SF Weekly Letters

New Artist, New Sound
Unconventional has a place in music's timeline: “If there's a genius behind that cold stare, it's yet to be realized by Maura Johnston,” should be the photo caption [“No Pleasure in the Harsh Light,” Maura Johnston, Music, 2/8]. It's so obvious that [Del Rey] is on to something and it's just what pop culture needs right now, and people get it, and are responding to it. Is the “genius” in a piece of art ever realized at the moment the work is being made? Not usually. New artists doing unconventional or different work from what's currently being pumped out as popular, always get torn apart, overanalyzed, and hated — then three, five, 10 years from now, people look back and say “Oh, Lana Del Rey? She was great! She was so different. She inspired so many others … blah blah.”

She's really good. She's not out there in clown/drag queen makeup, no backup dancers or laser light show smoke and mirrors distraction, no booming beats, she's not trying to fool anyone. Pretty girl, standing on stage softly with a microphone, doing her best at singing her songs. Simple.


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Blog Comments of the Week
Bicyclist's disregard for rules of road has a deadly consequence: Involuntary manslaughter — not exactly a minor fixit or speeding ticket — should have appropriate consequences, irrespective of the weapon used [“Randolph Ang, S.F. Cyclist Who Killed Pedestrian, Should Get Jail Time,” Tom Walsh, the Snitch, 2/8]. Killing someone is a serious crime, and one could even make the case that deliberately blowing a red light makes Dionette Cherney's death premeditated.

As a long-time cyclist (51 years) and bike advocate (40+ years) I believe that cyclists need to be fully educated as to the rules of the road and then follow them. There is no excuse for anyone blowing through a red light. And there is no excuse for any cyclist to hit a pedestrian. Period. Ang was not in control of his bike if he could not stop for the light or avoid hitting someone. That is reckless driving, in my humble opinion. If he hit her and killed her he should serve the same amount of jail time as a car driver would in the same situation. Actions have consequences and his took a life. The law should not be suspended nor punishment waived simply because he was riding a bicycle instead of driving a car.

Jon Spangler

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Interested in hearing the dissenting voice's opinion: Very disappointing that the ruling was not unanimous, though the dissent offers a unique view on “judicial restraint” that's worth digesting and considering before dismissing it [“Prop. 8 Appeals Court Ruling: Inside the Dissenting Opinion,” Peter Jamison, the Snitch, 2/7]. While I disagree with Judge N. Randy Smith's conclusions, it's a fair bet that he knows more about the law than I do, and I appreciate that he brought a unique perspective to the case, and that he was only in the minority on the decision.


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Facebook's blanket ads don't apply to every user: Not sure I'm convinced of any harm — yet [“Facebook Just Keeps Getting Worse,” Dan Mitchell, the Snitch, 2/7]. I won't be using Facebook to organize any uprisings, so I'm not fearing reprisal — yet. I too don't care for the ads they serve, so I'm not bugged by that — yet, and I'm too marginal in my tastes for any major brands to find me someone worth selling to. Now, what I am curious about is when will my local bookseller or record shop be able to use this to send me posts (ads) about stuff I will like? That would be worthwhile to me and to the smaller shops who could entice me a lot more cheaply than they can today.

Xian Caldwell

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Shaming fat kids won't help them lose weight: Thank you for raising awareness of the terrific counter-campaign against these ads [“S.F. Fat Activists Oppose Atlanta's Anti-Obesity Campaign,” Erin Browner, the Exhibitionist, 2/3]. I find it hard to believe that anyone would condone shaming kids for being fat. I can't imagine that Strong4Life, sponsored by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, didn't get what these ads actually are before putting them out, but the fact that after having been informed, they continue to support the ads is terrible. Growing up fat is hard enough, and shame only leads to disordered eating and poor body image, which is far more unhealthy than simply being fat.


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Delighting in foie gras seems unnecessary: It's very disturbing how a few people, such as this author and a few chefs, appear to revel and take delight in the extreme and horrific cruelty these animals endure [“Eat Foie with Blood Orange at Jardiniere, Tournedos Rossini at Baker Street Bistro,” Jonathan Kauffman, SFoodie, 2/2]. I find it even more appalling, since society has finally recognized that a ban is necessary to protect the animals.


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