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Even now, several days after seeing it, digesting it and churning it all over in my mind, I find I’m having a mixed response to Oregon Contemporary Theatre’s current production of Venus in Fur, David Ives’ two-person play-within-a-play based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel of the same name.

When I last checked in with Brian Haimbach, writer, actor, and head of the theater program at Lane Community College, it was February 2016, and he was about to premiere his one-man show, How to Be a Sissy.

I have two female sex partners who want to be breath-play dominated. I know the practice is dangerous, and I employ the rules of consent and communication a pro-Dom escort friend taught me. But is there a legal release document we could sign that protects consenting adults in the event of an accident or death?

Ruminating About Consensual Kinks


Ponderous, pornographic and unforgivably dull, Alien: Covenant proves once and for all that Ridley Scott is the single biggest hack in contemporary Hollywood — a director of such ignominious bad faith that, faced with the morally bankrupt option of playing pimp or whore to his own reputation, he simply chooses both.

I once told my ex-fiancé that I was a vegetarian because I ate only what I could personally kill. He promptly bought me a shotgun and taught me how to shoot it. However, he was unable get me to kill anything more mobile than a poorly tossed clay target. He tried — unsuccessfully — to persuade me of the joys of shooting, killing and butchering my own meals, but the closest I got to deadly force was blowing up a bottle of Coke (and then carefully cleaning up the sugary-drink-covered remains, because leave-no-trace principles apply to recreational shooting, too). Finally, a couple years ago, an avid truffle hunter explained to me how he had left the excitement of hunting animals for the more-obsessive joys of hunting elusive fungi.

I’m in a church parking lot just north of 13th Avenue in Eugene, staring at my phone, circling around the lot, looking at a little dot on my screen and wondering why I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Two of my nephews, ages 6 and 9, are wondering if what we’re looking for might be the trash in the bushes. The 2-year-old has a can to play drums on and couldn’t care less.

Birding — also known as “birdwatching” and, across the Pond, “twitching” — began as a lethal contact sport. When John James Audubon traveled the countryside in the early 1800s to paint the 435 watercolors that would later turn up in The Birds of America, he didn’t sit his subjects down in a studio and ask them to pose.

He shot them.

If Eugene’s City Council passes the new transportation system plan (TSP), newer, safer bike paths could be built across the city. To add to Eugene’s bike-ability, plans are already in motion to install a bike-share program in Eugene.

Robert Wilson has been homeless off and on for 25 years, with none but a small dog to keep him company and keep away the demons of PTSD and anxiety that haunt him.

A veteran who served in the Army in the ’80s, Wilson, 54, is a short man with bright, worried eyes and a friendly, if nervous, demeanor. “I couldn’t be outside or talk to strangers without her,” he says of his Chihuahua, Chica. The dog is dressed as a cowboy, shivering slightly inside his coat.

The nonprofit Eugene Police Foundation has been under development for the past year, says John Brown, a Eugene commercial real estate appraiser who is EPF’s board president. The foundation makes its official start Thursday, May 18.

Jessica Campbell of the Rural Organizing Project spoke to a packed room at Temple Beth Israel on Saturday, May 15, about the many layers of white supremacy and the rise and resistance of white nationalist movements in Oregon. 

On that same day a white nationalist group passed out fliers around Eugene advertising for a website called True Cascadia. 

Artesia Hubbard, a University of Oregon student from Colorado, has always been a steward of the land. “I was a river baby. I was always running around in the outdoors,” she says. When Hubbard arrived at UO for her freshman year, her older sister on campus told her to join the school’s Geology Club. 

If you’ve never battled your way through wet Oregon undergrowth for hours and hours, hoping to collect two to four ounces of mushrooms to take home, then this is the story for you. 

As someone who has successfully found chanterelles and porcini mushrooms on about four trips out of 30 in the past four years, you should take all of my advice. 

Peter Kingzett, 541-686-4917, plans to spray 36.0 acres near Territorial and Hamm roads with Element 4 and MSO Concentrate as part of Oak restoration project. A waiver of the normal 15-day waiting period was requested and partially granted. See ODF notification 2017-781-05763, call Brian Peterson at 541-935-2283 with questions.

Please don’t fire Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump. If he fades into (among?) the bushes, Melissa McCarthy and Saturday Night Live can’t make us laugh with her wonderful impersonations, even rolling down 58th street in NYC on her Spicey podium. We deserve that every Saturday night.

 

Ballet Fantastique’s Aladdin takes the company’s storytelling style on a new adventure, combining an ancient tale from the Arabian Nights with indelible music by Queen, played live by Satin Love Orchestra. 

• The Eugene Parks and Open Space Division is proposing park rule changes that it says “are aimed at increasing enjoyment of the parks and clarifying park use requirements.” Proposed changes include making all Eugene parks alcohol free “unless a special event permit is given for weddings, family reunions and other community activities” or unless allowed by the facility supervisor or the person in charge of parks and recreation facilities at 20 locations in Eugene such as the Amazon and Washington Park Community Centers.

This is the week everyone anticipates in Salem every two years. The May 2017 state revenue forecast is the last tool available to the Legislature’s Ways and Means co-chairs to anticipate Oregon’s general fund problem for the next two years. The biennial crapshoot from hell. This year our economy’s going gangbusters. So the kicker may kick! With a $1.6 billion hole in our general fund! I hate it when that happens.

The academy and the arts don’t always mix well. Entombing arts in the ivory tower can lead to insularity, esotericism and disregard of popular appeal. But at its best, the academy can enrich the arts with its depth of knowledge, benefiting audiences with previously undiscovered repertoire and styles of interpretation.

Kikagaku Moyo, a Japanese psych-rock band, is returning to Eugene to promote their new release. It’s called Stone Garden EP. It’s out now and it was recorded in Prague.

Imagine the burgeoning ’90s-era Pacific Northwest indie rock scene as a classroom. Then imagine former Cottage Grove resident Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse as the hyperactive, erratic yet undeniably brilliant kid at the back of that classroom — the kid who, despite expectations, goes ahead and produces an indie rock masterpiece. 

Bohemian musician Worth creates a mash-up of sounds akin to a spin-art kid’s toy: a beautiful mess. Within the course of one album, you’re taken on a ride from the bayou to the strip club, from a lover’s arms to church — all with seemingly no rhyme or reason.

Folk activist-musician Holly Near is a seasoned singer-songwriter whose recipe is impossible to pin down. Her honeylike yet raspy vocals cry out against oppression, while her tender demeanor draws in crowds who crave a church geared towards a soul, not a deity. After 45 years of performing her highly politicized songs, Near has found herself — on stages, in her audience, and in her own personal struggles with and against waves of oppression.

As the standard thunk-ditty of old-time slouches toward relative obscurity in this year of our Lord 2017, solace is sought via groove over hymnal, salty ocean over fiery lake, windswept desert over Paradise garden.