God's Own Country Is A Subtle, Sensual Drama


God’s Own Country begins with a young, smooth-chested, naïve-looking Yorkshire man vomiting all night, then rising early to give a pregnant cow a gynecological fisting. Do not be alarmed. These actions make perfect sense: The fellow, Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor), is given to over-drinking, and he lives on a farm with his stroke-hobbled father (Ian Hart) and aged grandmother (Gemma Jones). Johnny’s subsequent actions this morning—going to a livestock auction and having sex with a stranger in the bathroom—are somewhat less explicable, though we come to understand them in time.

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The Hollywood Theatre Is Hosting a Free Screening of Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story Tomorrow Night


To celebrate the life of the late Fred Cole, the Hollywood Theatre, Mississippi Records, Kate Fix and Jason Summers are hosting a screening of Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story tomorrow night at 8pm. Cole passed away last week at 69 after battling cancer, and had recently been hospitalized with bleeding in his liver.

The documentary chronicles Dead Moon's history and legacy as one of the Pacific Northwest's most iconic bands. Tickets are free, but they're first come, first served—be sure to get there early.

Commissioner Eudaly Staffer, Who Attended an Avocado-Toast Based Party With Portland Tenants United, Cleared of Wrongdoing By Elections Officer

Avocado toast at the Spaceroom Lounge
Avocado toast at the Spaceroom Lounge Margot Black

Did a key staffer for Commissioner Chloe Eudaly violate city rules by being too cozy with lobbyists? An anonymous complainer said so. The city elections officers says no.

The issue at hand: Whether Jamey Duhamel, Eudaly's policy director, had too much avocado toast at an impromptu Portland Tenants United (PTU) gathering at a Southeast Portland bar this summer. She was reported to the city by an unnamed landlord lobbyist accusing her of not disclosing the "gift" from the city.

City Elections Officer Deborah Scroggin, who runs the lobbyist registration program in the city auditor's office, notified Duhamel this afternoon that she was cleared of violating the city code that requires city officials to disclose when the receive gifts, including meals, over $25 from lobbying entities.

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Caleb Porter Takes His Leave

Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

You have to go a long ways back now to remember what the Portland Timbers were before Caleb Porter arrived in the winter of 2012. For their fan support, they were already a revelation. But on the field, they were a non-entity. They hadn't won anything, and they weren't going anywhere. They had no identity.

Porter changed that in a single winter. Forget MLS Cup. Porter's single greatest accomplishment in Portland the work he did in that first offseason.

Bringing in Diego Valeri and Will Johnson helped. But if you want to get a sense of Porter's ability, go back and watch a game from the 2012 season. Then watch the 2013 opener, Porter's first game, against the New York Red Bulls. The difference is stunning.

Though it took Porter five games to get his first win in 2013, that season would continue to set the bar. Porter won Coach of the Year, and the Timbers knocked Seattle out of the playoffs and came within Jason Kreis' final Real Salt Lake team of MLS Cup.

Porter isn't leaving for another job. This wasn't long-planned. Two weeks ago, he was looking ahead to next season with optimism. The best guess is that he's simply burned out. The job, from all outward appearances, aged Porter tremendously. He was unyielding, and so was it.

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Navy Plane Draws Giant Smoke Dicks in the Sky

KREM 2 News out of Spokane reports that the Navy has taken responsibility for some risque chemtrail art that recently appeared in the sky over Okanogan County, which astute observers posted on Twitter.

KREM 2 asked the Federal Aviation Administration about the incident, and the FAA responded that while there is no safety risk to giant dicks painted in the sky, they "cannot police morality."

The Navy, however, can. "The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable," said Navy officials in a statement.

The Navy has not released the pilot's name, but we think some re-training is in order: Dicks are too easy! You want a real challenge? Try flying a giant vagina.

Food News Roundup for the Week of Nov 12-17

Chins Kitchen
Chin's Kitchen Aaron Lee

This last week was a busy one in Portland restaurant and bar news, so let’s get to it and dig in on what’s gone down.

Omerta Closes This Sunday After Just Three Months
On Sunday afternoon, the Mercury broke the news that Omerta, the finer dining old world Italian restaurant from ChefStable and Lightning Bar Collective will shutter this weekend after just three months. No word yet on what will replace it. Its sister bar, Opal, will remain open, and here's our review.

Widmer Brothers’ Pub Goes Dark
According to Brew Republic, Widmer Brothers has permanently closed its brewery-adjacent restaurant effective immediately. The space will be renovated in the coming weeks for a new brewery tasting room that will offer suds and light snacks.

So Long, Miho Izakaya
On Tuesday, the Mercury reported that Miho Izakaya, the small-plate restaurant on North Interstate will close at the end of the month after eight years in business. The owners, Michael and Megan Miho, said the choice was a personal one and that they’re taking time to devote to their family and to brainstorm on a future project.

Shalom Y’all to Open in Taylor Railworks Space
This week Willamette Week noted that John and Rene Gorham have applied for a liquor license at the just-shuttered Taylor Railworks space at 117 SE Taylor Street. The location, the story indicates, will be home to Shalom Y’all, the Israeli-inspired food counter that helped inaugurate Pine Street Market. The Gorhams also operate Plaza del Toro, an events space adjacent to their upcoming restaurant.

Kingsland Kitchen Opens Downtown Brick-and-Mortar
Eater PDX reports that Kingsland Kitchen, a counter-service British restaurant, has softly opened at 319 SW Pine Street after it noticed another journalist had taken an Instagram photo of his breakfast there on the restaurant’s first official day in business. The restaurant got its start as a food cart and will serve breakfast and lunch.

Goodbye Food Carts, Hello "Lifestyle" Hotel
The Mercury was the first to report that Moxy, a "lifestyle" hotel from the Minneapolis-based Graves Hospitality, will break ground next April on the downtown food cart pod that’s home to Nong’s Kao Man Gai, among others. If all goes according to plan, the hotel would open by late summer or early fall in 2018.

Roe Readies to Re-Open
Eater PDX also reports that chef Trent Pierce has finally chosen a re-opening date for his restaurant, Roe. Pierce will once again fling the doors open to his seafood restaurant on December 1 at 720 SW Washington.

Clear Creek Distillery is Moving to Hood River
The fruits that go into Clear Creek Distillery’s line of brandies come from Hood River, and come this spring, those brandies will be made and bottled there, too. On December 31, Clear Creek will host its last night of tasting events and will wrap up distilling in its present Northwest digs in January, according to an email from the advertising agency that represents the company. The distillery, Oregon’s oldest, will fire up the stills in Hood River in the spring of next year. Go in and say goodbye before the end of the year.

Chin’s Kitchen Temporarily Closes To Upgrade Kitchen After Media Praise
The Oregonian reports that Chin’s Kitchen has closed due to a surge in business following positive reviews from the Merc’s Andrea Damewood and others. The 70-year-old restaurant was purchased by in July and Wendy and Cindy Li and the media took note, praising the sisters’ Northern Chinese cuisine. The closure is designed to buy them time to upgrade their kitchen and hire more staff to meet the high expectations of their new customer base.

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Reza Aslan Suffers No Fools


Reza Aslan isn’t your typical religion scholar. The Iranian American author, professor, and commentator once brilliantly humiliated a Fox News host who had questioned what a Muslim would have to offer by writing a book about Jesus—ignoring Aslan’s status as a widely respected religious academic who has four degrees in the field. That book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, would go on to become a #1 New York Times bestseller.

More recently, Aslan’s popular TV documentary series, Believer, was dropped by CNN last June, when, in the wake of President Trump’s call for a Muslim ban, Aslan tweeted that the president was a “piece of shit,” and “an embarrassment to humankind.”

In Aslan’s new book, God: A Human History, he presents a different approach to understanding the divine—one that’s more inclusive, and present in all of creation. Dr. Aslan recently spoke with the Mercury about God, and the constantly evolving nature of religion and spirituality. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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Wonder Is Guaranteed to Soften Your Scowl


It’s easy to live a snarky life. I see a lot of movies that are god-awful, and the world around us is also pretty god-awful, and without wanting to, I seem to have “This is stupid” on the tip of my tongue more often than not. So when a movie comes along that is good—legitimately, sincerely good, like flowers or soup or dogs—I find myself grasping at a way to describe it.

Wonder is that good movie. It’s about a little boy, Auggie (Room's Jacob Tremblay), and his mom (Julia Roberts), his dad (Owen Wilson), and his older sister (Izabela Vidovic). Auggie was born with a condition that makes him look different, so that's what Wonder focuses on—but it’s not really what this movie is. This is a portrait of a group of humans—grown-ups and kids, but mostly kids—who are whole, complicated people, who have opportunities to be selfish and opportunities to be kind. Wonder defaults to kindness in a manner that feels both totally inspiring and completely organic.

I spent the whole movie wondering (ha!) how an adaptation of a corny bestselling novel could turn out so non-corny and delightful. Then the director’s name flashed on screen: Stephen Chbosky. Chbosky most recently wrote the screenplay for Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast, but more importantly, he wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and he was also responsible for that book's perfect movie adaptation. This man’s got a gift for creating things that makes us hardened adults develop a melancholic knot in our hearts that reminds us exactly how it felt to be a kid.

I don’t want to oversell this movie, because I’d like each and every one of you to be surprised by the myriad of way it can soften your scowl. So I’m gonna stop here, and go pet some dogs, and feel totally content.

Jesus! The Line for Hamilton Tickets is LOOOOOOOOONG!

Nick Olmstead

Tickets for the Broadway smash Hamilton went on sale today in Portland, and people are going NUTS, y'all! The majority of our office have been twiddling their thumbs in virtual waiting rooms online trying to snag a ticket, and are constantly sighing while watching slow-moving reminders such as this:



However, there are brave souls who are doing things the old-fashioned way: Physically standing in a looong line at the Portland 5 Center for the Arts box office (1111 SW Broadway) that is currently wrapping two-thirds around the city block in a desperate attempt to get a $80-$500 golden ticket. How long is the line? Check out the video shot by our own Nick Olmstead at the scene, and be prepared to say "Holy fuck." (I counted 240... how about you?)

If you want to try and get tickets, give this a shot and good luck. PRO TIP: Since the weekend performances are nearly sold out, you may want to shoot for the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday shows.

Lady Bird Is Exactly What a Coming-of-Age Movie Should Be


“Lady Bird” is the name high school senior Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) gives herself to signify rebellion against her family, her Catholic school, and her middle-class upbringing in Sacramento, “the Midwest of California.” And Lady Bird is full of typical teenager stuff: revolting against convention to forge your own identity.

But writer/director Greta Gerwig reworks the coming-of-age narrative with depth, nuance, and striking beauty.

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Check out Damian Lillard's New Roller Skating Inspired Sneaks

Courtesy Adidas

For you sneakerheads out there—and roller skating fans LIKE ME—it's welcome news that the Blazers' Damian Lillard is releasing his newest Adidas shoe: the "Glow In The Park" Adidas Dame 4. Along with being the best rapper and vegan in the NBA, we now learn that Dame is also an excellent roller skater, possessing skills he honed back in the day at rinks in his hometown of Oakland. From the Adidas press release:

“When I was younger, we were skating all the time. There were always skates at my grandmother’s house and we’d do that at home,” Dame said. “When I got to high school, every Saturday we’d drive to the skating rink and we’d be there all night skating. Every weekend that’s how it was. Everybody skated. We put a lot of time in working on our game. But when you think about it, this is the one life you get to live. You’ve got to find other things that interest you. That’s why I do music and that’s why I skate. Because you got to let your mind go other places, create that balance and enjoy it. Skating and rapping is that for me.”

Yesssss! And the lowtop shoe's color scheme reflects that love for the rinks with a glow-in-the-dark outsole (that actually glows in the dark!!), a dark gray upper, and a burgundy/neon blue midsole. And it continues to get better, because not only did Adidas create an actual pair of skates for Lillard made from the shoes, he'll be wearing them at Oaks Park Roller Rink at some point in the next few days, and YOU COULD WIN A CHANCE TO SKATE WITH HIM SQUEEEEEEEEEE! Keep your eyes lit on Dame's Instagram for information on this skating trip of a lifetime.

The "Glow In The Park" Adidas Dame 4 sneaks are on sale today at adidas.com and eastbay for $115.


The 13th Annual HUMP! Film Festival Winners Are...

The ballot boxes at HUMP! were designed for stuffing...
The ballot boxes at HUMP! were designed for stuffing...

HUMP!, the world's best dirty little film festival, got its start in Seattle thirteen years ago. Today HUMP! tours all over the USA and Canada—HUMP! will play in fifty cities in 2018—but only audiences in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia get to vote on the HUMP! Awards. HUMP!'s hometown audiences vote for their favorite films in four categories—Best Sex, Best Kink, Best Humor, Best In Show—awarding $15,000 in cash prizes directly to the filmmakers and performers. This was our best-attended HUMP! ever and we just finished counting 20,000 ballots. And the HUMP! Awards go to...

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Sativa Science Club: Cannabis Class Is In Session

Sativa Science Club
We all have that one friend. Maybe you are that friend, and no one has had the heart to tell you. It doesn't come from a place of ill intent, and Lord knows there's enthusiasm to spare. But that friend, about whom I'm willing to take a controversial stand and say is overwhelmingly a straight white male, sprouts so much wrong about cannabis it can make your brain hurt.

That friend is a Canna-moron.

"Yeah, 'Landrace' just means it grows faster than the other plants, and the best weed smells like cat piss, and drinking bong water will get you soooo high, brah."

And maybe it's not their fault. Cannabis education wasn't part of my curriculum, and I went to a Waldorf school. When you have a plant that has been demonized, criminalized, prohibited, and falsely accused of numerous sins, gaining solid knowledge can be a real undertaking.

On November 20, Sativa Science Club launches pre-registration for its 2018 offerings. Their stated goal—"To establish streamlined base level certification for every legal state in the nation"—is both lofty and admirable. CEO Mary Poppins shared that they "aim to achieve it through a compiled and curated curriculum from the leading experts and Cannabis Universities in the nation into a single, streamlined base certification for the cannabis industry. Rather than attempt to dominate the education effort, SSC provides pre-requisite training designed to lay the foundation for independently owned programs and raise the bar for the cannabis industry as a whole."

There's an online certification option, and you can select between Business or Advocacy. All that comes with core science and business certifications, job placement assistance, and capstone projects within the community for those enrolled in the Advocacy course.

Registration opens up on 11/20, (which is 4/20 + 7 if that helps.) Register and pay a deposit by January 1, and get 50 percent off rates. Sign up and find out more here.

Good Morning News: Subpoenas for the Trump Campaign, A Creep Update, and Putting Men in Rice

Look at all of these fucking sexual predators.
Look at all of these fucking sexual predators. Spiderstock / getty

HAPPY SUBPOENA DAY 2 U: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued yet another subpoena to the Trump campaign for more documents related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Today, in government overreach from the party that loves to complain about government overreach: A Texas woman was arrested for fraud after being threatened with a misdemeanor charge for having an anti-Trump sticker on her car. This is a bad look, and a local district attorney says there's no basis for a misdemeanor charge.

Today, in government overreach from the party that loves to complain about government overreach: House Republicans passed their awful tax reform bill yesterday, which increases taxes on the poor and slashes them for the rich, and I am not being hyperbolic. It's got a long road in the Senate, with possible opposition from Republican Senators Ron Johnson, Susan Collins, and Bob Corker. Oh, and also it's a horrible bill that punishes people with the lowest incomes to slash taxes for the wealthiest.

Today, in not reading the room: A Doc Martens billboard in Portland depicts some red-laced boots. Oops, turns out that's a style choice favored by racist skinheads.

SPORTS NEWS: Timbers manager Caleb Porter is out.

I can't believe there are still Malheur occupation updates to share, and yet: Duane Elmer, the only Oregon-based occupier of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, who dug a trench in a parking lot over an ancient Paiute burial ground, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.

In Gifford National Forest: Authorities are searching for a missing hunter.

Fuck: The Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota has leaked 210,000 gallons of oil.

Finally, some updates on men being terrible: New sexual harassment and assault allegations against George H.W. Bush. In the statehouse, Republicans and Democrats are calling on Senator Jeff Kruse to resign, following multiple reports of sexual harassment and assault. Meanwhile, the Alabama Republican party is standing by Roy Moore, who has now been accused of sexual assault many times over. Having trouble keeping up with the creep updates? The New York Times is keeping a helpful list. The "aftermath" column is something special.

A possible solution, from Roxane Gay:

Finally, let us all be thankful for Samantha Bee. Good morning!

Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 2: Brent Cobb

Heather Binns

We've got a brand-new Pickathon video for you in our ongoing presentation of the Portland-area music festival's Starlight Series, spotlighting the nocturnal magic of that intimate, after-hours stage where bands play into the wee hours.

This season's second episode features rising country singer/songwriter Brent Cobb playing "Let the Rain Come Down," a track from his major label debut, Shine on Rainy Day, released last year on Elektra Records. The song's energy is haunting, with twangy, psychedelic guitar work, stomping percussion, homespun lyrics, and Cobb's soulful drawl.

In case you missed the first episode of this season's Pickathon Starlight Series:
• Episode 1: Marlon Williams

These Starlight videos will continue with a new performance every month exclusively at the Portland Mercury and the Stranger—check back in December for another choice clip!