Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh yeah, Portland

Despite the smarmy eco-sanctimony every freaking place we went (gotta ask for water at dinner and bags for your purchases, signs in public restrooms about the water-saving toilets, etc), the downtown/Portland State areas where we spent most of my long weekend trip were filthier than downtown Milwaukee/the east side by UW-Milwaukee. Litter everywhere--the light rail stop outside our "certified green" hotel was covered in newspapers, coffee cups, cigarette butts, sandwich wrappers. And grafitti--not the kind commonly confused with art, just tags. In the commercial/tourist districts.

I thought that was interesting.

I wanted to photograph it all, but I was traveling with people young and hip enough to be embarrassed* about being thought tourists--I carry business cards that say I'm an artist just in case anyone ever wonders why I'm photographing litter--who hustled me quickly from place to place (not a problem after I got hit with the dysentery and felt compelled to maintain proximity to restrooms).

The other thing that stood out was beer all over the place. At every meal and snack stop (alas, not for me). The Neo-Prohibitionists around Wisconsin really need to get out more instead of shrieking about how WI has a "uniquely alcohol-soaked culture." Nothing unique about it.


* We saw protesters one day, when we were on the light rail. I said, "What's left to protest? We're all proud to be Americans again! Hope-n-Change is going to fix everything!" And then someone kicked me to shut me up before someone smelled the conservative and we all got arrested for hate speech. Heh heh heh.


Shoebox said...

All the beer is because of a relatively low alcohol tax. Oregon has a very thriving microbrew industry. Of course, the bright folks at the State have decided that a great way to get more money is to dramatically increase the tax on keg beer. They obviously haven't looked around to see how many businesses are based on that beer. Guess the state would rather have the $ than let any stupid business owner have it!

John Doiron said...

I believe that the chief reason the environmental wacko movement exists (other than to perpetuate communism!) is so that people can have something about which they can pat themselves on the back, and have others do the same. Will anyone say on Judgement Day "But what about all the work I did to save the earth?" How's that gonna work out?