Monday, December 20, 2010
KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein appear in this promo for "Portlandia," an upcoming IFC series that spoofs and celebrates the city of Portland, Oregon. If you've ever lived in Portland you'll find this clip especially hilarious (maybe not so much if you still live there) but having been born and raised there I can vouch that this hits the mark. Sophisticates may celebrate its upscale food scene and impressive cultural additions, but there is a movement against such gentrification that is embodied in the ubiquitous bumper sticker seen in the Rose City: "Keep Portland Weird." This snarky little sticker recognizes the underground tradition of the city. Despite the "yupscale" changes, Portland will never be LA--and that's a good thing. What draws droves of people to PDX is a gritty, affordable working city that exists on a manageable scale. Artists and musicians have been moving here for years, especially since Seattle and San Francisco have become so terribly expensive, and there is a powerful indie music scene that attracts national attention. Okay, maybe these smart-asses from LA have gone too far in their parody As usual, the Angelinos tend to think they've got their finger on the pulse of American culture because they've got Hollywood and TV studios, but that's not how culture works...there are plenty of smaller towns with much more vibrant music and arts scenes. At any rate, if Portland is scoffed I'll defend it--though secretly I can laugh at some of its more recent affectations. All in all, I'm siding with the weird Portland.