Big in the U.K.
I hope it doesn't sound overly pedantic, but Patrick Enright's assertion that "It also doesn't help the believability any that this is the kind of book in which '80s characters use Dickensian phrases like 'Bob's your uncle' and 'Beg pudding'" is essentially erroneous [This Week's Reads, April 19]. Both phrases, particularly the former, are still hale and hearty in the language over here in the U.K., a fact of which I'm sure the book's author is well aware.
I'm not blindly defending Black Swan Green, as I haven't yet read it; it's just that an (I assume) American reviewer attacking the accuracy of vernacular employed by a British novelist writing about, well, where he grew up seems a tad absurd.
Ballymena, Northern Ireland, U.K.
Hot in Heels
Something that might not have occurred to Tim Appelo [This Week's Attractions, Kinky Boots, April 19]: The majority of transgender characters (transvestite and drag queen are not the same thing, but both fit the spectrum of transgender) in U.S. TV and movies are portrayed as murderers or otherwise deranged. I'll take sexless, noncrazy, positive trans characters over nutty, pedophile, mom-hating, sicko stereotypes any day. Plus, all trans women in heels are just hot to some of us!
I was surprised to see Geov Parrish follow the example of your editorial board and attack last November's Advisory Measure 1 ["Signature Waste of Time," April 12]. His columns are usually entertaining and perceptive, and he often displays a willingness to take risky political positions. Why go after the idea that health care is a right? Risk for its own sake?
Measure 1 allowed the voters of Seattle to speak in a united voice and say, "Health care isn't just a commodity to be bought and sold like used cars or real estate; health care is a right to be assured by the federal government." We are very excited about the possibility that other cities will follow Seattle's example and vote to say, "Health Care Is a Right." The more times this happens, the more pressure there will be in Congress to do something real about 45 million uninsured Americans.
Of course, Seattle saying something like this by itself won't accomplish much. But you gotta start somewhere, eh?
Coordinator, Seattle Campaign for a Right to Health Care
My Ballet is Thriving
While I applaud Mike Seely's appreciation of the fine arts to such degree that he compares NBA players to the fine ballet dancers of the PNB, American Ballet Theatre, and the like, why should I pay for his indulgence with another tax ["The Board-Crasher Sweet?" April 12]? Why should I be the victim of another attempt by the Sonics' owners, who show no hesitation in paying seven figures for benchwarmers and eight figures for "starter" underperformers but somehow cannot pay their own building's maintenance bills? Why should I reward their business stupidity with another bailout?
Until I see Seely personally put up money to keep my PNB running, he shouldn't expect me to agree to put up my money to keep "his ballet" afloat. But, wait a second . . . PNB is not threatening us with a move to Bellevue every few years, maybe because that organization knows how to live and expand and, mind you, thrive within its own limits.
Flippant Film Review
Brian Miller's article on Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy was both offensive and misinformed [This Week's Attractions, April 12]. Contrary to what Miller appears to think, with over 300 million practitioners, Buddhism is neither a boutique religion nor is it isolated to Tibet and Nepal.
It is hardly an act of journalistic courage or integrity to insult a religion that promotes nonviolence and compassion. One has to wonder if Miller will show similar bravado and flippancy when reviewing films concerned with Christianity, Islam, or Judaism.
This is my response to Geov Parrish's article about my campaign in the April 5 issue ["Aaron Dixon's Voting Record"].
Let me first say that I would love to be making $60,000 a year. Until this year, I have never made over $50,000. Last year, I made a little over $40,000. I would also like to state that the term "deadbeat dad" has never and will never apply to me. For the past 12 years, I have raised my two daughters as a single parent with little or no support from my ex-wife. I sacrificed a lot so that I could be with them and take care of them.
My ex-wife has not lived with us for 13 years. I did not proceed with a divorce because the idea was too painful for my daughters. When Farah and I decided to get married, I planned to get the legal divorce. However, my ex-wife did not agree to a no-contest divorce, and I was not able to get that done in time. I find it quite offensive that Parrish so easily called a woman that I do not love my "actual wife."
I don't consider my personal life to be a mess. Managing personal relationships, keeping up with insurance and traffic fines, and dealing with legal matters are issues that many Americans face on a day-to-day basis. Someone with my complex personal history can be expected to have these sorts of experiences.
Yet I understand Parrish's and possibly others' concerns about me being qualified to run for U.S. Senate. But I believe the real questions for qualification are: If I was elected, would I have voted to authorize the occupation of Iraq in 2002 or the additional funding for billions of dollars? The answer is a very loud NO. Would I join Sen. Russ Feingold in his lone efforts to censure President Bush for warrantless wiretapping and misleading the nation about its legality? YES. Would I work to repeal the policies of the drug war that have resulted in the costly incarceration of millions of young men of color? YES. Would I work hard to get amnesty for 11 million immigrant workers? I would. Would I work to get national health care and fully funded education policies enacted for all Americans? Yes, I would!
I believe these answers tell you about my true character. And I believe this campaign is far too important to many people throughout this state and country to allow my personal and economic struggles to stand in the way of creating real change in America.
Care to respond? Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be less than 250 words. By submission of a letter, you agree that we may edit the letter and publish and/or license the publication of it in print, electronically, and for archival purposes. Please include name, location, and phone number.