A short trip to Seattle

I’ll try not to bore you with the retail realities of my recent trip up to the Seattle bookfair. Maybe I will dedicate a post later in the month on the oh-so-exciting topic of what ppl are interested in, commodity wise, but I will tell you that I just returned from the first annual Seattle anarchist bookfair. There are only a few months left in the year so if you want your city to have its very own Anarchist Retail Experience (ART ™) you better act fast. Do you hear me Chicago? Detroit? St. Louis? Florida?

Here are some impressions I had this weekend about the people of Seattle and the kind of anarchism that appears to be happening up there.

  1. The most exciting things happening in Seattle aren’t happening in Seattle. It is probably similar to the SF experience in that it is so fucking expensive to live in the city that it is hard to get something exciting going on there but there wasn’t much that popped out to me
  2. Identity still rules the airwaves – The workshops that had the most excited attendance were the ones around queer and poc identity
  3. Fashion – lots of leg warmers and layers for the rain. Not so many messenger bags but lots of overloaded backpacks (of the student not traveler variety). Lots of wool and REI-style gear (I was treated to several descriptions of which outrageously expensive gear company was the best).
  4. There were quite a few very young ppl at the event who appeared to drag their parents. They had lots of youthful, colorful tchotckas that made me feel like they would get caught on any branch around. Lucky for them there was nothing but concrete around.
  5. The space was nice (and I’m sure affordable) but too small for workshops plus tablers. I still believe strongly in the one day bookfair only (Montreal does this right!)
  6. Many of the traditional tablers seemed very unhappy and unfriendly
  7. Certain discussions are really exciting to a lot of people right now and they aren’t in the anarchist mainstream (state/capital/religion). What to do!

Enough with the bullets. I really hope some closer ties are built between the Bay and Seattle as there appear to be a lot of similar thinking happening in the short conversations I had between people. I am really bummed that I missed the Tacoma event last month as I think I would have had a better (intellectual) time at that event. Naturally I wasn’t invited to participate in any of the panels or workshops over the weekend. But at least they didn’t have a “future of radical print” without us this time around…

Other highlights

  1. Blue Moon Cafe – excellent Vietnamese food recommended by the kate from riseup
  2. long car drives are made much better if ppl actually talk
  3. I have been cured of junk food by watching ppl eat it instead of food
  4. solo tabling continues to be a drag
  5. Mighty O’s
  6. No one looks at our bright orange banner before asking who we are
  7. The rushed wheeling-and-dealing is more fun that I should let on

Till next year

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