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Going Postal 

Advice for before the stalking
Tina Trent is angered by my approach to avoiding separation violence ("Love 'em to death," Aug. 1). She referred to my article about the psychology of love and idealization in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ("Ending troubled relationship requires skill," July 22). If the object of love quietly becomes repulsive -- by not bathing, not shaving, dressing obnoxiously or reeking of garlic -- it is difficult to maintain positive fantasies about that person. The pursuer may lose interest.

If that is not effective and obsessive preoccupation still occurs, outside help and stalking warrants should be sought. The offender can be incarcerated and undergo psychiatric evaluation. (Trent recounts the tragic story of the Atlanta doctor who held his wife hostage in the home, cut off all communication and eventually stabbed her to death and buried her body. Police protection of that woman was inadequate.)

Trent is also angry at researchers at Rutgers who "manufactured" data to show that women frequently stalk men who reject them. From this, she concludes that I believe "men have to fear violence from women in the same way that women must fear men." That's her conclusion, not mine. Trent writes that my "Jung-addled musings about ideation and sexual desire are a skin-crawling road map of misconceptions about the root causes of violence against women." Wow! What overwriting! I am trained in classical psychoanalysis and cannot claim Jung as a mentor.

Chill out, Tina Trent. Draw fresh breath. Interview people who want to break off a relationship and encounter protest. Build a better mousetrap. Meantime, try many cloves of garlic. It works.

-- Alfred A. Messer, M.D., Atlanta

Violent reaction
Tina Trent needs to get a grip when it comes to domestic violence issues ("Love 'em to death," Aug. 1). For years, Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys has documented that domestic violence statistics are sometimes bogus. Also, what constitutes domestic violence has been so watered down, verbal abuse and eye contact are now on equal footing as real acts of violence.

Has it ever dawned on the editors of Creative Loafing and other Atlanta media outlets that many of the domestic violence statistics published are simply made up?

According to Sommers, everyone from the New York Times to Sen. Joe Biden to the U.S. Department of Justice cannot even come up with the same figure as to how many women are beaten by the men in their lives.

Personally, I don't think the death of Phyllis Wooten is the time for a radical feminist spin on the issue of domestic violence. I don't know what Tina Trent is trying to prove when she says, "Our city is knee-deep in dead women's blood." Our city rarely talks about domestic issues that affect men. Sad to say, I can't even remember the name of the father who was shot three times by his child's mother last year in Mableton while he tried to pick his son up for visitation.

Believe me, I think if Eric Wooten did not act in self-defense, he should be exterminated for what he did.

Domestic violence is real amongst both sexes and children. Just look at gender neutral statistics, if you dare.

-- Tony Zizza, Douglasville

This and Flicks, nothing else
I appreciate the article on DEA payouts to private industry ("Carrying cash? You must be a crook," July 18). It's the first thing I've found in Creative Loafing worth reading apart from the movie reviews. Keep up the good reportage.

-- Ike Hall, Atlanta

Quelle eyesore
Jerry Portwood must not have noticed the south side of the Violette restaurant ("Quelle bargain," July 25). The "stand of trees," spared presumably to enhance the deck, is on the north side of the building -- which is very attractive, while the opposite side makes even "strip malls, gas stations and Waffle Houses along Clairmont" look good. The place looks like an architectural Jekyll-and-Hyde caught in mid-transformation.

I see it at least twice a day, because I -- and several hundred others -- live in a cul-de-sac behind the restaurant and cannot come and go without passing it.

Except for the small stand mentioned above and a few trees at the rear (west side), nothing green was left when the site was cleared a few years ago. But, having visited and thoroughly enjoyed the old Violette several times, I thought that surely the proprietor, no doubt a person of taste and sophistication, would do some post-construction landscaping. Could the owner not have spared a couple of the pine trees on the southern edge of the lot, to break up the ugliness a little? Can't he plant one or two small trees now? Even some potted plants would help.

I've been to Violette only once since it moved, and then only at the insistence of my dinner guest. Until the management puts some green on the south side of the building, I won't step foot in. No, I don't imagine the management will miss the few dollars I'd bring in. But I'll be damned if I'll subsidize ugliness.

-- Adrian Fillion, Atlanta

Who you calling beatless?
Mr. Keyes, it is a great honor to induct you into the elitist hall of fame ("The Radiohead Cases," July 25). It brought me great pleasure pouring over your claims, namely those concerning what you call "Big Important Records" and "Serious Rock Fans."

Let's look at a BIR. According to you, Amnesiac is beatless, lyrically incomprehensible, lazy, fronted by a vocalist who can only offer "four-note moans." Amnesiac has no "populace appeal," and is yet another "difficult record." Ergo, the aforementioned demote Amnesiac from BIR status -- for it is nothing of the sort. Mr. Keyes, my copy of the maligned recording displays myriad beats.

I wonder if I am a Serious Rock Fan? I fail to get any sort of hidden agenda, nor do I gather Amnesiac to be gravid with destructive and downsizing tendencies sure to deter the people from tuning into its one "loping synth line after another."

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but every record store in this city has hoards of Amnesiac discs waiting at the doors. I've heard Amnesiac played while shopping at Tower Records, Criminal Records, Borders and Barnes & Noble. Much to my surprise (and likely to your chagrin), people were not running out of the stores, hands clutched over their ears, minds overblown with a logorrhea of cryptic lyrics. Perhaps they did not find the music difficult, lazy, beatless or ambiguous. They probably enjoyed it, as I did the show at Stone Mountain Park. The show was quite fantastic, and (surprise again) startlingly diverse. Yes, I looked for SRFs, but only found 7,000 people who were having a hell of a good time watching a highly talented band play some lovely songs.

If you must slam a band, please utilize your judgment. I've read page after page of disgusting, lap-dog praise for local bands that have not an ounce of musical talent. Yet, they have ample image and that seems to be all that's really important to the staff at Creative Loafing and to the music press in general. Your article more than evidences your insecurity; it draws attention to your inability to access true talent. However, I must congratulate you on such a fine specimen of elitist prose -- I'll be giggling over its punch line for weeks to come.

-- George Stewart Voegtlin Jr., Atlanta

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