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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NW Institute For Social Rage

Posted by Matt Davis on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 10:38 AM

UPDATE, 3:30pm: I should stress that in no way am I implying that these students had been bought off financially, to make their film about Milepost 5 a certain way. I do feel, politically, that by lending credibility to the students' efforts by being on the board of the institute, Sam Adams must have been at least pleasantly surprised to introduce a film by some journalistic novices that sure seemed to me to be promoting one of his pet projects, especially when the success of that pet project has been limited, given that they are now selling those condos to non-artists. And as someone who occasionally enjoys shooting from the hip, I should add that the smug feel of the entire presentation made me feel, I don't know, sick. But that doesn't mean I should necessarily have gone mouthing off about it. Amy will be back tomorrow to restore credibility to our news room. In the mean time, my sincere apologies to anyone who misconstrued the words coming out of my notoriously wide-open mouth.

ORIGINAL POST, 10:38: I'm sitting in City Council watching the Mercury's former managing editor, Phil Busse, present movies by students from the NW Institute for Social Change to city council. The projects were introduced by mayor-elect Sam Adams, who happens to be on the board of Busse's project, and boy, it seems like he bought a degree of editorial sympathy from the makers of the first documentary, which wholeheartedly praised Adams' controversial artist's housing project, Milepost 5, for providing affordable housing for artists.

nwestsocialchange.jpg

The "former nursing home" on 82nd Avenue, claimed the documentary, was better suited to helping struggling artists than, well, you know, unsightly retired folks. It quoted someone saying "82nd avenue is famous for three things, porn shops, pawn stores, and Asian groceries," without seeming to reflect on why Asian grocery stores like Fubonn might be a better reason to visit the street than to watch some fucking half-witted video installation project or smoke a bowl with a dude in Birkenstocks.

In my opinion, Milepost 5 has nothing to do with the affordable housing debate. Nor do the city's so-called "struggling artists."

"Great project," said Adams. "Great films..."

[is sick in own mouth]

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