Letters for the week of March 1-7, 2006 

Don't publish nude "art" photos. Don't point guns at the camera. Don't listen to anonymous potheads. Don't ever forget Grandaddy.

"Art of Darkness," Feature, 2/1

It may be art but it's wrong
Hello, I'm calling to object to the photograph on page 18 of the Feb 1-7 edition of the Express. If I wanted to see photos like that, I would buy the appropriate magazine. They shouldn't be available in a newspaper available for free that any minor can pick up. And this woman is barely of age -- if that, I certainly hope she's of age -- and I think you should exercise a little bit more discretion and have at least cropped that photo another three-quarters of an inch higher if you were going to publish it. It may be art, but it doesn't belong in a free giveaway publication.
Anonymous voicemail


"Far from Home," Feature, 2/8

And don't even ask me about that other photo
I do not like being threatened with death, not even via photographic proxy. When I look at the above-referenced photo, all I see is a gun pointed at me. As a former US Army combat arms officer, I am appalled. There are only two valid reasons to point a gun at someone: either to kill them or to coerce them with a lethal threat. There are no other valid reasons. Did Nawa put her guide up to this pose or vice versa? Who cares? What was the true editorial intent of the photo? Who cares? Nawa and her guide both either lack formal small-arms training and/or are just plain stupid and ignorant. In a way, this is part in parcel of what Emma Goldman meant when she said, "The most violent aspect of society is ignorance." That is the message I get from this photo: the gun itself is not violent, it is the ignorance with which the gun is wielded that is truly violent.

If anyone ever pointed a gun at me without shooting me, well, if they ever let go of that gun I would beat the ever-living shit out of them. Could you blame me? If Nawa lacks the training or common sense to not point a gun at someone for any other reason than to put their face in the dirt, then good luck to her and her "attraction to war zones," whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. She's not long for the world at this rate.
Gregory L Han, Berkeley


"Hood TV," Feature, 2/15

Check your caliber
Just want to inform you that the caliber .223 mentioned in your article is not the caliber of the AK-47 assault rifle. The AK series uses the larger 7.62x39mm round, which translates to a caliber of .308. The .223-caliber mentioned in the article is used in the American-made M16 series of assault rifles as well as comprising the basic small-arms round of all NATO countries.
Kevin Watson-Graff, Oakland


Editor's note
While some AK-47s have indeed been chambered to fire .223-caliber ammunition, the writer is correct in noting that the vast majority shoot something else.


"Recovery for the Rest of Us," Resolution Guide, 1/18

We respect potheads too
I'm writing in response to the anonymous "pothead" who stated "But at Narcotics Anonymous meetings, they laugh if you say your issue is pot." In NA we deal with addiction and not any particular drug. In our literature, it states that "an addict, any addict, can lose the desire to use and find a new way to live." Our Third tradition states that "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using."

But nothing best explains the attitude of NA as described in Chapter Two in the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous. Two statements are made: This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. We are not interested in what or how much you used ... but only in what you want to do about your problem and how we can help.

I don't know what meeting the anonymous "pothead" attended, but the NA meetings I've attended regularly for six years have been loving, inviting, welcoming and supportive, somewhat neurotic at times (remember, you're dealing with clean addicts in different stages of recovery), and never discriminating against an addict because of their drug of choice (even marijuana and alcohol). Hopefully nobody read your article and formed negative opinions about the program that saved my life, based on either misinformation or one person's bad experience.
Vince G., Oakland


"The Eggs of Society," On Food, 2/1

Or it could be the food
I read Mr. Kauffman's article and was very intrigued with his interpretation of the "Bay Area's favorite morning ritual" -- waiting in long lines for Saturday and Sunday brunch. He brings up an interesting point as to what is the real value of our time. Personally, I value my time over saving a few bucks, since I am not the type of person patient enough to wait in long lines for something I could get down the street at a slightly higher price.

If I could buy the exact same product at a department store or at a family store for just $5 more without having to battle the department store lines, I would buy at the mom 'n' pop shop every time. However, consumer goods of the same brand and style are exactly the same, no matter where you buy it. When it comes to dining, the food and the experience are never quite the same.

Kauffman stated waiting for brunch "must be more important than the meal itself." I doubt if you asked the customers that dine at Rockridge Cafe or Bette's Diner why they wait in long lines for food, they would respond, "We wait for the sake of waiting." In the restaurant business, if you get bad food, you generally don't go back. If you have to wait a long time and still get bad food, you assuredly won't go near it again. For areas such as Rockridge and Fourth Street, the so-called "yuppies" are probably not all that conscientious over saving a few dollars for brunch. Their decision to wait for a table stems from numerous other factors: the great and familiar service, the generous and hearty portions, inventive breakfast specials (with names that you understand and can pronounce), large menu selection, family-friendly atmosphere, and lively crowd. With the prices being lower, that's an added bonus.

Instead of questioning what an hour of our time is worth, maybe we should explore the real reason customers are waiting -- to enjoy the experience of great food, great service, and great company at a reasonable price.
Kevin Chung, assistant manager,
Rockridge Cafe, Oakland


"A Drunken Android Eulogy," Down in Front, 2/8

Now it's off
I just wanted to tell you how much your article made my day. I work at the Tower Records up in Chico, and my Sundays usually revolve around repeatedly flipping through the weeklies we get. I was so amazed and grateful to see a whole page of material devoted to Grandaddy, as I had simply accepted that no one really gave two shits about this band when they were around and they probably weren't going to care much that they were breaking up. I took so much comfort in reading your article knowing that Grandaddy had the same kind of effect on other people as they have on me and a few select friends.

I personally have always had a personal connection to Sumday, but your preference of Sophtware Slump made me take it off the shelf and fall in love with it all over again. I'm a journalism student myself up here at Chico State and write for a music mag called The Synthesis. I've never responded to an article before, but I guess I just wanted to say thank you for not letting Grandaddy's work and breakup go unnoticed. I'm sure someone will be curious enough from reading your article to go pick one of their CDs up and get lost in Grandaddy world the way that you and I both have.
Landon Moblad, Chico

I'm on standby
Thanks for your thoughts on Grandaddy's demise. Nicely written. Interesting too how you employ the adjective "furry" more than once. I had heard rumor in the wind of the breakup of this great band, but your article confirmed it. Damn. I think Todd Zilla and Sumday are a bit better than you say, but to each their own, and we both agree that it kinda sucks Grandaddy have deconstructed.

It's not totally over yet, because Fambly Cat is still on the way. But, again, thanks for your eulogy -- it was dignified and respectful, and in addition to Grandaddy capturing well the nature vs. technology dichotomy, they are also very much a band of the Gen X generation, which, breaking up for whatever reasons, is a minor event that still rings with sadness.
Matt Pamatmat, Cotati


Correction
In our capsule review of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, we misstated the name of the actress who played Nurse Ratched. It was Claire Nail.

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