Mayor Steven Abrams
Vote now, you bimbo: Bravo to Wyatt Olson for his November 27 article, "The United States of Jesus." Fundamentalist religious right organizations like the Center for Reclaiming America are dangerous cults that do not support a pluralistic democracy or the concept of equality. The only way they differ from the Taliban or Saudi Arabia is in their religious beliefs, not in their goal of establishing democracy.
More important is their connection to the Bush brothers. This should send a chill up the spine of every voter who believes in democracy. Whether you are Democrat, Independent, moderate, Republican, or just anyone who believes in equal rights for all, you should vote in 2004 with this in mind.
The fact that the center is in bed with Jeb and George should make next year's election an easy choice; either you are with right-wing Republicans like Rick Santorum and the Bushes or you are not. Democracy or theocracy. The people's choice.
Back to the Stone Age: I read with great interest Tom Bowker's November 20 article about Angelo "Flash" Pillitteri and his band F -- "Sisyphus Rock." As founder of a website dedicated to the SoFla original/punk/local music scene from the '70s to the '90s, I'm familiar with the group. There are many approaches to music, indeed, to any creative endeavor. Questions about (1) why does he do this? and (2) what shall he do? are constants in the process. It would seem that the answers, when applied to F, are (1) because he loves to do it and (2) what he does best.
Unfortunately, applying the same questions to Mr. Bowker's work, the answers become (1) to demean the subject and (2) write about himself instead. I learned much more about the writer's limited points of musical reference (early '80s Scorpions and Quiet Riot, trendy bands) and infantile prejudices (am I to infer that he dislikes long-term relationships?) than about F's true influences.
Further, I learned that Mr. Bowker's middle-school interpretation of Sisyphus betrays his unimaginative approach to writing, although, as a true novice often does, he stumbles over a greater truth. As Albert Camus wrote in The Myth of Sisyphus: "All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him. His rock is a thing... The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."
One must imagine Flash, after all these years, still doing what he loves to do, the way he wants to do it, much more the happy hero than our dear writer -- he who debases what he does not understand in a tortured attempt to fill column inches.
Via the Internet
No reason to tarry: Regarding Bob Norman's November 20 column, "Loving the War," if Saddam ever had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, he's either moved them or doled them out to one or more terrorist groups. Our troops continue to be wounded and killed on a daily basis.
Iraq is not now and never has been either one of the United States or even a U.S. territory. Their government is none of our business unless the state of Iraq actually attacks the USA, which it has not done.
It is worse than useless to keep U.S. military forces in Iraq. All that a U.S. presence is doing is to inspire more Iraqis to join the resistance and kill more Americans. Let the various groups of Iraqis sort out their own state.
Slums for cheap sneers: Bob Norman's November 13 column, "Deutsch Marks," was very telling. How is it that Congressman Peter Deutsch has been able to raise so much money when he hasn't even had opponents? What do they do with the money they raise? Give it to other congressmen to curry favors later in session?
The main reason I'm writing is to say that vivid descriptions and characterizations of folks in Norman's articles are enriching to the piece, but I would suggest that off-color remarks like describing Katherine Harris as "Tammy Faye's slightly sluttier sister" are over-the-top. After all, she just may be our next senator. But even if she doesn't attain higher office, I understand she is actually a dignified lady. Is there anything about her character, not her hairdo or makeup, that you know to be of ill repute?
There is a fine line between being a cheap "shock jock" and a columnist who puts his finger on the quintessential element of the person and story. Norman has the rare talent for the latter. Please don't spoil it by slumming for cheap sneers. Our society is too crass as it is.
New Times: Thank you for Bob Norman's November 6 article in New Times ("Bad Operation"). It is something the taxpayers in Broward County need to know about. Thanks again, and I hope Norman will keep up the good work!
Anna Mae French
Move the stadium al norte: I am a Miami resident who agrees with Chuck Strouse and Susan Eastman in disliking the idea of a downtown Miami ballpark ("Bring Us the Ballpark," November 6). I also would like to see it somewhere in Broward midway between Miami-Dade and Broward. However, we all know that even though the fans are what makes or breaks this team staying in South Florida, the commissioners think only about themselves and where they can use the money on their own behalf and not the public's. The Fort Lauderdale stadium site would be nice, but let's not get like the New Yorkers and start badmouthing the Miami folks.
We have a nice fan base down here, but after money-hungry Wayne's 1997 dismantling of a World Series Championship team, we all got discouraged. I don't see Miami as better than Broward or Broward as better than Miami but as neighbors who should come together and push to get a home for our second-time World Series champions.
And as for changing the name, I think that is wrong too. Let's not all get greedy; remember that the name "Florida Marlins" was selected through a contest and that the fans embraced it as such. They are the World Series champion "Florida Marlins," and they should stay as such.
Come on, Miami-Dade and Broward, the "Miami Marlins" or the "Broward" or "Fort Lauderdale Marlins" sounds like Little League. Don't we have enough ridicule with the "Miami Dolphins"? Enough said. Thanks for a great idea, and I hope these folks think about it.