Thanks for the interesting article, but I disagree with your stance on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) contest. The horrible cruelty of the meat industry is very hard to get people to think about, as well as to entice the media to cover. Many people don’t want to know what they are complicit in when they eat meat. I’m sure PETA would prefer to just talk about the issue, but sexy tactics attract a lot of attention to the cause. If no one listened to PETA’s message, no one would go vegetarian and animals would continue to be abused.
PETA does an outstanding job of speaking the language that the “lowest common denominator” of society is most likely to hear. The hideously cruel treatment of — indeed the wholesale torture of — farm animals merely to satisfy people’s appetites is exponentially more egregious than any sexual exploitation of women. Let’s face it: women have rights and there are laws to protect those rights. Bravo to PETA for getting unconscious meat eaters to take notice of their compassionate message, whatever it takes.
South Lake Tahoe, California
Sara Alterman finds it ironic that PETA is treating human beings like pieces of meat? Has Sara viewed the photos in the Phoenix Adult Section recently? How ironic!
Make new friends, but keep the old
Kudos on your “Best” issue. It’s always fun to read. However, I was dismayed to see that you combined used and new books into one category this year.
There are a lot of great used-book stores in Greater Boston, and while I love the Harvard Book Store, I don’t go there for used books. You really do a disservice to businesses that only deal used books, such as Brattle Books, Lorem Ipsem, McIntyre and Moore, More Than Words, Raven, and others that could make this letter too long. Could you reconsider bringing it back for next year? Hey, you might even think about doing an article on the variety of used-book stores in the area.
Regarding “Notes on a tragedy,” no matter the amount of prevention, interconnected outreach programs, and attempts to help individuals, the choice is largely up to the individual to be respectful of others’ lives. Cho had many choices he could have made to improve his life and outlook, but he willingly chose a different path. No one and nothing other than Cho is at fault for the death of others and the ending of his own life. Humanity is capable of a great many evils, and choices like Cho’s are made every day. In view of the world’s past, Cho is only a tiny ripple in the continued destruction of one another.
Loud and proud
I recently came across Harvey Silverglate’s brilliant online article “Why the Imus Cave-In Is Bad for Free Speech, Radio, and the Whole Society”. I thought it was one of the only responses to the Don Imus incident that articulated what I was thinking and more. The only other person I have heard who has made decent points is Bill Maher. I wanted to thank you for publishing such a wonderful piece on the topic of free speech.
New York, New York
Even though I frequently read your comic “Whatever” and feel like I’m missing something, wondering exactly what sort of narrative structure is at play, I love your comic. I love its visual style and its tone. It makes me excited about picking up the Boston Phoenix each week. Kudos!
In the “Best Urban Bike Route” entry, we stated that the Southwest Corridor project was stopped by the Dukakis administration. In fact, it was curtailed by Frank Sargent’s administration.