After several weeks of shrill fearmongering (urging the deaths of innocent pups and then urging the cold-blooded murder of the owners of said pups when said owners became outraged; declaring the most unmanly, effete war imaginable against the Catholic Church; attempting to anger the no-longer-silent Republican majority; pretending that hoboes are interesting), it appears that The Stranger is taking a rest this week. This makes sense; you cannot spend your entire life feigning outrage in exchange for illicit street drugs. At some point, you simply have to sleep.

Or, in the case of The Stranger, you simply have to run a 3,000-word feature by CHARLES MUDEDE about how he finds beauty in a toxic-waste dump. While I am no fan of the Liberal Nanny State telling companies what to do with their toxic byproducts—surely the Invisible Hand of the Market will guide the truly harmful waste to uninhabitable areas—this is obviously a clear-cut case of Mr. Mudede trying to incite people by playing the contrarian.

The problem is, even Mr. Mudede does not believe Mr. Mudede's contrarian act anymore. Listless language and inattentiveness to details and logic reverberate through the entire sad essay, all the way through the pathetic little appendix of liberalism Mr. Mudede tries to pin on this dreck. If he does not even care, why should we?

The apathy continues, sprawling languorously throughout the rest this week's Stranger. The comely ERICA GRANDY cannot even be bothered to proofread the headline of this week's lead music article, which boasts a misspelling and a missing punctuation mark. The rest of the story, about a woman (no doubt one of Miss Grandy's girlfriends) who is trying to pick up her musical hobby again after a brief, failed attempt at a career years ago, is by no means compelling or lively. As an interview subject, this "Miss Ghetto" comes across as if she could not be bothered to get out of bed to answer Miss Grandy's phoned-in questions. In sum: yawn.

The only staffer who attempts to adequately perform her job this week is JEN GRAVES. I say "attempts," because in the end she delivers, as usual, an incomprehensible screed. If I am decoding correctly, this one is about how our hippie mayor will be forced to cut money for all the city arts organizations that have gotten fat by suckling at the government teat for far too long. Miss Graves pretends as though her audience should already know or care about whom she is scribbling, and she makes the deadly presumption that we are on "her side" in finding these cuts lamentable. She never explains why the reader should want government support of the arts to be protected during this Obama-spawned recession. To use a cliché, Miss Graves: Money does not grow on trees. As for the artists of your little imaginary welfare state, I notice you do not inform the reader of what kind of dreck they produce with our taxes, which suggests that, at heart, even you believe you are wrong about their worthiness. Since Miss Graves refuses to speak the plain truth, Seattle, I will: The time for handouts is through.

Follow A. Birch Steen at