All fur coat and no pants

Letters to the Boston editor, February 15, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  February 13, 2008

This letter is in response to the article in which Ian Sands writes of riding the T without pants. At one point, he hears a passenger and a cop commenting on his hairy legs and considers getting a wax.

I am writing to encourage Mr. Sands NOT to wax his legs. It is virile and stylish for a man to have hair. Just because two bored people made a comment doesn’t mean he should cater to them. I myself have hairy legs and am very proud of them. I would never wax them for anyone. Mr. Sands shouldn’t either. It’s how he was made.

Kudos to Mr. Sands for participating in the event, and here’s hoping he does not alter his body to please others.

Ben Davis

Sickeningly sweet
I just finished reading “The Cuteness Surge," which my husband had set aside since it reflected my increasing irritation with what I have taken to calling “cutesy white-people culture.”

Hearty cheers to you for your open loathing of the Juno soundtrack. That squiggly, nervous-child-style captioning made me want to turn off the whole thing. I loved your article, and only wish you had skewered Lars and the Real Girl, in which the audience is commanded to fall in love with the lead characters, who maintain a childlike sense of wonder at everything — even a blow-up doll — despite their obvious adult status in the world.

Anna MacGregor Robin
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Against all odds
I greatly enjoy Steven Stark’s insightful comments, but I remain confounded that, despite huge and momentous developments, his odds for the Democrats never change. Clinton’s at 1-2, Obama’s at 2-1.

Let me tell you why I think Obama is — at the very least — an even shot with Clinton at this point. First, look at macrotrends, not microtrends (daily fluctuations in the polls, etc.), like the mainstream media tend to do. During the past 30 to 60 days, Obama has come from an average of 20 to 30 points behind in national polls to pull even. Early on, the Clinton camp fully expected to wrap up this thing on Super Tuesday. Instead, Obama held her to a dead heat.

Obama also raised more than $30 million in January, and is on pace to do it again in February. He’s got tens of thousands more contributors, most of whom are not maxed out. Clinton raised but one-third of Obama’s total in January, and recently loaned her campaign $5 million. Key senior staff members are working without salary, and large numbers of her far-fewer contributors are unable to contribute any more. This money issue is a huge macrotrend, and the longer the campaign goes, the bigger a problem it becomes for her.

Obama has also shown, by being a better “retail” campaigner and having a superior street-level ground game, that he can win in states where he has time to campaign. Clinton’s last chance to finish him off was Super Tuesday. She didn’t do it. From here on, it gets worse for her. Her poll numbers are largely fixed. Lots of people like her, but as many or more do not. Obama, with very low unfavorability ratings, is still rising. Clinton desperately needs to run out the clock, but with a long, expensive campaign still ahead, that’s no longer possible.

If it comes down to the superdelegates, which it may, their main criteria are: who has the best chance to win in November, and who will best help Democratic candidates up and down the ticket? Obama wins both questions, hands down. So, week after week, you say Clinton is 1-2 and Obama is 2-1. As I’ve said before, I’ll take that bet.

Vic Sholis
Glenview, Illinois

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