The Twit Report
Your disorganized study of Las Vegas and the war on terror is the most shallow, uninspiring piece of swill I can recall finding in a publication of this caliber (“That Five-Hour Drive to Las Vegas,” Cover Story, March 3). However it is you landed this cover story, you should have enough respect for the multitudes who’ll read it to arrange your scattered notions into some coherent point. As it is, you only ramble about selfish choices, your dad’s accomplishments, some regurgitated TV-news information about the war, and a sheltered perspective on a very complex city before ending abruptly with some pedestrian contemplation of our troops’ efforts while you sit through commuter traffic. Have you nothing to say? Do you think that your story is fascinating in this raw, immature form? I find it boring and mundane. You are like a man onstage at a packed concert telling us about the weather. We know that it’s sunny, we live here.
Now that you know my opinion of your story in general, allow me to go into some detail: the headline brags of a most insignificant accomplishment, and the first page follows suit. “The trick is knowing where the cops are”? You forgot something. Driving your war-hero dad’s car was also part of the trick. Don’t give yourself too much credit. Including a picture of you with two cuties also struck me as self-congratulatory, but I won’t dwell on that. The rest of your tips on making time are common knowledge and aren’t worth mentioning.
Next you break into some particulars of your unimportant life and a summary of the lazy, selfish decisions that led you to flake out on the military. You recount hiding your ulterior motive of personal gain (free med school) from recruiters as if it’s nothing to be ashamed of. People who resort to that sort of conniving shouldn’t be as proud of it as you seem to be. I think we can assume that your parents could afford to send you to med school. What made you want to sap that luxury from the national budget while offering nothing in return? The only sentiment you shared which would be of any use to the war effort is a reckless and ignorant desire to exact revenge upon a foreign people for an isolated attack that wounded your father. The idea of putting you in command of anything more powerful than a machine gun is unsettling. “I would enjoy shooting some extremists,” you write. And amongst “enemies who look exactly like innocent villagers,” what would you do? I’m glad you didn’t follow through with your original aspirations; you might’ve done much more harm than merely disgusting me with this naive piece of journalism.
Why did you drop out of the Navy? Because you can’t handle humidity? If “you never truly appreciate freedom until it’s gone,” then you and I must be very ungrateful. I feel pretty appreciative, but then I did spend a couple of months in jail once. What freedoms did you give up? You wanted to be in the military; then you wanted to quit. Apparently you’ve been free to do as you please.
I’m going to skip over your irrelevant anecdote on the Las Vegas Strip because I don’t want to devolve into bare insults. The sudden shift into a description of war in “the Middle East” is a total non sequitur. What does this have to do with Vegas? Everything from “In another desert” to “Taliban warlord” reads like cut-and-pasted military propaganda. I know it isn’t based on personal experience or you would’ve flaunted that, and it’s far too vague to come from any first- or secondhand account. This unspecific little report on the war is uselessly uninformative.
I won’t try to trivialize the tragic attack that wounded your father, but where are you going with this? Into a stream of uninteresting details and meandering logic leading up to your idle epiphany. You’ll never take this freedom for granted. Well, good for you, you’ve just given yourself a nice big literary pat on the back. I think what you really need is a slap in the face.
Re “The People We Play for Are Sipping on Champagne” (Feature Story, March 3). I so much enjoyed that article and how well it was written. The information was very pleasant and well given. And now that they are cutting off art and music in schools, it was very helpful to rejoice for a half hour and read that article and get to know those four people who are in this quartet. I was surprised at how little they get paid, how much they have to practice, and how much they have to play at a wedding or something, and when they don’t get fed, I mean, that’s bad, very bad. You need to feed those musicians, at least, if they get paid such a small amount of money.
The Green Bay Stakeholders
In Mr. Bauder’s column (“Owners’ Arrogance Sinking Football,” “City Lights,” March 3) he is erroneous in one important area: we are not “giving 32 rich guys that kind of money,” only 31. And although I am not a Green Bay Packers fan in any manner, I do greatly appreciate that they are owned by the community at large — the Green Bay Packers, Inc., with 112,158 stockholders, regular working-class Wisconsinites of the Green Bay area — and do not have an owner per se; therefore, not a rich, spoiled brat in sight.
Technically, zero stockholders, as they do not distribute any financial benefit to the shareholders, as they are really more stakeholders, as the corporation is a unique not-for-profit, tax-exempt entity.
Name Withheld by Request
Really bothers me, pisses me off, when you print something like this: “Mazatlan has experienced a recent increase in violent crime, with more murders in the first quarter of 2010 than in all of 2009” (“Under the Radar,” March 3). It’s the same as saying San Diego has had the same, when in fact it is the state of California. In Mexico, it is the state of Sinaloa, which Mazatlán is part of, that has had the increase in murders. The city of Mazatlán has not had the increase. The murders took place way inland, in the mountain farm and ranch areas, hundreds of miles from Mazatlán. The sad part of these kinds of false statements is that the vast majority of Americans will believe it. Please check your facts before publishing this stuff.