News Clips— Needle Exchange

Leave it to The Wall Street Journal to get to the bottom of the Mardi Gras riots. In a recent commentary, writer Kimberly A. Strassel blames our image-obsessed, high-tech money-fueled culture for drawing outside ideas and a new citizenry into this once-sleepy burg—or something like that.

The perky Princeton grad and former real-estate reporter (actually, fairly good credentials to write about the "new" Seattle) piles on the Grunge City clich鳠with multiple references to coffee, Microsoft, and youth culture, but she does slip in a valid point or two. Strassel is correct in noting that the World Trade Organization protests should have been taken as an indicator of local tensions rather than being blamed on out-of-town agitators, and that with big city prestige comes big city problems (not to mention big city violence). Strassel even manages to work in a reference to the earthquake, an event previously blamed on shifting tectonic plates rather than shifting demographics.


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