Last week, I predicted that CHARLES MUDEDE was finally—finally!—on the verge of being fired from The Stranger. It appears I spoke too soon, too hopefully, because the feature story in this week's paper is a collection of thoughts that have transpired in Mr. Mudede's mind since a recent move back to South Seattle. He libels his neighbors (accusing them of cannibalism and being unable to speak English), waits in line at a bank, finds a dead rat in the street... at that point, I could read no further. Still, it amuses me that Mr. Mudede—clearly on The Stranger's staff because of his "ethnic" bona fides—now finds himself to be the gentrifying force in an impoverished neighborhood that does not want him.
His airy nonsense about Seattle's ghettos is paired this week with a (blessedly shorter) story by CIENNA MADRID about a piece of public art being erected in honor of a homeless drifter who failed to follow the orders of a policeman. Increasingly, I do not recognize the Seattle on display in these smut-soaked pages; nowhere to be found are the upstanding people of Laurelhurst and Broadmoor who work tirelessly, day in and day out, to keep big business running. Everyone in The Stranger is either brown or gay.
Or, as in the case of DAVID SCHMADER's restaurant review, both. Mr. Schmader praises a Beacon Hill Mexican bar and restaurant less for its food and more for hosting a weekly social mixer for homosexuals. Does no one care about quality anymore? Since when does a restaurant review obsess over who is dining at said restaurant rather than the food? Perhaps Seattle needs a newsweekly that celebrates businesses that are frequented by normal heterosexual couples; to hear The Stranger tell it, such a publication would consist of a single sheet of paper.
Because lord knows normalcy cannot be found here, in the section that is normally filled with JEN GRAVES's impenetrable soliloquies about visual art, the entire damned Stranger staff is unleashed on the Olympic Sculpture Park to report back on what they find. The one good thing I can say about the sculpture park is that it is wide open, which explains why there are no braggadocio-tinged memoirs of illicit sexual shenanigans in these brief essays. Instead, we are "treated" to the usual self-obsessed, unimpressed yawning and sniping we have come to expect, plus DAN SAVAGE writing about a naked boy.
The only other item of note in this issue is a new fashion column by MARTI JONJAK titled Worn Out. (Presumably, the column title We're Desperately Trying to Attract Retail Advertisers didn't fit.) I presume that young female readers are attracted to this category of content, but the editors of The Stranger have never met a columnist whose career they couldn't undermine. Miss Jonjak's first assignment: underwear for obese men.