Aug 15th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

It’s hard, at this time of raging hate/stupidity, to think of other potential threats to civilization; but one biz tycooon sez we oughta worry about artificial-intelligence “bots” becoming sentient enough to take over. Our other topics this Wednesday include Rep. Jayapal’s call for a White House de-Nazification; a pro-DACA rally; the final (at last) mayoral-primary result; and good news for any of you who’ve subscribed to these e-missives but not always gotten them.

Aug 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We ARE the political majority, those of us who oppose the brutal/reactionary DC regime—even if we don’t all belong to the same demographic “tribe,” even if we disagree on most everything else. Meanwhile back in local stuff, we view a happy ending to the saga of the ZAPP zine collection; a (sadly predictable) twist in the GeekGirlCon dustup; Nikkita Oliver’s continuing last stand; and America discovering Seattle’s most joyous TV personality.

Aug 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s big, annual arts-travaganzas have come and gone, with subjects of identity and resistance scattered throughout. We touch upon that in Monday’s missive, as well as the sad decline of the hydros; alleged “shaming” harassment at an officially “inclusive” fandom convention; a phony Starbucks “meme” graphic; and how much Nikkita Oliver may have already changed local politics.

Aug 3rd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

These here days of summer may or may not be lazy or crazy, but they sure are hazy. Nevertheless, we take some Visine so we can look at a lack of change in mayoral balloting; landmark designation for the 22-year-old KeyArena; a protest against Post Office job cuts; and a guy in a bear suit serving up $200-a-plate dinners.

Jul 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Thursday’s MISCmedia MAIL starts with good news: Pieces of the ferry Kalakala were saved, and may come soon to an art installation near you. Also: cracks start appearing in the Legislature’s state-budget kludge; STD cases are on the rise; a tiki bar gets targeted by “cultural appropriation” charges; and one guy had a really dumb idea how to get the best view of the fireworks.

May 10th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Thursday’s MISCmedia MAIL ponders the viability of events like the Upstream Music Fest; examines what Ed Murray might be able to do in his remaining eight months; notes outrage over racist/sexist characterizations in a play’s audition notice (and perhaps also in the play itself); and finds sex-worker prosecutions on the rise despite an official change in city policy.

May 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Ed Murray’s out—or rather he will be out as mayor, in December. ‘Til then, he’s here-but-not-here. We also look today at a big scare at Hanford; a women’s shelter getting a big donation; just how big microbeers are here; and Steve Jobs: the Opera.

May 8th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL: We still don’t know for sure whether Ed Murray will end his re-election drive today; the feds try to stop a big local pro-immigrant legal group; KeyArena will have to be rebuilt with or without major pro sports; arrests at an anti-pipeline protest; and can the new Nordic Heritage Museum encourage America to become more like modern Scandinavia?

5/8/17: BLUE ON BLUE
May 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL: Can there really be such a thing as a new color? Will Ed Murray drop his re-election bid? Can the arts relieve societal future shock? Will Yakima’s city government ever be responsive to its large Latinx population? Can we all move to France?

May 4th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL: Yep, we had some weather Thursday. Like really big weather. Other things also occurred, including Dave Reichert’s meaningless “no” vote on decimating health care; a reprimand and fine against Ed Murray’s accuser’s attorney; and a bill to more easily arrest/prosecute “johns”. And we’ve got tons of weekend things-2-do.

May 2nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL today: Nope, no real “anarchist” violence this May Day (at least in Seattle), just some right-wingers acting all scary n’ stuff. Also: Remembering Mike Lowry; new life for a legendary gay bar; the city’s income tax scheme moves forward; and class in identifying “fake news.”

4/28/17: 100 DOWN, (X) TO GO
Apr 28th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As the GOPocalypse just drags on with stupid move after scary move and vice versa, we keep our MISCmedia MAIL virtual eye firmly focused on the Here. And on this day our eye sees an online “educational” time-waster all about geology and earthquakes; a revised “soda tax” concept that would stick it to the Sparkling Ice drinkers as well as the Coke/Pepsi crowd; refugees afraid to even go to the doctor; Amazon’s massive payroll growth; and the usual hundreds of weekend event listings.

Apr 23rd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your Monday newsletter: The signs at the March for Science may have been funny and punny, but the cause they represented is deadly serious. Plus: what a city income-tax measure would mean (not much at first except work for lawyers); reaching out to GLBT immigrants; Sounders and Mariners both finally win on the road; and a great local-politics blog bids a fond adieu.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 4/21/17: TEST OF ‘TIME’
Apr 20th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Your big weekend e-missive begins with an unexpected (but not undeserved) honor for one of our state’s greatest. We continue on to mention more mayoral-race and Murray-case developments; stories of people caught up in the big anti-immigrant scares; the close of the Burlington shooter’s sad life story; and the reasons we need Earth Day and the March for Science.

Apr 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey


Stereotypically, the French (with a few exceptions, such as Alexis de Tocqueville) hate America, or at least much of America (with a few exceptions, such as jazz music and old B movies).

You can now add something else American that the French like. It’s li’l ol’ us.

And not the standard tourist-cliché Seattle of fish-throwin’ and whale-watchin’, either.

It’s the arts scene.

Yes, the Seattle visual-art world some of us oldsters remember as an intimate milieu of four or five museums, a couple dozen private galleries, some warehouse studio spaces, and CoCA.

This scene has now grown to finally become, as so many Seattle institutions aspire to become, “world class.”

At least, that’s what writer Paola Genone says, in Madame Figaro, a weekly magazine section of the major Paris daily Le Figaro.

The online version of her article is titled “Seattle, la nouvelle escale (“stopover”) arty américaine.”

The article’s print title is even more portentious, proclaiming Seattle to be a “Tete (head) de l’art.” (It’s a phrase with multiple historic meanings, which I don’t have room here to delineate. But it basically means something aesthetically significant.)

The story begins with a quick intro. Yes, it skims past many of your standard Seattle tourist/media reference points—Hendrix, Nirvana, Twin Peaks, Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, rain.

But Genone then quickly segues into her principal theme, Seattle as “a capital of artistic renewal that loves mixing genres” and as “the hub of a new contemporary art and music…. Cool, eco-friendly, rock and high-tech, Seattle is astonishing by its freedom and eclecticism.”

Genone’s verbal tour of the local scene starts with two legacies of “the great geek” Paul Allen, the Seattle Art Fair and the Museum of Popular Culture (née EMP).

But Genone doesn’t stay in the realm of billionaires for long. Instead, she next calls Seattle “the city of women,” for the female directors of so many local institutions (SAM, TAM, the Frye, the Henry).

That’s followed by short photo-profiles of six local art n’ music movers n’ shakers:

  • Martyr Space gallery owner Tariqa Waters (“La galeriste underground”). She creates self-portraits “with sharp colors, constantly transforming: aggressive, myserious, transgender, pop art.”
  • Tacocat singer Emily Nokes (“L’égérie (muse) pop punk”). She’s the “worthy heiress to the pop punk of Courtney Love,” fronting a band whose music combines the Beach Boys’ surf guitar with “the burning hymns of Bikini Kill.”
  • Collage artist Joe Rudko (“Le reveur aux ciseaux” (“the dreamer with scissors”)). His compositions, while “apparently abstract,” turn out to reveal “itineraries of thought, mysterious architectures, imaginary family albums,” and dreams of “an America open to diveristy and solidarity.”
  • Photographer and multimedia artist Jennifer Zwick (“La photographe de l’étrange’). Her images appear “comme le caustic The Stranger” and elsewhere; while her installations explore “a fantastic universe of children, books, and everyday objects hijacked: installations inspired as much by the writings of WIlliam Blake and Jorge Juis Borges as by the comics of ‘Calvin and Hobbes.'”
  • Hideout bar owner and Out of Sight festical curator Greg Lundgren (“Le Warhol de Seattle”). He’s called “a visionary at the head of utopian, committed, and large-scale projects,” which are all intended to support “galleries and artists of the city and to push them to flourish there. Successful bet.”
  • Frye Art Museum director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker (“La directrice de musée qui ose…” (“who dares”)). She “gave a voice to the artists of Seattle and encouraged experimentation,” along with “a lively dialogue between creators of all disciplines bringing their vision to the stakes of the contemporary world. “

The article doesn’t mention the hyper-inflating rents currently driving many artists and small-scale galleries out of town. Nor does it discuss the local “new money” techies who aren’t collecting much art (yet); or the local “old money” collectors who, for the longest time, preferred to do their art buying out of town.

But face it: it’s hard to bring up the harsher realities of a place when you’re hyping it as a global Next Big Thing.

(Translations by Google. Cross-posted with City Living Seattle.)

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