Letters for February 21-27, 2008
Lighten Up, Guitar Man
Guitar Hero isn't a menace to society — it's a game! I just had to comment on this article ("Guitar Zero," Ashley Harrell, February 14). I'm the father of the 8-year-old, Ben, who is referenced in the article. My biggest issue is the fact that some people simply have a hard time dealing with this videogame, especially those who play real guitar. For whatever reason, they feel threatened by a plastic toy.
Most people can't play professional football, but they play Madden. Most people can't drive a race car 200 mph, but they play any number of race games. Most people aren't invading Germany to defeat the Nazis, but they play Call of Duty. I could go on and on. You don't hear Tom Brady getting all pissed that someone is using his character at a Madden tournament. I bet he gets asked all the time if he plays Madden.
As far as Jeff Nordstedt of the Milwaukees is concerned, if soooo many of his fans are into Guitar Hero, what is it to him? He obviously doesn't care at all what his fans like. If I were a fan of his, which I'm not, you can be assured that his true lack of interest in the fans would have certainly turned me off. He should get over himself; it's a game. I can guarantee that if a Milwaukees song were on the game, he'd be singing a different tune. Also, no one playing Guitar Hero thinks he is playing real guitar. Nordstedt is full of bologna. The fact that he says things "bitterly" about a videogame speaks volumes.
For some reason, many real guitarists don't like this game. And when I say game, I mean game! Ben's videos have more than 16 million views, because most people can't play real guitar. And the game is fun!
There is an old saying that goes, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I recommend that people who feel threatened by this game think about that and get off their high horses.
Bravo With a Nitpick
Making opera fascinating: While this was easily the most entertaining opera review I've ever read — especially considering the fact that it was about Bizet's crappiest opera — you did kind of prove your self-confessed troglodytic nature, operatically speaking ("Kandy-Kolored Konch Kickers," Brandon K. Thorp, February 14). It's a very small, picky point, but "Au fond du Temple Saint" is a duet. It's one of the most exquisite in all the literature too. One of opera's better Brokeback moments, really. Straight guys will man-crush on each other for the duration of the thing if they don't watch out. Nitpicking aside, this was brilliant.
Spank the Writer
The sordid side of flagellation: This is not reporting ("Spank the Monkey," Amy Guthrie, February 7). This is sleaze. The journalist here intentionally made the story far more salacious. This man was killed, victimized by two thugs. Then this journalist victimizes him again with graphic details that are unnecessary for the story. She isn't a journalist; she's a pornographer. Shame.
Name withheld by request
Via the internet
A Tow Too Far
Then they hooked up the kitchen sink: My sister-in-law lives in Parkside, and I have dealt with Blanche Duncan ("Tow Job," Ashley Harrell and John Linn, January 3). Last August, my mother-in-law, who was the original owner of the property in Parkside, passed away. On the night of the funeral, they towed my sister-in-law's boyfriend's car. Thinking the car had been stolen, I called Coral Springs police, who told me the car had been towed. In the next parking lot that evening, I observed Duncan and a black unmarked tow truck towing a silver truck. The tow truck did not have a license number as required by law, nor did it have a license plate. Coral Springs police responded pretty quickly, and I advised them that the tow company was towing cars from parked spaces where the cars were authorized to be. They said it was a civil matter. I pointed out that the tow trucks were towing cars from guest spots that are authorized by the homeowners and that the tow truck did not have a state license number on it or a tag. But the officer declined to chase the truck down. Duncan then yelled, "See, you can't do sh—!"
The next day, we met Duncan and a gentleman in the parking lot of Value Storage in the Coral Springs Corporate Park. They had pulled his car from a self-storage place and told him it would be $250. I showed her a Broward County statute saying she could charge only $100 for the tow and $40 for storage. She dropped the price to $180 and said they used "special equipment." I again called Coral Spring's police, and I was told again that it was a "civil matter." Johnson Towing is not licensed in Pompano (where, the sign says, it is located) or in Coral Springs.
Name withheld by request
Editor's note: Duncan says it was she who made a 911 call after the letter writer threatened her with a knife. She says her company operates in accordance with Florida law.
Scales of Injustice?
Still in the nightmare: My family has left me for dead ("Kick Stop," Amy Guthrie, December 13). I have no one but myself to depend on. I have absolutely no outside help. I depend on me and me only. Right now, I'm trying to find a way to fight the courts. I have not one penny to my name, so I can't pay a lawyer. I just want to get out of prison. I'm still trying to fight it. But I know in my heart that what was said at my trial was not the truth. Am I guilty of murder? "Hell no!" Am I guilty of stupidity? "Hell yes!"
Jefferson Correctional Institution, Monticello
Editor's note: Madalone was sentenced to life for the beating death of Luyen Nguyen in 1992. Madalone's younger brother, Chris, pleaded guilty and was released in 2000.
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