1. In a feature story this week, JEN GRAVES explains the tumultuous chain of events currently unfolding at Cornish College of the Arts—enrollment is down and the budget needs to be slashed—and she does a surprisingly good job at it, too. She interviews actual human beings, she provides differing viewpoints, she expresses compassion for her subject without being biased in any apparent direction. In your opinion, does the high quality of this reporting perhaps signify that Graves is wasting her life staring at splashes of paint when she could instead provide substantive education coverage in a city starved for meaningful conversations about exactly that? Or is it just, in the end, some kind of a fluke?
2. BRENDAN KILEY calls a Seattle Repertory Theatre staging of Venus in Fur "the most family-friendly Sacher-Masoch adaptation in history." If you were to ask Kiley what his favorite "family-friendly" book was, do you think he would cite 120 Days of Sodom, or perhaps the collected works of Anaïs Nin? Shouldn't this kind of menace to society—a man who recommends a play concerning the namesake of masochism to families, for Pete's sake—be locked up? If you were a city attorney, would you investigate Kiley's drug habits, or his previously reported habit of killing and eating animals found within city limits? Which case would find Kiley imprisoned for a longer time?
3. In the book section, CHARLES MUDEDE writes about "urbanism," which is a made-up word meaning ill-conceived thoughts on the topic of cities. His review ends with an apology that the review isn't better written. In the film section, Mudede reviews an old, racist movie that has been remixed by a popular DJ. In the music section, Mudede "pervs out" (as the kids say) over Molly Ringwald. Both of these reviews should also end with apologies that they are not better written. If you were as terrible a writer as Charles Mudede, would you apologize for the poor quality of your writing or not mention the shoddy craftsmanship at all? Explain the benefits and drawbacks of both approaches.
4. BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT visits Loulay, a new downtown restaurant, and opens by complaining about the cramped nature of the restaurant's floor plan. Appearing as they do in a newspaper that seems to be so pro-density as to want the entire population of Seattle crammed, white-dwarf-like, into a sphere the size of a golf ball, don't Clement's complaints about the lack of space in a restaurant in Seattle's dense downtown sound more than a little anti-Stranger? Are there not some spacious and delicious restaurants in Bellevue that Ms. Clement—and her precious champagne bucket—would find more accommodating?