Letters from the issue of Thursday, June 16, 2005

First in war, last in peace: I'm writing to congratulate John Dougherty on the "Uncle Sam Wants Them" column. I'm completely outraged at the circumstances that young Americans, like myself, are in.

I find myself and my peers constantly confused about the choices our country's government is making.

I can't help but think that if our country can't recruit enough people for the Army without digging into poor neighborhoods and schools, then maybe the war isn't in Iraq but right here.

The recruiters need to listen to some Green Day.
Meredith Minne, Mesa

Dead Again

Keep driving that magic bus, Neil: Thank you for your article on the Noodles. I'm glad that you found the vibe infectious and the folks friendly ("Spin City," Revolver, Brendan Joel Kelley, June 2). It's about as real as it gets. It's nice to be able to go somewhere free of pretension, posers, fake Rolexes and $50,000 millionaires trying to out-bullshit one another.

This is a diverse group, including a few doctors, attorneys, professors, students, and, of course, "trustafarians."

The writer says he's "not a fan" of the Grateful Dead. Now back up and read the article again: the infectious groove, the warm people, the kids running around laughing, blowing bubbles.

Guess what, Brendan? You sure sound like you became a fan of the Grateful Dead. I'm saying this as someone more at home in the "indie rock" element.

The Grateful Dead wasn't just music; it was (and still is) a consciousness, a state of mind. It's being outdoors on a Sunday afternoon, looking around and seeing smiling faces everywhere. It's knowing that, right at that moment, you're in the best place to be.
Neil Cassady, San Francisco

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