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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 12/7/16: INFAMY REVISITED
Dec 7th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Seventy-five years since Pearl Harbor, and not only are some dorks thinking of the Japanese American internment as a model for future endeavors, but also a serious totalitarian threat faces us not from without but from within. In relatively lighter topics, we’ve found one person who doesn’t like the new spiffy Wallingford transfer station; a local troll-avenger just might become the subject of a scripted TV series; a hotel project’s potential threat to the Chinatown-International District; and Seattle’s now home to America’s No. 5 airline.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/9/16: THE MORNING AFTER
Nov 8th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

You all know the big story of the day, and how it will have a “half-life” for days and years to come. But we’ve also got more upbeat stuff, like stuff about keeping sewage out of the Sound; a jury’s defiant statement against racist policing; and how “mislabeled” seafood might be better for the planet than the real stuff.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/26/16: THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART
Aug 25th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Our big, big LOSER book reissue may “go live” any day now. Not yet, but soon. Real soon. Other people are waiting for a gallery with native American art by a real native American artist to open; to learn whether or not the GOP candidate’s coming to Washington; and to see whether the proposed new anti-“sweeps” legislation comes about. We’ve also got the usual plethora of weekend events.

MISCmedia MAIL for 2/25/16
Feb 24th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Warm and dry weather’s expected to end today, but MISCmedia MAIL keeps going with lobbyists who want to keep your “biometric” data; the big Alaskan Way midrise project’s off again; another unlikely industry for a female chief executive; Amazon’s going “fashion forward;” and remembering when right-wing kitsch was considered funny.

MISCmedia MAIL for 2/10/16
Feb 9th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

It’s Lent, but don’t give up your daily MISCmedia MAIL. Why, today alone we’ve got a plan to stop the Legislature’s pathetic-ness; differing views on the state “affordable” housing tax credit scheme; SPU students challenge white privilege; Amazon’s (alleged) big-big-big cargo plans; and an artwork honoring a Northwest legend.

MISCmedia MAIL for 1/22/16
Jan 21st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Tim Eyman’s convoluted screw-the-state initiative is just as unconstitutional (and sleazy) as we all knew it was. Also in your weekend digest: A planned office tower’s big middle finger to the streetscape; another scheme to tilt the Electoral College rightward; plans for the world’s biggest ethanol refinery; the 747’s slow demise; the usual scads of weekend stuff-to-do.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 12/19/13
Dec 18th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via gaijintonic.com

  • As some of you know, I believe any crusade on behalf of “women in music” should champion not just singers and singer-songwriters, but also non-singing female instrumentalists. Such a crusade, however, has nothing to do with, and would be moved neither forward nor backward by, a recently broken-up trio of Japanese “bikini trombonists.”
  • Ex-Seattle actress and Twin Peaks legend Sheryl Lee now has a website all about “reconnecting with the healing spirit of Nature.” Yes, its home page includes a poem about trees and hawks.
  • Just as M.L. King Jr. was not the passive “dreamer” mainstream media outlets like to invoke every January, so was Nelson Mandela more of a pro-labor, pro-economic-democracy, anti-war figure than recent remembrances might have led you to believe.
  • No, BankAmeriCrap, you don’t have an “image problem.” You have a “what you’ve really done problem.”
  • In Minnesota, not showing up to a debt-related court hearing can be a jailable offense.
  • Under pressure from the corporate “globalists,” Mexico is letting the big U.S./Euro oil companies back in after 75 years. Bloomberg.com’s headline: “North America to Drown in Oil.”
  • The problem with any essay titled “Debunking Nearly Every Republican Lie Against President Obama” is that new lies of that type are generated nearly daily. It’s darned difficult to keep up with them all.
AMERICA’S WORST BROADCASTER COMES TO TOWN
Apr 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

famousfoto.com, via mooreslore.corante.com

It seems like just yesterday that I was complaining about KOMO firing its pundits Bryan Johnson and Ken Schram, and about its parent company bringing hate talk back to KVI-AM.

We’ve got a bigger problem now.

Fisher Broadcasting, the only owner KOMO-TV and Radio has ever had, is being sold.

That would be bad enough. Fisher was the last locally-owned major commercial broadcaster around here, and its loss would complete the capture of the Puget Sound’s airwaves by big out-of-state station groups.

But this particular out-of-state station group is far, far worse than most.

It’s Sinclair Broadcasting.

More than any other station group (even Fox’s company-owned broadcast stations), Sinclair imposes right-wing propaganda content on its properties.

In 2003, Sinclair ordered ABC affiliates it owned not to run a Nightline episode about Gulf War combat deaths.

In 2004, Sinclair ordered all its stations to run, in prime time, a propaganda film by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” spreading false allegations about John Kerry’s service record in Vietnam.

In 2010, Sinclair ordered six of its stations to run, in prime time, an even less-true GOP propaganda film branding Obama as an anti-democracy extremist and an ally of mideast terrorists.

Oh—and like so many other companies in so many industries, it’s been severely hiking executive pay packages while severely cutting workers’ wages.

WHO MOURNS FOR THE FEMBOT?
Apr 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via redmolucca.wordpress.com

Margaret Thatcher’s recent death has sprung off a veritable gusher of reaction, much of it vitriolic.

This is to be expected in regard to the woman who oversaw the brutal decimation of the UK’s “welfare state” and the destruction of its once-mighty industrial base.

The woman who so firmly delivered that nation into the hands of financiers that even the opposition felt it had to conform (becoming the anti-working-class “New Labour”).

The precursor (and intellectual superior) to Reagan (whose regime, as you recall, was also run by “a strong woman”) and an inspirer/co-conspirator in the crimes of Reaganism, crimes whose long term effects still plague this country today.

The friend of despots and state terrorists who never met a dictator she didn’t like (so long as said dictator professed to be anti-Communist).

The inspirer of a wealth of deservedly angry protest music, which helped to transform punk and “postpunk” from an aesthetic niche into a sociopolitical movement, at least in the British Isles.

In her day, and since, some have argued that Thatcher should at least be respected as “a strong woman,” and even as a feminist of sorts.

I would argue that she helped disprove one of the most easily disproven tenets promoted by some feminists, that “Women” are innately the Moral Sex.

And Thatcher helped prove another tenet, that a woman is capable of doing anything. Including very, very bad things.

Thatcher, of course, didn’t do all she did by herself.

She was an active frontwoman for a group of movements with different but similar goals—to defund the poor, to smash organized labor, to redistribute wealth into fewer and fewer hands, to turn the state into the tool of financial speculation, to prop up even more brutal regimes from Chile to South Africa.

And Britain, and the world, are still feeling the ills from them.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 11/29/12
Nov 29th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

spoon-tamago.com via buzzfeed.com

  • Newest fun invention from Japan: the “3D photo booth.” Stand very still for 15 minutes, and a few days later a figurine that looks like you shows up in the mail.
  • Wash. state is Number One! As, er, a “net importer of out-of-state parolees.”
  • Question: “Is Amazon.com Taking Over the World?” Answer: No. Only the world’s potential profit centers.
  • The remaining Tully’s coffee houses may have a buyer.
  • Did the Bellevue City Council not really know that light rail tracks have to have a rail yard (train car parking lot) with them?
  • Gender-neutral marriage licenses are on the way. Will they show up in time for the first rush of gay nuptials?
  • Walden Three, Greg Lundgren’s ambitious attempt to set up a multimedia arts center in the old Lusty Lady building (and to partly pay for it all as a years-long “documentary film shoot”), now has a blog. In it, Lundgren spins completely fictional stories about fabulous exhibits and shows that would be occurring there if it were operating now.
  • The Illinois company calling itself Boeing is still stonewalling in talks with the engineers’ union.
  • After 11 years, the final edition of KING-TV’s Up Front With Robert Mak airs this Sunday. It’s ending for no good reason. A studio interview show doesn’t cost that much to make, particularly if any good bits can be reused on your regular newscasts.
  • Yes, the Florida Republicans really were trying to stop people in Dem-leaning districts from voting.
  • Speaking of state-level GOPpers, they’re now in full control of 24 state houses. Expect more Wisconsin-like extremist legislation and dirty tricks, just on the other side of the holidays (if not sooner).
  • I still meet left wingers who imagine that in some utopian pre-television age, all newspapers were local mini versions of the NY Times, noble progressive institutions exposing social ills. In real life, even the NY Times mostly wasn’t like that. A lot of them were pugnacious right-wing rags that supported, or even contributed to, climates of fear and hate. Case in point: The Hollywood Reporter. The venerable showbiz trade paper recently ran a big essay describing, and apologizing for, its role in promoting the 1950s “blacklist” against film people even suspected of “communist” beliefs.
  • The “Black Friday boycott” at Walmart stores, thankfully, turned out to be more than just self-serving online rants by lefties who never go there anyway. There were actual pickets and other actions at the stores, in favor of fairer labor practices. And now, fast food workers in NYC are also demanding a living wage.
  • Something lost in all the copyright-police suppression drives against “file sharing”: the “obscure music” blogs, which unearthed and shared long-out-of-print LPs, 45s, and 78s in all kinds of non-hit categories.
  • Larry Hagman, 1931-2012: The Dallas/I Dream of Jeannie star was as kind hearted and generous off screen as he could be villainous on screen. I once got to know his daughter Kristina, a local painter who had a space in the old 619 Western building. She is also a kind and generous soul.
http://kuow.org/post/washington-leads-nation-net-importer-out-state-parolees
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/8/12
Oct 8th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

kurzweilai.net

  • Did the U.S. Air Force really think up plans for a supersonic flying saucer in the 1950s? And would it have been practical (i.e., would it fly)?
  • What does it mean to be “indie rock royalty” these days? It means you can play Radio City Music Hall and still have to share a studio apartment. Speaking of which….
  • KEXP’s pledge-drive playlist of the most important records of the past 40 years is essentially a canon of “indie” music classics, plus a few “mainstream” mentors. Nevermind predictably tops the listener survey. The list is top-heavy with the Pixies, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., New Order, Arcade Fire, etc. etc. The list’s only surprise is its paucity of female artists. The top woman-fronted act, the Pretenders, appears at spot #51.
  • A HuffPost blogger disparages Vancouver as “No Fun City,” a place where nightlife is essentially nonexistent. I can recall ages ago when I looked up to Van as having the bars and live-music venues Seattle could only dream of having. Since then, Seattle has vastly changed while Van has, if anything, become more moribund.
  • The Olympic Peninsula’s northwest tip has no teen vampires, but it is an ideal spot to measure climate change with solid empirical data.
  • Even “underground food market” dining operations (one-night-only food courts) have to have health permits.
  • Nintendo’s next game machine will be a tablet. It will also stream video content to TVs. It could be big.
  • Amazon’s paying a cool billion to buy the Paul Allen-owned buildings it occupies in South Lake Union.
  • Stalking and harassing apartment residents is no way to sell cable TV.
  • Seattle’s next would-be mega-developers? The Bill Pierre car-selling family.
  • Can the waterfront tunnel be built without massive city subsidies (that the city really doesn’t want to pay)?
  • Stranger staffer Kelly O tells a San Francisco website “12 Things You Should Know About Seattle.” These things include (too much) pot, (endangered) graffiti murals, and (yummy) street hot dogs.
  • White cops shooting at nonwhite civilians with little or no true justification: it’s not just happening here.
  • I had a boring and/or miserable time in the Boy Scouts. But, as we’re all learning, it could have been worse. Much, much worse.
  • CNN contributor Simon Hooper asks if we can finally get over Beatles (and James Bond) nostalgia now.
  • A self-described “middle aged punk” gives forth a back-in-my-day-sonny lament, nostalgizing about getting beaten up by jocks.
  • Don’t look now, but Walmart workers are trying to organize.
  • Having solved all of the world’s other problems, 60 Minutes sics its fangs on the designer-eyeglass-frame monopoly.
  • Today in right-wing sleaze, two GOP senators are asking defense contractors to fire thousands of people just to make Obama look bad; while Arizona is suppressing the votes of up to 200,000 Latino-descent citizens in the name of “cracking down on illegals.” Also, a Legislative candidate in Arkansas says parents should be allowed to put “rebellious children” to death.
  • The University of Idaho’s getting the world’s biggest collection of historic opium pipes. Hey, you gotta have something to do out there.
  • Forbes contributor Steve Cooper believes content-based websites could make more money by directly selling stuff on their sites, instead of running low-profit ads for other companies selling stuff. That biz model might work for sites focused on entertainment or lifestyle topics (music, food, bridal, travel, etc.). For local newspapers’ sites, it’d be a tougher fit.
  • Don’t look now, but rain (remember that?) might finally appear locally later this week.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/27/12
Sep 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

from the book 'mail order mysteries' via laughingsquid.com

  • Oh we so wanted to believe the miracle products advertised in comic books really worked as advertised (or at least were as cool as the ads claimed).
  • I might be in the minority even among local fans, but I believe the replacement refs made the right call in awarding Monday night’s final play (and hence the game) to the Seahawks.
  • No, the Edmonton Oilers hockey team isn’t ever going to move to Seattle. The local visit by Oilers execs is only an exercise in “arena blackmail” toward Edmonton politicos.
  • David Goldstein puts the blame for Washington’s regressive tax structure on a state Supreme Court ruling back in 1933.
  • Pundits look at Washington state’s political “Cascade curtain.” Micah Cohen at the NYT‘s FiveThirtyEight sees the west/east divide in terms of women’s rights issues
  • …while Eli Sanders dissects how, in the last State Supreme Court race, an unqualified white candidate beat a highly qualified Hispanic candidate in Eastern Washington, even in 40-percent-Hispanic areas.
  • Speaking of Eastern Washington, those bigass, electricity-hungry “server farm” computer installations there might not employ very many people once they’re built, but they still demand political clout.
  • A judge refused to throw out a class-action suit by female Costco employees, alleging discrimination in promotions.
  • TV ads for the gay marriage referendum don’t show any actual gay people. I’m reminded of the 1998 initiative to end affirmative action in the state. The anti-initiative ads showed, as their examples of affirmative action’s needy beneficiaries, only white little girls. The tactic didn’t work.
  • The good folks at Seattle Indian Health Services claim the city, led by councilmember Nick Licata, is trying to take over their agency so it can sell the land on which their offices sit to a private developer.
  • A national church mag calls Seattle’s own Mars Hill Church (home of “hip” misogyny/homophobia) America’s third fastest-growing church.
  • The Northwest’s oil refining capital could also host the nation’s biggest bottled-water plant. What could possibly go wrong?
  • The airline now calling itself United (a shotgun marriage of the original UAL with Continental) has posted a nice time lapse video of a Boeing 787 being put together. It’s enough to warm this Snohomish County guy’s heart.
  • Andy Williams, 1928-2012: The seemingly ageless singer/TV host began as a child in a singing-brothers act, then jump-started the career of a similar act (the Osmonds). He was a quintessential icon of the square side of the 1960s, smooth and slick and pleasant and never ruffled. He was one of those personalities who seemed to inhabit a world of serenity that flowed all around him; which made his latter-day emergence as a right wingnut even stranger.
  • Ben Adler at the Nation says the truly crazy wingnut conspiracy theories and insult “jokes” don’t start on radio or Fox “News”, but at obscure blogs and e-mail lists.
  • Today’s Romney/Ryan bashings: Richard Eskow believes Ryan still believes his former Ayn Randian denunciations of Medicare and Social Security. Florida Republicans are up to their old voter-suppression tricks. Greg Palast claims Karl Rove’s ol’ election-stealing dirty tricks operations are still up and running. And Jonathan Chiat visits some extremely rich people who imagine themselves to be America’s most “persecuted” and overtaxed sector.
  • Economic philosopher Angus Sibley has a highly lucid, step-by-step breakdown of what’s wrong with libertarian economics.
  • If outsource manufacturers like Foxconn in China keep up their reputation for workplace horridness, western tech-hardware companies just might have to return production in-house just to avoid the bad PR.
  • Victoria’s Secret has quietly discontinued its “Sexy Little Geisha” ensemble. Anti-racist bloggers claim credit.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/24/12
Sep 23rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via yowpyowp.blogspot.com

Having finally gotten the Boomerang cable channel, I’ve become re-acquainted with the early Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows (Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw, ‘Stones, Top Cat, Jetsons, Jonny Quest). They didn’t have fluid movement but they had great visual composition. They had pleasing character designs and cool semi-abstract backgrounds. They had funny dialogue. Then the company got too big and everything went downhill. This B.C.-based blogger explains it all thoroughly, including the links between the Jetsons look and the Space Needle (hint: ours came first).

  • Chris Ballew’s jaunty li’l song from the J.P. Patches memorial celebration is now a video.
  • Seattle’s Capitol Hill was rated America’s eighth “hippest” neighborhood in one of those questionable magazine surveys.
  • Good (media) news, for once: the Village Voice Media chain of papers, including Seattle Weekly, was “taken private” in a management-led buyout. This might mean actual newspaper people in charge again. And Backpage.com, VVM’s oft-criticized sex ad website, will not be part of the new Voice Media Group.
  • We’ve long snarked at TV shows that were set in Seattle but made in L.A. or Vancouver. Now, though, it turns out it’s the L.A. production community that’s worried about “runaway” shows. Of all the new hour-long dramas on the five broadcast networks, all but two are being shot somewhere else. Even one show about young actors trying to make it in Hollywood is filmed in Toronto.
  • Take out the highly GOP-biased Rasmussen poll, and Obama’s currently ahead (at least slightly) in every so-called swing state.
  • The Obama campaign released a fun little online commercial showing how campaigns take opponents’ statements out of context—using real sliced-and-diced Romney quites.
  • Romney’s son admits his dad cheats and laughs about it, then says “that’s what we need in the White House.”
  • What happens when a Koch Bros.-funded super PAC tries to stage a pro-Wall St. rally? It gets infiltrated by “satirical” anti-Wall St. activists in suits and dresses.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/20/12
Sep 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

seattle chapter, american institute of architects via kplu.org

  • What to do with the soon-to-be former 520 floating bridge’s surplus pontoons? Several folks have ideas. One of them, above, is to build a walkway just below Lake Washington’s surface, for the ever-popular “walking on water” illusion.
  • Seattle’s own alt-country rising star Brandi Carlile has officially come out.
  • Fast Company seems to find it odd that Microsoft’s new hardware products have embraced a newly enriched design aesthetic without CEO Steve Ballmer being in hands-on charge of the initiative. A good boss knows when (and to whom) to delegate authority.
  • Amazon’s proposed three new towers won’t just be big, they’ll also be bold.
  • Earlier this year we mentioned how the Swedish Hospital system said it was losing loads of money. Similar news has now come from Group Health.
  • Private housing developers are getting tax breaks for building “affordable” housing units, without enough proof that they’re actually building ’em.
  • Meanwhile, City Councilmember Nick Licata wants you to know that more than of Seattle’s “renter” population, 20 percent spend more than half their income on rent.
  • Starbucks now has its own branded home espresso machine.
  • If there’s anybody with an apparent greater sense of L’etat, C’est Moi than Seattle police, it’s Bellevue police.
  • More first-birthday greetings to the Occupy movement: Bainbridge Island-based Yes! magazine uses a tree graphic to show how the movement has “born fruit.”
  • Who wants to keep simple majorities in the Legislature from deciding revenue bills? Big business, of course. Like duh.
  • As of Wednesday evening, HuffPost’s Electoral College map lists only one tossup state, North Carolina. Obama has taken leads (at least small ones) in all the other previously “swing” states.
  • Richard Eskow of the Campaign for America’s Future claims Romney’s “47 percent” speech reveals the combination of privilege, selfishness, and rage that defines “the radical rich.” (A certain megahome-building couple in Leschi might be considered among these.)
  • Those print-on-demand book machines are coming to lots more locations. But will the new models allow color interior pages, or be even halfway decent with photographs?
  • Jack Hitt at The New Yorker has a hi-larious “Conservative History of the United States,” based entirely on wingnut politicians’ and pundits’ actual untrue statements.
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© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).