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Thursday, June 8, 2006

We are the world

Portland Mayor Tom Potter's "vision quest" questionnaire continues to get a thorough workout. Today's installment is in Arabic.

I'm all for inclusiveness, but at some point you've got to wonder how much all these translations cost, and how many of these foreign-language versions are actually going to get filled out and returned. How much money per response will it work out to?

If I lived in Portland and I couldn't communicate in a language other than Arabic or Russian, I'm not sure answering "visioning" questions on a City Hall form would be high on my list of priorities. Maybe a block party with an international flair would be a better way to sound these folks out.

Comments (11)

Ya mislim ze to este bi po Slovensky, ties. Slovensky jazik je pekne, nemislis?

Uh oh. Jak sie masz? That's about it for me. Anyone?

I have a vision of Max Trains that aren't crowded with meth addicts, their dealers, and people who shower once a month.

If we spent as much time enforcing our laws as we do political correctness, Portland would be a better place to live and work.

Homelessness is not a crime, granted. But how about drug dealing out in the open, public intoxication, and dogs without tags, ALL OF THEM riding on Max.

I'm through with public transit: time to start paying to park downtown.

Maybe they should learn to speak English.

Another just showed up. At the risk of sounding like Shirley-Shirley-Bo-Birley, "Let's do Cambodian!"

To je hovno.

I just hope that visioning isn't the new Pair of Underpants.

Prdel pise:
>To je hovno.

Co je hovno? Alebo kto? Dufam ze nie mna je hovno.

Ale, ja mozno bit hovado. Ako sa hovorit 'hovado' po Anglicky? Co, presne, ye to 'hovado', po Anglicky? Ja viem ze to pekna nadavka, ale neviem co to je.

To counterfeit a coined phrase, visions should be seen, not heard. So far, Blind Tommy keeps talking about his vision thing, but hasn't shown us anything. Talk and write about it in any language you want....it's still a cluster f___ waiting to happen.

Here's my vision:

No jail bed left behind.

Reflecting on what it is that really grates about this visioning stuff, I think it's the cheap commercialization of something real and true about Oregon: Merriweather Lewis described the West, including Oregon, as the "land of visionary enchantment". Thoreau said he felt drawn west toward Oregon rather than east toward Europe. It's the land of tribal vision quests and Keesey's amazing landscapes. And Homer and company capitalize on the image to ruin it. I don't say this because I hate Californians and New Yorkers; heck, I have lived in those places and love much about them. But Oregon doesn't hecome those places, and a truly well planned Oregon would not obsess so much on boosting a housing boom when we don't have the community resouces to support one. It drains and povertizes the existing citizenry.

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