TO THE MERCURY: While your journalistic acumen is considerable, you tread on very familiar ground by lamenting the fact that Prince's creative flame burns less brightly today than it once did ["The Passion of the Prince," Sam Mickens, August 26]. According to my almanac, Prince is now 46. Perhaps you are not, so I'll school you. No one past 40, artist or not, does what he/she did 20 years ago. This is normal, healthy, and desirable. There is nothing more embarrassing than a middle-aged person trying to be 25. After 40, one's priorities and abilities change, as they should. I can't get it up and screw 3-4 times a day like I could in my 20s, but I don't really want to.

Michael Jackson no longer does what he used to do (except being weird). Neither does George Clinton or James Brown. They've all moved on to something different. A middle-aged man who has moved on in life is not responsible for your unreasonable expectations.

Curtis E. Bryant (an old curmudgeon)


DEAR WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: What the hell?! In your "Pop Princess Family Tree" [Mercury Music Issue, Sept. 2] you left out several, dare I say, required princesses of the '80s. While Madonna rightfully reigns as queen of the tree (though you could have at least given a nod to some of the disco divas that paved the way), you only include five other princesses from the eighties/early nineties. Where is Paula Abdul? "Cold Hearted Snake" easily kicked ass on Tiffany's pathetic "mall tour"! Then there was Cyndi Lauper and finally, where the fuck is Boy George??!! Don't tell me s/he wasn't a pop princess! If you and your paper keep trying to sell yourselves as the ultimate purveyors of cool in Portland, and the undisputed champions of music critique (right), at least put some effort into covering your bases.



TO THE EDITOR: First, I appreciate The Mercury's coverage of Measure 36 and its support for the cause. That written, please take these points about Scott Moore's piece on Measure 36 in stride ["A Gay Game Plan," News, Sept. 2]. I'm a political professional, and the Measure 9 results were not close. By any count, 70,000 votes is a healthy margin. That's what makes Oregon way better than Missouri. Every other state that is voting on this issue this fall is going to ensconce hateful prejudice in its official state laws. In Oregon, we have a fighting chance to say no, not here.

Oregonians not only have an opportunity to reject perverting our state constitution, but we also have an opportunity to stand up against the likes of George Bush, and all the other haters who need to divide us against ourselves to accomplish their evil plots.

Marshall Runkel


TO THE EDITOR: I'm a moderate Republican living in Portland, which is something akin to being a raw haunch of venison in a cage full of PCP-addled ocelots. Let me ask your apparently entirely liberal readership the following question... if we accept that all politicians lie, that neither Kerry or Bush present policies to which they will actually adhere after the elections are over, and that a vote for any third party candidate is ultimately pointless except in the case of personal principles-- why the hell shouldn't we vote for Bush? Since ethics are not real in politics, only imagined by the voting public, should we not accept that America has so ass-fucked the world for so long that the only way we can survive is by continuing to cornhole, even harder than before, and perhaps without the lubrication of detente?

The real geopolitical agenda in Iraq is to secure the oil supply, make the Middle East our bitch forever, screw up the economies of Russia and China, and proliferate our military strike capacity in the region, thus solidifying our glorious hegemony. I am sure this doesn't sit well with very many people, but unless you are squatting under a bridge naked, living entirely on berries, I have news for you. Whenever you buy wood or paper or Sharpies to make protest signs, or sensible shoes to wear to said protest, you're supporting the same economy that kills little brown babies abroad. We're all the same Ugly Americans to anyone who's been east of Jersey City. So get with the motherfucking program, eh?

J.C. Gillespie

CONGRATS TO J.C. for throwing himself into the liberal lion's den, and thereby winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week." J.C. will receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater as well as two passes to see the Eagles of Death Metal at Dante's on October 14!