Letters to the Editor

The finer points of erotic dance class; did Nixon policies help drug addicts?


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Letters to the Editor
May 18, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)

Gypsy Rose Coed
BY SARAH GOLD
(05/12/99)

I'd just like to clarify a few points in Sarah Gold's piece on my erotic dance class at Mount Holyoke College:

1) I love the title, but Mount Holyoke is and has always been a women's college. Our students are not and have never been coeds. "Gypsy Rose Women's College Student" would have been more accurate, but it lacks a certain punch, doesn't it?

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2) I am not tenured. The college has a chance to get rid of me every three years. (Next time around, they just might take it!)

3) Please -- we say "dancer." <inot

4) In what was I'm sure an editorial oversight, Gold did not mention that my breasts are a luscious 34C.

-- Susan Scotto

A student quoted in Gold's article says, "All of us here are white, educated, from
pretty financially secure families. None of us have to dance for a living, to get by. So it's fun."

Wow. So much for diversity at Mount Holyoke. Of the
factors mentioned, I feel that financial security is
the only relevant factor in not having to dance for a
living. Education helps one achieve financial security.
As for race, I hope this student knows that there are
more poor white people than poor black people in America.

-- Robert Rwebangira

Washington

Fixin' under Nixon
BY LORI LEIBOVICH
(05/11/99)

To claim that Nixon's drug policies were in any way progressive
is simply idiotic, and in clear contradiction to the facts. Nixon
actually realized that drug laws were not yet federal, and that
by creating a new federal crime, he could grab some power that
no president before him had access to. I know of no evidence
that he had any intention to help users.

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-- Chuck Dupree

Cracked up
BY MAIA SZALAVITZ
(05/11/99)

I feel that a crucial element was omitted from "Cracked up." During these
paranoid years of the 1980s there was also the "threat" from left-wing
activists in Colombia -- America's so-called backyard. A moral panic about crack
cocaine provided all the national support that the Reagan administration
required to "send in the boys." After all, those Reds were not only
politically warped, they also had plans on destroying your kids' life and
American society at large. Powerful propaganda indeed.

-- Gavin Dowling

London

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Linux for dummies?
BY ANDREW LEONARD
(05/11/99)

The way people discuss variety in the computer industry amazes me. Would
the automotive industry be better off if all cars were Fords? The
differences between different versions of Unix and now Linux are no more
complex than the location of a headlight switch or an AC control -- anyone that
knows they exist can find them in no time. The only thing that
"fragmentation" of the Unix/Linux market has hurt is marketing. I am glad
to have Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE, etc. These are called choices.

-- Jeff Myers

Beijing journal
BY S.H.
(05/10/99)

I am an American resident of Beijing (and have been for five and a
half years). I would like to make a few points in response to the
"Beijing Journal" protest report:

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1) On Saturday night, after the end of the first round of "official"
protests, I saw unorganized groups of student protesters arriving
at the Jiangguomen embassy district by subway. On Sunday morning,
I saw a group of over a thousand students marching from the
Zhongguancun university district to the Jiangguomen embassy district
(as the article mentioned, a distance of 12 miles). A large
demonstration was inevitable. Providing logistical support was the
government's method for maintaining some degree of control over the
situation. Even the traditionally hostile Western media has
consistently made this point.

2) There were spontaneous protests in over a dozen Chinese cities,
from Hong Kong to Lanzhou. The idea that the government concocted,
for example, a sit-down protest in front of a Nanjing Kentucky
Fried Chicken is absurd.

3) The idea that there would have been no protests without official
sanction is equally absurd. Just a few weeks ago, a massive protest
by Fa Lun Gong practitioners caught the government completely
off-guard, and shut down the center of Beijing for a whole day.
This demonstration was organized because the group suspected the
government might stop letting them gather in parks to practice
their exercises.

4) This is not a communist vs. capitalist issue. This is a Chinese vs. Western imperialism issue, an issue which
has deep and strongly felt historical roots.

-- Michael Robinson

Beijing

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If there's any doubt about why the United States is becoming
more loathed around the world, the tone and
content of your American student in Beijing's letter should put that
doubt to rest. He sounds like he thinks the Chinese should apologize for
being pissed off over the embassy bombing.

-- Jonathan Aurthur

Santa Monica, Calif.

Northern exposure
BY STEVE BURGESS
(05/11/99)

The strongest impression left by Steve Burgess' article
is a squirming self-hatred for being Canadian. How tiresomely
unnecessary. If the Mowat story was worth running, it was
worth editing out the squirming -- and if the real point of
the article was Burgess' self-abasement, I find it a dubious
kind of comedy on the part of Salon.

Most Canadians don't spend much time worrying about all that
less-macho-than-the-United-States stuff, by the way. But then, we've
got lives.

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-- Kate McDonnell

Montreal

Burgess writes, "A recent contest to come up with a northern equivalent of the phrase 'As
American as apple pie' produced the suggestion 'As Canadian as
possible.'"

This is wrong, and I'm disappointed you didn't do any fact-checking. The
contest was held more than 20 years ago on Peter Gzowski's 1970s CBC radio
show, "This Country in the Morning." The actual winner was "As Canadian as
possible, under the circumstances."

-- William Denton

Toronto


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