Letters

Letters from the week of May 13, 2004

 Firearms Aren't Us
Gamers don't pose a threat: I just wanted to comment on the excellent job that Jimmy Magahern did in delving into our little circle of gaming and other activities ("War Games," May 6), but I would like to refute the spin that the story seemed to take.

First off, only a small portion of us recreationally use firearms. A large majority of us do not. That is not by any means what we are about or why we are drawn to video games.

Most of us are working professionals, some in the IT field and some in other fields. We pose no more threat to you or your family than any other person you may know. None of us is militant, and none of us is a terrorist!

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the "gaming world," please visit www.lancamp.com and learn.

Thanks, Jimmy, for a great article!
Cedar Coleman, Tempe

Later, Nader
Dude, he's the boss: Michael Lacey's comment stating "[Ralph] Nader's legacy is that boys must grow up with the lame-ass idea that you can't ride a damned bicycle without a helmet" shows a real lack of intelligence ("President Tofu," April 29). If at the age of 13 I would've been wearing a helmet I wouldn't have come close to death with a fractured skull. Teenagers in a car who were chasing girls raced into an alleyway I was riding past.

Lacey puts down soy products because Mr. Nader is a vegetarian. Anybody who has studied nutrition knows that animal products are highly correlated with every physical illness going. The surgeon general says that 68 percent of all deaths are diet related. The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine research supports the same thing.

If Michael Lacey is a reporter, he leaves a great deal to be desired. Ralph Nader no more kept Al Gore from winning the last election than did the Libertarian party keep George W. Bush from winning the popular vote. Ralph Nader has devoted his life to protecting consumers; how long would it have taken to get seat belts if Nader hadn't been there?

If you want to pay Lacey for writing nonfactual articles about a man who has given more to this country's consumers than any single person I have ever heard of, I can't stop you. But even New Times should have a little quality. Even Lacey has benefited from many of the changes Ralph Nader was instrumental in bringing about. My opinion probably won't change your editorial decisions, but I wish you would reconsider the employment of Michael Lacey.
James McClernan, via the Internet

A laff riot: I just wanted you to know that I just finished your article on Ralph Nader, and I can't remember being so entertained by something so funny in I don't know how long. So I just wanted to say congratulations.

You may have missed your calling as a comedian. It was insightful, and it was done with wit. Anyway, good luck and keep up the good work, Lacey. You're right on!
Name withheld by request

Right-wing lies: I enjoyed your Ralph Nader column, but I'm disappointed you repeated two right-wing lies in your mad dash to deliver a body slam on Al Gore.

He did not claim to have invented the Internet; rather, he claimed to have played a leading role in the Internet's development. Which is true.

Also, Gore claimed that the Love Story character was based on him, based on a quote he had read from the book's author, Erich Segal, in the Tennessean of Nashville. It later turned out the Tennessean article had misquoted Segal, which Gore had not known at the time.

Please don't repeat these right-wing lies. It gets tiresome to have to play defense so much when folks keep repeating this nonsense, because they read it in the paper and think it therefore it must be true.
Name withheld by request

Adding insult to personal injury: Michael Lacey sure does hate Ralph Nader. Hates him so much, apparently, that his rage impairs both his grasp of the facts and his ability to write professionally.

How does Lacey err? Let us count the ways:

There's the constant barrage of lame and sophomoric insults. Nader is "President Tofu," and "one of the century's great vinegar pusses." Dennis Kucinich is an "oatmeal eater." Actually, the rapid deterioration in Lacey's writing skills, combined with the sudden obsession with food metaphors as insult, suggests that he has spent too much time with that other New Times no-talent, Stephen Lemons. Regardless, the point is that Lacey's invective was so juvenile and amateurish that it demeaned him more than his intended targets. I am just thankful that Lacey decided to pull in the reins before he called Nader and Kucinich "doo-doo heads."

Lacey goes on to label Nader a Mennonite, and to imply that Nader is personally responsible for the number of personal injury lawsuits in the United States, as well as with the sissification of American boy-children. Wacky? You bet! Now Lacey is starting to sound like a full-fledged nut case, one of those people you see in the park muttering about socialism and stuffing their hats with aluminum foil so the Martians can't read their thoughts.

Lacey gets wackier when he claims that the Iraqis who took the Japanese hostages were cannibals and planned to cook and eat them. But the wackiest is saved for last, when Lacey claims that, had Nader not run, Al Gore would be president. The truth is, nobody knows for sure that Gore would be president if Nader had not run, and nobody knows whether we would be at war if Gore were president. Not even Lacey knows.

Lacey must learn a fundamental lesson if he is to preserve what remains of his dignity as a man and his credibility as a journalist: When he finds himself mistaking fancy for fact and ranting like a lunatic, he should resist the temptation to put his rantings in print.
Lee Einer, Phoenix

But how do you really feel?: Lacey, Bush did not go to war to bring democracy to Iraq, you goddamned idiot! And Al Gore never said he invented the Internet, you fucking moron!
Name withheld by request

More of the same: Yup, there might have been a different president if Ralph Nader hadn't run in 2000. But probably not.

Nader's Department of Peace bill is a good idea. We cannot fix the problems that have been developed by continuing along the same path, and using the identical mindset that created these problems. And don't forget, Dennis Kucinich is still campaigning. His focus now is to affect the choosing of the Democratic platform. He still has the best ideas, and is not, like John Kerry, more of the same: "Bush Lite."

Nader is nothing but a misdirect. A distraction. An outlet for the my-vote-doesn't-matter-but-I'll-vote-anyway crowd. But wait, it's not even a crowd. Anyone who has any brain is a Kucinich supporter still.
Mary K. Croft, Casa Grande

Hell Hath No Fury . . .
What writing abilities?: I read what Stephen Lemons and Elaine Bell did on Area 51 in your Inferno column and was not at all impressed with the writers' abilities ("Palace of Perversion," April 8).

I'm a DJ at two of the Valley's other Goth/Industrial nights -- at the Mason Jar on Tuesdays and at Incognito on Fridays -- and I'm also good friends with the DJ at Area 51. I've talked to almost very person who has been at Area 51 and have never heard such a load of crap in my life!

In my honest opinion, Stephen Lemons would be more suited to interviewing gang members at a Dr. Dre concert or people from Jerry Springer. Do those of us who run Goth/Industrial nights a favor and send someone who has an IQ higher than a 5-year-old's to our nights.

There's a lot more to this type of music and this type of club than just vampires and Mexican folklore!
DJ Ramone,a.k.a. Ramone Chavez,Phoenix

We'd never talk down to the pierced-and-tattooed crowd: What happened to the Inferno column? Just when you guys get me all psyched to read what's going on in the club scene with columns like the one on the Emerald Lounge, my favorite bar in Phoenix, you kill the column ("Green Guzzlin'," April 22). Please tell me you haven't killed this, because it's the first thing I've seen in a long time that consistently appeals to the under-30 crowd. That is, to me and my pierced-and-tattooed buds. (Editor's note: We haven't killed the column. Kreme and Jett were too hung over to make their deadline, so we held their lame asses out for a week.)

I have run into your writers at a couple of places around Phoenix, and they are a hoot. What's so good about the column is that it speaks the truth. Kreme doesn't so much make fun of even the Goth idiots over at Area 51 as much as he just lays out their crazy shit for the rest of us to enjoy. He doesn't talk down to his audience. Even the fire-eater dude at Emerald Lounge was a hoot. That guy's psycho, but you've got to love the clientele at this town's clubs. I mean, Kreme's description of how this guy can't taste and smell anymore because he has used so much Zippo lighter fluid on his tongue is almost unbelievable. But I know this dude, so I know Kreme and Jett don't make shit up.

Anyway, keep the adventures coming. You have a loyal audience out there.

Also, my girlfriend tells me that the Implants cartoon that shows the exploits at the clubs the Kreme Team go to is pasted up all over women's rest rooms at a bunch of clubs in town. Even though that 'toon sucked at first, before it was paired with Inferno, it's so on target about the Scottsdale bimbos in the club scene now. I loved the Implants on the queers at the lesbian club ("Risky Biz-ness," April 15). Rock on!
Zack Greenberg, Phoenix

Swisheroo: What's wrong with New Times these days?! Have you gone homo on us? For starters, that Inferno column on Ain't Nobody's Bizness was just plain wrong. And it didn't start with that. You've had lesbians kissing on the front of your paper, then ugly men smooching, then stories supporting gay marriage, then a big feature article on some poor swisher who can't get his way over at the Phoenix Art Museum ("Fashion Victim," Michele Laudig, April 29), and then you sent your Inferno perverts over to that aforementioned rug-muncher's paradise. Is your editor, Rick Barrs, a little light in the loafers, or just way too in touch with his fucking femininity!?
George Dillon, Flagstaff

You do need to get out more often: I've been reading this column you guys have been running, Inferno, and I've just got to tell you I think this is the funniest shit I've read in a long time in this town. The one on the Emerald Lounge was off the hook, what with that fire-eating dude, the guy who wears no underwear and that hot chick who fronts for Hell on Heels. I loved that line where Jett says, "I'm Starsky and he's the car!" I haven't laughed so much since they took Beavis and Butt-head off the air.

I think you should run photos of Kreme and Jett so we can see what they look like for real. Is Kreme really 300 pounds? Is Jett really a hot lesbian? Don't know if I've ever seen one of those. The whole thing sounds like some Hollywood idea for a sitcom. You should have them go to one of those sex clubs in town. I've never been to one, but I'd like to know what goes on. Maybe I'd like to go.

Phoenix is a big city, population-wise, but it still seems like a cow-town to me sometimes. But when I read Inferno, I realize there's weird stuff going on here just like there is in L.A., N.Y. or San Fran. I guess I have to get out more often.
John Collins, Phoenix

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