MR. GRANT COGSWELL: In response to "Honky Tonkin'" [June 29]: First off, I hate country music. But I think what McDonald's is doing is beautiful. Your statements sound nothing more than that of a typical black-ass-kissin'-white boy. And I'm BLACK!!! You say McDonald's is "twisting and misusing the art in the worst possible way." Well, how often do you walk into a bar--or have someone pull up at a stoplight or worse, drive by your house--cranking out country? Almost never. What about rap? All the Goddamn time. I'm sick of it and this "yeah boy" image that goes along with it. Rap has promoted an extremely violent image that young black men, and white for that matter, are pathetically trying to emulate. Face it, adults are scared of these kids. If it takes blasting country music to make patrons feel safe at McD's, then more power to them. One more thing Grant--you have the audacity to print the number of the civil rights office at the bottom of the article? For what? So I can call and report your racist remarks against country music? You fuckin' dumbass!
Deek Washington, Seattle
DEAR EDITORS: Oh, those poor black teenagers! How terrible that they must bear the brunt of America's legacy by being subjected to the horrors of country music! Over the years, McDonald's has maintained fairly offensive policies and aesthetics that have prevented me from hanging around their premises. If you ask me, blaring loud country music is probably the least offensive thing McDonald's has ever come up with.
Although some incredibly racist country tunes have been written over the years, most country music is not racist. I, personally, would take Hank Williams over those infernal Golden Arches, a Big Mac, or that nasty smell anyday. But, then again, I'm white, and as you know, all white people (being the polar opposite of black teenagers) just love country music. If Grant Cogswell really loves country music as much as he claims, he should spend more time drinking beer and listening to Merle Haggard, and less time feeling outraged.
Slightly Disgruntled White Trash
EDITORS: Obviously, Grant Cogswell has never waited on the corner of Third and Pine late at night and seriously felt as if his safety was in question. As a female college student at the UW, I waited in front of the Bon Marche for four years, across the street from that very McDonald's. The concept of playing country music over the speakers to shoo away loiterers who happen to think country sounds like complete garbage is GENIUS.
Really, it's not just the black folks who hate the sound. It's not a racist issue, it's just a fact: Country music is loved by very few people, much less people hanging around town late at night. Why not use it to an advantage? I'm also a HUGE advocate of keeping our bus stops as safe as they can be... which obviously isn't easy late at night in a metropolitan area. I have to stand in one spot for up to 45 minutes, waiting.... I'm in one place "hanging out" and these kids are right there "hanging out" as well. I don't want people screaming profanities at me or at each other; I feel uncomfortable watching a fist fight; it makes me sad to see a woman lose control of her limbs due to drugs; and it completely pisses me off when I have to start walking in circles at the bus stop to avoid being sexually harassed. Union and Pike is just ONE of the many corners that drug dealers hang out on, and if playing country music to disperse the crowd cleans up one corner, RIGHT ON!
Mara S., via e-mail
TO THE EDITOR: As a bored chemistry degree graduate, I stumbled into meth manufacture and intake about six years ago. Trisha Ready's article touches on many aspects of the issue the mainstream media avoids, or just plain ignores ["The Crystal Cockroach," June 29]. While many meth ingredients ARE available at Ace and True Value, the key ones are not. Whenever I read an article in the P-I touting the minimal effort required to make crank, I want to stand up and scream. (Especially now, with the limited resources available to concoct phenylacetone, a far superior base for methamphetamine formulation than ephedrine.) Meth is not easy to make. Even chem majors have to be overly precise and patient with the process--and that's in a clean, proper lab. "Kitchen" or "bathtub" recipes prevalent on the Net require numerous, intricate steps that, even if performed correctly, may not result in anything anyway. Definitely not good meth, that's for sure.
As usual, governmental attempts at suppression have led to a market chock full of subpar speed. It should be pure white, with uniform, rectangular, opaque crystals; anything yellow, brown, sticky, or stinky has not been reduced from the ephedrine molecule properly. Hey crankheads: If your back hurts, then your kidneys are faltering from the toxic byproducts left over from poor ephedrine reduction. Take lots of vitamins, niacin especially, and extra salt as well. If your arm bruises excessively from shooting dank crank, either rinse it thoroughly in acetone or let it dry awhile before your next vein intrusion.
Trisha alluded to amphetamine's sexual benefits. Men familiar with speed, however, know the dark side. Speed works by triggering the "fight or flight" response in the brain; extremes of the body (legs, arms, cock) receive less circulation and go cold during the high. Minimal, controlled crank intake enhances sexual performance, guys, while a lot (or bad crank) makes your member as flaccid as string cheese on a hot summer day. All the other reasons to quit crank mattered little; not being able to fuck is what did it for me.
Anonymous, via e-mail
I DON'T KNOW WHAT the fuck you guys have got up your ass to make the following comment about Helen Keller: "[With] her persistence and courage in the face of overwhelming handicaps, Helen Keller makes me feel like a piece of absolute shit" [Pro or Con, "Helen Keller," June 1]. You know, you guys oughta be sued to the fucking ringer for that one. Helen Keller was a milestone in society and I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna put up with that shit. And I'll tell you what, I'm gonna get ahold of an attorney and I'm gonna check into litigations. Thank you.
Anonymous, via voicemail
EDITOR'S NOTE: Upon receiving your call, we contacted Helen Keller via Ouija board. She said the Pro or Con item was the funniest thing since Annie Sullivan put her hand in the toaster oven. So fuck off.
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL: What will The Stranger choose to endorse next week? ["Crush Freaks," C. Everett Treacle, June 29.] Videos of dominatrixes slowly tear-ing the legs off of spiders? Leather boys whipping snakes against trees? Or maybe frat boy wannabes murdering more donkeys? In the year 2000 there are no longer coliseums to view large-animal torture. Why are people paying to become spectators of small-animal torture? Cruelty is cruelty. WHAT THE FUCK IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR HUMANS TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS?!!!!!!
Anonymous, via fax
DEAR JAMIE: I am deeply moved, ennobled even, by your stirring indictment of the villain composer whose name I have erased as a kind of fail-safe to keep me from the crime of murder; I have not seen the film, but I will be sure to drink before I do ["James Horner Must Die," Jamie Hook, June 29]. Your article raised the floor mat of journalism to a remarkable height few could clear. Honestly, I have read it several times now for pure pleasure and am convinced that I believe every word of it. Such felicitous language! Keep flinging those gauntlets and I swear the world will soon stoop down at your boot heels to retrieve one.
Matthew Stadler, Seattle
KATHLEEN WILSON: In regards to the last two It's My Party columns [June 22, June 29], I am not writing on behalf of Sub Pop. I guess being a gossip columnist does give you the right to publish Soundscan results. You could also compare the number of houses sold by different real estate agents or the amount of tips different servers make or even compare the number of negative to favorable It's My Party responses. I guess the question is WHY? The only people these numbers really affect are the bands and the "whittled down to 25" people working at the "postage stamp-sized Noodle Ranch" of Sub Pop. Is this your intention? If so, then you've done your job, and you have received what you deserve, including Michael's drink in your eye. Keep up the good work and thanks for the good Makers press.
Kwab Copeland, former Media Director, Sub Pop Records
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: Grant Cogswell's recent article about garage punk ("Blues for Whitey," June 29) inaccurately stated that Bellingham's Garageshock festival was held in Seattle during the mid-'90s. Grant was actually referring to a series called Crockshock at the Crocodile Cafe, where artists from Garageshock played.