Maya Soto and Nico Tower’s Beautiful Carcass Offers Quietly Powerful Commentary on Womenhood That Speaks in a Roar

Don’t be fooled: Cotton Candy Head is not your typical spinster.
Don’t be fooled: Cotton Candy Head is not your typical spinster. Joseph Lambert

Maya Soto and Nico Tower’s Beautiful Carcass—which has its final run this weekend—is anything but silent. In this hybrid dance and theatre performance, the open wounds of misogyny, the patriarchy, sexism, discrimination, harassment, and the other demons of intersectional womanhood don’t just bleed, but are given a voice. By the show’s end, it is a full-throated roar.

We are guided through the struggles and triumphs of the female experience by a circus troupe of “creatures” and “beasts,” who never fail to smile politely on command as they are all introduced by a cotton-candy-headed ringmaster. This character wears many demented hats, to say the least, whether a boastful trainer, whispering tormentor, Rod Sterling-esque narrator, or tender performer.

This could have easily turned into a repetitive reminder of the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a woman. Thankfully, there was more than one kind of story, and one kind of woman, represented in Beautiful Carcass, and they are portrayed with vulnerability and grace. (Trans women aren't represented, but Towers and Soto addressed the centering of the experiences of cis women in the show’s introduction, and acknowledged their “trans sisters,” who they hope also can identify with the show’s narratives.)

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Senator Maria Cantwell Draws a Challenger: Former State GOP Chair Susan Hutchison

The woman who called for rich people to engage in civil disobedience is running for Senate.
The woman who called for rich people to engage in "civil disobedience" is running for Senate. Heidi Groover

About an hour before the filing deadline on Friday afternoon, former Washington State GOP Chair and news anchor Susan Hutchison jumped into the U.S. Senate race against four-term Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell.

If you don't count Patriot Prayer founder and completely fucking insane person, Joey Gibson, which you shouldn't, Hutchison presents the most serious challenge to Cantwell in a race she should win unless something terrible happens. Twenty-eight other people have filed to run, including perennial favorites GoodSpaceGuy and Alex Tsimerman

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A Case for the Greatness of Paul Simon in 25 Songs

The four major phases Paul Simon.
The four major phases Paul Simon. Illustration by Sophie Franz

The Seattle stop of Homeward Bound, Paul Simon’s alleged farewell tour, happens tonight at Key Arena, where he will play an intimate set for 10,000 or so of his closest friends, all of whom will have paid exorbitant ticket prices that will almost definitely feel like bargains in retrospect. I hope.

In case you were wondering if I have any thoughts on Simon’s body of work, you might care to peruse this lengthy disquisition on the subject, which includes these lines:

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Last-Minute Plans: 121 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend: May 18-20, 2018

Get your fill of street food at the SLU Saturday Night Market, or check out the 49th annual U District Street Fair.
Get your fill of street food at the SLU Saturday Night Market, or check out the 49th annual U District Street Fair. Seattle Street Food Festival via Facebook

Panicking because you haven't yet made plans for the weekend and you're short on cash? Don't worry—below, find all of your options for last-minute entertainment that won't cost more than $10, ranging from the U District Street Fair to the Exterminator City 9 comics market, and from the Edmonds Jazz Connection to Mushroom MAYnia. For even more options, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.

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1. Ghosted
See sustainable clothing designs from second-hand sources by Seattle University's Fashion Club. They bill it as not only a fashion show but also "on society's flaws today, focusing on our forgotten society." This event benefits the Dress for Success professional dress charity.
(Capitol Hill, $10)

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Business Leaders Launch Drive For a Head Tax Repeal

The grandson of Dick's Drive-In's founder is leading an effort to repeal the head tax.
The grandson of the founder of Dicks is leading an effort to repeal the head tax. Tobias Coughlin-Bouge

Seattle residents opposed to the head tax are mobilizing to get rid of it.

Three members of the local business community filed to start a campaign today supporting a repeal of the $275 per employee tax through a ballot referendum. The No Tax on Jobs committee counts among its officers James Maiocco, Chief Business Development Officer at Pushpay (which is based in Redmond), Saul Spady, grandson of the founder of Dick’s Drive-In and Phillip Lloyd, a downtown accountant.

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NewsCrime

Police Reports Illustrated: Concerned Neighbor Dispenses Justice

Callan Berry
Callan Berry

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NewsAmazon

The Head Tax According to Amazon Employees

Amazon Worker, tell me how you feel
Amazon Worker, tell me how you feel NG

Since the unanimous City Council vote on Monday to pass a $275 per employee head tax, businesses have cried foul and some are already talking about repealing the ordinance. Curious, I ventured down to South Lake Union to see how employees of Amazon, the business that had the biggest influence over the tax rate, feel about the City Council's decision.

We know many tech leaders oppose the tax, though of course there are exceptions. But what about rank-and-file workers?

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People's Republic of Desire Sheds Light on the "Celebrity" Users of Chinese Social Network, YY

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Westerners, and especially Americans, should know about YY, the Chinese social network that’s something like YouTube and Instagram Live, but on cocaine. Hao Wu’s documentary People's Republic of Desire is a rare dive into the network, which sports more than 300 million active users (Snapchat reports 187 million users) who exchange virtual roses as a currency, with top users making as much as $20,000 a month for apparently doing nothing more than cam-girling without getting naked. It’s surreal. While Wu seems to be unable to land on a subject, the spectacular strangeness of the way people interact on YY is enough to earn viewers’ attention.

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Santa Fe School Shooting: "It's been happening everywhere."


This reaction this kid has when the reporter asks her to cough up the usual banality—to tell the viewers at home that she never thought something like this could happen in her school—stands as an indictment of our sick gun culture. And then there's this:

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Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 7: Ron Artis II

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James Glover

Behold, a brand-new video from our ongoing presentation of the Pickathon Starlight Series, spotlighting performances at the Portland-area music festival's nocturnal stage where bands play into the wee hours.

This season's latest episode features Hawaii-based singer/songwriter Ron Artis II performing "Getting Older," a track from his 2015 album What Music Means to Me. His guitar playing is unreal—throughout the song, Artis strums the instrument at incomprehensible speeds while singing in a soulful croon. It looks exhausting, but sounds incredible.

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What Do You Do When Your Senior Mother Starts Boozing and Cruising?

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I (30's, F) live with my mother where I help to pay bills, make repairs, and do chores in addition to my own expenses. Last year we had to put my father in a nursing home. He will never get better. While she is torn with grief over this—which I and others have repeatedly told her was impossible to avoid given my father's deteriorating condition and state of mind—she also seems to be in a relationship with a man she works with. (She's asked me to fix her phone, which makes me privy to graphic text messages she receives from this man.)

There is no way this would have been ok with my father—not that he is capable of having a conversation about it now. It has made our relationship very awkward. She will recount conversations with people whom she suddenly cannot remember the identities of. She goes on overnight trips to vague places with people she won't identify. She will disappear and become unreachable for hours at a time and then become uncharacteristically angry when I ask where she has been. She lies—frequently, badly. She drinks heavily and is otherwise checked out, preferring to communicate with my siblings through me. She'll offer to help me with something and then disappear or become too drunk to do so.

I have read you for long enough, Dan, that I know you'll want me to stay out of her personal life, but I am worried sick for her and don't know what to do. We cannot have an honest conversation about her drinking, the trips, or her social life. Pushing for details makes me feel like a bitch and a nag. But if she were to vanish on one of her trips, I wouldn't know where to begin looking for her. If I move out and restrict (what my siblings have done) or cut off contact, she will be isolated and likely lose our home. The most a therapist has been able to give me is a shrug and "that really sucks." I know my father would want me to take care of her, but I don't know how, and I'm doing a terrible job so far. I feel like I've lost both of my parents at the same time. Am I completely out of bounds? How do I talk to my mother about what she's doing? How do I proceed from here?

My Mother's Mother

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Team Hurricane Explores the Harsh Realities of Being a Teen in Neon Vibrant Color

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In Team Hurricane, eight teenage girls use a youth center as the launchpad for what could very well be eventual world domination. Director Annika Berg’s shot-out-of-a-cannon debut impressively delineates between the different characters without ever slowing down, while also curating an absolute riot of colors and seemingly random imagery. (Even the subtitles have a neon Otter Pop glow.) A sensitive, funny (an increasingly awkward sex-ed sequence is particularly sharp), and highly caffeinated film that empowers without a whiff of condescension. As far as modern-day mission statements go, “Lets just overdo it and totally own it” isn’t bad at all, really.

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I Miss You When I See You Is a Story of Love, Obsession, and Secrets

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In a story that is constantly mutating, director Simon Chung mines the territory between gay and straight, love and obsession. After 10 years apart, one friend travels to Australia to catch up with the other. If Jamie has moved on with his life, Kevin had a breakdown from which he is still recovering. From out of the blue, he relocates to Hong Kong where he insinuates himself into Jamie’s life—staying at his apartment, working at his tutorial center, and hanging out with his girlfriend. When a student pursues one of the men, long-buried secrets rise to the surface, forcing a reckoning with the past.

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What Donald Glover's "This Is America" Video Tells Us About the First Major Post-Parkland Shooting

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From Donald Glover's "This Is America"

The most complicated moment in Donald Glover's video for "This Is America" happens after he emerges from a door next to a black choir that's feeling the spirit, clapping hands, and singing "Get your money, black man, get your money, black man." At first, Glover engages with the choir; but then he checks himself and becomes pensive. He falls into a deep thought that's suddenly interrupted by a flying AK-47. He catches it, quickly turns, mows down the choir, hands the weapon to a bowing boy, and walks away as people rush past him with lynch-mob intensity.

This scene is not easy to unpack because its many parts are suggestive rather than didactic. A part of it suggests it is what it is and we should leave it at that. Yet another part strongly suggests a critique of the violent history of state Christianity. And another part of it suggests the capture of the church by the "money changers." And what this suggestion implies in the black American context is that the choir is mindlessly praising and encouraging the pursuit of what the soul singer D'Angelo once described as the "Devil's Pie."

Another part of the scene suggests a critique of the black church that's also found in Richard Wright's novella, "The Man Who Lived Underground." Early in this long short story (which was written in 1942 and inspired by French and Russian existentialism), Fred Daniels—a black man who enters the sewer of a big American city to elude racist cops—sees through a hole in the sewer's wall a black choir in a church. The men and women are singing: “Jesus, take me to your home above.” Wright writes:

[Fred Daniels] edged to the crevice and saw a segment of black men and women, dressed in white robes, singing, holding tattered songbooks in their black palms. His first impulse was to laugh, but he checked himself.

What was he doing? ...They oughtn’t to do that, he thought. But he could think of no reason why they should not do it. Just singing with the air of the sewer blowing in on them…

The message here, and I think it is also one of the messages in the "This Is America" choir scene (and, for that matter, the message in Linton Kwesi Johnson's 1980 dub track, "Reality Poem") is that nothing up there can really fix the many problems Americans face down here.

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Mystery Solved! Here's Who's Behind the Anonymous "City Council: Make It Better" Ad Campaign

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce quietly funded this online pressure campaign amid the citys roiling homelessness and head tax debate.
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce quietly funded this online pressure campaign amid the city's roiling homelessness and head tax debate.

That was fast! Earlier today, I told Stranger readers about a mysterious online ad campaign aimed at influencing the debate over Seattle's homelessness crisis.

The campaign—which involved Facebook ads, a slick web site, and ads on other platforms—was called "City Council: Make It Better," and it was harshly critical of the Seattle City Council in general and Council Member Mike O'Brien in particular.

For example, it prominently quoted O'Brien as saying, "We have no plan"—insinuating that he and the council had zero plan on homelessness. (O'Brien did in fact say "we have no plan" during a KUOW appearance on March 15, but he was referring to, and criticizing, the city's lack of a comprehensive plan for one facet of the homelessness crisis: people living in vehicles.)

So who was behind this O'Brien-bashing, Seattle City Council-bashing, head tax-hating campaign?

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