Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Day Seattle Died

I did not intend to write any more today but I was reading the Seattle-PI and something caught my eye and made me very sad. Subculture Joe (aka Jason Sprinkle) has died. Thus, I think, the Seattle within which I grew up also died. I think you should click the two links above and get a view of Seattle's Greatest Guerrilla Artist.

It is hard to see now that the mega-corporate jackboots have done their work but, at the time, Seattle was going through some hard times. Boeing was in deep trouble and had laid off a huge number of workers (this hit us hard because my mom had just finished re-training for a job after my parent's divorce and with thousands of people with 30+ years experience, she was unable to get a job). Despite this, there was a great feeling of energy. Grunge was peaking and bands that I had listened to on late night "local bands" shows on the radio were now playing all over the nation. There was an edgy-ness and a kind of angered despair. People finally stopped picking on me because I was a guy with long hair and the flannel shirt with t-shirt plus long-johns were in style (probably the only time in history that what I normally wore would become a fashion statement).

(You may want to read the links before going any further) Then Subculture Joe gave a symbolic voice to what the people were feeling at the time. You see those in authority hate subversives like Subculture Joe. They turn everything upside-down and show how ineffective and pandering those in authority actually are. Subculture Joe gave voice to those fears and despair, he was part of a time of subversives in Seattle. We celebrated these people and they were legion in Seattle at the time.

With the rise of Microsoft and Starbucks, it all pretty much ended as yuppies invaded with their BMW and no need for the culture that came before them. Many of these came from outside the area and had no connection to the subversive elements of Seattle at the time. The internet boom pretty much put an end to everything weird and quirky about Seattle. It is now just another large city with its mega-corps.

Reste In Pace, Subculture Joe.

posted by Chris  #7:03 PM | 0 comments |