1. It is time again for another edition of A&P, The Stranger's quarterly arts publication. Within it, you'll find two and a half pages of REBECCA BROWN waxing philosophic about spring, a so-called "anatomy of a photograph" by the indecipherable JEN GRAVES, interviews with Laura Griffiths and Lead Pencil Studio, an appreciation of Peter Brook, an array of calendars, and a collection of comic strips. Some of these pieces are readable—or at least they're short—and others are not. But the eternal question about A&P—really, the only A&P–related question that matters—is this one: If this is supposed to be meaningful information about Seattle's arts and culture, why doesn't it appear in the pages of The Stranger rather than hidden away in some specialty niche publication?
2. PAUL CONSTANT's incomprehensible books lead—it appears to be about the future of books, although who can really tell?—begins with a first-person account, which indicates that Constant believes that Constant is the future of books. Why would anyone read the dunderheaded ramblings of a narcissistic baby-man who considers himself to be a literary expert? Many years ago, Seattle Weekly writers joked among themselves that they could stop The Stranger from publishing new newspapers by removing the "I" key from all their keyboards. Why is this decades-old joke still relevant?
3. On the other hand, BRENDAN KILEY keeps himself out of his theater lead (perhaps he's saving up all his I's for an upcoming feature-length story about surreptitiously catching and eating goldfish at a mall pet store) long enough to tell the story of a one-woman show about anti-abortion activists. Remarkably, Kiley's piece is one of the best in this week's Stranger—on-point, interesting, and informative. Do you think there could be a correlation between the high quality of this third-person report and the low quality of Constant's first-person reportage? Will The Stranger ever learn from that correlation?
4. Apparently not. EMILY NOKES, DAVE SEGAL, and KELLY O provide an oral history of the Comet Tavern, which is supposed to follow in the footsteps of Ms. Nokes's popular oral histories of Linda's Tavern, the Tractor Tavern, and Moe's/Neumos. Most of the people interviewed here appear to be Stranger staffers. Ask yourself this question: Did the "writers" of this oral history do all that they could to find relevant sources? Or did they just send out an e-mail blast to all their friends, then cut and paste the responses into the "story"?
5. Is it possible for a newspaper to crawl up its own anus and die? Has The Stranger already done this, or is it merely in the process of doing this?