The Drug Issue

Unrefined Courtney

I was appalled by Tim Appelo's "An Open Letter to Courtney Love" [The Drug Issue, Aug. 18]. Is he condemning Courtney for her family's past? He refers to Courtney's great-grandparents as "[her grandmother Paula] Fox's drunk dad and horrid mom." Appelo says, "Don't be your great-grandma, be like your grandma and your mother." His grand wisdom continues: "I've never encountered a scarier person than your dad. . . . Do not emulate him." So now he is dissing her for her father? Don't be like Tim Appelo, Courtney! Is Tim's point that perfect people like him did not have abuse in their family? Is he superior to Courtney because his great-grandparents are not "drunks" and "horrid moms"? Or does he lack human empathy due to that? Does Tim see the connection? Abuse in family as a kid, strife in adult life later.

Also, that is one sad interpretation of John Lennon's life: "another ex-junkie rock diva . . . who punched people right and left." Appelo obviously does not get it. Not every "radical" can be as washed down as, oh, Sarah McLachlan, whom I am sure he approves of for her docile ways. Appelo wants Courtney to be like "My Fair Lady." Courtney does not need refining school. I like her unrefined best. And I prefer her style to Appelo's.

Kirsten Anderberg

Seattle

It has been a long time since I've read an editorial piece of drivel as low quality as this [The Drug Issue, "An Open Letter to Courtney Love," Aug. 18]. Was this really a Seattle Weekly article, or did I stumble across some teenage wanna-be writer's personal blog? It sickens me that Tim Appelo actually tried to make a connection between the antics of Courtney Love and John Lennon, "another ex-junkie rock diva . . . who punched people right and left." I'm only aware of two incidents in Lennon's impeccable 20-year musical career in which he resorted to physical violence: once in the mid-'60s when he was publicly accused of fornicating with his manager, Brian Epstein, and an exaggerated incident in the mid-'70s involving a rather obnoxious cocktail waitress. Appelo should get his facts straight before treading on Lennon's good memory. Lennon had more integrity in a passing thought than Appelo will amass in an entire lifetime of D-grade editorial garbage.

Ryan Palmer

Seattle

Tim Appelo responds: Lennon described himself as a violent man who learned how not to be violent. The lyric "I used to be cruel to my woman/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved/Man I was mean but I'm changing my scene/And I'm doing the best that I can" was a personal confession. He said that's why he was always going on about peace and love; it was what he aspired to against his baser nature. In the incidents you cite, you apparently absolve him on the grounds that the waitress was rude and the guy accused him of a gay act. These aren't good excuses for violence. Besides, he probably did sleep with Epstein, only he was married, so it would be adultery, not fornication.

Coffee Dens

I was a touch disappointed by the frequently so well-versed Roger Downey's piece on coffee in your Drug Issue ["This Is Your Brain on a Frappuccino," Aug. 18]. Surely, he knows that the alkaloids in coffee and cocaine are nearly identical? Has he not heard of the coffeehouses of the 17th century as having been as notorious as opium dens of a later age? Or of Johann Sebastian Bach's Kaffee Kantate? And there he comes out sounding like a nervous Seattle nelly with those dire warnings.

Franz Angst

Seattle

How to Inhale

To clarify one point in Philip Dawdy's otherwise excellent piece "Mental Marijuana" [The Drug Issue, Aug. 18]: Despite federal government claims, marijuana need not have any respiratory side effects at all.

Smoking has respiratory side effects, whether you're smoking tobacco, marijuana, or grass clippings—though marijuana, unlike tobacco, has never been shown to cause lung cancer. But marijuana need not be smoked to be used as medicine.

It can be eaten, of course, but patients can obtain the fast action that makes smoking attractive by using relatively simple devices called vaporizers. Vaporizers allow the inhalation of the active components, called cannabinoids, with nearly none of the irritants in smoke. After much teeth-gnashing, the federal government has finally allowed one small vaporizer study to go forward, but a second proposed trial remains in bureaucratic purgatory.

A cynic might think the feds didn't want to encourage development of safer ways of using medical marijuana.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, DC

Libertarian for Badnarik

Thanks to Knute Berger for finally introducing the Northwest to the third political party in this country [Mossback, "The New Ralph Nader?" Aug. 18]! As a second- generation Libertarian, I am definitely one of those "independent and cantankerous" people Michael Badnarik stands for. And Berger is correct—our stance on many issues can seem like pandering to an outsider, but our emphasis is always on the freedom of the individual, rather than the rights of the state. I will be voting for Badnarik in November, and I hope Berger's column will interest others in looking for something new in their politics.

Erin Utz

Seattle

Libertarian for Kerry

Thanks so much for Knute Berger's article on the Libertarian candidate for president, Michael Badnarik [Mossback, "The New Ralph Nader?" Aug. 18]. It's good to see someone besides the Republicans and Democrats get coverage in the media. Too often in this country, people think you're either a conservative or a liberal and that's all there is to it, but that's as far from the truth as their presumption that everyone's either white or black (which also really ticks me off, as I'm half Korean).

Though my politics are libertarian, I'm voting for Kerry, because my highest priority is to keep George Bush from getting a second term. But I hope that as a result of Berger's article, more Seattleites will realize the political spectrum is a little more complicated than they thought, and that they do have a choice, especially in local races.

Benjamin Lukoff

Seattle

It Takes a Dog Turd

I was wholly disturbed by The Village—for its uncanny resemblance to watching a snail cross the 100 feet of my backyard, only to find a dog turd in its path and have to go around it [Small World, "Village Idiot," Aug. 18]. I would have paid more to watch the latter. However, I think Steve Wiecking missed a couple of points in his article. The adults didn't work for the counseling center. They were part of a support group for family members of people killed by random, senseless violence. William Hurt was a professor in his pre-pilgrim life and somehow accumulated enough money to own that wildlife preserve; it was his family's name that was plastered all over the fences and uniform of the modern-day security guard.

Further points I had a hard time believing: (1) There was sufficient medicine in the little refrigerator to heal Joaquin Phoenix's stab wound. (2) At the end of the blind girl's run through the woods, she jumps over a large branch on the ground—sans her gigantic walking stick, sans seeing the ground. Very tricky. (3) None of the elders seemed to care about finding out which one of the sickos was spending their free time catching and skinning poor little defenseless rabbits and other wildlife. I would've wanted to find that out at the very beginning.

I guess I could go on for days.

Mary Lingenfelter

Seattle

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