Charles Mudede is a writer, filmmaker, philosopher, Stranger staffer, and CBD ointment pusher.
Charles Mudede is a writer, filmmaker, philosopher, Stranger staffer, and CBD pusher. Courtesy of Charles Mudede

Well, it's the weekend, and you did what you could, and you lost most of the battles but you won a few too, and anyway it's not even about winning and losing. At this point, it's about slathering yourself in weed cream and sliding into Saturday.

"I'm Charles Mudede. This is my crib. In the back of my house in Columbia City. As you can see it's made of wood, but more about that in a minute," the longtime Stranger staffer and Sundance-approved filmmaker says before never saying anything further about wood.

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"Before I go into describing how I made my film Police Beat, which is now streaming on The Stranger's website, I want to introduce you to a few characters."

You want to introduce us to a few characters?

Police Beat is the most beautiful movie ever made about Seattle. Its scenery is distinguished by its variety. Because it's about a cop on a bike going from 9-1-1 call to 9-1-1 call, you see the city whoosh by him, and the juxtapositions create frictive beauty: deeply green leaves, blood-splattered walls, bodies of water.

It is one of those brilliant, one-of-a-kind indie films that is unstreamable—or at least has been unstreamable until now.

And on DVD?

"There are only two copies in the city available for rent on DVD: one at Scarecrow Video and the other at Reckless Video in North Seattle. Reckless has it in storage, so you'll have to call ahead so they can pull it for you," Jasmyne Keimig has reported. Good luck getting your paws on that one Scarecrow copy.

Director Rob Devor, screenwriter Charles Mudede, and a typewriter that surely did not figure into Police Beats creation at Sundance in 2005.
Director Robinson Devor, screenwriter Charles Mudede, and a typewriter that surely did not figure into Police Beat's creation at Sundance in 2005. Courtesy of Charles Mudede

Thankfully, The Stranger has a website where we can do whatever we want, and what we want—at least for the moment—is transform into a movie theater.

Police Beat is available to stream right here, right now. (There is no other place I'd wanna b-eeeeeeeee!)

If you think it's worth $5, pay $5. If you think it's worth $20, pay $20.

It is without question the finest film in the American canon about a man who refuses to go camping.

Charles Mudede has written for The Stranger since the 90s and been full time on staff since the early 00s.
Charles Mudede has contributed writing to The Stranger since the '90s and been on staff since the '00s. Courtesy of Charles Mudede

As for what it is like to work with Charles: He is the kind of employee who says, in a Stranger editorial meeting, after a dramatic silence, "I know it's going to sound a bit crazy, but I want to write about pigeon's feet."

The editor, baffled, naturally asks him to go on.

"Why are pigeon's feet so fucked up?" Mudede says simply. "They're nuts. They're mutilated. I just can't get over them."

Lo and behold, the resulting essay, "Why Are Pigeon's Feet So Fucked Up?", a masterwork of pigeon-interest reporting. (Representative sentence: "There are some who blame the feet deformities of pigeons not on predators or humans but on pigeons themselves.")

Though esteemed, Mudede's pigeon-feet tour-de-force is not his all-time best feature. Nor is it "How to Be a Father: The Sadness, the Supidity, the Lies," though that is some people's favorite, and led to his title being changed to Parenting Issue Editor.

His all-time best feature is a tie between the time he accidentally killed a horse and the time he lived in an elevator shaft in Pioneer Square, with the slight edge going to the elevator shaft.

hat American poverty offers—and this is not the case with African poverty, which is nothing but oppressive—is the possibility that anything might happen.
Mudede in a younger man's clothes. Lori King/Courtesy of Charles Mudede

Anyway...

Pop some popcorn, stream Police Beat this weekend, and if you like it, write Charles a fan letter, for god's sake. No doubt he will be too oily with CBD unguents to write back, but the whole reason artists do what they do is fan letters. It's not like they earn anything else.

And will we even have movie theaters when this is all over? Maybe Charles will be at the forefront of the motion picture business a year from now. Butter him up now, when he's more approachable. Another film of his, his directorial debut, Thin Skin, will be released at some point approximately halfway between "imminently" and "to be determined," who knows how powerful Charles will be after that.

Thank you, Charles, for being yourself—beyond category, hilarious, interesting, obscure, and good.

Thank you for releasing your first film, one of the best films ever made in Seattle, to all of us to enjoy when there's nothing the fuck else to do.

Happy May Day, everyone.



* *
Previously in this series:


Anthony Whites message to the city on April 30.
Anthony White's message to the city on April 30.

Miss Texas 1988s message to the city.
Miss Texas 1988's message to the city.

Matt Bishops message on April 27.
Matt Bishop's message on April 27.

Cherdonnas message to the city on April 26.
Cherdonna's message to the city on April 26.

Shenandoah Daviss message to the city on April 25.
Shenandoah Davis's message to the city on April 25.

Lorena Gonzálezs message to the city on April 24.
Lorena González's message to the city on April 24.

Clyde Petersens message to the city on April 23.
Clyde Petersen's message to the city on April 23.

David Ritts message to the city on April 22.
David Ritt's message to the city on April 22.

Sara Porkalobs message to the city on April 21.
Sara Porkalob's message to the city on April 21.

Julia Sweeneys message to the city on April 20.
Julia Sweeney's message to the city on April 20.

Linda Derschangs message to the city on April 19.
Linda Derschang's message to the city on April 19.

Molly Sidess message to the city on April 18.
Molly Sides's message to the city on April 18.

Nick Garrisons message to the city on April 17.
Nick Garrison's message to the city on April 17.

Tomo Nakayamas message to the city on April 16.
Tomo Nakayama's message to the city on April 16.

Rebecca M. Daviss message to the city April 15.
Rebecca M. Davis's message to the city April 15.

Heather McHughs message to the city on April 14.
Heather McHugh's message to the city on April 14.

Brandon ONeills message to the city on April 13.
Brandon O'Neill's message to the city on April 13.

Kate Wallichs message to the city on April 12.
Kate Wallich's message to the city on April 12.

Rebecca Browns message to the city on April 11.
Rebecca Brown's message to the city on April 11.

Lucien Postlewaites message to the city on April 10.
Lucien Postlewaite's message to the city on April 10.

Betty Wetters message to the city on April 9.
Betty Wetter's message to the city on April 9.

Amanda Morgans message to the city on April 8.
Amanda Morgan's message to the city on April 8.

Nancy Guppys message to the city on April 7.
Nancy Guppy's message to the city on April 7.

Jonathan Bisss message to the city on April 6.
Jonathan Biss's message to the city on April 6.

Chris Jeffriess message to the city on April 5.
Chris Jeffries's message to the city on April 5.

Lesley Hazletons message to the city on April 4.
Lesley Hazleton's message to the city on April 4.

John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.