LEISURE CLASS MORONS

DEAR MERCURY: Your preview of the Rolling Stones' concert was so typically Mercury [Up & Coming, Oct 27]. Where do children like you come up with this tired anti-Stones party line? The concerts are "expensive"? The Stones are "old?" Please. For one thing, it's obvious that you and your readers are all exactly the kind of permanently adolescent, leisure-class morons who blow cash on pointless self-gratification. And news flash #2 is that the Stones have been fantastically old since before you were born. Is the idea that these withered rock stars might partly be authentic what ZP finds "depressing?" Because what's depressing is the lack of perspective beyond a certain fruitless indierock template; and, generally, a weekly paper with nothing to say but saying it anyway, week after week.

Gerry Mohr

NO MORE TALKING

TO THE EDITOR: Ryne Warner's letter, "Dept. of Clown Complaints" [Nov 3] maintains that all complaints about neighbors should lead to face-to-face dialogue. This is a position commonly taken by neighbors who are inflicting music, trash, pet waste, and noise on everyone around them. "They should come TALK to us," these slobs whine.

Here's why I no longer walk over, knock on the door and start a "dialogue": Way too many people whose behavior inspires complaints are mean, even violent fuckbags who respond with threats toward their frail, female neighbor. 

In the real world, ordinances limiting decibel levels, numbers of pets, and clutter, coupled with the right to complain anonymously, are necessary to keep neighborhoods habitable.

Trish Randall

A CLOWN RESPONDS

MERCURINOS: This is Pepto Dizmal the Clown [of the Clown House] and I had to write in response to a filthy letter you printed [Letters, Jodi Darby, Nov 3]. Jodi Zero Researchson said: "Gentrification occurs when a group holding institutional power (whether it comes from white businessmen or white clowns) drastically change a neighborhood with their presence... "

Actually, Dingo is Mexican, and there are all colors of clowns at the Clown House—there always have been.

"But what white artists should understand is that their presence paved the way for the changes they speak out against... "

Who did the clowns mostly serve with our free bike shop? Black kids. Why? That's who wanted the help. Who did the clowns get kicked out of the Mississippi area for defending? A black family. Jodi, before you dis white people, you should make sure they are white and were involved in "the paving."

"The 'Clown House' are not the victims of gentrification—they're part of the problem."

That's so ignorant it makes me want to shave the word "Ignorant" in your back hair. Before the city came in, the Clown House fed people (all people), fixed up bikes for those who couldn't afford them, imparted trades like welding and bike repair, taught a ton of free classes, and really chipped in to make the world a better place. Now the clowns have to turn people away every day. It sucks.

Pepto the Clown

BLAME CALIFORNIA

DEAR MERCURY: Jodi Darby is either being dishonest or ignorant when she rants about "gentrification" in the Alberta Street area. Her uninformed statements are damaging to my community.

This neighborhood is not "historically African American" as she claims. As recently as the 1960s, African Americans were not allowed to purchase homes in most areas of Portland, and Alberta Street's population was mostly Italian and Polish immigrants.

The recent changes have happened quickly, and there is no doubt that some individuals have suffered. But, the bottom line—according to published research by grad students at PSU—is that, today, there are more African American homeowners in this neighborhood than a decade ago, and that the vast majority of people who live in this neighborhood support what is happening. Yes, home prices are rising fast, but that's happening all over Portland—blame Californians, not Clowns.

Jason Maxfield

CONGRATS TO JASON for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For his defense of the Clown House, Jason will receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, and two passes to see Street Dogs at Hawthorne Theater on Nov 17. Remember folks! You're invited to discuss gentrification, how old the Rolling Stones are, and other weighty topics of our times at the Mercury's online forum, Blog Town, USA (www.portlandmercury.com)!