This Sunday.

It’s a work so powerful that its author placed it in a vault, issuing orders that it not be performed until 25 years after his death.

Its words that form part of a vast, sprawling web of despair, loneliness, alcoholic misery….and, despite that (or because of it), a certain kind of painful, grey-scale beauty:

“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done, they make you do other things…until at last…everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”

“The past is the present, isn’t it? It’s the future, too.”

The work is Eugene O’ Neill’s masterful play Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which runs through September 5th, 2010 at Portland’s Newmark Theater, and features in its cast the towering William Hurt, as well as Portland’s own Todd Van Voris.

On the next episode of Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV), we’ll be joined by Mr. Allen Nause, Artistic Director of the Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, who are co-producing the play’s run (along with the Sydney Theatre Company). We’ll discuss the fascinating history of the play itself, as well as its intriguing intersections with William Hurt’s life and career.

That’s the next Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV).

The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: Godzilla, King of the Monsters.

Outlook Portland, Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Rick Emerson.

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Outlook Portland: The Return of John Rogers

As is the case with almost every subject, the sharpest, spikiest words about the job of writing came from Dorothy Parker, who said, “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

Fortunately for all of us, a great number of burgeoning wordsmiths escape their friends’ gunfire-based ministrations, and are, thereafter, free to unleash all manner of creative conglomerations upon the world.

Such a man is John Rogers; he is the creator, showrunner, writer, and mastermind for the TV series Leverage — filmed in our fair city. He has written or co-written screenplays for such films as Transformers and The Core, he contributed to the fourth-edition of Dungeons and Dragons: Manual of the Planes, has written for numerous comic books, and -just to run up the scoreboard- holds a degree in physics.

He’ll be my guest on this Sunday’s Outlook Portland, opining on such matters as:

  • The rise of Geek Culture — what was the tipping point that led to mainstream nerd-dom?
  • His writing process and routine, as well as the differences between solo writing and collaboration.
  • Portland as a filming location, and our city’s particular draw for artists.
  • Wil Wheaton’s status as a barometer of one’s relative place in the Geek Hierarchy.
  • John Rogers: on the next Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV).

    The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: Vince, from the comic series Walking Dead.

    Outlook Portland, Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Rick Emerson.

    NEXT WEEK: Allen Nause, Producing Artistic Director for Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland. We’ll discuss their current production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

    Project Pooch.

    “A boy and his dog.”

    It’s a phrase which looms large in not only the American lexicon, but in the human lexicon. Though we are surrounded by domesticated animals of all varieties, there is no denying the distinct, unmatched bond between man and canine. In the 14,000 years since they began their developmental split with wolves, dogs have come to occupy a sort of evolutionary middle-ground…one shared by no other animal.

    They are animals, yet they live in our homes, and frequently sleep on our beds. They naturally exist in packs, but that pack is often headed by…one of us. In situations of conflict, they will commonly fight on the side of humans, even when the aggressor is “one of their own kind.”

    More than any other living creature, they have thrown in their lot with us, and we with them. And now, that bond is being used in a kind of joint rehabilitation, with both the boy and his dog emerging better on the other side. This unlikely endeavor is called Project Pooch.

    What is Project Pooch? It’s a concept so beautiful and obvious in its simplicity that it reduces the toughest of men to tears. Project Pooch matches abandoned, unwanted shelter dogs with inmates in the prison system — typically young inmates, who were, themselves, abandoned or unloved.

    On this Sunday’s Outlook Portland, we’ll talk to Joan Dalton and Dave Waki, Executive Director and Board Member, respectively, of Project Pooch.

    That’s on the next Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV).

    The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: The Last Son of Krypton…Superman.

    Outlook Portland
    , Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Rick Emerson.

    Trek in the Park.

    Joining us on this Sunday’s episode of Outlook Portland will be Mr. Adam Rosko, the co-founder of Atomic Arts — the folks behind Trek in the Park.

    Atomic Arts, like many quietly influential groups, does little, at first glance, to indicate exactly how far their shadow has been cast…and how quickly.

    The description on their webpage reads, “We are a small theater company in Portland, Oregon showcasing classic, contemporary, and original productions.” Technically true…but, as is so often the case, masking a deeper, de facto reality.

    All this summer in Portland, Oregon, right in our own Woodlawn Park, you can see a kind of theatrical alchemy, as that which was electric -then became wooden- becomes, finally….golden.

    Every weekend through August 1st, this magic takes the form of a classic Star Trek episode — performed live.

    Trek in the Park is quite like nothing you’ve ever seen…no matter what you’ve seen before.

    That’s on the next Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV).

    The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: King of the Monsters…Godzilla.


    Outlook Portland
    , Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Rick Emerson.

    Filmusik presents Gulliver’s Travels.

    Sometimes, even the magical…the glamourous…the world-renown…can begin to seem a little threadbare. Through repetition and rote, the sparkle can be replace by a kind of tedium. And still, the show goes on. As Buffy Anne Summers once said, “Every single night, the same arrangement…I go out and fight the fight.”

    And so, a new perspective can, on occasion, render the ordinary astounding….turn the shopworn into the stunning.

    Filmusik does that on a now-regular basis…by taking films of an earlier age and preserving the visual glory, while creating brand-new vocal and musical accompaniment. Their work is audacious, inspiring, and quintessentially Portland.

    Joining us on Sunday’s Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV) will be Filmusik’s Director, Mr. Galen Huckins.

    Their newest production is the 1939 animated classic, Gulliver’s Travels:


     “Fleischer’s animated feature from 1939 tells Jonathon Swift’s travel adventure in a Betty Boop meets Moby Dick sort of way.  There’s songs and dance, live sound effects, live voices and live music.  It’s like Fantasia if Mickey Mouse were Goliath and the orchestra was right in your lap! With an original score performed live by the Filmusik Chamber ensemble and a cast of 20 performers. Gulliver’s Travels is a movie experience not to miss. It’s a rare chance to see professional soundtrack artists at work.  Get yourself some popcorn and be prepared to sing along!”

    The show runs July 16th thru July 23rd so get your tickets today.

    The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: leader of the Decepticons…Megatron.

    Outlook Portland, Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Melrose, and Rick Emerson.

    Jayesunn Krump, Vanished Twin Photography.

    All things are, at their base, a system of components. Continents made of countries, made of states, made of cities, made of streets and houses and individuals.

    Individual lives are, in turn, made of moments. Moments which exist, flux…and are gone.

    Were it not for a special kind of magic invented in 1822, there would be almost no proof that such moments had existed at all.

    Photography is an art, a science, a skill…and, perhaps most crucially, a tool for seeing things we would otherwise miss.

    On Sunday’s Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, on NW32 TV), we’ll be joined by Mr. Jayesunn Krump. He is a musician, filmmaker, and, with his company Vanished Twin Photography, one of Portland’s foremost photographers. [Full disclosure: Vanished Twin Photography have taken a great many of my personal publicity photos over the years; they also took the iconic “Horns Across the Hawthorne” photograph.]

    Horns Across the Hawthorne 11x17

    Photo courtesy of Vanished Twin. Available for purchase at CafePress here.

    We’ll talk about his own experiences in the photographic arts, as well as his perspectives on the changing business of photography. Finally, we’ll examine the role that Portland plays as an artistic subject and template.

    Portland, as seen with a photographic eye — this Sunday on Outlook Portland.

    The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: Godzilla.

    Outlook Portland
    , Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Melrose, and Rick Emerson.

    NEXT WEEK: A Portland author, a religious scholar, a martial-arts expert, a Muslim, a Christian, and a graduate of BYU…and they’re all the same person. Mr. Nader Pourhassan will be our guest on June 6th’s Outlook Portland.

    Thad Smith, Everyman’s War.

    In the world of art, there are many, many overused similes and false comparisons. If the most common is “bigger than The Beatles”, then the most egregious must be the comparison of any creative undertaking to war. Touring, standup comedy, performance of live music, and -especially- filmmaking are often described in terms of “going to war”, “fighting for every inch”, and “winning the battle.”

    To understand the innaccuracy of any such statement, one need only talk with those who have experienced the reality of war. What film can do, though, is capture their stories, and make sure those stories are heard…make certain they resonate.

    Everyman’s War is a film which does just that, using the microcosm of one man’s life and journey in World War II as a means for exploring the ties of honor, loyalty, and family.

    It’s also an illustration of the magic of filmmaking, as the outskirts of Germany are represented by such decidedly non-Teutonic locations as Mt. Hood and Scappoose.

    On Sunday’s Outlook Portland (Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV), we’ll be joined by the Director and Producer of Everyman’s War, Thad Smith. He’ll discuss the film’s background -it was inspired by his father’s World War II experiences- its creation, and the difficulty of filling Scappoose with German tanks.

    The show will also feature another “Outlook Portland Editorial Reply”, brought to you by our marquee sponsor, Things From Another World. This week’s guest editorialist: The Last Son of Krypton – Superman.


    Outlook Portland
    , Sunday at 6:30am, only on NW32 TV…the home of Gossip Girl, Melrose, and Rick Emerson.

    NEXT WEEK: Portland, as seen through the photographic eye; with guest Jayesunn Krump of Vanished Twin Photography.