David Byrne at the Bagdad Theater is Portland's hot ticket tonight. "Why are they getting in but I'm not?!" screamed a middle aged lady at the poor desk clerk on my way in. "Because they're on the list," he said. "You people are full of it," she said. And we are.
Byrne's book is brilliant, before I go any further. And I'm delighted to finally hear what he has to say about it, after reviewing the thing without being granted an interview by his publicist. Seriously: I was willing to do anything for that interview, but no dice. These publicists are full of it.
The evening began with calming music playing over clips of bicycles from Hollywood movies—presumably collated by some poor intern: Meg Ryan, Lucille Ball, the Muppets, Marilyn Monroe, Sean Connery, Jackie Chan, Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Pee Wee Herman, they've all ridden bikes on celluloid. Presenters were Byrne, Mia Birk, a PSU professor and urban planner, Timo Forsberg from the Portland bureau of transportation, and Bikeportland.org's Jonathan Maus. Read about what was said, after the jump.
A large group of around 250 city of Portland workers gathered outside city hall this afternoon, shouting repeatedly at city council to "wake up." The rally, organized by unions, marked the filing of three unfair labor practice complaints against the city by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
"The city council have been totally hands off in this," said Carol Justice, a union employee with the city's cable office. "They're just deferring all the decisions to the city attorneys, who are anti-labor, and the bureau of human resources. We're talking about the most liberal council in the country, and yet some of the most serious allegations are being made about labor practices."
The second complaint alleges that the city has failed its obligations to bargain collectively with employees over layoffs made in the recent budget—the city is due to renegotiate its union contract next year. The third complaint alleges the city has failed similar obligations related to the reorganization of its Bureau of Development Services—which has laid off more than half its workforce since July.
City Commissioner Randy Leonard, who oversees the Bureau of Development Services, had a meeting with County Commissioner Judy Shiprack at 11:30 and was not around to watch the march. More than 300 bagged lunches were given out to union workers, and a lot of (delicious) cupcakes were consumed:
It's always a pleasure to be named Hack of the Day by a publication I've never heard of [Referring to our sister paper, The Stranger—eds.]. Many thanks for the honor. I realize you are just trying to entertain readers, so I won't quibble with the fantastic number of inaccuracies in your editorial. But it was especially dishonest of you to suggest that the story was about the war on drugs, no? The piece was about law enforcement's inability to find much more than big pot plantations and a few growers and harvesters—how they couldn't get to the money guys back in Mexico.
Reporter, The Oregonian
Yeah, yeah—it's always a "law enforcement" piece when someone complains about a biased, unbalanced report about pot. But the particular kind of law enforcement you were reporting on is a part—a huge part—of the War On Drugs. Hello? Helicopters? Your report takes us to the front line of the War On Drugs.
And "this is what the government/law enforcement is doing" pieces typically get around to this question: "is what the government is doing working? is it effective?" Not yours. You're not alone, though: there are lots of dumb fucking drug war stenographers at daily papers all over the country who neglect/refuse to ask that question. You're all part of the problem and seemingly proud of it. And, hey, I'd never heard of the Oregonian before i moved to the Pacific Northwest. So we're even.
Anxious to hear about the other "inaccuracies."
You should stick to sex advice.
Those inaccuracies, Bryan?
Our exchange goes on—and on and on and on—after the jump.
You like sex… YES?? Then you'll flip ass over teakettle for the sexy 5-minute homemade dirty movies in the HUMP! Amateur Porn Film Fest! Here are five good reasons why you better get your tickets NOW.
1) You like sex. (We already covered that.)
2) The HUMP! Festival is hosted by the always hilarious DAN SAVAGE!
3) Every one of the films in this festival was made by someone living in the Northwest. So who knows? You might even see your sexy cubicle mate!
4) There are all sorts of porns in HUMP! Sweet porn, alternative porn, homo porn, straight porn, confused porn, animated porn, comedy porn, hardcore porn, porny-porn… ALL TYPES OF PORN, FOR ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE!
5) Dude, these screenings will only happen on the weekend of October 24 & 25—after that all copies will be destroyed! In other words, THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE!
6) It's being held at Cinema 21. They're cool.
7) You get to vote on which porn should win the $2000 grand prize!
8) It's wicked fun.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get your advance tickets for the HUMP! Amateur Porn Festival right here and right now! IT'S THE FUNNEST, PORNIEST FUN YOU'LL HAVE ALL YEAR!
The city's citizen Rose Quarter redevelopment team essentially needs to turn the clock back 60 years on the area around lower NE Broadway. The Rose Quarter redevelopment stakeholder group this month launched a year-long process looking at ways to turn the Quarter into a vibrant, high-density, mixed-use 24-hour entertainment district. But what stood out at last night’s stakeholder meeting is that before the city’s muckity urban renewal process got involved decades ago, the now-isolated area was a vibrant, high-density, mixed-use 24 hour entertainment district.
One member of the stakeholder group noted that the area’s history shows that perhaps small development—clubs, independent stores, organic neighborhoods—works better to enliven an area than single large development projects, like a Major League Soccer stadium.
More on the meeting—including an interesting defense of Memorial Coliseum and Mayor Adams making an actually funny joke—below the cut.
Carol Burnett touched my arm the other night. Yes, the Carol Burnett who starred on Broadway, who had an 11-year-running TV variety show, who was in Noises Off (one of the funniest movies ever), who played Miss Hannigan in Annie, and who TOUCHED ME ON THE ARM.
Now, I won’t get into every little thing she-
Well, okay. She came to eat at the restaurant where I work as a hostess, and I had the privilege of showing her and her dining companions to their table. I was freaking out somewhat, especially because Ms. Burnett performed the role of Princess Winnifred in the 1959 Broadway debut of the musical Once Upon a Mattress—a role that I myself played in high school. The following is a rough transcript of our conversation:
Carol: And what’s your name, dear?
Me: (nearly hyperventilating) Ali.
Carol: Well hi, Ali! I’m Carol [oh my god, I know!!!], and this is [someone to whom I paid no attention whatsoever].
Me: (after politely saying hello to whats-her-face) Now, I was going to play it cool, but I want you to know that I was Princess Winnifred-
Carol: (gasp!) Oh! (touching my arm) Wasn’t that play so much fun?
Me: Yes! So much fun! And you know, I did some comedy in college, too, and I really appreciate strong women in comedy.
Carol: Thank you!
Me: (looking at Carol meaningfully) Thank you.
Carol: (upon receiving the menu I handed her) Thank you, Ali!
Me: (overwhelmed/flustered to the point of speechlessness)
My face was red for the next half hour, and my co-workers couldn't help but note with amusement/alarm how worked up I was. It was thrilling.
Conclusion: Carol Burnett is as adorable as she is talented and inspirational, and she looks great considering she’s 76 years old. Thank you, Carol, for touching our hearts. And my arm.
Seems like many of the most enjoyable times in my life start with me saying something along the lines of, “I don’t know much about…” the ellipses being filled with any number of things that I do not know much about.
The best thing about not knowing much about a thing is that you get to learn about said thing. Learning in my line of work generally means eating, drinking, listening patiently, and doing some book readin’. While I love the book-type research, I’d have to say eating and drinking is by far my favorite way to learn.
So, let’s take it from the top. “I don’t know much about… Sake.”
I’m essentially a sake numskull. I know it can be unfiltered and cloudy. I know it can be filtered and clear. I know it can have a surprisingly dynamic flavor profile. I know it’s brewed from rice. I know it can fuck you up. That’s about it.
One of my favorite books Alcoholica Esoterica notes that sake was traditionally made by aid of the entire village, which would start the brew by chewing rice, spitting it into a tub, and allowing the enzymes to do their thing. Gross, interesting, but not helpful in understanding more about sake..
I think it’d be best to learn by drinking.
If you’re in the same boat, Tanuki wants to give you something of an education beginning tomorrow (Nihonshu no Hi—International Sake Day—the start of the sake brewing season) and running through Saturday.
All three days in the cozy confines of Tanuki, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of premium sakes from brewer Huchu Homare. Here’s a description of one option (from the Tanuki press release):
Watari Bune Junmai Ginjo “55” Floral, fruity, funky and complex, it accurately precludes the matching flavors of this sake. It finishes lively to the end, with a bright, snappy acidity. Great on its own, an apogee of ginjo sake, showing how nihonshu can rival any beverage for complexity, showmanship, depth and range.
Yeah! In your face, wine! Booyah!
What’s even better than premium sake at Tanuki is the fact that all week you can stop in for $1 pours of the good stuff, which means that school is in session, and it’s looking pretty inexpensive.
Oh, and there’s also a special chef’s omikaze menu if you’d like something to go along with your sake. Just putting that out there.
Bryan Denson at the Oregonian—the award-winning Bryan Denson—had a huge piece in Tuesday's paper about heroic efforts to eradicate illegal Mexican "marijuana plantations" on public lands. It's the usual drug war stenography/stupid fucking credulous hackery: only "authorities" are quoted, no comments are sought from anyone on the other side, and nowhere in Denson's 1200-word, 28-paragraph piece—not in one paragraph, not in one sentence, parenthetical, or subordinate clause—is anyone allowed to question the efficacy of America's Never Ending War On Drugs. The authorities are out there tearing up pot plants and chasing down illegal immigrants at great expense to the public and, hey, that's pretty much all the public needs to know. Is any of this shit working? Is pot any harder to find? Is it more expensive? Has a dent been made in demand? How much do all those "helicopter flyovers" cost anyway? Denson isn't telling. But Denson allows some doubt—or pretends to allow some doubt—to creep in at the end:
It might seem wasteful to spend scarce public resources seizing pot plants, especially in a state that tolerates the drug.
Yeah, this war on pot might seem wasteful—particularly when you consider that we've been waging this war for forty-odd years and pot is cheaper, stronger, and more widely available than it has ever been, all points Denson goes out of his way to avoid considering. But while the war on pot might seem wasteful to an informed Oregonian reader—a reader who got informed elsewhere—we must keep fighting the war on pot because "government authorities here" tell Denson that profits from "West Coast marijuana plantations" fund violent Mexican drug gangs. (Kind of like profits from the illegal gin trade once funded violent American gangs in the 1920s?) And gangs are bad. And illegal grows are bad. And violence is bad. Legalizing and regulating and taxing pot would end the violence, put the drug gangs out of business, and stop illegal grows, but Denson doesn't go there. The Oregonian's readers do:
We could just legalize pot so American farmers can grow it without fear, and without trashing the environment while doing so. We can tax that to help close budget gaps, and we could reduce state costs by not incarcerating people who grow it. Seems too easy though...
This progressive defers to the late leading Conservative William F. Buckley and his eloquent argument for the legalization of marijuana. Look it up. A Conservative we can believe in.
Taxing and regulating marijuana would eliminate the blackmarket thereby pushing the cartels out of the massive market, just like alcohol production and distribution were no longer handled by bootleggers & the mafia when alcohol prohibition was repealed. This war has been a collosal 40+ year failure and it has led to countless instances of our freedoms being trampled upon and our tax $ squandered.
If you want to get both sides of the story on the War On Drugs—and there are two sides to this story, despite all the stupid fucking credulous hackery—you have to delve into the comments. Pro-legalization arguments are all over the comment threads when a daily paper writes up a pot bust. Why can't they ever appear in the stories themselves?
After the article came out, a couple people (nerds) asked if I could get them a copy of Moses' 89-page, spiral bound plan to look through at their leisure. But I didn't even have an actual copy of the plan—I was lucky enough to page through the copy of Moses' plan that local amateur historian/know-it-all Dan Haneckow acquired via miracle at Powell's. But now, by the grace of God and the city transportation planner Bob Cortright, you can download you very own copy of Roberts Moses' 66-year-old vision for Portland.
Revel in his numerous graphs and beautiful paintings of Portland freeways!
News Release from: Portland Police Bureau
PORTLAND POLICE INVOLVED IN HEAD ON COLLISION
Posted: September 30th, 2009 11:58 AM
The officer involved in this accident is Officer Jeffrey Ruppel. Officer Ruppel has been with the Portland Police Bureau for five years and is assigned to the afternoon shift at East Precinct.
The driver of the other vehicle involved in this accident has been identified as 53 year-old Robert King, (date of birth 3/13/46). Mr. King has not yet been charged or cited and this investigation is continuing.
The names of the two film crew members from the show COPS are being withheld until confirmation of family notification has been made.
On September 29, 2009 at approximately 9:00 p.m., a Portland Police Officer driving Eastbound on Southeast Stark Street near 136th was hit by an oncoming vehicle that veered into the officer's lane. Two passengers from the COPS television show were riding in the officer's vehicle as part of a COPS production that is currently being filmed with the Portland Police Bureau.
The officer and both passengers were transported to an area hospital to be treated for their non life-threatening injuries. The officer and one of the COPS passengers were released from the hospital last night, but the other passenger is still in the hospital with serious head injuries.
The driver of the other vehicle is a 53-year-old man who was driving a Subaru Outback. This driver is still at an area hospital recovering from serious injuries.
The Portland Police Bureau's Major Crash Team was called to the scene to investigate. They determined that the driver of the Subaru was driving Westbound on Southeast Stark Street when he veered into the officer's oncoming lane and hit the police car head on. Investigators believe that alcohol was a factor in this accident and this investigation is ongoing.
People warned me that DiNucci would be gruff and shy, but when I talked to him on the phone, he was just the opposite. He speaks in a laid-back drawl that makes you take time to listen, but I found him to be funny, open and insightful. My interview with him is long, but it includes discussion of prematurely celebrating the death of the car 30 years ago, tips on how to harass a curmudgeon out of retirement and tales of real-life bike race sabotage so I recommend you read it.
Are you still working on the bike for manifest or is it all done?
It’s got some bits left to do and then parts, so I’ll be there with no paint.
How much time have you put into the bike so far?
Hours, weeks, cause I don’t have any tools and I don’t have a shop.
How do you make bikes without any tools?
I know how to make bikes. It’s a lot slower this way, I’m going to get a shop going for sure. Because this is crazy, it’s bordering on insanity. Having some tools to make the job go as fast as you can is actually the builder’s responsibility, I think. They should always endeavor to have the most efficient means.
This woman makes me crazy.
A one-cent-per-ounce tax on soda would raise billions in revenue annually—billions that could go toward providing the kind of health care these woman's morose children are going to need when they grow into diabetic, obese adults, thanks to mom's rabid support for low taxes and high fructose corn syrup. Soda should be heavily taxed—onerously taxed—if only to cancel out the the farm subsidies that make soda pop so freakin' cheap in the first place. And if you're worried about your pennies, why are you drinking soda at all?
City council has devoted over an hour this morning to listening to advocates for single payer health care, in what seems to be a classic example of city government indulging in feel good antics that are totally irrelevant in shaping the national discussion.
Mayor Sam Adams and City Commissioner Randy Leonard have brought forward a resolution urging congress to support an act establishing a single payer health care system. More than 25 Folks signed up to testify have included union representatives, and of course former candidate for Senate District 22, Richard Ellmyer:
"It's fine for people to do this," says Willie Smith, senior advisor to Congressman Earl Blumenauer. "Dan Bates, the city's government affairs director, sent us a copy of this resolution two weeks ago and we assume he's sent it to the rest of the congressional delegation."
"We respect what they say," Smith continues. "But it doesn't mean Earl is going to change his opinion in any way, shape, or form about where health care reform is going."
"Right now we're fighting with everything we have got to save a public option in health care," says Smith. "Council might like to turn on C-Span and see where the actual debate is going, and try to be a little more helpful in that way."
Burrrn. In the mean time, there's plenty of important city business waiting where city commissioners' votes may actually may have an impact. Including the movement of $300,000 that was allocated to support rural air service in Oregon to support the Port of Portland's efforts to keep international airlines coming to PDX.
Outside, city employees with the AFSCME union are waiting to march at noon in protest against the city's cuts to its Bureau of Development Services. BDS is going from 351 employees in July to 148 tomorrow. City Commissioner Randy Leonard, who has had to make those cuts and is traditionally a union supporter, has also devoted a great deal of time to championing this morning's resolution—"this is not a health care issue, this is a civil rights issue," he said, drawing a round of applause. "I'm pretty sure the president shares that philosophy with me."
"It's clear with the senate vote yesterday that congress needs our help," said City Commissioner Nick Fish.
Is Nick Fish running for congress? He certainly drew the loudest round of applause.
The Portland Police Association has hired the same public relations firm as Merritt Paulson did for Major League Soccer, just in time to deal with the fallout from the
cover-up inquiry into James Chasse jr's death. Greg Peden and Shannon Berg from Gallatin Public Affairs were in council this morning with PPA boss Scott Westerman to listen to Jason Renaud from the Mental Health Association of Portland accuse the city of "impunity" related to Chasse's death in police custody back in 2006. Gallatin worked with former mayor of Portland, Vera Katz, on the MLS deal, and Westerman said he would consult with Peden and Berg before commenting on Renaud's remarks. We'll update you as soon as we have a comment from the PPA.
Update, 12:51: Westerman says the PPA "wholeheartedly agrees" with Renaud's request for better collaboration and dialog between the mental health community and the Portland Police Bureau. "It would be beneficial for all involved."
"The issue that the PPA has with Renaud's seven requests is that he is specifically focusing on the three officers. If they're going to pull those three officers from patrol, the city may as well pull all police officers from the street," Westerman says. "Because any officer on the Portland Police Bureau that was present in that situation would have likely had the same same outcome. The officers followed the bureau's policy and procedures. The simple fact is that the three officers are being singled out in this tragic situation."
"I'm not surprised the PPA has hired a public relations firm," says Renaud, in response. "I think they're in trouble. They've made an enormous public relations mistake by siding with three guys against 900. They've lost the media, they've lost the public trust, and even the commenters on the Portland Tribune's website have turned against them."
Renaud called on city council to remove the three Police officers involved in Chasse's death from active duty this morning, along with six other actions to restore public trust. "The majority of police officers are well trained, and do an excellent job," he said. "They do not make mistakes like these officers did."
"Our organization and thousands of people in Portland believe injustice has prevailed, that a fair hearing on what happened to James Chasse has not occurred," Renaud said to council this morning. "The final opportunity for intervention was a internal review of the officer's actions, and a decision whether those actions were within the policy of the police bureau. After three years the bureau distributed a press release citing reasons their review was late. A minor technicality was found, so minor punishment may occur."
"What's occurred is impunity," he continued. "The message delivered is a brutal beating and death of a person with a mental illness, even one with caregivers, friends, family, a home, a clean record, is acceptable within the Portland Police Bureau."
Renaud called on council this morning to:
1.Release the full internal investigation of what happened to James
Chasse - not a press release;
2. Move the three officers involved with the death of James Chasse -Humphreys, Nice and Burton - off patrol duty;
3. Make a goal to reducing the use of Tasers on persons with mental illness by 50% per year for the next five years;
4. Reopen the Chief's Forum;
5. Form a joint effort by local governments and local police bureaus with mental health advocates to seek full funding for mental health services from the state legislature;
6. Open a sincere, staffed and ongoing public meeting between police senior staff and persons with mental illness;
7. Release the Crisis Intervention Team curriculum to public inspection, release data about police encounters with persons with mental illness.
City Commissioner Amanda Fritz thanked Renaud for his remarks, apologizing for Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman's "scheduled absence." "I'll be working with our human relations and police and community relations committee to continue working on this," she said.
Update, October 1, 1:55pm
"We have had a public relations firm on retainer for years and years and years, we have just switched firms," says Westerman, responding to Renaud's comments about hiring a PR firm. "This is about contract negotiations, public relations, branding—trying to differentiate the PPA from the PPB, and media response."
At least 89 people killed as a tsunami crashes into the Samoa Islands.
An earthquake in Indonesia kills 75.
A typhoon kills over 300 in Southeast Asia. JESUS CHRIST! ENOUGH WITH THE NATURAL DISASTERS ALREADY!
Troop withdrawal from Iraq speeds up, with 4,000 more soldiers expected home next month.
Anti-choice zealots try to sneak in anti-abortion provisions into the health care overhaul… and are ABORTED.
Transportation secretary Ray LaHood is calling distracted drivers (those talking on cellphones and texting) a "menace to society." In a related story, Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson is suing Mr. LaHood for copyright infringement.
Get ready for the Apple Tablet (debuting in January 2010), which is basically an iPod for newspapers, books and magazines, and promises to be yet another device to utterly confuse your grandma!
According to Us Magazine, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND JESSICA BIEL HAVE SPLIT! (Move over ladies! I'm not afraid to throw an elbow!)
A Jimmy Kimmel/Sarah Silverman sex tape? Mmmmmmmmmm... no thanks.
And finally, just to keep things in perspective…
Thanks to Oregon Media Central for picking up on these remarks by state legislator Jefferson Smith about our Advocates, Mercenaries, Or Minions Of Satan feature from earlier this year. I don't know about you but I'm checking OMC on a twice daily basis these days—the media coverage is really top notch.
Though this story happened in Connecticut, it pissed me off all the way over here in Portland. From the AP…
A Connecticut in-line skater faces assault and other charges after a confrontation over whether a 4-year-old on a tricycle had the right to be on a bike path. Stamford police charged 43-year-old Chris Karamon with third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and other crimes.
Police said Karamon shouted and cursed at the boy's parents on the path in Cove Island Park. Police said he later skated into the boy's father, who was shielding his children, and threw a helmet and water bottle at him.
Police Lt. Sean Cooney said the path is for use by everyone, not just skaters.
WOW! It's just that… I never knew how much I despise in-line skaters until this moment. That's why I'm proposing a Mercury Road Trip™ to Connecticut to kill this guy. Who's with me?
(Note to sexy girls: Your in-line skating is still allowed. So is regular four-wheeled skating. And any castmember from the film Xanadu.)
An important poll was published today in the Telegraph ranking the sexing abilities of men from around the globe. It's bad news for German dudes, who were voted the #1 worst possible lovers by the 15,000 women polled (no word on whether gay men agree with their assessment), who accused them of being too stinky—ouch. Also on the "worst" list: the English (lazy), Swedish (too fast), Dutch and American men (too dominating or rough), Greeks (too "lovey-dovey"), Welsh (selfish), Scottish (too loud), Turkish (too sweaty) and Russians (too hairy). So, where should lusty ladies of means travel for exotic erotics? SPAIN, which was ranked #1, though the "best" list distressingly lacks positive specifics to counter the nitpicking leveled at the poor schmucks on the worst. Other countrymen that fared well: Brazilians, Italians, Frenchmen, Irishmen, South Africans, Australians, Kiwis, the Danish, and Canadians. Plan your next vacation accordingly.
A bomb, that's what.
To get his bomb into this room, Abdullah Asieri, one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, avoided detection by two sets of airport security including metal detectors and palace security. He spent 30 hours in the close company of the prince's own secret service agents—all without anyone suspecting a thing.
How did he do it?
Taking a trick from the narcotics trade—which has long smuggled drugs in body cavities—Asieri had a pound of high explosives, plus a detonator inserted in his rectum.
The ass bomb was detonated remotely by text message. The Al Qaeda ass bomber's intended target—a Saudi Prince (wouldn't it be great if Al Qaeda only targeted Saudi princes?)—survived the attack, the ass bomber did not. But before you laugh it off:
"This is the nightmare scenario," said Chris Yates, an aviation security consultant. On a plane at altitude, the effects of such a bomb could be catastrophic. And there is no current security system that could stop it. "Absolutely nothing other than to require people to strip naked at the airport," said Yates.
And al Qaeda says it will share its new technique via the Internet very soon. There is nothing that can stop that either.
After the shoe bomber's attempt—a very nearly successful attempt—to bring down a plane over the Atlantic, we all had to start taking our shoes off at security and passing them through the metal detectors. What on earth are they going to do to us after an ass bomber brings down a passenger plane?
Two big announcements about Oregon's economic environment ironically arrived on my desk on the exact same day.
1. We squeezed into Forbes' ranking of the top 10 states to do business, thanks in part to the state's low labor costs.
2. At the same time we also made the more exclusive list of eight states where the poverty rate increased last year. According to Sightline Institute researchers, that means Oregon's low-and-middle-class have not made any economic progress since 1990.
BUT DON'T WORRY, THERE'S MORE GOOD NEWS! Contrary to our psychic superstitions, experts say Oregon will NOT be wiped out by a giant tsunami in coming days. See? That's the kind of averted natural disaster that makes the bountiful Beaver State a great place for your business.
Anyone with an iPhone can attest that the App Store is filled with 652 billion different apps. They can also attest that approximately three of these apps are actually worth anyone's time and/or money.
Add one more to that short list: the new app from indie publishing juggernaut McSweeney's.
The McSweeney's app launched last week, and it goes for $5.99, which also gets you six month's worth of content; from there on out, six-month-long subscription extensions are $4.99. So far, it's been well worth that initial six bucks: The app not only gives you the daily updates from mcsweeneys.net, formatted for easy reading on the iPhone, but it also includes Small Chair, a catch-all section that delivers "a multimedia weekly selection from all branches of the McSweeney's family," be it a story from the new McSweeney's quarterly or a film from the Wholphin DVD or an interview from the Believer magazine. Last week, the app launched with "Raw Water," a story by Wells Tower from McSweeney's 32; today, I woke up to find an excellent short film by Spike Jonze, Lance Bangs, and Catherine Keener, Maurice at the World's Fair, in which Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak tells a totally charming and hilarious story about his childhood that's brought to life by Jonze, et al.
This Small Chair stuff that gets beamed to your phone isn't accessible online—making the app's subscription cost feel pretty middling when you consider that the only other way to get these stories and films and whatever else is to cough up for full subscriptions to McSweeney's, Wholphin, and the Believer. What's more, even if you decide not to renew your Small Chair subscription once the six months are up, the McSweeney's app will still function as a quick, easily readable shortcut to the daily content on mcsweeneys.net.
So yeah. McSweeney's is great. Their app is great, too. You should probably buy it.
Do you ever ask yourself, "Why am I so fat?" Well, it could be because you eat fat. Your fat intake outweighs your fat outtake, rendering you fatter than a fattie-fattie-fat-fat. Check out this (fat) video for reducing (fat) fat from your (fat) diet. Fat. Fat. Fat.
Hat (fat) tips to Everything is Terrible!
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