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A Neo-Geezer Speaks
The paper is improving tremendously, but your Gen-X reporters need to do their historical homework. Robert Wilonsky's claim that Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade "used the assassination of the leader of the French Revolution to parallel John Kennedy's murder" ("Barron Storey's Life Is an Open Comic Book," Jan. 17) made me laugh out loud. I saw the play and the movie and reread the text many times when Marat/Sade first came out, since I was then doing some acting and had mutual friends/comrades with author Weiss, and was also an enthusiastic reader of Sade himself. Marat/Sade had no more to do with Kennedy than Allen Ginsberg's Howl had to do with the blues of Howlin' Wolf.

Come on, guys and gals. If you never saw Marat/Sade, don't be afraid to ask us neo-geezers before you improvise in print.

Stephen Schwartz
San Francisco Chronicle

Robert Wilonsky replies: Schwartz's claim that Weiss' Marat/Sade isn't a metaphor for the Kennedy assassination is to deny a fact as obvious as the nose on Schwartz's ... knee. Clearly, Schwartz -- an actor, or so he claims in his letter -- misunderstands such concepts as metaphor and critical interpretation, relying instead on the literal translation of the printed word (so like an actor). Storey's interpretation of Weiss' play relies on obscured meaning and his own interpretation of Weiss' work, not to mention the exterior influences of other related material close to Storey's heart -- including the Kennedy assassination. Schwartz's letter didn't make me laugh out loud; it just made me cringe.

Fly Away
O, when? When will North Beach stop attracting tortured artists like so many flies to shit ("Barron Storey's Life Is an Open Comic Book")?

Joie Cook
Nob Hill

Presidio to the People
The Presidio sellout is the biggest rip-off since Teapot Dome ("Off-Base," Jan. 10)! The Presidio is the people's park just like Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or Glacier National Park. How can anyone support such a rip-off of the people's park in San Francisco?

Peter Bauer

Dissing Drones
From reading the headlines and the photo caption accompanying John Sullivan's article about the Rainforest Action Network protest ("High Anxiety," Bay View, Jan. 10), I was looking forward to expanding my understanding of an important political effort.

But when I started to read the article I never made it past the phrase "Financial District drones [who] were shuffling out to lunch." I work in the Financial District. I even wear a tie sometimes. And like most humans I like to step outside (often with a spring in my step) to buy something to eat around the middle of the day. Most important, I took my current job because I knew it would be interesting, challenging, and, at least in my humble view, potentially useful to society.

So what possible purpose was served by using a phrase that blithely dismisses me and the thousands of others like me? I know you're a liberal. So are many other people who work in the Financial District.

I'll make you a deal. I won't judge you by your work attire or your office address but rather by the work you do and the causes you support as an individual. How about giving me the same courtesy?

Ted Weinstein
Noe Valley

Let's Dance
I loved "Blakk Power" (Bay View, Jan. 3) by Joe Brown.
It was delightful, and earthly fun! I had the honor of meeting this talented artist [Joan Jett-Blakk] at a beautiful party in honor of our great Supervisor Ammiano. All I can say is if she does become president, Ms. Blakk may I have the first dance?

Marvin-Michel Le Grier II, Esquire

Coffee Clutch
I was very impressed with the depth of coverage and quality of writing in George Cothran's article about Muni ("Willie's Wild Ride," Dec. 27); my eye was delightedly captured by the photographic vision of Pamela Gentile, and I appreciated your layout decisions, allowing me to finish the article without having to track down connecting pages.

I take issue, however, with the suggestion that the Muni driver is at fault if Cothran spills his coffee on the 8 Market. Please, carry your coffee somewhere out of range of my white coat! Muni is not a rolling cafe!

I hope you can manage this and still continue to roll out excellent articles like this one.

Barbara Roos


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