STRANGER FINALLY GETS Y2KTo the Editor: So, you finally "got it." After months of ridiculing people preparing for Y2K, you finally acknowledge that yes, there may be a teensy-weensy problem here ["Y2K: It's Not the End of the World, but It Might Be Closer than You Think," Steve Perry, July 15]. Congratulations -- I'm happy for you.I note, however, that there's no apology tendered to the people whom you were recently comparing to Bible-thumping religious bigots and right-wing ammo hoarders. Well, we're none of those things. We're just people who have a clue. We're people who aren't so insecure that a need to fall lock-step with the herd and ridicule others interferes with our ability to collect and analyze information. We're people whose sense of community goes beyond the mosh pit.

Some of us have taken abuse from scribbling turds like you on this issue for years. Many, many Y2K-aware people who have tried to get their communities prepared have not only been vilified in the press, but have lost their jobs -- in non-profit [organizations], in local government -- for "promoting panic."

When we were down, you put the boot in. Do you now want to be recognized for sounding the alarm about Y2K? Sorry, dipshits. We've got your number.

Danton Thorsson, Mercer Island

STRANGER OFFERS HOPE FOR THE FUTURETo the Editor: Absolutely fantastic journalism ["Y2K: It's Not the End of the World, but It Might Be Closer than You Think," Steve Perry, July 15]. If your writer was in charge of this Y2K problem, I would have some hope that many will not suffer, or worse, perish. I do not presently, and will doubtfully in the future, have that hope.Phillip M. Hallman, Dallas, TX

WHAT HAPPENED TO FREE SPEECH AT SEATTLE CENTER?Dear Editor: What is going on in Seattle? As far as I know, citizen activists still have the right to gather signatures for a city-wide initiative. But I see the city of Seattle preventing citizens from signing Initiative I-46, which would repeal the ban on free speech and music posters.Tim Crowley of Free Speech Seattle has civil rights, despite what the city thinks ["Banishment Number 1," Ben Jacklet, July 22]. The Seattle Center has historically been a popular place for petitioning and for free speech. Politicians are allowed to hold rallies and shake hands with the public at public events.

They should never have harassed him. I feel that they are doing it so that his organization will have a much harder time gathering enough valid signatures. This is crazy!

Darral Good, Lynnwood

WHY BASH NOOKSACK?To The Stranger: Why would a bunch of elitist, yuppie city kids go to so much trouble to put down the people in our little town up here? ["Best of Nooksack," July 22.] What did we ever do to deserve this snotty and arrogant treatment?Everyone was nice and hospitable when you visited our town, and you turned around and bit us in the ass, knocking everything in our lives: our churches, our schools, our friends, and our public servants. You even mocked the dead in the cemetery. Why us? Have you run out of things in Seattle to bash?

Randy Murchy, Nooksack

STRANGER INCONSISTENT!To The Stranger: I'm really fed up with your arrogant editorial attitude. The "Kill Yr Idols" special a while back [Excellent Music Supplement, April 1] proclaimed (on the subject of jungle/drum 'n' bass) that "if you think that 30 years of beat science can be improved simply by speeding it up, then you're just as dumb as corporate America wants you to be."And now you come crawling back to the genre, singing its praises and saying that it's the most inventive and least repetitious form of techno [Dance Spotlight, Courtney Reimer, July 22]. Make up your damn minds!

Jay Thompson, via e-mail

Editor's note: We at The Stranger place the utmost importance on consistency. We apologize for the confusion and assure you, and all our readers, that conflicting opinions will never again appear in these pages.

WILSON DOESN'T GET GOTHDear Editor: KATHLEEN WILSON'S RESPONSE TO MERCURY IS PARTLY WHY IT IS A PRIVATE CLUB [IT'S MY PARTY, JULY 29]. IF I WANTED TO BE GAWKED AT BY rude, Adidas-wearing scenesters in baggy pants, I'd go to the Cha Cha Lounge. Since I don't, I (along with a few hundred other citizens) patronize the Mercury, and occasionally, the Vogue. Of course the Mercury is pretentious. It's a Goth club! Wilson's description of everyone being "lumpen and unattractive" just shows that she simply does not "get" the Gothic subculture.As far as the dancing, the correct way to describe it would be "Gothic Tai Chi." It accounts for both the "I lost my contact" and the "oh my back hurts" movements she witnessed. At least she enjoyed her drink.

She Nelson, Seattle

HERE'S YOUR LETTER, NOW DON'T SHOOT!To the Editor and Stranger readers: I HAVE BEEN READING THE STRANGER SINCE I MOVED HERE TO SEATTLE IN '91, AND OVERALL IT'S A PRETTY ENTERTAINING PAPER. I HAVE NOTICED, UNFORTUNATELY, THAT JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER RAG IN THIS FAIR CITY, IT'S UNBELIEVABLY, IRREPRESSIBLY,unapologetically WHITE. It seems there's room for fags and dykes, cross-dressers and confused-about-their-genders, fat slobs and "heroin chic," C-cup tits and above, small pencil dicks to big ol' schlongs. But there's absolutely nothing about the hassles and headaches that a tall, slender, could've-been-a-model-but-too-dark-for-local-agencies, small-breasted, genius-level IQ, hellacious writer, voice made for radio, face made for television, dark-skinned black woman faces daily.Do you ever print letters from people like me who actually have something important to say? I know there's not a lot of room for me to expound on this topic, so I'll just get right to the point:

I completely understand what goes through the minds of people who "go postal" and blow their co-workers away, because I'm pretty close to that point myself. I'm tired of my co-workers keeping me at arm's length just because my dark skin makes them uncomfortable. I can hold a conversation just as well, if not better than they can, and I'm sick of being shut out. I like all sorts of music: from classical to classic rock, goth to hiphop, contemporary and New Age, Celtic and Native American. Why the hell should I be ostracized for something beyond my control?

I'm not as rich as Michael Jackson, so I can't afford the bleaching treatments he's undergone -- and you know what? Even if I could afford them, I wouldn't have them done. I don't have that level of self-hatred; low self-esteem, maybe, but not self-hatred. No, my hate is directed outward where it should be: at all of you narrow-minded, shit-for-brains assholes who think that a person with skin darker than yours is inherently inferior. Fuck all of you whitebread bigots and Uncle Tom shitheads: Just watch out when I've decided I've had enough.

Pissed off in Seattle

MORE FROM WHINY ARTISTIC TYPESEric, you solidly missed the mark with your remark about the artists and gallery directors (not "gallery runners") not being potentially part of the Contemporary Art Project bounty [Culture Wars, Eric Fredericksen, July 29]. To wit: Two members of the co-operative gallery that I belong to have sold works to major corporate collections in the last six months. I'd strongly suggest that if you're going to call yourself an art critic, you keep in touch with what is going on in the scene. There is more than meets the eye (pun intended) to the alternative gallery scene in Seattle. We are providing valuable exhibition space to so-called "emerging" artists until the commercial visual arts scene can get back on its feet. Certainly some of the work in the alternative spaces is too "weird" to hit the mainstream. On the other hand, have you seen the giant, bizarre sugar sculpture in the BAM NW annual? That piece was in a show at 416 a few months ago.Allison Woods, Seattle

Eric Fredericksen responds: There's a big difference between getting into a Northwest Annual or Safeco or Microsoft collection and gaining the attention of Seattle's major private collectors. But if you're happy with the bones you're getting thrown, good for you. As for your "weird" comment, blue chip contemporary artists like Paul McCarthy and Ann Hamilton are much weirder than anything I've ever seen in Seattle's alternative spaces.