The Space Needle is My Neighbor

"A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We're 'MetroNatural'; Thanks For Asking!

OK, so I've been sitting on the idea for this post for about a month, but when I saw this BEK cartoon this afternoon, I knew the time had come to crawl out from under my "block" and make an appearance.

Last month the Seattle Convention and Visitor's Bureau announced that after spending 16 months and $200,000, their new tagline to promote tourism in the Emerald City was ready to be revealed. Imagine everyone's surprise when they awoke on October 22nd to find the word "MetroNatural" spray-painted atop the dome of the Space Needle. I learned about it while getting ready for work and watching everyone on CNN- even the weatherman, who opined that it might go over better if delivered while waving 'jazz hands' (!!!) make fun of the campaign. On national TV. On the 'most-trusted network'. The shame. Predictably, the reaction of the local citizenry was mixed. One proponent, apparently from the 'glass-half-full' camp, stated that "at least it (was) better than the new Washington State Bureau of Tourism's slogan; 'Say WA'". As P would say..."Way to be!"
The Seattle P-I posted a list of alternatives sent in by its readers. Here are some of the best:

Seattle: Wired and Jacked Up
If you're left, you're right for us
Welcome to Washington, enjoy your stay, THEN GO HOME!!!
We hate Bush. Come join us
Seattle: Come look at the monorail
Seattle: Because Bremerton is too far away
Come visit. You can't afford the condos
If you love taxes, you'll love Seattle
Seattle: Left of Bellevue
We're green, mean and a tax-collecting machine
Seattle: Irony-free since 1992

Feeling the need to weigh in with his own take on the idiocy of the concept, P decided to craft his response in the form of a bumper sticker. I recreated it above so you could see it, and both of our vehicles are now sporting them. He also sent them around to people in town whom he thought would appreciate his point of view. No 'jazz hands' needed to convey this message. Like it says in the cartoon, it may not be 'the answer', but it's a damn fine retort. $200,000? Meanwhile, we've got people sleeping in doorways. But wait, it gets better....

As the city launches its campaign full-tilt, vowing to spend another $300,000 in the service of promoting this completely baffling and embarrassing slogan, our cars will slowly, yet defiantly crawl in silent protest as we make our hours-long commutes each way and each day, along the pitifully inadequate and massively under-funded freeways. One hour...10 miles! We will be mindful at all times, while sitting in our cars, that one (and oh yes, there are plenty more where this one came from; just check out the website) of the definitions of a true 'metronatural' is 'one who respects the environment and lives a balanced lifestyle of urban and natural experiences'. Personally, I'm not looking forward to spending an equal amount of time (6 years) roughing it in the rainforest to offset the amount of time I've spent enjoying Seattle's 'urban experience' while seated in my Ford Contour, in order to be considered an authentic 'metronatural'. Grrrrr. Oh well, "Way to be!"


Anonymous pboss said...

Can't help but think of "Metamusil" or Exlax
when I see that slogan. And on another realm, I'm still going to take a roll of tp when I go camping.

7:32 PM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

I like the "Irony-free since 1992" slogan, myself. Maybe all the rain washed it away......

10:04 AM  
Blogger Peri said...

Is this really true? Actually, I know it must be. My province, Manitoba, did the same sort of thing except instead of asking those of who live here for ideas, the powers that be hired a New York (?!) PR firm. For several hundred thousand dollars, we got "Sprited Energy".


(I'm so glad to see you!!)

11:43 AM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

Howdy Y'all!

It's good to be back!

6:11 PM  
Blogger MisterKlean said...

Golly, I think it's kind of sweet. And I bet that soon there'll be a little mascot, too - a vaguely counter-culture-ish, furry faced,green-clad forest elf with severe asthma called the Metrognome.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose the Metrognome will just be thee marking time.

When living in Wisconsin a few years ago, they tried to come up with a new state slogan, feeling the "America's Dairyland" was getting old. Someone suggested "Come smell our dairy airs"

5:24 AM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

"Metrognome"...oh my god! I'm holding my sides....

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Heather Flanagan said...

Here is a video including an interview with the designer who first thought of "metronatural".


5:31 PM  

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