Letters for December 6, 2007

Xmas parade
Kudos to the city of Sparks for hosting Northern Nevada’s best Christmas parade for the past 21 years. It should also be noted that they did not succumb to the political correctness monitors and kept “Christmas” in the title. And touché for the 21st Century Celebration theme: “Saluting Technology, Innovation, Ideas, Sports, Music Television and Film.”

The Sparks Parade has matter-of-factly recognized what Christmas in the 21st Century really represents: An economic barometer for our gestalt of consumerism. Beginning with “Black Friday,” we make sure to count every online order and slash prices to attract those ne’er-do-well last-minute shoppers. It is the potent mix of technology, ideas sports, music and innovation that keeps the cash registers flowing.

And if we must reflect on the origins of this holiday, it is wondrous to ponder what technology and innovation the three wise men might have bestowed on the newborn king. Perhaps an iPod to let the 40 days in the desert pass more quickly? Might Joseph have received the laser leveler and stud finder? And Mary might have socked away the new Playstation III so the teen Jesus and his video game disciples wouldn’t bother her while she text-messaged mom in the other villages.

Christmas is the time for communities to stand together and celebrate perhaps more simple things: a sense of well-being with your neighbors, thanks for your health and welfare, pride in your family and thoughts of personal renewal, like being a newborn child.

Maybe that could be next year’s theme.

Don Vetter
Spanish Springs

Another one of a kind
Re “Pulling for Paul” (15 Minutes, Nov. 29):

Thank you for such a good story about Dr. Ron Paul! It is nice to finally see positive information about this hard-working honest man; why we LOVE him and why this is unlike any other campaign in the history of the United States.

Juanita Cox

Animal and child cruelty
I visit Reno on average about once a week and may be moving there soon. I have been noticing a trend that I find very troubling. It is obvious to me that a lot of adults in Reno need to be taught how to care for children and animals properly. In regards to children, this means taking care of them without using physical force or verbal abuse. Treat children with dignity and respect; the same way that you would treat an adult. In regards to animals, caring properly for them means that you don’t keep them in a dog run. It means that they have plenty of shelter, shade, freedom, exercise, water, food and companionship. It means that you don’t drive around in traffic with dogs in the back of your trucks. It means that you don’t keep your dogs tied to a tree or anything else for that matter, and it means that you don’t take your dogs on “walks” where you use a choke collared leash.

It seems more than necessary that Reno and Nevada need to implement more laws to protect children and animals from those who abuse them. You have a lot going for you, Reno, but a city that mistreats its children and animals needs help.

Amber Huddle
Reno (soon)

Journalism review
Re “Vital Signs” (Feature story, Nov. 8):

As a local pianist, member of the Reno Jazz Syndicate, and frequent patron of the Green Room and other such venues, I feel inclined to address the “Vital Signs” article.

While being very well-written, this is a news article—not prose. It’s manic editorialism masquerading as investigative journalism—and these are the type of things that are going to be posed as news about me and my colleagues?

The very presentation of rumors regarding a band demanding $750 guaranteed paints us as haughty, naive children who have not paid their dues—truthiness at best. However, I will cover some of that gumshoe work that was either left unturned or swept back under. That band was Keyser Soze, whose eight members carry a heavy following that consistently filled the Green Room to capacity. $750 is less than $100 per person for that band. Their performance meant nothing but business, and their lead singer, Mr. Tarkington, has been in the business for at least 15 years, back when Keyser was known as the Mudsharks.

This article does not acknowledge these important elements and leaves us looking like we musicians have our heads up our asses. The article does not even begin to explore the causes and effects of decisions made by club owners—which heavily damaged support of live music in the case of the Green Room.

In response to “the jazz kids are the most spoiled,” if we were ever spoiled, it was because our intense study allowed us to diversify our talents, permeating the genre to produce successful bands, like Keyser Soze. Conversely, when we played jazz at that venue, it was knowingly for peanuts because we wanted people to hear the music we could not play at weddings. Until you seek out simple facts like these, please do not present anything less as news about me and my colleagues.

Garett Grow