Since the year 2000, Arizona senator and presidential candidate John McCain has misattributed the phrase "It's always darkest before it's totally black" to Mao Zedong. The Chairman might not actually have spoken those words, but they perfectly describe my situation. Every week as I read The Stranger, its moral turpitude and inept scribblings threaten to lay me low with hysterical blindness, and every week it seems things can't get any worse. Welcome, then, to this week's darkest night of my soul.

In the news section, Dominic Holden claims reporters for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times are guilty of poor journalism on matters of marijuana. Here I'm going to ask the reader to do the impossible and momentarily ignore the elephantine hypocrisy of The Stranger declaring any journalist a bad one. This story—which was undoubtedly sketched in crayon on tiny slips of rolling paper using stick figures and monosyllabic sound effects—presumes that there are two sides of the war on drugs, and suggests that Seattle's esteemed newspapers should drink the metaphorical bong water of the pro-drug side. I can hardly wait for next issue's news lead. Undoubtedly, it will provide a "fair and balanced" look at drunken driving written sympathetically from the perspective of a besotted man who killed an entire family with his Ford Festiva.

This week's feature, by novelist and poet Tao Lin, is titled "What I Can Tell You About Seattle Based on the People I've Met Who Are from There." Mr. Lin, I'm addressing you directly: You have a promising career as a writer ahead of you. Please stop associating with The Stranger. Many talented writers have been sucked dry by the creative vampires who churn out this "publication"; if you continue down this road, your next work will be a drink-addled memoir titled Me No Smart No More: Wha Hoppen?

In the section devoted to literature, Paul Constant blathers about the charitable donations of the world's largest online retailer. I'd like to direct Mr. Constant to the Seattle Weekly, which reports cogently and thoroughly every week in their expansive book section about—prepare yourself for a shock—books! The last time The Stranger's books editor gave any thought to a hardcover, he was considering whether he could somehow transform it into a device suitable for the smoking of crack.

In other news, apparently Brendan Kiley has a column. Though this column is ostensibly in the theater section, Kiley promotes a Stranger event that occurred last week. From what I can translate of Mr. Kiley's ramblings, The Stranger put on a talent show of carny freaks, and one of the featured talents was the unveiling of—I can't believe I'm writing these words—a naked anus. Alas, I could get no further into this madness due to my retinas tingling. Yet again, they've been smeared with garbage for far too long. Excuse me while I change my contact lenses. recommended