Song Of The Day 5/31/2012

Days like yesterday remind me that Seattle is still a new city. Compared to the rest of the U.S., and even other cities on the West Coast, we're young. As politely distant as some people -- sometimes we -- claim Seattlites can be, when our heart breaks, we feel it. When the heart of our city's most vital culture and export breaks, it incapacitates us. Or maybe that's just how I perceive it. Business is still getting done, I suppose. Maybe we are politely distant. I don't know. I have no idea what any of this means.

The last week of violence already felt like the beginning of a slow descent. I know I was already starting to panic. Wednesday, for a moment, felt like that panic, unlike so many of my other panics, was entirely justified, and the descent was speeding up. The sense that we were falling apart didn't seem paranoid.

I didn't know Drew Keriakedes or Joe Albanese, two members of local band God's Favorite Beefcake, who died along with three other people in an unprecedented, scarily mobile shooting rampage on Wednesday. I have friends that did know them. From the accounts I've read they did not live to make airs about themselves, didn't care if they were insiders, and were maybe a little wiser for wear. Come to think of it, that's the character I've seen in a lot of Seattle musicians, many of whom I've met, some of whom I know to some degree, some of whom I've just admired.

Maybe that's why I keep ruminating tonight on our city's youth. There are other cities where this kind of horror happens on a daily basis, and there simply isn't time to process the fear, sadness and desolation associated with such acts, so they're often passed over. Seattle isn't like that. We aren't looking past this event. We're dazed and enervated tonight. I don't know if that makes us innocent, naïve, uncertain how to act, or anxious for the spell to pass so we can feel optimistic again. But all those traits are related to youth.

To Seattle's eternal youth. Sad hope. Eventual persistence. Rarely expressed more finely than from our elders.


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