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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pop Vulture

Hey, it takes a lot of work to become the bard of the self-absorbed, self-righteous, comfortably middle-class progressive: Great job on skewering the Chron and particularly columnist Mark Morford in "Stupid White Tricks" [Matt Smith, Sept. 14].

I first heard of Morford a couple of months ago via a blog posting that described him as a "brilliant" columnist for the S.F. Chron. Hmmm, I thought, never heard of the guy. So I followed a link and found myself reading an SF Gate article by Morford which questioned the career-is-everything myth (a position for which I have no small amount of sympathy). But as I read the piece, wherein the author used his über-gutsy sister and his über-hip and -sexy girlfriend as evidence of the rectitude of the path less chosen, I began to sense that he was nothing less than the bard of self-absorbed, self-righteous, comfortably middle-class progressive S.F. The article was shot through with hypocrisy, but never more so than when Morford took a break from bashing ladder-climbing, American-style, to describe his sister's midlife decision to become a naturopath. Morford's conversion was dizzying; all of a sudden he was Vince Lombardi with edgy tats, solemnly informing us that Sis was "top of her class" and that her school was the "toughest to get into" not to mention "incredibly brutal." Apparently for Morford, bald-faced striving is OK, as long as the arena is "non-Western."

None of the several Morford pieces I've since read have done much to change my first impression -- basically, they seem to consist of the author stringing pop-culture references together with Itchy & Scratchy imagery in an attempt to convince the reader that he and his circle of friends are hip and clever and enjoying life more than Republicans (yawn). And if that fails, there's the requisite slamming of G.W. Bush and gang, just to make sure we're all on the same page, even if we can't really follow his metaphors.

And now Matt Smith has busted Morford's chops for pretending that a party in the Black Rock Desert is the ballsiest, most heroic response to the troubles of our times. Keep up the good work, Matt. This guy gives voice to what's wrong with the left in S.F.

John Jasberg
San Francisco

Flesh and Spirit

And a woman who finds Catholicism inclusive: Your blanket label of Matthew Fox's notion of Christianity as "inclusive" ["The Reformation of Matthew Fox," Sept. 7] shows a deep misunderstanding of the Jesus Christ Roman Catholics follow. Roman Catholics follow a Christ who was very much inclusive. He loved the prostitute, the adulterer, the tax collector, and even the Samaritan. Yet Jesus was extremely exclusive. He hated hardened hearts and continually asked his followers to turn away from their sins. However, even in today's modern world, Jesus remains very inclusive. When a baptized Catholic asks for forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance, Jesus forgives any humbly acknowledged sin. And this inclusive Jesus will forgive again and again.

What anti-Catholics like Matthew Fox have forgotten is that because human beings were created in the image of God, humans are both flesh and spirit. We are more than flesh; we are more than our sexual desires, our natural appetites, our rights, our privileges, and our demands. We are also called to a life in the spirit, a life of sanctity, holiness, and true joy. For certain, everyone will have countless moments of failure, but that is why God gave us the cross.

Linda Camba Basnage
San Mateo

Christian Complaint?

Now, try to tell us the ending of this letter didn't surprise you. Just try: I am curious; it seems as though the PC thing has really turned into hypocrisy ... or have you dressed up as a Jew, Muslim, shaved your head and donned the gold and orange robes of a Buddhist monk, perhaps the white outfits of the Sufis? But would that be laughed at, accepted, or would such a political outrage against your pranks cause a public apology for your poor taste? But hey, it is Christians, let us trash them with abandon ["Headbanging for Jesus!," Infiltrator, Aug. 31].

Well, I think it is in poor taste to do this to any group. I am sorry your sense of "rightness" doesn't extend to all people, only your chosen ones, hmmmmmmmm ....

Hey, that's fuckin' awesome! I'm a really big fan of independent news/ literature, and in some ways look up to those who write in different fashion (than the norm)!!!

Julane [last name withheld]
Mill Valley


On Page 13 of DISH 2005, the phone number listed for rnm restaurant was incorrect; it should have read 551-7900. Also, it should be noted that the cover photo was taken by local photographer Dan Dion. More of his work can be seen at SF Weekly regrets the errors.


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