The List: Seattle author spotlight, ‘Walkman Effect’
HTML Giant’s Seattle Author Spotlight
The self-described “literature blog that isn’t always about literature” takes a look at compelling Seattle authors — and not the ones you think. (No offense, Mssrs. Alexie, Doig and Egan.) Among the writers interviewed by local poet Rauan Klassnik are Elissa Washuta — whose memoir, “My Body Is a Book of Rules” is due out next year — and former Hugo House program director and essayist Brian McGuigan. Find all nine of the pieces at htmlgiant.com/tag/seattle-author-spotlight.
‘The Walkman Effect’
Published in 1984, this piece from the journal Popular Music is even more relevant today. Shuhei Hosokawa examines the phenomenon of the Walkman, introduced in 1980, which made listening to music — previously a communal, static activity — into a private, dynamic one. “ This listener,” Hosokawa writes, “ seems to cut the auditory contact with the outer world where he really lives; seeking the perfection of his ‘individual’ zone of listening, he is the minimum, mobile and intelligent unit.” Take a walk around South Lake Union and decide for yourself whether that's a good thing. The article can be purchased, or rented to read for 24 hours, at jstor.org.
‘Naked and Afraid’
From the reality television geniuses at The Discovery Channel — who managed to turn African mammals into celebrities on “Meerkat Manor” — now comes perhaps the point omega in the genre. The premise of the show is that a man and a woman are dropped, naked and presumably afraid, in a remote location like Borneo or Panama; they are allowed to choose one tool each; and are then left for three weeks to cope in their dystopian Eden. One of the more entertaining aspects is the gender dynamic that emerges, in which the tough guy survivalist is more often than not reduced to the whiny state of a homesick Cub Scout, while the woman stays collected and manages to get a fire started or find water. Check listings at seattletimes.com/entertainment.
Brian Thomas Gallagher, assistant features editor