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Damaging a Perfectly Good Fence Is Not Funny
As a novice columnist for the SF Metropolitan, I found Mr. Jon Carroll's writing advice very illuminating ("We Take Jon Carroll's Learning Annex Class So You Won't Have To," Dog Bites, Feb. 17). First, I realized that I've been writing about the wrong thing -- me. No one likes me, but everyone likes cats. Thank you, Mr. Carroll, for steering me in the right direction.

So instead of chronicling my horrendously slutty/alcoholic escapades, I will devote my future columns to the fascinating entity that is THE CAT. I will chase it around my house, and hopefully it will be raining, so that way I can run that damn cat outside, where I will encounter a very funny substance called "mud." Then I will tip over a pot of flowers, which, if you know anything about humor, is a very funny thing to do. And then I'll just cut to another scene -- fuck transition -- I'll grab that little son-of-a-bitch cat and bash it over my funny little backyard fence a few times, so that my cat's funny little brains come pouring out like explosive diarrhea, which is a funny thing that happens to columnists when they read too much Garrison Keillor.

C. Silo
Via Internet

Bursting With Valentine's Spirit
Wow! I picked up this week's issue intending to read the cover story first, but got delightfully sidetracked by your fun at the zoo ("It Is All Happening at the Zoo," Night Crawler, Feb. 10). I think that's about the best Valentine's article I've ever read. Full of laughs and darn educational as well.

The first and best episode I ever heard of Feldman's "Whaddaya know" talk show had an interview with a woman who described an insect species in which the female gets punctured. Your "marine invertebrate" finish topped that one. Excellent article.

Jonathan Wilkendorf
Via Internet

Dirtball Giants
I just read the article on the toxic waste at the new ballpark site ("Playing Dirty," Cothran, Feb. 10). Am I angry? Yes. Will this get brushed under the park? Maybe. You state in your article that the estimated cost of hauling the 18,000 cubic yards of dirt to a Class 1 facility would be between $1.2 and $1.4 million. Gee, if all the players on the team, with the millions they make a year, would shell out about $80,000 to pay for this cleanup, the problem is solved. What's that to them, just another BMW? Maybe if we put it to them that if they don't do this for us and themselves, they are going to have to pay for it later by playing on that land over the years. Things atrophy.

Alan Rosenfeld
Via Internet

Giant Dirtballs
Thank you for running such a well-written piece on environmental degradation ("Playing Dirty," Cothran). I was outraged and appalled to hear of the Giants' plans for their mini "Superfund" site, aka the new ballpark.

Who the hell do they think they are?
This city is known for its ability to speak out against things that we feel are wrong. Do the Giants actually believe that they will be able to fool the voters and residents of San Francisco into paving these toxins into a parking lot? Give me a break. Not only can they not fool us, the people who live here, but how do they expect to get past the actual laws that protect people from being exposed to these waste products?

It is a known fact that San Francisco Bay is probably one of the most contaminated bodies of water in California. We can thank big oil and gasoline companies like Shell, who were illegally dumping two times the legal amount of selenium into the bay, for that.

But what about our favorite ball team? Do they really want to be on the list with Shell and Chevron?

If we, the people who live in San Francisco, allow this to occur, then what? What will everyone else around the country think? California leads the rest of the country in environmental movements and ideas. The saying goes, "As California goes, so goes the country." San Francisco is the one city in the state where the majority of us environmentally minded people actually feel like we are in the majority rather than the minority. One of the only cities in the state where I, as an environmentalist, feel like my actual voice at the polls can be heard. And now a baseball team is taking that away from me.

Sadly, it is clear that the "business as usual" and "good old boy" network that the mayor has always used to make decisions with and about this city is still very much intact. If the Giants are allowed to go forward with their plans, this city of goodwill and environmental wisdom will be no better than the smog-infested, rat-filled streets of L.A.

George Cothran is right on key to question what the deal is with the Giants, and to insist that we not allow this to happen. All of us who enjoy America's favorite pastime during the dog days of summer with a cold one in hand will sleep better at night knowing that the next generation is not going to have to suffer so we had more comfortable seating that was easier to get to.

Make the Giants play the game by the rules.
Pam Jackson
El Cerrito

Ignore This Letter
I have never written a letter in response to a review in my life, and I have disagreed many times (perhaps almost all the time) with reviewers. But this review of Rushmore ("Sermon on the Mount," Film, Feb. 3) by Michael Sragow was so off track and so bad, I finally overcame my laziness and want to urge anyone with a sense of humor and an adventurous moviegoing spirit to see Rushmore.

I thought Rushmore was the best movie I have seen in a long time. I am not a writer, so I am not going to try to describe the details of why I think this is or debate the review. I will just say it has moments of humor and poignancy, and was very moving. This was all balanced beautifully. There are a lot of great little touches in this movie, such as a scene where the main character is flying a kite.

You can really feel a part of that moment -- when he is starting to take control of his life -- a lot like reining in a wild kite. I think the director, Wes Anderson, was in control and made a future classic. The performances are all wonderful; even the soundtrack was great. I am not saying all will feel this way, but it's still worth the risk to see it. This movie reminds me a bit, in spirit, of the movies made in the early '70s that, to me, took more risks and had more originality. It's the first movie since that time that gave a feeling of being a teenager, which I was back then.

Ignore this review. I think this guy saw something totally different or has some "coolness" agenda.

David Hipsham
Via Internet

Sragow the Wallower
Too bad you're too busy indulging in Oscar-pandering pabulum like Amistad to notice a true comic gem like Rushmore ("Sermon on the Mount," Film). It seems like Michael Sragow's goal is to debunk any movie that challenges (even in the slight way that Rushmore does) a notion of what movies should be, and to praise any film that wallows in familiar territory (Zorro? Give me a break).

Only when big-money technology steps in (in A Bug's Life, one of the most impressive-looking and poorly written movies in animation history) is Sragow willing to bolster innovation of any kind. In Rushmore, Anderson and company give us a film on a par with Harold and Maude and The Graduate that blurs the line between adulthood and adolescence in a way that no film I've ever seen does. Oh, and P.S., I laughed a lot more at Anthony Hopkins' performance in Amistad than Bill Murray's in Rushmore.

Darren Norris
Via Internet

Bud? Jack Drinks Pabst
Thanks to people like Jack Boulware ("Wine Brats," Feb. 17), young "brats" such as myself will continue to have a hard time persuading our brethren to put down the microbrew and raise a glass of red.

Boulware sounds like a pouty kid who never gets invited to parties -- so he criticizes those who do, and actually have fun, over something they enjoy. His biggest mistake, however, is trivializing wine as "meaningless" simply because he doesn't enjoy it -- it's considered by some the "nectar of the gods" because of its ability to produce very complex, interesting, challenging, and delicious varieties no other beverage can match while making food taste better.

Boulware, I'm certainly no richy-rich whom you describe in your article -- I just love wine, and if you don't, please don't set the rest of our efforts back. Go home and crack another can of Bud.

Peter Langenstein
Via Internet

In our Feb. 17 cover story "Wine Brats," we jumbled some letters and wound up misidentifying a restaurant. It's Za Spot, not Za Stop. We regret the error.


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