Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!

From: "Brian Menard"
Subject: Re: My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 14:09:25 -0500

It's not the fact that there is disagreement, or even that my views are minority views, that bothers me. It's the way in which my views are received and the tone of comments addressing my views. Mere disagreement is fine; it's possible to disagree amicably and respectfully. But the intolerance I'm talking about carries with it any combination of arrogance, hostility, invalidation, disrespect...I could go on. But this horse has been beaten, trampled, dismembered, ground into the earth, and covered with leaves in a shallow grave; I think by now we really have come to the point - and then some - that you guys will have to think of us as overly-sensitive reactors to the rejection of our intolerant views, and we'll have to be frustrated with your defense of intolerance. Onward to more constructive stuff

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Busick
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 10:04 PM
Subject: RE: My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!

Personally, I still believe "intolerant" is too strong a word here because you had assumed way back when there was a possibility you would get a bad grade or lose a job because of your beliefs, but it sounded like neither of those things actually happened. Sure, I suppose it's useful to keep quiet just in case, but (in my opinion) people are more interesting to hang around with and talk to if/when they're different than me. :)

To me, intolerance leads to ostracism and it still doesn't like you lost any friendships because of your beliefs. I could be wrong, but I didn't see any examples of that in your stories.

Also, personally, life would be boring (to me, anyway) if we all agreed on everything. Americans used to have constructive conversations on differing opinions, but for some reason, it's getting more difficult to do that these days.

Hypocrisy, sure, I guess. All sides are guilty of quick and easy stereotypes stemming from political-belief assumptions.

Disrespect, definitely. You were belittled and practically dismissed out of hand (but maybe not officially and/or permanently?) by a number of people because your political opinions differed from others.

To me, "intolerant" defines someone who doesn't like you -- or anyone similar to you -- and doesn't even want to talk about why they don't like you.

I also believe it would be easier for all Americans to coexist if we dwell more on what we have in common than what we have that's different and yet understand that life would/should be extremely dull if we were all physical/emotional/psychological clones of each other.

I believe every GOP candidate still running right now would like some kind of Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and they all seem to be against equal rights for gays. Gays, for example, shouldn't have to try to become straight in order to have equal rights in this country.

Therefore, it's that disrespect and intolerance of gays (this administration certainly seems to intolerant of gays if they're willing to dismiss 36 of those who had been Arabic translators -- seems like that particular talent could be useful in fighting the war on terror, but hey, some things must be more important) that will prevent me from voting for any of the GOP candidates just on this one issue alone.

From what I understand, there has yet to be a Constitutional amendment that would exclude a particular cross-section of the American people. A ban on gay marriage would be the first and I wonder then what other exclusionary amendments could be added later on.

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew; And then . . . they came for me . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

If someone told me Brian that Seattle would be better off if you weren't here, I would speak up for you.

Subject: Re: My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 07:46:07 -0500

Not sure why you two "over there" are so hung up on avoiding the word "intolerant" as a descriptor. The hypocrisy and disrespect you both are willing to acknowledge all tie together. The disrespect we have encountered stems from an intolerance of things other than what people expect, which is hypocritical given the pronounced tolerance and openness that pervades the city. Tolerant of only that with which we agree is not real tolerance. Real tolerance is coexisting with those with whom we do not agree - on politics, lifestyle choices, cultural practices, etc. - even though we do not agree with them.

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Busick
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 1:39 AM
Subject: RE: My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!

Sure, but "good outweighs the bad (though I can't afford to live there)" doesn't sound anything like "intolerant". :)

It sounds to me like the two Bs faced disrespect in this area, not intolerance. Did either of you lose any friendships because of your political beliefs?

And I can certainly understand disrespect toward Republicans in Seattle. After all, there are so few of them left around here there must be some reason why they haven't all moved away by now. :)

Subject: Re: My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 14:25:55 -0500

Quick two cents...

Like BGA, I also am not anti-Seattle. There are aspects of the city that I love. (BTW, I'll add my vote to the King Café fan club. Please tell me it's still around and still good.) But that doesn't mean I put blinders on. In the end, the good far outweighs the bad (though I can't afford to live there). But if we're going to knock our nation and our government for its imperfections, we ought to be willing to do the same with Seattle.

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Adamson
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:37 AM
Subject: My Seattle Credentials and the earned right to have an opinion!

Michael, weird reading your biography because, we have a lot in common, I think.

I was bused to the CD, Washington Middle School (once called Garfield B.), during the first year of the busing experiment, as well.

Okay, now we're really getting to some of the good stuff. We are all about 'our experiences'. My Seattle diatribe, is not nearly as 'out there' as it may first appear. I go in to the city nearly everyday. My wife chose to live in Bellevue. I have a long History in Seattle. For most of my life, I believed it to be the center of the universe, the best place to live in America. Then, I went to Hawaii, and the rest, as they say, is History...But seriously, Seattle is probably one of the best places to live in America. I know that. But, then again, it is only a good place, if you can afford it, and if your views are mostly liberal ones, as mine are. I also, very much like Manhattan, Maryland, and Las Vegas. How's that for contrasts?

I first lived near the old stadium vista in a south Seattle apartment. Then, moved to a house in Wedgwood, when I was 2. The Wedgewood neighborhood was mostly working-class and had been a popular neighborhood for enlisted navy.
It was in nearby, Hawthorne Hills where the better homes could be found. Later, I had an apartment in Downtown, (Bell-town). I always had a natural seattle-prejudice of the 'burbs, especially, of Bellevue. Remember the movie? Kind of accurate...My jesting about Seattle is based more on what the city has become and less of my childhood memories of it. In the old days, we told stories about the rich people that lived in Bellevue, especially summerset on the hill. Been to summerset, lately? Summerset is an aging, mostly korean ghetto, now.

Look, truth be told, my wife bitches at me for driving in to the city so often, and then going way out of my way to drive through the old neighborhoods. She once told me, if we keep this up someone will think we are stalking them. Actually, I was just hoping that I could find a cute, little affordable cottage home or cape cod, or whatever they are called. You know, it's the kind of style most popular in Seattle. It's also the kind of really small house, that I couldn't wait to leave. I never did have my own bedroom and I was an only child. My mom has said, they couldn't afford to have another. When my parents purchased a new home in Maple Valley, I was very excited even though I wouldn't be able to appreciate it, at 19 years of age. I would be moving-out, enlisting in the military and living on my own.

I went to both graduate and undergraduate school in Seattle. I attended the U.W., university campus and then Antioch, in downtown Seattle.

I went to the Pike-place market and the Seattle Art museum last week-end. I met my family in the Westlake, Grand Central Bakery, the week before that. Also, last week, went to the U. village, Northgate, and the Elliot Bay book company. Three weeks ago, I went to Bruce Lees grave-site on capital hill and paid my respects. How many Seattlelites do you know that have done that? Michael, Young, I'm the real McCoy. A real 'local' and I have earned the right to say whatever the fuck I want about this city, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Though, admittedly, when it's just me and my wife, most of the comments are good-ones. Things like, we can only get good food, coffee, fun and culture in the city. Bellevue, is boring as hell.

Anyone been to the Allegro lately? We should meet, somewhere, sometime. Who do you think has the best coffee in Seattle today?

So, in my real-life and not my internet chat -life, Seattle is an inescapable part of my psyche. I am Seattle, Seattle is me. And there is a reason so many of us drift back and forth between Seattle, Hawaii and Las Vegas-It's the whole ying/yang balance thing, you know.

Also, you Seattlelites, I found an unbelievable Pho restaurant in White Center, about a month ago and a pretty darn good Salvadorian bakery as well.

My wife and I have grown to like Bellevue, only because of its diversity and the fact that it is less-crowded, but still centrally located. It's also cheaper. We can drive to Seattle in 10-15 minutes. My wife works in Fremont.

I once worked in Fremont too. I was heavily involved in the Art glass community for years. My uncle was instrumental in bringing Art Glass to Seattle and founded the famous Art Glass Shop, the Glass Eye. He was a friend of Chuhuly and involved in the founding of Pilchuck Art Glass school, as well. Check out the made in Washington store, most all of their glass comes from my uncles former company. And they've got more glass than anything else. I have so much History here, so much History...That was the good part. Some of the bad. My dad was a cop and would get shot while patrolling King County. I remember, when I was little, he would disappear each night and I would wonder if, he'd come home. Stories would filter-out and piece-by-piece, I could assemble them. One time, I learned that my Dad was on a stake-out. Ted Bundy had escaped prison, and his girlfriend lived down the street, in our neighborhood.

I remember working in the Central District before that. When I started to work in the 'CD', in Middle School, I would walk to lunch through Chinatown, past the ACME chicken company which smelled as bad from the outside, as it must have form the inside. It was a slaughtering house, and has long since closed. I usually ate lunch at a dive called the King Cafe, which specialized in dim sum and I still remember it as having the best steamed hum bow, I have ever tasted.

A good childhood friend growing up just houses away, on the same street had a house, but no car, no t.v. and no dad. A single mother raising 3 kids on a dental assistant salary. And yet, they were able to do it. Could I be so lucky today? No way! My dad sold his house in 1986 and was lucky to get $56,000. Today, the house might sell for $500,000-and it's a piece of crap. Weirder still, it hasn't been restored, some of it hasn't even been re-painted.

Since then, I've been back to my old stomping grounds many times with my wife, searching for an affordable Seattle home in my old neighborhood. Last month, we found a house on my street for sale. The asking price was $849,000! I've been priced out of Seattle, and Seattle is pricing out the middle-class. And who are all these newbees, anyway?

Young, you need to find a little tolerance and remember, that I don't have to physically occupy Seattle to have an opinion about it. My Seattle credentials are solid, you should know that, better than anyone.

And guess you haven't noticed the epidemic of moss growing on our streets this year? "Emerald Sludge Pool"-Indeed!

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