Being Alternative Means... More National Coverage?

Re "Being Alternative," Editor's Note, July 8: I agree with your first and last points, but I take issue with your second point, specifically your saying that "nationally themed news and commentary ... are in healthy supply." The operative word here is "healthy," which may be true in quantity but not necessarily in quality. I count on alternative news sources to give me stories that the major media outlets do not cover or do not cover truthfully--which is one of the reasons that I regret that the Weekly dropped Jim Hightower's column. I don't trust the regular press to give me the stories that the "powers that be" would rather not be heard, so please don't stop your reporters from covering national issues as well as local ones. And bring back Jim Hightower!

Paula Olch

Being Alternative Means... Being Conservative?

"Focusing on being truly alternative--in other words covering issues not covered elsewhere, or covering them differently."

According to And That's the Way It Isn't : A Reference Guide to Media Bias by Brent Bozell and Brent H. Baker, only 20 percent of the media is conservative (determined by in-depth surveys). After a close survey of your paper, I found a distinctly liberal lean in your articles and cartoons. Meanwhile, conservatives were given short shift, limited to almost pure statistics with no applause or support. Many of your contributors and staff are definitely not conservative.

So by your own definition, you are not alternative but merely "mainstream," with a local flavor.

Now if you were to either be "objective" (almost impossible) or employ a few conservatives to give balance, you might be able to legitimately claim the "alternative" mantel.

James "Kojak" Hughs

Being Alternative Means... More Poetry?

To answer your opening question: It means to give writers like me some space. Mainstream seldom uses poetry--no matter how newsworthy it might be.

War memorials are appearing everywhere to receive our tears. The God of the majority, whom Jesus defined as "Love," has become a tyrant, and our country has become like its object of worship. It is time for a peaceful spiritual revolution worldwide.

appears in our town
and the meek
fall silent.
Watching Americans
mourn in the open,
sanctify war
and pledge fresh blood
from our children.

Bereaved parents,
trying to believe
"they died for your freedom,"
reject forgiveness
and honest compassion
for honors the system
bestows on its donors
while guilt-tinted tears
puddle in names etched in stone.

Of human sacrifices,
spirits blasphemed
and bodies slaughtered,
obeying the law of man.

The meek search for words
to move humanity
up and over.

Gretchen Nielsen

Older Houses Are Better Than Newer Ones

I think Dave Devine's "Golden Repairs" (Currents, July 15) is, quite frankly, a joke. I lived in a brick adobe house built in 1958 in Kingston Knolls. I now live in Silver Shadows Estates on the eastside. These houses do have minor problems, but when you compare them to the cheap plywood, chicken wire and stucco houses they throw up all around Tucson nowadays, there is no comparison. They are a million times better; the lots are bigger; and they are more solid structurally. Those "stucco" houses truly suck, and I have many friends who have lived in them only a few MONTHS and they are already crumbling. Those are the houses you should do a story on.

As an aside, I enjoy the Weekly. Great magazine.

John Burch

What Kind of Responsibility Is Needed for 'Rocky Horror'?

I laughed out loud after reading Charlie Brown's perspective of the commitment to acting and work conditions with his pope of fools menagerie at the Loft ("Let's Do the Time Warp," Performing Arts, July 15).

"It depends on how long they need this environment. Some can't handle the responsibility and drop out after only a couple of months." It takes as much chutzpah and neurosis to do drag as does declaring it a "responsibility."

Jeff Calabrese

Moreno, Sheridan Show Catholic Bishops Lack Moral Authority

As I read "Moreno's Admission" (Currents, July 15), I became even more convinced that this man and some of his fellow bishops have a serious problem with ethical and immoral behavior, not to mention vanity.

In his pastoral letter, Colorado Bishop Michael Sheridan set out to define the "duties of Catholic politicians and voters" as he sees them.

Bishop Sheridan wants to prevent politicians and voters who support pro-choice Catholics from taking communion at Mass. But he doesn't stop there. He writes that politicians will "jeopardize their salvation" due to their positions and that voters will "suffer the same fateful consequences."

What, then, do we do about the priests who committed unspeakable sins against children and about those bishops who knowingly protected them for decades? Will those bishops "suffer the same fateful consequences" as those who sexually abused innocent children? How about conservative politicians who vote against immunizations and food for children and the poor? Is that not a sin in the eyes of God? How about the people who vote for these politicians?

There are those who will defend and applaud Bishop Sheridan and will point out that he is only interpreting and enforcing Catholic teachings as spelled out in the Bible. Will these same people be able to quote passages where God says abuse of children is not a sin?

As a Catholic, I had no idea that a bishop had the power to decide who will "jeopardize their salvation" and go to hell. I was taught that we were ALL created in His image and that salvation was decided by Him and Him alone.

Obviously, Bishop Sheridan is free to have his own beliefs. To have this "freedom of belief" is something that the Catholic church has not always embraced. Some were executed for having beliefs that went against the "Church" even though they were the correct beliefs. That said, he forgets that vanity is itself a sin and placing his own belief above the beliefs of his parishioners recalls the days of the mandatory kissing of the Bishop's ring.

There can be a scientific and a religious disagreement over when life begins, but can there really be a disagreement over the treatment of children? Why does he not speak of this "deviancy?"

Instead, we were subjected to forced forgiveness and prayer for bishops who protected priests through "letters" read in Mass that, until recently, said nothing of the victims but plenty for the accused. Bishop Moreno was very skillful in this practice.

Bishop Sheridan lacks the moral authority to enforce his "rules." His prevention of the Sacrament of Communion and his judgment of those who disagree with him puts him in the same predicament of being against Catholic teachings.

That is on his conscience, and I cannot judge him. Reading about Moreno's "admission" makes we wonder if he has one.

Andy Morales

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