Issue 86 July 2010
SKIN DEEP WITH STU US IN CRISES
OVER OIL SPILL The
News, Rants & Politics
CrossBows & Status Quos
I found myself on the way to the tattoo convention in St. Louis last month, a somewhat rare trip for this sinner for numerous reasons. For one, I had been on a sober run for almost a month, neglecting the pleasures of Wild Turkey and Kind Bud to give my worn-out liver and simple mind a break – a very rare stint for this indy publisher. And two, tattoo conventions have never been my thing, mostly because they’re too often filled with posers and wanna-be hipsters. To say that I was miserable that afternoon would be an understatement, and my thirst for a buzz, well, that felt like a knife wound through a gun shot. When this kind of thirst gets to you, it drives the most reasonable addicts and alcoholics to beg for cash at the off-ramps with signs that “Bless You” from “God” for your meager contributions. I wasn’t quite there yet, but certainly on the way if need be. And to make worse matters even worse, the wife/partner had bailed on me this particular afternoon complaining of wear-and-tear from her week behind an air conditioned desk. It seemed as if I was on my own, a rare solo trip – or so I thought. Through some strange fate of an answered phone call, I found myself with a side-kick for the day, a local tattoo shop owner. My plan was to pull up in front of his shop and grab this cat quickly, to head straight downtown with no stops. Under more typical circumstances my flask and pipe would have been full, with a pitstop scheduled at a local dive on the way for a quick snort of some kind before hitting the convention. That’s the status quo for this indy publisher, just to get the head right enough to deal with said posers and wanna-be hipsters. I had no plans to drink, nor smoke, regardless of pain or thirst. But corrupted plans certainly are the status quo in indy publishing. I arrived to find my compadre for the afternoon waiting at the door of his shop, waving me in as if my life were in mortal danger from the rain that pounded the worn sin-mobile with drops that landed like cats and dogs and other creatures of such size and weight. My only option was to weather this mad storm and follow his warm invitation. After a brief meet-and-greet I was pushed downstairs to partake in a smoke session. This was not my plan, but as the words, “No Thanks...” slipped from my mouth, I found a pipe ending their life and my short lived sobriety. These kind of events also are the status quo of alternative publishing. There’s not much left to do at this point, other than sit back and let the healing powers of cannabis work its magic on the soul and mind. Unfortunately for this sinner, I’m a drinker first, and desperately need a few drinks in my system to balance the magic of cannabis. Without such precautions paranoia will set in quickly, even more so when I’m headed to a tattoo convention without the safety net of my better half. And in Misery, you never know which social functions will serve booze. As I contemplated this conundrum, my new stoner friend became overly talkative. Drugs of all types became the topic, with marijuana being the least phasing for him. Then his rambles turned into tales of CIA training maneuvers he had learned and how he could and would disarm terrorists and other villains if guns or crossbows were ever drawn in his direction. If I had ever needed a drink before in my life, for survival purposes only, it was then. Luckily for me, I was pulling into the parking lot before he decided to provide any live demonstrations on me while I was driving. But enduring the endless jabber of pills and drug deals gone bad and CIA training for life-threatening cross-bow drills is pretty much the status quo for indy publishing. And that’s probably the most entertaining aspect of it, the unusual quos that you make status – that, and the freedom to break the status quos of standard publishing and twist all the pieces that are left into your own quos, your own format, and your own publication. If that’s not the least bit entertaining, then you better stick to the status quo of publishing and boring the hell out of yourself and your readers. Another status quo of indy publishing is maintaining a full time job, the supplemental income necessary for mere survival and the consumption of alcohol. Last July I cut grass for a real estate company all summer part time and ran The Sinner full time; the year before I was a foreman for a Seattle-based construction company. So I felt the great American Dream at the end of my fingertips as good as any Red, White & Blue American ever had, and argued fiercely that it was not dead as many pundits had claimed. I knew the day of throwing all my tools in a burning barrel for their years of torture was close at hand, a celebration that would be like that of the Fourth. I believed that this great Dream of ours had only slipped into a nightmare, as dreams often do, like the one that ripped Dorothy and Toto from their blue skies and cool breezes. I firmly believed the Dream had a pulse, that through its veins an uncorrupted government and fair capitalist system without corporate hierarchy still pumped. I was sure that in years to come the blue-collar production jobs would return home, bringing back the good-ole days of living wages. As this Fourth Of July bears upon me once again, I find myself wondering whether or not the good-ole days of years long gone will ever return – the luxuries of cars, homes, college educations, retirements, budgets in the black, not red. I thought the sun was sure to wake each of us from this fright one beautiful morning, drenched in sweat and drool from putting up the good fight against such evil foes. But I now question whether or not the Dream is dead, and myself too. I wonder if I am floating in some purgatory state of slavery too scared to see the truth, the death of myself and generations to come. That’s the toll of being “uniquely American” today, the taxation on our souls and minds. Of course, those days of having three jobs, coined by GWB as being uniquely American in 2004 on the campaign trail, are long gone, too. We’re left with one shitty job, if we’re lucky enough to find it. That is now uniquely American even though no politician with any sense will admit it, nor boast it proudly on the campaign trail in 2010. We have once again been reduced to slave labor positions, ones that unions killed many years ago; you know, no benefits, no living wage, all the hours you can stand, meaning physically stand before falling out. I suffer this whip daily now, sweating in filth to the drum of minimum wage by a corporation that has plants globally, not some mom-n-pop company struggling with their dreams too. It must be fucking pathetic to watch us scramble for change thrown at our feet and beg for more – that is, if you really dare think about it. It’s hard for many of us to dream of a better standard of living anymore, unless those dreams are filled by national championships, World Cups and puppy dogs and kitty cats. Yes, perhaps the Dream is dead for me, and probably you, too. It seems to have died with the Blue Collar folks that honored it and didn’t have enough sense or fight in them to save it from our two-party system of corporate whores. But don’t worry, not all is lost and sour. Somehow most of us will still find enough money in our budget this Fourth for a few beers, a handful of fireworks, and just maybe that miniature flag to wave for the camera... and if you don’t have the cash, I’m sure you can charge it or take out a payday loan to cover it. Now that’s uniquely American – or the new status quo! And that, my dear reader, is just another tale of fear and indy publishing in two cities...
2nd Jobs & Slave Labor
2. Fear and Publishing 3. Police State of Mind
4. Weapons of Mass Distraction 5. The Coming Storm 6. Piper’s Pit 7. Illegal Immigration 8. Hello - Who Are You?
Music, Film, Art & Entertainment
11. Huggy Talk 12. The Badlands Pull Out Poster 13. Sinful Gallery 14. The Seven Deadly Sins of Eric Stanze
17. The Badlands UnMasked 18. The Sinful Fashions of Kristine Hawthorne & Noel Austin
Religion, Sex & Other Sinner Shit 8. The Vice is Right 9. Butcher Your Budget
10. Bitchin’ With Buddha 19. Skin Deep With Stu 20. Campfire Tales 21. The Surly Gourmand 22. Outlaws in G-Strings 23. This I Shamelessly Tell You Publisher: Chuck Foster Layout: Terri Daniels Marketing Consultant: Bek Harvey Schmitt Cover: Sinful Fashion by Kristine Hawthorne, Noel Austin, and Eader Photography Writers, Ranters, Opinionists & Other All-Out Freaks: Matthew Robert Goad’X Mark Taylor-Canfield Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid The Surly Gourmand Paul Blow Buddha Lucifer Saab Lofton The Sinner is a group of contributing writers. Their Guitar Doug opinions, rants and ideas do not necessarily reflect Henry Nicolle the views of The Sinner itself. The Sinner encourages contributions from its readers but retains the right to edit Jeff Diggs material due to content or length of submission. Maija Kristen Ivy For advertising or submission information, contact us Matthew Gorman at email@example.com. Submission deadline is the 25th of every month. Blondi Butler Stu
Police State Of Mind by Kristen Ivy
his May 4th brought us the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shooting. The guardsmen, who killed four students and wounded nine more, were acquitted. America didn’t get over it that easily. In 2007, a student’s audio recording of the event was released to Yale University. On the tape, a guardsman supposedly says, “Right here! Get Set! Point! Fire!” The recording is still being analyzed for use in an upcoming documentary. The tragedy at Kent State took place during a volatile time. The President had promised an end to a vastly unpopular war, but then expanded the war. That sounds familiar. It took place in a climate where police brutality was rampant, especially against minorities and protesters. That sounds familiar, too. Kent State was a unique tragedy, but something just as appalling could be just around the corner. In the last few weeks, a few news stories have shown that we are not always served or protected by law enforcement. Take, for instance, the internet video showing policemen shooting a family’s pet dogs in front of young children. Their parents had a small amount of marijuana. Baltimore police arrested a couple of tourists from Virginia when they tried to ask an officer for directions. A Gizmodo blogger was subject to a police raid for possession of an iPhone 4G. Seattle is no stranger to these incidents. Last November, fifteen-year-old Malika Calhoun kicked her shoe at Deputy Paul Schene. He threw her into the wall, then the floor, where he proceeded to punch her in the head. And now, the Seattle Police are reviewing an incident where police made racial slurs and kicked a cuffed detainee in the head. It’s not exactly “to serve and protect” anymore. A protest against police brutality at Seattle Central Community College ended in mayhem, with five arrests and the presence of black-clad
anarchists. Masked anarchists were at a similar protest in Olympia, where twenty nine arrests were made. I would be curious to know if these anarchists are the same kind of “demonstrators” that crop up at other protests: Undercover cops trying to provoke a riot. (And provide an excuse for more brutality. They are not without irony). I don’t pretend to know the whole story, but as usual, the media spin on our homegrown protests has been dismissive, if not downright negative toward dissent. The national tone is getting more authoritarian, and the police are increasingly militarized. In April, the US Government authorized the assassination of an American citizen for the first time. With that going on at the federal level, we can’t expect our leaders to care about a few dead dogs or beat-up teenagers. Law enforcement documents equate Ron Paul supporters, people who like the film Zeitgeist, and those who “view police as their enemy” with domestic terrorists. Such dangerous types, “argue that the federal government has gotten away from the intent of the Constitution.” These documents, available on prisonplanet.com, are part of a growing body of evidence. Our police and military are learning that dangerous civilian militias must be combated with force. And if you disagree with the government or watch the wrong documentaries, you’re in the domestic terrorist and modern militia camp. Yell “fuck the police!” all you want, but many of the men and women in uniform are doing a good job. The issue is one of policy, of bad cops left to run rampant. Fuck the police state would be a better sentiment. Mary Ann Vecchio, one of the witnesses at Kent State, believes it is important to remember the 4th of May, “...It shows what can happen if the evildoers get too much power. They can take your freedom away. You could be walking to school, and what happened back then could happen to you.”
United States In Crises Over Oil Spill atmosphere surrounding the oil spill. According to the EPA’s own official website, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been detected on the Gulf Coastline: “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) that are present in crude oil that has spent time in the ocean and eventually reaches shore and can be formed when oil is burned. The oil that has reached the shore is commonly called ‘weathered oil’. PAHs present in the weathered oil evaporate slowly over a period of weeks or months. PAHs come from other sources as well. They are formed during the incomplete burning Nostradamus - Century I, Quatrain 29: of gas, coal, garbage, or other “Its form will appear strange, oily and horrible, organic substances and from Coming by seawater very steadily it shall climb the motor vehicle exhaust.” walls as an enemy.” In air sampling for PAHs on shore in the Gulf region, the EPA ow that the truth is finally coming out about the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of is focusing on the following compounds:
Revelations 16:13 “And the second angel poured out his vial uponthe sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.”
Mexico, prophetic warnings are now being quoted in the mainstream media. The disaster is obviously of “biblical proportions” (metaphorically speaking) even to those who have never subscribed to any particular religious point of view. To be perfectly frank, poison is pouring out into the earth’s oceans, killing millions of life forms and destroying an entire fishing and seafood gathering economy in the Gulf states in a way that has never been seen before on this planet. The US government has allowed BP officials to police the area while conscientious citizens attempting to clean up the area and remove dead animals have been threatened with arrest by a private corporation. The US Coast Guard actually apologized to the crew of at least one boat who had tried to help clean up the mess, explaining that they could not do anything to assist the volunteers since a corporate representative from BP was on their craft. Reportedly, the BP official had been given complete control of the Coast Guard vessel. How could this happen in a supposedly democratic country? Some civil libertarians say recent accusations that the United States has become a corporate fascist state are now being borne true by the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, British Petroleum has been given complete control of the area affected by the oil spill. One is reminded of Blackwater’s abuse of power in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, and their activities in Iraq. In this case, corporate interests not only rule the national legislative agenda, they also seem to rule the Gulf of Mexico. President Barack Obama is now perceived as a friend to corporate raiders and corrupt oil executives. Within 48 hours of his decision to allow more offshore oil drilling, the BP disaster began to threaten the entire ocean ecosystem. The so-called “green president” is now responsible for helping to create the world’s most dangerous biological disaster. In a rarely reported study, the US Environmental Protection Agency has detected potentially dangerous chemicals in the
* benzo(a)pyrene, * benzo(a)anthracene, * benzo(b)fluoranthene, * benzo(k) fluoranthene, * chrysene, * dibenz(a,h)anthracene, * indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, and * naphthalene. The EPA is focusing on these pollutants because they are present in weathered oil and are also released from burning oil, and, at elevated concentrations, could potentially cause health problems, including long-term health effects such as cancer. Meanwhile, former US Vice President Dick Cheney’s corporation Halliburton has been accused of failing to construct an effective concrete cap for the BP oil well. Oil company representatives were successful in lobbying US government regulation agencies to stop their efforts to require back-up systems that would have stopped such an apocryphal environmental disaster. Apparently, this is only one in a series of disasters caused by faulty engineering on the part of Halliburton executives and engineers. The destruction of an entire ecosystem can be blamed on two unaccountable multi-national corporations – BP and Halliburton. The most frightening fact is that the spill continues to pour millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico with no end in sight. There are predictions that the spill will hit the eastern coast of the US. Combined with reports of corruption and greed among BP exec’s, these facts have left the US public cynical and mistrustful of the government and BP’s promises to address the problem. As each day passes, oil continues to spill out across the gulf, threatening to annihilate a significant proportion of the planet’s sea life. Environmental activists decry the offshore drilling, calling the policy insane and unsustainable. The deepwater Horizon oil spill began after
an explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others on April 20, 2010. Experts have estimated that somewhere between 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil are being released into the ocean each day. That’s equivalent to 1,500,000 to 2,5000,000 gallons of oil. The spill area covers over 2,500 square miles. It’s the largest oil spill in the history of planet earth. So far, all efforts to stem the flow of oil have failed miserably and the possibility remains that BP will never actually be able to stop the flood of oil pouring into the sea. BP has repeatedly underestimated the amount of the flow, resulting in accusations of deliberate misinformation and corporate propaganda. Scientists claim that one million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the spill. In addition, the depletion of oxygen may be enough to create a dead zone in the Gulf. Most residents of the US do not realize that there are already major dead zones in the world’s oceans where life is being threatened. Perhaps as much as one third of the oceans may become sterile. Actually, potential dead zones already existed in the Gulf of Mexico even before the latest disaster. Now, an additional 400 miles of coastline from Louisiana to Florida have become contaminated with petroleum. The Gulf Coast’s fishing and tourism industries are suffering from a severe economic crisis that may threaten to damage the entire US economy. Unbelievably, a recent Reuters poll shows that 56 percent of Americans still favor offshore drilling, despite the current disaster! The public and the corporate infrastructure are still acting like slaves to the oil industry. Illegal wars and widespread pollution of the natural environment have been the result of the US addiction to petroleum. You would think that we would have learned our lessons by now and switched over to alternative energy sources, but instead, the same old military industrial oil interests continue to rule in the US. The resulting environmental disaster on the Gulf Coast has caused many consumers of petroleum products to begin to challenge the status quo. However, offshore drilling continues, despite President Barack Obama’s moratorium on any new deepwater drilling sites. Presently, District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans has rejected the Obama administration's request to stay his decision allowing deepwater drilling to resume. (By the way, Judge Feldman at one time owned stock in Halliburton and another company involved in the Deepwater Horizon drilling project in the Gulf.) Now even some die-hard conservatives are beginning to question the ethics and practicality of drilling deepwater oil wells. Despite the neo-con chants of “Drill, Baby, Drill!,” it has become evident that an oil-based economy is not at all sustainable in the long run. Indeed, the oil industry has the potential of destroying our entire planetary ecosystem. In spite of record profits in the billions, oil companies are now
written by Mark Taylor-Canfield suffering from a bad reputation as a result of this latest spill. The Valdez incident in Alaska is now dwarfed by the biggest spill in history. It is not just the conspiracy theorists who are predicting a world-wide environmental disaster. Ocean currents are expected to spread the oil spill up the east coast of the North American continent. Soon residents of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina may also be inundated with tar balls, dead sea life and a damaged tourism industry. Some scientists are predicting global environmental damage. And the sad thing is, no one has yet discovered a way to stop the toxic oil flow. In fact, there are many experts who say the well may never be capped – oil spill ad infinitum… Economic analysts have predicted another increase in oil prices. British petroleum’s stocks may have fallen as much as 34 percent since the spill began, but other oil companies may actually experience a windfall due to the disaster. Most Americans do not believe that US president Barack Obama has done enough to alleviate the situation. He was the one who decided to support an increase in offshore drilling at the behest of the oil industry in the first place. His general acquiescence to corporate interests when dealing with the national economic meltdown by granting billions to bail out the banking and insurance industries has left many with the distinct impression that he owes his loyalty to big business and to Wall Street, and not to the average US citizen. His political and economic compromises with large corporations when dealing with national healthcare insurance also left most progressives disillusioned. Questioning the status quo is now more important than ever before. We are being led down a path to potential destruction by a few powerful corporations. Each one of us must do what we can to challenge the status quo in our own homes and communities. Then we may be able to bring that spirit of dissent to a national level by joining together for positive change. This oil spill should be an historic wake-up call to the entire world. We need to develop sustainable energy sources because obviously, oil is dangerous to life on earth…
A beach after an oil spill
ESSAY | The Coming Storm by Henry Nicolle
sponsored by The Seattle Sinner
did not write this next paragraph. It was written by a woman (an old grandma) in another state. I doubt that we have the will, the fortitude or the stomach for the tasks of avoidance. "We have allowed the police to become a force that is totally in control of our lives with all the new weapons to be used on our own population. No chance of ever getting our towns and cities back under our own control... that is until the real men come out of the bushes and start hitting back. I would love to have an arsenal of testosterone in the form of beer and soda pop and hand it out at every rally and flag wave that goes on. Can you imagine if the people really had the guts to fight back instead of making videos of how badly they have been treated? I would love to see a video of the people taking away the billy clubs, tasers and other handy weapons the police have and use them against the police themselves. Can you picture that skin headed, no necked idiot in black bullet proof armor writhing on the ground with a taser stuck in his butt by a old grandma who is pulling the trigger every time he comes to? " Only a handful of years ago, this kind of open talk was unthought, even by those of us who have been openly critical and actively in opposition to the cowards and criminals who populate our public offices. A couple years ago, I would have been in very small company speaking out warnings of the problems which must inevitably follow blind obedience and brutal conduct against free men and women by members and supporters of the "Special Culture". Now, things are changing. Hints and suggestions of personal accountability are blossoming into open threats and warnings. The warnings and cautionary comments should be heeded, but the hubris and indifference of the Special Culture and of those who depend upon their thuggery cannot be underestimated. In the end, "I'm sorry. I didn't understand. I was just doing my job" may be the standard last words before the lampposts bend. Our friends in blue, black, brown and green, both good and not good, (and the company they keep) are fooling themselves if they believe that their Special Culture bravado, their "professional" training, their plastic armor and a good radio
connection to their comrades are going to keep them safe or unharmed. There are not enough of them and they have no idea what a few pissed-off Americans can do to their finely honed egos and shaved scalps as they are crushed and removed. For the majority of our so-called "law-enforcement" population, they are companies of cowards. Their "courage" is their confidence that they are armed and that we are not. That they have backup and that we do not. That their criminal conduct will be protected in our courts and that ours, even if NOT criminal, will not. They know that they can hurt and kill us with impunity and that we will accept their abuse with the docility of the sheep they believe we are. A protected coward however, remains a coward and he will run when his victims stand and fight. It is a cruel fact for a coward to discover that the docility of his victims to which he has become accustomed is not docility at all. It is a civilized and peaceful free man's and free woman's reluctance and forbearance to initiate violence or to meet violence with violence which he does not understand. Violence is not in the nature of most people, but it is an inherent flaw of character and personality of cowards seeking to wear the color and protection of a "Special Culture". It is a failing of those who "obey" policy and orders without hesitation or reluctance in the face of clear criminality of the policy or order. It is a failure of character and personal honor of the "good" servant to support their cowardly associates who obey without question. They are cowards who enjoy the fear and pain of abusive use of violence. Those cowards who give the orders and make the policies of unlawful violence are traitors without honor. Were they all not afraid, their conduct would not include reflexive initiation of unprovoked brutality and dog-pack "joining in" once violence and abandonment of civilized culture is initiated. They would not "just follow orders" of corrupt purpose and effect. Yes, these cowards will run, but they cannot run fast enough or far enough to preserve their personal "Special" from justice, however delivered and by whatever means are at hand. There are surprises rising in the shadow of the growing storm.
Lovers Lair W h a t Yo u C a n D o written by Saab Lofton "In Oregon, author Andy Mangels organizes an annual October event called Wonder Woman Day to raise awareness of domestic violence. Original artwork of the Amazon princess created by the superstars of comic book artists is auctioned off, with the money raised going to women's shelters." --Mike Madrid, from his book, The Supergirls
See, that's what I'm talking about! Here you have a fictional character (as a storyteller, that's my area of expertise) quite literally making the real world a better place! Since its 2006 debut, Wonder Woman Day has raised over eighty-nine thousand dollars for battered women's shelters and I hope/wish/pray this is just the beginning! If you can't afford to emulate what Andy Mangels has done, that's sad but understandable. What I won't tolerate are snide cynics turning their noses up at a comic book superheroine. NOR will I tolerate any claims that the costume is too revealing/exploitive – don't hate her 'cause she's beautiful, honey..! One of the many feminist characters I've created over the years is Silverbullet – the world's first black lesbian superheroine, and hopefully, I'll one day be in a position to do as well as Mangels; the sooner the better, obviously, seeing as how so many worthy charities are in need of funds NOW. I'm tired of going to left-wing meetings where every other activist is sitting around depressed; rattling off the latest in Orwellian headlines and lamenting about how burnt out they are. Fuck that shit! If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will, so keep your head up! In case the peace movement has forgotten, those huge protests in February of 2003 kept countries like Canada from taking an active part in the invasion of Iraq, so imagine how much worse 2010 would be if all those protesters had stayed home... Professor Noam Chomsky stated the following during his interview with The Progressive: "Every night I get many letters, and after every talk I get many questions from people who say, 'I want to change things. What can I do?' I never hear these questions from peasants in southern Colombia or Kurds in southeastern Turkey under miserable repression or anybody who is suffering. They don't ask what they can do; they tell you what they're doing. Somehow the fact of enormous privilege and freedom carries with it a sense of impotence, which is a strange, but striking, phenomenon... They remind me of Columbia students whom I used to argue with back in 1968, who literally thought, 'Look, we're sitting in the president's office for a couple of weeks. After that, it's all going to be peace and love'... That's not the way things work. If you want to make changes in the world, you're going to have to be there day after day doing the boring, straightforward work of getting a couple of people interested and building a slightly bigger organization and carrying out the next move and suf-
fering frustration and finally getting somewhere. That's how the world changes." Given America's penchant for instant gratification, Professor Chomsky's prescription of "boring, straighforward work" is going to turn a lot of folks off (it certainly explains why I'm still single at forty-plus), but thy will MUST be done! Professor Chomsky has often spoken of, "the civilizing effect of the activism of the 1960s, which changed society in many ways (Tikkun Magazine, June 2009)," so clearly, marching en masse while carrying signs is essential, but here's a partial list of relatively affordable and rarely tested activities which can also make a difference... 1) Benefit concerts are great ways to raise funds for good causes, but there can just as soon be dance contests, fashion shows, athletic competitions, car washes and bake sales. Given how much groups like Amnesty International and A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) need money, have all of the above. 2) Hold what I call Pizza Screenings: Find someplace where you can regularly play leftwing movies (Canadian Bacon, Erin Brockovich, V for Vendetta, Star Trek: The Voyage Home, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, etc., etc.) for large audiences and provide enough pizza/soda for everyone. 3) PAY kids to read and write book reports based on (G or PG rated) left-wing texts such as Professor Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States... Sure, it's bribery, but we're competing against video games, here! 4) Dress up like zombies and stagger around military recruiting stations – remind those recruiters (and potential recruits) that the military-industrial complex traffics in DEATH... Be sure to frequently moan the word "brains" because military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. I'm going to end with one of my favorite quotes – from someone I used to work alongside in Las Vegas... "Things can get better. They can. I swear. History may be a cycle, but I believe it is possible to force that cycle to spin upwards. We may never have Utopia, but we can keep trying. We have to. Who will forgive us if we don't?" –Dr. Joshua Ellis, co-founder of Mperia, one of the first online music stores to allow independent and unsigned artists to sell their own work directly to their fans.
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Illegal Immigration is destroying the American Dream
by Jeff Diggs
n 2007, the Educational Testing Services (ETS) released an alarming study regarding the educational competency of the average American resident by 2030. The study combined information from test scores with demographic trends to predict that the U.S. work force will become less literate, less skilled and receive lower pay than the U.S. work force of 1990. ETS reported: "... by 2030 the average levels of literacy and numeracy in the working-age population will have decreased by about 5 percent while inequality will have increased by about 7 percent. Put crudely, over the next 25 years or so, as better-educated individuals leave the work force they will be replaced by those who, on average, have lower levels of education and skill." It sounds odd that the U.S. work force would be getting less intelligent. The ETS attributes this change to immigration and has identified these trends in communities that are inundated with illegal immigrants. In the last decade half of all immigrants to the U.S. arrived illegally. Nearly all of those have since received amnesty. Since 1970, America's largest source of immigrants have been Latin America, especially Mexico. More than half of these Latino immigrants lack a high school diploma. Compared to Canada, more than half of all immigrants to Canada possess a university degree. Half of all Canada's Ph.D.s are foreign-born immigrants. America isn’t choosing poorly educated immigrants. These immigrants are choosing the U.S. and are entering illegally. To make matters worse, these illegal immigrants are not attempting to improve their children’s lives through better education. A study by Stephen Trejo and Jeffrey Groger discovered that thirdgeneration MexicanAmericans were no more likely to finish high school than second-generation Mexican-Americans. Fourth-generation Mexican-Americans did no better than third. If these results continue to hold, the U.S. work force will suffer greatly in to the next century. Failure to enforce immigration laws over the last 30 years has left America with more poorly skilled workers, more poverty and more families without health insurance. Let’s take a look at two U.S. workers today, in 2010: Joe Legal and José Illegal. Both Joe Legal and José Illegal have a wife, two young children, and live in the same southern California community. Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted. José Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 per hour cash "under the table". Now pay attention... Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax. Joe Legal now has $31,231.00. José Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00
per week or $31,200.0 0 per year. José Illegal pays no taxes. José Illegal now has $31,200.00. Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage and outrageously high deductibles for his family at $600.00 per month or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00. José Illegal has no documented income which qualifies him and his entire family for full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. José Illegal still has $31,200.00. Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00. José Illegal and his wife have no documented income and are eligible for food stamps and welfare. José Illegal still has $31,200.00. Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00. José Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. José Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month or $6,000.00 per year. José Illegal still has $31,200.00. Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month or $2,400.00 yearly for auto insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00. José Illegal doesn’t have a valid U.S. driver’s license since he is an illegal and is unable to get auto insurance. José Illegal still has $31,200.00. Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc. José Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc. José Illegal sends lots of his money back to Mexico so his other relatives can enter the U.S. illegally. Joe Legal works overtime on Saturdays and his wife gets a part time job to help supplement raising their family. José Illegal and his wife have nights and weekends off to enjoy with their family. Joe Legal's and José Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while José Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. José Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home. Joe Legal and José Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services but Joe Legal paid for both of them while José Illegal did not.
By Matthew Gorman
Well, it’s been a number of months since I’ve written this column, my M.I.A status resulting from a rather severe bout of seasonal depression and the resulting increase in the frequency of my extracurricular activities. And just what sort of extracurricular activities does someone who writes a column that reviews illicit drugs engage in? I’ll give you one wild guess, and it ain’t backgammon. So now I’m back on the job after a rather dispirited winter of drug binging so that I might once again irresponsibly encourage all of those impressionable young minds out there to do a wee bit of binging too. What’s more, I even have a new favorite narcotic that I’d love to tell you all about. It’s a fun little number that I used to ring in the New Year and one that has henceforth continued to bring to me that wonderfully empty illusion of happiness that only drugs can offer! So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to this month’s vice (and my new best pal!) the synthetic opioid, fentanyl. Fentanyl was first synthesized – meaning that it is completely man-made and contains no opium poppy derivatives like a true opiate – by Dr. Paul Janssen of the eponymous Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 1959. Janssen developed fentanyl by working with analogues of the structurally similar drug, meperidine, more commonly known by its popular brand name of Demerol. This newly discovered drug, which was found to be around 100 times more powerful than morphine (100 micrograms of fentanyl being roughly equivalent to 10mg of morphine) first entered clinical practice in the 1960s as an intravenous analgesic and anesthetic under the trade name of Sublimaze. It wasn’t until the mid 90s, however, that fentanyl began to find widespread clinical use due to the development of the Duragesic patch. The patch works by slowly releasing fentanyl into body fats that, in turn, release the drug into the bloodstream over a period of 48 to 72 hours. Unfortunately, there have been more than a few deaths resulting from fentanyl overdose by patients who have been prescribed fentanyl patches. As such, these transdermal patches are generally recommended only for patients with a higher tolerance to opiates due to the extreme potency of the drug. In other words, it’s not for pussies. Other preparations of fentanyl have been developed over the years as well, including the Actiq (that’s the brand name) lozenges, which are actually fentanyl citrate with a yummy berry flavor that comes on a stick! Yes, I shit you not; it’s a lollipop that gets you really fucking high! And just when you thought you had heard everything, right? These transmucosal lozenges are designed to work quickly in contrast to the longer lasting and slower acting patches and have shown
great success in treating severe pain particularly in opiate-tolerant cancer patients. On the street this powerful narcotic and its many analogues are in high demand and, in addition to the brand name forms of administration mentioned above, fentanyl can be found occurring in its raw state as a white, crystalline powder resembling cocaine or in press tabs of said powder with an inert binder. Pharmaceutical companies manufacture a lot of these press tabs legally but there are others that are crafted illegally in underground labs by black market chemists much in the same clandestine fashion as ecstasy tablets or crystal methamphetamine (although sans the occasional deadly explosion at the trailer park). One marked drawback of street fentanyl so resembling cocaine, however, is that many a dumb fuck has unintentionally offed his or her self by believing that they are simply partaking in some good old-fashioned cocaine and then doing a hefty line of fentanyl instead! Sort of like that scene from Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman’s character snorts a huge, fucking rail of Vincent Vega’s ‘China White’ heroin believing that it’s just some ordinary booger sugar (that’s cocaine for all of you squares out there) and O.D.s nearly killing herself were it not for the heroic efforts of Vega and his trusty smack dealer. Which brings me to yet another interesting fact. A lot of the powder being sold on the streets as ‘China White’ heroin is actually fentanyl, which, even despite how strong of a narcotic most ‘China White’ heroin is generally anyway can be even stronger; an unfortunate marketing error that has led to some rather dead junkies from time to time. Ha ha ha, too bad, so sad. All that being said though, fentanyl is one freakin’ awesome drug! It produces that same intense euphoric effect that makes opiates such as morphine and heroin so appealing to their users. It does this by bonding to the μ-opiod receptors in the brain in much the same manner as these true opiates do. Fentanyl, however, has a shorter duration of effect than most true opiates, which, alas, can lead to a physical dependence upon the drug far more quickly. On the plus side though fentanyl feels “cleaner” if I may use so subjective of a term, and being that it’s my column, I certainly may. I personally don’t feel as “strung out” while on fentanyl as I do with the myriad pantheon of true opiates, and the comedown feels like a breeze to me compared to that of something like black tar heroin or oxycodone (my previous favorite, here now dethroned). All in all, it’s a beautiful treat for opioid junkies everywhere, and I am literally about to do a little toot of it right…now. Ciao!
BUTCHER YOUR BUDGET With May Madison May@theseattlesinner.com
t’s no secret, we’re in a depression. You can call it whatever you like, but the bottom line remains: we’re all broke. Simply being alive comes with so many obligations and socializing is one of them. Socializing on a budget can be downright depressing at times; whether you’re totally broke, kinda broke or just don’t want to spend a fortune. The answer to this conundrum is almost obvious: entertain at home. You would think throwing a shin-dig yourself would be expensive because there’s so much to buy. And it would seem going out would be the better alternative, because, well, all you need to cover is yourself. But going out comes with many expenses that you might not consider right off the bat: gas, bus/taxi fare, tips and so on. And who ever goes out for just one drink? Or just coffee? So on the surface it might seem like it will only cost a few dollars, but by the end of the night, you will be ankle deep in receipts. Now if you are indeed one of the very few who need only walk two blocks and drink only one drink or have only one coffee then by all means continue as you are. But if you prefer more than a couple of drinks or like big social occasions, perhaps I can help. There are only three things you need for a party: good company (no minimum), good food, and drinks or other poisons to taste. Good company is always free. Food is relatively inexpensive if you know what to serve and have some basic cutting/ slicing/ chopping skills. So that leaves drink (or other poisons) which are usually the most expensive, so we’ll start there. If you are throwing a party for three people or more, encourage your guests to bring a contribution. Whatever you do, don’t assign them a specific item or make it ‘mandatory’ as it will take all the fun right out of it and turn your bash into a total drag. Your guests will surely surprise you. Aside from the fun factor, it’s also a great way to learn something new about your guests and start up room-wide conversation. Simply inform everyone that you are requesting everyone bring something to share. You will want to be clear that you are encouraging everyone, so no one feels singled out. That said, you won’t have to worry about buying a full bar to suite everyone’s taste. But that doesn’t mean you can skip out on your guests entirely; you should have at least 1 or 2 poisons ready to serve. This could be a case of beer, a box of wine and/or a bottle of vodka (or gin, or whiskey, etc.). I myself like to have at least two choices and I try and think of something that one of my own guests isn’t likely to bring. If you are serving something generic and you don’t want people to know how much you spent, or if you want to present it in a more extravagant manner, simply transfer it to a clear glass pitcher or punch bowl (check your local dollar store for options!). Now we’ll focus on food. The first rule of thumb for staying on budget and staying stress-free is to stick with cold foods (avoid any actual cooking). Think platters. All you have to do is slice up veggies (tomato, onion, red pepper, green pepper, etc.), cheese (whatever tickles your fancy) and meats such as salami, summer sausage, ham, etc. Meats and cheese can go on the same plate, but you’ll want your veggies on a separate one. And if you’re looking to add a little extra ‘oomph’, a bunch of grapes is a timeless classic. Along with this feast, you’ll want to serve bread or crackers. If you are really watching your budget, you might want to just serve chips and dip (making your own dip or guacamole will save you some cash and add a real ‘homemade’ touch to your bash). If you are really broke, consider a nice fresh loaf of French bread with some garlic butter. The beauty of throwing your own party is the control you have over what to serve and how much to spend. The important thing to remember is to have fun and pay close attention to the small details (i.e. serving the food on your finest dishes, arranging everything so that it is appealing and garnishing wherever you can). You can really take the simplest thing and transform it into something monumental. All in all, your total budget should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $15.00 - $30.00. And keep in mind, your company is always the most important thing.... Next issue we’ll discuss socializing OUT on a budget. Until then, happy saving.
Bitching with Buddha Lu c i fe r
Sinful Nights With The Orchestra Of Death
DEAREST EVIL ONE, Who are these bastards anyway? I’m talking about BP of course. So the gulf of Mexico is turning into one giant dead zone, so polluted that any animals, fish or birds are smothered to death. This shroud of death is spreading like some nightmare. And while no one knows for sure if any device could have stopped this nightmare while it was just a little leak, a remote valve shut off device might have done just that. They’re required in Brazil. BRAZIL! Since when does Brazil lead the USA in safety? Then I heard that those things cost about a million bucks to install and I thought that someone was getting rich and someone is being kicking himself in the ass. I’m hearing estimates in liability for this disaster for which BP is being held accountable at about 100 Billion dollars. Then I hear that BP has the resources to cover it. It’ll hurt I’m sure but these guys have got really deep pockets. Wow, and I’m thinking a million to save 100 Billion really is a no brainer in my book. So who are these stupid ass cheap skates? A 100 Billion Dollars, that’s like a three bedroom condo with cable TV for every homeless drunk in America. That’s free health care for everybody. So who are these stupid rich bastards? Cordially, A Soon to be Homeless Drunk. So you want to know “who” they are or “what” they are? They are the living gods of the 21st century. All powerful and without pity. They can and have brought ruin to countries economies whenever there’s a buck to be made. Even now their hedge funds bet against this countries economic recovery which is like a self fulfilling prophecy. They are the Big People for which you little people serve. Your cities are little more than giant support systems for these Big People. You either work for them, work for someone who works for them, or work somewhere which provides supports services for those who serve them. These living gods are so far removed from you that you might have the silly notion that they are the president of your local bank, but these Big People are global in their reach. They have no loyalty to any nation and might change nationality as it suits them, and when they move on they are like a bad guest who steals both the silverware and every last bit of food. So you once had a job, maybe even a 401k. You saved a little money for emergencies or for your old age. The world is changing. These Big People do not share their wealth or feel loyalty to those who service them. In time you will be replaced by someone younger and cheaper. They may know nothing of your skills, and maybe customers will grumble about the poor service – everyone’s expectations are declining anyway. You’re middleaged and unemployed and no one wants to hire your valuable experience because you cost too much. In time you’ll give back your 401k and any other savings when your unemployment runs out. You are the little people. Bow before the walking gods of the 21st century and don’t bother to try and shake down these Big People. Trust me, if there’s a way to make a buck out of this disaster they’ve already made it. The Biggest One of All, Lucifer, Lord of the Pit. 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.
Club Motor June 2010 myspace.com/seattlesinner
by Paul Ace Diamond “Huggy” Blow
SUMMER TIME is coming and it’s time to get into shape so you will look sexy hot on the beach in your bikini or thong. A lot of people join gyms, but those can be expensive and you really DON’T need gyms or their fancy machines to get into and stay in sexy shape. With the Paul Diamond Blow Workout, YOU TOO can get into and stay in sexy shape with only a 20-minute-a-day commitment.! All you really need for the Paul Diamond Blow Workout is some comfortable workout clothes, a good pair of running shoes, AND dedication! Here’s how to get into sexy shape in only twenty minutes a day... 1) Half-mile jog: To get into sexy shape you need some good cardio exercise. Jogging is so gosh danged easy to do, you can do it anywhere, any time. I really have to laugh out loud when I see people in the gym on those fancy-pants running machines, sweating away and not going anywhere... I mean, why pay to walk or run on a boring machine when you can do it for free in your own neighborhood or at the local park where you can get some fresh air and see some sights? All you really need is a good half-mile jog once a day – a mile would be even better – but just a half mile a day jog is enough to loosen you up and get the blood pumping, and a half-mile jog will take maybe fifteen minutes at a steady pace. A nice jog in the outdoors will also clear your head, and will increase your stamina and energy level, I guarantee it. 2) 100 sit-ups: After your jog it’s time for some quality crunches to work the abdomen and get you that six-pack and abs of steel. I recommend 100 sit-ups a day, or 50 a day when you’re just starting out. Seriously, 100 sit-ups a day WILL tighten up your abs, guaranteed! You don’t need to do them on some fancified gymnasium sit-up board either, the floor will do just fine. 100 sit-ups will take maybe three minutes tops. 3) 40 push-ups: Okay, I have to admit, this is the part of the Paul Diamond Blow Workout that even Paul Diamond Blow hates. I don’t care much for push-ups, but they are a necessary evil to work out and strengthen your upper body, mainly the arms, shoulders, and chest. You DO want nice pecs, don’t you?? I recommend two sets of twenty push-ups a day. Do one set before doing your 100 sit-ups, and the second set after. You do NOT need to go to the fancified gym for the bench press machine, simple push-ups at home will do just fine, and in the privacy of your own home nobody will see you squirm and grimace as you try to do those last five push-ups. Two sets of push-ups will take just a few minutes. Heck, when you’re in sexy shape you should be able to do one per second... Tip: to increase your motivation for the push-ups I recommend saying, “ROCK IT AND SHOCK IT!” before your sets... saying this will pump you up. Now let’s all get sweaty and work out. ROCK IT AND SHOCK IT!!!
HUGGY BLOW’S ROCK STAR OF THE MONTH: Johnny Ramone: Hey ho, let’s go! Johnny Ramone may not have been one of the best guitar players in rock music but he was indeed one of the coolest guitar players ever thanks to his totally awesome, high-energy, blitzkrieg style of buzzsaw guitar play... plus he was in the Ramones, one of the coolest rock bands ever. As far as I’m concerned, Johnny Ramone invented the art of “downstrokes picking” and was indeed the fastest downstroker on record. Believe it or not, most “good” guitar players have a lot of trouble trying to play with downstrokes like Johnny did – they just plain lack the energy. Johnny Ramone put plenty of energy into his playing, and was one heck of an exciting performer to watch. I would go so far as to say that it was Johnny Ramones’ guitar style that invented punk rock, and he has inspired countless scores of youngsters to buy guitars and start punk rock bands. Even though Johnny Ramone was said to have been a super control freak and a right-wing conservative, and nobody in the Ramones circle seemed to like him much due to his mean-spirited nature, his super cool image – the scowling face, the blue jeans, the black leather jacket, and the bowl haircut (a look that never changed in over 20 years) – and his super-exciting Blitzkrieg bopper Johnny Ramone blitzkrieg style of guitar play makes Johnny my Rock Star of the Month..
Sinful Nights ☞
Ticker stops in for a drink at the J&M Crad Room after a gig at The Central June 2010
A Live Music Venue
July 11th - $3 Bloody Mary’s and BBQ
Orchestra Of Death June 2010 at Club Motor
July 12h - Into the Storm; Matsuri; Mercy Ties July 14th - Sleestak Attack with DJ Bobcat July 15th - Autonomdic July 16th - Space Cretins; Midnight Idols; Creem City July 17th - S hit Gets Smashed; White Lung; Botherations; July 18th - This Temper July 20th - Omotai July 21st - Sleestak Attack with DJ Bobcat July 22nd - Ten Miles of Bad Road; Slags July 23rd - Astrovan; Stone Axe; All Time High July 24th - Golden City Riot; Green River Thrillers; The Dignataries; Rattaplax July 25th - *Thunder* with DJ Lance Rawk July 26th - Blvd Park; Annie Lockwood July 28th - DJ bobcat July 29th - Soul Jelly July 30th - Rat City Ruckus; Poop Attach; Steel Tigers of Death July 31st - Spiderface; Brewtal Thirst
Blues legend Nick Vigarino at The J&M June 2010
July 7th - Sleestak Attack with DJ Bobcat July 8th - Fused; Lock N Load July 9th - Whiskey Tango; Shakin Michael J’s; Three Dead Whores; 111 Judges July 10th - Razors and Red Flags; Bryan Minus
Sinner reader Maurice and his girlfriend at the 2Bit. Greg of Local Chaos Birthday Show.
TA C O T U E S D AY S ! 4818 17th ave nw in Seattle www.facebook.com/2-Bit-Saloon
$1 Tacos and $1 PBRs All Day Jessica takes in a show at The J&M June 2010
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF...
ERIC STANZE Eric Stanze is the founder, owner, and operator of Wicked Pixel Cinema, creator of internationally distributed, critically-acclaimed, award-winning motion pictures. He proudly admits to sinning often - therefore he has decided to confess to his seven deadly ones to each of you.
GREED The first one is the one that victimizes me the most - Greed. The only Greed I am guilty of having is that of the desire to make the best films that I can. In that sense, I am one greedy bastard. I do have to put up with the Greed of others though. From distributors to anyone else out to make a buck off my work, Greed pops up often in my life.
WRATH Well, the thing about Wrath is, I have it a lot less than people would assume. I normally am able to release my Wrath through my films, which is a good thing for many people who would otherwise have to feel my Wrath.
LUST The deadly sin of Lust seems like it really shouldn't be a sin. As long as Lust never turns into Greed or Wrath, there ain't a damn thing wrong with Lust. (Lust is more of a gateway sin.)
ENVY I will admit to some Envy. I Envy anyone who has been lucky enough to do what they love for a living AND never have to worry about money. I have the "doing what I love" part down - now if only I could afford to pay the electric bill.
SLOTH When it comes to Sloth, I believe I am perfect in the eyes of Christians. I work non-stop in the interest of bettering Wicked Pixel Cinema, bettering myself as a filmmaker, and trying to keep enough cash rolling in to pay that electric bill. When I hear people say “I’m bored.” my brain barely knows how to process the words. I think I was bored once - when I was three or four-years-old.
GLUTTONY I will flat out admit to Gluttony when it comes to coffee. My team at Wicked Pixel Cinema often must remind/ force me to stop and eat, so food is not my problem. With coffee, however, it practically runs black, no cream, no sugar, through my veins.
PRIDE Now, Pride is another sin that ain't much of a sin. If you have an inflated ego, and you think you're better than everyone else, it's not Pride - it's just being an asshole. However, I believe in taking Pride in one's work - more people should try it. Also, I have much Pride in my team who works their asses off at Wicked Pixel Cinema. If you do something that accomplishes a goal that you set for yourself, you should take Pride in it, damnit! So now all my sins are confessed. I am free to go out and commit some new ones!
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid
sponsored by The Seattle Sinner
n a day that is supposed to unofficially mark the beginning of summer in the Northwest, I'm wearing the bright, red hoodie with the words 'Spaceship Terror' emblazoned in black across the front, over last year's Crypticon tee. Still, even though I slept through the riding of the naked bicyclists (who, according to my local news folks, did do their thing at the Fremont Solstice Parade), I'm a pretty happy, though exhausted camper today, because yesterday I mingled, schmoozed and in all ways felt like horror royalty at this year's annual horror con, Crypticon. The joyful mingling of folks dressed as vampires and realistic zombies and (I think) a ghoul, made a gray, gloomy June Friday perk right up as I entered the Everett Holiday Inn in my 'Jonah Hex' meets 'Deadwood' costume, and I felt right at home. Making the dealer's room (located this year, in a creepy basement that made the hackles on the back Villain in 'Spaceship Terror' of my neck stand up when a nice gent offered to usher me into a 'mini-con/mini haunted house') my first destination, I gathered up new make up, a new horror comic and a new horror button for my 'pirate jacket'. I also got some great photos of the more than unsettling exhibits of dismembered bodies, twoheaded 'things' that looked like something I saw in a movie I watched while at the hospital last year for what they thought was an attack of appendicitis. Made my skin crawl all over again. Upstairs among the friendly vamps, zombies and one-hella-scary looking vampire clown, I made the rounds to a couple of panels, including one on a new horror/slasher film, Spaceship Terror (the same as on my fire red hoodie, which was given to me by one of the tech folks associated with the film, with his words 'run', after the panel was over). On hand were the director, writer and a couple of actors from the film, which at the moment is mostly viewable in the form of a very unsettling trailer at www.spaceshipterror.com. We didn't get to see more clips than the trailer because the guy in charge of that detail got stuck in traffic near Everett, due to an accident on the freeway. Still, it was a joy to trade some ideas on what brought us to do horror (film for him, writing for me) with the director, who admitted that this film was his first foray into 'this kind of film'. I also made quite the idiot of myself when I didn't recognise the inimitable Ernie Hudson, who is one of the major stars of the 'Ghostbusters' films, (among many others) as he was heading down to the aforementioned basement for some autograph signing. Another fan recognised him and gleefully gushed the name of Mr. Hudson, thus making me slap my forehead in shame as Mr. Hudson once again passed this very chagrined writer. At least I did, sort of, recognise Kane Hodder, who starred as 'Jason' from the Friday the 13th films, thanks to a volunteer ( a lovely lass named Esther, who once hailed from Marysville, Mosouri, before moving to Everett, where she now resides) who pointed him out to me. He gave me a handshake so intense, I thought I'd have bruises, but today, I don't thankfully. The only down moment of the the fun came when I chose to go off my set path of heading to a panel on Creators Edge comics, and ended up at an episode of that cheesy 'Eightball Game Show', which is pretty much phony psychic readings and songs that are supposed to answer audience questions. I refrained from storming out after an embarrassingly ridiculous 'answer session' to a skyped Robert Englund (the actor who played Freddie Kruger in the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' movies), but I did leave, too disgusted, as a real psychic, to stay. So this is where all my possible clients have gone, eh, I thought, feeling a lot like those workers who have their jobs outsourced to foreign countries. Not the finest moment in an otherwise delightful evening of mayhem, merriment and the joy of having the status of horror writer celebrated by me and others of my field. Still, that one sad event does not dent my desire to go back next year, when hopefully I'll have a published story in one of the horror zines I now have, part of a growing horror collection.
photo by Julie Lary
Raising Hell With Guitar Doug
he Badlands are a weekend staple at the Seattle rock clubs these days. Of all the bands I’ve featured here, I always felt The Badlands had more to prove than probably any other band I‘ve covered. Probably, because all of the band members are veterans of other popular bands. In the year and a half that the band has been together, “miracle” is a good way to describe how they took what I assumed would become career suicide and turned out a solid group – which to me, is what rockn-roll is all about. They’re a hard working, hard drinking, hard touring band, that never bitches about lugging amps and drums from show to show for little pay, never asks for anything from anyone and literally claws and scratches their way along, without ever taking a break from playing shows long enough to see if they are getting anywhere. A true working man’s band who earns every success the old fashioned way – also known as busting your asses. Now, the part where I got the chip on my Badlands shoulder knocked off for good. A band I wanted to see succeed from day one, but had to be sold on first. Back in the day, there was an all girl Seattle rock group named The Valkyries. I spent a good amount of time involved with the group, because of all the bands I have covered, they were one I saw with mass audience appeal. Every magazine and radio station in town seemed to be covering The Valkyries and I had been the first to get a feature story. Their feature I wrote for The Sinner was one of my most popular ever, but the Valkyries disbanded seemingly overnight after a tour known as The Red, White and Brew Tour, where they opened for Neon Nights. What went on during that tour is neither here nor there, but the band called it quits after returning to Seattle and the musical brains behind the band decided it was time for a fresh start, a new band and a new name. Unbeknownst to the general public, the drummer named Ginnie was writing all the music for The Valkyries, including all the instrumental parts and calling all the shots behind the scenes. Without ever releasing a statement, The Badlands were announced, shows were booked and the band began playing with the core of The Valkyries, along with two members of Neon Nights, who were filling in until full time members could be found. I remember that at the time, I felt as if I had put all sorts of time into a relationship, only to find out my woman had ran off with another man, without any explanation, not to mention a press release. Behind the scenes, even some of the band members wondered if disbanding the group and starting from scratch with a totally different formula would fly. “Do you think maybe you guys can at least keep the name?” I pleaded with Valkyries guitarist “Casey Chaos” one morning over breakfast at The Mecca, just after the band break up. “Nah…” is all she said, staring off into space while biting into a slice of toast. She was more interested in fighting off a nasty hangover and complaining that she was actually forcing every bite down to avoid puking. “Maybe you need a beer.” I suggested. Casey, being the somewhat recent addition on guitar, knew full well it was not her decision to make and
UNMASKED seemed resigned to go along for the ride and hope for the best. The glimmer of hope at the funeral-like breakfast came from Darrin of the band High Class Wreckage, who thought the whole idea of breaking up The Valkyries and starting a band from scratch was brilliant. Being the Sinner’s featured artist at that time, he was all smiles as he offered autographs to the waiter and talked up his own band to everyone in the restaurant. You would have thought he was running for mayor, rather than being the guy I interviewed in the current Sinner, which sat on the magazine rack a few feet away. I even ended up getting stuck having to sign a copy myself for the waiter’s pregnant wife. “Maybe you’re right….” I said to Darrin as I got on my motorcycle to leave, trying to look on the bright side. “The Valkyries were becoming too popular. They risked becoming the Seattle version of The Spice Girls if it went on too long, right?” So, that was that. The Valkyries were over and it was full steam ahead with The Badlands, not that it was any of our decision to make. I could live in the past, or move forward with the new band, which I decided to do. I halfheartedly showed up at the band’s first show at a virtually unknown music venue in the U-District one night in the pouring rain. The show was attended by only a small handful of hard-core fans of The Valkyries and Neon Nights, but went off without a hitch. I posted the first live shots of the band the next day online, which I had strategically taken to make the place look more crowded than it actually was and the photos of Ginnie as lead singer went over well. Many confused readers messaged me asking if The Valkyries had broken up. The proof is in the pudding and today The Badlands have built a reputation as one of the hardest working and most popular club bands in town in the relatively short amount of time they have been together. They have released an EP and are booked for more shows in any given month than just about any other band around. Rather than spend their time perfecting every note in a rehearsal studio, the band has worked out the tunes on stage, night after night, week after week, and month after month. They have one tour under their belts and are already played on a couple of Seattle radio stations. The permanent members are Ginny on lead vocals, Casey Chaos on Guitar, Joanna on bass and Jimmy Flame on drums. Here is what band leader Ginnie has to say about The Badlands.
The new self titled Badland EP is now done. How did you enjoy that process? We recorded last February at Egg Room Studios with Conrad Uno. Recording was quick and easy, because that’s how we do it. In two days, we laid down and mixed six songs. Conrad is the man! Working with him was very relaxing, because he’s such a mellow guy and we felt that he really nailed down what we wanted for our sound, which is powerful, raw, and in your face but with pro quality. Lou and Casey’s guitar tones are incendiary and compliment each other perfectly. Everyone played awesome on it. There has been no official release of the EP, which is self-titled, but it is available at our shows, or if you message us on myspace at www.myspace.com/thebadlandsusa we will send you one for the great price of seven bucks! Tell us about The first Badlands tour you did last spring. We toured some of the East Coast last April for 5 days. We played in New York, Maryland, and Washington DC with Frederick MD’s own Cobra Clutch! We rented a Dodge Charger to get around in style, Badlands style! We got an encore in NYC at Arlene’s, which was pretty sweet, and somehow ended up with fake blood, hopefully not real, all over our shoes at our show in Maryland. Adam from Cobra Clutch also demonstrated how
to do an eye shot. You hold a bottle of liquor to your eye and pour it in. Tah-Dah! Eye shot! I guess him and Jimmy used to do those all the time when they were kids, it’s suppose to get you really messed up. Any other touring in the works? We plan to go back to the East Coast this October to tour again with Cobra Clutch and are aiming to get our split with them ready to go by then. We had a really good time over there, the crowds are pretty receptive, bought a lot of our CDs and paid our bar tabs too! I noticed your were on crutches when you got back from tour? What’s that all about? We had just played our first show in Frederick, MD and went back to Adam from Cobra Clutch’s apartment armed with tons of beer, lemonade vodka, and whiskey. After hours of rowdiness that included testing batting averages with brooms and empty beer boxes in the kitchen and breaking Adam’s blinds and eventually the poor broom, I decided to take a breather and sit down. A friend of ours began to imagine that there were invisible enemies around us, swooping and screeching around the room like some sort of bat monsters. Just as one of those enemies was about to attack me, our friend pushed me off the couch in a desperate attempt to save me. Unfortunately, my legs were crossed and my ankle snapped against the other on the way down. I believe the monster may have been the spirit of the broom we had just broken, or maybe it was the spirit of the blinds we had broken too. They were out for retribution! “You broke my body I’ll break your ankle, bitch!” I could almost hear them laughing on their way out the window. The next morning we were all like “What the hell was in that vodka?” Lou of Neon Nights is not in The Badlands anymore? Lou officially retired from The Badlands last May. Along with Joanna, Casey and I, he was a founding member of The Badlands. His band was gearing up and getting really busy, so it was time for him to exit the stage. It’s good to see him back in the audience. After all, he is the best dancer. We love and thank him for his contributions to The Badlands! How did Jimmy, who normally front his own band Jimmy Flame and The Sexy Boys, become your drummer? Lauren from The Wrecked Chords hooked us up with Jimmy, who agreed to fill in for a few shows as long as we provided a drum set for him to use. He won us over by learning our songs and playing the shit out of them on our first practice. We won him over with a great rear view from his drum set and the fact that we cleared out a fancy pants West Seattle bar we played at on Halloween. Upcoming Shows July 13th at The Funhouse with Keg July 17th at The Tiger Lounge with Atomic Bride
THE SINFUL FASHION OF
KRISTINE HAWTHORNE AND NOEL AUSTIN interview by Chuck Foster - Photos provided by Eader Photography
few months ago when I sat here contemplating the suspension of this alternative outlet for politics, music and art in Seattle, I was contacted by Kristine Hawthorne about a fashion shoot that Noel Austin, Eader Photography, and herself had put on. This threesome made a perfect click immediately, complementing the freakish nature of Noel and the brilliant design work of Kristine through the mysterious eyes of Eader Photography. After looking through the images Kristine had sent, I decided to give the tough biz of Seattle publishing another chance – how could I not? Kristine has been a professionally trained Pastry chef (CIA 95) for the past ten years, working as the executive pastry chef at the Seattle Convention Center. But she admits that clothing design has always been pumped through her veins from a young age, and has sewn clothing for a hobby on the side for years. Noel on the other hand is most known as the freak of PURE CirKus, seeing himself as a person who has been misunderstood until he fell ass backwards into the Seattle fashion scene. He laughs while admitting to being a dirty punk-rocker who has traveled the country hustling, doing drugs and putting studs and patches on his jacket. Eader on the other end is self described as someone who is into interesting things that intrigue people, being darkly mysterious, delightfully humors and engagingly unique with his work. With such a motley crew, something exciting was sure to happen. Noel got into the fashion scene a few years back. For anyone in the Seattle underground scene, you have seen him enter and leave shows bare-chested in his studded jackets and clothing. At just about every show he’s asked where he bought his punk-style jacket – surprisingly, he made it himself by hand. Through this process he was introduced to fashion producer Ryan Muller of Active Entertainment, and like he said, he fell ass-backwards into the fashion scene. For Kristine it was internet sales of her clothing line that elevated her to the next level, locking her ‘hobby” status in the closet for good. I asked the duo what separated their fashion form the mainstream hipster garbage found at mass outlets like JC Penny, Target, Hot Topic, etc. Kristine admits to incorporating bits of mainstream fashion into her pieces but still keeping them well away from the normal everyday clothing you would see walking down the street. She wants everyone who wears one of her pieces to feel that it was made just for them and that they will not find another piece just like it anywhere. Noel on the freakish side of the spectrum, says that he brings passion to the table formed by a life lived, designs for the angry, young and feared that scream, “Fuck you! I don’t like you!” He feels that main stream fashion has come up short with its mass produced and watered down looks. “It never fails, there is always some pack of jocks or frat guys who call me a freak or a weirdo. When they don’t realize they are all wearing the same shirt with some light blue jeans and they all look the same with their blonde girl friends. Really, how fucking weird is that shit?” He feels that these people have no identity, that they are clones of a clone, and very weak. I asked Eader what the shoot was like for him, mostly for my own curiosity. Shooting with Noel, he says was nothing less than freakish, that you never know what to expect with him, but admits that this guy’s got his ball rolling. Kristine, he says, was a sweetheart, easy to work with, and her designs are just brilliant. As for the motorcycle in the shoot at Psycho Cycles, he says you can never go wrong with beautiful choppers and sexy broads. Noel and Kristine do not have any other fashion shows planned for the upcoming months, but Noel says look for something in about six months. And Kristine is now planning to focus on a portfolio with mass shooting. With that said, she wanted to give a big thank you to Pamela Grieco (www.pamelagrieco.com)! She says that Pam’s fantastic makeup and hair design is a constant inspiration to her, that without her talent her outfits would look only half complete. And of course, a big thank you to all the models and photographers who have supported her in the past. Noel was not short of thanks, but his last words were, “FUCK YOU! LET’S RODEO!” To find more fashion by Noel, he says to go to www.noelaustin.com or to look up d.n.a. Designs through Google or come to one of these Next Chance shows. To find more fashions by Kathleen go to www. etsy.com/shop/hhfashions. And last, but certainly not least, to find more imagery by Eader Photography please go to eaderphotography.com, or you can head to a small gallery in the back of the Gilt Edge Hair Society in Belltown.
Skin Deep with Stu
Photography by LB Photography (LBfoto1@yahoo.com)
HAPPY HOUR FOOD UNTIL 9 PM DAILY 5 food and drink specials
Ty - Centrals main door man
LIVE MUSIC! Almost Nightly
Happy Hour Specials $4 single wells $5 doubles $4 micros & imports $3 domestics $5 guiness & stella Ty says it’s time to get your asses down to The Central for some live music and happy hour fun!
et me start by Saying that the purpose of this monthly column is to offer information and a personal view on matters involving body piercing and modification and is in no way meant to put myself above any other artist in the industry. Secondly, if you have a horror story and choose to share it with us, DO NOT give the name of the artist involved as I will just omit it anyway. There are many artists in the St. Louis and surrounding areas that deserve nothing but the utmost respect from myself and supporters of our shared profession. If you have a question about piercing/modification, a story, or just a desire to better understand the culture and would like that answered, please send them to: Stu@StuModifies.com. Dear Stu, I saw you perform a few months ago with your suspension crew and was super impressed. You guys were a lot of fun to watch and it really made me think about doing a suspension myself. I was wondering what the process is for getting yourself ready for something like that and also how do you know when you are ready. – Sincerely, Jessica First, thanks so much for the support. We have a large scene about to explode in this city and there are many great artists working to make sure that St. Louis is placed on the map not only as a place where you can get an amazing tattoo but as a place that you can receive quality body modification and ritualistic aid. Believe me in the next few years you will be seeing more of what we do and all of us will need the support of our community now more than ever as we seek to expand the minds of this great city. So thank you once again for wanting to get active. Keep up the great work. Now on to your question… Suspension is certainly not something you just jump into, at least not in my opinion. For me I require a face to face consultation, unless of course you are from another state. In that case we would most likely talk multiple times by phone, and a minimum of one month mental/physical preparation prior to agreeing to anything. The steps given in preparation are quite simple really, we talk about breathing, diet, living habits and pain acceptance along with discussing the many different thoughts/ emotions you may encounter while suspending and how to deal with them. Please note: just because we cover all of the bases that I just mentioned, it still does not mean that you will get in. This is not meant to discourage but, instead, a way for me to screen and get a feel for my cliental before the act takes place. If I don’t feel com-
fortable suspending you, or for whatever reason feel you are not ready, I simply will not suspend you. This is how I do my best to assure positive experiences and the safety of the participants. I WORK HARD TO NOT DECLINE BUT SOMETIMES THERE IS NO CHOICE. As for knowing when your ready it’s just kind of something you come across in your own mind. You see the act clearly in your head and you watch yourself achieve your goal over and over again as if you have already done it a hundred times before. The drive to go through with your decision shoots through the roof and you feel unstoppable until the moment you are faced with the hooks. A light fear and doubt will shadow your mind but you allow the negativity to pass and soon you confront the rig. This is the time where the real decision is made. You may feel afraid, you may distrust the rig or even the artists assisting you, but it is in this instance that you must remind yourself why you are in the position in the first place and why you selected the artists that you did. That brings me to one part I feel you left out “SELCTING YOUR PRACTITIONAR”. Suspensions are very personal and every artist handles them a little differently with only really a diagram of safety rules and regulations to protect their clients connecting their styles. You must remember that even if you are not doing this for a spiritual reason, or perhaps don’t even believe in anything of that nature, there is still a certain feeling that you are going for and it is important to select an artist/crew who fits best into your image of the experience. Just make sure you do your research and trust the situation fully. I wish you luck in your journey and hope that you will continue assisting our community in building itself. We are, after all, empowered by our supporters. Many Thanks, Stu
All questions will be answered by email or by a request for you to call me directly and may be in the next issue of the St. Louis Sinner! Thanks for reading! Stu (Myspace.com/StuModifies - Facbook.com/StuModifies) Self Inflicted Studios (Myspace.com/sistl) 1328 Washington Ave in St. Louis - (314)-621-4660 Stu@StuModifies.com
By Matthew Gorman
ithin the vast lagoon of the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy, that is home to the beautiful city of Venice – a scenic metropolis long regarded as a romantic destination for lovers both young and old – lays a small island with an all together different sort of reputation. The island is called Poveglia, and it is said to have been the site of countless deaths throughout its long and sordid history. It is claimed by many that the Venetian locals shun the island and even refuse to speak its name, and that its dark shores are littered with the ashes and bones of those who perished there in ages past. Legend also has it that the tortured souls of these long dead still walk this island of horrors, sometimes even wreaking their havoc upon the living who find themselves unlucky enough to venture there.
photo by Chris 73 bad outbreak of the plague in 1576 literally thousands upon thousands of the infected, including children and even babies, were taken, often kicking and screaming, from their homes in Venice and out to the island of Poveglia to die. Legends claim that anywhere from 160,000 to 180,000 plague victims met their ends upon this accursed island over the centuries, the majority of this number during the 1576 outbreak.
A Brief History Poveglia was inhabited as early as the 5th century but didn’t become densely populated until around the 9th century. In the following centuries, however, it grew in importance to the region of Venetia and even developed its own local government, although it was never completely autonomous from the greater Venetian government. In 1379, when the Italian city-states were at war, the Genoan fleet came to attack Venice and the inhabitants of Poveglia were evacuated lest they had been quickly dispatched by the enemy onslaught. A fortification was built upon the island shortly thereafter to defend the city of Venice from the encroaching enemy ships. The edifice came to be known as “The Octagon” and still stands upon Poveglia to this very day. After this time, the island remained largely uninhabited for centuries until 1777 when it fell under the jurisdiction of the Venetian Public Health Office and was used a checkpoint to inspect incoming vessels before they entered into Venice. After several cases of bubonic plague were discovered on two ships in 1793 the island was transformed into a quarantine station for the ill. It remained in this capacity until it was shut down in 1814.
The Legends Legends abound concerning the goings on about Poveglia throughout its history, and none of them are very pleasant to say the least. It is claimed that Poveglia was used as a quarantine and “plague pit” as far back as Roman times and continued to be used for just such reasons each time the plague spread throughout Europe. Those suffering from the plague would be dragged from their homes and ferried over to Poveglia where they were condemned to live their final moments on Earth in giant pits of the dying and already dead. The bodies, as the story goes, would be subsequently burned in huge bonfires (the origin of the word bonfire actually comes from “bone fire”, a fire hot enough to burn human bones) and the greasy ashes of their corpses soon covered the island like a layer of silt. It is said that even today the local fishermen refuse to operate their vessels near the island, as they would often find the bones of the long dead in their nets whenever they did. The story continues that during one particularly
And to add to the horrible history of Poveglia, in 1922 it is said that a mental institution was constructed on the island to house the insane of Venetia. The hospital was allegedly presided over by a sinister doctor prone to cruel experimentation upon the patients entrusted to his care. It is claimed that he would often perform crude lobotomies with hand-operated drills or simply with a hammer and chisel and without even the smallest mercy of anesthesia upon the hapless lunatics. During this time, many of the mental patients were said to have reported seeing the ghosts of long dead plague victims, but as these men and women were already deemed insane no one would believe their claims of rotting corpses shambling about the island in spectral agony. The doctor’s solution to these terrified tales of the walking dead was to simply conduct more lobotomies, which he is said to have carried out within the asylum’s bell tower. Eventually, it is said, the doctor began to see the ghosts as well. They tormented him and drove him into madness. Then one night, so the legend goes, the spirits dragged him up to the top of the bell tower and either pushed him or forced him to jump to his death on the hard stones far below. Only the doctor didn’t die right away. As he lay broken and bleeding at the base of the bell tower a nun who worked at the hospital claimed that she witnessed a strange mist come up from the ground and enter the doctor’s mouth. As she looked on in resolute terror, the ghostly fog appeared to choke the final vestiges of life from the mad doctor’s shattered body. And now, too, the doctor’s ghost has joined the ranks of Poveglia’s dead. On a quiet night it is said that you can even hear him ringing the tower’s bell, its eerie toll echoing across the darkened lagoon. Another disturbing tale concerning Poveglia alleges that in more recent years a wealthy Venetian family traveled to the island with the intention of purchasing the land cheaply from the government and constructing a summer home upon it. It is said
that they fled the island before the night was through and refused to speak of their ordeal to anyone. Their daughter’s face had been ripped open – by who or what the family would not say – and needed twenty stitches to close her wound.
The Reality Here’s the kicker though, as tantalizing as these tales of terror may be to those of us who enjoy a good oldfashioned ghost story, the legends are, for the most part, complete and utter bullshit. First off, there appears to be no historical record of plague victims being quarantined on Poveglia until the previously mentioned cases of plague discovered in 1793. True, after this time, Poveglia was indeed used as quarantine and as is so often the case with the bubonic plague. I’m sure that the majority of those infected did, in fact, die upon the island. Also, as the burning of bodies was the accepted method for disposal of the infected dead (so as to prevent the further spread of the disease), I imagine that their bodies were burned there as well. But the numbers were nowhere near the numbers of legend, and the conditions on Poveglia were a far cry from the ghastly pits of the dead and dying attested to in the legends concerning the island. Historical records actually show that many of the infected had private rooms and nurses looking to their care. And as for the huge outbreak of plague that occurred in 1576, it wasn’t even Poveglia where the infected of Venice were quarantined. During this time, in fact, it was a different island in the Venetian Lagoon called Lazzaretto Nuovo where the plague’s victims were brought to die. Furthermore, the total number of plague deaths during this outbreak in Venice was only around 8,000 persons, still a substantial number, but quite a bit removed from the tens of thousands of myth.
Oh, and that mental hospital with the mad doctor and his bizarre experiments? Well, the building in question was actually a retirement home, and a rather nice one at that. And while I suppose that some abuses by the staff may have occurred, I’m guessing that hammer and chisel lobotomies were not in their playbook. And since there was no actual insane asylum, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the horrible doctor
more than likely never even existed either. As for the tale of the family fleeing the island and their daughter’s face being ripped open, it’s simply hearsay, and so it may or may not have occurred. And even if it did, the girl may, in fact, have suffered her injury through completely normal means such as being attacked by a wild animal or by slashing it on something sharp during an accident. While I was a bit disappointed to find the legends of Poveglia to be sorely lacking in historical credence, the thing that I find the most irksome is that the island has been featured on two reality series, Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Adventures, both of which simply reiterated the fantastical legends concerning Poveglia as hard fact. “Facts” that I easily found to be mostly fabrication after only the most rudimentary bit of Internet research. Sure, it made for great television but how about a little fucking integrity, especially in a field of study so oft maligned by the established scientific community?
Still… Of course, this isn’t to say that Poveglia isn’t actually haunted, in fact, I believe that it may well be. You have to remember that plenty of people did still die here from the plague, in military skirmishes, and I imagine that even those elderly people in the retirement home may have met with tragic fates involving terminal disease and suffering, all the sorts of things that can lead to restless spirits. As much as I’ve already expressed my displeasure with the show Ghost Adventures (the guys on the show remind me of a group of high-strung douche bag frat boys), the episode where they went to Poveglia was, nevertheless, a very interesting one. Lead douche bag, Zak, claimed to have been confronted and “possessed” by an angry spirit, which I had a bit of trouble believing because these guys always seem to over-dramatize everything to make the show more exciting. I do truly respect Jason and Grant’s more measured approach on the show Ghosthunters, but these Ghost Adventures guys are a bunch of fucking clowns. Still, they did manage to catch a startling piece of evidence on video, a dark and sinister looking shadow that appears to move independently from any light source down the length of a pillar inside one of the island’s buildings. If they didn’t fabricate this evidence (something that I wouldn’t put past these douche bags and this fucking show) then it is a creepy and amazing little glimpse of what may very well be a ghostly entity. Also there have been tons of reports over the years by groups of amateur ghost hunters who flouted authority (the island is off limits to the general public) and traveled to Poveglia. Many of them have had exciting and sometimes terrifying experiences there that they claim have been nothing short of brushes with the supernatural. Recently, plans have been made to open up a hotel on the island, and there is already a secondary school for boys functioning there as well. With more and more people traveling to Poveglia in the years to come it will be interesting to see if any more reports of the paranormal surface as time goes on.
The Surly Gourmand Devouring Slices of Misery so You Don’t Have To
Kitchen & Lounge 601 Queen Anne Ave N • 206- 432-9069 When I heard about Toulouse Petit I was immediately intrigued, but skeptical. Normally I try to keep my nose out of the politics but I heard a rumor that the dude who owns Peso’s had something to do with Toulouse Petit. That was strike one because Peso’s sucks ass. Actually, I’m sorry: I can only CONJECTURE that Peso’s sucks ass because you aren’t allowed in there if you don’t drive either an Escalade or a Hummer, and everyone knows that my ride is your mom so of course I’ve been denied entry to Peso’s. I was also extra skeptical because I don’t like the name. Toulouse Petit. It’s like they tried to come up with the most “New Orleans-y” name possible. I could have come up with some better ideas: how about “Bayou Billy’s Bourbon Street Bordello?” or “A Streetcar Named the Superdome?” or “Show me Your Tits: the Restaurant?” Still, I’m a glutton for punishment so I went to Toulouse Petit. Much has been made of the interior, but I don’t think words can describe how over the top this fucking place is: the multicolored rough plaster walls look stupid. Or maybe they hired blind hookers to paint it. The menu brags about how many gazillions of pieces of glass are in the windows. And yes, I’ll agree that the windows look cool, but that’s only from the INSIDE. From the outside, Toulouse Petit’s extra-awesome windows just look like a lot of expensive handcraft embedded into a green stucco box. And the tables, with their intricate wood inlays, are just fucking ostentatious. I’d call the showy interior a fail. It looks like a crayon factory exploded inside. They DID, however, get one very important thing right: the menu. Toulouse Petit’s menu, like Galatoire’s or Antoine’s or any one of the old school New Orleans pleasure palaces that it’s trying to emulate, is a vast decadent Bible of gustatory excess. We started with the boudin blanc ($7.50). This boudin blanc is similar to the watery, pallid, rice-filled sausage you find in Louisiana convenience stores in name only. Toulose Petit’s boudin was fantastic: plump, juicy sausages, sautéed to a glossy bronze, strained in their cases and practically begged you to cut into them. And when you did, it was awesome: rivulets of juice ejaculated from a deceptively light and airy pork stuffing. The duck confit salad ($10) had lots of radicchio, crescents of sliced celery, and lurid glistening purple chunks of duck confit, topped with a poached egg and a mustard vinaigrette. The vinaigrette combined with the grumbling bitterness of the radicchio was ALMOST too much until you cut into the egg and mixed the yolk into the salad, which mellowed the fuck out to the point where it was JUST painless enough to wolf the fuck down. Fried alligator seemed a bit pricey at $9.95. For this price you got a small pile of alligator:
pink slabs of fleshy tail meat sliced thinly and fried in a really shaggy but crisp breading. This was served with twin pools of remoulade: one chili flavored, smoky and burgundy; the other bone-colored and speckled with herbs (tarragon?). Both remoulades were finely textured. Sometimes when eating alligator, you get the shittiest, most rank taste you’ve ever had in your mouth, similar
only to the shitty rank taste I get when eating your mom. The gator was in no way contaminated by the rancid flavor of reptile fat. Fried Chicken Gumbo was, for $7.50, a rather small bowl. They wisely didn’t try to stretch the gumbo with too much rice; all of the shitty bowls of gumbo I’ve seen at tourist traps always feature an enormous ice cream scoop of white rice, or even TWO scoops sometimes, mounded into twin bosomy heaps, with only a meager splash of thin grey dishwater gumbo on top. Toulouse Petit’s gumbo was nothing like this: the roux itself was thick and chocolatey, with a satin finish, and there was just enough rice to mix into the soup without blunting the flavor. Perched on top were crisp chunks of chicken breast fried in that same crunchy shaggy batter as the fried alligator. Well done. Beignets cost $7. This is pretty fucking pricey for 6 triangular beignets. That’s highway robbery in Louisiana. In Louisiana, beignets are CHEAP. But that’s BECAUSE THEY FUCKING SUCK. Beignets are for old people and drunks: drunks can’t taste how shitty and leathery these fucking things are, and old people remember the time they ate a rat at the height of the Great Depression, so to them a stale, crumbly fake donuts tastes delicious. The beignets at Toulouse Petit are not much better: they’re fried to a dark brown varnish, folded into crumbly triangles like middle school paper footballs. They were okay but a creamy chicory crème anglaise that accompanied was brilliant: when you dipped the beignets into the chicory cream the overall effect was like a million 5 am breakfasts with your grandparents. I reluctantly found myself genuinely enjoying Toulouse Petit. The food is actually quite tasty. The only way it could be more reminiscent of the actual Louisiana experience would be if the food caused you to drop out of high school and drive a Firebird and wear white rubber boots. Rating: 8.5 Louisiana experiences out of 10
Outlaws in G-Strings:
Stories of and from a Notorious Stripper by ‘Blondie Butler’
hroughout the 80s and 90s, Blondie Butler was a name that was well-known by most nudie-bar owners and stripper connoisseurs across Canada and parts of the US; especially those ‘gyno-row’ (front row and center) perverts who never missed an opportunity to spend their lunch hour cozied up along the edges of a stripper stage, contentedly munching their burgers in front of a spread-eagle beaver. The name was bestowed upon me in 1979, the day I began my career as a ‘peeler’ (Canadian slang for ‘one who peels off their clothes’). I had submitted a photo and application to a local ‘modeling’ agency in Winnipeg, Manitoba, not realizing that ‘modeling’, in this case, was code for ‘strippers’. The agency was operated by a pair of highstrung homosexuals (who the hell am I kidding? They were flaming, tiara-wearing queens) who just about fell out of their pink leather chairs when they saw me walk through the door. Hairy and Fairy’s was the only strip…ummm…sorry… model agency in Manitoba at the time, but most of their stable of ‘girls’ were prematurely aged from drugs and booze, flap-jack-tittied or flat-assed; road-worn or just plain worn-out. Jack ‘n Off took one look at my lithe and leggy, bronzed and beach-buffed body and probably sprouted the only boners they had ever had for the opposite sex. I was what they called, ‘Fresh Meat’. They asked me if I had a stage name. Before I could embarrass myself by asking, “A what?” Dick, in a moment of brilliant originality, decided I should go by the name of ‘Blondie’. Sucker took another hard look at my ass and chimed in with the ‘Butler’ surname. I should have just named myself Little Miss Airhead. They signed me up on the spot to a five-year contract, and I was thrilled. I mean, come on – eighteen-years-old, tits-larger-than-her-IQ, first time away from mommy – I was convinced that in a matter of weeks I’d be shooting for Vogue. Twiddle and Diddle shook my hand, ushered me out the door, and steered me towards the bus that would take me to my first gig. They stood and waved and watched me walk off, no doubt looking forward to celebrating the fortune they knew they were going to make off of their new ‘TWT’ (Twit With Tits) by a night of butt-plunging and cum-swigging. And they did – make money off of me. A lot of money. So…while I was flashing my titties in every cockroach (and cock-rubbing) dive-bar across the country, forced to sleep in motels that were as famous for scabies as they were for the five-dollar blowjob, needle-popping skanks that rented their rooms by the month, my agents, ‘Butt’ and ‘Fucker’ were living high off of the lamb, fleecing my naïve ass for every cent it was worth. But I’m not bitter – far from it. I got cultured in more ways than I could have ever predicted; I traveled the world; I befriended wonderfully fucked-up friends who remain fucked-up and friendly to this day – I even ran for Prime Minister of Canada (another future episode). I spent twenty-five years of my life wriggling around on stripper stages from Tucumcari to Alaska; New Brunswick to Mexico City and everywhere in-between. I learned a lot; I saw a lot – and I wrote it all down. These are my stories, and they’re all true. The only names I changed were that of my former agents, as they’re still alive and I don’t really want to make their faggy craniums any bigger than they are, already. I am, however, not exaggerating when it comes to the degree of their ‘swish’: those two are so flaming their asses spit fire. And that’s just the first story of and from a Notorious Stripper...
This, I Shamelessly Tell You Little girl goes to the circus, has an epiphany and learns that Seattle audiences are horrid now by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid
HAPPY HOUR FOOD UNTIL 9 PM DAILY
5 food and drink specials
Ty - Centrals main door man
Happy Hour Specials
Yesterday I had the most amazing ephiphany, one that made me stop in my tracks in the middle of a busy day and thank the Goddess for the partner and naturopath I have as part of ‘team Shani’ (the name I’ve given the group of folks who keep me healthy and thriving in an increasingly crazy world). I suddenly realized that one, I was ‘having my monthly’ on the exact same day as it started when I was a wee horror writer/top of 11, and that anniversary also marked the anniversary of my liberation from my monster of a father at that same age. Heavy stuff, realizing that as I get ready for my entry into cronehood, I get to look at the events that basically form the core of who I am today. So, it was from this newly free (and much happier than I was when I really WAS) headspace that I went with my daughter and her beau to see the newest Cirque du Soleil show, Kooza. The show was great, if a little more lowkey than some I’ve seen in the past years (particularly Cavalia, my personal favorite, because it had horses and I love horses), with only a few acts and those being more on the Vegas lounge side than the splendor I’ve come to expect from Cirque shows. I could add that being an eleven-year-old in a 54-year-old woman’s body helped me to enjoy the show in ways that it seemed others, who were younger, around me didn’t seem to. In fact, I have to point out here, that the audience and their lackadaisical reactions (think: jaded to the point of being disgusting) bordered on something the empire of Rome, before it fell to the Vandals and Goths,
$4 single wells $5 doubles $4 micros & imports $3 domestics $5 guiness & stella Ty says it’s time to get your asses down to The Central for some live music and happy hour fun!
Synchronized Trapeze Picture credit : Al Seib Costume credit : Dominique Lemieux
would have felt a sympatico for. That most people only seemed to react when there looked like a grisly accident involving a first night jitters entertainer was going to happen, which was appalling to my pre-teen in a woman’s body mind. It made me realize that Seattle, (and perhaps other cities, but I live here) has come so far past the innocent, grunge loving, greasy haired hippie group of folks I found when I first moved to Seattle from Chicago in the late eighties, that they’re no longer able to enjoy something as beautifully simple as a circus. Really sad, and even a bit tragic. What I saw was such a naked brutishness (folks hollering out like Roman citizens at an arena watching gladiators die in centuries past), that at one point, I felt almost unable to keep sitting through the rest of the show. Still, the little light of that eager eleven-year-old, and the realization that this show was exactly what was missing in my more than awful childhood when we still lived with my father, kept me there, and buoyed me over the empty heads of the stone faced crowd. I was going to enjoy my little experience of ‘pretty’ damn it, no matter how heinous the people around me were behaving, and I did. It almost made me glad that my financial situation is such that small pleasures still mean something. That the crassness of having things and money hasn’t destroyed my ability to find miraculous the joy of watching folks bend into pretzel shapes in gorgeous outfits. Today, as I sit writing this, my life partner/slave sitting near me, busily writing his own stuff on astrology and the world, I’m still in awe of how the audience last night was so different from the audience of moneyed Seattleites pre-bank crashes. Nonetheless, I took some of the crepe paper confetti home, put it in my special ‘secrets’ box, put the new mask I’d bought at the Cirque store on my slave, along with my red, feathered, baby doll gown and had one of the most intense and fun scenes we’ve ever had. Not what I might have done when I really was eleven and the world was just opening to me, a new and terrifying vista after living behind (I kid you not dear reader!) a six foot fence my father built to keep us from the ‘savages’ (that’s what he called the neighborhood kids) next door. I still find it ironic that he thought they were savages compared to his outrageous crimes against my innocent self. Me, I’m looking forward to the rest of summer with new eyes and a clean soul, one that loves a good circus and still finds pretty paper something worth saving. This, I shamelessly tell you.