TO WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: Hey, just wanted to say that your article on "ugly people" is really bad ["I Love Television™," March 25]. You should really think about attractiveness as a relative term.
I work as a teacher of kids, and I see kids expressing your attitude, and I hope they will grow. I realize some don't, and that is unfortunate. It is also unfortunate that some get access to media like yourself and contaminate the minds of other readers.
Please take a look at the word ugly; it is judgmental, dehumanizing and ultimately contributes to your own unhappiness. I know your article was meant to be fun, but there are many more creative positive ways to be funny than at the expense of others.
OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS
DEAR EDITOR: I was appalled by Matthew Vincie's comment regarding hiring young employees ["The Entrepreneur Issue," March 25]. First of all, not all older employees are untrainable. Over the past two months of job hunting I have faced other blatantly discriminatory statements. One employer went so far as to say "You're a very nice girl, but it's a man's job."
People should be hired based on their skills and qualifications. This type of discriminatory attitude in the local small business community is especially distressing. Perhaps if Mr. Vincie were older and wiser, he may not have made such a public statement.
JERRY MASTERSON IS FUCKED
TO THE MERCURY: Look, guys. The idea of a nine-year-old with weird teeth who cusses like a sailor and thinks everything is "fucked" is pretty funny. And seriously, I laughed out loud at the first few Jerry Masterson articles. But now that you've milked the little prick for about 178 columns in as many weeks, the laughter has ceased. In fact, I think that Jerry is FUCKED. And so are all y'all if this is an indication of what remains in your creativity pool.
The editor responds: Dear Russ... you win. No more Jerry. We hope you will enjoy our new column. (See page 5)
ANOTHER MODEST PROPOSAL
DEAR MERCUROIDS: The police have, certainly, a tough job, and far be it from me to suggest anything to make it tougher.
However... in the wake of the recent shooting of James Perez at a traffic stop (use your turn signals, kids--they're serious), I found myself musing: how would the Portland police react if a number of white citizens took it upon themselves to drive around in blackface? You know, that creepy minstrel makeup popular at the turn of the last century?
I have this image of a hundred or so politically active rebels, driving around downtown Portland on a Saturday night, all waving to the police while doing an Al Jolson impression. Certainly, it might attract a bit of media attention, even outside Portland, but, frankly, what appeals to me is the sarcasm factor. That's probably immature and an inappropriate response to a deadly serious topic, but it always seems that the powers that be have a ready response to serious stances, but flap around like buzzards on acid when it comes to satire.
IN DEFENSE OF DICK CAVETT
DEAR MARJORIE SKINNER: Just finished yours about the Jackpot Music Movie Fest ["It's All on Tape," April 1]. It's intriguing how all the enjoyment gleaned from that article could be sucked out of me based on one line in the last graph. Notably your flip assertion that Dick Cavett hosted "one of the most uptight talk shows ever." It irks me, because at the end of one curt line, you in essence rewrite history for a majority of your readers that have no context of what The Dick Cavett Show was really about. Cavett played the straight man (with humor) to a kaleidoscopic array of luminaries between 1969 and 1972. And though he didn't hem and haw like Johnny Carson, Cavett created a level of comfort which allowed his guests the opportunity to express themselves on a deeper level than Johnny ever could. It's not that one could turn on any TV and expect thought provoking content at the time. And The Cavett Show gave that and much more. It was a brilliant light in a dark and foreboding wilderness.
CONGRATS TO ADAM for not allowing this blatant pooh-poohing of Dick Cavett to pass unanswered. And for his thoughtful defense, he wins the Mercury "Letter of the Week" which includes tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and passes to see Stellastarr at Berbati's on April 23! You hear that, Marjorie? Good things happen when you don't pooh-pooh!