Regarding your story about Gomeroke karaoke at the High Noon Saloon: While it was interesting to see myself written about along with the other participants, I must say that there were many problems with the article ("So You Want to Be a Rock Star," 5/9/08).
To begin with, why did the author decide to be a self-appointed critic of the evening's singers? Gomeroke isn't American Idol. The people who go there just want to have a good time. Critiquing the performers would be like attending an elementary school play and expecting to see Les Misérables.
When I saw Christian Bale at the Capitol I noticed a lot of police officers standing around ("Where Are You, Christian Bale?" 5/9/08). Considering the police department considers itself "understaffed," I find it odd that we were able to provide so much cover for a celebrity but not be able to dispatch an officer when someone says he might have seen a murderer walking amongst us ("Did Cops Miss Chance to Catch Marino Killer?" (5/9/08).
Michael J. Ruano
When I saw the headline of John Mendel(s)sohn's article "Blake Thomas Wants Your Liver" (5/16/08), I assumed it was going to be a story about another musician who had drunk himself into needing a transplant - and nearly turned the page.
Then, I read the lead and decided maybe he had hurt himself saving his buddy when they both fell in the lake drunk and somehow wrecked his liver. I read on, curious.
But neither of these assumptions proved true. Instead, unbelievably, it turned out to be a crush piece about a confirmed drinker who uses magical thinking to keep drinking, though dimly aware that it would be "a bitch" to end up like other guys exactly like him, drinking himself to death.
While I don't know Blake's music, he sounds like a punk to me - an immature smartass who thinks it's cool still to brag about having narrowly escaped death by freezing during a drunken stunt on the ice.
He is quoted as saying, "I know it's a dumb way to look at it...but I...have a true story to tell." Really? And just how many kids will think it kewl to do the same thing?
It's not the job of writers to "Disney-fy" reality. But as a citizen, mother and teacher living in a state that holds the record for most people admitting to having driven while drunk, I don't appreciate John Mendel(s)sohn's hero- worship profile of a guy who seems determined to end up with a tag on his toe.
I was pleased to see Blake Thomas get some ink...until I actually read the piece. John Mendel(s)sohn's write-up, though sympathetic, was stunning in its sophomoric embrace of the tortured-artist cliché and all the tired lowest-common-dominator BS that comes with it.
In praise of paper
Please, pay no heed to the letter writer (5/9/08) who asked that Isthmus stop publishing on paper and switch to online. Green is good, and we're all working on it, but many of us love the written word on paper. Woe to the day when Isthmus becomes a total online newspaper.