They're really just ripping off the Blue Moon's Beer-Drinking Man.
On Monday, when Coffee Drinking Man “will beckon passers-by to try one of the ten different locally roasted coffees that Seattle Coffee Works keeps on tap,” Coffee Drinking Man will symbolically kill Hammering Man and the city will cease to recognize itself. There will be nothing left to be precious about, nothing left to feel nostalgic for or preserve.
And here again, I have to ask, so fucking what? For most intents and purposes the history of Seattle ends and begins 1992. That’s about the year that the influx of California yuppies overbalanced the native population, grunge went mainstream enough to start attracting hipsters from all over the country, and the economic boom jacked rent and real estate through the roof. It’s also the year we traded in our nice little local art museum for SAM and built an aggrandized “icon” to tell the world, for the millionth fucking time, that we’re a “world class city”. It’s also around that time that Seattle became the coffee town and people started having enough money to have leisure time to sit around drinking the stuff. Hammering Man’s arrival basically heralded the death of blue collar labor in Seattle, so it seems perfectly appropriate to me to make a Coffee Man satire.
Brendan, you're either trying to be ironic, or you take art way too seriously. Not clear which.
I agree with #2
What Seattle actually reveres is the drunk, hence the Blue Moon Tavern's famous "Hammered Man" animated statue.
Really though, lighten up a little bit, It's satire. If anything it's just giving a nod to SAM, and will pique more tourists interest to go visit the newly remodeled art museum. I don't think "the city will cease to recognize itself" any more than it already has in the past, and it's probably a more appropriate representation of the current make up of downtown's workforce. It's not like construction workers are going to quit their jobs over this statue, or Seattle will have no need for blue collar labor because of this. Construction workers like to drink coffee too, and believe it or not some of them actually like going to SAM as well.
I'm not saying Monday will necessarily be a sad day. I'm no cover-everything-in-shellac preservationist. Once the city goes senile we can rename it, ditch our Seattle Exceptionalism, roll our sleeves up and get some shit done.
The weirdness of Coffee Drinking Man is that it's a satire that thinks it's an homage, satire that doesn't know it's satire. (Unlike the Blue Moon's Hammered Man, which is self-aware satire.)
I concede the point: Hammering Man marked the beginning of the end of an era. But Coffee Drinking Man marks the end of the end of an era. That's worth noting, isn't it?
Did someone spike your coffee with Mudede?
Explorer @7 said it before I could.
Actually, coffee is good for you. Just look at the latest scientific research.
Especially for your brain.
I had a nice caramel macchiatto at the Starbucks last night they had at SIFF, after drinking way too many fine vodka drinks ... and it was a good choice!
Being publicly and profoundly disappointed by insignificant local art on a Friday before a three day weekend is so Emo.
Once the city goes senile we can rename it, ditch our Seattle Exceptionalism, roll our sleeves up and get some shit done.
Of course, it's New Seattle more than Old Seattle that has the "process" hang-up we've all been dealing with for the last 10 years-- and "Seattle Exceptionalism" in particular is a product of the Seattle branding campaign (see Selling Seattle by James Lyons) that brought people here in the 1990s. It's kind of like that thing about how people who buy German cars brake and swerve at the drop of a hat to prove to themselves that the money they spent on the car was worth it: people who move to Seattle from elsewhere and buy into our obnoxiously inflated real estate market need to believe that Seattle Is Special. And it seems pretty unlikely that an attempt to promulgate self-referential cultural iconography would take us away from Seattle Exceptionalism.
Ha ha. "the native population"?
Which one? The most recent one before the current one, or the previous one ousted by the most recent one? Or the current one, which will be considered native at some point.
I scanned some of your blog posts, Judah - I think make some great points about trade imbalance, the benefits of economic diversity, etc. Have you ever read "Suburban Nation? Great book.
It's too bad that all your intolerant whining about khakis and lattes ruins otherwise good writing.
I have lived in both San Francisco and Seattle and I will tell you that people who are outspokenly liberal and progressive can also be surprisingly intolerant and biased -- supposedly "non-progressive" attitudes.
This might be the dumbest thing I've ever read on Slog. Get some perspective.
Will someone please tell mossback to go back to whining on the crosscut forums? Jesus fuck, whine whine whine 'oh my god the city is DIFFERENT now than in the past!' cry cry cry. I was born and raised in this city ("native"? what, like Duwamish?) and it's sentiment like that that makes me determined to move as soon as I'm done with university because this town is so fucking full of itself.
Like, oh my god, you're from out of town? Fail.
Ha! You know, I'm actually sitting at my desk in a pair of khakis with an empty latte cup next to my comptuer as I read this. So basically-- and I mean this in the most literal sense possible --you have no idea what you're talking about.
And just as a point of order, the "native population" I was refering to is the one that was attached to the economic and social institutions that were created when the city established itself around the turn of the last century. None of those institutions were sacred, but the fact remains that they had been here for a good long time and, prior to gruge and the IT boom, constituted the core of Seattle's "identity." So it's always a little galling to me to see people who've moved here in the last 15 years lamenting the death of some formerly-famous grunge bar or something on the principle that it represents the death of "the real" Seattle. "The real" Seattle was a pointless little mudhole in the cold wet armpit of the country, populated by a bunch of knuckle-dragging sister-fuckers who loved cheap piss-yellow mass-produced beer and a good tailgate party, and couldn't give a fuck about the environment or social justice or any of that other shit. I didn't prefer that Seattle to this one, but if we're talking authenticity, that's "the real" Seattle. Everything that's come since is basically just North North California.
i liked it when hammering man fell over.
Uh, guys @2 & @5, you do realize that the Blue Moon's "drinking man" is in fact a parody of Hammering Man, and appeared several years after Borofsky's piece?
Talk about missing the irony...
Yes I do realize it's a parody. I'm not even familiar with Borofsky's piece, but it's pretty obvious it's a parody. I had a funny conversation with Gus about it over a couple of beers about five years ago. I was joking around and being sarcastic.
Do you know if they ever got that think fixed yet? I was laughing my ass off the first time I saw it, but the last I remember it's been broken.
Once we run all Hammering Man kitsch out of town, I propose we start working on all those appropriated images of the Space Needle.
Truly, this towering artistic statement about how one glorious future day we will all live in the sky with flying cars and moving sidewalks and robot maids has been mocked long enough by all the imposters. Especially those that sell coffee.
19 -- The Hammered Man still continues to drink outside the Moon, if that's what you mean, although if you know Gus you probably know that already.
(I have an animated GIF of it, but Slog won't let me link to it here. You can find it at the end of the pics on myspace.com/bluemoonseattle, though.)
Good to hear, thanks. I haven't been by there for awhile, so I wouldn't know. I don't know Gus that well, but some friends of mine worked for him. He's a funny guy.
Now that Gus has his hard liquor license, he should give Hammered Man a martini.
Or at least a Boilermaker.
Definitely. Make him a two-fisted "hammered man"...
@12 - my son is a native Seattleite. Born and bred. And quadrilingual.
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Coffee Drinking Man, like Hammered Man is about common denominators. Sebastian of Seattle Coffee Works is from Germany. I'm from Ohio. We're both Seattleites, no less than any of the "Washington Native" or "Seattle Native" snobs. Maybe we're more Seattle because we chose to live here. Our shared experience of Seattle iconography is at least as valid.
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