By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
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SMOKE, BULLETS, MISINFORMATION
In his zeal to diss the Nixon Library (which needs dissing, I'm sure), Anthony Pignataro ran roughshod over the history of Lexington and Concord ("Smoke, Bullets, Mayhem," July 13). Having read Paul Revere's Ride by one of the deans of early American culture analysis, David Hackett Fisher, allows me to state that Pignataro's characterization of the local population's behavior as "drunken militiamen" is as far from the truth as the earth from the sun. Pignataro states "they ran in haste from a redcoat column," while the truth is they subjected the "regulars," as they were known to the locals, to a withering fire as they attempted to retreat to Boston. General Gage was trying to surprise the locals in order to confiscate powder, ball, and cannon, but the locals were up on his plans.
Anthony Pignataro responds: Christopher Hibbert's Redcoats and Rebels and The U.S. Military Academy's West Point Atlas of American Wars served as my sources for the story. Both unequivocally state that Lexington was a tiny skirmish in which ill-disciplined American militia ran from British troops. Hibbert further makes clear that many of the militia forces were drunk—a characterization nailed by the historical reenactment actors at the Nixon Library, who took great relish portraying numerous American militiamen stumbling about in a drunken stupor shortly before the British advance.
Thanks so much for publishing Nick Schou's "Crack Cop" (July 13). I am one of many who consider it well-established fact that the CIA is responsible for a significant amount of narcotics smuggling. In a way, it's one inevitable result of having a federal government as powerful as ours. Make a simple plant derivative with great demand extraordinarily illegal, then have "black ops" arrange for the trade. Sounds like a perfect example of government corruption in action.
I'm very grateful the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) enabled partial release of documents hinting at the CIA-narcotics link. But I'm disappointed that the FBI could delete so much of the information in those documents. "National security"? Riiight.
UNPAID BAND ADVERTISEMENT
Rebecca Schoenkopf is correct in stating that "truck drivers are the last of the cowboys, roaming the plains … the last of the free" ("If I Were Gordon Dillow," July 13). Everything Schoenkopf eats, wears, uses and owns was probably delivered to her via truck. No one understands this more than Trucker Up. We have been delivering fine truckin' music to a hungry populace for over a year now. To imply that we try to "protect ourselves with an ironic detachment" is as patently incorrect and offensive to everyone associated with the band as her assertion that truckers are all meth addicts.
As our upcoming shows at the House of Blues on Aug. 5 (with that great American and sportsman, Ted Nugent) and Aug. 26 (with great American and Texan Reverend Horton Heat) will confirm, we are committed to democracy, a free-trade economy, and American ideals. For this reason, we have contacted President Bush regarding our guitarist's known fraternization with Schoenkopf, a member of the Communist Party, and informed him that Trucker Up and Teamsters everywhere stand ready to wage a war on communism and the liberal media. Henceforth, we will treat Schoenkopf as China.
"Commie Girl" also incorrectly suggests that her boyfriend is the regular guitarist of Trucker Up. Our actual guitarist, Tracy, was unable to perform at the Fourth of July show and Schoenkopf's boyfriend was kind enough to fill in for him. For those who have seen our performances and enjoyed Tracy's guitar playing, he wants to make clear that he is not now, nor has he ever been, romantically or otherwise involved with any communists, EVER.
G. Charles Wright
ARELLANO SHOULD BE NICER
I find it offensive that Gustavo Arellano could not write something positive about Mexican singers such as Javier Solís and José Alfredo Jiménez ("This Week in Singers Who Don't Die," Calendar, July 13). Their lives did not consist of being Mafiosi or drunks. There were many positive aspects about their lives. Arellano did not research his facts as a reporter should: Javier Solís did not die of a gunshot wound as Arellano wrote; he died of complications after an operation which I believe was from a stomach ailment. Where Arellano got the gunshot story, I don't know.
José Alfredo Jiménez was probably the best composer of ranchera music Mexico has ever known, and Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, and Javier Solís its greatest singers as well as great movie actors.
Shame on you, Mr. Arellano! I believe you are Hispanic and yet you wish to denigrate what is good and beautiful about Mexico by writing only negative things.
Victor Arce Jr.
Gustavo Arellano responds: First, I'm Latino, not Hispanic. Second, my brief write-up was not about who was the best ranchera singer; it was about the bizarre fact that Vicente Fernández still lives though most of Mexico's best singers die strange deaths. Third, in saying that Solís' died from complications following a stomach ailment, Mexican government officials didn't lie—they just didn't explain that the ailment was caused by a bullet. The truth is that Solís was shot by a jealous Mexican state governor because his wife had the hots for the singer. My source? Any Mexican not affiliated with that country's corrupt Institutional Ruling Party.