Letters From the Issue of Thursday, June 8, 2006

Cult of Personality

Porn again: Thank you, New Times, for tipping me to Katie Rose's porn ("It Girl," Megan Irwin, May 25). I had no idea; I'm far from being in that loop. I'm happy to read that she's not embarrassed by having done it. I'm puzzled why she spends time dispelling "gang-bang" and "fisting" rumors -- what's wrong with gang bangs and fisting? Most of all, though, it's really, uh, interesting to see porn shots of someone you've seen around, seen performing onstage, and chatted with briefly.

On another note: New Times does many things well, but it has long had a near-monopoly on both relevant investigative reporting and informed local-music coverage. I'm always pleased to see local bands and local-music personalities on the cover, and I wish it would happen even more often.
Andrew Lockwood, Phoenix

Strange bedfellows: I've seen that redheaded chick around -- she's hard to miss. Never knew much about her, so I was completely intrigued when I saw her on the cover of New Times. She had her own cult? My liver was in danger? I couldn't wait to start reading. Unfortunately, Megan Irwin painted her as nothing more than a strung-out, record-spinning bartender with a background in porn. Big deal. Howard Stern material, at best. And what a huge letdown to see the picture of Katie in bed with a guitar. I suppose, like most people in that scene, that, too, was not real -- just there for effect since Katie herself admits she's no good at actually playing the thing. Some people in this town should reevaluate what's going stale, starting with a goofy feather headband securing your place among the cool kids at the popular table. There is no way Irwin could convince me that the lame-boos featured in this piece who want to believe The Ramones are still playing CBGB are a cult worth paying attention to.
Tracey Hunter, Scottsdale

It takes one to know one: As a former Tucson scenester who did the sex, drugs, and punk rock deal for more than a decade, I found your article on Katie Rose to be pathetic. This girl is a loser, much like I was myself only six years ago. Currently 32, I began a career as a junkie and hip girl at the tender age of 16. By the age of 20, I had a reputation for being raunchy, cutthroat, cutting-edge, and strung out. The more I told people to fuck off, the more they lapped at my feet. It took me until the age of 27 to pull my head out of my ass and look at the losers who were hanging on my every word. We were all cool, all right, and now more than half of my former "hip" friends are either dead of overdoses or in prison. Katie Rose sounds just like me six years ago -- a lost girl trying desperately to find herself and failing miserably. I envy nothing of her lifestyle. Not her red hair, her bad-ass tattoos (anyone can get them, and it doesn't mean shit if you have them) or her cocaine addiction. Not her history in the porn industry, not her job as a bartender in a dive bar, nor the fact that she dropped out of college to be a "hip" girl. Anybody who wants to be like Katie Rose can do it, just follow her lead as easy as 1-2-3. Even though I feel shitty for saying it, I predict that she will never get very far in life. Even if she hooks up with MTV, she will either lose her "cool" to the corporate agenda, or she will blow it all via her addiction to drugs. It took me far too long to realize that living a life constantly on the cutting edge of society is never what it seems, and usually falls way short of actually being remotely close to cool. I have the scary feeling that Katie goes home at night and drowns herself in booze and cocaine in an attempt to forget how sorry-ass her life really is. No article in your paper about her, no matter how cool you try to make her sound, will change this. As for me, I am no longer a scenester. I now see this whole subculture as being extremely lame. I still have the tattoos and the fuck-all attitude, but I now use my edginess in the classroom at ASU as I pursue my master's-level education. I am still cool; I am still envied, too . . . but not for my ability to spread-eagle. Rather, people envy my intelligence and my desire to open a substance-abuse treatment center -- where I will help girls just like Katie Rose get their lives on track.
Thera Raio, Tempe

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