December 18, 2002

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talkback...

Not even semiturgid

In a recent article on the band Oxbow [Local Live, 12/04/02], writer Will York states that I, lead singer of Oxbow, and I quote here, "maintained a prominent three-quarters-mast erection through most of the show."

This is quite simply a damnable lie.

While it might be said that my penile member was "prominent," it was in no way erect. Nor turgid. Nor semiturgid. Had it been so, believe me, Mr. York would have known it. Just wanted to make this point by way of clarification and in the interest of a more complete kind of journalism.

Eugene Robinson

East Palo Alto

Roots aren't political

God knows it's better than Kelly Osbourne's CD, which, not surprisingly, your staff also likes, but I'd like to adamantly disagree with Mosi Reeves's assertion that Phrenology is the "best Roots album since Do You Want More?!!??!? [Grooves, 12/11/02]. Only someone who has no respect for poetry at all would place it above Things Fall Apart and Illadelphia Halflife.

In a year when Eminem, Talib Kweli, and Jay-Z made cogent, specific, and poetic social commentary on the right-wing political horrors of our time, the Roots decided to wow us with such verse as, "We will rock you, we will rock you, we will rock you" and "I put my seed in her bush tonight ... if I would have a baby tonight, I would name it rock 'n' roll." Oh, and Black Thought mentions the Rolling Stones a few times. On "Roll Call" Puff Daddy gets big props as a "hip-hop innovator" of all things, such a poet, he.

M. Kevin Tutor

San Francisco

Attack SUVs citywide

I agree with Jane Sullivan that SUVs are horrible [Op-Ed, 12/11/02]. Sullivan's solution to the SUV problem should be a case study demonstrating everything that is wrong with what San Francisco has become. For Ms. Sullivan, like so many other residents in this city, a neighborhood is not a place to call home, it is a piece of turf to protect, at all costs, from others' expressions of self-interest.

Asking the Department of Parking and Traffic to ticket SUVs is like asking Sharon to do a hit on Saddam to preserve democracy. Annoying myopic neighborhood protectionism (a.k.a. NIMBY) is nothing more than selfish self-interest masquerading as progressive social policy. Restricting parking in the Haight? Nobody can park in the Haight now! So-called truck parking is never used by trucks; these trucks prefer to double-park. How about giving the truck parking places to SUVs and increasing the price of the meters to a dollar an hour?

All residents of this city have to suffer SUVs. Any plan to curtail these dangerous, dirty tools of destruction must be a citywide, statewide policy – something like a sin tax on gas or a buyback program with incentives.

Darrell Simon

San Francisco

Not just SUVs

After a lifetime of getting around by BMW (bicycle, Muni, walking), this pedestrian is amused to hear people who drive cars vilifying people who drive bigger cars.

Certainly SUVs and their egotistical drivers are dangerous. But the real problem is the sheer number of private, low-occupancy automobiles of any size in bikeable, walkable San Francisco. Muni is stuck in traffic, and the menace the auto presents to pedestrians and cyclists is real, as is the denigration of our quality of life.

Instead of asking the DPT to patrol parking garages and measure parked cars, how about getting them to enforce existing laws against parking on the sidewalk? This rampant violation pushes children, the disabled, and the elderly into traffic. To decrease the number of cars, how about reducing parking requirements in developments and installing City Car Share pods? How about a Muni and pedestrian-oriented Market Street that allows buses to travel quickly through downtown and into the neighborhoods? These are real projects that activists are making progress on.

Anna Sojourner

Treasurer, Walk San Francisco

San Francisco

More than antiwar

As an active organizer with the Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence (www.nonviolenceworks.com), I want to celebrate your excellent overview of our new movement that is bigger than just an antiwar effort ["Resistance Is Not Futile," 11/20/02]. I have been impressed by the overwhelming diversity of backgrounds and experiences and the awesome sense of unity based on something bigger than any one group's narrowly or ideologically defined agenda. Indeed, as I heard Ron Kovic share at a recent meeting, this feels like a movement fueled by love and compassion, not hate and negativity. It seems to me, as he also expressed, that we have come to a time that presents us with an incredible opportunity that can change the course of history from one that seems recklessly teetering toward mass devastation to a "better way" that is based on a commitment to a world that works for all living things, a healthy, loving world.

David Silverstein

The Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence

Los Angeles