Kicking Against The Pricks (and Creeps)
I'd rather hang out with a bar full of laughing smokers than with a smug prick in loafers with a power trip going on ("Blowing Smoke," The Mail, Jan. 24).
Perhaps the state should open a chain of bars called Smug Prick's Lounge, for the smoke-free and self-righteous. I enjoy my pubs just the way they are: smoky, loud, fun, dark, and smug-prick-free, with nasty bartenders who tell dirty jokes and a skanky men's room in the back.
No smug pricks ever hang where I do, but their agenda hangs in the air, heavier than the smoke. Kinda like power-trippers who know better than anyone what grownups should be free to choose to do in over-21-only businesses.
As we legislate away grown-up choices, I imagine that a two-drink-per-hour-maximum law is close behind. We'll solve the drunk-driver syndrome, along with bar fights, wife beatings, and a myriad of other social problems associated with drunken smug pricks. Gimme a beer and a shot and a stogie, and hurry, before the smug prick bus arrives.
One must sympathize with readers George Gregory and Cara Ober's hatred of secondhand smoke. Since when out on the town one also must often deal with diners' messy, unruly children, why don't we ban reproduction, too? We could start with forced sterilization of smoking prohibition's proponents, thereby preventing the gestation of the next generation of self-righteous, intolerant creeps.
Blow the Lid Off
How about bit more of the investigative reporting that might truly be helpful to us in fighting the crime and murder problems that plague us ("Death Watch," Jan. 17). I know it would involve risk and hard work, but what I have in mind is a "nuts and bolts" or "behind the scenes" look at guns and drug issues. Why should the only exposť of these undersides of Baltimore be left to programs like The Wire?
For example, how do drugs come into the city, who are the big dealers, how is the money laundered? Or with guns--where and how do the killers get their guns? Don't you think that such reporting might give us a bit of a handle on solutions? Maybe the reporter could interview persons in prison or police--surely someone knows what is going down.
We wring our hands at the problems, and politicians give us platitudes, but why don't we really try to solve the problem? Maybe we need a story on that: why we do not--cannot--look. If the rock is turned over--to use an image--wouldn't that be helpful? It might not be that hard to do.
The recent spate of bad judgment calls in your normally outstanding weekly is a bit stupefying. A hatchet job on the Talking Head proprietor instead of a potentially insightful piece on the history and impact of the venerable Davis Street venue ("Talking Head," Mobtown Beat, Jan. 3); a restaurant review dominated by a discussion of a supermarket that is a national chain with numerous locations throughout the city, and doubled up with a brief missive on a creperie that more properly belonged in the Cheap Eats section (Omnivore, Jan. 17); a Short List featuring as its main mention a band playing in Washington (when the light rail connects to the Metro, do let me know); and, lest we forget, Bar Scars, a very promising column that is written so infrequently and so poorly that it has been rendered quite forgettable. My third-grade teacher once wrote on my report card that I was not living up to my vast potential. It is my solemn duty now to pass her words on to you, City Paper.
For those who criticize Gerald Ford for pardoning Richard Nixon or feel that his funeral was too glitz (Right Field, Jan. 3), I offer these two observations:
Ford was my commander in chief when I was stationed in Washington as a member of the military from 1974 to 1976. Watergate was not the only major ailment we had. It occurred on the heels of the Vietnam War. The soul of our nation was ripped apart at that time, and it was palpable. We did not need any more pain or disillusionment at that time in our history. Ford's pardon spared not just Nixon, but we as a people, at a time when we were awakening from the nightmare of Vietnam.
Furthermore, for those who found the pomp and circumstance of his funeral a bit much: At least we honor and show respect to our fallen leaders, regardless of political affiliation. Attendees at Ford's funeral included all of our living presidents, even those whom he ran against for office. It was dignified, respectful, and reverent. Compare that to Saddam Hussein's death the same week--what a spectacle. A national leader going to the gallows with hissing, spitting, and insults being hurled by the executioners, as well as Hussein, right to the bitter end.
God bless America, where your deity is your choice and so are your leaders.
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