On some dusty off-ramp of the Information Superhighway, presumably where homosexuals gather for anonymous congress behind the digital outhouses, The Stranger has constructed a website, as you undoubtedly know. If you've had the misfortune to be following it, you know that for the last three weeks, PAUL CONSTANT, who has never met a comic book he didn't love, has been posting lengthy epistles from the presidential campaign trail. I rarely visit The Stranger's website because I have no interest in "pop-up advertisements" encouraging weight loss and appendage growth, but now and again I feel compelled by duty to look over the internet ramblings of the writers I am paid to critique.
Presently, some of those blog posts have been copied and pasted, an illustrator from California has been retained to draw Newt Gingrich in a diaper (already been done, New York Daily News, 1995), and Mr. Constant's political "analysis" has officially made it into print. Maybe for the digital realm, the insensate ramblings of a comic-book aficionado about the future of the country are appropriate—maybe. Say, on one's own personal blog. But said ramblings are not worthy of the austerity, the solidity, of the printed word. The first 400 words of "The Messy Rebirth of Newt Gingrich" are an extended birthing metaphor obviously written by someone who has never shepherded a child into this world. Those give way to a disgusting fecal metaphor and are followed by several paragraphs about Tom Cruise, the movie star. Have you lost track of the topic here? You are not alone.
Elsewhere, in a transparent bid to accrue mass quantities of free booze and attract legions of new advertisers, BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT, CIENNA MADRID, and ELI SANDERS are conscripted to preside over what is promised as the "first annual" local liquor taste tests. Though this can't be the first time any Stranger writers have worn blindfolds and put unknown things into their mouths, it is clearly the first time any of them have attempted to describe the provenance of and/or flavor of and/or anything at all about spirits. To give you a sense of the rhetoric deployed: One person describes a gin as "what I would drink if I was going to rob a car." How helpful! Thanks for sharing!
In the arts sections, we see a kind of musical chairs, with usual theater reviewer BRENDAN KILEY bringing his lassitudinous criticism to the music section, although to his credit the subject is not a band named after a dead animal (for once) but a formally trained musician who plays marimba. Visual art editor JEN GRAVES brings her notable lack of insight and incoherent sense of imagery to a critique of the opera. And "Stranger copy editor" (what, was "President Obama's chief intelligence expert" already taken in the job listings of the Oxymoron Times?) ANNA MINARD makes a play sound even more boring than it probably is.