One of our favorite covers from 2017.
One of our favorite covers from 2017.
If you've been paying attention (and you should be, it's not like it's been a heavy news week and what else do you have to do but read our lovely drivel?), then you know we've been looking back at a year of some truly fantastic writing, even though much of it was inspired by some truly fucked up shit. So much writing, in fact, that we are sure you've missed some of it, or maybe have forgotten about it already in the shitstorm of headlines flying at your face throughout the year.

Because everyone on staff reads what's in the paper and on Slog as voraciously as we consume news delivered outside these offices, these Best of Lists have looked back at some of the Stranger staff's favorite stories to come out of 2017, which range in mood and tone but are consistent in the high standard of quality our readers have come to expect. It's both a way of remembering the year that passed via its stories and news, and a way of reminding ourselves that it wasn't all bad.

Check out Part I (January-April) here, check out Part II (May-August) here, and check out Part III (September-December) below. And have a happy New Year. Hopefully 2018 will be as fruitful but maybe a bit less traumatic than 2017.

Trump's America Is 10 Miles South of Downtown Seattle
From News Editor Steven Hsieh: "Sydney Brownstone went to Burien and came back with one of this year's clearest portraits of the Trump era's political divides. And the story served as a foreshadowing of the local election there, when progressive newcomers defeated the 'Burien First' bloc to take over the city council."

The Genius and Generosity of Jim Henson's Work
For the Fall 2017 Seattle Arts and Performance Guide, Sean Nelson wrote a tender piece on the Museum of Pop Culture's Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited: "I don't know what I could have been expecting, but when I came face-to-face with the actual physical Bert and Ernie in their little striped sweaters, mouths agape in a permanent smile, rubber ducky in hand, I was stunned into silent awe. It only took about five seconds before I burst into tears.

The reality of those two characters, with whom I'd spent so many childhood hours being ushered into comedy, into music, into literacy, into friendship, was frankly overwhelming. The figures themselves were so much larger than I'd ever imagined. Even without legs, they seemed to stand about the size of a child gazing into a television set where his consciousness was being actively molded by the most inspired pair of hands that ever sought to mold a young consciousness."

Irma Didn't Kill My Family in Florida: "Nobody Tells Me to Stay Inside, Motherfucker!"
In which Chase Burns checks in on his St. Petersburg, Fla.-based family throughout the Hurricane Irma scare. Priceless.

It's the End of the World and I'm Forest Bathing
Charles Mudede immerses himself into the quiet greenery and soaks up the serene vibes of the 10-acre Cheasty Greespace, in the context of discussing the Beacon Hill property and the people who are in battle over how it should be used.

Q&A with the Author of "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers"
A pretty amusing fall and gourd-inspired interview by Katie Herzog.

The Worst Bus Stop in America Is in Seattle (And Other Nerdy Bus News)
By Amber Cortes.

Several great pieces were contributed as part of The Stranger's Back to School 2017 issue, which also happened to be the first issue we debuted as a bi-weekly on the streets. Among the highlights featuring our trademark high quality style of informative irreverence, Heidi Groover's must-read How to Complain About Seattle Like a Local, Katie Herzog's breakdown of drugs you'll likely come across in college and how to treat them (in moderation, if at all) in If You're Going to Try Drugs in College (and Let's Be Honest, You Probably Will), Here's What You Should Know, Rich Smith's quasi-serious but apparently kind of necessary and worth repeating piece, A Straight Guy's Guide to Not Raping People, Dave Segal's How (and Why) to Become a Vegan in College (because meat isn't sustainable, brah), and Sean Nelson's rather wry but somewhat practical guide for aspiring local musicians, How to Be in a Band

"My Van Was Just Gone." Homeless Advocates Ask City to Stop Ticketing, Towing Vehicles People Live In
Heidi Groover's continuing coverage of the homeless population always make for compelling reading.

I Brought You Flowers, Big Dead Raccoon Near Columbia City Station
From, as Chase Burns put it, Charles Mudede's "art of literary blogging" class.

Required Reading for Revolutionaries
Dave Segal offers a thoroughly enjoyable review of Pat Thomas's biography, Did It! From Yippie to Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, an American Revolutionary (Fantagraphics).

I Awoke but Couldn't Move. I Tried to Scream but Couldn't Even Do That.
Katie Herzog relates her horrifying experiences with sleep paralysis.


How Sexism and Harassment Allegations at Seattle City Light Get Lost in the Dark
From Heidi Groover: "In the midst of #MeToo, Sydney Brownstone uncovered complaints of sexual harassment inside one of the city’s biggest departments."

Why Are People So Weird About Eating Bugs? We'll All Be Eating Them Soon
Charles Mudede gets realistic about bug eating, and chomps various specimens with the author of Edible Insects. Yum.

Community Radio in Seattle Fights Back Against Corporate Behemoths and Mainstream Christian Programming
Amber Cortes looks at how eight low-power FM neighborhood radio stations got onto the air, and why the public should listen.

I Had Never Touched a Gun Before the Las Vegas Massacre. Then I Bought One.
Sean Nelson's intimate, provocative cover story finds him taking a brief foray into the world of gun ownership.

Why Did Racist Ceramicist Charles Krafft Change His Profile Picture to Charles Mudede?
Steven Hsieh gets to the bottom of it, and Krafft offers such gems as: “...he just represents The Stranger and that postmodern, intellectual French, neo-Marxist intellectual take on everything that seems to epitomize everything."

Fuck John McCain Straight To Hell
Rich Smith gives voice to what many of us were thinking about McCain affirming his support for the Senate's tax bill.

Need a wheelbarrow for all them there records?
Need a wheelbarrow for all them there records? RYAN JOHNSON
My Name Is Dave, I Collect Vinyl Records, and I Have a Problem
Nobody has a record collection bigger than Dave Segal. And no one has a bigger problem.

The Radical Politics of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
By Charles Mudede, because none of the reviews you've read of the new Star Wars are this review.

If You Are Confused About Where to Draw the Line with Sexually Harassing Me at Work, I Will Invoice You
Sydney Brownstone tells it like it is.

Could Wealthy Neighbors Kill Seattle's Plan to Build Affordable Housing in Magnolia (Again)?
Heidi Groover examines why wealthy residents in Magnolia are fighting plans for affordable housing in their neighborhood.

If You're Trying to Buy Sex on the Internet in Seattle, You May Actually Be Chatting with a Bot
Katie Herzog offers a peek at a local organization that's using new technology to combat prostitution—and finds out what sex workers have to say about it.

And finally, because you want to (need to?) know the Stranger's thoughts on all the great shit you should have listened to, read, and watched in 2017—Top 10 Albums of 2017, Local and National; Top 20 Books of 2017; Top 20 Podcasts of 2017; and The Top 20 Films of 2017.