Lord of the Left Wing

To the Editor,

I stumbled unwittingly across your film review of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ("Supreme Sequel," December 26). Having read your review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (January 2), in which you referred to The Two Towers as "The Lord of the Rings: The Two and a Half Hours" (in an oh-so-witty riff on the length of the film, making you seem like an impatient philistine), I'd assume I'd get the usual "This movie is bad because they spent a lot of money making it and since I'm anti-capitalist, like everyone who works at this rag, I must pour my leftist agenda into every single thing I write, regardless of what I thought of the film itself" review, which is exactly what I got with your Harry Potter review. To my shock, that isn't what I got. Instead, I got perhaps the most ham-handed, lame attempt at being "funny" in a film review I've ever seen.

Alright, I'll admit, this review was better than previous blockbuster reviews. You did actually enjoy the film for legitimate reasons (which has no bearing on the quality of the review, but not a single one of the reviews in The Weekly is ever backed by anything but purely political reasoning for liking or disliking a particular film). But "Orcs with Pokemon cards?" What? Not only is this a horrifically dated reference, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

To top it off, you proclaim loud and proud that Legolas is patently homosexual onscreen. The amazing thing about this witty observation is that in the handful of lines Orlando Bloom's character has on screen, not a single one of them mentions his sexuality whatsoever. In fact, none of his actions do, either. Don't get me wrong; I understand, you're trying, desperately, to be hip and funny. You come across as though you're ashamed to admit that you enjoyed a film that cost more than $10,000 to make and wasn't playing at The Loft, so you filled your review with the kind of backhanded, jokey bullshit I'd usually expect from a high school movie review. The cinema section of The Weekly has a long, long way to go before anyone will ever take it seriously, and unfortunately, this review just set you a few years back.

Hire a decent film critic, one who actually enjoys the art of film and can write a review based on the merits the film has, not on his or her own ridiculous political agenda. Have some respect for the medium, please. Let it be known that I'm not writing this because I felt you've wronged Peter Jackson's film in some way; your opinion of the film isn't what I'm complaining about. It's your absolutely horrific misuse of the film review medium. Save the junior high gay jokes and outdated Pokemon references for a film you know people don't take seriously enough to read a serious review.

--Zac Bertschy

Cheap Shots

To the Editor,

If you are going to continue to take your cheap shots at me five years after the fact (God, I did not know I was that important) you should at least get your facts straight (The Skinny, December 19). The person most directly responsible and the one that you should blame if you so choose for me being appointed to the Tucson City Council is Council Member Steve Leal.

It was Mr. Leal that approached me after the initial candidate forum and counseled me throughout the process. It was Mr. Leal who worked behind the scenes to convince the other council members, in particular Molly McKasson, to support me for the Ward 3 seat. My honeymoon on the council with Mr. Leal was short-lived, however, because I would not be his lackey and had the audacity to think that TEP park should have been built in downtown Tucson instead of at Ajo and the freeway.

Anyway, in the future, if you are going to continue to take cheap shots at me, make sure you blame the person most directly responsible for getting me appointed to the City Council, that being Council Member Steve Leal.

--Michael J. Crawford

We're Number One

To the Editor,

The people of the Tucson Weekly have impressed me again. I was surprised and ecstatic to read the section titled "Now Hear This" (January 2) where both of Conor Oberst's projects, Desaparecidos and Bright Eyes, received the recognition they have so long deserved.

I must say that your critics Stephen Seigel and Annie Holub have hit this one right on the nose. What impresses me most about this entire section is that all of your critics picked out some real talent, and didn't choose albums that were hugely publicized or that sold millions of copies. It's nice to see others acknowledge that there is real good music out there, not just what MTV feeds us.

As a longtime listener of both Desaparecidos and Bright Eyes, I couldn't agree more with Stephen Seigel's view on each of the bands. Conor Oberst is truly an artist at heart, he brings so much more to the stage than most musicians do. From the 14-piece band to the painful shaking of his voice as he belts out his beautifully crafted lyrics, Oberst ties everything together into a story in which we all can relate.

Thanks, Tucson Weekly, for your intelligent evaluation of the best albums of 2002.

--Monica Gruber

Time Flies

To the Editor,

Thank you for the kind words in The Skinny (January 9), but I have to clear something up. You stated that I had attended all of the TUSD board meetings in the last century. It only seems like a century. In reality, it has been a little over a decade. I know that I am older than dirt but, please, don't make me seem older!

--Judy Burns
TUSD Governing Board Member

Bloody Taxes

To the Editor,

Thank you for printing the story about America's underground economy ("The 'New' Economy," January 2). Just to be clear, let me see if I have this straight: The IRS wants to "identify" taxpayers who "might" have such unreported income (i.e., very poor people) and put the screws to them to collect it. (Dubya's recent Total Privacy Abolition Act will surely help there.)

Let's use your plasma-selling example. This is money that these people have literally BLED for, but the government still wants its own pound of flesh. I should point out that this money will still be taxed when it's spent. Later, if the goods bought with the money are sold at a yard-sale, the IRS will want to tax that income too, then tax it yet again when the yard-sale profits are spent.

The IRS estimates that over five years $105 million could be collected from the desperately poor this way. Yet the IRS is owed many times this amount by wealthy tax cheats but doesn't have the manpower to go after it, even though it's already been identified. If you multiply that $105 million dollar figure by two or three "thousand" times, you begin to approach the appalling cash give-away that G.W. lavished onto his wealthy corporate donors and oil company robber-baron buddies. (Hey, it's all about priorities.) Now consider the hundreds of billions of dollars which go untaxed--each year--due to the off-shore accounting shell games played by so many wealthy corporations (many of whom enjoy lavish government contracts while not paying U.S. taxes).

Not only does this make no sense from a purely cost-benefit point of view, it should be deeply offensive to anyone with a social conscience. (How down and out does a person have to be before selling plasma for $24 a pop looks attractive?) So where is the Democratic outrage? Oh, right. We can't criticize the President's tax policy because if we do so, the Terrorists Will Win!

--Bob Martino

Your Money's Worth

To the Editor,

The article "The 'New' Economy?" by D.A. Barber (January 2) contains the statement, "And the feds are following the money. According to the Treasury Department, $100 bills have risen from less than 20 percent of currency in 1967 to more than 63 percent today. The assumption is that 'law-abiding citizens' will not ordinarily increase their day-to-day need for cash so any significant increase "must be used in the underground economy."

May I suggest that considering inflation the usage of the statistics 2003 $100 bill would be more accurately compared with the 1967 $10 bill rather than the 1967 $100 bill.

--John B. Nuelsen


To the Editor,

Nice to see The Skinny (January 9) jumping on the disgruntled Irish faction bandwagon at KXCI now that their ox has been gored. Fact is, boy wonder Tony Ford has been running roughshod over community interests for the last several years now in his capricious campaign to remake KXCI in his own bland image, with nary a peep from The Skinny till now. To roughly paraphrase: First they came for the indie rockers, the avant geeks, the disco fools and I didn't speak up. Then they came for my beloved Irish and no one was left to speak for me.

--Steve Hahn
(former KXCI program host)

Editor's note: Readers may wish to check out "Cross Currents," December 19, 2002; "Carrying the Torch," April 11, 2002; and "Radio Daze," August 16, 2001, to learn more about KXCI's conflicts and Steve Hahn. These stories are available at

Ya'll Don't Know Nuthin' 'Bout BBQ

To the Editor,

As a southerner most of my life (Texas, Georgia and, if you count it, Arizona) I like to think I'm an expert on barbecue. First, I would like to say that Kansas City and St. Louis can only claim ribs, not real barbecue. Real barbecue is, in Texas, brisket of beef with ranch beans, and in Georgia, pulled (not shredded) pork with Brunswick stew. In both states the BBQ is accompanied by white bread, onions and pickles. As much as I love Arizona, I have yet to find a restaurant that serves authentic barbecue. The restaurants you reviewed ("Where There's Smoke, There's BBQ," January 16) have their strong points, but authenticity is not one of them.

--Mauda Palmer
Oro Valley

The End

To the Editor,

Linsay Hernon ended two current movie reviews with the "death do they part/death do you part" line. How about finding a new finishing line? You're supposed to be hip and on the edge, not hackneyed and color-by-number in this paper, right? Hell, just end them all with "the end" if you're that stuck for an idea, sister.

--Scott Pianowski

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