Letters from the Issue of September 12, 2002

How do we loathe Jilda Unruh? Let us count the ways.

New Times should have a more broad-minded writer cover next year's Music Fest Miami and the Community Experience Tours, which are mini-cultural fairs throughout Miami-Dade County. Next year cover the public schools that Music Fest Miami artists visit on Thursday and Friday prior to the concerts. Next year let the public know that for an affordable and unbeatable $40 they can attend both the "Mayor's Ball" (inappropriately named) and the festival's outdoor concert.

Maybe Ms. Delgado's "Shake" refers to the drink, not the rattle and the roll!

Oscar J. Braynon

North Miami-Dade

Fear & Loathing in Modern America

We were rebels once, and young: John Lombardi's "Smiling Through the Apocalypse" piece was a gem ("High Anxiety," August 22). I worked for Rolling Stone in the early Seventies, specifically with Hunter Thompson and briefly for Jann Wenner until I ended up a victim of John Walsh's housecleaning.

I recently started rereading Todd Gitlin's The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage for the sole purpose of trying to recapture the feeling we all had then, the feeling of connecting with others of like mind, that it was actually possible to effect change. In today's world such a possibility seems not to exist at all. As horrible as all the "news" fodder is these days, more despairing still is the realization that most people simply don't give a flying fuck, on any front, and certainly have no interest in taking a stance grounded in any kind of personal action or effort. Those few who do speak out (in print) are rendered essentially ineffective by virtue of the enormity of the machine in conjunction with a population of Stepford citizens.

I feel abysmal sadness over what Lombardi has written but acknowledge a tiny smile of hope that he writes as he does. Thanks for the reconnect.

Chris Hoffman

Hamilton, New York

Fear & Loathing at the Literary Table

Hunter Thompson, novelist? John Lombardi's article on Hunter Thompson brought back a few memories. I'll share one. I wrote Where the Buffalo Roam and hung out with Hunter for a year or so. Some bizarre shit went down -- amid some rather poignant moments: Hunter, spaced on booze and coke (on an airplane flying down to San Diego to give a "lecture"), reciting whole paragraphs of prose from the novel The Sergeant by Dennis Murphy -- a real crazy motherfucker and brother of new-age guru Michael Murphy -- and a friend of Hunter's from Big Sur.

I saw then how important writing fiction was to Hunter. I think he really wanted to be a novelist and sit at the big table with Hemingway, et cetera.

John Kaye

Los Angeles

Fear & Loathing Right Here and Now

Lombardi? He's no DeFede: This guy Lombardi. He's replacing DeFede? Geez, is he full of himself or what? Makes no sense, talks about nonsense. He writes awkward, "ain't I hot shit" stuff that is utterly meaningless to anyone other than his war-story good buddy Harris Meyer and him. Real tripe. Keep it up. You'll drive all your readers to the Herald.

The only Lombardi I thought worth a damn coached the Packers.

Jason Mobridge

West Palm Beach

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