There are few things I enjoy more than great literature. Often, I will relax on the divan in the sunroom of my meditative Sequim getaway and spend hours with the latest copy of the National Review, say, or my personalized copy of Dick Nixon's Six Crises. Occasionally, when on a vacation, I will "get away from it all" with a thick novel by George Eliot—by God, that man could write—and let the whole world pass by for a day or two. All of which is to say that I should be the ideal reader of this issue of The Stranger, as it appears that this episode of the Weekly Gay Follies is devoted to the written word. Sadly, on closer inspection, that theme is revealed to be as flimsy as the recycled toilet paper upon which these words are printed.

The problem, of course, is that PAUL CONSTANT has scribbled this week's feature, about a trade show for publishers, and as we all know, Mr. Constant, being at least three-quarters Mongoloid, is incapable of reading. He wastes half of the laborious piece bloviating about something called an "e-book," which, as far as I can tell, is a book you can for some reason plug into a wall like a lamp. Perhaps it has some sort of lighting device attached to it, for ease of reading in the gloom of night. In any case, Mr. Constant spends the other half of the piece whinging about the fact that nobody reads books. Perhaps if book critics wrote worthwhile commentary on literature instead of drinking on a meager expense account and then fabricating entire pages worth of pointless drivel, Mr. Constant, then people would read books.

Unfortunately, the book criticism of this issue's paper only proves that the "endless booze + utter nonsense = great review!" formula is de rigueur around here. To wit, CHARLES MUDEDE excavates his own G.I. tract with a pickax and shovel, pulling out this week's books lead, which is about how James Joyce wrote Ulysses as a terrorist act against the English language. Ordinarily, Mr. Mudede, I would have a more thoughtful response for you, but I have not read Ulysses: Why would I want to read yet another screed about genitalia, nonsense words, and atheism when I have The Stranger every week? Suffice it to say that comparing Osama bin Laden to a half-blind, drunken Irishman is something akin to Mr. Mudede referring to himself as a "writer": ludicrous beyond all comprehension.

Elsewhere in the paper, DOMINIC HOLDEN and JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE ride a little choo-choo train before Seattle's homeless can take up residence on it, and the result is a bunch of exceedingly premature (and dull) glee. In addition: DAVID SCHMADER eats grass and tree bark and calls it a meal, and BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT still has a drinking problem that she calls a column. It is possible that I have become too numbed to the experience to be an adequate judge of this sort of thing, but I think this may be the most boring issue of The Stranger to ever see print.