RE: Up & Coming [Music, Feb 20], in which Courtney Ferguson disparages the good-to-bad evolution of Camper Van Beethoven.

DEAR MERCURY—I'm not quite sure how David Lowery and the boys traumatized poor li'l Courtney Ferguson, but maybe a good therapist could help with her anger issues. She can stay on her "Carnival boat full of sewage and incontinent old people." I'll enjoy an evening with Camper Van Beethoven. Enjoy your personal "shitshow," Miss Ferguson, because it's a sad, lonely spiral into bitter aging hipsterdom.

Matt Stefanik



RE: "A Shooting's Familiar Echoes" [News, Feb 20], regarding the recent fatal police shooting of Merle Hatch.

HELLO—Sergeant Pete Simpson was sure to inform the public that Merle Hatch had no ID. And, directly thereafter Simpson [spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau] stated that he was unaware if the suspect had an address or was homeless. This line of inquiry usually comes out as a form of slander and defamation to the character of the dead person in question. What possible difference does it make if a person is homeless, lives on the Eastside, Westside, or Brush Prairie, Washington (like many of our sworn officers)?




RE: "White" [Portland as Fuck, Feb 20], columnist Ian Karmel's concise history of white people.

DEAR MERCURY—It has been in fashion for white people to loathe being white. To boil down 4,000 years of "white" history to only the bad things is pretty shitty—for any race. This guy hates himself, and how he got a column in your shitty-already paper surprises me (no it doesn't). The fat guy is in a midlife crisis—he keeps friends on his Facebook page that he doesn't even like, he is "Portland as Fuck" even though he grew up in Beaverton, and he is obese. You have a suicide case on your hands and you don't even know it, or even worse a guy who comes into the office and shoots everyone before putting himself out of his misery. I am not one of those guys to just sit around and moan about my miserable existence. No, that is, in fact, very un-"Portland as Fuck." So how about you give me his shitty column?

Grant Howard



RE: "Wolves" [Portland as Fuck, Feb 13], in which columnist Ian Karmel argues that the Christian opposition to gay marriage is rooted in the ancient need to reproduce in order to replenish the percentage of the population that was eaten by wolves.

DEAR MERCURY—I just wanted to say thanks to Ian Karmel for (1) giving a fuck about something important, not because it pertains directly to him but because it's the compassionate way to live; and (2) stating his argument in a colorful fashion we can all understand. In January 2003 I asked my girlfriend (and former high school sweetheart) to marry me. She said yes, and that was awesome, but I refused to set a date until my best friend also had the right to marry her longtime love, who happened to be another woman. People called me naïve, stupid, and even mean for denying my fiancée her special day because some people unrelated to us couldn't enjoy the same life-affirming event themselves. Thankfully, in 2004, people with morals and intelligence changed the laws (we're from Massachusetts) and my friend married her partner of four years in September and I married my wife in October. I don't know what, if any, impact my little standoff had, but to this day I feel it was the right thing to do and I'm glad to know I'm not the only hetero dude who thinks gays and lesbians are people, too.

Lukkah Churchill

IT'S THE THOUGHT that counts, Lukkah, and as with any signal of solidarity and support, it should be appreciated. In addition to your story's happy conclusion you've also won the Mercury's letter of the week, with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where there is pretty much always a love story in progress.