TO THE MERCURY: I'm not really sure why you review movies. You obviously have no idea what you're doing. Normally I wouldn't care, but reviews obviously affect what people see, so your bad reviews of good movies aren't helping things at all.
A Home at the End of the World: I personally don't like Colin Farrell, but it's pretty apparent he does a great job in this movie. Dallas Roberts is mediocre, really. Besides all that, this movie was just okay; the first half is pretty pathetic, but redeems itself slightly.
Maria Full of Grace: Obviously a very good movie. Why should it have something to say other then to tell a story??? That's kind of the point. What do your other picks have to say? What does Metallica, Mean Girls, De-Lovely or Riding Giants have to say???
It is so infuriating when people take a job as a critic, yet there [sic] intellect is really not objective enough to do a good job. If you're going to put yourself out there as an expert, you better be one. Oh, I just saw you also liked Saved! and Napoleon Dynamite. How perfectly lame you are.
WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY RESPONDS: Mercury critics are instructed to follow one simple rule: WWMSMM--or "What Would Make Scott Millar Mad?" After finding out what Scott Millar thinks of a film--by quizzing Scott's friends, sitting behind him in theaters, reading his blog, etc. --we then write the exact opposite of whatever Scott Millar thinks of the movie. Why? Because it infuriates Scott Millar, and therefore makes us laugh. And finally, isn't that the ultimate goal of good film criticism? To infuriate Scott Millar?
JUNK'S DARK CODA
TO THE EDITOR: Justin Sanders got it mostly right in "Junk's Last Chance" [Feature, July 29, wherein Justin explores the Goodwill Bins], but left off a dark coda. Bales of clothes only go to a landfill as a last resort. Many are purchased in bulk by non-profit or for-profit organizations, then exported to developing countries and sold for a pittance. This is a nice idea on the surface: we save landfill space, and very poor people elsewhere in the world get Chicago Bulls jerseys for next to nothing.
Sadly, all our good intentions come to nearly naught. The story of exported American chicken legs is already well-known: we send the legs off to other countries, whose chicken industries can't compete with our ridiculously cheap chicken and therefore fail. That further impoverishes communities, making them less able to purchase goods produced in their own markets and more dependent on foreign aid.
The export of our discarded clothing has similarly wiped out local textile industries. Dark meat and t-shirts are but two of many examples, and America is but one of many fat cats in this game. Can you believe that we are wealthy enough to undercut local markets by selling our TRASH?
PORTLAND'S BEST "BEST OFÉ " ISSUE!
DEAR MERCURY: I absolutely loved your "Best of Highway 30" section [August 5]. You must be fricking psychic or something, cause yesterday when I was reading the Willamette Week's "best of" issue, I thought someone should do a best of "Columbia County"--and sure enough the next day here you are! It's about time someone paid attention to the black sheep of the metro area. We deserve attention sometimes, too... but not enough for people to start moving here and clogging up our commute. Thanks for the laugh!
GIVE THE SQUARES A CHANCE!
DEAR MERC: It's typically Mercury to poke fun at the Portland Development Commission's $25,000 "discovery" of a dedicated, young, and somewhat thriving creative class ["Young, Restless... and Fed Up!" July 22]. But before we get too holier-than-thou, your PDC is getting in bed with the devil for you.
PDC's purpose is to help Portland support its existing economic infrastructure and attract new business and money to the city. The "aging bureaucrat who tunes into VH1" that the report is sweet-talking is an investor. Maybe many investors with the potential to pump a lot more money into Portland than $25,000. Money that, for a change, might be aimed at Mercury readership. And by bringing the less-than-hip on board with the rest of the city, a report such as this is the first step towards securing financing for major projects like the ones cited in Austin and Chicago. Then maybe, just maybe, our best artists would be willing to stick around instead of using Portland as a stepping stone to New York or San Francisco.
CONGRATS TO MARISA for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For her defense of the squares, Marisa wins two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater, as well as tickets to see Mike Watt at Berbati's on September 19!