Dying the dream

A bleak portrait of Portland was published today by an outfit called Reason. It's by Nancy Rommelman, a former Portlander who wasn't everybody's favorite when she lived here. But she's right about more things than she's wrong about. 

Rommelman's got nothing good to say about the black-clad avengers, or about Dud Wheeler. All accurate. Unfortunately, she glosses over the cops, who are bad dudes when they're awake, and asleep at the switch far too often.

Here are a few of many good quotes:

"I've told people this for five years. At this point, we're really bottoming out. This has become a city run by children"...

"As people of color, this is not our way of getting the message across, by tearing up other people's stuff," says Terrance Moses, head of the Kenton Business Association. "The fact of the matter is that these are young white kids destroying people's property to try and get a message across that they think is what black people want to hear."...

Portland's 2020 protests, or what they devolved into, were nothing if not a revolution by cellphone, the choicest clips being those that showed the activists looking heroic and besieged. If you widened the lens to capture, say, a guy battering a building with a fire extinguisher or a girl spitting in a cop's face, you would be accused of being "a fash"; would be shadowed in the crowd or told point-blank you were going to get your ass kicked; would have your phone or camera stolen because "YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO FILM!" and "PHOTOGRAPHY EQUALS DEATH!"; and would later find photos of yourself posted to social media, sometimes by journalists who, mistaking activism for journalism, whistled out anyone deemed not on-message....

"I'm divesting from Portland," Jessie Burke told me. She'd recently bought a home in Key West. Because of the new renters' rights law, she'd just had to pay $4,500 to renters to vacate one of her properties; none of it made any sense. "My husband told me the other day, 'I feel like we have to save the city, and I'm not exactly sure how.' The loudest voices are not the smartest voices, and they don't know how much of anything works, and they don't understand how to move the needle."

Rommelman's point of view is worth a look. The whole thing is here.


  1. Jack I love this town and it tears me up to realize it may take longer to come back then we have time to wait! 😢

    1. People are bailing out left and right. It's going to be a long crawl back for those who stick around. Think of it as Hoboken 1972, only with legal mushrooms.

  2. The harshest reality is how all things Portland governance and the usual community groups is entirely saturated with the bottom of the barrel people of the same chronic defects. And there is no sign of any variation or improvement.
    So how is there going to be any real and meaningful change of course when everyone involved and influential still thinks Portland is a model for the nation and just needs some modern tweaking?

  3. Why so impatient? It's just a matter of enough windows broken, fires set, and slogans spraypainted, until all the ills of society just go away, like a miracle.


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