Special Sections » Year in Review

Our Favorite Letters of 2011

Readers sound off on Birthers, MC Hammer, Iron Maiden, and iPads.


Editor's Note

Each year we compile some of the memorable letters, rants, and press releases we received during the prior twelve months. In the interest of verisimilitude, all spelling, punctuation, and grammar are the writers' own.

The Many Uses of Print Media

Dearest East Bay Express,

Thanks for being awesome. I guess I'm just an old-fashioned girl, but I like to read an actual newspaper. I don't enjoy sitting in front of a computer, and I don't enjoy mainstream media.

I can read the express on the toilet, or at a coffee shop, or at work, w/o an iphone or some other over-stimulating techno-gadget. It's always there & convenient. & once a week seems to be the perfect interval of time between issues, not to much, not too little.

And after I'm done w/ it, it can be wrapping paper or kindling or whatever, & articles can get cut out & sent to friends & my dad (in Nebraska) who all enjoy them too. It fits my needs perfectly.


Mollie Moorhead

The Royal Path to Sexual Well-Being

Many yoga instructors are becoming erotic yoga instructors? Certified Sexological Bodyworkers are state of California-approved professionals who assist individuals, couples, and groups to develop an erotic practice that combines meditation with profound somatic education. The erotic yoga we teach includes mindful breathing, savoring, sound, movement, touch, placement of attention, and awareness of intention. Check out the Express feature "The Wonk of Wank" online to learn more about this new profession. A committed daily practice--solo or coupled-- is the royal path to sexual well-being.  

Joseph Kramer

Boycott American Women

Why American men should boycott American women


I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.


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Frank Jamese

The Return of the Metal Gods

In the spirit of extreme silliness and fun, here is a submission for your last issue of 2010, because I could not stop laughing at the wonderful letter by J. Kaplan on the subject of his requirement of "a photographed, autographed image of Jacob Ming-Trent as the Papa Ogre from Shrek!" (last year's end-of -year letters). My favorite one now is the one in which Jean Quan is encouraged to bring herself and her Prius "out of the shadows". I don't agree with it, but it's still so funny. Since you star-making Editors (thanks for all of the great metal group's reviews you've done this year) failed to convey (with their wise and wonderful editorializing) the Iron Maiden Concert at the Sleep Train Pavilion on June 20th, 2010, here is mine, because one is needed.

First of all, June 20th, 2010 was an absolutely gorgeous day from sun-up to sunset. You may now hum Sunrise/Sunset, if you'd like. It was clean and bright and driven by gentle breezes with soft clouds: A perfect set-up for the return of classic metal group Iron Maiden. The show was opened up by Dream Theatre who infused the tastes of Dio and Yngwie Malmsteen into their carefully selected, well seasoned original music. Following a short break after their ample set, the swelling crowds of enthusiastic fans were treated to well over an hour and a half of non-stop energy and all enveloping music from six of the sexiest guys on the planet. They danced, ran, jumped, bounced, stretched and galloped across the expansive stage all while keeping expertly in time with their constantly changing panorama of tempos and dynamics.

Iron Maiden expends twice the energy of newcomers in just about any genre (except, perhaps, Hammer and his crew) such as the naughty preppy Katy Perry or the "We're too hot to be cool!" teenage bands such as Death Cab for Cutie. Song after song, Maiden pummeled us with power packed material primarily from the new collection entitled The Last Frontier. Sparks flew, Jupiter aligned with Mars and spirits soared (bottled as well as inner ones!). Bruce Dickenson commanded the air waves and ordered all to stop "cramming your ears with those bloody cotton balls and just go and get the new C.D. for Chrissake!"

So much has already been said about their style, their instruments, their rigs, etc. But what about the Iron Maiden experience? How to contain ourselves in the presence of such magnanimity, such force, such magnificence? For example, if anxiousness or restlessness occurs while trying to keep up with the constant changing of the Inner Maidens (Bruce, Steve, Nikko and Janick) a balance of the nerves can be re-established by breathing ten times as normal. Then one must shift attention to the two anchor Maidens, Dave and Adrian, and allow their calming and composed demeanors to help lower the blood pressure and relax the arteries.

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