Live and Let Live
I had a different take on Daoust's letter [Re: “No Love (for the Don),” Dec. 4-10] that I wasn't surprised A. Valery [Letters, “Normies vs. Nuts,” Dec. 18-24] misunderstood. I think the point was Don is nuts, but that's OK. It's the fact that he writes letters that appear to chastise the rest of the world for not living the way he does. The Alibi extorts his oddness for circulation purposes only. Daoust didn't say anything about conformity. I took his statements to mean that if you want to be un-normal, fine, but don't flaunt your lifestyle as the model others should follow. Live and let live, but don't act as though you're the only one that has life all figured out. It looks like The Don and A. Valery have much in common.
I have had the great fortune to ride the Bird from our great city to the old city up north twice now. The first time on Wednesday, Dec. 17, was a very pleasant experience. I was able to sit down for the entire trip along with all the other riders. I had an upstairs view of the Alvarado Transportation Center, where I could watch the police empty the vodka from a passed out woman who had pissed herself on a bench waiting for the train at four in the afternoon.
However, I had a much less pleasant time on Saturday, Dec. 20, when I had to wait an hour in the cold listening to everybody whine about how the free train ride they were going to get better hurry up! I agree that a train needs to be able to make it on time if it wants to call itself a commuter train. After all, who is going to share a ride with a Bird that is going to drop you off at work an hour late? No good. When I got aboard, I mentioned that only in Albuquerque could we manage to make the train run so late because people actually showed up to ride. (I am truly amazed people went out and did something in this town!) At that point, an old woman who said she has waited her whole life for a train in New Mexico yelled at me.
When it was time to leave Santa Fe, I re-boarded a vacant Bird full of trash and scars of a day of epic New Mexico participation. My date wanted to use the bathroom but decided to hold it when the man before her said he pissed in the sink because the toilet was so disgusting. She took his word, but curiosity got the best of me and I had to poke my head in. Disgraceful.
Nothing really should surprise a native New Mexican. It was only a week before that I had gone to the Frontier, where my friend from New York looking to take some tortillas mentioned there wasn't enough dozens. The man only replied, "Yes, one dozen, eight tortillas."
Washington Woes and Military Might
If I had to choose between providing extra medical benefits for veterans of war or bailing out GM, Chrysler and Ford, I'd much rather the money go to the vets. In the past 20 years, the best GM has come up with is an amazingly inefficient Hummer that averages something like 13 miles to the gallon, the sort of gas-guzzling machine over which we find ourselves in Iraq in the first place. They've even come up with a limousine version of this incredible gas hog! Instead of investing taxpayer dollars (just loose change kicking around that I may decide to put toward my mortgage) to help a financially struggling auto company get back on its feet when in the past three decades it has systematically ignored common sense, political pressure, fierce international competition, environmental concerns and consumer demand for fuel-efficient, high-performance vehicles; a company that upon inventing a darned good little electric car put out warrants on all persons possessing these cars just one year later so that they could be crushed like beer cans and sold as scrap metal; a company which then decided it would be a cool idea to produce a military machine, the Hummer, that civilians could drive anywhere in town, even to pick their kids up from school (But here's the catch: It costs a fortune to tank up at the gas station!); it seems to me that our money would be better spent on the poor soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan driving these same Hummers past roadside bombs who return home missing an arm or a leg or a piece of their mind. When will Washington decide that people are more important than military hardware? Isn't this what Eisenhower warned us of, the installation of a permanent industrial military complex? You can add Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sandia Labs, Coors and General Electric along with GM and many others to the illustrious ranks of war profiteers. With regard to a bailout of the nation's top three auto manufacturers, not only do I say, “No,” I offer a resounding, “Hell, no!”
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