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4/26/17: FAKE MUD AND A DEMOLISHED DINER
Apr 26th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In Tuesday’s e-missive: A new low in fashion silliness; a local landmark razed two years after its closure; a GOP state senator who wants to force the city and county to divorce; more hipster “Native inspired” culture-theft; and fake “No Parking” signs.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/16/17: UMOJA EVICTED
Mar 15th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The UMOJA Peace Center, and its elderly founder, were forcibly evicted from their Central District space, despite community protests against the action. We also look at the successful stopping of Travel Ban 2.0 (for now); a national honor for Re-bar; an additional layer of historic significance to the Black Diamond Bakery; and a travel writer calling Seattle “the city of the century.”

WHAT’S HIGHER AND LOWER IN TWENTY ONE FO-UR
Jan 4th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

For the 28th consecutive year (really!), we proudly present the MISCmedia In/Out List, the most venerable (and only accurate) list of its kind in this and all other known solar systems. As always, this is a prediction of what will become hot and not-so-hot in the coming year, not necessarily what’s hot and not-so-hot now. If you believe everything hot now will just keep getting hotter, I’ve got some BlackBerry stock to sell you.

INSVILLE OUTSKI
Da Vinci’s Inquest Da Vinci’s Demons
Lorde Lard
Mead Gin
Tapatio Sriracha
“Fewer” “Less”
WordPress Flash
CBS This Morning 60 Minutes
Alex Trebek retirement Jay Leno retirement
Baltimore Miami
“Relevant” “Viral”
Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) Kristen Stewart
Kacey Musgraves Brad Paisley
Formica Granite
Plum Silver frost
Oscar Isaac Johnny Depp
Mini-tacos Chicken wings
Fly Moon Royalty Robin Thicke
Saving Scarecrow Video Saving the Seattle Times
DailyKos.com Upworthy.com
Bare midriffs “Designer grunge” revival
Voting-rights defenders White people who claim “racism is over”
Elizabeth Warren “Politics by hashtag”
Venice Paris
Burien Bainbridge
Worker rights Working for “the exposure”
End of movies shown on film End of incandescent light bulbs
Games for all ages/sexes/races Macho-asshole “gamer culture”
“You better WORK!” “Because (noun)”
Erin Morgenstern Charlaine Harris
Raising the minimum wage Cutting corporate taxes
NHL in Seattle NBA back in Seattle
Binge viewing Crash dieting
Bolt Bus Airline mergers
Single-payer HMOs
Seahawks 49ers
Girls (still) Dads
Misfits Kardashians
Lovers “Winners”
“-esque” “-ski”
HERE WE GO LOOP-DE-LOOP?
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

shutterstock via gizmag.com

In one of my several unpublished fiction manuscripts, I have a futuristic travel tube that whisks people between cities at almost the speed of sound.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk now says he’ll soon have a working schematic for such a device. He’s calling it the “Hyperloop.”

Until Musk releases any real specs, observers are speculating about how it would work and what its limitations might be.

Some believe it could only travel in straight lines, which means (1) serious tunnel and bridge costs, and (2) potential big bucks to property owners along the way.

If it really works (safely) and if it can really be built at a recoverable cost (remember, dot-com and housing-bubble speculators redefined the degree of speculativeness people will invest in), it would change intercity travel forever, in all the populated/affluent parts of the world.

And it would potentially devastate (or, in Internet-age newspeak, “disrupt”) the existing airline industry and its suppliers, including Boeing.

Boeing had been involved in experimental high-speed rail development programs in the past, and could theoretically bid to help design, build, and equip Hyperloop lines in this and other countries.

Of course, that might require leadership at Boeing that knew what it was doing, which the company seems to not have now.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 6/24/13
Jun 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

thecoffeetable.tv

A big batch-O-randomness today, catching up after several days without it.

To start, there’s yet another indie “webisode” series made here in Seattle. It’s called The Coffee Table. It’s a simple scifi comedy, in which some dudes n’ dudettes are propelled into another dimension by the titular table, which turns out to be “an ancient alien artifact.”

Elsewhere in randomosity:

  • After all the sturm-n’drang over the almost-neo-Sonics debacle, could Seattle really get an NHL hockey team without really trying? And if so, what the heck would we do with it? And what would we call it? Our old hockey team names, “Totems” and “Metropolitans,” would certainly do. But ya know, there’s nothing wrong with “Coyotes,” the current name of the team that could go here. After all, Wile E. Coyote creator Chuck Jones is a Spokane boy.
  • The City’s back into the biz of harassing all-ages clubs again.
  • Should city council elections be publicly funded under a heavily incumbent-favoring formula?
  • Also closing this week besides the Egyptian Theater: the Copper Gate, the Ballard upscale bistro and sometime music lounge on the site of (and including a nude relief backbar mural from) a onetime legendary dive bar.
  • And, having already lost Costa’s Opa in Fremont, Seattle loses another classic Greek joint. The Continental Pastry Shop in the U District, having served affordable Euro entrees and treats to students and others for four decades, calls it quits this week.
  • Call it Sequester, The Local Edition. Do-nothing Republicans could shut down huge parts of Wash. state government this week.
  • It’s not just turncoat ex-Democrats in our own State Senate who get off on Seattle-bashing. So did a pro-coal West Virginia Congressman recently.
  • KUOW remains atop the local radio ratings by very carefully orchestrating a day-long “sound massage,” in which no news/talk segment runs longer than five minutes.
  • A Canadian study claims people who read more “literary fiction” (you know, the highbrow, less-genre-formulaic stuff) increases one’s tolerance for “ambiguity.”
  • On the other end of the certainty spectrum, it’s sadly not true that right-wingers are all low-IQ racists. Some of them are calculating evil geniuses.
  • Affirmative action has “helped white women more than anyone,” sez Time. I remember back in ’98 when there was an anti-affirmative-action initiative. The campaign to defeat that measure put up TV spots displaying not a single nonwhite face, only white little girls.
  • Lameness on top of sadness: A lame “satire” site (from China) ran a fictional piece claiming that James Gandolfini wasn’t dead and that everybody who (truthfully) said he was was a victim of a hoax.
  • Management at the Men’s Wearhouse no longer likes the way their founder/spokesdude looks.
  • A guy who’d spent two years building up the “brand” of his travel blog found a big corporation completely stole his name and concept for a marketing campaign.
  • Similarly, Nike thought nobody would mind if it ripped off a famous Minor Threat record cover. Wrong again.
  • Economic scandals you probably already knew: BankAmeriCrap guys lied to and swindled mortgage holders, and financial-ratings companies inflated the grades of mortgage-burger investment packages.
  • The editor of American Elle insists her mag, and mags like it, do indeed carry “serious journalism.”
  • Some dude’s list of history’s “Top 10 Most Evil Women” leaves out “Typhoid Mary” and Paula Deen.
  • We close for today with a 73-year-0ld Japanese guy who makes beautiful landscape art with Excel spreadsheets!

via spoon-tamago.com

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 4/18/13
Apr 18th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

seattle dept. of transportation

  • King Street Station, one of Seattle’s two historic railway passenger terminals (and the one still in use by Amtrak) has looked so drab and awful for so long. In the pre-Amtrak desperate last years of private passenger rail, the Great Northern had “modernized” the main lobby with an acoustic-tile drop ceiling and other ill-informed touches. Now, after a half-decade of planning and reconstruction, the city and private partners have finally restored the room to its full grandeur. You can read all about it here. There’s a grand opening on Wed. 4/24, 11 a.m.
  • In other grand-opening news, the “Old School Pinups” photo studio has one this Fri. 4/19, 5 p.m.-on, at 1922 Post Alley.
  • Something I’ve learned first hand lately: Seattle’s current boom (glut?) of apartment construction hasn’t led to lower rents, but to ever-higher rents.
  • In addition to the dilemmas of cabs. vs. “for hire” vehicles and Zipcar vs. Car2Go, now a new alternative appears in town. It’s semi-pro “ride sharing.”
  • No, Seattle Times guest commenter Grace Gedye, online sexist trolls existed long before Facebook. But can the rising force of “Geek Girls” conquer and defeat ’em once n’ for all?
  • Another classic bowling alley bites the dust. It’s Robin Hood Lanes, in Edmonds since 1960.
  • Are the Sonics Back Yet (Day 100)?: No. And we were supposed to have found out this weekend whether they’re coming back, at the NBA team owners’ annual hobnob session. But that vote’s been indefinitely delayed.
  • We do know that any neo-Sonics would have to negotiate cable-TV carriage of their games with the Mariners, who just bought a controlling interest in Root Sports Northwest.
  • The Oregon Ducks, aka “Nike U.,” have been slapped with NCAA penalties for football recruiting violations.
  • Some Net-pundits are crowing about the simple but apparently devastating “spreadsheet error” at the heart of a 2010 think-tank study promoting “austerity economics” to attack government debt. If not for the faulty math, the study’s critics claim, the study’s claims would be seen as the nonsense they are. Yeah, but facts have seldom gotten in the way of “shock doctrine” partisans, before or since.
  • Eco-Scare of the Week (non-fertilizer edition): Even before rising sea levels submerge many small Pacific islands, they’ll fatally disrupt those places’ fresh-water tables, making them uninhabitable.
  • Scott Miller, R.I.P.: The Loud Family/Game Theory musician was a leading light in the ’80s power pop revival, as well as a top scholar/historian about the pop/rock sphere. For a limited time, his heirs are making six of his out-of-print albums available as free downloads.
  • Blogger Nadine Friedman hates, hates, hates the latest Dove “real beauty” ad campaign. She claims it actually reinforces the standard corporate standards of female ideals.
  • Aaron Steven Miller at Medium.com wants book publishers to take the lead in tech-ifying and social-media-ifying their operations, before Amazon completely crushes them. Of course, that would require book publishers to cease being, as Miller puts it…

…historically the stingiest, most fiscally conservative, most technologically resistant and investment-averse people ever, with the highest percentage of luddites per capita.

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.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/18/12
Jul 18th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

There was a competition going on for short films about Seattle. Some of the entrants (at least they seem like they could be) are showing up online. F’rinstance, here’s a poetic ode to the city by Riz Rollins; and here’s Peter Edlund’s Love, Seattle (based on the opening to Woody Allen’s Manhattan and dedicated to team-and-dream stealer Clay Bennett).

RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/5/12
May 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

designboom.com

  • The resurgent micro-car movement has a new achievement, the micro RV!
  • Lightning, mudslides. Just another mid-spring day in Seattle.
  • Gov. Gregoire takes the bold step of insisting Wash. state needs new tax revenue, now that she’s no longer running for anything.
  • A (female) anti-choice activist was invited to speak at the UW by campus Catholics. The lecture’s deliberately provocative title: “Do Women Have Too Many Rights?”. Pro-choice women, naturally, showed up to protest and to put the truth to the speaker’s lies. Things did not go smoothly.
  • Roger Valdez at the Seattle Transit Blog suggests citizens take control of preserving neighborhood landmarks by getting together to buy them.
  • Developers of the big (175-foot) waterfront ferris wheel are making sure it’ll attract riders year round. Riders will be in “enclosed gondolas, equipped with heating and air conditioning.”
  • Darn, those proposed new Amazon office towers would be mighty big n’ slick.
  • Boeing’s Wash. state employment may peak this year at about 83,000, then dwindle.
  • Health Scare of the Day: Wazzu researchers believe exposure to toxic chemicals might lead to a risk of ovarian cancer, a risk that could be passed on to your great-granddaughters.
  • It’s the end of an era for non-NY/LA/SF based national media. Playboy is moving its last Chicago-based operations to LA. The Chicago Tribune even published an editorial about it.
  • I don’t always follow ’em, but you might try blogger Barb Sawyers’ “15 Ways to Write Tight.”
  • The Starz series Magic City is having a hard time finding actresses and extras in Miami who could pass for women living in 1959 (i.e., without implants).
  • I was at the Prole Drift art gallery this past First Thursday. Saw a big painting of what looked a lot like a dead mall. A desolate exurban landscape. A big, nearly empty parking lot. Long, lo-rise buildings with neither windows nor signs. A main entrance at the center. I told the gallery owners I was in a Facebook group of dead mall enthusiasts. They quickly told me the painting was really of a modern prison.

buddy bunting, via prole drift gallery

HOW COME WHATCOM?
Feb 29th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

As promised, here are the pix of my Sunday Amtrak-trek to the not so naughty border town of Bellingham.

The journey is beautiful. You should take it early and often. WiFi, a snack car, legroom, scenery galore, and all with no driving.

The trestle over Chuckanut Bay just might be one of the great rail experiences of this continent. It really looks like as if train is running straight across the water’s surface.

The Bellingham Amtrak/Greyhound station is just a brief stroll from Fairhaven, the famous town-within-a-town of stately old commercial buildings, and a few new buildings made to sort of look like the old ones.

My destination was in one of the pseudo-vintage buildings. It’s Village Books, a three-story repository of all things bookish.

Why I was there: to give a slide presentation about my book Walking Seattle.

Why people 80 miles away wanted to hear somebody talk about the street views down here? I did not ask. I simply gave ’em what they wanted.

Some two dozen Bellinghamsters braved the sunbreaks punctuated with snow showers to attend.

Afterwards, some kind audience members showed me some of B’ham’s best walking routes. Among these is the Taylor Dock, a historic pedestrian trestle along the waterfront.

Yes, there had been an Occupy Bellingham protest. Some of the protesters made and donated this statue on a rock near Taylor Dock.

Apparently there had been windy weather the previous day.

After that I took a shuttle bus downtown, where I was promptly greeted by a feed and seed store with this lovely signage.

The Horseshoe Cafe comes as close as any place I’ve been to my platonic ideal of a restaurant. Good honest grub at honest prices. Great signage. Great well-kept original interior decor.

(Of course, I had to take advantage of sitting in a cafe in Bellingham to trot out the ol’ iPod and play the Young Fresh Fellows’ “Searchin’ USA.”)

Used the remaining daylight to wander the downtown of the ex-mill town. (Its local economy is now heavily reliant on Western Washington U., another victim of year after year of state higher-ed cuts.)

But I stopped at one place that was so perfect, inside and out. It proudly shouted its all-American American-ness.

Alas, 20th Century Bowling/Cafe/Pub will not last long into the 21st century.

FROM THE INSIDE OUT, AND BACK AGAIN
Jan 7th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

A few days late but always a welcome sight, it’s the yummy return of the annual MISCmedia In/Out List.

As always, this listing denotes what will become hot or not-so-hot during the next year, not necessarily what’s hot or not-so-hot now. If you believe everything big now will just keep getting bigger, I can score you a cheap subscription to News of the World.

INSVILLE OUTSKI
Reclaiming Occupying
Leaving Afghanistan Invading Iran
Chrome OS Windows 8
The Young Turks Piers Morgan Tonight
Ice cream Pie
Bringing back the P-I (or something like it) Bringing back the Sonics (this year)
Community Work It
Obama landslide “Conservatalk” TV/radio (at last)
Microdistilleries Store-brand liquor
Fiat Lexus
World’s Fair 50th anniversary Beatles 50th anniversary
TED.com FunnyOrDie.com
Detroit Brooklyn
State income tax (at last) All-cuts budgets
Civilian space flight Drones
Tubas Auto-Tune (still)
Home fetish dungeons “Man caves”
Tinto Brass Mario Bava
Greek style yogurt Smoothies
Card games Kardashians
Anoraks “Shorts suits”
Electric Crimson Tangerine Tango
Michael Hazanavicius (The Artist) Guy Ritchie
Stories about the minority struggle Stories about noble white people on the sidelines of the minority struggle
(actual) Revolutions The Revolution (ABC self-help talk show)
Kristen Wiig Kristen Stewart
“Well and truly got” “Pwned”
Glow-in-the-dark bicycles (seen in a BlackBerry ad) BlackBerry
Color print-on-demand books Printing in China
Ye-ye revival Folk revival
Interdependence Individualism
Hedgehogs Hedge funds
Erotic e-books Gonzo porn
Michael Fassbender Seth Rogan
Sofia Vergara Megan Fox
3D printing 3D movies (still)
Sex “Platonic sex”
Love “Success”
“What the what?” “Put a bird on it”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/13/11
Jul 13th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

northwest airlines seattle ad 1950s

  • Where the state fails, the city steps up, today’s edition: With no more govt.-sponsored tourism promotion in Washington, Seattle might tax hotels for its own tourist ads.
  • Tuesday’s County Council hearing on the scheme to impose a car-tab surtax to save Metro Transit: Stuffed to overflowing with citizens, sparse on County Council members.
  • You know that deal for Electronic Arts to buy Seattle’s PopCap Games, the deal PopCap management emphatically denied? It’s real, and it’s on.
  • Rupert Murdoch will stop trying to buy all of the satellite TV company BSkyB after all.
  • So far, the Murdoch newspaper scandals in Britain haven’t been directly tied to his U.S. properties. Well, here’s a fresh, all-American scandal for you: Murdoch’s Stateside businesses not only pay no income taxes, but clever exploitation of every tax dodge on the books has let Murdoch get $1 billion or more in tax refunds each of the past four years.
  • Re/Search Books cofounder V. Vale, seeing his industry falter against the winds of tech-induced change, proclaims “If I were an alien from Outer Space wanting to ruin life on Planet Earth, I think I’d invent the Internet.”
  • RIP Sherwood Schwartz, 94, the radio and TV comedy writer who became the creator-producer of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. Fun fact: Schwartz later admitted he’d named the S.S. Minnow after Newton Minow, the FCC commissioner who’d denounced most of primetime TV as “a vast wasteland.”
  • Speaking of which, Joe Berkowitz has handy tips for those of us who refuse to live in televisual abstinence and who continually take gruff for it.
  • While on the big screen, Carina Chocano sees all these “strong women” movie characters and hates ’em. She says they’re not identifiable as women, but just as a different set of stereotypes.
  • New Lake City strip club owner: We’re really an “adult cabaret,” and a respectable business too.
  • And there are many other stories out there, important stuff about the fate of humanity and all. But there’s only one topic on all online users’ minds this day. How dare Netflix raise its rates?
OF INNER FLAMES AND OUTER LIMITS
Jan 4th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

A few days late but always more than welcome, it’s the yummy return of the annual MISCmedia In/Out List.

As always, this listing denotes what will become hot or not-so-hot during the next year, not necessarily what’s hot or not-so-hot now. If you believe everything big now will just keep getting bigger, I can get you a Hummer dealership really cheap.


INSVILLE

OUTSKI

Cash


Credit

Kinect

Silly Bandz

Making stuff here

Outsourcing

John Stuart Mill

Foreclosure mills

Pies

Cupcakes

Sunset red

Aquamarine

Portlandia

Men of a Certain Age

Saving Basic Health

Saving the big banks

Conan on TBS

The Talk

Christopher Nolan

M. Night Shyamalan

Etsy

eBay

Rye

Vodka

“He’s dead, Jim”

“Epic fail”

“Yummy”

“For the win”

Amanda Seyfried

Katherine Heigl

Carlessness

Homelessness

iPad (still)

Windows Phone (still)

Tieton

Soap Lake

Legal absinthe

Legal pot

Root Sports

OWN

Antenna TV

Joe TV

ThePenthouse.fm

Click 98.9

Google ebooks

Borders (alas)

The Head and the Heart

Taylor Swift

Compassion

Righteousness

Bruno Mars

Adam Lambert

Mindfulness

Fearfulness

Oboe

Saxophone

Jason Statham

Gerald Butler

Mixed households

Mixed use projects

Zesto’s

Zappos

DIY animation

3D remakes

Coalitions

Capitulations

Grocery Outlet

Groupon

Life as change

False certainty

Regional soccer rivalry

Kanye West’s beefs

Support networks

Social networking sites

Barter

Gold

Paid web commenters

Unpaid web writers
PRAYING FOR TURKEY, PART 1
Jan 25th, 2000 by Clark Humphrey

WITH THE LAUNCH OF MISCmedia MAGAZINE (copies should be in early subscribers’ mailboxes by today), it’s time to open up this site to the works of other commentators.

(You can submit proposed items if you wish. Just remember: This site does have a scope of subject matter, no matter how vague; so don’t be miffed if your submission isn’t used.)

Our first such installment comes in the form of a travelogue.

Praying for Turkey

by guest columnist Charlotte Quinn

I WENT TO TURKEY to film a documentary about the Amazons. I know, I know there was a big earthquake there and why would anyone do that?

Well, I’ve been wanting to go to Turkey for many years.

A few years ago I would’ve gone but we were (are) at war with Iraq (Turkey’s neighbor). Then there was all the confusing horror of the Balkans, just kissing Turkey to the northwest. Meanwhile, there’s the escalating civil war with the Kurds to the southeast (still going strong). There had been terrorist bombs in tourist sites all over Turkey due to the capture of Ocalan, the Kurdish leader. To the southwest, tensions with the Greeks were mounting into perhaps a larger dispute over Cyprus. I kept postponing, praying, waiting for a peaceful time to go see Turkey.

When the earthquake hit, I guess I realized that five years was enough. I prayed real loud, and, as usual, no one answered.

SO I WENT TO TURKEY. To Samsun, about 600 miles east of the epicenter. From there I explored the wild and dangerous Black Sea coast in search of Themiscrya, the supposed ancient homeland of the Amazons.

Did they talk about the earthquake in Samsun? Not much. It was in the air; and, from what I could gather in three weeks, the Turks suffer loudly and animatedly, but not for long. The earthquake would come up once in a while and everyone would say it was bad and unfortunate (two words I heard over and over again), and thank God for the Americans, and the Iraqis, and even the Greeks for helping out, and then there would be a deep silence until someone would mention how unlikely an earthquake would be in Samsun. On to the next subject.

They realized I was the representative of the tourist industry. Nothing negative, oh, no. One person said, “You gave us 10 million dollars, but Iraq gave us 20 million in oil.” That’s kind of embarrassing, considering I think we have some airbase in Turkey from which we are refueling to bomb Iraq.

Just before I left for Turkey a news story struck my attention from the back pages of the newspaper. Americans had mistakenly launched a missile at an entire Muslim family’s home in Iraq. They were murdered while they slept. Mothers, uncles, children–everyone was dead. Two cousins who were outside at the well survived. This was brought up in conversation while I was in Turkey. I felt too humiliated by my own country to say anything. Most Americans, I wanted to tell them, don’t know we are still bombing Iraq at all.

I HAD READ IN MY LONELY PLANET GUIDEBOOK not to discuss politics with the Turks. Turns out the people I talked to were not at all opposed to arguing politics. We shared our unhappiness and frustration about nearly every country. (America shouldn’t be bombing Iraq to hell, we decided). I argued for the legalization of prostitution; they didnt agree.

This is from a society which is highly censored. You can’t speak against the government.You can’t say anything negative about Ataturk, the man who westernized Turkey in the 20s. If you do, it’s straight to jail. And the Turkish police are not opposed to torture; although since Midnight Express they are really really nice to Americans. I’m not kidding.

While most unmarried turkish couples can’t get a hotel room, even in Istanbul, tourists can be an heathen as they like. In a country which needs tourists more than ever now, there is a great deal of pressure on the whole country to treat tourists like royalty.

STILL, DON’T PUT DOWN ATATURK. On every pedistal, in every town square, every school, mosque, etc. there is Ataturk, who gave the Turks their last names, their westernized letters, and their secular goverment. You can go to prison for criticizing him. I made an off joke, saying something like, “Oh, another Ataturk statue”, and I noticed some self-censorship on the part of my friends. Laughter was stiffled, heads were turned, the subject was changed. Best to avoid Ataturk altogether.

TOMORROW: Some more of this.

ELSEWHERE:

  • Collective Insanity: Stories, poems, line art, semi-abstract photos, a “scepter of misspoken time,” and “Why I Bought a Kitten….”
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