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November 29-December 5, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

But Would There Be 'Dukes of Hazzard'?

At first, I thought Annalee Newitz was mocking the film on what would have happened if the Confederate States had prevailed in the 1860s ("Welcome to the CSA," Techsploits, Oct. 25). Then I realized both she and the filmmaker were serious—and despite "painstaking research," very wrong.

The faulty assumption is that the South would take over the North.

Rather, the South wanted to be their own nation, to be left alone. Thus, there would not have been a try to "heal the rift between North and South" (though Robert E. Lee would have tried). President Lincoln would not have been "deposed" (maybe voted out of office with the candidacy of General McClellan). There would have been two separate nations.

Slavery would have eventually ended—maybe in 50 years, undoubtedly within 100—from both economic unfeasibility and changing attitudes.

(It took William Wilberforce a long time to persuade Britain to end slavery.) While this would have been horrible news for those still enslaved during those years, their free progeny would be less affected by racism because there would not have been the Southern hostility resulting from Reconstruction. (It would not have disappeared, but it would not be the fault of the Confederacy, as evidenced by the racial problems in states that were never slave states.) This is a difficult trade-off to consider: an uncertain time when one suffering would end, in exchange for less suffering for generations on out. There may never be a satisfactory answer for that.

Then there are several wild cards. One is whether General Sherman would have been stopped in his March to Atlanta (or Savannah). Many Southerners still resent the devastation Sherman wrought. If the Confederates had prevailed before then, the USA and CSA would be more amicable. (Have we forgotten that we attacked Canada during the War of 1812?) If the CSA prevailed after that, healing would have taken longer—maybe a lot longer.

Newitz never questions the filmmaker's wrong assumption. Nor, apparently, do the liberals at Sundance or who write reviews. Until liberals are willing to challenge their own assumptions (the way they want conservatives to), liberal mythology mindlessly lives on.

Larry Bickford, San Jose

Not Just Another Hotel Restaurant

Thank you for your review of the Arcadia Restaurant ("Arcadia: Take Two," MetroMenu, Oct. 25). We had walked by several times, and figured it was "just another hotel restaurant." After your review, we decided to give it a try. The food was superb, the service impeccable. Not cheap, but well worth the price.

Thanks to Stett Holbrook and Metro for our new favorite restaurant.

Dan Wagner, San Jose

Feeling Mac Dre

Re the Mac Dre article ("Feeling Himself," MetroMusic, Jan. 4): I think that this article is amazing. I have a project due in a few weeks and have been thinking about how to start this paper. I already know I want to do it on Mac Dre, but I just can't put it in words how much he means to me. His lyrics are so straightforward and from the heart it's insane, his ability to create a whole new vocabulary and way of sayin' things that has stayed around for so long. Mac Dre will always be remembered. Stuff that he put out will stay with us for ever ... to know that someone as great as him walked on this earth just two states away from me amazes me. I just want to say thank you for doing a story about him and it still shocks me how many loyal fans he has to stay with him forever. I plan on driving to California and visiting his gravesite.

Well. I'm in class, and your article almost made me cry, so I'm gonna keep on lookin' for stuff on him ...

One of the Million Loyal Fans, via email

Good luck on that project, and stay in school ... 'cause it's a great place to read Metro online.—Editor

Jingle Jangle

I think Stett's food articles in Metro are generally well done (like burgers might be). But in the Nov. 1 issue, he quoted Burger King's 1970s jingle as starting with, "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce." I am sure the third word was "pickle," in singular form. Also, the next line after "Special orders don't upset us" was "All we ask is that you let us serve it your way." He left out that line. Then regarding the singing of "have it your way" after that, I do not remember ever hearing "you can" before that. Is he sure he heard those lines sung in a 1970's commercial exactly the way he wrote them?

In his "5 Things to Love" column in the Nov. 8 Metro, he mentioned alternatives to butterball turkeys. I noticed he did not list any vegetarian alternatives. Does he have anything against Tofurkey? You can get them at Whole Foods and other stores. They have a taste and texture like actual turkey.

Bob Davis, Los Altos

Even the greatest minds of our time are still grappling with the pickle/pickles issue, Bob, as a Googling of the topic reveals. Have it your way.—Editor

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