Knute Berger has done it again [Mossback, "Strait Flush," May 21]! The increase in the number of cruise ships calling on Seattle has been widely reported in the local media, but nowhere, not even after the sewage spill into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, have I seen anybody questioning the pathway this leads our city and region down.
Berger's descriptions of a cruise vacation and the nature-as-backdrop scenario are exactly what my friends and I pondered as we spent a month several years ago kayaking through the B.C. portion of the Inside Passage. During the trip, our paths crossed with numerous cruise ships heading in all different directions, and they seemed like such a curious anomaly. Here we were, contending with weather and sea conditions, immersed in intimate contact with everything Mother Nature had to offer, and then one of these "Ghost Ships" would rumble by. We called them that because not once was there a single human being visible on any of them. We knew they were there, they had to be on board, but we figured they were all either in the casino or bar and safely ensconced behind the tinted windows and removed from that intimate contact with nature.
I also applaud Berger's cautions against embracing an industry simply for economic reasons. With jobs being at a premium in today's economic situation, the easy path is to take any job and not ask any questions. The harder but ultimately more sustainable and healthy route is to begin questioning the status quo.
EVERETT NEEDS WORK
Mark D. Fefer's article on Everett really hurts, but it is all too true [Summer Guide 2003, "Everett, Take Me Away!" May 21]. Many dedicated residents and business owners have been working diligently to make Everett a happening place. I imagine they will be working for a while longer. I bought one of those cute little houses in Everett. It's a lovely place to live if you want to leave the rat race behind, but don't count on working there. Like housing prices, salaries are lower, too. Economic growth will be a double-edged sword for Everett. It will come at the expense of bucolic Sunday afternoons with nothing to do but spend a lazy afternoon at the Flying Pig.
PLAYING IN EVERETT
I read Mark D. Fefer's article about Everett [Summer Guide 2003, "Everett, Take Me Away!" May 21]. I wish he had written the article one month later, as he would have been able to attend the best outdoor baseball experience in the state of Washington. Our games are fun, creative, affordable, and truly hometown (right down to the mom-and-pop owners who actually work during the gamesthe only owners' suite at Everett Memorial Stadium is the concession stand where you'll find my wife and me during the summer). Almost 30 percent of our fan base comes from King County each season to catch a Frogs game.
President/Owner, Everett AquaSox
THE BAD ARE GOOD
Mark D. Fefer's review of the Bad Plus' new record helped me understand why Seattle is such an awful jazz town ["Who's Bad?" May 21]. The review made perfect sense from the perspective that jazz is no more and no less than the orthodox, fundamentalist, funny-smelling (to rip off Frank Zappa) necrosis you find most of the time on KPLU and KBCS and at Jazz Alley, Tula's, and at least a dozen other clubs.
I saw the act at the recent Tractor Tavern show. While I don't necessarily disagree with Fefer's criticism that some of their stuff is over the top, that minor shortcoming is far overshadowed by their fresh approach and powerful musicianship. While there is plenty of fresh, modern jazz out there (search the Web for jazz stations in Detroit, Chicago, or New York and you'll find it), these guys deserve all the accolades they have received.
For Fefer to say this band's music is "only distantly related to the jazz idiom" tells me he needs to get out moreout of townto places where they have that "liberated, unbeholden jazz mentality," as he curiously puts it. For him to say the band's "emotional intensity level is just cranked up too high for me" tells me he should get out of the kitchen and go back to reviewing jazz Muzakthe real Seattle sound. (Notwithstanding the fine efforts of Earshot Jazz and the Polestar Gallery.)
Jazz goes from A to Z. In this town, it barely makes it from A to B.
It is almost impossible to believe that the band that released Pablo Honey and The Bends is the same band that wrote Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief ["The Repeater Principle," May 21]. Radiohead have diverged and developed from the early grunge pop of "Creep" to write compelling and musically complete songs such as "There There." I cannot see where anything on Hail to the Thief lies on the same plane as any track from The Bends. But isn't it this "repeater principle" that people have been wanting from the band for the releases of the last three studio albums? "Give us more rock and guitar music," has been the cry. Every band returns to the formula that works for them at some point, and the fans expect it, but I personally think that Radiohead have had the guts to experiment and produce something as beautiful, powerful, and successful as Kid A, for instance. I know the title of the new album has hurt many Americans, and journalists have protested by reacting negatively towards the band. If Radiohead had returned to the clean rock of The Bends with a noncontroversial title, I think duBrowa would have welcomed the new album with open arms
Thank you to Corey duBrowa for giving us an ignorant and slanted review of Radiohead's new album ["The Repeater Principle," May 21]. He tells us the band has "given up" the creative "quest" and is "letting its past work float it along on the breeze of momentum." Radiohead may have found a niche that reminds us of earlier albums, but who is duBrowa to decide when a band has reached its boundaries of creativeness? Radiohead are comfortable and happy with not overthinking themselves on this album. Besides, I'm sure Radiohead will have a few more surprises up their sleeves that we'll see as time goes by. Sorry, but I'll go on and appreciate one of the world's most talented bands while duBrowa babbles and presumes his way through another half-ass review.
Traverse City, MI
ACTION IS CHEAP
A recent blurb about Water for Peace says it costs $5 for a half-liter bottle [Hot Dish, May 21]. What it does not say is that includes shipping about a pound of water through the U.S. mail . . . and a 60 cent stamp with a mailing label addressed to George W. Bush, along with a sample message. That means you are paying less than $1 for that half-liter of "political action water." It would be nice (if not too much to expect) if the Weekly told the whole story about our project to stop cyanide leach gold mining in the Okanogan Highlands.
Michael Mazzetti Founder, Water More Precious Than Gold/Water for Peace
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