UMMM... EZRA IS A BOY
DEAR MERCURY—Did Ezra Ace Caraeff really publish this as the second line of her review of I Think I Love My Wife? ["I Think I Hate Chris Rock," Film, March 15]: "Much like fellow African American comedians Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, and Martin Lawrence, Rock has struggled with transferring the smallest iota of his hilarious standup comedy to the big screen." While Eddie Murphy's recent films have fallen flat, his first five motion pictures easily ranked as some of the top film comedies to be released by US studios during the last three decades. Perhaps Ms. Caraeff can't transfer the smallest iota of her comedy to film reviews, but that doesn't seem to stop her from trying (at other people's expense).
EDDIE MURPHY... AGAIN?
DEAR MERCURY—More specifically, Erik... you ignorant slag! Your review of El Topo was banal in the extreme ["Signifying Nothing," Film, March 15]. This film, made almost 40 freakin' years ago(!) combined Spaghetti Western, Japanese samurai, Fellini-esque spectacle, etc., years before other directors even considered such source materials. If you truly find it intellectually impenetrable (big word there) when it is, like the best art, simply a series of questions that you are asked to ponder, then perhaps you should consider the new Eddie Murphy flick for your next review? I hear it's bitchin', dude!
Jay Harris, Ph.D,
OUR POISONED INK
DEAR MERCURY—What I have never understood, after years of supporting the local music scene and filling the biggest halls in the Northwest, is what Floater ever did to you guys [Up & Coming, March 15]. Must shoegazers and hiphop acts be the only thing worthy of your un-poisoned ink? Screw you guys.
DEAR MERCURY—Amy Jenniges' article ["Setting Aside Differences," News, March 15] doesn't really represent the real conversation going on about the future of "affordable" housing in Lents. We're a neighborhood full of vacant lots and housing that is easily torn down and replaced by non-taxable, nonprofit-owned, residential facilities geared toward housing concentrations of specific populations. If the CDN [Community Development Network] and the city council feel that they need to secure URA [Urban Renewal Area] funds to create affordable housing, they need to be able to illustrate that their housing projects will contribute to creating mixed-use, mixed-income development and the revenue stream needed to pay back TIF [Tax Increment Financing]. They should have recognized that the Lents neighborhood has already dedicated, without a city council mandate, a generous amount of funding to CDN agencies like Rose CDC [Community Development Corp.] and the Portland Community Land Trust. Telling us what we "can" use the funds for and then reallocating the greater percentage of the funding to other projects is not sufficient.
Cora Lee Potter
DEAR MERCURY—I am writing, not in response to an article but in response to a painful situation. At 1:15 am on Sunday I walked downstairs in the Reed College Library for a study break during which I intended to read the Portland Mercury. To my disappointment all I found was a stack of that useless rag the Willamette Week. The truly troubling part of this story is that this is not a rare occurrence. At least once a week I seek out a Mercury to accompany me to the pooper, or to enjoy for a few precious minutes away from my desk, only to find Reedies before me have devoured the meaty Mercury, leaving the arid Willy Week as the only available stall-time reading material. I beg of you, send more Mercury to the Reed Library! Settling just doesn't seem right.
CONGRATS TO ANDREW for alerting us to this grievous situation, and thereby winning the Mercury letter of the week! Not only will Andrew get the papers he so richly deserves, as well as Laurelhurst passes and 30 smackers to No Fish! Go Fish!, we'll also throw in two free yoga sessions on Sunday, March 25, when Yoga Shala (3808 N Williams) is hosting a benefit for the Northwest Institute for Social Change. Former News Editor Phil Busse has started this summer camp for college students that will teach young people how to enact political change that sticks—but it needs your help! This benefit not only features discounted yoga classes and DJs, but also a silent auction with tons of great stuff. It's from 1 pm to 6 pm, so show up and do your bit to save the world!