The Portland Mercury Aspires to Be Portland Monthly

The darling little paper for snarky teens hopes one day to grow up to be the refined trendsetter that is Portland Monthly.

By Nigel Figgens Hawthorne October 24, 2012

The Portland Mercury is dressing up as Portland Monthly for its Halloween issue, which hits newsstands today and tomorrow. And we do declare: has it ever done a fine job. In what has to be its best art design in years, it emulates PoMo’s front of book sections, including the Editor’s Note, Mudroom, and the Perfect Party, before launching into its feature, “The ‘List’ List: Portland’s Most Comprehensive Listing of Lists that We Are Listing!” 

Though it might not be a particularly fresh joke, the Merc staff makes up for it by showing some true imagination in its expertly informed lists. Over our morning Earl Grey and bon bons, we were particularly tickled by things like “32 Intriguing New Squirrels for Fall,” “The Top 19 Artisanal Baking Sodas,” and “The 30 Hippest Minorities.” We can't believe we haven't thought of those before! And we couldn’t agree more with its list of “The 39 Least Influential Portlanders” (although we’re flummoxed to how they managed to leave PoMo’s prestigious list-writing editorial board off the list).

But we do feel we need to set the record straight on a few things that were obviously not fact checked. First, we were totally over Everclear by 2005. Second, quail is the new goat, which was already the new chicken as early as 2009—we thought you were on top of these trends, Merc. Third, it was actually the New York Times that discovered East Portland just last week, at least as far as 12th Avenue. Though we did once send a reporter farther out—if we recall, to slightly more serious ends than the Merc typically aspires, not that anyone reads the Merc to serious ends. Or even to the physical end for that matter; we generally skip from One Day at a Time to Savage Love and then move on to Willamette Week.

Nonetheless, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and we can’t say how honored we are that the Merc chose to aspire to our locally tailored, bespoke trappings this Halloween. We do hope your candy bag gets stuffed full of single origin truffles from Cacao this season, sweet Merc. Just try to avoid smashing the wrong influential person's pumpkin; we meant it when we said we won't be bailing you out again.

Nl. Figgens Hawthorne
Beloved Editor in Chief

P.S. It's been a while since we've dined together my dear fellow editor, Wm. Steven Humphrey. Can I have my executive assistant make us a reservation at the MAC?

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