DEAR MERCURY—Thanks for getting Nex [Earnest "Nex" Cavalli] to contribute to your fine rag [Geek Out, April 12]. It is about time you had someone writing intelligently about gaming. Like it or not, videogames and virtual worlds are becoming a very dominant form of media in the US, and just having the occasional article barely detailing the game you played last weekend is not giving the medium its merit.

L. Mercer


DEAR MERCURY—Gee, STS, I'm a "straight white boy" and I grew up in trailers and duplexes with a single mom who was on welfare [Letters, April 12, in which STS objects to Jesse's attack on Beth Ditto's statements about "straight white boy privilege"]. Can you tell me where the "awe-inspiring advantage" is there? The problem with people such as yourself is you combat prejudice with prejudice. On top of this, you are attempting to pass sexism off as "feminism," which ultimately serves no other purpose than to weaken the cause and diminish the meaning of the word.

Jesse Gray


DEAR MERCURY—If natural selection has so far failed to eliminate from the gene pool such a staggering example of total, abject idiocy as Phil Busse ["The Big Payback," Lock and Load, April 19], I can only suggest that some federal program be instituted as a supplement. Offering to "break a $20" for some random dude on the street—stupid. Saying, "fuck you" to someone pointing a gun at your chest—abysmally idiotic. Suggesting that local kids would want to play basketball with a cop—can this guy dress himself?

David Drexler


DEAR MERCURY—What a lucky guy Phil Busse is ["The Big Payback," Lock and Load, April 19]. What could have been his obit in the Mercury was an opinion piece—an account of how NOT to respond in a crime situation. His braggadocio reads as stupidity—to withhold one's wallet at gunpoint, out of "principle." Busse goes on to suggest that the police are to blame for his rough patch in the hood. "Not once have I seen a police officer walking his or her beat through this neighborhood. Imagine how much good it might do for a police officer to simply join a pick-up basketball game." Instead of providing what seems like a fairly accurate profile as a "white yuppie with a wallet full of cash, " is it possible that, Busse, you have considered bypassing "Amnesia Brewing, one of my regular watering holes along Mississippi," to take that opportunity, and not some cop, to shoot some hoops with your new neighbors? 

Brian Borrello


DEAR MERCURY—While Phil Busse is, bizarrely, breaking $20s for people with guns in their pockets, the local police units are in fact, on occasion, playing pick-up basketball games at the Unthank Park courts. This park is about two blocks from Amnesia Brewery, one of Busse's regular watering holes, and I'll be so frank as to say that his failure to notice cops playing basketball while wearing giant utility belts strapped with guns and billy clubs, or to at least talk to someone about the matter, such as someone at the adjoining community center, is probably connected to his tendency to immediately displace the greater blame for his own stupidity onto those lords at city hall, and probably also for his repeated use of phrases like "bridging these racial divides." Maybe the bridge that needs to be undivided is less a racial one, and more a cerebral hemisphere one? Stop getting mugged and blaming city hall. Start playing b-ball versus cops with guns.

Ryan Gratzer

CONGRATULATIONS TO RYAN for winning the Mercury letter of the week! We were stunned to hear, not that cops play basketball with kids in North Portland, but that they leave their utility belts and billy clubs and guns on! What the... ? For this curious form of sportsmanship, Ryan gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch for two at No Fish! Go Fish!


In last week's feature, "The Plot to Take Down Gordon Smith" [April 19], we made a slight goof on when senate candidate Steve Novick began working for the Department of Justice. He actually joined the DOJ in 1987. We apologize for our lack of simple math skills.