I took the rare step today of picking up the Oregonian newspaper (I typically read the WSJ and NYTimes) and read an opinion column from an Oregonian staffer that just enraged me. Here is my response.
If you are from the Portland area, you are probably very familiar with the sign pictured here. Its currently referred to as the 'Made in Oregon' sign. When driving into downtown from the east you can't miss it in the beautiful skyline.
The 'Made in Oregon' sign is now in the middle of a controversy that would make the Housewives blush. See, the University of Oregon has owned the building and the sign for a number of years now. They recently finished a spectacular renovation of the space and cut the ribbon for the University of Oregon Portland center.
Naturally, since the sign and building no longer have anything to do with Made in Oregon, the company, the UofO wants to change the sign.
Enter a bunch of angry and aparently bored Portlanders, including Anna Griffin of the Oregonian.
Anna's opinion piece in the Dec 10th, 2008 Oregonian disgusted me. She showed that sometimes Portlanders like to bitch and protest just because. Her opinion is so empty of anything meaningful that she even goes as far as to bring Phil Knight, Nike, and Oregon Athletics into the argument. What? Is she serious?
Whats the problem, anyway? Why should the owner of the building be forced to advertise a private brand? Why can't the UofO tell all of Portland and it's visitors that they University is here to serve the community? Whats wrong with change? The sign changed in 1995 and the world survived, it can change again. Is PSU affraid that a sign will destroy their business in Portland?
Where were you, Anna, when the University first bought the building? Did you protest then? Did you stand up and demand that the University stay out of your city and not change anything in Old Town?
Where were you, Anna, when the sign was changed to read "Made in Oregon"? Did you protest then? Had you lived here, would you have? Would you have been that passionate about White Stag?
I didn't think so.
-Jeff the Great