To the Editor,

The intent of Leo Banks' "Snake, Rattle and Roll" (Tucson Weekly, January 23, 1997) escapes me. Another slice-of-life example of western American culture, perhaps? Let's say we substitute prairie dogs or hummingbirds for those nasty rattlesnakes; how, then, do you think this despicable little waste-of-space essay would have been received?

Mailbag Snakes--and rattlesnakes in particular--have always had an image problem to deal with, due to widespread human ignorance and subsequent irrational and exaggerated fear. Surely I don't need to summarize a lesson in Basic Ecology 101 and mandate self-education: After all, I presume we're already enlightened, living here in the desert and everything, right?

Personally, I'd like to see the Webers in one of those canvas bags.

--Phyllis D. Webster

To the Editor,

I hope most of you readers were as disgusted as I by Leo Bank's "Snake, Rattle and Roll" (Tucson Weekly, January 23). It is as repulsive an example of gratuitous ecological vandalism as I have read in years--top marks to Leo for exposing the revolting behavior of these people who are apparently totally ignorant of the desert we live in and the delicate weave of different life forms which it supports. I am saving a bottle of champagne for the day I hear they get soundly nailed by one of their prospective victims.

So much for abuse, however well-deserved. I must urge your readers under no circumstances to eat rattlesnake jerky. No one in their right mind would eat chicken jerky, because the whole world knows you'll get deathly sick from salmonella poisoning if you don't cook chicken thoroughly. When it comes to harboring salmonella however, chickens are rank amateurs compared to snakes, and the snake variety of the bug is much nastier than the regular chicken version. If you must eat snake meat of any kind, for goodness sake cook it all the way through.

I can not leave this sorry story without mentioning that electric shocks are worthless as treatment for snake bites; but it's not surprising that people who treat wildlife as a resource they can rape and pillage at will, should also pander to total B.S. such as "electrotherapy."

Rattle some more cages.

-- N. C. Bucknall

Class Act

To the Editor,

Regarding "Q&A" (Tucson Weekly, January 30): No, Tom Danehy, it is not racist to acknowledge the economic realities of particular parts of town (i.e., working-class southside, upper-class foothills, etc.). And if I can't afford the 100 bucks to take me and my sweetie to dinner at Janos, why would I know about the existence of Janos? I don't know where to buy a good fur coat or a new Volvo either. Why would I care? It's not about race, brother

On the other hand, it is classist to assume that most people have access to the same kinds of privilege you do, or care about the things your privilege can buy you--like a pricey downtown restaurant where you can impress your visiting friends. Oh, boo-hoo.

--Lee Tucker

No Bull

To the Editor,

I just finished reading your cover story on Ed Keeylocko and his town ("Home on the Range," Tucson Weekly, January 30). My girlfriend and I accidentally ran across Cowtown Keeylocko last fall while driving around and exploring. We were a little surprised by the place at first, but after talking to Ed on another trip we realized what a neat place it is and what an amazing guy he is. I just wanted to thank you for running your story and to encourage all your readers to take a drive out to Cowtown Keeylocko to encourage Ed to keep working on his dreams.

When the food you eat is just as likely to kill you as keep you alive, thanks to all the pesticides and other crap, we need as many people like Ed Keeylocko as we can get.

--Robert Baker

Stage Fight

To the Editor,

Regarding Margaret Regan's malicious diatribe about La Malinche ("Theatrical Calamity," Tucson Weekly, January 23).

It is not the reviewer's place to tell the playwright how to write their play. Let Regan compose her own "feminist" version of the Medea. (Medea and the other women form a support group and sue to recover the Golden Fleece.)

My piece, as stated, is clearly an adaptation, in the tradition of Euripides, Seneca and Anoulih (all from a long line of men clearly out to defame women.) While we're on the subject, Cortez's initial interest in La Malinche, both literal and historical, was not the sexual, but rather her gifts as a translator. Critics like Octavio Paz later likened their relationship to a symbolic "rape" of the natives by the Spanish.

Which brings us to the point of La Llorona's "Nahuatl lament," which Regan claims is borrowed, but not cited. Since when do you need footnotes in a dramatic script? Some of La Llorona's speeches are taken out of Mexican oral traditions as well as from the writings of the Aztec King Nezahualcoteótl. But this is my history, part of our Mexican heritage and hence in the public record. Example: The song sung by La Llorona is a traditional song known to all--should it be "cited?"

Finally, I must defend the artistic and technical staff at the Arizona Theater Company, as well as the cast and the director who believed in the play and who poured their heart and soul into the production. It may have its faults, but I trust their professional opinion much more than the vituperatation of a third-rate drama critic who obviously needs to return to graduate school and study dramaturgy.

--Carlos Morton

Going To The Dogs

To the Editor,

Ever since we began reading your paper, we've found it informative, brash, poignant and a thousand other (mostly positive) adjectives. But we had to tell you that you've even managed to offend us, liberals in the most "bleeding-heart" sense. Your January 30 issue displays an advertisement for Tucson Greyhound Park. Do you have any idea what kind of cruelty is inflicted on these animals at places like these? We wonder how often Tucson Weekly staffers mosey on down to that shithole so that these poor dogs can entertain you. Do you actually take your kids there, too? Wow! What great role models--setting the example that living creatures are for money-making entertainment ventures.

"Here kiddo, watch how these caged, abused starving dogs will run like hell just so we can make a fast buck and get our rocks off!"

We hope that your paper (and advertisers) realize that now you have alienated a segment of your population that really subscribed to most of your philosophies. Animal cruelty like that inflicted upon greyhounds for the purpose of human pleasure is unacceptable.

--Robert & Elizabeth Tyszko

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