Portland: 2014

I’m not calling it over per se but I’m definitely worried.

When I moved here, my dad gave me this very compelling argument, in his fashion: “You’re going to want to have moved here, and seen it, before They ruin it. In ten years this is all gonna be… different.”

You’ll not see me leap to my father’s credit a lot but the mother fucker called this one.

Even at the time there was no question of who They were, and I’ve only gotten to know what They do better in the past decade. They are the mean spirited old men of means who have not found peace or happiness in accumulation. Who now, in their reclining bitterness, revenge their youth burned in fiscal pursuit. Seeking to analyze the cool and interesting out of a place and normalize it’s output into steady revenue streams. They are the oblivious. The opportunistic. The unconsciously obnoxious. They are the hollow eyed Californiacs, having finally found treacle their sweetest sunshine, roving North, ravenous. Their pimp the Beast of Hollywood will follow, and kick down the door looking for anything it can sell, suck, or swill. Then the real monsters. The Capital They They. The Banksters, the Blue Bloods, the construction conglomerates and the developers. And the accountancy will begin, and once they have the measure of our meat the richest will decide how the Feast is to be divided.

Finally the displaced tattooed step kids of middle class middle America seethe toward the left coast in their unironically inherited station wagons —  a xanax daydream, a wistful fistful of grandma’s savings bonds and a banjolele — seeking some kind of latter day Haight, some new Brooklyn, and instead arrive to the groundbreaking of DisneyPortland: The Rainshine Experience. Our $2700 package features a condo that overlooks a locally sourced artisanal baked bicycle improv co-op™ and is digitally smell matched to your place in SoMa. For our budget minded, we have the $1500 St. Johns Super Saver. A section 8 apartment that’s just a three bus forty five minute commute to one of the most heavily serviced transit malls in the city!

But for all the rest of you, fuck off. Pools closed. The Feastors have spoken. Why don’t you guys all move out to Foster Powell or far east Sellwood, make something cool happen out there. Just take the bus east to the last stop and start walking. Maybe if you get far enough you won’t even have to watch us eat. Heh heh heh. Just make sure there’s a Whole Foods sized locally owned market for us to pillage when we get there. Then, they turn away and settle themselves, enormous and engorged, upon the city, their bodies smashing through bars and neighborhoods. They chortle and with a keening trumpet their feculent folds vibrate and belch poison. The shockwave bursts the glass on another local landmark. We’ll take care of that, they chuckle again. Don’t you worry.

(hat tip Greg Bigoni, whose It’s a Wonderful Portlandsville post on his always excellent Way Too Much Portland inspired me to write this)