STRANGER: I'm the lead singer/ bassist for the band M-set here in Seattle. We're a fairly well-known band. We headline shows throughout the Northwest, we've toured the West Coast twice, and we've performed at Bud World in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Part of our success has come from widespread name recognition--the result of relentless postering, touring, and regular advertising in The Stranger.

But we are outsiders in this town. That is, we are part of the Seattle "pop" music community. We don't wear Kurt Cobain sweaters, thick-rimmed glasses, and sit around the Crocodile whining about the state of the world, lesbianism, or whatever the PC "issue du jour" is. We actually practice our instruments, we put our hearts into delivering entertaining shows, and we aren't ashamed to admit that we are trying to get a record deal. For those very reasons, our community has been pushed aside by "the establishment" of the Seattle music community. The Stranger stands at the top of that ladder.

The Seattle "pop" community is a tight-knit group of quality musicians, wonderful spirits, and many of us are doing quite well despite the complete lack of attention The Stranger has given us. We are bands and artists that have earned the right to be respected by the community that claims to support us. But that's not happening.

Many people turn almost solely to The Stranger for their local music news. So theoretically it should include a fair and balanced representation of the current Seattle Music Scene, right? Well, M-set has been on the scene for over six years and has racked up a pretty impressive resumé. Yet we haven't received a single CD review (we've released three, for the record). We haven't received a single live show review (we've played hundreds, for the record). If it wasn't for you naming us "Best Band Advertisers" last year, some people may not even know we exist!

We won't be advertising in The Stranger anymore. To say the least, our relationship has been a marriage of convenience (we need ads, you want money) for many years, and now I'm simply fed up with you and the rest of the music industry that has worked so hard to fuck up the local, national, and international scenes.

I know you don't give a shit what I think. But I couldn't walk away without showing you my literary middle finger. I feel so much better now.

Scott Elnes, M-set


STRANGER: Dominic Holden's otherwise excellent article demolishing the anti-pot propaganda of the Office of National Drug Control Policy ["Busted," May 22] missed an intriguing subplot showing the awesome power of the alcohol industry. During debate over the original $1 billion, five-year advertising campaign by the ONDCP, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) proposed language calling for underage drinking to be included in the ad campaign. The alcohol industry, much like the drug mafias that rule Colombia, went into high gear to oppose this.

Political action committees associated with the alcohol industry gave more than $2.3 million to congressional candidates last election, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association gave $1.3 million alone. That money began to pay off. They blanketed the Senate with faxes opposing the amendment, and lobbyists called members' offices to make sure the group's missives had been safely delivered.

President Clinton's drug czar Barry McCaffrey said including underage drinking as a target could undermine the effectiveness of the federal government's battle against illegal drugs.

The chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, as well as one-time drug czar, drinker, smoker, and gambling slave William J. Bennett, both came out against the anti-drinking language. They argued that the proposed rule might muddy the anti-pot message. The Lautenberg amendment failed, 58 to 40.

The most compelling argument for legal pot is that it is not physically addictive, not linked to violence, and cannot cause death by overdose. Alcohol is all of the above, yet legal. Only a nation of idiots would tolerate this madness for long.

Paul Wilson, via e-mail


STRANGER: Despite your statistics on editors' and writers' rebuttals, I must concur with the comments of Michael R. in the May 29-June 4 letters section. And even more so to the letter from Tom Davis, to which you ALSO responded.

I am NOT a parent. As a public school teacher, I have been regularly disgusted by colleagues who use that term you so lamely defend, "little shits," when referring to their students. I had the same reaction to your comments regarding Seattle Children's Theatre. It is my belief that anyone who refers to their own children, much less those of others put in their charge, in such a demeaning, disrespectful, harmful fashion, harbors a true antipathy to others. Name-callers of that ilk will not be able to teach, or rear, the objects of their derision to become respectful, empathetic humans.

Gay, Straight, Eunuch, or Brainless, no one has the right to call an entire segment of our race the names you chose. And you know about being the object of name-calling, yes?

Apologize and be done with it. What you do in private is, sadly, your child's burden. What you do in public encourages others. Stop name-calling. And just print the letters without the rejoinders.

Saul, via e-mail