The Three R's of Portland
Why Portland Sucks
"Latte Town" was coined a few years back and is the most appropriate term for the City of Portland that I have ever heard. A Latte town consists of mostly white, educated baby boomers and young single people. The inhabitants of the town are usually newcomers who have priced out all the original inhabitants. These towns are usually expensive, pretentious, abound in natural fibers and are laid back on the surface. Latte towns like Portland pride themselves on their most cherished concepts of diversity and inclusiveness. Most Portlanders accept this myth as Gospel but upon close examination Portland's dirty little secret is revealed. Portland is an overwhelmingly white, non-ethnic city. It is as vanilla as it gets so it makes one wonder what all the celebrating of diversity is all about. Drive through any neighborhood surrounding the downtown area and the impression that you get is that Portland is nothing more than a series of elitist ghettos compromised of rich white homosexuals, rich white yuppies, rich white hippies, rich white trust funders, and rich white kids from the suburbs pretending to be street people. Where's the diversity? Well it doesn't exist but the average Portlander likes the concept and in their eyes the different shades of rich whites all constituent diversity. In a series of articles I will attempt to breakdown and explain these subtle distinctions between the various factions of lily white, latte people that make Portland what it is.
The visitor or newcomer to Portland is bound to be struck by the sheer numbers that belong to this group. They seem to be everywhere and are in fact everywhere. They are the reason that all the coffee shops have tables and chairs. The artist-intellectual fancies himself as a poet, a writer, a musician, a filmmaker, etc. You get the drift. They spend most of their days idling around the coffee establishments that one finds every 10 feet. They are usually equipped with a notebook that they use for their poems, journals or their artwork. No one ever gets to see the contents of these notebooks. More often than not they have a beaten and weathered paper back copy of some book authored by Kafka or William S. Boroughs. They love to discuss their favorite subject, themselves. Given the opportunity they will prattle on for hours about their poems, art work or the film they are making. You never get to actually see any of their work but you do get to hear about it. Their lives are like one never ending semester in grad school. Initially I believed these losers but then got to thinking. What would an aspiring actor, artist, musician, filmmaker being doing in Portland Oregon, a latte town? Why wouldn't they be in NYC or LA? Because they're phonies, that's why. Here's how it works with these clowns. They flunk out of college in New Jersey so their parents send them to Reed College in Portland in hopes that they will get their act together. They drop out of Reed but stay in Portland while still on Daddy's tab or some trust find. One Saturday Josh or Seth drifts down to one of the hundreds of hippie craft markets downtown. Some hippie is selling didgeridoos that he made I between bong reps. Josh buy one and takes it home where he proceeds to get baked after which he blows a few sour notes into the didgeridoo. The next day he's a musician. Not really but that's what he's telling everyone at the coffee house and pretending is good enough for a Portland artist-intellectual, in fact it's everything. In three months he will switch his designation from musician to filmmaker and then onto to something else 3 months later. As long as it sounds cool he will keep this charade up and no one in his circles will call him on it because they are doing the same thing.
This group is usually comprised of people that used to be part of the artist-intellectual group in Portland. They have gotten a little older and may have finally, after 12 years, obtained a liberal arts degree from Portland State or Reed College. They may still run in artist-intellectual circles but have latched onto some "cause" at this time of their life. An activist always lives off some sort of trust fund or inheritance. When you ask an activist what he does for a living he will actually say he is an "activist" with a straight face. I used to look in the want ads and at the state employment office but never once did I see an advertised job entitled "activist". The activist usually lives in some semi communal house with other activist and artist-intellectuals, the kind of place where people sleep on mattresses on the floor and where the walls are covered with hippie tapestries. Oh yeah there are always like 15 cats roaming around the house and it stinks of cat piss, body odor and patchouli. The activist is still a bum at heart but feels the need to pretend that he is productive and feels extremely self conscious about living off some one else's money but not enough to actually get a job. So the activist associates himself with the following types of groups: art councils, school-to-work collaboratives, environmental groups, preservation groups, community-supported agriculture, antidevelopment groups, and other ad hoc activist groups. Affiliation with these groups will change every 6 months or so. It all sounds cool and actually creates the impression that they work.
The Crone is a middle-aged woman that lives alone with her two cats. She is extremely bitter and unpleasant to be around. Crones usually populate the SE and NW sides of Portland. Often you can see that the Crone was quite attractive in her day. You can easily envision her twirling around dressed like Stevie Nicks at some Grateful Dead show back in 1978 Nature and time have not been good to her. She's always had a bad attitude but at least in her younger days she had perky breast and booty to match. Nice T&A can go a long way for making up for a crappy attitude but now she's only left with the bad attitude and the Stevie Nicks get up. The Crone is usually involved in several crackpot wymn's organizations that promote some sort of radical and unrealistic form of feminism. They usually have names like the United Front of Sisterhood or Radical Wymin For The Extermination Of The Male Species. Crones usually have jobs in local government or at State Universities, places where their inability to get along with anyone has no bearing on keeping their jobs. I worked with a Crone at City Hall. She filed a sexual harassment charge against me because she was eavesdropping on a phone conversation I was having and I said the word "chick". She filed another sexual grievance against a guy because he displayed a family picture on his desk of his wife and four kids at the beach. His wife was wearing a bathing suit, one piece, and this sexually offended the Crone who viewed this as objectifying women. The Crone wishes she were a lesbian because she hates men so much. She's tried to convert but it never took. Now her only objective in life is to feed her cats, read Tarot cards and make every one else's life a living hell.
The New Age Spiritualist
This could very easily be the official religious doctrine of Portland. All Portlanders fall into one of two groups when it comes to God. They are either atheists or they are new age spiritualists. You can hear them espousing their creed everywhere, "I'm spiritual but not religious", as if this automatically put them on the moral high ground. This belief system can best be described as spirituality without obligation. The new age spiritualist lives in a moral temperate zone where he picks and chooses tenants from all faiths that suit his lifestyle of the moment. Anything self sacrificing or too stringent is discarded and deemed "dogmatic" or "too religious". This way he can have the best of both worlds. In reality he gets little more than a set of watered down moral concepts that do nothing more than validate the liberal sensibilities that may be in fashion at the moment. For example, the New Age Spiritualist eschews judgmetalism. Particularly judgementalism that conflicts with their desires but he will embrace judgementalism when it comes to condemning cigarette smoking or individuals that don't have the right perception on the three R's which are racial sensitivity, recycling and reproductive rights. The new age spiritualist's home will be adorned with religious objects of oppressed people. Amazonian figures, Native American totems, Egyptian deities, animistic shells, or Shinto statuettes abound. The rules is that it's OK to display religious articles as long as you have no real association or knowledge of the said religion. A Crucifix would be seen as something a little too extreme.
This is without a doubt the most ubiquitous character roaming the streets of Portland or any other Latte town for that matter. The Dude is usually a young white male that has great enthusiasm for games that are usually associated with extreme sports and the X-Games. He is called a Dude because this is the most commonly used word in his vocabulary. You've heard them before. They are the kind of guys that refer to everyone as 'dude' and use 'dude' as a noun adjective and a verb. When they say 'dude' they put a lot of emphasis on the "u". They say 'duuude' instead of 'dude'. Their aspiration is for life to resemble an extended hobby. Work is playful and play is something they pursue with earnest. Most don't work but if they must you can find them working at places that sell skateboards, snowboards and other thing that are of supreme importance to the Dude. Dudes are usually extremely stupid and have flunked out of all the worst community colleges so they rarely associate with the activist or artist-intellectual unless of course there is some sort of sharing of drugs thing going on. The Dude is held in high esteem in Portland because he is seen as someone who is bucking the system. He will quit a job in a heartbeat if the swells on the Columbia are optimal for shredding. He lives for the moment, the perfect wave and the perfect buzz. Priorities and responsibilities are no more than an after thought for these Portland cowboys.
These dirty repugnant characters are the status quo in Portland. They seem to run across three generations and are composed of people who came from privileged backgrounds because no one from the real world could possibly embrace the fairytale concepts that the hippies hold dear. The hippies day is a full day consisting of sleeping till noon, smoking pot, protesting progress and reason, playing hackey sack and seeing how long they can go without bathing before they become infested with ticks. The hippie's biggest fears are work and responsibility so they go to great lengths to paint the "system" as thoroughly corrupt in order to avoid growing up. In their eyes any participation in the "system" is "selling out". This allows the hippy to live a lay about life without any moral quandary. Hippies without trust funds and generous parents must do some sort of work in order to buy pot and overpriced organic hippy food. This is why Portland has so many "markets". These are closed markets in the classic Marxist tradition. The hippies sell their hippy crap to tourist and yuppies with more money than sense. Here you can buy beeswax candles, dream catchers, and soap dishes made out of bird feathers. Bring plenty of money cause this shit ain't cheap. All major credit cards accepted. Hippies are easy to spot in Portland. Just envision the crowd at the original Woodstock in 1969. That's exactly what you will see with the Portland hippy. They will usually go by names like Sunshine, Rain, Heather, Noah, Seth or Jeremiah although the varieties are endless. Some hippies are hard to spot. They are usually 40 and over and have compromised themselves with jobs. Make no mistake about it, they are still hippies and when 5:00 pm rolls around they ditch the suit in favor of Birkenstocks and hemp clothing. These are the ones that make sure that the hippy ethos is forcefully inserted in all spheres of Portland's civic, cultural and business affairs. They are the ones that ensure that Portland remains soft on crime and educational standards and hard on increased taxation, subsidies and cumbersome business regulations.
This is usually a young woman in her 20's or 30's. She has attended college and has received some feminist indoctrination in how awful the male species is. The problem is that the Psycho-Feminist still prefers men sexually. Some how she must balance her desire for empowerment with her more natural desire to find a mate. The Psycho-Feminist is truly as confused individual. She really has no idea how to reconcile her place in the world. She cannot balance her professional aspirations with her private life and is in constant turmoil over making any sacrifice between marriage, family and career. If you have had the misfortune to have dated or married such a woman I feel for you. Once you get out of that relationship, and you must get out, you will need years of therapy before you are right again. The Psycho-Feminist will subject you to years of emotional abuse over her gender turmoil. She's not man but doesn't know what it means to be woman. One minute she will want flowers and doors held open for her the next minute she will be cursing you out like a drunken sailor for some perceived slight. This breed more often than not ends up joining the ranks of the Crones. You can usually find the Psycho-Feminist at Powell's Bookstore completely immersed in some feminist manifesto like "Our Bodies Ourselves". Guys do yourselves a favor and find a nice foreign-born girl.
The Sensitive Male
Nature abhors nothing more than the sensitive male yet he proliferates in Portland. You will often be out at the Saturday Market and say to yourself, "Another lesbian couple!?" Upon closer examination you noticed that the more feminine looking partner is not a lesbian but is fact a man, the sensitive male. This is a guy that is really in touch with his feelings and it is not below him to gently weep after reading a poem or a love story. He usually "is not really into sports". He prefers careers in the "healing fields" like massage therapy, teaching yoga or some sort of new age mumbo-jumbo therapy. He is devoid of any passion or a sense of humor. Regular guys horrify him. He is disdainful of them and feels that his sensitive approach to life is superior. A psycho-feminist usually scoops him up and she controls every aspect his life. Eventually he decides, after years of dream remission therapy, that he is a homosexual and he leaves her. The sensitive male likes to read Iron John Bly and participates in events allied with the Men's Movement. He can usually be found pounding on a drum in the woods with other sensitive males. He is best personified by the hippie school teacher Mr. Van Dreesen on the Beavis and Butthead cartoons. Wymn in Portland prefer that all men go down the road of sensitive male and throngs of counselors in the mental health and educational professions have made it their business to castrate young men by turning them into these cream puff, pussies knows as the sensitive male.
The proper way to handle a Marxist.Radical Marxists: No Life, No Critical Thinking Skills, No Class!!
A few years ago the country got to witness firsthand the #1 reason why Portland sucks - Radical Marxists! On simple Thursday, GWB (our duly elected president) came to town for a fundraiser (good heavens!). Predictably, there were be hordes of smelly, ranting, screaming protesters greeting him, reinforcing the well-earned stereotype that Portlanders are childish 60's throwbacks. First of all, let's get one thing clear - no left-wing protester or group is ever what they claim to be (despite the kid-gloves treatment they receive in the local media). Many of these groups are often Trojan Horses for more sinister, anti-American groups such as the World Workers Party (a Maoist Group that supports the likes of that shitstain-with-a-pompadour, Kim Jung Il). Calling your 'gang' an 'Organization for Peace and Justice' does not change what you really are (pro-Communist garbage). But don't expect the local new personalities to tell us this. It's not on their teleprompter. The most notable thing to look for will be the complete lack of critical thinking skills. Many of these dregs have announced that they will be working to 'educate' people about the president's policies before his visit ('educate,' of course, is a convenient euphemism for 'convincing the stupid.'). Anyone who isn't a mouth-breathing Mongoloid is already pretty aware of who George W. Bush is, and how he has responded admirably against the Islamos that want to kill all of us (liberal sympathizers included, by the way). Why would you admit on television that you are seeking out people who don't know what the fuck is going on in the world to help you with your cause? The activists hope (and are often correct) that they will find some unplugged, ignorant, urban-legend-believing street trash who will agree with them that Bush 1) "Stole the election" (despite the numerous Florida recounts after the election which proved conclusively that Bush would have won with or without the Supreme Court decision) 2) "Ruined the economy" (despite the fact that the bubble burst under Clinton in 1999) and 3) gives "Tax cuts to the rich" (despite the fact that everyone gets tax breaks - everyone that is who fucking pays taxes in the first place!). As a result, the professional protester does not respond well to having his or her 'logic' questioned. With no real facts or debating skills to back them up, they will ignore any challenge posed to them and immediately fall back on their "I have a right to dissent" shtick. In fact, in order to avoid being challenged at all, they will noisily chant, scream, block traffic, blow whistles and bang drums (there's even a 'No War Drum Corps' if you can believe it)! This ensures that all Bush supporters are drowned out, and none of the anti-Bush troglodytes will ever have to defend his or her uninformed positions. Their newest tactic will be to stage 'Die-ins' in which the protesters will pretend to actually care about dead U.S. soldiers. This is actually true - the protesters DO hope that our brave troops come back soon (so they can spit in their faces and call them 'baby killers'). Finally, the ignorance of these people will lead them to conclude that since Bush is so poorly received here (and the likes of Hillary can come and go in Portland with no security concerns) then people must actually LIKE Hillary more than Bush. This overlooks the obvious, inescapable truth that people on the Right are actually more tolerant, accepting, and civilized than leftists are. When a Republican president comes to town, he is greeted with violence, hatred, drums, whistles and shit flinging (literally). This has earned Portland the well-deserved moniker of 'Little Beirut.' On the other hand, when a prominent Democrat or Greenie comes to town, the worst they can expect to encounter a well dressed person holding a sign.