TO THE MERCURY: Yo, I'm offended by Kelly Michael James' letter [June 26] where he writes that the only thing he has left is prospectively writing for my beloved Mercury. The Mercury doesn't need "settling" dipshits who have previously written for the craptacular Willamette Weekly. And who the hell wants to play for the fucking Sonics (other than my loser boyfriend)? I would rather drink PBR and haggle with Mercury staff about whether the next column should be written by a soiled mattress or the Portland Streetcar. When I graduate next year, I'd like to think my skills will be articulate and competent enough to be part of the elite Mercury staff, but only time will tell.

PS: James should consider working for the Eugene Weekly--they'll hire ANYONE (as long as they like reggae).

Lindsay Ballweber


TO THE EDITOR: Okay, I understand the Mercury is the paper for shallow, ageist, scenester, Portland indyrockers. And I understand that as such, you cannot see cool past the age of, say, Bono. But Please. DJ Cheb I Sabbah is no "grampy" ["Up & Coming," June 27]. He is 56--probably younger than most of your parents. He still tours, parties, and spins past 2 am on a regular basis, while you greenhorns are passed out on the couch after a couple of PBRs. He's been doing it since the '60s, with no sign of slowing down. Grow up! Your youth may be in full bloom now, but when you reach 40, you'll be lucky if you feel half as young as Sabbah.

Sarah Starr


TO THE EDITOR: One of my favorite things about this young, hip city is the racist gentrification debate playing out in the letter sections of our fine, weekly papers. A bunch of white people basically complaining that the black people all need to be segregated in one area of town under the guise that it's keeping the black community strong. Maybe we can re-enact those city laws from the '60s that didn't allow black folks to live on one side of Williams Avenue.

Thank God we have these well educated, wealthy white people to handle the debate and speak up for black people. Some of these young people are the pioneers who were brave enough to move into this neighborhood three, four years ago! And now these other young people are moving into the only neighborhood they can afford and ruining it for the pioneers. The pioneers can no longer boast about living in a predominantly black neighborhood (which it never really was in most areas). And no one would want to bring up that a lot of these young people are buying houses from actual white people that have lived in the neighborhood for 15 or more years.

So c'mon, white people--stay in South and Northwest Portland and all you black people stay in Northeast. And let's not even bring up those pesky Mexicans that have also been taking over North Portland.

Jonathan Bertram Juice


TO THE MERCURY: Please, please, please bring back those free AOL CDs enclosed in your wonderful publication [June 19]! Have you ever thrown a CD like a Frisbee? They fly like 500 yards! Me and my bike messenger friends love to play "Ninja" downtown. (The CDs play the part of the throwing stars). There's an endless supply of them, too. All you have to do is make it back to the local Mercury dispenser and you have a new arsenal. Plus you can re-create that scene from Commando where Awwnowld takes out all of those Colombian guys by breaking into that shack and slicing those bastards into ribbons with a bunch of saw blades!

The CDs are also the perfect surface to do cocaine off of (or speed or heroin, whatever is in powder form). Those AOL guys sent me a CD enclosed in a wonderful tin/aluminum box. You can safely store cigarettes, weed, or whatever illicit substance in those things and if your parents/local constable/pastor finds it you just tell them "I'm just gonna sign up for AOL, Dad/Mom/Officer/Father." If they're going to spend the money on this crap, we might as well make use of it. Hurrah for the Mercury and AOL!

Dylan Skiles

OH, THAT CREATIVE DIY CULTURE! What will they do next? Well I'll tell you what we're going to do, and that's send Dylan two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater for winning the Mercury/AOL "Letter of the Week"! Congrats!


HEY READERS! Don't forget this Friday, July 11th is the "Mrs. Portland Mercury Pageant 2: Rise of the Machines." It's like no pageant you'll ever want to see again! See page 15 for details!