EDITOR: Brilliant. Simply brilliant ["What's That Wailin'?" Sarah Palin, Sept 4]. Please congratulate whichever demented genius penned that, and puh-leez make it a weekly feature between now and November. Absolutely the funniest stuff in the paper since that 8-year-old Jerry kid was raving in the same space!

Jim Holt


Hi: Great article on the contrast of Clinton vs. Palin and Clinton's supporters ["Don't Worry, Ladies (and Gents)," Annie Wagner, Sept 4]! Just a correction, though: Woodinville, which was compared to Wasilla, has a population of roughly 35,000 people, while Wasilla has a population of 9,000. I am so glad to see The Stranger writing about the illusions that Clinton supporters would even think to vote for McCain/Palin despite their sadness over her loss in the primary season.

Sasha Parsley

ANNIE WAGNER RE-SPONDS: My numbers came from the 2000 census, which lists Woodinville's population at 9,194 (apparently the official boundaries of Woodinville do not include all of the households with Woodinville mailing addresses). I also accepted the more generous number being reported for Wasilla (estimated current population: 9,780). But you're probably right, Woodinville is more populous.


Hi Eli: Thanks for that inside look at the DNC ["How the Party Parties," Eli Sanders, Sept 4]. I was wondering what the real story was behind all the inane Coopering and Blitzering. There are two Americas: the fictitious, teetering, unsupportable bubble world of how the media tells us it is, and the reality of people who drink and laugh and cry, and the people who kill and die overseas. When I first went to the Middle East at age 23, it wasn't long before I lost all faith in CNN. In many ways, it was even more upsetting than when I lost my faith in God at age 15. The worst part is, most of my more intelligent friends have at least questioned God on occasion—CNN, however, is still generally considered gospel.

Pamela Olson


EDITOR: There is so much despicable rationalizing going on in this article ["The Beauty of the Beast," Bethany Jean Clement, Sept 4], I don't even know where to begin. Even as Bethany Jean Clement attempts to sell us on this supposedly "marvelous" concept of "celebrating the demise"—a genuinely slimy phrase to apply to such circumstances—of an animal, she nevertheless describes the event as "profoundly indulgent, both over- and underintellectualized, arguably voyeuristic, and plain old disturbing." Indeed, if the same words were used to describe the ritualized slaughter of a person, the dialogue would end there, and certainly any indulgent romanticizing of the event would be unanimously interpreted as psychotic. Please. Fucking please.

Also the statement, "Watching a pig die was vastly more interesting than dining with these people in Culinary Communion's lovely dining room" has to be the bitchiest, most heartless sentence I've read in a long time. I understand that Ms. Clement is intending to espouse some profound revelation on what delightfully highbrow entertainment pig slaughter can be (who knew?!), but to me the real revelation is what a complete and total bitch she is (at least in this instance). Whatever tiny semblance of compassion [the article] does have is promptly squashed out: "No one cried but me, and I thought of my grandmother and quickly cut it out."

I mean why not have a heart? Oh, right—that totally goes against The Stranger's ethos of cool, doesn't it? How do you expect to garner respect and sympathy for your various underdog causes when you can't even show the same for a poor defenseless animal?



EDITOR: I loved Bethany Jean Clement's take on the art and theater of butchering a pig for rich white human consumption in her "The Beauty of the Beast." Especially the part where she knows what it means to raise livestock to eat and earn a living, being the only one to cry during the actual main-course act of slaughtering a Culinary Communion pig with a human name, and yet somehow balancing this practical, compassionate sensibility with a matter-of-fact appreciation for the diverse interpretations of such a violent, bloodthirsty event by acknowledging—without an ounce of mawkish, ironic, disapproving reproach—the community such communion affords.

Strangely enough, reading about this only whet my appetite. I could only imagine what the vegans in Seattle were thinking in between slops of steel-cut oatmeal.