Scatter hasn’t been lolling in the mud baths, again, daiqueri close to hand, shrimp grilling nearby on the barbie and hammock beckoning. Oh no. We’ve been busy. I started to say “burning the midnight oil”, but somewhere along the line we’ve lost that cliche, haven’t we — it wasn’t enough that the technology changed, now the expression suggests that you’re not properly attuned to coming global climate catastrophes. So no midnight oil, but busy nonetheless.
There’s been lots of news we’ve followed but not commented upon as yet, and over at my other home, Portland Arts Watch, I have posted the following:
1. An account of another of Randy Gragg’s Bright City Light series, this one with Miguel Rosales, who is working with TriMet on the new light rail/pedestrian bridge over the Willamette River, between the Marquam and Ross Island bridges. Rosales is very convincing, so convincing that I’m following up that post with a column about it all in Monday’s Oregonian. You read it here first!
2. Michael Pollan was here Tuesday night, encouraging us to do what we’re already trying to do, which is eat sensibly. I had my notebook out and wrote that up, too. His primary message: figure out what real food is and eat it. Pay no attention to the men in white lab coats and their studied extolling this or debunking that. Oh, and get some exercise. Of course, this is harder advice to follow than it sounds.
3. “The Seafarer” and three of its principals, Allen Nause, Bill Geisslinger and Denis Arndt got yet another post, this one long and more, um, Scatter-y.
So, if any of those interest you at all, by all means make the neuronal leap through the ether. I informed visitors at Portland Arts Watch that if they wanted some super-long posts on Willa Dorsey, Camas (which we know is really spelled Kamass, right?), wapato and Blue Cranes meet Charles Ives, they should come over here. Swamp potatoes! Yummy!
Other not-so-breaking news:
Library use in Seattle has jumped dramatically, according the Seattle Times, which jibes perfectly with what we’ve noticed anecdotally speaking at our favorite library branches — more people milling about and shelves groaning with books on hold.
I’m already counting this is as one small positive by-product of our burst financial bubbles.
Speaking of Depressions and Seattle, you know some things are probably going to happen, but even when they do, you find you aren’t completely prepared, psychically speaking. So, the news that Post-Intelligencer, the PI, is “for sale” and possibly shutting down, was hard to take. It’s unlikely that anyone will actually BUY the paper, but there is some talk that it might reduce itself all the way down to a web-only product, which would cost hundreds of jobs but would be an interesting experiment, if its Hearst owners want to experiment a little. Which they should.
Staying on economic matters, Barack Obama’s art policy plank (from the link: “The mere existence of a cultural policy platform is an amazing thing, a good thing,” says Richard Kessler, executive director of The Center for Arts Education of New York City. “Nothing like it existed before in the history of our country.”) could generate something approaching the old WPA artists program, which jump-started American cultural life in the Thirties. I’m also thinking of the CETA money in the ’70s, the positive effects of which haven’t been calculated (at least that I’ve seen anywhere).
What, pray tell, is the sexual orientation of France’s beloved comic book hero Tintin? A French columnist suggested that he might be, gulp, gay, and the French Nation rose as one to condemn said columnist. His key paragraph:
â€œWhat debate can there be when the evidence is so overwhelmingly one-way? A callow, androgynous, blonde-quiffed youth in funny trousers and a scarf moving into the country mansion of his best friend, a middle-aged sailor? A sweet-faced lad devoted to a fluffy white toy terrier, whose other closest pals are an inseparable couple of detectives in bowler hats.â€
It was a joke, French Nation! Comic book characters don’t actually HAVE sexual lives, let alone sexual orientations. And if Tintin had an orientation and it happened to include sailors, so what? This is the land of Michel Foucault, for goodness sakes. And they call us intolerant and unsophisticated. Now, French Nation, what about the Little Prince?