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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In Culture News: Actually Comical Comedy, An Eggers-y Surprise, and Ten Reasons to Get Depressed About Publishing

Posted by , and on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 5:26 PM

What a Lovely Glass Ceiling!: At last night's Comedy Womb at the Rendezvous, a parade of over two dozen comics took the stage before the friendliest audience imaginable. Tons of folks were plenty funny, but joke of the night went to Andy Iwancio, a trans comic who bragged about having employers so across-the-board accepting of her new womanhood "they lowered my hourly wage."

Need Help Figuring Out Which Book to Ban? If you're more of a follow-the-herd book-banner, you might want to consult the 10 most challenged books of 2013. Stranger Genius Sherman Alexie is number 3 on the list. Way to go, Sherman!

Dave Eggers Comes Up with His Worst Title Yet: The good news is that Dave Eggers is publishing a novel in June. Aside from Eggers and his publisher, nobody knew this book even existed. The bad news is the title of this novel: Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? Wow. WOW. Wow. That book sure does have a title, all right.

Want to Get Depressed About the Future of Publishing? This list is making the rounds. Here's #4:

4. Average book sales are shockingly small—and falling fast.
Combine the explosion of books published with the declining total sales and you get shrinking sales of each new title. According to BookScan—which tracks most bookstore, online, and other retail sales of books (including—only 225 million books were sold in 2013 in the U.S. in all adult nonfiction categories combined (Publishers Weekly, January 6, 2014). The average U.S. nonfiction book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 2,000 copies over its lifetime. And very few titles are big sellers. Only 62 of 1,000 business books released in 2009 sold more than 5,000 copies, according to an analysis by the Codex Group (New York Times, March 31, 2010).

Can’t Shit in Peace: A toddler who slipped out of his house while his mom was in the bathroom was found inside a claw machine at a bowling alley. The heart wants what it wants.

Seattle Police: May Day This Year Will Be Like May Day Last Year

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 5:20 PM

  • May Day, circa 2013.

It's all good, nothing to see here. That was the message of Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey and Assistant Chief Chris Fowler this afternoon in a hearing on preparations for May Day, traditionally a day of protest against injustice towards workers and immigrants that's been marred by violence for the past two years.

"I get the impression that we are ready as a city," said City Council member Bruce Harrell, after a short and tepid questioning of the two police commanders. "We do realize that people have a right to protest and march, but anarchists that are trying to harm people and property—we have to be aggressive and constitutional at the same time. So I'm very confident we've learned from lessons past. Thank you for being willing to answer all the questions."

Harrell began by asking Bailey to explain what lessons police—currently under pressure to enact reforms after the Justice Department found its officers are routinely more violent than necessary—have learned from the past. Bailey was brief. He said they looked at the recommendations of the Hillman report (PDF) and the 2013 after-action report, "to start this process."

But Bailey didn't say what those recommendations are or how they're being implemented, and Harrell didn't ask. Seattle police have also touched base with downtown business owners and organizers of the pro-immigrant march, Bailey said, but he didn't say what they're being advised to do.

A transparency activist, Phil Moceck, urged the council in the public comment period to scrutinize the police closely: Of those pepper sprayed, he asked, "How many were arrested for the wrongdoing that led the police to use weapons on them? And how many were convicted in the courts?"

Continue reading »


The Homosexual Agenda: Anita's Tax-Day Hangover and So Much More!

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 4:26 PM

  • Larae Lobdell

The only thing more inevitable than taxes (and death) is of course DRAG QUEENS, so it seems at least partially fitting that we celebrate (?) tax day with Anita Goodmann every year. (When she starts doing funerals, I'll let you know.) Tonight Anita, her cohost Miss Cassie O'Hara, filthy, filthy Gary Gloryhole, and Jake McDermott (to name a few) celebrate this, the most 'Murican of holidays, with laughs, spoofs, a little burlesque, a smattering of improv, and, um, "boobs"? Yes, they are promising boobs, too. Let's just pretend that's a mistake and they meant to say "booze." There. That's better. Re-bar, 8 pm, $10, 21+.

Continue reading »

What's Crappening? News, Reviews and Underbutt

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 4:18 PM

  • Kelly O

• It's that time again! On Tuesday, we announced this year's Capitol Hill Block Party headliners: A$AP Rocky, Spoon, XXYYXX, Angel Olsen, Matt and Kim, Chromeo, the War on Drugs, Shy Girls, Cymbals, Poolside, Budos Band, Star Slinger, Beat Connection, Sol, Odesza, A$AP Ferg, Tanlines. Block Party will take place July 25 to 27, and we predict much underbutt, neon tanks, and mad vaping.

• Last week, Sub Pop founders Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt were inducted into the Nordstrom Walk of Fame that circles the downtown flagship store at Sixth and Pine. The pair's bronze footprints are now embedded in the sidewalk alongside Northwest celebs like Bill and Mary Gates, Ken Griffey Jr., and Quincy Jones. A nifty Sub Pop window display is also currently up at Nordstrom through the month of April.

• In more Sub Poppish news, on Thursday night, while Nirvana were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where a rotating series of stars—including Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde—stood in for Kurt Cobain), cabaret star and former Seattleite Lady Rizo lit up the Triple Door, performing her own cover of "Lithium," turning the chorus screaming into the friendly "Yeah!" of a jazzy chanteuse, then simulating cunnilingus on a rose.

• Did CHRISTEENE's backup dancers steal the show at 'Mo-Wave on Friday night at Chop Suey? No—nobody steals anything from CHRISTEENE (have you seen those EYES?!)—but they came pretty damn close. Note to local aspirants-to-CHRISTEENE-style-total-greatness: Choreographed, synchronized dance routines by two dudes wearing as little as legally possible helps. A LOT.

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Under Mayor Murray, Reviews of Officers Who Shot Suspects Are On Hold

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 4:13 PM

At this January press conference, interim chief Harry Bailey said that an armed man was extremely lucky not to be dead after officers shot him in the buttocks as he left the scene. To this day, there has been no review-of-force to determine if the shooting was justified.
  • Image via Seattle Channel
  • At this January press conference, interim chief Harry Bailey said an armed man was "extremely lucky" not to be "dead" after officers shot him in the buttocks as he ran away. Three months later, the SPD still has not conducted any use-of-force reviews to determine if the shooting was justified.

Since Mayor Ed Murray took office January 1, the Seattle Police Department hasn't reviewed a single officer-involved-shooting incident to determine if the use of force was justified, says SPD spokesman Andrew Garber. There have been four such shootings since November, including a particularly high-profile January case involving officers shooting a man in the buttocks, but all of the force reviews, which are mandatory when a suspect is shot, are currently shelved.

Critics say this creates several potential problems:

1) Evidence could get stale by the time a review finally comes around.

2) The clock may be running out on potential police-misconduct investigations that must be finished within 180 days of an incident.

3) Failing to investigate use-of-force undermines a federal court order to reform the SPD's patterns of of excessive force.

I pointed out this problem, briefly, in a feature story in this week's paper about the Murray administration reversing and stalling reform efforts. One example of the problem as it relates to this particular case: A few days after the January shooting, interim chief Harry Bailey cavalierly said the man was "extremely lucky" he wasn't killed, even though there had been no investigation into whether the force was justified (it may be, it may not be). Prejudging shootings before an investigation does not look like reform, critics said, so it's worth taking a even deeper dive into all of this here on Slog—particularly because many are stunned that there still has been no investigation.

"It's not acceptable that shootings in January have not yet been reviewed," says Lisa Daugaard, policy director of the Public Defender Association, by e-mail today. "This is an urgent issue and it's at the heart of what triggered federal intervention in the first place."

Continue reading »


Furiously Real: The Parting Words of Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Featuring LaToya Ruby Frazier

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 4:05 PM

THE FLAGELLATION, CA. 1360 This is not the picture you were expecting to see, is it?
  • Courtesy Seattle Art Museum
  • 'THE FLAGELLATION,' CA. 1360 This is not the picture you were expecting to see, is it?

In her eight years at Seattle Art Museum, Sandra Jackson-Dumont has foregrounded work made by artists of color confronting tough subjects. But the work of art that moves her most in the museum's collection is a medieval Italian painting. The Flagellators is an unsurprising triangular composition of Jesus flanked by two men about to rain blows on him, framed in a pretty, decorative mount with worn red velvet. But it's not the image she loves, it's the gouge wounds you can still see on the painting. People were so mad when they saw the painting that they flagellated the flagellators, gouging out their eyes and scratching at their legs. And right there—that's material proof that art causes action. Has an effect. Doesn't just hang on a wall flaunting its irrelevance.

It's Jackson-Dumont's calling to tend that easily severed link between museum and society. It's the gift she takes with her to the largest museum in the country as she moves to head up education at New York's vaunted Metropolitan Museum of Art. All museum educators say they do this kind of work, but Jackson-Dumont puts her cards on the table.

"There's the age-old thing where to say you're apolitical is to say that you're political," Jackson-Dumont said in a phone conversation. "I definitely am political. There's some things you can't do at a museum. But the artists can."

She smuggles in their content. Now at SAM, she curated LaToya Ruby Frazier's exhibition of photographs documenting the scars of racism, environmental destruction, and economic exploitation on Frazier's hometown, family, and body.

"I've seen people cry in this show," she said.

Frazier won SAM's Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize, which means $10,000 and a solo exhibition given every two years to an early-career black artist. In addition to more typical education-director work, Jackson-Dumont has overseen the prize and the Knight/Lawrence gallery (the only space in the museum named after an artist). The previous winners were Titus Kaphar, whose remake of white history paintings are interrupted by black history; and Theaster Gates, who also rescues lost histories, by not only making standalone objects but taking over art-world spaces as well as whole buildings. Gates's show The Listening Room sparked satellite action around the city.

"I saw people talk about the politics of history in Titus's show, and I saw people talk about real policy in Theaster's show," Jackson-Dumont said. "Museums are places where you can get at these really tough issues through something that tastes like ice cream going down. I've had conversations [over the Flagellators] about conflict resolution, about pure painting, about literacy, about class, about Chris Ofili's work [a Virgin Mary portrait incorporating elephant dung] being attacked at the Brooklyn Museum. That attack erupted an entire conversation about funding and who has the right to decide. And what are the excrements that came out of Christ's body? This artist of color comes in and brings this conversation that becomes a disruptive dialogue, but one that is really real, that touches people deep."

The Met is a behemoth with collections stretching across time and geography, and it hasn't particularly been known for its attention to the contemporary moment—though that's been changing. Next year, the Met begins fresh modern and contemporary programming at the building formerly known as the Whitney Museum of American Art (which is moving downtown). Jackson-Dumont's hire is another vote for relevance. She's a large-scale thinker and says the Met's charging her with livening up the museum's connection to what's going on in larger New York, plus fighting the provincialism that plagues even the biggest city by keeping it in global context. "That's really interesting for me, because that's where I breathe and live," she said.

Moving back to New York "creates a portal" back and forth with Seattle, which she unwittingly fell in love with, she said. She's keeping her house in the Central District for now.

Meanwhile, SAM should continue advancing the work she's done to defrost the museum and reconnect it to people and their passions including and beyond art. "It's institutional work, it's not Sandra's work," Jackson-Dumont said.

She had a few words of parting advice for Seattle: "I think people need to show up, frankly. Practicing institutional or artistic or community critique without participating is just really not that interesting, nor does it have a backbone. I don't mean just once, and I want artists to show up for more than their own shows. I go to a lecture and the audience is very small, and then the critique is that we don't get enough artists in this town. We should have full houses. There's a level of conversation that can happen then. And I don't know if people understand the visual impact of people showing up—on funders, staffs, morale."

The extent to which Jackson-Dumont herself showed up at events is why the news of her departure brought a wave of inordinate depression; every time I talk to somebody about it, they look like they're suffering from some affliction like the early stages of starvation. That level of loyalty is rare. Farewell.

Go to Jackson-Dumont's final public lecture tonight at 7 at Seattle Art Museum, called "Furious Realism: The Art and Protest of LaToya Ruby Frazier." It's for members only but, just saying, you might consider becoming a member. Here's a piece I wrote in December about Frazier and other artists fighting the good fight.

Let's Build a People's Crossing to West Seattle

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I found this KATU story about the new name of a Portland Bridge thanks to @alexjon on Twitter:

It's Tilikum Crossing, a Chinook word that means people, tribe and relatives....It's unique in that will carry light rail, streetcars, buses, bikes and pedestrians, but be off-limits to private vehicles.

Officials say it will be the only such bridge in the United States.

Congratulations, Portland! That's a great name, and the bridge, which I saw on my last trip south, is beautiful. I'm just saying: Portland is again getting a transportation idea exactly right. And Seattle should be shameless and copy the fuck out of Portland's good transportation ideas. A bridge like this stretching from downtown to West Seattle would solve a whole lot of traffic problems.

Council Member Kshama Sawant Replies to Small-Business Owner Mike Klotz

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:54 PM

  • Kelly O

Dear Mr. Klotz,

Thank you for your support of my campaign for city council, your interest in progressive change in Seattle, and for reaching out with your concerns about minimum wage during the campaign. I would like to address several of the concerns raised in your letter in last week's Stranger.

1. Let's stand together and push back against big business and the super-wealthy

In your recent letter, you suggest that I have been unwilling to engage in discussion with small-business owners. I would respectfully say this has not been the case. As part of my effort to raise wages, I’ve listened to the ideas of a great many Seattleites, including hundreds of small-business owners. I’ve done this as an individual council member, and in multiple forums as part of both the Mayor’s Task Force on Income Inequality and the city council’s Select Committee on Income Inequality. I have had small businesses visit me in my office at City Hall, both individually and as part of delegations from groups such as the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and the Greater Seattle Business Association. I have engaged in numerous informal conversations with small-business owners. I will continue to listen respectfully with an open mind to their ideas and concerns. My door has always been open and it remains so.



SL Letter of the Day: Kinda Asexual

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I am on vacation. Please enjoy this golden oldie from February 3, 2011.

I read your column every week, mostly out of abstract interest. My thoughts reading your advice are usually some variation on "Wow, that's a lot of work to do, just to have a sex life." So reading you, I came to the conclusion that I was asexual. I liked this conclusion, as it was a sexual identity that made sense for me.

Then I joined an asexual community. I soon realized that I was unlike those people, too. It turns out that they have no sexual attractions either way, whereas I comfortably identify as a straight male. I look when a pretty girl walks past (much to the chagrin of an asexual I dated for a short time), I like to kiss, and I enjoy some genital contact—but I'm in the mood for penetration very rarely. Asexuals seemed to be turned off by physical intimacy.

I soon realized that asexual was the wrong label for me. In reality, what I am is minimally sexual.

Here's the question: How do normally sexual persons feel about being with someone who can perform but doesn't particularly want to? I know that being in a relationship means making compromises, but will a normally sexual person accept a partner who is able to have sex but does not wish to for certain reasons, e.g., a lack of confidence or stamina? Can a person please a partner without pleasing said partner in the euphemistic sense?

Not Sexual, Not Asexual

My response after the jump...

Continue reading »

Because Everyone Trusts Chris Christie To Do the Right Thing with His Political Power

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I can't quite believe that we've reached a point as a nation where politicians are openly calling for the removal of campaign finance reform. But Scott Conroy puts it right up in the top of his story:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday called for the abolishment of current federal and statewide campaign finance rules, and instead supported allowing unlimited donations to individual candidates with a public notification required within 48 hours.

“If somebody, you know, wants to write me a $100,000 check for my campaign, great,” Christie said of the system he is proposing. “Forty-eight hours later, everybody who has access to the Internet’s going to know that Mr. Smith gave me $100,000. And if all of a sudden I start talking in a way after it happened that’s favorable to Mr. Smith’s business, then you’re going to know that my price is $100,000.”

No. Look. If you want to, you can easily avoid this kind of internet transparency. It just gives the appearance of transparency without actually changing anything. The thing that Christie's not admitting is that people with that kind of money are very good about moving money around in obfuscating ways. In his libertarian/technocratic hypothetical dream world, there's no way to be sure that Christie isn't trading money for favors. Christie's basically asking the American public to trust him. And the fact is, the American people just don't trust him.

A simple truth is being buried with all this talk about transparency: Campaign finance reform isn't just about identifying where the money in politics is coming from. Campaign finance reform should also be about limiting the amount of money involved in politics. We're all humans. Money influences all of us. It influences our decisions and it can buy access that other people simply can't afford. We should absolutely be limiting the amount of money that political campaigns can take in. Political campaigns should be about the sharing of ideas in public forums, not about who can afford the most advertisements.

Tonight in Music: Chromeo

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:08 PM


(Showbox at the Market) For those of you who thought Daft Punk’s most recent work wasn’t quite yacht-disco enough, Chromeo are here to scratch that itch in your sequined white denim. Featuring cheeky lyrics, ’80s-aping drum machines, and synthesizer lines smooth enough to do a line of coke off, their music borders on parody, and none of it would work if the songs didn’t stick. Amazingly, they do. Their all-time classic remains “Night by Night,” an incandescent vocoder-laced dance-floor anthem, but their subsequent releases have maintained an alarming consistency, equally stimulating your lizard brain and the funk in your trunk. Hedonistically winking electronic acts don’t get much more reliable than these fellows. “Next time you’re feeling down, turn that frown into a crown,” pretty much sums it up: dumb as rocks yet undeniably feel-good. With TOKiMONSTA.
See event info »

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


Pastor Kaleb's Sunday Service

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM

  • Erin Spencer

This Sunday is the 15th annual Easter Sunday service by Pastor Kaleb Hagen-Kerr. I can't wait.

Pastor Kaleb gave his first official service in the streets during Seattle's WTO protests in 1999. A carpenter by trade (naturally), he and a friend built two coffins (two adult-sized, one child-sized) using spare plywood from a job site and led a procession through the tear-gassy, chaotic, screaming melee that would eventually force journalists and the general public to ask, for the first time in a long time, why anyone would oppose an organization like the WTO.

The experience, as I wrote in this profile of Pastor Kaleb a few years ago, hit a rare chord for him, a chord almost unique to protest theater—it was earnest satire, simultaneously arch and sincere. He kept exploring that chord, hosting "church picnics," holiday services, and Sunday services that danced between irony and seriousness. There's nothing quite like it.

Over the years, he's attract a congregation he has described as "the defunct and disoriented"—lots of theater and dance people, burlesque dancers, musicians, comedians, and other folks who are thirsty for some honest-feeling echo of the church communities of their childhoods without any of the bullshit. (You can read an account of last year's service over here.)

Pastor Kaleb's Easter Sunday service begins at noon at the Century Ballroom, with social hour starting at 11 am. It is, as always, free. Bring something generous to put in the hat. Booze available and kids welcome.

Train Driver Kicks Selfie-Snapper in the Head

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Via Gawker comes the tale of Jared Michael, who tried to take a selfie near an oncoming train when—well, just watch:

Part of me thinks this is a stunt deliberately designed to go viral (why was he taking a video not a photo, and the description includes an e-mail address for "licensing/usage"), because no one could be that stupid. Right? It's already racked up nearly a million views.

New Column!

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:45 PM


Today In Misandry

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:28 PM

There's something a little weird about this conference lineup.


It's 2014; this is just lazy, and short-sighted organizers are 100% to blame.

The Rise and Fall of Wage-Hike Panic in San Jose

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

As we've seen here in Seattle, the prospect of raising the minimum wage can provoke hand-waving, hair-on-fire, we're-all-gonna-get-laid-off-and/or-lose-our-shirts panic.

Nonprofit theaters, which always live close to the edge of financial catastrophe*, are probably the least likely place for business managers to lead the charge for "positive protest"—that is, volunteering to do what it takes to raise wages to $15/hour without layoffs, even if they aren't legally required to.

But that's what's happening, at theaters large and small. After the initial panic subsided, theaters began to run their numbers, and, as Donald Byrd of Spectrum Dance Theater said in the article, "the board and managing director are led by their humanity."

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal published an interesting chart documenting an analogous panic in San Jose's fast-food industry as the city debated and passed a wage hike:

As you can see, there was a steady slump in hiring leading up to the vote, then a huge dip after a wage increase was approved, then a return to normal once the minimum wage went into effect and people realized the world didn't collapse.

Admittedly, this is about fast food, not small independent restaurants, but it's an interesting record of the rise and fall of a wage-hike panic.

* Because nonprofits must submit detailed, transparent financials to the IRS every year, which are then made publicly available, we can actually see and confirm how close to the edge they live—they make good case studies because we don't have to take their word for it.

Have We Reached Peak Beard?

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Frankly, I'm getting a little sick of seeing beards everywhere. But then, I'm obviously biased—I've written at length about my inability to grow a beard. Still, I was thrilled to learn today that science is ready to back up my beard-fatigue, according to a story by BBC science reporter James Morgan:

The ebb and flow of men's beard fashions may be guided by Darwinian selection, according to a new study.

The more beards there are, the less attractive they become - giving clean-shaven men a competitive advantage, say scientists in Sydney, Australia.

When "peak beard" frequency is reached, the pendulum swings back toward lesser-bristled chins - a trend we may be witnessing now, the scientists say.

I mean, obviously trends come and go, and facial hair is no different. But it seems like beards have been booming for a long time now, and I could imagine the trend getting crazier before it goes away: I've not seen very many ZZ Tops, wizards, or Grizzly Adamses on the streets of Seattle, for instance.

A Benefit for the Oso Mudslide Victims with La Luz, Mary Lambert, and Star Anna

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM


On May 12, The Monarch Review is hosting a benefit for the victims of the Oso mudslide tragedy at the Tractor Tavern. La Luz, Mary Lambert, and Star Anna will perform; Marco Collins will MC.

This is a damn fine lineup for a damn fine cause. Tickets are $25 and all of the money goes to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation. Buy your tickets here!

Variety Reviews the HUMP! Tour

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:19 PM


Peter Debruge, Chief International Film Critic at Variety, recalling a time when mainstream film critics at his publication reviewed porn films like Deep Throat and The Devil and Miss Jones, caught up with the HUMP! Tour in Long Beach, California:

Simply put, it’s refreshing to see erotic films in which there’s actual chemistry between sexual partners, where the couples (or groups, as in “Dungeons & Dragons Orgy’s” horned-up nerd herd) appear to be having fun, rather than working. It also underscores the importance of screenwriting, even when it comes to dirty movies. By taking the time to plan things out in advance, these incredibly creative teams manage to capture and hold our interest, even when the “action” isn’t necessarily to our liking—like “Pie Sluts,” in which a stern mistress splats her clients in the face with cream pies. This isn’t a real phenomenon any more than the viral “Cake Farts” video it may or may not be parodying, but it’s plenty entertaining all the same.

I clearly wasn’t the only one who had checked my hangups at the door either. It was an incredibly warm room, as we all applauded each and every short, no matter how “amateur” the effort. That’s the beauty of Hump, and the best-of tour in particular. When cruising for porn online, people naturally gravitate to what turns them on. By carefully curating an eclectic lineup, Savage manages to expand his crowd’s horizons. It’s not that audiences are likely to leave the event having discovered a new kink (though the self-explanatory “Fun With Fire” certainly lives up to its name). Rather, it’s yet another way of communicating the same sex-positive message he preaches in his podcast: As long as you’re not hurting anyone, embrace whatever makes you happy, and accept the fact that your neighbors might be into something different.

Thanks, Peter, for coming to Long Beach and for really getting HUMP! Just one quibble: there are definitely people out there who get off on having pies smashed in their faces—it's a real phenomenon!

Read Peter's entire review HERE. Find out if HUMP! is coming to your town HERE. (The HUMP! Tour plays in Seattle and Portland in May! This is your chance, Seattle & Portland, to see HUMP! films you never thought you would be able to see again!) And info about making and submitting a film for HUMP! 2014 is HERE!

Christianity Is About Decent Family Values and Protecting the Innocence of Children

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Happy Easter!

This photo was taken somewhere in Brazil, according to the Daily Mail.

Governor Hires Coal Lobbyist as Policy Chief

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM

EUGH Coal trains
Ruh roh. Eric de Place from the Sightline Institute raises the alarm:

In a classic instance of the revolving door between government and industry, Governor Inslee has decided to hire Matt Steuerwalt as the director of his policy office effective May 1. In recent years, Steuerwalt has acted as a lead lobbyist for coal-fired power in Washington, as well as for a now-defunct coal export proposal. The news was first announced by Steuerwalt in a mass email sent last night.

The state is now wrestling with two major policy issues connected to coal: whether to permit large-scale coal export terminals and whether to phase out coal-fired electricity imported from other states. Given that Steuerwalt has recently been a paid lobbyist in support of coal in Washington, the move raises question about whether he will use his influence in the Inslee administration to advance an agenda more favorable to the coal industry.

This is the opposite of a promising sign for efforts, which hinge on decisions that will be made by the Inslee administration, to stop dirty coal terminals from sprouting up around the state, which come with trains transporting coal that pass through Seattle.

I've reached out to Governor Inslee's office and Steuerwalt himself for their response and will update if I hear back.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Governor responds, "The choice of a policy director will have no impact on the state’s role in reviewing coal export projects. The governor has a longstanding and well-known position on carbon pollution and climate change and he has directed the Department of Ecology to conduct a rigorous review of current coal projects to the full extent allowed under state law. None of that will change when Matt assumes his new role May 1."

The Good Mixer Promises to Be an Oasis of Britpop

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The 20th anniversary of paradigmatic Britpop albums Parklife by Blur and His ’n’ Hers by Pulp has given rise to the Good Mixer, a dance party presented by local band Tea Cozies and emceed by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame radio DJ Marco Collins at Lo-Fi April 17. What’s on the agenda? DJ sets by hot producer/musician Erik Blood, Fastbacks/Thee Sgt. Major III/Beltholes mainstay Kurt Bloch, KEXP’s DJ Shannon, and DJ Mike Steve. There’ll also be Britpop karaoke hosted by Three Imaginary Girls, ’90s clothing and accessories vended by Red Light Vintage, a Jarvis Cocker dance contest, drink specials, and more.

All the info you need for Good Mixer can be found here.

New Music and Images from Brazil's Boogarins

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM

  • Other Music Recording Co.
It only took one song, last year's sinuous "Lucifernandis," for Brazil's Boogarins to make their mark. One winning song is more than many bands can claim, but I can't count how many times a single has captured my fancy only for the ensuing full-length to let me down. Not this time.

Boogarins' blissful yet energetic psych-rock debut, As Plantas Que Curam ("Plants That Heal"), lived up to my expectations. And I've been enjoying their performance-based videos, too.

For the swirling, Pink Floyd-by-way-of-the Dukes of Stratosphear "Erre," however, they turned to director Steven Mertens for the animated clip below. I don't get it, and I'm not sure that Mertens had any sort of overarching message in mind, but I enjoyed watching it. Since March, the GoiĆ¢nia group has been touring Europe and the US, including a stop at Austin Psych Fest in May, but they'll be giving the Northwest a pass. I'm not sure why, but I hope that changes someday.

Continue reading »

Republicans Realize That Maybe a Scofflaw Rancher Isn't the Symbol They Should Be Rallying Around

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Now that gun nuts are coming down from their highs, Republicans are quickly realizing Cliven Bundy might not be the election-year figurehead they've been looking for. Politico's David Nather says that even though, certain talk show hosts, and Drudge are fired up about Bundy, actual Republicans who care about winning elections are running away from the issue as fast as they can:

Top Republican operatives said they haven’t really followed the Bundy story that much. Officials at the top Republican campaign organizations, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Top lawmakers were silent.

And a spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots said there was no one available to talk about the rancher issue on Tuesday. They had other battles on their hands — including suing the IRS for documents on the scrutiny of nonprofit groups — but when the group is outraged enough to get involved in a big-government fight, you usually know it.

Even the teabaggers recognize this issue as toxic and unwinnable. There's no political gold on Bundy Ranch.

Participate in a Substantive Conversation about Islam, Tolerance, and America

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:02 AM

My Accidental Jihad is about how Bremer fell in love with, married, and had a child with a Muslim man. Rather than focusing on alienness, Bremer discusses how every marriage is a joining of two “others.” Most exciting of all, she’ll be joined by local author...


Close-Up Photos of Uncomfortable Moments

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Craig-Martin’s high-contrast photos are the savage leavings of society parties, cropped with morning-after cruelty. This photographer does gossip-page work for Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as atmospheric, journalistic stuff, but her museum and gallery shows (this is her first at Winston Wächter) are closer to satire...


As Uber Drivers Move to Unionize, Company Dismisses Complaints

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM


At a packed forum at the Yesler Community Center on April 13, nearly 250 drivers for rideshare company Uber signed "Show of Interest" cards handed out by Teamsters Local 117. Current and former UberBlack drivers organized the event, and said they intend to form a union, or join the Teamsters taxi drivers association. The mood was hyped, and the crowd at the community center was nearly all immigrants or children of immigrants from East Africa, most of them dressed for the occasion in impeccable black business clothes.

"We are the faces of Uber," said Zerfu Takele, a bespectacled Ethiopian American driver with graying hair who's lived in Seattle since 1990. "We need to be respected." Right now, he claimed, communication with Uber management is "simply a one-way message—you accept it or you get kicked out." The audience erupted in applause.

Uber, recently valued at $3.4 billion, is widely seen as a game-changing entrepreneurial force in the world of transportation. But the local Uber drivers' complaints revolve around what they describe as indifference, even disrespect, by Uber's young downtown managerial staff toward their own entrepreneurial ambitions.

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Police Beat: Knives Are Less Deadly Than Guns

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM


According to this police report, officers arrived at the parking lot of a nightclub on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and found a group of females attending to a female who was down on the ground. The one on the ground had a deep cut on her left cheek. The nightclub at that time was mostly empty, and the few people who were still around had nothing to say about why the woman was on the ground and had a laceration on her face. The street law of no snitching appeared to be in full effect. However, a woman who claimed to be the victim's mother stated she and her daughter were in the club's outside seating area when a female unknown to her, the suspect, exploded into a loud argument with a man who was also unknown to her.

The mother thought the woman was going to assault the male with a bottle, so she intervened to prevent the assault. The suspect then became angry and shoved the meddling mother away. At this point, the daughter confronted the suspect and a fight erupted. At one point, the mother alleges, a knife entered the fight from seemingly nowhere. This weapon (described as a small folding knife) was used to cut the daughter's face and claim the fight. Once the victim was defeated, the suspect and her male partner fled the scene in a Cadillac DeVille. The license plate number of this vehicle, however, was captured as it departed. At the time of this report, this important piece of information did not lead the police to the suspect. The victim's wound was treated by the Seattle Fire Department.

Yes, this was a bad situation, but if a gun had been involved, it could easily have ended in a fatality.

The $15 Minimum Wage in Seattle Could Be Headed to the Ballot Box

Posted by on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM


Now it's really getting serious: The fight for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle could be headed to the ballot box this year, instead of just churning through city hall.

For the last few months, the idea has been floated repeatedly by 15 Now, the organization backing a raise to $15 with a quick timeline and few loopholes. On April 14, at a city hall press conference, they announced real plans to take the fight straight to voters if politicians, scrambling to find a compromise between labor and business interests, produce a watered-down version of the wage hike. The threat to the mayor and city council is plain: Come up with a proposal that 15 Now's activists can support, or you'll face a ballot measure and a strenuous campaign to pass it this November.

And at their press conference, wage-hike activists started to make good on that threat.

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Oligarchy and Obama

Posted by at 8:40 AM in







Tuesday, April 15, 2014











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