Mural Mayhem: When Rabbits Attack

My expose on the cancellation of Perry Mason is a bit more involved than I realized.

In the meantime I bring you this:

Mural Rabbit Attack

It appeared on a wall on Alberta Street that once had a white movie screen painted on it so the bar could use the patio area to screen movies.  Subject matter aside, it’s colorful, dynamic, but still, somehow, deep down, disconcerting.  The movie screen seemed like a cool idea that didn’t work out.

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Summer’s Gone

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The last couple of weekends of the summer of 2014 in Portland, OR were hot and then it rained and it was easy to see where summer was over. If I could go back to any time this summer it would be to the one afternoon spent soaking up sun on my skin along the Clackamas River, from time to time jumping into the icy water. High Rocks, a short film I blogged about, has a sequel. Filmmaker Jason Blalock headed back to High Rocks ten years later to poke around and see what had changed. There’s a certain intrigue seeing that this movie also has a news reporter in it snooping for a story. She seems sharper and more cynical than the reporter in the previous film and it reminds me even more of the documentary versus TV news approach to story telling that Ross McElwee explored in his movie 6 o’clock News.

Next summer I’m visit another swimming hole, probably in late August to give the water a chance to warm up a couple of degrees. Watch High Rocks before you watch the sequel to find out what happened to Taz and if the High Rocks ever got safer and a little less crazy.

High Rocks II: http://vimeo.com/11151603

Info on Ross McElwee’s film 6 o’clock News: http://rossmcelwee.com/sixoclocknews.html

My High Rocks blog post: https://portlandorbit.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/high-rocks/

Read All About It

TBA

It’s all over now but my favorite part of Time Based Art is the booklet they put out each year. I was dissappointed not to be able to pick it up at my local library, like I have in years past, but obsessed enough to ride my bike down to the TBA box office to pick up a copy. Each year I look through it to see photos of people doing strange things in the name of art. This year’s booklet includes shots of people wearing sheets, emoting in front of microphones and cellos and breaking out limb twisted dance moves. My imagination ruminates on the people and what they’re expressing. With an entertainment budget relegated to Netflix and Truckstop Cinema (more on that someday), I balk at 20 dollar show tickets.  While not too pricey, a vicarious experience of Time Based Art is just right for my budget and schedule.

Here’s a link to something that caught my eye in the booklet. Get to know your stand up comedians:

http://www.portlandstandupphotoalbum.tumblr.com

Portland Nice?!? I Can’t Take It!

This blog post begins with a homework assignment. Read the following opinion piece before you read my reaction to it:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/09/portland_nice_has_given_way_to.html

I started to react to this as soon as I read it. It occurred to me later that as a web blogger I have the freedom to write about anything I want including opinion pieces. I shy away from this but this commentary got on my nerves. It begins with a man who could not leave two bike riders alone. He had to butt in when it was unnecessary then thought his interaction was meaningful enough to merit submission to the Oregonian. This was really not worth including in the opinion section of the Sunday paper. I’m disappointed at what real issue could have been commented on in place of this commentary. It’s inflammatory from the headline to the jumbled mix of ideas in the piece and it starts more needless, ad nauseam complaints about people who ride bicycles.

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The man was rude, deciding to tell the bikers how they should ride when there was no traffic. Then he was surprised to receive a negative reaction which inspired more discourse on how Portland isn’t as good, nice, cool as it used to be. The only thing I appreciated was the mention of the hippies who told the writer, “don’t starve man,” which could almost be as catchy a catch phrase as you’re ever going to find and it makes me miss the concept of brotherhood that I heard Haskell Wexler talking about on Democracy Now last week. To end the article with hopes of misfortune regarding the weather, “I hope we have a good old fashioned, Portland, Oregon, underwear-wetting winter” comes across as a Warlock curse that’s a bit too Travis Bickle. Let me get back to blogging about murals and homemade signs.

Additional Notes: The headline that appeared in the paper was: ‘Portland nice’ has given way to rude (expletive) cyclists. “Portland Nice” is an admirable ideal.  Agitation doesn’t have to be met with more agitation.  

Complaints about McMansions, only make me want to refer you to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAXLlVnL72Q

Sign says…#2

It’s nice to consider a dentist with a sense of humor. Sometimes dentists only seem funny when nitrous oxide is involved. And pain associated with the television show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” is the operative word. When you watch it you wonder what you’re watching and how it could possibly be on TV. Then you have to consider why you can’t stop watching it. It’s like channel surfing in a cable television tsunami.

dental marquee

This sign is outside a new dental office on North Lombard Street.  With multiple dental offices up and down Lombard, I consider North Portland, with great pride, to be the dental capital of the whole city.

Greetings From Weird-Landia

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Frogman Pdx is a Portland superhero. I don’t know what his powers are other than to host a damn good show called Weird-Landia. In episode 2, subtitled Little Beirut, a silver metallic clad marching band called Love Bomb Go-Go struts into view. Through out the show, Frogman Pdx roams Portland talking to various political activists. The episode cuts back and forth from the band’s performance with horns bleating and dancer hips swinging to political types who speak in earnest to our hero clad in his green skinned costume and frog-eyed mask accessorized with rubber gloves and a speedo—both purple. The interviews add a deeper dimension to local concerns while the show captures the west coast energy that I hoped to find when I moved here.

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Weird-Landia 2: Little Beirut aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting and can now be seen at the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOkvodFoTn0

High Rocks

Sitting around on a Sunday morning in late August wondering what to do it occurred to me that we should go to a swimming hole. After six years of living in Portland, I still had not done this. In doing some online research, my wife, Ronna, found a link to a documentary short called High Rocks named after the recreational swimming area on the Clackamas River in Gladstone, OR.

It’s hard to turn away from watching people drink and dive, break out Laff-a-Lympics style diving maneuvers and get rowdy on giant sheer boulders in a scenario fraught with danger from ice cold water, river currents, undertows and inebriation. Sometimes the right amount of fascination can be found in seeing people behave badly. Filmmaker Jason Blalock takes viewers right to the heart of High Rocks where you feel like you’re in line waiting for your turn to jump. Shot in 1998, High Rocks is a time capsule transporting us to a place where things could get a little out of control.

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High Rocks link:

More about Jason Blalock:

http://www.jasonblalock.com

Sign Says…

It’s nice to get an invitation that offers a green light to pick fresh fruit off a neighbor’s tree and gives you that, you don’t have to steal it’s free feeling.

It’s seems like every year our unknown neighbor hangs a friendly sign in his tree. This year it was two. We took advantage of it.

pearsignHelp yourself...

 

Here’s an organization that does good work. Please don’t encourage them to take our fruit source!

http://www.portlandfruit.org/

 

Note: The title for this blog post was inspired by a lyric from the song “Signs” released by the ingeniously generic named band Five Man Electrical Band in 1971. While doing research, I saw the lyrics used when Tesla recorded the song almost twenty years later and discovered their lyrical revisions included the use of a profanity to make the song even cooler. 

Yes to NoFest

My favorite festival in Portland is NoFest.  In part it’s due to my fondness for the St. Johns neighborhood but also because this festival is always filled with random and eclectic musical offerings.  Yes you can pin it down by looking at the website, but in the past I’ve gone in between other commitments so I’ve ended up running through the streets to get a feel for it. This Saturday, September 6 is the 7th annual, all day, taking over downtown St. Johns–NoFest. The event runs from noon until after 1am and there will be an art happening as well, so put on your loudest shirt, wear a disguise, if you have to, and check it out.  

http://www.nofest.net

Hear part of a performance by Derek Ecklund at last year’s NoFest:

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