I thought Patricia Calhoun's June 8 column, "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee," kicked butt, to borrow a phrase from Jim Norris. I only hope that he and the workers from Sound Warehouse continue to show the courage of their convictions. As many of us from the baby boomer generation learned the hard way, sometimes you must make sacrifices in order to do what is right.
I'm glad that Generation X is finally waking up, albeit belatedly.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather buy a CD from someone who looks hip than someone who looks like a refugee from Up With People.
What is so terrible about requiring employees to meet a certain standard of appearance? Sound Warehouse is well within its rights to impose a dress code on its workers. If they don't like it, they can go work somewhere else. Westword, perhaps?
When Amendment 2 passed, we should have had a gay business owner fire all of his heterosexual employees simply because they are heterosexual. We'll see how long that stays legal. A company can adopt a dress code requiring males to wear their hair short and go earring-less. What if a company adopted a dress code requiring females to wear long hair and earrings? How long would that fly? You can sue a bartender for serving you too many drinks. Why can't you sue the 7-Eleven clerk for selling you too many cigarettes? Or the grocery clerk for selling you too many eggs? They should know better.
It's a crazy world we live in, man. It's legal to jump out of an airplane or kayak down a raging river or shoot as many of the "enemies" in the head as possible. It's legal to buy a bottle of sleeping pills or drink four bottles of vodka a day or smoke eight packs of cigarettes a day, but don't get caught with a joint, man.
We've got a bunch of posers in charge and enough "Stepford" citizens to keep them there. What can I do, though? I can't run for political office because I do inhale. Besides, that wouldn't do any good. The system is corrupted from the inside, not the outside.
A lot of "Americans" will tell you that this country was founded on the idea of "majority rules." They're either mistaken or stupid (maybe both). This country was founded on the idea of individual liberty. The rights of the individual come first; the wants of the majority come second. That's why those people left that island and started their own country, so that they could escape the tyranny of the "majority." It's too bad that their little experiment failed.
Intolerance should be illegal. So should a lack of a sense of humor. Anybody whines or complains too much, cut out their tongue. We could probably feed a hell of a lot of homeless people that way. I may be a sick, maladjusted, antisocial individual, but I can't be held responsible. I'm a victim. Society is the culprit.
I'm a white heterosexual male, the embodiment of power, so go ahead and rip me a new one.
Regarding Arthur Hodges's "Judgment Day" in the June 8 issue:
Sounds like David Smith is willing to tackle tough cases. I don't know him or know whether he's been treated unfairly. But I do know that if a case is complex or unusual, or if it takes several steps of analytical reasoning to fully understand or application of equitable principles and a little common sense to properly resolve, there's a pretty fair chance the judges aren't going to understand the case--and will condemn it as frivolous. The irony is that the judges may frivolously determine litigation to be frivolous.
Some profound reforms are needed to improve the judicial system. Hopefully, we'll see some within a hundred years.
Pomp and Circumstances
Thank you for Steve Jackson's June 8 story, "A Matter of Principal," about the background behind the Manual High graduation controversy. It's the only media story (on radio, TV or in print) that gave me any idea what the real issues were. And it seems that Manual's principal is better at passing the buck than she is at passing students.
On behalf of Manual High School, a sincere apology is expressed to the Manual High School Class of 1994, their families and friends for the disruption of what had been planned to be a commemorative and memorable event occurring during the centennial year. The events which caused this disruption should not have occurred. It is felt that the participants were deprived of their right to experience an enjoyable event because of a small number of persons who placed their individual needs above the needs of the Class of 1994.
Manual High School is renowned during most of its 100-year history for a tradition of achievement and diversity. Acknowledgement is given to the location of the school, which causes it to serve as a precious monument of prominence and esteem for the immediate neighborhood and for the African-American community. However, it would be an insult to fail to recognize the school's importance to any other segment of the previous and current student bodies.
Similar thinking is in order about the Class of 1994 graduation. The ceremony belonged to them, not to any particular segment of the graduating class or school community. It would have been inappropriate for any specific group of graduates to receive preferential treatment during the ceremony based upon their individual opinions. The event was for the sole purpose of granting a high school diploma to these graduates in the presence of many of the persons who had enabled them to qualify for this traditional rite of passage. The procedures should not have had to be changed to accommodate the wishes of any interest group. To do so would not have been compatible with the purpose of a graduation ceremony. Further, the occasion was not the appropriate forum to address perceived grievances since there are workable, viable and appropriate routes for the accomplishment of a redress for grievances.
We must continue to work to discover the means by which the completion of a sound high school education for all of America's youth becomes a reality. Please let this event serve the greater purpose of a recognition that we all need each other, that we all need to feel responsible for each other's welfare, and that we will either thrive together or we will not survive together.
Linda Bates Transou
Principal, Manual High School
Rock in His Head
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Hard-Boiled to Perfection" in the June 1 issue:
Say it ain't so, Bill. Tell me you didn't link Red Rock West with Richard Widmark. Or even with the Coen boys. Dahl's flick definitely aims for Blood Simple and drops well short. Yes, the brothers C are slick and controlled, but at least they remembered to write a freakin' script! Every speech in this movie can be found in any sizable collection of Kojak episodes. Where in this film are you finding dialogue both stripped and resonant, or the tasty psychological traps of good noir? In the random yelling?
...and in the end, the drifter casts money to the wind because he does have a soul. (What does it say about an audience, by the way, when the discarding of cash makes for such a devastating final scene?) Disney would be proud.
I hope your readers won't mind if I hint at one of the big secret twists of Red Rock West: When the femme fatale says to trust her 'cause she loves you--don't do it!
For the Record
With regard to John Jesitus's June 8 article "Local Attraction," the phrase "on whose shelves a fair amount of the merchandise subsequently appeared" (referring to Bakeman's CDs) might leave the impression in some readers' minds that Bakeman's was some kind of instigator in the incident involving John Carter and his unnamed female partner. I would just like to explain what happened.
After Carter and the woman had their falling-out, she called a few local stores, described the situation and explained that she needed to sell the merchandise (which she had gone out and acquired). Bakeman's was the store that bought the merchandise from her; I came into the picture after the dispute between them had already happened. I paid her, she paid the people who had consigned the product to her, and that was pretty much it. Bakeman's now has a larger local music section, the local artists got paid for their product, and John Carter also has about 75 local CDs and tapes that Bakeman's gave him on consignment. Locals' Music has my best wishes for success; after all, the reason we're both here is to get the music to the people.
Frank Bacon, owner