Thursday, January 8, 2015

11. Downtown

If you'll recall, a few years back, like, say, three and a half years when I recorded this disc, the Seattle Police Department was having a little problem with shooting people.  It all culminated with the death of a Native American woodcarver named John Williams for the crime of carrying his carving tools down the stuff.  Apparently, the officer who shot him didn't like the way he was looking at people.  That was the most prominent in a series of shootings, most of them involving bummier and crazier elements of society.  They seemed to go down every week or so for a long time.  And almost all of them happened downtown.  So I wrote this song.  My feeling has always been as expressed in the tune: first you shoot the least among us and then everybody else is next.  And I thought that a bouncy protest-calypso was the best vehicle.  

OK, so time passes.  Diaz is no longer chief of police.  These days the chief is actually a woman.  She just started, so it's too early to tell.  Although this song is obsolete, it represents a snapshot of what was going on in the city at the time.  Nowadays police killings around the country are getting a lot of attention, as well they should.  This tune was just my effort to convey my feelings about what was happening here.    

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