Local heroes: I read Robin Chotzinoff's "Digging Out" while passing through Denver on business. I was touched by this line: "Even as everyone else was going down in the Twin Towers, the firefighters were going up." It encapsulated the heroism and selflessness of the New York Fire Department men and women who lost their lives in the service of others.
However, I wanted to remind your readers that the heroism of firefighters doesn't stop at NYC's city limits. Every firefighter who goes into a burning building to save the lives of others is worthy of the same respect, be they from NYC or the Indian Hills Volunteer Fire Department. Your own volunteer firefighters can be killed just as dead by the collapse of the roof of a burning single-story ranch house.
I hope your readers remember this the next time their local volunteer fire department has a fundraiser. While the size of the departments and the buildings may be different, the heart and spirit of your local fire department is just as big as those of the valiant heroes who lost their lives in NYC. Please help your local heroes go home to their families by providing them with the equipment they need to safely protect your family.
Ames Bern Amesville Volunteer Fire Dept.
Peace and quiet: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Stop Imagining," in the September 27 issue:
The Clear Channel list debacle is an example of many things: how quickly and completely political correctness can go bad; how a big corporation tries to anticipate (or even create) public reaction; how that same big corporation loses touch with the real world; how little faith people in power have in those they serve.
On the other hand, it shows how, thanks to the mass media and the Internet, this kind of silliness gets exposed and put in its proper place. Now if we can settle down all the conspiracy theorists and other paranoids, we can get on with enjoying whatever music we like.
via the Internet
For the record: First and foremost, I must applaud you for Michael Roberts's well-written article. I work at a major record store downtown, and although we are a corporate chain, all of our employees tend to drift away from the mainstream, and much of the time in our back halls and rooms is spent in discussion of politics, music and the like. We were all appalled when we were faxed a list of songs that Clear Channel had apparently banned from the airwaves -- this being just two days after the attacks. We were milling about, our hearts heavy and our thoughts ground deeper inside than perhaps we had collectively peered in a long time.
For us, music is, and always will be, a place of solace, something I think everyone can relate to. Who cannot mention a certain song or album that has affected them greatly at one point or another in their lives? Words and chords strike a deep note in your heart when you need it most.
Having come from vastly different and far-reaching musical tastes, we all were struck low by the addition of "Imagine" to the Clear Channel list. It is a song that has deeply touched anyone who has ever heard it, and for it, of all songs, to be shelved at this particular time seemed a cruel blow. I was touched that not all of Clear Channel's employees felt the same way as the rest of the company. One of the morning DJs on KBCO was reading the list aloud, and upon coming to "Imagine," immediately played it with great joy.
Thank you for voicing in print the disapproval felt by many. I have never been much of a radio listener, and Clear Channel has now ensured that I never will be again.
Creed it and weep: Because Michael Roberts's opinions are shit and always have been, period, I don't see the use in responding to his "Stop Imagining." However, he is utterly lacking in a true understanding of the First Amendment, free speech and the level of culpability that a corporate radio station has in denying or infringing on said rights. He has no concept of the corporate entity, nor does he understand that defensible corporate action is simply not an infringement on "free speech," as he classifies it in this case.