Watch What You Say About Jim


DEAR BIANCA GIAEVER: Thank you for such a moving story ["Hurry Up and Live," Oct. 17].I'm sure you have heard it a lot already, but that was an amazing piece of writing.I feel like I know Nick and his family more closely than some of my good friends.Thank you for exposing such a wonderful person and allowing us such an intimate view of his life. I am looking forward to reading more of your work...I'm sure this is only the beginning of great things to come for your contributions to Seattle Weekly, and other ventures in the future.Alan Harnett



DEAR EDITOR: It was a nutty "doublespeak" article about Jim McDermott ["Our Man in Lesotho," Oct. 10], but thank you for publishing it. This representative of ours is clearly so upright that, paragraph by paragraph, the slant just rolls back off onto the writer. Revealed is an elected official of such high caliber that public service has just naturally ripened him into what's known as a Great Statesman. Every quote from every source adds to the picture of the esteem in which he's held and the marvelous working relations he's created, near and far.

Our thanks go to those politicians who repair our potholes, also to the courageous and visionary Jim McDermott for working at home and abroad to repair the terrible damage done to the good name of our beloved country. We, the many Washington citizens who continue to ask him to "speak truth to power" on our behalf, are amazed and grateful to be so profoundly represented. When the sovereign of Lesotho honors our representative, we give thanks. Ibow to these great leaders, and I add my prayers to those of the people of Lesotho. May our brothers and sisters in Africa have rain and prosperity, health and justice and peace, the same things we wish for ourselves. Our thanks to Jim McDermott.Karen Stocker



DEAR EDITOR: Jim McDermott alone of all the politicians who pretend to represent my interests has earned my admiration and trust. In the age of Internet, I don't feel that his physical absence signifies a deficiency of attention to the issues that are relevant to our region.

Keep it up, Jim McDermott. Travel, or do whatever you feel best serves us locally and globally. You have my vote.Segue Fischlin III



DEAR EDITOR: Jim McDermott doesn't look like other representatives. True enough. But neither do a large percentage of Seattleites resemble the rest of the country's population. We are liberal. VERY, VERY liberal in some cases. McDermott is only an expression of our well-educated, well-traveled, and liberal Seattle base, and as far as that goes, he is doing a fine job of representing me and my family, thank you very much. There are some of us who are not happy with the"hybrid" that JayInslee offers, and feel like he is too moderate.We are happy tohave McDermott representing us, be it in Africa or the other Washington.How many pieces of ho-hum legislation passed by other lawmakers stack up to the exasperation factor created by McDermott telling it how it is? Eh?

I think it's actually Aimee Curl who disdains local.If what we care about is something other than pork and rankings on, then what's it to you?Amy Kramer Hawks



DEAR EDITOR: I enjoyed your eye-opening feature on "Representative" McDermott and all his many dubious distinctions. SCARY! But what I find even SCARIER: Is it just me, or does Jim's mug shot bear an uncanny resemblance to Bill Shatner? Just a thought.Aaron Hunt Warner 



DEAR BRIAN J. BARR: I was heartened to see an article about Thelonious Monk on the occasion of his 90th birthday ["Best Left Alone," Oct. 10], but I was disappointed in its substance. Yes, Thelonious Monk was a quirky individual whose interpersonal behavior puzzled many who knew him. But it certainly doesn't automatically follow that he sounded best alone, or even preferred playing alone. That was only one of many speculations that could have been easily clarified by a tiny bit of fact-checking. The easiest to correct is that his name is not spelled "Thelonius," but "Thelonious." [SW's jazzhead editor apologizes for such a stupid error.—Ed.]

You argue that he eventually gained wider respect (which is true), but you make that argument in part based on his "even play[ing] with [Charlie] Parker and [Dizzy] Gillespie," as if they grudgingly agreed to allow him in. But Monk was in New York long before either of them, playing what was essentially bebop, and Gillespie had even called Monk "my first inspiration."

But your least credible assertion of all about Monk is that Miles Davis "fired him." Davis himself, in his autobiography, called that notion "bullshit and rumors." According to everyone associated with that event, all that happened was that Davis asked Monk not to play during his solo on one song during a recording session. It was something Davis had asked other pianists to do, according to bassist Percy Heath. In fact, Davis had tremendous admiration for Monk, as his autobiography shows.

Lastly, kudos for listing the Oct. 10 Monk birthday concert at Gallery 1412 at the end of the article. But why not list the participants (of which I was one, along with Bill Smith and Christian Asplund)? I don't go to concerts without knowing who's playing, and I doubt you do either.Greg Campbell


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