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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In Tomorrow's Stranger: A Behind-the-Curtain Look at How Seattle's Police Reform Effort Has Gone So Wrong, So Fast

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Mayor Ed Murrays Interim Police Chief, Harry Bailey, at a press conference in February
  • Dominic Holden
  • Mayor Ed Murray's Interim Police Chief, Harry Bailey, at a press conference in February.

Mayor Ed Murray campaigned for office on a platform of urgent police reform, and since he was elected he's assured Seattle that reform is finally on track.

The line from city hall is that the bad guys have been cleared from the top decks, a new-and-improved command staff has been installed, and the reforms required by the Justice Department are moving along smoothly under an interim police chief who, according to Murray, is the model for how Seattle's next police chief should conduct himself.

That's not what Dominic Holden found when he spent six weeks looking behind the scenes of the current police reform effort.

In tomorrow's Stranger, Dominic lays out a disturbing chronology of missteps and misrepresentations that will make you wonder whether the reform effort is really moving forward. If you are concerned about police accountability—as you should be—you need to read this piece.

What Happened to the Seattle Central Newspaper?

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Sometimes, when newspapers are too critical of powerful people, theyre dramatically locked up and shut down. Other times, theyre slowly starved to death—their thornier writers are edged out, their more sharper critical edges are sanded down
  • Konstantins Visnevskis /Shutterstock
  • Sometimes, when newspapers are too critical of powerful people, they're dramatically shut down. Other times, they're slowly starved to death—their thornier writers are edged out, their sharper critical edges are sanded down.

Honestly, it's not a question I'd really asked myself until someone forwarded me this piercing story for SCCC's current student publication, the Central Circuit.

But where the Circuit came from, why it's self-consciously fluffier and less newsy than its doomed predecessor the City Collegian, and how that newspaper was slowly undercut by school officials is the subject of this careful (and coolly mournful) story by SCCC student Casey Jaywork.

Some choice sections:

But there are other Collegian stories from Wyman’s tenure which might have embarrassed the college and Student Leadership and plausibly motivated intensified administrative involvement. For example:

• Its coverage and criticism of the Associated Student Council’s (ASC) controversial decision to use $465,000 of student money toward the opening of the Science and Math (SAM) building, purchasing furniture that the school had failed to budget for. To celebrate Evans, the ASC attempted to name the SAM’s Learning Center after her; in response, Collegian Managing Editor Chris Bruffey disparaged Evans as “the equivalent of [a] live-in lobbyist.”

• Its coverage of two consecutive Seattle Central security managers who both allegedly violated the federal Clery Act by failing to accurately record and report campus crime. Both resigned.

• Its coverage of the (still ongoing) strategy by administrators to fill budget holes by courting international students, who pay much higher tuition than domestic students.

But the main bone of contention that year was whether to require paid Collegian staff to register for a minimum of 10 credits per quarter, rather than simply be a registered student. Wyman and Swedish held that the burden of 10 credits would effectively prevent quality student journalism: between keeping up with class and working a second job to make rent, editors would have little time for their Collegian duties.

And this evocative little nugget might be my favorite:

It is not clear what other members of the PubBoard thought, because—in violation of state law—there are no public records of its meetings... When I suggested to Chesneau that Mansfield might have had a conflict of interest serving as both chair of the PubBoard and head of college Public Relations, he was skeptical.

Sometimes, when newspapers are too critical of powerful people, they're dramatically shut down. Other times, they're slowly starved to death—their thornier writers are edged out, their sharper critical edges are sanded down. It sounds like the Collegian suffered both kinds of attack. As Jaywork reports:

According to the Circuit’s first editor in chief, Cassandra Piester, the magazine was envisioned as less hard news and more culture and opinion. Piester insisted on keeping most of what she told me off-the-record for fear of reprisal, but when asked point blank “Did you feel like you had the journalistic freedom to investigate the history of the Collegian without interference?,” she replied, “No.”

Go read the whole thing and then check out former Collegian faculty advisor Jeb Wyman's account of what happened.

The fate of a Seattle community-college newspaper might not seem like a huge deal if you live in, say, Chicago—but it reads like a little microcosm drama of the insidious, smiling, candy-coated forces that are fucking up journalism all over America.

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In Culture News: Fabulous Prizes, Getting Social, and RuPaul Finally Listens to Trans Activists

Posted by , , , and on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Seattle's Pulitzer Connection The Seattle Symphony is not a Pulitzer Prize winner, but it’s the Medici to the artist who is. Alaska-based composer John Luther Adams received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his work Become Ocean, inspired by the oceans of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The piece had its world premiere on June 20, 2013, in Seattle, and will be performed again May 6 at Carnegie Hall in New York, again by Seattle Symphony. Music awarded the Pulitzer is not necessarily beloved for all time, but maybe there’s hope for the posterity of Become Ocean. Of the world premiere, The New Yorker’s marvelous Alex Ross (himself a Pulitzer Finalist) opined, “It may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history.”

It's Prize Season: Annie Baker's play The Flick, about three weirdos who work in a small movie theater, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama (one of her other plays, Circle Mirror Transformation was at the Rep a couple of years ago). And smaller, non-commercial theaters—the Brits call 'em "subsidized"—defeated some West End giants at the Olivier Awards. Quoth Alexander Pope: "It is not strength, but art, obtains the prize."

Speaking of Prizes: The nominations are open for the Mayor's Arts Awards. Categories (with last year's winners in parens) include being nice to kids (826 Seattle), "raising the bar" (Preston Singletary), cultural ambassadorship (Barbara Earl Thomas), being well-known (Seattle Repertory Theatre), making stuff better (Frye Art Museum), and social justice (Pongo Teen Writing Project). You have until tomorrow. Nominate your face off!

TAM Gets a Facelift: A date’s been set—November 16—for the grand reopening of the grand new Tacoma Art Museum. An added wing for Western art, already visibly rising south along Pacific Avenue, will double the museum’s overall gallery space. And the design?

Tom Kundig designed the Haub Family Galleries as an elegant horizontal structure with a nod to Native American long houses and railroad boxcars.

Squeaky Wheel Gets Greased: After an outcry from trans activists, RuPaul's Drag Race has stopped using the terms "she-male" (used on the show in reference to drag queens) and "she-mail" (used as a drag-queeny pun on email). Gawker's Rich Juzwiak lays out how it all went down in his post, "Here's How RuPaul's Drag Race Censored Itself."

English, Broken: One of the many pleasures of the movie Ilo Ilo, which is set in Singapore during the 1997 financial crisis (in short, it is movie that speaks to our post-crisis times directly), is that a lot of the dialogue in this film is conducted in the second language of the characters, English. The function of this kind of English, which is stiff and raw, is to convey basic information and perform business transactions. But occasionally it has to convey deep emotions, particularly in the case of film’s main character, the boy of a Chinese Singaporean family, and his nanny, a young Filipino women. The closer the two get, the more emotional work their rudimentary English has to do. You will love this film. Watch it tonight!

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Rodney Tom's Legacy Is Megalomania, Not Successful Bipartisanship

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 5:08 PM

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Rodney Tom, the Democratic senator who defected from his party to head up a spirited crusade for bipartisanship in the state legislature, announced yesterday that he won't run for reelection. Saying his decision was driven by his and his father’s health problems, Tom's farewell statement to colleagues read in part: “I really do believe we did an amazing job for the citizens of Washington state these past two years in focusing on jobs and the economy.”

He did do an amazing job—an amazing job basking in the spotlight while getting nothing done.

Of course, plenty of folks are praising his "legacy of bipartisanship" and can't wait to canonize him for his "centrist ideals." I'm genuinely sorry his dad's leg was broken in a car accident and that Tom has kidney stones, but let's not sugar-coat his distasteful career.

As you’ll recall, Senator Tom’s notion of “bipartisanship” amounted to him and Democratic senator Tim Sheldon caucusing with GOP lawmakers starting in 2012. In forming their so-called Majority Coalition Caucus, Tom became the head of it. Tom also became a political celebrity, a kingmaker and keystone, but I’d challenge you to find a valuable accomplishment under his direction. The only thing Tom could do with a Democratically controlled house and Democratic governor was assemble the senate into a roadblock. Tom blocked the Reproductive Parity Act, nixed a vital transportation package, and scotched numerous other bills that were passed in the house.

His budgets were cursory regurgitations of previous flawed budgets, thereby punting critical problems—including a multi-billion-dollar shortfall in basic education funding—onto future legislatures. Tom’s final term and legacy looks like a stunt to get attention, not to do anything.

You won't hear that tune at the Seattle Times.

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Brent Amaker Transforms Into Android Amaker With New Song "I'm the One"

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Brent Amaker and VOX MOD = Android Amaker
  • Photo by Frank Correa
  • Brent Amaker and VOX MOD = Android Amaker

Remember how I told you Seattle country rebel Brent Amaker was working on a new project with VOX MOD? Well, looky loo! Today is the premiere of the first song "I'm the One." If you like it, you can download it here. Amaker is also having a birthday party this month—he and The Rodeo are throwing a party and playing live at the Triple Door on Friday, April 25th.

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7 Remarkable Robert Fripp Moments (Not With King Crimson)

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Robert Fripp is performing tonight with Slow Music at the Triple Door (he's also playing at Washington Hall May 25 with the League of Crafty Guitarists). In honor of this occasion, here are seven of his most memorable moments on record, as recollected by me in the last couple of hours. Your mileage may vary; if so, vent in the comments.

“King’s Lead Hat” (from Brian Eno’s 1977 album Before and After Science): Fripp takes a solo in Brian Eno’s hardest-rocking composition that never fails to set my eyeballs rolling around their sockets in ecstasy. The whole tune’s amazing, but when that Fripp steps into the spotlight at 3:16, it’s like he’s captured the god particle and is letting it bubble up to a heaven I don’t believe in. (Did you know that “King’s Lead Hat” is an anagram for “Talking Heads”? You are obligated by law to mention this factoid anytime you listen to this song in company.)

“St. Elmo’s Fire” (from Brian Eno’s 1975 album Another Green World): One of Fripp’s most emotionally fraught and frilly guitar parts; it’s seriously balletic and beautiful. (Could’ve easily put “I’ll Come Running” here, too.)

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Swedish Plane Passengers Stop Man's Deportation by Refusing to Buckle Seatbelts

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:20 PM

The Independent brings us this uplifting story:

A man facing deportation from Sweden has been granted a temporary reprieve after fellow passengers aboard his flight to Iran prevented it from taking off by refusing to fasten their seat belts.

A Kurd fearing persecution in his home country of Iran, Ghader Ghalamere fled the country years ago and now has two young children with his wife Fatemeh, a Swedish resident.

As a result he qualifies for a residence permit himself – yet because of a quirk in immigration laws he is required to apply for it from outside Sweden.

On Thursday, Mr Ghalamere was put on a flight at Östersund bound for Stockholm – and ultimately Iran itself – accompanied by his friends and family in protest.

Gathering in the departure lounge, they spoke to other passengers preparing to board the flight and explained the situation.

Clearly moved, once on board the plane the other passengers refused to fasten their seat belts – a protest that prevented the pilots from being able to begin take off.

A similar cycle of solidarity has been playing out in Seattle's backyard over the past two months, with the blockage of vans of deportees leaving the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma by activists on February 24 inspiring, in turn, a hunger strike by detainees inside the facility starting on March 8. That inspired, in a further turn, the breaking out of a hunger strike at another privately-run immigration jail in Texas on March 17. According to activists, two Tacoma detainees who've been on hunger strike for the past month remain under medical observation.

All of that hasn't stopped, however, Immigration and Customs Enforcement from carrying out another batch of deportations yesterday, busing dozens of immigrants to Sea-Tac Airport. They'll be flown out on government planes in shackles rather than on commercial jetliners, where they'd have the chance to bond with fellow humans traveling to places near and far. Remember that two-thirds of deportees, according to the New York Times, have committed no criminal offense.

Who's the Real Terrorist in America?

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Peter Bergen and David Sterman at CNN write:

...since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology have killed 21 people in the United States since 9/11.

I don't know about you, but when I'm on a plane and a white guy with short hair gets on, I start to get nervous. Shouldn't they be screening people like that or something?

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Currently Hanging: Art in Seattle by the 78-Year-Old Pre-Feminist Repping the US at the Next Venice Biennale

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:06 PM

SO MANY WAYS TO READ DANTE Joan Jonas uses live-action video, video drawing, benches, tables, lamps, painting, performance, and the late Spalding Gray in her exhibition at the Henry at UW.
  • Courtesy of the Henry Art Gallery/Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
  • SO MANY WAYS TO READ DANTE Joan Jonas uses live-action video, video drawing, benches, tables, lamps, painting, performance, and the late Spalding Gray in her exhibition at the Henry at UW.

Today's big art-world news that Joan Jonas will represent the United States at the 2015 Venice Biennale is pretty interesting, actually. Not to put too fine a point on it: Joan Jonas is weird. You see evidence of her singular oddity and material looseness in an exhibition now at the Henry Art Gallery, an exhibition whose many moving parts traveled here from Houston.

The early Joan Jonas was a simple post-minimalist with a video camera. The piece she's most famous for from that time is probably the 20-minute video Vertical Roll, from 1972.

As she performs for the camera, the electronic feed is interrupted. Horizontal lines jump and advance in a continuous march that echoes the repetitive forms of minimalism—but this time the repetition is a function not of order, but of haywire. Syncing with the repetitions are the clacks of a spoon hitting a hard surface. The ears are assaulted and the eyes frustrated. The screen is cutting, breaking, and flashing the body you're trying to see clearly. Vertical Roll is a perfect articulation of the imperfect union between handheld camera and female body, made with the first generation of portable video camera, the Sony Portapak. It's a video selfie in a semi-utopic moment of liberation, just Joan and her camera, right? Not at all. She's all busted up. The long and powerful arcs of art and media history—reflecting longer arcs of power over bodies—hide in your video selfie whether you like it or not. Can you find them?

Jonas might say there is no such thing as a self-portrait, because no self can sit still, and neither can a work of art. Hers never rests. She turns stage performances into videos embedded in immersive installations, like Reading Dante III (2010) at the Henry. Reading Dante III is not Reading Dante II, which got noisy praise at 2009's New York performance-art biennial Performa. I think I'd rather have been there. Reading Dante III, the largest work at the Henry, leaves with the feeling that I'm unable to find a thread to begin unraveling what I suspect are elaborate, marvelous piles of meaning in there.

But Jonas clearly revels in her remixes. She's counterdefinitive, and sometimes I feel counterdefinitive about the works included in the exhibition, which are only a few plucked from a long career. Certain pieces, and certain parts of certain pieces, are mesmerizing, liberatory, amusing: videos of chalk drawings being made and erased and changed, a video plot involving space travel and Spalding Gray (with early-MTV special effects), a performance in which Jonas greeted the camera every morning and night. Watching Good Night, Good Morning (1976), you want to read into her, piece the glimpses into a story, but they resist. This feels intentional and meaningful—the camera's knack for hiding while revealing.

What's direly missing is live performance. During the exhibition's run in Houston, the fixed exhibition was joined each weekend by an artist performing Mirror Check. The piece is simply a woman examining her body with a compact mirror in front of an audience until she is finished. As if she will ever be finished. Whatever Jonas creates for Venice, I wager, I hope it will be equally unfinished, and as eccentric and electric as she can be.

SL Letter of the Day: Go Somewhere

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 2:41 PM

I am on vacation. Please enjoy this golden oldie from July 27, 2011.

I am in love with an intelligent woman. She is exactly what I've always wanted: smart, articulate, independent, and friggin' beautiful. The thing is, we fight constantly. Everything is going well, and then I say the wrong thing or use the wrong tone, and she blows up. In these fights, I am required to remain calm, but she can yell, scream, mock, or ridicule. These fights sometimes end in physical confrontations that she instigates. The therapist we're seeing takes my side, but still nothing gets better. Her feelings are the only ones that matter. I'm afraid to read the advice you're going to give me.

Confused, Pissed, and Sad

My response after the jump...

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Do You Have a Favorite Demolition Derby?

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Spring has sprung and a few photographer friends and I are wondering if anyone here in Slogland has a favorite demolition derby in the mighty Northwest? Suggestions for Washington, Oregon, Montana, and/or Vancouver B.C.?

The Slamfest Demo Derby, produced by Evergreen Speedway/High Road Promotions this past weekend, at the Washington State Spring Fair was pretty spectacular (and please enjoy these photos by Jake Clifford because someone else [starring me!] was so excited to go to Puyallup that she forgot the battery for her camera.) Also don't forget to check out the Washington State Fair's website for all sorts of smaller events before the big 2014 Washington State Fair in September. More photos of Slamfest after the jump!

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Poster of the Week

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM

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This charming poster by Zack Bolotin is somewhere between Dr. Seuss and a golden-age comic book. I expect a caped silhouette to fly across this skyline at any moment. More info at porchlightcoffee.com.

Tonight's Recommended Show: The Triumphant Return of Afghan Whigs!

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 2:02 PM

(Showbox at the Market) The first band from outside the Northwest to be signed to Sub Pop Records, Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs and their grungy garage rock fit right in alongside their early-’90s labelmates. Fronted by whiskey-soaked sleazemuffin Greg Dulli (who also fronts side-project the Twilight Singers and is one half of the Gutter Twins with Mark Lanegan), the band explored more soulful territories and moved to major-label heights on Elektra in ’93 before amicably splitting in 2001. Since then, Afghan Whigs have reunited a few times, making it stick in 2012, and returning to Sub Pop for their first album in 16 years, Do to the Beast, out April 15—a release that maintains some of their savage soul backbone, but also stretches into varied territory, from itchy electronic-esque drivers to somber ballads.
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, this weekend, and beyond!

If You're Gonna Watch a Guy Drive Down a Motorway for 85 Minutes, It Might as Well Be Tom Hardy: A Preview of One-Man Motion Picture Locke

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Image from the poster / A24
  • Image from the poster / A24
And yes, that really is British actor Tom Hardy—looking a lot like French action star Christopher Lambert in this still—doing the driving in Locke, the upcoming film from director Steven Knight, the writer behind Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things and David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.

If that sounds appealing, have I got the film for you! Because that's what Hardy does from start to finish in Locke: drive. Furthermore, there are no flashbacks, fantasy sequences, or cutaways to other characters. He doesn't even stop to refuel, to take a piss, or to get a bite to eat. And yet Hardy, who plays a Birmingham foreman named Ivan Locke, is hardly alone.

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I'm Struggling With Hackamore Brick, Again

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Last week I FINALLY, and gleefully, bought the LP reissue of the Hackamore Brick album, One Kiss Leads To Another, but the more I listen to it, the less I WANT to listen to it. Honestly, I've been on the fence about this album since I first heard it in the early '90s. I wasn't a fan then because I thought they were TOO Velvet Underground-y. Thing is, One Kiss Leads To Another is highly rated as an important record—it gets lip service as a "bridge" from the Velvet Underground to NYC punk. Uh, I guess. Hackamore, in places, does SOUND a lot like the Velvets, but it ain't EXACLTY filled with soon to be punk cliche—it's instead song-writer smart. Hearing the record now I think the group was prolly more rooted in folk and (ahem, I'm stretching here) prog; I hear the Youngbloods AND Canturbury in the track "And I Wonder." The only other track I dig, which might cross over as uh, punk, is the '60s garage pop killer "Zip Gun Woman."

Obviously they had SOMETHING basic and primal for 1971. And I hear it! Being dialed into the Velvets it's evident they were city boys, not wanna-be rural long hairs. I just don't know why it doesn't affect me! Maybe it's their occasional boner wilting happy good timin' pop which bugs me? GAH!! I'm a RECORD NERD so these are the kind of albums I LIVE to hear, but, save for a couple tracks, One Kiss Leads To Another leaves me ice cold.

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 Episode 9 RuCap!

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:36 PM

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And the Geigh Superbowl continues! We are down to 7 alleged girls. Only Bianca (FEAR HER), Joslyn (cuttiepop!), Trinity (what?), Darrienne (no comment whatsoever), Courtney (SHOW ME THE PENIS), and Adore (oh, nothing) stand between our girl Ben and her rightful crown. This is getting serious.

Last week's nail-biter still has my nervous system and my poor cuticles DEVASTATED. Ben DeLaCreme (#teamdelacreme!) was put on the chopping block for the first time ever after several million weeks of winning everything. Is the magic gone? The charm broken? And could such a horrible thing ever possibly happen...again? Hush your mouth!

LaGanja is finally La-GONE-Ja (PRAISE SHEZUS!), but the remaining queens are still ragging on her as they enter the work studio. "Dark and ugly and not cute" is how Adore describes LaGanja's bitter, tear-stained parting, and YES EXACTLY. Every other loser sashayed away with their chin held high and a smattering of dignity and misguided optimism, BUT OH NO NOT LAGANJA. Crybaby queen. Nothing worse. Ask anyone.

Ben predicts that Joslyn is next to go! That was kinda bitchy. (Sorry BenDela! #teamdelacreme!) I think we all know who the next to go home should be, and her name rhymes with DARIENNE LAKE. Darienne is so damn sullen and grumpy in this episode, but thank God she mostly kept her mouth shut. I'm still so mad she tricked me into liking her for two seconds.

Also! If you take away anything from this episode, let it be this: JOSLYN LIKES GUMBO. That is all.

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Survey Reveals Men's Rights Activists Are Almost Entirely White, 17 to 20 Years Old

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Stephanie Zvan noticed that the Men's Rights subreddit is surveying themselves. The results are...well, they're exactly what you think Men's Rights "activists" would be:

The Men’s Rights subreddits ran a demographic survey of their members recently. Courtney pointed me to the results. They’re listed here. The survey is still open, but as of the time I loaded it, there were just over 3,000 responses. While that is a self-selecting sample, 3,000 responses from 88,000 subscribers isn’t a bad return.

So what are the results? Who are these men's rights activists? They're 98 percent white, 87 percent of them are between the ages of 17 and 20, 83 percent of them identify as conservative, and they're very concerned with marijuana legalization. Also, 92 percent of the respondents believe men are legally disadvantaged compared to women, and 87 percent of them believe men are socially disadvantaged compared to women.

Sometimes it's nice when your suspicions align perfectly with reality. Next time you encounter a men's rights activist on the internet, remember: They're most likely college-age white men who are still living in (or who just left) their parents' home. They're still living in the comfort of a sheltered, privileged life. They have zero empathy. They haven't lived in the real world yet, and they're still arguing hypotheticals. You don't even need to argue with these people, is my point. One of two things will happen to them: Either life will smack them upside the head and they'll put down the Atlas Shrugged and straighten themselves out or they'll stay inside the bubble of wealth and comfort that their parents constructed around them, whereupon they will eventually turn into old white conservative men who think they deserve everything they got.

Sometimes, I try to visualize who racist, sexist internet trolls are in real life. I find it makes hate speech feel a little less violent if I picture the kind of person who would waste their time writing something awful on the internet to make themselves feel a little better. And this information makes that visualization exercise a million times easier. Speaking as someone who was once that age, no white man between the ages of 17 and 20 has ever said anything of value. (Comedian Rob Delaney put it best: "A male in their 20s? Run in the opposite direction. Nothing he says matters; his fears, his hopes his dreams are garbage. Men in their 20s are the worst thing happening on our planet.") It's important to recognize these people as the tiny little insignificant half-baked people that they are, and try to remember that they'll one day soon hit the age where life disabuses them of their little internet theories. I'd like to think that most of them will grow some empathy when they go and meet other people who aren't just like them. The only shame of it is that we'll never get to see the moment when they realize that they spent the first few years of their adult lives building ornate castles out of bullshit. But those castles always fall; they simply can't withstand reality.

It's Very Progressive: Second Annual Seaprog Fest Announces Lineup

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 1:15 PM

If you were underwhelmed by the headliners announced today for Capitol Hill Block Party, maybe you'll be more excited about the lineup at Seaprog festival. (Didn't you hear? All the cool kids are getting into prog now. Magma logo tattoos are all the rage.) The second edition of this progressive-rock event happens June 21-22 at Columbia City Theater, but kicks off with a free preview show June 20 at the Royal Room.

Some of the highlights of this year's Seaprog include Quebec's super-smart King Crimson-oid unit Miriodor, LA Zeuhl heads Corima, Being John McLaughlin (a local tribute group to the legendary guitarist's godhead '70s outfit Mahavishnu Orchestra), Portland's the Mercury Tree, and Seattle interstellar rockers Midday Veil. According to the press release, "Seaprog’s focus is on progressive music of the here and now rather than the florid 'prog' stylings of yore. Following last year's highly successful debut, the 2014 festival will present more than a dozen remarkable bands whose diversity of approach illustrates just how far progressive rock has evolved since its origins in the 1960s."

You can purchase tickets here. Check out the full schedule after the jump.

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Will You Buy Google Glass Today?

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Google Glass is available for sale today only. It only costs $1500! And you don't just get a pair of awkward, ugly glasses with that price. You also get:

Cable and Charger
Mono Earbud
Pouch
Your Choice of Shade or Frame

When I tried Glass at the tryouts in SoDo a couple weeks ago, I found myself squinting a whole lot, muttering, and making weird fingering motions at my temples. Who wouldn't want to be part of that experience? So I ask you, Slog:

Amy Schumer Nails Aaron Sorkin

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I love her almost as much as I loathe him. Enjoy!

Soak in the Warm, Vibrant Tones of World-Traveling Singer Fatoumata Diawara

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:02 PM

France-via-Ivory-Coast musician Fatoumata Diawara has one of those voices that envelops you in its warmth, its smoothness, its vibrancy whether you speak her language or not. Her music combines jazz, folk, and Wassoulou (think West African blues) into a sumptuous whole, as her compositions spiral through...

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Sarah Palin Is Probably Not Running for Senate...

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:42 AM

....but blogs have got to get clicks somehow, so they're pretending Sarah Palin is running for Mark Begich's senate seat in Alaska.

Seriously, though: The politician who couldn't finish a full term as Alaska's governor is going to run for a boring Senate job where she'll have to be the low woman on the totem pole? Admittedly, the Palin brand is running pretty thin these days, but I can't imagine she's willing to give up fame(-ish) and fortune(-ish) to commit to six years or more of life in the Senate.

RIP AC/DC

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Bad news for y'all AC/DC fans: Malcolm Young had a stroke.

We All Go A Little Mad (Men) Sometimes

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:27 AM

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  • Brooklyn Benjestorf

In anticipation of Sunday night's final season premiere, Seattle-based chanteuse, Prom Queen, played a Mad Men themed party at Vito's on Saturday night. In classic Seattle fashion, most of the attendees were not dressed on theme, but those that put in the effort really looked stunning. The ’90s hiphop blaring in the lounge was a little counterproductive to the ’60s ambience, but once Prom Queen started playing, it was all gorgeous cinematic, vintage rock 'n' roll vibes. Opening with "Night Sound" off of her 2012 full-length album of the same name, Prom Queen's set was a modge podge of originals and covers, with her steamy rendition of Madonna's "Justify My Love" being a notable highlight. Closing the night out with a hauntingly melancholic cover of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart" with Ty Foster lending a hand on vocals, the set was sad and sexy, dark, layered, and complicated, all at the same time, much like Mad Men itself.

More photos after the jump.

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I'm Ambivalent About Total Control's "Flesh War" Single (but I Dig That '80s Flashback Title)

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM

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  • Total Control at the Crocodile in 2011 / K.C. Fennessy
I've been raving about this Melbourne quintet from the minute I made their acquaintance, so I can't resist a post about their new single—even if I'm not as crazy about it as I expected.

From the reaction of the people I follow on Facebook and Twitter, I appear to be in the minority, but then I think we've all been craving new material from Mikey Young and the gang since their fabulous full-length debut, Henge Beat, though the guys have hardly been silent since they released a digital-only collection of singles just last year, simply titled 7"s, which is far better than your usual assemblage of odds and sods.

As for the Manchester-inspired "Flesh War," it starts off like a lost Joy Division track with an in-your-face drumbeat before segueing into slipperier Magazine territory, in part because singer Dan Stewart has a bit of a Howard Devoto thing going on (the versatile Stewart also plays drums in UV Race). So far, so good.

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Coachella Weekend Photos: Arcade Fire, Beck, Pharrell, and More

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Coachella 2014
  • Coachella 2014
Although I'm usually an upstanding member of the Coachella Boosters Club, I have to confess that the ultra-heavy crowd on Friday coupled with the return of the dreaded dust storm on Saturday evening (last year's struck on the night of Red Hot Chili Peppers, this year's hit Muse, correlation/causation, I know, I know) had me feeling a bit beaten down by the festival. Not to discount great sets from MGMT, Lorde, Pharrell Williams and Solange, but I was feeling kind of beaten down until my Saturday night ended finding shelter from the sinister winds with Darkside in one of the few tents with walls, and Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington's blistering electro/rock technological fusion turned my weary frown into a giant smile that held up for the rest of the weekend.

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Power Music Electric Revivial: Outkast At Coachella 2014

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Over the weekend, in some sand-blasted bro-infested hell pit in the Southern California desert, Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton reunited onstage for the first time in 12 years. If you haven't yet, and you like fish and grits and all that pimp shit, you can watch the whole 90-minute set below.

There's been a lot said about the lack of crowd connection, but consider that the majority of the crowd was 12 at best when Outkast was at its Speakerboxxx/The Love Below heights; the majority of people who enjoyed them in high school and such are too broke, old, or just over festival life to be up front spazzing out at $300 a pop. I'd asume that a lot of the kids who grew up during the boy-band era of the early 2000s maybe remember "Hey Ya" and missed Idlewild's charms completely; the non-hiphop heads of that set would hardly be compelled to pick up Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, unless they had an older sibling or mentor there to beat some goddamn sense into them. It makes more sense for them, then, to dress like the Ultimate Warrior (RIP) and "dance" onstage for Girl Talk.

That said—the two ran through their set in simple style, seeming in sync, Andre 3000 punctuating verses with his trademark Stankonia-era yelp. Big Boi definitely sounded more polished, but he never stopped rocking stages. As for Andre's occasional pleas for "more in the monitor" and musings if the crowd were alive or not—that's all part of the festival experience, right? (While I wish that 'Kast had skipped the dusty-foot festival circuit for their reunion and just staged a Yeezus-scale arena tour for their own, I'm guessing the money is better in wristband-land.)

The Dungeon Family was definitely in effect, as Sleepy Brown joined them onstage, and Janelle Monae, who came in the game as a signee to Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label, strutted out to perform their "Tightrope." Third generation DF member Future made an appearance, performing three cuts off of his upcoming sophomore album Honest, which you can stream in full right now, by the way. Killer Mike tried to get some bars in via the finale "The Whole World" but his mic and the music was unceremoniously cut off. "They wouldn't have done that to Arcade Fire," one Twitter user noted.

I'm praying—or my version of praying, that is—that they keep it together for the entirety of their 40+ festival tour schedule. (Especially so I can see them at the Gorge for Sasquatch—the last time they were there, during 1998's KUBE93 Summer Jam, I was on all of the mushrooms and could barely visually process them at their mutant Aquemini-era best.) For extra credit, I ask that the Universe helps Andre finds a new appreciation for tour life, that 'Kast hit a new productive stride, and that the greatest duo in hiphop (not named Run-DMC) chooses not to again forsake the world, this whole world that hardly deserves them, Amen.

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Stand Your Ground Laws Prevent Gun Deaths in Upside-Down World

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Numbers don't lie, but people sure do:


See, if you make the goal the MOST people killed, then Stand Your Ground laws absolutely work! (The story that published this Reuters chart has since been corrected with a real graph that displays information the way humans read it.)

Green Lake Watch

Posted by on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:22 AM

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