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Going Postal 

Memory lane
Your 30th anniversary issue was a trip down memory lane. I discovered beer at the Stein Club and thin young women at 688. While your overall slant is too far left for me and I find Mr. Sugg especially bothersome, I do congratulate you for providing us with an "alternative" these many years, sex ads and all.

-- Charles Jackson, Atlanta

Peter Cottontail
(In response to "Creative Loafing turns 30," June 5): Great story, but you might like to know that Elton John wore a gorilla suit to surprise Iggy Pop, not a bunny suit. I know because I was with Elton that night and helped him rent the suit. It was quite a scary sight.

-- Sharon Lawrence, Carmel, Calif.

Soul brother
Tony Ware: Thank you very much for your article on the history of the Atlanta neo-soul scene (Vibes, "Soul in bloom," May 29). For a newcomer to the city like me, it opened my eyes to things I would not have found on my own. I am writing both to offer thanks and to ask if there are venues now that have tried to take up the slack left by the demise of Yin Yang Cafe. I would love to see some of the live authentic music before it has fully gone corporate.

-- Jeff Livingston, Atlanta

Long live communism!
Congratulations, Andisheh Nouraee. You have just won a job writing for Granma, the official Communist Party newspaper of Cuba. Fidel Castro loved your article in support of our communist island and its victimization by that mean imperialist Uncle Sam. Fidel was very impressed when you conveniently forgot to mention that we have no freedom of speech or religion or assembly or ... well, you know how it is here. And that wonderful diatribe against Batista and his imperialist Yanquee regime! It sure was fortunate that Fidel and his band of revolutionaries took over and established Marxism on our island.

And let us not forget the salad years when the U.S.S.R. came here, supported us, and built missile silos and air bases. Boy, those Americans never knew how much danger they were really in with nuclear missiles just 90 miles from Florida. You know, Andisheh, if you play your cards right, you may just get a vacation home by the sea in one of those European or Canadian resorts.

Funny, Canada and Europe don't care that we oppress our people; they just want to make some money. Funny how it all comes back to dollars, and we were so very opposed to capitalism at one time. Well, I guess we know now that Communism is not the way, but let's keep that between ourselves and Fidel. Hope to hear from you soon!

Your comrades at the Communist Party of Cuba.

-- Jack Franco Handmacher, Norcross

Macho, macho man
(In response to Paradigms, "Clothes make the man gay," May 29): Cliff Bostock's column oh-so-astutely ridicules narrow-minded stereotypes, and rings similar to my own experience.

After separating from my wife, moving out and trying to re-establish a sense of identity, I looked in my closet one day and realized that virtually every piece of clothing I owned was purchased for me, and I didn't like any of it. Long before I was domesticated, I had enjoyed dressing a little stylish. So began my journey to update my wardrobe with DKNY, Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein, and my subsequent entrance into the singles scene. It didn't take me long to remember the unpleasant memories of the meat market, but this time I was facing something new.

Twice while engaging a woman in conversation, I was asked if I was gay. I'm quite comfortable in my sexual identity and took no offense. But by the third time, I was becoming a little annoyed at the apparent perception I was giving off, so I pressed this third woman to tell me why she asked that question. She told me that in Atlanta, if a man is good looking, slim and dresses well, it is assumed he's gay. I had to ponder this a bit.

How can I (feign) machismo? I've no desire for a beard or mustache. Should I stare at women's breasts, grow a potbelly, stand around with my arms far from my side? Where do macho men shop?

No, none of this is an option for me. I have to stay true to who I am. And still now, years later and despite all the obvious signs to the contrary, I continue to find myself enormously attracted to the female body. I continue in my quest to find a real woman who can handle a man like me. Atlanta is so cosmopolitan.

-- Kevin Ball, Atlanta

Blame game
(In response to Flipside, "Did the White House fail to heed pre-9-11 terror warnings?" May 29): John Hickman states that White House failed in "ensuring that the military and civilian bureaucracies charged with protecting national security do their work -- and work together." Unfortunately, John, it is, in fact, against the law in almost every case for the civilian and military to share information except in foreign conflicts. All law enforcement people who work in intelligence jobs in the military reserve are required to sign statements every year; they cannot use or share any information gathered in the military in their civilian jobs.

The problem, sir, is the more Congress screws around with the laws regulating intelligence, the less effective it becomes. No one will share data if there is a possibility of violation of some obscure law in the thousands of pages regulating the gathering and sharing of data.

Congress always gets more in-depth briefs than the administration. It is Congress who has intelligence oversight. It is Congress who screwed up and will continue to keep the intelligence community in chaos, because there will always be more bureaucrats than agents. That means all of the real intelligence will be filtered to death before anyone in authority can act.

-- Capt. Bart Mitcham, Navy Intelligence (retired), Cartersville

Credit where credit's due
CL's 30th anniversary cover story (June 5) would not have been nearly as complete without the help of old-timers Gregory Nicoll, who contributed most of the music venue and cult band blurbs; Greg Land, who aided in fact-checking; and Alex Burns, who wracked his remaining brain cells for recollections of Atlanta's past. Thanks, guys.

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