The Great Wall: A Goofy-Ass Medieval Monster Adventure

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Don't go see The Great Wall looking for any sort of commentary or perspective on America’s own, possibly pending “great wall.” Don’t go looking for insight into China’s actual Great Wall, either. This silly fantasy-action-monster movie from Zhang Yimou doesn’t bother to stick even a pinkie toe into reality, which is just right for this kind of fun, stoned-Saturday-afternoon adventure. Some are bothered by a white actor (Matt Damon) fronting a largely Chinese production, although one of his co-stars, Pedro Pascal, is Chilean, and, like, I don’t know—this is a deliberately frivolous medieval fantasy about super-warriors fighting off nasty, computer-generated monsters? I’m guessing it isn't really trying to hold up a mirror to reality or interrogate the issues of representation in cinema.

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The Best of THE WORST Seminars at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

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The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is going down February 22-25 in National Harbor, Maryland—and DO YOU HAVE YOUR TICKETS YET? No? Well perhaps you just don't know enough about this conference which is designed for hard-right conservatives, alt-right snowflakes, lipstick-wearing gun nuts, the proudly deplorable, and cardboard cut-out saluting Trump supporters. Featuring a poop-ton of conservative speakers including the Trump administration, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Scott Walker, Fox News celeb (and Trump crush #1) Sean Hannity, General Mike Flynn, Milo Yiannopoulos, and many more primarily white people, CPAC is the only conservative leadership conference you need to help overthrow the 2,864,974 voters who helped Hillary Clinton win the popular vote.

STILL NOT CONVINCED? Then check out just a few of the many (and absolutely 100 percent REAL) seminars you can attend this coming week at CPAC:

"A Conversation with Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon" (In which the two will probably argue over who is the actual president of the United States.)
"The Popular Vote—Does it Matter & What You Can Do About It" (Guys! The popular vote is EMBARRASSING for those of us who actually control the country. Majority rule is for suckers.)
"Banning Poor People from Jobs" (Wait... most conservative supporters are poor? Never mind.)
"Black Lives Matter, So Why Does the Left Not Support Law Enforcement?" (See what we did there? That's called a "pivot." You'll learn all sorts of things at this conference!)
"Book Signing: Michael Medved The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic" (True story: I once sat next to Michael Medved in a movie, and he spent the entire time loudly eating an apple and farting.)
"How to Become a Conservative Journalist" (Because we must remove bias from journalism!)
"Book Signing: Matt Margolis The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama" (The only problem with this book is that the title is too subtle.)
"Facts, Not Feelings: Snowflakes, Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings" (Don't worry! The subject of "libtards" will also be discussed.)
"Book Signing: Joe Messina Ramblings of a Right Wing, Bible Thumping, White Guy" (Did we leave anything out? You know, other than "racist" and "misogynist"?)

There's also this seminar... but rather than comment, I'm just going to leave this one right here.

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And my absolute favorite seminar of all...

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True, there's no such thing as God or heaven, but this seminar title makes a good point—why should the right allow immigrants into our country, when God will be sending all racist conservative a-holes straight to hell? IT AIN'T FAIR!

You can see all the seminars here, BUT WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get your tickets to CPAC right now and right here. Because as bad as it currently is, CPAC is committed to making America just a little bit WORSE.

For the latest in information about rallies, marches, and political events, consult the Mercury's RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY calendar. Want to publicize an event? Send the info to calendar@portlandmercury.com.


Good Morning, News: Cops Crack Down, Ted Wheeler Gets a House Call, and Sweden Will Be Disappointed

A woman is arrested at a #NotMyPresidentsDay protest in Downtown Portland on Monday.
A woman is arrested at a #NotMyPresidentsDay protest in Downtown Portland on Monday. Doug Brown

'Twas President's Day yesterday, so: protest. Things turned oddly sour at a small anti-Trump demonstration near the downtown federal building, as cops responded to relatively benign acts with swift force. Doug got the goods.

Portland police suggest to the Oregonian that this sort of response is the new normal, that they're sick of dealing with protesters without permits blocking roads. The ACLU of Oregon, which has pushed back against police crackdowns on demonstrations, says the PPB is dead wrong.

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Facebook

Rude awakening: Protests didn't only take place downtown yesterday. A contingent of people headed up into the West Hills last night and rousted Mayor Ted Wheeler from his pre-sleep reveries to demand he acknowledge demands the city divest from companies that support the Dakota Access Pipeline. Wheeler was not pleased. His wife Katrina: even less so.

The owner of a Southeast Portland insurance agency fatally shot a man outside his business yesterday, after a confrontation. Early witness statements suggest the victim might have been a homeless person who'd left belongings outside the agency and became upset that they were thrown away. That's not been confirmed by cops yet.

More bad news for the Portland couple who allowed their two-year-old to slip out of their Northeast Portland home this weekend, spurring a large-scale search that found the boy huddled in a blackberry bush. Their son is now in state custody.

This video of the odd, fatal attack on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother messed me up yesterday. What even happened? What poison is this? The fragility of life!

In my shaken state, my interest was piqued by news that Russia's ambassador to the United Nations died on Monday. But there was no freakish airport assassination at play. Which is reassuring.

“We expect the president of the U.S. to base his statements on facts." Hey, Sweden? Bad news.

When he's not spouting off about nonexistent Swedish terror attacks, Donald Trump is working to fill holes in his staff. For instance: He got a national security adviser. I mean, he already had a national security adviser, but that national security adviser lied about his conversations with Russia. And then Trump's next pick turned him down. But now—NOW—he's got a national security adviser: three-star General H.R. McMaster, who people seem generally impressed with.

By the way: Republicans aren't the only lawmakers facing heat at their district town hall events. Conservatives are using the forums to pressure Democratic senators to confirm Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.

Worst February. It's official.

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Protesters Went to Mayor Ted Wheeler's House on Monday Night

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Facebook

Ted Wheeler got his first house call tonight.

A video posted to Facebook this evening shows a group of demonstrators outside the mayor's West Hills home at some point this evening. Faces and identities aren't clear, but based on the conversation between a berobed Wheeler and demonstrators on his porch, this is apparently the same group that marched on City Hall last Friday, demanding the city do what it can to stymie the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (divestment in entities that are helping it is a central demand).

The mayor wasn't at City Hall when the demonstrators arrived last week. As has been protocol of late, building security locked the doors so the crowd couldn't get in. Wheeler's deputy chief of staff went out to meet the group.

So now they've gone to the mayor's home, at night, while the Wheeler clan was clearly preparing for bed. That's a step beyond any action taken against former Mayor Charlie Hales, who had campers in front of his Eastmoreland house for a time, but never anything like this.

Wheeler's wife, Katrina, is clearly displeased there are chanting strangers on her porch in the dark. Wheeler, as has been his tactic, gave the group at least something of a hearing.

From what I can tell from the video, this didn't have to do with the forceful police response to a peaceful anti-Trump protest earlier today. It's entirely possible demonstrators had various reasons for showing up.

Video, shot by a woman named Heather Clark, is below.


SEX

Savage Love Letters of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up

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My inbox received so much advice (and hate mail) this week that I'm pretty sure Savage Love readers broke a record. Here's the smartest (and meanest) advice/feedback sent in from readers over the past week.

In response to A Strep Too Far:

Dan, you answered a letter about a woman repeatedly catching strep from a boyfriend. In the letter, the woman's ENT told her the only solution was to avoid contact with the guy. You were dubious. One thing that didn't get stressed, in the letter or recent call, is that strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus, a bacteria type that manifests itself in different ways and doesn't only exist in the tonsils. It often lives on the skin, and in carriers, does it without causing infection. I don't know whether using a bactericide on hands and cock before deep throating activity, could work, but it might be worth a try. The carrier state is, apparently, considered "an enigma." It might be reasonable to assume that the carrier boyfriends cannot be cured of being carriers and the girlfriends who keep getting sick are unusually susceptible to this bacteria.

A follow-up from a caller on the Savage Lovecast:

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Milo Dropped by Simon & Schuster (Like a Cuck)

News FlashL Medium Talent Gay Blogger loses book deal
News Flash: Medium Talent Gay Blogger loses book deal

Bummer, man.


TV

Big Little Lies is Unapologetically About Women

At last! Adult women in a show that isnt about sex robots!
At last! Adult women in a show that isn't about sex robots! HBO

Last year, I watched Game of Thrones by asking a friend each Monday morning what horrors had been visited upon the show’s women characters the evening before. Based on her report, I decided whether I'd continue to watch.

Behold the embarrassing price of admission for prestige television: If you want to see a smart, complicated lady, hope you’re cool with a side of sexual violence and general debasement.

Since November, I haven't had the patience for it. I didn't even try with Westworld. I'm no longer interested in TV that promises me complex women characters in a plot seemingly constructed by 14-year-old boys. So when I found out HBO was adapting Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, I was READY.

It should come as no surprise that Big Little Lies, which stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley as moms in a fancy beach community where a MYSTERY IS AFOOT, is not based on literary fiction. Moriarty isn’t a tremendous prose stylist (neither is George R.R. Martin, sorry). Big Little Lies the book is overlong by about 200 pages and has a lollipop on the cover.

It also happens to be genre fiction at its best.

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Portland Mercury's Highball Drink Recipes Are Here: Dig A Pony, Dot's Cafe, Double Barrel Tavern

It’s almost time for... HIGHBALL!

Brace yourself for over 40 specially crafted cocktails… for only $5 each!

All of the tantalizing drink recipes are available online! Check out what your favorite neighborhood bars and restaurants have in store for you March 6-12 HERE!

For a full list of participating bars and restaurants and more information check here.

Here's a few teaser cocktails...

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Clipping.'s PhD Level, Post-Gangsta Anecdotes

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BRIAN TAMBORELLO

LOS ANGELES trio clipping. are the latest anomalous group recording for that unlikely incubator of outsider hip-hop, Sub Pop. As home to intergalactic explorers Shabazz Palaces, South African "Township Tech" artist Spoek Mathambo, and the now-defunct astral soul sisters THEESatisfaction, the Seattle label best known as grunge champions in the 1990s and for nuanced indie rock in the 2000s has also nurtured adventurous rap artists during the past decade. To date, Sub Pop has released two clipping. albums, providing a substantial platform for music that colors way outside the lines of modern hiphop.

On 2016's Splendor & Misery and 2014's CLPPNG, producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson fuse rugged, abstract beats with the sort of sculpted noise and bizarre percussion timbres that sound more like the domain of avant-garde alienators than of RZA and J Dilla disciples or Metro Boomin. MC Daveed Diggs—who's won Grammy and Tony Awards for his work in the popular musical Hamilton—spits verses that encompass turbulent street life and robust, youngblood horniness, although bolstered by an undercurrent of existentialism. Post-gangsta anecdotes told at a PhD level, in a sense.

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Cops and Protesters are Clashing at Portland's #NotMyPresidentsDay Protest

Anti-Trump demonstrators protest downtown on Monday.
Anti-Trump demonstrators protest downtown on Monday. Doug Brown

A relatively small group of people protesting Donald Trump on this President's Day has been met with a forceful response from the Portland Police Bureau.

The Mercury's Doug Brown reports police have cracked down on a Don't Shoot Portland-organized #NotMyPresidentsDay protest in front of the federal building in downtown Portland. The event, with roughly 100 demonstrators, is smaller than most protests we've seen since Trump won the White House in November. But it's drawn a notably stern response from police, who've arrested people not just for blocking roads, but on the sidewalks, and deployed crowd control devices, according to Doug.

Here's a rundown.












The clash comes as members of Don't Shoot Portland's leadership have expressed concern over the recent police shooting of a black 17-year-old, and cast doubt that the incident would be investigated fairly. According to cops, a Portland police officer shot Quanice Hayes on February 9 after encountering the teen while investigating a robbery. Police say Hayes had a "replica" handgun at the time, though the circumstances surrounding the shooting remain opaque.

Update: As of 12:45 pm, the demonstrators had met up with another group at Director Park. Now with larger numbers, they're marching through the streets.



TV

The Walking Dead Recap: The Enemy of My Enemy is Kinda Weird

Hey! Did you watch last night's episode of The Walking Dead? Yes? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THOSE NEW ODDBALLS (who I'm calling the "Garbage Pail Kids")? Let's chat about them, and frankly, anything else you want to chitty-chat about, after the jump. Spoilers ahoy!

Look. Take your Girl Scout cookies and get the FAWK outta here!
"Look. Take your Girl Scout cookies and get the FAWK outta here!" Courtesy AMC

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Don't Miss the I, Anonymous Show...TONIGHT!!

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America loves two things: freedom, and the Portland Mercury’s monthly I, Anonymous Show at the Secret Society! Now more than ever, America needs a place to post their furious rants and most secret confessions—anonymously. And that’s where the Mercury’s I, Anonymous column comes in! It’s a great place to vent, scream, and purge your filthy soul of all your sins, without anyone knowing it’s you!


But the I, Anonymous Show goes one better: Hilariously fabulous host Bri Pruett picks the finest, most startling I, Anonymous submissions, and after reading them aloud, digs deep into each one with help from a terrific panel of the best comic minds Portland has to offer. Tonight, Bri will be joined by the veeeeery funny Derek Sheen, Lucia Fasano, and Marcus Coleman, who will all share their very opinionated opinions!


And this episode is particularly special, because it is the last I, Anonymous Show to be hosted by our beloved Bri Pruett before she moves away. (Tears, get back inside those eyeballs!) But don’t worry, the I, Anonymous Show will go on! Find out more at the February edition of the funniest, craziest, most honest comedy show in town...

THE I, ANONYMOUS SHOW!


TONIGHT, February 20
7:30 pm
The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell
$10 adv (at merctickets.com), $15 door


Milo Yiannopoulos: Girls Are In Danger When Adult Trans Women Use Public Toilets But 13-Year-Old Boys Can Benefit From Giving Head To Adult Males

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Milo Yiannopoulos was on Real Time on Friday night, where he justified his history of harassing trans women by claiming he's protecting women and girls from sexual predators. Here's Yiannopoulos doing his stepin-felch-it routine during the Overtime segment:

MAHER: [Reading a question submitted by a viewer.] "Why did you single out a transgender student for ridicule during a recent speech you made on her campus?" Did you do that?

YIANNOPOULOS: Well, yes. First of all, wasn't a student. He had already left the university. And I make no apologies for protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexuality identity... I misgendered this person.

MAHER: I'm confused about who this is, because pronouns are so important. If you call Caitlin Jenner a "he" you're a bad person — 

YIANNOPOULOS: No, I did it on purpose. I misgendered this person.

MAHER: So this is a man, born a man, who wants — 

YIANNOPOULOS: Who thinks he might be a girl.

MAHER: And you have a problem with that?

YIANNOPOULOS: No, I don't have a problem with it. But I think that women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities in their bathrooms.

MAHER: That's not unreasonable.

I'm sorry, Bill, but that's not reasonable—it's the textbook definition of unreason. It's a lie and a dangerous one, as I unpacked in this post:

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Win Tickets to PIFF After Dark's Screening of The Autopsy of Jane Doe!

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We're in the midst of the Portland International Film Festival (read Andrew Wright's festival preview here!), which means we're also in the midst of PIFF After Dark—the late-night subsection of PIFF where the festival's more inventive and interesting movies live. And thanks to the NW Film Center, we're giving away a couple of tickets to one of this weekend's PIFF After Dark screenings!

That screening? Director André Øvredal's The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which screens this Saturday, February 25, at 10:30 pm at the Bagdad Theater. Øvredal is the same guy who directed Troll Hunter, and this won the "Best Horror" award at Fantasy Fest, and if that's not enough to get you excited, here's this:

Want to win a pair of tickets? Email me no later than 3 pm today (Monday, February 20), and make sure your subject line is "SPEED RACER." I'll pick a winner at 3 and email them back. That's it! Have at. Too late! I gave them away already! You missed your shot!


"Not My Presidents" Day Marches and Events

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Here are three events you may want to take part in today for President's (or more aptly, #NotMyPresidents) Day.

We the People: Marching United in Resistance & Be Heard, Be Indivisible #NotMyPresidentsDay Protests

What better way to counter celebrations of President’s Day than to use a clever hashtag and stand up together in solidarity? Exercise that First Amendment right by participating in a statewide day for protest. Two marches will be occurring simultaneously, one led by Oregon’s Union Movement and another by Don’t Shoot Portland, though there’s no word yet if they plan to combine marches. Oregon’s Union Movement at Director Park, 815 SW Park, noon–4 pm, free; Don’t Shoot Portland at Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, 1220 SW 3rd, 11 am, free

Not My President’s Day – Bloc[k] Party

Philanthropically roam the Water Avenue Commerce Center and sample fare from a slew of Portland’s favorite chefs and spirit makers for the first installation of a soon-to-be recurring fundraising event known as #DeliciousResistance. Kate McMillen of Loretta Jean’s, Earl Ninsom of Hat Yai, and Angel Teta of Ataula are just a few of the noteworthy culinary community members who will attend and share their gifts in gastronomy. Those who can afford to drop the pair of Tubmans on the evening will rest easy with full bellies and the knowledge that 100 percent of ticket sales go directly to Planned Parenthood. Water Avenue Commerce Center, 1028 SE Water, 8:30–11:30 pm, $40

The Beer Party PDX Launch Event

A grassroots organization of Portland beer industry leaders known as The Beer Party PDX present their first fundraising event to coincide with President's Day. The event is intended to increase awareness of civil rights issues and will raise money for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Participating bars include Bailey's Taproom, Bazi Bierbrasserie, The BeerMongers, Belmont Station, Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, Lombard House, Roscoe's, Saraveza, The Thirsty Sasquatch, The Upper Lip, Tin Bucket, and Uptown Market.

Click here for more info on the cause, as well as a detailed list of the beers being poured for the fundraiser. Various locations, noon, more info here.