I HATE FUN
DEAR MERCURY: Promoting the rodeo ["Fourth of July Roundup," June 29]? You'll really go to any length to be as ironically hip as you can be, huh? It's just a little bit ass to promote an event that is CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. Please consider accepting my invitation into the modern age, where watching tormented and scared-shitless animals getting harassed by men with really small dicks ISN'T considered a good time.
DEAR EDITOR: I had the opportunity to attend four of the five racial profiling community meetings [News, "Sizeable Challenge," June 29]. I was glad to see a big turnout of police officers. I know it was tough for them to be the focus of so many people wanting answers. It was also reassuring to listen to community members express themselves, sometimes emotionally, and have the officers just listen. I do think the PPB [Portland Police Bureau] and the community could benefit from more of these meetings, to help both gain a better perspective on the other. I guarantee it will make police officers' jobs easier, and the community a better place to live.
HOT ON THE TRAIL
DEAR MERCURY: Mr. Karambelas says, "The city not only wants me to give up property that I paid for with my own money, [they want me] to actually build it. Both of which seem crazy to me." [News, "War Path," June 29, in which Mr. Karambelas refuses to build a linking bike trail on his property.] This is a misleading statement. At issue is right of way for a trail within the Willamette River Greenway, an area established in 1975. The trail dates back to at least 1987. The city wants Mr. Karembelas to comply with the requirement to provide land for the trail. Mr. Karembelas and his attorneys argue that he is not required to comply. The requirement to provide right-of-way has been there long before Mr. Karembelas negotiated to purchase it, and the street connections he wishes to see improved are a temporary throughway that the trail is intended to replace. If he didn't want to give up land for the trail, he shouldn't have purchased the property.
Matthew P. Picio
CUT YOUR HAIR, GET A JOB
TO THE EDITOR VIA VOICEMAIL: "My name is Howard, I'm a resident in the Portland area, and I just wanted to give you my two cents on your Portland Mercury. I don't know if you're a father or not, I don't know if you have any kids—but I think you make a mockery of this city. I think your paper is a disgrace. Looking at the cover that you guys recently have here, where it says, "America: Like It... Or Love It" [Cover, June 29], I really think you should be ashamed of yourself. My friend, you ought to find a legitimate job, or at least have your paper have some literary value to it."
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT
EDITOR: Tom Jackson's vitriolic "sit down and shut up" letter [Letters, June 22] lends a case in point to Evan James' commentary on the dogmatic streak among gay activists that don't want to forsake the visibility they've gained as a ripe market sector [Queer Issue, "Who the Hell Cares Where We Are?," June 15]. When gay activists lambaste any critique of the end goals of the well-funded GLTB national organizations, a tension is tweaked. But the real irony of Jackson's argument is its a-historicity. Consider how marriage became the hub of contemporary gay politics. None of the national groups advocated for marriage before the media wank around Hawaii's 1992 favorable gay marriage decision, Baehr v. Lewin. Up until that point, the majority of gay activists were actually opposed to marriage as a political aspiration. There is a more important insight to be gained by looking at the history of gay politics, however. The gay movement has made the mistake before of excluding its more radical factions for tangible political advantage: Look at the pattern of transgender exclusion from gay political groups, which lasted until pretty much the turn of the century. An image of where we are now is encapsulated in Jackson's [letter]: The "we" has discovered its most viable political vehicle to date, and those who are uneasy about the hypocrisy that makes it such a smooth ride are sharply shushed, and have settled into a new invisible faction.
CONGRATULATIONS TO GWENDOLYN for her clear-eyed look at homo politics, past and present. For this, she wins two tickets to see the Legendary Pink Dots at Berbati's on Monday, July 10, plus two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater!