Goldstein got it right. I'm a suburban high school teacher and recently heard a kid refer to Steven Spielberg as a faggot—and this is a man with a wife and an ever-escalating flock of children. In high school culture, a "faggot"—gay, straight or otherwise—is any male who falls outside an increasingly narrow and hateful definition of manhood that draws its definition from such youth-esteemed social constructs as locker rooms, prisons and the streets of thug life. A faggot is any guy who can be "punked"—high school lingo that refers to prison rape. Every day it amazes me that kids survive these years.

—Terry Minton, Oakland

I just read Goldstein's article and was pleasantly surprised. I just assumed (shame on me!) that any article dealing with homosexuality coming out of Orange County would be derogatory. I thought that the article was very well-written and very informative. Thank you. . . . Unfortunately, the people who "need" to read this and articles like it never will. . . . Maybe you should send it to all school administrators.

—Michael Mauzey, Portland, Oregon

The attempt to expropriate the Colorado high school massacre/tragedy for a pet issue makes Art Bell look like Pulitzer Prize material. I thought there was an oversupply of talented writers in leftist journalism. Goldstein has gotten as facile and cultish as you can get.

There is his arrogant admission that he is going on pure rumor in wishing to believe that the Columbine High School murderers were gay. How poignant: mass innuendo is one aspect of the victimization of gay teens, and he's trying to turn it to some good. How absurd to claim that the kind of boys—gay or straight—who would swagger in trench coats, cultivate a reputation for bomb play and gun play, and intimidate their peers are the kind of boys who would draw the insult "faggot"; and if they did happen to draw it and they were indeed gay, that it would bug them, let alone torment them to the point of suicide. Goldstein let slip the opportunity to put his spin on the published eyewitness reports—not rumors—that the two killers killed Isaiah Shoels, a black pupil who had had multiple heart surgeries and had worked his way up to a spot on a Columbine sports team, because he was black.

At times like this, I'm glad the OC Weekly is free.

—Dale Chock, via e-mail NOTHING TO FEAR

Thank you so much for Mike Males' article "Manufacturing Fear" (The County, May 21). Sane voices speaking out against media manipulation of public opinion are always welcome in my book. Also, I am deeply concerned with the problems and concerns of young people and am not, shall we say, "pleased" with the media and government war on our country's youth. It's absolutely appalling the way adults are attacking the character and feelings of young people with such malicious frequency.

I've read many OC Weekly stories showing the true story about very low crime committed by young people and appreciate everyone for standing up to counter the lies against young people. It is truly madness to attack young people.

—Leonard Baric, Long Beach SHELTERED LIFE

The disturbing article on the Orange County Animal Shelter was thought-provoking (Bob Emmers' "Pet Hell!: Somebody please put the county's animal shelter out of its misery," May 14). The horror and shame of this facility in one of the richest counties in the United States is certainly appalling. Please continue or update.

—Joan Richardson, San Clemente The editors respond: Your wish is our command; see "Changing the Cat Box: Sweeping changes at the county's Soviet-style animal shelter?" in The County. FALSE ALARM

I initially thought about ignoring the meritless, illegitimate and defamatory diatribe of lies, slander and other pejorative rhetoric used by writers Tim Meltreger and R. Scott Moxley to castigate the Orange County Board of Education's recent resolution opposing Sheila Kuehl's Dignity for All Students Act ("Hey, Kuehl Aid!: OC Board of Education torpedoes protection of gay students," May 14). It is obvious that Meltreger and Moxley only promote abhorrence, hatred and malice toward conservative Republicans and those who oppose their narrow political agenda. But ignoring the article would indicate that I don't care about the false impressions that were deliberately given to many OC Weekly readers.

To begin, I am not sure where the reporters obtained the inaccurate information printed in the article. It certainly did not come from any of my public or private statements, or from any communication with the Weekly. The article did not even mention that I agree that violence against all human beings, either gay or straight, is morally wrong and evil. It did not even state that I have many gay and lesbian patients who come to me for a family doctor because I care and love them as fellow human beings.

This was my first dialogue with the Weekly, and my experience did verify that the Weekly will use deceitful and mean-spirited means to smear its political opposition. This experience proved that it was a waste of my honest efforts to take the time to articulate in a well-meaning manner our obvious differences in public policy. I want to communicate primarily, though, as a Christian, that I forgive you. I forgive your utter hatred toward myself, as well as other culturally conservative men or women—Christians, Jews and Muslims—who do not share your political agenda. I pray for a change of your hardened heart and elimination of your anger toward anyone who disagrees with you on public policy.

—Ken Williams, trustee, Orange County Board of Education R. Scott Moxley responds: See "Loathe Thy Enemy" in The County. CORRECTION
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