Letters From the Issue of Thursday, December 1, 2005

Music Scene Stealers

In his Element: Great article! Element is the man! But I didn't realize I was shopping or "primping myself" for a major-label record deal until I read your story ("Quiet Riot," Jimmy Magahern, November 17).

I agree about people not paying attention to the locals in the AZ. That's what Z-Trip and I support and will always support. We need more articles like this, and for more people to check out the scene here. There's so much going on here, and a lot of national writers overlook this city. I think it's their loss!

It's a constant battle, but we need more writers like Jimmy Magahern out there, and we need more DJs like Element putting it down week after week, you know?

The overall DJ scene has declined a little the last few years; the scene seems to go through these cycles almost every decade. The last time I saw it decline like this was in '92, but then there was an underground explosion of hip-hop with groups like Leaders of the New School, Del, Wu-Tang, Souls of Mischief, and Gang Starr. Just from my experiences with the old-schoolers and talking to Flash, Bam, Premier, etc., they have noticed similar ups and downs. It's pretty fascinating.

To me, these are the best of times, when the limelight is off the scene! I really believe deep down from the traveling I've done that the best DJs, MCs, graf writers and b-boys live here in Phoenix. Thanks for the support!
DJ Radar, Phoenix

Editor's note: Read Brendan Joel Kelley's column on DJ Radar's exploits ("Radar Love," September 29).

A true artist: Lots of people think DJs aren't true musical artists, that you have to have a guitar in your hands to qualify as that. Your story on Element was refreshing in that it informed the public that DJs are consumed by what they do.

Although Element doesn't look like he's ever starved himself, I love his statement that he would "eat Cup o' Noodles for a month so [he] can have $500 worth of new records." (Only turntablists like Element are real artists in the DJ world!)
Mill Redus, Phoenix

For the Birds

Dissent stage: That story you ran in The Bird about Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain vs. President George W. Bush was telling. I've always thought that New Times was missing the boat by almost never mentioning national issues, even when they involve our band of senators and congressmen from Arizona. Your points on McCain's legislation to ban torture were completely on target ("Torturous Times," Robrt L. Pela, November 17).

It goes to show you how crazy the president is to cover himself on Iraq that he would oppose McCain on this. He's certainly very desperate, with his approval rating at an all-time low for a president! What Vice President Dick Cheney has been doing to further Bush's cause is almost unbelievable. Or it would be if it weren't Cheney doing the shilling. At least Cheney hasn't had the nerve to say that McCain is a traitor, like he's said about other congressional Vietnam vets who have opposed the administration.

Though very few people probably got them here in Phoenix (doubt very many people here saw the movie), I also loved your references to Team America. The only thing is, your headline should have been: "America, Fuck Yeah!" Because that's exactly what the Bush team is doing -- using lies and deception to justify the actions of this country, and then yelling that anybody who disagrees is a traitor.

Dubya is definitely the worst modern-day president we've had, and he may only be rivaled in history by Warren G. Harding.

Keep stories about the actions of our Washington delegation coming. McCain is a decent guy, but people like Senator Jon Kyl and Congressman J.D. Hayworth bear a close watch.
Cecilia Harnett, Phoenix

Supporting torture in the name of freedom: What the hell is this new feature, The Bird, all about?! I'd like to give New Times the bird after reading weeks of this. Every week, I've gotten so mad that I told everybody I knew not to ever read your hippie publication again! The latest one I read about the president's stance on torture is a real pile of shit.

Who cares if ragheads are tortured?! Even though I admire Senator John McCain immensely most of the time, he's got his head up his ass on this one. A lot of things have changed since he was a POW in Vietnam. These prisoners are from a culture that wants to stamp out ours. We need to deal with them as harshly as possible.

I doubt if many Americans are crying about the way the detainees have been treated by American forces, especially since you would have to be a fool to think our people would be treated even half as well if the circumstances were reversed. People don't think about that when they blindly support the views of somebody like McCain. They only think McCain must know what he's talking about because of his experiences.

Look, I know I may as well be pissing in the wind, because a paper that will publish, again in The Bird, an article blasting mothers for nursing in public ("Lactose Intolerants," November 10) obviously hasn't morality enough to agree with me about the need to torture people who hate us for our freedom.
Ed McBain, Phoenix

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