Flicking Away Public Spaces

I got a bad feeling yesterday when I learned that KGW was going to take over the old Powell’s Travel books room at Pioneer Square.  The concept was that they would have in their morning show a version of NBC’s Today Rockefeller Center, where the local news cast looks out at “Portland’s Living Room”.

The problem is this means that “Portland’s Living Room” would, necessarily, have to become, during the duration of KGW’s filming, pristine.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Pioneer Square on that score as a general rule, but I am imagining stray bums being uncermeoniously shoved out of the line of vision, for the benefit of KGW.  (Also undesirable, a ranting street preacher, and the like, who would normally be standing — over a ways anyway, but won’t be allowed in front of this camera — even though he’d probably like to be in sight of the camera)…

Actually they’ll probably create their own faulty ambiance.  For example, this is a rather chilling vision of the immediate future.

Outdoor television monitors will also broadcast the news for passersby to watch.

Bah on KGW.

Seemingly related to this ethos, as it appears Pioneer Square is being turned over to corporate interest, I hear this bit of news regarding the weekly Friday peace marches from “Portland Peaceful Response” — weekly gatherings which tend on the very low side in terms of people, but gather moss every so often.

In recent weeks, PPRC has been approached by employees of Portland Patrol, Incorporated (PPI) objecting to our use of a battery-operated megaphone and to the use of drums. On December 21st, the City of Portland Noise Control Officer, accompanied by a representative of Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc., and by a member of the Portland Patrol, informed us that, if we use either the megaphone or drums, individuals will be cited.

Drums?  Really?  Understand, drums are staple for this type of thing — drum-lines somewhat easily mocked and sterotyped.

The re-entrenchment for discouraging this seems uneasily tied to the presence of that there television broadcasting.  It is an essential attitude on what the heck that spot is — seen by something with the word “incorporated” at the end of its name as a bit of an unorderly nuisance.

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