HEY! What about your stupid little Suey Chow drawing contest? [See page 5.--ed.] My submission was a sure winner. I want the money I deserve and my 15 SECONDS of fame. I know how you guys love to be goaded, so here it is: "Portland Mercury is a piece of shit. Your articles suck. My high school newspaper wasted less paper than you scumbags, blah, blah, blah..." There you go. Now print my excellent picture.



TO SEAN TEJARATCHI: Your article on the X-Ray cafe movie ["Live Music and Other Activities," Nov 9] was really great. I'll see the movie, but I don't think it will be as good as your description. I've never read the Mercury but I will from now on!


TO THE EDITOR: Sean T's glowing reminiscence of the X- Ray Cafe made for a great read. But one lil' detail is slightly misleading: he says the infamous X-Ray space was transformed into "an outlet for second-hand clothing, punk rock records, and cheap food."

True. However, the various regulars/ collectives that kept the space alive after its halcyon days also made sure they kept all-ages shows on the bill. The space was an incubator for Portland's small mid-1990s experimental and electronic scene, thanks to the efforts of the Third Pyramid collective with its weekly "Aural Fixation" shows. So anyway, please give the ex-post-X-Ray people their due for keeping it open as a venue.



TO JAMIE S. RICH: What a month November is turning out to be! With the help of Lon Mabon, we found out how hate-filled many Oregonians really are. Many here hate gays, animals and smart growth. Countrywide, we learned just how ignorant many Americans truly are--a by-product of OUR wonderfully shitty culture and educational system, I'm sure.

Is it this same corrupt U.S. culture that you utilize as your comparative yardstick when writing your oh-so-cute (not) ignorance-laden reviews? So, Canada's musicians suck, eh? [Up & Coming, Tragically Hip, Nov 2] You claim that one "can count the good Canadian bands on almost no hands"! Oh, the rapier wit!!!

A "few" of those "joke" Canadian recording artists such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Crash Test Dummies, Sarah McLachlan, Sloan, Robbie Robertson, Daniel Lanois, Leonard Cohen, Spirit of the West, Ashley MacIsaac, Holly Cole, Diana Krall, Jesse Cooke, Our Lady Peace, Northern Pikes, Cowboy Junkies and Alanis Morrisette are actually pretty good at creating music.

I used to write music previews, reviews, interviews and such for several magazines and I have some unsolicited advice: No one gives a shit if you personally like a band. Your job is to tell whether they have enough talent to warrant interest. If you wish to assume that millions of Canadians who enjoy a superior education, culture and quality of life (the UN says this, not me) are clueless oomfs with no sense of taste or style, that's your prerogative. However, such assumptions make you look like a typical US citizen: arrogant, childish and unknowing.

Christian Gunther


DEAREST MERCURY: First, it has come to my attention that you may be suffering from a low self-image. In recent issues you have mocked the Willie Week (i.e. the Yes on 9 ad, finish the face of Suey Chow, Knight cabbie). While it is true these articles are full of gut-splitting hilarity, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that these things are printed out of insecurity and, yes, even jealousy. Fear not, Mercury, you are a vastly superior weekly and have nothing to be insecure or jealous about.

Second: This is an open letter to Constance L.H. In a recent L2E [Letters to the Editor, Nov 9] you blasted the talented Julianne Shepherd for her use of the words "goddammit" and "fucking" by calling her "lame" (perhaps lame wasn't in your thesaurus). And while I'm sure the aforementioned JS has shed your insipid, lackluster and ho-hum insults like so much water off a duck's back, and has no need for anyone to jump to her defense, I would personally like you, Constance, to go soak your head in some of that blue toilet water and flush it until it becomes clear again. And if I may say so, Julianne, goddammit, you fucking ROCK!!

A. Raitano