McGreal should keep up her efforts to uncover the sleaze of the wildlife trade that even is able to penetrate governments. The animals have her voice, which is the voice of millions of people, too.
IT JUST GOES TO SHOW WHAT A WARM SMILE WILL DO FOR YOU
It seems totally unjust that Matthew Block of Worldwide Primates has been allowed to be tight-lipped - not only in his photo, but by the judge who did not require Block to reveal documents. Not to mention Block's suspect inability to describe stolen documents. On the other hand, Shirley McGreal, with a warm, open smile, has been forced by U.S. Magistrate Turnoff to produce her documents.
I think this case needs a new judge. The judicial system must be fair and impartial. It hardly appears so, to date, in Block v. McGreal.
North Miami Beach
A KISS IS STILL A KISS...
I am a local band manager and I am writing this letter in reference to nasty letters sent in about Doc Wiley and Darlene DeLano ("Letters," November 13, 20). I have a few words of advice for those writers: Wake up and get a clue! Doc and Darlene may be assholes, but you writers are naive idiots.
There are no short cuts in the music business. It is an uphill battle, and shit rolls downhill. So if these guys believe in the fantasy that all it takes to make it is some talent, they have a long tough road of reality to travel. It takes lots of hard work, the intelligence to know who the key players are, and lots of ass-kissing. Darlene, Doc, and myself included, have kissed plenty of asses on our way up this hill and we did it for our careers and for our bands.
Have these grunts ever heard of paying their dues? The first time I ever met Doc and Darlene was because one of my bands thought they could make it on their rock-and-roll-star attitudes. They were blackballed from playing any clubs. My ass-kissing got them in the door of Button South and Washington Square, but their talent, change of attitude, and increasing following got them back in as regulars every month.
If you think Doc and Darlene have huge egos, wait till you hit the big league, kiddo - you ain't seen nothing yet. Get in the door and prove your talent (if you have any), and you won't have to kiss ass too much longer. And in reference to Cameron's remark about Farrcry's crowd, at least they have a crowd, and if they are pimple-faced, it is probably because they are spending their money on tickets to see Farrcry instead of on Clearasil. Don't you wish you were so lucky!
THANKS FOR THE LESSON, LES - NEXT TIME WE'LL CALL YOU FIRST
Everyone would agree that what "happened" to Danny Donovan ("Forbidden Fruit," November 6) was a tragedy. Sadly, the presentation of this modern-day jeremiad was a travesty. If we truly care about people like Danny, it's essential that we help them develop a working sense of cause and effect in the real world.
The only thing missing from the first four pages of this well-meant but derailed article is the mandatory appearance of the priest/scout-leader/coach on Donovan's behalf. The writer paints the picture of a nice but fey lad who seems to bear little responsibility for what befalls him. The words we choose reflect our thoughts and biases. Again and again the words employed in this piece unfairly distance Danny from responsibility for his actions:
"A holiday spent picking mangoes...a few hours of picking, a few hundred dollars worth of fruit for their efforts." Picking mangoes? Their efforts? Let me condense and rewrite some salient points:
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Two crack-addicted, multiple-misdemeanant felons violating their house arrest and probation conspired to trespass, steal, transport, and sell fruit that was not their own. Ultimately, they did not sell the fruit.
The "truth" may lie somewhere between these two versions. But it is vital that everyone understand that "luck" and the "wrong crowd" have little to do with anything. Danny and Mike made choices. There is no "knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time." There are millions of places known to each of us wherein we do not belong. Enter. Bingo!
As Danny and Mike set out that day, they purposefully sought to break the law. The man who later shot at them probably had no such plan at the time he left his home. The whole issue of using force to protect property drowned in the dangerously mawkish beginning of the piece. In the mean, Danny and Mike may have begun to learn the lessons we failed to teach them as youngsters. About right and wrong. About cause and effect. About the differences between "picking" and stealing, chance and choice, a lark and a crime. Sadly, it may be too late for them. But we can do our small part by thinking and acting in ways that are grounded in reality and that call things by their names. How would you relate this tale to your own children: "Once upon a time two boys went to steal fruit"? How would you instruct them?
Leslie Paul Davies