The issue opens with a series of febrile letters from first-time readers saddened and offended by the fey scribblings of ADRIAN RYAN. Like many homosexuals, Mr. Ryan has death and disease at the forefront of his thoughts, but individuals who have never read The Stranger might not detect the telltale lilt. Rather than make things plain and apologize to these mourning Monkees fans—many of whom are from the Midwest, and all of whom encountered Mr. Ryan's commentary out of context and on the internet—The Stranger has chosen instead to showcase these letters, ignorant of Mr. Ryan's sexual preoccupations though they may be. Why explain things to an upset reader when you can just dance them around for the amusement of the loyal local audience before mocking them even further? The page that follows the letters contains a column entitled "Infuriate a Monkees Fan!" that is disgusting in its glee.

Typing the above paragraph allowed me to imagine for a moment the unbridled pleasure of being a person from the Midwest who has never read The Stranger. Imagine the productive lives such people enjoy. One such individual, a state representative in Iowa, had the misfortune of answering his telephone when BRENDAN KILEY called to interview him for a "serious" article this week. The topic: a new intoxicant that can be used to wean drug addicts off other intoxicants. Mr. Kiley's love of drugs is well documented, but again, only if you're a Stranger reader, and the good legislator's unwillingness to play along with Mr. Kiley's charade—prohibition is always wrong! Heroin for everybody!—results in the legislator coming across poorly. How surprising.

Furthermore, we also have DOMINIC HOLDEN nattering on about something called a Seattle "subway" in this issue. Just looking at the map of this proposed system is enough to give a longtime Seattleite a vicious case of indigestion. This is the monorail boondoggle all over again, only even more patently improbable and, presumably, exponentially more expensive. Mr. Holden has never met a costly public-transit plan he did not immediately fall wildly in love with, and this "subway" system is so entirely stupid and unrealistic that he would probably marry it if such a thing were legal.

Elsewhere, quickly: BOOKS: Apparently, a bunch of lesbians are going to be reading "spoken word" at a local literary spot. In other words, literature is dead... CHOW: In which the food editor puts on her pith helmet and soaks herself in the mysterious culture of the inscrutable land known as Hawaii. The food that she pats herself on the back for sampling is a little-known Pacific island delicacy known as "fried chicken"... THEATER: Two mediocre reviews by two mediocre minds... FILM: Two reviews about femalecentric films, stitched together for no sensible reason whatsoever by a homosexual with absolutely no understanding of the feminine mystique whatsoever. Perhaps next, The Stranger will feature a geology column written by a seagull. recommended