Accolade Accepted

Over the weekend, while gorging on culture and enjoying crisp, blustery bluesky days, we visited our own site (yes, we lurk on our own site--how pathetic is that?) and discovered that our fame blossoms and that we are appreciated. You see, our good friends at Art Scatter generously blessed us with the coveted Premios Dardo award.

I know! A Premios Dardo! (Let's just call it a "Dardo," or a "Preemie" -- okay, maybe that doesn't work).

The beauty of the Premios Dardo is that you can accept it in your bathrobe over morning coffee, or while surfing the net at work. There's no red carpet walk or uncomfortable evening wear. Heck, you don't even have to accept the darn thing. One day it's just there, like a five dollar bill found in the pocket of your jeans while doing the laundry. (Except that a five dollar bill will buy you a triple Americano and a scone at Stumptown while a Dardo buys you limited bragging rights). We were honored to be recognized, especially from some of our favorite bloggers.

The origins of the award are a mystery. All I know is that one of our peers deemed us fit, and that there are rules. You know we hate rules, but these seem reasonable and are rooted in altruism (our favorite truism):

1) Accept the award. Post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

3) Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Now the first problem is that Art Scatter also bestowed the award on some our favorite blogs. And then some of those folks have already passed the torch forward to their favorite 15, many of which also overlap with our favorite sites. Can we circle back around? Or would that just confirm that we're all bouncing around a big echo chamber?

Problem two is that Culture Shock is a collective made up of brilliant individuals and me. Reaching consensus on our 15 awardees will be a challenge since some of us are no longer speaking with each other since the incident. Rather than wait until scores are settled and the healing has begun, I'm going to go ahead and award a few Premios Dardos on my own. We'll add more along the line. (Trust us to keep to the limit of 15). I'm kidding about not speaking with each other. Or am I?

Awarding the Premios Dardo to blogs linked to commercial enterprises might violate its grassroots spirit, but I'm going to make two exceptions for authors who write and blog for the Oregonian. I'm recognizing them for doing more than simply reposting versions of their print stories and because their posts retain the personal voice of their authors:

(1) The first, Portland Arts Watch, is authored by our Art Scatter friend, Barry Johnson. I recently posted about PAW, so will only say that I'm glad that Mr. Johnson has an online opportunity to expand this thoughts and follow-through on topics.

(2) The other Oregon Live site I like is film critic Shawn Levy's Mad about Movies. I've always liked and trusted Mr. Levy's movie reviews. You can read those on his blog, while also finding posts about the wacky detritus he's found while trolling the web.

(3) Throughout 2008, local author, playwright and bon vivant, Marc Acito, committed to doing one new thing each day. Mr. Acito then blogged about his experiences at The Gospel According to Marc. I only discovered the site halfway through Marc's year of living dangerously, but found myself returning daily to check on his adventures. Now that we're in a new year, Mr. Acito has scaled back that project to a weekly post, but has also launched a new site, The Mesmer Project. I've linked to the new project, but am not counting it as a Premios Dardo because it's new and Mr. Acito already gets plenty of attention! (But visit there anyway).

(4) Lost Oregon (formerly Stumptown Confidential) isn't part of my daily route, but I drop in from time to time. I've always been interested in the history of places and the ephemera that tells that history. This site satisfies those related interests by "exploring Oregon’s recent past with postcards, photos and words." Today's post has pictures of the Mark Spencer Hotel at SW 11th and Alder. From its earliest days, the hotel has been a popular spot to house visiting artists. Once when my visiting parents stayed there, they enjoyed hearing an opera singer rehearsing in the next room. Though the neighborhood has improved, out of town actors may still refer to the Mark Spencer as the "Dark Sphincter." I don't know. It was originally named the Hotel Nortonia. I digress.

(5) For the final Premios Dardo award of the night, I'm going to skip out of town to recognize a site with a vast national following. A site that is wicked funny. A site with a title that will shock and offend our demure readers. I already feel the burn of shame and remorse for inflicting it on you, but here goes: Fuck You Penguin is a collection of cute animal pictures. The difference between it and the million other cute pet picture blogs is a question of attitude. You see, the author of F.U.P. has anger issues. The author directs that anger toward penguins and other cute animals. The author is not going to let them get away with their cuteness. Go visit and see what I'm talking about.

I'll close by acknowledging two of my favorite local blogs which were recently awarded the Premios Dardos by others, which is the only reason I skipped them here.

Mead Hunter's site Blogorrhea (formerly Mr. Mead's PuPu Platter) is always a joy and often a source of insights into theater, playwriting and Mr. Hunter's psyche.

Tim DuRoche's posts at The Burnside Blog on the Portland Spaces site demonstrate that he's as prolific, interesting and intelligent a writer as he is a jazz drummer. His posts about architecture, design and cities are always worth a visit.

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