DEAR MERCURY: This is for my jerkoff neighbors who felt compelled to blow shit up on the 4th of July after 1 am. Listen assholes, some of us have to work for a living and unfortunately, I had to work the day after the Fourth. To some of you that means paying your fucking welfare benefits. I get up at 4:45 am everyday, and I felt like shit all day long. Maybe next year you can blow off some useless body part like your fucking brain. Eat me!
STOP WITH THE EXTORTION, ALREADY
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: It saddens me to see letters like the one from Paul Bradley concerning the Oregon boxing and wrestling commission vs. the POW superhero action show ["Letters," June 13].
Mr. Bradley states that the commission exists to protect wrestlers. This is a lie. The commission exists to create income, and to prevent big production companies from playing in Oregon if they don't play by Oregon's rules. The fact is the Oregon boxing/wrestling commission extracts 6% of the door from any event they license (or whatever percentage they feel like if you're an amateur organization). This isn't income tax, it's what's required for having the audacity to do this business in Oregon.
They also extract licensing fees not only from wrestlers and promoters, BUT THE TICKET TAKERS AND BOX OFFICES WORKERS. To receive this license you're required to submit to mandatory drug testing, as I understand it (or so the state regulatory statutes imply), all of which costs big fat wads of dough. This is what we in the civilian world refer to as extortion.
(POW Superhero Action Show's Knotty Klown)
WHO'S GOT THE SYPHILIS?
VIA VOICEMAIL: "Hi Don't know who wrote your STD article ["Poxed by the Frenchman," Julianne Shepherd, July 4], but perhaps whoever did should spend more time in the library and less time in the tattoo parlor. Vincent Van Gogh died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen. Robert Johnson, blues musician, was poisoned by one of his many girlfriends at the age of 19. So you should look at your history a little closer."
JULIANNE SHEPHERD RESPONDS: Scholars agree that Vincent Van Gogh suffered from syphilis, but you're right--to clarify, his actual death was caused by a gun. However, though the legend of Robert L. Johnson dying from strychnine poisoning (by the jealous lover of his girlfriend, not the girlfriend herself) prevails, in actuality, the combination of syphilis and pneumonia is most likely what killed him. In recent years, findings by Steve LeVere (the Claire Johnson-hired agent to Johnson's estate) and Gayle Dean Wardlow (prominent blues historian) back up the syphilis claims and so does the inquest printed on the back of Johnson's death certificate.
However, one syph-sufferer I forgot to include was Julius Caesar, as punk artist Beau Von Hinklywinkle reminded me. He also noted, "Just think about how neat it would be to go completely insane and have an empire."
EUROPEAN CONQUERERS AT IT AGAIN!
DEAR MERCURY PEOPLE: I opened your mag and the first thing I read was "There Oughta Be A Law!" ["Letters," June 6, in which the writer pooh-poohs people with tattooed faces]. Not only was I greatly offended, appalled, and angry; but perplexed as well. Alan Probandt begins by judging Nazis, then proposes to instate fascist laws that encroach upon people's freedom of expression.
I own the house I live in, a nice car, and have a good job with benefits, helping disabled adults. I also have a tattooed face. My tattoos are part of my culture and spiritual beliefs. My tattoos are not mutilation or an attempt to shock or hide. My tattoos reveal myself to all around me while many live behind facades.
What Alan Probandt fails to realize is that his ethnocentricism is the problem not tattoos. His letter demonstrates the pervasive discriminatory attitude in our society initiated by European Christian conquerors. More and more people are rediscovering the art of tattooing, as well as other ancient rituals, which have been stigmatized and oppressed. We are not lazy, evil, sick, or crazy. We're just people who choose to live differently than you. Perhaps we should outlaw Ethnocentrism. The punishment being a tattoo on your forehead which reads "Ignorant."
CONGRATS TO SAM SUBFUSCOUS for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and a full-series pass to the Summer Movie Megathon (eight weeks of campy flicks every Friday night at the Guild). Got a beef? Send it in, and you could be our next winner!