DEAR MERCURY: Thanks for interviewing Rob Delevere over at Hard Times Video ["Employee Picks," Jan 29]. Even though I've never met the guy, much less shopped at his store (seriously!), I found his skin flick reviews quite clever and amusing. Which just goes to show that porn clerks can make for some pretty interesting company, and if I knew enough of them I'd have a party at my house strictly for porn store clerks (including the janitors, of course).

So just to suggest something, it might be a bright idea to do a special weekly "Employee Picks" where all you do is interview different porn store workers. It would be a heck of a lot more interesting.

Ben Harris


TO THE MERCURY: As a person with bipolar disorder, I find Wm. Steven Humphrey's shameless proposal of a "Bipolar Monster Island" version of Survivor disgusting ["I Love Television," Jan 29]. It seems to me that as our country has become more politically correct in its treatment of minority groups, the mentally ill community has become one of its last safe havens for "othering." The truth is, most members of the mentally ill community aren't role-playing in our superhero costumes. When we're not commuting to "donkey polo games," we're usually working extremely hard to afford our exorbitant prescription and health care costs and to navigate through a deteriorating mental health care system. But hey, don't listen to me; I'm probably just being all "manic."



TO THE EDITOR: I just had to write in hopes that daft socialist Lindsay has some free time to show me how to take my rightful place among the white people in the West Hills. ["Letters," Feb 5, in which Lindsay says that those "who purchase homes and businesses around Mississippi take advantage of the economic disparity."] I'm on board with social disparity and all, but I happen to think real estate is a bad place to start fixing the race issue. The idea of reserving whole neighborhoods for non-whites is sort of racist in itself--especially when said neighborhood is falling over.

I've got a better idea for leveling the playing field on Portland real estate. It involves all the rich fucks in the West Hills selling their properties to me for a buck twenty-five a piece. It'll crash property values and no doubt send some of that coveted equity trickling down to the rest of us. I call it Reverse Reaganomics, and it makes about as much sense as Lindsay.



TO THE EDITOR: Phil Busse whines in "Why Measure 30 Went Down" [News, Feb 12] that the reason the tax package failed falls squarely on the conservative right and specifically the CSE. Oregon voted, yet again, "no" to more state taxation. And guess what? That included (gasp) liberal democrats. Sadly, Phil's conspiracy theories feed only the confused and insane who capitulate to bigger government. The "no" vote was a result of common sense--not organized politics.

A Mercury Reader Who Voted "No."


DEAR EDITOR: Please stop confusing North and NE Portland. The barbershop in question is in NE on NE MLK--not in North Portland as your "Bullets Over Portland" story indicates [News, Feb 12]. While MLK is close to the border of where NoPo begins, NE and N are not the same place, and the terms should not be used interchangeably. For fuck's sake, your paper, along with the rest of the local media, needs to stop talking shit about my hood!

If you read the news and look at where the crimes are committed, the hotbed of violence is actually in NE, with the center of gang violence and chaos running on NE Killingsworth from NE MLK to around NE 18th. I am so tired of these snotty little NE, SE, Westside and suburban bitches complaining about how dangerous NoPo is. Even Hillsboro has sketchy areas, and all areas of Portland proper have their share, but NE is where the serious crap happens.

And don't tell me my hood used to be really scary. Judging by the age of the people who live in my neighborhood, it's been a nice, stable area for a very long time. Unless you can prove that the 96 year-old former organic gardener who lives next to me had a double life as a gang member, shut the fuck up. It's a nice place to live.

Happy in NoPo

CONGRATS TO HAPPY for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For her valiant defense of the north side, Happy will receive two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater, and two tickets to see Engine Down and The Velvet Teen at Nocturnal on Friday, Feb 20! REPRESENT!