Hey, wondering what Michelle "God Hates Fags" Shocked is up to, now that every venue she was scheduled to play at on her tour canceled her appearance after her insane anti-gay rant? (Full rant audio here!) Well, if last night is any indication: Protest-busking outside the venues where she was originally scheduled to play. With tape on her mouth. NO JOKE. From the AP:
Her show had been cancelled, but that didn't stop alternative folk and rock singer Michelle Shocked from showing up at a Santa Cruz nightclub where she staged a sit-in with tape across her mouth that read "Silenced By Fear"...
Sitting on the ground outside the venue and strumming her guitar, Shocked was largely ignored and refused to speak. She pointed to a sign inviting people to pick up a Sharpie marker and write on the white disposable safety suit she was wearing.
"Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish. They all ate and were satisfied. The number of those who ate was four thousand. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan."
I was in line behind a slow and gentle lemur of a man in a Utilikilt at the post office yesterday. He was mailing ninety packages, to what must have been secret far away communist countries, because he filled out form after form after specialized form. Everyone loves a good quality kilt/Berkenstock combo, we can admit that. The open kilt flow allows your legs and junk to feel the breeze (so I’ve heard). But this guy was possibly the slowest human being of all time. Each action and movement he made was drawn out and microscopically deliberate. He functioned in a slow motion realm, while the world around him functioned at normal speed. On each form he filled out, he inscribed THE MOTHERFUCKING DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The line increasingly grew agitated and flustered. The stickers on his cart said - Remember when air was clean and sex was dirty? And If God had meant us to be nude, we’d have been born that way. And Reading is sexy. I took out my phone, put it on speaker, and played Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” No one noticed.
We were in line so long, a woman gave birth. The child grew before us, suckling. It grew into a fully formed adult named Byron. Byron was extremely pissed that the only life he ever knew was a post office line life. Byron grew elderly and feeble, and sadly began to fade. Meanwhile, Utilikilt Man just kept pulling out packages from his hippie cart. From nowhere. It was like the Miracle of the Seven Loaves and Fishes from the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, where Jesus fed five thousand people with just seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. I played “Eye of the Tiger” 112 times. Finally a guy behind me said, “This is ridiculous. Dude, what are you doing? You need your own post office. You can't mail that many packages.” But Utilikilt Man did not respond. He existed only in his communist, molasses, lemur realm of Utililikitia. In that realm, nothing happens, except the protracted mailing of packages. Junk there, begets breezes.
Dear United States Post Office, when it’s the busiest time of day, why do you only staff one person to work the godamn counter? You know when the busy times of the day are. Please plan your staffing better, so that the children birthed in your lines can know a life outside your confines.
This guy blows and blows his leaf blower. He blows places he’s been blowing for forty five minutes, where there is not leaf within a quarter mile radius. He likes revving his leaf blower engine. I understand, I enjoy revving the occasional power tool as well. But this guy egregiously blows. He blows so much that when he stops, I still hear him blowing. If his blowing were a continent, he’d be Pangea. Then all the sudden, he blew himself. I aimed speakers at him, and cranked Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like the Wind.” Although, his fucking leaf blower was going, so he couldn't hear. I’ve been into the Christopher Cross lately.
"I'm on the run, no time for sleep, I've got to ride, ride like the wind, to be free again."
"And I've got, such a long way to go, to make it to the border of Mexico."
A man got out of his truck, walked off, didn’t pay for parking, and was ticketed within three minutes. The parking cop pounced on the illegally parked vehicle like a starving nymphomaniac pouncing on a ham-penis. I’ve been watching this parking cop speed-ticket people for a while. I call him The Butcher, and I had the Darth Vader Theme cued up to play. This guy enjoys ticketing people, seriously. There’s a gleam in his eye. I aimed the speakers at him, stepped on the porch, and read from Shakespeare’s Henry VIII as loudly and gravely as I could. I’ve been waiting for The Butcher to ticket someone within range:
"Tis a cruelty, to load a falling man. You are too thin and bare to hide offences. Read the perfect ways of honour. Nor shall this peace sleep with her; the bird of wonder dies a maiden phoenix." (Then I saw my neighbor Frank was on his porch too, and I said, “Hi Frank.” In a not as ominous voice.)
Parking Cop (looking up): “Is all this for me?”
Me: “Please do not ticket that truck. Please put your ticket thing back in your fanny pack, get back in your segway-car, and give yourself the rest of the year off.” (Vader theme was perfect.)
Parking cop: “Sorry, just doing my job.”
Me: “The guy parked like 30 seconds ago. What if he forgot his medication, and was going to die if he didn’t take it immediately? Are you made of complete evil?”
Parking Cop (in the process of writing the ticket): “Just doing my job. There’s a place on the citation where they can contest it. I’m not evil at all.”
Me: “Yeah, and it takes a full day to contest and go downtown and deal with the hassle. Come on, give the guy a break. I know you’re doing your job, but isn’t there another job you can do? Like harvest ice?”
WHAT IS RAPE CULTURE? Rape Jokes. Fear culture. Dinner ≠ Booty. Disney??? Why is the victim on trial? One "No" is rape. Because it happens & did to me.
I thought I had a lot to say about it. I thought I had something insightful to offer, to add to the conversation. Something about solidarity. Something about how it's hard and painful to read a giant wall full of words about rape. Something about how it makes me feel or what it makes me think. Something about how art that makes you uncomfortable, art that makes you confront things, is a good thing. But I guess I don't have much to say; I just want people to see this. This is why I live here. This makes me proud. This conversation is bigger than the poster wall, it's bigger than a blog. Let's keep having it. Thanks, Girl Army. I love coming to work every day and seeing what new madness you're exploding on that wall and around the hood. I like that it makes people uncomfortable. Rape should make you uncomfortable. Thanks to the people who are sharing personal stories on the wall, too. That's intense. Thank you.
What is rape culture? Rape culture is where rape & sexual violence is an accepted & expected norm. It supports violence against us & makes rape seem okay. It tells us it's our fault & tells the perpetrators it's their nature. Complicity in silence = rape culture. Rape jokes are not funny. How we dress does not mean yes.
The close parking gets me. This guy parked his car so that it was actually touching the car behind him. He parked like he had just smoked a pound of weed and was driving an amusement park bumper-car. He dinged the maroon car several times, like he was mad at it. I thought for sure the car alarm was going to go off. When he was finished, he got out, looked at what he had done, and then skipped off gleefully, like he was going shopping for bridesmaids dresses.
He walked directly in front of my apartment and I played Kate Nash’s “Dickhead” loudly.
I said to him, “Hey, you know you were dinging the ever-living-shit out of that car behind you when you parked? How high are you? Are you going to leave your information so the owner of that car can get you to pay for a new paint job on the bumper? Cause you murdered it. I’ve got your license plate number.”
The man stopped, turned around, and said nothing. He didn't look up. Then he walked back to his car, started it, and drove off.
Last evening, the sweetest smell of burning plastic wafted into the house. I took a look down 23rd and saw plumes of smoke coming from the Pine Street Substation. I hurried excitedly toward the chem-fog only to find a late model pick-up being extinguished by fire people.
What's the soundtrack for such a situation? "Hot Cars" by the Angry Samoans? "Jump Into the Fire" by Harry Nilsson? "Streets of Fire" by Bruce Springsteen? What says you, Line Outsters?
Posts about today's battle in the ongoing war between Poster Giant—a poster company largely regarded as a gorilla-bully—and everybody else in the city are below. Poster Giant routinely wallpapers the building across the street from Stranger HQ with whatever is the going concern: concert ads, car ads, convention ads. They even have a reputation for covering up posters for shows and events that haven't happened yet, which is extraordinarily poor form.
But some people think that Poster Giant, which doesn't pay rent on those walls, nor owns those walls, nor has any kind of legitimate legal claim on those walls, needs a kick in the nuts. Last night, somebody put up a bunch of feminist posters with the words "girl army" scrawled in spray paint. This morning, some dude from PG covered up some of that with some posters for some video game. A few minutes ago, a woman showed up to fuck with PG by spray-painting "OH POSTER GIANT, UP YOURS!" (I'm sure you all get the reference, but here's the song anyway, in case you haven't enjoyed it in awhile.)
The spray-painter identified herself as "Sam—I'm a fucking feminist and have some fucking taste in public fucking space!" That's enough credentials for me.
What's your next move, PG? If I were you, I'd avoid grandstanding, give the people what they want on 11th Ave, and keep making money while earning social capital.
Last night's work didn't even make it until noon today. Here's a picture of the poster hanger (presumably from Poster Giant, although he packed up his stuff and walked away before I could go outside and ask) photographing the freshly hung posters:
Let's see how long it takes for someone to come and poop (not literally! PLEASE not literally!) on Poster Giant's efforts...
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 11:42 AM
While biking home from the office last night, I heard an amazing sound emanating from an enclosed porch connected to a building on Denny and Belmont, near the Capitol Hill Half Price Books: It was a complexly funky jam made by a curly-haired bassist, a keyboardist, and a skinny blond drummer who wasn’t Trent Moorman. You guys impressed the hell out of me for the minute or so of your practice that I heard. Who the hell are you and when’s your next gig? Holla in the comments or at email@example.com.
Numerous sirens converged. Two ambulances, and a full on fire truck. Holy fucking shit, was my building on fire? Something is on fire. This is the thing I’ve never trained for. It got so loud, I thought I was on fire. I started tying bed sheets to the balcony. I yelled down to the firemen when they got there, “Should I fucking jump? I’M ENGULFED IN FLAME.” But they said everything was okay, a tow truck driver just hit his head, and he was going to be fine. There were like twenty EMTs and firemen on the scene. “Are you sure nothing’s on fire? All these sirens, and ambulances. I’m pretty sure I’m engulfed in flame.” He laughed politely, and went back to the conversation he was having, while another guy reached into the tow truck, to jostle with the tow truck driver’s head. I angled speakers out the window and thought about cranking “Karma Police.” But instead, opted for “Rock of Ages” off the timeless Pyromania. The fireman acknowledged, and again laughed politely.
A girl sat on the curb yesterday dangling her legs into the street. It was dangerously close to where a man had earlier gotten out of his Ford Taurus station wagon and urinated. At first, it looked like she was in a stupor, but she was just craning her neck to talk loudly on her cell phone. She flicked her hair boldly, and angled her face into the sun, “Oh, hey Dillon. Ya, I’m just sitting on the corner. I’m so hot I’m dangling mai legs into the middle of the street. I guess I’ll let you take me to Cancun.”
I angled my speakers out the window and cranked ZZ Top’s “Legs.” She didn’t notice. She continued to talk, to Dillon, “Ya, I don’t know if I want a mimosa right now, I’m busy. I’m flicking mai hair, and people are driving bai, and looking at mai legs.”
That band I mentioned who were out last night at 10th and Pike are back again tonight and they're still playing right now, or they were when I just walked past. Someone handed me their card, so now I know who they are. She also said they were "products of our fine public school system." They're called the Ten Man Brass Band. They're on the interwebs here. Excellent. You should go say hi!
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
You’re probably aware of the phenomenon: Music that you hear blaring out of vehicles driving by or stopped at a red light rarely is anything you’d actually want to listen to. The songs are usually LCD mainstream rap or fluffy rave cheese or pop-diva trifles or molar-loosening electro or AOR warhorses you’ve already endured 19,000 times or (shudder) opera.
But this week that dismal trend was overturned, and I was stunned. First, on Sunday on Broadway, I heard T.L. Barrett’s gospel-funk classic “Like a Ship” which was the best song ever (this week) in August 2010. The second great tune I heard from a passing car (on Bellevue Ave E, fact fans) was Stereolab’s “Metronomic Underground,” the trance-funk highlight from their excellent Emperor Tomato Ketchup LP [video after the cut].
Belated blessings to those two motorists for providing unexpected sonic fulfillment. I hope these occurrences represent a good omen for the rest of 2012’s random aural auto pollution.
A man with a faded face tattoo stood next to me on Pike staring at the same Hitchcock poster this morning. The mist rain sprung veins and he smoked the end of a wet cigar. It looked like a swastika at first glance, his face tatt, but it was just a geometric pattern, like a Moorish tiling. Without saying hello we talked about craniums, Sisyphus, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. How the skull is composed of two parts – cranium and mandible. How the skull fixes the distance between the eyes to allow stereoscopic vision. How Sisyphus probably never gets a fucking water break. And how Jonathan Livingston Seagull was probably not one of the birds Hitchcock’s film had in its 1963 mind. The almost-swastika-face-tatted man said he read an interpretation of the film that said it was an ode to the various facets of female sexuality and, by association, nature itself.
I bought him a Vita coffee and asked if he regretted his face tattoo. He said he did, but he's found acceptance, and that a face tattoo narrows down where you can get a job, and which girls will talk to you. Laser removal was out of his price range. He was high on crack when he got it. “It’s so cliché,” he said, “smoking crack and getting face tattoos. But I would smoke crack and read Rumi. I don't smoke crack anymore." He said you see everything different once you dedicate to the face tattoo. And that everything sees you different in return. People pre-judge, and he judges back. He said he really only has five or so friends, and they all have face tattoos. They take the 358 up to the Drift On Inn Casino and drink vodka. After five minutes or so, he took out a folded piece of paper, put it in my hand, and recited his favorite Rumi poem from memory. He spoke flawlessly, and unbroken, quietly and coldly poised, curving words with a Minnesota accent I hadn’t noticed before: