Illustration by Alex DeSpain


RE: "Summer Strut" [Sold Out, July 9], a preview of the largest plus-size local fashion show in recent memory.

DEAR MERCURY—Since we're oh so progressive here in Portland, why does everybody still validate the "obligatory body size and shape" concept that shames everyone else outside of its narrow tenets? You can be fat and fashionable, but first you have to get rid of the mental crap.



RE: "Cougar Town" [News, Aug 6], regarding a surge in cougar sightings within the Portland metro area.

There's cougars in Portland?! Hmmm, if I recall correctly, it was tree-hugging, patchouli-soaked, vegan lefties who, as they often do with matters that they know nothing about, decided to ban hunting cougars with dogs. Maybe some of the aforementioned individuals can open a petting zoo in Laurelhurst Park for them. That way everyone could enjoy the majesty of these docile creatures.

Timothy Reiser, out of towner

I agree with Dave Williams when he asserts that, "If [the cougars] are making a living in and around people, it's just a matter of time before something else happens." As in before they steal our jobs and raise our rents. I'm NOT OK with cougars making a living in MY town. I was here first. Sell your stupid messenger bag and tiny brimmed cycling hat to Buffalo Exchange and GO HOME, COUGAR!

Mary Doyle


RE: Portland and its rapidly changing landscapes.

An Open Letter to Charlie Hayles [sic], Vic Remmers, and every other asshole currently ruining Portland: You're welcome. After all, I feel like there's a thank you that will never come, and we've done a lot to help you. We play in the bands that make up the World Famous Portland Music Scene. We live in the rotting old houses that you own and can't get anyone else to rent. We spend what little money we have with the local economy on principle. Our exodus from thousands of indistinguishable cities across America was no accident. We were drawn on the stories and promises of a creative utopia from our friends and peers. In 2007, when I moved here, that dream was a possibility. I found a room to rent on Craigslist for $200, two blocks away from the nearest crack dealer and miles from my work downtown. I could work part time, and work on creative projects in the meantime. We had house shows, parties, and it didn't bother anyone. A few houses nearby start going on sale, and that changes quick. My band practices for a half an hour a day now, at 6 pm, and we still have neighbors complaining about the noise. Several bars no longer have live music because yuppie assholes wanted to move into a trendy neighborhood, but didn't like the small inconveniences of what made the place so great in the first place. All the condos and new apartments are built for the top 10 percent of Portland wage earners—the imaginary tech jobs that don't exist east of the Willamette. Good luck finding a room to rent west of 82nd for under $500 a month these days. How many people do you think you can get to live in a $1,000 studio? I get it, you want to make money, and we don't have much. Trendy assholes like yourselves are wholesaling our lifestyle as marketing for your property. So how about some respect? Keep knocking down food carts that turned empty parking lots into centers of culture. Keep knocking down the cheap houses to build overpriced condos. Keep punishing your creatives for being creative. Because we don't want your fucking clog stores. We don't want to work 60 hours a week to spend eight hours in a trendy shit hole, and we don't have to put up with it. We'll just get all the musicians, artists, and every other hipster who is fed up with the bullshit, and we'll leave. When all you have left is $15 sandwiches, half-empty apartment complexes, and a bunch of yuppies looking around going, "Why isn't Portland cool anymore?" you'll know you only have yourselves to blame.


YOU AND MARY seem like you're on the same page, MH—or on opposite sides of the fence depending on how deep the sarcasm runs—so maybe you'd be willing to break off a piece of your Mercury Letter of the Week prize and share it? It's better than just letting a cougar eat those two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater.