June 8 - June 14, 1995


Class Struggle

To the Editor,
I enjoy the Tucson Weekly. I like the articles, the reviews, I love the horoscopes. Most of all, I respect The Weekly's journalists' general ability to write extraordinarily biased articles which I don't necessarily agree with, but which usually are backed up with a few solid facts.

As a fledgling journalist here at Hug-A-Thug High, I was delighted to find a terrific example of how stupid it is for an article to tear the scabs off of healing societal wounds on the words of a few people who can't find anything better to do than complain.

While it's true that instigating conflict does often breed progress, it's only so long before a productive and poignant argument becomes pretty whining. If Luci Messing and her vigilantes want to aid Catalina in an unavoidably slow and rocky healing process, they ought to find some way to work with Principal Schloss and the powers that be to set the school on a path of recovery that they agree with.

Moreover, Principal Linda Schloss' idea of respect for students is certainly not a bad one. After all, if students are treated like people and not inmates, it is not unlikely that, like any human beings that are given respect, students will have respect for their faculty, their peers and their environment.
--Andrea Potts

Angry Folk

To the Editor,
Regarding Molly Who's "Folk Festering" (Tucson Weekly, May 4): It is apparent that Molly really has completely missed the point. Sit down and listen. The Festival costs approximately $15,000 to put on, out of which $2,500 goes to a headliner. If TKMA spent that $2,500 on advertising, you wouldn't say a thing about headliners, would you? We had 65 performers at the festival this year, so if we had used your suggestion, and decided to "divvy" up the money normally paid to the headliner, each performer would receive a grand total of $38.46. While this is more than I have been paid for some gigs, I have been told that the esteemed Don Reeve will not even open his guitar case for this kind of money. Of course, costs of advertising would certainly rise, since we would no longer have a "name" act that the general public would recognize.

Since we do not charge the public for attending the festival, our sources of income are limited to soda and T-shirt sales, raffles and vender rentals. Without the large numbers of people drawn to the festival by a headliner with good name recognition, the Echo would not offer continuous radio spots, the vendors would not be interested, and there would not be anyone to by sodas or T-shirts.

Of course, if Molly really believes that Tucson would turn out in droves for local performers, she should produce a folk festival of her own. Or better yet, if she really wants to help local musicians, then she should come to meetings, help make decisions and work with us instead of sitting around and complaining about the "status quo."
--Dennis Lamb
TKMA board member

Folk Fracas

To the Editor,
Regarding Molly Who's "Folk Festering" (Tucson Weekly, May 4): Not one of the musicians mentioned attends meetings. Molly has not been to a meeting in at least two years. If they would like to change things, where are they? The $10 fee pays for a membership which in the past has been free to all performers. TKMA would be able to pay all performers a stipend if we sold enough soda's, T-shirts and raffle tickets.

Sadly, Tucson does not support its own and the media is not supportive either. Most of Tucson does not even know we have a folk festival, probably one of a few to feature mainly local musical treasures!

A handful of people worked hard to put on this event for all of Tucson to enjoy, and I am proud of it.
--Mary Lamb
TKMA Vice President

Fashion Nonsense

To the Editor,
Gerald W. Porter seems compelled to defend Acting county Elections Director Jim Shumway's decision to ban Honey Bee Canyon T-shirts from the March 28 recall election in Oro Valley. In his letter to the editor (Tucson Weekly, May 4) regarding a Skinny column item on the affair, Porter mentions that Shumway was justified because "In the case of the Oro Valley Recall, Honey Bee was one of the issues specifically mentioned on the ballot itself."

Wrong, Mr. Porter. You could look it up, but the issue was most definitely not on the ballot. The issue of fire protection was. After being denied the right to vote while wearing my "Save Honey Bee Canyon" T-shirt, I telephoned Mr. Shumway for an explanation of his directive to board workers. He explained that he'd instructed them to bar voters who showed up in the shirts because it had emerged as a critical issue in the campaign, but not because it was on the ballot.

It's interesting to note that Honey Bee supporters wearing their shirts were allowed to vote at other precincts that day. I believe Mr. Shumway carried his interpretation of the statute a wee bit far that day.
--Nancy Young Wright
Oro Valley Neighborhood Coalition

Mistaken Identity

To the Editor,
In "Home, Home on the Firing Range" (Tucson Weekly, May 25), Emil Franzi reveals an interestingly selective memory. He recalls the hero of Quigley Down Under using a particular kind of rifle but forgets that he was played by Tom Selleck, not Mel Gibson. One would assume, however, that he wrote this after a round-trip drive to Phoenix seated next to Jeff Smith. Such an experience would be enough to leave the best of minds a bit "facted up."
--Alan Tetreault

Editor note: That wasn't Franzi's fault--we're the ones who screwed up.

Bedtime For Bullet-Brain

To the Editor,
Jeff Smith is just another self-righteous asshole who cries when it's his toys being put out of reach until his behavior improves ("Fantasy Firepower" Tucson Weekly, May 25). It's preposterous for him to compare motorcycles, bongs and guns. The fact that they put more horsepower in a Corvette than we can legally use cannot be compared to allowing American citizens to be armed with assault weapons, bazookas and street sweepers. When's the last time anyone read about a "bong-out" between teenage gangs or a "drive-by Corvetting?" Cars and motorcycles are for driving. Bongs are designed to...well, if you don't know, I don't want to be the first to tell you. Assault weapons are manufactured for the sole purpose of killing humans. Period. A street sweeper can be used to tidy up a neighborhood all right, but only if you think people are an eyesore.

So go pedal your crap to the NRA, Jeffie boy. They love guys like you. Or better yet, call Fife Whiteguy. You two have more in common than I realized.
--Tom DeMoss

Right-Wing Nazis

To the Editor,
Emil Franzi's shot at militias in "Right On" (Tucson Weekly, May 18) missed the target on a couple of points.

First, Franzi describes the militia as overweight and lacking sophisticated weapons.

True, the pictures I have seen show overweight men, but they are carrying M-16s! They are probably "only" semi-automatic, but these are battlefield weapons. An AK-47 assault rifle costs only $350--the same price as before the assault-weapons ban, so I find it hard to believe that militias are armed with .22s.

Secondly, Franzi wrote: "the 'Old Right' are tired of the erroneous classification of fascists and Nazis as right-wing groups."

True, Nazi stands for "National Socialists," but for Hitler the Nazi slogans had been merely propaganda, a means of winning over the masses on his way to power. In fact, the Nazis under Hitler destroyed liberal parties in Germany. Anyone voting for liberals risked being beaten or even murdered by storm troopers. This was no idle threat. Many were beaten, robbed and some killed.

In 1933, under Hitler, Nazis occupied and destroyed trade unions by force. Striking and collective bargaining became illegal. Hitler "lost no time in putting an end to the schemes of the National Socialists who had been naive enough to take their party program seriously," writes William Shirer in The Rise & Fall Of The Third Reich. This book, as well as others, is full of evidence of Hitler as a right-winger who, in Germany's post W.W.I turmoil, saw the Nazi party as the most direct route to personal power.

When Hitler took over in 1931, the Nazis were socialists in name only. I guess Franzi missed that day in history class.
--Bill Kornmuller III

Ego Boost

To the Editor,
Regarding Jeff Smith's "Fantasy Firepower" (Tucson Weekly, May 25), I find it increasingly difficult to believe how a normally sane and insightful columnist could suddenly be so irresponsible when it comes to gun issues. Jeff's "motorcycles/assault weapons" analogy is so outrageously nonsensical that I wonder if firearms inherently make people lose their minds.

In justifying assault weapons as "cathartic," Jeff failed to get to the psychological reasons why they are so. The truth is that our country's current obsession with guns masks profound insecurities that few people, especially politicians, are willing to discuss. Average Americans today feel increasingly impotent and inconsequential in the face of an ever expanding techno-corporate juggernaut, and they are using firearms to prop up their alienated psyches. Granted, destructive weapons have been an essential part of American culture since its inception. However, there are enormous differences between our ancestors' struggles for food (and conquest) and today's gratuitous, macho displays of firepower, be they urban gangs or rural militias. If the massive human slaughter and destruction of the past century have taught us anything, it's that insecure cowards like Hitler, Stalin, and Nixon can hide behind high-tech weaponry and feel like really big men.

The Second Amendment is being used by contemporary generations as an excuse and a license for rampant street crime, domestic violence, racist and/or right-wing intimidation, corporate greed, and other "cathartic" forms of anti-social behavior. It is fast becoming an impractical and unwieldy institution, and some day, it may go the way of the 18th Amendment (look it up).

Real men don't carry Uzis, Jeff. That's why real progressives advocate gun control.
--Thomas Zeilman

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June 8 - June 14, 1995

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