October - 2011
The Macabre Works Of
La Petite Mort
Buxom Space Fish
Photo by RJB
those who have not suffered the pains of a pinched PINCHED NERVES & SCIATIC CURVES For nerve, let me say that I wish such agony upon no foe,
nor creature that pains me – not even Rettardo Moccaban, the wife’s retarded cat. It’s a pain destined for the Indy publisher of middle and old age, of middle and low income. It’s certainly hard to pinch a nerve sitting behind a desk 30-some odd hours a week, unless you’re swinging away on a 9 Iron on the roof top of your downtown office – netcaught, of course. If so, your pains have nothing to do with Indy publishing, just a poor swing. For the less fortunate of us with lower incomes, survival demands on a 40+ hour work week just to keep our heads above the shark infested waters of inflation, debt and taxes – and the addition of a bleeding Indy publication upon your back in those waters is Russian Roulette with a full clip. That’s when a nerve is certain to be pinched, fending for not only your own life, but the lives of those you don’t even know. And the chance of being eaten alive only increases as we each age in this desolate economy of lost jobs and corporate greed. The true Indy publisher either takes positions that physically demands twists and bends upon the body that will pinch the nerves, or becomes food for sharks, as this swim discriminates against no one – age, color or creed makes no difference. It’s an “Ouch, MOTHER-F@#%ER!!!” moment for most of us – meaning, it’s an “Ouch, Mother-Fucker!!!” moment, just in case the expected advertiser censorship confused you. The cynic and critic and envious, yet overeducated, nitwit will all laugh. Rightfully so, in all manners of animal survival; you know, the fittest of the fit are destined to become fitter. Indy publishing isn’t about becoming fit, or fitter – it’s about sacrifice, and public service to your community. Well, it should be. And it mostly is, but the pains of working two jobs, some extremely physical, for little-to-nothing wears upon the most devout Indy publisher. And if the prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers mixed with cheap bourbon do manage to numb the pains, it only makes typing more painful with every missed key. That’s Indy publishing for most of us, the less than 1% who dare make this commitment. It seems that only a few of us may survive this new era, the last breath of America’s Dreaming middle-class; you know, that over-educated fact that the fittest of the fit are destined not only to become fitter, but rule the masses. The joke of the matter between those cowardly nitwits who will never dare swim these waters, much less pinch a nerve, is the obvious options for survival of the fittest most Indy publishers acknowledge yet ignore; you know, like staying away from the dangerous waters of debt and public ridicule with the rest of the herd, instead of diving in head first. The 99.9% who say Indy publishing is foolish, painful, suicidal behavior are right. It’s hard to argue numbers as, unlike humankind, they are never bias. But if the minority of free spirits and independent thinkers, regardless of odds and dangers, never shouts out, what is the world left with, cookie-cut personalities who all look and think the same? If so, you won’t have to drag me to Hell, I’ll run! In this economic climate it becomes easier and easier for an Independent publisher to bend and twist, to contort itself into something it’s not, only to survive. It’s those kind of bends and twists that will cause the most devout Indy publisher to throw the reader a Sciatic Curve, a pain that causes numbness from the buttock and lower limb to the brain – the pain brought on by selling out in the name of profits. I sit back and look at the bigger picture, and wonder if I’m not guilty of those twists and bends, too. I guess if The Sinner is not only here, but in two cities, I am in some manner. I guess all of us Indy publishers guilty of this painful crime had a few other choices, like never getting in these waters, and ridiculing those who do from the safety of the herd on the shore. Then again, maybe the sharks are less dangerous than the 99.9 % laughing from the shore. Whatever nerve or pain aches you in the shark infested waters of Indy publishing, know that Halloween can be a brief remedy or bleeding ulcer. It means you better be prepared to buy a costume or two, talk to some bands, a local venue, a bunch of advertisers, a few burlesque girls, a freak or two, and a local DJ so you can throw one Mad event – a “WELCOME TO HELL!!!” in The Sinner’s case. It’s not some publicity trick on my behalf, but we plan for it to be a Sinful treat. If the Saints, Conservatives and Nitwits must blame someone for this blasphemy, blame the Reverend Harold Camping. Who can forget Camping’s prediction of world doom, the Resurrection, last May 21st? If you missed that over-publicized National Enquirer-esque waste of time, Mr. Camping has admitted his wrong. He admits that his calculation of the world ending on May 21 was way off. After recalculating the One-And-Only True God’s words, he now claims that the actual Rapture will be October 21st. It’s time to forget the 4th and MLK, the 22nd will be our first day in Hell! And against Council’s advice, which says putting on a show of this nature may hinder potential Advertiser’s financial support of The Sinner, I decided to do it: buy a costume or two, talk to some bands, a local venue, a bunch of advertisers, a few burlesque girls, a freak or two, and a local DJ so we can properly celebrate our WELCOME TO HELL!. And luckily for this pinched-nerve publisher, picking acts for such a sinful party didn’t take much effort – Rayna Skye, Al Swacker, The Way Out Club, Seance, D-Railed, The Scam, Vampire Mooose, and T.A.S.C. were ready to celebrate what should be our first morning in Hell. And if Mr. Camping’s prediction is accurate, I guess it won’t matter as we burn-out in flames while God’s mighty Gavel shatters this simple world. I hope to see you all there, as if it is the end of the world, I hope to burn it with the 99% of you sinners instead of the 1% nitwit saints in Heaven who never dared enjoy life’s sinful treats... And that, my dear reader, is just another tale of Indy Publishing in two cities....
RELIGOUS TRICKS & SINFUL TREATS
WRITERS, RANTERS, OPINIONISTS & OTHER ALL-OUT FREAKS: Mark Taylor-Canfield Paul Blow Lucifer Saab Lofton Malice Henry Nicolle
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Contact your favorite band to purchase.
Vampire Mooose, Saence, The Scam, D-Railed
Stu Kimberly Peters Emily Eufinger The Surley Gourmand Guitar Doug Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid
Kendra Holliday Joe Motor Gina Simon Jack Rainwater Mad Mike Miller Marco UnderSong
Publisher: Chuck Foster Layout: Terri Daniels Editing: Jon Thrower Cover Art: R JB Photo Cover Model: Le Petite Mort
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ESSAY | Just Asking Do you ever ask yourself "What the hell is going on, anyway?" I ask that. On a very rare occasion, I receive a coherent response. Most often, my question is returned to me without an answer. Are we each born into this world as free humans, equally independent of obedience to some superior human or group of humans? Does this equality demand that reciprocity of respect for the equal existence among all individuals? My opinion is that we are individually born free to equally seek self-determination. We have different individual qualities, but none of those qualities instill an individual or group right to rule others. We have no inherent right to exist beyond our own ability to survive. For those who would perish were it not for the aid of their fellow humans, that is a rough row to hoe. It is only for the grace and assistance of our fellow humans that we survive infancy or longer. These realities create no obligation between individuals and their societies. Society is a process by which individuals voluntarily cooperate for mutual prosperity and security. It is not altruistic to aid offspring or strangers. Such aid has a value for our own prosperity, security and survival when it is provided voluntarily, without coercion. If aid is taken or provided involuntarily, that violence serves to destroy both the giver and the receiver. Is theft from some to aid others any less a crime than to simply steal for one's personal advantage? If a crime, is the theft a crime if we hire or coerce someone to act for us? Is it no crime to steal from some to give to others if we act as a group and we hire someone to do our thieving? Does the process of employing a thief for our common advantage make theft less of a crime? Is theft less of a crime as an individual or as a group if our ends are charitable or beneficial, having no personal or group gain from the theft? I believe a theft is a crime regardless of who does the stealing and regardless of who or what may benefit. The group has no privileges which are not held by the individuals of the group. If it is a crime for an individual to steal in order to benefit another, perhaps even one in mortal desperation, it remains a crime for a group to steal, even via a hired thug, in performing the same deed.
by Henry Nicolle
Finally, if an individual harms or kills another in order to take what the other has, because the other is unwilling to give up what he has or is unwilling to trade, is the crime any less criminal if it is personally accomplished or if the killer has friends who hire assassins and thugs to murder and bring back the booty? I believe again that violence and murder are crimes when they are the means by which individuals or groups acquire power or the property, territory and power of other humans. We are all guilty of countless crimes and murders at home and abroad when we watch silently as our police beat one of us senseless or as our bombs fall on the children of foreign soil. We are as guilty of the murders of numberless families and children as are our warriors and technicians who raze countries to gain their labor, their resources and their assistance to expand our empire. When we condone crimes of violence and murder by our government, we are as guilty as they. Are our cars, houses and malls so critical to our existence that we should murder children, destroy their hospitals and schools, bomb their water and sewer facilities into stone-age levels of technology? All these crimes against people like us, who have children like ours, who have as little connection with the decisions and triggers whose weapons bloody their kitchens an lawns are ours, done to save a dime at the pump and put a quarter in an executive's bonus package. The murder and suffering of the innocent of the world are good for our life-style. A million murders each year on the average by our troops and our violent policies of acquisition and influence have made our "poor" among the wealthiest middle-class by wealth of the world. If we have a soul, (I suspect that our conduct suggests that we have none) I would worry for it. Just asking. Is it worth it to you that we annihilate an innocent every 30 seconds so that we can sit in traffic jams, watch TV and send a couple bucks to our favorite church or charity every little once in a while? Just asking, "How many innocents does your life consume and how many are left in your lifetank?"
The American Autumn: Is It For Real? A new social movement is being born in the United States according to veteran civil rights activist Dr. Cornell West. The distinguished professor has been a tireless and outspoken crusader for social and economic justice since the days of MLK, and he recently coined the term “American Autumn” to describe the current series of protests against corporate corruption which have been occurring all across the country. West has been desperately trying to keep the dreams of his mentor Martin Luther King alive during a neo-conservative period in American history, during which, most politicians have refused to mount any serious campaigns to eliminate poverty or racial discrimination. Now he says these current uprisings are the beginning of a new social revolution that will sweep the nation. Much like the “Arab Spring,” the demonstrations in the US have been largely the result of a grassroots citizen’s organizing campaign rather than the usual coalition of civil rights, religious, labor, environmental and political factions. This has all the markings of a true populist uprising with spontaneous actions created by politically independent individuals. Ad hoc networks of technically oriented activists using all the electronic media available to them are trying to take advantage of social networking websites and mobile phone applications to promote their cause. In this present case, the proverbial “revolution” may not be televised by the mainstream news media, but it will surely be captured on cell phone cameras and immediately uploaded to the world-wide web for a global audience. It all started in New York City three weeks ago when demonstrators decided to set up a permanent protest vigil across the street from the stock market on Wall Street in Manhattan. At the beginning of this occupation, NYC police were overly aggressive, using pepper spray on non-violent protesters. This police action only stirred up more folks who chose to join in on the demonstrations. In response, law enforcement officers began to conduct mass arrests. At least 400 marchers were rounded up like cattle and arrested at the Brooklyn Bridge. At the time of this publication, the number of arrests in NYC has risen to over 700. Labor unions and other large organizations have now joined the national protests against Wall Street. The AFLCIO has endorsed the movement. 700 pilots and airline workers marched in NYC to support of the occupation. By the end of September, the number of demonstrators had increased drastically. During one day of protests, an estimated 25,000 demonstrators filled the streets. The protesters have set up a website (“Occupy New York”) and are still organizing and protesting on Wall Street and at other locations around the city. By October 1st, solidarity protests and occupations began to take place in communities across the nation. Spontaneous organizations were born overnight using the internet. In Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and perhaps a dozen other cities, thousands of motivated folks from diverse political and cultural backgrounds have somehow managed to overcome their political differences. They have joined together in a national network of organized activists committed to countering the rampant corruption and greed inherent in our political and economic institutions. It is difficult to underestimate these American protests, despite the many and varied attempts by so-called “conservative” media organizations to dismiss them as just another ineffectual wave of misplaced liberal discontent. Yes, I have heard the opposition’s complaints: 1) the protesters are disorganized 2) the movement lacks a clear message 3) the demonstrators are simply unwitting dupes of revolutionary socialist and communist groups Upon close inspection, however, the facts do not support these assertions. I have found that most of the
written by Mark Taylor-Canfield
people involved in the early demonstrations were previously uninvolved with any social activist causes or political movements. What has become clearly apparent to me is the apolitical nature of some of these protests when seen through the eyes of the economically oppressed. Many residents of the US are currently unemployed, uninsured and extremely tired of business as usual as practiced by their local and national governments. It’s obvious who the winners are in this depressed economy - the business and military interests who can control the government through the use of their vast resources. The privileged few are using their huge caches of money to influence the political system to the point where most Americans no longer believe they are living in any true form of democracy. When corporations write the laws it’s easy to see who benefits. It’s certainly not the working class or poor of the nation. As an intended understatement, let’s just say that a large percentage of the electorate has finally concluded that their elected representatives do not have the public’s best interests in mind. Instead of doing their duty to the people, most politicians continually bow only to the ones with the most cash. As Professor Robert Manning clearly points out in his books, the problem
has all been spent on wars of occupation and attrition, on unsound speculative investments, and finally on major gifts to multi-national corporations. President Obama recently ordered the assassination of an American citizen in Yemen. The man who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize is currently bombing the hell out of civilians and terrorist suspects in other countries with remote controlled drones. But the vast majority of the American public is much more worried about high unemployment and the national debt than violations of domestic and international laws governing human rights. Actually, I suspect that this is exactly what the money people and the politicians prefer - a disengaged electorate willing to compromise on even the most basic protections of personal liberty as guaranteed by the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Meanwhile, they are able to steal the world’s resources and take away our civil rights with hardly a wimper heard from the average citizen. Most Americans are too busy just trying to find a way to pay rent and buy food to pay attention to global or domestic politics. Keep them desperate enough and folks won’t have a chance to catch the government playing corrupt games with unsavory dictators in places like Bahrain and
is that US economic and monetary policy is not based on economics. The decisions that are being made are purely political in nature, with both of the major political parties trying to topple each other’s fragile economic philosophical house of cards. In the end, the Republicans and the Democrats seem more than willing to bring this country to its knees if that’s what it takes to keep them in office. And, despite the minor differences in their economic policies, they are both in bed with major corporations and defense contractors. The too-big-to-fail policies of the government, and the many substantial financial bail-outs given to major corporations have created widespread cynicism among the populace. Trust in government and corporations is at an all time low. The point is that these occupations and demonstrations are the result of economic conditions in the US. Leaving politics aside for the moment, we can see the basic desperation of many members of our society who are currently suffering more than any generation has since the first Great Depression. The government’s own statistics show that at least 46 million people in the US are now living in poverty. That’s roughly one out of six Americans who have lost any hope of ever achieving the mythical American Dream. That ill-fated dream, which was sold to an optimistic population by dishonest political and financial representatives, is now only a faint memory in the minds of most American voters. All they know is that their national inheritance is gone. It all went into the pockets of unscrupulous and incompetent businessmen and former government officials. The swinging door which barely separates business from government is now wide open and the powers that be are taking full advantage of that fact. Our collective stockpile of money
Saudi Arabia. If you outsource their jobs to other countries and then dismantle their healthcare and pension plans, these people will be far too hungry and ill to fight back. It’s a brilliant and effective strategy which also happens to be totally immoral and completely insane. Outsourcing + Austerity Measures + Tax Breaks For The Wealthy = Low Wages + High Unemployment + National Debt With these facts in mind, let us consider one prime example of how motivated groups of individuals can make a statement about the untenable state of the world without shedding any blood or spending huge amounts of money. On October 1st, people began to gather at Westlake Park located in the middle of the downtown business district in Seattle. They converged there to express their solidarity with the protesters in New York City. The Seattle protests began with a small group of people, perhaps 50 individuals, who felt they needed to stand with the folks in New York who were rallying against the greed and corruption inherent in the Wall Street matrix. At first the demonstrators were tenative. They marched without a permit, but they marched on the sidewalks, not in the street. Soon, however, their numbers began to increase. On the second day, over 300 people participated in the rallies and protests. A skeptical local media had largely ignored the events until one TV news crew finally decided to go down to the protest and interview some of the participants. That’s the point when everything began to change in terms of how the media perceived the demonstrations in the Emerald City. The TV reporter happened to pick an extraordinary pair of individuals for his interview. Barbara and Lyle Mercer are both over 90 years old, but their youthful spirit is
infectious. They laughed gleefully when the reporter from Northwest Cable News asked them how long they had been married. “It seems like forever,” responded Barbara. They had met in World War III, a classic story of the injured soldier and the nurse who helped him recover. In any case, the couple had been drawn to the protests by a sense of civic duty. These two people served as the elders for the protest group at Westlake Center in Seattle that day. Barbara and Lyle inspired so many people that they quickly became underground folk heroes. This elderly man and his wife, both American war veterans, stood alongside bohemian activists and radicals, young families and angry teenagers, because they all share the same vision of a possible future with economic, social and environmental justice. When asked why he was participating in the protest and the eventual occupation of Westlake Center, Lyle Mercer’s statement was very concise. He said he was there to promote “peace, economic justice, freedom and civil rights.” I doubt you could ever find a more acceptable yet iconoclastic spokesperson for a social justice movement in the US. Conservatives had a very difficult time discounting his testimony and folks on the left loved the guy. He is everyone’s favorite grandfather figure - outspoken yet respectful, courageous and compassionate. By the third day, a permanent occupation of Westlake Center was established. Suddenly, 20 tents appeared out of nowhere and an encampment was organized. The civil disobedience had begun. The park had signs clearly stating that overnight camping was not allowed - a typical big city anti-homeless population ordinance. In spite of this knowledge, no one even mentioned the possibility of fines or arrest. They were committed to claiming this public space for the people, and that’s exactly what they did! Participants broke up into smaller groups and formed affinity groups to address the following issues: security, legal counsel, food and medical supplies, outreach, website development, media relations, tactical strategy, and arts and entertainment. Marches were planned, musicians played live music, artists set up their easels and displayed paintings, fire dancers did their tricks and a belly dancer performed for the crowds. Soon local businesses and individuals started donating food, supplies and money to help support our occupation. We had so many people donating food that we filled up an entire tent with bags of food and we distributed free meals to folks on the street who were hungry. We shared almost everything. There was an amazing spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. There was also a rare dedication to inclusiveness. People were willing to listen to one another and to complete strangers who walked by, even if they had serious disagreements regarding politics, religion, economic philosophy, etc. Everyone got a chance to speak. There were no leaders, only participants. No one claimed to speak for the entire group unless we had already gained consensus and agreed on basic principles. Folks stood in the pouring rain all night discussing our possible courses of action. Our peaceful act of group civil disobedience did not go unnoticed by city officials, but instead of immediately sweeping us up in a police action, the mayor’s office opened up dialogue with us. We began to meet with his staff and we developed our negotiating stance, which was, essentially, “We are establishing a permanent occupation in downtown Seattle to protest corruption in the government and on Wall Street, and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in New York City.” The participants in the occupation established a website and began to use Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networking medium we could find to get the word out about
the demonstration and attract more people to join us. The protesters recruited a legal team of attorneys who volunteered their expertise. The lawyers developed contacts with City Hall and the Seattle Chief of Police. We started to receive legal briefings and updates on the negotiations on a regular basis. One group of activists concentrated on reaching out and establishing a rapport with protesters in NYC so we could consult with them and offer them our support and encouragement. We were joined by a group of activists who had been protesting in Manhattan. Because of my previous work as an activist most of the local media recognized my name as a participant in the occupation. Before I knew it I had become a spokesperson for the group (“Occupy Seattle”) and was once again giving interviews and briefing the local and national news media about our actions and our negotiations with the city. I didn’t sleep much because I was too busy using my contacts in the media and doing interviews all day long on radio and television. The news reporters were eating it up. Most of them acknowledged, off the record, that they were actually really thrilled to see folks challenging Wall Street and picketing big corporations and major banks. We had established an activist free speech zone at Fourth Ave and Pike, right in front of Chase and a Bank of America branch. As was expected, negotiations broke down once the city attempted to force us to move our protest to another part of Seattle where we would be less visible and probably much easier to control. We responded with a resounding, “No!” The next morning we woke up to a huge Target semi-truck setting up for a previously unscheduled commercial event sponsored by the company. They set up in the park right next to our encampment. We had been given no warning by the city. In fact, the mayor’s office had told our negotiating team that no events were scheduled for that day. We became slightly annoyed and suspicious at that point but after several meetings with the Target crew, we were able negotiate for porta potties donated for our use. The company also agreed to provide us with some free food. No one was completely happy with sharing a public space with a private corporation, but we were able to accommodate most protest participants. There was definitely something very symbolic and highly ironic about our protest being hemmed in by a commercial interest. The company had paid the city a fee for a permit to use the public park. Some protesters decided to hold a demonstration against the Target event and other folks planned rallies in front of Chase and Bank of America. Once again the city pulled a rabbit out of their hat and unexpectedly gave us the following ultimatum - either move the protest or face physical removal, fines and possible arrest for illegally camping in a city park. After many meetings and discussions the group came to a consensus and we made the decision to tell the mayor that we would not negotiate on that point. In other words, we were not moving. Our stance was that we would not allow the mayor or the police to change the terms of our original agreement. We had been assured that we could remain in the park as long as we were non-violent and committed no property damage. Now the police and mayor began to threaten us with arrest. After thinking about the huge amount of pepper spray used on protesters in NYC, as well as the mass arrests, the Seattle demonstrators decided to stand their ground and suffer the physical consequences, if necessary, to show our solidarity with the protesters who had been abused in New York. After many more hours of negotiations, the city brought forth a counter proposal. They told us we could set up our protest at City Hall, At first folks were not opposed to the idea, considering that an occupation of a government building was an accomplishment in itself, but within an hour or two passionate debates were raging between organizers over that question. Before long the group realized that their protest was not really directed at the city government, but at Wall Street and corporate
influence on our government and our elections. One demonstrator complained, “If we agree to this proposal, we’ve lost our symbolic message. We are here to oppose Bank of America and Chase and the Wall Street crooks, not the mayor and the city council. It doesn’t make sense...” Another demonstrator shouted, “Let them arrest us! It will make them look like thugs, just like the cops in New York. I am not leaving this park voluntarily. I came here to occupy Seattle, not negotiate with Mayor McGinn. I don’t trust him! I think they are trying to co-opt us.” The crowd began to cheer loudly in support of the man’s statement. Five minutes later an SPD police car drove by with it’s siren blaring. Some of us wondered if this was the moment of decision. After it continued past us down Fourth Ave, I turned to the crowd, grabbed the megaphone and addressed the group. I told them, “We need an alternative plan in case they try to end this protest by sweeping us up or dragging us out of here like they did when we occupied the state capitol building in April. We need a Plan B - a place to for all of us to converge, no matter what happens here. They could lie to us at any moment so we need to be prepared. If they arrest us they will most likely come in the middle of the night when people are sleeping and there are no media cameras or witnesses. We need to be prepared for that possibility.” By the end of the night the demonstrators had made the decision to stay, and even if folks were arrested, we all planned to meet back at the park and continue the occupation no matter what happened. “Solidarity!” was the chant heard that night in downtown Seattle. Several marches snaked their way around the shopping mall, Pike Place Market and Third Ave. Although people were marching on the sidewalks and not in the street, the demonstrators were stopped by police. An officer told them, “If you have more than 50 people in a march, it’s considered a ‘parade’ and you need to have a permit.” A woman told the police officer, “You have got to be kidding! We are not obstructing traffic or pedestrians in any way. The next time a group of more than 50 Seahawks fans spill out of the stadium and walk down the street celebrating a big win are you going to force them to get a permit? That’s ridiculous...” At that point the marchers ignored the police and began chanting. “Who’s Streets? Our Streets!” The police did nothing. They just stood there watching the marchers without moving. With a noisy drummer in the lead, the demonstrators eventually marched back to the park, all the while celebrating their small victory. As I write this article demonstrators still occupy the park in downtown Seattle. Harassment by police and city officials is escalating to a crisis point. There is bound to be an eventual confrontation with law enforcement authorities because some of the protesters will not leave the park voluntarily. If they institute a severe crack down on the folks occupying Westlake Park, city officials will risk inspiring even more people to join the protests. Mayor Mike McGinn may order the dismantling and removal of the tent city that has been constructed at Westlake Park, but I don’t see any way that police can legally keep protesters out of a city park. They may continue to try to restrict the marchers, dispose of their tents and take away our megaphones, but the solidarity occupation will continue despite any official efforts to end it. Folks will be there every day to voice their opposition to the corrupt relationship between the government and Wall Street stock traders, bankers and brokerage firms. And the demonstrations happening all across this nation will not end anytime soon. As long as extreme economic inequality continues to exist, there will be people who will publicly oppose that sad state of affairs. Since I don’t see any real signs of change in this direction, I can only assume that there will be more marches, more rallies and more non-violent occupations in the US.
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StoptheDrugWar.org OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ESCALATES WAR ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS By David Borden Despite the Obama Administration’s promise to respect state law and leave medical marijuana patients alone, its attack on patients and providers operating legally under state law is rapidly escalating. At least 16 landlords in California this week received letters stating that they are violating federal drugs laws and that state law will not protect them. The four US Attorneys in California are holding a press conference in Sacramento today in which they are expected to announce a broad crackdown on medical marijuana. A series of administration actions in the past month makes it clear that they are engaged in a full scale assault on medical marijuana patients’ rights and their ability to access medicine and that they have reconsidered their willingness to allow states Ethan Nadelmann-executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance with medical marijuana laws to implement those policies without federal interference. The Treasury Dept. is forcing banks in Colorado to close accounts of medical marijuana businesses operating legally under state law. The IRS now says it will not recognize legitimate business expenses of dispensaries and is requiring owners to pay taxes required of no other businesses; the result will be closure of the most well regulated dispensaries and loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue for local governments. And the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last week ruled that state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients cannot legally possess firearms. “The Obama administration’s latest moves strongly suggest that their medical marijuana policies are now being driven by over-zealous prosecutors and the anti-marijuana ideologues who dominated policymaking in past administrations,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Barack Obama is betraying promises made when he ran for president and turning his back on the sensible policies announced during his first year in office. Instead of encouraging state and local authorities to regulate medical marijuana distribution in the interests of public safety and health, his administration seems determined to re-criminalize as much as possible. It all adds up to bad policy, bad politics and bad faith.”
IRS RULES AGAINST OAKLAND MARIJUANA DISPENSARY, DEMANDS MILLIONS By Phillip Smith In a decision that advocates warn could cripple the industry, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that Oakland’s Harborside Health Center cannot deduct standard business expenses on its taxes and sent the dispensary a whopping $2.5 million tax bill. Most businesses are able to deduct standard business expenses, such as rent and payroll, from their federal tax bill, but Harborside chief financial officer Luigi Zamarra told the Bay Citizen the IRS had determined the dispensary cannot deduct standard business expenses because it is involved in “the trafficking of controlled substances.” Harborside is the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the country, with more than 83,000 members, and pulled in $22 million in sales last year. It has already paid the IRS $500,000 in taxes for 2007 and 2008, the years for which the agency now claims it owes the additional $2.5 million. Although the IRS is happy to take Harborside’s money, the federal government considers marijuana nothing more than a Schedule I controlled substance. The IRS attack on Harborside is part of an Obama administration assault on medical marijuana distribution using the regulatory apparatus of a number of federal agencies, ranging from the Treasury to the DEA. Harborside said it would appeal the ruling and warned that if it stood, the entire medical marijuana dispensary industry could be endangered. “We can’t live with the conclusions that the IRS has come to and neither can the industry,” Zamarra said. “If the IRS ultimately prevails, we would close our doors and go away because the business model wouldn’t work,” he said. Ironically, on the same day it announced the adverse IRS ruling, Harborside also announced it had paid the last installment of its $1,081,450 tax bill to the city of Oakland, which collects a 5% tax on dispensaries. Medical Marijuana at Harborside Health Center
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A.D.D. Stands For America’s Dumbed Down written by Saab Lofton “It is often remarked in the First World that, from the president on down, Americans are the most ignorant – in the literal sense of not knowing what they ought to know – of any people with First World advantages.” – Gore Vidal, The American Presidency “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” – H.G. Wells Forget George Orwell’s 1984, forget Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – the most statistically likely dystopia will be the one Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-head/King of the Hill) depicted in his must-see movie, Idiocracy (2006). It’s about how, by the 26th century, CONstantly pandering to the lowest common denominator has denigrated civilization to the point where sophistication is nonexistent, where every city looks like the junkyard from Fat Albert and where the Human race is on the verge of starvation because crops are given Gatorade instead of water. Idiocracy’s Rip Van Winkle-esque protagonist, U.S. Army Corporal Joe Bauers (played masterfully by Luke Wilson) awakens in this anti-intellectual apocalypse and the following quote from the movie’s narrator says it all... “Unaware of what year it was, Joe wandered the streets desperate for help. But the English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.” ...well, that’s how yours truly sounds to all too many: “Pompous and faggy.” Why do I say that? Glad you asked. Let’s say I’m on Facebook or YouTube and some inbred retard (a libertarian, usually) claims that a society SUPPOSEDLY can’t have both free speech and free health care without unraveling the very fabric of the space-time continuum. Since it’s my sworn mission in life to combat ignorance, I leap into action and quote the likes of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders... “In terms of socialism, there is a lot to be learned from Scandinavia ... In countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark, poverty has almost been eliminated. All people have healthcare as a right of citizenship. College education is available to all people, regardless of income, virtually free... They have a lot of political participation, high voter turnouts. There is a lot to be learned from countries that have created more egalitarian societies than has the United States of America.” – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, from his interview with Democracy Now, November 8th, 2006 NOT that I do this for thanks, but rather than gratitude, I’m told all too often to use “original thoughts” as opposed to “plagiarizing.” I’ve even been accused of “hiding behind” these FACTS from EXPERTS! Ain’t THAT a bitch? If the ignoramuses I’ve had the
misfortune of crossing paths with are jealous of my encyclopedic knowledge, they should just say so! Alas, I’m falsely accused of being as arrogant as Anakin Skywalker, which is another way of saying, you guessed it: “Pompous and faggy.” NOT that this lets white America off the hook one iota, but I’m ashamed to say Idiocracy isn’t limited to hillbillies in trailer parks. The ghetto machismo of (wannabe) “gangstahs” – in addition to the loud-ass misbehavior of “hoochies” – is almost as bad. Be it Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television) or those shows with judges (The People’s Court and so forth), there’s clearly a conspiracy to vampirically suck the public’s IQ. The motive behind such a conspiracy can be found in a quote from Frederick the Great: “If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks.” Well, aside from every military recruiter, the handful of corporations that owns the MASS media is definitely afraid of a thinking citizenry, which is the ONLY reason why a talentless hack like Britney Spears is more famous than an adventuress such as Erin Brockovich. Who needs martial law declared; who needs some fancy Illuminati when you’ve got the “right” (note the quotes) not to care about that which is important? The Roman Empire created Bread and Circuses but the American Empire PERFECTED it. Civil liberties, social programs, corporate regulation, environmental protection... Every-single-thing that’s taken for granted in our day and age is a direct result of how smart we are. Folks love to joke about how today’s cell phones resemble the communicators from Star Trek, but it’s sociological progress, NOT technological progress, that makes Gene Roddenberry’s utopia what it is. For example: In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an eight year old boy is caught roaming the halls of The Enterprise during school hours – when Commander Riker asked why was he cutting class, the kid expressed a deep-seated hatred of calculus... ...and if children in the United Federation of Planets (which includes Earth) are being taught calculus at eight, you damn well better believe they’re also being given copies of Professor Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States as well as the work of Professor Noam Chomsky. THAT accounts for why there’s no poverty, bigotry or atrocity within the Federation – NOT some gadget or gizmo. I may sound like an ABC Afterschool Special, but education IS the key.
text Michael Miller - photos by Jeremy Wheeler
On Saturday Sept. 17th, Rock Out ALS held it’s 14th Event and the Last Show of 2011 at Studio 7 with Fall From Grace, Alabaster, Peace Mercutio, Man Without Wax and Third Attempt. This was their first show at Studio 7 since the closing of Club Motor. Even without it’s usual Video support before and in-between sets, It was an overwhelming success. Several “prospects” for the future Rock Out ALS Board of Directors attended the show, got turned on, and will probably be helping form their 501c3 Non-Profit which will lead to their National Expansion. The stage looked insane due to the extra lighting efforts of Tim Haack, Ben Winchell and Mike Ritter. Rock Out
ALS would like to thank the bands, all of it’s volunteers, The entire staff at Studio 7 and Everyone that came out to Support it’s campaign to raise Awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 2 weeks later, the Rock Out ALS Walk Team participated in the ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS October 1st at Seward Park. They were the Top Earning Team raising over $14,000.00.
At The Crack Fox
This was the highly anticipated return of local rock hero Evertt Dean to The Crack Fox. And let me say, no one shakes, rattles and rolls like Dean. The add Izzy and the Catastrophics from NYC to the night, and youâ€™ve got one Hell of a show! Look for these acts to come again!.
Izzy and the Catostrophics Experimental / Roots Music / Swing Izzy Zaidman - Lead Guitar / Vocals Ricky Flynn - Bass / Vocals Mikey Cannon - Drums Chapman Sowash - Trombone Emiliano Vernizzi - Sax
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FALL IS OFFICIALLY HERE and with that comes an “October Surprise”: after a year long absence from the stage, my old band the SPACE CRETINS will be playing a reunion show on 11-11-11 (November 11, 2011) at the Funhouse (Seattle’s greatest punk rock bar). Also on the bill will be the Kamikazies, the Blue Ribbon Boys, and the debut of Lauren “the Van” Goffin’s new band Anything Goes! This will be my final appearance on the stage in a full-fledged rock band, as I’m announcing my official retirement from rock bands, so come on out and bear witness to the extravaganza. In other news, Seattle has recently lost two more rock clubs: Club Motor (which shut down for good back in August), and one of my favorite late night haunts, the Tiger Lounge, which shut down suddenly in a blaze of insanity back in September. I will miss these clubs, but the good news is that Joe Motor (former owner of Motor) has started a new rock’n’roll event—Joe’s Underground: an “unplugged music showcase” which will be holding court every Friday night at Bernard’s, an honestto-goodness downtown hotel bar on Third and Seneca, directly underneath the infamous Seattle Hotel. Joe’s Underground will feature sets by hosts Joe Motor and Joe Abrams as well as a weekly surprise “special guest” performer. I checked out the official “soft opening” myself and was pleased to find that the bartender at Bernard’s is none other than Miss Cleo (curator of Burning Hearts Burlesque) and all well drinks are only $2.50. There is no cover charge, so you have no excuse not to check it out. I myself will be playing one of these shows, and while Bernard’s could not meet my guarantee of a hotel suite with a jacuzzi, they did promise me a room with a toilet big enough that I can fit into. That being said, and now that Fall is officially in season, here is my list of things that are IN and OUT for the Fall of 2011: IN: tube socks on girls OUT: tube socks on grown men with hairy legs IN: the word “excellent” used to describe one’s health OUT: the word “epic” used to describe a metal band IN: furry hats, for all sexes OUT: those stupid furry animal back packs, except for Asian girls. IN: ice hockey, played on real, authentic ice OUT: hacky sack played on concrete, in front of a Circle K IN: Hot Chocolate OUT: Four Loko IN: Bruce Willis (he never goes out of style) OUT: Charlie Sheen (and his seven-gram rocks) And here is a Fall tip for all my back-to-school readers: A twelve-pack of Coors Light, given discreetly to your college professor, is a sure way to earn an “A” for the quarter. A case of Pabst Blue Ribbon will earn you an expulsion.
HUGGY BLOW’S ROCK STAR OF THE MONTH: Jim Morrison: While I’ve never been much of a Doors fan, I have always loved the voice, the singing style, and the lyrics of poet-turned-rock singer Jim Morrison. Hell, the Doors never would have made it big without him, and as a bona fide rock star Morrison was a real innovator and one of the most influential rock stars ever. He was one of the first in rock’n’roll to make leather pants and all-black outfits part of his look, and let’s face it—his hair style was super awesome and his beard and weight gain must also be admired. It is quite natural and cool for rock musicians—even today—to go through the “Jim Morrison phase” and let their hair, beards, and bellies grow. Jim Morrison made that sexy! His extreme partying with the booze and drugs and his crazy stage antics also set the bar high for rock stars, and Morrison did all this in the 1960s—the age of peace and love! Morrison was also a deeply spiritual and mystical figure and a true artist, which adds points to his coolness rating. Morrison died a rock star’s death at the age of 27, found dead and naked in a bathtub under mysterious circumstances. All this combined makes Jim Morrison my Rock Star The late, great Jim Morrison of the Month! No one here gets out alive, indeed! Paul Diamond Blow works as a part time hustler when he’s not writing for the Sinner. His new book “Tales From Outer Space” is available at paulblow.tripod.com
10/06 Thurs - Psycho 78, Animals in Cars, Kill Cupid, The Chopps 10/07 Fri - Bad Love Sessions, Mystery Ships 10/08 Sat - Reverb Festival 10/10 Metal Mondays - $5 10/13 Thurs - Thunder Pussy Thursday 10/14 Fri - Eroder, Royal Talons, Rolling Through The Universe 10/15 Sat - Toe Tag, F. O. A. D., The Conniption Fits 10/17 Metal Mondays - $5 10/19 Wed - Backfire (starts at 4pm) James Hunnicut, Viva La Voxx, Randy Hicks Band (starts at 9 pm) 10/20 Thurs - Varroa Destructor + John Wayne Guns 10/21 Fri - Holley 750, Death By Steamship, Jerk Gabe 10/22 Sat - The Kamikazies, IQ9, Pukesnake 10/24 Metal Mondays - $5 10/27 Thurs - Coffin Hunter (former members of EXodus, new outlaw country band), The Cheating Hearts, Piston Ready, Big Foot Accelerator - $12 @ door 10/28 Fri - Ceremonial Castings, Scorched Earth, Funeral Age, Gravenloch, Blood Etchings - $8 10/29 Sat - 2Bit Saloon Halloween Costume Party with Spiderface, Autolite Strike, White City Graves $10 @ door 10/31 Metal Mondays - $5
METAL MONDAYS It’s Time To Bang Your Head Every Monday Night @ 2 Bit
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Theta Rhythm New CD by Charlie Drown Review by Marco UnderSong Gothic Industrial Music has come a long way in this region of the country. From Machinewerks, to The Murcury, to the Catwalk, to the Fenix... This CD is a grand addition to that legacy. The production is good and the musicianship impeccable. Beds are burning, a cover of “Midnight Oil”, is certainly a stand out, but my favorite is “The Astral Bell” with it’s exquisite flute playing counter melody with the vocal. And, I love the arrangement! This band proves that experimental/avante-garde/radical does not necessarily equal difficult/unpleasant/harsh. I want to see and hear more!
Hot Rod Trash CD, review by Joe Motor
must say, I may be a little biased, I have seen these guys play live more than a few times and have always been impressed. Hard Money Saints’ is one of Seattle’s hardest working bands and have been at it for quite a while now. Seems like I always hear someone refer to these guys as a rockabilly band. Trust me, they are not. You may walk into one of their shows and think rockabilly, but take a good listen and you’ll hear a lot more. The psychobilly label doesn’t stick to these guys either. They are a Rock & Roll band. But don’t take my word for it, get your hands on their new CD, and you’ll see what I mean. When I popped in the CD and was hit with “Big Bang,” I Instantly had a vision of Herman Munster cruising in the casket hot rod. I was in my car at the time and thought, this is great driving music. Then I heard “52 Vincent Black Lightning,” a Richard Thompson cover, proving this band’s love of all things fast, not just hot rod cars. Jack sings this one with feeling, a sad song, yet upbeat. This song is really growing on me the more I listen to it. “Hot Rod Trash” delivers rock-solid bass and drums that really make this one work for me. The guitar spices this one up, especially the lead; short and sweet, fun lyrics, and a fun song. “Camarones Del Diablo” is an instrumental, my second favorite on this release. This song stands strong even without lyrics. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about this one that I like. It must be that is is filled with guitar hooks, the way Jack bends notes and chords has always intrigued me. The drums and bass are relentless, holding the same rhythm throughout, while the guitar adds dynamics . This instrumental is not flawless, giving it a good live sound and feel. “Voo Doo Drum” is my favorite on this album. With a title like “Voo Doo Drum,” you expect some amazing drumming and that is exactly what
Nick delivers. Songs like this, is why you can’t label this band. Parts of this song remind me of Santana, I’m talking drums, guitar and the feel of the song. Taking a closer listen to this one on headphones, I was liking it even more, some great vocal noises in the background ad an eerie element. There is some nice production work on this voo doo number. “Straight To Hell”, tells a story of anguish, love and murder. The background vocals give this rocker a cool sound. The lead guitar break in this tune is quite unique, some heavy stuff indeed. “Long Skinny” a rockin’/ dancin’ little ditty, with catchy lyrics, reminds me of some of their older songs. The song “Sorry” was a pleasant surprise the first time I heard it, it was live in a small club and was just as good. Jack’s voice has a smoothness in this quasi love song and Mondo cranks out some great bass lines that really stand out. Perhaps I lied, “Sorry” may be my second favorite track. “3 Legged Dog,” has a bluesy slide thing going on. I’m lovin’ the guitar work on this track, another very different sounding piece. A HMS record would not be complete without a good ol’ drinkin’ song. “Drink Up” gets ‘em dancin’, I know, I’ve seen their shows. This tune is a real rocker, the kind HMS is known for. The new Hard Money Saints’ Hot Rod Trash CD has 10 songs and is a nice addition to their older stuff. This new material, for the most part sounds fresh and different from past works. The production is good, I appreciate the fact I can understand the lyrics. Overall, it has a live sound and feel. Seattle bands come and go. HMS is one of the few, in my opinion anyway, that will be around for a lot longer, I hope. Forget that I’m biased, this is a damn good CD by a damn good band. Now, go out and catch ‘em live and buy one from them!
SAT OCTOBER 8th The Chop Tops (Santa Cruz); Hard Money Saints; Craic Haus (Los Angeles); Hot Roddin’ Romeos; Spiderface; Piston Ready @ Chop Suey 1325 East Madison St, Seattle, WA 21+, 8pm, $10 advance or $12 at the door MON OCTOBER 10th Far From The Genuine; Dead Lesbians; Gradie Wallen; Violent Expulsion @ The Funhouse 206 5th Ave N 21+, 9:30pm, $5 TUES OCTOBER 11th Carrion Cathartid; Numb; Deathbox @ The Funhouse 206 5th Ave N 21+, 9:30pm, $5 MON OCTOBER 17th Shrouded In Veils; Blunt Knife; Starskate; All Your Sister; Neptune Division @ The Funhouse 206 5th Ave N 21+, 9:30pm, $5, $1 Beer Night! WED OCTOBER 19th Viva Le Vox; James Hunicutt; Gradie Wallen @ Tony V’s Garage 1712 Hewitt Ave in Everett 21+, 9pm, $5
THURS OCTOBER 20th Viva Le Vox; James Hunicutt; Rory OK and the Worst Band Ever; Ando Ehlers (punk rock accordian) @ Darrell’s Tavern 18041 Aurora Ave N in Shoreline 21+, 9pm, $5 THURS OCTOBER 27th Coffin Hunter; The Cheatin’ Hearts; Bigfoot Accelerator; Piston Ready; hosted by Ronnie James Dickhole @ 2Bit Saloon 4818 17th Ave NW in Ballard 21+, 9pm, $7 SAT OCTOBER 29th “HALLOWEEN HOUSE PARTY” Violent Expulsion; Guests @ Deloren House 1225 S Southern St in South Park All Ages, 7pm, FREE, outdoor stage, BBQ, bonefires & byob. THURS NOVEMBER 3rd Kids On Fire; D.O.G.S. (Japan); Bullet Club; Noel Austin’s Phreaks & an appearance by Throttle Rockets from Rat City Rollergirls! @ The Funhouse 206 5th Ave N 21+, 9:30pm, $5
Stayed tuned for a lot more tasty shows to be announced soon including SEATTLE SKA FEST, CHAOSPALOOZA and SEATTLE PSYCHOBILLY BRAWL! www.facebook.com/local.chaos.greg - www.twitter.com/localchaosshows www.localchaosproductions.com - www.myspace.com/localchaosproductions
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Raising Hell With Guitar Doug
It all started spiraling out of control when “fun” was no longer fun. I picked up meth. Just a little here and there mind you.
piderface is one of those bands known by almost everyone in the scene, and yet they are still underground enough to be considered edgy. The challenge in writing this column month in and month out is finding bands to cover who everybody is talking about at the rock clubs, before the are discovered by the corporate local press and radio, who kill the cool factor. Spiderface is one of those bands who are still considered cool, underground, and more fun than just about anything you will find in the rock clubs around Seattle. I was glad to hear about Spiderface way back when they were first formed, mainly because I was told they would fall into the shock-rock category. There is a certain void to be filled in that arena in Seattle these days. The news was just fine with me, because some of my favorite bands, going all the way back to Alice Cooper in the 70’s were called shock-rock. The entire rock magazine Creem was built on covering bands like KISS and for good reason. Shock-Rock moves magazines and this interview and pictorial on Spiderface is no exception. This issue is going to be one of the fastest moving ones ever and I already know this to be true, before even finishing the story. People want a show and something to look at, along with good music. If you provide both, you can’t go wrong in rock, but leave one out and you might run into trouble. This is rock-n-roll not Opera: Smash something, will ya? Spiderface is a collaboration of many local, hard-working musicians and performers from around the clubs. Some I have known for years and many have appeared in The Sinner at one time or another. Everyone from Dayne, who I covered in my first ever story on the band Space Cretins years ago, to Miss Goody Goody who has been a cover model for The Sinner and is also involved in all sorts of other performance art, to some of the folks from Noel Austin Phreaks like Ben, who also managed the Tiger Lounge. Spiderface has quickly become well-respected and sought after by the club owners, opening for national bands like Genitorturers or The Chop Tops one night, then playing the small venues like The 2 Bit later in the month. The speed at which this band caught on and got its name out buried most local bands who were formed around the same time. Another challenge I run into covering Seattle rock (and believe me, the word challenge does not tell the half of it) is keeping in mind there is a drug scene that goes along with it. You might say a serious one, when it comes to Seattle. I don’t know if our St Louis readers have the same problem, but here in Seattle we bury two or three rock musicians a year over drug and alcohol related deaths. It just goes with the territory and for me, the answer is to pull back and not get too emotionally involved as I once did, before losing three close friends in one year. There is only so much death and drug and alcohol related wreckage a person can witness, and doing this column I have witnessed much more than I
care to remember. For instance, this story and interview was last minute, only because lead singer Wes entered treatment this month. Dayne called me and broke the news that Wes was away in rehab and not available at the moment to do the interview. There were emails back and forth about his concerns and I pulled the plug on this story which we have been planning for three or four months. “Tell Wes when he get’s out the story will be waiting” was what I told him. With all the friends I have lost to drugs over the 4 1/2 years writing this column, it was a relief to finally find one with the wisdom to pull himself back from the edge and get some professional help. There is not a rock musician in this city who has not been affected by a death of a friend over the past two years, myself included. Obviously, I wish Wes the best as well as anyone else battling the curse of addiction. This drug business is no joke and we have people dropping like flies around this town. Incidentally, the band used the Tiger Lounge as sort of a home base and one of the members was the manager. The confusion surrounding what happened
there recently is so great, I wanted Wes to clear up some things. We all know there were shots fired inside the bar by the owner. The owner was taken to jail and the club is in a state of confusion at the moment. Anyone who dealt with the owner Neil, myself included, knew something was seriously wrong the final few weeks before he opened fire inside his club. He spoke in circles and to me seemed to be a person who was bi poloar and coming off his medication. Everyone openly knew it was only a matter of time before all hell broke loose. In Seattle rock, we all see the train wrecks coming well ahead of time. Some you can prevent and others you can’t. It’s the nature of the beast. Let’s talk with Wes about Spiderface, his seemingly successful treatment for Crystal Meth, and his input as to what the heck went on at the Tiger Lounge. First off, I am glad to see you made it through treatment and got your focus back on Spiderface 100%. Tell us about this situation. Yeah, I developed a serious problem with drugs over the past few years. I was partying most weekends and sometimes weeknights well before we formed SpiderFace. It all started spiraling out of control when “fun” was no longer fun. I picked up meth. Just a little here and there mind you. I figured, as most addicts do, that I could keep it under control. I liked the high too much and soon was using regularly just to maintain what I thought was a “normal life”. Soon I found myself empty inside and not being able to function in the real world. I kept my meth use a secret. I convinced myself that a lot of really great performers used speed and that it wouldn’t hurt if I followed their footsteps for a minute. I ended up getting the same thing they did out of it, a life full of heartache and selfinflicted misery. I have 25 days clean and sober at the writing of this and I tell ya I have never felt more in control of my life, I have my life back better than ever before. I would recommend treatment, or at least entering a 12 step program, to anybody who is using drugs/alcohol and wants a better life for themselves and the people that love them. If you’re still alive, it’s not too late. What is all this about Neil opening fire inside his own club, The Tiger Lounge? Well from what I understand Neil (the owner) had a bad day or week or month, year, whatever and in a drunken and drugged out state went down to his business and started some shit with his employees which resulted in him threatening to shoot people.
He then returned with a pistol and started firing upon his crew, particularly Ben Winchel who was not only the bar manager and Booker for the Tiger Lounge but is also a player in the SpiderFace stage performers as well as Noel Austins Freaks. We love the shit out of Ben and it is very disturbing to us that Neil almost shot and killed him. Sarah Goody (Ms. SpiderFace) has been in a relationship with Ben for quit some time now, so you can see how Neil’s actions not only nearly killed some good people, but would have torn our band apart with grief. I read a poem somebody posted on yelp that I would like to suggest the good readers of Sinner magazine to check out. It tells one man’s version of the story of Neil. Just Google Tiger Lounge, click on Yelp and find the poem. Pretty interesting. How many members are in SpiderFace? WayOut Westes (Vox, Samples, Co-writer, Lyrics) SpiderFace Dave (Guitar, Writer/Arranger, Lyrics) Blue Christ (Guitar, Lights, Prop Dept) Nekro NEO (Bass, Body Bags) Danger Dayne (Drums, Manager, Producer), Ivan the Terror (Guitar Tech), Sarah Goody Goody (Ms.Spiderface), Ben Winchell (Morte), Uncle Dan (Drum Tech, Groupie Slut),Bill Hansen (Big Pussy). Where did the name SpiderFace come from? It was bequeefed upon us. That is all we’re allowed to say on the matter.. What upcoming events do you have planned? Oct 8th Chop Suey w/ the Chop Tops. First show with our new bassist, NekroNEO; Oct 29 Halloween Show @ the 2Bit Saloon; Dec 17th Punkristmas @ the funhouse. Do you have any new material coming out soon? We’ve been recording this summer in our private studio, The Bunker, and will release a 6 song ep later this Fall. What do you predict will happpen in 2012. End of the world? First of all, I didn’t buy into this shit just because of the Mayan calendar. Although I am an Armeggedonist waiting for an Apocalypse, it takes quit a bit of convincing to actually get me to think there might be some kind of truth to an Eschatology such as the 2012 prophecy. Due to the limited space in this article I will summarize by saying that it was all tied together for me when I discovered Ethnobotonist, Philosopher and Psychonaut Terrence Mckenna’s Time Wave Zero (TWZ). He came up with TWZ in the early and mid 70’s. He fused the mathematics principals of historical events, King Wen’s version of the I Ching and their experiences with Psychedelics; particularly Psylocybin and DMT and came up with T.W.Z.. It would take some serious time and wording to explain to the readers how it all works so I suggest they Youtube T.W.Z. and watch. Basically they found that all novelty ends around 12/21/2012 meaning there are no more events of significant nature to occur past this date in all of humanity. Look at what we know about the birth of civilization as we know it. Look at the fact that ancient cultures believed in shinning “gods” descending from “heaven” look We are about to see some shit happen round here that’s gonna terrify and rectify and blow some fucking minds. I am ready, we are ready, are you ready?
Ratline Premier @ Koken Art Factory
Sons Of Black Mass
I seldom make plans months in advance, but after stumbling across a flier that featured musical performances by Sons of Black Mass and Ded Bugs for the premiere of Eric Stanze’s new film Ratline at a Koken art show, I did just that! Although I was disappointed that Ratline was not actually screened at the Koken event, the bands and host for the night, Magic Man, aka Jack Sinn, made the night worth all the trouble of being sure to not double book the night!
One Take Band
Bob’s 1st Annual Key West Day! Once again we found ourself at Colorado Bob’s Ship of Fools on a Saturday night, but this wasn’t any regular hootenanny at Bob’s – this was his 1st Annual Key West Day! And did Bob throw a party, complete with fresh Atlantic sea fare, like grilled grouper, oysters, and shrimp! He also brought out One Take Band with their soulful traditions of rock, reggae, jazz, blues, and bluegrass. Then Paradise Blues Band hit the floor, belting out covers from Greenday to Otis Redding and Jimmy Buffett! We can’t wait till the next one!
Paradise Blues Band
“Extradimensional Time Lord/Xenomorph hybrid and her enslaved menagerie making music to make you dance until your brain melts out.”
Interview by Chuck Foster
ttempting to guide one through the complex mechanics of Buxom Space Fish in words is like explaining parallel universes and time travel to a backwoods preacher. They’re an enigma, wrapped in a macabre mystery and trapped with in a box which can only be opened and viewed upon by those who dare not be bound by the laws of this world’s space and time. The band define’s their sound as Industrial Electronic and Ambient, yet it is much deeper than that, perversely dark at times. I find it a blissful trip through unknown worlds, where eyes need not be opened to guide oneself, only ears and soul. According to Buxom Space Fish founder Nikki Coker, she is a member of an old race of time travelers who was attacked on one of her many travels throughout the galaxies by xenomorphs (aliens), which transformed her into something even more alien than she was already. And while traveling the universe in her space/time-ship collecting specimens, she rescued Junai (Shannon Baum) from a death sentence, who became her only willing companion. She also returned with MuZe23 (Mary Elizabeth Kennedy), a lounge singer from a solar system in the outer rim of Andromeda, No.6 (Shawn Telkamp), a clone of a clone who was grown in a vat, and Ehren (Aaron Obst), who was captured after Buxom Space Fish destroyed his army of humanoids who attacked with a shower of chains and hooks when she opened the metal puzzle box they were contained in. With Buxom Space Fish’s mechanics now broken down, I decided to leave this world with them on a trip through the Milky Way and beyond to galaxies far away... and our conversation went something like this as time seemed to fly but never existed... How did BSF come into existence on Earth, what’s its history? When Sinfinis had their second CD release party, MEK asked me if I was ready to do alive show. By then, they I had wrapped up several songs that MEK would sing, Jonathan Baker volunteered to play guitar on a few songs and my best friend, Shannon Baum, to dance (in costume as Pris from Blade Runner). There were a few other visual elements tried out in the first couple of shows, but they were then dropped. In April, I formally invited MEK to the band as a vocalist. Then in May, I invited Shawn into the band as a second singer. Shannon was asked in June to join as dancer and perhaps eventually become the bass player, this never panned out and in October, Aaron joined the band as the bass player. I write all the music and perform it (October 29th will be our first show with Aaron our new bass player). The lyrics save for one song have also been written by me. Shawn and Mary Elizabeth both sing, and Shawn is planning to start writing more lyrics so that I can focus on more music. Shannon is our interpretive dancer. Aaron is the bass player. What about the unusual name of the band, how did you gals and guys come up with it? Nikki: After I had half an album worth of material compiled, I realized I needed a project name. When my fiancé and I were watching Doctor Who one night, the episode, “Vampires of Venice” was on and the Doctor uttered the line “Blimey, fish from space have never been so…buxom.” and it immediately clicked – Buxom Space Fish - it didn’t hurt that my maiden name was Fischer and that I am rather... well, you know…alien. Shawn: The name definitely came first. The concept evolved from a need to allow Nikki’s creativity to expand freely without the constraints of saying “this is Buxom Space Fish--we do x and make x type of music---so
Shawn: If ADHD were a state of creative existence...shiny...um..what was I saying? Mary Elizabeth: “The Fish is dee-lish!” Got a plug for any upcoming shows you would like to promote? Nikki: We will be performing October 29th at Koken for their “Zombies Attack!” show. Mary Elizabeth: BSF is playing at one of my favorite venues (Koken Art Factory) on Oct 29...without me. Bastards. What would you each say is the biggest misconception about being in an Industrial band? Nikki: I am NOT a DJ – I plays numerous instruments in studio and for live shows, I play my synthesizer to a backing track (which will slowly fade away as I find more people to play my other parts live). Aaron: That all the music is pre-programmed. It’s great to bring a live instrument into the mix and bring that personal feeling to your audience. Junai: There are misconceptions??? Shut UP! :)
like us already”. In the end, we all have diverse musical aesthetics and creative influences and instead of dumbing things down for the sake of making a buck, Nikki is driving this to be a playspace of sorts both in concept and overall structure. No show will be the same. You can expect that. Mary Elizabeth: How should I know? I’m just the diva. I caught BSF for the first time at the Rock U Festival, how has the adjustment been with him as the new lead vocalist? Nikki: The project was originally non-vocal material and more and more non-vocal stuff is still currently in the works. We’ve only really had one of the two vocalists in the band active at any time (Mary Elizabeth is still in the band, just on hiatus - once she returns, there won’t be a lead vocalist, just two vocalists). The Rock U Fest was Shawn’s first full show (he sang a couple songs at a Way Out show in June) and it was also the first attempt at incorporating some stage work we had been contemplating since our first show. He has been helpful in getting the word out to more people since he has so many connections in the scene. He has also been extremely helpful in making me realize that it is ok to make this more than just music (and came up with the back stories for Shannon, MEK and himself) as well as the idea to make comics for the band. It has also been a challenge in that Mary Elizabeth and he have very different vocal styles so it isn’t so easy for him to just do her songs. Thankfully he has written lyrics to a song that was first performed at Rock U (Su Corazon, Mi Casa) and we are currently playing some covers to fill in until we get more vocal material for him.
Shawn: I personally can’t stand the guy...but as long as Nikki says we have to tolerate him...geezo! Mary Elizabeth: Shawn? The new LEAD vocalist?! Good one. <unsheaths sword and races forth, shouting “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!”> On that same note, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance aspect of the set. How did that get started? Nikki: There has always been a visual element to the performances (including the inflatable dinosaurs that used to come out during “When Dino-Bots Attack”). It has been a learning experience and the fact that Shawn created a comic for each of our character’s back stories was helpful in that direction. Once he joined and did that I realized that this opened a new door and began expanding the back story more and more. The plan is that each show will tell a little more story and at each new show, we will have a comic giving the story line from the previous show. This will build over time and we may even collect them all into a comic book. I am currently plotting out a story line that will develop over the next year or so at the shows (and maybe even be filled in between shows with an online comic). When Shawn joined the band he also volunteered a couple of projectors he had bought for his previous band – I am working on video material to be played during the shows to add even more to the visual aspect. Junai: I suck at playing the bass so Nikki let me dance for her instead on her first live show. Seemed to stick and escalate from there as far as ‘visual performance.’ Acting...to music. I love it!
Aaron: This will actually be my first time playing with Shawn, but ironically we’ve been following each other musically for some time now. We both tried out for the same band at one point, and have competed against each other in two other band contests in St. Louis. So it will be nice for a change to actually be on the stage at the same time with him.
How would you each describe “Buxom Space Fish” in one sentence? Nikki: Extra-dimensional Time Lord/Xenomorph hybrid and her enslaved menagerie making music to make you dance until your brain melts out.
Junai: He plays nicely with others. He is great to interact with on stage. He also has a great set of lungs!
Junai: Buxom Space Fish: It’s what’s for breakfast!
Aaron: “We have such sights to show you.” - A quote that seems appropriate for the upcoming show.
Shawn: That we’re not a band because there isn’t a guitarist or drummer on stage. Like it or not, it’s the same amount of decision making that goes into deciding rhythm, audio dynamics, key, overall tone, etc that every individual instrumentalist goes thru---but in this case, it’s Nikki making those decisions-in the end, Nikki still comes to each of us and the final structure for the songs we do as a collective are built in a collective manner---exactly the same as any other band. Nikki also plays live..and now we have Aaron as well and of course we have live vocals—I’m not up there lip synching. LOL. :) Mary Elizabeth: People often claim that electronic music isn’t “real music”. Creating music electronically (and recreating it, for a live setting) takes just as much talent and dedication to a particular craft as anything else. If you’re a drummer, do you tell a guitar player that he/ she isn’t a real musician because his/her instrument is different from yours? We’re all creating sound; some of us make use of new technology to do that. Any last thoughts to leave with our readers before we return to Earth? Nikki: There are plans to start making different flavors of BSF shows. In addition to the typical club shows with the full band, Shawn and I (and maybe Aaron) might perform some of our more mellow stuff in coffee houses. I am also working on more anceable/non-vocal stuff and am planning on doing some shows of that material with just Shannon starting early next year. Junai: Open your mind and enter our world. Aaron: Looking forward to bringing the low end on my first outing with the band to existing and new fans. Mary Elizabeth: The dino-bots are attacking! Shawn: Remember kids - Torturing clones only leads to random ticks...and who wants a ticking clone? OK. Last one before I hop off ship, where can readers find more info about Buxom Space Fish? BSF: www.buxomspacefish.com is the place to go for everything. We have merchandise available at our shows which we will be giving away until the next album is ready.
Interview With A
Funeral Director Directed by: Maija - Answered by: Evangelia Black-Kraft
DEAR READER, I have for you here an interview with an actual funeral director! You probably don’t know this (and wouldn’t be surprised) but some odd years ago, I had an interest in a death-related career. A career as a funeral director seemed an obvious choice. There is something so fascinating, beautiful and ugly about death that makes us stand in speechless awe. I also have a real ‘get my hands dirty’ mentality. I often take a weird sort of pleasure out of doing things no one else wants to do. But perhaps that’s a topic better left for the couch at some random psychiatrist’s office. Well, you better order that drink and prepare yourself for some cold hard honesty that might make you decide to pick out your own funeral director before you kick the bucket. I know I will. Greetings! And thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. I always thought that a career in the Funeral field would be rather interesting and at one point was even seriously contemplating it. What made you decide to choose your profession? Was it planned since childhood or an idea that came to you in teenage-adult years? There were macabre elements surrounding my childhood that later progressed into a desire to immerse myself among the dead. The death of my grandfather sealed the deal at a tender age. I was unable to attend the funeral due to distance and legalities, so just like you see on those silly “all I got was this” gimmick shirts, my grandfather died and all I got was this lousy set of creepy photos. My parents and I received a number of photos from the funeral, as is custom in European culture. Everything from the flowers, the attendees, the freshly dug grave - to various shots of my grandpa lying in his casket. He was the first person that I ever loved, so his death struck a chord that would later lead me to consider a career in the mortuary sciences. I’ve suspected it started as a morbid desire to somehow reunite myself permanently with my final “memories” of him. From the research I have done in prior years, it seems a funeral director has many tasks besides just consoling family and planning the overall funeral. Some duties might include embalming, facial restoration and things of the like. Have you had to do all of this stuff? What all have you done so far? The extensive nature of the tasks involved in Funeral Directing and/or Embalming should be the first consideration of any and all persons interested in pursuing any career in this profession. Though it varies by state, the majority of states are organized to have a Funeral Director and Embalmer combo, so one is orientated to perform the tasks on both spectrums, simply labeled as a “Funeral Director.” Accredited mortuary schools discuss and explore all these elements in depth, offering a Practical in Embalming and Restorative Art, with a thorough coursework on merchandising, sales, legalities, and all the infinite and never-ending tasks involved in Funeral Directing. I can (to much dismay!) say that I’ve engaged in all aspects of the field, preferring backroom work of embalming to the arrangement of family funeral services. This is not to say that I “dislike” that element of it, but I’m at my natural best when dealing with people under pleasant circumstances, not when someone has just passed and emotions are running high. The emotional involvement becomes very intense for me and bringing it home with me after the work day results in a disruption
of my own cycles. Not to mention, some firms do their own removals, so it could for some be a 24 hour job! Ironically, prior to mortuary school while still debating this decision with my family, their argument was that the sight of the dead bodies would be traumatizing, when the reverse, which is dealing with the families, is what drained me the most! Some people are born salesmen; some people are very good with building things with their hands. It becomes its own endeavor when both are combined and expected of you. However, some states, such as Washington, California, and Oregon, have a separation between the titles of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. And lest we forget, county morgues, aftermath cleaning firms, and coroner’s offices are job options available for consideration if being a “FD” isn’t one’s cup of tea! Working with the dead, I’m sure you had to have seen or experienced some ‘disturbing’ things. Have you seen something... or smelled something that just made your skin crawl? Reflecting on the many reasons I decided to become a Funeral Director, one of my major considerations was to become completely desensitized to human death and decomposition. And could I not be any more off the mark with that one! The occurrence of tears and/or gagging from ghastly sights or foul odors is a consistent factor in day to day work, particularly of the morgue variety. What I can say is that there is no way to undo what has been done. Certain smells and sights have remained with me for years. Despite the occasional horror, I could never leave it - the consistent reminder of reality and the shock of these moments is extremely potent in the development and appreciation of my own life. A lot of people might think the only people interested in the dead are necrophiliac sorts. Would you consider yourself a necrophiliac and do you think that is a gross misconception or just a simple truth? I will admit that I’ve been on countless occasions accused of being of the necrophilia sort, though I’m sure my cliché corpse-like complexion, dark countenance, and morbid sense of humor make me fair game! I’ve always had a very profound interest in many of the cultural aspects of death and dying - stemming from death-worshipping subcultures to killers such as graverobbing Ed Gein - eventually becoming so entranced by these “aesthetics” that I opted to look, dress, and well, work - the part. I had already been warned that the stereotype of the macabre Mortician was a gross misconception while researching the profession. So, when I arrived to mortuary school I was not expecting to find any people like myself - and, I didn’t, so it proved in many ways to be a lonely experience for me. However, as “normal” as all the people I’ve attended school and worked with were, they all had their intensely dark and sometimes profoundly creepy sides, which I learned how to bring out for my own entertainment. But – there were a few oddballs here and there, such as an underclassman that I never got to meet, while in my final semester! Let’s just say that I heard through the mortuary grapevine that he was definitely not into it for helping families create a meaningful memorial!
Kind of a personal question here, but what the hell, when will I ever get the chance to interview a funeral director again, heh. Have you ever abused your position? Maybe touched a corpse in an improper way? Yes (while giggling like a rowdy school girl)! I was the “butt” of my embalming groups because I was always raring and willing to pack the body cavities with cotton. They sure thought I was a weird one! And this one time, at mortuary camp – ahem – Enough said! What do you think happens after death? Do you think we just rot in the ground? Or do you believe in ghosts, heaven, hell, etc.? Despite being raised around Orthodox extremism, I’ve as long as I can remember been under the persuasion that Schopenhauer had value in the concept that one ceases to exist after death, to be just as one was before birth. Again, this ties in directly to my persevering desire to surround myself with death and human decomposition - to use it as a spiritual tool. My experiences have strengthened my aforementioned belief, which was in its very essence a natural inclination, before I learned to read and discovered there were philosophers giving names to this stuff. So, in short, I will cognitively cease to exist and rot, being as I was before that condom broke oh so many ages ago! Taking into consideration that I have lived in funeral homes with my sleeping quarters near coolers and prep centers, I’m skeptical about ghosts. Never had any encounters, never anticipated any encounters. And yes, of course, I believe in Hell and Heaven - we’re all in one right now and the other is the name of a Bryan Adam’s song. What advice could you give to someone reading this who is contemplating a career in the same field? Research, Research, Research. Can you handle dealing with dead human bodies on a daily basis, some of which are far into the decomposition process? Are you attentive to detail and ready to stop what you’re doing any moment to assist a family that walks in through the doors of your facility? Can you separate your own compassion from business? Weigh the pros and cons before you decide if you would like to go further. Then, get in touch with a local funeral home to see if you can arrange to “job shadow” a funeral director for a day. Legally, you won’t be allowed near human remains in most states, but it is an excellent opportunity to see the more psychologically demanding aspects of the profession. The last thing you want is to blow $20k on mortuary school to discover you can’t stand what you’re doing. I’ve been there and many of my colleagues have
been there. If for some reason you have no luck with the job-shadowing aspect of it, request to apply for ANY sort of entry-position available - reception, janitorial, driving, etc. Use any hole to find your way in. Contrary to popular belief, the Funeral profession is not an abundant market for jobs. The fact that people tend to remain in this profession for the majority of their careers, along with its sensitive nature, makes it a much more selective realm than many. With ever increasing legalities and complex personalities of the clients to be worked with, funeral homes seek well balanced candidates who can handle a variety of tasks gracefully. Has the current bad economy been an issue for you as a funeral director? It would be appropriate to mention another misconception that I always hear from outsiders looking into the profession - that being of job stability, because “people are always dying.” The sad state of the economy has closed off most of the market, with funeral homes and preparation centers drafting up “waiting lists,” should any positions ever become open. Though people continue to die, this in most cases, now means that Funeral Directors/Embalmers are now undertaking (har!) a larger workload under the same salary or compensation. Most people, rather than losing their job, will coordinate their lives to the larger work load. In short, finding a job in the profession under current economic circumstance is becoming more difficult, and keeping one’s job means taking on a larger case load (“case” referring to each individual decedent.) The current economy also effects how much families are willing to spend on funeral services and what sort of disposition is desired, in the case of traditional burial families now find themselves considering cremation for their loved one. (PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Cremation of multiple bodies in a single retort is never legal, need I mention, unethical. If you have any suspicion of this, immediately report it to the Cremation Association of North America.) Thank you so much for answering my attack of questions. We are now at the almighty ‘money- shot’ question, your last words? Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (RIP) has always said it the best - Death is the most terrible thing; and to maintain its works is what requires the greatest strength.
Bitching with Buddha Lu c i fe r
Dear Oh Mighty Dark Lord, So you seem to be a smart demon. Could you tell me your take on the coming Presidential race? Me and a few of the guys were talking at the favorite haunt and there was a polite discussion over who would win. Would it be Obama or a Republican? Sincerely, Bi-partisan Curious Well Bi, I was afraid someone was going to ask me that. The answer is, well, complicated. Liberals who generally vote Democrat when they are not voting the Green Party are a bit disappointed with Obama. They wanted a strong leader who could fight for the lefty vision, but instead got a geeky kid in a playground full of bullies. The Liberals wanted three things from Obama. First, the creation of a single payer health care system but instead got Pimp Care where Obama whores the American people to the Insurance Companies. Second, to restore the Human Rights that the Bush Administration has suspended like Habius Corpus, but instead Obama has extended various policies like “Special Rendition” or maintaining Guantanamo prison. Third, to pull the troops out of Iraq and he did but by increasing the war and the number of troops which was counter to his campaign promises. So although he is still liked most of his supporters think him ineffectual at best and a wimp at worst. Will they make that special effort to vote for him a second time? It almost looks like a Republican race to loose, but then again, the Republicans are obsessed with protecting the super rich, fighting jobs programs and other aid to the hardest hit regions of the country, and even as much of the country swelters and burns they still deny Global Warming. So, really, what are the Republicans doing? They are making more Democrats. Cordially your buddy, Lucifer Hey there Dark lord, I don’t see why I have to pay taxes to support a bunch of jobless runts. Seems to me had they worked harder in school and gone on to college they’d be working and paying taxes. Instead they’re just slacking through life. What is in it for me is what I’m asking? Annoyed American
AA, I totally feel for you but you got to realize that these people aren’t all slackers nor are they simply going to go away or roll over and die quietly. Some of these people may get up and help themselves to your stuff. You can also count on more protests or food riots. What all this means to you is higher taxes for more police and more prisons. Unrest is always bad for the economy. Lucifer, Lord of Darkness
If you want to talk to God, see a psychiatrist, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To intercourse with the dark lord Lucifer, drink a bottle of Everclear, or email: email@example.com.
myspace.com/stlouissinner - myspace.com/seattlesinner
Skin Deep with Stu Photography by LB Photography (LBfoto1@yahoo.com)
Hey Guys, Well its been two years since I started writing “Skin Deep With Stu” for The Sinner and in that two year period I have really enjoyed the article. Many of you have written me great responses and shown a lot of support. I’m honored to have been trusted enough to answer your questions. Writing this article has been something that I have always looked forward to every month and I’m always interested to hear what people are interested in. I hope that I have taught you a lot as I feel I have learned a lot from simply answering your questions. So I’m sure by now you are seeing where this is going… I will NOT be writing “Skin Deep With Stu” anymore. The reason for this sudden decision is that my professional life has gotten very busy and I simply cannot keep up with all of it. I have a family that needs more of my time and a career that needs the same. I work 40+ hours a week at Stl Ink where I run their Mod Department. I Operate T.A.S.C. and am responsible for the training and quality of two chapters, one in Missouri and one in California. I am responsible for writing the entire operations protocol. I handle most of the event booking, stage blocking and set design for our performances I have two apprentices, one in Missouri and
one in California. I have to bounce back and forth from Missouri to California to make sure that my apprentice there is doing the studying and working well under my friend there that allows him to work bio/clean hands for him at his shop. This is done so that when I move there in May to open my studio he will be ready to begin learning the piercing basics. Yup, On top of all that I am opening a studio 2000+ miles away in May. I don’t want to stop writing but I am just not sure that I have the time to keep up on it. So here’s what I am thinking… I am going to shift the topic of the article a bit and make it more geared towards what T.A.S.C. is and what ours interests are… SUSPENSION and SELF RELIANCE. I plan on writing about anything from where to find spare water after a fall out to fishing to hunting to suspension stories and info. Feel free to submit stories about suspension or tactics on survival. Hope you all enjoy the new article and thanks so much for all your support and understanding Stu Modifies www.StuModifies.com www.TasCorps.com Stu@StuModifies.com
The Macabre Works Of
La Petite Mort W
hen La Petite Mort submitted her works to us several months ago, I first warned her that I take three covers of The Sinner very seriously, especially October’s for my borderline obsession with Halloween alone. I also believe it’s common knowledge that I normally choose a particular photographer or artists for the cover over a model, although I have admitted in the past that some models are as creatively involved as the artists who capture them. La Petite Mort is one of those models. When she suggested that her works would be a “good fit” for The Sinner in October, as she specializes in the macabre, I didn’t know what to expect with such a broad description. It only took the first steampunk-style image of her hanging upside down by a rope with a deranged gangster pointing a gun at me for me to confirm her for the cover. Unfortunately, due to its graphic nature, that wasn’t our cover choice – yet it easily defines what we look for every October. With the cover process of The Sinner now outlined, I offer you an in-depth insight into the sinister world of La Petite Mort... Who is La Petite Mort, and how you did you get into modeling and performance art? That is always the hardest question for me. In real life I have lots of responsibility and a very normal day job. I got into modeling in my mid twenties and it’s always been a creative outlet for me. It was sort of like a drug. The photo shoots and runway just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I had lost inspiration. That’s when it dawned on me that I wanted to do darker themed burlesque. You mentioned that you specialize in the “macabre” when we first spoke, what draws you in the direction? I’m a huge horror buff. Burlesque acts are generally funny and clever. There’s a lot of funny to be found in campy horror. There’s also a lot of aesthetically pleasing macabre subjects. One of my favorite acts as a sugar skull, borrows a lot of Mexican culture. Dia De Los Muertos celebrations have some beautiful and breath taking art. I try to embody that. I hope that the audience can forget for a moment that they aren’t laughing, and that’s OK. There’s also a lot of burlesque in Seattle. I wanted to do something different. What’s been the toughest obstacle for you as a performer/model to overcome? Generally it’s yourself. The self doubt and apprehensions can be your worst enemy. As an artist it takes some serious cojones to get on stage and bare your soul and your body. Also there is a fine line between being humble and having confidence. Let me ask you about the cover image. How did that come around, the make-up and look of the shot? It was backstage at a show. RJB is a great photographer and we captured it in just a few shots. I do full sugar skull makeup for that act in particular. It’s very time consuming but the look of it and the reaction from the audience makes it worth it. Let me also ask about the shot of you hanging upside down with the guy pointing a gun. How did that shot come to be? That would be Twisted Monk. He makes some amazing rope. His story is actually quite fascinating. The act is about a prostitute in Victorian times who encounters Jack the Ripper. In our version he’s well versed with rope and hangs the prostitute upside down and the climax is when he slits her throat. It’s actually a blood balloon nestled in my corset. It never really wants to pop when it’s supposed to. Regardless of the technical difficulties we’ve had a lot of response about the act, and how offensive it is. We’ve also had a lot of bookings for it. Generally there is a disclaimer beforehand and in the program. We even come back out to bow at the end showing that I’m totally fine. There were complaints of nightmares and I think I have a future as a Scream Queen.
I see that RJB shoots a lot of your works. How important is it for a model to have a comfortable relationship with a photographer? It’s extremely important to have good relationships with the people you work with in a professional context. I would hope photographers and even producers think of me as professional. It’s also the little things like requesting access to touch you before fixing a bra strap or a wrinkled skirt. Also not making you feel dirty is a big bonus. Some photographers can just be skeezy. We’re all artists and professional courtesy can go a long way.
Shoot For Change
What other photographers do you like to work with? I love working with Elaisted. Shoot for Change, and Gabino Mabalay are also high on my list. It’s always fun shooting with them. The process isn’t very glamorous but the pictures turn out amazing. You have a busy schedule this month. Where can our readers find you in Seattle? I’m performing at Zombcon’s Prom Night of the Living Dead, Cabaret Macabre on Halloween, and I’m producing Burtonween on October 29th at the Rendezvous. That was indeed a shameless plug.
Any last words, Miss La Petite Mort ? Well doesn’t that sound morbid? I’m very grateful to everyone that has given me a chance and been supportive throughout the years.
And last, where can readers find more about you? You can follow my shenanigans on www.glitterandgore.com. I keep my performances up to date and it has links to my facebook and Twitter. myspace.com/stlouissinner - myspace.com/seattlesinner
St Louis, MO
Gina Simon Photography
Eric Stanze’s long-awaited release of Ratline is finally over, and it has certainly been worth the wait that many cult fans suffered. Once again, though, Stanze does not disappoint, delivering a disturbing tale of evil as only few in the Indy film world can. His ability to capture the hidden atrocities of humankind with such realism through his film work sets him apart from others in his field. And like many Stanze films, Ratline is intended for Mature Audiences, mostly due to the film’s violent nature, yet its erotic situations also deserve credit for the MA rating. It wouldn’t be Stanze film without such innards. Ratlines were actually a system of escape routes used by Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II, which works its way into the film after a drug deal goes south, way south, putting Crystal Brewer (Emily Hack) on the run with her companion Kim Galloway (Alex Del Monacco). The two find a short-lived refuge through Penny Webb (Sarah Swofford) in the sleepy Missouri town of Hermann, yet are soon hunted down by Frank Logan (Jason Christ), a mysterious character with deathly intentions and supernatural secrets. Ratline is complemented with strong performances by Christ, Hack, Del Monacco, and Swooford, but Joseph R. Engel deserves a blood-curdling shout too for his superior role as Penny’s uncle Mike, who has some dark secrets of his own. And the sound track compiled by Stanze is a masterpiece of nightmarish sounds, including a track by local Devil-Rockers, Sons of Black Mass. Ratline is a must-have for any cult film collection! Purchase it today at Amazon.com or at WickedPixel.com.
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Home-style Eats at
Pat’s Bar & Grill written by Emily Eufinger Since 1942, Pat’s Bar & Grill has been a fixture in the Dogtown neighborhood of St. Louis. All dark wood and shamrocks—the ever-present digital clock counting down the seconds until next St. Patrick’s Day—local regulars and tourists alike enjoy the homey food and atmosphere. Any time food is brought to a table, it comes with a big stack of napkins, and for good reason: this ain’t no tapas joint; you’re going to get food—real food!— and lots of it. Eating at Pat’s is like the first meal back home after a long absence, when your mom wants to fill you up with as much good, warm food as she possibly can, because she’s just certain that there’s no one else in the world who can take care of you like she can. You can even stop in for breakfast; the friendly wait staff and bartenders are more than happy to oblige. The grill is famous for its fried chicken, served half a bird at a time (a wing, a leg, a thigh, and a breast), which you can get on the daily special with French fries, coleslaw, and a vegetable for $7. And if you ask nicely (and pay $.50 extra), they will toss the whole thing in wing sauce for you. You don’t ever leave Pat’s hungry; you leave with a doggie bag. Another special the bar offers is “A Pitcher and a Pound”: a pitcher of beer and a pound of hot wings for just one picture of Alexander Hamilton. The special on this visit was BBQ Turkey Ribs with two sides for $8. The first side, Extreme Clam Chowder, proved itself rich and creamy—just the thing to warm the soul on a cold, rainy day. The ribs were tender, juicy, and falling off the bone, smothered with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. Turkey’s not just for Thanksgiving dinner anymore! The second side of sweet potato fries served as a perfect salty sweet accompaniment. A repeat personal favorite is the 8oz. Charbroiled Ribeye Steak Sandwich served on garlic cheese bread for $10 including one side item. Ribeye is a steak that runs the lower end of the cost spectrum because it is marbled with fat. But what makes ribeye great is that when it’s cooked just right, all that fat dissolves into the meat, making for one big juicy slab of cow. For dinner entrees, one can find Frog Legs ($13), Catfish ($10), and even LIVERS OR GIZZARDS for a mere $10 (capitalization taken from the menu). Homemade croutons accent the salads, which practically melt when eaten, and the kitchen recently added wasabi to the dressing on the Spinach Salad ($7), giving it an extra kick, because you know mom wants you clear out those sinuses. You really can’t go wrong with any of the burgers, and the Open-Faced Roast Beef Sandwich with mashed potatoes can cure the most serious case of homesickness ($8). A new addition to the dessert menu is Ted Drewes ice cream ($3), but if you are of the opinion that it’s never as good as when you get it directly from Ted himself, there is also Deep Fried Cheesecake to satisfy that sweet tooth. This is more than just a bar, and the food is anything but “typical” pub fare. Pat’s is welcoming and fulfilling, for both the stomach and the mind. For more information go to http:// patsbarandgrill.com, or stop in for a pint at 6400 Oakland Ave., right across from Turtle Park.
SERIAL KILLER HORrOrSCOPE
hile other astrologists may fill your head this cool autumn morning with precognitions of good fortune, romance, and kitty cats and puppy dogs to come, I will not. Darker days may await you this month. In fact, perhaps some far more dreadful than you can ever imagine. Like most Libras, you already know that you share this sign with the likes of John Lennon, Naomi Watts, Tim Robbins and Barbara Walters, just to mention a few. What escapes your ignorant bliss is the company of your sign that others dare not mention, such as Efren Saldivar, Michael Joseph Swango, Dayton Leroy Rogers and Harvey Glatman. Libras are known for their obsession with balance, harmony and careful decision-making. They are also known for their intellect, desire to please in life as well as in bed, and their ability to learn through experience. This is certainly true with the list of Libras above. What separates this elite group is their fame; some became Hollywood stars, others infamous serial killers. Let’s examine Michael Swango. Intellectual. Medical Student. EMT. Serial killer. Born in Tacoma, Washington on October 21, 1954, Swango displayed several Libra qualities in his youth, including an honorable discharge from the US Marine Corps in 1980, entrance into Southern Illinois University, and a surgical internship at Ohio State University in 1983. It was at OSU that Swango first utilized Libra’s obsession with balance and harmony, only towards a darker side of the sign seldom mentioned. His healthy patients began to mysteriously die, leading to a superficial investigation which he was eventually cleared of. Swango later returned to Illinois in 1984 where he became a EMT. His obsession with poisoning resurfaced. This time his colleagues were at the end of his wrath. After several coworkers reported becoming violently ill, he was caught by the Quincy Police Department in possession of arsenic and other poisons. He was sentenced to five years in prison on August 23, 1985. While this setback should have ended his career, Swango’s obsession and intellect reestablished himself through forged documents, as David Adams. Adams bounced around the U.S. for months, landing several positions in the medical field, but he made one mistake: he attempted to join the AMA, who discovered his past conviction for poisoning. Swango still refused to leave the medical field, later landing a residency program at the Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center. Once again patients began to die from unknown reasons. Four months later he was discharged, but his senior director warned over 1,000 schools and medical facilities of Swango. He then left the U.S. and found work at Mnene Hospital in Zimbabwe. A year later mysterious deaths were once again traced to him. He fled the country before his trial and headed for a position at Royal Hospital in Dharan, Saudi Arabia. On his way to Saudi Arabia he had a layover at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois. This is where Swango’s luck ended. He was met by Federal authorities and later sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of three of his patients and fraud charges. While only having plead guilty to three deaths, it is estimated that he murdered up to 60 patients between 1985 and 1997. Another infamous Libra who seldom receives any recognition is Harvey Glatman, America’s first signature killer. As a teenager, Glatman developed a Libra’s passion for working with his hands through photography. Of course it had nothing to do with arts and crafts or family photos. He liked to stalk young women, enter their homes, tie them up, molest them, then take photos for souvenirs. He was arrested for one such act in 1945 and served an 8 month sentence. He then moved to New York where he was once again caught and sentenced to a 10 year sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. After an early release in 1956 he moved to Los Angeles. It was in LA that Glatman’s passion for photography and obsession with women went to another level. He began hitting the local modeling agencies looking for models to work on S&M shots. Instead of fame they found themselves subdued in Glatman’s apartment, violently raped, and later, murdered. He would then dispose of their bodies in the desert where he would position them in death shots for his sacred portfolio. Eventually his luck ran out too, as his fourth would-be victim jumped from his car. Luckily for her, a police car happened to be shortly behind Glatman. He was found guilty of four murders and later executed in the gas chamber of San Quentin State Prison on September 18, 1959. So know there’s a darker side to Libra this month when you venture out into the dreary days of autumn. And understand that when predictions of fortune and romance fail, and the banks proceed on foreclosure and repossession, divorce papers come in the mail and your long time pet dies, that you are not the first Libra to fancy thoughts of murder, nor act upon them. Will this be your fortune, Libra? Disclaimer: For all you crazy, fucking weirdos out there, this horrorscope is for entertainment purposes only. It does not in any shape or form depict any real characters or situations in your near future. So please don’t kill anyone. Killings bad, MmmKay?
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written by Matthew Gorman
Flashback Avid fans of ghostly lore are undoubtedly familiar with the urban legend of “The Vanishing Hitchhiker”. The basic story goes as follows: A man driving in his car comes across an attractive young woman stranded by the roadside, attempting to hitch a ride. Obligingly, he offers her a lift, and the two begin heading in the direction of the woman’s home. At some point during the journey, the man glances over to find his beautiful, young passenger has vanished without a trace! After the initial chills, the man, his curiosity now piqued, continues to the address that the young woman had given him. Typically, an older woman, or sometimes a married couple, answers the door. After the driver relates his story to the person or persons at the home, he is informed that the young woman whose name and description he has given them was their daughter who had died some time before (usually several years), leaving the young man with the frightening revelation that he has just given a ride to a ghost! Other details in the story often include the young man confirming the vanishing woman’s ghostly status by identifying her in a photo album or the fact that the young woman was killed in a car crash or hit-and-run on the very stretch of road on which the young man first encountered her. Sometimes the parent or parents inform him that that very night is the anniversary of the young woman’s death. One particularly bone-chilling version has the young man lending the ghost his coat or sweater during the drive after she complains of being cold (with the chill of the grave, no doubt), it vanishing with her when she disappears. Later, after being told in a go-seefor-yourself fashion by the parent(s) as to the whereabouts of the young woman’s final resting place, the young man ventures to her gravestone only to find his missing garment folded neatly on top. While this sort of tale certainly has all the trappings of a pure, unadulterated campfire yarn, believe it or not, the tale of “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” is based upon not just one but numerous cases of actual reported ghostly phenomenon. Indeed, the stories of vanishing hitchhikers go back as far as the late 1800’s when men told tales of phantom women appearing on the backs of their horses and riding with them for some time before disappearing into thin air. Even before the advent of the automobile,
horse and carriage operators were apprised of and experiencing the scenario in which a ghostly passenger would give them directions to a certain locale only to vanish before reaching that destination. The most famous case of a vanishing hitchhiker, however, began near Chicago some decades later and still continues to this very day. This is the case of the ghostly hitcher known as Resurrection Mary. Sightings of Resurrection Mary first begin in the 1930’s when motorists passing by Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, just outside Chicago, told of a woman in a white dress attempting to jump onto the running boards of their cars as they drove by. This eerie apparition would always vanish inexplicably before the drivers had time to react. As time went by, the ghost seemed to be moving closer and closer to The O. Henry Ballroom (which is now called Willowbrook), until at last she was even spotted in the ballroom and was offered rides home by unsuspecting young gentlemen. In every case, the spectre would pull the classic disappearing act whenever the car would pass by the gates of the cemetery. Mary, as she came to be known, began to manifest in front of cars driving down Archer Avenue past the cemetery as well. Some motorists actually experienced the sensation of hitting her, only to have her vanish without a trace. Others claimed to have passed right through the apparition and then watched her turn to walk towards the graveyard, disappearing as she reached the gates. They all described her in the same way: A young woman in a white dress with light blonde hair and blue eyes, carrying her shoes and a small clutch purse. The legend was that Mary had fought with her boyfriend after dancing one night at the O. Henry Ballroom in the early 1930’s. She had elected to walk home along Archer Avenue rather than ride with him and was killed by a hit-and-run driver. She is said to be buried in Resurrection
Cemetery; but attempts to pin down the historical Mary have proved inconclusive. One chilling encounter with Mary was recounted by a young man named Jerry Palus in 1939. He had met Mary at The Liberty Grove and Hall (oddly, not the O. Henry Ballroom but another dance hall) and had danced with her and even kissed her. He later claimed that her touch and her lips were both ice cold. Offering to give her a ride home, she insisted they take Archer Avenue even though it was out of the way. At the gates of the cemetery she had him pull over saying,” This is where I have to get out but where I’m going, you can’t follow,” before she walked towards the cemetery gates and vanished. Jerry continued to the location where Mary had instructed him to drive her, meeting with Mary’s mother and identifying her from a portrait. However, Jerry cannot remember now exactly where he went that night, frustrating researchers’ attempts at finding the truth about Mary. The 70’s and 80’s saw a huge increase in the number of sightings of Resurrection Mary, perhaps because the cemetery was being renovated during that time, thereby disturbing her spirit. One of the most eerie and intriguing incidents involving the ghost occurred around
10:30 on August 10, 1976. A motorist passing by Resurrection Cemetery saw a figure in white clutching the bars of the front gates from inside the cemetery. Concerned that perhaps someone had been locked inside the graveyard after hours, he stopped at the Justice, Illinois police station, informing them of what he had witnessed. An officer went to the scene and found two of the bars in the cemetery’s front gate bent at sharp angles and covered with blackened scorch marks in which appeared to be the indentions of two hand prints directly into the metal itself. The bars were eventually removed after hordes of gawkers began to frequent the cemetery to catch a glimpse of the ghost’s handiwork. Mary is still seen to this day, particularly in the winter months. Resurrection Mary, while undeniably the most well-known, is far from the only phantom hitcher on record. In fact there are two more well-documented hitchhiking ghosts in the Chicago area alone. One known as “The Flapper Ghost” because of her 1920’s period dress and bobbed haircut haunts the roadside in front of the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, while another ghostly resident of the Evergreen Cemetery sometimes even rides the bus when she’s not hitching a ride! She gets on at the stop across the street from the cemetery and disappears when confronted by the bus drivers for payment. On the roads connecting Bellefontaine and Calvary Cemeteries in St. Louis there are at least three roadside ghosts including one known as “Hitchhike Annie,” a rather unsettling specter of an older lady in a Victorian-era black mourning gown and veil. In Greensboro, North Carolina, a ghost who identifies herself as Lydia wears a white evening gown and haunts the U.S. Highway 70 There are even reports of ghostly hitchhikers in other countries as well. In Warwickshire, England, “The Hitcher of Ragley Hall” is the ghost of an elderly woman who asks drivers to take her to Dunnington Cross. A woman’s bones were later discovered near the roadside where the ghost appears, after a search inspired by the strange hunch of one of the many drivers who have encountered her. Yes, the dead do certainly get around it seems, and they are often waiting for a ride.
Think Outside The Cage with Kendra Holliday of The Beautiful Kind
How Do I Groom My Bush? Dear Kendra, I am a fairly hairy woman, and a bit on the hippie dippy side (meaning, I’ve always let my underpants area just be hairy). Recently I’ve been watching more porn (thanks partly to your reviews. . . jeez, the stuff that’s out there!) and am really digging some of the hoochie haircuts I’ve been seeing. You’ve mentioned before that you like your women with hair, but I’m wondering how much? More to the point, I need pointers on how to tame the wild beast of hair I’ve got going in my nether-regions. I’m freaked out to wax, because holy crap, how much does it hurt to wax your legs? I can’t imagine doing that to my poor vulva! And, I’m thinking that wet shaving would suck. When I do my bikini line, I get ingrown hairs and razor burn and it just looks gross. I’d love to get my lips, ass and bikini line clean, leaving a good womanly patch up top... I’m not so down with completely clean shaven, it just looks too prepubescent for me. Do you know how porn stars get that super smooth look that I’m interested in? Does that turn you on at all? ~Furry Femme Dear Furry Femme, Do you know why I like body hair so much? It’s because it reminds me that I’m with a HUMAN BEING, an ANIMAL. Not some plastic mannequin. The reason why I shave my legs and pits sometimes (if I don’t feel like it, I don’t shave) is to provide more contrast between me and my manbeasts. I love contrast. I tend to go with a trimmed bush (“AIN’T I A WOMAN?”), but will shave it all off every season just for fun. I ESPECIALLY like it when a manly man lies me down, tells me to be very still, and then shaves me pink and clean with a very sharp razor. Then as soon as he has wiped away the last bit of shave cream, he turns it into an all-you-can-eat buffet. And then he sticks his big ol’ hairy junk in my pretty little business. But I digress. Those porn star pussies are the result of waxing or eletrolysis (they also bleach their assholes.) You can also get baldilocks look by wet shaving or, less effectively, with an electric razor, but the hair grows back in a couple days and it gets abrasive down there. Here’s my take on bushwhacking: 1. Shaved pussies are BABYISH. 2. Don’t wax. Fuck that! 3. A lot of men have a thing for pubic hair, so if you have some, don’t sweat it. 4. For a wet shave, use warm water. Sit in the bath for a little bit to soften things up, then sit on the edge of the tub and spread ‘em. Use shave cream and a fresh razor. (try one of those Venus razors that has replaceable heads - they even vibrate - bonus!) Go slow. Pat your puss dry. Putting witch hazel on it afterwards cuts down on razor burn. Finish the job with a little moisturizer meant for sensitive skin. Now you are ready for your porn shoot.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.thebeautifulkind.com Got a sex, relationship, BDSM or fetish related question? Ask your local sexpert, Kendra Holliday, Writer & Editor of The Beautiful Kind, and Co-Founder of Sex Positive St. Louis.
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This, I Shamelessly Tell You
The Joys of Moving (at last), Fine Tuning My Guy Self, and More by James Stansberry (formerly Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid)
North St Louis Mandina’s 1319 St Louis Ave Dutch Town Friendly’s 3503 Roger Pl South County Steel & Ink Studio 3561 Ritz Center MOFO The Silver Ballroom 4701 Mofo Rd at Itaska Tin Hat 3157 Mofo Rd South City Shameless Grounds 2650 Sidney The Heavy Anchor 5226 Gravois
Jefferson Ave Bistro 3701 S Jefferson Ave Cherokee District Apop Records 2831 Cherokee St Downtown Crack Fox 1114 Olive St Soulard Shanti Tavern 825 Allen DB’s Sportsbar 1615 S Broadway Laclede Landing Show Me’s 724 N 2nd St Big Daddy’s 118 Morgan St
Affton Bob’s Liquor 9347 Gravois Rd 10 Mile House 9420 Gravois Rd Overland Just Bill’s 2543 Woodson Rd Priscilla’s 10210 Page Ave Central West End 34 Club 34 N Euclid Tom’s Bar & Grill 20 S Euclid The Grove Just John’s 4112 Manchester Ave The Atomic Cowboy 4140 Manchester Ave
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h, a quiet night with the boob tube, and the ghosts of past...glories in what shall soon be my old apartment. Yes, dear readers, The Goddess/The Great Wow/Universal Spirit has finally answered yours truly, and sometime this month (possibly by the time you read this) I’ll actually be moving out of the hell hole my building has become over the last couple of years. Yep, my sweetie and I start packing the boxes we’ve been holding onto ever since I first put in for a transfer (and it was approved). It will be very soon now. Yippee. Yes, I’m a little nervous, since I’m not the biggest fan of change, but still, to think I will no longer have to deal with some of my more irritating neighbors (including several sex predators who’ve become much too interested in my life), makes me very, very happy. Again, yippee! Along with this bit of joy, come more experiences in the journey that is further exploring my male self and Becoming James, as I call it. I have discovered that the biggest problem I have in Seattle (among many), is that straight Black people seem to take huge issue with me just existing. The women (I’ve nicknamed them angry vaginas, because it seems just about every Black, straight woman I run into has been so denied love, or even lust, that she’s just become one walking, wounded...vagina) glare at me as if I’ve betrayed them, and the men just glare. Some leer, as if they think I have some magic that’ll alleviate whatever misery seems to be plaguing them. Most seem far too wounded and broken to even try to have an intelligent conversation (I think of the conversation I heard on the bus today, which had a loud-mouthed Black guy, holding forth about how he never became an accountant because, “the words were just so big.” Really, that’s what he said) about what it means to be Transgendered: To be me. They make me afraid, and I’m glad I’m moving to a part of town, where, at least, I’ll be free of the broken, jackass crew from Trader Joes (one ‘angry vagina’ and a small collection of really fucked up Black men), and others like them. So, I’ve only put up a sparse Hallowe’en display (to satisfy what spirits haunt this apartment, and I believe there are at least two that I know of), and am just waiting for the date of my move from my new SHA property manager (what, you thought I’d won the lottery and was moving to some fancy condo? Ha!) and my new address. Can’t wait, to be sure, and yet, yes, I’m not looking forward to all the packing, cleaning and such. I am very glad, though, that this time my honey/slave will be helping me with all of this and since he/she has a car, I won’t have to beg others to help me move my stuff this time. Yay, for small kindnesses, eh? You betcha! Looking forward to putting up my Christmas/ Solstice tree/bush in a new place this year and hoping my next neighbors aren’t a bunch of messed up criminals and assholes (though not ALL of my neighbors fit this description), but at least sort of nice folks that mind their own business and don’t harass me or my kitties. Either way, the whole thing’ll be an adventure. This, I shamelessly tell you my dears!