Letters 05-25-2000

Anarchism Schism

Freeform meddlers: The term "anarchist" has become an oxymoron on the order of "military intelligence" ("Anarchy How?" James Hibberd, May 11). Most dictionaries define the term as somebody who advocates little or no government, but all the "anarchists" I read about lately want to impose their vision of justice on the rest of society, by force if necessary.

A good example of an "anarcho-authoritarian" is Randall Amster, who complains that Tempe let Starbucks and Gordon Biersch into downtown. Hey, if someone buys private property and builds a restaurant, what is the big deal?

What does Amster propose, some kind of extra government body (on top of the already top-heavy Tempe planning bureaucracy)? If he is an anarchist, can he just let people build restaurants and let people visit them as they see fit? Wouldn't an anarchist propose more freedom for businesses? I guess business owners (or people who want to do business with them) don't count.

People like me sometimes wantto visit Starbucks. We are corporate shills too brainwashed to know better. Therefore, we need the enlightened anarchist to step in with additional control, saving us from our own bad choices. Hey, what was the matter with the old coffee shops? Weren't they just fine? Anarchists claim to hate government control, but they don't consider economic activity to count -- thus where you eat or your choice of housing is fair game for their meddling.

As for the "A" Mountain development, three points: The amount of land being developed is small, and will not change the look of the mountain much. Currently, the land behind the silos is a mess, and can only be improved on. Finally, this is not Yosemite, it is an urban area, and will actually be improved. I routinely climb this mountain and would not mind this at all.

The ironic but sad truth can be summed up with the saying, "Anarchy is a bitch if the wrong person is in charge."

Andrew McNeil
Scottsdale

Give 'em an "A": I am writing to you on behalf of the members of Move That Big Butte! ("What a Butte!" Edward Lebow, May 11). We are a small group of like-minded professionals and anarchists who believe that "A" Mountain should be moved elsewhere, possibly to Scottsdale, where open space and big buttes receive more funding and better care. "A" Mountain would live on just a few miles up the road and it might still be visible from some parts of ASU. Those who wish to visit it could do so. Those who favor commercial development could forget that the butte ever existed. Move That Big Butte! is neutral on the "A" Mountain issue and we just want people to go on with their lives.

Jeff Case
Phoenix

House of Blues

Smiley in your face: Have a Nice Day Cafe looks forward to becoming a prominent member in the Valley nightclub scene, as well as the Tempe community. Unfortunately, it seems that when we try something new, we can't get a break from New Times, specifically music columnist Bob Mehr ("Had a Nice Day," May 4). One would think that when a venue that does not cater to live music decides to break format and help support the local music scene, we would get some support. Not in our case. Mehr instead decided to focus on his perception of our club. We were referred to as a house of "crass commercialism." We were the one place Mehr "dreaded going."

New Timesapproached us to be a venue for its Music Showcase. We let New Timesknow we were not a live music venue, but we decided it would be fun, and it is important to support local bands. We made quite a financial investment in an event that historically has been a bomb. We put our faith in New Times, the bands and our staff that we would pack the place.

Mehr referred to the bands' disparaging remarks regarding our club. We did not see these comments quoted in the column as negative. We took them as sarcasm, and pretty damn funny sarcasm. We know we are a bright, happy environment, and, yes, punk and industrial bands are an odd fit. We found the bands to be professional, friendly and cooperative. We extend great appreciation to Glass Heroes, who not only got the crowd pumped but asked them not to mosh or slam dance once they saw our floor design would not allow it to be done safely.

Mehr wrote that we didn't think ahead and decorate our place as all '70s, and we had to throw in some '80s stuff to cover for it. This points out the difference between a journalist and a columnist. A journalist would have made it a point to find out the facts. We have always billed ourselves as a 70s- and 80s-themed nightclub. Our set list of music bounces around the 70s and 80s. A columnist only finds it necessary to rip down anything that is a success. A columnist sets himself apart by being more negative than the next columnist. When was the last time Mehr wrote something positive about Mill Avenue? Or the Arizona nightlife scene in general?

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