Letters for June 28, 2007

A closet homophobe
Re “Gay men should not be able to donate blood” (Right Hook, June 7):

I wish that I could explain what it’s like to feel different from everyone else as a teen and feeling horrible and ashamed of it. Gays have a higher than average teen suicide rate to prove our anguish.

And then I get to read things like Mike Lafferty’s last article and all of its hidden bigotry shielded by statistics. Yes, Lafferty is correct. Gay men have the highest HIV rates in America, for now. Does he sincerely think that all of the people with AIDS in Africa are gay? Give it another 20 years of believing in “the gay disease” and see where we are. I just pray that the children learning the Abstinence Only programs don’t have to live though what I did.

We inherited the worst disease in human history and paid the price for it. I’m no expert, and Lafferty might be correct in saying that we shouldn’t be allowed to give blood. Why not? We aren’t allowed to shed it for the country that we love.

Lafferty’s statistics might be correct, but the bigotry is still there. When he sat down to write that article, did he intend to slam gays, or did his bad writing just get off topic? He should get to the point without that “love the sinner, hate the sin” crap. If he doesn’t like us, he should be man enough to say so.

Don’t cover it up with, “Well, I don’t want to explain two guys playing tonsil hockey to the kids” and “all of western civilization should change for gay people.” Get your facts together. First, how do you know one of your kids won’t grow up to be gay? I don’t believe in disliking someone for their demographic. I dislike people on an individual basis. I don’t like people like Lafferty—the ones without the backbone to really examine their feelings and confront their ignorance. That takes courage, which he doesn’t have.

I don’t like people who make slanted statements in a public forum to cover-up their prejudice. Please refrain from it in the future. It just makes Lafferty seem like a pansy.

Erik Williams

Good in the hood
Re “Hip-hop’s bad rap” (Arts & Culture, June 7):

Hip hop is a tough subject for most journalists to write about, so I won’t be too hard on you.

Starting my salvo: Besides all the name dropping of underground hip hop groups, the horribly pun-tastic title, and the “that was so 10 years ago” posturing of mainstream vs. not-mainstream conflict, the article was a decent attempt, but full of inconsistencies.

First, you have some dude named Idle Hands faking the funk and using a computer to spin MP3s as vinyl as well as hustling his boring and insipid beats. I would expect nothing less from an opportunistic suburbanite who’s clearly in it for the cheddar. Then there’s Omega who dropped his ghetto knowledge about how dope his chain was while sporting a fashionable shirt that read “F*CK YOU PAY ME” and also hilariously appears on the article’s graphic. Then on the other end of the spectrum, you have some hipster teaching the masses how to make a beat with college-kid conviction (‘cause he obviously is some kind of hip hop historian with an advanced degree in beat rocking … oh brother.). And don’t even get me started on the token hat tip to the victims of Katrina. “Conscious raps, anyone?” Yawn.

Truth be told, the show was well executed. Everything went smoothly … and props to Holland for making it happen. But in Reno, our bar is set very low. Only a handful of the performers really had something exceptional to contribute like Locus (whose name no one seems to remember on the hipster-fueled hollandblog), Ramses and Apprentice, in my opinion. Next time let’s go ahead and try to walk these dogs with more flavor, ya’ll.

Benji Castro

Lose the church review
Re “A tender Filet” (Editor’s note, June 14):

When I saw that you were doing church reviews, my initial thought was “What in the world is the RN&R doing that for? That’s really strange.”

In your recent editor’s note, you asked, “Why have only people who practice varieties of Christianity invited me?” I think the answer to that is that Christians are the only ones who are always trying to convert us heathens to their “way of light.” Seriously, when is the last time someone other than a practitioner of a variety of Christianity knocked on your door or stuck a pamphlet in your hand in an attempt to show you the way to eternal peace?

I’d imagine that all the Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Pagans just want to worship whatever it is they worship in peace and not attract the attention of any Christians. Given that for thousands of years followers of those four particular faiths have been mercilessly persecuted by Christians, it’s probably a wise move on their part to keep their thing on the down-low.

Isn’t the RN&R an “alternative newsweekly?” Face it, the vast majority of your readers are more likely to be dancing naked in the Black Rock or doing shots at The Wal than going to church on Sunday. I’m sure that most of them, like myself, just give a cursory glance at the church review, marvel for a second at how strange it is that the RN&R has a column like that, then turn the page and look for something that might interest them.

A church review is really out of place in your publication. That half-page would be much better spent on topics of interest to your readership. “Ask a Mexican” is super-funny and muy bueno! How about making that the every week column and calling “Filet of Soul” a good-intentioned idea that just didn’t fly?

Name withheld