Letters to the Editor

From the issue of August 31, 2000

The Not Ready for Prime Time Mayor
Who can forget the night Alex Penelas made an ass of himself
By Jim DeFede

Free Weekly Dupes Gullible Readers
Elian saga unmasks insidious conspiracy:
I was completely disgusted by Jim DeFede's article “The Not Ready for Prime Time Mayor” (August 24). Despite being a newspaper representing all Miami's citizens, New Times only told the story of one side, obviously Jim DeFede's side. You should inform your readers of both the good and the bad of both sides, which would include Miguel Diaz de la Portilla's side.

I have always enjoyed New Times, but I have come to realize that you are just like any other media source, feeding the public what you want them to hear and believe. Please stop manipulating your readers and start representing all sides, as you should.

In my opinion Mayor Alex Penelas made the right decisions in the Elian Gonzalez case. But that is just my opinion. I don't expect or plan to push that belief upon anyone. One thing is certain: The Elian case managed to bring out everyone's true colors, including New Times's.

Yaremis Ponce
Miami

Alt- America
A report from the Latin Alternative Music Conference
By Celeste Fraser Delgado

The Unblinking Eye
Rockeros 24/7:
I would like to make a point of clarification to your readers. Celeste Fraser Delgado's otherwise excellent article on Latin alternative music (“Alt-America,” August 24) described MTV S, MTV's 24-hour-a-day, all-Latin music network, as being available in the U.S. only by satellite. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In addition to DirecTV and the Dish Network, more than 250 cable systems across the United States, many of them in the greater Miami area, offer MTV S to their subscribers.

Eric Sherman, vice president
MTV/VH1 Digital Television
via the Internet

The Unchanging World
Think globally, write locally:
Celeste Fraser Delgado's great story about Latin alternative music may not change the world but maybe it will get some of the Miami labels to start thinking a little differently. That would be a good step.

John Reilly
Shore Fire Media
via the Internet

Strength in Numbers
Do the Doobies have too much time on their hands?
By Rob O'Connor

Fire the Piano Player
How to turn Muzak into music:
A few comments on Rob O'Connor's theories on bad Seventies bands (“Strength in Numbers,” August 10). First, to call Quicksilver, the Dead, and even stranger, Big Brother (each of which started in about 1966) “Muzak before Muzak was cool” simply is errant. Big Brother was an aggressive blues band. Steely Dan, however, was Muzak before its time. The fact that two members of the Doobie Brothers had come from the Dan (Baxter and the true culprit, Michael McDonald) would more accurately account for their less-than-edgy sound.

And while we understand that it is very cool for music critics to blast the Dead, O'Connor seems to believe that since both the Dead and the Doobies made records in the Seventies and had “too many band members,” their music must sound alike. I suppose Lynyrd Skynyrd sounds like the Dead and the Doobies, too. The crappiness of the Doobies is more akin to that of a Boston or a Foghat, and I don't even know how many members were in those groups.

O'Connor mentions Bob Dylan as among those who prove his theory. Dylan's work that most influenced rock and roll was done with The Band, which had (gasp!) two keyboard players! I can't wait to read O'Connor's column explaining why either Garth Hudson or Richard Manuel weren't essential to the group's sound. The “Royal Albert Hall” performance of May 1966 (not really at that hall but at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, and featuring the Hawks, who later changed their name to The Band) is about as far from Muzak as you can get.

Thanks anyway,

Russell Phillips
Homestead

Punk-Rock Geezer Fondly Reminisces
No joke, MTV didn't even exist back then:
I enjoyed Brett Sokol's “Kulchur” column about punk-rocking models (“Model Behavior,” August 3). I want to thank him for remembering my old band the Eat: “In 1980 if you were sixteen and a fan of Miami punk mainstays the Eat, Kill the Hostages, or Gay Cowboys in Bondage, it was a pretty good indication that you were (a) something of a social pariah, and (b) getting your ass kicked in high school on a regular basis.”

To add to the irony, my son Eddie Jr.'s band, Bum Ruckus, was playing at the Warped Tour here and in Orlando. He and his contemporaries can't conceive of a universe without MTV. If I sound like a crabby old prick -- well, there you have it.

Eddie O'Brien
formerly of the Eat
via the Internet

The Chief's Retreat
Rolando Bolaños lied and got away with it, but stay tuned
By Tristram Korten

Raul, Rolando, and Rivera
Rumblin' with Rundle:
Very good story by Tristram Korten about Hialeah Police Chief Rolando Bolaños (“The Chief's Retreat,” July 27). Sadly Mayor Raul Martinez's pull is greater than Bolaños's integrity. But Chief Bolaños should not be faulted. He has to follow the mayor's orders. Let's face it, Raul is the one who hires and fires employees, not the chief. So Raul is not going to take the heat on this one, and I am sure the chief was instructed on what to say.

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