Letters to the Editor

"Hardball" goof is truly scary; don't call stay-at-home dads incompetent!

By Letters to the Editor
May 25, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)
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Buchanan's brother threatens Clinton associate




"Hardball" strikes out


The truly scary thing about the false exposé of Cody Shearer by accusers
Matthews, Drudge and Limbaugh is not merely that Shearer turned out to be
innocent, but that he was able to prove his innocence. What if he had not
been out of town? What if he had been home alone watching television at
the time of Willey's alleged attack? Would any of the tabloid "reporters," or
the public at large, ever have believed in Shearer's innocence?


-- Paul B. Brown

Memphis, Tenn.

What I find interesting is that a man who had "mental disorders" for years was able to get a gun. Or if it was a gun that had been in his house for years, why his family didn't remove it, since Bay Buchanan and other conservatives all say that family, church and friends -- not laws -- should solve the gun problems. It is also interesting that Hank Buchanan can arrange to turn himself in, but had not done so days later. I wonder how many of the rest of us would be granted this luxury? Bay Buchanan said it is a "terrible setback for Hank and his family." I gather she didn't feel it was a "setback" or a problem for the people in Shearer's house to be threatened at gunpoint.

-- Karen Goodrich

Bakersfield, Calif.


Wasn't Mike Barnicle fired from Boston's top newspaper for making up
facts? Isn't Matthews making up facts when it comes to Shearer? How much credibility does Kathleen Willey have left? I think it's a shame that Barnicle lost his job but Matthews gets to retain his. I guess Boston has a great deal more character going for it than San Francisco does.

-- Carol Herman

Death of a cop show



Sure enough, a show worth watching, one with some real character
development and creativity, bites the dust. Add my name to the list of
people who protest the demise. I was waiting for
"G" to have a poignant romance, for Falzone to realize he really doesn't
love pallid Ballard very much, for Meldrick to get a new hat. These
characters were real people. Help! There are some viewers out here who are not
twentysomething. Do we have a voice?

-- Sue LaFever

Redmond, Wash.


Mr. Mom's world


As a stay-at-home dad for the past five years, I was pleased to see an
article on my fellow SAHDs. I was, however, disappointed to see Salon perpetuate the stereotype of men as incompetent caregivers in the Drama Queen contest associated with the article.

This is not to say that we don't have bad days in our household -- days when
nothing seems to go right, days when my sons are cranky or whiny or
constantly getting into things, days when it's a struggle to get dinner
prepared while keeping two active boys from injuring
themselves or each other -- but those days are no different from what any
other stay-at-home parent, male or female, contends with. I think that a
more telling Drama Queen contest would be the worst day the wife of a
stay-at-home dad has had without her husband around to help. After all, we
SAHDs have a lot more contact with our children than our wives, we know our
children's moods as well or better than they do, and we've dealt with far
more poopy diapers that have leaked up to the earlobes.


-- Brian S. Minsker

Sex! How to write a magazine article about a magazine party



I hate POV. I hate Egg. It amazes me to this day that such magazines
were funded, much less founded. I was forced to take these two brainless, insipid, publications
when Spy went out of business. I got no letter from Spy. I got a blow-in card with my first copy of POV that said the rest of my subscription would be fulfilled by these morons.


Every issue has found its way, unread, into the recycling bin. I would have
canceled, but I wanted them to eat the postage.

-- Michael Reed

Maybe Cintra doesn't want to be a hack magazine writer (I presume she did get
paid for this article and wasn't just doing us all a community service),
but what the hell made her so bitter? I've been to parties like this,
but do we all need to give vent to our vitriol? Cintra
really spoiled my day.

-- Alix Clark


The real Y2K bug


While I whole-heartedly agree with Paul Saffo's main
premise, that the greatest danger of the impending Y2K
computer bug is the expectation of disaster, and not
the digital fallout in itself, I must contradict his
belief that the arbitrary quantification of time is an
ancient tradition. In fact, it is one of the defining
and differentiating characteristics of the modern age,
in all its various periods.

In the late 16th century, people had an acute
awareness of the smaller, mechanical units of time,
but not the larger chronological enterprise.
And the "millennialists" of roughly 1,000 years ago
are most likely a fiction, a revisionist history based
on a cultural migration that occurred long after the
turn of the first millennium. A thousand years ago, most of the population was ignorant of the
calendar year. Jan. 1 had not yet been
established as New Year's Day. Most people did not
even celebrate their own birthday, but rather celebrated their Saint's Day. Time was counted in
seasons. Religion and agriculture were the industries
of the day and the only deadlines that had to be met
were planting, the harvest and Sunday church

Many scholars assert that the first recognized decade
was the "fin de sihcle" that Saffo mentions. The
1890s was a period of robust cultural self-criticism.
The effects of the industrial revolution had taken
strong hold over Europe and the United States. So
the mechanical view of time had become the industrial
view of time. People could see a decade's worth of
progress (or regression) quite clearly, in the
chocolate-brown pollution hovering over London, and
could exercise the same kind of scrutiny over the
impending centennial.


Western culture, for one reason or another, has always
reacted to categorical technological changes by
re-quantifying time and thereby asserting that it is
limited. Agriculture brought us accounting of
seasons, mechanization introduced us to seconds,
minutes and hours, and industrialization inspired the
creation of the concepts of the decade and the
century. Now, the digital revolution has given us an
excuse to treat the arbitrary demarcation of the
millennium with a measure of real deliberation.

-- Chad Levinson

New York

The Great American Cross-Out


I get very incensed when I read claptrap such as Dawn MacKeen wrote.
Not crossing one's legs does not mean that one will automatically sit
with legs spread wide open (Sorry, fellas). I don't appreciate being patronized with sensationalistic yellow journalism such as this.


-- Valerie Voight

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Joe Conason