Cheap space available

Hey folks, try and remember that you moved into Belltown/Pioneer Square/SODO/etc. in the first place because they were cheap space ["The last

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"Artists need cheap space, and cheap space comes and goes. Seattle is expensive space."

Cheap space available

Hey folks, try and remember that you moved into Belltown/Pioneer Square/SODO/etc. in the first place because they were cheap space ["The last shoe drops," 3/30]. That was the original draw of Harlem and Greenwich Village, too. Hell, back in the '20s it was true of Paris and Taos. Artists need cheap space, and cheap space comes and goes. Seattle is expensive space. There is still cheap space around. A ferry ride away, Bremerton is crawling with cheap space. May not be fashionable, but we all remember what Belltown and Pioneer Square looked like back when artists could afford to live there. "Cheap" and "fashionable" do not fit on the same piece of property.

KNUTE RIFE

BREMERTON

Encouraging artists

I want to compliment Michaelangelo Matos' article on artists' housing, "The last shoe drops" [3/30]. The city's Office of Housing has been involved in artists' housing initiatives lately: providing funding for three live/work developments (Harbor Lofts and 115 Occidental in Pioneer Square and Arts & Lofts, which will build 130 live/work spaces near Dearborn & Rainier); and sponsoring a forum on the subject a few months ago during which 500 artists, developers, bankers, and bureaucrats swapped ideas. Some encouraging things are happening around town: For example, April 29-30 will be a public open house for the 40 artists at theActivSpace Building at 700 NW 42nd St in the Ballard industrial flats. For other housing info, the Office of Housing has an "Artists Housing" link on our Web site at www.cityofseattle.net/housing/

BART BECKER

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

SEATTLE OFFICE OF HOUSING

World, stand up for Mr. Henry!

You spend years perfecting your craft. You come to know the pure joy of a well-constructed sentence. You toil on largely in obscurity, but that's OK, because the journey is its own reward. Your name isn't known, and some might accuse you of selling out a little bit by becoming a technical writer or an ad copywriter, but it pays the rent, and sooner or later you still hope to publish those strong, personal stories you know you have within you, and maybe the world will stand up and take notice. In a society that has become so crass and commercial, you have faith that, virtually alone among all disciplines, the world of letters still rewards quality.

Then you open the Weekly and read "I did the Dome: Skateboarder tells all," by Yom Tov [3/30]. You start to wonder how much he got paid to write it, and how many thousands of copies are just now starting to filter their way around western Washington, and how this is probably just the beginning of a process that will end with the author getting a four-picture screenwriting deal with Miramax.

You sigh, and wonder if you should have just gone ahead and gotten a business degree.

P. HENRY

SEATTLE

Bond, socio-politically

Thanks very much for Brian Miller's thoughtful article on the James Bond films ["Our inner Bond," 3/30], which coincided with our "Five Faces of Bond" program at the Egyptian Theatre. This engagement was designed to represent the breadth of the 007 series, rather than follow the usual Bond-repertory pattern of showing only Sean Connery's films. Though the Connery era represents both the origin and the apex of the series, there is much to appreciate and enjoy thereafter, especially for die-hard Bond fans like me.

Miller's article is perhaps too hard on the Roger Moore era; I'm especially impressed by Moore's authoritative, low-key performance in For Your Eyes Only, and The Spy Who Loved Me is one of the best of the mid-1970s films that ushered in the summer-blockbuster era. But I appreciate Miller's insights on how Bond has embodied the evolving face of contemporary masculinity over the decades, and how the films themselves so reflect an ever-changing socio-political milieu. Also worth noting is that even as the Bond films have created and perpetuated their own style, they've also co-opted that of their peers; witness, for example, the borderline "blaxploitation" of 1973's Live and Let Die and the conceptual plundering of Star Wars for 1979's Moonraker.

One of the great things about working for Landmark/Seven Gables is that we have the opportunity to mix pop repertory in with our traditional independent and foreign-language cinema. The James Bond series not only represents the best of such escapist entertainment, but it has also become, over the course of the past four decades, a sort of perpetual unofficial document of Western culture.

ERIC STORMOEN

LANDMARK THEATRES

Our hero

Thanks so much for publishing "Spilling the sacred beans," [3/23] about the retaliation by the Washington Bar against Doug Schafer for reporting a corrupt judge. Schafer has become a hero to many citizens (and clients) across the country who seek and demand legal reform, including investigations of judicial corruption, case-fixing by lawyers as "officers of the court" and other conduct that smacks of fraud. You have rendered a valuable public service by publishing this story that Washington Bar officials and certain members of the legal fraternity sought to suppress. I believe Schafer will be vindicated, after having risked his professional career to investigate and expose a corrupt judge. Sadly, too few lawyers have this courage and moral integrity.

JOAN CROSBY TIBBETTS

ANNANDALE, VA

Enlightened murderers

In the 3/30 Editorial Comment ("Rupe, Eyman, and me"), Knute Berger comments that Washington's right-to-appeal may yield long delays in carrying out, and possibly reversal of, execution sentences due to "Our system demand[ing] near-perfection in capital punishment prosecutions." The implication is that perhaps, because our appeals process can take seemingly forever, denying temporarily, or as in Mr. Rupe's case, permanently, a victim's family's "right" to "closure," the appeals system is somehow unjust or overprotective.

Forgive me if I beg to differ. As I start jury duty on April 3, I've given some thought to how I'd respond during selection if asked could I vote to support execution. I've always opposed capital punishment not as a matter of faith, but because there's enough murder in our world as is, and I've felt the mark of an advanced civilization would be when it no longer needed to murder its nonconforming members. But now I find I can no longer categorically say "no." Part of the reason I've changed my tune is because of our mandatory appeals process, and that there will be all the time needed for the convicted and their supporters to come up with enough evidence to raise sufficient doubt about the conviction to warrant a full retrial, as expensive and upsetting to victim's families as that may be. If those truly guilty milk this system for extra time alive, that's the price paid to ensure we don't kill the innocent as a matter of law.

With the release of yet another wrongly accused and convicted "murderer" this past week, a decade after his conviction, I'd suspect there are more of these cases than we as an "enlightened" society would care to consider; and I shudder every time I hear another report on the Ramparts scandal going on in Los Angeles: How many truly innocent people were sentenced as a result of rampant police vengeance, and how many might have been executed in the name of expediency, if California had been as anxious to execute as Texas is, only now to be proven to have been framed by the police?

Is it so important we commit murder as a society in the fastest manner possible?

ALAN GUREVICH

VIA E-MAIL

An eye for an eye

In "Rupe, Eyman, and me" [Editorial Comment, 3/30], Knute Berger wrote about respecting the lone hold-out juror for sticking to their convictions. I find it a travesty of justice.

It seems to me that the obligation of a juror is to take only the evidence and the testimony given in court and make their decision based on the guidelines of the law. A person's emotions, beliefs, and prejudices are not supposed to be a part of that process. For a person to for whatever reason knowingly hide their deep beliefs is wrong, and to use this as some kind of soapbox to air their religious disagreement with the law is dishonest.

Rupe's crimes were inhuman. From the testimony of witnesses he planned to kill anyone in the bank who could identify him before he ever walked in. To stand point blank and shoot two innocent people in the face is nothing short of pure evil. I can't even call him an animal, because when an animal kills it's for defense or for food, not pleasure. He is a monster that is sitting in a cell that society, including the families of the victims, has to pay thousands of dollars a year for each year for the rest of his life. And what about those families? Where is the justice for them?

So when I hear a juror say that it was for religious beliefs for letting this fiend live, I can't help but remember a passage from the bible that reads "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." The ego of this juror, and the need to have their views in the spotlight, shows that we need to make changes to our system so that such a horrible set of events cannot be used for another person's private gains in the future.

MIKE ENYEART

SEATTLE

Athlete/criminals

In response to Impolitics, "Too many balls," 3/23: After a brief discussion of prominent white professional athlete/racist John Rocker, Geov Parrish then proceeds to rip into a long list of professional athletes for being accused of violence against women. He names 46 athletes—with the exception of David Cone, Jake Plummer, and (former owner) Ken Behring, all of them are black or Latino. That's 93 percent nonwhite. He lists 22 professional basketball players—ALL of them are black. He does not list any professional hockey players, a sport that is dominated by white players.

There is a current campaign to promote racism in this country by decrying the "out of control" "criminal" professional athlete on sports talk shows and in the media. Black and Latino athletes are vilified and denounced, attacked as "unworthy role models." This goes along with racist police harassment of these same athletes and publicizing of every alleged incident.

The approach of Geov's article, to give lip service to Rocker-the-racist's supposed "pariah" status—but "baseball has a problem, and it's not John Rocker"—and then to pillory a long list of "accused" black and Latino athletes as the real "problem," echoes and reinforces this racist campaign. He even goes after a black player from the past—O.J.! Why not Steve Garvey, Chris Mullin, Frank Gifford, Paul Allen, Marv Albert, Ty Cobb, Wade Boggs, Bobby Knight? And, if you're going to bring up O.J.—how about Mark Fuhrman?

I agree that oppression of women is rampant in sports. But nonwhite players are not more guilty of oppressing women than white players are. Geov's indictment percentage resembles the distorted national incarceration rate.

In order to stop women's oppression we have to attack it at its source—the patriarchal system that indoctrinates men to oppress women—not use it as an excuse to reinforce racism against black and Latino people.

BARRY ELLIS

SEATTLE

Woman-beating savages

I just wanted to commend you for your article on the woman-beating savages that are seen as heroes for their work on the baseball field or whatever sport they take part in [Impolitics, "Too many balls," 3/23]. You bring up many great points, and I think that this should be read by everyone that can't wait to boo John Rocker for something that, while completely offensive itself, hardly compares to some of the acts committed by today's biggest stars.

KYLE KUSY

ABINGDON, MARYLAND

Controlled animals

Knute Berger is rightfully alarmed at the psychological warfare which is being waged on all fronts against children [Editorial Comment, "Generation Xterminate," 3/16]. It involves both "mental mutilation," Berger's apt description of child drugging, and mental manipulation, the "Borging of kids," as Berger puts it—teaching children to be "a dutiful part of crowds that must be controlled."

Behind this warfare is psychiatry and the mental illness industry. When the students and philosophical heirs of German experimental psychologist Wilhelm Wundt (principally John Dewey and Edward Lee Thorndike) took over the field of education in the early 1900s, their entire approach to education was founded on the idea that man is an animal to be controlled. To Thorndike teaching was "the art of giving and withholding stimuli with the result of producing or preventing certain responses." "The ultimate problem of all education," said Dewey, "is to coordinate the psychological and social factors." A Borg couldn't have said it better.

This thinking still dominates much of modern education. And what better way to control students than with addictive mind-altering drugs which are called "medicine" and delivered with a diabolically insidious message, one that, ironically, is not attached to street drugs: "There is something wrong with your brain."

Of course, in targeting toddlers and school children, the psychs have a distinct advantage over the Columbian cartel. Kids can't say no to psych drugs. If parents reject the Ritalin remedy, their kids are kicked out of school. Thanks to the Becca laws, children can be involuntarily committed on a psychiatric whim. Or by stamping the psychiatric label on the parents, the state can take the kids away.

"Resistance is futile" isn't just a Borgian bromide. It's a timeworn psychiatric maxim. But resist we must. An eternity of mindless slavery awaits us if we don't.

RICHARD WARNER

SEATTLE

A minefield of paradoxes

Regarding your article "Top to bottom" [3/23], it came as no surprise to me that all the letters of outrage came from people who identify as Dominants. Doms are always the ones painting a pretty picture of a mythical "leather community," full of love and adventure, just as it's always the Doms who publish the S&M magazines and write the How To books, and it's always the Doms who get huffing mad when someone steps out and speaks of experiences that aren't so nice.

Submissives often remain silent but will tell a different story when the Doms leave the room. S&M isn't really about pain. It's about power and trust. Varying philosophies often lead subs into a mindfuck experience. The old question "Who's really in control?" has no definite answer and never will. Doms often claim that the dangerous, predatorial types lurk outside of the "leather community," while many subs will tell you that this "community" is the perfect place for predators to hide. And who can tell a good Dom or sub from a bad one when you're walking through a minefield of paradoxes? Assault charges? Not many subs will go to the police and tell them someone raped and tortured them after they willingly agreed to be tied up. Would the police take them seriously? And S&M is primarily a sport for the wealthy, so some Doms can pay their way out of a conviction.

It is true that the money element changes the entire dynamic. Nevertheless, even in nonprofessional S&M, subs and Doms do not see eye to eye as much as the Doms would have everyone believe. I know this from seven years of experience as a sub, and the single greatest lesson I've learned is how to judge character by instinct. The S&M scene is a jungle, not a playground.

NAME WITHHELD BY REQUEST

People write to us all the time—like you? Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and legal considerations. Please include name and daytime telephone number for verification. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com

 
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