Guarding the Guardian: Regarding your full-page ad disparaging the venerable San Francisco Bay Guardian, questioning whether I and other readers were insulted, the answer is emphatically, "Yes!" I will no longer read SF Weekly, where the inexorable slide toward corporate journalistic mediocrity appears to be complete. As far as your conspiracy-theory accusations are concerned, don't you think you should have hung them on something other than the Guardian's stellar PG&E monopoly reporting?
Good luck shilling for the man.
By the way, I will miss Katy St. Clair -- the only reason left to read your corporate rag.
Lambasting the lambasters: I have been a journalist since three months after I began college. At 19, I started on the weekly at Southern Oregon University and at 21 was the editor. I moved on to NPR, then the BBC. I am now the executive producer of an independent radio show aired on public radio stations. At the tender age of 26, I have seen time and again the uselessness of holding a grudge.
In 2000, I interviewed both John Mecklin and Bruce Brugmann for a class on opinion writing -- asking both the same question: Had they ever faced an ethical dilemma?
I'll ask now, is it ethical to carry on a grudge so long?
What this is really about is whether San Francisco is a two-weekly-newspaper town. Frankly, that is a pretty boring debate. It's Savage Love versus Alt.Sex.Column. Meredith Brody versus Dan Leone. (Actually Leone wins hands down, I don't know why the Weekly hasn't poached him.) The truth is that it is not an issue of corporate newspaper against local offering. It's ego versus ego.
But really, is New Times so petty that it would take a really excellent editor from a wonderful newspaper in Phoenix and put him in a town like San Francisco to lambaste a crosstown rival? I sincerely hope not.
Smith strikes again: Matt Smith, this is another great article ["Reeferzilla Meets NIMBY-Ra," Oct. 12]. Love how you keep banging the drum about [Arlene] Ackerman's outing and [Chris] Daly's wheeling and dealing. Keep it up and I'll keep reading.
But isn't opera supposed to be over-the-top?: Thanks for your excellent review of Doctor Atomic ["The Nuclear Option," Stage, Oct. 12]. I agree totally. Not only that, I also saw Copenhagen, and your comparison is exactly right, and devastating. The problem of "overstimulation" is not unique to this opera; many of the productions under Ms. Rosenberg have the problem (e.g., The Barber of Seville with the revolving house and the dismantling and reassembly of the scooter), and I am glad to see her move on.
Music to our ears: Loved your piece on making your own musical in the streets of San Francisco ["My Life Is a Musical," Infiltrator, Oct. 12]. I have often wanted to live in a musical. Too bad we can't all agree to do it on one day. I'd go for it.
My favorite musical (that I'd like to live in) is The Young Girls of Rochefort, Jacques Demy's 1967 film starring a very young Catherine Deneuve and her sister (who died right after in a car crash). Gene Kelly is also featured. If you haven't seen it yet, you must. I walked out of it dancing and singing for blocks.
Urge-ent: I really enjoyed Harmon Leon's humorous ponderings "Abstinence a Go-Go!" [Infiltrator, Sept. 28]. As a teen, my friends and I could not believe what these "abstinence only" adults were spouting. Did they really believe this stuff? They just appeared so obviously naive and hypocritical. They, who are conveniently keeping their raging urges under control via their spouse, don't even remember what it was like to have the urge without an outlet. Didn't they read the news? Even adult priests can't keep it in their pants. How in the world would they expect pubescent teens who are out of their minds with these urges to abstain! This is especially unnatural as the age of marriage now is almost beyond the average life expectancy of centuries ago. My God, after holding it back that long, by the time we did whip it out we wouldn't even know what to do with it ... if it hadn't already atrophied and dropped off.
If it weren't for biology and Mother Nature, the "abstinence only" approach might have a shot. But short of chains and solitary confinement, it's best to be prepared when the raging tides of nature do finally overwhelm us.
Trevor [last name withheld]
In last week's "Rogue Wave" by Katy St. Clair, a reference to Dr. Seuss should have been to Dr. Zaius, a character from Planet of the Apes.
On our Reviews page last week, Mark Keresman's coverage of Neo Camerata's new CD misidentified the band's hometown and misspelled its composer's name; they are Dallas and Mark Landson, respectively.
Finally, last week we ran a capsule review of a film called Proteus; unfortunately, it covered the wrong film of that title. A new review can be found in our Film Capsules, which start on Page 37.
SF Weekly regrets the errors.