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When we started the Mercury in 2000, we had one goal in mind: ridding Portland of every stinking hippie. With the last remaining few hippies safely imprisoned on Hawthorne, we now have the luxury of turning our attention to other nagging annoyances. While the following 20 things may have been popular in 2004, now it's 2005--and this is their official invitation to SCREW OFF!

1 Pocket Bikes

Pocket bikes are, of course, those tiny little realistic motorcycles that you see fully grown men zipping around on. Unfortunately, they are very popular in the black community, and while whitey has made a cottage industry out of appropriating practically everything in black culture--we won't be appropriating your pocket bikes. Because you look fucking ridiculous riding them. Vancouver, WA has already outlawed these stupid looking Shriner-bikes on their public streets--not for the obvious safety concerns, but because, again, you look fucking ridiculous riding them. And if people in the fashionably unconscious town of Vancouver think you look fucking ridiculous--then you REALLY look fucking ridiculous. WSH

2 Peacock Lane

For reasons that boggle the imagination, every Christmas families and their sport SUVs gum up traffic patterns on Peacock Lane (located just off SE Stark and 39th)--where every home on the street is contractually required to blanket their yards in tacky strings of colored lights. And though these property owners obviously lack the appropriate imagination necessary to creatively pull off such a feat, this doesn't stop the endless parade of cars adding to this unnecessary drain of energy by driving up and down the street knocking holes in the ozone--all in the name of Baby Jesus. Well, Baby Jesus has a Christmas greeting for these people, and it's, "For the love of Me, get a fucking life." WSH

3 "The 2wenty"

Oh, Regal Cinemas--now you've gone too far. Not content with showing us the latest Ben Stiller shitpile, you also have to barrage us with 20 minutes of loud ads, excruciating clips of NBC "comedies" and TNT "dramas," plus insufferable singles from Avril Lavigne wannabes--all under the obsequious banner of "The 2wenty." Regal, if you're so goddamned worried about internet piracy and the growing DVD market cutting into your profits, then maybe you should try treating moviegoers with a little respect instead of like naïve marks. Keep it up, Regal--every day, you're getting closer and closer to making movie theaters obsolete. EH

4 Gay-placency

2004 was the year the gay community paid the price for years of complacency, and letting a lackluster group like Basic Rights Oregon drive the car. As gay organizations struggled over what theme to choose for the annual pride parade ("How about "A Rainbow of Diversity'?"), the Christian right learned from aggressive locally defunct gay groups like ACT UP, and figured out how to organize. When BRO dipped their toes in the gay marriage waters, the Christians were more than ready--and handily delivered the smack down. Now BRO is slinking back into the closet, begging for, instead of demanding, what every human being deserves--full, unquestionable equal rights (For more info on what BRO isn't doing, see page 6). Rosa Parks didn't stand for this horseshit, and neither should you. In 2005, Gay-placency is OUT, and ACTING UP is IN. WSH

5 Pictures of Marjorie Skinner in the Portland Mercury

This has got to stop. There hasn't been an issue of this publication in months that did not include my photograph somewhere within its pages. If I get one more comment from one more bitch complaining about my ass or hair--she's looking at "tit genocide." If I have to spend one more minute having story ideas pitched to me from strangers who think they're getting their "big break" while I'm shopping, eating, or waiting in line for the bathroom, I walk. It's all solipsistic masturbation, I tell you! And I will NOT be party to it any longer! Hey… waitasecond. What the fuck is that? Goddammit!! MS

6 Support Our Troops Magnets

First things first: Soldiers can refuse to fight in a war they don't believe in. So if they are fighting, then we can assume they support the war, and therefore I am under no moral obligation to support them. But this isn't about soldiers; it's about magnets. If you have one of those yellow ribbon magnets on the back of your car, you support the war. And if you support the war, then you support the Bush Administration who refuses to adequately provide soldiers with the necessary armor, ammunition, and relief they need--which doesn't sound very supportive to me. So instead of proudly displaying your yellow "Support Our Troops" magnet, may I suggest a ribbon in the embarrassing shade of red stating, "I'm a big fat hypocrite." WSH

7 The Oregonian Editorial Board

One of the more unnecessary traditions of journalism is the "unsigned" editorial--a chickenshit brand of reporting employed daily by The Oregonian. In 2004, the mysterious phantoms of the O's editorial board came out swinging against gay marriage ("…leaves the majority feeling uneasy… fearful--and pushed"), police accountability (saying Rose City Copwatch lived in a "make-believe world of radical political activism"), and the homeless (calling Dignity Village "a city-sanctioned disaster waiting to happen"). The Oregonian even wagged their anonymous finger at Sri Lankan victims for not having a warning system and therefore stupidly being killed by tsunamis. ("Aiiieee! It's a tsunami!! Oh, why didn't we renew our Oregonian subscription?!") So if you're going to write ridiculous editorials, at least have the nuts to sign them. And while I've got your attention, stop throwing those Oregonian "FOODday" fliers in my yard! WSH

8 The Playhouse

There are three things that are deeply wrong about the morning show on Jammin' 95.5: 1) On any given morning it sounds like there are 27 people crammed in the studio screaming their lungs out. 2) Of those 27 people screaming their lungs out, 80% of them are honky crackers who are actively pretending to be black. And 3) their jokes about retarded people may actually be funny, or they may not--no one can tell because the studio is crammed with 27 people who are screaming their lungs out. WSH

9 Weird Library Hours

Each year the Multnomah library system moves closer to perfection. In 2004 the libraries stopped being closed on Mondays, a ridiculously annoying phenomenon that made no logical sense to anyone. Now, all it needs to do is stop having such fucking weird hours. There are, like, 50 library branches and none of them share the same schedule. On Monday, the Belmont branch might be open noon to 6, while the downtown branch might be open 10 AM to 5 PM. On Tuesday those schedules might be reversed. Nobody can keep track of it, and for a library addict like myself, nothing is more annoying than showing up at a reasonable hour to pick up the Sopranos DVD you've had on hold for eight months, and finding the damn place closed. Out with weird library hours in 2004! In with consistency in 2005! JWS

10 Paid Liberal Canvassers

OH! You've seen them! Those fuckers on the street corners with their clipboards, preying on your liberal guilt to get you to donate money to their cause. They'll say, "Do you have a minute for the starving children?" when they really mean, "Do you have a minute to give me some money?" These punk kids are doing this for a JOB, in order to make cashola--they're not dedicated volunteers starting a food bank! They're making commission on every dollar they raise. So they're basically selling out their liberal peers to work for The Man. They also make the city less friendly by inserting financial agendas and guilt into nice neighborhoods, so that people have to keep their heads down and look pissed off to avoid getting hassled for money. Motherfuckers! CB

11 The Two Passed-Out Junkies In Front of the Mercury Office

Hey junk monkeys--are there not enough bridges in this town for you? You need to pass out right on the sidewalk in front of our goddamn office? Jesus Christ, what did you do--shoot up in my shitty car? I'm sorry, but I'm depressed enough. My fragile psyche cannot handle another day of having to step over a couple of bruised human skeletons nodding off on the white lady while I'm rushing out to pay the electric bill. Life sucks, alright? I get it. Stop rubbing it in my fucking face! KS

12 Fred Meyer (Hollywood)

Ooh, it's so big and shiny! And it has everything you could ever dream of! Food! DVDs! Magazines and books! Shitty clothes! Home furnishings! Toys! Yes, the Hollywood Fred Meyer is a veritable mecca of convenient consumerism--but it's also a Lord of the Flies-esque cesspool of greedy-eyed shoppers, bewildered jerks who don't understand the simple operating mechanisms of their oversized shopping carts, assholes who would trample their own mother to get the last box of Cap'n Crunch, and arrogant, witless clerks who would just as soon kick you in the junk as lower themselves to say "thank you" for buying their toilet paper. EH

13 Bush/Iraq Documentaries

God, I hate Bush. But you know what's even worse than his insipid policies or his half-assed war? The insipid, half-assed "documentaries" that every jackass with a Bad Religion album and iMovie cranks out. Listen: Everybody knows that Bush sucks, just like everybody knows that Iraq is a vicious, amoral clusterfuck. And just because you know these things too doesn't mean you should ever, ever try to share them with the world via your shitty animations or melodramatic insinuations about how neo-cons are going to break into your house at night and slit your throat. You're not the next Michael Moore--you're just another talent-less 20-something with too much time on your hands and an overabundance of indymedia.org posts. EH

14 Thrift Stores Who Try to Trick You

Not everyone buys clothing secondhand simply because it's cheaper (and with some of the markups, it ain't really cheaper). No, some people buy vintagely because they don't want to directly contribute to the exploitation of factory workers, and because it's fucking mortifying to be caught dead in cheap factory items. So why are certain stores trying to sneak cheap sweatshop clothing into the racks of vintage clothes? If you must carry them at all, put them in a separate section and label them for what they are. But trying to trick people into buying them is just plain insulting. MS

15 Stories about Stories about Neil Goldschmidt

Admittedly, the Mercury did not break the story of former mayor/governor Neil Goldschmidt raping a 14-year-old back in the 1970s--but on the other hand, we also haven't been around for the last 30 years ignoring it. Nevertheless, on behalf of the Portlanders who are no longer interested in reading more stories about stories about Neil Goldschmidt, let us say: ENOUGH, ALREADY. WE GET IT. It was a great big cover-up and every reporter in town knew about it, except for the Willamette Week who was there during the entire period and somehow missed the memo. However! Though it took 30 years, they bravely jumped on the story as soon as an enemy of Neil Goldschmidt hand delivered it to them--thereby making them THE GREATEST ALTERNATIVE WEEKLY IN THE WORLD. (Now, will you guys please bring back "Night Cabbie"?) WSH

16 Sit/Lie Ordinance

If Mayor Katz proved anything during her tenure, it's that she had a knack for championing all the wrong issues--like the Obstruction as Nuisance Ordinance (aka the Sit/Lie rule) that adds criminality to the list of soul-sucking problems faced by the city's homeless. Since City Council saw fit to unanimously pass the ordinance in early December (Thanks, Erik Sten!), restaurant tables and sandwich boards now have more right to sidewalks than living, breathing, and severely impoverished human beings. So instead of joining the rest of us in 2005, we'd like to invite Katz and the whole City Council to retire to Dignity Village. SM

17 The Oregonian's "Personal Style" Pullout

The one paper in town big enough to support a regular section of their paper dedicated to style finally did. What a perfect opportunity to bolster local talent! The Oregonian already advertises for ubiquitous chain stores, and this might inspire Bebe-obsessed suburban shoppers to swipe their VISAs at Motel or Seaplane, too. But in its premiere issue, PS overlooked the most important Portland fashion event of 2004 (the PDX Fashion Incubator's fashion week), and recommended its readers to go shopping at Nordstrom's. Hey Dumbass! They already do. MS

18 Hipsters Who Hate Hipsters

Look down at your pants. Do they have pleats in them? If not, then to someone, you are a hipster. Do you wear gel in your hair? If yes, then to someone, you are a hipster. Do the words "Modest Mouse," or "Dunes," mean anything to you? If yes, then to someone, you are a hipster. So the next time you find yourself shit-talking someone for being a "hipster"--stop and make sure you're wearing pleats. WSH

19 Gerding/Edlen (The pricks behind the Home Depot proposal on Burnside)

Having no truck for the importance of small businesses, developers Gerding/ Edlen have spent years lobbying to place a Home Depot (the Wal-Mart of hardware stores) in the middle of the city. They're now jumping on the chance to dump their big box at the Burnside Bridgehead site, despite a tidal wave of public opinion from neighbors of the site who'd rather not see local businesses go tits-up. The good news: At least in theory, the PDC is still considering multiple options for the space. The bad news: Gerding/ Edlen still hates small businesses. And puppies. SM

20 KXL 750 Banner/Billboard

Every morning while whipping onto I-84 from I-5, I narrowly avoid careening my car into the Willamette thanks to the giant billboard/banner featuring the Republican faces of KXL 750 talk radio. And every morning I'm amazed this billboard singing the praises of Bill O'Reilly, Lars Larson, Tony Snow, and Michael Savage hasn't been vandalized yet--and I'm not saying it should be, because THAT'S ILLEGAL. You see, I am a true proponent of the freedom of speech, and if KXL wants to put up a billboard that could be easily, but absolutely ILLEGALLY vandalized, then that is certainly their prerogative. However, I do have to say if this billboard was somehow ILLEGALLY altered to say something like, "These bitches eat dick"--well. Would it be illegal for me to laugh? WSH

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