputy mayors will each make $170,000 a year, while the current one, Darryl Smith, earns just over $129,000. New budget director Ben Noble, coming to the mayor's office from the city council's central staff? He'll also make $170,000, even though outgoing budget genius Beth Goldberg made $152,584 this year. Boosts in salaries continue down the ranks. For example, the city's Office for Civil Rights director, Julie Nelson, doesn't quite make $113,000 a year, but her replacement, Patricia Lally, will draw a salary of $151,000—almost $40,000 more.
This has started some fun new memes among journalists and political nerds (aside from the obvious "Why didn't we go into politics, because holy shit is that a lot of money"). One, pushed by the Seattle Times, is that McGinn hired inexperienced people, while Murray's better picks simply deserve more.
I love history. I never get to do as much research as I want to. To feed my craving as well as to supplement my reporting for The Stranger, I started writing for HistoryLink.org this year and the first project I took on involved diving into cardboard-box archives at the UW Special Collections Library to write about a legendary arts organization. The organization was and/or. It was founded by artists in the now-seemingly-halcyon days of the 1970s, then killed by its founders—who never wanted it to become an institution—in the 1980s.
And/or brought everybody to Seattle to show. Its roster of artists—visual, music, and performing—is nuts:
An alphabetized sampling of those based outside Seattle: Vito Acconci (b. 1940), Kathy Acker (1948-1997), John Adams (b. 1947), Judy Baca (b. 1946), John Baldessari (b. 1931), Lynda Benglis (b. 1941), Robert Bly (b. 1926), Chris Burden (b. 1946), Germano Celant (b. 1940), Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker (now director of the Frye Art Museum in Seattle), Constance DeJong (b. 1950), Agnes Denes (b. 1931), Philip Glass (b. 1937), Hans Haacke (b. 1936), Alanna Heiss (b. 1943), Gary Hill (b. 1951) (before he moved to Seattle in 1985 to establish the video program at Cornish College of the Arts), Nancy Holt (b. 1938), Robert Irwin (b. 1928), Ed Kienholz (1927-1994), Nancy Reddin Kienholz (b. 1943), Rem Koolhaas (b. 1944), Suzanne Lacy (b. 1945), George Maciunas (1931-1978), Tom Marioni (b. 1937), Meredith Monk (b. 1942), N.E. Thing Co., Pauline Oliveros (b. 1932), Nam June Paik (1932-2006), Adrian Piper (b. 1948), Martha Rosler (b. 1943), Royal Chicano Air Force, Morton Subotnick (b. 1933), Marcia Tucker (1940-2006), Mierle Laderman Ukeles (b. 1939), Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984), Steina Vasulka (b. 1940), Bill Viola (b. 1951), Jackie Winsor (b. 1941), Krzysztof Wodiczko (b. 1943).
Those people all showed in Seattle in those days, and most also visited, because and/or put a premium on artists actually showing up. Of course, there's also an impressive list of Seattle artists involved with and/or in my full HistoryLink story on and/or's life and death, which was originally published back in June. I thought maybe it would make a good holiday-season read, or a decent bookmark for some slow period later. Nerds forever.
As of this fine Saturday morning, we've raised $96,472.76 in the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis vs. Pearl Jam vs. Slog Holiday Charity Challenge, all going to keeping Seattle's homeless youth safe at YouthCare’s Orion Center. We are SO CLOSE to our $100k goal! Pearl Jam fans are STILL in the lead with $41,715.27 raised! Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans have raised $40,308.14. And Slog fans continue to prepare for their big comeback with $11,253.35!
So, now, would you like to stuff your face? Sure you would! How about a $100 gift certificate to Oddfellows, AND a $50 gift certificate to Dragonfish, AND a $40 gift certificate to Rainbow Remedies, AND a $75 gift certificate to Central Co-op??? SO MUCH EATING. WIN all this food-eating by donating by 5 p.m. today, and forwarding your receipt to us with why you love food-eating in 100 words or less. The best reason wins!
DONATE to YouthCare’s Orion Center now:
The Holiday Charity Challenge goes through December 24th! Our goal is $100,000, to keep the Orion Center open seven days a week for the next year. Donate now! You know you want to!
Coco Chanel famously said that a lady should get all ready to go out for the evening, then take one accessory—scarf, bracelet, bejeweled hairpin—off. Le Petit Cochon—that's "the little pig" in French—looks great, and the space is not overdressed at all. It's upstairs from Chiso in Fremont, with the windows looking out onto the treetops, which right now are twinkling just right with plain white Christmas lights. It's cozy up there, above the Fremont party fray. The low wood-beamed ceiling makes it feel a little like a tree house, and the ring-the-buzzer-around-the-corner entry makes it feel like a private club. There's a divider made of hanging windowpanes and some countrified knickknacks on a shelf, but the space is mostly left to be its naturally pretty self, with music like the Beastie Boys cutting through the upscale feeling.
The chef/owner is Derek Ronspies, who has previously cooked with his brother, Dustin Ronspies, at Dustin's Art of the Table...
Cry, Whimper, Sob: Cienna's leaving.
Go Fuck Yourself, Dude: The attorney general of Utah is requesting an emergency stay to stop gay marriage in the state after a federal judge legalized it on Friday.
Debate Over Washington Nuclear Plant: KUOW asks, "Would it be more expensive to continue running the nearly 30-year-old nuclear power plant or to shut it down in the next few years?"
Drone Bombings: They're still cloaked in secrecy and killing civilians, notwithstanding a nice-sounding speech earlier this year by President Obama.
Public Relations Executives Are Generally Pretty Scummy People: But this lady takes the cake.
New Law Improves Protections for Military Sexual Assault Victims: But it doesn't go far enough.
Whatever Happened to a Good Old Tussle? Some guy in Oregon allegedly attacked his bro with a samurai sword.
Not creepy at all:
Kelly O and I covered the first few Santarchies for The Stranger. They were fun! But now that Santarchy has become so big that over 2,000 people have confirmed their attendance on the official Facebook page, I think it might be a good idea to get the fuck out of Santa's way. We were just e-mailed the official itinerary for Santarchy, which takes place tomorrow:
12PM - 12:30PM: Start at King Street Station (3rd & S King St)
12PM - 2PM: The Lodge Sports Grille, FX McRorys
1PM - 3PM: Comedy Underground, J&M Cafe, Central Saloon, New Orleans
2PM - 4PM: Fado, Contour, Magic Mouse Toys, 7 Eleven, Easy Joes, Owl N Thistle
3PM - 4PM: McCormick & Schmick's, Diller Room
4PM - 5PM: Group photo at Harbor Steps (1st & University), followed by activities at Pike Place Market (Gum Wall, Pike & Pike)
4PM - 6PM: Hard Rock Cafe, Pike Pub & Brewery, Alibi Room, Il Bistro, Pike Place Bar & Grill
6PM: Westlake Park for caroling and merriment
6:30PM: Flash mobs at Pacific Place Mall and Sheraton Hotel's Gingerbread Village
6PM - 8PM: Gameworks, Gordon Biersch, Mexico Cantina, Dragonfish
8PM - 10PM: Baltic Room, La Cocina Oaxaquena, Still Liquor, Pine Box, Seattle Eagle, Rumba
10PM - 12AM: 95 Slide, Capitol Hill Cider, World of Beer, Sun Liquor, Fogon, Linda's Tavern
12AM: All remaining Santas party at Neighbours!
Hello! We've got SUPERFAN WINNERS here!!! The winner of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Superfan Prize Package is... superfan Jonathan!
Only 100 words? I need like 527 million... I first need to thank Slog for this amazing fundraiser. I wish I could have donated more than $30, but unfortunately I am a broke, Cup-O’-Noodle-for-dinner-eating college student who is the BIGGEST Macklemore and Ryan Lewis FANATIC. Here's my timeline:
- Helped organize a flash mob in early 2012 to "And We Danced"
- Became obsessed
- "The Heist" addiction
- Obsession ensues
- Went to tour at KeyArena
- MET THEM
The winner of the Pearl Jam Superfan Prize Package is... superfan Jed!
I love Pearl Jam because their music touches peoples lives almost as much as their philanthropy. I've seen them almost 80 times over the past 19 years, and they have not only changed my life, but they have consistently inspired me to be a better person and to help others by donating my own time, talent and money.
So, now, would you like to stuff your face? Sure you would! How about a $100 gift certificate to Oddfellows, AND a $50 gift certificate to Dragonfish, AND a $40 gift certificate to Rainbow Remedies, AND a $75 gift certificate to Central Co-op??? SO MUCH EATING. WIN all this yummy food by donating by 5 p.m. tomorrow (that's Saturday!) and forwarding your receipt to us with why you love food-eating in 100 words or less. The best reason wins!
DONATE to YouthCare’s Orion Center now:
The Holiday Charity Challenge goes through December 24th! Our goal is $100,000, to keep YouthCare's Orion Center open seven days a week for the next year. Donate now!
Or at least that's what they've put down on paper so far. It's still a ways off, but look who's filed to run in the primary for city council in 2015, the first year our new district elections system will be in place (per the city's Ethics and Elections Commission):
Council Position 7 (Downtown/Queen Anne/Magnolia): Sally Bagshaw
Council Position 9 (At Large): Sally Clark
Council Position Undesignated: Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell, Tom Rasmussen
And as of today, an outsider in West Seattle's District 1: Charles Redmond, a neighborhood/community activist and former chair of the city's neighborhood council, who tells the West Seattle Herald that he just filed today for a 2015 run. Not to be a dick, but a retirement-age white man isn't exactly the diverse new face that many supporters of district election systems are hoping for. No matter! Crap-tons of people will come out of the woodwork eventually, we're sure. And these folks above could still switch around if they wanted; they'll have till spring of 2015 to make a final decision. But they've also already banked money for these campaigns—Burgess $2,000, Clark $33,653, Harrell $50,337, and Rasmussen $44,906, according to the elections commission website.
I did put a quick word in to the council members who haven't filed yet—that's Nick Licata, Mike O'Brien, and Jean Godden—to ask if they've got plans. (I'm not asking Kshama Sawant before she's even sworn in this time, Jesus. But the gossip is that she hasn't decided.)
No word yet from Goldy on whether he'll run in 2015, either. But I wouldn't count on it, that insufferable chickenshit.
If you haven't followed the controversy over the limo-hailing app Uber's "surge pricing" (some would say "price gouging") policy, you probably should. Especially within the context of the ongoing debate in Seattle over how to regulate Uber and increasingly popular app-based "ride-share" services like Lyft and Sidecar.
Uber recently generated outrage from New York City customers when it responded to a winter storm by upping prices as much as eight times above their normal rates. For example, a two-mile, 11-minute ride in Brooklyn cost $94.62, six times above the normal $15.77 rate. Meanwhile a Southern California woman recently reported being charged $357 for a 14-mile ride from West LA to Hollywood.
Uber is fairly transparent about its surge pricing, though having used the app, I can see how some customers might get confused. And Uber makes a sound economic argument for how situationally adjusting prices helps to efficiently balance supply and demand. But while that might work well for customers who can afford the surcharge (even while grumbling about it), Uber's surge pricing does nothing to serve customers without such discretionary income, and who routinely rely on the stable pricing offered by the traditional taxi industry.
It's a distinction that the makers of taxi-hailing app Taxi Magic make the most of in a recent blog post:
Taxi Magic does not surge prices. We do not charge you extra for a ride in bad weather or during an emergency. We won’t increase your fare on the weekend, during busy nights of the week or on popular holidays like New Year’s Eve. With Taxi Magic, you always know what you’re going to pay. No surprises.
Why, you ask?
Well, one reason we don’t surge our prices is because we simply can’t. By partnering with existing taxi drivers in more than 60 cities, Taxi Magic fares are locally regulated. This is the result of lessons learned over the more than 100 years taxis have been operating in the United States. These regulations are not a barrier to innovation, but are hard-won consumer protections that make taxis affordable and accessible to the masses. At the same time, pricing regulations create an even playing field that prevents drivers from undercutting each other, thus ensuring everyone’s ability to earn a living and provide for their families. It’s a win-win for drivers and the riding public.
Seattle ride-share fans have been expressing outrage over a proposed ordinance that would subject Lyft, Sidecar, and Uberx drivers to some of the same regulations and restrictions imposed on Seattle's taxi and for-hire drivers. Both Lyft and Sidecar argue that such regulation would destroy their business model, forcing them out of the Seattle market. And that would be a shame. They're great services.
But I'm not sure what the alternative is. The ride-share companies are demanding either an uneven playing field in which their drivers are spared the regulatory expenses imposed on taxi drivers—thus securing a huge competitive advantage—or a playing field leveled by deregulating the market entirely. And that would mean deregulating prices.
Again, that might work for people who can afford to pay (however grudgingly) whatever price the market might demand at any particular moment. But for those who can't—say, the fixed-income elderly looking to get to a doctor's appointment during a surge period, or a low-wage worker looking to get home in the middle of the night—they could be left shit out of luck. Personally, I love having the choice and convenience these new app-based services offer. But I also appreciate knowing that a ride to the airport in a regulated for-hire vehicle is going to cost me $25 regardless of the weather or traffic conditions.
The folks at Taxi Magic are right: Regulated fares protect both riders and drivers. So Seattleites need to think long and hard before placing our trust into the hands of the very clever economists at Uber.
This just in from the boring-sounding but totally encouraging news department! Ocwen Financial Corporation, the nation's fourth-largest mortgage servicer, has agreed to a $2 billion settlement with a group of state attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And according to a quick King County Records search, Ocwen's been involved in carrying out thousands of foreclosures around here.
In a press release, Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson says part of the settlement includes a whopping $49 million in principal reduction (essentially debt relief on a home loan) for "troubled borrowers" in the state. Not only that, 3,637 folks who lost their homes to foreclosures serviced by Ocwen in Washington are eligible for cash payments "projected to exceed $1,000" apiece.
Here's all the crap that Ocwen inflicted on homeowners, according to Ferguson:
Failing to timely and accurately apply payments made by borrowers and failing to maintain accurate account statements;
Charging unauthorized fees for default-related services;
Providing false or misleading information to borrowers regarding loans that had been transferred from other mortgage servicers;
Failing to provide accurate and timely information to borrowers who sought information about loss mitigation services, including loan modifications;
Improperly denying loan modification relief to eligible borrowers;
Providing false or misleading reasons for denial of loan modifications;
Failing to honor in-process trial modifications agreed to by prior servicers on transferred loans; and
‘Robo-signing’ affidavits in foreclosure proceedings, where an employee signed thousands of documents and affidavits without verifying the information contained in the document or affidavit.
“We must continue our work to ensure mortgage servicers play by the rules and treat borrowers fairly," Ferguson says. If you think you qualify for payments under this settlement, you should e-mail ConsumerRelief@Ocwen.com.
The state's attorney general is delivering principal reduction to (a fraction of) those who've been wrongly foreclosed on by the banks. Can the Seattle City Council do the same?
Humblest humbleman in all of humbletown just sent this:
Friday, December 20th, 2013
To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc'd to the media, house & senate members, and Governor)
From: Tim Eyman
RE: Wish me a happy birthday ...
Wish me a happy birthday today even though Sunday is actually the big day (48 years old — yikes!!).
I'm a very happy man with a lot to be thankful for.
Then his e-mail goes on to ask for—birthday surprise!—your money! But you heard the man, Slog. He wants you to "wish" him happy birthday. So find your own very special way today of wishing Tim Eyman a happy birthday, even though, like the man says, today's not really his birthday.
Moved up because you need to donate/enter to WIN by 5 p.m.!
As of this morning, we've raised $88,301.76 in the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis vs. Pearl Jam vs. Slog Holiday Charity Challenge, all going to keeping Seattle's homeless youth safe at YouthCare’s Orion Center. We're aiming for $100k—so close! Pearl Jam fans are STILL in the lead with $38,744.27 raised! Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans have raised $35,313.14. And Slog fans are preparing to take a last-minute lead with $11,048.35!
And Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pearl Jam have donated a bunch of PRICELESS cool stuff to help us get over the hump! Are you ready for this?! I am not sure that you are.
• The Macklemore & Ryan Lewis prize pack includes a "Same Love" 7-inch vinyl test pressing, signed by Ben and Ryan (only 15 in existence!); a "Can't Hold Us" limited addition 7-inch (unsigned); and a Make the Money t-shirt
• The Pearl Jam prize pack includes a Lightning Bolt skateboard deck signed by Pearl Jam at the KeyArena show on December 6th, and the very limited edition Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt 7-inch box set
WIN the SUPER-FAN PRIZE PACK of your choice by donating by 5 p.m. today, and forwarding your receipt to us with why you're M&RL's or PJ's BIGGEST FAN in 100 words or less (or, for the elves out there, what superfan you want to give this to and why!). The best reason wins! The winner will be announced right after 5 p.m., right here on Slog.
DONATE to YouthCare’s Orion Center now:
The Holiday Charity Challenge goes through December 24th! Our goal is $100,000, to keep the Orion Center open seven days a week for the next year. Donate now! You are awesome!
Me and my new husband!! My polygamous Mormon great grandparents would be so proud! pic.twitter.com/82xyh9GJoS
— Seth Anderson (@jsethanderson) December 20, 2013
Congratulations to everybody in Utah. This such a big deal, and a great way to close out an incredible year for marriage equality. (Now that Utah has legalized gay marriage, everybody on the west coast is glaring at Oregon.)
UPDATE 3:19 PM: Meanwhile, back in New Mexico, a couple of county employees have quit because they don't agree with gay marriage, says the AP:
Officials say a rural eastern New Mexico county clerk and her deputy have resigned rather than abide by a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
Roosevelt County manager Charlene Webb says Clerk Donna Carpenter and Deputy Clerk Janet Collins announced their resignations Friday morning.
Talk about the wrong side of history.
St. Louis-based writer Sarah Kendzior has a column on Al Jazeera.com about the playgrounds for the rich that we used to call big cities, led by Patti Smith encouraging young artists to get the hell out of New York:
New York - and San Francisco, London, Paris and other cities where cost of living has skyrocketed - are no longer places where you go to be someone. They are places you live when you are born having arrived. They are, as journalist Simon Kuper puts it, "the vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself".
There are exceptions in these cities, but they tend to survive by serving the rule. The New York Times recently profiled Sitters Studio, a company that sends artists and musicians into the homes of New York's wealthiest families to babysit their children. "The artist-as-babysitter can be seen as a form of patronage," suggests the Times, "in which lawyers, doctors and financiers become latter-day Medicis."
This is the New York artist today: A literal servant to corporate elites, hired to impart "creativity" to children whose bank accounts outstrip their own. ...
In an article for Slate, Jessica Olien debunks the myth that originality and inventiveness are valued in US society: "This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don't actually like it."
She cites academic studies indicating that people are biased against creative minds. They crave the success of the result, but shun the process that produces it: The experimentation that may yield to failure, the rejection of social norms that breeds rejection of the artist herself.
Today, creative industries are structured to minimise the diversity of their participants - economically, racially and ideologically. Credentialism, not creativity, is the passport to entry.
It's a thick and interesting piece, worth thinking and talking about. Are city environments no longer conducive to creative processes the way they once were? Does it matter how many people provide social and cultural friction if all those people are the damn same anyway?
Then there's this news about a poor city: Detroit is giving houses to low-income writers. They have to qualify, and they have to commit to stay two years, but this sounds kind of incredible. Makes me want to Slog from Detroit for a while. Maybe The Stranger could get a slot for a rotating crew of writers. It may not be exactly what Write-a-House had in mind in its effort to help rebuild the city, but perhaps Detroit would benefit from a new nonfictionalist in residence every few months, reporting back to the nation from an outside perspective that's nevertheless committed to more than just dropping in (if that's possible)? I'm thinking out loud here. Basically, I'd love to see this project do well, and especially to include nonfiction writers. What a great idea.
Big h/t to Greg for both these tips.
Allow me to introduce my friend Walter Newkirk. Fascinating character, our Walter. He is an author and producer somewhere way down deep in New Jersey, and he is most famous, at least for our purposes, for his associations with staunch eccentric Little Edie Beale and that whole fascinatingly wretched and peculiar Grey Gardens thing.
Now, the story of Grey Gardens and Little Edie Beale is creeping up on 40 years old (the original documentary was released in 1975)—but it has been kept fresh in the national brain due to a handful of factors. These include a feature HBO Film starring bad witch Jessica Lange and the former Firestarter Drew Barrymore, a musical version of the story that blew (ahem) through town last March, and, most importantly for Seattle in general and gay Seattle in particular, because Jerrick Hoffer as Jinkx Monsoon reintroduced Little Edie to the world via her spot-on imitation of Miss Beale on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5.
Mr. Newkirk became close friends with Edie after the death of her batty old cat-hoarding mum (“Big” Edie). He wrote two books about her: Letters of Little Edie Beale: Grey Gardens and Beyond and MemoraBEALEia, not to mention a CD he produced called Little Edie Live: A Visit to Grey Gardens.
As you might suspect, and most crucially here, Walter is an avid hoarder of Grey Gardens memorabilia—postcards, pictures, recordings, personal effects and more. And sadly, due to some unforeseen and crushing medical expenses (THANKS OBAMA!), he is liquidating select jewels from his Little Edie treasure trove, a thrilling prospect for Grey Gardens fans new and ancient. I spoke with him this week to get more information.
Hi, Walter! First, please tell us about the circumstance of your meeting Lady Beale. How did it come about?
Afterwards, Edie invited me to Grey Gardens to interview her for my college newspaper, The Rutgers Daily Targum. We kept in touch and a friendship developed —especially when Edie sold Grey Gardens and moved to NYC in 1980. I would take her to parties and luncheons.
In March 1981, Montclair State University had a showing of Grey Gardens. I introduced Edie at the end of the film. It was standing room only. The audience went crazy…hoots and hollers and cat whistles...it went on for almost 5 minutes. I then hosted a reception for Edie at my apartment in Upper Montclair. That evening was a fond memory, indeed.
The headlining exhibition now at Bellevue Arts Museum is A World of Paper, A World of Fashion: Isabelle de Borchgrave Meets Mariano Fortuny, featuring the Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave and co-organized by Borchgrave's studio and BAM.
To me, unfortunately, A World of Paper is a big production that maybe wasn't quite worth the effort. Its links to historic fashion/fabric mogul Fortuny are fairly interesting, but Borchgrave's garments—everything entirely made of paper—are just not that spectacularly neat-o. They look a little weary from their travels, and the trompe l'oeil effects of paper are growing thin considering that every other artist these days seems to use paper to make itself not look like paper.
Grazini's details are exquisite, and, well, highly detailed: a pair of teeny, tiny shoes; a dress so frilly it makes your eyes spin; a dog; a table. By comparison, Borchgrave's fashions at BAM feel clunky, like fat hands.
Now I'm not saying you shouldn't go to BAM. There are two other exhibitions worth the time: Rick Araluce's pristine, neo-noir miniature environments, with hidden parts visible only through peepholes and grates and cracks under doors; and the triple exhibition of painted glass vessels by Cappy Thompson (it feels like there are too many here, but focus on one of the personal pieces about miscarriage and you'll begin to fall in love with this artist if you aren't already), more paper by Nate Steigenga (I kind of prefer the less overtly outré stuff he was making earlier), and post-punk quilts by Anna Torma.
My bags are packed. I've donated Hell's Lending Library™ to a pack of illiterate orphans because nobody should ever read its contents, my Rolodex was used to light a very peppy hobo trash fire, and my hunk of Dan Savage's hair—what The Stranger considers to be a signing bonus—I have donated to the garbage. Today is my last day at The Stranger.
I am quitting my job to do a liver's worth of damage on a beach somewhere before pursing other life goals, like volunteering on Rob Ford's re-election campaign or becoming a cigarette girl on a Disney cruise ship. Or giving birth to an actual demon.
What I'm saying is, I have a lot of ambition and the world is full of people who aren't going to embarrass themselves.
I've worked for The Stranger for one-third of my life, first as an intern for Dave Schmader, then as everyone's Worst Enemy, and then these past four years as a news writer. I have enjoyed mostly every minute of it (excluding the minutes when Dom was singing or Goldy was talking or the bathrooms weren't working). I'll miss this job and my coworkers, who are a rare breed of functional freaks. I'll also miss having the liberty to write any goddamn thing I please and have my opinions challenged by smart people (and mocked by idiots).
Thanks, Slog, for helping me grow a body's worth of callouses. It's made me a better thinker and a better writer, and I'm grateful.
If you ever need to get in touch—say, for help mocking your enemies, which is all I'm officially qualified to do—you can find me on Twitter.
A federal judge in Utah Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.
"The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby. "Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional."
"It feels unreal," plaintiff Moudi Sbeity tells the paper. "I’m just very thrilled that Derek and I will be able to get married soon, if all goes well and the state doesn’t appeal."
Playbill broke the news of a Rowling-produced Harry Potter stage play. It's like Harry Potter's Smallville, only in play form:
J.K Rowling has announced that she is collaborating with theatre producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender on a new stage play to be based on her "Harry Potter" stories. She will be a co-producer on the project, but not write it herself...According to press materials, the brand-new play will explore the previously untold story of Harry's early years as an orphan and outcast. Featuring some of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, this new work will offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard. A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom Destiny has plans.
It would be great if this was just a very depressing story about a kid, and not a whole lot of winking wait-till-the-books-start jokes aimed at the cheap seats.
Annnnnddd the winner of the glamorous weekend in Victoria is... Jay!
So, I decided that instead of getting my girlfriend more nonessential stuff for her birthday, I would donate to a cause I know she is extremely passionate about (don't worry, she'll get presents too, just not as many), so this is for her. As such, I must tell you that Canada is her favorite North American country north of Mexico. Apparently Mexico has far fewer butterflies this year, and my girlfriend LOVES butterflies, so perhaps it's best to go see them in Canada? Also, as I learned last time we went into a butterfly garden, she is TERRIFIED of butterflies, which makes going into the butterfly garden incredibly hilarious.
Thank you for starting this donation drive!!!
Jay, you are a great boyfriend and an awesome person.
Everybody else, donate today and WIN MORE AMAZING PRIZES!!!
Tonight, Dave Segal suggests that you go see a musician, band, musical act, singer, performer, performance artist, or DJ named “TJ Max” at Chop Suey. To claim any prior familiarity with this artist would constitute a fabrication so large that it would most likely qualify as a federal offense.
I’ve spent the last month trying to think of a joke like, “music wizard Dave Segal recommends you GO SHOPPING AT THE NEW TJ MAXX DOWNTOWN, haha.” Not only is that not funny, it’s also confusing. I mean, I just searched for “tj max music” on YouTube and found a 109-song playlist called “TJ Maxx Playlist,” (featuring Bobby McFerrin, The Pointer Sisters, Paul Simon, Bill Withers and many more) which I’m pretty sure is just a list of songs that the user has heard in TJ Maxx? Songs the user would like to hear in TJ Maxx? Songs that are meant remind us of the experience we get will pushing a shopping cart through a TJ Maxx?
Thankfully, TJ Max doesn’t make the kind of music you’d hear in a TJ Maxx. Here’s their bandcamp page. Chop Suey, tonight, 9 pm.
It's been more than a week now since a Budget rental truck full of art headed to a museum exhibition was stolen from a hotel parking lot at Aurora and 145th. (Original story, follow-up, and police list of stolen artworks.)
As far as we know, there are no leads yet. This morning, I got to speak to the artist, Whiting Tennis, by phone. He said he talked to Hiro Yamashita, the SPD detective assigned to the case, on Wednesday, and learned that the SPD was considering getting the art information to the FBI in case the thieves tried to get the art across state lines. But it was hard not to be discouraged—the detective had two other Budget rental truck cases put in front of him since this one and that in addition to the usual work, Tennis said. (Note to consumers: Right now, you may want to consider not renting one of Budget's brand-new 16-foot trucks; apparently, thieves like them.)
Here's the rest of our conversation about what it feels like to have your work stolen—but not the good way.
WT: I always had this fantasy of getting stolen off a museum wall. I thought that would be the most flattering thing that could happen to you. But not in this case—that's not at all what happened. I just think I got unlucky. And to just think, "Oh, they left it in an alley somewhere?" That just makes me nauseous. I can't imagine what they think when they open that back door and go, 'What the fuck is this?' But the cop said, "You'd be very surprised what there's a market for." I asked him, and he [says] what they've seen over the years is that there is someone out there who'd probably get into having hot art. I don't know. I was gonna maybe call him again today.
JG: What's the worst part?
Yesterday, Catholic school kids revolted after the Archdiocese of Seattle—under the direction of notoriously anti-gay Archbishop J. Peter Sartain—fired the vice principal of Eastside Catholic High School because he chose to marry a man. Today, folks will hold a protest outside the Archdioceses to show that the kids aren't alone. Lots of Catholics agree with them. Lots of gay people agree with them. Lots of straight people disagree with Sartain executing a doctrine of bigotry in local schools.
Equal Rights Washington announces a demonstration right in front of his office:
Peaceful demonstration scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle to protest the ousting of Eastside Catholic High School Vice Principal Mark Zmuda for marrying his husband. The office is located at 710 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.
These kids have been brave. They flooded the streets of Bellevue, held assemblies in schools in Seattle, and pledged solidarity in a blizzard of Twitter activism.
Sartain claims to be the moral authority for the largest denomination in Washington. The true moral authority of the church is those Catholic kids. Show them we've got their backs. Go to the protest.
Now that city council member Jean Godden and I are, like, totally BFFs on Twitter, she's sending along this open letter to Ed Murray, dated this Wednesday (a PDF of the letter so you can actually read it is right here.):
Really, this is just a "Hi, there, Ed! Nice ladies you hired. Talk to you in January!" But it's nice to see she's staying on topic and publicly announcing her intentions to work with him on the issue. Given that Kshama Sawant has also signaled she wants to work with the mayor-elect on minimum wage issues, if they keep on it, city hall's biggest policy discussions could be refreshingly non-sausagefesty in 2014. HOORAY!
(Unrelated, but notable: Yesterday, Godden ate crickets for lunch.)