The Stranger: A Critical Overview
Note: As I happened to be in Seattle on business last week, I picked up a copy of The Stranger's chief competitor, the Seattle Weekly. What follows is a comparison between the two publications, one which is world-class, and one which is decidedly infantile.... FRONT OF BOOK Letters: The Seattle Weekly has a lengthy letters section, showing it actually cares about the opinions of its readers. Also, though without a comparative brilliance of The Stranger's Last Days column, the Weekly's front-of-book section does contain a splendidly intelligent (though poorly named) column called Mossback by the paper's editor, one Knute Berger. Smart (as opposed to simply smart-assed), it certainly rivals Stranger News Editor Josh Feit's inane Five to Four column.... NEWS A smart section, complete with a monorail article that manages to be skeptical as well as informative (as opposed to the simple cheerleading continually found in The Stranger).... FEATURE An insightful article on the Green River killer (The Stranger's feature last week: some tripe about rock musicians).... FILM Weekly Film Editor Brian Miller shows a knowledge of film (and ability to write) vastly superior to The Stranger's Sean Nelson.... BOOKS Weekly Books Editor Christopher Frizzelle manages to write smartly about books without invoking heavy Marxist references, something The Stranger's Charles Mudede has yet to master.... ART Didn't read.... THEATER Didn't read.... FOOD Didn't read.... MUSIC A wide-reaching, intelligent section. For lovers of music (as opposed to chronic navelgazing).... ETC. Dategirl: A less smutty version of The Stranger's Savage Love, which both distributes sounder advice and is a vastly superior read.... FINAL VERDICT: Read the Seattle Weekly.