American Indians treated fairly: Three cheers for the unexpectedly fair and well-done article by Bernice Yeung on the San Pablo Indian casino ("Gambling Their Future," June 6). I'm so used to the altleft's hypocrisy of championing Tibet independence from China, while at the same time arguing, along with the AFL-CIO, that Indians in America need more white people to oversee them! Yet here I find that not only is the Indian side represented, but rather eloquently so by two very strong American-Indian women, Margie Mejia and Cathy Lopez. Well done!
M. Kevin Tutor
The first complimentary reference to a supervisor and genitalia in history: While I share your frustration at the implosion of constructive consensus on the Board of Supervisors, I hardly think that the recent vote on medical coverage for transgender employees qualifies as an example ("Warning: Deconstruction Ahead," Matt Smith, June 6).
As a straight white male who frequents cigar stores and gun shops, I get to hear a lot of loose talk about how the city "is using tax money to pay for people who want to chop their balls off." Now we hear from the Village Voice that the legislation symbolizes City Hall's long-standing desires to "nullify sex as a concept."
If this legislation symbolizes anything, it's that Mark Leno has balls, while many of his more anti-housing colleagues on the board do not.
If you live in San Francisco long enough, you're going to get to know some transgendered people. I have come to understand what they go through in order to express their identity. They face terrible sanctions from society, which can put significant limits on the quality and scope of their lives. Most people take their own identity for granted. These people can't.
If more people looked at the legislation as a fiscal issue rather than a social one, there would have been far less uproar. Unfortunately in the debate we all ended up learning that, even in "progressive" San Francisco, some people still don't get it.
We've never been so insulted by praise: Every week I pick up a copy of SF Weekly. You see, my dog has a problem waiting the night to go to the bathroom and your paper has just enough sections to last me from Wednesday to Wednesday. I always read Matt Smith's column before it hits the floor though. I must admit, it's the best thing the Weekly has to offer (well, second to Rob Brezsny's astrology column. OK, third after Red Meat.).
Let's face it, Matt, you're a one-trick pony: You play the devil's advocate, generally ticking people off with your well-articulated and usually well-researched column, peppered with annotated pop culture references. Formulaic yes, but you do it well. I just thought I'd send you some validation, since you're obviously suffering from some sort of Napoleon complex. Why else would you bother to use a big ol' chunk of your column to mock another coast's weekly? Is it because you know in your heart of hearts that the Village Voice is more often than not more insightful and far more fun to read than the rag you write for? You obviously harbor a disdain for postmodern theory, and that's fine. But don't use this as an excuse to be just plain petty. Stay away from theory and do what you do best, which is picking on teenage Academy of Art students who don't have to read books.
Making too much of a good thing: I appreciate SF Weekly's increased effort at covering dance and the support it has offered the community in the wake of the space crunch. However, I was appalled at your [June 6] cover query, "AXIS integrates disabled performers into its shows. It's unique, but is it dance?" Not only the cover, story headline, and photo caption, but also the article ("But is moving in wheelchairs really dance?") kept begging this question -- which was insulting and condescending both to the AXIS dancers and choreographers and to SF Weekly readers.
Obviously Ann Murphy knows enough about dance to reference Merce Cunningham and Yvonne Rainier. She also says the "critics who dismiss integrated dance as dramatized physical therapy" (none of whom she names) are proven wrong by history. So why base an article around a tired issue that was settled before Duchamp (not to mention Cunningham, Rainier, Paxton, or AXIS)?