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10/6/17: THE LAST RIDE DOWN
Oct 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In our big weekend MISCmedia MAIL: Smith Tower goes automated; three-teen murder tragedy; local alt-right ‘mocking’ victim; did City Attorney Pete Holmes go too far?

WHAT EVERY SEATTLEITE NEEDS TO KNOW
Oct 4th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The Seattle Public Library, in conjunction with my ex-Stranger colleague Charles Mudede, recently held a public workshop on the topic of “What Every American Needs to Know.”
Attendees were asked to make their own lists of subjects they want everybody to learn. With Mudede’s presence/influence, the topics nominated veered toward racial justice/awareness issues, past and present.

The event was inspired by, and named for the subtitle of, E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s 1987 book Cultural Literacy. Hirsch listed some 5,000 terms, people, historic events, popular movements, and concepts that ought to be familiar to citizens young, old, and new.

UW instructor Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University and author of the political-activism book You’re More Powerful Than You Think, recently revived Hirsch’s concept, as something to be “crowdsourced” from citizen contributions.

Since the library event, Anika Anand at TheEvergrey.com asked that site’s readers to nominate similar topics that every Seattleite needs to know.

Here are my own nominations, in 10 overgeneralized, inter-related categories:

1. Our history and heritage.

Why the Northwest is more “north” than “west”. The early explorers, missionaries, and fur trappers. The Nordic homesteaders arriving on the land-grant railroads. The Gold Rush and boosterism. How Seattle was “bourgeois from the start” (Roger Sale).

2. Our racial/cultural mosaic, past to present.

The rich indigenous heritage, and the people who fight to keep it alive. The Anti-Chinese Riots; the WWII Japanese-American internments. FIlipino cannery workers. Vietnamese refugees. The black struggle, from redlining to gentrification. Hispanic/Latinx immigrants, and their fight to stay.

3. Our homegrown pop culture.

Seattle black music/art (not just Hendrix). Seattle pop/rock music (not just Hendrix and Cobain). Seattle visual art and artists (not just Chihuly). Self-aware, self-deprecating humor, from The Egg and I to Almost Live. Twin Peaks and the “Northwest Noir” genre. Kids’ TV; drag clowning; neo-circus; performance art. Sports, from the Hawks to the Huskies to the hydros. Gone-but-not-forgotten restaurants, stores, and dive bars. Allegedly “Seattle” things we had nothing to do with (“designer grunge,” Fifty Shades of Grey).

4. Our boomin’ n’ bustin’ economy.

Timber and the original “Skid Road.” Railroads and steamships. The Alaska connection, from fishing to oil. Boeing. The Depression; hydro power as a “public works” project. WWII; “Rosie the Riveter;” Hanford. The Jet Age; the ’70s Boeing Bust. The baby-boomer entrepreneurs behind Starbucks, Costco, and the first microbrews. The early dotcoms’ rise and fall. Washington Mutual’s rise and fall.

5. Techie Seattle and its Boeing roots (really).

How a City of Engineers morphed into a City of Coders. The UW’s heritage in medical technologies. Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s “old Seattle” backgrounds. Why Jeff Bezos and Nintendo set up shop here. Video games as an art form. The “tech bro” stereotype and tech-biz sexism.

6. Our bio-region, its ecology, and threats to same.

The “natural Northwest” relentlessly reshaped, regraded, dredged, dammed, and filled in. Hanford. Trident. Clearcut forests. Depleted fish runs. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and wildfires. Climate change and weird weather.

7. Politics past and present.

Prohibition rum-runners; brothels and speakeasies. Labor radicals, and anti-radical “massacres.” ”The 47 states and the Soviet of Washington.” “Progressive Seattle” as an historically white-dominated movement. “Feel-good liberalism” vs. making the hard choices and doing the real work. Why gay marriage and legal pot were easier to achieve than economic or racial justice. The high-end housing boom; single-family neighborhoods; “Livability” vs. “affordability.”

8. “Seattle Nice” and its limits.

Why, personality-wise, we’re more like Canada than California. Nordic stoicism; passive-aggressive distancing. Why you MUST develop and use an “inside voice,” and stop screaming in public all the time.

9. Words and phrases and pronunciations.

It’s “I-5,” not “the 5.” It’s the Department of Licensing, not the DMV. There’s no “S” in “Pike Place Market.” How to pronounce “Puyallup” and spell “Weyerhaeuser.”

10. The (Real) World of Century 21

The future promised at the World’s Fair vs. what we really got. Making a better future, not just a profitable one. Saving our nation from social/political disaster. Saving our planet from ecological disaster. Saving our own corner of the planet from the side effects of its own “success.”

10/4/17: ACTIONS & CONSEQUENCES
Oct 4th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In our midweek missive, we discuss a video game where you can destroy society thru fake news; more claims against Sheriff John Urquhart; and more farmed fish coming near the Sound.

9/29/17: THE DRAMA UNFOLDS
Sep 29th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your big weekend MISCmedia MAIL: Origami litter in Seattle parks explained; GeekGirlCon lives again; should Sodo be razed for offices?; can a methanol plant be eco-friendly?

9/20/17: IT’S BIG, BAD, AND BACK
Sep 19th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In our midweek missive: Republicans just won’t stop trying to kill affordable health care (and thus several million Americans); a local social-justice activist vs. useless “purity” obsessions; tentative victories in eco-lawsuits; the end of the CD’s indie supermarket; and helping the homeless feel “at home,” if just for a moment.

9/19/17: TODAY’S MAYOR DU JOUR
Sep 18th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Our third mayor in a week will be our last new one for a whole ten weeks! Other things we peruse this Tuesday: A UW doctor’s tale of tragedy n’ triumph; a new complication to the KeyArena rebuild; Boeing wants to “Blame Canada”.

9/18/17: CANNERY ‘ROW’
Sep 17th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The Salmon Homecoming Celebration had its 25th anniversary this past weekend. We glance a brief peek at that today, and also at the “Lady Jane” of Seattle mayors; big money for a fired Swedish physician; battles for two cities’ waterfronts’ futures; and the welcome return of rain. (“Eureka! The crops are saved!”)

9/15/17: PARK(ING) IS SUCH SWEET SORROW
Sep 15th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

PARK(ing) Day is here again, and talk radio just complains about the  precious car spaces being taken over for temporary human use. Our big weekend newsletter also mentions black guys who like Jenny Durkan and a white guy who doesn’t; a teen convicted for “sexting” (but with complicating circumstances); goats becoming un-welcome in Olympic National Park; and the “priorities” for Bruce Harrell’s mayor-ship (which could end today).

9/14/17: MAYOR MAY NOT
Sep 13th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We’ve got our second mayor of the year, will get a third, and may get a fourth in between. MISCmedia MAIL covers this, as well as why Seattle shouldn’t bend over backwards to appease Amazon; how design and power intersect; a “re-brand” for PCC; and an elementary school not getting a “Satan Club” after all.

9/13/17: THE (NO LONGER) WALKING ED
Sep 12th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

At 11 a.m., Ed Murray was about to hold a public announcement at KeyArena. A little more than two hours later, he sent word he was resigning. We’ve got glimpses of the whirlwind from assorted angles in today’s extra-long e-missive. We’ve also got Nordstrom’s latest plan to stay un-acquired; Durkan and Moon’s very different housing-crisis solutions; and potential new ways to make a border run.

9/12/17: COUNTER COUTURE
Sep 11th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Another week of MISCmedia MAIL begins with Nordstrom bringing back the concept of the old Sears “catalog store.” We’ve also got still more cities that want to pimp themselves out for Amazon’s “HQ2”; Rep. Jayapal’s respectful answer to a wingnut C-SPAN caller; and a comix legend worrying that young people these days aren’t bored enough.

9/11/17: E TU, HQ2?
Sep 10th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

While the nation’s opposite corner endures massive eco-carnage, our corner faces continuing pundit-blather about Amazon’s “co-equal headquarters” scheme. We additionally discuss visual proof of transit’s popularity; more about our corner’s own enviro-crisis (fire instead of water); the Seahawks’ opening meh; and remembering a not-so-sweet 16 years ago.

9/8/17: COMPANIES THAT LIKED ‘SEATTLE’ ALSO LIKED…
Sep 8th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Amazon wants to do for, or to, another North American city what it’s done for, or to, Seattle. That’s the top story in our big weekend e-missive. Other subjects include the resurfacing of some onetime local TV stars; Chris Hansen’s plan for KeyArena; and a reason to go to Kent (other than jury duty or junior hockey).

9/7/17: ‘FACE TO BEAK’
Sep 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We won’t have Rep. Dave Reichert to kick around any more; Washington’s one of 15 states preparing to sue over the DACA decision; and wildfires continue to destroy forest lands and choke up the skies. But let’s also talk today about something REALLY important: the new Seahawks “alternate” logo, and the fun online commenters are having with it.

9/5/17: A DIFFERENT KIND OF ROCKY ROAD
Sep 5th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

A dog-daze-ish holiday weekend is done and MISCmedia MAIL’s back, with: a “decorative” way to make a stretch of city concrete un-campable; fires threatening the Portland exurbs and the “Northern Exposure” locations; the Puyallup Fair remembering when its grounds were used to detain WWII internees; Bob Ferguson vowing to protect our state’s DACA “Dreamers;” and the new Twin Peaks ending as incompletely as the old one did.

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