Where Did the Week Go…


— Ryan Beltram, EDN

Earlier this week I was at work when a teenager came up to me and asked, “Do you have any Mac Miller?” I racked my brain trying to figure out if I knew who that was. I’m still young. I’d like to think I still have a handle on the hip, cool music scene. After a few seconds I said,

“I’m not aware of that artist. I haven’t seen anything from him here.” The teenager, looking like she returned from an ’80s Madonna concert, turned around with her curly, blonde-streaked hair and black eye liner and gave me a look of sheer evil. I could imagine her thinking, “What?! How do you not know Mac Miller? What’s wrong with you?”

It was at that moment that I thought of two thing: either I’m never having children or that was my first realization of the early stages of being old and out of touch. From my observation, as you get older you become less and less open to new forms of entertainment because you’ve spent years cultivating your own personal taste in things like movies and music. I’d like to think that before I reach 30, I’ll still have a grasp of what’s trending with the kids these days and hopefully this type of incident is rare.

So much for Eddie Murphy’s comeback

Speaking of tastes that I used to enjoy — Eddie Murphy. Remember the old Eddie Murphy? The one who used to be edgy, raw and funny. We haven’t seen that Eddie in quite some time. In fact, you might have to go all the way back to 1999’s Bowfinger as the last funny movie he’s been in. For more than a decade he got lost in family movies, animated movies and movies where he puts on fat suits.

I mention this because two weeks ago it appeared the old Eddie was back. He had a new movie coming out, and in a recent interview with Rolling Stone he said he was tired of family movies and wanted to return to “edgy stuff.” What better way to make your triumphant return than costarring with another funny man Ben Stiller in Tower HeistThe movie got good reviews and it looked like a sure box office hit.

On top of a promising movie coming out, it was announced that Murphy would be hosting the Oscars this year, thanks to the producer of this year’s telecast and Tower Heist director Brett Ratner. Murphy was going to make us forget about the James Franco/Anne Hathaway debacle last year. But it’s amazing what happens in just two weeks.

Ratner used a homophobic term in describing rehearsals during the shooting of the film and was removed as producer of the Oscars. Soon after, Murphy dropped out of hosting, and to top it all off, Tower Heist underperformed at the box office. So much for Murphy’s big comeback. The shame of it is Tower Heist is good and Murphy is good in it. Let’s hope he forgets about the last two weeks and continues to tackle “edgy stuff,” as he puts it. We all want the old Eddie back. The one where we leave the kids at home.

Oregon Photography Auction

Since the beginning of November, the Emerald Art Center in Springfield has been exhibiting a collection of photographs for the public to see. Many of the photographs were taken right here in Oregon, and today (Nov. 20), the center presented the 34th annual Photography at Oregon Auction. The pieces in this collection range from old black and white stills to more recent color shots of places like Siuslaw and Portland. The preview began at 1 pm, and was followed by the auction at 2 pm.

Established in the 1960s by former professor Bernie Freemesser, Photography at Oregon (PaO) has presented exhibits and lectures at the Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, and other locations in the Eugene/Springfield area. But since 2009, the exhibits and auction have been held at the Emerald Art Center.

Photography is a terrific medium and the PaO has held wonderful exhibits in the past. I got to see one as a freshman in college, and I encourage anyone interested in photography to check out the auction on Sunday. It’s always interesting to see what particular photographs draw the most interest and receive the most bids.

RIP NBA Season 

It’s going to be a long winter. As a diehard NBA and Blazer fan, I was disheartened by the news this week that the players and owners couldn’t agree on a new deal. If there’s any season at all, it will be shortened and won’t begin until next year — and that’s being optimistic. But something dawned on me during this last month of no NBA basketball. What about college hoops? Normally I don’t start following college ball until late February in anticipation of the NCAA tournament.

But I need basketball this time of year and if I can’t get pro ball, I’ll gladly settle for college kids competing. At least I know they won’t be worried about how much money they will or won’t be making while playing. This gives me an opportunity to follow the Oregon schools a little more closely. Oregon just got their first win of the season, and don’t look now, but Oregon State is 4-0.

There may or may not be an NBA season this year, but at least I’m getting some form of basketball. Go Ducks!!!

Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.

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