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.
Regarding “Cat Snip” (Cover Story, February 24). Is there an official name for this group that does this work in case a person wishes to donate? I was frustrated at no closure to the story in the respect of what this group needs from the public.
Matthew Lickona responds: The official group’s name is the Feral Cat Coalition, at feralcat.com.
I believe that your cover on the February 24 issue is very disturbing to a lot of people (“Cat Snip”), especially young children. The paper lies around in the public. Very inappropriate cover photo for a paper lying out in public for all to see. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen put out by the Reader. And actually, I hope that a lawsuit is brought up against you because of this.
via voice mail
Golden Chariot Fine
Our compliments to Jeff Smith on his well-researched article on Julian gold mines, particularly the historic Golden Chariot Mine (“Gold in Them Thar Cuyamacas,” “Unforgettable,” February 24). We joined a small group of friends and family in 1990 and purchased the Golden Chariot Mine and brought it up to operational standards until the 2002 Pines Fire, which swept through the area.
The author was able to consolidate his resources into a lively and interesting article about the Golden Chariot Mine and its lasting impact on Julian history.
Cherie and Larry Eyer
In reference to Stephen Johnson’s criticism (Letters, February 24) of Shepherd’s “News of the Weird” about the Green Party. Environmental projects don’t always generate dividends. No one knows for sure if global warming is totally caused by pollution. Of course we need to stop pollution, but sunspots can affect the weather, and even damming up rivers can affect oceans. During the American Revolution, the world was in a global cooling period.
Johnson comes off as an angry environmental liberal, where no one better dare question any information he picked up from the Soros LSD network, which is now defunct, or make innocent fun of his Green Party. If he would take his blinders off, he might not see everything with anger in his head.
Regarding the “Blurt” section, “Heavy Metal for Sale,” February 10. As I was reading this article, it dawned on me this is a sad state of affairs we live in, when a particular person or persons are claiming a new form of metal alliance, trying to establish a time line of credibility. Whatever the case may be, it’s not the way to represent metal. For one thing, the metal underground scene in its present condition is a parody. Today it is a shadow of its former self. The real metal underground in its traditional glory existed throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As the year 2000 approached, it was clear the metal underground had become a thing of the past.
It is very misleading when people still insist that the metal underground is alive and well. Like I said, the real underground is long gone. It wasn’t designed to last forever. I consider myself very fortunate to have been into metal music as long as I have been, well over 30 years. I am not ashamed to say it’s part of my life, and I am grateful for it.
Metal music has kept me alive. That’s for sure. From the days of traditional heavy metal, evolving into the thrash metal underground of the 1980s, then shifting into the death metal underground movement of the 1990s. It was the greatest time for these forms of music to be heard and embraced and to be a fan and musician. Nostalgic beyond any expectations, metal history for all time’s sake. If there is anyone that can relate to what I am expressing, I hope this letter reads you well. For those of you wanting to pretend that the current status within the underground is doing just fine, I leave you with this prediction: when this is all said and done, the 1980s and the 1990s real metal underground and those who were there and lived it will remain victorious forever.
P.S. Metal sells, but who’s buying…
Tony D. Metal