People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense. Ken Kesey

by Anne Richardson

From my May 19, 2012 editorial in The Oregonian:

I grew up in Portland and returned home after spending 30 years away. What struck me most forcefully upon my return was how strongly Oregon wanted to believe it was a backwater. I saw Gus Van Sant films in Manhattan theaters, read about Chuck Palahniuk’s books in the Sunday Times, saw The Dandy Warhols’ club dates in the Village Voice.

I knew these artists came from my 3,000-mile-away home. I also knew that New Yorkers wanted to believe that everything clever or new or beautiful came from somewhere south of 14th Street.

I accepted this refusal to assign Oregon citizenship to successful artists as strange, but understandable. What I was not prepared for, when I returned home, was the discovery that Portlanders too, wanted to identify its artists as originating spiritually, if not actually, from somewhere south of 14th street. A programmer for a local film festival told me he could not identify the Oregon roots of a visiting director because it would turn off his audience. Portlanders wanted better than that. They wanted art created by people who did not grow up in Oregon.

Read the rest on OregonLive:

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