Fucking Vote... Please!

Slog PM: Omicron Spreads, Bears Become Fish Sticks, and RuPaul Welcomes Another Seattle Queen into Her Empire

The Jeff Bezos of Drag announced the next cast of RuPauls Drag Race this evening, and the line-up includes a familiar Seattle name.
The Jeff Bezos of Drag announced the next cast of RuPaul's Drag Race this evening, and the line-up includes a familiar Seattle name. VH1/RuPaul Drag Race

Good evening, we come to you from inside the world wide web, which unfortunately did not end today, despite the proclamation that our special palindromic day (12/02/2021) would bring about the long-awaited internet apocalypse. Y2K couldn't break the internet, Kim Kardashian couldn't break the internet, and what turned out to be a weird marketing campaign couldn't either. So it goes. Maybe one of the many upcoming palindromic days will save us.

Send in the mobile vaccination units. Gov. Inslee announced this afternoon that FEMA will send mobile vaccination units to western Washington to help the state's vaccination effort. There's only one unit with a location planned so far, at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, reports KIRO. It'll open December 20 and stay up for 30 days. More units are on their way; locations are TBD.

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When Gomer Pyle Married Rock Hudson


Oh sure, Seattle’s had its share of cute weddings, but the cutest — one four decades in the making — is the 2013 union of Jim Nabors and Stan Cadwallader at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel downtown. One was a TV star, the other a firefighter, and they’d managed to keep their relationship out of the public eye for 38 years.

One reason they protected their privacy: A TV star of the 1960s and 1970s, Jim’s career was nearly destroyed by a same-sex wedding rumor just before he and Stan met, a rumor that also ended Jim’s relationship with closeted actor Rock Hudson. Over his 55-year career, Jim made a name for himself as a wholesome, folksy southerner; but behind the scenes, he harbored a secret love that would have scandalized the country if it was found out.

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Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker is Back Onstage at McCaw Hall! Tickets start at $27.

A magical journey of awaits you and yours at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker! Performed by PNB’s incredible company of dancers and orchestra, this is your year to make or renew a Nutcracker holiday tradition. PNB is keeping audiences small and ticket prices low to welcome you back. Support the arts and treat yourself. PNB can’t wait to see you. Tickets start at $27 for all performances. Visit PNB.org for tickets and Covid safety info.

Seattle Needs More Bollards, the Real Superheroes of the City

Driver, you dont fuck with these bollards in Genesee Park.
Driver, you don't fuck with these bollards in Genesee Park. Charles Mudede

What I can't get enough of these days are videos from around the world that show cars taking on bollards and badly losing. Bollards are "sturdy, short, vertical posts" that are "designed to prevent automotive vehicles from colliding or crashing into pedestrians and structures, whether intentional from ram-raids and vehicle-ramming attacks, or unintentional losses of control." There is a Twitter account, World Bollard Association, devoted to them and their amazing powers. I watch the tweeted videos with the same thrill one experiences during a Marvel Studios movie.

Meanwhile in Seattle...

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Fact? Not Exactly. Here's Another Misleading Anti-Sawant Mailer from the Recall Campaign

Not exactly.
The Sawant Recall campaign heavily relies on the slipperiness of the definition of "fact" in its mailer.

Last week the Public Disclosure Commission granted an anti-Sawant PAC's request to receive and spend unlimited amounts of money in the recall election. Sure enough, big money followed shortly thereafter: In the last few days, the PAC reported several landlords, realtors, and investors adding thousands of dollars to their original donations, quickly closing the fundraising gap between the recallers and the retainers.

The PAC then turned around and spent $100,000 on a cable TV ad and $20,000 on mailers. Meanwhile, three landlords and/or developers (Bob Yeh, Peter Lee, and Xiao Yen) started another anti-Sawant PAC called Citizens for Safe Neighborhoods. According to the PDC, the PAC selected the "mini-reporting option" when it filed, which means the state will not make the organizers report any contributions/expenditures so long as they keep both under $5,000 and no one contributes more than $500.

All of this means the corporate forces aligned against Sawant will have much more money to spend on misleading ads and mailers designed to trick people into voting out the council member most focused on passing laws to protect renters from exploitative landlords.

I caught one such mailer dangling out of my apartment complex's recycling bin the other day. The Recall Sawant campaign paid for this one, and it's designed to amplify the campaign's bullshit law & order messaging by exploiting confusion around the legal and common definitions of the word "fact."

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This Week in Seattle Event News: Jazmine Sullivan, Foo Fighters, and More

NPR Album of the Year songstress Jazmine Sullivan will bring Heaux Tales to Seattle in February.
NPR Album of the Year songstress Jazmine Sullivan will bring Heaux Tales to Seattle in February.

If the stress of holiday shopping is starting to get to you, we might be able to help you out in this week’s edition of event news. Gift your loved one an experience instead of another thing they won’t use. There’s a wide variety of new events to choose from: Modern poet Rupi Kaur will perform an all-new spoken word experience. R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan will hit the town to tell some Heaux Tales. Hometown boys the Foo Fighters will play T-Mobile Park next summer. Read on for details on all of those and more newly announced events to get tickets for before they sell out. 

Tickets go on sale at 10 am unless otherwise noted.

Barns Courtney
The Showbox (Tues March 15)

Brad Mehldau Solo
Neptune Theatre (Wed Feb 16)

Foo Fighters
T-Mobile Park (Sat Aug 13)

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Seattle Sticker Patrol: Everybody Loves a Femme Top

Jessica Stein

"Everybody Loves a Femme Top"
Its true!
It's true! JK
If you don't, I don't wanna hear about it. Thanks Annie!

"I'm Going to Kermit Cyber Crime"
Kermit, delete my student loans.
Kermit, delete my student loans. JK
Kermit has never looked hotter.

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The Different Ways We Are Packaged Black

Barbara Earl Thomass giant floating Cinderella Redressed made of intricately cut tyvek, paper, and voile fabric against Derrick Adams portraits.
Barbara Earl Thomas' giant floating "Cinderella Redressed" made of intricately cut tyvek, paper, and voile fabric against Derrick Adams' portraits. Jueqian Fang/Henry Art Gallery

In a back room on the first floor of the Henry Art Gallery, there is a disco.

It isn't an average disco. There's no hairspray, neon lights, or shimmery dresses, but in the darkened gallery, the sounds of soul and R&B filter in through speakers. The most notable feature of this disco is its stand-in for a disco ball: a rotating lantern of alternating designs from artists Barbara Earl Thomas and Derrick Adams. The panels from Thomas feature meticulously cut-out images, with items you might need for a night out on the town—an afro pick, pocketbook, dancing shoe. The panels from Adams consist of abstract designs, a geometric jumble. All cast long shadows across the room as the lantern spins.

The back room is a disco of sorts, with this rotating lantern of Thomas and Adams work.
The back room is a disco of sorts, with this rotating lantern of Thomas' and Adams' work. Jueqian Fang/Henry Art Gallery

This gallery is the pinnacle—or the "guts," as Adams called it—of their joint show, Packaged Black, up at the Henry Art Gallery until May 1, 2022. The exhibition explores the influence of Black culture on commerce and representation and how Black folks present themselves to the world every day. Featuring all-new work from Thomas, including an immersive "Transformation Room," the show is spread across several galleries on the museum's upper floor. Adams and Thomas show pieces both side-by-side and separately. Packaged Black feels cohesive despite the artists' different methods, with their interests in Black history and self-presentation giving the show a strong undercurrent.

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Slog AM: Biden's New COVID Plan, Seattle Students Stage Protest, and Less Than a Week to Go on the Recall Vote

Biden announces plans to give the virus a very stern talking-to
Biden announces plans to give the virus a very stern talking-to Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images Staff
Biden will announce a new COVID plan today. On the agenda: “Hundreds” of vaccination sites, reimbursing people for at-home tests, negative test requirements for travelers to the US. He will also “call on” employers to provide paid time off for booster shots. That ought to do it.

Seattle students want more action on sexual assault. Over a hundred Seattle students protested outside a school board meeting last night, demanding better policies to deal with sexual assault. They described being forced to attend class with abusers, a lack of access to counseling, and sex education that addresses consent.

ICYMI: Rail transit is coming for you, suburbs. The Lynnwood Link extension has reached its halfway point, hooray! The rail stations will be surrounded by parking garages, booooo. To their credit, the city is at least trying to become more livable. For a visualization of just how doomed the suburbs are if they don’t end their apartment bans, take a look at this map of how the east side has created the conditions for a disastrous housing shortage:

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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


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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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


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


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.