This Week in the Mercury

Yo La Tengo's Still Got It!


Yo La Tengo's Still Got It!

Even After 30 Years, They Capture the Magic

The Winners of HUMP! 2015


The Winners of HUMP! 2015

Announcing This Year's Winning Films—And a Call for Submissions for HUMP! 2016!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CONDEMN OR ALLOW: Aggressive Novelty Plane Banners

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Yesterday a plane circled high above Penn State's statue of football-hero/rape facilitator Joe Paterno, dragging a banner that bore a message for the school:


It's a message from the same guy who hired a plane to troll Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach and reminds me of a campaign that the American Atheists that flew these banners around the country on the Fourth of July:


So, aggressive airplane banners are now officially a protest "thing." Thoughts?

Friday, July 13, 2012

URGENT POLL: Should the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Say "Cowabunga!" or "Booyakasha"?

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 3:29 PM

WHAT THE FUCK! The four remaining fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were recently able to sigh a big, Doritos-scented sigh of relief when Michael Bay's Ninja Turtle reboot was brutally euthanized—but now, because evil never sleeps, there's been another assault on the Heroes in a Half Shell*! Let us turn to our nation's esteemed paper of record, the New York Times, which, naturally, is reporting on this important and 100 percent relevant matter.

“Cowabunga” is apparently no longer cool. Now the turtles’ catchphrase is “booyakasha,” a word Sacha Baron Cohen helped popularize back when he was doing Da Ali G Show. (Via.)

WHAT THE FUCK! Apparently, Master Splinter's opinion doesn't count for shit. TO THE POLL!

*Turtle power.

Friday, May 4, 2012

This Tenacious D Video Needs to Be Funnier

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, May 4, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Steve insisted that I blog this. He thinks it's funny. I think it needs to be funnier. We had kind of a heated discussion about it. It ended with Steve saying to me, "C'mon, funny clown! Make me laugh!"

Sigh. So here's the uproarious new video from Tenacious D, perhaps the funniest fucking thing you'll see all fucking year. Remember this moment well, because you will be telling your grandkids about it and they will shriek with glee.

To be fair, I found two funny things in the video—I won't say which, because perhaps they are different from your two funny things—and I also like the song, in a "2112" kind of way. However, the song has been edited to smithereens and doesn't really work musically as a three-plus minute rock song. It needs to be longer and proggier and more over the top. So go, check out the nearly six-minute album version and give this truncated version and hard-to-watch video a miss.

Or? Perhaps you like it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Here's the Trailer for the New Woody Allen Movie

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Here's the trailer for the new Woody Allen film. It's called To Rome with Love. Yeah, that is a pretty lazy title, even for Woody. You would not be faulted for thinking it's exactly like Midnight in Paris but, you know, in Rome. Also, it stars—among many others—Jesse Eisenberg (who has never been in a Woody Allen film until now? how is that possible?) and Ellen Page (ditto?). And Roberto Benigni. Ugh. Here we go.

Well, I'll be... That looks... actually, you know, that looks fun. The trailer has some laughs in it. Rome looks positively incredible. And Woody is in the movie this time. So is Judy Davis, and that girl who played Kim Pine, and—sigh of sighs—Penélope Cruz in a red dress. Dammit, Woody, you got me. I'm in.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer": The Poll!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Paul's earlier post—gloriously entitled "Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer"—was almost perfect. ALMOST. The one glaring omission is obvious: Hot dogs should be allowed to defend themselves against such slanderous charges. That's why we're going to have a Blogtown poll in which YOU speak for the hot dogs. To wit:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Did Mike Tyson Give Justin Bieber for his Birthday?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 12:59 PM

From Mike Tyson's Twitter feed:


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.


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