Seattle update: Locals, who normally reserve their scorn for anyone who moved to Seattle after they did, were recently treated to a cornucopia of World Trade Organization protesters ranging from union members to environmentalists to Gray Panthers to Unitarians to the topless "Lesbian Avengers," the last being really funny, except to themselves. There were a couple of dorks who looted the Radio Shack, causing Seattle police to react with slightly less force than the Romans in Carthage. Of course, mainstream broadcast and print news reports read like their government licenses were up for renewal, lauding police for showing "remarkable restraint" when they weren't displaying "maximum restraint." Restraint? As compared to what—anal probes? God knows how the cops kept their cool, outfitted in Robocop body armor, staring down an angry passel of Unitarians intent on flagrantly discussing the issues in a thoughtful manner and perhaps running amok for refreshments. These news reports were usually followed by the other big story of the day: "ALL WILL BOW! OBEY! OBEY!"
San Diego update: Tensions in this city have hit a fever pitch over modern science's failure to come up with an effective sunblock that won't give you skin blemishes. Most of them are so oily.
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Smash mouth: Some of that police restraint was in using rubber bullets instead of real ones. Actually, rubber bullets are real bullets covered with a rubber sheath. This ensures that even if you are shot and killed with one, at least you won't get pregnant.
Boiling point: Further fueling San Diego's civil unrest is how hard it is to find a good crab Louie salad dressing. And they hate the Mexicans.
Running game: The real political question that arises from Seattle '99 is: Why would you loot a Radio Shack? You've got a whole town at your feet, you can have anything you want, and you choose remote-controlled knockoffs? And Radio Shack is always such a hassle. "My ZIP code? But I'm just looting batteries!" "Hey, man, store policy."
Consensus: We'll root for Seattle because, overall, it's good to see people taking to the streets again—even if some of them are two-bit hoods who sprayed such ridiculous messages as "Eugene [Oregon] punks kick more ass," since everyone knows that Gig Harbor punks totally rock! Fugazi rules!