TO THE EDITOR: [RE: "Fowl Play," Jan 18, in which decapitated chickens and goats have been found near Portland railroad tracks] Whoever is making these sacrificial offerings is carrying out a ritual because he/she is in serious, life-altering trouble. So leave them alone. Santeria is not my personal core belief but I have much affection, affinity and respect for the religion and those who practice it. If you make a big commotion, then the Christians and the New Agers will start to whine. Every piece of roadkill will be attributed to some heathen sacrifice. City Hall will call a meeting with that disgusting fundamentalist police chief who will have yet another excuse to harass people and it will be a big fat pain in the ass. Let it go...As some wise old obean woman once said, "Do not stir the pot."

Underground Witch Girl


TO THE EDITOR: Your art critic labored so mightily to find something to criticize in the Debra Beers show at the Mark Woolley Gallery [art review, January 4, Karrin Ellertson] that her review could only be the product of personal vendetta or professional malpractice. Unable to find an "amazing story" in Beers' portraits of Bill, your critic claims the work appears "disingenuous." To miss the "story," your critic had to overlook the many visual clues, such as a foreground dominating beer glass, a slate "pillow," a palpable dishwasher's hose, and "clanking" ceramic mugs. To describe Bill's gaze "as only slightly activated" and the product of "careful posing," your critic had to ignore the anguish, anxiety, alienation, alarm, resignation and ultimate determination variously and profoundly portrayed in Beers' uncanny found-materials realism.

Your critic's failings would not merit comment if she had not used the highly charged word "disingenuous." As two of the many friends and admirers of Debra Beers and her work, we cannot let this charge go unanswered. Only a person of the utmost honesty and integrity and openness would so totally invest her rare talent and sensibility in work that is so raw, painful, uncommercial and uncompromising. Debra Beers is the epitome of courage and tenacity in an art world full of marketing and poseurs.

Your weekly has the obligation to its readers (and to those it reviews) to have critics bring intellect, imagination and experience to their work, not merely attitude and self-importance. You utterly failed in your obligation in this very important instance.

David Wade, Nancy Pobanz

Karrin Ellertson responds: I applaud the passionate (albeit misguided) response. First, I don't have a "personal vendetta" against Debra Beers. How ludicrous; I don't even know her.
Second, I think it's clear how I actually used the word "disingenuous." Lastly, the charge of "professional malpractice" is most baffling. You are angered that I criticized artwork. That is what art critics do.


TO ANN ROMANO: In your One Day column [Jan 25], you announced the killing of a Safeway employee by a fellow employee. In what I can only assume was an attempt to be humorous, you graphically detailed the facts of this killing, juxtaposing these images against ribaldry, or maybe what you consider clever remarks.

So, given this, I've come to the conclusion, Romano, that you are completely SOULLESS or a complete IMBECILE.

Living in some prissy, Biore-strip world does not grant you the leniency to dehumanize others and that you would use such a gruesome tragedy as joke fodder for your column is despicable. I am completely disgusted with you and your publication.

Former Reader


TO WM.™ STEVEN HUMPRHEY: [RE: I Love Television™, Jan 25 in which the author quotes the Incredible Hulk as saying, "HULK WILL SMASH"] Hey! The Hulk doesn't say, "HULK WILL SMASH!" The Hulk says "HULK SMASH!" Either he's laconic to a fault or he's too dumb to understand future tense.

Sean Medlock


DEAR MERCURY: Dude, what the fuck is up with your comic page? They don't make any goddamned sense! Sad Frankenstein? [Smell of Steve, Jan 18, Slurpee McFee] Try Stupid Frankenstein! You'd better watch out before all your comic artists are stolen by the New Yorker.

Ace Maverick