Seattle Weekender: Republican brains, Northwest beer, and museums get queer

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.
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A happy attendee of the 2011 Seattle Beer Week kick-off event at Maritime Pacific Brewing Co.

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.

Seattle Beer Week

I know, here you were thinking every week was beer week but it turns out this is the real deal. The city-wide fest (which extends as far east as Redmond) kicks off this Thursday and runs until the 20th (because 7 regular days are equal to 11 beer days), and there are more events listed on the page than there are PBR cans in the dumpsters behind the UW Frat houses.

To throw a little artistry into the brew, this Friday and Saturday the event happily overlaps with the PhinneyWood Art Walk: the Big One—Greenwood and Phinney's largest art walk of the year. At the "Inking and Drinking" event Friday, artists will be on hand at a Greenwood Avenue pub "to indelibly render the logos of our brewery sponsors on your private/public canvas!" Then you can show it off by stumbling a few blocks south where photographer Rawi Nanakul will be exhibiting black-and-white metal prints of local breweries and homebrewers practising their craft.

Saturday events, which start at a reasonable 10 am, include a beer can derby, soccer and beer, biking and beer, cheese and beer, oysters and beer, wine and beer, and an all you can eat pig roast and home brew competition. Then on Sunday you can raise your glass to moms everywhere at one of the many Mother's Day brunches, dinners, and special tastings.

If you go: Seattle Beer Week, numerous locations, Thursday May 10-Sunday May 20, numerous times, various prices

Lucia Perillo at Seattle Central Library

"I could name some names/ of those who have drifted through thus far of their allotted/ seventy or ninety years on Earth/ with no disasters happening,/ whatever had to be given up was given up—/ the food at the rehab facility was better than you would expect/ and the children turned out more or less okay;" This is the beginning of Lucia Perillo's poem "I could name some names," the entirety of which has been posted on my family's refrigerator since I discovered her poetry in a college class several years ago.

Perillo, who currently lives in Olympia, spent years working as a seasonal park ranger on Mount Rainier until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was in her thirties. Perillo's work often meditates on "the meat cage" that is the human body with biting humor and insight. Writes Publisher's Weekly, "Though the prevailing tone is one of ironic melancholy, a subtle but engaging sense of hope prevails." Perillo, who is a MacArthur fellow, has received numerous distinctions and awards, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and will be reading from her debut story collection, Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain, and On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths, a new collection of poetry.

Perillo has said that "Being a poet is like being a snowman in a snow globe. Most of the time you're put away in an attic. But then you win these awards, and it's as though you've been put out with the Christmas tree and someone has come along and shaken." Perillo's poems will shake you — you may find yourself pulling them down from the attic to read every day.

If you go: Lucia Perillo, Seattle Central Library, Saturday, May 12, 2 pm, free.

Chris Mooney: The Republican Brain

Get excited fiery partisan politicos — science writer Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, is coming to town to talk about his new book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality. Mooney wonders, "Why won't Republicans accept things that most experts agree on?" His book answers this question with scientific findings that demonstrate that the difference between liberals and conservatives is more than just ideology — it's psychology. Or, as some might say, God just made us differently!

For all those out there tempted to dismiss Mooney's book as partisan hogwash rather than attend, consider this: "When we think we're reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing," Mooney writes. "We may think we're being scientists, but we're actually being lawyers. Our "reasoning" is a means to a predetermined end — winning our 'case' — and is shot through with biases." What'll it be, Crosscut readers, are you lawyers or are you scientists? I guess in this economy I'd take either.

If you go: Chris Mooney: The Republican Brain, Town Hall, Friday, May 11, 7:30 pm, $5

Big Story Small

For those of you whose theatrical culture has been lacking lately, this weekend Pony World Theatre brings you the chance to take in nine theatre classics in just a few hours. Euripides? Check. Chekhov? Check. Beckett? Check. Camus? Ionesco? Shaw? Check, check, and check. All theatrical heavyweights condensed by local writers into "potent little packages." One of this year's writers, Brendan Healy, is a veteran of last year's production, in which he presented the collected plays of Auguest Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, and Anton Chekhov in just 90 seconds.

Pony World Theatre is a little company that's been met with raves since their fall production "Suffering, Inc." which told a story pieced together from lines of Chekhov dialogue and set in a cubicled workplace. The Seattle Times called it "one of the most unexpected, inventive, and deranged pieces of theater I've encountered this season." The name Pony World "calls upon a point in the creative process when anything is still possible — when everyone can have their own pony." Except this weekend, you can have nine of them.

If you go: Big Story Small, Theatre Off Jackson, Thursday, May 10-Saturday, May 12, 8 pm, $15, $12 for students, seniors, and members of Theatre Puget Sound

Queering the Art Museum

Now that you've all followed Crosscut's advice and visited both Tacoma's Hide/Seek and the Greg Kucera Gallery's Under the Rainbow, you're ready for this weekend's Queering the Art Museum at the Henry Art Gallery, which "explores the complex methodologies for museums to address and engage queer culture in a non tangential manner."

Friday evening there will be an opening reception and symposium responding to the question "How did we get here?" followed by a full day of lectures, forums, workshops, and performances on Saturday that will tackle the follow-up question, "Where do we go from here?" Speakers include museum directors, local professors, Hide/Seek co-curator Jonathan Katz, The Stranger's Jen Graves, and artist Wynne Greenwood, who became famous for her riot girl pop band Tracy + the Plastics, in which she played all three band members. There will also be a performance from Ilvs Strauss, who tells stories through slideshow projections accompanied by sincere and humorous narration.

Says Nicole Robert, a graduate student in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies who co-organized the event along with Museology student Erin Bailey, "I hope that people who attend the symposium will start asking questions and critically thinking about what and who gets normalized in exhibits, whether they’re in an art gallery, history museum, or science center."

If you go: Queering the Art Museum: How did we get here?/Where do we go from here?, Henry Art Museum and Tacoma Art Musem, Friday May 11, 5:30-8:30 pm, and Saturday May 12, 10 am-11 pm, $10 general public, $5 Henry members, free for UW students, staff, and faculty, Friday and Saturday tickets sold separately.


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