People need to understand that our system commits diagnosis discrimination. American medicine will do everything to treat your acute episode. Yet once you are stabilized, your continuing-care needs are largely up to you and your family.
Working It Out
As a current bike messenger, and one of the organizers of the "absurd" Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC), I would like to offer my personal two cents concerning Kevin Keating's letter ("Words Unspoken," Sept. 11).
Upon reading his letter, which basically ripped us a new asshole, I found myself with a mixed response, reaching two totally opposing poles. First, anger at his assault on the event. Second, total agreement with his commentary on the conditions, wages, etc., in the S.F. messenger industry.
While the race itself may be a central focus, it's much more than that. There are certain ties that bind messengers worldwide, which, in the space of that short week, became more apparent to me than I could have imagined.
The CMWC is not a celebration of the people we work for, it is a celebration of the people we work with. Nor was it a case of us "taking time out to kiss [our] bosses' asses."
Keating is entirely correct in noting that our wages are rotten, conditions do suck (we risk our lives daily with no medical benefits, and, in some cases, no workers' comp, or companies that have been known to fire people for being injured), and that's not even mentioning the general lack of appreciation and general disregard toward messengers by the public. While Keating's scathing analysis of the messenger industry might hit the mark, I do fear he has taken aim at the wrong target -- why the CMWC, and not the messenger companies? And far from the hands and knees he proposes we crawl on, next time race participants will be in Barcelona, where Keating may choose to question whether so many messengers choose to scrimp and save for a year for a mere race, or for something much deeper.
What the fuck is Jeff Stark's and everyone else's problem? Why are fucking reporters and critics so down on metal ("Battle Hymns," Music, Sept. 4)?
Does Stark have any idea how long metal has been in existence? The term "heavy metal" was coined in 1968 while a reporter for the New York Times was watching Jimi Hendrix (let Stark say something negative about him, fucking idiot!). The reporter said that Hendrix's music sounded like "metal crashing together," hence the term "heavy metal."
My friends and I were at that Slayer show, and guess what? We all live in the city! So, I suppose that means we are Satanist heshers from Nob Hill! How much money did George Lazaneo make that night? And how much was it oversold by? If Lazaneo doesn't like this crowd, why doesn't he go back to hosting a gay disco? Or have "Bondage a Go-Go" or those other crappy dance parties seven days a week? He and his crew should head over to the Berkeley Square for some lessons!
I realize that in Stark's cappuccino-drinking, Thai-food-eating, trend-hopping world, it is hard to relate to people who follow something for two weeks in a row much less 10 years. Attention SF Weekly, send someone who appreciates metal as a reporter/critic. Even Dan Savage would be preferable to this loser.
Short on Laughs
My wife and I are dwarfs, and we have a 5-year-old average-size daughter. I was very angry and disheartened by Silke Tudor's review of Enanitos Toreros de America (Night Crawler, Aug. 21). Tudor ridiculed and dehumanized the dwarf performers. Their performance is not weird or strange. The Enanitos Toreros de America are professional performers, actors, and comedians. They are people, and their fans love them.
I would have loved to know more about the dwarf bullfighters. How did they come to do this type of work? Are they well-paid? Are they happy? Who represents them and where are they performing next? Are any of the performers related? How do they feel about their adoring fans? Unfortunately, Tudor walked away from the opportunity to meet the performers: "An invitation backstage is too much for me; already I'm as close to a David Lynch set as I ever want to get." Tudor could have learned so much.
I'm sorry my family and I missed the performance. I would have brought my daughter backstage for photos and autographs. Unlike Tudor, my daughter understands that the dwarf bullfighters and performers are people just like her mama and papa.
Ricardo L. Gil
In Malcolm Garcia's "Custody by Ethnicity" (Bay View, Sept. 18), Janet Forsythe should have been identified as head attorney for the Public Defender's Juvenile Division.
"The Grid" column on Sept. 4 misidentified the party affiliation of retired Superior Court Judge Jack Ertola. Ertola is a registered Democrat.