FELLOW PORTLANDERS, QUEERS, AND THINKING INDIVIDUALS—Recently, Jack Malebranche's book, Androphilia: Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity, was written up in the Mercury [Arts, May 24]. This self-proclaimed manifesto is based on the constructs of gender and specifically, masculinity. However, Malebranche seems to possess one masculinity: his own. Without accounting for the boundaries of culture, race, or class, he prescribes a new kind of internalized homophobia to a community already struggling with its own diversity. Read his book, to be sure. It is almost as amusing as Fred Phelps' rabid insanity, and about as credible.

Cameron Lee Vogt


TO AMY J. RUIZ AT THE MERCURY—Thanks for that coverage ["Towering Inferno," News, May 24]. But a correction: "They'd rather the site be turned into a park—like the adjacent 'Park Block 5.'" Park Avenue Concern does not encourage a developed "Park Block 4," even if it's the old green plan. If "Park Block 4" must be developed, let it be remodeled into a restaurant cluster, a continuation of the SW Morrison restaurant row.

George Trinkaus, Park Avenue Concern


DEAR EDITOR—I read with interest the article regarding the Club 21 bartender opening a new bar just off Burnside on 22nd, effectively in the middle of a neighborhood "No Bar in My Backyard!" News, May 17]. Here are three things that should be kept in mind: First, "bar patron noise" is now considered to be periodic "industrial" noise akin to dumpsters being picked up, trains going by, trucks traveling late at night, etc., and so therefore are not subject to volume limitations at any time. Second, the city is willing to interpret "freedom of expression/First Amendment" rights so liberally as to make virtually ANY utterance made by any person at any time at any volume "free speech." Third and finally, the Senate passed the smoking ban last week, and presumably the House will follow suit in the near future. So, after January 2009, the patios will "close" at whatever time they "close," and then drunken smokers will be wandering outside constantly until the establishment closes at 2 or 2:30 am, and again, there is no authority that can make said smokers shut it, unless the "neighborhood" bar chooses to police itself.

Dave Mortenson


EDITOR—You should buy more film reviews from Lindy West, whoever she/he may be. She/he has one of the prerequisites necessary for anyone with the courage/lack of sense to weigh the merits of Hollywood movies these days: the ability to write a review far more entertaining and enlightening than the material being criticized. I've only seen one review from Ms./Mr. West, slicing up an abomination called Waitress ["Lonely Women Like Pie," Film, May 10]. Fine review, West.

Gregory Tozian

CONGRATULATIONS TO GREGORY for his appreciation of the talented (and female) Lindy West! For his good sense and taste, Gregory wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch for two at No Fish! Go Fish!, where there are no "waitresses," only servers.



HEY READERS! Are you ready for the funnest rock show of the season? Check out the Mercury's COVER YOUR ASS! benefit show, which we're throwing for the kids of Ethos (ethos-inc.org). As you know, Ethos is a great organization devoted to teaching inner-city kids the joys of music—but they need your money and instruments to help them keep going! That's why some of the best musicians Portland has to offer are banding together for a night of cover songs. That's right, nine different bands doing three dancey songs each from their fave artists, such as Neverland doing Michael Jackson, Sexy Pants singing Mötley Crüe, the kids from Ethos performing some solid '70s gold, Alan Singley singing Burt Bacharach, Braille doing the Beastie Boys, Pure Country Gold singing Elvis Costello, Copy performing Prince, and surprise projects from the Portland Cello Project and the Mercury All-Star Band. It all goes down on THURSDAY, JUNE 21 at 8 pm at the Crystal Ballroom! Bring a musical instrument, or pay the $5 suggested donation, and let's COVER OUR ASSES for the kids. Hmm... that doesn't sound right, but trust us—IT WILL REALLY HELP!