Sometime in the mid-2000s, various groups of people who couldn't make it elsewhere moved in. Now, these people are in social positions of power. Tone deaf DJs, comics without jokes, dancers who can't dance etc. "This tastes like shit, why are you a cook?" "Because that was the position my cousin could hook me up with when I moved here." The town forgives, if not rewards, underachievement. A safe space for everyone appeals to no one. Points for trying is a lethal concept. How can we put an end to this? Speak up. When you see bad art, point it out. When the bartender is too glued to their smartphone to pour a shitty drink, call him out. When an unfunny comic gets extra stage time because the host is lonely and wants to bang her, speak up. The NW is loaded with talented, capable people, and until they learn to speak up and put bullshit in its place, this town will continue to be the next little thing. Today, say one thing that isn't widely accepted or posing as agreeable rebellion. Piss off an "in-Portland" person and see how little power they actually have. Say one thing that doesn't align with the clique's set of playground rules. I just did, now it's your turn.