MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 The week begins with Presidents Day, the century-and-a-half-old national holiday originally conceived to commemorate the birth of Founding Father George Washington, later amended to include slavery-abolishing deep thinker Abraham Lincoln, with honors finally extended (by federal legislation) to every president ever, up to and including the retarded monkey fuck stinking up the Oval Office as we type.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Perhaps due to aftershocks caused by two-dozen reputable dead presidents spinning in their graves, today brought a devastating earthquake to Iran, where a magnitude-6.4 quake hit the outskirts of the town of Zarand, killing more than 600 people and injuring hundreds more. In this world of twice-daily suicide bombs and murderous Mother Nature, it's not easy for any one tragedy to command its deserved significance. So thank God for Nasser Karimi, the Associated Press writer who witnessed today's Iranian devastation firsthand, capturing the tragedy with deep brevity: "Where have you gone?" sang Hossein Golestani softly over the bodies of his daughters, aged 7 and 8. "I had a lot of plans for you."


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Nothing happened today, unless you count news flurries about Pope John Paul II's new book, in which the feeble pontiff takes time out from his busy pooping schedule to denounce gay marriage, which his holiness characterizes as a major component of a "new ideology of evil" posing an insidious threat to society. Tomorrow, the pope will undergo an emergency tracheotomy, with the otherwise successful throat surgery rendering the elderly pontiff mute. As our fella Jake put it, it's a start.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24 Today brings what the ages will hail as the most mind-boggling Hot Tip in Last Days' history, courtesy of worship-worthy Hot Tipper Cilantro. The scene: The Starbucks Licensed Stores Awards ceremony, a celebratory/motivational leadership conference, held this evening in the fourth-floor ballroom of the Washington State Convention Center. "Boring stuff, as usual corporate things go," writes our man Cilantro. But things took a turn for the surreal when the emcee announced "something special for you all--Jefferson Starbucks!" after which the hydraulic stage rotated to reveal a pretend band comprised of the upper-management folk the audience had heard speak earlier in the evening. "They were standing in front of a huge American Bandstand-esque 45 single dangling in the air," writes Cilantro. "And they all had on rock 'n' roll Halloween costumes: pink glitter wigs, white fishnet shirts, fake leather pants, as well as big fake instruments--a huge, oversized piƱata guitar and keyboards. It was like a living cake decoration." From this most promising of plateaus, Jefferson Starbucks quickly ascended to the heavens, lip-synching their way through a company-specific rewrite of Jefferson Starship's "We Built This City," the 1985 anthem that made fresh headlines last year by topping an international critics' poll of the worst songs ever. But tonight, Starship's crap was Starbucks' gold, as "We Built This City On Rock 'n' Roll" was reborn as "We Built This Starbucks on Heart and Soul!" with lyrics rewritten to celebrate the Starbucks way:

Knee-deep in the mocha/making coffee right
So many partners/working late at night
We just want to build here--IMDS, does it pass?
We call on development to complete the task!
Living the way of being,
In the Green Apron Book!
Don't you remember?
We built this Starbucks on heart and soul!

The rewrite even replicated the weird helicopter news report that appears in the middle of the original: "I'm looking out over hundreds of partners on another fantastic leadership conference and I'm seeing a bunch of everyday heroes!" "I couldn't fucking believe it," writes Cilantro. "The rest of the crowd was stunned, too. Eventually, the emcee berated them--'Come on you guys! Dance! This is your band! This is for you!'--and the crowd half-heartedly got up and just stood there." (A moment of silence for the million silent deaths experienced by the audience during the song's merciless four-minute-and-48-second running time.) Best of all, before his departure, Cilantro was given his very own copy of the inexhaustibly mind-blowing song, pressed onto souvenir CDs and distributed with pride by Starbucks stars. Dear Cilantro: Thank you for surviving and sharing. Humanity is forever in your debt. Dear readers: To hear "We Built This Starbucks" in its entirety, go to thestranger.com/specials/starbucks.php


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25 Nothing happened today, unless you count the inevitable 24 hours of mental possession that follows each and every exposure to that goddamn Jefferson Starbucks song, easily the most adhesive musical composition since "Popcorn."


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26 Speaking of durable harmony: Tonight brought the closest thing to a wedding ever to be undertaken by homosexual Stranger editor Dan Savage and the love of his life, Terry, who this evening celebrated 10 years together by inviting their families and friends to a glamorous room and getting them smashed. Congrats to the nearly-weds, who, if they're lucky, may one day enjoy the benefits extended to such couples as Ivan Castaneda and Donna Marie Norman of Houston, Texas. The gruesome Houston twosome were jailed this week on charges of injuring a child after their 6-month-old daughter was hospitalized with critical damage to every one of her vital organs, including a nearly-severed tongue. Dan and Terry's 7-year-old son attended his fathers' party with all his vital organs intact.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27 The week ends with the Academy Awards, which, despite the prickly hosting skills of our beloved Chris Rock, was so goddamned boring we could hardly keep our face pointed at the TV. Far more entertaining, at least in the abstract, were Saturday's Razzie Awards, devoted to honoring the worst of the year's cinema, including Halle Berry, who not only won Worst Actress for her work in Catwoman, but actually showed up to personally receive the award. "I want to thank Warner Bros. for casting me in this piece of shit," gushed gorgeous good-sport Berry, clutching her Razzie (a spray-painted golf ball) in one hand and her Best Actress Oscar in the other. "I'd like to thank the rest of the cast--to give a really bad performance like mine you need to have really bad actors." Speaking of bad actors: An impressive number of Razzie acting honorees came directly from the Bush administration, with President Bush named Worst Actor and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld named Worst Supporting Actor for their work in Fahrenheit 9/11. Michael Moore's documentary also nabbed awards for Britney Spears, named Worst Supporting Actress for her Fahrenheit appearance urging blind faith in our elected leader, and Condoleezza Rice, who shared the Razzie for Worst Screen Couple with President Bush. Congrats all around, and props to Ms. Berry, whose grace in triumphant defeat is almost enough to make us forgive her for Catwoman.

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