" . . . a bunch of cardinals get called to Rome to muster their forces, and what do they come up with? The homosexuals are the problem. . . . "

GIVE 'EM HELL

I'm a baptized but not-practicing Catholic, which will probably cause some Catholics to discount my opinions about this mess ["What the Hell?" cover package, April 25]. I am sickened and angry at the attitude of the "higher-ups" in the church. They are blaming homosexuals for these sexual abuse issues. I hope gay and straight organizations rise up and march in the streets protesting such utter ignorance.

All the while this has been going on, the church has covered it up. Now, when the media and a few brave souls who were abused have forced it into the open, a bunch of cardinals get called to Rome to muster their forces, and what do they come up with? The homosexuals are the problem and this isn't about pedophilia after all. Are we relieved or what?

As a child, I attempted to be a devout Catholic, suffering, praying, confessing, attending mass. But the questions became greater than the solace of the faith, and I got tired of being given the message that I was never good enough or clean enough or pure enough. If I were still practicing, I would probably be even angrier at being so ripped off by this debacle.

Pamela Clerico

Seattle

TRY THE CHEAP SEATS

In response to Matt Villano's "Operation True Fanatic," April 25: If you were truly a dedicated sports fan, you would NEVER switch your allegiance to a new team, especially if you move to a new city. The team that is yours at 10 years old MUST remain your team until you die. You're no better than the Mariners fans you berate. You are worse: You're a Benedict Arnold, the most loathsome figure in all of sports fandom. Stick with the Yankees.

You bitch about the Mariners fans in Safeco Field, yet you sit in Section 148. What the hell do you expect? If you want to experience the real fans, you have to sit in cheaper seats. Move your ass to the outfield bleachers or up to the 300 level. True fans don't pay $30 for a ticket. These are old-time fans who paid $12 for great Kingdome seats and refuse to pay more to sit in Safeco Field. Sit with them, and you might find your experience more satisfactory.

I have to say that I do agree with you, even when taking into account my above points. Mariner fans suck. You know your fans blow when the line at the coffee stand is four times longer than at the beer stand. It's disgusting. Yankee fans ARE superior, because most Mariner fans are minivan- driving soccer moms from the Eastside who jumped on the M's bandwagon when they got good in 1995. The average M's fan treats the Mariners like their son's soccer team, unwilling to blame anybody on the Mariners when they make mistakes.

What disgusts me most is the devaluation of the standing ovation. A standing ovation should be a rare reward given only to the most exemplary of accomplishments, not a once-an-inning token gesture handed out every time Ichiro shits out a dribbler to third base that goes for an infield single.

The Mariners haven't been around long enough for fathers to pass the team on to their sons. In another 20 years or so, maybe fans will be more passionate. Until then, I suggest that you sit with me and my friends and experience some of the only educated and die-hard fans in Seattle. [It's too late; Matt's given up on the Mariners. See "M's Fans Still Suck"—Eds.]

Jacob Kerr

Seattle

M'S FAN AIN'T MATT FANS

Matt Villano ["Operation True Fanatic," April 25] is the kind of boorish narcissist that most baseball fans, not just the ones at Safeco Field, can do without. I have seen his type in a number of ballparks. Starved for attention, he figures he should be, if not the star of the game, at least part of the spectacle. Little did the fans realize that in addition to seeing one of the best teams in the major leagues, they were going to get to hear, for no extra charge, Mr. Villano's loud shtick. Home runs, stolen bases, striking out an opponent with the bases loaded, a come-from-behind victory, etc., are all crowd-pleasing incitements to mass ebullience, and Mariners fans do respond. It is asking a lot from us, though, to endure and encourage Mr. Villano's antics borne of his attention deficit disorder.

He should do himself as well as all of us a favor by staying home and watching the game on television.

Kevin Briggs

Seattle

NOT HEAVEN FOR HORSES

Perhaps Nan Mooney isn't familiar with the lives these animals lead ["Horse Heaven," April 18]. Does she realize horses are racing before their bones have completely formed or their joints are capable of withstanding the stress? Does she know that the majority end up with arthritis before they are 6? That many will be slightly lame the rest of their lives? That some will be crippled? That many will be put down because they will be unridable and/or unmanageable? Does she realize many develop colic or ulcers from the imbalances of their diet, living separated from their herdmates, and the stress of their routine?

I suggest that Mooney take a closer look at the "swankier and more user-friendly" environment that Emerald Downs provides to people who are making money off innocent and noble horses who benefit not in the slightest from the industry she espouses. I suggest that she educate herself to the plight of racehorses. Perhaps she can try to make some changes to that industry to benefit the horse, not the human.

Gale E. Nelson

Issaquah

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