TO THE EDITOR: Regarding Sandeep Kaushik's "Town & Country" [April 22] article: You "Bush-hating liberals," so-called paragons of acceptance and tolerance, are the most narrow minded, closed off, semiliterate fools that ever walked the planet. It does NOT go without saying that everyone in Seattle hates George Bush. (I find your frequent use of the word "hate" very telling.) If you would open your eyes and ESPECIALLY your minds, you would see that not all people in Seattle think like you, nor are all successful, affluent folks Republican corporate shills. Some of your precious "liberal folk" are also very wealthy bigwigs, giving massive contributions to political candidates. (Kerry, Heinz, Kennedy, just to name a few!) And your description of the Eastside as "enemy territory" and a "heart of darkness" shows your real agenda and attitude of hate, envy, non-acceptance, and divisiveness. But then, if your narrow little world were any different, you would be out of a job now, wouldn't you, Sandeep? Wake up, friend, your paycheck is dependent on a BIG CORPORATE entity, one run by successful, so-called "rich" people of all types and political persuasions. Think about it.... And tell me in what way you think Kerry would be so much (or at all) better than Bush? What are his ideas? What does "progressive internationalism" mean exactly? Just more rhetoric....
Please be a thoughtful, thinking person, not a knee-jerk sheep following along with what you perceive as the "correct" way to be popular.
Laurie Ann Hewitt
SANDEEP KAUSHIK RESPONDS: Ms. Hewitt has read me too literally, which (no doubt) is an unfortunate spillover from how she reads her Bible. This is not the place (nor is there the space) for a lesson in ways of reading or the intricacies of textual analysis, but I will say that Ms. Hewitt needs to lighten up. Laugh a little, Laurie Ann--you'll live longer if you do. On a second point, my paychecks are not dependent on a "BIG CORPORATE" entity, but on the continued largesse of Stranger publisher Tim Keck. Keck is many things, including a dwarf and a bigamist, but he is neither big nor corporate. As for George Bush, I don't hate him at all. I feel something arguably worse: I pity him.
TO THE EDITOR: Regarding Police Beat and the Sierra Club [Charles Mudede, April 22]: For years, anti-immigration activists have been attempting to take over the board of the Sierra Club. This is a fact, and is well documented in the mass media. To suggest that this takeover is being carried out by "neo-Nazis," however, does indeed border on rumor, depending on your political persuasion. While Hitler was a nature-lover, and immigrants certainly pollute as much as the next guy, it borders on insane to suggest that a few million Mexican workers are America's most pressing ecological threat!
GAY GROUPS WASTE TIME
TO THE EDITOR: Eli Sanders is perhaps the most insightful gay political commentator in Seattle. His most recent column, "Take Me to Your Leader" [April 22], is precise in its estimation concerning the impotence of Seattle's jaundiced gay political machinery.
Citing an e-mail from Discrimination Free Washington board member Susan Koppelman concerning her dismay that representatives from smaller gay-based [groups] were not invited to a proposed planning meeting is illuminating. Instead of simply holding an open community planning session to oppose the upcoming "Mayday for Marriage" Safeco Field rally, insider bickering effectively hindered preparations that rightfully should have begun many months ago. Sanders is exactly right: Conservative Christians who strongly oppose same-sex unions and gay civil rights on principle are organized, have a clear agenda, and are overtly enthusiastic about their goals. In contrast, Seattle gay politicos vociferously publicize a fully grassroots-level democracy, yet in practice surreptitiously impose groupthink, buck-passing, and a foolish reluctance to lay blame that by fiat negates any real democratic process.
As former secretary and board member of the Northwest Two-Spirit Society, I can attest to this problem of insular spin within Seattle gay affairs. I had for the better part of an entire year strongly advocated that our [organization] take a clear position regarding same-sex marriage rights and many other relevant matters, to no avail. Despite the reality that our primary constituents, Two-Spirited Native Americans, would be directly affected by the legal, social, and health consequences of these issues, there was no effective group interest in engaging in any real action to rectify the problems. Facing an exacerbating health crisis on two fronts (HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, respectively), and clandestine anti-Native discrimination within the general gay Seattle community, the group dictated that it was "tired of hearing" about such topics at every meeting and ignored my appeals. The NWTSS actively rejected significant opportunities to challenge critical issues affecting its own constituency and the greater gay community in favor of politically safer, more social activities.
The amount of time, resources, and fundamental exertion squandered by endless spin on who or what the gay countermeasures to the conservative assault should look like only serve to strengthen our opposition. Without a clear-cut agenda, the struggle for basic human and civil rights in the U.S. is already lost.
Rev. Sequoyah Ade KNOW NOTHIN'
TO ELI SANDERS: Just wanted to say thank you for the awesome article in this week's Stranger--I actually feel motivated now to do something... now if I just knew who, what, where, when, and how.
A COMPLIMENT, A SERVICE
TO EMILY HALL: You rightly conclude, in your review of Glenn Rudolph's photographs at James Harris Gallery ["Nearly Invisible," April 15], that the work is "formidable." By deftly comparing the visual involvement to be had in Rudolph's work with that experienced by viewing paintings such as those of Lucian Freud, you have performed a service for both the photographer and for your readers.
Scott R. Wallin
Director of Exhibitions
Whatcom Museum of History & Art
THE REP'S CLARIFICATIONS
TO THE EDITOR: I appreciated the opportunity to speak with Brendan Kiley about my dreams for Seattle Rep and the future of the local theater scene; however, I would like to clarify a couple of my comments that made it into his column: While I've been pleased that my statement about collaborations has sparked interest from other theater groups, Brendan and I were talking about long-term visions; I look forward to the day when those pockets of funding will be located. Also, Seattle Repertory Theatre did not create the original productions of Topdog/Underdog and The Time of Your Life. Rather, we originated the tours that gave audiences outside of New York and Chicago, respectively, the opportunity to see these brilliant, unique stagings. In a similar fashion, Seattle Rep will be producing the tour of Richard Greenberg's funny and provocative Take Me Out, directed by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello, this fall.
Seattle Repertory Theatre
HEY, ANTI-MONORAIL I, ANONYMOUS GUY!
DEAR DON'T-WANNA-PAY-FOR-THE-MONORAIL WHINER: Here's a simple idea: Move to the fucking Eastside. Sure, you'll still have to pay some extra dollars on the otherwise skeletal vehicle excise tax (not all of which go to the monorail), but at least you won't have to sit through as much of the traffic mess that long-distance commuters like you cause in the first place. Better yet, you'll be able to save up that whopping $133 so much faster when you're not stopping at the gas station as much. Maybe best of all, once you live there, you'll realize that you have to drive everywhere, and you'll really be getting the most out of that $133 you pay once a year. The Eastside is a wonderland for people who don't want to get out of their cars. Countless drive-throughs, giant parking lots--the place was designed for people like you. No more self-righteous pricks or stinky hippies to invade your personal space--they'll be left here along with the people who live somewhat near their workplaces. So grab that Jetta you bought for your wife, fill it up with all your IKEA shit, fill out a change-of-address form so all those glossy mail-order catalogs get forwarded to your new place, and get the fuck out.
EDITOR: I just finished reading with great interest John Flushing's "101 Favorite Restrooms" pullout [April 22]. It was very informative, and I look forward to visiting some of these places. However, I was surprised that my favorite bathroom on the UW campus wasn't mentioned. The four- (five-?)staller is huge--its ceilings must be 12 feet high. The ceiling-high windows face south and let in so much natural light that I've never seen the lights turned on, and the window sills are deep enough to comfortably sit in and study or just look out over the campus. There's a great big empty space--maybe 12 feet by 12 feet--which I like to think of as a dance floor, although I've never seen it used as such. In fact, I've hardly ever seen anyone in there at all. The door is poorly marked, and I think it's used only by people in the know. I stumbled across this bathroom once, years ago, when I was a TA for a class in this building. So far, I have refused to tell any of my colleagues which building houses this oasis, and of course I will continue to do so, for fear of it spoiling the privacy. But it really is nice. And the signs in the hallway that point to it have a picture of a couple scuba-diving to the bathroom. How cool is that?
Edward D. Farnum
Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Washington
DEAR STRANGER: My all-time favorite place to pee is the Icon Grill (men's room) where they thoughtfully play various sights and sounds of water on a video loop with "Ride of the Valkyries" playing in the background. It more than loosens up the bladder, I tell ya. You had 101 excellent picks, but how was this overlooked?
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE: Having just read your review/ apology/homage of/about/to Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever [April 22], I am speechless but for a thrilled "Wow." I've enjoyed your regular column and your reviews, but this homage was poetry. Your words, which generally seem coyly dressed for a ball they never expected, were a smart and easy libretto--your admiration near awe, your enjoyment of the work so palpable that now I have to race all the other people who've read the review for those last few remaindered copies.
Quite a lovely piece of writing. Thank you.