A RESPONSE TO RYAN BLETHEN
TO RYAN BLETHEN: That was a hilarious contribution to The Stranger [Public Editor, Dec 6]. It was definitely funny and you're mostly right. However, you've forgotten a very important thing, which is that when it comes to covering music and entertainment, The Stranger BEATS all the other papers in Seattle and is not trying to be what the Seattle Times or the P-I is. Although I often take issue with what The Stranger chooses to report on as far as music goes, the Times almost always picks the wrong shows and artists to promote. I cannot believe you guys chose to report on the band Evanescence (nobody gives a crap about them or their new album), Lynyrd Skynyrd (come on!), not to mention the Times' unending coverage of Blake Lewis. The ONLY good writer you have in the music department is Andrew Matson.
The Stranger is probably not a good paper for people who care about current events (I read the Times for that), but most people can't stand to read about what's going on in their city politically, economically, and socially unless there's some humor in the article or the reader feels like she/he is getting to know the author, which The Stranger usually does pretty well.
Seattle is still a young city, and young people want to go out. The Stranger is able to provide people with the information they need to go out and have fun, whereas the Times is mainly for people who think they're pretty important 'cause they live on the Eastside or have a cheesy condo in Queen Anne.
YOU CAN WRITE FOR THE STRANGER WITHOUT SOUNDING LIKE A STRANGER WRITER
MR. BLETHEN: I seldom reach for The Stranger anymore, but today I picked up an issue and read the Public Editor column you wrote [Dec 12].
The Stranger was egregiously wrong in using your byline and image without permission. Taking them to task was something you were entitled to do. Still, I wonder if some portion of the feedback you've received reflects a disappointment similar to mine over the column-cum-rebuttal.
Too often The Stranger strikes a temper and tone that's angry, smarmy, and mean-spirited, seeming more inclined to deliver a verbal spanking than a mature, well-reasoned admonishment. Many of your comments in The Stranger ironically seemed characterized by the same shortcomings.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned in the exchange between The Stranger and the Seattle Times is more than one of expecting the former to acknowledge its undeniable foolishness and unethical practice of assuming your identity. The latter might benefit from a little reflection of its own, with respect to the casting of stones... becoming what we hate... and the power to forgive (which I do not mean to confuse with the power to pardon).
I imagine most readers, and most certainly myself, are no different from Dan Savage and Ryan Blethen when it comes to making mistakes or overreacting. Maybe all of us need to be reminded of that as we form our opinions of others.
TO THE EDITOR: On reading The Stranger [Dec 6], I was reading the Stranger Suggests section when I noticed that adjacent to the subheading for Saturday December 8, was a small box with the words "kike rock." I was immediately struck by the use of the word "kike" as I am Jewish, and in my upbringing this was considered a disparaging term. It is a word that I have not heard used about town in conversation.
Nor has the word has been "reempowered" by Jewish people who then use it in an effort to subsume the stigma. In referencing several online dictionaries, the term is uniformly considered disparaging and an ethnic insult.
It seems to me that The Stranger likes to straddle the line between informative, insightful, and confrontational. I wonder if perhaps that line was crossed—albeit in a small-font, humor-attempting manner.
I feel the word "hebe" may be a more suitable selection, although I am cautious to be the arbiter of standard.
TO THE EDITOR: I was curious if The Stranger ever considered a small local sports section. Nothing big, but just enough to let the great City of Seattle know what's going on with its sports teams. I am a huge Seattle sports fan and I truly feel there is a need for such a section in your great paper. You paper covers basically everything one would want to know about in a great manner, save sports. And I would love to be the person to give them that last bit of information about our city.
J. D. Jackson III
IS THERE ANY OTHER KIND?
DUDE: Whatup with the made-up astrology? It's boring.