I'm famous for writing nature books for the general public. I have this great idea for a new book, Elephants as City Pets; it will probably put me on the best-seller list if I work out a way to do the necessary research for it. I've hit a snag, however, and I want to share with you the problems that I am having with my neighbors and the city.
My idea is to put an elephant in my backyard where I can observe its behavior in an urban setting. The location is ideal. I live on a quiet street with no cut-through traffic. My backyard is big enough to accommodate a 2,500-square-foot pen, with a 2-foot buffer. When my next-door neighbor heard a rumor about my project, and looked over the wall to see the perimeter of the pen that I had staked out, he freaked. Now he has the whole neighborhood upset. I met with their representatives several times to address their concerns. I agreed to plant trees and shrubs in that buffer. The enclosure will be 10 feet high with camouflage canvas sides. I recognize that elephants can be noisy, so I will put a mute at the end of its trunk between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Providing food and waste removal is a little more of a problem, but I am asking for a variance to allow large trucks to come to my house to deliver hay and straw and pick up waste, but only between 7 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. I will store my animal's waste in specially treated plastic containers and sprinkle baking soda on it three times a day. I plan to paint black spots on my elephant's skin so that it will resemble a large dalmatian.
In spite of my best efforts at mitigation, the neighbors are still not satisfied; they're circulating petitions which would limit where elephants can be kept. Now the city is getting involved. They tell me that I should make arrangements to do my research over at Reid Park Zoo. I will, of course, sue if I am denied the right to do whatever I wish on my property.
-- Ruth Beeker
Did a Christian-based megacorporation like Dominos Pizza buy this newspaper? It would sure appear to be the case, judging from the full-page advertisement ("Picture Yourself Here") on page 19 of your October 7 issue.
Unfortunately, what I'm picturing is that I'm living in a Puritan, Utah-like town with a police department that has much more money, resources and time on its hands than it really needs. Wasting precious police resources on the timeless crime of prostitution is one thing; bragging about it on the pages of a newspaper that prides itself on quoting First Amendment rights is another.
So I get to read about johns that were stung on page 19, and then about "The Asian Princess of Porn" on page 73. If the city attorney's office researches its target fan-club base as well as it negotiates its ad rates, it probably paid full rate-card for this placement.
Please turn these guys down next week and make them run that self-serving, feel-good BS in the Daily Territorial where it belongs.
-- Steve Delgado
In response to Andy Gardner's masterful article on local bon vivants James Dead ("Dead Ahead," October 7), all I can say is: Wow. I had no idea our country had become so untethered, drifting through the age of post-modernity. I knew that we've been a nation without unity of vision, lost in a conceptual junkyard of past forms and half truths, but have we really been such fools? I fear that we have become entrenched in the same scene -- rockabilly or whatever! Blending genres, purveying comfortable, tidy nostalgia, lamenting the current state of affairs with wistful memories of a united America slugging it out against the Depression, the list goes on and on.
My friends, what I think all Americans need right now is a smattering of rockabilly. I think every man, woman and child in this country needs to get out for revenge! Out for revenge! If we can only rise a dozen decibels above our rockabilly cohorts, hit 'em in the guts and leave 'em reeling, we will finally be able to uncork on stage and become the madman with bad moves to boot that we all have the potential to be. I believe it was the eminent French philosopher Jean Baudrillard who said: "Cultural assholes talk at length." This is really wall-shaking stuff, coming from deep within our metal roots. There's a subtle melange at work here, I think, and to understand it we must be familiar with the illusions of semiotic post-modernity we as a culture have become so thoroughly esconced in. Let's all break the fetters of context and reference, because we owe it to ourselves. We must create new configurations of semiotic post-modernity before the live explosion goes global!
-- Dabney Spiffle