The Stranger

Clinton|Trump|Deux

So after a couple days like that, Donald Trump turns up zombified and sniffing.

There is no point to the observation, yet, as we have yet to see if he brought anything other than concussed spite. But the first bit has been, shall we say, strange.

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The Pervert from Ward Four

City Council member John La Tour, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, in detail undated, uncredited image via Planet Transgender.

At some point the question arises why it is that the outburst of perversity we’ve seen in recent years, resulting as such from the advancement of gay rights, actually comes in the form of the conservative, family-values crowd (ahem!) letting it all hang out?

Fayetteville Councilman John La Tour, a tea party member and recipient of Josh Duggars campaign funding, is being accused of threatening to expose himself to a female employee of a city restaurant. People who witnessed the incident say he approached the woman assuming she was transgender and told her that he was man and that could prove it by dropping his pants

(Busey)

Naturally, it’s everyone else’s fault; the Planet Transgender report notes he was in a restaurant where, “The music was overly loud despite his request to lower the volume, so he responded by dancing along with it, he said”. And why does it always start with some version of, “There I was, minding my own business, being oppressed for no reason, so I decided to just go along with it, and hey …”?

No, really.

La Tour said the incident began during his regular Friday morning stop at Arsaga’s to meet a group of acquaintances. The music was overly loud despite his request to lower the volume, so he responded by dancing along with it, he said. He intended to ask the employee to dance with him but wanted to confirm she was a woman first, La Tour said, citing the ordinance.

“You can declare you’re a man or you’re a woman, whatever you want to,” La Tour said. “I’m not going to ask a man to dance with me.”

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An Earworm, With Love (Everybody Wants to Love You)

Detail of cover art for 'Psychopomp' by Japanese Breakfast (Yellow K Records, 2016)

So … I need you to click on over to BandCamp and check out a song because it is very nearly driving me bonkers for being so damn awesome.

• Japanese Breakfast, “Everybody Wants to Love You”

Can I get your number? Can I get you into bed? When we wake up in the morning, will you give me lots of head? Everybody wants to love you. Everybody wants to love you!

No, really. This song is way too fun.

It is also true I have no connection to Japanese Breakfast or Yellow K records, and owe a sincere tip of the hat to Ciara Dolan of The Stranger. She was not kidding when she wrote, “This is one of the best songs of 2016 and we’re only three months in.”

The album is Psychopomp, due from Yellow K Records on 1 April. Oh, and they’re pressing clear vinyl.

Yeah. I know. People get ready. For certain.

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Image note: Detail of cover art for ‘Psychopomp by Japanese Breakfast (Yellow K Records, 2016)

Dolan, Ciara. “Six New Bangers to Get You Through This Rainy Week”. Slog. 9 March 2016.

Required Reading (Brodonculous Boss Mix)

"But I said I don't like sour stuff!" (Frame from 'FLCL' ep. 1, 'FLCL.)

So, gentlemen … the note from Rich Smith of The Stranger is required reading:

If you’re anything like me, you think of Planned Parenthood as a giant women’s restroom. No boyz allowed. It’s some kind of sacred vagina temple where mystic labia wizards lay their hands upon pregnant women and pass on the ancient tales of womanhood.

But it turns out that’s all crazytalk. Planned Parenthood is for men, too. They do dude stuff. And they do it cheap.

You can get screened for STDs. You can get a general physical for school/sports. If you’re an older guy, you can get your prostate checked out and your balls screened for ball cancer. You can get a vasectomy. If you’re having troubles getting it up or coming too fast, then you can talk to somebody about that stuff as well.

Go. Read. Think.

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A Paragraph Very Nearly As Awesome As the Music It Describes

Detail of frame from music video for 'In a Future World' by Telekinesis.

“An objectively killer year for Seattle music became objectively even killerer today with the release of two fantastic albums by two fantastic bands that are both actually just one person (apiece). Telekinesis (a.k.a. Michael Lerner) has delivered Ad Infinitum, his/their fourth album, and a major departure from the first three. Not quite a Sex Pistols —> PiL departure, but more like if Cheap Trick had followed up In Color with Junk Culture by OMD.”

Sean Nelson

And on that note, hell, just go check it out.

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Nelson, Sean. “New Albums from Telekinesis, Say Hi, and Literally Hundreds of Other Artists Out Today”. Slog. 18 September 2015.

The Not-So-Gay Divorceé

VIII. Adjustment.

The question of a divorceé has long plagued Christian supremacists who denounce marriage equality and gay rights, but, you know, really? Not only has Kim Davis already licensed transgender man and his pansexual wife, and most likely also issued plenty of marriage licenses to divorceés, but it also turns out that Ms. Davis is herself a serial adulterer.

On this point, Travis Gettys of Raw Story considers an appearance by Dan Savage on msnbc; the author, advice columnist, and editor of The Stranger, Mr. Savage spared no punches:

“I think Kim Davis is waiting to cash in,” Savage told MSNBC. “I predicted from the beginning that she would defy all the court orders, defy the Supreme Court, she would ultimately be held in contempt of court, lose her job, perhaps go to prison for a short amount of time. And then she will have written for her, ghost written books. She will go on the right-wing lecture circuit and she’ll never have to do an honest day’s work ever again in her life.”

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, in a mugshot, 3 September 2015, after being held in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge David Bunning, after she refused to comply with the law and issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.“This is about someone hypocritically cashing in, and she is a hypocrite,” he added.

Savage referred to the defiant clerk’s statement complaining that courts were asking her to “violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage” — which the columnist dismissed as ridiculous.

“This is a woman who’s been divorced three times and married four times,” he said, reading from the US News & World Report article that pointed out Davis “gave birth to twins five months after divorcing her first husband, (and) they were fathered by her third husband but adopted by her second husband.”

“She’s now onto her fourth husband,” Savage said. “Jesus Christ himself in scripture condemned divorce, called it adultery and forbids it. Jesus Christ himself in scripture says not one word about same-sex marriage.”

Savage said the U.S. Supreme Court had already decided the issue of same-sex marriage, and he said Davis clearly should have followed the law all along.

“She’s not being asked to perform a sacrament, she is tasked with ascertaining that the people in front of her, the couple in front of her, have a legal right to get married and to provide them with that license,” he said. “She is not a minister. She actually thinks she works for God there in the county courthouse, when she actually works for Caesar — and someone needs to acquaint her with that fact.”

Or we might attend Mr. Savage himself, who recently blogged, among other notes:

I would say I can’t wait for a Muslim county clerk in, say, Dearborn, Michigan (which has a huge Muslim community), to refuse to issue a marriage license to a Christian couple on the grounds that the this kafir couple hasn’t been paying jizya… but that’s not going to happen. Religious minorities in this country intuitively understand that to empower religious bigots like Davis is to paint bullseyes on their own backs. So the Jesus-freak goons at the Liberty Counsel work to frame discrimination as a “religious freedom” because they’re confident that American Christians will be the ones doing the discriminating, not suffering from it.

This is an important point. Something about functional reality goes here.

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A Note on ‘Curing’ Heterosexuality (Puppy Power Mystery Mix)

Puppy play. (Original photograph by The Stranger.)

There is a long, hard joke in there somewhere involving basic Freudian propositions of differentiation between polymorphous equivalence in pleasure seeking and genital focus. And with a setup like, that, well, right. But it did come about that in the wake of an embarrassing trial and subsequent, obvious verdict against a conversion therapy outfit called Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a friend mused on the thought of whether or not humanity might achieve a cure for heterosexuality.

The unfortunately requisite disclaimer here is threefold; there is an obvious cure, it is an obvious joke, and there are still people in the world who would take such a joke as some manner of genuine threat. No, we’re not coming to apply anti-straight conversion therapy.

To the other ....

Last weekend, I was hanging out at the Cuff, the leather bar at 13th and Pine, when a man to my left pulled out a pink rubber ball.

(Baume)

Something about a setup like that goes here, but here’s another morbid joke, and this one almost worth recounting. (more…)

Awesome Reading (Master Mudede’s Ruby Rhod Remix)

Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod in 'The Fifth Element', directed by Luc Besson (1997).

Charles Mudede begins―

We must begin this brief line of thought on Chris Tucker’s electric performance in Luc Besson’s 1997 The Fifth Element with a little background on what I call the black elegance movement in black popular music.

―and only gets more awesome from there.

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Mudede, Charles. “Prince in Space”. The Stranger. 17 June 2015.

Counterproductive

Anonymity is not without its value.

And it is also true that vandalism really does suck, and is a poor method for political communication in the industrialized world.

Illustration by Steven Weissman, 8 April 2015, for The Stranger.Those two businesses are owned by some really nice people (one of whom I see busting his ass every morning at 5:30 a.m., trying to make a living) who had to spend a ton of money to hire the graffiti squad to come clean up your spray-paint vomit. If you’d seen the disappointment in their faces, I’d like to think you’d be ashamed of yourself. Here’s the good news: Guess who has really stepped up patrols in the neighborhood? That’s right, the fuzz! They took a keen interest in your most recent act of stupidity. I hope they arrest you and make you drink your own paint.

(Anonymous)

But we have a problem in Seattle; the police department is a brutal, murderous gang. People really are pissed off about this. And while it is true that vandalism really sucks, it makes exactly no sense whatsoever to hope “the fuzz” go out of their way to make things worse. Advocating further police brutality gains nobody anything. Well, that’s not exactly true. The advocate can feel empowered by calling for other people to commit criminal violence. Then again, this only further harms a community already reeling under the burden of a police racket.

You, Anonymous, are part of the problem.

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Anonymous. “I, Anonymous”. The Stranger. 8 April 2015.

The Oral Argument

Appetizer: Electric Kamon, with Haruko, just before dinner.  (Detail of frame from FLCL episode 4, 'Full Swing')

Okay, see if you can follow along, because, well, I’m writing it and it still seems a bit tough. So …

• … apparently someone named Alison Stevenson wrote an article for Vice explaining why she doesn’t perform oral sex on men―and apparently upset some people in the process, although not for detailing anything about her sex life but, rather, for not giving blowjobs―which, in turn …

• … moved Dan Savage to recall an occasion he upset some people for suggesting oral sex is a natural and seemingly inherent part of a sexual relationship, and then explains why he isn’t upset with Stevenson despite her apparent hypocrisy, and …

• … in a consideration seemingly unrelated yet also coincidentally appropriate, Christopher Frizzelle slogs philosophical about the nature of clickbait.

There was a point, I promise, sometime before I started typing, when this seemed like it made sense.

To the other, I freely admit that at no point did it actually seem important.

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Image note: Electric Kamon with Haruko, just before dinner. (Detail of frame from FLCL episode 4, “Full Swing”)

Stevenson, Alison. “Why I Don’t Give Blowjobs”. Vice. 23 March 2015.

Savage, Dan. “Alison Stevenson Won’t Suck Your Dick”. Slog. 24 March 2015.

Frizzelle, Christopher. “What Is ‘Clickbait’?” Slog. 23 March 2015.