THE SAD TRAVESTY OF THE DANDY WARHOLS
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—Sadly, reading your "Community College's Portland Musical Nourishment Pyramid" by Ezra Ace Caraeff [Feature, Sept 17] left me outraged. People who listen to the Dandy Warhols SHOULD feel guilty, because they are committing a sad travesty. Shame on you, Mercury, for promoting such a completely mind-numbingly obvious and lame choice! The Dandy Warhols are as musically impotent as my aged grandpappy. Their benign and utterly mundane pop music, not to mention their holier-than-thou everything-that-stinks-about-Portland-hipsters mentality sickens and disgusts many. If they are indeed the most well-known band to come out of this town, it's no wonder that we are viewed, by many, to be morons. I wish they would move to LA, where I'm sure they would be treated much more appropriately—like the mid-level musicians they are.
HAVING A PORTLAND COW
DEAR MR. DAVIS—In your astute analysis of Portland's "crime scene" and Commissioner Saltzman's secret "Rogue's List," you seem to be blithely ignoring all the glaring socioeconomic and psychosocial factors that contribute to a person likely ending up on "The List," instead running around indiscriminately crying, "Racial profiling! Racial profiling!" [Hall Monitor, News, Sept 24] Yes, Portland's population is largely white and a minority of residents is African American. Given. But when compiling a list of the worst downtown offenders, it is what it is. Non disputandum est. I hate to burst Portland's idyllic bubble of how the world works, but here is the Romper Room version of why "The List" might break down the way it does: Let's say Portland is a spherical cow, eight bulging udders and all. Now say there are one million people who constitute this Portland cow, which is 90 percent white and 10 percent black. You seem to be implying that the police commissioner's secret list should be "fair" and comprise 90 percent white people and 10 percent black people. However, this is a gross over simplification. Of those 100,000 African Americans living in Portland, let's say 50 percent are at high risk for becoming criminals, due to the aforementioned risk factors, and 1 percent of these (500) actually become hardened criminals that are likely to make "The List." Then take the 900,000 Wonder Bread Portlanders, and let's say 5 percent experience the same poverty, discrimination, and other risk factors which might lead them to a life of violent crime, and assume 1 percent of these folks (450) become hardened repeat offenders who might make "The List." Voilà! We could plausibly predict the commissioner's secret list to be composed of over 50 percent African Americans. I know my analysis is a gross oversimplification as well, but you get the idea.
BAHEENA BAGINA, VAHEENA VAGINA
DEAR EDITOR(S)—Ann Romano—be still my beating heart—has repeatedly used the string of letters "vaheena" to represent the word "vagina," often to great comic effect, especially when talking about Kate Gosselin (be still my quivering spermatoza) [One Day at a Time, ongoing]. Methinks Ms. Romano is attempting to transliterate the Spanish pronunciation of their word for vagina, which is spelled the same as in English but which is pronounced ba-HEE-na. Note the "b" sound in Spanish for the letter "v." With a powerful word like "ba-HEE-na," there's no need for anything more slangy or vulgar. And now I'm reminded of Chick Rio's (and the Champs) 1958 saxophone tune: Duh, duh-duh, duh-dut, dut, dut: ba-HEE-na!
THANK YOU BRIAN for the Castilian pronunciation tutorial. Brian wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where it tastes great, no matter how you put it.