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The least influential, still hatin'

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Junk journalism

Creative Loafing's article about Steve Carr and his neighbor on Mercer Street (cover story, "Atlanta's 11 least influential," Nov. 9) does more to raise questions about the author's ethics than it does to air any genuine concerns. If, as the article states, Mr. Carr could get the Atlanta Fire Department to show up in the author's presence to review complaints about the dump truck parked near a fire hydrant, why didn't the author himself call for firsthand information about why the vehicle was not tagged for towing? Why didn't Mr. Amir Carlock? Why didn't Councilwoman Carla Smith?

For all his concerns, why didn't the author actually tell his readers about any follow-up conversations with the police regarding what the parking code requires? If the author is actually an investigative reporter, and not a wannabe, why didn't he quote the police as he quoted the neighbors? Could it be that the truck was actually legally parked? Could it be that Mr. Carr's property is legally zoned for him to use it as he does? The nature of the author's quotes makes it clear that the author, Mr. Carlock and Councilwoman Carla Smith share one common habit: they would rather air sanctimonious critiques than to do any meaningful work.

Is Mr. Carlock NOW disappointed that he bought a home next to property previously zoned for industrial use? Is Carla Smith ambulance-chasing for political press? Is Creative Loafing defining journalistic ethics to include harassment and defamation based on rumor and innuendo?

There are a lot of unanswered questions!

-- Joel Finegold, Atlanta

Chill with the ice

I'm writing in support of Dezso Gavaller (cover story, "Atlanta's 11 least influential," Nov. 9). I too hate ice in my drinks for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have sensitive teeth and when the ice cubes hit them while I'm trying to take a sip of something it hurts, and drinking out of straws is for pansies. Also, most drinks come out of the machine cold enough to make ice unnecessary. When I go to a movie theater or sporting event and pay $27 for a large Coke, I want as much coke as possible and ice just takes up room for what could be Coke. Plus, if you want to take your time drinking your beverage and there's ice in it, then you run the risk of letting your drink get watered down, and that sucks. Dezso, you don't have to put up with that, man. Next time someone serves you a drink with ice, send it back until they get it right.

-- William Shawhughes, Atlanta

Identify the voters

Let me preface my utter disagreement with your point in your essay (Metropolis, "Hating the haters," Oct. 19) by saying that I was raised Southern Baptist and, in fact, was forced as a young girl to attend church with Casey Cagle in Gainesville. I have a college degree, in journalism, no less. I am a 28-year-old white female, and a POOR one at that! I no longer work in journalism, as I earn a better living in the restaurant business. Though I'm a true-blue Libertarian, I tend to vote Democrat because I am appalled by the Religious Right's hijacking of the GOP.

With that said, saying that requiring voter ID is tantamount to racism is insane. I'm poor and I've had a valid ID since I was 15 years old. Is the cashier at Kroger who cards me when I buy a six-pack of beer a racist? Why should I have to PROVE who I am when I want a drink? Why won't she just take my word for it? Why should the doorman at the Earl want to see my ID when I want to see a band? Is he a racist? What if I tell him how poor I am and couldn't manage to get an ID, is he cruel for turning me away? Is voting somehow LESS important than buying a beer or seeing a band, two things where I MUST show ID? Sure, drinking beer and seeing bands are "selfish" acts, but isn't voting to put YOUR guy into office for what he can do for YOU also selfish?

If someone is too poor/elderly/or downright lazy to get an ID in the first place, how am I to believe this person has a TV or can read a newspaper to even be informed enough to make a vote that counts? Is this to say that all poor people/"minorities" are going to vote Democrat, and that only Democratic politicians can ultimately make poor people un-poor?

Affirmative action has been mandated in this country for nearly 50 years, has it just not had time to work yet? If LBJ's Great Society were so great, then why do we, more than 40 years later, still have so much rampant poverty, illiteracy, etc., among "those less fortunate"? And if I am so privileged for being white, why did I work at a newspaper and only bring in $17,000 last year after taxes? Oh, I probably just didn't WORK hard enough. I should just shut my whining white mouth. I know plenty of black plumbers and UPS guys who make three times what I do. I've thought about changing my last name to "Martinez" just to see if I can get more bites on my résumé on Monster.com. But then again, I guess that makes me racist.

I think hate of ANY person just because of their skin color is horrible. But I think it's incredibly naive to believe that ONLY white people hate. Plenty of blacks hate Hispanics. Plenty of Middle-eastern guys hate blacks (I know, I hear 'em talk at work). Plenty of people hate plenty of people for completely arbitrary reasons, and that's never going to change.

Who knows, maybe the rich corporations who get the GOP elected ARE indeed manipulating the votes. If that's the case, how would NOT making people show their IDs make any difference anyway?

As the old saying goes, if voting really changed anything, it would be illegal.

-- Kimberly L. Martin, Decatur

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