MONDAY, AUGUST 28 The week begins with a tantalizing story about everybody's favorite Jew (after Jesus and Jon Stewart), Joseph Lieberman. Today the Democratic vice presidential hopeful received a letter from the Anti-Defamation League, urging him to shut up about God during his run for the White House. Founded in 1913 to fight anti-Jewish sentiments and other forms of bigotry, the Anti-Defamation League appealed to Orthodox Jew Lieberman to "keep in mind that public profession of religious beliefs should not be an elemental part of this or any other political campaign," stressing that "emphasis on religion in a political campaign becomes inappropriate and even unsettling in a religiously diverse society such as ours." The ADL's impressively idealistic letter singled out a recent, God-heavy address the would-be V.P. delivered to a Detroit congregation, but Lieberman is by no means alone on the "creepy professions of faith" platform: Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush has named Jesus as his favorite philosopher; Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore has described himself as "a born-again Christian"; and Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan has repeatedly roused his followers with the self-penned hymn, "God Hates Everyone (but Me)."

TUESDAY, AUGUST 29 We've Come a Long Way, Baby, Part 974: Considering The New York Times' refusal to use the word "gay" in its pages until 1987, Last Days was thrilled to see today's NYT cover story about the backlash against the Boy Scouts following the organization's successful banning of gays from their ranks. In a piece so naturally attuned to the moral imperative of equal rights for gays it could've been penned by Faggy Von Pridenstein himself, writer Kate Zernike recounted the stunning loss of support the Boy Scouts of America has suffered in the two months since the Supreme Court upheld the group's right to discriminate. In accordance with their non-discrimination policies, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Jose, California have banned the Scouts from meeting in parks, schools, and other municipal sites, while corporations such as Chase Manhattan Bank and Textron Inc. have withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from scouting groups across the country. Most impressively, dozens of United Way campaigns across the nation have cut off funds amounting to millions of dollars each year. "People felt very strongly that we should take this step," says Bob Horne of the Fall River, Massachusetts United Way. He admits the organization was hesitant to deprive children of the benefits of scouting, but "it all came down to [our] obligation to do the right thing." Stay tuned for news of the sure-to-be-forthcoming Religious Right counter-backlash. It's gonna be a bloodbath.

··In other backlash news: Radio Shack and Motel 6 have joined the ranks of the many, many companies to pull advertising from the upcoming TV show hosted by loudmouthed bigot Dr. Laura. Last Days has certainly endured our share of crushing rejections; however, we can only imagine how bad it feels to be dumped by Motel 6 and Radio Shack.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30 Today every news source in town reported on the mind-numbingly brutal murder of Erik Toews, the 30-year-old Tacoma resident beaten to death "for the fun of it" by eight Tacoma youths, aged 11 to 19. The facts thus far: Erik Toews was walking home from work just after 10 pm on Saturday, August 19 when he was attacked by the group of young men, who beat him into a coma. On Friday, August 25, Erik Toews died. Today two members of the group were charged with first-degree murder in Pierce County Superior Court. Tomorrow, three more will be charged, and Tacoma police will announce that the youths are responsible for at least nine attacks in north Tacoma since July 26, spurring 400 furious citizens to blast Tacoma police at a public meeting tomorrow evening for not warning residents of the attacks prior to Toews' murder. Meanwhile, columnists will try to draw some sort of resonant conclusion from this stupid tragedy. Upon failing, they will defer to the words of Erik Toews' brother Brian, who told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that all of this would be easier if the killer were "the most evil person out there. But when you are talking about kids, you wonder about the circumstances of their guilt, and that is stealing away a part of our grief. It makes it even more unresolvable for us."

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31 Further developments in the Boy Scouts backlash: Today Chase Manhattan Bank reversed their decision to withhold funding from the Scouts, announcing via press release that their position on the matter had been "mischaracterized" by the press, and that the bank had only suspended funding while they "reviewed their relationship" with the Boy Scouts. Said the release: "At the end of the day, we do not want to withdraw funding from those programs, because doing so would be harmful to thousands of children who benefit from them." The wussy bank promises to "continue working with the Scouts on this evolving issue." (To pick up the backlash slack, tomorrow the Framingham, Massachusetts School District will announce their banning of Boy Scout recruiters and promotional literature from its campuses.)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 Today: a thrilling "man vs. machine" battle on Capitol Hill. The saga began this afternoon at approximately 12:34 pm, when a young man in a QFC uniform was seen crossing the street at the corner of Pike and 11th. Upon stepping off the curb, the man was nearly run down by some pedestrian-hating hothead in a Chevy Blazer. Fully aware of his right-of-way as a walker, Mr. QFC whipped off his shoulder bag and swung it at the offending SUV, scoring a direct hit with its side-view mirror, which popped off and dangled pathetically. Unfortunately, the force of the swing sent the bag flying from the man's hand to the pavement directly behind the enemy car, which wasted no time in repeatedly backing over the bag before speeding away. (We didn't say the story was just; we said it was thrilling.)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 Today at the Seattle Center Opera House, Last Days and hundreds of other happy Bumbershooters had the pleasure of attending a performance by the Magnetic Fields, whose truly beautiful show--featuring a big chunk of their 69 Love Songs--made everyone in attendance very happy not to be dead. Later on the Interview Stage, Last Days chatted with band leader Stephin Merritt, songwriter extraordinaire and one of the few people on Earth we can refer to as a genius without throwing up. And despite the participants' unspoken agreement to let the event--a conversation between two strangers conducted onstage in front of other strangers--be precisely as uncomfortable as it should be, the time passed quickly enough, with a happy lack of bloodshed and without either participant falling asleep. Anyway, we're not kidding with that "genius" remark, and if anyone reading this has any connection to the MacArthur Foundation, please tell them to throw a million dollars at Stephin Merritt immediately.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 So much news, so little room.

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