Seattle Sinner 76
Issue 76 of The Seattle Sinner. Cover art ist Erotica Mystique featuring Tomoko Kitty.
Issue 7.76 May 2009 Plaster UNMASKED Campfire Tales Omens of Death Culling The Herd The Sinful Works of Erotica Mystique Fear & Publishing Addictions & Interventions The word addiction conjures notions of homeless drunks and drug users vomiting their night's binge in the alley at sun break or even of those suburban neighbors who maintain a wife, 2.5 kids, a picket fence and a dog housed therein, all the while ass-deep in debt. We seldom see addiction's real house, one of cracked mirrors and trap doors that lead to pitfalls of death. If your lucky you fall through one; if not, you bleed a slow end stumbling from one mirrored illusion to another. The real issue that we fail to examine is the obvious nature of this beast, that humans are addictive creatures themselves. From day one we crave our mother's tit, not in moderation, but excess, then it's candy, sex, booze, cigarettes, drugs, rock-nroll and everything else we've been told to be taboo. It's the beginning of a downward spiral, an uneducated death. Other than the tit and candy, which are allowed in excess throughout our growth, all other natural cravings are forbidden, until we reach a legal age, and only then if that craving is deemed legal by politicians, not society. And of these cravings, only some are acceptable by society when deemed legal even though harmful, while others are severely demonized. Someone can eat themselves to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and death and few will intervene in the person's demise, while the real sick bastards snicker behind their backs or turn in disgust when witnessed on the television. If someone decides to drink themselves to death, friends and family intervene with true sincerity, dedicated to a noble public cause. When someone's taste for bliss is an illegal substance, society and politicians toss their ass in jail, sometimes for life on a third strike, with no sympathy for the addict. And anyone can smoke themselves to cancer, then survive treatment, and be deemed a fucking hero of sorts. What does any of this have to do with independent publishing? Nothing and just about everything. I met with my CPA in Seattle a few years ago who let me know this wasn't a profitable venture as of our fourth year. He thought that I should toss this hobby and invest my extra capital in the market. What he failed to see was my past, that years ago I found my bliss, my escape from Hell on this earth, at the end of a straw and the bottom of an empty bottle. The life of many blue-collar Americans living paycheck to paycheck, seldom saving, always searching for that promised utopia of the American dream at the bottom of a bottle or the end of a needle, escaped this upper-class clown, as it does so many. So I die broke, without a dynasty of wealth to pass my children. Is there a greater tragedy to this venture we call life? I think so. My obsession with cheating, snorting, and drinking to escape this curse of God led the ex-wife to argue money lost, not my mind nor health. She was a lot like that CPA in Seattle, who only saw a potential portfolio when she looked at me. Her addictions to shopping and vanity never entered this equation, only mine. I eventually left. Somewhere on this train wreck I found the bigger picture for myself, not everyone; the importance of a voice, a free voice of the people, the power of our great constitution's 1st Amendment. I found that after 9/11 when our weekly paper in Tampa, Fla. persecuted a local professor for being Muslim. I joined their witch hunt with my first editorial, deciding that our safety is far more valuable than our constitution. I have never been more wrong or embarrassed. A year later the wife and I started this rag-tag publication, a learning experience like none other, as neither of us had any formal education in publishing. Other than my CPA, no one's intervened yet, regardless of money lost. The truth about addiction to any substance, even independent publishing, is moderation. And let me tell you now, chasing the dream of independent publishing is addictive � and somewhat expensive � just like the finer things in life, drugs, booze, clothes, sex, smokes and food. When we speak of this great American Dream some say it's dead. Some say it's lost. I can't say it's either as I'm living something that resembles a dream, but I will admit that it's feeling more like a reoccurring nightmare these days. That one where the sunny path through the forest to grandma's house quickly turns dark, where wolves howl and owls screech and the scent of death becomes stronger with every step. It's that dream where you wake up in a cold sweat in the safety of your home only to find the vultures picking away at your brain and pockets while grandma sits in the corner endlessly laughing at your doom. Then, after you really wake up the next morning and walk out the door to your shit-job, you realize that it was Uncle Sam in the corner laughing and the vultures were his comprades picking your pockets and soul of all its worth. You then realize the wolves and the owls were harmless, a distraction to steer your thoughts away from the real dangers that lie ahead. And Uncle Sam, well, we know who that bastard has become, a wrecked old man who has lost his way and been bullied by so-called friends for way too long. Perhaps it is easier to say the American Dream is dead than to see it for what it has become, some twisted fucking nightmare. If those in power can make us believe the Dream is dead it can be buried and remembered like some grand tale of our forefather's history, an America that once was. If they make us believe the Dream is dead we'll eventually honor its memory with a holiday and a celebration full of exploding rockets and pretty lights and patriotic songs that keep it buried in the soil of our souls. And if we can accept the Dream's death to be true, we can wash our hands free of the blood that we each share form not stopping those who have wrapped their greedy hands around its neck and strangled the life from it. If we submit to this idea, then we fail our children and their children's dreams of happiness and freedom and the American way. Without some kind of dream, all hope is lost and we are dead, not just the dream. It's time to breath life back into the Dream, not bury it. It's not as complicated as pundits and politicians will have you believe. Our dream is the American one, not a global one. It starts by unsheathing that piece of steel that every American has strapped to their side, our mighty voice, our right to vote, to contact our representatives and demand just representation. Along with this sword, our founding fathers gave us a shield to protect us which no steel nor weapon can penetrate, the 1st Amendment. Secondly, we have to direct our attention back to our communities, not only in a volunteer sense, but an economical one, too. We have to use our purchasing power efficiently, yet also effectively to help our local businesses, restaurants, farmers, artist, etc. We have to break this sheep mentality that has been mass-programmed upon us since birth to be followers of corporate trends and become free-thinkers and leaders once again. And last, we can not afford to be intimidated by those who shun independent thought, those bastards who cling to the pundit's and politician's talking points but are always quick to critique those who speak out. We have to stand tall and proud, and not waiver to what may seem popular opinion. These are not horrendous task, nor frightening ones, if you can accept that the evil in the darkness is seldom the creatures of the forest, but those who sit behind corporate desk and want you to believe the American Dream is dead. For the longer we wait to act, the harder it becomes to separate the Dream photo by Donald Holman from the nightmare. The American Nightmare 2 myspace.com/seattlesinner Music, Film, Art & Entertainment 12. Plaster poster 13. The Sinful Art of Erotica Mystique 14. Femme Fatale News, Rants & Politics 15. Plaster Unmasked 16. Hank III | Michael Gira 17. Polly Wood 8. Get Depressed 2. Fear and Publishing 4. Culling the Herd 5. Weapons of Mass Distraction 6. Piper's Pit Religion, Sex, & Other Sinner Shit 8. The Vice is Right 19. Sakuracon 20. The Surley Gourmand 21. Campfire Tales 22. Bitching With Buddha 23. This I Shamelessly Tell You 9. The American Crisis brought to you by the letters G, O & P 10. I've Got A Fat Fucking Gut Writers, Ranters, Opinionists & Other All-Out Freaks: Matthew Robert Goad'X Mark Taylor-Canfield Paul Blow Matthew Gorman Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid The Surly Gourmand Buddha Lucifer Publisher: Chuck Foster Saab Lofton Layout: Terri Daniels Richard Art Managing Editor: Guitar Doug Brook Hatch Henry Nicolle Sales: Guitar Doug Maija Cover Art : Erotica Mystique John Cole Cover Model: Tomoko Kitty Julie Lary Ken Poirier The Sinner is a group of contributing writers. Their opinions, rants and ideas do not necesssarily reflect Myke Nobody the views of The Sinner itself. The Sinner encourages Fish contributions from its readers but retains the right to edit Matt the Photographer material due to content or length of submission. Jacqueline Hyde For advertising or submission information, contact us at Keith Calandra firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission deadline is the 25th of every month. Presumption of Guilt "Culling the Herd" Henry Nicolle April, 2009 Connecting the dots of modern conspiracy or Say, did someone just try to kill us all? F or more than a century, some have suggested that the environment of this planet would benefit by the dramatic reduction of our population. This Malthusian concept has gained policy status under the evolving and emerging One World - New World Order bureaucracy. Viruses are common across the globe, but not all viruses affect humans. Some viruses are deadly. Ebola is an example of a deadly virus. Avian flu is an example of a common virus which is not necessarily deadly. Some viruses, such as the H5N bird flu do not often affect humans, but when it does infect, it is exceedingly contagious and very deadly. Viruses constantly change their genetic makeup with each new infection. To make a virus suitable for use as a weapon, it is necessary to induce two or more viruses to share their genes, to participate in a recombination, one which results in a stable and deadly viral product. The process of recombination is very common, but rarely produces a dangerous form. Successful "weaponization" of the deadly Avian Flu virus requires simultaneous infection of a single host by lethal and non-lethal forms of the viral strain for the production of a stable, human-deadly virus. Last month, a series of reports filtered through our major media with very little notice. Baxter Laboratories had shipped flu vaccine materials to 18 countries to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses of flu vaccine for the global Fall and Winter 2009 flu season. The report was very low-key. Hardly anyone noticed. It merely mentioned that contamination of the 2009 season flu vaccine materials had been discovered and that the problem was resolved. Additional reporting however, indicated that the contamination was more serious than had been reported by Baxter Labs. The new allegations attracted my attention. As I read each successive report in our news, it occurred to me that what I was watching was the unraveling and failure of what could be perceived as an attempt to initiate a worldwide culling of humans, using an easily distributed virus as the murder weapon. This act would be an undeclared, covert, genocidal war. It appears to have failed. But it must not go unnoticed or unpunished. It is not unusual to have an occasional contaminated vaccine batch. However, to have a live vaccine batch that is contaminated with a live, deadly avian virus is extraordinarily unusual. The reports state that this type of contamination with this type of virus could not have been accidental. I repeat, this type of contamination could not have been accidental. Someone who knew what was required to weaponize a batch of avian flu vaccine performed that act and orchestrated distribution with the expectation that it would be massively reproduced, distributed around the world and injected into hundreds of millions of people. Someone expected that recombination to evolve a deadly virus to infect and kill humans. An infected person would show no symptoms for 8 or nine days. During that initial period, the individual would have no noticeable symptoms. During the same symptomless period, he would be passing the virus to everyone with whom he came into contact or company. Only at the last day or two days would flu symptoms appear. The first, most noticeable and usually only preliminary symptoms would be severe headache and fever. Within a day, the disease would produce massive bleeding from every orifice, followed by a quick death. So, here are the elements of an attempted mass murder. The elements are precise and the probable sequence of events so clear that the logical trail of evidence should be obvious to the most dull-witted investigator. The preliminary facts and potential consequences are clear and obvious. The attempted murder of potentially hundreds of millions of people was initiated by one or more people must be considered to be likely. Had it not been for a single coincidence of precaution, we would not have known of this attempted destruction of humanity, until people began dropping dead in our streets at the close of 2009. It is one thing to know and discuss historical conspiracies. It is another thing entirely, to discover what appears to be modern implementation of that knowledge aimed to kill us dead. There is no doubt in my mind that we have been attacked with deadly intent. The murder of millions of people has been attempted and that singular fact should push us from mild paranoia to exceeding caution. My friends, I believe that we may now be at war. A real war. A silent war where people die a quiet death. Or I am wrong. In either case, good luck to us all. 4 myspace.com/seattlesinner The Evil Empire? Bush and Cheney's Secrets Revealed! During the Reagan administration, the president referred to the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire". The reason that Reagan was ultimately able to get away with that statement was the fact that the Soviet government authorities, including the KGB, did indeed have a tradition of arresting their citizens, as well as foreigners without warrants. They were known for imprisoning people without access to justice. And, yes, the Soviets did use extreme interrogation techniques and torture. I do not envy Barack Obama for having to take the reigns of power in the US at a time when major atrocities have been committed in our name by our national leaders. For a start, let's begin with approximately one million innocent Iraqi citizens who were caught between a maniacal dictator and a US president drunk with power. Bush just couldn't stop himself from using the most overwhelmingly superior military establishment in the history of the planet to do his political bidding. Not to mention the countless and unknown people who were serreptitously kidnapped in countries around the globe by secret operatives of the CIA. They call it "Extraordinary Rendition". Add to that dirty list the human rights abuses at Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay, and you have a history of the abuse of people's rights that ranks right up there with the Soviets and other nefarious regimes around the world. Now we have learned, through the revelations of investigative reporter Seymour Hirsch, that vice President Dick Cheney resided over a secret assassination squad run out of his office at the White House. This new information has, of course, put a whole new spin on Cheney's Darth Vader-like comments about how the US must now work on the dark side. No one knew exactly what he meant at the time, but now I think we finally have an idea thanks to Hirsch's statements. Although his information was not meant to be made public, it rings so true to many anti-Bush administration conspiracy theorists and left-wing political pundits that it has already been accepted as a basic fact by many of Cheney's detractors, despite the lack of any real hard evidence. Seymour Hirsch says his book on the subject was not to be released for another two years. What has he been waiting for? The Central Intelligence Agency claims that his assertions are ridiculous and that it never could have happened. According to Hirsch, part of the mission of the special operations unit was to infiltrate foreign countries under cover, assassinate designated terrorist suspects and leave the country undetected. He claims that the group did at some point make contact with CIA station chiefs in other nations. This puts his testimony at direct odds with the CIA. Hirsch says that in other cases, the CIA was not notified of these illegal missions. Since the hullabaloo broke surrounding his accusations against Cheney, the journalist, an award-winning reporter for the New York Times, has remained strangely absent from the national debate concerning his controversial statements. He made the comments after a talk he gave in the Midwestern US. So where is Seymour Hirsch? And does it really matter what he says? The national media has already picked up the story regardless of his lack of availability for news interviews. What would you do if you were Seymour Hirsch? By now everybody also knows about the Obama Justice Department's release of memos documenting the Bush administration's illegal justifications for torture, kidnapping, and various other international crimes against human rights. We also know about their plans for martial law as justified by their supposed "war on terror." Knowing that this infamous US administration threw out any rights to habeas corpus or access to legal counsel, we still wonder what other insidious attacks on the US Constitution and International Law took place behind the scenes in the name of US global supremacy and to protect us from dangerous anti-US terrorists. What remains is the fact that no one has yet been brought to justice even though the majority of people in the US and around the world are already convinced that the Bush/ Cheney coup was nothing but a group of global thugs throwing their weight around the world and putting innocent people in harm's way. All this came from their greedy pursuit for power and control over the world's precious resources and political structures. Meanwhile, Canada, our supposedly pacifist neighbor to the north, is currently Lewis for several years now awaiting a second court martial trial. The first court marshal was declared a mistrial by a military judge. A civilian judge intervened at one point and ruled that the US military can not re-trial Lt. Watada on the same charges since that would represent "double jeopardy" which is expressly prohibited by the US Constitution. No one's really sure what the US Army plans to do with Lt. Watada. To many in the anti-war movement he has served as an inspirational hero. Originally he had been charged with "behavior unbecoming of an officer" after he openly criticized the Commander In Chief and the US invasion of Iraq. He has never swayed from his original written by Mark Taylor-Canfield huge problem for the Obama administration. His peacenik supporters who helped elect him are not really all that happy with his continuation of unbridled US support for Israel. Some say Israel's policies towards the Palestinians are simply genocidal. That being said, no one can deny the sense of hope that the Obama presidency has brought to the world. There is a sense that the US might actually back off from some of its former imperialistic tendencies. The current world economic crisis has resulted in a whole new set of challenges for the new US president. While bankers and insurance brokers steal the people's money, relying on their friends in Washington D.C. to deliver the goods at the expense of the taxpayers, social economic justice seems to be out the window for the majority of the population. The middle class is left holding an empty bag full of promises and IOU's. Obama is constantly threatened by powerful multi-national corporate interests and the Federal Reserve who continue to scare him with their dire predictions of a "complete economic collapse" if he refuses to pay off all the major fat cats. These are the same corrupt selfish CEOs who caused much of this mess with their shady deals and bogus investment schemes. Does anyone remember ENRON? The only difference is, this time we are paying off the banks and corporations instead of indicting them for fraud. As Obama put it ever so aptly, "The real shame is that these acts were made legal through lack of regulation. That tells you something about how much the system needs to be reformed." With two wars in the Middle East and a faltering economy, Barack Obama faces a series of difficult challenges. He also faces an obstructionist Republican party bent on ruining his reputation as an effective leader. Their hope is that he will fail to turn things around before the next election and afterwards they, the G.O.P. will be put back into power by a disillusioned electorate. I doubt this far-fetched scenario will work, but then one must realize just how desperate they are right now. If Rush Limbaugh is their national spokesperson at this point, the party must be dying an ignoble death. Whatever the next four years bring, you can be assured that official corruption and abuse of power will not be limited unless members of the Bush administration are held to justice for their obvious crimes against the people. Historically, we risk allowing a sordid chapter in our nation's development to be erased from our collective memory. Through the use of endless media distractions and shameless crass political maneuvers, the "powers that be" are desperately trying to sweep these crimes under the rug. They want those skeletons to remain safely hidden in the nation's collective closet. Revealing the truth does not serve their interests. To the contrary, deception and alienation are their main tools for subversion of the popular will. Along with Dick Cheney, they've all read Machiavelli's The Prince. He advised the prince that in order to stay in power, he must either cajole or crush the people. So far, the power elite in the US have found both tactics to be very effective when it comes to controlling the masses. embroiled in Afghanistan along with the US thanks to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's political love affair with George W. Bush. The Canadians have suffered 117 casualties. To add insult to injury, Harper won't grant sanctuary to any of the hundreds of US military personnel who have gone across the border into Canada to avoid serving in the two US wars in the Middle East. Soldiers and their families have been handed over to US authorities at the border in Washington State even though nearly two thirds of Canadians said in a nation-wide poll that they supported political sanctuary for US soldiers, much as they did during the Vietnam War when thousands of US war resisters fled to Canada to avoid the military draft. Some estimate that around 14,000 US citizens moved to the Koutenay Mountains area near Castlegar and Nelson, British Columbia during that earlier war. In Seattle, the war resisters support group Safe Haven, along with Iraq Veterans Against the War, have been holding vigils in support of First Lt. Ehren Watada who refused to lead soldiers into battle in Iraq. He's been confined to Fort statements despite the muzzle the military has placed on him. Watada is not allowed to speak to the press or to contact peace groups, so we don't really know what he's thinking at the moment. I suspect he's waiting it out in his usual inimitable style, knowing that he has the support of his family and the peace movement. His charisma has served him well. He always seems to project the very essence of gentlemanly conduct. He has never ranted, but the emotion in his voice is readily apparent when he talks about the war. He means what he says. It remains to be seen what will happen to brave souls like Lt. Ehren Watatda. One day he may run for office and become a national leader, who knows? Many other less famous soldiers have waited out their sentences in military brigs and many others still await trial. As far as I know, President Obama has made no public statements about war resisters. His hands may be tied because of his commitment to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan. In any case, the Obama honeymoon has not appeased the anti-war organizations in the US. The numbers at their protests may be smaller, but their message is still the same.They want an immediate withdrawal of all US troops from the Middle East. Obama admits he wants to keep soldiers in Iraq even after his much lauded calls for a US withdrawal. Palestine is, of course, another Pipers Pit by Saab Lofton Escape From the Preachy "Chained to the dream they got you searching for, the thin line between entertainment and war. There be no shelter here, the front line is everywhere." � Rage Against the Machine hat do I mean when I call someone spoiled? I've lost count of how many times I've argued with fools over the validity of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. If you don't know, it's the one the late, great Christopher Reeve (God rest his soul) co-wrote about how the Man of Steel rids the world of nuclear weapons. The Quest for Peace was a great story with an even better message, but the only thing those fools fixate on is its lackluster special effects. Or as Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, put it: "Unfortunately, Golan & Globus had so many other films in the pipeline at the time that their money was spread too thinly to properly accommodate what became Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, released in 1987, forcing the film's veteran director Sidney J. Furie to cut corners everywhere." That's what I mean by spoiled: Ask a survivor of Hiroshima or Nagasaki whether the latest in FX is more important than an anti-nuclear message being disseminated by the masses. Ask white suburbia, however ... What's the party line? "After a long, hard day, I don't wanna think!" Well, I'm sure a Hiroshima survivor would be the first to tell yo' ass you don't know WHAT a hard day is! There's always some chickenshit excuse as to why it is Americans (in particular) don't want to deal with anything the least bit disturbing and I'm beyond sick and tired of it. Let's look at another, similar film. Turning once more to Wikipedia: "On Deadly Ground was also criticized for using the context of an action-adventure film to promote an environmentalist message ... The final scene, with [Steven] Seagal giving a speech about the obsolescence of the internal combustion engine and the need for cleaner alternative fuels, was cut from its original 11 minute length before the film's release after audiences at initial screenings complained it was overlong and preachy." I can see the tombstone now: Here lies the planet Earth � died from global warming because some spoiled-ass escapists thought an eco-friendly movie was too preachy! "Africa, which contributes the least to global warming, is suffering the most," the August 21st, 2003 issue of Workers World reported. "The United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, emits 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gases." I wonder how On Deadly Ground fared in African theaters? I remember when Syriana came out and an anarchist buddy of mine insisted on sneaking into the theater in order to spite the likes of Matt Damon and George Clooney since they were well-off enough. I appreciated his position, but as I tried to explain to my buddy, it ain't about Damon/ Clooney. It's about how those snide, condescending bastards at FOX News would crow if the box office indicated Syriana was a flop. Fortunately, Syriana grossed over fifty million across the country and another fifty million around the world. I told that anarchist it's important to hurt the right-wing by MAKING the film successful (which is why, when Syriana premiered, I arranged for half a dozen people to see it with me). As any nerd attending a high school reunion knows, success is the best revenge. Besides, there's such a thing as a "black tax," which is to say blacks have to perform a task twice as well as whites just to get by, and sadly, the same double standard exists with left-wing films. Since filmmaking is so costly, it's obviously that much harder for the poor/oppressed to reach the public � let alone satiate a spoiled pallet for spectacle. Therefore, the trap lies in how the emphasis is put on whether a "suspension of disbelief" can be maintained during the theatrical experience as opposed to whether a substantial lesson was learned by the audience. In the end, providing escape for the so-called "average American" is less of a priority than letting the rich/powerful off the hook yet again. It's clearly in the best interests of the military-industrial complex that films such asThe Quest for Peace and On Deadly Ground are panned, so whenever you hear some stuck up prick claim, "that movie sucks," keep in mind the film's ideology � and NOT its quality � may be the issue... W FETISH NIGHT! First Friday of every month Our beat & great begins at 8pm Lovers Lair Lynnwoods #1 Adult Super Store 4001 198th St SW #7 425-775-4502 � www.loverslair.net Mon-Sat 10am-10pm � Sun 12pm-6pm myspace.com/seattlesinner "To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. THIS INSTRUMENT CAN TEACH, IT CAN ILLUMINATE; YES, AND IT CAN EVEN INSPIRE. BUT IT CAN DO SO ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT HUMANS ARE DETERMINED TO USE IT TO THOSE ENDS. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck." �Edward R. Murrow 6 1707 NW Market St in the heart of downtown Ballard www.ballardjamhouse.com For reservations call 206-789-1621 photos by Guitar Doug Get Depressed! The Manipulative Media Mind by Kevin Beals is delivering it. In your average "the economy is failing" news blurb, what is the purpose of the story? Does it genuinely inform you in a way that provides you with a realistic response? Does it actually make you feel better, or keep you glued to the screen in sweaty, fearful, roller-coaster anticipation, waiting for your next news fix? In a practical way, what can you actually do with the information you're given? Now that you've done the first part of your homework, here comes the second part: read anything and everything you can on the Great Depression. If you're lucky enough to have family members who have survived it, and they're willing to talk about it, learn anything you can from them. Now start comparing where things were then with where they are now. Do you get where I'm going with this yet? Don't worry, we're just getting started. I've helped you out here by putting in some pertinent items from my own research. By the spring of 1930, there were some 3 million Americans out of work, 15 million by 1931 and in 1932 nearly a full 25% of the country was unemployed. While we're not quite that bad yet, you still have to factor in that the population of the country has more than doubled in that time. As of the latest BOL report in February, there are a full 12.5 million people unemployed across the country--8%--and that's not even the full accounting of where things are now. While that's not nearly as large as older percentages, we haven't even gotten close to touching bottom yet. It didn't take long for things to get bad back then, and with how intimately connected the global economy is now, we should be fully preparing for the worst. Now, of course, nobody wants to call what we're in now a "depression," so we're left with less suitable terms like "economic downturn," "deep recession," and "less money in my Charles Schwab account." All these are delivered, of course, by slick, conservative professional news anchors in tailored suits. Are you really going to take someone seriously who reports one story on the "economic downturn" and then, without missing a beat, moves on to a story about a heroic cat or dog saving its owner's life? What happens in that 10-15 minute time slot between when they're done talking and they start again? By the time you've reached the next news report, you're already primed to talk to your doctor about your insomnia, social anxiety disorder, limp penis, rampant obesity, lack of bladder control and strange desire to eat light yogurt while driving your new not-as-bad-as-the-others-SUV. This leads me to a perfect opportunity to describe the picture you see on the front page. That literal horse-and-carriage arrangement is what's called a Bennett Buggy or "Hoover Wagon," and was used by farmers during the first Great Depression when gasoline became too expensive. I think this serves a perfect metaphor for an often repeated saying from that era, "We had everything but money." Until we start seeing mini-Coopers towed by Shetland ponies, I don't think we're nearly there yet. Unfortunately, much of what we are up against is the nearly programmed expectation for limitless economic growth that has been drilled into the American psyche over the past several decades. That doesn't mean, however, that there still aren't a great many good lessons to take from the Great Depression that are perhaps even more relevant than ever in our current situation. It may seem like a stupid question, but what ever happened to our neighbors? Television, and a variety other media, in many ways, have become a replacement for human contact for many people, ultimately becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of increased isolation. I could point out countless anecdotal examples, but far more poignant is the fact that, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen at least 2 hours a day. Kids from 8 to 18 spend an average of four hours a day watching TV, and spend an additional 2 hours in front of a computer or video game aside from schoolwork. It's easy to forget this obvious fact, but most people still did not have televisions during the First Great Depression. And you can bet your fucking ass they didn't have IPhones, Blackberries, thumbprint pay systems, breast implants and other assorted modern garbage. So what does this all mean for you and me, besides a lot of hot air? Well, when the shit really hits the fan, the chips are down, the government is a wasted collapse and the only thing between you and hunger is what's left in your wallet, where do you turn? If we don't have neighbors, we can't have a normal society that operates on the basic premise that other human beings' lives still have value. So for the last part of your homework for next month, try to reconnect with your neighbors in any way you can--even if you hate them. After all, since we don't really choose the people we get stuck living with, why not make the best of it? I guarantee a little bit of unpaid work for an elderly neighbor will give you a feeling that you might have forgotten possible: community. Next month: Speakeasies, socialism, Soviet emigration, gulags, gluttony and the best ways to smuggle alcohol in Prohibition style. I promise that I saved the best stuff for last. (And to not crap it out so hurriedly). re you depressed about the Depression? Do you lie awake in bed at night thinking about money? Are you worried about your job, or more likely, your lack of one? Do you have nightmares about fanged CEO's creeping out from under your bed to steal your retirement fund? Are you soothed by the cloying promises of that douchebag who sells rain gutters on TV? Well, do I have the solution for you! Turn off your fucking television! It certainly won't solve all your problems, but I guarantee that after you get over the initial withdrawal phase, you'll be amazed at how much better you feel. If you can't do that much, try this: when watching the news--or any program, for that matter--compare the amount of time the commercials take up versus the actual program. Now remember who pays for that program you're watching and think about the news you're getting. Think they're unrelated? Do pigs love shit? Perhaps the best and final quote on media bias, as well as I can remember it, was spoken by my Communications 201 professor David Domke when I was at the University of Washington, "I don't have a problem with media bias--as it is inevitable. My problem is with the concept of media objectivity--as there is no such thing. `Objectivity' creates the illusion of truth." Make no mistake, there is a message being delivered to your doorstep--so pay attention to who A The Vice is Right IN JACQUELINE SUSANN'S FAMOUS NOVEL, Valley of the Dolls, which chronicles the sordid, pill-popping lives of three young women hoping to make it big on Broadway in New York at the end of World War II, the "dolls" in question are actually just one of the many street names for the lipstick red tablets of the powerful sedative, Secanol. Secanol is actually a brand name for the barbiturate, secobarbital, originally marketed by the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company. Secobarbital was hugely popular as a recreational drug during the late 60s when Valley of the Dolls was written and on into the 70s as well with many dope addicts and pill freaks employing the drug as their "downer" of choice. The drug produces an extreme state of relaxation and sedation in its users, and it was often used to ease the uncomfortable "come down" of stimulant drugs like speed and cocaine. In the past, the drug has been prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy, the temporary treatment of insomnia, and even sometimes as a preoperative anesthesia. However, the use of secobarbital in the modern medical field has fallen by the wayside due largely in part to the growing popularity of benzodiazepines that provide the same pharmacological functions with a diminished risk of lethal overdose. Of course, it is this very propensity for causing fatal overdoses that has garnered secobarbital a place in modern medicine as the most common method of implementing physician assisted suicide. As more and more states pass initiatives allowing for people to die with written by Matthew Gorman Secanol (Secobarbital) dignity, I imagine that secobarbital production will only increase. The brand name Secanol is now owned by Marathon Pharmaceuticals who resumed production of the 100mg capsules made from secobarbital sodium salt in January of 2009 after a respite in their production and a shortage of the drug for several years. In addition to the terminally ill that have used secobarbital legally to end their lives, a number of celebrities have met with their untimely ends over the years, either by choice or by accident, after overdosing on secobarbital. Among them are Judy Garland of Wizard of Oz fame, guitar God, Jimi Hendrix, and the actress Marilyn Monroe. So if you're looking for a great way to off yourself, try swallowing a whole lot of these babies, preferably with copious amounts of alcohol. But, on the other hand, if you prefer living, I would recommend never taking too many Secanols (also called reds, red dillies, seccies, and the aforementioned "dolls") at any one time, and never, ever with any booze. Also, as you can likely infer from the paragraph concerning benzodiazepines, it's easy to achieve the same kind of "high" as one gets from barbiturates like secobarbital with safer and less addictive drugs like Valium or perhaps a muscle/ skeletal relaxant like methacarbamol. So, while I imagine the renewed production of Secanol tablets for medical use may lead to their resurgence on the street (drugs always seem to find their way into the wrong hands!) I would wholeheartedly recommend that you stick with the stuff that you've been popping for years. Then again, enough of anything will kill ya! Lauren Goffin - photo by Guitar Doug 8 myspace.com/seattlesinner written by Jeff Biggs C an you tell me how to get, how to get to Prosperity Street? First it was Wall Street, then came Main Street, now it's finally hit Sesame Street. You know the economy is in really big trouble when the imaginary characters on Sesame Street get pink slips. In March 2009, Sesame Street cut its work force by 20%. Sesame Street is a non-profit entity that relies heavily on merchandise sales to fund its workshop. With the economy slowing down, sales are lacking which means real jobs by some very talented people where lost. Of course, much anxiety still surrounds Sesame Street as fans from around the world wait for news on which characters got the ax. As a part of cost saving measures, it is anticipated that the letter W will also play the role of M and E, the Count will no longer count past 10, Bert and Ernie will vacant their upscale Brooklyn apartment for an efficiency in Queens, and Mr. Hooper's Store will reopen as a dollar store. The people of America are losing faith in this country and its leadership. The federal government placed $170 billion dollars of our money in one hand of AIG in an effort to stabilize the banking industry while AIG used its other hand to give $165 million in bonuses to the same top executives that bankrupted AIG in the first place. That's a sweet gig where you can bankrupt your employer and they still give you a bonus of $1 to $6 million dollars. I find it very, very hard to believe that these executives are the only qualified people to run AIG. The American dream is dead. According to a recent CNN research poll, only 39% of Americans are confident that they can maintain their current quality of life. The results are down 45% from one year ago. That means 61% of Americans believe that their quality of life will dimension over the next year. Only 50% of homeowners are confident that they will be able to make their mortgage payments. Even worse, only 22% of workers believe that they will be able to save enough money for retirement. America used to be a nation where each generation had a shot at a better quality of life than the preceding generation. Once hailed as the strongest and most stable form of currency in the world, the US Dollar is on the fast track to worthlessness. The national debt has reached a staggering $11 trillion dollars. That number is so big that most people cannot comprehend how much money that actually is. The US dollar used to be the currency of choice during times of crisis. This nation's deficits have depleted the US dollar's value to near worthlessness. China, who is one of America's biggest investors, has requested guarantees from the federal government that the treasury bills owned by China will be honored. A United Nations panel is preparing to recommend that the world switch its reserve currency from the US dollar to a shared basket of currencies. Hold on; don't be too quick to blame Washington just yet. Obama inherited this mess from the last guy. Obama got stuck with a $1.2 trillion dollar budget deficit, an economy that is well rooted in a recession and quite possibly slipping in to a depression, irresponsible banking and real estate practices that were fueled by corporate greed, and an unregulated financial market that caused its own meltdown. Of course, we cannot forget about the world issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and now ever so popular Mexican drug war that rages on inside the United States. None of these current crises started during the current Washington administration. Obama, his team of advisors and our congressional representations are working hard to find solutions that will restore our American prosperity and America's reputation in the world. You need look no further than the last administration to find the root cause of America's crisis. All of our current crises were either created or worsened by the Republican leadership that ran the House of Representatives, Senate and the White House for way too many years. Even now, Republican electives in Washington are focused on bickering about Obama's plans to restore American prosperity instead of working on their own solutions to our country's current problems. It makes no sense to stand around bitching about someone else's ideas when you have no ideas of your own. Isn't that what we are paying them to do? They should be working together to find real solutions that work for the people of this nation and not just their rich Republican friends. It has become quite clear that GOP must stand for "Got 0 Plans". Morte di Giulio Cesare (Death of Caesar) by Vincenzo Camuccini 9 DON'T GET ME STARTED -- by KEITH CALANDRA here are forces working every day in America to undermine the health and well being of everyday folks like ourselves. Not surprisingly, these individuals and the entities that employ them do these things in pursuit of, what else, the All-fucking, Mighty Dollar. In a time of great economic downturn, with the restaurant industry staggering, junk food peddler McDonalds Corporation reported adjusted profits last year of 4.3 BILLION dollars, up from 2.3B the previous year. Analysts attribute this to the "value menu" pricing that has swept the fast food industry the past decade. But the meal they serve to tens of millions each day is anything but "Happy". Obesity is at all-time record levels. Stunning facts about food and the human condition that are widely reported in the alternative press are routinely ignored by mainstream press. Lobby and advertising interests move hand in hand with major media to create and insulate the illusion under which we live. Setting aside for the purposes of our discussion today the massive ecological impacts of our food choices, we shall instead focus on food consumption. Take just one example, HFCS. Estimated annual consumption of the dreaded high fructose corn syrup has increased thousands-fold since the 1970s. Not by chance the increased use of HFCS in everything from baked goods to carbonated beverages mirrors the rapid, even exponential increase in numbers of overweight and obese individuals. Perception is everything, and the surplus of unhealthy foods, readily available, coupled with intense media conditioning in the form of advertising and public relations have characteristically married these interests to the political landscape, making these unhealthful foods seemingly more affordable than most healthful alternatives. Fast foods, convenience foods and commercially prepared food products and baked goods are inexpensive and satisfy on a psycho-chemical level because they contain unbalanced levels of fat and carbohydrates. They provide the greatest number of calories for the smallest price. This means that those who can afford the least, and those that are least informed paradoxically consume more calories and fat. This is class warfare, people. Obesity rates in various socioeconomic strata prove it. The poor among us have fewer affordable choices to attain a balance of healthy foods. Those less educated among us are far more likely to choose readily available junk or convenience foods. The availability of obesity-promoting foods and the learned perception (falsely) that they `taste good' and are `cheaper' than healthier foods are undeniably the major factor in American obesity rates. Further, the demands of a consumer culture, specifically heavy work obligations, high levels of stress, and on-the-go lifestyles make these foods particularly appealing because they seem to be convenient and take less time to prepare and consume than a careful balance of nutritionally vital foods. This is a call to action, my friends. We are, truly, what we eat. Change starts with a single simple step. Know what food is truly about: Simple sustenance. Next time: those douche-bags at Monsanto attempt to destroy the world. T Dear amalgamated food corp I'VE GOT A FAT FUCKING GUT � AND YOU LOVE IT! 10 myspace.com/seattlesinner 12 myspace.com/seattlesinner Ali Torres Photography c 2009 pring washes our soul of Winter's gloom, ushering in age-old suspicions of youth, fertility and eternal life. Upon these immortal waves we ride for only moments, loosing ourselves in what could be, before the cold hand of Death strips us each of all dream and hope. Without daring souls to capture this short ride there would be nothing sacred left to pass on to generations unborn. And of all the daring souls that I have met on this short ride, Su Ferguson and Don Burkheimer capture it like few others ever have. As a team Don and Su have only been fusing their two art forms for about three years, where they discovered a "unique and crazy cool art form" that has become well received and continues to grow. But Don says he started shooting with a Polaroid Instamatic when he was nine-years-old, and knew immediately that he loved to capture moments in time. He admits to being a bit unconventional in his ways, that being self-taught and having learned photography by taking tons of photos, experimenting, studying from other photographers and asking lots of questions made him so. The old Polaroid Instamatic is long gone, as today Don's camera of choice is the Canon 40D. He says it takes high quality images, is built like a rock, meets his needs with regard to features, price and feels good in his hands. As a tip he adds that not all cameras feel the same in your hand and if you don't like the feel or where the buttons are located on a camera, it can negatively alter your shooting style. Unlike many solo photographers hindered by one's imagination, this duo has the ability to complement each other with a variety of unique thought, creating an extremely diverse portfolio. They've been told by colleges and fans that their works are "all over the place", which they take as a compliment since both are self-taught. Another advantage this team has over solo photographers is the comfort zone provided by being a husband and wife team, which they believe provides models a more relaxed environment when it comes to more racy shoots. The couple also believes the addition of Su's Photoshop has taken their works to another level of creativity, making the entire process of working together crazy fun. Beyond the crazy fun, the couple says that when you never know the rules you don't have to follow them. Some "artist' may disagree with that ideology, but when it comes to the photography of Don and Su, that may be an argument better left alone, unless you like to loose. As with most photographers I interview, I asked this team what the most important aspects of photography are to them? "Education, skill, a good eye, determination and passion...all these elements are important keys to becoming a good photographer. However, be sure to experiment and break the rules and color outside the lines from time to time. There is no exact way to shoot photography. There are general guidelines & tips, yes, but no one exact way to capture an image." When it comes to advice for newcomers, Don and Su suggest to do your homework and figure out ahead of time what you want out of the camera. They also recommend to visit www.cameralabs.com to learn about cameras and to read about camera & lens reviews. Beyond that they say to buy the best camera you can afford, but not to buy a camera just because of all the "bells and whistles" and to always carry your camera as you never know when that amazing photo opportunity is going to present itself. One of the most rewarding aspects of their photography has been the enormous reception they've received from everyone in the art community. Don and Su's goal was to bring a more modern, hip look to fine art nudes, and so far they say people seem to like what they are doing. So much so that their work was awarded as a winner at last summers juried photography show at the Art/Not Terminal Art Gallery in Seattle. On the opposite end of this spectrum, the two admit that the most challenging aspect of their work is one which many artists share, that one day you love your work and the next, maybe not so much. They believe that most creative people are more apt to be overly critical of their own work. On that note, they found presenting their work to the public for view was initially challenging and somewhat daunting. To finish this ride I asked the couple if they had any last thoughts? "If you have a creative thought, follow it up. Don't let it just sit in your head. If you don't act, no one will ever be able to appreciate your art form and you won't be able to inspire others. So get out and shoot, be innovative, unconventional and have fun doing it. Lastly...listen to those voices in your head." Don and Su also invite all you sinners to visit their website, Erotica Mystique at www. eroticamystique.com, to experience more of their work. And they would love to hear your comments on their cover art for this issue of The Seattle Sinner. To find more works on display by Erotic Mystique venture out this May and June to the Edmonds Art Walk and Art/Not Terminal Gallery in Seattle and Daniel Roberts Gallery in Tacoma. And if you would like to set up an appointment for a photo shoot with Don and Su or commission an art piece, contact them at email@example.com. Never forget, this is one short ride, but one certainly worth capturing for generations to come. S The Sin ful Art of otica Er M by tique ys Fost er ck Chu 14 myspace.com/seattlesinner Raising Hell With Guitar Doug photo by Julie Lary he Seattle rock group Plaster is Pete Litwin on guitar & vocals, Todd Ohashi on guitar & vocals, Jason Bordeaux on bass & vocals and Dana Sims on drums & vocals. The band is made up of well known players in the Seattle rock scene and has recently released its first full length album on Flotation records. Plaster is a band I personally have been talking with for almost two years about being featured in The Sinner, so it's a real treat to bring this interview to the readers this month. The reason we have not yet featured Plaster is because the band felt it was best to wait until their new album, New World, was released. The album is now out and can be purchased at Plaster shows, Sonic Boom, Easy Street Record, Everyday Music, Singles Going Steady and Rocket Records in Tacoma. New World is an outstanding rock record with an unusually high quality production. Plaster was not playing around when they chose producer Steve Carter for their project, who has worked with groups like Himsa, Aiden and Cradle of Filth. The album was then mastered by heavy hitter Tom baker, who is known for his work with groups like Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, Helmet, Monster Magnet, and Velvet Revolver. The guys in Plaster cite influences such as Black Sabbath, Helmet, Kyuss, Quicksand and Motorhead, which resonates through the band's sound. The band stays true to rock, too, while cranking up the heavy dial without ever crossing over into metal. They are also one of the heaviest bands in Seattle, but no one with a knowledge of music would label Plaster a Metal band. It's just loud and enveloping rock-n-roll. Plaster has been well received by the Seattle rock establishment and radio. Dana talks about the support the group has had from people like Jolene at KISW, who has the band in heavy rotation on her weekly radio show called Loud and Local. That show is a who's who of bands that have been featured in The Sinner and a host of other cool local rock bands. Plaster will be playing plenty of regional shows this summer, so make sure you get out and see what is going on here musically. The band is so solid they are constantly booked with big name bands which include Godsmack, Ill Nino, Monster Magnet, Rob Zombie, Drowning Pool, Shinedown, Jucifier, Valient Thorr, Early Man, Unsane, 3 Inches of Blood, Toxic Holocaust, HIMSA, Big Business, Akimbo, Nebula, Bongzilla, ZEKE, Dr. Know, Royal Trux, The Golden Gods, Artimus Piledriver, Opiates For The Masses, Book of Black Earth and many others. Tell me about this long awaited new Plaster Album. Todd: Long awaited is a understatement. It's hard to believe we've spent over a year in production making this album, mostly due to our budget. We wanted our debut full length to be Titanic, so we decided to put everything into it. Starting with hiring the right producer. Tell me about working with Producer Steve Carter? Todd: We hired Steve Carter, who's credits include HIMSA, Aiden and Cradle of Filth, to come aboard and basically be the fifth person in the band. What Steve brought to the table as a producer really helped us restructure and re-mold our songs into stronger, more cohesive tunes. T Where did you record the album? Todd: This record was basically recorded at three different studios. The drums and bass were recorded at London Bridge Studios, the guitars at Orbit Audio and we mixed at Electro Kitty. The vocals were actually done at Pete's home which was pretty cool. Steve brought over his mobile recording equipment and we were able to set up and track right there. The new album is entitled New World. How did you come up with the name and what's the concept behind the album cover photo? Pete: New World is simply the name of one of our songs and we thought it would be a cool title for the CD. The photo was one Dana found on the web. Maybe Dana can talk more about that. Dana: Since our lyrics and sound are somewhat dark, but we tend as a band to be lighthearted and sarcastic, we thought calling the Album New World, with a black and white tripped out photo of a roadside grave, would fit our sound and image while being ironic underneath. The symbolism of the cover image, is that someone died and due to their death are in, or on their way to, a new world. Is this your first time working with Flotation Records or have you released anything else out with them? Pete: No we put out a 7" on red vinyl with Flotation a couple of years ago. It had an earlier version of the song Breathe and a song called Reds. Dana: There are a lot of good bands out there. The scene has no lack of talent and musical quality to offer. The community aspect is improving in segments, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Most bands need to change their approach to marketing and selfpromotion. Bands who spread their name through word of mouth and tangible marketing, such as handbills and fliers are few and far between. Sadly, most bands these days think marketing and promotion, means posting a couple bullitens on myspace a couple days before a show. In recent times, convetional wisdom has shown me that a band might have a shitload of "virtual" friends and fans, but it rarely translates into real ones. Who are some of your favorite local bands that you enjoy playing with or seeing? Pete: Black Breath is one of my new favorites along with The Spittin Cobras. We really love Zero Down, Hell's Belles, Witchburn, Ruby Doe, Dana's other band - The Jet City Fix, to name a few. I am sure the other guys have some more ideas. Jason: Also, All Bets On Death Dana: In addition to the fine bands Pete mentioned, I would add Zeke, 3 Inches Of Blood, Akimbo, These Arms Are Snakes, Heiress, Mos generator, Kandi Coded, Ladybird, Top Heavy Crush, Romance, The Triple Sixes and The Insurgence. Todd: I would add Bacchus, Book of Black Earth, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Beat Senseless, Drown Mary, Fistful of Britney. There's so much talent out there. What are PLASTER'S plans for this summer and for touring? Jason: Hopefully, we get to tour this summer and get some sunshine! Dana: Yes, I live for this shit. The worst day in the van, is better than the best day at work. Any last thoughts or shout outs? Pete: I am really glad we have a new president in office, but unfortunately it is overshadowed by the dire state of our economy right now. A lot of people are really hurting, so I really hope we can get it figured out soon. Dana: Jolene at KISW rules! She has championed our band and the entire local music community since day one, being on the job. This city and scene is lucky to have her and people need to know how much she rules. Todd: Support local music, buy our record! UNMASKED Are you feeling any pressure with this being your debut full length album, as far as sales go? Pete: No,we are just happy to have created an album together. It's just great to be able to give or sell a CD to anyone that wants one. Dana: We feel relief more than pressure. The album gives us a vehicle and platform to expand our reach as a band and tour. We now have something to rally around. It is amazing to me, all the accomplishments and support this band has received for years with nothing but a 7" single available, until now. We view the record as a big step in backing up all the support and justifying the hype and expectations of this band. What is your take of the Seattle music scene and how do you think your new record will be received? Pete: There seems to be a lot of cool heavy bands in Seattle, but it seems like it would be nice if more people were getting out and supporting them. The thing is, I can't really say shit because I stay home a lot myself. Jason: It sure seems hard rock is a hard sell in Seattle. It has changed alot. It is a trendy city and we are doing exactly opposite of whats popular. 15 Hank III | Michael Gira review by John Cole ver the past couple years, my infatuation with country music has grown. Having grown up in the south, this seemed to be a genre for inbred rednecks. Well the truth is, having spent around eight years of my life below the Mason-Dixie line, a little bit of that country is still in my veins. Well, not the incest part, but the six-pack swiggin', tobacco spittin', hollerin' at the moon part. Ya'll know what I'm saying? So when the news that the true son of Hank was coming to town reached me, a six-pack of PBR was cracked open and quickly drained. Yet not long after this, even greater news came to me: Michael Gira, responsible for the devastating music of Swans and the vile words in the Consumer, was also coming to town. Then came the devastating news, it was on the same night. Suddenly, the world crashed down around me. A semblance of bipolar disorder kicked in, wondering if this should be a night of revelry and partying, or woe and cathartic misery. Well somehow, it was a bit of both. It was also somewhat of a life lesson, as any great show is one where you later sit and reflect on revelations revealed afterwards. My cohorts and I arrived at the SoDo Market to find a bunch of frat boys and various delinquents out front hollering and smoking. For some reason, the partying mood had not set in by this time, so quickly my agitation grew. Maybe it was some primitive knowledge of a darkness that seemed evident to manifest later on in the evening. We passed and walked in on the middle of Those Poor Bastards' set, who were doing a whole lota cussin'. The mixed crowd of frat boys and crust punks was a sight to behold, for this was something I have never witnessed at a show before. Literally every type of person you can image was in attendance, and almost all were already drunk. The thing about drunk people is that they can usually be amusing if you are also drunk, which I unfortunately was not. When Hank III came on, this drunken crowd turned into a riot. Now I have heard of mosh pits at Lynyrd Skynyrd shows, but this was absolutely insane. Beers were being thrown into the air, and the whole crowd was screaming along to songs about popping pills and getting kicked out of bars. At one point even one of my dreads got ripped out, which kind of sucks but was well worth it. For the GG Allin tribute song Hank had his buddy, who is supposedly the singer to "Assjack", sing along. In true GG fashion, everyone's intentions in the front became pure and simple, destroy. As enjoyable as all this was though, the songs that really mattered to me were tracks such as "Whiskey", "Weed and Woman", and especially "Five Shots of Whiskey". Pure Country to me is solemn tunes reflecting the suffering of life, and that's what is so pure and just, real about it. Understandably, most people do not want this type of atmosphere at a show, yet my masochistic desires were begging for it. As Hank said, this was about having a good time, and forgetting all of life's nonsense. Yet this sadly was not enough for me, knowing that Gira was getting ready to go on stage not ten miles from me. Try as I might, what my heart yearned for was the true spirit of country, which is a malignant beast unafraid to expose your wounds and never let you run away. Even recalling this moment, a month and a half away at the point of writing this, fills me with this melancholic bliss. It was on the way that I realized how little running away does, which is essentially the point of going to something like Hank III and getting so wasted you forget about your problems. The thing about life is, you wake up the next day with a pounding hangover and your problem is still starring you right in the face, or sometimes that problem is lying right next to you in bed. For those who are not familiar with the violent yet quiet agony that is Michael Gira, he is infamous for creating Swans, a band who influenced millions yet never reached popularity. He also writes the most disturbing thoughts you could ever possibly read and conveys music that is so heavy with emotion and power it could bring any man to his knees, even in his 50s with just an acoustic guitar. His voice reverberates with dissonance, speaking Michael Gira performing from a heart that has never been afraid to express at The Doug Fir Lounge, the blackness within. Every word is said with such Portland, OR. March 03, conviction it is difficult to survive any of his art, and 2009. Photo by Howard this night was no exception. As my good friend said, Forbe this truly is Country, a man and his guitar, exposing his soul to the world. At one point my mind wandered to my place in the world, and how alone we all are. With some eerie clairvoyance to my thoughts, at this very moment, Gira sang "you are not alone". This is how powerful this man's work is, something beyond the normal human realm. This nebulous path is not for all, as most would rather take the pills that put a smile on your face and make you forget about the problems of now. Hank III shares that purer side found in Gira, but he focuses on the Punk aspect during his live sets instead of being a good ol' Country boy. Gira, though, is a pill that can be the worse trip you ever take, but also one where you realize that every bad trip exposes something good hidden deep within. It is your choice to swallow, but afterwards know that some pills may induce vomiting. O sponsored by The Seattle Sinner 16 myspace.com/seattlesinner P olly has been stripping her way through the Emerald City and beyond since late 2006. She presently dances with Sinner Saint Burlesque, but can also be seen on a semi-regular basis at the Seamonster, Burlesque Behind the Pink Door and Jet City Burlesque's benefit shows. She has also performed in Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann's "Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland", playing the Triple Door and at Nude Nite in Orlando, Florida. In 2008, Polly had the pleasure of performing at Tease-O-Rama in San Francisco, as well as modeling for an all-star session of Dr. Sketchy's at Exotic World 08. She also joined the cast of "The Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker" in a 14 show run at the Triple Door in December. And she was thrilled to have been a part of The Swedish Housewife's Led Zeppelin Rock-Lesque Extravaganza "House of Thee Unholy 2", which will be back for a 3rd run in September 2009! Stay tuned! Polly's also the shorter half of the duo "The Pervy Princesses" (their act is NOT sanctioned by Disney!), with the superpowered Rhinestone Housewife herself, Hottie McNaughty. These two have performed at the Seattle Erotic Arts festival, NorWesCon, Live Girls Cabaret, and many more! Polly got her start at Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque, but she's no stranger to the spotlight. She first stepped on stage as the Crocodile in Peter Pan, at the tender age of 6! When not being an ecdysiast, she's often treading the boards in Seattle's fringe theatre scene or being featured in an indie film. What a joy it was for her when she learned that she could combine her love of acting and dancing with her love of exhibitionism. Like the town of Tinsel she takes her name from, Polly has a little something for everyone, from chicken drumsticks to Irish dancing & Alfred Hitchcock to large puffy snowsuits! Polly delights audiences with her special brand of campy charm, and if you are lucky, b a r b e c u e sauce. Seattle`s Tinseled Tart is sure to have you seeing stars! www.theseattlesinner.com 17 (SEATTLE) CITY LIMITS DVD stocks an eclectic mix of independent films, festival favorites, foreign films and mainstream domestic releases, but our specialty is XXX, with an adult DVD showcase literally `bustin' at the seams'... and a staff ready to showcase for you the very best titles from the long history of adult films. Having enjoyed nearly two decades merchandising adult materials here in the Seattle area, store owner Keith Calandra sought a centrally located, progressive neighborhood with easy freeway access. The storefront on Westlake Ave North sits in the heart of Seattle's upscale South Lake Union district amidst burgeoning redevelopment. Embarking on its' fourth year of operations heralded by Calandra, 48, CITY LIMITS DVD continues to emphasize value for the adult consumer. Witness, as one example, the store's unique policy whereby VIP members not only save $2.00 on EVERY rental EVERY day, they also gain rental access to the store's entire inventory. Enjoying these privileges ensures VIP members that the hottest, latest new titles won't be excluded from rentals, EVER. And new stuff is added every week, now nearly 10,000 titles. The use of on-premises databases and reliable vendors backs up the staff commitment to finding otherwise impossible titles from among the untold thousands of XXX titles produced going back to the seminal days of adult content. Calandra also implemented extended rentals, where customers define at checkout the length of rental period and receive a price designed to minimize the potential impact of rental late fees. "Whether a guy comes in on a Monday night or Friday noon", Calandra explains, "he wants to snatch up some hot DVD to enjoy, whenever, so we developed a program where opting for a longer rental period can save our customers hundreds of dollars a year in frustrating late charges. No one likes to see their hard-earned money wasted. We decided working together with our customers rather than exploiting them pays dividends for all -- it's a win-win, clearly", he said. "Many of our customers opt for extended rentals at point of checkout, essentially buying insurance against late fees," Calandra said. "Simply put, becoming a VIP member pays off -- big time." Calandra has strongly-held convictions. "I'm committed to price and service," he says emphatically. "Check our prices. Our customers know we carry titles you simply won't find anywhere else in town. And to those who have never been in the store, come in or call me -- I make deals -- no bullshit. And unlike a dying breed of adult retailers that typically charge exorbitant prices, I don't exploit some perceived lack of information available to consumers. The internet demands the landscape of adult retailing evolve; you can't comfortably live in the past. We categorically refuse to abide by some bullshit lame-ass old-world business model." Calandra went further. "For some retailers, their merchandising is designed to suck money from the consumer, e.g. earlyevening rental due times and high-priced late charges. That's not us; we don't play games. Our rental films can be returned any time before we close, typically past midnight, and our liberal policies and common-sense business approach can `stop the bleeding' that occurs when good people get reamed by stores brutalizing them with ridiculous fees. "Bottom line," Calandra continued, "it was long overdue that adult consumers in Seattle enjoy a store where the staff is willing to play it straight and treat customers fairly. Duh!" That time has arrived, Calandra says, and this is the place. text by Robyn - photos by Lee Guthrie F or over 11 years Sakuracon has been coming to the Seattle area, offering a plethora of anime related activities, products, and culture that has catered to the many ardent fans of the genre. For the fans, this year's convention did not disappoint. Several thousand were in attendance at this years convention. Upon arrival, the most eyecatching aspect was the cosplay (a shortened version of "costume play," for the unititiated). Many fans were bedecked in costumes from a slew of various anime movies, serial titles, and popular video games. Most of the fans flocked to the dealers rooms, where a host of rarer anime, and asian cultural merchandise could be purchased. Yours truly even splurged on a pair of one of the many collections of popular catears sold by the vendors. The convention also included a number of panels, musical concerts, previews of anime, and live action movies along with gaming rooms for tabletop, exclusive japanese arcade games, performances by the Slants, Gurigamesh, and Smile.dk. Additionally, panels included (but were not limited to): The fine art of anime voice acting, advice for breaking into the Japanese music business, and creating one's own anime series. A Q&A with the Con's many musical and artistic contributors, an adult-oriented anime swimsuit contest, and various cultural activities such as the traditional Japanese tea ceremony were also featured. With a convention so jam-packed console games, karaoke, a with fan-friendly anime activity, masquerade ball, and an art gallery it was impossible to cover all of displaying artwork by a number the many events. Even myself, of talented anime artists.Concert not a professed fan of the genre, highlights included multiple had hours of fun previewing anime games, merchandise, movies, and music. In an upbeat atmosphere, with such a multitude of revelers, it was hard not to get caught up in it all. I hope to return next year for another sample of this unique experience. www.theseattlesinner.com 19 The Surly Gourmand 3650 Wallingford Ave N - 206-632-1000 Devouring Slices of Misery so You Don't Have To F or awhile I was getting High-End Italian Food Fatigue (HEIFF). HEIFF is characterized by a marked reluctance to pay $28 for a bowl of oxtail, aversion to the cloying taste of shitty balsamic vinegar, and an irrational hatred of Tuscany. Though if truth be told, I hated Tuscany BEFORE I got tired of Italian food. I once saw something on PBS where Lidia Bastianich described some part of Italy as being "Italy's other Tuscany." Really, Lidia? And do you think the people of that other region agree with that assessment? Because I doubt I'd be very popular with the people of South Dakota if I called it "America's other North Dakota." So why do we continue to glorify Tuscany? Tuscany sucks. The people who really like Tuscany also really like The Bridges of Madison County and anything made by Glade. Have I ever been there? No, but I've never been inside an elephant's vagina either, and I suspect that that location also sucks, though Tuscany probably has more wheat fields and less smelly mucus. Yeah, sure, the Renaissance started in Florence, but that was 600 years ago. What has Tuscany done for me lately, besides becoming a keyword for the kind of pretentious fucks who care how old their vinegar is? Needless to say, I approached Cantinetta with caution, since their website claims that they emphasize "Tuscan culinary traditions." Well fuck it, once more into the breach, I suppose. When we arrived, the place was fucking packed, and they DON'T TAKE RESERVATIONS. Actually they do, but only for parties of 6 or more. Since there aren't 5 other people in the world who can stand my presence, a reservation wasn't an option. Luckily we were able to be seated at the bar. We started with the grilled dates ($9). Three dates were wrapped in prosciutto and grilled. The prosciutto was crisp and smoky, and crackled when you bit into it, yielding to the chewy and sweet date flesh beneath. The menu claimed that the dates came with "red oak leaves," which turned out to be oak leaf lettuce and not actual oak leaves. I must admit that this was a relief, since I hadn't eaten REAL oak leaves since the time a 3rd grade bully tackled me on the playground and shoved some in my mouth. Yeah, that was a tough time last week. Luckily the red oak leaf lettuce was supple and buttery, and the whole thing was drizzled in a rich balsamic reduction. If the grilled date salad was Cantinetta's dark and smoky yin, then the arugula and muscat salad ($7.50) was its light tangy yang, only THIS tangy yang was much tastier than your mom's. We got a big pile of baby arugula, punctuated with green muscat grapes and salty dots of crumbled pecorino cheese. The muscats were pleasantly astringent flavor bombs which countered the sweetness of the vinaigrette that coated everything. Ozette potatoes ($7.50) were roasted in rosemary butter. The potato skins were crunchy and crusted in kosher salt, but the flesh of these fingerling potatoes was a little mealy. Still, the herbed butter was really intense, and coating something in butter usually solves all problems. Although that having been said, Arby's could coat EVERY ONE OF THEIR MENU ITEMS in 10 gallons of herbed butter and it would still just taste like buttery ass with herbs. Pappardelle Bolognese ($16) featured soft, wide pasta in a creamy bolognese sauce. The sauce has lots of meat, rich tomato flavor, and was spiked here and there with plenty of black pepper. Lots of parsley lightened up the whole thing. The risotto ($15), with hedgehog mushrooms and slivered onions, was perfectly composed, and as satin smooth as a Brazilian wax. Every grain of rice remained separate without clumping, and the risotto was creamy without being too gloppy. We had leftovers of the risotto, and I discovered that, again like a Brazilian wax, it was better the next day. Dessert was the chocolate ganache tart ($8.50) which had a crisp chocolate crumb crust, dark chocolate filling, and was topped with a dollop of chocolate mousse. This dessert was pretty faggy. Fortunately, $7 got you three bombolini, which are Italian doughnuts. The pastry was soft, dusted in sugar, obviously fried in scrupulously clean oil, and filled with a mascarpone cream. The mascarpone cream wasn't super sweet, and after Alfredo sauce and my own jizz, is one of the best tasting white liquids in the world. Cantinetta is an interesting place. While I'm clearly getting tired of Italian food, this place pulls it off with grace and style. It's not too stuck up, and not too expensive. It somehow threads the needle between the barely restrained Quixotic creative fury of Spinasse and the too- big- for- its- britches bullshittery of some dumbass place like Il Fornaio. AND it does all this while not falling into the trap of putting corny Italian crap on the walls, like a bust of the pope or one of Mussolini's eyeballs. If I was some douchebag of Italian heritage, which I am, I'd definitely go back. If ever there was an antidote to HEIFF, Cantinetta is it. Rating 8 figli di puttana out of 10 PS Arby's jokes are the new "your mom." 20 myspace.com/seattlesinner Campfire Tales their door, whether or not they be the intended victim, that a basin of blood would be thrown in their face. There was no escape from the hand of death if the Coach-a-bower and the Dullahan stopped outside your door, as they were the agents of death itself. It was claimed, however, that the Dullahan was scared of gold and would not go near a home where it was displayed (talk about your precious metals!). Now, whether or not the Irish peasantry was perhaps just hearing the echoes of real-life horses and carriages and believing those sounds to be just outside their door can only be a matter of historical debate, but what is true is that these people truly believed that such an innocuous sound was, in fact, a herald of certain death. A more widely known death omen from Irish (and also Scottish) folklore is that of the Banshee and her blood curdling wail, although few people outside of Ireland are familiar with the tale behind this frightening apparition. The Banshee, or bean s� in Gaelic, is said to be a member of the aos s�, a race of nature spirits worshipped in pre-Christian times in Ireland and Scotland; they would be somewhat akin to the English notion of fairies. Some believe that the Banshee is a sort of ancestral spirit connected in some way to some of the oldest families in Ireland as traditionally the banshee only wails for members of the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys and the Kavanaghs. And when she wails, her mournful cry is said to foreshadow a death in the family who hears her. The Banshee is said to appear dressed in flowing garments of white or grey and can appear as a young woman, a matronly lady, or an old crone which corresponds to the three aspects of the Triple Goddess found in early Celtic myth. In another guise, the banshee appears as a washerwoman washing the bloody clothes of those who will die. Tales surround the Banshee, of which I should make clear, there are generally thought to be more than one. The banshees are said to wail in numbers when someone truly important dies. And it is said that banshees will appear in human form as wise women to converse with nobility. A banshee is said to have visited King James of Scotland in 1437 to tell of him of his own impending murder by agents of the Earl of Atholl. Though the Banshee's cry is often said to be mournful and piercing (in Leinster county they say that it can shatter glass) the people of Kerry county say the banshee's cry is like a low and rather pleasant signing. Stories concerning the banshee abound in Ireland, as do the many conflicting descriptions: some say she is a nature spirit, others the ghost of a murdered woman, some say her cry is like that of an owl, others say it is like two boards being struck together, and so on and so forth. One thing's for sure though, despite this barrage of discrepancies, a lot of people believe that the banshee is a real as it gets. I've talked with a few people who claimed to have heard the banshee's cry. Not one of them was a stupid person, and not one of them was joking. The English have their own omen of death in their tales of the Black Shuck, a large black, demon dog said to roam the English coastline. Legend has it that those who see the Black Shuck will often fall ill or die soon after. On August 4th, 1577 the Black Shuck was said to burst through the doors of two separate churches in Suffolk on the same day during their services. In each instance the Black Shuck was said to have claimed the lives of two members of the congregation before exiting the churches and leaving scorch marks on the floor. As fantastical as these accounts might sound they were recorded as factual history by the people of that time. It is believed that the legends of The Black Shuck were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for his Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. Another omen of death found in many cultures is the notion of the doppelganger (originally German for "double-goer") or "Fetch" which is the ghostly double of someone who is still alive which appears to them or to their family and is typically thought to signify that person's death or grave misfortune. Several famous names throughout history have claimed to have born witness to their doppelgangers shortly before their deaths including the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, American President Abraham Lincoln, and German author and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Recent studies involving the left temporoparietal junction of the brain have shown that the awareness of another identical person can be "created" through written by Matthew Gorman Omens of Death a bad rap as precursors of death as well for various behaviors they may exhibit. The toppers for birds being death omens though include a bird flying in through an open window or down a chimney, a bird hovering over a house, and a bird tapping its beak against a windowpane. One population of people who actually still put faith in many of the bird omens as well as other signs that death is on it's way are those who make their home in the Appalachian mountains that run from Canada through the United States to the state of Alabama with a large concentration of said people in states like Kentucky. They tend to be a folksy bunch to put it kindly and their lose-knit culture is just steeped in superstition. The Appalachian peoples have so many death omens and rules for avoiding death that it's amazing that they even do anything at all. For example, a lot of these people believe that if you sleep out in the moonlight, you'll die. If you get your hair cut in March, you'll be dead before the year is out. If a salesman leaves his hat on a bed, he'll die. If you sweep under someone's bed while they're sick, they'll die. If you sing after you go to bed, someone will die. If a pregnant woman views a corpse, her baby will die. If a baby talks before it can walk, it will die. Are you starting to sense a pattern here? hroughout history mankind has searched the natural world and its myriad phenomenon for clues to its fate. Man has witnessed and interpreted what he considered to be signs in all of that which surrounded him. And whether these signs were simply superstition or genuine augury, the trappings of folklore or of destiny foretold, was (and perhaps, continues to be) the province of the skeptic or of the believer respectively. For those who did believe, however, these signs served as a powerful prophecy of things to come. Some were desirable and brought with them good fortune while others were more ominous and evoked terror in the hearts of men. And none, of course, was more terrifying than that particular harbinger of earthly doom, the death omen. Omens of death can be found in almost every culture spanning the globe and the ages, but one culture with a particularly abundant belief in such portents of death was that of the ancient Celts. The peasantry of Ireland in medieval times and beyond, for example, would be horror stricken to hear the sound of a carriage's wheels or of horses' hooves for this might signify the arrival of the Coach-a-bower, or Death Coach. The Coach-a-bower, sometimes referred to as the Coshta-bower, was said to be a ghostly black carriage pulled through the night by six black horses, although it was said that the coach could be only heard and never seen. When the sound of the coach and its horses were said to stop in front of a home, it was believed that a death would soon after befall a member of the family who dwelled within. A frightening creature called the Dullahan supposedly drove the Coach-a-bower. The Dullahan was said to carry his glowing head beneath his arm or atop a horse's saddlebow to guide his spectral coach through the Irish countryside at night. His disconnected head was said to be the color of moldy cheese and beset with a wicked grin and two beady, black eyes. I don't know how they could have determined this, however, if no one could ever see the damn thing! Other versions have the Devil, himself, as the operator of the Coach-a-bower. In some versions, if the sound of the coach simply stopped outside your door it only meant that a terrible sickness would come over the household, and it was only after the addition of hearing three raps upon the window that an actual death would occur. It was also claimed that if a person was to open their door after hearing the Coach-a-bower outside T the electrical stimulation of this part of the brain. This portion of our brain is believed to control our sensation of self-image, and in certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia this part of the brain might not be functioning properly, thus causing us to essentially see ourselves outside of ourselves. Does this go a long way towards explaining the phenomenon of doppelgangers? I'm not sure, let me ask my doppelganger. Birds, for some reason, also seem to be inextricably linked with the forecasting of death, with many cultures believing our feathery, little friends to be the messengers of the Grim Reaper. There are far too many superstitions concerning birds and death to list here but some of the most common ones involve owls and crows. For example, either one of these birds seen flapping against your window is thought by many cultures even to this day to be a sure sign that your number's up. Likewise, an owl seen in the day and hearing a crow cawing at night are also presages of one's imminent demise. Bitterns, cocks, cuckoos, doves, pigeons, eagles, larks, swallows, sparrows and whippoorwills all get They are also big on dream interpretation and see many omens of death in the content of dreams. For example, if you dream of a birth or of a marriage it is actually a sign of death. Conversely, if you dream of death it is a sign that there will be a birth or a marriage. I know, what? Also they say that if you dream of your teeth falling out it is a omen of death, but they also expand upon this to say that if you dream of one of your bottom teeth falling out someone younger than you in your family will die and if you dream of a top tooth falling out then someone older than you in your family will die. The list goes on and on, and I greatly encourage anyone who's interested to research the Appalachian beliefs concerning death and it's omens further but I think I've spent enough time on these hillbillies for now! Yes, omens are certainly powerful things for those who believe in them and just superstitious nonsense for those who do not, but I must say one thing that I know for sure is that all omens of death do, in fact, come true...eventually. Bitching with Buddha Lu c i fe r Dear Lord of Darkness, I need a job. I know this is a bad economy and all, but there must be something for a cute girl like me straight out of college? Sincerely, Will Do Anything For Work, Being cute is very useful but you need at least a skill these days, and the most useful of skills is the ability to lie. To get a job you have to be convincing that, say it's as a barrista, coffee makes your nipples erect, and that helping customers (ungrateful assholes they may be) is a passion of yours. You got some college so maybe you are trying for a better paying gig like working for a predatory money lender like a bank. You need to wear a nice suit type outfit that says "I love to shop" but not that you have a healthy and fulfilling sex life. You got to say how much you like to service your fellow man but what a kick it is screwing some old lady out of her life's savings. Your future earning potential is determined by your ability to hold your breath as you kiss ass, another very useful skill. Think how different the world would be if you made as much flipping burgers as you would driving this country's economy into the ground as an investment banker? You'd feel secure shooting the boss the finger for his reckless greed. You'd then head next door, put on an ugly brown uniform and start your new career in the fast food industry. Then when you get sick of that, you can call the boss a murderer for poisoning kids with food that's loaded with too much fat and salt, and move to your next career. Personally, if I were you, I'd find an honest job that doesn't kill people or harm the environment like maybe stripping or doing porno. Always a pleasure to help, Lucifer Dear Mr. Lucifer, I'm studying American Governmint for my Jr-high school class, and I don't get the difference between "Pork Barrel" projects and the "Economical Stimulus Package". Am I missing something or am I just stupid? Tomorows Leaders. Hi there TL, You're a bad speller but very insightful. The Economic Stimulus is little more than a series of Pork Barrel projects. "Pork" by any other name is just a way of bringing in money into your state and infusing it into the local economy. So construction workers who are paid for building new schools and libraries will spend their earnings on booze and hookers, and the hookers will spend their money on day care and rent, and on and on that cash will circulate in the local economy until every last bit of it is sent to the Arabs for gasoline and heating oil. It's important to keep in mind that it's only "Pork" if the money is spent on someone else's state. Keep those grades up, Lucifer. If you want to talk to God, see a psychiatrist, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To intercourse with the dark lord Lucifer, drink a bottle of Everclear, or email: email@example.com. 22 myspace.com/seattlesinner Yet another `imaginary conversation' with someone about my thoughts on our society's `last frontier' I'm saying to my cats � that way I can tell myself, that no, I'm not talking to myself � it's stupid for the television detectives to always assume the perp is a guy. On one show it turns out to be a Transsexual man, or really a man who morphs into a woman and kills straight men, and then stays a woman to protect his `other' male self. Yeah, it was better watching it than explaining it, even if yes, I hate that the whole Trans question is still mostly addressed by having a character either be some whacko killer, or be someone who ends up getting killed. Ah yes, the `last frontier', gender, and the last place most folks still feel comfortable unleashing their predjudice since it's no longer pc to spew over Black folks, Asians, women, or to some extent Gay people. I was trying to explain to a particularly girly client/friend of mine that calling me `lady' as a greeting as in `hi, lady', was no longer something I'm comfortable with, as I've recently started identifying more as a guy. A guy in a woman's body, but yes, a guy. The kind that, if I still drank, would probably crack open a cold one when I get home from lifting weights at the gym (don't drink, do lift weights), and watch some porno for a while, then some sports and then fall asleep in my chair. She, of course, being from a country where gender's fairly stratified (even more than this country), pretty much let it go over her head. Did I mention she looks like a kewpie doll and giggles a lot, and thinks men are another species than women, as in: `oh you know how men are'. Something I correct her about, but she keeps saying those kinds of things anyway. Like I said, the last frontier. The reason I think women are stupid � okay, not entirely, but in films Like the recent `Sin Nombre', where the girlfriend ends up getting killed by the lead member in a Mexican gang because she follows her gangmember boyfriend to their hideout � and men are cool. I'm a guy, after all, with boobs, and a nice ass, but a guy, nonetheless. Just so you know, reader, I'm working on this opinion. This is why I joined a Zumba class, where mostly women work out with a female instructor. I want to get back in touch with my female side. Really, don't laugh. After bringing my inner boy out and blowing up the closet he was in with two tons of C-4, teaching myself to kickbox, and working up from lifting 30 pounds of weight to 50. I needed to feel whole. That was why I found myself in a class of bimbos, er, women, trying to be more femmy. Eventually I just let myself be a guy trying to excercise like women who never consider that there's a guy inside them screaming to get out. After one class I had the `coming out' conversation with the insructor. She was very cool, and even though I have to remind her when a biological guy shows up and she says `we even have one guy in here today', that no, there's more than one. She laughs, I laugh, and the, er, women give me weird looks. Hey, I'm losing pounds, so I ignore them and Zumba with the best of them, like a guy. Unfortunately the experience with the other instructor, who usually teaches the femmy aerobic class, was not only a defining moment, but a bad one. I realize I've moved out of `show your pretty legs' territory and all of the gender crap that passes as information to women in our incredibly messed up society. So after hearing that phrase one time too many, and trying to work past how uncomfortable I was, I stormed out, and went to lift weights with the other guys. That's where I live these days, which trust me, is even weirder when I'm doing the horzontal tango with a biological guy. I've learned to not talk about the whole Trans thing, after a, now, former lover, let me know how This, I Shamelessly Tell You by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid uncomfortable the idea made him. Fortunately for me, I am one hot chick, or at least my body is, so getting natural born guys to `wrestle' with me � that's how I think of sex with men now, which is hella more fun than before � isn't that hard. I just think of myself as mirroring who they are (which is essentially what it's like for me, now, having sex with men), like getting to have the body I'd really like to have, vicariously. Being an energy vampire helps with that too, in a way. Now, if only I could get up the nerve to yell at parents who keep trying to keep their kids in one box or another, that it's okay to try on the other sex. `Cause trust me, gender isn't really as black and white as the screwed up media would have us believe. This, I shamelessly tell you. Geek Maggot Bingo By Myke Nobody Nick Zedd generally invents movies not like any other."Geek Maggot Bingo" is one that's a must watch for real independent film buffs, ones that love cinema with barely a budget. I'm not talking about indie-wannabe pictures that take gigantic amounts of millions to make, and have faggot Hollywood people like Susan Sarrandon, or Alec Baldwin in them. Nope, not movies that you'll see on IFC, fuckers. Fans of gay garbage like "Scream", "Scream 3", and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" will puke out their insides when seeing scenes from this one-of-a-kind horror flick. Idiots that think "Halloween" part 1,187 was amazing could never believe that shit like this could exist. "Geek Maggot Bingo" is also The Cramps' (R.I.P. Lux Interior) favorite movie of all time, and pretty fucking fucked up, and hilarious. Also, it's a great B-movie, authentically. When Doctor Frankenberry is fired from the lab by Dean Quagmire, the mad scientist continues his outrageous experiments on Suckweasel Mountain in his castle. A homeless, murdering fuck-up gets the job as the batty doctor's assistant. They work hard (like the good people that make Fluff) in the laboratory, trying to make the dead come back to life. Meanwhile, vampires raise hell. Please, turn off the Woody Allen bullshit and pleasure your lovely eyes via peeping Nick Zedd's brilliant masterpiece, "Geek Maggot Bingo". You won't regret it, I promise. If you're lame and my promise is broken, then fuck you! 23