DEAR MERCURY—Give Tonya [Harding] a break [One Day at a Time, March 22, in which Ann Romano comments on Harding's recent bizarre calls to police]. Portlanders are fair-weather fans as it is, but could it be that we ostracize Ms. Harding so because she represents what we fear and wish to stifle in ourselves? Try though you might to bury yourself in organic coffee, indie music, and designer clothes from NW 23rd, your mother raised you on Meatloaf's "Bat Outta Hell" just like me. And maybe if we leave her alone she'll stop acting so weird.

Amber Lauer, proud former Greshamite


DEAR MERCURY—I generally have no problem when a reviewer dislikes something, and I'm glad that an important poet such as John Ashbery was covered in last week's Mercury, but wow, what a ridiculous review of A Worldly Country [Arts, March 22]! I didn't realize that poetry should serve one focus. I didn't know that if a work fails to fit the reading environment you choose to experience it in then it's crap. A Worldly Country dull in bed, huh? Considering your list of qualities that make for appealing bedtime literature, perhaps Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star might be more appropriate.

Adam Kosan


DEAR MERCURY—To those who quipped that traveling to Austin, Texas to see local Portland bands was a "terrible idea," perhaps you should think again ["Messed with Texas," Feature, March 22]. The rate at which Portland turns out major recording artists is very low, and it's not for lack of talent or effort. We should thank reporters such as Ezra Caraeff, who support our local musicians. While he did not complete his task, his effort is not overlooked.

Kanani Knudson


DEAR MERCURY—After reading the article on the Florida Room and their refusal to remove their juvenile sign, I have firmly committed to avoid the place ["Complain All the Damn Time," News, March 29]. Their stupid attempts at being provocative, and their even more pathetic denial of being shit-disturbers on purpose, reeks of cliché adolescent rebellion.



DEAR MERCURY—In response to Beth Ditto's moronic statement about straight white boys ["Complete Control," Music, March 29, in which Ditto calls the anti-"sell-out" stance a "straight white boy privilege"]: There are shitloads of rich gay people, there are shitloads of rich women, there are shitloads of rich Asians, blacks, etc., and there are shitloads of poor white boys (even straight ones!). If being a "feminist" means making bigoted gender-based remarks, that makes you just as much of an idiot as the people you claim to be railing against.

Jesse Gray


DEAR MERCURY—The voices of your recent issue state in a very matter-of-fact way that vegetarians crave meat ["Token Vegetarian Section," Pork Issue, March 29]. I personally did go through a period in time when I craved meat, very similar to when I craved cigarettes, but once I cut out the fake soys and started eating to thrive, not just live, the meat craving fell away. Getting through that period of my life was well worth it, my blood pressure is way down (diastolic 73), I am back to the same weight and body fat percentage I was as a high school athlete (165, 10%), and I am bench pressing 1.5 times my bodyweight. If all that were not enough, having a better cardiovascular system means you get more blood everywhere easier, AKA [you're a] better lover (also like when I was 18, but now with experience)!

Isaac Hart


DEAR MERCURY—When I saw your "Salute to Pork" cover [Pork Issue, March 29], I was ecstatic. However, when I got to your restaurant reviews, I was less than nonplussed. Yes you went to the Berlin Inn, but then you chose fucking pork chops? They have Schweinshaxe there! Delicious grilled pigs' knuckles! At Higgins you dutifully mention the glorious charcuterie plate, but neglect to mention that one of the selections is lardo? They managed to turn a pig into paper-thin slices of spiced butter!

 Van Havig

CONGRATULATIONS TO VAN for the raucous enthusiasm for eating pork—all the pork. From knuckle to butter slice and nose to tail. Van wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch for two at No Fish! Go Fish!, where you might have to source your own pig knuckles.