Letters

Think for Yourself, Blind Reporting, Song Without Words, High on Lowbrow, Something? Like What?

Think for Yourself
As Matt Isaacs correctly points out, the Anti-Defamation League is the primary civil rights organization fighting hate crimes and exposing the danger of hate groups ("Spy vs. Spite," Feb. 2). ADL is deeply disturbed by the proliferation of hate on the Internet. Many other responsible groups, legislators, and public agencies share our concerns.

However, ADL takes issue with the often misleading impressions created in your cover story, wherein Isaacs accepts as true numerous attacks by ADL's critics. The facts are that ADL, along with many other fair-minded groups and individuals who respect First Amendment rights, is struggling to combat the disturbing proliferation of hate-filled Web sites.

ADL recognizes there are no easy answers. No one can prevent someone from posting false and hate-filled messages. ADL cannot and does not censor hate material or interfere with any individual's right to access it.

However, consistent with our efforts to expose haters and to counteract their message, we have created a software product, the ADL HateFilter, which parents can voluntarily download and use as a tool. This offers parents an opportunity to keep their children from obtaining access to sites of groups which, in the league's judgment, advocate hatred, bigotry, or even violence towards individuals on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other immutable characteristic.

Parents can control the filter by password, turn it off, and otherwise use it to suit their goal of protecting their children from overt and virulent expressions of racism and bigotry online. Rather than rely on Isaacs' unbalanced characterization of ADL goals and programs or the League's HateFilter, we invite SF Weekly's readers to visit our Web site at www.adl.org and form their own judgments.

Jonathan Bernstein
Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
San Francisco

Blind Reporting
The author of "Blind Faith" (Jan. 19) gave the appearance of a thorough look at EMDR, while avoiding I think the most vital piece of information that looks at the research relevant to this therapy. In 1995, the American Psychological Society's Clinical Psychology Division task force initiated a project to determine the degree to which extant therapeutic methods were supported by solid empirical evidence. Only three methods were placed on this list for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in civilian populations: EMDR was one of those. This was an important finding to overlook!

Tanya Russell
Mill Valley

Song Without Words
In Denise Sullivan's review of the Aimee Mann songs on the Magnolia soundtrack (Reviews, Music, Jan. 19), she writes: "An instrumental, 'Nothing Is Good Enough,' has a lustrous melody but cries out for lyrics." Well, Denise, there are lyrics to that song, and you can find them on Aimee's soon-to-be-released album Bachelor #2. Or, if you can't wait, you can get a preview EP on her Web site.

Denise also laments that Aimee has only put out two solo albums since 1989, and wonders if "she's run out of material." I can only answer that what she HAS put out has been first-rate work (indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find any better albums in the '90s than Aimee's two previous solo efforts). I would say that the quality of her work more than makes up for the quantity. I might add that if the preview EP that I have heard is any indication, then we have not yet heard the best of Aimee.

Steven Souza
San Leandro

High on Lowbrow
Great write-up on Lowbrow (The House of Tudor, Jan. 19). I saw them perform at Burning Man and you depicted them quite accurately. What's really amazing is that every show they did out there (which seemed to be every night) was different from the last. They totally interact with the audience (rare today -- especially with musicians' "I'm so cool I can't even acknowledge the audience" attitude). I had an absolute blast at their shows and I'm going crazy that I'm not in S.F. right now to see them again. Are they coming back anytime soon?

John Parkerson
Via Internet

Something? Like What?
I'm crying. A tragic story ("Requiem for a Church Supreme," Jan 26.). I'm a seventh-year residential tourist, displaced from Boston myself, and I'm just wondering, "What the fuck's up with this city?" All the time I hear people referring to community, but no one really gives a fuck about anything but themselves. Cash, that's what it's all about, no fucking around there. (Yes, fuck used three times ... sorry, four times in one paragraph ... how reactionary of me.)

I can't believe their plight. To have your rent proposal not only thrown back in your face, but likewise doubled -- just because it can be -- seems not only completely undemocratic, but also totally represents the most selfish act that the freedom of capitalism offers.

Let's just get it over with ... come on boys, chant along! All hail the new mantra: "All for gain! All for gain! Get the fuck out! Get the fuck out of my way! I'm obtaining! I'm obtaining!" Honestly, I'd like to do "something" about this.

Dennis J. Williams
Lower Haight

 
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