Letters to the Editor

Week of Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Hater Mail

Pleasant mail from a European gentile who doesn't hate himself:You are sooooo obviously a Jew. LOL. Your piece ["My Dinner at Applebee's With White Supremacists!," Infiltrator, Feb. 23] drips with Semitic bile, but little else. It's not even good fiction.

I'm not a member of any organization -- but you'd probably consider me to be "one of those people" (as you no doubt do any European gentile who doesn't hate himself). If someone said in my presence, "And I hate Jews, too," I'd say give Abe Foxman a big kiss for me.

LOL -- SF Weekly, eh? Big time.

Tom Blair
Perkiomenville, Pa.

Questions from an anonymous bored reader who can't count:When I saw the title "My Dinner With White Supremacists" on the cover, I thought, "Hmm, can't SF Weekly come up with a better topic anymore?"

How many times have people tried to analyze white supremacy? These racists are just a bunch of whiny little brats. Period. You guys are like parents giving spoiled children in hysterics the last thing they need: ATTENTION! Does the topic white supremacy really warrant, what is it -- four? five? or six -- pages in your paper? In the end, I still have not learned anything new. What a complete waste of time. In one sentence, you guys could have simply said: "White racists need to grow up." That's it!

Name withheld
Outer Mission Hate the haters -- there's the trick!:I wanted to pass on a bit of praise to Harmon Leon for his hilarious but sobering look at haters. It almost seemed unreal that he pulled off this stunt. As a white person from the supposed supreme race, I'm sickened by these twisted views exhibited by the folks he interviewed. Yet, I'm surprised at how normal they seemed, too. I understand that most of us have purposely or accidentally thrown out a racial remark, whether in jest or in anger, and that's bad -- but to harbor these hateful views deep down, through and through, is just wrong! Maybe I'll start an "I Hate People Who Hate" group, just for the hell of it, eh?

Charlotte Cusack
Concord

In Memoriam

Burks is wrong, Part 1:To Dog Bites, who was looking to put Hunter S. Thompson in perspective [Feb. 23]:

I hate to contradict the remembrance of John Burks, a man who would seem to have been in the thick of things, but the wheels were already coming off media-anointed front-runner Ed Muskie's bandwagon in 1972 when the candidate broke down and wept on camera, reportedly angry at the treatment of his wife in the press. It was only after Muskie began looking unelectable that Hunter S. Thompson offered his admittedly crazy-ass theory that the candidate was an ibogaine addict, a claim that was treated with bemusement -- if at all -- by the mainstream press. To assert, as Burks does, that Hunter S. Thompson helped elect Richard Nixon in 1972 is giving vastly too much credit to the man Burks is busy discrediting. Throw in his feigned guilt at helping launch the already-established Thompson's journalism career, and the melodramatic Mr. Burks should be taken with as many grains of salt as Hunter himself.

Now if you're looking for the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson, you may want to read ... well, SF Weekly. Take Thompson's visceral self-indulgence and freestyle iconoclasm, add the safety of sardonic detachment, and voilà ... you're a New Times journalist.

And then as an exercise, ask Harmon Leon, who wrote the wonderfully entertaining "My Dinner With White Supremacists" in the same issue, how many of the daringly insouciant bons mots he actually uttered out loud to his Nazi hosts, and how many of them came later when he actually wrote himself into the story.

Casey McCabe
San Rafael

Part 2:Over the past 30-some years, I have greatly enjoyed the writings of Hunter S. Thompson. He powerfully and passionately articulated the feelings of millions of Americans during some of the darker days of our history. Thompson was a flawed genius, and in the days following his death, journalistic and literary giants from Tom Wolfe to William Kennedy appropriately have celebrated the genius while acknowledging the flaws.

Unfortunately, the Weekly has chosen to magnify the flaws and ignore the genius, most glaringly in the comments of John Burks. Mr. Burks seems to be a bitter man with ancient scores to settle -- not only with Thompson, but also with Jann Wenner. His suggestion that Thompson was somehow responsible for Nixon's re-election is so lacking in historical basis as to be downright ludicrous. Contrary to Burks' suggestion that Thompson destroyed Ed Muskie's candidacy by speculating that he was addicted to ibogaine, Muskie's campaign was already in its death throes by then. In fact, Thompson posited ibogaine as the cause of his campaign's collapse. In any event, it was so obvious to me as a college student that the story was tongue-in-cheek that I laughed out loud when I read it.

The simple truth is that George McGovern appealed to the ideals of millions of Democrats and rode a wave of anti-war sentiment to the Democratic nomination in 1972. His primary campaign was a juggernaut that neither Ed Muskie nor anyone else could stop. We will never know whether Muskie could have beaten Nixon, although I very much doubt it. What is clear is that there is no evidence that Hunter Thompson prevented him from doing so.

Doug Elliott
South Beach

Doggone Good

Especially the etc. part:I really enjoyed the Dog Court piece ["San Francisco Dog Court," Feb. 16]. Snappy and substantive, etc.; just what we look for in the Weekly. (And I love that the pig was named Potsticker!)

Jennifer Roolf
Bernal Heights

Correction

In "Mix and Match" [Dish Enchanted, Feb. 23], Bonnie Wach incorrectly stated that Jeff Jordan's great-grandfather invented the "famous all-in-one" sandwich. In fact, it was invented by the Primanti brothers in 1933. SF Weekly regrets the error.

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