A long-delayed batch of randomosity (the first in more than a month) begins with the discovery of the newest local “mainstream microbrew.” Underachiever Lager appears to have begun as a promo vehicle for Tacoma designer-casual-wear company Imperial Motion, but is now being rolled out as its own thang in select local bars.
tacoma news tribune
erika j. schultz via twitter
the new yorker
Yep, there was another Pride Parade in Belltown, heading toward another PrideFest in Seattle Center.
This year’s installment was even more festive than most, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against one specific federal anti-gay-marriage law; following the voter-approved start of gay marriages in this state late last year.
And, as always, the parade provided major companies with a chance to show off just how welcoming they are toward clean-cut, well-dressed, upper-middle-class people with good tastes in music and home decor.
But gay pride, and gaydom/queerdom in general, shouldn’t be about being the “ideal minority” for a segment of corporate America.
It shouldn’t be merely about recreation, food, drink, and other consumer practices.
For that matter, it shouldn’t be about sexuality as a consumer practice.
It shouldn’t be about an all-white “rainbow.”
And it shouldn’t be about imposing an oversimplified straight/gay social construct on top of an oversimplified female/male social construct.
It should be (and, at its best, it is) about universal inclusion. Of all gender-types, gender-roles, and consensual relations. (PrideFest’s ampersand logo this year expresses this with simple elegance.)
It should be about being who you individually are, without imposed identities (even “progressive” imposed identities).
And, of course, it should be about love.
I’ll have stuff to say about the big gay parade and the potential for NHL hockey in Seattle a little later this week. For now, some randomosis:
kenny johnson, the atlantic via io9.com
Derek Thompson at the Atlantic has assembled a U.S. map containing what he claims to be “the most famous brands born in each state.”
Only he doesn’t consistently play this game by his own rules.
Some of Thompson’s picks are obvious: Nike for Oregon, Coca-Cola for Georgia, Hasbro for Rhode Island, DuPont for Delaware, L.L. Bean for Maine, Budweiser for Missouri, Tabasco for Louisiana.
Other choices are debatable but defensible: Apple for California, Hawaiian Airlines for Hawaii, Starbucks for Washington state.
But in some cases, Thompson lists parent companies rather than “brands.” (GM is a bigger company, but Ford is a bigger product name.)
In others, he places brands where corporate takeovers have placed them, not where they began. (Does anyone really associate Saks department stores with Alabama?)
Here are my alternate choices:
And for good ol’ Wash. state, arguments can be made for Amazon, Microsoft, and even Sub Pop, or such moved-away corporate HQs as Boeing and UPS.
When you tell someone with depression that they should maybe try harder to be happy, it’s essentially like telling a diabetic that they could totally make an adequate amount of insulin if they just concentrated a little harder.
chris luckhardt via seriouslyforreal.com
plastic corn usb memory stick, available from made-in-china.com
This is one of those times when I run afoul of certain acquaintances who extol everybody to “think for yourself.”
Because I don’t always “think for myself” the way these guys n’ gals want me to.
The topic in question: “genetically modified organism” (aka “GMO” or simply “GM”) food seeds.
I’m not completely against them.
This shouldn’t surprise longtime readers of this venture. I’ve never been an organic vegan purist. I don’t believe in the innate goodness of all things “alternative” or the innate badness of all things “mainstream.”
As “ObamaLover20122″ writes at Daily Kos, modern varieties of staple foodstuffs can add nutrients, reduce the need for pesticides, and help alleviate hunger and malnutrition in wide swaths of the world. Anti-GMO campaigns, this blogger insists, are full of conspiracy theory-esque pseudo-science.
And, as Meagan Hatcher-Mays writes at Jezebel, plants and animals have been selectively bred by humans for just about ever. (Corn/maize was so thoroughly domesticated by the Western Hemisphere’s pre-Euro humans that it can’t even reproduce in the wild.)
It doesn’t help that the outfit most closely associated with GMOs is Monsanto, the “radical” left’s current #1 corporate bogeyman (replacing Wal-Mart, which replaced Nike).
Monsanto was originally a chemical company, involved in everything from plastics and synthetic carpet fibers to the infamous herbicide Agent Orange. In the 1980s it started to make commercial crop seeds that would be especially receptive to its pesticides. Today, agribusiness is its only business.
It’s pursued this business with a “biotech” business model, something known to anyone who’s followed the doing of local drug-development companies. This model is big on patents and other “intellectual property” as the big assets, the big prizes.
Many of the boardroom-based brutalities Monsanto’s been (often rightly) accused of stem from this obsession with Profit Through Patent (such as litigating against small farmers who didn’t even deliberately put Monsanto-owned genes into their crops).
Other Monsanto corporate sins (industrial-waste dumping, f’r instance) are the product of similar them-that’s-got-the-gold-makes-the-rules corporate groupthink.
In short, Monsanto makes it really easy to hate ‘em.
And that’s just what folks are doing, across the to-the-left-of-Obama end of the political spectrum.
One part of that crusade has been the dissemination of boycott lists online.
This documents and “meme graphics” purport to list, without documentation, “Monsanto-owned” food products you shouldn’t buy. Various versions of the lists include dozens and dozens of famous supermarket-shelf names.
The only thing is, Monsanto owns NO consumer food-product brands.
They’re not in that end of the business.
Many big food processors have probably bought grains and other crops from big agribusiness farms that have bought Monsanto seeds and/or pesticides.
But there’s no real telling who, or for which products.
And even the “GMO labeling” bills now going through several state and national legislative bodies won’t make it certain, thanks to the same natural processes whereby the aforementioned small farmers ended up with GMO genes in their crops.
So go ahead and hate Monsanto for its documented bullying tactics.
But don’t blindly hate all GMO projects.
And don’t blindly hate the entire non-PCC food universe.
The Fastbacks, the “Seattle Scene’s” most enduring band (and one of its most loveable), recorded lots of great cover songs (originally by the Raspberries, the Sweet, and even Sesame Street!) in addition to their many originals. Some of these were buried on “tribute” compilation CDs. Here’s a list of 17 such tunes, and a slightly longer but still incomplete list.
Elsewhere in randomosity:
There is no such thing as a private language. We speak in order to be heard, we write in order to be read. But words also speak through us and, sometimes, are as much a dissolution as an assertion of our identity.
ebay photos, via thestir.cafemom.com