Mar 23, 2016
commented on Support the Real Progressive
But, ultimately, the Stranger disappoints me by not flip-flopping the endorsements by age. That's the puckish Stranger I remember, not the Stranger who takes the safe way out by touting Sanders to their twentysomething readership while making the olds feel OK about their Hillary support.
Aug 7, 2013
commented on Ed Murray: "I Am Not Running to Be a Progressive Mayor of Seattle"
Remember, this is the same Seattle that voted down the plastic bag ban and voted pretty consistently for people like Norm Maleng and Sam Reed (even before he refused to let the GOP block Gregoire's election). So, I think to argue that Seattle is now left-of-left is misguided. Seattle has a center-left core among Gen Xers and Boomers (the NPR tote bag crowd Paul referenced) that still makes up a solid chunk of the electorate.
That said, if Murray wants to tack right in an attempt to isolate McGinn on the left, he's walking the same path Mallahan and Sidran walked. And we know that didn't work.
If Murray wants to win, he needs to get an endorsement from Harrell and/or Steinbrueck. And tacking right is not going to appeal to them. (Honestly, he really should just lay out a freakin' plan for Seattle, politically risky as it is. His entire campaign seems to be "I'm the guy who brought you gay marriage and here's my agenda: OMG MCGINN IS SCCCCCCARRRRYYYY!!!!")
Feb 8, 2013
commented on Vote No on Seattle School Levy 2
As for the actual No piece... these aren't good arguments at all. They're easy to swat down.
650 seat schools? There are already multiple schools in the Northeast that are at 100% capacity or above, with kids strewn out in portables. The Northeast and Northwest are getting flooded with kids, and they will be for years to come.
Thornton Creek... quick, name me another plot of land in the Northeast that the district owns that they can drop a school on. Wilson-Pacific? Sorry, that's getting rebooted as middle school. Pinehurst? That's where Jane Addams K-8 is moving once the Jane Addams building gets revived as a middle school. Oaktree? Sure, if you have $50-100M just to cancel the lease, deal with the court actions, evict all the tenants, and level the shopping center. Maple Leaf? They sold that years ago.
Your options are a) Thornton Creek or b) expand everything in the Northeast. And remind me, how many overflow schools are there in the Northeast? One. Sandpoint. Which is getting rebooted after its remodel.
Thornton Creek isn't an ideal solution, but it's a workable one.
"It'll generate 840 additional car trips a day..." as opposed to what? Buses dumping those 840 kids into portables with no bathroom or running water? And all things considered, given how strewn out everything is, the trips will become a lot shorter, I would bet. Wilson-Pacific getting rebooted means the school run from home goes from 4 miles to 1 for me, just outside the range where they'd bus.
Lake City being lacking in schools is pretty close to utter hogwash. Yes, there's no school in the "heart" of the LC (125th/LCW), but it's way closer to a school than most of the Aurora corridor is.
Ditto the having to reopen schools red herring -- that was a shit decision by Goodloe-Johnson that wasn't based in the facts on the ground. Hell, they even admitted they didn't hire a demographer or even consult the city's, who himself was flabbergasted they'd close schools in the north when there was a clear baby boom. That has nothing to do with this bond issue.
Should SPS held onto their properties? Sure, but University Heights? Really? I mean, you going to scold them for not holding on to Phinney? Or Maple Leaf? Or hell, the original Bagley? We had a baby bust in the 70s and 80s. Property is inelastic -- it's either used or not -- and sitting on all that vacant, unused property for years would have been an immense cash drain. Hell, they had to put a roof on Viewlands while it was closed -- that's a few mil that could have gone into any number of other projects.
And yes, we need more open space, and we've done a terrible job as a city in holding on to open space. That's a civic problem. Rejecting a bond issue because playfields are getting wiped out for needed capacity isn't exactly smart, given those fields would likely get filled with portables (just as they were in the 1950s).
In short, the "no" campaign's argument is "don't build schools, because one day they may have to close them, then sell them, and then we'll have to build schools."
I say vote yes, expand capacity, get things moving the right way, then fire the crap out of the school board.
Feb 8, 2013
commented on Vote No on Seattle School Levy 2
The way to reform Seattle's schools would be to cut off their money, and then watch them scramble to get things in order as a result.
Right. So, while kids are getting bussed all over the place because the north end schools are all catterwampus in terms of size, while Eckstein is way over capacity and it's only going to get worse as this next pulse of kids from the northeast floods in, while the APP program gets shuffled from school to school because there's just not a building to put them permanently, the best answer is to SHOW THEM BURRYKRATS YOU KNOW WHAT GOOGLERONPAUL!!!!!!!11!!
And oh, kindly remove your mouth from the dick of vouchers or charters solving the capacity problem, because even if you tossed in the parochial school capacity AND threw in a few charters you STILL would not be able to solve the Eckstein capacity problem, not without unseating Jane Addams, moving a few hundred kids... where? Olympic View, Rogers, Sacajawea, they're all over capacity.
I mean, seriously, what is the problem with you anti-tax freakouts? Are you incapable of understanding that slapping duct tape on is NOT a viable long-term solution? OH LET'S NOT GIVE EM MONEY AND THEN THEY WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE RITE DECISIONS YESSIREE. Man, if anything, you are proof positive our school system cannot produce people who can think critically, only how to suck off some demagogue while giving the proper reacharound.
You have a problem with how SPS is run? FIRE THE SCHOOL BOARD. But stop fucking playing chicken with our schoolkids and go back to cashing your disability check for booze, you sad waste of precious oxygen.
Feb 2, 2013
commented on Seattle Saves Hiphop, Again
So. Much. Posing.
Look, rap in 1992 was roughly divided exactly as Charles divided them: The hippie-earnest-jazzy bucket that held ATCQ, Arrested Development, and much of the Tommy Boy stable; the gangbanging cinema verite of the LA crews; and their compadres on the East Coast who embraced their own form of militancy.
Meanwhile, the rap that was crossing over was, well, none of that. The first #1 rap single in the US? "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc. Vanilla Ice dominated 1990-91 radio. The media was more focused on 2 Live Crew than they were on NWA and Death Row Records. The hippie-earnest-jazzy guys would peek through with Digital Underground, Arrested Development, and (to a lesser extent) Naughty By Nature, but even then, hair metal still had more cache.
"Baby Got Back" did a number of things -- it finally crystallized a formula for making rap into pop; it finally got blacks and whites together around the idea that hip-hop and rap could transcend race (and seriously, as a college student in the summer of '92 there was nothing funnier than watching a bunch of white upper middle class kids going on about LA faces and Oakland booty); and it also was the final non-gangsta non-coastal hit rap song in this tripartite division of rap. The Chronic would come out that December, 39 Chambers the next year, and Arrested Development would be a TV show and an embarrassing #1 choice for the Pazz And Jop Poll.
But here's the other thing: Mix got absolutely pilloried by the rap community for the EXACT reasons the commenters above are ripping on Macklemore. He's too pop. He's not a good rapper. Anyone could sing about this. He's giving the Seattle scene a bad name. The only reason we look at him with pride now is because it's been 20 years.
I have no idea if Macklemore is going to be just a flash in the pan. I have no idea if he's going to finally get the hip-hop zeitgeist to look Northwest and see what a plethora of talent we have in the local scene. I hope for the best. But consider that 50 years ago, a flash in the pan band from the Northwest made a muddy recording of a Jamaican ballad that generated a huge amount of controversy... and also evangelized garage rock, the progenitor of American punk and the distant relative of the grunge that every other band in Seattle was pushing alongside Mix. And no one today would dare diss "Louie Louie," played into the ground as much as it has been.
I really hope this is the turning point in hip-hop. Charles is right -- it really has taken itself way too seriously. So maybe this is truly a bookend to "Baby Got Back" and we're going to see hip-hop try hard to be fun again, even though it's turned into an angry scold who wants it all to be real.
But it says something that Macklemore is absolutely killing in Australia right now. He sounds like the Hilltop Hoods' long-lost American cousin. Australian hip-hop sounds more like what that hippy-earnest-jazzy camp would sound like had they not fallen into obscurity with the coming of gangsta.
Feb 2, 2012
commented on Church or Cult?
Way back when I was in college we had an offshoot of the Boston Church of Christ running around that was using some of the identical tactics -- appeals to discipline, pressure, shunning -- under the name of "discipling." In fact, the story above sounded so similar I did a double-take.
I've been a member of several churches over the years, some of which people are familiar with for being "conservative" or "evangelical" or "EEVL EEVL HOMOPHOBES." At no point in any of these churches was there ever, ever anything like what happened above (or what I saw with the Church of Christ). No demands for authority over others, no 300-point plans for redemption, no shunning. And even in Reformed churches you never see this.
It's the Appeal To Authority that's all screwed up here. There's a lot of emphasis on Men being Lord Of The Household. There's a lot of emphasis on Pastors being Lord Of The Flock. There doesn't seem to be much on Jesus being Lord Of All. If anything, Jesus is being used as an excuse to bully and browbeat people into submission.
This isn't a healthy environment. This is sounding awfully cult-like. I really doubt Mark Driscoll has a rentboy or a bag of coke, but he drives on power -- absolute power -- and his hangers-on in leadership feed on weakness to stay in his good graces. And dictators, ultimately, fall the moment they prove to be weak. God have mercy on the flock then, because the rending of a 10K person church will be one miserable sight to behold.
Nov 1, 2010
commented on Sufjan Stevens at the Paramount Theater: Better Pinch Yourself
Nthing the "we were laughing at his inability to tell the damn story" line. And it was awkward as hell. Especially as you realized the only influence, really, was the visuals and the chorus of one song.
I'm really in between on this Sufjan phase, and I'm still in between 48 hours later, especially when "Impossible Soul" seemed to turn through 808s-Kanye toward Gary Numan via R. Kelly. It was a hot mess, that was, with the slat shades and the fly girls. And yet, "Impossible Soul" still has the intimacy and vulnerability that every 28 minute prog rock song doesn't have. "Supper's Ready" is also about 28 minutes long (or 29, I can't remember), and it's also a hot mess (Peter Gabriel dressed up as a flower), but doesn't have that emotional core.
I forgot to tell my wife about the Adz phase, and she was, um, non-plussed. But then the encore came and she was happy.
And I'm with Josh on the sound -- very well mixed, so the big sound he was going was sound, not the muddy cacophony you get with some people behind the board.