Thursday, November 29, 2018

sad if true: Portland has fallen

During my huge walk in 2008, I injured myself and had to stay in Portland, Oregon, for two weeks. I spent most of those two weeks at an enormous communal (read: communist or socialist) home managed by a friendly Methodist minister. Most of the home's residents were older folks; one or two were homeless people who tended to come and go, benefiting from the home's open-door policy. I had the chance to walk around much of Portland while my injured knee healed. There were plenty of sights and sounds and smells, not to mention the stately Willamette River. Life inside the home itself was quiet and restful; the house's basement was basically a gigantic pantry with hundreds upon hundreds of cans and bags of various soups and flours and pasta. Sanitation might have been an issue, though, as I acquired some sort of infection that ate away a small patch of skin from underneath one of my eyes, and another alongside my nose, leaving permanent scars. Metaphor?

Portland, as a city, was beautiful. Like many European cities and towns, it had an environmentally friendly electrical tram. There were pedestrian zones, not to mention plenty of shops, restaurants, libraries, and places of cultural and historical significance. Portland also had a large and in-your-face homelessness problem in 2008, and I gather that that unpleasant reality hasn't changed much. I recall walking by a few tent cities—parks that had been taken over by the homeless.

But according to Paul Joseph Watson, many other things have changed in Portland. Perhaps it was last year, but I was shocked to hear news of violence in Portland's streets after Trump had been elected. PJW's report, which I embed below, shows that this trend has only continued. Portland's collective temperament had never struck me as violence-prone. What has happened over the course of the intervening decade, from my visit to Portland to now? Something within the city's core seems to have rotted. Or perhaps the rot had been there from the beginning, merely waiting for the right conditions in which to be exposed.

Here's PJW on how Portland, Oregon, has become a shithole:

I don't recall seeing anything remotely this aggressive when I was in Portland, especially about the rampant defecation. Something really did change from then to now. Something essential. True, Portland was already an out-there liberal city even in 2008, but it was a gentle-tempered place. I'm tempted to take PJW's video with a grain of salt, but I suspect that Watson is right, at least, to note that things have deteriorated to some extent. What a shame.

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