STRANGERS: You say you sold 500 "Terrorist" hats for $5 and they cost $8.50 each? ["I Am a Dangerous Publisher," In Other News, Dec 2.] These hats were made in Bangladesh? You need to find a new promoter. One that can shop around. I am a Union Woman, and I work for a small embroidery and sports uniform shop. We could have sold you 500 hats with the same embroidery -- done by Safe and Fair, union workers in Canada, for $4.75 each!
When the U.S. Navy paid $300 for a toilet seat, someone in the Navy got fired. Whose head is going to roll for this one? Maybe [there's] a cover-up? I'll mass mail this to all my Stranger-reading friends. We'll see how much ink this issue gets in your paper.
T. Terri, Seattle
EDITORS: Wow, what a bunch of despondent jackasses you all are. Last week, thousands of people converged in Seattle, voicing their opposition to unfettered capitalism and globalization. But the Stranger's contributions? Funny hats. A cautious, paternalistic warning ["Insecurity Plan," Phil Campbell, Josh Feit, Trisha Ready, and Jennifer Vogel, Nov 25] about the excellent preparedness of the SPD (great call, by the way). And of course, another one of The Stranger's hallmark "cooler-than-thou" pieces, patronizing the black-masked squatters on Ninth and Virginia ["Occupied Territory," Josh Feit, Dec 2].
Well, guess what, you dumb assholes? It seems you missed out on a lot of "cool shit." On Wednesday night, next to your offices, hundreds of people squared off with the SPD. Tear gas and concussion bombs all night. Were you anywhere nearby, witnessing a dramatic moment in our city's history? Or were you drinking cocktails at the Cha-Cha, too despondent to care?
Robert Johnson, Capitol Hill
EDITORS: I want you to thank David Schmader for me! In the Nov 11 Last Days, along with other goodies, he caught my handiwork. Though I have to correct him on one thing: We were not and were never WTO protesters! The firebombing of the Gap was just a test run, to view how the local law enforcement and media would respond to the event. Much to our happiness, your paper and Mr. Schmader's inept reporting skills have led the police to a dead end. Now that the trail has run cold and the riots have overturned the city, we are free to act once the city is rebuilt! The Mental Liberation Front is here to stay, and we will show this city what anarchism really means.
Lazlo Moore, Mental Liberation Front
WHERE DOES JEAN GODDEN WORK?
DEAR STRANGERS: It was kind of your writer Nancy Drew to mention my purchase of "I Am a Dangerous Terrorist" hats ["I Am a Dangerous Publisher," In Other News, Dec 2]. I feel I should point out, however, that I do not work for the Seattle Post- Intelligencer anymore. I left the P-I in 1991; but hey, the Times flies when you're having fun.
I hate asking for a correction, knowing how sad I feel when I make a mistake. But I know you folks at the Seattle Weekly will understand.
Jean Godden, The Seattle Times
EDITORS: Eric Fredericksen's take on WTO protesters as neo-Luddites [Culture Wars, Dec 9] beats everything I've seen for glib, self-important, head-in-the-sand stupidity. Apparently Fredericksen believes that citizens of those "developing nations" are all just beating down the door for a chance to work at McDonald's. They're all too innocent and eager ever to have heard of a labor union, or to have noticed that their friends have a way of disappearing when they mention such a thing. None of them, God forbid, has ever had an opinion of the WTO themselves, other than what Fredericksen and the good people at the Washington Trade Council imagine for them. No, they're all just dying to make shoes for Nike, and anybody who says different must be a "primitivist."
Of course, he knows more about all of this than people who've been studying the issue for years, some of whom hail from the very nations for whom he claims to speak. And then he makes the breathtaking discovery that modern primitivism might just have a strain of imperialism in it! Whoa! Stop the presses! Let's see, that insight is only about 70 years late. Too bad he couldn't apply it to his own paternalistic maundering. Fredericksen substitutes some '50s-esque, Peace-Through-Prosperity cartoon for the real people he claims to speak for, and then he has the gall to accuse others of "primitivism."
Davis Oldham, University of Washington
STRANGER: Thank you to Shirley of TTS for writing about our incident with Jim Forman [Dec 9]. However, there were a few things written that were not correct. I did not file "police charges" against Mr. Forman. My friend, Alex Trapp, was the one who filed a police report about the incident. While Forman did call me names and attempt to intimidate me, it was Alex who was shoved by Mr. Forman several times, not me. It should also be noted that Alex did not touch Forman until after he had shoved her a couple times. Also, the KIRO crew did not leave our parking lot until AFTER the incident, although we had asked them several times.
We feel the television media's portrayal of Tuesday [night's events] was absurd. During the hours of 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. the Pike/Pine neighborhood was a war zone, and not one of the networks bothered to turn on their cameras.
Beth Fell, Hi*Score Arcade
EDITORS: Josh Feit wrote, "The fact that activists zoomed in on companies like Niketown, Starbucks, and Planet Hollywood upped the ante; and it was certainly no accident that they smashed the windows of and scribbled graffiti on these particular companies." ["Boarding Up Boomtown," Dec 9.] He then credits these calculated maneuvers for exposing seemingly hidden class distinctions in Seattle.
A certain image (and no doubt there are plenty) comes to my mind of a young man tearing down the metal sign over the entrance to Niketown: Look closer -- he's wearing Nike shoes. Marauding protesters stream in to a downtown Starbucks chanting, drumming, horn-blowing, "AN END TO STARBUCKS!" Ten minutes later, three people are sitting outside the same shop, paper coffee cups in hand -- their protest posters resting on the pavement. Later that night, the shop was destroyed, trashed by men in black. What kind of class dichotomy is Mr. Feit referring to? The rich and the poor, or the educated and the angry?
Paul Condra, Seattle
EDITORS: Tonia Steed writes, "In 1899, protesters challenged the use of Asian laborers in local jobs. In 1999, labor protesters fear local jobs will go to Asia." ["Mainstage Seattle," Dec 9.] Ah, I see. Such delightful symmetry. That must be why the white radicals were parroting Pat Buchanan's lines at the big protest.
Matthew Stadler writes, "Those I spoke with came to protest because their communities and economies have become strange to them. They don't know where the stuff in their lives comes from or goes." ["Love and Death," Dec 9.] Maybe that's because they expect their community to be delivered to them on the sofa, like The Brady Bunch. Maybe it's up to THEM to find community and meaning in their lives, and to find out "where stuff comes from" -- not by smashing shit up and blocking the path of people who are trying to go about their lawful business.
Whatever depredations "corporations" have performed on you, besides providing you with all the sneakers and video games and grande lattes you've got going for you, have been done with your complicity, if not with your mewling infantile demands. Get up, go to school, get a job, get a life -- do something useful, you boogers. And stop protesting stuff you don't understand and couldn't possibly begin to grasp the first part of. You're making the world worse, not better. The poor people of the world aren't thanking you.
S. Thornton, Fremont
MIKE VAGO: Generally speaking, it's not hard to find fault with USA Today ["The Sampler," Excellent, Dec 9], but you may want to check a dictionary before printing baseless assertions about its use of language. To wit, "dived" is indeed a real word. In fact, the A.P.'s and The New York Times' style guides both prefer it to "dove" (go ahead, look it up!). USA Today clearly made no error here. Here's what the usage note in my dictionary has to say (Random House Unabridged, 2nd ed.): "Both DIVED and DOVE are standard as the past tense of DIVE. DIVED, historically the older form, is somewhat more common in edited writing, but DOVE occurs there so frequently that it also must be considered standard." Hope this helps.
Jon Silver, via e-mail