DEAR EDITORS: In recent issues of The Stranger someone has had something derogatory to say about Kevin Spacey. In the March 30 issue, David Schmader and Steve Wiecking called Mr. Spacey a "weasel extraordinaire," and listed him as putting on "the worst performance by a closeted fag" in their Academy Awards article ["Academy Awards Awards"]. Then in the April 13 issue, Adrian Ryan [It's All True] stated that "the fey Mr. Spacey" was an "insult to America's intelligence." The worst item was in "What I Do" [April 20], by Sean Nelson: He wrote, "we want to see Kevin Spacey get shot."
Well, Mr. Nelson, no one but yourself and a few bitter, militant homosexuals who think it's a crime to be in the closet want to see Mr. Spacey get shot. This is not the way to treat a talented Oscar-winning actor! Mr. Spacey deserves your respect like anyone else, maybe even more. Like my mom says: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
Cami Wirth, age 14, Lopez Island, WA
THE STRANGER RESPONDS: Oh, Kevin Spacey, what a fucking wimp you are! Now you're getting little girls to fight your battles for you? Jesus, you're such a faggot!
EDITORS: As critically savaging as Dan Savage's editorial was on the recent Millennium March in Washington ["A Movement & A Market," May 4], I couldn't help but sense that he was upset he wasn't invited to speak. [Savage is] a pseudo-celeb who kowtows to that micro-niche of attack-fags who see no purpose in life other than to complain and blame other people for not noticing them. Granted, Savage has some hysterical and pointed comments that are as relevant now as they will be in the next 20 years regarding the gay community, and community in general.Unfortunately, we are drifting toward some noxious middle ground where straight people in their Gap shirts and gay people in their Gap shirts will sit together and be hunky-dory. Sexuality will be passé, and the overriding culture will be homogenized. Savage fails once again to offer any solutions to this dilemma. He attacks, complains, and runs around in his sandals like some weary gladiator who would rather talk a lion to death than confront it. Why can't he offer any solutions or directions?
Bill Freeberg, via e-mail
DEAR STRANGER: Am I the only one that is sick of Dan Savage's whining? Every article, every piece of advice: whine, whine, whine. When will he grow up and just deal with things like a grown adult, [rather] than like a spoiled little brat? WHAH! Grow up, you little spoiled baby.
W. Guillaume, Seattle
DEAR EDITOR: Will you PLEASE excise the tumor in your music department named Erin Franzman? How much longer will you force us to swallow Franzman's exasperating, bullshit opinions? It's fun to rankle over-serious readers with strongly voiced alternative opinions to what the mainstream media presents, but Franzman seems to lack even the smallest amount of analytical ability.
Every review I've read by Franzman raises my bile, but the latest bit of tripe concerning Sleater-Kinney's new album serves as a fine example of critical narcissism ["All Hands on the (Blank) One," May 4]. A few of Franzman's descriptions of the album: "chickenshit," "embarrassing," "cowardly," and "terribly disappointing." Such odd spraying of unfocused venom! Franzman is a pseudo-intellectual jackass, and should be ousted! The Stranger's music section is like an entrenched cancer, sucking the life from its host and offering no benefit in return. New blood, please!
Duglas Kilbride, via e-mail
EDITORS: Erin Franzman rocks! Her writing is intelligent, interesting--heck, it just downright kicks butt! Keep up the great work, Erin.
Brian Dellert, Knoxville, TN
EDITORS: In your review of The Virgin Suicides ["The Smell of Breck," May 4], Monica Drake states that Christina's World was painted by N. C. Wyeth. It was actually his son, Andrew Wyeth.
A. S. Kaku, Writer & Game Content Localizer
EDITORS: Allie Holly-Gottlieb's piece "A Tale of Two Schools" [April 27] paints a very negative and unfair portrait of one of this state's best schools. I graduated from Garfield in 1998, and as a student there, I did see a very troubling divide in the school: one of class. Your article made no mention, however, of poor white students being left behind. Additionally, you try to portray the expansion of Advanced Placement offerings as an elitist move; nothing could be further from the truth.
As you noted, there are no exams to get into AP classes, so to charge that the school is using its resources to benefit only a third of its students is misleading. The classes are there for all the students, and the school should not be forced to cut them simply because students of one race or another choose not to take them. Problems relating to academic achievement can be traced to middle and elementary schools, and [to the fact] that students who come into high school motivated and prepared choose hard classes, regardless of whether they come by bus or by foot.
It is undoubtedly true that Garfield has a problem getting diversity in its AP classes, and it is refreshing to see an article that, unlike those in the Times and P-I, does not tow the school-board line; but the implicit suggestion that Garfield should take a step backwards in its college-preparatory curriculum is nonsensical and dangerous. Do you really want no one in the school to be prepared for elite colleges and universities? Garfield's advanced curriculum is there for the taking. I only wish more students took advantage of it.
Michael Y. Kieval, Garfield High School, Class of 1998
DEAR STRANGER: Your article about Garfield High School demonstrated the best and worst of alternative journalism: Your primary informant was the school's security guard, someone willing to put racist words in other people's mouths. He has had no involvement in curriculum planning or implementation. Encouraging racist attitudes among the students only promotes a sense of victimhood and resistance to taking personal responsibility. This man is promoting his own pitiful agenda, not promoting black students' success.
Is there anyone out there who doesn't know that student academic success is determined by parental priorities and parental involvement? What we are dealing with is the culture of poverty. Apart from having underachieving students adopted into effective families, the best schools can do is give students a sense of personal responsibility and opportunity. Students with the courage not to be a victim like their pals, willing to step out of their own prejudices, willing to succeed when less courageous peers are not, and willing to do the work--the opportunity is there.
"Claire Voyant," Seattle
EDITORS: Your article on Garfield High ignored a crucial cultural factor. Inner-city black students who study hard and/or earn good grades often face ridicule and ostracism from their peers for "trying to be white." This is a devastating deterrent to academic success at a stage of life when acceptance by one's peer group is so important.
Working toward equality of opportunity is admirable and necessary; however, expecting equality of outcomes is another matter entirely. It is disingenuous of your reporter to attribute Garfield's academic racial disparities purely to racism when the last Garfield principal, the last Seattle School District Superintendent, and the current Chief Academic Officer are all black.
Alex Myrick, Seattle
ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB: You quote former Black Panther (now security guard) Michael Dixon, as if he actually has a clue to what the real issues are. The Black Panthers are the black equivalent of the KKK. This man speaks Ebonics, for God's sake. African American culture is a chosen culture. Black parents foster this attitude through their unwillingness to deal with their own resentment and hatred of whites. There is no substitute for hard work, and white students should not suffer an inferior education just because black parents won't stop teaching their black children to speak Ebonics. When blacks learn to be team players and quit bucking the system, they soon learn that the system will support them. Your article neglects these points because it is considered politically incorrect to be honest these days.
George Burger, Seattle