TO WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY VIA VOICEMAIL: "Hi, I'm a local person who reads your paper all the time, and normally I love all the fucked up jokes you guys got in there. But I thought it was really wrong to fucking rip on Nell Carter's death ["Death's Nell," Jan 30]. I mean, even though I don't give a fuck about her personally, it's like why would you rip on a dead black lady? It's like, you guys totally slammed her in your paper, and it's wrong. Would you like that when you die, if someone slams you like that? I think you're going to get a lot of e-mails and a lot of other shit for this one, because that's just fucking wrong. Buenos días, muchacho."
EMERSON RULES, JOLIE DROOLS
TO WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: Truly it is tragic that Nell Carter died. However, I fail to see your interpretation of the Emerson excerpt ["Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short. But when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat--we say we have had our day."]. Maybe Emerson was saying that life can be defined by what we do and how this satisfies us. I know that some fear death; I do not because it's fearing the inevitable. What I fear is not living while I have the chance. Summer may be short for some, but enjoyable to those who go out to enjoy the sun. Those that cower inside and are afraid to die, perhaps never live. As for Angelina Jolie, she chooses to live in colder climates of sorrow and despair. The existential life is not worth living--but the unexamined life is.
TO THE EDITOR: While it's true Randy Leonard claimed he "didn't have enough information" to support an antiwar resolution, what's more egregious is the misinformation he used to rationalize his "no" vote ["Pick Up a Newspaper, Leonard," News, Jan 30].
In his pre-vote explanation, Leonard claimed that because 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11 (arguing, I suppose, that since more than a dozen Saudis attacked us, we should invade Iraq) and because Israel, in the last Gulf War, valiantly refrained from retaliating against Iraqi missiles (arguing, I suppose, that we should now reward them for their bravery by finally invading Iraq), he had to vote against the proposed resolution.
So, in the end, this isn't just a matter of Leonard not having enough information. It's about Leonard having too much bogus misinformation, and too many leaps of illogic. If he really didn't have enough information (regardless of how absurd that position is), the proper course for an elected official is simply to abstain.
The One True b!X
LET'S DO THE MEANINGFUL TWIST
TO THE MERCURY: I'd like to say RIGHT FUCKING ON, to the author of "Crackers" [I, Anonymous, Jan 23]. You make an educated and searing case against the hipster word "ghetto." And a big GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS to her respondent, Cate [Letters, Jan 30].
Cate, what are you really saying when you refer to something of questionable quality as "ghetto?" Obviously the term can be applied to a person, place, thing, situation, or as in the aforementioned I, Anonymous, an "Urban Outfitters hoodie." As we all know, a ghetto is a place where the lowest class of society resides, and so by dismissing your hoodie as ghetto, you are in actuality saying, "this hoodie is garbage. It is of a lower social class than me."
How then, does this definition fit with your closing statement "just doing what humans do: twisting things around to make them more meaningful." Exactly how human is it to compare things that suck with society's poorer classes? Poor folks are like cheap clothing Is that your meaning?
If it's hip and clever to place yourself above others, why stop there? There are all sorts of offensive social stigmas just waiting for one of your meaningful twists. Bummed because you missed The Strokes show? Dude, that's welfare. Can't find a place on 23rd to park the Jetta? That street is so single parent. Your Dad's going to quit paying your rent? How crack-addicted.
Perhaps it's you who should heed your own advice and "work out your ghetto issues with your therapist." Though in your case, Cate, I think you'd be better served by a speech therapist.
CONGRATS TO DAVE for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. And don't forget, folks--you have until noon on Friday (Feb 7) to send us your free Mercury Valentines! Keep 'em down to 30 words or less, and submit them at www.portlandmercury.com!