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and Drunks

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Video of Oscar Perez Giron's Fatal Confrontation With Police at Sodo Light Rail Station

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 7:17 PM

SPD has released partial video from a surveillance camera of the June 30 incident—which I wrote about in greater detail here. The confrontation begins at about the four minute mark:

"It's painful [to watch]," says Giron's cousin, Michelle Aguilar. "I haven't been able to stop crying."

Slender Manatees, a Wolf Skin, and a Kiddie Pool of Pig Blood—The Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival Has Begun

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 5:29 PM

  • bk

Over at the Hedreen Gallery, two individuals in wetsuits—one blue, one yellow—are quietly inhabiting a kiddie pool ringed with dead horsetails. The individuals have been in there since 1:30 or so. Above that kiddie pool hangs a wolf skin that is slowly and steadily dripping red liquid from its snout. That red liquid, according to another artist who happened to be in the room, is pig blood. It must've been packed with exquisite care inside that wolf skin, because its drips are as slow and regular as a water clock.

The individuals look like slender manatees and are very carefully and very slowly working their way clockwise around the ever-redder kiddie pool, occasionally pulling their heads out of the water or gurgling their snorkels. One observer noticed that when the manatees' butts are in the air, the droplets of blood hit and radiate slowly across their wetsuits in almost intentional-looking patterns—these are the kinds of things people notice while sitting and watching a physically quiet, time-intensive performance.

Then, a couple of people burst into the room and one shouted "I can't believe Argentina won!" The manatees didn't seem to care about the World Cup.

  • bk

This is the first iteration of the 2014 Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival, running between right now and Aug 2. There will be more to say in the coming days and weeks—haters will think it's silly, lovers will think it's vital, the rest of us will oscillate between those two centers of gravity as we see different pieces and achieve different levels of engagement or boredom over the coming weeks. (Having dabbled with durational performance in my distant past, I can say with confidence that nobody experiences the tedious lows of that kind of work more than the performer.) But for now, just know that two human manatees are soaking in a large container of water and pig blood.

People have also been sprinkling in handfuls of what looks like salt, sugar, and dried leafy matter (sage?) from a few bowls at the entrance to the room. Nearby, there is a statue with incense, what look like vials of milk, three tarot cards, and some torn-out pages from books pasted on the walls.

  • bk

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In Culture News: The Admiral Theater Is in Trouble, George R. R. Martin Said a Swear Word, and Dungeons & Dragons Gets LGBTQ-Friendly

Posted by , , and on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Admiral Going Down?: Thanks to digital advances in film distribution and a slew of serious maintenance challenges, West Seattle's charmingly ramshackle discount second-run cinema may not be long for this world.

Intiman, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Angels in America, and HIV Vaccine Research: This summer, Intiman is re-staging parts one and two of Angels in America, 20 years after the play made its regional-theater premiere at Intiman. (Tony Kushner talks about that anniversary, and how Republicans, climate change, and HIV—some of the major themes of the play—look to him two decades after the fact in this interview.) Fred Hutch does extensive HIV vaccine research and Dr. James Kublin, its principal staff scientist in the vaccine and infectious disease division, did his internship at St. Vincent's Hospital in 1988, where some of the scenes in the play take place. There will be discounts for family and friends of Fred Hutch and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, as well as post-show opportunities to learn more about Seattle-based research for an HIV vaccine. More than anything, this is an awareness-building partnership, but there's nothing wrong with that.

Your Digital Future: Today, Courtney Sheehan, the program director for Northwest Film Forum, shared with The Stranger the trailer for an event called Digitally Rendered Mind (DRM). The idea basic behind DRM, which is curated by Nic Wilson and involves 11 artists, is this: "[It] puts a playful twist on the protocol of digital rights management to contemplate its cognitive/social ripple effects." The images in the trailer are gorgeous, and its score rocks the techno hard. DRM happens at the Northwest Forum on July 12.

How to Make Republicans Care About a Book: Costco dropped, and then restocked, copies of conservative loon Dinesh D'Souza's book America: Imagine a World Without Her.

Worry About George R. R. Martin Finishing the Game of Thrones Series? George has a message for you.

D&D&LGBTQ: The new Dungeons & Dragons rules encourage players to consider all sorts of different expressions of gender and sexuality while creating characters:

"You don't need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender," the new rules state. "You can play as a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture's expectations of sex, gender and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to leave that society and come to the surface."

That is the most D&D-like passage about gender and sexuality ever written.

The Homosexual Agenda: New Drag Cabaret, Disco Vinnie and Mama Tits!

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:57 PM


A new drag cabaret event! Two freaktastic dragazines called James Majesty and Freckles Riverside put their wiggy heads together and conjured up the READ-ing Rainbow, a night of draggy sorcery featuring basically the entire House of Majesty. (You do totally understand that there are, like, you know, old-fashioned drag houses around? Like the LadyDudes and the Paradiscos and the Champagnes and the LaGarces and, yes, the Majesties? Fact!) "It's a saucy, circus-freak drag show," the creators would like you to understand, and best of all, perhaps? Underagers are most welcome, indeed, although there is a full bar for of-age lushes, as well. I constantly lament the scarcity of underage events in this here town, so this one is a welcome breath of fresh, underagey air. Pro 'mo tip: Since it's relatively early, the underage folks intend to sashay up to Neighbours afterward for their underage night as well. And the of-agers (as t'were)? Well, they are probably going to R Place for Robbie Turner's Play Ground. As one does. The READ-ing Rainbow is happening every second Wednesday of every single month! Can Can, 7 pm, $10, 16+.

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Did You Mistakenly Sign a $15 Minimum Wage Referendum and Want to Withdraw Your Signature? Turns Out, You Can. Here's How.

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Did you get suckered into signing an anti-$15 petition?
  • wavebreakmedia/
  • Did you get suckered into signing a petition you didn't mean to sign?
As you hopefully are well aware, Seattle's city government passed a $15 minimum wage law earlier this summer, and then pretty quickly a business-backed group started a referendum campaign to undo the law and instead put it before voters this November. They turned in almost 19,000 total signatures, according to the city clerk's office. They need about 16,500 valid ones to succeed, so given that some of them will be repeats or not registered voters or otherwise invalid, they're cutting it pretty close but could certainly still make it.

Lots of people seemed confused about what it meant to sign that referendum, and there have been reports that the signature gatherers on the street told people that signing would help raise the minimum wage, or that somehow the law wasn't in effect yet and that a referendum would make it go into effect. That's just not the case: You referendum laws you don't like so that you can then defeat them at the ballot. If you approve of the wage raise, you didn't need to do anything, because it's already law.

So: If you signed a referendum petition even though you support the $15 minimum wage, and you wish you could take your signature back, you can. But the deadline to do so is this Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. All the withdrawal requests must be received by the city clerk's office by then. What to do? According to city clerk's office spokeswoman Christie Villa, you have to describe in your request what referendum you signed, give your name, and sign your request to withdraw the same way you signed the original petition (don't suddenly use your maiden name or a nickname or something). The exact language of the law is below the jump if you want to clarify further.

According to Villa, "written requests may be directed by e-mail to the receiving officer, Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk, at the following email address:, or submitted in person at the City Clerk’s Office, located in City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Third Floor."

Since the deadline is so tight, Working Washington, the labor-backed campaign that helped organize last year's fast-food strikes and worked to pass Seattle's $15 minimum wage law, wants to help anyone who's in this situation. They put together a form you can fill out and print if you want to do it yourself, or you can stop by their downtown offices by 3 p.m. tomorrow to sign one there, at 215 Columbia Street, and they'll drop it off for you at City Hall. If you need to arrange something outside of business hours, they might be able to do that if you give them a call at (866) 385-9509. They will also be at four different Molly Moon outlets (Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Wallingford, and U Village) from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight with withdraw-your-signature forms.

If you signed the petition with full knowledge of what you were doing, then there's nothing to see here, folks. You'll find out if you successfully referendum-ed the minimum wage after King County Elections finishes their signature verification process, which starts as soon as that signature-withdrawal deadline.

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Obama Offered Hit Off a Joint in Colorado

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Around the time the prez warded off a man in a horse mask, this happened:

"Asked him if he wanted a hit of pot...he laughed! #legalizeit #iinhaled," says Instagrammer Matt Anton in the accompanying caption. More evidence that you don't have to actually smoke the stuff to have a good time.

Via Bustle.

New Book Future Days Looks Back on Krautrock's Vast Influence

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM


British writer David Stubbs' Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany (Faber & Faber) joins the small pile of books dedicated to krautrock, the powerful flowering of underground rock that bloomed in Germany in the late '60s and flourished in the first half of the '70s. Previous volumes on this topic include the encyclopedic The Crack in the Cosmic Egg by British brothers Steven and Alan Freeman, Krautrock: Cosmic Rock and Its Legacy (edited by Nikolaos Kotsopoulos), and Julian Cope's famously controversial Krautrocksampler.

Faber & Faber's site hints that Future Days—which is named after Can's 1973 masterpiece—will focus on Faust, Neu!, Can, Cluster, Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II—all crucial artists whose works you need in your collection. But I hope he delves beyond these groups, as inspirational bands like Et Cetera, Embryo, Popol Vuh, Agitation Free, Cosmic Jokers, and others still remain largely overlooked. Stubbs is a fine, perceptive writer—I read him regularly in Melody Maker in the '80s and '90s—and I'm confident he'll do the subject justice. Here's a description of his general thrust from the publisher:

Future Days is an in-depth study of this meditative, sometimes abstract, often very beautiful music and the groups that made it, throwing light too on the social and political context that informed them. It's an indispensable book for those wanting to understand how much of today's music came about, and to discover a wealth of highly influential and pioneering artists.

So many of the world's most interesting post-punk, psych-rock, electronic, and ambient musicians from the '80s onward have drawn sonic sustenance from the cream of krautrock. Its ideas are still shaping the outlooks of outward-bound musicians worldwide. Let's hope Stubbs' book doesn't just preach to the converted, but also triggers interest in this music in people who've not yet explored it.

Future Days is published Aug. 7 in the UK.

What's Crappening? News, Reviews and Cats

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:34 PM


• Opening for the Notwist on Saturday night at Neumos, Anticon Records mainstay Jel looked like Jeff Spicoli's tightest bro from way back when with his lank blond hair and skateboarder-skinny build. But when he started tapping out beats on his MPC, Jel turned into a one-man Neptunes, his stark, hard-as-hell slaps recalling the production on Clipse's Lord Willin'. In between tracks, Jel mocked his old-ass flip phone and cracked wise about US/Canadian border patrol, among other things. He was as funny as he was funky. The Notwist's Germanic indie rock was fine—ranging from beautifully hushed slow numbers to fiery, rambunctious songs—but singer Markus Acher's bland voice always sounds like sour milk being poured on an elegantly conceived and executed meal. Like many rock bands, the Notwist would substantially improve if they went all instrumental.

New Order played a hit-filled set to a packed Paramount on Sunday evening, finishing with an encore of crowd-pleasing Joy Division songs. ("Love Will Tear Us Apart" was the final song, as it should be, always and forever.)

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Interviews with Three Black-Market Marijuana Dealers

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:20 PM



Why did you start selling marijuana?

Well, I was a single working mom with a smart son who had his heart set on going to a fancy East Coast college. I promised him that if he could get in, we could pay for it. An old hippie friend of mine was a small-time [marijuana] farmer, and I love to garden, so it made sense to get into the business.

Aw, what a good mom! You started growing pot to fulfill your son's childhood dreams! I can relate—my mom dated a series of real-estate agents to fulfill my childhood dream of living in a house with a pool.

She sounds like a lovely woman.

She's all right. I mean, she refused to date a pool boy, so I had to clean that damn thing every summer. Did you have any moral conflicts with becoming a marijuana saleswoman?

You know, at first I did. I had a teenage son, and parents are rather indoctrinated with anti-marijuana propaganda through school and the news as much as their children are. At first, I worried that my son would become a drug addict because of me, or his friends would. That was my biggest fear: having a fellow mom on my doorstep, crying, because she caught her son or daughter smoking my weed and traced it back to me somehow. That I would become the gateway to some kid dying in an alley with a needle in his arm.

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Claiborne Richardson Wants Pictures of a Kid's Cock

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM

I've been giving Manassas, Virginia, and the Manassas City Police Department a hard time today on Twitter. Because of this story, which I wrote up earlier today on Slog. To recap: two teenagers—one a 17-year-old boy, one 15-year-old girl—sexted each other. The 15-year-old girl initiated the sexting. The girl's mom found the sexts and called the cops. The cops arrested the 17-year-old boy—and only the boy—and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson is vigorously prosecuting that boy for possessing and manufacturing child porn.

The Washington Post wrote the case up this morning. Buzzfeed unpacked it as only Buzzfeed can. But the best summary is at Wonkette:

So there is a 17-year-old boy in Manassas, Virginia. He has (had?) a 15-year-old girlfriend. She sent him pictures of her plump blossoming bosoms or whatever, so he sent her video (probably a Vine?) of his junk. Now the police want to take him to a hospital, shoot his dick full of Love Potion No. Nine, and take hot hot child prOn pictures of his hard boy-penis, so they can compare it to the penis in the video, and then prosecute him for child pornography. Everything about this story makes total sense. What is the first thing that makes sense about this story, Washington Post?

The teen is facing two felony charges, for possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography, which could lead not only to incarceration until he’s 21, but inclusion on the state sex offender data base for, possibly, the rest of his life.

Oh, he was “manufacturing” child prOn by taking pictures of his own and not anybody else’s penis, and so could go to jail for four years and be considered a sex offender forever? SEE, TOTAL SENSE.

But first Claiborne Richardson is going to drag that kid to a hospital in handcuffs and “give him a shot, and then take the pictures that we need.” The pictures Richardson needs—the pictures he craves—are pictures of the erect penis of that 17-year-old boy. Take it away, Wonkette:

Got it, Manassas PD and prosecutors. You just need to make some child prOn to show that boys making their own child prOn OF THEMSELVES AND NOT ANYBODY ELSE AND FOR TO SEND TO THEIR GIRLFRIENDS NOT TO SELL TO JOE FRANCIS OR WHATEVER is wrong. Everything about this case screams “TOTALLY APPROPRIATE ADULTS ACTING SENSIBLY AND IN AN APPROPRIATE WAY.”

Like I said, I've been giving the city of Manassas and the Manassas City Police Department had time on Twitter. And they deserve it and won't you please join me? But the biggest villain in this piece is Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson. He's the driving force behind the prosecution of this kid. So I am officially calling out the flying monkeys—it's been a while, my lovelies—and asking you to flood this creepy dicksniffer's email inbox with letters of protest and jam the phone lines at his office. Here are Richardson's email address and phone numbers:

Phone: (703) 792-6050
Fax: (703) 792-7081

And while you're in an outraged emailing-sending/call-making mood, also get in touch with Richardson's boss:

Paul B. Ebert
Commonwealth Attorney's Office
Second Floor
9311 Lee Avenue
Manassas, VA 20110-5594
Phone: 703-792-6050, F: 703-792-7081

Archie McPhee Freaks Out President Obama, Hits the Big Time

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

A horse head mask created by beloved Seattle novelty shop Archie McPhee creeped the hell out of President Obama yesterday:

This is the biggest thing to happen to Archie McPhee since the Nancy Pearl action figure became an international phenomenon.


Argentina To Face Germany In World Cup Final

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Argentina just smashed Netherlands in a penalty shootout. Highlights here. I missed the game, but this tweet captures my feelings right now:

Germany ruthlessly destroyed Brazil in the semifinals yesterday. The final match begins noon on Sunday.

Supreme Court Denies Pennsylvania County Clerk's Gay Marriage Stay

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 3:07 PM

This is great news:

Does this mean we'll be seeing same-sex weddings in Pennsylvania soon? Sure seems like it, SCOTUSBlog says:

In another development on same-sex marriage Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., denied without comment a Pennsylvania county clerk’s plea to stop such marriages in that state. That appears to remove the last potential legal barrier to Pennsylvania becoming the nineteenth state in which same-sex marriages are permitted. A federal judge struck down the state ban, and state officials declined to appeal. The Schuylkill County clerk sought to appeal in their place, but that move has now been turned down at all three levels of the federal court system.

Building a Community Only to Watch It Fall Apart: Razing the Bar Documents the Final Days of the Funhouse

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Ryan Worsley's documentary, which premiered at SIFF in May, is a celebration of the Funhouse, which closed two years ago, but it's also a celebration of the punk spirit. That can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In first-time filmmaker Worsley's hands, it's about pursuing the career of your dreams, no matter how many naysayers try to talk you out of it. For former co-owner Brian Foss, that meant running a punk club on lower Queen Anne.

In retrospect, it's amazing it lasted as long as it did. I walk past the old site twice a day to and from work, and three new housing developments are in various stages of completion all within the same two-block radius—one right across the street. It's hard to believe the Funhouse was ever located on the same 5th Avenue that houses the EMP Museum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (that said, The 5-Point Café, only a few blocks away, is still going strong).

So, Razing the Bar is also a lamentation for the accelerating pace of gentrification in downtown Seattle, an issue with which I've long been concerned—even more so now that my own apartment building, in which I've lived for 20 years, is slated for demolition. (The city plans to build a 44-story luxury hotel, Seattle's highest, where my five-story building has stood since the 1920s.)

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This Week's Hiphop Roundup, Courtesy of My Philosophy

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM


If I recall correctly, my first show as a 21-year-old was at Neumos—well, it was at Moe's to be exact—Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, and the Beat Junkies. Great show, and I only saw one other person wearing the same Black Star shirt I was wearing. Damn near 15 years later—yikes—this very same lineup is coming to the Showbox at the Market on Wednesday, July 9. It's also presented by KUBE, which is pretty funny considering how much airplay they've given those artists (Sunday Night Sound Session being the well-known exception, of course). And yes, this show is also 21+... I mean, how many 15-year-olds are trying to see J5 who aren't related to any of them? (Which reminds me, big ups to Snubnose Frankenstein from the ATL collective Two-9, whose dad is actually J5's Akil.)

The all-ages program for those heads would be up the road in Belltown—as Ryan Caraveo plays the Crocodile's Back Bar the same night. Slightly brotastic but not egregiously so, Caraveo puts words together in a fashion that sounds confident and cool—his cut "Schlager," for a song titled after a frat-ass liquor, is pretty fun.

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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

Governor Inslee Tries to Have It Both Ways On Protecting Washingtonians From Cancer, Pleases No One

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

FUCK THE FISH We have scary predictions from businesses to worry about!
  • Levi Hastings

Do you eat fish? No? Okay, do you drink water? Are you a human being who lives in Washington?

Then heads up: you're now set to enjoy a mixed bag of greater and weaker levels of protection from toxic chemicals flowing into the state's waterways, thanks to a proposal (PDF) today by Governor Jay Inslee.

I wrote about the approach of this wonky but hugely important decision, long in the making, for last week's paper.

Bottom line? People who fish and eat fish regularly, including tribal members and immigrant and minority communities, want Washington's forty-year-old formula for determining clean water standards to be updated and made as strong as possible, including bumping one variable in the equation—the assumed fish consumption rate—up to the level of Oregon's: 175 grams per day. (Wondering what 175 grams looks like? Picture a fillet of salmon.)

Inslee did that today, which is what you'd want from someone labeled by many as the country's "greenest governor."

Here's where he failed to live up to that title, however: the governor is also proposing to set another variable in the equation, called the excess cancer rate, at a level where, according to the governor's office, "if a person were to eat a 175-gram serving of fish from Washington waters every day for 70 years, he or she would have a 1-in-100,000 chance of developing cancer." Clean water advocates were pushing for a one-in-a-million chance.

The new formula must be approved by the feds at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meanwhile, the governor said he's sending a package of reforms to the legislature that would empower regulators to combat the introduction of certain toxic chemicals—PCBs, flame retardants, plasticizers, and zinc—"further upstream."

"Many people have seen the mandate to update our water quality standards as a choice between protecting human health or protecting the economy," Inslee added in a statement. "I reject that choice because both values are essential to our future."

But no one seems to be buying it.

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Tonight in Music: Jurassic 5, the Dutchess and the Duke and Ceremony!

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM


(Showbox at the Market) There was a moment when it seemed that LA’s massively talented Jurassic 5 (rappers Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7, and turntablists DJ Nu-Mark, Cut Chemist) might save innovative hiphop from underground banishment. This happened around the turn of the millennium, which was a difficult time for real hiphop. Crews that banked on skills were either not getting signed or being dropped by major labels. In this challenging climate, Jurassic 5 seemed to do the impossible: Be innovative and popular at the same time. The crew was signed to a major label, adored by music critics, and between 2000 and 2002 released two albums that sold pretty well. Eventually, however, reality caught up with the crew and pulled them down to the place where producers and rappers with talent are exiled to this day. With Dilated Peoples. CHARLES MUDEDE
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Whoa! The Dutchess and the Duke are kinda sorta maybe playing shows again? (The duo—that’s Kimberly Morrison and Jesse Lortz—played their last show at the Tractor in 2010.) Or maybe it’s just this show, but whatever the case: YAY, relight that campfire punk! Their heart-squeezing, acoustic dusk folk is captivating, like watching swirls of warm, slow smoke rise from a stick of incense, but also charming—the sweetness and sand and honesty in the lyrics yin-yang perfectly with the boy/girl harmonies and catchy melodies. This show will be in Chop Suey’s Dragon Lounge (the smaller room in the front of the venue)—a perfectly intimate space for you to go ahead and cop some mental feels. EMILY NOKES
See event info »

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"If We’re Serious About Reducing the Number of Guns in Our World, Then We Also Have to Reduce the Number of Guns in Our Movies."

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt pose with their very special guest star, guns.
  • Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt pose with their very special guest star, guns.

We get a lot of e-mailed submissions to I, Anonymous—more than we could ever use in the paper. This one wasn't chosen for print, but it's interesting and passionate and I think people should read it. (Bolds are mine, but it's otherwise unedited.)

You’re a journalist, a liberal, one of the good guys. You call for tougher gun control, point to the links between inequality and violence, and urge your readers to vote in favor of universal background checks. You’re doing an important job writing articles for national magazines offering sensible solutions to the horrible nightmare that is American firearms culture. Thanks for that.

But then you turn around and write glowing reviews of movies that feature horrific gun fights. In the past few months you’ve breathlessly told us to spend money on “entertaining” hijackings, gang fights, and class warfare, all of which feature guns as plot devices. Somehow the same writer that knows exactly where to look when a kid is killed in the Central District doesn’t notice when movie stars are blasting their way through crowds of lowlifes.

Look – I’m not some kind of anti-entertainment bluenose. I know that terrible laws and well paid lobbyists are far more to blame for our gun epidemic than any number of filmed fire fights. But I also know that popular culture is not blameless in all this. When you urge people to see a movie in which the hero is the guy who shoots the most people, then you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth. If we’re serious about reducing the number of guns in our world, then we also have to reduce the number of guns in our movies. As a journalist and critic who can claim some intelligence and insight, you’ve got a responsibility. It’s time you started living up to it.

I don't know who this e-mail was aimed at, but I write about gun control and I review Hollywood blockbusters and I think about this all the time, so I wanted to write out my thoughts. They're after the jump.

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Utah Takes Gay Marriage to the Supreme Court

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM


Utah will appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court over last month's ruling by a regional appeals court that found in favor of gay marriage in the conservative state, the attorney general's office said on Wednesday.

A challenge by Utah was widely expected after the June 25 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which said the state could not stop same-sex couples from marrying. That ruling was put on hold pending Utah's appeal.

Oh, man. The Supreme Court feels like such a crapshoot these days. Is the libertarian-leaning Supreme Court going to show up for this case, or are we going to get the religious-fucking-nutjob Supreme Court instead? There's no way of knowing.

Patricia Lockwood Is So Much More Than—Ugh—"The Poet Laureate of Twitter"

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

(Patricia Lockwood reads at Elliott Bay Book Company tomorrow night at 7 pm. The reading is free.)

Patricia Lockwood's Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals gave me the peculiar feeling that I was reading the first true book of poetry to be published in the 21st century. I almost didn't write about this feeling, for fear of insulting every other poet whose books I've read and loved in the last 14 years. But understand me: This is not a declaration of war on everything that came before, but rather a celebration of a talented writer who finally figured out a way, consistently, to distill pure music out of the business-savvy, meme-injected language in which we marinate every day.

In "The Arch," Lockwood observes that the St. Louis landmark "of all living monuments has the fewest/facts attached to it, they slide right off/its surface, no Lincoln lap for them to sit/on and no horse to be astride..." From there, the poem runs wild in a spray of excitement, spitting out even wrong factoids ("Or am I mixing it up I think I am/with another famous female statue?") like a disputed Wikipedia article besieged by opinionated editors, dipping into art criticism ("What an underhand/gift for an elsewhere to give, a door/that reminds you you can leave it"), and closing on a surprisingly tender image of Lockwood's mother raising "her arm to brush my hair. Oh no female/armpit lovelier than the armpit of the Arch."

The poems in Motherland (Penguin Poets, $20) are a riot of ideas and observations, as a glance at the table of contents will warn you, with titles like "Search 'Lizard Vagina' and You Shall Find," "The Whole World Gets Together and Gangbangs a Deer," "The Hunt for a Newborn Gary," "Nessie Wants to Watch Herself Doing It," "Last of the Late Great Gorilla-Suit Actors," and "Factories Are Everywhere in Poetry Right Now." ...

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The Cinema of Lonely Americans

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia is a completely insane movie, an overstuffed ensemble of dying old men and child prodigies and biblical plagues and Tom Cruise’s best performance ever. One of the greatest casts of American actors plays a...


Did You Recently Donate Three Human Skulls to the Bellevue Goodwill?

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM

If so, the King County Medical Examiner would like a word with you...

The skulls were dropped off in June to the Bellevue Goodwill at 14515 NE 20th St. Employees at the thrift store realized the skulls were genuine human remains and contacted the Medical Examiner’s Office and police.

One skull is thought to be old and the remains of a Native American child. The other two skulls look like they were once used at "a medical clinic or for instruction purposes." If you are indeed the very one who once owned these skulls, please let yourself be known. The dead are of no interest to the dead. The dead cannot, as the Wailers once sang, bury their dead. The dead are there for just the living. Everything matters for everything; nothing matters for nothing. County Medical Examiner hopes to return the remains of the child to its tribe. This is the law of our living state.

I Hope Y'all Heads Are Having Some Killer Good Hangs With Ms. Mary Jane

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Since I pretty much only listen to "old music," recorded by now-dead people, it should be no surprise I listen to a lot of music from hippie era, and we all know hippies liked to get high, so I've listened to many songs about some "girl" named MARY JANE. Turns out, this Mary Jane woman is NOT a woman at all, but instead slang for marijuana, better known as pot, weed, or grass. Well, in celebration and, I guess, solidarity of Washington's legal marijuana shops opening today/this week I'd like to share my fave song titled "Mary Jane." It's by the group the Renaissance. Um, tho' it sounds more like a warning to not smoke as there's a suggestion Mary Jane might wanna "get off the devil's merry-go-round!"

There's a ton of bands which used "Mary Jane" as a song title, narrative, and for skunky inspiration: Fickle Finger, the Baroques, the Spokesmen (!!), the Sweet Smoke, the Tombstones, Willie & The Red Rubber Band, the XLs, Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, the Excells, Rob London (& the Rogues), the Red House, the Everly Brothers' (their "Mary Jane" is fuzz drenched heaven), and even Del Shannon had a try.

Baseball Commentator Inspires Internet Conversation About Anti-Semitism and Texas Slang

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Slog tipper Pete sent along video from last night's Mariner's broadcast. According to Vine user Andrew Phares, it sounds as though commentator Jay Buhner used the phrase "tricker-Jewed" to describe a play.

Q13 Fox reported on the story this morning. They asked the Mariners, who say Buhner said "tricker-you'd" instead:

According to Jay Buhner via Mariners Public Information Director Rebecca Hale, tricker-you’d is slang Buhner grew up using in Texas....“Jay in no way meant to insult anyone. He’s scandalized that someone would think he would use an anti-Semetic word.”

Hale said the Mariners are more than comfortable with Buhner’s explanation of the saying, and don’t believe anything sinister is going on.

“I know Jay,” Hale said. “He was adamant he didn’t say that. And I know he’s not that kind of guy.”

A Google search for "tricker-Jewed" only pulls up the Buhner story, but a Google search for "tricker-you'd" isn't any more fruitful, either. Reddit is arguing about the recording, as Reddit is known to do. On Twitter, Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker wrote about the incident, asking his followers if they know what "tricker-Jewed" means. Later on, Baker issued a conditional apology for his previous tweet, writing "if Jay Buhner did say 'tricker you'd' instead of 'tricker-Jew', then, yes, I apologize to him and #Mariners for the misunderstanding." And for what it's worth, I will continue to never watch baseball on television, because televised baseball is the most boring thing in the universe.

Judge Orders Boy to Have an Erection, Let Cops Take Photos

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM


Why the fuck would a judge order a teenage boy to get an erection and let cops take pictures of his cock? More pictures of his cock? (The cops already took pictures of the boy's flaccid cock.) Because this 17-year-old boy is alleged to have swapped sexts with his 15-year-old girlfriend and now the boy—just the boy—is being prosecuted for possessing and manufacturing child pornography. To prove that the erection in the video he sent his girlfriend is his own, and to prove that he made video of a minor (he made the vide of himself himself), the cops want their own pictures of his erection. This is insanity:

The teen is facing two felony charges, for possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography, which could lead not only to incarceration until he’s 21, but inclusion on the state sex offender data base for, possibly, the rest of his life.... [The] case began when the teen’s 15-year-old girlfriend sent photos of herself to the 17-year-old, who in turn sent her the video in question. The girl has not been charged, and her mother filed a complaint about the boy’s video, Foster said. The male teen was served with petitions from juvenile court in early February, and not arrested, but when the case went to trial in juvenile court in June, Foster said prosecutors forgot to certify that the teen was a juvenile. The case was dismissed, but police immediately obtained new charges and also a search warrant for his home. Police also arrested the teen and took him to juvenile jail, where Foster said they took photos of the teen’s genitals against his will.... Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson told her that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis,” for comparison to the evidence from the teen’s cell phone. Foster asked how that would be accomplished and was told that “we just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot and then take the pictures that we need.”

So to put a teenage boy in prison for sexting—something most teenagers are doing—the Manassas police department is producing child pornography (they've already taken pics of this kids cock!) and the prosecutor is trying to extract a guilty plea by threatening this kid with being dragged to a hospital and forced to get an erection against his will in a room full of cops.

What. The. Fuck.

They're harassing this kid and trying to destroy his life. Let's harass back, shall we?

The Manassas police department's website is here. The Manassas PD is on twitter: @ManassasCityPD.

Prince William County's website is here, a list of Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys is here. This is the only contact info I can find for the office of the Commonwealth's Attorney:

The Commonwealth's Attorneys Office is located in the Judicial Center at 9311 Lee Avenue, Suite 200, Manassas, VA 20110; Phone: 703-792-6050; Fax: 703-792-7081; email:

Anyone up for doing some sleuthing and finding the email and phone number for Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson?

Unbearably High, Obsessed with the Obvious, and Anti-Newsworthy: Questions to Guide Your Reading of The Stranger

Posted on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Read the whole new issue of The Stranger over here (or click on the cover)!


1. In the internet age, newspapers are understood to be oft-forgotten repositories for yesterday's news. Assuming you are reading this on Wednesday, this issue of The Stranger is chockablock with column inches devoted, literally, to yesterday's news. (If you're reading it later in the week, the news is even older.) The stories about legal marijuana retail stores include ANNA MINARD's interview with Pete Holmes about tourism and marijuana, ANSEL HERZ's account from the first day of a Bellingham pot shop, CHARLES MUDEDE's account of the first day of a Vancouver pot shop, DOMINIC HOLDEN's account of the first day of a Seattle pot shop, DOMINIC HOLDEN and BEN LIVINGSTON's account of how the Washington State Liquor Control Board botched the launch of pot shops, and CIENNA MADRID's interviews with old-school pot dealers. Roughly 15 percent of this information is still important today; even less will still be useful later. Why would The Stranger position itself as gatekeeper to recent history like this? Could it be that the staff is, in the parlance of the street, "getting high on their own supply"?

2. Once you sift through the old news, you'll discover that a hefty chunk of the rest of the paper—nearly 14 pages—is devoted to spending time outside. Yes, exactly that. No, nothing more: It's a collection of brief anecdotes and reviews written by the Stranger staff about drinking, eating, and doing drugs in parks, on patios, etc. in good weather. Given the aforementioned obsession with a much-publicized event, is The Stranger's interest in facts like "the sun is hot" and "pleasant weather is enjoyable" even a surprise anymore?

3. Since we're strolling—crawling, really—down memory lane, why not mention an overlong autobiographical account written by MEGAN SELING about how much she enjoys the music of the Go-Go's? Is it possible that the entire Stranger staff just took last week off for summer vacation, and that this issue is what happens when an organization stops trying?

4. KELLY O's Drunk of the Week "column" is still running? Even she seems sick of it—it's renamed Bartender of the Week in this issue, and it's not about inebriation at all (except, perhaps, Kelly O's). Are the words "played out" ever uttered at Stranger headquarters, or were they banned along with any instance of originality or energy in the pages of The Stranger? Given the subject of the bloated, anti-newsy news section this week, does the question "What are they smoking?" even need to be asked anymore?

The Morning News: International Violence, Campus Rape, and a Scripture-Spewing Tripper

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Like this, only naked, and tripping on acid.
  • Alexander Tihonov/Shutterstock
  • Like this, only naked, and tripping on acid.

War-Like Activity in the Middle East: "Palestinian militants have fired more rockets at Israeli cities after Israel carried out dozens of overnight air strikes on the Gaza Strip," reports the BBC. "Israel said it had intercepted 15 rockets on Wednesday, including eight over Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Ashdod. Reports from Gaza said at least eight people had been killed in the latest Israeli air strikes."

Meanwhile in Syria: "Syrian rebels rampaged through a Sunni village in the central province of Hama Wednesday, firing indiscriminately at civilians and killing 14 people, including seven women," reports the Associated Press.

Meanwhile in North Korea: The government is firing missiles into the sea.

Oh Dear God: "Two University of Miami football players were arrested on sexual battery charges Tuesday and kicked off the team and campus for an alleged incident involving a 17-year-old girl," reports ABC News. "Court and jail records show JaWand Blue and Alex Figueroa, both 20-year-old linebackers, were booked Tuesday. The two admitted to getting the classmate intoxicated and then allegedly raping her several times in Figueroa’s dorm room over the 4th of July weekend."

Pummeled by Storms: The Eastern U.S., where 300,000 are now without power and at least five people have been killed.

While Washingtonians Were Getting Ready for The First Day of Legal Marijuana Sales...: A naked man tripping on LSD allegedly barged into a Denny-Blaine home to recite scripture.

Can an Entire Country Be Placed on Suicide Watch?: Apparently, Brazil is taking yesterday's World Cup loss very, very hard.

Sometimes You Get in an Argument and Slap Someone's Face, and Sometimes the Slapped Person Falls and Hits Their Head and then Dies, and Then You're Charged with Second-Degree Murder: Happened in Sea-Tac.

"Chelsea Clinton Flaunts Her Baby Bump!": Meanwhile, the father of the child-to-be swaggers around flaunting his sperm-packed testicles and no one seems to notice.

Of Course They Are. Texans Put It on Everything: Ranch sales booming in Texas.

Finally, happy birthday, Courtney Love! And congratulations on your new acting gig! Here's one of her great 21st-century songs...

The Real Brazilian Tragedy

Posted by on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 8:28 AM

The sad thing about these pictures is that they only communicate the fatal scale of the destruction when it's too late. We humans can only start to see with their own eyes the signs of danger at a point when nothing can be done to save ourselves—the point when the mouth of the lion has firmly gripped the neck of the gazelle...

In the book The Dominant Animal. Human Evolution and the Environment, Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich locate this flaw (human inaction) in the way our minds have been shaped during the course of our evolution. In order to function normally, they argue, we needed to put things that aren't immediately perceived as trouble in the background our thoughts...
That aspect refers to the removal of a constant stimulus from consciousness—one may hear an air conditioner start up, but its continuing hum is soon “tuned-out.” ...Keeping the environmental background constant through habituation makes it easier to perceive new threats or opportunities as the ecological play proceeds. Our ancestors lived in situations in which that was of paramount importance, and we’re still quite good at dealing with sudden changes in our environments, be it a car swerving at us from another lane, a baby’s cry of distress....

What is this passage saying? Something like climate change does not freak us out because our basic consciousness does not have an alarm mechanism for something of that scale. A baby’s cry? Instant response; the slow rise of the oceans? We can't see or hear the problem, and so there is no or fatally slow response. How do we solve this limitation? With cultural tools that extend our perception:
The only way to recognize the change is by interpreting graphs made by scientific instruments that were designed to extend our perceptual systems and track the changes. Those graphs condense representations of changes made over many decades into visual differences occurring over the space of a few inches-changes we can perceive. A
remarkable aspect of human cultural evolution, however, is that such evolved mechanisms can be brought explicitly to people’s attention. Then humanity can corporately take them into account as it struggles deliberately and openly to alter the course of its own cultural evolution-a process that psychologist Robert Ornstein and Paul once termed “conscious evolution."
So only cultural learning (education) can bring the danger of the present situation to our immediate attention. If we look out the window, all we see are clear blue skies; if look at the same sky with cultural tools—models, mathematics, research papers, and so on—we see skies that are not at all clear. We need to see before we see with our eyes.





Tuesday, July 8, 2014

























Cupcakes Are Not Over

Posted by at 2:01 PM in


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