Sorry, Our Mistake
While your cover article in the June 3 edition ("Perverted Justice?") was very informative and well-written, this transplanted Marylander has to call your attention to the incorrect spelling of Johns Hopkins University.
You're Welcome, You're Welcome, You're Welcome
Thank you, thank you, thank you for publishing David Pasztor's special report, "Building a Better Bomb" (May 27).
For a nuclear free world,
Worst Street Fair
Hey, you forgot to include this one in your "best of" issue (May 20) -- Worst San Francisco Street Fair: Union Street Fair. Every white-bread fraternity guy and his bleached-blond girlfriend are in attendance. Other than a token swing band for some semblance of eclecticism, there is nothing but excited merchants and choked beer gardens that look like a 100-player game of collegiate twister.
When the next earthquake hits, may it swallow up Union Street and its fair.
... And They Pooped Two Times, and So On, and So On ...
Thanks for promoting responsible dog ownership ("Best Off-Leash Dog Run," Best Of San Francisco). It's good to let folks know that only voice-controlled (i.e., nonaggressive) dogs and poop-picking-up-people are welcomed to this piece of dog heaven. Often folks think, "What's the harm with one little poop from my dog?" However, one dog times two visits/week = two poops, two dogs times two visits/week, three dogs ... well, you do the math. Thanks again!
No Flies on Tom Waddell
Your characterization of the waiting room and activities of the Tom Waddell Clinic in the Best Of San Francisco '98 ("Best Place to Break Up With Your Significant Other") came across as mean-spirited, dismissive, and elitist. Although failed humor stands as a humiliating outcome on its own, the writer of this piece eclipses even the indulgences polite society extends to those exercising their freedoms at the expense of others.
I personally challenge your writer to come and spend the day at Tom Waddell Clinic. He will find neither yellow walls nor buzzing flies. He will, however, find a newly renovated, modern clinic with a dedicated staff caring for a population whose appreciation and gratitude overshadows any unwarranted sense of shame from ill-advised writers.
Eileen Shields, Public Relations Officer
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Editor's note: We didn't say the Waddell Clinic was a bad place to receive medical care. We said it was a good place to break up with your significant other.
Whoever it was on your staff who wrote that "[t]he brewpub craze has utterly failed to produce a traditional pub in San Francisco" ("Best Pilgrimage for Beer," Best Of San Francisco '98) has utterly failed to check out San Francisco's original brewpub (and still its best), the San Francisco Brewing Company in North Beach. If this isn't a traditional pub, I don't know what is. And believe me, the beer is much better than anything you can find at Steelhead.
Those Were the Days, We Guess
There was an almost wistful recurring theme of nostalgia to your Best Of San Francisco issue -- from the smell of freshly cut grass at Levi's Plaza, to the old streetcars of Suisun, to the sounds of KABL radio, to the '70s tackiness of Tanforan, to Anna's Cookies, the St. Francis Fountain, and even the Geneva Drive-In. Great Sinatra feature too ("Sinatra: The Voice, the Spark, the Image," Music, May 20).
Swinging With KABL
Great to be included ("Best AM Radio Station," Best Of San Francisco)! Many thanks from a real fan of your publication.
Carter B. Smith
Dis Is It
Wow, as part of the S.F. music scene since the Mabuhay Garden days, I've never been dissed like that before ("Local Yokels," Music, May 6). Is Jeff Stark pissed at me? We made a thoughtful record without commercial intentions, and all Map of Wyoming gets is a couple words about capturing demographics and "star power"?
P.S. We're a Mission band.
Map of Wyoming
Getting All Vaporous
Big fucking deal if we took our name from a band we all liked in the early '90s ("Local Yokels," Music). Shall I name a couple hundred other bands whose names were inspired by artists they liked? To focus on that as the main point of your review reeks of laziness to me. Then to casually claim that we are ripping off Ride is an insult, frankly. Similarities exist, sure, but not in the blatant ways you suggested. And do you really think that Ride ripped off the Jesus & Mary Chain? That just shows further proof of your conveniently broad definition of "stolen music." I thought you were more knowledgeable than that. Oh well, have a nice life.
Dark Side of the Circuit
I have to admit that I found myself smiling a lot while I read Tara Shioya's great article on gay circuit parties ("Tales of the Circuit," May 13). As a gay man, much of the drama and details of the piece hit home and made me laugh, but under the surface of fun and frolic, the dark side lurks. Tara's piece illustrates but does not explicitly emphasize that much of what makes circuit parties attractive to circuit queens is also much of what is terribly wrong with life in the gay community.
The almost religious fanaticism over physical appearance and superficial masculinity that is rampant among urban gay men only reveals our repressed and often paralyzing insecurities and self-hatred: "If only my muscles were a little bit larger and if only I had just a little less body fat, then I'd get a perfect boyfriend and my life would be better." When it comes to internalizing unrealistic external body images, gay men can give straight women who read Cosmo a run for their money any day.
A rampant reliance on hard drugs to have fun, and the wink-wink that this behavior gets from the mainstream gay community, is only more evidence of a new cancer growing in the post-AIDS-crisis gay world. This phenomenon has as much of a claim to its place in gay life as show tunes and drag queens. But every gay man needs to take a long look at what gay culture is becoming and ask if this is really what we want or need to be. There's nothing inherently wrong with circuit parties, only some of the behaviors that they seem to cause gay men to engage in. As long as your readers understand that circuit queens are the exception rather than the rule, Tara and SF Weekly should be proud of a revealing and entertaining article.