HOW TO DIE IN PORTLAND
RE: “How to Die in Portland” [Feature, May 17], Music Editor Ciara Dolan’s story about Portland’s death care industry.
On May 17, my mother, surrounded by her five children and her brother, died. We wept, wailed, hugged, shared family lore, and laughed as my mom breathed her last breaths. We were supported by our own families and the amazing professionals of Kaiser’s hospice services. In my raw grief, my interest was piqued by your “How to Die in Portland” cover. The writer, however, dealt with the business of death, rather than the philosophical, cultural, and personal implications of death. Dying in Portland requires more than knowing the difference between a funeral home and a crematorium. It requires letting your family and health care providers know how you want to live with a terminal illness; preparing your soul to either battle or accept a sickness; researching Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act; accessing palliative and hospice services; and most importantly, especially for the elderly, it requires Medicare and Social Security. My mom contemplated her own death, picked her battles, endured and overcame pain, shared her life with her hospice team, and died surrounded by the lives she brought into the world. Rather than spending her time with the proprietors of death services, I wish the writer would have hung out with my mom or anybody in hospice to see that dying is a lot more than getting rid of a body.
POOR WIDDLE ANARCHISTS
RE: “Get to Know an Anarchist” [News, May 17] and “Anarchist Interviews, Part 2: ‘May Day Was a Complete Success’” [Blogtown, May 18], News Reporter Doug Brown’s interviews with “Jeff S.” and another anonymous anarchist who felt anarchists got a bad rap when Portland’s May Day protest ended with smashed windows, tire fires, and over two dozen arrests.
I appreciate the interview and Jeff’s forthrightness. That said, it does seem like he hasn’t met very many actual people in his life. He talks about power and violence and authority, but the only mention he makes of responsibility is in response to a direct question, and then he shifts the responsibility to another individual/group. His group can’t even manage to convince their own to avoid “drunk smashing.” His group accepts zero responsibility for anything, nor does it provide remedies for what should happen when bad behavior does occur.
If he can solve the problem of scarcity of resources, I’m willing to give his worldview a listen. But short of that utopian landmark, I find it impossible to see his actions as anything other than just smashing stuff because he wants what he wants and is upset that he doesn’t have the authority to get it.
I sympathize with the anarchists, but this whole “destroying property is not violence” is something only privileged white males would come up with. Try stealing someone’s phone, especially if it’s the only connection they have to work and family. Try destroying someone’s bike if it’s the only way they can get to work. Smash the window of a business owned by a woman who voted for Bernie Sanders, and see if she comes away from that in favor of anarchy.
My favorite thing from May Day: Someone spray-painted a very important message on the pedestal upon which Abe Lincoln stands in the Park Blocks. It read, “WHERE’S YOUR FEE COUNTY.” I mean, I know what they were going for, but... it just sums up the intellectual level of the people involved.
RE: “One Day at a Time,” Ann Romano’s weekly news roundup, and one of Ann’s regular interview subjects—Emperor Klaaktu, warlord of Rigel VII and Scientology’s chief spokesalien.
I live for One Day at a Time and would like to draw or paint Emperor Klaaktu for Ann Romano. I am an artist and would do it solely to bring joy to her heart. Let me know if there is any interest on her behalf.
ANN ROMANO RESPONDS! Oh, there’s interest, dear! We’d love to see that—and we’re going to open this up to everyone else, too! Send in your beautiful Klaaktu art to the Mercury (email@example.com), and on Monday, June 26, the artiste behind our fave Klaaktu will win our eternal gratitude... and a copy of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, signed by Klaaktu himself! MWAH!