It's not about immigration: Great story ("Keep out," Amy Guthrie, October 25)! In a market where local radio content is almost unheard of, Joyce Kaufman is a breath of fresh air, and hers is the only show that's worthwhile on WFTL. Get rid of bigots like Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, and Glenn Beck, and dump all those Air America Marxists. Give us more talk-masters who intelligently cover local and national issues like Joyce Kaufman does so well.
Why do some people have such a hard time understanding that you can be against people who have entered the country illegally without being against immigration per se? Like Joyce says, if the law is enforced, and they can't get jobs any more, illegals will leave voluntarily. Calling an illegal alien an undocumented worker is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.
David Citron, South Florida Radio Pages
Rabbis do motorcycle accidents too: You miswrote when you said of Joyce Kaufman: "For the first time since she'd been reborn as a local anti-immigration crusader..." Kaufman is a local anti-ILLEGAL immigration crusader — there's a big difference! What's the most surprising part of the article, though, is her conversion to Christianity. Perhaps Joyce might one day tell us why she felt her Judaism wasn't strong enough to get her through her recovery from her motorcycle accident!
The Christian Detour
Hear my sad story: Reading Michael Berk's story in New Times, was almost like reading my own story ("Tranny Regret," Ashley Harrell, October 11). In 1977, I began living and working as a woman with the expectation of having the transgender surgery. I went through an extensive psychological test with a psychiatrist and passed. I paid my surgeon in full in advance and was ready to have the procedure done.
Having youth on my side (at the age of 22), I was a knock-out as a woman. The first week I lived as a woman, I went into a straight bar and met a tall, handsome 27-year-old, and we became inseparable from that point on. Two months into the relationship I told Walter about Melanie. I was lucky! We were so in love that all he wanted me to do was to hurry up and have the surgery done. We became engaged and were to marry the week after my surgery.
I was and still am a hairdresser and had a customer who had a daughter who was Born Again Christian. Like Michael, I got sucked into this group. I was invited over to my customer's daughter's house one afternoon just to meet her. When I walked into her house, the living room was filled with these people. After a brief introduction, they started putting their hands all over me and were praying, some were speaking in tongues, and I was calling them everything from assholes to motherfuckers.
When they finished with me, I crawled out of that house a very different person. Confused, upset, relieved, broken, and ashamed. I went back to living as David. Walter ended up in a mental institution. I pulled it together as much as I could, and the years to come were not too bad.
At age 52 now, I look back and am haunted by the fact that my life was taken from me, and I have never been able to replace the love that Walter had for Melanie. So, Michael, don't let your past stand in the way of your future as I did. Do what makes you happy, as life is so short.
David D. Mann
Our Beauty Ain't Beautiful?
Those milk-fed babes just can't hack it: Go back to art school, please ("Sugar Kisses," cover, October 18)! Your cover last week: bad concept, homely girl. Of all the beautiful women there are in South Florida, for the topic of "Sweet Women for Rich Daddies" YOU CHOSE HER? I mean, where the hell did you find that farmer's daughter, Buffalo? I don't think she would fetch 50 bucks with the rich boys here. Lip-candy and all! What an insult to all the willing and able sweet morsels of South Florida. Yish!
Cunningham feels the beat: Great article on the Second Annual Jamaican Vintage Music Festival ("The House That Ska Built," Jonathan Cunningham, October 18). As one who spins and works primarily with vintage Jamaican music on radio, it's great to read about something that gives credit where credit is due. Old rhythms are starting to replace the new ones in reggae, so this article with its positive spin is of no surprise.
Remembering to Forget
Let's wait for the book by the guy who didn't take OxyContin: I enjoyed your interview with Slash and the article about it and Velvet Revolver ("Velvet Revolver Seeks Libertad," Michael Roberts, October 4). I have to say I'm glad you pointed out that Slash is writing an autobiography about an era he does not remember, and that seems like such an obviously flawed idea. Frankly, I'm astonished that he is getting away with that.
Was there anything in your conversation with him to indicate that he was joking about having that degree of memory loss? Was there any context that wasn't in the article that you can add? I just can't understand how he can set the record straight on events he does not by and large remember.
Santa Clara, California