News & Views » Going Postal

Peace, man

(In response to "War gives new purpose to old hippies," March 5): Not only have I been to the Land Trust on several occasions and know many of the people you write about in your article, I am, in fact, what many refer to as an "old hippie." I am soon to be 51 years old; have traveled from the left coast to the right coast many times in my life (and I'm not sure I'm through traveling yet); drove a few friends to Canada during the Vietnam War; went to Woodstock; and now I live in Atlanta and work at a prominent law firm as a paralegal.

Although I read Creative Loafing every week, this article inspired me to write and say thank you for being honest in your description of what the Land Trust is all about and, more importantly, in describing what an "old hippie" might look like to someone from the outside.

I truly miss the days of peace signs, Volkswagen buses, rallies, music festivals and self-analysis. I do not consider myself a "Boomer," but I certainly have issues about who I have become because money used to mean nothing to me and now it dictates to me what I must do every day to keep a home for my children, a car for my travels, and food in my fridge. I would much rather be living in Taos, N.M., on a commune.

There's a lot to say about the counter-culture we created in the '60s and one article is not enough to tell the whole story. I hope you will write more.

There are many Charlie Popes in Atlanta and although we keep a low profile, we are alive and well.

-- Deborah McCoy, Smyrna

Think globally, act locally
As a resident of the Lake Claire Community and a participant in many of its activities, I was pleased by the credit given to its founders and leaders ("War gives new purpose to old hippies," March 5).

I would like to add something to the list of their attributes. In a time when everyone on all sides of the political spectrum seems to have something to yap about, these people provide an example of philosophy in action. Very seldom do I hear valid solutions presented alongside the griping of activists my age (twentysomething), but folks like Charlie Pope, the Rosenbergs and others in our community invoke the principle of leadership by example. They truly manifest the concept of thinking globally and acting locally. Excellent shot of Lou, the emu, by the way.

-- Tommy Galloway, Atlanta

The 'tude
John Sugg: Your adventures in Florida ring oh-so-true (Fishwrapper, "Old hippies never die," March 5). I'm a native of the South Georgia/North Florida cracker culture, and I remember well the attitudes toward hippies driving vans with out-of-county plates. Unfortunately, not enough has changed here. And all of a sudden, it seems absolutely nothing has changed in Washington either, with the possible noteworthy role of Dubya, driven by what only he knows for sure but a lot of us suspect, being much clumsier at public relations than even Nixon. And that's saying a lot. Thanks for the good read.

-- Martin Register, Du Pont, Ga.

Big boxed in
I have to differ with Michael Wall's characterization of the two votes mentioned in "City's turn to chime in on Sembler project" (News & Views, March 5). Although the Organized Neighbors of Edgewood and Neighborhood Planning Unit-0 did vote to approve the zoning changes, the "green lights" were far from "enthusiastic." Anyone who talked to a sampling of Edgewood residents would know that. The zoning change was approved by only about 30 votes. Many of those votes were given reluctantly by residents who felt that they had been given no choice but one bad plan or another even worse.

Jeff Fuqua's words, "patronizing and demeaning," perfectly describe the approach of his company in the one-sided "negotiations" they staged with ONE. From the beginning, Sembler made it clear that they intended to do exactly as they pleased with our neighborhood, threatening that we could either approve their tricked-out strip mall or they would build something even worse under the current zoning. The company agreed to some of the conditions that our neighborhood task force worked very hard in good faith to achieve but has remained intransigent on the aspects of the plan that will have the most damaging effects on Edgewood and all the surrounding neighborhoods.

It is not at all surprising that any of the surrounding neighborhoods would do whatever is in their power to protect themselves from the overwhelming traffic this project would produce. The AGL site sits at the corner of four neighborhoods and they will all be negatively impacted, yet the other neighborhoods were not invited to be involved in the initial planning. Now Mr. Fuqua feigns surprise that these neighborhoods aren't thanking his company for its high-handed treatment of them.

-- Terry Boling, Edgewood

Public art?
(In response to Arts, "Beware the bovine," March 5): This is actually the best thing I've read on this subject (especially your last couple of paragraphs) -- though I suspect your (accurate) assessment will fall on mostly deaf ears.

Not to continue the whining, but have you ever seen the stupid fiberglass fish that ("The Festival of Fins") foisted upon New Orleans? Why do cities think that adopting some warmed-over, generic marketing project (masquerading as "public art") will do anything other than brand their hometown as second-rate? I couldn't believe that New Orleans, with its vibrant arts scene, would fall for this kind of empty-headed booster crap and that Atlanta would've resisted it -- but I guess the trend had to become even more banal before our "civic leaders" took the bait (so to speak). Sheesh.

-- Phil Oppenheim, Atlanta

Penis envy
"The freaky penis" (Headcase, March 4) is another testimony to the fact that some white men are fascinated with the black man's penis. For years, I wondered why this was so. Every job that I've ever worked on with white men, some remark was always made about our penises. I never undress or take showers with white men if I can avoid it. When urinating in public, I always use the stall and close the door for I've caught too many white men peeping at my penis.

In this article, Bostock said, "African-American men, as I wrote last week, have long been the object of white men's phallic anxieties. Displayed like freaks in public lynchings, they were ritually castrated, their organs sometimes exhibited."

Why should a black man's penis cause a white man anxieties? Because these white men are jealous of the black man's penis. I've heard black men say this for decades. Why does this subject even come up?

White men should stop worrying about how big our penises are and start concentrating on their own penises. Those with poorly developed genitalia should buy these [penis-enlarging] pumps and get busy enlarging their penises. There's something wrong with one group of men worrying about another's genitals.

-- Lewis Charles, Atlanta

Squeeze it in
The reason liberal talk radio has not and will not succeed is because when faced with facts and rationale that opposes its gospel, the left resorts to sarcasm and personal attacks (Fishwrapper, "Attack of the right's radio clones," Feb. 26). You used quite a bit of name-calling in your description of the talk show hosts and their audience.

Boortz and others enjoy high ratings because of the individuals that choose to exercise their freedom of the radio dial. No one is forced, nor are the options limited. Perhaps what you should consider is why those individuals make those choices. Oh, but that's right, they're all ignorant.

The fact that you referred to Boortz as a "blustering bigot" demonstrates that you have never really listened to his program. Perhaps you did but were too busy deciphering the "code words" to actually hear what was being said. It is far too easy to resort to grammar school name-calling tactics than to honestly debate opposing views. Your essay does not represent "truth and justice" but rather hateful intolerance and whining rhetoric.

Your article caught my eye while absent-mindedly flipping through a Creative Loafing someone had discarded. I will use my time more wisely in the future. I am glad that the paper was able to squeeze your two pages in between the breast augmentation and personal ads. But hey, everyone has an audience somewhere.

-- Carole Bailey, Marietta

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