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8/30/17: SMOKE GETS IN YOUR…
Aug 29th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

I’m not complaining about a little haze in the air, compared to three to four feet of rain elsewhere. It just makes breathing a little tough for some of us. Other subjects this day: Figuring out the finances of Jenny Durkan’s free-tuition plan; obscene price gouging in Texas (and one free-marketeer who likes it); a union official who embezzled cash and tried to cover it up by disbanding the union; and a realty exec insists we’re not in a housing bubble, no way, don’t even think about it.

8/17/17: DOWN THE PIKE
Aug 16th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Let us recall another Seattle progressive triumph, in an age of another not-all-there Republican president. It’s the late John Stamets’ 1987 pix of the restored Pike Place Market, now on display again. Among our other topics this day: wildfires rage in Grant County; concrete-truck drivers go on strike; a walking trail’s set to reopen; and more local folk have more reaction to the ongoing sociopolitical meltdown.

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.

7/26/17: THE LAST LUBE
Jul 25th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Babeland will still be a pan-gender sex-toy shop. It just won’t be our own pan-gender sex toy shop. We also explore a fun new look for an ex-department store; a strange anti-pot billboard that looks just so ’80s; big bucks for cherries; and a Seattle-set TV drama’s unexplained continued existence.

6/19/17: THE MADNESS CONTINUES
Jun 19th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Another week, another police shooting of an innocent African-American. This time, it was a pregnant mother shot in her home, in front of the children. And somebody thought a “mammy” mascot costume would be perfect for the Solstice Parade. In less horrific news, Amazon dives deep into “brick and mortar” retail; electric conservation leads to higher rates; and a Pioneer Square rebuild gets stalled.

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.

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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.

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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)

 

6/2/17: GREENERS SO WHITE
Jun 2nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The unspecified “clear threat” reported by Evergreen State College brass is, at least partly, the fallout from a heated email exchange about race and the limits of white “progressivism.” Your weekend MISCmedia MAIL also mentions local officials refusing to go backwards on climate change; another reason why encampment sweeps put people in danger; a guy who says he can build affordable housing units at half price; and a guy who wants to break up Amazon.

5/11/17: HOW UP WAS MY STREAM
May 10th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Thursday’s MISCmedia MAIL ponders the viability of events like the Upstream Music Fest; examines what Ed Murray might be able to do in his remaining eight months; notes outrage over racist/sexist characterizations in a play’s audition notice (and perhaps also in the play itself); and finds sex-worker prosecutions on the rise despite an official change in city policy.

5/5/17: LIGHTNING’S STRIKING AGAIN
May 4th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL: Yep, we had some weather Thursday. Like really big weather. Other things also occurred, including Dave Reichert’s meaningless “no” vote on decimating health care; a reprimand and fine against Ed Murray’s accuser’s attorney; and a bill to more easily arrest/prosecute “johns”. And we’ve got tons of weekend things-2-do.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/3/17: BATTERY CHARGE?
Mar 2nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As car-free humans get a chance to walk through the Battery Street Tunnel, we wonder what will become of the ol’ thing. We also think about Girl Scout cookie-inspired apparel; the truth of that supposedly “Hawaiian” beer; more fears of a post-ACA nation; and the human failing behind Amazon Web Service’s temporary meltdown.

MISCmedia MAIL for 10/13/16: HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN
Oct 12th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

As well as more reports of icky behavior by you-know-who, we also consider the maybe-coming storm; what’s to be done with Steinbrueck Park; a minister’s account of police (non-)accountability; local screenwriters who’ve found an unexpected market for their work; a vintage video-game champ; and how the one percent flies. Oh, and also my (not really) secret past.

MISACmedia MAIL for 7/15/17: THE ‘NEW NORMAL’
Jul 15th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

No, we (not even the whites among us) can or should stop the discussion about race, fear, and inequality. Also today: Police run a fake massage parlor in the U District; ex-teens remember a now-dying shopping mall; KPLU needs a new name (that some other station isn’t using); how much “getting big money out of politics” costs; and the usual scads of weekend things and stuff.

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.

purple prince boat

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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'no sweeps' 1

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.

MISCmedia MAIL for 12/31/15
Dec 30th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

As we slide inevitably into the (hopefully) Sweet ’16, MISCmedia MAIL discusses a Mercedes commercial shot where the Mercedes dealership used to be; a dead orca and minor earthquake in B.C.; an Aurora streetwalker’s life (exactly as rough as you’d expect); a message to “targeted” young black males from Seattle’s “Youth Poet Laureate;” and a gazillion New Year’s options.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/27/15
Nov 26th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

MISCmedia MAIL is back to accompany you while shopping and/or protesting today. We’ve got tons of weekend activities; Bernie Sanders as a symbol of global awakening; the truth behind Oregon’s greatest invention; and a meat vending machine.

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