HEY MERCURY: In the year I have lived in the lovely locality known as Portland, I have discovered many of its treasures. I have marveled at the actual existence of a "community" that has kindly made me one of its own, and I have bragged to my friends back in NYC that I live in a city where people pride themselves on being politically aware and involved.

Which brings me to the subject of my query: The charming lady who sits at the helm of the ship we call home. Her majesty, Mayor Katz, seems to defy explanation. Even those outside my bubble talk with disdain for Mme. Katz, and her despotic reign. This includes her condescension towards "complainers" at city council meetings, her blind faith in the police as they attempt to beat the color off minorities, and smack the suit and tie back onto those kids in black with the circle "A" on their jackets. It seems that everyone in Portland whose last name isn't Kroeker has something bad to say about Mayor Katz. SO MY QUESTION IS HOW THE HELL DID SHE GET ELECTED?

I've asked a few friends and they usually respond with a glassy eyed "I don't know, man." As I am a believer that there is no absolute truth, I would like to hear peoples 20-20 hindsight versions of what happened in 2000. What led to this choice, which now seems so highly regrettable? Acts of god? Sexopolitical scandal? Alien intervention? Florida based poll contractors? What's the deal, yo? Using the Mercury as a forum, maybe we can learn from our mistakes.

As a bonus, I am willing to award to the submitter of the most creative and believable explanation, the chance to buy me a drink at their PDX drinkery of choice. I am hoping that a beautiful girl submits the best response, but I'll gladly have a drink with some dude if that's how it turns out.

Thirsty for Knowledge


From the Editor: Apparently everyone agreed with every single word we wrote in last week's issue--because we didn't receive any more letters. Therefore, it is our great pleasure to print the following letters from members of our own staff who have been known to read the Mercury on occasion.


DEAR EDITOR: First, let me say you have a fine publication! But I have noticed lately that the paper seems to be a little heavy on the "editorial" side. Does anyone actually read the paper for the articles? What you need is more ads.

Advertising is pretty and informative and doesn't try to confuse us with big words like "Gonorrhea" and "Truth." So drop the wordy filler and beef up on the ads!

Michael L. Svoboda
Ad Rep for the Portland Mercury


DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: Words can not express my deep disappointment with your paper. I am referring to a preview of the upcoming Shannon Wright performance in last week's issue ["My What a Busy Week," Nov 8], where Julianne Shepherd stated that if readers call our paper she would "play you a song over the phone." Hoping this Shannon Wright character would be a modern-day Jill Sobule, I called from my desk in the production department upstairs and asked to speak to Ms. Shepherd. I was on hold for over an hour before she finally picked up, and as much as I enjoyed the smooth-jazz music that played while I was on hold, my patience began to wear thin. It would be slanderous to say that Ms. Shepherd was intoxicated when we spoke, but her slurred speech and use of profanity was NOT what I expected from a professional journalist. Not only that, the music she finally played for me was far too abrasive for my liking. So I say with much pride, no thank you Shannon Wright, and no thank you Portland Mercury!

Ezra "Ace" Caraeff
Production Designer for the Portland Mercury


DEAR ASSHOLES: You are fucked. The "Letters to the Editor" in the last Mercury [Nov 8] were not funny at all. Clearly, they are (and always have been) written by the Mercury staff itself, in a vainglorious attempt at avoiding an insipid quagmire of the banal. Can't you do any better? Let's look at the evidence: Spamthrax? Not clever. Verbal miscarriages? Come ON! A complaint about a bad record review? Gee, that's so fresh! Seamless underwear? Honk-Shoo! Anti-religion bashing diatribe? Jesus Fucking Christ. Even the title of the column is a goddam yawnfest--"Letters to the Editor"--how long did it take you geniuses to come up with that? Your humor is shit. Fuck you.

Aaron Beam
ex-Sales Coordinator (I quit!) of the ex-funny Mercury