The four-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion just passed, and the four-year mark of the conflict in Darfur is fast approaching. It's alarming how time passes. Even more distressing is how it's somehow easier not to think about these struggles the longer they go on; I can't help but feel like an asshole when I realize I spend more time thinking about the merits of thin-crust pizza and dry manhattans than the genocide happening in the world. Dine for Darfur, a fundraiser conceived by Chow Foods owners Jeremy Hardy and Peter Levy, should not assuage the guilt of being uninvolved or underinformed, but it does provide an opportunity to contribute to relief efforts for displaced Sudanese people. On Tuesday, April 3, over 60 local businesses—including Coastal Kitchen, 1200 Bistro, West 5, the 5 Spot, Via Tribunali, Blackbird Bistro, and many more—will donate an impressive 25 percent of the day's profits to Mercy Corps, a Portland-based international humanitarian organization addressing the immediate needs—clean water, shelter—of the Sudanese. For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit

If you'd like to continue combining political involvement with eating, Cafe Stellina (1429 12th Ave), will be hosting a Barack Obama awareness reception on Wednesday, April 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. There will be Obama supporters, information about the 2008 presidential campaign, and an abundance of appetizers and wine. Cost is $10.ANGELA GARBES