Driving gas guzzlers particularly SUVs is not a trait unique to white guys in Olathe or Parkville. In my part of town (southeast Wichita), a black neighbor a few houses away has a big Chevrolet Suburban. Around the corner, a couple of Mexican families own large GMC pickup trucks. My wife and I drive Saturn sedans.
Inside any major U.S. city and on its periphery, one sees people of every genetic makeup driving all types of vehicles. Seeing a nonwhite person driving an urban assault vehicle is a fact of life. I was registering my car at the DMV last week, and I saw dozens of people driving every make and model in the book. Derf's The City ascribes one facet of conspicuous consumption primarily or even exclusively to white males, particularly those roaring around Interstate 435. In reality, however, the greedy pursuit of a wasteful lifestyle of gluttony often infects most who can afford it, regardless of race, ethnicity and gender. White males are not the only ones who forsake their fellow humans in order to escape to the suburbs and a spacious, energy-hungry home and a big classy ride.
The ugly truth is that many people from all over the world aspire to be the insular, despicable character Derf derisively portrays as "White Middle Class Suburban Man."
Body and Sole
Heel thyself: I am writing in response to Priceless Diamonds' "advice" to an animal activist who found a bargain on a pair of leather-and-fur shoes (Ask the Boss Bitch! September 8). If this girl goes ahead and wears her Manolo Blahniks, she essentially is condoning animal cruelty.
As a fellow bargain hunter, I agree that the girl did find a hell of a deal. Before I became the animal rights activist I am, I found a beautiful long leather coat at Express for a low price. But if I continued to wear it, I would be a huge hypocrite because of my love for animals.
I can't even commit myself to indirectly kill a cow for a juicy cheeseburger. How could I then turn around and say it is OK to kill an animal for fashion? Sure, fashion can be painful (try walking a couple of miles in those Manolos), but don't make it lethal, for animals' sake. Don't flaunt the shoes that killed the animal, or you are just saying it is OK to kill more of the innocent furry creatures.
Sincerely, a fellow animal-rights activist AND fashionista,
Jayme A. Aschemeyer
No objection: I applaud Sen. Matt Bartle and Gov. Matt Blunt for taking on an industry of nudie shows (David Martin's "The Big Coverup," August 25). We don't need them in our state.
Apparently JaCory Harold doesn't have a belief in our moral society (Letters, September 8). It does affect people especially women. It demeans women on how we look at them, and it causes us to lose our morality when we see women as things instead of people.
Kansas City, Missouri
Shovel it: Against the opinion of Melissa Levine, who found the movie The Constant Gardener to be "sickening" (September 1), I did go see it. It happened to be an intelligent, well-done, caring and interesting piece of art.
Please do not send this critic out again unless it is to critique Mary Poppins Redux or The Lion King II. She has no idea of what a quality film is supposed to be like.
Kansas City, Missouri
Out of bounds: Glad Jen Chen was able to still get that article off about 810 Zone, even though she didn't get permission from "corporate" (Night Ranger, August 25). Sounds like they were a bunch of clowns. But is the place good, nice? Looks as if ...
Thanks for scoping it out for us!
Via the Internet
Atmospheric pressure: The article about 810 Zone included pictures of six guys drinking beers and no pics of the atmosphere. Yeah, we know guys go there and drink beer, but it was definitely a blah article.
The place is overrated; it's in OP (Over Priced). So, by the article, I will not burn my gas.
Name withheld by request
Suburban jungle: I must say, as a native of Los Angeles, I do find the "Us vs. JoCo" argument a bit laughable (Jason Harper's Wayward Son, September 8). When the suburbs are within five miles of downtown, it isn't really a sizable city.
After working 12 years in midtown and getting to know the so-called "midtown scenesters," I find the majority of these folks who throw around the midtown vs. JoCo argument are 20-something native KC suburbanites or country hicks trying to make themselves feel valid. I've lived in downtown L.A., Hollywood, Orange County, midtown KC and Mission, Kansas. It doesn't matter where you live but how you support your cultural community.
Name withheld by request
Editor's note: Last week's cover photograph of Wilt Chamberlain was improperly credited. The photographer was Rich Clarkson.