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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, Joni!

posted by on October 16 at 16:37 PM


I spotted Seattle Times editorial columnist Joni Balter at this afternoon’s dual debate on Sound Transit and Initiative 985, so of course I’m looking forward to seeing what she has to say about the discussion. Given that this is a woman who opposes a city move to recycle kitchen waste, claimed a council resolution supporting local food imposed “militant vegetable growing” and other “enviro-dogma,” has written not one, not two, not three, but four columns opposing the parks and Pike Place Market levies (noting, in every single one, that “everybody loves parks, but…”), and has argued that not only roads but light rail and even buses are “pricing the middle class our of our region,” I’m guessing she’ll be sympathetic to Tim Eyman and Kemper Freeman’s anti-tax, anti-transit messages.

If you’re interested in what I have to say about the debate, it’ll be up tomorrow morning. If you’re wondering why my post is coming so late, it’s because I spent some time after the debate living out Joni Balter’s worst nightmare: I biked to the north end of Capitol Hill to pick up my CSA from Full Circle Farm, which I put into my reusable bag (recycling the box the produce came in) before biking back. And even at this very moment, I’m wearing a Mass Transit Now! sticker.

Amazingly, despite all the eco-dogma I no doubt absorbed this afternoon, I don’t feel nannied, militant, or oppressed. In fact, I feel a hell of a lot less imposed upon than I would if I had to sit in traffic, park, shop, lug a ton of plastic bags back to the car, and sit in traffic again just to get dinner on the table. But to some people, I guess that’s what freedom looks like.

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How is it possible to feel nannied, militant and oppressed, when you're all three, wrapped in a passive-aggressive, condescending shell?

Posted by A Non Imus | October 16, 2008 4:49 PM

* the biggest perpetrator of all three, rather

Posted by A Non Imus | October 16, 2008 4:50 PM

It's not so much the plastic bags as the things inside them that one "lugs."

Plastic bags by themselves are surprisingly luggable!

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 16, 2008 4:53 PM

Erica, why did you rip your jeans? Aren't you cold?

Posted by Dave | October 16, 2008 4:55 PM

You're so, so virtuous.

God, I'll bet you were a hateable child.

Posted by Terry | October 16, 2008 4:59 PM

Erica, you get a lot of shit from random assholes on the slog. I'm a random asshole who's a big fan. Thanks for doing what you do and fighting the good fight and sticking it that prig Joni.

Posted by a fan | October 16, 2008 5:01 PM

ECB, I have some serious questions.
How do you store that many vegetables and fruits and other optional items from FCF on the bike? I haven't even attempted to do this on my motorcycle.

How do you build up the stamina to ride up and down hills?

How do you outfit yourself and your bike for maximum visibility?

I ask as I've been feeling guilty about using the car to pick up our FCF CSA box.

Posted by not so militant, not so eco, FCF CSA member | October 16, 2008 5:01 PM

1 - bike rack or basket
2 - practice and a good road bike
3 - same as when you're walking

Posted by not ECB | October 16, 2008 5:17 PM

That's great, ECB. I'm glad you do the CSA, and the biking thing, and the general looking out for the environment thing.

But please tell me you put those pants for the ride up the hill. Because going to a *professional event* wearing ripped jeans... Oh, honey. No.

What are you, like a 6/8? If so, I have a few pairs of pants that I could donate to the Erica cause. It would practically be recycling.

Posted by lily | October 16, 2008 5:22 PM

Everyone knows Erica can't drive, so the last paragraph is pretty disingenuous.

Posted by joykiller | October 16, 2008 5:29 PM

I think Joni and I were right about the plastic bags, and when you see the vote coming down the pike, you'll finally get how we love recycling, but we think you guys just don't get how most Seattle voters live sometimes.

And I say this from a building where most people bike or bus to work. Or walk.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 16, 2008 5:31 PM

Bitch, you plagiarized my columns on the social conservatism of Dino Rossi

Posted by Joni Balter | October 16, 2008 5:32 PM

Insufferable self-righteousness, thy initials are ECB...

Posted by Mr. X | October 16, 2008 5:33 PM

Hey Joni put it all behind you
hey Joni now I've put it all behind me too
these times can't add up
yr life is such a mess
forget the past, and just say yes

tell me Joni, am I the one
to see you through?
In this broken town can you still jack in
and know what to do?
I remember our youth, our high ideals
I remember you were so uptight
that time in the trees, we broke that vice
we took some steps and now
we can't think twice

tell me Joni, am I right by you?
Tell me how yr gonna lose this hard luck?
Hey Joni, when will all these dreams come true?
You'd better find a way
to climb down off that truck

shots ring out from the center of an empty field
Joni's in the tall grass
she's a beautiful mental jukebox
a sailboat explosion
a snap of electric whipcrack

she's not thinking about the future
She's not spinning her wheels
she doesn't think at all about the past
she thinking long and hard
about that high wild sound
and wondering will it last?

Kick it

Hey Joni, put it all behind you
There's something turning, Joni, turning right to you
my head burns, but I know you'll speak the truth, hey!
hey Joni, put it all behind you
hey Joni, now I've put it all behind me too
forget the future
these times are such a mess
tune out the past, and just say yes

it's 1963
it's 1964
it's 1957
it's 1962

put it all behind you
now it's all behind you

Posted by Sonic Youth | October 16, 2008 5:43 PM

You get the CSA box too? Right on!

@14 That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title to this post.

Posted by Hernandez | October 16, 2008 5:53 PM

You really have a problem with female journalists, don't you?

Posted by Because you're stuck at the Stranger | October 16, 2008 5:55 PM


FYI, it's official: we just signed to Matador records! Same label that originally put out Exile in Guyville! Sonic Youth are indy again! Fuck yeah!

Posted by Sonic Youth | October 16, 2008 5:57 PM

The last 2 sentences of your post were great.

Posted by Dougsf | October 16, 2008 6:01 PM

i don't understand not supporting the parks...

pike market, on the other hand - it's not falling apart. they should hit up tourists for donations. renovating it will increase the number of fat tourists who stand around and won't get out of my way when i've got to buy fish & veggies.

Posted by mike | October 16, 2008 6:42 PM

Joni writes what Frank Blethen tells her to write, Erica, so take it out on Frank.

Joni at least is a real journalist, who if sent to cover a debate, would write about the debate, instead of boring the readers with how fucking self-righteous she is for refusing to drive a car.

Besides, at the Times, insufferable self-righteousness is Nicole Brodeur's beat.

Posted by ivan | October 16, 2008 10:08 PM

Erica, fucking EXACTLY.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | October 17, 2008 2:03 AM

It always amazes me that Joni Balter -- whose ideas consistently infuriate me -- is (or at least was) married to Tim Egan, whose ideas I find meaty and delicious. The Worst Hard Time: That shit was excellent. "Militant vegetable growing" and "enviro-dogma": That shit is bananas.

Posted by Kalakalot | October 17, 2008 8:34 AM

I particularly love how Joni supports the Bellevue parks levy BECAUSE it is a renewal, but DOESN'T support the Seattle parks levy for the exact same reason... Oh, and because Seattle's is more expensive; well Earth to Joni, Seattle is bigger and has more people... I think she just likes being a cranky lady. Let's prove to her that while people in Seattle are persnickety, they understand the big picture, too.

Posted by Earth to Joni, Hello? | October 17, 2008 9:23 AM

Way to live your values! Heck yeah!

Posted by Eliza | October 17, 2008 9:55 AM

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