MONEY WORTH SPENDING
I was relieved I live in Vancouver, Wash., when I read your article about opposition to a new library building in Seattle ["Why Now?" Dec. 6]. Yes, Vancouver lacks many of the cultural amenities Seattle has. For instance, we lack the beautiful football stadium we were asked to vote for in Seattle so that one of the world's wealthiest men would not have to pay for it himself. But I am fortunate to live in the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, so I can enjoy my unfiltered Internet seven days a week in pleasant surroundings and enjoy a good selection of books, too. If the former Jet City wants to really save money on public literacy, it can start closing its libraries all day Saturday and Sunday, as Spokane does, and see what it does for job creation in your region.
STILL SPENDING MONEY
[Re: The Next Economy cover package, Dec. 6 ]: On the day after Thanksgiving, Wal-Mart set a new record in sales for a Friday of $1.25 billion. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the American public spent $155 million seeing the top 10 movies. I just came from Pacific Place in downtown Seattle where I was told [that one store was] having its best (in terms of sales) December since 1998. Further, the person said ALL downtown stores are having the same experience. All of which leads me to ask, "What exactly is a recession?"
SO LONG, OLD FRIEND
Me and George Harrison go way back ["So Long, Quiet One," Dec. 6]. There was Something in that wry, mop-top sense of humor that I could relate to in George Harrison. He wasn't grabbing Paul's girls or writing John's songs. No, he was marrying Eric Clapton's and penning his own classics. Above all, throughout all of Beatlemania, George was himself: the happily behind-the-scenes Beatle who saw fit to quit long before John and Paul fiascoed over who had the authority to make it official. Yep, me and George go way back. I recall fondly those glorious first listens to Revolver, The White Album, and Sgt. Pepper's. I often sat amazed at his songs. This is the man who taught me what a sitar was, who told me Eastern philosophy is pretty damn cool, and showed me, in Clapton's heyday, he could out-axe even God.
For that, I gently weeped last Thursday. On the day he died, I curled up next to a weathered boom box and listened somberly to "All Things Must Pass" (excuse the pun)—still the greatest post-Fab release. I thought of George Harrison reuniting with John Lennon, surely arguing over which song to begin their brand new set with. After a lengthy debate, some cigarettes, and fond reminiscences, the stubborn Walrus finally agrees with George, and the two duet "Here Comes the Sun."
DON'T STAND FOR IT!
Steve Wiecking makes an amusing point about the abundance of standing ovations at shows [Small World, "Sit! Stay!" Dec. 6]. Honestly, I think people stand because of peer pressure. Once a few people stand, others follow their lead for different reasons. Some think, "Yeah, this show was really good. I'll stand up for that." Others think, "Oh, I'd better stand up. I'll look like an idiot or an asshole otherwise." Still others, like me, think, "Goddamnit. I can't see," and stand so they can see the cast or at least so they don't have to stare at the ass of the person in front of them . . . not that that's always bad. Maybe we should stay seated as a protest ovation!
The only thing more agitating than the return of the "N30" protests recently was the return of the clamoring TV-news helicopters that followed them all day long [News Clips, "Outlaw City," Dec. 6].
Since Sept. 11, the FAA had grounded the privacy-invading air hogs. How calm the skies over Seattle have seemed since. Only the whispers of a DC-10 on its approach to Boeing Field every 15 minutes to lament. Ah, the tranquility of city living.
Not so tranquil was the squadron of "news commandos" that descended from November skies ready to capture any repeat of "The Battle in Seattle." The only thing missing was Wagner's battle hymn—and a story worthy of such attention.
Do they realize how obnoxious it is having their helicopters flying relentless sorties over an area where people work and live? I may not be an intelligence expert, but I'm guessing a few ace correspondents on the ground could have covered this one a lot less intrusively.
Not every protest, bank robbery, or car crash warrants the presence of a thundering news chopper. I like keeping informed, too, but give me a break. Jim Forman in his yellow rain slicker and a microphone would have been just fine.
Did the absence of TV helicopters really lessen the quality of broadcast news that much? Was life really so bad without them? If so, perhaps I should consider an early retirement to Vashon for my quiet years. If not, how about leaving the Hueys parked on the helipad for the next mediocre story and sending the news van instead.
JOHN ASHCROFT: MEGALOMANIC BIGOT
What is really astounding is that not only was the whole world aware that Bush is a moron but [it was also aware] that he was putting such power in the hands of a megalomanic bigot who still believes in McCarthyism ["Interviewing John," Dec. 6]. How could the population of the U.S. be unaware of what the rest of the world found so blatantly obvious? Surely there must have been an alternative?
FLOAT A FRIEND
While reading Roger Downey's article on gift ideas that touch on the more spiritual aspects of the season [Holiday Survival Guide 2, "Enlightenment in a Box," Dec. 6], I was surprised to find that he hadn't included the flotation (sensory deprivation) tanks at Floatzone.com.
After a lifetime of curiosity about floating, I finally had a chance to slip into a tank last spring. No other relaxation therapy or meditative practice has made me feel as peaceful, creative, and centered as floating. I've recommended it to friends and have purchased gift certificates to "float a friend." If, as Mr. Downey suggests, people are looking for gifts that fulfill "the sense of contemplation, communion, and thanksgiving that should be uppermost in our spirits this season," they could hardly go wrong with a gift of floating.
PISSED OFF WITH PORT COMMISSIONER
Why the false modesty? Lawrence Molloy got a lot of free publicity from the Weekly in his run for Port Commission ["Molloy Wins," Nov. 29]. But only now do you report that his top priority is getting light rail to the airport. Of course, Sound Transit doesn't have the money to build another mile in the South County region. Molloy's real mission is to get the Port to chip in on the light-rail boondoggle.
He touted himself as the only Port Commission candidate who opposed logging of the Cedar River Watershed. Of course, the Port doesn't have anything to do with the watershed. And he advocated tug escorts to prevent oil spills in Puget Sound. Did Molloy not know that we don't allow oil tankers in Puget Sound, or did he just hope the voters didn't know it?
Molloy's right about two things. He will piss people off and he will make mistakes.
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