"I'm pursuing my real ambitions . . . and I'm


With regard to your cover stories on Seattle's dot-com hangover ["The New New Economy?" June 28]: As a dot-com survivor who was forced out of my golden handcuffs five months ago, I've had plenty of time to contemplate the pros and cons of getting laid off. My finances are tighter, I'm scrambling for freelance gigs, and I'm slightly nervous about my future.

But you know what? I'm also excited by the possibilities that lie ahead, I answer to nobody but myself (and I'm loving it), I'm pursuing my real ambitions (as opposed to doing time for vesting stock), and I'm psychologically healthier than I ever was during my 26 months in a dot-com sweatshop. Many of my former colleagues remain overworked and conflicted about their priorities, and while I sincerely wish them well (and remain slightly envious [of] their potentially lucrative futures), I honestly feel like I'm the one who's better off. I lost my valueless stock options, but I gained priceless wisdom about the things that really matter. Life's too short, y'know what I mean?

Jeff Shannon



Lately I can't pick up a paper without reading some article about/by a chick that used to work in an art supply store and then got swept up in the new economy [see "The New New Economy?" June 28] only to find that, surprise, surprise, that's not gonna last! Now she's rediscovered that she prefers making art and riding her bike around the city over sitting in a fluorescent-lit cube writing crap about how some e-business solution that doesn't even exist yet will add to the company's value proposition. (Oh, wait. That's me.) It's a little bit like we've all been dating the wrong guy for the last five years. We KNEW it was wrong but we kept seeing him because he was so good looking. And now we're mad because we've been dumped.

The folks filling the matinee shows and the Frye Museum and hogging the jobs sections at my local coffee house? They're all wondering what the next big thing is. If the Weekly and Startup.com are any indication, the next big thing is a media blitz focused on the human detritus that's now washed up on the beach of that new economy. I don't know if I can take having my life paraded around in public like this. Yeah, I'm bitter, but don't mind me, I'll be fine. I've redirected my energy in to a screenplay. Wanna see my script? It's about this chick that used to work in an art supply store. . . .

Pam Mandel

via e-mail


I think the Kennewick Man ["Kennewick Man in Court," June 28] issue is very amusing and revealing. I am always amazed by this country's worship of science and scientists (science is really just another religion) and the ever-present belief in their infallibility. Science is really just a long series of highly educated guesses that are far more often wrong than right.

So, when new archaeology evidence is discovered in this country (and others), the scientists and their followers are like fundamentalists rushing to worship a new god, a new messiah. The old prayer: "Land bridge! Land bridge! Land bridge! The Asians marched over thousands of miles of ice and snow in subzero temperatures in order to hunt buffalo." The new prayer: "Oh, wait, this Kennewick Man is white, so that must mean the first settlers here were white! How did they get here? Oh, they sailed! It was the very first America's Cup!"

I have a stand-up bit about the Kennewick man being another lost white guy, ࠬa Lewis and Clark, David Thompson, Columbus, et al., who just happened to run into and get shot in the ass by a mean-tempered Indian, rather than being rescued by that 25-cent piece Indian, what's her name?

Anyway, my general goofy feeling about the Kennewick Man is this: "Hey, wait, brainiac science dude, isn't there, like, you know, more important sciencey-type stuff to be thinking about, like, maybe, you know, cancer?" My slightly more specific feelings about this: I am afraid of nostalgia in any of its forms: white, Indian, or in between.

Sherman Alexie

via e-mail


James Bush could be right that a recast Mardi Gras celebration won't work [4th and James, June 28], though I hope he's wrong, and I know many other cities have successfully pulled off this metamorphosis. But I do know that the Pioneer Square Task Force, including four club representatives, unanimously endorsed plans for a broader, safer February Fest that features a wide array of Pioneer Square attractions. My role was to help the task force members find their own consensus, which was very clear once we looked at the facts. To save the festival, you have to make it safe, more Seattle-based, and broadly beneficial to Pioneer Square. Doing it again the old way was the surest formula for killing it and forcing the city to crack down on the clubs, on nightlife, and on music. There was not a single vote on the Task Force for the status quo.

David Brewster

Co-chair, Pioneer Square Events Task Force


Hi there! I'm the owner of the "staid overstuffed couch" in the play Pterodactyls [Stage Calendar, June 21]. I'm sorry that my couch was so distracting from the play. It is very nice to sit on, however, and if you ever need a place to crash, it is quite comfy. Although your review was a bit negative, I am THRILLED that my couch was such an attention grabber, dominating "the center of the stage." I really enjoyed the play myself, but I must admit I'm a bit biased; I also had TV parts in the incredible, innovative TV-suarus rex that also dominated the stage. I also found the TV blurbs during the play to be quite original and very funny, and the actors were quite good as well. Anyway, thanks for mentioning my couch! It has totally made my day.

Dan Poffenbarger

via e-mail


In the May 31 edition of the Seattle Weekly, your publication reads that, with regard to the state's "anti-bullying" bill, I "gave up and went home" [News Clips, "Victors/ Vanquished"], insinuating that I somehow allowed Republican legislators to be the victors in a rousing game of keep away. While I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor with which the news clip is presented, I would like you and your readers to know that I have, in fact, not given up and gone home. I remain committed to the idea that Washington needs a strong anti-harassment policy for our public schools.

For the past four years, I have worked toward ensuring the safety of our school children by sponsoring anti-harassment legislation. An unfortunate reality of the current 49-49 split in the House of Representatives is that, in order for any bill to move out of a particular committee, there must be complete and unequivocal agreement between the Democratic and Republican co-chairs that a bill will, indeed, pass out of their committee. While Representative Dave Quall, who co-chairs the House Education Committee, would have been happy to pass the bill out of committee, his counterpart vociferously denied the bill any opportunity to pass out and go to the floor of the House of Representatives for a full vote.

In the event that the bill does not pass through the legislature during this legislative session, know that I will return to Olympia for the 2002 session ready to continue working on this issue.

As such, realize that I have not left the sand box in deference to Republican bullies. I have been committed—and remain committed—to passing anti-harassment legislation for our public school children.

Edward B. Murray

State Representative, 43rd Legislative District

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