Raise more hell and less porn

Letters to the Boston editor, October 6, 2006
By PHOENIX LETTERS  |  October 4, 2006

Raise more hell and less porn
Years ago I was impressed with the citizens of Greenfield, who organized, protested, and blocked Wal-Mart’s attempt to move into town. A few years ago I happily witnessed locals picketing and protesting the new Starbucks that showed up in Central Square. Your editorial “Fear Itself” (News and Features, September 29) blurs the line of censorship and community activism. For me, the jury is still out on the pros and cons of having an adult videostore down the street, but for many people in Northampton, there is a longstanding belief that adult videostores are cause for concern.

This is not a presidential hopeful using Mohammed Khatami’s appearance to gain standing in the conservative spotlight, or a public-broadcasting station afraid of the conservative attack machine, or even a German opera company worried about Islamic backlash. The protesters in Northampton are using their right to assemble and express their beliefs in a manner that should impress us.

We can’t have it both ways. Standing up for our neighborhoods to outside forces that homogenize and eliminate local flavor is noble, but standing up for the belief “porn is harmful” is nothing but mindless fear? To use your words, it sounds “hypocritical.” If we want to keep our liberties we need to support all respectful uses and practices, regardless of our personal viewpoints and feelings.
Jeffrey Bruno
Northampton

SPIRITED ATTACK
Wow, that was a really clever religious cartoon by Brian McFadden (“God’s Goofballs & Practical Jokes,” News and Features, September 22). Since you’re so good at sarcasm and being clever, here’s a puzzle for you:
Q: What are the two closely related religions practiced in nearly all countries where you can print hateful cartoons without fear of censorship or death threats?
Hint No. 1: In these countries, women can drive and vote, and rape survivors aren’t the victims of “honor” killings at the hands of their own families.
Hint No. 2: Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr. practiced one of these religions, and Leon Klinghoffer the other.
Since you seem to be enthusiastic advocates (or at least beneficiaries) of free speech, are you planning to print the Mohammed cartoons next to Sudoku in an upcoming issue? Or perhaps you can serialize “The Satanic Verses” — you should be able to get a good deal from Salman Rushdie, since he never knows how much longer he’ll be alive.
Darrell Hartwick
Newton

DRUMMING FOR DIAZ
Deval Patrick said it best. “This is not a time for left versus right, but right versus wrong.” That’s why, as a Democrat, I plan to cast my vote on November 7 for Samiyah Diaz instead of Dianne Wilkerson.

Diaz is running as a socially progressive and fiscally prudent candidate. She has been endorsed by gay-rights and pro-choice organizations. She is bright, educated, hard-working. And a Republican. How can a conscientious Democrat consider voting for Diaz? There are at least three reasons:

First, it’s time for Dianne to go. Half of all Democrats voted for a candidate other than Dianne in the primary this year.

Second, I want to send a message to the Republican Party. Whatever happened to the “big tent” that welcomed gays, women, and persons of diverse background? The “R” should stand for “respect” and “responsibility” rather than “Rove” and “Romney.”

Third, Diaz has advanced some thoughtful new ideas to fight crime, promote affordable housing, and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Diaz only stands a chance if Democrats vote for her. I hope other Democrats join me in making it happen.
Stephen Mally
Jamaica Plain

  Topics: Letters , Politics, U.S. Politics, Political Parties,  More more >
| More


Most Popular