Michael

Today comes a classic Karl Rove assault on a member of the opposition party, a churlish smear rather than criticism over issues: Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and […]

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I‘m a terrorist. No doubt about it. I didn’t want to go over to the Dark Side, but some forces are too powerful to resist. The Obama Fist Bump nailed me, or OFB as we converts call it. It happened today on a Portland pedestrian bridge over Interstate 5. I was among throngs of people […]

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Phoning home

June 21, 2008

Only in Portland. That’s my reaction whenever I observe an example of what makes my city quirky and vibrant. It explains the unexplainable. The slogan “Keep Portland Weird,” adorning bumper stickers and t-shirts, is catchy but implies intent to meet a predetermined goal. But weirdness here tends to be organic. Nor is it weird if […]

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Iraq: What have we done?

June 19, 2008

Unlike past wars, the Iraq war is an abstraction. We rarely glimpse the unspeakable suffering. Most of the media have lost interest. Some stalwarts remain, chronicling events beyond our comprehension. As much as I hate this war, I’ve never let what happens there penetrate my comfortable life here. Until now. Reality intruded last night when […]

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Hidden worlds

June 19, 2008

When I first saw Jason Tozer’s photographs, including this one used with his permission, I thought they were from a newly discovered solar system. Tozer’s work is a stunning reminder that we think we see so much so clearly but actually see little. Hidden worlds abound at our fingertips, their existence beyond our grasp. I’ll […]

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Garden porn

June 16, 2008

Sex in my garden, courtesy of dracunculus vulgaris. Just saying the name is a turn on. The dime on one shows how big they are. Too bad they smell like rotten meat for a day or so to lure flies into their throats. Voodoo lily and Mick Jagger’s tongue are among the many nicknames. Two […]

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Happy Father’s Day. From my youngest son, two months shy of three, comes a gift. “I’ll draw a picture for Dad,” Atticus tells his mother, Suzame. He conjures up Everyman confronting the wonders and perplexities of the world. Our little oracle comments on life like I never did at his age. Take this recent gem: […]

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Death, never rewritten

June 15, 2008

Odd what catches one’s eye. In Saturday’s Oregonian, a story about a man’s death at the coast invited a quick read. Why I’m not sure. The story was terse, as such stories usually are and have to be because of limited space: a for-the-record summary of another tragedy, another person dying too young. This morning […]

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Meet my doppelganger. I just saw him and his endless list of exclamation-pointed needs: instant cash, online psychology degree, anatomy adjustments, soul mate promising unspeakable pleasures, discounted Wall Street Journal, and colon cleanse. In the mirror I don’t see the alleged other me. His image emerges in disjointed words, thousands of them jamming my junk […]

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Art from filth

June 14, 2008

I hope this hauntingly beautiful video shot in San Francisco inspires copycats in Portland. Artist Paul “Moose” Curtis uses stencils and a pressure washer to transform the ravages of urban pollution and time into pastoral scenes. “Nature’s voice. . .is written in dirt like it would be written in blood,” he says. More about “Moose” […]

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Psychobilly me

June 13, 2008

Rocket 88 is blazing through the Peacock Room with some high-octane psychobilly with flamboyant frontman Michael Bales in some tight shiny pants. . . This news arrived in my email today via Google Alerts, courtesy of an entertainment web site run by my former employer in Orlando. Before I moved to Portland, I occasionally received […]

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A photograph would convey more than words, but I don’t have one of a barista at Peet’s Coffee at Northeast Broadway and 15th. You can’t miss him: the young guy with a modified mohawk, traditionally cut on top but with checkerboard-patterned sides and back. By Portland standards, the haircut barely rates a second glance. But […]

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On the radio, Garrison Keillor says writer Charles Webb turns sixty-nine today. Webb wrote The Graduate, the book on which the 1967 movie was based. News to me is Webb’s sequel, published in January. A little research shows Home School is a sequel in name only. Not worth reading, not worth risking the original story […]

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