|I left today wide open so I could attend, in a leisurely fashion, the
noon peace rally at Seattle Center. It's been an unseasonably sunny and warm
winter, but today it rained and rained. I bungee'd a
banner to my bike and slowly pedaled off.
The streets were quiet and I took my time getting there. It was cold and
wet but I didn't fret. Sometimes in such conditions I get impatient, want
nothing more than to get there, but for some reason today I was afflicted
with a mild elation, was savoring each moment as it came. Maybe it was the
clean air and quiet from having so few cars on the road, maybe the rain was
washing some bad energy away. Later, I found out Linda saw me from a passing
bus. Before she knew it was me, she felt sorry for the cyclist caught in
the rain. But once she recognized me, she felt OK. That's how I felt, too--I
wasn't a victim battling the weather, I was a content being at home in my
element. Nearing the top of Dexter Ave, I stopped to photograph some
graffiti. Lucky I did, because
I noticed my rear brake cable had come undone--something which could have
been a problem on the long descent just ahead.
Taking the long way to the center, I paired up with another cyclist who
informed me drilling in
would soon begin. We both wished the oil would run out already. Supply isn't
the problem, burning it is.
As I arrived, Puget Sound System was busting relevant rhymes. I'd like to
track down their music but right now
clusty searches come
up empty. I strapped one side of my banner to a pole, unfurled it, and stood
holding the other end. Over the course of the next hour and a half I got
slowly soaked, but for some reason never felt uncomfortable, tired, or cold.
Attendance (1,000 - 2,000 estimate) was low compared to the massive turnout
two years ago when the illegal, immoral, and
inhuman invasion of Iraq was about to begin, which means either people didn't
know about the rally or are resigned to being bilked and misled by our outlaw
government. Still, I saw a lot of familiar faces and made some new
After the rally, I rode my bike to Miller Paint in Ballard. I've got a painting
side job coming up and am making a point of doing it all by bicycle. I'm
transporting all the supplies in one trip, including handtools, trays,
dropcloths, brushes, rollers, wallpaper perforator and solvent, masking tape,
and a 12-lb tub of wallpatch compound. (The 4 gallons of paint will be provided
on-site by the owner.) While I was in the store, a middle-aged woman
explained to the counterman that the Huskies had won, so her husband was
in a forgiving mood and thus she could choose her own colors. She repeated
this three times, making their power relationship evident to everyone in
the store. Another couple came in to buy some graffiti remover. The counterman
said he knew someone who once stayed up all night with a BB gun to deter
vandals. The husband said he'd use more than a BB gun, very proud to display
his murderous intent. Competition and violence define American culture.
That's nothing new. American history is 500 years of genocide, war, and police
repression. The tax-funded state terrorism of Bush and crew is an American
tradition and it's never going to be voted or legislated away. Imperial ambition
is never satisfied. It's up to we the people to organize, draw the line,
and turn the tide.
Either that or stay glued to the tube and go along for the ride.
It's not going to get better by itself. As one angry man in an SUV delayed
by the march shouted at the passing pro-democracy demonstrators: "You're
IMC photo essay