I would like to thank the Alibi for the article on the loss of my dear friend and bandmate Ryan King (aka Kraven Morehead) [In Memoriam, “Remembering Ryan King,” April 20-26]. I would also like to thank everyone that helped with the memorial service we had for him on April 12—especially Michelle Arnold and Michelle Meade for taking care of all the arrangements. I would also like to thank everyone from both the Launchpad and Grandma's Music, and our brothers Icky & the Yuks for their help and attendance as well. Ryan's life was a short and cautionary tale—and he will be sorely missed.
Stephen A. Eiland (Cap'n Orgasm) Beefcake in Chains
Report of a Crisis
[RE: Feature, “Losing It,” April 20-26]
Thank you for the wonderful, balanced, accurate article you wrote on Albuquerque's mental health crisis. It was a fine piece of work and your past, present, future approach very effective. Over the years, I have grown wary of interviews over the phone. It was great to see how carefully you listened and how committed you are to accuracy. The article was a real piece of research with good breadth of perspectives. I follow all the newspaper articles on mental health issues in Albuquerque. Yours is the best and most professional I have ever seen. Bravo!
Jane Lancaster President, ABQ Chapter--National Alliance on Mental Illness
Eric the Red
[RE: Punch Line, “Food For Thought,” April 20-26]
Once again, Mayor Griego (sic) is preaching his religion of socialism—“Thou shalt worship Government as The One True God, and I am its prophet"—as the "solution" to a perceived "problem" here in Albuquerque. This week, it's the lack of an "international" dining scene.
First, Mayor Griego needs to put down The Communist Manifesto long enough to skim through the "Restaurant" section of the Yellow Pages, and he'll see plenty of ethnic restaurants—Arabic, Cajun, Chinese, Cuban, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Native American, Persian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, not to mention various styles of American (that does still count, right?).
But since Eric the Red sees this "lack" of "international" restaurants as a "problem," what does he propose as a solution? Simple—provide a bit of subsidies, tax breaks and regulatory relief to those kinds of places that he supports to give them a leg up on the competition. As for the "lack" of a "decent transit system" to get people to these places, that's the easy part—simply throw a few more million at SunTran. Someday it will break even, and maybe even show a profit, right?
I, as a libertarian, have a simpler, less expensive, fairer solution: Relax the tax and regulatory burdens across the board for eateries of all types, and let the scene grow on its own, as it has been doing despite the existing burdens of the state. Then maybe Eric the Red can quit playing mayor, open his own restaurant and show the world how it's done.
As for Ethiopian cuisine, that's an easy one, too—show up and sign up for the Ethiopian Communist Party. Then you get to eat. Refuse to do that, and maybe they'll let you eat. If they don't decide to use you for target practice with their AK-47s first.
Mike Blessing Chair, Bernalillo County Libertarian Party
Land of Laws
The article in the April 13 issue of the Alibi, "A Long Line in the Sand," fails to justify illegal immigration into the United States. The euphemism "undocumented immigrant" is intended to obfuscate the real status of the individual as an illegal alien.
No matter how terrible the economic conditions are in Mexico, the United States is a country of laws. The illegal alien is violating the law and his or her entry into this country without following the legal process is a crime. If Mexico needs help to improve its economy and the life of its citizens, and if we are in a position to assist, then let us do so. Mexicans who abandon their own country and come illegally into ours tend to destabilize both countries. Illegal immigration must be stopped.
Sylvain Segal Albuquerque
Who’s a Grunt?
[RE: Film News, “Shot in NM,” April 6-12]
Devin O'Leary's continued insistence on calling below-the-line film technicians “grunt labor” has now gone from annoying to aggravating. The film technicians of this state have always supported independent filmmakers and this is not an “us against them” situation. Why Mr. O'Leary continues to insult some of the strongest supporters of independent film is mystifying. Below-the-line film technicians in New Mexico are some of the most talented people you could ever hope to meet. Calling craftspeople and artists such as production designers, costume designers, set decorators, grips, electricians, art directors, hair and makeup people, greens people and propmakers “grunts” is demeaning and quasi-racist. Why the Alibi stands idle is equally mystifying. Your ex-managing editor Tim McGivern was a below-the-line technician; this is obviously not Tim's Alibi anymore.
Jon Hendry IATSE Local 480
Film Editor responds: I have never insisted (continually or otherwise) on calling below-the-line talent “grunts.” I used the phrase “grunt labor” once in a recent article. If I managed to offend anyone with the term, I apologize. My dictionary defines grunt labor as work that is stressful or repetitive. If you want to send affidavits from grips, script supervisors and production assistants telling me their jobs are not stressful, I'll be glad to receive them. I have no idea what race (or “quasi-race”) I was supposed to be offending, so let's just skip that silliness. I do agree with you on one point, Jon. This is not about “us vs. them.” I wholeheartedly support the work of our state's talented film professionals whether they're above or below the line, whether they're union members with paid-up dues or poor indie filmmakers. All I'm saying—and have been saying for the last 13 years—is that it would be nice if the state could find a way to support local, above-the-line artists like writers, producers and directors as a way of fostering a purely, uniquely New Mexico-based film industry. I'm pleased to say that the governor and the State Film Office seem to be working in this direction. I hope you will support their efforts.
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