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xmag.com : August 2002: Media Stalker



Yo. Media. Listen up. I'm your worst nightmare: someone who can read.

I'll be reading Portland papers on a regular basis --that's going to be fucking horrible--and trying to eke six hundred words to say about them each month. God help me.

As your typical far-East County militia-minded separatist, I don't cotton
to your liberal meedja or your fancy ways. Don't tread on Troutdale. We are a
simple but proud people.

We'll be examining the sociopolitical subtexts and ramifications evinced in the works of some of Portland's more esteemed and influential columnists (Robert Landauer, David Sarasohn, Goddess Severina) but, if nothing else, I hope to make you think.

I want Exotic readers saying, "Nice set of jugs on that dame from whores.com, but look at these pithy observations over here!"

Portland has four somewhat prominent papers: Willamette Week, Willamette Week, Willamette Week, and Willamette Week. I believe some of them may have different names--and that's the sort of thing we'll be exploring in this column--but it's all just one big fat Willamette Week, folks.

We'll be exploring "mainstream media," meaning white media aimed at an exclusively white audience, versus "alternative media," which is extra-white and geared to an even more narrow cross-section of extremely white people.

There's the Portland Mercury, an "alternative weekly," meaning exactly like Willamette Week, The Rocket, The Stranger and every other white-guy free paper in the history of same, including this one until recent months. I've never read that caps-and-exclamation-point-laden column by Wm. Stephen Humphrey, but five will get you ten it's wacky!

Cutesy irony. Studied "attitude." Gratuitously and fashionably malcontented. Agenda-rife. Basically Reedies run amok. Friendly suggestion: needs to be a little more excruciatingly affected. A little more self-consciously hip. If they try any harder, they'll pull something.

I once sent them a letter claiming to be a homeless person, mocking them for a typically superficial piece on homelessness, asking, "May we join you there on Northwest 23rd?"

In the next issue, they said, "Someone challenged us to do something substantive for the homeless and we agreed!" (They'd sent someone out to do an embarrassingly patronizing and exploitative photo spread on Dignity Village.)

Trevor--zoom in on this squalor!

Will do, Muffy.

To be fair, the indigent and starving have never been so tastefully shot. "Look tragic! Have fun with it!" I hope it was expensive.

That Portland Tribune once treated us to a giant blowup of a woman sobbing disconsolately at Dignity Village. In the words of Phil Ochs: "Do you have a picture of the pain?"

How many people could you feed with the millions being sunk into these two vanity projects for zillionaires?

Then there's Willamette Wack, its creepy soulless weird-ass self. Universally reviled.

Let's let them tell us about themselves: "OUR MISSION: Provide our audiences with an independent and irreverent understanding of how their worlds work so they can make a difference."

Oh, shut the fuck up, you condescending little narcissistic self-important snots.

It's not wordy enough, is it? They must get paid by the pound, so much per lot of verbiage.

Why are the words "audience" and "world" plural?

Needs to be more pretentious, Mark.

Can do, Dick.

Gaiety and mirth trip lightly from their pages. Imagine the jocular banter and good-natured horseplay taking place in those offices.

Tightassed dweebs livid with rage because the new Hootie and The Blowfish CD isn't sonically evocative or because Booty Call lacked a cohesive narrative. Failed musicians trashing someone's band. Failed writers trashing someone's book or film, etc. Sniffing disdain and snorts of derision brought to you by Fred Meyer and Kitchen Kaboodle, a business geared to people for whom an ordinary, run-of-the-mill spatula just won't do.

In an interview, some hipster "indie" (unsuccessful) rocker once said his favorite album is The Beatles' Revolver "because it's a very focused piece of work," adding, "maybe too focused." Please! Turn it off! It's too focused!

"News with an edge." EEK! Don't Portland Mercury boxes say something like (God forbid I go look): "Art, Culture and Trouble?" GETthefuckouttahere.

So, Willamette Week actually begins each issue by telling us, "We're, like, really irreverent and shit." And the weekly pose-fest is on. So their audiences can make differences. Send this paper a case of Fleet enemas.

The Oregonian. Whatever. Portland's sole daily. Cursory wire-service distillations of national and international news stories. Whitebreaded homogenizations of local stories by reporters no one wants at real papers in real cities. Liberally biased editorials except when the token conservative gives us the conservatively biased position. White homosexuals sniffing at the arts and entertainment. The usual. Even the black people are white.

Then there's that, that Portland Tribune thing, the alternative to The Oregonian staffed almost entirely with people from The Oregonian. Let's bore people in a new format!

The spectacular indifference to this thing says a lot about Portland''s "journalism community." All these illustrious "seasoned professionals." Jesus--read Phil Stanford.

Inexplicably, they recently did a couple of articles digging up non-pertinent, purely voyeuristic dirt on the families of the two missing Oregon City girls to entertain their yuppie readership.

One of the girl's grandfathers responded: "We have worked hard to get the children over the rough spots in their past and were making headway until this article. The pain and suffering you caused these children has set us back years."

Despite that, as they await news of the missing children, this paper continues to harass both families by phone just so they can print blah blah "didn't return calls from the Tribune."

There you have it all--the classism, elitism, pious self-righteousness, and utter disregard for the pain and suffering of people they see as undesirables.

The above-mentioned articles were written by Jim Redden, a fifty-something guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth, the son of a judge, Willamette Week-spawned, who's never held a legitimate job until this paper, who has a very skeevy background himself and appears in print simply due to his social milieu. Like all of them.

There they are. A strangely bitter and dissatisfied lot who seem to want to take it out on us every chance they get. Each of them with a dust-covered manuscript at home called "Tapestries of My Life."

It's all just The Blueblood Press, mouthpieces for the smug ivory-tower politics and prejudices of white millionaires and their sycophants.

Hippie/"Beat" icon Jack Kerouac, who hated the hippie movement and fell out with beat-generation cronies over their contempt for rank-and-file humanity, spoke of "a sadistic facetiousness and 'sickjoke' grisliness about human affairs, a grotesque hatred for the humble and the suffering heart."

Bingo. He called them "the sneerers."

We'll be looking at the sneerers right here in River City.

Contrary to their belief, free speech isn't just for those with access to a printing press and millionaires.

Tell the judge's boy to leave the Pond and Gaddis families alone. Here's his home phone #: (Jim--you can get this, can't you?)

This is "Shifty" Henry reprazentin' for the City of The Trout. Mighty kootie fiyo. Jockomo feena hey.

Hate anyone in the media's fucking guts? Have any photos of them in compromising positions with underaged dwarves or livestock? Share with us, won't you? Send all incriminating evidence to "Media Stalker" c/o this mag.






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