We Suck, Part I
Did it ever occur to the author of the Burnt Ends headline that "Jesse Gypped" is not only half-assed alliteration but also an inappropriate ethnic slur? Gypped derives from Gypsy, or Romany, a nomadic, ethnic minority scattered over Central and Eastern Europe. Gypsies have long been stereotyped as swindlers and cheaters.
Your headline writer would clearly not get away with the blatant anti-Semitism of a similar headline, "Jesse Jewed," which carries much of the same meaning (and is perfectly alliterative because the words begin with the same sound and letter). Like its Jews, many of Europe's Gypsies were demonized and ended up in Hitler's ovens.
Ted Frederickson, Tonganoxie
We Suck, Part II
In his review of Transformers, Nathan Lee found it OK, and your magazine thought it would be acceptable, to refer to a movie stereotype of an African-American character as an "Amusing Negro." Whether he was correct to point out the formulaic plot creation is irrelevant. Webster defines the word Negro as "adjective, sometimes offensive." I would think that most people of color — specifically African-Americans — would be offended by a term that is only used when trying to demean another human.
I truly love your publication and believe you should not allow language that is racist to be written by your writers. You are going to offend some people all of the time, but to strip away the dignity of an entire race is hateful. How many decades will it take humans to stop using such language against a people that have endured over 200 years of being demeaned and verbally assaulted with words? Such words can kill a human soul.
Steve Garrett, Grandview
We Suck, Part III
Golly, this Kris Kobach guy seems like a dangerous man and likely deserves the smearing from your little paper. What with his insistence that U.S. laws be enforced and all, give him more hell.
But, a question. Since Mexico uses its military to enforce immigration laws and borders and deports more people most every year than does the United States, is it "anti-immigrant" as well? It is clear that the writer's position is that no one is really "illegal" — thus the quotation marks on that awful word — so shouldn't we go ahead and open the borders? Officially, I mean.
Then no quotation marks needed — and we can all be the mindless citizens of the planet that we should be. Borders and nations of law being such violations of human rights and all ... ya know, man?
D.A. King, Marietta, Georgia
We Suck, Part IV
Do those pesky little CIDs (Community Improvement Districts) and TDDs (Transportation Development Districts) that charge extra taxes in various areas of KCMO make KC a little less cool? Less cool than Johnson County, for instance? It seems that Johnson County is often criticized by the Pitch. Now the remaining cool areas of Kansas City are being criticized. Pretty soon, there will be nowhere else to live that meets the rigid and unrealistic standards of your writers, whatever those standards are.
Why not move somewhere else? Another city? Another state? Or really, is it that if you look hard enough, fault can be found no matter where you are? It sure would be refreshing if more of the writers at the Pitch took a more positive approach to something. Anything. Ever thought about writing a feature article about something done right? Who ever said that journalism has to result in such cynicism?
Take a clue from Charles Ferruzza. No matter what lame-ass restaurant he visits — independent, chain, dive or wannabe — he always manages to find something good, or even just neutral, to say about it. Who wants to hear a bunch of whiny, bitter journalists spit out the same garbage week after week? Not me. I think I'll start reading something else.
Marci Michnick, Roeland Park
Maybe We Don't Suck
In case the Kansas City, Missouri, parks board was not aware, parks are key to creating a high-quality place for people to live, and as the Pitch notes, past citizen surveys have documented residents' dissatisfaction with the city's parks. It should come as no surprise to parks commissioners that among the hundreds of weekly visitors to Johnson County's Shawnee Mission Park off-leash area, at least half of the cars in the parking lot have Missouri license plates.
Say what you want about Johnson County, but beyond all the stereotypes, people choose to live here for a reason. If I still lived in KCMO, I'd sure 'nuff drop a deuce on those parks board members.
Jill deVries Jolicoeur, Overland Park