Dear Editor: In your recent column "Numerology for Numbskulls," you encouraged people to come to Wade's Bellevue Indoor Range [New Column!, Nov 6]. That part is appreciated. The part where you encourage them to turn guns on themselves with directions on shooting themselves in the brain: Not. Cool. We know you were trying to be funny, but we take firearm safety very seriously here at Wade's. We really don't appreciate you suggesting people come to our business to hurt themselves. Aren't you supposed to be the good guys with all the peace, love, no-war-ever rhetoric? Does encouraging suicide really fit with that mindset?
From the context of the column, you had felt your safety was threatened by unstable individuals, and one of your two solutions involved a gun. However, like true liberals, you asked that someone else pull the trigger for you. Before someone cuts your phone line and takes your office hostage with a feather pillow, I invite you to train with us and find out how to be safe and responsible with firearms. Of course, you do run the risk of discovering that most gun owners are just normal people, which might make us harder to vilify. Or even worse, you might enjoy yourself.
Don Clifton, Wade's Bellevue Indoor Range
jen Graves: I am a Lower Elwha Klallam artist whose work is in the current SAM show of Coast Salish art you just reviewed ["The Original Northwest Reserve," Oct 30]. I've read the other local newspaper reviews of the show and found yours by far the most insightful and cogent to the intent of the show.
Understanding Coast Salish culture and art (and the Puget Salish subculture) is difficult because the local tribal culture defies the coastal stereotype most people hold. No totem poles, masks, or button blankets. Also, understanding our art is challenging because it asks you to recall a time when art was not a specialized activity and art was not purely seen as a commodity. Too many art critics try to place Coast Salish art in a modern context that has modern references and philosophies. Joseph Campbell once wrote that there are two basic types of art in the modern world. One is called traditional, where the artist tries to do artwork in a style that could be centuries old so that their work is part of a cultural continuum. The other art is Western modern art where the artist seeks to be able to express himself or herself in a totally unique way, not connected to anyone or anything. Most of the Coast Salish artists in the SAM show are closer to the culturally based traditional position, even those of us seen as contemporary Native artists.
A small quibble: All the reviews tended to quote non-Indian experts in the field, and it seems few if any Native artists were able to speak for their culture or themselves. Hope you can do another column that might remedy this. My position is, it's our culture, but it's their show. Consider going to the culture.
Thanks for your insights and willingness to look beyond what is expected of Native artists.
Hey Jeff Kirby: I so totally agree with you about Chris Cornell's recent work [Up & Coming, Oct 30]. It's just not anything remotely like Soundgarden's greatness. And I also don't dignify his recent tours, which have sold out all over the world playing Soundgarden songs, which he somehow nefariously ended up with the rights to. Soundgarden was a band, with all the energy and collaborative talent of a collective group of individuals. CC has gotten very rich playing its songs, blowing off the fact that artists deserve credit and remuneration for their work. And I am disgusted with CC for totally losing all his integrity, as well as showing his true stripes, i.e., shitty songs, after that great constellation of people parted ways. No mystery there about a Soundgarden reunion. Don't hold your breath!
BEST NIGHT EVER
Dear dear dear dear Stranger: Thank you ever so much for the party you threw last night [Nov 4]. I had the best night ever. I cried and shrieked and hugged and kissed strangers and drank and drank and drank. It was an incredible thing to feel that energy just throbbing around us all. Thank you from the very bottom of my patriotic heart!
DEPT. OF BELATED ATTRIBUTIONS: Due to our crazy election-night production schedule for the November 6 issue, we were unable to put cover photo credit in its rightful place on page 5. The photo was taken by Adam L. Weintraub. We thank Mr. Weintraub from the bottoms of our drunken, elated hearts.