TO THE EDITOR VIA VOICE MAIL: "This is Barry. You don't know me, but I read your crybaby editorial in your Mercury magazine ["Letters"/"Ronald Reagan Drinking Game," June 10], and who do you think you are, saying that the government has to take care of you? That's what Ronald Reagan was known for: Letting people take care of their own lives, and not live off government programs, where people can just do whatever they want and run off with my tax dollars. That's what's wrong right now, especially with this city, with all these kids on the street, which you guys proudly preserve. These kids just lay around, do nothing all day and expect the government to feed them and give them housing and everything else. They don't want to do anything for themselves. They want to drink, smoke, have sex, and be happy.
"And Ronald Reagan never tortured anybody, and we didn't do any torture over in Iraq, okay? We might have abused them, yes. And we might have humiliated them, yes. But if you call what happened over there 'torture,' you don't know what you're talking about, pal. Okay. Thank you very much."
REAGAN: THE UNFORGIVABALE HERO
TO THE EDITOR: Before we allow The Media to nominate the late Ronald Reagan for sainthood, let us remember that an entire generation of men and women lost their lives because this man couldn't say the word "gay" or "AIDS." That he chose to ignore a plague when it was still containable. That men, women, and children still suffer and die today because of his inaction. THIS is his true legacy, one which can never be ignored or forgiven.
I REALLY, REALLY DON'T READ YOUR PAPER
TO THE EDITOR VIA VOICEMAIL: "Hi, this is Kevin. I'm a Portland resident. I can't say I'm a regular reader of your newspaper, because I'm not. But, I was passing a newsstand and saw your newspaper. And I saw what I guess was a caricature of President Reagan on the cover [June 10]. You can take this for what it's worth from a non-regular reader--actually I'm a non-reader... I don't read the paper at all. I just found this cover to be--particularly the week of the president's funeral--rather degrading and very inappropriate. From what I know of you folks, you kind of bank on being inappropriate, but there's a certain point when you go beyond beyond. So, maybe at another time it would be appropriate, but not this week. Otherwise, take care. Bye."
REAGAN TOPS THREE-EYED KITTEN!
TO THE EDITOR: While I've always enjoyed your covers-- especially the kittens with three eyes--the Reagan cover [June 10] will be hard for you folks to ever top. Thank you!
GROW UP, COUNTERCULTURE HIPPIE
TO THE EDITOR: Fuck the whiners dumping on Starbucks ["Letters," June 3]. This is the same vocal minority that cries out against any successful business. They are choking Portland by driving out any business that actually knows what they are doing. These counterculture douche bags would gladly trade in their patchouli soaked clothing and braided armpit hair to have actually started a business that would become a national brand.
You show me an independent storeowner that wouldn't want their business model to catch on, and I will show you a liar worthy of a future in national politics. Let's be honest here--Portland needs more businesses that employ locals, contribute to the community and provide a decent product, not less. They might actually help us bring the economy back to life around here.
ROSE FEST NOT SO ROSEY
TO THE EDITOR: It's time to reconsider what the Rose Festival is in Portland. I propose that the Royal Rosarians study the example of the Eugene Celebration as an alternate approach to celebrating community rather than this cult of war and corporate kitsch. In Eugene, the parade is for all the non-profits and community groups, the emphasis is on eco-friendly, community building activities that unite and validate our efforts to live cooperatively.
As I rode home that night I passed probably 50 homeless people camped in various nooks and crannies of the city; what if during the Rose Festival a huge tent is erected to provide health care, showers, food, and a place to take a break from being homeless? It is up to the people of this country to reclaim what it means to be a U.S. Citizen; our celebrations can be a clear way to distinguish us from the mean spirited, aggressive and ignorant policies of our current administration.
YEP, THE OREGONIAN IS STUPID ALL RIGHT
TO THE MERCURY: Thank you so much for printing the article "10 Stupid Things The Oregonion Said Last Week" [News, Phil Busse]. It's very nice to know someone else is paying attention. The section against homeless youth, written by S. Renee Mitchell, was of particular interest to me since I work at the downtown PDX Food Stamp Office and deal with homeless people all day.
I read her article last week in the break room of my work and literally jumped out of my seat yelling "What the F##$!" I found it absolutely terrible that this population of young homeless people is getting grouped into the "will-nots"! I would like to know if she has actually spent any time talking to any homeless youth to get an idea of why they are on the streets. Nowhere in her article does it mention some of the reasons youth become homeless in the first place, such as; coming out to their family, getting away from an abusive parent or drug addiction and other factors out of their control. And aren't we all so nice to "tolerate their visual and verbal disruptions." These kind of articles further the general public's ignorance about homelessness, and it's about time someone addressed it.
60 AND SPITTIN' MAD!
TO THE EDITOR: I will be age 60 this summer. As I have watched many of my generation leave me in a dust cloud of SUVs, I am dazzled by the loss of revolutionary spirit of many people in my age group. What the fuck is all the pomp and circumcision over Ronnie, and how did we get Bush in the White House? My generation created Bush and helped him a great deal to get elected. Can't believe it!
I salute the Mercury and the youth of today for continuing the revolutionary spirit of caring for people and the environment. Let's make "bush" a good word again this November by voting his ass out.
Mr. Bob (Crispin)
EVEN DECENT PEOPLE CAN BE SCUM
TO THE EDITOR: This is in response to Macgilvray Borden's letter [June 10]. To describe Portland street youth as "feral," suggests they are subhuman. That's demeaning and out of touch. Sorry to hear you were mugged, but even people you find rude and arrogant have the right to sit around all day, not pursuing jobs or education, not getting their heads cracked and their asses kicked. It's a simple thought, if you don't equate having money and possessions with having rights. And what makes the business district patrons any better? Even "hardworking, decent citizens" can be scum. And besides, all those decent citizens are giving homeless youth the money that keeps them panhandling on the sidewalks. Maybe you should take up issue with them.
SCENESTERS LOVE COMICS, TOO
TO THE EDITOR: This is for "Ms. Real Geek" Heather Lockamy ["Letters," June 10, in which the author bemoans "hip" people starting a comics convention]. Hey Heather, we went to high school together! You might recall me playing Magic during lunch, or getting shoved around by meat-headed jocks between classes. You won't recall my table at the Stumptown Comix Fest, though, because it seems we just weren't geeky enough for you! Ho ho, observe the irony.
You imply that the comics scene is in danger of losing its "underground coolness." Yet it's the Portland Comic Con you defend which pushes the corporate, mainstream, spandex-dependent comics, and which relegates independents to the fringe in favor of guests from barely related, well-funded, globally distributed entertainment like Xena and DS9. The only thing underground about the Portland Comic Con is its location in the basement of the Memorial Coliseum; I'll also concede that it stays cool down there, even during the summer months.
Hey, just because we're independent doesn't mean we fit your own ugly stereotypes about "scenester fucks." It just means we love comics, and we make ours against the mainstream grain.
John C. Worsley, Stumptown Comix Fest Exhibitor
NOBODY BESMIRCHES TRI-MET
DEAR KATIE SHIMER: As much as I respect my brothers and sisters in the low serotonin department, I feel I have to come to the defense of Tri-Met, which you decided to besmirch in your article "The Opposite of Me" [June 10].
I've lived here for six months and have commuted to work both ways the entire time, in addition to using Tri-Met for most of my non-work activities. I've had maybe three to four bad experiences. A missed bus here, a surly driver there. The only time I EVER had to wait 30 minutes for the bus was during the freaking ICE STORM!
I think Tri-Met rules. In many cities, if you don't have a car you're either screwed or riding the bus becomes another full-time job. As someone who's totally fucking broke, I am incredibly grateful for this option.
My one complaint about the bus system is that they don't run late enough (which you aptly point out), but the rest of your anti-bus rant seemed rather inaccurate, and, what's more, kinda spoiled. Maybe you should try riding the bus again, and give your car a little rest now and again...
Jennifer L. Howell
CONGRATS TO JENNIFER! In a week of many fine letters, Jennifer's pro-Tri-Met diatribe takes the cake and the "Letter of the Week!" Now she can take the bus to see a free movie at the Laurelhurst, as well as taking in The Pony's show at Ash Street on June 25. Wow! The bus ROCKS!