• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Lead Stories

Kim Kardashian, North West, and Kanye West, Los Angeles, 2014. From Annie Liebovitz Portraits 2005-2016 © Annie Leibovitz/Trunk Archive

House Industries: The Process is the Inspiration 

by Andy Cruz, Rich Roat and Den Barber. Watson-Guptill, $50.

Do you have a book moldering away in a desk drawer? Or perhaps trapped in your laptop, languishing in a digital world of ones and zeroes, never to see light of day?

To keep your genius to yourself is a great disservice to the world, and these days, with self-publishing easier than ever, there’s no reason to deprive the world of your voice.

Ecological calamity has come to planet Koda. The climate is scorched and uninhabitable. Domes cover Koda’s major population centers, and martial law prevails. Anti-anxiety medications waft through public transportation like air freshener, and shady government agents lurk around every corner to keep the population in check.

This is where When All Else Fails, a sci-fi novel by Eugene author Howard Libes, begins.

The song of a blind bard in ancient Greece still echoes through the halls of imagination and the chambers of our minds. Homer’s Odyssey, epic in every sense of the word, resonates in the 21st century on a deep level, speaking to the universality of human dilemmas across time.

 

Fiction

 

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Grove Press, $25.

 

Nonfiction

 

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Knopf, $15.

On a Friday night, I watch as five musicians take the stage at the newly reconstructed Jaqua Concert Hall at the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts. As the bassist plucks a few notes, the piano, saxophones and drums join in and flood the concert hall with the momentum of a train leaving a station. The song is “Nostalgia in Times Square” by Charles Mingus and if you’ve set foot in New York City, you can hear the song’s resemblance to the center of one of the busiest spots in the world. 

All the instruments begin to quiet as each musician performs a solo, but the lenient humming of the background notes amplifies the song. This song sounds precisely like Times Square capturing the subway galloping below the grates on the sidewalk, taxi brakes squealing, traffic patrol whistles blowing, car horns erratically honking and thousands of feet shuffling. For me, jazz is transformative, chaotic and beautiful. 

Say the word “art” and most people imagine a painting — an original, unique work, done with oil paints on canvas, usually by an artist standing at an easel.

But it’s possible that more artists in Eugene produce fine-art prints than make easel paintings. Printmaking is flourishing here in Eugene and around the state. It’s hard to visit an art gallery in Oregon without seeing examples of contemporary printmakers’ work.

For the uninitiated, “printmaking” in the art world refers to making reproductions of images using traditional hand-crafted processes such as woodcut, etching or stone lithography, all of which require substantial hand work and artistic skill.

When Linda Ackerman was fired by the Oregon Bach Festival in 2016, her story didn’t end up in The New York Times

Her departure from the festival wasn’t the subject of outraged posts on classical music blogs like Slipped Disc

But the tale of Ackerman’s firing — pushed through that summer by OBF Executive Director Janelle McCoy — may shed light on the still-unexplained firing this past summer of OBF’s Artistic Director Matthew Halls, a case that has drawn international news coverage and nearly unrelenting criticism of the 47-year-old festival and of the University of Oregon, which operates it.

Standing chest deep in the chilly waters of the Willamette River, Travis Williams of Willamette Riverkeeper scans the water for mussels. The flow is high on a cold October day, and as I gingerly climb down the muddy bank and into the waters beside him, I too look for the dark shells Williams tells me are there, beneath the surface.

Thinking back to various floats I’ve done on the Willamette, I know I’ve seen mussel shells. I just never thought about them. On some level, I assumed that the bivalve remnants had somehow crept into the waters from the Pacific Ocean. 

And that’s the thing with freshwater mussels. They tend to go unnoticed, unregarded and underappreciated. 

We’re taking a stand. It’s time to impeach Donald Trump.

There are a myriad of reasons to do so: the looming threat of nuclear war with North Korea, the embarrassment of having a “tweeter in chief,” the terrible, amoral example he sets for the children of this nation, the numerous allegations against him of sexual assault and his unwillingness to denounce white supremacists — thus emboldening the worst elements of our country.

But what about Pence?

That’s the question everyone asks when you bring up impeaching President Donald Trump. If Trump were to leave office before the end of his term, Mike Pence would become president — and that would mean a competent ultra-right-winger, possibly also a crook, sitting in the White House in place of the current corrupt fool.

Shortly after Donald Trump took office, there was a rash of hot takes by “Resistance” pundits like Keith Olbermann explaining how the majority of the Cabinet could constitutionally remove Trump from office. 

Here’s what section four of the 25th Amendment says: 

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

The only good thing about Donald Trump is that he has made time slow down. As we get older, every year seems to pass more quickly than the last in the rush toward death. But the Trump regime has slowed all of that down and the year since the dark night when he was elected has felt as long as any since high school. 

It’s here. The first, the original, The Best of Eugene. 

You voted. (Some of you voted again and again. But we screened you out if you did that.) And here are the results — the things you, the voters in our annual Readers Poll, like best of all about this town and this area. While we call it the Best of Eugene, we bring in a little Lane County and Oregon-wide love, too. Because right now, in this political climate, we could use a little more love. 

And maybe a superhero or two to save the day.

Best Body Modification

1. High Priestess 210 W. 6th Ave. 541-342-6585; 525 E. 13th Ave. 541-343-3311. highpriestess.com.

2. Northwest Tattoo 142 E. 13th Ave.  541-393-6570. nwtattoo.com.

3. Parlour Tattoo 1097 Willamette St.  541-345-6465. theparlourtattoo.com.

 

Best Photographer

1. Athena Delene athenadelene.com.

2. (Tie) Josh Latham  sandratphotography.com

2. (Tie) Wind Home Photography windhomephotography.com.

3. Tracy Sydor digitallatte.com.

Best Burger

1. Killer Burger 50 W. Broadway. 541-636-4731. killerburger.biz.

2. Cornucopia 295 W. 17th Ave. 541-485-2300; 207 E. 5th Ave. 541-485-2300. cornucopiaeugene.com.

3. Little Big Burger 1404 Orchard St. 541-357-4771. littlebigburger.com.

 

Best Vegetarian/Vegan 

Best Local Politician

1. Congressman Peter DeFazio

2. Mayor Lucy Vinis

3. Former Mayor Kitty Piercy

Photo: Todd Cooper

 

Best Local World-Changer

1. Congressman Peter DeFazio

2. Mark Frohnmayer Arcimoto

3. Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana plaintiff with the Our Children’s Trust climate lawsuit

Illustrations by Craig Winzer for Eugene Weekly

You thought you hated all those political posts. You’ve unfriended or unfollowed all your liberal friends on Facebook. But Halloween is drawing near, and now is the time to embrace being horrified and terrified. 

President Donald Trump and those who love him: Welcome to the House of Horrors, where all your liberal nightmares come to life.

 

What is it about our fascination with those abandoned places known as ghost towns? Are we hoping to find some long lost treasures? Are we bearing witness to the impermanence of humanity and the overwhelming, timeless power of Mother Earth? Or, is it that deep down we are hoping to see an actual ghost? My toddler was rooting for this last option: the slimier (a la Ghostbusters), the better.

Our trip was inspired by a ghost town road-trip map on the website “That Oregon Life” that we were pretty sure no one else had actually driven. 

Meerah Powell's Picks:

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000)

About four years ago, my stepdad walked down a garden path in the backyard of the house he shared with my mother. It was springtime. He locked himself in a small cottage at the back of the yard, neatly arranged a sealed envelope on his desk, and took off his glasses. My stepfather then sat down on a futon, stuck a pistol in his mouth and shot himself.

I haven’t had much death in my life but, by some cruel twist of fate, most of the death I’ve experienced has come from suicide. A young friend took pills and suffocated himself, another friend jumped in the Columbia River, and then there’s my stepdad and the pistol.