I shudder to think of how many of my hipster, microbrewery-frequenting, bespectacled Portland brethren are going to go out and ironically buy this new book they’ve got cooking up. You see, folks, the good people behind the IFC’s Portlandia are not content to lovingly (and accurately) spoof my city week-in and week-out. Nope, they’ve got to go turn it into a book, which can then be sold in said city to the very people Portlandia was spoofing in the first place. And so, as a great lion with deep resonant tones once said, the great circle of life continues.
It’s actually not a bad idea, really. Pitchfork reports that the book will be entitled PORTLANDIA: A Guide for Visitors and will serve as a sort of comedic travel guide. It will employ the same tone as has been developed on the show by creators Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, leading folks through popular sights, restaurants and neighborhoods with the same sardonic bent as on the show. Honestly, I’m all in favor of it; if you’re going to write a travel guide it might as well be by people who know the city and know how to bring the right attitude to the various sights and activities. I do see one problem, however: I just know that before long people are going to start showing up looking for the city of Portlandia instead of Portland. I plan on telling them it’s in Canada because we don’t want those types of people here in America anyway.
This book joins the ranks of the Daily Show’s America: The Book and Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race, which both read as textbooks or guides with the same satirical attitude as those comedy programs. And if those books are its cousin, then its creepy, dark uncle is that one children’s story Decemberists frontman and Portland native Colin Meloy wrote about the wilds of Forest Park.
The big question that I’m sure you all are dying to have answered is: will I buy the book myself? Well, I’m never going to say never, though I would think it’d be a little un-cool to have it. I mean, it’d be nice, I guess. If it was lying open on a shelf in Powell’s I might just stop and give it a few page flips. And I could always say I was only interested in it for the humor…and if I just happened to look every once in a while at restaurant recommendations…oh, whatever. My parents are probably going to get it for me for Christmas anyway, so let that be an end to it.