NEWS Every once in a while, this mockery of a news section provides me with useful information. Not this week. But, in his recounting of a ride-along with something called a "freeway blogger," JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE does provide a useful quotation. This "freeway blogger" supposedly worked for Penthouse back in the '70s—what other type of person could get a Stranger writer to leave the office?—and he tells Mr. Spangenthal-Lee that writing about politics for Penthouse wasn't satisfying. "Keeping the masturbators of the world politically informed wasn't the most fulfilling thing," he says. Which brings us to the rest of this week's news section, in which the future freeway bloggers of America, ERICA C. BARNETT and ELI SANDERS, labor to keep the masturbators of the local political scene informed as they flip toward the tranny ads. PLUS: In Other Neighborhoods, CounterIntel, and Police Beat.
FEATURE Be AfraidHere we find ERICA C. BARNETT imagining a world in which everyone except herself (and those who follow her commands) falls dead from bird flu. In this dream to end all self-centered dreams, Ms. Barnett and her followers survive a viral apocalypse, but only thanks to her exceptional wisdom and foresight. I believe that psychology has a number of names for this type of fantasy: messianic complex and delusions of grandeur come immediately to mind (as they always do with Ms. Barnett). At The Stranger, of course, this type of public nonanalysis of one's troubled dream life is called a feature. I do recommend this piece, but only for the parallel fantasy that it is likely to provoke in regular Stranger readers: that if there ever comes a day when Ms. Barnett is proven right on anything, it would be better to be dead than stuck within range of her self-regard.