MUSIC AND GOVERNMENT: FINALLY FRIENDS?
It was great of [James Bush] to recognize the influence the music community had in city politics in 2001 [Rewind 2001, "Making a Difference," Dec. 27, 2001]. For the past decade, the city of Seattle, with the obsessive work of (now former!) City Attorney Mark Sidran and a few others, has walked all over the music community.
But it seems the city has taken a huge turn for the better. The music community should pat itself on the back for playing a big role in defeating Mark Sidran and electing Greg Nickels. Seattle will have a pro-music mayor, one who has [said] he will overturn the Teen Dance Ordinance. He also chose a music community representative for his transition team (Angel Combs). We have five pro-music City Council members; a representative of the music scene, Ricardo Frazer, is the new chair of the Seattle Arts Commission; [and] council member Richard Conlin has put together the Music and Youth Commission, which should further increase all-ages music events in Seattle. [And thanks to] Sidran's mayoral defeat, his anti-music, anti-club bias is no longer a factor in city politics.
The music community, via JAMPAC, helped defeat changes to the Seattle Noise Ordinance and craft a sensible King County Noise Ordinance, either of which could have spelled doom for Seattle's nightlife. The fight for the council's funding support for [the Vera Project] was a great victory, and the fight against the amended Special Events Ordinance is far from over. For all of this, we must recognize the hard work and vision of a variety of people, many of whom are not even of voting age yet. Local politicians MUST pay attention to the youth of this city and to the music scene, or they will go the way of Sidran.
All of Seattle benefits from a strong music culture, and it looks like we finally have a music community with a strong voice and a city government that will support the music scene.
GEORGE W. BUSH: NO WINSTON CHURCHILL
Thank you [Geov Parrish] for reminding the public that Bush lost the election ["Media Follies," Dec. 27, 2001]. The
corporate-owned press is intent on selling the Imbecile as the legitimately elected president. They are now advancing the narrative of Bush as Churchill. One thing I have learned in the past year: If you own the judiciary and you own the media, you don't need tanks in the streets for a successful coup d'鴡t.
New York, N.Y.
A BITE OF REALITY
Thanks for [Eric Scigliano's] sensitive article ["Foreign Correspondence," Dec. 20, 2001]. I will be using it in my editorial writing class next semester when we talk about the importance of definitions. "Collateral damage," like "friendly fire," "peacekeeper missile," and "smart bombs," (that always turn out to be retarded, once journalists catch up to the real news) are words used to mask reality.
Thanks for giving me something real to work with (other than my old Gulf War columns).
POO-POO PILLOW TALK
The [Dec. 20, 2001] issue of the Weekly brought me great joy. Joy in the purest sense of the word: watching Other People air neuroses. God bless the Lightner twins, with their comfy misanthropy and unabashed passive aggression, their sheer anabolic wit [Holiday Survival Guide 4, "Getting Comfy With Misanthropy at the Holidays" and "Santa's Little Helper"]. Add Paul Hughes to the mix with his poo-poo pillow talk [Holiday Survival Guide 4,"Pillowy Goodness"], and you've got the three wise people, trudging toward Jerusalem hauling Vicodin, mulled wine, and dust-mite excreta. Hallelujah, indeed.
And Gaia bless Tolkien and his Fellowship of the Ring: the glorious release of our prehistory on the big screen [Winter Film]. To think something as magnificent and timeless and hyped actually lived up to expectations.
Allah bless us everyone. Especially bin Laden, that fucking guy.
TAGGING'S NOTHING BUT TROUBLE
Yeah, that's cool that Lauren Holloway, Maria Medina, and Pars are so adamant about "liberating the art [of graffiti] from omnipotent capitalism" ["Tagging Westward," Dec. 20, 2001]. Looks like they beat me to it. I'm in the process of opening up a gallery space on 12th Avenue in Capitol Hill, and some little jerk tagger decided to acid etch the front window of my new gallery space last weekend. Sure, I'm just renting and my landlord has to pay for it, but this is no fancy, capitalistic "public space where paid advertising is acceptable and unsolicited artwork is not." It's fucking private property, and it's still a scrubby little dive of a space that I'm busting my ass to turn into an alternative, open, and affordable art space for artists like these to have access to.
I'd like to see Ms. Holloway be as enthusiastic about a show that was curated by whatever tagger happened to be walking by the Independent Media Center the night before, and then get excited about having to replace the glass when the "Graffiti Show" is over. Graffiti artists aren't as discriminating as they are portrayed, and the gallery isn't distinguishing between "graffiti artists" and "taggers." Hey, I'm just like everybody else—it's cool and rebellious until it happens to me. Anna Fahey writes a good article—galleries, by definition, are hypocritical and "graffiti art" is an oxymoron—but tagging is something totally different.
On that note, you are all invited to stop by my gallery any time and view the latest "show," free of charge. It's a limited run, however, and the art isn't for sale. In fact, this will probably be the only time you'll see this particular artist's work at my space.
I think [Geov Parrish] does not understand the relationship between addiction to drugs and pain relief from drugs ["A Junkie's Confession," Dec. 20, 2001]. Everything that I have read suggests that, when used for pain relief and in the proper dosage, many addictive drugs do not have the same effect on the patient as [when they're abused]. I suggest that he read the literature. I can share his concern about overblown stories as they affect his ability to get and use [OxyContin], and that danger is real. My best wishes to him.
State College, PA
Even before taking office, Mayor-elect Greg Nickels already fouled up big time, sacking Jim Diers, director of the city Department of Neighborhoods ["One Tough Deputy," Dec. 20, 2001].
In the past 14 years, Diers has gained a national and international reputation for his outstanding work in the field of democratic grassroots cooperation involving neighborhood groups and city government jointly carrying out projects that enhance the lives of our citizens and Seattle's livability.
Fellow Seattleites are urged to join those of us who demand that Nickels reinstate Diers.
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