Illustration by Bethany Ng


RE: "The Mercury Back-to-School Issue Presents... " [Feature, Aug 21], profiling the city's lesser-known institutions of higher learning.

DEAR MERCURY— Considering Vancouver is a bedroom community of Portland, you left one very important listing off "Portland's Other Colleges"—Washington State University Vancouver. WSU Vancouver is a Tier I research institution that offers 20 bachelor's degrees, nine master's degrees and two doctoral degrees. And, the Border Bill lets Oregonians in bordering counties pay in-state tuition for up to eight credits per semester. It's easy to find and scenic. You'll feel right at home. There's more to the "Couve" than you may have imagined.

 Mel Netzhammer, Chancellor, WSU Vancouver



Once again we have received a submission from someone unfamiliar with the content of this paper. (Sigh.)

DEAR EDITOR—Since my concern for America increases each passing day, I am enclosing my latest article for your consideration. Biblical history shows that God takes action against countries that defy His Word and punishes them severely, or completely destroys them. Therefore, we must turn America around before it's too late!

America is headed straight towards destruction. And this destruction will come as a judgment from God. This judgment can only be averted if we seek God and turn ourselves and our country around. But "Why me?" you are probably thinking to yourself. Because God says so! You see God is going to hold us responsible for everything. [It goes on like this, but the bottom line is that things are not looking up for America.—Eds.]

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.



RE: "Frank Cassano's Imbecile Parade" [New Column!,Aug 21], in which Cassano polled imbeciles on what their favorite Ryan Gosling movie is.

DEAR MERCURY—Frank Cassano, you have ceased to be my idol. The next time you bend over for some twat like Ryan Gosling, you fucking wanna-be Italian, I can only hope I am the one behind you.




RE: "The Rest in Class" [Letters, Aug 28], in which reader Will Radik responded to a profile of the National College of Natural Medicine by claiming that the practice is "total BS."

DEAR MERCURY—This Will Radik guy thinks science is infallible and old magical traditions are all lame. He should read Paul K. Feyerabend or get acquainted with some ideas from anarchist philosophers like John Zerzan. Science has been a force for control, my friend, it is not some objective force for good. But you, like any arrogant Westerner, put all your "faith" in the new technocracy priestly class. The rise of scientific rationalism paralleled the rise of market economy and technological progress that has gotten the world in trouble. Ancient forms of magic, as you call alternative medications, have a history, a deep history based on the pre-Socratics, a type of thinking that may still save our world.




RE: "The Empowerment Cure" [Feature, Aug 28], regarding lowering birth rates among teenaged girls in Oregon.

DEAR MERCURY—The drop in teen pregnancies has nothing to do with national or state policies or programs. It's a worldwide trend independent of what any country wishes. Many countries no longer have a high enough birthrate to sustain their population: much of Europe and Japan, for example. The seeming causes are increased urbanization and interconnectedness thanks to social media and electronic communications, and has nothing to do with education programs, medical availability, or anything anyone is trying to do about the situation. Apparently, the species monitors itself.

Johan Mathiesen



RE: "Stop Pooping in My Brain" [Film, Aug 28], reviewing the film Austenland.

DEAR MERCURY—I just wanted to thank Alison Hallett for ending her review of the terrible movie Austenland with the immortal phrase, "Colin Firth's damp, fabric-encased nipples." When I'm reading the Mercury's movie reviews and glance up to see her byline, I always know I can trust the review. Thanks, Ms. Hallett!

Diana Armstrong

DIANA, YOU are welcome. You also win this week's Mercury Letter of the Week, with two free tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you are even more likely to encounter Colin Firth's nipples than when reading this paper.