This isn’t even a thing I want to write about, to be perfectly honest. It’s just a big ol’ shitshow in a long series of shitshows, perpetuated by pieces of shit who don’t know what the fuck they’re doing.
If there’s a way to clean up that sentence, I don’t want to hear it.
From what I understand, there are two issues going on. First, there was the vote on whether or not to vacate Occidental Avenue, which is a nothing street in SoDo, adjacent to where a proposed new basketball and/or hockey arena may one day be built. This street serves little-to-no purpose, has almost zero traffic on any given day (at least, when there’s not some sporting event going on with the Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks), and has been vacated before when a certain segment of the city (*cough* THE MARINERS *cough*) needed it to be vacated.
The only people opposing this street vacation were the Port and the Mariners, because they’ve been against a new basketball and/or hockey arena in SoDo from the very beginning, and are willing to fight tooth & nail on every single issue, no matter how pointless and fucking stupid.
So, it came down to a vote by the Seattle City Council. 4 people voted in favor of vacating the street, 5 people voted against it.
In the grand scheme of things, considering the MOU and the whole agreement that’s been built between the city, the county, and the people trying to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, this street vacation was a no-brainer: you ONLY vacate the street if the arena is going to be built, and you ONLY build the arena when you have a firm agreement to get an NBA team to come to Seattle (either via expansion or via another team moving here). There may have been talk, down the line, of amending the MOU to bring in a hockey team first, but that’s not really important anymore (and not relevant to this discussion).
Now, I’m not the foremost authority on this whole saga, but I happen to follow people on Twitter who know quite a bit more than myself. And, from how they reported it, I understand that the people who voted against the street vacation had little-to-no knowledge of what exactly they were talking about. They were making completely false statements because they didn’t understand the MOU, and were unaware that this whole thing was contingent on getting a team FIRST, then building the arena based on that. Or, they kept harping on the impossible dream of remodeling KeyArena, which is a terrible idea in its own right, and infeasible besides that, because the NBA and the Hansen group have repeatedly said KeyArena is a non-starter (dress it up however you want, but an NBA team will NEVER play there).
The whole vote, in a nutshell, was to be a city that was “shovel-ready” for when that opportunity came up. If the NBA didn’t want to expand, or if no other teams wanted to sell or move here, then so be it. But, to vote against the street vacation without knowing all the facts, or to vote against it because the NBA probably won’t cooperate anyway, isn’t a good-enough reason.
Truly, there IS no good reason to vote against the street vacation, unless you’re in the pocket of the Port and/or the Mariners, and THAT’S what I suspect is going on here.
Nevertheless, the vote is done, the deal is probably dead, and we should all stop getting our hopes up about an arena in SoDo in the next 20-50 years.
That brings us to the second issue: the 4 people who voted for the street vacation were men; the 5 people who voted against it were women.
Naturally, among sports fans, and among people generally in favor of a peach of a deal for the city of Seattle, where it would be impossible for the city to not – at some point – recoup its investment, the results of the vote didn’t sit well. And, among those people with hot tempers, and a means to reach out to the Seattle City Council – either via Twitter, e-mail, telephone, Facebook, or whatever – there was a vocal segment who colored their criticisms with foul language, threats, misogynistic rhetoric, and the like. In short, it was pretty ugly.
I’m not going to absolve myself in this; I certainly made some statements on Twitter and @-ed the Seattle City Council accordingly. Even one I would subsequently go back and delete, once I realized this issue was right on the Hot Button, and wouldn’t go away unpunished. I consider myself pretty fortunate I don’t have much of a following on Twitter, because no one’s really going to pay me much nevermind, but I’ll go ahead and say that I wouldn’t delete something if I didn’t regret it afterwards. I won’t apologize, because I still think they’re fucking wrong and ignorant, so we’ll just leave it at that.
The fucked up part in all of this is that yes, it’s a free country, and yes, we have freedom of speech and all that. Doesn’t mean there’s freedom of consequences, but I would never ask for that. My problem with this is, the Seattle City Council deserves to be criticized. It deserves to be dragged through the mud. We deserve the right to vent to our elected officials, who lie, cheat, and scam their way into office, and then fail the people time and time again. They deserve to have their noses rubbed in this, and I’m not just talking about the people who voted against the street vacation. I’m not just talking about the women. I’m talking about all nine of them. Because you know where we have the biggest failing? In the four “Yes” votes, who apparently didn’t work hard enough or do a good-enough job educating the rest of the Council on the issues at hand. The people on our side let Sally Bagshaw (who knows good and God damn well the gist of this deal, and is simply a backstabbing so-and-so) railroad the other four women (who apparently knew jack squat about this deal, and weren’t too keen in doing the research) into voting her way. Because The Port, or whatever. Yeah, the fucking Port is going to be SO damaged by a basketball arena. Give me a fucking break; my hand hurts from how often I’ve had to do the jack-off motion whenever I hear someone from the Port speak on this issue.
Instead of holding the Council’s feet to the fire, and rubbing their noses in it, as usual, people on the Internet went too far (and again, I put myself shamefully in this boat). I get it. I get upset, I want to lash out, and I’m not always satisfied with the usual barbs lobbed over the wall. I like to use lots of cuss words because I’m not very smart, and I just don’t give a fuck. Cuss words are fun, and it feels good to call someone a cunt.
But, by doing so, we made this a Man vs. Woman issue. And, as such, we lost ALL the cards we were holding. Not that they’d do us much good, the Council voted how they voted, and no amount of angst among sports fans out there would change things. Nevertheless, now you can’t even CRITICIZE the fucking Seattle City Council without being thought of as a He Man Woman Hater. When truly, we’re talking about a group of bumbling buffoons who don’t know how to get anything done in this city.
I mean, shit, if you’re so worried about a back-alley road in SoDo, if “traffic” is so important to you, then why don’t you do A FUCKING THING to alleviate our plethora of traffic fucking issues in this city???
Instead of having the high road, and lamenting a bunch of insufferable pricks on our City Council, now they’ve got all the sympathy, and our cause to bring the Sonics back to Seattle is in even more dogshit.
Which is why: you know what? Fuck it. Fuck Seattle. Fuck the Seattle City Council right in their nine little assholes. Fuck all the work they’ve torn asunder in one vote on one meaningless street vacation.
Bring the Sonics back to Bellevue. I don’t give a shit anymore. I’m fed up with this whole do-nothing town. Let them have their shitty roads and their impossible traffic congestion; let them wallow in their utter lack of foresight when it comes to city planning, for a city that’s one of the fastest-growing in the nation. Let Seattle have its clusterfuck. Put the arena in Bellevue, where there are politicians we can work with. I’d rather have to deal with I-405 and I-90 gridlock (and believe me, that’s saying a lot, because I hate 405 more than life itself) just to get to watch the Sonics in person, than not have the Sonics at all.
It’s time to move on. The city of Seattle, and their worthless City Council, is nothing but a hindrance; leave the city to the fucking suckers who will inevitably run it into the ground. Bellevue is where it’s at, as painful as that sounds.