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I've always known I'd end up in hell; now I'll be taking my high-altitude Patagonia gear with me when I go. R. Scott Moxley's attack on the government of Vietnam turns the Weekly on its head ("Keep Your Trap Shut," Jan. 18). The Weekly siding with Little Saigon's aging fascists in their rear-guard action against Vietnam? I could go on for pages about what's wrong with that picture, but let me just ask: What's next? Replace Commie Girl with Nazi Man?

via e-mail

Stanley Laughner is either out of his mind or he is a genius. I'm referring to his recent article on Judas Priest in which he tries ("stretches" is more like it) to connect opera, satanism, Marxism and global capitalism into a defense of one of rock & roll's worst-ever bands ("Judas Priest!? The key, of course, is opera," Jan. 18). Does he seriously mean that Rob Halford is tied to the Italian Futurist movement just because Halford once studied opera? Or that Nike borrowed its marketing phrase "Just Do It" from a Priest lyric? Or that Nike's rise to the top of global capitalism is satanic? Thinking I'd missed something in their work, I went to my local CD store (Compact Disc Warehouse in Orange) and listened to the only Judas Priest album I could find there (1990's Painkiller—in the used bin, Mr. Laughner!) and concluded I was right: Judas Priest is just crap! (Sample lyric from "Hell Patrol": "Terrorize you/Pulverize you/Gonna cut to the bone as you groan/And they'll paramatize you." What is "paramatize"?) But then I flashed back on my college freshman course in opera and how I thought The Magic Flute was pretty crappy, too (and STILL do!), and had this queasy feeling that I might be missing something. Please advise: Is Mr. Laughner on the level?

S. Manza

In response to the letter from Elaine Gurley (Letters, Jan. 18), in which she states that you (the Weekly) better "thank God for freedom of speech": it might be educational for Ms. Gurley to read the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, wherein the right of "free speech" is set forth. With all due respect, the First Amendment was written by those men who created the Constitution and that first group of important "amendments." The First Amendment was not written by "God." Although some of us might not agree with ALL of your statements ALL of the time, we must agree that you have the constitutional right to say what you want ALL of the time—as do all citizens of this fine country!

Jay Furry
Huntington Beach

It's very sad that Greg Stacy came away from Grey Gardens with little more than the impression that the Edie Beales (Big and Little) were a pair of "hateful shrews" ("Whatever Happened to Little Edie?" Jan. 18). Having seen the film dozens of times, I can tell you that's not the case at all: it's a film of tremendous grace, subtlety and beauty, and Albert Maysles himself called it a "love story" between a mother and daughter—an unusual one, to be sure, but a love story nonetheless. Mr. Stacy may want to watch the film again without trying to compare it to Bette Davis' more lurid roles. The DVD director commentary is particularly illuminating, as is the tribute to Little Edie at "To my mother and me," said Little Edie in one interview, "Grey Gardens is a breakthrough to something beautiful and precious called 'life.'" And in answer to the question "Whatever Happened to Little Edie?": she died last week at her home in Bal Harbour, Florida. Rest in peace, Little Edie.

J. d'Addario
via e-mail

Joel Beers' review of bash, latterday plays is precisely why I pick up OC Weekly ("The Mormon in All of Us," Jan. 18). His intelligent destruction of the conservative attempt to turn John Walker Lindh into "a liberal poster child" was brilliant. But I'm not as generous as Beers. Now, following his evidence, I await stories in the Washington Times, the Weekly Standard, National Review and The Orange County Register on how far-right politics turns the human psyche toward our darkest impulses. As they say in theater circles: bravo!

Anthony Whalen
via e-mail
Get Well

I'm totally disturbed that Rebecca Schoenkopf would promote drug use when it's clear she doesn't know what the hell she's talking about ("Wellbutrin Time!" Jan. 18). Taking Wellbutrin (bupropion) to kill the desire to smoke is like wasting OxyContin on pain. It's an anti-depressant—good news for someone like me who's really quite normal and enjoys doubling the dose. My doctor prescribed it because I said I wanted to quit smoking, but I must say, nothing has so enhanced my cigarette break as Wellbutrin! Warning: not so good for people with a history of seizures and (this is what's weird and important for Rebecca) can make some people depressed or "agitated"—that's "pissed-off" in Weekly language.

Name withheld by request
via e-mail