Neil Gaiman Has Been Thinking a Lot About the End of the World Lately

Neil Gaiman reads from his works this Sun, April 2, at Benaroya Hall.
Neil Gaiman reads from his works this Sun, April 2, at Benaroya Hall. Jessica Stein

Neil Gaiman is looking forward to seeing Seattle again. "It's always been one of my favorite places," said the author by phone, retreating into a back garden so he wouldn't disturb his wife, musician Amanda Palmer. "Pike Place Market is one of those places that, whenever I come back to Seattle, I come back to nervously to see if they've torn it down or if they've simply changed the character of the place beyond recognition. And so far, neither of those things has happened."

Character is a quality to which Gaiman is particularly attuned. He's the author of some of the most important science fiction and fantasy of our lifetime—Coraline, The Sandman, Stardust, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book to name just a few. His novel American Gods is about to debut as a series on Starz, and his latest book, Norse Mythology, came out in early February. He'll be reading from his works on April 2 at Benaroya Hall.

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Trump Administration Attacks LGBT Community On Three Fronts Over Last 24 Hours

There are, unbelievably, some "Gays for Trump" out there. I would ask one of them to comment on what the Trump administration has been up to over the last 24 hours... but homosexuals for homophobes didn't have anything coherent to say the day before yesterday and I can't imagine they have anything coherent to say this morning. Anyway, in the last 24 hours...

Expectations that the 2020 census might start including LGBTQ subjects were raised and then quickly dashed on Tuesday after the U.S. Census admitted that it had "inadvertently" included "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," in a long-awaited report outlining new categories for the survey. In response, GLAAD's CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, branded the move as a "systematic effort on behalf of the Trump administration to erase LGBT people." Last year, various federal agencies urged the Census Bureau to include sexual orientation and gender in their data as it was crucial to their role in enforcing the law. The survey, which has been conducted every ten years since 1790, includes a wide range of questions designed to gather data on everything from languages spoken to household plumbing facilities.

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House Republicans Just Killed Your Internet Privacy Protections

Icognito cant save us now.
Incognito can't save us now. ROYALTY-FREE/GETTYIMAGES.COM

In a 215-205 vote today, Republican congressional representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of repealing broadband privacy rules established by the Federal Communications Commission. Until today, those rules protected consumers' information—shopping habits, browsing history, app usage history, and location—from being sold off to the highest bidding internet service providers (ISPs). The bill was first passed by the Senate last week in a vote that fell along party lines.

Trump is expected to sign off on the measure.

From The Washington Post:

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Dave Reichert Votes Against Demanding Trump's Tax Returns (Again)

Donald Trump can count on Dave Reichert to not ask for his tax returns.
Donald Trump can count on Republican Dave Reichert to not ask for his tax returns. pool/getty

Democrats on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee tried again today to force the release of President Donald Trump's tax returns. Again, they failed, and again Washington Congressman Dave Reichert was among the votes against disclosure.

"This issue should not be... partisan," said Alabama Democratic Representative Terri Sewell during the debate leading up to the vote. "We should all care that our president may or may not have conflicts of interest and we should all care to know the truth."

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112 Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do In Seattle This Week: March 28-April 2, 2017

Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico opens this week, Cirque du Soleils latest atmospheric, high-flying, fantastical production.
Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico opens this week, Cirque du Soleil's latest atmospheric, high-flying, fantastical production. Laurence Labat / 2016 Cirque du Soleil

Our arts critics have already recommended 61 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 32 best concerts, but there are still hundreds more events happening. To prevent some of the quirkier and more extraordinary ones from slipping through the cracks, we've compiled them here—from Barbie Tech Dreamhouse with Robbie Turner to International Pillow Fight Day, from Vegfest to a "hallucination engine" concert presented by the "scifidelic action-adventure circus" Super Geek League, and from the Freak-A-Zoid Vintage Media Market to out-of-town festivals like the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and Port Townsend Victorian Heritage Festival. For even more options this week, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

recommendedGet all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

1. Coffee + Radio, a Listening/Tasting Party
Listen to a podcast from Kerning Cultures about a young Yemeni coffee entrepreneur, Mokhtar Alkhanshali, then taste Alkhanshali's products yourself. Explore the Middle East through hot and tasty Port of Mokha roast.

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If You Want to Laugh at the World Melting All Around Us, Go See Dina Martina's Hilarious New Show

As Dina says, Keep your expectations low, and you should be pleasantly disappointed by Fine Avec Me
As Dina says, "Keep your expectations low, and you should be pleasantly disappointed." DAVID BELISLE

In Fine Avec Me, Dina Martina's new show at "Re-bar's place," Seattle's most gifted malapropist presents delightfully deranged thinking about how to deal with Trump, the environment, and other timely topics. Before I say any more, a confession: Even though The Stranger awarded Dina Martina a coveted Stranger Genius Award in 2012, I didn't join the staff until 2015. Before this show, I had never seen one of her shows. How embarrassing! She's a PNW institution! Like maple bars, or flannel, or thinking Courtney did it.

So, last Sunday, I endeavored to pop my Dina cherry. Please forgive me if I gush a little. (Gross. Sorry. I've been influenced.)

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Why Should I Give a Fuck About... Diamanda Galás?

Diamanda Galás plays Neptune Theatre this Fri, March 31
Diamanda Galás plays the Neptune Theatre on Friday, March 31.

Years Active:

Provenance: San Diego, California.

Essential Albums: The Litanies of Satan (1982), You Must Be Certain of the Devil (1988), The Sporting Life (1994), All the Way (2017).

Essential Songs: "The Litanies of Satan," "O Death," "Gloomy Sunday," "Burning Hell," "Wild Women with Steak Knives," "The Thrill Is Gone."

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New York Attorney General: If They Repeal the Clean Power Plan, They Have to Replace It

Make America Pollute Again!
Make America Pollute Again! ollo/Getty Images

A troll who once called climate change a Chinese hoax on Twitter signed an executive order today that starts to roll back the country's plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. This will probably not result in the flourishing of coal jobs that Trump promised during his campaign, and at the same time, it probably will render the United States' commitment to the Paris climate agreement meaningless.

Nevertheless, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman—who has led the resistance of states in defending former president Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) in court—says repealing the CPP won't be so easy.

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Maxine Waters and April Ryan Shouldn't Have to Put Up with Rude and Racist Remarks from Conservative Douchebags

Hey asshat, stop policing Black womens bodies.
Hey asshat, stop policing Black women's bodies. AARON P. BERNSTEIN

If I were to put together a compilation of white men being rude and/or racist to Black women, it would become "a supercut that never ends," Stranger Music Calendar Editor Kim Selling joked in a recent Slack conversation.

Let's look at the latest cases-in-point beginning with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who sniped at journalist April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks after she asked a question—y'know, her job—during a press briefing today:

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Supporting Your Kids (& Their Cam Businesses)


My husband and I have raised our kids (22 and 18) to be sex positive. For years, your column and podcast have played a significant role in that, so thank you! The four of us are close and communicate openly. My daughter (18) has expressed an interest to me in eventually becoming a cam girl when she reaches her twenties. She is athletic, smart, pretty and confident, and I imagine she would be very successful. I can tell she wants me to give this idea a thumbs up. I'm hesitant about her viewing her blossoming sexually as a way to make money given the complicated messages our society gives young people, yet I want to be supportive. If your son were of age and wanted to pursue a similar course would you give him your blessing?

Meditating On Moneymaking

P.S. Yes, we both know she doesn't need my permission; no, I would not track or manage her videos; we are close, and all she wants is my feedback.

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Once a Haven of Class and Racial Diversity, the First Hill McDonald's Closes

Goodnight, McDonalds on First Hill.
Goodnight, McDonald's on First Hill. Charles Mudede

Today, March 28, is the last day for the McDonald's on First Hill. It will be replaced by a 17-story mixed-use building that will not be affordable to the kinds of people who eat at McDonald's because it is affordable. (The developer, Holland Partner Group, has a reputation for luxury living.) The building will also have tons of parking, the high cost of which will end up in rents and the things people buy in the commercial spaces. (David Santillanes, owner of the franchise, also owns the McDonald's on 3rd and Pine.)

Now, why should a lefty be concerned about the closing of a McDonald's? Because in cities and suburbs, this fast food corporation serves a far more diverse community than healthier cafes and restaurants.

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What Americans Can Learn from Badass Russian Dissident Reporter Victoria Lomasko

When Victoria Lomasko returns to the Russian Federation following her US tour of Other Russias, she might be considered a foreign agent.

For more than five years, Lomasko has been spearheading Russia's graphic journalism movement. Her new book, Other Russias, translated by Thomas Campbell, documents and illustrates the plight of marginalized groups across the motherland: residents of vanishing villages in rural areas, far-right grassroots movements, LGBT film festivals carried out despite bomb threats, teens languishing in prisons, among others. You know, what we're dealing with right now in Trump's America.

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Fleet Foxes Announce "Intimate" Showbox Gig in Support of New Album, Crack-Up

Anticipation is strong for Fleet Foxes difficult third album.
Anticipation is strong for Fleet Foxes' "difficult" third album. Shawn Brackbill

Hugely popular, partially Seattle-based folk-pop band Fleet Foxes are playing a handful of Pacific Northwest shows in "intimate" (for them) venues, including a May 19 date at Showbox at the Market. (More info here, and you can purchase tickets, which go on sale at 10 am PDT on March 31, here; a pre-sale kicks off at 10 am PDT tomorrow—March 29.) Led by former Stranger intern and golden-toned vocalist/guitarist Robin Pecknold, Fleet Foxes will be supporting their third album, Crack-Up, out June 16 on Nonesuch Records. After the jump, check out the group's new single, "Third of May/Ōdaigahara," which is one of their best and most ambitious compositions yet, and bodes well for the new full-length.

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Plans For a West Seattle Whole Foods Have Been Indefinitely Delayed

Spencer Platt / Getty

Sounds like West Seattle won't be getting their store full of overpriced produce and organic everything any time soon. Whole Foods representatives announced yesterday that they will "delay indefinitely” the development of a store on Fauntleroy Way after months of company struggles, The Seattle Times reports.

The company fell short of Wall Street expectations in its most recent quarter and lowered its full-year sales and earnings guidance.

Whole Foods is cutting costs, saying last month that it would be closing nine stores by April and shuttering its last three commissaries that made prepared foods for its stores. It also has terminated several leases in development.

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What Does It Take to Be Seattle's Best Banh Mi?

SAIGON DELI: The grilled pork banh mi has a perfect mix of pickles, meat, spread, and bread.
SAIGON DELI: The grilled pork banh mi has a perfect mix of pickles, meat, spread, and bread. Suzi Pratt

Asking a Seattleite where to find the best banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) is akin to questioning a New Yorker on their favorite spot for a slice: Once the food reaches a certain level, it's often a question of style, price, and proximity. But in a city where the affordable, flavorful sandwich can be found in hundreds of permutations at dozens of restaurants, which place truly serves the best banh mi? And equally important, what makes it so good?

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