I rather enjoyed the cover in question ("Block Party," March 25), even though I suppose it could be criticized in any number of terms -- disrespectful, sophomoric, maybe even inadvertently politically biased -- but what on earth is racist about it? O'Donoghue tossed off that word in his letter with absolutely no explanation. I have to agree with you: This sort of race-baiting is absolutely reprehensible, betraying the ideals of not only liberals and progressives, but of any decent human being of any political persuasion.
Your caustic response is well-justified. I'd tell you to hang in there if there were anything of substance to hang in there against.
Thanks, But Let's Not Take This Ass-Kicking Thing Any Further, OK?
I just read John Mecklin's piece ("Vanishing Acts"). You made me laugh. You witty man you. Funny stuff. Let's kick their asses!
OK, This Is Getting a Little Embarrassing
I found your article "Vanishing Acts" to be the best written, cleverest, and funniest article that I read in the past several years. Thank you very much.
And Now, Back to Our Regular Programming
John Mecklin's blank slates ("Vanishing Acts") could also be applied to the intellectual contents of SF Weekly since the New Times takeover a few years back. It was bad enough under Jack Shafer and Phyllis Orrick but it has gotten almost irrelevant as well as boring under Mecklin. I'd grind my teeth reading Shafer and Orrick but I fall asleep reading Mecklin. Maybe that's healthier. The only good thing about the SFNA story ("Block Party") was that it was semi-readable and semi-interesting as well as a little bit scary that such crackpots as those in the SFNA could wield such power in S.F. politics. I doubt that it would be possible to libel those folks.
O'Donoghue does strike me as a silly reactionary. Hinckle is more complex. He was a brilliant crusading journalist when he was at Ramparts and he's done some good work since. Maybe he's over the hill now but he has far more journalistic accomplishments under his belt than John Mecklin. I think Mecklin's public-in-print temper tantrum was in worse taste than what he's complaining about.
As far as advocacy journalism goes SF Weekly would be a much more interesting, lively paper if it did do that. In a sense it apes the "mainstream" media and upholds their values by default by not engaging in advocacy journalism. Why the hell else would anyone want to read an "alternative" paper?
By the way, Mecklin, I doubt if anyone would want to take more than one copy of SF Weekly but if they did you couldn't do a damn thing about it. You are simply a pompous right-wing bore who confuses the Ayn Rand novels you have read with objective reality. Get a fucking life.
Michael P. Hardesty
Regarding Albertine Michaud's April 8 response to "Heavenly Secrets" (April 1):
Albertine assumes that if other life forms do or did exist somewhere in the universe, they would be using communication systems just like the ones we humans have devised in our limited time in this 4.5-billion-year-old universe.
Lacking imagination, and hemmed in by a rather anthropocentric thought process, it's obvious that Albertine won't be threatening projects such as SETI with an employment application any time soon.
Better not tell Stephen Hawking that our solar system is empty.
Moore PC Than Sragow
In his extremely one-sided panning of Michael Moore and The Big One ("Travels With Mikey," Film, April 8), Mike Sragow hands us his usual apology for corporate mayhem, arrogance, stupidity, and cruelty. Sragow attacks Moore for asking a few direct questions of the well-paid PR mouthpieces who are hired to lie every day for their corporations, and he accepts at face value Phil Knight's absurd lie that Americans don't want to make shoes. Michael Moore may at times deserve as much criticism as anyone, but the phony in this piece, as always, is Michael Sragow.