HI MERCURY—Reading your feature, "Baldy the Forgetful 9/11 Eagle" [New Column!, Sept 6] brought up something that has been bugging me lately in our post-9/11 world. If I remember correctly, at the time of 9/11 the media amplified the idea that we Americans had been awful loose with the word "heroes" prior to 9/11. Endless coverage emphasized that watching the firefighters, police officers, and citizens of New York had re-schooled us all in how we should use the word "hero." Recently I saw two television commercials whose makers obviously didn't get the lesson. One was for the upcoming Dale Earnhardt Jr. TV movie, the other a commercial for the upcoming football season. So a racecar driver and football players are once again our heroes? I imagine Baldy is crying again.

Kyle Moss


DEAR MERCURY—Your community has now joined the ranks of many other BID [Business Improvement District]-inspired private policing of public space communities ["Premature Evacuation," News, Sept 6]. Why, if it works in the business areas maybe we can expand the concept throughout the whole country. "Keep walking, keep walking, keep walking"—I know I've heard this mantra before, I just can't remember where. I seem to recall it was either a documentary on concentration camps, Jim Crow laws, anti-Okie laws, or the march of the lemmings. As Martin Luther King Jr. said at his Nobel Peace Prize speech in 1964, "We will not obey unjust laws or submit to unjust practices." That was during a time when a segment of our society wasn't allowed to sit in the front of the bus.

Seems like now in Portland we can sit anywhere we want on the bus, we just can't sit anywhere else.

Paul Boden


DEAR MERCURY—As one of the "cowardly storm troopers" referenced by Oregonians for Immigration Reform in last week's letters, I almost felt like it wasn't worth responding ["Treatin' Women Proper," Letters, Sept 6]. But it's completely ridiculous that I should be taught about respect for women by a bigot like Richard [F. LaMountain]. What about all the women who were taken from their families and locked in a detainment camp up in Washington, then shipped thousands of miles away from their loved ones, because some nationalist fools like you feel threatened by anyone who looks different than you? Is that how we should treat women?

Paxana Romantarchy Bumrushthepigs


DEAR MERCURY—Give it to Ann Romano, dammit. I adore sarcasm... when it works. Ann darlin', you characterize the participants of Burning Man as "hippies," obviously outing yourself as incompetent to address the subject [One Day at a Time, Sept 6]. Are there hippies out there?? Yup. And leather boys, pyro junkies, goth clubs, fuck-tents, rangers, ravers, stiltwalkers, mutant vehicles, drinking bands with marching problems, boys in hot pants (YES), and spectacular art. DJs, super-bendy chicks, artists, thinkers, and dreamers of every possible combination from countries spanning the globe. Read the back of the ticket: You voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending and release Burning Man from any claim. Radical self-reliance. Get used to it. Since my camp spent no time wailing and lamenting the early burn... we rapidly turned our attention to the camp of "somethings" next to us. They wanted us to turn our music off so they could finish chanting. For an hour. To the same crap CD they had been playin' for DAYS. Err. No. MUSIC UP. BULLHORN ON. We'd like to join you... but can we smoke in your dome? And I need a place to lay out all that pure Peruvian coke... that mandala is PERFECT. I'd like to plant my root chakra in someone's sacred space baby! You buncha ramalamadingdongs, this is NOT the meditation you were looking for! You want an epiphany... there's a LOT of desert out there. This shit here is a PARTY. MUSIC UP.


GOOD GOD, TIFFANY, we didn't understand even half of your letter, other than that you seemed to have proved Ann Romano's point about Burning Man hippies—thanks! You win the letter of the week, for which you will receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! (Better leave the pure Peruvian coke at home.)