The Hunger Games of Housing

Slog PM: The Govs Got COVID, New Dominant Omicron Variant Dropped, Updates on the Latest School Massacre

Get well soon, king.
Get well soon, king. Lester Black

Governor Jay Inslee and Lt. Gov. Denny Heck test positive for COVID-19: I wanted to make a joke about those govern together getting COVID together, but The Seattle Times reports that the state's #1 and #2 leaders had not been cavorting together "in recent days." Otherwise, they're both doing fine (within reason) for now, they're both getting that Paxlovid, and they both encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boosted. It's saving their lives right now.

I wonder if they got the new omicron subvariant? We're calling it BA. 2.12.1, and it's spreading so fast it "made up about 58% of all new U.S. cases" by the end of last week, according to the New York Times. Though it's faster than the others, as of right now there's no evidence that it's more deadly. I wonder how many SARS infections our bodies can withstand over a short period of time without major longterm damage? One a year? Two a year? Six a year?

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Where to Find Food & Drink Specials in Seattle for Memorial Day 2022

Snohomish Pie Co. is serving up raspberry cream pie and chocolate cream pie for Memorial Day weekend.
Snohomish Pie Co. is serving up raspberry cream pie and chocolate cream pie for Memorial Day weekend. Snohomish Pie Co.

From a special prix-fixe meal from Southern chef John Hall at Finistère in Port Townsend, to exclusive pies from Snohomish Pie Co., we've got you covered with plenty of Memorial Day specials. Read on to find out how to make the most of your federally recognized three-day weekend. For more ideas, check out our list of Memorial Day weekend events in Washington worth taking a road trip for and our food and drink guide.

Bluwater Bistro
Feast on a whole Dungeness crab, a side of summer potato salad, and corn on the cob for just $39 while taking in lake views at this Leschi waterfront spot.
Leschi
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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Sponsored

Seattle Rep presents Bruce, a world premiere musical that you can really sink your teeth into

Seattle Rep presents Bruce, a world-premiere musical that takes you behind the scenes of the making of the first summer blockbuster. In 1974, a virtually unknown 26-year-old director sets out to film off Cape Cod. It’s story of creative ingenuity and resilience between endless delays, an exploding budget, and a highly dysfunctional mechanical star named Bruce. Based on The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb, and starring Jarrod Spector as Steven Spielberg, Bruce Surfaces May 27th through June 26th at Seattle Rep.

Get your tickets HERE!


Comedy Legend John Cleese Goes on the Offensive

Sockless comedy legend with lemur plush doll.
Sockless comedy legend with lemur plush doll. Cristi Russo

Although John Cleese's Monday night show at McCaw Hall was billed “An Evening of Exceptional Silliness,” I half expected an hour-plus of “old man yells at cloud crowd” material from the 82-year-old comedian, actor, and author. Blessedly, it wasn't that at all. Nor, thankfully, did my favorite Monty Python's Flying Circus member deliver a series of fish-out-of-water observations about his adopted home of Los Angeles—although surely he would have made tasty juice out of that low-hanging fruit.

True, there was a didactic, somewhat grumpy quality to some of Cleese's set. He went to pains to spotlight how unfunny “woke” jokes were, and to emphasize the idea that "good" humor must offend—or at least cheerfully mock—somebody, anybody. His examples of the former were truly duds, but he was quarter-assing it to tip the scales to prove his point. (In December 2021, Cleese huffily ended a BBC TV interview about “cancel culture” when the host broached the subject of Dave Chappelle.) But at his advanced age, Cleese is not about to go-all in on the cultural wars with people who could be his great-grandchildren. Although he views “wokeness” as an existential threat to humor, Cleese assuredly is not MAGA, and he got in some righteous barbs against The Former Guy.

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FINAL WEEKEND: It's Your Last Chance to Stream the Sexy Hot HUMP! Film Fest!

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ALERT! ALERT! You've got one more chance to get a streaming pass for the 2022 HUMP! Film Festival this weekend, May 26-29! This year's festival is packed with as much dirty, hilarious, eye-popping fun as we could squeeze into one 90 minute show. So grab those tickets now before it's too late!

As you undoubtedly know, HUMP! is the annual film festival where sexy amateur filmmakers share their lustiest five-minute dirty movies with the world. This delightfully sex-positive fest features all sorts of horny fun, including hardcore, softcore, live action, stop action, animated, musical, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, and genderqueer flicks that are guaranteed to have you squirming with glee!

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Stream HUMP! this weekend, May 26-29—it's your final chance!

Need more temptation? Check out the trailer:


This Year's Folklife Is Bringing Seattle an Impressively Diverse Understanding of What Folk Music Can Be

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The theme of this year’s Northwest Folklife festival is “Metamorphosis: In with the Old, In with the New,” so, really, in with everything. But not necessary indoors! If you’re still wary about gathering in enclosed areas (and good for you if you are, with transmission on the rise) there’s plenty of outdoor programming to keep it folksy all weekend. Stages will be scattered throughout the Seattle Center, with performances scheduled Friday through Monday. Highlights include a John Denver tribute/singalong, Lynn Applegate, Seattle Song Circle, Zydeco Lowdown, and an open drum circle —which is my worst nightmare, but to each their own.

Also on the menu are sea chanteys, cloggers and Irish step dancers, breakdancers, and klezmer ... Folklife is truly embracing folk traditions from around the world this year, rather than limiting themselves to a 1960s-style hootenanny. It's an excellent opportunity to learn and broaden your horizons while you party.

The 51st Annual Northwest Folklife Festival kicks off on Friday May 27 and runs through Monday May 30.


I, Anonymous: Put Your Fucking Masks Back on, You Fucking Lunatics


Did everyone stop reading the news about the novel SARS virus that’s still going around? You know, the novel SARS virus that’s still killing people, and still getting people really sick for like 10 days straight? The one that gives a certain percentage of people distressing symptoms for a long period of time — if not for the rest of their lives — for reasons we don’t quite understand yet?

I only ask because cases are rising, people are getting sick left and right, and yet mask compliance on buses, trains, and planes appears to be hovering at around 10 to 30% on a good day.

I hopped on a flight to Texas, and almost no one was wearing a mask at SeaTac, let alone in the airport in the south. On the plane, an unmasked flight attendant told an unmasked, elderly passenger that the end of the mask mandate meant she could finally see people smiling again. Not for long, you fucking psycho!

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NewsCityCops

Seattle Human Rights Commissioners Feel “Gagged” by City Attorney’s Office

And by gagged, they dont mean it in the fun, choking-on-tear-gas-at-a-protest kind of way.
And by "gagged," they don't mean it in the fun, choking-on-tear-gas-at-a-protest kind of way. RS

Based on some confusing and passive-aggressive exchanges between the City Attorney’s Office and the Seattle Human Rights Commission, it looks like officials in City Hall are trying to construct a narrative that would allow the Seattle Police Department to wash its hands of the reputation it’s earned from patterns of racial bias found in its policing and use-of-force practices.

The #OneSeattle story they apparently want to construct aims to show that the agency’s reforms have “worked,” and so the department no longer needs a federal judge to oversee any of its policies, as required by a Consent Decree it signed with the Department of Justice back in 2012. If a federal judge buys that argument and ends the oversight requirements, current City leaders would likely bathe in lots of positive press, and SPD would fully emerge from its long shadow.

The only problem? Several Human Rights Commissioners I’ve spoken with don’t believe that the judge is getting all the input he needs to make an informed decision.

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Slog AM: Elementary School Shooting Death Toll Climbs, Incumbency Trumps Trumpism, and Capitalism Comes for Juneteenth

A uniquely American part of parenting in 2022: waiting to find out if your child survived school that day
A uniquely American part of parenting in 2022: Waiting to find out if your child survived school that day Getty | Jordan Vonderhaar

First, the latest facts: The AP puts the latest casualty report from Robb Elementary School in Texas at 19 students and 2 adults, not including the shooter himself. The children shot were reportedly all in the same fourth grade classroom.

This is really where we're at, huh: I am begging every Congressional reporter to ask Joe Manchin exactly how many children need to die in protection of the filibuster. No one should care about his virtue signaling about the deficit until we know precisely how morally bankrupt he is.

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Slog PM: 18 Students and 3 Adults Killed in a Texas Elementary School

A car crossing the Ship Canal Bridge, where today a driver hit a broken down car, pushing its driver over the railing and into the water below.
A scene from the Ship Canal Bridge, where today a driver hit a broken-down car, pushing its driver over the railing and into the water below. CM

No news here really. Same old same old. A person with a gun killed 18 kids and three adults at a Texas elementary school. The killer, who is said to be the same age as the killer in the shooting massacre that happened 10 days ago in Buffalo, New York, 18, is "said to be deceased." He also shot his grandmother, who said to be "still hanging on." Nothing was done about Sandy Hook, and the black victims of Buffalo were eclipsed by a court case involving Hollywood stars who will never contribute anything of real meaning to society, and we can expect nothing-doing to happen to the dead kids of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Their lives, only a few years out of the womb, will be tossed into the vast landfill of the Second Amendment dead.

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NewsCityCops

The Seattle City Council Authorizes SPD to Spend Over $1 Million to Hire More Cops, With Millions More to Come

The million will pay for moving expenses and an ad campaign to hire some more badges.
The million will pay for moving expenses and an ad campaign to hire some more guns and badges. Lester Black

After nearly half a year of debate, the Seattle City Council finally allowed the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to spend even more of its money on getting more cops.

The council voted 6 to 3 on Councilmember Sara Nelson’s resolution to promise that the council will lift spending restrictions on anticipated 2022 salary savings so that the cops can offer hiring bonuses. The resolution does not indicate a specific dollar amount or fund a specific bonus program from the $4.5 million in salary savings, but rather leaves it up to the Mayor to develop one with council’s approval. “Frankly, whatever. I don’t really care what it’s used for,” Nelson said.

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I Could Not Be Happier About the Drum & Bass Revival

Do not miss the Block show at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar on Friday, May 27.
Do not miss the Block show at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar on Friday, May 27, at 9 pm. Charles Mudede

It's the spring of 1993. My cousin Farayi and I are in a car with another cousin, Nyasha. A few hours before, Nyasha was in a plane transporting him from his old home, London, to his new one, Seattle. When the plane was only minutes from landing, he looked through the oval window and saw the spine of Pacific Northwest volcanoes. Where was he going to? The land before time? A place so far away from everything that mattered. He was already longing for London, the capital of a colonial world that included our country, Zimbabwe.

When we pass Southcenter Mall on I-5, Nyasha, who is in the backseat with the luggage, leans forward and excitedly recommends we play the cassette in his right hand. "This is what everyone in London is listening to right now," he says, as if speaking to people in the sticks. Farayi, the driver, ejects the tape that was playing 93 'til Infinity, and puts in his tape. We listen for a few minutes and think something is wrong. Is the tape getting chewed? Why is the beat moving so fast? What the fuck is this? "It's jungle," Nyasha says.

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The Hunger Games of Housing

TKTKTK
Seattle's shelter system is a mess, and Harrell's sweeps-first approach makes it all the more hopeless. Andrew Engelson

After nearly half a year of new leadership on homelessness, people are still sleeping outside, and neither the “Seattle Is Dying” crowd nor the housing-first crowd appear to have much to crow about.

Seattle's limited supply of emergency shelter and permanent housing continue to make it difficult for social workers to find places for people to sleep inside, and the City's near daily encampment sweeps have made traumatic displacement the only reliable form of outreach, with social workers rarely able to find shelter for unhoused people who do not live in high-profile encampments.

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Slog AM: Columbia City Theater Is Now Black-Owned, Anti-Harassment Order Filed Against Pierce County Sheriff, I'm Playing SPL's Adult Bingo!

You love to see it.
You love to see it. Courtesy of the Cultural Space Agency

ICYMI: Seattle's Cultural Space Agency made a second big acquisition. This time they partnered with Rainier Avenue Radio to buy Columbia City Theater. For the first time in the building's 100-year history, it will be Black-owned. According to a press release, the two organizations threw down $3.2 million for the theater with funds coming from the Strategic Investment Fund and private donors. The plan is to reopen Columbia City Theater next year after doing renovations. They need to improve accessibility, do some seismic upgrades, and add better air filtration. “I’ve been dreaming about owning this building for decades,” says RAR's Tony Benton in the press release. “I’m committed to creating opportunities for this space to be available to the community, to be supportive of our growth, to be a part of making this neighborhood thrive.”

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Slog PM: Monkeypox Suspected in King County, Bruce Harrell Still Waiting for His Thank You, and Farewell to the Last Public Payphone

Liberty and justice for all, just behind these barricades
Liberty and justice for all, just behind these barricades Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images Staff

Monkeypox is (probably) here. Public Health Seattle & King County is investigating a likely case of monkeypox. The patient is an unidentified man who recently traveled abroad, and health officials aren’t aware of any other cases. If you’re experiencing symptoms — basically feeling like you have the flu, accompanied by a new rash, bumps, or sores — you’re asked to contact a health care provider as soon as possible.

A really bad Supreme Court ruling. No, not the reproductive health one. Today, SCOTUS issued a ruling that basically makes it easier to keep people locked up even if their attorneys were incompetent. It’s bad! But not surprising. What America calls a “justice system” is really just a means of legitimizing slave labor.

Want to meet some trees? You don’t need a car to get to some great trails! Go take a bus to a fine hike:

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The Top 60 Events in Seattle This Week: May 23-29, 2022

Modern poet Rupi Kaur has achieved rockstar-like success with her brand of Instapoetry.
Modern poet Rupi Kaur has achieved rockstar-like success with her brand of "Instapoetry."
With a long weekend in sight, you may feel like you need to power through the week and keep your eyes on the prize. But as you'll see below in our roundup of top events, there's plenty of enjoyment to be had all week long, from Rupi Kaur to Stars On Ice and from Craig Robinson to Ansel Adams: Masterworks.

MONDAY


COMEDY


John Cleese
Here's your chance to cut loose with a comedy icon. John Cleese's irreverent brand of humor stands strong as the 82-year-old Monty Python frontman returns with more silly stories and observations. 
(McCaw Hall, Uptown)

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