I saw them at La Luna way back in like 1998 or something ["A Spoonful Weighs a Ton," Music, Sept 15, regarding the evolution and current stagnation of the Flaming Lips]. They did the weird album where they sat up a ton of boomboxes on stage and played everything at once. It wasn't that great. I would venture to say it kind of sucked. It's cool that they've managed to turn into the band that they are today.

-posted by sandwiches


I think it works like this: evangelicals move into the "evil" neighborhoods hoping to convert everyone, as is their wont ["Tolerating Intolerance," Letters, Sept 15, in which the author accuses those alarmed at the Mars Hill Church's move into Southeast Portland of intolerance]. The weekly sermons rail against the wanton and forbidden evils that those horny and delicious gays are going to introduce to the innocent if they don't donate to the cause. After a few months all of the fence sitters have been seduced, and the righteous feel vindicated that they've indeed chosen the worst possible den of perdition to proselytize, and redouble their efforts. If magical sky fairies were real, they might actually accomplish something. Unfortunately for them, magical sky fairies are not real, and the whole naïve church/evil neighborhood dynamic becomes cheap entertainment for hipsters.

-posted by pdxlove


I'm sure he's a nice guy ["Eyes on the Prize," Hall Monitor, regarding Jefferson Smith's bid for mayor]. Yet, as a Southeast Portland resident I've never met him nor any other rep of the Democratic Party. But that's Portland. As long as you're rich, white, and live west of 82nd Avenue, you might run into a Dem dancing at a nightclub or some such place, but if you're low income, of color, and busy dodging bullets, forget it. Of what relevance, really, is this race to anyone who actually belongs to working-class Portland?

-posted by WishIWereDrunk


I volunteered for this in college, and fully believe that it's essential to public safety and the health of the individuals ["On Pins and Needles," News, Sept 15, regarding the funding threat to Outside In's needle-exchange program]. Individuals came in to drop off hundreds of needles from many users who were too afraid or sick to come in themselves. Where else would these have gone? Trashcans and under park benches.

-posted by CWhoa


I am female, and I am utterly convinced that society's salvation lies in getting more men to be primary childcare givers ["I'm a Male Daycare Worker," Feature, Sept 15, in which the author recounts his experiences in a profession where men are often treated as suspect]. Keep on doing what you are doing and stand up for yourself, Dave. And for other men who want to go into the childcare field: Don't be afraid. We NEED you there. Yes, you will be discriminated against. Yes, you will have to fight, constantly, to justify your intentions and your presence. But you know what? This is exactly what women have had to do to break into a male-dominated society and gain and keep jobs as doctors, lawyers, and airline pilots. So welcome to the club, men! This is what discrimination feels like. It is an interesting lesson. And the first rule of the lesson is: Keep fighting because you are changing society and changing history. Don't let the ignorant keep you down.

-posted by pdxthirteen

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORDS of support to our comrade Dave Bow in the field. For this, you win the Mercury letter of the week and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where children are welcome—but only for shows that start before 5:30 pm.