Letters to the editor

Whose generation is it anyway? Plus: No sympathy for Hitler apologist; is Dr. Laura's mantra "Now go take on the gays?"

Topics: Amazon.com, LGBT

My generation sucks!
BY JIM RASENBERGER

(03/01/00)

I am the 20-something Gen Xer that Rasenberger’s genvying.

I’m the white girl driving to work in an SUV to an Internet start-up — working in marketing, no less — stopping on the way for a (non-fat) latte while talking on the cell phone (did I mention it’s light blue?) I shop at Banana Republic (online), take way too much Diet Fuel, occasionally watch the WB, eat sushi, moved to California after graduating from a big state school in the Midwest, still refer to the males I date as “guys,” have credit card debt despite being overpaid and just recently stopped drinking vodka tonics after watching a movie in which someone points out to the Chloe Sevigny character that vodka tonics are the just-out-of-college-and-moved-to-the-big-city girl drink.

A 37-year-old man who lives 3,000 miles from me and who I’ve never met before is describing me perfectly. I am such a clichi I could puke.

– Julie Branco

I firmly agree with Rasenberger on the envy and homicidal urge to kill those in their 20s! As a fellow “Sucker,” born in 1964, I really blame Styx, Barry Manilow, and Air Supply for making us the luckless SOB’s that we are! I mean, any generation that can remember 8-tracks and 45s seems doomed to mediocrity. Thanks for your acumen and insight into this blight!

– Bob Partain

His generation would suck — that is if he had one. It is impossible to define the parameters of a generation. While some, like Gen X, have come to have popular meaning and accepted parameters, this makes them no more or less valid than any other proposed generational group. Any work or study that attempts to discuss the mood, ideals and tendencies of a generation is bunk.

The sad part about discussions regarding supposed generations is that it assumes that age is a major determining factor of political, economic, or social ideas and tastes. The fact is, in the U.S. there is no better indicator of attitudes than income (and education that is a function of income). We are a society with distinctly different classes that think and behave differently.

– Andrew Shepard



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The problem with Jim Rasenberger’s “genvy” article is that the standard by which he measures “Gen X” is still that of the ’80s: making a killing. What he fails to notice is that this generation is as spiritually and morally hollow as any in history — a lack of notice which indeed reveals his membership in “Generation Suck.”

– Matt Hutton

News flash for you, Jim: A lot of the new Internet money is going to members of your “Generation Suck.” Michael Dell is 34. Jeff Bezos is 35. Steve Case is 41. Whatever sucks here, it isn’t our generation.

– Alan Cherry

I was born in 1963 and will turn 37 in two weeks. All my life I’ve wondered why I was lumped together with boomers who came of age in the ’60s since I was very aware that I had missed out on that. Then Douglas Coupland (who is two years older than me) wrote Generation X, and I finally thought, “this is who I and my friends are” only to see the term applied to kids 10 years younger. So you see, we even had our own name stolen from us. No question, our generation sucks!

– John D. Childs

Rasenberger’s right on, though as a 20-something myself I feel even more strongly the desire to smack a 20-something. Although in computers myself, I steadfastly fight for free software and have refused my entire life to write proprietary code (i.e., commercial software) even spending much of my youth removing copy-restriction schemes. So I watch people my age (21) today who are millionaires, far worse programmers than myself, but they are so bloody selfish that they become actively engaged in proprietary protocol schemes. We free software zealots have to pass up this generational wealth to pursue what we feel to be a moral imperative, knowing full well that at the end of the day, we may have saved the computer world from closed source proprietary software, monopolies, authoritarian laws, software patents, etc., but we’ll be waiting tables for those kids who sold out.

– Jason Kroll


Hitler’s apologist

BY HEATHER WORLD
(03/01/00)

I was rather shocked to read the following sentences in World’s article about David Irving: “There is no ‘smoking gun’ blueprint for gas chambers at Auschwitz. And of course [Irving's] right.” These are fairly outrageous statements, since critical examinations of the Auschwitz blueprints have clearly shown gas chambers. They are not labeled as such, of course; the Nazis were far too cunning for that.

Historians studying the blueprints uncovered this ruse by locating those aspects of the unlabeled drawings that proved the structures could not have been anything but gas chambers. The most obvious example is the elaborate ventilation apparatus. Another is the tunnel system connecting the structures to the crematoria.

– Rob Anderson

For those who may be swayed by the pseudo-history of the holocaust deniers: remember that of all the thousands of Nazis, perpetrators and Nazi hangers-on that were tried after WWII, not one used the “denial defense!” Most of them used the familiar, “I was only following orders” defense. One of the reasons I so despise David Irving and his ilk is that the holocaust is one of the most documented events in history. To quarrel with eyewitnesses — both victims and perpetrators — is most repugnant.

– William C. Rees

I found Heather World’s Account of the David Irving “holocaust denial” trial to be insightful and compelling. Again Salon provides an insider’s perspective on one of today’s most important and most overlooked news stories. This story chilled me to the bone.

– Alexander Hauschild

California Ethnic and Mulitcultural Archives

University of California, Santa Barbara

Direct to you
BY DENA BUNIS
(02/23/00)

I recently asked my doctor what he thought of this disgusting practice, and he nearly went through the roof. He told me that drug companies spend $13,000 per year per doctor in advertising. In his opinion, this was the main reason why the same drugs cost one half the U.S. price in Canada and one quarter the U.S. price in Mexico. The drug companies claim they need the high prices to pay for research, but the fact is that they spend more money for advertising than for research. We are paying to be hustled!

There was a time not long ago when manufacturers of prescription drugs were called “ethical drug companies” to distinguish them from makers of over the counter remedies and snake-oil salesmen. That distinction has unfortunately been lost.

– George Cunha


StopDrLaura.com

BY DONNA LADD
(03/01/00)

Dr.” Laura is anti-gay? My, how things change. When she was getting started, she would occasionally say things about gays that actually sounded somewhat positive — including the obvious fact that gays almost never have kids they later abandon. I guess this was before she discovered the lucre in pandering to the extreme right-wing.

– Steven Maurer

These gay activists seem to have more hate inside them than Dr. Laura. I’m tired of radicals on both sides of the gay issue trying to speak for the majority. When will the public stand up to these verbal terrorists?

–Scott Lunsford

Dr. Laura brings a healthy perspective into the homosexual debate. I’ve not known her to demean and bash gays. She may have an opinion about the cause of homosexuality and opinions about the lifestyle — that’s OK. Should the issue of homosexuality come up on the show it will be informative to hear her perspective. There are always two sides to every story. So let’s hear it.

– D. Waterhouse

eFaust eFoiled
BY STEPHEN LEMONS
(02/25/00)

EBay claims it cannot allow Jones to sell his soul because it is “a part of his body,” the sale of which is prohibited on their site. Now this is rather ridiculous, as anybody whose ever been to Sunday school can tell you. If they are going with the story that the soul exists, they have to follow doctrine. Doctrine says it is not a part of the body, and, doctrine indicates, it may be sold. The only way they could coherently forbid its sale is to declare that it flat-out doesn’t exist. This, however, eBay is not willing to do. Why not? Perhaps it is all those people out there who believe in angels and like buying vintage PEZ dispensers online.

– Judy Kellner

Funny article. Not only did I sell my soul on Amazon Auctions for $31.00 on August 4, 1999, I provided the buyer with a certificate of authenticity.

I guess those eBay people just aren’t very open minded.

– Andisheh Nouraee

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