So Here We Are: Back to the future, in print. Among other things, this means an update to our still-under-consideration company marketing campaign, now amended to state: “Real. Provocative. Local. Probing. Topical. Excellent fire starter!”
Please Pay Heed: To the shiny new Hammer graphic herein, brought to us by a local artist for your viewing pleasure in your local newspaper.
Just Checking the Box Here: Did we mention local?
Seriously Though: In these times of intensive, um, media diversification aka selling out by blurring lines between advertising and news, we probably missed a grand sponsorship opportunity there. But the notion of seeing “Stanley,” “Milwaukee” or “Kobalt” or better, “Hardware Sales” atop this page just seemed undignified.
Is Less Dignified Even Possible in the Hammer Space? Well, yeah. But don't push it.
Another Complication: When this page first was laid out in our office on Monday, we had an editorial cartoon featuring a Hammer of Justice — actually a drawing of a gavel from the U.S. Supreme Court — on top of the page, then our competing shiny red-handled Hammer of Truth and Beriddlement down here on the bottom. And The Hammer’s hammer felt … inadequate due to sizing, so an executive decision was made.
And That My Friends: Is the sort of high-level editorial consideration that gets you Tucker Carlson in a Red Army toque.
Takeaway: Not proud, but not sorry, either.
Overhead on the Sidelines at Avellino Coffeehouse: Fair warning to anyone newer to the 'Ham than, say, 2010: Whenever you hear someone winding up with the words, “When I first moved to Bellingham…” brace yourself for a longwinded saga that ultimately includes a stop along the path of The Official Newbie Hamster Six Stages of Grief: Jubilation, confusion, indignation, despair, resignation and spiteful buyer’s remorse.
Also Likely Topics: Extensive mortgage-refinancing tips, a kayak-paddle-feathering treatise, and, if you're lucky, a tip or two on the two local restaurant kitchens that stay open after 8 p.m.
To Those About to Ask: Are you high? That’s gold currency in this realm.
We’re Not Saying Folks Out in the Raspberry Fields Have Got It Wrong or Anything: But The Hammer draws the line at folks storming public meetings in Everson to demand big-scale dredging of the suddenly ubiquitous “atmospheric rivers.”
Oh Lord: The mask mandate is winding up in a couple of weeks. All-Points-Bulletin out right now for everyone’s crusted-over toothpaste cylinder.
Asking For Trouble: Interesting decision over in London, where the Imperial College, faced with the same sort of naming controversy as Dub-Dub-U because of the 19th-century biologist Thomas Henry Huxley’s name on a campus building, took the opposite approach and decided to add the name of a yet-undetermined person of color to its own building name. For balance.
We Like It, But: With the way these things tend to accelerate, they’re just asking for more and more names, leading to a complete word salad worthy of a higher-ed blue-ribbon commission, or perhaps federal bureaucracy, before it all shakes out.
At Any Rate: All the controversy is enough to make The Hammer yearn for better, simpler days, when every campus building was just named after some undeserving rich snob who literally bought their way into the space.
You know: Like members of Congress.
Speaking of Washington the Lesser: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is no space in today’s Republican Party for “white supremacists or anti-Semitism,” presumably because all the seats on the current GOP bus already are filled with various other flavors of neo-fascists.
And Across the Way: America, never in the mood to be caught snoozing, responded to Russia’s heightened nuclear readiness warning by raising President Biden’s readiness level to post-nap.
Check This Out: The newly announced opponent for Sen. Patty Murray is a veterans advocate from Pasco named Tiffany Smiley. That’s it; that’s the whole item.
More On This Later: In a few weeks when her campaign war chest rises to high seven figures.
And Finally: It sez right here that just about anyone can show up and submit a “pro” or “con” statement to an election pamphlet printed on news stock, then have it distributed to tens of thousands of hapless dupes spread across a broad area. Who the hell do these self-assigned Voter's Guide scribes think they are? Newspaper columnists?
The Hammer appears on Wednesdays and is updated throughout the week as needed. Got your own nail that needs hammering? Send thoughts to The Hammer's alter ego: firstname.lastname@example.org.