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Looking back on the year that was, the mind positively reels at all the possibilities for serious reflection. This was a year that took a number of first-class intellects from us (Hitch's petulant take on theology was maddening, but by God that man could hold his Scotch) and saw a number of dictators fall before the engine of freedom. This is the kind of material from which great journalistic writing is born—tales of triumph and heartbreak and loss and perseverance.

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So, naturally, the flibbertigibbets behind The Stranger offer up what is perhaps the most inessential issue of the year, with a "photo essay" by the bleached-blond bimbo operating under the moniker KELLY O that celebrates the worst inebriates of 2011. Of course. Why not glamorize out-of-control substance abuse, rather than provide spiritual introspection and serious consideration of the year that was?

We also have a terrible group feature about memorable musical moments experienced by members of the Stranger staff. Because if there's one thing that everyone loves, it is hearing in great detail how totally cool a rock-and-roll show was a few months back, when the concertgoer was totally wasted on glue fumes. One can hardly wait for next week's feature, which will no doubt consist of half-remembered dreams Stranger writers had last night after eating moldy slices of pizza they found on the counter.

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Not that the parts of The Stranger that are supposed to provide serious thought are any better. ELI SANDERS provides yet another glowing profile of absurdly liberal Seattle congressman Jim McDermott—number 342 in a series, collect them all—deifying the man for fighting an anti-terrorism bill. Yes, you read that right: Mr. Sanders praises McDermott for fighting on the side of terrorism.

Elsewhere in the news section, artsy dilettante JEN GRAVES whines about a youth art program being shuttered due to lack of funds (parents can provide finger paints for their own children in America, Miss Graves, rather than expecting the state to pony up for them), and GOLDY brings a frivolous blog fight over a union job opening to the world of print, where it looks even more silly and small. Goldy should realize by now that his aptly named "Horse's Ass" background does not make him a reporter; quite the contrary, his flimsy one-sided arguments and lack of supporting evidence merely prove that he does not have the chops to do the work of a big-boy reporter.

The only thing worth reading in this week's paper, oddly, is a book review by one BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT about a sushi chef's illustrated memoir. While I find sushi to be disgusting—I carry a meat thermometer with me when dining out—her essay is informative and brisk, a 180-degree turn from her deplorable restaurant reviews of late. There is a saying about stopped clocks being correct on occasion that applies here, I believe.