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12/4/18: TOOTH AND CONSEQUENCES
Dec 3rd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

UW dental faculty denounce budget cuts; we’ll know today about NHL in Seattle; judge’s police-reform questions; state tenant-rights bill coming.

12/3/18: LET THERE BE (TEMPORARY) ‘LIGHT’
Dec 2nd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

A big, privately-financed outdoor art installation; more earthquake fears; what the dead ICE jail inmate wrote to his lawyer; George Bush the First without tears.

9/27/18: STATE OF THE ART OF THE STATE
Sep 26th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s art and performance scenes are fighting back; protests over KEXP’s axing of protesters’ favorite show; a local angle on the Kavanaugh scandal; Amazon’s anti-union video surfaces.

7/17/17: ‘WHO”S THAT LADY
Jul 16th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As the first “official” female Doctor Who lead is announced, MISCmedia MAIL remembers the local woman who starred in several DW fan films. Also: Past allegations against Ed Murray revealed; a war hero facing deportation; the miracle of cross-laminated timber; and a neighbor’s dispute gets taken to Google Earth.

7/10/17: THE BATTLE BEGINS (MAYBE)
Jul 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In Monday’s MISCmedia MAIL: Today will likely see the start of the legal skirmishes to either confirm or reject Seattle’s proposed municipal income tax. Also: Jay Inslee as a “demo singer” for the Dems’ campaign points; more doubts about the state budget deal; another anti-trans “bathroom bill” fails; and the Rep planning a grunge musical.

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.

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 6/7/16
Jun 6th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

The potential last day of the current hot spell includes stuff about an all-gender, anti-“rape culture” march; another govt. whistleblower harassed; a local visit by “the inventor of the World Wide Web;” charter schools that are more “diverse” than nearby public schools; and a remembrance of the father of whale-capturing (and, indirectly, of whale awareness/protection).

MISCmedia MAIL for 2/9/16
Feb 8th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

When you’re the only supermarket operator in a lot of area towns, what famous board game do you use for a seasonal promotion? Also in the news: Seattle’s denser than ever (and some consider that a good thing); the big Costco/American Express divorce; Marshawn Lynch farewells; local Mardi Gras-esque activities.

MISCmedia MAIL for 2/5/16
Feb 4th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We head into a Seahawk-less Super Bowl weekend with footage of the TP’ing of Pam Roach’s office; a known creator of toxic chemical debris wanting to build a big biofuel refinery; a plea for understanding by the mom of a heroin victim; an attempt at increased state aid to the homeless; and the usual gazillion weekend activities.

LOU GUZZO, 1917-2013
Jul 3rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

kiro-tv

Known for decades as a cranky reactionary political commentator, you might find it hard to believe he’d started as a Seattle Times art and theater reviewer.

There, and later as managing editor at the P-I, he regularly advocated for the “fine arts” as a civilizing force, a means toward furthering the region’s progress from frontier outpost to respectable conservative community.

When the Seattle World’s Fair ended, Guzzo famously editorialized that the fair grounds (to become Seattle Center) should be devoted entirely toward arts/cultural pursuits. He specifically did not want any amusement-park rides there. He lived to see them finally removed.

One of Guzzo’s closest allies in this education-and-uplifting ideology was Dixy Lee Ray, who ran the Pacific Science Center. He later worked for Ray at the Atomic Energy Commission and during her one term as Washington Governor.

After Ray was primaried out of a re-election bid in 1980, Guzzo became a regular commentator on KIRO-TV. That’s where, in 1986, he delivered a blistering attack against greasy-haired, anti-social punk rockers. (The motivation was the infamous Teen Dance Ordinance, which Guzzo supported.)

In response, a local hardcore combo called the Dehumanizers released a blistering attack on him, in the form of a 45 entitled “Kill Lou Guzzo” (which began with a sample of Guzzo’s original commentary). Guzzo sued the band and its record-label owner David Portnow. Portnow responded by pressing more copies.

After retiring from KIRO at the end of the 1980s, Guzzo started a “voice of reason” website and self-published several books.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/2/13
Jul 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

wallyhood.org

I’ll have stuff to say about the big gay parade and the potential for NHL hockey in Seattle a little later this week. For now, some randomosis:

  • Seattle’s next potentially doomed institution: Wallingford’s infamous Chinese restaurant and un-“restored” dive bar, the Moon Temple.
  • By killing King County Metro’s chance to save itself, State Sen. Rodney Tom is not only a traitor to the Democratic Party but to the people of his own county.
  • Here’s Dan Ireland, co-founder of SIFF and the Egyptian Theater, commenting on that storied film venue’s recent demise.
  • Blistering Eastern Washington heat + booze + “rave drugs” mixed by who-knows-whom from who-knows-what = danger.
  • Seattle’s first civil-rights sit-in occurred 50 years ago this week at the old Municipal Building, protesting racial discrimination in housing and the City’s sluggish pace at doing anything about it. An anti-discrimination law still took five years after that to get enacted.
  • The NY Times (heart)s Macklemore.
  • Some guy’s list of the “100 Greatest Female Film Characters” is long on “costume” roles (such as Catwoman) from action blockbusters, crowding out more ambitious drama/comedy parts.
  • Kansas City’s all-underground office complex is only one of the “weirdest urban ecosystems on earth.”

kenny johnson, the atlantic via io9.com

THE FINAL REEL
Jun 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

A lot of Seattleites, especially on Capitol Hill, have things to be happy about this week.

The gay marriage cause, for which a lot of people here worked very hard this past year, received a big boost from the U.S. Supreme Court—just in time for Pride Weekend.

But folks on the Hill, and all over town, still have a sad occasion today.

The Egyptian Theater closes after 33 years of screenings, including most of SIFF’s main shows.

A little history:

The Seattle Masonic Temple opened in 1915. By the 1970s, its big auditorium was regularly used for pro wrestling events.

In late 1975, Daryl McDonald and Dan Ireland leased the Moore Theatre downtown, and renamed it the “Moore Egyptian.” (There had been a previous Egyptian Theater in the U District, which has nothing to do with our story.)

That’s where McDonald and Ireland started SIFF in May 1976, with a short program of 18 screenings.

Four years later, McDonald and Ireland leased the Masonic auditorium and re-christened it the new Egyptian. New management returned the Moore to hosting live concerts and stage shows. SIFF used both rooms for a couple of years, then made the Egyptian its permanent annual home base.

The Masons sold the building to Seattle Central Community College in the mid-1980s. SCCC used the building’s non-auditorium areas for its (also now-ended) film and video program and for assorted offices.

After a few years, the Egyptian came into the Seven Gables chain, founded by local art-house tycoon Randy Finley. He sold his theaters in the mid-’80s. They later went into the national Landmark chain, which in turn was eventually bought by Dallas entrepreneur Mark Cuban. SIFF continued to rent out the Egyptian as its main venue for three and a half weeks each year.

(Cuban also owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. In 2008, he was the only NBA owner besides Seattle’s own Paul Allen (representing the Portland TrailBlazers) to vote against moving the Supersonics to Oklahoma.)

Meanwhile, the economics of motion-picture exhibition got steadily sourer.

The Internet, that great Disruptor of All Media, played a part.

So did the consolidation of the big studios and the big theater chains, making things tougher for relatively little guys like Landmark. (Cuban reportedly tried to sell Landmark a couple years ago, but got no takers.)

While the Egyptian was usually full or near-full during SIFF screenings, its 600 seats steadily became harder to fill during the other 48 weeks.

Once this year’s SIFF ended, Landmark quietly told SCCC it wouldn’t keep leasing the space.

The building’s not going away, unlike so many other Pike/Pine landmarks in recent years.

SCCC has fielded applicants to take over the auditorium, but hasn’t announced any new tenant.

SIFF has recently returned to running its own year-round theaters. Would, or could, SIFF add the Egyptian back into its full-time fold?

If SIFF or anyone else wanted to use it for movies, they’d have to get one of those costly digital-cinema projection setups the Hollywood distributors now require, and which have been the focus of “save our theater” fund drives here (Central Cinema, Northwest Film Forum) and elsewhere. Landmark already said it would remove the Egyptian’s digital setup, for re-installation at one of its other properties.

Alternately, the space could become (at least in non-SIFF months) a concert venue or lecture hall. (The stage is too shallow for much live-theater work.)

But, pending any revival as a single-screen cinema, it’s safe to say the Egyptian tradition ends today.

It’s not the last link to Seattle’s 1970s funky art-house aesthetic (the Harvard Exit, Grand Illusion, Guild 45th, and Seven Gables are still with us). But it’s still a loss.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/27/13
May 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

wu ming, via daily kos

  • Let’s put credit where credit is due, to the right-wing initiative maestro who hates all non-private-car transportation, but whose schemes leave even that mode vastly underfunded in this nation’s-most-regressive-tax-system state.
  • Today in clothing named after people famous for not wearing any, a fashion chain called “Bettie Page” is opening its first local branch on Capitol Hill.
  • A Walla Walla high-school principal is convinced that severe discipline against problem students only makes things worse. By taking more pro-active approaches, suspensions at his school have plummeted.
  • One of the lesser publicized YouTube memes involves video gamers posting clips of their gameplay prowess. Now, Nintendo is claiming copyright on all these clips.
  • A guy in Ballard’s got a Kickstarter to fund a small but free performance space for theatrical and musical performers.
  • There are supposedly more high tech jobs available in the Puget Sound country than there are people to fill them. Now if we could only get jobs for a couple of non-coders….
  • Have Catholic bishops quietly taken control of all health care decision making in Wash. state?
  • David J. Ley at Psychology Today claims that sexual violence has gone down wherever “societies have increased their access to porn.”
  • The just-ended TV season has been, viewership-wise, “one of the worst years ever in the history of network TV.”
  • Meanwhile, brick-n’-mortar bookstores saw a huge jump in foot traffic this past quarter.
  • Some 56 more-or-less “adult” comix titles have been excised from Apple’s App Store. Again.
  • Will someone just kill the thin sheet calling itself the Village Voice already (or at least turn it into a bohemian-radical nostalgia rag)?
  • A Simpsons street opens later this year at the Universal Orlando theme park. It’ll be the Violentest Place on Earth! (Sorry, no Itchy and Scratchy Money accepted.)

via cartoonbrew.com

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/23/13
May 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

'every driver every time it ever rains ever'

  • I’m still trying to decide how I feel about When You Live In Seattle, a site of original GIF-animation “memes.”
  • What follows the XBox 360? “XBox One.” This is not to be considered a comment on the gaming platform’s market share.
  • Our ol’ pal Sean Nelson’s got his first solo CD out at long last. And, as you can here at the hereby-linked stream, it’s very much worth the wait.
  • May Day protesters say they’re not spoiled children of privilege having a lark, but people with serious grievances against the government, particularly an increasingly militarized police.
  • Amazon’s letting people sell fan-fiction ebooks for money on the Kindle platform. Just as long as the fan fictions take place in the “universes” for which Amazon’s got official licenses. And they can’t have any porn in ’em.
  • In a rare victory for neighborhoods and small businesses, lower Queen Anne’s Tup Tim Thai restaurant won’t be rent-hiked out of existence after all.
  • Threats against reproductive rights aren’t just for red states anymore.
  • Pot: Good for pigs, bad for dogs?
  • Apple has not “cheated” on its federal taxes. It simply took advantage of every legal tax dodge its lawyers could discover (or advocate for), just like so many other corporate titans.
  • Despite what you might have read on inflammatory websites, PBS did not “kill” a documentary critical of the Koch brothers, the billionaire backers of many extreme-right-wing political endeavors (and of some major PBS affiliate stations). It was ITVS, a separate nonprofit program supplier, that declined to include Citizen Koch among the indie films it packages to the PBS network feed and to local public-TV stations. Citizen Koch still exists, and is still playing the festival circuit.
  • Actually, there are real reasons why the IRS should investigate the Kochs’ “Tea Party Patriots” and similar nonpartisan-in-name-only outfits.
  • When the Executive Branch started stalking Fox News and the AP (allegedly for those outfits’ investigations of CIA documents about North Korea), was it just a continuation of the sort of tactics played against WikiLeaks?
  • Google boss Larry Page has a plan to fix what’s wrong with the world—more anti-government, corporate Libertarianism. Exactly the direction that got the world into these (economic, ecological) messes.
  • Australian writer Elmo Keep believes free and cheap downloads are killing just about all professional media/arts endeavors.
  • Henry Grabar at the Atlantic calls the anti-flouridation movement (recently victorious in Portland and several other cities) “history’s weirdest alliance of paranoiacs.”
  • Meanwhile, NY Times essayist Maggie Koerth-Baker claims to know “why rational people buy into conspiracy theories.” Or so the Germans would have you believe….
  • A famous author’s Wikipedia page got “edit trolled” by a rival author.
  • In the countdown toward Arrested Development’s revival on Netflix streaming, NPR.org’s got a thorough chart chronicling the recurrence of more than 150 running gags through the original series.
  • Some guy on YouTube edited together Hamlet quotations and references from 198 different movies and TV shows. Not included: Chewbacca’s “Alas, poor Yorick” pantomime with C3PO’s temporarily disconnected head.
  • Yes, at one time people really wrote by hand, and did it this well. It took a lot of intense practice.

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