TO THE MERCURY EDITORS: What exactly is the purpose of incorporating the now-dated hiphop duo Kid 'N Play in this week's satire of the pope? ["Pope Vote 2005!", April 21] Your depiction of black hiphop musicians reeks of the subtle, nasty racism that snobbish, spoiled white wannabes are always guilty of. But you take it to another level, Mercury. Why not make fun of one of the many examples of ridiculous, whiny, tired, WHITE--alterna/punk/whatever acts in recent music history? I have been slowly severing my ties with you, Mercury, as I am weary of your blatant sexism, racism, and celebration of--white apathy masqueraded as--pathetic attempts at irony and satire. You have made it obvious that your intended readership is the grimy, posthip white boy and his friends, so this is it: I'm officially never reading your paper again, and plan to systematically trash you and your shitty publication to everyone who I see reading it. Fuck off, Mercury!!!

Kristin Parker

DEAR MERCURY: As a parent--no, make that as a member of the human race--I am appalled and disgusted by the recent venomous attack printed by this paper regarding a young girl "celebrating" her birthday. ["Portland Lesbian Bar Scene Adds New Member" in "I, Anonymous," April 21] Those who would lower themselves to such a public display of hatred and scorn and those (this paper) who would allow someone's life to be the target of a "hate" crime don't deserve to be heard. Crimes of the heart and soul are extremely difficult to heal. How do you sleep at night? In my opinion a public apology is the least you could extend, and [there should be] a review of the coldhearted policy that would allow this sort of degradation. Consider me disgusted and no longer a reader of this paper.


DEAR MERCURY: I find it very disturbing and in incredible bad taste for this column to exist. ["I, Anonymous," April 21] What is the purpose of this? So people can be cruel to each other, like we need MORE of that?! Why not actually do something interesting AND positive? It is very possible, you know? There is so much good out there but why is it we only hear about people pissed off or attacking others or putting them down? Don't we get enough of that on TV?--I will discontinue to read your paper if you don't take this column out that serves as nothing but to add negativity to the world.

Jennifer Jones

DEAR MERCURY: I just read your letters section and it rocked. ["Letters," April 28, in which pro-lifers support Life Decisions International and lambast the Mercury.] It is hilarious to see them frothing at the mouth. What you should do is generate a stock response for all those hate messages, along the lines of:

"Thank you for your email/letter/phone message. Having reviewed your message, we agree with you that women's reproductive rights are the most important issue of our day. That's why the Portland Mercury is donating $1 to Planned Parenthood in your name to show your support for a woman's right to choose. Thank you for all the attention."

I'll gladly send you guys $20 to cover the first 20.

Iggi R.

Stu Ratcliff's April 21 column "You Don't Know Shit" has the authenticity of a metalhead which you just can't fake. Kinda like when your parents try to look hip, Zac Pennington isn't fooling anyone and needs to shut his dumb hole when metal hits the stage. If you want the Mercury to have any credibility whatsoever, give Stu a regular column covering Portland's metal scene. Every month in Portland, metalheads spend thousands of hard-earned bucks on concert tickets and CDs for the music they want to hear, and we don't see Zac's dumb ass there. I am not a personal friend of Stu and I have never heard his band play--but from reading this one column of his I can tell for certain that Stu knows what the fuck he's talking about.


RIGHT ON, S.T., for knowing what shit is real and winning the Mercury's "Letter of the Week," which includes two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater… and two passes to see soothing goth cellists Rasputina at Dante's on May 10th… and a $30 gift certificate for dinner at No Fish! Go Fish! Wow!