Alright, everybody, we’re all done here. It’s been a thrill. We’ve learned a lot, seen a lot, and had our minds blown a couple times. But to be honest, we’re largely displeased with the Seattle we live in today. The best of us are stuck in the webs of work, alcohol, madness, and confusion. The worst are bloated with money, loving their new condos and the fancy restaurants that come with them, watching in wonder as Ballard or Capitol Hill are cleansed, homogenized, made perfect for investment, progress, and capital.
We think capitalism is shit, and if you love it, so are you. If you hate what’s happening to your neighborhood but find yourself powerless to stop it, the first step would be to understand who is taking your power away from you. Are you resigned to being stripped of your dignity and agency? Or can you imagine a way out of the institutionalized humiliations and penalties you’re forced to endure? Our bet is that you can figure out exactly what the sources of your problems are, eventually, one day. Hurry up, though, huh?
Anyway, moving on. Seattle sure has shown us its dark and nasty underbelly. But much to our surprise, that underbelly wasn’t hidden at all. It was always there, most people just did a swell job of ignoring it. Ever since SPD cop Ian Birk murdered John T. Williams in the summer of 2010, the public has slowly become a bit more aware of the corruption, psychosis, and brutality that permeates the local police force. Unfortunately for us and everyone else who is poor and sad, all of that was old news to us and things are basically still the same. The cops just have shorter leashes now.
Last summer, the police raided a house where dozens of people from Seattle were having a party. But the dumb cops had no idea they had stormed into a gathering of psycho witches and spirits from hell. Even though they were able to beat and imprison some of them, the cops never escaped the curse that followed their foolish efforts. It fell all over them like lightning, from every direction. Perhaps the SPD will look back on 2011-2012 as the time the first shovels full of dirt began landing on their dead organization. Just before the rest of their gang goes mad with despair, we hope that they remember just what disgusting fuckers they were to the people they policed.
But you know what else happened in the last year and a half? Everything! It was like a hyper-dimensional object passed through the dull hum of the city. We have so many fond memories, but what about the building that was taken over on 10th and Union last December? Do any of you remember that? All those crazies climbing on the roof and building barricades and painting on the walls and blasting music? Yeah, well, that didn’t last; some shitbag yuppie who works at Neumos frantically called the police, and a SWAT team arrived to clear the building. Yeah, that sounds pretty fucking stupid, right? Well, right after you go spit on the bastard at Neumos who has no imagination and no spine, go walk around the corner and you’ll see what’s there now: condos rising into the air.
Sometimes, when we’re desperate and sad, we’ll go crazy at some party or on the sidewalk, we’ll drink too much or get too excited and make a scene that is so abrupt it will make us happy again. But it is best when it happens with hundreds of us, thousands of us, all together, no longer just crazy and sad but also joyous, rebellious, and free. This is best.
And let us assure you, chickens, once enough people are able to muster the courage to act together and get rid of the entities that rule over them, the destructive frenzy will be followed by some panting, some laughter, an intense feeling of love and connection with each other, and the desire to do it all again. And the reason you’ll want to do it again is because there is so much to destroy and it is only when the world is healing that our lives will be whole again. In between these frenzies there will be creation because we all will do what we can to take care of those we love and manifest a world that does not resemble this one, something we are all capable of, every day.
We’ll be honest, we didn’t grow up here. Only a handful of the contributors did. Most of us have lived here off on and on for a while. Some have settled down. All of us are generally tired, angry, and waiting for any cracks to appear in the walls. But let’s be real for a second. These aren’t our neighborhoods. Why aren’t you all defending what you love? Do you love money? Do you love stupid architecture? Do you love the idiots you vote into office? Is your boss really your friend? Are you really going to be passed around all your life to whoever is feeling generous enough to buy your time and body? Maybe it’s love that is the issue, then? Maybe they’ve stolen that from you as well. Maybe you’ve just forgotten.
Well, we’re clearly the people to tell you what is, huh? No, sorry. But we do know that once you feel it again, you’ll know how to fight, to keep what you love free and safe. We know how hard it is, how hollow it can make you, but trust us, it gets better when you realize what you have to do and set about doing it. So long, thanks for everything, keep it real, keep it going, never stop, spread chaos, live freely, love your body, and be there next time.
The witches and spirits of Tides of Flame
In no particular order, we would like to thank everyone who read Tides of Flame and found something worthwhile inside its pages; Matt, Kteeo, Maddy, Steve, and every other Grand Jury resister and non-cooperating prisoner of the social war; the Seattle Commune for materially and psychologically supporting us in our efforts; Brendan Kiley of The Stranger for being a good man and a fine writer; the CCEJ and Bent for obvious reasons; Left Bank Books; the former residents of Turritopsis Nutricula and all Seattle squatters; the Seattle Solidarity Network for pissing off landlords and bosses; all the various writers who have contributed to the newspaper over the last year and a half—your words have made this possible (and sorry for the edits you got mad about way back when); Ed Mead, Mark Cook, everyone who still fights, still resists, still struggles after all the heartbreak, broken promises, and shattered dreams; the Highline for getting us drunk and holding anarchist events; the Cockpit for allowing anarchist debauchery and madness a couple times; the wage slaves of Bauhaus and Hot Mama’s for not throwing out all of our magazines; The Wildcat for being what it is; UMOJA Peace Center; Omari for keeping us in the loop; Puget Sound Anarchists dot org for keeping everyone up to speed; Christopher Frizzelle of The Stranger for giving us a positive review once; GLITUR; the Grrrl Army, the Oakland Commune for inspiring us; anyone who ever printed and distributed this paper just because they liked it; all of the fantastic nighttime rebels (stay wild & free!), our comrades, our families, and each other.
Everyone who voted for the tyrannical and murderous system we still live under; The Stranger for encouraging its readers to vote yes for a new condo/jail on 12th and for encouraging mindless consumerism and distraction; every single facet of governance in Seattle, especially the corrupt and vile employees of the SPD; every stupid liberal who legitimizes police terror and violence with their inane words and shallow thinking; every right-wing psychopath that cheers when the state kills someone; Mayor Mike McGinn for being a worthless, lying maggot; the city council for sniffing his ass while he shits on everyone; The Seattle Weekly for being a worthless pile of crap; Jonah Spangenthal-Lee and Sean Whitcomb for being disgusting pig lovers; the architects of the Capitol Hill Seattle blog for promoting and encouraging gentrification; Central District News; all of the developers that have destroyed Capitol Hill; all of the rich idiots that allowed them to; loss prevention agents and rent-a-cops in general; all snitches everywhere, especially those who incriminated people now facing charges for May Day; Phoenix Jones and his pathetic stooges; and YOU if you’re an asshole.