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10/23/17: WHATEVERETT
Oct 23rd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Our Monday missive’s got a familiar ‘attitude’ for a would-be new arts Mecca; still more HQ2 silliness; and Chris Hansen trying to slow down the KeyArena rebuild.

10/17/17: THE FINAL LAP?
Oct 17th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As wintery weather sets in, MISCmedia MAIL’s topics include Cafe Racer’s possible last days; mining vs. salmon in Alaska; Amazon taking most of the ex-Bon Marché building; and the high cost of cheap stuff.

WHAT EVERY SEATTLEITE NEEDS TO KNOW
Oct 4th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The Seattle Public Library, in conjunction with my ex-Stranger colleague Charles Mudede, recently held a public workshop on the topic of “What Every American Needs to Know.”
Attendees were asked to make their own lists of subjects they want everybody to learn. With Mudede’s presence/influence, the topics nominated veered toward racial justice/awareness issues, past and present.

The event was inspired by, and named for the subtitle of, E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s 1987 book Cultural Literacy. Hirsch listed some 5,000 terms, people, historic events, popular movements, and concepts that ought to be familiar to citizens young, old, and new.

UW instructor Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University and author of the political-activism book You’re More Powerful Than You Think, recently revived Hirsch’s concept, as something to be “crowdsourced” from citizen contributions.

Since the library event, Anika Anand at TheEvergrey.com asked that site’s readers to nominate similar topics that every Seattleite needs to know.

Here are my own nominations, in 10 overgeneralized, inter-related categories:

1. Our history and heritage.

Why the Northwest is more “north” than “west”. The early explorers, missionaries, and fur trappers. The Nordic homesteaders arriving on the land-grant railroads. The Gold Rush and boosterism. How Seattle was “bourgeois from the start” (Roger Sale).

2. Our racial/cultural mosaic, past to present.

The rich indigenous heritage, and the people who fight to keep it alive. The Anti-Chinese Riots; the WWII Japanese-American internments. FIlipino cannery workers. Vietnamese refugees. The black struggle, from redlining to gentrification. Hispanic/Latinx immigrants, and their fight to stay.

3. Our homegrown pop culture.

Seattle black music/art (not just Hendrix). Seattle pop/rock music (not just Hendrix and Cobain). Seattle visual art and artists (not just Chihuly). Self-aware, self-deprecating humor, from The Egg and I to Almost Live. Twin Peaks and the “Northwest Noir” genre. Kids’ TV; drag clowning; neo-circus; performance art. Sports, from the Hawks to the Huskies to the hydros. Gone-but-not-forgotten restaurants, stores, and dive bars. Allegedly “Seattle” things we had nothing to do with (“designer grunge,” Fifty Shades of Grey).

4. Our boomin’ n’ bustin’ economy.

Timber and the original “Skid Road.” Railroads and steamships. The Alaska connection, from fishing to oil. Boeing. The Depression; hydro power as a “public works” project. WWII; “Rosie the Riveter;” Hanford. The Jet Age; the ’70s Boeing Bust. The baby-boomer entrepreneurs behind Starbucks, Costco, and the first microbrews. The early dotcoms’ rise and fall. Washington Mutual’s rise and fall.

5. Techie Seattle and its Boeing roots (really).

How a City of Engineers morphed into a City of Coders. The UW’s heritage in medical technologies. Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s “old Seattle” backgrounds. Why Jeff Bezos and Nintendo set up shop here. Video games as an art form. The “tech bro” stereotype and tech-biz sexism.

6. Our bio-region, its ecology, and threats to same.

The “natural Northwest” relentlessly reshaped, regraded, dredged, dammed, and filled in. Hanford. Trident. Clearcut forests. Depleted fish runs. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and wildfires. Climate change and weird weather.

7. Politics past and present.

Prohibition rum-runners; brothels and speakeasies. Labor radicals, and anti-radical “massacres.” ”The 47 states and the Soviet of Washington.” “Progressive Seattle” as an historically white-dominated movement. “Feel-good liberalism” vs. making the hard choices and doing the real work. Why gay marriage and legal pot were easier to achieve than economic or racial justice. The high-end housing boom; single-family neighborhoods; “Livability” vs. “affordability.”

8. “Seattle Nice” and its limits.

Why, personality-wise, we’re more like Canada than California. Nordic stoicism; passive-aggressive distancing. Why you MUST develop and use an “inside voice,” and stop screaming in public all the time.

9. Words and phrases and pronunciations.

It’s “I-5,” not “the 5.” It’s the Department of Licensing, not the DMV. There’s no “S” in “Pike Place Market.” How to pronounce “Puyallup” and spell “Weyerhaeuser.”

10. The (Real) World of Century 21

The future promised at the World’s Fair vs. what we really got. Making a better future, not just a profitable one. Saving our nation from social/political disaster. Saving our planet from ecological disaster. Saving our own corner of the planet from the side effects of its own “success.”

9/21/17: NOT A DAY TO CELEBRATE
Sep 21st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The company formerly known as Madison Park Greetings won’t issue more of its hip/cute greeting cards, now that its out-of-state buyer suddenly shut the whole operation down. In further reading today: Michael Bennett’s fan base; love for the rainy season’s start; a Swedish left-activist infiltrates a Seattle “alt-right” meeting; and a local online radio station “gets real.”

9/13/17: THE (NO LONGER) WALKING ED
Sep 12th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

At 11 a.m., Ed Murray was about to hold a public announcement at KeyArena. A little more than two hours later, he sent word he was resigning. We’ve got glimpses of the whirlwind from assorted angles in today’s extra-long e-missive. We’ve also got Nordstrom’s latest plan to stay un-acquired; Durkan and Moon’s very different housing-crisis solutions; and potential new ways to make a border run.

9/7/17: ‘FACE TO BEAK’
Sep 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We won’t have Rep. Dave Reichert to kick around any more; Washington’s one of 15 states preparing to sue over the DACA decision; and wildfires continue to destroy forest lands and choke up the skies. But let’s also talk today about something REALLY important: the new Seahawks “alternate” logo, and the fun online commenters are having with it.

9/6/17: ASHES TO ASHES
Sep 5th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The sky all day Tuesday was, among other colors a sickening shade of orange (how “of our time”). The other huge story today: Folk in all walks-O-life (even a couple of Republicans) bash the trashing of “Dreamers.” Plus, the UW wants to build employee housing.

8/16/17: OUR NEW BOT OVERLORDS?
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.

7/28/17: A BILLION HERE, A BILLION THERE…
Jul 28th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

For a few hours Thursday, due to fluctuating stock prices, Jeff Bezos was briefly the richest person in the world. MISCmedia MAIL ponders what he, or we, could have done with just a piece of that loot, and also ponders the prospect of bullet trains in the NW; more legal actions against Mayor Murray and Sheriff Urquhart; the death of a terrific local photojournalist; and the “AstroTurf PR” dude cheerleading against higher minimum wages.

7/25/17: COMFORT-ZONE DEFENSE
Jul 25th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Michael Bennett still wants to “make white people uncomfortable,” according to the title of his in-progress book. And MISCmedia MAIL comes at you this day with word of more people who want or don’t want Ed Murray to quit; the trouble with “adaptive signal systems” at busy intersections; MS Paint users still want their favorite app; and a harsh future for mountain goats at Olympic National Park.

7/14/17: A CHANGE OF FREQUENCY
Jul 14th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Your big weekend MISCmedia MAIL sees the outfit that sometimes calls itself “Seattle’s only newspaper” morph into something slicker but less frequent. Plus: An ex-MTV VJ now on Fox Business (!) gives an ill-informed rant against “commie” Seattle; Tim Eyman being his usual insufferable self; workers in the City of SeaTac still battle for their overdue back pay; thoughts about the meaning of Bastille Day; and the usual scads of weekend activity listings.

7/13/17: ALL’S FAIR
Jul 13th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Thursday’s big and small topics include King County’s own country fair coming back from near death; an ex-Amazon exec predicting Costco’s doom; a recent “cyberstalking” suspect pleading “free speech;” Mexico inviting (some) “Dreamers” back; and landline-phone nostalgia.

7/12/17: CRANING AND STRAINING
Jul 11th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Your midweek missive notes how our allegedly pinko-socialist state has the top “environment for business,” and how that’s partly due to our regressive tax system. Plus: more city-sales-tax fallout; airport robots (not as pilots, yet); stopping tech-sexism from the boardroom on down; and a certain Mariners player who made a certain big play at a certain big game.

7/11/17: BRASS TAX
Jul 10th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Tuesday’s big e-missive concerns the city high-earners’ income tax and those who want to prevent it; scary new tech for (digitally) putting words in people’s mouths; school murals that were preserved even though the school wasn’t; and one artist’s dream of skateboarding in a giant frying pan.

7/7/17: MONKEYS’ BUSINESS
Jul 6th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

An Arizona building, thought by some to be “abandoned,” turns out to house a UW-funded breeding operation for lab monkeys, far from local protesters. Closer to home, we discuss the newest drive to rein in police use of “deadly force;” a poll showing more Seattle people like “upzoning;” the role of architecture in keeping libraries busy; and a music legend’s “funny money” scheme.

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