Get Off On Life
A big world outside your pants: This is one of the saddest things I have read in quite a while ["A Beautiful Risk," Ashley Harrell, Feature, 6/10]. We are losing an entire generation of brilliant thinkers to this ridiculous obsession with sex.
Sex is great. Sex is fabulous. But sex is only one small part of life. If it weren't so easy to use sex to sell soda and cars and weekly magazines, people could deal with their sex life as part of life and get on with the other parts.
But people like poor Mr. Gray land in a community of people who can only define themselves by their particular obsession with some facet of sex. Out the window goes the energy Mr. Gray and the rest of the "performance artists" could be contributing to the world.
Sex is not art; art is not sex. Reading poetry while naked is not art. It's wallowing. Accept the sexual part of your nature and get on with exploring the rest of your nature. It's a big wide world outside our pants. Let's be part of it.
Blog Goes Off the Rails
Gunn community not laughing: Joe Eskenazi's recent blog post ["Again? Gunn High School Students' Mothlike Attraction to Caltrain Tracks Has Grown Surreal," The Snitch, 6/5] is offensive, poorly written, and ignorant to boot.
If Eskenazi meant his article to be humorous, rest assured that the Gunn community is not laughing; kidding around about a tragic series of suicide attempts (two successful) is in thoroughly poor taste and should be below the standards of this publication.
If, as Eskenazi claims in the comments section, the blog post was intended seriously, then why the sarcastic remarks? "What's in the water over at Gunn High?" is an inappropriate joke to make after describing the 1994 drinking fountain explosion, as is Eskenazi's blithe ending remark about Caltrain budget cuts. These comments seem to go beyond poor word choice and into the realm of offensive humor.
Finally, Eskenazi's claims about the proximity of the tracks prompting these suicide attempts are laughable — if he had been willing to do even the most basic investigation into the subject, he would have seen that other high schools in the region are far closer to the tracks.
I found this article to be insultingly poor, and wanted to make my dissatisfaction clear. I hope SF Weekly will avoid publishing such material in the future.
Davis Tower Kingsley
Joe Eskenazi responds: I could have made my points more clearly and with far more sensitivity. That said, many commenters seem to have misread this story and attribute motives to it I never intended. I decidedly did not suggest the school's nearness to train tracks "prompted" suicides, only that people in a suicidal state in proximity to such tracks could well commit suicide on them. My closing line was "God help us all." This was sincere; the lack of a ready remedy for this situation is worrisome and tragic.
Who cares what the church says?: Matt Smith's argument that government-sanctioned marriage violates the separation of church and state doctrine is mistaken ["Domestic Spouses," Column, 6/3]. Marriage is an enforceable legal contract; property disputes and contracts are resolved by the court system, not the church. Furthermore, Smith's argument that California voters could convert married partners into domestic partners is suspect given that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared marriage a civil right; the initiative would certainly be deemed constitutionally invalid.
The marriage ceremony is irrelevant to the legal status of a married couple; the filing of a marriage license with a county clerk is what matters. Moreover, domestic partnerships are not legally equivalent to marriage. Domestic partnerships are unable to file joint tax returns, qualify for certain types of Social Security benefits, or bring a lawsuit in a federal court — rights that married couples enjoy. It appears that the editorial staff of SF Weekly failed to notice that domestic partnerships provide significantly fewer legal rights than marriage.
And why is SF Weekly seeking the opinion of the church concerning a controversial legal decision? Priests are not a credible source of legal information. I am unable to fathom how the editorial staff of SF Weekly could publish an article regarding an important court decision without quoting a single attorney or legal scholar. SF Weekly should have conducted research before printing the article, instead of quoting people whose opinions are of little consequence.