If you have not heard, Kshama Sawant will not seek reelection. As Rich Smith put it, this is the end of an era. What to make of it, this era? For one, Sawant's rise was concurrent with the rise of Seattle as a tech hub. Facebook (no Meta) opened offices here, South Lake Union grew and grew, Amazon expanded into a sun at the center of our whirling world of commodities. Walking through the mirror of these major capitalist developments you found a socialist, Sawant. How strange.

And isn't it interesting that she is departing at the very same time that Seattle's tech sector is bleeding jobs? Even Microsoft is letting go of 10,000 employees. Is this an example of Baudelaire's correspondences? Amazon and Sawant expressed (or were in correspondence with) a cultural moment that, in the new moment of necro-economics, is entering twilight? If so, Amazon will certainly not go down like Sawant. Good night, Seattle socialism.     

Amazon is dumping a major downtown office building, Port 99 on Eighth Avenue, in April. Buildings are still rising in South Lake Union. How long will this go on? Building buildings to build buildings. 

More on Sawant to come:

Maybe it's not really the sunset for Sawant. This business of attacking the Squad, as she has done in the recent past, and does again in the post "Why I’m Not Running Again for City Council," has the appearance of a serious challenge. You can't do that on the streets, or in marches, or in chat rooms. A real challenge happens in the House.

A major question I have for socialists is: What is socialism? I ask this because the mainstream presents a capitalism that is not at all capitalism. For example, the CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, said this at the World Economic Forum in Davos: "Official global standards on sustainability and climate were needed to 'align capitalism with what society wants from it.'" But how can you align a system whose feedback is positive (expanded reproduction) with one that is negative (simple reproduction)? What I want to know about socialism, is what capitalism is trying to undo or reform? 

Meridian 16 is set close because Regal has no money. It is closing 39 theaters in the US. Meridan emerged from Seattle's first tech-related boom. The second happened in the 1990s; the third, around the time Kshama Sawant won a seat on the council. 

If you read Anthony Trollope's best novel The Eustace Diamonds, published in 1871, you will be introduced to the underworld of "London thieves."


There was no doubt whatever as to the diamonds having been in the iron box;—nor was there, said Lord George, any doubt but that this special necklace had acquired so much public notice from the fact of the threatened lawsuit, as might make its circumstances and value known to London thieves.

What about the 21st-century underworld of Seattle thieves? What are they up to these days? MyNorthwest: "3 USPS mail trucks stolen in West Seattle with mail inside." According to US Postal Inspector, "at least three USPS mail trucks have been stolen in West Seattle just in January." It works like this: Members of Seattle Thieves steal a mail truck, drive it for a few blocks, grab its "mail and packages," and hightail it. US Postal Inspector: “Unbelievable. Unbelievable!”

In a report about two dead bodies found in a car parked in Georgetown, this caught my attention: "A man who lives in an apartment building and a woman who lives in a tent, both near the car where the men were found, said they heard about seven gunshots."



Not end with this, Santos:

Dan Savage?

David Crosby died today. He was 81. Dave Segal interviewed him for The Stranger in 2017.

"In terms of live performance, you have to strike a balance between the newest work, which is the stuff you really want to play, and [old material] people want to hear. Because they love those songs and they want 'em. There's nothing wrong with that. But any songwriter will tell you their favorite songs are the ones they just wrote. That's part of our deal: We need to be playing those new songs to stay alive [laughs]."

Because Yukihiro Takahashi of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame recently passed away, I will end with his tune "Drip Dry Eyes":