Letters for October 14, 2004

Not-so-hot sensationalism

Re “Scott is hot!” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, October 7):

I am writing to you to verbalize my observation that SN&R appears to be one of the groupies who are bending over, hoping to receive a “quickie” from Scott Peterson. I object to your using the glare of sensationalism lent by a suspected murderer to gain a short-lived burst of visibility.

SN&R belongs to the community and our kids. It is our voice. Can we please stay out of the area inhabited by corporate-fed media and tabloid trash usually presented by rags like the National Enquirer and Star magazine?

Some of our kids just read the headlines. In this particular case you give the impression that Scott Peterson is worthy of their admiration. It is not until the body of the article that one understands the point of the article. There are way too many men taking advantage of the fact that O.J. and Kobe can kill or abuse women and escape punishment for their crimes.

How can you live with yourself if a single person believes in your headline and commits a copycat crime so he can also be “hot”? Watch how you carry out your dharma or be afraid of your karma.

Irma B.

Literarily pleased

Re “Best local erotica” (SN&R Best of Sacramento, September 30):

The SN&R staff really did a great job on your “Best of Sacramento” issue, and on behalf of the contributors to Bliss: A Journal of Erotica, I’m pleased to have been named “Best local erotica.” It was so unexpected, and I’m happy for everyone that’s in the book. [The late] Phil Goldvarg was so particular about his two poems. He imagined them vividly and I remember him telling me to make sure I put them in the proper order. It’s really nice that you picked them out for your review.

Rhony Bhopla editor, Bliss: A Journal of Erotica

Sacramento’s best contributions

Re “It really did come from Sacramento” by Alexis Raymond (SN&R Best of Sacramento, September 30):I thoroughly enjoyed your recent article about Sacramento. Your piece met “square-on” some of the feeling we Sacramentans feel when hearing certain glosses about our town. It also has, I think, the beginning of a more serious departure that considers what Sacramento has contributed in the way of ideas and culture to the rest of the state.

Bill Laws

Laughing all the way to Mulletville

Re “Lost in Mulletville” by Christian Kiefer (SN&R Best of Sacramento, September 30):

Hilarious. Christian Kiefer writes with the straight-faced precision of the cultural anthropologist, succinctly categorizing “those who would one day mullet” for SN&R readers: You’ve got your “non-spandex-wearing division,” your “maximum mulleted” ones, and those who didn’t quite mullet, but were “nonetheless, stylistically egregious.” I laughed ’til I cried.

I forwarded that article to everyone I know, including my bandmates (local cover band, Jerry & the Van Dykes, in which I’m the only female), who I know mulleted at some point in their youths. Of course, they e-mailed me back, none of them admitting the truth.

Anyway, I think Kiefer and his article should be nominated for some kind of local writing excellence award. Good stuff.

Elisa Nicholas
via e-mail

Where’s the voter turnout?

Re “Best bar” and “Best dance club” (SN&R Best of Sacramento, Readers’ choice; September 30):

I write this e-mail in total astonishment, as I still cannot figure out how this place off 21 and something was voted “best” bar and dance club in Sacramento.

Come on people, most of us know this is false and thus not an accurate picture of what actually is the “best” bar and dance club in Sac. I don’t mean to knock this place; I mean, I’m pretty sure it is the “best” bar and dance club in Sac—if you’re gay or bi, which is gay.

Oh well, this was an election process and some people, including myself, didn’t do their part. So enough of my ranting and raving, I can save that for online. I just needed to say something. But if the voter turnout for the election in November is in any way like the voter turnout for “Best of Sacramento,” then run for the hills—we’re doomed.


Slabs of the same sound

Re “Slabs of sound” by Christian Kiefer (SN&R Clubber, September 30):

In the Best of Sacramento issue, Christian Kiefer began his Clubber piece with the words, “My general philosophy in writing this column is to seek out bands and venues that I haven’t heard of, seen or visited.” He then goes on to write yet another lauding review of the Low Flying Owls, a moderately popular local act.

It isn’t the first time. On October 21, 2002, Kiefer had written an equally admiring article on the Owls in SN&R, and then a second story on them a month later. In fact, since October of 2000, the Low Flying Owls have been covered no less than twelve times by SN&R staff, four of the pieces being major stories, six being “spotlights,” and two being reviews. I’m not counting the several other significant mentions I tracked down. Twelve times! Could this be because the Owls’ old manager, Eddie Jorgensen, wrote for SN&R? Or that staff writer Jackson Griffith has an obvious hard-on for the band? Can you say “conflict of interest?”

I’m all for supporting local music, so don’t claim I’m bashing the Owls. I’m hoping to bash you. As journalists, you have an obligation—nay, a responsibility—to cover a broad range of musical acts in all genres. However deserving of praise the Low Flying Owls may be, I find it horrendously pathetic and disgusting that SN&R staff can’t find any other bands to feature. “Seek out bands and venues that I haven’t heard of, seen or visited,” indeed. I am appalled.

Kid Shiv

SN&R Arts Editor Jackson Griffith responds: Our coverage of local music speaks for itself. Your condemnation of that coverage because you noticed several articles on Low Flying Owls over a four-year period rests on at least two logical fallacies—unrepresentative sample and the fallacy of exclusion or conveniently leaving out the large number of other local acts we’ve written about—to make its point.

Find another word

Re “Find another mascot” (SN&R Letters, September 30):

While Anthony Burris tried to get his point across by using the “n,” “s” and “c” words in his reply, he only demonstrated his own level of racism. Using the “n” word in a citywide newspaper only brought back my memories of black people being hanged like my grandfather, and the “n” word often was used during these frequent occurrences.

We don’t need a Native American using these terms to get his point across, although he tried to justify or apologize for using them. Zero class, and [that] is probably the reason why people use these terms.

Anthony, while venting, you should have someone else write or speak for you. Try explaining such terms as being “blackballed,” being “blacked out,” “blackmailed,” “black eye” (as in being shamed or dishonored), “black hole,” “blacklist,” “black mark,” “black market”—should I continue? I’m not angry at you, but please try to be more selective in using racial terms, and by the way, the “black” terms listed above are also in the dictionary.

James Jones

Faulty comparisons …

Re “Palestine’s voice” by Seth Sandronsky (SN&R Words, September 23):

Seth Sandronsky’s recent review of Edward Said’s book is wrong.

In comparing the U.S. and Israel he writes, “Each became a settler state with an ideology of herrenvolk, or master race.” This is both false and offensive. Jews trace their presence in the land comprising the modern state of Israel as far back—if not further—than their Palestinian neighbors. Second, from its inception the state of Israel has promoted peace and racial equality with its Arab neighbors. It was Arab rejection, not the acts of Israel, which have perpetuated the plight of Palestinians for the past 56 years.

Sandronsky is correct in arguing that Jews and Palestinians need to learn to live together. Nevertheless, baseless claims such as the ones made in this article are both offensive and counterproductive. Hopefully SN&R will publish more balanced articles in the future.

Yoni Cohen

… but a fitting review

Re “Palestine’s voice” by Seth Sandronsky (SN&R Words, September 23):

Thank you for publishing Seth Sandronsky’s review of the late Edward Said’s essays on the first anniversary of his untimely death in New York after a long battle with leukemia. Palestinians have lost their most prominent voice and the world has lost its most respected and coherent spokesman for universal values. Professor Said constantly inspired both people of faith, and of no faith, to continue to hold to the faith that one day peace with justice will prevail for Israelis and Palestinians.

Mary J. Bisharat