DIALOGING WITH DEFEDE
After reading your cover story "The Ugly American" (October 7) by Jim DeFede, I, as a Filipino, can only react with disgust, distress, and disappointment. A writer has many tools in his trade, and one of these is the use of dialogue to make his work more interesting. Unfortunately, Mr. DeFede's use of dialogue was misleading, defamatory, and an out-and-out non sequitur.
In his opening paragraphs, he writes about a conversation in which Filipino women are described as "hot little monkeys" and "molten lava" volcanoes. Then he goes on to talk about prostitution in Thailand. One has nothing to do with the other. While the article portrays Thai women as victims of society, it also leaves readers with a very unfavorable, if not unsavory, impression of Filipino women. This is irresponsible writing at its damaging best. On behalf of all the Filipino-American women in the United States, I demand an apology from Mr. DeFede.
Rima de los Santos-Caplan
North Miami Beach
OKAY, GUNTER, YOU'RE ONLY SEMI-UGLY
Regarding "The Ugly American" article Jim DeFede wrote about me, I believe at most the title should have read, "The Semi-Ugly American." Even though I'm not thrilled by the article, I've got to begrudgingly admit that except for a few cosmetic errors, it was fairly accurate and balanced. I was surprised how much research DeFede put into it. One correction: When I was arrested, my tour group was not questioned or taken to the police station.
On October 2, I tried to place the following ad with New Times: "Bachelor's Bangkok Tour, steamiest nightlife in the world, good marriage possibilities, many day tours, great shopping, etc. Contact G&F Tours 868-1101." I was willing to change a few words if necessary. I have placed several similar ads with New Times in the past two to three years, yet this time Ms. Molly Curry, head of your Classified Advertising department, said that she was unwilling to take my ad, no matter how it was worded. The reason for the refusal was that my ad might offend some of the other advertisers.
I find this newfound selective morality quite hypocritical when looking at ads in New Times that say things like "Full Domination Cave, All the Equipment You Can Stand," "Adult Night Club, known for our bachelor parties," "Beautiful Girls Under 25 Wanted, Private Exotic Modeling, Adult Entertainment, Earn $750+ a Week Part Time," "Dial 900-LOVE-SEX," and "900-LOVE-TOY."
IT'S THAT WIMP THING
The decision by Metro-Dade Fire and Rescue Department Director David Paulison [to demote three division chiefs] should stand without question ("A Big Wind Blows A Hot Fire," October 7). The Hurricane Andrew experience showed what each and every individual in Dade County is made of.
David James, Edward Laden, and Richard Carty should not only be demoted but should put in some quality time at Harris Field.
Regardless of race or sex, if a person cannot or will not perform during a crisis of this magnitude, the last place they should be employed is with Fire Rescue.
David Paulison should hang tough. This issue is not a racial one. It is a "wimp" thing.
HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUN
Tsk. Tsk. Regarding "Food Fight on 41st Street" (October 7), I can be impartial to this much-ado-about-nothing situation as I have not walked into either of the places mentioned in your story.
What you have is two hams at heart. Each individual is trying to get his share of the bacon from people who are looking for a snack or light meal. While it does appear that these two people have a bone to pick with each other, I don't think that they are being piggish with their disagreements.
I can see where one might cry "fowl," but at least he isn't being chicken in having his voice heard. It is too bad that these people can't rib one another. Since a bird in the hand can be the proof of the pudding, why can't they sit down and cast the evil bread upon the water?
A lot of what they say is food for thought, and adding rock and blues music to meals may make both spots more palatable to the public. I used to hear, "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." But in today's world it is obvious if we were to be that truthful, it would lead to a lot of trouble for many couples and others in society. Wouldn't it?
Ronald C. Rickey
A PRAYER FOR THE LIVING
It's late, I'm tired, but I need to say something about Kirk Semple's article on Louis Canales ("King of the Night," September 30). Or maybe I need to write Louis a letter. Anyway, I remember South Beach in 1985. I was somewhat a part of that world, and in the last seven years I have seen it change. Although the changes are subtle to my eyes, I occasionally pine for the "old" South Beach.
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But mostly I wanted to write because I felt compassion for Louis Canales. I, too, am 42, born in 1950, and on October 4, I will celebrate 22 years with my husband. A little bit of my heart broke when I read that Louis's wife died. I cannot know what he is going through, but I just wanted him to know that someone in Miami is whispering a gentle prayer to let him know she feels his loss.
In last week's issue, a production error led to a transposition of type in the review of the film Glengarry Glen Ross, rendering portions of the article incomprehensible.
New Times regrets any inconvenience the error may have caused.