Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I like Seattle...

At least, I like the areas I've been in -- mainly downtown and by the Space Needle, the airport (which is massive but still amazingly user friendly) and the ferries crossing Puget Sound. This is my fourth trip here and I'm beginning to feel like I know the city enough to get around.

I especially enjoy taking the Link train from the airport to downtown. It passes through a whole array of communities -- industrial, along the 5 Freeway, past declining as well as gentrified residential areas, a sports complex, an Asian grouping and then it hits the tunnel to bring you to Westlake, which is the main shopping area, downtown. I even enjoy the transit cops who come on to check to make certain you have a ticket; one of them is amazingly buff and beautiful (though his partner's not exactly ugly). From Westlake I can take the Monorail to the Exposition area and then it's just a couple blocks walk to my hotel. And no matter where I go there are people everywhere.

It also has the same ethos as me. In the underground bus terminal I saw a middle-aged couple with signs decrying Wall Street Greed and proclaiming that there's too much money in the political system, both of which I agree. Looks like OWS is settling in to this town too.

Of course, there are those who don't like making a city livable because it interferes with their plans to use up the land so they can make as much cash off it as possible then head on. That happened in Austin. When I lived there, the mayor was kicked out for getting too chummy with developers and the city passed restrictive zoning laws. The Legislature stepped in and stripped the city of many of the laws meant to keep it a decent place to live, and now they have massive traffic jams, the water they use to drink is fouled from runoff due to the parking lots and construction everywhere, and many of their hilltops are ruined by apartment and condo complexes that look like Tibetan monasteries. On top of it, with the ongoing drought threatening to get worse, there isn't enough water for the people who live there, so they're under water restrictions. Some communities can't even get water and have to buy bottled to do everything from drinking to bathing to flushing the toilet. Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Seattle seems to have that under far. But never underestimate the greed and determination of those cockroaches that call themselves human. They're getting to where they don't even fear a light being shined on them. Witness this new woman on CNN -- Erin Burnett. Her husband's a Citibank executive so you know where she's coming from when she attacks the kids protesting down on Wall Street. And other right wing scum are posting dismissive and threatening attacks on OWS, too. The backlash has started and the roaches give no quarter. I wonder if this civil war will be one of internet attacks and commentaries, only, with the cops doing their brutality thing till they see that people are taping them and showing it off? Maybe it will be relatively bloodless.

But that's not probably. More than likely, we'll devolve into a version of Syria, with the government slaughtering the protesters, or Lybia, with outright civil war, than Egypt. I have no idea which way is better to effect real change.

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