Never been to Europe. Been to Ohio once.: You have to wonder what political planet Matt Smith is living on. The pros and cons of voting for Nader in the presidential election are a legitimate area of debate ("What's Green and Black and Blue All Over?," Nov. 15), but to describe the Greens as "doctrinaire leftists" is wide of the mark. It is only in the United States -- whose Democratic Party would barely pass as a centrist-liberal party in Europe -- that a commentator could call the Greens "leftist-doctrinaire."
If the Democrats are the pragmatic leftists, then the progressive movement is in really big trouble. But there again, most of us knew that already.
As Naderites know, it's not about winning: I expected that the Democratic Party, with an eye to future elections, would try to build bridges to us Nader voters. Instead, after running a candidate so weak he couldn't even carry his home state, the Democrats have tried to blame the Green Party for their debacle.
Rather than reaching out, Democrats have merely piled vilification and abuse upon us Nader supporters. I've gotten their message. They don't want my vote, and I'll be sure they never get it. They can call off their attack dogs now. They've "won."
Terry D. Oehler
Oh, yeah? You, you stupidhead.: Ah, Nader-bashing after the election. Despicable cowards. Liberal bullies -- all pumped up to beat up on the weak while you crawl on your bellies before the powers that be. You all didn't even bother to run a liberal against the neo-conservative Gore in the primaries. You Steinem fake-left types have gone too far. Loser wimps.
Finally, a voice of reason: Thank you so much for your wonderful Nader article. It's frustrating to this day that these clowns do not take responsibility for the probable "election" of Bush. Their response -- that Gore was a failed candidate -- masks the fact that their candidate totally and unequivocally failed. They couldn't even get their 5 percent but now say they are only beginning to build their "movement" -- with some fictional, unreality-based constituency. Dream on.
As soon as I learn how to work a can opener: Wow! Way to go for hate speech! I won't sit and argue whether Gore is a whore or not (he is), but I will mention that in a democracy, candidates earn their votes. So in this election, those votes weren't Gore's -- he didn't earn them.
My beef is with you wannabe progressives, who are progressive only to the extent that pays your mortgages. You bastards split the Green vote with your fear tactics and prevented the 5 percent Nader needed (and deserved). I'd love to open a can of whup-ass on you limousine liberals!
Devil's child, no. But cranky on deadline.: I read the Weakly when I can. Rarely do I enjoy it in any sense, but Matt Smith's articles bring me genuine frustration. I find myself wondering, after reading another of his free-market-praising, knee-jerk, anti-left-wing columns, who is this man? Is he the love child of Milton Friedman and Satan? Or just some idiot who thinks that by rejecting "progressive" ideals, he is being a critical thinker? His latest article that really incensed me was about Nader voters. Although I could not vote, being under 18, I worked on Nader's campaign and support his candidacy wholeheartedly.
Why not blame a Bush presidency on those who voted for Bush? Those who worked on the Nader campaign were not "egotistical longhairs," as Smith insists. They were a wide variety of normal folks who actually give a damn about the future of our planet.
Sure, I'll admit Gore is better than Bush. But he's still the lesser of two evils. And I will not vote for evil when I can vote for what I believe in. Call me an optimist. Call me a knee-jerk liberal. Call me a leftist puritan. But don't call me a spoiler.
Antonio Roman Alcala
And proud of it!: Bravo! I just gotta tell you how happy I was to see an article on The Bone in the Weekly ("Bad to The Bone," Music, Nov. 15). As a member of the Bonehead work force, I have to say hats off to you. There is really nothing like it in the Bay Area. It's addictive. Give it a week and you will be hooked.
Man on a mission: Your article on Craig Breedlove was so good it almost hurt to read it ("Magnificent Obsession," Nov. 15). I'm happy with the way you got the main point across -- Craig needs money, it's not that much, really, and we ought to support the effort and bring back the world land speed record for the good old U.S. of A. and the Bay Area.
I was at Black Rock in 1997 when Craig was up against Richard Noble and Andy Green. Next to a space shuttle launch and my first sky dive, watching [the British] Thrust SSC break the sound barrier that first time was the most spectacular thing I've experienced. It's great to see Craig getting more exposure.
Angels and Agitators
Will any of this be on the final?: Thanks for your cover story on Harold Norse ("The Return of the Bastard Angel," Nov. 8). It demonstrates that he is a major figure in recent gay poetry, but Norse is also simply an important American poet beyond any pigeonholing. Historically, he is one of the key links between the generation of modernists that included William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound and the beat generation. His body of work is as good a guide as I know for tracking the progress of the literary avant-garde from the 1940s through the '60s and '70s into the '80s. He is also an unfailingly generous supporter of younger writers and dreamers, as both your article and I can testify.
It is a crime that the work of Harold Norse is out of print. The time is long past for a definitive edition of his collected poems. Where is the publisher who will do this valuable work? City Lights? UC Press?
No confusion: Many local small businesses that donate to our annual World AIDS Day raffle have asked us to respond to your Nov. 8 cover story on the group of people calling themselves ACT UP S.F. SF Weekly readers should know that ACT UP S.F. has been disavowed and disowned by the Act Up Network.
We believe that HIV is, at the very least, a major co-factor causing AIDS. We also believe that all HIV-infected individuals should have access to treatments currently available only in industrialized countries.
ACT UP S.F. has usurped our name, damaged our credibility, and hurt many HIV-infected people with their messianic misinformation campaign, "HIV does not cause AIDS, AIDS is over."
Global catastrophes, such as the Holocaust and AIDS, elicit different reactions from different people. Denial, guilt, and misplaced anger are three reactions I see demonstrated by ACT UP S.F.
Co-founder, Act Up/East Bay and Berkeley Needle Exchange
Flattery will get you printed: I'd like to say that I enjoy Dog Bites very much and immediately latched on to it when I moved to San Francisco early this year. It is a bastion of witty level-headedness that brings me no end of delight (will flattery get me anywhere?). At any rate, Dog Bites has a voice to which everyone should listen, agreeable or no.