Letters for December 19, 2002

Please don’t feed the animals
Re "Junk-food wars" [RN&R, cover, Dec. 5]:
As a mother of a fourth and a fifth grader in public school in Washoe County, I think the article on what we are feeding our children was insightful and possibly the most important piece I’ve read to this point. I was, however, shocked and appalled by the comments from Eddie Bonine, director of student services for Washoe County School District. I resent his reference to my children and the thousands of other students in this district as "animals" in the "zoo" that he is running. How dare a person like that have any influence whatsoever on what takes place with our children! If he is so quick to spout off insensitive and degrading remarks like that, I suggest that the school district reexamine his credentials and reconsider allowing this man to make any decisions that will even remotely impact one child in this district. As a matter of principle, I wouldn’t let him make recommendations on dietary improvements for my dog, let alone my children.

Lauren Woods
via e-mail

Fat for life
Re "Junk-food wars" [RN&R, cover, Dec. 5]:

It is astounding how an entire nation can totally misdiagnose the country’s No.1 ailment, obesity. We have become a culture that demands instant gratification and convenience. Fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s did not create themselves, we created them. It is as simple as the most fundamental business formula, supply and demand. I have read in every newspaper how all the fast-food restaurants serve is fattening and has poor nutritional values. If that is the case, why eat there? Parents need to start pointing the finger at themselves. They blame all the marketing the fast-food companies do and how their kids are being brainwashed. Is it the kids who drive mom and dad’s car through the drive-through? Is it the kids driving the parents to McDonald’s after baseball practice? Is it the kids who pick up a pizza instead of cooking supper? No. We make ourselves fat, these restaurants don’t.

Pierre Sabourin
via e-mail

Broken chains
Oh, happy day! No longer are we subject to the tyranny of corporate video rental chains, for Video Maniacs has returned to Reno. A stone’s throw from their old location on Keystone Avenue, the new store stands like a beacon against the darkness of corporate homogenization and censorship. For those of you haven’t thought to question why the version of Requiem for a Dream you rented on DVD after last year’s Oscars seemed a little different from the one in the theatre—corporate video rental chains have been censoring your content. At least in Requiem’s case, it is titled an "edited" version. Because Blockbuster and Hollywood Video have such a huge market share, any producer or distributor must submit to their corporate editing or face the possibility of little or no rental revenue. Video Maniacs has vowed to fight against censorship.

People of Reno, I implore you, don’t let Maniacs go the way of too many other local businesses. Keep your home-viewing experience pure and unadulterated—support Video Maniacs.

Sean Martin
via e-mail

Have a pagan Xmas
Many people believe that the Yule celebration is of Judeo-Christian origins. I think that, in defense of the true Yuletide Celebration, a clarification is in order.

To set the record straight: The modern word "Yule" descends from the Germanic "Yula," meaning "wheel" of the year or sun. The 12 days of Yule are generally the 12 days following winter solstice.

One of our oldest customs is that of the Yule Log. (It is from Scandinavia that most of our Yule traditions derive, not Israel.) Families would trek into the wilderness and bring back a Yule log, which was brought into the house with great ceremony. They would all carve designs into it (think decoration), and on the longest night they would light it (think Christmas lights). The butt end would be placed into the hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. The tree would be slowly fed into the fire and the entire process was carefully timed to last the entire Yule season. Small gifts would be placed around the Yule Log for children to open after the longest night. It is from this tradition that we bring a tree into our homes at the end of each year.

The Yuletide Celebration is a wonderful and longstanding tradition. It has survived centuries of attempted Judeo-Christian-based supplantation, yet still thrives happily today.

Happy Yuletide, Reno!

Shawn Evans
via e-mail