EDITOR: So what's the deal with these "Extra Special Valentines" that didn't make the paper? My poor boyfriend spent two hours checking off every single valentine in The Stranger, looking for the one he wrote me so that he could put a heart around it and give it to me on our Valentine's date. Instead, after a grueling search, he found it on your website. If he wanted to give me an internet valentine, he could have posted it on goddamn MySpace. How exactly did you discriminate between valentines that made the paper and those that didn't? He submitted his within a week of your first announcement, so clearly you didn't enact a first-come, first-served policy. And he included a Madonna reference in his valentine to me, so you must not have scanned them for content. Being an avid Stranger reader, I am disappointed—a paper with as loyal of a readership as you should know better than to make promises to your readers that you can't keep. Now, let's see if you put THAT in the paper.
W. ClayIT TOTALLY DOES
MEGAN SELING: I'm gonna write a movie review, okay? I'm going to strip it of any real cinematic analysis or heft, 'cause that stuff's for artsy-fartsy pussies, and then I'm going to write the entire damn thing so it reads like I'm talking to my friends over chai. All right? Still with me? Then I'm gonna liberally sprinkle in swear words to accentuate my disgust with what I'm writing about and come up with totally rad nicknames for the characters in the movie, okay? Nicknames like Crybaby. Gotcha. Don't freak out or anything, okay, fuck. Jesus. All right. Um. Then I'm gonna start writing things in capitals, to accentuate how I'm totally smarter than the stupid little dipshits in the movie, like, HELLO!?? I always wondered why nobody does that in other published movie reviews. Nobody's gonna wanna fuck with a review like this. Sound good to you?
Steve MacFarlaneBRING BACK THE TOC
EDITOR: For fuck's sake bring back the table of contents. And be nice little butt-boys and include actual page numbers for no-nonsense resources like movie times. Back in the period of your middle laziness I could at least look up the page number for I Love Television and subtract one to find the movie times, but now you don't even bother to TOC your features, a triumph of laziness over egomania that surprised even me.
Please just pretend you give a shit and bring back the TOC. Last night while looking up club information I accidentally read a few lines of your content and I haven't been quite right since.
P.S. Grandpa says to tell your theater fag not to write like that flâneur twat again or he'll start shitting outside your building. But my grandpa has like three minutes left in this world so I wouldn't worry too much. Plus, don't people shit there already?
SMOKING BAN STILL BURNS
DEAR LAST DAYS: Yes Eyman is a fucktard [Last Days, Feb 9], and it's complete idiocy for the majority to determine minority rights. But I never heard (or maybe I missed it) The Stranger say anything about this idea when the smoking ban initiative was on the ballot. In fact, the two articles I read supported the ban by arguing little more than "I just don't like smoky bars."
Civil rights must extend to the most important—people themselves—as well as their freely chosen behaviors. In other words, the equal standing of people regardless of sexual orientation, race, political persuasion, etc., is not the same as drinking, smoking, etc., but the principle is the same. It wasn't that long ago that an American could not legally drink a glass of wine with his or her dinner. And women couldn't vote. And legal segregation existed. A suspected "communist" was subject to blackballing.
Yikes. Tocqueville was right.
EDITOR: Charles Mudede's piece on domestic violence around the Super Bowl ["Coincidence," Feb 9] was a waste of ink. His "study" of domestic-violence rates based on three days of police reports is an illustration of nearly everything that can be done wrong with a study. I'll harp on one, the lack of controls. Without controls, an experiment is worthless.
Could the higher rates be just because there are lots of guests and family around to report the crimes (higher reporting rate)? Or because throwing or participating in a big party can be a stressful experience, with a lot of interactions with seldom-seen friends and family? I know that hanging around with my family can raise my blood pressure a few points, no matter what the context. These are the things that make a study. Without them, the article is just the rantings of another liberal who hates football.
As a liberal who likes football, let me propose a hypothesis for why guys like Charles Mudede write articles like this: They feel threatened by the rowdy, blue-collar mystique that surrounds the game. Football is the game of the mechanic, the janitor, the frat boy, the construction worker, and businessman (and the women who love them). These are the "real" men that pencil-necked protoliberals were scared of in high school, and fear and loathe even now.
Even if a real study were to show a link between football viewership and domestic violence, I still believe that football and other sports do more good than harm in our society. Let me propose that just as likely as it is to "activate or aggravate violent drives in men," violent, militaristic sports (no sense denying it) such as football provide a release valve for the violence and aggression that lurks in most men, and some women. Without sports, I believe that men in our society would still be forming raiding parties to go raze neighboring towns.
EDITOR: Charles Mudede's story on an alleged link between the Super Bowl and domestic violence against women undermines any legitimate attempts to cast a truthful light upon the horrific realities of domestic violence. Domestic violence is heinous, but the manipulation of truth and the blatant misapplication of statistics to drive home a point merely provide fodder for those who would seek to minimize it. In the future, please save a serious topic for a serious reporter.
SCRAPING MOLD IN NORTH HIGHLINE
EDITOR: When your intern [ed. note: actually news writer Tom Francis] who was working on the White Center-Seattle annexation article ["City Slickers," Tom Francis, Feb 9] interviewed me, he was so focused on finding someone to complain about Greg Nickels and buy into some imagined conspiracy theory that he missed the real story that plagues North Highline. Last year, the North Highline fire chief, making $130,000 per year—and who would lose his kingdom with a Seattle annexation—was also the chamber of commerce president, the Unincorporated Area Council (UAC) president and a water commissioner, all at the same time. While he was a water commissioner, helping set the salary for the water district director, the water district director was on the fire commission, helping set his salary. Amid claims of possible illegal quorum meetings with two fire commissioners at his home, in an attempt to isolate the then sole independent voice of the fire commission, he moved to the role of puppeteer. Now the new chamber president is one of his employees, and the new UAC president is also one of his employees, and two of the three pocketed fire commissioners, who set his salary, and never ask independent questions, are represented on the UAC executive committee, setting the anti-Seattle annexation agenda.
Gee, all these entities seem to be working to keep big, bad Seattle from absorbing the North Highline Fire Department. What a surprise. Annexation is about more than the fire department. If this story weren't so degrading and selfish, it would be laughable.
Seattle might have its problems, but Mayor Nickels does care about neighborhoods, and we desperately need a deputy mayor like Tim Ceis to come in here, scrape off the mold, and bring us the stronger fire and Medic One services that Seattle provides to its own citizens, without all the incestuous behavior.
Mark L. Ufkes
White Center resident and four-year UAC member