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Letters to the Editor: 3-6-2014

HOLLOW PREACHINGS

I grew up a broke, male WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) who regularly attended a fairly conservative church. Many of my friends in church, as it happened, were gay and subsequently pushed from our congregation via informal excommunication, to borrow a Catholic phrase, and were no longer welcome.

This impacted me immensely, and I came to view both the theological and social preachings of the church as hollow. My church friends changed into my “gay friends,” which I wore with a badge of pride, shamelessly parading this fact before others to show my rebellion against other churchgoers and as a philanthropic credit to me.

There comes a point where my “protected class” friends ceased being “gay friends” and became simply my friends and their chosen partners.

Many of these friends want to get married. While I’m glad Oregon will permit their marriages, I look beyond our borders to the country, continent and beyond. In the name of liberty, justice and even God, why the hell wouldn’t we allow such state marriages? 

I have neither the desire nor right to prevent my friends from enjoying the same legal benefits or candor and respect that we should show everyone, and that the Christ of Galilee — who I no longer view as a God, but as my favorite member of the carpenter’s union — would show anyone.

Steven Coatsworth, Eugene

 

JUST GIVE HIM A FISH

Give a man a fish, they say, and you will feed him for a day. But teach that man to fish, my dear, and he’ll spend his days just swilling beer and swapping lies with lazy friends and making plans to go again. Up at dawn and gone all day, gotta get that one what got away. 

Oh, he’ll need poles and reels and nets, vests and hats and don’t forget hooks, lines, sinkers, dry flies. Shoot! New hip waders and dry fit boots. There’s bait and bobbers, license, lunch and, you know, I have a hunch that charter fees will get his goat and just like that you’ll own a boat! Then comes the trailer, truck and hitch and then the selfish son-of-a-bitch will find his sport is best enjoyed when he is not fully employed. If you should say “You can’t retire!” he’ll either get laid off or fired. Forsaking wife, son and daughter just to get back on the water and drop his line down through the brine pursuing fish of every kind: halibut, salmon, sturgeon, trout, catfish, squawfish, eel, horn-pout, sailfish, marlin, mackerel, tuna, bass or pickerel. 

And don’t forget lobsters and clams, crabs and oysters, man, oh man! Now he’ll need traps, rings and pots; a smoker, too, ‘cuz he’ll catch lots. Weather will not slow him down (for it’s in water that fish are found). He will not quit because of age, infirmity or spousal rage. Frozen lakes won’t bother him, he’ll drill a hole and fish again. 

And the years will keep on passing and he will keep on casting until you’re old and tired and cramped, impoverished in some fishing camp, and your one, true, fervent wish ... is that you’d just GIVEN him a fish.

Dave Perham, Eugene

 

PROTECTING THE SYSTEM

According to Pat Coogan [Letters, 2/27], I am one of the “self-righteous fools” whose unerring tendency toward internecine warfare constitutes the proverbial circular firing squad and thus safeguards the dominant order. Especially regarding Lierre Keith, with whom we are in “99.9 percent” agreement.

But in no way am I in agreement with her public and well-known transphobia or with her Maoist-like Deep Green Resistance cult. Many have broken with her and DGR for these reasons.

Coogan sees in unity the key value and counsels against us fighting each other. The point, however, is that what really protects the system is the lowest-common-denominator approach that accepts so much — and hence the system itself.

John Zerzan, Eugene

 

MORE LOCAL CONNECTIONS

Other films shot in and around Eugene [see EW cover story last week] include Emperor of the North Pole, filmed in 1972 mostly in Cottage Grove, directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Keith Carradine; Animal House, 1978, filmed on and around the UO campus, in Cottage Grove and at the Dexter Lake Club, directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Kevin Bacon, Karen Allen and others; Stand By Me, 1986, shot in Brownsville, Cottage Grove and Eugene, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell and Keifer Sutherland, and Grand Tour: Disaster in Time, shot in 1990 (released in 1992) in Drain and Eugene, directed by David Twohy and starring Jeff Daniels. 

My husband was an extra for Emperor ($20 a day for days as long as 12 hours, but good money for a grad student), and I watched Grand Tour being filmed in the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House while pregnant with my first child.

Although the movie Prefontaine (1997), directed by Steve James, was filmed in Washington state, the actor who played Pre, Jared Leto, just won the Oscar for his supporting role in Dallas Buyers Club.

Lucinda Muñiz, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: Animal House and Stand By Me were included in our graphic on Page 13 last week.

 

SOLUTION NEEDED

In reply to Gene Okin’s letter [2/20], drafting the homeless into community service against their will, without pay, is slavery. Homelessness needs a solution, not a punishment. 

Cenya Eichengreen, Eugene

 

PIPELINE SHUTDOWN

It was nice to see Tom Giesen’s column “Game Over” [2/20] discussing oil depletion in the coming decades. Peaked energy and climate chaos are two aspects of the same problem — overshoot.

On Feb. 18, the Alyeska Pipeline company released the 2013 figures for the Alaska Pipeline, which declined another 2.5 percent last year. Alaskan oil powers nearly every motor in Oregon, including those of food delivery trucks. The Alaska Pipeline’s shutdown is likely to impact Eugene more than construction of new pipelines in other time zones.

It was sad to read the article [2/20] about students condemning Lierre Keith’s upcoming keynote speech at the PIELC conference for alleged “transphobia.” Meanwhile, there’s no student protest about James Hansen, who promotes new nuclear power as the supposed solution to climate change. Hansen cites ultraconservative Ann Coulter as a source for his claim that radioactivity might be beneficial, biologically, in small doses. He will share the stage with the David Brower awards even though Brower was an early opponent of nuclear power.

A disclaimer: PIELC 2014 rejected my panel requests: 1) “Running into the Limits to Growth: Peak(ed) Energy and Climate Chaos,” 2) “Peak Traffic and Transportation Triage: a Legal Strategy to Stop Trillion Dollar Highway Expansion Plans and Prepare For Post Peak Travel,” and 3) “The Surveillance State is the Military Industrial Complex’s Preparation for Climate Chaos.”

I hope these topics become acceptable to the fossil fuel foundation funded environmental establishment before gasoline rationing arrives.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene, PeakChoice.org

 

WEALTH IS GOOD

In response to Ann Tattersall’s letter about “Resolving the Gap” [2/20]: What have you been smoking, Ann? What did that wealthy person ever do to you? There are legal means for removing wealth if it was obtained through deceit, oppression or some other unethical means, but removing it just because he is wealthy would be outright theft. 

I suspect jealousy may be fueling your temper tantrum and hatred of the wealthy. Wealth is a good thing. Why not focus your energy on ways to earn a few million yourself and contribute as a taxpayer instead of taking it from somebody else? I suggest you move to a communist country and keep your hands off of other people’s wallets. 

Todd Anderson, Eugene

 

ARTISTIC MEN

That was an interesting article [“Sexy Beasts,” 2/13] and a good clue about the sign of the times. Eugene’s slogan is “A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors.” It is about time we live up to the slogan. It is time to support the great revolutionary revival of psychedelic, artistic, talented eligible bachelors, right here in Lane County, the very epicenter of the Merry Pranksters, where these men thoroughly appreciate women who are athletic, strong, completely natural, down to earth and free of conventional standards of plastic beauty and a lot of rigid gender roles. 

These artistic men live outdoors and are completely invigorated with respect for these women. These men go out of their way to pray and meditate to Gaia or “Great Mother Spirit.” A Swiss psychedelic psychiatrist on YouTube who goes by the name of “Dominique Beatnik” has described such women as having “big hairy bushy” features, citing the famous cartoonist Robert Crumb’s Yeti woman series, and specifies a local artist man who lives in the mountains and forests of Oregon where he is either worthy of being with a beautiful sasquatch, if not already there, making love to her! 

Stephen Charles Arthur, Eugene 

 

HARASSED AND MISTREATED

I am a senior citizen, longtime resident of Eugene, dog lover and owner, and want to alert my neighbors as to how our public dollars are being spent. My mini schnauzer (20 pounds) and I were walking one of our usual routes in our neighborhood when an “animal control” truck came into view. My dog had been off-leash for a few minutes while I picked up after him. As soon as I saw the truck I put him back on-leash — as he always is around other dogs and children.

The “officer” (Berry) stopped me anyhow and proceeded to harass me about a prior interaction he thought he’d had with me. He immediately threatened to call for police intervention. I became fearful and continued walking toward a neighbor/friend’s house. He followed me in his truck for 10 blocks. Soon after I arrived at my safe house, two patrol cars showed up and three police officers spent an hour investigating me and my little dog, who has a current license and is completely under my control. I am a threat to no one and have zero convictions.

If I can be so mistreated and harassed by public employees working for the city, I fear for what my home has become. I believe city workers should be spending their working time more wisely, don’t you? And the next time you hear from city officials that we don’t have enough police presence, question the truth of that statement!

Shelley Z. Klappholz, Eugene

 

WHAT IS LOCAL?

I rent out a widget. I used to own the widget and use it myself, but then I upgraded to a newer widget that better served my needs. I didn’t want to part with my old widget so now I rent it out. When my widget was first built, it was of the highest quality available at the time and I enjoyed using it for my own purposes. And for many years other people, mostly itinerant students, enjoyed the use of my widget as well. But lately some members of my global village (albeit from a little farther away that many might consider “local”), have used local builders and purchased local materials to build a newer, more comfortable, more energy-efficient widget. 

And now I can’t seem to rent my widget. I was here first, and while my widget isn’t of the highest quality and isn’t what the consumer wants anymore, why should a non-local member of my global village come here and be able to rent his widget when mine is still for rent. It’s not fair! Is it? The conversation of “out-of-state” builders and “too much student housing” and the construction of PK Park and subsequent disuse of Civic Stadium and the myriad other examples of this insufferable provincialism makes me laugh or cry, I cannot decide. 

What is local? What is a global community? Should I only sell other types of widgets I create locally? I employ 21 people in 10 different states. Should I have made them all uproot their families and move to Eugene to keep everything local? Or does local include my fellow countrymen and does the global village supersede buying local? I think I will either have to upgrade my widget or maybe I should tear down my widget to be able to compete with all the new widgets that consumers prefer.

Mark Sixel, Sixel Consulting Group, Eugene

 

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS

When we humans succeed in temporarily quieting our pesky, dominant, rational thinking mind and relax ourselves, we can learn to become more consciously aware of the power of enjoyment. The three energy frequencies of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. Now we can develop a sensitivity to feel certain things or to know intuitively without being able to explain exactly how we know.

Through the power of the heart-mind, plus the power of marijuana efficacy, I can and will take the necessary steps in becoming the highly conscious pot-smoking dude I want to be and the world needs.

Joe Canfield, Eugene