Ballot Drop Update: A Tacoma-area Dem-on-Dem race suddenly got pretty close

Black and Slaying Dragons

Im a digital Black girl in a digital (and fantastical) world, baby.
I'm a digital Black girl in a digital (and fantastical) world, baby. SKYRIM/Nintendo
I hopped on the Animal Crossing-Nintendo Switch train just like everyone else in the first month of the pandemic.

The game's emphasis on slow, positive, constructive play was a needed balm during a time when I had to stop myself from constantly doom-scrolling. Being able to inhabit a world where my landlord was a giant, overly concerned raccoon was infinitely better than worrying whether my roommates and I could pay rent to our very human landlord.

While the island life simulator lends a sense of productivity to our days spent cooped up inside (a sentiment I assume is shared by many—the game is still selling like hotcakes), the pandemic continues to get bleaker, with no indication that it will let up anytime soon.

It was this look into our abyss of a future that had me reconsider my life on Lil' Keim (the name of my island) and led me to impulsively buy The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, an open-ended action role-playing game where players are free to follow any quest, storyline, or existence they wish. No longer bound by the edges of my island, a perilous and seemingly unending immersive experience in the game has gobbled me right up.

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Mayor Jenny Durkan Just Emailed Me This Link

Call me, beep me when you wanna reach me, Durkan!
Call me, beep me when you wanna reach me, Durkan! LESTER BLACK

Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best just announced her resignation. She was the Louise to Mayor Jenny Durkan's Thelma, if we're still running with the allusion Durkan made back in June about the relationship she'd developed with Best.

In my post about Best's resignation, I wondered where this announcement left the Thelma and Louise comparison now that half of the duo is out of the picture. Durkan, in her first direct communication with me ever outside of a press conference, emailed me the answer. It was just the link to this video, with a subject line that read "Alternative endings....":

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The Bizarre History of UK Cannabis Prohibition

In the decades that I have been writing about cannabis prohibition the best description of the UK ¨debate" may be the French saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

For example, in 1997 The Independent on Sunday newspaper's editor, with the wonderful name of Rosie Boycott (I'm happy to report she is now the Baroness Boycott) endorsed the decriminalization of cannabis. She was met with derision, called ¨Rosie Rizla", for the rolling papers.



Why Did SPD Chief Carmen Best Call It Quits?

Great question.
Great question. Screenshot City of Seattle WebEx

Everyone wants to know why Chief Carmen Best is leaving the Seattle Police Department. The announcement came last night in a late-breaking leaked email from Best to the "SPD Family," which apparently includes shock-jock radio host Dori Monson. She made the decision official in a press conference with Mayor Jenny Durkan this morning.

The press conference wasn't meant to be a wake, Durkan and Best joked. Rather, it was a celebration of Best's 28-year career with the department. Best was jovial, and Durkan was tearful, despite the fact that Best didn't even make the Mayor's top-three list when she was seeking former Chief Kathleen O'Toole's replacement two years ago.

Along every stop of the goodbye tour, the two glossed over any of Best's missteps and delivered jab after jab to the city council. The narrative emerging from local television news stations last night also pinned the blame for Best's decision suddenly to retire on the council.

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Biden Picks Kamala Harris to Run as Vice President

Who, me?

That sound you hear is the K-Hive going absolutely nuts over the news that Joe Biden picked California Senator and noted cop, Kamala Harris, to run as his Vice President in the race to take back the White House in 2020.

Harris is the first Black woman to run at the top of a major party's ticket (special thanks to Shirley Chisholm for blazing the trail), and—unless the absolute worst thing happens—she could be the first woman to serve as VP.

But before we go any further, some congratulations are in order:

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Talk dirty to us! Introducing Five Minute F(*)ck!

The folks behind HUMP! and Savage Love are starting a new podcast! Five Minute F(*)ck will be a showcase of your smutty stories, all five minutes or less! We want erotic fictional tales, sexy true stories, even real sex! Whatever makes five minutes of great dirty audio! Get creative and record yourself anywhere - alone or with friends! Favorite entries will be compiled into one podcast series. We'll share a portion of revenue with the winning entries, and one lucky story will be part of the 2021 HUMP! program! Deadline for submission is 9/18/2020, so get that cheeky mouth to work!

Learn more...

Here's What's Going to Happen

A better world.
A better world. Skyrim screenshot

What's in store for us? We're self-isolating and trying to figure it out. This week: weaponized COVID, 2022, and Skyrim.

U.S. enemies will weaponize respiratory viruses against us. This prediction comes courtesy of an offhand comment made by former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Face the Nation last Sunday. Noting that we have 5.11 million confirmed cases of COVID and 163,000 deaths associated with the virus, he said:

This has now posed an asymmetric risk to the United States. Other countries looking in now can conclude that a respiratory pathogen poses a greater danger to the United States than perhaps other nations that have been grappling with this more successfully. It was always thought that a rogue nation would never unleash a pathogen deliberately—and I'm not saying this was a deliberate pathogen, by everything we know it was naturally occurring—it was always thought a nation would never deliberately unleash a pathogen that could blow back on them. That thinking might have to be adjusted now that this has posed such an asymmetric risk to the United States relative to other nations, some of which are our adversaries.

In short, here's the new conservative argument: China didn't unleash this virus to cripple the U.S., but now they know they could. —R.S.

The AMC downtown will be replaced by a Target. Or something worse... I can’t say I ever had a super deep affection for the AMC Pacific Place 11 theater downtown, but it’s where I first saw the motion picture Cats, so it does hold at least somewhat of a special place in my heart. I’ll be sad to see it go, but I just can’t imagine how it’ll endure this horrible endless shutdown. The cost to keep it running has got to be absolutely astronomical, and once Disney proves that people will pay a monthly subscription PLUS an additional $30 to watch new releases online, movie theaters are going to become a novelty rather than booming business. One-screeners like The Egyptian might carry on for art films, community events, and festivals. But the multiplex? That’s going the way of the drive-in. Or at least, that’s what I was about to predict—that in two years the Pacific Place theaters will be turned into a Target—but when I mentioned that to Chase in the Slack he had an even more chilling thought. “All those big movie theaters will be gone soon. Or Amazon PrimePlexes,” he wrote. Oh God. Of course. He’s right. When everything re-opens, we’ll find ourselves paying for popcorn with the bits we earned while livestreaming on Twitch. —M.B.

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How to Watch the Premiere of Charles Mudede's Debut as a Feature Film Director—Today Only!

TODAY is the only day you are going to be able to catch the premiere of Charles Mudede's long awaited debut as a director, Thin Skin.

It is making its premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival, and according to the festival, "this film is only available for 24 hours during its screening day." Which is, again, today. It is only available until midnight.

Get it while you can!!

Get Rid of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge and Replace it With Art

Okay, builders, theres your blueprint, now get to work.
Okay, builders, there's your blueprint, now get to work. Wittman Estes

We’re coming up on five months since the West Seattle Bridge closed, and it’s anyone’s guess whether it will be fixed up, altered in some way, or knocked down and replaced with something else. The only thing that’s clear, and agreed upon by everyone, is that it is disgusting.

A barren concrete wasteland, reserved mostly for air-choking, street-destroying, human-killing private cars, the bridge is a traffic-sewage monster whose soul escaped from Hell (Los Angeles). Now we’re blessed with an opportunity, or an excuse, or an excuseortunity, to finally destroy the evil and replace it with something good, and gentle, and pure, and Pacific-Northwestern.

Which brings me to the art project that’s being proposed to take the bridge’s place.

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Kary Wayson Is the *Special Guest* at the Reading Party on August 12

The party happens every Wednesday at 6 pm PST. Youre invited.
The party happens every Wednesday at 6 pm PST. You're invited. Photo by Kelly O

Today is August 11, five months to the day since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and things are scarier than ever. At this point, no one is going to be going to any parties before the end of the year.

Except, of course, the Silent Reading Party, which you attend from the comfort of your own living room, although some people with patios and decks take their computers outside and attend the party from there. However long this nightmare lasts, we're keeping the Silent Reading Party going, and we're continuing to spice things up with *special guests.*

This week, the special guest is the award-winning poet Kary Wayson, author of the books American Husband and The Slip. In the grand tradition of reading party special guests, she won't do anything except sit there silently reading whatever she wants, just like you, while our resident musician Paul Matthew Moore plays relaxing and exquisite piano music.

Get your ticket here.

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New Savage Lovecast: OK BOOMER...


A man's new boyfriend is really great in every way! Except...he believes in mythical creatures, thinks he has super-powers and that the government is communicating with him through the radio. So, should the caller leave his mentally ill new boyfriend or try to get him some help?

Meanwhile, a woman's sister has started dating a "professional" astrologer who had gotten kicked out of the marines, believes in conspiracy theories and wants to move to Mexico with the caller's sister after dating for just a few months. How can the caller help her stubborn sister see all those red flags a'flappin'?

On the Magnum, It's a generational battle royale! Dan chats with Jill Filipovic author of "Ok Boomer, Let's Talk" in a Millennial vs Boomer sex-advice smack down! (Just kidding. They agree on pretty much everything.) Filipovic's book goes into the ways the younger generations have been shafted by the olds. Time to seize power, youngun's!

A bi man's boyfriend is being driven crazy by his new neighbor. She has noisy sex at all hours, disrupting the boyfriend's sleep and work life. Should they have ear-piercing retaliatory sex to teach her a lesson?

Listen here:

Where to Get Frozen Boozy Drinks in Seattle Right Now

Canons Scotter Pops are made with gin, fruity aperitif, bitter pomegranate, yuzu, and key lime.
Canon's Scotter Pops are made with gin, fruity aperitif, bitter pomegranate, yuzu, and key lime. Canon via Instagram

As someone who has spent at least 21 years on Earth, you probably already know that your favorite boozy beverage tastes delicious both with a popsicle and as a popsicle. With these undisputed facts in mind, we've rounded up all the local spots serving up boozy slushies, pops, and other alcohol-infused summer treats, from Hot Cakes' frozen milkshakes to Navy Strength's Bomb-Pop slushies.

This tried-and-true aperitivo bar has Lush Pops in Peach Rosé Sangria and Bourbon Blackberry Tea.
Capitol Hill

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Savage Love: Stating the Obvious


I'm a gay guy who’s involved with a guy I met a few months before COVID-19 took off. He's a great guy, smart, funny, hot, healthy and easy to be around. It started as a hookup but we have chemistry on several levels and, without either of us having to say it, we started seeing each other regularly. We both live alone and decided to be exclusive due to the pandemic. I honestly don't know what we're doing here. It’s some combination of friends, fuck buddies, and married couple all at the same time.

I wanted to just keep a good thing going but just he threw me a curve ball that I need help figuring out how to handle. Out of the blue he told me he held back telling me about his foot fetish. He says he’s had very bad experiences with guys who weren’t into it. He's been keeping it to himself and looking at stuff online. I’m pretty vanilla and not into it, but I know kinks are a thing for a lot of guys and I’m willing to help out a good guy. I’m a longtime reader of yours, Dan, and being GGG is important to me. So I asked him to tell me what that means and what he wants to do. He wants to massage, wash and kiss my feet and suck my toes. Ok, that’s not hot to me, but it’s probably doable once in a while. He thankfully doesn’t need me to do anything with his feet.

But there was more. I can’t believe I’m writing this: He asked if I would let him paint my toenails sometimes! WTF? He could barely say it and looked kind of sick after he did. We're both conventional cis men. Neither of us are into fem stuff. He claimed it’s not about making me femme. He says it’s just a hot thing for him. I know there's no explanation for why people have kinks but do you have any ideas what this is about? I didn’t respond at all and we haven’t talked about it since. I’m not proud of that. I’m freaked out by this and not sure what to make of it. I don’t want to ask him directly if this is the price of admission because that seems too big a price to pay and I really don’t want it to be his price.

Freaked Out Over Terrific Person’s Erotic Revelation Vibe

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Slog AM: Seattle Police Chief to "Retire," Biden VP Pick "Imminent," Condom Sales "Slumping"

Seattles first Black chief is calling it quits.
Seattle's first Black chief is calling it quits. DAVID RYDER/GETTY

It's called "Sputnik V:" Because it's still basically the late 1950s in Russia, and they're still running in the space race. In any event, according to the Washington Post, Putin plans to dole out their new coronavirus vaccine from Russia's Gamaleya Institute "before even finishing clinical trials." He said his own daughter has taken the vaccine, though he didn't specify which, and claimed that millions of "willing front-line medical workers and teachers" will take the initial shots. Global health officials are alarmed, and they're raising that alarm in their own quiet but deeply concerned global health professional kind of way.

New Zealand is back in lockdown: After discovering, emphasis mine, "four new cases in the same household in Auckland," all non-essential businesses and public facilitates in the country will close until the end of the week, according to the BBC. These four cases represent the first local transmission of the virus in the country in 100 days. Meanwhile, I've got a brunch planned with four cases of COVID this weekend. We'll be socially distancing, of course. And honestly I'm thinking about workin' in a teensy tiny lil trip to Florida next week. I had to cancel my long vacation in March, and I've just been feeling so UGH under the quar, you know? And I've been good. I've been so good. I got tested last month and was negative, and actually I think I already had it last spring, so I might even be immune.

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A Message to the City from Fox Whitney

Fox Whitney is a performance artist.
Fox Whitney is a performance artist and the brains behind Gender Tender. Courtesy of Fox Whitney

Good morning. It's Tuesday, August 11, and for today's message, we turn to the performer and teacher Fox Whitney, a 2020/2021 artist in residence at On the Boards.

Fox is the artist behind Gender Tender, an interdisciplinary performance project based in Seattle that centers his queer and transgender point of view. He creates experiences that investigate the nature of queer relationships, trans histories, and the surreal nature of transformation.

There are a whole bunch of other people in this video with Fox—see how many of them you know!

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Slog PM: Barr Says BLM Organizers Are "Essentially Bolsheviks!" City Council Says "BINGO!" Trump Says "Play College Football!"

Nathalies bingo sheet for todays big council meeting.
Nathalie's bingo sheet for today's big council meeting.

Play ball, damn it: The college football season could be canceled. Trump isn't happy about it, presumably because college football is popular in the states where he has support. College football's "Power 5" conferences are figuring it out.

A shooting outside the White House interrupted Trump's coronavirus briefing today: Trump was quickly escorted out of the room by Secret Service but brought back a few minutes later. It appears a suspect was shot by police and taken to the hospital—there aren't that many details at the moment. Meanwhile, at that coronavirus briefing...

Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold changed her position on slimming down SPD Chief Carmen Best's salary today: Herbold argued she did not want to perpetuate the "race and gender discrimination" Best had experienced in her career. Nathalie Graham writes about that and the early portion of today's Seattle City Council meeting here. And here she is with more updates on today's big budget vote:

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Ballot Drop Update: Some Conservative Dems Could Be in Trouble

Still countin up some of these over here.
Still countin' up some of these over here. RS

Officials in Washington have counted nearly 2.3 million ballots from the August 2020 primary so far, and they have an estimated 172,613 left to go in an election that saw turnout reach 54% statewide and 55% in King County. Those numbers are high for a primary, but emotionally low given that about 45% of registered voters didn't cast a ballot.

Anyhow, things haven't changed toooooo much since election night, though a couple races have firmed up, and a Tacoma-area Dem-on-Dem race suddenly got pretty close over the weekend. Let's take a look:

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