This Ain't Sweden
For the business people promoting NASCAR in Washington, it's a simple matter: It's about the money—period ["The NASCARing of the Northwest," June 30]. For the fans who will inevitably fill the stands to capacity, it's also a simple matter: It's about the obnoxious individualism that, over the past two centuries, has made this country great. You know, the Wild West. The Jeffersonian South. The rednecks doing what they damn well please, just like Bill Gates doing what he damn well pleases. Individualism. Competition. Face it: America ain't Sweden.
But Tim Appelo is coming from a social democrat's position in his piece, and that's not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest, where many people wish America to be more like France than like America. Because of our history, individualism will always win in the end. About as far as people of Appelo's type are going to be able to go with this is minor "anti-redneck" lifestyle adjustments. Smoking bans. Helmet and seat-belt laws. Public transportation levies (another word for tax). Those things aren't even a blip on the radar screen compared to huge populist movements like NASCAR, evangelical Christianity, and country music. They're a bit pathetic, really, in that they attempt to move America closer to the "you can't do this and you can't do that" European nanny state. NASCAR is all about people being obnoxious about what they can do. In fact, it's what America is about. Even Appelo's America.
Jon L. Albee
Head for the Hills!
What the hell is wrong with our country ["The NASCARing of the Northwest," June 30]? I'm going to move someplace where there aren't a bunch of hillbillies driving around the world turning left (or do they drive around in a clockwise fashion, and who cares?) and there isn't an ex-drunk, coke-sniffing weasel in the Oval Office.
Fans won't Fit In
The Bush-loving, snaggle-toothed, ignorant, inbred subhumans that make up NASCAR fandom would never mesh with urban, educated, high-tech Seattle. Take one ad I found in the Weekly: an escort service ad urging hip Seattleites to "Come enjoy the exciting new addition to the mother and daughter team. Now featuring grandma." We possess the sophistication to see the nuanced complexity of such an ad; NASCAR fans do not.
Thanks for warning us about these hordes of unkempt, perverse, ill-mannered, white people. We'll stop 'em with another WTO–style protest if we have to!
Russell B. Garrard
Don't Tread on NASCAR
I'm sure Tim Appelo prides himself on being inclusive, intellectual, and above the hideously inbred NASCAR group ["The NASCARing of the Northwest," June 30]. I'm also sure equally inclusive intellectuals have laughed and congratulated him on his article. However, he's fooling himself. His article shows that he doesn't practice inclusive behavior and his intellectual breadth is based on hateful stereotypes! He is bigoted and small-minded. Did NASCAR fans come after him to make fun of him? No. He went to them to ridicule, not to expand his life experience of another dimension of our collective culture! He is a judgmental hypocrite.
Moore is the Midwest
Knute Berger's attacks on Michael Moore remind me of everything I hate about Seattle's "alternative" press [Mossback, "Burn, Baby, Burn," June 30]. If it's not packaged in a cold, aloof, inoffensive persona with a fabulous yet predictably artsy hairstyle and at least one "mystical" tattoo and a "daring" piercing, then it's not "cool" enough for Seattle. I'm from the Midwest, like many others who flee to the coasts, but I'm so disappointed with what I found, even though I agree with most of the politics. Moore looks, acts, and talks like a normal person to me, and he actually shows some emotion! Oh my God, Seattle, turn your heads away! Look at that roll of—what is it?—fat?! Moore reminds me of some of my high-school and college friends, who really risked a lot more than I did to go against the ugliness of "middle" (of hell) America. When they got pushed around, they pushed back harder. Oh, sorry, Seattle, I started showing that I care—it's OK, you can soothe yourselves with another vaguely spiritual yet tasteful tattoo.
Vote for 9/11
I loved Knute Berger's no-holds-barred column, "Burn, Baby, Burn" [Mossback, June 30]. I've been following the Fahrenheit 9/11 story since the reports of Disney's clash with Miramax over distribution, and especially the stories in The New York Times preceding the movie's release and after, reporting the box-office numbers. While gratifying to read, none wrapped up the larger story for me the way Berger's column did. I, too, am happy to vote with my movie-ticket and book-buying dollars and help fund the great PR that Moore's film and Clinton's book are generating for the left during this critical time in the country's psychic evolution.
Trade the Moron
Your Mariner columnist is a fatuous moron ["Season Over," June 30]. It's not just that he has a boner for the worthless, washed-up Dan Wilson, it's that he just doesn't have a glimmer of a clue about what goes on in baseball. Randy Winn is hitting? Bret Boone gets a "D"?
The Freddy Garcia trade, for instance, is a terrific deal for the M's; they lose three months of a good (but prone to collapse) pitcher, and get a seriously great outfield prospect, a solid 23-year-old catcher, and a goofball wild-card "shortstop." Garcia was gone after September anyway, to free agency, and even if he didn't give up a single base runner the rest of the season, we still finish last.
Grading the players A to F is lazy and stupid. Using whatever criteria Henderson does to come up with his bogusly precise "2.3" is asinine. The facts: The M's can't score runs, they're the oldest team in baseball, and they've got nothing in the wings. This trade is a breath of fresh air. Isn't there a columnist at some other city's alterna-weekly you can trade Henderson for?
Beasties Not so Beastly
Nate Patrin's got points, but he's really just trying to make a big splash ["Super Disco Broken," June 30]. He tips his cards by attacking absolutely every aspect of To the 5 Boroughs. The Beastie Boys' latest effort is far from faultless, but pleeeease, it's still a funky, funky collection in a rap world that often completely misses the funky train.
The "granola-crunk beats" Patrin calls out, well, I'm not really sure what that means, but when I hear To the 5 Boroughs, it's the tight beats that keep my head bobbin'. Then there's Patrin's description of "the Beasties' stranglehold on urban cool," which simply screams of talent envy. Can he really believe that the B-Boys have aggressively cornered the city-style market since 1986 . . . or have they?
I definitely heard many clunky, occasionally ridiculous rhymes. And some tracks sounded like music better fit for a video game. But there are plenty o' grin-inspiring lines, and with tracks like "An Open Letter to NYC," "It Takes Time to Build," and "3 the Hard Way," the Boys deserve better than a "journalasst" from Seattle calling them out as "Nerf-toothed," "utterly alone," and "falling down."
On 5 Boroughs, the Beastie Boys don't try to revise the book they already wrote. Instead, they simply bring it again. The Beasties come back fightin' every time. That's what New Yorkers (and Americans) embody. And that's what keeps the Beastie Boys relevant. So, in the spirit of MC street battle (which is what To the 5 Boroughs represents): "I got rhymes for jerks that is bringin' on drama/Which rhyme ya want first, the one aboutcha mama?"
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