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Friday, October 31, 2014

11 People Arrested for Supplying Dead Unmarried Men With Dead Brides

Posted by on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 8:19 AM

This religion worships an execution machine that was popular in Roman times. Maybe one day in the future there will be a religion that worships the electric chair or the drip.
  • CM
  • This religion worships an execution machine that was popular in Roman times. Maybe one day in the future there will be a religion that worships the electric chair or the drip.

The story from China is that 11 men were recently arrested for the dark business of exhuming the bodies of women (the fresher, the better) from graveyards and selling them on a market that meets the needs of families in the difficulty of having on their hands a beloved uncle or son who left the only state of affairs there is and will ever be unmarried. The body of the dead woman (who may have been married in life) is then buried next to the dead bachelor. This is called a ghost wedding, and the resulting marriage is certainly more peaceful than anything you will find in the land of the quick.

Though the practice is very old and maintained mostly by people who live in rural China, it is by no means barbaric. Indeed, because civilization only begins when the living live with their dead—meaning, when the living are settled rather than nomadic, we can see in the ghost marriage something like the deep and wonderfully twisted roots of the modern urban consciousness.

The city is about a very close relationship between inhabitants who are made of matter and those who are not—ghosts. Inhabited and uninhabited buildings, rooms, hallways, staircases are all haunted by those lost in the past of those buildings, rooms, hallways, and staircases. You can only remove ghosts by demolishing a building. This is why it is utterly ridiculous to fear ghosts in the forests. What is there to haunt? Trees? Moose? Mud? What nonsense. Humans are the haunted animal. And humans live in houses, apartments, castles, and the cities of their dead.

Guest Editorial: How Metro-Funding Prop 1 Moves Us Toward the Bus System We Deserve

Posted by on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Metro.jpg
  • Levi Hastings

Before we fully kick this editorial off, I want to get a few things straight: I don’t own a car. I use the bus nearly every day. At the Washington Bus, where I work, most of my coworkers aren’t car owners, either. Metro buses are how we get to the office, to friend’s houses, and everywhere in between.

And that’s why I’m supporting Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1—because expanding Metro bus service in Seattle isn’t some hypothetical idea, it’s personal.

It’s painfully obvious that Seattle needs more transit, and that starts with bus service. Metro is the backbone of our transit system, and those of us who ride every day know that too many Metro routes in the city of Seattle are increasingly overcrowded, are too often unreliable, or simply don’t come often enough.

Luckily, we have an opportunity to make things better, and to improve our beloved Joe Metro. We can do that by passing Transportation Prop 1.

All you have to do is look around at those cranes looming above your head and the reflective vest-bedecked construction workers on every corner to see that Seattle is growing at a breakneck speed. Bus service levels in Seattle have been stagnant since 2007, and without expanding, the transit deficit will only get worse.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Drag ≠ Trans, Trans ≠ Drag

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 6:09 PM

I’m the wife-half of a straight couple, five years married, living in a Lefty city that may or may not have recently won an important sporting match. My husband is straight but not weird about it—he’s not squicked out by male sexuality or homophobic, he’s just not wired to be into dudes; I like to say I’m a non-practicing bisexual. We’re super happy, so no worries there.

My question is this: for Halloween, we’re planning to go as Hedwig (him) and Yitzhak (me). As a straight couple, is this stepping on the toes of the trans community in an icky way? Offensive? I figure (and I admit my privilege is showing) that drag is drag, regardless of sexuality, and we’re not doing this because a dude in drag is funny, we’re not mocking it, we’re just having some fun for the holiday. (And I have a bitchin 70s leather jacket I stole from an ex that’s inappropriate in any other context).

I realize that I am a grown-ass woman asking for Halloween advice and should get better things to worry about.

Hope It's Not A Drag

My response after the jump...

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Today's SPOOKY Song of the Day is Coil's Take on "Tainted Love"

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 4:48 PM

We all know "Tainted Love." Most probably became familiar with the song from Soft Cell's undying (undead?) version, released in 1981 and essentially inescapable after that, whether you're at a wedding or a leather bar. Many (younger) listeners wrongly assume it was a Soft Cell original, which isn't the case at all: Motown powerhouse Gloria Jones released her version of the Ed Cobb-penned song all the way back in the heady days of '64. It's since been covered by a whole pop smorgasbord of folks, the most recent big example being Marilyn Manson's 2001 edition (for the soundtrack to Not Another Teen Movie, of all things.) The less said about that the better, especially because Coil did an infinitely creepier industrial cover of "Tainted Love" sixteen years earlier, with the appropriately 80's gothic video accompaniment it deserves. Listen to those spooooky choirs! That dolorous, downtuned church bell! The fucking ten-ton guitar stabs coming down on you like the knife through the shower curtain! This is the "Tainted Love" you should bust out at your Halloween party to properly set the mood.

Under-the-Radar Weed Farmers Critique I-502 and Explain Why They're Doing Things the Old-Fashioned Way—Illegally

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM

(We’ve changed all their names and these drawings are imaginary.)
  • Mike Force
  • (We’ve changed all their names and these drawings are imaginary.)

Jennifer, 31 Years Old

Why did you start growing pot? Because I think that it can help people. I've smoked pot my whole life. I think that it's a positive thing.

Is it your full-time job? No. I work in the beer industry. I like hops, which is a cousin of marijuana, so I feel like there might be a theme there. I like plants!

Do you have a green card? No. And I will never have one.

Why never? I don't want my name on a list. It's a private thing, and it's my choice to smoke weed. I don't want people to judge me on that.

What's changed since I-502 passed? Now that it's gone legal, I hear people talking about weed more. It's everywhere. People talk about it, people smoke it—people you wouldn't think even smoked...

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Three of Ex-Seattle Producer Rafael Anton Irisarri’s Stolen Guitars Turn Up at Trading Musician

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Finally some leads are surfacing in the case of Rafael Anton Irisarris stolen moving truck.
  • Bob Hansen
  • Finally some leads are surfacing in the case of Rafael and Rita Irisarri's stolen moving truck.

Remember when then-Seattle techno/ambient producer Rafael Anton Irisarri (aka the Sight Below) and his wife Rita’s moving truck with all their belongings was stolen on Memorial Day? How could you forget? Anyway, the couple has since moved to New York state and have been trying to get on with their lives after that trauma. Yesterday, though, Rafael received some hopeful news from a musician friend: three of his instruments—a Fender bass and two Guild guitars—were found at Trading Musician in Ravenna. These instruments were sold to the shop on Oct. 3 and Trading Musician has details of the person who sold them. “The shop had tried to contact the detective in charge of the case [Det. Manuel (Manny) Quinonez] several times and finally [two days ago] they got a hold of him,” Irisarri says. “[Yesterday] I finally was able to talk to the detective at SPD, too, and he's not even started trying to track these people down. It’s a huge break on the case, which might lead to where all of our things ended up, and when I talked to the detective he said the ‘police have many cases they are working on,’ i.e. not a priority.”

Irisarri praised Trading Musician’s manager John Herman for “doing all the legwork for the cops and [being] super nice getting me a bunch of details and letting me know what my next steps are.”

I called Herman and asked him if he could describe the person who sold Irisarri’s instruments to Trading Musician. "The woman sold one of the guitars and seemed a little weird," Herman said, "so we kind of low-balled because we weren’t sure what was going on. She came back later with two instruments and that also seemed strange. Something rang a bell. We started digging around in what is pretty much the novel that is the stolen stuff that people send to us—it’s a huge book. Sure enough, we remembered the whole U Haul thing. We looked through and there were these three instruments on there. So I took a chance and called her and said, ‘Hey, we know this stuff is stolen. If you don’t want to be involved or prosecuted for stealing someone’s merchandise, you should bring the money back to us.' She returned the money, over $700, and left the instruments with us. We did our normal protocol and reported the instruments and her name, as well. We entered 0 as the dollar amount that we paid for them.

"Finally, a couple of days ago, I got a hold of detective [Quinonez]. He’s been out of town, apparently. He’s interested because it appears to be the first real lead that they’ve had."

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Why Are Museum Admission Prices So Confusing?

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

This volunteer is reading to the art at the current Ann Hamilton show at the Henry. If you volunteer to read to the art, you get in free.
  • JG
  • This volunteer is reading to the art at the current Ann Hamilton show at the Henry. If you volunteer to read to the art, you get in free.

The way the Henry Art Gallery tells it, its front desk had become like a Turkish bazaar. One guy would haggle over how much he wanted to pay for admission to the museum, and then after he got his way, the lady behind him would approach the clerk and be told "10 dollars," the amount marked on the sign as the "suggested admission" price, but the lady would say, "But he only paid five dollars!," and the cycle would go on and on all the way to Istanbul.

"It was turning into a negotiation with multiple visitors, and we wanted it to be comfortable for everyone," said Henry spokeswoman Dana Van Nest when I reached her by phone this morning.

This is a screenshot from the internet archive The Wayback Machine, where you can see how the Henry described its admissions policy in 2010 (at the bottom in italics). That language—
  • This is a screenshot from the internet archive The Wayback Machine, where you can see how the Henry described its admissions policy in 2010 (at the bottom in italics). That language—"suggested donation"—was erased in January 2014.

The story leading up to this morning's phone call went like this: About three weeks ago, I got an email from a Stranger reader who'd gone to the Henry expecting to pay what she could because our calendar told her admission cost "$10 suggested."

"Dear Stranger," she wrote. "I was really looking forward to the opening day of Ann Hamilton's 'Common Sense.' I even have a poster of the flier on my wall. ... I am currently transitioning between jobs, and am unable to pay $10. When I saw the word donation in the paper, I thought that meant for opening day you would be able to go and make a gift if you could. Unfortunately, they turned me away at the exhibit today."

I sent an email to the Henry's PR department and asked whether the "suggested" policy had changed. The response was somewhat bewildering. Van Nest wrote back yesterday:

We reviewed and clarified our policy last December in order to alleviate ongoing confusion both for our staff and visitors. We did away with the word “suggested” because we didn’t want our front desk staff to have to continually negotiate with visitors regarding what they wanted to pay. We don’t turn anyone away, but as I said before, we would like people to pay for the services we provide.

This did not seem like a "review" and a "clarification" of language, it seemed like a change in policy, given that the Stranger reader was actually turned away.

That was an error, Van Nest said. She reached out to the reader and offered her free passes, which the reader accepted, "to make up for her disappointment." But not for just being poor?

In the interim, the reader had figured out another way to get in for free, by serving as a volunteer for the exhibition. That option is unique to the Hamilton show. Otherwise, to get in for free, you need to attend the museum on the first Thursday of the month, or check out a library pass.

Or—again—you need to be poor. Right?

Continue reading »

Free Will Astrology for the Week of Oct 30

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 3:30 PM

SCORPIO (Oct 23–Nov 21): In AMC's famous TV drama, a high school chemistry teacher responds to his awful luck by turning to a life of crime. The show's title, Breaking Bad, refers to what happens when a good person cracks and veers over to the dark side. So then what does "breaking good" mean? Urbandictionary.com defines it like this: "When a criminal, junkie, or gangbanger gets sweet and sparkly, going to church, volunteering at soup kitchens, and picking the kids up from school." I'm concerned that you are at risk of undergoing a similar conversion, Scorpio. You seem so nice and kind and mild lately. I guess that's fine as long as you don't lose your edge. Halloween costume suggestions: a criminal with a halo, a sweet and sparkly gangbanger, or a Buddhist monk junkie.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22–Dec 21): I've got two possible remedies for your emotional congestion. You might also want to make these two remedies part of your Halloween shtick...

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FBI Spokesperson Suggests Posing As an Associated Press Reporter Is No Different Than Posing As a Dentist

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 3:03 PM

On Tuesday afternoon, FBI Seattle bureau spokesperson Ayn Dietrich-Williams called me on my cell phone. The main purpose of her phone call was to inform me that, although FBI agents appear to have used the Seattle Times as a reference when crafting a fake story to lure a suspect into installing spyware on his computer, the fake story they actually sent out only pretended to be from the Associated Press.

Earlier that day, the AP had said the FBI's "ploy" undermines the news agency's credibility and called it "unacceptable."

As we talked about the implications of her clarification, Dietrich-Williams betrayed a blasé attitude toward objections by media outlets to the FBI impersonating any reporter, regardless of which publication it might be. At one point, she compared journalists to dentists and suggested FBI agents pretending to be either one was equally harmless.

"We just used something in the style of media," she told me. "We could have pulled it off the Washington Post or New York Times."

FBI agents were racing against time to catch the suspect, Dietrich-Williams said. At the time, the suspect was a 15-year-old who was sending bomb threats to Timberline High School near Olympia. The year was 2007. The agents "knew the media approach would work with him" because, she explained, he was a megalomaniacal person who'd be interested in coverage of his exploits.

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Chris Christie's "Sit Down and Shut Up" Shtick Is Getting Tired and Predictable

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie loves to promote his own tough-guy image. So yesterday, when Christie was confronted by a protester at a press conference about the progress New Jersey has made in Hurricane Sandy relief, he immediately started talking himself up. "You all know me," Christie said to the audience. He then addressed the protester: "So if we're going to get into a debate here today, it's going to get very interesting and very fun." This is the kind of self-promotion Christie loves to do. In his own mind, he's a Noo Joisey tough guy out of The Sopranos, a rough-edged brawler. He loves to think his in-your-face, argumentative style is "interesting and very fun."

Except it isn't. The protester was carrying a sign reading "GET SANDY FAMILIES BACK IN THEIR HOMES—FINISH THE JOB." Christie immediately launched into one of his favorite rhetorical devices, promising that his door is always open to critics: "I'd be more than happy to have a debate with you. Anytime you like, guy." Christie says some variation of that throughout the video, insisting that he can throw down intellectually with his opponents at any opportunity. Next, he elaborates that he's not interested in talking with "somebody like you who doesn't know a damn thing about what you're talking about, except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here."

This is a classic response to critics: You don't like my movie? Make your own fucking movie! It's a bullshit response, because we are human beings who necessarily specialize our skills, but we also have big brains with opinions about many subjects. It's unfair to demand that someone else be quiet unless they work as governor of New Jersey when there can only be one governor of New Jersey at any given time. Christie concludes, "I've been here when the cameras aren't here, buddy, and done the work."

The protester continued to argue that Christie hasn't, in fact, done the work, that a lot of the Sandy relief money is sitting in Christie's government and that he only moved the high-profile projects forward at the expense of ordinary citizens who are still waiting for relief. Christie launched into the final weapon in his rhetorical toolbox: the brash shutdown. "Listen, you wanna have a conversation later, I'm happy to have it, buddy," Christie said, changing the goal posts from having a conversation "any time" to "later." Then he used his best trick: "but until that time, sit down and shut up."

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The Homosexual Agenda: Bumping with BenDeLaCreme, Killing Babies at Pony

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 2:15 PM

homo-570.jpg

THURSDAY 10/30

BUMPING IN THE NIGHT

Happiest of Halloweens, my darling 'mos! As you know damn good and well, it's my most favoritest time to be queer. The big gay noise this year is, of course, Bump, our annual, hard-partying gay Halloween tradition that's older than Mark Finley's falsies. Back in the old days, the event was held on the waterfront, and free shuttles ran back and forth between the gay bars on the Hill and the venue. Imagine! That doesn't happen anymore (THANKS, OBAMA), but fortunately, it doesn't need to: This year, the event is conveniently located at Neighbours, which has proved to be the hottest place to party, har-har. (Yes, that was an arson joke. Sue me.) If you didn't know, it's a fundraiser, too, and the moola goes to the health organization Gay City, a cause near and dear to my black little heart. Best costume wins $1,000, so no slacking! And most wondrous of all? The infamous Lady Bunny from NYC is cohosting with our own drag darling BenDeLaCreme! Neighbours, 9 pm, $30 adv/$40 DOS, 21+...

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What Are You Doing Today? What Are You Doing Tonight?

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 2:01 PM

This man will leave a mark on your mind with his words.
  • This man will leave a mark on your mind with his words.
Charles D'Ambrosio, Slept On for Too Long: Go hear the "dome-blowingly" talented essayist read from his new collection at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

Black Weirdo Party: Dancing is believing.

Bump! 2014: "It’s pretty much definitely going to be your only chance to party it up with BenDeLaCreme and Lady Bunny this Halloween, unless you’re going trick-or-treating with them or something." Which would, admittedly, be an awesome way to spend your Halloween.


Wolf Eyes: May hit you with some ball-tinglingly aggressive noise and fury at Kremwerk. (See above for proof.)

The Very Versatile Dave Liebman: Saxophonist, flautist, and by all accounts stand-up guy Dave Liebman will prog-jazz you to a better plane at Cornish's PONCHO Hall tonight.

More! More! There's so much more. And the pre-Halloween festivities are nearly limitless.

Judicial Candidate Sarah Hayne Admonished by Bar Association for "Misleading Statements" About Her Experience

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM

INCUMBENT JUDGE KETU SHAH is being challenged by Sarah Hayne, whom the King County Bar Association has just admonished for publishing misleading statements about her years of experience.
  • Courtesy Ketu Shah
  • INCUMBENT JUDGE KETU SHAH is being challenged by Sarah Hayne, whom the King County Bar Association just admonished for "publishing misleading statements about her years of experience."

This race for King County District Court just got even more interesting. Already, there were concerns about candidate Sarah Hayne receiving serious financial backing from a group called "Citizens for Judicial Excellence." As Lael Henterly writes in this week's Stranger, "Her husband, Stephen Hayne, was one of CJE's founding members, a fact that has fueled speculation that something scandalous is afoot." When CJE announced earlier this year that it would be putting its resources behind Hayne, several members up and quit. Since then, claims of "nepotism" have been flying.

Now the King County Bar Association has admonished Hayne for "publishing misleading statements about her years of experience." As KCBA President Steven R. Rovig said in a statement e-mailed to reporters: "She states in her campaign materials that for the past 22 years she has worked as a pro tem judge, a prosecutor, and a defense attorney, yet she told KCBA that she worked on a limited or part-time basis during the bulk of that period. As a result, KCBA finds those written statements to be misleading."

As with the charges of nepotism, Hayne's level of experience—and her claims about her experience—have long been an issue in this campaign. In Henterly's article, a CJE spokesperson suggests sexism is behind the experience concerns. Others say the concerns are totally legit. One fact not in dispute: Hayne refused to be rated by local bar associations, while Judge Shah has received a bunch of "exceptionally well qualified" ratings, including from the KCBA.

"It bothers me if someone is afraid to appear and be evaluated by these groups," University of Washington law professor Hugh Spitzer told Henterly. The CJE, which just spent $18,000 on mailers for Hayne, claims the KCBA is biased in favor of incumbents so it's no big deal that Hayne refused to be rated.

The World's Best Knock-Knock Joke

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Go to any production of Hamlet (like the excellent one currently at New City Theater), wait for the lights to dim, lean over to the person next to you and say: "Knock-knock." Then...

whosthere.png

This is currently my favorite joke in the world.

I Ask Again, Did the Telescopes Release the Best Last Album of the 1980s? If Not, Then Who Did?

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 1:31 PM

A couple years back, while on a Telescopes kick, I posed the question "What Was the Last Great Underground Album of the '80s?" At the time, and based on release date, my vote was that the Telescopes' LP, Taste, was, in fact, the last great underground (meaning no major label ties and made by counterculture freaks with no chart hope, etc.) album of the '80s.

Taste was recorded in June of 1989, and issued later that year, so it could, perhaps, be THE BEST LAST ALBUM OF THE '80s!!! Seriously...and 1989 was a good year for greatness; Pussy Galore's Dial 'M' for Motherfucker (April), the Melvins' Ozma (?????), and Nirvana's Bleach (June), were all issued that year. But, by date, Taste may cap the decade.

Since I asked the question the FIRST time, as I have obsessive record-nerd tendencies, I've been returning to the albums released in '89 and reassessing. At the close of the '80s the underground was still exceptionally fertile and had yet to be co-opted and, in some regards, the experimental and progressive music of the last half of the '80s could almost rival the first half of the decade.

So, what else was released? A lot: Treepeople's Guilt Regret Embarrassment, Galaxie 500's On Fire, Fugazi's Margin Walker (June), Operation Ivy's Energy (March), the Jesus Lizard's Pure, the Laughing Hyenas' You Can't Pray a Lie, along with albums by the Screaming Trees, Bad Religion, the Cows, the Leaving Trains, Soundgarden, the God Bullies, fIREHOSE, Bl'ast!, Yo La Tengo, Lubricated Goat, and Helios Creed. GOD DAMN! And I'm sure there was some underground, non-major-label, rap/hiphop albums too. Maybe? I knew about most of the major label stuff and researching '89 rap releases the only underground/indie rap album I could sort out was the Ghetto/Geto Boys' Grip It! On That Other Level!! Also, there must have been a TON of electro shit as that culture was blowing up during the tail end of the '80s.

Anyway, Slog Out, THINK HARD, 'cause I wanna know what y'all think was the LAST great underground album of the '80s?

Fear, Loathing, and Bruce Leroy

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Bruce Leroy.
  • Bruce Leroy.

It's Halloween, and if you're stuck for costume ideas, I got you. If you live in a predominantly white area—aka anywhere within The Stranger's area of circulation—the scariest look this season is the young black male. Trust me, I rock this look all the time, and there's nothing like that spark of shock, that quick start, as the elevator door opens—or the slightly closed chest, shoulders hunched, eyes down fear-shuffle as you pass on the sidewalk. Get creative with it though—this year, I'm going trick-or-treating up and down Pike/Pine as the dreaded "Somali gangbanger." (The only issue with that is all the people up there dressed up as police, which freaks me the fuck out, seeing as "those people," in their endless war on us, kill a black man every 28 hours in America. Still, I'm very sorry to hear about your iPhone.) Okay, totally just kidding, y'all—dressing up as cruel stereotypes of other races is already a well-known practice in predominantly white areas.

Scary Negroes and the people who love them (or just believe they have a right to breathe), have I got a couple things for you this Thursday, October 29...

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Now Is the Time for Three All-Time Seattle Greats

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 11:50 AM

chow-lead-click1.jpg

Autumn might make you think of new pencils, but it also makes you think of old favorites, especially when it comes to food, and especially in Seattle, when there's a brief paradise of local tomatoes and chanterelles, when oysters are right again and fat squashes are ready. It is the best time of year to eat; you're hungry after the salads and rosé and heat of summer, and, conveniently, it gets dark earlier and earlier, so you can just go home after dinner and read a book under a blanket and fall asleep.

As always in Seattle now, there are new, glamorous restaurants to try, but when it's wet and cold, old favorites sound better. Restaurant standbys are like dear friends—not without their foibles, but reliable, familiar, beloved. Here are three mainstays you might not have thought of in a while, or may have overlooked all this time, but they're still here for you, ready and waiting.

LE PICHET • 1933 First Ave, 256-1499 • main dishes $20–$21 (roasted chicken $38 for two people)

Le Pichet is the epitome of a certain kind of French neighborhood restaurant...

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Jaime Lerner and His City of Children

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM

A city that is not safe for children is not a city.
  • CM
  • A city that is not safe for children is not a city.

A week ago, the Brazilian architect, urbanist, and former mayor of Curitiba Jaime Lerner spoke at Town Hall. He had many things to say about what makes a city a city—meaning, a place that meets the most basic needs of human beings. Lerner pointed out that, while mayor of Curitiba (in the '70s), his office initiated a program which taught children (not adults) how to separate garbage for recycling. "Once children could do this," he said, "then they could teach their parents." The result of this useful form of social engineering is that Curitiba now has the highest recycling rate (70 percent) "in the world."

Lerner also pointed out that a city had to be safe for children, a place they could use without fear or constant exposure to danger. Elements of this position were adopted in the '90s by another mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, of another South American city, Bogotá. For Peñalosa, a bike path was not the real thing unless it could be used by children. If only adults could use it (risk it, feel safe in it), it was more a road than a bike path.

The point that Lerner wanted Seattle to grasp is that the best way to measure a city's success was the extent to which it involved and protected children. This kind of thinking flew against the values of our society (and city), values that privilege car mobility and storage over the safety and freedom of children. At a social level, this value system is made apparent by the fact that "child care workers are typically paid less than parking lot attendants." So, the hero of the city is the stranger (this is my view of things), and the true subject of the city is the child (Lerner's view).

Stephen Colbert's Interview with Anita Sarkeesian About #Gamergate Was a Big Deal

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM

In case you missed it, you should definitely watch both the prelude and the Anita Sarkeesian interview from last night's Colbert Report:

Much in the same way Colbert recently dragged the whole Hachette vs. Amazon dispute into the mainstream, this is a significant turning point for Gamergate. I don't suggest you ever visit 8chan, but the Gamergate boards are in absolute dissaray over Colbert—who for some reason most Gamergaters believed was on their side—making a strong statement in support of Sarkeesian. (He even broke character somewhat at the end there to confirm that he is, in fact, a feminist. This is only something Colbert does when he really believes it's necessary.) It's turning into cartoon-villain territory in Gamergate-ville, with people making "you'll never take me alive" declarations:

Gamer gate will never end. They can not get away with it. Any new attempt at an attack piece on gamers will be met by us.

Refuse to support companies that fund this bad journalism. And refuse to give advertising revenue to the journalists themselves.

This is the free market.

They're also counting down the large number of their heroes who have disavowed any approval of Gamergate, including Joss Whedon and Chris Kluwe, and pinning their hopes on the few heroes who have kept silent, like Neil Gaiman. (Sorry, guys, but I find it hard to believe that Gaiman is going to issue a full-throated defense of Gamergate anytime soon.) Some are expressing surprise that for the general public, "the word feminism isn't as tainted to them as it is on the internet." A few of them are actively and publicly giving up. I'm excited that Stephen Colbert is getting a high-profile late-night talk show, but I find it hard to believe he'll be able to actively change the conversation in the same way that he does on The Colbert Report.

Hari Kondabolu's Cure for the Redskins

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Acclaimed comic and Stranger fave Hari Kondabolu applies himself to helping the Washington Redskins solve the problem of their idiotic name. Kondabolu's recipe for a cure: If the Redskins insist on keeping the name, they should consider changing the mascot to a severely sunburned white person.

Meanwhile in Virginia, a Republican candidate for senate has made his own video, presenting as his key political position his belief that we should "let the Redskins handle what to call their team."

If you want more ha-has, Hari Kondabolu will be in Seattle next month to perform two nights of new material.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out in Amazing Businessweek Essay

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Bloomberg Businessweek:

For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

Go read the whole thing. Cook is from Alabama, and earlier this week he criticized the governor of Alabama and other state officials at a ceremony where Cook was inducted into Alabama's Academy of Honor. Also worth reading.

Hollaback!, Queen Latifah, Anti-Street Harassment, and the Decline of Hiphop

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 8:21 AM

You aint a bitch or a ho!
  • You ain't a bitch or a ho!

Now that everyone has seen the Hollaback! video, seen the young white woman getting harassed on the streets of NYC almost exclusively by black and brown men (the one white guy says to her, "Nice"—apparently there were lots of white catcallers but they did not make the cut because "for whatever reason, a lot of what they said was in passing, or off camera”). Now that the video, developed by an ad agency (Rob Bliss Creative), has achieved the desired goal (to go viral), we can look back from the heat of the moment and try to see if it is anything new or original or even helpful. A quick look back shows almost immediately that the real problem of street harassment has been tackled with far more intelligence and greater racial sensitivity by black comedians such as Sasheer Zamata and Jessica Williams of The Daily Show. But if one looks even further back than that, he/she will find the problem was dealt with in the most direct terms by hiphop. Yes, hiphop! And not in some unknown underground track by an unknown rapper, but in a mainstream hit record by Queen Latifah. The track is "U.N.I.T.Y.," and a street harassment incident is described in its very first verse...
One day I was walking down the block/I had my cutoff shorts on right cause it was crazy hot/I walked past these dudes when they passed me/One of 'em felt my booty, he was nasty/I turned around red, somebody was catching the wrath/Then the little one said "Yeah me bitch" and laughed/Since he was with his boys he tried to break fly...
Latifah turned and punched him (Naughty by Nature's Vin Rock) dead in the eye. "You gotta let them know you are not a bitch or ho."

"U.N.I.T.Y." was dropped in 1993, four years before hiphop completely lost its autonomy as a black art form and, as a consequence, its openness to a variety of black-related issues. In those days, a rapper like Latifah could throw down about issues that concerned the black community and still make a buck, still be a commercial hit. This radical openness, or hiphop democracy, started dying around 1997. By 2000, it was very dead, and today, hiphop is mainly in the business of entertaining white consumers. In the current cultural climate, issues that really mattered to the black community, such as street harassment, have little to no value for a market dominated by suburban whites.

And so with Hollaback! we find two insults in one: Blacks get criticized for street harassment by the very same people who have de-democratized one of the few cultural institutions that provided a popular platform for social issues meaningful to the black community.

The Morning News: Who Shucked the Shells That Stalled Bertha's Rescue?

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 8:09 AM

OYSTER SHELLS like this are delaying Bertha.
  • Kevinr4/Shutterstock
  • Oyster shells like this are delaying Bertha-related digging.

Who shucked the shells that stalled Bertha's rescue? It's looking like settlers, not Native Americans, according to the Seattle Times. And these shells appear to be from Olympia oysters, a now-rare type that was apparently very popular in early Seattle's saloons. A final determination on the shells' origins will help decide just how long this particular delay lasts.

Women lead police to another alleged Seattle groper: "Two weeks after a Seattle woman's cellphone photo led to a charge against a man accused of groping her, police say a group of women helped chase down a man accused of groping multiple women in downtown Seattle," reports KOMO. More at the SPD Blotter.

Another 3,000 jobs cut at Microsoft: These are close to the last of the layoffs that CEO Satya Nadella announced earlier this year, says GeekWire.

A NEW POLL, conducted October 17 - 24, finds strong support for gun control Initiative 594.
  • Washington Poll
  • A new poll, conducted October 17–24, finds strong support for gun control initiative 594.

The latest Washington Poll is out: Matt Baretto, the pollster, says: "Overall the poll finds very strong support for Initiative 594 regarding background checks for gun purchases and very strong support for Initiative 1351 which would require fewer students per classroom. Both initiatives have broad support statewide and appear on their way to being passed. In contrast, Initiative 591 has far less support, 41.7 percent saying they will vote yes and 38.8 percent saying they will vote no."

Continue reading »

Vote for Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, Even Though He Voted for the Boeing Deal

Posted by on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 6:00 AM

JOE FITZGIBBON, the golden years.
  • JENNIFER RICHARD
  • JOE FITZGIBBON, in the golden years.

We gave Joe Fitzgibbon, the Democrat from Seattle's 34th District, an adoring endorsement when he ran as a 23-year-old four years ago. But Olympia seems to have sucked the life out of him. It definitely sucked the spine out of him. (Let's not mention what the SECB wanted to suck out of him four years ago.) He admits that voting for Boeing's $9 billion tax break felt "shitty," but he did it anyway. FFS, Joe. His opponent, Brendan Kolding, is running on one idea that makes no sense: Fund private schools with public money in order to save public education. That idea sucks ass. Vote Fitzgibbon.

For The Stranger's full endorsements for the November election, continue reading »

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interviews with Two Women Who Dated Jian Ghomeshi

Posted by on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 7:19 PM

The top headline at the CBC news program As It Happens right now:

We speak to a woman—anonymously—who claims she was hit by Jian Ghomeshi

This woman's story is similar to the stories three other women told the Toronto Star, it's hard to listen to, and it's damning: Ghomeshi assaulted her on two occasions, the woman alleges, once in his car and once at his apartment. Both alleged assaults took place roughly ten years ago. The first alleged assault took place in Ghomeshi's car after an impromptu date; he was dropping the woman off when he grabbed her hair "very hard" and pulled her head back. ("It really took me off guard. I don't know precisely, exactly what he was saying. But I am thinking it was something along the lines of, 'Do you like this?' I don't know what I said.") The second alleged assault took place at Jian's house after another impromptu date; this time she alleges he grabbed her hair, pulled her down to floor, and repeatedly struck her in the side of the head with a closed fist. Like the other women who've spoken to the press about being assaulted by Ghomeshi, this woman wishes to remain anonymous.

While that interview was airing on As It Happens—pretty much at the exact same time it was airing—I was interviewing a woman who claims she dated Jian Ghomeshi two years ago. This woman contacted me after reading my first Slog post about Ghomeshi on Monday. In that post I wrote...

[With] four (or five) women telling similar and deeply troubling stories, with Ghomeshi getting at best qualified support from kinky bloggers like Zanin, and with none of his other BDSM sex partners stepping forward to defend Ghomeshi (at least so far), it's hard to see how he comes out on top. Because with the info we have right now this doesn't look like consensual kink. It looks like abuse.

Ghomeshi claimed in his Facebook post on Sunday that while his sexual practices might shock some—he's into roleplay, dominance, submission, and "mild forms of Fifty Shades of Grey"—they were all "mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners." Ghomeshi claimed the Toronto Star story was a hit piece, a smear campaign, a vendetta cooked up by an angry ex and a "freelance writer who was known not to be a fan." But if Ghomeshi only engaged in safe, sane, and consensual BDSM with his partners, if he was a conscientious and consensual kinkster, wouldn't his other exes and other play partners come forward to defend him?

The woman who contacted me said that she was one of Ghomeshi's consensual BDSM play partners and she wanted to defend him.

"I'm 27 years old and don't want to be identified at all but I do want people to know how thorough our consent talks were," she wrote. "I am very worried about him and would like my story to be among the rest to give people a clearer picture. I'm not sure how to go about this."

I asked her for proof of their relationship and she forwarded text messages and e-mails; she also sent a photo of her with Ghomeshi. I asked her for the names and phone numbers of friends she confided in while she was seeing Ghomeshi. She sent names and numbers, and I was able to confirm details of her story with her friends. (I asked Ghomeshi to confirm the relationship and haven't heard back.) We spoke today by phone. Here's my interview with her:

Continue reading »

The Song of the Day is "Mourning Bird" by Ahamefule Oluo

Posted by on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 5:15 PM

This song, released just yesterday, by composer and trumpeter Ahamefule J. Oluo (of Seattle quartet Industrial Revelation, winners of the 2014 Genius Award for Music), and lyricist/singer okanomode. The album, NOW I'M FINE, out December 9th, features music from the experimental pop-opera of the same name and will be released in conjunction with the show's upcoming run at Seattle's On the Boards. Check it out! SUCH SWEET, SWEET MUSIC...

Data Breaker: Bob Moses's House Erotics, Wolf Eyes' Horrorscapes, Digitalism

Posted by on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 4:30 PM

data-570.jpg

WEDNESDAY 10/29

BOB MOSES'S EROTIC-CITY HOUSE TUNES

At first I thought, why is a 66-year-old jazz drummer playing a show at Barboza? But it turns out that Bob Moses is not the guy who kept time with luminaries like Larry Coryell, Gary Burton, Jack DeJohnette's Compost, and Tisziji Muñoz, but rather a young Canadian electronic duo. You'd think these cats would be SEO-savvy enough not to nick the name of a respected musical figure. Anyway, maple-leaf Bob Moses create "Music that will make you want to build a highway through a low-income neighborhood," according to their SoundCloud bio. Funny, but it's more accurate to say that Bob Moses won't wreck your 'hood's integrity as much as they'll set a sultry, smooth mood for you and your significant other to create erotic friction. Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance's understated croons glide over slow- and mid-tempo house rhythms in a manner that should please fans of Matthew Dear and Junior Boys. With Jus Moni and Luxe Canyon. Barboza, 8 pm, $12 adv, 21+...

KEEP READING >>

Meet Will Smith, Newaxeyes' "Elusive Fifth Member"

Posted by on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 3:30 PM

From the Black Constellation to Eyvind Kang to Newaxeyes, Will Smith is mixing with some of Seattle best musicians.
  • Tyler Coray
  • From the Black Constellation to Eyvind Kang to Newaxeyes, Will Smith is mixing with some of Seattle's best musicians.

Seattle quartet Newaxeyes are one of the city’s most interesting and exciting bands, as I outline in this week’s paper. In that feature, Newaxeyes praise Will Smith, who handles their live sound and produces their recordings. (He worked the boards for Newaxeyes’ debut single, “Assange” / “Church,” which you can hear below.) Beyond these duties, Smith also runs 4th Street Records and Hatchback Recording, the latter a mobile audio company that did sound for the recent Black Constellation event at the Frye Museum featuring Erik Blood, Shabazz Palaces, and OCnotes. Smith also cut a grindcore Christmas album with Newaxeyes guitarist Will Hayes last year. The band members made Smith sound so fascinating, I decided to interview him, too.

Newaxeyes consider you something of a fifth member. Please describe what you do for the band and what you perceive as your role with them, both live and in the studio.
My role is the same live as it is in the studio. I'm there to make sure their equipment behaves and that everything sonically fits together. I don't have any input on the music itself, other than dynamic and spatial balance. I ensure that they are able to play the way they want to play, and that the sounds fit together the way they intend.

Will Hayes says that you and he studied at Cornish under Wayne Horvitz. What did you learn there that you apply to your musical activities now?
I'm actually still studying there until the spring. My time at Cornish has taught me to listen to what a piece of music is asking for, and to try not to project what I think it needs. Wayne taught me a lot of practical arranging and notational skills, and also to be more critical when revising my own work. Lately I've been studying with Eyvind Kang, who has been helping me refine my compositional style as well as my improvisational skills. I'd say the best thing Cornish has given me is a leg up into Seattle's music community.

Do you have an overarching philosophy with regard to audio work, something that guides you through every job or circumstance?
Not in any technical sense, no, but I like to think that my job as an engineer is to express the music as clearly as possible, so that the technology involved achieves transparency.

The music I’ve heard on your Soundcloud is excellent. Do you ever play out?
I perform on occasion, but most of the music on my Soundcloud is stuff I've never played live. Most of the live shows I play are one-off gigs as a cellist.

Can you discuss what the concept is behind Hatchback and what other events besides Black Constellation you’ve recorded? Will there be a physical or digital release of that Frye performance?
Hatchback is a professional location recording service formed by Ben Marx, another Cornish alum, and myself. We provide a studio-quality tracking service in any location. The idea was that we could capture site-specific or one-night-only performances in venues that were not equipped with recording systems, and do it with the same gear and at the same quality as any pro studio. The Black Constellation event was a great test for our new rig, and the results were even better than we we expected. We recently recorded Will Hayes' performance with Ariana Bird, members of the Pendleton House, and Portland/Oakland noise group Cvbe Ov Falsehood at the Chapel Performance Space. I can't comment on the future of the Frye recording until the artists have discussed what they want to do with it.

Newaxeyes say you have a “relationship with Avast [Recording Co.].” Can you elaborate?
My relationship with Avast is that I love mixing in Studio B and try to take every project there if I can. I went there with Eyvind Kang once and was hooked. They have a world-class collection of microphones, great outboard, and great staff.

Newaxeyes play Fri. Oct. 31 at Vermillion and Triple Door at Hypnotikon II Sat. Nov. 15.

Newaxeyes' single is available digitally here and the 12-inch version (180g at 45 rpm) can be pre-ordered here.

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