DEAR MERCURY: I want to say thanks for posting my opinion about the Medeski Martin & Wood show deserving more attention than an AC/DC cover band [Letters, April 26]. But when I opened my copy of the Merc this morning I was absolutely abhorred by the flippant, ignorant response by someone who carries the handle "tinks" [Letters, May 3]. She said the show would have been good IF you are into Abercrombie and Fitch OR moving to Boulder, Co.

So, I guess she's insinuating it was a trendy, shallow, handsome-boys-playing-volleyball kind of concert? Quite the contrary, tinky. I figure you are so worried about being hip that you're afraid to give it a chance. FYI, Medeski Martin & Wood is a jazz trio. They play music that makes this a better world. If the show was sold out, that means there were a lot of Portlanders (potential Merc readers) who are into that style of music. And, if musicians of the highest caliber visit our town, it's probably a nice idea to mention it and be grateful we are alive in a time of such great musical happenings.

--Joe Wallace


HEY MERCURY: To the lady who wrote "Weak-ass women" in I, Anonymous [April 26, in which a woman insults those who don't work out hard enough at the gym]. There are bigger things in life than how much someone can lift.

Not everyone wants to be musclebound. Some people aren't going for mass; they're going for tone. Lifting smaller amounts of weight, and doing more repetitions helps you tone far better than trying to impress everyone in the weight room by doing a couple reps with enough weight to give you a hernia. You need to get the fuck over yourself.

--Not a "Weak-Ass Woman"


DEAR PORTLAND BIBLIOPHILES: Recently Steven Allred reviewed my novel, Black Wax, in the pages of this fine publication [Readings, April 26]. While the book might not be a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, it deserves better than the sensationalistic, inaccurate, subjective trashing Steven gave my precious 'lil baby. Of course you're thinking I'm just being subjective myself--and rightly so!--therefore I invite you to take back your powers of judgement from the professional critics and see for yourself. You can read 150 pages of the novel for free at my website (www.benjaminwatson.com) and help bring back that great, dying literary tradition of flipping the bird at the critics. Woody Allen once said "Those that can't teach, teach gym." I would like to suggest that quite often, those that can't do, review.

--Benjamin Watson


TO THE EDITOR: It's easy to blame the city or county for selling out Hawthorne merchants by not including them in the decision-making process over closing the bridge for the filming of some lame-ass Hollywood piece of crap [News, May 3]. Of course. independent merchants always get screwed by the city big wigs. What else is new?

The people who wouldn't shop at your store because they couldn't drive over the Hawthorne Bridge aren't the kind of people that would shop at your unique independent store to begin with. They will drive their Suburban right up to Starbucks, get their latte in a non-recycled paper cup, then drive over to the Gap and pick up an $80 pair of khakis before they head over to the Lloyd Mall to check out the premiere of The Hunted.

And even if they would shop at your store for some strange reason, if they're such dumb-asses that they can't figure out how to get from the Burnside Bridge to Hawthorne, you don't want their business anyway.

--Dave Hass


TO THE MERCURY: I am writing to express my gratitude to two of your employees who rushed me to the emergency room in a Mercury van immediately following a wretched bicycle accident. Let it be known that their deed did not go unappreciated and I hope they might be as fortunate as I in receiving assistance, should such a tragedy befall them. May the gods reward them for their compassion.

--Thomas Dietzel


HEY READERS! Got an old firearm lying around the house? Well, take that weapon and get it melted by Ceasefire Oregon, who will not only take your rusty old gun but give you a $50 gift certificate in return! See pg. 13 of print version for details!