Sunday, August 12, 2007

Gasworks Party Or How Petty, Provincial, Unsophisticated and Grumpy Busy Body Seattleites Can Be!

The word is finally out about the big super secret party at Gasworks Park Saturday night. It turns out it was to celebrate the marriage of Clearwire director Stuart Sloan with family and friends.

I was there working as a entertainer. The “employees” staging the event were more or less told not to talk about it with anyone. The main reason, we were told, was that the groom wanted to make it a surprise for his bride and their family and for the 300 or so invited guests who apparently didn’t know exactly what was happen either.

In the lead up to this event many of us working the party read the wild speculation that resounded in the blogs and in the local MSM. Much of it not true it turns out or based on any facts. This led to much laughable or negative public speculation. Bill Gates was throwing a birthday party for Warren Buffet. Paul Allen was celebrating his daughter Graduation. It was some sort of Republican Party political event (with contempt dripping from the keyboard that such a thing could happen in our neighborhood added in for good measure). The people working the party were all scab labor etc., was one of the really particularly stupid posts I read.

I can say here, that I was paid well for performing at the party. More money then when I perform usually for the cheapskate arts organizations and impresarios I work for over the years locally. The staff and producers of the show were beyond professional in the way they conducted and interacted and treated us performers and in what they expected us to provide in exchange. Every detail was attended to and nothing seemed to be left to chance. From the inside this was the amazing thing that stood out about the event. The host of this party got ever permit needed. Paid the require fees took every precaution to provide for all contingencies and even informed the neighborhood in advance to expect and/or enjoy the fireworks.

My point being...

I grew up in Seattle. I lived on the South slope of Queen Anne Hill. So I’m no Johnny come lately like most of the people I suspect were so up in arms about this party. My mother didn’t try to stop Bumbershoot from happening just because once a year she had to fight for parking for a few days in front of the house or put up with “noise”. It was just people having some summer fun. Join the party, or if weren’t invited or don’t care we were taught be nice and mind your own damn business.

The main complainers here seem to be the same people who managed to stop the One Real Summer Nights program at Gasworks. Somehow this emboldens them to think that this park is THEIR private reserve now, and for god’s sake don’t have any fun anybody! I’m the fun Police and Park Nazi rolled into one. Unless of course you think the way they do. Frisbee toss or kite flying anyone?

This is a public park for EVERYONE, not just this small neighborhood cult.

I’m not a Republican, Democrat or rich. I'm and working man who likes to think for myself lets say. Nor do I choose to be a member of any other one dimensional political groupings. But it is beyond rude to try to stop a party because you THINK the people there are not of your particular political persuasion or progressive enough or not for your unsophisticated taste buds. Think Hempfest here.

This is what eats at me about the reaction to this party. You see it in the politics and culture of this city all too often. I don’t think it really existed in the old days. They had a Worlds Fair here in 1962 that ended up changing an entire neighborhood. But the legacy was the much-loved Seattle Center. I doubt you could do such a thing today with the provincial crowd that now permeates and runs Seattle.

Can you remember “The Commons”. Probably would have been a great urban open space but no, not happening in uptight Seattle. The Seattle Supersonic who needs them? Not the non-pro sports crowd even though it adds a very important aspect to the culture of the city. Tear down the viaduct and create a real waterfront. Not happening here. Host the Olympic games like a real world city. Too much noise to many people spending money I guess. Build a real rapid transit system. All talk and blog babblers here. Salt lake city had a winter Olympics and the federal government provided much of the money for the rapid transit system that's in place today. It’s part of the “Seattle process” trying to low balling it, small time it, talking the issues to death or being a busybody obstructionist.

Seattle your on the verge of turning into a ugly, rude, backwater town lacking in any big ideas. Where the so-called natives are most interested in everybody else’s business especially if it doesn’t suit their dull personalities, small personal ideas, or their politics.

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