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8/6/18: IT’S ART, BUT IS IT FAIR?
Aug 5th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle Art Fair postmortem; did Portland cops take sides at Patriot Prayer rally?; Bellevue police chief put on leave; how not to hire the homeless.

6/18/18: FAMILIES MATTER
Jun 17th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

An instant rally for immigrant families; one lesson from Fremont Solstice; an inflatable cow’s watery trek; are ‘tiny house villages’ the best we can do?

3/26/18: MARCHING AS TO PEACE
Mar 25th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Scenes from the March for Our Lives; for-profit immigration jail vs. Tacoma; Green Lake fish & chips stand not ‘landmarked’; what’s really behind the Michael Bennett indictment?

3/5/18: THREE CHORDS AND FORTY YEARS
Mar 5th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

A Seattle punk-scene reunion; Sound Transit funds still imperiled; hunger-strike ICE detainee out of solitary; downtown Tacoma gets upscaled.

2/15/18: YOUR COLD, COLD HEART
Feb 14th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

An icy valentine; UN human-rights watchers speak for Maru Mora-Villalpando; a legacy gay ‘steam room’ club’s for sale (again); the cost of faulty computer systems.

RE: RE-SISTERS
Jan 22nd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Last Friday, I suggested the Women’s March 2.0 might not be as humungous as it was last year.

I was wrong.

Another estimated 100,000 women, children, and men strode through downtown Seattle, reasserting their opposition to the hyper-reactionary DC regime and demanding a better future.

What’s next: continuing to resist and fight back, in measures large and small.
The biggest such moment will be at the midterm elections, a little more than nine months from now.

And you already know what miracles women can create within THAT timeframe.

11/28/27: RACER REDUX
Nov 27th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your Tuesday news: a local landmark comes back from the dead (again); the city’s new homeless-grants plan cuts SHARE; Mayor Durkan takes charge with a personal PR blitz.

8/7/17: STATE OF THE ART (OF THE STATE)
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.

6/23/17: PRIDE VS. PREJUDICE
Jun 23rd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The Pride Parade and rally have a different mission this year, as you probably expect. Your big weekend MISCmedia MAIL briefly mentions this, and also touches on still more Charleena Lyles fallout; local reactions to the deliberate disaster that is the health-care repeal plan; the men from our state who helped the CIA craft its torture techniques; and who a Seattle mini-park near a “dump” should be named after (one guess).

THE NAKED TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Jun 18th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

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The Fremont Solstice Parade, even more than last year, was essentially an anticlimactic epilogue to the hundreds of body-paint bicyclists.

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Even the arrival this year of “The Resistance,” a single overriding topic of protest in all its branches and aspects and sub-topics, as the right wing sleaze machine takes near complete control and rushes out an all-fronts attack against literally every good thing in our society (from government aid programs to social civility itself), failed to bring out more volunteer street-theater performers, marchers, musicians, etc.

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Last year, there was talk that parade organizers would crack down on the nudes in hopes of attracting more participants in the parade itself, participants who might not want to be part of the same spectacle as all the poons and peens on public pubic display.

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That didn’t happen. But the underlying issue remains.

The parade could fade out and die along with the original hippie generation out from which its aesthetic was formed.

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Oh, and the parade got “trolled” by an entrant who showed up with a seven-foot costume puppet of a stereotype black “mammy” figure in a rasta hat.

According to some social-media commenters, the (apparently white) guy who performed in the costume was asked to leave the parade’s Friday-evening prep session. He then crashed the Saturday-afternoon event after it had already started, before again being shooed away.

Still, the Solstice Parade’s organizers have managed for almost three decades to keep motor vehicles, corporations, politicians, and even written signs out of the spectacle. But this thing looked just enough like a regular Solstice giant mascot costume that the guy got to strut it down a large segment of the parade route.

(After all, hippie graphic aesthetics used to include plenty of one-dimensional “ethnic characterizations.”)

Also troublesome for the parade’s future, it can’t store its floats and costumes in a city-owned warehouse space any more. (Slog) (PI.com)

 

THE MARCH OF (IT’S ABOUT) TIME
Jan 22nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

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Well, that was certainly a relief.

It was exactly what we all needed.

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A massive, clear, emphatic statement of NO! to the authoritarian DC regime—that was also a YES! to a completely different way of looking at, and doing, things.

A way with real “family values”.

A way that values people, even if they’re not billionaire campaign contributors.

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Now comes the hard part: translating the Womxn’s Marches’ inclusive, positive alternative worldview into specific short- and long-term actions; in DC, in every state capital, in every Congressional and Legislative district. Nobody left behind.

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I’ve been particularly obsessing about one thing Madonna said at the DC rally: “Welcome to the revolution of love.”

Could Bikini Kill’s “Revolution Girl Style Now” be about to come true?

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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 7/5/16: NOT-QUITE-AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN
Jul 4th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Now that the last amateur drinking day’s over, we return to news-digestin’ with attempts to save the sockeye; an unsung city park’s anniversary; a troubled trove of regional history; a church offering drug-assisted enlightenment; and great news for all Thucking-Funder haters!

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/20/16: SWEEPS WEEK
Jun 19th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

The Fremont Solstice Parade (as mentioned on my main site) had an off year, but it did get in a dig at Mayor Murray’s plans to “sweep” homeless encampments. Also today: The women running high-end visual art here; the state Democratic Party (heart)s Sanders; way-overpaid CEOs (again); whether our current economy can support the previous economy’s infrastructure; and three local-sports-team losses and one tie.

IS SOLSTICE IN ITS AUTUMN?
Jun 19th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

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Once again, the Fremont Solstice parade has arrived and left.

This year, the threat of rain may have kept the audience smaller than previously.

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Not in short supply were the body-paint bicyclists (and more-or-less clothed bicyclists, and just plain nude bicyclists, and walkers, and skateboarders).

Much as the Seafair hydro races have become, to many fans, the sideshow to their own intermission act (the Blue Angels), the Solstice Parade has become, to many, merely the footnote to its unofficial and unorganized prelude.

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As the annual corps of paint people and their pals has grown, the parade itself has shrank. This year’s edition barely ran 45 minutes.

There were the usual ethnic and pseudo-ethnic dance troupes.

There were the usual floats and dancers celebrating summer, environmentalism, nature, and wholesome “quirkiness.”

There was a tribute to Prince with a purple-boat float.

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The main “political” statement at the parade was made by homeless advocates. They depicted Mayor Ed Murray with a broom, trying to literally “sweep” away a bunch of street people and car-dwellers; while marchers carried signs (conforming to the parade’s traditional rule against written words) exhorting people to call Murray to support housing and denounce sweeps of encampments.

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I’d hoped to, but didn’t, see anything in the parade expressing solidarity with the Orlando victims and families, and forthrightly expressing LGBTQ solidarity. Apparently that happened too soon for parade volunteers to build moving artwork and costumes.

The bike brigade did include several folk proudly sporting rainbow-flag paint. These two held barbells labeled LOVE.

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While other “alt” gatherings around town, such as Pride and Hempfest, remain big, Solstice this year seemed to be in decline.

Is it that Seattle’s finally getting done, after all these decades, with the cultural aesthetic of baby-boomer mellow? Or is it that Solstice has no specific, single “cause” behind it?

Parade organizers do plan to do something about it, starting next year.

They want the bicyclists to register as official participants, subject to official event rules.  They don’t specifically say they’ll order the bikers to cover up, but they’ll assert the right to make such decrees.

If Solstice does have a “cause,” it’s celebrating an extended family, a virtual “tribe,” built around creativity, joy, and personal freedom.

If its leaders try to rein in the event’s most basic (and most popular) expression of such freedom, its decline could get worse.

POSTSCRIPT: The Fremont Solstice Fair is much larger than the parade itself. There’s the big street fair. There’s the HONK! Fest West, a festival of alternative “street bands.” There’s the display of art cars. And there’s the live music, which this year was even more impressive than in past years. Even if the parade declines in interest, the rest of the fair still goes strong.

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