PEOPLE WHO DON'T GET IT
DEAR EDITOR—I realize that the Mercury may permanently have its tongue in its cheek, but illustrating Lindy West's article ["The Different Kinds of People that There Are," Feature, Aug 6] with three black people, two or three Latin people, a couple of Asian people, one heavily stereotyped Native American, and 21 white people stinks like media irresponsibility and looks like insidiously blasé deception on a plate. By all means, bulldoze onward, misrepresenting population demographics and ignore your power to shift one part of this country's epic stupidity.
FEARS OF A CLOWN
DEAR MERCURY—This was the funniest thing I've ever read in a newspaper, hands down ["The Different Kinds of People that There Are," Feature, Aug 6]. And even though I am, in actual point of fact, scared of clowns (coulrophobic) due to clowns dragging my horrified and crying six-year-old self in front of a live audience and making me lay on a stretcher pretending I was sick and then that they accidentally killed me (this really happened)—I forgive Lindy West because I agree that everyone else who says they're coulrophobic is a dirty liar.
The only people who really know... really know how things worked within [the Shins] for the last few years are the original band themselves ["Nothing Is Permanent," Music, Aug 6]. They all have a story that makes sense when put together. And people who believe that the Shins' music should not be supported due to personnel changes, well, they aren't music fans. They are fans of a soap opera that they wish existed, comprised of rules of morality made up entirely by them. And the Shins are better off without them.
posted by more to this story than meets the eye on portlandmercury.com
TAKING A GRANDSTAND
I know many students have a fondness for the guy, but wow ["Sweeney's Room," News, Aug 6]. [Lincoln High School teacher Mike Sweeney] is being asked to move his room. He's even being given preferential treatment in the location of his new room. The argument on [his wife, Jodi] Lorimer's website that his current room is "already community space" is completely defied by his territorial effort to stake claim to it.... Clearly, if it's that big a deal for him to give up control over it, it's not community space, it's Mr. Sweeney's space. Teachers at many schools have to move rooms on a regular basis to adjust for the school's changing needs, or clean out their rooms annually to make a blank slate for summer programs. I don't approve of his behavior and think it sets a terrible example for his students. Where are the priorities, here? Where is the perspective? The combination of the demonization of the principal as a power-tripping monster and the completely irrelevant (and, speaking as a minority, nauseatingly patronizing) playing of the race card makes it impossible to respect or take seriously what appears to be at its foundation merely an inappropriately public power struggle between a teacher who has become comfortably complacent with the status quo and a principal who wants to change it.
posted by Lola Blue on portlandmercury.com
DEAR MERCURY—In "Demolishing Dropout High" [News, July 30] Matt Davis wrote, "Only 57 percent of Portlanders graduate from high school on time, and both Wheeler and the mayor have made doubling the graduation rate a priority by 2013." D'oh. Their goal of a 114 percent graduation rate is less than inspirational.
OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, Claudia, why are you so anal? Sheesh. Still—funny. So, you get the letter of the week, with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where nuance has a place at the table.