EDITOR: While the misguided notion of Chop Suey being a "racist hotspot" certainly is attention-grabbing ["Chromatics on Chromatics, April 25], I have to laugh at the notion of the Chromatics preferring to play "in the parking lot of Jack in the Box."
According to singer Adam M., a massive, faceless corporation that has actually killed people with its food is somehow preferable to Chop Suey, an independently owned business that employs artists and musicians and provides a forum for all varieties of music.
It is very difficult for me to understand Adam's line of thinking and I am amazed at his hypocrisy. He refuses to "play under the pagoda," yet he has patronized the club, even after his slanderous statements were made in the press. He has no problem calling the owners "crackers," despite the fact that he is gainfully employed at one of their other businesses.
I wish Adam had used some of the abundant space he was allotted within The Stranger's music section to explain exactly what he deems racist at Chop Suey. He offers not one concrete example of why he thinks the club is "blatantly offensive." His biggest problem seems to be that the owners are not Asian.
It is true that Chop Suey's owners are Caucasian--does that mean they should be confined to whatever the Chromatics deem as "white culture"? Would Adam and his band prefer if each race stayed within their own ethnic boundaries? If that's the case, then perhaps they should alert the Ethiopian-owned teriyaki shop, the Italian-run hamburger joint, and the Korean-operated pizza place. Clearly, there is no room for these sorts of ethnic blendings in the Chromatics' world.
Although their ignorance is blinding, I must commend the Chromatics on their genius marketing efforts. Chop Suey has had a fair share of enthusiastic press, as well as abundant support from the music community, in recent weeks. The Chromatics chose a target that would certainly get them some attention, despite the fact that their allegations are unfounded. That's a smart move--just ask Courtney Love. I predict a bright and shiny future for this band the Chromatics, and look forward to their next big move. Perhaps a Jack in the Box-sponsored tour is in the works?
Kerri Harrop, Booking & Promotion, Chop Suey
WHITE, UNEDUCATED OPINIONS
STRANGER: While I applaud your creativity in letting bands interview themselves, I hope you learned your lesson ["Chromatics on Chromatics," April 25]. There is a reason that this method isn't employed more often, and it is because bands like Chromatics have nothing intelligent to say when left to their own devices. Calling Chop Suey racist is about the most asinine thing I have heard in a long time. This is analogous to saying that cowboys ought to boycott Linda's because Linda's has appropriated the cowboy culture.
Although I hate to age myself, I must say that back in my day we actually tried to fight the real evils. We would boycott corporations and support local business. Please don't tarnish the good name of punk rock by claiming that's what you are. Why don't you leave your little white bubble and go out and experience the world before you subject the rest of us to your boring, white, uneducated opinions.
Kelly Canary, via e-mail
CUTE, BUT MISSES THE POINT
EDITOR: When I read the article "Hazy Vision: New Pot Initiative Lacks Potency" [April 25], I expected something very different. The title of the article was cute, but completely misses the point of I-75, the Sensible Seattle Initiative.
In Seattle, like everywhere else in America, police exercise enormous discretion when deciding whether or not to arrest you for having marijuana on your person or in your home. If they decide--or are told--not to expend scarce public resources pursuing pot smokers, marijuana arrests do not happen. On the other hand, you are an easy target if individual cops or politicians perceive an advantage in arresting you for possessing marijuana. That is exactly what happened in New York City, where marijuana arrests skyrocketed from 720 in 1992 to 50,830 in 2000, an increase of over 7,000 percent.
The millions of dollars wasted on police, attorney, and court costs--not to mention the harm to pot smokers' employment, educational opportunities, and personal freedom--is staggering. Sure, drug laws need to be changed at the state and federal level, and they will be. But social reform and democracy always begin at the local level. Telling our police officers to stop arresting our fellow citizens who choose to smoke pot is Seattle's opportunity to begin the process of reform. There is nothing hazy or lacking in vision about that.
Project Director, Drug Policy Reform Project ACLU--Washington
EDITOR: Next time you're going to let Josh Feit write a masturbatory puff piece about how his adolescent comic-book fantasies still rule his life (and ohmigod!! He wrote a play AND an essay!), please include a Wet-Nap in every issue so we can wipe the jizz from our hands ["The Great American Comic," May 2]. Jesus Christ.