STRANGER: It saddens me that you've decided to give Courtney Love a eulogy ["Courtney Love: A Remembrance," edited by David Schmader and Jennifer Maerz, Nov 20] and a "cover" yet you denied Elliott Smith this same treatment. Elliott Smith created beauty, and Courtney Love tends to just create spectacle. It also saddens me that the world at large didn't notice, care, or mourn his loss in any significant way. Which star was brighter? That of Courtney's husband, or the only indie rocker who will probably ever be nominated for an Academy Award? Why did everyone hate Figure 8? Give it another chance. In my opinion it is his masterwork. All of his albums are all good, but on Figure 8 he finally had the money to do exactly what he wanted to, and then was eviscerated for it. Everyone wanted his lo-fi acoustic stuff. He moved on. And now he passed on, and you didn't get it. The last track is especially haunting. It is like listening to the ghost of Elliott Smith. The cadence of his life occurs on the final dissonant chromatic slide on the piano ending in silence.
Garden City, ID
HEY: As much as I appreciate The Stranger and the offbeat things I often see in it, I just thought I should mention that it seemed a bit too much to do a cover that makes people think that Courtney Love died [Nov 20]. This is not hate mail or anything; I appreciate the paper a lot. It just seemed to me that it was bordering on slander, or something similar. And it's probably not good for someone who's working on a career, etc., if people think they're dead when they're not.
Just wanted to mention what I thought about it. Not a major thing, but I probably would say that it would be best not to do that kind of thing in the future. Just my opinion.
COURTNEY LOVE, SUPERSTAR
TO THE EDITOR: Don't get me wrong, I am überhard for David Schmader and most of the writers of the Courtney Love eulogy. Apparently this time around, however, your staff has been eating a bowl of retarded. Courtney remains a vital icon, and this current incarnation as a lunatic train wreck is really not that removed from what we are familiar with. Face it, we will always love to hate Courtney, and she will keep coming back to satisfy. All of us will be kissing her ass in February when America's Sweetheart is released... and we'll be reminded that even when the cockroaches are dead, Courtney Love will be a fucking superstar.
NAKED SUSHI EXPOSED!
DAN SAVAGE: I'm sure you'll be receiving tons of mail on this issue, so I'll keep this short. While I agree with you that naked sushi was a bit of an arbitrary night to protest when it's just one of many events featuring (gasp!) scantily clad women in the city, I think the objectification of women is far more complicated than your dismissive remarks suggest [Savage Love, Nov 20]. It's basically the difference between sushi and doughnuts.
There's no question that a woman who takes a job in which she plays the role of "serving tray" is choosing to portray herself as an object, but it is not true that women now have control over when they want to be seen as objects and when they aren't. When women can walk home from work without being catcalled or hang out on the beach topless without people assuming they're doing so to get attention, when there are just as many bi men as bi women, and, most importantly, when we can go to straight clubs in which men in lingerie get in free, we'll stop rolling our eyes and bitching when we walk into yet another punk show featuring a burlesque opening act or Jell-O wrestling. Nights like naked sushi are annoying not just because they objectify women, but because they're bad art, tired, uncreative, and frankly, totally fucking boring.
If the kind of "progress" being made in terms of sexualizing males in the straight world consists of one club offering a night of eating doughnuts off of some guy's wang for every 500 Lusty Lady-type strip clubs and porn sites, how can you blame us for being pissed off?
Liz, an East Coast feminist who has an excellent sense of humor and doesn't laugh at bad jokes
ANGRY FEMINIST SICK OF BEING DISMISSED AS "HUMORLESS"
DEAR EDITOR AND DAN SAVAGE: I am so sick of feminists being dismissed as humorless, idiot activists, and anti-sex clenchbutts. Naked sushi is performance art? Bullshit. Memo to Dan Savage: Can the condescension. Perhaps these ladies were pitching a fit for reasons other than "someone in Seattle is naked." Use of women's bodies to sell things is tiresome and indicative of attitudes of disrespect and hatred imbedded deep within our culture. It's also tiresome to have to keep reminding those who work so hard to defend the status quo. It's 2003. Equal-opportunity objectification is a sign of progress? How about women getting to live without fear of rape, brutality, mutilation, and murder? Now that's my idea of progress, Dan.
TO THE EDITOR: Just wondering if and when we were going to either hear or see the results of the Strangercrombie model search you did last month [Oct 23]. I submitted a few photos, and while not necessarily expecting to be a part of the project, I was wondering how many people submitted photos and what is actually in store for said photos.
Posed in My Panties
DAVID SCHMADER RESPONDS: First, thanks to all who submitted photos for the Strangercrombie model call, and my apologies for taking so long to acknowledge you all. The model-search process was long and tumultuous and probably involved every single one of you in one configuration or another. Ultimately, we decided on a cute young married couple who unfortunately had to drop at the last minute due to tick-borne illness. Luckily, we then rounded up a bunch of sizzling-hot rocker models, who we pumped full of booze, stripped, and shot, with the results hitting newsstands Wednesday, December 3.
DEAR STRANGER: I am an avid reader of The Stranger, but I have one beef. The restaurant reviews, although usually well written, all too often cover pretentious and expensive restaurants that most people in Seattle can't afford to go to more than a couple of times a year, if at all. For example, in the last review on Union [Nov 20], in downtown Seattle, Sara Dickerman whines over revolving menus that merely change lamb dishes to duck plates. Please. It's been at least a year since I've eaten in a restaurant that even serves duck--and I can't be the only one. Although the writers are often critical of these overblown establishments, over and over again they pick these yuppie fusion cuisine places to pick apart. How about some practical advice on reasonable and tasty grub in this town? Yes, the writers offer the odd and fanciful Top Pot doughnuts write-up, but I'm talkin' restaurants like Easy Street Records Cafe in West Seattle or CJ's in Belltown--potential staples for any Seattleite's diet.
I long to see Stranger reviewers dive into the depths of this Godforsaken city and seek out more reliable, inexpensive, and delicious gems, because these are the places where I actually spend most of my restaurant dollars. Really, I have to wonder about the all-too-easy bitching about opulent décors and pricey entrées, when this seems to be exactly the stuff the writers gravitate toward--or maybe it's what the large and inviting restaurant reviewer expense accounts promote.
EMILY HALL RESPONDS: For crying out loud, all you have to do is cast your eyes a bit farther down the page, where we regularly feature inexpensive restaurants and other cheap pleasures. In the past few months, just to take, you know, a random sampling, we've written about La Botana, Mike's Noodle House, the Pacific Inn Pub, Steel Pig BBQ, Pho and Banh Mi Saigon, and Filiberto's. So there.
TO PARIS, WITH LOVE
BRADLEY STEINBACHER: Your review of the Paris Hilton video ["The Movie of the Year!" Nov 20] was genius. Spot on. I normally refrain form writing these letters but I could not resist. Solomon's work is challenged only by yours. Congratulations.