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The Business of Sex Is Business
You can add your "Web Rouser" cover story (March 31) to the ever-growing list of subtle morality tales about Inter-net porn. By choosing to focus your story on a site like, which according to your statistics is a failure, you supply the public with the "comfort" that sin doesn't pay. You say that the "gold rush" is over and that few sites are based in the Bay Area. I have been running a vintage erotica site out of the Bay Area for just over a year now. On an initial investment of about $350 I now gross about $72,000 a year and have no employees but myself. I also helped a friend set up a site in San Francisco that after the same initial investment and about five months in business is already doing better than

I'm sure it makes your readers who work at 9-to-5 jobs feel a whole lot better to think that the success that I've had is not possible and that all the sites are the same old garbage just recycled over and over again. But, just like any business, creativity and originality pays off. You don't need to invest the kind of money that Caity McPherson did. You don't need the expensive equipment that she bought. You don't need to have the costly DSL connection that she has in her home.

She speaks at industry conferences? About what? How not to run an Internet porn site?

Joel Brandwein
Via Internet

Exactly How Far, Alex?
I'm far from a prudish reader (believe me, very far), but I found the picture of a woman's ass on the cover of the "Web Rouser" issue to be in very poor taste. This is not the kind of thing I want to leave lying around, especially at work.

Please, you can have these articles without the explicit covers. At least keep the outside acceptable for work environments.

Alex Pakter
Via Internet

The Shlain Machine
Thanks for putting the slam to the Webby Awards ceremony ("A Night at the Webbys," Bay View, March 24). The Tiffany Shlain mediamonger machine should grind to a dead halt pronto! Who cares about Web site awards other than the attention-hungry Shlain family? (Let's see, papa Leonard still peddling cockeyed art and physics books, while some other Shlain family goof was trying to take over the S.F. parrot-watching perch on the cover of the Examiner two weeks ago.)

Shouldn't this family get jobs instead of hawking their vapor talents? Tiffany, call us when you get a career, a life, and a clue. Better yet, don't call.

R.E. Harris
Western Addition

The Shlain Payroll
The Webby Awards have become the leading Internet awards by maintaining impeccable standards for production, talent, and business practices. Those standards were evident to all of us lucky enough to work with Tiffany Shlain on the 1999 Webbies. Judging from the ecstatic responses we've received, our 3,000 guests from around the world agreed.

Unfortunately, those high standards seemed to scare Jack Boulware ("A Night at the Webbys"). His limp, mean-spirited report made it clear he was unable to withstand the high-pressure environment backstage.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. When creative people collaborate, they demand a lot of themselves and their colleagues. Differences will arise and tempers will be tested. It's challenging, but achieving excellence often is.

Boulware seemed to consider this some kind of revelation. The sad thing is that, for him, it probably was.

Michael Kaminer
Patrick Kowalczyk
Kaminer Public Relations
New York

Quick! Send George Zimmer to Oakland
Talk about petty. Since when did the casual attire of a crowd solely represent that crowd's appreciation of the performer ("Sartorial Sinners," Riff Raff, March 24)? Maybe some of that "overwhelmingly white crowd" for the Sonny Rollins concert at the Masonic worked all day in a suit. Maybe with a busy family with children it is unrealistic to dress to the nines.

Last time I checked, people of all color were buying tickets (at bloated prices, no doubt), waiting in lines for sold-out shows, and, most of all, enjoying and respecting their idols and inspirations of musicianship by being there and listening and loving it. Good vibes and appreciation are valid, three-piece suit, T-shirt, or not.

Kelly DeMartini

Rules, rules, rules. Now we gotta have jazz rules too ("Sartorial Sinners")? Hey, George Cothran (aka the Mr. Blackwell of creative music), I wonder: Did you bother to ask any of those "jerks" who dared to follow their own fashion code at the Sonny Rollins concert if they were musicians? Or if they spent their last $20 on the ticket to see the master, instead of a "fedora or leather cap"?

Oh, All Seeing One, should a poor man (knowing that the master, at 68, may not be by this way again) not attend the concert if he can't "dress to the nines"? And by the way, Judge G, what instrument do you play?

The "shame" and "embarrassment" you describe are your own, George. The fact that, for you, Rollins' playing was "a footnote" compared with your obsession over people's rags speaks clearly as to your qualifications as a critic of creative music.

I have an idea! When that other guardian of jazz propriety, Herr Marsalis, lays out all the rules and declares the True Jazz Republic, maybe you could be minister of fashion! Then creative music can be safe, just like the opera, and the symphony, and all the other co-opted playthings of your owners class.

E. Berkvist

Noxious Willie
Your "Law and Odor" article (Mecklin, March 24) was very revealing, and an excellent insight into this jerk named Willie Brown. Would to God that it could be in the hands of every San Francisco voter before the next mayoral election.

I wonder if S.F. has had enough of this disaster of a mayor, or do you think the left-wingers and liberals will keep him in office? If the electorate sees fit to send him back for a repeat, God help the city.


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