There's plenty of time to move the 2018 World Cup:
FIFA has asked authorities in 2018 World Cup host Russia for “clarification and more details” about a new anti-gay law, joining the International Olympic Committee in seeking answers from Moscow. Legislation prohibiting “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors” has provoked an international furor since President Vladimir Putin signed it off in June and sparked growing concern at the IOC ahead of the Sochi Winter Games next February. The two most influential organizations in world sports are both now asking Russia how the law would be enforced during their marquee events.
It's annoying how the IOC and now FIFA only seem concerned about the law being enforced during their events. The persecution of Russian LGBT people should matter to both groups—it should matter to the whole civilized world—before, during, and after the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup.
Wait. What the heck's a Moda Center?
Moda Center is named after Moda Health, which signed a 10-year naming rights agreement with the Portland Trail Blazers. And they are wasting no time: The Rose Quarter website has already been updated with the new venue name.
The Columbian reports:
Physical transformation of the renamed arena and Rose Quarter will begin immediately, with new signage and other visual elements being added gradually. New graphics for the home court surface of the Trail Blazers will debut in time for the team’s 2013-14 regular season home opener on November 2 versus the defending Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs.While the Moda name might take a little getting used to, there are some good things about the name change. Moda Health (formerly known as ODS) is a locally based company with 1,400 employees. It's a health company, not a fast-food slinger or a big box store. And it rhymes with "Yoda," which can only be a good thing.
More required reading from Nancy Goldstein:
There’s certainly no point—I’m looking at you, President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron—in not boycotting the games because we don’t want to penalize the athletes who have trained so long and hard. That legitimate concern could be addressed by simply pressing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to follow its own charter, which calls for removing the Olympic Games from any nation that does not satisfy its own requirements for equal rights and tolerance. Start working with the one senior IOC member from Norway who already shares this view to help bring others around to it. I’m sure Vancouver’s snowboarding ramps are still in fine repair.
Think long and hard before you evoke the spectacle of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin—thus far the model for the West’s approach to Putin—or argue that winning LGBT athletes will “show 'em” in Sochi. In 1935—as in 2013—the International Olympics Committee was keen to pretend that sporting events could wash a clearly politicized setting of its politics, or wipe a dirty city clean. IOC chair Count Henri Baillet-Latour was content with Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s promise that anti-Semitic placards would be taken down during the Olympic games the next year.
In this Faustian bargain, Hitler hid the most obvious signs of what would later become his Final Solution. Jesse Owens, the allegedly “inferior” Negro, kicked Aryan butt on the track and came home with four gold medals (to a country where FDR refused to host him at the White House for fear of losing the Southern vote in the upcoming election). And then, once the international community had left, Hitler and his willing minions invaded neighboring countries and incinerated every fucking Jew, queer, or dissenter they could get their hands on.
Go read the whole thing. And if you think Russian authorities and anti-gay mobs aren't heading in the direction of incinerating every queer they can get their hands on, you're not paying attention.
But hang on...
Olympic flag waving gave a stamp of approval to Nazi atrocities in 1936. Please don’t use the Rainbow Flag to cover up Russian atrocities in 2014. The Rainbow Flag is the international symbol of LGBT freedom — it is not an endorsement of repression.
And Blogtown says?
Russia's Interior Ministry, which controls the police force, confirmed Monday that the country's controversial anti-gay law will be enforced during the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Confusion has reigned over how the country intends to act during the February 7-23 Winter Games after President Vladimir Putin signed legislation in June that bans the promotion of homosexuality to minors. The International Olympic Committee first claimed it had received assurances from top government officials that Sochi 2014 athletes and guests will not be affected, prompting Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to insist no one is exempt from the law. "The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully," said an Interior Ministry statement issued on Monday.
The head of Russia's National Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov stated it plainly. "If a person does not put across his views in the presence of children, no measures against him can be taken," Zhukov said. "People of nontraditional sexual orientations can take part in the competitions and all other events at the Games unhindered, without any fear for their safety whatsoever."
Okay. So, what about, say, an entire
rowing ICE JAVELIN team wearing rainbow flag pins during a ceremony attended by and broadcast to millions of people, including children? Does the ice javelin team get arrested? Are the cameramen and ceremony producers, who disseminated and promoted the rainbow pins arrested? Are adults who explain what a rainbow flag means to a Russian kid arrested? Can we just arrest everyone now and get it over with?
The 2014 Winter Olympics: Whatever happens, it will be an amazing thing to behold(TM).
This blog post from George Takei will probably start a whole new round of conversation:
It’s been bubbling for some time, but the controversy over Russia’s draconian “gay propaganda” law has now boiled over.Last week, Russia’s Sports Minister confirmed that the country intends to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT athletes, trainers and fans, meaning anyone even so much as waving a rainbow flag (and I presume many men enthusiastically watching and dramatically commenting on figure skating) would be arrested, held for weeks and then deported. Given this position, the IOC must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia.
Last night I was chatting with Alicia Wood of the Ms. Wood clothing and accessories line, who just landed herself a new day job at start-up company Carson Footwear, who make—or will be making—running shoes down in Milwaukie, which is pretty amazing. If you're a person who makes an effort to support local, or at least domestic, manufacturing, athletic wear—especially shoes—is one of the most difficult departments in which to evade overseas mass production.
Info online is scarce at this point—their website is just a splash page, and they have all of four likes, including mine, on Facebook, and zero status updates, but I have an email out for more information, including an ETA of the launch. The most important thing to know, though, is encapsulated in the one line offered on their "about" page: "Making a better shoe in the US with all US materials and labor."
I just hope they agree with my knees.
Go team Honey Badger! According to Honey Badgers & Cobras: Women’s Arm Wrestling for Charity, "If you’re tall and tough you’re a Cobra, and if you’re small and mighty, a Honey Badger." I am clearly in the latter (victorious) camp, but if you'd like to challenge me, here's your chance. The Warrior Room is probably the most fun-loving gym experience I have ever had. Heavy on kettlebells, Tabata, and interval training, its classes are taught by hilarious brother-sister team Luke and Ashley Jensen, who preach the virtues of a work hard, play hard lifestyle: They'll give you a kickass workout, and then high five you over beers—like, they actually have a beer tap at the gym.
They also make a point of keeping their classes affordable (depending on which package you sign up for it breaks down to around $8-10/class), and the formula has paid off. When I first visited they were working out of a residential garage, and they've since graduated to a spacious gym in downtown Milwaukie with a lounge (beer) area and separated office space. They're putting their good attitudes to work September 14 with Honey Badgers & Cobras: Women’s Arm Wrestling for Charity, a competition benefiting Northwest Housing Alternatives. For the month of August they're offering a "Super Sexy Arm" class that specifically targets your arm wrestling muscles, and even includes the occasional bout. Looky-loos are welcome to attend, but with a $15 entry fee, you may as well go up to bat.
Helvetia, Lost Lander, Lemolo, AgesandAges, Quasi, The Cave Singers, Talkdemonic, Menomena, MC Sam Adams, Nurses, Lovers, DJ Beyonda, Magic Fades, Bubblin DJs (Lincolnup and Ben Tactic), Morning Ritual, Michael Hurley, Denver, Federale, The Builders & the Butchers, Wild Ones, Lake, Theesatisfaction, Blitzen Trapper.We're giving away FIVE pairs of tickets to the music festival portion of 8 Track Relay. Interested? Jump on over to End Hits, and get lucky.
As if you needed more ideas to compete with each other for fun shit to do this weekend, on Saturday from noon-4 pm, Pips & Bounce—your friendly local pop-up ping pong... club? Happening?—is setting up shop outside of W+K (224 NW 13th) for a street party benefiting Caldera. Five bucks gets you in to enjoy some casual rounds at the table, plus DJ Mightymoves will keep the mood rolling, and Taco Pedaler will take take of your hanger. Get a taste via this hilariously corny Pips & Bounce "about" video, and if you can spare eight minutes and some sympathy, there's a good little mini-doc focusing on one of Caldera's (ongoing) success stories posted beyond the cut.
Some of the brightest stars in American soccer met their match in terms of fandom last night, as the U.S. Men's National Team cruised to a 6-1 victory over Belize in the first round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The match was a rout (Chris Wondo
wlowski scored three goals in the first half to pace the Americans) but Portland footy fans certainly didn't disappoint. The USMNT's official supporters group—the American Outlaws—teamed with Timbers Army to create a tifo display that incorporated the ol' stars and stripes, an inspiring message (Community Club Country—Everyone has something to stand for) and even an Uncle Sam-inspired figure dressed in Cascadia garb.
Pretty cool. Just ask U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann: He called the crowd "fantastic" and said the match was "a wonderful experience," adding: "The players were all curious how it [would] be, and [the atmosphere] lived up to their expectations."
Video of the tifo rising from the North End after the jump!
If you haven't taken note, the Hollywood Theater is killing it with their programming this summer, with everything from internet cat videos (holla!) to summer camp-set slasher films. Tonight they are keeping the ball rolling (ha) with a one-night-only screening of the summer-appropriate Doin' It in the Park, documenting the culture of summertime pick-up basketball in New York (maybe the only thing that might make you wish you were in the melting garbage of an NYC summer):
Catch it tonight at 7:30, or don't catch it at all! Tickets here.
It's already become a sort of Portland tradition, started a few years ago by And And And's Bim Ditson. And now all the tourney info is available, including the locations of all the games, the details of a compilation tape of competing bands, and the tournament finals, which includes a free show at Holocene.
I'll post all the bands on this year's roster after the jump—there's 32 of them, and all together they make up a kind of oversized class photo of the Portland music scene circa 2013. You can also go over to the comprehensive Rigsketball site, and find a bracket, music from all the bands, videos of prior games, and a lot more. The tournament begins at this year's PDX Pop Now! festival on July 19-21 at SE Water and Taylor. Round two will follow at 4-8 pm on July 22 at Club 21 and 4-8 pm on July 23 at SE MLK and Taylor.
But best of all, the semifinals and finals take place Wednesday, July 24 outside of Holocene, block party style, at 6 pm (finals at 7:30 pm), and at the stroke of 8:20, everyone will go inside for the show. Heres who's performing: The Woolen Men, Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Minden (celebrating their EP release), Grandparents, Gaytheist, the We Shared Milk, and Mister Tang. That's a fantastic bill—and it's totally free.
All the info's over at Rigsketball.com.
Today is the international Go Skateboarding Day holiday, and while you might not be able to join the largest gathering in New York, you can still celebrate the strong skate culture here in Portland, helped along by a super-sweet system of indoor and outdoor skateparks. Word is that everyone is heading down to that old classic, the Burnside Skatepark for all-day "epic fun." Bring your board or just your lunch, or at the very least, revisit this trailer for Dogtown and Z-Boys, if not the documentary itself.
In March, Shape magazine published a big "best-of" feature in which they canvassed the country's various gyms and other workout-related businesses to determine the "best" in each category. There was only one winner from Portland: Studio Blue, which was christened the best studio for "Pilates powerhouses." Naturally, I had to see what the hype is about, so click over for the rundown on one of the most diverse studio experiences ever listed under the term "Pilates."
Here's the cool part: MercPerks is selling half-price passes for the music portion only—for those not participating in the race—so you can see all these bands for 20 measly bucks. (Ordinarily, festival-only passes are $40.) So hop over to MercPerks and score.
[Caveat: I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention that PDX Pop Now!, Portland's terrific, all-ages, totally free music fest is happening the exact same weekend. That's where I'll be. Although I suppose I could check out PDX Pop Now! on Saturday until close, and then hop over to 8 Track Relay around 2 am to watch the bands playing 8 Track's overnight slot, until PDX Pop Now! kicks off again around noon the next day. That is logistically possible, and probably insane, and I doubt I'll actually do it. Check back tomorrow for the lineup for this year's PDX Pop Now!]
Holy mother of guacamole—last Saturday's Rose City Rollers championships were intense. Like kinda scary intense. The Season 8 double header was a face-off between the Heartless Heathers and the Break Neck Betties for third place, while the main event was the undefeated Guns N Rollers going hip-to-hip with the High Rollers. Both games ended with upsets: the Betties and High Rollers both landing on top. Final: Break Neck Betties 172, Heartless Heathers 159. And your champions for a whole year: High Rollers 140 to Guns N Rollers 130. But what those numbers don't reflect is the last-minute (literally) drama of both games, with the Rose Garden erupting in jeers and boos during the final championship jam. Roller derby fans aren't much for jeers and boos during home-team games—they're usually a friendly bunch (unless Portland is playing Olympia or Bay Area or some such rival). Then there was the brutal play between the Betties and Heathers. No holds were barred, or beared or bared, for that matter. Shit was feisty.
Hit the jump for recaps.
Partnering with a ping-pong event group called Pips & Bounce, adidas is throwing a party for Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP) tomorrow, June 15, and it's appropriately game-centric. $10 admission ($8 for students) gets you into this feel-good shindig, 100% of the proceeds from which go directly to a foundation whose efforts center around "critically ill, chronically ill and disabled children (and their loved ones) with programs that strengthen encourage and inspire." This great cause is promoted with all the perks of a good benefit, like goodie bags for early-birds, prizes, snacks from kOi Fusion, free beer from 4-6, a live DJ, and most importantly, ping-pong. Also, Olympic ping-pong players—PLAYING PING-PONG.
The fundraiser goes from 3-9 pm at the adidas Village (5055 N Greeley). Be there or be having way less fun tomorrow afternoon, especially if it's sunny. And did I mention all attendees get a pass to the adidas Village store good for 50% off? Stock up on cheap(er) sneakers while you're at it.
In this Vine quickie, awful, abysmal human being Chris Brown gets dunked on by 7-foot-tall Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond. (It's actually better the second time you watch it as Andre looks like he's shoving Brown's stupid head straight at the floor as he goes in for the slammy.)
This also allows me to repost one of my favorite Good Morning News videos of the entire year—Froggy Fresh and Money Maker Mike performing "Dunked On." WHY CHRIS CRYIN'? 'CUZ HE JUST GOT DUNKED ON!!
Two things that taste great... Y La Bamba and synchronized swimming. This 16mm-shot video for the song "Ponce Pilato," off their album Oh February, is a dreamy confection, floating among big trees and deep waters. It was shot on the Oregon Coast, in the Redwoods, and in Puget Sound, starring a troupe of professional synchronized swimmers. The whole endeavor came about because our local amateur synchronized swimming collective, the Olivia Darlings, really wants to keep the aquatic arts alive for a new generation of budding Esther Williamses. (The film star sadly passed away at the age of 91 on June 6. She was a masterfully daring mermaid.) So the group has set about filming music videos for local bands, featuring the fine art of synchronized swimming. This here's their debut—directed by Madison Rowley—and a fine one it is, bypassing the strangely lurid present-day of Olympic synchronized swimming (eeeeeek!), for the beautiful and graceful days of Esther. In the gorgeous out of doors! Sign me up as a supporter.
Speaking of support... the Olivia Darlings are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to send out 100 packets to local pools, community organizations, dance schools, and swim clubs. These kits will give a primer course on how to dive in (DON'T SHOOT ME) to the art. They're also giving out a host of goodies for contributors. Here, I'll let their adorable video, starring Minka of the Olivia Darlings, explain it.
Depending on your employment and hobbies, this information is either useful to you from a fashion perspective, a practical perspective, or an athletic one (or both), but let it be known that one of the old school kings of locally produced wearables (since 1932 motherfucker!), Danner Boots, is honoring father's day next weekend with a mega warehouse sale running Thurs June 13-Sun June 16.
If you use boots for work or recreation—like all the summertime hiking in the Gorge that I wish I did more often—this is a chance to grab some for up to 40% off. Or, you know, you're allowed to just like 'em.
(The sale's happening at the Danner factory store out near the airport, BTW, at 12021 NE Airport Way.)
When the Vikings cut former punter Chris Kluwe in early May, there was widespread belief that part of the reason he was let go was because the team viewed him as a distraction. Kluwe is an outspoken supporter of gay marriage.
Even though Kluwe's now gone, the distractions might not be for the Vikings.
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson weighed in on the hot topic of gay marriage during a radio interview on Sunday, and his opinion on the subject is the opposite of Kluwe's. "I have relatives who are gay," Peterson said on Sirius/XM NFL radio, via NESN. "I'm not biased towards them. I still treat them the same. I love 'em. But again, I'm not with that. That's not something I believe in. But to each his own."
Petersen might have said "to each his own," but he doesn't really mean it. Marriage requires government's approval—the public's approval—and without that approval, each can't marry his own (boyfriend). So how can Petersen, a citizen in a democracy, both believe in someone making his own choices while supporting a position that prevents someone from making his own choices? If Petersen truly believed "to each his own," then he'd believe in gay marriage. If he doesn't believe in that, then he believes "to each his own" only applies to straight dudes.
We may not be fans the Amazing Spider-Man reboot franchise, but here's star Andrew Garfield being a good guy by playing basketball with some local kids DRESSED IN HIS SPIDER-MAN COSTUME. (He's apparently taking a break from the set of the Amazing Spider-Man sequel.) Kudos to Garfield for not hopping up on top of the rim and slamming the ball into the hoop, or webbing the kids into a coccoon, hanging them from a streetlight, and leaving a note for cops that reads, "Prosecute these drug dealers! Signed, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man."
Jose Canseco, who has been accused by both of his ex-wives of domestic violence in the past, was approached by police officers in Las Vegas as part of a rape investigation, according to Canseco's Twitter feed. How did Canseco respond? By tweeting the name of the woman Canseco says has accused him of rape, along with what he claimed to be a photo of her and her phone number. The tweets—there were two clusters of them—have since been deleted, but BuzzFeed has screen captures of them (with the name and personal information redacted).
Now, people are calling for Canseco to be kicked off of Twitter for posting the personal information of a woman whom he believes has accused him of rape. I used to follow Canseco on Twitter because he was kind of funny, but his propensity to angrily publish the personal information of whatever woman he's obsessing over—and he's done this on multiple occasions—was way too creepy for my tastes.
Saturday it's the High Rollers vs. the rock 'n' rolling Guns N Rollers in a home-team-honey showdown. This is the last bout before Championships at the Rose Garden (!) on June 8. Both teams are undefeated this season, but they've yet to go head-to-head until tonight. One thing is certain, they'll be duking it out for a second time at Championships come June, because it looks like they're the two teams on the top of the roller-derby pile. Who will be queens of the mountain? It's been a mere three years since the High Rollers held the championship trophy, and GNR has NEVER had their horn-throwing hands on it. Guess who wants that coveted trophy real bad?! Yeps, it should be fun. Guns N Rollers vs. High Rollers, Sat May 18, The Hangar at Oaks Park, 7 pm, $14-20, tix
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