DEAR SODOMITES: I'm sure that right now the staff of The Stranger is figuring a way to yet again pin the fall of John Kerry on Ralph Nader, despite an overwhelming win in the popular vote by Bush.

I suggest you look a little closer to home for the blame. While Kerry may have won this state, and Oregon, and California, it's pretty clear that the evangelical nutcases have their rallying cry: gay marriage! Nothing seems to galvanize people like hatred, and you morons at The Stranger have been too busy, too stupid, and too myopic to see past your own self interests to realize this simple fact. I swear that Karl Rove couldn't have paid you to help Bush more than you have.

Maybe you should pull your heads out of your same-sex partners' asses long enough to look around at the real damage this administration has done, and will continue to do, to those who are much more adversely affected than yourselves: poor people, minorities, Iraqis, people who have to live on this decaying planet, the generations ahead that will be paying for our huge deficit, etc.

Think about this, and about how the majority of American voters really feel about the issue, when you think about making gay marriage a major issue BEFORE the next presidential election. Maybe you can wait until the Republican evangelical crazies aren't in control of ALL of the branches of government to make your case. PLEASE!

Angry Citizen

STRANGER: To those of you who sued for the right to marry earlier this year, thus leading to the decision by the MA Supreme Court to legalize it and measures on ballots in 10 states:

You know, you could've waited until 2005 to push this. You didn't have to do it in a presidential election year. But NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Are you happy now? Because if you hadn't pressed this issue, John Kerry would've been elected president. The massive turnout for Bush was largely based on "moral values," not terrorism or the war in Iraq.

Next time, can you think about someone besides yourself? Unless you're a Republican; that's what Republicans do--think about themselves.

Jerry Cole

STRANGER: Regarding Gib Smith's tart apologia for Lynndie England [Letters, Nov 4]:

I hope that Smith's vitriolic outburst is really in response to the fact that the fallout from Abu Ghraib has been exclusively on the backs of the amateur sadists who implemented the torture, while the psychopaths who ordered it not only got off scot-free but have just obtained purchase on four more years of wanton lawlessness.

Whatever is truly behind Smith's venom, the fact remains that Lynndie et al. are culpable. (The Nuremberg Trials settled that matter to the satisfaction of history and the international community. "Just following orders" is no longer an accepted defense.) To suggest that she somehow isn't culpable because she is "working class" (whatever the fuck that means) is nothing but rank fetishizing condescension. If she had been "middle class" would she have been culpable in Smith's eyes? Ergo the "working class" is incapable of ethical judgment? That's bottomlessly more insulting to the "working class" than any fun to be had at Lynndie England's expense.

Jeremy Morrison

ANNIE WAGNER: I'm sorry, but who the fuck are you? And why are you wasting your time "reviewing" other reviewers in Seattle, simply because they enjoyed a production of Our Town ["Luscious Inexactitude," Oct 28]? Just where the fuck do you come by such unappealing smugness? The Stranger's history of theater reviewing is pockmarked with far too much indifference, incompetence, and ridiculous conflicts of interest for ANYONE associated with the name to be casting any stones.

I would suggest spending more time defining your talents and your own voice, and less on aping the aging, yet sophomoric, jaded senior staff members of The Stranger. And, honey, don't shit where you might someday want to eat.

Robert Lawson

ANNIE WAGNER: Oh, how you hit the nail on the head with your assessment of Seattle's passionless, wishy-washy theater reviewers. One of the reasons I feel that Seattle's rich theater scene appears to be dying is because too many people are tired of having gone to see well-reviewed plays that are completely mediocre, rag-tag experiences. Theater is just too expensive to receive this kind of blasé velvet glove treatment. I understand that there is a limited space issue for most of the (getting worse by the week) arts coverage in Seattle newspapers, but many of the reviews by the reviewers mentioned seem to offer no opinion whatsoever; there is just simply no such thing as an enthusiastic rave or a devastating pan from these people, it's all one big flat line. Theater in Seattle is drifting into a totally affectless, middlebrow ghetto and the Intiman's well-intentioned but clumsy production of Our Town is the epitome of this aesthetic. Bottom line: Arts coverage in Seattle needs to sharpen up a bit; it needn't be run by butchers, but it needn't be run by basket cases, either.