Hip-hop lite: I remember when rappers were bad, like Tupac and N.W.A (that's Niggas With Attitude). An ex-con named Suge Knight produced a lot of these thugs out of a label called Death Row Records. You see where I'm goin' here. Rap was gangsta. No little chicks allowed, motherfucker! Now we have 13-year-olds doing it. Guess that's why rap's now called hip-hop. As in hopscotch.
I'm talking about your story on Super Nova Sta ("Super Star Search," Serene Dominic, October 12). As I was reading this story, I was wondering how this little girl could possibly have anything to say, any experiences to pass along. But I guess this had to happen to rap, just like it happened to rock and even punk rock back in the day. The bubblegum crowd starts to get involved.
Tom Lawson, via the Internet
Noam Man's Land
Not a big fan: Isn't it inspiring that the people who put together the Arizona 9/11 Memorial turned to Noam Chomsky, of all liberal extremists, as an inspiration for many monument slogans ("Noam's Nimrods," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, October 12)?! And then Governor Janet Napolitano steps right in it and tries to take full credit for the damned thing. Whoops!
If she and her staff had been doing their homework, they would have known that Arizonans are no fans of MIT's Professor Chomsky. Somebody in her administration obviously dropped the ball and didn't let her know that this could become a controversy if anybody found out that the memorial had an extreme leftist slant. Controversy like this is something she studiously avoids.
Unfortunately, this won't be enough to put Republican Len Munsil in the governor's office, I'm afraid, but it was nevertheless a hoot to watch the hilarious events unfold.
I think it was The Bird who first brought this controversy to light and suggested that the damned shrine was an embarrassment. Then, Munsil jumped on the bandwagon and said he's going to tear it down, if elected. Too bad he won't be, because, as The Bird screeched, who needs a September 11 memorial in far-away Arizona? The Bird said the money for this travesty should have been sent to New York or Washington where the tragedies actually happened, and he's right!
But back to the good governor, this just shows us how out of touch she is with the Arizona electorate. She's been a do-nothing governor all along; I think she's kept her head in the dust rather than let us find out her true beliefs. The memorial squabble was interesting because it made it clear that she's as left as they come, right up there with Bill and Hillary.
Glenn Scott, address withheld by request
Flag-wavers and flag-burners: It's funny how Governor Janet Napolitano at first thought she was appealing to the conservative flag-wavers by taking credit for the 9/11 Memorial, and now she's being tarred and feathered as practically a commie. Noam Chomsky and the governor, side by side. Ha, I love it! As usual, she tried to play both ends against the middle, and for once got fucked. High time!
J.T. Hahn, Tucson
Smear tactics: I'm not quite sure where to start with the smear of Noam Chomsky that Stephen Lemons has written, so I will quote The Bird section by section.
"Come closer, bird-brains. This wicked whippoorwill wants to whisper the name of the radical, blame-America blowhard who partly inspired the controversial list of 54 factoids and quotes cut into the humongo steel Funyun down at Wesley Bolin Plaza, a Funyun otherwise known as AZ's 9/11 Memorial."
We start off with a rude diatribe to prepare us for real statements. Do we need attempts at wit like this to discuss issues?
"Noam Chomsky. Yep, the way-left loon's slim volume 9/11 was one of six books listed in the bibliography of research notes from which the memorial's designers cribbed statements to etch into the Funyun."
We continue with insults which state one fact. Noam Chomsky has one of six books listed in the bibliography of research notes.
"Mere mention of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist and American foreign policy critic sends rightists into convulsive spit-fits along the lines of those induced by George Soros and Bill Clinton. Chomsky's slim, 128-page pamphlet is a fine example why. In it Chomsky alleges the United States is a 'terrorist state,' while simultaneously condemning the 9/11 attacks on America."
I would disagree with the writer that Noam Chomsky is usually not discussed with Soros or Clinton. He attacks Clinton rather viciously, but the point is minor. But we do learn two facts. Noam Chomsky believes America is a terrorist state, and believes that the attack on 9/11 was performed by terrorists. Committing terrorist acts should be condemned. So the logical question is, why does Noam Chomsky believe America is a terrorist state? If it's hogwash, it should be easy to refute, but that is not done.
"The fact that Chomsky's book is in the bibliography of these research notes, compiled by ASU historian Nancy Dallett on behalf of the commission, will be enough for Republigoober Len Munsil and fellow conservatives to conclude that the Funyun's phraseology is the fruit of fuzzy-headed liberalism."
So we just throw insults where arguments won't do? This is disgusting no matter what you believe, and I am surprised you would publish it. A vast majority of us still like information in our news. Even if it's of things we assume that we don't like. You might want to try it.
Nathan Oyler, Tempe
Patriot act: Noam Chomsky's a patriot, somebody who isn't afraid to tell it like it is! And he couldn't be more correct that the United States is a terrorist state! Wake up, people, Dick Cheney is in charge as long as Dumbya's in office! This country has committed atrocities as vile as those committed by Osama and his gang of thugs, to be sure.
For The Bird to call Chomsky a "way-left loon" is out-to-lunch. Maybe the "winged wordsmith" should try reading some of the scholar's words of wisdom before attempting to write. I think if he did some research, he would find that Chomsky is an egghead who makes sense.
I don't want to deal with the crazy meatheads in this state who think Mexicans should be shot and think that America is doing the right thing in Iraq (you know, let's kick some rag-head ass!), so please leave my name off this letter. The last time I wrote to a newspaper, I had to have my home phone number unlisted. Then the crazies somehow got even that, and I had to have it changed.
Name withheld by request
Contention center: Despite the views of a few shrill opponents (such as GOP gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil), I am quite moved by the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Phoenix. It represents the diverse and sometimes contradictory views of our people. It represents our strengths that we can disagree and still sit at the same table.
The United States of America is made stronger because we are all so different and because we all have the opportunity to speak. It seems to me that only in a fearful and intolerant country must dissenting voices be silenced. Not here in the U.S.A.
The events of September 11 were an attack on all Americans: on all of our people, attacks on all of our freedoms. The threat to tear down the 9/11 Memorial here is yet another attack, an attack on our collective voice, quite in line with the terrorists' goals.
Our veterans have laid down their lives for all of our rights. If my freedom to disagree is now at stake because of 9/11, haven't the terrorists won?
In the end, the United States is inclusive; there is room for us all, not just the few who would silence disagreement.
Mari Giddings, via the Internet
True colors: Since The Bird's last story on Russell Pearce's call for a return to the racist Operation Wetback deportation program of the 1950s ("Operation Bigot," October 5), the Arizona lawmaker has really shown his true colors! The same ones that we see on the Nazi flag.
Imagine not knowing what the National Alliance is all about?! Sending out an e-mail pushing this white hate group's philosophies is something that the people in his legislative district shouldn't forgive him for. I know I won't.
It's been well known for a long time that Pearce is a racist, and I for one find it hard to believe that he could be as ignorant about this white-supremacist bunch as he claims. He obviously doesn't read New Times ("Barbecue Nations," Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse, February 19, 2004). Russell, you should. These people in the National Alliance are Nazis! How do you expect us to forgive you for siding with people who think Hitler was a great guy?
His fellow Republicans in the Legislature should figure out a way to force this cracker to resign. If that doesn't work, I just pray the voters will kick him out. This latest mistake in judgment, if that's what you want to call it, may not have anything to do with Pearce's being a Mormon, but he's certainly giving people of that faith a bad name.
C.A. Martinez, Phoenix
White like he: State Representative Russell Pearce, East Valley Republican and flag-bearer for anti-immigration laws, finally tipped his hand. He sent out an e-mail that espoused National Alliance philosophies. These philosophies are pro-white and generally anti-everything else, at best. They are racist, at worst.
Since the initiation of his Proposition 200 initiative, various factions of the community have pointed to Pearce's white-only agenda, his white-sentimental desires for downtown Mesa and his white-only bullying in the Legislature with calls for laws about immigration. The current e-mail he's getting criticized for [raises] the curtain on his racism.
The voters in District 18 need a representative who's about more than racism disguised as concern over immigration. Even J.D. Hayworth is pulling his support of Pearce.
I urge District 18 voters to see Russell Pearce as others see him, and see that his views are not constructive. The racist bug is crawling on Pearce's e-mail, and he doesn't see it. Others do.
Mike Durham, Phoenix
Criminal element: I get sick and tired of people who oppose illegal immigration being categorized as "racist peckerwoods" by dumb-ass liberals like Stephen Lemons!
I don't have a problem with any minority group or anyone else as long as they're here legally. But if they knowingly break the law, drive up the crime rate, continue to bring in crystal meth from Mexico, take our health care and our jobs away from us and even disrespect our flag, then hell yeah we have problems, amigo!
I fully support Russell Pearce's idea of a '50s-style deportation of each and every one of these criminals (and yes they are criminals)! I wish I could get hold of The Bird's neck so I could rip his beak off, pluck every feather off his body and shove the whole thing up his stupid commie ass!
Jon Krieger, Phoenix
Expose yourself to art: Fascinating story on artist Liz Cohen and her lowrider art project ("Hard Body," Megan Irwin, October 5). That she looks sexy as a lowrider model certainly helps sell the story. Are those the same pictures of her on the inside of the paper? If so, what an amazing transformation to pinup girl on the front of your paper!
I found her whole Colombian background and evolution as a photographer quite interesting. It's telling about the art world in metro Phoenix that she hasn't been able to find a museum willing to show her work. I hope this is only a temporary setback, because I'm really interested in seeing more of her wares.
Eddie Galvez, Phoenix
We should be ashamed of ourselves: I just had to write in to complain about the pornographic covers New Times has been putting out lately. They are despicable!
One week, you have a naked girl with a snake wrapped around her on your front page ("Paradise Found: Best of Phoenix," September 28) and, the next week, there's a picture of a woman wearing hot pants with her bare legs spread with the caption "Hard Body."
Does anybody at New Times ever consider that children can look at these pictures at every newspaper box in the city?! That decent people are forced to see this?! Shame on you for contributing to the pornography epidemic in our sick society. You people must be sick yourselves!
Name withheld by request
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Fermenting argument: Regarding "Spoiled Rotten" (Night & Day, Wynter Holden, September 28), I think the use of the word "rotten" to describe kimchi is deprecating. If kimchi is rotten, then sauerkraut and pickles made from cucumbers are just as rotten. "Rotten" wasn't a good word choice because the writing comes off as culturally ignorant.
Paul Chong, via the Internet
Completely LOLywood: What a romp! I'm so glad that Actors Theatre invited the boys to come to Phoenix to play ("Completely Blah [Unabridged]," Robrt L. Pela, September 21). I laughed out loud, and it was such a pleasure to watch three grown men have that much fun, without any kind of athletic equipment. Enjoyed the reduced interview with one of them, Austin Tichenor ("Backstage Pass").
Laurie Laughlin, via the Internet