This Week in the Mercury

Pricing Out Portland's Artists


Pricing Out Portland's Artists

Can Portland's Creative Community Survive Development, Price Surge?

Getting Nowhere Fast


Getting Nowhere Fast

Portland's Wheelchair Users Still Waiting for Equal Access

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Some Assholes Just Fired at a Bicyclist in a "Drive-By Paintball Shooting"

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Check out this news alert from the Portland Police Bureau about some sad-sack bicyclist on North Vancouver who almost got hit with paintballs.

And, yes, someone in the office, WHOM I SHALL NOT NAME, actually said "good."

That is all.

This afternoon, Tuesday February 26, 2013, at 4:05 p.m., Portland Police officers assigned to North Precinct responded to the report of a hit and run and drive-by paintball shooting of a bicyclist at North Vancouver Avenue and Skidmore Street.

Officers arrived in the area and contacted the victim, 36-year-old Ricardo Medina of Vancouver, who told police that he was riding his bicycle southbound on North Vancouver Avenue, just South of Skidmore Street when a vehicle pulled alongside him and the passenger fired several paintball shots at him. None of the shots him Mr. Medina and the vehicle turned off of Vancouver into the neighborhood.

The victim told police that the suspect vehicle came back around the block so he got off his bicycle and confronted them about the shooting. The victim told police that he was off his bike standing in front of the car, when the driver began to drive forward slowly pushing the victim backwards.

The driver then put the car in reverse, backed up to Skidmore Street, then sped away westbound on Skidmore.

The suspect vehicle is described as a light-colored newer Honda Civic 4-door. The suspects are described as possibly white males in their late teens or early 20s.

North Precinct officers are continuing the investigation and anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.

Light House: "The Walls Want Communion"

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM

So new it doesn't officially come out until tomorrow, here's a sneak peek at the new video for "The Walls Want Communion" by trance-y, gothy Portland dark wavers Light House. (That pan up the lead singer's outfit is no accident, incidentally; Dawn Sharp is also a kickass apparel designer.)

The Best Thing to Come Out of Sullivan, Indiana, In Ages

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 2:59 PM

We have Diana "My Gay Students Have No Purpose In Life" Medley to thank for this: people in Indiana who were upset by the actions of anti-gay bigots in Sullivan—including Diana "My Gay Students Have No Purpose In Life" Medley—came together and created the You Have a Purpose Project, "a collaboration of the Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination, Indiana Equality Action, FairTalk, and Indiana PFLAG."

Maybe Diana "My Gay Students Have No Purpose In Life" Medley's purpose in life was to inspire hoosiers to speak up in defense of LGBT kids in Indiana. The Lord works in mysterious ways, right?

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM


MUSIC—Can I spend this whole listing talking about my terrible crush on Patti Smith? Would that be silly? Because I have a terrible crush on Patti Smith. She's equal parts poetess and punk goddess, and holy shit, have you read her fucking book? And now, you mean, she's coming to town and I can see her live? SWOOOOON. DCT
w/Saint Maybe; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $32.50-35, all ages

THEATER—Before it was Steven Spielberg's Battle Pony, it was the Broadway show War Horse, a tearjerker about a cavalry horse in World War I. Presented by Broadway Across America, the real draw here is the remarkable, life-sized horses created by Handspring Puppet Company, which will redefine your conception of the word "puppet." AH
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 7:30 pm, daily through March 3, $25 & up,


Today in GAAAHH!!! Invasion of the Sea Lamprey

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Presenting... tonight's nightmare, today! Check out this "sea monster"—whose mouth looks a little too much like my former mother-in-law's—that was found in New Jersey waters, but was luckily murdered by a jarhead's bow and arrow (!).


As mentioned in this news report, this thing is possibly a "sea lamprey" which according to the following unintentionally funny PSA is dangerous enough to lead to the downfall of the Great Lakes. (Apparently lampreys are the modern day "red scare" Communists of the sea monster kingdom.)

The Jobs Where the Pay Gap Between Men and Women Is the Widest

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Check out this chart at Washington Post.

As Dylan Matthews writes: "Interestingly, many blue collar professions—such as cafeteria work, security guard work, and warehouse stock clerking—are the most egalitarian in their compensation, while female white collar professionals like doctors, stock brokers, and insurance saleswomen face among the worst pay gaps around."

The one that surprises me is "retail sales." Women earn 64.3 percent what men earn in that field.

If You Haven't Listened to This American Life's Two-Parter on Harper High School...

Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Go do it. Now.

TAL's reporters spent five months at Chicago's Harper High, a school which last year saw 29 shootings of current and recent students. Violent gangs, the show explains, are not something these students "join": Gang affiliation is determined by which neighborhood a student's family lives in, and it's essentially compulsory. Kids walk home from school in the middle of the street because it feels safer than taking the tree-lined sidewalks; administrators must decide whether to cancel the Homecoming dance after a shooting; and counselors pour incredible amount of themselves into helping students who are profoundly traumatized by the amount of violence they've seen.

It's just ridiculously good, important storytelling set at the intersection of gun violence and the sorry state of our nation's schools. Listen to the first episode here.

Top of the Lake: You're Gonna Wanna Watch This

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM

If you're on the hunt for a new favorite TV show, one could be coming around the pike in March. Top of the Lake is a new women-centered crime drama/miniseries that's been favorably compared to Twin Peaks in its quirkiness and violence, and stars Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Holly Hunter, while being directed and produced by the Oscar winning Jane Campion (The Piano). Sweet lineup! It debuts on the Sundance Channel on March 18, and has already been reeling in good reviews... such as this one from the Hollywood Reporter:

The show gets very raunchy at times and also is startling, even shocking, in its spasms of sudden violence. Moss, sporting what one character derisively describes as a Sydney accent, is quietly and observantly superb, and Hunter, sporting straight long white hair and a caustic, cutting attitude toward her gatherings’s problems, is a hoot. The beauty of the surroundings has been gloriously captured, but it always is infected by the moral rot and personal malevolence that the inhabitants have brought to it. To be sure, Top of the Lake presents a dire portrait of the human condition, very much in line with many of the other most popular crime-and-family-driven television series of recent years. It’s also right up there with the best of them.

Check out the trailer—it looks like a winner!

@MercuryFashion: Finally, A Twitter Just for MOD

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Alright, I finally caved and decided to take on the responsibility of a second Twitter feed outside of my personal one (baby Twitters being somewhat like rambunctious young puppies, requiring a certain degree of supervision) just for MOD. This way you won't have to look for your local style-related news in between photos of my pet cats and late-night musings. Just straight, unadulterated daily updates on all the sales, fashion shows, store openings, and lookbooks, and gossip you could need, plus live commentary from the shows and the streets. Follow @MercuryFashion, and fly on, little birdie.



Macklemore's "Thrift Shop": Gateway to Demonic Possession?

Posted by David Schmader on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Sure, the horn loop has merciless haunting power, but Pat Robertson's concerned about actual demonic possession, via demons that may attach themselves to clothes purchased from Goodwill. Enjoy!

Thank you, Right Wing Watch.

Timbers Army: Do Ask, Do Tell—Loud And Proud

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Timbers Army's Sunday White atop her capo stand during a Timbers match.
  • Amerika
  • Timbers Army's Sunday White atop her capo stand during a Timbers match.

Searching for one chanting, cheering example that the world is a more tolerant place?

Look no further than the North End of Jeld-Wen Field this season, says HuffPost writer Steve Clare, who highlights Portland's own Timbers Army as just the sort of crowd that would accept an out athlete in professional team sports. Clare's Monday piece is an open letter of sorts to former US National Team star Robbie Rogers, who simultaneously came out and retired from professional soccer earlier this month. Clare hopes the 25-year-old Rogers returns to the game, confident that fans will focus more about his on-pitch play than off-field life. And he cites Portland's supporters as a group who'd be, well, supportive. One case in point? The rainbow flag that hangs from Sunday White's capo stand, which sports more colors than green and white.

"I am an out and proud lesbian in a committed relationship," White told Clare. "I bring that flag to every match because this is my home and I am proud of my community, family and support. I have only had positive responses from team, the town and the Timbers Army. If there are negative responses I would like to hear them. When there are negative comments on social media I am very active at educating that it is unacceptable."

It goes beyond social media. As Timbers Army's Andrew Brawley reminds n00bs new fans who venture into the North End this season, there are rules for properly backing your team. The first?

Nothing racist/homophobic/sexist/etc. should come out of your mouth, fingers, whatever. We do not tolerate this AT ALL! The best way to not say anything racist/homophobic/sexist/etc. is to not be a racist, homophobe, sexist, etc. You will get tossed, and you won’t be welcome back. Ever.

The Timbers kick off their third MLS season against New York at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

h/t @BourbonCrew

Lay's "Chicken & Waffle" Flavored Potato Chips: CONDEMN OR ALLOW??

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:59 AM

  • Hat Tips to Katie!

More on why this exists here.

Blu-ray and DVD Roundup: Some Movies You Should Have Already Seen, But You Probably Didn't, So Maybe Watch Them Now

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM

HIT & RUN Above: Veronica Mars, that guy who is married to Veronica Mars.
  • HIT & RUN Above: Veronica Mars, that guy who is married to Veronica Mars.

There were a bunch of movies that came out in 2013—some of them were pretty good! it was a good year for movies!—which means that a bunch of them slipped through the cracks, either not doing so great at the box office or getting pushed aside when other stuff came out. Here's a long-delayed roundup of some stuff that's come out (fairly) recently on Blu-ray and DVD that's worth checking out if you missed 'em the first time.

DREDD (out now on Blu-ray and DVD)—Vince Mancini liked it alright when it came out. I liked it a bit more: Like The Raid (a film that has more or less an identical plot), it's an exceedingly solid action flick that's just clever enough to remind you that action flicks don't have to be synonymous with brain death. Karl Urban's performance is tongue-in-cheek and badass, the gleefully gratuitous violence is gloopy, and the sci-fi dystopia adds just enough edge to keep it from feeling overly familiar. Special features aren't too great on the Blu-ray, with the exception of "Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Dredd" featurette that does a solid job summing up the history of the character and the comic book. ERIK HENRIKSEN

THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE (out now on DVD, and the first two seasons of the show are available on Netflix Instant)—The Inbetweeners Movie really deserves two reviews: One for people who’ve seen British TV show The Inbetweeners, and one for people who haven’t. If I had never seen the TV show, not only would my life be two shades dimmer, but I’d probably dismiss the movie as a British take on gross-out American Pie-style American teen comedies: It’s about four high school friends who go to Greece on vacation, where they drink alarming amounts of booze and desperately try to get laid. Purely on its own merits, it’s an unexceptional entry in the genre. As a cap to the show, however, it’s totally enjoyable. The British TV show follows high schoolers Will, Simon, Neil, and Jay, four friends who stick together as much out of social necessity as genuine affection. They’re not quite at the bottom of the social ladder, but they’re nowhere near the top, and the show’s action is driven by the boys’ endless striving to elevate their status—via girls, drugs, clothes, bands, and other benchmarks of high school coolness.

Season three gets a little too cringe-y for my taste—the characters veer toward cartoonishness for the sake of increasingly outlandish gags—but the first two seasons of the show are notable for how accurate their depiction of what teenaged friendships feels: Constant insults, an ever-shifting hierarchy, and commitment to never letting a joke die:

In other words, watch the show before you watch the movie, or don’t watch it at all. ALISON HALLETT

HIT & RUN (out now on Blu-ray and DVD)—Alison did a great interview with stars Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard when this came out, and then the movie bombed fantastically, which I have decided to blame on Alison. Maybe her interview wasn't great enough? I don't know. Anyway: Hit & Run is totally underrated and likeable, and deserved to do way, way better than it did. A riff on every romantic comedy ever—as well as stuff like Smokey and the Bandit and Vanishing Point, Hit & Run features a whole lot of car chasin', a good amount of both sweet nothings and prickly bickerings between real-life couple Bell and Shepard, and Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper with dreadlocks. Also Tom Arnold? Tom Arnold is in this. This thing's funny and earnest and sweet, and as good of a date movie as came out last year, and it has car chases, so I don't know what else you could possibly need. ERIK HENRIKSEN

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME (out now on Blu-ray and DVD)—I'm just kind of tossing this one in here at the end: It's not a movie so much as a failed TV pilot that then got turned into a web series that then got smooshed back together into a direct-to-DVD movie... annnnd it's pretty terrible. Anyway, if you still like Battlestar Galactica—even after that much-grumbled-about finale, and even after whatever Caprica was—here's another attempt at a spinoff, and hey... at least it's better than Caprica? But not by much. Following young, unrecognizable Bill Adama (Luke Pasqualino) as an obnoxious fighter pilot, it basically plays like Battlestar Galactica Babies—what could have felt like an alright military sci-fi show instead feels like its bending over backwards to serve as a prequel for Battlestar, a show that didn't really need a prequel. The fact Syfy skimped on the production—shooting everything against green screen rather than building sets—is readily apparent in how cheap and shiny everything looks; even when the effects artists smother everything in lens flares and overexposed backgrounds to hide the greenscreen, it still looks like all the actors' outlines were cut out with X-Acto knives. Maybe just rewatch Battlestar again? It's all on Netflix Instant. ERIK HENRIKSEN

SL Letter of the Day: Out and In

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I'm 15 years old and gay. I came out to my mom and she didn't take it the way that I had anticipated seeing as she's liberal and completely pro-equality. But only so long as it's not her child apparently. She finally sat me down and told me that I was "too young" and that it was "just a phase that I was experimenting with." And I told her that she was right. And after that, she let it go. Now I know that I should have never lied about me being gay, but I felt like I had to. But what do I do now? Will I ever be able to come out to her?

Back In The Closet Homo

My response after the jump...

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The Old Slip-N-Smash

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

I so dare you:

h/t to Brandon!

What Would You Do With Google's New Face Computer?

Posted by Alex Falcone on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Last week Google finally showed us what Google Glass might look like in action. The Lavar Burton-esque face computer is going to debut next year for the price of a high end laptop that you don't have to wear. Here's the video from the perspective of a rich person's eyes:

Basically you just speak to your face computer with false casualness and it does one of limited number of tasks. "Okay, Glass. Take a picture of this thing I'm seeing right now." In addition to taking headache-inducing videos, it can take pictures and you'll be able to have the time of day or current weather hovering over your retina permanently. Finally!

After that the uses get kinda strange. An ice sculptor looking up pictures of tigers? Um, sure. A skier using a map to navigate down a ski slope? Maybe. More photos and videos? Yeah, we got that part. A person on a horse taking a video? That's just another video, Google. Not a new feature. Having your glasses remind you of your flight time as you're running through the airport? Not super helpful, Glass. If only I had known what time it was I wouldn't have been so late.

In truth Google admits it doesn't know what you're going to do with Glass. That's why their next step is to beg people to tell them useful applications for their invention by tweeting with the tag #ifihadglass. For example, you could say

#ifihadglass I'd finally be able to build a first-person kisser game. Starring Melissa Joan Hart.

#ifihadglass I could ride a horse, a trapeze, a hot air balloon, or an airplane. Basically I can live in a tampon commercial.

#ifihadglass I'd always know what time it is. That would be really great.

#ifihadglass I could put a picture of Melissa Joan Hart over the face of anybody I made out with.

#ifihadglass I could watch a 3D movie with a third pair of glasses on my face!

#ifihadglass I would be kinda sick of looking at the time.

#ifihadglass I'd have have $1,500 less than I used to have.

What would YOU do if you had Glass?

Republicans Tell the U.S. Supreme Court to Legalize Gay Marriage

Posted by Eli Sanders on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

As Nathan mentioned in GMN, with oral arguments coming up next month, an interesting "friend of the court" brief arrives:

Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

Normally these briefs don't matter that much. But the publisher of Scotusblog tells the New York Times that this one “has the potential to break through and make a real difference.”

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Nathan Gilles on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Republicans Support Gay Marriage. No, this isn’t a joke. In a move that sticks it to Speaker John Boehner, a small group of renegade Republicans have signed a legal brief arguing gay people should have the right to marry. The brief will be legal ammunition in a suit challenging California’s Proposition 8.

Speaking of Republicans…

Republicans Are Being Blamed for Budget Cuts. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, more Americans are blaming Republicans for the looming budgets cuts (set to take effect this Friday) than President Obama. I wonder why that is?

Bombing Remembered. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the first World Trade Center bombing. A ceremony honoring the six people that died in the attack is being held today in New York.

Parents Mark One-Year Anniversary of Son’s Death. The parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager that was shot and killed by a Florida copneighborhood watch volunteer last year, are in New York today to mark the one-year anniversary of their son’s death.

Saudis Back Syrian Rebels. Saudi Arabia is now buying weapons for Syrian rebels in their fight with President Bashar al-Assad.

What Sanctions? Iran has found a way around those darn oil sanctions, and it’s probably the worst idea ever: Decommissioned Oil Tankers Rescued from the Scrapheap!!! The oil—surprise, surprise—is headed for China.

That reminds me, I seem to remember another big story about oil and water not mixing.

More Weird Meat!!! Following news that horsemeat was found in IKEA meatballs, the media continues its fascinatation with genetic studies tracking the contents of hamburger. Frankly, until this story goes Über-Upton Sinclair I’m not going to pay attention.

Closer to home...

Bureaucracy’s Sweet Smell. Residents near Daimler Trucks' North Portland plant and Nature’s Needs’ compost plant in North Plains say the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is doing nothing to stop the nasty odors emanating from these two facilities.

Snow Blows! And if you even think about complaining about Portland’s less than idyllic climate today, just remember at least you don’t live in Kansas.

Now, for no good reason other than I like it, a really awesome illustrated lecture on the brain.

Small Pond, Little Ripples, Last Splash: Wizard World Sum-Up Kicks Rocks at Comics Community

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The after-effects of Wizard World’s dropping their pre-packaged big-box con on Portland seemed, by Monday night, to be low-key and generally positive. For a company as practiced at throwing nerd parties as Wizard is, it would have been surprising had they not given the city an entertaining weekend.

But then, Monday night, shots were fired in the general direction of the Portland comics community, and as with all good horror stories, the sounds were coming from inside the house.

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