Letters for the Week of June 1 

Readers sound off on Richmond, the Rapture, and our theater review.

Page 2 of 3

Ellen Seskin, Richmond

A Win for Everyone

It is rewarding to read of this progress, and though I do not live there, Richmond is a part of our entire community in the Bay Area. As it improves, so do we all — and our support for the good leadership there should be heard. As with me, this article also might convince many reading it to go see the progress for ourselves, enjoying the places mentioned. In view of the fact-based indicators of a city on the rise, here's a salute to Richmond's citizens, its city government — and City Manger Lindsay in particular.

William H. Thompson, Walnut Creek

"The Anti-Rapture Movement," Culture Spy, 5/18

Save Me From Dullness

Oh, God. What would the atheists do without the fundies to make fun of? Not only are both sides equally righteous, they're both out of touch. Recent public opinion polls indicate that anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of Americans now consider themselves "spiritual but not religious." What does that mean? It means that a growing and substantial population of intelligent folks is throwing off the dogma and superstitions of organized religion, but are not about to trade in their innate spirituality for the soulless ethos of the "Life is hard and then you die" crowd. The spiritual-but-not-religious are Zen meditators, Sufi weirdos, students of A Course in Miracles, and other investigators of the inner life who accept that the superdaddy "God" of mainstream religions has, like Elvis, left the building, but are seriously engaged in plumbing the mysteries of existence for themselves. As the poet e.e. cummings so aptly put it, "hear ye! the godless are the dull, and the dull are the damned." I'm not worried about being on the wrong side of the Rapture, but God save me from dullness.

D. Patrick Miller, Berkeley

"Yoo: Obama Should Have Tortured Bin Laden," Seven Days, 5/11

Which bin Laden?

The government has trotted out numerous bin Ladens over his career — if you don't believe me, search for the government-released videos of bin Laden since 9/11 — you'll see the gaunt bin Laden, the fat one, the happy one, etc. — some clearly not even the same person. Which bin Laden was killed? I think he's being used as convenient fodder to get the masses to cede even more of their rights to the government. As H.L. Mencken stated: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."Wake up! Your government is much more of a threat to you than bin Laden ever was.

Jim Mellander, El Sobrante

"Sour and Spicy," Food, 5/11

Friendly Folks

I love Green Papaya! The last time I was there my boyfriend and I ended up hanging out with the family who owns the place, who were doing some dining/drinking of their own at the adjacent table. They were kind enough to offer us some Heinekens and chat about the restaurant. Great food and great times all around, a true hospitality abounds here. Glad y'all have gotten wind of it!

Jenna Miller, Oakland

"No Escaping This Passion," Theater Review, 5/11

Poor Writing

Saw the play May 15th. It was not bad, but I do agree with the reviewer that something was lacking. In my view though it was the writing that fell short, not the acting. I've seen Ruhl's Eurydice in a junior college production. I think that's a better play.

Lee Zuckerman, Napa

Always Sneaking?

Rachel Swan seems a little too preoccupied with finding ways to sneak out of shows. I noticed in her review of Impact Theatre's Disassembly she complains that there are no scene changes or blackouts. She states, "no one had the option of sneaking out."

Jonathan Gordon

Board member, Actors Ensemble


"Will Travel for Food," Summer Guide, 5/11

Become a Culinary Tourist

Hey, you have just explained a culinary tourist and how experiential experiences are so important in the obtaining and retaining of tourism business. Culinary tourism is not, as so many people think, just about high-end experiences but about all that is culinary: stores, farmers' markets, beer/wine/culinary schools, plus so much more. May I suggest you become a free basic member of the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), where you can find lots of useful info, take a Professional Culinary Tourism qualification, or open a chapter with the ICTA. Simply go to CulinaryTourism.org for more information.

Garry Taylor, Tauranga, New Zealand

"Reacting to Guns at Berkeley High," News, 5/4

Social Triage

"Every leader must desire to be considered merciful and not cruel. He must, however, take care not to misuse mercifulness; to always be lenient may seem like wisdom, but is in fact specious. Therefore, a leader must not mind being accused of cruelty for purposes of keeping public order; he will ultimately be more merciful than those who, from an excess of tenderness, allow disorders to arise, from whence spring bloodshed and rapine. For these as a rule injure the whole community, while the severe punishment of a few hurt only individuals."

Again: "And it will always happen that in cases where prompt resolution is required, there will be indecision when weak men have to deliberate and resolve."

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