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6/15/17: RETURN OF THE WALKING ED
Jun 15th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Is Ed Murray’s legal peril over, or just on hiatus? MISCmedia MAIL also discusses the real (and predictable) spark behind the Evergreen State turmoil; more hollowing-out at Boeing; alleged coded racism in a newspaper column; and a big “Tax the Rich” turnout.

5/2/17: SORRY, NO VIOLENCE (HERE)
May 2nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL today: Nope, no real “anarchist” violence this May Day (at least in Seattle), just some right-wingers acting all scary n’ stuff. Also: Remembering Mike Lowry; new life for a legendary gay bar; the city’s income tax scheme moves forward; and class in identifying “fake news.”

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 4/19/17: A LEASH ON LIFE
Apr 18th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

This day’s installment of your favorite local news digest contains a warning against the combo of “dog plus beach minus leash.” In heavier topics, we mention further mayoral-race and Murray-case developments; a big event that could delay any KeyArena rebuild; Nazi posters on another college campus; and ill feelings at a theater-support group.

JE T’AIME, SEATTLE!
Apr 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

madamefigaro

Stereotypically, the French (with a few exceptions, such as Alexis de Tocqueville) hate America, or at least much of America (with a few exceptions, such as jazz music and old B movies).

You can now add something else American that the French like. It’s li’l ol’ us.

And not the standard tourist-cliché Seattle of fish-throwin’ and whale-watchin’, either.

It’s the arts scene.

Yes, the Seattle visual-art world some of us oldsters remember as an intimate milieu of four or five museums, a couple dozen private galleries, some warehouse studio spaces, and CoCA.

This scene has now grown to finally become, as so many Seattle institutions aspire to become, “world class.”

At least, that’s what writer Paola Genone says, in Madame Figaro, a weekly magazine section of the major Paris daily Le Figaro.

The online version of her article is titled “Seattle, la nouvelle escale (“stopover”) arty américaine.”

The article’s print title is even more portentious, proclaiming Seattle to be a “Tete (head) de l’art.” (It’s a phrase with multiple historic meanings, which I don’t have room here to delineate. But it basically means something aesthetically significant.)

The story begins with a quick intro. Yes, it skims past many of your standard Seattle tourist/media reference points—Hendrix, Nirvana, Twin Peaks, Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, rain.

But Genone then quickly segues into her principal theme, Seattle as “a capital of artistic renewal that loves mixing genres” and as “the hub of a new contemporary art and music…. Cool, eco-friendly, rock and high-tech, Seattle is astonishing by its freedom and eclecticism.”

Genone’s verbal tour of the local scene starts with two legacies of “the great geek” Paul Allen, the Seattle Art Fair and the Museum of Popular Culture (née EMP).

But Genone doesn’t stay in the realm of billionaires for long. Instead, she next calls Seattle “the city of women,” for the female directors of so many local institutions (SAM, TAM, the Frye, the Henry).

That’s followed by short photo-profiles of six local art n’ music movers n’ shakers:

  • Martyr Space gallery owner Tariqa Waters (“La galeriste underground”). She creates self-portraits “with sharp colors, constantly transforming: aggressive, myserious, transgender, pop art.”
  • Tacocat singer Emily Nokes (“L’égérie (muse) pop punk”). She’s the “worthy heiress to the pop punk of Courtney Love,” fronting a band whose music combines the Beach Boys’ surf guitar with “the burning hymns of Bikini Kill.”
  • Collage artist Joe Rudko (“Le reveur aux ciseaux” (“the dreamer with scissors”)). His compositions, while “apparently abstract,” turn out to reveal “itineraries of thought, mysterious architectures, imaginary family albums,” and dreams of “an America open to diveristy and solidarity.”
  • Photographer and multimedia artist Jennifer Zwick (“La photographe de l’étrange’). Her images appear “comme le caustic The Stranger” and elsewhere; while her installations explore “a fantastic universe of children, books, and everyday objects hijacked: installations inspired as much by the writings of WIlliam Blake and Jorge Juis Borges as by the comics of ‘Calvin and Hobbes.'”
  • Hideout bar owner and Out of Sight festical curator Greg Lundgren (“Le Warhol de Seattle”). He’s called “a visionary at the head of utopian, committed, and large-scale projects,” which are all intended to support “galleries and artists of the city and to push them to flourish there. Successful bet.”
  • Frye Art Museum director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker (“La directrice de musée qui ose…” (“who dares”)). She “gave a voice to the artists of Seattle and encouraged experimentation,” along with “a lively dialogue between creators of all disciplines bringing their vision to the stakes of the contemporary world. “

The article doesn’t mention the hyper-inflating rents currently driving many artists and small-scale galleries out of town. Nor does it discuss the local “new money” techies who aren’t collecting much art (yet); or the local “old money” collectors who, for the longest time, preferred to do their art buying out of town.

But face it: it’s hard to bring up the harsher realities of a place when you’re hyping it as a global Next Big Thing.

(Translations by Google. Cross-posted with City Living Seattle.)

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/30/17: LIFE IMITATES CGI
Mar 29th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

It’s just a coincidence that there’s a computer-animated feature out now called “The Boss Baby,” and that the title role is voiced by Alec Baldwin, and that ads show the baby in a suit and tie with orange-ish hair. Really. In more deliberate occurrences, we note Daniel Ramirez’s freedom (at least for now); neighbors who want more public amenities in the expanded Convention Center; Jeff Bezos’ even greater (on paper) wealth; and the little Belltown restaurant that got big.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/28/17: THE DOOMED DOME
Mar 27th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

On the anniversaries of its birth and death, we recall the Kingdome, that building of the future that’s now long passed. Other topics include Seattle standing tall against DC’s “sanctuary city” threats; Olympia Democrats’ budget plan; the differences between Seattle’s and Vancouver’s real-estate booms; and fun with out-of-context stage dialogue.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/10/17: SING A SONG OF PINK
Mar 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

“Singing pink scallops” are a thing, albeit a damn rare thing. But thanks to “sustainable harvest” methods, they’re back. Further subjects of inquiry this day include WA vs. Travel Ban 2.0; a dangerous plan to track the homeless; a beloved indie bookstore on the verge; and the death of a local hiphop giant.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/18/17: THE LAST LEGGINGS
Jan 17th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As American Apparel shuts down here and elsewhere, we look fashion-forward to discuss more attempts by GOP legislators to make the laws for (or rather, against) Seattle; a dispute among anti-inauguration marchers; diversifying Bellevue and its challenges; and a beloved local bar closes two years after it first said it would.

MISCmedia MAIL for 12/19/16: HOME SWEET HOME FRONT
Dec 18th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We’re still experiencing the effects of WWII to our region’s environment, and not just at Hanford. Also, as we count down to the solstice, we examine disputed tales of a protest at an Olympia park restroom; a possible alternative mode of housing for at-risk adults; the connection between both would-be arena developers and a former newspaper empire; and the end of one of our fave small-biz combos, King Donut-Teriyaki-Laundromat.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 12/14/16: UP ALL NIGHT?
Dec 13th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Some business interests want to turn downtown Seattle into “a 24-hour city.” People walking and shopping and being entertained and high-fiving one another in the streets when the only people who should normally be awake (aside from insomniacs like me) are hungry newborns and their parents. Can this be accomplished; and if so, would we even like it? We also ponder Bill Gates’s strange comparison between the next president and JFK; a temporary win for homeowners who don’t like back-yard cottages; Boeing management proving as indifferent to St. Louis as it is to Seattle; and why Sounders fans don’t watch a parade, they march in it.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/28/16: GET YOUR KICKS
Nov 27th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Huskies: Yay! Sounders: Triple Yay! Seahawks: Oh well. In non-sporting headlines, remembering F. Castro and his contradictions; factory robots not going away; another potential oil-export port; and the many non-POCs in the Black Lives Matter march.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/17/16: UP ON THE FARM
Nov 16th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Instead of insulting and dismissing rural/suburban voters, I’ve got a better idea: reach out to them! Support the people there (and they ARE there) who’ve been struggling for freedom and equality, against entrenched social/political/economic machines. Back in newsier news, we’ve got a big-big solar farm for Eastern Washington; a one-day walkout by what we used to call “community” college faculty; and a Presidential medal for the Gateses.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/16/16
Nov 15th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Should we form an indie nation of western states? Join up with Canada? Do you know how darn-near impossible it’d be? In more real-world coverage, we view a settlement in the coal-train suit; EMP becoming “MoPOP” (no relation to KEXP’s show “WoPop”); King County’s aging homeowner population; and a wood-fueled jet plane!

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/28/16: (DON’T) DIG IT A HOLE
Sep 27th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Do you really have to be told not to drill into a new iPhone? Other topics this day include the wrong place to paint a mural with breasts; the SPD’s CIA-derived software tool for tracking your social-media posts; the “most Republican block in Seattle”; a potential future where Seattle survives while the rest of the nation goes dystopian; and the creepy threat to local goats.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/16/16: BUNKER BLOCKED?
Sep 15th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

That fancy new police building folks have rallied against? Sent back for further review. Among other topics this day: Loving portraits of GLBT Mormons; whether the police really needed to shoot Che Taylor; still more Chinese speculation money in Seattle real estate; the usual many, many weekend event listings; and a weird idea to give homeless folks “non-monetary donations” online.

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