Since the end of the world is nighor at least we sit awaiting the start of Bush's St. Patrick's Day Massacre in Iraq and possible incoming plutonium from PyongyangMossback has decided to do some spring-cleaning. Here's some debris I dragged out from the cranial closet while tidying up for The Rapture.
Here comes the [hic] judge: In news almost as big as the disappearance of Michael Jackson's face was state Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge's arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. A couple of things strike me about the press coverage. One is how most columnists in town have pleaded for the mob to go easy on Bridge, no "flash-flood rush to judgment" in the words of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Robert L. Jamieson Jr. The Seattle Times' editorial board was a little tougher: "The bottle or the bench," they declared in an editorial framing the issue as one of Bridge's choice. The Seattle Times' Ron C. Judd pointed out the double standard in what we expect of role models: No one wanted to run Mariners shortstop Carlos Guillen out of town for his driving offense (his lousy offense, maybe).
Then there was the Times' Jean Godden, who was with Bridge just prior to her run-in with the law (and a parked truck). Her column made much of the fact that Bridge was driving home from a party of women celebrating their good works on behalf of women and democracy in Morocco. Very nice, but not relevant. More interesting was the glaring discrepancy between Godden's account of the evening and what happened a few minutes later. Godden: "Seated directly across from [Bridge] in the living room, I had no clue she might have had too much to drink. I'm shocked to think that only 15 minutes after she left, she would be arrested." But if the police and eyewitness accounts are accurate, Bridge was absolutelywhat's the old-school term?blitzed. She allegedly sideswiped a vehicle, kept driving, veered into the oncoming lane nearly hitting another car head-on, then swerved off the road and blew a tire. She came to rest boxed in by other drivers so she couldn't flee the scene. She registered nearly three times the legal limit on the Breathalyzer. According to the P-I's Jamieson, she couldn't recite the alphabet after "G," saying "F-I-G-I-J-K-S-T-U-V-P . . . ," which, if I'm not mistaken, is the correct spelling of my grandfather's village in Norway. Unfortunately, they don't give points for that.
It's a good thing Mossback isn't a judge because (1) I would have no moral authority in the arena of public drunkenness and (2) Mossback has "hangin' judge" tendencies. Judges ought to be held to a higher standardthat's why we invented them. If Bridge is convicted, she should leave the bench. The issue isn't whether she drinks or even drinks to excessthere are plenty of great public servants who do. It's whether she has breached a trust with the crimes committed, drunk or sober. Judges are supposed to be the bedrock of public confidence. Yeah, I wouldn't want the job for that reason, either, but it goes with the territory.
Zapping Zarker: Greg Nickels did a great imitation of a post-election Nixonian pout-o-rama last week in the wake of the Seattle City Council forcing the resignation of the mayor's pal and City Light head Gary Zarker. He accused the council of taking the "low road," which is a laugh in light of the (welcome) hardball tactics Nickels has employed since taking office. The onus is now where it should be: on the council's shoulders to pick a new and better manager for City Light and then do their damn job of overseeing it. No excuses. Nickels should be thanking the council for taking him off the hook and making it easier for Zarker to spend time with Hizzoner at M's games. Now, what's going to be done with the Seattle Schools superintendent? The head of KCTS? There are still heads in town that need to roll. Are you listening, Muni League?
Mossback mail: Many Mossback letters don't make it into the letters section. Here's a timely one regarding my column on Bush impeachment (Mossback, "How Should We Impeach Thee?" Feb. 12): "Seattle is such a wonderfully un-American place. Listen, Knute . . . KNUTE, go give the wonderful Bill Clinton a blow job and let real Americans take care of the country. By the way, what have you ever done to defend America other than hide behind a typewriter? Now go play with your faggot friends before the rest of the country decides to beat the shit out of you. In fact, if you care to behave like a man, I will be happy to take care of you myself. Come on out, faggot, or forever be a wimp hiding in the corner."
Mossback replies: Wow, my mom can really write, can't she? Seriously, I would gladly wear knee pads for Bill Clinton if that would bring sanity back to America. Which also allows me to offer these timely reminders to Mossback readers: Bill ClintonAmerica's last elected presidentwill be in Seattle April 29 to raise money for the arts. Call 206-325-3554, and tell all your commie faggot friends who can afford $250-plus a plate. In addition, the Weekly-sponsored series of Town Hall Soapbox forums continues. Come hear activists, artists, and fellow citizens speak out on issues of war and peace. The next two are Wednesday, March 12 and Tuesday, March 18. Each is followed by a panel discussion; see www.seattleweekly.com for details. The trouble begins at 6 p.m. and admission is $5Armageddon permitting.