Modern Chain Gang
There may not be paychecks, but there is still payment: Of course they are being paid ["Pants on the Ground," Joe Eskenazi, Sucka Free City, 5/30]. They [prisoners] have free room, board, and medical care because they are incarcerated. All of that costs taxpayers considerably more than the wages they would earn doing the same amount of work if they weren't in jail.
Don't forget these employees are in prison: Perhaps if they weren't in prison for committing crimes, they could receive fair wages for their efforts. I'm not feeling any sympathy here. Especially since it's voluntary.
Aging Rock Stars
Don't omit Van Halen's history in critique: Where did this piece of journalistic nastiness come from? Not really a review of the album — it has been out since early February — and not really a review of their live show, either ["Not Right Now," Dan Weiss, Music, 5/30]. And why compare Van Halen to Lady Gaga and Jack White? Reaching gold takes longer than the good old days. Believe it or not, the boys can still rock pretty good in concert with a pretty stripped-down set. Dave can't sing or jump as high as in 1984, but otherwise the band is locked in. That's if the writer has seen them live lately.
Blog Comments of the Week
A nation of people fascinated by television and food: Amazing, so much said and done in the name of food ["You Can Watch the Food Network a Full Day and Only See Five Shows," Michael Leaverton, SFoodie, 5/30]. Simple nourishment has turned into a gigantic portion of corn pone. The people in front of the cameras are just characters who are not especially good-looking, not bad but not exceptional, yet they have become food gods. Everyone watches cooking shows, yet most people either eat at restaurants, purchase premade food at the deli, or stop at a fast food place on the way home. People just keep eating and eating and eating.
Former Mill Valley resident wonders where the backbone went: What's wrong with the Mill Valley parents, PTA, and school district ["Sheila Sammon Milosky, S.F. Principal Accused of DUI, Pleads Not Guilty" Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 5/29]? Milosky has exhibited a terrible example to the children and community of Mill Valley. This former longtime Marin resident remembers when Mill Valley had a backbone.
New standup comics must pay to get in: The Punch Line has an extremely fair system ["How Bay Area Comics 'Break In' at the Punch Line — It's Not Easy," Dana Sitar, the Exhibitionist, 5/23]. Plus, a lot of comics think they are better than they really are when they are starting out, and having to wait a year only helps them better prepare and be stronger for getting on that stage the first time. This waiting period is a good way to nurture upcoming comics and weed out those who don't belong. And, with enough determination, this article proves that anybody can sneak by the system.