So far, everything’s been pretty high brow here. Time for a break.


By now tens of thousands have swerved, what the f— is that! Looming up out of the darkness on Banfield southbound about 30th. Nevermind the subliminals, let’s get to the art.

The Oregonian’s Doug Bates linked the content to teenage alcoholism. I think that was his point. Maybe in Doug’s hot dream she drowns Brian Jones while shlurping her product. Schlock jock Michael Savage’s son, Russell Weiner, founded the Las Vegas-based energy-drink company. Brian Roeter of New Seasons says he won’t stock the stuff. Looks like hammerhead juice to me.

But no one – no heterosexual man – looks at the image and sees anything wrong. And that’s the marvel of it. We simply zip by happy there’s pornography out in the open and glad we didn’t smack bumpers with another driver. (Has the DMV made a complaint yet? Send me and win brass figligee with bronze oak leaf cluster!)

That wall is not flat. Not at all.

Ribbed with iron girders caked with cement, and windows, some pushing out 20 inches, rolling out a seeming flat image on to this surface is a mathematical marvel.

And TOTALLY post-modern. Unconscious pomo. Like a ornate Thai kickboxer heaving one in from halfcourt, swish – all net.

AK Media v Portland has screwed Portland’s mural artists completely but allowed commercial billboards relative freedom. (AK Media is the Clear Channel proxy in the NW.) Well, not the suit, but the city’s ridiculous response to the suit. Anyway, because Clear Channel is a commercial system with high-paying customers, it can demand premium locations, skilled artists and the new high tech.

This agreement has allowed Clear Channel to move in and monopolize huge surfaces with CAD murals which can portray a flat image on any convoluted surface. Fantastic!

Yes yes this is clearly a case which will be settled on first amendment grounds and Vera Katz is wrong wrong wrong, but the City under Potter continues to fight for pride or or paralyse or because the penalty will be large and probably against Portland. Put it on a future budget! Not mine, not now.

Clear Channel calls these images”Wallscapes” and advertises they can handpaint them – as this one seems to be, or print them on thin “skins” of vinyl which can be quickly hung over any surface. Clearly some mural artists have turned to the dark side.

Many comments on this fracas (the most interesting Oregon suit since Oregon v Ashcroft):

Willamette Week – 1997
Portland Mural Defense
Judge Marcus’ 2004 opinion in AK Media v Portland
The One True b!X reportage from January 2004.
Mural at Mirador – via Indymedia
Mural event reveals Clear Channel opposition – Portland Alliance

Portland may have something on its site about this stuff but I refuse to use / go to its site until it changes its registration policy.

The case goes back before Judge Marcus in March 2006.

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