The letters section of a paper is the most-read—after the horoscopes and funnies, of course. It's with good reason, too. Who watches the watchmen? You.
It takes a particular kind of crazy, a special narcissism, to write anything for publication. Whether or not we get a paycheck for it, we must believe fundamentally that we have something to say worth hearing, that our opinions count.
The Alibi has the best readers in the world. Many appear to write letters while intoxicated (See "Happy Birthday, Toothless Whore"). But that doesn't make them wrong. Write on, you critics and wonderers, you fankids and haters. From the prophetic to the profane, these are some of the letters that left a mark in the paper's 15 years in existence. There are more, of course, but, as ever, brevity is everything.
Dear Nudity Magazine,
Some time ago a rather bad-tempered drunk stole the doorstop down here at El Rey. What he did with it has been the subject of witless speculation, but the point is that for several months we have been using a variety of things to hold open the front door: ashtrays, the cardboard which encases six-packs of Coors Light, an old shoe, etc.
Then we received a tall stack of Nudity Magazine and I made the discovery that one issue, folden 10 or 12 times, makes an excellent doorstop. El Rey would like to continue to receive your excellent magazine, and thank you for your contribution to the community.
Editor's note: Thanks for letting us serve you. Remember NuCity has been serving the community in any way we can since Oct. 9, 1992.
Dear Weekly Alibi,
I was rather amused to hear that racist fliers were placed in your newspaper last week. I can't say that I was able to find one of these fliers, and I don't think that these fliers were legally distributed. This type of flier is definitely in a "tone against community standards." I am, however, disturbed to see a column by Angie Drobnic apologizing for any distress this incident may have caused for any of the Alibi's readers.
I would also like to note that in the local news, your newspaper was banned from distributing in local Burger King restaurants. I guess you printed something regarding gay and lesbian literature, and it was not taken well by some. This must have been written in a "tone against community standards." What I am leading to is one question: What in the hell are your standards?
I don't claim to be a Nazi or a white supremacist, but I am an advocate of the free press. As a reader of the Weekly Alibi, I am exposed to several different lifestyles, political cultures and all of that diversity stuff. I just wonder why I haven't ready anything regarding the Aryan Nation in your newspaper. I don't see why a bunch of bigoted half-wits shouldn't get the same press as some of the other "special" groups your newspaper focuses on.
I really see a big double standard here. I think you should make an effort to expose the public to just what some of these right-wing groups are about and maybe even let these groups present their opinions in your paper.
If you really advocate a free press and freedom of opinion, you will. I enjoy reading about everyone and not just a select few. I've always considered the Alibi to be a truly free press, and I hope that you don't ever prove me wrong.
Dear Weekly Alibi,
I read "Videodrome" every time you print it, and every time you don't print it, I set fire to stacks of your issues that I steal from all over Albequerque (sic).
If you make "Videodrome" a regular section of your paper, I'll be happy and so will lots of earth lovers.
Dear Weekly Alibi,
How's your wheeze-hole of pulp been hanging lately? I haven't read it for some time now, though I guess I'll have to pick up a copy at Kelly Liquors to get your address. Yeah, I see the Alibi racks spread over the city like so many toothless Central Avenue whores, dead tired but still standing, lookin' for just one more type trick ...
Do you still howl ludicrous insanities at passing hubcaps and run to bite rolling tires? You should have learned something about pissing on moving cars by now, but I guess it won't click in your skull until your rabid head gets run over ...
You people don't have enough pain in your lives—that's what I think. It's a goddamned Greek tragedy when your BMW won't start, and having to wait in line at the Wendy's drive-through can actually cause you to break out in hives across the wide expanse of your fat ass. What a bunch of worthless shits.
And try as I may, I know it's not gonna get through to you ... The soon-
Well, if you can't say anything nice about a clique of immature assholes, at least try to tell the truth, huh?
(vol. 7, no. 46; Nov. 19-25, 1996)
Whatever happened to journalistic integrity? When Taco Bell introduced its Fajita Wraps, the Alibi was disgustingly silent.
It’s time for Dougie to start spouting. First to preface: thank you. A man's gotta read, and your rag is the best in town. This criticism, although acerbic, oozes with love and constructivity (sic). Also, the pot ought not to call the kettle grimy, but I got a voice, too, and once I've said my piece, and you've been told, I'll never mention it again.
Michael (Henningsen)—get your head out of your asshole. I always thought the fine art of reportage relies on bringin’ the subject to light. Why is it most everything you write feels like a set-up, a means of portraying the hippest dude in all creation?
There you go; I'm just little me, but I know what I like. Concerning this medium, I want information and entertainment, understandably a synergy difficult to achieve. Give whining, drivel and posing to your mates; don't take it out on the lowly reader. What else, what else? That's all, thank you. Apologies and a plea. Best wishes. My intentions are so fucking benign; ya don't know.
(vol. 7, no. 21; May 21-27, 1998)
I shudder when I hear the cry to "rally around the President" as we "face the enemies of democracy and freedom." I can think of no bigger "enemy to democracy" than the false president, George W. Bush, the man who lost the election, but stole the White House. And who in all the world gains more from the recent devastation than Bush, whose "approval rating" went from a detumescent 20 percent to a "he-man" 90 percent. Now watch as Congress gives him the keys to the taxpayers' coffers to the tune of billions of dollars to throw to his cronies for the war machine; watch as he digs up our natural lands to "protect us from dependency on foreign oil" and tosses the profits to the Bush family and their cronies; and lest anyone dare complain, watch how our civil liberties will be curtailed in the name of "national defense."
Name two world rulers who inherited multimillions of petro-dollars: George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. Name two millionaire world rulers who inherited their money and never worked an honest day in their lives: George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. Name two world rulers who stand across the world and denounce the other as the incarnation of Satan and claim he himself stands on God's side. People of this dear sweet planet: Do not let these two maniacs fight their "holy war" and rain blood and tears down upon the rest of us for a hundred years.
My heart is broken with horror and sadness.
Oh, you're soooo alternative, aren't you, with your rhinestone belt buckles and your big, floppy hats? Yeah, I'm real impressed. You people make me sick.
I can't tell you how tired I am of the Alibi's ridiculous obsession with current events, movies, restaurants, arts, literature, music and all the rest of that oh-so-sophisticated bull-hucky you pawn off on your gullible readers as legitimate journalism.
What's the deal with you people? Does your entire editorial staff live in a damp cave 500 feet beneath the surface of the Rio Grande Valley, only venturing out into the sunlight for dog food and a healthy scratch behind the ears? Goddamn. Give me a break, will you? Find something else to write about. What about foot fungus? Or interstellar space travel? Bottle caps? Paper airplanes? Naughty children? Car batteries? Air fresheners?
Or what about suicide? Huh? How about that? I'd love to see a cover story on suicide, and believe you me, I'm not alone. I have literally thousands of friends down here in unbearable T or C who'd love some step-by-step instructions on how to kick the can in a dignified, painless fashion. How about some diagrams to go along with that? Can you manage that? Or are you too busy pretending to be the sole voices of culture and reason in the Southwest?
My point is that I really think you people need to be a little more creative. Ach—what am I saying? It's a lost cause. Fire the entire staff and hire a team of blind, elderly, incontinent, retarded chimpanzees. I have absolutely no doubt they'll do a significantly better job than the stable of bozos you've got on staff at present.
Do me a favor, and go to hell.
[Film Reviews, July 17-23]: In the middle of a perfectly invaluable summer bonus guide to restaurant advertisements, I was viciously assaulted by the following lines in your paper: 1) "Hip Asian ghost story proves there's more than meets the eye." This an apparent summarization of a film about an eye, called The Eye. 2) "High-flying documentary isn't just for the birds." This in reference to a film about birds known as Winged Migration.
Get it? Do you get it?
I get it. You are trying to kill my brain to death and make it look like a horrible reading accident. Why not just come down to the bus station some night when I'm working and crap right in my eyes?
Whether this was an attempt at arch, inside humor or, similarly, an attempt at pure murder, you will not get away with it. You will pay for what you have done.
I know, I know, but I have already been to the fair—too soggy. You see, I grew up in Gallup, N.M., and, perhaps consequently, perhaps not, every now and again, in addition to a red or green fix, I gotta have my fry bread fix! I have been to the fair, and by far and away, the Laguna booth has the best fry bread for Navajo tacos.
But, you see, sometime ago in your food section, you mentioned a restaurant that, if not specializing in fry bread, had fry bread and/or Navajo tacos on the menu. I have been waiting for you to run that blurb again, but haven't seen it. And I read y'all every week.
Gimme dat ol' time fry bread—and not only do you have to fry it, but you have to make it using lard! Yup, that delicious, artery-plugging goop of joy that still comes in them blue tubs or bricks. It’s good and good for you!!
If you, or someone else, could dig up that tidbit of info (and anybody else that has or specializes in Navajo tacos and/or fry bread) and send it along, I will be in your debt eternally. Well, maybe not eternally, but I'd sure appreciate it.
I love articles like the one authored by Christie Chisholm, "A new report shows that the status of women falls short” [News Bite, “By the Numbers,” June 28-July 4]. There's nothing like a good laugh to blow off all that frustrating steam that comes from knowing just the opposite is true. Especially in New Mexico ...
I've read about another woman successfully getting more than $20,000 in child support for a nonexistent child; another who got a restraining order against David Letterman because he was apparently sending her secret coded messages during his late-night show broadcasts. (No pun intended! Don't call me a misogynist!) ...
At the risk of being labeled a misogynist: The pendulum has swung too far the other way. New Mexico is now in fact a gynecocracy.
The gavel has replaced the once-preferred handheld, battery-powered tool as the instrument of pleasure of choice for women here in New Mexico. The word "stalker" has now taken on the power that the word "communist" once used to have. Anyone that says women are second-class citizens is spouting a lot of nonsense. It is women that are now first-class citizens, with white males coming in second, and minority males a distant third. Goddess help us all!
That does it. I'm Schradering. I've invented this new term. It's a verb, and it refers to what you do when you're mad as hell and you're not gonna take it anymore, when voting is just not cutting the mustard because corporations you never get to vote for have hijacked the government and run off with the planet to gobble it all up like a pit bull with a carcass, and old snarl-face Cheney and his Dubya finger puppet blithely crank up the slaughter while the do-nothing Democrats piss and moan but eventually just belly-up and hand over the checkbook. You get so fed up, you do like the Don. Don Schrader, that is.
I like the Schrader approach. It's nonviolent, very effective in large numbers and recognizes a simple fact: A person can control nothing on this Earth but their own self. If even 30 percent of us decided to Schrader, I bet we would effectively drain the money-pool these corporate sharks depend on and leave them all gasping and flopping and wondering why we just aren't buying it anymore.
Really, I thought it would be a major drag to give up owning a car. I felt some real trepidation, as if I had just signed up for an expedition to the Southern Magnetic Pole without a parka or huskies. I made it a lot easier on myself by getting a job within walking distance of my home; and with all the walking and bicycling, I've never been in better health. Exercise has become a real pleasure, which is naturally integrated into my new lifestyle rather than something I never have time to schedule in. I am over the 40 hump this year, and I have a butt like a 16-year-old to show for all this altruistic commitment. Also, in giving up a car, I have given up car payments, auto insurance, traffic stress, gas prices, hideous repair bills and all those red-light camera worries along with the rather frighteningly high odds of being all mashed up in a highway accident. Just try to imagine all the money I save.
I thought of a bumper sticker that says: “Park your car, not your ass,” but I figure it would look pretty stupid on a car, and even stupider on my ass. Have you seen the Don lately? Well, you can't really help it, since he runs around practically naked, but he must be at least 60 and he looks all buff and fabulous. As for me, I'm gonna keep my clothes on, thank you, and continue with my “straight but not narrow” sexual orientation. I would not go back to car ownership if you paid me. In Berlin, where I lived for a time, several neighbors would get together and share a car and all its expenses. There's an idea.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.