RE: "Extra Terrestrial" [Feature, March 12], profiling the efforts and obstacles of XRAY.FM, a new progressive radio station that officially debuted last week in Portland.
DEAR MARJORIE SKINNER—I noticed there was nothing about buying out the old PRA [Portland Radio Authority] and kicking out some of their shows that were truly grassroots. Are there other locals that are already creating original content via existing podcasts/stations? Is it a consolidation of the popular kids that may drown out the underrepresented content by smaller voices? Are those the only viewpoints that Portland has to offer? Are XRAY, the Mercury, and MFNW going to be basically the one sound of what music and opinion is for anyone that doesn't live in the West Hills? I'm not saying they are evil, it just seems the article was "look how great this is, unless we can't get enough of it."
DEAR MERCURY—How has it come to be that the conceptual KXRY 91.1 has managed to attract so much community support and media attention, while the fully operational KZME 107.1 remains largely unnoticed? With largely identical mission statements, and with consideration of all the effort necessary to make a project like theirs turn out amazing, it seems strange that these two sets of local radio enthusiasts can't find a way to work together.
RE: "Oregon and the New Jim Crow" [News, Feb 26], regarding the Protect Religious Freedom Initiative, which would essentially allow businesses to legally discriminate against same-sex couples.
DEAR MERCURY—I am usually a big fan, but I have to say you got this spectacularly wrong. The "new Jim Crow" refers to the mass incarceration of African Americans and decimation of African American communities under the fig leaf of "colorblind" politics. It does not refer to bakers getting squicky about having to bake a cake for gay folks. (Really, there's a work of serious legal scholarship, called, um, The New Jim Crow.) I can see that's wrong and stupid just as much as you can, and the discrimination that LGBT people face is very real. But to compare it to the persistently violent, police-enforced program of systemic disenfranchisement trivializes that experience.
RE: "YOU'VE BEEN STERANKO'D! (Part II) [Blogtown, March 14], in which Erik Henriksen exercises an ongoing obsession with comic book creator Jim Steranko.
HI ERIK—I've known Jim Steranko for 40 years. When he started at Marvel his drawing style was influenced by comic book talent Wally Wood. The joke is, "There's only one Jim Steranko, and that's Wally Wood." He's a walking encyclopedia of film noir knowledge, too.
RE: "Ring of Fiber" [Feature, March 5], regarding the tantalizing possibility of Google Fiber coming to Portland.
OH MY DEAREST WEEKLY RAG—Google and Portland should get gay married and have babies. The city should be capitalizing on its Portlandia game and whatever remaining progressive credentials we have to bring Google Fiber here. Want to be attractive to tech companies? Want to attract even more young hipsters, but not the slacker kind? Google it. With the abolishment of net neutrality by the assholes at the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], and the looming merger of Time Warner and Comcast, Google can bring real competition and won't be prejudiced with their bandwidth. Why? Google doesn't want to make its money by charging people to get to the net. They want to make money on what we do while we're using it. Also, have you used On Demand? Squishy buttons, truncated titles, and no fast-forward? Gross! Comcast can go eat a bag of fiber-optic dicks. But this shit better include some provisions for bringing high speed to the underserved minority and poor communities here. Don't squander an opportunity to be awesome! Just ask yourself, What Would Austin Do?
EH, HOW ABOUT we just leave Austin out of our affairs, beanerpdx, but otherwise a big "hell yes" to those reasons for wanting the Google Fiber deal to go through. While we wait to catch up to the present in hopes of being invited to the future, please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where the future, the past, and the internet all take their turns onscreen.