Jeff Bezos talking to Alexa.
Jeff Bezos talking to Alexa. Charles Mudede

Seattle Times reports that Seattle's biggest employer, and the company that finally put the city on the map (grunge didn't do it, nor did Sir Mix-a-Lot or Microsoft), Amazon, plans to add 2 million square feet of office space in downtown Seattle. "Back in September... the company’s footprint stood at 8.1 million square feet, with plans to grow to about 12 million square feet," writes Matt Day and Mike Rosenberg. Amazon now plans an additional two million square feet, "which is equivalent to three skyscrapers." The total size of its occupation of his city will be 14 million square feet.

How are we to interpret and translate this new information? To begin with, it tells us that we are just past the middle of this company's world-historical expansion. The city—Amazon's putty-we see growing every which way around us is far from done. Much more is to come—if, that is, the US stock market, the source of much of Amazon's value, doesn't crash. (Only a fool would rule out that possibility.)

The information also reveals how much energy has been wasted worrying about H2Q. One of the very last problems Seattle has on its groaning plate is Amazon's plan to build a second headquarters. This is nothing but a distraction. Indeed, our city's energy would be better spent figuring out what do with the troublesome cat some call The Mayor of Columbia City (he is also called Felix the Mayor).

That one has no sense of property. He just shows up at your house and acts like it's his house. The mayor even climbed into a stranger's bed at night and made himself comfortable, while the stranger was in that bed, trying to sleep. How did he get in the house? What a one is this cat. Can something be done about the Mayor of Columbia City? This is the level of importance H2Q actually has for the city of Seattle. And yet, our main papers and leading politicians see it as a riddle that must solved if the city hopes to survive.