Chronicle of Fear
Kudos to John Mecklin for his brilliant, incisive article "Chronicle of Failure" (Mecklin, June 10) detailing the Chronicle's continued avoidance of publishing any negative news on Willie Brown.

In my opinion, the main reason why the Chronicle will not print anything remotely negative about "Da Mayor" is fear of the R-word -- of being called racists by Brown and his flunkies.

Cary Sekoff
Upper Market

Blah Blah Outsiders Blah Blah Phoenix Blah Blah Bad
You crazy guys -- publishing a spoof about Willie Brown shooting Dianne Feinstein "three times in the forehead" on the steps of City Hall ("Chronicle of Failure," Mecklin). Simply brilliant. Especially since it was Feinstein who, in real life, had to announce to the world in 1978 that George Moscone and Harvey Milk had just been assassinated in that very same City Hall. But you wouldn't be expected to know that: It must sound like ancient history to folks from Phoenix who didn't arrive here until 1995.

Thelma Ritter
Via Internet

Great! Our Speculum or Yours?
While we at Good Vibrations have long been convinced that the staff of SF Weekly are among the most sexually savvy (if not active ...) folks in the city, your June 10 issue indicates it's been too much work and too little sex-toy play for your comic strip creator.

In Negative Creep, the text refers to the new Creep having a head shaped like a Hitachi Magic Wand, while the illustration clearly depicts something more akin to a Smoothie (Lipstick, Deco, Aero, etc.). Our highly trained staff happily explains the difference between these two vibrators on a daily basis -- we'd like to imagine your fact-checkers would relish a trip to one of our stores to verify this information for themselves.

Ann Whidden
Good Vibrations
San Francisco/Berkeley

Gosh, We Found Godzilla Quite Thought-Provoking
One of my main reasons for regularly picking up SF Weekly has been to read the film reviews. I can't do it anymore, mainly because the reviews do not accurately describe the subject films or reasonably evaluate them in any manner that would be helpful to me as a potential moviegoer. I find Michael Sragow's reviews to be particularly ludicrous. The man seems to believe that his job is to exaggerate a film's weaknesses to the point of slander rather than provide his readers with a balanced appraisal of the film.

Sragow's appreciation of motion pictures -- and his perception of his social role as a critic of film -- is so limited that he might as well be blind. He insists that The Truman Show "is nothing" and "has nothing to say" ("The Free Willies," Film, June 3). Uh-uh, Mr. Sragow. Godzilla has nothing to say. Lost in Space has nothing to say. Lethal Weapon 4 will most likely have nothing to say. The Truman Show has plenty to say; unfortunately, its message does not fall within the narrow range of Sragow's perception, or perhaps he deems its message unworthy of his consideration.

I appreciate the feature articles in SF Weekly, which are usually enlightening, important, and either ahead of the mainstream publications or focused on topics completely off the mainstream radar. But your periodical's film criticism, in this reader's opinion, has lost its relevance.

David Weibel
Union City

An Island of Sanity
Thank you to your film critic, Michael Sragow, for informing us that Emperor Truman has no clothes ("The Free Willies," Film). I was beginning to doubt my own sanity when nowhere could I find anything but praise for this film. The Truman Show is as vacuous as the television media it purports to satirize. I found it to be about as deep as a reflection in a mud puddle, and about as interesting.

Michael Mackin
Via Internet

Knocked Backward by Jewel's Lungs
Oh sure, Keven McAlester's article on Jewel's poetry ("Oh, Silver Deities!" Music, June 10) had the standard charms of deflationary writing (gleeful sarcasm, intellectual condescension, a sense of cosmic rightness being restored, and other measures of relief for those who reject mass acceptance as the arbiter of an artist's worth).

But Jewel is an easy shot, don't you think? It doesn't take a particularly close reading to deconstruct her fame or her writing. Neither is lasting. Neither is interesting. Any semiconscious pen-wielding hack not entirely knocked backward by Jewel's lungs could pierce her bubble(s).

But, methinks, it takes another level of intelligence altogether to reveal the fraudulence and inherent silliness of poetry itself.

Greg Hurley
Via Internet

Wait...He's Being Sarcastic
Who says that investigative reporting is dead? Not SF Weekly!
Thank you, Mr. McAlester, for warning me! I had heard that the modern coffee shop poetry scene has its share of poseurs, half-wits, talentless journal whiners, and sundry weirdos that the term "bohemian" would not begin to describe, but I did not entirely trust these reports until I found your well-researched, thoughtful corroboratory evidence in "Oh, Silver Deities!" (Music). Be sure I will never listen to anyone read poetry again! I, for one, do not want to surround myself with misguided creatures spewing false epiphanies, or spotlight-loving prima donnas creating impenetrable runs of word-music, or performers with much attitude but less-than-stellar talent, or audiences that cannot tell the difference between what is "established" and what is "amateur."

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