Considering the absolute delight that your publication takes in regularly skewering the Arizona Republic for stealing stories, I am disappointed to find that your newspaper is no better. Apparently, theft of articles and ideas is an acceptable practice throughout the Phoenix media. Is there an explanation for this untoward behavior, or are you merely first-class hypocrites?

Mitchell Klein

Don't often get to read New Times (but like to). Picked it up and read your Mullet column and nearly died laughing. Extremely funny! Thanks. Made my day. No, made my month!

Bill Friend

David Holthouse responds: The only way I could have "ripped off" mulletsgalore.com is if I had either plagiarized the text of the site or passed off an original concept -- ridiculing Mullets -- as my own. I did neither. There are more than 30 Mullet sites on the Web. Some have been around longer than mulletsgalore.com, some have not. My point is that the idea of ridiculing Mullets, like a joke or an urban myth, belongs to no one. Similarly, no one can lay rightful claim to the common observations that Mullet heads wear acid-washed jeans, may snort crystal meth, and like to work on their cars in their front yards. These are simple truths I framed in sarcasm.

However, the decent thing I should have done was to credit the minds behind mulletsgalore.com and the best of the other not-for-profit Mullet sites, because theirs is solely a labor of love, whereas I also got paid. For this oversight, I apologize.

Now, as to the accusation that I boosted language from mulletsgalore.com: The only phrases that appear on that site and in my column are synonyms for the Mullet cut: "Camaro Cut," "Ape Drape," "S&L (Short and Long) Crisis," etc., and the phrase "Fear the Mullet." Every Mullet synonym I used in my column that also appears on mulletsgalore.com or any of the other Mullet Web sites was a term I heard bandied among friends years before the advent of the World Wide Web. Whoever runs mulletsgalore.com must have heard them as well, but he, she or they didn't make them up themselves (by contrast, some of the Mullet a.k.a.'s in my column, such as Restraining Order Mortar Board, I've never heard before).

The phrase "Fear the Mullet" also predates >mulletsgalore.com. I first heard it in the chorus of the song "Get Out Your Shears and Get Ready for the Mullet Cut," on the 1997 album Host by the Seattle trio Critters Buggin.

I have never seen the GQ article referred to by Mr. Klein. His letter is based on the mistaken assumption, similar to those of the mulletsgalore.com fans, that before my column there existed only one published example of Mullet ridicule. The earliest I know of was a history of the Mullet cut printed in the second issue of the Beastie Boys' magazine Grand Royale in the summer of 1995, years before the current resurgence of the Mullet.

Finally, I think it's only fair to point out the dissimilarities between my column and mulletsgalore.com, where the text is window-dressing for the site's most attractive feature: Mullet pictures from around the world. My column localized ridicule of Mullets to the Valley, and was written as a mock public health alert. Making fun of Mullets is an old joke, but it's one I thought was worth telling, in a new way, because Mullets are making a strong comeback in Arizona (and, apparently, elsewhere).

Nuff said. Here's a short list of Mullet sites worth checking out: Eye on the Mullet (www2bc.edu/~andersep/mullet/mullet.html); Where the Mullet Hits the Bone (home.fuse.net/jleach/mull.htm); North American Mullet Page (www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Hills/6906/) and my personal favorite, The 1999 Frisco Mullet Expos' (grove.ufl.edu/~pasita/mullet99.htm).

Our Town

Boy, I must be living in a different Phoenix than a lot of the people who've written to say how much they hate/hated living in the Phoenix metropolitan area (Letters, January 13 and 20). I guess it's just my mindset that's different from a lot of people about the many places I've lived, and I've lived all over the country.

One thing I've figured out is that many people move to other cities (including Phoenix) with a whole set of expectations, wants, needs, that somehow aren't fulfilled once they get here, and they hate the place for not fulfilling those expectations, wants and needs the way they would like.

When I moved here six years ago from Baltimore, I had no preconceived notions of what the city would be like, or what it was "supposed" to be like. I accepted it for what it was, and wasn't, and moved on with my life. Baltimore and Phoenix are worlds apart in some ways, and the same in some others, but I would never want to make one into the other. Every place is different from every other place, with the good and bad that comes with that.

A lot of people waste too much energy ranting and raving and worrying that Phoenix isn't like the place they just left, or isn't like they thought it was going to be or hoped it would be. Accept, adapt, adjust and be happy! Life's too short not to!

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