Rick Anderson missed an important opportunity when covering the Seattle Housing Authority's efforts to provide a comprehensive, long-term solution to the Morrison's problems ("Death by committee?" 12/7). Currently, the Morrison Task Force is studying six options for the low-income housing facility. The group includes representatives from the City of Seattle, King County, SHA, community service agencies, and low-income housing groups. The task force's recommendation will be presented to the SHA Board of Commissioners in January or February. Mr. Anderson, however, views SHA's efforts working with stakeholders as "too democratic."
It's not clear what process Mr. Anderson prefers. Ignoring other stakeholders who also work with some of Seattle's neediest residents? In fact, he suggests the other course of action is to "just do it." Just do what? Readers are left scratching their heads. It is unfortunate that he didn't use the opportunity to outline elements of the proposals and shed some light on the complex task of providing low-income housing for the population served by SHA and the Downtown Emergency Service Center.
To his credit, Mr. Anderson recognized that some Morrison residents are pleased with SHA's recent management changes at the building, but he gave their opinion little weight. Over half of the residents signed a petition endorsing SHA's management of the building and requesting that SHA remain as owner and manager. The task force is considering this as one of the options for the Morrison. Seattle Weekly's readers deserve more thorough coverage of this story, with more complete facts.
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, SHA
Geek fantasy fix
Thank you for the well written and, in a way, necessary article [Kiss my ASCII, "You'll geek to anything," 12/7]. You make a good point in that we, as a geek-fanbase, rush to anything vaguely fantasy-related to get a fix, knowing the really, really good movies are few and far between (can you think of ANY in the past 10 years?). But I'm not sure exactly where the fault lies.
As youngsters, we clamored to see Conan or The Beastmaster, or if our parents weren't watching, Deathstalker, and like any other genre of film, found 80 to 90 percent crap. But speaking from personal experience, because we've been given so much crap, some of us have come to appreciate it for its own sake. I went to see the Dungeons & Dragons movie (and, in true geek fashion, went with the twenty-/thirtysomethings I game with), and I did enjoy it. But not because it was good (though there were moments that were). I enjoyed it because it was laughably bad.
I, too, have hopes for Lord of the Rings. I grew up on the books, and rather than the various versions of Carroll's Alice, the director seems to understand the source material. But because I can appreciate good cinema doesn't mean I can't appreciate bad. Yes, by supporting these films, we ensure that more awful fantasy movies are made. But that's because deep down inside, we really want them.
What a sad world
What is so hard about being humble? After having read Emily Baillargeon Russin's piece on the gloriousness of fur ["Ready and Sable," 12/7], I just sat down and shook my head. Regardless of the cogent arguments I could present about the intrinsic and horrid cruelty of the fur industry on sentient beings, it just seems the plastic people of this city must prioritize their pathetic cry for attention over the 40+ animals that must be killed for one stupid coat. What a sad world we live in when these truths exist in supposedly progressive bastions like Seattle. Maybe someday we will live more humbly as a species. For now, the ugly and transparent fakes like Russin are certainly having their day.
Pomp and circumstance
I am disappointed in the "attitude" Ms. Robinson brings with her when she chooses to criticize and compliment at the same time. I have had an incredibly welcoming experience while dining at Zoe [see "Here she is. . . ." 12/7]. I have read Ms. Robinson's restaurant reviews for many years and find that her writing is often aloof, a characteristic I sense she carries with her when she makes her presence known. While she can obviously hit the nail on the head with her reviews, she often reverts to a condescending writing style. I have no idea what her credentials are as a food critic, but I suspect they are nothing more than a woman who likes to eat.
I have found the entire staff of Zoe gracious and informative. They know the specifics of their menu and how to create a wonderful evening. I will agree that Zoe does not offer great food at every level. However, I have found the menu to be adventuresome without being peculiar, and the presentation appealing and creative. I respect the role a food critic offers in letting a broad audience know what to expect when they walk into a restaurant. I simply wish Ms. Robinson would focus on a more positive style of writing and leave her pomp and circumstance at home.
The hard path
In his "Reflections on the battle" [Books Quarterly, 12/7], Geov Parrish draws distinct lines between outsiders and insiders in the WTO movement, as well as between "follow the heart" and head-first politics. These are unfortunate distinctions that divide the movement into arbitrary categories having very little to do with the real work. Although all those I interviewed in my book, The Battle in Seattle, had heartfelt passion about their activism, it is their extraordinary mindfulness that gets them up every morning to strategize, organize, and attend to the dastardly details that eventually make things happen. They're too savvy to the times, too disillusioned by the cynical, superficial, and corporate-induced media to do anything but bring their minds fully into battle. The heart can point the way, but it doesn't get you there. They also reflect a global movement that is of, by, and for outsiders. That's the point. Outsiders are in.
Parrish also uses the word "nascent" to describe the movement. I respectfully disagree with this idea of a "beginning" movement. It's got a long and illustrious history. It's no accident that such activists as Carolyn Canafax, who started out fighting McCarthyism, ended up in the streets during WTO week in Seattle. They've been fighting the consuming policies of capitalistic greed for decades. Outsiders, all.
Your readers would be well-advised to read the scholars of the movement (Maude Barlow, Walden Bello, David Korten, to name but a few) who for years have been going beyond arbitrary distinctions to a vision that encompasses the most painful prospect of all—the future—the place we're leaving behind us. It's a complex mess we're responsible for and only by getting beyond our own personal versions of reality will we be able to get to the truth of our lives, where we're all connected, rich to poor, right wing to left, grown-ups to kids, turtles to teamsters, writers to readers, race to race, and ultimately this beleaguered planet to its many peoples. We can all be "for" one another. That's the hard path and the only path. And it's a path reaching out around the world, far beyond the reach of punditry and politics. Ask any outsider.
Great Story, Kurt!
Hi to you guys from Seattleweekly.com! I just read the story "Joey to the world" by Kurt B. Reighley [Two Ears and a Tale, 11/30] and I can tell you I was just laughing out loud!
I'm a Backstreet Boys AND *NSYNC Fan (! *lol*) from Germany and a friend sent me this story per mail. Being a fan doesn't mean for me that I can't laugh about these guys. In fact, I definitely can! And this story made me laugh a lot, it's perfectly written and I just love the author's sense of humour! Great Story, Kurt! Did you write more stories like that?
Many Greetings from Germany, Happy Christmas (with or without Joey *gg*!) and a Happy New Year to Kurt and to everybody working for Seattleweekly.com!
KTBPA and Stay *NSYNC *ggg*!
Inner Bitch ["Unleashing Your Inner Bitch," 12/7]? I don't think so. I've never seen so many brand names mentioned in an article since . . . never. I guess someone has to keep those overpriced stores in business! Can you say "shallow materialistic bitch"? I guess that's where the "bitch" comes in. Completely stupid article.
No taste beyond bugs!
Re: the article "Pin-Up Prizes," November 23: Yes, Big People Toys store at 68 Madison sells bugs and butterflies (farm raised), but the author must have tunnel vision, and no taste beyond bugs!
Anyone interested in antiques and craftsmanship should not miss this gem of a shop! It is filled with exquisite and beautiful things, and has some fascinating insects.
Sentence that writer to spend hours at the SAM and the Asian Museum, and then to write an informed article about Big People Toys.
Sincerely, from an older, informed shopper,
I agree with most of "Up from the skies," [11/23] and appreciate it, but one statement you made about icons like Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, and Hendrix earning a place among these people is wrong, DEAD WRONG. Hendrix has definitely reached icon status some 30 years ago and it continues to grow even today. Hendrix was a GENIUS with the guitar as was Miles and Dylan. The Beatles and Elvis Presley, with the exception of John Lennon because of his songwriting, are popular because of their looks and maybe a few catchy pop tunes and appeal acceptance. Elvis practically took black music, stole its style, and ran with it all the way to Graceland.
Hendrix is (was) an extremely talented musician, influencing all types of musicians, genres, and music styles which includes rock, jazz, blues, classical, R&B, and even hip hop; I don't know any of those icons you mentioned that has this type of influence or talent, except for Miles and maybe Dylan. He may not have been accepted totally by the mainstream, but if that's the case that means he was true to form and to himself. Hendrix IS definitely an icon—ask all of the fans that have made his records sell a million plus every year since his death. And as far as musically talented, he is a step above and beyond the icons you mentioned.
ERIKA V. COX
Letter o' the week
Dear Washington State Ferries:
While down at the ferry dock the other day, I was dismayed to see a couple of workmen putting up a large "NOEL" sign on the roof of your office. Of the several dozen remarks I could make on this subject, here are but a few:
1. Washington's constitution states explicitly that "No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment."
2. Christmas is definitely not the "most wonderful time of the year." On the contrary, it is noted for increases in depression, violence, drug abuse, family breakups, and suicide. As such, it doesn't warrant celebration at the People's expense.
3. I doubt we will achieve "Peace on Earth" until people stop waving their religious advertisements in each other's faces.
4. If Washington State Ferries feels compelled to spend hundreds of dollars on something unrelated to marine transportation, how about funding research on removing the PCBs from our waters BEFORE the Whales are gone?
S. JON KING
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