Portland

Portland is about to be national news again because a man was killed here last night. This means that the entire Republican apparatus is going to activate and opine about what happened and what should be done in a city they've never visited. So here is one local's perspective.

For the past four years we have endured an endless stream of right wing provocateurs who come to Portland looking for trouble. And we have endured it... but not without cost. Summer, which was once characterized by waterfront festivals, is now just the time of the year when the right wing leads mobs to the city. And as a result of these mobs locals have been shot at, had their necks broken, been stabbed to death, been assaulted, the list goes on...

Part of the rage that's directed at us is cultural. Portland is a deep blue dot in a sea of red, and that fact is bitterly resented by many Republicans in the surrounding towns. We're seen as living in their territory, and imposing our values by dragging "their" state blue.

But part of it is structural. Our police force is mostly drawn from those same red areas, and is marked by a culture that resents Portland as much (if not moreso) than the folks out in Washougal and Canby. That creates a remarkably antagonistic relationship with the public. And that culture is no doubt responsible for the indiscriminate use chemical weapons by Portland Police.

It isn't uncommon to see neighborhoods cloaked in tear gas because someone threw a water bottle. A water bottle. For that, entire neighborhoods get gassed. [...]

Right wing groups have rioted at local businesses, used vehicles at weapons, set up sniper's nests in our downtown buildings, used chemical weapons, attacked people with hammers and other weapons, broken necks, killed multiple people... the list goes on and on.

Interestingly, when they do, the cops tend to go on break.

This results in our police only "policing" locals while repeatedly letting outside right wing groups go crazy. And the cops assure us it's a coincidence that, once the right wing leaves the area, they start gassing us. [...]

The disparate policing has been evident for years, and that is why Portland has become a Mecca for far right groups who want to earn their stripes. Everyone knows that the only resistance they'll face is from the locals... and everyone knows the Police will attack those locals. [...]

We feel like we are an occupied city because we are. More angry men begin to see Portland as a way to prove their manhood. And more Portlanders realize the only way we will be safe is if we are in the streets protecting each other from the cops and their far right allies.

It keeps escalating.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we've got a new online ordering site for DNA Pizza.

Hey check this out, we've got a new online menu site for DNA Pizza that lets you place orders for delivery or pick-up -- and, for pick-up at least, it does not gouge us into paying 15% to the middlemen!

If you order for pick-up, the only fee they charge us is a (small, reasonable) credit card processing fee, so it doesn't cost us any more than if you paid with a card in person.

For delivery orders.... it's more complicated and I don't fully understand it. This new thing is operated by DoorDash, and they (like all of these delivery middlemen) are just amazingly deceptive and sleazy. It looks like what's going on is this:

  • If you click through from dnapizza.com/order/ and order for pick-up, there are no additional fees, as I said above.

  • If you click through from dnapizza.com/order/ and order for delivery, they charge you (the customer) $3 plus 11% for delivery, but they do not make us (the restaurant) pay additional fees on the back-end. Hooray!

  • That's the same thing that used to happen if you went to DoorDash through this link (with a bunch of "utm_source" crap on the end). That magic URL was their concession to the restaurants where they said, "Ok, if it's obvious that you drove the traffic rather than us, we won't charge you a commission."

  • But these sites, like Facebook, are all about lock-in: about converting our customers into their customers and then kicking us to the curb. Here's where it gets sleazy.

    Let's say that yesterday you went from dnapizza.com to DoorDash, and we got that commission-free deal. Great. But then today you go to DoorDash and you click "order again".

    Well if you do that, then not only do they charge you (the customer) 11% + $3 for delivery, but they also charge us (the restaurant) 15% of the order on the back-end. That 15% doesn't show up on your bill, but it eats up most of our profit on the order.

When I first saw that DoorDash was offering this new "no commission for pick-up orders" option, my first question was "what's the catch?" It took us a while to figure it out. The catch is, "the first hit's free." They make it look like it's a better deal for us, but actually it's a customer-acquisition con. Once they have made our customer a captive of their silo, they get to gouge us on the back-end. And that probably happens immediately after the first order.

We are still listed on the other delivery sites (except Postmates because fuck Uber) so that if someone does happen to find us via Grubhub or whatever, well, I guess we'll take it? Even though their hidden 15% fee eats up almost all of our profit.

But if you would like to order from us and ensure that we get your money and don't have to give away a huge chunk of it to a middleman, then I think that the best way for you to do that is to always click on dnapizza.com/order/ rather than starting from your DoorDash account.

I think?

And I expect them to move the goalposts again at some point. I mean, being consistent or clear or honest is no way to make money.

I'm not sure, but at this point we might be better off just closing the restaurant entirely. If we aren't currently paying more in staff than we're making on food and booze sales, then we're pretty damned close to it. Not only are sales a shadow of what they were when the nightclub was open, but these delivery "commissions" are absolutely killing us.

If you want to help DNA Lounge survive this medically-induced coma, please contribute to our Patreon or make a one-time donation.

And buy some pizza and cocktails! Preferably for pick-up.

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