Seattle will forever be associated with the term “Skid Row”, thanks to the memorable historical work by Murray Morgan in profiling the first 100 years, as the downtown infrastructure grew from evergreen forests and gentle tide flats transformed into a vibrant representation of unbridled capitalism.
The connotation of the phrase, also refers to the retched and festering underbelly of the city as a historical destination for lackadaisical squatters who instinctively gnaw at the patience and tax dollars of an overburdened and exploited middle class. As the modern iteration of the bum’s rush brings equal enablement for all in a pony tail of a man bun storm of “do as you feel”, the concept of “Skid Row” requires no further reinforcement, thanks to the Seattle city council transforming the urban core into a haven for the homeless. In adding insult to injury, a local superior court judge decided to remove the cork from an industrial grade witch’s brew tonic of “what were they thinking?” in essentially ruling that a vehicle can be interpreted as a home. The Seattle Times is proud to announce (as they are the poster child in celebrating the extremist paradise of the city) the damaging precedent set by the legal decision is a clear indication of a deep set delusion of grandeur emanating from the chambers of city hall in a concerted effort to construct the first phase of baleful dystopia. The ruling comes in dubious string of head scratching decisions by the city council in wasting tax payer money in funding programs such as the construction of RV lots for homeless and the facilitation of safe heroin injection sites, where addicts have professional medical supervision while getting high.
Judge Catherine Shaffer, who ran unopposed in gaining an appointment to the county bench, determined that the city breached constitutional guarantees in fines imposed upon Steven Long, after he failed to move his truck before the standard 72 hour limit allowed for a parked vehicle expired (the truck was not in operating condition). Shaffer also ruled, and this is where things get messy, that the city erred on properly interpreting the state’s homestead act when they towed Long’s vehicle. Essentially the majestic judge set a resounding horrendous precedent that vehicles which are used as homes, cannot be fined, touched or towed by local authorities, and once again the homeless score a major victory against hard working folks and the concept of sanity. The vision of Seattle’s streets rivaling the infield of a Nascar headline event, complete with people living out of an armada sized fleet of RV’s in a disgraceful fishbowl of transparency, complete with barbeques, Jerry Springer scripted domestic violence and flailing laundry for the whole world to see, does not evoke an perceptible inclination of short term hope. Of course the arts commission will cry “performance art” in earning critical claim and a healthy endowment by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The city has clearly become an international punchline, and unfortunately the modern dearth of comedic talent cannot at least temper the heated the atmosphere with competent and quality humor.
As well as clearly overstepping her bounds in blatantly politicizing a legal decision in hamstringing the ability of the city to enforce parking laws, and thus exposing quiet neighborhoods and residents to the wrath of “that creepy van has not moved in 6 months and there is garbage strewn within its proximity” syndrome, Shaffer is a clear representation of how gorily flawed the justice selection process has become in attracting a drove idealist reactionists, rather than disinterested and sensible individuals. The influence of the American Bar Association in deterring conservative leaning judicial candidates from applying for higher level appointments is a topic that continually requires pointed dialogue.
The highlight to this scandalous enigma of gross incompetence and feverish allocation of entitlement is Long’s statement to reporters. When asked why he lived in his truck, Long simply responded that rent is not a concept that he freely agrees with. If only life could be that simple and the skies of the world flushed with marshmallows and thunder showers of candy and margarita infused lightning. Now when Long and the majority of others choosing to live a simple existence at society’s expense in a sedan down by the creek, rather than actually working to pay rent or mortgage like the rest of us, strong emotions coalesce as a hurricane force of backlash angrily throb and vibrate in protest to the unbearable beat of hypocrisy. The surface has merely been scratched in the glorious and disjointed carnival of the battle for superiority in downtown.
Apparently, Long now parks his home south of the downtown corridor, where neighbors have to contend with the obvious eyesore. If vehicles are now homes for some, should not property taxes apply to those who egregiously abuse the parking laws and basic foundations of common decency?
Only in Seattle, where the lazy thrive and the majority is left to contemplate “why?”.
We really need you Chris Farley.
Read The Seattle Times article here.