I Took My Rubik's Cube To A Sanders Rally

My slow speed-solving did not make my cube feel the Bern...

March 29, 2016
Rubik's Cube at Safeco

by Gregr


When I was a kid, my mother worked on a senatorial campaign and ever since then, I’ve found politics a tedious way of riling up the citizens in one group and having them yell hateful things at people of another. The whole process relies on the mystical idea that one of these dildos would come in, put aside their own ego and pass wildly helpful legislation in a fiscally responsible way before buying everyone a unicorn and filling our homes with precious magical jewels.

We all know this is garbage.

Instead, these suits sell out to corporate interests to fund a campaign that takes them away from their jobs, you know, BEING THE GOVERNMENT for months, if not the entire year. So far, I’ve been pretty spot-on with my skepticism.

All that aside, this election is pretty massive and features a guy who claims to be running without the aforementioned garbage. I don’t trust politicians, but I do love me a crowd of people yelling things, (i.e. Sounders FC), so I want in.

When I found out that Bernie Sanders would be holding a rally at a time and place that worked for my impossible morning host schedule, I decided to go... I decided to go as a member of the media… I decided to go as a member of the media so I didn’t have to wait in line...

From Safeco to the King Station!
by Gregr

The line
The line at Safeco Field was insanely long. It went all the way back to that all-windows shiny building in the parking lot of CenturyLink. If people had to cue up outside of a Mariners (lol, right) or Seahawks game and wait in one of two single-file lines to be searched, wanded and let into the stadium, the moaning and bellyaching would reach me-after-running-two-miles-for-the-first-time-in-three-months-bc “no, really, I'm gonna get in shape this time” status.

Somehow, through a barrage of “are you registered to vote,” “do you support anti-puppy kicking” and other “hey cue-monster, you’re stuck in line so I’m going to bother you with my agenda,” everyone stayed majorly upbeat! This dude's t-shirt sure helped:

No matter who you support, that's a crazy shirt!
by Gregr

Lots of signs, too:

Bernie's head is on fire...
by Gregr

When I got to the media entrance, the police officer that wasn't wand-ing the press saw my cube and said something like "you getting close to solving that thing?". 

"Yeah! I can do it in about 30 seconds."

"Well, let's see it." I picked up my belongings and stuffed 'em back into my overflowing pockets while she messed the cube up for me to solve. The officer then tells secret service guy standing around to keep time, and the cop-with-wand tells the next press person in line, "sorry, you're gonna have to wait".

Set the pressure to 11!

Now 30 seconds may seem hella fast for a Rubik's cube, but standing around watching someone twist a crappy plastic sticker-y thing is as boring as it sounds: very boring. What turned out to be about a 35-second solve receive zero plaudits from the officers and a quip from secret service guy "well... it was less than a minute." Awkward. 

The wait
Thanks to those massive lines, it turns out Bernie Sanders delayed his start time, conducting a few extra interviews and maybe sneaking in a quick nap before he came come out. What started as a beautiful sunny afternoon - the first of its kind for Seattle spring - became much icier when the sun went down. Duh. Tell that “duh” to my freezing fingers and toes. When would that bald headed man come out and make us “Feel the Bern” so we could save our rapidly dying digits?

One of the coolest parts about this event taking place at Safeco Field, other than a Mariners practice run for our butts in those seats, is that they let media down on the warning track to cover the event. I made sure to nerd out for you and play with the dirt and pretend like I was the new first base coach!

by Gregr

The buildup featured many people shouting things at the crowd, each driven by their own agenda and propped up under the overall ideology of social democracy. That’s cool. People get a chance to be heard. Just ease up on the shouting, it’s very coarse.

There was also tons of downtime - thank the Wookiee I brought my cube, bc not having a battery charger meant I needed something to keep from draining my iPhone.

I didn’t get there in time to see Seattle band, TacocaT, play the opening set, but I was there for a 30-minute performance from Greensky Bluegrass who at one point brought out John freakin’ Popper to play a couple Blues Traveler gems from the mid 90’s and eventually, the weirdest harmonica take on the national anthem.

And dancing guy from Key Arena returned, finding himself directly behind the band on screen with his sick moves a majority of the event.

The playlist during the buildup did a great job being inclusive of many different groups represented in that stadium. From “burn baby burn, disco inferno” to many Latin American pop songs, hip-hop and rock n roll - there was something playing for many who attended. This helped pass the time a bit. Before Bernie Sanders took the stage, a man came out to speak on behalf of the Sikh community in Seattle showing how even that seemingly small crowd could have an equal voice on this stage.

I do care who you vote for, but don’t want to suggest anything because it’s your own damn choice and who am I to tell you what to do. What I can provide is some insight of a man that had ideas based on favoring the humans of this country saying things along the lines of “stop wasting money and focus on caring for those who can’t care for themselves.”

Mr. Sanders’ simple but fun dad jokes had me lol’ing a couple of times. His intro, standing on a riser built over home plate and wobbling, included the paraphrased quip, “As a kid I always dreamed of being at home plate in a big league baseball stadium, though I thought I would be holding a bat.” He joked about his own image, “You comb your hair beautifully, you’re a real GQ guy,” but then very seriously stated “Don’t worry, Drumpf will not become President.”

All in all, a Safeco packed with people curious about Sanders appears to have paid off.

Even the left-field bleachers were full!
by Gregr

I don’t know that anything that happened at this event did anything but get people who were already excited more worked up about it. I would argue that the killer turnout for Sanders the following morning for the Washington Caucuses indicate something is working for this dude, but I’m not sure I would go to another rally like this. It seems like a ton of time spent waiting in line. Maybe if he did one at Space Mountain where at the end we all went twisting and turning through the darkness… Yeah, then I’d go again.

I have to give it to the crowd - everyone got along brilliantly. There was no violence, no raised voices for anything more than “turn up the volume, we can’t hear,” and nothing but love flying around. If I knew/had a kid that wanted to get involved in something like this, I’d have to tell them it was totally worth attending.