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The Hammer: March 2024 Daylight Saving Time Edition

Dishing up Aristotle-themed thoughts about Pike Place-themed market

By Ron Judd Executive Editor

March 14, 2024

Cutting Right to the Chase: The Hammer is sorry, but he has not stopped chuckling in the two days since the Port of Bellingham (motto: “Our Heavy Metal Past is Your Scrap Metal Future!”) announced next summer’s big doin’s at The Portal Container Village.

Namely: The star attraction, a new “Pike Place Market-themed” farmers market.

To Be Clear: Hammer is not opposed to the idea of folks selling homegrown goods at the waterfront, nor the cooperative management structure. But the Pike Place reference is high hilarity. Because nothing really says Pike Place authentic market ambiance like a circle of welded-metal boxes on a barren Superfund site with a cross-water view of a massive toxic sludge basin.

But Other Than That: It will be very, very similar — except in scope and reality.

Other Port “Themed” Projects Perhaps in the Works: “Space Needle-themed” giant, fan-powered gesticulating inflatable air-tube man. “Mount Rainier-themed” Iconic industrial scrap-metal pile. “Sea-Tac themed” occasional stray flights to somewhere other than Seattle from BLI. “Blue Angels-themed” combat kite contest at Zuanich Park. A “Titanic-themed” hotel and convention center (oh, snap, that one is real!) “Kidd Valley-inspired” burger stand run by Western’s food contractor, Chartwells.

Speaking of Chartwells: This will be shocking but after many years of student activism and complaints about previous food contractor Aramark, the new WWU food provider seems to be the source of much of the same sort of ill will and rancor, according to local anti-social media squawking. It’s nice to see some traditions endure.

And Speaking of Endurance: Sufficient time has now passed, a nearby editor says, to lay out this once-edited-out, Top Gun-inspired lament about the closure of the former mead dispensary in The Granary Building: Apparently Bellingham did not feel enough need, need for mead, to support two meaderies downtown. All current mead needs need to be met at the Honey Moon Mead & Cider on State Street. Fortunately, they are up to this task.

Just Noting: The Canadian Navy came and went last week and the Iconic Scrap Heap nearby seems to be of the same height and girth. Thanks for nothing, Canada!

And Finally: Very funny, all you folks who sent the Hammer the help-wanted posting for the top job at the Downtown Bellingham Partnership. He has enough vitality-enhancement duties at his current job.

March 8, 2024

Couldn’t Help But Notice: Three Canadian naval vessels, the Yellowknife, Nanaimo and Edmonton, are making a stop on the Bellingham waterfront this coming weekend to “take on provisions.” Any chance they might be interested in some scrap metal?

Also Noticing: We get that the Port, under gross tons of political pressure for allowing the ABC Recycling operation in the first place, is trying to look like it gets it. But calling in seaborne military muscle seems like an overstatement here in the City of Subdued.

And Wondering: If you see a Trident sub parked at the Port wharf anytime soon, look for ABC to be on the last Amtrak out of town.

Now Hear This: We’re not sure if this is a journalistic advance, or a possible sign of the apocalypse. But CDN readers can now get an audio version of the weekly column by Ron Judd, a partial relation to B. Hammer, on CDN’s website. Sorry in advance for any hoarseness caused by shouting at people who can’t merge on the freeway.

Unclear: Whether Hammer will follow this audio trend. He’s still mulling the old dictum: If you don’t have something good to say

Speaking of White Noise: Raise your hand if you are still reeling — reeling — from that possibly animatronic video response to the Joe Biden State of the Union speech, made by a purportedly real person, Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, R-Stepford. You really have to watch it to understand. Note: It’s 21 minutes of your life you’ll never get back. But that’s never stopped most of you before, has it?

And Speaking of DST: Countless media outlets, not to mention any names, such as The Seattle Times, now make a twice-yearly habit of misleading Northwest readers by re-stirring the pot on the time-change question. The gimick is to endlessly resummon the health-concerns-canard of crack “sleep scientists” who liken the people’s clear choice of switching to permanent Daylight Saving Time, already ensconcend in legislation awaiting Congressional action, to some sort of permanent jet-lag Zombie state. Please.

Even More Disconcerting: Nearly every one of these pieces of journalistic genius, bolstered by meaningless, fake online “polls,” studiously and consistently avoids mentioning what really matters in terms of time choice: In our extreme northerly clime (Whatcom County is farther north than most of the population of Canada; look at a good map) permanent Pacific Standard Time (now presented as the new popular option) would lead to stretches of summertime sunrises well before 5 a.m. and winter darkness around 3:30 p.m. It’s not rocket science, but continually seems to be treated as such.

The Entire Question Is: Or should be, whether people prefer precious useful winter daylight at the beginning, or end, of their wintertime days. The rest is all noise.

Here’s Some More Noise: This yearly phenomenon is a grand example of a form of digital confirmation bias plaguing modern media in general, even at otherwise-legit news operations: One reporter, clickbait-enthused, posts an online “poll” about whether people prefer, say, Fords over Chevys. Some dude with a bad Chevy experience posts link on a social site — resulting in 80 percent of a few hundred respondents preferring Fords. Result is treated as a legitimate “poll” by the news org.

Worse Yet: Months or years later, another reporter comes along, cites previous poll, repeats experiment, sees a shift (!) toward Ford. Result is then treated as a “swing in popular opinion.” Which of course is abject nonsense. Fact: Nobody took the time, nor spent the money, to truly gauge “public opinion” in the first place, let alone monitor changes in same. It’s shameful behavior, seen even at news orgs where serious journalism still goes on in the same room — and editors presumably sitting in offices nearby wondering why no one trusts media.

The Hammer, a more-flippant alter ego of CDN’s executive editor and various other pointed-barb influencers, publishes online monthly and is updated somewhat regularly; ronjudd@cascadiadaily.com; @roncjudd.

This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. on March 22, 2024 to correct the arrival date of the “Pike Place”-like market at the Bellingham Portal.

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