Musician gives sound advice: I very much enjoyed last week's cover story, and was so pleased to see an iconic family get some well-deserved coverage ["Punk Family Values," 5/7]. As you well know, Henry Rosenthal is a creative force within the Bay Area filmmaking community, and he was an invaluable adviser to me while making my first film, Audience of One. Not only did he employ me during the time I was making the film, he also offered creative services including equipment, insurance, and, most important, sound advice.
So thanks for acknowledging a guy and his family who have been so vital to keeping San Francisco's creative counterculture alive and well.
A Matter of Principles
You can't lose what you never had: Thank you for a very fair and reasonable cover story about the Nader/Gonzalez candidacy ["Party Crashers," 4/30]. It was not what I expected, especially given the cover art showing the candidates with fingers in their ears, implying (as so many Democrats do) that running for office when they have little hope of actually winning could only be some sort of self-centered ego trip. I believe the opposite to be true: that Nader and Gonzalez are selfless and in it for a reason the Democrats have long forgotten about: principles.
At this point the Democratic Party wants only to win at any cost, and any principled approach shines a light into the void where its heart should be. This is the only reason I can figure that the Democrats have such a violent reaction to marginal third-party candidates, but their rhetoric is hard to take seriously when Matt Gonzalez is such a reasonable, eloquent, and decent human being.
As for me, the Democrats don't have to worry about losing my vote — because they never had it to begin with. They are free to present candidates with better ideas and more integrity than Nader and Gonzalez, but I won't be holding my breath.
Who Needs a Free Education?
Not this guy: Matt Smith is apparently upset at Don Fisher of the Gap for not supporting mandatory preschool education ["Fall into the Cash," 4/23]. Gee, wasn't that exactly what the majority of Californians said when they voted? After all, San Francisco public schools are doing such a bang-up job, we should start the P.C. indoctrination at age 3. These spoiled tykes won't need a mother if San Francisco City Hall can do it better. It takes a village, right?
San Francisco's academic achievement is consistently amongst the lowest in the nation. And so that should be reason enough to force the kids into the system earlier? Any low-income family desperate to punish their children already has Head Start.
Matt Smith is also angry that Fisher is supporting charter schools. Matt is upset that charter schools are nonunion. I guess he is so über-union-friendly that he's in a union too at SF Weekly, right? The reason charter schools across the country aren't in unions is that they're controlled by the same failing school boards that run the public schools. These boards give the charters only a small percentage of funding that the noncharters get.
That's why charters are nonunion: no money! It's not a plot by Fisher — it's a plot by the school boards to undermine charters. You know, charter schools are those family-friendly, innovative schools that were originally parent-sponsored. Matt doesn't like that we can't force-feed the kids the politically correct pablum the other hapless clones get.
There is only one reason Matt doesn't like Fisher: He's a winner and Matt is ... not. Matt should give it up; he's been found out.
Last week's feature story "Punk Family Values" [5/7] incorrectly stated that The Devil and Daniel Johnston, one of the films Henry Rosenthal produced, was screened at Cannes. In fact, another of the films he produced, The Beast, was shown at the prestigious film festival. SF Weekly regrets the error.