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We had a small gathering last night to watch the premeire of IFC's "Portlandia." Part of it was flattery that someone would actually make a series poking fun at our little town, and part of it is that we poke fun at our little town all the time, so it was kind of a comparing notes sort of thing and see if these people from outside of Portland really nail it down.
First off, I was surprised to find out that it's not an ongoing storyline, it's just sketch comedy (SNL's Loren Michaels is even the producer). And while there are things that are kind of Portland centric, most of it was just your standard poking fun at people who are way too laid back and cool for their own good... oh, wait, that might be a really Portland centric thing there...
Actually, the scene with the Portland Adult Hide-and-Seek League looked like something I could actually see my friends... okay, I could see me doing. I wouldn't be surprised if one starts now, although the "after party" wouldn't be beers in the library but some smoke-free dive bar.
And, yes, they pretty much nailed a lot of Portland in the video "The Dream of the 90s is alive in Portland," although I think it's more that the dream of the slackers is alive in Portland. (Sleep 'til 11... You'll be in heaven)
But things like wanting to know the full history of the chicken, and then driving out to the farm to make sure that the marketing matches the reality... Okay, maybe that's a Portland centric thing, too. Although it seems you could find those people anywhere north of the Bay Area and south of Canada (go ahead and include some of BC in that map).
It's not Portland they're effectively making fun of, it's Ecotopia -- that fictional country that was formed when Northern California, Oregon, Washington and BC seceded from the US and Canada. I think there are a lot of people in the Northwest who like to think that it really happened and that Portland is the capitol of some great ecological utopia.
Except it wouldn't be that much of a utopia with all those people in it and that's where Portlandia can really sink its teeth in. While people are people everywhere, I have to admit, there are more people in Portland willing to express their whacky views than a lot of places.
My whacky views included.