Letters to the Editor

No Exit
In South Florida the new killing fields are filled with sick, depressed senior citizens who make self-inflicted death their final ally
By Bob Norman

Assisted-Suicide Club
Enjoyed the article "No Exit" (Bob Norman, January 20). Bravo! You are the only one talking about this. For your information (and I feel certain that you already know), the numbers you have of people who assist their dying or doctors who offer doctor-assisted dying are only the start. Many, many people, old and young, with either terminal diseases or ghastly suffering, are saving up the pills or reading Final Exit, or they are contacting friends to help.

The real number of suicides in South Florida per year will not be known, because of our punitive "justice system" and our oblivious doctors and Congress; most people do not want to have their deaths known as suicide. This is mostly for fear of hurting the kind doctors who give out prescriptions for the pills (Seconal or Nembutal). We don't want them punished and put in prison, as is Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

The Hemlock Society is our biggest help. Hospice is wonderful, as far as it goes and for those who qualify. The rest of us -- lots of us -- save our pills and urge a friend to help. And we are very quiet about it.

Name Withheld
via the Internet

Night of the Living Heads
What's it like to ring in the new millennium with 80,000 drug-addled Phish fans? Expensive. Noisy. Crowded. Uninspiring.
By Bob Whitby

Hey, We Have College Degrees Too
Dear Mr. Whitby: There are two types of people in this world -- those who "get it" and those who don't. You, Mr. Whitby, do not.

In your article, "Night of the Living Heads" (January 13), you show no evidence of actually experiencing the fantastic Phish Millennium event which you say you attended. Your belittling accounts of the fans and the campground scene and your insulting recount of 14 hours of music that you never watched make me wonder whether you ever even left your couch.

The only signs that you didn't just watch the news for your "Nightmare on Alligator Alley" bit or read the "Is Your Kid on Drugs?" pamphlet to enlighten us on the drug presence, was a light treatment of reassuring quotes and paraphrases by peaceful fans and police who "get it." The quotes, like "everybody is good to everybody else" and "people would come up and want a group hug with the officers" feel almost out-of-place in this article that seems to be nothing more than your forum for settling a grudge.

Did we spoil your New Year's? Or did you just feel like a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing tourist on the wrong side of the tracks? It sounded more like you invited yourself to someone else's party and got your just desserts.

What's all the hubbub, then? It was about uniting around Phish, the most electrifying band in live entertainment today, with their fans, 80,000 dedicated souls -- most disillusioned by the corporate state of popular music -- for a simple party of millennial proportions. That was why I began planning for this event in July. That was why I paid $150 (a modest price compared to a cover at a bar or a black-tie gala). And most importantly, that is why the rest of the world was dancing while you stewed in your car on your way home, planning your attack on a band and a bunch of peace-loving fans who never meant you any harm -- we just came to party.

I have a college degree, I have a "real job," and I went to Big Cypress. What's the big difference between you and me? Simple: I get it. Don't be too ashamed, sir, your ignorance excuses you. The joke has always and will always be on you and your "camp."

Jordan Miller
via the Internet

We're Getting Phished Out
Hey, I really liked your style of writing and appreciated your honesty about the whole ordeal ("Night of the Living Heads," January 13). You had some good things to say.

I was thoroughly enjoying your article, as I do not fancy myself a hippie, I am definitely a Phish head with my head not that far up in the clouds. But that part about Phish only being in it for "the bread"; you state it as a fact. I can't state this as a fact either, but those four white guys from Vermont love to play.

I'm sure money is a great bonus, but the day that their music is all for the money is the day I stop seeing them and the day thousands stop seeing them. I'm not accusing, not even angry, just thought you might want to check that out.

Kate Knapp
via the Internet

Hollywood's True Colors
Districting in Hollywood was supposed to ensure at least one minority candidate on the commission. Think again.
By Julie Kay

Harvey "He Always Has an Opinion" Slavin
The Emerald Hills snobs on the Hollywood City Commission, including that political phony, Mayor Mara Giulianti, whose integrity is always in question, are at it again ("Hollywood's True Colors," Julie Kay, January 13).

As Julie Kay made mention, Giulianti and her cronies at city hall seem to be doing everything possible to stop Joy Mack -- a black woman and probably the most qualified candidate in District 2 -- from being elected to the Hollywood City Commission.

While Giulianti and her neighbors in Emerald Hills worry about whether or not the swales on the streets there are manicured enough to their satisfaction, the Liberia neighborhood remains chronically blighted. While there's a wealth of police cars patrolling Emerald Hills, the cops, whose union supports Giulianti because she continues to support their bloated salaries and perks (all at taxpayer expense), seem to be missing in District 2, except to harass innocent citizens.

If integrity is the issue in the race for mayor, Mara Giulianti should step down now, before Election Day. No wonder Giulianti did not return calls from New Times to respond to allegations about stacking the District 2 race against Joy Mack. What could she say except probably to lie to protect her already tainted reputation?

She's lucky her father lives in Hillcrest and has convinced those foolish old farts to vote for her (with a wink at the fact she is a "member of the tribe" -- Jewish!). Maybe, just once, the Metamucil crowd at Hillcrest will look past her heritage and realize what a scourge Mara Giulianti has been as mayor of Hollywood.

Harvey "By the Way, I'm Jewish" Slavin

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