Mill Stoners
In response to "Meet the Crusties" (David Holthouse, February 26), check out this sob story: My dad abandoned our family in an alcoholic haze when I was 4. I barely remember him. When I was 15, I was kicked out of high school twice for "insubordinate behavior" and refused reentry even after an appeal to the superintendent of the Scottsdale School District.

When I was 16, my mom permanently threw me out of the house with a curt "You have an hour to pack your suitcase or I'm calling the cops." I knew this was no hollow threat, since I'd previously been "hog-tied" by police, removed from my bedroom and whisked away for three months for criminal damage to our family microwave. That was followed by incarceration in Durango and then St. Luke's Hospital mental ward.

Boo hoo. Guess what I did when I found myself homeless without a high school diploma? I worked for a living. What a foreign concept! The reason all of these so-called crusties are white is because the other ethnic groups have something called a work ethic. These jackasses aren't handicapped; they're just lazy bums. Literal losers by choice. I hope they all choke on their hemp "jewelry" and their stinky dogs eat their filthy carcasses. (Someone call the ASPCA to liberate those poor, enslaved canines.)

It angers me that many older people identify these worthless slobs with my generation. I'm 23 now, and despise the sidewalk scumbags who hit me up for change. Saintly public leeches, indeed! When I was 16 and homeless, I didn't turn to drugs, I didn't turn to "spanging"--I didn't give up. (Insert tears here, fade in "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.) These gutter punks are lazy, pathetic and more than slightly annoying.

They think their pierced-and-shaved fashion is antiestablishment--this is simply not true. I feel a more apt moniker for them is "trendies." Hopefully, whatever fad these trendies adopt in a few years will involve a quaint invention called soap. But it's a free country, and the dirty hyenas have the right to feed off the public trough as long as the general public supports it.

Whatever . . . They'll all probably get AIDS from shooting heroin, and it serves them right. (As long as their tainted blood doesn't pollute the Valley plasma supply, we have nothing to worry about.)

But to have this piece of in-depth journalism splattering New Times' front page is insulting to people who want to glean something insightful or informative from it. I generally like New Times--especially Flashes, Amy Silverman and Serene Dominic--but if it's going to print "How to Be a Lazy Piece of Shit 101" as news or whatever it thinks it is, maybe the paper shouldn't go to print at all.

In the future, David Holthouse shouldn't waste his considerable talent on such weak subject matter.

Larry Hicks

I was disappointed with the "Meet the Crusties" article. It glamorizes homelessness and drug addiction. Being hungry or dope sick is neither cute nor fun. If anyone wants to help these people, direct them to a recovery program. Don't give them money or food. What they really need is to hit a bottom so low that the only way to go is up. They need to learn to become productive members of the community once again. Don't play a part in their addiction!

Thomas Denorio

Say Uncle
I would like to express my gratitude regarding the extreme-fighting article ("John McCain Breaks Up a Fight," Amy Silverman, February 12). Not too often does somebody do an objective piece regarding the touchy subject of extreme fighting. Even rarer is it that someone does one with the grace and insight that Amy Silverman presented in her journalism. As a Canadian, I don't have much to say toward what U.S. senators can do or say. However, as a longtime UFC-type-event fan, I commend Silverman for bringing some of the facts to the people who otherwise would dismiss said events without ever seeing one. Everyone has his agenda; mine is that I am an adult and I don't like my choices being made for me. Once again, thank you.

Mark Loft
Ottawa, Ontario

The article on extreme fighting hit close to home, indeed. What the article missed, however, was that these fights have been in the Valley for more than two years. The "Ultimate Warriors" competition far predates the tournament mentioned in the article. Budweiser was even a sponsor in the last tournament we held at Midnight Rodeo (formerly known as Graham Central Station).

I am not a promoter. I am a competitor. I am a computer-system administrator at Motorola in Phoenix. I want the chance to compete safely but test myself to the extreme at the same time. Do you think I could uphold my professional image if I were a boxer? I think walking into the office wearing a tie and two black eyes might turn some heads! The rules of the "Ultimate Warriors" fights have always been in accordance with state law, and no serious injuries have been sustained by its competitors. When my sensei and his teacher started these tournaments, they went to great pains to involve the boxing commission. Representatives of the commission were at every contest held. Why does Senator John McCain now involve himself when he is obviously so ignorant of what it is we do? I don't go for the conspiracy theory, because, as I stated, Budweiser sponsored our last event. As a competitor, I am saddened by all of this. These tournaments provided athletes like myself a venue to prove themselves in public. But no one was listening to us. The media insisted on portraying our tournaments as the "UFC" even when given our rules and tapes to show them different. McCain made no effort to find out what we were really about; he simply doesn't care. Once again, the little man loses.

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