Feb 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Seattle artist Ellen Ziegler’s mom was a ballet dancer—and a onetime girlfriend of the great Mexican comic actor Cantinflas. Ziegler’s turning this story into a very-limited-edition art book.
  • In other news about local women and art and books and images of hotness, Charlotte Austin and Ciolo Thompson have created The Better Bombshell. In it, a variety of writers and artists of both genders contemplate that age-old issue of female role models and what they should be now.
  • Online “cyber-bullying” isn’t just for teens anymore. The disgraced now-former Snohomish County executive did it too.
  • The Oatmeal explains why “How to Suck at Your Religion.” (Essentially: if you preach brotherhood but practice bigotry, etc….)
  • The drive to preserve the Bauhaus coffeehouse’s building, by getting it named an official historic landmark: rejected.
  • The lawsuit challenging the Sonics arena scheme: rejected.
  • Even Republicans believe Tim Eyman’s “lying whore” comment against Gov. Inslee went too far.
  • PONCHO, granddaddy of Seattle arts fundraising groups (and inventor of the “charity auction”), is no more.
  • Can private tech colleges, charging $30,000 or more for degree programs, really solve Wash. state’s learning gap?
  • Eastern Washington, now with more radioactive sludge.
  • Life imitates Portlandia, at least 30 times.
  • Chuck Thompson at the New Republic derides microbrews, and the brewpubs who sell them, as icons of silly urban gentrificaiton. But they’re really, really tasty icons of silly urban gentrification.)
  • The sad tale of the “food critic on Food Stamps” finally has a happy ending. Ex-Tacoma News Tribune restaurant reviewer Ed Murrieta finally found a job, after spending years among the long-term unemployed. He now writes blurbs for Sacramento’s tourism board.
  • In Virginia, a white mom wants white kids not to have to read books about past racial violence.
  • I know I’m not the only one who still remembers LaserDiscs, those 12-inch analog video discs that were the best way to see movies at home in their day.
  • Here’s an artistic vision of a future car-free Manhattan, funded by (who else?) a car company.

Jan 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

kentaro lemoto @tokyo, via daily kos

  • Hey McDonnell Douglas Boeing, how’s that whole foreign outsourcing thing working for ya?
  • Add to the endlessly growing list of cool places disappearing: the Alki Tavern, where bikers once held drunken brawls in front of a spectacular Elliott Bay view. Yep, the real estate’s going for luxury condos. Damn.
  • Already gone before we could say goodbye: Costa’s Opa, Fremont’s anchor Greek eatery for 32 years. The villain in this story is the same as the one in the Queen Anne Easy Street Records disappearance: unChaste Bank.
  • The NY Times has officially “discovered” Pike/Pine. Does that mean the place is, you know, “over”?
  • City bureaucrats still don’t want meals for the homeless to be served, you know, where the homeless are.
  • There might be nothing sicker, and sadder, than allegations of sexual harassment at King County’s sex crimes unit.
  • Not every Catholic priest does horrible things to boys. At least one’s been caught dealing meth and having sex with (adult) cross-dressers.
  • Atari has faced “Game Over” before. But this time, its fate is in the hands of obscure holding companies and hedge funds.
  • Last week’s Saturday Night Live tribute to the tropes of (clothed dialogue scenes in) ’70s softcore movies definitely qualifies as a “10 to 1” sketch, the edgier or just odd stuff often snuck in at the show’s end.
Jan 15th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via archive.org


Jan 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • First the B&O Espresso shutters. Now, another outfit you’d think would thrive with legal gay marriages instead goes away. It’s Brocklind’s Formal Wear and Costume Supply. It’s closing up shop after 106 years (the last 20 or so years residing on E. Pike).
  • In related news, gay mag The Advocate claims Tacoma is “America’s Gayest City.” I can actually imagine this being true. Lots of military and truck drivers, and a “tuff’ civic culture that extends to women as well as men.
  • The faculty at Garfield High has chosen, collectively, not to administer the “Measure of Academic Progress” (MAP), the Seattle School District’s standardized tests in reading and math, to ninth-grade students this month. The teachers’ statement claims the test “wastes time, money, and precious school resources… It produces specious results, and wreaks havoc on limited school resources during the weeks and weeks the test is administered.”
  • Nate Silver, who wowed ’em by accurately predicting November’s election results, now says the Seahawks will meet the Patriots in the Super Bowl (but lose).
  • State Sen. Rodney Tom, the pseudo-Democrat who wants to turn control of the Legislature to Republicans, got a stinging rebuke by his own party in his own district.
  • Pundit Tom Esdall believes an “Obama coalition” of women, minorities, working-class folk, and “99 percenters” stands a chance of really challenging “corporate America’s” control of the federal political process.
  • Young-adult evangelicals these days love Jesus but don’t love gay-and-woman-bashing.
  • There’s a new industry that actually pays people to write online! Unfortunately, they’re being paid to be right-wing “comment trolls” on opinion blogs.
  • Print book sales may be down, but no further down than last year. (And they’re still holding their own better than CDs and DVDs.)
  • I usually like to watch the Australian Open, even though I’m not a hardcore tennis fan, just to be reassured that, somewhere in the world, it’s warm now. But this year, it’s too warm there. By a lot.
Oct 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


“Amidst the Everyday,” a project by photographers-artists Aaron Asis and Dan Hawkins, aims to reveal “elements of the unseen urban environment.” You go to places around town, scan QR codes (etched in wood!) at various buildings, and receive images of their hidden treasures. (Above, one of the unoccupied-for-decades upper floors of the Eitel Building at Second and Pike.)

  • I’m not disillusioned by the news of a potential sitcom that would carry the title Smells Like Teen Spirit. (The show concept sounds more like a ripoff of Family Ties, which is also something we don’t need.) However, I am at least a little disillusioned by the news of a potential Kurt and Courtney stage musical, which would be licensed by Courtney Love via Britney Spears’ estranged ex-manager.
  • Lester Smith, 1919-2012: The Mariners’ original principal owner had, in partnership with Hollywood star Danny Kaye, a number of business endeavors. They ranged from rock-concert promotion to direct-mail marketing. But Smith (or Kaye-Smith) will always be legendary for stewarding KJR-AM during its 1955-80 golden age as Seattle’s Top 40 (or “Fab 50”) powerhouse.
  • The Seattle Times‘ free ads for Rob McKenna caught the LA Times‘ attention; not to mention a less-than-kind portrayal in the SeaTimes‘ own “Truth Needle” department.
  • The next step up from bicycle lanes: physically separated “bike tracks.”
  • Knute Berger reiterates what I’ve been saying about the waterfront development scheme. Let’s not let it be “sanitized by good intentions.”
  • Dominic Holden would like you to know the biggest reason for legalizing pot. It isn’t for the stoners (and it sure ain’t to shut up the stoner evangelists, which had been my reason).
  • Joe Copeland takes up the continuing legacy of Floyd Schmoe, one of the greatest people I ever met, leader of Seattle’s Quakers and hands-on advocate for peace and reconciliation.
  • The next hurdle toward getting the NBA back in Seattle has been overcome. That hurdle is Commissioner David Stern, whose butt will be out of that particular chair by the end of next season.
  • A major casual-games convention may be leaving Seattle.
  • UK film blogger Petra Davis looks back admiringly at the still-underrated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 20 years old this year…
  • …and, with the winding down of the World’s Fair semi-centennial, our pal Jim Demetre has some kind words for the (mostly justifiably) forgotten It Happened at the World’s Fair.
  • In other film news, the Columbia City Cinema is being reopened (yay!). The new owner has repaired all the previous owner’s not-up-to-code “renovations.”
  • Note to Amazon Kindle users: Buy all your e-books while you’re physically in the same country, lest you be targeted as a Terms of Service violator.
  • Today’s dire-threat-to-America’s-youth story comes to you from a California high school where boys and girls alike are invited to join a “fantasy slut league.”
  • Penguin and Random House are in merger talks. This is bad news, since book publishing is one of those industries that’s too consolidated already.
  • Today’s lesson in the folly of products marketed as “For Women” is brought to you by Fujitsu and its “Floral Kiss” brand laptop PC.
  • Among all the slimy, sociopathic, and bigoted things Republicans are saying and doing these days, add this overt racism by Sarah Palin.
  • Pseudonymous Daily Kos diarist “bayushisan” wishes gamer culture had fewer macho jerks in it. (The same, of course, can be said about athiests and “skeptics,” online comment threads, U.S. politics, and even atheists and “skeptics”.)
  • Paul Karr loathes the dot-commers’ worship of “disruption” as a sacred concept, and the Ayn Randian me-first-ism behind it.
  • The BBC notes that “creativity is often intertwined with mental illness“…
  • …and Simon Reynolds disses the “modern dismissal of genius” in today’s “age of the remix.”
  • Earthquakes can’t be predicted. That hasn’t stopped a court in Italy from convicting seven scientists who failed to do so.
  • Community organizer “B Loewe” believes you should not get into lefty causes to feel good about yourself, and you shouldn’t try to be your own, or your only, emotional “caregiver.” Instead, you’re to practice prosocial interdependence as both ideology and a way of life.
  • Someone says something nice about so-called “hipsters!” They’re credited with helping bring back Detroit (the place, not the car companies).
Oct 21st, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


  • Is there anything more ritualistically ridiculous than the standard commercial “sexy” Halloween costume? Speaking of which….
  • Nancy Cohen at Playboy.com warns all aficionados of porn, erotic books, birth control, and non-procreative sex in general that the extreme right wing wants to shut all that down.
  • And the neo-Riot Grrrl graffiti gang has mega-tagged one of the Aurora Ave. motels that was shut down as an alleged hooking site. Their message: Respect sex work and sex workers.
  • Seattle Times Shrinkage Watch: The paper’s management would really, really like you to continue (or resume) reading and even buying the paper, despite its owners’ giving away free ad space to GOP Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. (The Times has run “issue” advertising for gay marriage and against the estate tax, but this is the first time they’ve donated to a candidate.)
  • The under-new-management (sorta) Seattle Weekly did something the Stranger might have done. It commented on the Times bosses’ McKenna ad by running their own “independent expenditure” ad praising Google as “the most totally fucking awesome company in the history of mankind.” Let’s see if that gets the Weekly listed any higher in the ol’ search rankings.
  • Art Thiel believes the best chance of an NBA team in Seattle might not be moving an existing one, but getting a new expansion team.
  • I know you can’t get enough of those extra-unique Mormon church doctrines.
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic notes how only white people get to make “jokes” about wanting to “take a swing” at a dark skinned President.
  • The BBC watches the supposedly alarming trend of “passive-aggressive Wi-Fi names.” Particularly network names aimed at other residents of the same apartment/condo complex, such as “Your Music Is Annoying” or “We Can Hear You Having Sex.”
Oct 13th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via kathrynrathke.blogspot.com

All good tidings and shout-outs to my fellow Stranger refugee and prominent commercial illustrator Kathryn Rathke. She’s created the new official logo for Wendy’s restaurants. The deceptively simple mascot caricature took three years of client approval and market testing.

  • I’ve now read ThoughtCatalog.com’s “23 Things To Know About Seattle.” Yep, it’s dumb.
  • Did Paul Ryan “borrow” his story about naming his daughter “Bean” from Kurt Cobain?
  • The anti-gay-marriage campaign: lying full-time, lying from the start.
  • Note to “guerrilla marketers”: Spray-painting your logo on Seattle sidewalks is illegal.
  • America’s fastest growing religion: none of the above.
  • Once again, “For Women” product advertising proves to be an exercise in ridiculousness. (Today’s example: beef jerkey.)
  • The late UK children’s entertainer (and original Top of the Pops host) Jimmy Savile has been posthumously outed as a serial assailant of underage girls. Some of his victims are hounding the BBC to learn what the broadcaster knew, and didn’t do, about his crimes.
  • Despite what my ex-boss Mr. Savage might imply, a teenager doesn’t have to be gay to be bullied to the edge of sanity. This is what happened to a 15-year-old girl in the Vancouver suburbs, who took her own life after posting a YouTube video showing how she’d been harassed and bullied online.
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.
Sep 20th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

chris lehman, npr via kplu

  • In my onetime stompin’ grounds of Corvallis OR, an Asian American businessman sponsored a downtown mural depicting tranquil nature scenes in Taiwan contrasted with police brutalizing protesters in Tibet. China’s government would like the mural gone.
  • On the 20th anniversary of the film Singles, Spin imagines the film with a modern-day soundtrack (available as a Spotify playlist). No current Seattle acts are on it (though ex-local Mark Lanegan is).
  • Most of the hereby-linked article is behind a paywall, but the gist is this: ESPN blogger Craig Custance believes Seattle’s got a great shot at a National Hockey League team, but as an expansion rather than a moved franchise. Custance agrees with similar remarks earlier this year by CBC hockey commentator Elliotte Friedman. (Nobody might have NHL hockey for perhaps a whole year, if the league continues to lock out its players.)
  • My ol’ pal James Winchell has a neat piece in the Jewish mag Tablet (no relation to the defunct local hipster rag of the same name), philosophizing on the Hebrew roots and symbolism in the works of Franz Kafka.
  • How artificial intelligence is turning out: expect more stuff like Siri, but no human-esque robots any time soon.
  • As big chain retailers abandon more and more sites around the country, some of those sites are being taken over by big chain restaurants.
  • Danny Westneat asks if Romney’s so down on those who don’t pay taxes, when’s he gonna go after the likes of Boeing? (Or, for that matter, Microsoft?)
  • Poll-analyst extraordinaire Nate Silver sees Obama doing better in polls that include real-live pollsters (instead of robocalls) and that include cell-phone-only households.
  • Today’s scathinger-than-scathing Romney rants come to you courtesy of Nicholas Kristof and Lawrence O’Donnell
  • …while Jon Stewart tears yet another righteous hole in the blatantly hypocritical Faux News partisans.
  • As for me, for now, I’ll just say Romney’s appearance on Univision should have been accompanied by one of that channel’s biggest personalities. I speak, of course, of “El Chacal de la Trompeta,” the masked trumpeter from the Gong Show-like talent segment of Sabado Gigante.

watch el chacal de la trompeta, via youtube

Sep 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


  • Enjoy some understated, occasionally creepy photos by Ms. Rinko Kawauchi.
  • Get ready for cool public art coming to a civic infrastructure project near you.
  • Metro’s Ride Free Area is still set to end later this month, with no replacement service finalized. The transition’s probably gonna be rough.
  • Contract talks between Boeing and the engineers’ union are going un-smoothly.
  • There will be a 24-hour diner on Capitol Hill next spring, on 10th Ave. where the gay bathhouse Basic Plumbing used to be.
  • The Stranger asked local artists to fantasize how they’d remake the waterfront. Their various suggestions, together or alone, are infinitely cooler than the official plans.
  • Catholic bishops claim the existence of gay marriage would victimize them. Really?
  • How does a young person get into a journalism career if she can’t afford to take a long-term, unpaid internship? She hopes for an inheritance.
  • The owners of the New Orleans Times-Picayune won’t sell the paper, and they won’t back off their decision to cut it back to three days a week.
  • Folks love them some sad songs these days.
  • The company behind some of those infamous Facebook games (and their annoying ads and plugs) is fiscally stumbling.
  • Harold Meyerson at the American Prospect says the Democrats recognize people’s “interdependence,” instead of the GOP’s Ayn Randian “noble selfishness.”
  • Here’s the Bill Clinton barnburner speech. And here are the local-interest convention speeches by Patty Murray and ex-Costco boss Jim Sinegal.
Sep 3rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Jon Rafman finds amazing shots taken by Google Street Views’ nine-camera-equipped trucks, and collects them at his blog 9-eyes.com.
  • In one corner, street-team advertising concern Poster Giant. In the other corner, angry women, who will not go away quietly.
  • Sun Myung Moon, 1920-2012: Those who didn’t closely follow the Korean religious/political/business/publishing cult master often called him a “right wing Christian.” The “right wing” part was correct enough. The “Christian” part was misleading. Moon’s Unification Church theology and practice were really a lot more unique (i.e., weirder).
  • Local college grad Alison Sargent writes in Bitch magazine about her experiences at Mars Hill Church. She describes it as another right-wing cult (albeit more traditionally “Christian” than the Moonies), and a place where “faith and feminism don’t mix.”
  • Harvard researcher Steven Strauss ponders whether the rate of techno-progress in today’s world is actually slowing down.
  • Bigtime political campaigns are employing polling and demographic stats work so complex, even they might not know how it works or what it means.
  • Author Chuck Thompson asks why “so many Southerners think they’re the only real Americans.”
Sep 2nd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Clint Eastwood’s invisible-Obama-in-a-chair stunt took place during the 60th anniversary week of Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison’s allegorical novel about the black struggle in the face of social “invisibility.”
  • Robert Reich’s message for an election-year Labor Day: “It’s the inequality, stupid.”
  • Romney’s “533 lies in 30 weeks:” Now THAT’s an achievement!
  • One of our favorite watering holes and DJ clubs, Olive Way’s The Living Room, is no longer living.
  • There’s a “Seattle” restaurant (really on Bainbridge) with a most un-NorWestern strict reservations policy.
  • The anti-gay-marriage campaign is engaging in potentially illegal fundraising solicitations toward area churches.
  • An abandoned Ballard church that became an art gallery briefly in 2009 is now set to be razed for townhomes.
  • The author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull almost got his own wings when his small plane crashed in the San Juans.
  • An outfit that ran some of those big motivational seminars (that were really fronts for selling questionable investment schemes) has collapsed.
  • Faye Anderson, 1950-2012: The owner of the New Orleans restaurant/bar in Pioneer Square hosted, and supported, jazz and other musics for more than a quarter century. Whether the club will survive is for her heirs to announce, and they haven’t yet.
  • Hal David, 1921-2012: The acclaimed lyricist was already pushing 40 when he first teamed up with composer Burt Bacharach. For 14 years they (with singer Dionne Warwick as their mouthpiece) were an unstoppable team, with David’s deceptively simple wordplay leading listeners through Bacharach’s often complicated melodies, until the musical version of Lost Horizon blew up in their faces. What the world needs now is more expressive minds like him (and love, of course).
  • As all good NorWesterners know, it doesn’t really rain here more than other parts of the U.S. Especially not in the past 42 days (and 42 nights).
Aug 28th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Today’s historic-preservation outrage involves the Jefferson Park Golf Course clubhouse. It’s a magnificent structure, “homey” yet elegant, that’s served city residents for more than 75 years. The City wants to raze it to put up a new driving range. It’s rushing through a plan to deny landmark status to the building, in cahoots with the architects that are planning the redevelopment scheme.

  • This week, the southeast corner of the United States has been hammered by a massive destructive force of nature, devastating the people and the land with its wind and fury. There’s also a tropical storm.
  • A deaf woman in Tacoma was arrested for a crime she was really the victim of. She was tasered and held for 60 hours without access to an interpreter. She’s now got a global support network.
  • The stretch road in front of the J.P. Patches statue in Fremont may get the honorary second name of “J.P. Patches Place.”
  • Dan Froomkin doesn’t want more jobs. He wants more decent-paying jobs than today’s corporate sector seems willing to provide.
  • As Seattle’s libraries and their patrons endure their fourth annual end-o’-summer closed week, the son of an ex-Seattle Public Library bigwig believes libraries need to reinvent themselves by ditching those dumb ol’ books, or at least stuffing them in some inaccessible-by-the-public storage facility. Uh, thanks but no thanks.
  • Meanwhile, the volunteer-run “People’s Library” at 23rd and Yesler plans to remain open after the city libraries reopen, at least through the end of this month.
  • Pierce Transit, already socked by over-dependence on local sales tax revenue, could face potential total shutdown (or something close to it) if a tax increase measure doesn’t pass.
  • An extreme-right-wing militia cult wanted to bomb a Wash. state dam and poison the state’s apple crop.
  • Higher prices, less selection. Isn’t liquor privatization wonderful?
  • In the no-rules/new-rules world of self-e-publishing, you can get your book all the rave reviews it needs, and for a reasonable price.
  • Bill Nye, who’s usually right about these things, proclaims that creationist fantasy is not healthy for children and other living things.
Aug 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlanticwire.com

  • Microsoft’s new logo is so highly appropriate. They’re literally proclaiming themselves to be a bunch of perfect squares!
  • Parker’s Casino and Sports Bar, the legendary Aurora Avenue roadhouse (once known as the Aquarius Tavern) where everyone from Paul Revere and the Raiders to Heart got their starts, has been gutted and may be demolished.
  • Thirty-eight percent of Seattle homeowners still have “underwater” mortgages.
  • James Fogle, 1937-2012: The Drugstore Cowboy author spent three quarters of his life behind bars, for robberies fueled by a lifelong drug habit. Never learned any better way to live.
  • Beloit College’s annual list of things today’s college frosh don’t know about includes such expected fading memories as VHS tapes, film cameras, car radios, The Godfather, and printed airline tickets. SeattlePI.com’s Big Blog adds that today’s 18-year-olds never personally experienced the Frederick & Nelson department store, the career of Sir Mix-A-Lot, and The Far Side comic strip.
  • Also mostly forgotten: the fact that Belltown’s American Lung Association building, finally razed for a high-rise apartment complex following years of ownership squabbles, was once the regional office of Burroughs Computer. In honor of that connection, the tower’s topping-off ceremony ought to include a reading from Naked Lunch.
  • Today’s Scrabble-related crime story comes to you from Kamloops, B.C.
  • Item: “All nine people injured during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were wounded by gunfire from the two officers.” Comment: So much for the idea that all you need to stop people with guns is more people with guns.
  • A HuffPost blogger claims “straight identifying” guys are having more gay sex than out-gay guys.
  • The “indie” music site Pitchfork Media posted a reader poll of top all-time favorite recordings. Almost all of them were by white guys (even more predominantly so than Pitchfork’s own coverage range of acts).
  • The late founder of the San Diego ComiCon was quietly outed. Very quietly.
  • The tiny, India-designed “car that runs on compressed air” is not really pollution-free. You need energy to power air compressors. Usually electric power. Power that’s often generated from coal or oil or plutonium.
  • Only in Putin’s Russia could there be such a wholesale rehab of the Stalin legacy.
  • On a “radical left” U.S. website, a Russian writer bashes Pussy Riot for being anti-populist, anti-Christian, in it just for the money, and led by (wait for it)… a Jew.
  • The Campaign, that comedy movie previously mentioned here in regard to its stars’ Pike Place Market promo fiasco, turns out to be a bold and broad satire of today’s corporate-bully-controlled politics.
  • Today’s rant against “the Fanatical GOP” comes to you courtesy of Robert Reich.…
  • …while Lindy West thoroughly demolishes a National Review writer’s quasi-homoerotic ode to Mitt Romney’s alleged masculine prowess.
  • Carlos Castaneda: Author. Guru. New Age legend. Harem keeper. Manipulator. Liar. Fraud.
  • As I keep telling you, right-wingnuts actually do read books. They read wingnut books. A lot of wingnut books, it turns out.
Aug 16th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


  • Did Mexico’s Huichol people create what we now know as “psychedelic” art?
  • Central Washington’s bad, no-good week was caused by human carelessness. (Remember what Smokey says, everybody.)
  • Soon, you’ll be able to go to an Arco station and not be supporting BP—but only if you’re in southern California, Nevada, or Arizona. BP’s holding on to the Arco stations in the Northwest, and to the Cherry Point, WA refinery that feeds them.
  • Save the Silver Fork! It’s an indie diner! A real one, not a hip-retro pastiche! It’s the Rainier Valley’s favorite “third place,” a site of community-gathering and conviving. It’s threatened with demolition, for nothing more than a gas station.
  • As you might know, the cover model for Herb Alpert’s classic LP Whipped Cream and Other Delights is an ex-Seattleite now living in southwest Washington. And she’s still a charmer.
  • The Young Fresh Fellows, deans of Seattle power pop, have a new album coming out! And you can access an online stream if you follow the band’s clever little marketing gimmick.
  • Rep. Jim McDermott, for most of his political career, has been a man only a Republican could dislike. Until his wife became his ex-wife, that is.
  • Just as I figured would happen, a compromise with the Port of Seattle may enable the Sonics arena scheme to go forward.
  • Getty Images, Seattle’s king of stock photos, is being bought by the Carlyle Group. That’s the D.C.-based private-equity outfit with strong ties to the Bush family and to the Saudi royals.
  • During the Olympics, Nike put out a T-shirt with the slogan GOLD DIGGING. A sexist slap or just good clean fun?
  • Maria Konnikova at the Atlantic explains just how famous quotations get mixed up, rearranged, or misattributed.
  • Among the publishing old-timers trying to make sense of the Internet age: onetime Sassy editor and “perpetual teenager” Jane Pratt.
  • Angela Neustatter at the Guardian would really like married people to be a lot more accepting/forgiving of cheatin’ spouses. It’s only natural, she says. (There goes half the subject matter of classic lit and country songs….)
  • Americans are having fewer babies, too few to maintain the population size. This has been happening in Japan for a while, to the point that kids’ manga and related media are in financial freefall. But what’s bad news for the makers of baby clothes could be good news for an overextended planet.
  • PBS’s Frontline goes Jesus-freaky. In the process, a lot’s revealed about cultural cross-pollination. Long before hip white kids pretended to be Buddhists, Romans disgusted by their corrupt society embraced the simple love-and-respect teachings of a tiny Jewish splinter sect.
  • Whites are still far more likely than minorities to have home broadband connections. But Hispanics, Asian Americans, and African Americans are more likely than whites to have smartphones. This is what could be known as burrowing under the Digital Divide.
  • Cheating at tournament-level Scrabble! Is nothing pure anymore? (On the other hand, it allows me to revive the tagline from the Scrabble game show: “It’s the crossword game you’ve played all your life, but never quite like this!”)
  • When the teen offspring of the One Percent post Tweets® and photos of their obscenely opulent lifestyles, it’s all fun and snark. Until somebody figures out that potential burglars/kidnappers could be reading them.
  • As I keep telling you, if you don’t vote, you’re doing exactly what the extreme right wing wants you to do.
  • Political spending this season has been swamped by Karl Rove’s and the Koch brothers’ Super PACs, and their oh-so-anonymous donors.
  • Paul Constant describes Paul Ryan as:

A wealthy young white man who refuses to, for one second, consider what it must be like to be a woman, or a minority, or a member of the lower class, or old. A man whose words mean less than nothing.

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