Eds. note: We generally refrain from printing letters about letters, but the response to the pearls of wisdom from Mr. Keith Kelly in Letters 2/17 has been copious. We live to serve, so herewith a few representative letters to Keith.
New singles heads up
I just have one thing to say to your reader, Keith Kelly, who responded to your article "The New Singles" (2/10) and seemed to think that the reason he wasn't happily in a relationship with a woman was because "most of the women . . . aren't anywhere near par. . . ."
I am a single, available, attractive, intelligent, mature, responsible, trustworthy young woman without kids. I don't hang out at bars or dance clubs; I too play bass guitar and love watching sci-fi movies. I don't watch TV sitcoms; I prefer shows on PBS, the Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. I'm an agnostic and am not a party girl. I am a Web developer for a good-sized e-commerce site and I enjoy working with computers every chance I get. I would seem to be, in short, everything Mr. Kelly is looking for in a woman.
However, after reading Mr. Kelly's letter, I can definitely say that the problem he is having has nothing to do with a lack of suitable partners. Mr. Kelly's problem is that he has his head shoved so far up his rear he wouldn't see his perfect woman if she was dancing the polka naked in his cubicle. In my opinion, the reason many young heterosexual techie males don't have girlfriends is because most young heterosexual techie women won't put up with their arrogant, self-important views of the world.
Even at Microsoft!
If Keith Kelly (Letters, 2/10) and other men like him (of which I know very few) truly believe that they "have been left out to dry because most of the women of their generation aren't anywhere near par" then the reason he can't find a woman is pretty obvious: He's a boring, misogynist asshole.
There are plenty of mature, intelligent, responsible women of depth in Seattle, even at Microsoft. I should know: I'm dating one of them right now (hi, Kimberly!). Keith, get a life and grow up.
Dear Mr. Kelly,
You poor, brave, lonely genius. It is clear from your eloquent letter (2/10) that, if we may trust your self-description, you are worth ANY five hundred young women in the United States, and as a young woman in the United States who shares all relevant intellectual interests and morbid exclusions with you, I must say, I am shamed. Shamed. I have not felt this exquisite blanketing sense of my own void since I stumbled across Otto Weininger's Geschlecht und Charakter, published 1904 or so. Consider the following:
"In such a being as the absolute female there are no logical and ethical phenomena, and, therefore, the ground for the assumption of a soul is absent. Since the soul of man is the microcosm, and great men are those who live entirely in and through their souls, the whole universe thus having its being in them, the female must be described as absolutely without the quality of genius. . . . How could a soulless being possess genius? A female genius is a contradiction in terms, for genius is simply intensified, perfectly developed, universally conscious maleness."
In the presence of your furious scintillation, only faintly visible through your small letter to a Seattle publication, I wonder at my own false aspirations to a soul. For don't you understand, Mr. Kelly, that you have fought only half the battle in condemning the young women you have encountered and failed to realize the essential problem at hand: That you, a man on the crest of your own soulful and unmitigated genius, are holding out for an impossible ideal: a woman with a mind? Cease these brash self-limitations, for they will lead you into pain most unworthy of your virile nature. Consult Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Strindberg. You are poised at the edge of greatness and seeing with only half your eyes, condemning the root of all void and soullessness as a frustrating social problem. But indeed the kingdom—with no queen!--can be yours. It can never be mine, and I can only wipe dusty tears from my eyes as I involve myself in my own base femininity and screw everything in sight, this being my only talent and raison d'etre. Like any woman, any inhabitant of this categorical void, I deserve neither pity nor instruction.
You do realize, of course, where this is going to lead you. You will read about quantum mechanics until you puke, and then you will kill yourself in Beethoven's apartment.
Morrison's sordid legacy
Nina Shapiro's fine article on the travail of Morrison Hotel residents ("Hotel of horrors," 2/17) was a timely and much appreciated news piece. I first came into contact with the Morrison almost a quarter century ago; it already had a long-established reputation as a mean and dangerous place to live. Despair and destitution were as ubiquitous as the stench of urine that persisted on many floors of the building. I can recall hardened Skid Road denizens back in the '70s who wouldn't think of taking a room in the hotel for fear of coming to bodily harm there in the night, or in the daytime for that matter.
Then in the '80s, things changed. The Morrison was treated to an impressive renovation effort that literally transformed the hotel into a very clean and upbeat place. Human services were a critical part of this positive change; social workers and advocates were ensconced in the Morrison to serve and counsel the many low-income and disabled tenants. For a time, the Morrison thoroughly disowned its sordid legacy.
Gradually, then more noticeably, the old afflictions of violence and unsafe conditions revisited the Morrison. Numerous residents as well as human services workers felt increasingly at risk in the place. Sadly, the Seattle Housing Authority chose to do nothing.
Thanks to the outrage expressed by a coalition of social workers and housing advocates, the exigencies of the Morrison Hotel are now in full view. It is incumbent upon city officials to act swiftly and decisively in order to ensure the safety of vulnerable tenants. In addition to giving the boot to the discredited "security" company whose employees seem to be as much a danger to tenants as any random thug, city officials should install a new and truly responsible management operation for the entire building. Seattle Housing Authority has demonstrated to the horror of many that it is simply not up to this important task.
The future of metal
My friends and I are shocked—yet elated—that a mainstream publication has actually printed a story discerning true metal from the pathetic pap that parades across the covers of former "metal" magazines ("Gore for president," 2/17). There is truly nothing sadder than seeing Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Korn, and their ilk held up as the "future of metal." Although I prefer King Diamond and Candlemass to Cannibal Corpse, I appreciate the fact that they made it out to our metal-starved corner of the nation. Hopefully things will pick up, and our staggering metal army will be able to again march with a healthy stride.
PRINCESS OF HELL
Breasts: buyer beware
As a plastic surgeon, I too am dismayed by the unprofessional promotional gimmick used by Dr. Antonio Mangubat and KUBE 93 ("Busting out," 2/17). Having a disc jockey screen potential breast augmentation patients at a Miss Flat America contest trivializes plastic surgery which, after all, is serious surgery and should be regarded as such by both patients and their surgeons.
This chicanery does, however, provide an opportunity to educate an unwary public. Dr. Mangubat is not a board certified plastic surgeon and yet he performs plastic surgery. In Washington, anyone with a medical license, an office operating room, and an unsuspecting patient can perform plastic surgery. There is no regulatory body that oversees what procedures physicians do in their private offices. Residency training, board certification, and hospital privileges need not apply here. Your supposed plastic surgeon may be a dermatologist, an oral surgeon, or even a hair transplant doctor (who feels a woman's decision to have breast implants is no different from choosing to wear lipstick) and has operating privileges only in his own office!
I am also disturbed by the comments of Erica Jong equating breast augmentation with "spiritual bankruptcy." My patients would take issue with that; they range from a 16-year-old honors student with embarrassing breast asymmetry to a 65-year-old competitive ball room dancer. I have performed breast implant surgery on lawyers, teachers, nurses, engineers, distance runners, organic farmers, and rock climbers. They are not searching for bodily perfection or more "value" through "big tits." They are searching for a more proportionate, more feminine shape. These patients, like the vast majority of implant patients, have found breast augmentation to be a positive experience and not some sort of exercise in female servitude or moral degradation. I would say these women have a healthier view of their bodies and spirits that Ms. Jong's grim and cheerless band of so-called feminists.
LISA LYNN SOWDER, MD, FACS
DIPLOMATE, AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY, SEATTLE
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