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RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/15/14
Jan 14th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

funhousedocumentary.com

  • Some folks have made a documentary about the Funhouse, that greatly-missed bastion of DIY loud n’ live music. It should screen some time this spring.
  • Buried in a list of various cineastes’ top 10s of ’13 is the announcement that SIFF will indeed return to the now-shuttered Egyptian Theater for this year’s festival, and is working to reopen the festival’s traditional “home base” for year-round screenings.
  • Norman Durkee, 1949-2014: Teatro ZinZanni’s original music director was a musical polymath. He produced early punk 45s, put out TV-advertised new age piano LPs, worked on stage musicals and dance performances, and performed recitals of jazz and modern classical tuneage.
  • Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was seen in an online video clip with local pompous homophobic/sexist pastor Mark Driscoll. This does not mean Wilson necessarily endorses anything Driscoll says.
  • King County will move forward with Plan C (at least) to save Metro Transit from drastic cuts, declining to wait for the professional Seattle-haters in the State Senate to become sane.
  • Meanwhile, in state-politician-friendly transportation (i.e. cars and roads only), the Waterfront tunnel project has a lot more problems than just a steel pipe in the way.
  • The long-delayed Tacoma Amtrak station now, thankfully, won’t replace half of the Freighthouse Square mini-mall.
  • Finally, a practical use for those “tiny houses” you sometimes see pictures of, cute micro-cottages usually depicted surrounded by pristine countryside with no humans or other buildings in sight. In Olympia, 30 of them are being used as transitional units for the previously homeless.
  • Misadventures in Clickbait Dept.: Two companies supply most of those often-silly “Around the Web” or “Recommended for You” link boxes on otherwise “serious” news sites.
  • Is “Net Neutrality” (the policy that service providers can’t give preferential speed/access treatment to certain websites) really “dead”? No. The FCC simply has to rewrite its rules around the technicalities of a court decision.
  • Fox News anonymously created its own pro-Fox News blog. Yes, it’s hilarious and chock full O’ stereotypes.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/4/13
Aug 4th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

daily mail

…(T)he madness of the GOP is the central issue of our time.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/28/13
Jul 28th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

nextnature.net

  • While sorting my stuff for an upcoming move (more on that a little later), I’ve unearthed some pieces of almost Jurassic technology. Just the sort of things depicted in the art project “Modern Fossils.”
  • The Northwest Film Forum’s Bill Kennedy reminisces about repertory cinemas in Seattle in the 1980s (a couple of which I was involved with).
  • How to fix the Mariners fan experience (other than fielding a more competitive team)? Adjust or dump the “dynamic pricing;” put paper cups beneath the mustard dispensers; stop limiting T shirt giveaways to the first 5,000 through the gates.
  • Timothy B. Lee at the Wash. Post claims Microsoft “is doomed” in the tablet/smartphone age, but that it’ll still “make a ton of money” as Windows and Office enter their declining years.
  • A “scholarly publishing” industry analyst claims Amazon is “a great company with a bad character”—and excellent customer service.
  • We’ve already told you that many “basic cable” channels make more money off of pieces of people’s cable bills than they make from commercials. Now, industry analysts claim that if channels such as ESPN were “unbundled,” they’d have to charge $30 a month or more to those viewers who’d specifically want them.
  • Original Simpsons co-executive producer (and Playboy TV poker-show host) Sam Simon is dying of cancer, and will leave his fortune (including a hefty share of Simpsons royalties) to charity.
  • Female ex-Merrill Lynch workers claim the Wall St. giant issued them copies of a book on how to “stroke men’s egos,” and that the company reprimanded them for “not being ‘perky’ or ‘bubbly’ enough with customers and colleagues.”
  • A lawsuit claims “‘Occupy’ protesters in Minneapolis were used as ‘guinea pigs’ in a [state] government drug research program.”
  • Carl Gibson suggests “Nine Ways to Organize the Next Civil Rights Movement.” I’ve got #10: Don’t depend on, or cede control to, white alt-culture “radicals.”
  • Justifying, excusing, and even celebrating the lives of brutal homicidal dictators is a time-honored tradition. Today’s example: Robert Mugabe.
  • Great old hangouts aren’t just disappearing in Seattle. Today’s example: Tacoma’s 75-year-old Flying Boots Cafe.

tacoma news tribune

THEY’RE HERE, THEY’RE QUEER, WE’RE USED TO IT
Jul 3rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

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.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/24/13
Jun 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

thecoffeetable.tv

A big batch-O-randomness today, catching up after several days without it.

To start, there’s yet another indie “webisode” series made here in Seattle. It’s called The Coffee Table. It’s a simple scifi comedy, in which some dudes n’ dudettes are propelled into another dimension by the titular table, which turns out to be “an ancient alien artifact.”

Elsewhere in randomosity:

  • After all the sturm-n’drang over the almost-neo-Sonics debacle, could Seattle really get an NHL hockey team without really trying? And if so, what the heck would we do with it? And what would we call it? Our old hockey team names, “Totems” and “Metropolitans,” would certainly do. But ya know, there’s nothing wrong with “Coyotes,” the current name of the team that could go here. After all, Wile E. Coyote creator Chuck Jones is a Spokane boy.
  • The City’s back into the biz of harassing all-ages clubs again.
  • Should city council elections be publicly funded under a heavily incumbent-favoring formula?
  • Also closing this week besides the Egyptian Theater: the Copper Gate, the Ballard upscale bistro and sometime music lounge on the site of (and including a nude relief backbar mural from) a onetime legendary dive bar.
  • And, having already lost Costa’s Opa in Fremont, Seattle loses another classic Greek joint. The Continental Pastry Shop in the U District, having served affordable Euro entrees and treats to students and others for four decades, calls it quits this week.
  • Call it Sequester, The Local Edition. Do-nothing Republicans could shut down huge parts of Wash. state government this week.
  • It’s not just turncoat ex-Democrats in our own State Senate who get off on Seattle-bashing. So did a pro-coal West Virginia Congressman recently.
  • KUOW remains atop the local radio ratings by very carefully orchestrating a day-long “sound massage,” in which no news/talk segment runs longer than five minutes.
  • A Canadian study claims people who read more “literary fiction” (you know, the highbrow, less-genre-formulaic stuff) increases one’s tolerance for “ambiguity.”
  • On the other end of the certainty spectrum, it’s sadly not true that right-wingers are all low-IQ racists. Some of them are calculating evil geniuses.
  • Affirmative action has “helped white women more than anyone,” sez Time. I remember back in ’98 when there was an anti-affirmative-action initiative. The campaign to defeat that measure put up TV spots displaying not a single nonwhite face, only white little girls.
  • Lameness on top of sadness: A lame “satire” site (from China) ran a fictional piece claiming that James Gandolfini wasn’t dead and that everybody who (truthfully) said he was was a victim of a hoax.
  • Management at the Men’s Wearhouse no longer likes the way their founder/spokesdude looks.
  • A guy who’d spent two years building up the “brand” of his travel blog found a big corporation completely stole his name and concept for a marketing campaign.
  • Similarly, Nike thought nobody would mind if it ripped off a famous Minor Threat record cover. Wrong again.
  • Economic scandals you probably already knew: BankAmeriCrap guys lied to and swindled mortgage holders, and financial-ratings companies inflated the grades of mortgage-burger investment packages.
  • The editor of American Elle insists her mag, and mags like it, do indeed carry “serious journalism.”
  • Some dude’s list of history’s “Top 10 Most Evil Women” leaves out “Typhoid Mary” and Paula Deen.
  • We close for today with a 73-year-0ld Japanese guy who makes beautiful landscape art with Excel spreadsheets!

via spoon-tamago.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/16/13
Jun 15th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • The only thing more improbable than the idea that the average human 100,000 years from now will have Margaret Keane painting-size eyes is the idea that the average human 100,000 years from now will be white.
  • Novelist David Guterson gave a commencement speech at his alma mater,Roosevelt High. Some parents booed the speech, apparently believing it was too “negative” for their precious children. The speech itself turns out to be skeptical about the pursuit-O’-happiness thang but still relatively upbeat at its conclusion.
  • So soon after getting our collective hearts broken over the NBA (again), Seattle sports fans have a new thing about which to blindly hope against hope. It’s the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes. They’ve been floundering down in the desert. The league supposedly has a plan to move the team here, perhaps as early as next season.
  • KING-TV and its sister operations (KONG, NW Cable News) are being bought out by Gannett, along with the rest of the A.H. Belo Corp. Like Belo (which began as the publisher of the Dallas Morning News) had done when it bought KING, Gannett’s strategy here is to add profitable (for now) broadcast properties to help shore up its more troubled newsprint assets. (Update: Gannett only bought Belo’s broadcast properties, not its newspapers.)
  • Tacoma really doesn’t like citizens painting “rogue crosswalks.”
  • CBS News’s smartypants explain “why geniuses don’t have jobs.”
  • Time quotes some security-establishment defenders who really, really want to see the whole anti-domestic-surveillance crusade crushed.
  • An Australian ad agency asked feminist writers to write about the meaning of artificial sweeteners in women’s lives, and to do it for free. Here come the brutally snarky retorts.
  • This list of words remembered today only as parts of hoary catch phrases leaves out such personal favorites of mine as “petard,” “Gangbusters” (originally a radio show), and “poke” (as something you shouldn’t buy a pig in).
  • You remember how Facebook first started as a “hot or not” listing of Harvard women? There’s a new “hot or not” application on the site. It’s just for women. It uses male FB users’ profiles without their permission.
  • It’s the 50th birthday of one of my favorite forgotten childhood icons: Mr. ZIP!

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/23/13
May 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

'every driver every time it ever rains ever'

  • I’m still trying to decide how I feel about When You Live In Seattle, a site of original GIF-animation “memes.”
  • What follows the XBox 360? “XBox One.” This is not to be considered a comment on the gaming platform’s market share.
  • Our ol’ pal Sean Nelson’s got his first solo CD out at long last. And, as you can here at the hereby-linked stream, it’s very much worth the wait.
  • May Day protesters say they’re not spoiled children of privilege having a lark, but people with serious grievances against the government, particularly an increasingly militarized police.
  • Amazon’s letting people sell fan-fiction ebooks for money on the Kindle platform. Just as long as the fan fictions take place in the “universes” for which Amazon’s got official licenses. And they can’t have any porn in ‘em.
  • In a rare victory for neighborhoods and small businesses, lower Queen Anne’s Tup Tim Thai restaurant won’t be rent-hiked out of existence after all.
  • Threats against reproductive rights aren’t just for red states anymore.
  • Pot: Good for pigs, bad for dogs?
  • Apple has not “cheated” on its federal taxes. It simply took advantage of every legal tax dodge its lawyers could discover (or advocate for), just like so many other corporate titans.
  • Despite what you might have read on inflammatory websites, PBS did not “kill” a documentary critical of the Koch brothers, the billionaire backers of many extreme-right-wing political endeavors (and of some major PBS affiliate stations). It was ITVS, a separate nonprofit program supplier, that declined to include Citizen Koch among the indie films it packages to the PBS network feed and to local public-TV stations. Citizen Koch still exists, and is still playing the festival circuit.
  • Actually, there are real reasons why the IRS should investigate the Kochs’ “Tea Party Patriots” and similar nonpartisan-in-name-only outfits.
  • When the Executive Branch started stalking Fox News and the AP (allegedly for those outfits’ investigations of CIA documents about North Korea), was it just a continuation of the sort of tactics played against WikiLeaks?
  • Google boss Larry Page has a plan to fix what’s wrong with the world—more anti-government, corporate Libertarianism. Exactly the direction that got the world into these (economic, ecological) messes.
  • Australian writer Elmo Keep believes free and cheap downloads are killing just about all professional media/arts endeavors.
  • Henry Grabar at the Atlantic calls the anti-flouridation movement (recently victorious in Portland and several other cities) “history’s weirdest alliance of paranoiacs.”
  • Meanwhile, NY Times essayist Maggie Koerth-Baker claims to know “why rational people buy into conspiracy theories.” Or so the Germans would have you believe….
  • A famous author’s Wikipedia page got “edit trolled” by a rival author.
  • In the countdown toward Arrested Development’s revival on Netflix streaming, NPR.org’s got a thorough chart chronicling the recurrence of more than 150 running gags through the original series.
  • Some guy on YouTube edited together Hamlet quotations and references from 198 different movies and TV shows. Not included: Chewbacca’s “Alas, poor Yorick” pantomime with C3PO’s temporarily disconnected head.
  • Yes, at one time people really wrote by hand, and did it this well. It took a lot of intense practice.

slate

RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/30/13
Apr 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

tom banse via kplu

networkawesome.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/8/13
Apr 8th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via seattle bike blog

  • Enterprising citizens calling themselves “Reasonably Polite Seattleites” took it upon themselves to install unauthorized “bicycle lane protectors” (reflective plastic pylons) along Cherry Street uphill from downtown. The city vows to remove them.
  • Seattle police chief John Diaz will retire, allowing Mike McGinn (or perhaps a successor mayor next year) to put in another figurehead for uncontrolled street-cop brutality.
  • In a Belltown where anything non-one-percenty is increasingly out of place (more about that in a day or so), Roq La Rue has been kicked out of its longtime space in the old Film Row RKO distribution offices. Fortunately, Seattle’s premier “pop surrealist” art gallery has found new quarters in Pioneer Square, effective some time this summer.
  • Meanwhile, a Crosscut contributor named Andy Fife asks whether there is a “Seattle arts aesthetic.” Actually, there are several. There’s the “world class or bust” desperate slickness of most of SAM’s big permanent displays. There’s the “rich ex-hippie” mellow slickness of Chihuly and company. There’s the “modern monumentalist” big stuff seen at the G. Gibson and William Traver galleries. There are the house styles of Cornish and Gage and their recent alums. And there’s the “let’s put on a show” urban folk/pop styling of most of my personal faves.
  • New Orleans city bosses apparently want to simultaneously (1) shut down music venues, and (2) promote their city as a live-music tourist destination.
  • NBCNews.com blogger Wilson Rothman claims Apple’s iTunes is “out of date and out of touch.” Specifically, Rothman dislikes the whole idea of having to pay for song recordings. He seems to prefer the Spotify model, in which artists make fractions of fractions of pennies. That’s supposed to be the modern way?
  • Here’s one author who hates the new economics of the book biz—Scott Turow, one of the few writers who’d thrived under the old system.
  • Joshua Macht at the Atlantic claims Time magazine has perhaps three years to live.
  • Hacked computer data shows the global one-percenters are hoarding trillions in secret overseas tax-haven accounts. Leaders of nations other than ours claim to be aghast.
  • The newspaper industry has started measuring revenue from online paywalls and ancillary products/services. The resulting figures show papers are now losing a little less money than previously thought.
  • The death last week of Spanish exploitation-film giant Jess Franco has been followed by the loss of another of that country’s great directors of sex and/or violence, Bigas Luna.
  • Annette Funicello, 1943-2013: The only original Mickey Mouse Club cast member to have a real adult showbiz career was the wholesome sex symbol in the Beach Party movies, and a pop singer of unusual clarity and panache. During her cameo in the Monkees’ film Head, she proved not afraid to parody (without breaking) her squeaky-clean image. She remained gracious and classy, even during her long slow illness.
  • We’ve also lost Les Blank, who directed 42 documentaries of varying lengths and topics (all shot on film). He’s probably best known for Burden of Dreams, the “making-of” film about Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. Many critics considered Blank’s behind-the-scenes story to be more compelling than Herzog’s feature.
  • And another goodbye, this one to Hilly Krystal, influential owner of NYC punk club CBGB. While he opened it as a hippie spot dedicated to “country, blue grass, and blues,” he quickly adjusted to welcome the burgeoning Bowery underground scene. The result was what the New Yorker called “the ultimate garage—the place garage bands everywhere want to play.” (Update: This hereby-linked story is from 2007. Krystal’s still worth remembering nowadays, though.)
  • Femen and associated groups held an “international topless jihad day” across European capitals, though the slogans painted upon themselves seemed to almost all be in English.
  • Ending the drug war was never one of Obama’s top priorities. I suspect it’s because the whole bohemian-relaxation vibe clashed with the striving-for-progress zeitgeist that informed Obama’s worldview. But, as with gay marriage, he may be soon forced to act by a groundswell of popular opinion.
  • The Nielsen ratings now claim there are 5 million “zero television” households in the U.S., up from a mere 2 million in ’07. (The “kill your television” “radicals” will, naturally, completely ignore this information.)
  • Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s minions threaten to pull the Fox broadcast network off of over-the-air stations (including affiliates tied up in long-term contracts) and go cable-only, unless the courts outlaw a service to stream local over-the-air stations to local viewers via Internet connections.
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 3/12/13
Mar 12th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Garance Franke-Ruta at the Atlantic wishes U.S. feminist demonstrators had more dignified, less confrontational visual icons under which they could march. Symbols like “Columbia,” the historic female representation of the nation/continent/hemisphere. Of course, there’s this little matter about how this icon is now best known as a movie-studio logo—now owned by Sony….
  • Are the Sonics Back Yet? (Day 63): No. But Chris Hansen is taking names for a “priority ticket” waiting list.
  • Do you wanna believe Knute Berger, who mourns the pending loss of certain local architectural landmarks to developers and their megabucks lawyers? Or David Moser at Citytank, who believes higher-density urban neighborhoods are the only way to keep lower-income folk from being shoved out to costly, car-dependent suburbs?
  • Richard McIver, 1942-2013: The 12-year Seattle City Council vet, who was the lone “token black” on the district-less council, was a regular champion for civil-rights issues and for neighborhoods the city often took for granted. And he made a great foil for Grant Cogswell.
  • Military officials don’t like a proposal in the state legislature to let “payday loan” companies trot out even more predatory lending products (which are often, but not solely, aimed at troops and their families).
  • Yep, police still don’t want police reforms. But they insist it’s a “labor issue.”
  • The Center School can again teach its “Citizenship and Social Justice” class. But the school district has imposed vague, unspecified restrictions on how it can be taught.
  • Meanwhile, Ta-Nehishi Coates wants to remind you that even “good people” can turn out to be racists.
  • Fret not, Tiffany Willis claims: America is irreversably “becoming more liberal.”
  • Cord Jefferson at Gawker believes when journalism is only open to people who don’t need a paycheck, only people who already have money will be journalists; and, possibly, only stories of interest to people who already have money will be reported.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/6/13
Mar 6th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

scarfolk.blogspot.co.uk

  • Some clever Brits have devised “Scarfolk,” a blog of made-up historical artifacts from a fictional (and dreary as hell) English town. Along the way, they have a lot of fun with ’60s-’70s UK graphic design.
  • An “alternative taxidermy” artist from Tacoma will appear on a reality-TV show on Thursday evening.
  • Also on Thursday, a Belltown boudoir-photography studio’s holding a “donate a bra” night to help clothe the needy.
  • The next big Seattle Schools scandal: alleged racial double standards in student discipline.
  • The secret ingredient of Seattle hiphop just might be Pho.
  • Local stoners might want to drag out their right-wing grandparents’ “Get US Out of the UN” signs.
  • Another year, another threat of no Fourth of July fireworks unless big donations pour in.
  • Perhaps 60 Everett Herald print/distro workers will lose their jobs as Sound Publishing (which already has its own Everett printing plant) takes over the paper.
  • The Atlantic, supposedly one of the “success stories” of legacy print media in the Internet age, is not above asking writers to work for free.
  • Staged readings from Lolita are in hot water in Russia, thanks to the Putin regime’s calculated drive to demonize liberals and Westerners “for the benefit of a poorer, older, more rural voter base.” Hmm, that sounds familiar….
  • It’s a “golden age for corporate profits.” Just not for the rest of us.
  • Get ready for North Pole ship crossings, thanks to that climate change that billionaires pay Republicans to claim doesn’t exist.
  • Australia’s “multiethnic” TV channel goes to the lands surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and finds tales of horror and survival.
  • Peggy Orenstein notes that the “Disney Princess” characters, and their counterparts in other fictional universes, aren’t really about waiting for a prince as they are about vanity and shopping:

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.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/4/13
Mar 4th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via vintageseattle.org and capitolhillseattle.com

  • The old Club Broadway disco on Capitol Hill, previously a Masonic Scottish Rite Cathedral, was torn down ages ago, leaving only a “stairway to nowhere.” Surprisingly, given all the other re-development activity nearby, the lot’s going to stay vacant for the foreseeable future.
  • How do you honestly talk about the humanities in high school, when one parent’s complaint means you can’t say anything about “racism and social justice”?
  • Meanwhile, Knute Berger has a great piece at Seattle magazine about our fair city’s unfair past; specifically, explicit racial discrimination in housing. It existed openly and legally (with contractual “covenants” binding home buyers to never resell to blacks, Hispanics, Asians, or even Jews) as late as 1968. Berger notes that…

In 1964, Seattle voters soundly defeated an “open housing” ordinance that would have let anyone live anywhere. It lost by more than 2-to-1.

  • You know how Amazon’s now building three 50-story towers on the Toyota of Seattle, King Theater, and Sixth Avenue Motor Inn blocks. But word just got out that the e-tail giant has options to buy three nearby blocks from the Clise family, who’ve owned the lots since the 1930s. One of these houses the Hurricane Cafe, which for 19 years has carried on the 24-hour dining tradition of the legendary Dog House that preceded it (without, alas, the previous joint’s class).
  • Jon Talton wishes Boeing execs would go on an “apology tour” to their workers, the Puget Sound area, and their shareholders, expressing their sorriness over pretty much everything they’ve done this past decade.
  • In where-are-they-now? news, ex-Nirvana drummer Chad Channing is back with a new band, Before Cars.
  • Gonzaga men’s basketball: #1 in the nation. UW men’s basketball: don’t ask.
  • A Republican apologizes for something! It’s for claiming that bicycles pollute just like cars.
  • Pot as a business model goes over well in Yakima.
  • There are two pending death-penalty cases in King County. They’re both now on hold.
  • Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon asks, “Did the Internet kill Girls Gone Wild?” The answer, for good or ill, is no. Joe Francis, founder of the public-nudity video label, is simply going into bankruptcy protection to weasel out of money he owes to a Vegas casino magnate. It’s a personal matter, not directly related to the company.
  • Morrissey is still a self-righteous egomaniac, but at least he’s a morally consistent self-righteous egomaniac.
  • An LA record-store chain is selling its own digitized versions of out-of-print LPs for download. The company claims it’s legal (it sets aside a portion of each sale into an escrow account, to be sent to copyright claimants if they ask). But is it right?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/22/13
Feb 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Seattle artist Ellen Ziegler’s mom was a ballet dancer—and a onetime girlfriend of the great Mexican comic actor Cantinflas. Ziegler’s turning this story into a very-limited-edition art book.
  • In other news about local women and art and books and images of hotness, Charlotte Austin and Ciolo Thompson have created The Better Bombshell. In it, a variety of writers and artists of both genders contemplate that age-old issue of female role models and what they should be now.
  • Online “cyber-bullying” isn’t just for teens anymore. The disgraced now-former Snohomish County executive did it too.
  • The Oatmeal explains why “How to Suck at Your Religion.” (Essentially: if you preach brotherhood but practice bigotry, etc….)
  • The drive to preserve the Bauhaus coffeehouse’s building, by getting it named an official historic landmark: rejected.
  • The lawsuit challenging the Sonics arena scheme: rejected.
  • Even Republicans believe Tim Eyman’s “lying whore” comment against Gov. Inslee went too far.
  • PONCHO, granddaddy of Seattle arts fundraising groups (and inventor of the “charity auction”), is no more.
  • Can private tech colleges, charging $30,000 or more for degree programs, really solve Wash. state’s learning gap?
  • Eastern Washington, now with more radioactive sludge.
  • Life imitates Portlandia, at least 30 times.
  • Chuck Thompson at the New Republic derides microbrews, and the brewpubs who sell them, as icons of silly urban gentrificaiton. But they’re really, really tasty icons of silly urban gentrification.)
  • The sad tale of the “food critic on Food Stamps” finally has a happy ending. Ex-Tacoma News Tribune restaurant reviewer Ed Murrieta finally found a job, after spending years among the long-term unemployed. He now writes blurbs for Sacramento’s tourism board.
  • In Virginia, a white mom wants white kids not to have to read books about past racial violence.
  • I know I’m not the only one who still remembers LaserDiscs, those 12-inch analog video discs that were the best way to see movies at home in their day.
  • Here’s an artistic vision of a future car-free Manhattan, funded by (who else?) a car company.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/19/13
Feb 19th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

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