Politics in My Fair City is bananas, you guys. In these types of articles, it’s customary for The Author to make some pretentious argument for why his slice of the U.S. is a microcosm for the Nation as a Whole. But given all the geographic and demographic factors at play, Portland, Oregon, might as well exist in its own pocket dimension.
We’ve got real estate speculators, both local and national, driving home prices through the roof, the rent really is too damn high, and there aren’t enough jobs to go around. No surprise, we’ve got a homelessness crisis. We’ve had one for years, but the Current Crisis only became a “crisis” when our current mayor told the cops to stop jailing people for camping on the sidewalk. The city’s gray bar hotel is already packed beyond capacity (once again, as it has been for years), and the County doesn’t want our over-spill. No one does. Most would rather the homeless just die quietly, somewhere no one has to watch, and if they could avoid contaminating the water any more than it already is on the way out, that would be just swell. So massive camps have started forming on city-owned property, triggering absolutely nothing but sane, compassionate responses from the local middle class. (Random-but-actual quote from my city’s major daily newspaper’s website: “You have to get tough on the homelessness problem or we will all end up paying for for some lazy drug addict/alcoholic, non motivated individual’s private room somewhere, where they can party on our dime, because they don’t want to get sober and work.” Time it took to find that quote: thirty-five seconds, including the time it took to Google that article.) Continue reading Election 2016 – Oregon Primary Day – An Exercise in Over-analysis
It’s Oscar time again. Which means it’s time for everyone to break into their pre-existing camps and start hating each other. In marketing terms, controversy is a “guaranteed buy” for my fellow Americans, especially in an Election Year™ as depressing as this one’s sure to be. This year the controversy comes with its own Twitter hashtag, same as last year, because that’s just the age we live in. But at least this hashtag has the benefit of expressing a true statement: #OscarsSoWhite Continue reading The Oscars, Their Whiteness & Their Utter Contempt for Us All: An Exercise in Overanalysis
On May 28, 2014, I woke to find the following message in my Inbox: “Important Change to Your Blip Account,” the subject line said, and I hereby award it AYTIWS’ coveted “No Shit, Sherlock” Award for 2014. Sorry, everyone, but that contest is over. We all lose.
The rest of the message read:
“We are writing to inform you that, due to recent changes at Blip, we will be closing your account. On July 7th, 2014 we will downgrade your account and no longer accept uploads. On September 1, 2014 your account will be deactivated and you will no longer have access to the Blip dashboard or your content. Your videos will be removed from our system at this time.”
Even though I asked what “recent changes at Blip” led them to this decision, I already knew the answer: they’re trying to become a TV network, despite the fact their own internal studies tell them (and the world) that people are fleeing TV in droves. They’re bringing their TV viewing habits with them (watching during prime time, after they’ve gotten off work, eaten dinner, and are trying to ignore their families) and they’re willing to suffer through an ad at the start of someone’s show…but the last thing they want is a recreation of the landscape they left behind. Yet that is exactly what my video host has spent the last two years pushing.
The reasons for this are rooted in Blip’s founding, almost ten years ago, and in the vast changes since that have completely altering the internet landscape several times over. Continue reading Blipocalypse, How? Notes toward a history of internet video hosting