"Useless Meandering and an Excess of Opinion"? Sounds Like Your Letter, Matt
The recent rise in "personal journalism," where a journalist reports on their own experiences and thoughts instead of facts and events around them, is distressing.

Your article on Marilyn Manson is a good argument that personal journalism should be avoided ("Marilyn Manson, Unmasked," Ted B. Kissell, January 28). Your reporter's writing on the facts of Brian Warner/ Marilyn Manson's ascension and activities were entertaining; however, the article was ruined by useless meandering and an excess of opinion. If your reporter were interesting, other reporters would write articles about him.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the article.
Matt Wennersten
via the Internet

New Times' Free-Fall Into Sensationalism
After reading "Chute to Kill" (Paul Belden, January 21), I find it slanted. As an experienced skydiver with more than 1800 jumps, I question the integrity of your reporting. This article sounds more like it came from the Enquirer.

As an instructor I would most likely not allow an individual just off student status to jump in winds that high. But there are other considerations that may have been present, to which I wasn't privy. As for the experienced jumpers' fatalities, that was just bad luck. Most experienced jumpers don't wear AADs (automatic activation devices [like the Cypress]) or helmets. Many do wear helmets when they know there's danger of a head strike. But it is still the jumper's choice.

Dick Edwards
via the Internet

Life's a Beach, Then It Erodes
I am no environmental scientist, but as a former Cape Codder, [Cape Cod having] several urban beaches with erosion problems, I can tell you that the prevailing opinion on the Cape is just the opposite of your conclusion (Undercurrents, January 21). The sea/wave walls only hasten the erosion of sand. (Hasn't the problem in Fort Lauderdale worsened since the wall?)

The notion is that when a high tide and waves hit a wall, they take sand back with them in the backwash. Ultimately the foundation of the wall is weakened, leading to its collapse. Conversely the natural plantings serve to anchor the sand. Even though the sea oats may block the "view," they may, in the long term, be a cheaper solution than replenishing the sand as Miami Beach did (very expensive) or by continually maintaining and building bigger walls. Check it out!

L. Aiello
via the Internet

Sending in the Calvary to Save Television
Just finished reading the piece on Calvary Chapel and Cross TV ("Channeling Jesus," Paul Demko, December 31). Very cool. A buddy told me about it because we're starting a Calvary Chapel here in Athens, Georgia.

I had to chuckle about the comment that the station wouldn't be able to afford to do quality programming. What's $100 million to the Creator of the universe? Mark 10:27 reads, "All things are possible with God." Who would have thought that a show about the love of God would be a hit on prime-time TV? Not many TV shows have their own soundtracks in stores.

Like Pastor Bob said, "Where God guides, God provides." One thing you didn't mention in the piece is that Calvary Chapel doesn't collect an offering. More than $6 million in tithes and gifts, and nobody asks for money. Run by a former cokehead who ran topless shows in Vegas. Impossible, right? Well, [Saint] Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 1:25 -- "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."

Anyway, thanks for a great story. I've passed it along to some folks who will be interested in reading it. If you ever want to learn more about the bizarre histories of Calvary Chapel pastors (Pastor Bob is by no means unique), check out the book Harvest.

Pat Curry
via the Internet

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