There is an expression I have learned from my thankless years as an unwilling Stranger reader. I apologize to those of you who look upon my column as an oasis of clean living in the desert of homosexual drug abuse that is The Stranger, but I must share this expression now, because, vulgar as it is, I believe it is the only way to accurately describe what is transpiring here: This week, ELI SANDERS officially "crawls up his own rear end" (forgive me, Mother!), and he does so in quite a spectacular fashion.

One would assume that The Stranger's editorial board (I use that term as loosely as humanly possible) employs a system of checks and balances, wherein some editor could prevent a feature of exactly 11,085 words (including the ridiculously overlong bipartite headline) about the intertwined fates of two alternative newsweeklies—in San Francisco (a city that I feel compelled to remind Mr. Sanders is not Seattle)—from clotting up the streets of this city with its bloated self-importance. That system of checks and balances, if it does exist, has failed miserably.

And so we suffer through a monotonous hagiography about San Francisco Bay Guardian publisher Bruce Brugmann, an old "hippie" (sorry again, Mother) who was once on the wrong side of the Vietnam conflict and who is now standing, albeit swaying drunkenly, in the way of progress. Mr. Sanders (who, like every other Stranger staff member, smokes reefer and otherwise embraces any and all things counterculture) clearly is on Brugmann's side, and so he spends several thousand words making Mike Lacey—the owner of the media empire that owns The Stranger's chief competition (and moral superior), the Seattle Weekly—look bad.

Mr. Lacey, who also owns Bay Guardian competitor SF Weekly, has been victimized by a series of frivolous lawsuits incited by Mr. Brugmann, and now Mr. Sanders (ever antibusiness, always antisensate) feels the need to drag Mr. Lacey's name further through the mud, defaming him as a vulgar (pot, meet kettle) businessman for having had the acumen to drive his newspapers to profitability. Of course, The Stranger sees money making (unless it is from drug dealing) to be the worst kind of crime, and that is why it shipped the wordy Mr. Sanders to the only city in the United States that is more rife with homosexuals than Seattle: to fight for the "rights" of the old socialists to be protected from the big, bad, profitable corporation. No doubt Mr. Sanders was sent on an expedition to learn from Mr. Brugmann exactly how to go about suing the Seattle Weekly in a last-ditch effort to allow The Stranger to continue publishing. Instead, he has returned with an unreadable, 34-foot-long essay about God knows what all.

The only silver lining to this whole soporific situation is that Mr. Sanders's incomprehensible, wrongheaded rant has completely crushed the arts sections out of this issue of The Stranger; in their stead, we are given a "spring arts guide" of no substance—clearly an attempt to woo back advertisers whom The Stranger has frightened away with years of debauchery and ungrammatical blasphemy. Like Mr. Sanders's article, this guide is nothing but a failure.