Illustration by Suzette Smith


RE: "Singing in a Coffee Shop? That'll Be $300" [News, Aug 16] about a music licensing battle between BMI and Café au Play.

This is definitely not a David vs. Goliath scenario. BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, and their ilk are good people doing good work: collecting royalties for working composers. Companies like Apple, Spotify, and MediaFire are completely killing the working composer, far worse than the major labels ever did. I'm not sure where music licensing by a nonprofit establishment falls within the boundaries of copyright law, but it's irresponsible that this café did not look into this earlier; it's also unfortunate that BMI wasted their time and resources on a dead-end source of revenue for their composers.

-posted by NYC engineer

@NYC engineer: I don't disagree with most of what you say. These are member-driven nonprofits trying to find a way to make sure their members get what they're owed. But I will disagree with one thing: When a group like BMI lawyers up just to go after Café au Play, it's very definitely a David vs. Goliath scenario.

-posted by Euphonius


RE: "Chopra for Kids," [Film, Aug 16], an unfavorable review of Portland animation firm LAIKA's latest feature, ParaNorman.

DEAR MERCURY—I'm totally bummed about the brutal, unfair review Vince Mancini wrote about ParaNorman. This is a local, homegrown tale of staggering emotional proportions that was just torn apart by this cynical "poopface." It doesn't even seem like he watched the entire movie. We're going to start a Facebook campaign against his nasty review.

-Gillian Povey


RE: "Country and (Pacific North) Western" [Music, Aug 16], in which information regarding a band member's personal life was largely omitted.

DEAR MARK LORE—I enjoyed the article about Denver, but you should have mentioned that Tom Bevitori is married to folk singer Alela Diane.

-Isaac Hudson

MERCURY MUSIC EDITOR NED LANNAMAN RESPONDS: I don't agree that it needed to be mentioned, but either way, Bevitori and Diane have actually split up.


RE: "Wedding Hells" [I, Anonymous, Aug 16], in which an anonymous wedding bartender recounts a particularly bad day on the job.

DEAR MERCURY—Was that fucking whiny preppy boy really serious that serving wine at that wedding was one of the worst nights of his life? And what a law-abiding citizen!! Checking IDs. Yeah right—at weddings, nobody should be asking for IDs except for this square Puritan whose ancestors probably hated German immigrants who built this country and drank beers on Sundays. A lot of your readers sound like petit bourgeoisie whiny silver-spoon scenesters. You should learn from those women in prison [Letters, last few months] who have led interesting lives at least with all obstacles thrown at them instead of your sheltered preppy-now-wannabe-hip-but-ain't-non-authentic-by-existential-terms existence.

-Arnaldo D'Ollier


RE: "Votes in Place for Fluoride: Mayor Sam Adams Makes It Three" [Blogtown, Aug 17], regarding the controversial proposal to fluoridate Portland's water.

DEAR EDITORS—I am writing to express my reaction to the news that Portland's city council and mayor have voted to fluoridate Portland's drinking water supply. I am NOT in support of this vote and would like to see independent scientific evaluation and consultation before such a broad stroke move is made for this otherwise intelligent and healthy community. Please tell the mayor and city council to reverse their decision to add toxic waste byproducts of aluminum processing to the city's drinking water supply.

-Jadene Mayla


RE: "Cute Animal Death Watch!" [News, Aug 16], regarding efforts to suppress populations of invasive species of wildlife.

I have two eastern tree squirrels as pets because of this policy. There are many others who have pet opossums, squirrels, etc. Those "big-hearted adults" and "would-be do-gooders" do know the difference between what is morally right and what is legal. I understand how damaging invasive exotics can be to our ecosystem. But "setting an invasive species policy for the whole state" is a poor reason for demanding that we, as individuals, turn our back on orphaned and injured animals. There is no real action being taken to mitigate the damage done by well-established invasives like eastern squirrels and Virginia opossums. If there was any chance of repairing the damage—if the [Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife] had something constructive, a plan, to eradicate these species and bolster the recovery of our ecosystem—then I would be behind enforcement of a "policy" to accomplish that. But setting a "policy" just for the ideology... is incredibly callous, senseless, high-handed bullshit. I made inquiries about getting a permit to keep my squirrels [and] the woman at ODFW who answered the phone threatened to send someone out to seize my pets, kill them, and issue me a citation. After they were injured by a cat, I raised these animals from tiny, helpless babies, waking up every three hours to feed them formula out of a tiny dropper. WTF is wrong with these people?! You can't just make laws and expect people to go against their basic sense of morality because you told them to.

-posted by do-gooder


RE: "It Began with Tegan" [Savage Love, Aug 16], in which author and television personality Dan Savage fields a question from "Butt-Using Manly Man Entirely Distressed."

I am not a big fan of [the TV show] Savage U. Regardless of my irks, the one thing that should be brought to light from one of the episodes is simply to ask the other person what they're into. Anal play is wildly pleasurable if done at a fragile pace, first and foremost. Rim jobs should always be included with female and male oral sex. Society needs to stop shaming us into a box and then kicking us off the cliff because something perceived as a homoerotic sex act shouldn't be enjoyed by the masses who engage in sex acts. Let go of your ego, it's creating fear and preventing you from getting off—what's worse than that?

-posted by lookup


RE: "Girl Gone Wild" [Books, Aug 9], in which author Alison Hallett criticizes local author Lidia Yuknavitch's latest work, Dora: A Headcase, and Yuknavitch's defenders do not take it very well.

Perhaps this "recontextualization" IS actually addressing Freud. Though you may be paid by the insipid word, you could have just written: "My teen years were uncomfortable, I still cringe at my own insecurity, and I wish I was a writer instead of a pathetic gatekeeper."

-posted by Jansco

Actually, I'm on salary.

-posted by Alison Hallett

It really irritates me when a valid and well-thought-out response to something like a book review is answered by the author with nothing but a snarky quip. Be a little more mature and I think you will see improved results.

-posted by margaretg

Tonight: Book reviewer doesn't really like book; friends of author like book unconditionally, act butthurt on internet because objective review doesn't agree 100 percent with their subjective assessment. Tomorrow: Today's headline—Too wordy? Yaaaaawwwwnnn.

-posted by Commenty Colin

THANKS AGAIN COMMENTY, for jumping in with some well-timed levity during an awkward conversation. You win this week's letter/comment of the week! You get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where the headlining features are rarely abjectly dull.