Holy shit, you guys. If you're looking for a balm to soothe the pain of the military sexual assault bill being rejected by the US Senate this afternoon, look a little closer to home.
In Olympia today, House Bill 1840 passed in the state senate, 49–0. HB 1840 protects domestic violence victims by making it possible for courts to ask DV perpetrators who are deemed a credible threat by a judge to surrender their firearms.
Says a press release from the senate Democrats this evening: "One quarter of domestic violence perpetrators who kill their spouses had been served with a protection order before doing so. Many of these murders are carried out with a fire arm."
I tracked this bill last year after writing a long feature on the connection between domestic violence and mass shootings, but it failed to pass out of the senate's rules committee. Now it's finally headed for the governor's signature.
Here's what I wrote about the bill last year:
Is there a correlation between the two events? The timing of this seems a little weird. The meeting has been postponed due to council member Nick Licata being out of town, and Uber seems to have strategically released their driver information in the interim:
"It remains our position that caps on drivers have nothing to do with safety. We are only now releasing these driver numbers to illustrate to the Council that this legislation will kill ridesharing as we know it,” Uber’s Seattle General Manager Brooke Steger says in the release. “In the face of steady or increasing taxi revenues, the Council is still choosing protect the taxi industry over the tens of thousands of their constituents who have called on them to remove the caps.”
The meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, March 17.
I'll come right out and say it: It wasn't entirely fair of me to characterize last night's minimum wage town hall as one long looping conversation about the wrong stuff. Yes, the overarching themes that emerged were the same old arguments: $15 now, no exemptions, no phase-in (a bold proposal with a lot of support) versus an amorphous "no" coming mostly from business owners who thought they'd suffer or close (as well as a couple restaurant employees who thought their jobs would be first on the chopping block).
But there were lots of important contributions to the debate, and I thought I'd showcase a couple of them in full below. I'm not saying no one's ever said these things, just that they stood out last night in particular.
First up is a restaurant owner who managed to offer her personal experience and opinion—she thinks there should be a consideration for employees' total compensation—while still sounding upbeat about a raise in the minimum wage. She spoke in a way that sounded encouraging, positive, and collaborative, starting with common ground by saying outright that her business supports a wage raise (instead of just spouting generalities about supporting workers). It doesn't mean her position should be automatically adopted, just that she managed to avoid the traps other business owners keep falling into.
Hi, my name is Angela Stowell. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to come out here and dialogue.
My husband and I own nine local Seattle restaurants; they're small, neighborhood restaurants. We employ about 200 people. And I just wanted to first start off by saying, we actually wholeheartedly support a minimum wage increase. But we support it in a way that is smart and thoughtful, and reasonable for both the employees and the employers.
And tonight I want to kind of approach something that hasn't been discussed yet. And I'm not going to sit here and tell you that we're going to go out of business. We'll have to make cuts. The budget— we've run our numbers, and we would be in a negative budget. But we'll figure out how to make that work. I think that a lot of businesses will. But what I think that a lot of businesses won't do is what we also won't be doing, and that's expanding. It's no secret to most of Seattle that we expand on a fairly rapid clip. We've opened a lot of restaurants in a short amount of time. And in that, we've increased our job pool by about 100 people in the last year. And right now, we're on hold. And for us, that means that new jobs are on hold. And I think that that's, for us, something that is really an important part of giving back to the community. And I think that really what we need to see from the council and the commission's recommendation is that a total compensation really be taken into consideration...
The Republican Outreach Problem: It's not so much an "outreach problem" as it is a "white supremacist problem."
ProEnglish, the white nationalist-led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference back in 2012, has been quietly allowed to return as an official exhibitor at CPAC 2014, which opened on Thursday.
The News Here Is That Newsweek Still Exists: Newsweek claims to have uncovered the creator of Bitcoin. He is denying the reports, though, and he just led reporters on a car chase through LA.
Book News, Part 1: George Saunders won a short fiction award. (George Saunders should win every short fiction award.)
Book News, Part 2: The Pen/Faulkner shortlist has been released, featuring names like Percival Everett, Karen Joy Fowler, and Daniel Alarcón.
Wrath of the Nerds: Michael B. Jordan, who has been cast as the Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four movie, has been the subject of a lot of racist hate online because in the comics, the Human Torch is white. He's chalking the hate up to extreme comics nerdism:
It was expected. You kinda know going into it that people are used to seeing something one way, it's a continuity thing more than anything. People don't like change too much.
DON'T HATE ON ANNIE: Those racist nerd motherfuckers had better leave Quvenzhane Wallis alone. She's the star of the upcoming Annie remake, and the trailer looks pretty great:
Annie is the very first movie I remember seeing. I'm excited to see the remake.
An occasional visitor's view, to add to the great earlier thread. Below the fold in case no one cares. . .
• Answering the question on everybody's minds with a resounding "HELL YES," Pharrell Williams doubled down on his insane Grammy hat by rocking another oversize headpiece during his performance of "Happy" at Sunday night's Academy Awards.
• Another silver lining of the long and boring 2014 Academy Awards broadcast: the multifaceted humiliation of U2, who took the stage for a stripped-down and still overwrought tribute to Nelson Mandela before the Oscar orchestra played the band offstage with "Old Time Rock and Roll" (burn!) and the Oscar voters gave the award that might've gone to U2 to the power ballad from Disney's Frozen.
• On Friday, Billy Corgan graced the universe by live-streaming more than eight hours of his ambient-jam-session interpretation of Hermann Hesse's 1922 novel Siddhartha. We almost fell asleep just typing that.
And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!
Barkada... follows in the tradition of two rappers with their own respective accomplishments colliding to bring the best of both of their worlds to one project, similar to El-P & Killer Mike's Run The Jewels and Kanye West & Jay-Z's Watch The Throne, but with .0001% of the budget and resources and 100x the swug. But as Filipinos have done for more than a century, Pro Brown & Bambu have learned to take America's scraps and turn it into something colorful that everybody can ride with. Like a jeepney.
In advance of the album's release, the duo have posted a video for album single "Coming (to America)." The song was helped by a crack team of Seattle producers: The Physics' Justo (who made the beat), and DJ Nphared (who directed the video). Style-shifting once again, Justo's instrumental twists the "Soul Glo" sample into something that sounds kinda street. The video was shot in the Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu, and is packed with the family-first, strong community essence (and a touch of food-spitting humor) that The Bar has always stood for.
I'm not sure this makes a very convincing argument:
West Seattle is going to absorb more population density, one way or another, and if that creates traffic congestion along the neighborhood's main feeder arterial, which is inevitable as the population grows, then the solution is increasing mobility. It's more transit, it's street improvements, it's better transportation infrastructure. Its also requiring the development to make the streetscape better for pedestrians and access better for trucks. But I don't think that the threat of more traffic makes the case to stop dense, mixed-use development. But go to Getting It Right For West Seattle and decide for yourself.
Originally posted on October 7, 2010
I am a 23-year-old lesbian with a beautiful girlfriend whom I met a month ago. Here's the problem: She screams so loudly throughout sex that I am concerned for my roommate and other people who live in our building, as well as the entire neighborhood. I would know how to handle this situation if she were completely mute during sex—draw her out, make it into a game, etc.—but I'm scared of telling her she's too loud, because I don't want to hamper her enjoyment. I even tried to make this into a role-play game where we would pretend we needed to be silent for some reason, but nothing makes a difference.
How can I approach this without making her self-conscious?
Lesbian Over Ungodly Din.
My response after the jump...
DIANE CLUCK, SONDRA SUN-ODEON, JORDAN O'JORDAN
Anti-folk veteran Diane Cluck's seventh album and first in eight years, Boneset, was released March 4, and it was more than worth the wait. Unfurling like a frontier of lyrically poignant introspection, Cluck's pure, airy voice possesses a near-skeletal quality as she envelops her listener in a narrative web. Her near-hollow vocal delivery toys delicately like a less-fairy-dusted Joanna Newsom, though her more recent output has strayed from those woodland-folk-goddess roots and forayed into a more rugged backwoods territory. Cluck's technical dexterity and visceral worldliness make her earthy neo-folk a keenly beautiful force. This tour marks her first Seattle appearance in six years, and she's joined tonight by cellist Isabel Castellvi. On tour with Sondra Sun-Odeon, whose kaleidoscopic haunted forest folk similarly ignites a magical serenity, with local support from banjo-toting storyteller Jordan O'Jordan. Gallery 1412, 8 pm, $10.
YOURYOUNGBODY, BARDO:BASHO, BRIANA MARELA
This awesomely lady-dominated bill highlights three local up-and-coming acts in experimental, ambient, and dance music. Youryoungbody's supercharged sensuousness and powerfully dance-ready beats should move reluctant Northwest bodies onto the floor with ease. These are the sort of intense, throbbing electronic pulses that propel with a dark and fleshly insistence, stimulating even the most fun-averse to flail rhythmically. Conversely, ambient tones from Bardo:Basho and Briana Marela's ethereal electronic drift usher in a quiet beauty to the night. Heartland, 8 pm.
And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!
Oh, the Comet Tavern. The ol' graffiti pit was there for the worst bands you've ever seen, the best bands you couldn't believe were playing there, your first show, your fiftieth show. A place to start your night with a shot of whiskey with a couple grizzled regulars. A place where a hazmat suit should have been provided before entering the bathrooms. A place where tales of drugs, drunks, and debauchery were never in short supply. Love it or hate it, the Comet, which weathered well over 60 years on 10th and Pike, seemed as much a fixture as the Pike/Pine corridor itself.
Then, out of the blue, on October 2, 2013, the Comet shut its doors. Rumors of water bill and lease issues swirled, followed by more serious (and accurate) discoveries that the Comet's owner was having serious financial troubles. The sad and strange saga came to an end when the owner secretly removed the sound system and other items of value from the venue and changed the locks, leaving the corner dark for the first time anyone could remember.
The following month, it was announced that Lost Lake partners Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse had taken over the lease. They plan to reopen the new Comet at the end of March, spiffed-up and clean, and, for the first time in the Comet's history, with a food menu. Live music will still happen, but on a scaled-back schedule. Will you get a staph infection from the toilet seats? Probably not.
To pay our respects, or lack thereof, to the old Comet Tavern, Stranger writers, musicians, and notables around town vomit up their good, bad, and grimy old Comet stories.
And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!
The Virginia House of Delegates passed, 100 to 0, a bill Thursday that will finally eliminate an unconstitutional sodomy ban than made oral and anal sex—even between consenting married [straight] couples—a felony. The legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously last month, will now go to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) for his signature. After years of unsuccessful attempts to repeal the law, in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas ruling held that states may not ban private non-commercial sex between consenting adults.... More than a decade after the Lawrence decision, several other states still have sodomy bans on the books, including Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Back in October, I wrote about the blinding whiteness of artist housing in Seattle, and promised to keep you posted on when people can apply to Artspace to live in the newest development in the city, Mt. Baker Artist Lofts.
Applications are out now. You fill out the forms, then YOU MUST STAND IN LINE
AT THE SITE AT HIAWATHA ON APRIL 12 IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED. No two ways about it. (The actual "intake" process starts at 8 am, and people may sleep out overnight.) Here's the application.
Below are more details, and there's plenty more info in the October story.
There's lots of misinformation about how to get a spot at Artspace. The facts are simple. For a new building like Mt. Baker, there is no waiting list. Everyone must get in the actual physical line on "intake day" to be considered. After that, Artspace has only two qualifications: income eligibility and artist selection.
To income-qualify, an artist's income must be 60 percent or lower of the area median income as measured by HUD, which for King County is $86,700. (Note to HUD: Um, you sure?)
Then, to artist-qualify, Artspace's policy is: "One adult member of each family must be actively engaged in an art form." The artist does not have to make any money from their art, only to demonstrate ongoing commitment to it. The panel of volunteer artists making the determination do not judge "quality."
"Show a body of work, show that you're actively engaged in that work," Vandenbrink explains. "It's not about judging whether the committee thinks it's good or not—it's are you passionate about what you do, is this how you define yourself. You may not make a dime out of it—artists are working in hospitals, schools, restaurants all over the city, and they're coming back and spending a big chunk of their time doing the creative work that makes our city interesting."
Artspace is against homogeneity in more than skin tone, but skin tone is related to cultural diversity, Vandenbrink elaborated. "If you are interested in Somali music or Eritrean dance forms, yes, you are an artist in our eyes," she said. "That's what's important: in our eyes. Even the whole white artist community thinks, 'Oh, artist housing, that means it's for painters.' This is for all creative people and cultural practitioners. Music and dance and performance and arts and crafts. We include curators and stage managers. We err on the side of inclusion, not exclusion."
Spread the word.
Well, go do it.
(Chop Suey) I remember standing with my friend Louie-Louie from Paris, France at SXSW in Austin, Texas, watching a then-kinda-unknown band called Thee Oh Sees destroy yet another audience in a dusty, hot parking lot, and saying, “Man, what group can even compare to these guys?” “Oh, sweet Kelly,” said Louie-Lou. “You need to come to France and see J.C. Satàn.” Oft compared to those Oh Sees (and also the 13th Floor Elevators and My Bloody Valentine), the J.C.s have a distinctively rowdy, garage-psych sound. Employing French and Italian members, along with male and female vocals, they blur genres and make horny, noisy music that could only be born in the old, perverted streets of Paris (check out their 2010 album Sick of Love if you don’t believe me!) With King Dude and Grave Babies. KELLY O
Read Trent Moorman's interview with J.C. Satàn »
(Jazz Alley) Brazilian composer/producer/keyboardist and vocalist Sérgio Mendes is a living legend, with over 35 albums, three Grammy Awards, and collaborations with artists ranging from Herb Alpert to Justin Timberlake to his name after 54 years of releasing records. His jump to international prominence came mostly from his work with his Brasil ’66 band, which consisted of Mendes on piano, two female vocalists, a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and other percussionists. His current band, Brazil 2014, also features Mendes on piano, two female vocalists, a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and other percussionists, but also an additional keyboard/horn player and vocalist, and (gasp) A RAPPER! How 2014 is that? Rap-intolerant old-timers be warned. MIKE RAMOS
See event info »
From this 79-second snippet of All Is By My Side featuring an exchange with Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend Linda Keith (played by Imogen Poots), we can discern that OutKast rapper André Benjamin has nailed Hendrix's laid-back conversational delivery and disarming smile. (Note the Seeds' "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" in the background.)
Sadly, the Hendrix estate nixed the usage of any of the legendary guitarist's compositions in the film, which is written and directed by John Ridley, but there will be covers Jimi and the Experience did of Muddy Waters, the Beatles, the Troggs, and other artists' songs. All Is By My Side is screening in Austin, Texas at the SXSW festival.
Next Wednesday, millionaire hitmaker and Auto-Tune adventurer T-Pain plays at Neumos.
Today, The New Yorker website published a fascinating and lightly heartrending profile of the man by Leon Neyfakh, focusing on what T-Pain's been doing lately: "telling sad stories, in public, about what it felt like when everyone, including some of his fellow-artists, started treating him like a joke" and "giving interviews, in which he has candidly discussed the experience of turning from one of pop’s hit-makers into a walking punch line."
What started the backlash, as T-Pain sees it, wasn’t the Jay Z diss but, rather, so many relentlessly lame performers (Ke$ha, the Black Eyed Peas) being moved to give Auto-Tune a whirl after “Rappa Ternt Sanga” came out. Soon, everyone was using Auto-Tune; listeners simply got sick of it, and he became a martyr for having influenced the trend.
Regarding his martyrdom:
In an interview this past January with Vladimir Lyubovny, a d.j. whose popular YouTube channel VladTV is sort of like rap’s “Larry King Live,” T-Pain talked about being brought in as a consultant during the recording of “808s and Heartbreaks.” At one point during the session, Kanye wrote a song about how dumb all of T-Pain’s ideas were. He then proceeded, T-Pain said, to make “everybody in the studio join in with him to sing, like, ‘T-Pain’s shit is weak.’ ” In the same interview, T-Pain recalled encountering Future’s brother at a Thanksgiving fundraiser and telling him he was eager to collaborate with Future. But instead of offering to pass on the message, the guy looked at T-Pain and said to him, “My brother would never fucking work with you. Fuck you and everything you stand for.”
T-Pain's response (and Neyfakh's response to his response) after the jump. (And read the whole thing here.)
Sex.wav is a newish indie/goth monthly at the spooky old Mercury—but don't worry, you don't have to be a member to get in this time. (But hot damn, I do wish people couldn't smoke in there—it's a private club, you know, and in these days of smoke-free venues, it's overwhelming.) However, I would deeply encourage you to stick to the "no jeans, no flannel, no basic bitches need apply" tradition of the place, because people at this event DRESS LIKE TOTAL FLIPPIN' FAGULOUS FREAKS. Tonight has a theme, of course, and it is confusing. ("Cradle to Grave," a combination of adult babies and goth ravers? Okay, fine by me.) Sex.wav features the creative brains of Cherry Sur Bête, the marvelously scary shock queen Monikke Shame, Rusty Nails, and Hilt TrollSplinter. Our friend Cherry insists that the spirit of the event can be summed up in this little poem called, "Torment Above and Beast Below" by Derek Spoonmore:
In bed/Above/We're deep asleep/What greater love lies further deep/This dream must end/This world must know/That we all depend on the beast below/Above the beast and below the skies/Lies the world that we all never knew/Torment above/Beast below/In this hell/Did we ever know/What lies with us/Heaven only knows.
Music by Ill Camino and Ozma Otacava. So there you have it. Mercury, 9 pm, $5 nonmembers, 21+.
And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!
The Senate on Thursday rejected a controversial bipartisan bill to remove military commanders from decisions over the prosecution of sexual assault cases in the armed forces, delivering a defeat to advocacy groups who argued that wholesale changes are necessary to combat an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults in the military.
The measure, pushed by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, received 55 votes—five short of the 60 votes needed for advancement to a floor vote—after Ms. Gillibrand’s fellow Democrat, Senator Clare McCaskill of Missouri, led the charge to block its advancement. The vote came after a debate on the Senate floor filled with drama and accusations that Ms. Gillibrand and her allies were misguided...
Several Republicans, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, supported the Gillibrand proposal, and expressed deep frustration with the military’s failure to stem the number of sexual assaults. Congress began scrutinizing the sexual assault problem in the military after a recent series of highly publicized cases, including one at the Naval Academy, and after the release of new data from the Pentagon on the issue. On Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the last fiscal year, about 1,600 sexual assault cases in the military were either awaiting action from commanders or the completion of a criminal investigation.
Critics of the military’s handling of such cases say that the official numbers represent a tiny percentage of sexual assault cases, while Ms. Gillibrand said that only one in 10 sexual assault cases were reported. She and her supporters argue that forcing sexual assault victims to go to their commanders to report cases is similar to forcing a woman to tell her father that her brother has sexually assaulted her.
Because commanders often know both the victims and the alleged abusers, Ms. Gillibrand’s supporters say, victims often shy away from reporting abuse. Military commanders, they say, have not proven themselves able to deal with the issue.
I'm so angry I can't actually process it effectively enough even to SLOG FEMINIST RANT about it. This shit is unacceptable.
Soon after David Cameron, the prime minister of the UK, posted this picture of him having a really serious conversation with Barack Obama about the crisis in the Ukraine...
I've been speaking to @BarackObama about the situation in Ukraine. We are united in condemnation of Russia's actions. pic.twitter.com/7Rk2k8iOIK
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 5, 2014
Today, at the Republican internet-trolling convention known as CPAC, Donald Trump shit-talked Jimmy Carter. Right Wing Watch believes that Trump thinks Carter is dead. In that context, Trump's shit-talking of Carter is pretty ghoulish.
Or maybe, and this could be the more likely option, Donald Trump just doesn't care about the meaning of words.
What does the elk say? Robert McCauley's paintings are at Davidson Galleries. (McCauley cracks conceptual art jokes.)
Democrats in Washington State have a problem.
NW Progressive reports on former Democratic Washington State representative Mark Miloscia:
Desperate to solidify their tenuous hold on the Washington State Senate, top Republicans have once again recruited into their ranks a candidate repeatedly elected to the Legislature as a Democrat with Democratic volunteers and donations.
Mark Miloscia, who previously served several terms in the state House as one of two of the 30th Legislative District’s representatives, has decided to run against his former colleague Tracey Eide for Senate. He filed his paperwork today with the Public Disclosure Commission and also launched a campaign website.
When Senators Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon, also elected as Democrats, decided to caucus with Republicans in 2012, they formed a so-called Majority Coalition Caucus that effectively gave the GOP a narrow majority in that chamber. That majority also built a dam that holds back progressive bills and kills them on the senate floor. If Miloscia wins, more bills and budgets will probably die, and, of course, Dems will be swimming against a whitewater current trying to reclaim a majority this fall.
But this is a problem bigger than just a few senators. The state Democratic party has a big-picture problem. We're not electing Democrats liberal enough to resist switching parties. The Democratic party and its candidates need a fierce groundswell of support from progressive voters, progressive funders, to get those candidate into office. And they don't have that support from their liberal base.
Of course they don't.
The state's Democrats, including the Seattle delegation, have proven themselves to be new-freeway-cheering, transit-fearing, medical-marijuana-attacking moderates. They haven't saved basic education funding; they've eviscerated it. They've stood idly by while state universities were drained of cash and tuition skyrocketed. They've thrown up their hands about a tax structure that leans more on the poor—and gives the rich bigger breaks—than any other state. The Democratic politicians in Washington State don't give Democratic voters anything to be excited about. Lacking a vision that fires up their base, the party is coming apart at the seams.
So the question isn't just how Dems reclaim the senate; it's how they motivate their Democratic base. Do they need to be more moderate—an appeal to the purple burbs, which has been their tack—or do they need to rally around a more electrifyingly progressive platform? I think they need to have an identifiably energizing platform that they don't shut up about: raise the minimum wage, fund pre-K statewide, ban dirty coal trains, ban explosive oil trains, preserve wilderness areas, mandate paid sick leave, etc. Maybe those planks would turn off some folks, but right now Dems don't stand much for anything, and that's turning off folks, too.
Straight outta Bordeaux, France, comes a piping hot flume of garage, psychedelia, and rock in the form of five-piece J.C. Satàn. Forget Bordeaux's wine. Yeah, we know the soil, the conditions, and the châteaus there are prime for growing chic grape vines. Whatever. The flume's over here, with songs about dragons and morning-after sex in a drug haze. We've got Paula on vocals, Arthur on guitar and vocs, Ali on bass, Romain on drums, and Dorian on keyboard. The band's sound stems from Arthur's guitar. He doles crisp hooks, solos, and churns through distorted rhythm. Paired with Paula, they have a '60s-tinged he/she moxie. Live, the quintet rips through dark, prog-grated pop with punk-sodden up-tempo bursts. They have range as well, dipping into slower, pensive, psyched-out serenades. Look for J.C. Satàn releases out on Slovenly, Teenage Menopause, and Azbin Records. And put down your sauvignon blanc blah blah. Or dump it on a writhing pile of flesh and love and fuzz pedals. The band spoke from Bordeaux. No one writhed, I don't think.
Here he is in the dumpster at 11th and Pike, yesterday afternoon. My friend, who lives in an apartment above the Wild Rose Bar, says "Oscar" woke him up around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday, in a loud, verbal fight with another man who seemingly stole "Oscar's" Cinnabon. Where does one even find a Cinnabon™ cinnamon roll on Capitol Hill? It is all very mysterious...
Often these mash-ups are lame, but this...HOLY FUCKING SHIT...this is amazing.
It's old, yes, but still fucking funny: "Canadian Police Chase"...
Yesterday, I told you about reports that Mars Hill Church paid a PR firm at least $200,000 to get Pastor Mark Driscoll's book on the New York Times bestseller list. Today, Warren Throckmorton published details of the contract. Turns out, gaming the system requires a very complicated formula: The PR firm buys some of the books from Amazon, and the client has to provide "a gift message containing up to 240 characters" to make it look like a real person is buying the books as a gift for someone. The PR firm also requires "90 different addresses," with "no more than 3 addresses per state" because the "NYT bestseller list requires a maximum of 90 geographically disperse [sic] addresses." Throckmorton also writes:
I spoke to a former Mars Hill pastor last night who told me that some MHC locations had hundreds of books just gathering dust. Some of those bulk orders might still be sitting in MHC storage room.
What a wonderful, Christian way to spend your money! Sure, those funds could go toward poor and hungry people, but this seems like a more worthy cause, doesn't it? I'm sure if Jesus were alive today, he'd buy his way onto bestseller lists, too.
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