DEAR MR. HUMPHREY: Our office is unable to fulfill Portland Mercury's request for a mayoral proclamation.

The Office of Mayor Katz does not issue proclamations for commercial ventures, in this case "Portland Mercury Day." I am enclosing a copy of our policy for your future reference. Good luck on your new venture.

Laura E Campero
Administrative Assistant
Office of Mayor Vera Katz


TO THE EDITOR: Thank you for your kind benevolence. Monday through Friday prison mail calls are like a Las Vegas Christmas and now, once a week, I hit the jackpot! Laissez le bon temps roulet!

Scott Adams
Oregon Dept. of Corrections


TO THE EDITOR: Last week I read, with some sadness, Mercury's views on Portland Police Bureau Officer David Barrios' on-going shoving match with his command over his hair [One Day at a Time, in which Barrios is being forced to wear his hair in a bun, August 31].

It is a fair fight. It is the kind of fight many of us are proud to engage in. We are good fighters. We respect our adversary, we respect ourselves, we square off--winner takes all.

We (and I believe I can speak with some authority, and that I can speak well for a number of our ethnic enclaves) do not respect your newspaper's irreverence.

You have, of course, a First Amendment license for sarcasm; even sacrilege. All that aside, it is never a good idea to get sloppy about another community's spiritual values. Ever. Don't, just don't.

If you fail to see how fundamental respect is, a more direct approach may be necessary.

Hati hati. Be cautioned. Given the 2000 Census projections, the day of the hammer's humor at the nail's expense may be numbered.

Ronault Latang Sayang Catalani


HI: I am one of Portland's finest and I want to tell you when you're a cop you can do ANYTHING you want! It's no fraud to steal overtime from the city; in fact I can sue the city for demoting me! And it's likely the city is gonna pay--if they don't, we can spill the beans on how Vera Katz gets her pot from our evidence room. Most people don't know how all that "Oregon" gets to NYC--let's just say the mayor has connections--and we get our cut. My house is in Alameda--4000 sq. ft. with a home theater, and I drive a BMW due, in part, to all my overtime!



TO ANN ROMANO: Are you aware that an exploding tennis ball can be made by drilling a hole in a tennis ball, filling it with chopped-off heads of wood matches, mixing in gunpowder, and then taping it up tight? [One Day at a Time, Nov 30] When a exploding tennis ball is thrown against a hard surface, the matchheads rub on each other, igniting the gunpowders.

Yes, anyone can easily get that info off the websites. Yes, it is a tragedy. But I'm not surprised that cops get called to investigate explosions all the time... Hope this helps.


ANN ROMANO RESPONDS: Yes, I do know how to make a bomb out of a tennis ball, gunpowder and matchsticks. And now, so do 60,000 others. Thanks for writing in.


DEAR EDITOR: I was appalled at your sophomoric "Back to School Guide" [Sept 21]. Sure, I'm all about humor, sex (especially the good kind), drugs, and music. But to glorify these "simple pleasures" in such a distasteful manner is vomitous. Perhaps if young men spent less time at the Pamela Anderson Lee website spanking the monkey and more time reading books like How to Make Love to a Woman, or anything on tantric sex, a young man would know how to get some booty.



[From the editor: The following is an e-mail exchange between Roland Swenson, the managing director of SXSW, and Julianne Shepherd, regarding her article on the demise of NXNW in our Feb 8 issue.]

TO JULIANNE SHEPHERD: Fuck you. That was a totally dishonest article and you know it.

Roland Swenson

TO ROLAND: Can you please be more specific in what you mean by "dishonest"? Thanks!


TO JULIANNE: I did not blame anyone but us for NXNW's failure. And I admitted that we had failed to win over people who didn't like what we were doing from the beginning.


TO ROLAND: Actually, you did blame others for your failure. Here's what you said: "we'll miss going there every year. But obviously, pressure was mounting from many of the event's detractors, and the Willamette Week was tired of taking the heat."

And while we're on the subject, saying "fuck you" to local media outlets isn't the best way to prove you're able to take criticism.


TO JULIANNE: How about "kiss my ass"?




The water closet
This is best place for your paper
In the toilet like the big baguette
I have read and am not impressed
You are like wiping with the recycled toilet paper (which my roommate does. I think maybe you and him have a lot in common, no?)
Are you really American? I am disappoint
The news you print is "Le Merde"
The reviews you print is "Encore plus de Merde"
Where is your head? In the "Cul" perhaps?
Your making jokes is not funny
Fuck you.



DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: I'm sorry, this just isn't working. I had such high hopes for the Mercury. What we got instead was worse than any of us expected.

My disappointment with you folks is beyond these mere words. In your most recent issue, you literally gave a higher rating to a group of no-name local teenagers' first release than you did to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. For Chrissake, grow up kids. I genuinely think that you're hurting the "scene" in Portland by your ignorance more than you're helping it.

Raymond Brigleb

The Mercury responds: Raymond, we will truly miss having you as a reader. We remember when we first arrived in Portland, everyone else hated us. They threw rocks, and pushed our face in garbage. But you didn't. You held us in your arms, and taught us how to love again.

We knew it couldn't last forever, but please, Raymond, we love you and want you back! We'll do anything. PLEASE! PLEASE!! PLEASE!! JUST TELL US WHAT WE HAVE TO DO!! Oh God! We really can't take this anymore! If you don't read our paper again, Raymond, we swear to Christ we're gonna do something! We're gonna do something much like Angelina Jolie did in Girl Interrupted where she threatened to jab that pen in her aorta. But see, the difference is, we're really gonna do it!

God, look at us! Look at what losing you has done to us! We're not eating or sleeping... all we do is sit around in dirty pajamas all day reading fashion magazines and smoking dope. We're miserable. DON'T YOU CARE?? YOU'VE RUINED OUR FUCKING LIVES AND YOU JUST... DON'T... CARE!!!!

Oh, God... we're sorry... we're so sorry... it's just... it's just that the thought of actually losing you drove us a little crazy for a second. We know we don't own you. You're like a butterfly; and how can any one paper possess anything so beautiful? So we're going to do the right thing: We're going to let you go. Because we truly believe that one day you'll come back to us.

Oh. You'll come back all right. Because after you read those other filthy whores, we'll still be here... waiting for YOU, Raymond. We'll be here because you'll never get rid of us. No matter where you go you'll see one of our boxes, or a copy of the Mercury trampled in the gutter. Our love is forever, Raymond Brigleb. FOREVER.

And forever never goes away


EDITOR: How do you spell incessant ennui? The first annual Mercury Spelling Bee [Saturday, April 7]! Shame on you for charging money at the door for your drawn-out, bullshit excuse for a spelling Bee. Not only did it seem to last for hours but you were determined to shush the crowd. I fucking HATE being shushed!!! Maybe you should take my hard-earned money I gave you and hire a bodyguard for that loser dressed up in the Bee outfit. Cuz' if I see that fuckin' fucker I am going to inject bubonic plague in his eye and stuff a gerbil up his ass! Then I am going to tear up and eat every last word in your paper, shit it out, put it in a bag, light it on fire, put it at your doorstep, ring the bell, and punch you in the face when you answer! I fuckin' HATE being fucking shushed!!!!

Marcus Archambeaul