-- Meredith Thompson, Atlanta
Better than chaos
John Sugg: Great column (Fishwrapper, "The thinness of civilization," Aug. 21). The lessons of Andrew are definitely applicable here in post-9-11 America, but also as a reminder why it is that in so many areas of the globe people are willing to believe the promises of rising dictators or military coups -- eventually anything is better than chaos.
-- Kelly Frawley, Atlanta
Chain bookstores serve masses
(In response to "War on words," Aug. 14): Full disclosure first: I am a librarian in the topside 'burbs, and rarely buy books retail. Also, I am a prolific reviewer of books and music at amazon.com.
I spent many fulfilling hours in both Oxford bookstores, as well as Oxford Too, and am still sorry that they are gone. But I enjoy going to the big chains. You may have heard of the concerns back in the '70s and '80s, about how nobody read anymore, and we were turning into a nation of vidiots. So, to me the success of the big chains is a heartening phenomenon. Specialized bookstores serving educated or hard-to-reach niche markets are probably here to stay, as much due to anti-mainstream, anti-suburban bigotry as to any actual value they provide. But the great middle is better served by mass marketing, and the chains have done a great job.
-- Bruce Thompson, Smyrna
What about us?
Recently, I read your article about independent bookstores ("War on words," Aug. 14). While I found the article to be quite interesting, I felt that you had forgotten the largest independent bookstore chain in Georgia, Chapter 11. In 13 different neighborhoods, we have fought aggressively against megastores on every corner. But throughout our growth and our competitive edge, we have never disassociated ourselves from the "independent" feel that is our heritage.
-- Tim Hayes,
manager of Chapter 11 Sandy Springs
Man in uniform
Cliff Bostock: Just wanted to say I enjoyed the column about the "irony of being taught gay love by a cop" (Paradigms, "Morality tales," Aug. 14). Keep 'em coming!
-- Julie Swann, Atlanta
(In response to Scene & Herd, "Shout outs and mad props," Aug. 14): Andisheh Nouraee: For many months I've enjoyed and admired your column. I had planned on writing you but never got around to it. Well, now I have.
Your new style is awful.
I was content to let you write Scene and Herd while I continued to write bad direct-mail copy ... but that's changing. Go back to the subtle and smart style you once employed. Shout outs are for rappers -- not gifted writers.
-- Kris Roth, Atlanta
Making a mockery
I would never want Hollis Gillespie as my neighbor. Based on her column (Moodswing, "Bad neighbor policy, Aug. 14), she appears quite willing to stomp on the Constitution for the safety of her child. I always thought that the Constitution guaranteed due process to everyone, even despicable child molesters. According to Ms. Gillespie, being a mother allows her to do anything -- including making a mockery of the Constitution -- to protect her child.
Nice try, Hollis. Just because you're a mother doesn't mean the rights and responsibilities of being a good citizen no longer apply to you. The Constitution protects us all, children and child molesters alike. The overused and tired "for the children" chorus is a weak excuse for poor citizenship and too often used by the religious right as an ugly rationalization to attack the rights of individuals.
Please keep out of my neighborhood, Ms. Gillespie. I believe in the Constitution despite that fact that it protects everyone.
-- Andrew Hansen, Atlanta
Jane Catoe: As an infrequent reader of the Loaf, I am totally awed by your editorial prowess. Your unfettered joust at the sacrosanct sugar king Coke (Jane Says, "Coke is shit," July 31) shows you are a rare breed of intelligence, fortitude and a sassy magical mistress of the media.
-- Garey L. Simpson, Marietta
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