Issue 7.80 September 2009
Jupiter Crash UNMASKED Healthcare In The US: Propaganda Rules The Debate!
Lucifer The Sinful Photography of
Tales of the Miscreant Monkey Crew
Fear & Publishing Hurdles & Girdles Independent publishing can be a venture that leads you down dark alleys, puke-splattered trails where twoheaded orges often hide in dumpsters and underneath dead bodies. If you happen to be the fool who stumbles this direction, you’ll have two options: run like Hell, or toss a head of cabbage at the beast and giggle. For some, independent publishing can be like living in some twisted Monkees’ episode from the ‘60s where only a head of cabbage and a giggle can save your ass. It’s a weird tale, but so is independent publishing. A hard lesson to learn is that an independent publisher can’t take too many things seriously, unlike humanity in general. Life’s full of hurdles from day one, breathing, walking, using the toilet, education, jobs, mere survival and eventually, death. Deciding to print an independent publication just intensifies the process, like running this rat race with shoes filled of broken glass and cinder blocks tied around your waist. Then again, that’s the way some of us like to run, weighed down and ass deep in pain. Pain is another hurdle in life, whether it be physical, mental or financial. In the past I’ve mentioned the pain of dealing with flag waving conservatives who too often attack what we do here, this mere forum of free speech they so seem to despise. It bothers me so because their approach is to destroy, not change. This is a forum, where they have a spot here if they so choose to voice what’s wrong with The Sinner or a progressive nation they so fear America may be on the path to becoming. So what gives? I have also warned of financial hurdles over the past six months; some expected, some not. Picking up advertising is tough for an independent publication for numerous reasons, regardless if the economy is sound or a democrat sits in the White House. It’s the livelihood of any independent publication. Our target is often small businesses, who usually survive on a limited budget too. The problem is that too many moms and pops are snagged by the trick of the trade taught in marketing classes, the idea that the masses will come from far away if they see the ad. The fine print is it will cost a bit more and might take a while before you feel the results – if ever. The real tragedy is that the cost to reach Joe Dipshit in Bumfuck Washington is passed to you, the consumer and neighbor. Advertising works and it is necessary, but it’s just as effective when you reach a concentrated demographic than an inflated one. But that’s a hard sell when all the mom and pop sees is a slick media kit and a thick corporate newspaper – for too many size does matter. Of course, a few months ago we faced another financial hurdle when some bastard raised the height a couple of feet on us and turned out the lights. Yes, we stumbled a bit. You can never expect some type of theft/fraud from your banking system or postal service, a mystery that our fraud department is still working on two months later. For any small business, loosing a couple grand can be as fatal as meeting a two-headed orge in a dark alley and not knowing to throw a head of cabbage and giggle. Luckily for us, we own The Monkees’ DVD collection and travel with cabbage and laughter. Independent publishing never gets easier and the hurdles never end. And every once in awhile you find one set a few feet higher, like we did a few months back. And when you stumble it’s easy to trip over the next one. For us it was the relationship hurdle. The wife and I have been doing this gig for almost seven years now, working side-by-side for the life experience mostly, but also as a way of getting involved and supporting our community, or communities now that we do The Sinner in two cities. And like life in general, nothing’s ever perfect, so problems will arise and must be faced. But last month after loosing our deposit and feeling the heat of Hell and failure, I fell down and hit my head hard enough to see the bigger picture, that you can’t take too much of this race too seriously – and that includes
relationships. Instead of blowing up and stomping feet in useless argument, I decided to sit down, smile and appreciate the bigger picture. Life is full of hurdles, but who says you can’t run around them or through them from time to time? The only exception might be the last one at the finish line, Death. You would think that jumping hurdles would make you a lean, mean, publishing machine, but it doesn’t work that way. Instead, the faster you run from bar and restaurant to sell ads, and from venue to venue to cover local bands, the more booze and food you consume. The only physical hurdle you’re left with is the chair in front of your desk and the bed, neither much of a physical challenge. The pounds will come, so invest in a girdle, or better yet make your own line around your publication. I can see it now, Sinful Girdles for the glutton in all of us. Well, maybe not. As a forum, a true forum of the people, the most difficult hurdle to run past or through is the critique of the grammar snob. In Seattle since The Post Intelligence has went to an online-only status, the critics have fired upon this ship as if it were transporting yellow cake uranium to North Korea. I witness typos regularly in AP articles on Yahoo, but no one’s kicking them in the nuts. That’s just the way these overeducated nitwits behave when they see a giant stumble, firing their intellectual cannon balls until the beast cries for mercy. And they love to fire upon independent publications, too. The thought of tearing another’s voice apart, piece by piece till there’s nothing left, not even the wish to speak again, must make them creme in their pants while they sit in their circles with tea and cracker in hand. I’ve dealt with these bastards in Seattle numerous times, even from other independent publications. Some like to argue that the semicolon isn’t made for newspaper articles but for directions on the back of Hamburger Helper, or that an apostrophe goes in 1960s and after Starbucks, or that this sentence has already ran on, etc., etc., etc. Two hundred years ago it was unacceptable to use the apostrophe to create a conjunction, so whatever. Get a fucking life, nitwit! Go protest abortion or abortion protesters. Something useful. So be prepared for many hurdles if you decide to jump on this track, but know that more than likely you’ll be running with a handicap. You won’t have the luxury of a fact checker and proof reader to run out and hand you water between hurdles. And there certainly won’t be anyone on your team up ahead warning of two-headed orges waiting to leap from the shadows and tear you limb from limb, so be sure to bring plenty of cabbage and a hearty giggle. I promise you will need it one day on this rat race to nowhere. And that, my dear reader, is another tale of fear and publishing in two cities...
Forums & Foes
News, Rants & Politics
2. Fear and Publishing 3. Truth Between the Sheets
4. A Fairy Tale
5. Weapons of Mass Distraction 6. Piper’s Pit 7. To The Moon and Beyond, Maybe
Music, Film, Art & Entertainment 10. Femme Fatale 12. Jupiter Crash poster 13. Thou Shalt Not Miss 14. Mercury-Threat
15. Jupiter Crash Unmasked 18. Tales of the Miscreant Monkey Crew 19. The Sinful Art of Erik Christensen
Religion, Sex, & Other Sinner Shit 8. The Vice is Right 9. A Stoner’s Perspective 11. Huggy Talk 16. Campfire Tales
17. Bitchin’ With Lucifer 20. The Swingside Cafe 21. The Surley Gourmand 23. Dr. Dick’s Sex Advice 23. This I Shamelessly Tell You
Publisher: Chuck Foster Layout: Terri Daniels & Danielle Correll Managing Editor: Brook Hatch Sales: Guitar Doug Cover & toc Art : Erik Christensen Writers, Ranters, Opinionists & Other All-Out Freaks: Matthew Robert Goad’X Mark Taylor-Canfield Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid The Surly Gourmand Paul Blow Matthew Gorman Buddha Lucifer Saab Lofton Richard Art Guitar Doug Henry Nicolle John Cole Dr. Dick Jeff Diggs Fish Joshua Merritt Matt the Photographer Jason Andrew Keith Calandra Ron Placone
The Sinner is a group of contributing writers. Their opinions, rants and ideas do not necessarily reflect the views of The Sinner itself. The Sinner encourages contributions from its readers but retains the right to edit material due to content or length of submission. For advertising or submission information, contact us at email@example.com. Submission deadline is the 25th of every month.
written by Joshua Merritt
Separtment of Defence
Truth between the Sheets
s this past month has come to a hectic end, the realization of my looming deployment is starting to set in. My trip to Iraq in 2005 through 2006 was a lot easier than compared to this one. Now I have a family that cares and 3 children; an infant, a 13-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. One of my friends, a medic, was sent home at the end of August from an IED blast after less than a month of being over there. The only thing that makes me want to go and do the job that I have volunteered for is to make sure my friends that I have trained with for the past two years come home to their families. For all of those people out there who detest what us in the military do or what we stand for, I invite you to talk to one of us – you might be surprised. When I returned from Iraq after a year of doing what seemed to be small and unimportant, I was surprised to receive a standing ovation at the airport in Dallas, Texas. Granted, Texas being my home state, I know how everyone there feels about military members and our jobs overseas. However, to myself, my job was insignificant. Imagine, if you will, being in a foreign country where there is an enemy who looks like everyone else around you. His only mission is to kill any American and make enough money to feed his family. Sometimes it isn’t even the enemy who attacks, just an Iraqi in need of money to purchase food or clothes. Imagine sitting in a truck all night driving down a road that even at 1am is still 110 degrees with no humidity, where the heat is like a blow dryer in your face. There is sand everywhere and gets in everything and you can no longer stay clean no matter how many times you shower. You’re with guys ranging anywhere from 18-years-old to guys in their 40s looking to retire soon. You’re driving down a road for 8 to 10 hours a night, possibly longer, with 2 other guys in a convoy of 34 to 36 trucks and having conversations for a year with 24 other military members. The things you talk about to kill the boredom are horrendous, everything from what you miss back home to women and rants about the government and science. After a year of worrying if every piece of trash on the side of the road could have a bomb in it, you come home and instinctively swerve around every piece of trash on the road and stare at the overpasses on the highway still thinking there might be a guy up there wanting to kill you. A tire popping on the highway or a backfire can cause you to momentarily return to a moment when you took gunfire or when an IED went off and you had to watch a buddy get hurt. After a year of all of this, you complete your tour and return home, only to be placed in a new unit with all new faces where you train for your next deployment and get ready to leave your comfort zone to go fight for freedoms that you defend with your life even when there are fellow countrymen who mock what you do. I have no quandary with them but I do get hurt when I look at pictures that I have where I am the only one left alive in the picture. The lives of my buddies who were lost for what someone else believed was a worthy cause to politicians and those in power have that blood on their hands every day to deal with, yet there are those who blame us, the soldiers. Now imagine this: you and your best friend that you have known for a long time are out one day, getting to know people in a distant country that you have never been to but are obligated to meet and learn their ways and culture. Then as your walking down a road, what if you looked over just in time to see him or her get a bullet between the eyes, or even worse, watch them turn to vapor from a road side bomb? Now tell me you wouldn’t want to make someone within eye range pay for your friend’s death. Tell me you wouldn’t feel anger and hatred for every person you see in that country after that. SPC. Gunney
photo by Staff Sgt. Sean A. Foley
Essay by Henry Nicolle “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!” A lovely aphorism. Here’s another: “Every great plan contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.”
o a couple friends and I began a management company for craftsmen and professionals. Among the things we do are to manage accounts, collect payments and pay bills. In the process of supporting one of our clients, it was necessary for our convenience to change the mailing address of one of his telephone accounts to comply with the United States Postal Service’s demand that our mailing address at our company P.O. Box not include our client’s names, unless we intended to have general mail for our clients to arrive at our company address. Fine! No problem. That is, no problem except with our mobile telephone provider, who advised us bluntly and with a smirk, “No! That is not our policy.” I won’t explain in detail what followed, because we have all been there before. After two hours on the phone, two trips to the telephone retail store by an officer of our company and the manager of our operation, (which consumed an hour and a half on one trip, and over two hours on the second trip), we appear to have resolved the problem. Resolution was not as we proposed, not by changing the billing address (too simple) but by yielding to telephone company management policy and converting the account from our client to our company. Nothing less would suffice, according to our client’s mobile telephone provider. During the dull hours standing at the counter of our mobile telephone provider, watching the clerk waiting for another department to answer the phone and watching the bureaucratic process progress on his monitor, I began idle thoughts. “This is how institutional things die.”, I thought, “By the dull blades of bureaucratic fiat in the hands of obedient, remorseless morons.” We were surrounded by the finest examples of innovation, brilliant research and incomparable engineering and manufacturing achievement. Our globe is filled with technology and magic which excels at communicating love, sorrow, faith, fun and fantasy to anyone, anywhere in an instant. “Hi Mom! How’s the weather in Boston?” “Whassup kid? Fine weather here. Howzzit going with your new IT job in Cairo?” All brought to us by morons at Corporate and brainless robots at the local (mandatory) corporate store. Lily Tomlin’s c h a r a c t e r was smugly correct. “We’re the telephone company.” Every experience I have had reflects that inevitable blank expression in the eyes and conduct of “the telephone company” when pressed to answer a “Yes or No” inquiry. But, wait! That’s not the only place we find
morons and as my idle thoughts continued, it occurred to me that this conduct is an essential part of evolutionary corporatism. Artificial entities excel in extreme amplification of individual characteristics and conduct. Everything it seems, has a beginning, a middle and an end. The telephone company I have targeted with my observations shares inherent structural defects with a bank which shares a name and a government and society, which also bears the same appellation. Take a company at the start. It begins as an idea for a product or service or ambition and progresses to some form of legal entity. The company is filled with energy, activity, adventure, risk and prospects. As the company gets established and moves its product or services to market, it is dynamic, responsive and respectful of its customers and their opinions by both management and store personnel. They are careful too, of the quality and evolution of its products, services and their shared idea. It grows to maturity, overcoming risk and becoming successful. At some moment, the original entrepreneurial environment evaporates and growth generation management greedily exploits the vision and success of the founders. Expenses are cut, products are made flashier but cheaper and the customer base is taken for granted. Everything is at prime. Competition builds and operations are optimized and made more cost-effective. Bonus-driven management completes the cycle by implementing the greed-driven policies and practices of corporate success ensuring the suicidal avalanche of degraded customer respect, declining product quality and ultimately, institutional demise by natural decay. W e see this cycle repeated endlessly in the evolutions of our of large corporations, financial institutions, academic institutions, religions and professions. All too often, we find ourselves snared and dragged into the dark and deep against our will by the dying Leviathans we have allowed to evolve in our presence. There is another option. Use your own good sense and don’t play the games of “Everybody knows”, “You’ve got to go along to get along” and “Don’t leave any money on the table”. Those are monkey-traps, set for the unthinking and greedy who think they can out-joke the joker. Be aware and smart!
Healthcare in the US: Propaganda Rules The Debate!
ow do you “swift boat” a US president who is trying to expand access to medical care for the country’s citizens? Answer: undermine the national debate on the issue with irrational paranoid warnings about “socialism”. The reactionaries have been very busy pushing this line in the national media. Once again, the powers that be are using fear as a political organizing tactic. Huge medical corporations and pharmaceutical companies, along with their neo-con and fundamentalist Christian friends, are derailing health care reform for financial and political purposes. It’s just that simple. Here’s a quote from an article about the funding of these organizations written by journalist Margaret Talev, published August 17th in The Seattle Times: “Much of the money and strategy behind the socalled ‘grass-roots’ groups organizing opposition to the Democrats’ health care plans comes from conservative political consultants, professional organizers and millionaires who hold financial stakes in the outcome.” One of the largest lobbying groups - Conservatives For Patient’s Rights - is led by a medical industry entrepreneur named Rick Scott. Scott was CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospitals until he left during a federal investigation into Medicare fraud. The corporation paid a $1.7 billion historic settlement as a result. Rick Scott was never prosecuted. In fact, he was awarded a very generous “golden parachute” after he left the company. Two other powerful anti-reform groups, Patients First and Patients United were actually created by a larger organization called Americans For Prosperity. AFP was formed by billionaire David Koch. Through their corporation Koch Industries, the oil rich Koch family has become one of the nation’s largest contributors to conservative political causes. AFP’s president, Tim Phillips, is a former Republican congressional staffer and political operative who helped Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed set up a consulting firm. The firm, Century Strategies, was formed to build Christian support for various business interests and their political causes. One of their clients was the notorious neo-con lobbyist Jack Abramoff who was convicted on corruption charges and is now serving a long prison sentence. The arguments these groups are using often sound just like classic Cold War propaganda. A revamped kind of McCarthy-style Red Scare has been their latest strategy. Hordes of antireformists have been gathering across the nation to challenge any attempts at establishing universal health care. The funding sources behind many of the most effective organized opposition groups is largely unknown to the general public, thanks largely to an ill-informed and irresponsible corporate media that refuses to look below the surface and take a critical look at the current political debate. It is truly amazing to realize that these forces have once again accomplished the task of all oppressors. They have convinced much of the population to fear and to resist social reforms designed to enhance the quality of their own lives. Miraculously, they have succeeded in deceiving the masses by claiming that increasing the average person’s access to medical services is actually a bad thing.
It’s absolutely mind-blowing to think that we live in a nation where folks can be so easily misled, especially on such a vital public issue. The corporate propaganda machines are working overtime to provide enough lies to sink any attempts at providing universal health care for the populace. This debate, which should have been decided fifty years ago, is still being sabotaged by corporate interests who are making massive profits off of the current broken system. I present, as exhibit number one, a shocking conversation I had with a physician in Seattle who graduated from Columbia University medical school. While my usual primary care physician was out of the country giving a lecture on new medical research in Europe, I had to go to another doctor who was filling in. After a routine exam, he began a political tirade after asking me what I thought of Barack Obama’s health care proposals. Actually, he wasn’t interested in my answer, he just wanted to state his own opinions. Since
I hadn’t come to the medical clinic to seek a lecture about national health care legislation, I considered his disputation to be quite unprofessional and extremely annoying. The good doctor went on at length about his dislike of any publicly subsidized proposals to create universal health care coverage in the United States . He said, “I don’t want to provide medical care to poor people. My family spent a lot of money to send me to medical school. I deserve to make as much as I can. Obama’s plan would force me to accept patients who would have government sponsored medical insurance that pays me less than private insurance companies. I don’t like it. The damn thing needs to be stopped before we turn into a socialist country like Cuba .” I was shocked, to say the least. Here was a prime example of one of the problems with the US health care system – a greedy capitalist physician with no sympathy for those less fortunate than himself,
including people who were not born into a wealthy upstate New York family. I kept wondering if he had forgotten the Hippocratic Oath. Or had he taken the Hypocritical Oath instead? Aren’t doctors sworn to alleviate the suffering of people no matter who they are? Unfortunately, old sawbones went on and on, deriding any kind of national health care reform proposals. ”That’s why I refuse to accept any patients on Medicaid or Medicare,” he said. “People who need welfare are usually stupid or morally weak. Why should I have to work with them? I make more money dealing with well-to-do clients. That’s my choice. I don’t really care what happens to people who can’t afford health care insurance. That’s not my problem. Most of them could go out and get a decent job if they wanted to. They know they will never get good medical care with government funded health insurance.” The doctor at this metropolitan medical establishment reeked of arrogance, bigotry and prejudice. I really couldn’t believe my ears because I knew for certain that I wasn’t paying him to deliver caustic diatribes about national politics. All of this seemed highly unethical. Later I filed a complaint about him with the clinic and the American Medical Association. Since I suspect many of the administrators at the AMA are actually in agreement with many of the doctor’s positions on health care, I doubt they will ever respond to my complaint. Finally, after listening to his endlessly vapid comments and crass arguments against reforms, I could take it no longer. I couldn’t hold my tongue. I said I was in favor of universal health care for everyone in the US . I pointed out that the United States currently ranks 36th among the world’s nations in terms of medical care, just behind Costa Rica . I talked about our country’s high infant mortality rate and unhealthy nutrition standards. I also mentioned the fact that universal health care is available in nations in Northern Europe and that those nations have a higher standard of living than the United States . Finally, I told him that his elitist aristocratic attitude is part of the reason why the US medical industry is developing such a foul reputation. At this point the doctor became very agitated and his face turned red with anger. I thought he might have to monitor his own high blood pressure. Then the conversation turned even more bizarre. When he found out I was an independent journalist he told me, in a very condescending tone, “You know, you should get a real job. Working at Dick’s Drive In would be more honest employment. Flipping burgers would be a better job and they give you pretty decent medical insurance.” Now, not only was I being derided for my political views, I was also being given career advice from an MD - very strange indeed. Of course, I realized he was being extremely facetious in his comments about my journalism. So I told him that my job was to “afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted”. He didn’t
written by Mark Taylor-Canfield seem to understand that reference. Then I quoted some news stories that KBCS had broadcast about the current state of US health care. One of the stories involved a US reporter who was injured in a bicycle accident in Germany . The German doctors performed a complicated high tech hip surgery on him and charged him 7,000 Euros. When the man returned to the US he was ordered by his American physician to report to the local hospital for x-rays. The US doctors later declared that the German surgeons had done an expert job repairing his hip. When the man received a bill for the tests and x-rays at the US hospital, he was charged over $4,000. Another example of counter propaganda is the story I told him about my Canadian friend whose father had to spend weeks in the hospital before his untimely death several years ago. Despite the best medical treatment, including 24 hours a day nursing care, the family did not have to pay any medical bills. Similar circumstances in the US have often led to bankruptcy, foreclosures on family homes and total financial ruin for those who can’t afford that kind of intensive medical treatment. By the time I had finished my impassioned ad hoc expose’ on US health care reform, the good doctor was absolutely furious. He told me that my views were “typical liberal misconceptions” concerning health care legislation. He claimed that the Canadian health care model was “inefficient and dangerous.” I asked him to back up his claims with some documentation but he refused to discuss the matter any further. He quickly wrote me a prescription for some pharmaceutical drug that I didn’t want and waved me off like I was some poor ignorant child. He told me he did not want to see me again, that I should seek out another doctor. I said I would prefer another physician. After that discouraging encounter, I wrote a letter to the Obama health care team outlining my own personal experiences. The Obama administration decided to post my letter on their website. They asked me to meet with my congressional representatives, letter in hand, to discuss my views about legislative reform measures to revamp the US health care system. Actually, I am very disappointed that President Barack Obama has already made so many deals with the pharmaceutical lobbyists and other powerful corporate interests who are opposed to universal health care. We all remember how the Clinton plan was destroyed by the use of false propaganda and threats of imminent disaster. It remains to be seen just how much reform is actually possible at this point, given the vast resources of the anti-reform lobbying groups and the tight control they exercise over their puppets in the US Congress. The shame of it all is that poor folks are still being denied medical treatment and middle class families continue to declare bankruptcy, losing their homes due to the high cost of medical care in the US. Some kind of solution must be found despite the well-funded efforts of corporate lobbyists to obstruct the process. As usual, their main goal is to keep the populace confused, afraid and divided. It’s time for the country to challenge these lies and see the lobbyists for what they are- crass liars who will say anything in an attempt to block the promise of any real health care reform. We have a long way to go before we can claim to be truly proud of the way we take care of our people in this country. The people need to win this one. We need a victory over the selfish self-interest and outright greed that was displayed by the doctor I had to deal with that day. He may have the right, according to the law, to deny medical care to the poor, but is it really ethical and in accordance with the Hippocratic Oath which states “Do no harm”? Hopefully, it will not be left to the corporate medical industry lobbyists to decide this question.
by Saab Lofton
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN FICTION “White fear is profitable. Bond issues for prison construction managed by major investment banks are more profitable than school construction bonds for improving the decrepit, crowded public schools like Taft High School in the Bronx. The prison construction bonds also depend heavily on a steady flow of young, brown bodies of former students of de-funded schools, as do the crowded barracks in Iraq’s deserts.” – Roberto Lovato of the Pacific News Service, May 18th, 2004 “Over the past 20 years California has built 23 new prisons and only one new university.” – Workers World, May 22nd, 2003 “The idea that we’re just gonna keep incarcerating, keep incarcerating, pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison, or dead.” – John Edwards, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate.
Maybe if I was as famous as Hanna Montana I wouldn’t have to be so damn redundant, but we the people are long overdue for an eco-friendly version of FDR’s New Deal; pay the poor to save the world. Given the sorry-ass state the environment’s in, there are more than enough jobs for everyone, from so-called illegal immigrants (Superman is the only “illegal alien” I know) to ghetto gangstas to trailer trash. Now, how can America afford a LIVING wage for all these people to build windmills, grow industrial hemp and install solar power panels? Tax the rich and cut the military budget, of course. Aside from the irrational, libertarian fear that Patrick Swayze’s 1984 movie Red Dawn will literally come to pass if the rich are taxed and the military budget is cut, there’s still this “profitable” fear all too many whites have that Roberto Lovato wrote about. It basically equates brown-skinned men with The Boogeyman (watch the Oscarwinning documentary “Bowling for Columbine” for details). I’m an impoverished storyteller, therefore, I can only do so much to combat white fear, but there is an opportunity for storytelling to do its part: Quite simply, guarantee The Rock is cast as Captain Marvel in the upcoming Shazam movie. Captain Marvel is a superhero that a homeless orphan named Billy Batson would transform into whenever the magic word “Shazam” was said out loud by him. Shazam is the name of the wizard who empowered Batson and it’s also an anagram for: Solomon (wisdom), Hercules (strength), Atlas (stamina), Zeus (power), Achilles (courage), Mercury (speed). A prowrestling champion who later became a movie star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be perfect as Captain Marvel. Though the character was initially patterned after actor Fred MacMurray, its artist C.C. Beck (a man I was pen pals with for years) subsequently gave the captain afro centric features (take a good look at the way Beck drew the hair and lips). Plus, the wizard Shazam was always depicted as being from ancient Egypt, and since Cleopatra looked like Dorothy Dandridge, NOT Elizabeth Taylor, casting The Rock (and James Earl Jones as Shazam) would make all the sense in the world.
As Jill Nelson put it so well in an issue of Star Trek Communicator, “Who better to lead us into the future than a black male, someone whose existence and survival in the present frequently seems so precarious?” Granted, she was talking about another fictional captain, Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space Nine. Unfortunately, there’s talk of casting some white guy as Captain Marvel and casting The Rock as an equally powerful character named (of all things) Black Adam instead. This might seem like progress but it’s not. Casting Halle Berry as Catwoman and Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin from Daredevil may have seemed progressive as well, but guess what Black Adam, Catwoman and The Kingpin all have in common? They’re villains! Just like those blacks whites see on the six o’clock news every night (again, see “Bowling for Columbine”)! Independent publisher Alonzo Washington said it best at a comic convention: “The image of a superhero is one of perfection and morality. For years the mainstream media has always force fed the American public with the most negative and immoral images of black people (murderers, gang bangers, thugs, pimps, video tramps, whores, rapists, gangsta rappers, criminals, etc.). Therefore, the concept of a black superhero is almost a joke in the minds of most white people.” And if the concept is a joke then so too is the concept of a black man being anything other than a clown to be dismissed or a beast to be destroyed. Hence the prisonindustrial complex. However, if The Rock is seen by millions AND MILLIONS as Captain Marvel, two things might happen: One, young blacks tempted by gangs could decide to emulate t h e character’s Golden Age sense of fair play (as I did in my youth). Tw o , whites of all ages may see a person of color (The Rock’s mother is Samoan and his father is African-American) as someone to trust, not fear. Again, as Alonzo Washington pointed out, “the image of a superhero is one of perfection and morality,” and it’s about bloody time white America thought of a tan/brown man as perfect and moral for a change! Lives hang in the balance here!
by Jeff Diggs
n the 40th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon, much speculation surrounds the validity of whether any human has walked on the moon and returned to earth. It’s important to understand the political climate of the 1960s. The United States and the Soviet Union where at the height of the Cold War. The Soviets had achieved the first satellite in orbit, the first man in space, and the first unmanned probe landing on the moon. The United States was years behind the Soviet’s space program. President Kennedy issued a challenge in 1962 to NASA to land a man safely on the moon and bring him back before the end of the decade. Miraculously, NASA succeeded in only 7 years with developing a space flight program, putting a man in space, and sending astronauts to the moon and back by July 1969. Or, did NASA fake the lunar missions? There are several good reasons to fake the lunar missions. The Civil Rights Movement was changing the American landscape with equality and integration. The Vietnam War was dragging on with no clear end in sight. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought fears of nuclear annihilation to the front door step of every American home. The assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. crippled the American spirit. The country’s moral was low and the American people needed something to make them feel proud. NASA could easily fabricate the lunar landings to trump their Soviet rivals and fulfill President Kennedy's goal of sending humans safely to and from the moon by the end of the 1960s. A 1999 Gallup Poll found that 11% of Americans believe that the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked. 25% of British magazine readers of Engineering & Technology said they do not believe humans have landed on the moon. Doubters point to examples in photographs that were eligibly taken on the moon. Many photos are clearly missing cross hair markers from the camera lens which immediately suggests that the images have been touched up and altered. Photo lighting and shadows are inconsistent with a single light source, the sun. Images from inside the Apollo crafts always have blocked out windows and never show the earth in a distant view. Video footage eligibly taken on the moon shows the exact same stage set used in different Apollo missions. The background hills and rocky landscape are identical with the same camera location. All Apollo missions supposedly landed in very different places on the moon. NASA later claimed the film footage was mislabeled but the astronauts in the
No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes. - The World According to Malice
footage are clearly from different missions. The American flag placed on the moon can be seen waving in the wind even though there is no atmosphere on the moon and wind does not exist. The Apollo lunar crafts generated flames from the engine when blasting off. Fire and flames can not be possible in an lunar atmosphere that does not contain oxygen. The Apollo crafts would have to travel through the deadly Van Allen radiation belts that surround the earth. The astronauts would have been exposed to a lethal dose of radiation and died within weeks of returning to earth. Moon mission doubters believe the lunar landings where filmed on stage sets or possibly in a remote desert location. According to NASA, there have only been 12 people to walk on the moon and another 12 people who flew to the moon but did not land. All 24 people are from the United States. Believers of the moon landing hoax want to know why the Soviet Union never landed a man on the moon. The Soviets dominated the space race but fell short of equaling American achievements. Did the Soviets realize that in the 1960s the technology of the time was not advanced enough to send a manned mission to the moon? The technology used in the Apollo missions to the moon is equivalent to the same technology in a wrist watch. A cell phone is a 1000 times more advanced than the Apollo lunar module. The technology simply wasn’t there in 1969 to safely transport 24 people to and from the moon. Doubters of a manned moon landing have asked NASA for one simple piece of proof to validate that humans really were on the moon. Point your telescope at the moon and take a photo of the moon landing sites. We have satellites that can read the serial number on a dollar bill on earth so surely we can take a picture of a lunar landing site. NASA has yet to comply. The last manned mission to the moon was in 1972. Congress has recently spurred interest in returning to the moon 37 years later. NASA says it needs time to create a space craft to travel to the moon and back but shouldn’t NASA already have space craft for manned moon missions? NASA claims to have visited the moon several times. So what’s the hold up? Could it be that NASA still needs to develop the technology for humans to travel to the moon and back safely?
The Vice is Right
round a month ago I really freaked a friend of mine out when I called her at three in the morning wasted drunk to inform her answering machine that I had just taken some Phenobarbital with copious amounts of alcohol and was wondering if I had perhaps made a rather grievous error. I told her I was afraid I might not wake up. No, it wasn’t a pathetic cry for help or a suicide attempt. It was just the result of poor decision making whilst intoxicated and attempting to combat my chronic insomnia. A total asshole move on my part, I know. But I obviously made it through the night with out dying from an overdose and, I must tell ya, I slept like a baby. A drunken, barbiturate-filled baby. Yes, that wonderful barbiturate, Phenobarbital is this month’s vice, and one that I liken to the Glenn Miller Orchestra of drugs, in that it is both a classic and yet still culturally relative today. First synthesized by German chemist Emil Fischer in 1904, Phenobarbital was designed for use as a sedative and hypnotic drug. Its anticonvulsant properties (the drug is employed primarily today for the treatment of seizures and epilepsy in humans as well for as dogs and cats in the veterinary sciences) were not discovered until 1912 by a doctor named Alfred Hauptmann while administering the drug as a tranquilizer to his epileptic patients. It was this same year that Phenobarbital was originally marketed under the brand name Luminal by the
drug company Bayer. Phenobarbital can be administered in several different forms including tablets of 15, 30, 60, and 100 mg dose sizes, as an oral solution which is generally 3mg per milliliter in strength, and finally as an injectable solution of Phenobarbital sodium which is typically 200mg per milliliter. The typical dose size for an epileptic patient is anywhere from 60-320mg per day depending upon the severity of their condition. However, because of its extremely long half-life the drug oftentimes need not be administered every day as concentrations of the drug remain in the body for some time. When still used as a hypnotic or sedative (although use of Phenobarbital for such purposes has fallen by the wayside since the introduction
written by Matthew Gorman
of benzodiazepines in the 1950’s) the generally administered is around 30-120mg per day. There is a high potential for lethal overdose when the drug is abused at higher than recommended dose levels and especially when it is combined with alcohol or other drugs. Overdosing on Phenobarbital leads to a severe depression of the body’s central nervous system and peripheral nervous system and can lead to such life threatening conditions as pulmonary edema and complete renal failure, the former easily leading to respiratory failure and the latter, the shutting down of the kidneys. Other results of overdose are such fun, little things like falling into a coma, bradycardia, hypothermia, and hypotension. The Heaven’s Gate cult who committed mass suicide in March of 1997 claiming to be releasing themselves from their earthly vessels and hitching a groovy, cosmic ride on the Hale-Bopp comet employed Phenobarbital and vodka to complete their “transformation”. The Nazis used Phenobarbital under the brand name Luminal to implement Operation T-4, a program to kill off deformed or mentally handicapped German children under their policy of eugenics to insure the “purity” of the Aryan race. The 60s activist, Abbie Hoffman, committed suicide by overdosing on Phenobarbital. At his autopsy they found the residue of 150 Phenobarbital tablets in his stomach! So yeah, the shit can definitely kill you, but if used correctly it produces a pleasant state of anxiety free relaxation, and best of all for insomniacs like me, if you take enough it can knock your ass out cold! Just stay away from the booze and don’t scare the beejezus out of your friends by drunk dialing them with fears of your self-inflicted, imminent demise.
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PRIMORDIAL Lets say the
health care debate
was instead about
You pull up to the
pump because that’s what cars do, they run out of fucking gas. Whadd’ya think, dude?
never got old in the old days? You think cars haven’t always run out of gas, well, think again, pal, they fucking ALWAYS have run out of gas. The chicken came before the egg, the chicken came after the egg, whatever, living, dying, the whole thing. ALWAYS. We ooze primordial matter from within us, springing from our mother’s womb screaming bloody murder, and commence in childhood to conquer and own this great mystery of life even as it deals us our demise. Each of us has building blocks, our own puzzle, and we’re all striving every moment to solve it! We seek meaning in our actions and so fervently seek to engage and reconcile our existence with evidence found in natural law and the tendencies of heavenly bodies, living things and matter itself. We apply an imaginative eye toward leaving some small legacy of ourselves to those with whom we daily travel our separate paths, and how all this came to be, what it means – suddenly,
poof – we’re gone. Always.
Doctors are just supposed to hold your hand while you’re dying, dude. Think about
need for access to health care trumps all. This is no great science. Since we all die and inevitably do so by some ghastly, macabre, notorious or anonymous happenstance, the horrors, the likes of which could befall us at it. The debate is whether a person thinks that the
any time, why wouldn’t the natural instinctual thing to do be to extend a hand in compassion to,
like All other living things you come into contact with your entire lifespan. And I say again, it is instinctual. To build a society any other way is to betray a singular and universal truth:
this ain’t our shit! We’re trespassing in this paradise!
No, I just need gas, motherfucker. Huh? Who am I with? Dude, I’m by myself. Yeah, whatever, OK, I’m a Self-pay. Insurance? Huh? Why? I just need gas. Hey, who the fuck are you anyway? Is this your gas? No? But you’re in the gas business, right? No? What the fuck business are you in, then, motherfucker?
by Paul Ace Diamond “Huggy” Blow
Sep 10 - Overkast Sep 11 - System 7....Achilles Fall....Wallace Hound Sep 12 - N eon Nights....Boss Martians....Mexican U.F.O....The Pranks Sep 13 - NIKI....Hi-Fi Reset Sep 16 - Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Review Sep 17 - Cory Wilds Band Sep 18 - F eeding George..Comedy of Terrors..Libretto..Jake Allen Sep 19 - Pin Pon Dash....Jaded 52 Sep 20 - A benefit for TARK....w/ Shot 4 Shot Sep 21 - Busecruse....Stoic....Depths of Insanity Sep 24 - Ray Rivera band Sep 25 - Mothers Anger....Afraid of Figs Sep 26 - Botched....Lucid....Cannon Spunk Sep 27 - C hris Hiese n Myles Crew post game party with Seeing Blind Sep 30 - dbs (delta blues spirituals)
ROCK’N’ROLL ROADIES... This month’s Huggy Talk column is dedicated to all the unappreciated, hardworking dirty dudes doing the dirty work behind the scenes of a rock show -- the rock’n’roll roadies. The thing I hate most about being in a band is loading gear. I really hate it. I really, really hate it. Every time I have to load cabinets and drums I start thinking how nice it would be to quit the band. This is where roadies come in handy... Think about it... Every time you play a gig you load all your stuff into the van, unload it at the club, load it again after the show, and then unload it again back at the practice spot. Did I mention how much I hate loading gear? Having a roadie can help take the hassle out of being in a band, and all you really need is one good one. The best roadies are friends who are “mentally challenged” and love your band’s music. A good roadie will meet you at your practice spot the night of the gig and will do all the humping for you. I always make sure that my roadies load my gear before they touch anything else. A good roadie will also diligently guard your gear at the club while the band goes off to drink some pre-show brewskis. A good roadie will wrap your guitar cords and pick up stray picks on stage after the gig while you shmooze with the ladies. A good roadie will also be willing to fight to the death to protect the band while on stage or off. If anyone spits on you while you are on stage playing, a good roadie will hustle them away and teach them a lesson in manners. A good roadie will also possess a van or car, although most “mentally challenged” roadies don’t have drivers licenses. A good roadie will also never ask you for a ride home after the show. He will take the bus or walk. To keep your roadie working hard for you, there are a few things you can do in return: Put them on the guest list as “head roadie” (even if there is only one) at the shows. Maybe even give him one of the drummer’s free drink tickets. Let the roadie hang with you at the show -- he will feel cool hanging with a cool band. Give him a nickname -- roadies like that. Some of my bands’ roadies have been named “Goldfinger”, “Drunk Keith”, “Ratprick”, and “the Vulture”. Tell your roadie that they can have the “leftovers” after a gig (but of course, never let them). Don’t forget to add their name to your “thanks to” list when you put out a CD. Give them a pair of fingerless leather gloves (they sell ‘em at the 99 cent store) to make their job a little easier. Do these things and your roadie will love you and your band even more. One thing you should never do... never, ever pay your roadie money for his services. If you do this he will expect it every time and it will cheapen his loyalty. Let him know that you’re doing him a favor letting him hang out with you. If your band has an exceptionally good night and makes a few hundred quid, maybe buy your roadie a nice cheeseburger. Most of my roadies have been unemployed schmoes who need something cool to add spice to their otherwise boring lives, and they appreciate their affiliation with the band. That’s all I have on the topic for now. Now go get yourself a good roadie and let him do the dirty work for ya, unless, of course, you enjoy moving 100 pound cabinets. This may all sound coldhearted and mean, but rock and roll is a dirty business, man...
HUGGY BLOW’S ROCK STAR OF THE MONTH: PAUL STANLEY: If you’ve never heard of KISS then you must’ve either been born yesterday or you’ve been living under a rock your entire life. KISS is simply one of the greatest, most entertaining rock bands of all time. Not only did they have a slew of great rock anthem songs (mostly from the 1970s) but it was their stage show complete with make-up, costumes, and theatrics that made them the legends that they are. To me, Paul Stanley is the real heart and soul of KISS. He’s my personal favorite singer of the band (I do love his voice) but it’s his performance and energy on stage that sets him apart from most rock stars. Paul Stanley is simply one of the most entertaining showmen in rock and is truly inspiring to watch. In fact, if I ever need some inspiration to keep playing in a rock band myself, all I have to do is play a live KISS concert DVD and watch Paul Stanley sing, dance, and strut his sexy stuff on stage and I say, “THAT’S WHAT I WANNA DO!!!” In fact, I recently saw Paul Stanley play a solo concert in Seattle (in 2008) and the man still has it! Indeed, it is Paul Stanley’s charisma, pouty lips, hairy chest, and over-the-top exuberance on stage that makes him my Rock Star of the Month. Go get ‘em, Paul! Paul Stanley!
Saturday sept. 12th @ Crocodile With special guests The Dead Vampires - Billy the Fridge - Jonny Sonic $10 ADV/ $12 DOS +21 MATINEE W/ THE FEMURS, SLEEPER CELL, CHRISTINA CRAMER Saturday September 12 @ Comet Tavern 4:00pm - 7:30pm $5 THE AVENGERS, PANSY DIVISION, PAUL COLLINS’ BEAT, THE PRANKS Friday September 11 @ The Funhouse 8:30pm, $12 adv / $14 DOS NEON NIGHTS, BOSS MARTIANS, MEXICAN U.F.O., & THE PRANKS Saturday September 12 @ The Central Saloon 9pm $10 HANDS OF KALI, HOWLIN’ HOUNDOG, GALE FORCE Wednesday September 16 @ The Funhouse THE LOAD LEVELERS & GOD DAMN GALLOWS Wednesday September 16 @ The Bit Saloon 8pm REVEREND DEAD EYE, NOAH ENGH & GHOSTWRITER Friday September 18 @ Slim’s Last Chance 9pm REVOLTING COCKS, JIM ROSE CIRCUS SIDE SHOW, BLOWN LAND, LEFT SPINE DOWN Saturday September 19 @ Studio Seven 7:30pm $18/$20 ENEMY ACTION Sunday September 20 @ Showbox Sodo Wednesday September 23 @ Hell’s Kitchen BAD MOTOR BOOTY - WITH THE SPACE CRETINS Thursday September 24 @ Club Motor 5TH ANNUAL NW DEATH FEST Saturday September 26 @ Studio Seven $13/$15 10:30am RAW POWER, THE BLOODCLOTS, THE DEHUMANIZERS, SHIT GETS SMASHED Sunday September 27th @ THE MORGUE 5901 Airport Way S ALL AGES, doors @ 7:30pm $10 OR $8 with perishable food donation UP THE PUNKS NIGHT with SPINAL CRACKER + guests Monday September 28th @ The Bit Saloon 21+ 9pm FREE
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MercuryThreat Aug 12th
review by John Cole
he darkest shadows of Seattle are unveiled every Wednesday at an event called Threat. On this night, various ambient, experimental, and purveyors of the occult arts perform to a minuscule audience that dares attend such frightful events. Upon entering, the friends which consisted of the performers and associates of the performers were quickly spotted. Many of these beautiful creatures consisted of the local Butoh commune, Death Posture/Danse Perdue. The dance floor came to life, with an interesting mix of music from Neurosis with Jarboe to Institut. Festivities were fed by the libations which kept flowing throughout the night, thanks to the fantastic bartenders at the Mercury. As the first act came on, spirits began to rest and crawl back within. Noisepoetnobody played what turned out to be an adaptation of William Shatner’s “Rocket Man’. Despite being unaware of this little tidbit before hand, I still felt like a rocket man of sorts. His delicate tonal textures laid me to rest as my mind began to astrally project itself, completely free of will. To call this experimental would be insulting, for he exudes a confidence and knowledge of his instruments that is a rarity in much of our local Noise scene, or however you may choose to define it. It actually took me a moment to even realize he was performing, for instantaneous with the music beginning my thoughts began to wander. As the eerie dissonance echoes from Celadon, Sataray calmed the beast with the delicate sounds of a female’s voice. Sataray of Dar Sirenia provides an exotic yet calming approach to the dark arts. Both Eastern and Hispanic elements creating an interesting blend that is both ethereal and provoking. Celadon pushed the boundaries of what is capable with stringed instruments, creating a dark space for the stars which were given an audio body through Sataray’s voice. If she can find the passion within to equal her talent, Sataray may be a key figure within the art community of Seattle. Threat provides an environment for such talented artists to perform every Wednesday night. Despite what you may have heard, the Mercury always has a staff that is friendly and some of the best drinks you can get in the city. Through this space, and the bewitching atmosphere created by all these talented artists, the masquerade was atrociously exquisite indeed.
No Certainty Attached:
Steve Kilbey and The Church
by Robert Dean Lurie
Verse Chorus Verse Press, 2009
Review by Matthew Goad’X Between god and man, above crucifixion and beneath salvation lies a target that all good biographers strive for, and in this miasma, Lurie hits the mark. Refracting the past few decades of frontman Kilbey and his band through the lens of an insider, just in time to glimpse a nascent truth of reality, this grounded dissection of travail is a macrocosm within a microcosm. Though delivered by a musician and written for the erudition of that class, it's accessibility is for all. Whether or not your genetic format is designed to filter and consume this vernacular array, there are a great deal of pop culture references and a smorgasbord of black and white still shots to enjoy.
photo by Julie Lary
Raising Hell With Guitar Doug
upiter crash has just released a new album titled London Bridge Sessions Vol. 1 on CrashRevolution Records, a record company owned by the band, which will be distributed this year by SINister Records. I attended their album release party back in the spring. I can say it is one of the better sounding local albums I have heard this year. The party was held in a swanky brick walled room, located just below Temple Billiards in Pioneer Square, which I never even knew existed. Damon Stewart of 104.9 FM The Monkey was also in attendance, someone who has been a big supporter of Jupiter Crash on Air and in person. His show Garage Monkey features local rock and can be heard every Tuesday night from 8-10pm. I never miss the show and neither should you. In other Jupiter Crash news, there has been a recent change in lead guitarists. Lee Tillman has left the band and is now with the re-formed Seattle band The Sins. The Sins are old friends of this magazine and their website (www.SINisterRecords.com) now has more shows in the upcoming weeks listed, so check them out if possible. In the interview below, Steven claims that Lee was “fired” from Jupiter Crash. Just to be fair, I contacted Lee, who had a slightly different explanation.“I needed to be more creatively challenged. I needed to surround myself with a different level of musicianship. I had struggled with the decision for a long time to leave the band. In the meantime, I had been offered many musical side projects that I was not always able to accept because of conflicts within Jupiter Crash.“ Obviously, the “level of musicianship” comment, was one final shot across the bow, but Lee insists there are no hard feelings and said “I wish nothing but the best for Jupiter Crash and feel we are both better off this way. It has been a positive move for everyone involved“. Seattle guitarist Master J was quickly brought in to fill Lee’s shoes. He is most notably known as the former guitarist for Seattle band Evil Twin, which disbanded early in 2009. Evil Twin also had a “diplomatic” break-up after losing two bass players within the course of a year. First Nik, who currently plays with the legendary band Iron Butterfly, left, followed briefly by Spike Hell, most known for his work with Go Like Hell and Los Bastardos. Evil Twin has now spun off into a new project called The Kamikazes, featuring the lead Singer Tre and Evil Twin drummer Moody. That group seems to be off to a good start and has been playing shows with bands like Stone Axe and The Boss Martians. So, there has been plenty of musical chairs going on among several bands and that is the basic breakdown of how this all has fleshed out. Master J, while going on to join Jupiter Crash, has also been making time to perform shows with Hedwig and The Angry Inch. Master J has a fairly extensive musical background with formal training which includes piano and saxophone. If
Jupiter Crash were to suddenly lose its guitarist, as was the case recently, grabbing Master J while he is a free agent was a very nice save. Master J has also formally adopted the words “The Gentleman of Rock” as part of his stage name on the Jupiter Crash website and promo items, which gave me personally a chuckle. It happens to be a nickname I gave him a few years ago, after meeting him and being struck by his impeccable manners. Seriously, like him as a player or not, nobody can argue with the guys attention to etiquette. Over the time I have known this band, a running theme of wanting to broaden their horizons outside of Seattle has come up in conversations. The group has recently been putting a plan into place to make not only Seattle a home base, but also Las Vegas and LA. Maybe they are on to something, based on the fact that promising rock clubs like King Cobra have failed to bring in the support needed to stay afloat. One can argue until they are blue in the face as to why that rock club failed, but the bottom line is that there were just not enough paying bodies in the room, no matter how good of a show was put together by any of the bookers they tried. Is the Seattle rock club scene dead? No, but I have never met a club owner swimming in money, or who is not worried about covering the next month’s overhead. It’s getting pretty ugly out there and the brutal economy is not helping. Looking to LA may be just what the doctor ordered for Jupiter Crash. LA has always had a rock club scene
and plenty of young people with money to burn. Vegas is also a good choice and is only a relatively short drive across the desert from LA. Las Vegas has a “built in” tourist audience and new venues are coming and going faster than you can play them. Not to mention, the nice weather year round would probably solve the problem Seattle clubs have during the rainy season, which is low attendance even when some of the most popular bands are booked on a given night. Jupiter Crash is a staple in the Seattle rock music scene, so if you have not seen them live, look to the band’s myspace page or website for show listings. You will also notice shows booked for LA and Las Vegas in September, so a road trip might be in store for fans looking to get out of town and see what is happening on the streets of LA and Vegas this fall. Who knows, Jupiter Crash themselves might even let you couch surf for the night. Tell me about this new album The new CD/EP London Bridge Sessions Vol. 1 was recorded and produced by Jonathan Plum at Seattle’s historic London Bridge Studios. We hit the studio “Guerrilla” style and recorded 3 songs in 3 days. We wanted an old school 70s sound for this session, and once Jonathan heard the new tunes in the studio he decided to go all out and unleashed the 2” tape. The analog vibe was exactly what we were looking for and really complimented the songs. Having it mastered by Eddie Schreyer, another legend in the biz didn’t hurt either. LBSV1 is a template for the band for future recording. Hit the studio with fresh ideas, serve ‘em up still smokin’, hot off the press! The guitarist named Master J, formerly of the band Evil Twin, is now in Jupiter Crash. How did that come about and how is that working so far? Jupiter Crash had a complete tour and multiple local shows booked when we had to fire our previous guitar player. We called J and asked him if he could step-up, learn a full set of songs, play a show with us in 4 days and go on tour. Master J, the complete professional, not only learned all the songs and played his first show with us after 4 days, but also kicked ass with us all the way down the west coast. A Crash brother was born! How did you guys end up playing on the Warped Tour and are there future Warped tour dates with you coming up? We got the call on a Wednesday to play the Ernie Ball Stage on Saturday. Famecast and Ernie Ball teamed up to host an online Battle of the Bands based on Fan Voting and a panel of Industry Judges. 4 Bands from Seattle won the contest. 4 Bands from the entire U.S. will compete in L.A. in November for the grand prize. Jupiter Crash will be there! Thanks to all our friends and fans for voting!!!! You guys have been playing a lot of out of town shows. How is that going? It’s been really amazing. We’ve been hitting Las Vegas and Los Angeles pretty hard and we’re
starting to generate a strong following in those cities. We’ve been working with a publicist, Starr, of Starr Entertainment in LA, who is getting us some great shows and generating good connections. We’ve also got a great relationship forming with Vegas Rocks magazine, who continually sponsor not only shows for us in Vegas, but also publicity events for both us and the magazine. We’ve also licensed our song Dark Surprise to Wasted Space, the rock club inside the Hard Rock Casino. As well as another licensed deal with LBS - A Burger Joint, in the Red Rocks Casino. It’s pretty amazing to go to their websites and hear ourselves playing on the homepage! What types of gigs are there in Vegas for rock bands and what’s the scene like? Is it casino work, rock clubs, or both? The scene is very well organized. The bands network together, and radio and club bookers actually promote shows! Seriously, Vegas has a lot to offer any hard working band, on the strip and off. Casino gigs require a residency, meaning regular nights with great pay but you might have to play some covers. Off the strip has a killer scene and that’s where you’ll find the truly amazing talent. We plan on walking the line somewhere in between. Will Jupiter Crash be dividing time between Seattle and Vegas? We will always call Seattle home. We plan to play shows here as much as possible and of course we will always return to record at London Bridge Studios with Jonathan Plum. Sin City will be our new stompin’ grounds! What advantages do you see in re-locating to Las Vegas? Geographically it just makes good business sense. It’s a great hub for touring with so many major cities within a reasonable driving distance, so we plan on using that advantage to reach more fans and move forward. Plus, the Sun shines every day! Vegas sounds pretty exciting. Any crazy stories? When we aren’t working, we play pretty hard, so of course things get crazy. Especially since there’s no last call in Vegas. We won’t spill all the beans, but some highlights would be drinking Grey Goose Vodka straight out of the bottle at the Hard Rock, courtesy of a highclass hooker. Stalkerish chics from LA driving to Vegas to try to hang out with StevenCrash. Master J getting so drunk that he had to stagger home with one eye closed to defeat a bad case of double-vision. BillyCrash getting one of the worst sunburns out by the pool we’ve ever seen, and playing through the pain. TCrash cleaning up at the Poker machines. Best of all, making an amazing staged entrance at the Hard Rock with a rented limo and a couple exmilitary friends acting as our beefcake Crash Security. The casino security bought the act hook, line, and sinker, and hovered around our table for about 5 hours. Good times! To find upcoming shows and tracks from Jupiter Crash’s new album, please visit band’s official website, www. jupitercrashsite.com.
by Matthew Gorman
n the world of true hauntings and ghost hunting it seems that at every turn somewhere or some place is being heralded as the most haunted this or the most haunted that. I’ve been known to employ such superlatives. The true measure of how haunted a locale might be may forever remain within the realm of the subjective. And yet, when one is confronted by the sheer number of hauntings in the small river town of Alton, Illinois, one almost can’t help but concede to the town’s moniker of “The Most Haunted Small Town in America.” The town of Alton sits along the banks of the Mississippi River about 15 miles from St. Louis. Once referred to by Mark Twain as “a dismal little river town”, at one time Alton was actually growing faster than St. Louis. That is, until a group of St. Louis businessmen concocted a plan to establish another town to compete with Alton and draw business away from it. The result of this plan was Grafton, Illinois. Alton was eventually incorporated as a city but its less than 40,000 residents belie this fact. To this day locals and visitors alike still refer to Alton as a ‘town’. Alton has a rich history filled with all manner of triumph and tragedy. Alton, for example, was one of many stops on the Underground Railroad as it sought to deliver former slaves to freedom in the North. It was also in Alton that Elijah P. Lovejoy, a printer and avowed abolitionist, became the abolition movement’s first martyr after being murdered by a mob of slavery proponents. The town was also the site of a Union prison during the Civil War, housing many captured Confederate soldiers. The conditions at the prison were said to often be less than humane. Many prisoners met with their untimely death due to the squalid conditions, torture, and even outright murder by the guards or other inmates. As we will see later, the former prison may be one of the largest factors contributing to the mass of hauntings that plague the town of Alton to this very day. During the prohibition era, Alton served as a refuge for bands of bootleggers looking to keep a low profile from the law. This criminal element was responsible for a series of gang-related murders during this time. Many of their victim’s bodies were dumped into the muddy waters of the Mississippi. It is undoubtedly this sordid history that has left the town with more than a few tales of otherworldly inhabitation within the historical buildings and homes that still stand throughout Alton today. One of the oldest haunted sites in Alton is a former hotel known as The Mansion House. Originally constructed in 1834 by one Captain Botkin, the good Captain operated The Mansion House as a hotel for many years. In 1864, during a smallpox epidemic, the building was turned in a hospital (Alton’s first as a matter of fact) to treat those afflicted with the disease. Many died within the walls of the Mansion House and witnesses say that their ghosts still roam the rooms and hallways of the edifice today. But the most prominent specter still holding court at The Mansion House is that of Tom Boothby who lived as a shut-in inside a downstairs room at the hotel for several years. Boothby had been an Indian fighter during the Indian battles of the war of 1812. Guests at the hotel were often awakened in the dead of night by Boothby’s screams that the hordes of Indians he had killed were coming for him. One night his screams became pleas for help as he cried that the Indians had finally found him. He was found dead with his one hand (he’d lost one of his arms in the war) strangling his own throat. His ghostly cries of terror and frantic footsteps can still be heard in The Mansion House today. The Enos Apartment building on Third Street in Alton was originally a private residence and a stop on the “Underground Railroad.” This mansion was once the home to Nathaniel Hanson, a wealthy farm implement manufacturer and abolitionist, who built the home in 1857. When the mansion was erected, it was built with a series of tunnels and hiding places
originating from the home’s basement and running under Third Street. While the “Railroad” was designed to aid escaping slaves, many met with their deaths from factors such as disease, injury, and malnutrition along the way. It is believed that the ghosts haunting the basement of this former home are those of fleeing slaves that never quite made it to freedom. The upstairs of the mansion is haunted as well, but by a different group of people. In 1911, Dr. W.H. Enos purchased the home and converted it into a sanitarium for the treatment of tuberculosis. Unfortunately for many of the afflicted, survival rates were extremely low as tuberculosis was still basically an incurable disease at the time. Many perished here, and their spirits still play havoc with the tenants of what is now an apartment building. Phantom footsteps are heard, doors open and close by themselves, lights turn on and off unexpectedly, and objects disappear only to reappear days later in strange places. Some believe it is the puckish ghost of a small child performing this latter type of phenomenon, as the objects tend to be small and attractive things such as shiny keys and jewelry. Another historic Alton building with ghostly goings on is The Franklin House. This building was originally constructed in 1836 to house the headquarters of an insurance company but was converted into a luxury hotel just four years later. The Franklin House was quite posh and Abraham Lincoln even stayed there once with his wife Mary Todd, inspiring the hotel’s owners to change the hotel’s name to The Lincoln House for a period of time. It was during such time that a traveling salesman and his family stayed at the hotel, and the man’s young daughter met with tragedy after chasing a ball into the busy street in front of the hotel. She was hit by a wagon and killed instantly. Soon after, her ghost began to haunt the hotel, playing pranks upon the guests and tugging at their clothes. McPike Mansion located on Alby St. She would move objects as well, and appear as a full-blown apparition to the frightened bewilderment of many a guest and staff member. Her ghost continues to haunt the building to this very day. The ghost of a pastor who committed suicide in the church’s sanctuary in 1934 haunts Alton’s First Unitarian Church. Rev. Phillip Mercer, hung himself for unknown reasons at the age of 48. His ghost is extremely active and is one of the more frequently encountered spooks in this town full of ghosts. The church’s basement is thought to be haunted by a different entity all together about which little is known. The former Milton School in Alton is allegedly haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had been a student there as well as by the ghost of the janitor that raped and murdered the girl sometime in the 1930s. He had hung himself after being hounded by the police as they pursued the case. A scrawled note on the floor beneath his hanging corpse declared quite succinctly “I did it”. Employees at the Intaglio Design factory that now occupies the space (the school closed in 1984 after being open for 80 years) have reported encounters with both the benign spirit of the young girl as well as with the malevolent and unsettling ghost of the sinister janitor. How horrible it must be
if the poor girl can’t escape her rapist and murderer even in death. Another haunted institute of learning in Alton is the Lewis and Clark Community College. The ghost of former principal Harriet Haskell is thought to haunt the college, particularly the library. Haskell was a beloved principal at the institution when it was called Monticello College, an all girls’ school founded in 1838. Haskell Alton Prison (Credit: Illinois State Library) passed away in 1907 and reports of ghostly activity have surrounded the campus ever since. Lights and faucets turn on upstairs windows at people on the lawn below. Another ghost is thought to be that of a and off by themselves and an old steam-powered elevator travels up and down the floors at night domestic servant named Sarah who lived and when no one is there to operate it. In the library that worked in the home at one time. She announces her Haskell was so fond of in life, people have felt the presence with the strong odor of lilac and she often ghost touch them upon the shoulder and Haskell’s touches people who visit the house. In addition, apparition has been seen there as well. On the day there seems to be an ominous, perhaps even that Monticello was changed into Lewis and Clark malevolent, entity that occupies the basement and College in 1971, one of the oldest and largest trees the even deeper wine cellar. The phantom footsteps on campus fell over although there was no wind or of a spirit and a door opening on its own were storm. Many people claimed it was Haskell’s ghost captured on video down in the basement by a team of ghost hunters at one point. Many people have expressing her displeasure with the change. Located in Alton’s old downtown, the Mineral strong feelings of uneasiness or even terror when Springs Hotel is considered to be one of the most they venture into these subterranean regions of the haunted spots in town. Opened in June of 1914, home. The mansion has fallen into a state of abject the hotel gets its name from a naturally occurring disrepair but the home’s new owners are attempting mineral spring that was found when the basement to restore the home as a historical site and possibly for the building was being dug. It was originally set a bed and breakfast. I’d skip the mimosas though to be a cold storage facility for August and Herman if you don’t want to venture downstairs for the Luer’s successful meat packing business. With the champagne. Finally, we come to the aforementioned discovery of the mineral spring, however, it was Alton prison that was first a state prison and then suggested the two German immigrant brothers open up a health spa instead. One thing led to another later used by the Union Army to house captured and the Mineral Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The Springs Hotel area where the prison once stood is rumored to was born. It was a be haunted by the ghosts of the hundreds of men luxurious hotel that who died there from conditions said to be among once boasted the the worst imaginable. Most of the prison has been largest swimming dismantled over the years, and in fact, this may play pool and the largest a large part in why Alton is so very haunted. It seems dining room table in much of the prison’s stonework was appropriated the state of Illinois. for use in the foundations and construction of many Wet footprints have of the previously mentioned haunted homes and been found in the buildings throughout Alton. Many of those who swimming pool area study paranormal phenomenon believe that places although there has can hold sense memories particularly when those been no water in the memories are of such potent territory as pain and pool for many years, suffering and death. The stones of Alton prison and apparitions are therefore may contribute to the potential for being occasionally spied haunted in the buildings where they were used. It’s only a theory but it seems to be a common (credit: McPike Mansion) in this room as well. The stairway denominator in many of Alton’s haunted locales. Also haunted is the old Hop Hollow Road near the old hotel which led from the prison through the woods of lobby (the hotel is now retail shops like many an old building in Alton) is haunted by a female presence Hop Hollow to a cemetery wherein the Confederate known as the “Jasmine Lady” because of the strong, prisoners were interred after they met with death at times almost putrid, smell of her jasmine perfume at the prison. Union soldiers entrusted with the which signals that the ghost is near. It is possible task of bringing the bodies of their former foes to that she may be the spirit of a woman who fell to their final resting place would often simply throw her death down the stairs in 1925. There are lots of the bodies into the woods along the road and use ghost stories concerning the Mineral Springs Hotel the time allotted for their job to drink and socialize although most have been debunked as fantastical instead. The ghosts of these restless Confederate inventions. Nevertheless, the place is said to be full dead are sometimes seen along the Hop Hollow Road and have been known to flag down passing of ghosts, whoever they may be. One of the most well known haunted hot spots motorists seeking a ride (perhaps to the graveyard in all of Alton is the McPike Mansion on Alby Street. where they should have been taken). Like many The McPikes were a proud and wealthy family of accounts of hitchhiking ghosts, when someone Scottish descent. Members of the McPike family does unknowingly offer one of these specters a ride actually fought with George Washington at Valley the ghost always disappears into thin air inside of Forge. The family was very active in both a number the car before any destination is reached. Well, like I said at the start, Alton is one haunted of businesses as well as in the political arena. The little town, and with its numerous ghost tours and sixteen-room Victorian mansion was built for Henry Guest McPike (Mayor of Alton from 1887-1891) in general lore it might prove to be a rather entertaining 1869, but other members of the family continued to Halloween-time excursion, particularly for our St. occupy the home for some time after his death. A Louis’ readership with their close proximity to the man by the name of Paul A. Laichinger purchased town. But be careful or you might just wind up like the home from the McPike family in 1908 and owned so many a deceased denizen of Alton and linger the mansion until his death in 1930. His is one of there…forever. several ghosts that haunt the property, and his apparition has been seen peering down from the
Bitching with Buddha Lu c i fe r
Hey there Lord of Darkness, I’m hearing all this shit about Health Insurance reform with one side talking about government run insurance as some Satanic scheme of yours to bring about hell on earth, and the other side saying that the insurance companies are hell on earth. Seems to me the government loves to spend our money as fast as these corporations loves to steal it. What’s your take? Sincerely Undecided. So you want Health Care? Then move to Canada, Europe, or even Cuba. Here everything is run by the private sector where the bottom line has always been making money whenever and however they can. Where can you go once you get sick, because that’s when they’ll dump you or raise your rates so you have to dump them? You bet the insurance industry wants reform because if it’s done the way they’d like it, you’ll be bled dry. You’ll get insurance reform where you have to buy their policies but you’ll pay out the ass so these companies’ CEOs can get their million dollars bonuses. At one time several states were trying to collectively bargain with the pharmaceutical companies so they could get a group rate when buying drugs but your Congress outlawed the practice. They say that the drug companies need the money to research new drugs, but many of those drugs were researched by the government, paid for with your tax dollar and given to the drug companies who now charge you thru the ass for it. Sweet, no? Don’t you feel it yet? You’re being squeezed by the Beast. You are an exploited resource being worked hard and bled dry. Where is your Free Trade Market Driven God now? - Lucifer Hey Lucifer, I heard on the news that the Recession is over, but I still ain’t got no job. Are these guys talking out their but holes or what? Yours, On the Streets Well, OTS, I’ve been checking with my favorite economic indicators, the crack whores, and they are still bitching about how all their Johns are broke and are begging for freebies. My whores don’t give out free samples but they do give group rates. The Johns say they’ve lost one, two, and in a few cases all three of their jobs which is why a few of them have gotten their wives/girlfriends to take up whoring as their next profession. My whores are feeling the pinch of the additional competition. These young moms are having to say, no, to their hungry kids, because mommy needs the food money to buy her crack. So I see at least two more years of recession before there is a recovery brought about by a military buildup in preparation for the next world war in 2012. Hey, I’m a demon and I can see the future. - 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.
Tales of the Miscreant Monkey Crew
he rotating roster has become a hallmark of the team, although one theme remains consistent: the Miscreant Monkey Crew seeks out misadventure that no single self-styled hipster can withstand alone - hence their battle cry, “Monkeys Assemble!” Every great super hero team has a home base. The Avengers live in a swank New York mansion with the butler. The Justice League kicks up their boots in their swinging space station with all the cool bat-toys. When it is time for the Miscreant Monkey Crew to take a break from saving the world or being ironically snarky, we invade the Rickshaw. The Rickshaw is located between Aurora and Greenwood Ave on 105th Ave. Dangers include roving hookers, drunken yuppies with grabby hands, and crazy fools that try to sell shredded parsley as weed. The flickering sign advertises a psychic, the best pot stickers in Seattle, and the mad skills of karaoke host M.C. Patty. You might think from the outside that the Rickshaw is the type of dive bar that has sawdust on the floor and in the food. The decor is a dark rustic look from a twisted 50s flashback. Mirrors, images of Marilyn Monroe, and rock flare cover the walls. The truth is that you don’t come to the Rickshaw for what you can see. You come to sing your heart out and for the oddly addicting Americanized Chinese food. Rickshaw Pot Stickers + Long Island Iced Tea = Crazy Delicious. Recently, Mora Cowbella held her 30th birthday party at the Rickshaw. The call went forth and the Miscreant Monkeys assembled for a wild time. Professor C. T. Estlin wooed the crowd with his soft rendition of “China Girl” hoping to find the mysterious Roller Girl Darth Skater for mild flirting. The object of his flirting was not present, but a very large hirsute man loved his singing so much that he bought $200 worth of liquid cocaine shots for the Miscreant Monkeys. In exchange, the good Professor treated the crowd to a rousing version of “Sexual Healing”. As it turns out that C. T. stands for Cock Tease and the Professor did not perform sexual favors to the dapper gentleman. The Miscreant Monkeys voted and agreed that the next time someone buys us at least $200 worth of drinks Professor Estlin should at the least give them a hand job in the back alley.
by Jason Andrew
The Mighty Mungo prowled through the crowd looking for a bit of conversation and cheer. Little did he know that on this night, a wild pack of cougars smelled weakness in the air. I caught a glimpse of their painted nails, hair nearly to the ceiling, and menthol cigarettes. They were cackling wildly about the Mighty Mungo’s “cute tuffs” of curly hair peeking out from his shirt. He was last seen outside the Rickshaw smelling faintly of mints. God loves you Mighty Mungo, especially as everyone got their turn with him. The delectable Insatia sang “Birdhouse in Her Soul” and “Blister in the Sun” to a cheering crowd. There’s something oddly erotic about your woman singing about killing your namesake, singing a song about the love of women, and then rubbing up against Mora Cowbella. I suppose it’s less suggestive than the time she bought Mora’s birthday present at Castle Super Store. Afterwards, Insatia reported that the almond chicken and mojitos were quite delightful. Master of Ceremonies Patty ran through each set ensuring that everyone managed to sing at least one song. She is the perfect host that encourages the less talented and if you get stuck she sings along with you. I stood at the karaoke station terrified. My knees were buckling and the liquid courage was quickly fading. The notes of “Sweet Caroline” played and all eyes were upon me. I was fairly certain there were words to this song that I’ve heard pretty much my entire life, but my mind was emptier than a hobo’s pocket. Patty smiled and started to sing. The crowd couldn’t hear her, but the words returned and I started to sing. In the end, that is really Patty’s job, she helps the party along and makes sure that the rest of us don’t get in the way. She helps us unload our troubles for a couple hours at a time and takes us on a ride. The Rickshaw is that rare place that only seems to exist in the movies. It is the Shangri La meets Cheers that we’ve never found elsewhere and a place we can happily eat comfort food and sing to our heart’s content. Shout-outs: Rozo the Clown, the Williams, Deliliah, Mora Cowbella, Todd and Kara. To suggest a new adventure for the Miscreant Monkey Crew, email MiscreantMonkeyCrew@ gmail.com. For more information about the Rickshaw, visit www.therickshaw.net.
SPREADING LIKE THE PLAGUE! Now found from Tukwila to Lynnwood and everywhere else in between:
Burien, Georgetown, West Seattle, Pioneer Square, Downtown, Belltown, Capitol Hill, U-District, Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Ravenna, Lynnwood, Shoreline, Tukwila
Too many places to list here. Check out our website for all of our locations. If you can’t find The Sinner, tell your local business to ask us for it.
www.theseattlesinner.com and www.myspace.com/seattlesinner http://issuu.com/seattlesinner
written by Chuck Foster
The Sinful Photography of
he search for new local artists to cover each month is never a boring venture. It’s often one filled with sinful treats at every bend and twist, as was the case with meeting Erik Christensen. His initial email was one of gratitude, saying, “First let me say that I love your publication! Thanks! It kept me from going crazy while I was in the jurors waiting room today waiting to be assigned to a jury (boooring!).” He went on to offer some of his photos that he said were only taking up space on his hard drive, and that if we could find any use for them he would be honored to have them published in The Sinner. As I downloaded the first image my thoughts were of amateurish visions leaping from the screen, instead I was struck by Erik’s sinister creativity. Within each obscure image lies a cryptic beauty, beyond the obvious allure of each model. To have him featured this month was an honor shared by both of us. Erik’s passion for photography dates back to his high school days, when he inherited his father’s Cannon AE1. “That thing was a big, heavy chuck of metal and could almost be considered a deadly weapon... But it took some amazing pictures.” He says that his photography back then was pretty much limited to
documentation of incriminating antics, but all of his friends always asked for duplicates. Today, Erik’s photography has been rekindled around fashion. He says the two seem to go hand-in-hand, that where there’s fashion there’s photography. And that’s where you’ll find Erik. With his switch from journalistic photography to a more creative approach, Erik has traded in his old Cannon for a Nikon. He admits to not being much of a “gear-head”, pointing out that he’s seen some really good photographers take amazing shots with crappy cameras and vice-versa. He adds that good gear doesn’t always equal good pictures. “I think it’s more important to focus on the subject, lighting, styling, etc...” It was a challenge for us to select one image over another for our cover, as each is worthy. In the end we went with model Vivian Rubens in the shower. I was curious as to how she and Erik obtained this image, so I asked him to elaborate. He said that neither of them wanted to do a standard shower shot, that they each wanted to produce something a little more interesting. With a perfect shower in mind, in an anonymous corporate building, the two sneaked into the men’s locker room and took several shots without being captured by security or any sweaty patrons. “I’ve never been so nervous during a shoot... We ran in, took the photos, and ran out!” Erik says that a lot of his photography is done in this manner, something he calls “Guerilla Photography”. When asked about the Seattle art scene, Erik has nothing but praise to spill. He says that he has learned a tremendous amount about photography from group shots, such as his time spent shooting with Seattle Photography Associates (SPA). “I think When Paddison deserves a lot of credit for what she’s done there.” Erik also credits Seattle’s Photographic Artist’s Network as a link in the chain to his maturity as a photographer. He says that collaborating is the best way to advance your skills, but warns that some photographers do take a competitive approach to their work. He says that’s not his style,
that he sees every photographer as a comrade. Last I asked Erik if he had any special thanks to pass on. SPA was at the top of his list, but he felt that broadly thanking everyone he has worked with would be too long of a list for print. However, he did want to thank all of the models, make-up artists, hair stylists and designers that he has worked with over the years who have helped him produce some truly sinister shots. To find more of Erik Christensen’s work, please log onto www.modelmayhem.com/822298. And be sure to keep an eye out for any upcoming viewings or shows of his, it is certain to be a venture full of sinful treats...
Swingside Café 4212 Fremont Ave N in Seattle
review by Ron Placone
Cuisine, Beats, Baseball and Jazz
t was several days before Valentine’s Day, 2008, and as usual I hadn’t made reservations anywhere. My girlfriend requested Italian. At the time we had only been in Seattle less than a year and our experience with most restaurants in the city was limited. I went on Urbanspoon, then I remembered that tiny place on Fremont Ave I walked by daily. I figured I may as well give “Seattle’s best little Italian Restaurant” a try. I called Swingside and inquired about Valentine’s Day. “Sorry, we’re packed, man.” “Maybe another time, have a good one.” As I was about to say my good-bye the voice chimed in again, “well, if you want, leave your name and number and if something opens up someone will call you.” I gave my name and number and upon spelling my last name the person on the other end was able to name the exact area that my family was from in Italy. After talking further we found out that we both grew up in the same area in Pennsylvania. We chatted about the area and Italy and the voice on the other end introduced himself as Brad. “Nice talking to you Brad, I’ll definitely have to make it into the restaurant sometime.” Brad then told me that if I was willing to come to the last seating, he’d be able to squeeze me in, which I of course accepted. Since then I’ve been a regular whenever time permits, going to Swingside is more than just eating out, it’s an event, from the staff to the décor to the live music that may be going on any given night, Swingside has been a sweet haven for my girlfriend and I to forget our problems and enjoy what’s guaranteed to be a fantastic night out with some of the most innovative and delicious food anyone with a passion for Italian cuisine would cherish. Not too long ago I sat down with Brad Inserra, owner and head chef at Swingside, to get his take on the restaurant and its history. “I opened in the summer of 1990. I bought the place from two women that had a little French café. I actually went there for dinner twice. The one time I went they wouldn’t serve me, they told me they were full…there was nobody in the restaurant. I got the impression they just didn’t want to work, so I made them an offer. “When I started, I was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the first couple years, then I did weekend brunch and dinner for a bit, and then just dinner for the last fifteen years. September 29th will be our 19th Anniversary. When I bought the place it was already called Swingside, which I thought was a pretty stupid name and planned on changing it. But then I went to a high school reunion back in Pennsylvania. I went to a Pittsburgh Pirate game that went into over-time, 14 innings. The next day I ran into an old friend of mine who had just purchased a bunch of old photos done by a guy named Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris. Harris was a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, which was an African-American newspaper during World War II, and most of his work was rooted in baseball and jazz music, two things I’m a fan of. So I thought, Swingside…baseball, jazz, I’ll give it a theme and I’ll do Italian, which made sense, I mean I’m Italian, that’s how this all sort of occurred the way it did.” Brad attributes Swingside’s longevity to word of mouth and a loyal regular clientele. “I never really advertised much, I’ve never even been reviewed much. I’ve only had about 5 reviews in 19 years which is nothing, and I haven’t had a review since 1998. A lot of people don’t know about this place, it’s always been a word-of-mouth thing, so most of our customers are repeat, but we’re getting new customers all the time, and I haven’t raised my prices much in about 10 years. “Artistically, I’ve still got a fire. My blood-lines are from four different provinces in Italy. My grandparents were from Piedmont, Lombardy, Rome and Sicily. My mother, who died when I was 7, spoke Italian fluently in 8 different dialects. My grandparents knew Italian but they didn’t speak it. So I never got the language but I got the culture, and I certainly got the food. My grandfather had a restaurant in the Italian Club and he shared the kitchen with a Creole Cajun Chef named Red Long. My Grandfather and Red would cook American and Sicilian Soul food two or three nights a week. So it was kind of this underground restaurant with a juke box in the corner that was full of soul music, and a bocce court in the back. They would cook for my brother and I every Wednesday, I got a ton of inspiration from that place. I experienced the power of food. I realized that food was a vehicle that you can really reach people with. That’s when I became more fascinated with the effect that great food has on people. Every Christmas Eve my family would do a dinner with 12 or 13 different seafood dishes. In 1965 I had a sort of epiphany that I wanted to create that vibe, that kind of love, that kind of extreme, every day, because I thought, why not? Essentially those were my earlier inspirations for the place.” Next I asked Brad about the décor. “My shrine to Roberto Clemente evolved very naturally. I just loved him as a kid, big time. Coincidentally Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s store in San Francisco has a shrine to Clemente as well. The Swingside definitely has a real beat vibe to it, and obviously Ferlinghetti’s store is all about the beat thing. So it’s ironic that two beat establishments on the west coast both have shrines to Clemente. “Italy’s just a phenomenal country for expression - visual arts, music, the works. It’s the country of the Renaissance. There’s a healthy pride to it. So when you’re nurtured in that, it’s hard to imagine that you don’t become an artist of some sort. For me, it was a matter of narrowing it for economic reasons. With a restaurant there’s different vehicles for expressing yourself artistically, the atmosphere, the taste of the food, the sounds, every day is like a theater in a way.” The Swingside menu is ever-changing with dishes ranging from seafood to boar to rabbit and even gumbo. Not to mention bountiful, succulent pasta dishes are always in abundance. “From a culinary perspective, we live in this incredible place in the Northwest where there’s access to so many great ingredients - from the sea, from the land, wild mushrooms, the proximity to Alaska and Hawaii, I’ve been buying from the same seafood distributor for years. I try to only buy sustainable and for the most part wild caught. It can kind of be a challenge but there’s so many great dishes out there to create. It makes it very easy living in a place like Seattle.”
5,0 a li 00 mi f
"It's wonderful, imaginative, brilliant and funny. You took me on a ride I giddily enjoyed and provided surprises that I didn't see coming. And you made all this wickedly humorous, too. Sir, you have a robust imagination, a keen intellect and a bottomless talent." – Charles Johnson, a professor of LITERATURE at the University of Washington
For fifty dollars, The Sinner's own Saab Lofton can write a five to ten page fictional story based on yourself, a friend, relative or loved one (it takes less than a week to complete). These make great presents for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. It's also a chance to make a difference, support independent media and feed a censored/starving artist. Fo' mo' info, call 206-291-3815 or e-mail via
206-709-1900 332 15th Ave E in Seattle
’m a bit confused about what Smith is trying to do with its interior design. It’s dark, with varnished wood and tan floral print wallpaper everywhere. Taxidermied deer heads and ducks stud the walls. It’s got a Wild West vibe, which is too bad because the Wild West was obviously a fucked up place. If movies are to be believed (and of course everything in the movies is accurate to within 1/ 100,000th of one percent), then the American West circa 1880 was a place filled with horses, saloons, gunfights, card games, and of course whores, all packaged in a couple Victorian storefronts on a dusty street in the middle of Assfuckville, Arizona. If Smith is trying to approximate some mythical Western stereotype, they don’t quite nail it. They need some card tables, some dude in a vest and arm garters plunking out Scott Joplin and Stephen Foster on a badly tuned upright piano, and of course plenty of whores. And syphilis. But what about the food? I might have been distracted by the tiny sign and strange décor, but the food is pretty solid. Duck rillettes, a smooth paste made from pureed duck meat, was $7 and was served in a glass jar, sealed with an ivory slab of creamy duck fat. The rillettes had a rich roasted duck flavor and came with a couple grilled bread slices, some cornichons, and a tiny ramekin of grainy mustard. The poutine was disappointing, although not because of the price: $6 gets you a half order of cheesy gravy-coated French fries, piled into a gigantic mound the size of a man’s head on a full 12” dinner plate. I would sincerely hate to see a FULL order, although I suspect a full order of poutine is what killed John Candy. The fries themselves were okay, glistening richly with beef demiglace, but the coagulated rubbery cheese, which you could easily use to seal a bathtub, left something to be desired. Poutine is one of those things about Canada I just don’t understand. Just like the way I don’t understand how that socialist wonderland of the North, where health care is free and hookers, pot, and codeine are legal, can produce such shitty music (especially Nickelback, AKA the Auschwitz of Good Taste). But enough about Nickelback and its boring artificial angst, since everyone knows Canadians have no angst; it’s one of many products they must import from the good ole’ USA. On to the marrow bones: $9 gets you 3 huge chunks of beef bone the size of a brontosaurus femur, scathingly hot, the melted marrow bubbling up over the top of the bones like lava from a volcano. Spread onto the accompanying grilled bread, this luxurious beef marrow tasted like butter made of meat. The small side salad of mixed greens that comes with the bones has a light, tart dressing that cuts cleanly through the greasy beefiness of the marrow. I was less than impressed with the golden beet salad ($8). The name is deceptive because there weren’t that many golden beets in this salad: it was mostly chicory, with bleu cheese crumbles and
hazelnuts. The chunks of the eponymous beets, when they made a rare guest appearance, were underdone, and the bitter chicory really knocked the flavor out of whack. When you could get a bite of the beets, cheese, chicory, and hazelnuts together, the flavors balanced nicely, but getting all of that shit together into one forkful was like herding cats. The Cuban pork and ham sandwich ($8) featured a thin filling of black forest ham and pulled pork shoulder with caramelized onion and sliced pickles grilled and pressed on panini-style bread. The meat was good enough, and the pickle slices were an interesting twist, but the bread was a bit leathery. What really made this sandwich awesome were the chips that came with it: they were razor thin, lightly salted, and shattering crisp. These fucking chips were so thin they were TRANSLUCENT. The chef must have cut them with one of those infernally sharp microscopic glass knives that geneticists use to dissect cells. If I had such a blade I could vanquish my enemies with ease, slicing them into thin prosciutto slices and layering their flesh onto a sandwich of PURE REVENGE. But this isn’t about my enemies, or the delicious sandwich their deaths would make (the revenge sandwich also comes with chips, but they aren’t as good); it’s about Smith’s spectacular potato chips. Apparently you can get them by themselves for $3. Forget the Cuban sandwich; GET THESE FUCKING CHIPS. We finished with the steak ($14). For this price you get a few grilled sirloin medallions atop discs of fried potato, with a side salad of mixed greens and chicory. The steak had a nicely seasoned grilled crust, and the salad was okay, if a bit aggravating with all the chicory in there, but what really got my attention were the potatoes: like the house made chips, they knocked it out of the park. The potatoes were sliced into ½ rounds and fried. The outside was super crispy, while the inside remained as steamily gauzy as the best baked potato you’ve ever eaten. Whoever’s cooking the potatoes at Smith knows exactly what the fuck they’re doing. Smith is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, with a side of awesome potato chips. I don’t quite get the western theme, especially since the food isn’t as western as youd expect: I kept looking for venison, or rabbit, or some kind of stew on the menu but of course none of those things were available. Still, the food is delicious, and although it seems that Smith is primarily a bar, they obviously didn’t treat the food as an afterthought. With its weird décor, generous bartenders, reasonable prices, and potato chips so delicious I wish I could puke them up right now and eat them again, Smith has earned the unlikely distinction of being my FAVORITE BAR (on 15th Ave E). Not since the Jack in the Box commercial about midget cattlemen has someone so perfectly captured the VERY ESSENCE of the American frontier. Yippee ki- yay, motherfuckers.
Rating: 8 “Die Hard” quotes out of 10
The Surly Gourmand
Devouring Slices of Misery so You Don’t Have To
(SEATTLE) CITY LIMITS DVD rents and sells all kinds of indy films, festival favorites, foreign flicks, comedies, drama, action, you name it, all the regular Hollywood fare, but our specialty is XXX... in fact, with many 1000s of adult DVD, we showcase for you the very best titles from the long history of adult films. Having spent over two decades hawking adult materials here in the Seattle area, we sought a centrally located, progressive neighborhood with easy freeway access. Our store on Westlake Ave N sits in the heart of Seattle’s South Lake Union district amidst burgeoning redevelopment. Now in its’ fifth year of operations, CITY LIMITS DVD continues to emphasize value for the adult consumer. 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 our VIP members that the hottest, latest new titles won’t be excluded from rentals, EVER. New stuff is added every week, now exceeding 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 1000s of XXX titles going back to the seminal days of adult content. We 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. We figure whether a guy comes in on a Monday night or Friday noon, 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. Working together with our customers pays dividends for all. In the same manner that our customers who buy DVD have flexibility in exchanging, trading, etc items they’ve purchased from us, many of our rental customers opt for extended rentals, for whatever reason; aren’t sure when they’ll return, can’t get back for a few days, or simply because it’s cool to save money on late fees. Simply put, becoming a VIP member pays off -- big time. We are committed to price and service. We thrive on special orders. We can get the titles you want, and we have always carried titles you simply won’t find anywhere else in town. If you’ve never been in the store, come in or call us -- we make deals -- no bullshit. We don’t charge exorbitant prices, we don’t exploit our customers, period. In business today, there is a new paradigm, and our customers know we are their advocate in this regard. Bottom line, we want your business and we’ll go to great lengths to keep it. Check us out.
And now for some sex in the news!
Dr Dick’s Sex Advice
hen I want the latest buzz on what’s shakin’ in the sex toy and adult novelty business I turn to trusted industry periodicals like ASB (Adult Store Buyer) Magazine, AVN Novelty Business Magazine or Storerotica Magazine. Hardworking industry insiders keep me abreast (so to speak) of what’s happening in the ever-changing world of what we used to call (ahem)…”marital aids”. I never expect the mainstream media to cover this beat even though we all know that sex sells and sells big; tens of billions of dollars annually BIG. So imagine my surprise when I happen upon a lengthily article in that bastion of conservative capitalism, Forbes Magazine, that sings the praises of those rugged pioneers who are tirelessly laboring to bring adult products to Main Street. Pioneers indeed! At least there’s one bright spot in this dreadful economy. The cash-strapped masses may be spending less on restaurants and entertainment, but not necessarily on the quality of their sex lives--and manufacturers of sexual aids are broadening their lines to meet the demand. To wit: Trojan now offers a condom that comes with a disposable vibrating ring. Durex, another condom maker, sells a vibrator and a line of lubricants. Even Philips Electronics (nyse: PHG news - people) has joined competitor Hitachi (nyse: HIT - news - people) in the vibrator business. “We’re much more open now to experimenting sexually,” says Louis Friedman, chief executive of Liberator, a maker of sex toys in Atlanta. “We’re seeing countless new products being sold to a much larger audience than people realized. Even the more conservative retailers have begun to come around.” Indeed, Wal-Mart (nyse: WMT - news - people), Walgreen (nyse: WAG - news - people) and Target (nyse: TGT - news - people) now peddle sexual aids, including condoms, lubricants and personal massagers. Walgreen’s Web site features a “sexual wellness” tab, behind which are listed not
only contraceptives and fertility tests, but also pleasure-enhancing dietary supplements, romancethemed costumes and games, massage oils and lotions, and the “Emotional Bliss Femblossom” vibrator. (Representatives from Walgreen’s and Target were unavailable for comment; a Wal-Mart communications manager would say only that the chain “has a diverse mix of shoppers who visit our stores each day, and we are committed to providing customers with the selection of products they expect to find in our stores.”) This is particularly mind-blowing in light of that fact that there are still several states in the union (Alabama, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina among them) that prohibit the sale of adult novelties, particularly dildos. I mean, we all know what a corrupting influence a faux penis can be on the virtue of our women folk. And it was only a couple of years ago, February 2007 to be precise, that a federal appeals court ruled that a Texas prohibition against the sale of dildos and masturbation sleeves violated the 14th Amendment. The normally conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s ban on the grounds that it violated the right of ordinary citizens “to engage in private intimate conduct in the home without government intrusion.” You GO 5th Circuit! This is real progress, sex fans! Even though we all know it’s the bottom line of the giant retailers that is stimulating this evolution, not their abiding concern for individual rights. But hell, I’m pragmatic enough to accept progress in whatever guise it may cum. And I suppose it’s reassuring to know that in these troubling economic times one can find quality sex toys that will provide years of pleasure for under a hundred bucks. Ok, so it ain’t a holiday in the Caribbean. But who can afford that extravagance right now? Scientists Develop A ‘Sex Chip’! Oh baby, Oh baby, you make me so hot! I know; can you stand it? Apparently scientists
This, I Shamelessly Tell You
Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS Sex Therapist, Sexual Health Counselor and Sex Advice Columnist www.drdicksexadvice.com
happened upon a repurpose for implanted brain electrodes originally developed to treat Parkinson’s disease. Apparently scientists have been focusing on the area of the brain just behind the eyes known as the orbitofrontal cortex - this is associated with feelings of pleasure derived from eating and sex. A research survey conducted by Morten Kringelbach, senior fellow at Oxford University’s department of psychiatry, found the orbitofrontal cortex could be a “new stimulation target” to help people suffering from anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure. Neurosurgery professor Tipu Aziz, said: “There is evidence that this chip will work. A few years ago a scientist implanted such a device into the brain of a woman with a low sex drive and turned her into a very sexually active woman. She didn’t like the sudden change, so the wiring in her head was removed.” He added however that the current technology, which requires surgery to connect a wire from a heart pacemaker into the brain, can cause bleeding and is
“intrusive and crude”. He continued: “When the technology is improved, we can use deep brain stimulation in many new areas. It will be more subtle, with more control over the power so you may be able to turn the chip on and off when needed.” “In 10 years’ time the range of therapies available will be amazing – we don’t know half the possibilities yet.” I’m gonna go all old school on you now. I think nature provided most of us all the equipment we need to blow our mind…as it were, so to speak. We have hands, a mouth, feet, assorted naughty bits and most important of all — an imagination. No electrode is gonna beat that winning combo. Before we go stickin’ things in our noggin, perhaps we could take the time we need to arouse ourselves and our partner(s) using all the yummy things we have available to us. I know, it sounds really old fashioned, but it works. It actually works better that we think. It’s remarkable how few of us are even scratching the surface of our lusty potential.
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid
The True Last Frontier, Gender, Or the Pink Or Blue Question, and My Thoughts On Healthcare Reform
’m outraged, and not just because I’m overly hot and my boobs hurt. Ah, perimenopause, my dear you suck rotten lemons and monkey butts. No, though my body’s uncomfortable, going through yet another ‘dry cycle’ (trust me that’s all you want to know about that). What I’m outraged about is that in South Africa, former home of the extremely racist Apartheid system that was finally overturned last century, is in the middle of testing young, female runner Caster Semenya on the basis that she “might not be a real woman.” I’m putting quotation marks there not because the news report I read on Yahoo said that exactly, but because of my outrage at the implications that a woman who has a “muscular build” and “deep voice” (quotes from the article) cannot be a “real woman” (my quotes again). This little gem put the finishing gelling on what had been rolling around in my skull every since I thought about writing a column about the whole gender issue, that being the way even intelligent people still feel a need to define a person by what’s between their legs. Or in the case of young runner Semenya, how they look, as opposed to who they are. I mean, does it matter anymore that someone has a penis or vagina under their clothes, even though the clothes they might be wearing are from the closet of the opposite gender? I’ve been mulling this whole thing over as my slave/lover/sweetie continues to turn the gender
question on its ear and even make origami out of it. This came up especially when we were out recently, him dressed as a ‘her’, and me in my ‘punk boy’ get up (meaning leggings, tee-shirt and minimal make up). Z (the new term for us gender-queer folks), my honey, commented that my way of fondling Z and possessively putting my arm around Zim in public was very ‘male’. I giggled and agreed that yes, it was and realized that now when we go out dressed as we were on that occasion, I automatically take on the ‘boy’ role, without even thinking about it, make up or no make up. I also take the dominant role in bed, whether Z is dressed in femme drag, with lingering makeup from the date, or not. Whether I’m very aware of his male genitalia pleasing mine. Sometimes Z’s commented that dressed as we were, with me wearing makeup and looking pretty ‘girly’, some folks might even think of us as a Lesbian couple. That made us both break up laughing like wicked, little children with a naughty secret between us. Yes, we enjoy spoofing gender and noting that sometimes people flirt with both of us, or one of us, because the ‘rules’ aren’t clear as to what we are as a couple. Then, sometimes it’s aggravating too, as people still say things to me like a woman in my zumba class said when I let her know I considered myself male. She said, without blinking ‘but you’re so pretty’.
I wanted to slap her overly made up face, but didn’t. That comment and similar ones and those questions to parents about the gender of their children (I admit I still do that too, but more out of politeness than anything else), or those parents who insist on separating humans into one sex or the other bore and anger me. When the hell are we going to get beyond this ridiculous need to box people in? Probably not in my lifetime or my sweetie’s lifetime I’m sure. Still, in our world at least, we can be who we are, rocking the boat, rocking each other and making each other very happy. Unfortunately, in the real world, not only do gender issues crop up to piss me off, but also those questions about where healthcare is headed in this country. To any of those boneheads who think that we should just leave the whole medical establishment alone and keep government out of it, I say this: and what better plan to make sure that people below a certain income level have adequate health insurance do you have, moron? I mean, even Cuba has better healthcare than this country. Maybe if I lived there, or in Canada (both of which have something resembling universal healthcare) I wouldn’t be sitting here suffering, waiting for the damned UW Medical Center radiologists to get off their asses and make my appointment for a much needed and fairly uncomplicated procedure to free me
There is always one more imbecile than you counted on - The World According to Malice
from some of my more uncomfortable gynecological issues around perimenopause. Me, I think it’s time for a real revolution in this country, not just electing a Black president. This, I shamelessly tell you.