Letters for February 18, 2010

Letter of the week

Rachel’s tongue

Re “Rethink the ink” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, February 11):

I enjoy reading the pungent ripostes Rachel Leibrock makes at various cultural inanities in her column, as much for the fact that we seem to share takes on many of the absurdities of American life as for the inherent cleverness and wit to be found in her incisive weekly expostulations.

One thing kept bothering me, though, as I read her column each issue: the “tongue” image SN&R places in various parts of the paper to promote her column. There’s always been something awry, to my reckoning, about that picture of [Leibrock] sticking her tongue out in the midst of ironing, but I could never figure out exactly what bothered me so about it until today, when the answer finally dawned on me. Eureka! It’s the angle of her protuberant tongue!

Anyone sticking her tongue out as an expression of defiance would angle the tongue congruent with existing rude gesture protocols (see below). That involves canting it at precisely a zero-degree angle off the horizontal plane (plus or minus 10 degrees, allowing for individual variability or coordination and brain-tongue communication anomalies). Leibrock’s glossal appendage is oddly displayed at the classic doctor’s office “stick your tongue out, please” angle of about minus-45 degrees, which is great for permitting medical examination but aesthetically inappropriate for expression of truly convincing social protest.

It may seem to odd to point this fact out, but according to a careful clinical study of the tongue used as a tool of social expression compiled by Herr Dr. Professor Herkel von Schillinbrukner (emeritus fellow of social physiology at the University of Heidelberg in 1948), Rachel’s glossal posturing is radically at odds with the professor’s findings on proper human socioglossal affect.

I don’t imagine this will have much impact on that unfortunate image’s further use in SN&R, but at least I’ve gotten that perplexing matter sorted out to my own satisfaction. Aside from this slight anomaly, I am sure Herr Dr. Professor Herkel von Schillinbrukner would otherwise heartily approve of her salient weekly journalistic observations.

Chris Carey

Swept away by slow food

Re “Fast vs. food” by Sierra Filucci (SN&R Feature, February 4):

The problem with a movement is the tendency for people to get swept away by it. At the core of the “slow food” movement is a desire to return to a more self-reliant means of food production based on individuals, small farmers and communities.

We can all agree that the ideals of slow food are excellent for health, environment and security. But if the practical reality of slow food is unsustainable for the average person, then a great idea is doomed to become a fad.

This writer does the right thing by experimenting with eating organically and cooking from scratch for herself and eventually raising the valid point that for slow food to work, it must be performed as a shared responsibility. I would also argue that the success of slow food depends on a gradual incorporation of skills and practices into the lifestyle as opposed to making a headlong commitment.

Try making one dish from scratch. Grow a pot of basil. Visit a farmers’ market one weekend. Baby steps can make an important lifestyle change easier to accept and leads to a more meaningful commitment.

Lauren Hawley
via e-mail

Where’s Tweety?

Re “Fast vs. food” by Sierra Filucci (SN&R Feature, February 4):

“Sufferin’ succotash!”


Honest food

Re “Fast vs. food” by Sierra Filucci (SN&R Feature, February 4):

Loved this story! Such a relatable article, and an honest look at the dinner table.

Amber Hanns
Yuba City

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Re “The wheels come off” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, February 4):

My greatest fear is that public transportation will go away completely or become obscenely expensive. Yes, I have a car, but I work downtown and I can’t afford to pay to park downtown. There is some free parking, but that’ll probably go away soon if the Legislature puts the free-parking reduction into law.

It’s terrible what the governor has done, not only to Sacramento, but to California. All of his actions to save money end up costing more and also have the side effect of driving down the economy. I can’t wait till [Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is] out of office, but also fear who is going to replace him.

Sarah Reed
Rancho Cordova

No on Proposition 16

Re “PG&E vs. democracy” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, February 4):

Show me a person who pays less for electricity than a person served by PG&E, and I’ll show you a person served by SMUD.

We need to vote against Proposition 16, because PG&E is trying to stop the spread of lower rates.

James Sakauye

Different, weird and a blast

Re “Different and weird without trying” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Music Pick, February 4):

The Prescience album was a blast to produce and work with the entire RSC crew (FBI, Eyes, Anti, DefEye and StereoT.Y.P.E.).

If music with a focus and a positive intent is to have a future, we all must focus on the needs of the community and the message that we bring to it. Myself (DJ Rise) along with DefEye are working with Sacramento’s Sol Collective to bring the recording arts and community activism to at-risk and underprivileged youth. It’s a fantastic homegrown nonprofit organization right off 21st [Street] and Broadway. I would like invite everyone to look into www.solcollective.org.

Dan Walker

Worried about Jenn’s knees

Re “What women want” by Lovelle Harris, Jenn Kistler, Rachel Leibrock, Kel Munger, Kakawasi Somadhi and Natasha vonKaenel (SN&R Feature, January 28):

For Jenn Kistler: I loved the essay, but running will wear out your knees, and avocado-cheese-mustard sandwiches are better.

Rich Davis
Citrus Heights

Yes, Obama has failed

Re “Abandon all hope” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, January 28):

And you are absolutely correct; there is no discernible difference between the two parties. They are identical in degree of incompetence and corruption. The minor philosophical discrepancies between them are all for show.


Nauseating judgment

Re “Abandon all hope” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, January 28):

It is convenient as a journalist to pass such harsh judgment on politicians. I found R.V. Scheide’s column to be as nauseating as the Teabaggers’ convention.

It is one thing to criticize the president for his shortcomings, but it is another to tear him down and compare him to the Republican fools who are keeping him from accomplishing some of his goals for change.

Did President Obama promise change and offer hope to this nation? Yes, there is no denying that. He did not, however, know the severity of the fiscal situation that he would be forced to repair because of the previous party’s irresponsibility and greed. The Republicans are the ones who deregulated banking and allowed the exuberant Wall Street bonuses. The Republicans are the ones with the most ties to industry that are blocking real reform in health care. If Obama didn’t shift some of his policies to the center then there would be no hope of passing some liberal pieces of legislation.

President Obama is only one year in and can still prove all those who doubt him wrong. If the writer were an activist and participated in true change in his own local community that would be one thing, but simply complaining about our leaders while sitting idly by and doing nothing is far worse.

Erin Somers

Bleep-bleep! It’s electronica

Re “Racket in the box” by Nick Miller (SN&R Arts&Culture, January 28):

Who the bleep is Sister Crayon? Really, who is she?

DJ Whores is a name I recognize, only because [of] an article about him and his talent as a sign maker via spray can. Applause to those who have lived the lives of electronica.

However, SN&R, or more accurately, [Nick] Miller, I believe you are under the impression that the electronica scene has barely hung onto existence, squeaking along with whatever crowd fliers can muster. If this assumed impression is true, I am deeply saddened.

Of course our type of “fight club” isn’t as advertised as rock or hip-hop. It’s called “underground” for a reason.

I have been a lifelong, avid electronica listener and eventgoer for years. True, being only 22 has limited me to experiencing shows mostly in the year 2000 onward, and I wasn’t able to take pleasure in participating in any more than four years of the pre-RAVE Act glory days. It’s true, electronica isn’t what it used to be at all. You can find your occasional happy-hardcore party flier floating around (usually on the ground—no disrespect to the candy kids; it’s just an observation).

Evolution isn’t a polite term, because I don’t think the word is respectful to producers during the bud of electronica. Electronica has morphed. People have been hard at work keeping the bass bumping.

I’m actually cheerful to realize how the scene has grown not only in size but diversity when I don’t recognize a single name mentioned for the “Sacramento Electronica [Music] Festival” lineup. Then again, I’m not much for IDM, either. I’m what I proudly call a “junglist.”

I may have come off sounding like a pretentious (discerning) elitist (connoisseur), but my main intention was to implore you to Google “Sac jungle/electronica/dance” or any creative synonym of the word “rave.” You will be amazed. If you spin it, they will come.