Now that David Brewster and I are officially in the online biz, we dropped by the regular Tuesday-night gathering of bloggers and their readers know as "Drinking Liberally," which meets at the Montlake Ale House in Seattle, an establishment so family friendly that you expect to find a "Kids Drink Free" sign somewhere.
The place was packed because people were "eating for Darfur." The idea of eating to raise money for a place where people are starving is very different from the way my family demonstrated its solidarity with world suffering when I was growing up. Then, we had one so-called "meagre" meal a week to stand in solidarity with the starving people of India. Their suffering was our suffering.
If Darfur had been an issue then, my parents might have felt obligated to re-enact genocide one a week, too. The new approach seems much more humane, for both the diners and the people who benefit from their appetites. But it seems to lack something in Calvinism.
Seated at a table in front of the big-screen TV, among others, were Horse's Ass David Goldstein, former Seattle Weekly columnist Geov Parrish, and MiscMedia.com's Clark Humphrey, who were relaxing after conspiring to launch a new liberal online publication. Humphrey is certain they can do better than Crosscut, which he calls "colorless and shallow." "Drinking" is not, thank goodness, just for liberals. Some small-case liberal drinkers, otherwise known as conservatives, were there, too. These included open-government activist Armen Yousoufian, Sound Politics blogger Don Ward, and newly minted Seattle City Council candidate Jim Nobles, who is running for Peter Steinbrueck's seat. Noble's a spotted owl of Seattle politics, a member of the species known as Rebublicanus disappearens. He's identifiable because he wears a scarlet "R" on his forehead. One observation, Jim: Republicans can't even get elected in Kirkland anymore, so good luck anyway. The liberal drinkers immediately expounded various theories about us newcomers. Former Stranger writer and Ron Sims aide Sandeep Kaushik and Goldstein accused Mossback of being a reactionary, nativist windmill-tilter for daring to question the God of Density. Mossback pointed out that if density is what they desire, their former homes of New York and Philadelphia await them with open arms. Or maybe a skinny tower in Vancouver, B.C., which a friend recently described as a "Manhattan for lazy people." Kaushik, who in many ways was the intellectual life of the Drinking Liberally party, then speculated that Crosscut Publisher David Brewster and Stranger editor and sex-advice columnist Dan Savage are really the same person. Journalistically, that is. Both moved from out of town to use their own newspapers to turn Seattle into that shining city on a hill. I can see that. For David, that city is Athens. For Savage, it's Gomorrah. I would also add that both are preternaturally boyish. David is ageless and still can wear the duffle coat from his freshman year at Yale. Savage has been in his 30s for more than a decade. What I still can't figure out is, which one is in drag? Maybe all will be revealed at the next Drinking Liberally.