As the State Turns: March 23-30

Balancing History One
Entry at a Time

I’ll admit it: long have I dreamed about gathering with a gang of wacky hooligans, loading up on Red Bull and Hi-Balls (or eight balls…) and just going at Wikipedia like a bunch of spider monkeys. Ronald Reagan? Died in space fighting aliens. Charlie Sheen? Real name is Carlos Estevez. (See? I already got that one.) “Johnny Beaver” inserted into heroic roles all throughout history? Very yes. Well, this isn’t about that. These are responsible, intelligent human beings, and they’re doing a good deed. I know… try to stay awake.
Portland artists Roya Amirsoleymani (the director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, PICA) and Taryn Tomasello (not a director of anything) took part in a major effort last Saturday called Art+Feminism. The goal? A “Wikipedia edit-a-thon” modeled after a similar event in New York three years ago. The collective effort pushes to modify Wikipedia entries that are imbalanced in favor of men. I can tell you from personal experience that this is a rampant problem in art alone – many famous male painters take up huge amounts of space on their wives’ pages – women who are also artists and deserve to be treated as more than a footnote. I’m not in conflict about the fact that Jackson Pollock was both a raging drunk and a genius, but the fact that Lee Krasner is treated by history as “Pollock’s wife,” rather than bada*s painter, is redonkulous.
If you’re interested, a second event will be held at the Pacific Northwest College of Art from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 29. Don’t know much about proper Wikipedia editing? This might be a good time to learn. It is the encyclopedia of the people, after all.
Nature Lovers Boost Parks Budget by Over 1.5 Million Burritos
There’s this weird thing in Oregon where a lot of people like to go out into the bushes, climb on rocks, look at gross water and generally exhaust themselves walking around miles from home. I don’t get it. Still, it’s a thing. And with 51 million visits in 2016 alone (just think about that number), Oregon state parks have been like, Bae Bae, or whatever the hell it is the kids are talking about these days. Seriously, as of the 2014 census numbers, Oregon only has like 4 million people even living in the state. I mean, my God, what the hell out there is so damn interesting?
Whatever it may be, this has spelled out some very good news for the parks department, as they’ve been understaffed for the whole boom, facing difficulty in keeping things clean and managed. The fix? They’re set to hire 42 new rangers (the parks kind, not the Wood Elf with +32 to bow kind), as well as add another cool 1,265,822.78 burritos’ worth of dollars to the budget (that’d be about $1 million) over the next two years.
Where will the funding come from? Who cares! Yay! But actually, it will come from the funding sources already available – lottery, fees, registration stuff, etc. Don’t worry, fellow outdoor-haters… our taxes are secure, and won’t be used to clean up after these gross nature lovers.
No Dice for Appeal on Car Bomb Plot
Mr. Mohamed Mohamud – the guy who was hit with 30 years for trying to bomb downtown Portland in 2010, just had his conviction upheld. This means his chance at appeal just went out the window. Having pressed the “go boom” button on a concocted circumstance by the FBI, his lawyer continued to argue that he was a victim of entrapment, and had no intention of becoming a terrorist before they put it in his head.
Weirder things have happened, I guess. But at least three judges aren’t buying it.
The good news is that in prison, you can’t be suckered into ruining your financial life by racking up $150,000 in student loan debt. That’s about the only good news. Seriously, have any of you ever gone? Don’t eat the bologna. Just don’t.
And always wear your sandals.
Oregon’s Black Pot Market
Contrary to this poorly worded headline, this is not about kitchenware. A recent state police analysis has shown that despite marijuana legality in the state, Oregon is still a big, fat exporter of black market weed to other places where it is… you guessed it… still illegal.
As reported by Oregon Live, Jackson, Multnomah, Josephine, Lane, Deschutes, and Washington counties are responsible for the bulk of it. Part of the report shows that a lot of Oregon pot goes to Florida, which explains why it was always pretty good there, I suppose. Weird to think after all these years the Alaskan Thunderf*ck was actually Portlandia Thunderf*ck.
By Johnny Beaver