I have been informed that DAVID SCHMADER is going to host something called "The Stranger Gong Show," in which the more depraved and twisted citizens of Seattle parade their lack of talent in front of an audience of like-minded communists and recidivists. Apparently, as with all carny freak shows, there is a "hitch," or a gimmick, to keep those with short attention spans interested in the proceedings. In this case, the gimmick is that once the audience becomes sufficiently bored with the act, it loudly begs for Mr. Schmader to sound a large gong to indicate that the act has failed to entertain and so must cease immediately.
This is, of course, an entertainment for the simpleminded, but I have decided to, as the uneducated are wont to say, "give" The Stranger "a taste of its own medicine" by "gonging" stories in this week's issue once they cease to entertain, inform, or amuse.
In the section of the paper ostensibly set aside for "news," ERICA C. BARNETT and JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE (I am forcibly restraining my gong hand here based on the names involved alone) discuss the perils of swine flu and ask what the government is doing to protect the general population of Seattle. Since when did it become the government's job to make sure that the citizenry washes its filthy hands and stops sneezing all over one another? GONG! And DOMINIC HOLDEN roundly disparages my good friend Gary Randall, going so far as to insinuate that he is a liar, plagiarist, and tax evader. For shame, Mr. Holden. I haven't seen journalism this sickly yellow since the last major pandemic, back in 1918. A hearty and heartfelt GONG! for you.
Also in this issue are the results of The Stranger's annual "human" sexuality survey, in which we allegedly learn the boudoir habits of Stranger readers. However, as nobody in their right mind would submit delicate personal information to this untrustworthy rag, it is obvious that this is forgery, intended to fool the populace into believing that the majority of people, behind closed doors, think that sodomy, bestiality, and positions other than missionary are decent and commonly practiced acts. It is a glaringly obvious ruse. GONG!
In the section that used to be devoted, however misguidedly, to the enjoyment of literature, PAUL CONSTANT visits a few smarmy shops that sell cartoon strips. To adults. GONG! MEGAN SELING scribbles a glowing tribute to a quiescently frozen food. This would be an interesting article if it were not (a) entirely about a dessert item and (b) written by Ms. Seling. GONG! In the visual-art section of the hobo wrapper, LINDY WEST: GONG!
It is commonly understood that even children and, occasionally, simians can accidentally stumble across a good and useful idea that intelligent adults can employ. I think that, in this case, Mr. Schmader's gongery might perhaps be one such idea. I have never had such a pleasant time skimming an issue of this pedantic tabloid—which, taken as a whole, gets a final and most fulsome GONG!