As the State Turns

Chuck Close Gets a Bit Closer
I know this headline doesn’t bode well for the quality of those to come this week, but we’ve been in this together for a while, right? I’m sure you’ve seen worse.


The big news here is that some Chuck Close prints in Jordan Schnitzer’s collection have been loaned to the Pendleton Center for the Arts. Close, as you may know, is “the famous guy that paints a bunch of squirrelly crap, and when you stand back it looks like a dude or lady.” Included in this exhibit are portraits of Brad Pitt, Philip Glass, Close himself, and a bunch of other folks.

The director of the gallery apparently contacted Schnitzer on a whim after seeing that a number of works in his collection were making the rounds in the state. In fact, there are several exhibits at Oregon State University going on right now, including works by John Baldessari, Enrique Chagoya, Hung Liu, and more.

Basically, this is the best thing Pendleton has had going for itself in a while, besides Pendleton Whisky (which is actually from Hood River, so…). If you’re not into art, the exhibit will shock and amaze you for a bit and then you can go for lunch at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which has a solid four stars on Yelp. If you are into art, please put this down… It’s not safe to read while you’re driving. Because you’re already on your way. That’s supposed to insinuate that this is really good and stuff.

Though to tell the truth, some Close prints pale in comparison to what’s going on in art this month in Corvallis.

Megaquake Strikes Waldport
Okay, so it was a 3.8 and occurred about 25 miles offshore, but I have to get you to keep reading somehow, don’t I? The U.S. Geological Survey stated that the impact was minimal and it wasn’t likely that anyone in Waldport or elsewhere on the coast felt anything.

However, I am sorry to report that popular children’s TV star Sponge Bob Square Pants did not make it. He was vacationing on the Oregon Coast during a break from shooting Season 10 of his hit series. In lieu of flowers, please send crabby patties.

The Soda Tax Cometh (Maybe)
It’s no secret that health advocates have long pushed for soda taxes, or tariffs on those delicious, fizzy, bubbly bastions of high fructose corn syrup that hide out in the fridge, or come shooting out of public soda machines with all kinds of E. coli bacteria and stuff in them. The idea is simple: people buy a ton of this crap, it’s totally unhealthy, and so a tax would both make a ton of money and hopefully save some kid’s teeth and/or life.

Three years ago soda taxes passed in Philadelphia, Boulder, San Francisco, and Oakland. If advocates have their way, Portland and the rest of Multnomah County will be next. Just a week ago, the collection of signatures began in hopes to get something on November’s ballot. This action is supported by the Heart Association and some other groups that likely have more complex acronyms than “HA.”

The asking price for now is 1.5 cents for each ounce, which would add about a dollar to each two-liter bottle.

GOP Chairman Does the Thing, Walden Gets the Thing Done to Him
Because they’ve clearly got very little else to do, the Oregon “Grand Ole Party” is going after Multnomah Judge Monica Herranz due to her alleged helping of an illegal immigrant to escape the clutches of ICE enforcers. State GOP Chairman Bill Currier has filed an ethics complaint, and has promised to spend next week “[not] doin’ sh*t but Call of Duty and beer bongin’” in celebration of his base-solidifying action.

Oregon Republican tallwhacker Art Robinson was unable to be reached for comment, as he’s still up in the Misty Mountains looking for the One Ring.

In loosely related news, representative Greg Walden had kind of a rough time in Bend last week where he was pummeled with questions on everything but the kitchen sink by a largely liberal/progressive crowd. Boos, jeers, and hisses welcomed his Trump-friendly rhetoric.

Fueled by complaints that he had initially left Bend off of his town hall tour, he received what I’ve heard some refer to as “the what-for.” It probably didn’t help that Walden was a co-author on the pathetically inept American Health Care Act, or that he told the crowd that people had the right to protect their tax returns in response to questions about why Trump is refusing to publish his.

On one hand, I’m sorry I missed the fun, but on the other, if I’m going to drive all the way out to Bend, it sure as hell isn’t going to be to see Walden. Silver Moon Brewing, how I miss you…

By Johnny Beaver