Archive for the 'On the Ground' Category

plastered about

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Saw the piece of sticker slogan.

“Pizza Gate is Real”.

Is this a medium for fake news?

Is this sincere or ironic?

If the former, does it do more harm to the cause than good?  If latter, does it do more good to the cause than harm?

meanwhile, to your left

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

“Liberals are fond of that famous quote from Voltaire.  ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’  Now the thing is… your anti-fascists… don’t really buy into that one.”

So heard on flicking briefly across the radio dial… had to be KBOO… and so goes the Antifa, I think it is.

Roughly speaking, explaining the recent punchings of Spencer, and Milo, and Bible Believer guy.

I suppose the theory is that if you don’t punch these guys now, their beliefs will gain currency, they will gain power, and they have no such idealistic approach on free speech.  So, not giving them the currency they won’t be giving their opponents, we just need to punch bad ideas out of the body politik.

That’s the idea, right?

………………………………………………

I see a guy at Starbucks.  He has 3 books.  The parenti Reader — as in Michael  — rounding about there somewhere just to the left of Chomsky.  A book on “American Fascism”, which I assume is somewhere around the realm of Trump — Bannon.  And something else I don’t remember.
Very much into reading all these anti-capitalist screeds…and he does so…
at a Starbucks.
To be sure, he doesn’t much resemble the sort that would throw a baseball bat at the window of the Starbucks…
But it is all very interesting nonetheless.

damage control

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

A business location next to a Starbucks that had been the subject of a bat against the windows the days after Trump’s election (and, I believe, it too received some collateral damage) had a bunch of peace signs, and diversity slogans, all — as the poster stated, “created by local elementary slogans.”

A pizza joint located a block or two from Pioneer Square had a sign pointedly pleading “We Just bought a Pizza Presser, and are just a friendly new pizza place.  Please.  Feel free to buy a pizza”.  (Or something like that.  I’m sure an image or two are around the twitter sphere.)

As it were, things look civil when things counted.

 

mixed messages

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

“They can’t put me on register.  I look like this.” — Guy (speaking to his co-worker) waves at his shirt and clothes.  He’s wearing something pro wrestler t-shirt or something.  Surely a bad message to us customers.
And so he continues working the stockroom.

I go to the register.  The woman working the register has on something saying, oh so cheekily.  “I Just Don’t Care”.

All righty then.

disambiguation issues

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

I look over to a tv screen in a public space, which has the words blaring on the screen “The Death of Will Smith”.

I do a double take.  And stare at the tv screen.  Talking heads fill the screen.  Wondering why I’m not seeing any b-roll of the Fresh Prince.

A woman walks by, and does a double take and says “WHAT?!”

They turn the volume up, and things make a little more sense.  This is ESPN.  “Outside the Lines”.  It’s a different Will Smith.  Football player.  Not the Will Smith I’m thinking when I hear the name “Will Smith”.

Why I care — even just slightly — about one Will Smith, I can’t say.  It’s not like I turbo-load dvd seasons of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  But we’re not going to be going through a period right now where we’re going to hear “Parents Just Don’t Understand” on repeat.

migratory patterns

Monday, November 28th, 2016

She identifies herself as from South Carolina.  Man from Kansas asks “You a red state refugee too?”

It takes two repeats for the meaning of this question to be understandable, so goes the polite laugh and “Sure.  Something like that.”

Sometimes things are a little more apolitical, or if they are political they are so indirectly.

“Did you see Nikki Haley was tapped for the UN post?”

“God, I hate that woman.”

And sometimes they are political.

“Let The Crops Rot”

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Red and black flags wave, signifying that alliance between Communists and Anarchists.  Street theater takes place in the form of makeshift bars with supposed prisoners chained in the midst.

I spot a politically reformatted Kaepernick jersey — black, either in solidarity with his political cause or signifying something more.  Interesting to note Kaepernick — after his stellar first half a season, and regression from there (to be fair, with his team decomposing around him), he was benched last season — and whether or not he starts this season, at least he’s a political cause celebre.  (Bigger than the game, and all that…)

They chant.  Convoluted.  “Free Political Prisoners!  All Prisoners are Political!”  A man in a mullet runs around, shouting “You don’t know what you’re protesting!”  Some spot communication occurs between an obviously pro protester and a leader tasked with dealing with disruptions off to the side.  This is a single minded protest, shocking the public in disrupting traffic flows requires a certain Rigidness of thought.

I spot a sign.  “Let the Crops Rot!”  This I want to get to the bottom of.  Fortunately, we get to a series of chants which would be interesting to untangle the proported intersectionality for this one.
“Black Lives Matter!” is paired next to something about water and thirst.

I suppose the Black and Red radicals have it in for Northern California, and don’t care about the drought conditions for such parochial concerns on the economics of agriculture, and view this as a resource war that trickles over the Prison Industrial Complex and…

weird things to teach your kid

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Kid with father in tow.  Father walks to me, asks “Okay.  Tell me this.  What are the two things in life that are inevitable?”

I stare, blanking.  “Don’t know.”

Father, impatiently sighs.  “It’s Taxes and –”

Me:  “Death”.

Father looks to kid.  “There you go.  See?”

Valuable lesson to teach this expression to your kid, right?

… didn’t start the fire…

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

I watched hordes of twenty-something year olds converge in roughly the same proximate location, hunting down Pokemon creatures whose images had been super-imposed on their cell-phones onto images of real space in front of them.

The Pokemon creatures are dancing in front of you right now, and someone’s zapping them by scratching on their cell phones.

Someone was talking about thinking of the song “We Didn’t Start the Fire“, in reference to thinking about current horrors — Oh, Orlando, Minnesota, and Dallas.  Sure,  And Pokemon Go is either a douser or opiate.  And, of course, we have been here before on mass popular crazes… which bring us all together, except for those who it doesn’t, or… is that great moment for a generation, unless it’s forgotten by the time the next one comes around…

distress sounds

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

“How are you?”
I give the universal “ugh” response.  Mind a bit … elsewhere.
“Go to pride at all?”
“No,” I say flatly.  She looks more than a little disappointed.  It takes me a second to register… maybe my lack of a showing at “Pride” fails a test of solidarity in the wake of a catastrophic hate crime, so I say “Sorry?”
Quickly, she shuffles forth with “About?”
“That I didn’t see the parade.”
“Oh, no.  No.”  Clearly not wanting to make me feel like a dick, “The parade was oh so long this year.”

Shortly she’d learn of a more immediate loss for me, and I suppose things would come around to make her feel like a dick.  The reality of her disappointment was probably along the lines of “failing to engage in topic the moment.”