Columns » Letters

Loog Job

Letters from the week of July 22, 2004

Roasted on the spit: Regarding spitter Jeff Sullens' claims about turning the tables on war protesters (KC Strip, "Red, White and Loog," July 15), Jerry Lembcke's book The Spitting Image (New York University Press, 1998) examined reports that returning Vietnam vets were spat upon. The author found no confirmable episodes of spitting on soldiers. Proof of anything, however, seems irrelevant to supporters of the Bush regime.

Richard Lawrence Miller
Kansas City, Missouri

Temperature Rising
Moore is less: Your critique of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 was very one-sided (KC Strip, "Hot Ticket," July 8). Instead of discussing the movie for its qualities, you just agree with Mr. Moore's viewpoint. This movie and your endorsement of it make real criticism of President Bush impossible. People may lump any criticism of Bush in with this obviously one-sided, out-to-get-the-Bushes-at-any-cost, politically motivated movie. Real issues that need attention get lost when intelligent people discount them along with the hysterics of a man who hates the Bushes. Come on, Pitch. Critique the move. Don't elevate it to truth.

Melvin Williams
Kansas City, Missouri

Motor Skills
Reinventing the wheel: Was Ben Paynter trying to generate sympathy for Brian Malicoat in "An ABP for an ATV" (July 8), or was he trying to get folks to think that maybe we should make it legal to drive an ATV on the street as though it were a car? How Mr. Malicoat thought he could get away with this is beyond me.

He was following neither the DMV's regulations for a motorcycle nor the laws for a car. That he had his plates confiscated is not only fair; it should have taken fewer than 12 traffic stops in the past year for it to finally happen. I have absolutely no sympathy for the fact that he's making payments on a machine that he cannot use to commute to work because it's against the law!

It's pretty simple: Get a car, or get a motorcycle, and there won't be any problems -- OR petition your representatives in Jefferson City to alter the DMV regulations for an ATV to be classified as street-legal. Now that would be a worthwhile story for the Pitch; until then, Mr. Malicoat is just another 23-year-old, malcontent punk who has a problem with following the law.

Michael Cerny
Kansas City, Missouri

Home Run
A Stone's throw: Andrew Miller's "Field of Broken Dreams" (July 15), about Jeff Stone, is one of the finest pieces of writing I have had the pleasure to experience in years.

Thank you so very much, and bless people like Mr. Stone. Too bad pro sports does not have more human beings like Jeff. Otherwise I'd still be a fan.

Jim Meyer
Kansas City, Missouri

Down Time
Beach head: Regarding Allie Johnson's "A Bad Trip" (June 10): Rebecca Beach facilitated an addictive, destructive drug deal and profited from it. As often happens during felony drug sales, a robbery ensued. Guns were fired, and someone died.

The felony-murder rule short-circuits the normal due process for a murder prosecution. Perhaps charges of aiding and abetting an armed robbery and aiding and abetting a murder would be more fair and just.

Four years for the above-amended hypothetical charges would be enough justice. The victim was a participant in his own murder. The defendant is a mother with two children, and society needs her to mother her children.

Justice would be served with a pardon.

Tom Lietz
Kansas City, Kansas

Open Ranger
Jen and tonic: Hey, I'm sure the letter from Patrick McCahon on June 24 didn't bother Jen Chen too much (because he must be an idiot), but I wanted to let her know I really enjoy her column and rely on her reviews to decide where to go.

Keep up the good work!

David Nelson

Lemming drop: Enjoy Jen Chen's Night Ranger columns, but sometimes I think she gets a little high and mighty and looks down on anyone who might dress in a trendy way.

Don't get me wrong -- a lot of the people out at bars are annoyingly similar -- but not everyone who dresses that way is.

Matt Moriarity
Kansas City, Missouri

Poster Boy
Nein!: I have seen written reviews about and advertising for Tech N9ne in the Pitch (Nathan Dinsdale's "Under Dogs," June 24). Sure, he's obviously a popular local musician. I visited the Tech N9ne Web site recently to leave him a message. Could not seem to get signed up, despite my efforts at the "join the crew" page.

After the Tech N9ne van, full of posters and CDs, stopped by the Boys and Girls Club baseball fields at 43rd and Cleveland recently, I sent just one message to Mr. Tech N9ne: Do not come to our games where kids (from toddlers to teens) are attending a family event and pass out the poster with you eyeballing down the barrel of a gun! A local celebrity like this should know better; enough of our kids have had plenty of guns in their lives.

Enjoy your hell in your own space, along with your fans, managers and promoters, but I, along with several other parents, must insist -- keep the gun-toting, violent posters off our fields.

Donald Jonas Jr.
Kansas City, Missouri

Kiss and Tell
Tongue tied: I just have to drop a line on Geoff Harkness' "Kiss, Me" (June 24), primarily because I have the same school-kid memories. It was my first "concert" experience ever -- my Kingston Trio mother (bless her) took me to see Kiss as my 9th-birthday present. Pure history -- it was the 1976 Destroyer tour at the Memphis, Tennessee, Mid-South Coliseum, with Dr. Hook (Dr. Hook? WTF?) opening. I remember every twisted moment of it better than I remember most of college -- from Ace's fog-machine Les Paul to Peter's emotive "Beth" sung to a rosebud while sitting on a milk crate. It was a cornerstone of my life. I still have the tourbook (minus the Army induction coupon) safely enshrined.

Though I really didn't follow them much past Double Platinum or so, I still savor that moment. And yes, I taped the unmasking on ur-MTV, as unfortunate as that was.

But Harkness should have added the wretched interview that Gene Simmons did on NPR's Fresh Air show 2 years ago. I guess it's notorious in that it generated the most listener response in the history of the show -- I heard it on a long, sleep-inducing interstate trek, and it was horrid. Granted, the female host's smug attempts to deconstruct Kiss were totally wrong, but Simmons' repeated insistence on referring to his penis size and how much he was sure that the host really wanted to blow him was gratuitous. He came off as simply stupid, which we know he is not. I'm sure NPR has it archived somewhere -- it's a keeper.

Anyway -- good article. Took me back.

Will Southerland
Bradenton, Florida

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