METAtropolis: CASCADIA (2010) is an audiobook collection of six related stories set in Cascadia in the 2070s. The stories are: "The Bull Dancers" by Jay Lake, "Water to Wine" by Mary Robinette Kowal, "Byways" by Tobias S. Buckell, "The Confessor" by Elizabeth Bear, "Deodand" by Karl Schroeder, and "A Symmetry of Serpents and Doves" by Ken Scholes. Each is read by a different Star Trek actor. Run time is almost 13 ABT hours.
It's a sequel to the original METAtropolis (2008) which worldbuilt around the post-industrial, post-national collapse of the early 21st century. That collection included the story "In the Forests of the Night" by Jay Lake that introduced the setting of Cascadiopolis, an experimental green city hidden in the forests of Mt. Hood, Oregon (it's available for free).
CASCADIA picks up that story 40 years later in the opening "The Bull Dancers" (read by René Auberjonois), which explores the conspiracy behind the city's destruction by orbital missiles; the true identity of the mysterious Tyger Tyger and his connection to an ancient Minoan secret society; and how Cascadiopolis' daughter cities have, despite or perhaps because of the missile attack, gone on to thrive -- rewilding the land and building a new eco-anarchist way of life. This serves as an intro to greater Cascadia, as the following stories portray a changed and changing region in slow recovery.
We here at ZPi approve of all shoe-based protest. Clog the machine!
11 years and 11 days ago, around 11:11 a.m., the city of Seattle was held at bay for 11 hours by a lone man armed with nothing but determination and a samurai sword. His name was Tony Allison, although on that day he preferred to be called Apollo.
The morning was proceeding like any other in late 20th century Seattle: the streets were alive with the practiced hustle and bustle of Frappuccino-swilling, nouveau riche dotcommers and tourists mesmerized by the simple antics of fishmongers as the last dying strains of grunge wafted through the air. Little did they know that the bland tranquility of their orthonoiac lives was about to be slashed open by the God of Poetry and Truth, made manifest in a martial-arts-trained transient released a year previously from Western State Hospital.
According to a contemporary news report, an off-duty police officer was first alerted to a leather-jacketed and camo-pantsed man with a sword disturbing (presumably in the psychological sense) passers-by. The officer followed the man from Pike Place Market. At the corner of Second and Pike, the man took what the police report described as a "defensive stand" and refused to drop his sword. The officer called for back-up. So began the great Seattle Street Samurai Standoff of 1997.
Apollo -- for that was who he declared himself to be -- made no aggressive moves, apart from the occasional dramatic poses and cryptic pronouncements. The police, cautious of his martial prowess, chose not to provoke him. Instead they cordoned off the streets and commenced negotiations via bullhorn.
They asked him again to please put down the sword and surrender; he again refused. They offered him $50 for his sword; he ignored their bribe. They tempted him with a Big Mac; he held fast. They spoke fondly of his dead brother in hopes of changing his mind; he was unmoved. They tried reverse psychology on him, telling him Satan was preventing him from surrendering; he wasn't fooled by their lies. They shined bright lights at him; he wore shades. Growing desperate, nonleathal projectiles and pepper spray were tried; he repelled them through sheer willpower. It seemed nothing would stop lone Apollo from standing his ground on the sidewalk athwart the combined forces of the City.
The orthonoids of Seattle were not happy. Traffic was brought to a stand still and businesses were evacuated. Hundreds called 911 demanding action and offering advice on how to deal with this unexpected menace to civilization -- some suggested throwing a net over him, others shooting him with tranquilizer darts, and not-a-few using lethal force. Talk radio was apoplectic -- more so than usual. If Apollo was aware of the effect he was having on the psyche of Seattle, he showed no sign of concern. His concerns were beyond what the small minds of conformity could comprehend.
But the City would have its way. After nearly half a day unbudged from his sidewalk post, steadfast Apollo was finally brought down using a two-pronged tactic of cold water sprayed with firehoses and prolonged exposure to a large fan -- designed, after consultation with medical experts, to weaken his muscle control through hypothermia -- followed by a rush to pin his body with a 12-foot ladder and his sword arm with a pole. Even with these extreme measures he showed nigh-Rasputinesque levels of resilience: the high-pressure hoses were only able to knock him down temporarily and it took nearly three minutes to finally wrest the sword from his pinned hand.
In the end, no one was injured -- presumably since the demonic forces chose not to show themselves before Apollo's sword. Also, to the great relief of Seattleites, no Starbucks were harmed.
Assistant Police Chief Harv Ferguson had this to say after the standoff: "I've never seen anything like it in my 30 years. I don't want to make an icon out the guy, but I simply had to marvel at his ability to withstand all of that."
Although he was brought down, this was no real defeat for Apollo. He had made his lone defensive stand before all of Seattle, and Seattle, for a while at least, bowed to his will and grudgingly marveled at his iconic greatness. But what was Apollo's stand defending?
Among his pronouncements during the standoff Apollo mentioned having brothers in China and Russia. Could this have been a reference to the most memorable example of the Lone-Figure-Standing-Against-the-World archetype -- the Mercurial Tiananmen Square protester who stood down a line of Communist tanks? Or perhaps Bacchus Yeltsin astride a tank in defiance of a military coup? If only the SPD had a tank to complete Apollo's symbolism!
Tankless though his stand may have been, I believe Apollo, like his brothers before him, stood for the Individual in the face of insurmountable powers aligned against him. His stand was not just in self-defense -- that is, defense of the integrity and sovereignty of the Self against either dilution into the cloud of the Collective or subservience to the will of Another -- but defiance of social conformity, which unjustly demands that one shouldn't strike poses with a samurai sword in downtown Seattle, no matter how totally kick-ass that would be.
Even in his fall, Apollo had a defiant message for us: maybe the Individual can't win, but at least he'll go down brandishing his sword and looking cooler than the cowered tools of conformity could ever hope to look. Their jealousy shall be the Individual's ultimate victory!
Who was Tony Allison that day? Apollo, folk hero for the oppressed Individual, or just a crazy guy with a sword disrupting the mundane flow of society and scaring tourists? I choose the former. His stand has been mostly forgotten, and Tony's sword is presumably retired for good, but it may be no coincidence that this website -- my own defensive stand against the Forces of Mind Control, the Belgian Conspiracy, monorails, and tree octopus extinction -- was started later that same year.
So, for whatever inspiration he brought me, I offer this paean to Apollo, disruptor of the orthonoiac, wherever he may be.
UPDATE 2008-11-25: Video of Tony Allison's stand.
[REDACTION 2016-10-07: I have removed the original email at the request of the writer as it no longer reflects their personal political or world view. I'm leaving my comments since they stand on their own without the original context.]
Anyway, I think I speak for most Cascadians in saying that we do not support replacing Cascadian currency and the Sasquatch twig-pegged barter system with the SPP's Amero, which will undoubtedly be even more psychotronically laced than US and EU coinage.
As to immigration, Cascadia has been enriched by people of many different cultures who have contributed to Cascadian society. Whether software engineers from around the world coming to work at Microsoft or Yeti arriving on Cascadian shores hidden in cargo containers, they all dream of the prosperity and freedom that we Cascadians enjoy.
However, I think you will be glad to hear that the Sasquatch Militia has a plan to build a ten-meter-high log wall around the Cascadian border to keep illegal Americans, Canadians, cryptozoologists, and other assorted trouble makers out. At about 300,000 twigs per log, it may take a while for them to find the necessary funding in their budget, although a proposed tax on psychoactive lichens should make a large dent.
The streets of Tacoma erupted in anarchy Friday as 50 masked anarchists meandered around downtown in a leaderless mass with puppets and drums to protest a privately run "concentration camp" on the Tacoma Tideflats. Not that anyone was leading them to protest that, mind you -- they're anarchists:
[T]he group reached Wells Fargo Plaza at 1201 Pacific Ave. during the first march through downtown. The protesters chanted outside the bank's offices before police, who said they were enforcing a request from the business, asked them to leave. An officer talked to [Tom] McCarthy about moving the march on.
A protester wearing a black mask ran up to the two and screamed, "Whatever he tells you, he doesn't stand for us. We're anarchists -- we have no leader!"
"I didn't say you had a leader, man," McCarthy replied.
"Good!" the protester shouted before walking away.
Archist rivals from the Anti-Cascadian organization March for America! Washington fielded their own conterprotest composed solely of March for America! Washington founder yelling at people with a bullhorn while waving an American flag. They had sent out a mass email issuing a "call to all American patriots who are able, to stand in solidarity against the communist/socialist/anarchist pawns who call for an end to the nation state, who call for an end to America," but everyone else was busy supporting the nation state elsewhere.
No Starbucks were harmed during the protests.
[REDACTION 2016-10-07: I have removed the name of the March for America! Washington founder as they have apparently changed their beliefs.]
© 2004-2016 Lyle Zapato & ZPi
unless otherwise noted or implied.