How nice this last week has been. Mostly. On the one hand, we were all rather thrilled about the reception for the announcement of the Stranger Genius Awards--a torrent of praise and thanks, gazillions of e-mails, a sticker campaign plastered over much of Capitol Hill, lots of gossip filtering back through unusual channels, and a competing award, a very attractive offer from Tablet, just to spice things up a little.

On the other hand, there were those who threatened us with violence, bemoaned our stupidity in advance, or took the opportunity to stuff the ballot box. And a couple of psychics presented us with a rather eye-opening list of Seattle artists that apparently we want to fuck (and who will consequently get awards). How enlightening!

We would like to clarify: The Stranger Genius Awards are not about fucking, nor are they particularly about democracy. There is no ballot box, in fact--what we were after, in terms of public participation, were suggestions (which we took into account along with our knowledge of the different arts scenes); we're giving these awards based on excellence, not votes--and we're giving these awards, something we make no apologies for. Our money, our picks. Don't approve? Well, you're free to set up your own awards, and fund the artists you want to fuck in a manner that meets with your approval.

That having been said, we're not annoyed by the strong tide of responses; in fact, we were a bit bowled over by what seems to be an abundance of enthusiasm. Mothers nominating their children, students nominating their teachers, cookbook writers, street-portrait painters, aspiring professional wrestlers, and lots and lots of infuriated dancers.... On this last note, let me just say that we were very negligent in not being more clear about this: The "theater" award is a "performance" award, which category includes dance, and I was obviously sleep-deprived when I wrote the announcement text. And, by the way, your feedback and input did have an impact--names we had overlooked wound up on our shortlist.

By the time you read this, we'll already have picked our winners and notified them, and the next thing you'll read is a series of profiles on these brilliant geniuses that will appear in our October 9 issue. Do come on down to Consolidated Works on Friday, October 10, to celebrate the best in Seattle arts with a free party, live music, and exhibition. Whatever happy coupling takes place at that point is certainly beyond our control, thank you very much.

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Also: On Sunday, October 12, take Override--a special art train, sponsored by Clear Cut Press--to Portland for Core Sample, Portland art writer Randy Gragg's answer to Baja to Vancouver. It sounds excellent--a series of exhibitions all over the city, featuring lots of the artists conspicuously missing from this year's Oregon Biennial, not to mention B2V. Override will feature an appearance by artist Amos Latteier, whose Lecture Series and PowerPoint presentations I've heard are hilarious, and a video by Miranda July. For tickets, go to