CLUELESS OR RACIST?

TO THE EDITOR: In one remarkably ignorant letter to the editor, the person who wrote "Best of N Killingsworth" [Aug 17] helped reinforce a series of longstanding racial stereotypes used against African Americans who live in N and NE Portland. Unfortunately, I have to ask, is the Mercury inadvertently endorsing these stereotypes by printing this letter? Perhaps the crazy foibles of those outrageous "colored folk" brought a chuckle to the office, or perhaps the description lent a "hard-core gangsta" legitimacy to such a white-bread weekly. Maybe you naively thought the letter was an accurate description. I've walked the same stretch of Killingsworth at the same time of night, and the description you printed is bullshit. Most blacks don't live a "gangsta" lifestyle, but there's nothing entertaining about that. Nothing worthwhile to print there. Unfortunately many people I've shared this letter with are asking this same question. Is the Mercury clueless or racist?

Ron Mason Gassaway

RIGHT BACK AT'CHA, DOUCHEBAG!

TO THE MERCURY: I work near your offices and sometimes when I drive by, I see Wm. Steven Humphrey outside throwing a baseball or just loitering around.

Having read the Mercury almost religiously for several years, I get a very strong urge to shout "Hey Humpy!" or even, "Suck it Humpy!" even though I hold him in rather high regard. Would this behavior be deemed inappropriate, or would Mr. Humphrey find this amusing and holler back, "Right back at'cha, douchebag!" rather jovially? Just curious!

Rob Campbell

WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY RESPONDS: See pg. 5 to understand why I've been outside throwing a baseball. See pg. 58 for why I appear to be "just loitering around."

URBAN SCOUT VS. HIPPIE SCOUT

DEAR "HIPPIE SCOUT": [Letters, Aug 24, in which "Hippie Scout" challenges Urban Scout (who trains people how to survive the apocalypse, Feature, Aug 17) to a "live off"—surviving in the woods with just a knife.] First off, shame on you. If you gave a rat's ass about the environment, the Earth, or future generations, you wouldn't have wasted your time challenging someone who is actually making a difference. All you've done is shown that you care more about the size of your dick than the survival of the planet.

Second, if you were trying to make me sound like a drunken hipster... well, yes, I have been known to piss on couches at parties, convince people to punch me in the head, and had my fair share of blacked-out bike rides. Who gives a shit? My highly functioning alcoholism will crush your ganja-induced apathy any day. That's why the hippie movement never accomplished shit. They were too busy smoking the CIA's weed.

Lastly, maybe you haven't noticed (perhaps you're too busy getting "dosed" at Burning Man) but the world around us is falling apart. You probably have all the time a free-lovin'-commune-livin'-trustafarian-hippie-mooch might have for silly little games—but I don't. Every day, every second, this culture of death comes closer and closer to the crash. That's no game. You might have time to fuck around. I've got a world to save here.

Er... however. I do have a sore spot for gambling. A game of chance, with high stakes, is something I just can't resist. You'll have to do better than merely challenge my skill level; money is of no use to me either. So what then, might you propose? Your first-born flower child? Your stash of shamanic chronic? Or abandoning your hippie religion and swearing fealty to Preemptive Postapocalypticism? Of course, in the event I lose, I will kneel before you and your fellow hippies and swear allegiance to your hippie ways... (shudder).

What say you, "Hippie Scout?"

Urban Scout

OOOOH, LOOKS LIKE URBAN SCOUT has picked up the gauntlet! (Which also means he automatically wins the Mercury Letter of the Week—a prize package of two tickets to the Laurelhurst and a $30 dinner at No Fish! Go Fish!) Will Hippie Scout agree to Urban Scout's challenge? Or will he forget to read this column because he's too busy smoking the CIA's ganja? STAY TUNED!

WIN A VIDEO IPOD!

And don't forget there's still time to figure out "The Del Monte Code"—our online mystery/treasure hunt—and win the hot new black 30 GB video iPod! Jump over to portlandmercury.com and click on "The Del Monte Code" for all the details!