96 Stranger (Than Usual) Things To Do In Seattle This Week: July 25-30, 2017

If you want to be filled with childlike wonder, consider driving to Olympia for the 10th annual Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, which will have farm tours, a Shroom Feast, a kids mushroom hunt, and more.
If you want to be filled with childlike wonder, consider driving to Olympia for the 10th annual Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, which will have farm tours, a "Shroom Feast," a kids' mushroom hunt, and more.

Our arts critics have already recommended 56 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 21 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 the nerdy THEORY Festival to the multidisciplinary, arts-centered festival:festival, and from the Seattle Scottish Highland Games to the Pacific Northwest Mushroom 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. Night of the Living Dead
Commemorate the titanic horror director George Romero with a screening of the film that launched a thousand zombie flicks, not to mention essays on race relations in America.

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TJ Miller Might Not Be the Worst, but the Worst Is Busy Pillaging the Country, so TJ Miller Will Have to Do

TJ MIller, a man who was not taught to suppress his sense of humor during his formative years. Bully for us.
TJ Miller, the Booger of Silicon Valley.

Being interviewed is hard. Not hard like things that are actually hard, like working for a living or getting out of bed when what's the fucking point of being alive anyway, but it is, let's say, challenging. And not because people don't like to talk about themselves. The internet has taught us that a infinite desire to elucidate every mundane facet of the self is the only thing that unites our paltry fucking species (present company included).

But every so often, some performer gets to thinking they have the whole nasty machine all figured out, and goes off-script, rubbing the world's nose in his/her/their sense of effortless superiority. The mask is dropped, and with it, the successful actor's pretense of humanity. And it is, without exception, a grotesque thing to behold.

Case in point: actor TJ MIller's interview with Vulture/NY Magazine yesterday, in which he was quoted saying—among about 329 other noxious and obnoxious things—that women aren't as funny as men because “They’re taught to suppress their sense of humor during their formative years.”

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SECB Primary Election Endorsement for King County Executive: Dow Constantine

Dow Constantine
Dow Constantine

Check out The Stranger's full list of endorsements for the August 1, 2017, Primary Election here.

Dear Dow: We're sorry we made you sit in a conference room for an hour with Goodspaceguy, the perennial candidate who wants to eliminate the minimum wage, and Bill Hirt, the anti-transit fuckwit who stormed out of the meeting after five minutes. Our endorsement of you was a foregone conclusion—you knew it, the SECB knew it, Bill Hirt obviously knew it—and not just because your opponents are garbage. You're actually really good at this "being county executive" shit. In the last couple years, you approved a plan to increase Metro service hours, signed legislation granting paid parental leave to some county employees, and championed a ballot measure that would bump the sales tax to fund critical arts programs. Impressive! Especially when one is reminded—by you, Dow, at every opportunity—that you inherited a budget nightmare when you took office in 2009. (There were talks of cutting Metro hours back then.) Now the books are balanced and the city of Seattle enjoys a collaborative relationship with our county overlords. You've worked with Mayor Ed Murray on initiatives to launch a regional homelessness plan and the country's first-ever safe injection sites, and we trust you'll play nice with Seattle's next mayor.

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The Economics of Cary Moon and Why They Separate Her from the Rest of the Mayoral Candidates


The reason the city should seriously consider Cary Moon is it has never had a mayor who really understands economics. And already I must make a few things clear before explaining why this is of great importance in our moment and this race.

What do I mean by economics? Unlike most economists, business journalists, and politicians, I distinguish economics from a branch of the subject called neo-classical economics. What's taught at higher education institutions like the University of Washington are the ideas of the neo-classical school, which is characterized by its emphasis on exchanges—what people bring to and take from the market. When exchanges are at the center of the economic picture, what matters is not what is exchanged or where it came from or how it was made, but reaching a state where all that is offered in a market has a buyer, or, to put it another way, reaching equilibrium. This is why in the neoclassical school, which is often confused with economics as a whole, believes there can be no involuntary unemployment. There is always a buyer for work if it the market reaches an equilibrium point. That point may be high (during a boom) or very low (during a bust). This is why, in this view of things, government intervention always makes matters worse; it disturbs or distorts the market. For example, remove the minimum wage law (which is imposed by the government), and the labor market will clear.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Is Her Ex-Boyfriend Biphobic? (Her Ex-Boyfriend Would Like To Know)


I’m a straight male. My ex is bi. She has a lot of shame about her sexuality. She said I was the only person she ever felt safe enough with to discuss it. She won't even talk to her therapist about it. She only recently admitted to herself that she’s bi and has never had a relationship with a woman.

There was a period when she really struggled with the shame. Since I was the only one she felt comfortable talking to about it with, it became a common topic of discussion. I asked if she thought she could find an LGBTQ support group, but she said no. I was happy to listen to her, but I knew that I could never understand what she was processing. One night, I asked if she felt that being in a relationship was stifling her ability to process her coming out. I know it’s possible for a bi person to be open, shame-free and to have only had heterosexual encounters. Given that we were monogamous and moving quickly I wanted to see if she felt this was best for her. She said the relationship wasn’t stifling her but wondered if I felt that way since she had been talking about it more. She said she would feel the same way.

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Community Police Commission Recommends Paying Officers More for Language Skills

Council members Lorena González and Tim Burgess announcing the creation of a city Immigrant Defense Fund earlier this year.
Council members Lorena González and Tim Burgess announcing the creation of a city Immigrant Defense Fund earlier this year. City of Seattle

The Seattle Police Department gives military veterans a preference when they apply for jobs as officers. Why not give bilingual speakers an advantage, too?

In the historic package of police accountability legislation passed by the City Council in May, City Council members agreed that Seattle police should use preference points—the same system used to boost military experience—to increase the number of bilingual speakers on the force, as well as people who have experience in "social work, mental health or domestic violence counseling, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or other similar work or community service backgrounds." But new recommendations published last week from the Community Police Commission (CPC) suggest going a step further: adding incentive pay for officers who use those language skills on the job.

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Gossipy First Impressions ~Subject to Change~ of the Candidates Running for Dave Reichert's Seat

These are the people, so far, who think they beat Dave Reichert.
These are the people, so far, who think they can beat Dave Reichert. The Campaigns of Jason Rittereiser, Mona Das, and Tola Marts

We're 16 months away from election day, but the race to flip Washington's 8th district has begun in earnest. Though the independent commission redrew the district back in 2012 to make it more safely Republican, the DCCC has targeted the area because its constituents voted for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016. If they can get those voters to come out against Reichert for the midterm, then they're one seat closer to taking back the House.

Republicans are responding to this challenge seriously. Reichert's already raised approximately $420,000 in a race that will likely draw a stupid amount of money.

I talked with the three Democrats currently running against Dave Reichert at Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal's town hall last Saturday afternoon, and my first impressions are mixed.

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Something To Read While the Senate Votes On Repealing Obamacare and Killing Tens of Thousands of Americans Annually

This Frank Rich piece in New York Magazine back in March is worth a second reading...

There’s no way liberals can counter these voters’ blind faith in a huckster who’s sold them this snake oil. The notion that they can be won over by some sort of new New Deal — “domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance),” as Mark Lilla puts it — is wishful thinking. These voters are so adamantly opposed to government programs that in some cases they refuse to accept the fact that aid they already receive comes from Washington — witness the “Keep Government Out of My Medicare!” placards at the early tea-party protests.

Perhaps it’s a smarter idea to just let the GOP own these intractable voters. Liberals looking for a way to empathize with conservatives should endorse the core conservative belief in the importance of personal responsibility. Let Trump’s white working-class base take responsibility for its own votes — or in some cases failure to vote — and live with the election’s consequences. If, as polls tell us, many voters who vilify Obamacare haven’t yet figured out that it’s another name for the Affordable Care Act that’s benefiting them — or if they do know and still want the Trump alternative — then let them reap the consequences for voting against their own interests. That they will sabotage other needy Americans along with them is unavoidable in any case now — at least until voters stage an intervention in an election to come.

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LIVE: The Senate Is Now Voting on Whether to Repeal Obamacare

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Maybe—maybe—he knows WTF is going on today.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Maybe—maybe—he knows WTF is going on today. Win McNamee / Staff

It's all very confusing, but at the moment it looks like Republican Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have voted NO on the motion to proceed to debate on the Senate's Obamacare repeal bill.

What's in the bill that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants everyone to proceed to?

No one knows, including Arizona's Republican Senator, John McCain, who right now, despite his brain cancer diagnosis, is on his way to the Senate chamber to cast the vote that will decide whether this ball of insanity rolls forward or stops here (for now). McCain could decide to live up to his long-cultivated "maverick" image. Will he?

The health insurance of millions of Americans literally hangs in the balance, and protesters already tried to stop the Senate proceedings by chanting "Kill the bill!" in the Senate gallery.

Watch the vote live right here.


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Spun Out: 5 Essential Cuts by Local DJ Raj

DJ Raj: [B]eing a POC DJ is a form of radicalism. I can draw on my craft to subdue forms of oppression.
DJ Raj: "Being a POC DJ is a form of radicalism. I can draw on my craft to subdue forms of oppression." Shu Jones

DJ RAJ (Free Axis Broadcast)

Current top 5 tracks:

"The list is split between ambient/drone and conventional dance tracks. I’ve done so many ambient sets lately that I had to throw in a couple of my favorite selections."

Sarah Davachi, "Chanter" (2017, Students of Decay)
"I have yet to play an ambient set without including a track from Sarah Davachi. Her productions are dense and beautiful."

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On Recording, One Senator Calls Trump "Crazy" and Another Says, "I'm Worried"

Alarming US Senators, too. They just wont say it this plainly when they know theyre being recorded.
President Trump: freaking out US Senators, too. They just won't say it this plainly when they know they're being recorded. Getty Images

Washington Post:

At the end of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday morning, Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) didn’t switch off her microphone. Apparently speaking to Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the ranking Democrat of the committee, Collins discussed the federal budget — and President Trump’s lack of familiarity with the details of governing.

And then, Senator Reed apparently says to Senator Collins:

“I think — I think he’s crazy,” apparently referring to the president. “I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.”

“I’m worried,” Senator Collins replies.

Also discussed in the presence of the hot mic: a Republican Congressman from Texas who recently said he might challenge Senator Collins to a duel over her stand against Obamacare repeal—except that Collins is a woman. Here's that Republican Congressman:

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You Need To Eat This Fucking Doughnut

😍😍😍😍 ASK

Meet the Crunchy Cream, one of the many stars in Fuji Bakery's pastry case—and one of the best things I've eaten in recent memory. This doughnut is filled with vanilla custard and then rolled in sugar and toasted cornflakes. Yes, toasted cornflakes.

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Who's Bankrolling the Anti-Safe Consumption Sites Campaign?

Vancouvers safe-injection site.
Vancouver's safe-injection site. City of Seattle

Yesterday, supporters of an initiative to ban safe consumption sites in King County reported turning in 70,000 signatures—nearly 22,600 more than they need to qualify for the November ballot*.

The group's announcement comes after the political action committee funding the effort, Impaction (LOL), spent $111,577 on paid signature gatherers, according to state public disclosure records.

Safe consumption sites would provide a place for people to use illegal drugs like heroin under the supervision of medical staff on hand to prevent fatal overdoses. Clients would bring their own drugs to the sites, which would be modeled in part off sites in Vancouver, B.C. and would also offer connections to treatment services. A city/county task force has recommended opening two sites in King County, including one inside the City of Seattle. The city and county have not yet determined where the sites will be located.

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Babeland Sold to San Francisco's Good Vibrations

Rachel Venning (L) and Claire Cavanah (R).
Rachel Venning (L) and Claire Cavanah (R).

The news broke yesterday that Babeland, the online/brick-and-mortar sex toy shop with locations in Seattle and New York City, has been sold to San Francisco's Good Vibrations. Babeland—originally Toys In Babeland—was founded in Seattle by business-not-life-partners Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah in 1993. Rachel had just graduated from the University of Washington's MBA program, Claire was working in publishing in Seattle, both were lesbians active in the women's movement.

They opened their first store on Pike Street, not far from the Stranger's offices, and it was an instant hit with people who wanted sex toys but didn't want to slink into a dark and dingy porn store with a damp and smelly video arcade/public sex environment at the back. Christine Wenc, one of the Stranger's first editors, reviewed the store when it first opened:

The place was tastefully decorated and roomy, the staff was friendly, helpful, and very knowledgeable. Everywhere were dildos of all shapes and sizes and textures (one very funny one shaped like an ear of corn); dildo harnesses; all kinds of vibrators; butt plugs; little strings of beads to put up your butt and pull out again; bottles of lube; lots of books. I was entranced by all of the nifty gadgets, many of which I'd seen in the Good Vibrations catalogue before. And there was also a little room in the back with a mirror and a comfy chair for testing the products. Everything was laid out for inspection, with power source available if necessary, so you'd know exactly what you were getting. It was great fun.

Babeland was a revolution when it opened and quickly became one of Seattle's sex-positive institutions, along with things like the Center for Sex Positive Culture, SEAF, HUMP!, pride, naked cyclists at the Fremont solstice parade, and the late, great, and much-missed bondage/leather shop SIN, C-SPACE, and the Lusty Lady. So I was delighted to learn, when I spoke to Rachel and Claire by phone and via text yesterday, that Babeland isn't going anywhere. We also talked about why they're selling, their best and worst customers, and what the future holds for them. After the jump...

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I, Anonymous: Hello, Good-bye


You park on my street and walk by my yard every day on your way to work. We used to address each other like civil human beings, but since then, I've found myself on the receiving end of your resentment more than once.

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