"And you know it's time to go, through the sleet and driving snow, across the fields of winter, light in the distance." That is straight from my memory. Not even going to check if it matches the original, which is, of course, the opening line of U2's "A Sort of Homecoming"; which is, of course, the opening track of their last great album, The Unforgettable Fire. [Editor's note: It does not match.] So far, there has been nothing like "driving snow" in Seattle. KING 5: "[M]uch of western Washington expected to wake up to snow on the ground Tuesday. But not everyone did." Seattle certainly didn't. And when it finally happened, when the fattish flakes started to fall, the rain soon caught up and dissolved their sticking power.
As for the image of U2's "light in the distance," the city has too many lights for that kind of feeling. "A Sort of Homecoming," is, of course, a pastoral (the sentimentalization of country life—the French call it "nostalgie de la boue"). Country people are imagined by city people to see this one, guiding, true light in the distance.
🚝Dashing Through the Snow: @SeattleMonorail plows through a dusting of white stuff through Downtown #Seattle en route to @seattlecenter moments ago. (This is the @SeattleKraken train sponsored by @SteMichelle! 🏒🍷) #wawx #seattlesnow #urbanlife pic.twitter.com/XYFo5GJZGt— Brian M. Westbrook (@BrianWestbrook) December 20, 2022
But it does not take much snow for King County cars to lose all control. Bellevue, for example, was "the scene of several spinouts and collisions" this morning. One car even hit a utility pole, and the pole retaliated by impaling it. No one was injured. But Link ran smoothly all day. Its trains knew no snow. They arrived on time, left on time, and got you to your destination with no fear of a spinout.
How do we answer right-leaning MyNorthwest.com's headline: "Homelessness increasing nationally, with King County among the worst"? With this piece of writing by the French poet and novelist, Anatole France: "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."
There was no zooing in Seattle today. But those animals from Africa? Have they ever become used to snow? The sun is gone. The day is also almost gone. All is dark, even at 7 am. The night is so fucking long. Why were they brought here? So cold, this falling snow.
UPDATE: we are CLOSED today 12/20/22 and WildLanterns is closed this evening. Ticket holders, please check your email for more info. Stay cozy everyone and thanks to our animal keepers and grounds crews for making sure everyone is cozy, safe and full of treats today! #seattlewx pic.twitter.com/NDhIkyw0VX— Woodland Park Zoo (@woodlandparkzoo) December 20, 2022
David Kroman reports that a considerable number of "King County Metro riders can [must] expect at least a few more weeks of service disruptions as 114 of the agency’s buses undergo repairs." All of this began when Metro found that 10% of its fleet had steering wheel problems. 10% is "126 [buses] out of about 1,500."
Speaking of Metro:
Today in Vanishing Seattle, the London Plane:
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That massive military budget that Biden is set to sign? "[A] whopping $858 billion." In the world we live in, it can't be avoided. It must be done because a key function of the government is to remove or freeze or sink capital, of which there is always too much (overproduction, under-consumption, lack of investment opportunities). The poverty we see around us hides this fact—the overabundance of capital. Poverty is always imposed scarcity. If the state does not perform this capital-eliminating function, then the present system would collapse. Capitalists know this, which is why they make the military a major sector for sinking/removing capital from the economy.
Another politics would make the construction of public housing or the expansion of the health services remove capital that's always threatening to clog the reproduction of the system. But this politics would not, in essence, be capitalism, which depends on constraints that maintain its historically specific form of class organization. The military budget at once sinks capital and preserves its social order. The line of this way of thinking/interpreting has its point of initiation in Rosa Luxemburg's The Accumulation of Capital (1913).
And how is this a bad thing? No more of the talk about the bubble on the left. Nothing compares to the bubble the right are in.
I’d like to see the tax returns of Supreme Court Justices. https://t.co/vbrb4Ms3rh— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) December 20, 2022
Please read Dave Segal's piece on the passing of Terry Hall, one of the truly marvelous figures that British pop has ever produced. His band, the Specials, also made the masterpiece of British economic analysis, "Ghost Town." It moves from the macro ("No job to be found in this country"), to the micro ("Bands won't play no more/Too much fighting on the dance floor"). It also offers a description of the business cycle ("Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?"). Economics does not have to be that hard, and it can also have a reggae beat.