You don't like us, you really don't like us

Readers say they're disappointed, appalled and extremely upset. At least they cared enough to write.

I am an international award-winning poet whose poetry has been published and recorded on CDs and enjoyed by millions worldwide. My poetry has been written for Michael Jackson with a poem dedicated to him that is in its second printing. I have written a poem for Montel Williams, and proceeds of that poem have gone to the M.S. Foundation. My poems have been donated to the World's Largest Poem for Peace. I have been recently named as elite poet for 2001 by the International Society of Poetry. I didn't have to do any of this by showing up naked or by pulsating my vagina in front of strangers. I don't have to sleep my way to the top or have to show up in a video having sex with anything that breathes. Yup, I did it on pure talent. I may show up at your door tomorrow morning with the latest copy of the Watch Tower and Awake magazine, but please realize that my life is more than preaching and praying, and, yup, I do have sex, with my husband!

Lisa Cabello
Phoenix

Zinging Zia: The tone of Gilbert Garcia's remarks (Soundcheck, December 20) is unmistakable: local music chain sells out to carpetbagging corporate monolith and, inevitably, local flavor and identity are swept under the rug. Let me assure you this is not -- and will not be -- the case, for as long as Red Flag Media publishes the ZiaZine with Zia Record Exchange.

Zia's reputation for supporting the local scene is indisputable. In accordance with its wishes, we're committed to delivering more local content than the Zine has ever had. Our national editorial content also suited Zia's indie philosophy. Look no further than the cover of the new Zine -- we scored an interview with Fugazi's Ian MacKaye.

I feel a little awkward defending our credibility. I can tell you that we're a small, privately owned company (five employees; up from two last year, though!) and that we work very hard. We have a diverse staff of freelance writers who have collectively written for every major music publication in the country, from Rolling Stone all the way down to the good ones.

That Garcia would mistake us for some sort of big-money Madison Avenue operation is flattering, but premature. Like Zia, we remain fiercely independent. If anybody has any questions, feel free to contact me or call Zia Records directly.

Alex Mulcahy
Red Flag Media
Kingston, Pennsylvania

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