Written Off
I have compiled a list of sexual phrases and words of profanity found in the April 23, 1998, issue of New Times.

I'm not an uptight, far-right suburbanite. Simply a well-rounded 30-something who, by all accounts, can handle just about anything in print. But this, this blatant, profane intrusion into a casual read, just knocked my socks off.

So I thought I'd take a thrill ride through the pages of your columns and articles. Lo and behold, 60, sixty abuses of the English language.

Yes, you shocked me. Intended? Who cares? Is it necessary? How does copy editor Katie Schmidt feel about these derogatory phrases? Proofreader Stephen Gobbell must get a male-enhancing kick during his check for grammatical and clerical errors.

I doubt that any of these terms are in the Chicago Manual of Style. Then again, who would know? There's no need for New Times reporters to turn to such an outdated, overrated reference for professional journalists.

For the past 12 years, I've enjoyed New Times for its depth, integrity and ability to tell the truth. I've winced at the insurgence of the profane, but always thought New Times kept a keen balance. No balance exists in 1998. Since alternative journalism of the late '90s seems solely to rest on shock by using derelict phrases to get a point across, you can count me out of your readership.

Ain't that a fuckall.
Karen Grooms, editor
Auction Weekly

For years I have enjoyed the New Times but have been increasingly annoyed with the cartoon Red Meat to the point of furor. It is consistently without artistic talent, showing what appears to be identical clip-art throughout each strip, and the dialogue becomes more and more offensive each week. The April 30 issue's strip, involving the dipping of live rabbits into liquid nitrogen, was even more appalling than the numerous strips about the sexual exploitation of children. As both a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and a survivor of child abuse, I'm left with no option other than to discontinue reading New Times, and rest assured that I will miss no opportunity to discourage others from reading what has now become trash. With such reputable publications as The Rep available now that provide similar information (and seem to be less than 90 percent advertising), why should I allow myself to be repeatedly offended and outraged?

Rob Branch-Dasch

Sculpt Ability
I enjoyed Amy Silverman's article titled "Framing Marilyn Zeitlin" (April 30).

FYI: Through Marilyn Zeitlin's efforts, Arizona State University has just recently been donated an art sculpture (arguably worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars) for just the cost of moving and installation. Subject piece is located to the east of the Music Building (north of Gammage Parkway and east of Mill Avenue), thus lending further credence to Zeitlin being a real asset to the university and community.

Richard Collins
via Internet

Purple Heart
I was hired to work as a social worker at the Arizona Veterans Service Commission in July 1997 ("Competence Goes AWOL," Paul Rubin, April 30). I began working there in August. In my 20 years of social service work, I had never encountered such unprofessionalism. I have never seen worse files in my entire life. The room they were in was a shambles. The clients are at risk!

To remain, I would have had to breach my personal and professional code of ethics. I quit after six days.

Lita Perna, M.A., CSAC

Shelter Skelter
After reading Barry Graham's piece on Lloyd Vacovsky ("Lloyd's Bridges," April 30), I felt compelled to offer my two cents. At this writing, I am currently residing in the Central Arizona Shelter Services facility. I've been in here about two months. When I first came in, I was assigned Lloyd as my case manager, and I couldn't have asked for a better one. I haven't had the misfortune of being an alcoholic or a drug addict, and so I've mainly needed Lloyd for bus tickets and support in getting my housing. But I have very little doubt of the compassion that the man feels for people with those problems. I have seen both the people who deal with those things and the way those people are dealt with, and it's people like Lloyd that make all the difference. Thank God for him!

The only problem I had with the article is the focus on people who are afflicted with drug and alcohol abuse. I invite Mr. Graham over to talk with the people here, and he'll see we're not all like that.

Jon Krieger

Thank you for the article about Lloyd Vacovsky and his use of Naltrexone for alcoholism and opiate recovery. Lloyd really is one of those movers and shakers; he's breaking new ground with this profound new medication.

Bryan Cunningham
Sun City West

Heavy Traffic
Barry Graham's tautological advice ("Ticket to Deride," April 23) ranks right up there with Hillary's revelation that there are things in life more important than money and career as a nominee for the "Bloody Obvious Truths That Most People Figured Out in Junior High" Hall of Fame. I expect most people are aware that it is in your best interest to be polite when pulled over by a cop. I have more than once escaped tickets when I was obviously in the wrong simply by being polite.

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