1. DAN SAVAGE writes about The Stranger's 2013 Holiday Charity Challenge, which pits fans of Slog, Pearl Jam, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis against each other in an effort to raise money for the Orion Center, which is definitely a worthy cause. However, the demographics of this charity fundraiser are highly problematic. To wit: The Stranger's staff is made up of a majority of white men, and this drive pits them against two white men and another group of five white men. White men make up less than one-third of Seattle, which means this charity function woefully underrepresents more than two-thirds of the city. This brings two questions to mind:
a. What do these demographics indicate about The Stranger's inherent white-male-supremacist leanings?
b. Given the disgusting sexism and racism fueling this drive, should the Orion Center consider returning the money from this fundraiser, rather than redirecting the resources to young homeless people in need of food, clothing, and shelter? Wouldn't Orion Center's refusal of the money give those needy youths a more meaningful message than providing services funded by dirty phallo-Caucasianist money?
2. In the news section, ANNA MINARD has an overlong account of lame-duck outgoing mayor Mike McGinn and his battle with the Seattle Police Department over the purchase of some SUVs. McGinn, of course, would prefer that the SPD buy hybrids. Can you think of a better way for Mayor McGinn to waste the remaining dregs of his political life than a piddling battle over a couple of gas-guzzlers? Does this story make you feel kind of sorry for McGinn, finally?
3. This week's tiny issue of The Stranger also contains the winter issue of A&P, the quarterly arts publication that is written and produced by the staff of The Stranger. Can you spot any differences between A&P and The Stranger? From a marketing standpoint, why would The Stranger choose to "fracture" its "brand" like this?
4. JEN GRAVES has contributed a 6,000-plus-word essay about Native Americans and photography as the centerpiece of this issue of A&P. If you can, imagine a human being who could read this piece from beginning to end. What superhuman characteristics does this imaginary human being possess that enable him/her to get all the way to the ending without dying of boredom or injuring her/himself to bring some kind of an ending to the ordeal? Would killing this imaginary person be considered a mercy or a sin?
5. This issue of A&P features more comics than you'll find in a standard issue of The Stranger. Is this a blessing or a curse? Would your opinion change if A&P ran comics that were actually funny, like Get Fuzzy or FoxTrot? Does pretentiousness have a place on the comics page?