DID YOU CALL US "HAM WALLETS"?

TO THE MERCURY: How did the Mercury become such a rancid piece of shit? [Editor's Note: Since Eddie's letter is basically the same litany of complaints disgruntled readers have been sending in for the last seven years—that we're just a bunch of indierock-loving, fixie-riding, ironic mullet-wearing hipsters—let's just skip to the best part, shall we?]

How embarrassing that the only readable columns in your entire paper are Savage Love, I, Anonymous, and Letters. What do all three have in common? None were written by any of you ham wallets.

Eddie

YOU'RE WRONG, I'M RIGHT

TO THE EDITOR: Wow! As usual, most critics were completely wrong about their assessment of Lions for Lambs ["Robert Redford Wants YOU!" Film, Nov 8]. I thought that the Portland Mercury's review was so extremely misleading that it was socially irresponsible.

Knee-jerk comparisons to Syriana for every new political movie? How simple-minded. Time to demonstrate more intellectual curiosity, and the courage to acknowledge socio-political truths even when they are very unpleasant. Too many story lines; too difficult to follow? Only for persons who can only focus on one thing or task at a time. Not enough character development? Absolutely false. Everyday heroes are presented in the film who are realistic, believable, and respectable. 

The movie delivers some of the finest drama and action scenes I've seen in decades—and I'm very selective about films. 

Don Jacobson

BOB DYLAN: EHHHHH...

TO THE MERCURY: This is an open letter to those proselytizers of the myth that Bob Dylan is a genius ["The Six Faces of Bob Dylan," Feature, Nov 22]. They have been particularly irritating of late, repeatedly hyping the new Todd Haynes movie, I'm Not There.

When baby boomers extol the brilliance of Bob Dylan, they're not talking about Dylan, they're talking about themselves. Sure, everything else in their lives since the '60s has been disappointing, but if Dylan is the greatest living musical genius, it makes them feel their lives haven't been lived in vain, because they've spent most of their lives listening to him.

Neil Anderson

YES, THERE WERE IRISH SLAVES

DEAR EDITOR: This letter is a response to the letter, "Luck of the Irish" by Robby Kunkle [Nov 22]. Mr. Kunkle claims that Irish people weren't kidnapped wholesale and piled into a ships hold, etc. The answer is simply, yes they were.

Under Cromwell's policy known as "To Hell or Connaught," Irish landowners were driven off millions of acres of fertile land. Those found east of the River Shannon after May l, 1654, faced the death penalty or slavery in the West Indies. A pamphlet published in 1660 accused the British of sending soldiers to grab any Irish people they could in order to sell them to Barbados for profit:

"It was the usual practice with Colonel Strubber, Governor of Galway, and other commanders in the said country, to take people out of their beds at night and sell them for slaves to the Indies, and by computations sold out of the said country about a thousand souls."

In Black Folk Then and Now, Du Bois concurs: "Even young Irish peasants were hunted down as men hunt down game, and were forcibly put aboard ship, and sold to plantations in Barbados."

P.S. The cool accent that Jamaicans and West Indians have is a result of the Irish forcibly placed there.

Dan Murphy

WILLIAM JOEL CARES ABOUT BILLY JOEL

TO THE EDITOR: Jonathan Zwickel's article ["Piano Boy," Music, Nov 22] on Billy Joel is, to this reader, possibly the most pathetic attempt at musical journalism I have ever read. Rather than correcting Zwickel's inaccuracies, or ridiculing his pompous assumptions, I would like to state that I care about Billy Joel, and I matter.

William Joel

YOU DO MATTER, WILLIAM! That's why you are receiving the Mercury letter of the week, which includes two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! (Where it's "still rock 'n' roll to me." WAIT! Where it's like "scenes from an Italian restaurant." NO! Where they "love you just the way you are." Yeah... that's it.)