Check Out the Mercury's 2020 Gift Guide!

This Saturday, Stream the Incredibly Sexy "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Vol. 2"!

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As you know, HUMP! is America's sweetest li'l dirty movie festival, featuring five-minute amateur porn flicks submitted by horny enthusiasts from all over the Pacific Northwest (and the world)! And after 15 YEARS (!!) of HUMP!, you better believe we have a huge backlog of great, sexy short films... and wouldn't you like to revisit some? YES, YOU WOULD!

Saturday (Nov 28) and through Thursday, December 10, we're streaming a brand new volume of our festival, called "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2." This volume contains even more audience favorites—some you may remember, some you've never seen before—that are hot 'n' sexy, creative 'n' kinky, and heartfelt 'n' hilarious. As always, HUMP! features a cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes—all united by a shared spirit of sex-positivity. It's a celebration of creative sexual expression, and a terrific (and hot!) way to be reminded that our humanity lies in our differences.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Put some excitement into your month by streaming "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2" in the comfort of your own home (or bedroom). GET YOUR TICKETS NOW AND HERE!

Want a sexy taste of what you'll see? Watch the trailer for "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2"!


Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Portland: Virtual Karaoke, Festive Beer, Holiday Lights, and More

Boasting itself as the largest light show in the Northwest, Pacific International Raceways Winter Wonderland will get the drive-through treatment this year, starting this weekend.
Boasting itself as the largest light show in the Northwest, Pacific International Raceway's Winter Wonderland will get the drive-through treatment this year, starting this weekend. Pacific International Raceway via Facebook

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!
The holiday floodgates are back open this weekend with Thanksgiving 2020 officially behind us, and although many Portland counties remain in lockdown, there are plenty of safe ways to indulge in some festive cheer in isolation or with your quar pod. We've rounded up those (and other non-holiday) activities and events below, from places to get pre-cut Christmas trees to the drive-in Cinnamon Bear Holiday Show, and from festive beer releases to virtual karaoke parties. For even more options, check out our guides to the best online events this week and the best movies to stream this week

SEASONAL
Support BIPOC small businesses on Black Friday. With the economic strains put on independent makers following COVID-19 setbacks, shopping local—particularly from Black-owned businesses—is vital this holiday season, and Portland has tons of great BIPOC brands to choose from. For beauty fanatics, Paula Hayes's Beaverton-based cosmetics company Hue Noir offers products catering to darker skin tones, and they happen to be offering 50% off online through Cyber Monday. Coffee nerds will give you points for gifting a bag of Deadstock Coffee, whose beans are roasted on Tuesdays and shipped fresh on Thursdays. Looking to educate the little ones in your life on social justice issues? Local Oprah-approved publisher A Kids Book About has digestible books on topics you wish more people talked to you about when you were a tiny tot, from systemic racism to divorce to body image, and they're offering a buy-two-get-the-third-free deal through Sunday. Other notable mentions: BBQ sauce haven Felton & Mary, sweets purveyors Sugar Street Bakery, Inger McDowell's gift baskets With Love from PDX, and Cole and Dayna Reed's Northeast home goods store GreenHaus Gallery. Local nonprofit Equitable Giving Circle also has limited-quantity Black Friday Boxes, which include items from local Black-owned businesses like KMD Kandles and Helen Rose Skincare Co.

Read on EverOut »


Savage Love: Blocked

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Joe Newton

My boyfriend and I were friends for a couple of years (we're both 30-year-old gay men), then I stopped traveling around the world and pursued him. We’ve been boyfriends for a year and a half now. We were both happy and we had sex on a regular basis during the first year. I'm more into anal (as a top) but we mainly did oral because he isn't into anal. We tried a few times early on but every time I mention it now he doesn't seem keen, so I've left it alone. Six months ago he started having trouble “getting it up” even for oral. After it happened a couple of times he basically said, “I'm sorry it's because I think people aren't attracted to me.” After that happened I started to lose my interest in sex between us and now we rarely have it. Even if he did offer to try anal I don’t even think that would motivate me to have sex with him. Apart from that we get on great but I feel as though I'm starting to see him more as a friend. I've been thinking about breaking up for the last three months but I would feel terrible for a few reasons: his previous boyfriend broke up with him without giving him a reason, which he struggled to come to terms with, and he's very self-conscious about his weight. So I can’t tell him the reason I want to break up—I don’t find him attractive anymore—because that might erode his mental health. (He is seeing a therapist.) If sex was great between us I would be happy to remain boyfriends since everything else is working out and I'm fairly certain he's happy with our relationship as it is, which makes it even harder to end it. Advice?

Promising Relationship Is Sexless Or Nearly So

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Where to Get Comfort Food for Takeout in Portland Right Now

Give yourself a break from cooking and opt for a comforting take-and-bake vegetarian pasta from Ava Genes.
Give yourself a break from cooking and opt for a comforting take-and-bake vegetarian pasta from Ava Gene's. Ava Gene's

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

As we transition into the dead of winter, we could all use some soul-warming nourishment to bolster our spirits. Of course, COVID-19 has changed the way we acquire that nourishment, so we've compiled this list of takeout and delivery food so you can get your comfort food fix safely. Whether you're craving ramen, pizza, dumplings, pasta, pho, or fried chicken, you'll find something here to suit your tastes. For more delicious ideas, check out our full food and drink guide.

PIZZA
Apizza Scholls
Serious Eats founder Ed Levine once dubbed this "Neo-Neapolitan" pizza destination "one of the top five pizzerias in America."
Southeast
Pickup

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Good Morning, News: SCOTUS Bans COVID-19's Religious Restrictions, Trump's Tiny Desk Concert, and Black Teen Killed in Ashland

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Trump feat. tiny desk.
Trump feat. tiny desk. Getty Images / White House Pool

Good morning, Portland! Happy day after Thanksgiving, a holiday which may now be tied to two moments of mass death and devastation in this county's history: The genocide of indigenous Americans and a deadly pandemic stoked by holiday hangouts. Oh, and it's Black Friday. If you're planning on spending dollars today, consider supporting local small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic's financial fallout. Here's a handy directory of Portland small biz, and here's a roundup of some Portland holiday markets that have gone online. Now for the news:

- Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated near Tehran. Fakhrizadeh, who'd been described as the "father of the Iranian bomb," has been compared to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the US physicist who produced the first atomic weapons. Fakhrizadeh's death comes amid concerns about Iran's production of enriched uranium.

- A Venezuelan judge has sentenced six American oil executives to prison for embezzlement. The six men—all executives with Houston-based, Venezuela-owned Citgo—have each been sentenced to more than eight years behind bars.

- Mexican feminists have occupied the federal Human Rights Commission building in Mexico City for two months straight in protest of the country's alarming rates of femicide. Activists have turned the building into a shelter for women and children escaping abuse, and a memorial for those who've been killed or sexually abused. None of the activists' demands—including "police training, a public review of government actions to stop the violence, and a guarantee of the protesters’ safety"—have been met.

- On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court barred the New York state government from restricting religious services in New York City to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This decision butts heads with previous SCOTUS rulings that upheld COVID-19 restrictions to religious spaces. What's different this time? Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

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The Best Movies to Stream in Portland This Thanksgiving Weekend

Kristen Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, and other recognizable faces in Happiest Season, a delightful new gay holiday rom-com streaming on Hulu.
Kristen Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, and other recognizable faces in Happiest Season, a delightful new gay holiday rom-com streaming on Hulu. Lacey Terrell/Hulu

Whether you need something to watch while you prepare your scaled-down Thanksgiving feast, you're jonesing for some yuletide entertainment, or you're ignoring the holidays and looking for other streaming options, you'll find plenty to choose from this week. See them below, from the video game doc Insert Coin to a gender-flipped Black Beauty voiced by Kate Winslet. Plus, if you haven't heard, the Mercury's amateur porn film festival HUMP! is accepting submissions through January 8, as is the stoner short film fest SPLIFF, through March 5!

LOCALLY STREAMING: NEW & NOTEWORTHY
El Cuento de las Comadrejas / The Weasel's Tale
The Portland Latin American Film Festival presents Oscar-winning Argentian director Juan Jose Campanella's (The Secret in Their Eyes) thriller about a group of old friends in the movie industry whose existence at a large house in the country is threatened by a new-to-town young couple. 
Portland Latin American Film Festival
Wednesday only

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Good Afternoon, News: New "Post-Freeze" Restrictions, Police Oversight a Bureaucratic Mess, and Trump Pardons Known Asshole

Im With Asshole: As expected, a traitor (Trump) pardons another traitor (Michael Flynn).
"I'm With Asshole": As expected, a traitor (Trump) pardons another traitor (Michael Flynn). George Frey / Getty Images

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• We're one week into the "two-week freeze" that Gov. Brown declared for Oregon—but what happens afterward? Brown held a press conference today in which she announced the majority of the state's counties would remain under tight restrictions—though those restrictions will now depend on what level of "risk" the county is experiencing. (Multnomah, for example, is under "extreme risk.") However, restaurants and bars will be able to do outdoor service even in the most restricted counties, while grocery stores will be limited to 50 percent capacity (down from 75 percent). The most hopeful takeaway is that Oregon can expect 30,000 vaccine shots by late December, with priority given to healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities. There's a lot here, but our Alex Zielinski breaks it all down for you.

• Since yesterday, the OHA is reporting another big number of positive COVID-19 infections (1,189) and 20 additional deaths.

• The constant crush of COVID illnesses are driving some Oregon health care workers to leave their frontline positions due to stress and exhaustion.

• According to new footage released by investigators, Clark County officers fired 34 rounds at Kevin Peterson Jr.—a Black 21-year-old—who was killed during an attempted arrest in which police claim he was armed. These same officers refused to be interviewed until a full week (and in one case almost two weeks) after the killing.

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Most Oregon Counties Will Remain in COVID-19 "Freeze" Until 2021

A friendly reminder from Californias Imperial County.
A friendly reminder from California's Imperial County. Mario Tama / Getty Images

It's likely strict COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place for 21 Oregon counties—including Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties—until the end of 2020.

Gov. Kate Brown announced this extension on what began as a two-week "freeze" on social and business activities across Oregon during a Wednesday press conference. She also released a new framework for determining restrictions based on a county's coronavirus risk level, and announced that Oregon is on track to receive COVID-19 vaccines to treat 30,000 people.

The new framework, which goes into effect on December 3, will lessen restrictions for at least 15 Oregon counties that aren't experiencing the kind of surge in COVID-19 seen in other regions.

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Refresh Playlist: New Music for the Week

Megan THEE Stallion, Good News
Megan THEE Stallion, Good News

As COVID cases surge and we head into holiday season, the last couple weeks have seen an absolute onslaught of new music to distract ourselves with. If you're experiencing SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), listening to music has the power to actually elevate your mood. Here are seven new releases from both nationally recognized and locally based artists that'll hold space for you to refresh your mind.



Good News, Megan THEE Stallion


Megan THEE Stallion’s highly anticipated studio debut, Good News, is finally here. There’s the new single “Body”—which, can we all just collectively scream YAAAAAAAAAAS! Learning the choreography to this self-confident single may be the best workout you’ve had all year. The album is largely what you’d expect from the hot girl rapper: lots of sex-positive bars and self-confident wordplay. Album opener “Shots Fired” fiercely addresses singer Tory Lanez for inflicting harm on Meg in July when he allegedly shot her in the foot as she was attempting to exit a vehicle. Of course, there’s also previously released hit single “Savage” featuring Beyoncé, “Don’t Stop” featuring Young Thug, and “Girls in the Hood.” Other highlights include “Circles,” which beautifully samples Jazmine Sullivan’s 2020 song “Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles)”; “Freaky Girls” featuring SZA, with grabby lines like “Suck the D like I’m toothless”; “Work That” (“and Ride it like a rodeo!”); the ultra sexy “Intercourse” featuring Popcaan and Mustard; “Go Crazy” featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “Outside,” and more.

A Brown Branch, Brown Branch


Brown Branch is the new music project comprising two Portland-based musicians: jazz pianist Charlie 3rown and drummer Domo Branch. After dropping their excellent one-off single, “Smile,” in October, the producer duo have a new five-track EP titled A Brown Branch, out via the artist-run label We Are People Music. The fleshed out, jazz-influenced, at times psychedelic songs can easily be considered protest music, with track titles that read “WE,” “FIGHTING,” “UNITE,” and “CULTURE.” But the sonics and vibe on songs like the final “GOODBYE” have a sweet healing effect.


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Watch Live: Gov. Brown on New Measures That Will Follow the "Freeze"

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Governor's Office

UPDATE: Governor Brown has issued tighter restrictions on high risk counties, but certain restrictions have been loosened statewide. Get all the details here.

On Wednesday, November 18, Oregon entered what Governor Kate Brown dubbed a two-week "freeze" in an attempt to slow the surging number of COVID-19 cases and subsequent hospitalizations and deaths across the state. During this two-week period (four for Multnomah County), residents have been advised to work at home, while restaurants and bars were told to cease indoor dining and revert to take-out only. Additional orders shuttered gyms, reduced the capacity of grocery stores and pharmacies to 75 percent, and restricted indoor religious spaces to 25 people.

But what happens after the freeze?

COVID infections—along with subsequent hospitalizations and deaths—continue to surge, hospitals and healthcare workers are reaching their breaking point, and if enough large Thanksgiving get-togethers transpire, Oregon could be facing an extremely dark December.

Brown is expected to discuss what to expect after the current "freeze" today at a 1:30 pm press conference.

Brown will be joined by representatives from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Health & Science University. Find out what's in store for the state by WATCHING THE GOVERNOR'S LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE, AT 1:30 PM.


Activists Fundraise for Oregon Inmates Who Fought Fires this Summer

Wildfires swept through Clackamas County this summer.
Wildfires swept through Clackamas County this summer. JUSTIN KATIGBAK

This summer, some 285 imprisoned Oregonians fought the worst wildfires the state has ever seen. These crews of inmate firefighters only made about $10 a day for their labor.

Now, a coalition of activist groups focused on police abolition is holding a fundraiser to further compensate the inmate firefighters for their life-risking work. The goal is to raise around $55,000—enough to put $200 into each person’s commissary account.

“Every year, during the wildfire season, a lot of people are outraged to hear that inmate firefighters aren’t fairly compensated for their labor,” said Evan Quarles of Lane County Mutual Aid, one of the groups in the coalition. “They’re putting their lives in danger because of climate change, to save the lives impacted by it.”

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Portland's New Police Oversight System Faces Limitations Within City Hall

Officers standing outside Portland City Hall on October 12, 2016.
Officers standing outside Portland City Hall on October 12, 2016. Doug Brown

On November 3, Portland voters overwhelmingly approved a plan to overhaul the city's current police oversight system, and replace it with a more independent and powerful oversight board made up of community members.

The new board, which will take at least two years to get off the ground, will be granted the authority to mandate officer discipline and compel officer testimony during an investigation—along with other privileges that are currently off limits for people outside of law enforcement. But, despite these significant changes, the new oversight program shares the same basic purpose as the current system, the Independent Police Review (IPR): Review and investigate citizen reports of officer misconduct.

With the voters' approval of the new oversight board, which was first proposed by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty this summer, the responsibility now lies on Portland City Council to actually create the system intended to replace the 20-year-old IPR. That means appointing a community-led committee to work with city staff to draft the new system's basic structure, guidelines, and breadth, a proposal that will eventually land before city commissioners. This to-be-determined committee, set to dissolve once City Council approves its proposal, will also turn to experts in police oversight and accountability to guide their work.

But there's a catch: The city staff who are perhaps the most enlightened about what works—and what doesn't—within the current oversight system won't be at the table.

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Takeout Club: Fish Sauce Wings to Mend Your Broken Heart

Mama Dúts vegan phish sauce wangs.
Mama Dút's vegan "phish sauce wangs." Suzette Smith

This past October, Portland's Northern Thai comfort food restaurant empire Pok Pok—the extremely popular project of chef and restaurateur Andy Ricker—closed its last locations for good. And while the waits were long and the bills sizable whenever you visited, those delectable fish sauce wings will be hard to replace in our hearts.

But Portland has other spicy, Asian cuisine-inspired wing spots. Some are brand spanking new and others have been with us all along. Look behind you, Portlanders. Do you see those prints in the sand? You dropped your wings, silly.

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Good Morning, News: Frontline Workers Pushed to Limit, Senate Ignores Biden, and Mayor's Holiday Homeless Sweep

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Mayor to houseless folk: Happy Thanksgiving... now GET OUT.
Mayor to houseless folk: "Happy Thanksgiving... now GET OUT." Alex Zielinski

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Love just kept me groovin' and he felt me movin', even though we danced apart. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Mayor Wheeler's homeless sweep of Laurelhurst Park was completed yesterday, despite the fact that it was performed a) just as winter begins, b) in the middle of a pandemic/economic disaster, and c) without taking into account why certain people are houseless in the first place. But hey! The residents of this wealthy neighborhood got their way... which is the point, right? (And according to Wheeler, more sweeps are on the way.)

• Progressive activists have created a Political Action Committee to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Ryan—how come? “Wheeler ran a dirty campaign, violating multiple campaign-finance laws that nearly all of us voted for, and he still couldn't convince a majority of the city he should be mayor," said Athul Acharya, a local civil rights attorney. As for Ryan: “I voted for Dan Ryan because he led me to believe he was a staunch advocate for police reform,” said lawyer Alan Kessler. “After his refusal to vote for Commissioner Hardesty’s budget reduction amendment, I feel betrayed. I want my vote back. I want an apology.” Our Alex Zielinski has more.

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Good Afternoon, News: Oregon's New Death Record, Recalling Wheeler & Ryan, and Trump's Embarrassment Parade

So wait... if I pardon this turkey, hell pardon me in return, right?
"So wait... if I pardon this turkey, he'll pardon me in return, right?" Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• Today marked another record COVID day in Oregon, as the OHA reported that an additional 21 people have died from the virus—breaking the state's single-day record. Hospitalizations are also rising with 18 more than yesterday. SO ABOUT YOUR THANKSGIVING PLANS: It's not too late to save the vulnerable members of your family by promising to spend "Thanksgiving" time when it's safe to do so. In short: DON'T BE A TOOTIE.

• Progressive activists have created a Political Action Committee to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Ryan—how come? “Wheeler ran a dirty campaign, violating multiple campaign-finance laws that nearly all of us voted for, and he still couldn't convince a majority of the city he should be mayor," said Athul Acharya, a local civil rights attorney. As for Ryan: “I voted for Dan Ryan because he led me to believe he was a staunch advocate for police reform,” said lawyer Alan Kessler. “After his refusal to vote for Commissioner Hardesty’s budget reduction amendment, I feel betrayed. I want my vote back. I want an apology.” Our Alex Zielinski has more.

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