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'Sucking in the Sixties,' 'The New Segregation'

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Suck on This

How can all the self-proclaimed "boomers" and wannabe boomers remember those songs ("Sucking in the Sixties," by John Grooms, Nov. 2)? The other thing they are nostalgic about, other than Rock & Roll, is Sex and Drugs, and if they were participating, how can they remember anything? Me, I was just 22 and out of the Navy in 1964, and was working my ass off trying to get started in life. The thing I remember of the 60s is that we had a revolution in 68-69 and I was trying to find a safe way home from work during the riots.

Stuart Moskovitz, Chicago/Fort Mill

I thoroughly loved and enjoyed "Sucking in the Sixties," but you omitted a lot of loser songs that should have been included. Everybody has their own taste in music, but I think you should have definitely included the following in the list of crappy 60s hits: "Pleasant Valley Sunday" by the Monkees, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes" by Dean Martin, "Good Morning Starshine" by Oliver, "Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, "Reach Out of the Darkness" by Friend and Lover, and my choice for absolute worst song ever, "Green Tambourine" by the Lemon Pipers. "Any song you want I'll gladly play" -- on a tambourine? Pass whatever those guys were smoking over to me.

Lynn D. Blankenship, Charlotte

The fact that you believe that Hendrix and Joplin (both of whom died of drug induced complications) are the epitome of music tells me everything that I need to know about your musical taste. Hendrix sounded like he had dropped his guitar into a blender, and Joplin couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Your musical opinion is, therefore, of no interest to me. I, for one, would like a return to romantic music. You know, when women were referred to in song as Venus in Blue Jeans or Sweethearts, rather than today's descriptions of bitches and ho's.

David Preston, Charlotte

What a stupid column. Sure, there were some really bad songs on the radio in the 60s (you left out "Ringo" by Lorne Greene, by the way), but nothing compared to the totally shitty stuff we have to endure these days. At least in the 60s, there were alternatives to the radio junk, such as people you mentioned like Janis Joplin. And of course, people like the Beatles, the Stones and the Doors were on the radio at the same time as the junk. Today, it's all over-produced shlock or rappers calling women "ho's." No thanks.

Sara Thompkins, Charlotte

Earth to Sara: There are more "alternatives to the radio junk" today than there ever was. We now have whole worlds of easily accessible, quality underground music, from the indie-rock and indie-folk of acts like Bright Eyes and Beth Orton, to the alt.country of Lucero and Ryan Adams, the soulful swagger of Southern bands such as Gov't Mule and Drive-By Truckers, the post-soul cool of Lizz Wright, Lewis Taylor and India.Arie and the positive, politically charged hip-hop of the Coup and Mos Def -- not to mention all the dazzlingly creative popular music coming from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and Latin America.

Speaking of Latin America

Re: "The New Segregation" by Nsenga Burton, Oct. 26: People have been immigrating to this country for hundreds of years. My German parents did it, not knowing a word of English. They learned the language, laws and customs, prospered and kept their heritage. They are now comfortably retired in a mostly German community. It was not a particularly pleasant time for German-speaking immigrants to come right after World War II. Yet they did and prevailed.

The Latino neighbors I have met are very nice and hard working. It would only be to their benefit for them to learn English. Promoting the idea that we should instead learn Spanish is lazy on the part of Dr. Burton and her ilk. I have no problem learning Spanish if it benefits me. It would be my fourth language. My son learns Spanish. It looks like it will be useful to him someday; he will be able to connect with more people, clients, etc.

If Latinos sit back and let the Dr. Burtons limit their access to the rest of the country, they will never rise above the menial jobs they acquired when they first came here.

John Pahl, Charlotte

Dr. Burton never suggested Latinos should not learn English, only that Americans would benefit from learning Spanish.

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