Following that (well, regardless of the ineffectiveness of that article), I enjoyed your article ("Cat's meow," March 12). I own all the discs and I've been to her infamous Thanksgiving shows at the Echo Lounge, and I think your article does a good job of detailing -- as far as I could gather from her music initially -- the world of Cat Power, who she is and, even more, how she operates, what her songs are about, songs that are about something but not about some thing.
-- Jarod Jones, Birmingham, Ala.
Build it and they will come
Being an employee at Grady Hospital, I can't argue with much that was said in the recent article, "America's Emergency Room Emergency" (March 12). However, there are many things that were seemingly overlooked.
For example, on 9-11, three-fourths of the people that were coming in were not experiencing a medical emergency, they were flipping out over the attacks. Even on a normal night, we have people coming in for no reason more than to have a bed and a warm meal. It's difficult to distinguish between them, so we have to treat everyone.
Yes, we are always full. We, like any hospital, are understaffed and overflowing with patients. Also, the majority of ambulance and life-flight diversions are because of weather or the fact that the patient would need a more specified care than we can give.
As a health care worker, it's beyond frustrating to see the throngs of people that come in and do need medical attention, and we just can't seem to get to them fast enough. I run myself into a froth almost every night that I work, but it never seems good enough.
If the Legislature and general public have such a problem with emergency room protocol as we are forced to have, why not build us a larger one, and give us people to staff it? It's easy to raise hell about something, but not too many people make an effort to fix it.
-- A. Campbell, Roswell
Hollis Gillespie: You rock! I love your articles -- I have to re-read them several times. I used to read CL in the john at work, but had to stop because I would frequently start laughing while reading your column. Laughing hysterically in the john at work is not a good thing.
--B. Denson, Atlanta
Where's the beef?
"War brings new purpose to old hippies" (March 5)? What a thoroughly demeaning headline -- perfect for a lengthy article apparently devoted to marginalizing the anti-war movement as the second-youth delusion of "aging hippies." (Where's all the anti-war stuff, by the way? There was a lot about vegetables and tepees and drugs, but where's the "meat," if you'll pardon the obvious pun?)
I've got nothing against hippies, aging or otherwise, and I know some of the people Scott Henry wrote about and they're fine people, but to write about them in this way distorts and weakens the position of all of us -- hippies, yuppies, GenXers or blue-collar working stiffs -- who love the principles upon which this country was founded and, in so doing, despise this ridiculous "war."
Holy Abbie Hoffman, Batman! Henry managed to use every stereotypical reference and code word in the lexicon. Reading your cover story, one would think that only those who've licked a few too many of the non-postal stamps oppose this hulking failure of diplomacy, this ignorant use of force in the face of what clearly is the consequence of decades of faulty foreign policy brought to a head by the stranglehold entanglement of corporate contributions and political aspirations.
War is not a reality television production. People -- on both sides -- die. Fragile cultures and their economies, perhaps laughable to us as we wallow in our amber waves of fast-food fat, are decimated to provide us with access to outdated resources and to make way for markets for our disposable products. War is not the answer, and not only in Lake Claire.
Please write responsibly. You should hope that anyone who read that story might also have read Andisheh Nouraee's witty and insightful column before putting the Loaf back on the bench where its previous browser left it.
-- Stephanie Ramage, Decatur
The least they can do
(In response to "War brings new purpose to old hippies," March 5): The problem for me is that it seems most of those upset about the coming war with Iraq lack moral outrage for the evil in the world. While they are clearly anti-Bush, they aren't particularly anti-war. They don't really care who Saddam kills, don't care who Kim Jong Il kills (by some estimates over 2 million in the past 10 years). They hate Bush. Fine. But with Saddam killing and torturing and one day threatening us and his neighbors, folks are out protesting because they feel it is the least they can do, and they are right.
-- David Davis, Stockbridge
Go ahead, call me a liberal
I loved John Sugg's article about how he never thought of himself as a hippie until he met up with some conservatives back in the '60s (no one would doubt that those police were conservatives) (Fishwrapper, "Old hippies never die," March 5). This is exactly the situation many of us are in today.
I have just recently realized that I am supposedly a "liberal," according to the conservative voices that suddenly have so much power in our society. And these voices have been trying hard to make that seem like a bad thing. But what do liberals stand for? Their priorities seem to be peace, for helping those less fortunate, for caring for the environment and for overall trying to resolve any issue in a spiritual way. Sure, we'd all love to get a tax cut (the conservatives' pet issue) but how can people be so blind that all they want is a tax cut at the same time the government is increasing spending tremendously? Who will pay for it downline? This is selfishness at its highest level.
And the simplistic mentality of these conversative voices is appalling. They always need an enemy. Saddam is evil and America 100 percent right and good. Anybody who opposes Bush is bad. And of course, anyone who believes in peace and harmony is an evil liberal. So, what I have learned from all this is that I'm proud when a conservative slanders me with the dreaded "L" word.
-- Jennifer Symms, Roswell
Cows on Parade ain't no arts charade
(In response to Arts, "Beware the bovine," March 5): I know the Loaf (and especially Felicia Feaster) is a big proponent of the challenging-type art, but I know there are things in the creative realm that are important for reasons other than the mind-expanding sanctity of the real challenging "ART." This Common Joe stuff doesn't hurt, it can only help -- it might aggravate us that this is what people gravitate toward, but it still helps. Plus Cows on Parade is not really art, it's a celebration of creativity.
Cows on Parade is a tool to explore the therapeutic effects of creativity on individuals and the community. These cows are funny and they cause smiles (unless the cow puns are too terrible -- then it sickens). Smiles (and sickness) are a reaction. Creativity that causes a reaction is "ART." So without attempting to do so, this creativity event becomes a community work of levity "ART" that touches many people because those damn cows are so visible as they graze on concrete slabs in the middle of the streets.
The Loaf and Felicia should realize that critiques about creativity are as useful as stompin' on someone's head for brainstorming. Raw ideas and events that encourage those ideas shouldn't be subject to critics. They should be written about from a sociological point of view. Allowing people to express their creativity is a humanitarian effort -- a quest for the self.
Thus, ye old critics should stick to the challenging Atlanta works of vagina and anus flower paintings.
-- Chris Kowalski, Atlanta