RECYCLE THAT ATTITUDE
Poor Brian Miller. All he can do is defend his own style of "fuck you" cycling with silly logic like: " . . . TAKE MY example. I'm a scofflaw, a flouter of rules, signals, and convention." Blah, blah, blah ["The Bicycle Diaries," May 16]. I'm sure Brian, with his forward progressive attitude, doesn't "look over shoulder for cop, gun it" through red lights while driving. What galls drivers, while cyclists pedal through red lights, is this attitude that seems to prevail among most cyclists that they are somehow outside the laws that pertain to drivers—that cycling two abreast at 10 mph while chatting or cycling in the middle of a 35 mph arterial at said 10 mph is somehow considered good cycling protocol. I think that any cyclist who has the balls should, just as a matter of honesty, flip off the first few cars waiting at the red light as they cycle on through. Oh, and Brian, I've cycled across the country on two occasions, been hit twice by those "idiot" drivers (their fault), and been "doored" once. I commute to work daily, rain or shine, and I could really give a shit about you and your New York ways. You should move back; it would make Seattle a much more progressive place to cycle and drive.
OUT OF THE GUTTER
Congratulations on putting bicycle commuting in its rightful place: front page, ahead of the SUV.
However, I must take issue with a couple of the points made by Brian Miller ["The Bicycle Diaries," May 16]. While I couldn't agree more with the basic idea of appeasing the cyclist's mortal enemy—the motorist—wherever practical, it's patently bad advice to suggest that one "hug the curb/parking lane." In addition to the risk of being "doored," this sort of deference puts the rider in the part of the street where all the slick road crud gathers and, most importantly, makes one less visible to drivers. If there is one lesson gleaned in my 23 accident-free years of bicycle commuting in environments ranging from "friendly" Seattle to the mean streets of Manhattan and the wild-West autotopia of Salt Lake, it is that visibility, above all else, is key. If you're going to ride on the streets, by all means, stay out of the gutter. Establish your space, make sure they see you, and sacrifice a little courtesy: Make 'em go around.
And while the incident with Navigator Man is dreadfully familiar, you should live with the responsibilities that come with the rights you mentioned to him. Namely, quit flouting the rules at traffic lights, which, as you know, pisses off our touchy brethren behind the wheel and makes all of us cycle commuters even more vulnerable to petrol-based road rage.
Roger Downey, in his attack on the new video Icons of Evolution ["Not the Whole Truth," May 16] says that "anyone who's actually mastered the material on evolution in a second-year college biology text" can refute the video and preserve the validity of evolutionary theory.
But noticeably absent from his article is even a tissue of evidence supporting evolution. Mr. Downey offers no evidence because there isn't any; there are only questionable extrapolations which support this plenary theory.
Mr. Downey, in the tradition of skeptical, show-me journalists, disparages Icons. Fair enough. But then he seems to believe the rumor that there are mountains of evidence supporting evolution.
Not true. Evolutionary theory survives because it is based on a philosophic presumption, not empirical data. Philosophy fuels the theory, not science.
Downey writes with compression and wit. But he will not fulfill his abilities as a journalist by believing what he's told. He needs to check his sources more assiduously.
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Few journalists notice the disingenuous claims made by such self-proclaimed "champions of truth" as Bruce Chapman's Discovery Institute, but Roger Downey has no problem recognizing and pointing out the obvious nudity of these would- be emperors ["Not the Whole Truth," May 16]. The questionable ethics demonstrated by the Discovery Institute—and [science teacher Roger] DeHart—over the years should serve as a warning to all parents and educators: It doesn't matter how loudly these people proclaim their views; if they're willing to distort and misrepresent the truth, they certainly aren't interested in anyone (including themselves) finding out what the truth is, and that takes them out of consideration as scientists or educators.
A PROMISING PERSPECTIVE
You [Mark D. Fefer] should sit down and watch Promises again ["Seven-Up," May 16]. Only this time, forget your personal bias. . . . I cried all three times I saw this film. It is both powerful and disturbing. It needed to be made. In addition, there are NO dull characters in the film, and I believe all parties were represented with respect to their perspectives and beliefs.
You wrote: "Which child is made to look like a fanatic? Where's the balance?"
The true answer to this question is neither child was made to look like a fanatic—and why even bring that issue up? Did you watch the movie expecting to see a fanatic? The truth is all the children in the film are products of their fanatic forefathers! There is no balance in this conflict. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are led by twisted individuals fueled by personal religio- and ethnocentrism; this has resulted in a chaotic situation. With all of the garbage going on, this beautiful film comes out as a symbol of the need for realistic, nonreligious perspective.
GET AN ISSUE!
Matt: You want to know why Mariners management won't comment on your protest ["Cowards Suck," May 16]? Same reason only 11 people and a lizard felt the desire to join your demo. They don't care. It's not worthy of them wasting their time.
Are you really interested in freedom of speech? Let's hear your views on virtual child pornography on the Net. Passionate about people's rights? Tell us what you think about the internment of Arab-Americans. A fan of this great democracy? Maybe you can explain why Bush is in the White House. Don't waste our time on this nothing issue.
Are you sure this whole farce is not designed to boost your own ego? What was the point of wearing a microphone to enter the park, other than to embarrass hardworking, low-paid gate staff. Man, that took courage. It is a stunt that reminds me of another defender of the people with a fondness for slogan T-shirts. Maybe that was Tim Eyman in the lizard costume.
Your defense of freedom is admirable, but choose a real issue to make your case. People who feel the need to have slogans on their T-shirts, like those who put "witty" bumper stickers on their cars, usually have nothing interesting to say.
MATT SUCKS! RICK DOESN'T SUCK
"Cowards Suck" [May 16]? Matt Villano sucks! You cheesy, childish Stranger wanna-bes suck! What is a grown-up professional like Rick Anderson doing in your crowd of self-infatuated mediocrities? What sort of boobs waste so much time and energy and newsprint on this so-called "free speech" matter? You silly bozos.
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