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MISCmedia MAIL for 12/8/16: SEPARATION ANXIETY
Dec 7th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

If Eastern Washington ever does become a separate state, as some Republican politicians want, it would help the national Republican Party but hurt the people living there. (But then again, what political trends in America these days wouldn’t do that?) And we also discuss the attempt to rehabilitate the image of Pepe the comics frog; still more Seattle Times layoffs; an ex-Seahawk’s gender talk and its discontents; and whether or not Snowmaggedon ’16 will finally occur.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 11/15/16: THE NEW ‘GREATEST GENERATION’?
Nov 14th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Teenagers from all over the area gathered to protest the potential coming of evil unleashed. Further subjects include another threatened grocery store; a horrid crime against one of the “Deadliest Catch” guys; a temporary victory for pipeline opponents; and a potential Port of Seattle “solar farm.”

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/14/16: IN THE NAME OF LOVE
Nov 13th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

As the American Resistance enters its second week, we have protests both solemn (here) and anarchist-invaded (Portland), and more exhortations of hope and faith from local opiners. Plus: More Dakota Pipeline direct action; and a bad-boy rocker who’s now a girl.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/2/16: POKEBALLS WITH A PURPOSE
Nov 1st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Mukilteo inventors have designed a sturdy, spherical refuge for humans in case of tsunami. Further subjects today include a really wide waterfront highway plan and its discontents; Paul Allen’s settlement over his mega-yacht’s coral-reef trashing; Amazon’s real-life bookstore quietly raising its prices (to non-“Prime” people); and an opera with only one man and one woman playing one role.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/19/16: WHITE HOUSE ‘GATES’?
Oct 18th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Bill AND Melinda Gates as potential Vice Presidents? Ridiculous. Among our other topics today: our pal Kelly Lyles and her art-van; HALA changes; a high school requesting “pledges” of attendance only from Af-Am students; a game company responding to allegations of “enabling” gambling; and an International District institution threatened.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/18/16: FROM FIFE WITH LOVE
Oct 17th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

In our daily e-missive this day: Our state’s ex-first lady speaks out on sexual harassment and its apologists; the Ace Hotel founder’s kids demand their fair share; an architect suggests we put affordable housing on top of I-5 (instead of just a bigger Freeway Park); the landlord lobby successfully delays the move-in-fee cap; and a Pierce County institution comes to Seattle (spoiler: it’s a burger joint).

MISCmesia MAIL for 10/11/16: CHECKS, UNBALANCED?
Oct 10th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A black woman claims she was subjected to uncalled-for “scrutiny” when she tried to open a bank account in Seattle; the bank says in response that it’s that mean to everybody. Further subjects this day include lawyers vs. closed “public” hearings; women in video games struggling for respect; Belltown’s most fiscally troubled tower project is “on” again; another Oso legal settlement; and yet more backlash against brutal sexist talk and its excusers.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/6/16: BULK OF THE IRISH
Oct 5th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Washington’s new high-school football powerhouse is a Catholic school named for an Irish-American bishop, and known for recruiting the state’s biggest, bulkiest teens. Elsewhere today:  J.J. Abrams (heart)s the Wash. election-funding initiative; the Seattle Times dislikes lobbyist-written legislation (but only if those lobbyists champion the needs of poor people); one of Belltown’s last “artsy” apartments gets sold; the “Uber-ization of health care”; and how NOT to save the whales.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/29/16: NUCLEAR NOSTALGIA
Sep 28th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

As WSU prepares a Hanford museum, local activists propose a unilateral nuclear-weapons scrap. Additional topics this Thursday include a clever local response to a traditional-gender-roles “action fashion” shoot; hydro power’s eco side effects; a drive to “democratize” artificial intelligence; the ascendant Sounders; and a soap-opera master’s final fadeout.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/8/16: STILL RE-BARRING
Sep 7th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We note a quarter century of a pioneering pan-genre, pan-gender performance/dance space (and the site of a memorable Cobain hissyfit). Also of note today: a famous 9/11 flag found in Everett (probably); a specialty clinic for trans teens; a drop in local greenhouse gases (that still isn’t enough); a call for a lot more bus service; and the loss of a legendary Capitol Hill pizza hawker.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/23/16: A DIP IN THE MONEY POOL
Aug 22nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Global speculators, having been made less than welcome in Vancouver, are already driving Seattle real estate even higher. In other Tuesday topix: wildfires are back; airlines (and Sea-Tac) boom while Boeing struggles; Councilmember Herbold wants a replacement for the despised old business “head tax”; and Town Hall’s selling off its parking lots for two towers.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/18/16: DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DORK
Aug 18th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We’ve got a graphic example of how to avoid looking grotesquely “fake hip,” by visually celebrating your geek. Plus: how not to headline a story about a white supremacist’s violent crime; Seattle’s “most dangerous street” gets a little less so; a trans singer-songwriter tries to find his voice again (literally); and the heat’s gonna be brutal.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/11/16: THE SOUND OF SCHMOOZE-IC
Aug 11th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Paul Allen’s next big local spectacular will be a music festival and industry confab, coming to Pioneer Square in May. And we also look at another Black Lives Matter march; a fish-processing plant proposed for the soon-to-be-ex Weyerhaeuser campus; feudin’ whales; and an ex-governor’s questionable real-estate sale.

MISCmedia MAIL for 7/21/16: THE MOST SCENIC GROUND ZERO
Jul 20th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

What activists in the ’70s couldn’t stop is still with us, a nuclear-sub base on the Sound. Also with us: gentrification in the CD marches on; a river’s being moved away from a highway; YouTube’s trans stars; and a (different) retro video game inspires a new micro-park.

IS SOLSTICE IN ITS AUTUMN?
Jun 19th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

silver f walker 48

Once again, the Fremont Solstice parade has arrived and left.

This year, the threat of rain may have kept the audience smaller than previously.

sweet relish m bicyclist 57

Not in short supply were the body-paint bicyclists (and more-or-less clothed bicyclists, and just plain nude bicyclists, and walkers, and skateboarders).

Much as the Seafair hydro races have become, to many fans, the sideshow to their own intermission act (the Blue Angels), the Solstice Parade has become, to many, merely the footnote to its unofficial and unorganized prelude.

purple prince boat

As the annual corps of paint people and their pals has grown, the parade itself has shrank. This year’s edition barely ran 45 minutes.

There were the usual ethnic and pseudo-ethnic dance troupes.

There were the usual floats and dancers celebrating summer, environmentalism, nature, and wholesome “quirkiness.”

There was a tribute to Prince with a purple-boat float.

'no sweeps' 2 copy

'no sweeps' 1

The main “political” statement at the parade was made by homeless advocates. They depicted Mayor Ed Murray with a broom, trying to literally “sweep” away a bunch of street people and car-dwellers; while marchers carried signs (conforming to the parade’s traditional rule against written words) exhorting people to call Murray to support housing and denounce sweeps of encampments.

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I’d hoped to, but didn’t, see anything in the parade expressing solidarity with the Orlando victims and families, and forthrightly expressing LGBTQ solidarity. Apparently that happened too soon for parade volunteers to build moving artwork and costumes.

The bike brigade did include several folk proudly sporting rainbow-flag paint. These two held barbells labeled LOVE.

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While other “alt” gatherings around town, such as Pride and Hempfest, remain big, Solstice this year seemed to be in decline.

Is it that Seattle’s finally getting done, after all these decades, with the cultural aesthetic of baby-boomer mellow? Or is it that Solstice has no specific, single “cause” behind it?

Parade organizers do plan to do something about it, starting next year.

They want the bicyclists to register as official participants, subject to official event rules.  They don’t specifically say they’ll order the bikers to cover up, but they’ll assert the right to make such decrees.

If Solstice does have a “cause,” it’s celebrating an extended family, a virtual “tribe,” built around creativity, joy, and personal freedom.

If its leaders try to rein in the event’s most basic (and most popular) expression of such freedom, its decline could get worse.

POSTSCRIPT: The Fremont Solstice Fair is much larger than the parade itself. There’s the big street fair. There’s the HONK! Fest West, a festival of alternative “street bands.” There’s the display of art cars. And there’s the live music, which this year was even more impressive than in past years. Even if the parade declines in interest, the rest of the fair still goes strong.

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