Can anyone be bothered, at this late date, to care about the so-called Occupy movement? Since September, The Stranger has tried with all its feeble institutional might to convince readers to "drop out" and "tune in" to the opinions of people living in hideous shelters constructed out of garbage. Last week, The Stranger published propaganda about the "importance" of going to Olympia and yelling obscenities at legislators. The week before that, The Stranger paid Lawrence Weschler to advocate for a national strike themed on the premise "I don't feel like paying my bills."
And this week, The Stranger is filled to the britches with a shopping guide for "the 99 percent," which is an Occupy code word for the parasitic welfare queens and coddled trust-fund children who do not believe that an honest day's work should be rewarded with an honest dollar. What results is the most un-merry Christmas shopping guide of all time, packed to the gills with hatred of corporations merely because they are successful. BRENDAN KILEY "investigates" the political contributions of the corporation that owns Maker's Mark and Jim Beam and dozens of other successful spirits, decides that he no longer likes said corporation, and recommends unheard-of local distilleries instead—good luck with those! Meanwhile, ANNA MINARD "discovers" that many perfectly harmless toys are made in China and are therefore "bad," PAUL CONSTANT hurls epithets at Jeff Bezos for having non-Constant-approved opinions, JEN GRAVES drives to Seattle's poorest neighborhoods to inflict her pity on them (while encouraging you to shop there), MARTI JONJAK extols clotheswear made by amateurs, and the music staff tries to foist a bunch of substandard recordings on you in the name of supporting "local" caterwauling. The only surprise here is a piece by ELI SANDERS, who praises a mall with high-end clients as a mall worth supporting. No doubt, Mr. Sanders's days at The Stranger are numbered.
Elsewhere, in the arts section, we find an essay by CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE on the works of Joan Didion. Mr. Frizzelle writes adoringly of Ms. Didion's prose (I was never a fan; too few adjectives, too much bitterness) in a series of overpacked sentences that reel, drunk on commas, from one pointless clause to the next. He refers to his hero as a bad mother and luxuriates in pools of her bodily fluids like a creepy fiend from a penny dreadful. If this is Mr. Frizzelle's idea of a tribute, I would hate to read what he has to say about his enemies. And in the music section, pornography aficionado KELLY O writes an ode to Portland nudie bars that has not a whit to do with music.
All in all, it's an issue that's only good for serving as impromptu tablecloths, bed sheets, and toilet paper for the Occupy movement (sometimes all three at the same time, I am sure).