TRASH PANDA FlobalIP / Getty Images

What’s up, party people, and welcome to This Too Shall Pass! My name’s Elinor Jones, and I’ll be your news and gossip columnist for your biweekly Portland Mercury. I’m gonna be honest with you straight out the gate: I really wish I hadn’t started with “What’s up, party people.” Um, do people still say waazzzzupppppppp? Ahoy-hoy?? (Note to self: learn how people talk.) I know I’ll never fill the dainty shoes of my brilliant predecessor Ann Romano, but I’ll do my best; like her, I’ve got a giant brain filled with impeccable opinions, one hell of a mouth, and a big ol’ half page to fill with steaming hot news. So roll up your sleeves, Portland, and let’s go! (We’re not going to get dirty, but everyone looks cooler with their sleeves rolled up.) Okay, everyone lookin’ cool? Go pee one more time. Nice. Now we can go.

McCain and Franklin OUT

How lucky am I to be starting this gig during what has got to be the most insane point in human history?! Last week was a major moment in politics and pop culture as two pillars of American life, Aretha Franklin and John McCain, were laid to rest. My favorite thing about Aretha’s funeral is that it took place over several days, with multiple costume changes; my favorite thing about McCain’s funeral is the footage of George W. Bush sneaking Michelle Obama a piece of candy. PRO: Being on good terms with Michelle Obama is the only thing W’s legacy has going for it. CON: Old dudes slipping women candy is straight-up creepy.

Loose Lips (Also Sounds Creepy)

You know who wasn’t at either of those very important national events? Our idiot president, Donald Trump (who, I’ll be sure to mention like Ann Romano before me, lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes)! Not only was he not invited to any of the cool parties, but he’s really having a terrible go at this “leader of the free world” thing. There’s a new book from Bob Woodward titled Fear: Trump in the White House, and from what I’ve gathered so far from the leaked snippets, just about everybody in Trump’s top circle calls him some iteration of “complete and utter dum-dum” behind his back, and I love it. Hot on the heels of Woodward’s book was an anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times by someone claiming to be a senior White House official, who tries to comfort us by saying, “there are adults in the room.” Uhhhhh, which adults, specifically? Because it’s not really comforting if the adults are just sneaky puppet masters using the president’s incompetence and stupidity to pull off their seriously evil shit. My shocking hot take: Don’t trust any of ’em!

Goopy Eggs

Looking for a vaginal egg that will invigorate your sex life and enhance your chi? Well, too bad! They’re fake! Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, hyped the health benefits of this dubious product (which is essentially just a well-polished crotch rock), only to be forced to settle a consumer protection lawsuit that pointed out the beneficial effects of said crotch rocks, shockingly, “were not supported by competent and reliable science.” Can’t wait to see what wellness insertion device they’ll be replacing this with! Maybe butt diamonds?! (Would buy.)


Speaking of asses, admitted (not alleged) serial sexual predator Louis C.K. recently made an unannounced appearance at a New York comedy club. People at the show just had to sit there in a closed room while he did whatever the hell he wanted. Sound familiar? I’m thinking maybe this guy hasn’t learned anything at all about consent! And what the hell, comedy club? You let him in?! The Mercury’s own beloved former columnist Ian Karmel summed it up on Twitter: “Can you imagine the bank you’re working at hiring back the guy who jacked off in front of women without their consent because it had been, like, a year or something?” I wasn’t there, so who knows how I would’ve responded, but I know what I want to say now: “Booo! What are you doing here? Your time’s up! Get off the stage! Youuuuu suuuuuuck! BOOOOOOOOOO!”

Shush Off

You know who else is on forced vacation? Woody freaking Allen! According to Page Six, the 82-year-old is taking a breather from directing that has nothing at all to do with the fact that nobody wants to finance his films because he’s an alleged child abuser, and it would be career suicide to get on the bad side of his son Ronan Farrow, who toppled Harvey Weinstein and CBS’ Leslie Moonves. Note: Woody Allen and Louis C.K. are now playing the quiet game, and my sisters and I get to decide when they’re done.

Headline of the Week

Sometimes a headline is so perfect, there’s no need to cloud your brainspace with details of the story. Here’s one now, from People magazine: “Michael Moore Claims Gwen Stefani Was the Reason Donald Trump Ran for President.” I’m having this framed.

Reminder: Raccoons Are the Worst

Here in Portland, according to KGW, a woman is suing her former apartment’s property management company for failing to adequately deal with the building’s communal trash, which led to a raccoon infestation, which in turn led to the woman being bit by a raccoon and racking up $26,000 in medical expenses. I hope she gets that amount, plus a billion dollars for the trauma, because fuck raccoons. Raccoons are the worst. Speaking of trash, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that Portland will become “the cleanest and most livable city in the United States.” The Oregonian reports that Wheeler intends to put more trash receptacles on the streets and have more crews gathering garbage while somehow not targeting our city’s houseless residents who usually don’t have a choice but to leave their stuff outside. Good luck with that! The solution that leads to the persecution and expulsion of raccoons, rather than living, breathing human people, is cool with me. God, raccoons are just the type of assholes to celebrate a housing crisis, aren’t they?

The Last Word

Now we’re at the end! I hoped you enjoyed reading this column as much as I enjoyed drinking white wine spritzers and writing it. Feel free to direct any questions or concerns to a small piece of paper that you fold into an airplane and fly into a recycling bin (don’t litter!), and join me again in two weeks, when I’ll hopefully have an update on bad men being quiet, Trump’s imminent impeachment, and butt diamonds. Bye!