The dark side of the Sunshine State: I read Susan Eastman's October 30 article ("Death and Doubts") with interest and wanted to let you know one of Florida's best-kept secrets. We have the highest rate of lynchings of black men in the union, per capita. Nothing like a little history to put things in perspective!
Dr. Marcia Magnus
Via the Internet
Cops collecting scalpers' scalps: I really appreciated Bob Norman's piece in the October 23 New Times about ticket seller arrests ("Scalpers Blues"). What a way for Pro Player to treat its fans. Thanks for bringing it to light. I will not attend that venue in the future.
Via the Internet
The Marlins' dilemma: Author Tristram Korten does a nice job of mocking the way sports franchises are run in the new century ("Power to the Pudge!," October 23). Although the article is comical, it does little to attack the major issue at the heart of it. What happened to the 1997 Marlins was an atrocity that took Marlins fans years to get over. Some might still say they have yet to get over it, as when the Marlins were fighting for their playoff lives in September and only about 24,000 fans attended the first game of the series with the Phillies, who trailed by only a game.
But it's the old chicken-versus-egg scenario. In this case, we are talking about million-dollar chickens. Or is it million dollar eggs? If team owner Jeffrey Loria pays Pudge Rodriguez the millions he will undoubtedly get next year, will the fans reward Loria with increased season ticket purchases? As history has proven, that won't be the case. The Marlins had a magical run at the World Series and won it -- but are you going to run out to 80-plus home games?
We should cheer Loria for building a team of champions. He has broken the economic mold of big money buying championships. If Pudge wants to finish his career in a Marlins uniform, though, it is going to cost Loria a lot.
Sweet, sour, and spicy: I just want to express my appreciation for the two articles by Eric Alan Barton in the October 23 New Times ("Shipped Off" and "Mary Scary").
The article about porn star Mary Carey was especially entertaining and an enjoyable read. I thought the tone was a perfect blend of cynical sarcasm and the bemusement of someone who almost can't believe what he is witnessing. I would say only that maybe porn and politics have a lot in common (contrary to your statement that they don't).
"Shipped Off" was an astonishing piece of journalism, worthy of any newspaper in this country. I first salute Barton for embarking on this journey, which must have been somewhat disconcerting. However, what I found especially moving was the humanity with which he portrayed one very lost person. I also am curious as to what happened to Joe. What a tragedy.
Jordan W. Waring
Via the Internet
A few lousy porn flicks, and it's porno-whore for the rest of your life: Eric Barton decided to dump all over Mary Carey, selecting his quotes to portray her as a greedy, arrogant, shallow, and manipulative slut. Barton is unrelenting in his disdain, and he utterly fails to give Mary credit for being a young girl of only 23 who is utterly alone in the world. In all, just a nasty and catty story.
Mary may not be living the type of life he would choose for his daughter or be the kind of woman he would marry, but she is not contemptible. She is earning an honest living in an industry that eats young women alive. Feature dancing in a strip club is not a cakewalk. Each day is long and, oddly enough, very lonely. The girls are immersed in a sea of lust, but the men they meet they do not dare date. The other girls in the club hate her, as she cuts into their income. Management doesn't waste time or money on her, since she will be gone by Sunday. She does not earn $800 a day and live a life of luxury. The room above T's is far below the quality of even the nearby Holiday Inn. Most of her shows during the week are sparsely attended, and if Mary averages $50 per show, she is doing well. When she can't take it anymore, her moment of fame will follow her around for the rest of her life. She will forevermore be "Mary Carey, the porno-whore who ran for governor."
This story is in stark contrast to the sloppy oozing of unearned sympathy for Joe Buffalino that Barton wrote in "Shipped Off" in the same issue. Buffalino is a healthy 27-year-old man who will not turn his hand to feed himself. Buffalino sponges from every person he meets and displays enthusiasm only for an intoxicant or a free meal. Buffalino is a loser, a liar, an addict, a user, and a lazy lout. But Barton drips pity and concern for him.
Barton has gotten his emotions exactly reversed. He should have contempt for the parasite and sympathy for the stripper. Barton's estrogen-soaked, oily, liberal agenda is all too clearly on display.
Editor, Pynk Pages
The good and the bad, vying for attention: In regard to Bob Norman's stories "Georgia Got a Gun" and "Georgia in the Pines" (October 9 and 16), I was blessed to have met a woman in early 2000 who I know will by my friend forever and ever. I know Kristi Krueger Templin as a doting mother of two children, supportive wife to a great guy, and to me a friend who is there whenever I need her. Having come to know her family, I sat in the courtroom nearly every day from May till July 2. I was shocked that a jury of our peers felt that my friend had used her name as a local TV personality to accuse Georgia Roberts of anything. I would like to say I enjoyed your articles; however, after observing Ms. Roberts myself day after day in the courtroom, I feel you are giving Ms. Roberts what she desires most: attention and publicity.
I had never met Georgia Roberts. The first day of the trial, I was sitting alone outside the courtroom when she approached me. She asked about my business; then she peppered me with questions, such as which side I was there for. Then she informed me with a gleeful smile that I was in for "one heck of a show."
Stratton's not always right, but, damn, he's good: I am writing in response to Jason Knapfel and Katy Corrigan's letters regarding Jeff Stratton's review of the Brite Side ("Subtropical Spin," September 11). What a couple of crybabies! I would like to know just where Mr. Knapfel gets off by claiming that music writers should slag only successful "platinum selling pretty boys" instead of emo-bandwagon-jumping local yokels ("nonplatinum selling pretty boys"?). Fuckin' A, I can remember back in the day when emo was not such a lame proposition. Jason seemed to loosen up by his third paragraph (I was on your side for a moment there, pal) and then sadly transformed himself into a vagina again. If these guys had any brains and/or balls, they would put Stratton's review at the very start of their press kit. I would kill for my band to get such a scathing "mean-spirited" review!
Jeff is probably one of the best music writers in South Florida (which is not saying a whole lot, sadly enough), though from time to time, I find myself disagreeing with much of what he writes.
The majority of these early-20-somethings really appear to have nothing to offer artistically. The CD that has Ms. Corrigan's panties so sopping wet really does resemble the work of a boy band. The horrible band moniker, the ever-cheesy The Lifeless Lady (yack!) cover art, and the aforementioned lyrics in Jeff's review would seem hardly out of place on a Justin Timberlake record.
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What it boils down to is that if you cannot handle the heat of one bad review, then get the hell out of the rock 'n' roll kitchen. If either of you two wet-behind-the-ears windbags wants to hear a "pure expression of human emotion" by a real poet/musician, then I suggest you take two doses of Lou Reed's The Blue Mask and do not call me in the morning under any circumstances. After that, read Stratton's Kenny 5 cover story ("The Stuntman Cometh," September 25) and shut your freakin' pieholes. Toodles.
William Douglas Herring,
a.k.a. Death Metal Douglas