Good lord, I haven't made an entry for several days. It's almost hard to decide what to say, there's so much going on. And it would be trivial to talk about what's going in my own little world. My head throbbed for much of Thursday and Friday, after a week that started on a hopeful note, with the Inauguration of a new President.
I'm proud to live in Portland, and most of the time I think it's the best city in the country in so many ways, open-minded and progressive. But at the current time our local media has turned into a lynch mob, calling for the resignation of our mayor, Sam Adams. And despite the fact he definitely screwed up, lying about his relationship with an 18-year-old during his campaign, he's still the best man for the job. But since he's an openly gay man, his sexual activities are even more salient and prurient, and it's left him with nearly no way to win.
But he has to find a way, because we need him as mayor. I've known him for more than 15 years, and he's an amazing leader, educated and experienced, trained to do this job. His election was one of the highlights of 2008.
I was disappointed in him, yes, but mostly because he didn't stick it out last week, didn't get to work on turning things around. He didn't even show up at City Hall Wednesday through Friday, and this gave his detractors time to muster their forces. One of the other City Council members said that his 'silence spoke volumes,' and the fact of the matter is, you can't let other people tell your story. They are going to get it wrong. You have to speak for yourself.
I stood outside City Hall Friday evening with pb_n_jam
and a few hundred others calling for him to Get Back to Work
, trying to show support among a crowd of people with varying degrees of normalcy. Portland is known for its diversity, a place where Weird is considered a virtue. I can only hope the unfortunate sign "18 Year Old Cock is Legal" didn't make it on TV.
Last night I was watching the late news to see if there was an update on whether Sam had made a decision on whether or not to resign, and I saw there was breaking news downtown. Shots had been fired, and at least two people were feared dead. It turns out that several people were shot near an underage nightclub, a longtime establishment owned and operated by one of our board members. Two of the people killed were teenage girls, one an exchange student. Several other Rotary Int'l exchange students were also shot.
And the shooter? Typical stuff. Quiet, unassuming, video-game fan. Didn't own a gun, they say. Friends and family are shocked.
This is a horrible incident, terrible for the kids, parents, patrons and police, not to mention for Portland overall. And since it happened on the streets of downtown, two blocks from the park that's a major venue for summer festivals, it will have an impact on all outdoor events, not just on the club scene.
2009 is shaping up to be a very challenging year. And January isn't even over yet.