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Apr 13 tanuki_don commented on Guest Editorial.
This is not funny at all.
Dec 29, 2015 tanuki_don commented on 21st Century Ghetto Blasting on a Metro Bus.
Doesn't 'novel' mean original?
Jul 28, 2015 tanuki_don commented on The Place to Buy Horses in Enumclaw.
I'm wondering if CM got called out for overinflating the significance of the horse sex incident to Enumclaw residents and this is some kind of compensatory effort to undo the damage. Seems like a totally random addendum.
Jul 27, 2015 tanuki_don commented on A Field Guide to the Vietnamese Deli.
Great piece!
Jul 26, 2015 tanuki_don commented on Revisiting the Town of the Most Famous Horse Sex Death in Recorded History.
Pretentious, incohesive, and bereft of substance. Sorry. Nothing personal. I just want better writing from the Stranger than this.
Mar 28, 2015 tanuki_don commented on Capitol Hill Street Drummer Joe Buckets Wants His Drums Back From Police.
I hope people remember that a Stranger music columnist praised Joe as someone who "brought the funk." That single-handedly convinced me to never listen to another music recommendation from that particular writer ever again. In another write-up of Joe Buckets, the Cap Hill Blog refrained from outright praise, but did provide some flattering and memorable JB quotes like this one, where he was asked to give some sage advice:

“Do what you have to do to stay off or get off the streets, really. Stay in school and get a job because being dumb won’t impress me or anyone else. If it’s a good musician you want to become then just do it. Nobody starts off being great. You got to have the passion and drive and be willing to practice 10 hours every day. If your’e not any good after 6 months, it might be time to try something else. That’s what it took for me.”

Now watch this video of Joe Buckets drumming recently. Mind you, this is one of the "better" performances I've heard by him. Things start off relatively okay if you don't mind the inarticulate Tom Waits impersonation. Things start going downhill around the two-minute mark though. If you watch the rest of the video from there, please tell me how, in God's name, Joe Buckets or anyone else can think he is a good musician or even a musician period. I don't mean to be so negative, but this guy really gets my goat for being so out-of-touch with reality. I have never felt this way about other buskers. When I hear him playing this same beat over and over with that same horrendously uneven sixteenth-note fill, I just want to knock over all his drums and tell him to take his own advice and "try something else" already.

Joe Buckets is more entertaining as a 'rebel without a clue,' internet celebrity than as a musician. Entertaining or not though, if he's disrupting people's sleep and ability to work, he should be a considerate neighbor and be more selective about the time and location of his shenanigans. I thank the Lord above I do not live around the block he plays on. Okay, there's my rant.

And yes, he frequently drops his drum sticks.
Mar 21, 2015 tanuki_don commented on Capitol Hill Street Drummer Joe Buckets Couldn't Beat the Law.
No, the police should not have arrested him or confiscated his drums, but the truth is, this guy is one of the worst "drummers" I've ever heard, and he had no business busking. There are plenty of good drummers downtown, but I really wanted to slit my own throat every time I heard Joe Buckets. He did, in fact, play the same tired beat over and over; played one of the worst, ill-timed drum fills over and over; and seemed to not be able to keep playing for more than two minutes for he lost interest and decided to have a smoke break. For this reason, there are shades of grey to the situation with the police. If we are going to have busking on the Hill, a neighborhood we feel pride in, our buskers better be fucking worth their salt.
Feb 28, 2015 tanuki_don commented on Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One.
I can understand where he's coming from, but this sounds more like an issue with the college's admissions standards. If he was so unhappy by the caliber of students he was teaching, he should have taught somewhere else. Teaching in general is difficult, but it sounds like he failed his students by waiting to tell them all the things they needed to know until after he quit his job and indirectly via the Stranger. Part of the teacher's job is to bring attention to the student's misconceptions. If his students were truly beyond all hope, then yeah, I'd blame that on the college itself.
Dec 1, 2014 tanuki_don commented on Dispatches from Tonight's Ferguson Protest.
I was proud to walk amongst this group of protesters. There was naturally a small contingent who were less than articulate and purely there to incite an antagonist response from the cops. (One masked protestor called the cops in riot gear "bitches" before a female nearby chastised them for using a term generally relegated to demean women.) But overall, it was a very moving, well-organized expression of anger and frustration, with many important perspectives expressed. The memory of John T. Williams was evoked more than once. And there were more than a few voices who voiced temperance and, if not compassion, mindful restraint in the language directed at the cops.
Jul 20, 2014 tanuki_don commented on Performing Race and a Dangerously White Production of The Mikado.
@69: I don't see how your comment is directed specifically at my comment, but coincidentally enough, my adoptive mother was Japanese. I don't think she ever saw a production of The Mikado but she really liked Jurassic Park and Peter Gabriel. If I had to guess, she would probably laugh at many parts of The Mikado, knowing her sensitivity to slapstick and silly facial expressions.

She was in Japan when the atom bombs were dropped and subsequently married an American G.I. She didn't have the vocabulary nor the emotional support to even be fully aware of the racial inequality that bore upon her when she moved to the states. In the era she lived in the U.S. from the 1960's through the 1990's, particularly in conservative states like Florida where I grew up, the Asian-American populace was prescribed a tacit policy of absolute cultural assimilimation that people of her era and background wound up internalizing until the day they died. Speaking Japanese in public was considered offensive and there was no such value as Asian cultural pride. The culturally prescribed habit of deference and suppressing personal grievance is a hallmark of many Asian Americans from that era and has a legacy in succeeding generations. It was a matter of survival. (When I left Florida in 1999, there was still commonly open disdain for citizens who had the audacity to speak languages other than English in a Wal-Mart check-out line.)

That is why sitting quietly on the sidelines as the Asian American community's experiences are dismissed is anathama to I must conduct myself in the present, i.e. there is ultimately no payoff to pretending that depictions of yellowface don't cut deeply at my core, just for the sake of trying not making waves. Furthermore, none of this should convince anyone one way or the other whether I believe The Mikado should continue being produced. I saw The Mikado tonight and thought it was anachronistic but not nearly as upsetting as the comments I've read about it online. My main beef is with people who characterize the hurt caused by yellowface to be absurd and completely illogical. My suggestion is to stop looking at the question of what is rational and to start looking at history. If your ethnic group has been struggling for generations to correct socially and spiritually destructive stereotypes, why would you stand casually by as those stereotypes were resurrected, even if the immediate potential for damage was minimal? Why would you not be on high alert?