Same Old Talk
I have to admit I can only listen to Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, and the rest of the shows on Air America ["He Wuz Rob-bed," Jan. 10] for 10 minutes before I start getting annoyed. Their voices are grating and opinions one-sided. It feels good to "Bush-bash" for a little while, but come on! They sound like the hatemongers they have positioned themselves against, and that's just as off-putting as any drivel that Rush Limbaugh has to offer. Lack of originality and mimicry drove listeners from Air America, not political affiliation or best intentions.
Air's No Alternative
Thanks for this piece ["He Wuz Rob-bed," Jan. 10]. Financial aspects aside, from a political standpoint, I can't say I would miss Air America. As a progressive who listened pretty regularly when it came to Portland's KPOJ early on, I quickly grew weary. Air America is a classic example of the confusion between the terms "liberal" and "progressive." The former it may be; the latter it ain't. Between Al Franken's slobbering support of our invasion of Afghanistan and his lust for anything in a military uniform, and Randi Rhodes' observation that Condi Rice (during her testimony before the 9/11 Commission) wears her hair that way to hide the "666" emblazoned on her forehead, it became pretty clear that what we've got here is heaping helpings of slop for the "liberal" dittoheads. Like Limbaugh, they and their cohorts are humorous entertainers and offer validation for blind prejudices. What they don't offer is meaningful information, a critique of the party hack system they personify, or any exploration of alternatives to the corrupt political system that spawned them.
Spotlight On Stage
Thank you for finally spotlighting Seattle theater again [Longenbaugh on Theatre, Jan. 10, and "Played Out," Jan. 3]. I love the articles, and John Longenbaugh is an extremely intelligent writer!
John Longenbaugh's re-entry into critiquing the Seattle theater scene ["Played Out," Jan. 3] would have those not intimately connected with the admittedly insular world of local theater (and even a few who are, based on the head-scratching going on in several online discussions) thinking there's some sort of crisis going on, when in fact, despite several highly profiled closures in recent (and some not so recent) days, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sure, we've lost a few theaters, particularly midsized ones such as the Empty Space, but others have emerged to fill the gaps they've left: Seattle Shakes, Book-It, Bellevue Rep, Taproot, just to name a few.
And there are other trends that indicate Seattle's theater scene remains healthy and vibrant. For example, there is still a significant influx of new talent coming to the area, even as some of our more highly regarded veterans leave in search of greater fame and opportunity. Also, the emergence of so-called "micro-theaters"—under-50-seat houses that are springing up all over the city, including (and most significantly) in outlying neighborhoods beyond the Capitol Hill/Queen Anne theater districts (Live Girls! in Ballard, Art's Players in Beacon Hill, the Chapel in Wallingford, to name a few)—points to further diversification, surely a sign that theater is in fact expanding into new cultural and geographic landscapes, rather than retrenching, stagnating, or worse, diminishing. Theater in Seattle is still just as vibrant, healthy, and full of creative, innovative artists as it has ever been.
Time to Act
Many thanks to John Longenbaugh for his invigorating call-to-arms to all those invested in keeping Seattle's theater scene vibrant ["Played Out," Jan. 3]. Having recently returned to the area after five years of grad school, I have been continually alarmed to see what has become of this city's theater scene, about which I had long bragged shamelessly to non-Seattleites. Indeed, the time for smug complacency, if ever there was one, is long since past. The time for innovation and action is upon us.
It is up to us to create our ideal community. If we want to continue to enjoy our long-standing reputation as avid supporters of the arts, it's time to pour some resources into re-earning the title of "theater town."
Re John Metcalfe's piece on the P-Patch in front of his carport ["Pea-O'd," Jan. 3]:
(a) Metcalfe has a Seattle roomie who rents this place while Metcalfe is in Washington, D.C.; (b) Metcalfe arrives from D.C. and finds to his horror that someone has sneakily planted a garden in front of his carport; (c) he calls the city of Seattle and finds that there's a government program called P-Patches, causing Metcalfe to wonder what the hell kind of jerkwater place is this, anyway? (Seattle has supported the program for about 40 years, and spread it to dozens of other cities.)
Mr. Metcalfe is presumed to be a journalist, evidenced by his being published in what used to be a newspaper. In this story, he seems to have avoided basic journalistic questions, which as the reporter he might have asked himself as the subject (and victim and putative hero) of the piece:
(1) Is his roommate blind? Or (2) did those renegade neighbors plant that garden, with brick planters, topsoil, and mature stalks of something or other, all in the few weeks since he agreed to rent the house? Or (3) did he rent the place knowing all about the garden, then bitch about it in order to sell a rather silly story to the Seattle Weekly (which I regret to say, having admired it for years, has become a rather silly publication)?
I don't know. Bet on (3).
What a Wuss!
As I read this interesting story ["Pea-O'd," Jan 3], I fully expected the next sentence to state how this "Seattle wuss" cured his problem using some sort of direct action. Sadly, he did not. What happened to individual rights and individual initiative? Only in Seattle could an individual be so "neutered" and passively accept such a silly situation. It makes for interesting reading, but the problem could have been solved simply by renting a backhoe.
As an avid reader of the online version of Seattle Weekly, I noticed that Ask an Uptight Seattleite appears on the top of the Weekly's Web site, where it's the first thing a reader sees. The Uptight Seattleite's alter ego ¡Ask a Mexican¡ appears at the bottom of the site, where it could be the last thing a reader sees. ¡Ask a Mexican! appears at the back of the newspaper while Uptight appears at the front. Does this show that pasty, humorless gabachos are still on top, keeping our pigmented, flavored brothers down?
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