Saturday, November 13, 2004

Counting Our Blessings

With less than two weeks before Thanksgiving, another Stranger columnist gets into the spirit:

You're feeling sick? Listen, I understand. You're feeling defeated, gullible, furious, disheartened, weirdly betrayed, completely baffled, slightly homicidal, and absolutely thrilled you don't live in Nebraska? I'm so with you. Go see Shaun of the Dead before it closes this week. Take your mind off things, take some friends along, and if getting stoned is something you like to do, get stoned first. We live in a city with dozens of movie theaters and a lot of quality marijuana, where the chances that anyone you know voted for Bush are less than one in five, and where--thanks to an initiative passed last year (god bless this city)--prosecuting people who use marijuana (to dull the pain of defeat, to loosen up about the impending loss of constitutional liberties, to better enjoy zombie movies) is law enforcement's lowest priority.

Once you've had your dose of escapism--once you've seen Shaun of the Dead--steel your resolve, ignore your despair, and get back out into the city. We might not feel like we live in a country we can be proud of, but goddamn it we live in a city where a theater company called Defibrillator Productions is staging a flawed but spectacularly designed adaptation of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, in which the din of Pioneer Square is cleverly used as a stand-in for the din of St. Petersburg, and shredded office documents double as St. Petersburg snow, and one actor spends a lot of time in his underwear.

We live in a city where you can take a trip down Fourth Avenue South to the art space Western Bridge to stand--as I did the other night, after seeing Notes from Underground--inside Carsten Höller's "Neon Circle," a structure of flashing white-fluorescent tubes that looks a little like the discarded shell of a carnival ride dropped into the middle of the room. We live in a city where you can eat a delicious taco dinner on a bus in Rainier Valley--a short drive over the freeway from Western Bridge--for two bucks.

Those Red State rubes don't appreciate the good life.

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