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Support the little guys
(In response to "Where the air isn't free," May 1): The thing about Atlanta is that it hasn't spawned (to my knowledge) any substantial "alternative" record labels. Sympathy Records, for instance (www.sympathyrecords.com), is based out of the "Hell-A" area, otherwise known as Los Angeles. The musical universe does still seem to revolve around NYC and
Atlanta has some great hip-hop labels. There just aren't enough freaky-deaky "alternative" folks around.
I am brand-loyal. I know that Sympathy Records delivers my kind of sound, from the White Stripes to the Lords of Altamont to the Detroit Cobras. Local entrepreneurialism and a fan support base is the answer.
Fuck Clear Channel. Support local college radio.

-- Glenn Armstrong, Atlanta

Livin' it up at the Hotel Clermont
Scott Henry: I'm writing to extend congratulations on perfectly capturing the oily, faded beauty that is that grand old dame of Ponce ("Do not disturb -- please!" April 24). At first I was a little envious, thinking, "I should have been the one to write this!" because I'm a fan of the Clermont and of other great bygone "Atlanta joints with personality," like the Stein Club, Austin Avenue Buffet and the Beer Mug.

But I have to say, you wrote it so well I couldn't think of anything to add. I laughed out loud several times and have passed it on to several friends who also enjoyed it.

-- Noel Mayeske, College Park

Misunderstood vampire slayer
(In response to Arts, "Pop smart," April 17): The tone of the article is such that I suspect Felicia Feaster has never really watched "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

If she had, she would be aware that it is not only not a "teenybopper adventure series," but that, with a handful of other programs, "Buffy" is one of the most intelligently written programs currently airing on television.

Further, she would be aware that the show is geared toward a more adult audience (the "Buffy" audience is, on average, 27 years old and has at least a year of university under its belt). While the article seems, at first glance, to be a favorable piece, comments like the aforementioned "teenybopper adventure series" show it to be a smirking and disrespectful slam at both "Buffy" and Ronda Wilcox.

As a 50-year-old professional critic, with over 20 years of freelance experience, and a faithful follower of the program, I find this kind of backhanded treatment to be deplorable. Anyone who has studied mythology, psychology and history can see the qualities that provoke such an academic interest in "Buffy."

Anyone who can get past the title can see that there is a great deal more going on than just simple allegory and basic symbolism. As each season progresses, the symbolism deepens and broadens, and the metaphors become more varied. The characters are as well delineated as any on television, and their exploits are the stuff of legend.

To be dismissed as a "teenybopper adventure series" or something that prompts an "atypical academic, fanlike infatuation" is to undervalue the quality of the program, the intelligence of the audience (and the many jaded critics who also find it most satisfactory) and the sanity and perception of the scholars who study it.

-- Sheldon A. Wiebe, Calgary,

Alberta, Canada

Ask questions that matter
(In response to Fishwrapper, "In Dixieland, where I ... yawn," April 24): I feel that it is a shame that during your interview with Chairman Byrne you saw fit to -- I'm making an assumption here and as we know that can be dangerous -- only question him regarding the flag issue.

The media has astutely pointed out that this issue is minor at best and will not have a huge impact on an election. However, it is disconcerting that this seems to be the primary issue that journalists and reporters continue to belabor. Further, some journalists are missing the point regarding the "sinister flag issue." The argument should not be about what we see, the tangible fabric on the pole unfurling, rather, the point of consternation between the Republican candidates and the Dems is the manner by which the flag was changed. As you well know this issue was not placed before the voters of Georgia; all we are saying is it should have been. I digress on this point.

You control the issues. If you have concerns regarding other topics, you should ask those questions. I have heard Chairman Byrne speak quite eloquently and knowledgeably about many of the topics you alluded to in your article. Call him on it. In all fairness you had your opportunity to stump on his stance on the flag, the invocation of cheap colloquialisms may have been overboard, so allow him to stump on an issue that may be of greater concern to your readership as well as of tantamount importance to the well being of the state of Georgia (the water wars between the states might be a good jumping-off point).

-- Nelson Trepke, Powder Springs

Seeing both sides
Andisheh Nouraee: I thoroughly enjoyed your column "Why do Arabs hate Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon so much?" (Don't Panic, April 17). You did a wonderful job of presenting a lot of information in a very balanced manner -- something really difficult to do with this topic. Bravo!

-- Alta Schwartz, outreach coordinator for Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Institute for Comparative and International Studies, Emory University

Grateful for the truth
John Sugg: I've had the good fortune to discover -- entirely by chance -- your articles on the Internet about the alleged Israeli spy ring in the U.S. (Fishwrapper, "The spies who came in from the art sale," March 13). Fascinating reading.

Articles such as yours are read and discussed by many people and are greatly appreciated. No doubt there will be enormous pressure applied in order to stop you writing and telling the truth. Please don't give in, continue what you're doing.

Many of us are grateful.

-- Mark Cooper, London, UK

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