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Letters to the Editor

Assuming the Position

Re "Generation Debt" (Cover Story, June 25): Nice plug for Barack Obama. In the middle of an article on debt by the younger generation, Erin Sherbert managed to throw in a slightly skewed plug for one presidential candidate without any mention of the other. Of course this is a newspaper, so there is no need for balance (or apparently accuracy), but it would be nice if there were at least a hint of journalistic integrity. Instead of just reprinting a politician's pledge, perhaps ask the question: "How will he pay for this?" Or maybe some other questions about a proposed policy (say, an opposing view point)? Is this too much to ask?

Also, check your facts. Obama is proposing the government match 50 percent of the first $1,000 deposited, not the full $1,000 as printed on page 37 of the article.

I heard Barack Obama just cured cancer—put me down as your source. It seems to be all the checking your paper does.

Ed Stacy


Funny that you would assume our reporter is an Obama supporter. Does the article actually endorse his plan, or use it as an example of how debt among young people is being recognized as a problem at a national level? Also, the story didn't actually specify the proposed match, but that amount would be up to $500.—Editor

Exile in Badville

I thank Steve Palopoli for defying conventional wisdom, at least somewhat, to challenge the yes, unfair "sell-out" accusations leveled at Liz Phair for her last couple of CDs (MetroGuide, June 18). However, I'm sorry that he then felt compelled to insult the "Top 40 pre-teens and moms" he generalized to be her new (less hip?) base. Though I am not a pre-teen or the mother of one, I love the later Liz stuff, and just believe Steve should have completely rather than only partially exited "snob-city." 

 Because I respect the great local music critic Gina Arnold, I once tried very hard to like Exile in Guyville, but couldn't, not because it "scared me," but because it's really bad—bad singing, bad song-writing, the lyrics aren't even that great. Really popular though. I suspect that the tape's "sacred cow" status is based on some nebulous political/sexual/gender context secret club-handshake which I missed, somehow borrowing the Sex+ POV from, but then proving superiority to, the Rolling Stones (who at the time, were not twentysomething, female or even full of angst).  Then there's this hugely false myth that the best art is always produced by people in their 20s, who will never equal their first release—that is, if it was really popular. Yet, I think any serious effort at objective study will bear out quite the opposite conclusion, be it music, theatre, film, painting, sculpture, literature, what have you (shouldn't artists get better? I feel like Carry Bradshaw), but there you have it. We're supposed to believe that "Reasonable Doubt" by Jay-Z is better than "Blueprint," too, right?  I don't see that one either.

Chen Kai Wen

San Mateo

Steve Palopoli responds: Fair enough, but the point was simply that moms bringing their pre-teens to the show probably hadn't listened to the lyrics of Phair's sexually graphic songs, whether old or new.

Grape Insight

Many thanks for the Paul Davis article, "Honor Thy Father," in relation to the Skip Spence Tribute Concert by Omar Spence and the White Album Ensemble (Music, June 18). It's important to remember how important Skip Spence was, despite being severely challenged by schizophrenia. "Oar" and the "More Oar" tribute album demonstrate, as does Paul Davis, that there was something very unique and important in Skip Spence's small body of work. His band, Moby Grape, remembered him on every album, through ensuring that at least one of his songs was included, irrespective of whether he was with the band at that particular time. His song "Omaha," from the first Moby Grape album, was recently selected by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time."

One of the many marvels of the Internet is to discover important events, such as this one. One of the drawbacks is to realize that they are too far away from where one is at present. Many thanks again for the Paul Davis profile of Skip Spence.

Bruce La Rochelle,

Ottawa, Canada

It's Called Santana Row

Regarding something in the piece in Mashup, "The Last Meeting": One of the comments was: "Just spent a couple days at Gaslamp District in San Diego. Ground floor retail, restaurants, and clubs, lots of folks roaming around. Why can't San Jose do this?"

My response: It's called Santana Row in west San Jose. Didn't San Jose have an opportunity at one time for this development to be downtown? Or maybe my recall of history is messed-up.\

Randy Breunling

San Jose

69, Dude!

Details of the gay pride festival on page 69? Very funny.

Dan Greenbank

San Jose

We don't get it.—Editor