Letters from the Issue of April 21, 2005

Taped conversations, tabloid sleaze, and lessons in cocaine cultivation

To say that "the whole thing is weird" and imply that there was some connection between the 1987 misunderstanding and the burglary that occurred at the club is tabloid journalism and borderline slander.

Needless to say, Nocturnal will not be wasting any more money advertising in New Times.

Dade Sokoloff, club director

Nocturnal

Miami

Don't Call Me a F***k!

Free weekly, hammered by clever PR, resorts to name-calling: I thank The Bitch for referring to me in "Samurai Story" (April 14), her column item about jujitsu queen Gazzy Parman's "media saturation" -- even if she did call me that unmentionable word too frequently used when public-relations professionals do their best to create awareness for interesting people and businesses.

Although it was hardly media saturation, I am always one to appreciate coverage. You know what they say: No publicity is bad publicity!

As for the "F" word, I've been called worse -- but the job gets done!

Judith S. Lederman

Scarsdale, New York

Cheap at Twice the Price

When was the last time you bought a ticket to see Brad Paisley? In his preview of Green Day's concert last week at University of Miami ("Green Day," April 14), Abel Folgar said the tickets "are way overpriced." Overpriced at $35? The country "stars" are charging $75, and U2 tickets are going for $160! Well, I bought two sets of Green Day tickets for my daughter and myself. We saw them April 16 in Orlando and can't wait for the show here in Jacksonville April 19.

Both bands were outstanding, and the show included pyrotechnical displays and great lighting -- well worth the $35. That's about half of what most arena shows go for in the other genres.

Maybe Folgar just doesn't like punk. Or maybe he's a Republican.

Lynn Brown

Middleburg

Cocaine Does Not Grow on Trees

Here in Bolivia, of course, everyone already knows that: Thanks to Brett Sokol for a most amusing article on Our Brand Is Crisis, the documentary about ex-Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, and the dark side of darkest South America ("The President and Mr. Blowfly," March 31). There was one inaccuracy, however. He mentioned "a cocaine-farmers union." Cocaine is neither farmed nor harvested. Evo Morales leads the federation of coca growers, known as cocaleros.

Most coca is used as a medicinal herb against everything from headaches to high cholesterol to altitude sickness. It is also used in Andean religious rituals. Yes, some of it goes to make cocaine when mixed with U.S.-produced chemicals in order to supply an insatiable craving up north.

Sanchez de Lozada was forced to resign not by Morales, who now considers himself a statesman and at the time was away on some VIP trip in Europe (he even refers to himself with the royal "we" or in the third person), but by Bolivians who could not stand another death and who grew poorer through the fraudulent and secret deals Sanchez de Lozada made with Enron and others to sell Bolivia's gas reserves.

So as you can see, it ain't that simple. But Sokol's article was definitely spicy!

Marcela Roca

La Paz, Bolivia

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