Letters from the week of August 28, 2003

Park It 

Letters from the week of August 28, 2003

Courting trouble: Some notes to Mr. Rudolph Pieters, who wrote in about the degeneration of Kansas City's basketball courts, and his slightly insulting letter about the new skatepark (August 14): First off, if the basketball court on which you play is so bad, find another one. There are only hundreds of them in the metro. Skaters don't have that option. We have four skateparks in the entire Kansas City area.

Second, if you were to dribble a basketball down Main Street, the cops wouldn't stop you. If I so much as put two feet on my board while I'm waiting for the bus at 10th Street and Main, the cops will swarm me. That's why skaters like me deserve a place where we can do our sport without getting persecuted.

Mr. Pieters says, "Or are they being excluded because basketball players are from a less desirable ethnic group?" In my experience, skaters are of all colors and sexes, and "less desirable ethnic groups" are welcomed and embraced.
Chuck "Stinky" Weismiller
Kansas City, Missouri

Pool Sharks
Beach slap: Regarding Jen Chen's "Wet Bar" (August 21): I rarely ever read the Pitch, but a coworker of mine remembered my horrible experience at the "adult" pool at Oceans of Fun and brought Chen's article in for me to read. Unbelievable! I thought that I was the only one who had left Oceans of Fun in disgust. I don't think that I should have ever gone. I had such wonderful memories of it as a child, but now it's filled with overweight ladies in thongs and a fistfight between the local trash.
Brooke Hawkins
Overland Park
Free Radicals
Liberal arts: C'mon, Pitch, we've learned to expect far more from you. Allie Johnson's "Anarchy at KU!" (August 14) was the typical smug posturing of the hipster sophisticate too faux-jaded and "smart" for radical politics. This article has, with a few slight variations of biography and geography, been written literally hundreds of times in the past century or so: The reasonable, practical, traditionally educated, mainstream-liberal, objective journalist pooh-poohing the unreasonable silliness of the impractical, uneducated, subjective radical. At least Johnson is paying homage to a great tradition.

From the dank cave of the Black Cat Collective to the slovenly trash-picking of the dirty little anarchists fleeing suburban security to embrace social irresponsibility, Johnson's piece is rife with clichés that could've been yanked from any bit of hippie bashing circa '69 or from any yellow-press red baiting from the '20s. It isn't the anarchists' politics that are questioned here; it's their hygiene, their social backgrounds and the failure of their interpersonal relationships that are offered up as evidence of the unviability of pie-in-the-sky utopianism and the unwholesomely reactionary and strident timbre of their politics. Man, even the notoriously partisan Lawrence Journal-World, when covering last summer's anarchist gathering at Clinton Lake State Park, was far more evenhanded with these people (shockingly so, in fact). I never thought I'd see the LJW make the Pitch look bad.

Were you close to deadline, Allie? Rush Limbaugh could've (and has) taken these cheap shots. You guys can do better than this.
Tad Kepley

Scratch and sniff: I can't believe that Allie Johnson would glorify that smelly bastard David Strano. I was friends with him in high school. He didn't start that punk-rock stuff until after the summer of 2000. Wage slave? He used to work for a lawyer, he drives a Honda and he didn't stop taking showers for the punk stuff -- he has always smelled.

There are real punks out there. They're not guys living on a train. They have real jobs and influence the system by supporting things they believe in (i.e., all involved in starting third parties, Green and Libertarianism). You should think of impressionable young kids who read the Pitch before you support this crap.
Dean Poff

Cricket bat: This is Cricket from the "Anarchy at KU!" story. First off, I would like to say that I am sorry to anyone in the Lawrence anarchist community who took offense to anything that was quoted by me about them. A lot of that stuff was taken out of context. I did not "break in" to the space, period.

I am also disappointed after further reading about how the article portrays my lifestyle and how an entry from my online journal made it into the article without my consent. Some of that shit was pretty personal. Also fairly disappointing was how Allie Johnson made Dave look like such a bad guy. He is not.

Anyway, take everything with a grain of salt that is in newspapers, because it probably isn't all true.
"Timothy Byron Hecht"
Superior, Wisconsin

Pan Pizza
Extra cheesy: Thanks for Charles Ferruzza's review of the California Pizza Kitchen ("Pizza Haute," August 14). I can always count on him to tell the truth in a very entertaining way.

I missed him on the last Walt Bodine panel -- he's the best one!
Melissa Mann
Prairie Village

Chen X: I am so happy to see someone lambaste the California Pizza Kitchen as nothing more than it is: a fucking mediocre pizza joint!

I look forward to Ferruzza's reviews as one of the attractive things in the Pitch; otherwise, the paper is quite lame. Pray tell, what is the purpose of Jen Chen's columns? I go back and forth with reading your paper, because it really gets lame at times. This Chen broad is the most vapid writer I've come across in quite some time.

Her weighty, deep-thinking topics such as dating, clothes, pose striking, makeup, the importance of physical looks, bars, drinking and her most recent tripe, "Breakers 10-4" (August 14), are examples of empty journalism at its best. What is the demographic you're trying to reach with her dreck? Gen X and Y wanna-be slackers? The insipid tattooed and pierced crowd that shuffles around and contributes so much to Westport? The pea-brained boneheads that have absolutely no meaningful life of their own and get their kicks reading the drivel she serves up every week? It's a testimony to the vacuousness of your readers when one of her prepubescent columns generates so much response. Judging by "L-U-V Hangover" (July 31), there must be a lot of losers in the Kansas City dating scene. Is Jen Chen one of them?

Does Jenni Chennie really exist, or is she a conglomeration of writers with an inside joke, passing themselves off as a real person, like Kiki Dakota, the slut, did so many years ago? Certainly you don't think the shit she writes has any redemptive value, do you?
Craig Davis
Kansas City, Missouri

Editor's note: Like Kiki Dakota, Jen Chen is an actual person. Unlike Dakota, however, she bravely uses her own name.


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