PEOPLE WHO BITCH ABOUT THEIR iPHONES
Owners of iPhones are goddamn crybabies: "Waah, this keyboard is hard to type on!" Or, "Boo hoo, this YouTube of Rodney Dangerfield's rap video is taking forever to load!" Well, CRAM IT. Most of us mere mortals with realistically sized paychecks still can't afford an iPhone, and the last thing we want to hear is how hard it is to upload pictures to Facebook while you're driving.
We're pretty sure the Book of Mormon isn't down with vampires, or any other creatures of the occult—but that hasn't stopped Twilight from becoming a sensation. Let's be realistic here: If you actually met a vampire, it would chew the living shit out of you. It would drink you dry without batting an eyelash. It certainly wouldn't get all mopey and piney and fall in love with you. IT WOULD KILL YOU DEAD. Or undead. Or something. These Mormon vampires aren't scary, and are giving teenage girls (and their lonely mothers) the absolutely wrong idea about vampires—it's irresponsible, plain and simple. (However, we are more than happy to invite back the cute tween Swedish vampires from Let the Right One In! That movie was adorable!)
THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR
Joe Sixpack, Joe the Plumber, Larry the Welder, and George W. Bush—the last eight years have been a grammatically devastating celebration of small town America, which somewhere along the line came to mean stupid, narrow-minded people who can't speak properly. President-elect Obama's glorious, well-constructed sentences—with their judiciously selected adjectives and coherent subject/predicate relationships—usher in a new era of political speech. The grammatical atrocities inflicted by our outgoing president and his cronies in the "real America" are mercifully behind us.
PEOPLE WHO THROW AWAY PERFECTLY GOOD 2005 JESSICA ALBA BIKINI CALENDARS
For years, the Mercury had a perfectly good 2005 Jessica Alba bikini calendar hanging above our office toilet—that is, until SOMEONE took it down, and threw it into the garbage. Not the recycling, mind you... THE GARBAGE. Adding insult to injury, this same SOMEONE replaced the 2005 Jessica Alba bikini calendar with one depicting a Jack Russell Terrier in a fireman's hat. Not only is this SOMEONE never invited back to 2009—he or she has been banned from every year in history. Even the ones Hitler lived in.
Those things just scare the shit out of us.
Let's just skip from age 9 to 13, shall we? The gaggles of all you prepubescent tweens at the mall—laughing gauchely about Zac Efron, and decked out in be-sequined Forever 21 frocks that barely cover your... ahem—it's all very sad to me. Be children, then be teenagers. The middle ground is just too depressing.
Indecision is unattractive—especially when you're having trouble choosing between the Messiah and some old dude. Really? You couldn't decide between the Messiah and some old dude? You didn't ruin things this time (thanks), but your refusal to use that noggin and look at the facts bugs us. Au revoir.
DICKWAD BIKE GEAR NOT INVITED BACK TO 2009
• Tiny chopped handlebars—"Hey, wouldn't it be, like, so sweet if we sawed our handlebars in half? They'd be just like regular handlebars, but so tiny that two hands could barely fit on them. Super hot! Right, dude? Right?" Wrong.
• Aerospoke wheels—These giant plastic spokes try so hard to be hot. Hot like your totally edgy punk blue hair and new gold Adidas.
• Pants so tight you can't pedal: Sexy citizens of Portland do not want to see your skinny white ass crack. K? Thnx.
• Non-homeless people who ride mountain bikes: These people are sporty douchebags.
• Adult tricycles: If you don't understand why, then never mind—you should totally go buy one.
LIVE THEATER INVOLVING PUPPETS
Whimsy. Rarely a virtue.
Imitating skits from Saturday Night Live is "really" not cool—and it never has been. If you're upset by something someone has said or done, repeating the word "REALLY?" isn't going to solve the problem, or make anyone happier. It just makes you look like an unimaginative nerd. Really.
We don't care what you think you're protesting—put that thing away, unless you're hot, which you probably aren't... so... put that thing away.
You're not invited back to 2009 or any year after that— EVER. Actually, we don't have a minute for the environment or the polar bears or the Democratic Party or anything else you're hawking. We know you're only doing this because you can't find another job. We get you, but you're annoying the crap out of us and we can't stand it anymore. Work at a bar or something. You'll do more good there.
Nowhere is the insidious niceness of Portlanders more apparent than in their collective response to theater: Time after time, mediocrity onstage is celebrated by audiences leisurely clambering to their feet and clapping politely—an obligatory ovation that forces actors to take unwanted curtain call after curtain call. The standing ovation is supposed to mean something. It's supposed to mean "I've just had my mind completely fucking blown by what I've witnessed here in this theater today, and I'm so moved I can't help but leap to my feet in frenzied approval." It is decidedly not supposed to mean, "Well, I have to stand up anyway, and everyone is standing up..." Let's take a year off from faking the standing O, shall we? If you're not feeling it, keep that ass in your seat.
GREG ODEN'S GLASS BONES
We don't know if he didn't drink enough milk as a kid or what, but how come the bones of Blazer superstar Greg Oden shatter every time he sneezes? There's a name for cars like that: lemon.
COMCAST'S MONOPOLY ON BLAZERS TELEVISED GAMES
Few things are more sinister than Comcast's absolute stranglehold on televising Trail Blazers games on their terrible CSN Northwest channel. Despite their pricy advertising blitz aimed at convincing you that it's your fault you can't witness half the team's games, the Comcast deal is little more than a complete assault on true fans of the team. I hate you, Comcast. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.
You're just like New Seasons—but with less attractive, less happy employees, worse tortilla soup, and far more chit chat about MacBooks. Now that you've successfully subpoenaed confidential information from our beloved Seasons, be prepared for Portlanders to spike your organic milk with RBST.
$6 BEERS AT THE CRYSTAL BALLROOM
Dear McMenamins: We love your venues, and the sparkling entertainment you bring us every week. That being said, by charging a whopping SIX DOLLARS for a single beer at the Crystal Ballroom, you are essentially bending us over and sticking your Hammerheads into our tender places. With a dollar tip, it comes to SEVEN dollars. FOR ONE BEER. We're sorry—but that is fucking obscene. And the beer is brewed DOWNSTAIRS! In the same building! You're not even having to pay for packaging, shipping, advertising, distributing, or merchandising! Let's compare: For a mere $5, one can get a Pilsner Urquell—which travelled all the way from the Czech Republic—at the Doug Fir, or a Spaten, from the not-very-nearby-climes of Germany, at Holocene. What's more, those very same $6 beers are available at other McMenamins outlets for as little as three bucks and change! So while the Crystal Ballroom is still the go-to place for entertainment, you can keep your ridiculously overpriced homebrew—because it is officially NOT INVITED BACK!
CLUBS WITHOUT COAT CHECKS
Good evening. I have come to your establishment tonight to dance, and listen to some music, and spend money on the alcohol that keeps your business afloat. I see that it is quite warm in here, and once I start getting my groove on, I will be down to my last layer, covered in the sexy sweat that draws people out to dance at establishments such as this. Unfortunately, it's winter, and while it's nice and toasty in here, it took 10 minutes for the feeling to come back into my hands after making the trip here through the cold. Would you mind hanging on to my coat while I warm myself up on the dance floor? No? Not even for a couple bucks? That sucks. I guess I'll have to take my chances that my coat and wallet don't get taken from the unguarded chair over there, which would really be a setback to my ability to come here and dance, all the while drinking the alcohol that keeps your business afloat.
BARS/RESTAURANTS WITH ONE-WORD NAMES
What, are we running out of words to name our bars and restaurants? Mint. Pour. North. East. That isn't one name— it's four. We all understand that it saves money on signage, but the monosyllabic establishment name just seems sort of lazy. Now, if you don't mind, time for us to open our new restaurant, "Food."
DOGGIE DAY CARES WITH PUNS IN THEIR NAMES
In a city that seems to have more pet day care programs than ones for actual human children, why do they all insist on naming their businesses with insultingly bad puns? Howliday Inn? Central Bark? No Bonz About It? We GET IT. Please stop.
THE WORDS "BLOGOSPHERE" AND "YAY"
Both are so broad as to actually deflate meaning, for example: "I cut my arm off yesterday. Yay..." or "I won a million dollars. Yay...." What is a word like that even DOING in the English language? Is there in fact a sequence of words after which the word "yay" might not fit? Then: "I hear they're talking all about it on the blogosphere." Oh yeah? Which part? The part where there are blogs? In the sphere? It's like saying "I hear you can buy beer in the bar-o-sphere." Fuck it, and fuck you for saying it. Actually fuck both words, all the way to hell. Yay.
EAST BURNSIDE NICKNAMES
East Burn? LoBu? Or the quasi-official Lower East End? Why does East Burnside even need a snappy nickname? Can't it just be that one street with the migrant workers, Doug Fir, strip club, karaoke, and seedy motel?
If there's anything that the past few months have taught us, it's that we've been acting like a bunch of childish idiots for more or less the past decade. Living in a celebutante-infested society that spawned such things as "it bags" and $500 key chains (that actually sold) whose price was justified by the logo, average Americans turned into a bunch of status-hungry, credit card-indebted morons with rhinestone messages emblazoned across the asses of their track pants. But Obama's election to the presidency has had an effect that most young people didn't even know was a possible side effect of politics: It made people want to be better—more responsible, more thoughtful, and part of the solution. Couple that with severe economic trauma, and our immediate future is starting to look at lot more like that of our grandparents' experience than the "Me Generation" that raised us.
Taking its cue from a time when purchases were made bearing the long term in mind, and quality took precedence over mass-marketing and instant gratification, even the fashion world is adopting a more serious approach. Beyond the solemnity of the looks that showed most recently in the pre-fall collections, editors and consumers are coming around to the idea of restraint. One might, for instance, trade in an Urban Outfitters habit for one or two tailored suits that will still look dignified in five years (it might be that long before you can afford another one, with lots of job interviews it will come in handy for along the way). And with manufacturing jobs in your country, and your city, directly affecting the quality of your own life, you might find yourself more inclined, when you do spend, to put your money back into the hands of your neighbors. Whatever the changes around us lead to in your own life as a consumer, one thing is clear: Shopping for gauche, overpriced status indicators and the latest shiny, trendy piece of crap is not just "not invited back," it's embarrassingly out of step with the times.
Listen, we all love us a nice beard—from Ernest Hemingway to our rabbi—but unless you can actually grow a proper one (without those creepy patches of hairlessness) please don't bother. File it under one of those things that just because you can do it, doesn't necessarily mean you should do it.
UPTALKING? SO THAT EVERY STATEMENT SOUNDS LIKE A QUESTION?
You think you might want to cut it out?
First off, there is no such thing as a hipster. It's a lazy stereotype. Blaming hipsters for ruining your favorite bar, your favorite band, and your favorite city is akin to blaming Santa Claus for ruining Christmas. Secondly, stop complaining, it makes you seem more out of touch than you really are.
PAPOOSES IN GROCERY STORES
There was a time way back in 2005 when children were considered moderately less interesting than politics in this town—but now, everybody has one, and you're all insisting on wearing the goddamned things outside the house. Like little fashion accessories! Tie your children up in the stroller outside, please. Or leave them at home in the freezer, where they belong.
FASHION CHOICES NOT INVITED BACK TO 2009
• Waist-free empire/babydoll dresses—Did you get your first period more than five years ago? Congratulations, you're a woman. Now grow up and dress like one.
• Butt-ugly khaki pants—Unless you are a broomstick, your awkwardly tapered/dropped crotch/paper bag-waisted khaki pants look like what they are: Overpriced, unflattering items successfully sold to you because of your desperate desire to appear artsy.
• Non-prescription glasses—Mimicking the handicapped isn't nice.
• Native American-inspired headbands—Not to be confused with hairbands, the straight-across-your-forehead homage to Native Americans-via-folk hippies has beaten its last drum.
• Likewise, bands that wear feather Indian chief headbands—IT'S BEEN DONE. YOU ARE NOT CUTE.
• Talking trash about other people's style—(Or do what I say, not as I do.) Now is no time to step on other people's happiness and self-expression, so unless they are wearing a suicide bomb, live and let live.
EMPTY CONDO BUILDINGS
Stop being so depressing.
Going green is all the rage, but savvy marketers have taken it too far. News flash: No matter what the ads say, driving your hybrid SUV around town is NOT good for the environment. Adding wind turbines to the proposed up-to-12-lane Columbia River Crossing Bridge does NOT make it a sustainable project. Eating meat from "happy" animals does NOT mean the chicken shit and cow methane stayed out of the water and air. And filling your reusable canvas bags with the bottled water that claims to use less plastic? It's all called greenwashing, and you're an idiot to fall for it. Meanwhile, we're not inviting it back to 2009.
If we have to build a new bridge across the Columbia River at I-5—okay, fine. And we're all for tolls, a bike and pedestrian bridge, and light rail to Vancouver(!). But this 12-lane (or even the 10-lane) design the project staff keeps trotting out? Bullshit. Those mega bridges double the capacity of the bridge, which will—if history is any guide—fill up with cars that spew CO, and induce sprawl. Ugh. We look forward to seeing a spiffy six-lane design (same size as the current one, with tolls and transit doing the job of easing traffic) in 2009. (Oh, and we're still waiting to see some independent analysis of the traffic and sprawl data. Get on it, people!)
THE SIT/LIE AND ANTI-CAMPING ORDINANCES.
Who needs smart solutions to complex social problems, when you can just criminalize homelessness and be done with it? And seriously, those fascists who comment on articles about homelessness on the Portland Tribune's website? EAT A DICK. We mean that in a bad way. As in: "EAT A BAD DICK COVERED IN OLD SMEGMA AND AIDS." And choke on it. Your ill-informed Nazi attitudes are a cancer on this city. Die.
"Excuse me, officer, I was just walking down the street here, I don't think you have the right to search me...ZZZZZAAAAAPPPPPPPP." Let's be sensible and admit that Tasers discourage officers from using conversation to defuse a situation, while maintaining the creases in their uniforms. Some officers think it's fine to use them to gain compliance, but we're inclined to think 50,000 volts and the risk of death from acidosis is an excessive form of persuasion—especially if the power to inflict it is placed in the hands of an authoritarian prick with anger issues. Portland has many upstanding officers; let's hope you get one of them during your next run-in with the law.
RESTORATIVE LISTENING CIRCLES
When are they going to start a restorative listening circle about the damage done by restorative listening circles? Damn right, black people are pissed about gentrification. But no one is going to feel better just because some white lady writes down their "feelings" on a dry-erase board.
BETTER ON FOX 12
When it comes to crass reality TV and hilariously hysterical news reports, Fox 12 can't be beat—but Better has finally pushed us too far. Like the inbred child of Oprah, Today, Rachael Ray, Tyra Banks, Entertainment Tonight, and every crappy infomercial you've ever seen, Better targets the "unemployed housewife" demo with cynical abandon. Embarrassed-looking reporters Andy Carson, Kimberly Maus, and Kara Mack bravely try to appear like they give two shits about make-up tips that'll make you look "sassy" for the holidays, Snoop Dogg's TV show, what cheap-ass gift to buy "the man in your life," or Maureen McCormick's Brady Bunch tell-all. Also, shopping and home decorating tips! If there was ever an excuse for breaking the red seal on that bottle of Maker's before 11 am, Better is it.
NEWSPAPERS IN OTHER CITIES ALWAYS WRITING ABOUT PORTLAND
Hey, New York Times, know why we don't write about your crappy local bands, pretentious restaurants, and overpriced bodegas? Because we don't care. Portland has had excellent culture for quite some time now, which means it's not new just because you just discovered it.
PORTLAND MEDIA USING THE WORDS "BREAKING NEWS" TO DESCRIBE A STORY BROKEN A DAY, WEEK, OR MONTH EARLIER BY THE PORTLAND MERCURY
It may be cheaper in a down-turning economy to simply wait and see what the Mercury's news team posts on Blogtown, and then send your sensible reporter out to re-write the exact same story without the fuck-words and/or readability—but stop claiming the content is original. It's rude.
The future of journalism lies in user-generated content organized on open-source social networking sites. Or haven't you heard?