This Week in the Mercury

Special Forces


Special Forces

Oregon's Prison Reform May Partly Hinge on a New Police Squad

The Third Entity


The Third Entity

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo Have It Both Ways


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mandatory French Fries on Sandwiches: CONDEMN OR ALLOW?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM

So here's a bit of a service industry ethical conundrum... a certain person who may or may not work at this office told me that he went to a certain very famous food cart that serves fries on their "big" sandwiches, and ordered his sandwich WITHOUT FRIES. (He apparently feels this makes the sandwich too "greasy.") So when he orders the "big" roast beef sandwich without the fries on top, the person taking the order nicely refused, saying something like it was the "policy of the business" to always include the fries because otherwise it would mess with the "flavor profiles." (Again, this is hearsay, and summarizes the idea of the conversation rather than the actual quote.)

So the customer says he said, "But I don't want fries on my sandwich," to which the cart employee allegedly responded, "Well, perhaps you'd be happier buying your sandwich elsewhere." (Again, the employee was polite about it.)

SO WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THIS? (Please note that I did not include any "Shut up, vegan!" options in the following poll... too easy.) Feel free to discuss the particulars of this situation in the comments!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Radio Moscow: Who's the Asshole Here?

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Here's a clip of heavy-psych band Radio Moscow show, from their January 7 show in Ames, Iowa. The band kind of broke up after this, and you'll see why. Here's the short version, distilled from Radio Moscow's PR people: "DRUMMER HURLS FRONTMAN PARKER GRIGGS' OWN GUITAR INTO GRIGGS' HEAD—SENDING HIM TO THE EMERGENCY WARD TO RECEIVE 14 STITCHES TO THE FOREHEAD."

But as you'll see from the video, it looks like Griggs might have started the whole incident by throwing his guitar at the drummer to begin with. As least that's how it looks to me.

The press release also includes a photo of Griggs with stitches in his forehead, which I'll include for ya after the jump. It goes on to say that Griggs quickly assembled a new backing band—and the newly constituted lineup of Radio Moscow plays in Portland tonight, opening for Graveyard at the Doug Fir.

So I ask you, readers, after watching this video—

Continue reading »

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blogtown Ethicist: Dropped Pot Dilemma

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Last night, I took a break from Occupy coverage to see the saddest movie ever, How to Die in Oregon, at the Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum. The movie follows an upbeat, awesome 54-year-old Portland mom with liver cancer as she chooses to end her life under Oregon's Death With Dignity law. At the end of the screening, the whole crowd is crying, rapt and sniffling as the director gets onstage for a Q&A. The room is somber and quiet. Then, the couple next to my boyfriend and me get up to leave and drop their pipe, spilling fragments of marijuana on the floor. They somehow don't notice and quickly head for the exit, leaving us to dissolve into completely inappropriate laughter that draws stares.

The question, of course, is immediate: What do we do? This is a very particular Portland problem. I'll post what we did in the comments.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poll: 3D — A New Dimension Of "Who Cares?"

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The glasses still look dumb.
  • The glasses still look dumb.

Like it or not, Hollywood recently dragged "3D" kicking and screaming from its comfortable tomb in an effort to raise ticket prices for no real, discernible consumer gain. Likewise, tech companies have taken to including 3D tech in their newst gadgets. TVs, phones, cameras, even the latest descendent of the GameBoy all feature 3D displays, the ability to take 3D photos and just enough cognitive disconnect to cause splitting headaches is large sections of the human population.

Last night I was playing the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake on my Nintendo 3DS — excellent game, by the way — when my cat walked by and rubbed her side up against the handheld. Immediately the screen grew intensely blurry. It took me a moment to realize what had happened, but then it hit me: My cat had rubbed against the handheld's 3D slider, turning on the gimmick and giving the game a deep, if overly-static level of graphical flourish.

Truth be told, even though 3D is supposed to be the big selling point of the Nintendo 3DS, I never turn it on. At best, it's distracting during gameplay and at worst it actively hurts my head. With that in mind, I took to Twitter to ask my fellow games writers whether they dug the 3D gimmick or not. Of 19 people replying to my very informal pol, only one liked the 3D imagery, and he only used it for a handful of 3D 8-bit NES remakes like the new 3D Classics: Twinbee.

Though it supported my stubborn hypothesis, I still feel as if I need something a bit more scientifically sound. Thus, I come to you, the Blogtown audience, to ask for your opinion on this whole debacle. Is 3D an awesome technological leap, or is this more stupid entertainment industry bullshit designed to swipe our hard-earned B. Franklins?


Monday, August 15, 2011

You Must Choose One

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Two guys walk into your room. One is wearing this (NSFYW). One is wearing that (NSFYW). You have to sleep with one of 'em. Which one would you choose?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Choose The Winner Of The Geekcraft Contest!

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 11:44 AM

So the Geekcraft contest went very well. As always dear readers, it's you who makes this job special.

Not a contest entry, just super cool.
  • Not a contest entry, just super cool.

On that note, it's only proper that you choose the winner of this awesome contest. Hit the jump for all the entrants and a poll. Poll closes at midnight!

Continue reading »

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jesus vs. Thor: Another Legally Binding Blogtown Poll

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This passive-aggressive note was pasted on top of a Thor movie poster.



Look, I didn't know it was a competition, but... okay! If that's the way you Christians want it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's Judge the Level of Your Immorality!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM

With the progression of society, we have lost the ability to do a lot of fun—albeit immoral by today's standards—things. And overall? This is a very good thing, and because of it, we are a more humane and civilized people. That being said, I may intellectually hate jet skis—and yet, I would give my left testicle to cut some water cookies with one in Walden Pond.
SO! Let's take a poll that will secretly gauge the level of our repressed immorality.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Don't Put Poop in My Can!": A Blogtown Poll

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM

In this week's "I, Anonymous" entitled "Spiritual Dog Shit Unity," the writer seems to take umbrage with people putting doggy doo in his/her trashcan.

I saw you put your dog's bag of shit into my garbage can in front of my house. How NICE that you have no boundaries and enjoy sharing your dog's smelly, messy bag with others. I can see by your REI sportswear that you're a fitness buff, but can't bear to carry that HEAVY load back to your own house. If you'd also leave me your address, I'll gladly bring over bags of reeking, disgusting garbage since we're all one garbage dump in this gestalt world of yours. Next time I'll take your picture so other neighbors can help fill your cans with refuse we JUST can't seem to carry home. Thank you for opening me up to your all-shit-removal- is-one universe. You've made garbage yet another area we can link arms and sing "Kumbaya" under the rainbow of spiritual dog shit unity. -Anonymous

We're gotten a few angry emails already regarding this person's opinion, such as this choice bit:

Are you fucking kidding me? Would you rather that steaming pile of stinky doo be left on your lawn? Garbage cans are for... what's that word? hmmm... just had it a minute ago... oh yeah - GARBAGE. Portland is a dog-friendly town my anal friend. Nobody likes to walk their dog with a fresh'n'sweaty bag of doggy deuce!

Hmmm... I think this calls for a scientifically exact and legally binding Blogtown poll! (Feel free to discuss the finer points of this issue in the comments below.)

UPDATE! The earlier poll was fucked up for some reason, so I've replaced it. FEEL FREE TO RE-VOTE!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tipping the Maid

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 2:11 PM


Am I the only person on earth who leaves a tip for the maid when checking out? My momma taught me to always tip the maid—it's hard work, they could use dough, it's only right—but I suspect that I might be the last person in America who still leaves a tip the maid. I've had more than one friend react with shock when I've checked to make sure I had a $5 bill before heading back to the hotel so I could tip the maid in the morning. And this morning, leaving a hotel in Boston, I left $5 for the maid. I also left something else behind in my room and when I went back up the maid was already in there, stripping the bed. When I told her I had forgotten something... she handed me the $5 I'd left for her on the nightstand, thinking it was a mistake, or that it was what I'd forgotten in the room.

Am I all alone? Does anyone else tip the maid?


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Model Gets Tit Snake Bit

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 2:28 PM

WARNING: In the following clip a model trying to act all sexy with a snake (can we put a moratorium on that, btw?) gets the shit bitten out of her tit. Now, that alone will make you wince—but there's so much more going on here. There's the guy who screams something immediately following the incident that can only be translated as, "Aiiiiieee! The snake! She has bitten the teat!" And do the words on the back of his jersey mean what I think they mean? WOW.

I think that video calls for a… BLOGTOWN SCIENTIFIC POLL!


BTW, I didn't create the world we live in... I just pass the information along.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm Pretty Sure I Need a "Street Team"

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 2:29 PM

As I mentioned earlier today, "Kay-dollar sign-HA!" has a "street team"so why don't I? There's no good answer, is there? Here are some reasons I need a "street team":

1) Sometimes I get the feeling that you "like me," but you don't "like me-like me." Know what I mean? A "street team" could help fix this problem.

2) Some people on the street don't know who I am. For example, the other day I asked a person on the street to give me their sandwich. They refused, even after I screamed, "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM??" Apparently they didn't know who I was. A "street team" could remedy this situation.

3) I enjoy the company of enthusiastic teenagers. (STOP YOUR BRAIN RIGHT THERE. I know what you're about to think, and you're just wrong, so don't even start to think it. Other than a hundred plus blog posts, you have absolutely NO PROOF of what you're about to think. So stop. Just... don't.) A "street team" could help me out in this department.

4) Do "street teams" clean out garages? If so, I would really like a "street team."

5) A "street team" member could approach someone on the "street," and say something like, "Hey! What's up, dawg? Ever heard of Wm. Steven Humphrey?" And if the person says "no," then the "street team" member could say, "Aww, dude! He's the bomb diggy diggy. You should totally check his shit out." And the person would say, "Okay, sure, whatever." And my "street team" person would say, "No, not 'whatever.' Do it. Now. Check his shit out." And the person would say, "You're making me uncomfortable." And my "street team" member would say, "No, my fist inside your ass would make you uncomfortable. Check out Wm. Steven Humphrey's shit, and you won't have to worry about my first traveling up the inside of your ass." And the person might scream for the police. And my "street team" member might get arrested. Which means there's one less jail cell, and therefore, one less chance of me getting incarcerated following the DUI I plan on getting this evening.

So... yeah. I need a "street team."


Feel free to post in the comments how you'd promote Wm. Steven Humphrey on the "streets" as a "street team" member.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who Do You Tip: Tupac or Biggie?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Seen at Babycakes NYC:


Sooo ...


Friday, February 4, 2011

CONDEMN OR ALLOW: Frozen Pizza Packaged With Frozen Cookies

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Frozen pizza maker DiGorno is taking this fat thing to another level. As reported all over the internet this week, DiGiorno will now be selling pizzas which are packaged in the same box as "chicken wyngz" or cookies. This really cuts down on the work involved in becoming obese. On the other hand, cookies and pizza are both delicious.

So! CONDEMN OR ALLOW: DiGiorno's lard-fabulous frozen pizza/cookies/wyngz combo!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Portlandia Review: How Much Full of Shit Am I?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

As you may have already read, I reviewed the first two episodes of Portlandia for this week's print edition of the Mercury—and to the surprise of absolutely no one, the comments are already rolling in and they're hotter than a red-assed bee. Here are a few choice tidbits:

Well it looks like a mediocre review from the one publication in town whose readers remember Sleater-Kinney.


Wow. Humphrey, for an old guy, you sure are down with this youthful "creative class" culture. This explains a lot.


This PM review is terrible. Is the authors head so lost in the world of Portland's "creative class" that he has forgotten how to take a joke and laugh? My wife and I play the "portland game - raising chickens, bikes, etc". And that is EXACTLY why the show was hilarious to us. I suppose some people can not laugh at themselves. Which is sad...

(Sniff. I made someone sad.)

Okay! Fine! Whatever! We can all agree I'm somewhat full of shit. But exactly how full of shit am I? Read the review here (or if you'd rather, you can base your opinion solely on the commenters' misinterpretation of my work), and answer this question:


As always, the result of all Blogtown polls are legally and scientifically binding.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Advise Ari Westby: JTT Edition

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 10:14 AM


Sounds like somebody needs to set Ari Westby straight. AND I THINK IT'S BLOGTOWN!!!


I cant quit you, JTT!
  • I can't quit you, JTT!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Starbucks Logo: CONDEMN OR ALLOW??

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Apparently Starbucks did not learn anything from the great GAP logo debacle of 2010, and decided to change their branding anyway (sans their name). Regardless, here it is:

  • via MSNBC

So what do you say this time, internetters?

As always your in-depth critique of Starbucks, advertising, coffee, and design is welcome in the comments.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Portlandia Commenters: WHO IS MOST RIGHTEST?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 1:13 PM

This morning, Ezra posted an extended clip from the upcoming Portlandia sketch sitcom created by SNL's Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein—and the response was... well... MIXED. In fact, it was so mixed, only a 100% scientifically accurate Blogtown poll can figure out whether you think this thing will be a delight or a dud. For those Portland hipsters who are too disaffected and cool to scroll down, here's the video again. (Everyone else click here to read all the varied and entertaining comments.)

Okay, so you watched it... LET'S VOTE! And remember, as with all Blogtown polls, results are legally binding.*

*Depending on this poll's results, Armisen and Brownstein will either leave the medium of "comedy" forever, or extend Portlandia to 14 seasons.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vote for Beaverton's New Slogan!

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Monday night, Beaverton announced it was rebranding. It's no longer Beaverton. It's Beaverton: The Best of Oregon!

Boo. Commenters suggested about 50 better slogans, vote for the best! The winner gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst, which is the Best Theater of Oregon (Not Including Beaverton's Century 16). Congrats to Eric Cantona, mrbowers, dmitir, Graham and Commenty Colin for suggesting the (arguably) best slogans.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mercury Turns Birds All Gay and Shit

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Blogtown consulting detective Graham emailed us the following very intriguing headline:


Now I have no need to read the accompanying story, because I already know that this theory is categorically TRUE. Our newspaper does turn ibises—as well as other wetland birds—homosexual. And for reasons I can't begin to fathom, it also seems to turn Maltipoos straight. BUT!


Thanks, Graham!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Would You Eat That?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 3:29 PM




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Should Wash This Pie Plate?!? (A Blogtown "Ethics in Modern Society" Poll)

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Here is the empty pie plate that's currently sitting in our office kitchen, and will probably be in the exact same place two years from now. Why? Because no one currently employed by the Mercury knows how to wash a dish. That's why we need you Blogtownies to decide: WHO SHOULD WASH THIS PIE PLATE?


This is the scenario: Sarah Mirk brought in the plate this morning which contained two slices of delicious cherry pie. (It's unknown what became of the other six slices—it's probably in the belly of her heroin-addict boyfriend.) By 10:30 am, both slices were gone, and the plate has since remained untouched. SO! Bearing in mind that Sarah Mirk has never washed a single kitchen utensil in her entire life...

Who is ethically responsible for washing this pie plate?

As always, the results of all Blogtown polls are legally binding.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Duck That Looks Like Marilyn Monroe

Posted by Marissa Sullivan on Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Last month I blogged about Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in the new movie My Week With Marilyn. The general consensus was that you all thought she looked horrible—and well, kinda dead.


Fine. I think she looks gorgeous, but whatever. Maybe you'd prefer this duck, instead.


So what do you say, Blogtown? In the upcoming My Week with Marilyn, would you rather see Michelle Williams or this duck in the leading role?

As always the result of this poll is legally binding. Thanks Buzzfeed.

Dick's House is the New Disney World

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 1:28 PM

In this classic vid, a mom surprises her kids by letting them know they're going to DISNEY WORLD, BAY-BEE! Their reaction is somewhat less than enthusiastic. (Unfortunately, this mom doesn't understand that "Dick's House" is way cooler than Disney World could ever be.)
Sidebar: I'd be tempted to stab the faces off these kids, but then I'm reminded that their mom chose to sit them in the smoking section.

Would you rather go with these kids to Disney World or Dick's House?

There may be other choices... but I can't think of any.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Not Just Oregon: Other Tossup Races to Watch Tomorrow

Posted on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Mapping the battle for the U.S. Senate.
  • New York Times
  • Mapping the battle for the U.S. Senate.
So Oregon's gubernatorial race is in a dead-heat, but what about the ridiculously close and consequential races taking place in other parts of the country?

Let's start with the state whose election results are generally considered the bellwether for the U.S. as a whole: Ohio. Ohioans are also facing a close gubernatorial race, and Republican challenger John Kasich looks set to unseat Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland.

Another gubernatorial tossup to watch is Rhode Island's, where sweet-faced independent candidate Lincoln Chafee (a member of the decidedly "too conservative" Republican Party until 2007) looks poised to best both Democrat Frank Caprio and Republican John Robitaille. Polls show the race in a near three-way split.

The closet gubernatorial race in the nation, however, is taking place in Florida. Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott and fighting tooth and nail for the former post of independent Charlie Crist, and polls show them in a deadlock even tighter than the one in Oregon.

Charlie Crist, interestingly enough, is abandoning his governorship in favor of a Senate seat. His platform revolves around "defeating Tea Party extremist Marco Rubio," but Rubio looks set to win the election by a 10-point margin.

More tossup election details below the cut.

Continue reading »

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