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Archive for the 'Booze' Category
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission tries to monitor the distribution of alcohol, so they are the inherent enemy of the Oregon Commentator. But recently we’ve been given a much better reason to hate them; they appear to be a bunch of goddam racists. A lawsuit was filed this month that claims employees left a noose at a black coworker’s desk. The worker, Gene Summerfield, said he has also been victim to racial slurs, and has seen employees greet each other by “Heiling Hitler.” He filed a complaint about racist behavior before but was dismissed due to the one year statute of limitations. This is way beyond office shenanigans. This is shameful.
On the next episode of the Office, Ryan leaves a burning cross in Stanley’s cubicle.
OLCC Public Affairs Specialist Christie Scott said in an email to KOIN news, “The [internal] investigation did not substantiate claims of a derogatory comment and found no conclusive evidence that the loop of twine mentioned in the complaint was intended as harassment.” Then what the hell was it intended as? Do people just leave shit like this around for no reason? Was it a gift? A poorly made, but thoughtful, necktie? A makeshift leash for Summerfield’s dog? An extremely ineffective belt for Summerfield’s children?
Unfortunately, some attention whores have marred credibility of similar complaints in the past, but these accusations against the OLCC are not alone. In 2000 Robert Larry spoke to the Portland Mercury about his frequent run-ins with the OLCC. Larry, a black man, believed that his unfair treatment was no coincidence. Five years later Rami Makboul, Oregon club owner and out-right racist (he leaves out that second part on his business card), claimed that when he said black people didn’t belong in downtown Portland, an OLCC agent spoke the same way. In 2007, Reneé Majeski stated that the OLCC wouldn’t give a liquor license to a Mexican store owner in Bend because they feared Mexican gang involvement. Majeski also said that previous businesses in her venue, which attracted more white people, had similar problems to her business (noise, crowds, etc.) but weren’t bothered by the OLCC.
Things aren’t looking good for the OLCC. Or, should I say, for non-whites who have to deal with them. Racial discrimination should never be tolerated; however it’s especially outrageous when perpetrated by an organization that has control over Oregon businesses. But at least now we know the real reason why they were trying to ban malt liquor. Fuck…sorry.
So, OLCC, us Commentators will never like you because some of our biggest principles involve lots of alcohol, everywhere, all the time, and civil rights. And we hold a grudge. But maybe you can earn some respect back from the public if you don’t let this racist shit slide. And while you’re at it maybe loosen up Oregon’s laws regarding alcohol. No? Okay, it was worth a shot.
As anyone with a working University email address already knows, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently sent out an email detailing two separates rapes that occurred near Autzen Stadium and Chase Village. The tentatively-worded email states that
Besides being a horrifying and disturbing event, the incidents described in the email also point out the relative ineffectiveness of DPS and the overbearing presence of a “rape culture” around the UO. These are big claims to make, but stick with me here.
Based on the amount of “Campus Crime Alerts” I receive in my inbox on a weekly basis, it’s fairly clear that DPS is unable to “provid[e] a safe, secure, and welcoming environment.” While the emergency call boxes that litter campus are a great idea, it’s DPS’ inability to do anything other than dole out prevention tips and “Campus Crime Alerts” that really calls their authority into question. Not to mention the subtle fostering of a rape culture, where women are seen as “victims” rather than “survivors” and are perceived as “asking for it” because of their clothing or body language.
Just look at the passive voice in the first description: “A woman was walking alone around 10 p.m. on the bike path near Autzen Stadium when she was raped by a man with a knife.” Not “a man raped her” or “a man assaulted her”: she was raped. While this may seem like a minor syntactical kvetch, this kind of passive voice fails to accurately highlight the criminal nature of the act. You wouldn’t say “A store was robbed by an escaped convict.” You would say “An escaped convict robbed a store.” Instead, the attacker is placed in the background, and thus escapes scrutiny.
But it’s not all bad. The groups listed at the bottom of the email — Womenspace, SASS, the White Bird Clinic, the Counseling Center, SafeRide, and SWAT — are all excellent resources for survivors. Yet this doesn’t seem to be enough to change the prevalence of the University’s rape culture. There are many places that foster this kind of misogyny, undercutting the excellent work done by the aforementioned groups. Greek Life is an especially obvious target for such criticism, but you can find signs of rape culture anywhere. From the shouted “bitches” and “whores” within Taylor’s to the intense consumption of pornography, this mindset is everywhere around Eugene.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love porn. But all these factors have combined together to create a strangely patriarchal cocktail, one that views women as objects to be seized or sold. Women don’t deserve to be treated that way. And before the snarky comments come pouring in, remember that this isn’t about some bullshit in Washington D.C. or a genocide in some faraway country. This happens to people you know and love every day: your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and even your family.
Rape is wrong no matter what your political beliefs. The failures of the University and DPS only stand as a testament to the kind of incompetence our school is slowly (and sadly) becoming known for.
Drink up more than usual, friends! Today we rejoice as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission discontinues plans to ban cheap drinks in parts of Oregon. The OLCC was trying to make downtown Portland an “Alcohol Impact Area,” (not as fun as it sounds) giving the city of Portland the ability to prohibit businesses from selling disorderly-conduct-causing drinks like malt liquor and inexpensive wine.
So why am I drunk off of a 40 of Mickey’s in downtown Portland as I type this? Many personal reasons actually, but what I mean is, why are they still available downtown? Because it’s been determined that the OLCC doesn’t have the authority to establish AIAs to be recognized by Oregon state law. Cheap booze will live to be drank another day (or should I say, every day) but the city will try to push similar legislation next year.
This conclusion was reached just recently, but the plan has been supported by the organization and Portland officials for two years, and it’s sentiment can still be seen in the community despite the loss. Many businesses have stopped selling the controversial beverages voluntarily, even though the overall reaction of shop owners was mixed when the plan was first proposed.
Due to loss of alcohol related sales, Apu gets a side job.
One of the major arguments for enacting the ban was the supposed success in Seattle, cited by Theresa Marchetti in her original proposal. While the statistics look nice, other sources show that results varied and were ultimately disappointing as people simply found different ways to get intoxicated.
Banning sales of cheap alcohol not only infringes on responsible drinkers and store owners, but it could have some very detrimental results. History has shown that if a person wants a drink, they’re going to get a drink. I see two possible outcomes of this ban. 1) It simply moves riff-raff to another part of the city. Unlike downtown, most parts of Portland are more family-oriented and have more children residents. If we have to have it, let’s at least keep the belligerency in downtown. 2) It creates non-OLCC recognized suppliers in troubled areas. We could be looking at a full on hobo mafia here.
Movements like these have good intentions but generally become a hassle for law abiding citizens and lack worthy results. For example, Portland city commissioner Randy Leonard pushed legislation to lock up spray paint in 2008. It made sales of spray paint to the average Portlander very tedious, and outright banned sales of spray paint to people under 18. Yay graffiti is done! Actually, no significant results have been seen, but you still have to fill out that goddam clipboard in order to paint your bike.
Speaking of geographic memory devices that sexualize fictional characters, anyone in the “Harry Potter Fuck Me Hard” neighborhood can attest that parts of Eugene have staggering alcohol related crime rates as well. Downtown Portland would have been the first AIA in Oregon, but if it passes next year, will it be the last?
Little do these prohibitioners know, Thaddeus T. Rumplebottom was waiting in the sewer with his mouth open.
See they sent us an email:
So free venting and no one will remember or care about anything you say? But they’ll listen? Sounds like a bar with a lot less alcohol. I’ll be at Rennies along with the rest of the student body if you want to join.
In both old, and bad, news: Natural Light “beer” has become the first beer in space. The people at Natural Light launched a can into the heavens on November 17, reportedly inspired by some assholes on Facebook. The can rocketed into the sky up to “90,000ft+” before returning to the Earth, playing a proverbial game of “Just the Tip” with our atmosphere.
What’s going to be shot up next? Who knows. Probably a fucking Kardashian. Hopefully someone has some cans of OG Four Loko stashed, that is the only thing that will make extraterrestrials run from Earth in fear.
Best part (2:26) “What up aliens? Where the party at, we brought the beer!”
Today starts the beginning of a five-day opportunity to vote on the EMU and Student Rec Center (SRC) renovations. I’m sure many of you have been getting annoying emails all day telling you how you should vote. I’m not going to do that. I don’t care how you vote and neither does the Commentator, but it is important to know what you’re voting on.
The first question is asking if you are okay with paying $35 a term to renovate the SRC There will be a juice bar, which I know is a big selling point to the lovely Sophie Lawhead. So keep that in mind.
The second question is asking if you’re cool with paying $65 a term to renovate the EMU. So that’s 35 plus 65. I write words, I don’t do math so figure it out for yourself.
Number three is about stipends. You can read my stipend post or read something educate yourself on that issue.
The next section took the Senate 10 hours to write so pay close attention.
If the EMU remodel is approved, should any student groups have their square footage space reduced in the new EMU?
Basically do you think the Insurgent deserves less space, probably? But be careful here because you might get beat up by the Women’s Center.
Should the EMU governance board continue to have a majority of non-elected student members?
Should average Joes help design the new building?
If the EMU remodel is approved, should the facility be closed during construction?
Would you like all hell to break loose for two years? Or you can think of it as a massive game of musical chairs. Everyone likes musical chairs.
And that’s really all my jurisdiction. The rest is about sports and stuff so you would have to consult someone who cares a little more, like the people in the drowning glass building… Happy voting!
This is a public service announcement: With all this riffraff about the 1%, don’t forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving: standing in line outside a chain-store at 1 a.m. the morning after, eating left-overs and looking like Rudolph because it’s freezing.
Just please don’t have as many Red Bull and Eggnog’s as these guys:
Stuck in town for Thanksgiving? Stuck at home for Thanksgiving? Here are some Commentator-approved ideas!
1. In general, Macy’s and drunk should be synonymous, but this should be the case even more so on Thanksgiving. If you’re in for the hours and hours of fun called the Macy’s day parade consider making a pitcher of Mexican Thanksgiving Shots and taking a shot each time you see a marching band.
Recipe: Fill pitcher 1/2 full with Tequila. Fill remaining part of pitcher with Wild Turkey.
2. Find a Bank of America and impersonate their door.
And here’s a little history lesson, enjoy!
Look look, this random website says we’re the #20 most awesome (Twitter) person in Eugene.
To Rennies to celebrate this momentous moment!
A study recently released by the Harvard Graduate School of Education seeks to solve the growing disconnect between the job market and academia by focusing on job training and education.
With barely half of the students enrolled in four-year colleges completing their bachelors degrees in six years and even less completing an associates degrees in three years, it is evident that college-prep should not be the only focus of High School. Indeed, many students drop out because the relationship between their courses and possible jobs is blurred.
This is not only a problem in High School, but college as well. With the variety of courses required for graduation being confusing at best and alluring course offerings like Zombies in Popular Media, Philosophy and Star Trek, and Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame, one can easily be distracted from reality. Moreover, the connection between education and career can be befuddling— what can you do with a history or Latin degree? What kind of job can you get a bachelor’s degree in economics?
What’s more, while Community Colleges face lower funding, they often produce graduates that earn more than those who earn a degree from a four-year university. “Pathways to Prosperity”, the study recently published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education reports, “27 percent of people with post-secondary licenses or certificates—credentials short of an associate’s degree—earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient.”
Professor Vedder of the Ohio State economics department made similar comments in his October article “Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?” stating ” the growing disconnect between labor market realities and the propaganda of higher-education apologists is causing more and more people to graduate and take menial jobs or no job at all” noting that more than 317,000 waitresses have college degrees.
Senate Bill 764, which has made its way through the Oregon Senate and has been referred to the House Business and Labor Committee, allows the OLCC to adopt a new rule: municipalities with over 50,000 residents can, through a petition from a representative, declare alcohol impact areas. As it stands currently, the only municipalities that can petition for an alcohol impact area are those with over 300,000 residents, of which there is only one: Portland.
In September 2010, Portland filed one such petition, which was approved in December. The alcohol impact area in that case included that licensees in portions of downtown and northwest Portland and had many stipulations regarding malt beverages and wine, including that OLCC licensees cannot sell malt beverages of over 5.75% alcohol by volume (ABV) and wine or cider over 14% ABV.
From what I understand, these impact areas are designed to cut down on public intoxication and general disorderly conduct in public places. Eugene has experimented with this before, over in the Whiteaker neighborhood: Commentator contributor Ben Maras has a great post about those over on his blog. On the Whiteaker experiment:
The forward movement of the bill likely has to do with the success of the experiment, which, if passed, would definitely impact Eugene and its 156,185 residents.
The question then comes to, as it often does on the Commentator blog, at what point are we sacrificing our personal choice for a “greater goal” (perceived safety, in this case)? One of the OLCC’s stated goals is to prevent over-saturation in the state by regulating the 143 liquor stores in Oregon (yes, all of them are state-run) and owning/distributing every drop of liquor in the state. But when do post-prohibition policies run their course? When do we trust Americans to make their own decisions?
Depending on the passage of this bill, only time will tell. For now, I’m going to buy a 40 of Mickey’s and enjoy it while I still can.
(P.S. Serious hat tip to the Oregonian for Your Government, which allows Oregonians to keep track of their representatives and the pieces of legislation they sponsor.)
The Student Insurgent, in a surprising turn of events, is actually doing something. I would be proud, if their actions weren’t entirely asinine.
First, they hosted a guest speaker last week who advocated sex trafficking. No joke. From their blog:
Clearly, the Student Insurgent advocates sex trafficking. The Commentator will be looking more into this story, including whether or not the Student Insurgent is housing underage, trafficked prostitutes in their office. Look for that next week.
Additionally, as I was walking by the Commentator distribution rack outside McKenzie Hall this afternoon, I saw this flier sitting on top of our HATE issues in the rack:
You know the Commentator. Constantly committing acts of ableism (which, and I’ve looked through our archives, I can’t find), objectifying women AND men, and generally slandering our fellow students.
Any responses to this flier should not only be directed to Dr. Shang (who, by the way, won the Professional Baller Tater Award last year) but also to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best response receives a Sudsy t-shirt and a hug from me and Sophie — AT THE SAME TIME. How can you say no?
On a more serious note: free speech, bitches. Deal with it.
EDIT: I can’t be sure this flier was indeed placed by the Insurgent, but based on the conversations I’ve had the last week, I can only guess.