Sir: Your recent article on the "Hell Houses" [Oct 30] was a sick example of journalism. I did notice in the classified ads next to the article there was an ad for gutter cleaning. You should try that. I must say you are definitely in competition with San Francisco for being so weird.



Hello: Today, I have been following the brouhaha over the "Hell Houses" article. This evening, I decided to do a Google search for right-wing blogs discussing the article. The BIG difference is that in the Stranger article, there was no language whatsoever suggesting any harm to the people living the GOP- bannered homes—incidentally large, fenced enclaves with security, I'm sure. Whereas, the freaks on the blog[s] are overtly suggesting harm to people who do not live behind castle walls.

My thoughts are with you all.

Janet Crisp


RE: "HELL HOUSES": Intolerance cuts both ways. Your intolerant reporting and irresponsible posting of photos and addresses of private citizens' residences, based solely upon their political preferences, is classic fascistic behavior. The irony in all of this being done by a gay-agenda paper astounds me.

Fleetwood Morgan


EDITOR: And it comes full circle. Last month in one of the comment threads about that nitwit from Alaska and the fighting in Iraq, someone made the point that the idiot right's knee-jerk line about the soldiers in Iraq "fighting for our freedom" is just that: bullshit. Nobody in Iraq is fighting to save any of our freedoms over here.

Now this, and the same knee-jerk right wing idiots react to an arguably irresponsible story with death threats ["Hell Houses"]. If that isn't irony, I don't know what is. The raving loons on the right are threatening to kill people over a disagreement. The freedoms our soldiers are supposedly fighting for in Iraq, do they include freedom of the press? Is it worth fighting for freedom of the press over here? Is The Stranger going to cave in to the batshit right-wing loons?

Jeff Rivers


Erica C. Barnett: I just read your article ["Sleeping with the Enemy," Oct 23] and was quite disappointed in Cathy [Allen]. As a Democrat, I have always believed in being true to my party through good days and bad. I recently received an e-mail from Cindi Laws: "Cindi Laws Voter Guide." Cindi has also gone over to "The Dark Side." They will never again convince me that they are Democrats. I will not trust them in the future.

Robert (Bob) Carter


EDITOR: I recently read your description for the HUMP! film entitled Flesh! ["HUMP! 4: The Films," Oct 23], in which you disparaged SIFF and STIFF as "maybe" showing "at least one zombie fuckfest." While I can't officially speak for SIFF, I can say without a doubt that we at STIFF were quite insulted. I'll have you know that we work very hard to achieve a certain measure of quality in our programming, and I can only tell you that we show a very large percentage of the zombie fuckfests that are submitted to us. There have actually been many times that I've thought, "If only I could assemble an entire film festival dedicated to undead intercourse, I would die a happy man," but the truth of the matter is that those films are somewhat rare.

Last year, the only film to even be submitted was the HUMP! favorite Zombie Tapioca Lovefest, so we had to settle for augmenting with two movies heavy on necrophilia... I would also like to point out that when the cook from the Rendezvous served actual tapioca pudding during the screening, it was all eaten. Not one single member of the audience threw pudding at the screen. Why? Because unlike those hooligans who show up at SIFF screenings, our audience is fucking civilized.

Clint Berquist, Director, STIFF


EDITOR: I never thought I would see the day when I would encounter the word "tatterdemalion" again. It was in the 1950s when I was doing a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle and was asked for a 14-letter word that meant "ragamuffin" which ran across the puzzle from one end to the other. It stumped me—but when I discovered the not-everyday Dickensian word, I never forgot it. Not until Brendan Kiley used it correctly in his review of Black Gold [Oct 30] did it present itself to me again.

Mr. Kiley revealed to me a literacy that I must salute. It says volumes about his and his parents' educational values. Particularly noteworthy in this day of txtmsgng abbreviations and limited vocabularies.

Bernard Bossom