For a few years before he put the gun up to his head, Hunter Thompson wrote for ESPN's Page 2. "Hey Rube" was a sports column, at least in name. But Hunter, never one to be tied down, used the space for everything from precient political discusions in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to the very earliest rumblings of turning his first novel, The Rum Diary, into a film.
At the time there was talk about Josh Hartnett playing a part, perhaps Paul Kemp, the Hunter-like protagonist. Johnny Depp, if I remember correctly, was in those discussions too. Thankfully, as tastes moved on and Hartnett fell off the map of bankable stars, Depp became the leading man. It's only fitting, really—after shadowing Hunter in preparation for Terry Gilliam's tremendous adaptation of Fear and Loathing, Depp and his fellow Kentuckian became close friends. They bought guns together. Hunter took to calling him "Colonel Depp." And when Hunter passed, Depp bankrolled the celebration, including the Gonzo fist canon that launched and exploded Hunter's ashes over the sprawling green hills of his home in Woody Creek, Co. In the years since, Depp has marched on as a keeper of the Gonzo flame. And ever since he picked up those strange, twisted, stumbling rhythms for "Fear and Loathing," Depp has held them tightly. I swear there's a piece of the Hunter-character woven into the dandy Jack Sparrow.
So indeed fitting that Depp is onboard for "The Rum Diary." Soothing, actually. The trailer was just released:
As is so often the case in promotion, especially of smaller, less-bombastic films, trailers fail to represent the tonal realities of the films they seek to sell. Or at least, that's the hope. On paper, "The Rum Diary" is not even remotely the thriller as it is portrayed here. The book is sometimes found in the Travel section. Like "Fear and Loathing," it's more of a mood piece, based on observation and internal monologue—it's a feeling, a state of mind. But a little more digging put my purist tendencies at ease.
"The Rum Diary" was adapted and directed by Bruce Robinson, responsible for tremendous forays into substance abuse, depravity and downward spiral in "Withnail & I" and one of my all-time favorite hallucinogenic meditations on consumerism, "How to Get Ahead in Advertising." (Seriously, if you haven't seen it, go now. Richard E. Grant's meltdown is one of the greatest ever put to film.)
To get into the spirit of The Rum Diary, Robinson went as far as to jettison six-odd years of sobriety. From a terrific profile in the Independent:
When he began the screenplay for The Rum Diary, Robinson says, "I was struggling for the piquancy I believe I'd found in Withnail. I was sitting in front of the typewriter with six-and-a-half years of sobriety under my belt. And because of that title—The Rum Diary—the creative side of me is saying: 'GO THERE.' The AA side is saying: 'DON'T.' The result was that I couldn't write a fucking line. Nothing, nothing, nothing."
In desperation, he explains, "I said to Sophie, 'I can't get there. Maybe—this may be the deviousness of alcohol, but... maybe I can't write this unless I have some wine.' And, God bless her, she said, 'Well, you'll have to have some then.' I wrote the script pretty quickly after that. But I stuck to wine as a medicine. I drank a bottle a day. When I finished the script, I went back to total sobriety."
Indeed, "The Rum Diary" seems to be in the right hands. Hot damn.
More news about The Woodsman Tavern, the new restaurant from Stumptown's Duane Sorenson. According to a supplementary liquor license application, the tavern will have an adjacent market component to sell "beer & wine to go, along with flowers, sandwiches, cheese, and other specialty items." No word on an updated projection for opening just yet (last I heard, we were looking at mid-September, which is, you know, now), but when the restaurant does open its doors, former Olympic Provisions chef Jason Barwikowski will be at the helm. That's something to look forward to. With the recently opened Wafu, and new restaurants from Andy Ricker, Nick Zukin, and folks from Kim Jong Grillin' on the way, Division's restaurant options keep getting better.
Meanwhile, on MOD, the Mercury style blog...
- We checked in with Portland alums Leanne Marshall and Gretchen Jones' latest collections at New York Fashion Week.
- We learned how to DIY our own ironing boards, because after all the shoes, white wine, and cat food there is nothing left for our "ironing board" budget.
- A pretty girl in Lille Trousseau lingerie jumped on a bed:
- Beauty product and makeup superstore Sephora finally decided to open a location in downtown Portland.
- Pendleton's Portland Collection got love in the glossies.
- Plus photos from new designer and store lookbooks, news and gossip from the local fashion and retail industry, 10 new events to put in your calendar, and seven ways to shop for less.
The next few weeks are chockablock with fashion and retail events all over town. Don't miss a thing.
The concern is always the same: The system is so riddled with bugs, glitches, and other problems that it's unsafe for officers to use. Cops have been incorrectly dispatched. The typeface initially was too small and pixelated for some officers to read while driving. Coordinates used in GPS locations sometimes fail to refresh as an officer moves. It's a complaint that initially had some merit, and city officials say they've worked hard over the past months to iron out most of the worst issues.
But a labor grievance over the new "computer-assisted dispatch, or CAD, system—filed by the PPA in May and obtained by the Mercury this week—reveals another reason for Turner's opposition. A reason, it should be noted, that Turner has yet to publicly offer in any of his correspondence or media statements. And that might be because it's hardly as sympathetic as invoking the specter of imminent, reckless harm to kids and cops.
In a word, it's this: discipline. Turner, according to the grievance, worries supervisors will use the new system's GPS feature to monitor officers' whereabouts and ding them if they're ever somewhere they're not supposed to be, doing something they're not supposed to be doing, among other possibilities. That shouldn't be allowed, he says, even if the GPS glitches are fixed. He wants a guarantee, like the one Seattle cops negotiated in 2008, that CAD data could never be the "sole" element in a case against an officer.
And while Turner says he really wants to help fix the system's safety issues, his grievance seems to indicate that doing so might not be enough.
Earlier today I wrote a piece on the cross promotional synergy happening betwixt Ground Kontrol and the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. Being the smug jerk that I am — did I really just type "betwixt?" — I thought to myself, "the end of this piece needs a quip that is equal parts edgy and urbane and also insults my audience."
In my rush to be an internet jerk however, I completely overlooked the fact that there are, in fact, naked ladies involved. Specifically, Critical Hit Burlesque's show this Saturday, appropriately dubbed "Geeklesque: Powers UP!"
Oh, and lest anyone accuse anyone of gender inequality, I've been assured that the event will also feature dudes shaking whatever it is that dudes shake. (Their chins, maybe? I have no idea how that works.)
Full deets (and imagery) lie beyond the jump, or you can simply visit the event's Facebook page and drop another few coins in the Zuckerberg bank account.
At its member meeting last night, the ILWU Local 5 leadership told the bookshop employees that the new treasurer, who started last spring, quickly noticed errors and strange issues in the union's finances. The union launched an internal investigation and allege that Duncan may have stolen up to $50,000.
Duncan has yet to return a request for comment from the Mercury.
An investigator from the Department of Labor will likely be coming to Portland this month to investigate the charges, says union representative Ryan Takas. The investigator will comb through five years of union receipts and if they find evidence against Duncan, the feds could charge her with a crime and demand restitution of the missing cash.
"It's a really slow and frustrating process, because we just want justice now, of course," says Takas. "Embezzlement is not an uncommon crime. When you have a group who really trusts each other, a certain chunk of people are going to take advantage of that."
But today, Powell's announced that it will lay off eight managers, including CEO of Operations Ann Smith (who, sadly, sent out the press release about her own layoff).
Takas says the apparent embezzlement is profoundly disappointing, but that the union will be fine. "It's not deadly blow, but it's certainly a setback."
Also, let's just come to terms with the fact Ghostbusters 3 will never happen and this is probably the closest thing we'll ever get.
In related news, the Mercury should get one of these for our meeting room.
Because what these Republican debates need more of is people in American flag clothing complaining that Rick Perry—Rick Perry!—is too soft on immigrants:
Well? Do you have what it takes to be the Republican frontrunner?
Disclaimer: I'm about to drop into hardcore "pimping things because I like these people" mode, so if any of you are offended by the idea of cool things you might want to check out, feel free to visit Erik's journalistic opus on the subject of Liam "Glass Fists" Neeson.
Alright, so, I feel pretty safe in assuming that you guys know what Ground Kontrol is. As far as videogames go, it's like our own little mecca of retro, arcade goodness. We've written thousands of words about the place for the Merc, and they all centered on booze and Pole Position.
Likewise, I'm going to assume you've been paying attention to our yearly pimping of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. If not, read this thing.
Traditionally, the two entities team up for cross promotional hijinks, so having heard nothing about it specifically, I contacted Ground Kontrol head Art Santana to find out what GK might be doing for the 2011 iteration of the PRGE.
... this year we're sponsoring the PRGE's "Free Play Arcade", and bringing some games to contribute to the line-up supplied by local collectors. We will also be selling console games and some arcade games at the show, and may auction off some cool items like a Famicom ROB in the box!
As for cross-promotional opportunities at GK, we plan to offer PRGE badge holders $1 off drinks at Ground Kontrol Saturday and Sunday nights!
So there you go. Free games and cheap booze. What more do you want?
(Yes, "naked ladies" is the obvious answer. Shut up jerk.)
LADY FOOTBALLER—Fresh off their impressive showing at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, the continually impressive US Women's National Soccer Team will be taking on Canada in a friendly match (really?) at our own Jeld-Wen Field. Soccer lovers: Don't miss greatness in action! WSH
Jeld-Wen Field, 1844 SW Morrison, 8 pm, $22 & up
README—Beloved/revered science-fiction author Neal Stephenson—the guy behind such super-smart doorstoppers as Quicksilver, Anathem, and Cryptonomicon—hits Portland tonight to support his latest, Reamde, "about a wealthy tech entrepreneur caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game." Bring your thinking caps, fellow nerds. EH
Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne, 7 pm, $10
In Februrary, a US News & World Report article named Portland the nation’s “best city for public transportation", sending TriMet to the printing press to dish out $8,000 on 168 bus and train advertisements boasting this label. While TriMet staff skewed the wording a bit, calling themselves the "#1 Transit", the bright ad was generally honest and uplifting. Recognize 'em?
Turns out, it's completely false. But TriMet isn't to blame. TriMet recently found the updated version of the US News article online, in which they made a jarring correction. Looks like the reporter had misread the data from the National Transit Database when labeling Portland the top dog. In reality, Portland ranks 5th, after giving up the throne to Denver-Aurora, Colorado. Bunk!
So the ads are coming down, reluctantly. I guess pasting a "#5" over the original doesn't do the trick.
TriMet seems to remains upbeat, despite the financial loss in tandem with their fare price boost. “We thought it was an important message to get out — that we were ranked so high,” TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch says, according to the Oregonian. “And number five isn’t bad.”
There's a difference between being on the set of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and coming to work every day at the Mercury. When they make a mistake, it's hilarious—and everybody laughs. When I make a mistake, people in the comment section tell me I should kill myself. And they're right.
BUT HEY!! WATCH THIS ALWAYS SUNNY GAG REEL!! IT'S FUNNY! (I'll be sitting in the car... in the garage... with the motor running.)
Holy fucking shit: here's a Democrat who can win a fucking argument:
Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren, who is now running to challenge Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is turning out to be one Democrat who is not shying away from the Republican cries of “class warfare” against President Obama’s proposals to raise taxes on those with very high incomes... In a video of a recent Warren appearance, posted online by an individual who says he or she is not affiliated with the campaign, Warren answered the charge. “I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’” Warren said. “No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own—nobody.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory—and hire someone to protect against this—because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless—keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
We reported last week on the ousting of the Oregonian's freelance food critic Michael Zusman. He attributed the dismissal to his refusal to "pump up" a review (which, I should note, editor DeAnn Welker denies). The Willamette Week has gotten ahold of said review, which turns out to be of Gilda's italian restaurant, and posted it in full. I've only eaten at Gilda's once, but I think the review is plenty fair. He praises certain items, and points out that his family loves the place, but feels (as I did) generally underwhelmed by the food and the service. Whether or not it was the reason for his dismissal, I can't see any reason for the review to be spiked.
Tony Dimitri Peniche, a recent apparel design graduate from the Art Institute, has announced that a photoshoot for his fashion line on Saturday will feature over 100 naked people traipsing from PSU onto the MAX at 6:45 am ("just heading to work... naked"), down to Ankeny Alley by 9:30 ("acting casual, drinking coffee, riding bikes, getting out of a cab... naked"), then on to Barracuda for a club scene at noon ("people just having fun, dancing, drinking, smiling..." you get it). What's a fashion shoot without clothing? Well, the tag line behind the concept is "If you aren't wearing Peniche, you aren't wearing anything," and the nudists will be joined by a lone model repping the brand.
This is par for the course for Peniche's drugs/sex/rock 'n' roll marketing preferences, and not the first time he's raised eyebrows (witness the extremely cuddly and middle finger-heavy photoshoot he did with his sister, who, incidentally, you might recognize from teen beauty pageants, Playboy, a handful of rehab-related reality shows, or that one naked home video with Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart). That's all fine and dandy as long as he keeps working in the direction of the interesting and well crafted looks he showed us at the AI show—I will, and have said, that he's come a very long way from the screenprinting and bullet belts we first knew him for.
It will be just like the naked bike ride except with guyliner instead of bikes! Plan your Saturday accordingly. (Oh and if you want to try to join in, go here.)
Another week, another Mercury music section to ignore while you read the Beatles' anti-segregation contract from their 1965 show at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. Nice one, but I can't believe Paul McCartney would want to play inside a palace made entirely of cows. What a sellout.
We always knew that Nurses might be able to top their brilliant Apple's Acre debut some day, but we had no idea that day would come so soon. The resplendent Dracula is a recording loaded with visionary sounds, the band's newfound low-end, and it is an album you won't soon forget.
Nurses - "You Lookin' Twice"
Are Hey Lover one of those couple bands whose unbridled passion for each other spills over into their lively music and just the mere act of watching them onstage fills your cold heart with petty jealously? Yes, yes they are.
Hey Lover - "Our Heads in a Hole"
You can't spell Radiation City without the word "rad" and the Portland pop quartet's debut The Hands That Take You is most certainly rad. [Really? You can do better than this "rad" description. Do not publish until you fix this.—Ed.]
Radiation City - "The Color of Industry"
It's been a rough year for the Old Growth dudes, but the trio isn't going to let life get them down when they have ear drums to puncture with their classic rock versus garage punk sound.
Old Growth - "Bloody Knuckle Beach"
End Hits: We got nurses, lovers, cities, and trees.
Here's a quick public service announcement from the Portland Police about why it's actually more dangerous to bike on the sidewalk that to bike in the street.
Last night, a 22-year-old guy was biking on the sidewalk on the north side of Powell Blvd just near SE 50th Avenue. Meanwhile, a Portland Police officer was pulling his Chevy pick-up out of a parking lot on the northeast corner of 50th and Powell, aiming to turn west onto Powell. According to the police, the officer pulled forward to see oncoming traffic and, after believing the sidewalk was clear, pulled forward to enter the roadway. That's when the guy on the bike, who was traveling at 10-12 miles an hour (according to a witness) crashed into the side of the police truck and "suffered small abrasions."
The police determined that while the cyclist had a front light, he was responsible for the crash because he was biking at a "speed greater than an ordinary walk" when he approached the driveway. While it's legal in Portland to bike on the sidewalk everywhere except downtown, you have to bike at the speed of a pedestrian when crossing driveways or entering crosswalks. No citations were issued, but this means the cops don't have to pay for the cyclist's injuries.
Of course, the larger question is: Why was he biking on the sidewalk? Probably because SE 50th and Powell is a terrifying street to bike on. That's the clunky three-way intersection where Powell meets Foster and 50th Ave—there's four lanes of traffic on each side, no bike lane, and if you're not a rider who's super confident about saying your prayers and taking the lane, riding on the sidewalk seems to be the safer option. Fix that, please.
UPDATE 3:50PM— I just talked with the witness of this crash, who happens to be Joe Doebele, owner of local bike shop Joe Bike. Doebele was walking his dogs when he saw the crash and says while the cyclist was going faster than pedestrian speed, he thought the driver was "90 percent responsible" for the crash.
"If he had looked with relative care to the right and left, he would have seen the guy coming, he wasn't going that fast and he had lights," says Doebele. "The first thing I noticed is the driver immediately blamed the cyclist when he got out of the truck. 'I didn't see you, you were in my blind spot.' ... Then when a motorcycle cop showed up, the first thing out of the driver's mouth was, 'No damage to the rig!'"
In news that will surely dust off some more tired Jail Blazers jokes—oh, oh, now do one about Sam Bowie and Greg Oden—Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby was arrested for suspicion of marijuana possession earlier this week.
Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby was arrested earlier this week and charged with marijuana possession in Pearland, Texas, according to a published report by the Pearland Journal.
Camby, who lives in the Houston area during the offseason, was driving a black Porsche around midnight Monday morning, when he was pulled over for having an illegal sun screen device blocking his front window. Officers questioned Camby and a passenger in the car and noticed the smell of marijuana.
The officers were granted permission to search Camby's car and apparently discovered several marijuana cigarettes and a small bag of the same substance under the front seat.
It's Pearland, not Potland! Amiright or amiright? Um, anyway, Camby posted $2000 bond and was freed to go back to his job of not playing basketball because a bunch of horrible rich people have ruined the game. Meanwhile, somewhere off in the distance, John Canzano mounts his high horse and prepares his column for tomorrow...
AMC—the home to TV's zombie-rific show The Walking Dead—has announced their plans to launch a live half-hour Walking Dead talk show entitled Talking Dead (GET IT?!?) to debut on October 16th immediately following the encore presentation of the fall premiere.
The show will be hosted by the fairly amusing Chris Hardwick (Web Soup) who will... who will... oh, let's just let the AMC flacks describe it.
“Fans of The Walking Dead are incredibly engaged with every aspect of the show. They tweet, blog, and post comments in very large numbers, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to interact with the show in a way that they don’t currently have — a kind of live water cooler,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP original programming, production and digital content.
Ummm... ohhh-kaaaay. I have nothing more to say about this, so here's a video of a kid pointing a leaf blower at his face, which actually sums up my feelings pretty well.
The letter from DAD in this week's column made me really sad. I'm a woman who sometimes reads incest porn—which is difficult for me to type—and I'm not disturbed, I was never molested, and while I love my own dad, I definitely don't ever, ever, EVER want to fuck him. Nor do I think about him or anyone else in my family while I'm reading incest stories. (And if I happen to, it ruins the fantasy.) You're absolutely right: it's power relationships and taboo-breaking that's erotic. And it's just fantasy! And I understand how it must look to someone who doesn't have this particular kink but—oh my god—it's terrifying to imagine someone finding incest porn on my computer's search history, mistaking it for a real desire, and then destroying my family over it.
I just wanted to speak up for us harmless kinksters.
Thanks for writing, E. One more letter from innocent consumer of incest-themed porn after the jump...
Holy CRAP!! Tonight marks TV's biggest night of Fall debuts and season premieres, so make sure all of your DVRs are rolling! And there's much more coming your way, which you can read about in this week's I Love Television™ (which inexplicably includes some very cruel taunting of Cristina Ricci's forehead… yes, I am a monster.) Here's the most important stuff happening tonight.
8:00 ABC CHARLIE'S ANGELS
This reboot of the 1970s camp classic will focus less on protruding nipples and more on ultraviolent kick-assery. CONDEMN OR ALLOW??
8:00 NBC COMMUNITY
Jeff (Joel McHale) returns to school to make a fresh start, and is promptly kicked out of biology class.
8:30 NBC PARKS & RECREATION
Leslie must choose between Ben or running for office, while Ron must choose between seeing his first wife (Tammy 1) or running for his life.
9:00 NBC THE OFFICE
James Spader hops onboard as the new Sabre CEO; marijuana freakouts ensue.
9:00 CBS PERSON OF INTEREST
James "Jesus" Caviezel and Lost's Michael "Ben" Emerson as an ex-CIA operative and his billionaire software genius pal who team up to stop crimes BEFORE they happen.
9:30 NBC WHITNEY
A sitcom about the downsides of relationships (such as sending your boyfriend to the hospital), starring the normally funny, but not funny here Whitney Cummings.
10:00 NBC PRIME SUSPECT
The intensely bangable Maria Bello stars in this gritty reboot of the Brit crime drama that originally starred the also bangable Helen Mirren ( if you're into that sort of thing).
Too rich for my
blood frothy mix of lube and fecal matter.
Troy Davis! Troy Davis! Troy Davis! Georgia went ahead and executed the man whose doubt-ridden murder case gained international attention. His last words were, "I am innocent."
Us vs. Them: The people on the Forbes 400 list got 12 percent richer last year.
Speaking of Moneybags: Why are Obama and Warren Buffett BFFs all of a sudden?
Stock Shock: The Dow today went down, down, down.
Actual WMDs! Libyan rebels say they've found a Gaddafi's stockpile of chemical weapons.
Veil of justice: Muslim French women who face fines for wearing a full-face veil argue their case in court.
Facemaster Music: As part of its revamp, the lord and master Facebook launches a music platform.
Satellite on Fire! Photos of a US weather satellite totally eating it in space.
Good Sign: Apparently building an entire TV show around getting ladies to wear rabbit tails on their butts does not guarantee success.
I'll be Book: Ahnold is writing a memoir.
Wyden vs. the Patriot Act: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden says the public was mislead about the use of the Patriot Act. Wyden phone tap beginning in 3...2...1
Muppet Chic: Classy fashion line Opening Ceremony gets into making Muppet sweaters.
So, what's going on in the video for Unknown Mortal Orchestra's excellent single “Fffunny Friends"? Um, well there is a disco ball, a women with a belt (on her face!), some trippy visuals, a pile of rubble,
a scene-by-scene recreation of 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, a man in a mask, and a few clips were it looked like someone dropped the camera. Aaaaaaand that's it. Listen people, it's a music video, they are allowed such artistic liberties.
Now if you don't mind, I have to film this midget bouncing on a pogo ball while wearing a suit made entirely of beef jerky—I'm a music video director!
End Hits: Three young boys, Rocky, Colt and Tum Tum together with their neighbor girl, computer whiz Amanda are visiting Mega Mountain amusement park when it is invaded by an army of ninjas led by evil Medusa, who wants to take over the park and hold the owners for ransom.
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