Still, I can't help but be puzzled by your ignorance of what you were getting into. You were en route to a place called the "Beer Mug" for a thong contest. What made you think this would be a cultural event with an angle on fashion? I can't take issue with your assessment of the clothing styles of the evening, though. They were terrible -- especially my outfit. However, I don't think anyone but you was paying attention. (Maybe you'll have some better luck with this whole fashion critique thing at Backstreet. Just a suggestion.)
Hopefully, you can employ the adage, "Whatever doesn't kill me will only make me stronger." At least this situation gave you the opportunity to exhibit your formidable skills as a journalist, coining the phrase "the dorkiest dorks imaginable." Wow.
Anyway, thanks for the press. If I had known that I'd been given audience by a man of such discerning tastes, I would have tuned my fucking guitar.
-- Steve Whitworth,
guitarist for Absolute Jack
Too little tango
Having just returned from living and breathing Argentine tango music and dance in Buenos Aires for two months, I was dismayed to read how "tangled up in tango" author Thomas Bell truly is ("Way too tango," Aug. 7). Bell misrepresented not only the tango community here in Atlanta (he omitted some established and important teachers such as Lynda and Rick Wilson), but also the beautiful art forms of the music and the dance.
Tango is about much more than foreplay and sex, as Bell might have us believe. While it is indeed a very sensual dance, tango penetrates the creative and spiritual realm of the dancers. Many tangueros call it a "conversation without words." In tango, two people meet in an embrace to communicate through the music and to express themselves through body, mind and spirit.
Rather than the polka, "tango's closest musical cousins" include the milonga and the habenera. Mr. Bell confuses the bandoneòn (the button-accordion integral to the tango orquesta) with the keyboard accordion used in many European folk and popular musical styles. In fact, the German-made bandoneòn (also known as the concertina), which most likely arrived in Argentina on an immigrant ship, was used in its native country for liturgical services in parishes too small or poor to have an organ.
-- Kristin Wendland, faculty adviser, Tangueros Emory
CL's editors prudes?
Reading last week's Scalawag has caused me to question my most basic assumptions about the universe (News & Views, The Weekly Scalawag, Aug 7). Attacking Mary Perdue, our state's First Lady, for "pimpin' the first pooch" after the family invited UGA mascot Uga to the governor's mansion for a sleepover? When, dear sirs, did the irreverent Loaf become prudish?
Or is it only the pedestrians in your hallowed halls who are allowed to have a little fun? Your piece suggested that we "get back to governing the state and leave the tomfoolery to [you]." I can assure you that we did not need to let go of the reins of governance to write and send a funny press release. Our photographer did not miss a presidential visit or economic summit to snap a shot of the first dog in a feather boa.
So, no, we will not leave the tomfoolery to you, as you are clearly unqualified to pursue it alone. Until your Grinch and Scrooge pills wear off, we will engage in humor. We will govern, tackle the tough issues and work our tails off (pun intended) for the people of Georgia -- and we will do it with a smile.
--Dan McLagan, director of communications,
Office of the Governor, Atlanta
What I want
For the record, I do understand zone-based advertising and the perils of trying to make a living publishing an alternative weekly (Going Postal, "To our readers," Aug. 7). However, I have to say that taking out some of your most popular columnists to make room for advertising is not the best way to encourage people to pick up your paper. I always turn first to Cliff Bostock, Jane Catoe and "Don't Panic" (as well as Hollis Gillespie, and your theater and restaurant reviews) when I get your paper. Now they are banished to the online edition for more breast enhancement and teeth-whitening ads? Not a good tradeoff for the reader.
I'll never stop reading the Loaf, but you're making me less interested in picking it up every week. I get what I want from the online edition ... and less advertising.
-- Cris Stanfill, Atlanta
(In response to Going Postal, Angela Taglia's "Only time will tell," Aug. 7): I belong a group that partakes in such "embarrassing" feedings. If you think it's embarrassing to see homeless people, try being one. Most homeless would rather be in their own homes eating their own food, but are unable to due to a dangerous dearth of affordable housing, a pitiful lack of employment opportunities and possible mental illness.
You refer to charities and homeless "taking over our parks." Gosh, I failed to see the sign in Woodruff Park that reads, "This public park is for downtown residents only." Public parks are for everyone, not just those with loft views.
As for health concerns, my group distributes vegetarian fare, and has never heard of one food poisoning incident. Furthermore, we always clean up our "obscene" mess, and encourage others to do the same.
Mayor Shirley Franklin's initiative to deter park feedings (and consequently purge the parks of "embarrassing" elements) will fail because the health code does not apply to picnic-style servings, and because we have a legal right to be there.
If homelessness bothers you, do something constructive about it. Closing your curtains and raving against charities is truly an embarrassment to human dignity.
-- Alison Ross, Atlanta Food Not Bombs
Cliff Bostock: I grew up eating mountain oysters, or hog balls (Food and Drink, "Curry and cojones," Aug. 7). As I recall, they were tasty, but tough as hell, and both my grandmother and grandfather knew how to really cook Southern! [I] enjoy your column -- both of them. As a matter of fact, I didn't read food columns until I found yours.
-- James Braddy, Norcross
The rest of the story?
I hope this finds you well and, in some capacity, enjoying at least one of the benefits of forest production (the home or office you are sitting in, clean air to breath, toothpaste, shampoo, film, perhaps even the newsprint that your recent article was printed on).
I find it rather disturbing to read an article about the management of the Dawson Forest that obviously doesn't tell the whole story (News & Views, "City's Dawson Forest tract getting hacked," July 31). I believe it would be very beneficial if the reporter could spend a little more time with Mr. McClure and learn a little more about the forest. You must have misunderstood Dawson Forest for being a mature hardwood forest just a few years ago. Look at the age of the pine trees there now and tell me how anybody can grow a 20-year-old pine tree in 12 years. Timber companies would love to know this.
Please ask your readers to learn more about what all of us can do to protect our trees and other resources in our neighborhood parks and school grounds. Let them know about groups like Trees Atlanta and how they can help there. The Georgia Forestry Commission has excellent information available at www.gfc.state.ga.us.
We preserve what we have already let die (dried flowers); we conserve (through proper management and assistance) what is still alive and has a chance to continue (a forest ecosystem).
-- Louise McPherson, Dawsonville
A superlative read
(In response to "Damn spam!" July 10): Your article is maybe the most informative and entertaining that I've ever read about anything.
-- Robert A. Cohen, Lawrenceville
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