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Monday, October 15, 2012

Dear Portland creative class

As you can tell, there's nothing for you to do for a living in Portland, and the old geezers are tiring of you. Here's the answer: Charleston, West Virginia.

Comments (15)

A word of caution: the moonshine will be better in WVA, but the beer will suck. Forewarned is forearmed, they say.

On one side, I like the idea of West Virginia's economy being supported by trust funds, depleted parental 401(k) accounts, and Kickstarter funds for Mason jar cocktail mixers being pissed away. The only problem, though, is that they'll have to spend a lot of money trying to convince hipsters that Charleston is cool enough for them to show their faces. I don't see it happening without the city building at least one aerial tram and subsidized grow houses on every block. Oh, and giving out pamphlets letting the residents know that the main differences between hillbillies and hipsters are muscle mass and usable job skills.

Charleston has to be one of the most depressed, poverty stricken cities I've ever seen. The surrounding mountains are beautiful, but the town looks like the worst areas of Errol Heights in SE. It is also very conservative in it's politics. A Portland hipster wouldn't last 20 minutes there.

My four years spent in Appalachia provided enough experience to know this: if you aren't a son-of-a-gun workaholic you will get, exactly, nowhere. Trust fund hipsters also wouldn't be able to countenance the sight of all those gun-toting, tobacco chewing, mobile-home/woodsy hut dwellers, let alone all the cops in cowboy hats.

I do have a trust-funder story from Appalachia, though. I was friendly for a while with a very intelligent and pleasant dumpster-diving rich girl who spent her entire nest egg on a huge piece of swampy land surrounding a rickety house. Then she married, and not so well. The house evolved into a country party house for a multitude of shroomers and other assorted characters. She and her party-boy husband had two babies (one born at a Burning Man or Rainbow event, I forget), and of course they gave the babies names quite likely to inspire them to keep up all the family traditions. Then when the party scene got old she moved in to town to raise her kids, by which point I was leaving Appalachia, having learned a great deal there.

This is great news for Portland. Maybe our "creatives" will move to Charleston, those thinking of moving here will discover another "in" place. Food Stamps and all work everywhere and the Political Creative Hucksters might join them.

Creatives? Ha! As I readied for a trip into downtown Portland last week I was once again overcome with some sadness. I realize things will change, but the city I once had so much passion for is dead to me. A once thriving downtown core area with great diversity and fun places to people watch has morphed into an existence reminiscent of a scene from “Escape from LA”. As I looked around at the masses of street urchins I could imagine that it was only a matter of time until the warlords finally take control.

The criss-crossing rail lines, pointless bikes lanes, neglect of city landmarks, homelessness, and crime make it uninviting and the most difficult place to get in and out of in Oregon. For all you youngsters….if only you could have known what Portland was really like way back when.

As for my visit.....I went in reluctantly, did my business, and got out safely. I plan to return only if necessary.

Gibby “Snake” Plissken

"...the main differences between hillbillies and hipsters are muscle mass and usable job skills."

HA! Good one Triffid! I'll be working that into my conversations. Coming from me it'll be hilarious, I'm a big solid guy with an unfortunate Sarah Palin type of delivery.


Hey Gibby, I liked the original a bit better, Escape From New York...is there still a pizza place downtown called that?

Slightly related -- Bike boxes increase accident rates (in some cases they doubled):


In related news, the name of the color used in the boxes revealed to be Soylent Green.

Sadly, the Create WV event will have little attendance from here...first, it costs $189 to register...then they have to get there...

Don't think there is enough time to beg all those funds and get a ticket cheap....

Could there be a bus project bus going there one way?? With their number 1 driver leading the bus ??

Portland poseur hipsters wouldn't last 3 months in West "By God" Virginia. A great blog there by a top-notch journalist, though --
for example, one of today's entries:


I'd love to see Charleston get Blumenauered.

Now, why would anyone want to wish that on someone else? What did Charleston ever do to you?

For all you youngsters….if only you could have known what Portland was really like way back when.

True observation. I certainly don't recognize much of it any more.

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