The trees were leafed out on 8th Avenue, the sun spreckled through the First Hill shade. It was a comfy morning at Seattle's Town Hall... at least for us.
That's because we're an aged, middle-class, liberal, white male in the very henhouse of Seattle progressive sensibilities: a live-show audience of KUOW's Weekday with Steve Scher.
But BlatherWatch wasn't the fox in the henhouse... hell, we were one of the chickens, and damn, it felt great! All liberal, intelligent premises (like global warming, the President's birthplace, and evolution) are taken for granite in The Great Hall by this crowd, on this day. We're the gentle people; the washed, (and washed-up) educated, boomer progressives. With post-retirement pony tails and bodies wrapped in 100% cotton, our ears are open and eager for the consideration of all things. There are still more of us than there are of you in this town, and don't you forget it. If you can pry us from our grandchildren, or pull us out of the bikram sweatboxes, our garden patches, our 2X's in Sedona, or the Indian casinos, we just might put the citizen back in senior citizen... (on the other hand, maybe we might just say fuck it, as we usually do).
Back at the Weekday live show, things were safe and funny and things moved right along, what with the clock always ticking and producer Katy Sewall cracking the whip. She's a veteran producer, has some eyebrows, and knows how to use 'em.
Headlined was Sherman Alexie, Seattle's irreverent Geronimo, who pokes gently at the Settlers with a sharp stick. He can say "you people" to this crowd, talk about the US government like it's an occupying army and get away with it - as a matter of fact, we love it. Sherman, whom BlatherWatch knew in a long ago life has ha d the great fortune to have his new book banned in Richland, Washington schools for some references to 'man on pumpkin sex.' He was glowing in that light (and the intense glow of an Amazon booksales bump).
(photo: Sherman Alexie)
Besides being a National Book Award-winning author, Sherman is a comedian in the real, professional sense. Host Steve Scher (or any interviewer) always has it easy: just plug Sherman in... he provides the comic relief with his sharp stick.
Then the weekly (Friday) feature "News of the World," a harmless discussion with local pantologist and historian, Knute "Skip" Berger; The Stranger's investigative reporter Eli Sanders, and the Seattle Times' editorial board's Joni Balter. There couldn't be a more genteel collection of Seattlites: Skip is the nicest man in town; Eli, by far the most soft-spoken Stranger employee; and Joni, as the token conservative (representing, as she do, the quirk-plodding Blethen family) is, actually, liberal. The hour passed without incidence.
Then it was over and we milled around the front of the auditorium and mingled; We promised Steve Scher we wouldn't publish another flattering picutre of him this day, and, if you notice we haven't. The KUOW-ites were nice as pie despite our incessant trashing of them over the past six years or so. It was nice, we were nice, then we went to Broadway and had a nice lunch.
(BlatherWatch had done our best to stir up trouble for the event: We had as much as dared the legion supporters of dissonant weather babe, Cliff Mass to disrupt the on-air extravaganza, or to at least demonstrate outside. But there was no one protesting Mass at Town Hall Friday- because, in the end, no one really gives a shit weather or where Mass shoots his mouth off. Mass's fans have melted back into the population, their activism ended at the writing an ironic note on a Facebook wall. Mass's new blog, creatively titled "KUOWGATE has a single entry in which he repeats ( for at least the 3rd time) his version of the events that led to his dismissal. His promises of offering something more or different are tediously broken. He's a disgruntled ex-employee of a volunteer job. Put a fork in this so-called controversy).
We'd prayed for but two things that morning: that the sun would shine, and that Cliff Mass and his followers would come to Town Hall and act up. The Lord smiled with the weather. We were satisfied with 50%.