DURST: A Tear Gassy Kind of Week

Seattle, Washington, where the difference between locals and outlanders is immediately easy to discern. The Seattlites carry sunglasses with them at all times on the off chance the sun might appear. The whole world is kinda glancing over their shoulder while driving to Wal-Mart to hopefully catch the latest shipment of Pokemon cards. The Battle for Seattle. Downtown Showdown. The Emerald Siege. The biggest shame of the whole river of riot that consumed the core of Seattle yesterday protesting the WTO, was nobody seemed to notice the 30,000 union members marching through town so peacefully you'd think they were wearing underpants made out of dehydrated nitroglycerine with flint flies. It was an odd afternoon. The Longshoremen were on strike, the cabs were on strike, and dumpsters were set on fire by masked youth battling police on front lines filled with tear gas and stun grenades. If the cheese were a little better and the waiters a mite ruder, you'd of thought you were in France for the day. You had people worried about sweatshops, people worried about losing American jobs and people worried about liberating pre-fabricated pounds of Aged Indonesian full bean Starbucks coffee. And who got the publicity? The ones who resorted to violence. We've learned from television well, haven't we? Got a reasonable argument? Have a legitimate beef? Too bad. Have a couple of talking heads on PBS bore people to death talking about it. Want to guarantee some decent camera time? Wear a mask, burn a dumpster and act like a total idiot. Teach. Your children well. We have. Thank you Hollywood. Consider the lesson learned. Meanwhile, Will Durst is covering the protest wearing Gap pants, Reebok shoes and a jacket made by Bobby the Bambi killer.

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