Check Out The Stranger's 2020 Gift Guide!

Possession Is Unstreamable

I cannot stop thinking about Isabelle Adjanis eyes after watching Possession.
I can't stop thinking about her eyes. Courtesy of Bleeding Light Film Group
Unstreamable is a weekly column that finds films and TV shows you can't watch on major streaming services in the United States.

POSSESSION
France | West Germany, 1981, 124 min, Dir. Andrzej Zulawski
This scene haunts me.
This scene haunts me!! JK
In Andrzej Zulawski's genre-bending Possession, Mark (Sam Neill), a spy, returns home from a long job to discover his wife Anna (the incredible Isabelle Adjani) wants to separate. It's another man, she tells him. Mark spirals, and the couple starts to fight violently over their child and relationship. But as they slide deeper into the abyss of divorce, it becomes clear that Anna has a much more terrifying and supernatural lover she's been attending to. One with a thirst for blood and her total existence.

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Slog PM: More Setbacks for Trump, No Nussy in Liverpool Left Unchecked

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A nussy is what you think it is.
A nussy is what you think it is. Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

"No Merit": A Pennsylvania appellate court denied the Trump campaign's attempt to block the state from certifying that Joe Biden won its election. "Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections," wrote one of the judges on the panel. Meanwhile, the current President continues his racist conspiracy campaign to disenfranchise Black voters:

A weird food read for the weekend: This guy went on a quest to find the original McDonald's french fry recipe.

Amazon's averaged around 1,400 new hires per day: Terrific reporting from Karen Weise reveals Amazon's "extraordinary hiring binge" this year. Mike Baker breaks down the big bulletpoints in this tweet:

I guess we can't resist it any longer: It's officially that time of year.

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Sponsored

HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume Two!

What time is it? It's time for another round of HUMP!'s Greatest Hits! Find yourself thinking about HUMP! festivals from the past, remembering some of your favorites? Just watched your first HUMP! and wonder what past festivals look like? Great news! We’re bringing you another volume of our (and audience) favorite short, dirty movies from 2005-2018. Get ready for HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume Two!

Get tickets!


HomoHetero

The Straights Must Be Crazy

One of these days, Prudence, bang, zoom, to the moon
One of these days, Prudence, bang, zoom, to the moon Butterball's Spirits of the First Turkey Lovers

As Edith Massey once said, “the world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring life,” and I found renewed sympathy for the straights this Thanksgiving after gorging myself on some weird old ads for Butterball that for some reason associate turkey-preparation with heterosexual inadequacy.

For years, I’ve held a deep appreciation for a series of old 1970s-era ads in which ghost-pilgrims appear in modern kitchens to marvel at the moistness of Butterball turkeys. The entire premise of the commercials is bananas, from the disembodied chorus that heralds the ghosts’ arrival to their old-timey dialogue peppered incessantly with the word “juicy.”

But the aspect that I love most is how the pilgrim characters, an apparent husband and wife, have a bickering sniping relationship, as though either one is just one dry drumstick away from snapping and slugging the other square in the face—a dynamic replicated in countless commercials of the time, and one curiously absent from early marketing to queers.

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How to Celebrate Native American Heritage in Seattle

Supaman, an Apsáalooke rapper originally from Seattle, will give a virtual performance on Friday as part of the Seattle Is Native Land festival.
Supaman, an Apsáalooke rapper originally from Seattle, gave a virtual performance as part of the Seattle Is Native Land festival last week. You can now watch a recording of the event on Facebook. Artist photo

EverOut is The Stranger's new website devoted to things to do in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Stranger EverOut and Stranger Things To Do, just in a new spot!

The day after Thanksgiving is Native American Heritage Day, capping off Native American Heritage Month. Though celebrating the contributions of indigenous people is always important, this month is an especially good time for it, and many local organizations are holding events for the occasion. We've rounded those up below, along with some other local Native American businesses to support and some notable music, books, and other media with a local indigenous connection. 

EVENTS
NOVEMBER 28
Highline Celebration of Indigenous Voices & Stories
Join Highline Public Schools Native Education Program, Highline Heritage Museum, and other local organizations for an online discussion with and about the urban Native communities in Highline and South King County.

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Sponsored

Your Holidays Just Got Brighter-- The Dina Martina Christmas Show Is Streaming in December!

'Tis the season for one of the most surreal and hysterically funny Christmas shows ever: The Dina Martina Christmas Show! Join "The Second Lady of Entertainment" as she welcomes you into her home & fills you with a distant facsimile of the holiday spirit.

As you experience Dina Martina's wonderfully tragic brand of entertainment, you'll see why Dan Savage calls her "absolutely high-f**king-larious!”

Get tickets!


Tuck Into This Clive Owen Movie for Your Post-Thanksgiving Coma

Clive Owen is criminally good in Croupier.
Clive Owen is criminally good in Croupier. Courtesy of Shooting Gallery
Sorting through our master list of Unstreamable films today, I discovered that column-favorite Croupier recently popped back onto streaming services. I'm taking the movie's streamability as an opportunity to re-publicize this neo-noir. Sometimes you just need to dig into a Clive Owen film. And boy, Croupier is a good one.

It introduced the brooding young English actor to an American audience as a tuxedoed croupier (card dealer) in a casino in London. Day is hard to come by in this film; most of the action occurs at night or in the windowless, underground casino, which has covered its walls in warped mirrors that resemble molten silver. The felt on the card tables is an unsettlingly purple-blue.

Owen, as Jack, a down-on-his-luck writer with a preternatural gift for dealing, is cool and immutable; a bit misshapen but attractive, observant, and deeply self-involved. He's a Gemini, so he's charming, the type of dude where women just appear naked before him. The seedy punters (gamblers) and a life lived at night are all fodder for the book he's writing, which Owen reads to the film's audience through voiceovers.

My favorite thing about Croupier is the sound of the different games: the chips stacked on the tables, the rattling of the marble ball spinning in the roulette wheel, the clip of the cards dealt in front of players. This movie is perfect for your post-Thanksgiving coma.

Stream Croupier on Hoopla, or rent it via Prime Video, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Seattle Public Library, or Scarecrow Video.


CultureGamingGeeky

Here Is Who I Want to Take Alex Trebek's Job (RIP)

Trebek is dead, who will fill his shoes?
Trebek is dead, who will fill his shoes? Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Alex Trebek's body was barely cold when the public started obsessing over who would take over for him as the king of syndicated game show television.

Without Trebek, what will Jeopardy be? Will the show be the same without his dry, measured interest in contestants' personal lives? Without the soft, cashmere sweaters he wore in those video clues filmed at one of the Smithsonian museums?

Jeopardy! hasn't really changed in the last 34 years. From the retro sets to the contestants' bad clothes, Jeopardy episodes filmed today still look like found footage from the '80s. And that's beautiful. But, change is coming now that Trebek, the show's biggest constant, is gone. Fans will need to embrace it or risk inevitable disappointment.

Ken Jennings, the winningest contestant in the show's history, was already selected as the first interim host for Jeopardy. I'm fine with Ken—he's a safe bet—but I'm hoping to see some other contestants from the show's past try their hand at the host job before anything is set in stone.

Here are the Jeopardy contestants I'd like to see host the show:

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Dozens of New Light Rail Stations Are About to Open, and So Are My Legs

Please resist the urge to rub your sweaty palms all over the new U District station when it opens
Please resist the urge to rub your sweaty palms all over the new U District station when it opens Sound Transit

Despite the weirdness of this year, construction on light rail extension projects has continued at a solid clip and more trains, tracks, and stations are so close we can almost taste them. (Please do not attempt to actually taste them.) Over the next four years, Seattle will open 28 (!!!) new stations, some of them in less than a year, and they will completely transform the way you get around town.

In fact, they’ll transform the way you get around multiple towns, because the new tendrils of the Link extensions will spread across Seattle to the east side and down to Kent and Tacoma, like the tentacles of a giant sexy hentai monster. Please, please, no matter how tempting it may seem, do not attempt to lick the trains.

So, just how close are we to a transformed transit experience? I’m glad you asked—pull up a chair, brew a cup of coffee, and try to keep your tongue in your mouth as we do a little year-end roundup of Sound Transit’s most seductive construction projects.

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Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Seattle: Black Friday Booze, Holiday Markets, Christmas Trees, and More

Rob Roys kitschy holiday cocktail pop-up Miracle on 2nd has returned for to-go service only, this time with festive photo ops.
Rob Roy's kitschy holiday cocktail pop-up Miracle on 2nd has returned for to-go service only, this time with festive photo ops. Courtesy of Rob Roy

EverOut is The Stranger's new website devoted to things to do in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Stranger EverOut and Stranger Things To Do, just in a new spot!

Many of us are spending the first leg of the holiday season far away from family and friends this year, but, without being too saccharinely optimistic in this difficult time, we'll argue that this weekend brings some fine ways to comfort yourself and maintain top-notch wintry traditions while staying home or otherwise safely distanced from others. Our suggestions are listed below, from Black Friday deals on booze at spots like Fremont Brewing to El Centro de la Raza's Christmas Tree Sale, and from places to find eggnog (like Delancey's cocktail bar) to Seattle podcasts and local Grammy-nominated artists to queue up on your next isolation walk. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week and the best movies to watch this week.

SEASONAL
Turn to local businesses for your holiday shopping. The weekend after Thanksgiving squeezes in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Museum Store Sunday, giving you extra incentive to find deals on all manner of gifts and support Seattle makers during this tough season. If you need somewhere to start, check out our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for a roundup of our favorite things from Seattle authors, artists, food businesses, and more (like Ijeoma Oluo's new book Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America or subscriptions to local wine clubs). We've also compiled a guide to this season's best holiday markets and shopping events, like Saturday's outdoor market at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall and Sunday's Handmade Brigade Pop-Up and Holiday Market at Skål Beer Hall, along with a list of branded merch items from places like Dick's Drive-In and Hood Famous Bakeshop. If you plan accordingly, you won't even have to leave your house to check off everyone on your list.

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Refresh Playlist: New Music for the Week

Megan THEE Stallion, Good News
Megan THEE Stallion, Good News

As COVID cases surge and we head into holiday season, the last couple weeks have seen an absolute onslaught of new music to distract ourselves with. If you're experiencing SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), listening to music has the power to actually elevate your mood. Here are seven new releases from both nationally recognized and locally based artists that'll hold space for you to refresh your mind.



Good News, Megan THEE Stallion


Megan THEE Stallion’s highly anticipated studio debut, Good News, is finally here. There’s the new single “Body”—which, can we all just collectively scream YAAAAAAAAAAS! Learning the choreography to this self-confident single may be the best workout you’ve had all year. The album is largely what you’d expect from the hot girl rapper: lots of sex-positive bars and self-confident wordplay. Album opener “Shots Fired” fiercely addresses singer Tory Lanez for inflicting harm on Meg in July when he allegedly shot her in the foot as she was attempting to exit a vehicle. Of course, there’s also previously released hit single “Savage” featuring Beyoncé, “Don’t Stop” featuring Young Thug, and “Girls in the Hood.” Other highlights include “Circles,” which beautifully samples Jazmine Sullivan’s 2020 song “Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles)”; “Freaky Girls” featuring SZA, with grabby lines like “Suck the D like I’m toothless”; “Work That” (“and Ride it like a rodeo!”); the ultra sexy “Intercourse” featuring Popcaan and Mustard; “Go Crazy” featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “Outside,” and more.

A Brown Branch, Brown Branch


Brown Branch is the new music project comprising two Portland-based musicians: jazz pianist Charlie 3rown and drummer Domo Branch. After dropping their excellent one-off single, “Smile,” in October, the producer duo have a new five-track EP titled A Brown Branch, out via the artist-run label We Are People Music. The fleshed out, jazz-influenced, at times psychedelic songs can easily be considered protest music, with track titles that read “WE,” “FIGHTING,” “UNITE,” and “CULTURE.” But the sonics and vibe on songs like the final “GOODBYE” have a sweet healing effect.


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Slog AM: Pope Wags Finger at Amy "Covid" Barrett, It's a Not So Black Friday, "Don't ever talk to the President that way"

Aint nothing but a God thing, baby...
"Ain't nothing but a God thing, baby..." arkira/gettyimages.com

Amy Covid Barrett: Gets an earful from the leader of her church, Pope Francis, right after making her first major decision on the Supreme Court, which authorizes churches and temples in New York City to ignore the pandemic and basically kill as many people as they want. Amen. "It is all too easy for some to take an idea, in this case, for example, personal freedom — and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything." That's Pope speaking to you, Barrett. As I said before, she is not a Christian, and I really do feel sorry for her black kids. Christianity and black children are covers for her "agenda." Barrett, if you believe in Jesus, "hic Rhodus, hic salta." I would sooner call you a spider but that would insult air-breathing arthropods around the world.

To Get a Good Idea of How Bad December Will Be in the US: You only need to look at what happened in Canada after its Thanksgiving in late October. And Canadians are doing this pandemic far better than Americans.

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Slog PM: Trump Pardons Flynn, Fauci Issues His "Final Plea," Don't Pass COVID with the Gravy

A convicted Trump henchman walks free, lads.
A convicted Trump henchman walks free, lads. Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Thanksgiving is tomorrow: And we over here at The Stranger are taking the day off to get stuffed and listen to ABBA. Enjoy your non-superspreader Turkey Day (if you celebrate), and we'll be back again on Friday.

Speaking of Thanksgiving: Ahead of what is likely to be one giant, germy Thursday, Joe Biden delivered a somber address to the nation, urging Americans to recommit to fighting the virus this holiday season. In the 18-minute speech, Biden acknowledged that we've "grown weary of the fight," but that this is the moment to "steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit to the fight." He pushed us to remember that "we're all in this together." Watch the full speech here:

Anthony Fauci also issued his "final plea," begging people to limit their Thanksgiving festivities this year: “Keep the indoor gatherings as small as you possibly can," he told ABC's Good Morning America in an interview. "We all know how difficult that is because this is such a beautiful, traditional holiday. But by making that sacrifice, you are going to prevent infections.” All we can do now is wait and watch the infection rate skyrocket in two weeks.

OK if you REALLY need convincing: The Seattle P.I. used an Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology to calculate the chances of someone at your Thanksgiving dinner having COVID for every county in the state. Here's King County:

Chance of one person having COVID-19 in a gathering of 10: 26%
Chance of one person having COVID-19 in a gathering of 15: 36%
Chance of one person having COVID-19 in a gathering of 20: 44%

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It's Not Too Late to Cancel Thanksgiving and Save the Health Care System

Shit is bad and its only going to get worse during the holidays.
Shit is bad and it's only going to get worse during the holidays. Karen Ducey/Getty Images

COVID-19 cases have been on a "nearly vertical" upward trajectory for the last two weeks, Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press conference on Tuesday. But health care workers dealing with the current surge fear what COVID-19 numbers will look like two weeks from now, after those who defied public health guidelines have returned from their risky trips to eat pumpkin pie with their third cousins.

University of Washington residents, the doctors-in-training working on the frontlines, worry about contracting COVID-19 themselves. For the residents I spoke to for this story, however, the biggest worry isn't their own health but rather how their absence might impact the hospital.

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Would the Generals Have Permitted a Coup if Bernie Sanders Had Won the Election?

What the day Bernie Sanders won the presidential election might have looked like.
What the day may have looked like had Bernie Sanders won the presidential election. guvendemir/gettyimages.com

There has been for some time now much talk on the left that describes the leading party on the right, the GOP, as inherently undemocratic. Those who call this talk empty reveal nothing except their party affiliation.

What is not hard to find on the record is the GOP's undemocratic proclivities (gerrymandering, voter suppression, the shameless overrepresentation of white rural votes, and so on). But between November 7 (when the networks declared Biden the president of the United States), and November 24 (when Pennsylvania certified Biden's victory in that commonwealth), there was a moment in the US when it seemed a coup was not just in motion but a real possibility.

On November 10, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alarmed a large part of the American public when he told reporters—with no hint of fear, and as world leaders were congratulating Biden for his win—that there would be a "smooth transition to a second Trump administration." Couple that with the silence of most Republicans about the obvious election results, and you had the idea that America was going through a world-historical regressive transformation of its political system.

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NewsTech20202021

Washington Lawmakers Haven't Figured Out How to Conduct a Floor Debate on Zoom Yet

Gonna be ghost house this winter, for the most part.
Gonna be ghost house next year, for the most part. LESTER BLACK

Washington Republicans and some Democrats who want to perform their willingness to "do something" keep pressuring Governor Jay Inslee to call a special session, ostensibly so lawmakers can hammer out some kind of woefully insufficient COVID-19 relief package.

This impulse sounds good and noble, but it's dumb for a couple reasons. First off, there is an outside chance Democrats will take control of the U.S. Senate in January, which would dramatically increase the chances of a federal bailout. If the legislature meets tomorrow, however, then lawmakers will have to assume no more money will come from the feds and then start filling budget holes by cutting programs people rely on. While making big cuts is a huge kink for Republicans, 2008 taught us that austerity budgeting will lead to a longer, slower, more painful economic recovery, and we should do everything we can to avoid making the same mistake again.

But a major mechanical issue also troubles the prospect of a special session: lawmakers haven't ironed out the process for passing bills remotely yet. So even if they could meet, the quality of the work they could even accomplish remains an open question.

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The Best Movies to Stream in Seattle This Thanksgiving Weekend

Kristen Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, and other recognizable faces in Happiest Season, a delightful new gay holiday rom-com streaming on Hulu.
Kristen Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, and other recognizable faces in Happiest Season, a delightful new gay holiday rom-com streaming on Hulu. Lacey Terrell/Hulu

EverOut is The Stranger's new website devoted to things to do in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Stranger EverOut and Stranger Things To Do, just in a new spot!
We know you're probably busy rolling pie dough and basting various meats, so we've rounded up our picks for the best movies streaming this week through local theaters and nationwide platforms to save you a little time. See them all below, from the new music documentary Zappa to Fruit Chan's post-Handover indie film Made in Hong Kong, and from Scarecrow and Grand Illusion's Best of VHSMAS to the new K-Stew holiday rom-com Happiest Season. Plus, if you haven't heard, The Stranger's amateur porn film festival HUMP! is accepting submissions through January 8, as is the stoner short film fest SPLIFF, through March 5! Plus, don't forget to check out the first installment of The Stranger's Film Club, a new biweekly video series entering Black films with Stranger film experts Jasmyne Keimig and Charles Mudede.

Streaming: Local Connection
Becoming Black
What happens when a Black child in a majority-white German town is told that her dark skin is simply a genetic coincidence? She'll invariably find out the truth, and, in director Ines Johnson-Spain's case, she'll make a film about it. See a limited screening of Becoming Black as part of Goethe Pop Up's German Cinema Now series.
Northwest Film Forum
Wednesday only

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