EDITORS: It must be a slow week for Dan Savage, concerned enough to write about an event at a gay bar that will most likely be more wordplay than a [situation] where men are getting thrown on top of the pool table or up against railings for a raw poking ["Bareback Bucks," April 26]. Even if the underlying idea is to get a bunch of men with a similar interest to come to the Eagle, get excited about "possibilities," drink beer, and eventually go home frustrated and alone, who cares? I know it's a big job being the voice and moral center of all things gay, but once in a while Savage might want to take a break from being the sex police. I don't advocate unsafe sex, I just think Savage sounds a little bored--or at the very least he's running out of battles to fight.

Anonymous, via e-mail


Dear Dan Savage: It was surprising to read an attack from you on the subject of the Eagle's "Bareback Thursday" ad campaign. Haven't you promoted bareback sex yourself, albeit within your [monogamous] relationship?

While I would require a lot more than a night out with someone to establish such a trusting relationship, I respect other adults [mature] enough to allow them to negotiate for themselves. If LAA [Lifelong AIDS Alliance] wants to provide an educational counterbalance to the Eagle's tawdry marketing, that will most likely be far more persuasive to the portion of the crowd that's not already antagonistic. If LAA were to confront the Eagle and protest this ad campaign, who would take them seriously? Barebackers? Eagle patrons? The Stranger?

Steven Thomas, via e-mail

DAN SAVAGE RESPONDS: There's a difference between "promoting" barebacking (understood as condom-free sex with multiple and often anonymous partners) and not using condoms in a long-term relationship. I'm not sure I have a problem with Bareback Thursday, in fact. I was just curious if the same people who had a problem with the "bareback" sex in my relationship--which includes the folks at LAA--also had a problem with a bar that seems to be promoting bareback sex. That LAA's education director was entirely unaware that this was even going on is a pretty good indication that none of us should take LAA seriously.

And I hardly qualify for the role of sex cop. I believe that people have the right to go to hell in their own way, and if someone wants to bareback his brains out, more power to him. Again, what's odd is the different response LAA had to the safe barebacking in my relationship--attack, condemn, etc.--and LAA's non-response to the Eagle's ad campaign.


To the Stranger: We would like to respond to your article on the city's racial profiling task force ["The OTHER Closed Meetings," Josh Feit, April 26]. Before your article was published, we had advocated for open meetings of the task force, to permit both observation of the discussions and the opportunity for [public] input. We expected to have at least one community forum to invite public comment.

Contrary to your call for us to resign, we plan to continue to participate in the committee's work, which is important to resolve questions about racial profiling. The task force includes representatives from a variety of perspectives, and it is serious about addressing the problem. The city council has asked the task force to help develop police data-collection methods. In addition, the task force will help to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to utilize the data-collection effort to enhance training, counseling, and police management; to implement police misconduct prevention techniques; to develop early warning systems; and to improve the citizen complaint process, community relations, and education.

Each of us has advocated for comprehensive data collection. We participated in the city council's discussions last year about racial profiling, presenting our view that citizens of color are disproportionately stopped by police, and that the city must act to change that. We have met with police leadership to urge positive change.

We take seriously our role as representatives of the community. All of us want to be sure that police do not stop people simply because of their race. We will continue to advocate strongly on the task force for racial justice and for fairness.

Robert C. Boruchowitz, Director, Defender Association

Song Richardson, Attorney

Harriet Walden, Mothers for Police Accountability


You cads at the Stranger: What's the big idea? I mean, Christ... every week, one of the first things I do is flip to Police Beat, to see what George Pfromm [former illustrator of Police Beat] had come up with. Now, with yet another "redesign," a very talented local artist gets fucked sideways on a sandy beach. WHY!? More room for two-page fucking Camel ads and eight-odd pages of phone sex? Sure, I know--those advertisements line your pockets while you marginally line Pfromm's. But for people who are trying to make a living with their art, you just made it a hell of a lot harder.

You don't care what I think or who reads The Stranger, so I am not going to threaten you with the withdrawal of my "business." It's just the last straw for me. This is exactly why I stopped reading The Rocket and the Weekly. Now you are the swollen asshole at the top... and I don't intend to smell it anymore. I hear there's a new rag out. I'm going to try that one.

"Disappointed," via e-mail


DEAR EDITOR: In a recent review of the film Driven ["Shriven," May 3], writer Kudzai Mudede makes a half-dozen references to Formula One racing in connection with the film. The film is not about Formula One racing, but instead about the CART series (Championship Auto Racing Teams). Yes, the cars look similar, but then NFL football and rugby look similar to the ignorant or uncaring--two qualities one would hope to find absent in a competent film reviewer.

How Mudede managed to confuse this important point time and time again in his review is beyond me, unless he never read any of the promotional materials, didn't see the movie, or watched it with the sound off.

Had his review been witty or insightful, all this could be overlooked. But after rereading his effort, I'd suggest double-teaming fact checkers on his future assignments.

Travis Hartnett, Seattle


DEAR MUSIC EDITOR: After taking in a Carissa's Wierd show on The Stranger's recommendation, I started noticing their name an awful lot in your music section. An awful, awful lot. In fact, 38 separate times in the last year and a half, roughly every other week--a pretty good rate for a weekly paper. That figure includes 20 plugs in Up & Coming, 11 appearances in It's My Party, four Stranger Suggests, three photos of Jenn Ghetto, two CD reviews, and a partridge in a pear tree.

I recognize that it's in the mission of alternative papers to plug bands they like, but this situation is clearly unacceptable. Carissa's Wierd is still nowhere near as famous as they deserve to be. The Stranger is just going to have to try harder in the future.

James, via e-mail


EDITOR: How ironic that one of your writers, "Nancy Drew," essentially concedes that the original dream of an African American Heritage Museum has all but been destroyed [In Other News, May 3], in contradiction to Phil Campbell's article implying that wounds have been healed in the black community ["Museum Peace," April 19]. In fact, Campbell's article, for some reason, did not include the stories from the community opposition that has fought for 15 years to preserve the original progressive vision of a community-and-educational center in the museum; there is nothing about condos in this vision. It is also interesting that Drew's realization came after the city council vote to essentially kill the project and further Anglo-Saxonize the Central District against the will of people who already live there.

At best, it appears that The Stranger is being manipulated to fool the readers into remaining passive while Seattle's elite completes the job of making sure that their hand-picked allies will have ultimate control and funding of what will happen to the Coleman School. Can you say "domestic neo-colonialism"? This maneuver is the modern history of colonial Africa repeating itself right in our own backyard. Perhaps the city council can pass a city ordinance to rename the Central District "Palestine."

Gregory Lewis, Museum Secretary

John Persak, General Executive Board, IWW