DEAR MERCURY—I didn't read "Halfway to Nowhere" [Feature, Jan 13]. But as I scanned the image accompanying this article I noticed LaMarcus Aldridge's "lack of toughness" described as "girlish." Why must we continue to associate qualities like strength and fortitude with masculinity? I would argue it's in a woman's evolutionary nature to be tough—we give birth for goodness' sake. Why don't we exchange pejoratively intentioned words like girly, sissy, and pussy for the more gender-ambiguous wimpy, wussy, or pansy? Language plays a substantial role in the psychological mores of a culture, and the 21st century woman should demand more respect than to be equated with weakness. These memes are learned, and can be unlearned with conscious effort on the part of the individual as well as the media. So... how about those Blazers?



DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—As one commenter noted, one should claim "mental illness" if one were to wave any weapon, fake or real, at the police ["Knock, Knock... You're Dead," News, Jan 13]. I'm all for cops not shooting people, in any case, but the fact is "mentally ill" people do unpredictable things, like attack police with guns, small pocket knives, BB guns, and machetes. There is no contingency plan for this fact. Also, in regard to Sarah Mirk's piece about hate crimes against Oregon Muslims ["'You Arab, I Know Your Kind,'" News, Jan 13]: The mosque in Corvallis, while attacked in an act of arson, was not "firebombed." The fire was limited to an office in the structure and fire pattern evidence describes a liquid fuel was used to burn the office. This is quite different from a "firebomb," and, while unfortunate and an example of a hate crime against Muslims, this characterization is incorrect and gives the uninformed reader an incorrect assessment of what happened at that mosque.



DEAR MERCURY—On the heels of your best/worst covers issue ["The Best and Worst Mercury Covers So Far!" Feature, Jan 6] comes... a very cruddy cover [Jan 13]! It even has a hot dog on it, and it's cruddy. Bring back the Baby Issue! The way the baby was grabbing the "M" in Mercury? Awesome!

-Sara Ryckebosch


DEAR MERCURY—I wish to cancel my Pre-Paid Legal Membership effective immediately! I would like the charges to my bankcard to end effective immediately.

This product I would neither endorse nor sell to any person I would plan on spending more than five minutes with. It says you guys have an A+ reading from the BBB but it seems that if anyone opposes your company on a message board that board is then spammed with what seems to be the same sterling review with statistics, numbers, and bullshit galore. I feel as if I was pressured into doing this. As I was trying to leave, the lady actually ran across the room and grabbed me, and brought me to the computer where while I tried to read what seemed to be a very long piece of legal script she actually yelled at me for doing so. The process had to restart several times. Each time I told her that I wanted to leave, it didn't seem like a great investment opportunity, and even the almighty internet was telling me NO! You probably didn't read this but if you did, whoever you are, have it in your heart to make this cancellation as painless as possible. I am now at 60 dollars in my bank account. Please don't take my last 60 bucks.

-Ubi Baldwin

SORRY DUDE, WE UH... we're just not very good with money, I guess. Anyhow, the Mercury will not only not take your last 60 bucks, we will also give you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where we're pretty sure BBB stands for Big Beautiful Bacon.