Letters for the week of March 27, 2002 

Clarifying the purpose behind the "Not Flipper" reunion. Arguing Demographics with "Black and White and ... "

Whose side are you on?
How ironic, the cartoon on page 7 ("The City," March 13). A beheading is funny, but only to people who stand up for savages. The real human person beheaded was an American journalist. A Jewish reporter. Beheaded, the murder recorded on film, by Islamic jihad savages.

Whose side are you on?
Donn Rutkoff, Oakland

Love Cures All Ills
In rebuttal to the article about whether "Flipper" was playing a show. My name is (pka) Bruce Loose. I used to play with Flipper more than fifteen years, beginning to end. I played a show recently at Gilman Street, under the title of "Not Flipper," with other than original members. Hence, the word "Not."

The show was fun, fresh, and filled with vital life force. I want to thank Michael Belfer for playing guitar, Josh Levin for playing bass, Greg Langston for kicking ass on drums, the luminous Meri St. Mary for backup vocals and (damn righteous) dancing, Big Josh for saxophoning it sexy like, and Katy St. Clair for the surprise article. The audience was a new, young crowd that seemed to enjoy themselves and we enjoyed them. Although I had to change my performance style to standing and singing (my bad back, the major reason I left Flipper), I pulled off my performance as professionally as I ever have. Steve Tupper (Subterranean Records) showed up and even we could relate. Care, time, love cures all ills, and I had hoped enough time would have passed by now that I wouldn't have to contend with old B.S. about a good band, known as Flipper.

If you hear of a "Not Flipper" show or a "Bruce Loose from Flipper" advertisement it will most likely be me, trying to have some fun. I had a great time Saturday night. Did you? Hope to play again within the year, unfortunately my back is still quite bad. It's Tuesday morning and I'm still wiped out from Saturday's show. All I did was sing "my little ole heart out."

Peace -- out (as they say) but I say never mind; you wouldn't understand anyway so forget it ha ha ha ha ha.
Bruce Loose, Alderpoint, CA

Your in-depth analysis wasn't in-depth enough
Chron/Trib circulation is racially based ("Black and White and Read All Over," March 6)? What should I conclude about myself? I live in North Berkeley and receive BOTH the Chron and the Trib. Even read both most days. Why not? Together they almost supply enough of interest to last me through one leisurely cup of coffee.

So your media pros interviewed other media professionals? Is this worth the print? Isn't the actual story to shed light on WHY most daily newspapers are no longer able to provide anything that remotely resembles in-depth issue analysis? Your article was simply an irritating example of reporting specious statistics instead of offering up useful commentary that such statistics might inspire.

The fact that the Chron usually has some sports event on the front page these days disturbs me far more than the self-fulfilling reality that local news attracts subscribers in the locale being reported. I no longer expect to receive any useful information about larger news issues in either paper. I read both simply for the local spin on business and lifestyle stuff. Newsbites and headlines rarely supply the back-story. For INFORMATION, I know that if I want to gain true understanding of an issue, I have to do my own research.

We can continue to blame the victim (i.e., "people" no longer have the attention span to absorb real news) or demand that our papers stop pandering and start finding ways to involve readers. Then again, expecting anyone to do anything other than simply deliver a particular demographic to corporate sponsors is apparently more than we can ask.
Fern Leaf, Berkeley

Chalk one up for Communications Apartheid
I arrived in San Francisco in 1995. I used to live in San Juan, and was expecting newspapers to be as progressive as the so-called mentality of the Bay Area. What I found was all newspapers as being as provincial as some other aspects of the California mentality. So as a Latino, seeking for a good article and some international news, I have to subscribe to The New York Times. Not even in Berkeley do I find a good newspaper. The SF Chronicle is so empty on its content that you can read it before finishing your cereal. This is a little bit odd when this part of the country has produced great literary movements such as the Beats, social ones such as the Hippies, and groups like the Black Panthers.

But to conclude that I read a paper according to my ethnic background (we love to do this here), it is communications apartheid.
Jorge Rodréguez Sanabria, Oakland

You should see our recycling bins
In response to your Cityside article, "Black and White and Read All Over," I'd like to comment that no single newspaper can offer an informed reader all that he or she needs to know. My husband, Charlie, and I subscribe to the Chronicle, The New York Times, and the Mendocino Beacon -- all for different reasons. In addition, we read the East Bay Express online for an incisive look at our former hometown. Also on our reading list are two of Oakland's excellent neighborhood publications, the Rockridge News and the MacArthur Metro. Oakland has myriad other neighborhood newsletters that address issues of immediate concern to local residents.


Patricia West, Mendocino

The Movement Lives
I really enjoyed and benefited from the article by Melissa Hung ("The Last Revolutionary," March 13). I seldom read the Express, but this title on the cover caught my eye; so I picked up the paper and did not stop reading until I finished. The article also made a dramatic impression on me -- it gave me inspiration and hope that there are still people, including Asians, committed to social justice. Thank you Melissa, and thank you Express!


Norma Francisco, PhD, Oakland

Correction
And in the irony dept: In a recent Planet Clair, Katy St. Clair misquoted a line from Spinal Tap. It is not "There's a thin line between dumb and stupid"; it's "There's a thin line between stupid and clever."

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