Live and Let Di
Barry Graham's "Absence of Palace" (September 4) sounds more like a grown man with a giant chip on his shoulder because he grew up as "white trash." His column calling Princess Diana everything from airhead to media whore infuriates me! He also goes on to say her social conscience was a way for her to save face and that her vulnerability was contrived. That idiot wouldn't know a sincere, intelligent woman if she walked up and slapped him in the face.

For this man to ridicule everything the princess was, and stood for, is outrageous. And to sum up her life by saying it read like a trashy novel and bad fiction is absurd!

Beverlie Mercurio-Berry

An article about Diana Spencer that spells the truth about her: a SWF who bites the dust in a car crash. Kudos to Barry Graham, who pictures the princess in a light that doesn't mess with my intelligence.

Aaron Arthur

Barry Graham is a very meanspirited person. Many of Princess Diana's so-called photo stunts brought attention to many neglected topics. For instance, the photo of her taken 10 years ago, touching an AIDS patient and published around the world, was the first to give the public the idea that just maybe it's okay to embrace and give love to persons who have AIDS instead of shunning them. Of course, she wasn't perfect, but who is?

Mary-Margaret Goff
via Internet

What I'd like to know is, what was Princess Diana's blood-alcohol level? Never mind, I don't think I even want to know that!

Jay Yasgur

My goodness, Barry Graham is an angry, resentful man. It's too bad that, although he's risen from the ranks of what he calls "white trash," his manners didn't rise with him. We should tell him dumb-blonde jokes are declasse. People such as Princess Diana are those who help the poor and starving people of America and Europe. Perhaps Graham should say thanks for the help he received from some loving, charitable person as he made his way out of his ghetto.

Mary Lou Roof

Watching the tragic saga of the death of the Princess of Wales unfold, I should personally apologize for killing her, what with my insatiable appetite for tabloid newspapers with pictures of her. Then, I opened the latest issue of New Times, and Barry Graham hits the hypocritical nail on its pompous, self-serving head.

It's too bad that people worldwide are so easily stirred by the senseless, easily preventable death of a wholly created-by-the-media figure, yet turn a blind eye to real problems happening all around every day.

Graham speaks for that "silent majority" out there, who are saddened at any senseless death, but put it in some perspective to the world at large, and somehow manage to get on with life. It's a telling commentary on the state of society that the death of one of the most influential champions of the 20th century for causes of the downtrodden, the sick and the poor can't rate more than an obligatory mention on the news, yet a woman who has never held a real job is offered up for sainthood.

Hey, Barry, bet you 20 bucks we won't spend days on end watching 700 million Hindus mourn the loss of a true saint, Mother Teresa, on every network . . . and that's money in the bank!

Patrick B. Patterson

In the true style of Willie Hamilton (an insignificant, publicity-seeking, Scottish, royal-hating MP), Barry Graham's meanspirited and tasteless piece about Princess Diana shows what a well-balanced person he is. Like many a product of the Glaswegian slums, he clearly has a chip on both shoulders.

What motivates him to such vitriol? Could it be that Diana clearly achieved so much more than Graham and, apparently, by his own judgment, with so much less? As he points out at the end of his diatribe, "People are living in sickness and filth in the global ghettos."

I wonder what Graham has ever done to address this problem about which he seems so passionate, and in contrast I wonder how many countless thousands in those ghettos will not now, as a result of her untimely demise, benefit from Diana's fund-raising power and selfless work. How many millions will turn out for Graham's funeral?

Will Hartje

Amen, I thought I was the only person in the Valley who is not mourning "our beloved Di." The number of people who have no lives is staggering--people signing the condolence books, crying, in mourning.

Let's thank Fife Symington for breaking the Di stranglehold on TV coverage. He will probably be vilified for having the gall to be found guilty during this collective period of sorrow!

Keep up the good work regardless of the number of mindless, shallow, need-to-be-entertained, lowlife trailer trash who will want to have columnist Graham deported.

Chris Campacci
via Internet

Hurrah for Barry Graham's column about Princess Diana. Finally, someone goes beyond the media hype and spin and isn't afraid to tell it like it is! How refreshing in this age of catering to popular opinion. Though I don't agree with Graham's predictable views about the Royal Family, he portrayed Diana right on the money. Princess Diana will go down in history as the greatest media opportunist of all time!

Whenever someone dies, it's a sad tragedy. When a well-known person dies, that tragedy is hyped to a certain degree. But the Diana tragedy has taken hype to new heights. Get a grip, people!

Diana contributed something to the world, yes. But so do many others who work tirelessly without that recognition. Diana was neither a saint nor special. I agree with Graham: When we all come back down to Earth and look at things realistically, "So what"!

Renee Grady

Class System
I enjoyed reading Amy Silverman's article about the Maricopa County schools superintendent ("Board Games," August 28). I've long had an interest in my own area regarding the responsibilities and oversight for the Santa Cruz County schools superintendent.

New Times' article provided a service for readers, letting them know that elected officials who lack legislative oversight sometimes waste tax dollars that are meant for the benefit of children and teachers. Clearly, the only step is to become a more informed voter and make your feelings known at election time.

Before then, concerned citizens can encourage men and women they know to be qualified and responsible to run for elective office.

Kathleen Vandervoet


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