It's Always Election Season!

Slog PM: Un-Fare Enforcement, Spotify Picks Joe Rogan (5'7") as Favorite Child, and Eat Shit Amazon

Free transit anyone?
Free transit anyone? TIMOTHY KENNEY

Fare enforcement? More like UN-fare enforcement: The argument that the act of fare enforcement violates civil rights under the state constitution is on its way to the Washington state Supreme Court. The case could take away the authority of transit agencies to ask passengers if they paid. The Seattle Times has more.

FUCK Amazon, ALL MY HOMIES FUCK Amazon*: In a truly goated move, Attorney General Bob Ferguson ended Amazon’s price-fixing “Sold by Amazon” program after a state investigation found it was anticompetitive and violated antitrust laws.

* A Sticker Patrol deep cut.

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Sundance Review: Marte Um (Mars One) Is a Brazilian Film About the Perils of Over-Representing Blacks in Professional Sports

Do you see a soccer star or a scientist in this black Brazilian boy?
Do you see a soccer star or a scientist in this black Brazilian boy? Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival


This weekend, Northwest Film Forum is screening several films—including this one!—as part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival's Satellite Screen program. Learn more about the program here.

The background of Gabriel Martins’ film Marte Um (Mars One) is mostly occupied by Jair Bolsonaro, also known as the Trump of the Tropics. It is 2018, and the very white and raw reactionary has just won the presidential election. No one in the film, which has a black working-class family as its center, mentions Bolsanaro. You only have to see him on TV, or see the racial organization of Brazilian society, to see exactly what he stands for. It is clear that the black family, which is composed of a father, mother, daughter, and son, hates the new president. But this fact is never stated. It is in their faces, their challenges, their dreams as black Brazilians who are at the bottom end of what the second half of the 20th century described as the labor aristocracy.

Marte Um never screams about racism or the daily indignities black workers endure. It instead simmers at what feels like a warm temperature that, though rising from scene to scene in its fourth final act, never erupts into a flame that, like Spike Lee's Do Right Thing, predictably lights the dynamite of revolution. Marte Um's director makes it clear on two occasions that revolutionary inspiration, which has been co-opted by TV pranksters and amateur rappers, might be as harmful to black workers as the power wielded by the obviously racist president.

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Sponsored

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents: Romeo et Juliette at McCaw Hall

Romeo et Juliette returns to PNB to sweep you off your feet – just in time for Valentine’s Day! Savor PNB’s incredible dancing, the flush of first love, and Prokofiev’s rich score performed by the PNB Orchestra – all in the course of one stunning production. Opens Feb 4 at McCaw Hall


This Week’s Comics: Made in Korea Is the Best Comic Book We've Read in the Last Decade

Made in Korea
Made in Korea Image Comics

I have had two memorable VHS-related experiences on long bus trips. The first was on a ride from New York to Boston, on which the only available tape to watch was the movie Twister. The first half of the film was entertaining enough, but the second half had been taped over by someone’s home movie of a walk through a neighborhood decorated with Christmas lights, and to this day I don’t know if Helen Hunt ever managed to track down that cow.

The second was on a trip from Boston to New Haven. That time, the movie was AI, starring Haley Joel Osment as an uncanny robot child. Though the tape was intact, I couldn't watch the second half because I found the entire experience far too disturbing. A child that is not a child, adrift without a family, humans exposed as callous inhumane monsters — I could feel the panic attack coming on and scrambled for headphones to block the movie out. I was going through an awful several-months-long breakup at the time, and a story about the revoking of love was too distressing to watch.

But maybe it’s time for me to revisit that story, twenty-something years later, because I can’t process how much I enjoyed the similarly unsettling storyline of a new paperback out this week. When Made in Korea released its first issue last year, it was the only time I’d ever given a book a rating of six-out-of-five. Now I’m issuing the same rating for a collection of the first few issues.

Thanks as always to Phoenix for helping to sort through this week’s releases. And whatever comic shop is yours, ask about subscriptions and pre-orders, since the comic book supply chain is still experiencing weekly flutters.

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Sundance Review: The Irresistible Call of Sirens

I wanna go to their show.
I wanna go to their show. Courtesy of Sundance Institute


This weekend, Northwest Film Forum is screening several films—including this one!—as part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival's Satellite Screen program. Learn more about the program here.

At first glance, I expected Rita Baghdadi's Sirens, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival this week, to be a conventional documentary about a darkhorse band with big hopes of making it big. As the only all-female metal band in Lebanon, Beirut-based Slave to Sirens is certainly an underdog if there ever was one. However, from the jump, the intimate and irresistible Sirens subverted my expectations of what a music documentary could be.

For starters, its first big set piece follows Slave to Sirens as they travel to the United Kingdom to play a stage at the famed Glastonbury Festival. By any measure, that opportunity is a pretty huge deal. Sure, they mostly play to dead grass with only a couple dozen people wandering over to lightly headbang to the band's brash music. It's a major moment that other documentaries might have built up to, but it's not what Baghdadi is interested in.

The bulk of the film explores the dynamic between two members of the band: Shery and Lilas, Slave to Sirens' guitarists. Quiet, observant Shery has lip piercings and long straight hair that falls in her face when she shreds the shit out of her v-shaped guitar. Passionate Lilas, on the other hand, is prone to mood swings, stomping off to her tent thinking their Glastonbury performance went poorly. Musically, both guitarists flow with one another, but their relationship as bandmates starts to fray as they secretly reel from a romantic breakup the rest of the band doesn't know about. Drama mama!

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Let Truckers Use the Bathroom for the Love of God

Truckers say they have been dealing with reluctant retailers and portapotty shortages at the ports for years.
Truckers say they have been dealing with reluctant retailers and toilet shortages at the ports for years. Benjamin Rondel / GETTY

Truckers are in Olympia fighting for the right to use the bathroom.

Short- and long-haul truckers claim that retailers across the country have routinely rejected restroom requests, and that pandemic-related supply chain backups have exacerbated a years-long port-a-potty crisis at the ports. (As far back as 2013, short-haul truckers, many of whom immigrated from East Africa, were saying "they face a situation similar to 'Jim Crow with its unequal restrooms.'")

House Bill 1706, sponsored by Rep. Mike Sells (D-Everett), aims to address those issues by requiring retailers to allow truckers and delivery drivers to use the restrooms "within certain parameters." The proposal would also require port terminal operators to provide enough restrooms to accommodate the hundreds and sometimes thousands of drivers who roll through the state's 75 ports each day.

In perhaps one of the greatest testimonies I've ever seen, last week Ryan Johnson, a truck driver with Teamsters Local 38, kneeled before his sweet-ass 1979 Camaro and laid out the challenges drivers face, bringing receipt after receipt after receipt. Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing:

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Sundance Review: Emergency Is Quite a Ride

A very stressful car ride.
A very stressful ride. Courtesy Sundance


This weekend, Northwest Film Forum is screening several films—including this one!—as part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival's Satellite Screen program. Learn more about the program here.

Here's a scenario: Imagine you're in college. You return home and find someone in your place. They're blackout drunk, unresponsive, and possibly needing medical attention. Stressful, yes? Now somehow ramp up that stress x1000, make it a movie, and call it a comedy. Well! That's Emergency, a new film that just premiered at Sundance and plays this weekend at Capitol Hill's Northwest Film Forum.

An expansion on director Carey Williams' 2018 short film of the same name, Williams has created a work that walks a very fine line between darkness and levity. It's a chaotic but straightforward experience disguised as a college buddy comedy, about three friends trying to do the right thing. It's not for everyone, but I think its ambition makes it still worth seeing.

The film centers on friends Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and Sean (RJ Cyler), who plan to have a wild night out by hitting all the Spring Break parties happening on campus at their school. They want to let loose after a long day—a day that included a professor saying the N-word multiple times, who then singled them out as the sole Black students in their class to see if they wanted to weigh in. This experience is the first of many calling attention to the faux progressiveness that Kunle and Sean encounter every day.

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Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2022 in Seattle

Crowd favorite Dough Zone Dumpling House will offer half off select dumpling specials on February 1.
Crowd favorite Dough Zone Dumpling House will offer half off select dumpling specials on February 1.
Celebrated across many Asian cultures, Lunar New Year is a time of renewal, gathering with family, and enjoying festive foods. This year, the holiday falls on Tuesday, February 1, ushering in the Year of the Tiger, known for power, boldness, and doing it big! Celebrate the occasion with events from the Wing Luke Museum's Lunar New Year Fair to the Chinatown-ID Lunar New Year Celebration - Year of the Tiger (postponed until April), plus holiday food specials.

EVENTS


JANUARY 28–29


Lucky Envelope Brewing Lunar New Year
Cofounders Raymond Kwan and Barry Chan named their Ballard craft brewery Lucky Envelope for the colorful red envelopes traditionally stuffed with money and given out on Chinese New Year to bring good fortune. So it only makes sense that it's the perfect place to usher in the Year of the Tiger. As they've made a welcome habit of doing, they'll release some new beers for the holiday, including the Mijiaya Historic Chinese Beer and Lychee Thai Basil Sour on draft, plus a Water Tiger Cold IPA collaboration with Highland Brewing, and more. Other festivities include red envelope giveaways, daily food truck appearances, and Water Tiger merch.
(Lucky Envelope Brewing, Ballard)

Read on EverOut »

I, Anonymous: Entitled-Ass Test Takers


I’m sick of entitled-ass people coming to the COVID testing sites and throwing a fit when they can’t be seen as a walk-up. Everyone and their fucking mother are getting tested right now, and I have even less sympathy if you’re trying to get tested because you want to go travel for frivolous reasons. Fork out the money and go pay for a different service because people who are sick or have been exposed aren’t able to get in and get tested since you twats are taking so many spots, which is what the free testing was meant for in the first place.

Also, can everyone coming to the testing sites understand that the people swabbing and registering you have no control over the website, hours, set up of the sites, etc. So many of you fuckers come in and act like I personally was responsible for whatever the complaint of the day is. I know someone who got spit on for turning a person away who didn’t have an appointment. I’ve been screamed at for the same thing. People are acting like fucking animals and I’m sick of it.

Y’all suck,

Just One Exhausted Healthcare Worker of Many


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


NewsCity

Seattle City Council Reverses Decision to End Hazard Pay

TKTKTK
Grocers at Trader Joe's called the vote "the least the council can do" to help workers who get breathed on all day. Lester Black

On Tuesday, a somewhat narrow majority of the Seattle City Council voted against overturning former Mayor Jenny Durkan's veto of the council's attempt to end hazard pay for grocery workers last month, effectively extending the benefit for workers until the council says otherwise or the civil emergency ends. According to a Trader Joe's worker at public comment, the approval is “the least the council can do” for the workers who get breathed on by grocery shoppers for several hours a day.

Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pederson both voted yes to overturn the former mayor’s veto. Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda and Dan Strauss were absent.

Back in December, the council voted 8 - 0 to end the mandate on Seattle grocery stores with 500+ employees to pay frontline workers an extra $4 an hour. At the time, grocery workers told The Stranger they felt “abandoned” by the council, who had given them, in some cases, a 20% raise.

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Slog AM: N95s Are on the Way, Omicron May Have Peaked in King County, Justice Breyer to Retire!!!!!!!!

I think the government should give me more free shit. Like healthcare.
I think the government should give me more free shit. Like health care. naruecha jenthaisong/Getty

Free N95 masks coming this week: The Biden administration is making good on its promise to distribute 400 million of the high-quality masks across the country. Starting near the end of the week, N95s will likely be available at participating pharmacies and grocery stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger (QFC's parent company). The Seattle Times also compiled a helpful list on where to get free masks and COVID tests from the federal and state government.

And in King County: Coronavirus cases appeared to have peaked earlier this month on January 10 with 7,563 cases and have since dropped at least 43%. Though COVID-19 levels are still extremely high, King County health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said that hospitalizations have showed signs of slowing. Now, eastern Washington hospitals are prepping for a case surge as Idaho starts to run out of open beds.

I wish to remain as beautiful, as whole, as this Roman bowl: In Nijmegen, Netherlands, archeologists have uncovered a completely intact blue glass bowl that they believe dates back 2,000 years, reports Hyperallergic. It has no chips or cracks on its surface and lead archeologist Pepjin van Geer said the find was "really special."

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Slog PM: Shi Shi Is Dead, Elton John Is Not Dead, and Hazard Pay Stays in Place for Grocery Workers

Portland Mercury's Abe Asher added a few blurbs to this round-up.

Not dead. Just has COVID. Here he was last week performing at New Orleans Smoothie King Center.
Not dead. Just has COVID. Here he was last week performing at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center. Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images

I'm sorry if I'm the one to break the news to you: But Shi Shi is dead.

Who's Shi Shi? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

Noted Ballard High School graduate Jesse Harris, the founder of NFFTY, has a new movie out called Borrego. It's screening on Wednesday at SIFF. We're told Harris will be there. Say hey.

She's running: Nancy isn't retiring, reports everyone.

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Washington Could Get European-Style Recycling. Lobbyists Are Mad About It

One of Recologys trash pits.
One of Recology's trash pits. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images Staff

So there you are, holding an empty milk carton and staring at your kitchen trash can and your recycling bag, hoping for some kind of clue.

You squeeze the milk carton a little. Seems like it’s made of paper on the outside, so it’s probably recyclable, right? But wait, does it have a foil lining on the inside? And what’s the rule about the plastic spout? Do you have to cut that part out before you recycle it? The words “please recycle” are printed on the back, but does that mean please recycle THIS CONTAINER, or is it just a general philosophy?

What the hell are you supposed to do with this thing and so many things like it? Why is getting rid of trash so hard? Isn’t there someone we can blame?

In fact, yes. In the US, manufacturers put food in complicated, hard-to-recycle packaging because those manufacturers aren’t on the hook for cleaning up after themselves — taxpayers are.

“We as consumers get stuck with decisions that we never made,” says Senator Mona Das, sponsor of a bill that would — hopefully — fix Washington’s lousy recycling rates by bringing us more in line with how things have worked for decades in Europe and Canada.

Lobbyists in the other Washington aren't thrilled about it.

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NewsCityLabor

Sawant Wants the Council to at Least Pretend to Care About Starbucks Workers

Even though the resolution is symbolic, a Starbucks organizer said Sawant and the council’s support is important.
Even though her proposed resolution is symbolic, a Starbucks organizer said Sawant and the council’s support is important. Sydney Durkin

As organizing efforts heat up at Starbucks stores in the international coffee giant’s hometown, on Tuesday Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Starbucks workers gathered outside of the company’s headquarters to announce a resolution condemning Starbucks bosses for using union-busting tactics.

While Sawant and the workers were stoked on the nonbinding resolution, the council member also announced that she would give $10,000 from her Solidarity Fund to support the unionization effort.

The resolution will be something of a litmus test for the council, which recently ticked off some working people (if not labor leaders) in December when its members, led by labor champion Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, voted to end hazard pay for grocery workers. Seeing an opportunity for an apparent political victory, Mayor Jenny Durkan vetoed the bill and became a hero on that issue. In another labor battle, Sawant put forward a more material ordinance to realize striking carpenters' demand for free parking. Nothing came of the proposal.

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Sundance Review: Regina Hall Is Divine in Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.

You can guarantee they are prayin' on it.
You can guarantee they are prayin' on it. Courtesy of Sundance


This weekend, Northwest Film Forum is screening several films—including this one!—as part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival's Satellite Screen program. Learn more about the program here.

Adamma and Adanne Ebo’s Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. is a riotous skewering of Southern megachurch culture in all its excesses, exploitations, and contradictions. Shot in a Guestian mockumentary style, the film switches between hilarious vignettes and high-emotion scenes, and at its center is a banner performance from Sundance all-star Regina Hall, who believably hits the movie’s odd beats to make it one of the best of the fest.

Hall embodies Trinitie Childs, the flustered first lady of Georgia's "Wander to Greater Pathways" megachurch. She wants to get her life back on track after a scandal causes a mass exodus of congregants, forcing the church to close down temporarily. See, word got out that young men accused her God-fearin’ self-involved pastor-husband Lee-Curtis (a pitch-perfect Sterling K. Brown) of sexual misconduct. And in an ill-advised attempt to stage their comeback, the cursed couple invites a documentary crew to follow them as they prepare for the church's first Sunday back.

Predictably, things go south.

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New Savage Lovecast: It’s Cuck Week! It’s Cuck Week!

savage-lovecast.jpeg

That’s right, all of you who enjoy watching your partners sleep with others now are officially celebrated ALL WEEK LONG. And here at the Savage Lovecast, we’re delighted to take part.

Venus Cuckoldress is on to talk about her podcast, and to advise a woman about her plan to have a gang bang on her wedding night. And there’s more on the big ole Magnum version of the show.

Then, also on the Magnum, Dan chats with David Ley, who literally wrote the book on cuckolding: “Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them.” He and Rose Caraway (who narrates the audiobook, and came up with the idea for Cuck Week) are on to talk about what a relief it is to finally have the practice of cuckolding out in the open. But do we need just a little bit of shame to enhance that erotic charge? They discuss.

And now. What is the next sexual practice to get its own week-long celebration?

Listen here: