Classic Platters

"I have feasted on classic Italian dishes...while watching a naked man writhe with his pet python on the dining room swing!"

Surrender to the Pink

OMG, darling, but this year marks the 25th anniversary of the wonderful Pink Door, a haven for all sorts of kooks 'n' cocks 'n' cooks! I love all the restaurants Jonathan Kauffman mentions in his article ["Back to the Classics," Oct. 11], but classic Italian debauchery needs to be mixed in with these more staid standbys, dontcha think? I have feasted on classic Italian dishes like bagna cauda and the richest lasagna in town while watching a naked man writhe with his pet python on the dining room swing! Teatro ZinZanni, eat your own heart; the Pink Door did it all first!

Ki Gottberg


No free lunch

Jonathan Kauffman forgot to mention the Bill Gates menu prices at Canlis ["Back to the Classics," Oct. 11]. Figure on about $150 per person for dinner. Little out of the common folks' budget, wouldn't you say? I am sure it is a very nice eatery for the well-heeled.

Harry Kautzman


Flip-Flop on the Couch Dance

In "The Bodfather" [Oct. 11], I think Seattle Weekly got the meaning of Referendum 1 backwards. You state that Referendum 1, "if passed on Nov. 8, would allow clubs to continue to offer couch and table dancing." However, the Voters' Pamphlet I'm looking at says that Ordinance 121952 "would . . . prohibit adult entertainers from performing within four feet of customers," etc. Then it presents the choice: "Should this ordinance be: Approved . . . Rejected . . . "

Clearly, the passing of Referendum 1 would ratify Ordinance 121952 and tighten the restrictions on adult entertainment by banning couch dancing and so forth. Folks like Frank Colacurcio Sr. would certainly oppose that.

Doug Mitchell

Lake Forest Park

Editor responds: Doug is correct. We apologize for the editing error.

Bigoted Buzz

Tucked at the bottom of the Weekly's Oct. 11 news Buzz is a delightful bit of the slime of bigotry. Bigots are ignorant people who talk of things about which they know nothing; foster hatred and scorn toward people about whom they know even less; and the more "educated" and pseudo-sophisticated among them pollute society with a sneering disdain arrogantly passed off as "commentary."

Mike Seely accuses Mars Hill Church of hypocrisy for "aggressively [co-opting] components of mainstream pop culture when [its] ultimate objective is to squash secular thinking with a giant, God-fearing fist." Thanks, Mike, for weighing Mars Hill in the balance and finding it wanting.

In his day, Christ "aggressively co-opted components of mainstream pop culture" in order to reach people where they lived. So did the apostle Paul, who, while making tents in the marketplace, became "all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some" (I Corinthians 9:22).

I've never attended a Mars Hill service, though I know many who have. What they tell me is that Mars Hill is on the cutting edge of evangelism not to "squash secular thinking," etc., but to bring the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ by speaking to people in a language they understand using a cultural medium to which they relate.

Perhaps Seely prefers Christians be restricted to quaint, steepled edifices while attired in recognizable garb so that when it comes time to "deal" with us, we won't be hard to find?

Scott St. Clair


Super Satire

Thank you for a wonderful satire using the Mark Foley instant messaging to spoof the mayor and several members of the Seattle City Council ["SW's IM Probe," Oct. 11]. That was good writing, cleverly done, and timely. Now that's what I'd like to see more of in the Weekly. I'd even pay money to see Tim Ceis mow the lawn in a park.

Janice Van Cleve


Hikers still plentiful

Whoa! "Packing It In" [Oct. 4] posited that young folks "accustomed to surfing video games, iPods, cell phones, and the Web" are no longer as numerous in the backcountry, presumably because we're more interested in texting our friends and updating our MySpace pages than appreciating the great outdoors.

While it's been many years since I set foot on the Pacific Crest Trail, I see far more people of all ages on the trail systems of the Cascades and Olympics today than when hiking with my parents during the so-called "golden era of backpacking." Back in the good old days, it was very rare to find other hikers in backcountry campgrounds, but camping alone has become increasingly uncommon in my experience.

I was also surprised to see membership demographics of the Mountaineers used as evidence that interest in backpacking is down among the under-40 crowd. The Mountaineers—especially the Seattle Mountaineers—tend to focus on the more technical aspects of the backcountry universe (such as scrambling and climbing) rather than run-of-the-mill backpacking, so they wouldn't be my first choice for general backpacking demographics. The Mountaineers also have a reputation for being somewhat stern and humorless, an attitude that has repelled more than one potential new member of my acquaintance.

Even if the number of overnight hikers is down overall, I'm not convinced that we should bemoan this. After all, backpacking isn't for everyone. As it is, I'm delighted at both the number and variety of friendly, informed hikers I've met in Washington's backcountry.

Julia Kingrey


Menacing details

It was with great sadness that I read the article published about John Guth ["The Phantom Menace," Oct. 4], not necessarily for the knowledge that one of the founders of one of the most active components of the Star Wars community had a "Dark Side" that his friends and family were unaware of, but for the sensationalist need to publish every moment of those encounters. Was there really a need to go into such detail? The towel, the couch . . . all these additions made for an article more suited to Penthouse Forum than a story about a deeply conflicted young man.

John was a funny, bright, successful (albeit in a nonconventional manner) man. He was a lot of fun at the Seattle Star Wars Society gatherings and, as often as not, a generous host of such meetings. To see his life excoriated, not six months after his passing, was equally saddening and disturbing, and I can't help but wonder if the article would have been written if John had been a straight Boeing executive with a hobby that involved something other than Star Wars.

Pauline Leadbetter


A farewell to Alcohol

I do not know how to write this in a dignified manner. Has Mike Seely ever experienced the effects of addiction ["Guy Walks Into a Bar ," Oct. 4]? I have. Suicide, murder, depression. . . . AAs and MADDers are not weak. It takes a big, strong man to admit a weakness and seek help. Are better newspaper articles worth DUI deaths? Did a police officer in Seattle not just get run over by a repeat DUI offender who was high and/or drunk? If Seely's article was meant to tear apart Robert Jamieson or MADD, it did not work. Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson were great, great writers who both battled demons including addiction. They both swallowed a gun.

I am surprised that the Weekly would print such a poorly thought out and argued article.

Jeremy Moller


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