TO THE EDITOR: I was extremely surprised to see your paper print a long-standing anti-Semitic slur. This is in Ann Romano's review of Mel Gibson's The Passion ["One Day at a Time," March 4]. The line reads, "After SO FALSELY being accused of anti-Semitism by a number of New York Jew critics, Mel rightly shot back...." The phrase "New York Jew" has long been a negative stereotype. Personally I feel that Mel Gibson has found a way to forgive himself for his earlier life as a Hollywood debauchery party person at the expense of many good Jews who never were those kind of folks.

As for Ann Romano, I expect that when confronted with this accusation, the first thing she will say is that many of her good friends are Jews. I find this answer much more typical of people defending remarks such as "New York Jews" than of people meeting the stereotype. I plan to lodge a complaint against the Portland Mercury with the ADL.

Phil Goldberg

Ann Romano responds: Phil, some of my best friends are Jews. However, none are as dumb as you. Ask the good folks at the ADL to explain to you the meaning of "satire."


TO THE MERCURY: Every week alternative newspapers like the Mercury are filled with endless screeds of bloated invective by people who blame "gentrification" and corporate exploitation for turning their neighborhoods into generic, yuppie enclaves. Well, duhh... Do yourself a favor. Go to the library and read a fucking book on urban economic expansion. You may not like what you're seeing but if all you're doing is bitching then you don't belong here. It takes courage and patience to nurture a devil-child. That's the nature of any city.

Check out the Mercury's "Worth A Thousand Words" article from Feb 5. These people (Kurylowicz and his pocket activists) are actually going into the political barnyard and wrestling with the swine on their own terms. Maybe the rest of you could take a lesson. Rather than moaning about what isn't, find a group of people who believe what might be and are willing to dialogue what to do about it.

Piss on you. If you don't have enough sack to work a little bit for where you want to live, pull out a map of the USA, close your eyes, drop a quarter on it, and go there. Stop complaining about what you can't do here.

Guitar Slim


TO KATIE SHIMER: Thank you Katie, for the informative article "A Hypochondriac's Guide to Disease" [March 4]. Although pork and beef tapeworm are not common in the US, canine/feline tapeworm is VERY common and can also infect humans--usually children. For pet owners who believe in basic hygiene and ethics please read and prepare to be grossed-out:

Canine/feline tapeworm eggs exit the infected pet's anus inside tiny, rice-like tapeworm segments. The segment dies and the eggs are released. Flea larvae eat the eggs, the eggs hatch in the flea, and your pet eats the infected flea. The cycle repeats. If you see "tiny rice" in feces or near the anus of your pet, please have your pal treated. It's cheap and simple. Plus you can avoid having tapeworm segments crawling all over your stuff or a piece of rice crawling out of your dog's ass (gag!).

Sara Prator


TO WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: [RE: Cover Text, "Christ Gets an Ass-Kickin'!" Feb 26] Steven, the reason Christ gets an Ass Kickin' is, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16.

My wife and I will pray for you.

Harold Rose

Wm. Steven Humphrey responds: That's interesting... the reason my father kicked my ass was because I was caught smoking cigarettes behind the football bleachers.


TO THE EDITOR: And in particular, to the winner of the Britney Spears tickets ["Prize Fight!," March 4]. I hope you die a painful death. You don't deserve them. Those were my tickets. I wanted to see Britney turn water into wine. I wanted to see her carry a snake! I wanted to see her dance around in her funny clothes! I AM the teeny kid here! I have been trying to win a prize for a looong time. So looong that I have to put three "ooo's" for long! NOT YOU, whore.

brick itt

HEY... HEY... COOL THOSE JETS, BRICK ITT! You're the Mercury "Letter of the Week" winner, and will receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst as well as a pass to see the sneak-preview remake of Dawn of the Dead. (Which is as close to Britney as we can muster.)