Mechanical

Seattle

I just got back from Seattle. I'm exhausted but I had a great time.

The peace rally in Seattle this weekend was wonderful. There were only a few thousand people, but they really cared. pdx42 was the first speaker after the MC and Congressman Jim McDermott. pdx42 gave a great speech and really had the crowd fired up. Unfortunately, unlike him, many speakers were awful. A local union leader was screaming at the crowd. He didn't seem to realize that he was putting them off. Then he said he was going to lead them on chant "3 times". He did the chant 4 times and really threw off his tempo.

A minister who was a great speaker yet seemed somewhat disinterested ignored the fact that he was going over time and finally when the MC gently touched his arm the minister said "and in closing I'd just like to say..." and then went on for another few minutes and started focusing exclusively on "God is on our side". Ignoring the fact that many in the crowd were atheists, pagans or held other beliefs that didn't necessarily walk hand-in-hand with his God, the minister finished a good speech by alienating a number of audience members. And, of course, "God is on our side" is the rhetoric of the other side. It reminds me of the time Rush Limbaugh sat in for Jay Leno and discovered that normal people don't appreciate his brand of humor.

Other speakers tried to educate the audience but due to limited speaking time, they tried to pack too much information in to too little time. The audience couldn't follow along and process the information. You could see when the speakers would lose the crowd with this. Side conversations sprung up and people got bored. I guess that many speakers didn't understand what it meant when they were notified that they were to motivate the crowd, not educate them.

The actual peace march went well. I only saw one counter protester, so that was a nice change. Many drivers stopped, honked and waved in support.

Later that evening, we went down to a local "goth/industrial" night at Noc Noc. Though the fliers say "Ever Saturday - EMB, Synthpop, Industrial", my request for Pigface was turned down because "we're only EBM tonight". That was a shame. The club was nice. The crowd was great. The music was bland.

I must say that Seattle is gorgeous. If I ever find myself in the position of having to move from Portland and I'm not going back to Europe, Seattle is very tempting.
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Seattle is one US city I really want to visit. I here its known as the Emerald City. Is Portland known as the City of Roses?
Yes, Portland is the City of Roses. It was named that way because local civic leaders wanted to improve tourism so, amongst other things, we started throwing the "Rose Festival" every year. We had to have something to convince people to move out to this frontier town.

Another fun fact: one of the most unreported stories of each year is the alleged skyrocketing of abortion rates in our fair town immediately after the Rose Festival. Curiously, a bunch of Navy ships are docked here during the festival and people volunteer to be guides to the sailors but just because this sentence is in the same paragraph as the abortion tidbit does not mean that they're related. It's just a coincidence. Really.
What amuses me is how when the grunge scene started, it actually started in Oregan. Bands like the Wipers I believe orignated from Portland as did Courtney Love. Then Mother Love Bone took off in Seattle, and the rest, as they say, is history...

Its pretty funny how many people think Portland is a suburb of Seattle over here - its a four hour drive away in a different state!
Seattle is cool, I ended up getting a Mercury card a couple weeks ago when I was there. How is the rock climbing going? I'd really like to tag along when you go, it'd be fun to get back into again. Thought I'd see if you're free some night this week and would like to hang out.
I've not gone back for the rock climbing yet. I injured my left shoulder and that's kept me away.

As for this week, I'm pretty much booked up already. My only free night got taken up by a conference call. I seem to have overextended myself (again).