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My god. It's true. We're ruined.
I first heard the news on the Fox Business Network. I know, comrades, I know I'm not allowed to watch such agitprop without proper dispensation from the thought-police station in my government-issued apartment block, but I hope none of you will report me. For I have heard the news, and the news must be shared!
Kennedy — no, not that one. Or that one. No, not that one either — remember Kennedy from MTV? Where mass media co-opted the idea of "alternative" to sell flannel, shampoo, and carefully packaged toothless "dissent"? Yes, that Kennedy — she has a show on Fox where apparently they let her speak freely of anything her heart desires, and this time her heart desired to return, at least in spirit, to her once-home, Seattle.
And hearing her sneering patter, her fist-clenching truth via the megaphone of her pure, uninfected, uninfluenced, and completely neutral broadcasting partner, brought me around to seeing just how fucked we are.
FACT: Kennedy has found out we increased the minimum wage to $15, and she is pissed. She sees right through our ruse of pretending to help poor people just to punish important business leaders. She has quoted an "ideologically diverse" study from the University of Washington (Hah! You and I both know we purged our city of ideological diversity on the same ballot we voted for the monorail!) that shows that low-wage workers are getting fewer hours under the new business-killing regime. And we're not even at $15 an hour yet! I'm sure there is no article that anyone has written that can dismantle the conservative framing of a higher wage for workers being actually negative for them.
FACT: The pinko-commie-redists on the city counsel enacted an income tax for Seattle richie-riches, and, as Kennedy wisely points out, Bill Gates doesn't live in Seattle, therefore this is a terrible idea! I'm confused how I'm supposed to feel about his support of a state income tax a few years ago. Does that mean he has to move to a tax-haven state? Is a state tax okay but a city one bad? And, since she's a constitutional scholar, she pointed out it's not even legal, so nobody should ever try to do such a thing to her. Who doesn't live in Seattle. And will never pay the tax. But oh my god how much she wants the rich people of Seattle to not move to Bellevue. She is so worried about us losing our tax base that she thinks we shouldn't tax it.
FACT: Gun violence is up in the city. Police say that increased gang violence is to blame, but don't listen to local "experts," listen to Kennedy, who clearly lays out her unimpeachable chain of factual events that made this happen: a $25 fee on guns sold in the city. Yes, that fee went into effect in 2016, which is the year that this one is so bad compared to, but, you know, some of these things take a while to really show their effects. It's good that Kennedy doesn't want us to have people who use guns pay for the damage they do with those guns, because she's for personal responsibility and also unintended consequences that never happen to point out that she's an ideologically driven fool.
No! She's a deep mind. A satirist of such high order that the problem is you can't understand her. Your grandpa understands her — just ask him. You can trust her because she donates her entire paycheck from her television show on Fox Business to the Cato Institute (I need to fact check that, so don't quote me). But anyway, I'm sure she's not another convenient conservative mouthpiece whose paycheck just happens to reinforce their narrow world view.
It got to me thinking about what a terrible place we live in, and how we need to come to grips with it. What better way than by some writing prompts.
They were at the door, clawing. She didn't know how long the lock would hold. She was doing what they wanted, those monsters. She was writing their paychecks. But didn't they understand? No business could afford $5,000 an hour as a wage. The checks were going to bounce. She was going to have to close the business her father built with his immigrant fingers, after coming here with nothing. The business that had put two hundred orphans through college thanks to their charitable program. Now she would have nothing to pass along to her own children. The wood gave, and there they were, coming through the door, pushing each other aside, chanting: "pay us what you owe us!" And in the front — no! it couldn't be! — was her son. Right next to her city council member.
"We call it gun sanity," said the police chief. "Police won't carry guns anymore since they're outlawed by unconstitutional, but heavily enforced, local ordinances." The reporters were stunned. "But what if criminals try to shoot at your police officers?" one spat. "How can they enforce the law?" The police chief leaned into the microphone. "We have also done away with the laws."
"Seattle Freeze! Come out to play!" the voice echoed down the block. Their rival gang, the Montlake Nirvanas, walked past the deserted guard stations of Broadmoor. Dressed in flannel and ripped jeans, with Ace Frehly face makeup, the Montlake Nirvanas were the fastest-growing gang in Seattle. All the Seattle Freeze wanted was to hold their ground. It wasn't their fault their millionaire parents moved away, abandoning them to the streets. All they had was Broadmoor, and they were gonna hold it. The massive speakers they lined the roads with amplified the needle drop by 300 watts. It was Bobby Sherman: The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle, he sang as the Seattle Freeze appeared on the roofs of the houses surrounding the Montlake Nirvanas. Each one of them holding a bat.
I was at the council meeting where it all happened. They voted, 9-0, to suspend all city government activity, and hand power over to the communist party. Immediately, I was held at illegally obtained gunpoint and asked to show my hands. And because I had a soft job — covering the city council for a local blog funded by a multi-national corporation with ties to coal interests — I was cast as educated class and put to work in the strawberry fields outside the city. Forced into manual labor to support the revolution.
The billboard was a riff on the classic Seattle "Will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the lights?" Given that there was no electricity in the city anymore, they had to replace the "turn out the lights" part with "blow out the candles." But great industries had risen here in the city. Industries of craft. Sometimes, if you had a good enough song, you could sing for a scarf. A night of entertainment for a meal and a place to sleep. And this young musician named Kurt might have, in another age, made millions of dollars and influenced culture. But today, all he cared about was finding someone who would trade him something good to eat for a few tunes. And his grumbling belly insisted that he find them right quick.