RR Anderson, DIY Cultural Arts Specialist

Sep. 24, 2012 at 12:58pm

PHOTO-ESSAY: A September Morning in Downtown Tacoma

down and out in the city of destiny

Hopped the no.2 bus into Downtown Tacoma.  Haven't had much use of my orca card since the down-sizing at AFX (formerly Artifex). Got a call last Friday to come in to the old office. They've got some CSS/HTML work to do and no CSS masters to do the job.  Right now i'm trying to think of an hourly rate for private contract work.  All the employees are gone, but the espresso machine hasn't changed. A ghost, haunting the conference room with a coffee mug.   Meeting went well.

After, I huffed it up the hill to the Main Branch library. Book reserve had come in: "100 DOLLAR START UP - Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, And Create a New Future.  Gillebeau, Chris"  ALAS!  Budget cutbacks... hours posted on the door let me know that they don't open till 11 on Mondays.  The masses of tired, hungry, poor yearning to breath free were camped out around the entrance.  Sleeping bags... blankets... the libraries own #occupy movement.

I was approached by a man. His questioning led me to assume he was not a regular library patron.  "What is with the crowd?" Asked He.

"These are hard times." Said I, "Neighborhood branches have been sold off. This is the only place a lot of hard-luck folks can access the internet... "


EVEN SO, I had 1 hour to kill before I could pick up my book.   I was inspired to visit the tiny new second location of the Central Tacoma Free-Radical Media Exchange hosted at the Market on Market store here in the Embellish Multi-Space World Headquarters.. 

but, the weird hours thing again shot down that idea..  yet, I could see the little media exchange shelf unit through the window. Which gave off a warm feeling.

I Visited Suite/Exit133.com had a nice chat with Derek about what is a fair hourly rate  ($50-$60 is about the average for Tacoma or so they say--You can see more of this conversation happening on my facebook wall IN REAL TIME!). 


It is hard to see in this picture, but the sidewalks around 11th & Commerce are teeming with hyper-creative young people.  I must have witnessed a class change or recess or whatever because the kids were streaming out of the Beautiful Old Historic Court House/Post Office like waves of army ants.

Tacoma is dead most of the time so anything that brings boots on the ground, human life to the area is fantastic.  So nice..

Give Old City Hall to the SOTA kids too! 

hey a CLAW poster in a spaceworks art install !...

MEANWHILE sad bank window art..


Our beautiful old bridge is a JOB CREATOR!  Can't wait to see this thing operational again.


Keep fighting Pierce Transit. God help us if this thing doesn't pass.

RR SIDEBAR COMMENTARY: As a rule of thumb always vote yes for transit projects.  ALWAYS vote no for anything associated with Tim Eyman.


ate up most of my hour wandering around looking for the new Tacoma Daily Index offices.  No luck.  Went back to the library, picked up my book and the latest edition of the Tacoma Weekly (Tacoma's ONLY Weekly Newspaper)... got a taste of recently laid off, mainstream daily newspaper cartoonist Chris Britt's take on the University Place name change meme which the Tacomic exploited weeks ago.

What in the world Chris Britt

*end transmission*

comments [31]  |  posted under adventure, cartoonist, chris britt, hardscrabble, hobos, library, ramblin, sota, tacoma


by low bar on 9/24/2012 @ 6:18pm
The solution is a 30 year down ballot state and national ousting of the conservative government to compensate for 30 years of trickle down damage to this state and the nation.

I mean, there isn't even enough money to fix the damn sprinkler system around the damn Natural Resources building at the state capitol. Our state and cities are falling apart under the GOP regime.

by NineInchNachos on 9/24/2012 @ 6:27pm
this evening over calzones  (Mondays kids eat free at Medis) my bride informed me that on Mondays the Main branch is the only library open in Tacoma... thus the crowds. 

Time for a New Deal!

by fredo on 9/24/2012 @ 7:14pm
 " Keep fighting Pierce Transit. God help us if this thing doesn't pass."

Rather than appealing to God, why don't you try appealing to common sense? Sales tax increases are regressive and therefore hurt poor people disproportionately. Let the poor people pay a lower sales tax rate and they will have MORE money in their pockets to spend in whatever fashion they deem of importance to them.

by fredo on 9/24/2012 @ 7:20pm
  " Mondays the Main branch is the only library open in Tacoma... thus the crowds. Time for a New Deal!" 

How quickly we forget... the funds designated for LIBRARY were used to put in the RECONCILIATION PARK. If you wanted funds to remain earmarked for library then you should have joined the effort to cancel reconciliation park. By the way, which city council members would you like to have replaced so that we can have a "new deal." 

by NineInchNachos on 9/24/2012 @ 7:44pm
[citation needed]

by fredo on 9/24/2012 @ 7:58pm
Reconciliation Park approved, two libraries closed down and hours trimmed.

You don't need a citation when you have a smoking gun.

by NineInchNachos on 9/24/2012 @ 8:30pm
color me skeptical sir. 

by fredo on 9/24/2012 @ 8:34pm

I'd say willfully naive would be a better description.

by NineInchNachos on 9/24/2012 @ 8:38pm
If Prop 1 is REJECTED 

- 53% service reduction- elimination of SAT, SUN and Holiday service
- No service past 7 pm
- No restoration of service to Puyallup Fair (WA State Fair) and the July 4th Freedom Fair

by fredo on 9/24/2012 @ 8:42pm

Alternatively... they could reduce transit salaries to reasonable levels and leave the services unchanged.

by NineInchNachos on 9/24/2012 @ 8:48pm
with free cotton candy for each rider!

by low bar on 9/24/2012 @ 10:04pm
The left is on message for good. The generation to replace the baby boomers will close the gap even further in battle ground states. The low information voter will be a thing of the pre-internet past.

The nation grows diverse. Conservatism is losing its grip as the opposition's base grows steadily larger generation by generation. New Deals and progressivism becoming landmarks of the future.

Countries like the Netherlands and Germany have a 5% working class unemployment rate due to strong export, union apprenticeship and journeyman programs in the private sector. Economists on the wings of the media and internet, relentlessly beam this economy changing information into the most remote voting districts in the Union. Because economic change sells amongst grassroots working America as well as it does in Europe.

President Clinton has set the tone for whats on the menu in the years to come. Liberal colleges have churned out the nouveau bourgeois customer. Social media and networks provide the communication. Engineers will provide the vehicles of New Deals. Politicians will author law to support new business and new government family ties.

Hard time crowds outside a library is work. Its our job as Americans to see the huddled masses as an opportunity to do work and distinguish ourselves as a country. Show the world why we are the most blessed nation on earth:

Because we take care of our own. Because we support a government that's for the people, by the people, and not by some privatized fascist regime.

It's God and country time. Vote Democrat down ballot.

by NineInchNachos on 9/24/2012 @ 10:25pm
Hillary in 2016!

by low bar on 9/24/2012 @ 10:36pm
She does have the foreign policy stripes. What are her private sector stripes?

by Mofo from the Hood on 9/25/2012 @ 7:17am

If there is any good thing about an economic recession, it is that people generally take time to reassess their past economic choices. Sometimes a reliable method of inquiry and evaluation will reveal a cause and effect relationship between bad ideas and a bad state of affairs.

by NineInchNachos on 9/25/2012 @ 8:40am
Peter Callaghan of the News Tribune deserves a special prize. Peter points out that The Tacoma Weekly has credited the author of the Chris Britt cartoon as "Doug" Britt Come on Tacoma Weekly!  Chris drew you an amazingly detailed page (probably for free) and you can't even get his name right!

by low bar on 9/25/2012 @ 2:23pm
@MOFO it's called reading the misery index

by thriceallamerican on 9/25/2012 @ 2:54pm
So is AFX just, like, one social media consultant now? For a company with no employees, they sure won't STFU on Twitter...

by JesseHillFan on 9/25/2012 @ 3:10pm
Today I tool the number 53 bus (I don't ride Pierce Transit often,prefer to cycle) and on Orchard street a guy walked on the bus and went to the back without paying his fare.The bus driver said to him that he would have to pay the fare and the bus driver had to go to the back of the bus to chat with the no fare paying rider.The rider said come on man I tale this bus everyday and using some other gang slang words too at which point the bus driver again stated he would have to pay and that the rider was delaying the bus.Well the rider did reluctantly pay the fare.It was weird though and I thought that it might escalate further.Anyway it seems that people are getting more arrogant due to the tough times.. 

by fredo on 9/25/2012 @ 4:17pm

why didn't u record that?

by chairkicker on 9/25/2012 @ 4:22pm
@thriceallamerican I hadn't seen their (his/her?) twitter stream… went and found it, and wow, that's pretty over the top.

by thriceallamerican on 9/25/2012 @ 4:24pm
@chairkicker Yeah...somehow I ended up following them several months ago, perhaps a follow-back? But those were quieter times in their stream...now they're due an unfollow.

by chairkicker on 9/25/2012 @ 4:27pm
@thriceallamerican it always seem weird to me when an agency projects a culture of not having anything better to do than tweet about random shit. Seems like the strategy would be to be/act busy even if you're not?

by NineInchNachos on 9/25/2012 @ 5:09pm
they hired one of those tweet bots.

I'm not sure how much longer they are going to survive over there. Tragic Kingdom.

by low bar on 9/25/2012 @ 6:39pm
Yeah that arrogance of that non-paying bus rider. Reminds me of people who won't release their tax returns which are loaded up and down with non-payments. Tough times indeed. Wonder how they got so tough?

by fredo on 9/25/2012 @ 7:58pm

Why don't you post your tax returns low bar? You lead the way.

by low bar on 9/25/2012 @ 8:08pm
If I was running for President I would. President Obama and Vice President Biden have both released 12 years. You can see them here.


I doubt if I'll ever get that high in office Fredo. Flattering though. Too bad there's nothing in the world that's flattering about Governor Romney's secretive talks behind the backs of 47% of America. 

by fredo on 9/25/2012 @ 9:17pm

You don't need to run for office to release your tax returns. Show some leadership low bar. Quit hiding behind that dana carvey photograph.

by low bar on 9/25/2012 @ 9:37pm
hahaha but i'm not in a leadership position moron. unless you feel like i'm leading your dumbass in some way. Am I your leader Fredo?

I mean, even W released 17 years of tax returns.

What is Romney hiding? He's the only one that's hiding. He's the only one in the history of Presidential races to hide his taxes. Kinda fishy;)

by JesseHillFan on 9/25/2012 @ 10:21pm
I apologize for my near non comprehensible post.Lots of typographical errors there.I must have been tired-exhausted.Well I did take a nap for 4 hours after I made that post.As for the Presidential race I think that I will either vote for Ralph Nader (honest, challenging RICO corporations) or as a write in candidate Robert Jesse Hill (the outlaw).

by low bar on 9/26/2012 @ 1:15pm
Nader Raider! 


political cartoonist Your Friendly Neighborhood Political Cartoonist


TIP LINE: email me, TWITTER OR CALL (253) 778-6786

RR Anderson is one of the most curious characters in the UFO lore and the history of underground cartooning. He fought bizarre underground beings in the caves of Alaska, was wounded by a laser before it was invented, and had a background with the clandestine branch of the Tacoma Cartoonists Society.

For seekers unafraid to be discernibly turgid in a time of drastic change, we recommend:

Tacomic Book volume 001


find me on Facebook



Holistic Forge Works


"may the great winged turtle flap her wind upon us all" ~ Dr. FA Neekburn, 1889

Recent Posts