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MISCmedia MAIL FOR THE TWENTIETH DAY OF APRIL 2017: GONE TO THE MOON?
Apr 19th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We’ve got another candidate for mayor. She’s another ex-“Bertha” opponent, too. Elsewhere, we look at what the Legislature has (and more importantly hasn’t) done this session; more Murray-case developments; the sad case of a homeless “cat hoarder;” and no stoner “humor.”

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 4/18/17: McGINN AGAIN BEGIN AGAIN
Apr 17th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Our e-missive today leads off with the previous mayor wanting to become the next mayor. It also includes Amazon workers who don’t like the dot-com’s ads on Breitbart; climate change altering the course of mighty rivers; the Mariners’ continued comeback; and where some African American activists, who didn’t go to the big Black Lives Matter march, went instead.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/6/14
Jan 6th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

the columbian

  • A “lost roll of film” depicting Mt. St. Helens just weeks before its 1980 eruption, by a newspaper photographer who died while covering it, was found. The paper had to go to a Portland lab, which had to further outsource it to a freelancer, to get the b/w images processed.
  • The Illinois company now calling itself Boeing gets gazillions in Wash. state tax breaks. Workers lose pension protections. The state government’s financial/tax structure became even more un-reformable. This might have been the best we could get. (Now to get some real competition by inviting Airbus to our state.)
  • What’s been stalling the tunnel digging machine on the waterfront? As a certain French painter wouldn’t say, “This actually is a pipe.”
  • Who would pour gasoline down the stairs at Neighbours on Broadway on New Year’s, attempting to destroy Seattle’s “anchor” gay dance club and some 750 revelers? Oh yeah, some heartless bigot (not yet found) who probably thinks it was the “Christian” thing to do.
  • Longtime, legendary, local street trumpeter Richard Peterson has announced his “last day on the street.” For at least the fourth time.
  • The anonymous “trio of mouthy broads” behind local blog Seattlish offers “a retrospective on how Seattle treated Mike McGinn.” Their essential premise: we didn’t deserve him.
  • After winning RuPaul’s Drag Race and starring in a hit production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jinkx Monsoon’s next big thing will be a bio-documentary film.
  • A self described “straight male” fan of first-person-shooter video games says the term “gamer,” and the often-sexist-jerkish subculture it represents, have got to go.
  • National Political Punditry Dept.: Margaret Flowers and Kezin Zeese at Truthout claim the populist-Left movement of “winning over the hearts and minds of the American people” is progressing along just fine; Valerie Tarico at Alternet sez the to-do over a “reality” TV celeb’s homophobia/racism helps prove “religious fundamentalism is going down”; and Mary Bell Lockhart at OpEdNews deconstructs a few of the lies that “ultraconservatives think they know for sure.”
  • First Roger Ebert goes. Now one of the longtime contributors to RogerEbert.com, local film critic and all around good guy Jeff Shannon, succumbed to pneumonia following years of various illnesses. A quadraplegic for most of his life, following an accident during his younger years, he was an advocate for the disabled and once wrote that “Happiness is a choice.”
MCGINN-IGAN’S WAKE
Nov 10th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

There’s still hope in late-counted ballots for Kshama Sawant’s City Council run.

But it’s definitely all over for Mike McGinn, soundly defeated for Mayoral re-election by Ed Murray.

Possible lessons:

  • It’s one thing to have solid progressive credentials. It’s another thing to get things done, particularly with a council and a bureaucracy dedicated to doing everything the way they’ve been done.
  • No, the Stranger (McGinn’s chief, and incessant, cheerleader) still cannot, by itself, sway an election.
  • Murray might not have been an effective State Senate leader (failing to hold sway over the “conserva-Dems”) who threw Senate control to the GOP). But he’s a shrewd political player, something McGinn turned out not to be. Can this lead to action on the issues that matter in Seattle (saving Metro Transit from devastating cuts, reforming the police department, stemming the drain of affordable housing)?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/19/13
Aug 19th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

imagined audio-book listeners on a train, 1894

Back in the early days of telephones and phonograph records (1894 to be precise), essayist Octave Uzanne claimed “The End of Books” would soon be at hand. Uzanne predicted people would much rather listen to storytellers (with what are now called audio books) than read:

Our eyes are made to see and reflect the beauties of nature, and not to wear themselves out in the reading of texts; they have been too long abused, and I like to fancy that some one will soon discover the need there is that they should be relieved by laying a greater burden upon our ears. This will be to establish an equitable compensation in our general physical economy.

Elsewhere in randomosity:

  • Our ol’ friend (and onetime print MISC zine contributor) Jenniffer Velasco is now designing clothes in NYC, and making a name for herself.
  • The Seattle Timesvendetta against Mayor McGinn just gets more petty.
  • Sadly, criminal attacks in and near Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill just keep occurring.
  • If you ever get a text from a number you’ve never heard of, claiming to be from a woman “naked and waiting” for you to arrive with a pizza at a UW dorm, it’s best to not believe it.
  • The UW, meanwhile, ranks #27 in some list of the world’s top 100 universities. Just think what could happen if it got the state funding it deserves.
  • Seattle is #2 in some list of top world cities for “economic development.” Number one: Ottawa.
  • Could Puget Sound’s seaports finally stop competing against one another, thus driving down revenues to all?
  • Would-be neo-Sonics owner Chris Hansen gave money to a political campaign that’s essentially trying to stop a new arena in Sacramento. His admission of this might or might not diminish his chances of eventually landing a franchise.
  • Is Forever 21 demoting full-time workers to part-time as a sick revenge against Obamacare, or just to be mean?
  • Is Walmart doing badly this year because it treats its workers badly, or just because downscale customers still haven’t got their past spending power back?
  • Would Obama’s proposed student-loan “reforms” just make ’em more usurious?
  • Blogger Allen Clifton makes the simple, provocative claim that today’s “Republicans aren’t Christians.”
  • Orson Scott Card, the Ender’s Game novelist who wants you to be tolerant of his anti-gay intolerance, also wrote a little essay fantasizing about Obama hiring “urban gangs” into a personal army to make him dictator.
  • Sophia McDougall at the UK mag New Statesman says she hates the stereotype of the “Strong Female Character,” particularly in big-budget action movies. She’d much rather see more, more believable, and more different female characters (i.e., different from one another).
  • Vice magazine, onetime would-be darling of the fashionably decadent, is now partly owned by Fox.
  • Anti-sex-trafficking advocate Rachel Lloyd would really like all of you to cease using the terms “pimp” or “pimping” in any admiration-type context.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/27/13
Jul 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

theramenrater.com

  • Meet the (legally blind) Seattle man who’s been proclaimed the world’s leading reviewer of instant ramen. (Gotta have a niche, as the biz books say….)
  • If Seattle’s really the “hardest working city in America” (which sounds too much like a classic James Brown intro line), howcum I know so many people who’re still trying to find work?
  • Mayor Mike McGinn has found his big re-election year crusade. He’s against giving up a city-owned alley in West Seattle to a Whole Foods store project. The justification: the nonunion Whole Foods doesn’t pay as well as other established supermarket chains. By forcing his primary opponents to take a stand on this issue, he’s gotten accused of favoritism and even “graft.”
  • A company you never heard of wants to build “America’s biggest bottling plant” in Anacortes. The company says it could employ up to 500 people, making everything from pop and bottled water to flavored coffee beverages, under contract from (as-yet unnamed) big brands. Local opponents claim it could threaten everything from the town’s way of life to the Skagit River itself.
  • Health Scare of the Day: Eating local fish, beyond a few bites a month, could build up water-pollution residue in your body.
  • Amazon’s keeping certain “erotic” Kindle e-book titles out of its site’s “All Departments” searches, though they can still be found through other means. Sounds like an opportunity for a third-party search site. Perhaps one could call it “FindMySpankingWerewolfThreesomeStory.com.”
  • Meanwhile, a former Amazon contract worker gives “An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos.” In it, the contractor says the company could operate a lot more productively if folks like himself were given more respect.
  • Among folks ages 18-33, “religious progressives” now outnumber “religious conservatives.” Expect the “Christian” politicians to discover this, well, never.
  • A Google-designed “dongle,” that lets you stream anything from any computer, tablet, or smartphone to an HDMI-equipped TV, is being hailed as a “miracle device.” Somehow, I don’t think the ability to watch YouTube cat vids on a big flatscreen is what the saints responsible for dispensing miracles had in mind.
  • The Church of England wants to run payday-loan predators out of business in that country by competing against them (in cooperation with credit unions).
  • That story of acquitted killer George Zimmerman as a car-crash rescue “hero”? A likely fraud, set up by a Zimmerman-sympathetic local cop.
  • Some time in the late 1980s, struggling screenwriter George Meyer put out a small, short-lived zine called Army Man. Its contributors (including Meyer) went on to form the bulk of the Simpsons writing staff, among other achievements. The whole, tiny output of the venture (32 total pages in three issues) is now online.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/26/13
Jul 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

seattle.curbed.com

  • The Eitel Building on Second and Pike has been the topic of several aborted “restoration” and redevelopment schemes over the years. Now some new players have declared new plans for the 109-year-old Eitel, including a rooftop-deck restaurant space.
  • A “Seattle-based adult app store” has made what it claims is the first “porn film shot with Google Glass.” It’s a total meta-fictional farce, of course; but (at least in the censored version hereby linked) it’s a funny one.
  • My ex-boss Mr. Savage wants all gays and their supporters to fight the increasingly, cruelly anti-gay regime in Russia, by boycotting Stoli vodka. I presume a little more pressure than that will be required.
  • Puget Sound Business Journal headline: “Is Microsoft pulling out of Issaquah?” Make your own dirty-joke punchline here.
  • Jeff Bezos got him some engine parts from the Apollo 11 moon rocket, which fell into the ocean 44 years ago this week.
  • In other space-case news, are faster-than-light space ships really possible after all?
  • Landline phones: More than two-thirds of Wash. state people still have ’em.
  • The UW may be doing a lousy job at attracting state funding or keeping in-state tuition anything approaching reasonable, but it’s booming as a “business incubator.”
  • Did you know that clean, green Oregon had more than a century’s worth of systematic racism in its history? (I did.)
  • Health Scare of the Day: Imported hot sauces could have traces of lead within their hotness.
  • New York mag talks to an economist who claims America’s mid-century mass prosperity was the result of historical conditions that can’t be brought back.
  • The above claim notwithstanding, some folks have a new marketing scheme for economic policies that would put middle-class workers n’ consumers first. It’s “Middle-Out.”
  • The Feds might outlaw menthol cigarettes.
  • How not to live like an “ironic hipster:” First, admit to yourself that the “ironic hipster” is a media stereotype with few, if any, actual living examples.
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 6/13/13
Jun 12th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via musicruinedmylife.blogspot.ca

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:

  • According to Richard Metzger, the greatest document of Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles musical career is a concert doc filmed in Seattle—in the acoustically notorious Kingdome, even.
  • David Meinert’s growing restaurant empire will include the successor to Capitol Hill’s legendary dive bar the Canterbury.
  • Time to restart the neo-Sonics rumor mill again. Now, Chris Hansen and co. are reportedly negotiating for an expansion franchise.
  • The state’s thinking of authorizing private pot smoking clubs. I only ask that they be ventilated in such a way as to keep that weed stink off the streets.
  • The Republican-stalled Legislature still hasn’t saved King County Metro Transit. But, on the Seattle-only transit front, Mayor McGinn still plans to invest in a new downtown streetcar line. This probably means the mourned Waterfront Streetcar will remain dead for the foreseeable future.
  • Meanwhile, the second Monorail Initiative tell-all book is out. It’s called Rise Above It All. It’s written and self-published by Dick Falkenbury, the ultimate political outsider and co-instigator of the plan that would have had trains on grade-separated tracks, roughly where the RapidRide C/D bus goes now.
  • MTV’s playing music videos (remember them?) again. But just for half a day, on the Fourth of July.
  • A woman at the big video-game industry confab Tweeted® a complaint about the lack of female starring characters in new video games. Cue the bigoted trollbots in 5, 4, 3….
  • R.I.P. Arturo Vega, associate of the Ramones for their entire band-career and designer of the group’s “All American” logo (still worn on T shirts by people who weren’t alive when the band was together).
  • Steven Spielberg sez the reign of action mega-blockbusters (and of the big Hollywood studios!) is only a few box-office flops away from being over. Then he says audiences can expect really high prices for the privilege of seeing a movie in a theater (yes, even higher than they are now).
  • Robert Reich sez we could have full employment, even in an age of robotized manufacturing and other techno-“innovations,” if we only had the political will to make it so.
  • A UK pundit with the appropriate name of Tom Chatfield agrees with me that society, far from becoming “post literate,” is actually more dependent upon written language than ever. And he ponders whether it’s a good thing:

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.

  • Turns out the heroine from Brave isn’t the only female character in cartoons (and toys) to have been “tarted up” in recent years. Just look what they’ve done to Strawberry Shortcake!

ebay photos, via thestir.cafemom.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/7/13
May 7th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

neil hubbard via cousearem.wordpress.com

  • It was 37 years ago this month: The TMT Show, the first faint stirrings of Seattle punk rock culture. May Day of the Bicentennial year. Three bands rented a hall in the Odd Fellows building on Capitol Hill. About 100 people showed up. From these DIY roots sprang, directly or indirectly, all the noise that emanated from this burg ever since.
  • The City Council’s revised South Lake Union rezone: even fewer affordable housing units than Mayor McGinn’s plan, but more preserved Space Needle views for condo owners.
  • The old Seattle Rep space, which became the Intiman Playhouse, is now the “Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center.”
  • Ray Harryhausen, 1925-2013: The king of stop-motion animated fantasy was better known than his films’ official directors, for a good reason. Those dudes were simply in charge of the live-action scenes. The filler, if you will. Harryhausen was the films’ real auteur.
  • Ex-Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein sez search engines are getting rich off of the pirated works of fine people such as himself.
  • I’m not so sure that there really is a “Conservative Quest to Eliminate Facts.” It’s more universal than that.
  • It’s not so much that the tech companies listed in one woman’s Tumbler blog “Only Hire Men,” but that they seem to presume only men will even apply to work there.
  • Dear Crowdfunders: Millionaire celebrities and billionaire media titans don’t need your Kickstarter money. Really.
  • Even the bosses of America’s hyper-bloated “security” bureaucracy don’t seem to know all that’s in it.
  • Recent “good news” about newspapers’ paid readership (in print and online) seems, in some cases, to be exaggerated.
  • Blogger Mark Manson has “10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America.” Number 5: “The quality of life for the average American is not that great.” Number 6: “The rest of the world is not a slum-ridden shithole compared to us.”
  • Allen Clifton at Forward Progressives isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, to remind you Jesus probably neither a corporate lobbyist nor a Tea Partier.
  • The downside of traditional publishing: A Brit lady who writes popular children’s books really wants her publisher to stop putting them inside pink covers. She says pink turns boy readers away and distracts from her stories’ often-serious content.
  • The downside of modern publishing: An American gent who’s written three novels “to good reviews” (if not good sales) tries self-publishing and finds it to be “the worst.”
  • I’d be more interested in Out of Print, Vivienne Roumani’s forthcoming documentary about the digital publishing “disruption,” if the director didn’t seem so obsessed with making everyone younger than herself look like an idiot.
  • Let’s close for today with some wonderful old Greek and Greek-American music from the 78 era.

ARE THE SONICS BACK YET? (DAY 13)
Jan 21st, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

getty images/otto greule jr. via seattlepi.com

No. There are still bureaucratic approvals to be gotten.

But we’re closer than we ever were!

On a morning dominated by national political pomp n’ circumstance, when the local TV stations were locked into network coverage (KIRO-TV couldn’t get to it until 1:35 p.m.), when only sports-talk radio, web sites, and “social media” could immediately spread the word, Chris Hansen issued an announcement:

We are happy to announce that we have entered into a binding agreement with the Maloofs to purchase a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise. The sale is obviously subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and we look forward to working with the League in the coming months to consummate the transaction.

While we are not at liberty to discuss the terms of the transaction or our plans for the franchise given the confidential nature of the agreement and NBA regulations regarding public comments during a pending transaction, we would just like to extend our sincerest compliments and gratitude toward the Maloof family. Our negotiations with the family were handled with the utmost honor and professionalism and we hope to continue their legacy and be great stewards of this NBA franchise in the coming years and decades.

The sale, and the move, still have to be approved by the league’s Board of Governors (the other team owners). A Seattle Times online story says that could happen in mid-April and would likely “win overwhelming approval.”

NBCSports.com blogger Aaron Bruski says Sacramento interests will have six weeks to make a firm counter-offer; but Bruski believes they haven’t much of a chance.

Meanwhile, the TimesSteve Kelley asks,

What’s the rule on number of exclamation points allowed in a column?

Why is the Hallelujah Chorus playing in my head?

Our ol’ pal Goldy says the potential move is a “big win” for Mayor Mike McGinn.

And KJR-AM’s site bears the premature, but understandable, banner GOT ‘EM BACK!

OUR GAY APPAREL
Dec 10th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

There was a spot on lower Fourth Avenue downtown on Sunday afternoon where the cheers from the gay marriage celebrants at City Hall and the cheers from the Seahawks fans in CenturyLink field were equally loud. And, with the Seahawks game a total rout, the cheers from both sources were about as frequent.

The City Hall scene was a big, one-time-only, spectacle of civic self-congratulation (the sort of thing Seattle does as often and as chest-thumpingly as possible).

But at the heart of this circus were the 137 couples who were legally wed, at five different chapels set up in the building, by a corps of judges working off the clock for free (including the aptly named Judge Mary Yu). Only the couples and their immediate guests were let inside the building.

Then the couples all got to descend the big exterior stairs and be congratulated with cheers, signs, and music.

Where there are mass weddings, there will be mass receptions. One was held at the Q bar on Broadway. Another was at the Paramount. The latter had its main floor all in flat seatless mode, with tables and tablecloths, and complimentary cupcakes and candies and wine and cider, all donated by local merchants.

Then the celebrity well wishers came on stage. Singer Mary Lambert, then Mayor McGinn, then State Sen. Ed Murray and fiancee (left).

A singer named Chocolate came on to sing a dutifully soulful rendition of “At Last,” leading the ceremonial “first dance” for all the couples.

At this time of year, when superficial wishes of love and joy are repeated to the point of meaninglessness, let us all heed the example of these couples, all all their gay and straight supporters who worked to make this happen, and to all before them who strove to have their love officially recognized in this way, and all who will marry (or simply know they can) in the days and years to come.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/24/12
May 23rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

This is the Great Wheel, now taking shape at Pier 57 on the waterfront. It is already the greatest addition to Seattle public architecture since the Koohaas downtown library. The rest of the waterfront should be redeveloped around it.

  • Is Mike McGinn becoming just like all Seattle’s other recent mayors, a “progressive” who totally sucks up to the real estate developers?
  • The state liquor stores won’t all close on May 31. Most will close one to four days earlier. A few have already closed. The stores that are still open have dwindling inventory. Since the supermarkets don’t start selling booze ’til June 1, consider stocking up for the Memorial Day weekend now.
  • Getty Images, the Seattle-based king of stock photo licensing, may be up for sale (again).
  • The Chicago head office of the company now calling itself Boeing got shut down by anti-NATO protesters. That almost certainly wouldn’t have happened if they’d stayed in Seattle Tukwila.
  • South Lake Union is finally getting something useful (besides the Ace Hardware franchise): a Goodwill store!
  • The proposed new basketball/hockey arena will work out just fine traffic-wise.
  • Breaking news: people like to get stuff if they don’t have to pay for it.
  • Hewlett-Packard announces huge layoffs; blames declining demand for PCs in favor of other digital-media devices.
  • Paul Krugman, seemingly effortlessly, totally dismantles the Romney economic platform….
  • …while author Charles Ferguson explains how “Wall Street became criminalized.” (As if it hadn’t always been so.)
  • Unlike author Patricia Williams, I don’t blame book bannings and other assaults against public education on an “anti-intellectual” American people, but on the right-wing politicians who actually committed the assaults. Just as I don’t blame the megabanks’ crimes on their depositors.
  • Knute Berger offers some “Simple Rules for Staying Sane in Seattle.” My own first rule: make sure you were already sane before you got here.
  • The company whose merged predecessors gave us such great product names as Cheez Whiz, Cool Whip, and Chicken in a Biskit announced it’s de-merging. The spinoff company’s new name: “Mondelez.” Doesn’t quite fall trippingly off the tongue.
  • In science fiction and astrology, “Planet X” (as in the Roman numeral for 10) is a hypothetical tenth planet orbiting out beyond Pluto. Now, some astronomer says he’s found it, and it’s three times the size of Earth. No word yet on whether it holds massive deposits of illudium phosdex, the shaving cream atom.
IT MEANS ‘HELP ME’ IN FRENCH
Apr 30th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

may1stseattle.org

The whole Occupy movement is staging a nationwide spring “season premiere” Tuesday.

Mayor McGinn has personally warned the local protests just might turn violent, deliberately invoking memories of the WTO riots. (Yes, those really were 12 and a half years ago!) That’s an odd thing for a self styled progressive to do.

Local organizers, in contrast, are billing their events as a “Day of Solidarity, Wonderment, and Merrymaking.”

They’ve got a whole day of speakers, rappers, and musicians at Westlake Park, and a march to the Wells Fargo tower.

And they’re calling for folks to leave work and school, refrain from shopping and banking, to think of Tuesday as a one-day general strike.

May Day has been principally a Euro-radical thing for so long, it’s hard to remember it started with the American labor movement, in its first courageous drives for basic workers’ rights (and the corporate/governmental violent reactions to same).

Meanwhile, BBC economics commentator Paul Mason takes a gander at the new wave of protest-related visual art (a movement accelerated, but not started, by the Occupy protests). Mason believes this populist underground work could be the start of a new art movement, one that could render obsolete “contemporary art” as we know it (i.e., something made within a rarified bohemian elite for sale to “the multimillionaire-oriented art market”).

RANDOM LINKS FOR 2/23/12
Feb 22nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

joe mabel, via wikimedia commons

  • How comprehensive can a list of the “10 Greatest Homes in Seattle History” be if it leaves out the Montlake spite house?
  • Something I never thought I’d see: young adults joining Elks lodges. Back in the middle of the last century, Elks clubs were huge. The one in Everett, where my father attended, had that town’s best bar, gym, and private pool, and its only live music lounge. But the national Elks were among the last American social institutions to confront their own racist/sexist policies, and hence got branded as reactionary fuddie duddies. The new Elks are promoting themselves with that so-courant “social” mantra, and cheap drinks.
  • Linda Thomas would like to remind you that Microsoft XBoxes and Amazon Kindles are also made at the same notorious Chinese factories used by Apple.
  • Thomas also performs the ever popular local-angle-on-big-story shtick, with “Local duo penned popular Whitney Houston hits.”
  • Not so fast, arena-hopers: Efforts are indeed being made to keep the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes right where they are. At worst, this would give the arena developers more time to acquire the rest of the land they’d need and to design the thing.
  • Meanwhile, Goldy dumps righteous scorn on the hippie sports-haters.
  • Mayor McGinn’s “State of the City” address mentioned the usual things (Amazon, arena, jobs, education, crime, etc.). But he also mentioned race discrimination in housing (still going on) and attempts to pull up African American school graduation rates. Unlike some ’60s-generation white people around here, McGinn actually knows there have been actual black people here other than Hendrix.
  • Knute Berger sees developers and Seattle’s civic establishment as preparing for a post-recession boom.
  • The state budget deal: done with mirrors.
  • Who’s not making money from the Facebook IPO? The $1-an-hour foreign laborers who censor your pictures on the site.
  • Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis thinks journalistic institutions should become more like Facebook. Whatever that means. Let me explain briefly why this is hokum: Professional journalism (no matter what contrived “social” or “search” elements are tacked onto it) is someone relaying/interpreting information, telling factual stories for collective audiences. It’s nothing even vaguely similar to the huge censored chat room that is Facebook.
  • Amanda Marcotte says the Girl Scouts, current topic of a trumped-up right wing smear campaign, really were progressive at the start, just by having girls do the same “scouting” things boys were doing.
  • D.L. MacKenzie boils down the whole Libertarian thang into a simple mantra, in which Business is supposed to be Always Good and Government is supposed to be Always Bad. (As you might expect from this summary, MacKenzie interprets this mantra as a gross oversimplification, at odds with the complications of the real world.)
  • Where not to go to get away from drugs: small towns.
  • My fave recent American author David Foster Wallace would have been 50 this week. He never even got to live to see The Year of the Trial Size Dove Bar (a shtick in his most famous work Infinite Jest).
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