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As we celebrate and reflect upon another year “back to school” and brace ourselves for the upcoming election season, we are reminded of George Washington’s words in his 1797 farewell address: “… as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion be enlightened.” Ours is a much different world, but Washington’s logic is just as sound today as it was then. The government we have reflects the state of public enlightenment.

I’m a guy, 35, and a cheating piece of shit. I’m engaged to a woman I love, but earlier this year I cheated on her. I have no excuse. She discovered the dating app I used, and we worked through that. But she doesn’t know that shortly after her discovery, I went ahead and cheated. To my meager, meager credit, I did seek out only women who were looking for NSA hookups. But I quickly came to realize how big of a mistake this was, how much I love my fiancée, and that I’m a shitty person.

What do you think when you see someone with bad teeth — big gaps or the disturbing discoloration of decay or the sunken-jaw look of too many missing teeth —  someone who covers his or her mouth when talking, someone who seems afraid to smile? Dangerous? Criminal? Drug addict? 

Well, in some cases that might be true, but in most cases it’s not. And the judgments that you and I — often unwittingly — make about people with visibly bad teeth can be a barrier to those people overcoming difficulties in their lives.

I’m a 27-year-old straight male and a high-school teacher held to a strict code. I left my fiancée in June and haven’t had sex since. Needless to say, I’m really horny. I’m also in that weird in-between age where I’m not comfortable hanging out at college bars but I’m also a bit younger than most of the women in other bars. But when I scour dating apps, I see profiles of women ages 18 to 22—women who, for all I know, could have been students at my school.

The city of Eugene has morphed a neighborhood initiative to improve pedestrian and traffic safety on south Willamette Street into an intrusive rezone of neighborhoods in that area. They call it an “up-zone.” From the perspective of many who live there, it is more appropriately called a “down-grade” — of property values, the environment and their quality of life.

I’m a woman who watches porn—we do exist—and I have a mad crush on a male porn star named Small Hands. Unfortunately, his videos focus less on his handsome face and more on some girl’s ass. Do! Not! Want! Is there a way to ask a porn star to please make a few movies in a certain way? I would like to see some movies that feature less of her and more of him!

Salivating About Male Performer’s Lovely Exterior


I wanted to be white for three weeks in 4th grade (1965)because I was being rejected, being the only black kid in class in my elementary school in Bel Air. After three weeks I realized, wait, there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s them. 

My home training countered the non-lessons I was getting: Slaves were smart. Slaves resisted every step of the way. We were the slaves that taught ourselves to read, when it was a death sentence. 

My husband left the picture recently, and I’m now a single mom supporting an infant in Toronto. I work a retail job and am drowning financially. I hooked up with a guy I met on Tinder, and I didn’t warn him that I’m still nursing because I didn’t even think of it. Luckily, he really got off on it—so I was spared the awkwardness of “Eww, what is coming out of your tits?!” Afterward, he joked about there being a market for lactating women in the kink world. My questions: If I find someone who will pay me to suckle my milk, is that prostitution?

September is the month that hikers in western Oregon look forward to more than any month. Rainless days are almost guaranteed, mosquito levels drop off quickly and tourists thin out after Labor Day. This year there are a few qualifications to what is typically our best month for backpacking. Mosquito levels may be slow to disappear in the high country because there haven’t been enough freezing nights.

I am baffled by the decision of the Eugene City Council and the Lane County Board of Commissioners to give away an additional $7 million, to Singapore-based Broadcom, on top of the $14 million the company was already getting for creating 229 jobs in the West Eugene Enterprise Zone. That’s $21 million, what they paid for the property, for 229 jobs!

I have been seeing sex workers for 30 years, and I shudder to think how shitty my life would have been without them. Some have become friends, but I’ve appreciated all of them. Negative stereotypes about guys like me are not fair, but sex work does have its problems. Some clients (including females) are difficult—difficult clients aren’t typically violent; more often they’re inconsiderate and demanding. Clients need to understand that all people have limits and feelings, and money doesn’t change that.

When the Oregon legislative session of 2015 opened, Eugene Weekly embarked upon the bold experiment of establishing a delivery route in Salem. Each Thursday I traveled there, my first stop was the Capitol, where crowds in costumes and uniforms campaigned colorfully for their causes.

The Salem experience was thoroughly enjoyable. As the final month began, I wondered how I could top the fun, and decided to meet Kate Brown.

“Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” — Mark Twain

This issue of EW comes out 10 days before Labor Day and 10 weeks before Election Day. 

This period marks the bell lap in a presidential race that has been mindboggling. For example, some of the elderly in our Hot Air Society appear seriously confused about Donald Trump’s recent hiring of Paul Manafort (who resigned Aug. 19), crackpot Stephen Bannon and former Fox News creep Roger Ailes. They don’t know whether to cheer or boo. 

DEAR READERS: This is the final week of my summer vacation—but you’ve been getting a new column every week I’ve been gone, all of them written by Dan Savage, none of them written by me.

I’m not a fan of HRC. 

But I’m no Bernie-for-the-revolution person either. 

No election will bring us the revolution we need. Even electing Jill Stein or Sanders would do the same as electing the “Hope” and “Change” of Obama. 

There is the letter of the law, then there’s the spirit. Rep. Lew Frederick, the Oregon House’s only African American legislator, was the guiding force behind two new Oregon laws: HB 2655 (the testing opt-out bill of rights) and HB 2713 (the testing cost audit bill). 

The spirit behind the two new laws is clear: To honestly examine the costs, both financial and otherwise, of the standardized testing that dominates Oregon education and to allow parents and students to make their own informed decisions about what kind of education is best for them. 

DEAR READERS: I’m on vacation for three weeks—but you won’t be reading old columns in my absence, and you won’t be reading columns by anyone who isn’t Dan Savage. You’ll be reading new columns, all of them written by Dan Savage, none of them written by me.

The mosquito fern that covered the eastside Delta Ponds’ surfaces with dramatic purple the past two winters had nearly disappeared by late spring of this year. The duckweed family overtook the mosquito fern and turned the ponds green, much to the gustatory delight of the waterfowl. Suddenly, in July, the mosquito fern has made a resurgence and may regain dominance; observations to come. Even the green is different. Instead of common duckweed, the green is dominated by the tiny water meal (Wolffia) of the flowering duckweed family.

Your Queen and Mine of the Society for the Legitimization of Ubiquitous Gastropods, Markalo Parkalo, wishes to convey warmest wishes, solstice celebration and official offerings herewith:

First, thank you for your support of my favorite nonprofit: LILA (Lane Independent Living Alliance).

Because of Orlando.

Because just yesterday I reverted and referred to my wife as “my partner.” 

Because my gay friend’s 70-year-old lesbian sister has yet to come out of the closet.

DEAR READERS: I’m on vacation for the next three weeks—but you won’t be reading old columns while I’m away. You’ll be getting a new column every week, all of them written by Dan Savage, none of them written by me.

On Aug. 6, 1945, a single atomic bomb rendered Hiroshima a scorched plain and burned tens of thousands in its flames. By year’s end, 140,000 irreplaceable lives had been taken. Those who managed to survive, their lives grotesquely distorted, were left to suffer serious physical and emotional aftereffects compounded by discrimination and prejudice. Nuclear weapons are an absolute evil and the ultimate inhumanity. 

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) can most accurately be summed up as a conglomerate of protests. This wasn’t simply a coming-together of Democratic delegates casting their pledged vote. This was a rallying point for many groups to come together and express their displeasure, and often rage, at a system they have grown frustrated with.