Monday, June 06, 2005


Jason Sprinkle 1969-2005

If you lived in Seattle in 1996, you probably remember the incident: first came the reports that a section of downtown had been closed and a bomb-sniffing robot had been sent in to defuse a potential bomb. When the full story came out, it was one of the most idiotic episodes in Seattle history.

It started in 1993, when a group of guerilla artists led by a guy named Jason Sprinkle attached a ball and chain to the ankle of the "Hammering Man" statue at the Seattle Art Museum. SAM officials showed their commitment to the arts by refusing to refer to the artists as artists, instead reaching into their asses and pulling out the phrase "Fabricators Of The Attachment."

Three years later the same group, now proudly claiming SAM's sobriquet for them as their own, built a giant heart with a dagger through it, leaving it in the back of a parked truck downtown to protest the city's reopening of Pine street to traffic. A nice, fun, harmless jape, right?

Well, first of all, thanks to the Oklahoma City bombing the year before, people tended to get paranoid about unattended trucks. Then there was the fact that this particular truck was covered in graffiti, including the phrase "Eastlake Carpentry rules (the bomb!)". Ignoring the "Eastlake," the "Carpentry," the "rules," and the parentheses and the "the," someone noticed the word "bomb" and pretty soon the bomb-bot was on the way.

I'm going to reiterate what I said at the time: in no way am I saying that the decision to park the truck there was a good one. Their big mistake was in assuming that people could be rational and intelligent.

Having said that, however, the reactions of pretty much everyone involved were uniformly disgraceful. The local news couldn't be arsed to do even the most basic fact-checking, referring to Sprinkle's group as "The Fabricators Of America." The Seattle PD arrested Jason Sprinkle, not on the reasonably valid charge of disturbing the peace, or even illegally parking, but on, I shit you not, "intimidation with an explosive device."

A fiberglass heart. Is fiberglass combustible?

That was the last I, at least, heard of Jason Sprinkle, until Slumberland had a link to his

Go read it. Find out how he got fucked over by the whole situation. But take with a grain of salt the phrase, "cooler heads ultimately prevailed." If that had been the case, we wouldn't have spent the next year reading about the bomb squad being called out to investigate a "suspicious package" every time someone accidentally left their backpack at a bus stop. And the P-I wouldn't have published so many breathless editorials about how Sprinkle left a nondescript truck with "BOMB" painted on the side in big letters. I'd like to think that everyone who contributed to Sprinkle's breakdown is feeling just a little bit guilty right now, but I'm not that naive.

Shit, I'm all pissed off now. Don't get me started about T.J. Williamson.

Aww, come on...get started on T.J. Williamson. It'll be fun.
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