Tacoma Urbanist

Mar. 21, 2008 at 12:09am

Volcano Features Daniel Blue; Censors RR Anderson


Tacoma Artist Watch


I won't try to make any sort of artistic review of Tacoma's alternative artists like Jean Graves.   However, below are a few observations of two of Tacoma's cutting edge artists many of us know.

For those keeping up with the Tacoma blogoshpere, Blue and RR recently crossed rhetorical swords over the concept and appropriateness of Go Local "Trust Lists" here and here.

Daniel Blue


This week, the Tacoma Volcano is running a 1723 word feature by Tacoma Poet Daniel Blue.  The picture in the print edition features a repetitive picture of Blue which is an artistic piece in itself.






Blue is featured on the cover of the Volcano as well.




In the piece, Blue analyzes, comments and deconstructs the work of Columbia educated Professor Richard Florida author of the bestselling "Rise of the Creative Class":

Florida’s shtick is stuck in the muddy philosophy that the most successful cities of the future will be the cities that attract the freshest batches of a new type of blood....

He ever so lovingly dubbed this group of people the creative class and set about appointing all sorts of task forces within Tacoma to discover our creative potential....

Dork-a-tron, right?...

We perhaps stand to lose control of a whole lot of soul unless we create some better questions to ask.


...

We all want a great place to live, and the potential to create it is right here under our noses. I suppose there is always the alternative that could be called the destructive class, but the consequences of burning down the mall aren’t as attractive as creating a way for people to spend more time downtown, and the smoke would be bad for the environment — kind of.

I suggest you read the full piece to get the full meaning of the article.  A few excerpts does not do justice to the article, especially the ones I have selected.

Volcano Censors Cartoonist RR Anderson


Meanwhile, RR Anderson did not fair as well in this week's Volcano.  Fresh from his successful Tacomic party, Anderson now finds his work stifled.  Sure enough, the Volcano ran a Tacomic of his as they do every week:




The only problem is that this is the Tacomic from January 1, 2008. It is now the end of March. 

For better or worse, the Weekly Volcano censored RR Anderson's Tacomic this week.  Yet, many readers will no doubt be seeing the Russell Tacomic for the first time so it certainly wasn't a waste.  In fact, it may even be more relevant and popular.

Fortunately, the Volcano did run RR's uncensored original ad:



(I include this for the increasing number of Tacomans who have ceased reading newspapers altogther)

Commentary

Daniel Blue

Blue's analysis on the creative forces in Tacoma and critique of Florida's "Creative Class" theories may have the paradoxical effect of establishing that  Blue is one of the creative people Florida is speaking of.  To Daniel's dismay, perhaps Florida would conclude that Blue is a perfect demonstration of his "creative class" theory.

RR Anderson

By not printing RR Anderson's latest Tacomic, the Weekly Volcano showed that it is not Tacoma's version of the Stranger.   However, perhaps that is a good thing.  RR is also experiencing the "freedom of expression" of periodicals to run what they choose.

comments [18]  |  posted under tacoma

Comments

by izenmania on 3/21/2008 @ 12:28am
Yeah, there was some discussion at the feed feed Wednesday as to whether it would get pulled, largely due to the bit in the corner with the cop and the klansman, and the fact that RR's syndication agreement permits them to not run a cartoon if they wish, but does not permit them to edit the cartoon in any way.

by Erik on 3/21/2008 @ 12:34am
...and the fact that RR's syndication agreement permits them to not run a cartoon if they wish, but does not permit them to edit the cartoon in any way.

RR might have placed that clause in there after an earlier Tacomic got photoshopped.

www.feedtacoma.com/tacomic/?tid=3857

by KevinFreitas on 3/21/2008 @ 6:49am
Actually, that part of our syndication agreement was my idea.

Shame they didn't print it but it just goes to show that more can be said on the internet and FeedTacoma than in any print pub in town. It's nice they grabbed another Tacomic though instead of leaving that space for something else. Plenty relevant too. Hope RR got paid tho even if it was an old one. ;)

by PaulSparks on 3/21/2008 @ 6:57am
"Florida was right about the new style, and he's right about the cold fact that any city is dead in the water that cannot foster creativity and innovation."

Daniel's article did not set out to prove that Florida was wrong - or that Daniel was not part of the Creative Class. It seems to me that the objective was to say that Florida's picture needs to be enlarged. Just attempting to fill the town with creative people is not enough - creativity must be focused on goals larger than the individual.

"but, unless we focus our creativity outside our affinity groups and individual projects and begine to imagine that community as a whole, Tacoma may not be a great place to stay for very long."


This, of course, is an area where the Tacoma Urbanist has always been profound (using creativity, innovation, and plain hard work to enable projects that will help the whole of Tacoma and its' neighborhoods).

by NineInchNachos on 3/21/2008 @ 7:28am
I think this had more to do with not making BCPA angry which is a big advertiser in the volcano. Not necessarily a bad business move.

it actually works out good for both parties. The volcano gets an awesome cartoon alternative because of our massive inventory of unpublished material AND I get word-of-mouth publicity the caliber of which you cant buy from a legitimate marketing firm.

Everybody wins! :)

by Erik on 3/21/2008 @ 9:41am
Shame they didn't print it but it just goes to show that more can be said on the internet and FeedTacoma than in any print pub in town.

Yes, I suppose this episode proves that.

Looking at the Tacomic, it looks like RR wanted to test it out.

It seems to me that the objective was to say that Florida's picture needs to be enlarged. Just attempting to fill the town with creative people is not enough - creativity must be focused on goals larger than the individual.

I realize that. However, concentrating the quotes of Blue together that criticized Florida made for some good reading.

That's why I said:

I suggest you read the full piece to get the full meaning of the article. A few excerpts does not do justice to the article, especially the ones I have selected.

Plus, "Dork-a-tron, right?" was simply more quotable.

Just attempting to fill the town with creative people is not enough - creativity must be focused on goals larger than the individual.

Perhaps. However, Florida may say that once the "creative class" was located in the city they would start creating on their own sua sponte.

by RonSwarner on 3/21/2008 @ 11:48am
Thank you Tacoma Urbanist for spotlighting two talented individuals. I feel fortunate to have both in the Weekly Volcano.

The Weekly Volcano did pull R.R. Anderson's comic this week. I felt the Tacoma Police Department high-fiving a Klan member was extreme and unwarranted. I didn't sit right with me.

Thanks for reading.

by intacoma on 3/21/2008 @ 12:51pm
Ron Swarner so hot right now

by RonSwarner on 3/21/2008 @ 1:20pm
I'd be hotter if I wrote "It didn't sit right with me."

by NineInchNachos on 3/21/2008 @ 1:24pm
"I felt the Tacoma Police Department high-fiving a Klan member was extreme and unwarranted."

In what other field can an individual inspire quotations such as these? Ah to be a cartoonist. :)

by Erik on 3/22/2008 @ 10:03am
Thank you Tacoma Urbanist for spotlighting two talented individuals.

My pleasure.

I feel fortunate to have both in the Weekly Volcano.

Yes. You pulled off an artistic coup in Tacoma of sorts by syndicating both of them.

Here's an earlier piece I wrote in January and a review of some of their work at the time and their presence in the Tacoma art world. (to the extent it can be quantified):

i.feedtacoma.com/Erik/daniel-blue-rr-and...

Now if they can just get along with each other.

by Voronoff-the-Ghost-Critic on 3/22/2008 @ 10:51pm
"The picture in the print edition features a repetitive picture of Blue which is a artistic piece in itself."

It would be more artistic if the author used proper English, since A is a vowel:
"which is AN artistic piece...."

I also thought it was funny (as a college graduate)
that the title of Mr. Blue's finely intellectual article contained a very similar and sadly common
error in the English language:
"Be A Urbannovator" now this is a wonderful idea
but didn't anyone catch that there should be a "N" attached to the "A" so it sounds right? Or, perhaps even more hip and cool, was the N intentionally dropped so to appear less intelligent than the finely written, ambitiously, deliriously in love with tacoma flair of this article? AN always seemed to sound more smarter-er than UH.


by Erik on 3/23/2008 @ 12:30am
I also thought it was funny (as a college graduate)
that the title of Mr. Blue's finely intellectual article contained a very similar and sadly common
error in the English language:


Looks like you are a stickler for proper English Voronoff.

However, your spelling critique(s) contains a number of spelling and grammatical errors itself.

I'm just sayin'

by KevinFreitas on 3/23/2008 @ 8:22am
"...your spelling critique(s) contains a number of spelling and grammatical errors itself."

No need to get snarky about it Erik. We're all friends here. Difference: comment on a blog (Voronoff) and the Weekly Volcano (published periodical). Any newspaper that's wants to differentiate itself from more informal writing like blogs, blog comments, forums, twitters, etc should be able to catch and edit such errors. I'm no English whiz myself but the the A versus AN thing is one I have a hard time believing any editor should miss. Voronoff brings up a completely valid point and since local papers ask to be held to that standard and are being paid to do so I find no fault in calling that out. I want to be proud of the publications that come from here since they represent us to the greater world whether we like that or not. Thankfully, with blogs, Google has helped other voices take care of some of that representation.

by jenyum on 3/23/2008 @ 9:05am
The a/an thing was pretty bad. You know, I am available for copy editing at bargain basement rates. Any time. Just don't critique my comma use.

by Erik on 3/23/2008 @ 10:08am
No need to get snarky about it Erik. We're all friends here. Difference: comment on a blog (Voronoff) and the Weekly Volcano (published periodical).

No snarkiness intended. Hence, the urban disclaimer at the end of my comment.

However, if someone is going to comment on the grammatical correctness of a blog post, which no doubt is full of every conceivable grammatical and spelling error, it's appropriate to review his comment for the same. Otherwise, it just ain't right.

The a/an thing was pretty bad.

I agree. For a printed publication, it's pretty unusual to see such an error especially in a title. Perhaps they are a little short staffed over there.

by Voronoff-the-Ghost-Critic on 3/23/2008 @ 10:19am
english iz a funnee language. all us we should try make em better when trying to try harder to build the saturation level of tacoma community lovely gooey make it all seem rosy and better than it actually iz.
tacoma still smells bad somedays.
i still like that volcanicweekly don't get me rong.
it still sits with me quite well.
i hope to be A-Uh UrbanUHvator too but it really needs to be through more than words, tho werds are nice and fun too to express and challenge.

by RonSwarner on 4/1/2008 @ 5:01pm
There are a handful of folks out there whose whole existence seems to revolve around finding grammatical errors in newspapers. Copy editors for the masses. Intoxicated by their discovery, they then dash off scathing notes telling us what fools we be.

Nice.

Sometimes headlines are written on a tight deadline. This haste and the constant rewording to make the headline fit can lead to mistakes, either factual, grammatical or headlines that can be read two different ways.

In this case the “n” was dropped.

Thanks for reading.