Jughead crossing


leftovers & links
Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Walking to the bus stop one morning, I noticed a 1960s-style peace symbol on the wall, behind a window, in the upstairs bedroom of the 'model' house at the corner.

It's a new neighborhood under construction. A couple of hundred homes have been going up since I moved in, loud hammering six days a week, and as yet none of the homes are occupied, but the model house at the corner has furniture, appliances, paintings on the wall — everything but curtains, because they want people to look inside and say, ooh, I'd like to live there.

So the peace symbol isn't some high school girl's wistful or rebellious statement. It's only real estate marketing. The millionaires think a peace symbol on the wall makes a house more appealing.

I thought about that for a few minutes while waiting for my bus, and it made me wistful, maybe rebellious. I still kinda like the peace symbol, but that particular one means nothing, except how far we've come, how low we've gone.

When I was a kid, it was controversial. Wear a peace symbol on a shirt or jacket and you'd be sent home from school. Now, it's capitalism, to better sell homes.

Same place, but a better scenario: At a few corners of this new neighborhood under construction, the construction kingpins have decided to build tiny parklets. There's one at my bus stop, right next to the model home. Ain't much of a park: two slides and nothing more. It's been finished for months, the "do not enter" tape's been ripped down for weeks, and twice I've seen kids playing on the slides.

A couple of mornings ago, while waiting for my bus, a pair of ducks were walking around this new mini-park. It has no water, so I'm not sure what's drawn them, but they wandered the recently-planted and well-manicured lawn the whole time while I waited, and I enjoyed their company. They left some duckpoop behind, made my morning a little less sucky, and the next morning they were gone.

The morning after that, though, the ducks were back.

With no pond to attract them, this morning I ordered a big sack of Purina Duck Chow. Why not? Ducks are cute, fun to watch, and the new houses are all empty except for construction workers, so there aren't any predators. I, for one, welcome our new duck overlords.

The Christians are on a mission to save souls, so they've been proselytizing at the Burien bus center for the past couple of weeks. A fleet of amateur missionaries chase after the homeless, every time I'm there.

Must be tedious for the bums. It's tedious for me, just watching.

Usually in pairs, the Christians approach every homeless person with great opening lines like, "We're praying with people today, would you like a word with God?"

I imagine most of the homeless would love a word with God, a chance to shout at Him. Even more, they'd want a good sandwich and a beer, but all they're offered is prayer and conversation about Jesus. Is there anything a homeless person needs less than that?

The Burien Transit Center has it all — at least a dozen bums 24/7, litter and broken bottles, vomit, turds, arguments, and lately missionaries — all the annoyances of civilization. 

What's missing is about half the dozen benches. There were never enough benches, or course, and they're all at the wrong angle, so you're facing away from any approaching buses. That's why I never sit, but some people do. And some time in the past week or two, Metro removed six of the benches.

Of course, homeless people often sat on those benches, so it's only another anti-bum strategy. Anti-people, really. Collect them all.

The brilliant minds running Metro think there'll be fewer bums, if there are fewer benches, but of course the benches that remain are now even more bum-occupied than they used to be, so Metro will probably send someone to take the rest of the benches away, too. 

Like I said, waiting for a bus, I don't sit, I pace. Anyway, the benches are hard metal, uncomfortable for sitting, probably by design.

But I noticed the bench depletion because an old lady with a granny cart full of groceries was standing, waiting for a bus... right where a bench used to be.

Downtown, I was waiting for my bus to the island to work, when a bum in a jughead hat walked off the sidewalk at the middle of the block, and into the street, Into traffic. The cars and buses slowed, somebody honked, and the guy slinked his way across Second Avenue.

The bums downtown aren't big on crosswalks and traffic lights, so you see something like that so often, I didn't even write it in my notebook. What got me scribbling on the page is, the same bum came jaywalking back across Second almost immediately, slowing and stopping traffic a second time.

He'd seen a friend across the street, so he'd crossed and bummed a cigarette, and now he was smoking it, in traffic.

He made it across, and then another horn honked, so I looked up from my notes in progress and the bum was back in traffic a third time. His friend across the street was drunk and laughing at him, and when the jughead made it across again, the two of them talked for a few minutes, and then walked off together like the end of a buddy movie.

I would totally see that movie — a buddy pic about two homeless guys? Hell, yeah.

Which got me thinking... There aren't many movies about homelessness that aren't documentaries.

The Fisher King comes to mind, Trading Places, Pursuit of Happyness, and not much else. So that night I Googled it, and discovered it's a fairly well-populated sub-genre, full of films I'd never heard of. A few are downloading, right now...

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Waiting for the bus in a wheelchair becomes an act of protest 

A strange streak of young stars is evidence of a runaway supermassive black hole, study finds 

Dalai Lama apologizes after kissing boy and asking him to "suck my tongue" 

Are there any religious or 'spiritual' leaders who aren't skeevy or pervy?

Florida woman denied abortion miscarried in hair salon bathroom, lost half her blood

NASA official takes oath of office with hand on Carl Sagan book 

What happens when we run out of water? Thanks to climate change, a dystopian premise is coming true. 

Climate change could push more hurricanes toward US coasts, new study suggests 

"Headed off the charts": world's ocean surface temperature hits record high 

WHO warns climate change causing surge in mosquito-borne diseases 

New study warns allergy season is lasting longer due to climate change 

Lying is supposed to cost you your job at the NYPD. It almost never does. 

Scottsdale pays $200K settlement to woman falsely accused in hit-and-run 

This cop unleashed a reign of terror, say the wrongfully accused 

Convicted of battery, Joliet cop promoted to sergeant 

'Our vote doesn’t matter': Black Tennessee residents frustrated over expulsion of legislators 

Far-right media outlet smears L.A.'s Asian business leaders 

Iowa will no longer provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims 

Right-wing pundits rushed to defend Harlan Crow’s gifts to Clarence Thomas and his Nazi memorabilia collection — without disclosing their ties to the mega-donor 

At Fox's request, Texas Governor set to pardon man who killed protester 

Black wingnut runs Michigan Republican Party 

Innocuous story about black family — no slavery, no struggle for civil rights, no police brutality — garners complaints about "harmful content involving critical race theory" 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going






My browser history
without the porn

One mother's love for her gay son started a revolution 

UnAmerican RESTRICT Act would enable mass censorship 

Could we end evictions? 

Listen to Boing Boing's podcast interview with MAD's Al Jaffee (RIP) 

Homeless guy addresses business conference 

The first "Easter eggs" were an act of corporate rebellion 

The ruling that threatens the future of libraries 

America is missing out on the biggest EV boom of all 

Fox News on its way to finding out what "actual malice" means in Dominion's defamation lawsuit 

♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

A Supermarket in California — Allen Ginsberg 

Dog Breath Variations — Frank Zappa 

I'm Not Sorry I Was Having Fun — Cumbawamba 

My Conviction — Hair 

Puff the Magic Dragon — Peter Paul & Mary 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Ian Bairnson 

Ben Ferencz 

Elizabeth Hubbard 

Al Jaffee 

Beverley Lawrence Beech 

Michael Lerner 

Nora Lydon 

Mimi Sheraton 

Ivan Tolstoy 

Bill Zehme


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.  

Tip 'o the hat to ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Katameme, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration. 

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. Not bums or homeless, strictly speaking, but two brilliant actors and a great director make it worth watching:


  2. Never have I ever heard of this movie. It goes onto my watchlist, definitely, but it's a long list and with a job, I've lost the lovely leisure of watching movies whenever I please. Such a tragedy..

    1. Jerry Schatzberg made some really fascinating films. Scarecrow, Puzzle of a Downfall Child, The Seduction of Joe Tynan - all good.

      And Scarecrow is shot by my favorite cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond. One day I looked at the movies on my shelf and realized I owned more films with photography by him than anyone else. He epitomizes the 70s in my opinion: The Hired Hand, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Images, Deliverance, The Long Goodbye, Scarecrow, Cinderella Liberty, The Sugarland Express, Obsession, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, Heaven's Gate, Blow Out... I'd like to live in any one of those worlds.

  3. He's in my top three favorite Vilmoses, definitely.

    What do you think of THE DEER HUNTER? I loved it the one time I saw it, but from the distance of all these years it might have been pretentious twaddle.

    1. Like it a lot, though not as much as two other Cimino films, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot and Heaven's Gate.

    2. Now I'm tempted to see HEAVEN'S GATE again. Saw it twice, once a difficult yes, once a difficult no, but both were at least half my life ago.

  4. Down and Out in Beverly Hills is another movie that's kind of about a homeless person. Has Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfuss, and Bette Midler in it. Been years since I've seen it so can't remember if I liked it or not.

    1. I remember liking it. Perfectly passable mainstream entertainment.


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