Fucking Vote... Please!

Slog PM: Omicron Makes Its US Debut, How Trump Apparently Tried to Kill Biden During the First Debate, Stacey Abrams Running for Gov Again

Coming to an airport near you, Omicron.
Coming to an airport near you: Omicron. Charles Mudede

The first case of the omicron coronavirus variant on US soil has been confirmed in California. CNN reports that the individual in question flew "from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive for Covid-19 on November 29." And this person, who is fully vaccinated and said to be on the mend, was on planes for hours and hours and hours. Why people are flying all over the place for such long periods of time during a pandemic is really the only question we should ask. And the answer is not hard to find: A major sector of the capitalism that currently dominates the West extracts its value from the commodification (packaging) of experiences: cruise ships to Alaska or the Caribbean, flights to Hawaii or Mexico, and so on.

The French philosopher and political theorist Andre Gorz called this “compensatory consumerism” (e.g. "alienated workers are supposed to recover their spirits through a package holiday on a tropical beach"), but the British-born geographer David Harvey sees it as the ideal form of consumption for a society that faces the old monster of secular stagnation due to overproduction. Harvey calls it "instantaneous experiential consumerism."

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This Week's Comics: King of Spies, Queer Heroes, and Danny DeVito Wrote a New Story About the Penguin

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Merry Christmas, it’s time to break out the trees and lights and a copy of Batman Returns, a welcome response to those who claim that Die Hard is the best Christmas movie. Not only is Batman Returns set at Christmas, its entire plot is entangled in religious mythology, from a kid sailing down a river in a basket to Selena’s resurrection before the words “HELL HERE” to the Penguin’s plot to kill Gotham’s first-born. (Also, like Jesus, The Penguin is meant to be 33 years old, which … good grief.)

As a firm believer that this is both the best Christmas AND the best Batman film ever made, you can imagine my delight upon learning that Danny DeVito himself has penned a sort of sequel, a short story for an anthology in which The Penguin and Catwoman have established more of a … well, let’s call it a rapport.

Also of interest this week is a first-person exploration of queer history, which is my whole BRAND when I’m not busy watching movies about psychotic women and murmuring, “Honestly? Work.” Thanks as always to Phoenix for sorting through the week’s new releases, and don’t forget to skip the online monopolies in favor of local comic shops for all your holiday shopping needs.

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Sponsored

JINGLE ALL THE GAY, Seattle’s most deliciously queer and delectably extravagant holiday tradition returns to West Hall for a limited run Dec 3-18!

Kitten N’ Lou invite you to join our chosen family of fabulous fruitcakes in a joyful and triumphant celebration of song, dance, burlesque, and holiday hilarity. 2020 was *quite* the year…one that had us feeling the importance of gathering strength and power as a community more than ever. Don’t miss the brand new surprises and magic of this year’s LIVE run! Light your menorah, stuff your stockings, and revel in the power of live theater again!


Slog Poll: Which Dogs Belong to Sawant Recallers?

We didnt get all of their names, but 1 is Lily, 2 is ??? 3 is Charlie and 4 is Zena.
We didn't get all of their names, but 1 is Lily, 2 is ??? 3 is Charlie and 4 is Zena. HK

On Tuesday, Hannah took a stroll through the wealthier parts of District 3 to conduct some person-on-the-street interviews regarding the recall vote, which ends at 8 pm Dec 7. (If you haven't already, vote "Recall No" and then return your ballot by mail [no stamp necessary!] or drop box.)

During her mission, she came across a number of people who had plenty to say about the subject of the recall; the council's lone socialist, Kshama Sawant. You can read all their commentary here. But before you do...

Hannah also came across a number of dogs, who were walking their voter-owners down the antifa-free streets and alleyways of Madison Park. Of course, Hannah had no choice but to photograph the good boys and girls on their bathroom/exercise breaks, and we had no choice but to conduct a scientific Slog Poll to see if our readers could tell a recall voter's dog when they saw one. So BEFORE you read Hannah's story, look deep into the eyes of those pups and choose:


I Walked Around the Fancy Neighborhood That Hates Sawant and Chatted With Some Locals

Where you wait to get the bus back to the Hill after going to the beach.
Where you wait to catch the bus back to the Hill after going to the beach. HK

In less than a week, District 3 voters will decide the fate of the lone socialist council member, Kshama Sawant, in a long-awaited recall election. As of Tuesday, Nov. 30, just over 20,000 of the district’s 77,000 registered voters had cast their ballot.

About twice as many D3 residents have returned ballots at this point in the cycle compared to the same point ahead of November’s general election, which speaks to the level of enthusiasm coursing through the district.

So far, voters from Broadmoor, Madison Park, and Washington Park – the once redlined lands of gated communities, million-dollar homes, and niche shops you would not expect to survive the pandemic – have shown the most eagerness in submitting their ballots, with some precincts already turning out at over 50%. Meanwhile, some precincts around Capitol Hill, where Sawant will likely find her base, show voter turnout as low as 12%.

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Stranger Suggests: Quilts, Kung-Fu, and a War on Christmas

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2: PIONEER SQUARE ART WALK

This Thursday is the first Thursday of the month, which means one thing: Pioneer Square Art Walk. This month's edition is a promising one. First, you need to roll, walk, run, sprint—I don't care how you get your ass to Greg Kucera Gallery, where they are showing quilts and etchings by Gee's Bend Quilters; just get your ass over there. Quilting in Gee's Bend, Alabama, goes back to the 1800s, stitched and created by Black-American women from the hamlet who have passed down the tradition for generations. In 2002, Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times called these quilts "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced." Seriously, sprint.

The Seattle Art Museum will also have a free community celebration of the recent opening of Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective. From 1 pm until museum-close at 5 pm, experience three pop-up performances by movement artists Abdiel Jacobsen, Akoiya Harris, and Nia-Amina Minor responding to Cunningham's work or go on a My Favorite Things tour with performance artist/choreographer (also my former roommate) Alice Gosti at 4:30 pm. If you're feeling so totally anti-social that you Can't Even, the museum will still be free ALL DAY (including special exhibitions), and there will be a "self-guided art activity" if you just want to look and not interact!

Pioneer Square Art Walk runs from 5 pm-8 pm on Thursday, December 2. The event is free and masks are required (at the Seattle Art Museum, so is proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test).

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TONIGHT: John Waters Gets Antibody-Crazy at the Neptune

Looks uncomfortable.
Looks uncomfortable. INOAH LYON
Consider yourself warned: John Waters is coming.

The shameless Prince of Puke (or as his more recent press materials identify him, the “people’s pervert”) is back with an all-new holiday show at the Neptune in early December. Although he’s up to his mustache in preparation, he granted us a few minutes to discuss having sex in a childhood home, his current book and TV obsessions, and who he considers the best person to catch COVID from.

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I, Anonymous: Seattle Ruined Seattle

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STEVEN WEISSMAN

I received my recall ballot toward the end of last month, and I can't help but think of Seattle's unofficial slogans. I hear them over and over: "Amazon ruined Seattle. Californians ruined Seattle. The Homeless ruined Seattle." At this point I'm starting to believe that the Seattle electorate ruined (and continues) to ruin Seattle.

In 1968 and 1970, Seattle voters voted against the Forward Thrust, and Atlanta got our subway instead. In 1995 and 1996, Seattle voted against the Seattle Commons, and Amazon completely took over South Lake Union instead. In 2021, we had Nikkita Oliver and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy up for election, and we got Sara Nelson and Ann Davison instead.

Voter turnout here is embarrassing. Where else in the country is it as easy to vote as it is in Seattle? We get information and ballots sent straight to our door, weeks in advance. We get riled up about Republican gerrymandering and cheating and blatant voter suppression in the South, but we can't even make it to the mailbox more than once every four years? Our voter laws aren't perfect, but they put other states to shame.

I'll eat my hat if Kshama Sawant is retained. The recall effort is a meritless joke full of conservative bullshit made in bad faith, but that joke can't even compare to the full-blown clownery of Seattle voters. Get it together.


Do you need to get something off your chest? To submit an unsigned rant, confession, or accusation, send an e-mail to ianonymous@thestranger.com. Please remember to change the names of the innocent and guilty.


Slog AM: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Anti-Abortion Law, the New Crocodile Soft Opens, Go Get Your Spotify Wrapped

Protesters outside the Supreme Court this morning.
Protesters outside the Supreme Court this morning. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

So it begins: This morning, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the forced-birth case out of Mississippi, which directly challenges Roe v. Wade by upholding a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks, reports CNN. That's in addition to the dispute the Court will hear from Texas, where lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after just six weeks (the justices have allowed that law to remain in effect, mind you). I don't need to remind you of the three scarily-conservative cretins Trump appointed to the bench during his term. Fuck this shit. Listen to the oral arguments here:

More light rail updates: According to Sound Transit, construction on the Lynnwood Link Extension project is at a halfway point, reports Seattle P.I. This project will eventually connect North Seattle with Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline, and it is expected to be completed in 2024. Sound Transit says that construction on all 10 bridges is "80% complete" and that rail work has started in multiple locations. I can't wait to ride this bad boy (mostly) all the way to Alderwood Mall in two years time.

The United States is tightening up travel rules: All thanks to the omicron variant. After banning travel from eight southern African countries, now the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is directing airlines to "disclose names and other information of passengers" who have traveled to said countries, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, AP says that Japan is asking all international airlines to "stop taking new reservations for all flights arriving in Japan until the end of December" in an effort to slow the roll of the variant.

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Slog PM: The 28th School Shooting of 2021, Seattle Pays for Killer Cops, and Rihanna Is Right Excellent

National hero.
National hero. Photo by Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images

A 15-year-old student shot and killed three students at a Michigan high school north of Detroit: He wounded at least eight other people. Details are still developing—authorities arrested the shooter but haven't released his name. Education Week estimates there have been 28 school shootings just this year.

The family of Charleena Lyles settles with the City of Seattle, reports Andrew Engelson:

Attorneys representing the family of Charleena Lyles announced today that the City of Seattle agreed to a $3.5 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Seattle Police Department and two white officers who shot and killed Lyles in her north Seattle home on June 18, 2017. She had called the cops to report a burglary.

The police shooting of Lyles, a 30-year-old Black mother of four who was pregnant at the time, inspired widespread outrage and sparked protests against excessive use of force by SPD, including calls for reforming and defunding the police during the city’s Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.

“I appreciate each and every person that was out there willing to put their bodies out there, to be pepper sprayed, to fight for something bigger than themselves,” said Lyles’s cousin, Katrina Johnson, one of several members of Lyle’s family present via Zoom during the press conference. “And being willing to say my cousin’s name. . . . We’re not done until the two officers who murdered my cousin are held criminally liable.”

Andrew has the news on Slog.

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How Long Will Seattle's COVID Bubble Last?

Have we entered the age of enlightened bubble capitalism?
Have we entered the age of enlightened bubble capitalism? Charles Mudede

According to a tweet by Seattle's outgoing mayor, Jenny Durkan, our city has "the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and mortality rates of every major city". This tweet also quotes Governor Jay Inslee linking to a statement from himself, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and the Mayor regarding the Omicron variant.

According to that statement, our enlightened — meaning, cosmopolitan — leaders want us to get vaccinated, wear masks, and maintain our faith in the superiority of science. "Thanks to science," Inslee, Constantine, and Durkan claimed, "we are more prepared to fight this variant than any of its predecessors."

All of this tells us that Seattle lives in a COVID bubble that no variant will disrupt, not even a much-mutated one first identified in the developing country of South Africa. We have reason and science on our side.

What I want to point out in this post is that complete faith in science is not in any way unproblematic.

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Seattle Agrees to Pay $3.5 Million Settlement in Police Killing of Charleena Lyles

Members of Lyless family and Attorneys Ed Moore and Karen Koehler address reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
Members of Lyles's family spoke via video conference to reporters at a press conference organized by attorneys Ed Moore and Karen Koehler. Andrew Engelson

Attorneys representing the family of Charleena Lyles announced today that the City of Seattle agreed to a $3.5 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Seattle Police Department and two white officers who shot and killed Lyles in her north Seattle home on June 18, 2017. She had called the cops to report a burglary.

The police shooting of Lyles, a 30-year-old Black mother of four who was pregnant at the time, inspired widespread outrage and sparked protests against excessive use of force by SPD, including calls for reforming and defunding the police during the city’s Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.

“I appreciate each and every person that was out there willing to put their bodies out there, to be pepper sprayed, to fight for something bigger than themselves,” said Lyles’s cousin, Katrina Johnson, one of several members of Lyle’s family present via Zoom during the press conference. “And being willing to say my cousin’s name. . . . We’re not done until the two officers who murdered my cousin are held criminally liable.”

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New Savage Lovecast: A Literal Ghosting

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It’s a sexcess story…sort of! A woman tells us about how she relieved a 32-year-old man of his virginity. She recommends it!

A woman had a wonderful hook-up with her neighbor. The next morning they made plans to have dinner that night, but she never heard from him again, in what turned out to be a literal ghosting. He died that day. Now she feels heartsick and guilty that she is grieving such a short relationship. Dan counsels her on the phone as only Dan can.

On the Magnum, it’s a “What You Got?” with Professor Lloyd Johnston, who studies the epidemiology of drug use as well as AIDS. He and Dan discuss the state of HIV in the United States, and how sexual abstinence is on the rise among young men.

And, a woman’s 13-year-old nephew might be gay. At a family gathering, she found his door locked, and when she knocked he emerged with an older teenaged friend of his. What were they doing in there? Should the caller tell his mom?

Listen here:


18 Great Wine Bars, Wine Shops, and Other Places to Get Wine in Seattle

The recently opened pop-up shop Drink Books in Greenwood matches books by women, transgender, and non-binary authors with natural wine pairings.
The recently opened pop-up shop Drink Books in Greenwood matches books by women, transgender, and non-binary authors with natural wine pairings. Drink Books

Though our craft beer scene may get all the attention, Seattle is also home to a wealth of wonderful wine destinations, from natural wine specialists like Vif, L'Oursin, Left Bank, and La Dive to charming bars like Bottlehouse and Cépaé Tasting Room. We've rounded up this list of our favorite places in the city to sip wine and buy bottles, so you can unleash your inner oenophile. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

The Barrel Thief
This Fremont wine and whiskey bar offers "a chill atmosphere in which to explore and enjoy wine, spirits, and small plate food," with "one of the largest selections of wines-by-the-glass on the planet."
Fremont
Pickup, dine-in

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This Seattle Game Developer Wants You to Be a Cat

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Matt Wood

I remember seeing Untitled Goose Game at a game convention a year or two before its release — it was semi-finished and you could only play the first few minutes of it, but there was a line around the booth to check out the demo. “That might be something,” I thought, and forgot about it until a few years later when it was released and became a colossal hit.

There’s a similar spirit at work in Little Kitty, Big City, a work-in-progress game currently simmering at Seattle-based Double Dagger Studio. “You're a curious little kitty with a big personality, on an adventure to find your way back home,” reads the first half of the elevator pitch, an intriguing enough proposition before you reach the second half: “Explore the city, make new friends, wear delightful hats, and leave more than a little chaos in your wake.” Hats! Hats on cats!!! I want it now.

Double Dagger is led by Matt Wood, a game industry veteran who left the churn of major publishers to create his own little company. He’s currently leading a small team of cat people, and discovering that it’s almost as difficult to get a virtual cat to do your bidding as a live one.

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New Savage Love: Past Tense

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Joe Newton
So, my husband (42-year-old straight male) and I (38-year-old bi female) have had a closed relationship so far, but we have an active fantasy life. We've been together for about four years, and we both had our fair share of partners (casual and serious) before that. We like to talk about fantasies involving other people during sex, be they actual (past partners) or imagined (my beautiful surfing instructor on a trip). Once while he ate my pussy, I asked him about all the pussies he's enjoyed in the past and he brought up one of his exes—a relationship that ended ten years before we met—and he said he sometimes thought about her when he went down on and/or fucked subsequent partners, including me. This turned me on. A lot. I started bringing her up every now and then while we fucked, I asked him more about her, I fantasized about meeting her and eating the pussy he enjoyed so much. Like other past partners, she became part of the mental/verbal porn reel we sometimes enjoy during sex.

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