Letters for April 11, 2002 | Letters | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Letters for April 11, 2002

What about Dad? Susan Eastman's article "Not Kid Stuff" (March 28) is timely and well-written. It boggles the mind to imagine that this story is being repeated over and over in our community and around the nation. I honestly believe that these youths are not inherently evil and that their mother is doing the best she can under the circumstances. However, as the saying goes, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

I am disappointed that Eastman did not pursue a meeting with the father of these children. It would be interesting to know about his mindset and whether he has created other such families elsewhere.

Lafayette Morgan
via the Internet

Horatio Alger in Hallandale: Susan Eastman's article promises provocative journalism with a hard-nosed approach but falls way short of delivering a much-needed wake-up call to a slumbering majority of Americans. In all fairness, the article is informative, professionally researched and written, but lacking in what society as a whole needs now -- reporting that tells it like it is! How are we to steer our increasingly decadent youth from the dead-end path of delinquency when a major venue of mass awareness is relaying a Walt Disney rendition of a real life Boyz 'N the Hood cast? The message I received from Eastman was the following: yes, the '80s Babies have been charged with various offenses by police; yes, they are a bunch of good-for-nothing dropout thugs who seem to be quite content with themselves, and hey -- it's all good! Poor Natalie Wiggins?

My qualm about this story is that it plays on sympathy. Growing up, I did not have much, and my parents had even less. Through hard work, dedication to studies, and belief in ethics, my parents and I have risen from the hardships of the lower end of the economic ladder. People don't believe in doing their part anymore.

I do not sympathize with a group of delinquents who represent the lethargy and mediocrity that is spreading throughout this nation. Natalie Wiggins is a woman who became pregnant at way too early an age, continued to have children she could not afford to bring up properly, and is now paying the price for her lack of common sense. She is no special story and definitively not a woman to depict as a role model.

The '80s Babies are kids who perpetuate the problem we are faced with in today's youth. Let's paint them for what they are, and if they make a change for the better, then commend them and hold them in esteem. For now, however, let us see them as a crew of dropouts, drug dealers, gang bangers, and good-for-nothings. Let us not sympathize with Natalie Wiggins or empathize with the '80s Babies. Susan Eastman's reporting on this story calls for acceptance, and her complacency breeds the lethargy that predominates today.

Oscar Rodriguez

A transparent satire...that speaks box scores: In very small letters and as a part of the border surrounding the Florida Marlins "ad" ("Dear Marlins Fans," March 28) on page 17, the word satire appeared. Yet in my opinion, the commentary by Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins' owner, was right on the money -- and no satire at all!

Loria spoke of no ad campaign to promote the team; took a cheap shot at his landlord, Wayne Huizenga (well-deserved, of course!); and stated the fact that the team has no chance to get a publicly funded stadium. Loria went on to mention that the team has no "zany" giveaways or in-game promotions or even a "plan" right now. That wasn't satirical -- it was true!

The bottom of the ad's tag line read: "The Florida Marlins: Catch 'Em While You Can!" Sorry, Jeff. No fucking way! I was born at night, but not last night! Oh, and thanks for trading the team's closer -- Antonio Alfonseca -- and starter Matt Clement.

You're just another arrogant, rich, Canadian carpet-bagging schmuck, Jeff.

Harvey Slavin

How about Macadamia? In response to Kirk Nielsen's article about Andre Johnson and cheating at UM ("Hurricane Andre," March 21), I say hurray for New Times! With apologies to the late Ambrose Bierce and his book The Devil's Dictionary, I offer the following definitions: "Academia, n., 1. In antiquity, a place where morality and philosophy were taught. 2. In modern times, a place where football is taught."

Juan Lucas
Coral Gables

So cool your dogmatic jets: Robert Wilonsky's review of the Charles Herman-Wurmfeld indie Kissing Jessica Stein left me a little perplexed ("Lipstick Traces," March 21). Which painfully obvious clue to Jennifer Westfeldt's (Jessica's) true sexual identity did the reviewer not grasp? Was it her regular uneasiness with the relationship as a whole? Could it be the fact that she was completely incapable of same-sex intimacy without bouts of uncomfortable nervousness? Regardless of Wilonsky's lack of ability to pick up on it, Jessica was indeed straight from beginning to end.

The foundation for my displeasure surrounding his review lies in my inability to get beyond a conspiracy theory. Is a movie truly "chickenshit" if lesbians don't live happily ever after? Is it necessary to further an agenda to elicit a positive review? If so, I ask only that the movie actually be about two lesbians. Taken in context, Kissing Jessica Stein works within the framework of what it strives to be: entertaining, somewhat titillating fluff. It's a fabulous movie that won't change a deeply bigoted society -- that's just asking too much. And it shouldn't be the prerequisite for a glowing review.

Brian Murphy

Hit the road, Karetnick: I felt I had to write this letter in response to the article "Get Balkanized" by Jen Karetnick (March 14). I am Bulgarian, and because Jen Karetnick involved a bit of history in the cuisine evaluation, I'd like to explain that Bulgari means Bulgarians. We have been Bulgari since 681 A.D.

I am from Varna on the Black Sea. I have traveled all around Canada, the USA, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. It is my experience that the reason restaurants with traditional cuisine in the U.S. differ from their origins is that the chefs are forced to use American products that are frozen or full of preservatives. Since America is a producer of the poorest quality wine, beer, cheese, and yogurt and does not have a national cuisine (if there is one, it has to be hamburgers and hot dogs), I wonder what makes a local journalist such a food expert. I don't mind negative articles about restaurants as long as they are accurate and complete.

I have visited the Bulgari Ristorante on two occasions. The Bulgarian chef does a good job of presenting the traditional cuisine, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, the place offers entertainment reminiscent of Bulgari in Varna, where patrons dance in the aisles with the belly dancers. I am sure Floridians as well as Eastern Europeans will appreciate a unique place with reasonable prices.

Like Karetnick said, "Making assumptions may not necessarily qualify you as an ass...." I suggest she do some traveling instead of demonstrating ignorance and poor journalism.

Daniela Kostova
Pompano Beach

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