Selective Memory

To the Editor,

Regarding "Memorial Slay" (May 23): Connie Tuttle has a fixation with holidays. Given the space to do a cover story for The Weekly, Connie chose to describe the desperate plight of turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. (What's the deal--were Nintzel and Vanderpool otherwise occupied with covering an agitprop symposium when you gave her that assignment?) Now she directs her musings on the state of humankind in the 21st century to Memorial Day.

Connie believes that Memorial Day is a day that our politicians exploit to spur us on to war, but 9-11 or no, for most Americans Memorial Day is about beer. Anheuser-Bush bestrides the holiday like a colossus, viciously hacking down defenseless barley plants in a grain offering (cf: "Bitter Harvest: The Brutal Slaughter of Barley and the Making of your Can of Bud," by Connie Tuttle, Tucson Weekly, August 15, 2002). The public might catch a glimpse of G.W. at the White House lighting a torch or something, but why listen to Tom Brokaw natter on about it when you need to turn the brats over on the grill?

Regardless of how much attention we pay to the holiday's meaning, does America and its war dead really warrant remembering? Connie gives us a helpful laundry list of bitches and moans about what swine we are: Slavery and the "Trail of Tears," anti-labor thugs and Wounded Knee. America and its dead white males, the blood of a thousand turkeys still on their hands, caused all of this and more. According to Connie, by perpetuating this holiday and America's flag we are quietly blowing life into the lie that this is a great country. Presumably, no one has explained this to the thousands of Third World immigrants slipping across the border near Douglas every night.

Regardless of what Connie or Noam Chomsky thinks, American leadership crushed fascism, ended the Holocaust and built Europe back up. Then America and its military brought peace to Bosnia, caused the Serbs to kick a genocidal wacko out of Belgrade and, despite the hand-wringing of Barbara Kingsolver, swept one of the most repressive regimes today out of Afghanistan. America also guarantees Connie's right to write her childishly simplistic stories about holidays.

Personally, when I think of Memorial Day I think of dead men and women who died serving their country. I think of my Uncle George, whom I never knew but heard about as a child. He fought his way up the cliffs of Normandy on D-Day, slogged his way through France and was a part of a platoon that liberated a concentration camp in the closing days of World War II. He made it through the war and came home to Hickory Flat, Mississippi. Six days later, on a clear day in August, a Studebaker truck slammed into him. Though I never knew him, I knew his wife, Ruby. She never forgot him. "There will never be another like him," she told me in the presence of her second husband on the porch one summer, and then added, barely audible enough for me to hear: "and I will never love another like him." The screen door swayed slowly in a Southern breeze when she went back into the house.

--Jonathan Paton

Round and Round

To the Editor,

Jonathan A. Smith's letter (Mailbag, June 6) regarding my letter ("Our Very Own Ernesto," May 9) regarding Tom Danehy's column reads like a job application: PR flack for blowhard, middle-brow hacks available for employ. Bob Greene available as a reference.

While I'm flattered that Mr. Smith considered my letter compelling enough to warrant a response in poor ol' Tom's defense, couldn't he have done better than "I read a lot of newspapers on airplanes" (convincingly establishing his critical authority) followed by "Danehy is the funniest newspaper writer I've ever read"? While it's impressive candor to admit such a substantial lack of acumen, I'm not so sure even Danehy would like his silent majority to pipe up in this fashion. He strikes me as the masochistic type.

Maybe what Smith is gunning for is Danehy's job, because clearly he's the funny one--check this shit out if you don't believe me: "[Danehy's] easily the most entertaining newspaper writer in Tucson...," the equivalent of calling someone the best chef in all of England. Or maybe the best opera singer on the pole-vaulting squad. Good one, Mr. Smith. Together, we can bring this menace known as Danehy to his knees--I mean, from his knees to the ground!

--Curtis McCrary

Sound Off

To the Editor,

Is it too much to ask to get someone to edit music reviewer Stephen Seigel?

Not only are his sentences painfully long and difficult to read, but they rarely follow proper English.

I enjoy reading about music, but Siegel's writing is so obtuse I often can't bring myself to finish an entire column.

Otherwise, I love the paper!!

--Ed Rachman