Blabbermouth: Our Week-in-Review Podcast Has Feelings About the "Wreck of the Kulluk," Hillary Clinton, and More!

Blabbermouth: Episode six of our Stranger week-in-review podcast.
Blabbermouth: Episode seven of our Stranger week-in-review podcast. BrAt82/Shutterstock

Well, the big protests against Shell Oil happened. They were successful in getting attention around the world, but they didn't cause the global oil company to scrap its Arctic drilling plans and yank its Polar Pioneer drilling rig out of Seattle's port. So what does a company like Shell pay attention to?

I put the question to McKenzie Funk, who has been following Shell closely for a long time and wrote "The Wreck of the Kulluk," a gripping New York Times Magazine exploration of what went wrong the last time Shell used Seattle as a homeport for its Arctic drilling pursuits. (Funk also wrote this more recent piece on Shell's visions for our planet's future.)

Ijeoma Oluo is on the show as well this week, and talks about the latest on the Somali remittance crisis (including Mayor Ed Murray's recent conversation about the crisis with John Kerry). And Charles Mudede and Sean Nelson are back to tell us what we should see at SIFF this weekend—and through the rest of the festival. Oh, and Charles has a heartwarming lesson / film recommendation to share in honor of Memorial Day. Really.

Plus the music of Jenn Ghetto and her project S, which plays at the Sasquatch music festival this weekend!

(PS: We know you want this up on iTunes. We do, too! And we're working on it. Will let you know as soon as they let us in.)



Blabbermouth May 15, 2015

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Guest Editorial: A Plan for Encouraging More Immigrant Voting in Seattle

Contrary to what you may have heard, the largest May Day march was this one—the rally for immigrant rights. Dana Laurent and David Perez, two members of Mayor Ed Murrays Immigrant Rights Voting Taskforce, say there are concrete ways to improve immigrant voting in Seattle. (Though they dismiss former Mayor Mike McGinns suggestion that we give non-citizens the right to vote as unrealistic at this time.)
Contrary to what you may have heard, the largest May Day march was this one—the rally for immigrant rights. Dana Laurent and David Perez, two members of Mayor Ed Murray's Immigrant Rights Voting Taskforce, say there are some concrete ways to improve troubling immigrant voting rates in Seattle. (Though they dismiss former Mayor Mike McGinn's suggestion that we give non-citizens the right to vote, describing it as unrealistic at the moment.) Alex Garland

In spite of what many media outlets tried to have you believe about May Day, the largest May Day march was a peaceful rally on behalf of immigrant rights this year. Immigrant rights activists have been marching since 2006 across the nation, chanting “Si, se puede!” and calling for equal treatment. For us, this chant harkens to the most fundamental right of all: the right to vote.

For the foreign-born population in Seattle, the number of eligible voters who turn out to vote is dismally low, often about 20 percent less than the overall voter population in Seattle. In 2013, close to 58 percent of eligible voters turned in ballots in Seattle—but less than 33 percent of eligible immigrant voters turned in a ballot.

Why are immigrants who are otherwise eligible to vote participating in our democracy at about half the rate of the overall population?

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Hundreds in Olympia Protest Shooting of Two Unarmed Black Males; Cops Keep a Low Profile

Protesters at Woodruff Park in Olympia.
Protesters at Woodruff Park in Olympia. Charles Mudede

A large crowd of people (yes, mostly students but also remarkably diverse), gathered at 6 p.m. this evening, at Woodruff Park, to protest the shooting of two black males by a white police officer, Ryan Donald. The incident happened last night, after Andre Thompson, 24, and his stepbrother, Bryson Chaplin, 21, allegedly attempted to steal beer from a Safeway. The officer's story, as relayed by the Olympia police department, is basically this: He spotted the suspects, he confronted them, he was attacked, he shot one, both fled into the woods, and, after a moment, returned for more. He shot the other at that point.

The general opinion of those speaking out at the park, and later the police station, where the protesters marched to at around 8 pm, was that the shooting had everything to do with race. Many of the people I talked to were just appalled that so much force was used on such a petty crime; many, both black and white, felt it was the same old, same old. Some, like Talib, a black American originally from New Jersey, thought the whole thing would be forgotten by the morning. "There have been protests about this and no one showed up," he said. "But now it's in your town, people show up. You have to care about this shit all the time. Not only when it's on your town."

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CrimeNews

Protest Against Olympia Police Shooting Is Planned For 6 PM This Evening

These flyers are everywhere in Olympia, according to one Evergreen College student.
These flyers are "everywhere" in Olympia, according to one Evergreen College student. Allana Cummings

Reached by phone, an Evergreen College student said these flyers, for a 6 p.m. protest at Woodruff Park, are "everywhere."

Charles has described what happened: An Olympia police officer shot two unarmed black men early this morning who were "suspected of stealing beer."

The police chief, in a press conference today, said one of the men assaulted the officer. He also said he believes race was not a factor in the incident. One of the men—they're stepbrothers—is in critical condition in the hospital. NBC News has the latest, including audio of the officer's communications with a dispatcher. The officer, who is white, "was put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation and a separate probe by the Critical Incident Team, a cooperative of investigators from five local law enforcement agencies under supervision of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office."

The results of those investigations will be turned over to Thurston County prosecuting attorney Jon Tunheim. Tunheim said under state law, "If we were to determine that an officer's use of force did not meet a reasonableness standard, but the officer was acting in good faith and without malice... the statute would prevent us from filing a criminal charge."

We'll have more, from Olympia, later on Slog. Here in Seattle, meanwhile:


Today is a National Day of Action to protest police killings of black women.


Savage Love: Car Talk

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JOE NEWTON

Yesterday, I found my 5-year-old son putting things up his butt in the bath. This isn't the first time—and it's not just a "Hey! There's a hole here! Let's put things in there!" kind of thing. The little dude was rocking quite the stiffy while he did it. I'm well aware of how sexual kids can be (I freaking was!), although I wasn't quite expecting to be catching him exploring anal at this young age. I want to avoid a trip to the emergency room to extract a toy car or whatever else from his rear end, and I don't want to see him damage himself…

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Bartender Crush: Michal at Queen City Grill

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Brooklyn Benjestorf

Name: Michal

Where: Queen City Grill

Buy Him A Shot Of: Cheap tequila.

Ask Him To Make You A: "Patronessy, mulled wine in the winter and sangria in the summer, or whatever makes you happy," Michal says.

What He's Doing When He's Not At The Bar: "I have a small catering company called Gola's Kitchen and when I'm not preparing food for events, I'm usually camping."

Words To Live By: "Everything I like is immoral, illegal, or fattening."


The Sacrifice Is a Film About the End of the World

Clumsy expectations and misunderstandings smashing into reality.
Clumsy expectations and misunderstandings smashing into reality.

It helps, when watching the stunning catharsis of The Sacrifice, to know that the director Andrei Tarkovsky made it while in exile from the Soviet Union—and was dying, but didn't realize it yet. The film feels like a final gesture, trembling in the gap between the immediate and the cosmic. Whatever Tarkovsky's balletically long shots are watching—an old man and his son on the seaside, or a wife slowly clacking her way across a wood floor with barely concealed scorn, or a servant trembling at the certainty that they're all about to die in a nuclear holocaust—they radiate both grandiosity and humility, mourning and loving…

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Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano Sings into the Chasm Between Electronic Dance and Down-Tempo Trance

None shall pass! Yukimi Nagano protects her bandmates.
None shall pass! Yukimi Nagano protects her bandmates. MARCO VAN RIJT

Those venturing to the bluffs of the Gorge for Sasquatch! in time for Little Dragon's set on Friday night will find the Swedish four-piece patrolling the borderline between electronic dance and down-tempo trance-jams. To one side are fiery lakes of club bass and tightly kicked beats. To the other, the placid Sea of Sade (pronounced shar-day), where glacial funk floats in smooth waves of R&B. Little Dragon's fourth full-length, Nabuma Rubberband, was nominated for a Grammy in the best dance/electronic album category this year. Vocalist Yukimi Nagano is a cosmic siren…

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SL Letter of the Day: Send the Flowers

Originally posted on October 16, 2013.

I'm a gay man in a happy and open marriage. I routinely seek the services of an erotic masseur, a man with whom I have a great client/service-provider relationship. I found out when booking my next massage with him that he was recently in a car accident with his long-term partner, who died in the hospital. Normally, I'd send flowers and a card. However, due to the nature of our working relationship, I don't want to extend myself in ways that could be uncomfortable for him. I wouldn't want to put him in the position of having to explain who I am if the card I sent was read by someone else. Any advice would be appreciated.

Wants To Be Respectful

My response after the jump...

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Dear Sasquatch!: No, You’re Not High, the Bassist from Bear on Fire Really Is Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Superbad

Bear on Fire play the Sasquatch! Yeti Stage on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Bear on Fire play the Sasquatch! Yeti Stage on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Attention Sasquatch!-goers: Bear on Fire are a Los Angeles–based sextet whose alt-blues hints at golden-era ’70s melodic rock. They just released their debut album, Velicata Back. They are playing Saturday, May 23, at 1 p.m. on the Yeti Stage. If you arrive (or wake up) in time to catch their set, you may recognize Bear on Fire’s bassist and not fully understand why. This is why: He is Christopher Mintz-Plasse (you can call him Chris), the actor who played McLovin in the movie Superbad. In fairness, he has played other roles, as well. He spoke from his home in Los Angeles.

Have you listened to much Christopher Cross? It’s pure 1970s glory. I think you guys could cover the shit out of his song “Sailing.”

I’ve heard of him, oh yeah. I’ll see what the band thinks. I know “Sailing.” [He sings the chorus. I join him. We sing “Sailing” together.]…

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CrimeRaceNews

Seattle Police Chief Balks at Call for Federal Intervention on Protest Policing

Chief OToole says she is all about building community trust in the police department.
Chief O'Toole says she is all about building community trust in the police department. But she's not embracing a call for a federally-mediated dialogue between the police and #BlackLivesMatter protesters. SPD

Police chief Kathleen O'Toole is rejecting a unanimous call from city's Community Police Commissioners for the Department of Justice to mediate a series of forums on how the department has treated Black Lives Matter protesters.

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NewsEnviro

Protest Barge Gets 72-Hour Warning From Harbor Patrol, Damage to Dive Park Is Assessed

The Solar Pioneer protest barge, which dropped concrete blocks onto a popular local diving site without clearing it with divers first.
The Solar Pioneer protest barge, which is protesting Shell Oil's Polar Pioneer in Elliott Bay. It turns out the barge moored over a popular local diving park without clearing it with the divers first. Courtesy of Kelly Mears

On Wednesday, the Solar Pioneer—the Polar Pioneer protest barge floating in Elliott Bay—got a call from the Seattle Police Department. According to barge operator John Sellers, a Harbor Patrol sergeant told him that the barge's moorage permit from Saturday had expired, and Sellers' crew could see an enforcement action in 72 hours.

"There's no ultimatum," SPD spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb clarified. "This is just a 'You might be cited if this hasn't been moved in three days.' This was not a guarantee of enforcement."

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Listen Here: New Destroyer Album and Single "Dream Lover"

Destroyer's back after a four year absence.
Destroyer's back after a four year absence.

Dan Bejar is back! And he's got horns, horns, horns.

This morning, Destroyer announced their new album Poison Season will be released on August 28 via Merge. The follow-up to 2011's critically acclaimed Kaputt also has a new single titled "Dream Lover."

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Vanessa Place Is in a Fight Over Gone with the Wind's Racism, But It’s Not the Fight She Says She Wants: An Interview

Sorry not sorry?
For years, literary provocateur Vanessa Place has been tweeting text and images from Gone with the Wind. Earlier this week, she was fired from a committee selecting authors for a 2016 writing conference. Patrick Greaney

Is this Twitter feed racist? Is it racist but good art? Is it racist but bad art? Under what circumstances can a white writer use racist language and imagery to denounce racism? Who gets to decide? Why?

These are the questions that have been banging around in the heads of writers around the world for the past week. (These are also questions Place has provoked before.)

In case you haven't been paying attention: For several years, conceptual poet and defense attorney Vanessa Place has been retyping, word for word, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. She uses as her Twitter profile pic a photo of Academy Award-winner Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy” in Victor Fleming’s film adaptation of the novel. For Place’s background image, she uses a cropped illustration of a black woman from the cover of a piece of sheet music called “Jemima’s Wedding Day”—an image widely regarded as offensive. Even Place would agree that it's offensive.

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Leaked E-mail: What a King County Superior Court Judge Really Thinks About Raising the Cost of Traffic Ticket Fines

A $12 increase in a traffic fine may not seem like much, but when a local judge added up all of the additional fines, he showed how the system can take hours off poor peoples lives.
A $12 increase in a traffic fine may not seem like much, but when a local judge added up all of the additional fines and demonstrated how a person gets processed through the system, he showed how courts disproportionately demand hours and money from poor people. Ernest R. Prim/Shutterstock

Earlier this week, the Washington State Supreme Court ordered a $12 increase in the maximum fine for most traffic violations. They did this despite being warned that such a policy would have a disproportionate effect on poor people and people of color.

Here's why that'll happen:

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