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MISCmedia MAIL for 9/23/16: THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE
Sep 22nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Before the weekend is done, our splendiferous “LOSER” book reissue party (Sunday evening at Vermillion, 11th between Pike and Pine) will occur. But before then you can read about a highly deserving arts-award winner; the case against the “youth jail”; the still-deepening morass that is the municipal homelessness response; the World Trade Organization (remember them?) siding with Boeing; and an idea for a vastly scaled-down walkway aside I-5.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/20/16: THE I-5 JIVE
Sep 19th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Drone-car proponents want those to eventually be the only vehicles allowed on I-5 from here to the border. (There aren’t enough of the things in existence now to even fill one lane of it, but who’s counting?) More practical topics this day include the predicted “secure scheduling” victory; lessons (un)learned from the last opiate crisis; an upscale bicycle “clubhouse” for the ex-Bauhaus corner; a defense of “transitional” housing; and childhood memories of America’s last logging camp.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/9/16: WHO SEZ THE ‘SEATTLE PROCESS’ IS DEAD?
Sep 8th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

What to do about homelessness? I know, let’s hire a high-priced consultant who’ll ignore encampments, addictions, and mental illness issues, and who’ll just call for lots of subsidies to private developers! Other topics today include the world’s largest ice cube (that doesn’t star in any Friday movies), how one South Lake Union legacy business survives; a odd-couple marriage in the art world; and very little about the 9/11 anniversary.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 8/3/16: JAYAPAL AND HER PALS
Aug 2nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

In the major “open seat” this primary election, Pramila Jayapal looks promising for Jim McDermott’s spot in Congress; Jay Inslee will have to do better in the general; and Seattle’s housing levy wins big. And as for other stuff: Starbucks straws can be dangerous; so can McNeil Island drinking water; the City Council agrees to amend HALA; people who left the Ms game early missed a lot.

MISCmedia MAIL for 7/1/16: FROM SOUTH OF THE BORDER
Jun 30th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

On Canada Day, our favorite adjacent nation’s been thru some hard times but will persevere. Plus: The remaining ruins of the Longacres horse track; Montlake could lose its only (close enough to a) supermarket; a court orders Wash. cities to create bike-safe streets; Boeing hints of more local employment; and robots n’ drones down on the farm.

THE IN AND THE OUTED FOR SWEET ’16
Jan 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

new years 2016 z

Would you believe, this is the thirtieth MISCmedia In/Out List? Well, it is.

As we prepare to begin the pearl-anniversary year of this adventure in punditry, we present yet another edition of the most trusted (and only accurate) list of its kind in this and all other known media.

As always, this list compiles what will become sizzling and soggy in the coming year, not necessarily what’s sizzling and soggy now. If you believe everything hot now will just keep getting hotter, I’ve got some Sears stock to sell you.

INSVILLE OUTSKI
ABC AMC
Saving KPLU Saving the Seattle Times
Turquoise Mauve
Spinach Kale
Hollow Earth Radio/KHUH KIRO-FM
“Black Lives Matter” Macho anarchists
Empathy Superiority
Gents Bros
Stopping Trumpism Treating Trump as a joke
Taking back Congress Merely keeping the White House
Ta-Nehisi Coates David Brooks
Storytelling “Branding”
Mismatched plaid separates Striped socks
High-speed rail Hoverboards
Fewer cars “Greener” cars
NHL NBA
Fiat (still) VW
We Bare Bears Teen Titans Go!
Juxtapoz Erotica Censored Playboy
Hillman City Ballard (alas)
Lalaloopsy Minions
Searching for solutions together “You figure that part out, I’m just sayin'”
Issa Rae Zooey Deschanel
Michael Fassbender Will Farrell
“Genderqueer” movement “Men’s rights activists”
Exciting machines Boring machines
Real virtue Virtual Reality
Granny shoes Skinny jeans
Justin Trudeau Justin Bieber (duh)
Sia Zac Brown
Light rail to Husky Stadium Parking downtown
Hydrox cookies comeback Crystal Pepsi comeback
Monkey Shoulder Wild Turkey
Milk stout Bud-owned microbrews
“Homey” “Artisinal”
Citizens “Stakeholders”
Uniqlo Gap
Bellingham Bellevue
Back-yard cottages “Tiny homes” in the far countryside
Millennials as defiant activists Millennials as selfish slackers
El Borracho Chipotle (duh)
Guy Maddin J.J. Abrams
Permanent progressive movements Only showing up in election years
Wisdom Data
“Snap!” “YOLO”
Moving the world forward “Taking America back”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/10/14
Jan 10th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

fastcoexist.com

  • The Fast Company folks seem to love Northgate’s Thornton Creek mixed use megaproject.
  • A Seattle architect has re-devoted his career toward aiding the homeless and the recently homeless.
  • One-fourth of Amazon’s Kindle ebook sales in 2012 were for books by indie and self-publishers.
  • Amazon’s warehouses, sometimes infamous for pushing workers hard, are getting robotized.
  • Meanwhile, some guy at the Atlantic’s biz-news site Quartz claims that 3D printing and robotized manufacturing, and the one-of-a-kind manufacturing they can enable, could eventually mean “the end of Walmart and mass-market retail as you know it.”
  • Students at Eastside Catholic High School will keep protesting the firing of a beloved, now gay-married, vice principal.
  • Seattle author David Shields is acting in a movie directed by James Franco.
  • City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and the Stranger writers who relentlessly pushed her candidacy, were named to the Nation‘s “2013 Progressive Honor Roll.”
  • The gang down at Three Imaginary Girls has a roundup of their favorite (mostly) local music of ’13.
  • Ani DiFranco scheduled a women’s songwriting retreat at a former slave plantation. (The place is now a museum, offering a highly sanitized account of America’s slave-owning heritage.) Some Af-Am women protested online. A smart person would have used this hubbub as a positive “teaching moment.” DiFranco and her associates essentially failed at that.
  • Where They Are Now Dept.: NY punk and underground-film bad girl Lydia Lunch now teaches women’s yoga and “empowerment” workshops in Calif.
  • Right-wing front groups, pretending to be “journalists,” have tried to obstruct investigations into right-wing financial misdealings in Wisconsin.
  • Prostitution is fully legal in Canada (including brothel-keeping and solicitation), sez their Supreme Court. It could be the start of a new (or upgraded) tourism shtick. But I’d like it to mean more respect and personal safety for sex workers, there and here.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/31/13
Jul 31st, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • There’s now a soccer federation for “Cascadia” (i.e., B.C./Wash./Ore.). And it’s gotten provisional recognition from a global confederation of soccer interests representing other not-really-nations (Basque country, Kurdistan, etc.).
  • Cracked.com tells you some reasons “why you can’t believe anything you read online.” One reason: A lot of click-whoring sites, including click-whoring “news” sites, try to make you feel angry and outraged at something, then to share your outrage via social-media links. (Maybe that’s why this site hasn’t taken off like Drudge or Kos. I’m not ordering you to go ballistic X times a day.)
  • A week or two back, we remarked how Saks department stores had become, for a time, owned by an Alabama firm. No more. Saks will now be part of the Hudson’s Bay Co. (aka “The Bay”), the Canadian retail giant whose fur-trading heritage helped shape the initial settlement of this part of the world.
  • Al-Jazeera America, the cable news channel replacing the low-rated Current TV, will have a Seattle news bureau. Allen Schauffler, who just quit KING after more than two decades, will run the outpost.
  • Today’s local history lesson, brought to you by the Seattle Star: The time when the feds tried to arrest local Black Panthers because of a supposedly stolen typewriter.
  • Dumb Criminal Report #1: When you’re wanted by the cops, it’s unwise to shoplift beef jerky.
  • Dumb Criminal Report #2: Don’t set fire to the Aurora Sears. We love that store. It’s possibly the only truly beautiful suburban big-box store ever built around here.
  • Are ebook sales peaking?
  • Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon claims Amazon personifies “everything wrong with our new economy.” Apple, Walmart, Nike: You can rest easy now; you’re no longer the company everyone most dearly loves to hate.
  • Yes, “existential depression in gifted children” is a real thing. Trust me on this.
  • “Naked Juice” no longer claims to be “all natural,” and also is owned by Pepsi.
  • Fox tries to create a clone of Adult Swim, only even cruder and dumber. The results are now here, and they’re immensely dreadful.
  • The vinyl music comeback may be here to stay. Yeah, but does anybody actually, you know, play any of those records?
  • David Byrne, meanwhile, details six modern business models for the modern musical artist.
  • Unfortunately, there are still too many awful big-budget action movies. And, unfortunately, there are still economic incentives for the studios to make more.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/16/13
Jul 15th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • I’ll have my own comments about the big Sub Pop anniversary shindig in a bit. But here’s Charles Peterson’s definitive pic of the event.
  • The next local funky institution to fall victim to overdevelopment: the venerable downtown music club Noc Noc.
  • We already told you of the development scheme that would erase Wallingford’s beloved Chinese restaurant and dive bar Moon Temple. Now it turns out CVS, a pharmacy chain with little presence in this region heretofore, is anchoring the project. A petition has been started.
  • One of those Forbes.com “contributors” describes today’s Pearl Jam as a “mature lifestyle business.”
  • How do artists make it fiscally in today’s Seattle? With great difficulty.
  • The Pike Place Market’s “gum wall” is bigger than it’s supposed to be.
  • At Microsoft today, “radical” reorganizations are almost as frequent as they used to be at Apple. (By the way, here’s what Jean-Louis Gassée, who led Apple during some of that firm’s reorgs, had to say last year about MS’s callous way of picking people to fire.)
  • UW students are planting anti-human-trafficking messages with feminine napkins. The story doesn’t say how the students plan to get the products to the intended recipients.
  • Alaska Airlines doesn’t want the City of SeaTac to impose “living wage” requirements on airport-based workers.
  • Still need a tourist destination for the rest of this summer? Check out Pocatello ID’s “Museum of Clean.”
  • Some extremist nutjob tried to pass off footage of the 2011 Vancouver Canucks fan riot as if it were Miamians protesting the Zimmerman verdict, instead of depicting the peaceful, anti-violence protests here and elsewhere.
  • Mark Sumner at Daily Kos ponders whether humankind’s strive toward a greater future could just putter out.
  • Bob Moser at The American Prospect sees the south turning solidly progressive, but perhaps not for another decade.
  • Some YouTuber has edited all of Terry Gilliam’s animations from Monty Python’s Flying Circus together into four complilations.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/11/13
Jul 10th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Nostalgia Alert: M.J. McDermott, KCPQ’s morning weatherperson, was “Ronnie” on Roscoe and Ronnie, the last local kids’ show on commercial TV. It was axed in ’95, when KSTW’s out-of-state owners killed all that station’s local programming. Now she’s petitioning the FCC, to encourage shows like that to be brought back.
  • Roberta Byrd Barr, recently deceased at age 74, was Seattle’s first female high-school principal, and the first African-American to host local TV public-affairs shows.
  • Seattle without the original Ivar’s Acres of Clams? It could happen, for as long as nine months. It’s one of 15 waterfront businesses the City wants to pay to keep closed during tunnel construction.
  • Seattle Times Shrinkage Watch: Executive editor David Boardman’s quitting after 30 years, to work at Temple U in Philly.
  • Seattle Central Community College’s health-ed programs could move into part of the old Beacon Hill hospital tower that was once Amazon’s HQ.
  • Amazon’s getting into comix publishing, specializing (at least at first) in adaptations of Nerderati-favorite novelists.
  • Edward Snowden: Courageous whistleblower or right-Libertarian Obama-basher?
  • The Beats: Daring nonconformists or sexist dweebs?
  • UK publisher Felix Dennis sold the U.S. edition of Maxim and two other “lad mags” for $250 million. Six years later, Maxim is for sale again, for a mere $20 million.
  • A federal judge has ruled against Apple and the big book publishers in that e-book price-fixing suit.
  • Health Scare of the Week: Fish oil capsules could give men cancer.
  • Just because most people who believe themselves to be MSG- or gluten-intolerant probably aren’t, it doesn’t mean they don’t get real symptoms.
  • Take away the “hipster”-bashing headline and there’s still a potential real problem with people who decide they can’t run their backyard chicken coops anymore, and who just drop off the critters at animal shelters.
  • The Quebec oil-train disaster was caused by plain ol’ crude catching on fire, just like in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Next Big (Televised) Thing, according to the Norwegians: “Slow TV.” Long-attention-span (or simply hypnotic) umpteen-hour, real-time explorations of train trips, knitting demonstrations, and salmon fishing.
  • After 40 years as everybody’s favorite “obscure music” band, the Residents deserve better than for have Ke$ha’s backup dancers to steal their trademark eyeballs-and-tuxedos look.
  • Back in the mid-’90s, Penn and Teller set out to create the world’s dullest and most infuriating video game. They probably succeeded.

the new yorker

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/22/13
Mar 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • When bad covers happen to good novels….
  • The (beautiful) wooden Elvis statue outside Mama’s Mexican Kitchen was stolen. We who all adore it need it back.
  • Every now and then, civic boosters talk about bringing the Olympic Games to Seattle. Such efforts have traditionally been quashed quickly by locals worried about traffic and local-government subsidies. But this time (for the 2024 Summer Games), could the boosters have the upper hand over the NIMBYs?
  • City Councilmember Richard Conlin says housing for poor people should be kept in the south end, away from all the nice-upscale people.
  • (Meanwhile, it’s good to remember that America’s urban ghettos were the historic result of specific policy/planning decisions. Do an online search for “redlining” and “blockbusting” to learn more.)
  • “Tiny houses” are all the rage in certain circles. But wanting to plop one down inside a city, well that’s news.
  • At least one ESPN pundit predicts the Seattle Mariners will be “this year’s surprise team.” In recent years, as you know, the M’s have provided too many of the wrong kind of surprises.
  • Wash. state is Number One! (In making higher education unaffordable, that is.)
  • Seattle teachers’ protest against standardized testing has reached the eyes and ears of the New Yorker, which notes that this particular test is not used so much to evaluate students as it is to evaluate the teachers themselves.
  • The Catholic Northwest Progress, the regional archdiocese newspaper, is the latest grave in the print-media cemetery. The paper’s incessantly anti-gay-marriage stance probably didn’t help.
  • The years-in-the-promising Bell Street “boulevard park” project is finally starting construction. When it’s done, Bell will have one lane of traffic and one lane of parallel parking; the rest of the right-of-way will be extended sidewalks and planters.
  • The thing about the Vancouver BC company’s inadvertently see-thru yoga slacks: The women who attend these classes and wear these clothes are often trying to show off their figures, not to men but to other women, not to attract desire but admiration/envy. But that doesn’t work if the “exposure” is too blatant.
  • In the ten years since the Iraq War, the buildup to same, and the almost unquestioned media cheerleading for same, have we learned anything (except to distrust the media)?
  • In the Internet era, news readers have umpteen sources for big national/global stories, but far fewer people reporting local events or investigating local dirt.
  • Montana may make roadkill legal to eat: On tonight’s dessert menu, chocolate moose.
  • After testing the waters in commercial book genres (romance, mystery, etc.), Amazon’s getting into the “literary” book racket.
  • While the “people of the book” were making their usual noisy gripes that everything was going to hell, independent bookstores have staged a quiet comeback.
  • Speaking of naysaying the naysayers, Bono would like you to know that many worldwide trends (poverty, AIDS, etc.) are actually on a positive swing these days.
  • Is Jay Leno finally being pushed into retirement? For real this time?
  • Urban-planning pundit Richard Florida made big bucks from instructing cities how to pursue “the creative class.” Now he says (sort of) that that doesn’t work.
  • Following Chris Ware’s acclaimed Building Stories, local art-book press Marquand Books is putting out another “box set” graphic novel, containing objects of different sizes and shapes telling one meta-narrative. It’s The Magician, by onetime Dallas arts promoter Chris Byrne. It’s an ultra-limited-edition product. Its artistic ambitions, if anything, are greater than those of Ware’s work.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/7/13
Mar 7th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Sound-effect words in comics: to ugly-art maestro (and great Washingtonian) Basil Wolverton, they were an art form all their own.
  • The State Legislature could help save Metro Transit. But will it?
  • A Chinese-American family gave a lot of Chinese robes and other objects to the Tacoma Art Museum, hoping they would be a permanent reminder of our region’s ugly racial history. Decades later, the museum’s current management decides to auction them off out-of-state. However, the story’s even more complicated.
  • Mr. Kim Thompson, one of by ex-bosses at Fantagraphics, has lung cancer.
  • The Belltown Business Association’s got a lovely virtual tour of Belltown’s history.
  • It’ll take years to even start getting nuke waste out of Hanford’s leaking tanks. And the sequester’s just slowing the task down a little more.
  • As T-Mobile prepares to digest MetroPCS, the layoffs arrive. Lots of ’em.
  • First, the AOL/Time Warner corporate marriage collapsed. Now, Time Warner itself is splitting up, with the Time Inc. magazines and associated properties sent to fend for themselves.
  • 3D printing has come to custom fashion, of the purportedly “sexy” variety.
  • Ed Wood’s “lost” last film was found this past autumn, in the inventory of a defunct Vancouver porno theater!
  • The “other guy” in the Bill and Ted movies is now a documentary director. (I know, just like anybody with a smartphone-cam these days.)
  • Paul Krugman says progressives shouldn’t worry so much about appearing “respectable.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/13/13
Feb 13th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Welcome Valentine’s season with Mitch O’Connell’s array of 100 unintentionally “unerotic vintage pin-up modeling photos.” (Note: The hereby linked page is, as the kids say, “NSFW.”) Speaking of the un-erotic….
  • Emily Nussbaum at the New Yorker likes how HBO’s series Girls reinvents the late-night-cable sex scene, that most hackneyed of video tropes, into farcical pathos.
  • The John Keister/Pat Cashman “comeback” show The [206] disappeared after two episodes (which had been shot in one taping, as a pilot). But it will return in April.
  • Would you buy your coffee wherever “The Bitter Barista” works next? (He was fired after his employers found out about his blog.)
  • The Seattle Transit Blog explains when the new Car2Go company is a better value than Zipcar and vice versa.
  • It’s harder to sneak past the NY Times website’s paywall these days, but may are still trying.
  • Things people feel nostalgic for these days include VHS tapes and the manual paste-up of newspaper pages.
  • Sam Tanenhaus at the New Republic explains just how the Party of Lincoln became “the party of white people.”
  • Esquire‘s cover story about “The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden” didn’t mention that “the shooter” (the only name the article gives him) does have health care for the next five years, and would have had more benefits if he’d just retired a year and a half after he did.
  • On the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, Ashley Fetters at the Atlantic unearth’s bell hooks’s argument that the book treated the problems of white “leisure class” housewives as if they were the problems all women faced. Fetters then adds Daniel Horowitz’s 1998 snipe that Friedan, under her birth name Betty Goldstein, had been a prolific NYC radical essayist, and hence knew she was deliberately ignoring the plight of non-affluent women.
  • The Museum of Vancouver is opening an exhibit all about that city’s cultural history of sex. Yes, it includes the black-cat silhouette that signified adults-only movies in B.C.

ARE THE SONICS BACK YET? (DAY 21)
Jan 29th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

steve bloom, the olympian via seattlepi.com

No. Though that hasn’t stopped the making of unofficial “WE’RE BACK” T-shirts (see above).

And it looks like the Sacramento city fathers appear to be having a hard time finding enough local money to make a viable competing bid for the Kings franchise.

Art Thiel speculates, though, that one such potential “whale” could be Oracle boss Larry Ellison. Ellison may also want to move the team, but only as far as San Jose. (Cue the Dionne Warwick jokes in five… four…)

Still, Seth Kolloen insists that “barring some unforeseen circumstance, the Kings will play here as the Sonics this fall.”

One of Mike Seely’s last tasks at Seattle Weekly is a speculative piece wondering if the neo-Sonics could field an all-Seattle-connected team (ex-Sonics, ex-Huskies, and local high school grads).

Meanwhile, now that the National Hockey League has come back from the dead (again), there’s talk that, instead of moving a failing Sunbelt team, the league could put an expansion franchise into Quebec City and maybe Seattle, or maybe Quebec and the Toronto suburbs. (Considering how the Toronto Maple Leafs have spent more than four decades fielding cheapskate teams, with team management sitting all fat and cozy in the sport’s largest market, a second team there would be intriguing. But not at Seattle’s expense, please.)

RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/9/13
Jan 9th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via jim linderman on tumblr

  • Dear Bellevue Police: People have sex. Sometimes the people who have sex are co-workers. Deal with it.
  • You missed the suddenly announced closing night at Cafe Venus and the Mars Bar. It’s been around at least 16 years (the space, in a lovely old Eastlake Ave. apartment building, was the Storeroom Tavern previously). It hosted countless bands. It was cooler than all get out. Its status has been in doubt, like the statuses of so many cool spaces, for several years now.
  • C.B. Hall at Crosscut reminds us that real “bus rapid transit” isn’t like Metro’s “RapidRide.” The real thing has its own lanes, for one thing.
  • The Seattle Times couldn’t possibly be buying Seattle Weekly. That makes about as much sense as HP buying Compaq (oh wait, that actually happened).
  • Shelby Scates, 1932-2013: It’s not just that we’re losing some of the great local journalists of our time, but that there’s no means to develop worthy successors.
  • A 2007 anti-Iraq-war protest at the Port of Tacoma led to six arrests. Now the case is finally going to court.
  • As the Legislative session nears, Brendan Williams at Publicola pleads for state Democrats to stop talking like diluted Republicans.
  • We’re Number Five! (In terms of lousy traffic.)
  • How did Vancouver’s economy do during the soon-to-end Hockey Lockout II? Not that badly.
  • Newsweek refugee Andrew Sullivan’s new site won’t have ads. P-I refugee Monika Guzman agrees with the strategy. Guzman claims online ads earn too little money these days, and many sites that try too hard to attract ad revenue turn into useless “click whores.” But the problem then becomes attracting enough readers who like you enough to support your site by other means (pledge drives, merch/book sales, etc.).
  • Hamilton Nolan at Gawker insists that real journalism means writing about someone(s) other than your own narcissistic self.
  • “Intercity bus and rail ridership up, as car and air travel remain flat.”
  • Folks luuuvvv those big online college courses. As long as they don’t have to pay for ’em.
  • Frank Schaeffer isn’t the first pundit to note the geographical coincidence between today’s “red states” and yesteryear’s “slave states.” Nor will be be the last.
  • In Iceland, like in France at one time, kids can only be named from names on an approved list. One 15-year-old girl is trying to fight that.
  • The college football post-season was mostly a dud. But here’s one “highlight.” It’s the weird one-point safety Kansas State committed after blocking an Oregon point-after-touchdown.
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