Recently, I noticed an ad in the back of the Mercury soliciting applications for writers. In the brief description of the publication, there was mention of the Mercury being “one of the most innovative” weeklies in the country. Seriously? I had to think a bit.
So, what’s so innovative about the use of words like “fuck” and “pussy”, the same tired images of women’s body parts displayed for sensational appeal, repetitious references to “dicks” and “nuts”, hideous cover graphics, movie reviews that are either incomprehensible or so negative one wonders if the reviewers have any critical faculties at all, or finally, the focus of the paper which seems very narrowly conceived to analyze news and events from a distinctly White, privileged perspective. This paper feels like a high school rag run by a bunch of hormonally charged teenage boys.
What would be truly new, and not just for Portland, is a weekly publication that includes voices from the entire community. Portland is not just about young, White people (they are NOT that interesting); there are many others in this city. Why not have a completely multi- ethnic/cultural, gender/age -balanced publication that is written by a coalition of people who are respectful of each other? What would be truly radical would be people telling their OWN stories and coming together to create a true picture of Portland as opposed to, for example an image of a future robot having sex with a woman. I mean, really?