As long-suffering readers of this publication are no doubt aware, The Stranger, when not encouraging journalistic malfeasance, dangerous drug use, and rampant buggery, likes to promote itself as some sort of "local music resource." Indeed, even a cursory investigation of the paper's contents on any given week reveals page after page of music-related content, a sort of vast canyon of critical ineptitude that, for some unfathomable reason, remains popular, at least with those drunken and/or deafened souls who routinely attend musical performances.

Throughout my years of soul-killing service to you, this paper's pitiable fans, I have found that it's usually a safe bet, when a particularly egregious music-related travesty such as this week's guide to Bumbershoot appears, that the critical rot can be traced straight to the top, to that big corner office where Follies plays in an eternal (and interminable) loop while the occupant places flower-petal offerings beneath a statue of Stephen Sondheim and, in regular bouts of limp-wristed fury, pecks out blog posts decrying the invention of the electric guitar, the lack of respect for Billy Joel, and the volume at which clubs play their music. I am speaking, of course, of dainty-eared Stranger editor Dan Savage. As I paged through this year's Bumbershoot "guide," I naturally assumed he was to blame.

But then I noticed that a new generation of effete embarrassments has assumed this paper's critical throne. Young Eric Grandy and Christopher Frizzelle, no doubt rehab escapees both, apparently oversaw this ill-conceived monstrosity, which posits that when Stranger writers are pitted against various Bumbershoot offerings, bad events are vanquished and the readers of this wretched rag win. I will give you one guess as to who actually loses these contests. Meanwhile, I will simplify your reading and tell you that the only writer making sense within the guide's pages is my old student from back in the days when I was teaching a few business classes to disadvantaged youths on Staten Island—a shrewd player of the money game who now goes by the name of the RZA. I applaud Mr. RZA for shaking a freelance fee out these silly naifs, and I hereby denounce The Stranger for everything that occurs after his brilliant introduction.

In other outrages... I thought the terms of Josh Feit's probation prevented him from leaving the Seattle city limits. I will be notifying his parole officer, as well as his anger-management tutor, of the apparently unauthorized trip to Vancouver, Washington, that led to this week's feature on Democratic Congressman Brian Baird and his calls for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq. In the meantime, I will be pondering the profound question that Mr. Feit's piece, which is based on a recent public forum in Vancouver, raises: If a small-town Democratic congressman holds a public forum on Iraq, and a bunch of angry liberals show up, and Mr. Feit is there to watch, who is the most irrelevant person in the room? recommended