Atomic Dog Breath
Regarding Michael Corcoran's article "Alas Poor Rock, We Knew It Well" (December 21): Corcoran clearly has no clue what George Clinton was all about. Clinton's band Funkadelic was a mindset that spoke volumes about the times for both blacks and whites. The Seventies and early Eighties were about sexual, musical, and political freedoms. Clinton was and is a visionary genius. As far as a funk band playing rock, Corcoran contradicts himself when he mentions Jimi Hendrix as the quintessential guitar rocker. Who does Corcoran think George Clinton and the other black rock musicians like Living Colour were listening to? Before he waxes ignorant, reviewing artists he clearly doesn't understand, Corcoran should follow some advice from George Clinton himself: Free your mind and your ass will follow.
Hey Todd: Is That a Gun in Your Pants?
In response to Todd Anthony's review of Heat in your December 14 issue ("Those Eyes! That Gun!"): Todd A or is it Pee-wee A thank you for your history of cinematic homosexuality. Are you such a raving homosexual that you can't distinguish between sexual lust and professional admiration? I know it is natural to relate to the characters on-screen when watching a film, but as I watched Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Heat, I did not get a boner. Anthony's review strikes me as having been written by a person so shallow that he is incapable of having a deep admiration for someone without putting it in a sexual context.
I am amazed that such a review would even be published. Were the editors going for reader feedback or were there just not any other reviews to print? Todd Anthony should stick to writing reviews on subjects that he knows: porn and ballet.
The Deafening Roar of the Sounds of Silence
Sandra Baksys's letter of applause for English-first policies states that some customers feel "frustrated when cashiers and clerks carry on in Spanish" ("Letters," December 14). They feel left out because they don't know the language. Maybe Ms. Baksys also feels disoriented, as if she's in another country. And perhaps she feels a little paranoid that clerks are talking about her. Welcome to our world, Ms. Baksys. Welcome to the world of every immigrant who comes here, who must painstakingly learn English if they strive for success in this country.
Anglos seem to think that they are at the center of everything, so of course they perceive Spanish conversations in the workplace as a method of excluding them. Can they begin to imagine what a solace it is to us to have this familiar tongue in a foreign place as a way of keeping our culture alive? Too often Hispanics are excluded from Anglo enclaves, so sometimes we have to make a place for ourselves. It's a matter of survival. If I saw people get riled up about racism the way they do about English-first policies, maybe I wouldn't have such a problem with them.
I've learned that being Hispanic doesn't absolve me of the privilege of my white skin. Too many times I've failed to voice my objections to racist remarks. This letter is an important start for me in finding my voice of objection. But what made me write this -- what disturbs me the most -- is the lack of responses to this newspaper's protesting English-first policies. In a city of so many languages -- English prominent among them -- why did everyone fall silent when it came time to speak up?