Are you happy now?: Matt Smith's article on Ralph Nader ("What's Green and Black and Blue All Over?," Nov. 15) was irresponsible to say the least. The American public has stumbled through election after election with a remarkably hollow interest in politics. "It's soooo boring!" we collectively whine. As a result, very little has changed over the past 20 years. It may just take four years of a Bush administration to spark a little interest in the public eye. Maybe watching their civil rights flushed down the drain will make them realize their error. This is a brutal truth, but a Bush administration might be the best thing that ever happened to the United States if it finally motivates a politically challenged public. I did not, however, vote for Nader in hopes that Bush would win. Like my fellow Nader supporters, I voted against supporting the lesser evil for the millionth goddamned time, and I voted for the future. Al Gore is a centrist with ties to the same corporate interests that Bush carries, and he does not represent the left-wing population in my opinion. Matt, the Democratic Party has completely sold us out, and you're buying every focus-group-generated, corporate-funded minute of it.
Well, are you?: I've got to wonder if Matt Smith relishes the role of a postmodern print Rush Limbaugh, fabricating polemics for sheer entertainment value, or if he really believes his oft-contradictory prose.
Although Smith surely knows the mechanics of the Electoral College, he failed to point out that not one Californian who voted Green for Nader affected this election in Bush's favor one whit.
Greens transcend the traps of leftism, and move forward to craft a new way that is neither liberal nor conservative but promotes the Green values over dysfunctional party lines, environmental wisdom over short-term profit, grass-roots democracy over top-down authoritarianism, and that notion we must do better than the lesser of two evils.
And given our recent local experience between Frank Jordan and Willie Brown, I can say that I pity the fool who prefers a smart liberal shark to a merely incompetent conservative placeholder.
Poet's corner: I want to express my gratitude for your groundbreaking feature story by staff writer Mark Athitakis ("The Return of the Bastard Angel," Nov. 8). It's by far the most significant news article on my life and work in many years. I feel rescued from the deafening silence in the media.
Unfortunately, my friend of 26 years, Gregory Moloney, was not mentioned in the article, although I spoke of him several times as essential for the interview. After my coronary bypass four years ago, I was helpless for six months. His assistance then and now has been indispensable.
Your subhead causes erroneous reactions in some readers. I've already had an e-mail from an unknown admirer warning that I'll regret my relationship with ACT UP. But I have no relationship with ACT UP. Two members happen to be friends. As for their behavior and beliefs, they're not necessarily mine, and I don't tell them what to do.
Finally, the subhead is misleading. I can't for the life of me imagine how [ACT UP] can resurrect my reputation. Only a major critic, publisher, or publicist could do that. I have the credentials. In short, I don't count on ACT UP for anything. I do count on my two friends for their much-needed assistance and their brilliance, both of which are life-giving. Again, I'm very grateful to SF Weekly for this wonderful article.
Which is no doubt why you're so popular: Harold Norse doesn't need ACT UP S.F. to "resurrect his reputation." Harold's reputation ranks him as one of the great gay poets of all time. However, I must point out, ACT UP S.F.'s message of universal health care, an end to corporate control of medicine, and a need to meet the basic necessities for the vast majority of people (i.e., housing, drug rehabilitation, and education for minorities) in order to end AIDS is a message that can only be despised by AIDS-industry CEOs, landlords, corporate pharmaceutical bosses, biotech researchers, and Pentagon officials. For the rest of us such a message is good news!
They can't be all bad. They enjoy poetry: I feel extremely sorry for anyone counting on Todd Swindell or ACT UP S.F. As a gay man with AIDS, I'm very familiar with Todd & Co. (via the medical marijuana movement). These ACT UP S.F.ers do play by the rules -- the rules of any politician: Step on others, stab them in the back, and do anything you like to get where you want. How fortunate for them that they have been so willing and able to manipulate sick people. They're exploiting a community that according to them doesn't exist. If HIV doesn't cause AIDS, then why have I been hospitalized with serious infections?
Run, Harold Norse, run!
We double-checked. He's serious: Matt Smith -- he can't be serious, can he ("Not Com," Nov. 8)?
Let me see if I've got this straight: Artists, writers, sculptors, and poets are being driven from the area in droves due to exorbitant rents, and the loss of ad copy hacks is the real tragedy?
It has been my burden to have been tangentially involved with the dot-com economy and some of its Wunderkinder. Their chief characteristic has been their breathtaking sense of entitlement: Many (if not most) of them have never had to pay any dues as writers, so the concept of dues-paying is seen as quaint. They knew, or should have known, that the Dot-Com Spring was a boomtown; should I feel for them when their mines played out and their grubstake was spent? They surely felt little enough for friends of mine who have moved from the area when rents were driven up.
These delicate flowers of the Dot-Com Spring are no beats, no diggers, no cafe society in Montmartre; they are those lucky (and, dare I say it, privileged) enough to fall into really lucrative gigs early in their careers. I hope they all get lucky again. Somewhere else.
At least you haven't let it make you bitter: Boo-hoo, the poor little dot-con workers are finding out now just how fake their phony economy is. Why not write a story on the families and working people who have been forced from our beautiful city because they can't afford the skyrocketing rents caused by the dot-con "spring"? Matt, you are the one who should be ashamed! There are hard-working people trying to preserve what little affordability is left here, and the best you can do is call them complainers? I too am nostalgic, for a time when working folks could afford to live here and not have every bit of what is cool about S.F. ruined by selfish, self-absorbed, dot-con yuppies!