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February 12, 2007

Joel Connelly Imagines Seattle circa 2077

Since Lynn has been away at the NW bloggers conference all weekend, I've been wracking my brain to come up with great local fodder for the blog. Wasn't happening. I'll chalk it up to the purgatory between winter and spring, where things are just on the verge of popping out. I even considered doing a decade-by-decade comparison of the Grammy winners from the last 49 years, but let's face it: pop music is a cultural wasteland and the winner's circle shows it. (Yeah, yeah - the Dixie Chicks and their shrill lead singer give me a headache. I'm still grieving the death of my favorite jazz saxophonist, Mike Brecker, who, posthumously, won two awards.)

Then I happened upon two hilarious pieces that brought me out of the doldrums. One is a rude, nasty and hysterically funny video of what Bush is really doing to this country. The other is Joel Connelly's P.I.column, in which he imagines our fair city 70 years hence -- after it's caught in the clutches of the PCP (Politically Correct Police), that is.

Magazines with pictures of male torsos were permitted, while the PCP removed publications displaying naked female bodies. It was part of a "Nickels rule" regulating display of the human body. Strip clubs are required to erect Plexiglas screens to separate dancers from patrons. Customers must wear monitoring devices: An electric shock is administered at signs of arousal.

The first impression of 2077 Seattle is of bicycles and mopeds, swarms of them, reminiscent of Beijing before China's emergence as the world's pre-eminent superpower.

The story of the city's transformation is well-known. A civic councilor named Peter Steinbrueck seized power, aided by radical school trustees, militant arts activists and a cadre of young Capitol Hill writers dubbed the "trust fund kids."

The city tore down its waterfront freeway and retreated into itself under a "new order." It is officially called "Coordination." Thousands left, many claiming to have been driven out. One major neighborhood, West Seattle, seceded.

I may not always agree with Connelly's curmudgeonly view of the world, and I don't necessarily subscribe to all the satirical take-downs in this column, but so what. I read it and laughed my ass off, because Seattle's penchant for political correctness drives me crazy to the point of total exhaustion. Agree or disagree with him, Connelly proves that the best satire serves up a slice of truth with every bite.

Posted by shoephone on February 12, 2007 at 12:56 AM in Miscellany | Permalink


And I greatly appreciate that you have been doing this. Plus, it's hilarious. Thanks, Shoephone.

The blogger's gathering been a wonderful opportunity to get together and share what we've been learning in this amazing new venture of citizen democracy.

The last part of the get-together is open to the public. It's a set of three panels with a mix of Democratic legislators, progresive bloggers, friendly journalists and progressive organizations talking together on the "Policy Landscape", "Message and Tactics" and "Growing the Progressive Movement". 6-8:30. SHR - 2 in the Cherberg Building on the campus.

Come on down.

Posted by: Lynn | Feb 12, 2007 8:15:06 AM

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