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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Feathery Guerilla Terrorism at Pike Place Market!

posted by on March 29 at 16:03 PM

I was there. I saw it all, man. Shit like that can change you. Change you forever.

They gathered. They acted all casual. Like nothing was going to happen. They carried backpacks and bags and oddly bulging bellies. Then, at precisely 3:15 PM, Saturday afternoon, CHAOS! FEATHERS! CLEVER PILLOW CASES! “VIOLENCE”! FUSS!


And this is what it looked like…

Before the event


And of course (for your protection)…


Sneaky, sneaky pillow warriors




Then, a whistle blew, and suddenly…PILLOW FIGHT!!!


Feathers…feathers…oh, Jesus! The feathers!


And then, WHAM! It was all completely over…



…just like that.

The End.


Some serious video journalism…

My favorite part is the absoutely frickin’ traumatized old Asian women in the lower left hand corner, minute 1:29-1:25…”Da pirrows! DA PIRROWS!”

(Thanks be to lovely Ruby Aquino for the pictures & video, and to lovely Natalie L’erin and lovely friends, for modeling for us.)

RSS icon Comments


How dare you! HOW DARE YOU I SAY!

This is the worst thing that has ever ever ever ever happened. Please bear with me as there will be a short pause wherein I shall compose an indignant treatise entitled, "Who is going to clean up those feathers?"

Stay right there. RIGHT there. I mean it. God damn kids.

Posted by elenchos | March 29, 2008 4:40 PM

So...did you clean up the feathers?

Posted by yucca flower | March 29, 2008 4:42 PM

Bunch o' pussies (scrota?). Baseball bats.

Posted by umvue | March 29, 2008 4:57 PM

What's a whitsle?

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 29, 2008 5:10 PM

@ 4
a whitsle is a relentless device annoying people use to point out other people's typos.

Posted by adrian | March 29, 2008 5:18 PM

Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!! LOL

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 29, 2008 5:23 PM

This time people cleaned up the mess after the fight. They did a decent job too. Does anyone know how they managed to get cops to block the road off?

Posted by Chris was here | March 29, 2008 5:48 PM

This meme stopped being interesting about 5 minutes before it began.

Posted by A Non Imus | March 29, 2008 5:54 PM

That's cool they cleaned up. A+

Posted by Ivory | March 29, 2008 5:54 PM

Trite. Neo-kindergarten. Perma-toddlers. Emotionally arrested. This is their brand of fun. What a waste. You did that, now what?

Posted by Tom | March 29, 2008 6:14 PM

Now I'm gonna go have other fun times while you sit and bitch and let yourself fade away into a bitter sludge in a chair you horrible fucking twat.

Posted by NaFun | March 29, 2008 6:27 PM

Now what? That's easy: Go back to school, get drunk and get stoned on Mommy's and Daddy's dime.

Posted by Elvis | March 29, 2008 6:30 PM

Wow, whata buncha curmudgeons on the slog on Saturday afternoon.

Posted by Sister Y | March 29, 2008 6:38 PM

What about the pillows? My God, the pillows! Battered until they burst, spilling their essence on the cold bricks. What about the children in Sudan who have nothing to rest their suffering heads on?

Posted by Marko Constans | March 29, 2008 7:08 PM


"If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."

- Albert Einstein, physicist

"It is a happy talent to know how to play."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, author and poet

"Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking"

- Tina Bruce, PhD., educator

"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature."

-Tom Robbins, author

"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play."

-Heraclitus, philosopher

"Play is the purist, the most spiritual, product of man at this stage, and it is at once the prefiguration and imitation of the total human life,--of the inner, secret, natural life in man and in all things. It produces, therefore, joy, freedom, satisfaction, repose within and without, peace with the world. The springs of all good rest within it and go out from it."

--Freidrich Froebel (Father of modern kindergarten)

"Playing reduces stress, improves life, and increases creativity. Who doesn’t want that?"

-Stevanne Auerbach, therapist

"If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play."

-John Cleese, actor

"The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground."

-G. K. Chesterton, author & essayist

"Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn't taste good."

-Lucia Capocchione, therapist & author

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw, playwright & author

"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play."

- James T. Kirk, starship captain

Posted by COMTE | March 29, 2008 7:17 PM

@7 - They cleaned up? Seriously sweet. =)

Posted by wench | March 29, 2008 7:18 PM

three of the most pleasurable, magical, hilarious minutes in recent memory. who in heaven's name would know that a 200+ person pillow fight in the middle of pike's place market could ever be so much fun?!! i would do it again, any day...just give me the secret locale, a soft (but sturdy) pillow, a good whistle to indicate the beginning of the battle and IT"S ON!!!!!

(thanks to adrian and ruby for the love) xoxoxo

Posted by l'erin (of the before and after photos) | March 29, 2008 7:53 PM


Seattleites are stuffy and puritanical

often feels like Lutheran Church post-service coffee and hot dish politeness rules everywhere

Jeez, oft get whiny/upset at playful political argument, too.

Posted by unPC | March 29, 2008 7:56 PM

One word comes to mind: douchebaggery. No, two words: hipster douchebaggery.

Posted by Banna | March 29, 2008 7:59 PM


At one time we would have blamed that attitude on all the Scandanavians who lived here; nowadays I guess we have to blame it on all the upwardly mobile real-estate speculators who've moved here.

Posted by COMTE | March 29, 2008 8:30 PM

Note to Pillow Fight Organizers:

Seattle Parks Dept. called. They'll be sending you a bill for all the clean-up overtime you cheated them out of today.

Posted by COMTE | March 29, 2008 8:36 PM

Yeah, you damn kids are having your "fun", but who's going to do something about this motherfucking WEATHER? Huh? Who? Cold and wet. You got nothin'. That's what I thought.

Posted by Fnarf | March 29, 2008 8:52 PM

I drank cranberry and vodkas and watched buffy. it was pretty much hella fun.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 29, 2008 9:32 PM

@23 I played some pinball and then settled down with pork rillette and SNL reruns. And it was 100% hella fun.

Posted by Katelyn | March 29, 2008 9:41 PM

I watched the replay of Arsenal's awesome comeback today. That made me happy.

Posted by Abby | March 29, 2008 10:10 PM

elenchos.... are you upset that they cleaned up after themselves? how about you comte? i know, they are such sellouts.

Posted by infrequent | March 29, 2008 10:25 PM

@15 and 18: spoken like true prudish, uptight Seattleites.

How many children feel the need to organize their play via mailing list and press release, invite the media to their playground, and document theirprecious playtime performances via blog and internet video?

Lets not confuse play with self-congratulatory hipster preening.

Posted by A Non Imus | March 29, 2008 10:38 PM


you bring up a good point. how sad is it that people need the internet to actually have fun. i had fun with my gf watching buffy, eating a 1 pm breaky of toast, eggs and bacon and drinking cocktails.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | March 29, 2008 10:45 PM

Look, right now I can't talk, OK? Those damn kids are playing stick ball on my street again and I gotta call the cops.

Posted by elenchos | March 29, 2008 10:47 PM

@25: Too bad they didn't "come back" to lead the league...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 29, 2008 10:56 PM

@5 Thank you for the proper usage of 'whitsle'. I'm going to use that one from here on out.

Posted by drewl | March 29, 2008 11:06 PM

This is fucking awesome. Go these guys.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 29, 2008 11:23 PM

Why did a Papa John's ad just pop up in this window? No more, please.

Fnarf, your blog rules.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | March 29, 2008 11:35 PM

This was the worst kept secret of the week.

Posted by Gomez | March 30, 2008 12:43 AM

For information about future fights:

I pay my own mortgage, thanks. Work damn hard too ;-)
We don't invite the media. They pick up the info just like anyone else.
YOU should defintely come play with us!

Thanks to everyone for coming out :-)

Posted by Seattle Pillow Fight Club | March 30, 2008 1:48 AM

Well, we played dodgeball tonight fir my good friend Pat Cooper's 50th B'day.

We all made fools of ourselves, and all had a good time.

We forgot about politics, we forgot about religion, we played dodgeball...and we all won.

Posted by Gabe in B'town | March 30, 2008 3:20 AM

It's just gonna take one hipster-phobe, one angry young man so fucking sick of hipsters and staged play events to fill his pillow case full of bars of soap and put a prison beating on several of these wankers to end all of this. Or to require pillow inspections before the next fake pillowfight commences. Then it's all been ruined. Oh well, maybe a giant spontaneous Twister game in a park!

Posted by Bob | March 30, 2008 8:10 AM

hahaha bob - we're cross blogging.

See you over at HBO.

And this is fantastic, not gonna lie.

Posted by Sam | March 30, 2008 8:19 AM

You deleted that comment of mine?

I thought you all loved irony (even to the point of such self conscious and absurd displays of it that one wonders what your daycare providers used to whisper before mommy and stepdaddy picked you all up) and nothing would be more ironic (and criminally mean) than somebody filling up a pillowcase with bars of soap and giving up a prison beating in one of these horrid events.

I'm not condoning it of course and I would hope they would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law but it's only going to take one over the top hipster-phobe to ruin these things. Then, as I mentioned, one could find less aggressive displays of playful fun for groups to break out in, e.g., giant spontaneous Twister games in parks.

Posted by Bob | March 30, 2008 8:29 AM

There's actually a Pillow Fight Club? I'm glad this wasn't a Flash Mob. That's so 2003...

Posted by RainMan | March 30, 2008 9:21 AM

This will all end when some asshole decides to put a brick in his pillow.

Posted by bearseatbeats | March 30, 2008 9:24 AM

Oh great ... the asshole never would have thought of that and now you went and gave him the idea!

Posted by ken | March 30, 2008 10:02 AM


No, I'm not upset, why would I be? I wasn't the one claiming the End Of Western Civilization the last time when a few feathers got left behind. Besides, that's probably the cleanest that stretch of Pike Place has been in YEARS.


So, um, giving people props for having fun is now "prudish and uptight"? Do you by any chance work for the Bush Administration? Because that's about the only way I can think of that anyone could defend such a statement.

Back in my day, when we wanted to spread word about such an event, we were limited to such things as telephones, mimeographed announcements, and maybe a poster in the cafeteria. And of course the event would be documented by the school newspaper, so I guess by your definition, that would have made us the mid-1970's equivalent of "self-congratulating hipsters", eh?


How sad is it that people need television, and alcohol to actually have "fun"? I on the other hand spent an enjoyable evening walking in the rain, kicking rocks down the street, and rattling a stick against my neighbor's white picket fence. You just don't know what fun is.

Ah well, I guess there's just no pleasing surly curmudgeons, regardless of their age. That's why WE have the fun, and all you have is this comment board to complain about it.


I don't know about "ironic", your comment sounds more like a quote from T.S. Elliot's "Murder In The Cathedral", when Henry II, lamenting that his former friend Sir Thomas Beckett recently appointed by the King to be Archbishop of Canturbury, has now opposed yet another of his royal edicts: "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" he laments in the presence of a couple of his henchmen, who believing they've been given an order proceed to murder the rebellious Beckett. Upon hearing the news, Henry of course professes shock and remorse, not having considered anyone would have taken his words literally.

So, good job on that. When some idiot actually does what you've suggested, I'm sure you'll feel a similar sense of oblivious confusion; and we'll all know who to blame.

Finally, @36:

I'd love to, but frankly I'm too busy working to have time for organized play right now. Maybe when things settle down a bit.

Posted by COMTE | March 30, 2008 10:38 AM

Such fun - in a time of stress things like this pop up.

And I have several very old FEATHER, chicken feather - pillows in reserve. And another one with a very dried up duck head in it ( made by my grandma from her ducks, many years ago )
The duck head pillow will give this event karma to burn - my granny was akin to Mother Teresa, really.

Great fun ... and all you grumps, go get fucked, and have a pillow fight in the bedroom ... between round one and round two ... duh.

Posted by John | March 30, 2008 10:48 AM

Feathers, oh my! Next time we should use them to tar and feather someone; now THAT would be fun. Maybe some of those cops just standing around being curmudgeons, yeah, they need a little fun in their lives too.

Posted by Tinkerbell | March 30, 2008 11:52 AM

the brick part WILL be fun! Please post that too!

Posted by wbrproductions | March 30, 2008 12:31 PM

COMTE @43:

Are people in Seattle stuffy and repressed because of the shitty weather, or because they grew up with people who think that citations and quotes are the equivalent of mad props?

(' also really broadens the mind when everyone who disagrees with you is a puppy-kicking neo-Nazi, but I digress....)

Posted by A Non Imus | March 30, 2008 12:56 PM

Immaturity is fun! So they helped "clean up"? Yeah, feathers really clean up easily. I'll bet the fucking street still has feathers all over it. What a bunch of morons.

It's all about you.

Posted by Mike in Pioneer Square | March 30, 2008 1:01 PM
Posted by truevulgarian | March 30, 2008 1:37 PM

Gawt dayum, there is some old, cranky, lame, boring mutherfuckers up in this joint.

Flash mobs are cool and people who don't think so are all, to put it succinctly, Frasier. Just fuckin' Frasier. Are you ok with being Frasier? Fine, then.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | March 30, 2008 2:36 PM

There's still feathers left? Still??


Posted by elenchos | March 30, 2008 4:10 PM

Kudos for cleaning up.

The stunt was old before un-original Seattleites copied it.

Still, since they didn't leave shit on the ground (reportedly), what's not to like? There's nothing wrong with lame, derivative stunts.

Posted by S | March 30, 2008 4:35 PM

"Hipsters." You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Ennui and snobbery are prerequisites for hipsterism. Hipsters would never, in a million years, organize anything that required as much mirth and contact with strangers as a giant pillow fight. But it's okay, I wouldn't expect old, cranky people to understand the different. They figure it's the same thing as "hippies," and we've been complaining about them for years!

Seriously, nothing brings out the Seattle grump like people having silly fun, apparently. First there are complaints about how stupid and immature this is, and then when COMTE brings the intellectual heft, he gets slammed for that too. The comment threads about these pillow fights demonstrate exactly why Seattle never has any "original" crazy hijinks.

However, this has convinced me to take part in some silly, immature fun I've been on the fence about for April Fools, because life it too short not to play. I'm not telling you what park it's in, but don't worry, there won't be feathers.

Posted by exelizabeth | March 30, 2008 9:06 PM

@53: I think we all define "hipster" differently.

Some people say hipsters are "adults" who refuse to grow up and spend their days engaging in whimsical bullsh-t instead of doing anything to change or improve the world.

Other people define hipsters as trendy yet socially awkward, incredibly judgmental and cynical.

Either way, it's a way to stigmatize people that lead life in a way that irks you, while at the same time acknowledging that you probably fall into one of the two camps.

I think fun can be productive and original without being twee, inane and disruptive. I also believe that it's possible to judge without building a self-image around being an arch arbiter of taste.

If a mass public pillow fight makes you happy and doesn't screw up anyone else's life, have fun, go crazy: Just don't mistake it as some sort of revolutionary act.

Posted by Dawgson | March 30, 2008 9:29 PM

Here is my issue with this: it sets up a false dichotomy between the flash pillow fighters (free spirits blocking the street! fun! in on the joke! why b normal!) and those who surround them (uptight! not spontaneous! not fun! normals! not in on the joke!).

I'm all for people having fun on their own terms, but this event seems to depend upon the flash pillow fighters forcing an unsuspecting crowd to watch them have their scheduled glee.

It could be worse. It could be a flash cuddle party.

Posted by Diana | March 30, 2008 11:03 PM

I for one would like to congratulate our pillow-wielding overlords for cleaning up the feathers afterwards!

Posted by Will in Featherless Seattle | March 30, 2008 11:47 PM





Flash, All Caps for one day???

Posted by John | March 31, 2008 4:06 AM

Dawgson, can you remind me who said it was revolutionary? I forgot...

Posted by elenchos | March 31, 2008 8:13 AM

Pretty color photo in 31MAR08 Seattle PI showing Pike Place Market employees cleaning up. Caption notes that even some of the pillow kids helped out. Good kids.

Posted by umvue | March 31, 2008 8:49 AM

Elenchos@58: We must be reading different comments because I keep reading about how pillow-fighting is some sort of triumphant act of whimsy that tears down the "grump" establishment and restores our joy in being alive.

All I'm saying: It's just a pillow fight. Let's not make a big deal of it.

Posted by Dawgson | March 31, 2008 9:31 AM

Man you people who get so pissed off about pillow fights and other people having fun must be a BLAST to hang out with!


Posted by Shilo Urban | March 31, 2008 1:00 PM

I stopped taking online comments seriously. Why?

Wet blankets and snarky people will come up with something snotty to say no matter what.

Snarkers: If anyone at the pillow fight cared about your opinion, they'd have asked you ahead of time. Nobody's going to stop doing their thing because some anonymous jerk bitches about it online.

For example, I seriously doubt anyone will pull the stick out of their butt just because of my post.

Posted by No | March 31, 2008 3:10 PM

Umvue, @59:

Thank you. We promised the city we would clean up after ourselves, and that's exactly what we did. People I've never seen before chipped in; it was a great community thing. We are baking cookies tonight to thank the Pike Place cleanup crew for helping us clean up a mess they didn't make, and we'll be thanking SPD in some way for helping facilitate and keep an eye out during the process.

Dawgson, it has nothing to do with revolution; it's all about the fun. Something a few of you here could use a healthy dose of if you're this worked up about it.

This whole 'hipster' thing cracks me up. As far as my understanding of the term goes, most hipsters are too pretentious and reputation-conscious to dare attend these events. Not a single person I've met at these things has come close to falling under that description. Get a life, folks.

Posted by pillowfighter | April 2, 2008 1:10 PM

What's wrong with having a little fun? Nobody gets hurt, (except da poor liddle pillies), and it's really COOL that they cleaned up afterward. Part of life is not taking everything so dang seriously...

Posted by Wish_I_Was_There | April 2, 2008 5:10 PM

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