"A Hard-Boiled Macbeth," Theater, 8/25
Shall I compare thee to a horror film?
Thou art more deadly and intemperate;
Rough men of torment torture bardic writing,
And shocking viewers is its only worth.
Sometimes too hot vain misdirection burns
To spoil sturdy stock with clam'rous seasoning
The fallen outdoor faces rue the rigor
And hunger more for language than for violence
My mind's enduring trauma shall not wane;
Nor shall Death boast I haven't seen him lately.
When In eternal lines a play is fumbled;
The empty places cannot fill with flourish,
So long as shadows cast production death
So long will I repent this year's Macbeth
Heidi Perryman, Lafayette
"Jerry Brown Emerges from Hiberation," Seven Days, 9/8
Listen to the Citizens
I am still enraged.
I called your office Friday, September 10, to express my disbelief and disgust after reading in the East Bay Express that state lawmakers voted down an attempt to ban plastic grocery bags and killed an attempt to prohibit the use of the toxic substance bisphenol-A in baby bottles and sippy cups.
That banning plastic grocery bags will not be easy does not surprise me.
That prohibiting the use of a TOXIC substance in baby bottles and sippy cups is not a shoe-in stupefies me. The state legislators are not doing their job. Their responsibility is to the citizens, the voters who put them in office, to protect the best interests of these same citizens, not the interest of the chemical industry — or of any other industry.
Straighten up and fly right.
Marcia Flannery, Oakland
"Kayla Stra's Long-Shot Bet," Feature, 9/8
Don't Buy the Double Standard
I am a woman that fully supports equal opportunities and rights for everyone regardless of gender. I firmly believe that men and women should be treated equally, and that's why I was filled with frustration when I read the beginning of "Kayla Stra's Long-Shot Bet."
If a man had even tried to go inside a locker room full of half naked women, even if it was just to watch a race replay because they didn't have a TV in the men's locker room, he would have been kicked out immediately, and been labeled as at least a potential sex predator. But when Kayla Stra, a woman, wants to watch a race replay in the men's locker room, and making some of the men there uncomfortable, she is somehow played to be the victim. I plead everyone, especially if you consider yourself to believe in gender equality, to wake up and get rid of the double standards.
Nicole Enriquez, Berkeley
"Confessions of a Pregnant Wine Writer," Feature, 9/15
I like this article. The funny thing for me was that wine had that icky vinegar taste for me during pregnancy so it wasn't even a temptation. On the other hand, Guinness Beer turned into my drink of choice. In moderate, 4 ounce portions, once a week, never in the first trimester of course!
Heather Flett, Berkeley
"Let's Do the Time Warp Again," Food, 8/11
Know Your History
Anneli Rufus displays complete ignorance when it comes to world history and politics,and unfortunately injects it into her write-up.
Maybe she should apply as food critic in Wasilla, Alaska.
She is a product of America's political brain-washing of its citizens for the last sixty years.The specific lines, other than her general incompetence as a food critic, I'm responding to, are:
"That America-hating, execution facilitating Marxist guerrilla Che reigns here,""it was double comfort food partaken in discomfort, between the din and Che'shomicidal grin."
What unfortunately shows here is the absolute ignorance of many American writers and the media in general, and the sensationalism that has replaced informed journalism.If this cafe would have embraced Fidel Castro, I would not have blinked, but any educated and worldly person would hopefully know that Cuba was terrorized for almost two decades by a vicious dictatorship headed by Batista, backed by the CIA, that Che Guevara split with Fidel Castro a few years later, after being disillusioned with Castro embracing the Soviet Union and that a short time later he was killed in Bolivia, with help of the CIA.A dear friend of mine, now almost eighty, worked for the Spanish government in Cuba after the revolution. She met and worked with many there, among them Castro and Guevara, who she still remembers as a very complex person, but with a big heart ...(I'm not excusing any unjust political action taken by the Cuban government in the years since then.)
Some historical trivia for Mrs. Rufus:Cuba wanted nothing more than to have relations with the States, but when the Castro decided to raise the price of sugar cane, so that Cuba actually would finally get revenue from their exports, American companies (Coca Cola at the helm) went to war.Las Vegas only became what it is today, with all its corruption and money, after the casinos and the mafia were kicked out of Cuba after the revolution.
Tell Anneli Rufus to stick strictly to being a food critic, and not ruin it with uninformed political dressing.
Wolfgang Troullier, Oakland
"The High Costs of the Death Penalty," Feature, 8/18
The death penalty. To abolish or not to abolish? The topic has become contentious. As poor and middle-class Americans fight to survive the recession, opposition to the death penalty becomes more prevalent.