HOW NOT TO REVIEW A FILM 101
DEAR MS. [SARAH] MIRK—I read your flippant and ignorant review of Politics of Sand in the recent edition of the Mercury and thought you might be interested to know that I used it in my beginning journalism class at Newport High School, where I teach, as how not to review a film [Film Shorts, Nov 8]. I saw the film too. In fact, I'm in the film, and [have] written a lot on the history of the famous 1967 Beach Bill. I suspect you didn't even stay for the whole film. You don't even mention the crux of the film: Oregon's ocean beaches were imperiled by private development. Private development almost prevailed. The drama was there. You simply missed it because you apparently didn't have the patience to follow the saga of the legislation. I saw immaturity and punk written all over your review. I review books for the Oregonian and sometimes intensely dislike something I have to read. But I believe you have a responsibility as a reviewer to not treat someone's artistic effort with flippancy, or intellectual laziness, especially anyone independent who's financing the project herself. I thought the Mercury was supposed to laud that sort of DIY thing—or at least give it some proper respect. I look forward to your response and plan to share it with my students. The lesson continues.
ADDICTED TO LOVE
DEAR AMY J. RUIZ—The same-sex movement is an addict ["Onward," News, Nov 20]. Be done already with pining over the masochist search for the holy grail of adulthood, the so-called institution of marriage. Instead, gather your fellow non-married citizens and join in a cold turkey movement to strike down the business of bureaucratically issuing marriage licenses. Legislature at any level supporting the bestowal of privileges and/or so-called rights upon couples is a bigoted enterprise begetting classicism and division. So please be done with trying to scale the wall, [and] let me suggest you put your resources instead to tearing [it] the f___ down.
OUT OF SPORTS
DEAR MERCURY—We live in a society that is obsessed with sports to a degree that is sociopathic ["Don't Black Out the Blazers," Letters, Nov 20]. A society where a former football star's trial for murder becomes a media sensation sucking all the oxygen out of news reporting for over a year. A society where no one sees anything odd about the fact that professional athletes are paid several times what school teachers make, even though everyone agrees that the public schools are horrible. A society where anyone with no interest in sports is nonetheless condemned to be bored to tears while in school, due to the disproportionate attention paid to sports as opposed to arts and literature. A society where the main topic of conversation at most social gatherings is sports, and to have nothing to say on the subject is to be an outcast. Nevertheless, the Mercury saw fit to award last week's letter of the week to a man complaining about his inability to find a basketball game on television in a downtown Portland bar, evidently on the theory that such an experience constituted a tragic misfortune that could only be alleviated by getting letter of the week. Portland Mercury, you are wrong. Our society already criminally panders to sports fans, and the Mercury, by its action, has joined the ranks of the oppressors.
SINCE EVERY LETTER WE RECEIVED this week was written by either a pompous ass, killjoy, or asthmatic sports-hating pussy, we're awarding this edition's "letter of the week" to "none of the above." We'll keep our fistful of tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch vouchers for No Fish! Go Fish! (where joy is never killed, for food or otherwise). There's a recession on, after all. And these things don't grow on trees.