MONDAY, MARCH 6 A year of snipin' and strategizin' ended today when Seattle's newspaper war began: The Seattle Times, after nearly a century as an afternoon paper, switched to morning publication, placing itself in head-to-head competition with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In preparation for the battle, the P-I hired a handful of writers born after 1912, while the Times strove desperately to pitch the appeal of an a.m. edition to its disgruntled and betrayed afternoon readers. So how's the war progressing? Judging by today's papers, it's off to a snoozy start, with the Times printing a wince-inducing list of do's and don'ts for an a.m. newspaper ("DO use it to gently shoo the cat off the breakfast table! DON'T let your ill-trained dog fetch it in for you!"). And while the P-I largely avoided such stupidity, that paper has yet to be forgiven for its woeful Ricky Martin concert headline, "Livin' La Vida Tacoma." Here's hoping this bogus "war" will soon escalate to include some truly warlike behavior, such as the P-I's Susan Paynter using Chinese water torture on the Times' Jean Godden, and the Times' Misha Berson holding a knife to the throat of the P-I's Joe Adcock, daring him to produce a sentence that doesn't read like Morse code written by a five-year-old for whom English is a second language.
TUESDAY, MARCH 7 Tonight, upward of 25,000 people gathered in Pioneer Square to get smashed, bare their breasts and buttocks, and usher in the sacred season of Lent. Seattle's Fat Tuesday celebration perennially ranks among the largest Mardi Gras parties in the nation, but this year's festivities took a messy turn, as WTO-styled mayhem broke out on downtown streets shortly after midnight. Bottles were thrown, crowds were gassed, and six people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, according to the P-I. Speaking of the P-I, that paper cemented its position on Last Days' shitlist with their report on the ruckus, in which they allowed someone to use the word "party" as a verb.
··Also: In an effort to dispel the fear and secrecy surrounding the screening for colon cancer, today the irrepressible Katie Couric welcomed the world into her lower intestine, broadcasting footage of her very first colonoscopy on the Today show. With nary a whimper, the petite Ms. C received the spooky tube up her heinie, making television history and pre-empting the colon cancer deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, who will certainly follow the beloved star's lead in getting tested for this easily treatable but all-too-often undetected disease. Last Days would like to salute the brave Ms. Couric, who remained cheery as a chipmunk throughout her colonic ordeal, and whose selfless deed will, sadly but understandably, expose her to a lifetime of cheap butt jokes.
··And oh yeah: Tonight Bill Bradley and John McCain got whupped in their respective caucuses, leaving the nation with the two least-appealing presidential candidates in American history.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 Today the Associated Press reported on the battle brewin' over a new book that claims rape is imprinted in men's genes. On one side of the battle are the book's authors, U.S. biologist Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig T. Palmer, whose A Natural History of Rape posits that sexual coercion is a biological drive that evolved to increase the reproductive success of men who would otherwise be rejected as mates. On the other side of the battle is the rest of the world, including an international assortment of scientists and sociologists who have publicly denounced the book as willfully misinformed and scientifically worthless. Among the points of contention are the authors' assertions that rape victims tend to be in their prime reproductive years (a 1992 study revealed that 29 percent of rape victims are under age 11); that women of childbearing age suffer more violence during rape because they are biologically driven to fight harder against unwanted conception (actually, they're just stronger than pre-pubescent or post-menopausal victims); and that rapists generally do not inflict unnecessary violence on their victims, as they do not want to damage the chance of reproductive success (uh, yeah). Thornhill and Palmer say their book does not condone rape; it merely explores its biological roots. Last Days says Thornhill and Palmer's "rapists just wanna be daddies" theory is the creepiest twisting of the "family values" defense yet on record, and we point to the countless unattractive and socially maladjusted men who are unable to get laid yet somehow manage to refrain from rape, contenting themselves instead with masturbation, hookers, and Star Trek conventions.
THURSDAY, MARCH 9 Oh for God's sake: Last fall's heartbreaking trend of kids hanging out with their dead parents today asserted itself in the new millennium, as Reuters reported on the six-year-old boy in Gaines Township, Michigan, who spent three weeks in an apartment with the corpse of his mother. Michigan authorities say the boy heard his mother fall and covered her up with a blanket; then, for the better part of a month, the boy tucked himself into bed, poured his own cereal, and let himself out to play while his mother decomposed in the living room. Preliminary autopsy results reveal no signs of foul play in the mother's death, and the boy remains in state custody, pending confirmation of his mother's identity and notification of existing relatives.
FRIDAY, MARCH 10 Nothing happened today.
SATURDAY, MARCH 11 Today the website Mr. Showbiz announced that the highly coveted role of Clarice Starling in the Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal, will be played by Julianne Moore, star of Safe and many other films, and the most beautiful great actress in America. The role of Clarice Starling was originated, of course, by Jodie Foster, who won an Oscar for her work and who abruptly pulled out of the sequel -- a move Hannibal insiders say wasn't the disaster the media portrayed it to be. "After Anna and the King, the thinking was, 'Good. What did Jodie Foster bring anyway?'" said an assistant to Hannibal producer Dino De Laurentiis. De Laurentiis was equally dismissive of Foster: "The only thing that matters is a good director and a good story. With those two things, I could play Starling." Maybe so, but Last Days would like to remind Dino that director Ridley Scott's track record is not without its missteps (see G.I. Jane), and that the "good story" of Hannibal concludes with Dr. Lecter and Clarice Starling deeply in love and eating a brain. (Sorry to ruin the ending, but really, it's best that you know.)
SUNDAY, MARCH 11 Today Pope John Paul II apologized for everything the Catholic Church has ever done. Among the wrongdoings specified by the pope were the Church's shabby (and sometimes lethal) treatment of Jews and other ethnic groups, and its position toward women, "who are all too often humiliated and emarginated [sic]." Among the misdeeds left unspecified were the Church's role in the freakish overpopulation of the planet, and the distended anuses of all those altar boys.
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On Wed March 22 at 8 pm, the Little Theatre (608 19th Ave E) is hosting an encore screening of Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven's cinematic masterwork, introduced and expounded upon by me. It's cheap ($7), it's soul-expanding, and it's a benefit for New Beginnings Women's Shelter. So come.