Letters from the Issue of October 20, 2005

DJs Are Dummies

Free weekly is a sell-out: Looking at your music reviews and large advertisers in your music section led me to this question: When did DJs become musicians?

I firmly believe that if you have talent as a performer, whether God-given or learned, you must earn the title of musician. With very few exceptions, DJs have no clue about reading music, writing lyrics, or composition. The art of having synthesizers self-assemble a song phrase by pressing one key is not an art. Most teenagers with a synth and a turntable produce the same effect. Everything else is just the drama of lights and atmosphere. Add a bit of alcohol to the mix and you have a thump, thump, thump beat that even the worst of dancers can pull off like Fred Astaire.

So ... maybe we can call them cheap entertainers, never musicians. Maybe your newspaper can do a story about how the local musicians feel about DJs and how DJs feel about musicians. Also find out why most clubs don't have live musicians. Could it be that they pay a DJ a minimal wage, while they would have to pay musicians the worth of their talent? Ummm!

Would the New Times bite its nose to spite its face? No, never! It's all about keeping advertisers happy.

Ray Gutierrez

Miami

More About the Musician/Santero

Forget about race, you racist: In response to Ernesto Sandoval's letter about Philbert Armenteros, "Send Him Away" (October 13). Understandably, another immigrant coming to this country and committing crime frustrates you. However, you should be aware that there are different degrees and classifications of crimes. It is also fact that in the USA, certain people of certain classes are punished more according to — I might as well say it — race. Comparing a petty thief to Ted Bundy insults the intelligence of people who might otherwise sympathize with you.

We don't make fun of other people's religion in this nation. La Regla de Ocha is a legitimate and growing faith in this country. It has devotees from all walks of life, including myself. I am an educated professional who also happens to be a priest in La Regla de Ocha.

Stereotyping immigrant groups because of the crimes of a few is socially unacceptable to Americans. You should relish the fact that you can voice your frustrations, but please spare us your ignorant racism and thinly veiled ethnocentricity.

Whitfield Palmer

Miami Beach

...but remember your roots, amigos: Regarding "Exit Philbert" (September 29): Is there a politics of race? I pose this question to the exile community at large, the community that was willing to hold a child hostage in the name of freedom despite a father's wishes, the community of Cuban politicians who publicly denounce Santería as the religion of the people yet are willing to offer a sacrifice or two to the orishas for a bit of heavenly aid behind closed doors. Where are they now? The defenders of justice, protestors of the Castro regime, the Cuban exile community at large, where are you?

Or has Philbert's complexion complicated your sense of fairness?

Yves "Kronos" Verela

Miami

Sail On, Soca

And pen more, girl: I recently ran across the article titled "Don't Stop the Carnival" (October 6) by Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik. I really want to commend Mrs. Yursik. As an Xtatik follower for the past twelve years, I have tried to keep up with all of their happenings. This article, unlike many others, concisely touched on the weariness associated with obtaining and carrying the title of "international soca ambassador." It highlights (for me) exactly how hard Michal Montano works to bring soca music to some of the largest arenas outside of Trinidad & Tobago.

D. Hutchinson

Brooklyn, New York

Written in the Lingo

What it means, we don't know: I read José Davila's "OG Black and Master Joe" (October 6). Aight! Thanks for cover'n da scene, yo.

Garcia Lopez

Kendall

Shallow Free Weekly

Withnada adentro: It's a shame — on your cover is a big front-page photo of Ana Mendieta's work from a major museum exhibit, and inside is a gossipy thread, "Unsettling Sights" by Carlos Suarez De Jesus (September 29). It really shows how much your paper is committed to "substance."

Johnny Arzoli Miami

Uneducated Free Weekly

Repeat a grade, Bozo: Regarding K. Lee Sohn's, "The City That Inspired Creation" (September 29). Back to school! Please.

Patricio Cuello

Miami Beach

Publish This Novel

Forget about those other shallow turds: It was with enormous interest that I read Brett Sokol's piece "Lotus-Eaters and Literati" (September 29). I would like to answer many of the questions Kulchur has put forth regarding why a big novel about South Beach has yet to emerge and to also inform you that it is in fact coming in the Spring of 2006 — by me (God willing).

For several years now, I have been writing and rewriting a novel that is now simply South Beach: A Novel and takes place in the late Nineties, ending on New Year's Eve 1999, which many believe was the end of an era of the South Beach social fabric. Although I arrived in Miami in 1995, my view as an outsider and observer chronicles the denizens of a place where everyone is beautiful or thinks they are, and where "Everybody Knows Madonna" (one of the chapters) and is on the verge of being famous (or believes they already are).

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