Dear Mr. [Wm. Steven] Humphrey—I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your column ["Smaller: Not Always Better!" I Love Television, Jan 28]. I couldn't agree more about Michael Vick, and was stunned to learn, from your story, that he's getting his own TV show. Aren't there any guys who know how to throw a football that aren't felons? Here's hoping his show gets dismal ratings, and is replaced by one about black midgets (it is on BET) who rescue pit bulls.
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—A good newspaper is a valuable source of information when it is a source you can trust. Employing bloggers as your so-called journalists does much to discredit your entire newspaper. It is akin to relying on Fox "News" as a reliable source of information. A recent browsing of the inane ramblings of Ms. Sarah Mirk show that she is using the Mercury as her platform to advance her own personal agendas. How can I take her seriously when she is supposedly objectively covering a news story? Does she even understand the difference? It is her lack of integrity that harms the reputation of your news articles. While I understand the desire to maintain an opinion column in your newspaper, those authors should be separate from reporters. For that reason, I regret to inform you that I will no longer be reading your publication. If your policy changes, feel free to let me know and I will give it another chance.
DEAR MERCURY—Regarding your review of Until the Light Takes Us ["One Foot in the Grave," Film, Feb 4]: Apparently, Marjorie Skinner saw a completely different film than I did when it first screened at Hollywood Theatre last June. I suppose it all comes down to personal perspective. Far from "fucking it up," co-directors Aites and Ewell could hardly have done a much better job at capturing the true atmosphere of the topic, having spent several years in the country shadowing their interviewees and editing dozens of hours of grim footage down to a two-hour black gem. Then again, UTLTU is something of a labor by fans for fans, not necessarily "Black Metal 101" for pedestrians who aren't even into [real] Metal to begin with. Ms. Skinner, please stick to the romantic comedies and all that wussy stuff.
DEAR MADAM OR SIR—That's it. I can't remain silent anymore. I almost wrote when you reviewed Metallica's Death Magnetic release. One of the complaints in that review was that it was "too hard." Pull that one out of the archives and check it. Yes, the technical production was also criticized, but for fuck's sake, you complained that a new Metallica album was too hard. Now we have your review of Until the Light Takes Us, which confirms that you are scared of Metal ["One Foot in the Grave," Film, Feb 4]. I agree with the review that there is more material in this subject than was accessed by this film. Yes, there are unanswered questions. Namely, what in the fuck was going on in Metal in Norway in the '90s which led to murders and fucking church burnings? However, that omission isn't the problem with the film. The problem is that there is hardly any Norwegian Black Metal in the entire movie. Oh sure, they play a bit here and there, but how about we hear some fucking Norwegian Black Metal? "Dead" (whose post-suicide image was shown in the film) used to bury his stage clothes to "imbue them with a proper grave-like essence." He also would inhale from a plastic bag containing a dead bird while performing onstage. The film doesn't mention these lurid details (which actually might provide some context to his eventual suicide, in addition to being very fucking Metal). If nothing else, this film provides a perspective on the Norwegian worldview that few of us have seen before. I understand that you are scared of the Metal, and the Metal can smell your fear. Your fear of the Metal is like a dead bird in a plastic bag that the Metal inhales when it's time for the Metal to perform.
DEAR MERCURY—The headline "NORWEGIAN METAL: The best thing to come out of Norway since... well, ever" on the cover of your Feb. 4 issue is offensive to Norwegians everywhere. Nowhere in the accompanying article was there even a brief mention of the two great Norwegian contributions to the world—the paper clip and cheese slicer ["One Foot in the Grave," Film, Feb 4]. This myopic lack of perspective is all too common in the Mercury.
INDEED ERIK, those are sore oversights and we hereby vow to cut the cheese in honor of Norway and its wise discernment between when you need papers attached permanently and when temporarily is sufficient. You win the Letter of the Week, with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, which is a totally Metal hang (dead bird bags not included).