SKIPPING THE CRAP
Thanks for a good review of the movie Pearl Harbor ["Top Guns," May 24]. Thanks for skipping over the political crap about racism, etc. I know not to go to the movie unless I want some special-effect entertainment with not much substance.
RADIO FREE SEATTLE
Geov Parrish just scratches the surface in taking notice of National Public Radio's abandonment of its original mission ["The Rest of Us Considered," May 24]. KUOW was once called Radio Free Seattle, and did have a great diversity of programming, with programmers who were interested in, and apparently even liked, all sorts of music which is now unhearable on any radio station except, on rare occasions, the smallest.
No stronger sign of KUOW's lack of diversity exists than their talkers' studied achievements of all sounding the same. They're unconcerned that a written language is less effective to a hearer than a vocal idiom conveyed by a human with a brain and some conviction. But their hierarchy prefers scripted dullness to the possible release of an idea or an attitude not preapproved, and prefers central programming from Washington, D.C., to topics that local programmers might dig into. As for music, the last time we heard a Bill Monroe tune from start to finish on NPR was when he died—more an announcement of the hipness of All Things Considered than a presentation of some unique music for folks who might be moved by it. If we're stampeding to inflict diversity on tax-supported institutions, by all means let's begin with NPR.
200 GAUDY FIBERGLASS PIGS
I was disgusted but not surprised to find that the Pigs on Parade event will garner ample coverage in your warmed-over publication [see "Sow Town," Cheap Summer 2001, May 24]. After all, Pigs on Parade is a masterstroke of corporate advertising masquerading as culture (call it "art-vertising"), and what is the Weekly if not a means of conveying pre-digested cultural twaddle to self-absorbed BoBos? Indeed, the Weekly does a fine job of assuaging the BoBos' well-founded fear that they have been co-opted by an impersonal materialism that trumps the idealism of their youth. Thus the Weekly and Pigs on Parade are a perfect match.
I don't write to complain, but merely to inform. The Pigs on Parade event is a civic embarrassment. It's just TACKY. In a town where it is illegal to sit on the sidewalk or post flyers on telephone poles, 200 gaudy fiberglass pigs have been given carte blanche to the very heart of our city, without any sort of public consent save that of the downtown business interests and a multimillion-dollar charity. All decorated pigs must be approved by an avant-garde little troupe composed of the Market Foundation, the Downtown Seattle Association, and the Metropolitan Improvement District's Retail Core Neighborhood. Suffice it to say, this is not a forum for free expression.
I and other like-minded citizens will be there on opening day to protest this horribly tacky and ill-advised event. We have formed a group called SHTUP (Seattle Hates The Ugly Pigs) and we will be there with signs covered in bacon to demand real support for the arts, not symbols of corporate sponsorship on every street corner, sidewalk, and display window. IT'S TACKY!
GET ON THE BUS
In the article entitled "The Wonder That Is Metro" by John Longenbaugh [Cheap Summer 2001, May 24], John mistakenly directed readers to take Metro route 86 to Golden Gardens from Ballard. Unfortunately due to I-695, route 86 is no longer in operation.
Bus riders can still get to Golden Gardens by transferring from route 44 to route 17 and getting off at N.W. 85th St. Or even better from Capitol Hill (the vantage point from which he is giving directions), bus riders can simply transfer from route 7 in the U District to route 48, which will also take you to the intersection of 85th Ave. N.W. and N.W. 32nd Street. In either case, this intersection is about a 10-minute hike downhill to Golden Gardens. Although long, the view of the Olympics from Sunset Hill is wonderful.
Oh, on sort of a related note, Sound Transit may be paying as much as $1.3 million to Modern Transit Constructors for nothing more than a BID to build the Capitol Hill tunnel. That bid was of course way over budget. It's a shame that those dollars couldn't have been used for a better purpose, such as making our city shorelines more accessible to the public by improving public transportation.
The brief reference to "an outraged public" in "Dim Bulbs in the White House" [Geov Parrish, May 17] highlights an area that is even more pivotal than the energy "crisis" and other issues being brought to the forefront by the obscene regime that is now ruling this country: the pervasive apathy of our nation's citizenry.
Americans are so busy polishing their SUVs, staring blankly at Survivor, or running in circles trying to figure out how to join the 1 percent of the population that controls 80 percent of the wealth that they don't even notice the Bush/Cheney cronies jumping up and down in front of them yelling "we're fleecing you and you don't even care!" Most just happily graze on GMO-laced fast food like the livestock that Noam Chomsky refers to as "the bewildered herd," even in the face of blatant election stealing, corporate paybacks, and greed-driven market manipulation.
Looky here, America! Energy broker Enron is the biggest corporate campaign contributor to an already well-oiled Bush/Cheney machine. Suddenly there's this energy crisis and they profit handsomely. All the while gas prices have shot upwards (beginning, inexplicably, during the Presidential campaign) and more increases are foreseen so, of course, we need more drilling for OIL and NATURAL GAS and decapitation of mountains for COAL which will mean, by an amazing coincidence, bigger profits for those corporations that gave to—let's see—can you guess? Why, to the Bush/Cheney campaign! Just where are those rocket scientists when you need them? Where's your first-grade teacher having you recite "one plus one equals. . . ."
Our democracy has, quite literally, gone down the toilet to the point where corporations rule, our "elected" politicians fetch their slippers like obedient lapdogs, and civil society has been decimated by the corporate/government slow dance to hell. What will it take to wake people up? Or are they satisfied to amble through sprawling parking lots and mall byways like glassy-eyed zombies from a scene in Dawn of the Living Dead?
Your column was right on target. To add balance to a certain letter in last week's Weekly, if your consistently pointed and insightful writing is indicative of a "knee-jerk liberal psycho," then we need more of it to give the complacent herd that is America in 2001 a good kick in the ass.
We cordially invite you to give us a good kick in the ass. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include name, location, and phone number. Letters may be edited.