A crown of scorn: I found Ron Russell's article "Moonstruck" [Feb. 22] unpleasant and offensive. The only saving grace I can find in SF Weekly publishing it is that it was a "feature" and not "news."
From the first sentence and paragraph which reads rather strangely, seeming to contradict itself (bad typing or editing?), to the second part of his last sentence, which is incorrect (the crown ministers are putting on churches is not for the Rev. Moon but to acknowledge Jesus), the article is so badly written, so full of emotive, prejudicial words and phrases, which if used about a person's race or sexual orientation rather than religion would cause a mass of protests.
The Rev. Moon does not, in the usual sense of the word, have "pretensions" but "aspirations," but it would take too long to address all the points, nearly every line has an adjective, adverb, phrase, whatever, that is totally subjective.
I don't know your publication, I'm based in Amsterdam (NL not NY!) and was just notified of this article as a Yahoo! Alert, but I'm not impressed.
And a blessing: Good job on the article. I have been a member of the Unification Church since 1974 and I found Ron Russell's article much more thoughtful, fair-minded, and serious, as well as well-researched, than almost any about our church that have been printed in the "mainstream press."
Via the Internet
Suburban angst: Matt Smith's talking apples and oranges ["Greening the Left," Feb. 15].
Democrats and liberals are two different things. He hit the nail on the head about building a more liberal society, but that has nothing to do with Democrats being elected.
He has brilliantly stated the case (in this paper and elsewhere) why San Francisco must give up the NIMBY attitude and start looking more like Manhattan, i.e., build up. We can't "bomb the suburbs" if we're unwilling to build houses anywhere else.
Democrats aren't winning nationally because they are tied to concepts that cannot be supported in a society that dwells in increasingly economically homogeneous neighborhoods.
To be short, I hope Matt will keep hitting San Francisco on its fundamental flaw in reasoning when it comes to building a more liberal society. San Francisco's lack of will to grow directly corresponds to the sprawl of the California valley, and they must be called on it. But why Democrats aren't winning, welp, that's a whole different ball of wax.
Love the writing, as always.
Pets.com -- the joke that never gets old: I enjoyed Matt Smith's article and I understand that he generally writes more editorially than as a straight journalist. His criticisms regarding the true causes of our right-leaning nation may be valid, but I would have to suspect his judgment because I personally think he's wrong regarding the dot-com bust.
Smith wrote, "Nobody seemed to notice that telecom monopolies were delaying broadband rollout, and choking off dot-com dreams." I don't think it was telecoms or the availability of broadband that resulted in the demise of the numerous well-funded dot-com ideas. I believe it was a basic lack of coherent and sensible business plans. Enormous sums of money were invested in various dot-coms, in hopes of replicating the success investors had reaped from companies such as Netscape. Since everyone had the same idea at the same time -- that is, invest in a dot-com -- there was more money available than sound business ideas. In that manner poor business ideas with inexperienced leadership wasted a lot of investors' money. Once the investors realized the futility of many of these business ideas -- e.g., Webvan, Pets.com -- they withdrew their support and money from these and other suspect ventures.
Telecom corporations did not burst the dot-com bubble; bad ideas and little to no return on investments did.
Last week in "Mad Styles" [Books & Art], Sharon Mizota incorrectly identified artwork by "Dale Andrews" (a pseudonym) as created by Andrew Brandou. That work is, in fact, created by artist Dale Sizer, painting from Brandou's layouts. SF Weekly regrets the error.