Seattle has abandoned it’s last slogan… See-@-L and gone metronatural. Note: this has nothing to do with queer eye for a straight guy. All this new slogan cost was $200,000 and 16 months of work. Considering it borrows from a word coined a dozen years ago I’d say that it might not be that great of a feat, but I’m no marketing exec. People here aren’t very impressed so far, in fact they are comparing it to Washington’s failed slogan SayWA, which I think we can all agree is a terrible slogan (or “branding”) for anything, heck it’s barely even a catchphrase.
The idea is that is that metronatural encompasses a person who loves both the urban and wilds. An interesting juxtaposition sure, but I don’t know if it is real. Good for marketing maybe, but not entirely honest. Yes, there are people here who sincerely care about nature, but there are plenty that don’t and even more that only think they do. The real interesting contradiction is that Seattle has a huge problem with their water and with transportation. Public transportation is a joke, the punch line being Monorail and maybe in a couple years Light Rail. There is no subway. That leaves only the weird bus system which probably isn’t as confusing as it seems, but I haven’t had the patience yet to try to figure out the map which was only available as a 2mb pdf of the entire greater Seattle area. Even if it was a snap, buses are not much better than cars and definitely not a faster, more convenient, or pleasant… and I say that as a person who happily rode on a bus system with problems for three years.
You can’t have a city and a forest, the two are exclusive of one another. But what’s more, the way Seattle is currently setup, you can’t even have environmentally friendly and a city together. I think it is important here to clarify that when I say “environmentally friendly” I don’t mean more people biking to work, which is happening here. That’s great, but unless the city (not a small percentage of its inhabitant, but the city itself) is actively trying to help the environment it is not friendly. Hey, I’d even call it a friend if just tried to make a tiny footprint, rather than a big ugly one it’s leaving now. A city that hurts the environment less than before can’t call itself a friend anymore than a mobster who breaks jaws instead of shooting shooting can call himself your pal.
Don’t get me wrong I like Seattle. It has problems, but so does everywhere else, I just don’t want to ignore the things I see that don’t add up. The nice thing is that it seems like Seattle is a place where these things have a chance of changing, that can’t be said everywhere else.