RE: The weekly Mercury letter of the week prize, with which we needlessly reward our readers for sharing their no-account opinions.

Could be a coincidence, but I've noticed a definite reduction in the quality of your letters since you removed the food items from your letter of the week prizes. Don't get me wrong; a movie can be great. But free food? In these tough times I'd put more thought into my letter knowing a free meal was a possible outcome. Just look at this letter. It's crap.




RE: "Dreaded Violence" [Sexual Politics, Jan 9], regarding a recent domestic dispute during which a Portland man allegedly attempted to strangle his girlfriend with his dreadlocks.

SARAH MIRK—What's with the random hateful comment about people with dreadlocks? I assume you are only referring to dreadlocks on white people, right? I can understand why it would make an activist like yourself uncomfortable to use race, so you probably veered away from saying "white people with dreadlocks." You were just perpetuating the stereotype about white kids with dreadlocks being dirty, right? This stereotype is often funny and true, but at its core has an ugly racial distinction: It is okay for people of one "race" to have a haircut that you consider disgusting on another "race." I fundamentally agree that most dreads on white people look terrible. You need really curly hair to pull off nice dreads, but some of us of non-African descent do actually have this.

Alex Waddell



RE: "We Are the Conservatives of Tomorrow" [Feature, Jan 9], a humorous take on the possibility that today's young liberals are tomorrow's crotchety conservatives, mostly as it pertains to the sex robots of the future.

I must admit I was a little disappointed by this week's cover story. I had hoped it would be a more serious discussion about possible future "progressive" issues that the current young voters might take issue with. How will we feel about getting rid of institutions we are accustomed to as they become increasingly unnecessary and inefficient in coming decades (paper money and libraries come to mind)? How about taxes or rations on goods that are currently untaxed, possibly out of necessity but also possibly in the new progressive name of global economic equality? Obviously it's impossible to know how a group will theoretically react to theoretical future changes, let alone even knowing how we as individuals will feel about these issues with 30-50 more years of life experience under our belts. I thought it was a funny article but I had hoped for a more thought-provoking, discussion-generating piece.

Derek Bradley



RE: "And the Survey Says..." [News, Jan 9], the results of an anonymous survey given to city hall staffers and the following discussion about city government's changing lineup.

Well, I like [City Commissioner Dan] Saltzman. He ain't pretty, sure, but I have often agreed with his stances. I think the jury should obviously still be out on [newly elected City Commissioner Steve] Novick, though I did support his Senate run. I won't miss [former City Commissioner] Randy [Leonard]. I did agree with him at times, sure, but in general I think we don't need more public employee retirees on the commission looking out for their old boys. The one thing I gotta give [City Commissioner] Amanda [Fritz] is that she was the most willing to question costs the city was being asked to spend, which was a needed counter-balance in the group. [Former Mayor Sam] Adams? Won't miss that jackass.

posted by frankieb



RE: The recent news that eccentric software mogul John McAfee is moving to Portland, and a rare exception to the Mercury's stringent "no poetry" policy.

And so it came to pass:

John McAfee,

in the Guatemala City airport,

stumbled upon a crumpled sticker,

message from the void:


Todd Mecklem

THANK YOU TODD, once again, for distilling the odd bit of local intrigue into something bite-sized. You get this week's letter of the week, and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you'll have to buy your own food.