Letters for March 17-23, 2005

We Win. Or Do We?

Power to the slots, man: Unlike those Calle Ocho lemming losers in Miami-Dade County, I was glad to see that the majority of Broward Countians overwhelmingly support the slots referendum ("Battle of the Frankensteins," Tailpipe, March 3). Despite the last-minute "B.M. Movement" (Governor Bush-Mayor Mara Giulianti of Hollywood) attempted by the antislots liars, Broward's citizens waded through the bullshit tossed out and realized that slots were a good bet for them.

Gov. Bush, or "reverend for the rich," and a petulant bitch (Mayor Mara) couldn't fool us -- especially the Hollywood voters, who voted 65 percent in favor of Amendment 4. That our taxes would go up in Hollywood if slots passed was so much crap and unbelievable. That Hollywood's business arm, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, nicely told Mayor Mara to "fuck off" by endorsing the slots amendment was a perfect irony.

The next time Mayor Mara runs for public office -- any public office -- the voters should remember that she overtly stabbed us in the back when she not only came out against slots but used our tax dollars to campaign against the proposition as well.

Who needs a "public servant" who politically craps on her public? It's time to get rid of this self-serving public disgrace of a mayor, once and for all! As for Bush, what else could you expect from a christo-fascist, neo-con, death-cult zombie like him? Stay out of Broward, Jeb -- we hate you like poison! You stink like bad feta cheese!

Harvey Slavin

Hollywood

Alphabet Scoop

Ban it, baby: Just to correct the title of Gail Shepherd's March 3 review "Báhn Mi, Baby," the proper spelling is "Banh Mi." There is also an accent on the i and not just on the a. There is no such Vietnamese word as bahn.

Thank you.

Thuy Pham

Via the Internet

Roger Wilco

They like me. They really like me: I've been a Wilco fan for more than ten years now. I remember where I was sitting when I heard the first strains of "Misunderstood" off of Being There ("Wilco = (x)," Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, February 17). I had headphones on, and I listened to both CDs straight through with my hands cupping the speakers onto my ears. Headphones always sound so much better that way. My fandom of Wilco proceeded to teach me everything I need to know about music and this business of it.

It's always funny to me that so much attention is drawn to the revolving-door aspect of the band, and I think it causes people to miss the point of what Wilco truly is. It's simply a conduit for one man's songs to be expressed through a group of dynamic musicians. That's the only way it works. Most of the members of Wilco's past and present have stellar side outlets and are minor stars themselves. I know local boy-wonder John Ralston of Legends of Rodeo recorded some of his recent solo material with their ex-guitar/multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett up in Chicago late last year, and he says the man is just a mad genius in the studio. Everyone associated with Wilco knew what Jay meant to the band, but when it stopped working as a group dynamic, we got to see the fallout on celluloid. This happens all the time in bands. It's not easy. It's like losing family members.

I go into each Wilco show I see with the slate clean and open, because I've never seen the band in the same incarnation twice. A couple of Thursdays ago, I saw them, and I happened to be standing next to the New Times' Music Editor Jonathan Zwickel. A superrandom occurrence, as we weren't even in our correct seats. We chatted a bit until we got to the name-exchange portion of the evening and both just laughed. He knew me from [my band] Summer Blanket, and I knew him through New Times and Pitchforkmedia.com. Just two music fans seeing a show from two different perspectives. I was like a hawk. Every move means something to me. I know what chord changes are coming next, and I air-guitared my ass off that night, singing along (sometimes in my own made-up harmonies) with every word, screaming at Jonathan between songs "I'm a huge fan!" between gulps of beer and air. (He must have said "I can tell!" about 40 times in 15 minutes.)

But I was absolutely enthralled. At one point, Jeff invited everyone closer to the stage, against security's wishes. At another, he told the crowd after a very quiet number, "Wow, you guys must be rich." We all laughed. But I knew there was a punch line. I want to say things like this every time someone is rude enough to talk over me while I am playing my music. It came in the form of, "I mean, you can afford tickets to come see a rock 'n' roll band and then talk over the entire song."

I love this band, and they are worthy of my love, both as a musician and as a fan. To be creating at such a high level and still have the common sense for a quick middle finger every now and then -- it makes me smile, even thinking about it.

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