TO THE MERCURY STAFF: HA! I heap scorn and derision on the majority of your choices ["Top Ten Greatest Actors in the World, Ever!" Jan 31]. Okay, I have to admit that José Ferrer was an inspired choice, but we're getting away from the subject. Gary Oldman, only #10? What drugs are you on, anyway? Who could forget his inspired performance in The Professional, which should have catapulted him 4 or 5 places higher, at the very least? But we still haven't touched on the one actor who throws doubt on your taste and sanity, yea, the very foundations of the world in which you compiled your list: WHERE IN THE HELL IS CHRISTOPHER WALKEN?

I won't even attempt to compile a list of the outstanding roles he has played, many of which turned worthless, or at best mediocre movies into shrines to all that is good in Hollywood. I will not demean his stature by reminding you of his timing, humor, charisma and presence. Christopher Walken deserves better recognition than you gave him.

Shame, shame on you, staff of the Portland Mercury. And if this letter doesn't cause you to reconsider your decision to snub Mr. Walken, think on this image: Christopher Walken knocking on your door demanding an explanation from each of you, IN PERSON! Does that image not strike fear into your hearts and cause your knees to go weak in terror? If you couldn't snub him to his face, how could you leave him off of your list?

D. H. Alvarez


TO THE MERCURY: All in all I think you made some interesting choices for your list ["Top Ten Greatest Actors in the World, Ever!" Jan 31] and the top spot for Parker Posey, the indie movie queen, despite recent appearances on Will & Grace, is right on. But I can't believe you overlooked Steve Buscemi. He got great reviews for Ghost World, and who else could be so "funny looking" and attractive at the same time? Besides, he has been in more films than God and Seven Degrees of Steve Buscemi is way better than SD of Kevin Bacon. Try it--there is no one you can't link to SB in less than 7 moves.

Patti Thompson


DEAR ANN ROMANO: I must second your comments on the suck-tastic taste of canned soups, especially Wolfgang Puck's ["One Day at a Time," Jan 31]. I recently purchased a can of W.P. clam chowder and it was the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten out of a can. The potatoes in this slop were round weird little mushy balls and in general, it tasted NOTHING like clam chowder! It was a frightening textural nightmare and lasted a mere two mouthfuls before it was dumped down the drain.

I have tried other clam chowders, including Campbell's. And while all canned chowder is awful, Puck's may actually make you puke. I guess the bottom line here, Ann, is that designer foods are not all they're cracked up to be, just like designer clothes and designer magazines. Stick with secondhand stores, the Mercury, and restaurant chowder, and you will be a much happier camper.

Sara P.


TO THE EDITOR: I would like to dish out a heapin' helpin' of "fuck you" to the morons who clearly don't possess enough brain cells to find the humor in the Mercury's new "Worst Writer of the Week" column [Jan 17 & 24]. To me, this is just another reason why the Mercury doesn't suck. While every other publication in Portland is busy talking up their employees, the Mercury is busy whipping those bastards into shape. On a more serious note, if you want tight-assed journalism filled with absolute lies, read something else. The rest of us will happily spend our hours drinking cheap beer, fondling ourselves, and enjoying one hell of a good read. Keep up the good work Mercury Staff!



HEY WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: You big, faggy sack of gay! Nelly Furtado imitating Billie Holiday [Up & Coming, Jan 31]? Apparently you're not as queer as I thought. Now gimme my damn movie passes.


Okay, Kevin! We'll give you your movie passes but Nelly Furtado still BITES. As you can see, readers, even those in possession of wrong-headed notions can win the Mercury "Letter of the Week" contest. Send in your "big, faggy sack of gay" accusations (or letters of normal concern) to the address above and you could be the next winner of two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater!