Letters from the Issue of September 9-15, 2002

MTV's cattle call, Miami's bigotry, free weekly's big dis

A man then began yelling at us and telling us to clap at the cameras. Pit Bull sang a few songs and threw water on us. So did a another group. Ashley Simpson sang a tune, so did Jadakiss.

I left at 8:00 p.m. They took my black VMA bracelet even though I had wanted to keep it for the memories. I missed the chance to buy any other souvenirs sold on the streets that night. At home that night I watched the news and saw more of the VMAs than I did there, even though there were video monitors set up for us to watch. But they never turned them on!

I just wanted to let others know how we were treated by these people -- like we were cattle.

Beverly Power

Pembroke Pines

Billy's Love Letter

The man has a way with words:Dear The Bitch@#$^**&%#! Do you know what a total ass you made me look like ("The Bitch," August 26)? How many people I must have insulted?

Did I say fuck butts or butt fucks? An infant terrible? What is that? I like that new nik name!

Thanks, you guys. I love you!

Billy Yeager

Lake Worth

Um...Thanks for the Visit

Maybe you'll come back once we're actually ready for you:I read Lee Klein's recent review of Conrad Miami's Atrio restaurant ("Room with a View... and Some Problems," August 26). As you may know, Conrad Miami and Atrio just celebrated their soft opening last month and will celebrate their grand opening September 29. Setting precedent in Conrad Hotels' history by being the first Conrad in the United States, all components of the hotel, including the restaurant, are still going through some fine tuning.

We appreciate Mr. Klein's constructive review of Atrio, and as general manager of Conrad Miami, I would like to invite him back before the end of the year to re-evaluate Atrio's progress.

The Conrad brand is based on three main components: service, style, and technology. We at Conrad Miami are striving to ensure that all components are held to the highest standards. We hope to reflect that on Mr. Klein's next visit to Atrio.

Robert E. Thrailkill

Miami

Very Stupid and Ignorant

But aside from that, it was great:Although I'm sure the local bands are grateful for being mentioned, isn't it curious how Terra Sullivan says Nickelback is making way for Yellowcard ("Think Locally," August 26)? The fact is that Yellowcard has been on the charts for 54 weeks, sold 800,000 copies, and peaked at number 23, while Nickelback has been on the charts for 48 weeks, peaked at number 6, and sold five million copies. So who is making way for whom?

As an avid supporter of Miami's live music scene, I can say that Sullivan is off the mark in the comparisons she makes among bands. For example, Maria sounds nothing like any of the bands to whom she compares them. And Rhett and the Pawnshop Drunks are not rockabilly. Did she even listen to their music before writing her article? If she's going to write about our local music scene, she should do her research.

Other than that, "Think Locally" was good. The exposure for our local bands is great.

Elena Gamez

Coral Gables

Miami: An Insult to Rural Alabama

How could such a diverse city be so bigoted?The letter from Ivan Gutierrez, Jr., titled "The New Slavery" (August 19), exemplifies all that is wrong with this city. Despite the fact that Miami is one of the most culturally diverse cities anywhere in the world, the degree of misunderstanding (or hostility) between racial and ethnic groups rivals that of any small town in rural Alabama.

His comments on whites who enjoy hip-hop, and on hip-hop in general, bring back images of those who once referred to early rock and roll and soul as "jungle music." The term was created not as a reference to the sound or tone of the music, but to the ethnic origins of those who created it, this instead of calling us niggers or referring to those who were not black but enjoyed the music as nigger lovers. The term jungle music became a euphemism for more direct racist terminology.

Hip-hop, despite being a creation of black people, is not sole property of black Americans. To understand this, one need not look any further than the growth of hip-hop artists in Korea, Germany, Russia, the Philippines, Japan, England, India, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and many other countries -- not to mention the worldwide sales of hip-hop music.

If Mr. Gutierrez and those of his ilk would open their eyes and minds, perhaps this city would be much better off.

Timothy Stinson

Miami

State Department scrambles to repair damage caused by free weekly: I protest the way Juan Carlos Rodriguez described Aishwarya Rai in his "Haute Curry" calendar item (July 29). Aishwarya Rai is not just a "starlet," she is a mega-mega-star.

Such disrespect cannot be tolerated. Please rectify this.

Arijit Bhattacharya

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

India

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