Letters

01/12/00
Interesting list, but why don’t you ever take on the large insurance companies that are behind the scenes in HMO hell? Healthcare is important too!

Regina Gelston



MoJo Confounds Justice in the World!

RE: “Shell Ads

01/10/00
The real problem with running the ads is that in a corporate-owned, media-driven society, discursive presence has come to confer tacit validity. Whatever the intent in running the ads, the reality is that even to display such propaganda is to legitimize an entity that so blatantly disregards human and planetary rights. I believe you therefore are doing a disservice to many of your readers by publishing such ads, not to mention alienating many more — while at the same time confounding attempts to bring justice into the world with this misguided, ironical approach. The ads support Shell Oil, and therefore you are supporting and furthering the cause of Shell Oil by running the ads.

Finally, I also wonder how many people — and how many impressionable young people, especially — will see the banners on your Web site without having time to read the editorial and conclude that for some reason it is now appropriate to support such a corporation.

Jeff Wiggin



Meaningless Existence & the Snap Poll

RE: “ School Vouchers Poll

01/10/00
I’m not amazed by the number of no votes for school vouchers. That goes to show you how very little most parents care about their kids’ education. Any parents who care want the right to use their tax monies where it will do the most good.

Loyd McKinzy



Down on DC

RE: “Deconstructing DC

01/10/00
Will, you’re right about all of it. DC is a miserable place, but why?

It shouldn’t have to be. It is an unusually beautiful city. Parts of it are, anyway (the parts they keep nice for the politicians, bureaucrats, and tourists). There is a reservoir of energy and talent here (albiet usually kept buttoned down in the day and dribbling away in Adams-Morgan bars at night) that most cities would envy. It is the capital, despite all her many flaws and imperfections, of the best damn country in the world. So why does DC suck?

Okay, given the overabundance of money, arrogance and ego that necessarily accompanies any capital city. And given the resentment of the city’s black residents toward mostly antagonistic congressional oversight. And given the high (but finally decreasing) crime rates. And given the indifference to the core city’s plight by the rafts of transient (1 to 3 year) residents — mostly young and white, mostly afraid to travel beyond the invisible but powerful boundaries of the District’s N.E. quarter.

Yeah, perhaps you’re right. I guess there’s not much hope after all.

But every once in a while, still, you can catch a glimpse of something beautiful here, something special, or funny, or unique, around Dupont Circle, or the U Street corridor, or back behind the Folger Shakespeare Library off Capitol Hill, a whiff of what DC might be …i f she weren’t crippled by fearfulness, indifference, ignorance, and arrogance.

Jay Marx