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Dr. Hustler

Tara Servatius writes of the medical profession protecting itself from outside scrutiny ("What Malpractice Crisis?," Jan. 7). This is congruent with the medical profession's history of working hard to make money, with medicine being only their avenue to attain wealth.

In 1965, Carroll Quigley published Tragedy and Hope in which he says "As a consequence, the medical profession in the United States ceased, very largely, to be a profession of fatherly confessors and unprofessing humanitarians and became one of the largest groups of hardheaded petty-bourgeois hustlers in the United States, and their professional association became the most ruthlessly materialistic lobbying association of any professional group."

To that comment he added those in educational administration and I might add generally those who have taken up law and who practice politics as a profession.

All these are, of course generalizations, but the organizations which represent these groups, thus the majority of members, are intent upon finding ways to make themselves rich off their relationship with their clients and not upon being a helpful part of society.

--Lewis Guignard, Charlotte


Having read a number of David Walters' preachy elitist anti-American, anti-religious, anti-everything diatribes, I have been driven to a prayerful entreaty: "Oh God, please save us from those who think they know how to live our lives better than ourselves."

Those of David Walters' ilk, and other socialist liberals, wish to tell us where and in what we should live, where we should work and how we should get there, and how we should not worship and in which churches we should not worship in.

The egotism and vanity of such people knows no bounds. These people are truly dangerous if given positions of authority. Mr. Walters makes the same tired elitist appeal to authority, the same tiresome cant, "They don't do it this way in Europe."

You remember Europe, that sophisticated group of royal cutthroats, especially the English, an unbroken line of warmongering butchers who drug us into World War I and II, and still call on us everytime they can't solve their own problems, to wit, Bosnia.

There is a new saying, "Only people with Mad Cow disease and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun." There is another saying written by a great American author. It goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men go astray." God save us from the planners. We live in the real world, a free world, not four hundred rural acres of architecturally socialist elitist commune in South Carolina. Preach to England and Europe, Mr. Walters. The USA can solve its own problems.

--Richard C. Alexander, Charlotte

Editor's Note: The original quote Mr. Alexander refers to was by Robert Burns of Scotland (that's in Europe): "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." That's where the great American author John Steinbeck got it.

Manifest Will Be Missed

Hearing that Manifest Discs will be closing ("Manifest Destiny" by John Schacht, Jan. 7) brings me a great feeling of loss. The Charlotte area will be losing an irreplaceable piece of its culture. The live in-store music (major and local artists), the vast array of independent and impossible to find elsewhere discs and records, the wonderful service of the knowledgeable employees, the "make yourself comfortable and have a good time" environment will all be gone. What will Charlotte lose next, Creative Loafing and Tremont Music Hall? I dread the thought. Manifest, you will be sorely missed. It was good to know you.

-- KR Brown, Charlotte

CL Plays Favorites

I read with great interest "Manifest Destiny." Not only does it pertain to music stores but venues too. Not only are shoppers responsible, but also the article's publisher.

I've witnessed CL covering venues that are favorites of the music staff. Recently, CL has given a nod to the Neighborhood Theatre and its new owners. A change that is very welcome and long overdue. At this time the Neighborhood Theatre is bringing shows by paying rates that are out of line for this market. If the people of Charlotte are comfortable paying $40 or better for an act that is getting 40 percent less or better per ticket in other markets, then OK. One example is Jerry Jeff Walker; compare prices at other comparative venues (500 capacity).

CL does give some shows that are presented by large promotion companies their due, but what is done on a local basis is ignored or, worse, panned. One writer that is guilty of panning acts at non-favorite venues is Tim Davis.

Amos' Southend is constantly panned by CL. Your opinions do hurt great shows and the venue itself. I've read pointless, negative opinions of the venue that have damaged attendance. Amos' does what they can to keep live music prices reasonable for their patrons. When good shows are undermined and other venues overpay, it becomes not only impossible to maintain good shows at reasonable prices but to keep the business afloat.

I've enquired as to why when playing at one venue an act gets a star when at another it gets no such notice. The answer, "not always is it about the act, it is the venue."

I call on CL to be a positive part of the growth of the music scene in Charlotte. If not, the repeat "Destiny" could be all too common.

-- Ben Hamrick, BH Entertainment, Charlotte

Editor's Reply: Mr. Hamrick's letter is the latest instance of a type of complaint that's heard at many newspapers which cover music: "you favor certain (choose: bands, venues, promoters) over my (band, venue, promotions); not only that, you're not doing your job of positively promoting the local music scene." Since we've responded to a number of these types of letters before, in order to save time, we've decided to create a one-size-fits-all reply, and here it is:

CL is an independent newspaper with its own outlooks and viewpoints. We want to be as inclusive as possible regarding readers' musical choices, which is why we have extensive music listings that offer the full range of choices available each week. Everything else in the music section -- articles, Music Menu, short items -- is our independent take on what we think readers will find interesting. That's what newspapers do. If a club's shows aren't getting notices, Soundboard stars, or rave previews, it's probably a sign that some improvement in the quality of the shows being presented would be useful. Calls for CL to always be "positive" in its reporting of local music confuse a real newspaper with a fanzine, which we certainly aren't. Our responsibility is to call things as we see them for the benefit of our readers. Anyone, needless to say, is free to let us know how they think we're doing that job, for good or bad.

Still Depressing

Thank you for running the piece "Big Brother at the Airport" (by Tara Servatius, Dec. 11, 2002). If it had been published four years ago, I would have thought it was a satire. Now, that's depressing.

-- Steven R. Rhoads, San Rafael, CA

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