TO THE EDITOR: Fire Carmelo Martinez! He/she is a shitty journalist and her/his reviews suck!!! His/her viewpoints on the band Yellowcard were dense ["Up & Coming," Aug 14]. Carmelo is not a douche bag, he/she is a douche bucket!

Nick Moore


TO THE EDITOR: A ban on smoking in ALL bars ["Can't Stand the Smoke, Ban the Smoke," Aug 14]? Could you please back off!

As a smoker, I'm relegated at work, restaurants, laundromats, the post office, grocery stores, on the bus, train, at the airport, on the plane itself, at a movie, in a shopping mall you get the idea to smoking outdoors with other smokers, huddled together in the shame our society imposes on us. A drug that's subsidized by the US Government to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars every year.

Service workers who wish to work in a smoke free environment have an overwhelming majority of establishments to accommodate their needs. Perhaps they should apply for work at those establishments. Forcing a ban on all establishments creates a class of people who have the legal authority to impose themselves on EVERYONE regardless of anyone else's personal choice. That's just not fair!

Gregory Franklyn


DEAR MERCURY: In regards to the imminent closure of the Blackbird (whose staff/mgmt should be commended for their ideals and treatment of performers) and Portland's obvious live music meltdown, I have one simple question: Do we really need or want to support an "ever-expanding artistic community?" ["The End Was the Beginning," Aug 21].

Meaning, should we even attempt to subsidize, provide venues for, and basically prop up an enormous and disturbingly expanding core of Portland "artists" (including musicians, writers, painters, dancers, etc) or should we just allow the whole damn thing to die a natural death?

I wonder if it isn't time to dig in and question the assumptions many Americans (particularly metropolitan educated youth) have regarding "art" (or more realistically, "self expression") i.e. Why should there be official outlets, and by implication, why should we be expected to nurture everyone's right to "create"?

In her feature, author Marjorie Skinner makes at least two gestures toward such a scenario of entitlement and during my six years in Portland, I've noted this to be a prevailing credo. I suppose I've had enough of too much art and too much entitlement.

Eric S. Gregory


HELLO MERCURY: First off, let's "call a spade a spade"--PBR SUCKS, you snotty slackers ["PBR Recall Vote," Aug 21]! People who drink that swill do so for one of two reasons: It's cheap and they have no appreciation for the TASTE of a good beer. Hey snooty Portland hipsters, PBR is made by a swill beer-producing megacorp in San Antonio, TEXAS (yep, the land o' Dubbya). If it weren't for their clever marketing ploy supporting local musical acts in their ads, I'd say keep that urine out of our fair city entirely.

Call me crazy, but I'd prefer a good if more pricey OREGON-made micro such as Black Butte Porter or Hair of the Dog, but then I'd be called an elitist by a bunch of self-absorbed SUV-driving, mechanic/delivery shirt-wearing indie-rocker wannabe's. PBR is hardly worthy of Portland's beer crown (then again, we're talking about MERCURY readers, aren't we?).

Christian Gunther


TO THE EDITOR: Ah, another Bush Protest in town, another opportunity squandered by a bunch of clueless hippies with too much time on their hands ["Bush Welcome Wagon," Aug 12]. Allow me to offer a couple of helpful tips:

1) A clue from the civil rights movement: They dressed nicely, spoke in a firm and polite way, and now they can at least vote and sit anywhere on the bus they want. You wore cargo shorts and bongwater-stained dreads and Bush is still in office. Notice a pattern?

2) Study and imitate the habits of the enemy. A single corporate schmuck in a suit can do a lot more with a press conference than 1000 of you guys sporting "No War For Oil!" signs and trust-fund purchased video cameras and misguided intentions. Make the loathed "corporate media" WORK for you, dumbass!

Tom Dudley

CONGRATS TO TOM for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week," which includes a prize package of two free tickets to the Laurelhurst, two passes to the Mercury Summer Movie Megathon, and two tickets to see The Walkmen at Dante's on September 20. You lucky motherfucker.