Hit and Miss
Barry Graham's straight-from-the-hip commentary on the Mary Rose Wilcox shooting ("Assailing," August 21) came close to a bull's eye. However, I think he misses center by attributing the random violence of "wackos" mainly to feelings of political powerlessness. Although these social dysfunctionaries do "reflect the society they live in," it is too much a stretch to portray them as Patrick Henrys, or even John Browns, gone over the edge. Most of them usually possess histories of quirky, antisocial behavior with little meaningful political context. Political issues merely provide them the stage for venting their personal frustrations and acting out their various delusions.
If there is a very large fringe of citizens out there that believes that physically taking out unsavory politicians is a justifiable alternative to the hard and frequently thankless work of grassroots activism, then our society is even sicker than Graham presumes.
A. Wayne Senzee
This concerns Barry Graham's column about Mary Rose Wilcox. Quote:
"I did not enjoy the image of her in a hospital bed--but I could not help but take some satisfaction from it. It was her own arrogance that put her there, and what happened to her should serve as a lesson to her and everyone else. . . ."
I see New Times continues to have no standards of decency to hold against its writers.
Barry Graham's column about Mary Rose Wilcox was well-written and wonderfully balanced. However, the point was missed by all the media, even New Times.
The point is that the will of the people was served in the passage of the stadium tax. Only 25 percent of people vote in the county elections. That means that 13 percent of the people in this county approved the current Board of Supervisors. Wilcox voted for the people who put her in, not for the people in her district. The will of the Colangelos and Wilcoxes will always be served. Their money gets votes, and makes law. We keep those people in power whenever we fail to go to the polls.
If Wilcox thinks that job creation is selling peanuts and Cokes, or sweeping up the trash that is left at the stadium, then the people of South Phoenix deserve what they get. If the people of Maricopa County are not willing to vote out the county supervisors who approved the stadium tax, then we deserve all the trash they leave for us.
Wilcox got what she deserved, and so did the voters of Maricopa County. Wilcox's pain will go away. Ours will be on the Phoenix skyline for many years.
Regarding the report on Father Dennis Riccitelli ("St. Peter Principle," Tony Ortega, August 21): I am not a Catholic, nor am I particularly sympathetic to the Catholic Church and its problems. I have read with interest past articles in New Times on the subject of homosexuality among Catholic priests and the apparent tolerance of it from local leaders.
However, misuse of funds and any religion's willingness to overlook incompetence among its leaders is an internal problem. I fail to see the newsworthiness of this investigation. So this priest is overbearing, domineering and misuses the parishioners' donations. I feel sympathy for the members of the church and what they are having to deal with, but I don't see that it affects me or other non-Catholics. I think that for Catholics the issue is the unwillingness of their leaders to rid the church of predatory clergy, whether they be demagogues or pedophiles.
Pedophiles among us need to be discovered and rooted out. They deserve our scorn, condemnation and jail. But a priest who robs the collection plate is not news.
The Trashman Cometh
What is the point of this "Bill Blake" character ("The Trashman," August 21) who pops up, allotted an entire page in the music section, and his useless critiques of fading, star-crossed and generally failed old metal bands, i.e., Dokken, Slaughter, Warrant?
Is Blake a failed rock 'n' roller who, by satellite out in that trailer park, only receives transmissions from MTV, circa 1986? The nonstory about Alice Cooper ("School's Out," Gilbert Garcia, August 21) skews the issue even further, because everything of Blake's that New Times deems worthy for anyone to read is a direct shot at whatever it is the golf-shilling Cooper is supposed to represent.
About the Oasis review (Recordings, August 21)--and Gilbert Garcia's liking it or not is not the issue, because this is exactly his prerogative as a critic--at least get the facts straight. I am one of those clowns who likes Oasis. Garcia moans that Noel Gallagher has lost his ability at the three-minute pop song--I've got all the Oasis albums and singles, and I'll be damned if Garcia can tell me one song that has remained within that three-minute time limit. Every song has always stretched out. Even "Wonderwall," the big "hit," drifted a lot longer than the "three-minute warning." If Garcia is going to complain about this Oasis recording, let him come up with a reason beyond "the songs are longer." The reference to Liam Gallagher as the most expendable vocalist since Roger Daltrey was a nice one. I always hated the Who--its songs were always way too long.
I think Bill Blake's review of Dokken, Slaughter, and Warrant's albums was a waste of a tree. It seems the man had his mind set before he reviewed the albums! He claims the albums "aren't serious." Mr. Trash, music was never supposed to be serious, was it? Keep in mind that these are bands that still have a decent following and have stuck it through, through all of this alternative crap. Is Blake's idea of good music some jerk singing about how depressed he is and wants to die, then turns around and kills himself? Next time, review an album that all these depressed, trendy yuppies care about! Gimme George Lynch over Kurt Blownbrains any day.
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I enjoy "The Trashman" column by Bill Blake. I like the concept of the Bukowski-at-the-trailer-park intro followed by the mocking of artists who deserve it, in spite of what the commercial mainstream wants us to believe. New Times has found a writer who knows the low end but has enough humor, sarcasm and literacy to make fun of it at the same time. Oh, and Blake knows music, too. Feed him all the King Cobra he needs, and keep us up to date on the events down at the park!
Great review of Mimic ("Bug Tussle," Michael Sragow, August 21). I got a little confused with the AH and OH part, but the warning of "gobs of gook ahead" was appreciated. I wish grossing out the American public wasn't so popular. Are grossed out and engrossed related? I wonder . . .