JOSH FEIT: I want to applaud you regarding your recent article "Patty Melt" [Five to Four, Dec 26]. I could not agree with you more that there is some hypocrisy among certain liberals who will instantly condemn Trent Lott, but will make excuses and provide rationale for Patty Murray's naive and practically apologetic remarks about the biggest terrorist of our times, bin Laden.

Also understand that I am speaking as a moderate Democrat who has voted for Murray twice for the U.S. Senate. I am not a right-winger. Thus, you are not receiving an e-mail from a KVI-follower-type.

I am very uncomfortable with some of the behavior these days of the American and European Left when it comes to [issues in] the Middle East. Issues involving the rights of women, gays, ethnic minorities, and civil liberties--issues that are usually so important for the Left. But my question is, why do some leftists these days feel that they always have to make excuses and turn a blind eye when it comes to the conduct of the Arab Muslim world concerning the terrible treatment people receive in those countries on a daily basis? As you know, those countries have some of the worst records on human rights, gay rights, women's rights, etc. in the whole world. My thought is that some leftists are so obsessed with criticisms of America that they will often feel a need to view our enemies as victims of American colonialism, regardless of the behavior of those Arab governments.

Paul Schneiderman, via e-mail


STRANGER: Kathleen Wilson has lost her musical marbles [It's My Party, Jan 2]. Since sobering up (which isn't a bad thing per se), her column is dull or makes little sense. Please hire a writer who wants to write about music. I am not interested in reading her sophomoric diary.

S. Davis, via e-mail



STRANGER: From this week's feature article "Shut Down the Town" [Amy Jenniges, Jan 2]: "It's worth noting that despite the huge demonstrations in Seattle--and in other cities--in 1991, we still made war on Iraq.... There was a war, and we won easily."

Oh my gosh, really? I'll make a note, if I can stop giggling.

Somehow that little aside manages to perfectly encapsulate the vacuous idiocy of our local lefties, who experience reality as a sideshow of merely passing interest. Their motives are best understood not through the politics or history of Resistance, but through the (child) psychology of Oppositionalism.

It's worth noting that despite all the wailing and crying coming from the back seat, Mom and Dad will just keep driving until they get where they're going.

Matthew Amend, via e-mail


AMY JENNIGES: I am a veteran of the Korean war. I just want you to know that I read every word of your article, and the more cities we can close down when Bush starts his war on Iraq, the better off we will be. I am grateful for all of the war protesters worldwide because I am not able to get out and protest this war. I sure would like to do so but I guess I have to depend on other Americans to protest for me.

Thomas Jelf, via e-mail


STRANGER: Does Charles Mudede actually believe that the essence of The Lord of the Rings falls within the facile categories ("Eurocentric," "Judeo-Christian," and all that other good crap) so beloved and belabored by him and all you other smug, superior, pseudo-intellectual left-wing elitists ["The Scar," Stranger Suggests, Jan 2]? Or are the films and their Catholic-penned source material an easy target because they are successful, currently high-profile, and just happen to coincide with the post-9/11 era?

It takes quite a leap of logic to detect "eugenics" in something as otherworldly as Tolkien. But then Mudede and his ilk have an agenda to impose. If there's any racism or power-projections in this situation, it's in Mudede's propaganda-polluted mind. And there's nothing "forward-looking" about tired-ass, adolescent polemics that should have disappeared from the radar a long time ago. Get over yourself, asswipe.

Perry Bauer, via e-mail



STRANGER: My new year got off to a great start when I opened The Stranger this morning and found the full-page Critical Overview [Jan 2]. A. Birch Steen never fails to crack me up, and this issue gave me three times as much hilarity. Whether he is a real angry little conservative man or a figment of some creative and funny person's imagination, I love to read his weekly rantings. In this crazy world, it's nice to know that A. Birch Steen will consistently find Celebrity I Saw U "too gay" and will continue hating Dan Savage with every fiber of his being.

Rachel, via e-mail



SEAN NELSON: I can't believe you would recommend a piece of trash like Gangs of New York. This movie is ridiculous and not even worth comment, let alone praise. Oh, the glory of Hollywood is overwhelming.

Anonymous, via e-mail