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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, June 29, 2005

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Hey, Dude -- You Were, Like, Duded, Man!

Blunt explanation: I just read Harmon Leon's Infiltrator article ["The Minuteman's 15 Minutes of Fame (Minute 14.5)," June 22]; how sly. If he would have told us the truth about who he was, we would have told him our true story.

The one Minutedude isn't unemployed; he's "self-employed," growing marijuana in his apartment (well, up until he got evicted for it). His sales started to drop as another dealer moved into the neighborhood, selling massive amounts of low-quality bricks of marijuana smuggled in from Mexico. Well, as coincidence would have it, over the passing of water pipes, we saw the whole Minuteman Project on the news; with a stoned laugh he proclaimed, "I should go down there and fuckin' stop his source from getting in, man!"

Lots of stoned giggles: "You really want to drive down to Arizona just because someone's undercutting your pot operation?"

"Fucking-a right! If you drive, I'll bring all the buds you can smoke and pay for the gas!"

Motivation enough for me; we left that afternoon, and after 12 hours of driving, we got to Tombstone, only to be told we couldn't take part in the project because one of us was only 20; minimum age was 21. They did say, however, that we could go out there on our own, that there wasn't any law about sitting on the border. I said to just fuck the whole thing and go to Vegas or Havasu. But we stayed, partly because we were so entertained by Arizona's Wild West-like gun laws; whereas in San Jose people would run from me like I had the plague if I was armed and armored, people in Tombstone complimented me on the quality of my weapon.

The whole time we were out there, we were probably awake four hours out of the day; the sunglasses weren't to protect from the sun, they were to hide our red eyes from the strictly anti-drug Minutemen. Our paramilitary garb was also purely for our own entertainment; we wanted to look as extreme as possible, pretty much to get a rouse from the media. The two youngest people out there, dressed in flak jackets with Army boots!

We gave every person who interviewed us a different story, depending on his bias. Fox News: "We're here defending our homeland!" CNN: "We're here to protest multinational corporations exploiting illegal immigrants by stopping [immigration] at the source!"

And so on and so forth. We giggled like schoolgirls after every iteration of media questions.

But Harmon Leon, if you would have just told us who you were working for, we would have shared the blunt we so quickly hid when you approached our car!

A Minutedude
San Jose

Straight-Faced Complaint

Design difficulties: As the designer of The Best Little Secrets Are Kept cover, I was a bit surprised at your reading on the art ["Lizard Kings," Music, June 22]. Rachel Devitt calls it an "ode to rape." The model isn't playing dead! She is standing in a shower. You can criticize the band's music and even call it sexist (you're not the first), but I think insinuating they're rape enthusiasts is a bit of an assault. Most Louis shows are overwhelmingly packed with female fans, all singing along with the sexy/sexist lyrics. The music isn't for everyone and certainly not for Rachel, but I found the article far more mean-spirited than anyone could honestly find the band members or music of Louis XIV. And I can say that with a straight face.

John Hofstetter
Washington, N.H.

Editor's note: Indeed, the cover in question depicts a nude woman standing in a shower. We apologize for the error.

A Defense of Mild Abandon

From a visiting Justinian (we so like the way that sounds; visiting Justinian, visiting Ju...): I am a visiting Boisean who went to high school with EJP, and I was pleased and astounded to see Mild Abandon in your paper here. To the person who wrote that the comic "lacks a persuasive aesthetic" (whatever that is in a comic) [Letters, June 15], I would say, "Give it a chance; it is subtle, which is odd for a comic, but it is a commentary on the bizarre nature of ordinary life. EJP works the day shift tending bar in Boise, Idaho; his comedy is the strangeness of all of our lives. It is a bit deadpan, but the best comedy sometimes is.

"Red Meat is sort of a collection of fourth-grade gross-out jokes, and it may have left your sense of humor stunted and underdeveloped. Give Mild Abandon a chance; it has the sophistication of a Charles Addams, if not the zany schlock of a Berke Breathed."

Justinian Morton
Boise, Idaho

Pedestrian Concern

These walks were made for walking: Thanks for the fantastic article on the ugly auto dependency of new S.F. developments ["Environmental Cycle," Matt Smith, June 8]. One side effect of the dangerous biking conditions here is an increase in bicyclists riding on sidewalks. They make walking less pleasant, and, for the less fleet of foot, more dangerous. Let's keep bicyclists and pedestrians allied. High-quality urban life also depends on making walking pleasant and safe.

Jason Dewees
Inner Sunset

Over in O'Brien's Corner

Gripping, accurate ...: Thanks for your recent article about mixed martial arts ["Knockout/Tapout," June 15]; it is one of the best I have ever read. Luke O'Brien should be commended for a gripping and accurate portrayal of an oft-misunderstood sport.

Sean Cecil
Portland, Ore.

And bang-up, too!: Unbelievable job on the MMA story. You managed to wrap the whole MMA story around Melendez, and I for one am closer to the sport for having read it. Bang-up job.

Jack Encarnacao
Boston, Mass.

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