jordan stead, seattlepi.com
wu ming, via daily kos
'every driver every time it ever rains ever'
via jerry beck at indiewire.com
So much has been written already about the beloved film critic, TV host, author, Russ Meyer screenwriter, champion of obscure good films, vilifier of stinkeroos, and stoic survivor of one of the worst cancers anybody ever had.
I can only repeat what’s already been said—that Ebert was admirably both a film-lore geek and a populist, a man of aesthetic standards who wasn’t above enjoying (and helping make) down-n’-dirty exploitation, and a great wit.
Here are two pieces of his that have been rediscovered of late.
In the first piece from 2010, he looks back at his post-adolescence, in an era when college administrations still actively attempted to prevent students from having sex.
Then in his 2011 memoir Life Itself, he discusses his completely grody cancer and says, “I do not fear death.” And he explains his political stance:
“Kindness” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world.
Here are reminiscences of Ebert by two Seattleite members of his longtime blogging team, Jeff Shannon and my ol’ UW Daily staffmate Jim Emerson.
I’ve known, and occasionally worked with, Gillian G. Gaar for as long as I’ve been writing these MISC ventures.
You know her from her contributions to the Rocket, the Stranger, ArtsFocus, Tablet, the Belltown Messenger, and other local and national periodicals; as well as her books about Elvis Presley, Nirvana, the Beatles, and women in rock.
She needs some expensive surgery to restore the vision in her left eye.
Like so many in and on the periphery of the music scene, she has no insurance.
She’s started one of those online fundraising drives.
She’s a quarter of the way to her goal already, and could use your help getting the rest of the way there.
Dennis White, who runs the Dadastic! record label, has been making T-shirts commemorating Belltown’s still-mourned Dog House diner and piano bar.
For a limited time you can get one for $17 (with a free CD thrown in), and have $5 of the proceeds go to Gaar’s medical fund.
(The hereby-linked page says the deal is over, but White says you can just mention it when you order and he’ll still do it.)
There was a time when the governor’s mansion in this state was in the hands of a “centrist” Republican named Dan Evans.
He was followed by Dixy Lee Ray, a right-winger who ran under a Democratic Party flag-of-convenience. She was followed by John Spellman, another corporate Republican.
Then came Booth Gardner.
He ran in 1984. If you recall, that was the time of Ronald Reagan’s re-coronation (and its accompanying royal jubilee, the L.A. Olympics).
He’d been a state legislator and Pierce County Executive. But his statewide rep was relatively obscure.
He also had the Republican establishment (at the start of its drift into far-right insanity) going against him fierce. (One particularly ludicrous TV attack ad had a heavy-set actor playing a cigar-chomping “big union boss” who’s “got this Gardner guy right in our pocket.”)
What he had going for him was family (Weyerhaeuser family) money and connections, and access to Sen. Henry M. Jackson’s donor/organizer mailing list.
And he had the support of just enough “swing” voters who admired Reagan’s national public image but were less enamored toward Spellman.
Gardner beat Spellman. The Washington governorship has been in Democratic hands ever since.
That’s not to say it’s been easy to lead this state, then or now.
Entrenched interests, inter-regional feuds, the unelected would-be dictatorship of Tim Eyman, our regressive but hard-as-hell-to-change tax system, have all held back the pace of reform (now more desperately needed than ever).
But with Gardner, it all at least seemed possible.
Some politicians retire to the golf course. Others find new causes, new campaigns.
In Gardner’s case, his encore on the public stage was thrust upon him, with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease just a year after the end of his second term.
As his appearance and health deteriorated (to the point that he had to tell people, “I used to be governor of the state of Washington”), he became an increasingly outspoken advocate for the rights of the terminally ill.
In 2008 he campaigned for a (successful) “death with dignity” initiative.
He took his crusade national with an Oscar-nominated documentary short, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner. (You can watch part of it at this link.)
No, today’s princess is not about romance: it’s more about entitlement. I call it “girlz power” because when you see that “z” (as in Bratz, Moxie Girlz, Ty Girlz, Disney Girlz) you know you’ve got trouble. Girlz power sells self-absorption as the equivalent of self confidence and tells girls that female empowerment, identity, independence should be expressed through narcissism and commercialism.
alex nabaum’s 'the evolution of china'
I participated in National Novel Writing Month again this year. Came out of it with most of the first draft of something I’m tentatively calling Horizontal Hold: A Novel About Love & Television. More details as I come closer to making it presentable.