Sep 11th, 2023 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s newest lesbian bar; cops caught laughing about another cop running over someone; family-friendly shelter units are especially scarce; saving what’s left of Seattle’s historic Black neighborhood.

Sep 12th, 2021 by Clark Humphrey

Local 9/11 remembrances; autumnal weather’s welcome return; a passenger’s anti-mask tirade stalls a Fauntleroy ferry run; Wilson and Seahawks’ triumphal season debut.

9/11/20: ‘TABLE’ MANNERS
Sep 11th, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Posed photos depict a Black Everywoman front and center; wildfires are still as bad while toxic smoke gets worse; who’s backing the ‘Recall Sawant’ drive?; 19 years ago today wasn’t the worst thing to happen in America in our lifetimes.

9/11/19: RE: RE-RE-BAR?
Sep 10th, 2019 by Clark Humphrey

Venerable music-dance club’s building’s for sale; Gates details past meetings w/Jeffrey Epstein; Columbia River barges are stuck behind a broken dam lock; 18 Years After.

Sep 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

andraste.com via the smoking gun

  • A Seattle fetish photographer puts up some shots taken inside a cemetery. Legal rancor ensues. Trust me on this: The dead people don’t give a darn.
  • Heather Artena Hughes, 1967-2012: The longtime local actress/singer/dancer/comedienne did everything from torch songs and burlesque bits to parody wrestling matches. She was a regular in the Match Game Belltown shows. Everyone who knew and/or worked with her called her a near-goddess of skill and verve.
  • Nordstrom is expanding into Canada. (No “designer toque” jokes from this corner.)
  • Why do the Mariners brass still oppose the Sonics arena scheme? Could it be because the M’s could conceivably want their own cable channel, and any neo-Sonics team could conceivably compete with that?
  • The city of Auburn has a “wall of shame,” decrying banks that hold on to foreclosed homes and leave them to decay.
  • A JPMorganChase analyst claims the iPhone 5 (just announced this week) “could prop up the entire U.S. economy.” Douglas Rushkoff at CNN is more than a little skeptical about this claim.
  • AT&T wants the legal right to abandon the landline-phone biz, and with it all demands for “network neutrality” that keep it from manipulating what websites its customers get to see.
  • The broadcast/cable/satellite TV industries, and their attorneys, continue to make the online streaming of “free” TV a near-impossibility.
  • It’s a little too late for the chain’s Washington locations (the regional franchisee went under a year or two back), but Hooters is trying to be more female-friendly.
  • It’s not much of a comic (just dialogue scenes), but there’s still novelty value to a lawyer making a five-page strip as a legal brief in the Apple/Amazon ebook pricing suit.
  • USA Today just brought out a massive print/online redesign. Nice to see a print paper fighting for continued relevance, instead of just fading away.
  • Amanda Palmer raised over a million bucks on Kickstarter for a new album. Not getting a slice of that: local pickup musicians on her tour stops.
  • The Pussy Riot protesters might get out of jail next month. Just might.
  • “Did the Republicans deliberately crash the U.S. economy?” Or was that merely collateral damage in the game of supplying as many favors as possible to its billionaire campaign donors?
  • How do you get and keep more women in the tech industries? One way is to not require programming experience in filling non-programming jobs (such as middle management).
  • What will it take to get more black ballet dancers?
Mar 5th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey


  • Ex Seattle First Brother Bob Royer looks back at one of the city’s first prominent newspaperwomen. Fun fact: In the late 1930s, the Seattle Times had six people working in the “society” section; an expense more than made up by the amount of “women’s” oriented advertising in the section. Speaking of which….
  • The P-I globe will remain standing, somewhere. That’s nice. But it’s not just the globe that I’d wanted preserved. Speaking of which….
  • Newspapers are losing $7 in print ad revenue for every $1 they gain in online ad revenue. This is from a Pew Research study. The study’s authors claim papers “need to prioritize digital ad revenues” in order to survive. But what if that’s still not nearly enough? The study cites a “success story” of a small paper (20,000 print circ.) that’s now making $670,000 a year online, compared to $8 million from print ads. That doesn’t look like a bright future to me.
  • The new Miss Seattle used to be a Miss Phoenix. Last December she Tweeted® how she “Ugh can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people.” She has since apologized.
  • Could liquor privatization in Wash. state really get derailed by a court challenge on techinical issues in the original initiative?
  • Repercussions continue from Friday night’s Republican coup in the state Senate. The all-cuts budget they rushed through, with the help of three turncoat conserva-Dems but with no public hearings, turns out to hurt K-12 education and devastate services for the neediest.
  • Also, the GOP’s parliamentary trickery doomed about 20 non-budget bills from the state House, which died because the Senate didn’t take action on them by midnight Friday.
  • Meanwhile, the national Republicans, becoming shriller and stupider every week, have firmly (and probably fatally) tied their fate to the aging, non-college-educated, white male demographic. And they’re “appealing” to this last remaining constituency by treating them like idiots.
  • Oh, and the even more batshit-n’-bigoted than ever Limbaugh? He’s lost a third of his ratings in the last few years. (However, some of that loss can be attributed to more accurate means of measuring radio listenership.) But in any event, the right wing “outrage machine,” which includes Limbaugh and his many imitators, may have finally become too petty and brutal for its own good.
  • Besides, there’s a problem with trying to bring sexuality and women’s lives back to what they were in the 1950s. It wasn’t working then either. As local author Stephanie Coontz points out, “Teenage childbearing peaked in the fabulous family-oriented 1950s.”
  • The GOP-controlled U.S. House is pushing through a bill that would crack down on protests anywhere a federal official might be present. At least, that’s what a worst-case interpretation of its “imprecise language” might infer.
  • We know the 9/11 bombers came from Saudi Arabia. But did the Saudi regime itself collude in the attack? Two former U.S. Senators say maybe.
  • A megarich hedge fund manager write lucidly about the failures of capitalism in regard to preserving a sustainable society.
  • What if crossword puzzle editors wrote poetry?
  • Finally, here is a handy pie chart of “excuses conservatives make when facts prove them wrong“:

Sep 11th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

scene from antiwar protest downtown, march 2003

After all the recycled bluster about the police and the firefighters and especially the troops, about the valiant politicians and the flag waving celebrities, about the need to never forget the horrible day which begat the horrible decade of the endless wars and the mass intimidation and the institutionalized fear mongering and the ugly racism and the corruption of democracy, what more is to be said?

Quite a bit.

We can remember the World Trade Center’s Seattle architect, Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986). His local works include Puget Sound Plaza, Rainier Square, the Pacific Science Center, and the IBM Building (based on his early WTC design work).

Yamasaki didn’t live to see the towers attacked. But he knew the consequences of war-inspired fear and prejudice.

It was only the intercession of an early employer, and the fact that he was working in the northeast at the time, that got him exempted from the WWII internment of western Americans of Japanese ancestry.

We can remember the opportunities for international cooperation to build a safer world. And how those opportunities were deliberately quashed by the Bush-Cheney regime.

We can remember the Patriot Act, the TSA, the “total information awareness” domestic eavesdropping scheme, the media’s ignoring of an initially strong antiwar movement, and all the big and little ways the regime waged war on its own citizens.

We can remember the Americans troops still in harm’s way in Afghanistan and, yes, in Iraq. And those who didn’t make it back. And those who are back home but seriously harmed physically and psychologically, and who have received insufficient care.

We can remember the thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis who had nothing to do with the original attacks but died in the ensuing wars and occupations.

We can remember we still need exit strategies from both occupations, strategies that will protect Iraqis and Afghanis of all sexes and ethnicities.

We can remember the terrible damage wrought on the U.S. budget by war spending, combined with the millionaires’ tax cuts and the rest of the neocon economic misadventure.

And remembering all that, we can say, yes, “never again.”

Never again will we be manipulated by fear, either by foreign civilians or by our own leaders.

Never again will we let peace and reason be treated as dirty words.

Never again will we invade first and ask questions later.

Never again will we strike against entire nations over the horrendous crimes of a few dozen individuals (most of whom had never lived in either invaded nation).

Never again will we allow fear of “Islamic” fundamentalist repression to become an excuse for “Christian” fundamentalist repression.

Never again will we sacrifice our freedoms under the excuse of protecting them.

Sep 8th, 2011 by Clark Humphrey

from thestand.org

  • The Longview longshoremen’s labor action has spread to the Port of Seattle, which is what it took to get the Seattle media to notice it. While few were looking, Wash. state became one of the few places where labor is directly striking back.
  • Ready for another cold, rainy and/or snowy winter?
  • So much for the great biotech job boom hope: Dendreon is laying off at least a quarter of its staff.
  • Who’s replacing C.R. Douglas as a public affairs host at the Seattle Channel? The same guy Douglas replaced on KCPQ.
  • Update: Here are some remembrances of the tragically gone-from-us Espresso Vivace favorite Brian Fairbrother.
  • Seattle-based activists have filed suit to block the State Route 520 replacement project.
  • I like the Tiger Bar in Georgetown. It’s sad to hear about one of its owners allegedly going off-hinge.
  • Pete Jackson has vivid memories of Everett’s last pulp-and-paper mill.
  • The combined offices and server farms of Google are responsible, in the company’s own estimates, for 1.5 million tons of CO2 sent into the atmosphere annually. But Google insists it’s still more energy-stingy than the average dot-com.
  • I won’t link to very many 9/11 anniversary hype pieces, but here’s Janine Jackson wondering if we can ever get our civil liberties back.
  • There have long been people who’ve whined about the imminent death of “the word” in a culture cluttered up with images. But now here’s a voice from the other side as it were. At the Columbia Journalism Review, Dave Marash proclaims that “for the first time in history, mankind is developing a universal language: video.” In particular, he cites the amazing news footage generated by world broadcasters and by amateurs in this year’s Mideast uprisings. But then Marash bashes U.S. TV news for not showing enough of these pictures, instead filling time with pontificatin’ pundits.
Sep 11th, 2010 by Clark Humphrey

…I wouldn’t write any 9/11-plus-nine-years punditry today. So instead, here’s a remembrance from someone who was there, and who now sees a lesson in the perseverence of life.

Oct 14th, 2001 by Clark Humphrey

As promised a couple weeks back, here is my preliminary list of some of what I love about this nation of ours. Thanks for your emailed suggestions; more are quite welcome.)

  • Corn dogs, and the proud people who make and serve them.
  • 217 cable channels, at least 10 of which are showing the same dumb movie at any given time.
  • Upbeat/consensual pornos in every known fetish.
  • Urban intersections with a Starbucks on every corner.
  • Suburban intersections with a 7-Eleven on every corner.
  • September issues of Vogue thicker than the models.
  • Fabulous babes coast to coast, many of whom have powerful careers.
  • Boys happily puking into bushes at Florida Spring Break.
  • Dr. Seuss, Mary Engelbreit, Charles Schulz, James Thurber, R. Crumb, Chris Ware, and Dan Clowes.
  • Fudge-banana swirl ice cream.
  • Dodge Darts.
  • The Internet, MP3s, chat rooms, multi-user dungeons, and QuickTime movies.
  • Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Looney Tunes, and Corey Feldman.
  • The gum that goes squirt.
  • Novelty stores with chocolate nipples and penis candles.
  • The sports-book room at the Cal-Neva casino in Reno.
  • The films of Russ Meyer and John Waters.
  • The long lonesome highway, and the proud truckers and tourists who traverse it every day.
  • Ann-Margaret, Betty Page, Mae West, Willa Cather, Beverly Cleary, Ella Grasso, Susan B. Anthony, Marilyn Chambers, and Jessamyn West.
  • Sleazy detective magazines, “true crime” books, film noir.
  • The Brooklyn Bridge, the Gateway Arch, the Brown Derby, and the Corn Palace.
  • Anyone can grow up to become a corrupt politician or a sneak-thief business executive.
  • Summer in Anchorage, winter in Honolulu, autumn in New England, and spring in Seattle.
  • Old Faithful, the Mammoth Caves, Monument Valley, and the Trees of Mystery.
  • Dollywood, Opryland, Wisconsin Dells, Wall Drug, Enchanted Village, and the Bible theme parks of Florida.
  • All-you-can-eat buffets and bottomless cups of coffee.
  • BBQ beef, Cajun catfish, smoked salmon, chicken nuggets, and pork rinds.
  • Potato chips, ice cream cones, Hostess Sno-Balls, and non-dairy creamer.
  • Crossword puzzles.
  • Gene Rayburn, Betty White, Garry Moore, Bill Cullen, and Charles Nelson Reilly.
  • David Letterman, Johnny Carson, Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, Fred Allen, Ricki Lake, Sandy Hill, and Rosie O’Donnell.
  • Indie motels with fantastical neon signs.
  • Butter-Lite flavor microwave popcorn.
  • No-fault divorce.
  • Retractable-roof stadia.
  • Millions of assorted cults (religious, celebrity, musical, medical, investment, etc. etc.).
  • Muddy Waters, Ethel Waters, and Barbara Walters.
  • Bix Beiderbecke, Dizzy Gillespie, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Wayne Horvitz, and Raymond Scott.
  • Julie London, Vikki Carr, the Andrews Sisters, the Mills Brothers, Motown, Phil Spector, the Ventures, the Ramones, the B-52s, and the Young Fresh Fellows.
  • Wine bars, sports bars, pickup bars, pickup trucks, monster trucks, semi rigs, and fork lifts.
  • Aaron Copland, Henry Partch, Charles Ives, Frank Zappa, and the Residents.
  • Johnny Cash, Bob Wills, Tammy Wynette, Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy, Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Kitty Wells, and Homer & Jethro.
  • Pulp magazines, bodice-ripper paperbacks, and $100 collector’s editions of Walden.
  • The Big Mouth Billy Bass, the Kitchen Magician, the Pocket Fisherman, and the George Forman Grilling Machine.
  • Lou Piniella, “Louie Louie,” Louis Prima, Louis Jordan, Joe Louis, Tina Louise, and Louise Bourgeois.
  • Miss America, Miss December, miscagenation, and Ms. magazine.
  • Simon & Schuster, Simon & Garfunkel, and Simon & Simon.
  • Folks from all the rest of the world are here.
  • Quite a lot of the things I love about other countries are here too.

(This article’s permanent link.)

Oct 11th, 2001 by Clark Humphrey

NAOMI KLEIN WRITES about “Protesting in the Post-WTC Age.”

Oct 9th, 2001 by Clark Humphrey

A Muslim-American is “shamed by the language and attitudes I find some of my fellow Americans using about Islam.”

The “commodification of ugliness.”

Love French pop singers (and who wouldn’t)? Then check out The Ye-Ye Girls tribute site.

WE ALREADY MENTIONED that feminists…
Sep 29th, 2001 by Clark Humphrey

…who’ve opposed wars in the past (sometimes blaming them on “testosterone poisoning” or similar reverse-sexist reasoning) will now have to reconcile any personal opposition to a war against the Taliban with the existing feminist denunciations of that regime’s treatment of women.

Author-essayist Riane Eisler, interviewed in the L.A. Weekly, has her own such ideological reconciliation: The Afghan fundamentalists’ misogyny, she claims, is such an integral part of their ideology of violence and domination that it’s the duty of equality-loving people to fight back against them.

AS A PREVIEW of sorts…
Sep 28th, 2001 by Clark Humphrey

…to the next print issue, here’s the full version of an essay that will appear in edited form in the mag. It’s by Eve Appleton (who wrote for our previous print issue), and it’s about a number of issues relating to the threat of war. Its most important point is her proclamation that yes, she is a patriot AND a worker for peace.

Sep 24th, 2001 by Clark Humphrey

At first, I thought the sudden emergence of an overriding central political issue would render irrelevant all the littler things progressives obsess over, such as gender-role images in the media or PoMo deconstructions of texts.

But then it dawned on me that all these sub-issues relate, at least indirectly, to the main tasks at hand: Getting the U.S. going again, not letting Bush pull us toward an inevitably-futile armed conflict, and getting the U.S. out of the colonial-empire game that got us into this mess.

Herewith, a few speculative ways some of the heretofore largely separate progressive causes might tie into the new Cause #1 (finding a way out of this new military-political situation without losing lots of innocent lives here or elsewhere):

  • Racial Justice: It’s easy to ask Americans of all ethno-types to come together as one people. It’s almost as easy to decry the jerks who make racist attacks on innocent U.S. citizens of Muslim faith and/or Arab descent. It’ll be harder to explain why we should extend the same human dignity to the residents of the nations we’re being told to hate.
  • Feminism: It’s not enough this time to simply dismiss war and militarism as symptoms of “testosterone poisoning,” because those who would advocate an invasion of Afghanistan will try to justify it by citing the Afghan rulers’ miserable treatment of women. Feminists who’ve verbally blasted the Taliban regime will be asked to endorse the physical blasting of the land it rules, or come up with a good reason not to.
  • Alternative Energy/Transportation: As is noted elsewhere in this issue, the U.S. government is friends or ex-freinds with many of the most corrupt dictatorships in north Africa and west Asia for the sake of oil. Those oil-biz pals Bush and Cheney could, if we let them, escalate this into a campaign to install oil-biz-friendly regimes in the region’s “rogue states,” which in the long term would only mess up things there even further.
  • Globalization/Fair Trade: See the paragraph above. Also note that because the terrorists destroyed a citadel/symbol of global business, domestic critics of big corporations might get branded as sympathizers to the attackers’ cause. Such critics should be prepared to explain how they dislike the antidemocratic oligarchies of the Third World, with their extremes of wealth and poverty, and therefore want to challenge the corporate machinations making America more like those places.
  • Multiculturalism, Gay Rights, Etc.: Just what “American” ideals are we supposed to be defending, if they don’t include the ideals of freedom and equality? And building more cross-cultural respect here is the best way to show how to build such respect in, and between, other lands.
  • Free Speech: Dissent and authority-questioning are traditionally among the “first casualties” of any war. But war can also be a casualty of dissent. It’s at least partly due to public pressure that the Gulf War was stopped once its official objective (restoring the Kuwaiti monarchy) was reached. (Unfortunately, thanks partly to decreased domestic attention, the attack on Iraq continued via those destructive yet ineffectual sanctions.)
  • War on Drugs: The clearest example to date of the type of “warfare” being hyped these days—costly, punitive, and doomed attempts to use big, centralized, hierarchical muscle against small, diffuse, autonomous targets, in an attempt to eradicate something that’s always been with us.
  • Postmodernism: The attacks were nearly exact real-world counterparts to what PoMo thinkers have claimed was going on in the worlds of culture and ideas. They were an act of literal “deconstruction,” against clean modern structures and the clean modern empires contained within them, by (if the FBI’s correct) advocates of entirely different operating principles for the world.

    Thus, it takes PoMo thinking to find a response to the attacks that doesn’t end up destroying modern (western) society in the name of saving it.

  • Community Movement: Peace advocates do NOT hate their country; they’re trying to improve it, and to stop it from taking a policy path that won’t solve anything. The community-building movements are examples of this that need more promoting.Also, economic bad times show a greater need for more of us to wean ourselves from dependence on big-corporate jobs, big-corporate-stock based retirement plans, etc.

So don’t for a minute buy into the notion that the conservative prowar contingent’s got some inevitable monopoly on the nation’s hearts-‘n’-minds.

The things progressives have talked about all these years are more relevant, and potentially more promotable, than ever.

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