So You Wanna Be a Writer? -- We know you're out there. The deadline for The Inlander's 7th Annual Fiction Contest is Friday, Dec. 6. The winner gets published in the Dec. 26 issue, plus fame, fortune and a $100 Auntie's gift certificate.
Johnny Be Good -- Lord knows we love us some Johnny Cash. "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," the black wardrobe and woeful lyrics... in the Buzz Bin's eyes, the man could do no wrong. Until now. We were working late and listening to our favorite Internet radio station when we heard his gravelly vocals. But the words? "...Feeling unknown /And you're all alone /Flesh and bone/By the telephone..." So oddly familiar. By the time he got to the "Reach out and touch faith" part, it was horribly unmistakable. Depeche Mode. "Personal Jesus." If you think to yourself "hey, that could work," rest assured, it doesn't.
We hoped it was just a musical oddity, one pop song that Cash covered just for the hell of it. But we were listening to Cash being interviewed by NPR the next morning and they finish up with a snippet of him singing U2's "One." Sure enough, there's an entire album. While one friend reassures us that he also covers Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, we wonder what possessed him to mess around with the pop stuff in the first place. Johnny, you've always been cooler than all these jokers combined. Don't listen to those record industry execs. If you wanna be hip, stick with the folks who've followed in your footsteps, folks like Gillian Welch and Whiskeytown. Thank you. That is all.
Statue Advice -- If you ever have yourself memorialized by statue, make sure the sculptor makes you tall enough so that Coug fans and frat boys aren't climbing all over you to make a statement. If you've driven past the Spokane Club on Riverside in the last few days, you've no doubt noticed that the statue of John Robert Monaghan is now sporting the crimson and gray of WSU. Folks, have a little respect. It's bad enough that Monaghan died (and was later beheaded) in Samoa while on a 1899 peacekeeping mission, but he was one of the first graduates of Gonzaga University and therefore a Bulldog fan.
Moratorium Be Damned -- A while back, we decided we needed a self-imposed moratorium on any news regarding the Shop. The Buzz Bin regards the Shop as one of its favorite hangs, but people were starting to accuse us of favoritism and all sorts of other ugly words. We've been pretty good about it, but we break our silence now to tell you that the new "Men of the Shop" calendars are in the works.