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

solstice 2017 j stormtrooper and cleopatra

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

solstice 2017 u man standing on seat

solstice 2017 w legs up

solstice 2017 cc oil derrick
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.

solstice 2017 aa butt kicking
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.

solstice 2017 y gold

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.

solstice 2017 z blackface

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)

 

5/2/17: SORRY, NO VIOLENCE (HERE)
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.”

5/1/17: DO AS YOU ‘MAY’
Apr 30th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Another month, another MISCmedia MAIL, and another set of May Day protests. Let’s make this one inclusive instead of destructive, ‘K? We also discuss the recent Punk Rock Flea Market; the Folklife Fest’s serious fiscal woes; one thing that could halt Amazon’s big growth; and a “salmon cannon.”

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.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 1/23/17: NEWS ON THE MARCH
Jan 22nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

A lot more thoughts, and links, about the bigger than big Womxn’s March here. We’ve also got good news for Belltown historic preservation; a “virtual reality visit” with some of the homeless; and more speculation about D.B. Cooper.

 

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

P1140431 copy

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 4/3/16: SUDDEN DEATH; OVERTIME?
May 2nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Now that would-be arena builder Chris Hansen can’t buy two blocks of a little-used city street, he says his plan will go forward, but how? Also for your Tuesday perusal: The Lusty Lady space won’t host the Punk Rock Flea Market after all; the big housing levy’s going to the ballot; a little music/art space closes; an old-school local rock promoter dies;  and more May Day anarchist aftermath.

MISCmedia MAIL for 4/29/16
Apr 29th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Welcome to Viageddon! And to another potential May Day of window-bustin! We also view a City attempt to keep snooping into garbage; a potential partial breakthrough in the Sodo arena fracas; drones maybe getting too close to whales; and the usual gazillion weekend activities including Indie Bookstore Day.

SANDERS KERNEL
Aug 10th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

sanders at westlake

By now, everybody and her brother has said something online, in print, or on the air about the two Black Lives Matter protesters who took over a rally at Westlake Park, thus preventing Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders from making one of his three scheduled Seattle speeches this past Saturday.

My own thoughts, such as they are:

  • Yes, the BLM message needed to be said on Saturday, and in as many places and times as possible. The white liberals of places like Seattle have for too long been primarily concerned with what could be seen, rightly or wrongly, as white people’s issues.
  • Yet, by disrupting the proceedings and refusing to give the mic back, the protesters risked creating one more example of the American Left devouring itself in internal squabbles. Indeed, conservative sites had a figurative field day with that interpretation.
  • YET, there were ways the protesters could have challenged Sanders (and the Seattle white “progressives” in the Westlake audience) to take the BLM message as seriously as it needs to be taken, without alienating the people with whom they were attempting to communicate. The protesters, and the audience, could both have done better.
  • I’m NOT asking the protesters to shut up. Just the opposite: I’m asking them to make their protests more effective.
  • We need action, not just words (not even just angrier words). We need to build solidarity, not superiority; purposefulness, not piety.
  • Please don’t let Black Lives Matter get turned into just another lefty ideological purity test. It’s far, far too important for that.

Slog has the basic story of the Bernie Sanders rally that wasn’t; plus thoughts about the event from State Sen. Pramila Jayapal.

Sanders DID get to speak at a $250 a head fundraiser at the Comet (Capitol Hill Seattle), and later to 15,000 (the biggest local political rally in five years) at Hec Ed (Joel Connelly).

Then on Sunday, Sanders spoke to 19,000 at the Portland TrailBlazers’ arena. (AP via KOIN)

FREMONT SOLSTICE, NOW WITH SHELL-BASHING
Jun 22nd, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

evil oil well 1

 

Another bright mid-June day, another Fremont Solstice Parade.

As usual, it featured wordless performances expressing “political” notions of Good vs. Evil.

Shell’s arctic platform and its noble “kayaktivist” opponents were among the principal tableaux of this type.

corporate person float

But there were others as well. Legendary local artist Carl Smool created a kinetic statement about big-money politics and the notion of “corporate personhood.”

school prison pipeline banner

A banner decried the “school to prison pipeline.”

spirit of mandatory testing

A schoolmarm tied up in ropes signified dreary, “to the test” education.

black boy coffin with white pall bearers

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but these pall bearers are carrying a coffin adorned with the faces of black children and flags of African countries.

giant puppets 2

But also as usual, there were plenty of other spectacles depicting an affirmation-of-life spirit.

starry night costume

orange flag dancers 3

panties and white pasties

This includes the parade’s famous nudes, on and off of bicycles.

tiger skin nudes

blotchy paint nudes 2

orange nudes 2

The body, revealed but still adorned, in a non-sexualized “family” context, is the ultimate example of the “Good” half of the parade’s dichotomy.

Many people, including myself and my half-namesake Kenneth Clark, have pontificated on the meaning of the unhidden human body in modern societies. For now, let’s simply say it symbolizes aspects of the Solstice Parade community’s ideals for life: “natural,” free-flowing, post- (or pre-) industrial, un-commercialized, un-stigmatized, un-pressured.

And impracticable for modern urban environs, except on special occasions and in special circumstances.

 

 

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/30/13
Jul 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlantic.com

  • We told you previously about a 1970s Federal photography project, documenting the nation as it existed during the “energy crisis” days. Here are 30 of the project’s pix from the Northwest, including a decidedly un-built-up downtown Seattle.
  • Next time you’re at Husky Stadium, give your best Jimmy Durante It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World impression and tell your pals you’ll meet ’em “under the Big Dubble-ye.”
  • Is the bowing out of one of the Q nightclub’s partners really evidence the Seattle dance-club scene is “in disarray”?
  • The bosses at Spokane’s Veterans Arena agreed, in order to snag a Bon Jovi concert, to temporarily rename it the “Bon Jovi Veterans Arena.” Just temporarily. Veterans’ groups still don’t like it.
  • Indie-lit publisher Dennis Johnson hates, hates Amazon, but sees its level of book-biz control as possibly peaking.
  • Should Cheryl Chow’s widow have outed a current Seattle School Board candidate as a homophobe?
  • The most heartwarming/breakng obit you’ll read this month is the one penned in advance by local writer-essayist Jane Catherine Lotter, and issued following her cancer death this month.
  • We won’t have Kirby Wilbur to kick around anymore. The state Republican party head and sometime KVI shock-talker is going to D.C.
  • Elsewhere in radioland, UFO/conspiracy promoter extraordinaire Art Bell is staging a comeback on Sirius XM satellite radio.
  • A site for teenage girls gives a big tribute to Bjo Trimble, founding queen of Star Trek fandom and instigator of the first successful “save our show” campaign.
  • Warren Buffet’s son offers a dismaying look into “the Charitable-Industrial Complex.”
  • “Four out of five adults” face unemployment and/or poverty, or the threat of same, at some point in their lives.
  • Norm Ornstein at National Journal calls the Republicans’ stubborn, unending attempts to kill Obamacare “unprecedented and contemptible.”
  • “Contemporary” and even “avant garde” art is selling for huge bucks these days to global-one-percenter art collectors. Critic Walter Robinson explains some of the effects:

…The success of the avant-garde marks its failure. This is not news. We’ve been domesticated, no matter how fantastic and provocative we might be, into just one niche culture among many. We’re fun, and good, and even progressive, but all the rest of it is fantasy.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/28/13
Jul 28th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

nextnature.net

  • While sorting my stuff for an upcoming move (more on that a little later), I’ve unearthed some pieces of almost Jurassic technology. Just the sort of things depicted in the art project “Modern Fossils.”
  • The Northwest Film Forum’s Bill Kennedy reminisces about repertory cinemas in Seattle in the 1980s (a couple of which I was involved with).
  • How to fix the Mariners fan experience (other than fielding a more competitive team)? Adjust or dump the “dynamic pricing;” put paper cups beneath the mustard dispensers; stop limiting T shirt giveaways to the first 5,000 through the gates.
  • Timothy B. Lee at the Wash. Post claims Microsoft “is doomed” in the tablet/smartphone age, but that it’ll still “make a ton of money” as Windows and Office enter their declining years.
  • A “scholarly publishing” industry analyst claims Amazon is “a great company with a bad character”—and excellent customer service.
  • We’ve already told you that many “basic cable” channels make more money off of pieces of people’s cable bills than they make from commercials. Now, industry analysts claim that if channels such as ESPN were “unbundled,” they’d have to charge $30 a month or more to those viewers who’d specifically want them.
  • Original Simpsons co-executive producer (and Playboy TV poker-show host) Sam Simon is dying of cancer, and will leave his fortune (including a hefty share of Simpsons royalties) to charity.
  • Female ex-Merrill Lynch workers claim the Wall St. giant issued them copies of a book on how to “stroke men’s egos,” and that the company reprimanded them for “not being ‘perky’ or ‘bubbly’ enough with customers and colleagues.”
  • A lawsuit claims “‘Occupy’ protesters in Minneapolis were used as ‘guinea pigs’ in a [state] government drug research program.”
  • Carl Gibson suggests “Nine Ways to Organize the Next Civil Rights Movement.” I’ve got #10: Don’t depend on, or cede control to, white alt-culture “radicals.”
  • Justifying, excusing, and even celebrating the lives of brutal homicidal dictators is a time-honored tradition. Today’s example: Robert Mugabe.
  • Great old hangouts aren’t just disappearing in Seattle. Today’s example: Tacoma’s 75-year-old Flying Boots Cafe.

tacoma news tribune

GENUINE GM PARTS (NOT!)
Jun 15th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

plastic corn usb memory stick, available from made-in-china.com

This is one of those times when I run afoul of certain acquaintances who extol everybody to “think for yourself.”

Because I don’t always “think for myself” the way these guys n’ gals want me to.

The topic in question: “genetically modified organism” (aka “GMO” or simply “GM”) food seeds.

I’m not completely against them.

This shouldn’t surprise longtime readers of this venture. I’ve never been an organic vegan purist. I don’t believe in the innate goodness of all things “alternative” or the innate badness of all things “mainstream.”

As “ObamaLover20122” writes at Daily Kos, modern varieties of staple foodstuffs can add nutrients, reduce the need for pesticides, and help alleviate hunger and malnutrition in wide swaths of the world. Anti-GMO campaigns, this blogger insists, are full of conspiracy theory-esque pseudo-science.

And, as Meagan Hatcher-Mays writes at Jezebel, plants and animals have been selectively bred by humans for just about ever. (Corn/maize was so thoroughly domesticated by the Western Hemisphere’s pre-Euro humans that it can’t even reproduce in the wild.)

It doesn’t help that the outfit most closely associated with GMOs is Monsanto, the “radical” left’s current #1 corporate bogeyman (replacing Wal-Mart, which replaced Nike).

Monsanto was originally a chemical company, involved in everything from plastics and synthetic carpet fibers to the infamous herbicide Agent Orange. In the 1980s it started to make commercial crop seeds that would be especially receptive to its pesticides. Today, agribusiness is its only business.

It’s pursued this business with a “biotech” business model, something known to anyone who’s followed the doing of local drug-development companies. This model is big on patents and other “intellectual property” as the big assets, the big prizes.

Many of the boardroom-based brutalities Monsanto’s been (often rightly) accused of stem from this obsession with Profit Through Patent (such as litigating against small farmers who didn’t even deliberately put Monsanto-owned genes into their crops).

Other Monsanto corporate sins (industrial-waste dumping, f’r instance) are the product of similar them-that’s-got-the-gold-makes-the-rules corporate groupthink.

In short, Monsanto makes it really easy to hate ’em.

And that’s just what folks are doing, across the to-the-left-of-Obama end of the political spectrum.

One part of that crusade has been the dissemination of boycott lists online.

This documents and “meme graphics” purport to list, without documentation, “Monsanto-owned” food products you shouldn’t buy. Various versions of the lists include dozens and dozens of famous supermarket-shelf names.

The only thing is, Monsanto owns NO consumer food-product brands.

None.

Nada.

They’re not in that end of the business.

Many big food processors have probably bought grains and other crops from big agribusiness farms that have bought Monsanto seeds and/or pesticides.

But there’s no real telling who, or for which products.

And even the “GMO labeling” bills now going through several state and national legislative bodies won’t make it certain, thanks to the same natural processes whereby the aforementioned small farmers ended up with GMO genes in their crops.

So go ahead and hate Monsanto for its documented bullying tactics.

But don’t blindly hate all GMO projects.

And don’t blindly hate the entire non-PCC food universe.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/2/13
Jun 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

joshua trujillo, seattlepi.com

  • There was a remembrance in Cowen Park marking one year since the Cafe Racer tragedy.
  • Unlike some of the “radicals” fighting against low wages at fast-food joints, I actually patronize fast-food joints. And I want the fine people who prepare my meals to be properly compensated for the fine work they do.
  • The FBI investigated the song “Louie Louie” for two whole years, only to find a simple love lyric made unintelligible.
  • Will legal pot in our society lead, invariably, to corporate pot?
  • To Microsoft’s regret, it just can’t get people to say “Let’s Bing it.”
  • Our ol’ pal Gillian Gaar reports the “Welcome to Aberdeen: Come As You Are” sign might come down.
  • Who, besides “out o’ sight, out o’ mind” NIMBYs, benefits from the suburbanization of poverty?
  • A Cheerios commercial features a nice interracial family. The usual dorks and trolls respond as you’d predict.
  • Lawrence Lessig would like a Democratic Party that’s less beholden to corporate funders.
  • Texas: future Democratic stronghold?
  • Some people will miss making fun of Michelle Bachmann. I won’t.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times, once billed as “Chicago’s Picture Newspaper,” is firing all its photographers.
  • No, Ms. magazine, the 10 most important things American women could not do before the 1970s wold probably really include more important things than “read Ms. magazine.”
  • Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it’s a battleground of democracy vs. shady dealmaking.
  • WikiLeaks dude Julian Assange sees today’s Google as an increasingly reactionary gang of government-butt kissers.
  • Let’s close with a haunting look at a run down (but still open!) tourist site, the Flintstones theme park in Arizona.

messynessychic.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/8/13
Apr 8th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via seattle bike blog

  • Enterprising citizens calling themselves “Reasonably Polite Seattleites” took it upon themselves to install unauthorized “bicycle lane protectors” (reflective plastic pylons) along Cherry Street uphill from downtown. The city vows to remove them.
  • Seattle police chief John Diaz will retire, allowing Mike McGinn (or perhaps a successor mayor next year) to put in another figurehead for uncontrolled street-cop brutality.
  • In a Belltown where anything non-one-percenty is increasingly out of place (more about that in a day or so), Roq La Rue has been kicked out of its longtime space in the old Film Row RKO distribution offices. Fortunately, Seattle’s premier “pop surrealist” art gallery has found new quarters in Pioneer Square, effective some time this summer.
  • Meanwhile, a Crosscut contributor named Andy Fife asks whether there is a “Seattle arts aesthetic.” Actually, there are several. There’s the “world class or bust” desperate slickness of most of SAM’s big permanent displays. There’s the “rich ex-hippie” mellow slickness of Chihuly and company. There’s the “modern monumentalist” big stuff seen at the G. Gibson and William Traver galleries. There are the house styles of Cornish and Gage and their recent alums. And there’s the “let’s put on a show” urban folk/pop styling of most of my personal faves.
  • New Orleans city bosses apparently want to simultaneously (1) shut down music venues, and (2) promote their city as a live-music tourist destination.
  • NBCNews.com blogger Wilson Rothman claims Apple’s iTunes is “out of date and out of touch.” Specifically, Rothman dislikes the whole idea of having to pay for song recordings. He seems to prefer the Spotify model, in which artists make fractions of fractions of pennies. That’s supposed to be the modern way?
  • Here’s one author who hates the new economics of the book biz—Scott Turow, one of the few writers who’d thrived under the old system.
  • Joshua Macht at the Atlantic claims Time magazine has perhaps three years to live.
  • Hacked computer data shows the global one-percenters are hoarding trillions in secret overseas tax-haven accounts. Leaders of nations other than ours claim to be aghast.
  • The newspaper industry has started measuring revenue from online paywalls and ancillary products/services. The resulting figures show papers are now losing a little less money than previously thought.
  • The death last week of Spanish exploitation-film giant Jess Franco has been followed by the loss of another of that country’s great directors of sex and/or violence, Bigas Luna.
  • Annette Funicello, 1943-2013: The only original Mickey Mouse Club cast member to have a real adult showbiz career was the wholesome sex symbol in the Beach Party movies, and a pop singer of unusual clarity and panache. During her cameo in the Monkees’ film Head, she proved not afraid to parody (without breaking) her squeaky-clean image. She remained gracious and classy, even during her long slow illness.
  • We’ve also lost Les Blank, who directed 42 documentaries of varying lengths and topics (all shot on film). He’s probably best known for Burden of Dreams, the “making-of” film about Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. Many critics considered Blank’s behind-the-scenes story to be more compelling than Herzog’s feature.
  • And another goodbye, this one to Hilly Krystal, influential owner of NYC punk club CBGB. While he opened it as a hippie spot dedicated to “country, blue grass, and blues,” he quickly adjusted to welcome the burgeoning Bowery underground scene. The result was what the New Yorker called “the ultimate garage—the place garage bands everywhere want to play.” (Update: This hereby-linked story is from 2007. Krystal’s still worth remembering nowadays, though.)
  • Femen and associated groups held an “international topless jihad day” across European capitals, though the slogans painted upon themselves seemed to almost all be in English.
  • Ending the drug war was never one of Obama’s top priorities. I suspect it’s because the whole bohemian-relaxation vibe clashed with the striving-for-progress zeitgeist that informed Obama’s worldview. But, as with gay marriage, he may be soon forced to act by a groundswell of popular opinion.
  • The Nielsen ratings now claim there are 5 million “zero television” households in the U.S., up from a mere 2 million in ’07. (The “kill your television” “radicals” will, naturally, completely ignore this information.)
  • Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch’s minions threaten to pull the Fox broadcast network off of over-the-air stations (including affiliates tied up in long-term contracts) and go cable-only, unless the courts outlaw a service to stream local over-the-air stations to local viewers via Internet connections.
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© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).