Every May, the masses of Seattle, plagued by liberal guilt, journey to the lesser movie theaters of the city for the Seattle International Film Festival, a bloated "celebration" of the inferior cinema of other nations and creeds. The Stranger in turn makes a mockery of the word comprehensive every year on the cover of its guide to SIFF in a bid to attract the attention of advertisers. It is pretty clear flipping through the guide that the staff has only managed to review roughly half of the films on offer, and it is pretty clear to anyone who dips a proverbial toe into SIFF waters (the one I watched involved a young boy, a cancer-ridden old man, a Bosnian stream, and several dozen overwrought metaphors) that the festival is saturated with the senseless shame that has corroded American exceptionalism over the last decade. Seattle audiences think to themselves, between sips of chamomile, surely those less fortunate are in possession of some secret wisdom to which we, in Big Bad America, are not privy?

In marginally less tedious sections of the paper this week...

CITY: Stranger news editor DOMINIC HOLDEN has corralled a group feature clearly meant to upend expectations about coverage of the Seattle Police Department. Instead of yet another hysterical "news" piece about the supposed perfidy of law enforcement, this week the staff deigns to acknowledge that police officers are honorable, helpful, and necessary public servants. Nevertheless, the finished product reads like a transparent attempt to gain access to the SPD through flattery—the kind of access actual newspapers that practice actual journalism enjoy. Good luck with that, Mr. Holden. Meanwhile, BRENDAN KILEY inflates a nonissue with a thousand words of hot air, arguing against the First Amendment rights of a private-school pupil on the grounds that private-school pupils, being wealthy, don't have the same First Amendment rights as others. Or something.

BOOKS: A perverted cartoonist learned about prostitutes from Dan Savage and in response wins praise from The Stranger for his "alternative" lifestyle choice. Meanwhile, CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE pens a column lauding a supposedly wonderful bookstore that he never ventured into while it was open for business, as if that makes any sense.

CHOW: I would rather ingest a steady diet of quaaludes and formaldehyde than take BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT's advice about anything.

THEATER: I would rather read the CHOW section.

VISUAL ART: I would rather read the THEATER section.

MUSIC: Skimming DAVID SCHMADER's lead story reveals him to be writing about something to do with the most critically praised musician of 1998, which furthers my hypothesis about The Stranger being woefully out of touch.

FILM: A paean to Heavy Metal Parking Lot, a short film that my research assistants confirm was released in... 1986! If you can't review a film in its first two dozen years of release, how can we be expected to trust your film festival guide? Send me a telegraph when you discover the glory that is Technicolor!

Want even more to complain about? See everything else in this week's issue here.