To: Elliott Smith

Re: You're Fired

Dear Writer/Freelancer: Due to a lack of positive response from our readership, management has decided to discontinue your reviews and/or column. We wish you the best of luck in future endeavors, and would appreciate it if you returned your office key within 5 business days.--Portland Mercury Management

There are reasons the Greek myths resonate through the ages. Through their stories of heroes and gods, the Ancient Greeks hoped to provide a mirror that could be held up to mankind in all its madness and glory.

To those who have followed "Elliott Smith's Ancient Myths," take courage! The ill-considered severance of my column is not cause for chagrin. Instead, it gives us an occasion to reflect on the bittersweet nature of personal excellence in a world where the timid hold sway.

Oh, Icarus! We are cut from the same cloth! You, who dared break your bonds and fly from your prison! You, who dared soar above the safety of the middle course between ocean and sun! And I, who stood defiant in the faces of those who said "Elliott! It is unseemly for you to pursue your love of the old legends!"

As one whose only crime is daring to fly free and unbound, I stand before this burnished mirror of the ages, naked, and unashamed. Goodbye, my faithful followers...goodbye.

Oh, and by the way, I'll be appearing on Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, August 17. Don't miss it!