When The Geeks Have Gone
Restructuring the EMP/SFM
Fun Forest Annex!
For decades, the snootiness of certain Seattle Center denizens--Seattle Opera, Seattle Repertory, Pacific Science Center--has been delightfully offset by the lowly pleasures of the Fun Forest, home to the spine-cracking Windstorm roller coaster, the drunk-punishing Wild River log Ŗume, and aggression-draining bumper cars. Why not amp the Center's family appeal by expanding the Fun Forest into the Gehry blob? As those who experienced the EMP's much-mourned Funk Blast can attest, the building is simply made for zippy thrills, and once vacated, Gehry's Folly could make a kick-ass home to a mini-golf course, a laser-light aquarium, and a death-defying skate park.
City of the Future!
Forget the Science Fiction Museum's reification of imaginary views of the future--why not create the actual future now by transforming the EMP/SFM into a real-life modern utopia? By breaking away from Seattle proper, the residents of Blob City could write their own laws, legalizing everything from drugs to mandatory family planning, while outlawing everything from science-fiction conventions to museums housing boots worn by Heart. Or for a novel turnaround, the forward-thinkers could take over the city, forcing all who disagree to be interned at the abandoned EMP. If there's one thing the Christian right's "Mayday for Marriage" rally at Safeco Field taught us, it's that lunkhead Christians love gathering in semi-enclosed public spaces--the uglier, the better.
One of the greatest things about the 21st century is the freakish number of world-class celebrities at risk of doing long, hard time. With the installation of a few cells, and a few bunks, and a whole lot of hidden cameras, the EMP/SFM could become the perfect prison for today's incarcerated celebrity. To help cover costs, hidden-camera footage can be edited into reality TV programs. Sure, watching Donald Trump insult desperate young professionals is fun, but it's nothing compared to watching Courtney Love and Lil' Kim corner Martha Stewart in the showers, while R. Kelly gives Michael Jackson a bit of that bump 'n' grind. (For doubters, I have three words: Celebrity Prison Rodeo.)
A Real Museum
Some cities are blessed with rich people who aren't obsessed with forcing citizens to admire outfits worn by Matt LeBlanc. Take Los Angeles, where Mr. J. Paul Getty funded the construction of a glorious art center devoted to classic European art. The Getty Center's only shortcoming is its complete rejection of modern art--which leaves Paul Allen in a prime position to create a stellar modern-art museum for the West Coast. This will not only provide Paul Allen with a lasting, non-embarrassing civic legacy, but will also help make sense of Gehry's problematic architecture--one klutzy piece of modern architecture packed with hundreds of pieces of exceptional modern art equals a museum to be proud of.