Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Because everything I write eventually gets linked to porn

My essay, "The Great Cookie Offering", appears in the upcoming Seal Press anthology, Single State of the Union, alongside work from compadre Michelle Goodman and the unfettered Margaret Cho.

You can pre-order it on Amazon:

Or check out the full line-up on Rachel Kramer Bussel's delightfully smutty blog, The Lusty Lady:

Mad props to editor Diane Mapes for galvanizing us all.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bunnies: now more than ever

Logically and morally, I'm in a specious position--I ate a turkey sandwich for lunch--and I know cultures are somewhat arbitrary in choosing which animals to protect or to kill, but I would be pleased if rabbits were more widely viewed as companion animals. I'm glad the European Union is proposing a ban on the sale of dog and cat fur, but rabbits should be added to the list. (Yes, I know I've written about bunnies and rainbows today. Email me if you'd like to hear about the Capitol Records publicist who should be tazed.)

From the Associated Press via MSNBC:

EU proposes ban on sale of cat, dog fur
New law would extend to 25 nations in bloc; fur found in clothing, kids toys

Updated: 8:50 a.m. PT Nov 20, 2006

(AP) BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union’s executive commission proposed Monday to extend a ban on the sale, import and production of dog and cat fur to all 25 EU nations, saying the measure was taken a response to an overwhelming public outcry.

The European Commission said it found cat and dog fur in some clothing, personal accessories and soft toys for children being sold on the European market, either falsely labeled as another kind of fur, or hidden within the product.

“Just the idea of young children playing with toys which have been made with dog and cat fur is really something we cannot accept,” said Markos Kyprianou, the commission’s consumer protection commissioner. “In Europe, as you know, cats and dogs are considered companion animals and nothing else.”

Kyprianou said Europeans were shocked by “images of cats and dogs being kept in cages and slaughtered in cruel and shocking conditions for their fur.” He noted that 15 EU member states already have bans in place, but that an EU-wide ban — which he expected to be approved quickly — serves to bring clear guidelines for all member nations.

'People are disgusted'

Because of the fur trade’s secretive nature, he said, it was hard to estimate how much dog and cat fur finds its way onto the market or pinpoint its source.

However, a December 2005 investigation by the Australian animal-rights group Humane Society International showed dog and cat fur production had taken place in the Czech Republic and other Eastern European states.

“People are disgusted when they find out that cats and dogs are killed every year for their fur,” said HSI Director Mark Glover.

HSI estimates around 2 million cats and dogs are killed for fur each year, with an estimated 5,400 cats and dogs killed in China each day.

© 2006 The Associated Press.


The imagery has been bastardized...

...and the symbolism is obvious, but there's a rainbow outside my window and I'm smiling: it's impossible to ignore a Popsicle-striped sky.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"And under the boughs unbowed/ All clothed in a snowy shroud..."

My Decemberists feature for the Seattle Weekly is here and my world is tasty as milkshakes:

One of our sister publications, The Cleveland Scene, ran it, too. Please note it bears little resemblance to the Seattle Weekly version, i.e. the version I actually wrote:

My Seattle Weekly editor, Brian Barr, is a Believer compadre and if you haven't already, you should partake in his interview with the author, Padgett Powell:

See you at the Paramount Friday night!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

For those scoring at home

1) In the past few weeks, I've been asked to write for two of my favorite publications and had a short story accepted to a lit journal I admire.

2) One of my editors has tucked his dick so far between his legs, it is now wedged up his own ass.

3) I interviewed singer/songwriter/pianist Annie Stela for Filter this morning and she was as engaging as her songs:

4) Way up his ass.

5) More so than anything, I feel grateful that I get to do what I love.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ed Bradley 1941-2006

This makes me inexorably sad. Good night and god bless, Mr. Bradley. From today's New York Times:

Ed Bradley, Veteran CBS Newsman, Dies

Published: November 9, 2006

Ed Bradley, a pioneering black journalist who was a fixture in American living rooms on Sunday nights for more than a quarter century on “60 Minutes,” died today. He was 65.

Mr. Bradley died at Mt. Sinai Medical Center of complications from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said Dr. Valentin Fuster, his cardiologist and the director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Mt. Sinai. Mr. Bradley, who underwent a quintuple bypass operation on his heart in 2003, was diagnosed with leukemia "many years ago,” Dr. Fuster said, but it had not posed a threat to his life until recently, when he contracted an infection.

His most recent segments on “60 Minutes” had been on Oct. 15 (on the rape case involving Duke University lacrosse players) and on Oct. 29 (an investigation of an oil refinery explosion in Texas). Even many close colleagues had not known that his health had been deteriorating precipitously for several weeks. On the day that last segment was broadcast, he was admitted to Mt. Sinai. He remained there until his death. “This has been a long battle which he fought silently and courageously,” said Charlayne Hunter-Gault of the “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” who was one of several close friends at Mr. Bradley’s side when he died this morning. “He didn’t want people to know that this was a part of his struggle. He didn’t want people feeling sorry for him. And for a good part of his life, he managed it.”

To generations of television viewers, Mr. Bradley was a sober presence — albeit one who occasionally wore a stud in one ear — whose reporting across four decades ranged from the Vietnam War and Cambodian refugee crisis to the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the Oklahoma City bombing (his was the only television interview with Timothy McVeigh). He won 19 Emmy awards, including one for “lifetime achievement” in 2003.

But Mr. Bradley’s life off camera was often as rich and compelling as the one in the studio. Having begun his broadcast career as a disc jockey in Philadelphia, Mr. Bradley was an enormous fan of many forms of music — particularly jazz and gospel — who counted the musicians Wynton Marsalis, George Wien and Aaron Neville among his many friends and made a regular pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

“I made the mistake once of letting him get onstage with my band, and he never stopped doing it,” the singer Jimmy Buffett, a friend of Mr. Bradley’s for 30 years who was also with him when he died, said in a telephone interview today. Mr. Bradley had many nicknames throughout his life — including “Big Daddy,” when he played football in the 1960’s at Cheyney State College in Pennsylvania — but his favorite, according to Ms. Hunter-Gault and Mr. Buffett, was “Teddy Badly,” which Mr. Buffett bestowed on him on stage the first time Mr. Bradley played tambourine at his side.

“Everybody in my opinion needs a little Mardi Gras in their life,” Mr. Buffett said, “and he liked to have a little more than the average person on occasion.”

“He was such a great journalist,” Mr. Buffett added, “but he still knew how to have a good time.”

Mr. Bradley, who grew up in Philadelphia, broke into broadcasting as a news reporter for WDAS-FM radio in his hometown. Following that job, he was hired in 1967 as a reporter for WCBS radio in New York.

In 1971, he joined CBS News as a stringer in its Paris bureau and then a year later was transferred to the Saigon bureau. He became a CBS News correspondent in April 1973 and, shortly thereafter, was wounded while on assignment in Cambodia. Mr. Bradley joined 60 Minutes during the 1981-82 season. Among the Emmys he won throughout his career was one for a report on the reopening of the 50-year-old racial murder case of Emmett Till.

Last fall, the National Association of Black Journalists honored Mr. Bradley, who was among the first wave of African Americans to break into network television news, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I grew up in Philadelphia rather protected from life in the South,” Mr. Bradley said at the association’s awards ceremony in Washington. “Emmitt Till and I were the same age when he was killed, and that was my introduction to the reality of life in this country for a black person in the mid 50’s. When we were awarded an Emmy earlier this year for this story, I said it was the most important Emmy I had ever received. I would say the same thing about your recognition tonight.”

Mr. Bradley is survived by his wife, Patricia Blanchet.

Maria Newman contributed reporting.


Despite the Northface parkas

I've been working at the Zeitgeist off Pioneer Square for the past two hours. Earlier in the day, I attended a Viva Voce show at the Gibson Showroom down the block--ScreenPlay was filming it, hence the unusual hour--and the band cracked skulls and bricks. Sundry friends, editors, and combinations thereof partook, also, and it was a cheered and raucous gathering.

Now Zeitgeist is piping the "Until the End of the World" soundtrack.

Sometimes this city gets it just right.

Dear Howard Dean,

I voted mostly for the DNC ticket. Now could you please stay off the airwaves until all of us are dead?

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Litsa Dremousis

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Re the election, I think it's wise not to get cocky:

This was a vote against the Republicans as much as it was a vote for the Democrats. And the Democrats have yet to elucidate a new policy for Iraq. Still, I'm pleased that the D's have gained majority in the House for the first time in twelve years, that they might regain the Senate, that Maria Cantwell handily won her second term, and, of course, that Donald Rumsfeld has resigned.

Re the fact Nancy Pelosi will probably be the first female Speaker of the House and third in line to the the presidency, I cede the floor to Chris Rock:

"As long as you live you will never see a black vice president, you know why? Because some black guy would just kill the president. I'd do it. If Colin Powell was vice president, I'd kill the president and tell his mother about it. What would happen to me? What would they do? Put me in jail with a bunch of black guys that would treat me like a king for the rest of my life? I would be the biggest star in jail, alright, people would be coming up to me and I'd be signing autographs: '97-KY, here you go.' Guys would be going: 'You're the brother that shot Bush. And you told his mother about it huh? I hope my children turn out to be just like you. Man, you know I was getting ready to rape you until I realized who you were.' And even if they had a death penalty, what would happen? I'd just be pardoned by the black president."

[Note: it's an old quote. He's actually discussing #41, not #43. The more things change, etc.]

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Centers for Disease Control announces that CFIDS (aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is real

I've had a fever for most of the past fifteen months. I welcome the following news:

Excerpt from NBC Nightly News, November 2, 2006:

But now the top federal public heath agency is declaring that it is real, and that it affects more than 1 million Americans — four times as many women as men.

"People genuinely are suffering and there are things we can do to genuinely help them," says Dr. Julie Gerberding, who heads the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). "And we need to take this seriously as a real illness for a lot of people."