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-- Les Gulledge, Matthews

Lack of Democratic Etiquette

Hal Crowther's supremely cynical down-putting of the culture of Fox News ("Weapons of Mass Stupidity," June 4) contains this blooper: "It violates democratic etiquette to call your fellow citizens "idiots.'" Is he not concerned with "democratic etiquette"? Crowther complaining about name-calling resembles the Pope disapproving of crucifixes.

I don't think much better of the people he vilifies than he does. Put me down also as a democratic progressive wanting to read stronger spokespersons against mindless conformity than Crowther.

And being a Christian with little affinity for Christian Coalition types, I like to quote my favorite spokesperson on being conventional:

Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide / and the road is easy that leads to destruction,/ and there are many who take it./ For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matt. 7:13-14)

It's easy to imitate the critical styles of Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken and then to invite others to join the PC clique. It's truly hard to stand alone, support what little you know, and stay humble about it.

-- Tom Booker, Charlotte

Crowther's Brilliant

As a resident of South Florida I do not have regular access to your paper but I am very well aware of it. This is to extend my congratulations to you for having the good judgment to employ the likes of Hal Crowther. His recent article about the moronizing of America by Fox Nazi News is one of the best opinion pieces I have ever read, going back a dozen years or more. I immediately forwarded it to everyone in my mailing list. It was absolutely brilliant in its message and brilliantly written as well. Wow. Keep up the great work.

-- Skip Martin, Deerfield Beach, FL

Clay It Isn't So

I am not a current reader of Creative Loafing and heard of the piece "Clay Aiken Exclusive!" (by Shannon Reichley, June 4) from listening to 107.9. I have to say that I was appalled. I visited the Loafing web site and read the story. I understand that you were trying to make a point about a totally unrelated item to Clay, but could you not have been a little more judicious in choosing a victim? Clay is a "hometown" boy with all the charm and charisma that has not been seen in the music industry or any other industry for a long time. He has a career on the cusp of becoming something big and can be hurt by the smallest of rumors. He does not have the armor built up of a long time performer.

People have read your article and, as is human nature, stopped reading at the bad part and carried the rumor around. You know as well as anyone that people tend to believe the worst and it then becomes very hard to disprove and gain your respect back (just look at Sammy Sosa). I believe that you owe Clay Aiken as well as the reading public an apology.

-- Cindy Kidwell, Charlotte

Penny For Your Thoughts
In response to Tim Davis' "One More For The Road" (June 4):

Perhaps one gets into the music business for love but one doesn't stay in the business with love alone. Economics and, eventually, common sense dictate that one end up treating it as a business or disappear into history like so many former venues in this city. After 12 years in the club business of which 8- 1/2 have been at the largest alternative music venue in Charlotte, I think I might know a little bit about booking and club going in this town.

The phrase "if you build it, they will come" is from fiction and I, along with any other live music club owner in this city, can attest that the phrase does not translate to "if you book it, they will come." This is not speculation as so many people did in Tim Davis' article. These are hard, cold figures on the bottom line of the page at the end of the night when I pay the band. We've had some great shows at Tremont such as Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, Iggy Pop, The Psychedelic Furs, George Clinton, The Offspring, Paula Cole, Fiona Apple, Blues Traveler, Papa Roach, etc. And all of these shows lost money either for me or for the promoter on at least one occasion. Some were a few hundred dollars and some were several thousand dollars. I recently talked with one prominent Southeastern club owner who lost $50,000 last month alone.

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