Regular readers of my weekly distillation no doubt noticed this space appeared sans byline last issue. It was a simple oversight, I've been told—an editorial error. And while I've grown accustomed over the years to any number of slights and outright slaps from the feckless children who man this paper (or, as the bra-burning suffragette ERICA C. BARNETT would doubtless prefer: the feckless children who person this paper), in this instance I have no reason to doubt the excuse I've been given. The Stranger wouldn't be The Stranger without blatant errors. After all, "Mistakes Were Made" is the paper's unofficial slogan for a reason.
Speaking of which: Whoever green-lit this week's feature on lost snowboarders by one COURTNEY NASH has, almost certainly unintentionally, committed a grave mistake. Ms. Nash, a freelance writer, has penned a piece so well-written and well-researched that its mere presence within The Stranger's pages quickly exposes the surrounding content as a particularly effective advertisement against fetal alcohol syndrome. And while this is certainly not fresh news—there's a reason The Stranger is used as toilet paper in the marbled lavatories of Seattle's most prestigious news-gathering organizations—in this case, the disconnect is so blatant that even a degenerate newly on parole (read: the paper's core readership) will be unable to ignore it. As I've remarked many a time (and will surely do again until this rag at last implodes): If you want quality in The Stranger, you need to look outside its offices. After all, it's hard to pen quality copy when both hands are firmly around the bong.
As for that content put so beautifully to shame this week, it runs the gamut from scatological to dunderheaded, with stops at irresponsible, lazy, and quite possibly criminal along the way. In DAVID SCHMADER's normally decent Last Days column, for instance, we find a report on smeared feces on a public bus—just the sort of story that made a name of Morrow. Meanwhile, in that den of iniquity known as the news section, the aforementioned MS. BARNETT complains about rental cars, DOMINIC HOLDEN writes about tall buildings, and JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE scribbles yet again about the big, bad police (lord help you, boy, if the SPD ever searches your closet).
In the critical sections, CIENNA MADRID squanders some 1,000 words as an excuse to print pornography in the paper; BRENDAN KILEY, ANNIE WAGNER, and PAUL CONSTANT further defile the corpse of theater; and MEGAN SELING dons a cheerleader outfit to profile a local record label in the music section. And those, sadly, are just the "high points." By the time the beleaguered reader limps upon Savage Love (if the endless, mind-numbing journey hasn't sobered them up first), this week tackling "sub/Dom etiquette," their faith in humanity may be forever skewered. Actually, scratch that—humanity isn't something Stranger readers normally truck in. Otherwise, obviously, they wouldn't be Stranger readers.