TBB’s Iain Heath featured on Seattle NBC station’s New Day Northwest [News]

The Brothers Brick doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult issues with the LEGO creations we feature, as “Builder-in-Residence” Iain Heath demonstrated recently with his “Homeless in Seattle” model of the Seattle skyline with the ground covered by tents pitched by people forced into homelessness by the housing crisis. Iain’s model struck a chord with the local community, and he was invited to showcase his model and discuss the issue on several TV shows, including the New Day Northwest program from NBC affiliate KING 5.

The segment is now online, and you can watch Iain discuss the LEGO hobby, several of his most iconic creations from over the years, and chat with host Margaret Larson about what TBB is all about.

Here’s what the TV studio looks like from behind the host’s desk, with the Teleprompters on the cameras.

And here’s the studio from behind the cameras.

15 comments on “TBB’s Iain Heath featured on Seattle NBC station’s New Day Northwest [News]

  1. Purple Dave

    How many of those “people forced into homelessness” are currently earning more than I am but actually made a conscious decision to live a homeless life because:

    A. they figured out they could mooch off friends/family and save all their money to buy non-essentials.

    B. they simply don’t want to move far enough away from the city that they could find affordable housing.

    How many of those “people forced into homelessness” just moved there to do drugs and aren’t even trying to be functional members of society?

    How many of those “people forced into homelessness” used to work in the restaurant industry before the local $15 minimum wage drove their employers out of business?

    It’s not that Seattle needs to fix the homelessness problem. It’s that Seattle needs to fix Seattle.

  2. Purple Dave

    I’m a moderate who’s sick of hearing both sides talk about how the other side is tearing the country apart. It takes two to tango, and right now it’s a mosh pit. Too little government regulation, and you just need to read a brief history of Wall Street to see what can go wrong. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Seattle and San Francisco. Seattle has spent the last ten years and A BILLION DOLLARS on solving the homelessness problem. Where the rest of the nation, and the rest of Washington state, have seen a significant decrease in homelessness, Seattle is skyrocketing. If homelessness were the real problem, it’d be spiking nationwide. And right now Seattle is borrowing a trick from Japan and Hawaii, where they’re handing out plane tickets to anyone who can confirm family or job waiting at the other end. The first couple to get tickets had previously had their tent shelter torn down, so they built a gigantic “tent mansion” in front of the Space Needle, complete with furniture, French doors, and pallet walls. Now that they’re gone, the other homeless in the area have been notified that it had to come down, and that they were free to stay in tents in less touristy areas nearby.

    So, is it really about free enterprise, or is it more about government that should be collectively thrown in jail for criminal negligence?

  3. Daniel

    I work in healthcare and I’ve noticed when a problem becomes bigger than the individual, people simply dig in their heels and double down in blaming individuals anyway. Australian Aboriginal health comes to mind, they have a life expectancy 30, yes 30, years less than an average Australian. When I worked in Alice Springs we were told to treat a 45 year old like they were in their old age. But the average white Australian is generally angry at Aboriginals because they receive Government handout after Government handout with little change to their predicament. Some problems are so big they are systemic, even multi-generational, and throwing money in any quanitity at them alone will not solve them. And certainly being angry at the individuals for blighting your view by not moving further out of the city where you can’t see them will definitely not solve them.

  4. The Anonymous Hutt

    Risky, risky moves Andrew. Keep the politics out of your site, it is so much better without them.

    Both of you should stop, before this escalates further. Purple Dave has gained my respect, but so has Andrew. I’d hate to see both of you bash it out over politics on the biggest LEGO blog in the world.

  5. Sir Galaxon

    Yup, I’ve been quite disappointed by the very recent trend at bro-brick in including articles that are political in nature, this just shouldn’t be, watch it

  6. Brad

    This is a Brothers Brick news post about a Seattle news program talking to Iain on their morning show. The title of KING 5’s segment on YouTube is, “Local artist uses Legos to bring attention to Seattle’s homelessness issue”. In other words, The Brothers Brick isn’t inserting politics into this story: Iain’s Seattle MOC is one of the reasons he was invited. I’m curious if unhappy readers are actually suggesting that a LEGO blog shouldn’t cover LEGO news if that news was somehow political in nature?

    That said, politics, LEGO, and TBB are not new bedfellows. There’s long been political content on TBB and in the LEGO fan community, and there’s nothing wrong with TBB covering it or talking about it.

  7. Dan

    Seconding Brad. TBB is hardly “inserting” politics into the site. A Brickfan ended up in the news due to his LEGO creation – it is literally newsworthy. If you’re talking about TBB’s original post promoting the mini build or the Trump-Putin Brickheadz build, the first is clearly an example of a fan using LEGO to express himself through a MOC – arguably the entire point of LEGO – and while the second example admittedly has a political slant, it’s truly one of hundreds of non-political articles.

    In the end, political or not, why does it matter? The politics of one’s country are an integral part of every citizen’s life and LEGO is just one way to creatively express one’s feelings about something that impacts their life in a very tangible way. This ability to share our innermost thoughts and visions is what we all love about LEGO in the first place. The level of creative expression is what makes MOCs worthy of looking at in the first place, whether you agree with what’s being expressed is a moot point.

    I think the fact that this post provoked a deeper conversation in the first place about freedom of expression and the homelessness issue underscores how TBB made the right call. LEGO may technically be “just toys” to most people but AFOLs especially know that LEGO can be so much more. It can be a tool to create art and communicate with each other in a compelling way. If certain topics become taboo because they make some people feel uncomfortable it would really undermine the mission of LEGO (stimulate creative expression) and reduce this entire brick fan community into just a plain old LEGO news aggregator sprinkled with shallow “cant wait till it comes out!” comments. I hope TBB keeps doing its thing and this community stays a real “community” – a place we can all both geekily fawn over upcoming sets and vigorously debate about real world issues without forgetting what brought us all here in the first place – the amazing world of LEGO!

    P.S. Sorry about the long spiel… that’s what comes of browsing the net at 4 am!

  8. Daniel

    Should Brothers Brick not cover news about the LEGO group producing bricks made out of plant materials? Or building the Borkum Riffgrund Windfarms to provide renewable energy for their manufacturing operations? By right wing standards LEGO is a left wing company, by my standards they simply care about the world in the same way that drawing attention to homelessness shows you care about the world. If you think this is political then I feel sorry for the way you think, that you find empathy offensive is rather pathetic.

  9. The Anonymous Hutt

    I get what you’re saying, I really do.

    But, my problem isn’t with the original subject of the politics, but with how the authors (and in this case creator) of this site add their own opinions to the topic. If you want to be successful on the internet, choose the middle ground; play it safe. Andrew and I obviously don’t agree. But, again, a LEGO site is not a place to bring that debate. Politics and Lego DO mix, but only when a certain recipe is followed.

    To answer the question about the Trump-Putin Brickheadz, I absolutely loved that article. It was for April Fools, and clearly a joke. I loved it, and it is even bookmarked on my computer. You see, that article was done humorously and neutrally, that being the difference. The author wasn’t going “the brickhead of the newest Nazi, president Trump,” or “the most distinguished man in politics, president Trump.” Two extremes of course, but I think you get the point. The post was neutral, which is why I had no problem with it. But things like this post and the racial comments made in a recent JW set review I do have problems with.

  10. Andrew Post author

    All, thanks for keeping this discussion (mostly) civil so far. “Purple Dave” and the “Anonymous Hutt” have already made their perspectives abundantly clear elsewhere. It’s a perspective that this website and its editorial staff do not share, as evidenced by my initial response above.

    As a global website that serves all LEGO fans, not just those in the US or UK, our success so far has in fact been built on the many ways in which we’ve always taken an inclusive, progressive editorial stance that respects the true diversity of our readership. That results in actively working toward better representation in both what we cover and who we recruit to serve our readership. Our editorial stance also acknowledges the reality of the world that we all share, acting compassionately toward those who may not be as privileged as AFOLs in countries like the US and UK. As commenters Brad and Dan rightly note above, we’ve taken a clear stance going back to our earliest days in supporting globally relevant issues like gender equality, marriage equality, international diplomacy, racial justice, economic empowerment, and more. None of this is new, nor will it stop just because it makes some vocal readers in wealthier nations uncomfortable.

    As a recent example, yes, that Jurassic World set is indeed a stark contrast with other sets in the current wave due to its exclusive inclusion of “rich white people” minifigures. I’m glad that comment in my review made some readers uncomfortable — it was designed to do so, to challenge the comfortable, unthinkingly privileged position that far too many AFOLs cocoon themselves in. Attend any LEGO convention in the US to see that hardcore AFOL-dom is a rich man’s hobby. But the hobby we all love will eventually but inevitably whither and die if we behave possessively or with exclusion. Our editorial perspective isn’t designed to serve convention-going, massive MOC-building, Internet-commenting AFOLs — we also seek to grow the community through compassion, representation, and inclusion.

    If we lose one or two readers from time to time by demonstrating these core values, we know that we’re on the right side of history.

  11. The Anonymous Hutt

    Thanks for the long reply Andrew, I truly do appreciate it.

    We disagree, that is clear. But as I have said above in previous comments, isn’t a more neutral stance needed? You literally just ended your reply with “We know that we’re on the right side of history.” A little rash, don’t you think? You may be right, or I may be right. We really don’t know, do we?

    I have reasons for my beliefs, and I’m sure you have yours. But, comments like “rich white people” do deter me, and others I’m sure. I am white, but no where near rich. If you had said something about “poor black people” as a stereotype, wouldn’t that be offensive to African Americans? In the same way, “rich white people” reads the same way to me, a white man.

    In my opinion, TBB is one of, if not the best, Lego sites in the world. I am not alone in that opinion. But, you have to realize that by making political comments you are splitting your community. If this doesn’t concern you, then by all means, keep doing what you are doing.

    But, if it does worry you, then consider my words seriously: stay neutral.

    Thank you again for your time and effort, I look forward to seeing more incredible content.

  12. The Anonymous Hutt

    Also, to Dan, Daniel, and Brad, thank you for your time as well, and as Andrew said, keeping it civil. I understand your views and respect your opinions, but I do not agree with them.

    But instead of replying to me with names like “racist, sexist, misogynist, bigot, etc.” you replied to me and Purple Dave with intelligent, well thought-out responses. It is good to see people that can disagree with you without going to the extreme.

  13. Daniel

    In reply to The Anonymous Hutt thanks for your civility in your last comment. We can all agree to disagree, I just felt you came in a little hot in your earlier comments. Lefties are not all snowflakes, and I think both sides need to respect an open discussion rather than going immediately into angry internet rant mode (which I have been guilty of many times).
    For AFOLs LEGO is a means of expression in the same way paint or music or any other creative medium. If people have something to say, they may choose to say it with a LEGO build, and I think that is great and should be encouraged from time to time on sites such as this.
    For Consevatives I feel the perpetual problem you have is you have less inclusive views, I guess the best way to look at it is tough love and making people stand on their own feet rather than fostering dependency. I get this, but it will always get blowback from others who feel a certain amount of safety net in society makes it a better world for all of us. I won’t deny there is an annoying abundance of liberals searching for something to be outraged by, but when conservatives control every level of government in the USA and (where I am) Australia, it becomes a little stale when they act like victims because they are being shouted down by progressive minded people.

  14. The Anonymous Hutt

    Yeah, I was hot earlier.

    I appreciate your understanding Daniel, and I can sort of understand your viewpoint, especially when you say conservatives are less inclusive. But, one thing does confuse me in your comment: “i guess the best way to look at it is tough love and making people stand on their own feet.” Isn’t that the opposite of what Liberals propose? Colleges treating their attendees like babies, government aids, etc.?

    Just wanting some clarification, thanks again.

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