EDITORS: I'm getting a little tired of all the local hipper-than-thou critics scrambling to outdo each other in praising Frank Gehry's Experience Music Project building ["It's a Bird, It's a Plane..." Eric Fredericksen, June 15]. I've seen it, and it is butt-ugly. Maybe I'm square, maybe I haven't got the evolved aesthetic sense of your learned critics, but I'm sorry, it just looks ugly to me. It is big and uncoordinated, with no grace or elegance or flow. It looks like a monument to an architect with a huge ego, rather than a building to serve a function. "Melted Fender guitars"? Give me a break. It's a bunch of amorphous blobs, not even as whimsical as the Queen Anne Blob (which was rightly demolished "with extreme prejudice").
Maybe Gehry is "the most prominent living architect" (as Eric is quick to inform us), but ultimately he must be judged by his work, and on that basis he's parading around naked. If architecture is frozen music, then EMP is "Metal Machine Music"--a big "fuck you" to Seattle. Perhaps it's fitting. The whole Experience Music Project is a titanic monument to Paul Allen, who has collected 80,000 pieces of rock & roll memorabilia and was looking for a way to make his nouveau riche spending spree tax-deductible--AND charge admission. Whereas Bill and Melinda Gates fund university chairs and donate to world health concerns, what does Paul Allen do? He outbids everyone else for Hendrix's smashed guitar--very noble! Why couldn't he just have placed the stupid wooden fragments in a reinforced glass case in the new stadium that Washington taxpayers are building for him, against our wills? Maybe with a little piece of the Kingdome?
R. Carlberg, via e-mail
EDITORS: About "It's a Bird, It's a Plane..." by Eric Fredericksen: This is the best piece on Frank Gehry I've read anywhere. A deep knowledge of 20th-century architecture (come on, Mendelsohn is fantastic, but no one talks about him these days) coupled with the irreverence for which The Stranger is famous, helped me comprehend our newest architectural treasure (EMP). I am not comparing Fredericksen's work to anything I've read in other Seattle rags either. He rocks. Thank him for me, will you?
Michael Herschensohn, Seattle
FOR SHAME: Oh come on. Your vocabulary indicates that you have an education, but what happened to your morals? What is it about the media that makes it okay to treat people so heartlessly? Okay, yes, the EMP does look garish, and as far as I'm concerned, it is a complete eyesore. I'm sorry that it sits right next to our beautiful Space Needle. Yuck. But does that make it all right to attack Paul Allen in that juvenile fashion? ["Is Paul Allen Experienced?" Kathleen Wilson, June 15.] Just because it's legal doesn't make it right.
What are we doing to each other? You can and should speak your truth about the building--yuck... it's an awful red [color]--but let's not attack each other. It embarrasses me for you and it embarrasses me for Paul Allen who obviously has the decency to not respond to the continual barrage of guttural attacks.
Evelia A. Sanchez, Seattle
MURDER CITY DEVILS!
MURDER CITY DEVILS!
STRANGER PEOPLE: Kathleen Wilson and Erin Franzman griped and moaned about how "Planet Hollywood" the EMP exhibit is going to be, and how it "isn't representative of their Seattle music scene" ["Is Paul Allen Experienced?" and "Stoner's Paradise," June 15]. Whoever said it had to be? It's not supposed to be a "Kathleen-and-Erin's-Favorite-Bands-Museum." That would suck, because then it would only be Kathleen Wilson standing around talking about what good friends she is with the Murder City Devils. Nobody cares. Really, I can't understand why those two are complaining. So some rich guy spends millions of dollars on a museum? So what? It's better than more office buildings or a condo or something. Fuck Franzman and Wilson and their crappy "scene"--I think the EMP museum will be cool.
A reader, Seattle
DEAR ALLIE: I just have to make a comment about your mentioning Tim Eyman as "Genius of the Week" ["In Other News," June 15]. It's really pathetic, not to mention very poor judgment on someone's part, to have his I-745 cronies gathering signatures outside of Union Station. I live in Bremerton and ride the ferry every day. Last week there was a man who approached me on a run to Bremerton with two petitions: one for charter schools, and the other was I-745. I asked him if the I-745 issue was the transportation initiative for 90 percent less busses, and he nodded. I politely told him I felt it rather inappropriate for him to be gathering signatures on a vehicle of mass transit, and in no uncertain words, told him to go to Hell. A couple hours later, this same man was seen with the same petitions standing near a bus stop in front of the Wal-Mart in Bremerton. You can read that scene anyway you want. Eyman is a complete dumbass.
Corbett Petersen, Bremerton
DEAR EDITORS: In regards to the fine folk in charge of The Stranger's Theater Calendar and their cunning color commentary we gleefully get to enjoy on a weekly basis, I would like to be the first to write in, agreeing with them wholeheartedly. Cry, Goddess, Rage is a horrible title. Terrible, in fact. Inexcusable, to be exact. Icky, poopy, gross, yucky, blaah! Just plain burn-in-hell wrong. Thanks for making it clear to me now. Next time I write a play, I might well consider consulting your paper before titling it.
Curtis Eastwood, playwright
TO THE EDITOR: I can't believe it! I liked Tamara Paris' article so much I wrote to you and asked you to give her a column, and you did it! ["City of Paris," June 15.] You actually did it! You rock!
DEAR FLACCID PENIS [ I, Anonymous, June 15]: An aching ball can be a sign of testicular cancer, the most common cancer in young men. It is very treatable if caught in time, so please have a doctor investigate this immediately, even if you can feel no lump. Everyone else: Early treatment can make all the difference--examine your testes/breasts every MONTH (or have your partner do it and then switch!).
Anonymous, via e-mail
CHARLES MUDEDE: You spineless, wimped-out pussy! Your review of the movie Shaft ["Who Is the Man?" June 15] was as misguided as that of the typical white middle-class male's insecure stereotyping of "real brothas." Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of John Shaft was a landmark performance in his career. As a typical Northwesterner, you lack any real perception of "true black culture," because there is none here. Black people EVERYWHERE were happy to see Shaft kick the shit out of that punk drug dealer for trying to rope that struggling mother's kid into the drug world; they cheered when he hit that racist murderer in the nose (twice); and most black people understood the adversities Shaft went through!
Unlike white-boy wannabes like yourself, John Singleton made a movie about a REAL black man who wanted to make things RIGHT. You reacted to this movie like the average white male--with fear! Fear that there is a black man out there willing to put his foot in your ass if you try to wrong him; fear of a big, black, bad-assed supercop who's smarter, more intelligent, and 10 times cooler than you--and who's probably hung like a horse! "Black male fantasy"--maybe. "Cool, sexy, gun-wielding nigga with the will to empower himself and crush the wrongs in society and still go home and please his woman"--definitely!
I suggest you take a trip down South and interact with some truly diverse black people, then see Shaft again. Maybe you'll appreciate it more with a bit of "cultural reconditioning," instead of complaining about and fearing a strong black male figure like some tiny-dicked, beer-gut-having, white-mask-wearing redneck. Who knows, maybe you'll even don a black trench coat! You pussy!
B. Knight, via e-mail
RACHEL KESSLER: If a compliment from an old geezer restaurant reviewer doesn't offend you, I'd like to pass one along. Few narrative-style reviews are illuminating and/or entertaining. Your reviews sound both notes, and I enjoy them immensely. Sorry this note is not more clever. Please accept my assurance that this dullness does not adequately reflect the buoyancy of spirit stimulated by your work.
Fred Brack, via e-mail