GETTING THE BOOT
EDITOR: Calling the foreclosure crisis a boon for renters is just about as far off the mark as you can get. The tenants living rent-free following foreclosure that Dominic Holden describes in "Home Free" [Oct 2] are the rarest of exceptions. Most renters in foreclosed homes are kicked out with little or no notice, and while legislative fixes are in the works, there are currently no protections. Some tenants, including those who have paid rent on time every month for years, don't even find out about the foreclosure until the bank puts a notice on their door or a sign on their lawn. Tenants need protections in the form of leases that are honored, adequate notice, the return of deposits and prepaid rent, and relocation assistance. And even then, foreclosure will still basically be a hard boot out the door.
IT'S CUTE, REALLY
DEAR EDITOR: I am delighted every week to lay my hands on the newest issue of The Stranger. Every article is well written and interesting (even when they drone on and on about the newest and hottest cookie-cutter electronica snoozefest), but on every read-through there is a point where I set down the paper and sigh.
Bar Exam: STOP BOLDING RANDOM SENTENCES. Bethany Jean Clement is grossly abusing her ctrl-B privileges. An example—"...people bedded down in run-down campers under part of the West Seattle Bridge, a community in the shadows with grit sifting down on it" [Sept 25]—bolded text implies emphasis. Ms. Clement might be proud of her flowery prose (it's cute, really), but the next time I'm attending a poetry jam, I'll listen carefully to see if any of the professionals loudly shout the bits they're particularly proud of (and laugh when they do). Until Clement's habit becomes a national trend, I'll keep making fun of this free paper.
IN THE HOSPITAL
Editor: I liked your article about placing more inspirational art into hospitals ["The Traumatic Arts," Jen Graves, Oct 2]. An environment that is positive makes you feel good—isn't that what a heath-care professional's primary goal is? I was injured in a car accident in 2003 and in a hospital for a month. As generic and cold as you can imagine a hospital being—mine was certainly that. My surroundings were completely covered in those nauseating tones of lima-bean green and watered-down yellow. The few paintings I did see were generic landscape prints that filled a space on the wall. Nothing close to liberating. The rehabilitation wing of that hospital was pathetic. I have never seen so many exhausted, resigned faces in one room before. It was Easter around that time, and I wanted more than anything to have something around that could take me out of that place. The staff eventually hung up a pastel-colored "Happy Easter!" sign. It seemed mocking considering what was going on there.
A hospital is not a cheery place, and a nice picture on the wall isn't going to make your pain any more bearable. But, in one of those instances that you find yourself happy to be alive, it would be nice to have a symbol around that reminds you how your world of plastic tubes and cafeteria food is only temporary.
EDITOR: Regarding Joan Hiller's recent article on Mexican restaurants ["The Right Combination (Platter)," Oct 2], any person who writes approvingly of Velveeta should not even be allowed to eat, much less publish a restaurant review.
Dear Brendan Kiley: Regarding your All Tharp preview ["American Dancer," Sept 25] and review ["Pop Art," Oct 2]: Kinda burns when you refer to Twyla Tharp as the "most famous living choreographer" one week and then have to admit that Opus 111, her premiere for PNB was "insubstantial" and "barely leaving an impression." Now maybe you will reconsider your suggestion that Allison Van Dyck's The Snow Project (mentioned in the All Tharp preview) is derivative of Ms. Tharp's work and give her her own review.
A CLOSE EYE
EDITOR: Thank you for wrapping this week's issue [Oct 2] in a voter registration form! This is fucking brilliant. I know the form is "legal and compliant" (it says so, right there on the wrapper!), but I still fear that the friends of McSame will try to contest these forms. Please stay on top of the issue and make sure that the secretary of state and his county deputies don't try to destroy these things. The grass-roots Democrats have already had troubles getting the King County Elections office to accept large batches of completed forms this year.
I hope you'll keep a close eye on things this month—and I hope you'll republish the form in future election years.
A GIRL NOT CUT IN TWO
EDITOR: As someone who respects you for being "sexually enlightened," I am disappointed in your blanket stereotype that May-December relationships are "pervy" ["The Abasement Tapes," Sean Nelson, Oct 2]. I am 27 and my partner of three years is 51. He is not rich and manipulative, and I am not in need of a father figure. We met while working together (as coworkers, not a mentor-mentee relationship). I've since left that job and nearly completed law school (which I pay for myself, in case you were wondering). We have lived together for two years and exist in a healthy, egalitarian relationship. I consider myself a very progressive, intellectual person. I am always amazed at how the progressive community is accepting of gay relationships, biracial relationships, bisexual relationships, etc. while still thinking it is acceptable to judge and snicker at May-December relationships. I expected more thoughtfulness from you.