By Larry Leonard
I have been questioned about the way this magazine is being done. In the old days, it was a place where readers could find art, lifestyles, fashions, sketches of interesting Oregonians, event listings, wonderful celebrations of our natural flora and fauna, history and so forth.
There was lots of fun stuff mixed in with the serious material. Why is it so heavily focused on politics, these days?
Well, the focus in America in 1776 was on two Georges. Washington and the English king. The focus in America during the Civil War was the Civil War. The focus in America, and Oregon, in half of the Nineteen-forties was WWII.
Journalism is about what’s going on, and why. Daily journals, like newspapers, are event-driven. Monthly journals, like magazines, are more about analysis. They’re about more depth — deeper discussion of the sources and meanings of the forces headlining the front page of the paper, or the evening television news.
Events shape and reshape that focus for the daily media, and in a more reflective way, a publication like this one. The size of the various topics shift the presentation this way and that. This one bulges in importance, then that one’s sudden importance replaces it. It’s a vibrating soap bubble. The larger lumps at the moment take precedence.
Oregon Magazine — a publication which in every incarnation since the Sixties has contained my work — is, first and foremost, about what the editors think is important. Fun, pretty, fashionable, and locally interesting come second.
The topic of importance in Oregon, today, is political in nature.
It is our opinion that for decades this beautiful region, like the entire nation, has been slowly coming under the control of the socialist Left. This lovely and rich state of mind is now dominated by the influence of the Left, and our citizens are being slowly submerged beneath the surface of a bureaucratic blanket which is piece by piece swallowing their freedoms in the name of social “justice,” “fairness” and “equality.”
This is, we believe, a suffocating blanket, and is choking the life from the host. Because of it, our economy is dirt, our schools are PC swamps, our very vitality as a people is being sapped. The Oregon the pioneers risked their life to reach, is halfway to becoming another Euro-socialist state. In time, another Cuba, Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
The state’s largest newspaper, the Oregonian, today (11/29) noticed that there actually might be something to this “Islamic terrorism” stuff the wild-eyed, right-wing crazies like us have been talking about for years.
By that mention, I am describing 99% of the media in the state, from private sources to “public” television, as sump-holes of left-wing, PC propaganda. From NPR to the Eugene Register Guard, they wouldn’t recognize the truth if it was carved into a brick and hit them between the eyes.
We are old enough to remember a time when things were better. Not perfect, but much, much better, so we fight the central corruption of the philosophy that liberalism (socialism) has been promoting, hereabouts. This editorial approach has cost us dearly in terms of reader numbers. Oregon, west of the Cascades and in the more “hip” areas to the East, is in love with the Left. But, the recent mid-term elections told us that, if only to a small degree locally, our point of view is beginning to once more take hold in America.
If not here to any degree, yet, people elsewhere in America are rising up and saying, “This is not a socialist bureaucracy. We do not want a nanny-state. We do not want what these gray, bureacrats want. We are taxed too much and regulated too much. We are told to be silent, too much.
“We are told our lifestyles are too expansive, our cars too large, our homes too big, our diets too rich, our possessions too numerous — and that all of these represent a kind of theft from the environment and the poor peoples of this state, this nation and this world.
“We reject these ideas as being sham arguments coming from those who wish to control our lives, our property and our society. You have taken the dynamism from this state and this nation, and we intend to restore it to its former glory.”
That is why you don’t see a lot of fashion, art or travel material in Oregon Magazine, these days. A war is on, and we want to be in the front lines battling the forces of the Left. We’d rather be writing about flycasting for cutthroat trout on the East Fork, but the fishing must be put off for later.
Right now, the job is war — against threats both foreign and domestic.