President Obama Did Something Awful: And Ansel Herz says that this is what you get, liberals.
In Which the Seattle Times Pretends to Care About Poor People: The Seattle Times wants The Stranger to stop picking on The Seattle Times, so they Googled how many times The Stranger mentioned The Seattle Times this year. That turned out to be a genius plan. On multiple levels.
It's Spring: Which means it's time to talk about street harassment.
This Old House: In which an Occupy offshoot tries to save a man from eviction.
This Headline Would Mean Something Completely Different on a Tech Blog: "Michael Pollan Is the Steve Jobs of Food"
Once Every Five Years Or So, Slog Actually Teaches You Something: Here, use the afternoon to memorize the capitols of all fifty states:
Republican governor of Louisiana and POTUS hopeful Bobby Jindal has taken a strong stand against federal agents aiming their power at people for ideological reasons—in this case, the whole IRS-scrutinizing-conservative-groups scandal.
He has declared that IRS officials involved should go to jail:
"You cannot take the freedom of law-abiding Americans, whether you disagree with them or not, and keep your own freedom. When you do that, you go to jail," Jindal said.
Hey Bobby! What do you think about this situation?
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
Happy Haitian Flag Day: Today marks the anniversary of the day the Haitian flag was created by Jean Jacques Dessalines, the Haitian leader who defeated Napoleon's armies and tore out the white from the French flag. If you didn't know, Jefferson was able to buy the Louisiana Purchase from France on the cheap in large part due to Haiti's victory.
Lakewood Whistleblower Accuses Police of Cover Up: After settling a racial profiling case with the Lakewood police, an attorney says he received an anonymous tip that police destroyed documents in the case.
Hunger Strike Continues At
Gulag Guatanamo: Prisoners entered the 100th day of their hunger strike against indefinite detention this week. 30 are being force-fed.
Way to Go, Seattle: Over a hundred LGBT students are receiving $600,000 in scholarships.
LulzSec Hackers Sentenced to Jail in the UK: Remember these braggadocios who took down the websites of the CIA, Sony, and other big-time players? Apparently it was a bunch of British kids, who got busted by a hacker-turned-FBI informant.
C'mon Man! Part I: A third military sexual assault prevention official is being fired. This time it's the head of sexual assault response program at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, who turned himself in after violating a restraining order. President Obama called the string of incidents "shameful and disgraceful."
C'mon Man! Part II: Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin faces a four game suspension for using "performance-enhancing substances"—is that a euphemism for "steroids" or is there a meaningful distinction? He has apologized and says he won't appeal the decision.
Reading the When You Live in Seattle tumblog:
"I am admittedly very high right now," Slog tipper Taylor wrote at 1:13 AM, "but I think someone at the Stranger will find this video amusing enough to post it on Slog. I don't know if amusing is even the right word. Watch for yourselves."
One man was saying to a group of friends: "You'd be amazed what people share with their grocery person." On the other side of the room, a woman was saying to her friends, regarding the reading Kay Ryan had just given: "I hope that I got some of the jokes. I probably didn't." Later I heard someone say: "My main problem with ghosts is there are never dinosaur ghosts."
This was in a room on the second floor of Kane Hall, a high-ceilinged space with old-fashioned cluster lights and a huge organ at one end and a long banquet table down the center, piled with flatbreads and shrimp and tiny cakes. There was also a bar, serving complimentary wine. It had already been such a treat to see an hour-long free reading by the very wonderful Kay Ryan, who'd been introduced by the very wonderful Heather McHugh, that then to step into a room piled with free treats was, well, quite the treatment. Thanks, University of Washington Department of English!
"Thank you for that ridiculous introduction," Kay Ryan whispered to Heather McHugh as they walked into the reception. McHugh's introduction had been so dense with humor—poetry jokes and history jokes and many other kinds of jokes besides, plus some real-deal appreciation of Ryan's gifts—that Ryan's head, a few rows ahead of me, had been bobbing with laughter. And then Ryan got up and was very funny herself, so funny that afterward I felt exactly like that lady I overheard at the reception: I hope that I got some of the jokes. I love how intimidated that statement is.
"You cannot believe the eminences" the UW has invited to give the memorial Roethke reading since the 1960s, McHugh had pointed out onstage, and then looking at the list, she cracked: "They made one or two mistakes." Among the greats: Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill. Ghost dinosaurs all, it occurred to me later.
I'm 33, living in Colorado with my partner of a year now. We're happy together and have great sex. We have the best and most healthy relationship I have ever been in.... except for a fetish my partner has. He's into fucking dogs. Large dogs to where the dog isn't hurt or uncomfortable, but dogs nonetheless. It doesn't come up often. Soon after we started dating he confessed this to me and we talked about it. I am okay with him exploring that area of his sexuality, but I don't want to have any part in it. He wants us to both explore it together. This doesn't appeal to me in the least and wasn't an issue until recently. He's been getting more vocal about wanting us to get into that kink together, taking it as far as video bombing me with dog/man porn from his iPhone. What do I do? I made it plainly clear I don't want any part in this but left him open to explore on his own. I feel he wants me to be as into it as he is but I'm not and I know I never will be. Is there a solution to the problem or is there a deeper issue going on here that needs outside help?
Thanks for any advice.
Fretting Into Dog Obsession
My response after the jump...
The deadline for candidate filing is mere minutes away, and since our last Slog poll, there's been a new alignment of power in the mayor's race. First, in today's big news, Council Member Tim Burgess is dropping out. Meanwhile, the long-shot, capitalism-smashing socialist Mary Martin recently jumped in. And finally, two completely random people filed this afternoon. The first never-heard-of-'em is named Joey Gray, who is apparently with a group called Cyclistas, and the next is Doug McQuaid (he ran against—and lost against—Susan Owens for the state supreme court last year). Welcome, radicals!
That makes this list—provided no one else files in the next few minutes—the likely lineup on your primary ballot:
1. Joey Gray
2. Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell
3. Kate Martin
4. Mary Martin
5. Mayor Mike McGinn
6. Doug McQuaid
7. State senator Ed Murray
8. Charlie Staadecker
9. Former city council member Peter Steinbrueck
Why wait till August? Vote now!
This weekend brings a bunch of SIFF stuff that the Stranger SIFF Review Board loved, including the Wikileaks documentary We Steal Secrets, Noah Baumbach's and Greta Gerwig's Manhattan-flavored comedy Frances Ha, the dead pet-fetishizing documentary Furever, the French family farm-fetishizing documentary After Winter, Spring, and the modern-day adaptation of Henry James' What Maisie Knew.
And in the non-SIFF world, there's Francois Ozon's In the House, the highly effective Filipino kidnapping thriller Graceland, and the cliche-ridden mob film The Iceman, plus all them StarTrekIronManGreatGatsbyblockbusters.
Full film info here.
For the next three weeks, Short Film Fridays will feature work by directors who are participating in the current Seattle International Film Festival. The first film in this series is a music video made in 1994 by the Seattle-based director Josh Taft. The music video is for one of the most important tracks in the history of hiphop, Nas’s “The World Is Yours.” The world premiere of Josh Taft’s first feature, Alive and Well, a documentary about people dealing with Huntington’s disease, happens at SIFF Cinema Uptown on May 22nd (7:00 pm).
Originally posted at 1:33 pm and moved up with updates.
Tim Burgess withdrew his bid for mayor today, the last day candidates are eligible to file election campaigns, thereby leaving a wide-open gap for candidates vying for conservative votes and funding.
The Seattle City Council member took a parting shot at Mayor Mike McGinn, naturally. "It is critically important that we elect a new mayor," he said in a statement this afternoon. "However, with so many qualified candidates in the field, my continued candidacy may dilute the chance of achieving the positive change Seattle needs. After much deliberation, I have chosen not to continue as a candidate. Instead, I will continue to serve this city that I love from my position on the City Council, the most rewarding job of my life."
Although the statement sounds altruistic, it seems Burgess knew he couldn't win.
From his botched announcement last November to this abrupt end, Burgess's campaign never caught the tailwind many expected. He was considered a leading challenger last year—a sort of mayor in waiting, after Mayor McGinn's two years of floundering—but McGinn seems to have found sea legs at City Hall, and a pack of heavyweight contenders crowded into the race in January and February. In particular, state senator Ed Murray and to a lesser extent Council Member Bruce Harrell have emerged in the race as safe bets for institutional backers that represent downtown business, and, unlike Burgess, can't be portrayed as conservative outliers (Burgess infamously sponsored a controversial aggressive panhandling bill that failed in 2010).
Burgess has also been unraveling this week.
After the news that the 36th District—Burgess's home district—would split its endorsement between him and Murray, yesterday came the news from PubliCola that Burgess fired his spokesman. And then the 46th District Democrats, who represent the relatively wealthy, white district of northeast Seattle that seems like Burgess's base, didn't endorse him at all. Also the city council's biggest advocate to bring back the Sonics, Burgess took a blow when the NBA nixed the deal Wednesday.
Wednesday night was also a poor, petulant showing for Burgess. I was emceeing a mayoral straw poll at the Phinney Ridge Community Center when I asked Burgess about his divisive actions in the last few years that belie his campaign theme of collaboration. Specifically, Burgess booted the city budget director Beth Goldberg from his finance meetings last fall. I said it appeared unprecedented. Burgess insisted I was wrong; he said he blocked the budget director from only one meeting, and then, apparently flustered after the questioning, he told me to "go fuck yourself." Granted, I had it coming: I was wearing a shirt that said "The NBA can go fuck itself." But he didn't say it like a joke—he seemed pissed. And when I followed up by e-mail to ask if he could prove I was wrong—that kicking out the budget director had precedent and that it was only one meeting—he didn't reply. City records show that Burgess held seven budget meetings without the budget director, not just one. In other words, he was wrong, he was angry, and then he went silent. Not very mayoral.
Burgess had raised more money that anyone else in the race ($232,000, according to the latest election reports), but most of it was already spent, with a $100,250 reported balance. Meanwhile, Murray's fundraising has been frozen through the legislative session, and Murray is widely expected to be a fundraising power house through the summer months leading up to the August primary.
Paradoxically, Burgess quitting could benefit Mayor McGinn more than anyone else in the primary. Although McGinn is generally considered to be on the liberal end of the spectrum of candidates, he got 34 percent of the Republican support in a March SurveyUSA poll. Burgess was second among Republicans with 15 percent. If those fiscally conservative voters flock to McGinn—who's run a tight budget and famously fought the expensive deep-bore tunnel project—it may give him the boost needed to push through to the general election.
Later this afternoon, just before the deadline, I will not file to run against four-term incumbent Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin. And believe it or not, it was a very difficult decision that I've been struggling with for weeks.
After nine years of covering Washington state and local politics I've come to the conclusion that Seattle can no longer wait on Olympia to address our problems. Our state's inability to fix its longterm structural revenue deficit dictates a gradual but relentless reduction in the services and infrastructure investments the state can provide. Whatever the result at the polls, unless and until the state finds a way to grow revenue somewhat commensurate with the economy, we will inevitably get the Republican agenda by default. And unable to maintain the transportation, education, and other amenities sufficient to preserve Washington's economic competitiveness, our economy will ultimately sputter and stagnate.
Washington is a state teetering on the edge of decline.
Meanwhile, the "fuck Seattle" attitude that permeates much of the rest of the state, combined with Republicans' knee-jerk opposition to taxes of all kinds for any reason under any circumstances, assures that Olympia cannot be counted on even to grant us the authority to tax ourselves to meet our own needs.
But there is hope. Seattle is a compassionate city, a progressive city, a smart city. But above all, Seattle is an affluent city. And while the revenue options at our disposal may not be the ones we'd prefer, we are wealthy enough to use the options we have to invest in the human and physical infrastructure we need to assure economic growth and prosperity now and in the future. That is, assuming we have political leaders with the vision to embrace a newly self-sufficient Seattle, and the communications skills to sell that vision to voters.
Which we don't.
That is why (besides all the usual narcissistic bullshit that is inherent in politics) I seriously considered challenging Conlin: Because Seattle needs and deserves more than the caretaker council that Conlin has come to epitomize. We need to invest in our children, in our transit, in our roads, and sidewalks, and bikeways now, while we can still afford to, before our economy is dragged down by the rest of the state. If we act proactively while we still have an economy capable of sustaining such investments, we can sustain Seattle's competitiveness, and perhaps even drag the rest of the state kicking and screaming with us.
For example: Seattle desperately needs to invest in the one education reform that everybody agrees works: High quality universal preschool for all three- and four-year-olds.
Zeljka Marosevic at Melville House tells us about a meeting yesterday that was held to discuss Amazon.com's taxes, or lack thereof:
“What people will find particularly galling is that the amount Amazon is paying in tax is actually less than they are taking from UK taxpayers in the form of government grants. Companies like Amazon should pay their fair share of tax based on their economic activity in this country and the profits they make here...
Why is it people get ridiculously upset when someone on the internet sees a young mother of three buying some mildly unhealthy food with food stamps, but when Amazon sucks at the welfare teat on an exponentially larger scale, it's at best considered to be the free hand of the market and at worst just shrugged off as the way it is nowadays?
As I wrote about last week, Medicare (for the first time ever) released what hospitals in the United States charged, and what they were paid, for the top 100 diagnoses in 2011.
If you're curious, I've written a simple (and ad-free) web app you can use to browse the data. (I suggest comparing the Las Vegas, NV region to Baltimore, MD.)
Be gentle, but have at it.
On Monday, Yahoo is holding a press conference, according to TechCrunch. This comes after the company's recent buying spree, and it closely follows rumors that Yahoo is considering spending a billion dollars to buy Tumblr:
On Monday, it seems that we may get a better sense of what Yahoo plans to do with all these new acquisitions, as CNBC is reporting that Yahoo will be holding a “product-related” news event on Monday in New York City. Marissa Mayer will reportedly be speaking at the press conference, but that’s all we know about the contents of the event at this point.
I do get the sense that Tumblr could be a bigger deal than it already is—it's about one-third of a social network and two-thirds of a blogging platform, which seems like a good position to be in—but I'm not sure that Yahoo is the company to bring it to its full potential. But new CEO Marissa Mayer has accomplished what seemed like the impossible a couple years ago: She's got people talking about Yahoo again.
A year or so ago, Kay Ryan went to Italy, and it made her think about the sometimes-painful, always-disorienting work the mind has to do when it arrives in a new place. Last night at Kane Hall, she read to us a poem that described this problem of being somewhere new, but not knowing how to be new yourself, as if you had put up an “interior tent,” only to find that “the new holes aren't where the windows went.” The poem settled as she leaned into the podium. “I bet you'd like me to read that again,” she said, and the audience fairly moaned yes. Yes, Kay Ryan, read it again. The sheer delight Ryan took from examining her own work—as though it were not her own but the work of some dear, deranged friend—gave the reading a wondrously funny edge, and allowed the audience to see Ryan not as the intimidating literary giant that she is, but as a warm, comic entertainer of the highest sort, able to humble herself through a kind of soft, conscious mocking. (After the first poem of the night, she mused, “I find that a very touching poem, but I'm ready to go on.”)
She began the evening with a set of new, unpublished work on subjects including but not limited to W.G. Sebald, frogs with dual pupils, octopuses, Thelonious Monk, and 17th-century Dutch still-life painting. Much of it she flatly insisted on reading twice, claiming that “if it's a poem, it should bear a second reading,” when in truth Ryan's poems not only bear a second reading, but seem to require it – so dense and rich with these double meanings you could feel the audience leaning in and curling around them, straining to catch every word and every space between words before the moment passed. (More than once I looked around and saw the people on either side of me listening with closed eyes.) Sometimes the second reading seemed to be as much for Ryan herself as for us, and the second reading would inevitably give a second meaning. This twinned reality—what Ryan calls “doubleness”—was the predominant theme of the evening, much moreso than the Northwest theme Ryan half-heartedly attempted, but (gloriously) abandoned. One new poem in particular, a beautifully creepy thing entitled “Ship in a Bottle,” possessed this doubleness in spades. Ryan introduced it by saying that the poem is still a mystery even to her. (Not being able to see the poem on paper, I‘ve inserted line breaks where I sense them, sacrilegious as that feels):
It seems impossible
Not just a ship in a bottle
But wind and sea
The ship starts to struggle
An emergency of the two realized
We can get it out but not
Without spilling its world
A hammer tap and they're free.
Which death will it be,
“I'll read it again. It's a mystery to me,” she repeated. “I mean, it all makes sense, but I'm not sure what it's getting at.”
SIFF has a dozen or so movies about food, or farming, or fruit, or wine, etc. this year, and of the ones that we were able to screen by press time, we REALLY liked four (good job, SIFF!).
After Winter, Spring
Is there anything cuter than a farmer rubbing the fuzzy face of an hour-old calf, asking, "Is there anything cuter than this?" Yes: when the farmer and the calf and the question are all French, as is the case in this achingly lovely documentary about family farming in the Périgord. Shot over the course of a year, it's so pretty, it's ridiculous, and the people—from the idealistic couple starting a tiny organic operation to the 88-year-old vintner/philosopher—are marvelous. Facing tough times, they love their animals and their land with inspiring hope. Also featured: a famous foie gras farm, cast in a human and arguably humane light. (BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT)
Harvard Exit, Sun, May 19, 4 pm
SIFF Uptown, Mon, May 20, 8:30 pm
Inspired by reading The Grapes of Wrath and wanting to get his hands dirty, an overeducated white East Coast Yale grad heads out to Oregon to work in the apple orchards. Based on a David Sedaris essay from Naked, the story begins on the long-haul bus ride, where "Samuel" (his new identity) is accosted by a parade of weirdos. At the farm, he has trouble connecting with anyone and he is comically unprepared to exist in the real world. Will Samuel find happiness in the simple things instead of overanalyzing and sneering at everything? Or will he run back to his old life? Thanks to the film's wonderful performances and entertaining dialogue, you'll have a perfectly good (if not revelatory) time finding out. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)
Egyptian, Fri, May 24, 4 pm
Egyptian, Sun, May 26, 7 pm
Renton, Mon, May 27, 6 pm
Last night, the 46th District Democrats—the party's grassroots apparatus in northeast Seattle—handed out a dual endorsement to two of the dudes running for mayor: former Seattle City Council member Peter Steinbrueck and state senator from the 43rd District Ed Murray. The 46th is the first to issue endorsements, but it's a good omen for Murray, who also got a recommendation from the 36th District Democrats' executive board last week (along with Council Member Tim Burgess). In related partisan enthusiasm, the 37th District Democrats are holding an endorsement meeting for their Southeast Seattle constituents on Monday.
Your intergalactic sonic wave forms are often documented by one Steve Albini. Is Steve Albini human?
Well, what a lot of people don't know is that Steve Albini is actually the inspiration for The Six Million Dollar Man. Last-minute studio changes resulted in the character having "bionic" implants as opposed to the "microphonic" implants Albini employs. Execs felt the world of studio recording was perhaps not as exciting as that of crime-fighting and espionage, so Albini's character was shelved. They then changed Steve's last name to Austin, and Albini became the Pete Best of electrical implants.
How have the years of hibernation affected your ability to manipulate your instruments?
It didn't affect us as much as it affected our instruments. Those things were dusty.
Two little girls marched solemnly down the aisle with the grooms' rings (Gary's was set with the diamond from Joseph's mother's engagement ring), followed by a crowd of kids who ran all over the deck of the boat waving streamers to Brian Eno's "Needle in the Camel's Eye." Joseph told me the parade of children was inspired by the opening scene of Velvet Goldmine.
The grooms appeared, accompanied by two mysterious figures in black spandex bodysuits and multicolored cummerbunds, who were twirling paper parasols. Under an arbor of white paper flowers, Joseph and Gary unwrapped one of the spandex-wearers to reveal Ed Haymaker, who was ordained just to officiate their wedding.
Invite us to your wedding at email@example.com!
There's only two days left in the fundraising campaign to help the Massive Monkees lock down a long-term lease on The Beacon—their temporary studio located in Seattle's International District. These amazing folks aren't just teaching adults and after-school crews of little kids how to breakdance—they're creating community, and turning people into better and more confident humans.
Check out this short video, and please consider donating a dollar or three. Only two days left! Donate, and read so much more right here.
Sometimes, I curse the fact that I am on the email list of 6 bazillion publicists who want to tell me about every comedian coming through Wenatchee, every phony "IT solution" for my "business," and every press conference about who farted at the county parks department meeting last week.
But then I'll get something like this, which helps me remember what a weird and many-splendored world we live in. From the US Attorney's office:
A 25 year-old Vancouver, Washington man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to conspiracy to traffick in counterfeit goods, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. VY, was arrested April 2, 2013 after being indicted by a grand jury in Seattle. In his plea agreement Y admits that between June 2011 and June 2012, he sold more than 900 counterfeit vehicle airbags he had purchased from a source in China. Under the terms of the plea agreement both sides will recommend a sentence of ten months in prison, but U.S. District Ronald B. Leighton is free to impose any sentence up to the ten year maximum allowed by law. Sentencing is scheduled for August 23, 2013.
According to the statement of facts in the plea agreement, Y operated a business, Vital Auto Parts and Sales, out of his Vancouver home. He allegedly imported counterfeit Honda, Subaru and Toyota airbags from sources in China and elsewhere, and sold them over the internet representing them as the genuine product. Y sold at least 964 of the counterfeit airbags via eBay with a sales total of $137,243. Y sold individual Honda airbags for an asking price of $110. Investigators believe that many of the airbags are sold to independent garages who install them in vehicles believing they have purchased a genuine airbag. Y has agreed to pay restitution of $137,243 to Honda Motors Corporation and Toyota Motors Corporation.
Also, there's this sweet story about a Thai monk who is believed to have been reincarnated as a bird after a little yellow feathered friend flew into the room during his funeral:
After the service, Mr. Anusorn said, the bird flew into the chapel and flew around in circles 2-3 times, then rested on the wall and the top tiers of the Buddha statue, scanning the attendees of the funeral service with its black eyes.
What a wonderful world.
Tonight the Seattle International Film Festival invites you to get out of town, with a free, 15th-anniversary screening of Smoke Signals—the first feature film written, directed, and co-produced by Native Americans, with a script by Stranger columnist/Stranger Genius Award winner Sherman Alexie—tonight at Snoqualmie Casino. (Bonus: cast members Elaine Miles, Evan Adams, and Michelle St. John will be in attendance!)
Full info here.
The most honest piece to be published from Google's I/O Conference this week is a brief, satirical piece of science fiction published in Wired.
The soft, froggy voice startled me. I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses.
“Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said. “Here, drink this. You’re slightly dehydrated, and your blood sugar is low. This is a blend of water, electrolytes, and glucose.”
In the new Rain Room installation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, there's a room where a big pretend storm is dumping hundreds of gallons of water per minute. None of this water will fall on you as you walk through it because sensors detect human bodies and give each one a 5-foot berth. Unless, that is, you wear a raincoat:
In order for the technology to work most effectively, visitors are discouraged from wearing dark, shiny, reflective fabrics, fabrics made of raincoat material, or skinny high heels.
I don't think I'd be able to go in there without hoping for a malfunction.
Kay Smith-Blum was elected to the Seattle School Board in 2009 with the promise of a being hard-nosed progressive—a reformer among a board that was, at the time, dominated by a bunch of Seattle Times lackeys who oversaw a multimillion dollar scandal and controversially shuttered South Seattle Schools—while using her business acumen and political skills to get things done. Smith-Blum beat incumbent Mary Bass, a progressive in her own right, who was nonetheless seen as somewhat ineffective. In the years since, Seattle Schools have tilted toward reformers and been relatively scandal-free.
But after that single term, Smith-Blum says she's ready to move on. "I simply have too much personally and businesswise to campaign this summer and I do not feel I can commit to the same level of focus for another 4 years," the co-owner of Butch Blum wrote in a letter to supporters and friends this morning.
And who can blame her?
Our anemic school district is held together with bubble gum and Popsicle sticks, and the board's low profile means that even high-profile fuck ups rarely get the scrutiny they deserve—or the scrutiny is applied years too late—and major advances in the district pass without a whisper. (WHY ANYONE WOULD WANT TO SERVE A SINGLE GODDAMN TERM ON THAT GODDAMN BOARD IS GODDAMN MYSTERY.)
Smith-Blum, who also recently withdrew her candidacy for the State Board of Education, has given blessing to Stephan Blanford as her successor. He will be running this fall and filed today. The seat on the Seattle School Board represents district 5, encompassing public schools in central Seattle. Smith-Blum's letter follows:
Posted by Emily Klein
• Today, enjoy a free baguette from Columbia City Bakery in honor of Bike to Work Day (if you bike there, of course).
• Tomorrow (and Sunday—last day!), revel in beery goodness at one (or three!) of Seattle Beer Week’s events.
• Sunday, unite your gluttony with your generosity at the Food Truck Roundup in Fremont, or one of this weekend’s other food-focused fundraisers.
Details, plus more events for your eating/drinking pleasure, may be found in our Chow calendar.
(Travis Nichols reads at Elliott Bay Book Company on Sunday, May 19 at 3pm. It's free.)
Sure, sometimes a negative comment hooks into the meaty part of you. But it's not like the readership changed, that an imaginary army of cheering, adoring fans disappeared when the comment threads were installed, only to be replaced by a cantankerous mob of cretins. Now you get to instantaneously see how a small-but-vocal portion of your readers reacts to your work. Readers didn't have any unchallenged platform at all before, and now they do. Isn't that, on balance, really kind of cool?
When novelist and poet Travis Nichols worked for the Poetry Foundation, one of his jobs was to oversee a project in which comments were allowed on poetryfoundation.org. Perhaps the foundation expected an Athenian discourse about the nature of poetry and art in the digital age. And I'm sure the comment threads inspired some of that. But they also fomented a slew of bullies, off-topic comments, conspiracy theories, ax-grinding, and treatises on the sad state of American poetry. In an interview with Paul Killebrew, Nichols admitted that the negative comments made him feel "deeply, deeply bonkers for a few months, largely because I took a lot of the rote online bullying personally." The comment section was soon scrapped entirely, which caused several angry commenters to create their own sites accusing Nichols of fascism.
And now, finally, Nichols gets his revenge, in The More You Ignore Me, a novel in the form of one ridiculously long blog comment posted by our narrator, known only as linksys181...