By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Although the article on porn star Nikki Lynn and husband Richard ("The Best Laid Plans of Nikki Lynn," Brian Smith, July 30) portrayed them as "just folks" and loving members of a happy family, the description of the families in which they grew up is quite enlightening: Nikki's "real" dad abandoned her when she was small, but her step-dad was always there for her, although he was sometimes intoxicated by 7 a.m. Her mother's only concern about Nikki's involvement in the world of pornography was whether it paid enough for mom to have expensive curtains. Richard's father, too, was an alcoholic.
It sounds as if both Nikki and Richard grew up mixed up about what families are, how they should behave toward each other, and how vital the bonds of love and marital fidelity are to the partners and their children.
Witness the fact that although both Nikki and Richard think there is nothing "wrong" with Nikki's profession, they keep it a secret from their own youngsters. Richard may not mind selling his wife to men, and Nikki may actually enjoy selling herself, but her work is wrong--and both Richard and Nikki know that, or they wouldn't want to hide it from their kids.
Pornography is not the respectable business indicated by New Times' blithe portrayal of its industry magazines, major studios, big money, elite actors and actresses.
It is video prostitution which encourages its fans to objectify the subjects of their lust and has been shown to contribute to the incidence of rape and the abuse of women and children.
The truest statement Nikki made was that she is not a feminist. Nor is she a humanist, for she is making a living in a profession which contributes to the misery of others and the perpetuation of the myth that some folks' only role in life is to be degraded by others.
No matter what Nikki thinks of herself, she deserves better than that. No matter what Richard thinks of himself, he deserves better than that. And no matter what the couple as parents think of themselves, their sons deserve better than that, too.
I always read Barry Graham's column in New Times. Sometimes, I throw the paper down in disgust because I think he's the meanest son of a bitch that ever walked the planet (examples: his diatribes against Mother Teresa and Princess Diana after their deaths). Then, sometimes, I say, "yeah," because he makes what I consider uncharacteristic sense (examples: diatribes against living local politicians and Sheriff Joe).
I've never been able to get a clear picture of him because his columns leap back and forth between conservative and liberal (for lack of better words). But, usually, I imagine a slightly paunchy, balding, middle-aged guy wearing Birkenstocks and sporting some semblance of a beard.
Never in a million years would I have envisioned him packing a gun ("Pistol Whipped," July 23). And never, considering my aversion to guns in general, would I have envisioned myself saying that makes a helluva lot of sense.
I'm a Southerner. I was born and raised in South Carolina. Guns are a fact of Southern life. Along with living with the stereotype that we're all a bunch of illiterate, inbred rednecks looking to lynch a few blacks before lunchtime.
Guns are a part of the hunting and marksmanship traditions in the South. And, yes, self-defense. Despite the metropolitan urban areas that pockmark the "New South," the South is still a predominantly rural region where homes may be few and far between, and law enforcement is not readily available. In situations such as this, when danger threatens, a gun in the home is considered money in the bank.
Where I grew up, guns were locked away in the gun cabinet or a metal box on the top closet shelf, and you were whipped within an inch of your life for messing with them. On the flip side, I saw little if any random gun violence (or even heard about it) when I was growing up down South. Contrary to popular (non-Southern) thought, we are not a bunch of trigger-happy hotheads ready to settle minor grievances with a six-shooter or a shotgun.
Years ago, an uncle of mine wanted to teach me how to shoot. I wouldn't let him because just the heft and the coldness of his revolver in my hand terrified me. I felt like I was looking at death, and I knew instinctively that I wanted no part of it. Now I wish I had let him teach me.
I'm a woman and, now, a mother. I have three little girls. And I agree with your statement that every woman should have a gun and know how to use it. If not for her own protection, then to protect her children.
Society has grown increasingly violent during my 40-plus years on this planet, and I don't see it abating anytime soon, whether from law enforcement, societal pressure or the coming millennium. As violence becomes more prevalent, the risk of being victimized by it increases for all of us.