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Thursday, June 06, 2002 

Subvert Your Local Art Community

First Thursday is a phenomenon that occurs every month in the Pearl District, where aesthetic elitists and bourgeois fuckheads meet to celebrate their enslavement publicly. On June 6th several members of the Portland Surrealist Group, accompanied by five fellow travelers, descended into the depths of the Pearl to distribute a flyer that announced our objection to this repetitious event, declared our solidarity with the street performers, and called for an uprising of liberated creativity, which can only exist outside the dome of artism.

With hopes of creating a fiery, aggressive contestation of our own, the flyer paid tribute to Don Pedro, a voodoo priest that invented the violent and frenzied Petro rituals, which gave the slaves of Haiti the power and inspiration to mount their own victorious insurrections of the late 1700s. In honor of the rebellious Petro spirits the flyer was called Ze Rouge, a suffix often added to the names of Petro spirits meaning “with red eyes.”

Our protest eventually landed at NW 11th and Glisan, where we decorated some of the street corners with the vèvè of Papa Legba la Flambeau, an intensely flammable spirit. Several of the protesters wore masks and one painted her face. Shibek annoyed the crowd with a thunderous duck call, and several of the wine-filled fellow travelers hollered insults at the passing snobs as we distributed nearly two hundred flyers. At some point a horrendous odor overtook the area, and in the distance a black cloud could be seen. Apparently something large was burning! Later two plastic firemen hats were discovered and worn.

Brandon Freels

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