Illustration by Brian Viveros

THE SMOKING GUN

RE: Cover [Jan 16], an illustration by Brian Viveros.

DEAR MR. [WM. STEVEN] HUMPHREY AND MR. [JUSTIN] MORRISON—I'm dismayed and extremely disappointed in the selection of the cover art for the most recent edition of the Portland Mercury, regardless of how it may tie in with the content of the article "Staying on the Beat." Portraying a "babe" wrapped with a bullet belt (and a cigarette) sanctifies and glorifies the use of guns and smoking in a manner that is irresponsible and completely unnecessary. As leaders in the media world, I would ask that you be more conscientious and thoughtful about your selections to not falsify the "enhancement" of a woman's image with props that encourage violence and smoking.

Robert Tomlinson

DEAR MR. BRIAN VIVEROS—Can you put that piece on velvet? That would be the shit.

M. Secundus

_________________________________________________________________________________________

VACCINE COURT

RE: One Day at a Time [Jan 9].

I noticed that in your One Day at a Time column this line: "Friendly reminder, dears: Jenny McCarthy believes vaccines cause autism, and she should no longer be allowed to speak, whether she's on her back or not." I wanted to let you know that the Vaccine Court has recently awarded damages to a family of a child who developed autism as a result of routine vaccination. So, the government has admitted, in this and several other cases, that vaccines can cause brain encephalopathy (swelling), and it is generally accepted that this condition in infants can lead to the symptoms we call autism. I enjoy the One Day at a Time column, but as the parent of a child who had a reaction to vaccines and who now has autism, I wonder if this is really a subject for glib, uninformed humor.

Fred King

_________________________________________________________________________________________

DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP, BUDDY

RE: "Will Write for Food" [Letters, Jan 16], in which this reader posits that the quality of letters to the editor was negatively impacted when the prizes ceased to include lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, which has since closed.

DEAR MERCURY—Regarding the letter of the week prizes. I suppose I sounded whiny and ungrateful and not without some entitlement issues. I just thought it was great when you had the food prizes, too. It also supported a struggling local business. But I didn't mean to sound like a free movie was worthless. Maybe it was my attitude that was worthless. 

E

"WORTHLESS" IS A LITTLE harsh, E. "Wrong," maybe, but not "worthless." No hard feelings, though. We'll even give you the letter of the week prize of two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. But... you still have to buy your own food.