To the Editor:

Samantha Shapiro's article on the rape allegation made against Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse ["Immodest Mouse," March 18] dripped with bias. Shapiro's treatment of the story [wasn't] objective reporting, but a nearly slanderous accusation of rape [against] not only Brock, but the entire band.
A rape case shouldn't be brought to public attention just to serve the sensationalistic desires of one writer or one paper. The only people it truly affects are those who are named in the case, and any article on the topic should portray both sides of the story. A "journalist" shouldn't be waving the banner for one side or the other. Fuck the "underground controversy" and the Seattle scene, these are real people's lives that you are trying to exploit and ruin, not some West Side Story high school clique showdown.

And what about the cover that seems to serve as a tweaked re-enactment of the event? The photo [on the cover was of] Kevin Willis, who works at the Cha Cha Lounge and "runs in the same circles as Modest Mouse and the girl," holding someone in a violently submissive pose. To have cut that photo into the shape of a heart and have a teaser for the Modest Mouse article pointing directly at the photo just begs for it be used as a WANTED poster. It was a tasteless and disgusting companion to Shapiro's story.

An article I had written appears in the same issue and I couldn't be more ashamed ["Punk-By-Numbers," under the pseudonym of J. Cardinal--eds]. I have no opinion on the guilt or innocence of either party, but the money I get for that article is going to any future legal defense fund for Isaac. He'll need it against a press and public as prematurely biased as The Stranger.

James Stockstill
Former publicist for Up Records and former Stranger contributor.


To the Editor,

The night of the alleged rape, I was sleeping six feet from where this alleged rape occurred. Isaac and this girl (funny how her identity is protected when Isaac is the victim of the crime here; defamation of character, libel, and slander all come to mind) woke my dog, who barks at any noise. They proceeded to cook something just outside my open bedroom door. I heard Isaac tell her, "We have to be quiet so we don't wake my roommate." Allegedly some time soon after this the girl was raped.
How plausible is it that someone with such a strong sense of personal power ("he didn't know who he was messing with") would allow herself to be raped without making the slightest scream of protest or struggle to wake the person she knew was sleeping six feet away?! I am a light sleeper, but my dog will wake up barking at sounds outside the house, never mind any loud sound (a scream, a scuffle) within the house.

In light of these facts, there is no doubt in my mind that this story is a complete fabrication from the imagination of a dangerous sociopath.

Sean Hurley

To the Editor:
In regard to Samantha Shapiro's article "Immodest Mouse": This article does not accurately represent the opinions or actions of the band. Even if it did, the issue at hand is the alleged rape of a woman, not what we as a band think, say, or do in reaction to this situation. We find it tasteless and insensitive to the parties involved to mention our band as [somehow] relevant to the story. This is an important issue, and it affects people's lives dramatically. Don't belittle the situation or our friends by filling your paper with hearsay and gossip.

The Murder City Devils

To the Editor:
What would possess you to write such an unfair, unprofessional piece of journalistic crap?! Why would you trivialize the issue of date rape by name-dropping? What in the world do the Murder City Devils and their booking agent have to do with these allegations? Don't you think that publishing those quotes is unfair to the rest of Modest Mouse? Wasn't it in poor judgment [to make] a case against Brock using only the woman's side of the story? If you're going to write an unbiased, objective, or just decent article on a touchy subject like date rape, report the facts. Don't quote irrelevant people who "run in the same circles" as the two involved.

Kari Heck


To the Editor,

Thank you for posting one of the only accurate reports on the breast-feeding debate I have yet seen ["The Breast Milk Debate," Trisha Ready, March 18]. A bill promoting breast-feeding was passed by the Washington State Senate last week by an overwhelming majority, and has reached the House Commerce and Labor Committee.
This is the third year in which a bill promoting breast-feeding has been proposed by Senator Jeri Costa of Marysville. Those of us who support breast-feeding are delighted to see Senate Bill 5295 make it this far. That is the good news. Now that this common-sense bill has reached the House Committee, this may be the third year that it fails. That is the bad news.

Senate Bill 5295 declares that: (1) Breast-feeding is not indecent exposure; (2) Women cannot be discriminated against for nursing a child or expressing breast milk; (3) Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a private and comfortable room other than a restroom where employees can express milk; and (4) Employers who voluntarily provide minimal specified breast-feeding support in addition to these basic requirement be recognized by the Public Health Department as "baby friendly."

At the beginning of this year, similar legislation was proposed in the House. About a month ago, the House version was heard by the House Commerce and Labor Committee. By the time the members of the committee were finished with it, the House Bill was unrecognizable. What remains of House Bill 1855 maintains the status quo, which forces women to pump in the bathroom! Would you make your lunch in the bathroom?

We have every reason to believe the House Commerce and Labor Committee will make the same ill-informed decisions regarding the Senate Bill.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges mothers to breast-feed their children for at least one year. Breast-fed children and their mothers are healthier, and healthier children mean parents miss less work to be home with sick kids. We urge your readers to contact their representatives and insist that SB5295, as sent from the Senate, be enacted!

Marsha Hudson

To the Editor,
I am opposed to women breast-feeding in public. I think there should be discretion in where a woman chooses to do this, [and women shouldn't] just pull out a breast wherever they please. That is lewd and we ought to enforce laws against lewd exposure. I think we get caught up in America with the idea that everything is okay. Malls or public places are not places to pull your nipple out for anyone to see. I do not want my children exposed to women's nipples or boobs for any reason.


To the Editor:
My favorite column in The Stranger is Last Days. I think David Schmader is fantastically entertaining. You can just imagine my sorrow, then, when he referred to the odious Ann Landers as "one of Last Days' favorite old ladies." Everybody knows that Abby (Ann's sister) is pro-homo and that Ann is one of the great homophobes of our time. ANN LANDERS KILLED MATTHEW SHEPARD. At the very least the attitudes fostered by her ilk killed him. Please pull your heads out of Ann Landers' fat ass and stick them up Dear Abby's ass where they belong!

Michael Allen York