Slog PM: Pike Place Market Wants Cars Not Drummers, Biden Promises to Protect Our Trees, Watch the Buffalo Soldiers Documentary at SIFF

People at Westlake protest Bidens indifference to a war in Ethiopia.

Today, East Africans met at Westlake to protest the US’s response (or lack of one) to what’s described as genocide in the Ethiopian region of Tigray. They wanted President Joe Biden, who visited today, to give this African crisis the same level of concern and resources he is giving to the crisis in Eastern Europe. As the protestors demanded Biden’s attention, it was reported that he pledged $1.3 billion “in additional military and economic support to Ukraine.”


Stolen from Africa...

Stolen from Africa… Courtesy Ryan Davis

If you happen to find yourself with a little extra time on your hands this Sunday, then I recommend spending it on an expertly edited and researched locally produced documentary that’s screening at SIFF. The documentary, Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts, concerns the 19th Century Black American soldiers who, because of poverty and extremely limited opportunities offered by the race that commanded American society then and now, white people, had to kill Native Americans for a living during the infamous so-called “Indian Wars.” In this brutal episode in American history, black Americans got next to nothing (treated like shit, died almost penniless) and Native Americans, who called the black soldiers Buffalo Soldiers because of their kinky hair and ferocity, died in numbers that are hard to even imagine today—the age of global warming and nuclear weapons.

One thing that can be said about Putin, who is a criminal (as George W. Bush is a criminal), is skin color is not a final determinant for him. He doesn’t need race to go to war and kill lots of people. The US does. Since World War 2, our country hasn’t been involved in a direct war with a white enemy. And during World War 2, it dropped the nuclear bomb on Japan, and not, as the scientists who developed the weapon had hoped, on Germany. The US is in the business of dropping bombs on people of color. Russia is not so specialized. White people can be exploded as much as people of color. Sorry to say this. But that’s truth, Ruth.

So some rich people living in fancy downtown situations have had enough of a “street jazz drummer,” Chris Anderson, who does his thing at Pike Place Market regularly, and want him and the “noise” he makes swept away. And the officials are working with them to get rid of him. MyNorthwest:

The Department of Transportation Code Officer, alongside another individuals in the department, six downtown city ambassadors, and a police officer, told the musician he can no longer perform at the corner he was currently operating on, according to Anderson. He stated that the department requested a permit from him in order to play where he was located, a location where he believes no permits are required.

So cars hitting people in Pike Place Market and clogging up and smoking up the surrounding air is just fine. But entertainment that mostly attracts and entertains tourists, no: You got to go. This tells me only one thing: Cars have won the war, and the end of the world is a done deal.

Yesterday was brought to you by rainbows. They were seen everywhere. Over the city, rising from Kirkland, falling on West Seattle. Pictures of them flooded our Instagram and Twitter accounts. Why do we love rainbows so much? Why is it we powerfully feel when they appear between heaven and earth?

Now this is for those raised inside or in the orbit of the British world of late-20th century entertainment. Remember Rainbow? Remember Zippy? The whole zip-mouth thing? You could make them shut up by zipping their trap. That show was no Sesame Street for sure. Saying it like it is. No comparison between Zippy and their American counterpart, Grover.

What does philosophy have to say about rainbows? Let’s ask William James, who has been dead for a minute, but whose work is still very much alive, about the place of rainbows in his philosophy:

This feature of the brainprocess, whatever it be, must be the cause of our perceiving the fact of time at all. The duration thus steadily perceived is hardly more than the “specious present.” Its content is in a constant flux, events dawning into its forward end as fast as they fade out of its rearward one, and each of them changing its time-coefficient from “not yet,” or “not quite yet,” to “just gone” or “gone,” as it passes by. Meanwhile, the specious present, the intuited duration, stands permanent, like the rainbow on the waterfall, with its own quality unchanged by the events that stream through it.

This is from The Principles of Psychology Volume I, which is really not a work of psychology, but philosophy. The rainbow (awareness) appears over what James describes as “specious present,” which means the present is not that real. What’s more real is the past and the future, because they hold definite positions in time. Nothing of the kind can be said about the present. Where is it exactly? Its position seems to be entirely imaginary. You can’t point at the present, but you can point to what it becomes (the past) and what it’s becoming (the future). Over the present is a rainbow.

Today, Biden gave a speech at Seward Park that was about the trees. Those wonderful beings that mean so much to me. He signed an executive order that would “strengthen our forests, boost wildfire resilience and combat global deforestation.” What do the Seattle trees think about this? Or are they just happy about a Friday that began with rain and is ending with sunshine? Water and light make magic on this planet.

There are bear traps. There are mouse traps. And there is this, which is, of course, a Mudede trap.


Charles Mudede

You thought I was going to end PM with Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier. I know you did. But that’s not how I’m going out. It will be instead what those soldiers, those former African slaves, were after: A slice of the devil’s pie.


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