In the absence of SWAG (stuff we all get) from official Obama campaign channels, a bounty of homemade political buttons has surfaced in Seattle. Certainly they lack the slick messaging of Clinton's campaign, or even Obama's advertorially smart O logo, but they characterize well a campaign that has relied on true grassroots momentum, to historic effect. Owing to my past life as a student activist, I have a sizable homemade political button collection of my own. So when offered a button featuring Obama's smiling mug and the phrase "He's black, and I'm proud!" I didn't hesitate. My posse back in St. Louis was frequently laden with buttons, and I couldn't think of a better time than Washington's caucus day to wear mine. The funny thing is, I wore that button all day long, and the Seattleites I encountered in droves at the caucus looked at it long enough to read it, but no one commented on it. I wore it that night to a crowded art gallery opening and got the same response. An artist I know in New York City made little plain blue buttons with no writing or images on them. You were to wear the button in order to elicit questions and comments, in the spirit of striking up civic conversation about beliefs and values. In New York, the button experiment worked. "What's that supposed to stand for?" one stranger said to me. Another: "There's nothing on your button." I wore it literally for years while teaching here in the South Sound, and not one person commented, not even the students. Are Seattleites stultified by their polite silences, enough to inhibit public discourse?