Eugene can be a contradictory place. Some find numerous opportunities here, seeing Eugene as a community full of music, culture, good food and outdoor adventure. Others characterize the city more prosaically, as a nice place to live, but maybe a little … lacking in diversions.
Count cartoonist Michael Allred in the former category. “Growing up in Roseburg, Eugene was always the exciting place to go,” he says. Allred, creator of the independent critical-darling comic book Madman, moved on to college in Utah (where he met his wife, comic-book colorist Laura Allred) and eventually lived for a time in Eugene. He later relocated to various points all around the country, and even to Europe. But Eugene always held a special place in his heart.
The place looks like a dojo. It is clean, well lit and spartan. No frills. On the front door is a sign that warning not to enter unless they are willing to commit 100 percent to the workout. Inside are signs that say things like, “it’s suppose to be brutal,” “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” and, perhaps most foreboding, hanging in the bathroom: “Adapt or perish.”
You know that condescending look people in relationships give single people right before they dispense dating advice? I get that a lot. It’s usually followed by something like, “If you want to find someone, then you need to leave Eugene.”
People glance at themselves in windows, take pictures of themselves, and ask each other, “How do I look?” They scrutinize their bodies through a network of literal and figurative mirrors. In a culture that elevates a narrow vision of physical beauty, it can be hard to love the different realities that are reflected — there is pressure from society to mentally paint bodies over with imperfections, and to sketch in innumerable critiques.
The city of Eugene has yet to participate in the UO’s ultimate “town and gown” collaboration on sustainability, but Springfield has jumped on it with enthusiasm.
The UO’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) is getting positive attention from The New York Times and Forbes magazine. Numerous universities around the country, and as far away as China and New Zealand, are interested in replicating what the UO has created, and the program is attracting both students and faculty to UO.
Being a rock star isn’t about playing rock music. It’s about the unabashed charisma that an exceptional performer guts out into the world and how that magnetism affects listeners and fans over the course of time. An authentic rock star can win our love from beyond the grave.
That said, and given that rock stars are often fringe personalities who find themselves prematurely on the other side of mortality, there sure are a lot of dead ones. And there is perhaps nothing more romantic in our culture of arts and entertainment than the dead-rock-star archetype.
Coal doesn’t just burn hot, it burns dirty — it’s pretty much dirt that burns — and like most hot things, it just might burn you.
No active commercial coal mines remain in Oregon, and the state plans to phase out coal from the Boardman coal-burning power plant in the Columbia Gorge by 2020. But if you thought coal wasn’t a concern for Oregonians, think again. Oregon is pretty dependent on coal — almost 40 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal-burning power plants — and now Big Coal has plans to drive massive open trainloads of the grimy fossil fuel right through Eugene.
There is a high, lonesome, gravelly sound in the air. The sound is simple but by no means easy to play — and even harder to categorize. Traditional and alternative genres are merging, multiplying and mating. The acoustic strumming and picking of hybrid Americana roots music sloughes the edges of other genres adopting bits of punk, blues and country as the music flows from the instruments of younger musicians willing to experiment with it. The resurgence is national, and we have a Eugenean abundance.
Perry Graham sits at a small table at Espresso Roma at the edge of the UO campus with his brown dreadlocks pulled back into a frizzy ponytail. The 23-year-old scribbles in his notebook as he sips coffee out of a clear mug — all pretty normal for a college student on a gray fall afternoon.
You could say that Graham is just another young hippie wannabe who probably thinks peace and freedom are achieved by smoking a lot of pot. What more could he be doing with his life? He’s only 23; he doesn’t care about politics or the community. He’s too young.