If I were you I'd immediately cancel my plans tonight, scrounge up $8, and head to The Templeton Building (230 E. Burnside. Entrance on SE 3rd under the Burnside Bridge) at 7:30 to take in two readings, accompanied by two slide shows, and a one-man show about dating in Portland.
Kevin Sampsell will be doing his last local reading of A Common Pornography (just the dirty parts) and showing some slides.
Nathaniel Boggess performs his autobiographical one-man show, This Is Not a Date.
B. Frayn Masters will read her humorous writings from Girls Gone Wild Magazine, with visuals.
So there you have it. Go listen to people talk about sex tonight, cause you know you're not getting any.
VISUAL ART: Grass Hut's closing party is tonight—as of next week's First Thursday, the gallery will be housed in its new location at Floating World Comics.
THEATER: While "Bollywood meets Waiting for Guffman" is an appealing tagline, it's completely inaccurate to Portland Center Stage's underwhelming Mike's Incredible Indian Adventure.
BOOKS: Reviews of Dash Shaw's BodyWorld and Jeff Smith's Rasl, as well as a piece about the second year of the IPRC's Certificate Program in Independent Publishing, which includes a new poetry program and an expanded comics track.
One of our favorite games here at the Mercury—besides purposefully damaging our livers—is playing "Overrated, Underrated, or Rated?" It's pretty simple. Pick any subject or person and decide whether it's overrated, underrated or rated just about where he, she or it should be (AKA "rated"). For example (and these are just my opinions, feel free to disagree):
The Beatles: OVERRATED!
Popeye's Fried Chicken restaurants: UNDERRATED!
Comedian Dane Cook: RATED! (He's just as awful as everyone thinks, therefore he is neither over or under, he's just "rated.")
Sidenote: When I asked my staff if they considered me "Overrated, Underrated, or Rated," they were split between "overrated" and "underrated." Some think a masturbating chimp such as myself shouldn't hold such a lofty position, while others find my humor masks a more serious, contemplative side. Me, I think I'm "rated." I'm exactly as awesome as I think I am.
In the 1950s, Ginsberg was a leading figure of the Beat Generation, an anarchic group of young men and women who combined poetry, song, sex, wine and illicit drugs with passionate political ideas that championed personal freedoms. Major literary works of the Beat Generation include the novels On The Road by Jack Kerouac and Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs, as well as Ginsberg's epic poem Howl, in which he celebrates his fellow "angelheaded hipsters" and excoriates what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.
So what do you think?
ALLEN GINSBERG: OVERRATED, UNDERRATED OR RATED?
Support your conclusion in the comments below, and stand by for more "Overrated, Underrated, or Rated?" next week!
Billed as a "wild and sexy new space musical for those who happen to be groovy," the campy new sci-fi musical "Wild Space A Go Go" is both ridiculous and irresistible. Based on the science fiction movies of the '60s, female cast members don bouffants, stilettos, and white vinyl while engaging in choreographed dance moves and clandestine, sexually-charged dialogue.
Set in 2310, Barbarette (played by LisaMarie Harrison) is a scorned woman who flees Earth in a heat of rage. Exiling herself to Tri-eX, a planet populated by busty blonde fembots called the "Pretties," Barbarette is rejected for her crow's feet and "marks of the stretch" and sent to the Ugl-I dimension where she finds a crew of misfit women who have also been cast away from Tri-eX for their physical imperfections. Amidst the madness and dimension-hopping, Barbarette and cadet Wally Wallace, an effeminate and flamboyant member of the search party sent from Earth to find her, fall into an unintentional interplanetary body swap, setting forth a series of identity crises and sexual innuendos.
Embers Avenue is clearly more a bar than it is a theater, so visibility can be limited if you're not sitting front-and-center in one of the five seats facing the stage. However, known for its strong drinks and convivial atmosphere, Embers' character complements the nature of the show and the actors utilize the space well.
Though the entire lineup is exceptionally talented, Leah Yorkston is easily the most underutilized member of the cast, with her one solo, "Lead Us To the Pretty Land," being the most surprising and captivating of the 13 original musical numbers featured in the show.
The sexual overtones are unmasked and blatant, which is what makes "Wild Space A Go Go" so unorthodox and charming. The plot is incontestably silly, but the show is fun and never takes itself too seriously. The things that make "Wild Space A Go Go" seem absurd end up being its primary selling points.
"Wild Space A Go Go" runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through May 30th at Embers Avenue.
110 NW Broadway. Friday, Saturday at 7 pm, Sunday at 2pm. $22-28
The Arizona legislature continues its important work.
The Arizona state Senate on Thursday passed a bill making it illegal for a person to “intentionally or knowingly creating a human-animal hybrid.”
The bill, which passed 16 to 12, would prohibit anyone in the state from “creating or attempting to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.”
Ummm, ok. Is this an actual problem? Are people working on human-animal hybrids? Really?
Note that the bill only makes it a felony to knowingly create such a hybrid, so buying one or making one accidentally in your garage when you trip and fall into the dog while cleaning and organizing your immigrant-bashing sticks is only a misdemeanor.
These guys are really on a roll. I can't wait to hear what they come up with next.
Here's the awful story from England's The Sun:
A CHEF has died after an EEL was put up his bum.
Shocked doctors in Sichuan, China, found the sea creature in the 59-year-old man's rectum after his death, it has been reported.
The 50cm long Asian swamp eel was allegedly inserted into the unnamed man's bottom, after he passed out drunk, by pals playing a prank on him.
Medics said the eel had devoured his bowels.
Horrible, yeah? BUT THEN THERE'S THE PUN!
After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.
The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.
The new bill would make it illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."
Naturally, they put the insane part at the end, after stuff like banning the teaching of armed rebellion and outright racism. I'm sure a lot of Arizona school districts were teaching courses that promoted the overthrow of the U.S. government in the guise of "ethnic studies."
Oh, but It gets better! Gawker reports that Arizona's Department of Education has also warned teachers that they could be reassigned or fired if they don't speak English LIKE A DAMN AMERICAN. The WSJ has more.
Ooh, wait! I must include this quote:
"Teachers should speak good grammar because kids pick up what they hear," said Johanna Haver, a proponent of English-language immersion who serves as an adviser to Arizona educators. "Where you draw the line is debatable."
Yes! They should speak good grammar! Speak it, American Sister! Speak the good grammar! What kind of name is Haver, anyway? Sounds suspicious.
Anyway, keep it up, dumbasses. The elections in Arizona this fall should be very interesting.
Betting the ponies isn't hard when have the lingo down. Though when you approach the book's window for the first time, it can be a bit intimidating—especially if there's an impatient line behind you.
Don't worry about odds just yet. They change up until the start of the race anyway and the complexities of how a horse runs in various conditions on various tracks are mind-bending to say the least. So for now, just worry about the types of bet. For a beginner let's consider the main three:
Place: You collect if your horse comes in first or second
Show: You collect if your horse comes in first, second, or third
Each bet will pay differently, of course, with a bet to win giving you a higher payout than a bet to show.
But for the purposes of a beginner, let's bet a horse to show.
When you reach the window you need to place your bet in a specific way or else the dour bookie will frown at you:
Start with the track name and race number. For instance, “Chruchill Downs, race 10.” Then place your bet, starting with the amount you're betting, the type of wager, and the horses number. It should sound like this, “Two dollars to show on number 6.” You'll give them your money and receive your ticket. Hold onto that sucker for dear life until after the race has finished and you've double checked you are, or are not, a winner.
Simple. Now go to town, and win big.
Is it me or is Roger Ebert just getting more awesome in his old age? First there was that heartbreaking/life-affirming Esquire article, now there's this: a point-by-point breakdown of why 3-D movies totally blow in Newsweek. The elderly Chicago Sun Times critic is finally living up to that kinda forced tough-as-nails image he was cultivating for a while (dude's kinda a soft touch - just two weeks ago he called Death at a Funeral the "best comedy since The Hangover"). In the first paragraph Ebert sums up his argument:
3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension. Hollywood's current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. It is driven largely to sell expensive projection equipment and add a $5 to $7.50 surcharge on already expensive movie tickets. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness. It limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose. For moviegoers in the PG-13 and R ranges, it only rarely provides an experience worth paying a premium for.
I say "Amen." Though I don't jibe with all of Ebert's movie reviews (he also said A Christmas Carol was "an exhilarating visual experience that proves for the third time Robert Zemeckis is one of the few directors who knows what he's doing with 3-D," which really calls everything into question), I'm glad somebody's leading the crusade against my least favorite current movie trend.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror: Thanks to space limitations, I didn't have room in my review to mention two things that're pretty important: (A) Birdemic features the most jaw-dropping jump cut I've seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey, and (B) Birdemic also features the following dialogue: "Hi. The eagles killed our friends. Do you have a phone I can use to call the police?"
Furry Vengeance: The film that broke Ned Lannamann's heart.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: At some point, Hollywood's gonna run out of things to reboot. What will happen on that fateful day? No one knows.
The Secret of Kells: Seeing only one thing this weekend? See this. It's just fantastic, all around, and since it's an animated film that has neither Pixar's name attached nor Mike Myers voice in it, I wouldn't count on it sticking around on the big screen for very long. You want to see this, and you want to see it in a theater. Here's the trailer.
MURSY ME—The undeniable force that is Murs is best when he works alongside super-producer 9th Wonder, so we're in luck that the pair have teamed up for the just-released Fornever. The powerful recording mixes social commentary with the kinetic flow of one of the most confident emcees in the hiphop stratosphere. EAC
w/Sick Jacken, Serge Severe; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th, 9 pm, $15, all ages
FUCK CANCER—You might not know Natalie Cox or her diagnosis with a rare form of cancer known as angiosarcoma. But her pals from the music and art world are teaming up to raise some much-needed money for their friend in need, first with an art show from Sarah Utter and Mecca Normal at Land, followed by a special night at Valentine's soundtracked by a wide variety of DJs, including DJ Books (AKA Justin Trosper, former singer of Unwound). EAC
Land, 3925 N Mississippi, 6-9 pm, FREE, all ages; Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny, 9:30 pm, FREE, 21+
Almost as important as the mint julep on derby day is the fancy ladies hat. There is simply no telling what an exotic, flamboyant hat can do to improve your luck. For instance, this hat could possibly increase your luck by 25%:
Check out the hat gallery on the Churchill Downs website and be prepared to have your mind blown.
Oh, wait. That's Christina Aguilera. And her bedazzled va-jay-jay. And her sad attempt at a comeback. As it turns out, she's not beautiful in every single way. BUT SHE IS SUBTLE!
It's a pretty jam-packed day as far as comics go, with signings, give-aways, sales, and more going down at just about every comics shop in Portland—if you can tear yourself away from gazing lovingly at the first official publicity shot from Marvel's upcoming Thor movie (SO DREAMY!), it'll definitely be worth visiting a store or three. Hit the jump for what's happening tomorrow at a few of our favorite nerdery supply stores!
(UPDATE: I just added some sale info for Things from Another World. Keep an eye on this post; if any more info comes in, I'll update it throughout the day.)
It's Friday. Let's dance.
Whether you are lucky enough to be among the throngs at Churchill Downs, or have decided to watch the race from the comfort of a local off-track betting facility, it's necessary that you're sipping a classic mint julep before, during, and after the race.
But remember, the mint julep isn't just a drink, it's a ceremony:
The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be described only in like terms. A mint julep is not the product of a FORMULA. It is a CEREMONY and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician, nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the old South, an emblem of hospitality and a vehicle in which noble minds can travel together upon the flower-strewn paths of happy and congenial thought.
Check out the entirety of the ceremony as written by S.B. Buckner, Jr. in 1937.
Today is your last chance (seriously, they close at four) to check out the 100-year retrospective of Jantzen Swimwear at the Art Institute of Portland, including archival pieces worn by dishes like Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor, images from the iconic advertising campaigns, and the pièce de résistance, a a 21-foot-long sculpture of the famous Jantzen Diving Girl circa 1959:
And oh hello segue, the Art Institute will also be a part of this year's sixth annual Mercury fashion show, "Open Season," showing new work from students enrolled in the apparel program—get your tickets for the show now, as chancing of selling out are high.
Okay, I admit it, I picked this question because I'm curious too. Post your answers on Questionland, please!
Eeeeeee! Lady Miss Kier of Dee-Lite is DJing tonight at the Red Cap Garage (SW 11th & Stark) as part of their April Shower/May Flowers weekend. She'll be doing her fabulous thing for just $7 (or $10 for a two-day wristband).
Vatican: Pope may apologize for abuse by priests
Pope Benedict XVI may issue a mea culpa for the church's handling of clerical sexual abuse cases when he attends a meeting of the world's clergy in June, the Vatican official in charge of handling abuse cases said.
He may apologize? You mean he hasn't already? And now that someone brought it to his attention that he hasn't quite got around to apologizing yet, the pope is hesitating? He's got to mull this apology thing over for a bit? And it turns out he's not really even thinking about apologizing to the children who were raped for the rapes, but only apologizing for the church's "handling of clerical sexual abuse cases"?
Oil from the big spill off the Louisiana coast is said to have washed ashore overnight, meaning potential big trouble for Louisiana's fisheries and wildlife.
The economy grows again, for the third straight quarter. Republicans respond, "But... but... if it weren't for Obama, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place!!"
The person who found and sold the next gen iPhone to Gizmodo admits he made a mistake, and begged Steve Jobs not to extinguish all life on the planet.
In hillbilly news: Houston police are accused of beating a Chinese diplomat and possibly invading their consulate. Whoops. (Thanks to Blogtown tipper/diplomat Rob for that one!)
A farmer in China attacked five preschoolers with a hammer, in what was the THIRD attack on school children this week! All together now, WTF??
After increasing pressure from the Independent Police Review panel, Portland Chief Rosie Sizer has reversed her previous decision and will discipline Officer Ronald Frashour for using a tazer on someone who was trying to videotape him in 2006. (Pro tip: Frashour is also the one who shot unarmed Aaron Campbell in the back in January.)
In sports.... well, you know what happened.
Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: Mostly sunny, low 60s through the weekend, with showers returning on Monday.
And finally, a news anchor calls milk "jizm" on air—leading to one of the most hilariously awkward pauses in recent TV history.
That'll do, Blazers. That'll do.
After running on fumes for the past six months, the Portland Trail Blazers ended their season last night, falling to a vastly superior Phoenix Suns team by a score of 99-90. While he was in the starting lineup, Brandon Roy clearly was not his old self, and an aggressive Suns' defense scheme kept Portland's starters off the scoreboard (their bench outscored them, 49-41) for the majority of the night. As was the case throughout the series, Jason Richardson scored at will (28 points, including five three-pointers) and the Suns overcame an off-night from Steve Nash (more turnovers than assists, you won't see that happen again) and now advance to the second round against their longtime postseason rivals, the San Antonio Spurs.
While it wasn't enough to break their decade-long streak of first round playoff exits, Portland did have a remarkable season (all injuries considered). Good job, Blazers.
* As I mentioned in last night's blog, we'll be covering the team throughout this sure-to-be-dramaitc offseason. This includes everything from the Kevin Pritchard situation (DO NOT fire that man), the upcoming draft, free-agency, and the Summer League in Las Vegas. Stick around.
Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers meet the Phoenix Suns in game six of the Western Conference playoffs. This just might be the final game inside the Rose Garden this season—after tonight, it's nothing but Justin Bieber on Ice and monster truck rallies—unless the Blazers win, which would force a decisive game seven in Phoenix Saturday night.
I was going to let this slide, but Bus volunteer Jake Oken-Berg got feisty in the comments on my Candidates Gone Wild post from Tuesday, asking if I'd asked anybody at the Bus on the record why the City Council race wasn't included. So I asked Jefferson Smith, who runs the Bus, and here's what he had to say:
I haven't been in the planning meetings, but my best guess is that it was pretty simple: the Bus had already done a candidate forum on the city race, and there is a persistent challenge with numbers of candidates and the timing of the show.
A longer explanation...('cause you love that):
For each event when I participated in the planning, there was significant discussion about what could fit in the show and what couldn't, and about what might be saved for the next (general election) round. It was always just impossible to do every race. Every time a race was added, that meant the conversation for a give race was even more shallow (and trying to have a better spoonful of medicine to help the sugar go down has always been a thing I've pushed — and so has Jake). It was also a big challenge to figure out which candidates to include from a given race. For instance, if some person files to run, but does little else for the campaign other than to ask to get onstage, are they invited? This was a repeatedly thorny question.
Moving to this year, the Metro President race and the County Commission race have multiple qualified candidates each running actual campaigns. With the City race there is, shall we say, a wider range of commitment to the campaign and a wider range of qualifications. It's hard to say whether there should be 2 or 3 or 4 or 8 City Council candidates who should be invited to a debate (there are arguments for each of the numbers). Include the incumbent plus the one candidate who got public finance? Include with a vague sense of who seems credible?
Given that the Bus had already done a forum for City Council candidates (and then invited was anyone seeking public financing, which was an easy way to figure out invitations) — the decision to focus on the other two seemed like the smartest choice. (There is a chance relative entertainment value played a role — but any speculation on that from me is even further afield.)
In any event, as I noted, I wasn't in the room making the decision, but that's why I didn't complain about the choice. And why I actually think it made some good sense.
P.S. Pretty soon I'm gonna have to figure out a way that I don't chew my afternoon as you hunt for intrigue. Perhaps I should write more cursory emails!
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