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MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/23/17: OWNING IT
Feb 22nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

I’m sure Ed Murray’s new speechwriter knew what he was doing when he wrote that we in Seattle are “on our own” these days. And I like to think I know what I’m doing when I talk about the state’s decaying bridges; Daniel Ramirez Medina’s latest legal tactic; a lost opportunity for affordable housing on east Capitol Hill; and Stephen Colbert’s fun with KCPQ’s “exposé” of teen emoji use.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/20/17: FARM-FRESH JUSTICE
Feb 19th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Another weekend of protests included a rally by the extended family that is the Pike Place Market, along with a commemoration of the WWII internments. Our Monday e-missive also delves into a plan to save part of the Ramps to Nowhere; small towns suffering under Tim Eyman’s tax limits; a tragedy in my ol’ hometown; and the snarky heroism of Mark Cuban.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/13/17: MAKING PRESIDENTS’ DAY MEAN SOMETHING
Feb 12th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We try to figure out how to mark an upcoming day for honoring the predecessors to someone who’s proven completely dishonorable. And, as well, we explore a still-extant fallout shelter; UW political scientists making a united stand; the sneaky details behind the state Republicans’ school-funding plan; and something called “gaze-assisted object recognition.”

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 120/17: (MORE) NEWS ON THE MARCH
Jan 29th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Our Monday e-missive is, natch, mostly about the weekend’s “emergency marches” against the immigrant ban and the Sleaze Machine that devised it. But we also find space to remember a local TV legend and nationally renowned Scandahoovian-dialect comedy singer.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/28/16: GET YOUR KICKS
Nov 27th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Huskies: Yay! Sounders: Triple Yay! Seahawks: Oh well. In non-sporting headlines, remembering F. Castro and his contradictions; factory robots not going away; another potential oil-export port; and the many non-POCs in the Black Lives Matter march.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/22/16: A HERO AGAIN
Nov 22nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Did Seahawks star Doug Baldwin’s testimony bring the “winning edge” when a state task force voted to make police more liable in deadly-force cases? We’ll never know. But we do know about a City Council budget vote; the potential perils of a Canadian oil pipeline; and a quiet end to one of Seattle’s oldest restaurants.

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 10/17/16: APOCALYPSE NOT NOW
Oct 16th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

So you stocked up on canned goods, canceled your weekend plans, and all for just a few minutes of torrential downpour followed by the usual autumn sogginess. (Turns out the real storm here was at Friday’s homeless-bill hearing.) We additionally talk about Hope Solo’s possible next career move; a gay-rights garden planned for Broadway; a sidewalk with solar panels; how to make the police force more diverse; and an old, old town with a new name.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/26/16
Sep 25th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

The big book party was such a success, we might hold another. (Watch this space for particulars.) For now, though, it’s back to the daily grind of local news digestin’, which this day includes some allegedly tacky actions by exhibit organizers against two Af-Am artists; a concept to help the environment by re-opening coal mines (?); a video game set at a space station called “Tacoma”; and lotsa local sports wins.

MISCmedia MAIL for 7/21/16: THE MOST SCENIC GROUND ZERO
Jul 20th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

What activists in the ’70s couldn’t stop is still with us, a nuclear-sub base on the Sound. Also with us: gentrification in the CD marches on; a river’s being moved away from a highway; YouTube’s trans stars; and a (different) retro video game inspires a new micro-park.

MISCmedia MAIL for 7/4/16: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE IN AMERICA?
Jul 3rd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A brief thought about the meaning of America prefaces the usual assorted news-ettes, including our missed chance to send a sportscaster to Congress; the official end of the Mariners’ June swoon; more people in “blue” Washington; and the end of a broadcast franchise that should’ve ended long ago.

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/30/16: HOUSE MUSIC
Jun 29th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Local media ran a bunch of stuff Wednesday about homelessness, and potential answers to it. We round up some of the best of these pieces. Also: Eyman scolded again; an eco-research boat called “SoundGuardian;” safety/seals.

MISCmedia MAIL for 6/22/16: RIP CITY RIP-OFF?
Jun 21st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

A Portland sportswriter sees the TrailBlazers hiring the ex-Sonics announcer, and imagines a secret plot to ship the NBA team to Seattle (apparently a secret to everyone in Seattle). In more fact-based reportage, we view more Cobain-sploitation coming across the USA; trouble for Virginia Mason Med. Center; K Records trying to right its fiscal ship; the rise of the “upper middle class” (aka the people all those “upscale” products are aimed at); and political organizing for renters.

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

silver f walker 48

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

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

sweet relish m bicyclist 57

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.

'no sweeps' 2 copy

'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.

brass band 1

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 5/5/16
May 4th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

It’s (a potentially four-day) Cinco de Mayo, just as America’s most prominent Hispanophobe inches closer to the highest office in the land. In other subjects, sales of a tech-office staple take a dive; the Lynnwood lawyer with the sexist Tweets® against the City Council is already in trouble; the City contracts out homeless-removal to a private company; and Seattle’s biggest obsolete piece of office equipment’s moving.

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© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).