Yesterday, Observing Tension and Community

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Recently was another day that best describes the ongoing situations that better define national social unrest tensions in 2017. This, by yesterdays headlines involving the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. White nationalist groups marched, and a counter protest happened. There was tragedy resulted from acts of hate, leading to terrible injuries and a horrific fatality.

A day later in Seattle, a different situation happened, and I was there for a couple of hours in the afternoon. A nationalist militia group Patriot Prayer (and other sympathizers including the Proud Boys nationalist group) gathered for something called a “Freedom Rally.” while they claim not to be associated with the White supremacy movement of the East, there are similarities with their rhetoric (in looking them up online): labelling those in favor of BLM, anti-Trump, progressives, immigrant defenders to some incorrect narrative of violent “Antifa” anarchy, while promoting their own version of religious and gun-toting freedom. Meanwhile, there are subtle roots of racism in the PP militia presentations, with the usual promotion of “All Lives Matter,” disregarding the message of Black Lives Matter with their own distorted narrative. They claim to bring something different to the table of social discussion which becomes lost when appearing in military gear, preaching hateful rhetoric, politically cheerleading for the alt-right and praise Trump for his controversial policies that alienate immigrants and Muslims.

But oddly, they shared the stage with those giving back harsh words to them, and the white nationalist sympathizing festering from the growing alt-right. Lots of loud speeches for Black Lives Matter, Indigenous people’s awareness, Bernie Sanders, anti-fascism, anti-capitalism, clarifying socialism, income inequality, anti-racism, and anti-Trump’ all drew loud cheers from the counter-protesters.

Meanwhile, the PP militia group held their area in the middle, mixed with independent media folk. The nationalist group used American flags as peripherals, which I found bothering because that assumes the US holds a special place its dominant white demographic, should any other groups of a different color or ethnicity, or non-Christian religion suddenly gather in military gear and taking advantage of open-carry protections. Such an imbalance suggests the American flag in regards to militias and accumulation of firearms, builds for white privilege.

Anyway, some of the members of the PP militia groups spoke as well, with some very passive aggressive speeches about tolerance and free speech. Such felt a bit silly, with many among them passing off fallacies, alternative facts, and hailing Trump as some lord and savior for conservative causes. Of course, those were met with heavy boos and shouts of “bullshit” It was all an amusing with the display of cooperative civility, allowing for this “Freedom Rally” and counter protesting to happen and keep itself in control, though there were a few troubling incidents resulting in arrests and police counter-measures.

Overall, those gathered around the PP militia were anything but those what social media haters would describe in general as the communist, mask wearing, violent, unemployed immigrants, or whatever else incorrect labeling is out there. Such is wrong in observation of the assembly of downtown Seattle natives I see every day, bearing every class, color, and ethnicities; all young and old, with visual styles suggesting many statuses and lifestyle choices. Most in part, pushing for an end to the threats of racism and fascism (many with signs and adornments expressing such).

I moved about in the outer circles, mingling with an otherwise chill atmosphere, occasional bursting in cheers and boos (depending on speaker and content). The conversations were friendly, with word exchanges about social change and the recent situation in Charlottesville, Virginia. Also, many funny comments about the silent PP militia man standing in the background on the stage, constantly chewing gum or tobacco for at least an hour.

So, another fun Sunday afternoon in Seattle, for which I glad I checked out. Such forums are always great staples of this city life, though can also be unpredictable. Yet, I feel these moments are worthwhile, in the peaceful interactions and learning more about each other.

– Orion T

The picture was taken from my phone around 3:00 pm, Sunday afternoon. I wished I took a better shot of the counter-protesting crowd surrounding then PP militia. Such was clearly a larger gathering, emphasizing the Seattle local response to nationalism and its disdain for the alt-right movements.

Post Election Rally Reflections…

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The days since the election have been a roller coaster of emotions for many after the surprise results of Donald Trump’s electoral win for the next President of the United States.

And, what a reaction! There was the initial shock, then the reality set in. Yet, nearly half the country didn’t vote, perhaps because of from much disillusionment with Hillary, turned to apathy and third-party alternatives. The bulk of the Trump supporters I think were turned on by his anti-PC attitude, the usual right-wing rhetoric but in a more authoritarian tone, controversial remarks that many felt were xenophobia, racist, sexist, with other fears bringing out the worse in others, and driving the results of the election to its unexpected conclusion.

Such resulted into fears of new America where ugly attitudes towards minorities, women, LGBTQ, immigrants could increase with the rise of the alt-right and controversial proposals of Trump, backed by his voters who succeeded and feel somewhat empowered. Many were also unhappy with his comments hinging with overtones of xenophobia, racist, sexism, and fears based on untruths.

Then came the protests, prominently throughout the major cities of the US. Groups mostly youthful, chanting “Not My President,” “Love Trump Hate” and other slogans turned hashtag phrases. The reaction was mainly positive, in showing unity and strength against the new establishment. Keep in mind the protesters are also engaged in progressive causes, many of which met with great resistance to the GOP of Trump who also controls the Senate and House of Representatives, and soon the Supreme Court. So, there is plenty of concern for all, not quite ready for the Donald as Commander-in-Chief.

And the rallies were great, far more than I expected. Thousands especially in New York City, Los Angeles, Oregon, Oakland. Most of which was peaceful and organized, with some incidents of violence by some troublemakers here and there. Nothing got too out of hand. those willing to listen had much to understand and listen to for their messages were scattered throughout social media and other press outlets, both digital and press. Those not willing to listen, mostly Trump supporters would pass them off as illegals, rioters, welfare and unemployed bottom feeders’ whatever it takes to cloud their message and keep Trump going toward his idea to “Make America Great Again.”

Whether that happens or it goes completely the other way, is up to all involved in this process of democracy, where voices on the street can be just as powerful as the Election Day ballots. There is much time before Trump’s big Inauguration Day, where he can make amends for his negative comments that perpetuated the rallies, and perhaps ease the concerns of those outside his voter demographic. If not, Inauguration Day will be interesting, and busy.

The pictures above and below are from Sunday night in Seattle, from Capitol Hil to the Downtown area. The last two are from the first night after the election. Mostly, among them were mostly young adults, many college students, I think. Cops stayed along the edge on their bikes, seem cool headed as many would ride ahead to direct traffic as the flow stay organized. Group stopped when cops needed to get ahead of the march at narrow turns. Some of the protesters gave the cops high fives when close. The local atmosphere felt positive with no violent incidents that I know of from all this. Overall, a success for the protesters.

Orion T

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Picture of Today 1/16/14

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A lazy tree.

Or, it could be posing for this picture.

Perhaps, it wants attention.

Or, just doesn’t care.

Don’t judge..

Picture by Orion Tippens. NOTE: Do not copy or use any of the images here or herein without written consent (contact Orion at travelingorion.wordpress.com). © Copyright 2014 Orion Tippens. All Rights Reserved

Our Time with the Doctor…

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I shot this yesterday using my favorite kitchentop decoration. Waking up today, this pic has grown on me, at least for the colors. So, I thought again, maybe for those not yet tired of the Doctor Who…

50 years yesterday (1963), did this strange show called Doctor Who air on UK television. And ever since, this science fiction series engrained itself in pop-culture, slowly rising from children’s programming to the current hardcore geekfest. Who would have thought? The adventures about an odd traveling man of time, often companioned by a young lady friend, who with his transport of an old British police box (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) could journey through the strangest of worlds, escape terror beyond imaginations, meet the most interesting friends?

Here is a quote by famed writer Harlan Ellison on Doctor Who, from an introduction in book DW novelizations in the late 70s:

“Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel; Star Trek can turn your brains to purée of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who! And I’ll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!

Such interaction would be fun to watch, as Harlan does not hold back on his profanity. Also, his Star Trek anger is probably personal (perhaps the sure contender, since the other two were then not serialized for television) with his anger an episode he originally penned.

Doctor Who the greatest? I never thought of it. I like them both. I think Doctor Who is the greatest science fiction series of recent time.

Star Trek, is that you?

Recently, the official international poster for the upcoming movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness became a happening thing. This is now everywhere, awaiting our gawks, to explore strange new wallets. I feel compelled to take part, so here we go:

Star Trek: Into Darkness Int poster

I look at this,  and I am reassured…

Don’t fuck with Star Trek.

Star Trek will come at you with guns, explosions, Matrix fashion sense. No more of that space exploration crap. Now It’s Die Hard .. on our planet, in the future. This is not your grandpa’s Star Trek. It may be your daddy’s Star Trek because that did have some action, explosions, cheesy villains on the big screen. However, this new presentation is bigger, wider directed, more smoke.

Sigh..

Also it seems, no more hailing frequencies crap for Uhura. She is now very serious with a gun. Also present is Spock, looking very logical while in inappropriate pose, with a gun. Kirk is also concerned, with a gun. We got the Sherlock guy as some badass, evil space terrorist. The ground is exploding, that’s not good. Where’s McCoy, my favorite crew member? He’s probably elsewhere, growling about his ex-wife, bones or something. I look forward to all of this, in 3-D.

Seriously, I am. I love action movies. I love science fiction. I love science fiction with action. This is one of many expectations delivered, but with a familiar franchise attached. It’s just sad, Star Trek won’t hang around for more fresh questions and intellectual dilemmas, as we explore the possible extent of our human destiny.

Star Trek is too busy for that now.

Look at this new International trailer. Hear the ominous horn repetitions. The situation is indeed, most dire. I think old Spock would say that.