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Zoned out 

I want to thank you for your explanation regarding the missing content in Creative Loafing (Going Postal, "To our readers," Aug. 7).

Really, I can't understand why people would be upset over this policy. Since the primary reason for having an alternative publication is to sell advertising, I suggest you eliminate all of that pesky content.

Using your theory, you could put all of the features and articles online, and free up your print space for those valuable ads. Surely we chuckleheaded, ignorant sheep will keep picking up CL out of habit, and eagerly read your advertising without any content whatsoever. It's not like we have much choice, now do we? I'm glad that you are finally following the lead of those fine people over at the AJC and getting things in the proper perspective.

-- Larry Tracy, Atlanta

In debt
Thanks for explaining why CL is morphing into the Dunwoody Crier (Going Postal, "To our readers," Aug. 7).

I know I can read Jane Says online, but since she is the most talented young writer east of the Mississippi, don't you owe it to her and yourself to showcase her column in all areas of the city?

-- Raleigh Pitts, Dunwoody

Have his say
I enjoyed the piece on Big Gipp (Vibes, "Steppin' Out," Aug. 7). Way to let to artist have his say. A solid line of questioning that paid off nicely. Bravo!

-- Michael Valverde, Atlanta

Choke on this
Chris Watford, I'd like to see you produce some evidence that "the vast majority of Americans" are anti-abortion, devout Christians, advocates of school prayer and in support of displaying the Ten Commandments in public (Going Postal, "You're the weird one," Aug. 7). If this were true, abortion would be illegal again, every school would require prayer and the Ten Commandments would be prominently displayed in many public places. The truth is that "the vast majority of Americans" are smart enough to realize that supporting these things would limit many freedoms for many Americans who don't believe in these things at all. I am a 40-year-old woman who was raised in a Christian home. The obvious difference between us is that I was taught the importance of freedom of religion. The only way to truly protect your freedom of religion is to maintain a separation of church and state. I don't want the state pushing any religion down my throat, even if it is the one I was raised with and believe in. You shouldn't either.

-- Deserie McCauley, Atlanta

Parenthetical overload
(In response to The Weekly Scalawag, "To Zell Miller, for showing his true colors," July 31): I just love you "unhinged" left-wing "extremist" creeps over there at CL. So you're hysterical (I'm sure your diverse, multicultural mascara is running) about Bill Pryor (and Miller's support of him) being "an unabashed promoter of radical (horror of horrors) Christianity, who advocates (oh, my God) organized school prayer and (worst of all) the public display of (oh, no) the Ten Commandments." I can think of a lot of problems facing this country. But frankly, no school prayer and no display of the Ten Commandments aren't among them. In fact, a little more of both might even be a good (oh no, can't be judgmental) thing.

-- Charles Jackson, Atlanta

Only time will tell
While Mayor Shirley Franklin's leadership leaves much to be desired, you totally mischaracterized what I believe was the intent of the new Health Code enforcement with respect to public food distribution (News & Views, "Writing's on the wall," July 31). In doing so, I think you have failed in one of your most basic responsibilities as a local newspaper: informing the public.

To those of us who live downtown, the public feedings are embarrassments. They entail lines of homeless and charity groups taking over our parks and open spaces, providing food of varying degrees of quality and sanitation, and then leaving obscene amounts of garbage everywhere. What's to prevent the recipients of the food from becoming unwilling participants in another Jonestown, or the spread of something as preventable as salmonella poisoning? Is that really the best we can do?

The new plan requires those wishing to help to donate food to facilities licensed to distribute it in a safe and dignified manner. Only time will tell if this plan will help distribute the food more effectively, but at least it's a change from the mayhem that has previously occurred. I believe you would do a service to all concerned by publicizing the licensed facilities that are available to accept food donations and distribute them appropriately. According to the mayor's press release, those facilities include: Crossroads, Odyssey III, My Sisters House, Shepherd's Inn, Atlanta City Mission, Jefferson Place and the Rock and Safe House Outreach.

-- Angela Taglia, Atlanta

No good offerings
(In response to "Give me downloads or give me death," July 31): I am a single working mom of two teenagers, not a college kid. I don't want to buy the latest CDs that these tone-deaf, money-grubbing, caterwauling morons have been cranking out lately. (My usual purchases, when I can afford it, are compilation CDs of the "old stuff.") My downloads consist of classic rock, classic R&B and older country, some of which I already own and some of which I haven't been able to find in stores. I don't see myself as a threat to the music industry. I used to be perfectly happy buying singles. I grew tired of buying an entire album/cassette/CD for one song, only to discover that the rest of the album sucked! Now, the music industry has seen fit to no longer offer this to us ... nothing good anyway.

I'm sure I am not the only one out there who feels betrayed by the turn that the industry has taken. As far as I'm concerned, when they come up with someone who can actually sing, I will start buying new music again!

-- Jeanette Combs, Ellenwood

Well, aren't we catty
Nikhil Swaminathan: Cut the crap. The Live Shot column (Vibes, "Cat Power," July 24) was trite and repetitive. Chan Marshall's "misfires and meanderings" are a part of her shtick, her stage persona; I know it, you know it, her fans know it and her detractors know it. So, excepting the references to specific on-stage banter, the review was utterly worthless and lazy.

Negative reviews are fine. Insightful reviews are even better. Trenchant rock criticism is most preferred. And what does a band or artist owe an audience or concert-goer? In my book, absolutely nothing! But I would rather see imperfection and fallibility than some old guy churning out perfect, mechanical guitar riffs for $50 a seat.

But it is not as if Cat Power is incapable of putting on a good show. Her show last March at the Variety Playhouse was one of the best performances I've seen this year. By the tone of your column, any performance you would've witnessed by Cat Power would have been negative. I cannot wait until Roni Sarig returns.

-- Hanson Dates, Griffin

Keep the faith
I was excited to read about Sam Patton ("Buh-bye boho," July 24). After all, I worked at another outlet for people with the anything-but-mainstream movie vice, Video Update. My wife and I have never been above the poverty line since we were married in 1971, at 19 and 16 years old. We now live in Savannah and own our own home with no mortgage. She's a baker, and I work for the equivalent of CL, Connect Savannah. We met as hippies and have lived as pagan explorers all our lives. Some of us make it out alive.

-- Charles "Shane" Truax, Savannah

In a word: helpless
Hollis Gillespie: I just read your piece in CL and it floored me. I, too, have had a very "interesting" life, so I probably relate to your stories more readily than a lot of others. From my present position, it's easy to identify with the state of emotional helplessness your father found himself in. You sure have a way with words, girl.

-- Tony Butcher, Macon

I remember reading CL for the first time while in Tampa, Fla., for a Cocteau Twins show around 1990 or 1991. I wished for something similar in Orlando, where I lived at the time. But I frequented Ybor City (Tampa), so I was able to get my fix of the Loaf regularly. When I moved to Atlanta seven years ago, I was glad to see a familiar masthead and felt thankful that I would continue to have the Loaf as an alternative to the mainstream local press in Atlanta.

Twelve years is a long time, and things do change. However, only the very naive could possibly believe that a union between the alternative press and mainstream corporate media will not affect editorial considerations within the alternative press. I have no love for corporate media or their bedfellows, and I am obviously no longer part of your demographic.

So this longtime reader is moving on; it was good while it lasted. The elimination of the established alternative press (CL is sadly one of the many currently being subsumed) will hopefully help pave the way for new voices -- new journals whose integrity will be based upon lessons learned from the folly of those who came before. In the end, the cycle of the new guard replacing the old is nothing new. It's too bad CL couldn't stave off the inevitable for a little longer.

-- Mick Davies, Atlanta

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