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4/24/17: THE SEASON FOR THE REASON
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.

JE T’AIME, SEATTLE!
Apr 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

madamefigaro

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.)

4/7/17: SERIOUS CLAIM OF A SERIOUS CRIME
Apr 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We list what we know, and what people are conjecturing, about the claims of past sex crimes by the current mayor. We also discuss why campaigns to get more women to study tech might prove futile; more complications in the Nooksack tribe’s internal dispute; new depths in right-wing insult “humor;” and the usual many weekend event listings.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/31/17: TO SUFFER ‘FOOLS’ GLADLY
Mar 31st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We remember the April Fool’s editions of college newspapers, and the “funny fake news” industry they birthed (not to be confused with the “deadly-serious fake news” industry). We also examine a solemn anniversary on Bainbridge; Bill Nye as the least-cool co-chair of the March for Science; a save-the-salmon video game; and the usual cornucopia of weekend events.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/29/17: IN BLOOM
Mar 28th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

One of the top local Sure-Signs-O-Spring® is finally with us. Also with us this day are freedom for Daniel Ramirez (for now); KOMO employees vs. their right-wing parent co.; an attempt to preserve KeyArena and environs more-or-less as-is; and a completely sincere farewell to the First Hill McDonald’s.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/28/17: THE DOOMED DOME
Mar 27th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

On the anniversaries of its birth and death, we recall the Kingdome, that building of the future that’s now long passed. Other topics include Seattle standing tall against DC’s “sanctuary city” threats; Olympia Democrats’ budget plan; the differences between Seattle’s and Vancouver’s real-estate booms; and fun with out-of-context stage dialogue.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/24/17: LOOKING ‘BACK’-WARD
Mar 24th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s first big rap hit is 25 years old, gender-image issues and all. Our big weekend edition also explores just when an “anti-media-bias” message is itself a statement of bias; big growth at yet another (little-known) Amazon division; the complexities of running rail tracks on a floating bridge; and the usual scads of event listings.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/21/17: AS YE SOW…
Feb 20th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

It’s a post-Monday-holiday day but we’ve still got a full e-missive, with stuff about a local author’s dystopia novel rediscovered; the least-“Made in USA” plane Boeing’s ever made; employers who really didn’t like “A Day Without Immigrants”; and the Seattle rock roots of a late jazz legend.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/9/17: GENERALLY STRIKING?
Feb 8th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

A hundred and two years back, Seattle had the nation’s first citywide general strike. Now some folks want to stage another one as the next big national protest. We speak as well of Chris Hansen’s latest arena-scheme revival; legal action against Five-Hour Energy; weird eyeglasses with built-in video cams; and Seattle’s last full-time newspaper art critic leaving.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/25/17: A TIE FOR THE WIN?
Jan 24th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The first quasi-sorta-positive thing out of the new DC regime has happened. By poaching two WA State Senators, that body now has a temporary tie. We make further glances at instant pipeline protests; more looks back at the Womxn’s March; Seattle’s not-that-purely-progressive past; and one beloved bar surviving by kicking out another.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/10/17: ALL YESTERDAY’S TOMORROWS
Jan 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We finally have something to look forward to this year! (Two things, if you count the possibility of a little snow on Tuesday.) Additional topics include a local eco-activist’s part of a global effort to keep once-futuristic electronic gadgets out of dumps and landfills; the just-started and already deadlocked Legislature; how urban growth affects plant/animal evolution; and Teatro ZinZanni’s site getting sold off.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/6/17: AS HE LAY DYING
Jan 5th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Video evidence shows that police-shooting victim Che Taylor was left to bleed on the ground for almost eight minutes. We also discuss a potentially misguided effort to industrialize a suburb; big sign-ups for the local Women’s March; a girls’ school adding boys (in a separate facility); Korean fashion coming to town; and the usual dozens of weekend activity listings.

MISCmedia MAIL for 12/9/16: SNOWTACULAR!
Dec 8th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Finally! Snow in the city, spectacular and beautiful (and rare and very temporary). Non-meteorological topics this day include gift books for the budding political activist in your family; a new, almost-1,200-unit residential complex; another local alt-media source needing support; a woman who videoed her own racial hate crime; and the usual umpteen weekend things-2-do.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/31/16: DEATH OF A TALL COOL ONE
Oct 30th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We say goodbye to John “Buck” Ormsby—a Fabulous Wailers member, a partner in a pioneering artist-owned record label, and one of the inventors of Northwest rock. We also speak of the end of the little cable-news channel that could; racists falsely claiming police support; a new deal for the Public Safety block; and Huskies and Sounders triumphing while Seahawks go pffft.

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