Al Qaeda isn't funny: Ha ha ha. Very funny. Yes, it seems the whole thing's a joke to you ("The Enemy in Our Back Yard," July 3). Three thousand dead -- hysterical. If you don't believe that al Qaeda is dangerous, then you are either ignorant, stupid, or delusional. Yes, Virginia, there are terrorists! And they really, really want to kill Americans! But then again, you find that humorous, right? Perhaps living on the West Coast makes you immune to the pain and fear people have here.
New York, N.Y.
We hope you laughed quietly: Thank you. Best laugh I've had in a long time. BTW, the link to this article is being passed around among librarians.
Shake shake shakedown: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for printing Dan Strachota's July 3 article ("You can dance if you want to -- well, no, you can't," Pop Philosophy, on proposed, vaguely written laws holding rave and dance promoters liable for drug use at their events). As a DJ and longtime member of the rave/club scene, I am deeply disturbed by the federal, state, and local government attempts to impose upon our freedom to assemble, dance, and enjoy music.
Raving is deeply spiritual for me, and it has affected my life in a thousand positive ways. It certainly bothers me that older, more conservative people don't recognize the value of our gatherings -- but to go so far as to try to ban them? That's downright criminal.
And the "There are drugs!" excuse is a weak one. There's more drug use per capita at a rock concert than at any rave. No, the "rave crackdown" is simply a knee-jerk reaction by people who don't understand this aspect of modern culture, and fear it. Jazz events faced the same opposition at the turn of the century, as did swing dancing, rock 'n' roll, and so on. Despite the best efforts of conservatives in each time period, each type of music survived and became important parts of our culture. Raves and electronic music will do the same.
Oh, now you're interested in politics: "Controlled substance"? Are not alcoholic drinks a controlled substance? Are the people wanting this bill about to cut off my beer supply?
Fort Worth, Texas
Equality of the sexism: Great, yet more juvenile-male art direction from SF Weekly. As if the "Best of San Francisco" issue (May 15) wasn't bad enough -- featuring photos of a fully clothed young male manhandling a scantily clad young female -- now we have the cover illustration for "Sleeping With the Auditor" (June 26), featuring a faceless, looming, mostly clothed male zipping up his fly while behind him hunches an Andy Capp-style bimbo who (from the look on her face) has not only been date-raped but was not even allowed to remove her spiked heels and stockings before her violation.
If SF Weekly insists on continuing to present such unhealthy images of male-female relations, then I'd like to see the flip side on the cover of a future issue: a fully clothed, looming woman smugly powdering her nose while behind her hunches a pouting, unwillingly used, nearly naked boy toy. Uh-huh.
Amanda J. Sanow