: August 2002: Media Stalker
DARLING, HOW ARE YOU?
Media. Listen up. I'm your worst nightmare: someone
who can read.
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.
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.
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.
want Exotic readers saying, "Nice set of
jugs on that dame from whores.com, but look at these
pithy observations over here!"
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.
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
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!
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.
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?"
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
in on this squalor!
be fair, the indigent and starving have never been
so tastefully shot. "Look tragic! Have fun with
it!" I hope it was expensive.
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?"
many people could you feed with the millions being
sunk into these two vanity projects for zillionaires?
there's Willamette Wack, its creepy
soulless weird-ass self. Universally reviled.
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."
shut the fuck up, you condescending little narcissistic
not wordy enough, is it? They must get paid by the
pound, so much per lot of verbiage.
are the words "audience" and "world" plural?
to be more pretentious, Mark.
and mirth trip lightly from their pages. Imagine
the jocular banter and good-natured horseplay
taking place in those offices.
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.
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!
with an edge." EEK! Don't Portland Mercury
boxes say something like (God forbid I go look):
"Art, Culture and Trouble?" GETthefuckouttahere.
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.
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.
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!
spectacular indifference to this thing says a
lot about Portland''s "journalism community."
All these illustrious "seasoned professionals."
Jesus--read Phil Stanford.
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.
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."
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."
you have it all--the classism, elitism, pious
self-righteousness, and utter disregard for the
pain and suffering of people they see as undesirables.
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.
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."
all just The Blueblood Press, mouthpieces for
the smug ivory-tower politics and prejudices of
white millionaires and their sycophants.
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."
He called them "the sneerers."
be looking at the sneerers right here in River
to their belief, free speech isn't just for those
with access to a printing press and millionaires.
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
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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