Going Postal 

Hungry like the wolf
Thank you for such a balanced, respectful article about the international community of Duran Duran fans ("Fans for Life," March 7). Those of us who have hung in there through years still are often ridiculed for our passion. I suppose it's difficult for some to understand that Duran fandom is as much about the people we meet, the travel and a shared love of all types of music as it is about Duran Duran.

I wouldn't have the friends I have (including Sheila O'Shea, whom I met through Duran connections even before the Internet made it so easy) if it weren't for Duran Duran. Just last August, when Duran played five sold out nights at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, I met people from all over the U.S., as well as from Italy, Austria and the U.K. I hope to count these people as part of my life for the duration. Births, deaths, weddings, divorces, graduations and all the in between included.

Simon LeBon himself may never understand it. But that's OK. He doesn't need to. All he needs to do is show up and sing. We'll do all the rest.

-- Tracy Blackburn, Los Angeles

My name is Rio
Since you're probably going to get a few letters disparaging the latest wackos with an odd hobby profiled in your pages, especially after that horrendous cover art, I just wanted to say I appreciated the even-handed coverage you gave the adult Durannies in the March 7 issue ("Fans for Life"). For several years back home in Athens, I worked with the gorgeous Ms. Angela Wright, and as soon as the nice surprise of seeing her photo in the story faded, I began to fear that the same nasty, dismissive tone that you often apply to Klingons, D&D players and Bob Barr supporters would emerge, and was glad that it didn't. I merely took away the feeling that Angela and her friends are passionate about their hobby, and nothing more. I appreciate the courtesy.

Although she must be completely nuts shelling out 50 bucks a night to see those old fogeys. Sing blue silver!

-- Grant Goggans, Alpharetta

In the mire
While professor Hickman's "Colombian Quicksand" column (Think Tank, Feb. 28) brings needed awareness to the subject of U.S. military aid to Colombia, I feel that it falls short by not realizing that Colombia merits the attention of American policy and action.

Hickman compares present-day policy toward Colombia with U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Yet, he fails to offer his opinion of what the Bush Administration should do, if anything at all. On the contrary, the tone of his article leads the reader to conclude that a decision for any U.S. participation would result in duplicating the devastating consequences in Southeast Asia.

If Mr. Hickman chooses to draw parallels, he should more appropriately have written about the lesson of Cuba. There, U.S. policy allowed a corrupt yet democratic government to be overrun by a leftist insurgency that would later bring us to the brink of nuclear oblivion.

Colombia isn't an island. The destabilization of Latin America's longest standing democracy would spread the evils of drugs and Marxist forces throughout the hemisphere. The public needs to understand that the problems in Colombia are real. We are feeling the effects of them now and Mr. Bush should continue to offer a balance of both economic and military aid.

-- Gerard Borda, Atlanta

not ghetto fabulous
Ms. Ramage: I am the producer of the upcoming movie Honeybee. One of my former crew members alerted me to an article you wrote in the Feb. 10 edition of Creative Loafing. I was extremely offended to have my films grouped with a trashy, low-budget movie called Hoochies. I do not make ghetto-glam movies and I certainly do not support them.

My movies are thought-provoking and [of] high quality. My first feature Preacher Player was screened at prestigious film festivals throughout the country, such as The African Diaspora Film Festival in New York City and the Valleyfest Independent Film Festival in Knoxville, Tenn. These festivals only select high-quality films to screen. IMAGE, an Atlanta-based film organization, also screened the movie at Phipps Plaza as part of their film series.

My second feature Honeybee was not produced by James Avery. It was produced by me. In the future, it would be wise for you to check your facts before you go to press with a story. The movie was a union shoot featuring several stars, including James Avery ("Fresh Prince of Bel Air"), Senait Ashenafi ("General Hospital") and Chrystale Wilson (The Players Club).

The only thing you got right was that it was shot in 35mm. If you would like to actually do some research on the film (which you should have done prior to writing about it), go to the movie's website at www.honeybee-themovie.com.

I can only hope that your article was not read by many people and my excellent reputation as a filmmaker is still intact.

-- Roderick Powell, producer


Just read the Think Tank article on whether Elton John should or should not perform a duet with Eminem (Flip Side, "Should Elton John Bow Out of His Duet With Eminem During the Grammys?" Feb. 24).

Of course he should have, he said he would and his integrity was at stake. Beyond that, who cares? The only way anyone's life would be directly impacted one way or the other would be if that person chose to give the performance that power over them. In a time when we have legislators, people with the power to take everything from us, spending their days dreaming up ways to justify their existence through more and more regulation, Creative Loafing is worried about a couple of singers sharing a stage.

But what can one expect from a couple of guys who don't even understand that there is no one named "Sir Elton." He is Elton John, or Sir Reginald White. No one is ever knighted under a stage name, only their birth name.

-- Custom Haines, Alpharetta

Phone fan
I just read your article "Long Distance Call: Static on the Party Line" (Think Tank, March 7) and wanted to respond as one who has been pleased to see Zell Miller represent our state. I did not vote for Zell due to his party affiliation. I agree that so far Zell has been the senator I hoped Max would have been. Great column. -- Randy Bugg, Smyrna

Village idiot
Now that the flag issue has been put to bed (and we've officially joined the 21st century), once again education moves into the spotlight (Think Tank, Flip Side, "Will Gov. Barnes' 'No Social Promotions' Bill Adversely Impact Minority Students?" March 7). Since the governor and his cronies are still in the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" mode when it comes to classroom discipline, the role of the parent becomes increasingly important. As such, the following quote, from an anonymous teacher in the era B.P.C. (before political correctness), proves every bit as meaningful and relevant today:

"They say 'It takes a village to raise a child.' Perhaps so, if said child grows up to become the village idiot; otherwise it just takes parents who say what they mean and mean what they say. So parents, please reflect on the importance of proper home training before sending your children to school each morning. As teachers, we already have our hands full raising one village idiot masquerading as a governor. Add to that his half-wit lackeys (accountability and reform) and, as you can plainly see, we simply don't have time to take on a classroom full of knaves, jesters, and fools as well."

One can only hope that more parents take heed of these ancient words of wisdom.

-- Andrew Manning, Decatur


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