Letters

Some Holiday Warmth
How much is AOL paying you for that positive review of You've Got Mail, their two-hour commercial ("The Cyberpostman Always Writes Twice," Film, Dec. 16)? I can't believe you would even think to mislead your readership by recommending that they go to see this kind of theaterplex crap!

I read negative reviews of great films like Picnic at Hanging Rock, and then I'm supposed to believe that You've Got Mail is some sort of cinematic masterpiece? Great!

Former writer Nora Ephron gives credit to the original writers of The Shop Around the Corner. Who cares? Why doesn't she write an original screenplay for a change? Hollywood sucks and the OC Weekly (which I'm sure is run by the same huge corporation as you are) is actually a more progressive paper than the lamentable SF Weekly. You, and Starbucks (which, from other reviews, I've come to understand gets in some major product placement in this clunker), and AOL and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks can all go to the same cutesy, corporate shopping mall hell. Fuck you!

Darren Norris
Via Internet

Hallinan's Suspect Politics
While I don't agree with George Cothran's assertion that the raid on the Marcus Garvey/MLK projects in the Western Addition was a success, given the extent to which well-respected police activists and residents have reported excesses by police, I appreciated Cothran's criticism of the recent demotion of Assistant District Attorney Thomas Mazzucco ("The Squashing of Tippy Mazzucco," Cothran, Dec. 16). As a member of the defense bar who practices law at the Hall of Justice daily, I can attest to Mazzucco's legal acumen, prosecutorial integrity, and general professionalism.

Underlying DA Terence Hallinan's demotion of Mazzucco is the disingenuous portrayal of Mazzucco as a renegade prosecutor. This depiction of Mazzucco is belied by the fact that Hallinan's second in command, Dick Iglehart, knew of the raid, as did Mazzucco's immediate supervisor in the Gang Unit, George Butterworth. Cothran's article rightly calls into question Mazzucco's demotion and Hallinan's political motives in general.

Matt Gonzalez
Deputy Public Defender
San Francisco

Cothran's Idiotic Politics
Terence Hallinan is an incompetent fool who gives liberals a bad name. Thank goodness there are people like George Cothran who do the same disservice to the right wing.

In the last few weeks you have done much to reveal the arrogant stupidity of "conservative" thought by sharing the following opinions with SF Weekly readers:

1) Only homeowners care about San Francisco; renters can up and leave any time they want ("A Home of One's Own," Cothran, Nov. 11).

2) In a free market system, busybodies shouldn't be allowed to regulate which businesses will be allowed to operate in a neighborhood, unless it's a liquor store close to where you live ("Invasion of the Coffee Shops," Cothran, Nov. 25).

3) The claims that people were unnecessarily detained and frightened during the Western Addition bust is just the "traditional whining of police brutality activists." Handcuffing children to furniture to keep them from "running around" is perfectly OK ("The Squashing of Tippy Mazzucco," Cothran, Dec. 16).

Thanks for your good work. I look forward to more nonsense that exposes you as an idiot on par with our mentally challenged district attorney.

Carl Morfeld
South Beach

Last Word
I suppose you think I should be grateful that you printed my letter commenting on the Nestor Makhnos (1919 and 1998 versions), and that your evil readership would be amused by the moronic, incoherent, and mentalist title you gave it: "Uh-Oh. Jeremy's Off His Meds." (Letters, Nov. 25). This idiocy was even more bizarre since your huge editorial budget now seems to allow you to call letter writers to confirm that they yam who they say they yam.

I had a seemingly jocular conversation with aforementioned drone, and no hint was offered as to what stupidity was percolating in your tiny minds. I was disappointed that I didn't make the Nov. 18 issue -- two Nestor-free weeks! -- but when I opened your cat box liner, I was pleased to see that I was the pull quote, and ineffably furious with your slanderous headline.

So, I take it that you are suggesting that anyone who knows and cares about the difference between anarchy and Marxism and who hates yuppies and their cars and cigars and landlording is labeled mentally ill, taking "medication" for said "disease," and potentially violent. Do you let your attorney vet this kind of "joke"?

In 1971, I was an 18-year-old sophomore who, with the aid of a little methamphetamine, a lot of overdue term papers, and a criminally malpracticing psychiatrist, ended up involuntarily hospitalized and forcibly drugged for several months. Under current California law, what happened to me would be understood as false imprisonment and assault and battery.

Thanks to the struggle of Eleanor Reis and her attorneys in Reis vs. California, this state can no longer assault and batter people by injecting them with drugs which are known to cause the serious and irreversible brain damage known as tardive dyskinesia. Unfortunately, Reis died from medication-related issues while still in her 40s.

During my tenure as a patients' rights advocate in Contra Costa County (see Ginzberg, The Mommy From Hell and Other Tales From the Loony Bin forthcoming from a fabulously lucky publisher to be chosen later), I was able to help many clients leave before the psy-cops wanted to let them go. I was also able to help a few clients defend their new statutory right to "give or refuse informed consent to medication." (The shrinks called this "interfering with our ability to practice medicine.") I wish I had this right to defend myself against battery in 1971 as my muscles locked up and I fell to the ground in spasms after the Thorazine kicked in for a few hours. Four times a day.

Well, you puerile, pathologizing pseudo-pundits, I suppose you are "correct." I have been off (not "my") Smith, Kline, and French's meds for 25 years, ever since reading in the New England Journal of Medicine that lithium causes renal damage. The pushers of Prozac notwithstanding, these "medicines," even the "new" ones, are highly toxic. Mass drugging is at the center of a paradigm that posits that people's distress is biologically hard-wired and engendered, despite its obvious omnipresence, and can only be ameliorated by poisonous chemicals.

My distress might be ameliorated by an apology, and a written policy that allows the letter writer to nix irrelevant and insulting headlines. My love of the First Amendment is even greater than my loathing of New Times Inc. and its snide corporatist monopoly alternative-ism. So I will probably not talk to my lawyer buddies about redress. Probably.

Jeremy Ginzberg
Oakland

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