Issue 83 December 2009
The Shy Ones UNMASKED Disgruntled Retail Workers Speak Out
Celebrating 7 Years of Sinful Publishing
Fear & Publishing Hangovers & Icy Highways
e were somewhere along I-90 in Montana when we hit the ice. The night before the local radio station predicted an inch of snow for the area, if not less; their forecast was way off. Signs only warned of ice on the bridges, so the highway was presumed to be safe. When you hit ice there’s only a few options under these dire circumstance: pull off the road and wish for the storm to pass quickly, or smash the pedal to the metal and out run Mother Nature. Having switched from full coverage insurance to liability prior to this journey, I went with door number three, drive about 25 miles per hour – “grandpa speed”, or so the wife calls it. All was well with slow and snow, pothole deep ice on the road and all, until we creeped upon the MDOT ice plow. The math said that at 25 miles per hour we could still make Mechanismus later that night at Rebar, but that at 15 miles per hour we were sure to miss it. Our only option was to pass the plow. It seemed like a safe bet, but we quickly realized the passing lane was even deeper in ice, far worse driving conditions for our Tacoma pick-up. Our only option then was to wipe-out or fall back behind the plow; we fell behind. Then we faced the fucking nuts who decided slam the pedal to the metal and outrun Mother Nature, blinding us with chucks of ice and mud across our windshield. Jeff Gordon would have taken the bridge out, and I almost did. But Jeff Gordon is a professional driver under the best weather conditions, not a sinner – I’m a Sinner, drink in hand, prepared for the worst conditions old Mother Nature has to throw my way. So we toughed it out and drove on until the plow moved over. Traveling 2,400 miles along the socialist-based Canadian border in mid-November is not a feat for the squeamish or less-daring. A venture of this sort isn’t some cruise trip to Alaska with life boats and heated swimming pools, nor is it a quick plane flight with an alcohol serving attendant and first-class luxuries – it’s dangerous, even for the most prepared transient. Mother Nature, Fate, and Death all ride these highways endlessly, seldom resting. At one turn a road sign will read “Watch For Ice On Bridge”; at the next turn, the entire highway may be a frozen tundra full of six inch potholes of ice for miles on end. But Mother Nature is a bitch that most transients can outlast. It’s nice when she opens a window to crawl through or a door to enter, but when she locks the windows and slams the door in your face, you either turn around and head to a hotel like a whipped dog, or you kick the fucking door in, hog-tie the bitch and have your way with her. Understand that extreme conditions demand extreme action. And when your on a mission from God, neither Mother Nature nor Death can intimidate you behind the wheel, and that was just the case when we headed out to Seattle last month for our seven year anniversary shows. But Mother Nature is only one ear-bitting bitch on your back when racing across country during the beginning of winter. Death awaits travelers at every corner; him, and his comrade Christians call Fate. Together these two are known to throw far worse than ice in front of you, like a couple of circus jugglers throwing chain saws back and forth while you try to pass between them. These bastards have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves. Who do you think sends that deer, elk, wolf, rabbit or Sasquatch in front of your car while traveling 80 mph down the highway, painting the freeway with blood and guts and broken glass? And who do you think puts that random serial killer on the road or fucking nut job who likes to cowardly shoot people from an overpass on the bridge? Surely it’s not God... it must be Death or Fate. So know that trips of this nature demand certain preparation before committing, as does committing to two newspapers in two cities. You will certainly need roadside assistance, but that only works if you stay on the beaten path and you have a phone signal at the top of the mountain range or through the middle of the dessert. If not, you’re pretty fucked without supplies. We learned last year on our move to Misery to at least take a gallon of gas with us, as you may travel over 150 miles between cities – like
when we ran out of gas a mile outside the third nameless town in the middle of bum-fuck, Oregon. We also carry mace, and a long skinny flat-head screwdriver inside the door. If pulled over by a backwoods officer of the law he or she might freak out over the mace or a knife, but at first glance the screwdriver appears to be a tool of the road, not a weapon. That is true until some mother-fucker tries to car jack you, and you stab that bastard in the neck or eye with it. I’ll take that screwdriver and a can of mace over a pistol any night of the week. You will also need antibacterial wipes, light foods, such as fruits and sandwiches, and water. Most importantly you will need some booze for a trip of this sort. A half gallon of Wild Turkey suits me, but I’m not your average drinker, nor driver. I’m not an advocate for drinking and driving either, nor am I a headhunter for those who need a cup of Joe, an energy drink, or pharmaceuticals to drive long distances. My script is a good pour of whiskey here and there to deal with all the nitwits and jackasses on the road who don’t know whether they’re on the way to the snow-filled ditch or straight to Hell. Either way, you have to be prepared for anything, even a hangover on the trip home after 10 days of heavy drinking. And there’s nothing better than a half-gallon of Turkey for that! This marathon journey across country was not only for a couple of parties and hand shakes and hugs in celebration of our seven years of independent publishing, we had left numerous items behind, even a good friend. We had met this strange looking cat several years ago when he appeared on our balcony. When Matt Goad had first leaped from the couch ranting about an alien on our porch I assumed he had skipped his meds. I was wrong, some creature did stand there, and one not of this world. I first thought to leap out the door and attack with screwdriver and mase in hand, and that I did before I could think rationally and run for cover. Once outside with this great beast, I easily accessed this creature from some distant land was merely thirsty, a bit hungry, and somewhat curious about the substance we were inhaling through my water pipe. I waved him in, handed him a whiskey and coke, clothed his bizarre body with an old trench coat and lit the bowl for him. Hours later we broke the language barrier with drunken sign language and strange laughter. I left the alien and Matt Goad that night for bed attempting to communicate about other topics, like space travel and bigfoots and X-Men. That’s a conversation I can’t talk about here, not today anyway. I woke the next day to find the two head-to-foot on the couch, sharing a few blankets. Goad left with a bow and a handshake the next morning; our new friend, Scriptos, stayed, never needing much, like most illegal aliens. It was a great reunion when we pulled him from his hiding spot a few weeks ago, even though he didn’t quite understand why we had to leave him behind, which was due to lack of space in the backseat with the wife’s two cats who never cared much for Scriptos. Of course, there have been skeptics of this tale, even though Scriptos has been photographed with Matt Goad and other people here and there who visited us while we lived in Seattle. Some like to believe that it’s just me wearing a mask, but I took the photo below, so that’s not the case. If it is, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing, as we all wear a mask of sorts most of our lives. And some of these mask are far more frightening than old Scriptos. But the beautiful thing about wearing a mask is that you can always change it, or take it off altogether. And what a wonderful world that would be, even with a few aliens floating amongst us in disguise. And that is just one more tale of fear and publishing in two cities...
Aliens & Anniversaries
News, Rants & Politics 2. Fear and Publishing 3. Essay | Planet of the Dead
4. Weapons of Mass Distraction 6. Piper’s Pit 7. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness 8. Paper Kings
Music, Film, Art & Entertainment 9. Femme Fatale 11. Huggy Talk 12. Tribute Poster to Ben Hills 13. Miscreant Monkey Crew at the Rebar 14. Notes from the Fishtank
15. The Shy Ones Unmasked 17. Thou Shalt Not Miss 23. One Hell of a Christmas
Religion, Sex, & Other Sinner Shit 16. A Christmas with Jim Rose
18. Death On Display
19. Bitchin’ With Buddha 20. Disgruntled Retail Workers 21. The Surley Gourmand 23. This I Shamelessly Tell You Publisher: Chuck Foster Layout: Terri Daniels & Danielle Correll Managing Editor: Brook Hatch Sales: Keith Calandra Cover by: Chuck Foster Cover Model: Whisper de Corvo The Shy Ones Cover shot: Jo Marie Reidel Writers, Ranters, Opinionists & Other All-Out Freaks: Matthew Robert Goad’X Mark Taylor-Canfield Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid The Surly Gourmand Paul Blow Matthew Gorman Buddha The Sinner is a group of contributing Lucifer writers. Their opinions, rants and ideas Saab Lofton do not necessarily reflect the views of Richard Art The Sinner itself. The Sinner encourages Guitar Doug contributions from its readers but retains Henry Nicolle the right to edit material due to content or length of submission. John Cole Dr. Dick For advertising or submission information, Jeff Diggs contact us at chuck@theseattlesinner. Fish com. Submission deadline is the 25th of every month. Rhias K. Hall Jason Andrew Maija Kristen Ivy Colleen Hinton
Essay | Planet of the Dead
by Henry Nicolle
nto what deep sea of malaise and neglect has our sense of self-preservation and wellbeing retreated? Have we become so accustomed to abuse, manipulation, obfuscation and dominance that we can no longer claim a spot in the sun as our own, no matter what? Consolidation of global control of humanity and harvest of fruit of the world’s labor hit a snag this month with the revelation (surprising to no one but the foolish, ignorant or naive) that the global warming move to universal population control and exploitation has rotated upon false science, false government policy and deliberate fraud among a great part of the community of academe and science. There have also 0recently been serious, but unsubstantiated accusations that Baxter’s “laboratory mistake” was no mistake and worse, a deliberate stage in the release of a bio-warfare attack upon humanity. Substantiation will only come with experience, I think. We know the cloud threatens. Is it a fog, a dust storm or a plague? We cannot tell by just looking. When we start dying, we will know, but it will be too late for much except hanging a bunch of suspects. The methods of international commerce are evolving into a porridge of unpalatable paste bearing the National Stamp of Assurance. Our self-respect and liberty are spiraling down the toilet into the sewer of foulness that only humans of the most despicable sort would command. We have accepted and adopted a war for ever and against no one but ourselves, demanding servitude of debt heaped upon abuse for our children in tribute to abandoned liberty. We are born into this world with a promise and inheritance of individual rights, liberty and selfdetermination. The world at our birth is our oyster; we need only examine it for the pearls and sustenance it can provide. But that takes effort, we cry in dismay. We are weak and stupid, let the experts and power of government open the clams and dig out our pearls. We are not greedy. Everyone has a right to a pearl and if we empower Government to seek and harvest our pearls, everyone will at least get a little pearly dust. That is only fair. What can possibly be less fair than to deny the life, liberty and self-determination of an unnecessary class of humans? Although I would be tempted to remove those who would act upon that impulse, I cannot, because I know that elimination from the gene pool, if easy enough in my hands, will be as easy in other hands as mine. I would not favor the start of something which would come full circle. But that kind of thinking is not in fashion in our ranks of leadership or grassroots. Our leaders are intent upon killing us and our grassroots are disinterested in self-preservation. The grand promises of the Millennium are morphing uncontrollably into the nightmares of 1984, Soylent Green and Brave New World. Maybe even, Night of the Living Dead. The E120 biological bomblet was one of a number of spherical biological bomblets that were developed before the United States discontinued its offensive program in the 1970s. The vaned outer shell of this spherical bomblet was designed to provide rotation during flight. On impact, the outer shell would shatter; the bomblet was asymmetrically weighted so that agent would then be sprayed from the top of the bomblet. The E120 bomblet was developed in the early 1960s, 11.4 cm diameter, carried 0.1 kg of liquid biological agent.
N30 - This Is What Democracy Looks Like!
ovember 30th marks the tenth anniversary of the demonstrations in Seattle that stopped the World Trade Organization dead in their tracks for at least a few years. Some experts on international trade claim that the WTO has never quite fully recovered from the events in Seattle. Since that time the organization has appeared to be in a state of disarray, unable to reach a consensus. Organizers of the Seattle protests used “N30” as a code for the beginning of the civil disobedience – a peaceful mass uprising against an institution which many believe represents the tyranny of corporate globalization. Trained in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, and versed in the tenants of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance, thousands of anti-corporate globalization activists converged on the Emerald City on Puget Sound to voice opposition to the entire corporate global structure. Perhaps for the first time, environmentalists dressed in turtle costumes marched with steelworkers. Despite the overwhelming corporate media spin, which cast the protesters as a bunch of violent hoodlums, many important coalitions were formed between diverse groups practicing political free expression. The unions organized with consensus based groups who had never been exposed to labor-based campaigns before. There were intense debates on political philosophy and organizing strategies. There remained major disagreements on some of these issues, but still solidarity held strong. It’s amazing just how closely folks bond together when they are facing tear gas, rubber bullets and riot police. This was my first real introduction to the modern US police state - riot cops and National Guard soldiers blocking me from walking down my own street. I remember the protesters marching through town chanting – “Who’s Streets? Our Streets!” in defiance of the police occupation of their neighborhoods. I can still hear the local businessman shouting at the police line in front of his shop. He was saying, “What are you doing in my neighborhood? None of us asked you to come here tonight. Why don’t you please go home? There is no protest happening here.” Yet despite the enormous police presence in Seattle during the WTO conference, many other members of the community wrapped themselves up in multiple layers of denial, trying to continue on in their daily routines as if nothing unusual was happening. I tried to convince local radio broadcaster and former candidate for congress Dave Ross, that the city was under a state of martial law but he refused to concede that point, saying, “Mark, I’m sure if you want to go shopping today at Nordstrom’s the police will let you. It’s only the protesters that they want to stop from going downtown.” I pointed out that this was precisely the most unconstitutional aspect of the law enforcement policy. Discriminating against one segment of the population by denying them free access to public spaces based purely on their political point of view while allowing others access is a direct violation of the right to freedom of speech and assembly. I asked him, “Dave, I’m looking down the street and what do you think I see?” Ross replied, quite casually, “I don’t know. Probably a bunch of WTO protesters.” “No, Dave,” I said, “In fact, I don’t see any protesters at all. What I see is a long line of soldiers in uniform holding huge batons blocking the street. That is what I call martial law.” Ross was broadcasting on KIRO from Westlake
photo from L.E.I.U. protest in 2002 by Chuck Foster
Center in downtown Seattle at the time. I challenged him again so he decided to go to the nearest police officer and ask if it was OK for me to go shopping. Live on the air Dave asked a cop in the police line that question and got the following response – “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the police captain.” The real stories of political repression (including ever-expanding “no protest zones”), mass violations of civil rights, and out of control law enforcement, have never really been told. One man was detained and had his copies of the Bill of Rights confiscated by police. People trying to get home from work were pepper sprayed and gassed. Customers leaving bars and restaurants were randomly assaulted. Many of the police officers involved in misconduct were unidentifiable because they wore no nametags or badge numbers, a complete lack of accountability on the part of law enforcement in the city. Bystanders were caught up in mass arrests, along with journalists, union leaders and people living on the streets. The attitude of the feds and local law enforcement was definitely, “Arrest them all and sort it out later…” Eventually 800 people were arrested.
The result of these mass violations of people’s First Amendment rights were a multitude of class action civil rights law suits against the City of Seattle and law enforcement agencies, and millions of dollars in legal settlements to individuals for violations of people’s constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and assembly, as well as their right to due process under the law. Some of the prisoners were held at the former Naval base at Sand Point on Lake Washington. At that time, it had been converted to a FEMA facility. The detainees were held inside the former Navy brig where they claim there was no adequate heating system. They also reported inadequate plumbing and toilet facilities. People who had been arrested were also held outside the brig in city buses, which had been commandeered by police to hold and transport protesters. These detainees, who were handcuffed with plastic bands, were held for up to thirteen hours on the buses without access to bathroom facilities. They demanded to consult with their attorneys who were outside the buses waiting in a car, but their requests
written by Mark Taylor-Canfield were denied. Because of this, these folks staged a protest and refused to leave the buses so they could be “processed”. When I arrived at the FEMA facility, it was surrounded by police in Robocop-style riot gear. There seemed to be no way to approach the buses without going through this line of angry looking police. As I approached, one police officer threatened me by saying, “You’d better get out of here while you still can.” At that moment my attention was drawn to a group of reporters and TV cameras just beyond the police line. One of the journalists called out to me, “Come on over here with us – you’ll be safe.” I had already learned earlier in the week during the WTO ministerial conference in Seattle that police were using chemical agents like pepper spray and so-called “tear gas” indiscriminately on protesters and members of the media. I had already witnessed a group of news reporters getting gassed downtown. Gas canisters had been flying everywhere. They seemed to come out of nowhere for no apparent reason, even in areas where no protests were happening. I had even tried to warn some of the actual delegates to the WTO conference that they were walking into a tear gas attack while helping a Brazilian reporter who had been gassed in the Belltown district. With a derisive, condescending air, they laughed at my warnings as if I were some kind of ranting lunatic. Unfortunately, these well-dressed delegates, convinced of their own invincibility, walked right into an enormous cloud of gas that had them all coughing and crying like little babies. So, when the reporters outside the brig motioned for me to join them, I was not at all reassured. I still expected the police to start arresting us or to begin lobbing tear gas in our direction at any moment. Uneasily, I walked over to join the news media, watching for a response from the police. Luckily, they did not move in. For once the TV cameras had actually worked as a deterrent to police misconduct. If they had arrested us, the entire incident would have been completely documented by four local TV stations. As I joined the news crews, I realized they were keeping a close watch on the buses where the prisoners were being held. I asked the female reporter from KIRO News who had called out to me what they were waiting for. She replied that they were expecting the police to “clear the buses” at any moment and that the news teams were trying to get the action on camera. I asked her what she meant by “clear the buses”. She nervously explained that the detainees were refusing to leave them. The police had ordered them to disembark so they could be transported to the brig facility. The prisoners were singing songs and chanting defiantly. They were staging another act of non-violent resistance. I noticed a Seattle City Light utility truck near the buses. Apparently it had also been commandeered by the police for a particular purpose. That became evident the moment I first smelled pepper spray in the air. We heard a commotion coming from the first bus in line near the FEMA facility. It was then that I learned the purpose of the utility truck. These vehicles are designed with extremely powerful spotlights for use at night when detecting downed power lines, blown transformers, etc. Law enforcement authorities came up with the brilliant idea that if they directed these spotlights directly at the TV cameras, the cameras would become useless in documenting police actions against the demonstrators.
The lights would cause the camera footage to be so At the beginning of the protests against the World overexposed that nothing could be seen, and as a Trade Organization, the city of Seattle denied using bonus, it temporarily blinded the camera operators. any of this technology, which included chemical agents So, when the police gathered outside the brig and concussion grenades, rubber bullets and various and stormed the buses and assaulted the detainees other weapons that fired plastic, rubber and even (resulting in broken bones and near asphyxiation wooden projectiles at demonstrators. I went around from the use of chemical agents at close range in my neighborhood gathering up all the evidence, then I an enclosed space), no one could document it. We sought out Ralph Nader and Jim Hightower who were heard people screaming but we couldn’t see what both broadcasting live from Seattle during the protests. was happening because we were all blinded by the I brought my bag of “goodies” into the studio spotlights that were being aimed directly at us. I saw downtown where they were broadcasting and laid it all “tracers” for a long time after that and I worried that my out on a table for them to examine. They both went eyesight might have been permanently damaged. The on the air, immediately demanding that police stop police were ultimately successful in forcing the inmates beating demonstrators and using these weapons. It into the former military brig. was a proud moment for us all when we were able to As I mentioned earlier, there were some injuries expose them live on national radio before most people to the detainees, including at least one broken elbow. even knew what was going on out on the rainy streets The detainees reported that some prisoners were of Seattle. denied medical care or access to their asthma and heart medications, etc. Many people were held and then released with no charges. Hundreds of others had their charges dropped after days of imprisonment and mistreatment. Anti-WTO demonstrators began to organize inside the jails, protesting against their incarceration. They joined with other prisoners in the system to report on human rights abuses inside the King County jail, eventually resulting in a briefing presented to the city council on prisoner abuse by representatives from Amnesty International. Outside of the King County jail antiWTO activists built a tent city, refusing to leave until all of the protesters and bystanders were released. I was there for several of those five days when protesters occupied the jail entrance. There were music concerts and teach-ins and a lot of political speeches. Anti-Vietnam War activist and founder of the Students for a Democratic Society, Tom Hayden was also photo from L.E.I.U. protest in 2002 there. I picked him out of the crowd and by Jerome Orlando Montalto asked him to speak to the protesters, but he declined, saying, “This is your movement, not mine. I’m leaving this to a younger generation.” It was also But soon I spread the word that he was there gratifying to be able with us and people began to chant his name – “We organize a group of want Tom!” He finally relented and addressed the civil rights activists anti-corporate demonstrators in front of the jail, to sit in on the city’s commending them for their all-encompassing political official investigation movement. of the events of the “In the 1960s and early 70s we fought mostly WTO conference. We against the war. But you here today are taking on the formed the Committee entire world and all of its powerful structures in defense For Local Government of the environment, the protection of workers’ rights, Accountability and the rights of indigenous peoples all around the globe, forced ourselves into and so many other vitally important issues. It’s really the process as an pretty amazing and very inspiring.” independent citizens’ I was thoroughly disgusted to see how the oversight committee. corporate media dismissed the original protests by After many hours exploiting a few broken windows and dumpster fires of public hearings and official investigations by the that made good visuals for television. This kind of city, most of the mass abuses of human and civil propaganda spin led to ignorant remarks, like the one rights by public officials during the conference were made by New York City’s Chief of Police before the simply swept aside in the city’s official report, despite Republican National Convention – “We’re not going to the best efforts of the ACLU, Trial Lawyers For Public let the city burn like they did in Seattle.” The statement Justice, National Lawyers Guild, and dozens of other was ignorant because there were no reports of arson civil rights organizations. The Committee For Local fires in buildings during the WTO conference. Government Accountability wrote our own independent Incidentally, the Seattle Police Department report documenting many serious violations of the US did pose as consultants to cities that subsequently Constitution during the WTO ministerial conference in hosted international political events such as the FTAA 1999. The CLGA report was forwarded to the Center meetings in Miami, the RNC in New York City, etc. It For Constitutional Rights at Rutgers University. should probably come as no surprise that “no protest What we must not forget is this one main fact: the zones”, mass arrests and the liberal use of so-called demonstrations in Seattle did indeed help to shut down “non-lethal weapons” in these communities were the the WTO meetings – they ended in failure, largely result. because of the protests and due to the refusal of many By the way, “non-lethal” weapons do sometimes African nations to join the pact. The week before the cause serious injuries that lead to death. That is WTO conference I wrote a letter that was published in why any law enforcement agency that uses them is a local magazine in which I predicted civil unrest and required by the manufacturer to purchase million dollar acts of violence by both protesters and police. I called insurance policies. In one documented case in Seattle, for non-violence on both sides. an employee working at the Pike Place Farmer’s It seems obvious now that city officials severely Market lost sight in one eye after police shot her with underestimated the strength and effectiveness of the a rubber bullet. protests. As a result, Mayor Paul Schell and Governor
Gary Locke declared a “State of Emergency,” calling out the National Guard to occupy the streets of Seattle. In retrospect, the few vandals and looters who damaged property were but one small part of the entire story. The majority of the many thousands of participants in the demonstrations and sit-ins were completely nonviolent, even in face of increasing violence from police. A Fox News reporter stopped me at Fourth and Pine at the protests and stuck a microphone in my face. He said simply, “Do you support these violent demonstrations?” He had failed to read the message on my t-shirt which clearly read: “This Is A Non-Violent Protest.” I told him he should read Gandhi’s autobiography and Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience. He just laughed and went off to find a violent protester somewhere. I doubt that he was at all successful in that endeavor.
night of my performance I was arrested by four Seattle police officers as I walked onto the stage. I was held at the West Precinct until after the concert was over and then released with no charges. Of course, I had never intended to harm such a beautiful instrument. I was told later that the symphony was not going to tolerate any political “disturbances” at Benaroya Hall because of their fear of the upcoming demonstrations against the WTO. The powers that be were afraid that my political act would encourage those pesky anarchists to stage similar uprisings during the ministerial conference. In spite of the typical propaganda that was spread far and wide by the corporate media about the supposedly “dangerous” anti-corporate globalization activists, there were no acts of terrorism, no bombings, no murders or major assaults perpetrated by demonstrators at the WTO conference in 1999. Another important fact for all of us to remember is that the demonstrations in Seattle were certainly not the first or the largest protests against corporate globalization. Hundreds of thousands of people had participated in massive rebellions against the forces promoting corporate control of the world’s resources and people. In India, Bolivia, Mexico and other nations around the planet, organized protests were already challenging major global efforts to privatize natural resources and to strip farmers, workers and students of their traditional economic and cultural rights. I have many other indelible memories of the demonstrations and their aftermath. The demonstrations in Seattle against the WTO was probably the seminal event in my life, transforming my character in a way that I had never imagined was possible. I remember the months of political activism that followed the 1999 demonstrations. My home became a communal house of direct political activism, a veritable hotel for traveling organizers and musicians. There were 180 protests in Seattle in the one-year period following the WTO demonstrations. An attempt was made to form a regional photo from L.E.I.U. protest in 2002 network of groups who had come by Jerome Orlando Montalto together during the WTO conference – the “N30 Coalition.” I also remember how frustrating it was to try and organize groups who had very different political views and strategies, especially when it became apparent that small fringe groups could easily derail this valiant effort both through agitation and by blocking any decision-making process. On November 30th, 2000 some of us helped lead 5,000 activists on a march into downtown Seattle to celebrate the first anniversary of the shutting down of the WTO ministerial conference. The city would not grant us a permit to march so we did it anyway. Unfortunately, later in the evening police surrounded 135 celebrants and arrested them. Once again the pepper spray flew and reporters and bystanders were caught in the fray. I was well acquainted by then with folks who insist Ironically, the World Trade Organization has upon confusing peaceful First Amendment exercises chosen to hold its latest round of talks in Geneva, with conspiracies to commit property damage or Switzerland on November 30th, 2009. The strong violence for their own political purposes. In September symbolism of this decision on the part of the WTO 1999, one month before the WTO ministerial has not been lost on many anti-corporate globalization conference, I was arrested during what was supposed activists around the world. The fact that they will be to be my own performance at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall holding meetings on the exact day which marks the at an event sponsored by the Seattle Symphony. tenth anniversary of the Seattle protests is seen as a I had made it known that I was planning to passive aggressive slap in the face to some anti-WTO stage a protest against Paul Schell’s Mayor’s Arts organizers. Task Force during my performance. I was convinced This time around, on N30 2009, there is bound to that his project was nothing but a “Schell game” in be less tear gas and more soul-searching about where which he was perpetrating a typical “bait and switch” we have gone and what (if anything) has changed since maneuver on local artists. I felt his Arts Task Force was November 30th, 1999. Despite the false propaganda, a complete farce because it offered almost nothing and the lost opportunities for coalition building, those in terms of support for emerging arts organizations. demonstrations inspired an entire generation of The Task Force was almost completely dominated by activists. No one can forget how shocking it was for representatives from the symphony and the opera – folks in other parts of the world when they actually groups that already enjoyed ample funding from many witnessed an uprising in what they consider to be “the different sources, including their wealthy and powerful belly of the beast.” No one thought activists in the US private patrons. were capable or even willing to confront the dragon on The day before my scheduled performance, their very own doorstep. somebody told the symphony that I was planning to History proved them wrong. destroy their $150,000 concert grand piano. On the
Lovers Lair Green and Black written by Saab Lofton
When the DC Comics character Green Lantern was created in 1940, he was an individual with a magic ring, but twenty years later, his back story was rewritten so that being a Green Lantern meant one was part of a collective. The Green Lantern Corps could be compared to the Jedi Order from Star Wars since both organizations enlisted thousands of different aliens (and just as the Jedi had a fallen angel in the form of Anakin Skywalker, the Green Lanterns were similarly betrayed, but I’m getting ahead of myself). In 1959, a white character named Hal Jordan debuted as Earth’s Green Lantern. Then the Corps decided a substitute would be chosen and kept in reserve in case Jordan was ever incapacitated, so in 1971, a black character named John Stewart was introduced – making him DC’s first black superhero (Marvel Comics’ first, the Black Panther, premiered in 1966). Hal Jordan remained the Green Lantern of Earth until 1994, when a 9/11-esque event traumatized him so much that he tried using his magic ring to raise those who died from the grave. The Corps deemed this as a gross abuse of power, but instead of turning himself in to be disciplined, Jordan turned on and murdered most of the other Green Lanterns. DC Comics made a supervillain out of Hal Jordan, but in a subsequent storyline, DC redeemed him and had Jordan return as the ghostly Spectre (The Spectre was created by Jerry Siegel – the creator of Superman). I bring all this comic book trivia up because making Jordan the new Spectre was a brilliant move, but not only that, doing so could’ve cleared the way for John Stewart to finally become Earth’s Green Lantern (Stewart survived Jordan’s rampage), BUT OH NO! In something called, Green Lantern: Rebirth, Jordan is not only brought back to life, but now it’s claimed “a demonic, parasitic entity” MADE him go off – and all this time I thought he CHOSE to be a genocidal maniac like Anakin did! So DC Comics would rather revive a dead white character than empower a brother. I guess it was just too much for white comic fans to have their white hero fall from grace and take responsibility for what he did -- let alone have him replaced by a NIGGER. Yes, this is all fiction, but it’s still indicative of something publisher Alonzo Washington said during a comic convention: “Most white people are uncomfortable with people of color gaining power. That’s why affirmative action and immigration are always controversial topics in America. Therefore, the
concept of a superhero of color is an uneasy thought to most white Americans. Moreover, the image of a superhero is one of perfection and morality. For years the mainstream media has always force fed the American public with the most negative and immoral images of black people (murderers, gang bangers, thugs, pimps, video tramps, whores, rapists, gangsta rappers, criminals, etc.). Therefore, the concept of a black superhero is almost a joke in the minds of most white people. That’s why a number of Hollywood films are made with a black superhero as a comedy release (Undercover Brother, Meteor Man, Pootie Tang and Blankman). I have turned down a number of Hollywood producers who want to make a movie with my black superheroes as a comedy. Moreover, most of the creators in the comic book industry (not all) are white nerds. What do they know about black people or any other people of color?” As a black storyteller myself, I too will refuse to base any comedies on the black superhero – a concept that MUST be taken seriously if blacks in real life are ever to be. Actually, there’s at least one white man who understands. Bruce Timm was the producer of Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited – a show where John Stewart is cast as Green Lantern – and at the 2001 San Diego Comic Con, Timm nailed it. “When the show’s lineup was first announced, there were a lot of people saying, why aren’t they using Hal Jordan... I’ll just say it: You know we did need ethnic diversity in the Justice League. We felt that the show is going to be seen worldwide and I think having a member of the Justice League who is not just ‘Mr. Whitebread’ is a good thing.” As Timm stated, “there were a lot of people” who had a problem with John Stewart and I seem to know most of them. One was Ralph Mathieu, owner of Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas – who told me flat out a major motion picture about Green Lantern would flop if a black actor wore the fabled magic ring. Another was one of the three co-hosts I did an Internet radio show with (lvrocks.com) known by his nickname, “The Goof,” and what he said about the prospect of someone black portraying HIS hero on screen is simply too vile to be repeated. Given the amount of resistance there’s been to John Stewart taking Hal Jordan’s place, is it any wonder white supremacists have such a problem with their distant descendants looking like Halle Berry?
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Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness written by Jeff Diggs “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, July 1776). Life - a: the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual b: one or more aspects of the process of living (MerriamWebster Dictionary). Liberty- the quality or state of being free: a: the power to do as one pleases b: freedom from physical restraint c: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e : the power of choice (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Happiness - a: a state of well-being and contentment b: a pleasurable or satisfying experience (MerriamWebster Dictionary). This nation was built on the founding principle that every person has a native right to freely exist and pursue individual contentment without control or restraint. This nation has lost sight of these founding values. Personal freedoms are under attack in this nation through cleverly crafted legislation proclaiming everything from protecting us from terrorist to protecting our children. One important personal freedom that is being debated is the use of marijuana. Prior to August 2, 1937, it was legal in the United States to grow, use and sell marijuana like any cash crop. Recently, the Obama administration has instructed the Justice Department to not target marijuana smoking patients or their authorized suppliers for federal prosecution in states that allow medicinal marijuana usage. Government officials sight that medicinal marijuana prosecutions are a poor use of government resources and funds. Public support for the legalization of marijuana is at an all time high, no pun intended. Supporters for the legalization of marijuana claim that marijuana helps manage chronic pain and nausea associated with a variety of illnesses such as cancer and lupus. Opponents claim that the legalization of marijuana is a step backwards in the fight against the War on Drugs. There are 14 states that currently allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. California has become the pot shop capital with numerous marijuana retail shops throughout the state. A recent Gallup poll revealed that public support for legalizing marijuana has increased to 44 percent in the last few years. Historically, public support was fixed at around 25 percent from the late 70s through the mid 90s. The Gallup poll suggests that if public support continues growing at the current rate, the majority of Americans will favor legalizing marijuana in the next few years. Last year, Mexican cartels produced 35 million pounds of marijuana generating $20 billion according to US government estimates. Law makers in California are taking note and are quick to realize that a $20 billion industry can generate a lot of tax revenue. Mexican cartels operate organized drug rings in 195 US cities. These operations attract violence and crime. The legalization of marijuana even through controlled production and distribution will cripple the Mexican cartel operations. Providing legalized marijuana will provide a recreational pleasure no different than alcohol or nicotine. Legalizing marijuana won’t end the War on Drugs but it will certainly take a big bite out of the problem. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, including China, India, Iran, and Russia. Over 1% of the American population is in jail. That is 2.3 million Americans. By contrast, China has 1.5 million people incarcerated but has 4 times the population as the United States. The increase in incarcerations is primarily due to mandatory sentencing of non-violent crimes, also known as the Three Strike policies which was devised during the War on Drugs era in the 80s. In 2007, over half of the prisoners in state prisons were held for non-violent crimes. This equals 640,000 non-violent crimes, 250,000 of which were for drug offenses. In Maryland, almost 70% of inmates are in jail for drug offences according to The Baltimore Sun. According to White House statistics nearly 40% of Americans have tried marijuana. That’s 97 million people. Everyone has vices such as food, gambling, video games, internet, tobacco, alcohol, porn, sex, or marijuana. Who has the right to decide for you, which vices are good and which are bad? The answer is no one. Only you have that right. It’s your life, it’s your liberty, and it’s your personal pursuit of happiness. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.” (North American Industrial Hemp United States Special Tax Stamp -- Producer of Marihuana -- July, 1945. It was Council). probably related to the U.S. Hemp for Victory campaign, which allowed production of hemp for the U.S. WWII effort.
Written by Kristen Ivy
he aristocrats sat down to dinner. Outside, the common people could barely feed their families, but for the ruling classes, food was abundant. Wearing dresses whose stitching took hours of slave labor, the ladies sat next to idle, rich gentlemen who had never done a real day’s work. The party decorations alone cost more than the average worker could hope to earn in a year. It sounds like a story of the old monarchies, the kind of inequality that supposedly became outdated around the same time as horsedrawn carriages. The era of kings and lords is not over, but it has morphed into something new. Instead of inherited land holdings, paper money forms the foundation for a new set of royalty. And just like the old world kings, they have no right to this power. Bringing up anything related to class struggle or social stratification can get you branded a Communist. It’s not antiAmerican to point out the gap between our rich and poor. If pointing our obvious facts makes me a Marxist, so be it. The cost of education keeps rising. The cost of healthcare has risen drastically. Where are wages? Minimum wage peaked in 1968, when adjusted for inflation, and fell to a dismal level by 2006. When it comes to ‘financial wealth,’ or the stocks and savings that create a foundation for the upper class, a gulf opens up between rich and poor. 42% of the wealth is owned by 1% of American households. Our wealthiest 20% own 85% of our nation’s wealth, leaving the other 80% of us to share the 15% that’s left. I can see the line to the food bank growing! We suffer from the illusion that this country is some sort of meritocracy. A system where everyone prospers according to their merit, hard work, and ability. It’s a nice illusion for those in power, because they get to feel like they deserve everything they have. They deserve the Ivy League education paid for by daddy, and the network of family connections in financial firms, corporations, and legislature. And that network leads to a high-paying job which
was definitely earned through hard work and merit! Too much of the bailout has gone into the pockets of executives as bonuses and perks. And let’s not forget about the billions of dollars spent on corporate welfare every year, as money from the bottom 99% finds its way into the pockets of the top 1%. Your tax dollars, used as a gift from one royal to another. The meritocracy myth keeps us from being outraged at the state of our country. Politicians, financiers, and lobbyists are tied together in an incestuous mess, hoarding power that should be in the hands of the people. In 1808, Thomas Jefferson said, “I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country.” Two hundred years later, the aristocracy remains. Their titles are no longer Baron or Count, but Senator or CEO. What can we do about this? Awareness, as always, is the first step. Breaking the power of these elites won’t happen overnight, but we can chip away at their strength. Shop at local, independent stores. Support grassroots campaigns and independent candidates who will speak for the common people. Give money or time to help out hardworking people in need. Get politically involved. Work for social justice and an end to corruption. Audit the fed. Hell, end it. And when you come across one of these aristocrats, bow deeply and address them as “Your Majesty.”
On a recent show at the El Corazon text by Matt Goadâ€™X - photo by Mike Rhine
very man has a master, something to endure until he resorbs the light, and there are very few of us in number. There is no plan, because primacy of nature stems from a regard to freedom, rather than numerical disadvantage. The home world we tend is calling us together in defense. In this construct lies energy that can only be ourselves. Created from a void we are driven together by the need to create family. That is what has driven us through hell. In the heaven of our unity, a noble dwarf throws playing cards at the mosh-pit. The ancient tribe of The Pleasure Elite live a past in the present, and a young up and comer Desillusion begin their trek to the stars. Live it for yourself, In the hunt are seeds to immortality. What better way to die, there is none. Do you like love, or love it, because that will be your reward when you free the slaves. Only we left in the dark wind, our minds and bodies feed one another the sustenance we need to live. The Genitorturers were created by the shaman Celestial for our healing. The footstep you walk in becomes your own, once passed. Become what you are and find another where they always were. An angel appears in front of you. She stands on stage, revealing herself, visible only to her own kind. This is the foundry of our world's beginning. At the end we stand for universes.
by Paul Ace Diamond “Huggy” Blow “Merry Christmas, Baby!” BOO-YAAAA! WHAT A PARTY!... I’m talking about the Seattle Sinner 7th anniversary party last month at the Monkey Pub in Seattle, which I’m sure will be covered elsewhere in this issue. My own personal highlights -- besides having the honor of performing with my band -- was drinking Cider (I do love the stuff, why don’t they have it at ALL bars?), dancing to the F-holes with Sinner publisher Chuck Foster, and digging on host Sir Mark the Poet’s every word. Thanks to all of you who came down, it was a most excellent time. And I must say for the record, as I told Chuck that night, that it is my honor to write for The Sinner. As a young lad growing up I always dreamed of writing for The Sinner, and now I do. Who says dreams don’t come true? Now, anybody who really knows me knows how much I love the lyrical and vocal talent of hard rock singer Kory Clarke, a man most rock fans have never heard of. Kory just so happens to be the singer/frontman for Warrior Soul, who put out some fantastic CDs back in the 1990s on Geffen Records but went out of style when grunge became all the rage. Kory writes some amazing lyrics which are often confrontational, political, and downright bitter, but he also writes some great party rock songs as well. I’m happy to report that Kory has put together a revamped lineup for Warrior Soul and released a brand new CD, Destroy the War Machine. This is the first Warrior Soul CD since the ‘90s and was originally released as a limited edition disc under the name Chinese Democracy... yeah, a dumb publicity stunt. Destroy the War Machine is one heck of an awesome rock album with New CD from Warrior Soul some very hot-rocking guitars, hot-rocking riffs, and Cory’s amazing hot-rocking vocals which are even raspier than ever. The highlight tracks on this CD are “Burning Bridges” in which Kory disses and slags on everyone; “Don’t Believe,” a slower, heavy rocker; and “Bad News Rock’n’Roll Boyfriend,” which has officially become my theme song and contains the hottest guitar riffs and best party chorus I’ve heard in at least five years. Way to go, Kory! Finally, I would like to wish the boys in Jupiter Crash all the luck in the world as they relocate from Seattle to Las Vegas where they are destined to become major players in the Vegas rock scene. Jupiter Crash was The Seattle Sinner’s rock band of the month in a recent issue and are personal friends of mine. They will be missed up here in Seattle, but I am looking forward to flying to Vegas for good times and a Jupiter Crash show sometime this Winter. Good luck, boys!
HUGGY BLOW’S ROCK STAR OF THE MONTH: TOMMY LEE: I had to include at least one drummer in my rock star tribute, and quite frankly in rock music the drummers are usually the least known members of a band. I mean, they play the beats and sit in the back behind a drum set, you can hardly see them. It’s the singers and guitar players that get all the attention, but in Motley Crue Tommy Lee is actually probably the most famous one of them all, thanks to his rock solid drum skills, his legendary partying, and his penchant for grabbing headlines by going out with some of the sexiest female celebrities/stars around (Heather Locklear, Pamela Anderson) – plus his infamous porn video with Pamela Anderson didn’t hurt his rock star cred at all. Not to mention that Tommy Lee is tall and lanky, which always helps get one noticed in a crowd, and he actually looks like a rock star on a daily basis with his tattoos, piercings, and his rock’n’roll wardrobes. Tommy Lee actually came across as being kind of a “dick” in the Motley Crue Dirt book, but still I have to admit, he’s the coolest drummer in rock music. He totally rocks the drums, and he scores bonus points for hating Kid Rock... that’s enough to make good old Tommy my Rock Star of the month! Tommy Lee!
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text: Jason Andrew photo: Clayton Turner
Tales of the Miscreant Monkey Crew:
Mary Poppins at the Rebar
he rotating roster has become a hallmark of the team, although one theme remains consistent: The Miscreant Monkey Crew seeks out misadventure that no single self-styled hipster can withstand alone — hence their battle cry, “Monkeys Assemble!” It started with a dream. A wet dream about the supple and pert breasts of Julie Andrews. Yes, the Julie Andrews that starred in My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, and of course Mary Poppins. One evening while at the Miscreant Mansion, Associate Monkey Knolan announced that he dreamed of fondling the breasts of Julie Andrews. As you might imagine, this caused a bit of a pause in the conversation. Professor C. T. Eslin observed that Julie Andrews was famous for playing nuns and other entirely wholesome parts and thus was confused how this strange fetish came to be. The wily Insatia pointed out that Julie Andrews had indeed gone topless in a movie once. The rest of us adjourned to our private rooms to verify this information. Afterwards, we had a strange hankering to see Mary Poppins. Professor C. T. Eslin noted that there was a live performance of Mary Poppins at the Rebar. Someone, I suspect Knolan, posited that this was obviously a burlesque show. The alarm went forth and the Monkeys Assembled. Except, of course, for the Mighty Mungo who suffered from a tragic groin-pull. We left him in the Molestation Closet. The Re-Bar is the sort of old school pub that follows other sissy pubs into dark allies and buggers them. And then takes their loose change. We paid our admission and then quickly hit the scene. And by that, I mean we stood in line for drinks and started getting toasty. There were dozens of art photos on the wall of hot girls in various stages of undress. There were also several pictures of men pulling down their pants in a strange wooded area. Professor “Cock-Tease” Eslin observed that it was Volunteer Park and that men troll for younger men there. Note: The Miscreant Monkey Crew has a solid policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Mostly that’s because Knolan keeps a tank filled with live piranha next to his Molestation Closet. Yes, I’m serious. If you want to visit Knolan’s Molestation Closet, applications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The lights dimmed and then Ian Bell came forth and talked about The Brown Derby Improv Group. We were quite disappointed when it became obvious that there were going to be no breasts seen this night. Knolan decided that Mary Poppins was still quite hot despite being played by a man. We were buzzed and trapped in our booth so it seemed like the proper thing to do was to enjoy the show. Ian Bell’s Brown Derby comedy troupe interrupts and then performs old movie scripts with an irony twist. The show is one part feyish Monty Python and one part Andrew “Dice” Clay. Crafty uses of minimalist props and dolls on wires captured the feel of Mary Poppins. For those of you that spent your childhood in Knolan’s Molestation closet, Mary Poppins is a movie about a magical nanny that pops into a family’s life and teaches them how to be a family and strangely dances with penguins. Classic songs from the movie were properly twisted until you wondered exactly what this Mary Poppins character was doing with these children. “A Nose Full of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down” perfectly explained how this nanny handled these wily kids. And why exactly did Jane have a full beard? While at the park, Mary Poppins decides to share some of her special mushrooms with the children leading into a drug hazed segue punctuated by the soft voice of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane belting out White Rabbit. This is where the booze really started to hit me. The lights were getting to me. The actors changed into penguins and started dancing. Insatia quietly explained to us the ancient holiday Jour de Cadeaux. Each year, the penguins and the polar bears swim from the North Pole to give presents and dance for the entertainment of good boys and girls. I started sweating hoping that there would be no polar bears at this performance. The lights went on for intermission and Ian Bell asked if I wanted to meet the actors. “Are there any bears back there?” I asked. Ian shook his head and took me back stage. The actors were very gracious and took time for photos. I’m fairly certain one of them grabbed my ass. I am less certain if I enjoyed it or not. However, I must admit that I posed for an aweful lot of pictures with the cast. Don’t ask, don’t tell. The rest of the performance continued the hilarity. Would I recommend this show? It depends on if you find the following joke from the show funny. Do you know what the best thing about fucking twenty six-year-olds is? Answer: there’s twenty of them. The cast and crew slammed drinks after the performance and then we started to scatter to the winds. Knolan was quite disappointed that he didn’t get to see Mary Poppin’s breasts. Insatia declared that titties were promised and thus a side trip to Little Darlings was arranged. I wish I could tell you more, but what happens at Little Darlings stays at Little Darlings. To suggest a new adventure for the Miscreant Monkey Crew, email MiscreantMonkeyCrew@gmail.com. For more information about the Brown Derby Series, visit www.myspace.com/thebrownderbyseries. For more information about the Re-Bar, visit www.rebarseattle.com.
On Santa's shitlist since 1971
ou may recall an article I wrote about the phenomenon of the super group and a blow by blow assessment of two of recent vintage bands: Chickenfoot and Velvet Revolver (and I thank those Sammy Hagar fans who didn’t come after me). What I didn’t mention is that at that time, another super group was looming on the horizon known as Them Crooked Vultures. But first, a quick back-story. Back in August of this year, Lollapalooza was closing out in Chicago’s Grant Park. But far up on the North Side in the legendary club known as the Metro, a little band was making history with their first ever public performance. That band was Them Crooked Vultures which consisted of three of the giants of rock: Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age on guitars and vocals, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and some band called Nirvana on drums and (GASP) John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass (GASP). From what I read, it was an amazing performance. And so started a month’s long viral marketing campaign of snippets of tracks and in studio performances on YouTube and MySpace. Needless to say, I was anticipating this disc more than any this past year. Finally on November 17th, it finally hit the stores. So how is it? In a word? ROCKIN’! Although, I have to say that it’s not the type of album that just grabs you initially like, for example, QOTSA’s Songs for the Deaf does. But after the second listening, I let it just envelop me. Once it did, it just owned my ass. Grohl and Homme just stepped up their game because, hey, it’s (GASP) John Paul Jones (GASP) they’re playing with. Homme has one of the most unique voices in rock today. He doesn’t do the Cookie Monster growl (thank goodness). It’s very melodic and almost effeminate at times. But it works perfectly when contrasted against those Jurassic guitar riffs he seems to pound out with ease. Dave Grohl? Well, seeing Grohl on drums exclusively and seeing him in Foo Fighters is like the difference between seeing a wild animal in the wild and seeing it at the zoo: It’s much more fascinating to see it in the wild. Dave’s natural habitat is definitely behind the kit! Stay there, man! And what can I say about (GASP) John Paul Jones (GASP) that hasn’t been said already? The guy plays bass, keys, and so many other instruments on this disc and plays them damn well! When people talk about Zeppelin, they always bring up Page, Plant, or Bonzo. Well, Bonzo’s dead, Plant is hangin’ with Allison Krauss and Page is only a shell of what he used to be. This disc shows that (GASP) Jonesy (GASP) still has what it takes to rock everyone’s ass off! As for individual tracks, there is not a single clunker or filler track to be found. These guys really poured their heart and soul into this effort. While there are elements of classic rock, psychedellia, punk, and stoner rock, it stands apart as its own thing. Some of my favorite tracks are “Bandoliers” with its hypnotic groove, the foot stomping monster “Scumbag Blues” with an organ riff that recalls the best moments of Deep Purple and “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” with Grohl sharing some of the vocals which make it sounds like a Foo Fighter track from hell. There are more things I could say about this disc, but I only have so much space allotted, so I suggest you get this thing as soon as possible. I dare anyone to email me at email@example.com and tell me I’m crazy when I say that this is the single best rock album of 2009.
The last thing Benny said to me was “I just took a wicked shit, It reminded me of you”, I replied with “I love you brother”. I felt closer to Ben than I do with my own family, he had a huge heart and could always make me laugh no matter how bummed I was. If you knew Ben your life was better for it. I wouldn’t trade my memories of him for anything. RIP Benny Boy. We Love You. - Josh Iverson - Santa Cruz, CA.
Raising Hell With Guitar Doug photo by Julie Lary
A celebration of the life of drummer Ben Hills. 1984 – 2009
by the time of the funeral. The wake was really cool. The Shy Ones did a four song acoustic set. I even bought an acoustic bass for the occasion and we played pretty well. It was a little hard to hear, but Ben’s Mom made everyone get quiet and she requested “She Calls Me A Brat”. We had fun, I made a speech, everyone was talking, partying, and just celebrating Ben’s life. We were all just getting to know his old friends and family and such. I’ve known Ben’s brothers for quite a while now having partied with them a few times. They are real great as well as the whole family. After meeting his mom and dad you could really see where he got all his energy from. They were very welcoming and positive and full of energy.
photo by Guitar Doug
The Shy Ones UNMASKED O
n November 11, Ben Hills, drummer for The Seattle band The Shy Ones, passed away unexpectedly. The death of Ben Hills was an event that brought the Seattle rock community together in a way few have seen. This was not the death of a Seattle legend like Kurt Cobain. This was the death of the guy who happily worked the door, pitched in on the rehearsal space, was excited about music and was appreciative for any opportunity he was given in the Seattle rock music scene. Ben was among the thousands of people who are accidentally killed each year smoking in bed. This column is dedicated to celebrating his life as we talk with his friends and band mates, The Shy Ones. On the night of Ben’s death, the Comet became an instant memorial. His drum set was brought down from his rehearsal space a few blocks away and was hoisted up and displayed in the window of the club. The front of The Comet was also lined with flowers, candles, pictures and notes. Hundreds of people came and went throughout the evening. People cried, hugged and others told stories. Ben was the kid brother you never had to countless musicians around town, and also to the people who work at The Comet. The Shy Ones, The Seattle Sinner Magazine, and the many friends of Ben, send our sincere condolences to Ben’s parents and family. Ben was a guy who passed away without an enemy in the world, and the hundreds who came to the Comet, not to mention all the bands who took part in the memorial shows, are a testament to how many lives Ben touched. RIP BEN HILLS.
Where were you and what went through your mind, when you heard the news? Tess: I was at work when I heard the text alert on my phone go off a few times. I figured it must be something important, but I was nowhere near prepared for the news I received. I had to read the text about 10 times before I could comprehend what the words “Ben,” “Fire,” and “Dead” were doing together. It just didn’t seem possible; my mind refused to accept what my eyes were seeing. When I finally understood what was going on, I was crushed and shocked. It was absolutely painful. I still shudder whenever I read a text in the break room at work. The horrible memory of getting that news will never leave me.
sad and tears instantly came to my face. I had to go in the backroom a couple times to try to understand the reality of what was being said. Let’s just say, I was very sad and wish I could have been somewhere else. I wished instantly I could be with my girlfriend and to have someone to talk to.
Nils: I was laying in bed with my girlfriend. I got like 8 text messages in a row, so I knew Leif was texting me, plus I had missed calls from Blythe, a very close friend of Ben. I listened to my messages. I heard what Leif and Blythe said on the messages and immediately started to freak out. We got dressed immediately and went to the location of the fire, where I ended up getting interviewed by a news reporter. We then headed to The Comet, where there were tons and tons of people mourning, along with lots of heavy drinking.
Tell us your feelings about the memorial shows? Nils: There were quite a few memorial shows. The Central Tavern had a couple and I found out the Morgue had one too. The other band which Spencer, Leif and I are in, The Greatest Hits, played a big benefit show at The Comet. Tons of other bands played as well, including Champagne Champagne, Broken Nobles, Neon Nights, Wildildlife and Thorstone. There was even a live Shy Ones performance to start the show off. All the bands played great, and The Greatest Hits show was one of our best minus a few technical difficulties. Ben would have been very stoked to see all this in his honor.
Leif: I was at my job in the Everett Mall, selling info ad products, which I do when I’m not playing Rock’n’Roll. I then got a text message from Jo Marie Riedl (The Pop Machine) on my phone, asking if it was true? I then asked what she was meant. Then she told me what had happened and ended up calling me. I was really
What is the status of the band now? Spencer: Were defiantly in a mouring state. That last practice we had before the accident was one of our best. I feel like we had finally niched our sound together. We all had goosebumps over the tunes. For the most part, we’re just going to lay low and take one day at a time, work on new material, and start back up next year.
What can you tell us about Bens funeral and wake? Nils: The funeral was depressing and sad as funerals can be, but they did show great video clips of Ben throughout his life. Everyone I was hanging out with, was real drunk
How welcoming was Ben toward you Darenda, when you recently joined the band? Darenda: Tess and I were having a vocal practice one day, since I was going to be filling in for the original member Lauren Nappier, for a show only two days later. After the vocal practice, Tess mentioned to Leif how good everything went and neither her nor Leif were worried about me playing the show, even though we barely practiced. Then the thought of me being a full time member came to their minds. The next day, Leif told the band that I was officially a Shy One. My first show went well and I remember Ben being really kind, telling me how impressed he was with my performance, along with the other members. Benjamin always had a nice comment to say after practice and shows, which really meant a lot to me. Since I moved to Seattle only two months before joining The Shy Ones, I didn’t know what to expect, but Ben and the other members have all made me feel like a huge part of this band. I have really enjoyed playing shows with them and having the chance to get to know Benjamin. He was such an awesome person. What brought Ben into this band, Leif, and how would you describe his playing style. Leif: When I first started the band, my brother was not in The Shy Ones and was on tour with his other band The Greatest Hits. I asked Nils while he was on the road about the two band names I had a poll going for on myspace The Shy vs. The Shy Ones. After he told me his answer, I then asked him if he knew anyone that played drums that would fit our style. He suggested we try out his friend Ben, who I had met on occasion long before I was ever in a band called The Pop Machine. Nils told me he had seen Ben live, and that he is definitely a solid Rock’n’Roll drummer. I myself jammed with Ben a couple times without any of the other members and it went great. At those first practices, I showed him the songs we first recorded, “All I Ever” and “In The Dark”. Then two weeks later we went into the studio with Steve E. Nix to record for a demo so people could hear what we sounded like. We also really wanted to start playing shows. Ben kept telling me how badly he wanted to get on the road and tour. It excited me a lot, because he was such a really nice and caring dude. And the best part is he likes good music and wants to tour!!! For Spencer and I, that was a true blessing and helped us get back to playing and writing more new songs for the world to hear. Ben was a great find and will be a great loss for us all. I’ll never forget those memories we got to share with him. RIP
A Christmas With
m JiROSE written by Chuck Foster
IM ROSE CIRCUS. The name alone causes the spines of some who have dared attend his performances to shiver and cringe. It’s a name that most fans instantly associate with other cult phenomenons of our time, like Aleister Crowley, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But who is the madman behind this infamous circus of freaks, sadist, masochist, and collector of human skulls and shrunken heads? Does he bite the heads off bats on Christmas Eve and drink their blood to satisfy some dark lord? These were questions that came to mind when I decided to contact him a few years ago. But my raging curiosity of this worldwide icon craved more than that. I wanted to know what incidents in his life caused a little kid from Eugene, Oregon to pursue such a bizarre path. What he had to say was as interesting and unique as the man himself. Before Jim ate fire or performed any other act deemed “abnormal” by our timid Christian society he was a typical kid, other than being born cross-eyed and very premature. He related that his first crib was a shoebox, a “lady’s size 7” his mother often said. When speaking of his eye problem, he said he didn’t know what was so interesting about his left eye but his right eye had to look at it all the time. He admits these early physical challenges caused him to avoid most kids his age. Like most children Jim found Christmas to be his favorite time of the year. He said that it was the one day of the year that brought a smile to his face. “It was pretty typical, usually missing a tooth during those years and believing in Santa Clause with the family.” Christmas had a huge impact on Jim, and what later would become his career. On his eighth Christmas St. Nick brought him his first bike, even though it was stolen two days later. His dad replaced it the next day, which led a young Jim to develop a passion for bikes, speed and eventually a little danger. Teen problems soon followed though. By the age 15, Jim had become the rebel, the bad-boy, a self-described “trouble maker”. He says that it was “the logistics of XMAS, the presents, and being with family” that pushed him away. At this point there were a number of thorny paths that Jim could have tumbled down, but his 18th Christmas steered him in another direction. He got his first motorcycle. This had a huge impact on Jim having grown up idolizing Evel Knievel. A bicycle at the age of eight, then a Suzuki motorcycle at 18, this got his wheels turning and burning with a new passion for life. He soon became a daredevil stunt man at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Who knows where this could have led Jim if he had not taken a nasty fall jumping 27 cows. “I cleared the cows but I must have landed on some spent cud and went wobbly, and crashed. That’s why when I’m speaking with you today I have the posture of a jumbo shrimp.” A crushing break it would seem then, but would there be a circus today if he had landed that jump? Maybe not. Having moved to Arizona from Eugene in his teens, Jim later attended The University of Arizona where
he picked up a degree in political science. Like most politically active youngsters he headed east, to the battlefields of Washington DC. Once there he began working for liberal causes and doing open-mic type events. This is where the teen daredevil, young activist and premature freak first merged. He remembers the moment well. One night while attending an open mic his wife BeBe said, “you know you should add some stunts to some of your spoken word material.” He then added fire eating and the human block-head in and around his stories. The seeds of Christmas’ past had finally pushed through the rocky soil. Then the couple headed off to Europe to roam the country for a few years. BeBe was from a circus family in France, where her brother was the director of The Royal Deluxe, the largest circus in Europe. Her circus background fueled
the young Jim Rose in his pursuit of bizarre entertainment, leading to his first true one-man show that he performed during their travels. Eventually the couple returned to the States, Seattle, Washington to be exact. “We came back and noticed that there was a whole generation that had never seen these kind of stunts, kind of a lost generation.” Jim and BeBe felt the void amongst them and decided to fill it with fire – literally! Jim recalls a Middle Eastern restaurant on Pike St. called Ali Babbas. “I had this one-man show I had been
doing across Europe... So I brought this vibe over to the US and tried to get booked everywhere, and everyone looked at me like I had killed the Lindbergh kid. So no one wanted to book me.” As a regular to Babbas Jim asked about doing his show there since they put on a belly dancing show every Thursday night. Luckily for Jim, and the rest of us, they agreed. Jim says that he put up 50 posters and it sold out. “As a matter of fact there were people pressed up against the window on the outside. Some of Nirvana were there, some from Soundgarden were there, and some of Pearl Jam. They were all pressed up against the window because at the time none of them had broke out so they didn’t have any money and couldn’t afford the entry fee. I started the show off by saying to those outside watching, I’ll leave the curtain open but you have to give me one dollar a piece. So I went outside with a plastic bat and started hitting them all over the head with this plastic bat, taking a dollar from each one of them. And that was kind of the show for the people on the inside and that’s how the first show started.” That was 1991 and a $6 cover. My god, have things changed. Jim quickly took advantage of his overnight success. He began booking one show after another, eventually landing a bimonthly show at Seattle’s legendary Crocodile Cafe. He says it was then that “like-minded monsters began standing up in their crypts” and coming to audition. Before he knew, it just took off. They were then offered a tour in Canada, becoming a big hit up north. Next The Sally Jesse Raphael show invited them to perform, and then Entertainment tonight. Then Perry Farrell of Janes Addiction and Lollapalooza saw the circus on the Jesse show, who quickly gave them a spot on Lollapalooza.” Having been distanced from the emerging grunge movement while in Europe Jim was unfamiliar with the bands. He remembers his first day there when somebody pointed to a big crowd and said, “There’s Jane’s Addiction!” Jim replied, “well, I hope she gets treatment.” Things have surely changed since then. On the Jim Rose Circus site (www.jimrosecircus. com) you’ll find Jim hanging out with celebrities galore, way too many to list. But one does stand out more than others, his biggest inspiration, Evel Knievel. “He came up to me a few years ago and said, ‘Hey Jim, I was at a garage sale and I got this for you. And I know you’d want it.’” The gift was an Evel Knievel Commemorative Coin of his famous Snake River jump. This memory seemed to leave a talkative Jim Rose with a loss of words, as the loss of a friend often does.
So we moved on. Christmas certainly had a huge impact on Jim’s life, so I asked about Christmas today at the Rose house? He admits that they’re pretty typical gifts, but that he does have a twisted tradition. “I play practical jokes around the Christmas season. On January third I pick out one friend every year and I’ll run an ad in the local newspaper where he lives and it will say, ‘I’ll buy your used Christmas tree for 5 dollars a piece.’ And then I’ll put their address in there. And I mean people come up. Sometimes the boy scouts will get together and bring hundreds of these trees and when the person doesn’t give them 5 dollars they just get mad and throw them in the yard. I’ve seen friends just leave town with a sign in their yard, saying ‘It was just a practical joke played on me. I’m not buying Christmas trees.’ And they come back 5 days later and their whole yard is full of them, they’re even thrown on top of their roof. It’s a great one to do to a friend.” I asked Jim what was the oddest gift that he’s received over the years. He says that “It runs the gambit... everything from a shrunken head to a normal sized head. Yeah, the shrunken head, is probably the most outlandish.” When I asked him what he’d give George W. Bush for XMAS, he laughed loudly and said, “Well, it wouldn’t be a get out of jail free card!” Having spawned from a one-man show I asked him how different it is today compared to sixteen years ago when he started. “Well, you’ve got to keep getting bigger and you’ve got to be innovative because it used to take two years of touring around the world before there would be any, for the lack of a better word, imitator troupe starting up. Now a days, the minute you advertise or you do one show that ends up on YouTube you have people doing your stuff almost word for word, like almost immediately. So luckily, the Jim Rose Circus has established a brand name. And we can keep going, but boy, it’s got to be tough for some of these younger troupes.” A very truthful and modest answer, but without the likes of Jim Rose and his band of freaks there might not be any young troupes. As with most ventures in life, the circus is a game of give and take too. As my questions ended and a subconscious pressure crept in on me to let this man get back to his fishing for Reds, we talked on, almost like we had known each other for years. We talked about Reds and Grouper and Stone Crabs and cheap Florida oysters. We talked about the housing bubble busting and politics. He eventually closed with, “Well, thanks for considering me, Boss...” I was a bit speechless, and only wished him and the Rose family a Merry Christmas. I wish I had said thanks for taking the time some five years ago to sign my Jim Rose T-Shirt – the only autograph I have ever asked for. I was left with one impression of Jim Rose: For a man who will be remembered years after his death and who News Week once claimed to be responsible for tattooing and piercing becoming a trend, you would never guess the child-like deepness of his modesty. In this ego-inflated industry of entertainment, that alone may make Jim Rose the biggest freak of all. A title that I’m sure sits well with him.
SHOTGUN SOCIAL with Jason Heath & the Greedy Souls Thursday, December 10 @ THE MARS BAR 9 pm $6 HIGH CLASS WRECKAGE with All Bets on Death and Neon Nights Friday Dec 11th @ Slim’s Last Chance 9pm CHURCH OF HATE with VIII Days Clean Friday Dec 11th @ The Central $7 MOURNING MARKET - HAUNTED HOLIDAYS Seattles Premier Dark Themed Market Sunday Dec 13th @ Club Motor 11am-4pm FREE BENEFIT FOR HELL’S KITCHEN Devils Of Loudun - Shattered Reality - Guests Monday Dec 14th @ THE FUNHOUSE 9:30pm, $5 POST MODERN HEROES with Bleach Back - Menace - Away - Side Effect Friday December 18th @ STUDIO 7 All Ages plus a bar w/ I D, Doors 7:30 HOT ROCKS TV Drown Mary - Hatefist - Wide Eye Panic - Ls Deoblo Arisen From Nothing Saturday Dec 19th @ Club Motor All Ages plus a bar w/ I D, Doors 7 F-HOLES 25TH ANNIVERSARY Saturday Dec 12th @ Club Motor 11am-4pm FREE HARD MONEY SAINTS with The Easy Western Life, James Hilborn & the Painkillers, Lee Rude Sunday Dec 27th @ The Comet 8pm SPACE CRETINS with KEG, Spiderface, F-Holes Thursday Dec 31st @ Tiger Lounge REVEREND DEAD EYE Friday Jan 1st @ Slim’s Last Chance Send your event listings to firstname.lastname@example.org
written by Rhias K. Hall
Death On Display T
he ritual placement of bodies and the presence of flowers and other artifacts in graves dating back to the times of our most primitive ancestors can be seen as evidence that the human body in death has always been treated as a sacred object. Every society has developed its own intricate funerary rituals and customs ranging from the Egyptian sarcophagi and intricate jade suits of Chinese emperors to the strange mix of superstition, religion, and science that our own culture embraces. From mummification to modern day mortuary science, mankind seems obsessed with staving off the process of decay. In most states it is illegal to bury a body that has not first been subjected to an elaborate chemical embalming process. It’s almost as though we expect the dead to return one day and we want them to find their bodies waiting for them. It is this strange reverence for our mortal remains which makes their use as a decorative art into a taboo subject. Because we are not accustomed to seeing the dead we are fascinated by them. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the Paris catacombs and the famous Czech bone chapel in Kutna Hora. These stunning ossuaries are more than mere resting places, they are massive art installations. The Bone Chapel with its massive chandeliers and pillars, all constructed entirely from skeletons once buried in the local churchyard, is as beautiful as it is macabre. The Paris Catacombs are impressive for their size as for their content. These dank tunnels stacked floor to ceiling with bones continue beneath the city for miles although only a small area is open to the public. Considering the fascination that dead bodies and body parts exert over the living, it should come as no surprise that modern artists have sometimes opted to use them in their work. In 1992, artist Andrew Krasnow exhibited a piece entitled Flag Pole. Flag Pole consisted of 26 American flags stitched together from pieces of human skin harvested from cadavers as well as living donors. The piece which could be
seen as either a ringing indictment of American policy, or as a reminder that the price of liberty is often paid in flesh, maybe Krasnow’s best known use of human materials, but it was not his first. Previous exhibitions of his work included such objects as an hourglass filled with shredded human skin in place of sand and a jar of fetal tissue. In one installation piece, gallery visitors were encouraged to lie on a large dais and pull a rope made from woven umbilical cords. When the rope was pulled several panels would rise at the edge of the dais and enclose the viewer in a womb-like prison. Only when the umbilicus was released would the patron be free to leave the exhibit. In 1997, British artist Anthony Noel Kelly exhibited a series of cast figures at the London Contemporary Art Fair, and was arrested soon afterward for body snatching. Kelly’s death masks were in strict violation of Britain’s 1994 Anatomy Act, a statute that forbids the use of human remains for any purpose other than medical research. He was arrested when a visitor to the show recognized a sculpture which happened to be of a family member. Kelly, who had purchased the cadavers illegally from The Royal College of Surgeons, was sentenced to nine months in prison after over thirty body parts were discovered in his studio. Perhaps the most famous modern artist to use the dead in his work is photographer Joel Peter Witkin, whose complex tableaus featuring severed limbs and strange, malformed models made him the darling of the 80s art scene. His photographs, which bring to mind the surreal visions of Bosch and Goya, were initially inspired by a decapitation he witnessed as a child. During the renaissance, anatomical study became an accepted science. One anatomist in particular, Andreas Vesalius, turned this science into a sort of proto-performance art. Vesalius performed dissections in a specially built theater and was famous for his trick of plunging his hand into a body and yanking out the heart which he then displayed to onlookers.
His book Fabrica, richly illustrated by students of the artist Titian, was the first modern textbook of anatomy. Vesalius may have been the first to blur the line between art and anatomical study, but he certainly was not the last. Honore’ Fragonard, cousin of painter and perfumer Jean Honore’ Fragonard, became France’s first professor of anatomy in 1776. He is best known for groundbreaking work with the preservation of anatomical specimens, particularly the stomach, intestines and other internal organs. Fragonard invented a method by which air was introduced into the organs, essentially inflating them like balloons. The inflated organs were then dried and mounted, and many of them are still on display at the musee’ Fragonard located in Lyon. He was also a pioneer in the art of skeletal articulation. Unlike his contemporaries who assembled specimens using wire and screws, Fragonard pioneered a method in which the bones were held in place by the tendons, which were allowed to dry naturally. As time passed, his work changed from the purely scientific, to the strangely artistic. His most famous sculpture is a skinless horse carrying a flayed rider. Other works, such as a dance of death performed by desiccated infants, proved too much for his contemporaries to tolerate, and he was dismissed from his post and labeled as a madman. Today, showmanship and anatomy still find common ground in the works of artists like
Gunther von Hagens. Von Hagens preserves bodies using a method called plastination. In plastination, the body is submerged in a chemical bath until all of the water in the cells is replaced with a resinous plastic. The resultant specimens are dry, odorless, and eternally durable. Before the invention of plastination, a similar method using waxes and formaldehyde was utilized on such celebrity corpses as Lenin and Evita Peron. Von Hagens “Body Worlds” exhibit, which includes such displays as a flayed man with his own skin draped over his arm, and a reclining pregnant woman with preserved in-utero fetus, has ignited controversy whenever it has been shown. Sometimes a dead body can even become a piece of art by accident. In 1976, a camera man filming an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man accidentally knocked over a life-sized wax figure inside of a San Diego amusement park funhouse. The figures arm broke off revealing a bone. Forensic investigators were called in and the body was taken in for examination. After a thorough investigation police discovered that the display dummy was actually the embalmed and mummified body of Elmer McCurdy, a train robber who had been shot by police in 1911. The body had been displayed for years, part of a traveling carnival before being purchased by the amusement park owner, who thought it was wax prop. The living have always been fascinated by the dead, and as long as death remains a mystery we can count on artists to explore and exploit it.
body photos © Gunther von Hagens, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.com. All rights reserved.
Disgruntled Retail Workers Speak Out Against the Gluttony and Greed of the Holiday Season by Colleen Hinton
Thanks to all the bands, performers, venues, sponsors and fans who made both anniversary shows nights that will not soon be forgotten. Until next year, Sinners!
Christmas is upon us. Consumerism at its finest. Joy to the world? Sure, unless you’re working retail. I’ve always found it interesting how, theoretically, the holidays are intended to be a time of love and compassion, gift giving, generosity, peace on earth and good will to all men… and a torturous, humiliating death to anyone who stands in the way of it! There’s a reason why all those who are unfortunate enough to be scheduled to work a cash register on the biggest shopping day of the year refer to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday.” Sales! Coupons! For a limited time only, once it’s gone, it’s GONE! Can you feel the excitement? We can. Rather than elation at the fact that they have completed their goal of purchasing that specific toolbox for their hubby at 40% off, belittling comments, demanding tones, commanding instructions, and misdirected anger issues, all seem to flood the cash register around this time of year. There’s never a bigger cry for help from the retail community as there is on Black Friday. I recently spoke with a woman who works at a local Wal-Mart. She mentioned that last year, her store opened at 5am for the Big Day. 4:30 in the morning rolled around (she had already been at work for more than an hour, preparing for the masses) and the police were already breaking up a fight among prospective shoppers in front of the building – this year someone died! Tales of fist-fights among customers and threatened physical abuse to retail workers were the main topic of conversation among fellow sales professionals shortly after the day. It’s highly ironic that these sales folks, who the consumers expect to help out with Little Bobby’s Christmas wish-list, are the very same people who are treated worse than most misbehaving dogs. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Sheesh. I’d like to let all of you consumers in on a few little secrets. First, mistreating the sales associate is going to have the same effect as telling your fastfood representative what a worthless git you think he is for not remembering the extra pickles on your burger. You may not find boogers or footprints on the gifts that you’re looking to purchase, but chances are, you may not find the gifts at all. If you approach a person – any person with disrespect, they’re going to treat you with it. In addition, substance-less complaints (you know who you are, you who fling around that god-forsaken phrase “the customer is always right!”) will more often than not have you snickered at behind your back, rather than resulting in the termination of the employee who refused to serve you after suffering through your verbal abuse. The manager is busy. He doesn’t care, and you’re not scaring anyone into giving you what you want. This type of consumer/customer interaction can quite literally ruin the holidays for some people. Animal instinct and territorial bloodlust kick in, and grown men beat up elderly women for that last Malibu Barbie sitting on that $1.99 shelf. A woman who has been standing in line for ten minutes calls the cashier “incompetent” because he didn’t ring up the 5 million people ahead of her quickly enough. I had a guy knock a shoe off of a shelf at me once, because he didn’t like the way that I “looked” at him. It’s no wonder that websites such as customerssuck.com exist. Honestly, who taught these people that this type of behavior is acceptable? Meanwhile, the lowly sales associate is expected to suck it up, as it were, and absorb the brunt of their frustrations. Customer service only goes so far, people. In closing, Happy Holidays to you and yours, and remember: It truly is the nicest customers who catch most retail employees off-guard. If you want to be remembered as one of the few people who made life a bit more bearable during the holidays (or any other time of year), all you have to do is be nice. Re-learn the rules that you were taught in kindergarten. Stand in line. Don’t push. Wait your turn. Play nice with the other kids. Cookies and monetary tips are also helpful, but most of us only dare to hope that Santa will bring us a “please” or “thank you.”
Bitching with Buddha Lu c i fe r
Dear Mr. Lucifer, I think you are creepy. You should try to be nicer and a bit more Christian, and not a bad influence. – Disappointed Creepy? I am the lord of sin, the king of waste, father to corruption and mother to despair. I am the seducer of virgins and nuns. I’m a bad person, but creepy? Still, as this is an “advice” column, I have tried to be nice in offering solutions for your pathetic little lives. The advice I would naturally wish to advocate involves chain saws and butcher knives, but the editor says lighten it up. I have even taken a few stabs at doing the whole Christian thing, but it all comes out twisted through no fault of my own. I was just created to be the tempter of goody-goody types, to keep them on their toes. For this holiday season I’ll give this Christian thing another shot. – Lucifer, the Bad Dear Darkest lord, I’m writing you from the depths of prison where I am serving a virtual life sentence. I was once a priest, a holy shepherd to my flock, and pillar of my community. A saintly man I was but for a few dozen alter boys in the cute white lacey gowns. I don’t dispute my guilt. I was a bad priest and sinner, but the prisoners here vent their frustrations, both sexual and otherwise on my kind. I am constantly being required to bend over and pick up my soap from the shower room floor and bang I’m in a threesome. I am growing tired of being everyone’s favorite bitch. What am I to do? My ass hurts when I sit! – Priest in Sing Sing. Well, PiSS, in keeping with the request for more Christian replies in this Holidaze Season, here is my advice. You must turn the other cheek. So, as a whole New Year approaches, here are my predictions for 2010. • A mild early winter will be blamed for poor Christmas sales, as analyst point to global warming for making the Holidaze too nice to spend in a shopping mall. • Unemployment will rise as Christmas temps are laid off, and unemployed conservative politicians point blame to Obama for not making Christmas a national emergency. • The stock market will take another dip as Baby Boomers begin to cash in what’s left of their 401ks. • By May pet owners will be asked to keep their dogs and cats indoors as many yard pets vanish into their neighbor’s stew pots. People are starting to look hungry out there. • By September Congress is almost certain it can pass the Health Care Reform act, maybe. • By November people will be asked to keep their elderly parents indoors as many vanish into their neighbor’s stew pots. • In December, a new crisis emerges as internet sales take a hit as the increasing number of unemployed sales clerks lead to few consumers. • Let’s hear it for 2010! – Lucifer If you want to talk to God, see a psychiatrist, or email email@example.com. To intercourse with the dark lord Lucifer, drink a bottle of Everclear or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Surly Gourmand marinationmobile.com
Devouring Slices of Misery so You Don’t Have To
arination is a taco truck with a twist: when I heard that Marination sold “Korean tacos” I became enraged. That’s because I hate fusion. If you like Mexican pizza, or Thai pizza, or pizza with corn on it, or pizza with broccoli on it, or Southwestern egg rolls, or Japanese French food, or French Japanese food, or anything that Wolfgang Puck cooks, you’ll LOVE Korean tacos! So even though I was skeptical, I heroically tried everything on Marination’s menu, starting with the kalua kimchee quesedilla. This quesedilla ($5) had pulled roasted pork shoulder and kim chee, glued together with cheese on a grilled flour tortilla. The pork was finely shredded and the kim chee, despite the fact that I generally despise its spicy farty smell, did a good job of countering the quesedilla’s cheesy dripiness with its tangy crunch. The tortilla was pleasantly charred and crunchy and was topped with this drab army-green pickled jalapeno slices and a pink spicy sauce which I’m guessing was a mixture of Sriracha and sour cream. The “Kalua” in the name refers to the pork and not the coffee liqeur favored by sorority girls from 20 years ago and protagonists of The Big Lebowski. Kimchee fried rice ($5) came in one of those iconic red and white paper Chinese food containers that no Chinese restaurants actually use anymore. When you first open the box a fried egg stares up at you from atop a big pile of rice, garnished with scallion curlicues. The rice was rather bland, although it was stained a fiery reddish-orange and it LOOKED like it would be really spicy. There was lots of kim chee, which gave a crunchy texture contrast. The egg yolk was still soft so it ran down into the rice and you could mix it in and that was pretty nice, but it wasn’t nice enough to save this dish from being my least favorite thing on Marination’s menu. But what about Marination’s vaunted Korean tacos? My verdict: mixed results at best. Each taco was $2, and you can choose between four different kinds: kalbi beef, spicy pork, ginger miso chicken, and tofu. The tofu taco doesn’t get any flavorful adjectives, probably because it’s so difficult to attach any flavor to tofu that flavorful WORDS won’t even stick to it. For how high motherfucking falautin’ these tacos were supposed to be, I would call $2 a reasonable taco truck price. Kalbi beef was clearly the best: sweet and spicy and garlicky chunks of tender beef were topped with a tiny bale of crisp, tangy, sweet slaw of shredded cabbage and carrots with cilantro and wrapped in two (sometimes three) corn tortillas. The so-called “spicy” pork was no spicier than the kalbi beef despite the fact that they actually took the time to describe the pork as being spicy. Like the kim chee fried rice, just because the ground pork in this taco was dyed orangey-red doesn’t make it spicy. Sure, it was spicier than a glass of water, but it definitely wasn’t as spicy as your mom’s love life. The ginger miso chicken was what I would call a misfire: I guess they didn’t put enough ginger in it. I kept expecting to feel that rumbling, slow, sweet burn that
only LOTS of ginger brings to a dish, but it never materialized. And the miso was too cloying and chalky. As for the tofu taco: don’t bother unless you’re a freak. The tofu was grilled and marinated in some tangy salty marinade, but the marinade didn’t penetrate very far into the tofu. Every vegetarian I have ever met swears it can be flavored yet I personally have never tasted a piece of tofu that was truly seasoned. Tofu must be pretty dense; why are we making bulletproof vests of Kevlar, when a squishy, milkywhite tofu vest is so much more impenetrable? At the very least we should consider making CONDOMS of tofu because obviously flavorful liquids can’t seep past it. The aloha slider ($2) is the first and only sandwich that’s actively trying to provoke me. That’s because it has SPAM on it. The great Jonathan Kauffman of the Seattle Weekly (who is sadly leaving our faggy city for the even MORE fudge-packer friendly San Francisco) has predicted a Spam craze of the same magnitude as our current bacon mania. And while I personally believe that Kauffman is a prophet and is in fact the Salman Rushdie of food writing (I’d call him the J.D. Salinger but Kauffman is too prolific), I must disagree: Spam will never grip the popular imagination the way bacon has. That’s because Spam sucks. You may argue that Spam is really just a terrine of sorts, but if you make that argument I will punch you in the neck. Spam is an abomination; a slice of the festering pustulent nutsack of a gibbering insane Lovecraftian god. Spam is not food. Spam is your mom. My friend and I tried to fry Spam once. At first it seemed somewhat appealing, though not necessarily edible: bubblegum pink and finely textured like a rubber pencil eraser. Then as it cooked the slices shrank down into brown leathery hock pucks floating in a pool of their own rendered fat. Even though we were totally drunk we both refused to eat it, and THAT my friends has got to be some kind of anomaly because when I get drunk enough I’ll eat an Almond Joy without irony. Still, the aloha slider surprised me: A slab of grilled spam cozied down in a nest of pulled pork, with more of the same sweet and tangy taco slaw on one of those weird sweet Hawaiian rolls. With a smoky, charred crust and surprisingly edible interior, the Spam was actually quite tasty. Besides, two kinds of meat are always better than one, even if one of the meats in question is Spam. I really wanted to sneer at Marination because the only fusion I endorse is the fusion of your mom’s genitals with mine. And even THAT isn’t really very good. But Marination won me over because it is CHEAP: I ordered EVERY SINGLE MENU ITEM (except the drinks; I can buy my own can of Mr. Pibb, thanks) and the total was $28. So yeah: Marination is good, but it isn’t as good as getting a blowjob from a leprechaun on the deck of the solid platinum yacht you just won in the lottery. Still, it’s a solid value. Stick to the kalbi beef tacos and the aloha sliders and you can’t miss.` Rating: 7 Leprechauns out of 10
(SEATTLE) CITY LIMITS DVD rents and sells all kinds of indy films, festival favorites, foreign flicks, comedies, drama, action, you name it, all the regular Hollywood fare, but our specialty is XXX... in fact, with many 1000s of adult DVD, we showcase for you the very best titles from the long history of adult films. Having spent over two decades hawking adult materials here in the Seattle area, we sought a centrally located, progressive neighborhood with easy freeway access. Our store on Westlake Ave N sits in the heart of Seattle’s South Lake Union district amidst burgeoning redevelopment. Now in its’ fifth year of operations, CITY LIMITS DVD continues to emphasize value for the adult consumer. VIP members not only save $2.00 on EVERY rental EVERY day, they also gain rental access to the store’s entire inventory. Enjoying these privileges ensures our VIP members that the hottest, latest new titles won’t be excluded from rentals, EVER. New stuff is added every week, now exceeding 10,000 titles. The use of on-premises databases and reliable vendors backs up the staff commitment to finding otherwise impossible titles from among the untold 1000s of XXX titles going back to the seminal days of adult content. We implemented extended rentals, where customers define at checkout the length of rental period and receive a price designed to minimize the potential impact of rental late fees. We figure whether a guy comes in on a Monday night or Friday noon, he wants to snatch up some hot DVD to enjoy, whenever, so we developed a program where opting for a longer rental period can save our customers hundreds of dollars a year in frustrating late charges. No one likes to see their hard-earned money wasted. Working together with our customers pays dividends for all. In the same manner that our customers who buy DVD have flexibility in exchanging, trading, etc items they’ve purchased from us, many of our rental customers opt for extended rentals, for whatever reason; aren’t sure when they’ll return, can’t get back for a few days, or simply because it’s cool to save money on late fees. Simply put, becoming a VIP member pays off -- big time. We are committed to price and service. We thrive on special orders. We can get the titles you want, and we have always carried titles you simply won’t find anywhere else in town. If you’ve never been in the store, come in or call us -- we make deals -- no bullshit. We don’t charge exorbitant prices, we don’t exploit our customers, period. In business today, there is a new paradigm, and our customers know we are their advocate in this regard. Bottom line, we want your business and we’ll go to great lengths to keep it. Check us out.
One Hell of A Christmas Director: Shaky Gonzalez
Main Characters: Carlitos . ................. Tolo Montana Mike........................ Thure Lindhardt The Devil................ Erik Holmey
Plot Summary: What started out as a 20-minute short film turned into a full feature for Shaky Gonzales, the winner of the Melies Dárgent in Rome at the Italian Fantasy Festival for his director debut, Angel of the Night. One Hell of A Christmas
is a dark comedy that takes reminiscence of cult favorites such as Evil Dead and spaghetti westerns and combines it into an action filled adventure for his main character, Carlitos. Carlitos is a convict recently finishing his term in prison. With a government issued $300 check in hand and "freedom" on his side, he vows to straighten his ways and become a role model for his five-year-old son. He goes out and buys gifts for his son and wife after making plans for dinner with his friend, Mike. Meanwhile, Mike visits a local hashish dealer, Ibrahim, to buy some of his goods. It was just an innocent transaction that soon turned into a series of nightmarish events as he witnessed his dealer being torn apart along with several hookers and an Englishman suffering from unspeakable acts of torture over a black claw. Mike seized the opportunity to make some quick dough and snatched the claw from his dealer’s decapitated head and escaped. He and Carlitos finally reunite at Carlitos’s house. They drink and talk about the fun times they’ve had. When Carlitos announces going straight for his son, Mike adamantly attempts to convince him into one more scam by demonstrating the black magic of the claw. Equivalent to sniffing cocaine, these two enjoy a wild night that soon turn into a demonic cat and mouse chase by the devil himself.
A Fright Night Review with Lynn and friends
Here’s what the critics have to say: Terri: I don’t know what the intent of the movie is…was it supposed to be a comedy or a horror and even then, it wasn’t a very good horror movie. I think they focused too much on character development. I’d probably rather watch it on HBO or something than rent it. Charlotte: It seemed like it was a drug infested encounter. That’s what it seems like. He (Satan) should’ve killed them all in the end. The sex scenes were pretty cheesy. It started off pretty good. It was a movie I would’ve liked more if I had some pot. The devil guy was cool, so was that little black thing he had, the little gremlin monster. It was watchable, I mean it wasn’t a total rip off. Candi: It’s cokehead Satan. It had all the parts a horror movie should have but they didn’t have it to an extreme, like they didn’t even show a nipple. I mean what kind of a B-movie is that. The gory parts we’re kind of tamed. I think it started off kind of slow; it was more character building, which should’ve been rushed because the meat of the movie didn’t happen till the very end. The acting was acceptable. Lynn: I thought the makeup job was pretty good and the costumes were appropriate. I think people who are into the serious gore flicks will be disappointed with this but it is kind of funny. I didn’t expect that at all and it was a nice surprise.
If you decide to watch this, don’t watch it alone. It’s better with some people, some alcohol or like Charlotte says, some weed, so kick back and get ready to laugh. You’ll like it more that way then watching it sober, like I did. Highlights: • Ibrahim’s head rolls across the floor. • Zombie hooker gets an axe down the center of her face. • Cowboy Jack takes a bullet right between the eyes.
This, I Shamelessly Tell You
Overall rating: 2 out of 5
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid
When fantasy situations do inform the relationship and my little musings about what beastiality might or might not be
(c) 2009 Seattle Next Door Model: Mikano
ikes! If someone had told me back in September, say, that I, who think of myself as nearly bullet proof when it comes to health, would succumb to the swine flu, I’d have scoffed and sneered. After all, me, being a conspiracy theorist and all, did not believe the hype foisted upon us all by the media fear machine, so I just went about my business, taking good supplements like elderberry lozenges and such. A good thing I did too, because yes, dear readers, I did spend four and half hellish days (not counting the coughing up stuff you don’t even want to imagine and going through three rolls of tp blowing my nose over and over and over as my body kicked this evil disease) suffering. It was like being high, only not enjoyable (though I don’t imbibe or smoke anymore, I do remember there were a few good times) and when I did venture out for more cherry juice
and vinegar (I know, sounds awful, but it kept me standing up and helped clear my chest of congestion, that and hot mustard plasters) and cat food – hey, why should they starve while I’m sick – waves of dizziness would veer me down the block like a drunk. I never want to be that sick again in this life – trust me, I’m doing everything in my power to keep that from ever happening again, including gobbling down garlic cloves and chasing it with water and cherry juice. It’ll keep you going, believe me. Burns your tongue, but keeps you going. Interestly enough, even as I healed, I started thinking bizarre thoughts, like if my cat sniffs my crotch with more than a little interest and a tingle starts there for me, is that beastiality? Or, if she joins my slave/lover/ life partner on the bed when we’re getting busy, laying right next to my leg, is that beastiality, even if I try to push her away? And when my other cat rubs her face into mine and treats me like I treat my slave, is it beastiality if I allow myself to be a little turned on? Also, what about my obsessive thoughts after seeing a stallion in full rut mode – the term hung like a horse took on new meaning, believe me – before he mounted a mare and how turned on that left me? It didn’t help that his ‘equipment’ reminded me happily of my lover/slave/life partner’s. True, I don’t expect I’ll be going out dragging dogs and cats home for a little human/animal hooking up, and the thought of the ‘horse lover’
in Enumclaw a few years ago turns my stomach. Still, I can’t help that little under the belt tingle when my cat nose kisses me in greeting. What can I say, I’m just a slut at heart, I guess, or maybe it is haivng Venus in Pisces as I’ve always thought. This, and yes, riding horses has always turned me on, a little bit, and seeing horses grazing in a pasture does the same thing, sometimes. I also, during my little bout with the flu, watched a show I’ve come to adore, both for the smart and witty writing and because the actors are all good-looking and there’s occasionally real nudity on my tv screen. The plot that inspired the rest of this column has to do with the main character, Erica Strange (cool name, huh?), catching her live-in lover doing himself to internet porn. They both freak out and the rest of the show has them trying to not deal with it, then trying to deal with it, then having Erica watch and try to act out for her lover what she’s seen him watch. She thinks he’ll like this. He doesn’t. My thoughts watching the show were that she should have just quietly slipped back into bed, filed that sexy image (hey, I find men doing themselves the ultimate turn on, but like I already said, I’m weird) and maybe done herself. To try and involve herself in her uptight beau’s fantasy life is a mistake I think a lot of vanilla women make, believing the guy really just needs them to be more freaky. Wrong, most of the time. He was probably just net surfing, came across the porn, thought: ‘hey, she’s asleep anyway, and I’m here with a boner, so...’ A private moment that should have stayed private, unless you have the kind of
relationship me and my honeybunny/slave have. That being a relationship where wild fantasy is the big portion of a very happy and trusting relationship where all is shared and all is put right up front to be played with, tossed around, for our mutual pleasure. I’ve seen my honey do himself at least three times, and each time, it was on purpose and it still is part of the ‘blue book’ in my head when I’m alone and horny and need attention. Works every time for me. That his/her fantasy life is very kinky and that he/her wants to share that information with me is part of our dominant/submissive thang and it makes for the best bonding I’ve ever had in this life. I consider us to be very lucky, and to have the best sex life of anyone I know (not that I go around asking folks about their juicy bits or what they do behind closed doors). We also cruise women together and I tell him about having fantasies about cops and firemen and we laugh like co-conspirators, then maybe do a new scene and I have so many orgasms my eyes roll into the back of my head. Not for the timid or the vanilla, unless they’ve already decided, mutually it’s time for some spiciness in their relationship. As for Erica, I hope she and that guy get it together and she learns to leave well enough alone, or maybe treats him to seeing her ‘private moment’. I’d watch, and I’d probably ‘jill out’ too. This I shamelessly tell you.t